July 31, 2003

The bad guy does some good

For reasons relating to technical incompetence, their we-don't-give-a-f**k-about-you attitude, and of course, the infamous browsing with frames patent, I *hate* SBC.

Note: I don't use the term hate lightly. I'm harboring serious acrimonious feelings towards that organization

But now, I find myself in their cheering section. In fact, I may just become a fan. If they're willing to fight the good fight against the DMCA on constitutional grounds... I can probably forgive their previous sins. Of course, the forgiveness is contingent on the SBC IP team keeping their ridiculousness in check.

And, with a hard look at the previous sentence, I'm not certain I'm going to be the best IP lawyer. I'm all for using the law to defend technological rights that actually belong to you. But that's pretty much where it ends for me. I don't think the patent system should be a big land grab where every company should take everything it can get, regardless of whether they actually invented the technology. I'm certain that this viewpoint will be a problem with some of my future clients. Oh well, I can only hope that there will be enough unslimy work to keep me busy.

July 30, 2003

The things that bind us

Mom promised that when I got to college I would meet more kids like me, and I wouldn't feel so alone. She was right, I met more, meaning some, who shared my interests and/or quirks. But I still felt pretty damn alone--I was grumpy at her for being wrong. During my tech career, I met still more people with some of my interests, but I became used to feeling alone. Now, I think I'd feel wacky if I didn't feel unique and alone.

However, one of the bad things about this is that it's been a rare occasion when someone I respected appreciated me for what I wanted to be the most appreciable parts of me.

In that vein, I am delighted to learn that Salam is a Gibson fan. Even more excited by the fact that they are mutual admirers.

Advice to future summer associates: If you end up at a firm that believes in working its summers pretty hard, watch the work that you accept towards the end of your stay. That cool project becomes much less cool when you are staying late to finish it before your time is up and missing plans with friends as a result.

I took on about 4 days too much work. With a week and a half to go, and only having worked one Saturday all summer, I'm in slightly over my head. The remainder of my time at the firm will be slammed. Hindsight...

July 28, 2003

Found Stuff

So, I was meandering around the student blawg space and stumbled across a few things worthy of mention.

1. Dylan goes to law school is a new blog from a technophile 1L2B--seems that we are quite prevalent.
2. Law Meme makes fun of student's ridiculous note about Eldred v Ashcroft. Generally, I don't like name-calling. But in this case... preach on brotha man.
3. Undeniable dilemma, another technophile newcomer rambles about the importance and difficulty of living your life for you, your loves, your future, today, and what not
4. Waddling Thunder discusses the need for blog discretion in the face of a possible google-collision between reality and the blogosphere on the monitor of a future employer.
5. Jeremy recently touched on the google-collision concern, as well.

As for #4 and #5, I think I'm glad I chose to go with my original instinct about relative blog anonyminity. Often, I'm jealous, because it does feel cowardly to state my opinions behind the green curtain.

It's particularly frustrating to watch my words when I know that it is almost impossible to write biographic content without somehow giving up my anonyminity to people who know me well. And, to anyone who really wants to figure out who you are, there are never enough disguises. But, I guess it's my hope that by monitoring the identifying data that I post, I won't find myself in a situation in a few years where I'll be forced to chose between my audience, history, and the level of honesty that I've chosen. I'm sure many a 1st ammendment scholar would complain about my self-censure, but I tend to think self-censure isn't always a bad thing.

Not telling Layla that her new yellow dress makes her look significantly larger than the old outfit that she wore yesterday, for example. I find that type of self-censure to be an excellent use of judgement, and in general, just a good thing. (patting self on the back...)

July 26, 2003

I Had Good Intentions

As a favor to a friend's company, I agreed to make a few quick edits to their website. What do you know? Qwest has some sort of block on their /htdocs directory so that uploaded files are not immediately published. So, I've been sitting on hold for 30+ minutes listening to upbeat jazz. I keep telling myself that it could be worse. It could be musac.

So, while I laugh at the lame situation I'm in, I'm reminded that while I do miss many things about my former employment, holding for a technical support monkey, and then dealing with the inevitable abuse that the monkey will deal out in order to make up for its technical ineptitude is not one of them. And yes, I'm aware that some technical support people are not monkeys. But, statistically speaking...

Perhaps the memory of sitting on hold right now and whatever ridiculousness ensues will serve me well when I'm dealing with the equivalent annoyances that law school will undoubtedly bring.

July 25, 2003

Where should I go to Law School?

Sua Sponte offers some heartfelt advice about going to the best school where you are accepted.

So, in contrast, I'd like to offer the my friend, C's, story...

C is a California native, a Cal grad (that's Berkeley for those of you who are confused), who recently got her JD from the Univeristy of Michigan. She applied everywhere and went there because it was the best school where she was accepted. She packed up her stuff, moved several thousand miles and spent the her 1L year suffering through the socratic method in addition to MAJOR depression due to the environment (good food? culture? what?), the weather (snow? ice? no sun? what?), and distance from her support network. Her mental and physical health suffered severely, her grades most likely did as well (although she still did quite well... type A that she is), her marriage took a serious beating due to the commute from her husband's job, and her relationships with friends and family, most of whom she was unable to see in person, were not as able to help her through this difficult period as she would have liked. She ended up as a visiting student at a MUCH lower ranked school for a year out of her law school journey to be able to make it through the experience with her sanity. Her advice to me was to consider ALL of the quality of life factors, both those during school, as well as those afterwards, when deciding where to go to school because she felt that she was living proof that the "go to the best school where you are accepted" adage can be horribly wrong. It can also saddle you with a very large chunk of debt if the "best" school is out of state or private.

As for myself, if my experience (albeit short) has shown me anything, contacts I made in business prior to deciding on going to law school will most likely affect my future legal career much more than the school that I choose to attend. Over the course of my summer, I've had the priviledge of working with over 40 attorneys from 4 differnent firms. Each one of them is their own story. Some of the most brilliant and successful attended schools of which I've never heard. I've met senior partners from all walks of the law school ranking system.

So, yes, everyone has heard the saying, "you go to the best school where you are accepted," and most people will assume that you followed it. Know this when you are deciding where you will go. But, I would say that it's really just a question of whether you define best to be the rankings applied by USN&WR or, rather, whether you have your own criteria. It is important to note that if you change your criteria, you could be stuck in a school that is no longer the best by your ranking, or USN&WR's. Obviously, there's no disagreeing with the fact that more doors are open for you at the top of the rankings. But, you may determine that the emotional, economic, and/or physical cost of attending a school with a higher ranking is not worth the majority of those open doors, particularly since you can only go into one door at any time. I've had the pleasure of meeting many successful attorneys, both in BIGLAW and in boutiques, who have found (or perhaps forced) plenty of open doors. I would argue for the self-determined definition of "best". But, perhaps that's because it's the option I took, and I don't want to believe that I made the wrong choice.

That's just the 2 cents that my naive self has to offer on the subject.


It's Friday night. I'm home for the entire weekend with only chores and work to do. No social engagements. No travel. No schedule. What a relief. The last few days have been tiring but amazing. A full day deposition of a very defensive inventor, trying to burn through some of the too huge pile work that I've committed to completing before my summer associate gig officially ends, and several long but ridiculously fun social events have left me drained.

As for having too much work to complete in not enough time--my associate colleagues assure me this is prep for my real life as a lawyer at my firm if I came back after school. Good thing I like the work...

July 23, 2003

Didn't Quite Make It...

I was doing a good job of keeping my work hours confined to the MF8-6 cage. Unfortunately, the end of my summer is approaching quickly and I have a petition to make special with a ridiculously long search report, several documents to produce for litigation, a deposition to attend, a HUGE office action, and if I finish all of that, a simple patent application they'd like me to squeeze in.

I do not have enough work days to finish. I've stopped accepting work, which is a good start, but I think I'm already in way over my head even if I give the patent application back. So, I'll be working late on Friday or over the weekend, or both. Oh well, I suppose one weekend out of several months isn't too bad.

Oh... and my alarm decided not to ring this AM (it's from 1984, time to replace, I suppose) so I woke, blissfully rested, at 10:34. Those lost hours are not helping my weekend schedule one bit.

July 22, 2003

Climate Control

Must the office be air-conditioned to a temperature that would require a sweater? Silly, wasteful, and most of all, it steals a piece of my summer.

July 21, 2003


Howard Berman, California Democrat, is at it again. He and John Conyers Jr. introduced a bill to make file-uploading a felony. Someone, somewhere, please have the common sense to make this disappear before it even becomes part of the debate.
Tech update

I've been slacking on posting tech stuff--I'm slammed with work. This attempt may look very familiar for those of you who spend time on slashdot.

DirecTV is suing everyone they can find who bought a smart-card programmer. The first class-action defense was lost and the members of the class were saddled with huge legal fees. RAD.

The House voted to block the FCC media consolidation rule. Should be interesting to see how this goes. Also should be interesting to see Lessig's take on it now that he's back and Dean's done blogging for him.

Looks like the search wars will be played out, at least partially, in court. Over patents. How does a self-respecting technophile who also happens to contribute to the body of software patents feel about this? Don't know. Still formulating my thoughts. The system is broken, most certainly. So broken that it does no good? Of course not. How do you reconcile these truths?

And lastly, to soothe my troubled soul, I think I'll try to get an interview with these guys at some point in my law school career.


Sunburnt. Relaxed. Back at work.

Hindsight--It's always better to have a picture of the campgrounds before you go. The first night, we ended up next to the bathrooms in a very packed together site. At least we moved away from the bathrooms for night two. Next time, we'll have to do more recon and be sure to go to a place that has sites that are well-spaced (read--separate the loud neighbors from us, and vice versa). Of course, its easy to say "next time we'll..." and much harder to remember to do it--camping in the summer with only a month of lead time won't get you a reservation at most of the good California sites within easy driving of any metropolitan areas. Oh well, hindsight. We can hope that we'll pull it off better next year.

Perhaps the best thing about the trip besides friends at the fire was the empty hike. I can't remember the last time I took a gorgeous, well-maintained trail hike in California without encountering a single person. Oh, and the beach wasn't too bad. Come to think of it, neither was the weather. The fog, breeze, and haze (which had the politeness to clear up for the stars) were a welcome change from the sweltering heat of late at home.

The second best thing about the trip was this easy and delecious gourmet camping meal: Herb-Lemon-butter Salmon

Before you leave
Cut salmon into steaks. Place each steak, skin down, on its own large piece of aluminum foil. Cover each salmon steak with thin circular lemon slices. Place small chunks of butter in the spaces between the lemon slices. Shake garlic salt, oregano, sage, parsley, and black pepper over each steak. Fold the aluminum foil into sealed boats with a crease at the top.

At the campsite
Turn on the gas grill or create a good mound of coals below a grill for cooking over an open fire. Place the aluminum boats over the fire until they start steaming. Continue to cook, rotating to evenly heat the entire boat, for approximately 15 minutes (depends on the size of the steaks).

July 16, 2003

Law School Rant Numeros Uno y Dos

Well, I'm sure these are the first of many.

LSR No. Uno:

Can they really just refuse to release our booklist until orientation? Here I am, little blogging technophile, would like to buy used 1L books on-line to save money. There they are, for-profit bookstore and Law School, laughing at me for thinking I have an option. So here's the scam... They don't release the book list until orientation (see LSR No. Dos). They give out reading assignments during orientation, informing students that they will be expected to have completed the reading by the first day of class. The 1Ls, who are all fairly exciteable, quickly divide into two groups, those who are smugly proud of their book pre-ordering, and those that must stand in line at the bookstore during orientation. You will note that there is no group for people like me. Because in order to stay in my natural species group, I'd have to knowingly forgo finishing the reading for the first day of class. There is very little chance that I will find someone to sell me the appropriate 1L books, get them shipped, and finish the reading in 3-4 days. If you want to shop ahead of time, you can. But only at the Law School Bookstore, and only if you buy new books. Bastards! The worst part is, I may hate standing in line more than giving in to the man, so I'll probably end up pre-ordering too...

LSR No. Dos:

Orientation, a two-day affaire, is composed, at a minimum of 50% of sessions that don't interest me in the slightest. But, guess what? It's required. What the hell does that mean? I'm going to law school to learn the law, not to sit through a panel on how to find housing or a roommate. E and I are very content with our living situation, thank you very much.

Do not misunderstand me, I think it is excellent that they offer many of these panels for people who wish to attend them, but making it required? The dean's welcome speech is a required part of my legal education? Somehow I doubt that I'll find my legal education changed much by my attendance or lack thereof of most of these sessions. From what I hear, class isn't required. But orientation? Oh, that's really important!

There are, of course, a few sessions that I should find interesting. They just happen to be spaced out by a ridiculous amount of time, which I am free to fill by attending boring sessions, or perhaps, standing in line at the bookstore. I'm sure it won't be as bad as I'm making it out to be, but I really don't like being treated like a child on my first day of something that I've been looking forward to doing for several years. (Maybe I'm already hyper-sensitive to the fact that I will be older than most of my fellow students?) They are already using their knowledge of my booklist against me, and now they're requiring me to attend a two-day orientation that will probably present me with about 30 minutes of important, new information? Why 30 minutes, you say? Well, it's an educated guess from the letters from the law school sends, which repeat important facts ad nauseum. They expect us to be irresponsible and are going to start off our legal education by treating us thusly. RAD.


Last night, I was made fun of for using Internet Explorer at work. At home and on my own laptop, I use Galeon. But, when confronted with a Windows PC that would be my work computer for 15 weeks, I lazily figured that the effort of installing any of my favorite open source software would be pointless. You see, I'm so convinced of Micro$oft's sucktitude that I assumed my life on Windows had to suck.

So, today, I finally installed Mozilla Firebird with the Windows Installer. Mozilla Firebird is the latest version of Netscape/Mozilla minus the chat client, mail client, and all the other stuff they throw in the normal distribution. I definitely suggest this wonderful software as a good trial to EVERYONE who has ever wanted to try out open source software, but didn't know where to start.

Benefits (aka, why I'm celebrating and why you should try it):

  • The Google/DMOZ search bar is ready to go by default (click the search icon in the right to select Google or DMOZ)
  • It is noticeably faster than IE on the slow connection at work. NOTICEABLY FASTER. Probably 25% faster.
  • Tabbed browsing (Ctrl+T). If you haven't tried it, you should. I have cursed IE for its lack of tabs more than any other feature (and I didn't install mozilla, why?). Tabbed browsing is easily the best thing to happen to the browser market in the last 4 years.
  • A Pop-up killer that is on by default (Tools-->Options-->Web Features). The time it took to install Firebird has already been recaptured in avoiding the pop-ups I would have had to close today if I hadn't installed it.
  • An installer that is fast and works. Firebird runs immediately, even pulling the proxy data from IE's settings.
  • It's free, and fights the power.

Okay, that's enough Mea Culpa and proselytizing for waiting this long to bail on IE. You should all make the switch, or at least try. It's sublime.


Of course, the bulletlists in bitingtonge look horrible. But, I generally prefer function over form.

July 15, 2003

The Good, the Funny, and the Wierd

The Good:

Wired is reporting that the Senate's 2004 version of the defense appropriations bill contains a clause that forbids any funds for Terrorism/Total Information Awareness.

The Funny:

Despite the resignation of the Junior Minister of Tourism, Stefano Stefani, the Germans are still picking fights with Italy. In other words, it's back on.

The Weird:

Calblog has lots to say about Arnold. After reading a few of his speeches, I agree with the Today's article in the Sacramento Bee--He does have a good story, as well as experience in real estate, show business, sports, government and the California Proposition System (broken as it may be). If he runs, he'll be a powerful candidate. Up until yesterday, I didn't doubt that he'd probably win for governor if he ran in one of the next few races, but I wasn't particularly excited about it. I was almost embarrassed--wacky California with their terminator governor. But, thanks to Calblog and reading more of Mr. Schwarzenegger's speeches, I'm actually refreshed at the idea of his entry into California Politics. Yup, that's weird.

July 14, 2003

Clever, Clever

Like Matrix-style action tricks? Check it out in live theater.

Why you might not want to upgrade to Windows Media Player 9

I didn't actually check the EULA for WMP 8, so perhaps this isn't new. However, I was surprised to see that the supplementary EULA contained the following details:

* Content providers are using the digital rights management technology contained in the OS Components ("DRM") to protect the integrity of their content ("Secure Content") so that their intellectual property, including copyright, in such content is not misappropriated. Portions of the OS Components and third party applications such as media players use DRM to play Secure Content ("DRM Software"). If the DRM Software’s security has been compromised, owners of Secure Content ("Secure Content Owners") may request that Microsoft revoke the DRM Software’s right to copy, display and/or play Secure Content. Revocation does not alter the DRM Software’s ability to play unprotected content. A list of revoked DRM Software is sent to your computer whenever you download a license for Secure Content from the Internet. You therefore agree that Microsoft may, in conjunction with such license, also download revocation lists onto your computer on behalf of Secure Content Owners. Microsoft will not retrieve any personally identifiable information, or any other information, from your computer by downloading such revocation lists. Secure Content Owners may also require you to upgrade some of the DRM components in the OS Components ("DRM Upgrades") before accessing their content. When you attempt to play such content, Microsoft DRM Software will notify you that a DRM Upgrade is required and then ask for your consent before the DRM Upgrade is downloaded. Third party DRM Software may do the same. If you decline the upgrade, you will not be able to access content that requires the DRM Upgrade; however, you will still be able to access unprotected content and Secure Content that does not require the upgrade.

Microsoft is slowly going to the model where the purchaser doesn't actually own their software or computer.

July 13, 2003

No one seems to care...

The Patriot Act scares the cr*p out of me. Slashdot's link to the I, Cringly's piece on electronic eavesdropping provides yet another reason why.

Why isn't this discussed in the mainstream media? It's no fun when people look at you like a wacked out conspiracy theorist when you try to convince them about what is actually happening today. Isn't anyone bothered by the fact that most people refuse to believe the carelessness of the government with respect to its citizens privacy rights simply because the reality seems too ridiculous to be true? Uggghh.... frustration.

July 11, 2003

Family Love

The junior minister of tourism apologized.

I'm still in the happy zone where the work I'm doing is interesting and varied. I feel like I should sing the praises of the partners for whom I'm working for giving me such great work to do. I also feel very naive and cute in my excitement. The whole picture is most certainly not as cool as my current perspective. But, for now, I'm loving it. Even today, a Friday, when I'd normally be doing the stuff I put off because it was boring, I'm not counting the hours to the weekend. Okay, well, not much anyways.

I have a feeling the last few weeks in the office are going to fly.

July 10, 2003

Sibling Rivalry

I'm not quite sure why, but I find an inordinate amount of pleasure in following the latest developments in the school-yard name-calling spat between Italy and Germany.

Anyone else going to join in? It seems like the French should be involved somehow, no?

On the work front, I've got a nice steady stream of work crossing my desk these days. It's varied and interesting, which I suspect is much more related to their desire to seduce me into the job than the reality of what an associate does on a day-to-day basis. I'm getting excellent feedback and my mentors as well as non-mentoring associates have been wonderful about answering my questions, not only those related to the firm, but also those related to the practice of law in general. My SA, in particular, has been helpful in answering my questions about possibly practicing a different type of law (which would necessitate my leaving the firm). Of course, he manages to do it in a way that spoils me with honesty, respect, openess, approachability, and what appears to be a geniune concern about me as a person. If that wouldn't make a person want to work somewhere, I don't know what would...


A friend turned me on to www.inpassing.org. Ahh... the random babblings of Berkeley are fabulous.
For example:

by Jen on 2003-07-09 19:14:06

Heard outside of Its A Grind Coffee House:
Guy with emo glasses-"Its not that problems don't exist, it's just that your problems don't necessarily exist in my realm of thinking. Nor mine in yours."
Girl with really really big hair-"Can you just dump me already, because I really have to get to work today."

July 9, 2003


Lawrence Lessig points to some REALLY stupid anti-drug ads.

I want my tax dollars back.

The only appropriate response is a Simpson's quote, "This leash demeans us both."

July 8, 2003


Looking Up

Humor came to rescue my yesterday when one of the support staff got her shirt sleeve caught in the manual feeder of the printer. She was attached to the printer for at least 15 minutes. We all tried to help. We eventually made a service call to get a professional to free her from captivity. I noticed that she was wearing a sleeveless shirt today...

Turns out the missing assignment was pulled from my desk. I have it back now. Phew... one less bad impression.

And, in the news, the 9th Circuit handed down Kelly V. Arriba Soft Corp. They found that a search engine that published thumbnails of a copyrighted work was not violating copyright, mainly because the the thumnails were a transformative use, and they couldn't be used for the original aesthetic, artistic, purpose of the work.

The two largest things I'm taking away from this case:

1. Why would an artist sue a search engine for linking to their images. Isn't that good for your art? More eyeballs?

2. Word of the day: militate. As in, "While wholesale copying does not preclude fair use per se, copying an entire work militates against a finding of fair use." [Worldwinde Church of God, F.3d at 1118]

July 7, 2003

Making a Bad Impression

So far today, I've:

a) Walked into a training session held by one of the very senior partners after he had started presenting. Even though I was fairly certain that I was 3 minutes early, I was, by all counts, late. At least I had on a suit.

b) Miscalculated not one, but two, simple math estimates during the training and gave not one, but two, incorrect answers out loud because I never get mental math wrong. Raaaiiighhht, except on Mondays. In the morning. In front of a senior partner. When I got the first one wrong, he actually said, "Come on guys," and looked at me as if to say, "If you don't know how to do the math, then keep your mouth shut." Oh. Right. Except I didn't.

c) Either, misplaced, or had an assignment taken away from me while I was away on vacation. I'm leaning towards misplaced, which is awesome. I have one last place to look, where I may have left it at home. If it's not there then I'd better pray that either the partner or his assistant came and removed it from my desk on Thursday because it is nowhere to be found in my office. Of course, neither of them are in today, so there's no way to verify whether they actually removed it. In fact, there's no way to verify whether the file wrapper and prosecution history that I requested have been ordered and or arrived. And the assignment is due back to the client (not the partner) in the next couple of days.

d) (Yesterday) Been informed that it's not Justice SKAL-i-ya, it's Justice Scal-I-ya. Silly me, I never thought about it while I was saying it, but I guess my mouth figured it would be prounounced like "figlia" or "Italia". I'm still not convinced that the mainstream pronunciation is correct (just like most of the latin used in law gets butchered), but I suppose that until Antonin himself tells me otherwise, I might as well go along with the majority. Just another thing to add to the idiot bucket (where my mathematical mistakes, ass-SIGN-ee, and APP-el-late are hanging out).

July 6, 2003

Blogger's Editor Sucks

If you accidentally click the Posts tab instead of "Post" while using Mozilla, you will see a pop-up prompting, "would you like to delete all of your work?" I encourage you to click "Yes," since I just chose "No" and my work was lost to the ages. Perhaps no means yes and yes means no. If not, I stand by the title of this entry.

Other mentionable tidbits from this weekend:

  • Newark: 80 degrees, 100% humidity

  • Phoenix: 109 degrees, who cares about the humidity

  • Las Vegas: 101 degrees at 11 PM

  • I ask you, if you were a rich industrial capitalist, would you put a summer home in any of these locations? And yet, someone did and it was a gorgeous venue for a wedding. So, thanks be to silly industrial capitalists, or whoever it was!

  • At least 4 of E's friends have plans that include law school

  • E's friend, S, stayed sober long enough to give the best wedding toast I've ever heard (not a difficult bar to cross).

  • Word to the wise, don't start the evening with the hard stuff. S's girlfriend, L, started the hot summer night with martinis after playing tennis in the humidity and sun. She praised the skills of our waiter, Branco, as he brought her a new martini, without prompting, for every half of one she finished. I can only assume that she was not so impressed with him the next morning.

  • Literary/Historical Notes from Thomas Jefferson's writings--British and French pounds were separate units requiring conversion (go metric system), "it's" was actually the posessive of it, written french had some bizarre tenses, and various agreements were approached with the countries of Tuscany, Rome, Napoli, the two Sicilies, and Venice. Negotiating with multiple Italies? See the previous post...

July 2, 2003

Bumbling Berlusconi

Somehow, he always manages to make the most appalling mistakes imagineable. And yet, he's still the richest man in Italy, their PM, and at least for the time being, the president of the EU. How does that work?
All Prepped

The bags are packed. The red-eye will be boarded this evening. I should get some sleep tonight/this morning before work today before the flight tonight in order to appropriately enjoy myself. But, instead I'm writing uninteresting tidbits into the blogger editing panel. Huh, I wonder what that says about my desire to conform?

I've enjoyed the busy-ness of preparing for this trip--hotel and flight reservations, 1 long weekend shopping trip with E in the summer heat for the sake of finding the perfect attire, 1 tuxedo rented over the phone, 3 trips to the tailor, innumerable calls to Brooks Brothers (who handled their most recent sale and resulting increase in business horribly) for complaints and questions, two pieces of luggage packed, various toiletries, books and gadgets collected and stowed, and, of course, excitement over the prospect of meeting some of E's friends for the first time--I hope the actuality is even more enjoyable than the build-up.

Well, off to sleep goes I. Tomorrow should be a long exercise in stuffing the remaining bathroom necessities into the already bulging luggage, trying to focus on deposition summaries and patent evaluations, followed by lunch with co-workers, followed by still more attempted focus on the many assignments on my desk, and finally, freedom in the air, which will end the morning of the next day on the East Coast with me amongst people I've never met in order to celebrate a wedding on the 4th of July.

In a related vein: A clever male friend, who's a bit too young in the soul to consider marriage a desireable thing, pointed out the sadness of getting hitched on Independence Day. I laughed.