I Feel Smarter Already
Wow, presents really do make you feel better.
A wonderful, much appreciated congratulations present from my best friend, the only non-evil person I know (well, the only personI know) doing non-evil, necessary humanitarian work at the Pentagon. Yes, Virginia, begging everyone you know and don't know does work! Hey, Dr. Bitch, PhD gets presents from strangers via her Amazon.com Wish List. Scott Eric Kaufman gets a little love from Amazon from all the buyers who make purchases by clicking through the links provided on his site. What Dr. B and SEK do is pretty hi-tech and savvy. All I do is complain and get surprised in the mail. This is the oldest form of begging in the world. It's like fishing for compliments. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you're lucky enough to have good friends.
This is a wonderful gift. Lately all my major purchases have been practical--$2000 in applications (+ GRE, 17 copies of transcripts from two schools), $1000 in books, paying off my law school loans, and saving up to buy real furniture to make a new real home for myself (and so Pentagon Girl has a nice futon/chaise lounge to sleep on and a dining table to sit at when she visits). It's really nice to have something completely luxurious, and pretentiously labeled "tools for serious readers." I'm a serious reader! I can now read seriously! I'm going to get my nerd on!
What's in the picture above?
Academic Legal Writing by Eugene Volokh
(So, you want to be an academic?)
The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation
(the legal academic's bible, with rules so arcane and unnecessarily repetitive and stuffed full of latinate phrases it hurts the head)
Redefining Federalism: Listening to the States in Shaping "Our Federalism," by Douglas T. Kendall et. al.
(really, really good and easy to digest primer on federalism by the Environmental Law Institute)
From New Federalism to Devolution: 25 Years of Intergorvernmental Reform by Timothy Conlan
(really detailed map of the changes that began with Nixon's New Federalism that continued with Reagan, Bush I, and even Clinton, with a great discussion of categorical block grants, federal fiscal policies, and welfare reform--not light reading)
A Parker pen.
My hand-made research log book.