Friday, October 29, 2010

My Luck Ran Out

I recently got my schedule for next semester, and my luck has run out. Unlike this semester when I had no classes before 10, I have three 8:30 classes next semester. Damn I hate classes in the 8 o'clock hour. Knowing my luck, I'll get some chatty professor who calls on me all the time. I'm not a morning person. I try to have meaningful conversations, and if I do have to talk, I try to keep the topic to traffic, sports or weather.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Legal Writing

I'm not that great at it. (TWSS)

I received my first graded assignment in law school today. I made mistakes--many , many mistakes. I found out the hard way that in memo, the following are frowned upon:

  • Dashes ( I really didn't know this!)

  • Abbreviating months.

  • Contractions (I knew better but it's a bad habit I've fallen into since the advent of the world wide web.)

  • Complex sentences (I have a habit of combining phrases, clauses and so forth using subordination and conjunction into a huge sentence that my professor doesn't like.)

  • Improper use of contractions and possesive form of proper names ending in "S." (I'm really awful at that. It's embarassing.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weight-loss Reality Shows & Shaming

There have been several reality shows with a "weight loss" theme such as Thintervention or The Biggest Loser. The cast members almost always lose weight. What makes the programs so successful? It may be the exercise regimen crafted by the outgoing and enthusiastic trainers or the sage diet advice from the registered dieticians.

Those things help, but I think the real common denominator of the shows is the elements of accountability and shame. There's nothing like the cold, hard numbers from the scale staring one straight in the face saying "Hey Fatty" and subsequently shaming the contestant to get with the program.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bad to the Bone

In the first or second winter I was in NJ, an incident happened when my brother took the babies out front to play. My brother was not aware of Father’s hostilities or at least the extent of them. Father could fight and kill, and he did not like Andy that much. It was a constant battle keeping Father from going at Andy. Inside, Father would never try anything on Andy, but out front, Father would get a little confused with all of the commotion and activity and would revert to his feral ways. When Father was on his own for who knows how long, he fighting and killing was a way of life for him—it was a necessity.

Once in a while, he would snap at Andy, but I became keen of the events that would trigger Father’s abrupt anger and ward off any danger. Normally, all it took was a firm admonishment from me, and Father would almost always back off. Father always recognized me as the ‘alpha’ and never challenged me or show any signs of confrontation with me.

My brother, however, did not know how mean Father could be. Well, during Christmas break, my brother took them out front, much to the baby’s’ delight. I didn’t see what triggered the event because I think I had gone back to NJ to work. I didn’t get much vacation time at Hoechst-Marion-Rousell. Anyway, something triggered Father, and since no one was there who would have recognized an imminent danger, Father let out his anger and bit Andy in the leg. My poor baby was bitten all the way to the bone, the vet sad. I felt so awful for him. Andy has always been such a sweet dog, and it broke my heart to see someone being mean to him. Andy’s leg healed but who knows what kind of psychological impact it had on him. He always had tendencies for neurosis and this didn’t help.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I picked up a malware infection the other day. I almost shit a brick thinking I was going to lose everything. Then I was pissed off at my school since they required us to use their anti-virus software which clearly didn't work in this case. Fortunately the school has computer services which took care of the problem.

And I swear, I wasn't looking at porn!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Is It Racist?

A guy injured in a bar-room fight sues the bar owner for negligence relating to his personal injuries from that fight. The Oregon Supreme Court described the parties in the booth as people of "American Indian ancestry", but made no reference to the ethnicity of the party sitting at the adjacent table. The people in the booth ended up in a fight with the people at the adjacent table.

The Oregon Supreme Court , in describing where the plaintiff was during the rowdy-dow, stated "No one could testify to the plaintiff's whereabouts at the time the band in the booth went on the warpath..."

A "Warpath"?! What the hell were these judges doing while writing this opinion? Watching old Westerns or something? Among law students, I'm definitely right of center in my politics compared to the norm, but even I was embarrassed after reading that opinion. The opinion was in 1971, right before the cusp of what we know as political correctness, but this example exceeds the boundaries of political incorrectness and heads straight into outright racism.

The case was Stachniewicz v. Mar-Cam Corp.

Friday, October 15, 2010

They Call Me Mister Tibbs!

At the beginning of the semester, our civpro professor addressed everyone by "Mister" this or "Miss" that. But sometime in the last few weeks, he has been addressing some people by their first names. Then there are others who he still calls "Mister" or "Miss." Even though he has called on me a few times already, it's still "Mr. Jogger". There's another dude in class he has called on more times than he has me, and he is still "Mister so&so" I thought it may have been age-related but the other guy is much closer to the average 1L's age in my class. I can't figure out the rhyme or reason.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Power, Pop-Queens and Pelosi

  1. Michelle Obama
  2. Irene Rosenfeld
  3. Oprah Winfrey
  4. Angela Merkel
  5. Hillary Clinton
  6. Indra Nooyi
  7. Lady Gaga
  8. Gail Kelly
  9. Beyonce Knowles
  10. Ellen Degeneres
  11. Nancy Pelosi

What a joke the Forbes "100 Most Powerful Women" list is. Nancy Pelosi, Madam Speaker, is not even in the top 10. I understand how she is behind Angela Merkel, a leader of a powerful western European nation. I can even see Oprah being in the Top 10. She has turned mediocre talented people into TV-stars and obsure writers onto Best-sellers.

It's not that Pelosi didn't make the Top 10, but it was who was put ahead of her that is so laughable to the point where I can't take this list seriously. A comedian and a couple of pop-queen sensations put together and raised to the tenth power don't have the power that the Speaker of the House has in one pinky.

The List

Saturday, October 9, 2010


There are so many movies and TV shows about lawyers that one would think lawyers had a monopoly on drama. Believe me, they don't. Maybe lawyers by nature have big mouths and love to talk lending the the concept of law being so dramatic and eventful. I'm just a law student, so I really don't know what the real world will offer in the legal world as far as emotions and drama.

Looking back, there were quite a few incidents in mine and my coworkers careers starting in grad school and leading into industry. Below are a few highlights of what I've seen or heard from others.

(I'm not even going to list some of the annoying 'Office Space' stuff like the guy who would shit in the second floor men's bathroom everyday, fill the toilet bowl with toilet paper, but never flush. That was one nasty son-of-a-bitch.)

  • A post-doc tried to kill a grad student with a 5lb hammer (his labmates constrained him before he found her, but he did vocalize the threat and have the weapon in his hand.)

  • A grad student had an affair with another grad student resulting in a divorce.

  • An advisor allegedly had an affair with one of his students. Interestingly, she obtained her PhD in the fastest time in that guy's group.

  • Another professor allegedly dated his students which held up his tenure a year or two.

  • A guy 'playing a joke' on his supervisor by waiving a toy gun to him in the parking lot after work. He was fired.

  • A post-doc making crystal meth, getting busted, and the cops were amazed at the drug's purity.(It sounds like a scene from Breaking Bad, but this happened a decade before that show started.)

  • Another guy was making X at work. He was busted , charged and convicted of a felony. He quietly and quickly left work. His name was never to be mentioned except in hushed tones in dark corners of the lab.

  • A guy surfing porn at work. Supervisors knew. The guy's excuse was 'I can't do this at home in or else my family may catch me.'

  • A dude didn't show up for work for 3 days. It turns out he had died of a heart attack at home, and his remains were lying undiscovered for a while. (I'm afraid that will happen to me, but even worse, my pets would eat my body.)

  • A famous chemist at another school was 'mugged.' I say 'mugged' because even though the muggers beat the crap out of the guy, the muggers didn't take any of the guy's belongings.

  • Explosions in the lab.

  • Chinese student in 'Daisy Dukes.' That was funny!

  • A grad student taking all of the dry ice the morning after a hurricane hit. Resourceful but theft nonetheless.

  • Three undergrads not in the chemistry dept. asking me if I had an extra catalog 'for chemicals' for me to give them.

  • TA's dating their own students.

  • There was one student who had cancer. I'd love to see an Irwin Test or a gene tox test results on the compounds she was making in grad school. The school gave her an instructor position when she obtained a PhD. It makes me wonder if a suit was brought forth and if any settlements were made.

Summer has faded...

And so have my classmates tans. (Mine too.) People don't seem as cheerful now either compared to orientation days. Will we ever get them back? As for me, I developed my first real tan last summer after many years of pasty whiteness.

The assignments are building up, and reading assignments have accelerated to the point where my tv viewing time is affected. I remember October in my first semester in grad school. School work accelerated in that month. I remember  I had a 3 hour physical organic test one night, a physical chemistry exam the next morning, and then the next day, I had to proctor a general chemistry exam. As bad as that was, in early November, our physical organic professor had the bright idea of having exams on Sunday so we could take even longer to finish our exams and we wouldn't have any scheduling conflicts. That sucked the big one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kamik Rain Boots

It rained here the other day, and there were about 6 women wearing the same type of rain boots at school that day. They didn't have the same patterns, but what the patterns did have in common was that they were whimsical, tacky or kitschy. I don't know how long this fashion will last, but I'm sure we'll have to suffer through it for at least a couple of years. Hopefully they won't have the same staying power as Crocs or Uggs.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Orchestrating Playtime for the Babies

By the time Andy was a year old, routines were established such as where, when and how they played. Playing out front could be especially challenging. Abby could be so demanding about going out front, and she would whip the others into a frenzy before we went out front. About half the time we went out front, the babies would chase a squirrel eating by the bird feeder or oak tree. Unless the babies cornered the squirrel in a tree, the chase lasted a few seconds, and the rest of the time each dog did his or her own thing.

Abby stopped fetching by now. The game she played and excelled was the tugging games. If I were not around, Abby would slowly walk around and sniff the yard smelling the lingering odors of any interlopers that may have passed through the yard recently. But if I were around, Abby would find a rope and we would have our own version of tug-o-war.

Andy would play fetch. In the ten or fifteen minutes we would spend out front, Andy would retrieve a toy at least a dozen times. When he was younger, we had to keep a close eye on his activity level because his compulsion to run overrode his ability to regulate his energy and exhaustion levels. He could have easily bopped till he dropped. Sometimes his tongue would be hanging out and his face would look peaked but he would continue trying to play. We had to literally take the ball from him and make him go inside.

Then there was Father. He was always confused about playing. Was it fun? Was it life or death? He didn’t know and would become confused trying to snap at Andy once in a while. On some throws of the ball, Father would run along with Andy, but on others, he would growl at Andy and posture over him trying to assert his dominance.

After I threw a ball, I had to monitor several things at once. In my left hand was the tugging toy. Abby grab at it and we would have our tugging match. Then I had to monitor where Andy was and prepare for the next throw. Most importantly, I had to keep a close eye on Father to make sure he wouldn’t try to attack Andy. All it took to make Father back down was a directed shout at him, and he would always stand-down.

Lastly, I had to keep an eye on Andy’s exhaustion level especially when he was young. As he grew older, he did a better monitoring his activity level. He couldn’t do it in a ‘normal manner’ like Abby and Father who would simply sit down when they were tired. Andy would do what I call the ‘fly-by.’ Without any notice or warning, Andy would approach me as he had on previous throws, but instead of dropping the toy by my feet or handing it to me, he would keep the toy in his mouth and run a few feet by me and head straight towards the door. It was his way of announcing that play-time was over but in his own cute way. If the door was cracked open, he wouldn’t even wait for the rest of us to go inside with him. Instead, he would nudge the door open with his nose going inside alone. Playtime was over.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Season 3 of Real Housewives Atlanta, Tonight!

Oh what a glorious night, tonight is! The Real Housewives of Atlanta has a season premiere tonight. I guess Kim and Nene settled any contract disputes they allegedly had with Bravo.

There are also a couple of new cast members. Cynthia is a former beauty queen and model. Because she's nice looking, jealousy and cat-fights are sure to accompany this new cast member. I won't mention any names, but some RHW ATL are haters.

Phaedra sounds like a successful person who is an entertainment attorney. What the hell brings her to do this, I don't know. Her husband , a younger dude, has spent time in prison for a white-collar crime.

I figured Kandi joined the show for free advertising for her new album she was working on at the time.

I won't be able to watch tonight, but you can bet the farm that by the end of the week, I will have seen the season 3 opener.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest and a Possible Contestant

For those who don't know, Bulwer-Lytton authored the famous (or infamous) passage:

"It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."

A literary contest (and I use the word 'literary' generously) honors the above author by having contestants submit passages that are prolix, awkward, wordy, excessive and over-indulgent. The most recent winner submitted this:

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.

Site for Bulwer-Lytton

Anyway, I was reading a tort case and came across this:

As a lonely chauffeur in defendant's employ he became in a trice the protagonist in a breath-baiting drama with a denouement almost tragic.

Who the hell writes that shit?!!!!!!

The case was about a chauffeur who jumped out of a moving car while an armed man was in his back seat. The car rolled down the street onto a sidewalk and injured a woman and her two kids, albeit minor injuries. The mom sued the chauffeur for negligence but lost. The case was Cordas v. Peerless Trasn. Co.

Anyway, I wonder if the Bulwer-Lytton Contest award the judge posthumously? This judge would definitely make it in the top ten.