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:

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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? 

Buying Books For Others

I found the perfect career for myself: buying books for other people! Who wants to pay me to do that? 😉 

More seriously, I had a fabulously fun weekend with my cousin and I dragged the poor girl to easily 5 bookstores. And I bought books! Mostly for her or for her siblings which I discovered comes with an amazing plus: 

I get all the fun of buying books and spoiling some of my favorite people and none of the books go home with me so no one can yell at me for having too many books already! 

Truly a win win.

Better Than Goodwill

My aunt has a saying: “Shop at home first.”

Bethany and I drove into Milwaukee today to visit our grandparents. We planned to hit Goodwill on the way but ran out of time.

Good thing too because by the time we left Grandma and Grandpa’s my car was too full for anything else. What with a desk and punch bowl and decorations and tea set…

And the best part is not just that we got it free (which it would not be at Goodwill!) The best part is that everything has a story. From great, great grandparents to wedding gifts to semi-recent rummage purchases, each item comes with a story that continues with us.

So thank you to all the relatives that have helped furnish my apartment. My sister and I are daily surrounded by gifts and love. ❤️

Whatcha Reading…? 9/20/2019 Book Update

If I cannot tackle a book in one evening, I will probably start another. Hence why I occasionally like putting together these “Whatcha Reading…?” posts. It helps me keep track of everything I’ve got going! Currently I’m reading 6 books: King Lear by William Shakespeare (technically a play but whatever), The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Wicked Fox by Kat Cho, Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, My Brother Michael by Mary Stewart, and A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. 

I was inspired to pick up King Lear after finishing Hamlet. For some reason, I marked it to-read in high school along with As You Like It (and only those two. No other play made the cut on Goodreads!) I’m enjoying it so far but not as much as Hamlet

The Cost of Discipleship, meanwhile, is one of those books I feel like I am eternally reading. I’ve been at it for almost 2.5 years now. It isn’t bad, quite the opposite. I find it so profound that if I read more than a chapter a day I feel like I am missing something. So I read a chapter one day, forget about it the next, and read another chapter a month later when I stumble upon my copy again. And then forget about it the next day. Slow and steady, I guess. 

Wicked Fox is, in theory, a Korean drama lovers dream. It involves Korean mythology and modern day Seoul. But I won’t lie, I’m finding it super disappointing so far. The author does a lot of telling but not a lot of showing. Characters are profoundly psychological in ways that feel at odd with their age. And by golly, I’m over a 100 pages in and nothing is happening. I am not sure I will make it through all 424 pages. 

On the flip side, I’m finding Only Ever Her surprisingly enjoyable. I heard about it on a blog I follow and picked it up on a whim. It is supposed to be a thriller but so far I haven’t found anything that scary. Just good character build-up. The first person present narrative style does get a little annoying but I’m hooked. 

I’ve fallen hard for Mary Stewart’s novels so there was no way I wasn’t going to like My Brother Michael. I’m not very far into it but I can already tell I am going to love it. Be warned: her books are going to overwhelm my end of the year 5 star reads blog post. 

Out of all the books I’m currently listing, however, A Curse So Dark And Lonely has taken me the most by surprise. It presents yet another Beauty and the Beast retelling and I’ve read enough of those to last me a lifetime. But so far, this one is really, really good. It hits the right note of familiar fairytale while simultaneously presenting enough ‘new’ to keep the reader hooked. I hope it can keep it up.