Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ahead: Upstate

So I feel like writing a more reflective post, now that I am past my initial state of shock and crazy happiness. I mean I burst into happy tears when Justin got off the phone with the judge Friday morning. I complain about New Haven, which rivals Berkeley for my least favorite place I've ever lived (for different reasons, mostly), but it is an awesome thing to get into Yale Law School, and an awesome thing to clerk for an appellate judge. Everyone who gets to do these things is qualified, but not everyone who is qualified gets to do them, so it is all a mix of luck and timing and fitting someone's idea of what they want their entering class/group of clerks to look like. So we are really fortunate. I keep saying "we" when of course Justin's doing these things and I am here because he's here, while doing most of the caretaking for Auletta and my own studies, but obviously what he does affects me, and I can't tell you how glad I am that he will be clerking for a federal judge, who is really just all around a great person and a good fit for Justin professionally and personally, and in Geneseo, which is 1. not here and 2. in upstate New York, where as you've probably noticed we spend a lot of time already.

Now, I totally stole this map off the Internetz and modified it so those of you who aren't familiar with upstate NY could get an idea of where we are headed and where it is in relation to the other places we go upstate. I placed green dots over the towns of Ithaca, Geneseo, and Syracuse, and also over the approximate location of New Haven over in Connecticut.

As you can see, Ithaca is in south-central New York, on the southern end of Cayuga Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes. Syracuse, where I'm doing my MSLIS and where I'm spending some time physically even though it's a distance program, is about an hour northeast of Ithaca. Geneseo's not much farther in a northwestern direction from Ithaca physically, but since there are a bunch of lakes in the way, it takes about two hours to drive there. And a little under two hours from Geneseo to Syracuse. Geneseo is a town of about 9,000 people with a SUNY school, so it's small but it's a college town, which is the kind of place we like (except it's really small, even compared to Ithaca, so maybe we don't know what we're getting into). That's about all I can tell you about it. Also it's about 45 minutes from Rochester, where I have some family and where we'll fly in and out of when we fly places. No more I-95 to get everywhere, thank goodness (the worst part of being here is getting out).

Now, going places. The Second Circuit's seat is in New York City, so the judges hear arguments there for a week each month and the clerks go along. That means I'll be alone with Auletta in Geneseo for a week each month, or we'll hang out in Ithaca, or maybe I can come along...but this all depends on what I'm doing--I might take a class each semester at Syracuse (feasible if it meets once a week), and I will probably do an internship in/near Geneseo at some point. But this, on top of the fact that a Job is much less flexible, schedule-wise, than law school, means daily life will change a lot, so it will take some getting used to.

Also it will be cold, the full import of which I have not yet realized, although winter here hasn't been a picnic either.

But I am so excited! We are really both small-town people, or at least suburb-type people. I loved Charlottesville to pieces, although it was the sort of place that drove some people crazy because it wasn't a very big city and it was a couple hours from the nearest metropolis. I think this next year will be great for us, and I'm just hoping we like wherever we're headed after that as much.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Justin will be clerking for an federal appeals judge in Geneseo, NY in 2010-2011. This job is so perfect for us in so many ways that we are ridiculously excited and thrilled and everything and just wow. Yay.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Tomorrow at 10:00 AM, federal judges can officially begin contacting 3L applicants to clerkships to schedule interviews. ACK.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

30 Years of Awesome

Happy birthday, sweetie!

I take most of the pictures, so I'm not in any of the good ones, but here are a bunch of pictures of the best daddy ever and the cutest baby ever.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Political Views: For more information regarding this space, please contact the owner

I have been trying to think of a replacement for the current description of my political views on my Facebook profile ("Philippe for America. He is five." which is a reference to Achewood), one that would be accurate, pithy, and inoffensive to potential future employers or other people who are easily offended, so good luck with that I guess. Back when you had to choose your political views from a pull-down menu, I wanted to say something like "I refuse to conform to your arbitrary categories!" Because if you see "Republican" or "Democrat" in that space, you're going to think you know what I think, right? Even if I say "moderate," it might be the case that (as Stephen Carter described himself) I have extreme positions on both the left and right ends of the spectrum.

I mean, take for example, that I'm pro-life (or anti-abortion, I guess, with a million caveats, which already makes me uncategorizable). Do you now think

1. I am pro-death penalty
2. I am anti-gay marriage


Because I'm not. You might have assumed so. But why? What do those things have to do with each other, or with other political positions on economics, foreign policy, and so on? I mean, there is the religious explanation, except that there are religious views on both sides of all those issues, and in fact there are certainly religious institutions that agree with me on the first point and at least one if not both of the latter two, like hello the one with which I and 20-25% of this country's population are affiliated (if you read the Catholic Church's position on the death penalty as opposed in most if not all circumstances, which is my understanding from my Catholic moral theology class). And gosh, it would be nice if either major party represented the whole of Catholic political theology, wouldn't it? But neither one does, which accounts for some but not all of my dilemma.

I believe political parties are necessary for people to affiliate broadly in order to elect representatives who share similar views and for those representatives to cooperate to get things done. I think their utility ends, however, when we start pigeonholing people into one of two categories, with a few outliers in third parties (none of which really represent my views, either).

The sad thing is, so many people do fall into those categories, and we get so used to being able to predict one person's entire set of views based on their position on one issue (because honestly, a lot of people regularly fail to surprise me) that our brains explode when we meet some weirdo who doesn't conform to our expectations. I am guilty of this too. But this is what it means to think for yourself, isn't it, that nobody else is going to be able to guess what you think?

(And conveniently, I'm writing this two days before the thirtieth birthday of my favorite unpredictable thinker!)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Cute shoes (well, kind of) for ugly shoe people

Let's talk about shoes. Like any other female, I love shoes, but my shoe collection is not as big as my other accessory collections--in fact, I have more scarves than shoes, even though you don't need scarves to leave the house. (Well, maybe in New England in the winter you do.) Why? I have awful feet. They're wide, if not double-wide, like little mobile homes, and they have high arches and insteps, so while I may covet cute shoes in the abstract, these are out:

These are "Something Blue" Manolo Blahniks, and they're more expensive than my wedding dress. I can live without those anyway. I also walk a lot, a couple miles a day on average, and I supinate, so the outside heel of my shoes always wears out first. Thus I need shoes with thick soles that I can comfortably walk in for a long time. So these are out too (and unlike Blahniks, I would really love to wear these--of course, they also cost about as much as my wedding dress):

Ah, Lanvins, you are lovely but your soles are about a millimeter thick. Also you cost a lot, and that's before heel taps.

So I wear ugly shoes. Here are some of my favorites:

These are a few seasons old, but I LOVE these Keen St. Barts slides. I have issues with flip-flops, too, by the way (can't stand having the thong between my toes), so these are great because they don't have the thong, they're slides, they're waterproof, and the blue is really pretty. Also, the toe guards are great for people who tend to walk into things a lot. And like all Keens, they're super comfy--just buy half a size up. Their Newport and Venice styles have ankle straps, which is nice for longer walks. I have my eye on these purple ones. (I'm obsessed with purple lately. I'm not into pink, but my love for purple proves I really am a girl.)

I have a black pair of Keen Seattles (discontinued now, I think, but how could I resist those?) that I wear in cooler weather. But they are a few years old and starting to look not so black. So for this fall I got a pair of Privo Jerries.

I was biased against Clarks for a long time (Privo is a subdivision of Clarks) because I went to a wedding in England conveniently located near a huge Clarks outlet, and when I went there I could hardly find anything that worked for me--just a pair of boots I later got rid of because they weren't really that comfortable. But Privos seem to work for me, although I wish they did extra-wide sizes. I really like these so far.

Other brands I like include Rockport, Walking Cradles, Merrell (although they don't do enough wide sizes), and Hush Puppies. Danskos are okay, but I seem to be squarely in between sizes 37 and 38, and I also find my ankles wobble in them a lot (did I mention I have weak ankles?), although gosh those are an easy way to gain an extra couple of inches of height.

And what about these guys?

I am like the only Schwab who does not regularly wear Crocs (this includes my daughter). I do have a pair, but I love my Keens best. But why all the haterade for Crocs? They are great for ugly-shoe-needing people (Justin wears them because he has problem feet too, although mostly the opposite problems of mine), and they come in all kinds of fun colors, and they're comfortable and durable and...what's wrong with that? Seriously? When I hate shoes it's because they hurt my feet (and my whole body depends on my feet!), not because they're fugly. Hating ugly shoes is a luxury for people with normal feet. Crocs make a lot of people's feet happy. Don't hate.