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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I need more sleep.

It is summer and I’m not even an attorney yet. Yet, I definitely need more sleep. I did not get to sleep until about 2:15 a.m. and woke up at 5:15 a.m. 3 hours of sleep. And I had to get up at 5:15 because I have this crazy 8 o’clock summer class, so in order to get in a full work-out I must be at the gym when it opens at 6.

Now I have to sit through this beat-down of a class for 1 ½ hours. The class is not bad but it is just too long. I can’t keep my eyes open, people. After class and after I drop by the lab at the health center to get some blood taken for tests . . . then I’m going home to crash.

I need more sleep.

O, great . . . to make matters all the more interesting, that water I drank during my workout this morning has decided its time to leave. Thirty minutes to go. At least, perhaps, the exceedingly uncomfortable pain that is my bladder will keep me awake ‘til then.

Addendum: Never ever take an 8:00 A.M. Summer class that meets 5 days per week for an hour and a half each day. That is never never a good idea. I don't care if you are one of the Brady kids who wakes up singing, "I think i'll go for a walk outside now, the summer sun's calling my name/are you ready now? . . . Sunshine rays! Everybody's laughing!" You will regret it. I promise.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Friday Spies© (Sunday Edition)

1. What is the best thing about the city in which you live? What is the worst?

Lubbock: "The Giant Side of Texas."

The Best: Easy. The people. There is no other conceivable reason to settle down in Lubbock than because of the people. You simply won't find friendlier, kinder, or more generous people than in the city of Lubbock, Texas. Texans are, overall, friendly people (outside of Dallas) . . . but in Lubbock they make "friendliness" an art. One other thing: the sky. It is nearly always clear and a bright blue-- atleast 300 days out of the year.

The Worst: Also Easy. No Trees. No Water. Nothing around but dirt, dust, flatlands and shallow cotton fields for a hundred miles in every direction. They call Lubbock the "Hub City." Why? Because it is in the center of absolutely NOTHING. (O, and those really nice people . . . well, they kind of go crazy when they get behind the wheel of a car. The drivers here are psychopathic.)

On a side note: I mentioned Lubbock's new advertising slogan above, "The Giant Side of Texas." The powers that be decided last year Lubbock needed to revitalize its image to attract new people and industry. So, they dreamt up a new advertising campaign. The problem is . . . if you are reading this blog anywhere outside of the Lubbock area-- you won't ever see anything about it. Why? Because the only audience for Lubbock's new image campaign: Lubbock.

2. Describe an idea or invention of yours that you would like to see turned into reality.

I stopped trying to come up with new ideas a long time ago . . . and started thinking about how to make money off of someone else's old ones. I guess that is why i'm in Law School.

3. Name an overrated author, musician, and movie. Name an underrated author, musician, and movie.

Overrated: Are you kidding, I don't read; Just about any new big-label musician they play on MTV or whatnot today is over-hyped and overrated; and The Matrix.

Underrated: again, I don't read; The Impossibles (well, when they were still together); and, oh, Star Wars just doesn't get enough publicity, don't you think? . . . I don't understand why.

4. If your life were a sitcom slated to air in the fall, what would the show be called? Who would you cast in the starring role? And for extra credit, give us a brief treatment of the show.

"Moonlighting in Misery" starring SNL's Horatio Sanz.

There isn't much point in giving a brief treatment. I'm not sure they'd even get through the pilot before the network would decide its a piece of crap. (And for the one or two of you that actually read this lil' blog 'o mine . . . I wouldn't want to lead you on only to disappoint you. I hate teases.)

5. When is the fun supposed to start?

I don't know. I was previously under the impression it would be in 2 years when I finish Law School. After reading the Anonymous Lawyer, now I'm just not so sure.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Stairwell Grading Confirmed (More Property Fun)

Okay. I was right. I knew I had to be.

I spoke with two people yesterday about the grades returned by the illustrious Prof. Property.

Person One: Misery, d'you get done with your packet for Law Review?
Mr. Misery: Yeah. Finally. Now I just have to deal with a constant feeling of foreboding and anxiety for the next- ooooh, say - 6 weeks.
Person One: Eh, you really shouldn't worry . . .
Mr. Misery: (shaking head) Nope. Prof. Property took care of that. I thought with my grades, but --
Person One: Did you get a [unnamed grade]?
Mr. Misery: Actually, yes . . . how did you know?
Person One: I've talked to two, three other people in our section that usually get [unnamed desirable grades] but they got [unnamed, undesirable grades].

Soooo . . . out of curiousity. I called a good friend to inquire about grades. (A friend who doesn't know what anything but an "A" looks like . . . puts me to shame.)

Mr. Misery: I didn't do well in Property.
Friend: Oh, that makes me feel better. I didn't either. I actually got a [a little more undesirable grade].
Mr. Misery: Crap. What the hell happened???
Friend: Maybe he didn't grade on a curve and he gave us what we deserved?
Mr. Misery: Maybe he didn't grade them at all, really . . .
Friend: Or maybe he's just a Communist.

Okay, well . . . my friend didn't really make the last comment-- but, I mean, it could happen. It is obvious from looking at the grade distribution that he graded on a curve. Maybe he wanted to shake things up a bit? Equal us out after the first semester?

I'm not bashing Prof. Property. I loved his course. He reminds me of the Prof. from the Paper Chase -- only with a dry sense of humor and no cute daughter. Well, he might have a cute daughter. I've never inquired. I don't think that would have helped my grade any.

And he's one of the pre-eminent scholars on an area of law in which I am interested . . . so I am going to take a class again with him in the fall before he retires.

I just know for next time: Don't write so much. Weighs it down and it'll tend to fly farther when he throws them.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Property Fun

I suppose Prof. Property was not amused with my attempt to utilize the Toddler Property Laws in an examination of rights, privileges, immunities . . . (etc.) . . . of an owner of a piece of property, now subdivided, and subject to a right-of-way easement. . .

Well, at least he expressed as much with the grade I received from the class.

Other theories on why I didn't do as well as I should have:

1. My computer crash 24 hours prior to the exam and partial loss of my outline as a result put me at a significant disadvantage when a combination of the stress and anxiety over the occurrence combined with then incomplete last minute studying caused me to fair poorly;

2. Again, see (1.) but add to that only 4 hours before the test I was offered a job from a firm, which I accepted, but asked that it be verified my summer class schedule would not conflict . . . and I anxiously awaited a follow-up phone call which did not come;

3. At some point between my entering the classroom and anal-retentively laying out my pencils, pens, watch, water, aspirin, inhaler, stress coozie, security blanket, Magic 8 Ball and three hits of speed . . . my body was mysteriously inhabited and possessed by the ghost of a less studious former law student who now walks the halls exacting his revenge on those who would actually like to participate in, and get an offer from, OCI in the Fall.

This is not at all an unlikely thought as I don't remember the test and I don't remember what I wrote BUT I do remember leaving that afternoon feeling very disturbed by what had just transpired; OR

(And this is my favorite.)

4. Prof. Property DOES subscribe to the stairwell-grading method and, as my bluebook was so heavily ladened with spent ink, lead, and white-out from my four-hour writing melee . . . it happened to tumble farther down the stairs than several of my classmates.

Ah, I think I'll accept that: It is because I wrote so much that I was credited so little. Yes!

Problem is, I honestly don't remember writing much of anything at all . . . there's the rub.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Ethics versus Morality

Am I compartmentalizing my life?

Aside from Mark Twain’s advice that “it is better to remain silent and appear a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt,” I believe one of the most poignant pieces of wisdom handed down to us was penned by Voltaire:

“I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

To me, this is an absolutely essential aspect of the American Experience. Such is the foundation of liberal thought, yet what have liberals done with it? What have any of us done with it?

In Professional Responsibility we discussed the ethical obligations of attorneys to undertake representation of a particular client who has views, morals, actions with which the attorney vehemently disagrees.

An example was given of a fellow Texan who, while acting as lead counsel for the NAACP, was asked to represent the Ku Klux Klan on a First Amendment issue similar to one which had earlier faced the NAACP. Though he, of course, found his new client’s views to be repugnant, he advocated zealously and won the case. In the course of this work, however, he was dismissed from the NAACP and ostracized from the black community for a time.

I don’t use the example to point fingers because, of course, we all do it.

When I left the ministry and later announced to my preaching acquaintances that I was to become an attorney . . . the response was quite similar among most: “How,” they wanted to know, “how can you reasonably be both?”

I have seen people lauded for leaving legal practice in favor of the ministry. I have never – and will never – seen anyone celebrated who leaves the ministry to practice law.

How can a Christian practice divorce law? How can he, in good conscience, counsel a client on bankruptcy? How could he defend murderers and rapists and child molesters and thieves?

So, in order to do this, am I compartmentalizing my life? Because I believe in Voltaire’s resolve and I believe it applies to the just dispensation of law, am I compartmentalizing my life?

My God is a just God. He is, at times, harsh . . . but leniency and mercy are well within His vocabulary. Above all, though, my faith stresses the important fact that my God is a just God.

Proper justice requires an intercessor, a capable advocate, to plead the case of the represented. This is why we are guaranteed a right to counsel when we risk losing our freedom. The same principle, however, applies to other times:

Is it just for the hard-working father with but a 10th grade education level to face his creditors alone when he finds himself in a spot of trouble? More than adequately represented, they will face him down with threats of force and without representation, his voice could well be utterly lost in the proceedings.

On the same token, if suddenly every lawyer developed the “conscience” the world would impose on us, and none was willing to represent the Evil Conglomerate in a products liability case . . . then all the money in the world could not buy it the voice and influence an adequately represented Plaintiff would have in that courtroom.

The Old Testament is filled with stories of wrong-doing, trial, judgment and punishment. And God, throughout, has appointed an advocate for the accused. One important role for many of the Old Testament prophets was to serve as an advocate-- both to plead for leniency in judgment, mercy in punishment and the correction of their “clients” ways.

Christ. One need look no further for an example. He is an intercessor, an advocate and capable counsel. And He defends only those with whom he disagrees, whose actions to Him are repugnant.

The point is not that the guilty need go free—but they must have a fair hearing before the imposition of punishment. That is Biblical.

So am I compartmentalizing my life? I think not. For I will defend you and your right to say what you say . . . whether I agree or not. And I should only expect the same in return.

For some day, perhaps sooner or perhaps later, my beliefs may be extremely unpopular. And I will need someone willing to stand up for my rights then.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Friday Spies©: "Would You Rather?" Edition

1. Live alone on a deserted island for 10 years or be paid handsomely to live at Neverland Ranch with the King of Pop for one year?

Now this is a hard one. Let's consider it:

Deserted Island for 10 years -- Well, if I had someone replenishing my supplies AND a comfortable little bungalow just up from the beach AND a large library of books AND a good supply of pens and paper . . . its sounds like it could be an excellent way to live, even without people. Companionship? I have Faulkner and Dostoevsky, among others . . .

Neverland Ranch for one year -- I would be paid to do nothing but ride rollercoasters, watch tv, and listen to Beatles records all day long. O, and I would get to live with a monkey. (Seriously, I don't mean Michael . . . doesn't he have a real monkey?) I don't think I would have to worry about being raped by the king of POP while held down by his bodyguards . . . I'm too old, too big, and not sick enough for Mr. Jackson.

I think it's a draw.

2. Be deaf or blind?

Deaf. I think it better I not explain why. Things could get nasty.

3. Have skin which changed color depending on your mood or visible sight lines?

Skin that changed color. A person can choose their mood, whether happy or sad. Its about taking control and making a decision. Otherwise, you become a victim of events.

But I am a guy, where my eyes go is entirely out of my control . . .

4. Spend a year in prison or a year on tour with Celine Dion and John Tesh?

Does it matter? Either way you will come out with a tattoo and some CRAZY stories to share with your friends when playing your next game of "I've Never."

On second thought, maybe prison-- at least I could write a book about my experiences there. On the other hand, who would want to read a book about a year on tour with Celine and John Tesh???

5. Have threesome with your close friends or with total strangers?

Absolutely no comment.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Manic Grade-Checking

And thus begins my mania.

It is now the Monday following the conclusion of Finals and I will keep my computer ever-close by so that I may hit the "refresh" button on the TechSis website every ten minutes in the futile hopes that even just one of my grades may now be decided and posted.

I do this, though, with no actual hope of getting a grade today

. . . or tomorrow

. . . or this week at all, perhaps.

I do it because I can't stop. It is an addiction.

Somewhere, on the other side of this internet connection, sits a professor leafing through page after endless page in our hastily scribbled handwriting, in prematurely well-worn bluebooks, and he is determining where I will stand at the conclusion of this summer.

O, the agony . . . the pain . . . of waiting.

I just hope none of my profs subscribe to the "stairwell grading" technique (though I have one I suspect would.) At times it seems as if they all do . . .

(For those who don't know-- it is were a Prof. will take all of the tests and toss them down a stairwell. The ones that land on the upper-most steps get "A"s, the next "B"s, and so on and so forth according to the curve.)

I would suspect it happens more than one thinks . . .

Friday, May 13, 2005

Friday Spies©: Friday the 13th Edition

Okay, so I am going to jump on the blogging bandwagon and start answering the Friday Spies© questions. Here it goes:

1. If you could change any element of your physical appearance, would you? If so, what would you change? If you could change any aspect of your personality would you?

Yeah. I would be in better shape. So I've started getting up in the morning and dragging myself to the gym. I haven't done this in 3 years-- and that was when I had no gainful employment and spent 3 hours a day at the gym, 6 days a week.

Ahhh, those were the days. . . stretch, run, lift weights, swim a some laps, soak in the hot tub, shower . . . and then search through the car for enough money to buy a fresh fruit smoothie, then flirt with the Bally's smoothie girl for awhile.

'Course I couldn't ask her out. I didn't have enough money between the car seats to buy us both dinner at Taco Bell.

2. Name a good make-out song (I believe the kids these days would call that "baby-making music").

Okay, my whiteness is showing . . . but I think Van Morrison is timeless. (I would say my age is showing too, but I'm not actually that old.)

Oh, wait, why am I even bothering with this question? It's not that I get to make out much anymore. I am, after all, married.

3. What did Britney say to Kevin when she found out she was pregnant? What was his response?

I'm not sure how Britney broke the news to Kevin. . . but I hear his first response was to pick up the phone and call Christina Aguilara.

4. Did Oswald act alone?
No. But I think Oliver Stone had it wrong. It had nothing to do with Kennedy's involvment with Cuba. Kennedy's downfall was his determination to send a man to the moon, dude . . . He totally stepped on E.T.s toes. And paid for it.

5. (Obligatory Friday the 13th inspired question) Are you superstitious? Do you believe in luck, karma, fate, the supernatural, etc?
Yeah. Of course I am. That is why after finishing this blog entry I am going to go lock myself in a padded room until tomorrow at daylight.

Though if you've read my blog over the last couple of weeks-- good lord, how could my luck get any worst, right? (Okay, now I need to go knock on wood.)

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Too busy to post, my last final is in a couple hours. So I'll share this:

Rhapsody in Print

I remember her a print in rhapsody
brushed across the pages of my day
A work of God
in moonlight and time
As she gathered my imagination on her way

She begs of me questions
I cannot answer so quick as
I glanced and
She swept by
Her eyes of diamonds Her touch of silk
I beg of her look with a sigh

“It is my lady, O, it is my love
O that she knew she were”
the Romeo in me speaks the tragedy
Of such longings and desires
with no cure

I will pass away moments riddled in time
of my Mistress and where she may go
while I sit in a garden
Of starlight and roses
And watch unrequited love grow

Monday, May 09, 2005

Life as a Law Student

We have a huge problem here at Texas Tech with mass e-mails sent out from one student to the rest of us . . .

declaring his sale on used Income Tax casebooks.

or a great deal on a barbeque grill.

or someone lost an earing in the forum.

or a roommate is urgently needed to help with the bills.

And we take them all in stride: glancing quickly through them and sending them to the "deleted" folder where they will stay until our mailbox "exceeds its limits" and we then find we have to delete the already deleted e-mails from the "deleted" folder. (From there, I'm not sure where they go.)

But in all the mass e-mails I've sorted through over the past couple of weeks-- I must have missed the one about playing the practical joke on Mr. Misery.

First there is the strep throat,

Then there is the computer crash,

Then I get a job.

"But wait," you are thinking, "what is so bad about you getting a job?"

Hmmph. One would think, right?

Friday morning I spoke to a large firm I interviewed with back in February and was rejected by due largely to the fact that I was a menial 1L.

Their "hiring needs" had changed and they would need to hire one more clerk and, lo and behold, I was at the top of the food chain this time. So I said that, yes, I was interested. And, yes, I want the job.

She told me when I start and when the position ends and we talked about what else might be required of me.

I then told her that, as I had not been gainfully employed before this moment, I had enrolled for a couple of summer school classes. I asked if that would be a problem.

She seemed to think it would not be. She said they routinely work around summer school schedule for their summer clerks.

I, however, having become a bit of a cynic over the past year of Law School, asked if she would check and make sure and call me back a.s.a.p. I just wanted a little assurance.

She said, again, she didn't think it would be a problem but that she would call back and we ended the phone call.

Friday went by. No phone call.

Then, the dreaded weekend-- where I would have to wait.

Monday morning arrives and I still get no phone call. So about noon I call to inform them that I actually will only need 1.5 hours off for school and only Tuesday-Friday so it really shouldn't be that much of an interference. Right?

She gets on the phone. And I get this:

Uh, Mr. Misery, Uh, I spoke with Mr. Law-Firm-Hiring-Partner and he, uh, says that he was, uh, really wanting someone who could, uh, work more hours. But, don’t worry, because we’ll make sure and keep you on the list.

To this I can only reply by giving her my very accommodating summer school schedule and she promises she'll pass it along.

Two hours later, she actually calls me back . . . but only to tell me this:

Uh, Mr. Misery, Its (Insert any annonymous law secretary's name here) with Mr. Law-Firm-Hiring-Partner's office. Yeah, uh, I'm sorry to do this to you . . . but I passed along your schedule. The thing is, though, we actually already hired someone else Friday who was available to work full-time. But, again, don't worry. We'll keep you on the list!

"O, Don't worry about it," I want to say. "You can take my name off your precious list and forget about me entirely. I'd rather be used and humiliated by someone who at least has the decency to call me the next morning. Flowers would be nice-- yes-- but-- c'mon-- a phone call is essential. Even though I acknowledge that I'm not-- well, y'know, you could at least make me feel-- special. I mean, that's not what you were whispering into my ear on Friday. Is it? Don't you think I have standards?! What kind of a girl do you think I am?!? Take me off your list! And forget about me! I'm not interested in getting any drunken 3am phone calls two months from now where you whine to me how wrong you were and how you realize it now and how you are so sorry for the way you treated me . . . and, huh? Did I hear you right? Could I come over? WHAT?!?"

I do have standards. And I can wait for the Big Law Firms to come around and notice me.

They will wine me and dine me and send me colorfully-wrapped gift baskets full of brownies. O, won't that be grand! I can see it now . . .

And they won't start slapping me around and calling me names until after I have taken the vow, "till death do us part."

O, I have so much to look forward too!

In the meantime: I just told her, "Okay." And I left it at that.

But this blog entry has really put a smile on my face afterall. . .

Friday, May 06, 2005

A Fate Worse Than Death

Isn't there an old Woody Allen movie titled, "The Gods Must Be Laughing" . . .

or maybe that was "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

And maybe it was Mel Brooks, not Woody Allen.

All the same, it doesn't matter . . . they are both.

Los examens de estes dos semanas son muy muy MUY importante!

These tests are uber important, in other words.

That is why I have to ask: "Donde es el bano?" I have to throw up.

Last week, just a few days prior to my first final, my wife-- and then I -- came down with strep throat. I went to the doctor. SHE was concerned about my blood pressure, not the strep.

I told her that, OF COURSE, my blood pressure is going to be high . . . I have finals, I'm not ready, I'm broke, and my tonsils are about to swell up to gigantous proportions.

She just scheduled me to come back before my Criminal Law final for a follow-up on the blood pressure. Oh, and told me I can't drink coffee . . .

Can't drink coffee?!?! Uhm . . . FINALS?! During this period, that is all I drink.

Well, lucky for me, the strep was a very mild case. I took two days off my LAST WEEK and spent them studying anyways at home in bed.

And I survived my Constitutional Law test. I think I actually did very well. I bumped into Prof. ConLaw yesterday and we talked about it. Apparantly he did not intend to include such issues as "void for vagueness." But he'll give me credit for pointing out these extra issues on my exam . . . I'm not going to argue.

Yesterday I was revising my outline and was about-- oh, lets say -- 15 MINUTES away from being done . . .


I tried doing CPR, aspirin under the tongue, bouncing it off the walls . . . i even made some make shift "paddles" to shock the damned thing back to life.

Huh uh. It came to just long enough for me to recover my outline (2 pages shorter) and e-mail it to a friend.

I lost all of my Criminal Law notes I will need for the exam next week.

Then DHL came and took him away.

I will get a new one if they can't get his heart started back at the DELL repair center. Either way, I should get it back in about 5 business days.

Let's see: send it out thursday. They get it friday. Of course its friday so they don't really work on anything until monday. Monday (1), tuesday (2), wednesday (3), thursday (4), friday (5) . . .

I should get it back friday. Okay.



At least I'll have it back just in time to begin working on the write-on packet for Law Review.

Fun Fun.

I'm going to go study now.

Good night dear diary.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Can He Really Do It All??

He blogs, he writes, he directs, he studies, he makes us laugh and he is even the E-in-C of the UT Law Review. . .

But now he raps too?? He's definitely a bad mutha--

Watch yo mouth!

What? You know I'm just talking 'bout BuffaloWings&Vodka.

If you haven't wandered over to his blawg yet this week, go now!

I laughed so hard I peed my pants.

( . . . but my wife didn't think that was so funny, not on the couch at least.)
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