March 31, 2004

Make an Offering

I, too, have angered some Diety.

First, there was the tree roots in the main sewer pipe. That was fun.

Then today, I tried to take Muni after school. When I arrived at the turnstiles, two of the coin slots were covered with white notes proclaiming, "out of order." The middle gate was note free, but it had coins stacked up to the top--clearly I wasn't getting through. I looked for the agent but a yellow sign exclaimed, "Booth Closed."

So, I watched what other people were doing and followed suit. I too went through the wheelchair gate without paying, took the escalator and waited for my train. Much to my surprise, it arrived within 4 minutes (I have waited over half an hour for the correct train on my last several Muni disasters).

I got on the train. The doors closed. I sat down. An agent approached me, "May I see your pass?"


I showed her my 5 quarters and explained that I didn't have a pass because the turnstiles were broken. She motioned to me to get off of the train.

Apparently, I had other options. I could have walked to the other end of the station where there were other turnstiles (or so she claimed). I could have paid on the train (which I didn't know).

To add insult to injury, my train pulled away as she wrote my ticket. Then she told me that the turnstiles weren't broken. They were closed. For budget reasons.

Smart people those Muni-folk. I'm certain the ticket I'll be paying will more than cover the profit from everyone who took the wheelchair gate while the turnstiles were closed.

Thanks to the extra delay, my entire commute was 3 hours today. I can't seem to do anything that's environment friendly in a way that works.

Finals are coming. The current level of animosity between me and the Powers That Be is unacceptable for exams. Anyone know where the nearest temple to the Angered One is? I've got to sacrifice something on the altar.

March 28, 2004


Well, my last weekend of freedom has passed. I'm left with end-of-1L-activities and one weekend of outlining per course before finals.

I used my freedom well. Friday night, I stayed near school and hung out with a group of law students. I had fun, met some new people and got to know some others a little better. By the time I got home, E had already taken off for the weekend to go hang out with some friends. I suspect that my announcement that the one visitor I'd planned for Saturday day and night had grown into a party of 5 of my childhood/college friends had something to do with E's exodus. E's smart.

So, the 5 of us languished the day away with stupidity, old jokes, repeating our favorite stories about the people we all know, laughter, good discussions, wine, gorgeous weather, margaritas, chips, caprese, brownies, chicken and potatos, a movie, tea, and one of my faster friends even slowed down to my pace so we could go for a run together this morning. After the last friend drove away, I grudgingly turned to my tax code.

200 flashcards later, I heard water running in the bathroom. E was doing laundry... uh-oh.

Yup, that's right. The countdown to the end of my 1L year officially begins with a plumber at our house at 8 PM on a Sunday night. Well, I suppose it has nowhere but up to go from here...

March 24, 2004

The Good Things In Life

Blowing off Crim reading (I'm not on call, woo hoo!) for late night Hot Now.

Ahhh... Feels like I'm still on vacation.
How Far We've Come

A visiting student sat in front of me in Civ Pro today. I listened carefully to see if I could hear the lecture from his point of view.

Residence, domicile, notice, bulge jurisdiction, Pennoyer, Shaffer, states, States, long-arm statute, found in the forum, venue, forum non conveniens (or as my prof likes to say, "forum non")...

Poor Guy. Had I sat in on this lecture a year ago, I would have been completely lost. But, he grabbed a seat where he couldn't just exit unobtrusively. So, he stuck it out for the full hour. Hell, stubbornly sticking it out through stuff that is boring, dry, and not making any sense? It's official: He's going to be a very successful law student.

As for us 1Ls, we've got all sorts of choices these days. Summer Job solidifying, TA positions for 1L courses, Moot court try-outs, Trial Team try-outs, and of course, the infamous journal write-on competition that promises to arrive like a frying pan to the face immediately after finals. Most of us are attempting to qualify for at least one of these activities, and some of us are going through the application process for all of them. Thankfully, my school doesn't let people do moot court and trial team at the same time so no one feels the need to be insane like a family friend of E's who actually did trial team, moot court, and Law Review this year. Needless to say, that guy's girlfriend didn't see much of him this year.

Me? My summer is shaping up. One of my profs approved a research paper that I proposed so I'll be doing my best to get through the research and writing of that over the course of the summer (although I suspect it'll push into next fall).

And, in a bit of job-search wussiness, I decided to return to the law firm in the Valley where I worked before school as a summer associate. See, I knew I liked it there. When my first resume blitz didn't turn up very much except standard "we-don't-want-no-stinkin'-one-L" letters, I decided to ditch the stress that my fellow classmates were complaining about. So, I called up the partner and happily accepted his offer. Of course, Murphy's Law: *After* I accepted, I did get a few bites from other firms that interest me. I would like to try out as many firms as I can before I get out of school. But, I feel no need to burn the only bridge I've got in the legal world. So, I guess I'll see if those firms are actually interested next fall (along with the many writers of friendly rejection letters that politely encouraged me to apply again as a 2L).

So, If last summer is any indication, after finals and journal write-on, I'll have a nice mix of patent prosecution and litigation with the occasional trademark, due diligence matter and whatever else pops up. Of course, I'm also looking forward to the job for the additional perks of having an income, freedom from homework, good food, golf, and playing against other Valley IP firms in the IP softball team. As far as the extra-curriculars for next year, I'm thinking I'll try out for everything and make my decision after seeing what actually pans out and soliciting much advice (hint, hint, feel free!). Moot seems to be the more well known and gives you both writing and speaking experience, but trial team seems to be better litigation experience (although, it appears to have a much bigger time requirement), and of course, the benefits and drawbacks of journals have been discussed by many others before.

March 21, 2004

Empty-the-Fridge Carrot Soup

Upon our return, the fridge held a week-old tupperware of 3-cheese potatoes (must throw it out on trash night...) its usual abundance of condiments, a few strips of bacon, 2 shallots, half a bag of baby carrots, an aged tomato, and the typical assortment of preserved foods like parmaggiano-reggiano, baby dill pickles, spanish olives, capers, and sun-dried tomatos.

So, I threw all the week-plus-old perishables on the counter and figured I could try my hand at carrot soup. Worked out pretty well although the shallots made me cry (apparently 2 week old shallots are potent stuff).

Serves 2:

1. Sautee 3 cloves garlic and 2 sliced shallots in 1/4 stick of butter 'til clear.
2. Add half a bag of baby carrots and one quartered tomato and sautee for a minute or two.
3. Add two cups of chicken broth, a teaspoon of cumin, and a dash of paprika.
4. Boil/stir until carrots are tender enough to break with the stirring spoon.
5. Fish out the tomato skins and toss them.
5. Spoon the mixture into a food processor and process until desired consistency.
6. Divide into two bowls, sprinkle with black pepper (and grated parmaggiano-reggiano, if you like).
7. Serve immediately.
Best Sight Seen

A sign, off an island highway, which announced:

Billy Bob's Park 'n Pork

There was a picture of a pig lest you mistake this take-out joint for a hotel of the short-term rental type.

I couldn't make this up. We even took a picture, which I'll try to post if I have time and initiative (probably not).

As in, I may actually be a normal human right now. Stay tuned for the gradual regression...

As promised, E and I spent a fabulous week being drunken tropical beach sloths. Okay, I really just like the idea of being a sloth. Truth be told, I'm not as good at it as I wish I was. But I suspect I'm better than most--I read all the books except the Illuminatus Trilogy and The Sentinel. I even bought Bel Canto for the flight back (think lord of the *butter*flies--phrase stolen, but accurate and I highly recommend the book to anyone who wonders about the paradise that can be created in absence of the pig's head and conch shell). The sloth in me smiled at E and enjoyed Bel Canto instead of studying Civ Pro on the plane (which is unfortunate for tomorrow's schedule but made for a much more enjoyable flight than I would have otherwise had).

In other words: The drunken sloth in me (even the sober sloth in me) loves to read. A lot. On the beach, by the pool, in a box, with a fool, I read high up in the air, I read every-, any-where. It's one of the things I gave up for the law school that I miss the most. Returning to it, in the sun, with breaks for bodyboarding and swimming in the surf is one of the most restorative experiences I've had in a long time. I just may make it to the end of finals without going crazy, but I make no promises. Transmogriflaw is absolutely correct, Spring Break *is* a civilized concept, which should be adopted universally in furtherance of peace, love, harmony, happiness, and all that happy rainbow sh*t.

In addition to reading, I did my part to make myself a better citizen upon my return (and let me tell you, I didn't cuss at anyone on the drive back from the airport!) I ran 18 miles in breathtaking valleys, mountains and beachfront locations. I don't normally have the time for that kind of mileage in one week and I definitely don't have the views at my disposal. If you add the kayaking and walking that we did, we were actually fairly active, which was a welcome introductory break from what will most likely be an April full of desk-bound outlining and writing. The weather was cooperative enough to brown us nicely although it did rain a few times. Rainforests, who knew they got a lot of rain?

Other than that, there's not much to report on my end. The details, arranged on the web, turned out to be beyond our expectations. No major delays or issues. Basically, just a very relaxing vacation with lots of fish, beach, beer, sun, and very little school. (I did do about 1-2 hours a day of Contracts and Civ Pro to keep my conscience at bay, but come on... on a balcony overlooking the ocean, sometimes with the day's first beer? Is that really work?)

Unfortunately, upon my return, I learned the Bad News about Patent Pending and Lotus from Beanie. What the hell, guys? Come back. Shane...

March 12, 2004

Blast Off

Moot Court Brief Graded and Passed: Check
Civ Pro and Contracts Books Packed for Outlining: Check
Laptop: Check
Sunscreen: Check
Beach Bum Clothes: Check
Pleasure Reading: Check (Pattern Recognition, The Sentinel, Shadow Puppets, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, and Super System for the first time, plus The Illuminatus Trilogy off the shelf if the others aren't enough.
Reservations for lodging, cars, and planes: Check.

I'm out! Enjoy your week!

March 11, 2004

Quiz Me

You are... The Cingulate Gyrus!!!
Snugly encircling the superior thalamus, and sitting atop the corpus callosum,
you are an integral part of the limbic system.
You remain a mystery, but common thought is that your reciprocal connections
to the frontal cortex and limbic system link decision-making and emotion!
Although you are mushy in consistency, you are a great friend to those around you
and your word is as solid as oak. You detest it when
people prod you, so you do need to lighten up a bit.
All in all, though, you are a solid citizen.
(And without you, people often find themselves unable to talk or move!)

Take the Personality Quiz, brought to you by Mr. Poon.

This is the second Internet Quiz I owe to Nontraditional Student. Even the Internet quiz world knows that I need to lighten up a bit. Okay, Okay. I got the message. Off to drunken beachy happiness with E I go. I will not take things too seriously there. I won't even take anything sober. Okay, maybe I'll take my contracts book and civ pro book for a little bit of morning pre-drinking outlining. But, for the most part. I'll be a drunken tropical beach sloth. Hurrah!
Best Professorial Come-Back

At the end of a ridiculous hypo, the professor quickly responded,

I'm going to classify that as a rhetorical question and move on...

Have to remember that one. I think it'd come in handy in every day life as well.

March 9, 2004

Spring Is Here

Our Apricot tree is blooming. Each of those several thousand flowers will turn into an apricot. Most of them will fall to the ground and partially rot before we pick them up. But, a few will make it into chutneys, salsa, desserts and other spring goodness. Outdoors just smells better these days. The latest issue of food and wine arrived laden with salad, lamb, fish, and citrus dessert recipes.

The sun was out all day today. It still is. It's getting darker later, which means that barbeque season is on its way (yes, I'm getting ahead of spring and almost into summer with that one, but barbeques are one of the greatest things in the world).

One of my professors even recognized the beauty of spring and canceled class today. Another professor planned ahead and made us do extra hours the last few weeks so that we don't have any more class 'til after spring break. In other words, I only have 4 hours of class and 72 hours total until I'm on a plane headed for my well-earned week as a drunken tropical beach sloth.

Now, if only I could finish the reading for tomorrow instead of staring out the window at the springtime.

March 8, 2004

The Battle of Midway

A large weight is off my shoulders. The moot court brief is out of my hands and should stay that way if all goes well. Add that to the fact that half of the lectures and reading for this semester are complete and I'm feeling on top of things.

I'm big into half-way marks. I'm not sure why, but I just always feel a sense of relief after the first half of things. In class, if I glance at the clock one minute before the half-way mark I feel as if it'll never end. But one minute after the half-way mark and I feel as if I'm almost done. Same goes for timed cardio work-outs, distance in long runs, and number of tasks in projects.

So, I'm in a great mood today. I feel like a survivor. Half-way is almost there in my book. Sure, I've got the last half of lectures and reading plus a big collection of outlining, oral arguments for moot court, picking courses for next year, trying out for various extra-curricular activities for next year, and getting ready for fall OCI. But, I'm halfway to summer and a few days from spring break. The sun is out and I shouldn't have to go back to Kinko's this semester. It's a good day.

March 7, 2004


At the gym on friday, I overheard the following conversation between two guys working out. I didn't laugh out loud, but did amuse myself internally with the parallels to the typical female conversation which guys will complain about whenever they get the chance.

Dude, she's gaining like 3 pounds a week. She's supposed to only gain 1 pound per week, the doctor said so.

Dude, you aren't the one who's pregnant. You can't be telling her to eat less, that's just not cool.

But, it's my baby too. I just want to feel like I have some control in the process. And she's so out of control...

Then, at the post-party to E's company party, I witnessed the conniving actions of many men towards one of their friends. Why? Because they were blocking his view of the date he brought as she undressed a different coworker in the middle, no make that the front entrance, of the bar.

Ahh... the comedic relief of the human condition. Who could ask for anything more?

March 3, 2004

10 little monkeys, jumping on the bed...

I think I'm the one that fell off and broke my head.

But, my brief re-write is done. My professor gave me the best feedback I could ask for:

This is EXACTLY what I wanted to see. Good Job.

Finally, some positive feedback. Jeez.

Tomorrow, I get to drop the latest version with my TA for the minutia check. If all goes well, I'll only have a few commas and spaces to fix before that item is OFF THE LIST.

Either way, it's out of my hands for tomorrow, so I'll get to go for a long run, take care of other crap on the to-do list, eat a decent dinner with E and pretend to be a human for one night.

Then, it's back to the grind 'til Friday because I have grandiose plans this weekend involving dinner at home with friends one night, a black-tie affaire another night, a goodbye brunch for a friend who's moving to London, and an all-day after-the-black-tie-party barbeque. I can hardly wait.

Also, the sun has returned. Suddenly, life is much better.