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Saturday, February 22, 2003
"Gratification, but not revenge": My friend Thomas reports, in the Virginia Law Weekly, that the 1L job hunt continues to be a dangerous but amusing business. It's the article "A Question of Etiquette."

In case you missed it in the earlier post, the following is an excellent example of why the use of metaphors should be a licensed activity:

"It's sort of like you know how women are like with their bags and purses? You have all your stuff in there. Everyone knows it's your purse and no one looks in it. And it's like someone comes along and your bag gets dumped out in front of everyone, and everyone sees what's in there. Except they misinterpret everything in there. No, it's not lipstick, it's a gun! Or it's a secret spy weapon!"

I think this is a metaphor for Jennifer Lopez's private life becoming public and not a simile, despite her frequent use of the word 'like'. I think in this case the word 'like" is more a space filler, if you, like, know what I mean. Feel free to disagree.

I'm working from home today.

This is usually good news. But not if the day you are working from home is a Saturday. Not if the default position is No Working At All. But, I must work and so I do.

For the reader who took the time to correct my pronouns from an earlier post by email, I urge you to utilize our handy comments feature for that purpose. Actually, I would urge you to "Get a Life." You're my mom, though, and that just wouldn't be right. Instead, I shall refer you to the comments feature and be done with it.

Now -- can anyone explain what the big deal is with the word "However"? I enjoy using that word to begin sentences. However, recently I've noticed many people saying that you absolutely just can't ever do that because its shameful and bad. Why come is that, Grammar Mavens?

Here are some things that deserve mentioning: if anyone believes that this was just an innocent mistake on the part of a huge multinational pharmaceutical company, I've got some high quality clam ranches you might be interested in buying. Clam ranching will soon surpass emu and buffalo farming on the list I keep in my head entitled "New Food Choices or Old Tax Shelters -- You Decide." Further, Eugene Volokh bitches about law review editors, which always makes me terrifically happy.

Friday, February 21, 2003
My friend Dave outs me in this Last Days, The Week in Review, by David Schmader (02/20/03). Despite my repeated pleadings with him not to reveal certain details about me if he should choose to use my miserable life anecdotes in his column, he smokes a lot of pot so forgets sometimes. If he must report these details, I wish he'd get it right as he did before, when he explained that I work on the Seventh District Court of Circuit Appeals. Which, of course, I do. In Canada.

Oh, yeah, yo. She's just Jenny from the Block dontcha know.

Memo to Amy E. Keel:

From the options below, please choose the most valuable way to spend time helping victims of sexual abuse:

a) Volunteering at a local rape crisis center
b) Patrolling local watering holes while dressed as a feminist superhero
c) Talking with your peers about your concerns.
d) Anything other than destroying some dumb snowpenis

Memo to Jonathan H. Esensten

From the options below, please choose the stupidest part of your article about the dumb snowpenis:

a) The paragraph with all the greek stuff in it.
b) The paragraph with all the greek stuff in it and the paragraph with the token references to the phallus in other cultures.
c) The paragraph with all the greek stuff in it, the paragraph with the token references to the phallus in other cultures, and the suggestion that the snowpenis was public expression warranting some sort of debate instead of just the inevitable result of too much snow, too much studying, and too much frat-quality booze.
d) That bow tie.

"The phallus-breakers of Harvard Yard": An op-ed contributor to the Harvard Crimson bewails, with classical references galore, the loss of a giant snowy replica of the male sex organ; one of the snowball-busters responds with a letter to the editor justifying the deed. Links courtesy Andrew Sullivan, who does not agree with the letter-writer.

You know, out West they really have a thing about direct democracy. I couldn't really get interested in it. Until now.

Might I suggest PHITOPEEK?

Willy's post reminds Jen and I of how glad we are that we are attached to others. Because if we were both single we would shamefully mud wrestle for Willy's favors. This can also be expected of many of Willy's future female law students, depending on which school he elects to profess at.

I have a neighbor story, but it does not involve parking. Instead, it involves me making an ass out of myself.

So I have a new neighbor. He lives downstairs. I have a crush on this neighbor. But only in that completely innocent and retarded way. It is as if he were the quarterback of the football team and I were the treasurer of the Dungeons and Dragons club. That kind of crush. The kind of crush where you wonder why you trip over furniture at the exact moment that he is checking his mail. Then you realize its because he makes you nervous. Nervous the way strapping Irish furniture refinishers can make a person. Especially when said strapping Irish furniture refinisher fixes a lot of things around the house and owns two bulldogs on whom he dotes ridiculously. The guy sauntered out of The Bridges of Madison County, for chrissakes.

This morning, I'm downstairs getting my laundry out of the dryer. Strapping Irish Guy emerges from around the corner wearing flannel pajama bottoms and holding two cans of paint. He then begins a very normal conversation with me about the current operational status of the dryers. As usual, I find conversation with Strappy challenging but especially more so at this moment cuz he's looking both a) sleepy and b) like he's about to paint something. That's porn for women, okay? So I'm trying to extricate myself from the conversation but succeed only in stammering and backing up the stairs. He says something like, "Yeah -- there's a lot wrong with this house that no one tells me about." And I then deliver the following zinger as an exit line:

"Yes. The secrets of the house will open up to you like the petals of a flower in bloom."

He says: "Okay."

And then presumably goes back to his apartment to call the police.

What WAS that? A freaking fortune cookie? Some days I even amaze myself.

Jen, I think that you should learn from my former neighbor, IRONMN. You see, IRONMN also never made introductions, preferring to be known only by vanity plate. From time to time IRONMN would intrude into my parking space, in the admittedly difficult configuration that "The Battleship" (my former residence) required us to park in. And did I say a word? Did I complain about painstakingly extricating myself from my truck while desperately trying not to ding the IRONMBILE? No, I did not, because I was scared. Scared of being beaten up by IRONMN. Even after I noticed one day that IRONMN was in fact a fairly small WOMN.

So Jennifer, you need a more intimidating vanity plate. I suspect that a lot of the good ones are taken in Jersey, though.

More later on whether the rebuttable-presumption approach to consent applies as well to parking space intrusions by neighbors as it does to personal space intrusions by law professors.

What to do with those amorous professors?

I absolutely love this article on faculty-student relationships posted on Bashman's blog! Let's take a poll: I am partial to the burden shifting rule in place at NYU, mainly because I think it is ridiculously funny and impossible to enforce. Comments?

I need to find out if my neighbor has a presence on the web and send the link to

Here's why. My neighbor (balding, big gut, chain smoker, palid complexion, mid-50's) came charging across the street last night and accosted me after I finished parking my car in spot #6 in the parking lot. I pay $65 a month for spot #6. By the way, I refer to this man only as "my neighbor" not to protect his privacy, but because he never bothered to introduce himself by name.

My neighbor then launched into a several-minute-long tirade about my inability to park my car squarely in spot #6. His problem seems to be that I sometimes park my car a few inches into HIS spot -- #7. Specifically, he was IRATE about the fact that my car was several inches into his spot from Sunday to Thursday. Mind you, from Sunday to Thursday of this week, my car was buried under 2 feet of snow.

I have to concede that my car was a smidge off center during this time. And I would have apologized for that fact, except that I was being yelled at, which tends to make me a tad defensive. I know I'm alone in this and am making every effort to avoid that reaction.

But here's the thing that I think qualifies my neighbor for true LOSER status. When I pressed him to identify other instances of my egregious parking behavior, he informed me that he would be happy to do so because he watches from his window every day and knows where everyone parks in the lot and when and how . . . and he can remember who did what for months at a time. The gleam in his eye as he explained his parking observations caused me to step backwards. What a FREAK! The scary thing is that I believe him.

Two cigarettes (him smoking, not me) and many angry words later, I turned my back on him and walked to my apartment. I then watched through my window as he lodged a formal complaint with the owner of the lot. I don't think he had much luck, though, cause Mr. Umberto Vacarella doesn't speak much English and probably could give a rat's ass about whether my car is 2 inches too far to the right so long as he gets his $65 every month.

I really, really love Jersey City.

Thursday, February 20, 2003
I have been saving this link for a slow blog day. I think I must use it now, however, so that Mark and Jen will stop sniping at each other and become immersed in what is surely the greatest web site on the Internet.

In taking the higher road with Jen, I have to ask Mindy to remind me what the proper response to "tools" is.

I think Mark should apologize for his post hoc editing. It really is shameful. It's like taking a water break during a good bout of cleaning.

Jen, you are not underestimating the size of my apartment. What you are underestimating is your own enjoyment of cleaning. That's what makes it unfathomable to you, I think. Unfathomable that anyone would share the joy of cleaning with another, unfathomable that anyone would want to take a brief respite from the joy of cleaning for the purpose of drinking or eating something.

Of course, its also possible that you are underestimating the level of filth the Brigade had to deal with when it came here. A level of filth that the brigade soundly trounced. The score is: Brigade, 1, Filth, 0.

I admitted no such thing. Although, Jen admitted to me that she sometimes doesn't read things as carefully as a person in her profession should.

For the record, Mark edited his earlier post. He just admitted as much to me.

I find it to be unfathomable that there could be so much cleaning to do in AN APARTMENT that a) two maids are needed to clean it, and b) they would be so exhausted by the work that they would need food and water.

But maybe I'm underestimating the size of Mindy's apartment.

Well, Mark, you're obviously not THAT detail oriented because you mistakenly preceded "employer" with the article "a" rather than "an."

Last evening, I was informed that the reason an employer would be interested in hiring me is because I come across as detailed oriented and seem to be a "doer". I was also informed by this same person that I, in short, have NO personality. I know that we often don't see ourselves as others see us, but I found this comment to be the TOTAL OPPOSITE OF WHO I AM. Affirmations, please.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
There are lots of really good things about having a 300-cd changer set on random. When "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham! follows "I'll Take New York" by Tom Waits, though, you gotta wonder if all this technology is such a good thing. The problem could be the human factor -- at the time you thought it was an awfully good idea to put all 15 of your Time-Life 80s collection in there didn't ya?

I'm just blithering cuz I'm nervous about the approaching brigade.

I would think, Robert, that with your propensity to find contracts everywhere you would think that the "Do Not Disturb" sign amounted to a promise and the entry in spite of it a breach of said promise. I'd like to interview the maid. I suspect that she has been up to these kind of voyeuristic hijinx for some time.

Speaking of maids, I have this to say. Tomorrow night I am scheduled to host the Great Baby-Making Book Group of which I am a member. I call it that because there are at least three pregnant ladies involved in this group at any one time. Recently, one of the pregnant ladies gave birth. At the next meeting, one of the non-preggie holdouts announced that she had recently gotten knocked up. The bad news for Robert and I is that yet another one of the pregnant ladies gave birth yesterday so that necessarily means that either myself, Erin, or my friend Kelle is with child. I doubt its me but there's a quota here that seems to defy the laws of nature so who knows.

But the maids was the thing I wanted to discuss. Those of you who have known me for a long time know that I AM A PIGGY PIGGY SLOB. No kidding. I nest in one area of my house and trash collects around me. Back in good old Brooklyn, my trolly roommate and I had ameliorated our collective slobbiness by contracting with the world's sweetest woman, Gloria, to come to our house and clean it for us. I felt okay about this because, hey, Gloria needed a job and we paid her more than she asked for. I still felt the shame that goes along with being physically unable to clean up after yourself probably because you were raised like a milk-fed veal. But I could live with that if it meant coming home to a house cleaned seemingly by elfin magic.

I'm still a slob but I live alone so I can't use the "It'll mean no fights about stupid shit like dishes" argument for employing maids. Plus, I read Barbara Ehrenreich's book Nickel and Dimed and could NOT believe the shit that corporate maid services make their employees endure. So I vowed never to employ one of those outfits.

And today I have broken that vow. Josefina and Felix, two young ladies who work for an outfit called the Maid Brigade, will be coming to my house at four. I must first dash home and clean it just a little so that Josefina and Felix do not flee back to their native countries upon entering my disgusting sty. But I want to report here an awkward discussion with the Maid Brigade owner person, in which I tried to make sure that the bizarre and inhuman rules that Ehrenreich had to abide by "while in a client's home" (such as, oh, no DRINKING WATER or SITTING DOWN) did not apply to my house.

So I says to the owner person, "I wanna know how much you pay these people and if there's benefits and stuff." and she gives me a satisfactory answer. She also says that most of them have been with the company for over two years which she cites as proof that they're really, really happy. (Having stayed in shit ass jobs for much longer than that, I could but don't disabuse Owner of that notion.) Then comes the awkward part:

Me: So, do you, um, have any weird, like, etiquette rules for your employees to abide by when they're at a client's house?

Owner Person: What do you mean?

Me: Like, are your employees allowed to drink a glass of water or something if they're thirsty?

Owner Person: Well, if a client offers, then they may. But otherwise we wouldn't have them rummaging around in your cabinets.

Me: Okay. I want to make something really, really clear. RUMMAGE AWAY. If they're thirsty, THEY CAN DRINK SOMETHING. If they're hungry, PLEASE TELL THEM TO FEEL FREE TO MAKE A FUCKING SANDWICH. No bizarre rules like that applying in my house, okay?

Owner Person: (nervously laughing) OK. I'll note your file.

This assuages my guilt slightly but not really. I've crossed over into the creepy just so's my book club won't know how big of a pig I am. An odd thing to do since I've just told the whole Internet I'm a pig.

Another Useless tidbit:

Today cool blogger Tony Pierce complains about the cretins at his job who told him that his Gwar t-shirt sent the wrong message to the kids today. It just so happens that the main reason I'm sure Tony Pierce is cool is that he was wearing a cool t-shirt at that Blogosphere panel thing. So, you can't please everybody. Most often, you can't please cretins. Some will hate you for your t-shirts -- some will love you for them. I continue to think Tony's cool, fro or no fro.

This reminds me of a story, lucky for you all. I saw Gwar one Halloween in either 1989 or 1990 (its all a blur) at the Pyramid Club in NYC. They made me sick. Now, you might think that their act made me sick, what with the huge grotesque latex monster costumes and the bikini-sporting fire dancer. You might think that. But you'd be wrong. That I loved. I did, however, have a bizarre allergic reaction to the fog machine output, which smelled like urine and coconuts. I spent the next two days retching. To this day I do not respond well to those car air fresheners that purport to smell like "Pina Colada"

Here's a novel legal issue:

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German couple is demanding compensation from a tour operator because a maid repeatedly interrupted them while they were having sex in their hotel room during a vacation in Cuba, a court spokesman said Wednesday.

The man and wife filed a lawsuit at a district court in Hanover seeking a refund because they said the maid walked in on two occasions while they were engaged in intercourse, even though they had a "Do Not Disturb" sign outside the door.

They are seeking about $4,000 in damages from the TUI holiday company. But TUI has said the hotel's failings only amounted to an "inconvenience" and did not warrant such high compensation.
Give them their money back, for Chrissakes! But I think the hotel is liable, not the tour company.
BTW, if you click through to the actual article, take a gander at the URL... Anything funny about that?

Mindy! I read your comments to the young face of the convoluted future person and must say: "a tool"! You called him "a tool". This moves you far above the number one spot on my "Mindy is my favorite person because..." list. I have a feeling you can't leave well enough alone because it feels good when you first say it. But, then you have to deal with the responses. Then, there is always the other side coming back with some ranting defense that involved a Thesaurus, quiet time with a conscience and repeated self-affirmations. Remind yourself when they retort (and they always do): "What do I care? They're clearly a tool, digging themselves even deeper into a pit of tools." Please don't stop. It makes ME happy!

On another topic, I was watching the Michael Jackson fest over the weekend and thought to myself "I am like Michael Jackson". In fact, a small man dressed in red with horns on his forehead leaned over to me and said "Look at that freak [Mark], that's going to be you in fifteen years." You never know, we both have the love of shopping (he's a billionaire, I spend beyond my means), Jackson lives his life as if he is relatively young (as I am), he almost ended up burnt to a crisp filming a Pepsi commercial and I hate Pepsi because it burns my throat. We both love climbing trees and water balloon fights (okay, I don't really like either of those things, but I'm trying to show that Jackson and I both like to lie). I used to believe that sharing my bed with everyone was a great idea (until I woke up crying for six months straight). Don't you think this makes me a shoe-in as a King of Pop?

Tuesday, February 18, 2003
You know, Bashman has never steered me wrong. But I would like the minutes of my life back that I wasted corresponding with whoever the kid is that reported on Judge Kozinski's appearance at his property class. Peruse those comments and then riddle me this: Why can't I leave well enough alone, people? Why take it on myself to tell the dumb that they are dumb? Is there any real damage done in permitting twerps to wander the earth finding uncanny resemblances between themselves and people I think are really cool? Do I really need to disabuse them of those silly notions? Answer: No. OK. I've learned my lesson. No more target shooting at clams: way too easy.

I'm really wishing I was in New York today because of pictures like this one.

OK faithful readers (I'm sure there are one or two of you out there), The Academy now features public comments at the bottom of each post after the date. Use and abuse!

Jennifer Garner is pasty.

I think she has poor face circulation which can be fixed with a proper face washing technique.

(Is this good with the links?)

I can't really be bothered with talk of plastic sheeting and judicial nominations during Blizzard 2003. I love how quickly the various news channels label weather events. But they are gusty in their decisiveness. I wonder if anyone over at Fox 5 was worried yesterday about the possibility of ANOTHER blizzard occurring in 2003? If so, do they already have a name picked out? Blizzard TWO of 2003? Blizzard II 2003? Blizzard, Part II, Bigger, Badder, and Back at ya!

In case any of you out in sunny CA couldn't tell from your local news . . . yeah, we have a LOT of snow. My car is covered. I don't mean just the top of it. Actually the top of it is all that is not covered. I guess it is more accurate to say it is buried. Hopefully, buried alive. After slogging through the snow and muck on the streets of Newark (which apparently has adopted a city-wide ban on plowing and shoveling) and taking the PATH home tonight with all the other weary people yearning to leave Newark, I am going to have to take up a shovel and start digging.

Monday, February 17, 2003
As an alternative to the site below, I offer this somewhat left-leaning discussion of Estrada's nomination over at Eschaton. Check out those comments - you all thought I was bad!

So I found this blog today that was cited on Bashman's site, The Angry Clam. It is a disturbingly conservative blog, but it did teach me how to post pictures. Let's see if this works...

Yikes, that's scary. OK, if anyone else would like to know how, let me know.

Here in Los Angeles, what passes for culture is called "The Grove." Yes, "The Grove." This Eden-ic temple to commerce, which you may mistakenly - nay, foolishly - call a mall, straddles Fairfax to the West, Beverly to the North and 3rd Street to the south. It is the place where I, Andy Corren, brand spanking new Academy blogger, make my blogging bones today.

I declare, in upper case: I SAW JENNIFER GARNER TODAY. And she smiled at me.

This morning my iBook opened with a question mark over a folder - an icon that strikes terror and confusion into the heart of any and every Mac user. Together we rushed - my baby Pooter and I - to "iBook ER," the Apple Store in "The Grove." To get Pooter a drink from the waters of "The Grove" and, perhaps, some pouty new botox lips for me while we were at it. But all fear dissolved away as there, standing two feet from me, hovering over a display of iPod's, buff, lean, proud - all $45.2 million dollars, 2nd best February opening of all time of her - was JENNIFER GARNER. Another eleven feet from me, "The Grove" gagillion-plex. Showing "Daredevil" on six thousand screens, two hundred million times a day.

If it was anybody but JENNIFER GARNER, I'd say this was a meta-moment. Instead, I shall call it - mini-meta.

Prepare yourself for dozens and dozens of these Mary Hart moments, folks.

Sunday, February 16, 2003
Esteemed blawgfather Howard Bashman has just thoughtfully pointed out to me that Attorney General Ashcroft apparently did not get the memo about the Yale-bashing moratorium. This administration is really spreading itself way too thin. Does New Haven have a "no first strike" policy? I need more plastic sheeting.

Well, I'm in Los Angeles this weekend. Believe me, I wouldn't be. But a certain much-loved co-blogger makes his home here. If you can call this cruise-ship-cabin-esque tiny cube a home. On the bright side, the one small window was easy to cover with plastic sheeting.

So last night we went to this event called "Live from the Blogosphere." It was a panel discussion where bloggers (all of whom are waaaay cooler than us) talked about blogging. The panel answered pressing questions like: Why blog? (why not), Will blogging eradicate print media? (no), and How do I get three million hits a day? (include the words "Anna Kournikova" and "bukkake" in the same hypertext link). It was really interesting, actually, and really fun. The guy who invented the publishing tool that makes it possible even for boobs like me to start a blog was one of the panelists and he announced Google's acquisition of his company, which should lead to some interesting stuff I would think. Some great pictures of the event are posted here.

(There was no talk of blawgging, which is way too nerdy for this superhip crowd. Scary to learn that among the nerds, you're nerdier? Welcome to my world people.)

Another panelist, Susannah Breslin, has a blog I really like called The Reverse Cowgirl's Blog. She's really funny. This I knew. What I did not know is that she's really tall and really hot. Another thing I did not know is that her boyfriend is a guy I went to college with, Christian Ristow. Nor did I know that Christian Ristow makes really big robots for a living. Learn something new every day.

I had to confirm that Christian Ristow was, in fact, the Christian Ristow I went to college with. (By "with" I really mean "at the same time as." In no way did we set out on the college adventure together.) So I walked up to him and asked him if he was, in fact, the same guy. Those of you who are familiar with the last time I approached someone in Los Angeles who I thought I went to college with will be pleased to know that it, in fact, was him. So I'm more confident about my instincts now. Did I just hear a collective sigh of relief?