Monthly Archives: September 2019


I learned a new word today: efflorescence

I read it in the following sentence: “The last fifteen years have seen a great efflorescence of research and advocacy relating to the collateral consequences of criminal convictions in the United States.”*

According to Wikipedia, efflorescence means, “the migration of a salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating.” Which literally makes no sense in the context of the above sentence. says more satisfyingly, but no less unhelpfully: “the state or a period of flowering.”

And finally, Merriam-Webster defines it as: “the action or process of developing and unfolding as if coming into flower.” 

After finding the third definition, I went: “Oh! What a great word to use there!”

But I’m of two minds about the author’s use of the word overall. On the one hand, I like finding new words and I think an author does me a service by introducing me to new ones, particularly if the context makes sense. On the other hand, efflorescence seems a very fancy word where something simpler (and thus more legible) might do. Like burgeoning or expansion. But perhaps those are the expected terms and the use of something like efflorescence wakes the brain from complacency. 

What are your thoughts? Is it good writing or not in this context? And does it matter that I had to look in three places to find a proper definition? 


*Alec C. Ewald, Barbers, Caregivers, and the “Disciplinary Subject”: Occupational Licensure for People with Criminal Justice Backgrounds in the United States, 46 Fordham Urb. L.J. 719, 722 (2019). Actually a very fascinating article I do recommend checking out if you’re looking for some light reading 😉 

End of a Streak

If you woke up this morning to something that sounded very faintly like someone shouting, “I FORGOT TO BLOG…”

That would be me. 

I forgot to blog yesterday. My 449 day streak has come to an end. 

And the worst part? I don’t even have a good excuse. I just…forgot. 

After months of doing everything possible to maintain my streak even through time zone changes and travel and days of jet lag, I lost it all because I got caught up in a novel and forgot I had yet to write something. I even knew what I wanted to blog about. It was an interesting, eventful day. 

But, alas. I did not. Adieu my streak. Hello again Day 1. 

Final Edits

I optimistically thought I would finish the final edits for my law review article before 5 pm today. 

As my sister could tell you, that did not happen. But I did finish and submit it. Eventually. I want to sleep now for a very, very long time. Except now I have to catch up on the hundreds of e-mails I’ve been ignoring while finishing it.

Image result for law review memes

Ugly Advertisements Addendum

I woke up this morning to this e-mail from WordPress:

Flash sale – today only! Save big on upgraded plans


Don’t miss your chance to claim
this limited-time discount.

Upgrade today and unlock these great features:

  • Use your own domain name (instead of having in your URL).
  • Gain live chat access to our all-star customer service team.
  • Choose from over 100 professionally designed templates.
  • Edit your site’s design with custom CSS (Premium, Business, and Ecommerce plans).
  • Use any WordPress plugin or theme you want (Business and Ecommerce plans).

Image result for coincidence I think not

But seriously, WordPress missed out. Forget all those perks. All they had to say was “no ugly advertisements” and I’d have been sold.

But they didn’t. So here we are with ugly advertisements again. 

(I remain hopeful about this site’s ability to stalk my posts and advertise accordingly. We shall see what tomorrow’s e-mails bring!) 

Ugly Advertisements

My Mom semi-frequently mentions the ugly advertisements that appear when she receives an e-mail from this blog–especially one about a worm.  I don’t see them. They come with WordPress and, I suppose quite shrewdly, WordPress doesn’t show me the advertisements when I am logged in. I might see them on other blogs I follow, but to be honest, they don’t usually make an impression on me.

But the other day I accessed my blog from a new computer and wasn’t logged in. And let me tell you, there are sooooo many ugly advertisements on this site! It was quite distracting! I understand that WordPress needs to make money but good heavens, will no one else pay to advertise? And must the advertisements be quite so close to the text? 

It made me grateful for all of you who read this blog despite the ugly advertisements. I do apologize for them. Maybe someday I will be able to afford a domain name and then (maybe?) have at least more say in advertisements? I don’t really know how that all works. 

Chatty Strangers

It has been a while since I’ve had a weird city bus experience, so I suppose I was due for one. And boy, did I get it today! 

I sent this message to a few friends summarizing the first experience of the day:

Me: No one ever asks me out
Homeless guy on the bus: How old are you? You single? You looking for a good man? Can I have your number? Do you like coffee? You this hard on everyone? You are so beautiful. How old are you? High school? College? You can have my number. The law, eh? Good thing….the law. Criminal law? Mmmm. You take this bus often? 

It made me laugh but I started feeling uncomfortable after a while so I turned to the girl next to me and complimented her skirt. 

I then spent the next 15 minutes listening to the girl’s life story. And what a story! I learned about her transfer between Madison and Marquette (and back to Madison.) About her dream job as an architect in New York City which should have been amazing and wasn’t. About how she started meditating because she felt so unhappy and realized her true passion was natural medicine. About how Queen Anne’s Lace is a natural birth control and “mother nature’s way of telling us to have fewer children.” And about her upcoming psychics exam. 

Needless to say, my new suitor quickly fell into the background. 

But my day was just beginning. Perhaps I looked extra-approachable today. (I have the opposite of an RBF.) Perhaps I responded with a little more enthusiasm than normal because I drank a pot of coffee this morning. All I know is, normally I have maybe 2-3 conversations per day outside of class participation. And today I had closer to 12. Everyone was talking to me! I learned more about my classmates today than I have all semester! 

And then as I left the law school today, a random stranger made eye contact and shouted, “Hey, boo!” Which, I stress, does not happen to me.

It was a weird day. 

To Catch A Cane

The University of Wisconsin Law School doesn’t do much by way of tradition, but it does have one memorable event for 3Ls: we can buy a super expensive homecoming game football ticket, run on the field at some point wearing a bowler hat, and throw a cane  up in the air. If you catch it, rumor has it you will win your first court case. 

I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. I’ve been to all of one football game so far and it was my first week of school when I won tickets. And I mean it feels kind of silly and it is not like I super identify with my graduating class…

But then I never got the e-mail to register. Turns out, my Thailand credits haven’t kicked in so on paper I am a 2L (and thus not eligible to participate.) 

That annoyed me enough that I decided I wanted to do it. I’ve done all the work to be a 3L. By golly, I am going to prove it! Except of course, I did not know how or where to register. I got a friend to forward me the e-mail about registering, and it still wouldn’t let me. 

Tickets closed tonight at midnight. I gave a mental shrug and e-mailed the coordinator at 9 pm, asking if this whole thing could somehow get resolved. Did I want to participate? Did I not? Let fate decide!

Well, fate, or more precisely, the coordinator apparently decided to work overtime because I got a link to register within 5 minutes. And so I did. 

And now I feel like I just spent a great deal of  money on a very silly thing. But maybe someday I will look back on this impulse decision with nostalgia?