Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Welcoming Anne

Anne joined our family on 10/22/09 @ 1:27 AM Pacific, about 30 minutes after we checked into the hospital. Once the time came to be born, she was in a hurry.

Anne @ Almost One Day Old

All are well and at home as Anne approaches one week old. 2½ year old big sister Katie has reacted predictably to this addition, with equal measures of cuteness and chaos.

Whereas shock and life-changing awe was the initial reaction to Katie's arrival back in 2007, Anne's arrival has been one juxtaposition after another:

It's the stark contrast between the needs of a newborn and the needs of a preschooler.

It's remembering how nervous we were when Katie wouldn't sleep or eat or was fussy versus our expectation now that these situations will pass, then return, only to pass again.

It's the suburban California setting that Anne has entered compared to the urban New York world that first greeted Katie.

The things that haven't changed?

Yep, we're still naming our daughters as if we have the full expectation that they may need to someday serve as the Queen of England (Anne Charlotte, meet Catherine Emily. I assure you that, should we someday have a boy, Æthelred is definitely a strong candidate for his name).

Yep, the flood of emotion at greeting a new life is unchanged. In addition to in love, in awe, overjoyed, enamored, and profoundly satisfied, I propose we coin a term to describe the emotional state of the parent of a newborn — Darwinish. "Oh very little one, I long to take care of you so that you might grow, thrive, and – should you so choose – someday pass on your (and my) heritable traits."

Yep, some part of me is still shocked that the 80+% of the human population that reproduces is largely able to cope with the demands of these little things. Looking at a newborn, you're immediately reminded of the frailty of human life. Looking at all the former newborns walking around you each day, you're constantly reminded that we are a resilient species.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I once had a boss who occasionally asked us to do things that we'd really rather not do. For example, he once asked my co-worker to fight a parking ticket for him.

I was reminded of this by a copyright case in which the Supreme Court will hear oral argument tomorrow, Reed Elsevier Inc., et al., v. Muchnik, et al. (08-103). As happens occasionally, the Court rejected the issues presented by the petition for certiorari and wrote its own instead. What is far more curious, however: all the parties are on the same side of the issue the Court decided to hear — they are all against the Second Circuit's ruling on it.

So the Court got Ohio State law professor Deborah Jones Merritt to argue that side. I can just imagine that phone call:


C.J. ROBERTS: Howdy Professor, this is John Roberts!

PROF. MERRITT: The Chief Justice?

C.J. ROBERTS: That's the one.

PROF. MERRITT: Oh, um, ah, hello your Honor. How may I help you?

C.J. ROBERTS: Well, see, we've got this case. We're thinking about granting a writ of certiorari, but, I'll be honest, these guys kinda missed the boat with their petition.

PROF. MERRITT: I see . . . . I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but couldn't you just deny the petition?

C.J. ROBERTS: Welllll, yeeaaaah, I suppose. But the case implicates a pretty important question they didn't raise.

PROF. MERRITT: That makes sense. Well, you're the Supreme Court! You can write the question yourselves, right?

C.J. ROBERTS: Exactly! That's what I keep telling everybody.

PROF. MERRITT: So what's the problem?

C.J. ROBERTS: Well, don't tell anyone, but we kinda want to reverse the Second Circuit.


C.J. ROBERTS: The problem is, all the parties want us to reverse the Second Circuit on our question, too.

PROF. MERRITT: Oh, that is tricky.

C.J. ROBERTS: So . . .


C.J. ROBERTS: Wouldja mind arguing the other side?

Just like my co-worker, who dutifully fought our boss's parking ticket, Professor Merritt couldn't bring herself to say no.

Good luck tomorrow, Professor!