Thursday, March 29, 2007

So, yeah... most folks reading this probably don't know this, but an article I wrote was published recently. I have gotten a few random emails of late about it. If you're interested, you can click here and you'll be able to access the article in pdf form. Shockingly, it's about gender discrimination law.

The editors I worked with at the Harvard Law & Policy Review (HLPR) were really awesome and made substantial contributions to my ideas. But no, HLPR is not the same as the Harvard Law Review, which is way more prestigious. HLPR is connected to the American Constitution Society (ACS) a legal group with which I've been significantly involved since I began law school way back in 2003.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Last night we headed over to Resa and Nick's place for a pizza night. While Resa and I chatted, Rob and Nick had some Wii time. Resa and Nick got their Wii the day it was released last fall... spending 24 hours straight in a suburban Meijer's to ensure they got one. Seriously. :)

Anyway, all of the sudden, Rob yelled to me that it was 9:35. It took me a second, but then I remembered that Scooter's closes at 10pm. It was time to head out. Scooter's is Chicago's only (so I'm told) frozen custard shop and it is literally steps from our front door. And if frozen custard alone isn't enough to give you daily cravings, well, every day they have a new specialty flavor. Last night's was German Chocolate Cake! So good. So good. Honestly, if you're in Chicago, you've got to try it. Divine.

Scooter's is new to us because it just opened in March. It stays closed during the winter months, so it hasn't been opened since we moved into our place. It opened while we were in California for Lib's wedding... but we've made up for those lost days by stopping in for custard just about every single night since!

I have a particular fondness for frozen custard because the very first time I tried it, Rob and I were in Milwaukee for my friend Kerri's wedding. We'd only been dating a few weeks, way back in the fall of 2002, so I was pretty psyched that Rob was so enthusiastic about a trip to Wisconsin with me. Rob's one request for our trip was to find a frozen custard shop, and we found an awesome one right after the Brewers-Giants game we caught that weekend. Ever since that trip, Rob would always talk about opening a frozen custard shop in DC. Probably a pretty good idea, considering how hot DC summers can be. So I suppose it's fate that we now live so close to a frozen custard place... or maybe too bad that there's already one in the 'hood so we can't open our own?

Monday, March 26, 2007

On a lighter note, more proof that Peyton Manning is the absolute best.
Rob participated in an online chat at today. I love the Post's online chats, but I missed this one as I toiled away on an overdue work project. Rob submitted a question to Washington, DC's Congressional Delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton about DC Congressional representation:

"Chicago: Thank you for taking my question. Prior to the creation of the District of Columbia, residents of that area were presumably represented by the Congressional delegations of Maryland and Virginia (the Virginia portion of DC having already been returned, much to the congressional benefit of the residents of Arlington). Therefore, the creation of D.C. robbed those residents of their right to equal representation. Historically speaking, do you know what the justification for this was and whether those residents raised any objections to having their political representation in Congress taken away?"

The Delegate's response is here. I am assuming that Rob's question is his own property, but I am sure there is some copyright law that requires me to link to the Post site for the answer rather than post it here. Just scroll down a little bit to find the right Q&A once you follow the link.

And obviously, I am expressing no opinion whatsoever on any current political debates. Just showing off my husband's often-not-discussed point.

Friday, March 23, 2007

This article has some interesting findings about perceptions of men and women in the workplace. Here's an excerpt from one study discussed in the article:

"Women perceived as being more competitive were deemed competent for the job but also less sociable than other candidates, and thus less hirable. Competent men, however, were described as hirable even if they weren't socially adept."

I guess we have to recognize false stereotypes before we can kick them to the curb, so pointing them out, while depressing, is part of the battle.

Interestingly, the end of the article says that "women are considered better managers than men." I wonder... if the initial bias above didn't exist in the hiring process, maybe this managerial difference would evaporate as well.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rob keeps promising he's going to post something. We'll see. :) In the mean time, here are some pictures from a bunch of random occasions over the past year. I finally downloaded my pictures from my camera. Or rather, my brother-in-law Colin did. Thanks Colin! (And thanks Nick for making some of these pictures not sideways.)

I got my mom to take a picture with me at my law school graduation -- a rare feat!

I am an awesome photographer, right? For Thanksgiving last fall, our friends Ali, Eddie and Fritz came over, along with my Dad. The food was AMAZING. I made the salad.

I was there on Thanksgiving too. Check out the empty plates... except for the salad. Hmm. This is our old Chi-town apartment, which we loved, except when the water would turn off in the middle of showers. That was awesome.

Our fabulous, fabulous, fabulous friends Carly and Christian came to visit us for New Year's. We miss them so much. :(

My sister Resa and her better half Nick hosted us all for New Year's. Libby and Colin stayed in Chicago from Christmas through New Year's. It was nice to have the six of us in the same place.

Here we are in Muir Woods in the Bay Area a couple weeks ago. It was absolutely beautiful there.

Also at Muir Woods, Rob had this brilliant idea that Roxanna and I climb on the fences and jump into the air at the same time, so he could take a picture of us floating in Muir Woods. So... yeah... we couldn't exactly balance on the fence enough to actually jump. We just kept laughing and falling off. So this is an on-the-verge-of-falling picture.

Here's Rob poking his head out from inside a giant tree. Way cool.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'm stealing this picture from my cousin-in-law Jen. Here's Libby and Colin at the very end of their wedding ceremony. Awww.

If you've got an eagle eye, you'll see a bit of me in bridesmaid form, conveniently hidden by the pole in the foreground, which is great because I don't think my dress fit that well. :) The other bridesmaids - my sister Theresa and Libby's friend Maurissa - are on either side of me.

Monday, March 19, 2007

In February, we went to New Jersey to surprise Rob's grandma on her 75th birthday. Rob's sister Gena planned a Pezold family photo, which turned out pretty nice. In the left corner, Gary (husband of Rob's sister Tori) is holding their daughter Lillian. Tori is sitting in front of them, holding on to their two sons Aidan and Bryson. Next comes me, with Rob's grandma Lois to the right and Rob right behind us. Rob's Dad Bob is sitting next to his mom, with his wife Teri behind him. Also in front of Teri is Rob's sister Gena. In front of Gena, is Rob's Aunt Mary Lynn, who is also in front of her husband Frank. Behind Frank are Kyle (Rob's twin sister) and Taber (Kyle's husband). Kyle is holding on to their daughter Lauren. The oldest boy in the front is their son Daniel, who had a freshly scraped up face from playing hockey, I believe. Very cute.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

We ran a St. Patrick's Day 5K this morning. It was a lovely 30 degrees out. It's very strange to run and be both too cold and too hot at the same time. I think Rob and I need to invest in some real running gear.

The run wasn't too bad though. Much much easier than the 8K last Thanksgiving. Today was also the third time in my life that I've run more than two miles on a single day. Pathetic, of course, but Rob and I have a few more 5Ks planned.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

If you're reading this, you probably know that I love everyday activist ideas... so here's the promised idea from my friend Ali. I can't do much of anything relating to politics and advocacy (including anything and everything related to women's rights work!) until my clerkship is over, but this is definitely an idea I can publicly support in the mean time.

From Ali:

The next time you go to Whole Foods, if you want to support renewable energy, consider buying a gift card for a Renewable Energy Certificates at the check-out lane.

Basically, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) allow those of us who are not able to affect the energy "demand" by ordering renewable energy through our utilities to otherwise be more eco-friendly by changing the "supply." When you buy an REC, you are purchasing renewable energy that is supplied to the electric grid, thereby reducing the demand for energy produced in non-renewable ways. This does not mean that you are actually consuming renewable energy yourself, as it is being supplied to a general grid. However, renewable energy is being provided to a grid where it is most efficient to do so, and you are reducing your "carbon-impact." It generally costs about 2-3 cents per a kilowatt hour. You can buy RECs in different amounts, so you can spend whatever your budget allows, from $25 to $250, or more.

I noticed last time I was at Whole Foods that you can buy RECs right at the check-out lane! How easy is that? So, if you are looking for an easy way to reduce your impact, check out RECs! If you want to buy RECs, I suggest "3 Phases." This REC vendor allows you to calculate your "carbon footprint" based on your energy consumption at home, through your use of a car and air travel, and then "offset" it with RECs. The 3 Phases website (below) also has a pretty good description of what RECs are and how they work. Their RECs are also Green-E certified, which is a voluntary certification program that ensures that the companies selling RECs are audited so that when you purchase your REC you can be sure that a certain number of kilo-watt-hours from renewable resources will be supplied to the grid.

Thanks Ali!! Ali also recommends this website for more info.
I used to think that Chicagoans who walk around without hats or gloves in 30 degree weather were crazy. Then, this morning I realized I'd made it all the way to the office without putting on my hat or gloves and it's about 33 degrees out. I guess I'm practically a native now. I remember a few weeks ago when it was under 10 degrees for day... when it hit 12 degrees Rob and I actually commented on how much warmer it felt. Crazy.

Anyway, Libby's wedding went off beautifully and I had a great time being a part of the event. Outdoor weddings are so gorgeous. Libby and Colin's vows were very touching. I got to give a toast, which I was very excited about, but I shook like a leaf the whole way through because I was way too emotional! And I even convinced the DJ to play an awesome Kelly Clarkson song to close the dance floor. I'm sure he only did it because I was the bride's twin... and he confessed later he'd been told not to play any American Idol songs. Oops! But Libby did rock out with me to the song so it couldn't have been too bad a choice. Kelly is so over AI these days, right? :)

The only crazy part of last week was the end of Libby's bachelorette party (Thursday night) when, long story short, she stepped on a construction screw, which went through her shoe and well into her foot. She wore nice fluffy slippers for most of her wedding because her foot was still hurting. It was a bummer of an ending to the bachelorette party, which included Libby and Resa getting henna tattoos with their guys' names on them, and Rob getting a henna tattoo of a flaming heart that said "Katherine." Awesomeness, I tell you. I'll post California pictures, including tattoo pictures, as soon as I can.

Now I'm settling in back at work, catching up as best I can, and trying to figure out what I'll be doing next fall when my clerkship is done.

In the mean time, my friend Ali sent around a fun activist mass email about an easy way to help energy conservation efforts. So I'm going to plagiarize some of it here in my next post. Thanks Ali. Go green!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Rob and I spent this past weekend in the Bay area and had a great time visiting with my friend Roxanna and her fiance Pavlos. Roxanna and I have been friends for more than a decade, so it's always an absolute blast spending time with her. I hadn't been to that part of the country since age nine, so I finally understand why everyone who has ever lived there insists that there is no place else for them. We got to spend time in San Francisco, Oakland and wine country (Napa and Sonoma) and loved it all. Too bad we didn't win Mega Millions today. A vacation home in Napa would be fantastic. We still don't know much about wine, even after visiting four wineries, but the folks at Simi were particularly friendly and we liked everything we tasted there. So that's our very uneducated recommendation.

Being the brilliant woman I am, I nearly attempted to carry on a couple bottles of wine onto our plane from Oakland to LA. Rob caught me before security did. We had to scramble to find a place in the airport that could box up our wine in a form that we could check as baggage, but luckily we did. It would have been very sad to leave behind the most expensive bottle of wine we've ever bought -- a splurge on the order of $40.

Now we are in LA helping Libby and Colin with the final wedding preparations. I can't believe Libby will be married on Saturday! Tonight my mom, Libby and I spent some time assembling placecards, and there is still much more assembly to be done. Rob and I also got to go with Libby as she checked on her wedding dress alterations. Libby looked gorgeous modeling her dress for us, of course.

Tomorrow I get to make an unplanned stop at Libby's dentist, though, as I appear to have cracked a filing. Excellent timing. I thought I could just suck it up until I got back to Chicago, but let's face it, I'm a wimp when it comes to physical hardship.

Back to tending to Libby's needs I go. But hopefully I'll figure out how to post some of our San Fran pictures soon.