Friday, December 31, 2004

I saw this coming, and it kind of pisses me off. The part that pisses me off is not the result, but the headline and its ilk. Cal got screwed out of a Rose Bowl bid, and then they did not show up for the Holiday Bowl. That's kind of a shame, and they should be a little bit embarrassed. However, in no way, shape or form does it lessen the fact that they should have been in the Rose Bowl. Football is a game where emotion matters. Playing a lousy game when you don't really want to be there isn't much of an indicator of where you actually deserved to be.

Of course, I shouldn't have been surprised when Cal got leapfrogged, because it means three of the last four years a Pac 10 team has been squeezed in the BCS. Three years ago Oregon was denied a shot at Miami in favor of a joke of a Nebraska team, and last year the consensus #1 Trojans were denied a shot at the Orange Bowl.

When the Rose Bowl joined the BCS, it was to protect its member conferences from being unjustly shut out of the national title picture. Hopefully, the Rose Bowl committee has learned from this cycle and pulls out of the BCS when the contract comes up for renewal, because the Pac 10's interests are not being protected by the system as it stands.

Of course, there's a really super-ultra-easy solution to this that has occurred to everyone else who runs a sports league, including every other NCAA sport and Division 1AA, 2 and 3 football, but that would apparently be too radical, and that's a rant for another day.

Happy New Year's everybody! (Texas and Utah football fans excepted)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Having complained a lot about the cold lately in Michigan and then Pennsylvania, I decided to do something about it and relocate for the week to, er, um, New Hampshire. Somewhere two paper cut-outs are clinking glasses and shouting, "Brilliant!" [BTW, if you badly type that URL, you end up in Utah.]

The agenda for the week is to relax and watch a million billion movies (give or take). So far this week I've seen Closer and Meet The Fockers, and while I recommend either one wholeheartedly, the latter is certainly good for laughs--a little too obvious, low-brow, and over the top with the "Focker" jokes. You see, it almost sound like "fucker", which is funny, kinda, the first six times or so. Closer is a complex relationship movie about a dysfunction love parallelogram. Your enjoyment of the movie will not rest so much on suspension of disbelief but suspension of bitterness: your enjoyment will wax or wane depending on how much you can sympathize with Jude Law for not being able to fully commit to Julia Roberts or Natalie Portman. Let's just say my sympathy was scant, and leave it at that. Of the two, I much preferred Clive Owen. I did like the fact that there are four people and no clear good guy or bad guy--though it's also clear that Law is the lead of the film, so maybe he was the good guy and I just didn't buy it.

We also tried to the the Kill Bill 1 and 2 back-to-back blowout last night, but Tim's DVD player conked out about 2/3rds of the way through 1. So we're off to Best Buy later to continue the week of escaping reality.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

DEK's house is 40 minutes from my parents' house. I know this well--I've made the trip many times, and it's very consistent. Tonight, however, after watching the Steelers with Bill and family, followed by a rousing series of Combat games on DEK's new PS2 Atari 2600 emulator (favorites: invisible tanks and the big lumbering jet vs. 3 biplanes), I stumbled outside to find that some nasty weather had snuck up on us. I left at 6:40 so I'd be home for NFL PrimeTime with 10 minutes to spare. I arrived home, in fact, at 8:55, 3 fishtails later. I don't really feel like recounting the horrors; suffice it to say that (somehow) my car and I are both in one piece (you know, each) and my nerves have been soothed with ham and fruitcake.

In substantially cheerier news, the 21st Annual Trite Trophy was handed out today, my favorite annual sports column Hands Down. Without giving too much away, let's just say Mr. Collier probably read many accounts of the rationale of the Champ Bailey trade this off-season.

Friday, December 24, 2004

I did my Christmas shopping today--not that I had much choice since I was preparing for or taking finals right up until two days ago, and yesterday I drove across the frozen tundra of SE Michigan and Northern Ohio; I'm not saying it snowed a lot Wednesday night in Ann Arbor, but I needed to strap tennis racquets to my shoes to get to my car.

Last night I was in Wal-Mart and saw for $9.99 the special edition DVD of Killer Klowns From Outer Space, with audio commentary and blooper reel. I knew I should grab it for my brother, but I decided against it. When I was all but done shopping today, I decided I needed to go back and get it. I went to a different Wal-Mart with DEK, looking specifically for that single item. We found it (for $7.50--woohoo!), and headed to the register.

The woman behind the register engaged me in standard issue Wal-Mart banter, but asked the one specific question that cuold make me think: "Did you find everything you were looking for OK today?" What could I say? My response:

"Strangely, yes."

I think Kidder may have sprained his pons processing the scene.

And now we bring you this annual Holiday Classic from December 2002:

PTA 1980

On a weekday autumn night in 1980 a 37-year-old mother, her 5-year-old son having just entered the first grade, went to her first and last PTA meeting.

On the agenda for that evening, the Association for the elementary school was to decide how to spend a $1,000 surplus that it had somehow accumulated. In truth, the meeting would not so much “decide” as it would ratify a proposal on the table to buy $1 Christmas ornaments for each of the 900-plus students enrolled in grades K-6. Only the lone aforementioned mother stood up with an alternate suggestion: wouldn’t it be nice, she proposed, if we could use this surplus for something educational, such as a computer. This na├»ve proposal met not merely opposition, but open hostility, and the proposer was literally booed back to her seat, while the main proponent of the ornament plan proclaimed her a Scrooge, while saying that for some of the poor rural district’s students, the ornament might be the only present they received that Christmas. It is not known whether any other parents or teachers secretly approved of the dissident proposal, but if they did they kept their heterodoxy to themselves.

For the 23rd consecutive year, the Wright family 2002 Christmas decorations include a flat, perhaps 6-inch tall, gold-colored ornament depicting two pajama’ed young children hanging stockings on a mantle. The annual placement of this ornament has long been accompanied by a chuckle, with mock teary outbursts of, “This might be the only present some poor kids might get this year,” and with laughing speculation that such poor kids might have actually been happier with no presents as all. This ritual was repeated for nearly 20 years, but in the last few years the placing of the ornament has gone by without much comment (though new visitors are still guaranteed to hear the whole tale); still, however, the now 27-year-old recipient of this $1 gift still insists on having the ornament on the tree, and insists on placing it himself. And at some point the recipient came to realize that, were he able to save just one of the family’s traditional decorations, he would have little trouble choosing the long-derided bauble with which he will forever associate his mother’s fruitless defiance—a cheap gold-plated ornament with the prominent inscription: “P.T.A. – 1980.”

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Done, done, and done. Woot. In honor of completing my first semester, here's my list of 10 random things I lhave learned in law school (the out-of-class edition):

  1. The difference between a show-er and a grow-er.
  2. One cool thing about hanging out with 23-year-olds is that they might have Ivy League degrees or have taught sick children in Tibet, but if you tell them you woke up at 6 a.m., they'll look at you like you discovered penicillin just as you completed the Ironman Triathlon.
  3. Even Ken is vincible.
  4. Calling it goulash doesn't mean it isn't yesterday's meatballs, which were two days ago's hamburgers.
  5. Strangely, I really like goulash.
  6. If an event isn't particularly special, it's just a vaganza.
  7. Being one of a small number of people who throw a 100-pound girl into the air 175 times in a hour and a half is incredibly draining.
  8. Rimless glasses are a good call.
  10. In a pinch, I can still mosh.

Monday, December 20, 2004

We take our exams on this software called Bluebook, which allows us to type them anonymously and strictly timed, then save to disk/CD/Flash. We are allowed in no way, shape or form to identify ourselves on these exams, except by a six character ID that is "E" followed by five digits (e.g. E55555).

Our exams are 4 hours long, and most people take the whole time, or at least within a minute or so. Very few people leave early, because in the interest of quietude, if you finish once the 10-minute warning has been called you are not allowed to get up and leave; thus if you leave early, you have finished or given up substantially early. Leaving early is apparently a social stigma signifying failure, over-confidence, or at least cockiness. It's an odd norm, but it is reinforced by relentless mocking, both covert and overt (as are many law school norms). One person in particular has received quite a ribbing in our section for leaving Property at least 15 minutes early.

So while I don't anticipate finishing Contracts with more than fleeting proofread time to spare at best, if I do somehow get done with time to spare, Professor Soper will probably receive an exam with several extra pages reading:

All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl.
All work and no play makes E55555 a dull boy/girl....

I got up yesterday morning to see a beautiful blue sky and thought it was going to be a beautiful day. Then I got an IM that basically said, "What does 4 degrees mean?" It turns out it means that it is absolutely freaking horribly cold, especially when windy. I checked and it told me it was "fair and breezy, 4 degrees, high of 11." I'm confused about the "fair" part--I don't think there's anything fair about it. In fact, it's patently unfair.

So I would implore all of you, if you have any spare degrees lying around that you aren't using, please send them to Ann Arbor. We don't have enough to meet our needs, and we could really use them.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

(Those of you who come here for light-hearted may want to skip this one; don't worry, the law and quiz-bowl in-jokes fill flow again next time.)

I'm supposed to be studying Contracts this weekend, but that really hasn't happened so much yet. I feel like I already have a little bit of a leg up though, because I feel like if nothing else I've learned a lot this semester about the mechanics of rejection.

I don't know if it's living in a dorm setting, or being in a tight-knit community of smart people in their 20s or what, but ever since I got here I've been in a kind of hormonal overdrive. Some people assure me that it's pretty natural in such a setting to form a new crush every several days, usually fairly shallow and prone to wane quickly in favor of a new distraction. That's certainly been my experience. I really haven't been through anything like it since undergrad, and possibly not even then since this is much more of an "everybody knows everybody" environment. The dynamics are really complex.

Anyway, nothing has come of these little crushes. I've experienced the gamut--sometimes the waning, sometimes constructive rejection (I've stopped short due to signals or evidence of significant other, been beaten to the punch, drifted into friendship, or alternately have just pussed out of ever saying anything), and then there have been several actual rejections. The rejection have been of the soft, "let's be friends" variety, but then again when you're living, eating, working, etc. with the same people every day, you don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter.

The latest rejection came last night, and it was as gentle and possibly even more so than the rest. My investment in it certainly wasn't any deeper than the rest, or at least I didn't think so. But right now I'm a wreck. I cried myself to sleep, I woke up and have been misty-eyed all morning, and I really don't know what to do with myself. I don't think that I'm actually taking this one harder so much as I am having a cumulative reaction to a low level of pain spread out over a period of time that feels like it's being focused by a magnifying glass on this particular moment, and my psyche is the poor black ant on the ground below. Maybe it's the end of semester, maybe it's the related exam pressure, maybe it's the December gloom and frost, maybe it's the summer job pressure and growing ding pile, maybe it's that big 3-oh looming early in the new year, maybe I had more invested in this one than I thought I did, and maybe it's some combination of some or all of these and/or any number of things I haven't even thought of.

I think part of it, though, is pure and simple despair as to where I go from here. Stupidity has always been my favorite demotivator poster: "Quitters never win, winners never quit, but those who never win and never quit are idiots." That's kind of how I feel right now--stupid, or as if I should stop being stupid. But I'm not one to give up on life, so I guess I'll just carry on. But I don't feel as though I'm learning from my mistakes--thus the whole part about not knowing how to proceed. I feel like I've got three maybe four things going from me on this front: I'm funny, smart, nice, and maybe you want to throw in tall. That's it, that's the list. If I can't make it happen with those things, I can't make it happen. But the list has failed me. The list is a good way to regularly hear, "let's be friends". I've got friends. I've got friends all over the country, and lots of them right here. What I don't have is someone to curl up with on cold Michigan nights, just like I didn't have someone to curl up with on cold Pittsburgh nights, and just like I didn't have someone to curl up with when the air conditioner was running in overdrive in L.A. I need one of those. I don't know how to get one of those. I need help. Help.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Two finals now down, one to go. Nothing much new to report--more studying (the next few days), more drinking (last night), more fluctuating between making an ass out of myself and flailing about cluelessly with women (ditto), more Big Ben heroics. Oh, and many more ding letters. Contracts is 8 to noon Wednesday, followed by packing, drinking, sleeping, and driving home Thursday. Break plans are still up in the air, wholly dependent on the interview situation and whether or not there are any more forthcoming.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Your random property factoid of the moment from an outline that's been circulating around our section:

Under US law, (Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987) US asserts title to any abandoned shipwreck embedded in submerged lands of a state & simultaneously transfers its title to the state in which the wreck is located.

Just thought you'd like to know...

At Yahoo's suggestion, I just watched the "Portland, Oregon" video from the Loretta Lynn/Jack White album. (BTW, what are the odds of their simultaneously being famous people named Jack White and Jack Black? Strange, no?) The music, I'll admit, is very good. The video, however, has an extraordinarily creepy Sextette feel to it. Listen; but you might want to minimize the window.

Yesterday I tried to organize a mass evening study break movie trip. I learned a couple of things in the process--(1) law students talk a good study-break game but will often choose study over break when it comes down to it, and (2) the email for something like that should go out more than 4 hours in advance.

Still, eight of us descended on the Goodrich Quality 16 for Hollywood's latest retread. I have to say up front that I'm a fan of both Ocean's 11 and Ocean's 11. The original is a little bit campy--particularly the very ending--but I really like the old-school Vegas feel, the interaction between the stars, and Mr. Roper in a supporting role. I like the remake for similar reasons--the contrast of new Vegas is interesting to me, I think the big stars interact in cool ways, and it's fun to see the "I'm Mr. Galley-week-its," "You mean Dr. Galacawicz," "Yes I am" Guy in a supporting role.

Ocean's 12 is kind of a mess really. There are too many little stories going on, and then there's a whole misdirection thing that just seems like a big-ol' cheat. On the other hand, though, it was a fun distraction movie--the play between the stars is really cute, there are two great cameos by actors playing themselves, one great Hollywood joke that must be cracking people up in L.A. theaters even though I'm the only one who laughed out loud here (one of the cameo guys talking about the Kabbala), and a professional stylish tone that kept me engaged. And we all pretty much agreed that Catherine Zeta-Jones has never looked this good before (nor, for that matter, has Julia Roberts looked worse, but that seemed to be intentional).

I would give Ocean's 12 about 2 and 3/4 stars--3 and 1/2 for tone, style, and comic relief, 2 stars for the actual story.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, for the most awesomest (double superlative, I know, but so worth it!) piano footage ever, go here. You won't regret it, unless you have the Level 1-2 music or the underwater level music stuck in your head all day. And even then, no regrets I'd say. If you don't watch the whole thing, at least skip ahead periodically to get the different songs, which change roughly every minute.

  1. One down. I don't know how well I did, but I don't think I could have done better. Like Kellen Winslow in that crazy playoff game in Miami, I left it all on the field. Where that puts me on the curve is a mystery, but since I did my best I can't really complain no matter where I end up.
  2. It's a Pittsburgh interview.

Monday, December 13, 2004

T-minus 10 hours and counting until my first exam. The first two exams both have "random" written all over them--the second one because we're not real sure what to expect, the first because we do know what to expect--carnage. The gist of discussion seems to be everyone pretty much gets everything, which would be fine if it weren't for that whole business about the curve. Issue-spotting will be essential; the people who spot a little more or a little less are going to find themselves on the extremes of the bell curve. Good times. I just hope my answer doesn't fall under the truly lame attempt doctrine*.

On the upside, I got my first interview for the summer today. Yay! Some people don't even get an interview, so I've at least overcome the first hurdle on my path toward summer solvency.

(*Our professor's term for a criminal attempt that is not punished because it had no conceivable chance of succeeding--such as not charging someone for attempted murder who hires a voodoo priest to perform a ritual that will kill their neighbor. And all you voodoo priests should go after the professor, not me, for this, because it's his example and because under this doctrine I didn't just attempt to solicit you to kill him. OK, clearly time for bed.)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Today was a long afternoon of playing spider solitaire preparing my Crim Law notes at Starbucks. I feel like I'm pretty well prepared for my first two finals (Crim and Property) and not at all for my last one (Contracts). The problem: they are 3 curved exams, and 95 people feel pretty good about Crim and Property and not so much about Contracts.

Before I came here and then especially during orientation, people kept saying that living in a law dorm would be nice until finals approached, and then stress would cascade and everyone would be crazy. There's something to that, though I think doing most of my studying in coffee shops rather than the library helps. Mostly, social time has just dropped off the radar screen; all semester doors were open, people would hang out, work would be dropped to go get a beer or 17. Now it's a quick lunch or dinner and then back to the library. I think this is one place where grad school has helped me from a mental preparedness standpoint--a four-hour essay exam is less scary when you've been through Ph.D. exams, and I'm also conscious of my own limitations when it comes to diminishing returns and studying. Of course, the other possibility is I'm delusional and setting myself up for a big fall by not working 18 hours a day; I guess we'll find out when grades come out in February.

Oh, the other news is that I got my first ding letter today; one down, hopefully fewer than 36 to go.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Two of the classic cases in eminent domain jurisprudence are Hadacheck v. Sebastian and Penn Central RR v. City of New York. In Hadacheck a guy running a brick factory on the outskirts of L.A. was forced to shut it down as the city grew toward him. He got no compensation--because nuisance regulation isn't considered a taking--even though he was there first, and even though his property lost 87% of its value. In Penn Central, the railroad was prevented from putting a 50-story office building on top of Grand Central Station because of historical preservation regulation, and one of the questions was whether transferable development rights (TDRs) could be adequate compensation for a taking. TDRs basically allow you to transfer your right to build to another property you own, allowing you to build higher than you otherwise would on a different property. Also, Baba O'Reilly is the song by The Who commonly known as Teenage Wasteland.

Why do I tell you all of this? Well, because we know by now that one of my classic study avoidance tools is song adaptation...

Out here in Grand Cent.
We fought for more rent
We'd get it back with a big building
But we had to fight
They said it's a blight
TDR's our consolation

Don't sue
They'll get you too
They’re only taking my land

City took my land
No bricks like I planned
Put out the fire
For neighbors on my doorstep
The court said OK
Took seven-eighths away
Cause I am a nuisance
I don't even get, like, 4 cents

Taking my land
They're only taking my land
They're all takings!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

A couple of notes on Sideways, which I watched Saturday night:

  1. I have rarely gone into a movie with such starkly contrasting word-of-mouth-based expectations. I had read nothing about the movie, and had heard from two people who had seen it: one said 4 stars, the other walked out an hour in out of boredom.
  2. I leaned much more toward the former, though I will admit to enjoying the second hour more.
  3. I defend the scene that induced the walkout (the Madsen and Giamatti characters describing why they like the particular wines they like) on the basis that it's a rare moment in an American movie where two characters make a love connection on a purely intellectual level.
  4. It's good to see Thomas Haden Church is out of witness protection. He shows incredible range, playing a washed-up TV actor. It's at least as impressive as Giamatti playing a balding guy.
  5. There is some fantastic physical comedy in that second half--most notably the scene at the cheesy winery and the scene where Church goes back for his wallet. I'll say no more.
  6. Best use of a motorcycle helmet. Ever.
  7. If I sit in the front row of the top section of the State Theater--the row with double the legroom of any other row--I can almost get through a two-hour movie pain-free. Almost.
  8. Yes, I'm absolutely stalling vis-a-vis Contracts outlining, and thank you for asking.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a candidate to host a network late-night talk show or alternately the King of Siam, wonder no longer.

Also, I hate to relink to something 80% of you probably saw elsewhere, but this gem shows us some holiday specials that could've (arguably should've) been. (Thanks Mike.)

A wise man once said, I don't want to work. I just want to bang on the drum all day. That's the way I'm feeling right now, except for the drum part. I'm in the midst of a two-hour break between Contracts and Criminal, which is for all intents and purposes my last class of the semester. (Tomorrow's the last day for the semester, but it's all review sessions.) Generally, this window has been productive time for me. This week, it just makes me want to sleep.

Yesterday I was bummed after Contracts because I didn't want to go outside through the cold rain back to my room, and I figured if I went there I'd fall asleep. Then I remembered I didn't have my books for Crim, so I had to go. When I got there, I considered my options, and stumbled upon two brilliant ones. I made two cups of Sugar Plum Spice tea from the lifetime supply I ordered last November, and decided to watch a movie on my computer.

I needed a DVD that was in my collection and under 100 minutes long. I found one of those, in the classic "movie I liked too much to pass up for $5 but not enough to ever watch" film Singles. Good music, attractive people, a different angst than mine--it was fabulous. It wasn't even nearly as dated as I expected it to be, save for monochrome computer monitors, Matt Dillon's hair and the fact that Campbell Scott was the leading man. It was strange to just sit and watch for an hour and a half, and then I remembered that it's something normal people do all the time. It's incredible how I've adapted to a TV-free living environment, when I never thought I'd be able to live without terrific cable/DirecTV.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

I can't get across anything here besides: Dude, WTF?!?!?! Scroll down to May 28 and click the song link for the holiday cheer I'm talking about.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

I've spent a ridiculous amount of my day on that most quintessentially 1L task, creating course outlines. For the last 5.5 hours, for instance, I've been sitting at Espresso Royale (where I spend many, many hours most days) creating Criminal Law-related prose (some writing, some cut-and-pasting) that looks like this:

Involuntary manslaughter: the unintentional, reckless [or negligent] killing of a human being.

Negligent homicide: the unintentional, negligent killing of a human being.

Bold-underlined text indicates a definition. Red text indicates something that is only true in common-law jurisdictions. Violet text indicates something is true in both common-law and Model Penal Code jurisdictions. Blue (you guessed it!) means something is only true in Model Penal Code jurisdictions. If, lord help you, you wanted to see what all this is leading to, here are some of our professor's previous exams. (Note: "some of our professor's previous exams," contrary to what I may have said, is not only true in Model Penal Code jurisdictions.)

In other news--oh wait, it's 11 days until my first final and 19 days until my last one; there is no other news.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I post this link to Uni Watch, in deference to the Johnnie LeMaster reference.

[UPDATE #2: Go here for Dave's much, much more in-depth take on these events.]

[UPDATE: It's "Curt" (or possibly "Kurt"). Apologies to all Bills for defaming your name, and to Mr. as Intuition for forgetting yours, even though you're still a train wreck of a performer.]

For the second time this semester tonight, I went to The Ark to see my buddy Dave on open mike night. From my two Ark open mike experiences, I think I can safely extrapolate that you can expect the following:

  1. Numerous singer-songwriter types of various stripes from just starting out to touring regional artist, all with some modicum of talent.
  2. At least one fairly butch lesbian who sings little girl voice singer-songwriter love songs devoid of third-person singular pronouns.
  3. One act from Neptune.
The first time we went, the act from Neptune was an older, vaguely-Willie-Nelson-looking gentleman who only sang one song, but did it in this wacky soprano/falsetto style. The verses were these ridiculous little stories about living in different places ("I used to live, in a one-bedroom apartment...", "I used to live, on the streets of Chicago") and then having them busted up by the cops or some other outside agency. The chorus was simply, "IIIIII'mmmm, just a little bit lonely." We were kind of chuckling through the song, but actually loving it.

I forget tonight's Neptune guy's first name, but it was followed by "as Intuition". Let's call him "Bill as Intuition" for the sake of discussion. The first bad sign (beyond the name) was that when Bill as Intuition approached the stage, he was carrying an iPod which was to be his accompaniment. (Everyone else used between one and three of: piano, guitar, harmonica.) The sound people were not sure how to deal with this at first, so they interposed the set of gender-neutral shaved-head-girl love songs, during which they talked over the iPod setup. They got it ready for Bill as Intuition to go next.

I can only describe Bill as Intuition's singing style as, "if Neil Dimaond and Jon Secada had a kid, except untalented and full of himself." OK, the full of himself wasn't just singing style, but also the fact that he kept bitching about the volume of the music (too low), and he had that slicked-straight-back hair style that only works for network news anchors and Mafioso. It just makes everybody else look like an annoying greasy guy, and frankly doesn't even work all that well for the anchors and mob. The songs were your standard issue cheesy pop ballads with backing that would generously be described as electronica, and ungenerously described as more over-produced than E.T. the Atari game. Also, the lyrics of the second song mostly consisted of "SLEEPWALKER!" repeated approximately 4,406 times.

At the end of his set, Bill as Intuition bitched about the volume of the backing music one more time, and then mentioned that he has made a video of the second song. If we can find this anywhere, trust me we will share--it promises to be comedy gold, if not comedy platinum.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

I just signed and sealed 37 envelopes to go out first thing in the morning. December 1 is the first day that first-year law students can contact prospective employers about summer jobs, and the general buzz seems to be that that means apply on December 1 if you want a job with a firm. I'm sending 29 letters to LA firms and 8 to Pittsburgh ones; this is not due to any preference of any sort beyond the fact that (1) I want a job, (2) there is basically no chance of getting a job outside of markets you have direct connections to, and (3) those 37 are basically the ones in those two cities which at least claim to hire 1Ls. So I'll scatter resumes and cover letters to the wind, hope for some response, and then get back to preparing for finals; with any luck, I'll have some interviews to keep me busy over the holidays.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

I did the quick turnaround trip this week--left at 1 p.m. Wednesday for Beallsville, arrived around 7, and then left again at 11 a.m. Friday, went shopping with Dad and then to his favorite Chinese buffet , and was back in Ann Arbor by 5:30. I was just awake enough to go out to Leopold's and kick ass at Taboo, along with my lovely and talented partner.

Today was a heavy work day, but this evening I went to a group to Blue Nile here in town. If you're here and thinking about it, go. It certainly did nothing to dispell my belief that Ethiopian is the most underrated of our ethnic cuisines. It's a curious set-up too, but wonderful if you're an option paralysis sufferer like I am--your table decides on vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and they bring out a huge plate that has a little bit of everything, all you can eat. For about $20 a head, we ate brilliantly well, mostly on pretty healthy fare to boot. It's not my favorite Ethiopian place, but it will do quite nicely. It's also pleasantly communal to share food family style with no utensils; you use the injera bread to scoop--it's surprisingly efficient.

Is it a bad sign that I printed down the practice Contracts exam I was going to take today, read through it and immediately said, OK that's not happening? (Yes, that was rhetorical.) I do have a month before that exam, but there's definitely some work to be done. At least Property and Criminal are looking substantially less scary. I even got some Property outlining done today. Yay!

Speaking of "Yay!", it looks like I'm going to be 3 for 3 in alma maters (and future alma maters) getting BCS bids. If only I could afford to spend the money to get to one or more of those fine Sunbelt towns for New Year's. Sigh.

Friday, November 26, 2004

On this day in history, two years and (according to my blogger profile) 103,987 words ago, The Daily(?) Beallsvonian (later Deeper Shade of Seoul, later still Watching Myself Gavotte) was born. I have come incredibly far in two years, a quick browse at those early posts reminds me. I've moved across the country, twice, gotten semi-gainful employment, gotten into law school, and perhaps most importantly gotten out of that damn coal mine. I've even managed to go months and months without a gratuitous reference to Mauritania, such as how it's being destroyed by locusts, or how Francois Mitterand's son has been dodging taxes there.


Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The holy grilled cheese sandwich featuring the Virgin Mary (or, possibly, Julianne Moore from Far From Heaven) has been sold. Please resume your daily lives.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Not that you asked, but since I'm not in the mood to start typing up Contracts notes just yet, here are 20 songs I've been enjoying the hell out of lately:

  1. Pretty Pink Ribbon -- Cake
  2. Pop Goes The World -- Men Without Hats
  3. The Likes Of You Again -- Flogging Molly
  4. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised -- Gil-Scott Heron
  5. She -- Green Day
  6. Mr. Brightside -- The Killers
  7. What Do All The People Know? -- The Monroes
  8. Murder (Or a Heart Attack) -- Old 97s
  9. Walking In The Rain -- Oran "Juice" Jones
  10. Stranger -- Presidents of the United States of America
  11. Teenage Dirtbag -- Wheatus
  12. Underwear -- Pulp
  13. Sleep Walk -- Santo & Johnny
  14. The Luck of the Irish -- Shonen Knife
  15. Hard To Explain -- The Strokes
  16. New York City -- They Might Be Giants
  17. Gun -- Uncle Tupelo
  18. Rock Me Gently -- Andy Kim
  19. Black Girls -- Violent Femmes
  20. Buddy Holly -- Weezer

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sherwood v. Walker this week would've been just another case in the semester's rush of cases, except for the memorable first line:

Replevin for a cow.

For those of you who don't have deep knolwedge of archaic legal procedure, replevin is basically a lawsuit for specific performance for a chattel--i.e., I want the thing, rather than what the thing is worth. This contrasts with a trover, which is a suit for money.

I remember this, because we encountered these terms back in September, and I made up the following rhyme to the tune of a Pittsburgh's-Own-Tommy James song:

Replevin and trover
Over and over
Object's replevin;
Damages, trover

You might look at this as a clever little rhyme to remember something useful; you'd be correct, if needing to know what "replevin" or "trover" means had been useful on any law school exam since 1927.

Mostly, though, the point here is that I decided "Replevin for a Cow" is the most poetic phrase I've ever heard (or at least this side of "cellar door"), so I had to do something with it. (Go to the link above to follow along.)

Replevin for a Cow

Because they thought Rose 2 was barren
She was a big bargain, but wherein
It turned out she's with calf
The court took the deal back;
The mutual mistake, it lied therein.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Wednesday night I ended up playing and finishing second in the law school Trivial Pursuit tournament at Leopold's. We played in two-person teams, in a strange format involving playing a full game, then a written round, and then reading questions team-by-team to the finalists.

I was reminded that while I've always been into trivia games, I've never been that big of a Trivial Pursuit fan, at least not since getting into organized quiz-bowl. As someone who played a lot of quiz-bowl and who spent a lot of time micro-analyzing things, I have some thoughts on why.

Trivia games (and trivia questions, for that matter) can range on a wide spectrum from impossibly hard to absurdly easy. But the distinctions are more complicated than that. I would argue that any trivia game has two competing factors that determine what kind of outcome you want: do you want to reward knowing more obscure things ("knowing"), or do you want to reward figuring out more commonly known things ("reckoning")? Answering that question tells you a lot about the game. For instance, think about the difference between a pun-laced $200 Jeopardy question and a straightforward $2000 question. The former probably involves more reckoning, and the latter probably requires mostly just knowing.

Academic quiz-bowl has always been more about knowing than reckoning. Even College Bowl Inc. provides a lot of questions whose answers are well outside the scope of pure common knowledge. More difficult variations on quiz-bowl go even further in being about knowing rather than reckoning, to the point where I believe average people could go through a whole quiz-bowl game without hearing one non-popular culture question whose answer they knew.

Trivial Pursuit, as far as I can tell, has played with this ratio over the course of its many editions. The original couple of Genus editions had some pretty deep knowledge--I remember being amazed at my mother's in-depth knowledge of the love affairs of 1940s Hollywood, for instance, which seemed to be plumbed at great depth. Young Player's went in a different direction, making the questions generally easier, and also bringing in more reckoning-type questions.

At the tournament Wednesday, we played our prelim game on the Millenium Edition, and the finals used questions from Volume 6. I think I can say that in Millenium, Trivial Pursuit took the reckoning questions much further than I've seen in their editions before, and the reckoning itself wasn't as hard. The number of "giveaway nouns" in questions went up dramatically: think "This pacifist" and imagine anywhere the game could take that question that didn't end up back at Gandhi. You can't. The rest of the words might as well not have even been there. The number of this type of question--where no one is going to know the answer to the question actually posed, but most people will be able to guess right based on heavy contextual clues--almost took Millenium out of the realm of "trivia game" and into some other sort of puzzle game.

In Volume 6, they're definitely come back a bit from the precipice that was Millenium; most of the questions in the finals required you to know a little something and not just reckon from context.

I think the proper reckoning/knowing ratio for a good trivia game is a highly subjective thing; most people would never want to play a game with the level of knowledge required in quiz-bowl, because most people just don't have that kind of factual knowledge. On the other hand, many quiz-bowl people disdain reckoning questions, except insofar as they have to choose from a small set of answers they know that may fit the early clues to a question.

For me, CBI Regionals was always just about right--a fair amount of factual knowledge required to do well, some other analytical thinking skills useful if you want to do really well. NTN also has a nice ratio, because the questions generally require some knowledge, but because they are multiple choice, there's also a reckoning between answers aspect. Trivial Pursuit and harder versions of academic quiz-bowl are too far away from my ideal point for me to want to play them regularly; I enjoy them on occasion, but would probably get irritated with them if those occasions came more than about once a year.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Flying Justice Wins 6-33 Moral Victory
ANN ARBOR [AP] [INS]: Flying Justice improved to a moral 3-0 last night, taking a 6-33 tilt from Okayplayers at Mitchell Field. With Earl Riskey's 42-0 win over the Dewey Decimators, Flying Justice is now, like all the other teams, in the flag football IM playoffs.
Team captain Jordan Adler said at a post-game press conference, "I'm real proud of these guys. We achieved moral victory over a tough team that didn't even have all that many girls on it." Adler also emphasized that the team required "fewer than 25 total stitches" as a result of the game.
The team's task was made more difficult by the defection of a number of key players to attend a lecture by noted orgy-enthusiast and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Left with just nine players, the team was dealt an insurmountable blow when Kyle Walther went down with observers described as, "Ewww, man, are you all right?" and which was later diagnosed as "a cleat to the face." Following the injury, receiver/safety Dave Alles, in his best Strong Bad voice, described the team as, "DEPLETED!"
Quarterback Tom McNulty hooked up with receiver Dan Cousino for Flying Justice's lone score. He then looked around to make sure no one got the idea from the phrase, "hooked up."
Flying Justice fell to 1-2 in the much less important "actual wins and losses" statistic.
Flying Justice will be preparing for this weekend's playoff game by talking about how much they should really get together and practice, and then reading about contracts instead.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Ever wonder what didn't happen on this day in history? Well, now you can find out. (Link via Green Gourd) Some very funny stuff here, especially for history dweebs such as myself.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

It started with a simple question (no, not, "Would you eat the moon if it were made of ribs?"): In countries where they have eliminated their lowest currency bill, what is the economic effect at strip clubs? Is there a lot less tipping, making it less lucrative, or an equal amount of tipping with higher bill amounts, making it more lucrative? This should have been one of those fun speculative debates that one has with one's fellow law students over dinner.

But then I came back from the men's room and found out that everyone had realized we were 45 minutes away from impirical evidence in the form of Windsor, Ontario. In the name of research, we had to go.

The evening was remarkably sedate for a border run designed to go straight to places to drink, but I should report our findings, of which there were three:

  1. One possibility is tipping with the loony, but that just didn't work very well
  2. Others tipped with 5 "dollar" bills, and they seemed to be rewarded with somewhat more extensive attention than might be otherwise expected.
  3. Finally, since we never got more than about 5 blocks from the border, the most common option should have occurred to us: most people tipped with $1 bills. Duh.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Two issues that arise from my late night trying to finish my major writing assignment of the semester, the Legal Practice open memo:

  1. How exactly does one create a citation for the proposition, "There are no cases that say x?"
  2. How gutsy do you have to be to sue a newspaper for libel for publishing a story saying that you sexually abused your stepdaughter 30 to 50 times, on the grounds that you only sexually abused her 8 times? (No, it didn't even get to trial, in case you were wondering.)

Monday, November 08, 2004

In case anyone else was wondering when the most important event of any holiday season falls this year, it's December 1, 8 p.m., on CBS.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

An inspirational story from the "Where Are They Now?" file, Steve Courson, the anti-Strzelczyk.

Also another interesting story from today's Post-Gazette, about the 1979 Steelers and how many of them continued to live in the Pittsburgh area after retirement, a trend which the article suggests was more common back in the day, especially among successful teams:

"I was in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, and a lot of those guys [from the 1970s teams] were still there," [Hall of Fame LB Jack] Ham said. "I think in Oakland, a lot of those guys are in jail, so they would still be close."

Saturday, November 06, 2004

More weird music selections, including a cover of this blog's theme song, as performed for some reason by Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Don't say I didn't warn you. It also has my favorite bringing in a relief pitcher music. And if you ever wondered what an Eminem/Scott Joplin collaboration would sound like, wonder no more.

UPDATE: The site doesn't allow direct links to sound files, so to find the clips referenced above, go to the "weird music" link, and use Find in Page to go to "odd", "puberty", and "ragtime" respectively.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Quick story that was my personal "Professor Joke of the Year," but which may or may not translate into print:

Yesterday in criminal law we were talking about intoxication defenses. (Short, short version: Not bloody likely in most cases.) There are some exceedingly rare cases, though, of involuntary intoxication, which can be a decent defense. One possibility for involuntary intoxication is that you thought you were taking something else but you actually took an intoxicant. There is a 1915 case, People v. Penman (sadly, with no Google presence, until now--271 Ill. 82, 110 N.E. 894 for those with Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis access), where a guy was sold "breath perfumers" that turned out to be cocaine tablets. High on these tablets, he got into an argument about a car he had agreed to buy and then reneged on, had an exchange of insults (including, according to the opinion, 'You long-legged giraffe, you will have to take it,'), and then went nuts and killed the guy. It turns out he should have been entitled to a temporary insanity defense because of his involuntary intoxication. (This is 10 times more detail than the prof gave; thank you legal research tools!)

So after briefly telling us about Penman, the professor says he likes to refer to this as the "curiously strong breath mints case".

Perhaps you had to be there...

Anyone else think they should've gone with Texas Hold 'Em? Hell, ESPN2 probably would've put it on in prime time.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

This week's theme is coping. I'm trying to cope with:

  • A nagging cold
  • Tuesday's unpleasantness
  • Wednesday's double contracts session, making up Tuesday cancellation
  • A large looming Legal Practice memo
  • Giddy Steeler success
  • Continued awkwardness dealing with women qua women
  • Continued annoying use of obscure prepositions such as "qua"
  • Cold rain, my least favorite weather
  • The start of summer job search season

As anticipated, law school turns hectic after Halloween and Election Day. If people and/or writing outlets get neglected in the meantime, my apologies.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

So, um, wow.

I don't think I've ever been at a game that could quite compare to yesterday's rivalry comeback super-mega excellent Braylon Edwards-fest. I was at a 53-52 Pitt-Temple suckfest where Pitt came back from 19 down, but that was mostly about incompetence on both sides. This was good teams, though, and great players making great plays.

Standing on steel bleachers for four and a half hours is exhausting. It's even more so when you spend much of the final hour hoisting crowd surfers--both the standard pushing up variety (Mullet Man's ex visiting from Jersey, hoisted for each point after each score, which accumulates very quickly in overtime), and the passing from row 1 to the top of the stadium variety. We passed through section 32 a person in a lobster costume and a person in a chicken costume, the latter twice.

So if I looked tired today, it's because I passed a lobster and a chicken yesterday. That'll take some wind out of your sails.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

El Testator takes away Chris' freedom, with the help of the ever-present beer straw. Posted by Hello

El Testator poses with'80s jogger dude. Note the brilliant beer straw solution (as first posited by Norm Peterson) for dealing with the small mouth hole. Posted by Hello

Apparently, when I blog while extraordinarily drunk, the following things happen:

  • The self-pity gets ratcheted up. Slightly.
  • The distinction between commas and periods goes out the window.
  • The stream-of-consciousness level stays pretty much the same, which is to say, hey, look over there!
  • I can still form full sentences. Mostly.
  • I abbreviate a whole lot more.
  • I can still make the links work.

All good to know...

So here I am, sitting at home after the law school Halloween party. There were some good mitigating factors: at least 8 people did not know who I was (hint: there aren't THAT many 300-pounders in the law school), at least 8 people asked if the temporary tattoos were real (no, but after tonight I'm tempted to make them so), and at least 8 people took embarrassing pictures of me that they will no doubt email and that I will no doubt post. OTOH, here I am at the end of the night, home alone as always. I've been meaning to post more about this, and maybe I'll get time to soon, The costume, BTW, was a Mexican wrestler ("El Testator"), and in addition to the Los Straitjackets mask, I bought some temporary tattoos, spiked glove and wristband, and an evil bandanna. for around the neck. It's probably my most elaborate costume since mom made me this incredible Orko in 6th grade. Also cool is that I finally have the biceps to carry off evil-looking temp tattoos w/o looking like a total moron.

Last night I laid down to take a nap at about 8 p.m. and woke up at 7:30 a.m.; funny what a screwed up sleep schedule (often filled w/ lacking) will do to you,

The political section of today's entry is provided via Ms. LaSalle, through our mutual friend Jeetander, and basically discusses why our current president is a stupid head who should be voted out. Jeetander was soberer when he wrote his bit, though, so it's more eloquent and whatnot. My contribution ends up simply being that I'm driving voters to the polls all day on Tuesday; hopefully it will help contribute to the most important political victory of our lifetimes. For those of you who know me, you must realize just how important this is in that it has actually made me overcome the apathy and do something on Tuesday; no mean feat.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Actual conversation among law students at a bar within the past week:
LS1: Is it kind of odd, maybe self-stereotyping that the Women's Law Student Association is holding a bake sale as a fund-raiser?
LS2: I can go you one better than that.
LS1: Oh?
LS2: The Black LSA is having a date auction; yes, they're auctioning people!

I bring this up only because it sparked in my own mind one of my favorite jokes that only I get, which I thought I'd explain here in case I ever make it. I watched a whole lot of Superfriends as a kid, and I have a very distinct memory of one episode with Darkseid, the lame-o last season villain. The basic premise was that there was some auction bringing together all the various bad guys from across the universe to bid on WMDs of one sort or another (not that they called them that, but, you know), and the big item at the end was some color of kryptonite (I'm not enough of a geek to keep my kryptonites straight) that would take away Superman's powers forever.

So Darkseid shows up at this auction, and he's clearly the lord-god-king bad guy, and no one's messing with him. When the kryptonite comes up for bid, the enthuasiastic auctioneer suggests that the bidding for such a rare item should begin at 100 million bleans. At this point Darkseid pipes up for the first time, in his super-deep evil voice, and says, "ONE BLEAN". All the other bad guys and the nervous auctioneer are too intimidated to say anything at this point.

For some reason, this has always stuck with me, and so whenever there is a situation that involves jumping in with a ridiculously low figure for some goods or services, I always (at least in my own head) come in with a bid of ONE BLEAN!

(IIRC, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and maybe Batman infiltrated the auction as bad guys from some ice planet or something and ended up overbidding Darkseid to the shock and dismay of all, then getting discovered, then sneaking the kryptonite away so Superman could come in and kick some ass; or maybe it all backfired and Superman ended up getting delorted, and all hell broke loose and evil reigned supreme. I don't really remember, but it's beside the point anyway.)

Monday, October 25, 2004

Today's case-related wackiness: We're reading a Property case on implied warranty of habitability, which is basically the idea that if you rent a residential property that has serious code violations, you can stay and withhold rent in proportion with how badly the violations diminish the value of the property. This replaced constructive eviction, where you could only withhold rent if you also abandoned the premises.

Anyway, the case we have for explaining this involves a horrific slumlord who refused to fix locks, windows, electrical outlets, raw sewage in the basement--just a bad bad bad landlord in every way. The court talks about how in our modern urban society, most rentals are not farmlands (where the old doctrines developed), but urban residential properties with tenants who can't be expected to take on all the maintenance of apartments themselves, etc.

So, you're wondering, where's the wacky part? Well, the modern, urban society they discuss, with slumlords running all over the place, is freakin' Rutland, Vermont circa 1974.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Obviously, I'm not counting games where a team I actually root for wins. Apart from those, however, given my deep-seated hatred for JoePa, this may be my favorite football result ever.

Friday, October 22, 2004

It's funny, you spend a couple of years typing out some of your more random thoughts for your own edification and with the hope of amusing 100 25 maybe 5 of your friends, and at some point along the line you forget that you're actually publishing for anyone who happens to wander by, and you're actually, in essence, publishing to the world. So you get burned a little bit when you forget that a little too much, and start typing out things that really aren't for general consumption--not out of malice, but just because sometimes you don't think things through--and then parts of that world take you up on your invitation to read what you've written. And thanks to the magic of google and archiving and spiders and whatnot there's really no way to take back those things that you put out there, so you throw up your hands, take your whackings where they're due, say you're sorry even if you have to do it without really saying you're sorry, and you move on with the understanding that you'll be more careful after that, for your sake and others' sake too.

Yeah, it's kinda like that.

Sometimes in Property you have to read a sentence like, "As stated in complainants' brief, the liability of defendant to complainants depends upon whether the transfer of the leasehold interest in the premises from Rogers is an assignment of the lease or a sublease."

But sometimes in Property, you get to read a sentence such as, "Like the parties here, after Joe Piscopo and his wife married in 1973, they focused on one goal -- the facilitation of his rise to stardom."

So it pretty much all evens out in the end.

(Dukeminier & Krier, Property, 5th ed. p. 486, 413 respectively, for the morbidly curious.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Some things I have learned in the last 48 hours or so:

  1. You can call it something else, but wherever you go, the DMV is still the DMV. I went to change my car insurance yesterday, which turned into changing my insurance, driver's license, and plates, which turned into only the first two because I apparently lost my title in the move. Super. And though the customers at the "Secretary of State" (i.e. DMV) here didn't look as eager to die as those in L.A. always did, the wait was still long and soul-sucking.
  2. Car insurance in Ann Arbor is about half the price of car insurance in L.A., for better coverage.
  3. If you impersonate your twin brother and have sex with his girlfriend under the false pretense that you are actually him, you have not committed rape. Substitute the word "wife" for "girlfriend", and you have. Go figure. (Every day in classes I see more and more practical examples of what all this "defense of marriage" nonsense actually encompasses rather than some bullshit about "sanctity"--a million legal things change, small and large, when people are married.)
  4. It is possible for someone who managed to enroll at a top 10 law school to say something as cavalier as, "she's a feminist," as a full rebuttal to an argument presented in the casebook. People were almost too stunned to be offended.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Average Mulder may be slightly overstating the case. Very. Slightly.

I always had some confidence during today's game, because Vinny Testaverde was prominently involved, and I knew we could expect Something Stupid from him at some point. We got it. After that, it was some old-fashioned Steeler football, pounding it down to the goal line in the last few minutes, and Jerome rumbling in for the winning score. Big Ben continues to roll; not much else to say there.

A few observations from the basement:

  1. I am so overboard on Big Ben that I briefly suggested we put him in on the last play for Hail Mary defense. The rest of the crowd pointed out you may not want to expose your franchise QB that way. Good point by them.
  2. Seattle did that thing I hate, where they were down by 10 inside a minute left, they get down to the 20 yard line, and they don't go for the field goal. Instead, they run out the clock trying for the TD. If you kick, you have a chance to recover an onside kick and try some long passes. If you run the clock down to almost nothing getting the TD, you don't have time to get the ball back and get into FG range.
  3. I don't know if Duce Staley is a smart man, but the peanut gallery suggested today that the Steelers should have a dumb guy RB who's not tall, so he could be nicknamed The Short Bus.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

If you need something to check three times per day, or at some other interval if you are more or less concerned with November 2nd than I am, I strongly recommend the Current Electoral Vote Predictor which currently has neither candidate over 270.

I helped put the F back in Freedom last night. I was highly entertained; things were overwrought, but you should expect that from a Parker/Stone production. The Mr. Mestophiles joke just about knocked me out of my chair, but I won't ruin it for you here.

After the movie, a bunch of us went to karaoke night at Mitch's. I had a tough lead-in, as one of the girls in our group did the new official most popular song at UM football games, Living on a Prayer. (A few weeks ago the band played it at halftime, and about 60,000 people sang along with the chorus; they've been playing it as quarter music since then.) She also had the distinct (some might say "unfair," in karaoke) advantage of actual singing ability.

However, I put my Mad Skillz on display with a 6-minute version of Rapper's Delight, which included both the Superman and the "ugly food that stanks" verses. No one who saw it would deny that I have, at worst, the skillz to pay most of the billz.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Property is definitively my favorite class right now. Contracts is hard and weirdly abstract in unfun ways. Criminal is straightforward and apparently easy, and our professor's pretty good, except he does my least favorite classroom game: guess the word I'm thinking. "C'mon, you can do it, what is it, what am I thinking, rhymes with schmintent, c'mon..." (while 80% of us are trying to telepath [or, alternately, IM] to the person on the spot, "SAY INTENT RIGHT NOW OR I'LL HUNT YOU DEAD!!").

But Property is cool. Even when we're not learning about geese and foxes and adverse possession (property is quite literally theft), we're learning this bizarre old-fangled stuff about estates, remainders, fee simple, and conveying property generally. One of my favorites is that there's a conditional estate called a "fee simple subject to a condition subsequent." If we hadn't renamed just a few weeks ago, this space would now be called "Subject to a Condition Subsequent," which is one of the best turns of phrase to describe the human condition I've ever heard.

The bummer, though, is the Rule Against Perpetuities. Basically, weird future contingent interests disappear if they don't succeed or fail within 21 years of the death of someone alive at the time of the will. I find this upsetting, because I was starting to hope I could carve out a practice as the lawyer representing people who show up 300 years down the line with the other half of some ring (or a birthmark), entitling them to reclaim Blackacre from the Bed Bath and Beyond that was built on its old site. So I'm going to start lobbying to get a Rule For Perpetuities.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Charles Nelson Reilly on Joe's recent obsession with writing about Ann Arbor bars nobody else cares about. Posted by Hello

The last two days had a weird bender-ish quality to them. (No, Craig and Mike, not a Bender-ish) quality. Due to certain Thursday and Friday things, I felt by mid-Friday afternoon that I needed to start early, so I finagled a guy one floor down into walking over to Dominick's. Dominick's is an outdoor cafe style bar, nice open patio in the back, that is seasonal and is a popular law school first stop because it's very nearby, its open all day and closes at 10, and sangria flows pretty fast and pretty cheap. Also, if you go to Dominick's you can pretty much count on running into other law students.

So we went and ended up sitting with this table of 5-6 other 1Ls, some of whom I knew a little bit, because they're in my section. (I'll talk about the section thing another day. Short version, we share most of our classes. Also key detail: I knew them a little, downstairs guy knew them not at all.) A few things resulted from this. One was my first trip to the dining hall drunk, for dinner. Two was an invite to a debate party. Three (indirect result) was that at said dinner, some people said, "Hey, do you want to go to Dominick's with us?" So more sangria was in order.

Then I cabbed it over to the debate party, where downstairs guy had already arrived, and was the only GOP person in the room. The night is slightly blurry, but by shortly after midnight only GOP man, our hostess, and myself were left. Not awkward. At all. It became clear that I was a third wheel, but she kept encouraging me to stay, either out of misplaced politeness or some other bizarro motive. Eventually, I took the lack of hint and she called me a cab.

The next morning I went to an apartment tailgate for the Little Brown Jug game, and our hostess from the previous night had begged off for want of sleep. Yeah.

The game was nerve-wracking, both because it was close and we were mostly down, and because the scoreboard kept flashing, "Temple 16, Pitt 6," but all's well that ends well I suppose. At the game a Berkeley grad I'm friends with said there would be various Cal and USC fans/grads gathering at a sports bar for the big game of the day. Again nerve-wracking, but 3 for 3.

The night's plans were a small wine-and-movie gathering off-campus, that turned into a wine-and-whine party, but I was fine with that since I'd already seen the movie that we didn't end up watching. It was the type of grown up party where people baked things and put garnishes from Trader Joe's on things. After the prior 24 hours, it was probably the type of quiet night I really needed. As much fun as I'm having in and around the dorm, I do feel like I need to start hanging out with the grown-ups more at some point.

Friday, October 08, 2004

In response to Mr. Frankowitz's comments:

  1. Why would you get the idea that I have any self-respect?
  2. I would have to own property in order to take out the 2nd mortgage I'd need to drink regularly at the places you suggested.
  3. When lots of law students are hanging out regularly at Rick's and Mitch's, Charley's looks pretty damn respectable by comparison.
  4. OK, yes, I've spent my fair share of time at Rick's and Mitch's too. So what?

The concert last night was a blast. I hadn't been to a full-on mosh pit type of event in several years, and while I wouldn't want to do it too regularly, it was fun in a very visceral kind of way. As Flogging Molly started, we were right in the middle of the pit, and everybody was cheering hard, pumping fists, etc. Then, about three nanosconds after the opening chord, I had been pushed about 20 feet without trying at all. The first two songs were crazy like that--the whole floor was being thrown to and fro at random. I went down twice, but was none the worse for wear. Actually, one of the coolest things about the show was mosh pit etiquette--as soon as someone started to go down, 5 to 10 people would instantly get to work surrounding them to keep other people away, and helping them back up. And then, of course, going right back to beating the hell out of them.

After the early madness, we made our way a little more toward the fringes, where the action was a little less heavy: a lot of pushing people back into the pit, but not so much with the getting pushed. After that, there was just a lot of jumping around, a little bit of dancing, and a lot of noise. It was hot, sweaty, smelly, and loud--in short, a great show, and about as opposite from law school as you could imagine. The only downer was that they didn't play the Lake Tanganyika song, but I'm over it. Mostly.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Sorry, Cees. Better luck next year.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Cheap joke of the week (and a true story): This is the picture I put on the cover of my Legal Practice binder. Posted by Hello

In case the brief Dutch literature lesson wasn't quite your bag, I present (courtesy of the excellent blog little.yellow.different) the Speak and Spell emulator. Knock yourselves out.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

The Nobel Prizes are being announced here this week with Lit on Thursday, so once again DEK and I will be rooting for Cees Nooteboom (apparently pronounced Sace Note-uh-bome). Go Cees!

Our Cees thing started several years ago when I posed a simple puzzler: Name a famous Dutch author. Not counting non-literary types (say, Erasmus), it's basically impossible. You can't even look at the Nobel laureate list, which has some pretty obscure names, because no Dutch have ever won one, even though just about no other European country of any size can make that claim. So I went looking for a Dutch author. I found Multatuli, who can be summarized as Multatuli:Indonesia::Harriet Beecher Stowe:U.S. slave states, but who's not exactly a household name. We also asked the most literary-minded quiz-bowl people we knew, and they came up with nothing.

Then I came upon a Nooteboom book at a used book store (I can't even tell you which one, but it was <100 pages), read it, thought it was pretty decent, and we looked him up. It turns out he's relatively big in Europe. So every year we wait for The Netherlands to finally know the honor and glory of the recognition that will come when Cees is one day anointed. The only question is, is 2004 the year? Find out Thursday.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Any suggestions for a drinking game for watching the VP debate tomorrow night?

In the room I watched last Thursday, here were some words that made us drink:
Bush: Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, flip-flop, nuke-you-ler, Crawford
Kerry: Vietnam, tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, North Korea

So far, I'm thinking the words "trial lawyer" and "Halliburton" will be prominently involved, but I need suggestions.

I just have a feeling tomorrow night will be excellent, if meaningless, theater. Kinda like Ionesco, except with fewer rhinoceri. I assume.

This just in!: USC fans are totally over it. I mean completely. Absolutely over it. I swear.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Some things that might be helpful in understanding the photo below:

  1. The picture and the actual bar trick itself were done by a fairly sloshed woman at the next table over from us at the bar last night. We were all very impressed, and we got her to email me the photographic evidence.
  2. If you can't quite make it out, she has balanced two toothpicks and two forks on a salt shaker. If this were the 17th century, we'd burn her as a witch for that (and, presumably, for the ability to transfer images via telephony, but that's a separate issue).
  3. I was probably extra amused because it was about 1:45 a.m., and marked the third consecutive night I was at a bar beyond last call, almost undoubtedly a first in my life.
  4. Mostly for Mr. Frankowitz's benefit: Good Time Charley's, Leopold's, and Good Time Charley's, respectively.
  5. Yes, apparently pictures taken from a Sprint PCS phone, especially in a bar, do look like still images from Swill.
  6. The individuals in the background are Usman, who is from Pakistan and who sits in front of me in Property surfing cricket scores, and some guy I met for the first time last night, which means according to law school protocol that I will not remember his name until we are introduced between 3 and 6 more times.

The coolest bar trick ever. Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

Sad news today in Steeler Nation.

I always liked Justin (first name easier to spell), because he was one of those guys who was drafted in a round that doesn't exist anymore (11th, in his case). I also thought it was cool that he went to the University of Maine and actually looked like a Black Bear. It is sad, though to see again what happens to a lot of NFL players once their careers end--here, Strzelczyk went kinda nuts, led cops on high speed chases, threw beer bottles out their car windows at 8 in the morning, and had previously had crazy gun issues. It's a little too reminiscent of Mike Webster's sad later years. Come to think of it, is this an NFL thing, or just a Steeler linemen thing?

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wild. Wonderful.

S'Anyway (oh wait, that's someone else), I guess I've finally gotten around to changing the name, and it's the name that was runner-up last year when I went with Deeper Shade. I've always thought that keeping a personal weblog on some level is an act of vanity, and the idea that you are living your life with one eye in the mirror must seem compelling to anyone in our post-modern times, particularly a blogger.

And if I just have to give it away, just go here...

Monday, September 27, 2004

Disturbingly detail-oriented readers may have noticed a new blogroll entry on the left, the first fellow blogger I have discovered here at law school, Bria. One of her recent posts is the funniest thing I've read online in a while, so enjoy. I particularly liked the word "shempery" and the phrase, "This one wasn't quite as well-planned as the flame thrower."

Also, while comparing amusing websites with said fellow blogger the other night, I was reminded that I hadn't been back to Real Ultimate Power in a long time, which was a horrible oversight on my part. The real find, though, was a link off of that site to The Ultrainteractive Kung Fu Remixer, a.k.a. make your own Bruce Lee movie. Warning: do not click on The Ultrainteractive Kung Fu Remixer unless you have copious free time to spend there right now. If you didn't make it to the warning before clicking through to The Ultrainteractive Kung Fu Remixer a few hours ago, my apologies.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Below is the result of several things:

  1. I went bowling the other night with a group, and someone brought a camera.
  2. That same night, I picked up my new glasses.
  3. In the intervening 96 hours, no one has noticed, and I'm bitter.
  4. I downloaded this new Blogger-related photo publishing tool, and it's kinda cool.

Me, bowling, in my new rimless specs. Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Ask and ye shall receive, apprarently. I found a fellow 1L at the Law Quad party last night who is a bigger Flogging Molly fan than I am, so we're going. Good times. Actually, not a fellow at all, so, you know, better times.

Friday, September 24, 2004

I've been listening quite a bit to Flogging Molly lately, and it turns out they're coming to Detroit in two weeks, on Thursday, October 7th. I'm desparately trying to find someone else who'd be interested in going; Craig sadly declined on the highly justifiable grounds that many of his students might be there, and that would be awkward. I'd loan the CD on request to anyone who wants to check them out. How can you not love a band with a song that contains a Lake Tanganyika reference?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Yesterday in Criminal we were talking about "strict liability" crimes, which are crimes requiring no mental state; these are rare, as you normally have to act recklessly, knowingly, or at least negligently to be convicted of a crime. The case involved a statutory rape where a 20-year-old mentally retarded man with an IQ of 52 had befriended this 13-year-old girl who had told him she was 16 (younger than 14 was the requirement of this particular statute), who invited him to climb in through her window one night, slept with him, and had his baby. This is obviously bad and all all-around, including as our professor pointed out, that the girl was also guilty of statutory rape under a different provision about having intercourse with the mentally or physically disabled. All I could think during this discussion, though, was BEST LOVELINE CALL EVER!!! Adam and Dr. Drew could have spent about three hours talking to this girl.

Meanwhile, in talking about a standard of behavior in Legal Practice today, the prof was discussing "outrageousness" and at one point said something about "really, really outrageous", to which I had to fight with my entire being to resist the urge to raise my hand and ask, "Truly, truly, truly outrageous?"

Oh, also, in Property one day I somehow managed to get this in my head:

"She bought
She brought it home
She's shopping property.
Shopping proper-ty-hee,
Shopping property yeah,
She's shopping prop-per-tee-hee-yeah..."

I don't know what the moral is here, beyond the idea that law school hasn't cured me of my me-ness, and in fact may actually be making it worse.

Oh, and on a sad note, I had to listen to this song today to honor the passing of a great, great man.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Lots of people seem to think the Steelers' season is over now that the Roethliswekljdiohjohjoihjugberger Era has begun early, or as I like to think of it, now that Big Ben has struck one. They may be right, but I'm cautiously optimistic. In a week where he wasn't practicing, was at least slightly injured, and was pressed into duty unexpectedly, he put up better statistics than Maddox, looked at least as comfortable in the pocket, avoided pressure effectively, occasionally actually stayed upright when someone touched him, and flashed an absolute cannon of an arm.

The INTs were bad, but no worse than 40-something Vinny T. and 30-something Jeff Garcia were exchanging all afternoon in Dallas. (Yes, I know comparisons to Vinny inspire no confidence, but still.) He also looked a lot better than either QB in the Cincy-Miami tilt, both of whom are touted, older than Ben, and knew they were starting. Give Ben some seasoning, mix with what looks like a pretty easy schedule, and see if the Steelers aren't going into Thanksgiving well within shouting distance of a playoff berth.

There are no guaranties in the NFL, but I really liked what I saw from Ben on Sunday.

Monday, September 20, 2004

My schedule is set up in a way so that I have 2-3-4-3-2 classes going Monday through Friday. It's not the greatest of symmetries, though I guess it's OK. It's a change from grad school, when 3 classes in a week was a very full load. Now, Property meets 5 times a week, Contracts 4, Criminal Law 3, and Legal Practice 2. Property starts my day at 11:15 every day, which is nice because I can get up at 7, snooze once or twice, walk over to the gym, get in my full workout, and be back with plenty of time to spare.

I've been trying something new at the gym over the last week. I've always done cardio and 4-to-7 lifts on a given day, and the cardio has always been recumbent stationary bike, which puts the least strain on my feet. But my feet haven't been acting up in a while, so I decided last Monday when the bikes were being a pain in the ass to try walking on the treadmill. It was fine, so I've been doing that instead of the bike. The tradeoff is that I burn more calories walking, but I also don't work my heart at quite the same rate. At this point, though, I'm willing to trade the calories, although I may have to work the bike in some days to get something of a cardio workout.

I don't know what to say about classes. I really enjoy Property, I don't mind Criminal, and Contracts is boring. I mean, I don't expect contracts not to be boring, but it's just something to get through. People in my section seem to have varying ideas about what classes they like better or worse, but there seems to be pretty universal agreement that Contracts is hardest.

Monday, September 13, 2004

One of the challenges of law school for me is to remember that I'm back to trying to learn the stuff in books, rather than trying to pick apart the books that I read, which is the grad school mode. Yet one more way grad school ruins you for life is to destroy your ability to read text for its face value rather than for its gaps, omissions, and other problems. Casebooks, on the other hand, and meant to be read, absorbed, digested, and spit back out. I'm still getting my head around it.

An almost contradictory problem comes when I read the cases themselves and the logic behind them. I'm kind of a Roland Barthes/death of the author guy who believes that a text is created by the interaction of words on the page with the reader, and not based on any authorial intent that we can speculate may have underlay the work at its creation. Decisions, however, often hinge on reading in the intent of authors, and it's just something I have to accept for the time being; next year I can take some classes with more of a critical, theoretical perspective.

The other major adjustment I'm making is back to dorm life and dining hall food. The dining hall food is actually about as good as institutional food gets; the Lawyer's Club has its own dining hall, so it's not as if we're sharing with undergrads. The biggest practical upshot, actually, is that I've radically increased my intake of things like fruits and vegetables; so radically, in fact, that I may be eating as many of them as the USDA and such people recommend, quite possibly for the first time in my life. And so far I'm doing at least OK at getting to the gym, so perhaps positive changes will being accruing again.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Five conditional things I've learned 48 hours into law school:

  1. If you're chasing a fox, you'd better kill the damn thing or some jerk will come along and shoot it instead. (or in haiku form here)
  2. If you drop your laptop bag (w/laptop inside) in such a way that you catch the strap at the last minute but much of the impact still lands firmly on your left second toe, you will truly learn about all the colors in the rainbow (because your toe will turn them).
  3. If everybody's nervous enough, you can actually go 15 minutes in a class discussion without bringing up race in discussing this case.
  4. If you make a joke that simultaneously requires recent exposure to ancient contracts law and chronic overexposure to NFL Films, it is possible some people won't get it. ("What we need is a seal here and a seal here.")
  5. If you can get through the reading, it will be OK.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I'm headed off to my first class soon. I've done all the reading, and I have 3 pages of typed notes, both on my computer and a printed copy. I'm not worried about the scramble to choose a seat for the semester, because I don't really care where I sit. I am pretty nervous in general, though. But I also know it's the type of nervous that is just based on delay, and not based on worry that I'm not capable. So I expect it to dissipate pretty quickly.

Oh, and for the desktop, I settled on this.

Monday, September 06, 2004

I needed a background picture for my new desktop. I couldn't get this to look right, so I went with an old standby. If anyone has any theories about what's actually going on here, I'd really really like to know.

Some quality odd music and some quality sports/law humor por your nistening peasure and reading enjoyment.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Here's my impression of a Michigan football game:

HAIL something something something
HAIL something something something

Actually, I know that da DA da DA da DA is "the champions of the West", but I can't say that for two reasons--I have some familiarity with American geography, and I still have some allegiance to this year's much more likely champions of the West. My impression of the team is they had better learn to cover punts and to get their intermediate passing game going, because not every opponent is going to commit stupid turnover after stupid turnover.

In other news, I am really tired of telling people who I am, where I'm from, and where I went to school; not coincidentally, I am also really tired of asking people who they are, where they're from, and where they went to school. But that's orientation for you. I will say I'm very happy with the 1L class--we seem to be bonding nicely as a group, and I think I'm making friends very quickly. Of course, once classes start on Tuesday, the real fun begins.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

OK, there's really no way to catch up at this point, so here's a brief summary and "snapshot" of each day since we last met here in the blogosphere:

8/17: Summary: Moved out, packed car with Tim, started driving, in Ehrenburg (Arizona) was shocked to find that truck stops are now WiFi hotspots, went to Arizona, saw Diamondbacks/Pirates, drove on to Flagstaff

Snapshot: At The BOB, they have a concession stand called "Taste of the Majors" which samples cuisine from other National League ballparks/cities. (Tim's observation: what National League East team, pray tell, is represented by New England clam chowder?) They also have a similarly themed sausage stand. I went to the sausage stand and got a Pittsburgh Stacker--a Primanti's-style sausage. You can't screw up a footlong sausage, so it was tasty, but it was a lousy attempt at Primanti's. The key fact about Primanti's sandwiches, for non 'Burghers, is that they are served with cole slaw and fries on the sandwich, as was the Stacker. But Primanti's uses fresh-cut fries and a very stringy cole slaw, while the Stacker used crappy frozen fries, a very creamy cole slaw and, for some reason, Cheez.

8/18 Summary: Woke up in lovely-as-always Flagstaff, found the only Starbucks in Flagstaff, drove to almost New Mexico, took roughly 25-mile detour to drive on decommissioned Devil's Highway, got Sonic tater tots and beverages, got to Chris's house, searched all of Albuquerque and failed to find Isotope paraphrenalia, had New Mexican food, had beers, slept

Snapshot: We had our beers at this place with an open patio, which was really nice except that several times water would just fall out of the sky for minutes on end. Apparently outside of L.A. this happens periodically, as I've found pretty much every day since. Also, it was a brewpub with about 15 options shown on the menu by color, but the colors the waitress kept bringing us didn't even remotely match the descriptions.

8/19 Summary: Sometime in the middle of the night Tim concussed himself when he passed out from a headrush, said goodbye to Chris, drove, drove, went to the Big Texan, ate 6.9444% of the meat required for a free lunch, drove, drove, drove, ate at Sonic, drove, arrived in Rolla

Snapshot: When you drive 930 miles in a day, there's not much of a snapshot. We tried playing Perquackey in the car, but it turns out that was a lot safer in Wyoming, so it didn't last. Oh, but Frank Pastore is a god!

8/20 Summary: Went to Shoney's, overate, drove to St. Louis, found a Starbucks, found parking, went to Busch Stadium for day part of day/night doubleheader, went to International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum, drove to Rockford, played track 6 off POTUSA CD as we approached the city because that's precisely the kind of dork I am, collapsed at Rockford Howard Johnson's and alleged Convention Center.

Snapshot: It turns out that there were a lot of proto-bowling type of rituals in the medieval Catholic church, and the one singular quotation I will take away from this trip was: "Priests who failed to lead holy lives spend eternity bowling." We spent 2 hours there and could've spent three; the less said here the better.

8/21 Summary: Found the only Starbucks in Rockford, bought ridiculous book for travel at Barnes and Noble, drove to Madison, circumnavigated Madison on foot with the Infield-Harms, ate East African food and Wisconsin ice cream, sat on Monona Terrace, drove to Greatest Starbucks In The World, ate at The Brat Stop in Kenosha, arrived at Alexis' in Chicago.

Snapshot: Three years ago, Tim and I drove from L.A. to Ann Arbor stopping at numerous baseball parks (and, thus, their associated cities) along the way. Then, as obviously now, we some of that time in search of Starbucks. The day we went to Milwaukee we had some time to kill, so we drove around downtown and stopped at a place in what I now know to be Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward. Inside we were shocked. They had put a Starbucks into a renovated old warehouse, with a beautiful fireplace, more comfy seating than any Starbucks I'd ever been to, and just a beautiful overall space. When we realized sometime last week that it would add at most half an hour for us to go from Madison to Chicago via Milwaukee rather than directly, we both knew exactly where we had to go. I got several of those short stories read, Tim got to tell the barista that he's been to Starbucks on three continents (and God knows how many states) but that this one was his favorite.

Oh, and I know it's a second snapshot, but if you're ever in Kenosha and are carni-/omnivorous, stop at the Brat Stop. Just trust me on this one.

8/22 Summary/Snapshot: The Answer Guy has already done the work on this one. (Just to be clear, Answer Guy Tim is not travelling partner Tim--we just met up at Alexis' via a series of coincidences.)

8/23 Summary: Left Chicago early but not before getting coffee you-know-where, drove across Michigan, deposited Tim at Detroit Metro, drove back to Ann Arbor, walked around town a bit, headed back to Mike's for the evening.

Snapshot: Pretty much a functional day, little to report.

8/24 Summary: Got up in a very lazy manner, hung around Mike's doing laundry, drove to campus, got Michigan ID and uniqname (jorite), got parking pass, fretted at proximity of parking to Law Quad (or, rather, lack thereof), sat in freakin' huge Ann Arbor Starbucks, went to MAP banquet, drove back to Mike's and did homework (sigh)

Snapshot: MAP is the Michigan Access Program, which we were told used to be the Minority (something) Program, but this year was opened up to all students. The idea was to show up a week before orientation, spend a few days getting to know peers and the school. Most people who showed up come from a historically underrepresented group of some sort--either racial, LBGT, older student, etc. I guess I'm #3. The program was open to all incoming students, but for the most part the traditional populations showed up.

At the banquet we went around the room and it was a little scary. A lot of introductions felt like, "Hi, I graduated from Harvard and Princeton, for the last two years I've been teaching kindergarten in an inner city and on an Indian reservation, and by night I've been doing investment banking. Now I'm here." I felt a little better after walking back to parking with people who said, "Yeah, I didn't want to get up there and say, I graduated from college, and now I work at a coffee shop."

8/25 and 8/26 Summary: Did homework at Starbucks, went to program, went out, went back to Mike's/hotel.

Snapshot: The Program was really outstanding. It was clear that everybody was smart and interested, but not over-the-top intense. Information spread through the days, so by the middle of Wednesday pretty much everyone had figured out their section, even though we don't register until next week. Mostly, the Program was social and allowed a group of realy interesting people to spend a couple of days getting to know one another.

At some point I discovered that lodging was free for the Program, which I had missed in the materials, so I managed to get myself moved into the hotel on Thursday so I could go out without having to drive afterwards. Around 8:30 the BYOB impromptu hotel party got going, and a couple guys showed up looking to go get something. I said I'd throw in, just bring me back whatever. They came back with 40s (pronounced: fo'-teez). So I had some vodka, some Olde English, transferred the party to Rick's bar across campus, had a Long Island Iced Tea and half a pitcher of beer, in that order. Just because I was hanging with 22-25 year olds does not mean I should've been drinking like a 19-year-old, but so be it. Somehow I staggered back to the hotel with some guidance (though, proudly, no physical assistance) at about 2:30, and I don't think I did anything too too stupid, at least nothing I remember or have heard about yet.

8/27 Summary: Woke up still drunk, drove to Law Quad, moved in, almost died, sat in on one session, took someone to airport, drove home

Snapshot: I showed up at around 8:20 for move-in. I was handed my keys, and then I got the big surprise. OK, to set the stage, look at this picture and this map of the Lawyer's Club and the Law Quad. From the picture, you can see that the building is basically 3 stories tall. From the map, you can see that the long block of University that much of the Club spans is broken up with a walkway.

What you don't see is that the walkway is actually an archway, designed in such a way that there are two, two-bedroom dorm rooms on the fourth floor and two on the fifth floor above the arch. I now have the privilege of being one of four Club residents with a fifth-floor walk-up. No elevator. During move-in, by the 8th trip up the stairs I thought I was going to die. On the plus side, I suppose it did sober me up. I'm actually kind of excited about it though; I told my folks I'll be disappointed if I'm not 30 pounds lighter when I come home over Christmas.

8/28 - 8/30 Summary: Bumming around Beallsville.

Tuesday I drive back to AA, Wednesday-Friday is orientation, Saturday is my first game at The Big House, and classes start the following Tuesday. Somewhere in all that, I'm going to find time to revamp this site, so stay tuned.