Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gone Fishin'

OK, the blog is on vacation for the next few days. Not that I am, but I’ll be out of contact with my beloved computer. I swear, when I get back, I’ll have tales of a trip to Wichita, which was more fun than Kansas had any right to be. I drank a beer from a mug the size of my head. OK, two.. three. Dammit. Four. You got me, okay?

Who knows how my CLE will go. Hopefully, I’ll learn something cool.

Friday, May 23, 2008

List of Eight: Kansas

I’m going to Kansas this weekend because what better way to celebrate Memorial Day than going to a state that makes you want to kill yourself? Kansas is one of those big rectangle states in the middle of the country we Easterners refer to as “flyover country”. It’s not that I don’t like Middle America, it’s that I really don’t know anything about it. In fact, here is a complete list of things I know about Kansas:

1. The whole Bleeding Kansas thing before the Civil War. It had something to do with slave states and free states, and John Brown getting his biblical rage on.

2. Bill James is from there. So is Rob Neyer. So, really, the two leading baseball stat dorks are from Kansas. Maybe there’s something to that. Sifting through the play by play logs of the May 14, 1897 Louisville Colonels – Cleveland Spiders tilt doesn’t seem so boring when your other option is hanging out in, well, Kansas.

3. Kansas State University is located in Manhattan, Kansas. It’s called the Little Apple. I do think that’s cool.

4. Kansas City is in Missouri. Even a city named after the state wants nothing to do with it.

5. I’ve never met anyone who hates KU’s basketball team more than our former Editor of Law Review. Now, I have some bad feeling towards them for the whole Lester Earl debacle (complex LSU recruiting scandal and you don’t care so I’ll spare you the details), but that was mainly Roy Williams and he’s now in UNC. And besides, now KU fans hate Roy Williams, too.

6. Operation Ivy recorded a live album in Kansas, one of the most bizarre choices for a ska-punk band. I think eight people were in the crowd.

7. In Cold Blood. Good book.

8. The mascot for Wichita State is the Shockers. Which is pretty funny, if your mind is in the gutter. They also had the decency to lose to LSU in the College World Series championship game on two separate occasions. So, thanks.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Used To Could

Our office got new phone systems today. They are the sort of phones that will wake you up and cook you breakfast if you punch in the right code. I mean, they are pretty darn impressive. So they called us into a one hour meeting to explain to us how to use a phone. I think I have the basics down.

In the middle of a meeting explaining to us the wonders of picking up a phone and calling someone, the sales rep used the phrase “Well, you used to could.” She stopped herself, and then proceeded to use the “Used to Could” phrase again. Now, I’m no snob*, but am I wrong for immediately tuning out of the meeting as soon as this phrase was uttered?

ED NOTE – This is blatant lie.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Worst Song Ever. Really.

A bunch of scientists surveyed music fans to try and find what elements they liked in songs. Using the results of the survey, they recorded "The Most Wanted Song". To call it awful is to be too charitable. It's so bad that it makes you want to drive a Q-Tip through your eardrum. Though when the Tom Waits sounding guy shows up to sing a verse, the song moves from atrocious to merely bad. It is of course one of the funniest things you will ever hear.

Using the same survey results, the scientists had previously recorded "The Most Unwanted Song". While I'm not gonna run out to buy the CD, the song ain't half bad. It's not half good either. It's just so freakishly bizarre that I can't help listen to it. Who doesn't love opera rap?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weddings and Horse Racing

I spent the weekend at Erin and Wink’s wedding in beautiful Horseshoe Bay. I’ll spare you the particulars but it really was an impossibly beautiful wedding. There were times I felt like I crashed a movie set of a wedding scene. It was that perfect. When talking to the groom, after the usual congratulations and such, the talk turned to sports because, well, we’re guys and that’s all we’re capable of talking about intelligently (except other select topics like action movies and beer).

Anyway, it was Preakness Saturday, a big day for Marylanders such as myself not because we love horse racing (which I kind of do), but because it’s a day we all have fine memories of. Memories so fine I cannot discuss them in a public forum until the statute of limitations expires. It’s a day which usually centers on gambling and drinking, two skill sets I possess.

So Wink and I talked a little about the ponies and it dawned on both of us that Big Brown, the winner of the first two legs of the Triple Crown, might have the best life of any professional athlete on the planet. I would trade places with that horse in a second.

Essentially, he’s a teenager. He’s got a good portion of his life ahead of him, and let’s face it, if he wins Belmont and becomes the first Triple Crown winner since 1978, he’s probably never going to race competitively again. OK, maybe he’ll show up for the Breeder’s Cup, but this is pretty much it. That will mean, his pro career will be only six or seven races. That’s it. Big Brown will have put in seven days work in his life, and still a teenager, retire to his next life of getting busy with the mares.

Big Brown’s stud fee is already millions upon millions of dollars. He’s far more valuable as a stud than as a racehorse, especially if he wins Belmont, so only a moron would ever run him again and risk the millions of dollars he would lose if he got injured. So Big Brown is about to become a gigolo. There are NBA players who would kill for Big Brown’s lot in life. Some of them (I’m looking at you Shawn Kemp), did it for no additional fee.

My stud fee is somewhere around $20. The lesson here is that I’m nowhere near as valuable as a horse. But we already knew that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No Longer A Pledge

I swore to prevent forest fires, they sprinkled some pixie dust, and POOF! I’m a lawyer. I’ve got a Bar Card and everything. I’m pretty sure there are no more hurdles, I’m official. I can go off and litigate for food now.

Funny, I don’t feel different. Look at me trying to be all serious:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Flotsam and Jetsam

A grab bag of topics...

-- After yesterday's rambling, almost complete non-sensical post, Joe Posnanski goes off and says what I was trying to say, by posting about the virtues of smaller sports in his story about Rulon Gardner. It is insightful, well-written, and funny as hell. It exposes clearly why he is a professional writer and I am not. But it is a great insight on how to write a piece when there is almost TOO much material. Go read it. It's not great sportswriting, it's simply great writing.

-- Osler posted this writer giving advice to choosing a law school. I realize its a a humor piece and he's trying to crack a joke, but something about the inherent assumptions of the writer are inherently depressing. His advice can be boiled down to this: go out and choose a party school in which you won't work hard or learn anything because being a lawyer is a miserable life and you want to put off that misery as long as you can.

Now, I've been a lawyer for all of a month and a half, but that's contrary to my experience so far. Being a lawyer is a lot of work, but it's also a lot of fun. We have a client who I swear is completely insane, and I'm working on my first hot tubbing case. It's a blast.

His advice also can be boiled down to this: DON'T GO TO BAYLOR. Hey, Baylor is hard. And the grading curve is not generous. We work a lot. But I wouldn't trade my three years there for anything. His search seems based on finding a second undergrad experience. Look, I loved undergrad. and I partied my share at LSU. Hell, I partied your share as well. But the idea of doing it again just isn't that appealing to me. How long can one stay in a state of arrested development? Being a grown up ain't that bad.

Though I do agree that one should go South where the girls are prettier, the food is tastier, the weather is better, and the people are nicer.

-- My legal assistant wore a light green suit with a black top today. I only bring this up because I wore a black suit with a light green shirt. It was pointed out several times in the office that we were negatives of one another. I only point this out to demonstrate that I am pretty much a magnet of general mockery wherever I go.

-- Bottle Rocket is on TV. I still hate Wes Anderson, though.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Wasted Weekend

I’m kind of a sucker for obscure sports. I don’t know why, I think it’s my desire to be an arrogant, know-it-all prick, but it could be something else. Doubtful though. There’s really only one reason to follow European soccer, and it’s not “the artistry of the game”.

OK, I’m being harsh to myself. There is a value to watching small-time sports, and that is the almost complete absence of the sports media. Sportswriters, as a collective group, are a bunch of hacks. Sure, there are some good ones (Joe Posnanski of the KC Star writes with such grace that I almost WANT to root for the Royals, I grew up reading and adoring Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, I read everything by King Kaufman of Salon, and I wish I read more of Allen Parra), but most of the sportswriters are a bunch of shrill hucksters who simply mouth clich├ęs and quote inanities. Read a Bill Plaschke column and I swear you’ll lose at least a point of your IQ. I stopped reading Jay Mariotti columns when I could actually feel my brain cells killing themselves. It’s a rare sports column I’ve read where afterwards I’ve said, “Gee, that was insightful.”

I know it’s not the Paris Peace Talks, but I don’t think I’m asking for the world when I ask that sports journalism actually be more than just marketing for the local club. So when I watch the NCAA lacrosse tourney, I know that I’m not going to be subjected to a whole lot of excess pontificating. OK, the announcers are pretty B-level (that’s being charitable), but there’s a minimum amount of fuss. They just show me the friggin’ game, with a minimum of bells and whistles. There’s nothing worse than “artistic” camera angles and God help us, the sideline reporter.

So, instead of watching the NBA playoffs in between three hours of commercials, I settled in this weekend to watch the NCAA lacrosse tourney, watch a little English Premiership, and listen to LSU baseball on the internet. And I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I’ve found that the more I enjoy a sporting event is inversely proportional to its level of hype. Big sporting events become more and more about the “event” and less and less about the game. Which is cool for the Super Bowl party, but not much else.

There’s a certain virtue to it being just about the game. So when the Ohio State goalie goes end to end to score a goal, or Notre Dame hits the crossbar and in for a game-winner in OT, or LSU closes down the Box and all of those former players walk onto the field to applaud the crowd… it means more. Because the moment was genuine and not just a marketing gimmick. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, sports don’t matter. But it’s the trivial things that make life, well, life.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

End of the Rainbow

Every year, the AFI hosts the 48-hour Film Project, which is essentially a giant improv contest. Each team gets a genre drawn out of a hat, and everyone has to use the same character, line of dialogue, and prop. The winner gets, well, I don’t know what the winner gets. The esteem and envy of his fellow improvisational filmmakers.

Anyway, my sister-in-law participates as an actor every year. And this year’s entry is "The End of the Rainbow". Here’s a link to go check out the not-safe-for-work good times (no nudity, she’s not that kind of girl). Last year’s film by the same team, also starring my sister-in-law, is at the same link: "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?"

Go check it out.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Goodbye To All That

“I've never known what made you get up and go
And what pushed you over the edge,
When we were up on the roof
Was it the truth when you said
You never made a single difference.

Did you get it in your head
That things are better left unsaid
when you up and left town now?
Did you need to rearrange
Or did you need to make a change
Rather than just rotting the place
We used to hang around?

I know that things have gotta change,
I know your never coming back to this town.
I wonder where you've gone,
Who you're with;
I still ask myself,
Where the hell is Mike Sinkovich?”
I loved graduation. I loved seeing everyone again. I even liked being in Waco for the weekend. But there’s nothing like going back to remind you that the era is officially over. The law school belongs to other people now. The BLS will always be special to me, and I really did like seeing people again. And I don’t really want to go back. It’s time to keep moving forward, on to other things.

You don’t want to be hanging around the bar at 3 AM, long after it’s closed. It’s time to go. Look me up if you ever make it to Dallas.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I PASSED!!!!

Woo hoo!!!!

Feeling Locked Out

I was locked out of my apartment last night, which sort of sucked. I came home sort of late, took out my trusty fob to get access to the elevator and… nothing. My magic twanger wasn’t so magic, so I couldn’t work the elevator because I didn’t have access. No problem. I’ll take the stairs. Same problem, I couldn’t get access to the stairwell because the technology gods, as longtime readers know, hate me.

Hey, no problem. I’ll just call building maintenance and they’ll let me in. After a barely civil conversation with the maintenance supervisor, who informed me he didn’t have the power to fix the fobs, he told me, and I quote: “Well, just come on down to the office tomorrow and we’ll take care of it.”

Dude. I’m locked out now. I’m not sleeping in a hotel when I have a perfectly good apartment right here. And I’m certainly not wearing the same clothes for two straight days. Get your ass down to the building and let me in.

But I live 45 minutes away.

Fine. I’ll read a book.

Seriously, why does technology hate me?