Thursday, November 30, 2006

get a room

So about a week ago, the Dean of Laying The Smack Down sent an e-mail to the entire law student populace about appropriate library behavior. You know, no eating (because it might get in the books, and then rats will eat the valuable Northwest Reporters that are available online anyway), no uncovered cups, no talking, no accidentally plugging your headphones into the wrong spot on your laptop and playing an episode of "The Office" for the entire third floor. Pretty standard stuff.

After watching the people at the table next to me yesterday grope and cuddle for about 20 minutes, something tells me that maybe that e-mail should've included "no PDA - at least, not where people can see you." I mean, I find a live floor show particularly distracting when I'm trying to watch TV in the library - I can imagine that the people actually doing work don't appreciate it, either.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

why christmas is awesome (part 2)

I look forward to one thing every Christmas. I know what you're thinking - no, it's not the month-long break from the evil forces of law school - but that's a close second.

I'm talking about "A Charlie Brown Christmas" - and this year, I totally TiVoed it so that I can watch it multiple times between now and the end of the holiday season.

I'm not sure if it's the kitschy awesomeness or the fact that it reminds me of being a little kid watching Christmas specials on TV every year that makes this special better (for me) than, say, Rudolph, Frosty, or the Garfield Christmas Special. Or maybe it's the fact that I can totally identify with Charlie Brown - someone with good intentions that never quite gets things right.

Plus, strewn amongst the endless modern specials and re-makes and bad sequels and rip-offs of "Home Alone", it's nice to see one Christmas special that still gets it. It's just a shame that we need a 41-year-old TV special to remind us that there's more to Christmas than tackling people at Best Buy in hopes of getting the last PlayStation 3 - to remind us that all we really need is to be surrounded by love, just like that poor little tree.

(As an aside, it may be just a little bit sad that the only Bible verse I know is the one that Linus recites at the end of the show.)


bus 2, me 0

My bus home last night was really crowded - more crowded than it normally is at 5:00 on a Monday night. So crowded that people were standing in the aisles all the way from the front to the back. (Sort of.)

I stand up at my stop, and there's three people standing between me and the door. There's enough room for those people to back up and maneuver around to let me get to the door, but they just stand there and watch me struggle with my giant laptop bag. I elbow and push my way to the door (finally), but the fact that I have to push hard enough to get past two very large men means that I'm on the stairs leading to the bus door with a little too much force. Now, I don't fall, but I push through that door really, really hard - and land on the sidewalk a little awkwardly, causing a sharp pain to sear through my big toe.

This morning, as I'm getting ready to go to class, I notice that the swelling and brusing in my big toe from the night before has gone down, and I can walk without too much pain. Considering this a victory, I head off for the bus stop a little early. I'm a few minutes ahead of schedule and about 100 feet from the bus stop when the bus comes barrelling down the street and past the stop. Yep - I was early, but the bus was earlier - it's Murphy's Law of the Madison Metro Bus.

So I decide to walk to class - it's about a 20 minute walk from my bus stop, so under normal conditions, it's not too bad. But as I'm walking towards the law school, I notice the pain in my foot starting to come back. Right now, I'm sitting in class with a throbbing big toe, and I wish I had some painkillers.

Although now that I think about it, this would've never happened if I hadn't gone to class in the first place...

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Monday, November 27, 2006

why christmas is awesome (part 1)

After partaking in this year's Black Friday DVD sales, I realized that the Christmas season is officially here. And since I'm not going to have a Christmas tree when I get home, I decided to put up my Christmas tree here (in lieu of starting my outlines...erm...adding a few things to the oulines I downloaded from the SBA website):

Yeah, Christmas decorations are tacky, but they're delightfully tacky. Cheesy ornaments and flashy lights are really fun. One of my last memories of Christmas in Richmond is being in Target and overhearing a woman telling her young daughter that whatever ornaments they select for the tree should be part of an overarching "theme" - since when is "Christmas Fun!" not an appropriate theme for trees? Why must trees have only blue ornaments, or only be decorated in angels, or be this blinding white-only monstrosity? Whatever happened to the days of heirloom ornaments and things that the kiddies made in class? Besides, tacky ornaments and colorful lights helped make Charlie Brown's tree come to life. (Or maybe it's just southerners pretending to be old-money southerners who insist upon perfectly-themed Christmas trees to make themselves seem more cultured than their "No, Really, the Civil War Isn't Over" roots.)

At any rate, what better way to get me through the endless sewage drainpipe that is exam season than to have a bright shiny Christmas tree to brighten my day?

(Side note: having a digital camera would be awesome, because the picture quality from my cell phone is obviously crap.)


Monday, November 20, 2006

highly illogical

My professor always gives us a five-minute break in the middle of our 1:20-long class...actually, it's more like we get that break with about 20 minutes left to go. So he wisened up last week and decided that, instead of said break, he would let us go 5 minutes early.

Today, he decides to give us a choice: 5 minute break during the latter third of class, or leave 5 minutes early. When your class is supposed to get out at about 4:50 every day, that "five minutes earlier" thing sounds pretty good. Right?

Apparently not. Apparently, people would rather take a five-minute break from browsing the internet in our unbelievably boring class than actually go home earlier to browse the internet without the burden of having the professor drone on in the background.

(I also discovered today that my professor's one ear is sort of pointy. Like Spock's ear on "Star Trek". The fact that my professor is a Vulcan totally explains why he's an international law expert (and always references things like "Battlestar Galactica"). I wonder if he worked for the State Department as part of their cover-up of the fact that aliens have lived among us for years...)

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

jesus h. christ.

Just when you thought that the commercialization of Christmas couldn't get any lower.....

American Greetings now allows you to send an online Christmas card that plays the Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps".

I wish I were kidding when I said that. Because if I were Jesus, and I heard something like this, there's no way I'd come back to save humanity.

What's next - a Christmas card that plays "Christalicious", sung by Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson?

I'm kidding. No. Seriously, no.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

what's wrong with me?

Today marks the 25th anniversary of Luke and Laura's wedding on "General Hospital". To commemorate the event, GH employed the genius plot device that is the "miracle drug" to resurrect Laura from her catatonic state, had Luke get a quickie divorce from new wife Tracy in the Dominican, and is giving Luke and Laura a second (and equally cursed by Helena Cassidine) wedding.

The episode is airing as I type. Yet, I am in class, instead of at home throwing my own wedding party for Luke and Laura.

Why are my priorities so out of whack?

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

you know you did it, just admit it

Sometimes, I'm really glad that God invented the FOX network. And I got really excited during "House" last night when I saw the promos for their latest "event".

Starting Monday, November 27th, FOX will be airing a two-part interview with O.J. Simpson entitled "If I Did It, Here's How It Happened" - no doubt to promote his upcoming book with a similar title.

(If??? Seriously, dude...IF?!?! I mean, I know, "jury of your peers" and all that...but they had to acquit because Chewbacca is an eight-foot-tall Wookie living on Endor with a bunch of Ewoks.)

It makes sense, though, that describing a "completely different" way in which he would've cut 'n' run (in gruesome detail, of course) would put to rest any and all speculation that he really did it the first time around. I mean, there's no way that a person could come up with more than one way to slit the throats of his wife and her boy toy du jour.

Hold on... I rolled my eyes so hard that one of them popped out of my skull... ahh, there we go. Moving on...

There's some sort of delicious irony in the fact that the Wednesday night chapter of this interview airs immediately after "Bones" - a show about a forensic anthropologist that works with mutilated corpses to solve crimes after the CSIs are unable to find the real killer. Just sayin'.


strategies for your on-call day

As a 2L, I've had the pleasure of being on-call a few times (most memorably, the Property Class Shanghai of '06). So, I decided that qualifies me to give some advice for on-call days. (Much like writing for shows about relationships and coining one now-famous phrase qualifies you to have a talk show about relationships. Yes, Greg Behrendt, I'm looking at you.)

Here's what you do - you watch either that episode of "The Office" where Michael gets hopped up on sugar from his sweet soft pretzel with "the works" and speaks four paragraphs of dialogue in 30 seconds ("The Initiation" - available for download on iTunes) - or any episode of "Gilmore Girls" (the old ones...before the Mrs. Christopher Hayden debacle) - and you mimic the speech patterns. Perhaps go on YouTube to find video of the MicroMachines guy (John Mochitta) talking ridiculously fast.

Then, you drink about six Red Bulls before going to class. (Vodka not recommended, as will likely slow speech pattern.)

Then you answer the professor's questions, making sure that every six words you speak sounds like one unintelligible monster word. That way, your peers will have no way to discern anything you say. Since transcribing your comments reads something like "lijdjskhfederalismlkhsdfdsfdueprocessduskhfskd", no one will be able to take notes. This means that you are the only person in the class (aside from the professor) that understood what was going on, and will be the only person to discuss that topic on the final exam.

Finally, after class, give yourself a pat on the back for learning how to screw people over. (Note: remember to figure out how to put that skill on your résumé, or else this will all have been a giant waste o'time.)


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

i (still) need a taco

It's that time of year again...the end of the semester is quickly approaching. This means that my trip to Austin is a now-visible light at the end of the foul-smelling 800-mile tunnel that is law school.

32 days, 2 hours, and 11 minutes until I am once again eating Mexican food that was cooked by an immigrant that came across the border illegally the week before.

I know that there are Mexican restaurants here in Madison...and apparently, one of them may not completely blow. However, I am convinced that only Matt's El Rancho can cure my post-exam ills.

Actually, maybe those ills could be cured by more cowbell.

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Monday, November 13, 2006


Today marks the one year anniversary of my first post - a rant on the fact that, on November 13, 2005, I saw a Christmas special on TV. And I *think* I alluded to the decline of my favorite holiday, Guy Fawkes Day (November 5th).

I've been trying to think of what to say to mark this momentous occasion, and I could only come up with this:

Thanks for putting up with my whining, complaining, snarking, superficiality, sad obsession with television, undying love for the Chicago Cubs, deep-seeded hatred of all things law school, and just general disdain for and distrust of the general populace. And a special thanks to those of you who know that, underneath all of that, I'm not the heinous witch that my posts sometimes portray me to be.

But mostly, thanks for reading.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

an inconvenient warmth

Dear Weather,

I'm not going to complain about the fact that it's the second week of November in Wisconsin, and it was warm enough for me to go outside without a jacket today. I'm really not.

But could you please just pick a season and stick with it? I don't know how much more of this mess my allergies can take.

Thanks for the swollen eyes,


yes, virginia, there is a hanging chad

As of 5:00 today, Senate hopeful Jim Webb holds a 7,215 vote margin over Virginia incumbent George Allen (a.k.a., the Giant Racist Douchebag). The only precincts that haven't finished reporting are in Isle of Wight county, which I *believe* is a fairly rural area outside of Newport News and Hampton.

I'm sure we've all heard by now that Virginia law allows a state-funded recount when the margin of victory is less than half a percent - in this case, fewer than 11,817 votes. Since Senator G.R. Douchebag is likely to pick up a few more votes in Isle of Wight, I think it's safe to say that a recount is looming.

That takes me back to the last time I voted in Virginia - I lived in Henrico County, just outside of Richmond, which is split about 50-50 Republican-Democrat (lots of poor folk and immigrants mixed with lots of rich bastards, essentially). There, instead of drawing lines to connect arrows or pressing buttons on a computer screen, we had a mechanism that allowed us to flip through a book-like ballot and select the candidate of our choice from the list using a special tool that allowed us to punch out a perforated circle next to the candidate's name.

That's right. Punch card ballots.

I haven't talked to anyone who actually voted in Virginia this year, so I don't know if they've actually spent taxpayer money on new voting equipment. Probably not, though, since the state's biggest priority in past years seems to be passing bills to add "Dead Confederate Soldier Day" to the calendar, or whatever they were calling it. (I wish I were kidding.)

I remember that, in '04, I actually checked for hanging chads (as if it mattered, since Virginia was pretty firmly stuck up Bush's sphincter at the time). But I have to wonder if anyone else is as crazy and conspiracy theory-obsessed as I am to have checked their own ballots this year...and if something that silly will make the difference in yet another election.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

election day, part deux

You know, voting for governor just isn't that exciting when you don't have Kinky Friedman as one of your candidates.

This was my first time voting in Wisconsin. I should've known when they let me register at the polls that I was in for a real treat. The ballots are only a slight step above scan-tron cards (okay, they essentially ARE scan-tron cards), and I got to play a sweet game of "Connect the Arrow", all the while hoping that the person at the DMV-style table next to me didn't peek around the curtain and cheat off my sheet. At least in Virginia (you know, a "backwards" southern state), we had booths with levers and automated switches to flip...and the 360-degree curtain simulated voting in the shower.

When I finished voting this morning and put my ballot in the scan-tron reader (I was Voter #617), there was no "I Voted!" sticker waiting for me. NO STICKER. I got off my couch and walked five blocks to my polling place, and I didn't even get a sticker for my trouble? What kind of Communist state is this????

So I had to ease my no-sticker sorrows by going to Target and picking up Season One of 90210 - complete with FREE SOUNDTRACK - including the musical stylings of Color Me Badd. So now I can re-live high school at home, instead of just at law school.


election day

Today, all over this great nation of ours, millions of Americans will be faced with one of the toughest choices in years:

Which classic TV series to purchase at Target?


Monday, November 06, 2006

my own private gitmo

When I came to law school, I thought I wanted to do international law. That being the end goal, I decided to take International Law. Then I discovered that it's one of the ten most boring classes of all time*. (Oddly enough, someone in Career Services told me about halfway through the semester that everyone hates International Law. Gee, Career Services, thanks for not giving me some advice that I could actually use. But I digress...)

At any rate, I spend most of this class doing a variety of things online (Deadspin, Perezzers, IM, Myspace, TWoP, Solitaire, etc.), because an hour and twenty minutes of International Law time is roughly equivalent to 17.5 human years.

I (mistakenly) decide to go to class today, and we're having some sort of mock argument for our international jurisdiction case. The professor, acting as head of the tribunal, decides to go sit in the peanut gallery for better observation of the student "agents". And where does the professor sit?

That's right. Next to me.

So I had to pretend to pay attention for an hour and twenty minutes straight. And about twenty minutes into the world's most repetitive oral arguments, the idea of sticking my pen into my jugular seemed like a good idea.

*Of course, being a first-semester 2L, I've only taken 13 classes. And all of them are one of the ten most boring classes of all time. Wrap your head around that math.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

highlight of my weekend

So, thanks to Peyton "Horseface" Manning and his buttbuddy seriously overrated favorite receiver, Marvin Harrison, not only did the Pats lose this weekend, but I lost my fantasy football game against the #2 ranked team in the league. Needless to say, I'm pretty bummed right now.

However, this weekend was not a total waste - I was at the UW-PSU game this weekend, and got to see JoePa go down:

Granted, it's not like being able to say "I was there when LT took down Theismann"...or even being able to say that I'm old enough to remember watching it on MNF. This weekend, though, I'll take whatever sick pleasure I can get.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

it's a good thing

I can once again drink coffee without pain - which means that I will be contributing to the national economy in full force by regularly dropping $4.06 on a 16-oz. cup of coffee.

"The Office" is all-new tonight. I'm pretty stoked - mostly because they give me great one-liners, such as "Why don't we just prostitute ourselves, and give that money to charity?"

Speaking of which, SBA is sponsoring a charity date auction tomorrow night. I'm still trying to figure out how that event is substantially different from whoring out students and giving the proceeds to troubled children.

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i may not be the brightest bulb in the box,

But I at least figured out where John Kerry was going with that comment without needing CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, the New York Post, and The View* argue over whether or not it was a bungled joke.

I just wish I didn't have this sinking feeling that this was going to cost a lot of Dems their elections next week...

*Yes, I watch "The View". I pretty much hate myself for enjoying it. But it's not my fault that there isn't anything else to watch when I'm getting ready for class.