TEAL – back to awesome.

As I’ve been preparing for WriMo, legal memos, law school finals, and a variety of language and grammer intensive projects, I’ve been feeling a little lost.  It could be the new career seeping into my head and confusing the stuff already there, or the settling into a new locale, or trying to establish new writerly contacts way out West.  Or perhaps it’s been a different loss.  Perhaps it’s been something to do with the stagnation and year of TEAL deprivation that I’ve really been feeling the effects of.  No longer.  The website is back up, the year of no national parks has passed, and the BOOK is well on its way to reality.  Or so I hear through the grapevine.  No word on the website as yet….

I wish I were going to India…

It’s odd the way I spend too much time on the internet when I really should be working on my Civ. Pro. outline. Alas, I have a problem and I can’t help myself. SO instead I’ve been spending my time cyber stalking…myself. In particular I checked out my remodeling company (SLS Remodel & Additions) because their trucks have awesome logos and I keep seeing them around. Unfortunately their website is considerably more cheesy than I want myself to be. Ever. Despite my genetic heritage (thanks, Dad).

Otherwise, I’m evidently a British Graphic Designer. Who has been recently unable to support herself with graphic design work before she heads off to India and is working in a factory in the meantime. Why? Because she can weld and it’s money. Where’s my ability to weld? Where’s my India? Where’s my awesome mini graphic design projects? Somewhere, in another life, I was myself as a Brit and said things like ‘petal face’ and ‘bits and bobs’. But for the current incarnation, that’s nto quite the real me. Maybe next game.

MOOSE! The neverending saga.

When I was living in Boston I had high hopes of seeing a moose.  Maine was not really that far away.  I had friends I visited up there.  I passed by extensive moose habitat going to Montreal and Quebec City.  I was up early in the morning in mooseland for skiing and hiking and other outdoor activities.  It seemed inevitable that I would see a moose if I only kept my eyes open.  According to the local populations of various moose-inhabited regions, they were all over the place.  Alas, it was not to be.

Instead, I made the comment to several people that I really wanted to see a moose, would they help me look for a moose and where have all the moose gone, anyway?  So that started a spate of unhelpful comments.  “Look, a moose!” (pointing at an embroidered blanket of a woodland scene in a gift shop).  “Moose!  Over there!” (hand-waving at various hearth tongs and pokers with moosehead handles at a friend’s home).  “No really, it’s a real moose!”  (indication of mounted moosehead in the rafters at a Maine restaurant).  I know you all think it’s funny that I get excited every time and that I really am that gullible.  But seriously.  Enough is enough.

Evidently, even moving to the other coast is not enough.  So far, I have received in the mail 1) a ‘brake for moose’ window decal for the car I dont’ have, 2) a moose-covered potholder, and 3) moose-themed postcards.  But the one that really takes the cake is the departure gift from my old office in Boston, MA that was hand delivered to me here in Portland, OR late yesterday.  Let me just give you the visual image:

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Yes, it IS a stuffed animal moose handbag.  It really zips open so you can store your goods in the moose’s insides.  It really is one of the most awkward looking things I’ve seen in awhile, including myself when I wake up on a Gene Wilder hair day.  And it’s all mine.

Words, words, words

So I was reading for class today about some-or-other boring case from the 1800s, and there was this recurring idea of interpretation going on.  How do you know what a law really says?  In what manner do you determine meaning when there can be a multiplicity of understandings on a  single word?  Isn’t this the way fun yay part of law?

But instead of being excited about the idea, I took offense at it.  Really?  Words?  Are they that hard to understand?  Are the meanings so different that we don’t really know what the law says in a particular instance?  Are words really completely not representative of the ideas inside our own heads?  I would say that statutory interpretation aside, we’re really missing something with this conception of language and communication.

SO let’s take a look at this from the old-school philosophy angle – the Allegory of the Cave (which is about where I stopped paying attention, thanks).  Here we’ve got the ‘real’ material world, and some idea of forms or ideas which are truer than true.  So in this case, everything we can possibly see or feel or touch is only like a shadow of the real thing.  Our lives as we know them are Micro Machines.  Not a particularly pleasant thought, but one the court seems to get along with well.  Also, it doesn’t seem to be that reasonable in the scientific era that we all believe in some out there ‘more real’ thing that is beyond possible conception.

So, another idea, and I can’t remember where it’s from.  Maybe Navajo?  Anyway, the idea is of signs being the true thing and all the associations being false – the symbol is what’s ‘real’.  For example, let’s say you have some stylized picture of a flower.  Obviously, it’s not a specific individual flower, or even type of flower, but a representation of the whole – specific flowers, associated meanings (love, youth, poetry), and all kinds of other related stuff that’s implied by a particular symbol.  The sign is more than the signified, or there’s multiple signifieds for a single sign (thank you, Saussure).  This is more in line with my own conception of the ‘real’ world and even how the law should be interpreted.

Ideas are fickle, changing, and always indeterminate.  It is words that are eternal, enduring, and defined.