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Thursday, September 30, 2004

A midnight visit from the Ghosts of Posts Past

Perhaps I spoke too soon when I wrote that I can't even talk of my dreams anymore [refer to "Law School makes you boring."] :

Last night I dreamt that my wife and I were planning to get married again, sort-of renew our vows. So before the wedding we go to pick up the marriage certificate. (I am not entirely sure why we needed another certificate... but for the purposes of this dream, we'll assume it was a necessity. It could happen. Texas has crazier laws than that.) While there we meet another nice couple getting married for the first time.

As we stood in line this jackass walks by and begins quite blatantly oogling my wife. He also happened to be someone with whom I go to school. Well, the staring turns into conversation and then he makes a pass at her... right in front of me! That gave me the impetus to grab him by the neck and back and throw him to the ground. From there, perhaps, I got a little carried away with the kicking. He jumped up, said he was suing, and ran away.

Okay, so far so good. Another dream about lawsuits, right? Not quite.

The County Clerk also ran a restaurant, at which I became quite inebriated with cheap champagne. My wife, still upset from watching me beat the hell out of the jerk, leaves the restaurant at some point and ends up in our limousine. This limousine driver wasn't quite as cool as the one we had on our first wedding day.

In the course of conversation with the driver, my wife is taken to see some drunken rastafarian who convinces my wife that we should no longer be married since we have fights. [Now enters "Sometimes Dr. Phil isn't a total tool..."]

I stumble to the limousine, slide in, but am quickly sobered when my wife tells me of her decision not to get married... again. From there-- don't ask me how-- we end up at the mall. She is in her wedding dress, I look like a hobo still carrying my empty bottle of cheap champagne and I'm chasing her through the mall where I break into an empassioned speech on the virtues of "what marriage is".

It went something like this:

Marriage isn't about "trying to make it." It is about looking back at the end of your life and realizing you had it made. Marriage isn't about trying to avoid the fights. It is about getting through them quicker so that you can move on to the "I'm sorry"s.

And on and on I gave my plea as I followed her through the mall. During the course of this speech I had actually attracted a crowd and they were following, listening, crying... there was some real magic happening. Rastafarian dude, eat your heart out!

So we finally ended up in that big open area in the middle of every mall. Y'know the one I'm talking about, some have carousels, others fountains, some just chairs... but all malls have them. Well, this mall had portable risers set up like they have for traveling singing groups. It must have been Christmas because they were set up right in front of a giant white Christmas tree.

[Here comes the best part as I am visited by "The '80s are back and they're better than ever!"]

Standing on the risers are the casts of Who's the Boss, Charles in Charge and that show-- the name escapes me-- with the Seaver family, y'know... with Kirk Cameron? And, as if to punctuate my speech, they are all singing the theme song from that last show.

As long as we've got each other, we've got the world sitting right in our hands. Baby, rain or shine, all the time... la la la la la laaa... something something something laughter and looooove.

Very spooky.

But it worked.

My wife turns to me, jumps into my arms and the crowd applauds. Then all of the various stars of VH1's Where are they now? part as I carry my wife to the top level of the riser and we stand just below the star on the Christmas tree. A minister appears, we exchange vows and the chorus again breaks out in song.

I want.... I want... Charles in charge of meeeeeeee.

Y'know who I missed seeing there, though? The cast of Cheers. Norm would have been great fun at the reception afterward. And I know that theme song by heart.

I do have to wonder what Freud would say about my dream.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Day of Judgment

There exists in the Great State of Texas a mystical band of folks-- sentinels , the Imperial Guard, the "Board" or whatever-have-you-- whose job it is to sit in judgment upon and sort through the select few.

These great Guardians of the Gate have been entrusted with the duty of keeping the sacred profession sacred. They are, indeed, all that stands between an orderly society run by the noble and good and a legal system fraught with corruption, a profession made the butt of ugly jokes and a society descending into chaos.

We now must take our stand before these heroes and proclaim our ultimate purpose.

In other words:

Our Declaration of Intent to Study Law is now due.

So I will spend the day gathering up references, trying to remember every place I have ever worked and all my bosses names from the past ten years, collecting my credit report and answering every "YES" or "NO" question in the minutest of details. ("Have you ever jaywalked? If so, attach a Continuation Form explaining in detail why you ever thought you'd get away with it!") Then I will throw in my fingerprint sheet, pack it all up, write out a check for $190 and send it all on its merry way.

The Board of Legal Examiners, for those who don't know, require this.

They believe it is their job to make sure no one of "questionable character" is ever allowed to become a lawyer.

Personally, I support them 100%. Someone has to do it.

It must be really hard, though, living with their batting average.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

The '80s are back and they're better than ever!

Do you remember that commercial? It was for a cd-- Totally '80s, I believe.

Now, I loved the 1980s. Really, I did. I can still remember at around the age of 7, 8 years old sitting in front of the tv with my uncle and watching the Video Killed the Radio Star video. Or how about the animated, "I want my Mtv". I must have rented The Making of Thriller video and watched it a dozen times.

It's hard to believe that Michael Jackson was once so cool...

But my favorite video was for a Tom Petty song. They pull up in some hovercraft car and in a scene reminscent of Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (another excellent vestige of the '80s) Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers step out in long dusty trenchcoats and open up a fall-out shelter. Inside are dust-covered instruments, a hold-over from that forgotten era. And Tom and his Heartbreakers pick up the instruments and begin to play. That was an awesome video... though I don't think the song had anything to do with the aftermath of nuclear fallout.

So I love the '80s, so what? (o, i forgot to give "props" to Men at Work, holla!) So what is my beef?

It is this: When are we going to see a commercial where some girl in "Hammer pants" calls up a guy who, we see, is wearing an adidas jogging suit and hi-tops (the new Jordans, of course) and asks:

Hammer Girl: "Have you heard?"
Adidas Guy: "Have I heard what?"
Hammer Girl: "The '90s are back and better than ever!"
Adidas Guy: "Word."
Hammer Girl: "Psych!" (short laugh) "The '90s couldn't get better, with hits like..."

And then we go in to a rundown of some great hits. But this CD will forget the grunge. No, we'll have to save Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots and Sonic Youth for a separate CD (of course.)

No, this CD will feature the greats of hip-hop in the early '90s. How about the "I Dream of Jeannie" influenced opening to Girls Ain't Nothing but Trouble or Young MC's Bust a Move. Then there is anything by Boyz2Men or Kid n Play. I miss Public Enemy in that bright suit with the big yellow clock around his neck. MCHammer will come dancing across the screen doing, what I recognize now as, an early form of Riverdance in those big baggy pants. (I owned like 5 pair, myself.) And of course Vanilla Ice: "rollin' in my 5.0 with the ragtop down so my hair can blow. Girlies on standby waiting just to say 'hi'. Did ya stop? Naw, I just rolled by..."

Ah the simple pleasures of the past.

I could dance once. I swear. I used to do the "running man," but my favorite was the "Humpty Dance." "Where's my Samoans? Do the humpty-hump. Do-a-do the humpty-hump." Can you imagine a young chubby white boy with his baggy neon green jean shorts and Bart Simpson t-shirt gettin' down in the front yard with our boom box blasting. I really could bust a move.

That brings up something I want to comment on before I end this. What made that music so cool was that a chubby white boy from the Oklahoma suburbs could relate. I don't know anything about "bustin' caps." But I could agree with Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince that parents really didnt' understand. Like Young MC and Kriss Kross, I knew what it was like to miss the bus. I didn't have to be from 8 Mile to understand what they were saying... and I didn't have to pretend I was either.

Nowadays I go home and some teenage punk white kid with his hair died blonde, hat on sideways pulls up next to me in an Escalade with his stereo blaring so loud my rear view mirror falls off.

All I think is: "You didn't get that from no record contract, fool. Your daddy bought it. Maybe what you need to know is how it feels to ride the bus. Word. I'm from the old school. Represent!"

Ah well. Just a thought, what ever happened to Kriss & Kross? They're about my age, maybe a little younger... I wonder where they ended up. Those kids had unique style. Thinking about it makes me feel all reminscent.

Maybe today, when class is over, I'll go home and pull out my baggy jean shorts and baseball jersey... and I'll put them on backwards. Just for old times sake. Even better: I'll pull out my old overalls and (if i can find it) hypercolor tshirt (remember those?!) and put them on, but let one strap of the overalls hang.



Monday, September 27, 2004

Law school makes you boring.

I have no amusing stories. None.

Y'know, I bet this is how it starts:

One day you wake up and the stupid stuff you do and the truly stupid stuff others do-- none of it is funny.

No more stories about the idiot in traffic. Nothing can be said about the fool at the grocery store who is just ahead of you and has a shopping cart full of enema kits and metamucil. (O, I laughed about that for weeks.) No, never again will I find myself during a wintry January stifling a laugh after some poor schmo, who was walking way to fast, has slipped on the ice in the Wal-Mart parking lot and split his trousers. I will just hand him my business card.

What a sad state of affairs it all will be.

And I can't even laugh about my dreams any more. They are now filled with law suits of all kinds. Last night I sued my wife for cheating on me with the guy behind the counter at a McDonalds... O, and she did it right in front of me!!

And my nightmares no longer consist of falling down a hole, or being chased, or coming face-to-face with some kind of ghoul. No. Now I wake up in a cold sweat after being slapped with a Rule 11 sanction by a very angry judge. (He says I shouldn't have sued my wife in the first place. I won't get in to what he recommended I do instead.)

O, the horror! The horror!

But that is just where it begins. Yes, my friends, eventually I will lose the ability to smile all together. That is, perhaps, the most frightening part. I watched a mock trial presentation over the weekend and I swear a couple of those 3Ls have had their mouths permanently formed into a frown.

Even worse, though, is that you will find me someday either at a swank coctail party or just talking over coffee and someone-- who is not a lawyer-- will tell a truly funny joke, a fall on the floor funny joke. And the best I will be able to do is chortle. That's right! Chortle... not even snicker... just chortle.

But, for now, I'm not even sure what "chortling" is. Hopefully I will never know.

Perhaps, instead of all this, I will just become a professor. I suppose then I may never fail to find some source of amusment in the panicked look upon my student's faces as I call upon them to give us the court's holding in the next case. O, what joy it could be to make a 1L cry...

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Rainy Day Saturday

I missed Contracts yesterday as I wanted to take my father-in-law to see Judge Emilio Garza speak at the law school. My father-in-law is a preacher, as well. And while Judge Garza was no preacher, he carried an awesome message about conscience. I do hope he is given the opportunity to sit on the Supreme Court.

Today my in-laws and the wife get to trudge through the rain to sit through a "mock" law class. I suppose, while it doesn't sound exciting, at least they aren't paying for it as well.

There is not much to be said otherwise.

As soon as they head back home this evening, I've studying to get done. All the rain will do is make my eyelids all the more heavy.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Family Day

Thank God for the weekend. Who cares that it brings more work. It is still the weekend. Hopefully I will find the time to catch back up on my studies.

The In-Laws will be here this afternoon, though. Tomorrow is "Family Day" at the law school. That is where my family will get to experience the indescribable joy of... a law school lecture.

The wife and I are looking forward to it. We bought a new mattress set for their arrival. I will pass on a piece of advice "my ole daddy" gave me: "Choose a mattress that is comfortable enough for guests to sleep 0n, but not so comfortable they'll want to stay."

I did-- I think-- get the washing machine repaired so no more swimming in to clean the clothes. I may have even fixed the dishwasher with the same problem. (I used alot of duct tape.) I also got to use the power tools to adjust my old waterbed frame to fit then new mattress. I was-- ugh-- very male last night.

I ran in to an old classmate from preaching school. He is married and has a kid now. I guess from what he says, the whole bunch of us single preaching students are now married.

I am telling you, ladies: You want to find a good man, go hang out at a preaching school. They'll be all over you... without... uh.... actually, y'know... being all over you.

And, if you are lucky, you might even find one that will later decide to go to law school. Then you will have it all: a good man who will make a good husband, a good father and a bunch of money... and who knows how to use a De Walt circular saw, too.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sometimes Dr. Phil isn't a total tool...

A piece of advice for my non-married friends, my recently married friends, and... Britney Spears:

Don't listen to those saps that lie and tell you that the first couple years of marriage are wonderful and exciting and its all one big honeymoon. They lie. They must be feeling as if everyone else had this great time and so they should have too. Then they spread the lie to you.

The first year or two of dating is exciting. Marriage is work. But there are trade-offs. There are benefits that come from marriage that you won't find from living together.

Sometimes, though, you just have a hard time seeing them the first couple years. (Sort of one of those "can't see the forest for the trees" type deals) And when the same old couple that was there on your wedding day--when you were at your best-- when that same couple asks, "How's married life?" Then you will smile and put your arm around your husband/wife and lie. "Wonderful!"

The greatest moment comes when that old man pulls you, as a husband, aside, puts his arm around your shoulders, and tells you that he knows. That he's been there. That everyone has. That you can continue to lie when asked that question. (Cause it's usually easier that way.) But that you shouldn't get discouraged.

With the divorce rate so damned high, though... I don't think enough of us have that old man to tell us the what's what.

Recently on his show, Dr. Phil quoted a wife as saying something like this: "The secret to our marriage is that in the past 8 years at least one of us was in love with the other at all times"

It is hard when you have those days that you aren't the one in love. It is even harder when you are, and alone. But the hardest is when neither one of you feel anything. But I and my wife, when this has happened over the past year, we've woken up every morning and we've tried. Thank God... because it has not been easy.

What makes it all worth it are the days you get up and you look at your husband/wife and you know: "As for being in love, at least for today, we both are."

We have more of those days now.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

O, the sweet sound of relief...

Ah yes... the sweet sound of relief was definitely that of my adversaries' names being called instead of mine. It means I get to sleep tonight. It means I get to study tomorrow. It means we lost.

But how can it be considered a loss when I am at home catching the opening of Leno while they are still begging some spastic faux client to tell them how much he'd been drinking before he flipped his harley over the old lady's electric scooter... and exactly why he thinks he deserves $250,000 because of it?

They deserve it. To win, I mean... not the lack of sleep and the mounting pile of CivPro reading.

On the plus side: One of our judges said we were the best at setting a "good tone." According to him, we truly connected with the client... we became more than her attorneys. We truly became her friends.

I'll have to remember that in the future: "Think of it this way. You aren't giving a half of the 1M you just got for the loss of your right arm to a complete stranger. No... you are giving it to a friend." Doesn't that just make you feel all cuddly inside?

Where my Tech Fans at???

By the way: Saturday was a proud day to be a Texas Tech Red Raider. How often will you see someone pull a come-from-behind victory like that one? You start with a 21-0 deficit and then without hardly allowing your opponent (who had been walking all over you) to see the goal line for the rest of the game (unless he's pinned to it), you score 70 points. 70!

It kind of makes up for that lousy loss the week before.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the game. I was studying Civil Procedure and converting my little used office into what will be an equally little-used spare bedroom.

It is pretty sad that the wife, who was at work, saw more of the game than I did. She did a pretty good job of telling me about it. She is getting pretty good at her wife duties, I'd say. ;-)

Grand Opening (Free hot dogs and soda! There will be a clown, also.)

I can say with both pride and some disappointment that I did break in 1L “Client Counseling”. They’ve narrowed it down from 80 teams to our little elated bunch of 24. What fun. And I thought I would spend the evening repairing the washing machine and trying to figure out why it’s leaking all over the place. I guess the wife and I will just have to keep wading in to do our laundry for a couple more days. The only thing is that I’m just not sure where the water is coming from. It is like having our own natural spring behind the walls. Perhaps, if that is the case, I will bottle it and sell it. I hear that is where the money is these days. Not the law.

Of course I am only joking. Prof. CivPro mentioned on the first day of class (which seems to have been years ago) that the legal profession is the only known exception to the law of supply and demand. We work the opposite way. The more lawyers there are, the more you need them. The more you need them, the more they charge. What a wonderful, wonderful equation. I think I’m going to start recruiting.

Of course, I tend to believe that if you’ve gone to law school with nothing on your mind but a 6-figure salary then you are in the wrong place. If that is all you are looking for, I can think of several easier ways to make your money. For instance: stay up late tonight and order the Carlton Sheets real estate program. You are guaranteed to make your first 100k in like 6 months or something. Try it and tell me how it works. As for me, I still have a car that uses power steering fluid like its going out of style and a big night for the wife and I is a drive-in movie. (2 movies, 5 bucks. Need I say more?) In any case, if buying real estate with no money down works out, send me something. A consultant fee, maybe?

As for me, I was 13 when I’d decided I would become a lawyer. It was the movie Mobsters that helped me make this informed decision. Up until this time I’d been working under the assumption (having been heavily influenced by Joe Pesci’s performance in Goodfellas) that I wanted to join the mob. Unfortunately, though, I didn’t grow up on the hard streets of New York. I grew up in Oklahoma. And it was Lawton, Oklahoma, at that.

Patrick Dempsey: He played Meyer Lansky, the lawyer to just about the biggest mob boss ever—“Lucky” Luciano. Luciano was played by Christian Slater. So I figured I couldn’t be a Christian Slater. (Not a big disappointment, though. Have you ever seen Kuffs?) But anyone can be a Patrick Dempsey.

Of course there were a few other phases in between here and there. After reading Kerouac’s On the Road I did think I was Abbie Hoffman for awhile, though I never tried to levitate the Pentagon. And there were times when I was having so much fun doing nothing that I had no goals at all. Those occasions were usually either spent in drunken stupors or “love” induced, free-spending, easy-living chaos. The only interruptions would have been the occasional “pregnancy scare” (at which point a guy starts to wonder how the hell he’s going to support a family) or the more rare moments of illumination when I’d wake up and say, “Today I think I’ll actually fulfill my potential.” That usually didn’t last.

Then came my “religious awakening”… And I became a preacher. Who better to speak of sin than a sinner himself, eh?

Well, I can’t put off my Contracts work anymore so I’ll have to end with that. Contracts can be quite tedious. And, unfortunately, I think the only casualty of the “Battle of the Forms” today will be me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Pre-Inaugural Post

And, yes, I do believe one can have a pre-inaugural post. Don't stores open their doors and then a month later advertise the-- much anticipated-- "Grand Opening". (Because the actual opening was not grand enough, I suppose.) So I reserve this right and I am exercising it now.

This is my official "pre-inaugural post".

Time is not a commodity of which I have an overwhelming abundance.

This is, after all, Law School.

I am married.

We have 1L "Client-counseling" competitions going on all week.

I am procrastinating on my Contracts studying.


('nuff said-- for now.)
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