Thursday, November 30, 2006

Going Through My Inbox

Like most people, I delete spam in my inbox without bothering to open it. But every so often, curiosity gets the better of me. And the subject line "Savee your hard working money noginbb" was just too hard to resist.

Now, I will post the entire text of the email:

Greetings happy Home-owwner

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If you own property and need spending cash
ANY way you like, or would like to lower your mortgage payments
beyond 30% and better, then then you've found the right place.
September's best rates as follows!

$500.000 at a lowest 3.53%
$461,000 for lowest as 3.15%
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Take 1 minute to visit our user-friendly web-site for a personalized quotation

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I mean, that last paragraph is brilliant. I don't have any idea what to make of it, and trust me, this is the sort of thing I spend hours trying to figure out. I'm open to suggestions.

Also, that rate structure is going to keep me up nights, as it seems to make no rational sense.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Olympic Consulting Boondoggle

There is no greater lie in politics greater than a candidate who promises "reform". The second greatest lie is when a politician promises that a sports arena is going to make money for a community. Even as a sports fan, I find publicly financed stadiums to be a boondoggle and an embarrassment*.

With that in mind, Reuters is reporting that the original 2.4 billion pound price tag for the 2012 London Olympics has already been adjusted upwards to 3.3 billion pounds. OK, that's not news. A sports arena overbudget? Particular an Olympic venue? Shocking! But the story includes this gem:

The new estimate for the Olympic Park includes a 400 million pound fee that will be paid to consultants responsible for making sure costs come in on budget, Jowell told a parliamentary committee

Let's recap.

The London Olympics are 900 million pounds overbudget. 400 million pounds of that is a consulting fee to make sure the project comes in under budget. I think I see a potential savings of almost half of their cost overlays.

In related news, consultants have now moved into first place on the list of the World's Most Hated Professions. Lawyers, insurance adjusters, mortgage loan officers, and IRS auditors salute you.

*Ed Note- I admit it. That was just an excuse to use the word "boondoggle." Boondoggle. Boondoggle. Boondoggle. Say it out loud. It's really fun. No, I'm not drinking. Why do you ask?

Bad Post

Katie wants me to write a post today so she doesn’t have to pay attention in her next class. So the crappiness of this entry is entirely her fault. I don’t like to feel rushed, and as you can tell, I’m not even good at it. While we’re clearing up some general housekeeping here at Poseur HQ, the Reverend wants credit for coming up with Steve McQueen Disease. He didn’t know Steve McQueen had died of mesothelioma (and Katie doesn’t even know who Steve McQueen was, she should rent the original Thomas Crowne Affair), but he may have been the first one to actually come up with the idea of renaming mesothelioma. I wasn’t taking notes, so I’ll just assume its his joke. But it’s my campaign. Send donations.

Yesterday was the second week of flag football. The first week went off without a hitch and Jordan and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves. This week, er, didn’t. Sorry about the lights. Or the lack thereof. We’re feeling less good about ourselves this week. We’ll keep trying to do better. I could blame Waco Parks and Rec, but that’s a cop out. So thanks for bearing with us.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Steve McQueen Disease

Steve McQueen is one of the coolest human beings to ever walk the face of the earth*. It’s why we have movies like the Tao of Steve. Or why I watch Bullitt every year or so (come on, that car chase scene through San Francisco is only topped by the Blues Brothers car chase scene).

Also, mesothelioma is really hard to spell (its not even in Word’s spellchecker, but "Steve McQueen" is -- I'm not kidding, go ahead and try). And really hard to say (mesothelioma, not Steve McQueen). I’m tired of always typing it in my notes whenever we get an asbestos case.

What do these things have to do with one another?

Steve McQueen died of mesothelioma in 1980. I think you see where I’m going with this. I move that we start referring to mesothelioma as Steve McQueen Disease. If someone is going to die of a truly horrible disease, the least they can do is know that it also killed, in the words of the Drive-by Truckers, “the coolest doggone motherscratcher on the silver screen.” If Lou Gehrig gets a disease, so should Steve McQueen.

*Ed. Note - Actual coolest human being? Cary Grant.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Altman, Failure, and the F-Word

Osler's recent post on Prairie Home Companion reminded me I wanted to say something about Robert Altman's death.

Actually, Altman came up during the weekend as my buddy Bruce, as his habit, tried to stump me with bizarre trivia questions. His question was "What was the first major Hollywood studio movie to use the word 'fuck' in the dialogue?"* Which led to a ten-minute discussion on what constitutes a major Hollywood studio movie, but I eventually pulled out the correct answer... MASH.

Altman's not my favorite director, though I do like a lot of his movies. But there are two things I love about Altman. ONE - even his failures are interesting. Yeah, The Player is great, and while I'm not a fan of Nashville, its a classic. But I'm drawn to his misses like Popeye and his TV series, Gun. Both are absolutely fascinating and taught me that I'd rather watch for someone reach for greatness and fail than reach for mediocrity and acheive it.

TWO - He started late in life to become one of the great directors of his generation. By the time he finally got his hands on a Hollywood movie, he made MASH. He was already 45 years old and had been laboring in obscurity on a series of tv shows you've never heard of (and a few episodes of Bonanza). He's lumped in with Scorcese and Coppola when he was actually from a different generation. But, with his late start, he still had a career which takes a backseat to no one.

As someone who started law school a little bit older than the rest of the class, I find great inspiration in Robert Altman. I hope my failures are just as interesting.

*Ed Note- no one ever said we were couth.

Friday, November 24, 2006

One Of Those Touchy-Feely Posts

I wasn't planning on coming home for Thanksgiving. My family just lives too far away for it to be worth the trip, so I was going to stay in Texas with some friends and enjoy Thanksgiving as a guest in someone else's home. But then my Oil and Gas class got cancelled and my Wednesday night was free. And the cost of plane tickets dropped as the airlines tried to unload their inventory.

So I ended up on a plane on Thanksgiving morning to DC. I arrived in time for dinner, and my brother took me to their home for his and his fiancee's first time hosting Thanksgiving. My mom didn't know I was coming, and I wanted to surprise her. My brother and I talked on the car ride back from the airport:

"Couldn't you have told her you were coming?"
"Yes. But I wanted her to be surprised."
"She would have been surprised if you had called her."
"But then I wouldn't see her be surprised. I'd lose the benefit of the bargain."
"Nevermind. Law school ruining the way I talk again."

I walked in the door, and it didn't register with my mom at first. But when it did, she cried and hugged me like she hadn't seen me in years. I hugged her back, and maybe I got something in my eye. I'm not saying.

I think she was surprised. The trip was definitely worth it.

Count your blessings this season, for they are many. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go downstairs and eat pie for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Baylor Basketball

Look, I know Baylor isn’t used to winning. And it’s not a habit they need to develop any time in the near future. And I also know it’s hard to get excited for Texas Southern. But when Rogers throws down a monster slam, it wouldn’t kill y’all to stand up and cheer.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a sporting event in which you felt like you couldn’t lustily cheer for the home team. Just a bizarre atmosphere for a game. Though I do give credit to the students in the Bear Pit. They are trying.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Movie Review

I went to see Babel last night, a movie which has generated some Oscar buzz (it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes, which ain't the Palme d'Or but sounds much cooler). I'm surprised it came to Waco, so I was looking forward to it. And quite frankly, I wish it would have stayed away. It was like watching a parody of an art film*.

Two and half hour run time because the director doesn't believe in getting to the point? Check.

Meandering storyline in which nothing actually happens? Check.

"Artistic" camera angles like pointing the camera directly at the sun? Check.

A big name actor (Brad Pitt in this case) trying hard to not look beautiful? Check.

Subtitles? Check.

A completely irrelevent subplot shoehorned into the movie for no particular reason other than to show a young woman's breasts? Check.

Characters you could care less about? Check.

Every person in a position of authority is protrayed as a bully at best, completely evil at worst? Check.

The obligatory drug use scene? Check and check.

A completely humorless movie, it tries to make a statement about the interconnectedness of the human experience, but it ends up just being a series of even more ridiculous plots which are supposed to make us think about fate. Instead, it made me feel the screenwriter had absolutely no respect for the audience, and just wanted to say how much smarter he was than us.

In short, I thought it sucked.

*Ed Note - And to be fair, I like a good pretentious movie every now and then. Eraserhead is one of my favorite films. I've seen almost everything Fellini has made. My favorite director is Darren Aronofsky. I've got my pretentious art house film bona fides.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Economist and The Football Coach

Milton Friedman died yesterday. Bo Schembechler died today. Which one of these deaths do you think gets above the fold coverage?

Friedman is a giant of acadamia, and is probably the most important economist since Keynes. Schembechler coached a lot of winning football teams. Not to get on a high horse, but it does say something about our culture that the coach's death is the bigger news story. But what ya gonna do?

But here's a good Friedman story from one of the many obits today:

Gen. William Westmoreland, testifying before President Nixon's Commission on an All-Volunteer [Military] Force, denounced the idea of phasing out the draft and putting only volunteers in uniform, saying that he did not want to command "an army of mercenaries." Friedman, a member of the 15-person commission, interrupted him. "General," Friedman asked, "would you rather command an army of slaves?" Westmoreland got angry: "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." And Friedman got rolling: "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries." And he did not stop: " If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general. We are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."

Pretty brilliant guy. I don't agree with all of his theories, but I'm not nearly smart enough to contest any of them.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Burrito Sandwich

The Massachusettes courts deal with the important issues of our times

Locke said the New Webster Third International Dictionary's definition of sandwich -- "two thin pieces of bread, usually buttered, with a thin layer (as of meat, cheese, or savoury mixture) spread between them" -- indicated there was no reason to keep White City from renting to Qdoba.

"Under this definition and as dictated by common sense, this court finds that the term 'sandwich' is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans," the judge said in an eight-page ruling.

I'm not sure why it takes eight pages to say that burritos aren't sandwiches, but I'm glad we finally have some legal authoirty for this position. And I'd like to protest the New Webster Third International Dictionary definition. Are the pieces of bread in a sandwich usually buttered? I never butter my sandwich, and don't know anyone who does. I cry foul.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hokie Bird vs. Bevo

CollegeFootballNews recently ranked the top 25 mascots in college sports. It’s a fun list, though I am irritated that Mike the Tiger only is #21. You’d think having a live bengal tiger outside the opposing team’s dressing room would be higher on the list. Seriously. A live tiger. That beats the hell out of a bulldog. Though I’m ok with Ralphie the Buffalo being #1. Especially since Sherp told me running with the buffalo is a varsity sport. And that kind of thing makes me happy.

However, let’s pick on Texas fans, which I know is hazardous around these parts. Bevo is #3 on the list, and let’s quote the write up on him:

In 1915, a Texas student raised $100 to by what turned out to be an uncontrollable steer that basically did whatever it wanted to. A group of Aggie fans, as a prank, put a 13-0 brand on the animal, the score of A&M's 1915 win over the Longhorns. The Texas handler quickly turned the one and the three into a B, and the fashioned an EVO to come up with the name. The first BEVO, too wild to tame, was eventually eaten.

The first Bevo was eaten. I can’t stress this enough. That’s not a mascot, that’s dinner. How great can a mascot be if he’s just a few months away from roasting on a spit? What other mascot on the list can be served with a nice chianti? Just the Hokie bird (which is a turkey). My brother went to Virginia Tech and I still ask him to pass the Hokie during Thanksgiving. But what makes the Hokie a good mascot is its inherent ridiculousness. It’s a step up from the Stanford Tree or the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slug. UT fans will insist Bevo is not a ridiculous mascot.

Well, it is. It’s a cow. A cow that is one step away from being eaten by the students if he ever steps out of line.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fall Down Drunk

I am proud to have starred in the new PC video, "guy failing the field sobriety test." I think wearing one shoe was the perfect touch to convey absolutely plastered. I'm a method actor, and I researched heavily for the role. I'd like to thank my director and fellow cast. Though the only thing I was drunk on were the delicious cookies from the Women's Legal Society. Yeah, yeah. A bake sale by WLS is supposed to be ironic. But those were good cookies.

Actually, I'm now looking forward to PC* when there is an off-chance I'd have to prosecute myself based on this video. Easiest. Cross Ex. Ever.

* Ed Note: No. I'm not.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Case of the Mondays

I have no classes on Monday. I'm not saying this to rub it in*, but just to say I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself for a whole day off. Apparently, I don't have any hobbies and I'm not all that interesting. Trust me. I hang out with me all the friggin time, and I bore myself to tears. I can do the assignments for Tuesday, but that pretty much just filled up my morning.

I did attend my first wedding shower this weekend. I can sum up exactly how much I like Stephanie and Levi: I went to their shower instead of watching LSU football. And didn't spend the evening in front of the TV like all of the Texas fans. Anyone who knows me knows exactly how big of a sacrifice missing an LSU game is for me. Though I did tape it and watched it when I got home, despite knowing the final outcome.

But it's the thought that counts.

*Note From Management: That is a lie. I am saying it to rub it in.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why I Am Not A Carpenter

There is now a shed somewhere in Waco which has been built entirely by law students. I wouldn't vouch for its structural integrity.

Habitat for Humanity was a good time. We had a good turnout and no one suffered any major injuries, which is always a concern when I am in the vicinity of a circular saw. And then they gave us a lot of food. Their definition of "there might not be enough" is rather loose.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I really forgot what a dynamic prof the WJC is. His class is as close to stand up comedy a law school class will ever get, even with some of the same rhythms of delivery. And I really appreciate that he talks in footnotes, as anyone who reads this blog knows I am a big fan of.*

*Ed. Note: Though this could be an endnote. It depends on your perspective. If you view each entry as an individual work, than this is an endnote. If you view the blog as a single work and each entry as contribution to the whole, than this is a footnote. I will maintain these are footnotes. If this were an endnote, I would keep all of the notes on a seperate webpage.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Day After

For the first time in my life, I have voted for a candidate who actually won an election. My vote has long been the kiss of death, usually due to my penchant to vote against incumbents. But my personal favorite losing vote is when I voted for a teacher running for the Board of Education. not only did she not win, she was fired from her job for being critical of the Board of Ed. I really considered stopping voting all together with that one.

But I dutifully filled out my absentee ballot this year, and shock of all shocks, the candidates I voted for actually won. I actually felt good about my vote in the US Senate, as both candidates in Maryland were good and decent men who would have represented the state well. Usually, I choose between the lesser of two evils, this time I felt like I was choosing between the greater of two goods. Which was an odd feeling.

Also, one of my classmates from high school won his election for County Executive, which is pretty cool (yes, I voted for him too; when you're on a roll, you're on a roll). I don't think I'm moving back to Maryland, so this is probably the last time I will vote in an election in the Free State. And after ten years of trying, I finally got to back a winning horse.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get Off Your Lazy Butt And Vote

Do your civic duty today. Or hope your absentee ballot didn't get lost in the mail by a corrupt poll worker.

And be sure to either honk at or give an obscene gesture to the people on the overpass over I-35 holding the "HONK FOR IMPEACHMENT" banner.

Poseur HQ officially endorses no candidate for any office on the grounds that they will all suck. But a good rule of thumb is that if you're not sure who to vote for, vote against the incumbent. Throw the bums out. And please don't vote a straight party ticket. We need gridlock or else Congress will actually pass laws. And we can see how that usually turns out.

The Aftermath

Actual conversation on the phone this morning:

Me: Hello?
Anonymous: Um... did you take me home last night?
Me: No.
Anonymous: Do you know who did?
Me: No.
Anonymous: I woke up this morning at home and I don't know how I got here. And you're one of the few people who know where I live.
Me: Yes, but you could have given the person who gave you a ride directions.
Anonymous: (silence)
Me: Do you know where your car is right now?

I like it that my friends are apparently black-out drunks. This is why Glenfidditch should be served at every party. I, of course, stuck to water. Delicious water served in a tumbler. With ice. Because I would never drink Scotch on a school night. I'm far too responsible for that.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Back to School Shopping

I bought a new school bag today. Mainly because the old one has a gigantic hole in the side big enough for books to fall out of. Not that has happened or anything when it was raining.

It's a Swiss Army bag, so I'm a little disappointed it didn't come with a compartment for my toothpick or have a little magnifying glass which folds out. In fact, it's nowhere near as cool as a Swiss Army knife. And I'm trying to imagine why the Swiss Army needs computer bags.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Our Long Wacoan Nightmare Is Over

Finals are behind us. Drinks have been imbibed. Lies have been told. I've been to Hastings to make my ritual Spend Too Much Money On CD's Pilgrimage*. Now, some quick thank yous:

- To Matt for the musical accompaniment to my dramatic reading of the facts on the T&E practice exams.

- To Joanna and Jerry for constantly bickering like an old married couple to make me feel nostalgic.

- To Martin. Because I always end up on his couch somehow.

- To Josh and Justin for letting me beat them at ping pong. Repeatedly. Or at least I'm hoping they let me win. Otherwise, they just suck.

- To Swanburg for keeping up the funny during finals week as I dropped the ball and bitched about google.

- To Haley for driving my drunk ass around Waco.

- To Ann for stealing my coat. It's not like I was wearing a short sleeve short or anything. Nor was it very cold outside last night**.

- To the Reverend for literally walking out of any conversation that turned to finals.

- To Leigh for the hard drive full of music. I now have something to waste a few hours. Or days. OK, months.

- To my roommate for not killing me because he had a Friday exam and I didn't. Sorry about that.

- To everyone who asked me to make them a mix CD the past two weeks. It gave me something to do other than study. I'm particularly proud of the "Punk Drunk Love" comp I made for Sherp. So she better like it. Though I did have to cut the Dickies version of "Nights In White Satin".

- To everyone who made it through another quarter of law boot camp. Good job, guys. Go sleep this one off and be ready to start again on Monday.

* Not that you care, but here is the list of CD's I just blew my loan money on:

The Black Keys - Magic Potion
The Decemberists - Crane Wife
Ani DiFranco - Reprieve
Ben Folds - Supersunnyspeedgraphic, the LP
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls of America
Ben Kweller - S/T
The Lemonheads - S/T
The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
The Paper Chase - Now You Are On Of Us (maybe Bates will play this for the 1Q's)
TV On the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

** Ed. Note: That was passive aggressive sarcasm. Just in case you couldn't pick up on that with the Finals Brain. Or you aren't in Texas right now and think it is still warm at 2 AM here. It's not.

Ode to Being Done With Finals

No exams today!
Went out to Cricket's last night --
Sleep until Monday

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Performance Anxiety

Every so often, I feel the pressure to post something on here, even if I have absolutely nothing to say. This is one of those times.

I've been studying T&E pretty much nonstop for two and a half days. My brain is mush. Swanburg's been pretty funny lately, go pay him a visit. I should be in a better mood in about 14 hours. At which I point I will take my customary spot at the end of the Ninfa's bar.

I'm going to bed. Either I know this or I don't. Preferably option #1.