No, I didn't find some crazy new way to screw up the jump to Daylight Savings Time, I just wrote 10 a.m. down in my calendar long ago, for some unknown reason. I procure a paper copy of the bench memo and head across the street to Starbucks.
The barista is chatting to someone about Daylight Savings Time and the effect on the clientele: "These are the 8 o'clock people at 9 o'clock. Or maybe it's the pre-church crowd? But what do I know about church? I mean I've heard" -- sweeping gesture -- "of this deity" -- gesture -- but what do I know?"
There's an astrology column taped to that circular section of the counter where they present the coffee drinks. A man waiting for his latte scans the column and expresses pleasure that he's supposed to have a good day. He's a Virgo he tells us. The barista exclaims that, ooh, he's a Virgo, and an older woman, also waiting for a coffee, says that her son is a Virgo. I read the Virgo message and point out the introductory clause: "It says you're going to have a good day assuming you first complete your duties."
Over at the fixings stand, I see this:
"Restore yourself." Not -- as I think it would have read a few years back -- "Indulge yourself." "Restore yourself" is less hedonistic, a bit spiritual. He restoreth my soul. But what would you have to be if what restored you -- what brought you back to yourself -- was a vanilla sunshine cupcake and a macchiato crisscrossed with gooey chocolate? Macchiato means "stained," and this plays havoc with the religious imagery "restore" evokes for me. But then it's restore yourself. No deity -- you may have heard of one -- is going to restore you. It's up to you to restore yourself -- to your truly stained condition -- at Starbucks, where God seems rather alien -- something heard about one time -- but astrology belongs taped to the part of the place that is most like an altar, where the barista bestows the restorative liquid upon us.
The woman whose son is a Virgo comes over to sugar her coffee and asks me if I'm "with that gentleman," meaning the customer who liked his horoscope. She seems to have appreciated my humor, though in expressing her appreciation, she uses the word "assumptuous." I say no I'm not. "I don't know anything about what unperformed duties he might have." I imagine the alternate universe in which I am with that guy and I'm reading the introductory clause of his horoscope to needle him about his duties -- the undone things that stain his soul.
I find a seat. I read the bench memo and do the acrostic.
I scribble some notes on the blog post I plan to write. I make a note to connect the Starbucks material to a conversation I'd just had with a colleague of mine over in the Supreme Courtroom.
"You know there was a big controversy a few years back when Shirley Abrahamson used this room for an aerobics class."But the noon hour approaches. Time to get back to the Supreme Court.
"Oh, yeah, I vaguely remember that. Well, you can't have that. This is a temple of justice. But then, we do worship the body in this culture of ours. So maybe..."
The problem -- here's the PDF of the record on appeal -- is about a student group, a conservative religious group, that loses its state university funding because it excludes a gay student from membership. The university had conditioned the funding on the group's acceptance of a nondiscrimination policy. We judges try to ask a lot of hard questions to give the students the opportunity to show what they can do. Both teams do a fine job. The two young men who win -- they're from Washburn University School of Law -- can be seen, unblurred, in this picture I took when I first arrived at 10.
Rushing about so much she's a complete blur is Julia Ledbetter, the Moot Court boardmember in charge of the competition. Somewhat less blurred is my aforementioned colleague, the wonderful Stewart Macaulay.