September 30, 2003

Does this stuff actually work?

I received some great spam this morning. Who actually falls for these things? I like how email to excite is "secure".

David Taylor
11 Taylor close
My name is David Taylor brother to former Liberia president Charles
Taylor I seek your partnership in helping me invest the sum of 8.5million
US dollars on properties in your country This funds are proceeds from
sales of our country natural minerals resources to some companies in
Europe while my brother was still in office.
If you know that I can trust you with this funds and you have property
investment experience reply to this my secure email address -

September 28, 2003

Student Life

I love school. Do you hear me? I'm going against all 1L trends and admitting it. How could I not?

I get to read hilarious cases infused with the language of erudite, pompous, muddled, and straightforward judges. I actually like the reading--you can feel the people behind it. I hear my fellow students complaining about how legal cases are dry, and I want to say, "try reading technical specifications." I'm telling you, cases are great.

I am required to attend 14 hours a week of class. Only I'm not really required. Of course, there's more to do if I'd like to go: discussion groups, student group meetings, group study and research sessions in the library. But really, the life of a law student is full of freedom. The freedom to not do your reading. The freedom to not go to class. The freedom to go out every night and party like a rock star before exercising the freedom of not going to class. I can only assume that students who complain about 1L don't like the side effects of exercising these freedoms. Or maybe they hate having the choice and making the one that seems less fun. I'm not certain.

This week was slow after the Wednesday from hell (first LWR assignment due, 9:30-6:30 at school). So, I haven't brought my school bag in the house since Wednesday. The next time I'll have to do so is Monday evening. To celebrate my freedom, I started 100 years of solitude, pushed the weekly total to 17.5 miles of running, and agreed to participate in a grueling weekend of chores and socializing that have nothing to do with law school. I'm starting to wonder if I could get up to 30 miles a week, which is baseline for a marathon. I never thought I'd want to do a marathon, but given how much time I'm finding in my schedule these days, if I was going to do one, this year would be a good time. *laugh* My guess is that idea will die a timely death sometime next week.

Why am I celebrating law school so loudly? I know it's not the style. I know it's not what 1Ls do. I know I'm supposed to lament how much work I'm doing and how concerned about my grades I am. But, I'm telling you--my quality of life hasn't been this good in years. It makes me so sad to see my fellow students stress themselves out and hate every minute of it. I hate to see them forego the fun and relaxation that is there for the taking, because most of us won't ever get this time back. We're all going back out into the real world--even those of us that avoid BIGLAW. We're still going to be on at least a 40-hour grind. Having just come off of the grind, I can only say, student life rocks--even the reading. Have some FUN people!

Turmerik--Restaurant Review

Friday night, E and I took friends out for a delicious dinner at Turmerik--a restaurant billed as Indian fusion. The food from the dinner menu (as opposed to the snack-type menu) was some of the best Indian food I've had, with the lamb biryani, eggplant curry, and tandoori vegetables receiving good reviews from our group. The paneer spinach "meat"balls in a creamy yellow sauce won the award for the night. We never really found the fusion (although it did seem that one of the naan was made with buckwheat. Perhaps this is fusion? Unfortunately, I don't know enough about Indian food to say) since most of the ingredients and styles were vaguely familiar Indian food stuff. I'd say it's more like gourmet Indian, mainly northern. More expensive than most Indian restaurants, but also worth it. If you want a nice ambiance for sit down Indian, you now have an option. If you have vegetarians to feed, it's an even better option--plenty of stuff for them, with meat to keep the carnivores happy.

The wine list had a huge build up, but I wasn't that impressed. They have lots of expensive wine available, but if you aren't going to drop over $100 on a bottle of wine, the list becomes average. There was no agreement on red v. white. So we went with a half bottle of each.

The only half-bottle of white in our price range was Calera chardonnay. Kind of nice when the list forces you to pick something you'd never try otherwise. Even better when it's good. I've never heard of Calera, but it's just south of the valley (in an area I never really thought of making wine, much less good wine), so in theory, we could go visit. The chardonnay was one of the ways I like 'em: mellow, floral, and minerally--very Burgundy-like, which made sense when I went to the web site.

For red, we went with Alexander Valley Merlot. I haven't tried any of their wines in a while. I was pleasantly surprised--a reasonably-priced, good merlot from a well known vineyard? These things exist in California? God bless the grape glut.

September 26, 2003

Things in Tech

A paranoid, but scary, look at trusted computing
More on the EU patent debate, including a letter from Cox and Torvalds.
Kazaa fights back
One of the experts that bashed MS as a threat to national security was fired. Amazing how strong the MS monopoly is...

September 23, 2003

Now that's Important

One of my friends recently started dating one of my other friends. When I was younger that was the kind of thing that happened all the time. Incestuous friend relationships. Drama when they ended...ahh...youth. Now, I'm just happy for 'em to have found someone they like.

Last night, amidst the wine, the same friend mentioned that he's so much happier now, since he had been single for quite a while. We had a long talk about how many straight men in the valley are single. Men in the bay area outnumber the women, particularly at bars, and other pick-up joints. Women, on the other hand, or at least the ones I know, are more likely than not to be in long term relationships. I was surprised to find that many of my fellow students were hitched or involved in long-term relationships. Even some of the younger kids have significant others of several years.

So, I've got a lot of friends in software, and hence I know a ton of single men. And many of 'em are depressed about it. Most of 'em rarely mention it. And many of 'em are so cerebral that they think they shouldn't be depressed about it, because, how important can having a girl/woman/significant other in your life be when you have no other problems? Good job, money, friends, health. These are not the guys who complain that they can't get laid. I'm sure most of 'em wouldn't mind, but most of 'em would rather find a companion (who they could have sex with, as well), as cheesy as that sounds. But most of 'em don't ever admit it.

As I've aged, I've realized that very few things are more important in my life than E. I wouldn't want it any other way. What's gone wrong when people try to think their way out of millions of years of evolution that tells them they should find a mate? Perhaps if they acknowledged how depressed they were about the situation they would do something to change it. Or, maybe not. That's the sad fact. When the numbers are against 'em, maybe they are being smart by pretending it doesn't matter. I don't know. I just can't believe how lucky I am. This is the kind of thing that keeps me up late with wine instead of to bed early and to class on time.

Back to my old ways

Just like the California Recall Election, I'm back on (as in back on my game of slack).

Contrary to my oh-so-informed opinion after too many glasses of wine and a fabulous pepper-sausage risotto, apparently I could not properly set my alarm. So, this morning I woke very rested, but 30 minutes too late to finish the commute to my first class on time. Ahhh... fabulous wine. It seems that I successfully set the alarm, but didn't bother to check the volume of the radio.

After missing the first class of the day, I made the commute to sit through an hour of class, and then prompty drove to E's work, enjoyed lunch with E and a coworker, drove home, and repeated my Tuesday nap ritual. I spent much more time commuting than in school today. Oh well. Such is life.

What's left for today? Well, I've got to finish some work on a website I contracted to fix. Then, I get to trudge through several chapters of fun, all about legal citations, in order to finish my LWR memo for tomorrow's class. I have tons of reading I could do, but I'll probably only get through what is absolutely required for tomorrow. Because, hey, all of a sudden, I'm not stressed again.

Oh, and for those of you who were wondering whether my who cares attitude is working for me? I think the answer is probably not. I have an appointment to go to Professor Together's office hours tomorrow because I seem to read all of the adverse possession cases in the opposite manner than she would like me to do so. When I wrote a very logical email explaining why my position seems to make sense to me, she replied with something along the lines of, "that's nice, dear. But a real lawyer has to be able to see both sides of all issues, and in particular, these issues. Please read the cases again (4th time?) and then come see me in office hours." Rad. It's awesome to realize that what seems blindingly obvious to me is exactly the opposite of what I'm supposed to see. This should be fun.

September 21, 2003

One of them

Well, my dedication to chill wasn't as strong as my desire to do well. I spent several hours at work with E (project deadline coming up, so at least we're in the same boat), enjoying the silence and pounding my head against the rules of Civil Procedure. Why? Because I realized that most of my classes cover concepts. Big, amorphous, wrap your head around it and let it swim, concepts. Those don't require memorization. Or strict attention to detail. But, Civ Pro--oh, yeah--those rules are going to require memorization, at least the more important ones. So, I hunkered down with my books and my laptop and forced myself to learn all of the rules we have covered thus far. I feel much better about what I know. I feel slightly less cool about the reality of school encroaching on my weekends. They are sacred. Given that my memo for LWR isn't complete yet and it's due next week, I'll probably be doing law school stuff today, as well.

But, I suppose I did promise to give up one weekend per month. This week makes me think it may end up being more than that. Oh well. When in Rome...

In all fairness, I didn't actually give up my weekend. I've fit in a Friday night at home with E, consisting of a delicious homemade dinner, conversation, and cuddling while watching 2010: They Year We Make Contact (thank goodness E's a dork too!). In addition to the study session, yesterday included a Saturday morning run, dinner with friends, a party, and ending the night in a hot tub overlooking the San Francisco Bay from the serenity of the Oakland Hills. There's still an entire day left in my weekend for a bike ride, chores, and my LWR memo. So, I suppose I've done a good job of working my law school stuff into my existing life, but I REALLY prefer my weekends to be islands of fun and relaxation. Something to strive for, I guess.

September 19, 2003

Panic has set in

Not necessarily with me. Yet. But the 1Ls as a collective entity have whipped themselves into a much more competitive and paranoid frenzy than the already palpable mess we were in before. I'd estimate that on average, the change is from 4 highlighters to 7 highlighters. {bad joke, I know} It's not a fun environment.

All of my courses have associated discussion groups taught by 2Ls. That's almost an extra 30% of class-hours per week. Taught by people who barely finished learning the material themselves. I always thought of discussion groups as a second chance at a good professor. If your professor couldn't teach, maybe your discussion group leader could. Or, if you had a question and your professor wasn't approachable, ask in discussion. But, all of my professors are excellent teachers who keep begging us to stop by their office with our questions. Given that the professors seem to be doing the teaching just fine on their own, discussion groups at my school, apparently, are all about preparing you to take the exam. That's right, an hour a week, starting now, until the end of December, that is all about a 3 hour test. If that isn't designed to create a competitive environment, I don't know what is.

And then, there's the announcements/advertisements that are showing up all over campus for tutors, systems, programs, courses, lectures, study aids, and more. They all promise to teach you the one true thing you need to know in order to ace the exam. So, 1Ls are running around, asking each other what they are going to take out of the list of offerings, and discussing outlining (or rather begging anyone and everyone to tell them exactly what belongs on an outline), how much studying they did last week, exactly what position they took on their first memo and why, if you are lucky enough to have their topic, your position must be wrong. Most 1Ls seem to be convinced that there must be a way for them to win the grades competition. I see it in faces, people smell blood. I'm not excited about this. I'm competitive by nature, but try (and have succeeded) to keep my nature under control. I fear what this environment may do to me.

Unlike last week, where I felt like I had the swing of things, this week, I'm questioning myself. I feel as if the material is fairly straightforward. But everyone is freaking out. And my classmates are smart (although I have been surprised at some of the dumber ones, but that's another story). How can it be that I've got everything under control when there's discussion groups, study aids, programs, systems, and frenzy all around me? If everyone else is convinced they can't do it on their own, what makes me so arrogant that I think I don't need 'em. I've started to question myself and what I think I know. And it's definitely because of the environment. For now, I'm just going to try to avoid the freakers and stay on my path. Wish me luck.

September 18, 2003

Nuggets of Wisdom

Professor Early: The rule is, don't be the twit in a discovery battle. Every judge will tell you, there is always a reasonable party and there's always a twit. Don't be the twit.

Professor Rate: Make sure your argument passes the laugh test. If it's hard to make the argument with a straight face, even if you have a great technical case, the court will find a way to make sure you are wrong.

Professor Together: The best rule of ethics is this, "If someone is going to go to jail, let it be the client."

September 16, 2003

Oh What Fun It Is To Ride...

So, no doubt, you've all heard that the fun in California is up in the air. We have to see whether an appeal is given cert before the 9th circuit en banc, or the Supreme Court before it's certain, of course, but I'm concerned that some of my favorite would-be politicians (see Sunday's post) may lose their momentum if they have to wait 'til next March. Then again, perhaps they'd be allowed to submit entirely new statements for the new booklet. Here's to hoping it's more fun for all and not chaos gone wrong (instead of laughable chaos, which is what it's been so far).

Today, after my short day of classes, I had plans to run errands, eat lunch, hunker down with my torts reading, and just when my eyes are beginning to glaze, I planned to head off to the gym for a hard workout followed by a yoga class. But, something wasn't working for me. I was tired. I barely finished my errands before I realized the wonderful truth: I can take a nap before doing my reading. So, I did. No sense is living like a ball-and-chained employee when I'm not one. Here's to what may be a lovely precedent of productive Tuesdays that include a nap. Did I mention that school rocks?

September 14, 2003

California at its best--I couldn't make this stuff up

I took the liberty of extracting the best lines from the California Statewide Special Election Pamphlet.

Arnold says nothing, neither does Gary Coleman.

Michael Cheli (Independent): My first task as Governor will be to reduce my own salary by 10%. (why do I think the govenernor's salary minus 10% is probably a huge raise for this guy?

D. Clements (The Ayn Rand Platform): I'm a long-shot candidate but like the horse Seabiscuit sometimes the long-shot can win. (I preserved his comma-less prose in its original form for effect...)

Warren Farrell (The Men Are Subjugated Platform): (paraphrased) Read my books. I'm a thought leader. Men have fallen from greatness. Somehow it's related to the budget crisis.

Larry Flynt (Democratic Party): California is the most progressive state in the union and I'm sure its citizens would welcome having a smut peddler who cares as their Governor.

Gene Forte (Republican Party): I am the AttorneyBuster, president/founder of (I don't know if the AttorneyBuster has quite the same ring as the Terminator, but you can't fault him for trying...)

Gerald Lee Gormon (Democratic Party): (paraphrased) I'm your typical dot-com unemployed techie type. Somehow, I'm qualified...

Rich Gosse (Republic Party): Single adults are the Rodney Dangerfields of our society. They "can't get no respect." (???? Is it just me or do they get better tax breaks than married couples?)

Arianna Huffington (Independent): Corporate fat cats get away with paying less than their fair share of taxes (Oh, wait, so do I)

Trek Thunder Kelly (Independent): Dear Voters, Please vote for me, thus breaking the Seventh Seal and incurring Armageddon. (Wow!)

Leonard Padilla (Independent): As a professional bounty hunter for 28 years, I have had to make critical and unimaginable decisions... (Ummm....)

Charles "Chuck" Pineda Jr (Democratic Party): I continue to advocate: a 32 hour work week to deal with traffic congestion and employee productivity. (I like this plan too, but I'm not certain it helps the current budget crisis...)

Darin Price (Natural Law Party): The solution is always creativity (Look at the shiny things. Aren't they pretty. No problems over here. We creatively arted them away. With Unicorns!)

Bryan Quinn (Republican Party): Bankruptcy--use the courts to break up special interest groups & restore fiscal responsibility. (Huh???)

Kevin Richter (Republican Party): I breathe.

Kurt E. "Tachikaze" Rightmyer (Independent): As the leading middleweight of the 2003 California State Sumo Series and a serious, well-educated, nonpartisan candidate for governor, I will attack the 800-lb gorilla of big government... (I'd like to see that.)

Ned Roscoe (Libertarian): I am optimistic, with the calm confidence of a Christian with four aces. (Repeat after me California, you're smart, you're attractive, and gosh darn it, people like you!)

September 13, 2003

In the swing of things

Like Dylan, I too feel like I'm getting my head around how things are supposed to be. I've made several of the more feared mistakes already, including: showing up late for class, getting stuck in a seat at the absolute front of the class because I happened to show up late on pick-the-seating-chart day, raising my hand and speaking idiocy (and realizing it as the words fell from my lips), and not calculating enough time for traffic and showing up at school too late to attend my first class of the day (so I just sat outside and read).

Besides the above crap, every day has been an exercise in getting more comfortable with my new life. I think I've got a decent idea of which professors want what in terms of answers to questions (and more importantly, how each of them wants us to think about the issues--each one has a favorite approach, be it public policy, the underlying legal theory, the application of arcane rules in complex modern situations, or whatever). I've found that the reading takes me about 2 minutes per page, on average--which is a very useful thing to know when you are trying to figure out which heavy books to pull from the locker for the 67 minute reading break that you are facing. I've found that the people I clicked with on the first day are still the people I get along with best, and half of the ones that annoyed me from the start aren't as bad as they seemed.

I've been told that some of questions I asked on the required campus tour with our LWR section gave many people the impression that I was one of those scary politically bitter people. I've also been told that since that day, I have completely changed their opinion of me. In fact, one of the students commenting on my questions laughed and said, "It was just funny. You know. Here we are, the first week of classes and most of us are watching what we say and do very carefully. We want to make the correct impression for who we are. We all figured you were doing the same thing. So, we figured you were ready to fight and change the world into a more liberal place. It seemed like that was how you were defining yourself. D and I went out for drinks and discussed how it might be a little hard to swallow the endless stream of political cr*p that you were sure to spit out. Two days later, D and I went for drinks again and laughed about how wrong we were about you. Turns out, you are much more into the Simpsons and laughing about stupid sh*t than politics."

*laugh* So, hey, future 1L's--watch what you say during the first week because people really do make snap judgements about you. The good news is, apparently they are willing to get over the snap judgements if you aren't very good at keeping your mouth shut.

Perhaps the best thing about the 1L life is the freedom. Last week, I was able to fit in 13 miles of running, two hours of yoga and a trip to the gym. In addition to the new work out schedule (which my body desperately needs) I have done a fairly decent job of keeping my social life at its previous levels, and I've figured out how to finish the majority of my work before friday so that I can have my weekends off of school. One thing that will change, however, is that I'm fairly certain I will need to start donating one weekend a month to sorting and distilling the most recent material in each of my classes and making certain that I don't have any questions, confusion, etc. I'll probably also have to do a bit of weekend work on my LWR assignments when the final drafts come due--but there are only a few final drafts this semester, so it shouldn't be too bad. I figure one weekend in each of sept, oct, and nov should keep me on top of LWR and feeling prepared for finals studying. Conveniently, that small of a sacrifice should spare me from sadness at my lack of a social life.

So, yeah, all in all, I'm liking it. Friday ended with a bunch of people from my section going out for happy hour, and that was a nice way to end the week. The conversations revolved around TV shows, sex, relationships, sports, sexism, local culture, hometowns, and whatever else came up. Your typical pub fare, really. Somehow, there were two factions going to two separate bars, and I ended up at the snazzy downtown bar instead of the more rugged neighborhood haunt. I think I ended up with more of the pretty people, and also more of the younger ones (the two usually go together). It's a little weird to be at a bar with so many people who feel so much younger than me. The majority of my fellow students are still feeling out and defining things like their sexuality (not necessarily their orientation, but more how they assert it), their goals in life, their philosophy, and even their adult personality. I realize that everyone is constantly evolving, but there is a palpable fear of the unknown in many of my fellow students--many of them give off the air of never having handled a major problem or disaster--and it seems to fuel a strong effort in trying to be someone for most of 'em.

The comfort of a slightly rough childhood and some decent sized bumps in my mini-adulthood is wonderful. By no means am I free of insecurities, but I'm aware that I'm no longer trying to define myself. I am who I am. Perhaps that's why I didn't watch my mouth on the tour. *laugh* gimme a few weeks, though, most people claim that law school changes everyone, so perhaps I won't have a clue who I am come October.
Wonderful Wine

I love when I go to a restaurant with a reasonably priced wine list. It's even better when I try something cheap I've never heard of and it's awesome. That's the kind of thing that'll get me back to a restaurant every time. Sommelliers take note.

This week's happiness:

A light (but not watery) pinot from the elusive silver cove vineyards. Balanced fruit, hints of minerals on the nose, and only $28 at the restaurant. Just as good as its neighboring carneros pinots that go for $30-$50 at the vineyard and who knows what in restaurants. Given that restaurants have a 100-300% markup, I'm going to call and see if I can get myself a case...

An oaky zinfandel from Buehler Vineyards. Not a ridiculous cup full of jammy fruit, not overly tanniny, surprisingly sophisticated for a zin, and only $26 at the restaurant. I'm interested in trying the estate reserve zin, if the standard stuff is this good.

I hate wine tasting in the Napa Valley--crowded, traffic, high ratio of pretentious idiots to people who actually love wine, tasting fees at most vineyards (which are often staffed by unhelpful and snotty staff). But, lately I've been thinking that I should go during the week some time to avoid the crowds. That would solve most of my problems with the place. Silver Cove and Buehler are excellent reasons to go. Particularly since silver cove is impossible to find online (chances are, if I can taste there, it'll be me and the owner in a garage with the vats) and Buehler makes a white zin. How can I not wine taste at a napa winery that isn't scared to be labeled white trash?

September 12, 2003

Slash or Hash?

Can you tell coders from serial killers?
Quotes of the day

Professor Young

I'll say the equivalent of 'ask you mother', 'ask your torts professor'.

In order for Shaheen to collect damages under the theory of reliance he must show that his position was changed in the continuance of marital relations with his wife due to the promise of sterility.

September 10, 2003


So, I think I've decided on what other stuff I'm going to do during 1L. I also think I know why they give you so much seemingly free time. It's so that everyone and their brother can found at least one student organization and be a member of another half-dozen. So, following in that vein, I've decided to belong to three organizations:

1. A social club. Entirely social. I haven't locked in this one, but several exist, I figure I'll try a few and choose one. Probably one that involves wine. (As if that's a limiting issue for law students who socialize.)
2. A pro-bono, feel good, do something good with my free time to make me feel like a useful human being organization. This one requires a decent time commitment, but it'll be worth it.
3. The IP Organization.

I believe I can handle all of these as well as my coursework and my newfound commitment to working out. I'll let you know how it goes.
Best News Link This Week

Bronx Man Mails Self To Dallas.

In other news, I found a law school friend with whom I can quote the the dude. School just got much better.

September 9, 2003

Dell's new click-through

Dude, you're getting screwed.

Note that if you wish to be honest you are precluded from using the technology in the manner in which you would like to use it. Ugggghhhh.... everyone should just lie and then we can all be criminals waiting to be prosecuted. Perhaps we could overpower 'em with our numbers. Awesome. I love the way things are going in this arena.

September 8, 2003

Sobering Stuff

A few glasses deep into the Rosso (excellent bargain for wine geeks on a budget), I found my way to two things that cut through the buzz:

#1 - a classmate told me about the matrix defense. I almost didn't believe it. Apparently it's the real deal. Scary.

#2 - Kelly D. Talcott, aka Infringing Actions has a nice analysis of the RIAA's clean slate affidavit and, in my mind, a lovely bit of foreshadowing to a bunch of people who may get screwed. Hope I'm wrong.

I'm not as bitter as I seem

Or, maybe I am. But, I swear, I'm quite pleasant when I make a sincere effort. Or so I like to believe.

LSR Rant No. Nove:

I've realized that in LWR, I'm quite negative. I just hate it. Those two hours kill me. Again, we did the "read one sentence per person until the fact pattern is finished" thing. It hurts me. I feel the LWR should be something like the basic English requirement in college. There should be a topic and a memo requirement given over the summer. If you wish, you can attempt it, and if you do reasonably well, you don't have to take the course. It's only if you fail miserably or choose not to undertake the memo that they subject you to the lectures, which, conveniently, wouldn't have to be altered, since they already pander to the student that has no exposure to legal research or writing.

The good news is, I'm practicing looking interested while actually being totally bored, which I hear will be a useful skill while sitting through depositions.

There's a Dilbert where Dilbert says something along the lines of "Our relationship is so much easier now that I've realized I can code in my head while you're talking," to his female counterpart. That's how I feel in LWR. Only I can't code in my head. Oh... how I wish I could.

September 6, 2003

Happy Things

Friday, I woke early to catch public transit so that I could finish my reading. The trip was roughly 80% longer than driving, but I did finish the reading, and made it to class unharmed by the experience.

After a short day of class, 5 section-mates and I went to lunch, had a few beers and talked. We also watched one of the many star wars boy clips. I had fleeting thoughts of my previous life (where my time was at a premium) where pints with lunch was an uncommon occurrence--only slightly less common than a good lunch with 6 interesting people. After the pints, our group joined forces to research our LWR memo. Everyone was helpful and the pervasive streak of competitiveness in my section that drives me insane was nowhere to be found. I will be spending more time with these people. I suspect that there is a linear correlation between thinking lunch with at least two pints on a friday is a good thing and not being possessed by the devil.

Unfortunately, my trek home on public transit took 2.2 times more time than driving. Given the fact that public transit is approximately 80% more expensive than gas and parking, and that I could have just left at the same time in the morning to arrive at school early and finish my reading, I think my desire to take public transit has died.

Even the argument that I can study the entire commute, instead of just during the saved time loses steam when I acknowledge that the quality of studying on trains/buses/streetcars is far worse than what I'd accomplish at home or in the library. Much like the hippy lawnmower escapade, I again have found that the environmentally friendly solution is too impractical to work. I'm sure someone would argue with me, "you think that's impractical, try not breathing." Yeah, they'd have a point. But, I've crossed the logical line where I can justify taking public transit.

I plan on finishing Monday's reading on Monday before class. So, if it continues as planned, this weekend will be nothing but a few chores, fun with friends, running, biking, a deliciously lazy lunch in the sun with E and a half-bottle of valpolicella, parties, barbeques and movies. Not bad.

September 4, 2003

Law School Rant Numero Ocho

Paternalism. Must they baby-step us through everything? Does LWR really need to walk us through a library orientation? An attendance is obligatory orientation? Do we honestly need someone to spoon-feed every little bit of information from the process of research? Did I really sit through the reading of a fact pattern sentence-by-sentence in a room full of ostensibly bright people, each of us taking turns like it was 5th grade reading class? Are they unaware that all of the reference books in the library have introductions that explain their use? Why isn't there any emphasis on figuring things out for yourself, with optional events for people who would like more instruction.

So, yeah, I'm hating the fixed schedule, the coddling, and the useless hours locked on campus. "Do your reading," people say. Umm... it's done. There isn't that much reading to do. Maybe I'm missing something, but it sure doesn't seem like it. I'm also starting to dislike many of my fellow students. Could they be any more annoying? It seems like there's a competition to see who can make the most ridiculous statement about how hard they are currently working, and what they've done in the past. Do I really care about your resume? Do I want to hear your uninformed opinion? Uggghhh.... I guess I'm just bitter right now--probably because I fear I'll get sucked into the culture and start spouting off my qualifications and uninformed opinions in order to shut others up. Because, I, like them, think I know more than anyone else. What a sick bunch of idiots we are. Thank goodness for the few normals I've found. Here's to hoping 2L provides me with a little bit of control over my own life. Note to people returning to law school after several years of having a career: I think the hardest thing for me right now is that I used to have a life where it was generally acknowledged that my time was worth something. I feel that law school is structured to strongly point out that my time is now worth nothing, and the school insists on making this point by forcing me to waste my time at their leisure. I'm paying for this privilege. Awesome

Despite what it sounds like, I'm actually enjoying my reading and classes. I like school. I also like the fact that I have a small goose-egg on my arm but absolutely no pain or bruises on my ass from Wednesday's fall (see "I couldn't have said it better: LSR No. Siete). I knew my fat ass would come in handy some day. That day has come (as has the end of this week). Halleluliah!

September 3, 2003

On the patent bashing trail

Two interesting sites to check out (I mis-spelled it as "cites" the first time around. Law school is warping me):

1. Bust Patents dot-com, particularly, their invalid patent list.
2. CiteSeer, particularly their most commonly accessed document list
I couldn't have said it better

These comments, and the post that inspired them sum it up. With that, DG, Beanie, and Sue become my latest favorite compadres.

As the 3 amigos above indicated, the miniature gap army is quite disconcerting. Especially when it comes to overworking. Why, oh why, did you do your reading 12 times? And why did you brief EVERY case, even the 1/2 paragraph excerpts? And why, oh why, do you insist on complaining to everyone about how much work you are doing and how you are confused by "the implications of this issue when considered in light of (insert some random-ass obscure thing that the professor doesn't want to touch)"? And really, must you go down to the front of the lecture hall after EVERY lecture. I mean, yes, your gap clothes do look nice, even in front of a crowd. But do you really think the kiss ass thing is going to help? Huh? If you thought it would help, wouldn't you just go to office hours and do the dirty deed in anonymity?

Thankfully, I went to a 1.5 hour lunch with a chill new friend from my section and he and I talked about sports, drug use in sports, roommates, girlfriends, food, life, and how annoying some of the one-dimensional delusionals in our section can be. It made my day. The huge break in the day was well spent. Even better than when my life wasn't captured by law school and I wasn't afforded 1.5 hour breaks for lunch. Don't let anyone fool you. Law school isn't too much work, it's too much control over your life. I have to be at place X at noon and place Y at 2:10. That's generally too large of a break to take a normal lunch with any local normal people you may know. So, either lunch quickly and then try to cram in a ridiculously short amount of studying, or study the entire period and skip food (yeah right), or just sit around after eating and wait breathlessly until the next school-sanctioned activity begins, or make friends you can enjoy and commiserate with during the given time. Stockholm syndrome is not efficient. I HATE inefficiency.

Law School Rant No. Siete:

Today, I tripped while carrying my heavy-ass rolling bag, newspaper and another book not in the bag (note, both arms are full in this scenario) and fell down several stairs, basically bouncing down on my ass. But no one saw it. Although, I do have a nice goose-egg on my forearm. My rant is this: as someone who attempts to navigate school with a rolling bag, I have nothing but sympathy for and anger on behalf of any wheelchair-bound students, visitors, or faculty at my school. I think it would be almost impossible to navigate my schedule, on time, with the amount of books required, for anyone with a physical disability. Interesting how my own clumsiness can make me consider this, no?

September 1, 2003

Labor Day Rocks

So, I did take my law school books. But, I didn't read them at the lake, only on the plane. Instead of drudging through contracts, I spent my free time devouring Love in the Time of Cholera in both the sun and the drizzle and thunderstorms that came every afternoon. For those who are interested, Love in the Time of Cholera was excellent. I'm wondering when I'll get a chance to enjoy more of Marquez's work. I dream of writing stories with characters that live and breath as heavily as his do. Perhaps winter break will find me recovering from finals with One Hundred Years of Solitude.

On Saturday, E's family, friends and I rafted down the Chattooga, with each of us making the joke of whistling the theme from Deliverance at least once.

The rest of the time was spent relaxing on the dock, in the boat, in the screen porch, or one of eating, drinking, and sleeping. Not a bad way to bid the summer farewell.

So, now I have to hope that I did enough reading to keep ahead of my section--with my luck, I didn't and I'll get called on tomorrow. Oh, and one of the people who joined us this weekend is a 2L at UGA on moot court and law review. He asked in mock shock (and yet sort of serious at the same time), "You're not reading for pleasure are you? School's started, right?" Whatever...only time will tell how it all comes out in the wash, but so far, I think I've decided that the hardest part of law school is not turning into a stressed out maniac. Sua Sponte appears to have my back on this issue, but I'm not certain I buy her "you will do better on exams than I did" argument. I'm guessing that those 1Ls like myself who are (or at least give off the appearance of being) chill won't kick the gunners' butts, because we don't think it's worth it. Too much effort for not enough reward. I'd rather have free time, a life, and maybe make some contacts by being a nice, rational, respectable member of my community. I'll let you know how that works out for me. But my guess is that I won't be transferring up in the world, and it's too early to call the coin toss on law review. But hey, you never know. Stranger things have happened. I'm in law school, for example.

Speaking of law school and vacation, I need to work out...vacation is great for the soul, but not so much for the body. I think I solved the "huge breaks in the middle of my day" problem--I'll just work out during that time. Sure, I could study, if there was a place to do it. But even so, why would I work all day over books on someone else's schedule when I'm a student and my day is mine to schedule as I please. I might as well take advantage of the freedom while I have it. I know from experience that it won't last.