The Academy

Blogging about nothing.

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Friday, March 14, 2003
Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage has posted comments on the recent removal of the word "French" from so many things that actually have nothing to do with France, much less Iraq. I really am kind of pissed about this, because I enjoyed making fun of the French. And now its become fashionable.

I'm off to LA this afternoon where I plan to spend many, many hours liberty lip-locking with Robert.

Thursday, March 13, 2003
I have actually checked out I have gone so far as to pack a "go bag" on the advice of the same people who told us to buy plastic sheeting and duct tape. I was not amused by or the information it conveyed. Until now. Check out this link: or

On March 30, ALL of NYC will be a non-smoking section.

I have mixed feelings about the smoking ban. On one hand, I think it will have health benefits and it will make life more pleasant for non-smokers. Perhaps it will even provide some incentive for smokers to quit. On the other hand, does the government have to rain on EVERY parade? If you can't smoke in a dive bar in NYC, what the hell good is there in being in NYC anyway? Why couldn't the law be that you can't smoke anywhere but: 1) in your own home; 2) in bars. I think that outlawing smoking in NYC bars is kinda like banning gambling in Las Vegas -- just plain wrong. This is just another step in the complete Disney-fication of NYC. If I didn't already want to leave, this would make me want to go. (Ok, so when I said I had mixed feelings, I was just kidding.)

In other news . . . the delightful Vanessa was eliminated from American Idol last night. It seems that America does not respond well to a "healthy" woman with a lot of personality. Not only do I think that's a pity, but I was also sad to see her go because she was the only finalist who talked about her pets. All the others talk about friends and family and work and school . . . BORING. Vanessa had spunk and color and she loved her pet pig.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003
Forget the website. Since when is there a non-smoking section?

I can't believe O'keefe's has a website. I bet the old O'keefe's didn't have a website. Sigh.

Sacre Bleu

I thank mon dieu that Robert clarified for the readership the degree to which he is French. Just to be clear: I AM NOT DATING A FRENCH GUY. After Jen's post, I was afraid the four or five regular readers we have would draw the wrong conclusion. Or worse, that someone would accuse me of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

As French as...

As you are aware, Jen, I have had to struggle with the disparity between the fact that my last name is undeniably French and the fact that I can trace my family's heritage over the past three generations only to Ireland. This, of course, is a uniquely American problem. I am an "American" in that none of my relatives ever attempted to raise me within any cultural boundaries other than those of urban and suburban America. After all, the most recent relative of mine to immigrate here is a great-grandparent (who came from Ireland). I am told that some French-Canadian dude botched up the mix some five generations ago and we have yet to shake his name. As you yourself once told me: "Robert, you're as French as the fried potatoes they serve at O'Keefe's." I suppose a more appropriate analogy would be that I'm as French as the "freedom" dishes served in the House cafeteria. Anyway you look at it, I'm proud to be an Irish-American with a French last name.

Did anyone watch American Idol last night? Two hours was a bit much for me, but overall I thought it was GREAT! As much as I enjoyed the last season, I have to say that I think these finalists are even more talented. Comments from my fellow bloggers?

Robert, does the renaming of fried foods in the congressional caf offend you? After all, you ARE French.

I went on over to the Greedy Clerks Board just now to see what all the fuss is about. (Notice that I chose that course rather than simply reacting with wild abandon.) I have been accused, it seems, of missing some irony. I take it that one of them thinks I have reacted to their dialogue without reading enough of their posts. So I scrolled down through a week's worth of posts. All of the comments re: How Appealing and HJB were negative. They were negative without providing explanation. I guess that is the sort of writing I lumped into the category of reacting with "wild abandon."

But I will concede that I was making a broad generalization. You caught me! Sometimes, when I'm not writing law stuff, I go a little crazy and make generalizations. That tendency was mostly beaten out of me in law school as a result of interactions with REACTIONARY law students, but apparently there are still some traces left in me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003
All I'm Asking for Is Some Bonus Info, Fer Chrissake

If anyone's interested, I'm going outside the court house right now to react to the VERY FIRST THING I see with Wild Abandon.

Thank you Greedy Clerks for the spike you caused in our hit counter by your links. Any publicity is good publicity.

I am not to wonder why...: I just have to laugh and remember that there is that other part of our great country between the Northeast corridor and the West Coast. Only from there could something like this come.

French Fries Get New Name in Congress

12:30 PM EST March 11, 2003
The Associated Press

House cafeterias will be serving fries with a side order of patriotism Tuesday with a decision by GOP lawmakers to replace the "French" cuisine with "freedom fries."

"This action today is a small but symbolic effort to show the strong displeasure of many on Capitol Hill with the actions of our so-called ally, France," said Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Administration Committee.

Ney, whose panel oversees House operations, ordered the House Administrative officer to change the menus in House office building cafeterias to read "freedom fries" and "freedom toast."

The House action follows moves by several restaurants around the country to remove "French" fries from their menus to protest French opposition to U.S. military action in Iraq.

Also leading the anti-French campaign was Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who noted in a letter to colleagues that Cubbie's restaurant in Beaufort, N.C., in his district, was now serving "freedom fries."

"Watching France's self-serving politics of passive aggression in this effort has discouraged me more than I can say," Jones said.

Members of Congress have been sharply critical of France for threatening to veto a new U.N. resolution holding Iraq in violation of disarmament agreements and paving the way for a military strike against the Saddam Hussein government.

Another Republican, Jim Saxton of New Jersey, has introduced several bills to ban Pentagon participation in this year's Paris Air Show and to make sure that France does not participate in any reconstruction projects in Iraq.

Monday, March 10, 2003
No Jen.

These poker tournaments begin as a single table of ten people. The goal is to knock out all the other players by taking all their tournament chips. The players who come in first through third place are compensated for their efforts. The rest, like me in the situation described below, get diddly-squat. Thankfully, we were only using "play money" because, in fact, I was schooled by Mindy's poker prowess.

[Edit March 11] P.S.: I would like to proclaim to the tiny part of the world that will read this that I, Robert, was dealt a ROYAL FLUSH in a No-Limit Hold 'em, real-money poker tournament last night at PokerStars. Thankfully, I went on to win the tournament. However, after a little over an hour of effort, and given the $5.00 buy-in and 9 participants, I netted a mere $17 for my efforts. Sort of diminishes the excitement of getting the equivalent of a "hole-in-one" in poker.

So, it was just you and Robert playing, huh?