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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Who are we? What are we doing here?

I just read this article in the Wall Street Journal foretelling of the demise of blogging. Well, perhaps that language is too strong. Instead, what it says is blogging is no longer a revolutionary method of communication and will never make big business -- rather, "blogging" will come to mean "a style and rhythm of writing, as well as the tools to publish" it.

Referring to Technorati, the editorial points out the following figures:

- There are now 28.4 million blogs.
- The number of blogs doubles every 5.5 months
- Less than 1/2 of new blogs are still being posted to 3 months after their creation
- Less than 10% of blogs are updated at least weekly (2.7 million)

Of the 28.4 million blogs, there are "a lot of camps, all with different goals, styles and strategies," making it hard to define exactly what a blog is and what it isn't.

This has led me to some minor existential questioning regarding this blawg, as well as the ones to which I've linked on the side.

For me, as well as most of you, the most important "camp" are the bLAWgs.

There are at least three different types of blawgs, as I see:

1. Informative. Usually maintained by our professors, meant to help inform and educate us and practicing attorneys, or to keep professors connected. Some less popular informative blawgs are maintained by practitioners, and even less popular, are kept by the law students often with the biggest and most obnoxious egos. These blawgs have the potential for being blogrolled by many others. I wonder about the regularity of their visitors, however. Examples include: SCOTUSblog, WillsTrusts&Estates Prof Blog, White Collar Crime Prof Blog, and others on the Law Professor blogs network.

2. Commentary. The commentary blawgs will often incorporate some form of being informative, though skewed to the point of view of the blog's author. These can be an excellent starting point when approaching a legal issue and first attempting to decipher the finer points and develop an argument. By using Google Blog Search and typing in something like a S.Ct. case name, you can usually find more than enough individual diatribes to help inform you on how people view a particular issue. Everyone has an opinion, so there are more of these blawgs than you can count. Many times they are quite political, as well. An example, and the only one I ever read with any regularity, is the aptly-named Sonya's Gotta Scream.

3. Entertaining/Informal. Usually written by students, these (especially the good ones) can be the bane of a Law Professor's existence. For the authors, they are a distraction from class and studying. For the readers, they play the same role. These can sometimes incorporate some aspects of the "informative" and/or "commentary" blawgs. But the good ones only do so rarely and with a tongue-in-cheek, make-fun attitude. Most are begun out of boredom, and if they become even semi-popular it is a surprise to the author. For examples, just check out my blogroll.

So my question is this:

What is the future of the entertaining blawg? Do they just pop-up, exist for an average 2-3 years, then disappear to be replaced by others?

Many of my favorite -- and the best -- blawgers will be graduating in less than 3 months. What happens then?

It is one thing to be a "somewhat anonymous" law student, it is entirely different to attempt to be a "somewhat anonymous" assistant district attorney or junior associate in a large firm. We have seen from Opinionistas that blawging often doesn't work well with a career. And who is willing to trade their hard-earned JD for a blawg?

So what long-term value does even the best entertaining blog play? Few can be translated into any tangible medium. (We will see how Blachman does with turning the Anonymous Lawyer into a book). And if we play it safe and disassociate ourselves with our blawgs, and they become stale and are no longer linked-to or read, they just float there if not deleted. Do they just become another memory of our law school days?

I have been blawging for 18 months now, and in that time I have written 264 posts. That averages out to just over 3.5 posts per week. Regardless of whether anyone aside from myself is reading it, this blawg has become a major aspect of my Law School Life.

I have another year. After that, what do I do with it?


Monday, February 27, 2006

From Professor Marital Property

"You sit there worrying about the Uniform Commercial Code and holders-in-due-course and when one interest trumps another and the great hypotheticals involving the Federal Income Tax Code . . . and you store all of this information in case you run into a practicing attorney and he engages you in conversation on the topic. You think they know all those answers and now have moved on to bigger and better things.

Not true. Many of those lawyers are still having difficulty remembering you can't sign a legal document for a dead guy."

Weekend Round Up

The weekend with the in-laws was nice and uneventful y muy rapido.

I bought Mrs. Misery some new New Balance for work.

Her mom took her out and bought her a sexy black dress and accessories for the law review banquet coming up. (Yes, Elle, I said "law review." Get over it!)

We all enjoyed church. That's about it.

I was reminded over the weekend of the Federalist Society conference by L&A who apparently attended and then ended up playing back-up to Justice Scalia in a big biker bar fight. Glad they made it out without a scratch.

Oh well, Prof. CrimLaw -- for whom I tutor -- has promised to hook me up with his good friend with the Supreme Court when I'm in D.C. over the summer. So I may yet have the opportunity to see Scalia stare down danger on my own.

It is satisfying to find out there is another Federalist out there, L&A.

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Want me to get naked and start the Revolution?"

I'll take that as a maybe.

. . . . . . . . . . .

The in-laws are coming in today for the weekend. Mrs. Misery is freaking out, as she always does, when anything happens involving her parents. I am not quite sure she's yet bought into that idea of the unqualified love of a parent, because she constantly feels as if she has to impress them.

Or is my unwillingness to worry about what my parents think a sign of disrespect?

Often times, though, Mrs. Misery says she is jealous of me. She feels this way -- she admits -- because she believes they love me more. Why do they love me more? While the answer is, they absolutely don't, she believes it is because I am in law school.

They are proud of me, and very very supportive.

But, it isn't because of me. It is because of her.

They are proud of me, and supportive of me -- I am sure -- because they love her so much and have realized I will be able to take care of their daughter very well.

When we decided to get married, I had gone back to school to finally finish the last year of my undergrad. She knew I was letting nothing stop me from going to law school. She told them this.

They freaked. Being very traditional, her parents initially had a huge problem with the idea of her working while I went to school.

It is the man's job to support his wife, right? Even if she works, he'd better do more working than her, I suppose.

I am not sure what changed their mind. Perhaps it was the scholarship. Or my grades. Or just getting to know me. Or, perhaps, they finally realized the pay-off of her working to produce a lawyer.

Before we got married, Mrs. Misery had lost a job and was taking CNA courses and, while doing so, she went to work with a Temp agency that placed her in a high school cafeteria. While it was extremely low-paying, Mrs. Misery loved the work and had fun there. (I never knew there was such a party going on in school behind where you pick up your lunch trays.)

One day the soon-to-be Mrs. Misery was talking to her mom and told her how much she enjoyed the job and wished, but for the low pay, she could work there longer. (One great, great thing about Mrs. Misery is she is not a "status person" and loves life for life and is not particularly worried about, well, status. Hmm, though, I can even now see that change somewhat, as I get closer to graduation.)

But, anyway, she tells her mom she loves this job. And her mother stroked her hair and said,

"But, [Mrs. Misery], you are going to be a Lawyer's Wife. And Lawyer's Wives just do not work in school cafeterias."

Can you picture Mother-in-Law Misery, who is a thin, relatively tall, and fairly attractive brunette woman in her mid '40s, with a slight southern drawl, and a hint of pride in her voice, saying this every-so lovingly to her daughter?

I think it is cute. Oh, and by the way -- Mrs. Misery wants to be a teacher, which I think is one of the most noble professions a person can undertake.

Needless to say, they've been big supporters -- both morally and financially. Fortunately, financially.

What is really interesting about this weekend?

Her father is a Southern Baptist preacher. I am a member, and was a minister, in the churches of Christ. So is Mrs. Misery now.

Now if you are not a student of Southern religious affairs, allow me to explain:

No two "denominations" are actually more similar than Southern Baptists and the churches of Christ. There are always the Methodists hanging around, but the two churches in any small Southern town most competitive with each other will probably be the church of Christ and the First Baptist church.

Why? Because they are so similar -- except for a couple key points, these being the necessity of baptism, acappella music, and once saved-always saved theology.

But these differences are enough to cause huge problems. Like, for instance, with my and Mrs. Misery's nuptuals. At the time her father was only assistant preacher, and the head pastor did not for one moment like the idea of Mrs. Misery marrying a "church of Christ man." Incredibly, for a man who preaches "once saved-always saved," he hinted she and our kids might not make it to heaven.

The wedding was at her parent's church. The reception at what had become ours. A few of her parent's congregation would not come to the reception because of this.

To be fair to her father, he left that church shortly before the wedding and became the head preacher at another. He never agreed with the stance taken by this other guy. (Another interesting sidenote: his new church was struck with lightening and burned to the ground on our wedding day).

But, while we regularly attend his Baptist church every time we return home, her parents have never once been to a church of Christ service. This Sunday they will. This should be interesting.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I must have been absent that day . . .

The President, in defending his administration's approval of the new deal that would allow an Arab state-controlled company to run take over partial management of our nation's largest ports, accused his bipartisan critics . . .

of Racial Profiling.

Excuse me?!

Here is the memo I -- and all of Congress -- must have missed:

To: Evil Conservatives of America

From: Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security

Subject: End of Racial Profiling

Date: September 22, 2003

Fellow Conservatives,

In an attempt to soften the U.S. image internationally, to placate the United Nations Human Rights Commission now chaired by Libya, and to seek U.S. reinstatement to the commission after an embarrasing vote that removed us from that hallowed body a year ago, the President has decided that from this day forward we will no longer be utilizing the procedure now known as "racial profiling" in order to conduct investigations into terrorist activities in an attempt to protect the nation from external or internal threats.

Please take note and disregard any previous instructions from the Department of Homeland Security received prior to the date noted above encouraging you to pay close attention to and report to the proper authorities any young men or women of Middle Eastern descent carrying on continued communications with nations that openly support terrorist groups and/or who are acting in a suspicious manner.

Instead, we will be instituting a new method of protection tentatively titled "Selective Investigation." According to this plan, the government will randomly select men or women we have reason to believe, based upon prior experience, pose a threat to the security of the nation and its citizens. We will randomly select telephone conversations to secretly listen to and record when those conversations occur between these randomly selected individuals and and other randomly selected individuals or when those randomly selected telephone calls are made to other nations that have also been randomly selected and may or may not openly support terrorist groups. We will then randomly select certain individuals to detain for unspecified randomly selected amounts of time in order to ensure they will not pose a future threat to the safety of the nation and its citizens.

To be sure, the Administration would still like to encourage you to report individuals you have randomly selected feeling they may pose a threat to our security based on their use of expired student visas, enrollment in flight training instruction schools, and/or obsession with bridges, dams, nuclear facilities, oil refineries, and large metropolitan areas. The security of the homeland is, indeed, a team effort. But let's make it a race-neutral one, too.

The President truly believes that together we can all make this not only a secure nation but a nation known for its absolute reverence for Human Rights. And we will one day again sit beside the respected nations of the Human Rights Commission, such as Libya, Sudan, and Zimbabwe, as shining examples of decency, safety, and hope for the future.


Tom Ridge


Now how could we have missed that one???

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What part of "NO" do you not understand?

Let the jokes begin and the years of head-shaking over another "frivolous" lawsuit start now. . .

but Mickey D's screwed up big. Big.

I once had a good friend with celiac disease, which causes your body to react violently to the introduction of any gluten (found in wheat products) into the digestive system. The gluten kills the part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients. People with celiac disease that eat even a small amount of gluten can get very weak and sick and could die if the consumption of gluten continues and/or no treatment is given.

I know from my friend that people with celiac disease rely heavily on accurate product labeling in order to find foods safe to eat. (She introduced me to Nut Thins and cream cheese as one of the best snacks ever invented as a result).

So roughly two years ago McDonald's listed everyone's favorite french fries as being gluten-free.

Awesome, right? For a group of individuals who are already severely limited in what they can eat, it was great news.

Not anymore.

Last week, in response to new federal regulations regarding food labeling, McDonald's changed the labeling of their fries to "contains wheat and milk ingredients."

And then after a few of these people who've been subsidizing the Mickey D executives' salaries through their two-years-worth of chowing down on the treat decided to file suit . . .

McDonald's releases a statement in essence saying: "Oh, yeah, we kind of have to list our french fries as containing wheat and milk ingredients so that we don't, er, get in trouble with the federal government. But, the good news is -- guess what! We're just kidding because our fries don't actually contain wheat so you can still eat them." Maybe they should have added, "Just do us a favor and don't tell Washington."

Get it straight. Either your product has gluten or it does not. Either prove it to the FDA or stop lying to us.

It kind of sounds like you trying to convince me your grilled chicken sandwich is more healthy than anything I could possibly dream of eating.

Seriously, what part of "NO" do you not understand?

I Know Because I am a Law Student!

Well, since I received a response to yesterday's post I suppose while I am sitting here proctoring this CrimLaw midterm I will post my own ridiculous story . . .

One evening during the first semester of my 1L year I was working on a project, or an outline, or something that needed to be printed out and used the following day. Realizing the ink cartridge on my printer was bone-dry, I decided to make a quick trip to Wal-Mart to replace it. This trip was uneventful and I returned home with my $30 print cartridge.

But the cartridge, after successfully installing it according to the on-screen instructions, would not work. I took it out and reinstalled it several times. Thinking I may have gone crazy, I switched back and forth between the new and old cartridges twice to make sure I was installing the right one. Then I spent 30 minutes attempting to run diagnostics only to find that -- while the new cartridge was full of ink -- it wouldn't print anything but chinese symbols and gibberish as the old one printed a badly faded copy of my work.

So I shoved the new cartridge back in its box, grabbed my receipt and one hour after leaving Wal-Mart, I returned. Once the Tammy Faye Baker look-a-like at the front door put a sticker on it and pointed me to the customer service desk (I guess that is what passes for the old and/or mentally-challenged in Lubbock these days), I found a place in line and patiently stood there.

Upon reaching the front of the line, I was told I could not exchange the printer cartridge because I had opened the box. I asked why. She said it was an electronics item. I pointed to the giant 6 ft x 8 ft blue sign behind her outlining the return policy and read to her where electronics could be returned within 45 days with receipt and in the original packaging.

Okay, so maybe the reason wasn't because it was an electronics item. No, she said, it is because it was a computer item.

Funny. Because the giant blue sign doesn't say anything about "computer items." It does mention "software" but even with software you can return defective software for an identical item. And that policy is based on the copyright laws.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't because it was a computer item afterall. But after this I got the pleasure of speaking with the head of "customer service" and of hearing her excuse.

New policy, she reported. Because people can purchase printer cartridges and return the empty one in the packaging, the manager in charge of electronics changed the policy regarding their return.

Okay, I replied. Then how come this "new policy" is not posted on that big blue board? Or printed on the receipt with the rest of the special return information. Or posted in the electronics department. Or how come your manager hasn't even taped up a sheet of paper above the printer cartridges notifying any future unsuspecting would-be purchasers of your printer cartridges that if the printer cartridge is defective they have just pissed away THIRTY HARD-EARNED DOLLARS??

I will get the manager on duty, she said.

So up to this point I believe I had remained fairly controlled. I had not mentioned my superior career prospects or my advanced knowledge of the law. I had merely pointed out to both women what should have been obvious if you worked beneath the ominous shadow of the big blue sign each and every day of your life.

Then I met the "manager," although I am still not quite sure he wasn't one of the cart-getter-guys. He was dressed in jeans, an old polo, and topped off by a grey zip-up sweatshirt. Of course he did have the "asssistant manager" badge hanging from a lanyard around his neck. So I suppose this should have demanded my respect . . .

He began touting the same line I'd received from the head of customer service. And my reply was the same. I would not have taken on the risk of purchasing a non-returnable, potentially defective $30 printer cartridge for the dollar discount I'd receive over Staples price had I been notified of this "new policy."

And he stood like a brick wall.

So I laid down the law.

You see, I explained to him, what occurred when I handed your cashier the $30 for this cartridge and she handed me the cartridge and a receipt was the creation of a contract. The terms of this contract consist of those included on the receipt, on the big blue board behind you, and the expectations that have arisen over a lifetime's course of dealing with Wal-Mart and its products. According to the receipt I am currently holding, the big blue board towering over your head, and our course of dealing . . . if I purchase a defective item from your store and return it promptly in the original packaging and with the receipt upon discovering the defective character of the item, then you must exchange the defective item for one of an identical nature. If you refuse, then I have a legally actionable claim otherwise known as breach of contract.

And I know this . . . Why?


Because I am a law student. (Oh, and by the way, you work at Wal-Mart and obviously are not.)

You have heard -- I am sure -- the phrase, "If looks could kill . . ."

Well . . . need I say more?

I stopped to catch my breath after that quick recital of basic contract law. He grew beet red from his neck up, his eyes narrowed, his jaw clenched, and he reached across the desk and swiped the receipt I'd previously been waving in front of him from my fist.

Listen to me, he growled, I am going to refund your money. But you don't ever come in my store again mouthing off about being in law school, boy. (And, yes, he punched that word "boy") Because you don't know nothing and this is my store and I can do whatever I want and run it the way I want and I ain't having no loud mouth student come in here and tell me how to do things. I am going to give you your money back. But I don't have to, I want you to remember that. And you don't ever come back in here threatening me with you knowing what the law is ever again.

And with that he handed the receipt to the first girl, told her to refund my money, and stormed off.

Of course I was extremely irritated with the way he'd just talked to me. But I decided to cut my losses -- which amounted to little more than some chipping away at my pride -- and take my $30 and leave.

So I smiled at the girl. I protested, with feigned innocence, "I just wanted to exchange it." Then I commented, "I am surprised your own lawyers haven't said something . . . you really should post a notice of this new policy."

And I signed the receipt. And she handed me my money. And I left.

I worked retail several years for a large company. And the most basic lesson taught to me by the powers-that-be in the various stores I worked at operated by this company was this --

A returning customer is worth more than a $30 refund. No matter how much it hurts, you just smile and give them their money and charge back the merchandise and let them spend their $30 on some other item the company bought at wholesale for $1.25.

Most of the time, I would just give the refund without wasting time on management. It was only if the customer pissed me off would I call a manager . . . and not because I thought for a second the manager would refuse the refund, it was just to annoy the customer while having to wait.

I have never purchased another printer cartridge from Wal-Mart. And Wal-Mart has never posted a notice.

I wish I could say I haven't been back to Wal-Mart since. But that would be insane. Wal-Mart is an angry beast, and I must feed it.

Not to mention sooner or later we'll be able to buy the morning-after pill there, as well.

Wills & Trusts Gem of the Day

Prof: Class gifts are those where the beneficiaries are not necessarily known when the will is written and are designated by a generic term. To whom do you think the most popular class gift is left?


Prof: Children!! And the second most popular?


Prof: Grandchildren!!
Clueless Student: (At same time) Spouses.

Prof: What? Did you say "spouses"? Maybe in Utah, my friend. Not in Texas.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Well, I'm a lawyer, yes, that is what I do . . . but that is not the brush I like to painted with"

This guy must be a lawyer. There is really no other explanation for a mind as demented as this.

Thanks to Being Awesome for posting the link.

Note: Check out the direction on page 3 of the document that reads: "All skirts no lower than 2 inches below the knee (Unless its for Church)." Have you ever gone to church and wondered what kind of sickos may be sitting beside you looking all prim and proper but are completely and utterly depraved underneath the suit? Thank God I'm not responsible for judging people!

P.S. Don't forget about the "little experiment" below.

A Little Experiment -- "I know because I am a Law Student"

While I am not sure if I have enough people regularly tuning in to read my random rants about law school and life . . .

I want to try something.

I would wager that nearly every law student has -- at one time or another -- had a disagreement somewhere at sometime and attempted to pull out that extremely volatile trump card otherwise known as the infamous "I know . . . because I am a law student" slapdown.

Only to find it may not have been the best thing to say.

For instance, have you ever been drunk and stupid enough to tell a police officer: "You can't do that. I know my rights because I am a law student."

I want to hear your stories, and I am sure other people would as well.

So please tell me your story either in a comment to this post, or if you have your own blawg, write about it there and leave a link in my comments.

And I will follow up this post with my own story about a fight I had with a sexually-frustrated Wal-Mart manager.

(Unless I don't get any response to this post. If that happens I may just stop blogging altogether. Maybe.)

Monday, February 20, 2006

This Post Has No Title

It is being reported both Time and Newsweek have their heaviest hitters writing about the Cheney shooting and both are giving the story top billing with pictures of Cheney and the headlines "Cheney's Secret World" and "Sticking to his Guns".

The same story also reports that, on a CNN panel over the weekend, reporters opined that the American public perceives them as "whining" because the President's administration has successfully made them "look awful" in the context of their "hard-hitting" reporting of the story.

They believe the President is exploiting this incident to drive a wedge between the public and the media.

O, sure, because up until now we've been so in love with big media . . .

Of course if we hadn't discovered it drunk in the closet at the frat party last weekend letting itself get felt up by some strange AF-wearing tool,

it would be easier to forgive big media now.

But those bridges have been burned.

And they need to get back to more important things . . .

like hinting about some secret conspiracy regarding Bush's strange silence on Iran's revamped nuclear program or his war-mongering imperialistic attempts to conquer all of the Middle East so he can install himself as the Grand High Poobah of Abu Dhabi when his final term expires in a couple of years and he can force evil Western human rights values on them all. All for the oil.

Just please give it a rest already.

The guy was a lawyer. In Texas. It's a wonder he made it that long without being shot.

Ah well, its a Monday morning and I'm a little bitter about that. Can you tell?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Keeping the Gene Pool Clean

During a brief AIM conversation with Walking Tort last night I mentioned the story about the Massachusetts pharmacy board requiring Wal-Mart to sell the morning-after pill.

Now, of course, given my conservative leanings and propensity of support for a free market, you might imagine this action by Massachusetts did not sit well with me.

And you would have been right . . . at first.

But then I started to think, and I told Walking Tort: Maybe Massachusetts is ahead of the curve.

Sure . . . what greater service to society can Massachusetts perform than requiring Wal-Mart to stock the morning-after pill?

Apparently, 3 women -- with the backing of pro-abortion groups -- complained to the state pharmacy board about Wal-Mart's refusal to sell the drug.

Because, I guess, they can't manage to walk across the street to Walgreen's or CVS.

. . . then again, I imagine those stores probably have a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy.

And Lord knows what a problem that can be when you wake up with a massive hangover, on the floor of some strange trailer, and with the sneaking suspicion you'd had unprotected sex with at least one unknown man the night before.

This is America! And a woman ought to be able to buy her Liggett cigarettes, a morning 6-pack, her feminine products, a new bathing suit and flip-flops to wear while mowing the grass, and the morning-after pill all in one place damn it!

And besides -- I ask you -- who needs the morning-after pill more than a woman who must rely upon Wal-Mart to provide it???

So I say "thank you" to Massachusetts for being ever-vigilant in the cleansing of our gene pool.

It is the revival of eugenics at its best . . .

And, of course, I am being sarcastic.

Another Great from Prof. Wills&Trusts

Spoken in class at 8:00 a.m. on Monday:

Professor: Today and tomorrow the Texas Tech Law Partners organization will be selling carnations at a table out in front of the forum! They are only $1.25 each or 10 for just $10! What a great bargain!! Everyone should make sure and get one for their partner!!

Clueless Student: But I don't have a partner.

Professor: Then that is something I suggest you work on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Poetic Legal Advice for Valentine's Day

You can say it with flowers,
You can say it with candy,
You can say it with jewelry or drink.
You can say it with candles and dinner and brandy,
But be sure you don't say it with ink.

--From "Lawyers: Jokes, Quotes & Anecdotes"

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!!!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

V-Day: Victory for Women

[The following is an edited re-posting from last February, 2005. But it is as true today as it was then. Hope you enjoy.]

I have heard it said Valentine's Day is another scheme of the "Greeting Card Companies" to make money.

Well, of course it is a scheme--

But come on, men . . .

This has nothing to do with the Greeting Card Companies, it goes much higher than that.

Valentine's Day was devised by the WOMEN of the world-- who otherwise secretly rule with an iron fist-- to be a sort of fantastic and underhanded "coup de grace."

"Coup de Grace": (1) A deathblow delivered to end the misery of a mortally wounded victim. (2) A finishing stroke or decisive event.

There exists between every man and woman in their relationship a covert war-- a Battle of the Sexes. And, at some point in time during the course of this battle, the man will have to concede a devastating preliminary defeat.

(I say "preliminary" because the signing of the armistice occurs on your wedding day. The battles left to be fought from that day forward are carried on by ill-content, renegade generals armed with little more than some nasty words and a few late nights that will prolong your misery for another two years beyond the fateful day before they finally wear out and slowly fade away.)

As for this preliminary defeat that signals the end, however -- this momentous event usually happens to occur on the Ides of February, otherwise known as Valentine's Day.

Sure, there have been those brave men of history who -- like Shakespeare's King Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt-- have daringly mounted one final attack.

"Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more, or we close up the wall with our English dead. In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage . . ."

Yes, like King Henry, there have been those heroes. But they are our heroes in their defeat. We admire them for their resolve, not for their victory. . .

There is no more dangerous time to assert your "independence" or your "masculinity" than on this day. You will lose the battle . . . you risk losing the war.

For the fairer sex-- even while comforting you with a pretty smile and a soft testimony: "I didn't need anything anyways"-- the fairer sex will win. They are dangerous in their ability to harbor resentment and calculating in their ability to force submission.

Though you may brag that you saved $70 on flowers and candy now . . . It will cost you much more later because eventually, I promise . . .

You will lose the battle . . . you risk losing the war.

Valentine's Day has nothing to do with men. It is symbolized by hearts and flowers, diamonds and chocolates, balloons and big stuffed bears. If we were intended to play any significant part in this Holiday, Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot would be advertising "Valentine's Day Specials" on Craftsman skill saws and cordless drills.

As I stood in line at Spencer's Gifts yesterday, the guy that rang me up-- he knew. "Getting ready for Valentine's Day?" He asked sympathetically. "Yeah." I whispered in defeat.

Our part has been relegated to the position of the vanquished. We are to buy the gifts-- perhaps to receive a card in return-- and silently pray that she is happy.

It is always and entirely about her. Harbor no illusions otherwise.

My wife, it is so cute, plays ignorant in the matter. She pretends that buying me a gift has something to do with my enjoyment of the day. But she knows, and I know, that my happiness is predicated on her smile and her pronouncement that, for just one day, I am the "most romantic guy in the world."

And the day will end . . . and even though I have been beaten and bruised by this Battle of the Sexes, at the end of the day I will drift to sleep thinking-- though I was forced to leave my comfort zone, am all but broke and truly resent the $70 left wilting on the kitchen counter-- I will lay in bed and feel as if I actually, truly WON.

But that, THAT is how they fool you . . .

Hmm . . . Aren't women great?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Another great way to waste an hour of your life . . .

I rented and actually watched perhaps the worst movie I have ever seen.

"From the director of Boogeyman."

Sure. That should've given it away. I know.

But I rented it anyway, and took it home, and put it off until last. And after 15 minutes, when I stopped repeating, "It has to get better than this,"I watched another hour of it out of sheer stubborn determination.

I paid $3.95 to take this movie home. I can't believe the video store had the balls to put it on the shelf and pass it off as entertainment.

The movie was Green River Killer. I thought it would be a fictionalized film version of the man and his gruesome deeds. I also thought that -- while it obviously wouldn't be on level with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre -- it would be a decent horror film.

I was wrong on the second assumption. Cabin Fever could have been nominated for an Oscar next to this.

It actually took me 30 minutes before I realized this waste of perfectly good unexposed film could be nothing like the actual Green River Killer's story.

The movie had a steady and predictable beat to it: Freak goes to small bar about the size of a trailer. Freak dances with a whore. Freak leaves with the whore. Freak and whore have sex. Freak kills whore.

There was absolutely nothing to the movie other than that over and over and over again.

And you might assume that after the 4th, 5th, or 6th time you watched this guy walk out the door with another soon to be dead prostitute, you'd think twice before cheering him on and patting his back.

Especially if you were the fat blonde woman taking the money. Sure, it would mean one less trick turned . . . but how bad does business have to get before you are willing to consider your prostitutes as disposable commodities?

It was the 1980's. True, but still . . .

It looked like the entire film was shot with a JVC camcorder bought on sale at Sears. The editing must have been done by hooking two vcr's up together.

And the acting? This movie is the only place you can find a reunion of the entire cast from Bickleton, Washington Community Theatre's production of Death of a Salesman. (At least I hope it is the only place.)

The prostitutes must've all been the result of the director finally living up to all of those promises of, "Hey, I'm going to be a big Hollywood director. If you'll sleep with me I'll put you in a movie."

Though I am sure, at the end of the night, some of them still made him leave the money on the dresser.

What I think I am trying to say is:

This movie was bad. Don't watch it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Money Can't Buy Happiness?

Au contraire, mon frere, say the creditor lobbyists.

Thanks to Prof. Marital Property for this link:

This is a great short opinion by an federal bankruptcy judge in Austin blasting Congress over the new bankruptcy laws. This line probably says it all:

Apparently, it is not the individual consumers of this country that make the donations to the members of Congress that allow them to be elected and re-elected and re-elected and re-elected.

It doesn't matter which party they are -- they are all politicians and they are all dirty as hell.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Best Discovery of the Day

I just found this guy from a comment he made to my "open letter to a recent reader" post.

Apparently he does what I might want to be doing in a couple of years; well, I don't know that for sure, but he does work for the federal government.

And after I just spent 30-some-odd pages declaring the federal government to be big, greedy, and evil in my student Comment . . .

O, how I would love to work for it.

In any case, his blawg is The Thinking Fool. Check it out.

On a related note:

While I am glad I finally know who from Washington, D.C., has been reading my blog, I am admittedly a little disappointed that it was neither Condie Rice nor Justice Scalia. Although I am glad it wasn't my summer employer.

Overheard in Wills & Trusts

Prof: Can anyone tell me how many marriages in this country end in divorce? How about you, Ms. [MiM's Friend]?

Friend: I'm not sure. All of mine did.

[Laughter from class.]

Prof: Touche.

Another Post About Nothing

Well, with my Student Comment now done, finished, and turned in . . .

I believe my absolute hatred and complete disgust with everything Law School has successfully been abated.

After coming to terms with the fact that I must actually finish school, given my student loans as well as the towering expectations of every person I've ever met,

I've had time to rethink where it is I'm going after I put Lubbock in the rearview mirror.

And I still have no idea.

It would be a shame not to practice law. After all, it is what i've wanted to do ever since I was thirteen (that is, since I realized I'd never have my shot at having a major mafia family named after me, oh, and with the exception of from about 16-18 when I wanted to be Abbie Hoffman, or Jack Kerouac, or both)

I was a real exciting little kid. Let me tell ya.

I don't know. Maybe I wasn't all bad -- just atypical.

For some reason I just had a flashback of me at 15 making pitchers of this tropical coctail of Coconut Rum, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice, and . . . was it orange juice? -- I don't know -- But making pitchers of this drink for my parents and the consistently drunk lady from across the street, while she would sit in our kitchen listening to the album from Dirty Dancing ("nobody puts baby in a corner") over and over and over again while I fanned away her smoke out of my face and argued with her about every topical subject under the sun.

She was the mother of my friend put away for murder. I didn't know much about her until after he was arrested.

Then we found out she used to be called "Madame Butterfly." That was on account of her having been a notorious madam in Oklahoma City prior to her arrest and conviction on tax evasion charges. They'd also owned several strip clubs.

Damn federal government and their taxes. (ha ha). We never believed my friend when he told us they'd once owned a mansion with a huge heated pool and jacuzzi and several cars. WTF?! we'd say. Your mom is a nursing home adminstrator. Your dad is a subcontractor.

I always felt sorry for the residents in her nursing home. I will never forget the way she cackled when she told us about finding two of the old people having sex in the hall once.

An old German lady, she was. She got me drunk once then took me (and my family) to our local Oktoberfest and taught me how to do the twist. (And no, that is not innuendo. We took off our shoes and in our socks actually did the twist with a bunch of other drunk Germans -- or Wannabe-Germans-For-A-Day)

They've since moved and when they did, the workers hired to remodel the house got sick because -- from what we hear -- so much Meth had been cooked upstairs the fumes had seeped into the walls and just standing in the room too long could poison you.

She has one son serving life for murder.

Another bums around and is in an out of jail on drug and petty theft charges, he's addicted to Meth and the last my parents saw of him was on a Crime Stoppers commercial.

Her daughter had her child taken away because of a bad drug habit.

Oh, and her eldest son is now a lawyer.

Score one for the legal profession! Yeah!!

(I honestly didn't grow up in a bad neighborhood. It was actually decent by Lawton, Oklahoma standards. Remember -- my town was ranked highest in the nation per capita for violent crime when I was in high school. But we were blue-collar, working-class. Nothing to be ashamed of.)

But to get back to my point, if I had one, it's that I have no idea where I'm headed.

And I've also realized that as daring, adventurous, and spontaneous as I was 10 years ago . . . I have become so complacent and comfortable lately.

I'm not sure I want to leave Texas.

As much as I'm excited about it -- a summer in Washington, D.C. is beginning to scare the crap out of me. I will definitely miss the big-headed arrogance of my fellow Texans. I'm just not quite sure the arrogance of Washington, D.C. politicians, lobbyists, beaurocrats, & hanger-ons will measure up.

We shall see.

And this has been another post about absoluuuuuutely nothing, brought to you by your favorite law student without that oh-so-longed-for sense of humor!!! Good day!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

An Open Letter to a Recent Reader

To the Person That Found My Blog While Searching for Judicial Internship Opportunities with Judge Judy:

If you find any relevant information on this topic, please let me know.

I would love to spend a year writing her opinions . . .

And helping her create that witty and biting repertoire.

Thursday's I Thoughtlessly Forgot

Wednesday Wants to Know

1) What is your favorite classroom distraction?

Usually working on all of the extracurricular stuff I have going on outside of class . . . or blogging. Occasionally Elle will pop up and bother me, but she loves to embarass me by offending the nosey classmates beside and behind me. Honestly, I don't think anyone else needs to know about my gentle fondness for farm animals, Elle . . . we could keep that between us.

2) What is your classroom attendance/behavior policy? [This is a handy reference guide]

Oh, I definitely play possum. That is not to say I am -- by any stretch of the imagination -- a gunner. I just don't believe in volunteering any more information to the professor than is absolutely necessary. But when called on I want to appear completely confident and as if I know of what I speak. In many ways, this is a preemptive strike to keep from being called on again.

3) What do you do if you have gotten called out by the professor and you are...

a) not prepared on the material for the day:

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Haven't Read. Definitely.

b) not paying a bit of attention to the gaseous windbag in the front of the room:

Hmm? Can you repeat that question again?

c) touching yourself?

Ask him/her to call out my name again a couple more times -- with a little more passion, maybe a little squeal . . . and if you could act like you are out of breath a little . . . yes! definitely -- yell at me . . . i liked that, too . . .
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