Music for Manhattan

So I have to say. When you walk around New York the concept of having your own soundtrack is absolutely wonderful!

Here are some songs I enjoy

Manhattan – Ella Fitzgerald

Gardenia – Mandy Moore

Body’s a Temple – Jay Brannan

Call Me When You’re Sober – Evanescence

Losing Me – Diego

Beyond My Wildest Dreams – Little Mermaid (Sierra Boggess)

Gypsy 83

So today I decided to watch “Gypsy 83” which I heard about on Logo a long time ago. I really enjoyed the movie, I felt it really did explored the relationship between a gay kid and his “fag hag.” Although this exploration was rather subtle given the plot, focus on Gyspsy (the fag hag), and both of them being goth as well.

It reminded me of a day when my friend Sara and I saw some goth kids at the mall, and we talked about how we both went through a sort of gothic phase. We were not as hardcore as the people we saw, and she said something like “I think it’s kind of amazing. I mean it is like they borrow a personality, because they don’t have one yet.” we talked about how kids like us “grow a personality” while others prefer the superficial ones they create. One of the things I enjoyed about this conversation was that there was no judgment in it. We didn’t think we were better in any way by having developed our personality and left the “template” ones behind.

This is the section of the movie I enjoyed the most:

I RECOMMEND ONLY WATCHING FROM THE 1:18 mark to 6:50

I enjoy this because of two things:

1. The gay kid (Clive) describes how he is more into romance than sex. I remember being like this, and it was interesting to hear his fantasy. Mine was very similiar. It wasn’t gothic. I wanted a man to take me to some beautiful Greek Island, where we could smell the salt from the ocean in our room. There were a hundred white candles burning and we made love with the ebbing tide as a soundtrack. Did this happen? No. I had my first time in a small study, which was being used as a DJ workshop. It was in Arkansas and on the floor. However, despite not being my “fantasy” it was a wonderful experience. The guy who takes Clive’s virginity in the movie reminded me of my first lover, in that shortly after he did something so awful he went from a single beautiful moment to something I could easily hate.

2. The 2nd part of this clip has Karen Black singing “When Sunny Gets Blue” which is lovely.

Marbury V. Madison

So, when I was a Thurgood Marshall School of Law as a first year I was not required to take “Constitutional Law” This means that I need to take it this semester, with mainly a bunch of 1L students. I’m not if there is a reason why TMSL does not make this a 1L class, but I am hoping that I will do well since I will have less stressful classes than the other 1L students. Here is my brief on the case:

Π    Marbury    V.    Madison     ∆
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (U.S. 1803)

Significant FACTS with relevance to outcome of case:

  • Thomas Jefferson beat John Adams in the presidential election of 1800.
  • Jefferson was not to take office until March 4, 1801.
  • Before Adams took office, Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1801, which created ten new district courts. These new courts requires new judges to be appointed, and the act gave the president the authority to appoint them.
  • Shortly before Jefferson was about to take office, Adams appointed numerous Federalist Judges to cause issues for the soon to be Democtratic-Republican controlled congress.
  • These appointments were called “midnight appointments”
  • William Marbury was one of President Adams’ “midnight appointments.”
  • All of the necessary paperwork and procedures were completed to secure his appointment as a justice of the peace for Washington, D.C., EXCEPT:
    • Secretary of State John Marshall – himself a midnight appointee to a somewhat more exhalted judicial position – failed to deliver his commission.
  • Upon assuming the presidency, Jefferson ordered his Secretary of State – James Madison – not to deliver the commission.
  • Under authority of the Judiciary Act of 1789 (The Judiciary Act of 1801 which created the additional courts modified this act), Marbury sued to ask the Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus to force Madison to deliver the commission.

ISSUES:

1.    Has the applicant a right to the commission he demands?
2.    If he has a right, and that right has been violated, do the laws of his country afford him a remedy?
3.    If they do afford him a remedy, is it a mandamus issuing from this court?

Key Plaintiff’s Argument:

Marbury argues that the Constitution was only intended to set a floor for original jurisdiction that Congress could add to.
Key Defendant’s Argument:

Argues that Congress does not have the power to modify the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction.

Lower Court’s Ruling:

N/A

William Marbury brought his case directly to the Supreme Court because the Court had original jurisdiction over the case.

Analysis:

Short Answers to Issues:
1.    Yes
2.    Yes
3.    No.
——————————————

The court determined that Marbury had a right to the commission because it was signed by the President and sealed by the Secretary of State.

Since they found he had a right to the commission, they had to look at if they had a remedy. They found that the remedy that Marbury was seeking (a writ of mandamus) did exist. Because the denial of the commission was a violation of the law, a writ of mandamus could fix that.

The legal definition of a writ of mandamus is:

A writ of mandamus or simply mandamus, which means “we command” in Latin, is a document issued by a superior court (appellate court) to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly.

The main part of this case deals with the fact that Justice Marshall found that the Constitution and the Judiciary Act conflict. That being so, the constitution is deemed the superior authority and thus, that is what the court follows. However Justice Marshall describes this much more in depth.

“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”  When a case comes to the Supreme Court, the Court must decide that case according to the law.  If “ordinary” (statutory) legislation conflicts with the limits imposed on government by the Constitution, the fundamental law must govern the ordinary.   If the legislature passed an act that the Constitution forbids – like a tax on interstate sales, an ex post facto law, or a treason conviction based on something other than two witnesses or a confession in court – the courts would have to strike it down.  Otherwise, the Constitution would not limit government.  Courts have this power because they decide cases under law; judges take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and this is part of that function.

Therefore, the court cannot give Marbury the write he seeks as it lacks the authority/jurisdiction to do so. The Constitution does grant the Supreme Court two categories of jurisdiction for the Supreme Court.

1.    Original
2.    Appellate

Under Article III of the Constitution Congress has the power to regulate the 2nd one. APPELLATE JURISDICTION. However, Article III does not vest Congress with that power over Original Jurisdiction. So, when the Judiciary Act of 1789 purported to give that power over Original Jurisdiction to the Court it could not do that, because Congress did not have that power to give. It was retained exclusively by the Constitution.

Holding:

The rule was discharged.
Meaning the case was dismissed.

Comment:

Although the particulars of this case are bizarre the purpose of this case is to provide a larger illustration. Basically that it is the court and not congress whose job it is to interpret the Constitution. If for some bizarre reason Congress managed to pass a law that was unconstitutional like making murder legal. Then congress would be able to show that it was unconstitutional and therefore strike it down. Since you cannot appeal a Supreme Court decision, the only way for Congress to get that fixed would be to amend the Constitution, as that is the only way to get around the Supreme Court’s ruling.

From the Xanga Grave

So I wrote this post on my Xanga a few months back, and I felt it was good enough to deserve a second publication here on wordpress. It was a particularly meaningful piece for me, and I hope it will reach new eyes and ears here. I realize it is a bit “heavy” but I would sincerely enjoy comments from any and all who read it.

I decided not to edit it, but to simply put it as it once was. I think it helps retain the emotion of it.


Currently Reading
A Boy’s Own Story
By Edmund White

A father remembered

So a few weeks ago I read “A Boy’s Own Story” by Edmund White.

The book is set in the 1950’s and told from the narrator’s (who is never named) point of view. The narrator tells basically 6 different stories about his life (not in sequential order), and mainly focus on his realization that he is gay, what he thinks about being gay, and how his desire to explore guides him down certain paths.

It is difficult to describe it in better detail than that, because there is not really a lot of “plot” to be discussed. The reason this book is so fascinating is the way it is written. The author is able to write about very subtle moments in a way that paints a vivid, real, and captivating image in the mind of the reader. I even found myself highlighting passages and writing my thoughts in the margins. I normally HATE writing in books that I read for pleasure, but this author has described things so eerily close to my own experience that I felt like I was editing sections of my own personal journal.

Obviously there are some MAJOR differences between this narrator and myself, but the only one I feel compelled to mention is the Narrator’s obsession with his father. The narrator’s father reminded me so much of my own with a very few differences. The narrator’s father works mainly at night, divorced his first wife, and enjoys classical music. However the narrator’s father is a lot like my own. They both worked all the time, did not get along with strangers, had few to no friends, rarely showed emotion. They also both married women who were social, attractive, good mothers, and willing to put up with a lot of crap. The number of similarities are actually longer. The only other one I thought that was bizarrely parallel is when the narrator wants something big (to be sent to a boarding school) the father asks his son to type out a proposal with a detailed list of schools explaining why the reasoning for why he feels he must go to a boarding school. This reminded me that I had to draw up a financial budget for what I needed in order to go to Law School.

As I said the major difference was that the narrator has this bizarre Electra Complex going on with his father, which I’ve certainly never felt. I found it creepy, but it did remind me of a time when I was young and wanted NOTHING MORE than to please my father. Unfortunately, I was very effeminate even as a child, but I do remember my father and I bonding over the Nintendo when I was in kindergarten. We would play 2 player and I think it is partially the reason I was so obsessed with it. After the games got more complicated (my dad thought Mario was difficult) he stopped playing/watching with me. I chose to continue playing, as I thought they were fun, but never giving up hope that if he ever asked, I’d be able to dazzle him with my abilities.

It was nice to remember a time when my father and I had a deep love between father and son. I had almost forgotten it entirely, and I think by remembering it I was able to forgive him for a lot of silly things I still held against him. I remember now when I was about 5 years old I would get home from school, watch cartoons, play with my toys in living room on the coffee table, attempt to “help” my mother with dinner, but when the back door opened whatever I was doing I would immediately stop and run to my father (who I called “daddy” at that time) and jump and give him a big hug. It was so strange to remember that emotion, and part of me felt disgusted that I ever acted like that, but I was also sad that instead of being really close we became completely closed off from one another.

I feel strange hugging my father, but I do it even when he extends his hand to shake mine. I don’t know if he would prefer to shake my hand, but I know that I would prefer to hug him. As much as I hate to admit it, I still love my dad. I love him despite the fact that he is conservative in every sense of the word, and would probably give up his hand to a straight son who had gone to business school, married some trophy wife, and made a lot of money as he climbed his way up the corporate ladder. I love him. I love him because despite the fact he sees the son he wanted, he is still willing to help the son he has. He provided a problematic child with the best education, he paid for tutoring, and he even attended most of my early theatre work. My father who is tone deaf, and has a hard time understanding anything classic, sat through Musicals, Opera, and Shakespeare. Recognizing all of this it is obvious that despite my father never being emotive, he loves me as much as he can. I also realized I was being hypocritical of my father. I hated my father for wanting me to live the life he wanted for a son, and played the victim. However, it was just as wrong for me to want my father to be a different man than he is. If I love my father, then I have to learn to love him for the man he is, not the man I want him to be. It’s hard to not compare him to the dream dad in my head, but it I need to stop doing it.

In this way I feel my father has actually been ahead of me. My father accepted (at least to some degree) me as who I was, and then just focused on what he saw as my good traits (my apparent knack for the Law) as something to be proud of. I may not be a CEO, but I may someday help a CEO out of some sticky legal situation, and my father can be proud of that. This is something I’m striving to do now. I feel I’ve accepted my father as he is, and I am trying to focus on the good things my father did/does for me in my life. I find it hard to do when I feel his conservative nature is so terrible, but love includes taking the bad too. I just worry about treading the line of loving my father as he is, but still holding the position that some of his views are simply unacceptable to me. I hate it when people say “hate the sin, but love the sinner” because I think it can send the wrong message. Today, however, I feel it’s my best option. Nothing will be accomplished if I refuse to like any part of my father because I don’t like all aspects of him. I, therefore, must make every effort to love him, and hope that by knowing me his opinions will eventually change.

Beautiful Music

So when I was a very small kid, and a boy soprano, I used to think this was the “most beautiful song I ever heard”

 

I realize this is probably a strange choice for an 8 year old boy, but whatever.  My taste has not changed much, I still find Soprano Solos, Duets, and Trios the most beautiful music.  

This is an aria that once I hear it I can’t stop singing it for days:

And my boyfriend can tell you that I sing this in the subways every weekend:

 

 

 

What were your favorite songs before you were 10? Mine included these, and every song from the Little Mermaid.

Breaking Dawn

 

Cover of "Breaking Dawn"

Cover of "Breaking Dawn"

 

Breaking Dawn

 

So I recently finished reading the fourth and final installment of the “Twilight” series. This book was an easy read, and finally pushed some boundaries. I am trying to keep this SPOILER free since I have so many friends who read it. So I will say that it was interesting to see a portion of the story told from Jacob’s perspective. I thought Stephanie Meyers writing from Jacob’s point of view had a bit of a rocky start, but by the end she had certainly been able to help us really see through his eyes. It was also smart as seeing it through Bella’s eyes would have been boring or painful.

            Speaking of Pain! This book had one part that made me put it down. IF you are wondering what it was, e-mail me and I’ll tell you. Otherwise, I am sure that you won’t have to guess if you read it.

            The first part of the book was a dream come true for me, but I think most readers will get a little tired of hearing about how perfect things are for Bella and Edward for nearly 100 pages. It reminded me of the first 35 minutes of the “Sex and the City” movie.

            Other than that, the plot isn’t bad. The conflict has the stakes higher than I ever dreamed, and a lot of things certainly seemed to have been planned by the author far in advance. It was a pleasure to read, despite the last 1\4th of the book being similar to a video game series of love called Suikoden.

            Although many have criticized Meyer for planting (consciously or subconsciously) a heightened and almost Mormon-like set of morality in the books this book will most likely not change your mind. However, despite the incredibly romantic notions found in the book (beautiful vampire wanting to wait for marriage or Werewolf who could overpower anyone and take anything prefers to practice patience) what I really love about the books in Meyers writing style. Her use of description seems perfect to me, and whereas it might seem over done to some, it rings perfectly with me. I never really feel like my vision of the characters is that far off from the authors. Aside from Edward, as I feel my version is a little gayer. This makes me feel happy, and I feel like whoever I discuss the books with we will be able to talk with a since of familiarity. It is like two strangers talking for the first time only to find out they have a friend in common.

 

Drawing of Meyer as a Vampire

Drawing of Meyer as a Vampire

Hoboken

We have a place

Outside our Apartment

Outside our Apartment

It is in the lovely city of Hoboken, NJ:

I am so excited! The place is a 3 bedroom, but really it is a 2 bedroom plus a study. That is a lot of space! We move in September First

It is strange to have been so lucky to get MORE space than we had in Houston. It is true we are paying more than Houston rent, but I didn’t see ANYPLACE in New York or New Jersey that we could have feesibly lived in for the low rent of Houston. It is so strange how you pay more to have less in New York. However, I’ve been surpisingly lucky!