Monday, March 28, 2005

Hot law student OCD action

I went to the coffee shop a couple days ago with a stack of cook books. The plan was to enjoy my coffee and slowly browse for recipes. I got my coffee and started looking for a seat. There was an attractive women studying something. I decided to sit at the empty table next to her and if the opportunity arouse I would charm her. Charm in the "pants off" sense would be applicable.
Before I go any farther I want to make sure that you know that as of PST 11:34:41 PM Alice Cooper's Clones (We're All) is the best song in the world.
I sit down and set down my coffee and books. My phone immediately rang so I had to go outside to answer the call. When that was done I came back in and set my phone down. There were now three separate classes of items on the table. I spent five minutes arranging everything. The coffee had to be one half inch farther than the the largest book's length from the edge of the table. It also had to be on my right side. My phone had to be behind the coffee but to the left so that I could see the face if it vibrated. The books had to be stacked face down from biggest to smallest at the left side of the table with enough space for the second largest book to fit between me and the last book on the edge of the table. Their edges also had to be squared.
I then pulled a note pad out. Everything had to be readjusted so that my notepad fit in between me and my coffee but set off to the side from the coffee so that if the coffee dripped while I moved the coffee cup to my mouth it wouldn't drip on the note pad. After I finished this adjustment I started flipping through the first, and smallest, book. I suddenly remembered that I needed cat litter so I pulled out my palm pilot and put that down on my grocery list. I thought it would be best to leave my palm out in case I remembered something else I needed from the grocery store.
I once again rearrange everything on the table so that it is perfectly spaced and the phone face is offset from the coffee cup and my palm is exactly behind my phone, etc., etc. I then finish the first cook book and realize that I haven't anticipated a pile for browsed through cook books. I start to rearrange the various piles and what not once again. I've only been at the coffee shop about 15 minutes. I've rearranged my piles, piles of stuff (I'm not saying I have piles), about five or six times by this point. I'm fixing the corners on all the various stacks to make sure they're square when I catch the eye of the woman I had chosen to sit next too.
She's got a stack of psychology books in front of her and her highlighter cocked. She's staring at me and I know she's thinking "This guy has blacked out the OCD checklist on page 235. If he gets up to wash his hand every six minutes exactly I'm gonna shoot with a tranquilizer dart, give him an ear tag and a radio collar, and I'll have a master's thesis.

Also, another thing I OCD about, I am a little fixated on the song Stagger Lee. I think the history of the song is fascinating and I really love the song because it's a great way to observe the processes of transformation in American music. Do you like American music. I like all kinds of music. Do you like American music, baby? I've read that there are over 186 recorded versions of the song from the early 1900's to this year. Well, over on Honey, Where You Been So Long there is a nice collection of Stagger Lee's and Stack o Lee's and Staggolee's. Listen and you can see how the '77 punk explosion is the direct descendent of field hollers.

Friday, March 25, 2005


I've been staring at various forms of blank word documents all day. I think I need to listen to new music or something. I've got a draft of a paper due Monday. I've spent the entire break reading everything I could about the topic and starting and erasing the paper. But the deadline is coming and I'm out of stuff that is even tangentially related to my topic to read. It's maddening. I need to get coffee, coffee will help me concentrate. No, I should write something then reward myself with coffee...
Coffee and a muffin. (Now blogger is telling me I'm mispelling coffee, what's going on?)

I just put on my headphones and it feels better. I think I'm going to listen to music on my headphones for a while. The stereo where I'm staying is fucked up. I think the kid blew the tweaters. The sound is really muffled with no brightness at all. By putting on my headphones I'll no longer be distracted by the bad sound coming out of the stereo and can write my paper.

I've spent most of my break almost working on my paper. I've done a few things for work and watched a couple movies but other than that I've slowly read a stack of law review articles, a book on the 4th Amendment, a bunch of cases but I haven't been writing. I could give up and try again tomorrow night but I really should at least write 5 pages tonight. I'm going nuts.

I found out that the thing you stick hot pots on so they don't burn your counter is called a trivet. Here's a review of a trivet if you're curious. She (I think it's a girl b/c the name starts with Sarah) doesn't talk about using it to warm tortillas. I would recommend against the Creuset trivet b/c the little metal mesh stuff is too close together to get your fingers between to flip the tortilla. If you check out her other reviews, especially the pencil, it seems like a good way to burn some time. Better than blogging about a paper that's got the thumbscrews on you but that you're still not writing.

I got the new Kills CD (they're playing on Sunday night so I definitely have to finish my paper by then otherwise Sunday will be a wicked late night and I have a short memo I have to write Monday and I don't want to write it with the woozy helmet on.) and I can't review it yet b/c I've only heard it on the crappy stereo. I guess I could throw it on the laptop and listen to it through headphones but I think I would rather spend the night listening to Josie Cotton and dancing like Molly Ringwald (I heard that the name of the dance she's trying to do in 16 candles is called the Clone.) while composing my paper, complete with new wave handclaps, in my head.
The tattoo has been pushed back to May 2. That's the dead days right before finals. Nothing intimidates those law review kids like someone who can spend 5 hours under the needle while reading the evidence E&E before walking into a final. This will definitely rig the curve in my favor. I'm also in negotiations to have a "lucky" finals sweater knitted for me. I'm about to tie my legs to the table with coping wire so I sit down and type my freakin' paper.
Maybe internet was a bad idea. Jets To Brazil are so very wise.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

House Sitting

I'm house sitting for someone I work with. There was a bit of an issue with internet but I finally caved and figured it out. My original plan was to not figure out the internet on purpose so that I would get more work done. Once I realized that a person can only read so much case law in a day and remain sane I decided to figure it out. The amount of case law is equal to about 10 hours, but you can't keep that pace up for too long or you will burn out.
The house is in deep South East and it's far away from my normal hangouts. I'm slightly isolated, I'm alone, and there's space to spread out my work. I've been fairly productive.
I was going to post about a professor but I don't know what to call him. I was going to go by the normal class designation but I thought maybe I should call him by his distinguishing feature. I decided the distinguishing feature was a little improper, even with anonymous grading. The feature isn't a personal trait, but a behavioral aspect or habit.
I first heard about his habit from the 1Ls. He did it right in front of one of my friends faces. I started watching him in class and he does it there too. As he lectures he paces the classroom and occasionally will prop one leg up and rest or maybe stretch, it's kind of a "George Washington crossing the Delaware" pose. Sometimes he will prop his leg up on the desks in the front row. When he does this and stretches he thrusts his crotch into the faces of the people sitting in the front row. This is what happened to my friend. He does it almost every class. For that reason I was going to call him Prof. Aggressive Crotch Display or maybe Prof. ACD.
Either way not too flattering and not the sort of thing I would like to be associated with. It could have an impact on my professional reputation.
Speaking of my professional reputation I've redesigned my tattoo but I've got an appointment soon. Hopefully I'll have it by the end of the month. I don't know how long it will take but I think there's a chance it'll take a couple of sittings. If I score my free digital camera in time from Westlaw, I'm only 900 points away, I'll put up pictures when it's all raw and swollen!

Monday, March 14, 2005

Craig's List

I found this guy on Craig's list yesterday while reading evidence. This has got to be the best personal ad of all time. I like to call the pose on the bottom right the Castanza, the one just above it the Steven Segal, and the other two "Glamour Shots by Deb". This guy is amazing. I think he has some compulsive disorder with the quote buttons.
I looked up Love Language on the net b/c that's the first time I'd heard of it. Amazingly enough it originates from a self help book. I googled the five languages and here's a test to help you figure out your Love Language. I got "quality time" but I believe that's solely because there's no "grunting bastard" category. My favorite ex girl friend can attest to the grunting bastard thing.
Also my friend Kate who lives about half a block the other way talks about the fire that I slept through on her blog.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


I updated all the mp3 blogs. Go download and support indie music.

I guess I was tired

I've been really busy lately. Last night I was pretty exhausted. I finished my reading and finally climbed into bed about 1 in the morning. I woke up at 7:30 to start my day. I finally just got home and the big apartment building down the block had totally burned down.
I asked my neighbor about it. He said "You didn't hear it?" Apparently there were a bunch of fire trucks, the whole neighborhood was glowing, and you could hear the roar of the fire and all the sirens. He said he'd gotten off of work at 1 and it the fire trucks started arriving at about 2 AM.
I slept with my window open on the side of the building nearest the fire and didn't hear a thing. It didn't stir my sleep at all. I must have been tired.

Have you heard the Capricorns? They're freakin' catchy as all hell. I found them via Spoilt Victorian Child. Check it out, definitely worth your time. There's one more song over at Paroxysm Records.

Not my Lexis!

Apparently Lexis got hacked. This is horrible news. Fortunately it appears the hackers took info of people in the database and not the users themselves. I think this kind of thing is half the reason people hate lawyers.

I was talking to someone about feeling compelled to do my work before my school work. They said that I'm a law student first. Under that kind of rationalization the question is easy. I don't instinctively see the question that way. I see the question as the client's need for something basic versus my need to be prepared for some class. The client always wins that rationalization. Right now I'm working on some policy issues and the client could be every stalking victim in Oregon. It's hard to prioritize class work over that. They fired back with "If you've got enough time to blog the choice should be blog or homework." I don't have an answer for that, that's basically right. So I learned a lesson, it's all about how you frame the question.
Building on that one of my friends got called on in class and it was an easy question. She was blanking out b/c this professor (who I was going to call professor aggressive crotch display but I'll tell you about that later) never asks obvious questions. His questions are always hazy philosophical questions. This was an obvious question and you could tell that she knew the answer but thought she must not understand the question b/c this prof. doesn't ask these kind of questions. My friend Miss. C. said if you get a question like that ask the question back but the way you want to answer it. So in this instance the prof would ask question X and then you answer "Do I understand that you're asking Y b/c then the answer is either C or D depending on...." Once again it's all about how you frame the question.

I was walking to get some coffee on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, the kind of day made for walking around and getting coffee. I'm on Hawthorne and there were three guys dressed like ninjas walking down the street. Two were wearing all black and one was wearing all red. The one with the all red had a sandwich board sign that said, "This ninja could change your life" and on the back it said "Ask me how". I thought about asking how he could change my life but two possible answers popped into my head and I decided to just get my coffee.
The first answer was that he'd ninja kick me and I would get a disabling injury. Then that ninja would have changed my life. It would have been changed into a life of chronic back pain. I would take a pass on that. No thanks ninja.
The second idea was that it's become so difficult to get people to sign petitions that the petition gathers were resorting to the ancient art of stealth. If not petitions then something equally as annoying, like amway. Once again, no thanks ninja. If I had the digital camera I'm getting with my Westlaw points this post would have contained a kick ass 3.2 megapixel image of ninjas. But alas I've got like 2500 points to go. It should be like a month and a half, unless I hit something big on my most likely hacked lexis account.
There's no way to frame that question and get an answer I like. Rock on.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Victory for the CIW!!

Congratulations to the C.I.W. Y'all can go back to Taco Bell!

The respect to other people's tortillas is peace

One of the biggest obstacles Chicanos' face on a daily basis is cooking tortillas on electric stoves. I know it sounds really trivial but I've spent years experimenting with the stupid microwave and paper bags or wet towels. I've burned a million tortillas by sticking them in the oven and then forgetting about them. I've lit several on fire by trying to cook them directly on the electric burner and I've burnt my fingers trying to cook them on a skillet and flip them with my fingers.
Well no more. I'm a freakin' genius. I'll be hailed as the next Benito Juarez. I bought one of those things that you stick a hot pot on so it doesn't burn your countertops. I was looking at it, it's made out of cast iron, and thought "That'll fit right over the little corn tortillas sized burner on the stove." And so I cranked up the burner and threw the little pot deal-ama-thing down and cooked a nearly perfect tortilla. That's the first time that's happened since I lived at my mom's house and she had a gas stove. It was amazing.
They're not quite perfect. I always liked them with a little bit of burnt on them, which you seem to only be able to get with the gas stove. But they're close. They made an impact on my crappy chile verde which I think I'm going to try and add a bunch of jalepenos to cover up the taste. I think it's the canned chiles, it's just really bland.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Slacking on a technicality

When my little gmail indicator goes off at certain times of the day it is almost guaranteed to be from work. When I'm working on a project similar to the one I'm working on now it is almost certain to contain an assignment that is due by 5pm or tomorrow morning.
If I don't open my gmail I don't technically know I have an assignment. Right? It's not really slacking because I don't know it's work. Besides I'm using the time to read evidence or sub crim. I'm not misusing the time.
So technically I'm not slacking off. Right?
I lasted about 3 minutes when the box lit up today. I checked because I can't handle having unread email. I have until noon tomorrow so I'm going to watch the Naked Chef DVD I got from the library and read evidence. Then sleep and then work.
I also really fucked up a batch of Chile Verde. I did two things differently. I cooked it in a crock pot and I used canned green chiles b/c I was lazy. I think I may have burnt the chiles or something. If anyone has a good recipe that works in a crockpot let me know. If it's the canned chiles let me know b/c I was kind of excited to find those but I recognize that I should be punished for not roasting and peeling my own peppers. Jesus hates a lazy cook.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Committee Minutes

I've been doing a bunch of legislative research lately. I had to listen to about 7 hours of committee meeting minutes. You can stream from the State Archivist's web page which is nice. It means I don't have to go to Salem and can listen at home in my underwear while eating a healthy and satisfying bowl of ramen freakin' noodles.
The downside is that there is no way to skip around in the download and know where you're at. The downloads aren't labeled "Tape 64 Side A". That means I have to listen to the whole damn thing. When Farmer Rossini from Sandy, Oregon testifies about how a new landuse definition will affect his farm or how a statute will hinder real estate agents from putting up signs I've got to listen. My favorite is when they go on recess and leave the tape recorder on and I get to listen to 20 minutes of dead air. Eventually they get to what I'm interested in. They usually only talk about it for ten minutes. It's not very efficient.
After about 5 hours of this I started to go a little batty. My summaries weren't very useful when I reviewed them later.

I want to meet a girl that I can ask back to my place for a little wine, a little candle light, a little committee meeting minutes. Now that's romance. HB 2108 is poetry, it's like a hallmark card. It was so perfect they didn't need to amend it. Just enroll it as is, because that's how I like it.

It's the new free jazz, but more so. Those monotone droning voices, that's the real thing, that's improve. They can take a motif, intentional or knowing?, and freestyle off it until it's totally turned around. HB 1985 was extremely beat. The perfunctory manner in which it was immeadiately referred to the floor explained it all. It said, take this up and read it to everyone, this is legislation for the public. It said, I've been in this goddamned chair for 3 hours and I want to get the hell out of Salem so get this piece of crap bill out of my face. Show me another piece of paper and I'll lose bladder control.

Senate Judiciary Committee, July 12th, 2001, SB 305 - DJ State Archivist feat. Hardy Meyer's courtesy of State A.G. records and InGrid A$hbee from CDA. Between the MCs "testifyin'" and the the Senators bouncing lines off each other it's a pretty astonishing composition. There hasn't been a super group like this since Wu Tang came on the scene. The Senators break it out as fresh as "C.R.E.A.M." was in '92. The mix is a little upfront but generally good. The old dirty Ingrid lent some authenticity and the Hardy Faced Killa really broke it down. They took this mutha and amended it OG style. Referred to the floor? Hell Yeah! Read that Beyatch!

Here's the link so you can join in the fun. You need real player and I especially recommend the 2001 Senate Judiciary Committee in early may. If that's not your thing I totally understand, it's pretty cutting edge stuff, check out The Heartless Bastards. The song "New Resolution" is totally worth downloading.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Getting called on

I got called on once again without reading. I swear to god, or whatever, that once I get through this weekend I will get caught up on my reading and read for all my classes, not just my seminar.
I was discussing getting called on and preparation methods with my classmate Miss M. Miss M said she flipped through the face book to anticipate when she was going to get called on.
I said that sounds like a lot of work b/c you have to compare the number of people in the class to the number of students in school minus the 1Ls b/c they aren't in our classes. Then you have to compare that ratio to the number of people in the face book to get an idea of how many people are ahead of you. It sounded like a lot of math to me.
Miss M said that what she did was look through the face book and if the person was in the class, she could recognize their pictures which I hadn't thought off, then she knew that person was ahead of her. It wasn't as tough as I made it out. Then she asked me what I did to prep since I didn't seem to read that often.
I said "I do read, it just never seems to sink up with the days I get called on."
I don't think I have a method. I kind of like to plan on reading. I sit down with my book and statutes and then I check my email. There is almost always something from work which needs to be done "quickly". I then reach out with the force and try to feel any disturbances that might indicate I would be called on. The force is always full of disturbances b/c the damned 1Ls are so jumpy. I then do the research from work and plan on reading the lexis briefs right before class.
So instead of knowing about felony murder I know about stalking orders. What works for Yoda doesn't exactly do it for law students.
I've got a big day tomorrow, and after that a big day, but in a week I should be sleeping and stuff like that again.