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Friday, July 29, 2005

Friday Spies© : Fifth Friday of the Month Edition

1. What five things should you never buy used?

1. Laptop computer.
2. Underwear.
3. Mattress.
4. Hair brush.
5. Band-aids.

2. Sony BMG just ended a payola investigation by settling with New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer. So let's engage in some reverse payola: What song or artist would you pay to never have to hear again, and how much would it be worth to you?

I don't know . . . but I've been sitting here thinking. And, well, if I really had my choice I would pay any amount of money to never have Lambchop's "The Song That Never Ends" run through my empty, empty head again.

3. In honor of the new Bad News Bears: Did you ever play little league, or other organized youth sports?

I played tee-ball. I played football. I wrestled. Oh, I was on a swim team for all of 3 weeks.

4. What was your biggest fashion faux pas?

Probably wearing a dress in high school. I'm saying no more.

5. In honor of all our readers who took the Bar Exam this week: What was the hardest test you ever took?

Seeing as how I haven't had the pleasure of the Bar Exam . . . of course, it would be the LSAT. I would love to find the female blogger who answers: "pregnancy test," though.

"Bring it On" Retraction


Some have questioned me on my earlier entry about the high school cheerleaders.

Let me say this:

I was still at the gym when they began congregating yesterday . . . and listening to them again reminded me exactly why I hated cheerleaders in high school.

Needless to say, I purposefully avoided them today.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

"The Law Firm"

I can't help but comment on this show.

But, I recognize I probably shouldn't . . . nonetheless:

The only attorneys worth watching on a reality television show are going to be too busy in a real courtroom or a real law firm to have any time for a show like this.

That minimum of 2200 billable hours doesn't bill itself, y'know?

You want to know something though? I will probably tune in again next week to see what more mistakes the pride of the American Bar can make that would cause a 1L in his very first Mock Trial Competition to blush for shame.

Do you remember when you were a small child and you would discover a loose tooth only to find the obsession to push and pull on that sucker no matter to what degree the pain was shooting through your jaw?

Yeah. Yeah. The Law Firm.

And I'm going to keep pushing on that sucker until it falls out.

A Yahoo Conversation About Law School . . .

Mr. Java: i had a legislation class taught by the law librarian...he went and testified before the state legislature against some model code something or'd think it was the crowning glory of his life to hear him tell about it every single day

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: LMAO

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: the law librarians . . . they're a complete other story

Mr. Java: tell me about guy in my class was actually aspiring to be a law librarian

Mr. Java: like, he got accepted to a grad library science program

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: they crack me up . . . and i will never be able to fathom why you'd subject yourselves to 3 years of hell just to shelf books the rest of your life

Mr. Java: i never could figure that out

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: i'm with you there

Mr. Java: it's their f***** up numbering system-- dewey decimal is right out the window but the reporters have consecutive numbers in huge fonts

Mr. Java: 127..128...129 ain't so tough

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: yeah, i was going to say . . . what numbering system?? in our library, everything is a scavenger hunt . . . and they keep moving everything around . . . one day its there, 2 days later you come back and its, "I effen KNEW the federal reporter WAS RIGHT HERE last week?!"

Mr. Java: that's why God invented lexis...and for the free **** they give you. I mean when you log on and see how many "points" you got... that's some exciting ****

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: amen

Mr. Java: i have more freakin' travel mugs than i know what to do with

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: ha ha . . . i'm saving mine up for something but i'm not sure what

Mr. Java: xmas gifts

Mr. Java: everyone loves a travel mug

Mr. Java: and you'll have plenty left over, even if everyone gets one

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: guy from Baylor Law runs a blog posted on this scheme . . . some 1L there had come up with where he went through and figured up the actual cost of each item offered as a giveaway on Lexis

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: and weighed that against the points required for each item

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: and figured the best value for the points is the Bose speakers

Mr. Java: lmao

Mr. Java: i blew all my points on amazon

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: so, he figured, if everyone could aim for the Bose speakers . . . maybe he could put Lexis out of business . . .

Mr. Java: but i thank the good folks at lexis for enhancing my media collection

Mr. Java: lmfao

Mr. Java: teach them a lesson

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: i don't think it'll work . . . he'd disappear and never be heard from again

Mr. Java: lmao...the lexis goon squad

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: oh yeah, Lexis freaks me out!! you see the Westlaw reps, they're always around . . handing out crap, changing out printer cartridges, reloading paper, fixing jams . . . whatnot . . . but the Lexis reps?!?!

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: you NEVER see the Lexis reps . . . yet the printer cartridges are always fresh, there's always paper, and free crap just magically shows up in our boxes

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: freaks me out

Mr. Java: research ninjas

Mr. Java: quick like lightning

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: shepardize that thought.

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: . . . if I can learn the way of the lexis research ninja . . .

Mr. Java: ahh, grasshopper...the ways of the lexis ninja are mysterious

Mr. Java: you have to go to a secret shrine at lexis world headquarters and sweep the floors for a year

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: first, tho, I have to track down Master Po

Mr. Java: then you can enter the mystic training

Mr. Java: to aquire the lex-fu

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: and when will I be done?? when I can snatch the Black's Legal Dictionary from his hand??

Mr. Java: lmao

Mr. Java: i had all the lex-fu, no west-fu though

Mr. Java: being on Law Review, you will be a ninja in no time flat

Moonlighting_on_Yahoo: i shall study with "all deliberate speed," and perhaps one day I may roam the earth like Caine dispensing my lex-fu wisdom to others . . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bring It On

There is a Cheerleading Camp going on all week long at the Student Rec Center.

So how come I always just happen to be leaving the gym each time these groups of 17-18 year old girls bounce through the doors . . . ??

I'm thinking I'll have to study the schedule on the doors to the basketball courts . . . the track runs right around where they're so hard at work learning new cheers.

I just want to show them my support. I mean, how often is it the cheerleaders get someone to cheer them on???


. . . if you believe that, I've some ocean-front property in Arizona.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Who is John Roberts?

Hmmph. I believe I may have to eat my own words.

Robert Novak is reporting that, while Bush did pass over Clement to choose Roberts, it is unclear whether or not Roberts is a member of the Federalist Society.

The messages coming out of the White House are mixed: Both assurances of Roberts' membership as well as reports that Roberts told Bush he had never belonged . . .

add up to what?

I don't like it.

Either he IS a member but they're backtracking out of fear it might be used against him. Which disgusts me . . .


He ISN'T and they're trying to buy my support with these plastic coins.

. . . what can be said?

Not to Beat a Dead Horse . . .

But I have to post a link here to the story about the "97% probability" that Jesus was resurrected.

While, personally, I don't need a mathematic equation to tell me whether there was a Resurrection or not . . .

And while I have no personal knowledge (from an academic perspective) of the accuracy of the equation . . .

I still find it interesting.

"Things that make you go . . . hmmmm."

Saturday, July 23, 2005

I was Corporate when Corporate wasn't cool . . .

The past coupla days I have spent downloading various punk and ska music so that-- while not planning on making a re-emergence on "the scene" anytime soon, I might bounce around happily doing "the skank" while, I dunno, cleaning? perhaps.

(The one form of dance I was really, truly good at . . . I'll never get to do in public ever, ever again . . . )

It was brought up recently that I've become much more "stylish" in my dress. I mean, what the hell is this little hemp rope I have tied around my neck? And my flip-flops from American Eagle?

American Eagle?! I used to avoid those stores like the plague . . . but when I was in one recently I started salivating over the fact that the argyle sweater vest is in-style now. Alright! I used to wear those back in '97 with my two-tone wing-tip shoes, black slacks, and pork pie hat to catch the Skatalites out on a Tuesday night in Houston . . .

Man . . . I guess I was corporate when corporate wasn't cool.

Ah well . . . I have sold-out. There is no doubt about it. I knew it would happen even back then.

Its cool to be punk when you are 18. If you are still punk when you are 28 -- you are either a loser . . . or in a band.

And I was never a Blink-182/Fashion Punk either. Actually, I was more of a "rude boy" because I'd have chosen ska over punk any day.

But that is all behind me now. Now, in a few very short years, I will be driving an Escalade, making 6-figures, carrying a briefcase and a Blackberry and I'll be lucky if I have enough time to listen to the Bosstone's "The Impression That I Get" downloaded on my Ipod.

If I am lucky enough, maybe I'll be like that group of 40-somethings in khakis and polos we saw in the club when the Skatalites came to town. I'll drop in one night to see one of my old favorites, aged but still touring/chasing that dream . . . and the kiddos'll laugh at me too.


I just added advertising to this lil blog o' mine. I couldn't ge more corporate than that. But I hope you enjoy.

And, please folks, support the advertisers who support this blog.

Okay, well, so they don't actually support me . . . but maybe someday they will pay me enough to buy an argyle vest from AE? Well, maybe not . . . how about a t-shirt at Old Navy? More likely.

And remember, as the saying goes:

If you aren't liberal when you are young, you have no heart. If you aren't conservative when you are older, you have no sense.

. . . or something like that. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Friday, July 22, 2005

What does it profit a man . . .

. . . to gain for himself some mystic kind of self-respect by facing down his Law Professor over an inconsequential matter.

And lose the respect of his classmates and, certainly, his professor in the process??

I can't see as it does.

Today in class, Prof. Income Tax asked the class to open our Tax Code books to a certain section in order to explain something on capital gains & losses. We all complied.

Well, save for one obstinate soul in the front row.

Now, at first, when the professor asked him if he was going to open his Code, I assumed he was without it and the professor (who doesn't excuse this oversight, either) was merely chastising him for this.

But I looked over a shoulder to see that the student's book sat there right in front of him, closed.

The exchange was something like this:

Prof. Income Tax: -----, are you going to open you code with the rest of us?

Student: [blank stare]

Prof. Income Tax: You should open it and follow along with the rest of us.

Student: [continued blank stare]

Prof. Income Tax: Is there a problem?

Student: [even more blank staring]

Prof. Income Tax: Well, -----, you know you might actually learn something if you were to read your book and follow along with the rest of us.

Student: [Again, you guessed it, a blank stare]

This, of course, was followed by smiles and muffled laughter . . . not, I assume, aimed at the professor but at the idiot in the front row.

Some might say he ought to be thankful for anonymous grading. But I ask this:

If the grading is completely anonymous, then how exactly can a professor propose to "reserve the right" to bump a grade up or down depending upon class participation and attendance??

Hmmm . . . answer me that!


Friday Spies© : Navel-Gazing Edition

1. Why did you start blogging?

I mistakenly thought it might keep me sane during law school.

2. Are the reasons you blog now the same as when you started? If not, what's changed?

No. I've discovered it can have quite the opposite effect. And I'm addicted to the madness.

3. What would make blogging better for you?

If you people were willing to pay me 6-figures to sit at home in my underwear and do this for a living.

4. Do you have comments on your blog? Why or why not? Do you comment on other blogs? What motivates you to post a comment?

Yes. Because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy to know others actually care enough to comment on my thoughts. Yes and boredom.

5. What is your philosophy of the blogroll?

You scratch my back. I'll scratch yours. Maybe. If I know. O, and if I care.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Law Review for Non-Law Students

I had the following comment left on my entry about being invited onto the Law Review:

"Congrats! The only bad part is explaining to non-law-students what law review is and why it's such a big deal."

My response:

Its no problem to me. I just tell them it is like making the top ten on American Idol. I think they understand.

'Course, that raises another question:

If making law review is like making the top ten . . . then does being made E-i-C of the law review, like our good (and very entertaining) friend Mr. Wings&Vodka . . . well, I just have to ask-- does that make him like, uh, Reuben Studdard?

"Raising hell about Bush's decision . . ."

A good friend asked today why I hadn't written an entry, as she put it, "raising hell" about the choice of the Honorable John Roberts to replace O'Connor on the Supreme Court.

John Roberts is a "safe choice."

True . . .

And not much is known about John Roberts judicial positions.

True . . .

And that does not forebode well for his future behavior on the Court.

True . . .

But I know one thing about him that puts my heart at ease:

The man, like the Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia (and myself), is a member of the Federalist Society.

As for me, that is all I need to know.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"Clement" rhymes with "Souter."

We are all waiting on pins and needles to see who the President will put-forward as a nomination to the Supreme Court tonight.

Okay, well . . . maybe not all of us. All students of politics and the law, then.

Okay, well . . . maybe not all students of politics and the law.

Uh . . . How about those of us who need to discover a life outside our interest in politics and the law??

Okay, We . . . ("we" being the aforementioned "us who need to discover life outside our interest in politics and the law") . . . we, then, are all waiting on pins and needles to see who will be put-forward tonight.

Honestly, I am afraid I've become somewhat of a cynic. I have prepared myself for Bush to emasculate his Presidency by making a "safe" nomination in hopes of avoiding a fight. Unfortunately, there is no possible way a fight may be avoided.

Bush really isn't the Cowboy every one says he is. Not if you're from Texas. A true Texan can see that much.

Ah well, we'll see . . .

My pick: Janice Rogers-Brown.

Oh yeah, bay-bee!!! Hate me now!!!


Sunday, July 17, 2005

I've gone to the Darkside.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Friday Spies© : Living and Dying in 3/4 Time Edition

1. What time do you go to bed? What time do you wake up?

If by "go to bed" you mean "can no longer keep your eyes open" and if by "wake up" you mean "finally come to, wipe the drool off the book(s) and/or keyboard, wonder where you are and then realize the sun is up and your work/studying/research is not complete yet" . . .

then, well . . .

anytime I get the chance, bay-bee.

2. What do you want done to/with your body after you die?

I want to be hoisted in a great polished casket atop a carriage drawn by two white horses and followed by a jazz band playing "When the Saint's Go Marching In" followed then by a procession of my family and friends.

Prior to this, I want to be the guest of honor at a huge banquet with lots and lots of food and alcohol and music. (and, no, I don't care if anyone drinks a bit too much -- deal with it! Its my funeral and I don't care if its unseemly. You can make the rules when you die. This is my time now.)

After the party, they can just dump my body wherever they like. I don't care.

3. Describe your dream house.

A plantation-style mansion. Stately. White with great columns across the front supporting he regal overhang which shades the large porch and second-story balconies.

Upon entering you find yourself in a great hall two stories tall with marble floors and two curved staircases to either side. During the Holidays, a special tree will be placed here so that it might command the whole room when you enter.

On the first floor, just off the entryway hall will be a sitting room, a dining room beyond which is a large kitchen, a family room and a library. All of these will be open but can be made private by large sliding doors.

There will be at least 5 or 6 bedrooms upstairs, including the master suite. This suite will be at the back of the house with its own sitting area, fire place and whirlpool tub. It will also have a private balcony which overlooks a pond/lake behind the house so in the warmer months I can take my breakfast/coffee on the balcony and enjoy the sunrise.

This house will sit on a large estate which will make up my ranch. I think I will name the ranch Tara Too. Or perhaps something more stately like, "Elm's Bend."

Somewhere on the ranch will be bunkhouses so that it can be used by churches for retreats. I would also like to start a charity and partner with other charities that target the inner-city so that children from the inner-city can be brought out on the weekends to fish, ride horses and four-wheelers, see the animals, swim and otherwise experience something different in life.

The bunkhouses can also be used for family, y'know, when they come to visit. Three days they can stay in the house. Any longer, they're escorted to the bunkhouses.

4. Are you an excellent driver? Do you speed, or drive the speedlimit? Ever been ticketed?

I'm an excellent driver. Yes--Yes I am, I'm an excellent driver. But we have to be home by 4. Yes, by 4. We have to be home by 4. I am an excellent driver but we have to be home by 4.

What happens at 4, Raymond?

Wapner's on. Yes, we have to be home by 4. Wapner's on. I am an excellent driver.

5. What is your favorite animal, mineral, and vegetable?

Animal: Dog

Mineral: Who in the world has a favorite mineral?

Vegetable: Cucumber

Thursday, July 14, 2005

THE Offer

Waking up at 5 a.m. this morning, the first thing I did was check my e-mail.

(Already beginning to pick up the bad habits which will become so annoying to everyone around me in a few short years -- save for my co-workers and clients -- I have become a compulsive e-mail checker.)

And I found the following e-mail entitled: "Law Review Offer"

"Dear Moonlighting,

The Texas Tech Law Review Volume 38 is honored to extend you an offer to join our Review as a second year staff member. We are very pleased that you have met our extensive qualifications for membership and are hopeful that you will join us . . .


Now, not to brag . . . but of course I am going to accept the offer. Who wou--

Ah, who the hell am I kidding!?!?

Of course I am bragging!!!!!!!


[Doing the wild white boy victory dance which is an indiscriminate combination of both the compulsive shake your rump dance and the somewhat more subdued "running man"]

(I need sound effects on this blog so we can all dance together . . . )

But, once for good measure:


Okay, i feel better. It's still 5 a.m., and that's all the celebrating I can do at this early hour. I think I'll go to the gym and run around the track with my hands in the air humming the theme to "Rocky!"

"Overdoing it just a bit," you ask? Of course, I am . . .

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Your Regular Scheduled Program Will Not Be Aired Tonight . . .

So that I can bring you these few thoughts.

It has come to my attention in the week since I last included an entry on this lil blog o' mine that my "teaser" could be widely mis-interpreted to mean various and sundry things-- none of which it, indeed, did mean.

In the interim, my enthusiasm in reporting on the grace which was given me on my trip back to Lubbock has diminished . . . so I will only give a "Cliffs-Notes" reporting of those events for those who may be curious.

About an hour west of Fort Worth my car began to overheat. Noticing this, and not wanting to wait until it had begun to steam and boil, I pulled over at a picnic area and popped the hood to let it cool.

It was my belief that the thermostat had closed up and was no longer allowing the antifreeze to flow so I thought I would see how far I could make it before being forced to do a quick repair job in a parking lot somewhere of removing the thermostat and continuing without on to Lubbock without the worthless piece of metal.

After an hour and a half of conferring with family by cell phone and sitting in the heat that is Nowhere, Texas . . . I found myself needing to lay in the shade due to the heat and dehydration.

Once again on the road, I stopped in Eastland (I believe) to pick up a gallon of antifreeze and some silicone should I need to replace the thermostat on the side of the road.

It was but 15 minutes later we began to hear a whine from under the engine, the temperature of the engine dropped dramatically and then the battery light came on and I lost power steering. I quickly veered off the road onto an exit which was nothing but a glorified dirt road.

For those of you unfamiliar with Texas, it is a widely-varied landscape and most of Texas is not as depicted in the cartoons I would watch as a kid showing deserts, tumbling tumble-weeds, scorpions, dirt and more dirt. However, this is exactly where I happened to stop.

Lifting the hood I found that they belt had broke, destroying the water-pump in its wake.

In the course of the next 2 hours I sat over a hot, utterly useless engine in 105 degree heat . . . I was visited by a scorpion and a very, very large bull which, it seemed, had come to peer into my engine only to lament that, yes siree, I was screwed. But, I saw no other passers-by-- unfortunately-- as the exit I had taken dropped the car well below the sightline of those on the highway.

What I did not realize was there was another stranded motorist a few hundred yards behind where I had stopped. She was a young mother with a flat tire heading from Ft. Worth to Abilene, just 30 miles beyond. She had called her husband who eventually made it out to her and changed her tire.

Now this was getting on near evening, on a Sunday, the day before the 4th of July. It was obvious the young couple (who had a very hot and tired child with them now) had no planned on the delay which had occurred because of her car . . . but that did not stop them from stopping to ask me if I needed help.

Indeed, I could not refuse . . . though I felt terribly guilty at his generosity. Who was I to have him stop and help? What had I done to deserve it?

I was trying desperately to get ahold of the a State Trooper who could call me a wrecker so that I might beg, borrow or steal to pay the $100 (or more) he would charge to tow us into Abilene. Instead, this stranger hooked a chain onto the bumper of my clunker and towed me at 65 mph the next 30 miles to Abilene with only 7 feet separating us-- a venture that was extremely dangerous to us both.

And upon arriving in Abilene, when I attempted to offer him what cash I had to compensate for his gas and trouble . . . he held up his hand, smiled and said, "no, I insist, hold on to that. It looks like you'll need it." After leaving us at a deserted Ford dealership, he several times asked if I would be alright and then handed me a business card (he has a mobile pressure wash business) and told me to call him if I needed anything. (And he did stress "anything").

On the way I had remembered an old Preacher friend of mine had just moved up near Abilene to preach with the Merkel church of Christ. I called him just before evening services were beginning and he put me on the phone with a Deacon at the church.

By 7:30 this Deacon arrived in a van to pick the whole vagabond lot of us up (pets included) and luggage and looked at the car. Surmising a new thermostat, new hose, new belt and new waterpump out to get us going again, he decided he would call someone to pick up the car and have it towed the next 15 miles to his house.

After picking up the needed parts at an Autozone, he took us to Merkel and, at the expense of the church, checked us into a motel and provided us with a nice meal and lots of iced-tea. Even though I had spent the first part of the weekend holed up in a 4-star hotel . . . there was nothing sweeter than the whine of that window-unit and the feel of that old mattress as I went to sleep in my own bed watching "Tommy Boy" that night in that small motorist's inn.

The next morning we commenced working on the car. Though he anticipated it would only be an hour, maybe two, of work . . . we began at about 10 and after a break for a nice lunch with his family and two more trips in to Autozone . . . we finished at 4:15pm.

His family had given up their whole backyard-barbeque, hanging out with the neighbors, eating watermelon and drinking lemonade Fourth of July Holiday . . . so that he could help me repair my car.

By the way, I had never met this man before Sunday evening when he arrived to pick us up. By Monday afternoon, he'd made a friend for life.

As I got into the car Monday evening to head home, he made sure I had his number and assured me that should I have anymore trouble between Merkel and Lubbock, to give him a call. He would drive however far to make sure we got home that night.

Those are the people I have forgotten about after a year in Law School and now three years out from the ministry. Its a shame, it seems the only Christians I remember from my days as a minister are those who wear it in name only . . . and who helped me make my decision to leave.

I don't remember people like him, or the guy who stopped and towed me into Abilene . . . but now that I've had time to think back on it, they did make up the silent majority of those people I sat next to/taught/preached to/sang with each Sunday.

But they were silent. And they are so easily forgotten. I am so glad I have been reminded.

So for any who may have read more into what I was to say in this much-delayed entry . . . that's for you to contemplate on your own.

As for me, though I know this is no Cliff's-Notes version after all, all I really wanted to say is . . . after so long an absence in my life-- it seems-- last weekend I saw God.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Weekend at Bernie's, Part I

Of course we did not leave Lubbock by the time I had planned to do so . . . and unfortunately it was part my fault.

I had to spend 2 hours Friday morning at the school printing out directions to the "Sheraton Suites Market Center" and looking for some place nice to eat. I came across Ruth's Cris Steakhouse, which wasn't too far from my hotel, but upon checking the online menu I found a wide array of assorted steaks and (what appeared to be pricy) seafood dishes . . . with no listed prices.

This scared me. It was the same with Morton's of Chicago. I thought about listening to the Sean Hannity show and attempting to develop some witty, insightful commentary which I could relieve upon his audience . . . then beg him for gift certificates to Ruth's Cris. After all, he is constantly pimping that place on his radio program like . . . well . . . like someone paid him.

But I decided otherwise. It would mean I'd have to listen to him and lately I haven't been able to take much of talk radio. Especially Friday. It would have been 3 hours of "who will replace Justice O'Connor?" Frankly, I don't think anyone can. And all the talk doesn't much matter . . . no one that deserves the job will get it. That's politics.

So back to my trip to Dallas . . . .

We finally arrive at the hotel but not without two very, very close calls on HWY 183 that left my heart beating, my chest tight, and my seat wet. Oh, and I can't go on without mentioning the two billboards I saw advertising legal services with the "Coffey Law Firm."

The first one read: "DWI DEFENSE. Who said responsible social drinking should be illegal?"

The second: "Drink. Drive. Go to Jail. Just another government lie."

Topic of Discussion: "Ethical Lawyers." Is there such a thing? If so, do you think anyone from the Coffey Law Firm ever swindled one out of his/her notes/outlines/test answers while in Law School? Please discuss.

Okay, back again to my trip:

Upon checking in I ask the desk clerk about use of the shuttle service to get to the West End for the evening. She tells me just to give her a call and she will get the driver. So we go up to our suite and settle in, get cleaned up and ready to go. At 7:00 I ask for a ride to the West End.

The driver seemed intelligent enough. He was a young black male who I assumed is working to pay his way through college. He explained he loves history and, as we ride over, he was listening to the "Savage Nation" on the radio. (For those unfamiliar with the Savage Nation, it is the radio program of Michael Savage-- whose political ideology makes George W. Bush look like Eugene V. Debs.)

I explained to him that we were going to be seeing an improv comedy show and having dinner. Upon being dropped off, I asked how to get a ride back and he handed me a business card, telling me just to call the number. I handed him a tip, we said our "goodbye"s and that was that.

Allow me, for an instance, to plug ComedySportz DFW. Misty is hot and they are all very funny. It is like "Whose Line Is It Anyways?" . . . only less contrived. Oh, and they serve excellent cherry vodka sours. (Okay, I admit it: I like "girlie" drinks.) Not to mention, they made me "scorekeeper" so I got the privilege of continually running up to the scoreboard to change the score and having the spotlight highlight my big butt wearing jeans with a hole in the seat and showing my blue boxers off to the audience.

That's alright, though. John Paul called me cute. Oh, and I got a coupon for a free admission next time.

So, if you are in Dallas, check them out at the West End Comedy Theatre. They also have a ComedySportz in Houston . . . but for those of you in Houston, you'll have to find them yourself.

After the show we had dinner at Gators-Dallas. The food was good, the drinks were strong, and the piano player had me singing along . . .

Sooooo . . . now comes the exciting part of the evening. I tentatively stand up after paying the bill and, with a little help, leave the restaurant. After getting my land legs again and finding I can focus on the business card I have fished out of my pocket long enough to dial the number, I get the front desk of the SHERATON SUITES MARKET CENTER (in Dallas).

I am put on hold at first, only to be greeted by a less than enthusiastic gentleman who informs me that-- though it is exactly 10:02 when I am placing my call-- the shuttle driver goes off-duty at 10:00 p.m. and I am simply out-of-luck.

Misery: Shouldn't someone have told us when we were dropped off at the freakin' West End for dinner and to attend a comedy show that we could not get a ride home after 10???

Desk Clerk: I don't know, sir.

Misery: You damned well ought to . . .

Desk Clerk: There is nothing I can do now.

Misery: Well, then how are we supposed to get back to the hotel?

Desk Clerk: I don't know . . .

Misery: Wait, isn't it your job to know?

Desk Clerk: I guess you could call a cab.

Misery: You "guess"? And how long did you have to go to school in order to go so far out on a limb and make a statement as bold and as daring as that of you "guessing" we will have to get a cab to bring us back to the hotel??? Hmmm??

(Okay, so I didn't make the last statement. But I wanted to . . . it actually was more like this:)

Misery: You "guess"? Well, I am stuck here in the West End . . . can you call us a cab. We will be standing on the corner by the West End Theatre.

Desk Clerk: I will try. But I can't guarantee you'll get a cab or not.

I told him to "try" his hardest and he hung up. We waited for a few minutes, in which time I was approached by no less than two pandhandlers with stories of broken down and/or empty fuel-tanked cars. And witnessed a lovers quarrel between what it took several minutes to realize was actually a man and a woman (and not two men).

Finally I called the hotel back and spoke to another clerk. I explained the situation and she didn't seem to have a problem getting me a cab. The taxi arrived and we made it safely home about 10:30 or so.

I was not about to pay $11 for a cab ride back to the hotel, so I took the receipt in and up to the front desk. I began by thanking the girl that had helped me by actually calling the cab and then I spoke to some sort of supervisor who apologized, paid me $11 for the cab and comped me two breakfasts for the next morning.

I politely pointed out to this guy that the hotel had opened itself up to a great deal of liability by dropping two guests off at the West End with a promise to return when called then leaving them on a Friday night in downtown Dallas with no way to return.

Come to notice, however, this hotel seems to be asking for a few law suits. Sunday morning someone had spilled a great deal of water in the lobby and, after being alerted to this, a desk clerk attempted to wipe it up with a towel. It was left at that.

Just before I checked out, I was leaving my guest feedback form with attached letter at the front desk when an older lady in high heels walking a small dog slipped and fell at the exact same spot the water had been. She complained of pain in her elbow, knee, and neck. I and the desk clerk helped her to her feet and I so wish I could have encouraged her to see a doctor immediately and then give me a call.

Within minutes, "wet floor" signs had been placed in the lobby.

Sheraton has a "service promise" that something with your stay was not right, let them know and it will be made up to you. I hope they don't think two free breakfasts will fix things.

I wrote the letter, let's see if I hear from them. For now I have several travel websites I need to hit to write "reviews" of the Sheraton Suites Market Center (in Dallas) . . . to inform others of this hotel's propensity towards negligent behavior . . . oh, not to mention the broken ice machine on the 10th floor and the broken phone in 1015.

My trip home was an entirely different adventure that stretched a 6 hour drive over a two-day time span and renewed my belief in the basic goodness of the human heart.

So tune in tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-channel . . . for the exciting conclusion to my weekend.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Sometimes Being a Lawyer Means . . . Actually Swallowing Your Pride.

Yesterday evening I was pulled up to a red-light and talking to my little brother on my cell phone about his tax liabilities with his new job.

(My little brother just got hired as an "account executive" for a litigation services company-- which provides litigation support to law firms and judges-- and I am veryproud of where he's gotten himself. I think it is rather interesting that, despite our very separate paths, we're both going to work in the same industry.)

So I am pulled up to this red-light talking on my cell phone when a white Bronco pulls up to my left and I hear this:

"Hey, this mutha****** is trying to talk on his cell phone over here."

"He's trying to talk on his cell phone?"

"We'll see 'bout that."

And with that, the stereo of this bronco-- which was already loud enough to violate any city ordinance-- was turned up. And they pulled up further until they were directly beside me.

At this point, my first reaction is to look beside me and either gesture to these *jokers* or express in only so many words my feelings for them. But then as I do, an array of scenarios play through my mind:

1. The four guys immediately jump out of the bronco and decide to start something in the middle of the road.

2. The bronco follows me the half-block to my house at which point the four guys jump out and decide to start something in my front yard.

If either should happen, I believe I could've taken them all on in a fist fight. While there were four of them, by just a cursory glance they all appeared to be about half my size and fairly scrawny sitting there in their matching wife-beater t-shirts and sideways-cocked caps.

Should this have happened my legal liabilities would have been minimal as I would have a valid argument of self-defense. What officer or prosecutor would hold me responsible for beating the crap out of 4 punks that had decided to challenge me?

. . . and it would have been so enjoyable, too. Since I've been going back to the gym for the past couple of months, perhaps it is testosterone, but I have been feeling much more agressive and almost begging for something like that to happen. It almost makes me miss being younger and the wrestling and fighting that would go on between myself and my little brother.

(Who, by the way, is also no longer my "little" brother, as a result. Unless you call 6'4" 250 lbs with a neck nearly as big as his head . . . "little"?)

But then I also remembered what my stepfather had taught me about not bringing a knife to a gunfight, and I wondered if these punks were also stupid enough to carry a gun. Given this, should they have challenged me, would it be smarter to just look to Ms. Misery and tell her to hand me my .380 out of the glove compartment box.

And if I had asked her this, would she have panicked and stalled, possibly getting us both killed, or would she have immediately handed it to me.

And if she did have enough sense to hand it to me, and I used it on one or more of these punks . . . would I have been able to argue self-defense? Perhaps, but not without the trouble and expense of some sort of adjuticative hearing first.

Would any of the above scenarios resulted in problems with my ultimate accession to the profession and my position of Texas Super-Attorney?

Too many people don't think before doing "stupid" things. Perhaps if they did, prosecutors and defense attorneys wouldnt' have as much business. But if you actually allow yourself to think, it is amazing what you can process in mere seconds . . .

And so while sitting at that red-light on my cell phone attempting to explain the concept of depreciation to my brother, I decided that in order to protect my future earnings potential it would be much smarter to ignore them.

Doing so, however, required my doing something NO lawyer enjoys . . . it required me to actually swallow my pride. That must be the hardest thing an attorney ever must do.

I wrote in a previous post that I was taught at an early age to "take care of my business." But given my almost certain career prospects, my family's attitude has changed now. If I call my mother or stepfather now, this is what I hear:

"You stay out of trouble. You can't afford it. If someone needs an attitude adjustment, let us handle it."

What a wonderfully supportive family, right?? (Ha ha!)

Unfortunately, I have no idea who these punks were and will probably never see them again . . . so for the meantime, I guess I did the right thing.

That didn't stop me from thinking about it all night, however, and fantasizing about what could have happened.

I am traveling to Dallas this morning to spend a nice relaxing weekend in an undisclosed location in gay-looking white bathrobes, sitting beside a pool and enjoying room-service way too much.

So, while I have actually begun to look forward to "Friday Spies," I may not get to them until Monday. If I can take some time out of my busy schedule later, though, I will post.
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