Monday, February 28, 2005

Awwwww . . . .

Just click and read.

More Theater Blogging

than you really want or need. Just going to whip this one out without links.

So Sunday we're supposed to start tech. Sort of. The lights have been hung and focused, but not programmed, so we couldn't do a cue-to-cue If you think anyone was being lazy, think again - they were up until 3 am working on it. Never underestimate how much work goes into tech - it can often be more than the actors put in.

I got into rehearsal at 1:00, with only a slight headache from the blogger bash. The parlor stove is in place and has a hearth (yay!). The french doors are shimmed and now have curtains, but if you slam them they'll stick. So much for my cue to wake up in Act III. Maybe Madonna can cough really loud?

We also have to remember to go easy with the curtains, as if I whip them shut like I have been they'll fall on my head.

Nelle got smart and got some ear protection for when she fires the blanks backstage - her ears had been buzzing like a bad speaker for about a day after our first practice shots. I think I got the simulated kickback down. Royce was giving me a few pointers at the Bash.

I totally screwed up the blocking for parts of Act III and IV. We're no longer allowed to call for lines or blocking, either. Fortunately, we're now able to basically carry on no matter what screw-ups happen. I thought I'd also screwed up the end of Act II, but Nette kindly pointed out it was her and Adam's lines that were causing us to skip ahead. It's like, whenever something goes wrong I'm sure it's somehow my fault. In the great, cosmic sense if nothing else.

Theresa's acquired an awesome dressing gown for me in the first act. It's gorgeous. One glitch: when I put it on, it's apparently more flimsy than I thought. At one point, Tesman (Brian) mentions to Aunt Julia (Nelle) that she probably doesn't notice how I've "filled out" given the dressing gown, but he has had the "opportunity" to see . . . Nelle pulls me aside later and said she almost cracked up, as you could basically see way too much as it was, and it will only get worse under the lights. Whoops. Guess I'm buying a chemise. She's still hemming my skirt for Acts II and III, so for now I'm still stuck in the d*mn florescent pink and teal rehearsal skirt (Hedda and the amazing technicolor dreamskirt) that keeps unzipping whenever I sit down unless I put a safety pin under the zipper. I can't wait to get out of that thing. Of course, I still don't have a black skirt for Act IV yet . . .

We open when????? NOTE: that last part is NOT about Theresa, who's actually in better shape with her stuff than much of the rest of us are. It's just a general freaking out about how the "to-do" list is going to get done. I know most of it isn't my responsibility. I just basically freak out in general on everyone's behalf. See paragraph above about things being my fault. . .

Greenman is now off book for much of the play, and his rendition of Judge Brack is going to be way cool. After the run, he had us doing exercises with some of the different scenes. In one, he had Lovborg (Adam) giving his lines from the fetal position as Doreen and I (each playing Hedda) circled him. In others he had Lovborg (Adam) telling Thea (Nette) that he'd destroyed his manuscript while Hedda (Me, then Doreen) hung all over him seductively.

We worked the script until about ten-thirty. I need to acquire a cameo for my collar and old-fashioned earrings. I finally remembered to bring the correct hair pins, so I won't need to do a modified french twist instead of the victorian style I'm supposed to be mimicking. What else???? I know there's other stuff I'm forgetting. . .

More tomorrow.

Blogger Bash update

Had a blast at the blogger bash in Des Moines, though we noticed a definite sparseness in attendance from this end of the state. I mean, geez, if Dave Hogberg can drive up from Washington DC, what's our excuse?

So Brent at Beat Canvas has a good photo up - you'll notice the empty chair in front of Stefanie. I think I was getting a beer at the time. Talked Nelle into roadtripping up with me, that's her in white tipping back a cold one. I also talked politics and such with Doug and Jody from Iowa Geek and Stefanie from Bob, theater with Royce at Iowa Libertarian, compared law school war stories with Jeff from Tusk and Talon, etc. etc. Stefanie and I also got to compare notes on our eerily similar divorces. Royce also plays a mean game of darts.

See Iowa Geek for the liveblogging, which only really got so far as a roll call.

We're thinking about a more easterly-located blogger bash in the early summer. I've been nominated to organize. Woo-hoo!

Why Not

start the week out with a quiz:

Your Brain is 53.33% Female, 46.67% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female

You are both sensitive and savvy

Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed

But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

via On the Stage

Friday, February 25, 2005

More Legal Blogging

This week's two new Iowa Supreme Court opinions are up. The first deals with "whether there is statutory or common-law authority supporting a county’s claim for reimbursement for payments made on behalf of one of its residents for community-based mental health services under Iowa Code chapter 225C (2001), and whether the five-year statute of limitations precludes the county from recovering any payments made on behalf of one of its residents for inpatient mental health services at a state hospital under Iowa Code chapter 230." The short answer: no. The second involves suspending an attorney's license for drug use. The committee seemed particularly concerned that the attorney's acting as counsel on a drug charge may have been a conflict of interest, as "reports by investigating officers revealed that it was Sloan’s personal involvement in Myers’ drug activities that led to Sloan’s own problems with the law."

Theater Blogging

So, we're heading into the final week before Hedda Gabler goes up this Friday. The stress is on, and I thought I'd blog periodically about the process.

First, the cast and crew. With a few exceptions, we all pretty much knew and/or had worked with each other before, and (thank God) there are no divas, freaks, or otherwise snarky people involved with this production. We all crack each other up and have a good time, even when freaking about about the stress of pulling this off.

One example: my latest blooper. Last night we're doing our first consecutive run of the whole show, without stopping. We're on Act II, the scene where Hedda and Eilert Lovborg have a rather intimate conversation about their relationship. My line: ". . . . Because it seems to me that we were very close comrades - two good friends - you were so unguarded with me. You shared everything. You had no defenses." I was doing fine for the first part of the line, but blanked on "You shared everything." So my mind searches frantically for some word that will capture the "gist" of the phrase and let me move on. I come up with "You exposed everything. . . ." I don't think anyone could speak for about five minutes, we were all laughing too hard. Then Adam, grinning, starts to undo his jacket as he says his next line: "Isn't that what you wanted?"

We got our guns last night, too - check these out. Are they awesome, or what? Replica Italian dueling pistols. I have to shoot at the Judge during the second act, who due to the unfortunate illness of Ron Prosser, is now being played by our director, Greenman. Being the realist I am, I've been asking a bunch of questions about how a woman would hold the pistol and what I should do to simulate the kickback that would come from firing one. I think Ellen's going to let me shoot off a blank from one of our prop guns to get some idea of the feel of it.

I'm also trying some different ways to get into the mannerisms of the times. I've ordered an actual 19th-century-style corset, which should allow me to at least roughly simulate correct posture. Anyone who knows me personally can attest that I'm always perched on a chair with a leg curled under me or sideways or something. In Victorian times, apparently even crossing your legs at the knee was verboten, and leaning against the back of a chair was a definite no-no. Yikes. I've also had some problems reining in my stride, so the night before last I tried the old-fashioned method that women used to teach themselves how to walk like a "lady": I tied my legs together. It worked, though I took it off halfway through - actually, to be honest, I cut it off with scissors muttering obscenities under my breath - but the memory sensation lingered and I took smaller steps.

Last night we also got the rough beginnings of our costumes. I'd like personally to say that Theresa is awesome for finding these things. I get to wear this incredibly beautiful jacquard jacket that is so period it's freaking amazing. Greenman also looked very cool with a vest, coat and cravat. And Nelle's hat and cape were quite Dickensonian.

We have almost finished the set and gathering the props - Lu has been putting in huge blocks of time on this. I mean, twice as much time as I have, and she's not doing it for the applause, as she doesn't venture onstage at all during the show. But she deserves it anyway. The french doors open and close, we have a fainting couch (!) and we even managed to get an old parlor stove. Inside trivia: the portrait of General Gabler. We had to find an old guy from the time period. We blew up a portrait of Ibsen himself.

We're slowly getting to where we want to be on the whole acting/lines thing. I'm frustrated because I wanted to have lines and blocking over and done with at the beginning of the week, and be concentrating on perfecting small gestures, moods, motivation, and so forth by this time. But while I can recite the lines beautifully in the car, as you can see they still seem rather elusive when I'm onstage. We've got a line bash tonight, and any free time this weekend will be spent drilling them. Okay, most of the free time. Next week, life will be comprised solely of work, rehearsal and sleep. I just need some kind of yogic mantra to keep me from freaking out.

Any day now . . .

the Fake Rainforest in Coralville is having financial problems - still. See the Iowa Pork Forest blog for more. My favorite quote:
Quellhorst said project officials continue to work with businesses and individuals for funding and said most of the process involved building trust.

"You really have to do some friend-raising before you can do fund-raising," she said.

Do you really want to know

how my day is going? Go ahead, click the pig. Just don't have your sound turned on if you're in a serious-type office.

Serious Issues

I'm so glad we have people on top of this: (Chicago Tribune - reg. required.)
State animal rights activists are sick to their stomachs over a new candy shaped like critters run over by cars, complete with tire treads.

The fruity-flavored, partly flattened snakes, chickens and squirrels depicted in Trolli Road Kill Gummi Candy foster cruelty toward animals, according to the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. . . .

The society is considering efforts such as petition drives, boycotts and letter-writing campaigns to get the candy pulled from the market, Stanton said.

Why should genocide, rape and war get all the attention?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Estrogen Week

I just found out from Moira at Progressive Reaction and A Small Victory that I'm late for estrogen week. Typical. In honor of all those "where are all the female bloggers" rants floating around the web, I proudly declare myself one of the fainting flower pundits.

Blogger Bash

Just a reminder that the first all-Iowa Iowa Blogger Bash (that I know of) is scheduled for this Saturday. The guys at Tusk and Talon arranged it all, and they have the info:

Saturday, February 26 at 6:00 PM at Wellman's Pub on Ingersoll in Des Moines.

Greenman is kindly doing a tech day for Hedda Gabler, where the lights and sound crew get all their stuff done. Which leaves actors like me free for the evening.

* does the happy Snoopy dance *

So, anybody else from this end of the state going? Bloggers or readers, all are welcome. Anybody want to talk carpooling?

More Legal Blogging

The new Iowa Court of Appeals decisions are posted here. Some things that caught my attention:


Improper evidence at the sentencing hearing on a neglect of dependent person charge against a daycare provider.

The defendant pled guilty to a charge of neglect of a dependent person, in exchange for the dismissal of a related charge of child endangerment. As a factual basis for the plea, the defendant admitted she was in custody of the injured three and one-half month-old child child, and stated that “[o]n that day I recklessly exposed or abandoned [the child] to a danger or hazard against which he could not reasonably be expected to protect himself.” She conceded she had “willfully disregarded” the child’s safety by leaving him unattended for several minutes with a four-year-old child who was also in her care, implying that the older child allegedly inflicted the injury to the infant. The Court reviewed the pre-sentence investigation report accompanying medical evidence describing the child’s injury, and concluded “[t]here is certainly strong medical evidence that has been presented…to indicate that these injuries the child had are inconsistent with the defendant’s version of what happened that day.” The Court then noted that the PSI report included information that defendant “voluntarily took a polygraph examination that she failed,” suggesting “that she’s not telling us the entire truth in the things that she admits.” The PSI recommended probation. The Court noted her lack of prior criminal record, but concluded “[g]ross neglect of children in your care when you are a licensed child care provider is one of those offenses that . . . strongly mitigates against probation for the individual” and sentenced her to the maximum prison term allowable.

The defendant challenged the sentence on three grounds: 1) that the district court focused on a single factor, the fact that she was a licensed child care provider, to the exclusion of all others, in imposing the sentence; 2) that the district court relied on the medical evidence included in the PSI report and the statements of the prosecuting attorney and the infant’s parents to conclude that she was guilty of the dismissed charge, and improperly based her sentence for neglect of a dependent person on such impermissible factors; and 3) that the district court impermissibly considered a polygraph test taken by the defendant in imposing the sentence.

Regarding the first issue, the Court found that the district court had arrived at its sentencing decision after considering the available sentencing options in light of (1) Shaneyfelt’s suitability for rehabilitation, (2) the probable deterrent effect, (3) the message the sentence would send to the community, (4) the nature of the offense and the harm to the victim, and (5) the mitigating factors urged by Shaneyfelt.

On the second issue, the Court found that any perceived inconsistency between the medical evidence in the sentencing record and Shaneyfelt’s version of the circumstances surrounding the infant’s injury were relevant to the defendant’s credibility and propensity for rehabilitation, and that the Court could not extrapolate from the district court’s comments about the defendant’s truthfulness a conclusion that she was guilty of inflicting the injury on the child.

However, on the last issue the Court held that evidence of a failed, unstipulated polygraph examination may not be considered to enhance the defendant’s sentence, and remanded the case back to the district court for a new sentencing hearing. It reserved the issue of whether a sentencing court may rely upon polygraph evidence favorable to the defendant as a mitigating factor. This was a matter of first impression in Iowa.


In this case, the defendant was being sentenced for a second offense operating while intoxicated. The district court sentenced him to two years of incarceration, all of which except for thirty days was suspended, and placed him on probation for two years. Then things got interesting:
"The presentence investigation (PSI) report revealed Winters had been previously convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in 1993 and failure to register as a sex offender in 1998. Although Winters had previously completed sex offender treatment programs, the PSI report recommended Winters be placed in a sex offender aftercare program. This recommendation was based in part on the results of Winters’s psychological evaluation. As part of this evaluation, Winters was rated on two different psychosexual assessments designed to estimate the probability of sexual environment recidivism. Winters’s risk category was assessed as “medium-high” on the Static 99 assessment and “low” on the Sexual Offender Need Assessment Rating (SONAR) evaluation.[1] Based on this recommendation, the district court ordered him to submit to DNA profiling and complete sex offender treatment as conditions of his probation."

The defendant challenged these terms of probation as unrelated to the underlying defense. The Court found that under Iowa Code § 907.6, probationers are subject to any reasonable conditions the court may impose to “promote rehabilitation of the defendant or protection of the community. As it was in the best interest of the community to require a previously convicted sex offender to enroll in a sexual offender treatment program, and because the information contained in the PSI report reasonably supported the district court's finding the condition served the two goals of probation—rehabilitation of the defendant and protection of the community, the Court upheld that portion of the sentence.

The Court noted that Iowa Code § 13.10 requires mandatory DNA when a defendant is convicted of a qualifying offense, but § 901.5(8A)(b) permits a court to order a defendant to submit a physical specimen for DNA profiling in all other cases “if appropriate.” The Court then noted that the deterrent effect of DNA profiling would be insignificant for the instant crime of OWI second offense, that it had been over twelve years since the defendant was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse, and that any potential risk to reoffend would be sufficiently allayed by requiring him to enroll in a sex offender aftercare program as a condition of his probation. Therefore, the Court overturned that part of the sentence.


This case analyzed whether a defendant should be given the opportunity to withdraw his plea once it became apparent that the court did not intend to adopt the sentencing recommendations in the written plea agreement. This question comes up quite often, as you might imagine. As a practical matter, when I was doing prosecution I had always considered it part of my duty to warn defendants/defense counsel if the judge had a known propensity to go "off the board" on plea deals. If it happened unexpectedly and not to the defendant's benefit, I didn't object to the defendant's motion to withdraw the plea, then the negotiations would start over in light of the new evidence. It was just a standard of good faith and fair dealing that I expected from myself. But apparently in this case, whoever represented the State decided to resist the withdrawal, despite explicit language in the plea agreement stating that the
"guilty plea is conditioned upon the Court’s concurrence with the plea agreement as stated herein. The judge will inform me whether the Court accepts the agreement or rejects it before accepting my guilty plea. I understand that if the court rejects the agreement (sic) I have the right to persist in my not guilty plea."
The only argument presented by the State was that it never signed the guilty plea, and that it never agreed to make the deal contingent upon acceptance by the Court under Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.10(4, which states:
"If, at the time the plea of guilty is tendered, the court refuses to be bound by or rejects the plea agreement, the court shall inform the parties of this fact, afford the defendant the opportunity to then withdraw defendant's plea, and advise the defendant that if persistence in a guilty plea continues the disposition of the case may be less favorable to the defendant then that contemplated by the plea agreement."
However, as the Court noted, the State's sentencing recommendations echoed the plea precisely, and the language of the contingency clause in the plea agreement was basically parroting IRCP 2.10. It rejected the State's arguments with little comment and overturned the plea. Unless there's something I'm missing, that's exactly what should have been done.

If You're in Wisconsin

Vote for Theresa's mom. I love this post. I know people like her, and it's a kill.


I'd always wondered what the Marquess of Queensberry rules were. Now I know.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Rob Borsellino of the Des Moines Register has ALS aka Lou Gehrig's disease. Wow.


Where are my gratuitous links just for being female? I can prove I'm not some middle-aged guy: I've got id, family photos, and I even appear in public. Dammit.

A Day Late

But I'm going to post this anyway:

Free Mojtaba and Arash Day

Domestic Violence and Statistics

Matthew Yglesias has a post up analyzing the trends in intimate partmer murder. Key quotes:
The data seems to suggest that there is, in fact, a silver lining to the "decline of marriage" and a dark side to its promotion. The overall decline in intimate partner murder is composed entirely of a steep decline in spousal murder that has been only partially offset by an increase in boyfriend/girlfriend murder while ex murder has stayed pretty flat. At least one seemingly serious researcher I've read hypothesized that marriages are particularly likely to end in murder, because the high level of commitment tends to dissuade people from dissolving the relationship before problems get really out of hand. It's also interesting that intimate partner violence in general, when directed against women, has a very heavy class component, whereas the rarer intimate partner violence directed against men doesn't really.

Spyware as Wiretapping

I saw on How Appealing that a Florida case has addressed the issue of wiretapping via spyware in the context of a divorce case. The scenario: Wife suspects or knows husband is having an affair. She installs spyware on his computer to log his IMing and chat. She obtains evidence of the affair, which husband seeks to preclude her from using in the divorce case. The Court rules the evidence inadmissible because installing the spyware violated a Florida criminal anti-wiretap law which made it a criminal act for a person who:
(a) Intentionally intercepts, endeavors to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavor to intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication;

(b) Intentionally uses, endeavors to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavor to use any electronic, mechanical, or other device to intercept any oral communication when:

1. Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through, a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or

2. Such device transmits communications by radio or interferes with the transmission of such communication;

(c) Intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection;

(d) Intentionally uses, or endeavors to use, the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication in violation of this subsection; or (e) Intentionally discloses, or endeavors to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, oral, or electronic communication intercepted by means authorized by subparagraph (2)(a)2., paragraph (2)(b), paragraph (2)(c), s. 934.07, or s. 934.09 when that person knows or has reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of such a communication in connection with a criminal investigation, has obtained or received the information in connection with a criminal investigation, and intends to improperly obstruct, impede, or interfere with a duly authorized criminal investigation; shall be punished as provided in subsection (4).

§ 934.03(1)(a)-(e), Fla. Stat. (2003).

Based on the violation, the Court disallowed the evidence. From the case it appears it was not a joint computer, which might conceivably change the analysis, though I'm not certain it would given the wording of the statute. It appears the wife is going to have to do things the old-fashioned way by hiring a private detective. No-fault, anyone?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Internet Quiz of the Day - The Sequel

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Third Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Moderate

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Internet Quiz of the Day

Your Seduction Style: The Charmer

You're a master at intimate conversation and verbal enticement. You seduce with words, by getting people to open up to you. By establishing this deep connection quickly, people feel under your power. And then you've got them exactly where you want them!

via Greenman and Theresa

Just for Fun

Not feeling like any smart-*ss intelligent legal postings today, I've got too much actual legal work to do. So here's the latest fun/non-thinking stuff I've seen around:

Toys for work.

Legal fun:
"A federal judge in Fresno, Calif., has ordered the entire 80-lawyer firm of Lozano Smith back to school for a refresher course in ethics as a sanction for repeated misrepresentation of facts and the law in a dispute over aid for a learning-disabled student."

via Overlawyered.

News flash: Hunter Thompson's suicide is not Bush's fault. (via Salon). Then again, neither is this. (via Dave Barry).

Also via Dave Barry, more real-life legal humor: Former employees of the Gorilla Foundation are suing because, among other things, they were ordered to expose their breasts to keep "Koko," a nipple-fixated gorilla, happy:
"On one such occasion, Patterson said, 'Koko, you see my nipples all the time. You are probably bored with my nipples. You need to see new nipples.'"


Another Barry find: the latest on the adult toy market - singing condoms. A visitor to his site comments: I wonder when it's all over if it plays You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling? I wonder if it's programmable? If so, what would you put in? Would you keep 'short people' on standby, just in case? Okay, I think I'll take a breath and get some coffee now. But feel free to expand on this in the comments.

From Iowa Hawk: Aid Pours in for Victims of Mommy Madness.

For those of you who miss the brain-bleed, deep thoughts on Progressive Reaction.

By the way, both Dweeze and Greenman pointed out that while I had a large post up about proofs for the Hedda poster (it was way more efficient than whipping them back and forth by email), I did neglect to clarify that the "proofs" were rather flattering photographs of me. Greenman does know how to shoot a good picture. So now you know. Is that sufficient, guys?

Friday, February 18, 2005

For Herr Director Greenman:

I messed with a few of the proofs on Hedda. I put some of the preliminary results on the "About Me" page. I do want to do one more before we choose the final program photo - an informal poll at work called one of the runners-up a better choice than the arm-cross shot, and I'd like to see how it looks in the black-and-white or sepia. Speaking of that, I think I like the sepia better - the top photo would be my choice for the poster. Take a look and let me know. One more caveat: the photos I edited are seeming much smaller byte-wise than the originals (yes, I did "save as.") I'm concerned how they'll keep their integrity when blown up for posters. I'd like to do a little playing around and see if I can't save them into the same format somehow as the originals, which should look okay even if blown up into 11x14 or so.

You know, looking at it, it seems the black and white is choppier somehow. I don't exacly know how it happened. Let me play with it a bit more - but I still think I like sepia better. Is Monday night okay for a deadline?

UPDATE UPDATE: Fixed it a little. Got to get back to work, but at any rate, I'll do more on it later.

Greenman - your email's bouncing back for some reason. If you visit, could you check the final selections and give me feedback as to which to use? I've got the resolution problems fixed and can mail the links and .jpgs to Nelson as soon as we make a final decision.

Legal Stuff

The new Iowa Supreme Court opinions are up. Three cases, of which one has some public interest:


A class action suit brought by the Sanchez family, a John and Jane Doe, etc., to determine whether the Iowa DOT interpretation of Iowa Code Section 321.196 violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, article I, sections 6 and 22 of the Iowa Constitution, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, and 18 U.S.C. § 242, by denying driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. According to the opinion:

Section 321.196 is the provision governing renewal of existing licenses. It presupposes that a licensee seeking renewal of a license previously qualified for and obtained a license. The statute does not allow, let alone “command,” the DOT to issue licenses to anyone who does not meet the requirements of section 321.182.

Moreover, the Sanchez class has not followed the procedures established by the DOT to obtain a waiver of the social security number requirement. The DOT has adopted the following procedure for waiver:

If you are a temporary foreign national who is not authorized for employment, the DOT may waive the Social Security Number requirement for a non-commercial driver’s license or identification card. However, you must present your immigration documents so that the DOT can record the BCIS (INS) number in lieu of the Social Security Number.

Iowa Dep’t of Transp., Verification of Social Security Number for an Iowa Driver’s License or ID Card, at (last updated Feb. 25, 2004) (emphasis added).

The class first challenged the refusal to provide licenses to illegal aliens under the federal and state Equal Protection Clauses. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits states from “deny[ing] to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Article I, section 6 of the Iowa Constitution provides: “All laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation; the general assembly shall not grant to any citizen or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms shall not equally belong to all citizens.” They originally argued the Court should apply strict scrutiny, but apparently conceded at oral arguments that that no suspect class or fundamental right was at issue in this case, so rational basis was the appropriate level of scrutiny.

The State indicated four interests served by the challenged statute:
(1) “not allowing its governmental machinery to be a facilitator for the concealment of illegal aliens,” Doe v. Ga. Dep’t of Pub. Safety, 147 F. Supp. 2d 1369, 1376 (N.D. Ga. 2001);
(2) “limiting its services to citizens and legal residents,” id.;
(3) “restricting [Iowa] driver’s licenses to those who are citizens or legal residents because of the concern that persons subject to immediate deportation will not be financially responsible for property damage or personal injury due to automobile accidents,” id.; and
(4) discouragement of illegal immigration.

With respect to the first state interest, the class argued that giving illegal aliens driver’s licenses will not necessarily facilitate their concealment because the DOT could make the licenses identify the holder’s status as an illegal alien. Not that the proffered state interest is not legitimate, but that the statute is not narrowly tailored. The Court disagreed, indicating that the legislature is not required to employ the best means of achieving a legitimate state interest, just to have reasonably believed that the means chosen would promote the purpose, therefore there was a reasonable basis for the law under the first stated purpose. Because the class failed to carry their burden of negating all reasonable bases that could justify the challenged statute, the Court did not address the legitimacy of the other state interests.

The class made an alternative argument under the substantive due process clauses of the Iowa and United States constitutions. The Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Article I of the Iowa Constitution provides that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.” Substantive due process is the legal term for the concept that these clauses provide “‘heightened protection against government interference with certain fundamental rights and liberty interests.’” If the liberty interest at issue is fundamental, strict scrutiny applies. If not, the challenged statute passes if it can satisfy the rational-basis test.

The class again had to concede that the right to a driver's license has been consistently held not to be a "fundamental right" like the right to marry, etc. The Court therefore upheld the statute under the rational-basis test for the same reasons discussed in the equal protection analysis.

The class then tried a collateral argument that the statued violated article 1, section 22 of the Iowa Constitution, which provides:
Foreigners who are, or may hereafter become residents of this state, shall enjoy the same rights in respect to the possession, enjoyment and descent of property, as native born citizens.

The thought was apparently to make a claim that a driver’s license is “property” - but the class failed to expand on that part of the claim in the brief or to address any specific application of the language of section 22, so the Court deemed the argument waived.

The Court also found that because the statute did not violate the class's constitutional rights, it had no cause of action under USC Sections 1983 (providing liability in tort for the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws) or 1981 (providing liability in tort for discrimination; co-extensive with the Equal Protection Clause). It also held 18 U.S.C. § 242 inapplicable, because is a criminal statute, granting no private right of action.


On a side note, Christy v. Miulli is a med mal wrongful death claim, which draws a distinction between the two doctrines of fraudulent concealment: 1) The quasi-discovery rule doctrine, which tolls the statute of limitations for malpractice until the injured party discovers or by the exercise of diligence could have discovered the cause of action; and 2) the equitable estoppel doctrine, which prohibits a litigant from raising the issue of statute of limitations if the other party can show that the litigant's conduct amounted to false representation or concealment, and that by relying thereon the party was misled into doing or failing to do something that party would not otherwise have done or omitted. It was important, because the first line of cases required a showing that the doctor concealed the injury they caused, not just covered up negligence. In this case, the patient died, so it would've been a tad hard to hide that. But the surviving spouse had not been aware that the decedent had died a brain hemhorrage that had occurred at the site the doctor had performed a biopsy on the wrong part of the brain. The doctor had intentionally concealed that there was a physician error, not whether there was an injury. The Court found the surviving spouse could sue because the defendant doctor and his direct supervisor Miulli were unable to raise the statute of limitations defense due to the equitable estoppel fraudulent concealment rule.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Someone Who'll Watch Over Me

Greenman wondered if I'd post my thoughts on his show. The official review in the QC Times is here. I thought it was freaking awesome, as did the reviewer.

The play is set in a single room, with no reference point as to day, night, or location. It's a room in which three men are being held hostage in Beirut by jailers who never appear onstage, yet whose invisible presence is felt as a hovering threat throughout the narrative.

The men are each different: a doctor from the US, a journalist from Ireland, and a British professor. They each bring their own strengths and demons into the nightmare with them, living out a daily struggle against insanity. There's a sense of dark humor woven throughout the show, as the men desperately attempt to maintain their dignity and their humanity in the face of their fear and helplessness.

The performances by Matt, Greenman and Tom are nothing short of brilliant.

I came out of the theater having about the same feeling as I did after watching Schindler's List - this is an incredible story, and it's essential it be told. It's the last weekend, and I doubt it will come around in another six years, so go to the Dreamwell site and get the info. I'm dead serious, this is a must-see.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

And the Award

For "Stupid Law Most Likely to be Struck Down in the Immediate Future" goes to . . . . Georgia!

MSM Wars

I've seen a bunch of links on this story:
The Tulsa World copyrights its entire newspaper and specifically each of the articles and/or editorials at issue. The reproductionof any articles and/or editorials (in whole or in part) on your website or linking your website to Tulsa World content is without the permission of the Tulsa World and constitutes an intentional infringement of the Tulsa World's copyright and other rights to the exclusive use and distribution of the copyrighted materials.

via Instapundit, the Volokh Conspiracy and a slew of others.

Okay, if they're talking a wholesale cut-and-paste of an article, or the entire paper, that's one thing, but a cease and desist on linking? That's so beyond the pale it's comical.

More Political Spamming

Greenman notes that US conservatives are spamming Canadian officials to stop gay marriage.

WTF? Why do you really care what Canada does? And if you care about social issues in other countries, aren't things like genocide a tad more worrisome?

That said, I notice Greenman equates this to the UK spamming of US voters during last year's elections, which I blogged on at the time. See also the post at the Volokh Conspiracy. Sorry, but I disagree. Elected officials are supposed to get outraged letters from people who disagree with their political positions, that's part of the job. It's stupid and pointless in this case, but not inherently offensive. The UK campaign, on the other hand, bought the names and addresses of private citizens who never asked for notoriety and subjected them to a tongue-lashing about American politics. To me, that's the offensive part, though I'm not sure if it makes me a conservative or a nationalist? Ignoring You

More Stupid Internet Quizzes

From Greenman:

find YOUR drag persona

and go to where all the men wear skirts.

and Iowa Law Girl:

You're the Tortured Intellectual!
You're the Tortured Intellectual!
Take What sort of Hipster are you? today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.

You're sensitive, you're emotional, and you wonder why everyone else in the world exists on a different plane. You cannot eat, breathe, or sleep without analyzing each action to death. You're usually sombre, depressed, lethargic, but you can be nearly glad from time to time. You wear whatever you can find on your cluttered bedroom floor. You carry books, notepads, reading glasses with you wherever you go. You have friends, but only a few who truly get where you're coming from. You frequent coffee shops, libraries, and the less crowded bars. You're obsessed with past people, past ideas, past lives. You wish you could die and be reborn as Jack Kerouac.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Miscellaneous Crap

From the Yin Blog: the University of Iowa International Law Society has a group blog, with links to other law student bloggers. Will update blogrolls whenever I get a round to it.

Professor Yin also asks one of the questions that's always bugged me about the later Star Trek series:

Supposedly, the holodeck can create the impression of being a large space -- much larger than the room's actual dimensions -- through illusion, perspective, etc. Let's take that as true.

How the heck does the holodeck fool nine people into thinking that they're spread out across a baseball field?!?

It's always bugged me: presuming they could figure out a way to assemble solid matter with a structure in the same manner as light is in a hologram, how do you overcome physics? More reading on the science of Star Trek.

Wired News reports on an experimental treatment for cancer: retooling HIV to kill cancer cells:
"People might wonder if it's scary to use HIV as a therapy," said Irving Chen, who led the UCLA team. "But in actuality we have completely removed 80 percent of the virus. So really it's just a carrier."

If it works, it could be cool.

Drake law students get a break from classes to watch the tort trial in Brad Morgan v. Hairy Mary's Inc.

I found this article in the Des Moines Register rather silly. Key quotes:
Iowa hospital leaders added their voices Monday to support for increased cigarette taxes.

The industry backs proposals to raise the tax, which is now 36 cents per pack, to cover deficits in Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled.

"If we pass the tax, it needs to all be earmarked for health care. Otherwise we won't get anywhere," said Jim Platt, chief executive officer of Fort Madison Community Hospital. Platt, chairman of the Iowa Hospital Association, appeared at the Statehouse on Monday with other members of the group.

I'm neutral on the measure myself, but how is this a surprise? Hmmm . . . so hospital leaders support measures to give hospitals more money. And they want to make sure all the money goes to the hospitals. Ya think?

Jeff Gannon aka James Dale Guckert, resigns his post as reporter for the conservative Talon News after being confronted by left-leaning bloggers with his pseudonymity and, um, questionable extracurricular activities. Meanwhile, Eason Jordon resigns from CNN after being confronted by conservative bloggers about the veracity of statements he made in a speech to the World Economic Forum.

For all the latest on the fallout in MSM, read the article in the NY Times here (registration required, randommentality/password).

Then go to the responses at:

The Volokh Conspiracy:
"But bloggers, or critics generally, have power only to the extent that they are persuasive. Jordan's resignation didn't come because he was afraid that bloggers will fire him. They can't fire him. I assume that to the extent the bloggers' speech led him to resign, it did so by persuading the public that he wasn't trustworthy.

So Jordan's critics (bloggers or not) aren't a lynch mob: If they're a mob, they're at most a "persuasion mob." What's more, since they're generally a very small group, they're really a "persuasion bunch."

Maybe if a persuasion bunch tries to persuade people by using factual falsehoods, they could be faulted on those grounds (though that too has little to do with lynch mobs). But I've seen no evidence that their criticisms were factually unfounded, or that Jordan quit because of any factual errors in the criticisms. (Plus presumably releasing the video of the panel would have been the best way to fight the factual errors.)

We should love persuasion bunches, who operate through peaceful persuasion, while hating lynch mobs, who operate through violence and coercion. What's more, journalists -- to the extent that they love the First Amendment's premise that broad public debate helps discover the truth, and improve society -- ought to love persuasion bunches, too. When the only power you wield is the power to speak, and persuade others through the force of your arguments (and not through the force of your guns, clubs, or fists), that's just fine. Come to think of it, isn't that the power that opinion journalists themselves wield?"

Jeff Jarvis:
This morning's story by Katharine Q. Seelye, Jacques Steinberg, and David F. Gallagher -- under the headline, "Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters" -- is another example of the disdain in which many quarters of The Times -- not all -- hold citizens' media.

Glenn Reynolds (and more links from Instapundit):
Now people are wondering what it all means. Some people are claiming that Jordan was a victim of "McCarthyism" -- but as Austin Bay notes, that is a backward perspective. It was Jordan who was making unsubstantiated charges, a la McCarthy, not those who called for him to back them up. . . .

Jordan's disgrace comes from not reporting: He made charges in a panel discussion, but he didn't have the evidence to back them up. What's more, in the same report we hear this:

But Bob Furnad, a former president of Headline News, said he considers Jordan "a very serious journalist in the purest form."

"He never pulled any punches."

Except that he did. In fact, Jordan came into this scandal damaged by his admitted silence on Saddam's atrocities, a silence that seems to have been the price of operating a bureau in Baghdad. Silence for "access?" Sounds like pulling punches to me.

Instead of complaining about bloggers as a threat to journalism, perhaps journalists should try actually doing more journalism. Who knows? It just might help.

the article in the Chicago Tribune:
Shut up with your whining and appreciate the fact that after generations of stagnation, something new has arrived. And like all new things, it's going to take awhile for it to work itself out.

Conventional journalism seems aghast that a whole collection of independent voices from all sides of the political spectrum are popping up now to pick and smear and slander and point accusing fingers, wreck careers, cast aspersions and introduce something besides a century-old sense of entitled hierarchy to the formula for news presentation.

this from Day by Day,

and, as a last resort, Wonkette:
"Hey, I get to play with Eason Jordan's scalp a week from next Tuesday!"


Salieri points out what a difference an adverb can make.

Milbarge from Begging the Question speculates on the identity of Deep Throat.

Dating Tips I've learned on the 'Net:

Carry a big purse.
Keep my coat on.
Screen online dates carefully.
Think twice about offers to whisk me away to exotic locales.
Writing a "Dear John" letter can be as satisfying than telling him off in person.
Keep a list of emergency numbers handy.
Never date middle-aged men who live with their parents.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Special

I promised to post my own take, with comments, on Theresa's awesome Romance Quiz for guys. Go there to take the quiz first, if you really want the full effect of the grading. Otherwise, here's the scoop from my perspective:


A. Which of these phrases expresses the greatest romantic sentiment?

  1. Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. (Albert Einstein).
  2. For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. (Judy Garland)
  3. There’s a lot to be said for self-delusionment when it comes to matters of the heart. (Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, 1993)
  4. You don’t love a woman because she is beautiful, but she is beautiful because you love her. (Anon)

Theresa’s Answers:
1. 1 point
2. 3 points
3. 2 points
4. 4 points

This is a tricky one. It is biased from the perspective of the Hot Chik Code. Number 6 of the code says, "Hot Chiks are gorgeous regardless of the current trends or narrowly defined standards of beauty." This in no way discredits the fact that answer #2 is beautiful. In fact, I am fond of whispers and kisses. However, the message of unconditional love and adoration gets the extra point.

My Answers:
There are two ways to look at these: which is the most objectively romantic statement, or which of these would make your heart melt if whispered into your ear or put on a homemade gift? I took the latter approach, and it does make a slight difference.

  1. 2 points. What are you saying with this? The only way I can figure out how to make this quote romantic is to work it into a conversation about science, and make it an oblique compliment. Very oblique. Do you want me to concentrate on you, or puzzling out just what you meant by that?
  2. 4 points. It is an extremely beautiful quote, and I’d take it anytime.
  3. 1 point. My reaction: are you saying you need to delude yourself in order to love me? Are you really sure we should be in this relationship?
  4. 3 points. I love the quote, and it does express unconditional love. I agree it’s the most objectively romantic out of the four - #2 is nice, but doesn’t indicate the love will never change despite the passage of time, etc. However, if a partner were to whisper this one into my ear, it could also leave me wondering whether he were trying to tell me something. It’s a close one, but I’ll take #2 by a hair.

B. Which of these is the MOST romantic date?

  1. A quiet dinner and a show
  2. Cocktails and a dance club
  3. A drive in the country and a picnic
  4. Watching an old movie at home while eating microwave popcorn and a bag of peanut M&Ms.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 2 points
  2. 1 points
  3. 4 points
  4. * 4 points or 1 point (see explanation)

    This question is all about furthering intimacy. The more private time the better. For those who chose #4, they only get full points if it is planned, there are no distractions, the movie is special, and you are cuddling (making-out before the end of the movie is even better).

My Answers:

  1. 3 points. The quiet dinner allows for conversation and intimate time together. The show is not romantic per se, but is fun nevertheless. I’d suggest a walk through a park or by the river afterward, to make the evening complete.
  2. 1 point. I love dancing. I really, really do. But drinks and a club is a hookup, not a romantic date.
  3. 4 points. Maximum intimacy, and many, many bonus points if you made the picnic dinner yourself. The only qualifier: if you’re going to be eaten alive by mosquitos and such, don’t try it.
  4. 2 points, as written. You may have taken the time to choose a special movie, but you just threw microwave popcorn and peanut M&M’s in the cart. Zero effort, dude. If that’s her absolute favorite stuff, bump it to three points. Otherwise, it may be a wonderful, relaxing evening (except for me, who prefers air- or stove-popped corn and can’t stand peanut M&M’s), but romantic?? If you want to do a romantic evening in with a movie, the best choice is to make her dinner with candelight first and then a romantic flick to cuddle by. If dinner’s not possible, at least spring for a bottle of wine and some good munchies – some of that expensive cheese she likes, a rustic bread with a balsamic vinegar dipping sauce, and such. Or for a bonus point to make it a four: her absolute favorite food in the world, whatever it may be. Shows you know what it is, and will take the time to get it.
  5. To expand even more, romantic gestures spring from an intimate knowledge of your woman, combined with an effort to show her how much you care. The “effort” prong can mean money, as you’ve taken the time to save up and deny yourself other stuff to impress me. But it doesn’t have to be expensive. A homemade gift that took time is effort. Looking all over town for my favorite something-or-other is effort. Setting up a surprise is effort. The most romantic gestures generally involve maximum effort and knowledge: a surprise trip to somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, something you built/wrote/created just for me, spending the time to spoil me with my favorite treats because you know I had a horrible day.

C. You’re out for dinner and your date spills wine on her blouse. You …?

  1. Ask the serving staff for club soda and extra napkins to clean the stain.
  2. Offer to take her home to change.
  3. Tell her she looks beautiful when she’s blushing with embarrassment.
  4. Cut dinner short and hope this means you can get the blouse off faster.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 4 points
  2. 2 points
  3. 4 points
  4. 1 point

Number one is the chivalrous answer. If she seems to be concerned about her $150 silk blouse, she might be distracted, even if she’s not concerned about the look. Number 2 is generous, but unnecessary. Number 3 is the best response for the gal who seems embarrassed about looking clumsy in front of you. Number 4 seems sexually motivated rather than romantically motivated.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points. I’m embarrassed and you’ve solved the problem. All is cool.
  2. 3 points. Maybe it’s subjective, but if #1 doesn’t cut it, I’m still going to be worrying about the stain. Presuming it’s not far to my place, and the evening’s far from over, let me change my top after dinner.
  3. 2 points. Compliments are cool, but they don’t solve the problem.
  4. 0 points. Please.

D. Women continue to struggle for equal rights. After decades of such strife, the impact on dating etiquette has become a cliché. So, do you offer to pay for dinner

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I’m not investing that much time and energy. I just pick women up in bars.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 4 points
  2. 1 point
  3. -10 points
  4. This question is a bit tricky. Some of you may have felt that I set you up. I liked the answers given by those who said they would offer to pay for any guest they had invited out to dinner. My real reason for this question is to recognize that IN GENERAL, women still only earn 72% of what men make in the work place, yet overall, women perform 70% of the overall work (this includes unpaid work). Furthermore, one of the biggest predictors of poverty for women and children in the United States is divorce. I can also guarantee that the beautiful woman you are sharing the evening with, spent a hell of a lot more money than you did getting ready for the date. Her clothes, shoes, hair, make-up, perfume, shampoo, waxing, under garments, nails, accessories, etc. cost a bloody fortune. Don’t be fooled by those who seem to have a natural look. That takes some major maintenance as well. The cost of dinner is a minor effort toward balancing the financial inequity between genders.

My Answers:

    The same, and for similar reasons. First: if it’s a date and not a meetup, you asked me out. Whoever asks pays. Second, it is a fact that I spend a hell of a lot to look pretty for you. The drugstore makeup in my purse alone would set me back $70 to replace, not to mention the perfume, the nicer makeup, my manicure, etc. Third, I’ve dated cheap guys. It’s fine if you are not extravagant, I don’t need to feel I’m dating a millionaire. I don’t need the most expensive restaurant in town, or a pricey bottle of wine. But if you act as though the check is a contagious disease I’m going to draw parallels and make some assumptions that you may not like.

E. The day after you have sex with her for the 1st time, you acknowledge the experience by?

  1. Sending flowers with a handwritten note to her home or workplace.
  2. E-mailing to tell her how much you enjoyed the experience.
  3. Calling her to chat and ask her out again.
  4. What? I scored. Time to move on.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 4 points
  2. 2 points
  3. 3 points
  4. -10 points
  5. Admittedly, I am biased about this (the Goddess loves the flowers). Still, if you really dig this Chik, go for it! It’s a little risky, but it’s not a marriage proposal, for Pete’s sake. The flowers are going to set you apart from every other shmuck she’s ever boffed. Besides, if you send flowers, imagine how enthusiastic she’s going to be the next time. A personal call is good too. It allows for intimacy, your voice tone can express genuineness, and there’s a bit of risk involved. Don't be a dope and think it’s cool to wait 5 days. If she’s a Hot Chik, she may have moved on by then. E-mail may be adequate, but unless you are really creative and have some technical knowledge to make it special, it’s generally pretty lame.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points, for exactly the same reasons as Theresa. Everybody does #3, except for the few assholes jerks that pick #4. If you really like me, show it. It is impressive as h*ll.
  2. 2 points if it’s a normal email. Not as personal as a phone call, and it seems like you’re avoiding talking to me. If you include something sappy and romantic, and follow it up with a call, then score 3 points.
  3. 3 points, unless you wait a week. Then it seems like a booty call, so give yourself 1 point.
  4. -10. And I’ll tell my friends.

F. Rank the following gifts from most romantic to least romantic:

  1. A book by her favorite author
  2. Pretty lingerie
  3. Gift certificate for a massage and a facial.
  4. A bracelet you noticed her admire a few months earlier.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 3 points if you ranked this first. A book by her favorite author is something several people in her life could give her. My boss could give me such a gift. Believe me, it wouldn’t be a romantic gift if he gave it to me. However, if the book is a particularly special, it becomes romantic. The rare 1st edition Gone With the Wind is an example. It was a challenge for Charlie to acquire this particular book for his Love. Any gift that has emotional value adds to the romantic value. The fact that you know who her favorite author is, and that you know that she likes to read requires some thought. It's worthy of 3 points. Charlie receives an 3 extra points for Gone With the Wind.
  2. 0 points if you ranked this first. I ADORE pretty lingerie. When I discover something that makes me feel sexy, I’m 3 inches taller and glowing. However, that is the gift I buy myself. Occasionally, I might think of you when I buy it. Unless your gal specifically asks for lingerie, leave it to her!
  3. 2 points if you ranked this first. A gift certificate for a massage and a facial is a gift that many women enjoy. However, it’s not something we expect to get from our sweetie. While it does send a message that we deserve to be pampered, it’s the message we generally receive from our Mom or our girlfriends.
  4. 4 points if you put this first. The bracelet is #1 because it fits more of the criteria of a romantic gesture. It’s personal, thoughtful, and original compared to the others. It’s also a bit of a challenge because the gift-giver has to remember the exact bracelet and the store from months earlier. The personal part is what distinguishes it the most, not the fact that it’s a piece of jewelry. It’s unlikely that anyone else in her life knows that she admired that particular item.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points, if: 1) You’ve taken the time to know my favorite author out of the gazillion books I’ve read; 2) It’s a book I haven’t got, or better yet, one I haven’t read, and 3) it’s got something special about it, like a hard-to-find first edition or a signature, or a special romantic meaning. Given I’m such a reader, it’s a sign you’ve really been paying attention if you can even accomplish #1 and #2, much less #3. If you slapped a paperback into the grocery cart knowing I like mysteries, you get credit for thinking of me, but it’s not a romantic gesture. See the “effort” prong of the test under #B and give yourself 2 points.
  2. 3 points if it’s really pretty and in my style. Unlike the goddess, I don’t bother to buy lingerie much. Bras and panties I will spring for, but lingerie needs an occasion. If it’s a fishnet body stocking, I’ll presume you think I’m some sort of hooker and give yourself 0 points.
  3. 1 point. Facials and massages are cool, but it is something I’d expect from my sister. The only caveat I can think of: if you have decided to spend the day pampering me, taking me to lunch and a makeover and shopping then dinner and a show followed by a night in a b-and-b, take the 4 points. Any man who puts himself through that much chick sh*t deserves it.
  4. 4 points. You not only paid attention to my babbling, but you remembered I liked something months later? And if it’s jewelry and I like it, it’s probably expensive, so you’ve been saving up for it. Holy crap.

G. To set the mood in the boudoir, you?

  1. Change the sheets and put the kids to bed early.
  2. Light candles and put on sexy mood music.
  3. While getting out of the shower, grab her ass and say, "Wanna?"
  4. Massage her feet while she’s taking a bath and talk to her about the day.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 2 points
  2. 3 points
  3. 1 point
  4. 4 points
  5. Showing interest in her, taking your time, and being affectionate and thoughtful is what #4 is all about. It creates intimacy and that’s romantic and sexy. Numbers 2 and 1 have some of those elements, but not to the same degree. Once you get to #3, it’s just silly. Silly can be a good thing. You might get lucky, but it’s not romantic.

My Answers:

  1. 3 points. I don’t have kids, so it’s sort of N/A for me. But I equate it with taking the time to make sure the house is clean and candles are lit – it’s something that took you quite a bit of time just for me.
  2. 3 points. See above. Really, guys, it’s in your best interest. It’s a distraction thing. You do not want me thinking I should be doing the dishes while you try to seduce me.
  3. 2 points if it’s playful, spontaneous, and silly. If you know I’ve got five minutes to get to work or it’s 3 am and I’ve got a big presentation tomorrow, 1 point if you make it clear that you’re just appreciating me, 0 points if you are serious. If that’s your usual approach, -10 points and go find yourself a hooker.
  4. 4 points for the spirit of it. It’s all about pampering and getting her in the mood. I’d prefer to take the bath alone, primp a little, then get the massage elsewhere. Talk about the day is nice, but let’s save that for dinner. I don’t have the most romantic job.

H. The following best describes your attitude about sex:

  1. You get what you give.
  2. We’re in sync, so I don’t really have to think about it.
  3. If she’s not satisfied it’s because she’s not trying hard enough.
  4. My satisfaction is all about getting her motor running.

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 3 points
  2. 2 points
  3. 0 points
  4. 5 points
  5. This is the question that I would have scored less than perfect. I tend to believe you get what you give sexually. See my post called Sex Police for all the exagerated details. It has some merit because it suggests that you are willing to put forth effort to have a good experience. However, the most romantic response is #4. This response demonstrates thoughtful generosity, and the attitude that your lover is idolized and adored. Number 2 implies that you have faith that you have a good sexual relationship, but it lacks thoughtfulness. Number 3 lacks any merit whatsoever.

My Answers:

  1. 4 points. Love is mutual and reciprocal. Take the time to give me my attention, then let me take the time to give you yours. I love that.
  2. 4 points if it’s true and you have put in the thought and effort to make sure it’s true. Most men don’t.
  3. -10. I grade harshly for selfishness and bad attitude.
  4. 3 points. I like being appreciated, but I don’t want to be worshipped.

I. When your Sweetie walks into the room, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

  1. I wonder what kind of mood she’s in?
  2. Sweet Jeezus, that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!
  3. She’s going to ask me if I paid the water bill. Should I lie or tell the truth?
  4. First, kiss those gorgeous lips, then …

Theresa’s Answers:

  1. 1 point
  2. 3 points
  3. 0 points
  4. 4 points

    * Give yourself an extra point if you couldn’t help yourself and answered 2 and 4. Also, the person who e-mailed me to say #4, but also #2 if I was wearing my magic jeans gets an extra 3 points. Very cool, Baby! This question recognizes the subtle difference between passion and sexuality for those who struggled between #2 and #4. No one that I’m aware of answered # 1 or 3. I only gave #1 a single point because there was a modicum of thoughtfulness involved in the response. Number 3 needs to consider couples counseling.

My Answers:

  1. 1 point. Not really romantic. Practical, particularly if you’ve been married a while. But not romantic.
  2. 4 points. It is a subtle difference between sexuality and passion, but I’m presuming that if you’ve hung in there for all the rest of the romantic gestures, you already know that, and I don’t mind being a sex symbol for my sweetie (whoever that will be in the eventual future).
  3. -10 points for even thinking about lying. It’s a partnership, dude. Get the concept.
  4. 4 points. ‘Nuff said.

J. Which term of endearment seems the most romantic to you?

  1. Muffin-Butt
  2. Sassy Pants
  3. Sweetheart
  4. Sex Kitten
  5. Ball & Chain
  6. Cupcake
  7. Sweet Blossom Lips
  8. Buttercup
  9. Trick
  10. Spankalicious
  11. Suggest your own

Theresa’s Answers:

    1 thru 4, 6 thu 8 and 10 receive 4 points
    5 and 9 receive negative 10 points and a citation from the Sex Police
    11 receives 5 points for creativity, sentimentality and originality

My Answers:

    1 = 1 point. Whaddaya mean by that?
    2, 3, 6, and 7 = 4 points.
    4 and 10 = 2 points. Cute, but too objectifying to be romantic.
    5 = -20 points and a divorce if we’re married. If you think of me that way, what the h*ll are we doing together?
    8= 2 points. Okay, but a bit like a kid. Call me pumpkin while you’re at it.
    9 = 0 points.
    11 – Grade yourself on creativity, sentimentality, and an expression of appreciation of mental or physical beauty. Cutsey is okay, but not love goddess material. It doesn’t have to be totally original. Anything negative gets -20 points.

Interpretation of Scores: Anyone scoring higher than 30 points is a damn good choice for a Valentine.

Whoever Stopped Here

via this Google Search:

divide opinion about the death penalty and how people feel about me women escaping fro

Please seek help soon.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Friday Fun Stuff

Followed a link from Begging the Question to this photoblogging of a Star Wars convention, complete with snarky commentary. Have fun watching others make complete idiots of themselves: "Lightsabers? Yep. Camera? Yep. Penis? Nope..."

Glorious Nonsense has a cool game productivity enhancer for wasting that last half hour before quitting time.

Thanks to the other Kris, I've discovered Googlemapping. You can click and drag around the map instead of having to have it refresh. This is too cool.

She also has a link to another internet quiz: What kind of dog are you? Click on the link, then look on the right-hand side, close to the bottom, for the "What kind of dog are you?" link. I'm apparently a Swedish Vallhund. Never heard of it before.

Ouch, ouch, ouch. The guys probably won't want to read this story. Or this one. There's apparently some sort of trend in Britain that I really don't want to know anything more about. Both from Mr. Poon

Ever wonder what those safety signs really mean?

Another productivity enhancer: Dodgeball! Okay, technically maybe "dodgesquare". Same concept.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Around the 'Net

Just for Greenman: if you win big in Vegas, you could bid to name the monkey. Crappus-Flingus sounds Latinish.

How many calories are there in burnt sienna?

If You Like Pina Coladas . . .

all via Dave Barry.


Eugene Volokh discusses whether homeowner's policies cover blogging suits. My take: his policy might, from the excerpts he gave. BUT. Many policies I've seen do not include the "personal injury" language in the "bodily injury" definition, and others specifically state that it has to be an actual physical injury. That doesn't really cut it for libel, unless you're in one of those states where the physical symptoms of emotional distress are considered a physical injury. If your policy requires it to be a physical injury, there could be no coverage regardless. Also, it depends on the policy whether the tipjar would be considered a business or not. One thing to look at is how much it makes, some policies allow for $2000 in incidental wages (such as babysitting) without something becoming a business. Bottom line: like he said, read the d*mn thing. No matter how painful it is. He's also got some excellent advice up on what to do if someone threatens you with libel or slander because of something you blogged. You may want to consider saving the info, 'cause you never know.


Also from the Volokh Conspiracy: Dutch schools ban the Dutch flag:

No symbols that identify specific groups are considered acceptable and any student may be permanently expelled for coming to school with flags on their clothing, shoes or briefcases. Earlier this week readers reacted with fury to another school in IJsselstein, this school forbids any display of flags because this would provoke students of other nationalities.

Allllrighhty then.


From last week (I got backlogged) Kris from Gradual Dazzle gives a fantistic fisking of Rehka Basu. Cool.


His Dannyness posts a link for you to get your bad-ass poker name.


Yesterday's Press-Citizen had the details on the Pierre Pierce matter.

The Daily Iowan has an article on the charges.

The PC also noted a few days ago that DVIP needs funds. If you don't like their politics and so don't want to give funds, you could always donate clothes, old cell phones, toiletries or other stuff that women and children would need in shelter.


State 29 notes a Des Moines Register article on 911 hacking.


Via Crimlaw:Ever wonder what a public defender's life is really like?


Of course, there's the other side of the coin . . . . From today's Des Moines Register: Singing Public Defender Barred. Key quotes:

According to records from the public defender's office, district associate judges Douglas McDonald and Mary Howe told state Public Defender Thomas Becker that, in their opinion, Machetta was incompetent. In a letter to Becker, McDonald said one defendant asked that Machetta be removed from his case because she was "nuts."

McDonald also alleged that one day last year Machetta complained to court bailiffs that her car had been stolen from the courthouse parking lot when, in fact, she had simply forgotten where she parked. Later that same day, she appeared to be unable to find Juvenile Court, where she had been practicing for two years, McDonald alleged.

Howe alleged that Machetta talked out loud to herself in the courtroom while cases were in progress. During one court hearing, Howe said, Machetta asked if she could sing "Looking For Love (In All The Wrong Places)." Other court officials said that in a Black Hawk County case, Machetta sang her closing argument. They described her as "an embarrassment" and "marginally competent, at best."

Machetta admitted that last year she wrote two unsigned notes that advised Cedar County court officials to direct criminal court cases her way. One of the notes, which appeared to have come from the court clerk's office, was written after Machetta's name had been crossed off a list of lawyers available for court-appointed defense work.
You know you've got problems if your court-appointed "clients" ask you to be removed from their case because they believe you're "nuts."

Some of my most memorable moments in the courtroom were praticing in front of Judge Holien from 1997-2000.


Oklahoma debating whether sex with co-eds should be criminal.


In honor of Valentine's Day, some miscellaneous family and love bloggin':

Theresa's hosting the "THE HORRIBLE LOVE POEM CONTEST (2005)"

Dylan at Slithery D has a gift idea.

Matt, Ampersand, On the Stage, and Iowa Geek are baby blogging.

Fitz-Hume posts on how he met his wife and his best kiss.