Thursday, November 29, 2007

Funny phrases

Alright, I feel bad. I was having a bad couple of days, and I, in a sense, took it out on all my faithful blog readers.

Today I feel pretty good. It really doesn't take much. For one thing, it's sunny out. For another, people who don't ordinarily come up and talk to me came up and talked to me. Much like everyone else in the world, I like a little affirmation. Also, I did some good old-fashioned studying last night, and that further made me feel better.

With that in mind, I'd now like to steal from someone else (this is called "creativity") a list of funny statements made by law school professors.

Poke it into the equation.

Now we have no where to poke it!

Piercing the corporate veil.

Let's flesh this out.

GOOD MORNING!!! Good morning.

Get your ticket punched.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A new leaf

It has just been pointed out to me that my blog is pretty depressing. To this, I am forced to respond. What do you expect? It's November. Finals are next week. I'm about to turn 27, and, as they say in Jane Austen books, I have no prospects (this is a marriage reference, not a job reference). The girl I'm most interested in is dating another guy (wow, sounds like junior year of college). I feel like I have a right to be a depressy.

That said, it's probably not a bad idea to lighten it up on here. If nothing else, internally imagining one's self as happy is a nice way to get out of a funk.

So what should I talk about?

My tax professor has lately been a big fan of poking things into equations. Today he showed an example where there was a number that he couldn't poke into anything.

Inadvertent sexual comments are ALWAYS the best.

Yesterday I ate a random piece of cake to celebrate a professor's first semester down. This was very exciting.

Today I sat at the far end of ambassadors table. We were having a free lunch. As I sat there, it suddenly occurred to me to wonder if there was a cool kids side and a not cool kids side. This was a very worrying prospect, as I was sitting far away from the two co-presidents and very near one of the biggest 2L gunners.

Then I realized that we're talking about the law school AMBASSADORS. These were all people specifically chosen for their ability to be friendly and accessible. To make a cool kids and a non-cool kids distinction would be crazy.

That said, I do enjoy being put upon, so if anyone could tell me that I WAS on the not-cool kids side, I'd probably be pretty pleased.

I could see it now. "O blog," I would say. "Whoa is me. Having arrived too late at the ambassadors' lunch, I was forced to sit by the slightly less awesome people. Obviously, my showing up late was only incidental to this. Clearly, the world is against me, and all those I respect and admire look down upon me as some sort of social pariah. Also, my feet smell bad and people don't like me because I'm lazy!"

Ah, the joy such a post would bring me. Like a canoe over a waterfall, these are the sands of time. Wait. That doesn't fit. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's also not the correct sentence.

Alright, dinner time. Ciao, baby.

Law School Doubt

It's almost 2:30 pm. On a Wednesday. November the 28th, if you must know. That means I'll be closing up shop in 1/2 hour. My first final is in about 5 days. All of the reading, listening, understanding, frustration, and anger of the past several months comes down to about 13 hours total over a two week span.

I'm not saying I'm nervous. I'm just asking, wouldn't you be?

Beyond that, nothing much is going on. Worrying about finals is really my all consuming reason at the moment. Mind you, that's distinct from STUDYING for finals. I still manage to put that off. But I definitely do my fair share of worrying.

Today I forgot I had a class at 9:30. Luckily, I had a class at 8:30, so no harm was done. I'm constantly losing track of names, people, and places. I watch people walk by, and I wonder how it is that I know so few of them.

Never before in my life, prior to law school, has the end of each semester been this frightening. Always before there has been some other grade to bolster my GPA, or, at the least, to give me a fair idea of how I was doing. Half the fear of these tests is going in blind. Not knowing how I would do in comparison with everyone else.

All odds point to my getting a B+ across the board, because that's just how I do on upper level tests. As you should know, that doesn't cut it, your 2L year. If I get across the board B+'s, I'll actually probably drop out of the top 1/3. But am I in position to avoid that? Am I in position to get any A's at all? Hell, am I currently in a position to get some B's?

I have no idea. I know that I'm in classes with people who already have positions with firms, but I get the impression that even THEY might be trying harder than I am.

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a lawyer. Maybe I should just join the ranks of the fallen, who have accepted that they just aren't good enough, competitive enough, or driven enough to succeed in this business.

But then how would I pay my loans? On the other hand, if I can't get a job as a lawyer to begin with, that question is a moot point.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My problem in about 17 sentences

Hi everyone,

It's 12:20 AM. Do you know where your child/dog is?

So as we move down the icy, slippery concourse that is the November offramp and stumble our way into December, the dark pit of sadness that wells up from within casts its self-torturous aspersions upon my hopes, dreams, and any other bits of self-confidence that are easily pliable.

In other words, it's late; it's cold out; and my post tonight will not be very heavily focused upon happy things.

(Sometimes I like to look back on these posts, just out of curiosity's sake, months and years down the road. For the most part, I find them boring, narrow-minded, and lacking in the depth of human understanding. Even back in the pre-blog days, when I'd write my unhappy thoughts exclusively to K [or Mr. Henshaw, as I liked to joke at the time], I generally wrote some pretty boring stuff. It all seemed to important at the time.

Then again, that's probably how most of life is, isn't it?)

Anyway, tonight I have decided to bemoan the fact that I'm probably going to end up alone and childless. That's probably not a huge loss. I mean, I like kids, but I'm really more of the uncle type, anyway.

Now calm down! Don't go getting all argumentative on me. I feel reasonably grounded in the facts on this one.

Consider: My uncle, the person I am most like, is unmarried and childless at 45. My father is even more introverted than I am and pretty much ran into my mom by accident. I've only had one honest to goodness girlfriend in my entire life, and, the way that went down, it was at least as much of a fluke as anything else in my life. I have ridiculously high standards, but don't personally meet any comparable standards that any potential girlfriends might hold. I'm messy. I don't have very many matchmaker friends, and the ones I do have always think I'd best fit with quiet, ugly girls. I'm not particularly tall, not overly attractive, and - pink elephant in the room - I'm obese. I have low self-esteem and no ability to recognize when others are attracted to me, mostly because I don't believe that's possible (unless the person is already significantly less attractive than I am willing to go). I am shallow. I'm lazy. I'm unlikely to get a well-paying job to compensate for my faults, and my writing will probably never be publishable, because I'll never have to will-power to go back and edit and re-edit like all good authors have to do. In other words, I'm going to be middle-income at best. I'm not good at connecting with people. I'm friendly enough to smile and wave at people, but shy enough and introverted enough to not go very far past that. I've spent so much time holding my physical impulses back that I wouldn't know how to outwardly show interest in a girl if I wanted to. When people make jokes about stalkers, I find myself growing defensive. I don't find excessive freckles attractive, but am relatively freckly myself.

Alright, that last one was a stretch, but the rest is pretty accurate. Actually, that last one is also accurate, it just doesn't cover as many broad categories as everything else.

Wow. That's a good list. Honestly, I'm not sure if I've brought all my fears and doubts together as succinctly and accurately as this, before. As far as I can tell, that covers almost all of my major issues. Neat.

You want to know what brought this on? It's a combo of a few things, most of them pretty embarrassing. I'm not sure what I did exactly, but I think I messed things up with that girl. There was this two week "honeymoon" span where she was friendly and talkative and responsive, and all those good things. And now that seems to have all gone down the toilet. It isn't that she's openly rejected me. It's that she's begun ignoring me, or at least not responding to me. I take this as a bad sign.

The other thing, which is even more embarrassing, has to do with an odd bit of internet surfing. At some point, I was reminded that Marvel Comics has placed the first 100 episodes of a number of old comics online to be read for free. Naturally, I checked out the first few X-Men comics, then decided to fast-forward a little and see where Jean Grey and Cyclops were in the current xmen universe.

Much like in any other superhero-based soap opera, it isn't looking good. As far as I can tell, Jean's dead; Scott (Cyclops) has been dating some chick named Emma Frost; and at the moment he appears to be drifting in space, potentially dying.

For some reason the futility of their relationship, coupled with the recent string of sad, personal events, led me to ponder my future.

I don't imagine I'll be having the same problems Scott and Jean face, namely, mutual death, but this is most likely because I'm not a comic superhero.

No, my problems are of a far less epic and literary nature. I'm just a sad, lonely guy, bemoaning my lot in life.

BTW, if you get a chance, check out the trailer for "I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With." Sounds pretty good.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ruled by Chemicals

Hiya, everyone! It's 11:30. I'm tired, and I managed to studiously avoid studying for a good portion of the night, and now I'm tired! Yes, it was hard work, and I couldn't have done it without my TV and the internet, but it is done now.

At the moment I'm feeling antsy. I have that window-shopper feeling. I have that sense that everything would be better, if only X would happen. The crazy thing is, I'm not particularly focused on anything at the moment, so I don't have anything for X to be.

The funny thing about the human mind is how ridiculously chemically it is driven. We are constantly having these automatic responses to our environment, the sugars and other chemicals dancing around in our bodies, and just about everything else in the world. Yet we have this need to rationalize these emotions, rather than accept the fact that we are mostly just chemical machines whose primary form of programming comes from observation.

For example, earlier today I was feeling sad. At first, I thought it was because no one had showed up for my walk (long, uninteresting story), but the more I thought about it, the more I was certain that my response to being let down was WAY overblown.

Even if I were unhappy that no one showed up, I shouldn't have been taking it as hard as I was. That's when it struck me: I was tired. I hadn't been eating much fruit and was probably suffering from some sort of vitamin deficiency. The world was, in fact, probably not against me.

Did I have a right to be angry? Who cares! I likely would have been upset about anything. I would have been upset if one person had shown up, and I probably would have been upset if 20 people had shown up. I was chemically prepared to be angry. It didn't matter which stimulus brought it on.

But the crazy thing about it all was how quickly I associated my emotional state with the situation, rather than with what was going on inside my own head.

I think that's a common issue we all face. Right now I'm bizarrely focused on a 1L girl who is really cute. It took another individual to point out that this attention only really started to develop with the onset of finals fear and an increase in Facebook time.

(Facebook, Sara, is a social networking website that may be used to report gossip, display pictures, establish groups, and bring together events.)

My thing for this girl was directly connected with my brain going into "do anything but studying and homework" mode. If I had to guess, I'd say that even these things were probably related to Daylight Savings Time and my yearly case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka winter depression), which I just self-diagnosed.

I don't have a point in this rant. Not really. I guess, if I had to come up with a point, I would say that it's odd we all wish we were driven by logic, when it's clear that practically none of us is.

Oh. And someone should buy me the Uplift Technologies DL930 Day-Light or some other 10,000 lux light therapy lamp for seasonal affective disorder.

Monday, November 12, 2007


Here I am, sitting in an Evidence review, and I'm all of a sudden realizing that the hearsay rules aren't as bad or as long as I originally thought they were.

Memorization is a funny thing. It's a bit like a mental block issue. The more you think there is to memorize, the harder it is to memorize. This is why I'm such a believer in tables of contents. If nothing else, they take a LONG, LONG set of facts and condense them into manageable parts. Each part is short and easy, and easily memorized.

It's a bit like acting in a play. When you first get your 70 page script, you feel overwhelmed, not believing you'll ever be able to memorize it all.

And then, inexplicably, it gets smaller, until the whole thing seems to fit in your head.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Regrets: the 2007 Edition

I was driving to Lawrence yesterday for the basketball game, listening to some rock solid Scrubs music, when I had a moment of realization. I never wrote my annual October Regrets post.

This could be because I'm currently living in a world of no regrets (unlikely); however, I think it has a bit more to do with the weather. The cold part of the fall only recently started to strike. When the temp drops into the 20s, the leaves start really falling, and bundling up becomes more of a necessity and less of an option... That's the time for a person to take stock of his life and realize that it isn't as awesome as it could be.

Last year, on another blog, I believe, I took this time to write about the Bosnian Babe. Since then, she got engaged; and, perhaps more importantly, distance, time, and life have gotten in the way.

I just realized that I've run into two old wish-they-were flames in the past six months. One is getting married. The other is married. And here I am. Weird, but not entirely shocking.

As I was saying, last year I devoted this space to the Babe. This year I don't really have anything like that. The thing about regrets is the zero-sum nature of them. It's foolish to regret something that blows over easily or that can simply be replaced. There is very little reason to regret losing a reproduction of a Monet, but all kinds of reasons to regret losing your kid's first painting.

So now I'm in an odd place. I don't have a ridiculously well paying job, but I have a theory that, assuming I am a good lawyer, I'll make that up in the long run.

What's that leave? I don't have a girlfriend; I'm not married; I don't have kids. These are all eventually correctable. Theoretically, of course.

I could lament my lack of a hard body, but I've almost gotten to a point in life where that seems pointless.

I guess the only thing left is to over-value some girl or another and lament the fact that we aren't together, and we probably never will be. Even that I've made my peace with. So what if she is pretty and sunny and not afraid to dance at inappropriate times? Dime a dozen, let me tell you.

We just chatted. Then she chatted with two other guys, both of which are more attractive than I, one of which actually lent her money for lunch. Am I really going to compete with that? Wait, more importantly, am I really going to bother competing with that?

Um, if you don't know me yet, the answer to that question is no. Actually, often the verbally spoken answer is yes, but the physically realized answer is no.

Back on point: So I think I have lots of regrets. I can feel them bubbling somewhere underneath. I just don't know what they are. All of the obvious ones aren't relevant.

Well, I give up for now.

WAIT!!! I've got it! A regret, above all other things, is something we aren't sure if we can fix. I was discussing this with my Jewish friend recently. I have one personality trait that - for want of a better term - I regret.

I regret being more attracted to outgoing girls than shy ones. And I really only regret that because I don't have the necessary tools to deal with the issue.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Law School Exam

Sometimes I forget that I have this public persona that I hold so far out there that others often know me more than I know them. It's an odd experience.

Anyway, here I am, sitting at the bookstore a little before 3pm on a Tuesday. Much like most days, I have a lot of things on my mind. I'm trying to find people to go to the basketball game tonight, but failing, not because people hate going to ball games with me, but rather because people want to STUDY!

Naturally, this puts me in a tricky position. I've made it a goal this year to do better than I did last year, but how can I honestly do that, when I find myself falling into the same traps that so effectively caught me last year?

Right now, I have two crutches holding myself in place. First, I have ridiculous belief that I understand better how the rules work, so the amount of studying necessary ought to be significantly less. Second, the curve is nice this year.

The problem is, none of that matters! EVERYONE is that way. The curve is good to all. Each of us has a better understanding of the law than we did last year. The plan behind each test remains the same. Memorize, memorize, memorize, then spit out everything you can possibly think of for each exam question, because the law school exam isn't about getting things right and wrong, it's about saying the most things correct in the amount of time given.

That's really what a person who is good at the law does. He or she doesn't look for the right answer, because there ISN'T one. Instead, he or she looks for all the possible ways you might go with an answer, back each and every one of them up with some rule or rules, then cross your fingers and pray you wrote down more than everyone else.

More later.