Friday, February 25, 2005

Now that I'm officially on Spring Break!, I have a spare evening and so I thought I'd deliver my long-promised third lyrics quiz. The rules and guidelines:

  • These are randomly (sort of) chosen songs from the music on my computer.
  • No artists duplicated from quizzes 1 and 2, though there's one technicality there.
  • Because no artists are duplicated, the quiz skews towards artists for whom I have exactly one song on my computer.
  • Don't judge me.
  • If you have to satisfy your curiosity with a search engine, don't ruin it for everyone else.
  • Don't answer more than five until this has been up for at least 36 hours. Greg.
  • If you're looking for patterns, good freakin' luck.
  • Except that I did make sure this time that I would have had at least a good shot at all of them, so there aren't many deep album cuts, if any.
  • I'm not sure how frequently I'll be online over the next week, so don't panic if it takes me a while to update correct answers.
Good luck!

  1. “No more flippin' burgers, puttin' on my silly hat you know, I don't want that no more.” (Matt)
  2. “There he stood in the night, knowing what’s wrong from what’s right.” (Julie)
  3. “Maybe it's the way you touch me with the warmth of a sun; Maybe it's the way you smile, and I come all undone.” (Maribeth)
  4. “You've made me acknowledge the devil in me, I hope to God I'm talkin' metaphorically.” (Kristan)
  5. “So hold me, Mom, in your long arms. Your petrochemical arms. Your military arms. In your electronic arms.” (Julie)
  6. “Oh how she rocks, in Keds and tube socks, but she don’t know who I am.” (Kristan)
  7. “So I broke North with no delay, I heard she moved real far away; that was two years ago this May.” (Kristan)
  8. “The crowd roared as they started the race, ‘round the track they drove at a deadly pace.” (Greg/Brian)
  9. “Cause there's a million better bands with a million better songs, singers who can drum and singers who can sing.” (Greg)
  10. “Give me back my point of view 'cause I just can't think for you. I can hardly hear you say: What should I do?”
  11. “For days and nights they battled the Bantu to their knees, they killed to earn their living and to help out the Congolese.” (Julie)
  12. “I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in; I watched myself crawlin’ out as I was a-crawlin’ in.” (Bill)
  13. “Every time I wonder where the world went wrong, end up lying on my face going ‘ringy dingy ding dong.’ And every time I wonder if the world is right, end up in some disco dancin' all night.” (Matt)
  14. “I kind of like the Beatles, so I headed for Las Vegas only made it out to Needles.” (Brian)
  15. “When winter came, I just wanted to go; deep in the desert, I longed for the snow.”
  16. “It took a lot for you to not lose your faith in this world. I can't offer you proof, but you're going to face a moment of truth.” (Bill)
  17. “I even let you watch the shows you want to see because you married me, married me, married me.” (Kristan)
  18. “I can’t really help it if my tongue’s all tied in knots; jumping off a bridge, it’s just the farthest that I’ve ever been.” (Victoria)
  19. “No, I don't listen to their wasted lines; got my eyes wide open and I see the signs” (Greg) (Ullman, of course, off the the "You Broke My Heart in 17 Places" album)
  20. “Fawn, Jo and Tootsie are out on a wire; lettuce-toothed junkies all full of desire.”
  21. “Slowly learning that life is OK. Say after me: It's no better to be safe than sorry.” (Paul)
  22. “Yeah we'll show her what it's all about. We'll get her jacked up on some cheap champagne, we'll let the good times all roll out.”
  23. “He said he heard about a couple living in the USA, he said they traded in their baby for a Chevrolet.”
  24. “I've forgotten what food tastes like, the way it tastes right, the taste buds taste, right?”
  25. “God speed all the bakers at dawn, may they all cut their thumbs, and bleed into their buns 'till they melt away.”

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Is it a little weird that, drawing on my medical history field from back in the day, I could have instantly figured out that a particular case came from the period between the two World Wars? Here's the first line of my brief notes for said case:

"Defendant was convicted for robbery with a firearm twice and once for stealing chickens, and under Oklahoma’s Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act he was sentenced to sterilization."

Bad times. (BTW, the Supreme Court threw out the law in 1942--on the thin grounds that grand larceny counted as one of the three [actually, 2] strikes, but embezzlement [basically the same crime in a different setting] didn't count.)

Monday, February 21, 2005

I have mentioned before here that I don't believe in mourning famous people or people who die in large calamities because I don't see why we should care about them any more than we do about the multitudes who die anonymously every day.

With that said, I give you my single favorite passage in American literature (all ellipses and italics in original):

Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side when he sees the big red light behind him ... and then he will start apologizing, begging for mercy.

This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. The thing to do -- when you're running along about a hundred or so and you suddenly find a red-flashing CHP-tracker on your trail -- what you want to do then is accelerate. Never pull over with the first siren-howl. Mash it down and make the bastard chase you at speeds up to 120 all the way to the next exit. He will follow. But he won't know what to make of your blinker-signal that says you're about to turn right.

This is to let him know you're looking for a proper place to pull off and talk ... keep signalling and hope for an off-ramp, one of those uphill side-loops with a sign saying "Max Speed 25" ... and the trick, at this point, is to suddenly leave the freeway and take him into the chute at no less than a hundred miles an hour.

He will lock his brakes about the same time you lock yours, but it will take him a moment to realize that he's about to make a 180-degree turn at this speed ... but you will be ready for it, braced for the Gs and the fast heel-toe work, and with any luck at all you will have come to a complete stop off the road at the top of the turn and be standing beside your automobile by the time he catches up.

He will not be reasonable at first ... but no matter. Let him calm down. He will want the first word. Let him have it. His brain will be in a turmoil: he may begin jabbering, or even pull his gun. Let him unwind; keep smiling. The idea is to show him that you were always in total control of yourself and your vehicle -- while he lost control of everything.

It helps to have a police/press badge in your wallet when he calms down enough to ask for your license. I had one of these -- but I also had a can of Budweiser in my hand. Until that moment, I was unaware that I was holding it. I had felt totally on top of the situation ... but when I looked down and saw that little red/silver evidence-bomb in my hand, I knew I was fucked....

--From Chapter 12, "Hellish Speed...Grappling With the California Highway Patrol...Mano a Mano on Highway 61," Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, by Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Lawyers Club cafeteria is pretty good as far as institutional food goes, and in general I have no complaints. It can be, however, quirky. My favorite quirk is the propensity to try to make foods by adding unnecessary adjectives. When it comes to descriptors, the most ridiculous by leaps and bounds is "savory" tofu. Tofu may be many, many, many things; tofu is not, no matter how you slice it, savory.

Generally, though, the vestigial adjective is not a descriptor per se, but rather an apparently random geographic/ethnic qualifier, perhaps supposed to make our fare seem way more exotic than it is. Chicken noodle soup, boring; Pennsylvania Dutch chicken noodle soup, exotic. The worst offender, though, is a particular grouping of mixed vegetables that comes up from time to time. It consists of green beans, zucchini, and one or two other equally non-exotic vegetables. What do we call this delight? Scandanavian Blend. Add in some yellow squash and it magically morphs into Key West Blend. Perhaps the zucchini is particuarly evocative of Oslo and the yellow squash sets off one's gaydar, or perhaps the lesson is the whole human family is basically stuck with the same humdrum veggies.

Why did I think of posting this tonight? Probably because (as explained elsewhere) this has been the official year of wintry mix, which tonight translated into something between sleet and an icestorm this evening flowing straight out of the 6 inches of snow that fell all day. Wintry mix would be a tremendous overly flowery name for a really boring collection of mixed vegetables. Mostly, I would just like it if vegetables were the only mix I had to deal with for the rest of the winter.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

It's not every day you're watching a commercial and you're like, "Hey, I played quiz-bowl against that guy." And then the next commercial comes on and you say, "Hey, I played quiz-bowl against THAT guy." Not every day; but today. Dave is the very tall guy with William Hung in the Ask Jeeves commercial. This is even more fun than the "guess the block in Downtown LA in that commercial" game.

Friday, February 18, 2005

By popular request, I'm celebrating my 20,000th counter hit by removing my counter. Page loading should be faster. W00t.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

So this week the work really started to get crazy, partially just because we take a lot of credits this semester and partially because of a weird Perfect Storm of obligations that are law school related, but not class themselves. A few updates, points, etc.

1. I now have spring break plans. W00t! I'll be going to DC for about four days to visit Kristan and company, including a trip to the 9:30 Club to see Flogging Molly again. Following that I'll be spending three days in Miami, which will be state #46 for those of you counting at home.

2. One non-class commitment that has picked up is these weird-ass receptions law firms keep hosting for 1Ls. The gist is: we've hired for the summer, we didn't want you, but here's some free food and drinks so you'll consider us for your 2L summer. Last night there were two, including one at The Chop House, which rocked and of course was packed. Both firms thoughtfully had no representatives of any of their West Coast offices, so I don't really know any more than I did about working at either firm in the location where I would actually be working. (At the moment, I expect to apply to LA and SF offices, maybe LV too.) On the other hand, I do now have the unmistakable impression that at both firms your primary job is to travel around schmoozing with 1Ls, rather than billing some insane number of hours. Or at least that's what I think we're supposed to take away from these things.

3. So my extra class this term is a seminar, which was supposed to be a fun and easy way to go, but has turned out to be a fun and crushing amount of work way to go. I spent a surprisingly large chunk of this week reading 19th-century cases where a will was contested due to an unsound mind. As a service to the readers, here are some grounds on which you might have your will contested if you were a 19th-century denizen:

  • After your stroke you liked to pull down your pants and take a dump at the dinner table.
  • Your slaves talked back to you and you didn't say anything about it.
  • You tried to hit your shrewish wife in the head with a broom.
  • You were an 89-year-old woman who married a 55-year-old man (who you thought was a demigod) for the purpose of allowing him to do good works with your money.
  • Said 55-year-olds "good works" mostly consisted of sleeping around.
  • You took up with a woman beneath your station in life.
  • More importantly, you failed to burn the letters said woman sent you, with intimate details of your sex life, asking you for money, and telling you to get rid of your wife.
  • You believed that after death your soul would transfer into the body of a dog, so you prudently left everything to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
  • You drank and smoked. A lot.
  • You were perfectly normal in every aspect except for an intense delusional belief, unsusceptible to any contradiction, that your daughter was depraved and profligate, so you regularly tied her up to the bedpost and flogged her and disinherited her.
  • Believing that several relatives you wished to disinherit were living in your teeth, you had 14 of them (the teeth) extracted.
  • You believed you had the devil trapped in your fireplace.

In the interest of preventing heads from exploding, I will not reveal which of these did and which did not result in throwing out the will. You really don't want to know.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

I've always found that a really good way to overcompensate for feeling not so young anymore is to spend an afternoon sitting around listening to music that in all honesty you're not nearly hip enough to be listening to and enjoying. In that vein, I highly recommend Launch's Ted Leo & The Pharmacists fan station.

Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm sitting here torturing myself with the music on my Windows Media Player, specifically this, this, and this. The torture of the last one may not be so obvious; second half of the first verse.

I don't have any deep thoughts (or for that matter, Deep Thoughts) on this milestone day; the sun came up this morning (you know, to the extent it does at all in an Ann Arbor winter), and I assume it will come up again tomorrow morning, and life goes on. Many of my friends have hit 30 and lived to tell about it, so I have role models. I'm shaping up to have the biggest birthday celebration I've had in a long time tonight, and possibly the biggest I've ever had; after that, I can stop worrying about a number looming on the horizon (It's BIG...and ROUND!!!) and get back to doing what I do.

Oh, and thanks to Bria, I spent most of the last day of my 20s playing with this. Try to limit yourself to two hours at a sitting.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Thanks to Metafilter, I spent a decent chunk of today looking at unusual Wikipedia articles today. There's no doubt that Galambosianism was my favorite. The second paragraph is priceless, but the first paragraph is necessary background for making the second paragraph priceless.

Speaking of Metafilter, I'm totally creeped out by this. If you zoom all the way in, you'll notice a fork in the road on the south end of the map. There's one house on the left immediately north of the fork, south of another side street. That's my parents' house. Zooming out one notch gives you a pretty good sense of the town I grew up in.

Finally, again from the same site and branching off from the recent graffiti post, comes this site featuring street-level art from around the world. If you ever wondered what people spray paint on walls in Vancouver or Ljubljana, wonder no more.

Monday, February 07, 2005

TWIB Notes... (minus the TWIB)

[WARNING: The following may contain a really geeky joke involving both '80s New Wave music and grammar dweebery. Proceed at your own risk.]

  • Friday is Logan's Run Day, and at this point it's just gonna be a huge relief, because I'm tired of thinking and fretting about it. It is what it is. Once I wake up Saturday morning and the world is still on its axis, I'll be able to move on.
  • In law school we deal with a lot of hypotheticals, so here's one. Let's say, hypothetically of course, one happened to have recently been informed about a good new P2P program and one just happened to have made the decision to start using such a service on a limited basis to supplement the music on one's computer. Should one feel a little bit less bad about oneself ethically because one isn't so much taking money out of the pockets of cool new bands, as one is digging up weird stuff like Jimmy Osmond's "Long-Haired Lover From Liverpool," Scritti Politti's "Perfect Way," and Tom Lehrer's "New Math"?
  • If I ever take up a strange, OCD-ish, Bob Graham-like habit, it will probably be that I will start carrying around a little pad and writing down all the graffiti I see in public restrooms. I think it would be fascinating to do that for a couple of years and see what you ended up with--you know, over and above all the strange looks and possible citations for disturbing the peace.
  • Where do the Patriots go in the Pantheon? I'll say this: of the teams I really remember, which would start around 1983, I'd put them third for impressiveness behind the late-'80s 49ers and the 1985 Bears. The only thing that's been accomplished in the Super Bowl era that they haven't done yet is win 4 out of 6; I'm not saying that's the most impressive feat, I'm just saying it's the only one that (a) has been done, and (b) hasn't been done yet by them. If they win next year and become the first team to go 3 out of 4 and 4 out of 5, then they're the best team of the Super Bowl era, hands down.
  • The Lifelong Learning tax credit is my new best friend.
  • People talk about how it's harder to keep a team together in the free agency era, and no doubt that's true, but it cuts both ways. It also means that the best teams probably aren't as good as they used to be. This year's Steelers, Eagles, and Colts were all very good teams, but were also clearly flawed in their individual ways. I don't think you used to get teams this flawed with 15-1 and 13-3 records. That's why the Patriots run is both more and less impressive--and thus, in my mind, roughly on par with similar runs of other eras.
  • If a member of Scritti Politti put out a solo album, should it be released under the name "Scritto Politto"?
  • I like the laundromat style of doing laundry in parallel rather than in series, but when the dryers aren't running very well as was true here today, you're still doing laundry for a long, long time.
  • If I don't start paying more attention during my 8 a.m. class, I'm going to have to start calling it Sieve Pro.
  • Don't say you weren't warned...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

I have to admit to some level of apathy about the Super Bowl today, for one big obvious reason plus a lot of smaller ones. One problem, though, is that I still haven't decided who I'm pulling for in my heart of hearts. There are reasons for me to pull for or against each team:


  1. My default rule has been to cheer for the AFC, given the XIII-year streak from XIX-XXXII that has been overcome but certainly not matched.
  2. You can always pretend you had the second-best team when the team that beat you goes on to win it all.
  3. There are some really likable guys on this team: Vrabel, Vinatieri, Brown.
  4. It might extend the reign of the hoodie, a garment I've really been enjoying of late and want to remain acceptable to wear indefinitely.
  5. A lot of Philly fans are assholes; believe the hype.
  6. There isn't really a rivalry between Steelers and Eagles, but there's definitely a rivalry between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, dating back to at least the Whiskey Rebellion.
  7. It's chow-dah! I'll kill ya!

  1. My other default rule is to pull for the underdog.
  2. I hate dynasties in sports, and I love to see them derailed.
  3. Patriots, Red Sox, Patriots might make certain people permanently insufferable.
  4. My dad and uncle are Syracuse fans who would love to see McNabb get one. Also, the celebration might be outstanding--he may top the moonwalk.
  5. One of my favorite football memories that didn't involve a team I root for directly was in 1997, watching a Steeler game at Silky's in Squirrel Hill and then staying through the late game to help the Philly fans cheer against the Cowboys. That upset, with Troy Vincent(?) returning an interception over 100 yards to clinch the game, was arguably the beginning of the end for that Dallas team. Speaking of this, is Silky's the only Pittsburgh bar for out-of-town fans, being an Eagle bar?
  6. I'm totally in the school that says if Terrell Owens were a white guy he'd get the Brett Favre treatment as a transcendent talent instead of the Randy Moss treatment. Owens has a truly astonishing biography of overcoming adversity, but the reactionary sports media wants you to think he's an ass. I'd like to see him win.
  7. Philly fans may be assholes, but they're my kind of assholes, and part of me wants them to get their ring.
  8. Mmmm....Pat's and/or Geno's.
  9. I'd like to see just once someone talk about Andy Reid as a smart guy and a good guy without having to mention he's a fat guy. Really, it's true, you can be fat and also have other characteristics.
I'm almost tempted to put money on the game just so I care, but that probably won't happen. I suspect New England will win, probably by something like 30-21, but I hope it's a close game and fun to watch. I guess in the absence of a real rooting interest, that's the best I can hope for.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Just a few quick thoughts before Legal Practice.

  1. Is any formerly innocuous word now more annoying due to modern technology than "buffering".
  2. It was good to get confirmation that I wasn't seeing things many years ago when we drove past this.