The Academy

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Friday, January 31, 2003
I offer this link to my friend Dave's column that hilariously details something that happened to Robert, Mark, Patrick and me while we were vacationing in Las Vegas. It also takes on the recent Rolling Stone article that purportedly reveals a disturbing cultural trend, but that actually seems to be completely made up. Unfortunately, conservative assholes will downplay the debunking as just another example of the homosexual lobby drowning out the truth.

Incidentally, I do not use the words "conservative assholes" lightly. I do not mean to infer, DW or WJ, that all conservatives are assholes. Some of them clearly are not. It cannot be denied, however, that a chosen few of them really, really are.

Now, to respond to my colleagues:

Sadly, no, Jen. Frankly, I am bewildered as to the difference. No, my correction was in some of my (ahem) personal correspondence with Howard, as I like to call him. But, sadly again for me, it turns out I just misunderstood him and he was right anyway. Mark, I would love to correct your post. In fact, I have been trying to do so all day long. Email me whatever link you were trying to link to and I'll gladly fix it.

Mark's little Patrick was drunk, drunk, drunk on The Sims Online the other night. Hysterical.

Mindy -- were you the reader who wrote to Bashman about the "insofar" v. "inasmuch" gaffe in the Third Circuit order?

Hey - why didn't my link to musical things work earlier today? Administrators - put down your loving and edit me. My post looks dumb.

I tuned in to Joe Millionaire (the rerun) last night and somehow missed the Fah-Dah-Twee. How that happened I'll never know. I was looking forward to listening to Sarah slurp. OK, so my life is empty. If you obsessively check How Appealing as I do, you'll see that the next candidate for 20 Questions is a Ninth Cir. judge. My money's on the guy upstairs. (Not God... the guy who really is literally upstairs.) It could be AK-47 but that's such an obvious choice. I had the pleasure of correcting Bashman today about something. That brought me great joy. (See earlier reference to empty life.)

I am delighted to report that co-blogger Rfl will be showing up in the Pacific Northwest later tonight so I should have something better to do soon. Hooray.

Brobeck falls and guess what my law firm decides to do? Move all the first years into larger offices! Yea! Maybe they think that the redistribution will make the offices look like they are more occupied than they actually are. It's creepy walking around a firm where half the offices are empty.... As of Thursday next week, I'll be in a "three window" office.

For the musical lovers, here's some hot stuff for ya's.

posted by MARK at 8:45 AM

I feel absolutely certain that a law clerk was paid $50 by a friend to include the word "circumcise" in an opinion.

Re: The Alaskan Leg Delivery. I don't often think claims for mental anguish are legit, but that one is good. But, most of all, I would like to know how the plaintiff managed to find herself an honest-to-God hunter/trapper to marry. Is there some sort of reality show in Alaska called "Marry a Trapper"?

Thursday, January 30, 2003
I will also share with you all a footnote from a recent U.S. District Court ruling:

The Court also notes that the plaintiff has not presented any facts or allegations that would support a claim that the statute of limitations period should be tolled for equitable reasons. See Smith-Haynie v. District of Columbia, 155 F.3d 575, 579-80 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (quoting Mondy v. Sec'y of the Army, 845 F.2d 1051, 1057 (D.C. Cir. 1988) ("The court's equitable power to toll the statute of limitations will be exercised only in extraordinary and carefully circumcised instances.").

Now back to our regularly scheduled billables.

Aha! It does work.

At the Dictatrix's orders, I have been trying to post the following links of interest to Joe Millionaire fans:

I assume you are all already aware of Sarah's secret dirty-footed life.

But have you seen this file photo of Mojo from her hometown paper?

Carry on.

Does this damn thing work, or not?

ANGEL drove me to the edge. Kaboom! Hot! Flashy. Surprising. A demon at every turn. I am tired of that big horrid beast though, so my supreme hope is that its death is even more painful than part of a sword rammed through the brain! I'm thinking there needs to be an explosion and some sort of twine or rope. BRING BACK ELECTRIC LADY.


Another example of the power of the Internet. I know about this:

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

USA: Woman who got leg in mail sues for anguish.

HOUSTON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - An Alaska woman, shocked to receive part of her
dead father's leg in the mail instead of the gourmet "LobsterGram" she was
hoping for has filed suit against the Houston firm that sent it, alleging
mental anguish, people involved in the case said on Tuesday.

LaMara Lane wants $1 million for breach of contract and the mental anguish
that beset her after opening what she thought was a food gift delivered to her
home in the Alaskan town of North Pole, according to the lawsuit filed in
federal court.

But Identigene Inc., which does DNA testing, said it was only following orders
from a North Dakota judge when it shipped the leg to Lane late last year.

"We have a court order that says send it to this place and this woman,"
Identigene President Caroline Caskey told Reuters. "I feel like I'm in the
Twilight Zone."

The odd saga began in early 2000 when George Semmens died in North Dakota. He
left his $200,000 estate to Lane, who was his only child, but whose mother he
never married.

A sister of Semmens challenged whether Lane really was his daughter, which
resulted in a North Dakota judge ordering that his body be exhumed for DNA

A leg bone and samples of Semmens' body tissue were sent to Identigene, where
tests confirmed that Lane was his daughter.

Tony Buzbee, a lawyer for Lane, a 41-year-old teacher's aide married to a
hunter and trapper, told reporters the leg was supposed to be cremated, but
was sent to her by mistake.

It arrived in a container designed to keep the contents cold, which led Lane
to believe she had been sent a LobsterGram, a popular gift in the frozen
north, said Buzbee.

Buzbee, who did not return phone calls on Tuesday, told the Houston Chronicle
that Lane, whose town North Pole is near Fairbanks, Alaska, was so shocked
"she's had to store the bone and flesh in her neighbor's freezer."

"She can barely talk about it without crying," he said.

Caskey said Identigene had hired a lawyer to contest the lawsuit.

DW: as the name suggests, this page provides a forum for lofty, high-minded ideas that might get swept under the rug and go unshared were it not for this opportunity. For example: Because I no longer live in NYC, I would likely not be privy to Mark's subway encounter with a woman who both HAS a pigface and WEARS a hat that says "Pigface" on it. This is the kind of thing that Mark used to mention to me on a daily basis. Now, with this blog, Mark can jot those items down whenever he so chooses. I, in a moment of despair (which moments occur about 8-9 times in an average workday), may turn to the blog and be distracted from my self-involved dilemma. I can say, "Well, I may have just allowed a typo to go out to the entire court, but at least I do not have a pigface -- or, for that matter, a hat that says pigface."

If you can honestly read the previous posts and not see this invitation as the honor it truly is, I do not know how to explain it to you. Except to say what I just said.

Now, Mark and I shall engage in a conversation about ANGEL. Wasn't Angel GREAT? I was totally hoodwinked. They Patrick Duffied me, man.

I think David Wilson needs to be told what a honor it is to be invited to an blog.

HOORAY for getting on of the blog! Hooray for DW!

This can be considered a test blog. I received an invitation from Mindy a bit ago, and after brief reflection, have decided that it's time for me to get my blog on.

Today I saw something alarming. This morning on the L train, I saw a smallish woman and was drawn to the stylish logo lettering on her winter cap wrapped neatly across and tenderly hugging her brow. The hat said "Pigface". I then stared at the woman's face and realized that she indeed had the face of a pig. The woman actually looked like a small human pig - much like the TWILIGHT ZONE episode with the pig people. Not able to take my mind of the idea of hats bearing actual descriptors of a person's face, I looked up "Pigface", "Fashion" on Google. Turns out "Pigface" is a band. This does not ruin my fascination with the pig faced commuter - it expands it. Does anyone know whether fans of Pigface the band generally have faces of pigs?

I submit the following motion to The Academy Administrators.

I hereby move for the admission of David Wilson to The Academy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
Rafael knows that his peculiarity is chief among my reasons for adoring him. I can confirm that, left to his own devices, his bathroom is stocked with those little hotel soaps that smell not so good. You know the ones. Pink, small, and melty. However, he does enjoy the Origins Salt Rub when it is available to him. Hmmmm. More on this topic: a dear friend and avowed hetero claims that he also enjoys show tunes. This same friend, however, once admitted to me that he cooks salmon in parchment. Paperwork used in cooking has eliminated him from the control group in this experiment. I see no reason to explain this.

Now, RFL, we know that's not true. If Mindy were joining you in the, ummm, "home spa day" you'd like it just fine.

Has Ben met Robert? Did he know that he was taking part in an experiment that would determine whether Robert is "peculiar"? If so, I think his response is suspect. That said, even though David Wilson likes Robert, I don't think he would admit to "adoring" broadway musicals just to spare him being labeled "peculiar" by Mindy.

As an aside, I have decided to write a letter to Governor McGreevy about HOW BAD the NJ DMV/car insurance sitch is for people who move into the state (possibly bad enough to violate my right to move freely between states -- isn't that a right?). I fully expect to be invited to the next state of the state address he gives. I'll be sitting next to Mrs. McGreevy and when the Governor proposes comprehensive reforms, he will talk about the letter he received from me and then I will be applauded heartily. Y'all are the first to know.

Also, I don't want to have to pay more in taxes for the "privilege" of living in New York City. Then again, I'm not really sure that I want the "privilege" either. David Wilson and I are planning to move to Bangor, Maine (hopefully) by September 2005.

Home spa day?! You all are lucky I own a bar of soap and shampoo (usually)!

Do any of these straight fellas do home spa days?

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
You know what I love? The internet. No, really. I do. You can put basically anything into google and get an answer. I knew that somewhere out there in the ether there was someone who had said something interesting about straight men and musicals. And, in fact, there was.

I feel need to weigh in on heterosexual men and the musical theatre. However, I really cannot. More later!

I also love this post to another blog about NYC taxes very much. Like it isn't hard enough to live in NYC, you have to pay *more* for the privilege? You GO, IA.

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to report the results of an experiment I have conducted just now here in my office. I would not report it, but Robert was on the phone for the experiment and he now insists that I report it. I asked my purportedly straight co-clerk Ben if he liked musicals. To which he replied, "Yes!" Suspicious, I demanded proof: what is your favorite Broadway musical, Ben, I asked? "Oh, I adore Guys and Dolls," he answered. Robert now insists that this is proof that Robert's love of the musical is not peculiar. I stand by my earlier position. I think this is proof only of the fact that Ben, like Robert, is a freak. I'm starting to regret not pouncing on David Wilson when I had the chance.

What?? That's crazy. I'd love to go see Chicago!! Movie and stage. That does not implicate my straight-ness - David Wilson is the peculiar one. In fact, I'd venture a guess that Mr. Wilson is not as secure in his masculinity as you might think....

You know what's great about Mark? Pretty much everything. I still cannot believe that Patrick is the mean one, though.

I am reasonably certain that David Wilson is straight, and I could not persuade him to see even the movie version of "Chicago." I, therefore, am leaning toward Mindy's position. Robert's love of show tunes = Peculiar behavior for straight man.


No. It is not peculiar. What straight guy would not want to see "La Femme"??

Stories about Jennifer and cars and New Jersey usually amuse me. This one did not. Its funny how I just cannot conceive of people behaving this badly or things being this difficult anymore. Portland has made me *so* soft. Not that my time at the DMV here was not frustrating -- it was. I mean, its the DMV. At its best its still as abrasive as a Silkwood shower. But it was nowhere near that bad. And it took place in a shopping center that contains a Starbucks. As a matter of fact, everything out here takes place in a shopping center that contains a Starbucks. Come to think of it, in just a few short years everything in the world will happen at a shopping center that contains a Starbucks.

That DMV story reminds me of the good old days when we hated the Russians. Even though I grew up terrified of an impending nuclear holocaut, it just seems like the good old days when I look back now. Compared to now, the cold war kind of seems like a screwball comedy. (Cut to shot of Reagan poking Brezhnev in the eyes, Three Stooges style.) Speaking of international relations humor, check this out.

I shall now bring a heated debate to this blog. My boyfriend loves show tunes. Or, as he corrected me earlier, he loves Broadway musicals. Apparently, there is some distinction of which I am unaware. He loves musicals to the point of actually ACTIVELY seeking tickets to see them. Really! Despite this, he still claims to be completely straight. If he isn't, he's putting on a pretty good front. I say that this is PECULIAR. I say that if we were to ask 10 random straight guys if they wanted to see a Broadway musical, 110% of them would say "No. No, thank you. Absolutely not." Okay, half of them might ask if it was a topless musical before they refused. BUT they would all refuse. Robert says this is not true.... this is some sort of exaggeration. He claims that LOTS of straight guys LOVE Broadway musicals.

Discuss. I am confident my position is solid.

I was under the impression more of the postings on this would relate to me. What can I do to convince all of you to post more about me?

Oh, Mindy. You have made me laugh. Which is quite an accomplishment on this particular morning. I arrived at work in a VERY bad mood due to the following events:

My NJ car insurance company insists that I get a NJ driver license. Ok. So, last week, I picked up the driver manual, studied, and was prepared to take the exam by kickoff on Sunday. The DMV is only open after 4 pm on Mondays. Then, they are open until 7:30. So, I left work at 5 pm on the dot yesterday. I got there in good time, but then was made to stand in various lines for about an hour and a half. Finally, I got to take the test. Passed it. Then, I was moved along to the next line. By then, it was 7:00. I hand the guy all my paperwork, he taps at a keyboard, and then stamps 'FAILED' on my form. He mutters something in Russian, as far as I can tell, and then tells me I have to come back at 8 am the following day. I try to ask some questions, but he just dismisses me. Even if he had been willing to cooperate, I probably wouldn't have understood what he said.

I get up early today, walk Lucy out in the freezing cold, and head out the door at 7:45. I circle around the DMV a few times looking for a street parking spot. There are none to be found. Remember that this particular Department of MOTOR VEHICLES does not provide parking for customers. I pull into the lot across the street and ask how much it will cost to park for an hour or so. He tells me $8 -- no matter if I park for 10 minutes or 10 hours. I only have $3 in cash. It is now 8 am and I can see that a line is forming in the DMV. So, I pull into the Burger King parking lot a block away and rush off to the DMV.

Once inside the DMV, I am bounced from line to line -- each time with a wait. Finally, a crotchety old lady takes my forms. According to her, I have an "NDR problem." I ask what that is, and she ignores me. She makes a phone call, mutters some things into the phone, taps away at her keyboard, and then tells me I can complete the licensing process. I ask what the problem was and she refuses to tell me. I still don't know. I suspect that the Russian guy could have done the same thing the night before and spared me the extra trip. I am then bounced back and forth between still more lines (one to pay, one to have your picture taken, one to get your id). Finally, by 8:45 am, I leave the DMV with license in hand.

I run back to the Burger King parking lot only to find my car gone. There is a tow truck loading up another car. I flag down the driver. "You have the VW?" My stomach flips. My heart sinks. All those bad feelings that poets describe better than I do. I ask him where the lot is and he tells me about 5 miles away. At least he gave me a ride, sparing me the cost of a taxi. $100 later,
I got my car. Of course, the lot was in a seedy, scary part of town (even in daylight) and the workers were surly as hell. One of them even yelled at me. He also accused me of presenting a fake license, which you can imagine, was rather upsetting to me at that particular moment.

I guess it's pretty amazing that I got to work by 9:30 am after all that.

I've just had it with this place. I HATE IT HERE. I'm so sick of the hassle. I left my car for 45 minutes in a fast food restaurant parking lot and it was towed. I did that only out of desperation because there was no parking at the DMV. I got yelled at yesterday for letting Lucy run in the baseball field at the park. I mean, seriously yelled at. I'm sick of being yelled at by strangers.

Monday, January 27, 2003
Hmmph. I was having a truly bad day until I thought of checking this blog to see if anyone had said anything funny. Turns out, people have been saying funny things while I simmered angrily out here in rainy Portland. What a nice thing. Thank you, funny people, for being funny.

For my part, I have this to contribute. I have been increasingly dismayed about the size of my ass. As I was recently told by a man on the street, I have "a lot going on back there." More disturbing than the actual ass size is its stubborn refusal to deflate. Despite my rigorous thrice weekly step class and closely monitored weight watchers diet for months of last year, there was no movement of that little scale needle thingie. NONE. Likely, this is because I have been on a diet since I was 8 which, I'm told, wreaks havoc with the metabolism.

In an effort to shake things up, I have signed up for EDIETS. This is the program that constantly shouts at you through popup ads. I cannot decide what to feed myself anymore so I have thrown myself to EDIETS mercy. Things are going pretty well. It tells me what to eat. I eat what it tells me to eat. I also exercise when it tells me to exercise.

It is the exercise portion of the program that prompted me to consider throwing myself from something tall. I am on the "beginner" toning program with the ediets. I have been doing cardio for a while, but I have until now steered clear of lifting anything heavy. So, I figured I'd start with the "beginner" level and go from there. Today is DAY ONE of the exercise portion of the program. I was just now consulting the toning exercises while printing out the diagrams to take with me to the gym Exercise one is the "Chair Squat". This involves squatting over a chair as if you were going to sit in it but then, at the last minute (PSYCH!) you stand right back up again. Okay, great. The listed benefits of this exercise include greater quad strength. And.... this little doozie of a sentence:

This movement will also help in gaining proficiency when getting in and out of a chair.

Things are bad, people, but gratefully things are not so bad as to require skill-building in the area of, oh, GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CHAIR. I question the use of the word "proficiency" in connection with that activity. Is there some sort of GETTING IN AND OUT OF A CHAIR continuum of which I am unaware? Can one be more or less proficient at that activity? I am okay with, "I am proficient in French." I am NOT okay with, "I am proficient at getting in and out of chairs." It seems that one either CAN get in and out of chairs or CANNOT. Thank God, at this point I am still firmly in the can-do camp as far as furniture escapes are concerned.

So I think I'm moving into the "intermediate" toning program ASAP.

Maybe in common parlance, "bastard" is a term bestowed most often on those with the fortuity to be born male, however, according to the eminently respectable, "bastard" is defined as:

A child born out of wedlock.
Something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin.
Slang. A person, especially one who is held to be mean or disagreeable.

Born of unwed parents; illegitimate.
Not genuine; spurious: a bastard style of architecture.
Resembling a known kind or species but not truly such.

Thus, the term is properly used to refer to people of both (or all?) genders. Cheers.

Hmm. I usually think of "bastard" as an epithet reserved only for men. But, I see nothing in the plain meaning of bastard (or the 14th amendment) to so limit its usage.

I was almost fooled into stating that Ann Coulter's most recent rambling actually had some good points in it. But then, understanding that I should step back and take a closer look, I read the article again. Can any of you legal scholars tell where in the 14th Amendment it says "the Constitution prohibits states from discriminating on the basis of race"?? I always thought that the equal protection clause prohibited discrimination on ANY basis..., but that's just me. The reactionary Coulter's argument re: legacies, etc. falls apart once the readers realize this underhanded maneuver. It is very disingenuous of her to speak about the "Growing Constitution" pejoratively and then read her own opinion into the 14th Amendment. Bastard.

Hah! I love this blog. I just learned a new slang expression for PENIS. "Old Blind Bob pork sword". I don't think it can be topped.

My current thoughts on Mark as moot court coach:
I love Coach Mark!

Mark has whipped his team into shape in record time. Assuming none of them fall down before, during, or after the Con Law competition, I think they will do very well.