Thursday, December 15, 2005

Weightroom Posers

This one has been long in the making, but I just keep forgetting to write it all down. I've been working out in the gym now for about a month or so. Just long enough to get to know the regulars. There are probably two or three of these regulars who I now refer to as weightroom posers.

It's no secret that I'm not the biggest and most powerful guy in the weightroom. I go and workout but I'm not breaking any records with what I lift. That's simply not my purpose for being there. Then why are there guys who want to compare themselves to me? You know the guy. He sees you and identifies with you, and therefore makes it a personal competition between you and him as to who can lift more.

There is one guy in particular that I am thinking about. I love to do curls. I know the bicep is pretty much the most useless muscle to a cyclist but I still love to do curls. So the other day I'm doing my reps and the poser comes up and decides to do curls. This already annoys me. I know that other people do the same exercises that I do, but do you have to do it at the same time as I am and standing next to me?

The part that really gets me, is where, after studying mine, he grabs the weights just a few pounds heavier. You could tell it was killing him. He was struggling and struggling and all the while being an even bigger poser than he originally was.

He's continued this posering for the last week or so now. He knows all my weights and exercises. I want to grab him and shake him while saying you're a poser buddy!!! Leave me alone and stop copying me. You're a scrawny white boy. There is no point in competing against another. What are you trying to prove? You're the king of the scrawny ones. That's like being the emperor of ice cream. Give it up, cut your weight and quit trying to prove yourself to the rest of the world.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Good Writing

It's rare that something impressive me as much as the following:

"The facts shown by plaintiff, if true, cause many emotional reactions: Horror at the brutality; sympathy for the child; shame that man, occupying a high pinnacle, may be dropped so low by evil desires; sorrow that the life of a young man was so suddenly and uselessly ended. But we do not judge men; that is for the Highest Court. We pass upon facts as measured by the law, and must at all times retain our equilibrium, to see that the shields erected after centuries of experience to prevent miscarriages of justice are maintained.To the layman, our action here will probably be called a ‘reversal on a technicality’ and he will wonder why this rule should be applied in a case such as this. The man trained in the law will know that we are protecting and preserving for everyone-good, bad, or indifferent-one of the standard safeguards provided for the assurance of a fair trial in all cases. If it should be ignored here, it is destroyed and will not exist at the time of the next trial, regardless of who is the defendant. The same is true of many other so-called ‘technicalities.’ When the courts destroy them, if they do, the days of fair trials as we know them are gone."

-----Justice Jones

Slight Rant and then some Substance

If you are going to have a Top Ten of something please limit it to ten. Now that the weather has turned cold I'm stuck on the trainer on Mondays and Fridays. I spend the first half of my 90 minutes reading but then I turn on the t.v. and watch the news. However, commercials annoy me so I flip channels and occasionally land up on ESPN. It's Monday so that means that some fat-used-to-be-good sports broadcaster has his top ten countdown for the previous week. Top ten to this fat man means something close to 30 or 40 plays. It is so long and so overly involved that they go to commercial at number 5 and then do the remaining when they come back. Is this just a pathetic attempt to fill space and provide camera time for a washed up sportscaster or what? ESPN, please give it up. Top ten means ten and not every single thing that ever happened.

I watched a death penalty oral argument today. These are always intense because it doesn't take much for you to remember that someone's life is hanging in the balance. Today I sat in the back row as is my usual thing. However, this time I was seated near to the family of the deceased victim. The victim here was only 6 months old and therefore made the case even more emotional and tense. Seated an arms length in front of me was the victim's mother, grandmother and the rest of the family. Emotions were heightened and tears were definitely shed. At the same time it was clear that the defendant's family was seated on the other side of the room. Equally pitched to see the argument and clearly aware of the desperate situation that their family member was now in.

I tried to watch the reaction in the audience. It was clear that the mother of the victim was tortured, absolutely tortured by the entire experience. I can not even imagine what she must have been going through, however, I was amazed by how she kept her composure, all the time clutching her child's favorite play toy. It is an amazing moment of time to watch the justice system work. Despite the situation and the desperation of the moment everyone remanded calm and civil. The lawyers stood and argued and no one made a spectacle.

I see now the importance the lawyer plays even more clearly than before. Watching the families hang on every word said knowing full well that their's was a role of silence. They were powerless in that courtroom and completely dependant on their advocate. How incredible a sight it was and how very impressive the entire system is to me. Despite my limited years of life and even more limited years of practice I will be someone's voice. I will speak while they remain silent. The greyhaired members of the world will quietly listen to me and place their last moment of trust in me...and I must do them right.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Weekend Riding

I had a great weekend of riding. It was probably the first real good weekend worth of riding that I have had since I started training again. I think that I'm getting dangerously close to "on target" for next season. I threw down four hours on Saturday and three hours on Sunday. Varying roads but again all solo work with some weather to deal with as well.

These thoughts, among others were in my head. Counties in Mississippi that I have ridden in:
1. Lafayette
2. Pontotoc
3. Panola
4. Calhoun
5. Tallahatchie
6. Lee
7. Yalobusha
8. Lincoln
9. Warren
10. Hinds
11. Rankin
12. Madison
13. Copiah
14. Simpson

States, plus other, in the Country that I have ridden in:
1. Illinois
2. Wisconsin
3. Iowa
4. Minnesota
5. Kansas
6. Missouri
7. Vermont
8. Tennessee
9. Alabama
10. Mississippi
11. Louisiana
12. Texas
13. Nebraska
14. Virginia
15. D.C.
16. Maryland

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wrath Upon Lenders

I wish only ill will upon my lenders because it is clear that they have no clue as to what is going on and wish only to rip my still beating heart out of my chest. Apparently when you tell a lender to consolidate your loan that gives them license to drag their feet in accomplishing this task. This of course means they get the option of charging you a higher and higher interest rate to do so. All of these facts are of course concealed from the unwitting borrower until it is much too late for them to do anything about it.

I thank the wonderful folks at CitiBank for making life so easy on me. They made it so easy to borrow the money, but now it is almost impossible to pay them back. On top of that I've been told 3 different stories about my loan and repayment options. I think that the best move now would be to declare bankruptcy and get rid of it all, but alas student loans would not be wiped clean if I did that. So the complication only continues.

It is now my mission in life to pay off my loans in as quick and tireless a manner as possible. For no reason other than the fact that I am so confused by them that I just don't want to deal with them at all.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Jason Bourne

I freely admit it, I like the Bourne series of movies. I like it for the same reason that men like James Bond-- it shows us the style of life that we all secretly want, but then soberly admit would kill us faster than jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. I just finished another showing of The Bourne Supremacy and frankly I have to say that I think it's a great movie and really enjoy watching it.

I think that the Bourne series of movies is better than a lot of these other so-called spy movies, for one think it takes into parts of the countryside that you don't often see. So many movies focus on the tourist trap parts of the town. For example the first movie, The Bourne Identity, takes place largely in Paris, yet they don't focus on the Eifel Tower. I think it is contractual that if you shoot a movie in Paris you have to have that damn tower as the focal point. If movies mirror life than there are tons of lovers, spies and general intrique that happen every day at the base of that giant phallic symbol...thank you so much directors of The Bourne Identity for not signing that contract.

The Bourne Supremacy is frankly my favorite of the two. I think largely because it ends in Moscow, which is a city that I hold dear to my heart. The reason for that is because it is one of the few places on the earth that I can consider truly my own. It is the one place that my close friends and family have never been and the one experience that I have that I don't have to share. I really jealously guard my uniqueness. I want to believe that there is something special about me that I don't have to share. I know that there are a million people just like me, who share the same experiences and same life path; but for one moment I just want to believe that they don't exist and that I am unique.

In Moscow and L'viv, I find places and experiences that I don't have to share and that I alone can just sit quietly back and enjoy. It's like a good cup of coffee, you just sit back and sip away at it knowing that it's your cup and you don't have to give it up. You just wrap yourself in it and know that this is yours. You can share if you want to, and I try to often, but sometimes I just want it to be mine. Alot of the scenes that take place in Moscow are places that I saw and went through. Looking back on my time abroad I really think that was some of the best times of my young life. I learned so much about myself and who I was because I was so far away from my world. I am amazed that I am still alive frankly. I made a lot of stupid choices over there, and did somethings that I should not have done. That's not to say that it is the most dangerous place in the world or that I am so type of superhero, but looking hindsight, it sure is easy to get in trouble there.

I guess it all brings me back to the same question, how did I get to where I am today? No answer still, just the thought that I like being here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Gift Shopping

I recently went Christmas shopping with LullaBelle. Other than the weather and the horrible crowds of people it was a great time. It's interesting going shopping with a woman. It really points out the differences between the two genders. Lulla was constantly amazed by how quickly I made my purchases. I guess that women spend much more time thinking about their purchases and who they are buying them for. I'm much more of a go out there, see what you like and grab it kind of guy.

I think we scored some major finds too. However, again I think she was confused by a lot of the gifts that I bought. I have this tendency of buying people gifts relating to their interests and my location. Most of the people on my holiday shopping list are Chicagofolk and I'm in Mississippi. Therefore it only makes sense to me that I buy gifts that have something to do with my place in life. Next year, fair warning to all, you will get gifts that have something to do with DC. However, I don't buy touristy garbage. I think for a few minutes about who they are and what they are interested in and then go after something that fits. I just think that some folks would like to get something like that, it's kind of like a souvenir from some foreign place but a little bit better because you might be able to use it.

Holiday shopping as a whole is something that I don't enjoy. Ok, shopping is something that I don't enjoy all that much, especially when it's not for me. Amazingly, I did not buy myself anything this time around. Mom commented on that, and frankly it didn't even strike me while I was doing it. I think it might have been a product of the places that I was shopping and the sections of the stores that I was in. Frankly, I just don't think that there is anything in Pier 1 that I particularly need, except for overly expensive martini glasses, but alas I don't even drink martinis.

Now that it is Tuesday, I am reminded that every obstacle no matter how difficult to overcome, can be overcome. Through persistence and diligence one can look back at an accomplishment on the luxury of their couch and remember how hard it seemed before.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Being an athlete an a over-serious type A personality, such as myself, you often times don't get the chance to just accomplish a goal. Most times you accomplish a goal and then set off in search of another goal. Accomplishments point towards bigger accomplishments and so you don't stop to think of what just happened and to quietly sit down and just be content for what you have done.

With that being said, I think the time has come for me to just be content (for a little while). The reason for that is simple-- it finally happened. I was offered the job that I wanted since I first learned it existed. I think it is now starting to sink in, the gravity of the whole thing. Most people go their whole lives searching for the job they want, striving to get it and being satisfied if they get in the right direction; but here I am, one year out of law school taking the job that I wanted when I started law school. It's a moment of humility.

A friend of mine told me that I have no excuse now not to be thankful during the upcoming holiday. I really don't...because I am thankful. I am thankful for everything that I have in my life. Everyday I come to work and sit in my office. I look out my window and across the street is the Capitol of Mississippi. I'm 26 years old and have a floor-to-ceiling window with a view that most people wait their whole lives for. Next year, I'll have the same type of view, but this time it'll be of the White House. On top of just that, I'm doing the work I always wanted to do. I'm struggling now to think of new goals and a new mission. I think that maybe it's ok, if for just a little while, to pause and not have a goal but just have life to live.

Being content is not something which comes very easily to me. I always had a new goal, once I crossed a barrier there was always the next step. It's kind of like winning the Olympic gold...I mean where does one go from there. I know they are not the same, but to me and my vision of the world they are very similar. They always say be careful for what you ask for because it might come true some day...well my wishes came true and I am finally at peace because of it.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Great Gatsby

It is one of my favorite books. In fact it is the only book that I have read twice, now I started re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird but stopped after a couple of hours by the pool with LullaBelle. The Great Gatsby has this one great moment that really struck me. It is the argument between the two main characters where Gatsby responds to the comment that you cannot relive the past by saying of course you can.

As I sit here with a cup of cherry flavored jello enjoying a brief break in the work day I am reminded of Thursday afternoons at Grandma and Grandpa's house I think about the past. I recently had dinner with an old friend from Chicago on my recent trip to DC. He apparently loves to keep up-to-date with all the goings on of people from the old neighborhood and girls that broke up with him. So between courses he talked to me about them and about what they are doing. To my surprise, only a few of them are in jail.

I came home from that trip and opened up the old yearbooks and started going through pictures and notes. Sitting there and quietly kicking myself for letting some opportunities go by and then chastising myself for chasing after some that I should have let go by. I think that retro-introspection is a great thing, but Fitzgerald had a point too. You can relive the past but you cannot do anything about still is going to end up the same way that it did. It's sort of like watching an instant replay of a touchdown and thinking that you can stop the play.

I do not want to re-live the past or change anything that happened because of love the person that I am and the place that I have come to in life. But I remain forever curious about what would have happened. It's as if I could suddenly watch an alternate line of the movie of my life and see if it got to the same point. How odd would that be, if you choose to change something and still ended up in the same place. That would be absolute evidence of Divine Providence...or at least maybe dumb luck.

The question I guess is, is life about missed opportunities or is it more about the ones that you took? Possibly that it is an alternative new version of the glass being half full/empty? My Grandpa's wisdom comes to me now. He would sit me down from time-to-time and remind me to take everything in moderation. A little bit of happiness and a little bit of sadness. I little bit of drink and a little bit of sobriety. A little bit of work and little bit of play. You combine all those little bits and then you have life. So I guess my life is a little bit of missed opportunity and a little bit of those taken. Not too bad a way to look at things now is it?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Just Trying to Drive Around Town

Today marks close to 4 months that I have lived in Rural. To date, I have almost been killed... while driving my car... about 30 times. This number only includes my trips back and forth to work and occasionally on the weekend out to Vicksburg or Oxford. Therefore, I have officially decided that drivers in this town are the worst that I have ever seen. Now, this is a prize that Rural should be proud of because I've seen some pretty bad drivers in my life.

For those unprivileged to go through the daily journey up and down the interstate stealthfully dodging cars and the on-coming of phone calls from my ambulance-chasing brothers and sisters I will try to describe the typical driver. Imagine how a bunch of red-neck country boys drive out on dirt roads. Just without a care in the world and clearly not paying attention to what happens around them. Now cram all of those red-necks onto a highway that is about 1 lane too small to handle the flow of traffic and oblivious to others around them.

This leads me to my next observation or question. So which came first...the hundreds of billboards advertising attorneys who specialize in car wrecks and/or personal injuries or the car wrecks and personal injuries? To be even more cynical...maybe the billboards are artificially flashy and comical to distract otherwise incompetent drivers so that they become hazards to themselves and all around them.

One way of the other, I can understand why car insurance premiums down here are a billion dollars higher than anywhere else that I have lived.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Google Yourself

I decided that I should try googling my own name and going through all the entries this time to find out little bits of info about myself. I highly recommend doing this if you feel the need to prove to yourself that you have actually done something in your life, while at the moment you are doing nothing at all.

Actually by googling myself I was able to come across this site. I'm not sure how this happened but I'm excited that it did. Now all sorts of strange and bizarre people who once knew me can find me all over again...ok, that might not be the best thing. But it did get me thinking about people that do not exist in the world of google.

What does that say about you, if you are a modern individual who is ungoogleable? Does that mean that you haven't done anything? I admit that I haven't done much impressive in the past say 4 years but I still appear several times on google...apparently there is some guy who has my name who is an irish hip hop mc too. I'm not excited about that either because I just see tons of bad michael bolton-esque jokes coming up if he ever makes it big. I listened to some of his stuff and frankly I don't see that happening any time soon.

But the question is still out there-- what kind of person cannot be googled. What does that say about you if when you type your name into the system and nothing shows up? Does that mean that you've done nothing noteworthy in your life? Or does it mean that no one has taken any interest in your life? Either way, it is a dreary thought, unless you like privacy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Yoknapatawpha and LullaBelle

I went north again this weekend to see LullaBelle and to ride in the hills of Yoknapatawpha. I do miss the blessed north country a lot. The hills are greener and life is alot easier there than it is down here in Rural. Rural, even though it is the largest city in the State, is nothing more than an overgrown suburb. I have hitherto been able to find anything here to entertain myself. It has the same restuarants and shopping that one can find in Yoknapatawa, but it lacks the culture, sporting events and Lulla.

During law school everyone talked about Rural like it was the greatest place in the whole State, but honestly they need to get over themselvse something fierce. The smaller towns have everything over this place. Maybe, I'm upset that Lulla lives all the way up there and I down here and therefore it is a less pleasant place for me, but even when she is here I struggle to find anything other than her company pleasant. But I cannot constantly talk poorly about a place that I'm going to live for another 9 months.

At least I am constantly amused by the drivers and their complete inability to navigate the most simple of highway interchanges. They refer to it as the stack, as if it was a piece of engineering genius that originated only here in Rural. What it actually is, is a double T interchange of two interstates. One heading north/south and the other east/west. The two join together for about 1 mile and then split again to head their own ways. But every morning at 8AM and every evening around 5PM there is going to be some type of traffic problem there.

Also the riding is just less than what I've been expecting. I know all the routes in Yoknapatawa, I know where they go and how long they take. Down here, they just don't seem to go anywhere interesting. I mean there are a couple of nice routes and all, but they lack the same friendliness that their hill country brethern have. I guess I should just relax and enjoy my time in rural. But I'm struggling to find a way to do that, right now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

10 Reasons to Be a Cubs Fan and not a White Sox Fan

Since the Sox have made the series I thought I would take this opportunity to re-affirm my support of the other team...the Cubbies

The following 10 reasons make my convictions in support of the Cubs stronger, but this list is not meant to be exhaustive:

1. My parents raised me correctly.

2. My grandparents raised my parents correctly.

3. I do not find women who could physically hurt me attractive.

4. The mayor, a rabid Sox fan, might be a no nonsense kind of guy, but the tax base of the greatest city in the world which allows him to be said guy live, work and play on the north side.

5. Taking your life into your own hands to see a baseball game is not my style of fun. Even the police get hazard pay to go to the South Side.

6. Blue collar and white collar fans (i.e. Bill Murray, Tobi Keith, God) cheer for the Cubs, while trailer-park trash (i.e. Kid Rock, Paris Hilton) cheer for the White Sox.

7. All of the Cubs players at least speak english. Most of the Sox fans don't speak any identifiable language at all.

8. To be a Cubs fan you at least need an understanding of the game of baseball. Sox fans are still learning how to use rudimentary tools.

9. Cubs fans sell out Wrigley Field everyday and support their team through thick and thin. Sox fans can lay dormant for decades like cicadas or herpes.

10. Cubs fans become laywers, doctors, architects, business leaders and pillars of the community. Soxs fans clean those pillars.

The Day the Internet Came Back to Work

Yesterday may have been one of the happier days of my young professional career. For one reason or another the powers that be had denied me the ability to use my personal e-mail while at work by blocking the website which I use to log-on to my e-mail account. But out of the blue yesterday I was granted access again. I couldn't believe it. However, now my work productivity has declined dramatically but I'm happy. You know what they say, a happy worker is a good worker.

I spent the weekend with my beloved LullaBelle. It is hard to conduct a long-distance relationship. The distance itself kills but on top of it you realize the things that you miss and you become jealous of a former version of yourself. Up until recently I had lived in a tiny little town, one in which I could bike across it from corner to corner in 10 minutes if the lights were red. Now I live in this overgrown suburb about 2 hours away. We are separated only by this distance but it seems like an eternity.

I had become addicted to spending time with her. I realize now that just her presence around me makes me happy. We talk on the phone and see each other as often as possible, but you learn that you miss just sitting quietly next to each other. Actually seeing them smile or laugh is something that doesn't transfer on the phone all that well. You try to compensate for it by talking or trying to say something, but all my words are meaningless compared to just a quick little smile from her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The First Day Back in the Gym

It is an annual thing for me. Once-a-year I go back to the gym for a period of about 12 weeks. It is a tradition that in the off-season I endeavor to put some muscle onto my others anorexic frame. Today is set for that first day. Just as a note, I dislike the gym. I don't like gyms in general because I've never been really the gym-guy. I've always been strong and/or fit, but I've never been that guy who can lift tons of weight and his as cut as the Rocky Mountains.

Therefore, I'm a little embarrassed by my gym going. I think the really embarrassing thing is my complete inability to bench press. I think that the rest of my weight lifting routine is or somehow soon becomes respectable but bench press never breaks into the remotely respectable range. For one reason or another bench press has become the symbol of strength. I don't know how this happened, but I really wish it would unhappen.

The thing I'm not looking forward to is tomorrow morning when I'm so sore that I cannot get out of bed. I hate that feeling, but at least I know I'm doing something then. My favorite thing is the stupid feeling you get right as you have started working out. About two days into it, you get this urge to check the mirror to see if you've gotten huge. Nothing works that quick...but I still do it. Come Friday afternoon I'm going to be standing there just trying to make myself imagine that I'm ripped.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tracing It

Today was the third time that my daily ride took me onto the Natchez Trace. I'm amazed that I don't ride on it more often. Actually, I'm really not that amazed. I ride about 50 minutes to the Trace and then maybe 20 minutes on the Trace and then back onto regular roads till I get home again. A total of 2 hours and 15 minutes. It's a great stretch of road to ride on. Even at rush hour there is no one on it; largely because there are no regular entrances and exits to it. I figure if I can just ban cars from my daily routes it'll be so much nicer. Sadly, that will never happen; but I can still dream of that day.

It's sad that the summer is slowly leaving. It's about 55 degrees when I wake up in the mornings. Granted, it's about 80 by mid-day but still I do not have the opportunity of enjoying the mid-day as much as I once did. I am guilty, I am one of those people who like the cold weather when it's July and love the heat in January. At least that means I'm looking forward to the weather turning a bit cooler; but come January, I'm not going to be happy about the development.

I do like riding in the cool weather, it reminds me of those lighter days in Kansas. Ah yes, the garden of eden that is Kansas. How I miss you when I'm gone and remember how bitter cold the winds are when I'm there. I gave the security guard a copy of my Kansas Alumni magazine. He was amazed...I really think he is going to enroll. I have nothing but love for my alma mater. I mean come on it made me into the man I am today.

Conservative Guy told me that I should keep it as a special place in my heart and use my visits back to recharge my youth when I need it. I keep thinking that I should have gone to school other places...I'm sure everyone thinks about how it could have been different if you did. But then I think, that I am so happy with the way things have turned out that why try to change that. I mean if I went somewhere else, then I wouldn't have such fond memories of Mass St., Wescoe Beach and Clinton Lake. I wouldn't remember nights that I have now forgotten. Days when Conservative Guy and I would struggle to stay awake in legal history class because of the shenanigans we pulled off the night before. I couldn't trade those memories for anything else. I mean there was a reason that God sent me to Kansas...I think it was a blessing and a way of saying that God does love me and hates Mizzou.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Nite Ridin'

The reality of the world has forced me to the point where I must become the nite rider. I wish I was as cool as the man himself, but unlike the Cincinnati Kid, I lack the boyish charms and bushy hair of David Hasselhoff. I am jealous; but Zurie my winter bike (not the new hotness that most of you have seen me on lately) comes equipped with red lights so she is not jealous of K.I.T.T (Knight Industries Two Thousand).

This morning was an eerie sight. All of my weekly rides start before the sun rises. I have taken to carrying more lights than most 18 wheelers but even then it is pitch black on these rural roads. This morning, it was overcast so even the stars and the moon weren't there to help me out. I had chosen one of the more back wood routes. This made everything really really dark. My helmet mounted headlights were on full-blast.

For those of you who have yet done a night ride I strongly recommend it, but only with the proper equipment. It changes your whole perspective on riding and on what you focus on. The entire road becomes a mystery, even ones that you have traveled over a million times before. The smallest false flat (faux plat to use the French) becomes a big surprise. If you thought once before that you could feel the road under you, you haven't really experienced it until this.

I crossed one of the million bridges that I normally cross this morning. It's a pretty bad one and normally requires paying attention to avoid falling through the watermelon sized pot holes. With the added pressure of the dark this morning it became a real test. I actually found myself with a huge branch halfway up my crank-arm and one more strong pedal stroke would have done me in. But the nuance of nite riding saved me. My spiderman-like-senses that have begun to develop felt what was coming and I was able to avoid it. It is as if I have become one with nature here again.

On the way back into my apartment complex I passed a Sonic. Each stall was taken by a car, pick-up or SUV. There was a funny smell in the air too, which probably elicited this thought. I realize now that Sonic drive-ins are the human version of a trough. The cattle pull in, get their fat served to them and then back out.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Work Time is Fun Time

It's been a little while, I admit it...but I'm still around. No longer am I the same struggling persons waiting to take the bar. I'm different, I'm changed. I have taken and pssed the bar exam. I am an attorney!!! Ok, that is not nearly as omnious as it sounds and really it is like that scene in Fight remember the one where the voice over says something to the effect of "the reels change and the movie goes on".

Life doesn't change and stop because you passed the bar. I wish I did. I think there should be one official day for every state in the country where they have a bar day. The entire country shuts down and celebrates the new admitted lawyers. Thinking about, it would definitely not be something that anyone who failed the bar would desire.

I mark the third pay period of my work with joy and happiness because passing the bar means that I am now the happy recipient of a raise. It's my first real raise of my life. I once had a raise while folding clothes for retail clothing store, but that doesn't count because it wasn't a real job. Now I have a real job and a real raise. It is just sad that I have to wait until November to see that raise, but everyday from here on out I feel richer. Also sadly I have to start paying my loans back...the state giveth and the federal government taketh away.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Muses Take Me Now

It has quickly approached the end of the day of studying for le exam de bar (I too have been caught up in tour madness). I'm not to sure that I accomplished much other then yet again displaying my temper and complete lack of regard for the fine folks at barbri (what does that stand for anyways?) and PMBR. Today the PMBR book called me one of Pavlov's Dogs because "I went right for the obvious trick". I don't know about the rest of you, but it doesn't take a BA in Russian to realize that being called a dog, much less one that salavates at the sound of a bell, is something that a company should be calling a person who is paying for their services. Especially if you are paying for their services in the hope of being admitted to a profession that has all to lately found new and better reasons to sue people for less then that.

It is now offical that the bar exam has forced me to put cycling on the back burner. Just as bar the season is reaching its peak I'm restricted to my least. I know, I know, priorities right. I sacrifice a little right now for a lot in the future. It just sucks to have to admit it to yourself. Over the last week I was able to say to myself that I was getting ready for the Bensenville race or just flat tired from something, but I cannot lie to myself any more. I have to take it for a fact that I am not resting for a race over Labor Day, but in fact just taking time to study for this damn test.

I find myself disagreeing with these so called model answers way too often. It's not that I disagree with the law but they way they are applying the law. The thing that makes me mad is that they (the writers) are the ones that get to claim to be the model answer. They have the final word. I can only imagine the jackass at the office writing the model answer. They are probably as cool a person as internet fantasy sports writers. Am I too critical of these people? Or am I just the only person who cares at all? I think the latter.

I just don't want to do this anymore. Just give me the exam.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Internet Sports Writers

While I was waiting for my microwave pizza to warm today I decided to take a look at my trusty online news website. I was instantly attracted to a story about my beloved Cubs and started to look over some other news from the sporting world. Then I say a sports writer's blog and clicked on it. After reading that 'stuff' I have come to the conclusion that people who write these blogs have never once gotten laid. I've always been amazed by so-called sports writers who critique athletes who participate in a sport that they could never dream of doing themselves. Some critique teachers with the old saying that "if you cannot do teach", well I'd like to point out that at least teachers do something. Sports writers do absolutely nothing at all and any sports writer who thinks that they actually do something...why don't you hand them a ball, running shoes or in the latest critique of Lance a bike.

My disdain for critical sports writers is almost equal to my disdain for those who participate in fantasy sports like they are the real deal. While I do not understand fantasy sports (I personally think it's the ultimate expression of laziness in the world and a hobby for fat men) I do not understand those who live for the experience. I noticed while taking a break yesterday that fantasy leagues were starting for the NFL, hell most of the players in the NFL don't know what team they ae playing for yet!!! There are a few weeks left of summer. Please take that time and go out and do something with your lives. Maybe actually join a park district football league and be a real athlete!?!

On top of that, there are sports writers who specialize in writing blogs for people who play fantasy sports. I find more use in used kleenex then I do for these writers. What in the name of all that is holy are they doing with their lives. I can only imagine the shame that they must feel when they go to high school reunions or out to bars to pick-up women (because women are just too smart to find this to be a profession for themsevles). If I was one of them, I would just lie and say that I did anything else...even being a crack-whore. Please end this.

The Lost Summer

For something close to 26 years I've been told that the summer is the time to have fun and relax. It was the time to get out and about and visit people . Yet this summer I had about 2 weeks of summer and then a lock down. I thought I was pretty good at keeping things low key and responding to pressure, but even my supposed skills are being put to the test here.

People talked, ok my granparents talked, about how it was like during the Depression and WWII. How even though that was one of the toughest times of their lives it was also one of the most rewarding times of their lives. They would say how important it was to have people going through a common struggle and the bonds that it created. Said better, the joint suffering of an entire population brought that population closer together. It made it so that you would have to rely on other people in order to survive. It made communities.

The bar exam just seems to be dividing communities. Made this is the unique characteristics of Chicago, but it seems to be dividing people more and more. I remember that back in law school (as if it was soo long ago) we would actually work together and prepare for exams in pairs or threes. Now, people seem to be using deception and misdirection as if it was the old law school days-- you know the ones that people write about in badly written books intended to scare students. I really yearn for the helping hands of my old buddies down in the dirty south.

Back on the Bike

After 48 hours off the bike I decided it was time to get back on the bike and try to sweat off the embarr-arse-ment of dehydrating in a race that I could have placed in. I did the normal easy route down and around the block (ok a little beyond the end of the block but not much further). Amazingly I passed a girl in a VW with the top down. She stopped at a stop light and I rolled up next to her pausing for a second before I ran the red light (seriously why do I even bother paying attention to the law?) The top was down on her VW and the sun was beating in except she might have been the most pale thing ever. I don't think that she has seen the sun all summer. She must really be studying hard for the bar exam!!! It is sad to think that, this was really my first thought.

I'm solidly convinced that the people who write the model essay answers in my book are not very popular people. I have a feeling that they were not the people that I would have hung out with in college or even now. They are those people who would always have the hand up in class and were trying to impress their fellow law school mates with their knowledge of the rule against-who-could-care-less. We had our fair share of those gunners in class.

My barbri class was full of them. Including little miss I went to an Ivy League law school. Just cause you went to such a school doesn't mean that you are free to be a nasty and disgusting human being. I mean honestly, you still need to shower and wear clothes that were made for you and not for you 300 pound overweight boyfriend. Honestly, Chicago is the place where people come who want to get away from people like that. Just cause your blood is blue doesn't mean that people here don't expect you to wear a blue collar and get your work on. So come to class, sit down and shut up. No one here cares about your life or what is happening in SoHo (hell I don't even know where that really is...nor do I care). Oh and need I forget to tell you that I paid less in 3 years of law school as an out-of-state student then you did in one semester and guess what...I still have the same job that you have. So in 2045 when you are still paying off your loans and I am retired on my boat in the mediterranean think about that.

That is what I love about Chicago. I mean it's cold and rush hour blows but people are so down to earth, well everyone except for a few people from the northside, but they are not invited into my ever-shrinking-circle of friends. The entire philosophy of the new world just flowed so well into Chicago's theory. Some places out east still care about who your father was and what you did before you were even born. Not here, here all that matters is who you are. You work hard and you earn hard. Your lazy or aristocratic and I guarantee you that there'll be someone out there who will knock you down to where you belong...on the bottom. I guess the bottom-line is, if you want to succeed and you've got a strong back and good work ethic come to Chicago. Otherwise the train back to New York leaves from Union Station and I suggest you get on it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Sufferings of the Bar

I am firmly convinced that sometime a long time ago the bar exam was something that was fun and frivolous. It was something that people didn't stress over, lose sleep over, or wake up in cold sweats over. It has become the monster that it is because someone broke what any high school or undergrad students knows to be the cardinal rule...they cared too much.

I remember that back in undergrad it was the ultimate in cool points to not care about what you are doing. Just like it was also cool to be dead broke (something which argueably continues into law school) or to drive the most beat-up old car (in my case a 82 Ford Grenada Station Wagon). The person in undergrad who did the least, drank the most and still made Cs in class was the guy or girl that you wanted to hang out with.

Then, all-of-a-sudden, we decided that life post-LSAT was totally different. People started caring about their grades. They started studying really really hard for finals and actually prepared for class. I know that this threw me completely when I started law school. I have always been of the opinion that if we just all agreed to not try then law school and the bar exam would be easier. But everyone knows that there would be that one person out there who would violate this rule. That one jerk who wants to try hard would study and study and study and make the rest of us all look bad. I really feel that the first bar exam offer was the loss of our innocence. Maybe it was the second bar exam, you know the one after the first person failed the first exam.

Whenever it occurred it has really caused us all a lot of problems and issues. I wish I could say that I don't care and that I am going to continue along like I was in undergrad. But that is not the case at all. Now that I'm approaching the umpteenth millionth hour of studying for this exam I just wish it didn't have to happen at all. This might be the only time in my life that I wish I lived in Wisconsin.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Apology to the Wonderful Spectators at Bensenville

Yesterday was the annual Bensenville addition to Wisconsin's super week cycling classic (aptly raced in a Chicago suburb). After debating all morning about whether or not I wanted to go I decided to pack up the car and go for the race. The following is my deep and sincere apology to all those that watched my pathethic performance. Honestly, how was I supposed to know that it was going to be soo hot up on the northside of Chicago. I just assumed since the races were so close to Canada it was going to be moderate in temperature.

It was a beautiful course and in a beautiful area of the city, unfortunately it was just too hot for little old me. I know, I'm supposed to be tough because I train in Mississippi most of the year, but I just dehydrated like a grape in the Arizona sun. Therefore, I now vow to never again race my bike after being stupid and not drinking large sums of water. Also, I resolve not to race my bike again until I take the bar exam. I want to also apologize to all those other cyclists who I might of cut off during the race. I'm sorry but I just know for a fact that you should know to move out of the way for me when I'm diving into a corner at 25 mph. It's not like I can control myself at that speed anyways.


To get all up-to-date as quickly as possible on my world. I am currently studying for the bar exam. Studying really isn't the right phrase to describe it anymore. I'm obsessing over the bar exam. A million questions might fly through the minds of the "normal" person (those capable of realizing that summer is the time to have fun not to worry about whether or not the person running in front of your car is protected by a statute thereby eradicating their own negligence or those who don't realize the fun in riding a bike until you cannot walk), and it is my hope that this humble writing will start to cure any misconceptions that people might have about my breed of humans.