Tanned and Ready to Go

Welcome back, true believers!

As I write this my final beach day sunburn is just starting to peel in the last spots. While outside, we’re being treated to drizzle before the weather is supposed to climb to the perilous upper 20′s later this week. Hoodie and lovely new tea one day, shorts and tank tops the next. Ah English weather, you do like to keep me on my toes. (more…)

Seeing Green

Let’s talk about She-Hulk.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know Jennifer Walters is my homegirl. Superhero, lawyer, socialite and all-around solid friend, Shulkie takes no guff from anyone. She stands up to Doom to defend his son in an attempt to seek asylum and wins. She can match banter with Iron Man and his legal department. Her current run is being written by Charles Soule, a lawyer himself. Issue four has her visiting Matt Murdock, i.e. DareDevil, ALSO a lawyer, for some advice on the aftermath of a case. When Iain and I were mediating, I used Jennifer Walters as my alias. And she’s green, my favorite color.

So when DC’s new it-director David Goyer calls her a “a giant green porn star”…

Goyer’s claims are as disgusting as they are mired in the ancient and erroneous All Boys Club of comic history. “An extension of the male power fantasy” and a sexual conquest for the Hulk – her cousin?! Please.

The backlash was immediate and from all angles. Even the grandfather of the Marvel universe, Stan Lee, put Goyer in his place. The Scriptnotes episode host, Craig Mazin, attempted to row back from his Goyer cheerleading / slut-shaming with this non-apology.

Marvel’s Phase One and Phase Two have made it abundantly clear that the modern world of superheroes has stepped firmly away from its white-washed origins. Three out of Nick Fury’s right-hand agents, between the movies and the television series, are women. The Bechdel Test is passed consistently.

Meanwhile over in Goyer’s DC camp, we hear the claim audiences won’t connect with a female lead, which is their excuse for there not being a Wonder Woman anything. She’s been announced as a cameo in the Justice League movie, should it actually ever take the screen around yet ANOTHER Batman / Superman project.

Marvel, meanwhile, offers us a gun-totting raccoon, a black Spiderman, and a young, female, Muslim Ms. Marvel.

The defense rests.

Published in: on May 25, 2014 at 12:51  Leave a Comment  
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Wrong Kind Of Burn

I would happily trade all this delightful near-burnout on revision for some toasty pink skin. The weather has turned GORGEOUS and here I am, studying away. Le sigh. Just one more exam to go.

This is me, at 0:55.

Here’s a few news articles from the tech legal world to keep you entertained while I bang my head against competition law:

-Google faces the EU music in the recent “Right to be Forgotten” decision (full text here), and is reportedly already hard at work on an opt-in scrubbing tool.

-Amazon Technologies has been awarded a patent on… a plain white room? Perhaps a green-screen alternative for digital motion capture, but the claims appear to be for a fairly standard photography set up of surround lighting. I’m curious to learn what the commercial significance is behind the filing. Unless, that is, Amazon plans to get into the patent troll business…

-Rock legend Led Zepplin is finally, officially being sued of the opening riff to Stairway to Heaven by the last surviving member of Spirit, a contemporary rival. We’ll have to wait and see if the Wayne’s World prediction comes true.

Stay On Target

Another week, another six days of revision.

-I took one day “off” this week to attend an Open Day with a local firm. Their group exercises were creative and designed to reduce tension – a welcome and fun change from the usual fare.

-I’ve finished one of my three subjects (Private Client) and I’m about half way done with the second (Advanced Commercial Property). This week I have those two exams, followed by the final push for Commercial Law on the 21st. I won’t be able to take a full-day off this week, but I’m taking two half-days after each exam to unwind and go see a movie with Alasdair: The Wind Rises on Wednesday and Godzilla on Friday.

-Eurovision last night was the usual fantastic spectacle, made all the better by Austria’s well-deserved win. Conchita Wurst is a fearless inspiration. She and the song, “Rise of the Phoenix” would make a perfect pairing in the next Bond film, perhaps with the rumored casting of Idris Elba? One to-camera bow tie shot, that’s all I ask…

-The Cast of Wonders rebuild continues. I’ve reconstructed the Camp Myth Phoenix Watching episodes as well as 2014′s Parsec-eligible stories. An hour or so every day makes for good revision breaks.

-After exams and vacation I’m thinking of starting a book club devoted to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s list of 8 books every intelligent person should read. I’ve read seven (all but Gulliver’s Travels), but none recently. Maybe a Google hang-out arrangement for flexibility. Let me know if you’re interested in joining up.

-And finally some more legal news. There’s another article on the Washington state AG’s consumer protection suit regarding an Kickstarter. And on May 15th the Jack Kirby Marvel suit gets its day in front of the Justices as the US Supreme Court takes oral argument. Lower courts have consistently agreed with the Marvel position of Kirby’s contributions as work-for-hire, so this is the court of last resort for Kirby’s family. More news after the hearing.

Published in: on May 11, 2014 at 13:45  Leave a Comment  

Eighteen Days and Counting

“I should be revising” will be my constant refrain for those next 18 days, but in the meantime here’s some tidbits from the Geek Legal world this week:

-May the Fourth Be With You. Which is about all I need to say on that subject, not being the world’s biggest Star Wars fan. Expect announcements today. And if there ISN’T a female lead role casting announcement today, expect commentary on its absence.

-Warner Brothers may be shelling out millions to Tess Gerritsen, author of “Gravity”, the novel she claims the recent hit movie copied. Her lawyers claim there’s substantial evidence not only of copying, but of overlapping staff and a lapsed option contract.

-Kickstarters beware: AG’s are looking your direction. Washington state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson has initiated a consumer protection suit on behalf of 31 residents of his state who have yet to receive any of the rewards promised them by Altius Management’s 2012 pledge campaign to print a deck of “retro-horror”-themed cards designed by a Serbian artist. Kickstarter has suffered criticism in the past for being unable to take action against deadbeat pledge campaigns. It’ll be interesting to see how this suit progresses and if other jurisdictions follow suit.

Back to administrative clauses for me, catch you in 7.

 

Grab Bag

Update: The Get Published interview is now live. Link below as well.

Five things makes a blog post! Well I’ve got more than five, so I win. Or something.

This Week In Geek Law

-Last week of classes starts tomorrow, and then just revision and elective exams to go. I can’t believe it’s almost over, and more so that I’m starting to feel sad it’s gone.

-And just in time for me to graduate, the SRA is considering changing all the rules about training contracts. So far this is just a report following consultation and there’s no detail about implementation or even a timeline. But hopefully they’ll address “sandwich” students like myself who’ve finished their education but are still subject to the traditional training model. Watch this space.

-Speaking of awesome law suits, look at this doozy: SpaceX wants in on the surveillance satellite tendering process. They’re running with an anti-competition position, claiming the Boeing-Lockheed joint project ULA was awarded the contract without tendering. It’ll be interesting to see if the Air Force pushes back with any security concern arguments.

-And finally, Comixology has pissed off it’s loyal app-using fan base by removing the ability for in-app purchases. It only impacts the Apple version at this point, leaving me to believe it may be a Amazon using it’s latest big ticket purchase to distance itself further from other distribution platforms. Not to mention Apple’s hefty 30% fee. Some independent comic creators have claimed to heard from Amazon the cost savings will be passed down the chain, but customers haven’t received the same. More annoying to your Friendly Neighborhood Comic Reader was the complete lack of transparency regarding the change taking place the very same weekend as C2E2, the Chicago-based E3 trial-run. Me, I’m sticking with my Nexus 7, thanks.

Audio

-After four weeks of hair-pulling Cast of Wonders is finally back up and updating. I’ve got a LOT of work to do reconstructing the missing back-catalog and support features. But it’s also an opportunity for a ground-up consistency pass, so mixed blessings and all that. First priority is getting this year’s Parsec-eligible stories up.

-I narrated the delightfully chilling Her Face All Sharp for Pseudopod. Tell me the story doesn’t put you in mind of Morrigan. I dare you.

-I was also interviewed on the delightful Get Published podcast about Cast of Wonders. The episode should be live in the next week or so, link to follow.

-And speaking of podcasts to follow, The Legal Geeks have asked me to appear on a show with them! I’m hoping the topic will be the current Charles Soule’s current legal-tastic She-Hulk run.

 Everything Else

-Thirty days and counting until the post-exams US trip. West Coast again this time, spread between Vegas, LA, Seattle and the Bay Area.We have long layovers in both New York and Chicago this time, so we’ve nicknamed the trip A Tale of Two Pizzas. Next year we’re aiming for the East Coast trip: a road trip from New York down to Florida with plenty of stops along the way.

-My summer dance card is full. Between placements and the US trip I’m booked until the end of July. Which will make job-hunting problematic, but when has having too much to do ever stopped me? Case in point: it’s 8 p.m. as I write this. I’ve been working solid since 8 a.m., and I’ve still got a lecture to review and a distribution agreement to critique. Y’all have met me, right?

-I now have a Marvel Movie playlist. The only place you’ll ever see Blue Swede opening for AC/DC and Blue Oyster Cult.

-Dragon Age. I’ve got the bug. Inquisition releases October 7th, which is convenient. I can spent Alasdair’s birthday with him before I crawl into my Thedas Cave, emerging only for sleep and sustenance. I rolled the dice and submitted an audition for their Take Your Place In The Inquisition contest because why not, right? Someone has to voice all those quest givers, and there’s no Bucket List item like voicing a Bioware character.

-In the meantime, there’s Bioshock: Burial at Sea and Shadowrun’s Berlin expansion to play while Alasdair finishes up Assassin’s Creed.

-Finally, I’ve discovered what my “English accent” is. It’s the inability to let participles dangle when I speak. Which sounds like it should be more fun than is implied. See! Like that! I sound like Professor Elemental, only Californian. Dude.

Published in: on April 27, 2014 at 20:29  Leave a Comment  

What’s In A Name

I joined Twitter in 2009. Like everyone does, I picked a username that matched who I was at the time. Time passes and people change, their digital identities often lagging behind.

I had a wonderful opportunity to job shadow with a local firm for two days this past week, and one of the suggestions I received was to consider changing my Twitter handle. Chaos and the law don’t exactly compliment each other.

(more…)

Published in: on February 22, 2014 at 18:31  Leave a Comment  

Much Exam

Ugh.

Much exam.

Very tired.

Done Friday.

All the sleeps.

Translation: Apologies to anyone trying to reach me the last or next weeks, I’m revising for and taking my big exams. I’ll be finished on February 14th. On which I intend to sleep in as late as possible, followed by a lovely quiet day at home of cooking for Alasdair and playing and/or watching videogames. Thanks for all your encouraging thoughts!

#StayOnTarget

Published in: on February 9, 2014 at 14:09  Leave a Comment  

Operation: Muffin

That’s been the code word. Whenever one of us wanted to talk about “The Thing” without saying “The Thing”.

When we met with an immigration attorney this summer before renewing my student visa, it was part of Operation: Muffin. Just to get some ideas.

When a big freelance project pay day happened in November and he wanted to take me out for dinner sometime in January to celebrate.

When a gift certificate for a manicure was in my Christmas stocking, I had an inkling, but I was busy revising for exams and working on training contract applications.

Friday, if you missed the announcement on Twitter, Alasdair proposed and I (of course!) said yes!

19 IMG_2304

We’ve received a staggering number of well wishes and congratulations, and I only wish I could say thank you to everybody in person. It really does mean the world to us!

Since I have to get back to coursework and Alasdair is busy miraculously juggling part time employment and full time freelancing, we put together this quick FAQ for everyone.

The Courtship

  • We met via the wonders of Twitter. Alasdair is the host of Pseudopod, a premier weekly horror podcast, and I am (still!) a huge fan. We struck up a casual conversation and realized we had a lot in common, from movies to music to books.
  • The relationship deepened as we both went through difficult personal circumstances. Through it all, we provided support for each other over 5,000 miles and 8 hours time difference.
  • December 2011 we met for the first time in person. We spent a three week holiday together in London, my first trip abroad. We made side trips to Bristol, York and Edinburgh. We dressed up and attended the London Symphony Orchestra in Davies Hall where Sir Neville Marriner conducted Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth symphonies (my dream live concert).
  • We started talking about who was going to move where; at the time I was in the Bay Area and Alasdair was in York. I was in a unique place at work in that my current boss would be retiring soon, eliminating my position in the near-future. Going further with my education had always been a goal, so I started investigating my firm’s London office and law schools both in the US and UK. We talked to immigration attorneys on both sides of the Atlantic.
  • Videogames were played via PlayStation Network. We lived on FaceTime and Gchat.
  • Alasdair’s then-job ended in May 2012 at the same time his lease expired. We wanted to give both countries a fair “audition”, so he came to California (via an amazing weekend in New York) for the summer. We went on several smaller trips including GenCon in Indianapolis; Austin to see his best friend and now-fiance; San Diego, Yosemite, and of course Disneyland!
  • In September 2012 we moved together to Nottingham and I started the GDL at Nottingham Law School. We moved to Beeston in November last year, and I’ll finish the LPC in May.

The Proposal

  • When?
    Friday, January 10th, after my solicitor’s accounts exam. *chuckle*
  • Where?
    Las Iguanas, one of my favorite local restaurants.
  • Did Alasdair go on one knee?
    Yes. (I’m not sure why people keep asking that, but they are…)
  • What music was playing?
    “L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole.
  • The ring?
    Currently in my head. Alasdair is wise enough to know how … particular I am. (Diamonds=no) We’ve met with a jeweler to put together some sketches and source stones for an engagement ring and wedding bands.
    In the meantime I have a lovely charm for my charm bracelet – a heart lock and key made from an antique British penny (I love keys).

Charm

The Future

  • When’s the wedding?
    We’re not going to do any significant planning until after my LPC elective exams in May. My studies come first, end of story. If you have a fantastic brilliant idea that you’re just dying to share I would LOVE to hear it! In June.
  • Where will the wedding be?
    See above. Preliminary thoughts are one small event here, and another small event in California, to save everybody airfare.
  • Where will you live?
    We’ve always planned to remain in the UK. We love the little house we live in now and would love to buy it. The majority of our friends and professional contacts are here. I’m diligently applying for training contracts to complete my qualification. In addition, I’ll seek full time legal employment this summer and start racking up CILEx qualifying time.  And we have lots of options for visiting the States whenever circumstances allow.
  • If money was no object, what would you do?
    Purchase, reassemble and charter Eureka to take us to The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. My family’s been camping in Yosemite forever, and it holds many important memories. Then we’d enjoy the park for a week with lots of hiking, bike riding, canoeing, stargazing and rock climbing. And we’d bring all our friends and family with us. :-)
Published in: on January 12, 2014 at 19:00  Comments (1)  

Soapasaurus

Ahhhh, Christmas break. So far I’ve done tons of things around the house and very, very little schoolwork. It’s been glorious.

One of the things I’ve FINALLY had time to do is use the lovely Soapasaurus products Alasdair is reviewing. He’s writing his own review of these products as part of a bigger “bath and beauty geek products” piece, but this one is mine, ’cause you know… they were open… *grin*

Friendship CubesFriendship Cube

These lovely little gamer’s friends pack a heck of a scent punch for their meager two inches. The pink one especially reminds me exactly of pink Starburst – somewhere between intense strawberry and a unnameable tropical fruit. They lather extremely well, but I recommend a sisal bag or something similar because once wet they’re inclined to slip out of your hand. There was zero residue after rinsing, and my skin felt comfortably not-dry, and not-moisturized.

What I particularly enjoyed about the scent was both its strength and the complete lack of residue. It’s great having a product where you can take an intensely scented bath or shower, but not have to worry about your soap scent clashing with deodorant, lotion or cosmetics when you’re finished.

Sugar WhipFestive Fall Handmade Sugar Scrub

Oh my god. Imagine the best coconut cream pie you’ve ever smelled, thick with graham cracker crust. Add pumpkin pie spice and a healthy dollop of maple syrup. Now whip it until it’s frothy and creamy with just a few hints of brown sugar chunks and rub it all over your face and don’t eat it because it’s soap but you’ll want to it smells so good!

Lovely creamy texture without a hint of residue. I was expecting something a bit more exfoliating I think, because of the name “sugar scrub”, so this won’t replace my normal face wash, but it’s a fantastic supplement. It has a bit of a lingering scent as I write this about an hour post-shower, so I think I’ll put this in the weekly treat category as opposed to daily wear. Plus I had to ask Alasdair to smell my face and that made him laugh and then lick my forehead.

The little green tub it comes in has a fantastic texture that lets you get a good grip on it with wet hands, and the screw-top lid is water proof – I stuck it under the running water with no leaking. Once I’ve used up all the product I’ll keep it and store other soaps.

Blue Sky CrystalBlue Sky Crystal

This was the first of the products we tried, and I could smell the intense blueberry scent hours after it was used. You’ve GOT to have some way of containing these little shards, though, or you’ll drop half of them and they’ll slip down the drain and you’ll be sad. For these little pieces we use a shower glove, which lets the thick lather through but isn’t as hard on skin as sisal. Scent-wise this is the most intense of the lot and the one I’d recommend the most for children because it’s an immediately identifiable smell. If Soapysaurus wants to branch out into bubblebath, they could do worse than start here.

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