Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I'm back from Mexico (although about 12 hours later and 1 hotel stay more than I was supposed to be). I'm more tan than I was, but I am still a fairly pale white guy. Oh well, I guess it's hard to overcome the honkey gene.

Monday, August 22, 2005

But Our Mics Are Screwed Up, And His Always Sound Best

Here's a little tip to all you peoples planning a wedding. If you want dancing at your reception, hire a DJ. But, if you are going to forego the cheaper option of a DJ and decide to hire a band, DO NOT hire a band that is made up of a bunch of aging friends of the father of the groom... and if you must hire your dad's friends' "band," make sure they are actually good and don't sound like a screech owl when the lead "singer" is trying to hit the high notes of "When a Man Loves a Woman."

My wife and I went to my counsin's wedding over the weekend, and my cousin did not ask for my advice ahead of time, because if she had, I would have given her the same advice as above. Oh well.

Other than the music adventures, the wedding was fine. The wedding party had 11 bridesmaids and 11 groomsman, and they still managed to fly through the whole service in 16 minutes.

We'll be taking off on our Cancun trip bright and early tomorrow morning (assuming the srike-affected Northwest Airlines can get us there), so I will probably be silent until at least next Monday.1 Hasta luego!

1Please keep your cheers regarding my silence to yourselves until I've left the country.

I'm Very Discreet, But I'll Haunt Your Dreams

We went and saw The 40 Year-Old Virgin last night. Very, very funny. One of only two good moviews that I've seen this year (no wait, three... this one, Wedding Crashers, and March of the Penguins). Virgin has a bunch of great lines (including the title of this post, where Andy's (Steve Carell) manager is trying to convince him that they should be "fuck buddies"). This movie has at least as many great lines as Wedding Crashers (hightlight of WC "Perhaps play a little game called 'just the tip.' Just for a second, just to see how it feels.") Here are my favorite lines (note, these are from memory, and may not match the movie exactly):

"You have to plant a lot of seeds and see which grow into a plant. Then you gotta fuck that plant."

"No Andy, I will not take your HUGE box of PORN!"

"Just like it's written on a lion's DNA to pounce on a gazelle, it's also written on a man's DNA to jump on drunk bitches."

Funny stuff.

Friday, August 19, 2005

What To Do? A Plea For Advice

As I've mentioned, I made the Minnesota Law Review, and as everyone tells me "You've got a lot of work ahead of you." As I've also pointed out, my current schedule is very busy. So, I'm in the process of trying to trim back my schedule to make it more managable, and to give myself time to do Law Review, work, and my "presidential" duties. So, here are my two options, and I would appreciate any advice anyone has.

Option 1
Take 4 classes (Patents, Antitrust, Pretrial Skills, and International IP), all of which are 3 credits each, plus Law Review (2 more credits), for a total of 14 credits.
- No one class will be overwhelming (except maybe Antitrust).
- All but one of my classes will be done by Wednesday every week (and the remaining class is a Thursday evening class).
- More credits out of the way, so I can take lighter loads for my remaining 3 semesters
- I will be taking Antitrust and International IP (both courses I want to take) during my 2L year, when I will probably care about them more and will thus actually learn more.
- My Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (especially Mondays) will be crammed with classes, with few breaks in between
- Less time to work on law review stuff (and since this is my first semester of cite checking, and I have to do most of the work for my article during first semester, that loss of time could hurt)
- Most likely, grades for each of the classes will suffer, because I will have less time to dedicate to each class.

Option 2 (The one I am currently leaning towards)
Take 3 classes (Patents, Pretrial Skills, Evidence), 2 classes being for 3 credits each (Patents and Pretrial skills), and one for 4 credits (Evidence), plus Law Review for a total of 12 credits (the minimum allowed)
- Signigicantly lighter course load (1 less class, only 2 finals, 2 less heavy substantive courses, 2 less class meetings per week) which will (hopefully) give me more time to work on law review stuff and to work and make a little $$$ during the school year.
- More breaks between classes on days I have to be at school (for finishing reading I couldn't get to, etc.)
- Get evidence out of the way (so I can take a trial practice course in the spring or next fall)
- Only 12 credits this semester, meaning I will have to have higher course loads (at least 14) for each of my last three semesters
- I will have to put off taking International IP for a year (or completely), and Antitrust for at least a semester, probably a whole year (May not be a huge deal, but I do want to take these courses).
- I'm sure there are other cons in there too.

So, what do you think? I'm leaning toward the 12 credit option, because I think that 3 courses instead of 4 will give me more than a 25% increase in free time (even with the additional class meeting for the 4 credit class, I will have fewer finals to study for, and significantly less reading to do). Anyone have a similar dilema they have to (or had to) deal with?

I will be gone for the weekend going to my cousin's wedding, and then it is back in Minnesota for one day before I leave for my vacation to Mexico... and then it's "Hola maragarita y cerveza, bienvenidos a mi estomago" and "Donde esta la playa?" Mucho Gusto!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

This Is Hard

Picking a topic for a law review article is hard! How am I supposed to know which way the law is going? If I knew that, I'd be a Supreme Court justice... or better yet, the highest paid predictor of Supreme Court decisions in the country.

I think I have a topic selected, but what the heck do I know? Like I said, this is hard!

Monday, August 15, 2005

One Callback Down

I had my first callback interview today, and I think it went pretty well... so hopefully I will have at least one offer fairly soon, which will take the pressure off OCI immensely. I also think this firm (henceforth to be known as Minneapolis Firm A) has a philosophy that is very well suited to what I am looking for in a potential employer. Firm A seems to know that *gasp* it's attorneys, even the new associates, may want a life outside of the office, so it has much less strict work requirements1. I also got the impression that people are able to make their work schedule fit their personal lives fairly easily without feeling like they are sacrificing their personal lives or their careers. The only thing that concerns me is Firm A is a fairly small firm (25 lawyers right now) and it may not be the best place to develop litigation skills, if it turns out that I want to do litigation, because it is harder for a small firm to have a lot of litigation (at least patent litigation) without the litigation swallowing up the entire firm2.

We'll see if anything comes of it, but I'm just glad to have one callback out of the way. I have a few more to go, plus OCI's, and hopefully I'll have a job for next summer at the end.

1For example, they don't have a minimum billing requirement because they feel that when a firm has such minimum requirements, associates are much more likely to screw over their co-workers to meet their billing requirements (and to try and ensure co-workers don't meet their billing requirements) that it makes for a really bad work environment.
2Which is something that doesn't always make business sense, because what happens if you clients don't have anymore litigation work, and you've been lax on your patent prosecution, and then you have no work at all.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Why Did I Agree to This?*

In about 5 minutes I'm going to be leaving work early to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (or MPRE-AMBLA). It sounded like a good idea back in early July when I registered for the thing, but now I'm wondering why I did it. I think I will pass,1 but it still required me to give up my evenings this week to actually study for the thing. That leaves me pretty much just one week of fun before school starts (next week I have to bear down and pick a law review topic for my Note, the week after that is my vacation to Mexico, which is the fun week, and the week after that is filled with "Interviewing" and Law Review Orientation... plus the Activities "Fair" for the incoming class's orientation, and then it's school time). Where did the summer go? Why did I take Professional Responsibility this summer? It sucked my entire summer away.

Alright, no more bitching for now. On tap for this afternoon after the test is a trip to the Apple store to get them to replace my completely broken iPod (they tried to fix it a week ago, and it broke even worse two days later), then home to run, and maybe a free poker tournament at a bar this evening.

It's time to show that Scan-Tron sheet that I mean business, and that I can give answers about Confidentiality with the best of 'em.

*Or, How I learned to stop worrying and fill in bubbles.
1Although, who the hell knows because they don't tell you what raw score you need to get to get a passing scaled score (the test has 50 questions, but they covert this into a scaled score where 100 is average, and in Minnesota you need an 85 to pass).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Never Thought I'd Say This

But... I agree with Jeb. Jeb is joining a whole bunch of people (including me) that think the NCAA's recent ban on (basically) all Native American mascots, including the Florida State Seminoles (hence the reason Jeb even cares). Besides Florida St., some other prominant schools listed on the official NCAA press release are the University of Illinois (Fighting Illini), the University of Utah (Utes), the University of North Dakota (Fighting Sioux), and Central Michigan University (Chippewas).

Well, I'm part Irish, so I'm offended by Notre Dame's mascot. And I'm also part French and I have cowlicks, so I'm offended by Texas Christian University's mascot (the Horned Frog). Also, my great-great-great grandfather was a brown ground rodent, so I am really offended by the University of Minnesota's mascot. Why does the Gopher have to be Golden. What's up U, you racist or something?

Here's a news flash for NCAA, just because a university mascot uses the name of an indian tribe does not mean the depiction of the tribe is negative. For example, the Florida State mascot is endorsed, even designed by the Florida Seminole tribe. The University of North Dakota has a large number of Native American students. None of the logos or mascots of any of the schools I listed seem to be offensive or derogatory to me. The closest to being offensive that I see is the use of the word "Fighting" in some mascot names, and the fact that the Florida State mascot seems very warlike. But you have to remember, these are sports mascots... in our country, sports (particularly football), is a metaphor for war... so unless the mascot is disrespectful (like the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Savages, or the Washington Redskins), a warrior mascot is fine.

I really thought that the Politically Correct war was starting to die down a little as people realized how absurd some of the PC battles were (like insisting on calling that round thing in the street a "Person Hole" Cover, or an "Ovular" instead of a seminar). But apparently the NCAA never got the memo about picking your battles, and decided to come out with both guns blazing.

More Updates

Yesterday I received my first rejection from the Chicago IP Interview thing. It was from the last NY firm I interviewed with. Not a real big surprise, of all my interviews, I would have nominated for the "Most Likely to Get Me a Thin Envelope" because it was the one where I had no real feeling of connection with the interviewer. You know that feeling when you are having a good interview, and you feel like the interviewer gets you, and you can really "do no wrong." Well, there wasn't any of that with this guy... almost just the opposite. So no bonus trip to NYC, because both of the NY firms I'm interviewing with will be done on the same trip.

But, today I got a call from one of the 2 or 3 firms that I would really like to work for. Today's firm is a national IP firm with an office here in Minneapolis, and it has a really good reputation in IP law, and particularly patent law. Plus, they have offices all over the country, so if we ever want to move, there are a lot of places we could move to. So, yea me! Now don't screw it up!

Future Recipient of a Darwin Award

What a dumbass! Some moron jumped onto the netting behind home plate FROM THE UPPER DECK.
Harper [the retarded leaper] told three friends he was sitting with that he was going to test whether the net would hold his weight -- and then he jumped
After the game, Harper was carted from the ballpark on a stretcher, his head immobilized in a neck brace, and taken to Lincoln Hospital for observation.
I can't believe this guy didn't die, thus locking up a Darwin Award for killing off his stupid ass.

Seriously... I mean, C'mon!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How Bad Do You Have to Suck?

As Evan and Lawgirl have already reported, NBC has cancelled The Law Firm, its terribly-bad reality show. But here's the thing... summer TV is supposed to suck, that's why it's summer TV. So my age-old question "How bad of a show do you have to make to be cancelled from summer TV?" has been answered by NBC and David E. Kelly. Phew! One of my life's missions has been solved.

Actually, it isn't really cancelled... it will live on on Bravo, where the trashier the show is, the more times it will be shown (if you don't believe me, just see how many times you spot a drunk or coked up Whitney Houston on Being Bobby Brown... they take like a year to bring us another Celebrity Poker Showdown, but dysfunctional divas get 14 shows in a day).

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Siren That Cried Wolf

This morning there were some "severe" thunderstorms in the area where I live. I use "quotes" because I don't really get what makes some thunderstorms severe and others not. I get that "Severe" thunderstorms are supposed to be capable of becomining a tornado, and that in some cases the winds of a particular storm can be so high that the storm is likely to cause damage, but most thunderstorms are just loud rain... what makes them so severe?

Anyway, the suburb I live in (or maybe the whole county) has a tendancy to blare its warning siren as long as there are dark clouds and rain (sometimes just for the dark clouds). This morning was no exception. It's like the Commissioner in Charge of Sirens has an extreme paranoia of tornados or bad storms and wants to be sure we know there is a storm, ANY STORM, coming. This would be great if every storm was worthy of this fanfare... but most storms, including this one, are just a short rainstorm. So, we've now been desensitized to the sirens, so now when a real tornado comes through threatening to blow us to Oz, we won't care or take shelter. (The other funny thing about these sirens is they are accompanied by an announcement telling us to "STAY IN YOUR HOMES!" But the announcement isn't very loud, so we have to go outside to hear them.) Anyway, that's enough excitement from the suburbs.

In other news, I went to a poker tournament at a bar last Thursday through this tournament series. It was really fun, and I did alright. Out of the 60 or so people who showed up, I finished in the top 15. And I would have done better, but I made a real bonehead mistake on the hand I went out on. Oh well, the tournament was free. And I ran into the guy whose blog lead me to Riverush tournaments. In fact, I even got mentioned in his blog (although he didn't know me from Adam at the time... and still doesn't... and seems to regret me mentioning his blog at the tournament... eh).

Finally, I've gotten two more callbacks. One more in NY, and one to a Minneapolis firm. Still waiting to hear from the firm that I really want to work for, but the new NY firm was another one that I was impressed with.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Everybody's Doin' It - Friday Spies

I have succumbed to the beast that is the Friday Spies from Begging the Question... I'm such a follower.

Friday SpiesĀ© : Who Moved My Cheese Edition
1. What's your favorite cheese?

Mozzarella... I love it. Nothing I like more than a Chicago style deep dish pizza with tons and tons and tons of mozzarella cheese.

2. Cheesy movie: If you were in Top Gun, what would your call sign be?
Dark Horse... because its lame, and well, I'm lame. Also because "Douchebag" was already taken by Tom Cruise.

3. Big cheese: Tell us a boss story -- best boss, worst boss, a time when you were the boss, etc.
I don't have any good boss stories... I'm lame like that.

4. Say cheese: Are you a photobug? Are you photogenic? Or, in 1000 words or less, tell us about your best picture.
I'm sort of photogenic, I guess. My best picture is the one of me when I'm about 1 year old trying to eat chocolate pudding, and it's all over my head and hands and little Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls and coming out of my nose. You can just see that I was going to grow up to be one handsome man.

5. Just cheesy: What's the worst pick-up line you've ever used, or had used on you? Did it work?
This was used on me... I was working at a place that had one of those lame "team building" events, but there was going to be free pop and chips and shit (not literal shit... figurative shit, as in there would be other stuff). So anyway, I didn't know where it was going to be, so I went up to my supervisor, who was a girl a year or two older than me, and said "Where's the party at?" and she said "Wherever you want it to be." I think it just slipped out, because she turned very red and someone else had to tell me where the party was. It didn't really work because I was dating the girl who would someday become my wife... but sadly, it might have worked were I single and desperate (which I probably would have been). (Hmm... come to think of it, this should have been my Boss story).

There you go, I am loyal sheep and a model member of the herd. Baaaaaaaaaa!

The Law Firm: Episode 2 - Attack of the Drones

*** Note: There will be minor SPOILERS regarding the second episode of NBC's The Law Firm. Please Avert Your Eyes if you don't want it ruined for you***

Yes, I watched The Law Firm again. No, I am not proud of it. The only thing I have to say is, like every reality show I've ever seen where people are kicked, I once again am very mad at who got kicked off, but mostly I am pissed at who remains.

I felt that at least one person deserved to be dismissed. Anika pretty much sucked and didn't have a good grip on what trial strategy might be all about. But, I had a real problem with Elizabeth getting canned, not because she did an awesome job (she didn't), but because she did a competent job and at least 2 other people should have been fired before her. She wasn't even the worst on her own team. Deep let himself get completely flummoxed by Keith's objections during the "trial", and eventually just gave up (or at least that is how they edited it). Sure, Deep gave a pretty good closing argument (although not great), and if they had to fire two people from that team, they should have gotten rid of Deep.

But the real reason I'm mad (although not surprised) is because, once again, the Asshole escaped dismissal because the producers want to keep the drama going. I don't care if this is reality TV, if a lawyer tells a judge (or arbiter in this case) that his decision is "Bullshit," he should have been fired on the spot. Period. But, because Olivier1 is a prick and the fashionable pretty boy of the group (and therefore in the minds of TV Land will bring the ratings) he gets to stay at least until mid-season. What a douche nozzle.

I think the worst thing about this show (besides the oh-so-flattering light it paints of our already highly-regarded profession) is the complete predictability of who the final 2 or 3 will be. It seems pretty clear that the only really good lawyer in the bunch is Chris, and the only other real competition seems to be Keith and Aileen. A few others really haven't been shown much (Barrett, I'm looking in your direction), so maybe they're OK. Why do I let these stupid shows suck me in?!

In other Reality TV news, I've also seen a couple episodes of a show on ABC2 called Brat Camp. It takes a bunch of badly behaved teenagers and sticks them into a hippy-style camp to make them work hard and straighten them out. The show is annoying, but there are two funny things about it. Each kid has their own caption whenever their name appears on screen. This guy is "Hyperactive" and she is the "Compulsive Liar". One of the best ones is "Tried to Stab His Twin", and my absolute favorite "Agressive Outcast". I'm sure the labels are good for their self-esteem. The other good part is the names of the counselors at this camp. There's Boulder, Glacier, Mother Bear, and my favorite Little Big Bear (who actually seems like a really patient and cool guy who would be great as a counselor, but he still needs to change his name).

So that's my (long) TV update for this week. Cheers!

Update: For the second week, Ditzy Genius has a huge recap of yesterday's episode of The Law Firm. The summary isn't that great (sorry DG, but the typos are everywhere!), but her little side comments are great. For example "Roy says that each of them perfromed well but not perfect - some even showed flashes of brilliance. I must have missed that part last week." and "The first case is about the most serious issue facing the world today: Terrorism. I feel everyone in America watching roll their eyes." Ha!

1Seriously, this dude's name is O-liv-i-ay! I know he's French and all that, but sit the f*$% down OLIVER.
2Yes, I'm one of the 4 people who watched ABC that day.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wow, That Was Fast!

I got a call-back interview with one of the firms I interviewed with at the Chicago Patent Interview program... already! I can't actually do the interview until school has already started, but that just means I get to skip out on some classes for a free "trip" to New York. Woo Hoo! Now, if I could just get calls from some of the firms I really want to work for (and if I can figure out how we are supposed to sign up for our On Campus Interviews, since career services is about the least helpful people ever), I'll be all set.

The Verdict Is In And You Have A Stupid Catchphrase

I finally got to see a rerun of The Law Firm (NBC's trashy new reality series) yesterday. First off, it's a pretty bad show. Second, I'm still going to watch it, because I'm a law student, and I think we have to or else we don't get our degree. Third, how lame is the Boss guy's line when he fires people?
"The verdict is in, and [soon to be "Dismissed" lawyer] *smirk from head guy for how clever he thinks he is*, you are out."
The Donald's "Your fired" is pretty lame too, but at least it's short.

The reason I got to see this bad show is because I finally got my replacement TiVo and got it all set-up yesterday, so I'm back in the world of not having to watch live TV. Oh, thank you TiVo for all that you provide. I'm taking my iPod in some time this week to get replaced with another iPod. This one better work.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Examine This! and Who Are You to Interrogate Me?!

Alright, I might as well get my post-mortems out of the way for my Professional Responsibility Exam and the Loyola Patent Interview program.

PR Exam
Not too hard... but fucking long! Did Professor Discipline not know that we only had three hours, or did he just want to see us squirm to answer his 8 questions! I also liked the fact that I could have only studied Confidentiality and Conflicts of Interest and easily gotten at least a B. And where were the questions about advertising, or discipline, or ANYTHING ELSE WE SUPPOSEDLY LEARNED DURING THIS STUPID CLASS!!! The only good thing I can say about Professional Responsibility is at least I don't have to take it again (I hope).

Patent Interview Program
I don't think I made any big mistakes like saying I wanted to do litigation in a firm that only does prosecution (although I almost said I wanted to do both to a firm that only does litigation, but the guy told me they only did litigation before I opened my mouth... saved me the trouble of having to shove my foot in there). No hard questions (just the dreaded "Describe a challenging obstacle in your life and how you overcame it"... I HATE that question) and no interview where I walked away saying "I'll never hear from them again." (Although I'm sure there are quite a few firms that I'll never hear from again unless they are opposing counsel). We'll see if it was worth shelling out the $175 or so for the hotel (Side Note: You can find some pretty good deals on hotwire.com) and $25 for the flights (my wife works for an airline... man that's sweet!) for the possibility of getting some fly-back interviews.

And for everyone who was in my Torts/Physics class... I ran into Physics Guy at the event. He's a nice guy and all, but I'm glad I didn't have to hear him give any more of his patented1 fascinating speeches about the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or whatever the heck else he likes to talk about.

1Yes, that's a pun... get it? Patented? Screw you... I think it's funny.

It Didn't Pump Him Up

Today, one day after the lying Rafael Palmero was suspended for steroid use ("I didn't ever use seroids" my ass), Seattle pitcher Ryan Franklin has also been suspended for steroids. The best part, 'roidy McFranklin has a 6-11 record with a 4.11 ERA. I thought steroids were "performance enhancers." If this is his enhanced performance, why is he even in the league? At least Palmero put up Hall-of-Fame numbers while he was juiced up.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Updates!... Updates!... We Don't Need No STINKING UPDATES!

In order to avoid reliving my Professional Responsibility exam and my interviews, I'm not going to talk about them yet. Instead, I will update you on the recent losses in my life. Recently I have lost two of my very best friends that helped get me through "Law School: Year One."

Victim #1 - My TiVo
I was taking a break from studying last Monday to eat and watch a recording of the 2005 World Series of Poker... but instead of watching check-raise bluffing on the flop, I was treated with the "Grey Screen of Pestilence"1 telling me that for some reason my TiVo has decided to restart for no particular reason. After staring for almost an hour at the ominous "Just a Few More Seconds: Almost Done" I finally figured out that it was probably broken. But, because I had other things on my mind (like whether or not I care whether the federal government is entitled to discovery of questionnaires addressed to the corporate counsel of Upjohn, Inc.) I just let it go. Well, it turns out the hard drive is fried. So, no World Series of Poker to watch... no reruns of Joey to peruse... and TiVo had to die just days before the premier of The Law Firm on NBC :( *Sigh* Luckily, it is fairly inexpensive to replace my beloved TiVo... but it still sucks. What am I supposed to do to fill my time until the TiVo is replaced? Read?! Exercise?! TALK?!

Victim #2 - My iPod
I was walking around Chicago after buying tickets to Red Scare at The Second City Chicago Mainstage, listening to my iPod so I didn't have to listen to street noise, like other people's conversations and the warning *HONKS* from taxis that are about to hit me, and all of a sudden it just stops. No mas musica. So, I reboot the Pod as I was shown how to do by the helpful Apple Geeks at the Apple Store, and it works (*phew* crisis averted)... for a couple songs... then it freezes up again. Well crap! It looks like Mr. iPod has decided to go "Bye Bye" too.2 This shouldn't be that big a deal, however... because Apple is supposed to just replace the busted iPod with a new one. But, this will be the second replacement iPod, and I am getting really sick of having to reload all of my CDs onto the computer, and then onto the iPod (my laptop has less storage space than the iPod, and I can't put all my CDs on my computer, else I won't have any more space for law school stuff... Hey!, that might not be so bad!... Nope, bad idea, better stick to keeping space for notes and stuff).

Argh! This has not been a good week for my beloved electronics. Stupid technology!

1The "Grey Screen" is related to the "Blue Screen of Death" to which Windows users have grown accustomed.
2In retrospect, it would have been damn funny if the iPod would have cut out during N*Sync's "Bye Bye Bye" It ain't no lie, I wanna see you out that door Baby bye bye byeeeeeeeeyyyyuuuuuuuup

I'm Back, Baby!

I'm back from my PR-related stupor followed immediately by a Windy City Interview-induced haze. The exam went OK... I probably got at least a B, and hopefully a B+ or better. The interviews seemed to go well also, but we'll see if I get any fly-back interviews first.

More information later.