April 30, 2004

Poem on Your Blog Day

Heidi showed me the way, so I'm joining in.

My favorite poet of all time is William Blake, with Dylan Thomas coming in a close second. And, if those two aren't enough, I'll cement my stereotypical views with the admission that I'm a big fan of Shakespeare's Sonnets to boot. I know, nothing new that no one's heard of. But, it's hard to argue with greatness.

So, in keeping with the assignment, my favorite poem is Auguries of Innocence by Blake.

And, like many, my favorite bit is the oft-quoted first verse:

To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.…

How could I not find comfort and joy in those words? They speak loudly and well about my jiggered together version of spirituality. A bastardized, rough amalgamation of Logic, Buddhism, Taoism, Math, my personal experience, folk tales, Christianity, Physics, foreign culture, history, and great writing I've encountered that speaks to me of the capacity for greatness in humanity and how to be at peace while striving to be a better person in an amazing World. Without a doubt, I've never found a better statement of what I would want to say about the rolling dice of life and why they're so great.

So, come on bloggers, jump in on your own space (readers, post your faves in the comments. I'm always looking for new poets to read and Summer, the blissful time of free pleasure reading, is fast approaching). Everyone, throw your two cents on the poetry bandwagon (don't you love mixed metaphors?). You know it's more fun than studying for finals...

Guaranteed Laugh

Transmogriflaw points to the funniest Ebay Auction I've ever seen.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Well, the fever is gone. Whatever it was, my immune system killed it.

I'm happy for that.

Now, the madness begins... 5 days 'til final #1.

DSL is down at home, so I'll be silent 'til it's fixed. That's probably a good thing for my study habits.

[update: studying decreasing, DSL is back up for now]

April 28, 2004

Ultra Low Grade Torture

I'm not visibly sick. (I think)

I have a headache. I'm kind of achey. But, I made it through an 8-hour day of madness today including two classes, reading, and two exam reviews where old exams were rehashed and ideal answers explained. I found the exam reviews comforting.

This semester, my approach is different than last semester. I'm more concerned with knowing how the exam will feel, the type of knowledge I will need and how it will need to be presented. Last semester, I spent quite a bit of time learning before I looked at old exams. I think I spent more time on detail in torts and not enough time on detail in contracts because I was approaching all of my exams with a "know everything and know it well" approach. Which, for me, a mere mortal, is impossible.

Last night, by bed time, my temperature was back to normal. This AM, it was a manageable 99.2 F. But, now, unfortunately, it's hovering at 101.5. Ugghhh...

So, I'll take it as a sign. I was hoping to hit the gym and get some more studying done. But, I think I'm going to fill my time with light preparation like organizing my outline binders, alphabetizing lists of cases, pulling practice exams off the internet and all of the little things that need to be done during crunch time (tasks which I inevitably use to procrastinate).

Add a ridiculous amount of fluids, a light dinner, movie, ice cream, and at least 9 hours of sleep and hopefully I'll be better soon.

April 27, 2004

No. No. No!

It's hot today. I love the heat. But I'm too hot. Uncomfortable.

And I'm REALLY sore from my workout yesterday. Way more sore than I should be. Come to think of it, I was really sore last night too. And I've had a headache for a couple of days and have been kind of naseous. And I've been really tired. I chalked it up to stress, but just now, I figured I'd better take my temperature to be sure.

38.2 C == 101 F.

Not Good.

Oh please, oh please, oh please, let my insane immune system kill off whatever this is in short order.

April 25, 2004


In the shower after my run, I started thinking about policy arguments for Crim, Contracts, and Civ Pro. (Yes, I think about law school in the shower... It's close to finals. I'm quite a monster, really.)

I decided that there are only about 4 policy arguments, they just get mashed up, applied to the facts and re-argued. Over and Over.

So here's my hint for the day (and note to myself):

If you need to argue policy, there's almost certainly a way to argue that going against your position will result in:

1. Unfairness
2. Impracticality
3. Morally Reprehensible or Societally Unacceptable Results
4. or, the last-ditch hide-out of every argument, a Slippery Slope.

Am I missing anything?

April 24, 2004

The Little Things

Getting ready for finals is full of huge tasks like outlining, reviewing, practice exams and review sessions. But, the little things are even more important. Here's my list, let me know if I'm forgetting anything.

1. List of available study food, and the additions that must be made at the store.
2. Make sure that the late-night dinner places are still open (a near-by ramen house serves 'til 10:45 and an Italian place one town over serves 'til 1 AM). If you're anything like me, this information is absolutely essential to finals.
3. The phone number of the pizza delivery joint.
4. A full stock of soda, coffee, tea, and chocolate covered coffee beans.
5. A schedule that maps out which subjects are studied when, the workout breaks, the exam review sessions and the exams as well as the nights I need to stay in a hotel.
6. Laundry clean (still on the to-do list).
7. Make sure that all the Arriving Netflix movies are not the least bit sad, depressing or mid-life-crisis-inducing.
8. Notify family and friends that I'm going to be AWOL for about a month.
9. Order flowers for Mother's day.
10. Start smiling at the prospect of summer.

April 21, 2004


I spent last night and half of today rationalizing my loss of moot court. I'd have more time for OCI and a journal (if I managed to get on one). I could do an externship or clinic second semester without worrying about conflicts. I wouldn't be stressed about time-management. I could still take an advanced moot court skills course and get more experience. Add that to what looks like a pretty friendly schedule for next year (I pick my final classes tomorrow) and I wasn't too upset. Sure, I felt rejected, but really, there's not enough time in law school to do everything and not being on a moot court team left time for other activities (like an externship or clinic) that really interested me.

On the drive home from class, my phone rang.

-Hi, this is so-and-so from the moot court department. I'm calling to Congratulate you. We'd like to offer you a place on a team.
-Hi. I'm sorry. I was just convinced that I hadn't been chosen for a team, so I'm a little surprised to hear from you.
-Oh, no. You've got a spot if you want it. Are you interested?
-Yes. Of course.

And that was that.

My reaction was much more complicated than it would have been yesterday. I'm not convinced that moot court is the greatest thing I could possibly do in law school anymore. Obviously, I'm still excited about the opportunity. But I'm much more aware of the downsides than I was before. I'm particularly bummed about the loss of winter and spring break which I was using to console myself with promises of fabulous travel. I'm also scared that I'll commit to moot court and a journal, if one will take me, and then my second year will be a hellish marathon of work devoid of a social life.

Yes, I'm excited, happy, and grateful. But those emotions are swimming amonst my frustration. I assume that several of the people I bonded with today over our rejections and how we still hadn't heard anything are going to have to go through another round of what I went through yesterday. It seems completely unnecessary.

What's wrong with a synchronous and silent email notification at 6 PM? Personally, I would have rather been told that I was not a first choice so I could honestly congratulate my friends on their success without anxiously wondering with each classmate's cell phone ring, "But what about me?" In a hyper-competitive environment, selectively notifying people one at a time breeds frustration and disappointment. I'd rather know I was on a waiting list and find out good news later than assume the worst.

And, of course, I'm sad that I assumed the worst. I bought and paid for the typical negative effects of law school yesterday. Despite the best efforts of the hope in the corner of my head, I believed in rejection. When classmate after classmate got the call, I just couldn't keep up the good mental fight and question what seemed irrational to me. By late last night, I knew I hadn't been selected. There was plenty of time for them to call everyone, so they must have done so. I believed I wasn't good enough and they didn't want me because of a flaw in my skills, or my grades, or even worse, they just plain didn't like me. In bits, this kind of introspection is good because it builds character. But methinks there's too much of it in law school. I wish that career centers, extra curricular activities, and the things that are supposed to be the support structures of school would take a little more care not to stoke the ego-killing fires, particularly when it would be more efficient than what must have been close to 100 games of phone tag.

However, lest it appear that I am complaining when I should be happy, let me assure you. I am ecstatic and grateful.


April 20, 2004


Disappointment, when it involves neither shame nor loss, is as good as success; for it supplies as many images to the mind, and as many topics to the tongue.
--Samuel Johnson

Oh, I wanted it so badly. But, it appears that I was clairvoyant about my failure to make the team.

I was not one of the people who got a friendly phone call inviting me to join a moot court team today. Most of the calls came during school hours, which was very nerve-wracking. The early acceptees were excited, and you could tell by the huge grins and quiet questions of whether you'd been called yet that they wanted to share. For them, it must have been tough for most of us hadn't received a call. Predictably, as the hours wore on, more and more people received calls and those of us who hadn't slowly let our hopes dissolve.

I'm very bummed and somewhat confused. What happened? How could I excel in my moot court class, want it so much, and yet, somehow, not be selected? Even with my lack of preparation and stumble, the feedback in the interview and my gut told me I was still decent enough to earn a spot. I feel betrayed by my own sense of hope (which, despite my attempts at banishment, insists on holding out in a corner until the absolute rejection arrives). Thankfully, I don't have much time to focus on this.

Finals are around the corner. Got to get cracking.

Ever tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
--Samuel Beckett

April 19, 2004


The ticket from my muni debacle arrived.

$110!!! Are you kidding me? For taking a $1.25 ride without paying because the turnstiles were broken?

So, instead of studying on my break today, I'll probably be going to the Justice Hall to appeal. All right, here I go to do some REAL legal work.

April 18, 2004

Say I'm Not Clairvoyant

Since I've been fairly true to my workout schedule this semester, I've been less stressed and sleeping better.

But, now that serious studying time has arrived, I think I can count on the arrival of messed up dreams. I'm one of those lucky people who wakes up quite a bit during wacky dream spells so I remember them in much more of their weirdness than I'd prefer.

I studied Contracts at least 8 hours yesterday. E and I ate mexican food with margaritas, and then watched Sling Blade and Simpsons before heading to bed. The combination was a recipe for excellent dreams:

Dream 1. The moot court coach called and told me I was 9th out of 10 on the waiting list to make one of the teams. I then attended a terrible party, where my transcript/application was passed around and it was pointed out to me that I never actually turned in my memo in LWR, so I had an F in that class, which probably affected my chances to get on a team. I had to congratulate people who did get on one of the teams while they all explained to me why I didn't get on one and probably wouldn't off the waiting list. Also, the moot court instructor explained that there were only 1/2 the spots originally allocated due to budget issues. Given how badly I want to be on a moot court team, this dream sucked.

Dream 2. I woke up convinced that I had dreamt of the funniest sign in the world and wishing that I had a pad of paper next to the bed to write down whatever it was that the sign said. Of course, I can't remember what it said now...

Dream 3. I got in a huge screaming fight with my best friend from childhood on the phone. I woke up angry with my heart racing. The topic of argument: Junior High stuff like clothes, friends, appearance, "you think you're so cool," etc. This was the worst dream of all.

What the hell?

April 16, 2004


E just got in from a poker game with some of our friends. Apparently, it was a lot of fun.

I'm heading off to bed after a night of working out, eating solo and making tax flashcards with a pot of tea to keep me company.

[grin] ahhh, the good things about law school really make themselves known around this time of year, don't they?

April 15, 2004

A good wine list

If I ran the world, wine lists at all restaurants would meet these standards:

  1. A selection of wines that start at roughly 1.5 X the average entree in price.
  2. A large selection in the 2.0-3.0 X average entree price range.
  3. A few more expensive selections that are great values and finds, which might, but rarely do, tempt me to splurge.
  4. Every wine would have at least one of the following qualities: great value, unknown but should be discovered, local producers (as in from the 20 closest producers).
  5. At least 6 wines by the glass (usually the best values from 3 whites and 3 reds)
  6. And, of course, all the usual stuff, all of the wines should go well with the food served, be indicative of their grape, producer, region, or something memorable, and in general, just good.

Unfortunately, I don't run the world. This means that most restaurants make wine lists based on a desire to make the largest profit they can, with the second goal of getting people to spend as much money on wine as possible. Usually, the cheaper wines on the list end up being mass-produced stuff I buy at the grocery store for $6-$10, but the restaurant is charging $20-$25 for it. The middle of the road for the price range in these restaurants is usually closer to 3-5 X the average entree price, and even then, the majority of the offerings are well-known stars of the wine world, which are overpriced due to their acclaim. This is before the standard restaurant markup of 100-300%.

Last night, E and I went out to a different local Italian joint than where we usually go. The wine list followed my school of thought, which was pleasantly surprising. There were several excellent values and good, but unknown local selections. So, I chose a reasonably priced Napa Pinot Noir of which I'd never heard. E and I were in heaven.

Finding a wine list that I'd make if I had the time, money and restaurant to host it in was the best thing that's happened all week. But enjoying an affordable wine discovery with a white-wine-saffron-seafood fettuccini and a much-needed date with E sealed the deal.

So, if you get a chance, give Fleur de Carneros a try. I have no idea if they carry it in stores, but even with the restaurant markup it's a good value. However, if you do find it in the store, splurge away--at $14 a bottle, the cheery, light, and delicious wine with the french-style label is a serious bargain (some of the winery's neighbors charge double or even triple that for wines of roughly the same quality).

April 14, 2004

Fuel to the Fire

In case you've been under a rock, I thought I'd let you know that USN&WR released their 2005 rankings and pretty much everyone already looked.

Several people already blogged, commented, ranted and discussed the use, misuse, futility, and effect of the rankings. And, I didn't add anything because really, what is there to say that hasn't been said?

Until today, that is.

For some reason, the folks over at law.com have decided that my blog belongs on their short-list, so I've been getting a bunch of referrals from them. I went to go poke around their site today and found the 2003 BCG Guide to Class Ranking Distinctions & Law Review Admission at America's Top 50 Law Schools.

If you're a student who's concerned about your school's drop or consistently low rankings and how it may affect your future career, you might want to check out the PDF to gather information about your school's strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis other schools. If your school has a difficult curve, the numbers in the PDF may help you make the case that your grades are better than they appear at first blush. If nothing else, you can read it for the gossipy tidbits, such as:

  • Only 25 of the top 50 schools use a 4.0 GPA scale.
  • The difference between failing and a B- in Stanford's GPA system is .4 points.
  • Columbia is so secretive about its grading policies that BCG couldn't obtain any information on grading.
  • At Boalt, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Stanford, UCLA and UC Davis, there is no grading-on to law review. It's all based on the writing competition.

Rounding 3rd Base

[phew] All school-related extra-curricular activities are complete. (Except journal competition, but that's not 'til after finals, which is a whole 'nother world to me these days). It's more of a relief than I expected. Now I can focus on all the crap necessary to get ready for the dreaded F-word. (finals, okay?)

Moot try-outs were okay. Not great, but not horrible either. I finally managed to motivate and slap together a somewhat decent understanding of my issue and the argument. I stumbled during my introduction, which is generally unacceptable, if you ask me. But, I wore my more formal suit and new shoes, so at least I looked the part. I recovered from my stumble fairly well and things seemed to be looking up for a while. But then, the judge asked me a question that I'd cleverly (or so I thought) skirted by limiting my argument.

I had to do respond with, "Your Honor, foo is germane to Respondent's very valid argument of bar. I am not making that argument today since Respondent's stronger argument is blah. However, I'd be happy to attempt to address foo if you'd like." Thankfully, the judges withdrew their question and asked me to continue with my prepared argument. Had I been more prepared, I would have been able to respond. But truth was, I wasn't prepared enough to do a good job, so I had to own up to it. Bummer.

Thankfully, the post-speaking interview went well and LWR grade explanation seemed to satisfy their concerns about my lack of a writing ability. My resume seemed to impress them a bit, which was surprising since I didn't think my tech background would matter for moot court. Apparently they have a hard time finding people for the more technical competitions. I'm not complaining, sign me up.

Oh well... It's out of my hands now. They notify people next week, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

April 13, 2004

Motivation Needed

Tomorrow, I have moot court try-outs. Most people who are trying out for the team have read the brief several times, read all the cases and outlined their argument several days before their appearance.

Me? I'm excited about the topic. I really want to be on a moot court team. And yet, for some reason, I've been unable to start preparing for my try-out. I finally got myself to read the brief tonight by taking it with me to the gym and pouring over it on the elliptical machine.

Now I just need to pick the sub-argument I'd like to make, pull the related cases, outline the argument, and practice. This is the type of work I LIKE to do. It's much more interesting than the reading for my classes. But, for whatever reason, I'm caught up on all my reading and haven't started my argument.

I suspect that my no-procrastination policy during outlining and reading has backfired. Somehow, my brain knows moot isn't reading and outlining, so it's procrastinating away...

Here's to hoping the motivation kicks in before 11 PM. I'd really like to get some sleep before try-outs.

April 12, 2004

Keeping it Real

Saturday, someone pulled up next to me on the freeway in furious stop-and-go traffic on my way to my brother's house for Easter. They made the roll-down-your-window motion. You have no brake lights. I stopped at the nearest town. We checked the fuses, but it wasn't that simple. So, we dropped my car at the closed garage and navigated mass transit for 2 hours (!) in order to get a rental car at the airport (local rentals were all closed for the holiday/saturday/evening). I finally made it to my brother's place at 8:30 PM. I was not hit from behind by an SUV speeding around the corner only to meet my stopped and not-brake-lit car. I am very thankful that we were not injured. Bless the couple who took the time to tell us.

Saturday night after a 6 hour trip that should have been 2, I hung out with E, E2, my bro, his woman, and my niece. Adorable niece can say my name, sort of. She can say E's name better than she can say mine. She's wonderful, spoiled like the oldest grandchild that she is, attention hungry, and great. She woke up at 2 AM and, rubbing her eyes in that great way that kids can, and walked to the sliding glass door that separated us older kids from the house as we sat and told old stories about family. My sister-in-alomst-fact (not law, but close enough) effortlessly rose in mother-response and took her to bed. As she carried my niece away, my brother spoke his heartfelt expression of fatherhood aloud:

Sometimes, I just can't tell you how great it is. I can't explain it. A lot of times, she's crying and cranky and I'm like, "Come on, stop it, give me a break, do you really have to be like that?" But sometimes, she gets up and she rubs her eyes, and she's just so amazing. I love it. I can't explain it. It's just so great at those times.

That's all he said about that. But the emotion in his voice was humbling.

My sister didn't make it to Easter brunch. She pulled out of a gas station and into a car with an 80-year-old woman driving. Her car was out of commission. No one was hurt. Again, I was thankful.

My mother had an emotional moment while going through her jewelry with D, my bro's wife-like-baby-mama. Some of the things that my grandma left my mother have been in the family for ages and my mom doesn't wear them because they aren't her style. But she doesn't want to get rid of them either. Turns out, D is a jewelry artist and started jumping up and down and screaming at the sight of these old crystal necklaces. My mother gave them to her, crying happily at finally having a proper place to give them away and have some closure.

Today, I started to stress out about the work I need to do for moot court try-outs, the fact that there's only 14 days of class left, the amount of work I need to do to get my head around all of my subjects (particularly contracts) before finals, the stupid logistics of returning the rental car and getting my car back (assuming the repairs were easy to complete and I could afford them), and the reality that I didn't get a call-back for the trial team.

So, I went over to Salam's blog for a dose of reality. I highly recommend it if you are in need of one. If you don't need a reality check, I recommend it for the historical context, his great explanation of the Sunni-Shia religious past and present conflicts that arise therefrom is very educational.

[exhale] Well, that was a lot for one discussion, wasn't it?

April 9, 2004

Ode to Paypal

So, it's no secret that PayPal has a history of being very abusive to customers. Their actions in the past got them into a class action lawsuit.

In fairness, I heard that when EBay acquired them there was a bit of clean-up (which would make sense since EBay's a pretty reputable company), but I don't know for certain since I never use them.

Today, K decided to buy hockey tickets for a tomorrow's Sharks game.

Apparently, she didn't realize she'd have to pay by PayPal 'til too late. So, she signed up, and felt the need to add the following in the comments box (after copying it into an email for my amusement--K knows that I get a kick out of her ranting explosions):

I feel like I've been f*cked sideways by the
superfluous steps needed to set up an account.
Now the kids will never see Mickey Mouse or Goofy
(well, actually maybe Goofy...but that's NOT the
point), and it's all your fault. I feel like
I've been taking crazy pills trying to get this
stupid, sack-of-sh*t website to work. Your
horrible service has prompted me to leave the
country for a more civilized nation, like
Botswana. This is the most abusive thing I have
used since Windows 98. May God have mercy on
your souls...F*ck you and goodnite.

[laugh] I may be sick, but I think it's hilarious when people get so upset that they make no sense at all. Just Great!

Oh, and, I guess, the public service announcement part of this is: looks like the registration process at PayPal hasn't gotten any user friendlier as of late.
I See...

I am like Bill -- "I'm a trained killer - in business."

Bill was the Project Manager for the Celebrity Auction Challenge.

Which Apprentice are You?
brought to you by The Apprentice Blog and Quizilla

Link thanks to ambulance chaser.

April 8, 2004

11 months

The experiment of attempting to be fully anonymous didn't quite make it to the year mark.

Today, I had the luck of walking by a group of people in my section discussing the finer points of some of my earlier, less discerning posts. Turns out, my posts came across as pretty damn rude.

Back in the beginning of school, I was paranoid about protecting my own identity but I was less concerned with protecting the identity of the people about whom I made jokes. Most of those people are now my acquaintances and/or friends. I went back and read what I'd written and realized it wasn't cool. Back when they were imaginary people for my readers I felt fine about it. It's a completely different issue when people are reading about people they think they know.

When, I decided to post about Egypt, I consciously gave up any pretense that anyone who wanted to figure out who I was couldn't. Unfortunately, I forgot to recognize that by extension, they may be able to figure out who I had written about in the past as well. Or, at least they would be inclined to come up with some funny, but incorrect guesses. It also didn't occur to me that they'd assume that all joking descriptions of people were true, not exaggerations, bitterness, and creative license. Either way, it was irresponsible of me. I feel pretty shitty about it, actually.

Oh well. Bed made. Here I lie.

To those of you who think you've got me figured out, I repeat my request that you respect my wishes to be anonymous. Feel free to email me if you've got a bone to pick or a burning desire to confront me. I'm happy to oblige.

April 7, 2004

Worth the Work

So, it appears that some of my hard work in law school has paid off. Unlike LWR, where I did two re-writes of my memo to no avail, this time around, I'm a very proud and smiling BT.

Why? Because I received honorable mention for my moot court brief and the best oral argument award for my section.

Damn, old habits die hard. Us A-types (aka law students) do love our external validation, don't we?

Here's my advice to all my frustrated readers: Keep on keepin' on. Eventually, you'll find the professor that teaches in the manner in which you learn. If you're lucky, she'll value the qualities that you have by gut instinct and you'll actually get some validation out of it. And when you do, you too can be as happy as a clam.

Man, I am way happier than I thought I'd be about something like this. No doubt, the feeling of glory will pass shortly. I've got finals and the arbitrariness of the grades they bring to take me off my cloud. But tonight . . . I feel fabulous.

P.S. Having a blog is wonderful for being able to celebrate your successes when it is completely inappropriate to do so in the real world amongst your peers.

April 5, 2004

Sure we wang!

I just discovered the harry potter wang-for-wand switch. It's long, but worth a great many laughs if you find the word wang a silly, funny, and necessary addition to most conversations.

See the infamous cartoon if the wang fixation confuses you.

Still confused? Find the nearest 15-year-old boy, he'll sort you out right quick.

Beanie's got a bit of a problem with someone who's trying to out her. I started to comment on her blog about how I support her choice to be anonymous (duh...) but then realized it was getting way too long to be a comment. So, I'll blab on my own space instead.

Basically, there's a common set of manners (if not rules) about respecting the choices of people who choose to be anonymous on-line. I've met people who blogged anonymously in person and didn't mention a word about it until they invited me to do so. Others have extended the same courtesy to me. It's a strange and complex thing about the evolving nature of the freedom of this medium, but most of us who've been here all sort of know the social norms which sort of function as rules. The person who is outing Beanie is being rude.

It's important to realize that the freedom of expression in this medium is directly linked to the respect or manners that most people display towards our wishes to be anonymous. I've blogged about anonyminity before. It's a choice. It's difficult. It requires self-censure. But it comes with freedom to not censor other things, which is often the reason why people read.

I wouldn't post my full biography with picture as well as my thoughts and observations. It doesn't feel safe to me. So, I've chosen the level of detail that makes me comfortable and asked that people who manage to figure me out to keep their mouths shut. So far, they all have. I thank them for their excellent breeding and hope that Beanie's outer rethinks his or her approach. I'd hate to lose Beanie's perspective but I'd probably dive for cover and kill the archives if someone outed me, so I understand her response.
Thanksgiving, Revisited

Originally, I told my mom that I wouldn't be able to make Easter Brunch at her house. It's a 2+ hour drive and on the allocated Crim outlining weekend.

But then I talked to my more-or-less sister-in-law and mother of my niece. Turns out, in the last 3 months, my adorable niece has learned to talk pretty damn well and can now count to ten. She's 2 years and 2 months. Brilliant! Also turns out that when I missed my sister's birthday dinner for moot court arguments, my niece specifically asked for me by her adorable mispronunciation of my name. I've never heard her say my name.

Roughly the same logic that made me offer our new house and my cooking skills for Thanksgiving kicked in when my sister-in-law asked me if I'd be at Easter Brunch. This time it's a 2-year-old and not 80+ year-olds, but same concept. Life is too short to miss this sh*t. I will work myself to death this week in order to be at my mother's on Easter and watch my niece find those hidden eggs. Also, if she can call me by my adorably mispronounced name, that would be nice.

Following in the Turkey-Day theme, I decided to thaw out the turkey broth I made from the turkey carcass and make minestrone tonight. Mmmm.... E and I agree, turkey minestrone several months later is a fabulous way to remind ourselves of thanksgiving. I think it may have to become a tradition. Towards that end, I'll share the knowledge/experimental success with any of you who are interested

Turkey Broth, in a huge stew/soup pot:
1. Sautee one diced onion and 5 cloves of garlic in a splash of olive oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add 1 diced carrot, 1 diced yellow onion, 3 diced celery stalks, 2 cups dry red wine, the turkey carcass, turkey neck and giblets and cover with water. Add spices to taste (oregano, basil, thyme, lemon pepper, salt, whatever...)
3. Cover with an escape for the gas and boil (not vigorously) for 2 hours. Add water to keep everything covered.
4. Remove carcass and strain liquid into receptacles for freezing. Note: big receptacles are not a great plan. I ended up with one that was too huge for minestrone so I had to throw the rest out. Next time, I'll use smaller containers. Hindsight...

Minestrone, in a huge stew/soup pot:
1. Sautee several diced cloves of garlic and half a diced yellow onion in 1 T Olive Oil for 5 minutes.
2. Add 3 diced carrots, sautee for 5 more minutes.
3. Add 6 cups broth and bring to a boil. If the broth is too strong (likely if the turkey easily fed 17 with 2 weeks of leftovers but you still used one pot for the broth), add a cup or two of water.
4. Boil for 15 minutes, add 2 pealed and diced potatoes (brown-skinned idaho are good for soup), 3 leaves of chopped swiss chard (cabbage or any fibery leaf should do just fine), 1 16-oz strained can of cannelloni, 1 16-oz can of stewed tomatos, 2 T lemon juice, parsely, spices to taste (I threw in some preserved chopped chili peppers and salt), and 16-24 oz of pasta shells.
5. Add pulled turkey or other meat (pre-cooked) if you want meat in your minestrone (we used chopped turkey breast, it worked well, but next time I think I'll use sausage)
6. Boil for 15 additional minutes and take off the burner.
7. Allow to sit and thicken for 15 minutes.
8. Serve warm with grated parmiggiano on top.

Mmmmm.... I can't wait for Easter Brunch.

April 3, 2004

Spring Forward

So, with all the great things of Spring, comes the lost hour. Yes, it does suck. But, given all the great things that Spring brings, I'll take it with a grin.

I completely forgot that I'd have to lose an hour tonight, so I owe a big thanks to J, who I just discovered. Unfortunately, I may very well be outlining at the turning hour as he predicted. Nahhh, let's be serious. I'll probably get another 30 tax flashcards done and settle into the couch with E to watch Army of Darkness.

Either way, I can't complain. It's Spring, and E and I took a very pleasant bike ride to break up the day's studying. The plan for tomorrow includes a long run in the sun. I managed to plod through the week's onslaught of work and activities with enough time to spare for a Friday night off. Today, I kept busy all day with schoolwork and managed to keep the stress at bay. My applications for moot, trial team, and scholarships are complete. The 450 pages of crim reading to get back up to speed are finished (note to self, the Hot Now had a high price--it was probably still worth it though). So, tomorrow's run will be buttressed with tax flashcards, a first crack at the tax outline and an attempt to do a tax practice exam.

Ahh, yes, what was I saying about how wonderful spring is?
Easter Egg

Last night, E and I went to Italian food with friends and talked about VERY LITTLE relating to law school. Unfortunately, I did slip with some kill-the-conversation tax tidbits, but I'm not as far gone as I feared. I can still pretend to be normal. The bad news is that my Italian is quite terrible these days from lack of use. The good news is that I can't discuss tax in Italian.

R told us all about BMW's M3 Easter Egg. I'm not sure how I feel about an easter egg in a car. What's next? Planes?

April 1, 2004

You Belong in a Courtroom

I had oral arguments tonight. One of the judges had parked at the same garage as me, so we walked together. She asked about my summer plans and looked surprised when I told her I'd be doing mainly patent work.

But, You belong in a courtroom, she smiled and winked.

And oh, how glorious it felt to believe her.

Because I was pretty good tonight. Not great. But good. And I knew it. It was definitely not the best public speaking I've ever done. My opponent won the judges' hearts with his passion but I earned the nodding appreciation of their brains when I pointed out the flaws in his case analysis and reasoning. And that's enough for me. Particularly when I'm arguing about something about which I don't care. [laugh] The Chief Justice commented that she liked my calm, professional manner. Clearly, I didn't care enough. I've never managed to attain a calm professional manner in any oral argument in my life before tonight.

The biggest two lessons from this evening were:

1. Regardless of how unprepared your opponent has been, never doubt that they may just pull it together and impress the hell out of you.

2. Each member of the panel has their mind made up before you start to speak. Your best points will be appreciated by those who appreciate your position. But to change minds... now that's the thing I haven't figured out. It's not a smart enough thing. It's not a passionate enough thing because if you're passionate against their side, they think you're crazy. So, how do you do it? Or can you, even?