Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Here What I Say, Not What I Do

As much as Americans talk about how much they hate negative politics, this Washington Post article (Bush Scores Points By Defining Kerry) proves that's all a bunch of bullshit. No wonder politics has become nothing but a schoolyard pissing contest... the public rewards the man (or woman) who can piss the farthest, or in this case, can piss on your opponent the best.

Rejection Letter Day!!!

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar - Category: Foreign Words and Phrases for $1000... Spanish for "little war," it's a member of a small band of irregular soldiers who harass the enemy by surprise raids... My guess, Guerilla (I knew high school Spanish would come in handy some day)

Answer: What is a guerilla... $1400 for the week.

Song Lyric For Today
Now she didn't forward no address.
No, she didn't say goodbye.
All she said was if you get blue,
Just hang your little head and cry.
And that's all she wrote
"Dear john,
I've sent your saddle home."
Dear John by Hank Williams (I don't know if it's Jr. or Sr.)

Today I sent off my rejection letters, or as I euphemistically call them (is euphemistically a word?) "turn-down" letters (hence my somewhat related, yet still not quite there, song lyric), to the schools I won't be attending so that some poor schmuck on the wait list can get in. It's a little hard because a couple of them offered really good scholarships (the school I have chosen gave me a good scholarship, but not nearly as good), but none of the schools have the right combination of where Wife and I want to live and quality/reputation of the school, so I will be going into debt. Hopefully my work experience and the aforementioned quality and reputation will end up paying off in the end... I guess time will tell.

In a related note... I'm come to the conclusion that trying to be totally anonymous on this blog is beyond the scope of my cleverness (as referenced by my terrible nicknames). I'm still not going to give names of actual people, but I don't have the energy or intelligence to make my descriptions completely anonymous, so I will begin using actual place names... starting with the law school of my choice. I have decided to go to the University of Minnesota Law School. There, I feel better. In good news, my future school's (the undergrads at least) women's basketball team upset top seeded Duke to advance to the Women's Final Four... pretty sweet. I'm such a dork, I have school spirit before it's technically even my school (I haven't even sent in my seat deposit yet). Oh well. If any of my non-existent readers are also planning on the U (as it's called in the Twin Cities), e-mail me, and we can anticipate the impending doom together. Later.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I've Made My Decision!!!!

Yesterday's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar - (Because I didn't post yesterday) Category: Foreign Words and Phrases for $200... Yiddish for "a gossipy woman," it's derived from a woman's name.... No friggin' clue, I failed Yiddish in High School

Answer: What is yenta?... What can I say, I'm a gentile... minus $200.

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar - Category: Foreign Words and Phrases for $600... A Chinese form of self-defense, its name means "work man"... well I know it's not karate (that means open hand), so maybe Kung Fu

Answer: What is Kung Fu (acceptable: Gong Fu)? Yes, back in the black... $400 for the week.

Song Lyric For Today
If I had a million dollars
We wouldn't have to walk to the store
(If I had a million dollars)
We'd take a limousine 'cause it costs more
(If I had a million dollars)
We wouldn't have to eat Kraft Dinner
But we would eat Kraft Dinner
Of course we would! We’d just eat more.
If I Had $1000000 by Bare Nake Ladies In honor of my soon to be indebted ass who will be eating lots and lots of Kraft dinner (that's Kraft Mac and Cheese here in America) over the next three years.

So I'm back from my trip, and I have made my decision on what law school to attend. Horay! Now Wife and I just have to figure out where we're going to live and how we're going to survive and all that stuff. Oh yeah, and I have to do well and graduate.

When I got back to work, I actually had a little pile of work waiting for me... which is good. The more work I have, the faster the days will go, and the faster it will be the summer so I can quit working to start law school. I'll admit, I'm starting to get a little anxious. I really liked the school I'm going to (hereafter refered to as Hometown U Law School, or HULS... I don't know how that's funny yet, but I'll find it... even if it's only funny to me), and the people seemed nice, but now I've got to figure out how to afford it while minimizing loans... plus Wife and I have determined that we want to buy a house (or maybe just a townhouse or a condo) rather than rent, and so we need to work out the finances for that, which is kind of exciting. I've never thought of myself as a property owner before, at least not property that wasn't an iPod (damn I want an iPod). Anyway, one more major life decision has been made.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Dick Clarke... It's Got a Good Beat And You Can Dance To It

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar - Category: Change the Vowel for $1000... Hostess product or Avon signal... Uh, I guess Ding Dong

Answer: What is Ding Dong? I have to say this is the stupidest category I've ever seen... plus $1800 for the week.

Song Lyric For Today
They say that breakin' up is hard to do
Now I know, I know that it's true
Don't say that this is the end
Instead of breakin' up I wish that we were makin' up again
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - The Carpenters
(dedicated to W. and Mr. Clarke... C'mon you can put it all behind you)

I don't really have an update regarding law school, except to say that I will be visiting my final two schools tomorrow and Friday, and I'll have updates for you then. So today's post is dedicated to the feudin' and a fussin' going on between the Bush administration and former counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke. As you may have gathered from earlier posts, I am not a fan of President Bush, nor nearly every official in his administration. Not only do they never, EVER admit that they have ever, EVER, been wrong about anything they've ever done (which to me is a sure sign that you are doing stupid shit all the time, because people make mistakes, and adults own up to them)... but they attempt to steamroll through any criticism, even if it intelligent and, dare I say, necessary criticism.

Case in point, Mr. Richard Clarke (not to be confused with the ageless Dick Clark, host of American Bandstand and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve) was Bush's counter-terrorism coordinator, which as far as I can tell means he was the head person in charge of just terrorism (he reported to Condi Rice, who is in charge of all of our security, be it from wars we started, or terrorism resulting from wars we started). Clarke has also been working in the government for 30 years, 11 in the White House. In case you've been living under a rock, Mr. Clarke wrote a book saying that immediately after Sept. 11 (like Sept. 12, 2001) President Bush was demanding a connecting be found between 9/11 and Iraq (which as we all know, or at least should know, DOESN'T EXIST) so that we could go to war with Iraq sooner. There is a lot of hinting at this in Bob Woodward's great book Bush At War, which was published last year (or maybe the year before). Clarke was insistent on the connection with al Queda, and that we go into Afghanistan to get al Queda.

OK, now the fun begins. After airing this all out, the Bush administration sent out the heavy hitters to discredit Clarke. Some of what they have charging:
1) Veep Dick Cheney on the always credible Rush Limbaugh radio show - "Well, he wasn't in the loop, frankly, on a lot of this stuff" meaning Clarke didn't have the right information to make an informed judgment about the whole picture (see Talking Points Memo for a good analysis of the whole deal).
2) Condi Rice and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said (this is paraphrasing from memory) that Clarke was in charge of counter-terrorism during the embassy bombings in 1998 and during the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in 2000 (all attributed to al Queda), basically saying that Clarke was incompetent then and could have prevented those attacks, and that he is incompetent now.

OK, so here are the logic problems I see with both of these arguments. For Dick Cheney's, if it's true that Clarke wasn't "in the loop," then WHY WASN'T HE IN THE LOOP? It seems to me that your head of counter-terrorism should be kept "in the loop" about all information related to a terrorist activity... and if he wasn't kept in the loop, it wasn't Clarke's fault this happened, it was the Bush administration's fault. For argument number 2... assuming Clarke is incompetent, how did he serve for 30 years in the highest levels of government, and more importantly, if the Bush administration thought Clarke's incompetence was at least partially responsible for the earlier attacks, WHY DID THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION KEEP HIM ON AS COUNTER-TERRORISM CHIEF WHEN THEY TOOK OFFICE? Aren't you at least equally incompetent for allowing an incompetent person to have such an important position.

Or, is it more likely that Clarke is right about everything, and this is the best you can come up with to discredit him... Hmmm, maybe. I'll update you about my visits. Later.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Hour Is Getting Late

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar: Category: Change The Vowel for $600... It's "the one-and-a-half-calorie breath mint"... my guess, Tic Tacs... right?

Answer: What is a Tic Tac? Another $800 for the week.

Song Lyric For Today
"No reason to get excited,"
the thief he kindly spoke
"there are many here among us,
who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I we’ve been through that,
and this is not our fate.
So let us not talk falsely now.
The hour’s getting late."
All Along The Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix (with an awesome cover by Dave Matthews Band)

I started to post this song just because I like it... but when I really thought about this lyric it seemed that it was speaking to my current situtation. I haven't been too excited about the prospect of law school recently, and I also know the time for a decision is drawing near, and that I need to decide on law school soon. But I guess that is what this weekend's visits are all about.

Random Thought Alert: What follows is a totally random thouhgt. I want all of you to remind America's youths of a long forgotten fact... one that a corporate machine is trying to bury to push its own agenda, a corporate plot whose diabolocalness is exclipsed only by its brilliance. I am speaking, of course, about KFC's nearly total denial of "Kentucky Fried Chicken," with all the negative connotations of fried foods, and it's recent ad campaign calling it "Kitchen Fresh Chicken." Damn, kitchen fresh chicken can't be bad for you... it's what grandma makes for a summer barbeque. Kitchen fresh chicken certainly is not a battered, fried, chicken like food that pushes you closer to a heart attack with every bite. Please remind the children that it wasn't always KFC (soon to be draped in the "Kitchen Fresh" mantra), but it was Kentucky Fried Chicken... emphasis on the fried... and it was good. And we didn't care if it was fried, because we were tough. That is all.

Monday, March 22, 2004

So Much For A Polite Campaign...

From Thosands Cheer As Bush Mocks Kerry... I don't know how true the "mock" part of this story is, but W. wasn't exactly singing praises to Kerry. But here is at least one Bush lie (or at least a mistruth) from the article.

"My opponent admits Saddam Hussein was a threat, he just didn't support my decision to remove Saddam from power. Maybe he was hoping Saddam would lose the next Iraqi election."

Not true. Kerry voted both for the resolution to go to war in Iraq, and for a $87 million dollar bill to fund operations in Iraq. The problem is, Kerry voted for an $87 million bill that got the money from a partial rollback of Bush's tax cuts to high-income tax payers... a bill that failed. Kerry voted against the $87 million bill that actually passed, because it was redudant to the bill he had already voted for. Just think of it, if Kerry had voted for both both bills, Bush would be saying that "Kerry wants to fill the pork barrels of the defense contractors, because he voted for twice as much funding as was needed."

It's this kind of misleading politics that convinces me that Bush has no respect for the intelligence of his contiuency (but then again, neither do I... except for all of you who have the equivalent of a nuclear intellectual arsenal, as is proven by your patronage of this humble blog).

OK, enough politics for now. I hope I haven't turned off some of you right leaning readers. If you think I'm full of shit, please e-mail me. Since I don't have comments yet (and won't until blogspot gets on the ball), I will post your comments (unless they are too long or too beligerant).

Can't Type, Cramping.

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar: Category: Change The Vowel (?) for $200... In a 1933 film, thing creature climbed the Empire State Building... my guess, King Kong.

Answer: What is King Kong? Starting the week off right, $200 for me.

Song Lyric For Today
But I can't be late
'Cause then I guess I won't get paid
These are the days when you wish your bed was already made

It's just another manic Monday...
Manic Monday by The Bangles - C'mon, you knew it would happen eventually

I played football with some friends yesterday, and let me tell you, I am out of shape. Even my fingers are sore.

I finally went and saw The Passion of the Christ this weekend. It was good, but it wasn't quite as moving for me as I would have expected. It certainly was depressing, and it made you see the suffering Jesus went through, and it is powerful. But I heard some people crying in the theater, and I just didn't have that kind of reaction. I would still recommend it, unless you're a little squeamish around realistic bloodiness (is bloodiness a word?... I guess it is now). Wife and I also rented Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star on DVD, and it was actually damn funny... especially Dickie's trademark phrase from his TV show as a child... "This is Nuckin' Futs!" Maybe it's because I was expecting it to suck, or at the very best be marginally funny, so I wasn't expecting much.

Anyway, I've got a short week this week, because I'm going to visit the final two schools I'm considering on Thursday and Friday. Then I've got to decide by April 1, because that's when the schools want their deposit. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Productivity, Schmoductivity!

So yesterday I finished up the non-infringement search report... there's $3 G's for the company (sounds like a lot, but in the world of legal work, that's chump change). I have a couple amendments to work on, but we pretty much have to get approval from the clients (one for the cost, and the other just to do the work in the first place)... so today I pretty much sat around, twiddled my thumbs, and read peoples blogs.

I now have three blawgs that I check out fairly regularly... effinchamp, Dity Genius, and recently Falconred. I like most of them so far... just a random thought.

Now I'm the only one around at the office... maybe I should go home. I mean, it's Friday, and the weekend is upon us. In fact, what the hell am I doing hanging around with all y'all. Screw you guys! I'm a-going home!

Frickin' Hippies!

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk calendar: Category: Baby Talk for $1200... A swimming stroke consisting of alternating overarm strokes and a flutter kick... My guess - the (front) crawl.

Answer: What is the crawl?... This one was hard at first. I was on a swim team in junior high, and I'm like "The freestyle stroke, what the hell does that have to do with babies." Anyway, perfect for the week at $3400

Song Lyric For Today
[Mumble Mumble Mumble Mumble]
Patriotic [Mumble Mumble Mumble Mumble] Right?.... Right!
It's the end of the world as we know it...
- Everyone who tries to sing It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.

I saw this article on the Chicago Tribune site and it pissed me off. I remember this protest, and it was pretty much populated by 2 people who actually were protesting the war (so they are the only 2 I have respect for), and about 5000 college kids who just didn't want to go to class that day... and now they're suing Chicago because they were arrested for blocking traffic on Lake Shore Drive during rush hour. Arrogant little pricks. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in favor of the war (far from it... I think it made things worse, not better), but suing a city because they arrested you for blocking traffic!?! That's not free speach.

Work News - Another amendment... more work = days go faster = weekend is almost here!

Law School News - Waitlist by U. of Michigan yesterday. Sucked a little bit, but I'm more pissed that it took them so damn long to get back to me. I sent in my applications in late November, and all my stuff (LOR's, transcripts, etc.) was in by the first week of December. How can it take 3 months! Short version, I'm not going to Michigan.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Oh My Ga!

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk calendar: Category: Baby Talk for $400... It's the part of a pair of overalls that is worn over the chest... My guess - the bib.

Answer: What is the bib?... Yeah! more fake money for me, Plus $2200 for the week

Song Lyric For Today
Hey, my love, you came to me like wine comes to this mouth,
grown tired of water all the time
You quench my heart and, you quench my mind
- Two Step by Dave Matthews Band

Being that we are newlyweds ourselves, Wife and I watch Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, and last night's episode was up to its typical goodness. Jessica Simpson is one dumb broad. Anyway, for those of you who watch the show, bear with me... but in last night's episode Jessica (Ms. Simpson, if you're nasty) thought her new "thing" would be to say "Oh My Ga!" instead of "Oh my God." It got really annoying, really, really fast. As stupid as that phrase is, I bet there are millions of little 12 and 13 year old girls out there (mostly of the middle class, suburban, Caucasian variety) running around saying the exact same stupid phrase (probably some 22 and 23 year olds too).

Law School News - I got a financial aid report back from a 2nd/3rd tier school I applied to. They had already given be a full tuition scholarship, but all those fees and expected living expenses sure add up fast. It would still be nice to only have to take out a federal loan, and not a very big one at that.

Top 7 Reasons Not To Go To Law School
1. Money - So this clashes with my #1 reason I am going to law school. Do I have a problem with that... hypocritical much? Not really. But it's true. The average attorney in America makes $40,000/year. Not a bad salary, but not exactly living the high life either.
2. "I've Always Wanted To Be A Lawyer" - So. I've always wanted to be a quarterback for the 49ers (ever since the Joe Montana days) or a pitcher for the Cubs... but that's no reason to sink $100,000 or more into a training program. I've also always thought it would have been cool to be an astronaut... but then again, maybe I would hate it. How could you know what you've always wanted when you have no idea what it's really about?
3. "I got great grades as an undergrad AND a great LSAT score, how can I not go?" - Easy. Unless you know (or at least have a pretty good idea) what law is about, and that you want to go into it, you will probably end up being another one of the huge number of law students trying to break into an already overcrowded industry
4. "My family always said I liked to argue" - This could be the dumbest one of all. Being a lawyer is A LOT more than arguing. Argument, while important for litigation and trial, is still a very small part of law practice. Maybe if you always loved to write, then you might have something... but arguing... trailer trash on Jerry Springer like to argue, but would you want them as your lawyer?
5. It's the next step - Conventional wisdom told us that THE professions to be in are 1. Doctor, 2. Lawyer, and 3. (to a lesser extend) Businessman. Well conventional wisdom is not meant to last forever. Conventional wisdom also said that owning people (read: slaves) made good economic sense... do you still think that's a good idea (OK, maybe this is a cheap shot bringing in slavery... but I think you see my point). There are literally thousands of other jobs you can go into that do not fit into these nice little categories, and yet are perfectly wonderful careers. Do what's best for you, not what your parents (or grandparents) generation thought made sense
6. Adventure - This one kind of contradicts one of my reasons as well, but there are much cheaper things you can do that are adventurous (do an extreme world tour for example)... and for most of them, you probably have a good idea whether you will like it our not.
7. I don't know what else to do - I'll admit, this one is tricky. On it's face it sounds stupid (which it is), but when you think about it, this reason can be deceptive. Sure, "I may not have a burning desire for the law, but at least when I'm done I'll have a law degree, and probably a pretty good paying job," you may think. It may be hard to argue with that. But again, what if you hate it. I would really think about it before going off to do something just because you have nothing better to do.

OK, enough preaching from someone who has never led the quire. I hope you take my advice for what it is, the uniformed rantings of someone with too much time, and not enough attention span.

NEW Blog Title

I apologize for anyone who tried to go to the old address and got lost. I hope you found your way back OK.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

May You Be In Heaven An Hour Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk calendar: Category: Classic Logos for $1000... The 4-H club uses one of these in its symbol.

What is a four-leaf clover?... A little easy considering what day it is (St. Patty's Day), Plus $1800 for the week

Happy St. Patrick's Day from Mike.

Song Lyric For Today
Workin' all day for a mean little guy
he's got a bad toupee and a soup-stained tie.
He's got me runnin' 'round the office like a gerbil on a wheel,
he can tell me what to do, but he can't tell me what to feel
- Hey Julie by Fountains of Wayne

Work News... I don't have much time to write because I'm actually busy. We got some more work in from our main client. This time I get to write an amendment telling the patent office why they screwed up when they rejected the patent we wrote before (which pretty much happens every time you do an application... 1. File the application. 2. Rejected. 3. Amend, hoping for an allowance. 4. Rejection again (usually). 5. Amend again. 6. Allowance (hopefully)... I'm at step 3 right now). The tough part about doing amendments for an application you wrote originally, which is the case here, is that you see all the places you could have done better... or should I say you wished you had done better because it would really help you out right now. Oh well... hindsight's 20/20, and if I could see into the future I wouldn't need to write patents for other people's inventions, I'd be making the inventions myself.

Law School News... None (again). I'll be visiting two schools in Minnesota next week, so I am rapidly approaching the final decision.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Why March in Chicago Sucks

Last night when I was leaving work I noticed a few flakes falling, but I didn't think much of it because it was 6 p.m., dark, and it was barely even a dusting of snow. But I woke up this morning, and there was snow accumulation on the ground (sure it was less than 1/16 inch, but it still turned the ground white). I know March is supposed to come in like a lion and out like a lamb... but seriously, it's March 16, shouldn't the damn lion start giving the lamb some room. Two weekends ago (or maybe it was three), it got up to 60 here... 60 with sun and it was marvelous. Now it's fricken cold again (not as fricken cold as it was in January waiting for the bus, but still fricken cold). I wish the weather would quit teasing us.

I finished up a draft of the infringement search report for Boss to review. Hopefully he is reviewing it right now, but I am not optimistic that I will get any feedback until tomorrow. Normally this would be fine with me, because I usually have some more work in the queue, but now I am just sitting around (and now sitting around and blogging).

What I should do is do some more prep work. Right now I'm reading up on Torts (or at least I was). I know law school is almost 6 months away, but I know if I don't, someone else will, and even if the don't, I'd rather have more free time at school rather than less. But lately, instead of reading and working a few examples, I've been reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown (same guy who did The DaVinci Code). It's a mystery/suspense popcorn novel that hopefully I'll finish soon so I can get back on track. I don't feel too bad about it because I hadn't read a novel in about a month and a half because I was reading stuff about law school and then prepping (I used to read about 1 novel a week, sometimes more). Maybe I will do a little prep work so I can feel like less of a procrastinator... I hate doing personal stuff at work for more than a few minutes though. Oh well.

New "For Today" Thing

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk calendar: Category: Classic Logos for $600... Hands cupped together, holding a house and a car, was the classic symbol for this insurer.

What is Allstate?... Another one for me, Plus $800 for the week

Since I don't have much to report on stuff in my life, I will start a new "For Today" thing... the "Song Lyric For Today"

Song Lyric For Today:
I wanna spread the news
that if it feels this good gettin' used
Oh, you can just keep on using me.... until you use me up
- Use Me Up by Bill Withers

Law School News: None...

Work News: I've started a new project... a search report to determine if our client might be infringing anyone's patents... Good news for him, it looks like he isn't.

I also went and saw Starsky and Hutch this weekend. It was pretty funny, if you weren't expecting much. Plus it has some great music, including the Song Lyric For Today (above). Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson were pretty funny, and Snoop Dog was also really good as Huggy Bear ("Nobody touches The Bear"), even though he wasn't in it very much. Looks like the start of the summer movie season is coming a little early this year.

Top 7 Reasons I'm Going To Law School
1. Money - After graduation with a J.D., I could begin working in almost exactly the same job (although slightly more pressure, etc.) and be making up to twice as much as I do now, and my salary current salary ain't to shabby to begin with.
2. Interest - I had never considered a career in the law before, but since I've started working at my current job in a patent law firm, I have become more interested in not just patent law, but other areas of the law
3. Curiosity - I want to see if Law School (capital L, capital S) is as scary as the hype makes it out to be (kind of a sick curiosity I know). I'm also curious about the gunners and wonks out there in law school, and what how the ones who can't cut it will react (particular if I, a lowly engineer, smoke them in the grades department... oh, that would be sweet)
4. I Like School - Believe it our not (and Wife certainly does not), I actually like school, and am looking forward to going back.
5. Break From Work - I have been out of school for almost three years, and have only had 1 real vacation (my honeymoon), and I certainly won't get another one before law school... so I look at law school as a break from work (I know, a break from work with... more work, not much of a break, you could say)
6. Meet People - I don't exactly have the best network of friends built up. I have quite a few from college, but none of them work around here (at least that I know of)... and I only have one co-worker around my age, and he only started this last autumn. So I am looking forward to the social aspects of school (even if most of the people will be younger than me).
7. Excitement - Even though I know it will wear off quickly (probably during orientation), the idea of starting a whole new chapter of my life, and moving in a new direction is exciting for me.

More later... maybe later today if I have anything to say. Hasta.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Green Beer 4 Days Early... Ahhh the beauty of Chicago

Today's Question From My Jeopardy! Desk Calendar: Category: Classic Logos for $200... Metro's bird lost out to this animal to be the symbol of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio.

What is a lion? (Acceptable: Leo)... An easy one to start out the week. Plus $200 for me

My wife and I went down to watch the city of Chicago dye the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's Day (as if the river weren't poluted enough). Followed by the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade where we got to see not one, not two, but three different Irish Dance schools perform the Riverdance... plus about four sets of bagpipers (I thought they were Scottish!?!) We had a good time, and then went to a restaurant where we each had the "traditional" Miller Lite dyed green (hopefully not from the river) along with my even more "traditional" chicken fingers platter.

Not much new on the law school front. I received a financial aid report from Minnesota, and although they have given me a scholarship... after you see the whole amount you have to pay for school, and the fact that the maximum government loan isn't enough to cover it, it's a little intimidating. Granted, Wife will be working if we go to Minnesota (for an airline no less, so cheap airfare to go with the complete lack of free time I will have to travel)... so that right there is a big help, but still I don't look forward to taking out 30 G's for next year. Well, I haven't visited it yet. Maybe I'll hate it.

Thanks to Ditzy Genius for mentioning me in your blog. I took your advice and have added my e-mail (the free Blogger appears not to support comments yet, and I'm not going to shell out money to receive no comments). I'm still plowing through your Archieves to catch up.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Ding Dong, The Project's Dead!

Today's Question From my Jeopardy! Desk Calendar: Category: Five-Syllable Words for $1200... It's what happens to film that's in the light too long or a celebrity who's in the limelight too long.

What is overeexposure? (Damn, Missed another one, I'm having a bad week, I'm down $2200).

I finally finished up "The Project That Wouldn't Die." Actually, it isn't really dead, but it's out the door, and it's our clients problem to kill it now, Not Mine. I only wish it could have been finished 2 weeks ago, when it should have been. Well, as my mom always used to say "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride..."

I can't wait for the weekend. I'm going to watch them die the Chicago river green for St. Patty's Day (I know it's not until next Thursday, but if they had the parade on Wednesday, nobody but drunks would show up... and we can't have that on St. Patrick's Day).

Introduction of the Top 7 - Tips for The Admissions Season

In the interest of helping you out... here are my Top 7 Tips For Surviving the Admissions Season. Why Top 7, you ask? Well, Top 5 seems too small (plus I would like to avoid copying the whole High Fidelity John Cusack thing), and I'm too lazy to sit around and think of a whole Top 10. So without further ado...

Top 7 Tips For Surviving The Admissions Season
1. Start Early - a little too late for those of you this year, but for next year the earlier the better. Almost every school is on a rolling admissions (even if they say they aren't), so the earlier you get your application in, the earlier you hear back AND the more likely you are to get in. Most people apply in November (like I did), December, or January. If you are one of those people, your application is one of hundreds or even thousands that are being reviewed at the same time. If you get in earlier, you are one of only a few (or at most one of a few dozen)... and your file will probably get more time. Plus, early in the process they haven't given out any acceptances yet, so there are more spots available. Later on, when the spots have started to fill up, your application starts to look less and less good. Just for proof, a co-worker and I had identical LSAT scores and nearly the same GPA (although from different schools)... there were a few differences, he has a Ph.D. (which sure looks impressive), but I had nearly 3 years experience in the legal field, which he didn't have... so they kind of cancelled out. He got his applications in in October, I got mine in in November. For the schools we each applied to he has been accepted to Michigan (I'm still waiting to hear from them), accepted to Northwestern (I got waitlisted), waitlisted at Chicago (I got rejected), waitlisted at Cal-Berkeley (rejected), and waitlisted at Harvard (rejected).
2. Be realistic - although it is true you should apply to 1 or 2 "reach" schools that you would like to go to, 1 or 2 "match" schools, and maybe 1 "safety" school, be realistic when you define each category. As mentioned before, I received numbers that technically placed me in the range of some really great schools (Chicago, Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard, Yale), but for those schools the people that got in with similar numbers to me probably either 1) Went to an ivy league school for undergrad or (if I may allow some cynicism in) the same undergraduate school as the dean of admissions at the particular school, 2) Had connections (i.e. Mommy or Daddy is a Senator who made a call) or 3) Had a really compelling story to tell (which, sadly, my middle-class, white male son of non-divorced life in the suburbs did not provide for me). Therefore, although I still think a couple reach school applications are a good idea, remember, a reach still means you should be able to get in with your numbers alone, and that you shouldn't apply to more than 2 reach schools, and you better want to go there. Just as an example, I should have limited my reaches to Chicago, which is where I live and would love to stay here, and maybe Harvard just because it's worth a shot at Harvard in case you actually get in... but I went a little overboard and applied at not only Chicago, Harvard, Yale, Stanford (where I didn't particularly want to go even if I did get in), and Berkeley (ditto).
3. Have a Good Attitude - Unless you got a 172 or higher on your LSAT and/or have a 3.95 GPA, you're going to get rejected or waitlist from somewhere. Just let it go. You don't know the reasons for the rejection, and there's nothing you can do about it now. If it was a place you were dying to go to, either wait a year and reapply, or go somewhere else and get kick ass grades so you can transfer there.
4. Visit - I've only been on two visits, but I can tell it will make a big difference in the process. There are so many factors to consider for law school that it can be easy to forget the "feel" of the school (which for me was a big part of my choice for undergrad), but if you end up going somewhere you didn't visit, and you hate the facilities and the atmosphere, you have no one to blame but yourself.
5. Get your Financial Aid Stuff in ASAP - If finances are a concern for you (and unless you are independently wealthy, or have independently wealthy parents who are going to support you, it is) than get your FAFSA and other financial aid stuff in early. The earlier it gets in, the earlier you will hear about scholarships (both merit and need based), loans, etc., and the earlier you will have a better picture of how financial aid will affect your decision.
6. Don't Sweat Finances Too Much - OK, this may seem contrary to #5... but no matter what you get for financial aid, more than likely you are going into the hole for law school anyway. I have a couple full tuition scholarship offers... but even with that I will be taking out loans because I won't be working while in law school (at least not as a 1L), and you can't eat tuition. Law school is an investment, and if you worry too much about being too far in debt, you may avoid the place that is best for you, and will get you the best job when you're out. Finances should be a factor, but not the only one.
7. Have Fun - Although applying and going to law school is a huge decision that could affect the rest of your life... it's still you're decision, so have fun with it. Remember, it may be a professional school, but it's still school, and its you're chance to make new friends, and prolong your childhood a little longer, or return to your childhood for a little bit.

Wow, I felt a little bit like Dr. Phil there at the end. I hope you enjoyed it. Later

Lamest Blogger Ever...

So I never update my stupid blog... so what. It's not like anyone reads it anyway. Plus, I feel a little intimidated by "real" blogs about law school like effinchamp and Ditzy Genius (I know their are others, but these are the two I've read recently) and I realize I'm neither as efficient, nor as dedicated as I would like to believe.

Nothing really new on the law school front... or on the life front for that matter. I have a patent application that doesn't seem to want to die. I'm waiting for some final details from the inventor that I can plug in, then it's off to the client attorney. The problem is my boss (hereafter referred to as Boss, not to be confused with Bruce Springstein, who is The Boss) has gotten into a huge kick recently about efficiency (not that I blame him, I mean he is paying me a salary, and if I do more work faster, but just as good, he makes more money)... but he edits my work like it's a much anticipated Supreme Court opinion. I know he just wants the work product to be excellent (can't really fault him for that), and that his suggestions come from years of experience litigating patents with some of these very problems (again, can't fault him for that)... but it tends to draw the process out. But hey, I'm getting free training in legal writing and think that will probably be invaluable in law school and beyond.

I've also decided to begin removing specific identifying references to people... (hence the use of Boss above), including those in prior posts so as to thoroughly isolate me (aka the "Blogger") from you (the as yet non-existent "audience"), and also to prevent anyone becoming mad at me for posting things about them on the internet. Plus its funny on Ditzy Genius' blog... and I learned awhile ago that the surest way to being adequate is to copy someone who is really good. And really, how good does this blog have to be... nobody reads it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Round 1 of Visits

I visited a couple schools last week... on Thursday I went to a school that is close to here (hereafter Local School) on an individual visit, and on Friday I was at Midwest School's "Admitted Students Day" (hopefully that is an obvious fake name). Both visits were informative, but in different ways. Local School was nice because it was a 1-on-1 tour, one of the admissions officer's took me and my wife out to lunch, we got to sit in on a class, and it just felt more like we were getting a better idea of what the school was really like. Midwest School was very informative... part of the program told us things I probably wouldn't have even thought to ask about, but it felt very pre-packaged, spoon fed, and very impersonal. It was also difficult to get any specific questions answered (although the remedy for that is just asking later on at the admissions office, or by e-mail, which I will do later). I still think the admitted students day was nice, but I think I prefer the 1-on-1 approach. Of course, I still have a visit scheduled that is an "Admitted Students Day" kind of program.

Oh yeah, and I got my rejection from Harvard Law School on Monday. Not totally unexpected, considered I've been rejected or waitlisted from less renowned schools... still stings a little though. Harvard also is the current front runner for most insensitive rejection. There's didn't just reject me, but they said that they "denied admission," and they made it sound like there were lots of qualified candidates who applied, and that I wasn't one of them. At least Yale made it sound like I was right on the cusp (even if I wasn't), and that there were just so many good candidates this year, but that in a different year I would have gotten in (which I probably wouldn't). Anyway, the Ivy League rejections are out of the way. Now I just have to decide between the top 20 schools that have admitted me.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Bitched At + The Longest Converation

Yesterday was an interesting day. I am the Vice Chair of a new committee for an law association, and the Chair has not been the most responsive person in the world... so I had been sending out letters to potential new members, both of the association, and specifically to our committee. Well one of the respondents replied to me and the Chair, so she e-mailed me to say that she was suprised that I had started this mailing, and that she thought the committee would work together on things... you know an old fashioned bitch out. So now I have to call her and straighten it out. I dread the experience, because I was just trying to make things easier, because I knew the committee would need to contact these people eventually, and the Chair and I had discussed sending a letter before. I hadn't hear from her for almost a month so I just started sending the letters... I had no idea she would be offended that I took work upon myself. I'll keep you posted, hopefully it's just a misunderstanding.

I also spoke with the inventors on a pair of patent applications I wrote for them. Normally, an inventor reads through the application draft, makes a few comments, tweaks a little bit of language, and then says "It looks good." Well, these guys wanted to talk about every detail, which is fine, but it took almost three hours, when normally I get an e-mail saying "paragraph 12 should say _____ instead of _____... otherwise it looks good." I guess I should be happy that they took such an interest in the project. But now I only have half a day to put all this stuff in, plus, I'm leaving for the rest of the week to visit schools (University of Illinois College of Law tommorrow and University of Iowa College of Law on Friday... I'll post pictures if they're interesting). That's the work world I guess.

I Didn't Want To Go To Yale Either

I received my "thin letter" (read: rejection) from Yale Law School last night. I have now been rejected by some of the most prolific law schools in the country.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Oscars (Webster's def.) - The Ego Stroke To End All Ego Strokes

Like many of you, I watched the Oscars this Sunday. I can't say I was suprised by the love in for The Lord of the Rings... I mean I loved the books and the movies, but considering how much the first two movies and Peter Jackson were snubbed during the last 2 Academy Awards, it was a little surprising that they swept all 11 awards they were nominated for. As I said, I liked the movies, but would I put them on the same level as Titanic and Ben Hur, as all three won 11 awards? (The answer is no for both, although... I would put LOTR above Titanic, but below Ben Hur). It seems like they just showered all the awards for LOTR into this year's Oscars because the Academy realized they screwed them over the previous movies. It reminds me of when Denzel Washington Best Actor for Training Day, which in my opinion should have been won by Russel Crowe for A Beautiful Mind, because everyone realized they should have given it to Denzel for The Hurricane the previous year instead of Russel for Gladiator.

I also am annoyed with whoever gets to decide when to cut off a winner's acceptance speach. Why does the Sound Editing guy (or gal), in one of his (or her) few public acknowledgement's of his (or her) work, get cut off after about 4 seconds while Sean Penn is allowed to give one of the most dull speeches while scratching his neck with the friggin' statue? Speaking of Sean Penn, whose idea was it to nomitate Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High for an Oscar? Who's next... Horshack from Welcome Back, Kotter?

Work's been boring recently... I'm nearly finished with a big project (two fairly in depth and related patent applications), but I'm waiting for the inventors and my draftsman to get back to me. Oh well, I guess it gives me more time to blog. Hope to see you soon.