Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, January 31, 2004

I saw "The Perfect Score" today, the movie about high school kids who try and steal the answers to the SAT. Lesson: don't go to a movie without reading a review. The commercial looked kind of interesting. They put the test through a shredder instead of the copy machine. Could be funny. Could be an interesting look at the SAT and the high stakes it has for high school students. Or it could be a silly throwaway movie filled with underwritten characters and a poorly executed premise. I think a documentary about kids preparing for the SAT, in the tradition of the wonderful "Spellbound," could be really interesting. A movie about the importance colleges put on this test, and who really writes these questions. I don't know. But this was fluff. This was a mediocre teen heist movie. I was concerned right away, when the previews were for (1) what looked like a new version of "Big" starring Jennifer Garner in the Tom Hanks role, called "13 Going On 30," (2) a movie about a 15-year-old girl who wants to be a star, starring the girl who was in the Parent Trap remake from a few years ago, and (3) Scooby Doo 2. So it was being pitched to someone half my age. Oops. My bad. Should've read the reviews first. This review, for example, should pretty much kill it for you.
I've been getting an awful lot of visitors over the last couple of days who are seeking pictures or video of Kazuhito Tadano, the Cleveland Indians minor leaguer who appeared in a gay porn video, that I linked to an article about the other day. I imagine to their disappointment, they're not finding any pictures, nor any video. But, I figure to make up for that I could at least mention it again.

Ideally, I'd think of something funny to say about it, but I can't. BUT DON'T LEAVE, people searching for Japanese gay porn -- you'll find a whole bunch of stuff here about Law School! Which is not the same (although after reading "Brush With The Law," who knows what some people here are doing), but perhaps at least a little bit safer to be looking for on the Internet while you're at work. I mean, if your boss sees you reading about the Law Review competition, that's a lot less likely to get you in trouble than if he sees you watching Japanese gay porn. Depending on where you work, I guess.

[I'm crossing the poor taste line here, but: This is the biggest scandal among international baseball players since Byung-Hyun Kim sucked. In the playoffs. And blew. Saves. Forgive me. I couldn't resist.]
Let's call this segment... John Kerry: Not Just Botox

Other plastic surgeries John Kerry has not had, besides Botox injections (OR: an excuse for me to find weird plastic surgery photos on the Internet and link to them, in the guise of topical political humor):

Listed in rough sequence from strange to stranger

1. Chin Implants
2. Otoplasty (ear pinning)
3. Scalp Lift (that sounds barbaric, doesn't it?)
4. Buttock Implants (disturbing photos)
5. Calf Enlargement
6. Male Pectoral Implants

I was going to post 10, but I was starting to get nauseous looking at these photos.
Excerpts from e-mails, with comments:

A. "[Some organization] seeks [this other organization's] help with a blood drive on February 2, 12-5... It's an excellent, non-time consuming community service opportunity." The italics are added by me. If it's non-time consuming, sign me up. BUT HOW CAN IT BE NON-TIME CONSUMING IF YOU HAVE TO DO ANYTHING????? And if it's non-time consuming, then why are you telling me WHEN IT IS????? 12-5 is a time, last time I checked.

B. "Dear HLS Students: Over the past week, we have received several requests to reserve the skating rink for hockey, broom ball, and other games."

Some "other games" on the law school skating rink:

1. "Falling and Suing"
2. "Slipping, Falling, and Suing"
3. "Slipping, Falling, and Suing, and Mock Trial"
4. "Slipping, Falling, Suing, Mock Trial, and Collecting Lawyers Fees"
5. "Ice Fishing"

Friday, January 30, 2004

As if I wasn't distracted enough... I ordered the "Ben Stiller Show" DVD off Amazon the other day, along with The West Wing Seasons 3 & 4 Shooting Scripts book (my mom got me an Amazon gift certificate for Hanukkah and I figured I may as well start spending it before Amazon starts selling exam answers and I feel tempted)... props to their "Super Saver Shipping" -- shipping was free since the order was more than $25, they said it would take 5-9 business days to get here... it took ONE DAY. ONE DAY. Props to Amazon. Anyway, my DVD collection now numbers 2. I have Mr. Show Seasons 1 & 2 (which I've watched about 1/10th of) and now I have Ben Stiller, as I strive to build the world's largest collection of DVDs starring Bob Odenkirk. (Alternative sentence fragment: " I strive to build the world's largest collection of DVDs of cancelled sketch comedy shows") So, I just watched the Ben Stiller pilot, and then the Ben Stiller pilot with commentary. I think I watched it when it was on for real and I was 13 years old, but I'm not totally sure. Anyway, it was funny, and the commentary was cool. I like DVD commentary. The producer of the show, Judd Apatow, was on the commentary track. He was producing this at age 24, he said, basically because he met Ben Stiller while they were waiting on line for Elvis Costello tickets. I get discouraged when I hear things like, "yes, I became able to do for a living what I most loved doing because I accidentally tripped and fell into Lorne Michaels' lap one day in Des Moines." Frustrating. Judd Apatow went on to write cool TV shows like Freaks and Geeks, if I'm not mistaken. The other guy who did Freaks and Geeks, Paul Feig, wrote a really funny book I read about a month ago on an airplane. What is the point of this post? I don't know. The West Wing is so well-written. Best cancelled sketch comedy show I remember from my childhood (I feel so old saying that) that I would buy if it was on DVD: The Dana Carvey Show. Maybe I just thought it was funny because I was a wee tot, but I recall being awfully upset it got cancelled. I wish they put that on DVD. Even with no commentary track I would buy it. Because it wouldn't cost me any money. Because I still have the rest of the gift certificate. See, it all loops back into a nice neat circle. I promise a better post soon.
Adam, a law student at Michigan, posted some supercool mp3s on his weblog of some songs he's written. My favorites are "The First, The Last, The Only" and "When Jackie Smiles." Check it out.
Ack, this Blogmadness blog contest is a pain. I didn't realize it's like 8 rounds before there's a winner. I won the first round pretty handily (thanks to anyone who voted); I don't feel all that compelled to win any more rounds, because I feel pretty stupid asking someone to vote in round after round after round. So the link is there but don't worry about it; if you're going to spend 10 seconds devoting your goodwill to me, I'd rather you e-mail me to say you like what I write or you e-mail a friend and tell them to read my site than you go vote in another round of this thing. I mean, go vote if you want, but don't feel like I will be at all bothered if you don't. voting link. (And if you go vote, you should probably read the other guy's post and make sure you like me more, just to be fair...)
Waddling Thunder has an interesting post about the drudgery of work, where he quotes someone who quoted someone who said "the test of a vocation is love of drudgery it involves." That's a cool quote. I'd never really thought about it that way, but it makes good sense. I mean, I'll spend forty-five minutes plugging names into an anagram generator just to find the funniest one to use in a blog post (not that writing this thing is a vocation, but I'm trying to make a point here, so bear with me) much more eagerly than I used to have to spend forty-five minutes checking out competitor web sites when I worked in marketing for a software company before this whole law school thing. Not that I wouldn't do it, but I would do it while rolling my eyes. And there's not a real difference in the drudgeryness of the two tasks, I don't think. The moral of this: if you like researching case law, come to law school. No, that's not the moral of this. The moral is just that it's a cool quote to think about and toss around in my head for a few minutes, before I return to whatever it is I was doing before I read Waddling Thunder's post. I think it was laundry.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

New casebooks!

Notes on flipping through my Corporations casebook ("Business Associations" by Klein/Ramseyer/Bainbridge -- Bainbridge has a blog here, incidentally; Ramseyer is the professor I've got for the class):

1. Great introduction ("if a case is no fun, we omit it") "Lean, we think, but not mean." We'll see if that holds up.

2. From the Summary of Contents, there's a section on "Grabbing and Leaving." Sounds like a unit on sexual harassment. "Short-Swing Profits" hopefully has to do with baseball. "Freeze-Out Mergers" take place only in the Northeast in winter.

3. Winning the "double letters" award is the case of Hoddeson v. Koos Bros.

4. Winning the "case that sounds like it took place a long time ago and will be a pain to read" award is National Biscuit Company v. Stroud.

5. Winning the "case with potential for a funny footnote" award is In re Silicone Gel Breast Implants Products Liability Litigation (which is not, unfortunately, in the "Grabbing and Leaving" section).

6. Case name that gives me the chance to riff on something else for a few sentences: Springside Nursing Home. Why are all nursing homes given sunny names -- never Cloudy Village retirement community, Stormy Night senior center, Autumn of Your Life homes and condominiums. "Springside." Right. Although I have a friend who went to a Shady Side High School. Shady Side. Unbelievable. Where's the drug problem in your town? Over in the Shady Side schoolyard. Gotcha.

6. Funny names in cases include: Humble Oil and Refining, Paw-Saver Corporation, Gay Jenson Farms, Flying Tiger Line Inc., Elf Atochem North America, Van Gorkom, Wheelabrator Technologies, Basic Inc. (couldn't get more creative than that, Mr. CEO?), and Sharon Steel Corporation (look, honey: I named my steel corporation after you!!).

7. This casebook's got "Analysis" and "Problems" after the cases. Not again. Why don't they ever have "Summary" and "Explanations" or "Wrapup" and "Simplification" or "Answers" and "More answers" or "Exam hints" and "Fun irreverent facts" or like Reader's Digest, just stick some jokes down there if you need to fill up the rest of the page! "Humor in a Dark Conservative Suit"! :)

8. There's no appendix. My Con Law book had this neat section in the back with the names of all of the Supreme Court Justices, perfect for a quick and easy Supreme Court "We Didn't Start the Fire" parody. (Check the index, you'll find it.) Here's there's nothing. No list of shamed Enron executives or anything. Aw, nuts.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Clever line on The Daily Show about Joe Lieberman's New Hampshire finish -- "Last time around, he got the most votes and lost; this time, he's hoping to try it the other way around."

(I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it)
Check out VH1's new series, "I love the 1820s," where B-list pop culture celebrities reminisce about life 150 years before they were born.

[video clip of woman churning butter]

Cameron Diaz: I'm so glad we don't have to churn butter now.

Sharon Osbourne: Churning butter! Imagine if we had to churn butter!

Mo Rocca: I churned butter once for a segment on The Daily Show, and it was not fun.

Hal Sparks: I think that woman churning butter is more famous than I am. I used to host a show on E! and now I'm on a show on Showtime. At this rate in six months I'll be hosting a show on Animal Planet and giving commentary on the Oxygen network about what life would be like if I was a woman.

Sharon Osbourne: He got too much airtime! No fair! Watch the Osbournes!

[video clip of a man on the toilet]

David Cassidy: There was no toilet paper in the 1820s

Lionel Richie: Has my career really sunk this low?

Sharon Osbourne: No toilet paper! Ha! There was no toilet paper! Watch my talk show!

Mo Rocca: Your talk show just got canceled.

Sharon Osbourne: Cancelled! And no toilet paper?

Alec Baldwin: It would have been hard to live in a time when there was no toilet paper. I don't know what I would have done.

Stephen Baldwin: I don't know either.

Alec Baldwin: Why are you on this show? I'm more famous than you? You're just famous because you're my brother.

Lisa Marie Presley: And I'm just famous because my father may or may not be dead. Toilet paper!

Sharon Osbourne: Toilet paper!

[video of slaves doing slavery stuff]

Sharon Osbourne: Slavery!

Lionel Richie: I need a new manager.

Alec Baldwin: I do too.

[video of President Andrew Jackson kicking some Indians]

Cameron Diaz: I think President Andrew Jackson is so cute.

Sharon Osbourne: President Andrew Jackson! Is so cute!

Bob Barker: I remember when he was just a little kid.

Lionel Richie: You need a new manager.

Bob Barker: I know. But I've spent all my Price Is Right earnings on booze and hookers.

Danny Bonaduce: Did someone say booze and hookers?

[video of pilgrims playing tennis]

Rich Eisen, SportsCenter: Tennis was big in the 1820s. Can I get my check now?

Sharon Osbourne: Look at those rackets they're using!

Nick Lachey: My wife is dumb.

Sharon Osbourne: Tennis!

Cameron Diaz: Tennis is so cute!

Drew Barrymore: I remember when I used to play tennis.

Bob Barker: I've been neutered.

Sharon Osbourne: Neutered! Watch the Osbournes!

Mo Rocca: Thanks for joining us for VH1's look back at the 1820s. Tune in next week for "I Love the 1530s," with commentary by Ben Stiller, Jack Osbourne, and, from "Dirty Dancing," Jennifer Grey!
Oddest baseball-related story I've seen in a while: Indians pitcher asks forgiveness for role in gay porno video, on Yahoo Sports:

Indians minor leaguer Kazuhito Tadano is asking for forgiveness for what he called a one-time mistake -- his appearance in a gay porn video... Tadano took part in the video three years ago when he was a college student... "I was young, playing baseball, and going to college and my teammates and I needed money."
Funniest line ever:

Tadano knows he may face fan abuse in major league parks such as Yankee Stadium, where heckling the visitors is part of the pageantry. He joked that he's ready for it. "I don't understand English, so it doesn't really matter,'' he said.
Excerpts from New Hampshire Victory Speeches

John Kerry: "I love New Hampshire -- and I love Iowa too! And hopefully I'll be making passionate whoopee to the people of South Carolina, and giving a back massage to Michigan, and french kissing Oklahoma, and feeling up Wisconsin. I have a message for the influence peddlers, and the husbands of some of these frisky states. Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Howard Dean: "If you had told me two weeks ago I was going to finish second in New Hampshire, I would have shot you in the chest and left you for dead. But it's not over yet. I'm going to South Carolina. And North Carolina. And East Carolina. And West Carolina. And John Kerry -- do you know where you're going? I know where you're going..."

John Edwards: "There's an America for the people who can afford health care, and there's an America for the rest of us. There's an America for the people who can afford fluoride toothpaste, and there's an America for the rest of us. There's an America for the people who can afford some sort of plastic surgery that makes a 50-year-old presidential candidate look like he's about 35, without a wrinkle or a gray hair, and then there's an America for the rest of... you...."

Joe Lieberman: "The pundits got it wrong! The newspaper had pictures of four candidates on the cover this morning, but not me. But what they didn't count on was that I'd finish in this 5-way tie for first tonight. That's right. The people of New Hampshire have spoken, and it's a split decision. We're in a 5-way tie for first, and we're going on."

Wesley Clark: "I came into New Hampshire as a member of the Elite Eight, and I'm leaving as a member of the Frustrated Five, everyone except for John Kerry, who seems to be winning. But he was a lieutenant, and I was a general. And I order him to Stop Winning Primaries! Now!"

Dennis Kucinich: "The pundits got it wrong! The people of New Hampshire have spoken, and it's a split decision. We're in a 6-way tie for first, and we're going on!"

[I originally posted this last night at En Banc]

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

THIS JUST IN: John Kerry has won the Iowa caucus.

Oh. We're up to New Hampshire now? Oh. I'd better refresh the web page. Oh. There we go.

THIS JUST IN: John Kerry has won the New Hampshire primary. Dean places second.

Dean's concession speech:

"If you had told me a week ago I was going to finish second in New Hampshire, I would have strangled you and then shot myself. But it's not over yet. We're going to South Carolina. And Washington. And Michigan. And South Dakota. And North Dakota. And Pennsylvania. And then I'm going to prison for killing a man. Bleh!"

Stupidity of the moment:
I'm watching John Kerry's victory speech on Fox News. He was introduced by Jeanne Shaheen, the governor (or former governor, I have no idea) of New Hampshire, who said that her TWO YEAR OLD granddaughter calls John Kerry "The Real Deal." Right. And there's really a Tooth Fairy.
No classes until Monday, giving us time to recharge after a grueling three weeks of class. :) They baby students. Always all of these weeks off, and a whole summer -- and WEEKENDS! Imagine if you told a working lawyer he didn't have to work WEEKENDS! But law students? Not a single class! And no classes after dinnertime, and no classes that run all night, and no classes where the professor calls you on your cell phone right when you're leaving and asks you if you've finished up the memo.... Yeah, we law students have it pretty easy.

I thought I'd dip into the e-mail-bag and answer some questions from 1Ls I'm completely inventing, because the number of real 1Ls who've e-mailed me with real questions I can count on two or three hands, and none of them that too recently. Anyway:

"Dear Jeremy. I just got my grades and they're really bad. Should I have my mom call my professors and tell them how smart I am?"

No, that's probably a bad idea. It was probably a bad idea when she did that in college too. Heck, it was probably a bad idea in fifth grade when she called that kid's parents after he beat you up in the schoolyard. Because you just got picked on more, right? Yeah, it's not a good idea. You should just relax. Bad grades only mean you did badly on the exam, not that you're a bad person. I mean, you might be a bad person. But I can't tell just based on your grades.

"Dear Jeremy. I just got my grades and they're awesome. Should I tell everyone I know?"

No, that's probably a bad idea. No one wants to know you did well. If you do badly, everyone wants to know that -- but you don't want to tell them because it's embarrassing. No one wants to feel bad. So don't tell them your grades, and don't ask them how they did. And don't do something stupid like say "I don't want to tell you what I got because I'm worried you'll feel bad," or "I don't want to say but let's just say I'm REALLY happy!" or something else where you think you're being coy but everyone knows what you mean. Just tell everyone you'd rather talk about the weather. Because the weather is a topic of great interest.

"Dear Jeremy. I just got my grades and failed every class. What should I do?"

Cry. I don't know. Go to business school?? Get a job?? Who knows. I don't know how you could fail every class. You figured out how to e-mail me, so at least you're smart enough to pass legal writing. I don't know. Tell them you have a learning disability. Who knows.

"Dear Jeremy. I just lost the New Hampshire primary. What should I do?"

Well, whatever you do, don't give a crazy speech where you name all the states and then scream like a mental patient. Don't do that. Again. Howard, don't do that again. It's not good.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I don't use this space often enough to rant against consumer products that I don't like, but that's going to change starting today. Because today I purchased something that you, my good and decent readers, deserve to be warned against. I was innocently walking the supermarket aisle this afternoon in search of something unnaturally weird and bad for my internal organs, like, for instance, Gushers fruit snacks, when I was lured by the smiling Quaker on the box to look at NEW Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares. I like oatmeal as much as the next guy, maybe even more, and have often enjoyed Quaker products, like Quaker Oat Squares cereal, instant oatmeal, and wicker furniture. Or is that the Shakers? I get them confused sometimes. Anyway, I'm always looking for breakfast-type things I can pretend are healthy but are really just cookies or pieces of cake disguised as morning food, that I can bring to class, or eat when I'm all out of Gushers. And the bad thing about oatmeal is you have to cook it, and that requires cleaning a pot, and boiling water, and all sorts of other stuff that takes more effort than it's worth. So these Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares looked appealing -- "all the nutrition of a bowl of instant oatmeal, for three times the price," the box said, well, except for that last part. But it could have. And the picture made it look like an oatmeal brownie. And the smiling Quaker. And the nutritional information told me they've forced in a bunch of vitamins and minerals in whatever way they do that. And the box said "moist and chewy," and there's nothing better than food that's moist and chewy. So after dinner tonight, I was so excited about these new Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares that I couldn't wait until breakfast tomorrow. I had to try one now! And so I tore open the green foil package, and pulled out the moist and chewy oatmeal square. Only it didn't feel moist and chewy. It felt dense and heavy. The layer of icing that in the photo on the box looked so sweet and delicious looked like white plastic goo in real life. I took a bite. Twelve minutes later I was able to swallow. It's may be all the nutrition of *one* bowl of oatmeal, but it tastes like it's all the oatmeal of *twelve* bowls of oatmeal, all packed together by machine into a square brick of oatmeal, covered in white plastic goo. I suppose it is chewy, but the only way it would be moist is if I soaked it in water. So I did. I soaked it in water, and found that one oatmeal square was able to absorb seventeen gallons of water before succumbing to the pressure. Okay, I didn't really test it. But it seems like it would. Dogs would not eat this food. I assume. If we dropped these things in Iraq, they would kill civilians when they fell on them, and then they would kill more civilians who tried to eat them. I didn't think the smiling Quaker could make something so wretchedly awful. In fact, I'd rather eat wicker furniture. Save yourself. Don't make the same mistake I did. I passed up Pastry Swirls for these. Stupid.
**there's new stuff beneath this post, but I'm going to leave this one on top for now** :)

One of my posts from last year is up for a vote in BlogMadness 2003. I'm in the third box in the left column of the page, ranked #4. So if you like my weblog, go vote for me! (and tell your friends :) I'm currently losing 3-1, but that's a surmountable deficit, I think. Voting goes through Tuesday night for this round, and then there's other rounds, but I'm not worried about those yet. vote here. (the voting, by the way, requires no personal information at all and takes no time.) (the interface confused me a little bit -- if you click the vote! button underneath the box with my weblog in it, the voting choice will come up in the far left column... so if you look there it's easy; I just didn't know to look there until after I'd read the whole center screen)
Got back from my exam a little while ago. My pre-exam "horror story" (not really) -- this was an in-class exam, so we needed to bring our laptops and we'd hand in a disk (for the essay part of the exam). My computer has a detachable floppy drive (that's a good name for a song). So I opened my drawer to get my drive out. It wasn't there. Looked in some other drawers. Not there. Called my parents. Oh, it's there. I forgot to bring it back from break (why exactly I brought it home with me I'm not sure). So I woke up my roommate and asked him if I could borrow his computer, because I couldn't take the exam without my floppy drive (wouldn't be able to save to disk and turn it in). He let me. Had he (a) had an exam today too, or (b) felt like being mean, I'd have been in some amount of trouble, although you are allowed to hand-write the exam, so it wouldn't have really been all that big of a deal. Anyway, if that's the worst exam horror story I can come up with I'm pretty lucky. :)

Sunday, January 25, 2004

If anyone's got any questions about secured credit, I'm at my peak of knowledge on the subject. Post-16 hours from now when my exam ends, I will not be as equipped as I am now to answer all of your secured credit dilemmas, like what to do if your debtor changes his name ("the artist formerly known as Prince, I'm coming after you...") or whether your PMSI primes an inventory lender.

In other news: I went to the bookstore on Friday to look at my required books for next semester -- I would've bought them if there'd been any used copies, but I didn't see any so I figured I'd just wait until next week -- and the co-author of one of them sounded familiar, but I couldn't remember from where. I just figured it out.

In other other news: it's really cold outside.
So I've had a bunch of posts this past week about nice stuff the Dean has been doing for students here -- the ice skating rink, free doughnuts and coffee for late-night studying, more money for student organizations. I came up with some more ideas for her, in case she's reading. I'm waiting for e-mails that say...

* "Wireless Internet has been installed throughout the campus - nay, throughout the cities of Cambridge and Somerville - and through a technology grant from the National Institute of Science, every student will be issued a laptop that never crashes, a complimentary subscription to iTunes, and a free mouse pad."

* "Through another technology grant from the National Institute of Science, HLS has been approved as a weather control site for the pilot "let's end winter" program. A biosphere will be installed over the campus and it will be a beautiful 74 degrees each day, with a cool breeze and a bright sun. Except the ice skating rink, which will continue to exist in the actual atmosphere for students' enjoyment until April when it finally melts."

* "The library will now feature "book absorption portals" where you can insert any book, put on the virtual reality headset, and the entire contents of the book will be transferred into your memory banks in a matter of seconds. Also, the library has new coffee mugs for everyone."

* "The 8-hour take home exam format has been replaced with the 8-minute take home exam format, and the curve will now be centered around "A" with a standard deviation of zero."

* "Financial aid has recently seen a windfall of cash and tuition will now be zero. In addition, each student will be receiving $20,000 in Crimson Cash, which is now redeemable anywhere on campus, on selected Internet sites including Amazon, E-Bay, and whatever that site is that delivers groceries, for rent and utilities anywhere in the Boston Metro Area, and at the local ice skate dealerships. Also, if you ask for a cash refund of the Crimson Cash, you will receive 200% of your outstanding balance."

* "Students: in anticipation of the upcoming Presidential election, I am proud to announce that I have secured HLS its very own electoral vote. Because the students here really are the future of the country, I thought it was only fair that we have a full 33% as much power as everyone in Wyoming to decide who the next President will be..."
To the person who found this site by googling "Senator Kerry's prosthesis" -- you're thinking of the wrong Senator. That's Bob Kerrey you're looking for, not John Kerry. You're welcome.

To the person who found this site by googling "obese husband" -- I don't what you were thinking of. Maybe try

To the person who found this site by googling "identify pill T7" -- I'm sorry, I don't know what pill T7 is. You probably shouldn't take it until you find out though. Go ask your pharmacist.

To the person who reached this site from the domain "" -- I would have had something funny to say, except when I clicked on I realized it was just a phone company. Oh well. Enjoy.
I slept 11 hours last night, perhaps after reading this article about how sleep is really good for problem-solving and creativity. Nonetheless, this is the most I'm inspired to write this morning, and all my sleep really didn't make me any more eager to study for my exam tomorrow. Ah, well, I'll just force myself and 27 hours from now when the exam's over I can do something more fun like start my reading for next semester, or do my laundry, or clean my toilet. Actually, maybe studying doesn't sound that bad.
An update amusing only to me: last week I posted something about an e-mail I'd gotten from an organization that had published a book, that I wasn't sure if it was spam or not, saying that I might be interested in mentioning the book on my weblog. This morning, I got an e-mail from one of my professors, forwarding an e-mail from that same organization, seeing if any student groups might be interested in having the author speak to them. So clearly these people are really trying to create buzz or get publicity or whatever. I'm still not telling you the name of the book. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Apparently I'm Instapundit. Someone, I assume a reader, just sent me a link to a story saying Bin Laden's been captured according to a German newspaper. Here's the link. No idea if it's legitimate or not. (UPDATE: Here's a link saying it's false -- thanks to another reader) The e-mail I got was just the link, with the subject line "Bin Laden reported captured...." I figured 50/50 chance it was going to lead to a porn site, but whatever, any e-mail is good e-mail when you should be studying for an exam.

I also received an e-mail the other day, again I guess from a reader, that said this:

I am freelance journalist from [foreign city], who want to write serial of magazine articles about writers of some US disaster - blockbusters. I have found some sources over Internet about some such a movies and their screenwriters.

Please if you can send to me short information, which US and International rules or Law articles regulated moving (transfer) of the law case arised and filed in Europen court, to the proper US court, under assumption that both those courts have the same jurisdiction regarding such a law case.

I need those information because of writing one magazine article about writing some blockbusters US produced movies in the last 10 years.

I hope he's not writing his magazine article in English... naw, seriously I'd be delighted to help him, but beats me if I know what he's looking for.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Song Parody: "Don't Know Much" by Aaron Neville and Linda Ronstadt

Look at this code
With each revision growing
Look at the comments
Are any of them really worth knowing?

I don't know much
But I know the case law
And that may be
All I need to know

Look at this rule
It could not be complex-er
The girl with a contract
Can't tell if this affects her

I don't know much
But I know the case law
And hopefully
It's all I need to know

So many questions
Still left unanswered
So much
The court did not decide
And when I'm parsing clauses
The pain that this code causes
The thing I need to know is how
This rule's applied

Look at that judge
I trust he ruled it rightly
So I read the cases
And the code cites only slightly

I don't know much
But I know the case law
Wish that would be
All I'd need to know, whoa…oh…oh…oh…ah…
Excerpts from the most recent speeches by various public and private figures.

One of the people being sued by the RIAA:
I'm gonna share my Britney Spears album, and my Fifty Cent album, and my Eminem album, and my album of Broadway showtunes, and my Yodeling's Greatest Hits... and then I'm gonna download every Barry Manilow song I can find! Yeaaaaaaagh!
Pete Rose:
I'm gonna bet on baseball, I'm gonna lie about it, I'm gonna lie some more, I'm gonna lie a little bit more... and then I'm gonna write a book saying oops I lied and you should put me in the Hall of Fame! Yeaaaaaaagh!
Constitutional Law Professor:
I'm gonna teach the first amendment, then the second amendment, the commerce clause, due process, affirmative action, euthanasia, death penalty... and then I'm gonna burn a copy of the Constitution right here on the steps of the library! Yeaaaaaaagh!
Man on prison work-release program:
I'm gonna clean up trash on the highway, and in the park, and by the schoolyard, and in the parking lot, and at the town square... and then I'm gonna take all that trash and put it in the dumpster! Yeaaaaaaagh!
Airline passenger:
I'm gonna take off my shoes, and then I'm gonna take off my belt, and then I'm gonna let them unpack my suitcase... and then I'm gonna tell them I bought my luggage this morning from a strange man outside the airport and I can hear it ticking! Yeaaaaaaagh!
I'm gonna eat another cow's brains, and then I'm gonna eat his intestines, and then I'm gonna eat some more... and then I'm gonna get myself into an American meat distributor and infect the whole country! Yeaaaaaaagh!
Okay, now it's just getting silly. First the ice skating rink, then the free doughnuts and coffee in the student center for studying, and now this:

Dear Student Organization Presidents and Treasurers:

Thanks to the work of [other people] and the generosity of Dean Kagan, Friday the 13th (of February) has turned into a lucky day for student organizations. Dean Kagan has increased the amount of money that the Student Funding Board can allocate to student organizations on campus. In order to assure equitable distribution of the funds, the SFB will be accepting budget requests for supplemental funds...
Money won't buy student happiness. Unless maybe it will.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

More kindness from above:

Dear Students:

We'd like to let you know that the [student center] will once again be open for late-night studying during exam time.... A security guard will be in the building each night, and fruit, doughnuts, and coffee will be available.

Good luck on your exams.
The exams the e-mail is referring to are the "winter term" exams. I' ve mentioned winter term before -- for the past 3 weeks we've all had one class, meeting every weekday for 3 hours (some classes have had slightly different schedules -- 5 hours a day for 2 weeks, 6 hours a day for 3 weeks but no exam, etc etc). And on Monday, the classes that have exams have the exams (some of the classes have papers; some have other exam-substitution things like in-class exercises). So my exam is on Monday.

And just to boringly follow up on some posts from the last few days, for anyone who's stalking me: (1) I got my grades in the mail just a few minutes ago. They seem to have upgraded to a thicker envelope. I actually had to turn my light on before I could see right through it this time. (2) My Outlook Express problem turned out to be that my IP address was on a blocked list, who knows how or why, so that's fixed. (3) The guy who sent me a "personal" e-mail saying I might want to promote his book on my weblog last week never wrote back, so I'm assuming it was spam, and you don't get to find out what the book was (unless you're really curious and ask me).

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Fun with Anagrams.

Howard Dean, describing what happened in Iowa: A Hard End. Ow.
Howard Dean, after hearing about the demise of a poor swimmer: Drowned! Aha!
Howard Dean, on what he would do first as President: End A War! D'oh!
Howard Dean, telling Oprah what he wishes would happen to his campaign: Awarded NH, O.
Howard Dean, on what his next step is after Iowa: Head Onward

Al Sharpton, on who he won't stop until he's helped: Last Orphan
Al Sharpton, on that itching sensation he's been having on a mysteriously ambiguous body part: Pontal Rash
Al Sharpton, on what he left behind during his European vacation: Trash on Alp

John Kerry, on what his staffers think of him: Horny Jerk
John Kerry, on the mistake he made in bed with his wife last night: John Err KY

Joe Lieberman, on a recent traumatic experience at a campaign stop: Albino Jeer Me
Joe Lieberman, on what happened when the buffet opened while he was giving a speech: Major Beeline

Wes Clark, on what he did before entering the Presidential race: Was Clerk

Dennis Kucinich, on where you can find out more about his trips to the Midwest and Canada: Check DUI In IN, NS

[Apologies to Edwards supporters: all of the anagrams of his name happen to be offensive to a particular group (seriously), so I thought it best to avoid them.]
The New York Times has an article about bacon. It's a fine article, although I'm not sure bacon has done anything recently to deserve the news coverage. In my continuing battle to avoid doing anything productive, I actually went to a bunch of the websites mentioned in the sidebar, curious as to how there could be 40 different kinds of bacon, what exactly the Bacon-of-the-Month club can get away with charging, and whether there's a store near me that sells the center-cut low-fat bacon the article makes sound awfully enticing. Not that I'm going to go buy bacon in a supermarket (I think I have to turn in my Jewish Membership Card if I do that), but just because reading about bacon is more interesting than reading about the winner of a battle for priority between statutory lienors and secured lenders (but just barely).
Here they come.... From the registrar yesterday afternoon:

Fall Grades for 2L, 3L, and LLM Students: The Registrar's Office will mail grade reports by the end of the day Wednesday, January 21. Reports will not be available at the Registrar's Office except as follows. JDs who have not received their grade reports in the mail by Friday, January 23, may come to the Registrar's Office during regular business hours of 9 to 5 to pick up a copy of your report. LLMs who have not received their reports by January 23 may stop by the Graduate Program Office starting at Noon. Don't forget to bring your HLS ID card. The Registrar's Office will notify students when reports of remaining courses are available.
Why say in 4 words ("We're mailing grades tomorrow") what you can say in a whole paragraph? Anyone who thought I was just being funny when I said that we don't get grades online and they actually physically mail us a piece of paper now has proof (of course, if you thought I was making it up then, you probably think I'm making up this e-mail too). So probably tomorrow, but possibly today, and definitely by Friday, I'll have my Fall grades. They won't change my life, no matter how well or badly I did, but I'm still kind of curious. It's always nicer to do better than to do worse, even if they won't really affect anything, and even if you're not totally convinced they're even a reasonable representation of how well you learned the material. I feel like there's two levels at which someone can be concerned about grades. There's the "the letters on this sheet will affect my self-image and self-worth" level, and the "it's nice to do well, but not doing well just means I didn't do well, nothing more than that, and that's okay." I think at some point in undergrad, probably after the Freshman year "Advanced Multivariable Calculus and Honors Linear Algebra" class I took for no rational reason other than I was allowed to place into it because I'd done nicely on the BC Calculus AP exam, so I figured if I was allowed to place into it, it wouldn't be so bad, but I had no clue what was going on and scored a 12 out of 150 on the final exam (it curved to something nicer than what that sounds like it should curve to, but still nothing to be that thrilled about; the joke I've made too many times about the class is that the only numbers in the class were the page numbers in the textbook -- this was Math in Long Sentences filled with Greek Letters), I think when I got my grade for that, I realized it wasn't so much a reflection on me as a person as it was a reflection just of how poorly I understood how you prove the existence of imaginary numbers (doesn't that sound like fun?). And that was probably good, especially for my television set, because I felt (slightly) less guilty watching it after that. So, basically, I really want to find out how I did, but I don't feel like finding out I don't know Constitutional Law very well, or at least I didn't show it on the exam, will do all that much to my self-esteem. A reader writing in to tell me my weblog sucks, however, will kill me.
Fun with the State of the Union and a Word Frequency tool I found on the Internet:

1. The most common word used in the State of the Union was "the" -- 284 times.
2. The most common real word was "America" -- 37 times. "American" and "Americans" each 14 times as well.
3. Iraq was said 17 times.
4. Women = 8 Times. Men = 7 Times. A victory for feminism.
5. War = 12; Peace = 4.
6. Terrorists = 10; Friends = 5.
7. Love = 2; Hate = 0
8. Life = 4; Death = 2
9. Seniors = 8; Medicare = 8
10. God = 3; Science = 3
11. Abstinence = 2; Lonely = 2
12. Space = 0
13. Right = 9; Left = 4
14. Long = 4; Members = 5; Sexually = 2
15. Former = 1; Farmers = 1
16. Millons = 6; Billions = 1; Zillions = 0
17. Good = 8; Evil = 1
18. I = 34; You = 49
19. Finish = 1

The end.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

I can't make this up. An e-mail from the dean of the law school:

To all members of the HLS community:

In the spirit of trying to make lemonade out of lemons, I am pleased to announce the grand opening of the new HLS ice skating rink on Wednesday, January 21. Hours on Wednesday will be from noon until 10:00 p.m., with free hot chocolate and doughnuts served (but only on this inaugural day!) until 5:00 p.m. Usual hours will be from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. No, we don't rent skates. But our facilities department will send around a notice in the next day or so telling you where you can rent or buy them. They can't do this in Palo Alto, you know. I hope you enjoy.
I'm as much of a cynic as anybody else, but how can anyone read this e-mail and not feel like at least the administration is trying its best to make students happy. In the past year, we've been given free coffee, tea, and cocoa every morning in the classroom buildings, new benches and chairs outside the student center, renovated classrooms, the promise of a student center renovation over the summer, and the girls bathrooms apparently got free tampons. Say what you want about Harvard, but they're doing their best. And, yeah, it's mostly small stuff. But the small stuff is nice sometimes.
Drudge Report had an audio clip of Dean screaming like a crazy man talking to his supporters after the caucus. It's just kind of a funny clip, regardless of who you support. But they've taken it down. You've probably seen it on TV by now anyway. Hopefully.

The prospective law student's version of Dean's speech:

"If you had told me one year ago that I was going to get admitted to the nation's third-ranked law school, I would have given anything for that.

"I'm going to get admitted to Yale! And Stanford! And Columbia! And NYU! And Chicago! And Georgetown! And Duke! And Virginia! And Penn!

"And then I'm going to go to the University of Phoenix Online and get them accredited -- with my bare hands!


Commercial we probably won't be seeing:

"Congressman Gephardt, you just got trounced in the Iowa caucus. What's next?" "I'm going to Disney World!"

Monday, January 19, 2004

In case you miss tonight's evening news:

"Good evening, and welcome to a historic night for Iowa, and for the nation, as the 2004 Election Season truly kicks off with Iowa's First-In-The-Nation caucus. All indications are that tonight's caucus is experience the highest turnout in years, and the race has never been closer. We've got reporters on the ground in Great Bluffs, Giant Falls, and Super Floodville waiting to give us their eyewitness accounts of the excitement they've seen today. But first, a video clip that shows all of the candidates smiling and waving to cheering audiences that demonstrates absolutely nothing about the race. Our intrepid senior political analyst reports:

"Thanks. I'm here at Sue Ann's coffee shop, which for over a hundred years has been a bellwether for Iowa caucuses. However the waitresses at Sue Ann's go, so goes the state of Iowa. And today, the waitresses are deadlocked. Three for Dean, three for Kerry, three for Gephardt, three for Edwards, and that crazy guy out back for Kucinich. From my vantage point here, at the center of the storm, I've seen all of the candidates and their throngs of admirers march past, on their way to a rally. If the excitement is any indication, this caucus may draw more than thirty-one times the number of people who attended the caucuses last time through. Of course, we can never be sure of anything here in Iowa. It's earned its reputation as an unpredictable state. Especially the weather. Why, here comes some weather right now! Back to you in the studio!

"Be careful there! That was our senior political analyst. Now we turn to our senior elections correspondent, at John Kerry headquarters for more about what the Kerry camp is saying about the caucuses. Over to you!

"Thanks. It's mayhem here at Kerry headquarters, where of course it's too soon to tell what the results will be, but people here are certainly excited. The candidate has been criss-crossing the state today, from Moose Jaw to Antelope Head, trying to rally supporters. Turnout at Kerry events has been rising over the last few days, and the candidate is said to be "psyched" by all of the last-minute support. Kerry groundworkers have been rounding up voters, and driving them to their caucus sites. One of those voters is here with me now at Kerry headquarters, waiting for the results to come in. How are you, ma'am?

"I'm great, thanks. I'd never been to a caucus before, but I am so excited about helping John Kerry win the nomination that I braved the cold and headed over there. I hope I'm celebrating with a goat and a bottle of whiskey tonight!"

"Thanks, ma'am. If all of Kerry's supporters are as excited as this woman, he may have a lot to smile about tonight. Live from Kerry headquarters, now back to the studio.

"Thanks for the report. That was our senior elections correspondent. We now turn to our senior field reporter over at one caucus site he'll never forget!

"Thanks! I'm over here at Millie's Barn, perhaps the most rustic of the over 10,000 caucus sites throughout the state of Iowa. Remarkably, just three hours ago, this barn was not here where it is now. Last night, it is reported that a Dean supporter came and disassembled the barn, and threw it in the river over there (camera pans to river). Apparently, there was concern that this would be an Edwards barn tonight in the caucuses. But the good people of Iowa have rebuilt the barn, and it will be open for caucusing tonight! A remarkable story, but just one of hundreds of remarkable stories I'm sure, on this night of caucusgoing. Back to you in the studio!

"Great story there from our senior field reporter. Now, we turn to our senior campaign correspondent standing with John Edwards in the middle of a pile of hay.

"Thanks. I'm here with Senator John Edwards, who certainly seems upbeat tonight. Senator?

"Yes, I've been excited to see the growing crowds over the last few days, and I think I'm going to end up with a good showing here in the great state of Iowa."

"Any predictions?

"We all ran great races, it's so close, anything would be a victory for us here. I'm not going to start guessing numbers."

"Anything would be a victory? 3 percent?

"3 percent."

"There you have it, John Edwards guessing his turnout at 3%. Thanks, Senator. Back to you in the studio.

"Thanks. Now we all know that races can be won and lost based on turnout. With an analysis of how turnout might affect tonight's caucus, we turn to our chief election bureau head.

"Thanks for having me. The key thing to know about turnout is that when turnout is high, more people are voting. This is critical for all the candidates, because it means that to win, they need a greater number of raw votes than if turnout is low. So in order to increase their percentages, it becomes more difficult for every candidate, regardless of how popular he is. Candidates hurt by high turnout are the ones who don't have that many people supporting them. Candidates helped by high turnout are the ones who have a lot of supporters. It's a very complicated situation. But it's something you really have to keep in mind when analyzing tonight's results.

"Thanks to our chief election bureau head for that. When we come back from this commercial break, we'll take a look at the crucial undecided voters and wonder whether they will ever decide. Also we'll talk with our senior Democratic analyst on the ground at Dean headquarters and our senior news correspondent standing with a random group of screaming girls. Stay tuned to your news leader for comprehensive election coverage here in Caucus '04: Iowa Strikes First!"
Boring computer-related interlude. I just sent the following e-mail to the Harvard helpdesk. I'm sure they'll get back to me speedily but if anyone enjoys trying to solve what's probably a basic and simple computer problem, and, in the scheme of things, not really that big a deal, but still sort of a pain, feel free to read and e-mail me back the answer. Otherwise, feel free to skip this. There's no funny here:

I live in Harvard affiliated housing. Since I moved in, with no problems, I've been using Outlook Express to read and send mail from my undergraduate (Princeton) alumni account, using a POP3 and SMTP setup like their instructions say. All of a sudden, sometime last Monday afternoon, it stopped working -- I get an error message from Outlook when it goes to check: "The server responded with an error. Account: '', Protocol: POP3, Server Response: '-ERR access denied', Port: 110, Secure(SSL): No, Server Error: 0x800CCC90, Error Number: 0x800CCC90"

The web interface Princeton provides has worked, so I know it's not my username and password or my account that's messed up. And I didn't make any changes at all to my computer, or where I check e-mail from -- the problem happened all of a sudden. And I'm able to check my law school mail (with Eudora) and surf the web no problem.

I'm not sure if it's a problem on my computer's end, or Harvard's network that's blocking Port 110 or something like that. (I e-mailed the Princeton helpdesk and they said it wasn't a problem on their end.) But the webmail interface is terribly inconvenient and I really need to know how to get Outlook to work again, or something equivalent.

Thanks so much for your help.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Dear Prospective Student:

It's not always this cold here. Trust me. Really. Don't choose UCLA over a school in the Northeast just because of the weather. Maybe University of Hawaii. But give us a chance in the spring. When it rains every day. Also, the cold isn't that bad, at least here, because the administration provides free coffee, tea, and hot cocoa every weekday morning. Don't worry about the rumors they lace it with anti-depressants to make the students seem happy when they're really miserable. That's just something I'm making up now but the administration might think about trying if they really want to trick people into coming here. Because they can't change the weather. They can try. They are trying to build an artificial environment that could overtake the real one in a battle of wits and power. We could soon be attending school in a square mile of climate controlled goodness, while the surrounding communities get three degrees colder and twice as much snow to compensate. They're working on it. You might be a 3L by then, but still, it's in the pipeline. There's not always slush on the ground. Sometimes there's ice. It's not always snowing. Sometimes it's just windy. There aren't always 8-hour take home exams. Sometimes there are 3-hour in-class exams. Sometimes you write papers. All of that goes on inside, where it's not snowing. And where it's not 3 degrees. Kelvin. I'd forgotten about the Kelvin scale until recently when I realized it might make more sense to use it when temperatures are consistently in single digits or lower. It's been negative on the Celsius scale for about two weeks now. That means that the warmth from our bodies is actually taken away from us by the weather. I learned that in high school science. I think. I don't know if we can ever get to absolute zero but I think that was my raw score on some of last semester's exams. It's also the chance of us getting our grades before spring. Last year I thought a month was too long to have to wait for grades. I didn't realize the 2Ls and 3Ls had it worse. Not that it matters since we're all going to freeze to death before we get out of here anyway. But it's not always this cold here. Trust me.

Best wishes,
A cold student

Saturday, January 17, 2004

If your casebook could sing... a song parody to the tune of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me"

"I Can't Make You Read Me"

Sit at your desk
Turn on the light
Shut off the music
This is the night

No solitaire
Don't check your mail
Just look at my I's
Or you're gonna fail
You're gonna fail...

Oh I can't make you read me
If you won't
I can't make you focus
If your brain don't
I may be dry
I may be boring
If you look at the page
You may soon be snoring
But try
Won't you try
Cause I can't make you read me
if you won't

Fine, skip the case
Then you won't see
The law that's applied
In the pages of me

Morning will come
And you'll go to class
The teacher will call on you
You'll have to pass
Oh you'll have to pass

Oh I can't make you read me
If you won't
I can't make you focus
If your brain don't
I may be dry
I may be boring
If you look at the page
You may soon be snoring
But try
Won't you try
Cause I can't make you read me
if you won't
I've mentioned before how awesome I think Bill Bryson's writing is -- he's written some awfully funny travel books, and, most recently, a thick book about science that isn't actually boring. Anyway, the NY Times has a profile of him in today's edition. Says he's pretty much covered all of the travelogues he'd want to do, and his next book is a mini-biography of William Shakespeare:

"I don't want to go and start trying to make jokes in places like India, Tanzania or Iraq," he said. "Afghanistan is not a funny place."

Friday, January 16, 2004

Two 1Ls on Instant Messenger About To Find Out Their Grades

ILuvCivPro: i'm holding it in my hand
ErieLady: eeeew
ILuvCivPro: no not that. my grades.
ErieLady: they came????????
ILuvCivPro: in the mailboxes. go check. ill wait.
ErieLady: ok. dont open it. wait for me.
ILuvCivPro: ok
ILuvCivPro: you back yet?
ILuvCivPro: you there?
ILuvCivPro: i'm getting anxious
ILuvCivPro: you there??????
ErieLady: ok i'm back
ILuvCivPro: what took so long?
ErieLady: cute boy
ILuvCivPro: who?
ErieLady: that guy in contracts with the outline
ILuvCivPro: oh hes awesome
ErieLady: he showed me his briefs. not those briefs though.
ILuvCivPro: i bet he wears boxers anyway.
ErieLady: probably.
ILuvCivPro: so did you get your envelope?
ErieLady: yes
ILuvCivPro: i havent been this nervous since i was on panel
ErieLady: and you peed in your pants
ILuvCivPro: yes dont remind me
ErieLady: ok you ready to open these envelopes?????
ILuvCivPro: and find out the fate for the rest of our lives.......
ErieLady: i dont want to end up at the bottom of the class
ILuvCivPro: i dont want to have to transfer to cooley
ErieLady: i dont want to have to face cute contracts boy and tell him i wont be on law review
ILuvCivPro: if i get nothing lower than a B+ im going to take off all my clothes and run around the campus
ErieLady: if i get anything lower than a B im going to hurl myself off the roof
ErieLady: just kidding. but i wont leave my room for a week and ill cry until my eyes fall out
ILuvCivPro: your eyes wont fall out
ErieLady: they will if i make them
ILuvCivPro: ok
ErieLady: i prayed to god this morning and said if i do well i will never play solitaire again
ILuvCivPro: you were lying
ErieLady: but god doesnt know that
ILuvCivPro: i told god if i do well i wont be a slut anymore
ErieLady: oh. thats harder than what i promised
ILuvCivPro: shut up
ErieLady: ok
ILuvCivPro: you ready to do this?
ErieLady: on the count of three
ILuvCivPro: one
ErieLady: two
ILuvCivPro: NO
ErieLady: ok
ErieLady: you done yet?????
ErieLady: YOU DONE YET????
ErieLady: ARE YOU DONE YET??????????
ErieLady: I HATE YOU AND I HOPE YOU DIE!@#$%^&*(!
ILuvCivPro: im back
ILuvCivPro: i was only gone 30 seconds whats your problem
ErieLady: im just nervous
ErieLady: and i forgot my pills this morning
ILuvCivPro: oh that explains it
ErieLady: yeah
ILuvCivPro: you should take them
ErieLady: but they make me itch
ILuvCivPro: oh
ErieLady: ok are you ready now
ILuvCivPro: yes
ErieLady: ok one
ILuvCivPro: two
ErieLady: three
ILuvCivPro: four
ErieLady: no we were going to open at three
ErieLady: i already opened
ErieLady: i think i am going to vomit on my floor
ILuvCivPro: what? what will you vomit? youre anorexic
ErieLady: its just an expression
ILuvCivPro: oh
ILuvCivPro: ok
ErieLady: and?
ErieLady: and?
ErieLady: and????
ErieLady: AND????????
ErieLady: AND??????????????
ILuvCivPro: ok i opened it
ErieLady: and?
ILuvCivPro: i did ok
ErieLady: what does that mean
ILuvCivPro: id rather not talk about it
ErieLady: what does that mean
ILuvCivPro: it means id rather not say what i got
ErieLady: what??????
ILuvCivPro: im just kidding :)
ILuvCivPro: i got an A- in contracts
ILuvCivPro: B+ in civ pro
ILuvCivPro: B- in property
ErieLady: thats awesome you are a rock star i hate you and i hope you die
ErieLady: kidding
ILuvCivPro: what did you get
ErieLady: A- in property
ErieLady: B+ in contracts
ErieLady: B- in civ pro
ILuvCivPro: crap you did so well im so jealous
ErieLady: i know im sorry
ErieLady: when i make law review i will still be your friend
ErieLady: but only when no one from law review is around
ILuvCivPro: thanks
ILuvCivPro: i know i can always count on u
ILuvCivPro: u are my best friend and i dont know how i would have survived first semester without u
ErieLady: same here
ErieLady: i luv u
ILuvCivPro: oh. i luv civ pro.
ErieLady: yeah. me 2
ErieLady: im going to go call my mom now and tell her how i did
ILuvCivPro: im going to eat a gallon of cookie dough
ErieLady: ok talk to u later
ILuvCivPro: bye
ErieLady: bye

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Selected Provisions of Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code

9-102: "[T]he debtor's... operation... does not depend on... extraction... in whole or in part... of the... blood... of... the debtor."

9-109: "[T]he United States... expressly governs... a foreign... landlord's... health-care."

9-205: "[C]reditors... dispose of all or part of... the debtor."

9-307: "[I]n the District of Columbia... a person... ceases to exist... by... the... cancellation of the existence of... air."

9-309: "[H]ealth-care-insurance [is] receivable... by... winning[]... a lottery or other game of chance."

9-320: "[F]arm products... [gave]... the seller... gas."
Baseball fans: check this out. It's The Score Bard's European photo essay and top 10 baseball names. Mad cool. Needs Flash. Also check out the rest of his site; there's some super-cool baseball poetry on there. If I was making a list of bloggers I think it would be cool to have lunch with, it's a very short list and The Score Bard, whoever he is, would certainly be #1 on it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

We Have Too Many Holidays / OR / We Have Too Many Caucuses

The Iowa Caucus falls on Martin Luther King Day.
The Michigan and Washington Caucuses fall on Tu B'Shvat, the Jewish Tree Holiday.
The Maine Caucus falls on Boy Scout Day.
The Utah Primary falls on Mardi Gras.
The Alaska and Wyoming Caucuses fall on the First Day of Spring.
The Indiana and North Carolina Primaries fall on National Teacher Day.
The Wyoming Caucus falls on Armed Forces Day.
The General Election falls on Election Day.
Today is share-my-email day. From a 1L friend of mine who just finished exams (and of course I wouldn't be quoting from the e-mail if it wasn't so generic as to make identification both impossible and unnecessarily silly, since there's nothing here of any real consequence):

I've turned in my final final exam. It's almost an indescribable feeling.

As I responded to him, I must just be weird. It seems like everyone always feels this way. Like it's such a relief to be done, and life is wonderful again now that we're past these awful, horrible, flesh-eating-bacteria-like exams. I don't ever get that feeling. I get a perfectly describable feeling of mild pleasure that exams are over, and now I don't have to worry about them and I can sell my books back and go get something to eat and worry about some other stuff instead. I just never get all that excited about it. They're just exams, there'll be more in a few months, and once school is done, there'll be deadlines and responsibilities and stuff that's pretty similar to exams in the grand scheme of things. I mean, sure, it's nice that they're done, and I can start thinking about other stuff, but life is still pretty much the same. I just don't get the big deal. But, like I said, I must just be weird.
I just received an e-mail. I'm honestly not sure where on the continuum from spam to real e-mail this falls. On the one hand, if this guy actually reads my weblog and really did think that I would be interested in the book that a member of his organization has just published, then I feel bad calling it spam, and really do appreciate the tip. On the other hand, if it was this guy's job to find as many weblogs as he could and e-mail their writers to try and get free publicity for his book, I understand what he's doing but don't really feel compelled to act. And, what makes it somewhat fuzzy in my head is that, oddly enough, I saw the book in a Barnes and Noble over break, thought it looked interesting, and bookmarked it on Amazon so I could remember to check a few months from now when the library gets a copy and maybe read it. So here's the test: if the guy e-mails me back to tell me it wasn't spam, I know he's a reader, and if he is, I'll tell you the name of the book. If I hear nothing, he doesn't get his free publicity. Does that sound fair?

Greetings from a reader,

I thought you and your blog might be interested to hear about a new book by XXXX called XXXX (Publisher 2004). It talks about XXXX in America -- everything from XXXX, to XXXX, to XXXX trying to XXXX through the XXXX and XXXX. XXXX contends that the economic climate of the past twenty years, with its XXXX philosophy and XXXX mentality is, in large part, to blame.

The book has only been on the shelves for a couple of weeks, but has been generating some good dialogue, especially on It has also been reviewed in XXXX and XXXX.

I encourage you to check out the website -- -- and XXXX's personal weblog --

He is also making an appearance at Harvard on XXXX

All the best,

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Law School A Cappella Group Names, in US News Ranking Order

(idea shamelessly stolen from McSweeney's list of college a cappella groups sorted by major college football rivalries, but at least I'm being honest about it)

1. Habeas Chorus
3. Scales of Justice
5. Substantial Performance
6. Scales of Justice
T7. Headnotes
T7. Eminent Refrain
T12. Public Hearing
T12. Habeas Chorus
14. Moral Hazard
17. Headnotes

Note 1: The omitted schools in the top 20, at least according to what I could find on their web sites, don't have one (the horror!).

Note 2: Can't we get a little more creative here? Ten groups and 3 names appear twice. Ridiculous!
Toys for Parents Who Want Their Children To Grow Up To Be Lawyers

1. "Tickle Me, Sex Offender," a plush and furry plaintiff in a prison jumpsuit with extra-sensitive fingers. Whenever anything touches his hand, he says, in a raspy voice, "Now doesn't that feel good?"

2. "Easy Bake Master Exploding Oven," an accident waiting to happen, complete with injured toy victims missing limbs and/or emotionally scarred for life. Help your child train to be a tort lawyer; the set includes toy money like the kind the victims get awarded in real life.

3. "Lite Bright Religious Symbols Edition," which the ACLU calls "a first amendment challenge in a box." Using colored light bulbs, watch your kids re-enact the Last Supper, Jesus on the Cross, the Miracle of Hanukkah, and Joseph Smith leading the Mormons to Utah. Full-projection capabilities enable your child to share his art with kids and adults across the neighborhood by projecting it onto the wall of the county courthouse.

4. "My Little Pony's Dream House on a Hill supported by a Retaining Wall on land filled with Underground Water and Valuable Minerals" introduces property rights to children, teaching them when it's ok to make your neighbor's house sink, and when you have a duty of support. Fun for anyone who's ever come home to a pile of rubble.

5. "Hot Wheels Grand Theft Auto," with ten of the most common cars that get repossessed each year, along with a tow truck, a crowbar, toy intimidators (complete with miniature nightsticks), and a make-your-own-writ-of-replevin kit, popular with kids of all ages.

6. "McDonalds McLawsuit Maker," helping your kids make leaky cups of hot coffee, as well as serve high-fat meals to unsuspecting customers. Our "magic belt" system means that each hamburger your child puts down the throat of a toy customer makes the customer grow bigger and bigger, until he explodes and inside you find a handcrafted model of a distruct courtroom, and a sympathetic jury. The bonus pak includes an advertising module that helps your kids learn how to fool people into thinking fast food is good for them.

7. "Abortion Debate Barbie," details not available at press time. :)
Waddling Thunder poses two "Secured Credit Brainteasers" for anyone who's actually surfing the Internet looking for legal puzzles, as opposed to trying to get away from them. If Article 9 is your favorite part of the UCC, you may want to check it out.

Monday, January 12, 2004

I had a chance to meet Howard Bashman this evening -- he gave a delightful speech here, sponsored by the Journal of Law and Technology, all about his weblog, "How Appealing," which has grown from a simple idea that it might be nice to have one place with all of the news from appellate courts around the country to something that is certainly indispensable to anyone who does any of this law stuff for real, or just anyone interested in what's going on in the legal world. One of his most interesting stories was about how a Supreme Court clerk who relies on the site invited him down to Washington for a "backstage tour" and the clerks treated him like royalty for what he provides via his blog.

I was fortunate to have a chance to join Mr. Bashman and a bunch of other students for dinner after the speech. I wish all of the lawyers I met during the recruiting process were as pleasant to have a meal with. I thought he was great.

The speech will apparently be archived here on the Journal's web site. My RealPlayer is corrupted so I can't tell if it's up yet.

P.S. I know I got back to my apartment before he got back to his hotel, and he still beat me to the post by 16 minutes. Amazing.
An article about Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David in the New Yorker. Interesting article, about his failed stand-up comic beginnings, and a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff about how an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm is conceived and filmed. (Thanks to Howard Bashman for the link.)

In all honesty: I'm not a huge "Curb Your Enthusiasm" fan. I can appreciate that it's funny, I can recognize that Larry David is very talented, and very gifted at what he does, and when I watch an episode, I will usually laugh. But I find the show unsatisfying. I don't seek it out, I don't "like" to watch it. I think it's a idiosyncratic preference I find I have for television shows and movies where I like the characters. I like them to be funny, I like them to be entertaining -- but I also like to like them as people, I like to be able to identify with them, to understand them, to root for them. And the problem I have with Curb Your Enthusiasm -- and that I had with Seinfeld, and Cheers, and that I have with Frasier, for example, is that I don't like any of the characters, I don't identify with them, I don't want to know them, want to watch their lives unfold, want to see them escape from sitcom situations. When I was a kid, I liked "Doogie Howser," I liked "The Wonder Years," I liked the dorky math show on public television, "Square One" with the "MathNet" detective bits (which might not be a good illustration of the point I'm making, but good lists always come in threes). Characters that were, on their own, without the weekly plots and stories, enjoyable to watch, characters I could identify with, and could root for. I feel like that happens to me when I watch movies too. I thought "Finding Forrester" was great. No one else did. I liked "Bubble Boy." Really no one else did. At all. But in "Bubble Boy," the title character had an innocence, a naivete, a vulnerability -- I felt for him, I wanted good things to happen. I watch a movie like "American Beauty," which everyone besides me thought was amazing, and I don't like any of the characters, I don't like the world they live in, and I just don't enjoy the movie. I can't sit through the Lord of the Rings movies, the Matrix movies, anything science-fiction really, because I just can't get caught up in what's going on, I don't care about the world they're in.

All this is just to say the Larry David article is interesting, even if you're not a huge fan of his show. And also I wrote all this because I felt like sharing. :)

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Point / Counterpoint: Winter Term

As I've mentioned: we have a "Winter Term" here where while the 1Ls take exams, the 2Ls and 3Ls take one class, 3 hours a day, for three weeks. Here's the most humor I can wring from it this morning:

A debate between six eminent legal scholars about the merits of winter term.

Just your average 2L: I love winter term. I'm taking a class that requires a paper instead of an exam, but without a hard deadline, which means I just have to write a paper that can be handed in anytime between now and my death, and I don't have to do any of the reading or go to class, so I sleep until two in the afternoon, eat lunch, and then go back to sleep until the next day, except for when Real World: San Diego or Fear Factor are on, and then I wake up, watch them, and go back to sleep. The professor is eagerly awaiting my paper, I'm sure, which I'll turn in once I make partner at Skadden and can get a young associate to write it for me.

Member of the Harvard Law Review: What are you, nuts? Winter term sucks! My note is due is two weeks and now I have to worry about waking up for my 9:00 class having done four hundred pages of reading a day, only to get so drained that I fall asleep back at my desk after lunch and don't wake up until Fear Factor's on, and then I watch that and then finally I can trudge to the library and search through the rare books room for the handwritten treatise on the childhood of Justice Warren Burger for my note to appear in the next issue. It's awful. At least when we take three classes at a time, I can justify the effort, but for three measly credits I'm throwing off my whole schedule here. I hate winter term.

Professor: I know what you mean, Law Review member. Usually, if I'm teaching two hours a week, I can wake up early the morning of my class, flip through the casebook, and come up with something reasonably sensible to talk about, like my time as a clerk for Justice John Jay, or my brother the fugitive. But when it's three hours a day, I have to actually do work - make an outline, read a study guide, steal ideas from the Internet. And all this on top of grading the exams from last spring I still haven't finished. Twenty-five multiple choice tests take an eternity to grade - I can't possibly do it in the time the Registrar makes me. Aw, what the hell, I'll just give everyone a B and see if they notice.

Old woman on a tour of Harvard Law School: I agree with the one who said he liked winter term. I love this month because when I walk around campus now it actually looks like people are doing some learning. There's 1Ls leaping off the roof of the library, there's 2Ls and 3Ls sleeping in the back of the classrooms, it's great, it's like a real school, and besides the fact that my feet are frozen to the ground and I've developed a case of whooping cough from the cold, I have some great academic-looking photos that I can share back with my girlfriends in Florida, who all wished they could come up here with me for a tour of the Law School but instead had to finish up their papers for their winter classes before they died.

Democratic presidential candidate: I agree with the old woman, especially if she's registered to vote in Iowa or New Hampshire. No, seriously, I love winter term because it keeps these law professors busy so they don't have time to question any of my policy proposals that make no sense. Imagine if I had to deal with op-eds every day about how the Constitution won't really let me appoint three vice-presidents or impose a tax on being Methodist. It would be a real bummer. So instead I get to make nonsensical proclamations about annexing Iraq as the fifty-first state without anyone challenging me in print. Winter term is awesome. And I approved this message because I believe in the rights of all people of New Hampshire, even if they live in Boston.

Harvard Square hobo: Winter term sucks. No breakfast for me since no students are out between nine in the morning and noon. How can I possibly afford my egg and cheese bagel from Au Bon Pain if there are no students out to give me their spare change? Plus, it's really cold and I'm losing an average of a toe a day. It's really no fun. I don't even want to think about what starts falling off after I have no more toes.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

I was hanging out with one of my friends while he was having a text-message conversation over his cell phone. What a horribly inefficient way of communicating. 2-2-2-2-2-2-2 3-3-3 7-7-7-7-7-7-7 4 6-6-6-6-6. Oh, hello to you too. Fifteen minutes to ask someone what the weather's like. Ten things that text messaging would be especially lousy for:

10. "No, he said it with sarcasm... like this... but with sarcasm... can you picture it?"
9. "The comet -- it's passing right... now! I mean... now! Aw, you missed it... now! Now!"
8. "My favorite song's on the radio! I'll text you the lyrics... I love Eminem..."
7. "Yeah, there were about a hundred people there... yeah, let me tell you all their names..."
6. "So thenMcGrady passed it to Ewing, and Ewing passed it back to Nowitzki, and then, with ten seconds to go..."
5. "I'll take the Kung Pao Chicken... no garlic... with an order of dumplings... no, I want brown rice instead of fried rice."
4. "OK, so those were the multiple choice answers... now here's the essay..."
3. "Yeah, yeah, let me give you the whole shopping list..."
2. "Here's the URL: http, colon, two dashes, w-w-w-dot..."
1. "There's a fire in my building. The room is filling up with smoke. I can't get out. Please send a fire truck. Here is the address..."
The Demiddlification of Law School.

Law school has no middle. There's definitely a beginning. You get here as a 1L, everything is new, meet new people, figure out what law school is all about, reading casebooks, checking footnotes, finding your place. Definitely a beginning. And there's definitely an end. You have a job offer waiting for you, you're on your way out, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel (or the big black void, depending on your point of view, but I'm trying to keep this light today). But what's in between? Because the recruiting process is so early, there's kind of no middle, when you're neither on your way in or your way out. Nothing too profound, just a thought.
Over at En Banc the other day, I posted a song parody of Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" making fun of Howard Dean keeping his gubernatorial records sealed. Here's something marginally funnier (that's not saying much), about all the debates the Democratic candidates have been having:

To the tune of "Scarborough Fair (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme)" by Simon & Garfunkel:

Are we having another debate?
Moseley Braun, Kucinich, and Clark
Al Sharpton, Lieberman, Edwards, and Dean
Gephardt, Kerry; Bob Graham dropped out.

Ask what they think of the war in Iraq
(And if they think it's good we caught Saddam Hussein)
If the state should pay for health care
(Let's take the profit out, Kucinich says)
Tax cuts are bad? Or tax cuts are good?
(Tax cuts are bad when the richest pay less)
Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs
(Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, war)

Tell them to seal up my records of old
(Tell them federal matching funds, not what I need)
Bush hates trees, and animals too
(He's dumping poisons in rivers and streams)
Go to the left and I'll tack to the right
(Balance the primary with what comes next)
Caucus, primary, caucus, please vote

Are we having another debate?
Moseley Braun, Kucinich, and Clark
Al Sharpton, Lieberman, Edwards, and Dean
Gephardt, Kerry; Bob Graham dropped out.

Friday, January 09, 2004

To whoever found my weblog twenty-three minutes ago by Google-searching for "wears adult diapers," I don't, I swear. Not that there's anything wrong with them, if you do. But I'm really not sure if you're going to find any information about them anywhere on here, unless you're planning on wearing them to law school. And even then, while you might learn a bit about life at law school, you're not going to find anything oriented specifically for the problems you may face as a wearer of adult diapers, like an answer to your question about whether the seats are waterproof, or how good the ventilation system is so that the occasional accident won't lead to embarassment in front of your classmates, or whether Harvard's bookstore sells adult diapers with the school's insignia right next to the hats and scarves, or whether you should use the normal garbage pails or the recycling bins for disposal. Sorry. But enjoy the song parodies.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Totally random notes:

1. They have free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in the classroom buildings every morning. So with my three-hour class starting each day at 9:00, and it being about 14 degrees Kelvin outside, I've been grabbing a cup of tea the past couple of days (I'm not into coffee; I'd rather be a little sleepy in the morning if it means I've got no problems falling asleep at night). So today I put in a little bit of what I assumed was sugar, from one of those glass sugar containers with the little metal spout. But I noticed when I was drinking it that it was really, really sweet. I didn't think I'd put in that much sugar, but.... So at the break we've got in the middle of class I went to refill -- it wasn't sugar; it was Equal. Man, that stuff is powerful.

2. There's a terrorism class in a room across the hall from mine. I don't know the professor who teaches it, but I think there'd be a good joke to be made if it turns out that the professor teaching the terrorism course is truly terrifying. Sorry.
A Democratic Debate Sketch

No offense intended. This is all in jest. I have no agenda. I'm just trying to be funny.

All nine candidates are on stage. The lights come up.

DAN RATHER: Jumping jehosophats! It's more crowded than Michael Jackson's bed! Welcome to tonight's debate between the nine leading Democratic candidates. We're coming to you live from a granary in the middle of a square state that normally never gets on the news except for this weird primary system we've got in this darn country. Let's begin right away with opening statements, since I'm hungrier than a fat man at Disneyworld and I want to finish this before my most recent face lift starts to sag. We'll start with you, Senator Edwards.

JOHN EDWARDS: Thank you, Dan. And thank you to the good people of Iowa for hosting the nine of us this evening. If there's one thing I've learned on the campaign trail this season, it's how many people really do get me confused with that guy on the SciFi network who talks to dead people. But if there's two things I've learned, it's how special the good people of Iowa really are. There's nobody smarter than an Iowa caucus voter. Nobody. And I'm here to tell you that despite the fact that I spent most of my career as a trial lawyer, profiting off the misfortunes of others, I am the one candidate on this stage who can stand up for the little people. Little people like you, Congressman Kucinich. I want to move America forward, move this nation ahead, and move this country in a direction we can all identify on a compass. Thank you.

DAN RATHER: Your move, Congressman Gephardt, and then we'll just continue in that direction while I take a quick break to reapply my stage makeup and switch to my "evening teeth."

DICK GEPHARDT: Thanks, Dan. I'm as white as a ghost. I really am. It's hard to believe that just thirty-six years ago, I stood on this very stage for the first time, in my inauguaral run for the Presidency back in 1968. Since that time, I've learned a great deal about this country, about myself, and about the good people who vote in the Iowa caucuses. Together, from this stage, we've seen a man walk on the moon, the loss of famed comic actor John Candy, and the dawn of the Internet Age. I have waited my turn. And now it is my time. I ceded the floor to Walter Mondale, to Michael Dukakis, to Bill Clinton, to Al Gore, but I will not lose to Carol Moseley Braun. No, 2004 is the Year of the Gephardt, and under my leadership, I'll take Iowa -- and my home state of Missouri -- and make you the only two states in the union. With your support, I'll annex the eastern half of the country for Iowa and the western half for Missouri, and together create a super-nation, to defend the rights of workers, lower taxes for the middle-class, and never, ever raise the retirement age. I pledge to you that even if science eradicates all disease and we live until the age of 850, you will get your social security checks at age 65, even if I have to rob a bank to pay for it. That's the Gephardt promise. Long retirements, except for me, until I win a Democratic nomination. Thank you.

CAROL MOSELEY BRAUN: Look around this stage and what do you see? Look carefully, and you'll notice that one of these things is not like the others. Eight men. Eight white men, except for Mr. Sharpton. All with reasonably legitimate qualifications to be President, except for Mr. Sharpton and Congressman Kucinich. And then there's me. A one-term Senator who lost her re-election campaign and got sent to New Zealand. Do you think they send rising stars in the party to New Zealand? When they're looking to beef up someone's resume for a future run for the White House, do they ask them to go be ambassador to New Zealand? Before I was banished to the land of the platypus, I couldn't even find New Zealand on a map. When they told me where I was going, I looked at them like they had said I was going to Mars. At least now there's a TV camera on Mars. In New Zealand all they have is water and island. I don't even know how I got there. I blacked out on the plane and woke up in the mouth of a platypus. It was scary. I want to be your President so I don't have to go back to New Zealand. Please don't let them send me back there.

AL SHARPTON: I am the most entertaining thing about the Democratic Party these days. That is sad. But I am glad. Not mad. Because I never had. So many television cameras following me before. Except when I was in trouble. Ross Perot is probably sitting at home wondering how I replaced him as the guy in these debates for entertainment purposes only. He didn't get the memo. I missed one debate and I heard it was pretty boring. I'm going to do a cartwheel now. Thank you.

DENNIS KUCINICH: Why have they put me after Carol and Al? I'm not like them. I have a website. Go to my website. Read my plan. You'll see that I want to take the profit out of health care. Doctors should make the same amount of money as Iowa farmers. Before the subsidies. Like most Americans, I go to Canada when I get sick. Because socialized medicine works. My campaign has no money, but I like it that way. We don't need an economy built around money. Capitalism is overrated. We need barter. I'll trade you my left arm for a hundred thousand votes. How about that? They say I'm unelectable, but I'm only unelectable because no one will vote for me. We can fix that problem. All I need to do is dress up like Howard Dean and then maybe Time and Newsweek will write stories about me instead of the two-page spread I got in the J.C. Penney Catalog-Magazine last month. I also need a new wife. To support my campaign and buy me fresh tofu. I can't afford new tofu. All of my tofu is old. Vote for me and you'll never get sick again. Socialized medicine can do that.

JOE LIEBERMAN: Is this a great country or what? I was almost Vice President. Isn't that amazing? I love this country! If only the voting machines in Florida worked, I wouldn't have to spend a year of my life sharing a stage with Dennis Kucinich and eating kosher hot dogs at every roadside shack in Iowa and New Hampshire to prove to you people that I'm just a Regular Joe. Instead, I'd be sitting in the Vice Presidential mansion, lighting the menorah and thanking God for all of my blessings. I can't believe I was almost Vice President. I would have been a great Vice President. I would have gone to all of the weddings, and the funerals, and the bar and bat mitzvahs. Oh, the bar and bat mitzvahs. You know who's not getting invited to my daughter's bat mitzvah? Al Gore. And to think: I slept with him for that spot on the ticket, and this is how he repays me?

GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Thank you, Iowa. Three months ago, probably none of you had ever heard of me. You'd heard rumblings that there was going to be a new candidate entering the race, but nobody knew who I was. Do you know why? Because I'm not a real person. I've been invented from whole cloth by the moderate wing of the Democratic party in consultation with Senator Hillary Clinton, who actually lives inside this costume I'm wearing and supplies my words into the automatic voice generator. You see, the DLC looked at the past two hundred years of election data and came up with the perfect candidate. Military experience, no extreme views, a nice smile, well-groomed eyebrows, and a generic name. In the test runs I was Hank Clark, but now with the whole metrosexual thing we thought Wesley would appeal more to the female audience. Sounds less threatening. Yesterday I went in for a tuneup and they loaded in the wrong card. So all I can talk about is football today. They thought I was going to a dinner with Joe Namath. I was supposed to go last week, but he tried to kiss me and it got awkward. They meant to load in the health care card. I don't know what it says. My memory chip is all maxed out. Sorry.

JOHN KERRY: I am a tall man. Usually, they put me next to Dennis and I look like a giant. But I asked them to stop doing that because it was scaring my children when they saw me on TV. It was also scaring my wife, so she bought a new TV that makes me look shorter. It was expensive. But she's rich. I am the only candidate on this stage who is a Senator from Massachusetts. I am also the only candidate who is tall. They say that usually the taller candidate wins the election. That means you should vote for me. That's the best reason I've got. Vote for me. Because I'm tall.

HOWARD DEAN: I just received word that they have revived Josef Stalin and brought him back to life and he is terrorizing Russia and killing millions of people, and threatening to do the same thing here. I think we should stay out of it. We are not the world's policemen. He is not that dangerous. As long as he doesn't unseal my gubernatorial records, I think we'll all be safe. We should ignore him. We should also ignore lots of the stupid things I sometimes say when I'm speaking off the cuff. My campaign manager, Joe Trippi, who hates it when I mention his name Joe Trippi and then the NY Times writes glowing articles about him Joe Trippi, he gave me new cuffs so I wouldn't speak off the cuff as much. These cuffs are long. Almost as long as the confederate flags they fly down in the backwards South with all those religion nutjobs. I talked about the religious nutjobs a lot when I was governor, but I sealed my records so you'll never find out. I also think we should invite Josef Stalin over for tea because he's not dangerous at all and we also don't need a military or any weapons. We should spend the money on better glue for my records instead.

DAN RATHER: Thanks for joining us. We now return to an all-new episode of "Becker," already in progress.


Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Goofus and Gallant go to law school.

When I was a kid, I used to read Highlights magazine. They had a cartoon series about two kids named Goofus and Gallant. Goofus would always mess stuff up, while Gallant was the perfect child. What if they went to law school?

Gallant always shows up to class on time, quietly takes his seat, plugs his laptop into the nearest outlet, and takes out his neatly-highlighted casebook and compact set of handwritten case briefs.

Goofus shows up fifteen minutes late, trips on the stairs down the aisle, knocks the pretty girl's coat off the back of her seat, accidentally drops his laptop's power cord into his cup of coffee, starts a fire, and burns down the law school.

Gallant does the reading every night, takes careful notes, and spends each afternoon updating his concise and well-organized class outline, in preparation for the eventual exam.

Goofus orders the casebook on but ends up getting the wrong edition, doesn't figure it out until six weeks into the term when he first opens it, buys an outline off a classmate, experiments with LSD the morning of the exam, and ends up with the same grade as Gallant anyway.

Gallant buys a brand new suit for 2L interviews, along with matching shoes, and the hair gel that the Fab Five told him to get when he went on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy as part of the summer program at the firm he worked after 1L year.

Goofus wears a dog collar to the interview, tells the firm he thinks they didn't deserve their top-ten Vault ranking, and urinates on his interviewer's leg. He doesn't get an offer, but at least he has a good story to tell.

Gallant graduates summa cum laude and goes on to make partner at a prestigious Wall Street law firm.

Goofus dies happy.