Saturday, July 31, 2004


I haven't been all that busy so I can't really justify not posting all week. I was just lazy. The cogs at school are starting to lurch awake and I got some paperwork for a job fair thing in Seattle. It was due on Friday and I signed up. I have one big problem with the career fairs. I don't want to be a big firm lawyer. It's not my goal, it doesn't sound like fun, it doesn't sound rewarding. The stuff I'm interested in, which tends to be more plaintiff oriented, doesn't really seem to show up at the fairs.
I scanned about thirty law firm websites to see which firms I'm interested in interviewing for, none of them will probably take me but anyway, it seems they all said the same thing. Every law firm now has an employment division, a IP division, a Life Science/Biotech division, corporate tax. They all seemed really cookie cutter. Almost none of them did any civil rights stuff and only one did plaintiff stuff.
One of the more daunting aspects of law school is how homogenizing it is. There's this big firm corporate agenda and all these kids who are really smart and fairly liberal are buying into it. They hate Halliburton, but they would happily jump on board at the firm who represents them. I'm not a big huge freakin' individual, but I like to set my own agenda and I've got my own set of values. Most of those values don't register in the law field circle and are in opposition of the big firm stuff.
The school pushes the public interest stuff to appeal to people like me. But once again I'm not some bleeding heart hippie. I want to make sure people who work get paid, people who get jerked around by the cops get a piece of justice and the cops get pulled back into line. I want to get bad doctors out of practice and when Halliburton overcharges the government a billion bucks I want them to pay. I don't want to save the environment, end poverty, uphold peace and love, or anything else.
I want to work hard, for people that deserve and need the help. Those people don't ever seem to be considered outside of some hypo in Torts and in some hugely oversimplified black or white style analysis. Tort suits raise costs for everyone/ Corporations are evil and people need to be protected. It's more complicated than that. I want a paycheck that's decent without becoming some some greasy corporate lawyer or chasing ambulances. I know that's possible, people do it. There's just not the same kind of guidance at school as there are for the other things. It bugs me, especially when I'm writing the school a check.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Plastic Bertrand

I've been listening to Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Por Moi" a lot lately. I've been listening to Thee Headcoatees' version and heard a version by Leila K. The Leila K version is garbage.
Anyway, I got to wondering what the lyrics meant. I found about ten pages translating the lyrics. The best are here, here, and here. I even found a page on google in the original French and used the google "translate this page" feature and got the best one yet. So after reading several translations and not really finding any of them confirming the other I wondered how I could find out the true meaning of the song without learning French myself.
I lucked out. There was a young lady with an accent at the pub last night. I asked her where she was from and she told me she was from Montreal. I jumped up and ran out to my car and got my burnie with Ca Plane Por Moi on it and demanded she translate. She asked me if people in this country really listened to that song. I said, "Only in so far as I'm considered people." She nodded knowingly and then translated the song for me, sort of. She said a few words here and there and then said that it wouldn't make sense to an American but it's about a hangover. How in the freakin' name of Evan Williams would an American not understand a song about a hangover? I guess by singing it in French.
I'm happy to know the song's about a hangover, but now it's even more important that I know what the words are so I can compare it with the Motards song "Hangover"

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Renting a video

I went to the video store yesterday to get a DVD and there was a guy, about my age, walking around by himself with a Lindsay Lohan video. It struck me as super creepy.
I ended up renting "The Butterfly Effect". I thought it would be like Donnie Darko's ugly cousin but it was pretty decent. Ashton Kutcher's character spent most of the movie in a state of slack jawed incomprehension, so it didn't really stress his acting abilities. I found the whole thing to be a parable about middle management. Every time Kutcher's character gets involved and tries to fix something it gets a lot worse. Eventually Kutcher stops his own existence. I thought that was really deep. Middle management should never have existed in the first place.
I also caved and registered for AMG and it doesn't get any better. That is probably the least user friendly update outside of a microsoft product I've ever seen.

Monday, July 19, 2004


It was sticky all weekend. It's not usually like that. I'm starting to think the fat guys in utilikilts are on to something. I live fairly close to a park off of Hawthorne Ave in Portland. This is kind of the "Bohemian" area of town, if you can imagine one area of Portland having more hippies than another area. Basically you can't toss a rock without hitting a hippie. There is always a drum circle in the park on weekends. This week it was hot enough to keep the hippies away. Not a single drum beat came out of the park. It was pretty nice.
AMG did something to it's interface and now totally sucks. I was thinking about registering to see if it got better but if it isn't better for registered users then I just gave away my email for no good reason. I already get enough spam.
I got to go to court on Friday. It was for an administrative motion in a bankruptcy proceeding. I basically got to sit there quietly, but it was still cool. I also liked telling people I would have met them for coffee, or gone out for a beer, "but I've got to be in court in the morning." I also liked, "I would, but I've got a hearing tomorrow" and "I've got this motion thing in an hour, I've got to get down to the court house."
My neighborhood is so hippie and scenestery that when I got on the bus to go to court, in my monkey suit, I was the only person on the bus with a neck tie on. This is on a full bus at 8:30 in the morning on workday.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Equipment Geeks

 Ooh! There's a new toolbar on blogger.  I might get funky later and do some E.E. Cummings in lower case fucshia or something.  I preface this with the fact that I drank a good amount of Pabst and Evan Williams whiskey so this will probably need editing in the morning.
 Anyway, I went and saw The Minds  again.  I like seeing bands several times, not just because I like them, but because different venues and soundmen highlight different sounds.  It helps you understand the decisions the band makes in the studio.
 There were some good opening bands that deserve notice.  A band called The Marked Men played.  They were evocative of Teengenerate on the "Wild Wild" seven inch.  Especially the cover of "Do You Wanna Know" originally by The Kids, of Belgium.  I know that's a totally wankery reference but if I could think of something better I would.  It mixes solid Rock N Roll sensibilities with nostalgic guitar riffs and a touch of the energy that Scared of Chaka had.  Buy their stuff.
  As I was standing there listening to The Marked Men there were these equipment nerds standing next to me.  I don't hate equipment nerds, generally I hold them in very high regard and buy their records, but when they talk through a set and dis a band I don't dig it.  They didn't like the treble of the guitarist's Rick, that's fine but fuck off and don't talk about it through the whole set.  One had the model year after the rhythm guitarists Gibson, and on and on it went.  Talking about equipment is important, I even agree that sometimes a Rick can wobble too much, but don't do it loudly during a band's set.  And if you're an equipment nerd, and your band doesn't get shows, don't demean another band that has a packed show. Sometimes they're more savy equipment nerds than you.  Take notes.
 The other band of note was Electric Eye.  I bought their CD awhile ago.  It was rockin' but it didn't grab me.  The lead singer used to be in Society of Friends, who I'll maintain till death were the greatest live powerviolence band ever.  The set rocked and I'm going to listen to their CD again tomorrow.  Sometimes a live show will ground you so that you can really understand a record.  I look forward to it.
Rock On.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Reefer Madness

I know everyone read this book six months ago when it came out but I was in school so I just got to it. I think it's worth reading, it's quick and there's some neat information in it. There's a short section on migrant farm labor which is interesting but doesn't really even begin to touch on the problems. The section on porn is really the best. It's fascinating because it shows how quickly a monopoly can develop and once it does how hard it is to regulate in any meaningful way. There was one more section on pot. There weren't any big revelations but it did point out that viagra is probably as much of a recreational drug as pot.
I remembered that I said I was going to review the new Holly Golightly cd a month ago. It's a live set and if you're already not a big fan who was going to buy it no matter what I would skip it. Spend your money on God Don't Like It.
I've found some cool Mp3 blogs but I want to follow them for a little while so I know that they consistently put interesting music up. I have found that most of the blogs that claim songs are "mad" or "sick" tend to be rather shallow on the range of music, as well as the analysis.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Manda and the Marbles

I went to see The Minds on Saturday night. They played at Sabala's which used to be this hippie joint. They had a three day "Hippie Exorcism" to rid the place of the patchouli stench. Bands like the Dwarves played. It was a good time and the place doesn't give me that creepy "white dreadlock and karma" feeling anymore. Now it stinks like stale Pabst and clogged toilets from junkie's flushing their kits.
The Minds played a good set and I missed the Clorox Girls for the 3rd time this month. People tell me they're good, but I have yet to see it. Some of the big scenesters were there. Roxy Epoxy, who I have a wicked crush on, recognized me. Her really cute friend with the Cure hair was there too. When I started going to school full time a couple years ago I got separated from the scene. I didn't have time to go to shows and as a result I've been on the outside loop. It's nice to know I'm rebuilding a presence.
Manda and the Marbles headlined. They're from Colombus, Ohio I think. They're currently on tour and full of Go-Gos goodness. They're poppy and fun, kind of new wave meets late 90's Lookout records. I also think the leader singer is drop dead, knock out, restraining order gorgeous.

Zero Tasking

I've been talking to other kids who are clerking and there seems to be a dominate pattern our summer jobs. We don't get enough work. I still bother my boss, the attorneys, other clerks, and anyone walking by about once a day for work. I have some decent projects and because I almost never have a backlog I can do a good job on them. Other clerks I've talked to said they just stopped asking for work. It makes since, I am starting to feel a little obnoxious, but I can't sit around and goof off, except when I'm working for tips and you need more diet coke.
Another problem I face is that I don't get any feedback. So far I've got one thing back to fix up. I wrote a complaint. I had never seen a complaint before and had a lot of fun writing it. I submitted it and got it back. Probably 75% of it was crossed out as unnecessary. A well pleaded complaint is not necessarily a tedious complaint bogged down by minutiae. I got it. But that is it. I don't know if they don't give me more work because I suck or if my work is fine. I mail stuff to government agencies and other attorneys frequently but I have no idea if everyone at the opposing counsel's office gathers around the letter and laughs at it when it gets there. Admittedly the mistakes in the letters from opposing counsel that we gather around and laugh at are idiotic, and I don't make those kinds of mistakes. But truth be told, I don't know exactly what kind of mistakes I make.
Some of the clerks told me they just slowed down their work pace. I already catch myself doing that. I do lexis tutorials to get the free mug (BTW, you still get free crap from lexis over the summer if you have a clerk account. I got a cheesy day planner I'll never use today.) and read way more research than I need too. This distresses me. I'm becoming this lexis chimp. I hear things where I work pick up in the fall. I'm looking forward to it.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Chaffing season

I was walking around this weekend and on two separate occasions I saw very obese men wearing those UtiliKilt things. This immediately brought to mind the Simpsons episode where Homer got really fat so that he could work at home. Neither of the two men had fat guy hats, but the kilt is just one short step away from a mumu. Quickly glancing at Utilikilt's webpage they specifically make kilts with a beergut adjusted waist band and list freedom from chaffing as a selling point. This is totally a gateway mumu.
I also saw a photocopied flier taped to a lightpost at the park advertising for games and activities for children. This creeped me out. The park has a little building with all the official park services in it. So when there's arts and craft day at the park it occurs at that building. This had no information establishing that it was sponsored by the parks and rec department and there wasn't a similar advertisement/flier by the park services building. I believe evil clowns are behind it. I imagined some creepy NAMBLA member setting up his own little arts and craft deal in the park and asking children to sit on "Uncle Mo's" lap.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

In my current life

I noticed this week that the toilet stalls at work have cup holders by the toilet paper rolls. This creeps me out. There is a separate handicap bathroom, so the cup holders aren't for one armed people who need a place to put their coffee while they wipe. This possiblity would never have occurred to me with out the fabulous insight of my roommate.
I ate too much carne asada this weekend. I got the juevas real bad after grilling on the fourth. I didn't do jack, except hang out on the couch.
I found out about music blogs just five minutes ago, if you know of any that specialize in punk, garage rock, broke down blues, no wave, or are just all around cool let me know. When I get a chance to comb through some I'll post my favorites.
I finished reading Hamdi and Rasul. It took me long enough, but it's clearly a package deal and I do think they're giving the administration a chance to not look like idiots. They basically get a do-over with Padilla.
There was an article that said most over the counter cough remedies don't work. I already knew that, but I'll tell you what does work, hot toddys. Squeeze a lemon into a cup, add a tablespoon of honey, about 3 ounces of bourbon, and hot water. Bourbon was the number one prescribed cold remedy in the U.S. for about 13 years. Just because those thirteen years happened to be in the middle of the prohibition doesn't mean it doesn't work. Bourbon works at least as well as over the counter stuff.
I saw Fahrenheit 9/11. It used less of the guerilla interviewing his last movie did and was therefore less predictable. The time he did use it with the Congressmen it was still actually effective. Here's a website that supposedly categorizes and lists the "Lies" in the movie. I've glanced at it so far and it looks like it's about as accurate as Moore's movie. I'd say the movie is good for what it is, a polemic. There's nothing wrong with that. Just remember, there is a lot of interesting information, some of it is open to differing interpretations, some of it is wrong, and some of it, although factual, is strung together to support a point that isn't necessarily true. I think the key point to take away from this movie is that there is currently no good media about the war, and most other things. We need to be more critical of every information source. Just because we agree with it doesn't mean it's true.
I saw the Teenage Harlets and the Copper Tones on Saturday. They play a decent show, I'd say go see them. I also got tickets to the Reigning Sound show. I'm pretty excited.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Gettin' Paid

I got my check, it all went through. I now sort of have money. I went and blew three bucks right off the bat on some tacos and I bought a half rack. All this consumer power is making me heady. I paid my bills and la renta and I still have money. I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow. No more ramen and totinos for me.
I might blow that extra money on a show or something tonight.
Also if anyone knows anything about bankruptcy and administrative expenses email me.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Inducement Act

Noted software pirate and senator, Orrin Hatch is sponsoring a new bill named the Inducement Act. It's poorly written, short and linked here. I recommend reading it. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some press about it and what not. If you care about information access or independent music go to the U.S. Senate page, find your senator, and send him an email or give him a phone call. If you're interested but don't feel like actually writing a letter I've pasted mine at the bottom of this message.

I urge you to oppose Senator Hatch’s Inducement Act (S. 2560). It is an ambiguously written act that will encourage a surge of litigation. This act could be used by the major labels to attack anyone with a computer that has an internet line, modem manufacturers, portable music player manufacturers, blank CD or tape manufacturers, internet radio stations, satellite radio stations, and websites that simply describe how these items or services function.
The act could be used by one label against another, Warner Bros could sue Bertlesman for funding the new Napster. Bitter musicians could use it maliciously against their former label; a failed band could sue Sony for making Mini Disc Players and the Vaio computer line.
The most important reason to oppose this act is the chilling effect it would have on the development of new technologies. So many new technologies, satellite radio and smaller dimension higher capacity storage, could be adversely affected. The founders provided constitutional protection of copyrights “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” in Article I Section 8 Paragraph 8. The inducement Act does not promote science or the useful arts. It hampers ingenuity and is un-American.
Unambiguous laws can open the litigious floodgates if a group can abuse it for their advantage. The RIAA has shown that they are more than willing to abuse the courts. Giving them an ambiguous law is not a wise use of judicial resources. Senator Hatch writes law but he had trouble complying when he ran an unlicensed version of Milonic’s Software. How can regular people be expected to comply with a broader and more ambiguous law if even the Senators can’t?