Friday, December 23, 2005

Wheel of Fish!!!

No, not really. Though UHF was a pretty funny movie.

I was watching Wheel of Fortune tonight (don't laugh.. okay, laugh!) and one of the prizes was a trip to Iceland. "Hmmm.." I thought. "I've been to Iceland!" And 'lo and behold, it was an Icelandair package, airfare & hotel. I saw the hotel shots and thought, "Wow! Cool! I stayed in that hotel!" After all, when The Lawless One and I went two Springs ago we went because he'd found a good Icelandair package.

And then i saw the "value" of this prize. And I say "value" because they are lying, scum-suckign weasels. According to them, the trip was valued at around $8,600. Which is complete and utter bullshit. I think it cost us around $1,500 for round-trip airfare and 3 nights in the hotel. Let's be unreasonable. Add $500 to that for first class seats. Let's add $1,500 to that for 4 more nights in the hotel. What do we have? $3,500. NOT their purported $8,600. HOW THE HELL DO THEY ARRIVE AT THAT NUMBER???? 'Cause I call bullshit on that one.

Also, looks like the NYC transit strike ended on Thursday afternoon. Kinda funny. No concessions were made. Nothing changed, per se, from the previous two days. No, the TWU board just voted, something like 35-6, to go back to work. Yeah. So who thinks the TWU is now in a better negotiating position than before? The city called their 'bluff' (though it can hardly be called a real bluff since they did strike) and didn't concede one inch. So is the TWU any better off? I think not. I think they're in a worse position now, especially considering the strikers and, just as notably, Roger Toussaint are subject to criminal repercussions. Worth it to strike rather than try and hash things out? I don't think so.

My colon was happy today. I just wanted you to know.

But I still have a cold. Bleh. Yay for a 3-day weekend followed by a 3-day week followed by a 4-day weekend! Yay for WoW! Boo for dogs still going on the floor! Yay for... ummm... ... ... tissues! (Sorry, I drew a blank.)

Happy Holidays Everyone!!! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Where were we?

Ah yes, Boston Legal and my colon. No new Boston Legal this week. (Curse you ABC!!!) However my colon is faring the same. That is to say poorly. Couple that with a cold I have developed today and I'm a little miserable. Add in that one of our two dogs at home is having bladder control issues necessitating morning and evening cleaning of the kitchen floor by yours truly ('cause my mom's bad back and bad knee and bad wrist otherwise disqualify her from floor-cleaning duty) and I'm pretty darn miserable tonight.

Sore throat. Stuffy nose. Leaky colon. Recently-cleaned floor that now has a small pile of dog shit courtesy of the other, non-bladder-control-problems dog. *sigh* Some days it just doesn't pay to get out of bed. (Though I did go to work today so it did pay in the literal sense.)

Work is going rather well. I'm learning more every day. Thus far I've drafted a nonprovisional application and a provisional application. Also many Responses to Office Actions. I'm enjoying it most of the time. Sometimes it's boring or uninspiring but even then I slog through and manage to produce something (hopefully) good. I take heart that my provisional draft, which I turned in for review today, only received minor corrections. Heck, even my flow charts and descriptions thereof passed muster! Not bad all things considered.

One cool thing about work. Since it's the holiday season, the firm gets a number of seasonal cards. The firm also gets a number of edible seasonal gifts, including chocolate, coffee cake, and Mrs. Field's cookies. Oh the cookies. The cookies!!! *Homer Simpson-like drooling noises* Soooooo good. Sooooooooooo good. The worst part is that my desk is very close to the kitchen, where the edible seasonal gifts reside. Hence, whenever I pass the kitchen, which I do on a not infrequent basis, I am tempted to partake of the edible seasonal gifts. Sooooo good. Cooooooookies. Yes, my kryptonite is chocolate chip cookies. Coooooookies.

Sorry about that. Got hung up on the edible fare. By the way, the reason for no new posts of late is work. Some nights I get home and don't even turn on my computer. The nights I do, exepting tonight, I tend to play my computer game and relax. I'll try to post a bit more often but how many times in the lifetime of this blog have I promised that one? Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

I do have some comments, maybe ones that could even be misconstrued as substantive, concerning the NYC transit strike and FISA taps. We'll see if I get around to posting those, though. I will say that watching the news coverage of the transit strike, safely afar here in CT, is pretty interesting. Personally I'm rooting for MTA and the city (Bloomberg, Patacki, et al.). The union is in a bad position, in my opinion. Hopefully this thing is resolved in the next day or two but I wouldn't be shocked if it took a bit longer.

And as for the FISA taps, in an effort to keep my name and this blog off various non-existent lists of persons I shall refrain from using names. Let's just say I'm not a POTUS-supporter. I think that he could have handled this, as with so many other things, including the war, in a much better manner. I'm also a bit concerned over these things, even though I'm not surprised by them. In my opinion, sans any review or review process, these taps are the first step on a road I distinctly dislike, namely one leading to a more dictatorial form of government. When the government starts conducting its affairs in secret, out of the eyes of the public and without any accountability thereto, it's time for the people to take note and be afraid. Makes you wonder what else they haven't told us, eh? And that does scare me.

So maybe you did get my thoughts on those topics. Thhhpppttt.

Man I feel rotten. Hope I can get some sleep tonight. I still plan on going into work. It's at my option whether or not I do but every hour of work I miss is one more I have to make up later. And that ain't good, especially if I get behind. As it is, I was on target this morning after the previous two weeks' deficits (due to first day, snow, and ice). I'm currently a half hour behind. Hopefully I can at least put in a good 5-6 hours billable tomorrow.

The almighty billable hour. I've learned that it's not so hard to manage 7-8 billables a day. There's plenty of work to do and if I get in early and stay to at least 5pm, with a 30 min. lunch break it's cake. Unfortunately that doesn't take into account my colon (which has exacted 45-60 min on a bad day or as few as 5-10 on a good day) or break time (which has exacted as much as 55 min on a bad day). I view break time as occasionally necessary to preserve sanity. Plus, it's my time to use towards billables or make up later. I try not to break if I can help it but sometimes I have to surf over to Slashdot or The Legal Underground and take a brief, unbilled breather.

Is this post that long yet? I suspect it is but I refuse to verify.

CSI is good. If you like, the Spike channel shows it from at least 7-8pm, if not also 8-9pm. Got a double dose tonight. Yay Grissom! I am kind of hoping that Jorja Fox gets more acting roles. I suspect she has potential. (Plus she's pretty good-looking.) Have to see if she gets other parts elsewhere.

Speaking of entertainment, I need to see Chronicles of Narnia and Aeon Flux. I'd like to buy Serenity on DVD, now that I have money in my pocket from my first paycheck. I did watch the movie Rounders on tv. I rather liked it! A good one with Matt Damon and Ed Norton about poker. Good ending too. Two weekends ago my mom and I saw Syriana in the theater. It was okay at best. We both feel like we missed something with it. As in its overall goal, point, story, or direction. Not a good thing to find oneself missing in a movie.

Enough. Peace out.

ADDENDUM: In reviewing the front page of my blog, I remembered one other thing I wanted to write. Apologies go to my friend's fiancee whom I mentioned about 3 posts back. You see, my friend's fiancee is also a friend of mine and apparently she took my reference to her, as "my friend's fiancee," in a negative light. Apologies T-bone!

She voiced this to me when I met up with her and her fiancee, aka my friend, at that shindig a Thursday or two back. Was a good thing, except for the location. New Haven stinks! Took me over an hour to get there! Anyways, she sparked a brief discussion over my reference to her. At which point I sided with her fiancee, aka my friend, in pointing out that I met him before her. See, I was friends with both of them before they were ever a them. I met him at orientation and her in the grocery store late one night. (She was my neighbor and in front of me in line and recognized me and said hi.)

It's actually kind of funny. Each year of law school I was good friends with a different friend o' mine. First year it was T-bone's fiancee. Second year it was The Lawless One. Third year it was Dan-the-Man. T-bone hooked up with his fiancee the end of first year. The Lawless One re-hooked up with his former-ex girlfriend the end of second year. Dan-the-Man commuted so he had nowhere else to go when in Hartford, other than the school. (Hah!) Plus he and I liked computer games. I got him back into Diablo 2 and then World of Warcraft. As it is, he and I became pretty good friends although I wasn't invited to his wedding this past November. I haven't asked him about that yet but then I haven't talked with him much. I will inquire though.

That's another thing. The Cara and The Dave had their wedding in October. Captain Kate and Sneaky Pete had their wedding this October. I think I was the only law student invited to both weddings. The group of friends I assembled is a little odd in that not everyone in the group is friends or even friendly with the rest. Except me. I'm pretty much friends with everyone. I predict that I won't see all of them again until it's time for my wedding, when I invite them all. 'Cause no one else is friends with everyone. Kinda sad. Especially given some of the 'reasons' behind the non-friendship. Also because they all are my friends and it'd be really cool to hang with them all again. At one time. In one place.

Speaking of my wedding, I predict it to be a loooooooong way off. Me living at home does not a good dating life make. Not that me living in my own apartment was much better. But home just kinda kills it. The town doesn't help either. And I'm not really one to cruise bars and pick up women. I sometimes wish I was but that ain't how it works for me. So I spend my Friday and Saturday nights watching tv or playing computer games. At some point, possibly after I lose a few pounds and feel a bit better about myself and have some more dispensible income, I can give it more of a shot. I suspect the Internet will be involved. Yes, that doesn't make me leap with joy either.

By the way, one soft goal of mine next year, besides getting out of debt, is to consider getting a new car. What would I get? Probably a new, spiffy 2006 Shelby Ford Cobra GT500. I just want to throw that one out there. Sometime, in another post, I'll dig out some links, info, and pictures. Me likey.

Okay, enough addendum. Cheers! [9:45 PM]

ADDENDUM II: I really hate my colon. I mean it. I. hate. my. colon. I mean I'm sure I need a colon. And if I do need one, I'm sure it's better to have a colon than not. However I would much rather it be a properly-functioning colon as opposed to, well, mine. *sigh* I think I should just sit on the toilet and telecommute. [9:54 PM]

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Boston Legal Roxxors

William Shatner on an immediate trial, to a judge:
Your old. I'm old. Lock and load. Let's do this before we die.
Boston Legal is insanely funny. It's also absolutely hilarious for its legal content and arguments. Like The Practice, at times the legal content is spot on and dead right. Not to mention it's funny.

Watch it. Now. And I mean now, a new episode is on! (Gotta go! Commercials are nearly over.)

I hate my colon.

-MISH- (Message In Subject Header)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Responses et al.

Last week, Anon had this to say:
Why NY *and* CT? Does the firm require both? Right away?

You need to pass one state bar to practice law, not two. You also need to pass the pat bar so you can prosecute patents.

Maybe concentrate on just the two required bars and use the saved time impressing the new firm with your work ethic and product.
I promised I would respond and so I shall.

First off, my firm does not require any bar except for the Patent Bar. I can sit for the Patent Bar fairly soon as it's now given at a professional computer testing center (instead of biannually). I shall submit my application any day now and then it shouldn't be long 'til the exam.

Now, as for the state bars... I didn't pass CT or NY last time around. This time I'll sit for them again. Why? There's no real reason not to. Sitting for 2 bars isn't all that much harder than sitting for 1, at least not when it's CT & NY. I can study for NY and plan on passing CT. Seriously. At worst it's just one extra day of bar exams and I'd rather suffer that than sit for one or the other at a later date. (Yes, I know I can waive in but screw that. I'll take the exam.)

Any other questions?


Also, fyi, I will not be publishing posts from work. I figure, just to be extra safe, I will not compose or publish posts there. Heck, I'm not even going to surf to the blog's webpage. As far as I know, there's no monitoring of anything other than work e-mail but why chance it. I'd rather be safe than sorry on this one.

Work is going rather well. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Today I began writing my first patent. I got the claims done. Tomorrow it's the Description and Figures. I'm learning a lot and enjoying the work. Not bad, really. Not bad at all.

On Thursday I have a Holiday Party that a friend invited me to. His law firm is sponsoring it or what not. Should be good. I haven't seen my friend or his fiancee since law school (so that was about 6-7 months ago).


Friday, December 09, 2005

We interrupt this irregularly scheduled program to bring you-SNOW!

It's snowing outside! A LOT!!! We're expected to get between 5 and 9 inches of snow. So far we have something like 3-4 inches and there's more coming down.

Interesting thing here is that my new job doesn't have a snow policy per se. Rather, it's up to me whether or not I go in. (Which makes an inordinate amount of sense since it's me who has to reach my billable hours suggestion every year.) I'll probably go in around 10:30-noon or so, once the heavy snow fall tapers off a bit. Put in around 4-5 hours billable and I'll be good.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled non-broadcast already in progress.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Work Report

I began working at the law firm on Monday. I'd been offered (and accepted) the position two weeks earlier. The two week wait was so they could find me some office space. Their current office is positively busting. They ended up converting a conference room into half of an office for me. I have my own desk (wood), my own phone line extension (with phone), and, hopefully soon, my own computer. (Didn't arrive yet.) So far I've been using my laptop and flash drive. The worst part is that since I'm not on the network I can't print anything without someone's (a paralegal's) assistance.

Okay, enough with the objective. So far, after two days of work, I love the firm. Everyone there that I've met is very warm and personable. My first day no less than 4 of the other agents/attorneys stopped in, of their own accord, to say hello and briefly chat a bit. The paralegals/secretaries are all very nice and helpful. The two main partners are excellent too. I've been working fairly heavily with one of them. I only met the third, not-so-main, more-recent partner today. She stopped in to say hello and see how I was doing. So all the people I've met are terrific.

The work? I'm doing work. Work as in real work. So far I've drafted 3 responses to office actions for the partner. Tomorrow? Tomorrow I can either begin drafting my first patent application or I can work on my first unguided response to an office action. I'm learning a ton and the partner is actually working with me to help me learn. This is awesome.

Now, at times I do find some of the work to be pretty boring and unengaging. However, I suspect some of that will diminish as I get accustomed to the work. For crying out loud, I haven't had a real 8 hours+ a day job in over 3 years, let alone one that required significant amounts of brainpower. I know there's going to be a certain level of acclimatization involved. Plus I haven't even finished my first week here yet. Hell, I don't have a computer! So let me report back on my happiness-level/work contentment in a week or a month. We'll talk then.

Other cool thing. Once I pass the patent bar, my name goes on the letterhead. Whoah. Yeah, once I get my first paycheck and can afford the patent bar fee, I'm signing up. I need to pass that bad boy asap. I've already registered for the Feb. NY Bar Exam. The CT registration isn't due for another month so I can wait for a paycheck on that. Paaaaaaaycheck. Paaaaaaaaaycheck. I need one (or more) of those. T'would help a great deal.

By the way, my billable hours requirement suggestion isn't too bad. I can easily find the daily billables I need, provided I get in to work a little early and stay long enough. Not too bad, especially if I like the work. More on that as time passes.

I think that's it for now. Anyone have any questions for me? If so, leave them in the comments and I'll respond.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Blog Anonymity & Employment: The Twin Pillars of Enlightenment

(Good luck making sense of the post title!)

Here's an ABA article about an anonymous Manhattan associate's blog: An Anonymous Blogger Preps For The Big Time. The blog in question is opinionistas.

I would like to take this time to briefly gloat over my choice to not make this blog anonymous.

Blog anonymity is a two-way streak, it can be good and bad. The good is pretty obvious. The blogger gets a chance to seriously vent to the world at large about whatever he or she wishes. There can be no concern for giving away secrets or saying something one would not or cannot say otherwise, in a non-anonymous setting. In addition, due to this free-ranging ability to say almost anything, the blog itself will probably be a Hell of a lot more interesting and garner a larger audience. Hell, The Hot Librarion is damn entertaining because the author writes what she thinks, no filter, no editing, no holding back. That can make for some real entertainment.

The bad is oh so much worse, however. All it takes is one chink in that armor of anonymity and everything previously written becomes a weapon. That post about your female colleague who really needs to change her brand of deodorant? WHAM! That post about your boss' horrible toupee and the time he tripped down the stairs only to have the darn thing fluttering down after him? SMACK! That post about the time your law professor's pink shirt poked through his unzippered pants? KAPOW! All of a sudden, the blogger's entertaining posts become fuel for his/her demise. Blackmail is too nice a word when one's professional reputation and, indeed, profession are on the line.

So what is this all about? Accountability. As a blogger, are you willing to be held accountable for what you write? I said yes, knowing that: (1) Someone, some day, would link my real name to this blog. (2) I don't want to be fearing the day that the someone in question is my boss. (3) I'm generally not a bitchy kind of guy. I try not to strongly put down others. Not to say I'm against the odd moment of truthful opinion but that I'd prefer not to rant about friends or co-workers. (4) The blog would be a bit less entertaining because of the inherent filters. But that was my choice and I'm still glad for having chosen as I did.

When I read the above article, I noted the comments about the blogger's anonymity being in danger and briefly reflected on my budding career. I start work next Monday at my first "real" position. Oh I've worked full time before but not in a permanent position. And this one is permanent or at least "for the foreseeable future," which is approximately the same thing. Maybe once I get a hard schedule in place I'll take the time to post more regularly here. Not on the clock, of course, but rather because it will mean more and I'll have more to say and relate. Right now my days consist of occasionally being productive, more often screwing around watching television or playing computer games, seriously trying not to piss off my mom, and taking the dogs out. It's sad and slow and boring and pretty damn dull. But all that changes next week, for better or worse. Of course the paychecks I receive will heavily weigh in on the 'better' but that's a little different than considering generic levels of happiness and well-being.

So in summary, anonymity no, employment yes. Kind of a killjoy when you can reduce an entire post into four words. Bleh. (Or one word.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Turkey Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey out.

ADDENDUM: By the way, I didn't pass the NY Bar either. (Not that I was expecting to, based on my MBE score - which I learned from my CT Bar results.) Ah well. February here I come! [11:19 PM]

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Whenever I want you all I have to do is dream...

I had a horrible dream last night/this morning. As you may be aware, I didn't pass the Connecticut Bar. The New York Bar results came out this past Friday but I forgot to get my MBE score transferred so I don't know yet whether or not I passed.

Last night I dreamed that I had received a paper in the mail saying I'd passed the New York Bar. In the middle of the dream I can remember thinking something like "wait, this must be a dream!" Then I thought, "but I have this paper that says I passed, right?" And I felt the paper in my hand, reassuring myself that this was indeed happening, that I'd passed the New York Bar. I was very happy. I mean, with my MBE score it was nothing short of a miracle.

Then I woke up. It took me a solid minute or two to realize there was no such paper and I didn't know if I'd passed.


Friday, November 18, 2005


Yay!!! I am now (rather, will be) gainfully employed! I had an interview yesterday afternoon and was extended an offer this morning, which I accepted. I'll be working for a small patent firm located about 10-15 min. from where I'm living. What will I be doing? Writing and prosecuting patent applications, primarily. To be honest, the position is perfect for me. It's a learning position - I will learn all about patent prosecution by doing it. The partners will be overseeing my work and guiding me. The firm itself only has 9 patent agents/attorneys but quite a few big, corporate clients. I start in about 2 weeks. I can't wait!!! Boo-yah!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Yeah, I'm still here. I haven't been posting 'cause, well.. nothing is really going on and I'm fairly laid-back these days. Maybe sometime I'll pick up this blog again, get into regular posting again. For now... it's probably not going to happen.

But I do want to post a quote I just heard on The Drew Carrey Show:
Priest: Oh Drew, you could come to the Christian Singles Night. Lewis is always there.

(Priest leaves, Drew turns to Lewis)

Drew: Christian singles night, eh?

Lewis: Oh and you would prefer some loose, drunken woman in a smoke-filled bar? Well so would I but that didn’t work so it’s on to Plan B.
I couldn't resist. Cheers!

Monday, October 24, 2005


It's been 18 days since my last post. Apologies for that. I got back from the whole grandfather escapade a while ago and simply haven't put up a new post. I also broke a promise to a friend to put up a post on Saturday. (Sorry!)

I've been busy with nothing important. I played one night of World of Warcraft a week ago this past Friday. I got into Magic: The Gathering Online last Tuesday night. That's consumed some time of mine. I went to a wedding on Friday night. Two good law school friends of mine. (Congratulations!) And on Monday I head out to D.C. for an Intellectual Property Conference. That gives me 3 solid topics, at the very least, to opine upon. However, since I wake in less than 5 hours to begin my travel, I shall not opine much here. If I find the internet in D.C. I shall endeavor to post more. Else you will have to wait for my return.

In the meantime...

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I was back, briefly, to regroup, gather supplies and head back up to my grandparents and aunt.

Opa fell Sat. morning. Had surgery Sun. morning. Surgery went fine. He was in & out the rest of Sunday. No real complications to speak of. Sun. night they gave him some morphine for the "pain." Mon. he was out of it and loopy. I think they gave him *more* morphine late Monday night. Baaaaad. He was out of it (incoherent) and loopy all Tuesday. Bad times. He was also running a slight fever (100-101). At first they wanted to give him a narcotic (pill) since it had tylenol in it. (...) Thankfully he wouldn't swallow the pill so they were working on a tylenol (non-narcotic) suppository. That took +6-7 hours to come through. Once he had that the fever went down.

Wed. morning he was *MUCH* better. Did some physical therapy (PT), walked 7-8 feet, knew who we were, ate all of his breakfast. Complete turn around. My mom and I came back home, I'm doing a turn around and going back up today (Thursday). We heard from my aunt that things fell apart (AGAIN). They hadn't been monitoring his temperature so he was running a fever (AGAIN) and needed more tylenol. Wed. afternoon's PT didn't really happen, that is he couldn't get up and walk again thanks to the effin fever and the useless nurses. So although Wed. morning was a nice step forward, Wed. afternoon was a big step back. ...

When I get up there I'll see how he's doing today.

You probably won't get any new posts from me for a while. Unless the hotel I'm at this weekend has an interent connection, probably not until next Wed. or Thurs.

This hospital he's at is horrible. HORRIBLE. We're on the phone with a cousin of mine who's a prominent surgeon in NYC. He's telling us what to look for and do. The nurses ain't doin' jack. I am strongly inclined to start asking the sorts of questions and obtain the sort of information that a lawyer likes to get. It's patently ridiculous.

I'd write more but no time. Need to keep moving.

Wedding this Sunday for 2 law school friends. Congratulations in advance to them!!! Best wishes for a wonderful future!

I'm out. More posts when time and access allow.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Upon My Return

I got back today from the bachelor's party in NYC last night. Was a great time. The bachelor in question is a law school friend who I've known for ~2.5 years now. The party was rather small, consisting of the bachelor, his brother, 2 of their former college buddies and me. Very cool to meet college friends of the bachelor and hear numerous tales of debauchery and depravity.

I'd give more details about last night's fun only I know for a fact that the bachelor's fiancee reads this blog and I can't discuss with her what occurred. Sworn to secrecy, blood oath, etc. I will say that NYC can be a fun town for a bachelor party, even a rather low key one.

Anyways, when I got back home I learned that my grandfather (who's ~92 years old) sustained a fall this morning and fractured his hip. I'm going up to my grandparent's/aunt's tomorrow morning to help my aunt out. My grandfather (aka Opa) is going in for surgery early tomorrow morning - nothing too bad, pins and plates. Still, my aunt could use some help with Oma (aka my grandmother) and just things in general.

So don't be surprised (as if it would surprise you) if you don't hear from me for 5-7 days. I'll be up with Oma & Opa & my aunt, doing whatever I can.

So it goes.

Friday, September 30, 2005

0 for 1 (with 1 pending)

Results are out for the July 2005 Connecticut Bar Exam. I didn't pass. Time to spend tonight at the bottom of a bottle while congratulating my friends (all of whom did pass).

So congrats to the rest of ya! Cheers!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Dentist & Co.

I went to the dentist's today for a check up. I haven't had my teeth checked in quite a while. Although I don't have an official final opinion yet, it looks like my gums aren't in good shape and at least one of my wisdom teeth will need to be pulled. The wisdom teeth in question have broken the gumline so it won't be too bad, no excavating. The gums-thing is somewhat expected though at least I'll finally get them looked at and dealt with. My previous dentist (this is a new one for me) didn't do much to curtail things other than the usual above-the-gumline cleaning. In any case, I have a consultation tomorrow wherein I shall learn all about my various mouth woes.

I'm also off to a bachelor's party tomorrow night in NYC. Should be fun.

Then on Saturday there's the Marching Band Classic. I'm an old bando, trumpet if you must know. I'd like to go to the competition for a few reasons - to support the band, 'cause it was a good time when I was in it, 'cause I may see other long lost high school band friends, and I haven't been to one in 3-4 years. It's about time for another.

Lots of high school marching band memories. Lots.

Congrats to the new Chief Justice Roberts! Caesar is dead! Long live Caesar! (Only substitute Chief Justice for Caesar.)

I need to find my Hartford tv and vcr remotes. Need to tape Friday night's Nip/Tuck along with next week's new episode. (Jewish holidays mean visiting the grandparents and aunt/uncle.)

Not much more here. *yawn* Time for a nap. Or game-playing. Same difference.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

FX is my savior!!!

I forgot to watch the new Nip/Tuck tonight. However, FX is truly my savior. For some reason as yet unknown to me, FX is showing the same new Nip/Tuck episode tonight from 10:00-11:03, 11:04-12:05, 12:05-1:06. Yes, the same 61-minute episode three times in a row. Quite odd but quite helpful to me in this instance.

ADDENDUM: Check that. FX IS THE DEVIL. I could swear the on-tv guide had a 3rd one down for the 12:00-1:00 slot but apparently not. Blasted!!! Guess I'll have to keep my eyes open for a rerun of the new episode on Thurs. night. *grumble grumble* [1:36am]

New Advertising Tactic

I've been watching Adult Swim, the Cartoon Channel's 11pm-__am animation slots, most nights, from 11pm to 1-2am or so. Recently I've seen some new commercials there. One advertises a platform jumping school and encourages viewers to check out The other advertises some institute on three dimensions and tells viewers to go to

Last night I couldn't get either of the sites to load but today they worked. The first is a sham site for a platform jumping school with a few pages. The second is a sham site for The Institute for Additional Dimension Adjustment Therapy. If you click through the various pages and links on either site, eventually you'll find a lin leading you to a promotional page at GameTap. (I would link you mine except it has since "expired.")

GameTap is a gaming service. You pay them a monthly fee and they provide access to hundreds of old games for you to play. The promotion sported a free month of access followed by $9.95/month for the subsequent three months (and $14.95/month thereafter). (Offer expires 9/30/05.)

I just poked around looking for the link and you can find it on the getgoatz site under the class schedules, click on "HEY! Enroll Now!" I also found it on the site - on the Buy the DVDs page click on "PURCHASE THE DVDS" at the bottom of the page.

Ah, I poked around the GameTap site a bit more and found this recent 9/22 press release. Brief quote:
Announced last spring and debuting at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, GameTap offers games-on-demand plus original programming via a broadband connected PC. The service offers a wide range of games from classic arcade to PC to popular console. GameTap will launch with hundreds of titles and then roll in additional titles and programming on an ongoing basis. Original programming will feature an exclusive mix of magazine, reality, and lifestyle shows, interviews with the who's who of gaming, celebrity features, and all-new "game trailers" for the GameTap service. Delivered via streaming video, the programming will celebrate games in the same way that Cartoon Network celebrates animation and TNT celebrates drama.
So apparently this is a TBS (really Time Warner) enterprise still in pre-release. Very interesting.

Ooh! From this 9/09 press release it looks like they're going to carry Space Ghost Coast to Coast. Awesome!!!

What I find most amusing is their recent advertising on Adult Swim. The commercials are downright weird, though certainly well-done and appealing to their target audience (i.e. Adult Swim viewers like me, predominantly geeks and computer-users and game-players). The commercials advertise the sham sites, making absolutely no mention of the actual end product, GameTap. In fact, it's hard to say the commercials even advertise anything. You have to go to the website and click through it for 5-10 minutes to locate the link to the GameTap promotion, all while being bombarded with the sham site's garbage.

Is this guerrilla advertising? Admittedly I just coined the term without seeking a preexisting definition but it feels like a good descriptive.

In other news, Happy 7th Birthday to Google!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Magpie Poems

As I rummaged through a few of the piles of stuff(tm) in the playroom, I came across a sheet of paper with the two Magpie Poems written on it. I believe I copied these down while reading one of Neil Gaiman's Sandman trade paperbacks. The paper is silent as to origin and/or more specific location.

I believe the Magpie Poems are an old, English tradition. That is, seeing two magpies together is an omen of good luck, as the poem so suggests. Seeing one magpie is thought to be bad luck. Hence, one thing you can do should you see a single magpie is to cross your eyes so as to bring about the perception that you are seeing two (changing your bad luck to good luck, perhaps).

Well, that's what I recall in any case. I didn't Google this so I can't offer more reliable sources of information. Nonetheless, enjoy!
One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,

Five for silver,
Six for gold,
(And) Seven for a secret
Never to be told.
As to the second version, which I will present to you shortly, I vaguely recall a character (Abel I think) in the story saying that it is a secret version of the more well-known version above.
One for sorrow,
Two for mirth,
Three for a funeral,
Four for a birth,

Five for Heaven,
Six for Hell,
Seven's a devil,
His own sel'.
And those are the Magpie Poems.

I'm still here.

Are you?

More another time. But first, a few words from our sponsors...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


You'll have to excuse me if I write this post piecemeal. I'm watching the U.S. Open as I write (or rather when I'm not writing, since the TV is behind me). Agassi (7th seed) is playing Blake in the quarter-finals. It's an excellent match. Excellent. Agassi, although 35 years old, is playing very good tennis. Andre can bench press 315 (so says McEnroe, a commentator for the match). Even at his relatively-advanced age (by tennis standards that is) he hits the ball hard. (Please pardon all the italics but I feel they're warranted.) Blake, on the other hand, is a wild card from Fairfield, CT. His presence here is nothing short of astounding! And to be playing Agassi in the quarter-finals? Sorry, to be beating Agassi in the quarter-finals? Wow. Just wow. As I write this, it stands Agassi v. Blake, 3-6, 3-5, deuce. Blake serving for the set.

Just wow.

Whoah. Blake won the second set with barely an hour passed. This is gonna be good.

Earlier I watched 2nd seed Lindsay Davenport lose to 6th seed Elena Dementieva. Was a bad match. Davenport just wasn't on her game and it was very obvious. Dementieva won in the 3rd set, in a tie break, by 7-5. Sooooo close, even with Davenport playing poorly. You've got to wonder what's up with her, why she wasn't on her game. Hmmm.

Earlier tonight I had my first of what I call 'incidents.' I knew these were coming. They're like mini confrontations between my mom and I, usually where she pressures or forces me to abandon doing something I'm in progress with that I'm enjoying and that she strongly dislikes or of which she disapproves. Tonight was World of Warcraft. I was in a 20-man raid on the test server with my friends, testing out the new instance, Zul'Gurub, before it goes live. Veeeeeery cool place. And my mom starts up and I leave. Tonight I could. In the future, I can't and won't.

But it's hard. This isn't like 3-4 years ago when I lived in fear of her and did what she wanted when she demanded it. This time I'm trying harder to buy myself slack. I'm also trying to work with her better, to do what I can when I can so she won't lay into me when I can't. In addition, this time she's not pushing nearly so hard. She knows I'm not here permanently and, to be honest, she doesn't want to see me go that soon. I've been helping out with the dogs, taking them out, cleaning up their messes; helping with dinner and the dishes, I've been trying this time. Plus I've been gone for 3 years, not far away but certainly not home. So she's trying not to push me too hard. Yet.

But tonight angered me. And as I typed, this was a time I could let it go. Next time probably won't. And I won't give then. 'Cause I've dug in before and I will again.

I also have trouble blaming my mom for anything. She's on her own. She has the two dogs to deal with and that's no picnic. She wakes up before 6am and gets home after 3pm. She's having semi-elective dental work. She's recently been having trouble with a knee. She's getting old and feeling it. She's worried about the finances. Whatever I can do to help her, I do. 'Cause I know things are rough and she's under a lot of stress. So yeah, how can I blame her?


So far tonight, I've cleaned up dog excrement. Twice. We think one of our dogs is having some urinary problems since he's going on the floor when he normally wouldn't. We're seeing the vet on Saturday.

The little I saw of Zul'Gurub looked wonderful. The 20-man style is very different from Molten Core or Onyxia's 40-man strategies. Plus the difficulty is dialed down a notch, which is a nice change of pace. I'm rather looking forward to the 1.7 patch. It'll probably arrive next Tuesday or the one after that. Good stuff.

I hooked up the television in the playroom, the one sitting behind me. This will allow me to listen to TV while on the computer. Unfortunately, in my packing madness I packed the TV remote somewhere I have yet to encounter tonight. I'm positive I put it somewhere I thought I would remember or know to look. I wonder where that is.

Next up will be the Playstation 2 and the VCR. Then I can watch movies up here. Yippee.

Even though I slept in to 10am, going to sleep at 2am, I'm tired right now. I used to be tired at school unless I got 9-12 hours of sleep. Some weekends I'd wake up "early," after only 7-8 hours of sleep, and be tired for the day. I hate that feeling. It more or less destroys the majority of productivity potential. See I have a problem. I'm a night owl, I like to stay up until at least midnight, 1-3am preferably. But then I want 8-10 hours of sleep. So I like to wake up 10am-1pm. Then my day is shot, especially because my most productive hours are ~11am-4pm.

See the problem?

The likely answer is to not be a night owl. When I worked, I would go to sleep early, wake up early, and be okay. It's just not my preferred modus operandi (m.o.) without some intervening cause to force it.


Neat thing in World of Warcraft. There are two player factions opposed to each other - the Alliance and the Horde. The Alliance are the humans, gnomes, dwarves and night elves. The Horde are the undead, tauren (cow-like creatures), trolls and orcs. See the clear division? (Blizzard's page on the races.) Each faction has one language which they use to speak with each other - common for the Alliace, orcish for the Horde. But here's the cool part - Alliance can't understand orcish and the Horde can't understand common. The "only" way to communicate with the enemy is by pre-programmed emotes, like /wave which reads "Belic waves at Orcking." No other communication. Anything in /say or /yell or such translates as garbage.


Players, being the devious players they/we are, have figured out some phrases that almost translate over. For example, I know that if I see a Horde "say" to me "kek" then it means they typed in "lol," a customary online abbreviation for "laughing out loud."

I've also found some phrases that I can type in to "say" something to the Horde. My favorite ones thus far have got to be "go gsdg b puck" which translates to the Horde as "me ruff e nuff" and "go as sd d a p" which they see as "me lo ve y o u." Too funny.

So that was today in a nutshell.
Vanessa: Always wanting to have fun, that's you in a nutshell.

Austin: No, this is me in a nutshell. (Austin mimes being trapped in a nutshell.) Help! I'm in a nutshell! What kind of nut has such a big nutshell? How did I get into this bloody great big nutshell?
(link) Because this is the way my mind works. (Eery isn't it?)

ADDENDUM: Holy shit! Agassi just took the 3rd set (to Blake taking the first 2). This is one good tennis match! Damn! Best. Match. Ever. (Comic book guy from The Simpsons.) (Because I doubt all of you will get the reference.) (Yes, I think that little of you.) (No, I don't hold it against you.) (Yes, you can have some ice cream.) (Damnit.) [post time & date]

ADDENDUM II: Agassi just took the 4th set, 6-3, pushing the match to a 5th set. He has come back with a vengeance!!! /rawr

I'd like to play WoW right now but for 3 things. I'm tired. Anything I'd want to do, i.e. instances, would take over 2 hours (including formation time). I can't stop watching/paying attention to the tennis match. [12:27am, 9/08/05]

ADDENDUM III: At 12:35am, USA stops coverage and I'm forced to hunt for it. CBS has it. Sheesh. Blake just broke in the 5th to be up 3-2 and serving the next match. (!) [12:41am, 9/08/05]

ADDENDUM IV: But Agassi breaks back and holds his serve to take the lead, 6-5! THE DRAMA!!! [12:57am, 9/08/05]

ADDENDUM V: AGASSI WINS!!!!!!! In a 5th set tie-break, Agassi wins by 8-6. SUCH A GOOD MATCH. Blake is excellent. After this, his name should become a tennis household name. He's that good, to go toe-to-toe with Agassi and not give an inch. Damn good! He's young. We will see James Blake again. Congratulations Andre Agassi!!! And good luck in the semi-finals!!! [1:10am, 9/08/05]

Monday, September 05, 2005


  • Bruce Campbell's movie, Man With The Screaming Brain, premieres next Saturday, Sept. 10 at 9pm on the SciFi Channel.

  • Nip/Tuck season premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10pm on FX.

  • Some new comedy series, My Name Is Earl, starring Jason Lee premieres on NBC on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 9pm. (Regular time slot for it unless until it's cancelled.
I'm positive that all three of these will be watched by varying groups of people. Bruce Campbell fans for the first (seeing as he wrote, directed and stars in it). Nip/Tuck fans for the second. And Jason Lee fans for the third. The first will probably not receive much press. The second will pick up with Christian Troy's unknown fate at the hands of The Carver. The third will probably be short-lived.

I will strive to watch all three. Which will you watch and why?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Oh the humanity! (Again)

Because I've already used the first part as the title to a previous post.

So I am now living at home. With the 2 dogs. And my mom. To be fair, it's not like there isn't precedent for this. After my dad died I spend a year living at home, working as a receptionist/lacky (aka "legal intern") for an office of 3 lawyers in Fairfield. Ever since I learned that my law firm wasn't going to extend me an offer I knew this was coming. And now I'm finally here. Okay, again to be fair and because I haven't been blogging regularly *ahem*, I've been "here" for about a week.

It's not too bad. I like having the dogs around. I remember my mom saying long ago that there's a special connection between a boy and his dog. I think she's right. The dogs are friendly to me in a way completely unlike their friendliness to my mom. Granted I like to sit and play with them more often and I'm more forgiving. Even so, it's kind of neat.

So yeah, I'm living at home. With my mom. Last time I did this I was 22 and had just graduated from college. At the time, I wasn't ready to face the real world, nowhere near ready. This time, I'm 26 and I just graduated from law school. If it weren't for the comfort factor inherent in living at home, I'm ready to do something in the real world. What exactly I as yet do not know.

I do my best here to help out my mom with small chores and picking up after myself. Much more so than last time. I figure it will help ease things along, buy me some buffer zone to work with and spend. Even so, she's already attempting to assert her point of view as to various things of mine. At least since high school and college, my mom has made it clear that she dislikes some of my inclinations. Namely comic books, action figures, my artistic preferences (e.g. H.R. Giger, personifications of death), DVD purchasing, computer and video game playing. She's already getting bent out of shape by my few World of Warcraft late night gaming sessions. And I know it'll only get worse.

My response is going to be the "purchasing" of additional buffer zone. To wit, there are various things I need to accomplish. I have to submit the remaining items for my Connecticut Bar Exam Application. I have to organize all the crap I brought home and deal with it. I have to find a job. As I accomplish pieces of these, she will in turn be more forgiving of the things I do and own that she so dislikes.

I have been playing a bit of World of Warcraft. In WoW, once you reach level 60 there are currently 3 (soon to be 4) end-game dungeons to explore. One is a 40-person single-enemy encounter, Onyxia (Ony), with a 5-day cooldown. One is Molten Core (MC), a 40-person zone with 10 monsters, the last one being *very* difficult to kill. The third is the newly-released Blackwing Lair (BWL) and is a 40-person instance with *very* difficult bosses. The raid group I participate in is an organized late night raiding group called Late Night Raiders (LNR). LNR raids Ony and MC. The raid starts forming between 10:30pm and midnight. The MC nights go to 3-4am or later. Fortunately the raid is now fairly successful and can clear 4+ MC bosses in a night. This week we cleared the first 4 one night and the second 4 the next night. Ony makes 3 nights a week. There is at least one more night, now working on the 9th MC boss, Majordomo Executus. My limit is probably 3 nights a week if that.

As you can see, raiding MC with LNR messes up my schedule but good. Fortunately 2 of the nights are Friday night and Saturday night so those following days I can fudge.

--Shit. Mom is calling for me. Goddamnit.--

--Okay. Dog was whining, he's just annoyed about being gated off for dinner. She's not feeling well. We'll save the chicken for tomorrow night.--

Anyways, the WoW LNR raiding schedule is harsh. But it's fun 'cause the people are cool and we all know what to do and do it so we're also successful. We gets the phat lewt and so on. But it takes place late at night for me and pisses my mom off something fierce. *sigh*

There's also some question of finances. My mom, who is often apt to cry wolf when in fact no wolf is within the township or even the country, is concerned about things. We have a big house and lately she's been dropping hints that she plans on selling it in the distant future and moving to a condo complex. Problems abound with this mere plan, including ye 'olde attic o' stuff and ye 'olde basement o' stuff not to mention ye 'olde garage half-filled wit' stuff. Plus me moving back home and bringing stuff *into* the house doesn't help. Not to mention things like the mortgage and credit card bills. And the risen property values in the town that don't help us sell so much as create trouble purchasing. So I have no clue what's going on here but at some point I'll pointedly ask her why she thinks things have gone South when I've had little indication of such in the past 3 years. (Granted I have my head in the sand but y'know.)

So that's things for now. I'm unpacking. Working on my applications. Under pressure to find a job that I'm not sure I'll want when I find it. Etc. The goodness just abounds these days. At least I'm slowly losing the weight I gained in Italy, though I should get more exercise too.


Oh, and in happy news, 2 of my friends got engaged during their vacation to Italy. A warm and heartfelt congratulations go out to LT & JB! May you both find the contentment and happiness that surely awaits you in the future! Cheers!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Game Theory Explained

This is quoted from a post on a WoW-related forum I peruse. Thanks go out to Akanax, the author!
Suppose there are 2 bank robbers, Bob and Pete. So Bob and Pete rob the bank, all seems well and good, not so! Later that day they are taken to police station for questioning. They are separrated and interviewed. Bob and Pete are each equally propositioned; if Bob confesses, and Pete doesn't, Bob gets off free, while Pete gets 8 years in the lock-up. If they both keep their mouths shut, they get a year each. However, if they both confess, they are busted for 4 years a piece. Pete is offered with the same choices.

It is only rational that each will pick the choice to minimise thier own term, confess. But this is cleary not the best outcome. The best outcome is known as 'Nash equilibrium' (Nash was the guy in the film 'A Beautiful Mind'). The only way to reach this point, is with collusion.
I haven't studied game theory so I can't speak to the accuracy of the quoted piece. However I'm pretty sure it's a good explanation of "the prisoner's dilemma." I'll have to look more into this some other time. Cheers!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Hiding among the azalea bushes. (And the boxes.)

I have spent this past week moving the contents of my apartment. My daily routine for the previous 4 days has pretty much been:
  • Wake up, shower, eat breakfast.
  • Pack shit into boxes.
  • Pack boxes into cars.
  • Drive 1 of the 2 cars down to Trumbull.
  • Unpack cars.
  • Drive back up to Hartford.
Four days in a row, 2 cars each day. Not all carloads have been stuffed cars but that's really only yesterday. So, in total, probably around 7 carloads thus far.

Fortunately I'm running out of things to pack up and nearly have this place empty. Unfortunately, I need to finish everything TODAY. The movers are coming tomorrow morning to move the big furniture into storage.

Unfortunately my computer is getting disassembled today and I know not when it will be reassembled and back online. (Hopefully sooner rather than later.) That may or may not impede anything. (Anything like blog posting and/or World of Warcraft playing.)

So off I go! I really hate moving.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Yes, yes.

Additional travel posts will eventually be forthcoming. I have been busy these past few days being not busy and playing World of Warcraft (some). I am sorely tempted to drop the game, though. Sorely tempted.


(Just saw the advert on FX.)

I'm finally in packing mode. Apparently I have had tons of books in my apartment. Tons as in tons. As in over 6 small U-Haul boxes worth. Plus over 3 small boxes of law books. I am a book fiend. A book fiend. Funny thing is only half of the non-law books are ones I've read. Guess I need to get into reading mode and plow through the other half. *le sigh*

So much yet to do. Soooo much.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Il Palio!

Twice a year, once on July 2nd and once on August 16th, Siena, Italy holds a unique event dating back almost 350 years - Il Palio!
The Palio is run to celebrate the miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary near the old houses that belonged to Provenzano Salvani. The holy apparition was therefore called "Madonna di Provenzano" in whose honour the very first Palio was run on August 16, 1656. The Palio was run for the first time in 1701 in honour of the "Madonna dell'Assunta" the patroness and Advocate of Siena through all the tragic events since she protected the Sienese militia at the famous battle of Monteaperti against the Florentines. (link)
This event is basically Italian horse racing on crack. (Speed was too calm for it.) Biannually, 10 horses compete in a race around a dirt track in a plaza in the middle of town known as Piazza del Campo.

It gets better.

Siena is divided up into 17 Contradas - what we might call districts or regions. Although the 17 Contradas are all just small sections of the larger city, they are comparable to towns of their owns - each having its own center, its own church, its own ruling body, its own symbol and colors, its own loyalty. The Contradas have distinct names, often associated with the symbol representing the Contrada. Translated in English, there's Eagle, Owl, Snail, Caterpillar, Dragon, She-Wolf (th official symbol of Siena) and more. (See the list here.)

As you can imagine, and knowing the Italians as you may or may not, the citizens of Siena feel an intense loyalty to their Contrada. Hence, Il Palio is not just an ordinary horse race. It is one frought with strong emotions, emotions dating back for centuries.

You'll note that there are 10 horses racing and 17 Contradas. Contradas that did not participate in that specific race the year before are automatically in it. The remaining slots are filled by a random draw from the remaining Contradas.

Although the race itself is quite short (a minute and a half or so), the preparations leading up to it and those activities that follow are nothing short of wondrous. There are trials, a parade, flag-waving, blessings (most notably of the horses in the Contradas' respective church), feasts and celebrations. On the day of Il Palio, The Campo is packed with people. Everyone in town and more. Imagine Times Square on the Millenium eve and double it. Over 50,000 people packed into a tiny historic square. That alone is amazing. But wait for the race.

The horses are blessed. (Note that it is considered good luck should the Contrada's steed relieve itself - aka defecate - in the church.) The people are packed in the square twice as tight as sardines. The horses are at the starting rope, already jockeying for position. (Some say that the minutes before the race are as important as the race itself.) Mattresses have been piled in the more dangerous corners to cushion any wayward jockeys. As the tension rings high - they're off! Sprinting around the square, three circuits must the horses make to win. (And note that a rider-less horse may win for it is the horse, not the jockey, that must cross the finishing line.) The danger is apparent as the great beasts pound along on the imported, packed dirt. A few have already crashed in the sides and are even now picking themselves up and redoubling their efforts. Around and around they go as the crowd roars, each person cheering on their champion. At last! Three circuits have been made and the victory line is reached. One is declared the winner amidst great contest and disapproval. Remember, of the 10 interested Contradas only one can call itself the victor. This leaves 9 groups of very unhappy Sienans. Very unhappy Sienans. Then the partying begins and everyone is off for a feast the likes of which put Hogwarts to shame. Wine, wine, food, and wine!

In any case, from what I've seen and read that's what it's like. Some day in the future I will attend one of these fantastic races. If you're interested further I encourage you to check out the 2 italicized links below. We were at The Campo on Aug. 9th or 10th. You have no idea how much we wished our trip extended to the 16th so we could see this thing. Then again, seats are rare and watching it, with a good view that is, is very difficult and potentially expensive. We asked about the bleacher seats right on the outside of the track. I forget the exact price the waitress mentioned but I believe it was in excess of 1,000 euros. Definitely an event best planned well in advance - hotel, seats for Il Palio, etc.

I wonder who won today.

(Official Site - Italian) (Official Site - English)
(Official English Page of Official Site)

(An Excellent Article) ( (A Brief Account)

"The reports of my [disappearance] have been greatly exaggerated."

So sayeth the Twain.

Hello again, hello again, a thousand times hello! I have returned from parts not unknown with tales of great wonderment and mystery! Well, not so much of either to be honest but certainly tales of exotic locales and places to visit and things to see.

We spent around 10 days in Florence with side trips to Pisa and Siena. We also spent about 2 days in Paris, most of that without our checked bags. (No, thank you Air France!) Had a good time, saw many terrific things and visited a lot of sites. We hit our fair share of museums - The Uffizi, The Accademia, The Bargello, and the Musee d'Orsay. A few churches - Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella, San Lorenzo, and El Duomo in Siena. We climbed to the second level of the Eiffel Tower. Saw the leaning tower of Pisa. (It's still leaning!) Shopped on the Ponte Vecchio and in the Florence Markets, not to mention the Wednesday ones in Siena. (Wow!) I frequented an Irish Pub, The Fiddler's Elbow, in Florence and hit the noted American dance club there, Space Electronica. T'was a good run of things.

Here is what I am up to these next 2 weeks. I need to catch up on a small backlog of things I didn't do because I left the country for 2 weeks. Then I need to begin the unenviable task of packing up those worldly possessions of mine that lie in Hartford as my apartment here will not be my own come the end of the month. (I.e. I'm packing. And, since I'm a pack rat and notable purchaser of things such as DVDs, books and action figures, I have a lot to pack up.) I'd like to play some computer/video games but we'll see how everything else goes. I will go see some movies in the theater and probably watch some DVDs. (I'm currently working in Joss Whedon's Firefly series. On the plane rides I saw The Interpreter, Fever Pitch, and Robots - reviews forthcoming perhaps.) I also want to hang out with some local friends before I move to an hour from here, one not-quite-last time so to speak. Other than that my schedule is pretty light.

As for the blog, I'm hoping to post more posts about places I visited and things I saw. I'll likely make a master list where you can find an index of these posts. (That index will probably find its way to the link column.) Later today I'll try to put up a post on one unique, very interesting event we learned of - Il Palio. Today is very significant for that event and so you may learn more later.

I also need to flip my wall calendars to August.

That's about that for now. More to come later. Cheers!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bongiorno from Florence!

A brief hello! I type to you from across the Arno in Florence, not far from the Ponte Vecchio. At the moment I am looking at 11:09 left on my remaining purchased internet time. Not inexpensive that so you'll have to excuse me if I keep this somewhat brief. Besides, I'm in Florence - can you blame me if I don't want to spend too much time on this computer?

Four intermediate words: Italian keyboard = a bitch.

(Better than a Japanese or Cyrillic one I imagine. It's the special, non-alphanumeric characters that kill me.)


Just finished a very quick and fruitless Google search for assumedly pewter statues produced by a company called Veronese. They have a line called Myths & Legends featuring a glorious rendition of Justizia, Justice, with scales, sword, blindflold - the works! Looks gorgeous! We saw her in a store in Pisa a few days ago. Hmmm.

We're more or less finished in Italy. We've been to The Uffizi, The Accademia, The Bargello, S. Croce, S. Maria Novella, S. Lorenzo, Pisa, Siena and more. Soooo much. When I get back to the mainland (the states) I'll endeavor to do them more justizia with more-detailed posts.


I'd better wrap this up fast. Tomorrow to Paris for us for a day or two then back to the U.S we go! I'll post again in a few days, like 4-6 of them.

Take it easy! From the heart of Firenze, this is Alan saying Ciao!

Monday, August 01, 2005

I shall see you on the 'morrow!

Today I am off to places unknown! Rather, places known as Florence, Italy. If I find an internet cafe I shall endeavor to post from afar. If not, too bad and you'll hear about things upon my return in approximately 2 weeks.

In the meantime, I've extended the blog front page to include over 20 recent posts. If you get bored with the unchanging, please do check out some of the links to your left.


Sunday, July 31, 2005

Happy Blogiversary to A Season of Mists!!!

I've been so wrapped up of late that I nearly missed it! July 29 was this blog's blogiversary! It's been up and running for the past year. Though the direction of the this blog has gotten away from me a bit, especially of late, on the whole I'm pretty happy with it. I'm not sure what the future holds for this place but I plan on continuing to blog for the foreseeable future!

In commemoration of this hallowed event I'd like to present an assortment of posts from the past year. Enjoy!


The most sought-after post on the blog is one on Rock Toxin, an ABC made-for-tv movie starring Gary Cole. For the month or two after the movie was first shown, I keept getting visitors from various search engines based on the movie. To this day, it's the number one search leading to this blog!

One of my absolute favorite links was from this post -- linking to an amazing tale of a biker's suburban encounter with "an evil attack squirrel of death." I love squirrels. (In a purely platonic sense of course.)

Another favorite post of mine was one describing The THL Yeti Meltdown. So tragic! Especially for the Antarctican yetis! *sob*

Occasionally I attempted some more unique art forms, including haikus , ASCII pictures, and miscellaneous poetry.

I've apologized to my Republican friend for some of our Democrat rabble-rousing.

I've discussed the U.S. Open Squeegee Machines.

My Forensics class experience with guns got a post.

We watched SpaceShipOne win the Ansari X prize and lamented over the passing of Jerry Orbach.

How does a guy go about purchasing women's underwear?

Ladder Theory for Dummies.

Male behavior partially dissected.

What it might be like to be a superhero.

Practicality vs. Ruthlessness.

My birthday.

Post-apocalyptic musings.

Futurama and Family Guy quotes.

Why do I want to be a lawyer?

The Law School Wrap Up Post.

Words are a recurring topic. Every now and then you'll hear about words that I find funny or ones that catch my eye, such as snark , ciabata bread, smite, Satan, schadenfreude, grok, AYB, and schattenjager.

You'll note that I haven't mentioned the Top Ten Lists or Movie Reviews. Even though I haven't updated either of those master lists for the past 6 months, relatively little was added of those in the past 6 months. Check out the links to the left if you're interested.

You'll also observe that I've spared you recaps on my personal life -- things like the girls I've gone out with (all 2 of them, one being The Ex), my health problems, and my bar exam studying gone awry. Although those were certainly some of the more interesting things for me in the past year the posts I wrote on them do not make for good reading. Perhaps that's a category for improvement in the future.

Occasionally a more serious law school-related topic becomes ripe for discussion. We've seen Blawging For Dummies Law Students and The Pre-Law School Advice Recap (Sort of).

Law is an ever-present topic. Especially some odd things like Space Law and some non-odd ones like Living Wills and Antitrust Law.

I met my first anonymous reader. Someone I didn't know and hadn't met before introduced himself and complimented me on the blog. Very scary.

I did find one other fellow UConn law blogger. Since then he's stopped his blog. A shame too since it was a nice one, very well done, lots of interesting law discussions.

Then there was the time when one of my law professors mentioned this blog in class. Pure instantaneous terror. I think I'll remember that last day of class for the rest of my life.


Before closing, I want to make one statistics observation. I first began using Site Meter last August. According to Site Meter, this blog spiked in September 2004 with a total of approximately 1500 visits and 2800 page views that month. Since then, no other month has come close. In fact, this past July 2005 has been the next highest month for statistics with approximately 1100 visits and 1550 page views. eXTReMe Tracking has similar statistics. I attribute this past month's increase to the bar exam and the new readers my bar exams posts have attracted. Although some of those readers may stick around, I anticipate a drop in readership as compared with July. One reason I mention these statistics here is because Site Meter only visibly tracks the previous 12 months. Hence, once the blog hits August tomorrow, no more visible stats for last August via Site Meter.


All in all it's been a good year for the blog and for myself. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it! Cheers!

I can't believe it.

I spent the majority of today helping two friends move their worldly possessions. I hadn't really thought ahead to this point but now that the bar exam is over, various friends are moving away to wherever they're going. It reminds me a lot of the end of college -- having to say goodbye to really good friends, not knowing when I'll see them next, hoping we stay in touch. I'd forgotten this was coming and it snuck up on me when I wasn't expecting it.

And by the way, moving two friends' things -- not the best way to spend a Saturday. I am very, very sore. Lifting, heaving, ugh! But it's good exercise and it's always nice to help out friends, however you can. I don't anticipate needing their help when I move. I've got movers and a truck. Movers, suckers! Movers!!! (Yeah! Eat that!!)

So I was relaxing in my apartment tonight, screwing around in a computer game, when one of my friends who's leaving (granted he's only moving to elsewhere in CT, 45 min. away) gave me a call. He and I went out and hit the town, got a bite to eat then did what any red-blooded recent male law school graduate would do -- we went to the strip club.

Now I want to stress that I feel kind of bad knowing that this post will stay up on my blog's main page for the two weeks I'm away in Italy. You know, this post mentioning the strip club and briefly discussing it. I'd like to mention that, as far as I can recall, no previous posts of mine have discussed the local strip clubs. Whether this is a dire problem or a blessed success I leave for the reader to decide.

So we went to Kahoots. There's one in East Hartford that's pretty good. Only 10 min. away or so. I've also been to the Gold Club (Hartford I think) and another Kahoots that's 25 min. East of Hartford. Despite being in a fraternity in college, I hadn't been to a strip club before until my first year of law school, back when Old School was in the theaters. It was an interesting time. A group of us first-years had decided to go on the spur of the moment. Probably one of the best ways to hit a strip club for the first time. And it was the first time for almost all of us there. Since then I've been back to them a few times. Not often but randomly, rarely.

But this isn't a post about strip clubs. I suppose I could write one on my experiences with them and findings but it doesn't appeal to me. (Such a post, I mean.) Personally, I still have reservations about going to strip clubs and I think I always will. Eh.

Tomorrow I'm going to clean my apartment -- throw all the empty bottles away and take out the trash. Start getting ready for an Italian vacation. Pay the bills. Hopefully pick up the dry cleaning. Not sleep in (sadly). Not play my video games (also sadly). Probably not see another movie in the theater. Probably not read my book. (You get the idea.)

Also, some of you have not been doing your job here. For same I say! FOR SHAME!!! I asked you to leave a comment with the previous post. Thus far 2 of you have been kind enough to respond and share your reasons for becoming a lawyer. Obviously some of you are afraid to contribute! (For shame, again! FOR SHAME!!!) So rarely do I ask for your cooperation and participation. And then when I do only 2 people are NICE enough to respond? You're lucky I don't disinherit the lot of you!

So no cookies tonight! "You have failed me for the last time."

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Why do I want to be a lawyer?

An older anonymous comment to my Why do I blog? post posits:
I am a lawyer. I wish I stuck to my original plan of becoming a pre-school teacher. I read why you blog. I haven't stumbled on your reason/s why you want to become a lawyer. I am rather curious why you want to become one.
Seeing as I stumbled across this comment just now, I thought I'd respond.

And I'm foregoing the Google search. This time it's personal. (And I briefly tried Googling that latter phrase but could find nothing substantial to link to within my first 30-45 seconds of skimming the results. So bleh.)

To understand how I got to law school and/or why I "want" to be a lawyer, you need to look back to my high school and college days. I knew I was going to study physics long before I even knew what physics meant. I'm talking back in middle school I knew. I just did. No real basis, I just knew. Like I knew at a young age that I'd play the trumpet in the Trumbull High School Marching Band, which I did.

So, holding true to form, I majored in physics in college. Funny thing is that I enjoyed it the vast majority of the time. It was fun! The math classes were a piece of cake, the physics classes, while obscure and obtuse at times, weren't bad. On the whole, it helped make my college studies interesting and engaging. Probably the last time I really paid attention in a class and learned something.

The problem with a science degree is that it's difficult to be half-assed about it. What I mean is that with an undergraduate degree in a science, your options, should you choose to pursue a career relating to that scientific field, are very limited. You can get your master's then do research. You can get your PhD then try to find one of those rare teaching positions or you can do research. Hmmm.. I'm not a huge fan of 'research' and I'm not too psyched to spend and additional 4-7 years only to try and fight for a low-paying position that may or may not be out there. If you're not going for your MA or PhD, what do you do? Few science-based jobs want someone with a B.A. or B.S. There are plenty of non-science jobs but those would be available no matter my specific college major nor my own personal inclinations.

So what do I do? I go to law school and get into intellectual property, specifically patent law -- where the money is good and a physics background is a strong asset. The odd thing was that as I became exposed to intellectual property law and worked for a patent firm I learned that I actually liked it. I found it to be engaging. Even the most menial items, such as looking up obscure points of patent practice, were not boring to me but interesting. I honestly like it.

For me, it's not so much why do I "want" to be a lawyer as why am I becoming a lawyer. "Want" had relatively little to do with it. I went to law school because it sounded good, it fit with my physics background and potential aspiration for becoming a patent lawyer, and it was my "next step." I wasn't ready to go find a job in the real world just yet right after college. It wasn't time. 3 years of law school and becoming a lawyer -- that's a direction that would tide me over to the present day at least.

Of course the sad thing is getting to where I am and being unsure as to whether or not it's the direction I want to pursue. Friends of mine say that a lot of people in the world, lawyers and non-lawyers alike, feel this uncertainty at some point or other. I don't disagree, I just don't think that's quite my issue. Yes I'm not convinced I want to be a lawyer but it's more than that for me. 'Cause if I don't, then what do I do, who am I, and where do I go? And those latter two are the tougher ones to answer.

As a law student, you hear of so many unhappy lawyers. Our profession has a horribly high rate of alcohol and substance abuse. Lawyers are not known for being genial, convivial people. Lawyers are generally known for being ball-busting asshats who work 60 hours a week if they're lucky. Bill 2500 hours a week or die trying. (Okay, okay, 1750 at the firm I worked for but they were really nice and lenient!!!) As a lawyer, if you want a family or a life outside the law, good luck! That's the hardest thing to coexist with the profession. And it sucks. It completely and utterly bites. But if you want to make a decent wage as a lawyer, earn some good money, then you give your life to the law. You make a sacrifice on the altar and hope it all works out in the end, that some sort of cosmic balance is achieved. More often than not, the sacrifice isn't worth it and the bigshot lawyer comes to fundamentally regret his choices and where they have led him or her.

I refuse to be that lawyer. To my last breath. But if you don't play the game you can't reap the rewards. And I do want to make good money. I do want to do something that actually interests me, something I enjoy -- the true holy grail of lawyerdom. I have little doubt that I will end up practicing intellectual property law in the end. It fits for me. It fits well. But right now I'm just not sure it's where I need to go, what I need to do. Plus I don't have a job waiting for me right now. So I still have choices and freedoms, options that close off once you really begin down your chosen path. And I'm unattached. The only ones I'm really accountable to are the credit card companies, the loan company, and my mom (for continuing support and accrued debt). While those 3 are certainly not insignificant, they won't dictate the metes and bounds of my future, merely speed bumps to be passed on the way.

Somewhere in my digressions and musings I think I've explained why I "want" to be a lawyer. To those other would-be lawyers who read this, those who have just sat for the bar exam, those still in law school, those entering law school, even the actually-am lawyers:
Why do/did you want to be a lawyer?
Please respond in the comments. That's probably one of the best questions to ask yourself and consider. It tends to show not only where you've come from but where you've gotten to thus far and what you've learned on the way.

Live for the journey, not the destination. (link)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Just Got Back

From The Actuary's party. Still drunk. One beer + A strongly-self-mixed white Russian = A drunk Alan make. And this is even after the 15 min. walk back to my apt.

I havent' posted this yet but on Monday my mom and I leave for 2 weeks in Italy. We have an apartment rented in Florence for 2 weeks, 12 days really with the other 2 in Paris, right before our flight back to the states via Amsterdam. A nice post-Bar exam vacation. Should be fun. We've got 1st class tickets so I anticipate utilizing the airplane's alcholic beverages. Yay for those in advbance.

You ever notice what it's like and what you think about when drunk? Sometimes, as in college for me, it's like a slow-motion strobe light flickering on and off at the street corners. Sometimes it's like there's a film of jelly between you and the surrounding world, obscuring things and making your motions and actions imprecise. Dunno why I write abvout it, other than I'm drunk.

The Lebowski Party was semi-successful. Watched Evil Dead II for the first 1-1.5 hours. Then I sat there, alone half the time, watching The Big Lebowski, drinking a strongly-self-mixed white Russian. Good stuff. The other 3 non-residents there were actuarial-types. Okay people. We hung through the Evil Dead II but only I stuck in the same room for the Lebowski. I mean I'm generally antisocial with unknown peoples but I was feeling no specific need to mingle tonight. So I watched and drank.

And now I blog. And then I stay up a bit before sleeping before waking early to help 1 friend move then another. Gonna be a busy tomorrow. Hopefully I'll squeeze in another movie or 2. Cheers!

The Island! Which Island? TheIsland!!!

I saw The Island this afternoon. It didn't do all that much for me. The plot was thin, somewhat predictable, didn't really go anywhere. If I told you to predict the end of the movie, you would be spot on with your first guess. Nice special effects though and Ewan McGregor and Scarlet Johansson were excellent.

Haven't been up to much today. Tonight I'm going to a friend's party. There will likely be actuaries and lawyers mixin' it up tonight. It's going to be a Big Lebowski Party. Something like we're supposed to have a white russian every time The Dude has a sip of a drink. Don't know how long I'll hang out there, I'm pretty tired. Someone was calling me at 9:30am. *groan* 'Least I got a haircut today.

I'm continuing my ponderances (pondering? ponderosa? pond?). I thought of a refinement to the idea. Spend some time working & living at home first to build up some starting capital. Plus there are 2 weddings in October that I'm going to. If I do this, however, I'll want the work to be non-lawyer so it doesn't hurt me professionally if and when I leave early to cross the waters and start anew. I'm really liking the idea though.

The Late Night Report

I've been drinking more or less since my last post. I did stop drinking at some point a while ago so I'm sobering up these hours. Was fun to hang out with friends. Half Door, Braza, Half Door, Spigot. Certainly made the rounds.

Today was interesting. The dynamics of the Connecticut day were *completely* different from New York. The half-hour essays changed things a lot. Some of the essays even felt facile in their simplification while others felt enormous in their scope. "Discuss all potential theories of liability." Riiiiight. In speaking with friends tonight, not one of us could agree what the subject was of one of Connecticut's essays, number 11. Very amusing. 5 people, 5 different topics, none obviously wrong or misplaced. So the Connecticut exam was both easier and harder. Only time (and test results) will prove which weighed in more.

My hand hurt horribly today. One hour into the morning session - lots of pain. 10 min. into the afternoon session - lots of pain. Ouch. At least it's over.

In a nonsequitor.. One of my growing concerns has been my disquiet with my own laziness, my own sense of a lack of direction or purpose. I was talking with two friends tonight, outside the Spigot. They said some things that rather hit home with me. One of the things one of them said was to reiterate the freedom we possess, the choices available to us. I don't know if that's what's been bothering me but it made me think long and hard. What I really want to do is get out of here. Leave Connecticut behind and go find a life somewhere else doing whatever. Really just find my way in the world, figure some things out for myself in a place I can't be right now and a way I can't foretell. So I'm going to mull this over for the next month or so. Maybe instead of looking for a legal job or a local job or whatever, I need to do what I can while I still can, while I have the freedom to do it. Maybe go to York, England and just live there a while, find a job and just live. It has tremendous appeal to me on a very fundamental level. It feels good. It's also scary and I can't imagine pitching the idea to my mom. That's why I want a month to ponder, to see what I come up with. This may be the only chance in my life I get to really be free, really get to act on my desire to just do something. I don't know.

One other thing I wish is that my dad were still around to talk this over with. Even though I don't know it and I have no way of guessing this, I feel like he must have had some similar desire, some wanderlust in him. Maybe it's just wishful thinking but it feels right, it feels like something he would have understood if he were still here. Something he might have appreciated and recognized.

For the first time in a while, part of me is calm with this idea, this theory, this notion of somehow appeasing my own wanderlust, of striking out on my own and proving something to myself. I don't know if I can do it. When the one friend mentioned this point, the other friend out there expressed how maybe she lacked the courage to follow through on something like it. I know I don't I don't think I lack the courage. I'm just not sure this is what I need to do, what I should do. But I'm pretty sure, even now, that it's something I want to do.

Well, I have a month or so to really ponder this idea. I can pretty much guarantee that I'll give it some good mulling over. And it feels like, even now, the sort of crazy thing that I want to do. That I need to do. I wonder if I can or will...

Thursday, July 28, 2005


WOOHOO! GOODBYE CRUEL BAR EXAMS! GOOD BYE I SAY! (Although I may say "Hello" again when I see the results in late September.) BUT GOODBYE I SAY!!!

I'm off to find a pint. Probably multiple pints. At least one car-bomb. And dinner. Maybe. All I know is I have a credit card itching to start a tab and a body ready to imbibe. Later on I'll put up a more substantive post about today's exam. For now, I shall go nurse my claw-like right hand with alcohol.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:‘
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'


We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

twodownonetogo & MONKEYS!

twodownonetogo.. twodownonetogo.. twodownonetogo.. twodownonetogo.. TWODOWNONETOGO.. TWODOWNONETOGO!!!!

Oh yeah, two days down and one more left - tomorrow's 12-essay day of Ye Olde Connecticut law. Considering my right hand is cramping (STILL!) from Tuesday, I'm not sure how tomorrow's gonna go, especially since they collect the essays every hour. I'm not too worried though I'm contemplating ice on my hand tonight.

Today's MBE wasn't all that bad in my opinion. I can't talk about any specific questions or answers 'cause otherwise the National Board of Law Examiners will hunt me down and crucify me. No seriously, it's in the instructions. What, you didn't see it mention crucifying blabbermouths? Okay, maybe you're right but it DID mention disbarment and that's essentially the same so...

I have to say, the 7-week BarBri course really shined today. A few times I recognized answers as coming straight from BarBri lectures. Plus there may have been a question or two of the type that instructors indicated with "this subject only shows up in the following one or two limited situations.." Spot on at times.

Personally my background in Evidence, as from my experience with the UConn Student Trial Lawyers Association and trial lawyer competitions I participated in, was incredibly helpful. I saw questions on Evidence that I instinctively knew the right answer to from my experience, not from my studying. Saved me quite a bit of time.

Also, general test-taking strategies really help too. Things like eliminating answers, pairing it down, guessing and moving on, etc. Often times I got the four choices down to two candidates. And I remembered what one of our BarBri lecturers had said to us:
We're asking you to do slightly better than trained monkeys.
In other words, get it down to two answers and try to choose the right one more often than not (+50% of the time). With only 2 choices, a monkey stands to hit 50%. Our goal is 65% or so. Hence, if we can do slightly better than trained MONKEYS we'll be just fine. MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY!!!

Some of today made me wonder why our law school classes themselves don't better prepare us for the MBE. If the MBE only tests 6 subjects and is taken by almost every law student sitting for a bar, why not help prepare us for it? Especially in subjects such as Torts where the law, while individualized by state on particulars, is generally consistent and based on the same or similar predicates. I don't know. Guess I just wish law school helped prepare me for this thing when, for the vast majority, it did not. At all.

You may wonder about the time on this post seeing as the MBE is given from approximately 9-12 and 1:30-4:30. Well, I finished both sessions with over 30 minutes to spare, meaning I got to leave early and return home early. Pretty cool. Even as I type this, there are students still taking the MBE in Hartford. (SUCKAS! :P)

That's all I've got right now. I'm gonna relax a bit. Maybe catch some dinner later with friends though if I do, a contingent to my presence will be the explicit non-discussion of anything law or test related. I'm not done, I'm not talking about it. Talk would probably freak me out and I've been good thus far with the perceived pressure. twodownonetogo.. twodownonetogo.. TOMORROW'S THURSDAY! YIPPEE!!!

To those who still have one Hellish day left, GOOD LUCK AND HANG IN THERE!

(Half Door tomorrow night after the exam. Dinner, beer, monkeys, the usual - if we're still conscious and not passed out in a heap in a corner from exhaustion, which is a distinct possibility.)

ADDENDUM: I'm sitting for Connecticut at the CT Expo Center with 500-600 others. Not bad though a little warm. Big open room, lots of tables. I like the person who sits next to me. They never make a sound, never cause trouble, don't even breathe loudly. Of course I'm surmising all this since the person never actually showed up.

Also, apparently Porsche announced a 4-door. (CNN article.) *shrug* I need more details but I'm too lazy right now to coallate them. [4:39 PM]

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Grimace, Squawk & Cypress

Man, I am just drained right now. I was fine after the exam. Fine on my 2-hour drive back to Connecticut. Fine up 'til the end of dinner (Mexican food just down the street). But now... *whew*

I'm currently watching the movie Cry-Baby. Nice one to relax to. Does mean it's gonna take me a bit to finish this post. Hard to type and watch a movie at the same time.

Tomorrow is the Multistate (aka MBE) over at the Connecticut Expo Center. 100 multiple guess in the morning and 100 more in the afternoon, two 3-hour sessions. Oh joy.

Quickie on today. The 5 essay topics: Contracts/Corp. Agency/Professional Responsibility, Crim. Law/Crim. Pro, Dom. Rel./Fed. Juris., Torts/____, & Wills. The MPT was a persuasive letter to a Zoning Committee for rezoning a residential house so the owner could relocate her geriatric dentistry with a side of pro bono.

So the title of this post: Grimace, Squawk & Cypress (It relates to the exam today, I promise!)

My mascot for this 3-day exam-sitting ordeal is a little, pencil-sharpener shaped like GRIMACE, you know - the big, amorphous purple McDonald's spokes-thing of yore. (Picture here, More here and here.) The security notices say pencil sharpeners are allowed so every day, even Thursday when I'm only using pen, he'll sit there with me, silently cheering me on. Every now and then, when my mind strays, I look at him and smile or chuckle quietly to myself. Then I get back to the exam.

During the BarBri course, at some point, and it might have been the Essay Advantage guy, they gave us a suggestion for the essays. The guy said something like "making the right sounds," as in try to put something relevant down for your essay answer that sounds like something coherent and meaningful. Hopefully they'll give you points for being on-point if not actually thorough or right. So if you make sounds like a bird you SQUAWK. This too was running through my mind today.

The fourth question in the last essay, on Wills, asked about the cy pres doctrine. I missed the BarBri Wills day so I had absolutely no clue what the cy pres doctrine is. My second thought (my first consisted of laughing quietly to myself) was to put down something silly, something like:
The cy pres doctrine refers to a small island off the coast of Greece. It is renown for its trees and a rap group of the same name.
(Think CYPRESS.) Then I thought to myself:
Gee, that might tip off the examiner that I know nothing about the cy pres doctrine. Then the examiner might take a closer look at the first 3 parts of my essay and lord knows I don't want that. Better not be funny then.
So I settled for a single sentence saying it didn't apply or some such. Hehe.

Those are my 3 thoughts for today. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't that good either. Have to wait and see how it goes. One thing I learned, I can write essays fast when I don't know much about the answers. I also learned that my right hand is not meant to write for 6 hours a day. It huuuuuurts. Huuuuuurts. Owwwwwww. 'Least tomorrow is multiple choice and not more essays.

Okay, that's today's report. *sigh* One down, two to go!

ADDENDUM: Forgot to mention one other thing of minor amusement. The instructions tell you that when they say it's time, you put your pen or pencil down, stop writing immediately and stand up behind your chair. Then you put your papers back in the envelope and wait for a proctor to come around and collect it. The guy next to me, as the proctor is collecting from our table, is trying to convince her that he needs to add the word "sincerely" to the end of his MPT-letter. I walked away after hearing that. If I'd stayed there I think I might have broke out laughing. [9:07 PM]