The Academy

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Thursday, December 18, 2003
On Holiday

In the spirit of the Holiday Season, I think it is time to acknowledge that The Academy is on holiday, possibly indefinitely. Thank you everyone for listening.

Friday, October 31, 2003

In the spirit of Bull Durham, IA is going to The Show. Break a leg!

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Newest Addition to Top 100 Paragraphs List

Oh, come now. Don't you maintain such a list?

Anyway, here's my most recent addition, from an E! Online article describing Siegfried & Roy's history:

The two met aboard a cruise ship in 1959. Roy was a bellboy, traveling with a cheetah he had stolen from a German zoo. Siegfried was a steward, who performed magic tricks for the ship's passengers on the side. A partnership was born.

I smell mini-series.

Former Federal Judicial Clerk Turned Ebay Addict Seeks Help

Something about the fact that I now must measure out my life in coffee spoons filled with little six minute increments has made the Internet even more seductive. I have become addicted to Ebay. In the last 24 hours I have purchased a bookcase, three laundry hampers, and an oil-on-canvas reproduction of a Rousseau painting.

Then I found this site that collects disturbing auctions, and now I'm addicted to that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
At Long Last, I am Vindicated

Have you ever known that something was true in your heart of hearts and yet your dearest friends doubted you? Painful, isn't it? Here's a little story about believing in yourself against all odds.

When I was a child, I watched the television program Too Close for Comfort. Didn't we all? Who could resist lovable Ted Knight as grouchy Mr. Rush, and Jim J. Bullock as somehow-not-gay Monroe. A few years ago, I was telling a group of friends about the most bizarre episode of Too Close for Comfort I could remember. It was a "very special" Too Close for Comfort. A very special Too Close for Comfort, in which Monroe was raped. By two women. In a van.

I could not have predicted the scoffs, the gasps, the jokes. I was mocked. Soundly mocked. Certain that this could not have happened, my friends chided me for dreaming up this nonsensical obscenity. Frankly, they began looking at me just a little differently. What is wrong with her, their looks suggested, that would permit her to come up with such a bizarre notion?

As I often do, I turned to the Internet for comfort. Surely some maniac has a Too Close for Comfort website. Surely someone has plucked this gem of a "very special episode" apart and turned in the resulting term paper to their seminar at Brown on gender roles and violence on 80's television. TO NO AVAIL. I had finally stumbled upon something so obscure not even the Internet held any evidence of it.

Or had I? During the ensuing years I began to doubt myself. Had I really seen such a thing? Did I dream it? If so, what in God's name did it mean? Clearly gay man raped by two women in a van at a mall parking lot? And, dear God, was it CHRISTMAS when this happened? Perhaps there was something wrong with me after all...

This self-doubt persisted until Saturday evening.

My dear friend Meg called, sounding shaken, saying "I owe you the most sincere apology."

"What?!?" I replied, excited, "The Dad from ALF really is a crack ho?" (This is yet another of those things of which I'm certain and yet can find no proof.)

"No," she said, taking a deep breath, "Monroe was raped."

The veil was lifted.

It turns out that VH-1, God Bless Em, is running a show called "Super Secret TV Formulas". Episode One focuses on "very special" shows. AND DIRECTLY ADDRESSES THE EPISODE I REMEMBERED.... including depicting a shaken Monroe, saying, "No one takes this seriously unless it happens to a woman."


But, yes. It happened.

The apologetic phone calls have been coming in fast and furious now. My friend Dave tells me, "This must have been what it was like when they found out the world was round."

Friday, October 24, 2003
Celebrities Eating!

I have stumbled upon one of the greatest sites ever. Dedicated to pictures of celebrities eating. Here's my current favorite.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Finally, Something Worthy of a Post. . .

Some kind Bashman reader has found the bandwith to post the infamous sushi memo. Well done!

P.S.: The front page N.Y. Times article on the sushi memo is definitely worth a laugh to anyone struggling under the weight of BigLaw. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
The initial ruling was silly and overwrought, and has implications that go beyond the mere recitation of the pledge. The justices should have no trouble overturning this abomination, quickly and decisively.

Talk about silly and overwrought. The above sentence, from an editorial in the Las Vegas Review Journal, took me completely by surprise. Newdow was a lot of things. However, it was neither "silly" nor "overwrought." Calling it an "abomination"? That's both.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003
While the Rest of the Media is Distracted by Cauliphonia....

The Academy has its eye on the story captivating those who truly care about our nation's future. The Academy and, thank God, Larry King. Tonight, Siegfried joins Larry live to fill us in on Roy's condition.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Finally, an Update

One of the many problems with letting your blog stand unupdated for so long is that when you finally return, you have so very much to say you might type forever and ever. Perhaps I should begin with my favorite news topic of the past few days: tiger attacks.

Now, I am saddened by the story of Roy's mauling. Don't get me wrong. I wish him a speedy recovery (although that seems unlikely). But, I must admit, part of me is rather pleased for Montecore, the mauling tiger.

Think about it. You're Montecore. You're a white tiger. These German freaks make you live in a casino. Their whole act basically makes fun of you. "Ooooh! Look at the big white tiger! I'm in charge here, Tiger, and don't you forget it!" After seven years of that crap, can you really blame ole Montecore for saying, "Enough of this, Buddy. How's about today, instead of me rolling over or playing dead, I bite you." I can't blame him. I even cheer a little bit for him, for standing up for his tiger self.

That said, the story of Roy and Montecore is by no means the best tiger story out there right now. Hell no. That title goes to the kook who kept a tiger in his Harlem housing project apartment.

Let's examine this, shall we? Antoine Yates somehow acquires a six-week old tiger cub. How the hell did he do that? Who's out there dispensing tiger cubs? He then moves the tiger cub into his Harlem housing project apartment, which also appears to have served as a foster home. Eventually, as you might expect, Antoine becomes nervous around the tiger. So nervous, in fact, the tiger runs everyone out of the apartment. Everyone, that is, except a feisty alligator. But, Antoine moves out, ceding the territory to the tiger. But, don't be concerned. Antoine still cares for the tiger and the gator... stopping by every day to crack the door open and THROW IN SOME CHICKEN. (That's my favorite factoid in this case... tossing in the chicken.) One day, even this finely honed plan goes awry and the tiger manages to shred the guy's leg to bits.

The neighbors knew about the tiger, sure. One even called the NY City Housing Authority to complain about the URINE ON HER WINDOWSILLS but to no avail. (Second favorite factoid: windowsills covered in urine.)

For those at a loss as to how to synthesize these two stories, the NY Times editorial page provides a sort of college essay compare/contrast piece. The bottom line? The Times has taken a bold stance and advises us not to try to keep wild beasts such as tigers as pets. According to the Times, "Tigers have enough trouble as it is."

Yeesh. Get well soon, Roy Horn. And keep them from putting Montecore to sleep. Everybody deserves the odd bad day once in a while.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003
Separation from service anxiety

Yup, other former law clerks feel this way.

(Hence the desire some of us feel to run back to the womb and get... what's the opposite of "separated from service"? It sounds vaguely like an operation involving conjoined twins, but I really don't want to be conjoined with the whole federal judiciary. I don't think I could stand the mustiness accompanying some of the circuit judges who are milking every drop out of the "during good Behaviour" part of the Constitution.)

Here's the other thing about the transition from clerking -> private practice: For some, it means much, much more responsibility. For others, it means much, much less. Depends on the judge and the firm, of course.

The parts of returning to government service that I am looking forward to: the ability to call ridiculous arguments ridiculous arguments without worrying about whether they're my client's ridiculous arguments, and to use Westlaw without a client code.

All this clerky stuff is being reinforced in my head because several of the newbies here at The Firm are joining the clerkship melee, approximately one week after entering private practice -- one is interviewing with my former employer tomorrow. I'm amazed that the clerkship hiring cartel seems to have held up fairly well.

It's good to be temporarily unemployed

I have joined my fellow blogger and the thousands of others who have been "separated from service" with the federal government. I, too, am now *just* a lawyer.

It's funny, when I started law school, my ultimate goal was to become a lawyer. It seemed then that three years of classes and exams (not to mention that one big exam after graduation) were huge obstacles to overcome in order to attain my goal of becoming a lawyer. But sometime during my second year, a clever faculty committee convinced me that there was a goal even loftier than "lawyer" -- there was the goal of "law clerk." So, natch, that became my goal. Now that I have completed law clerking, though, it sure feels like being a lawyer is a step down career-wise.

It used to be that I couldn't wait for the question, "What do you do?" I could barely contain my enthusiasm when I got to say, "I'm a law clerk for a federal judge." Instant approval. Now all I can say is, "I'm a lawyer." There's nothing unique about that. I doubt it will always be met with instant approval. Five years after setting my goal, I'm finally here and I feel vaguely disappointed. Bummer, dude.

I wonder if other former law clerks feel this way about being "separated from service" and thus forced to practice law.

By the way, I can't help but agree with the Parents of Mindy that her adventures sound like the beginning of a B horror movie. It could be titled 'Swimming in Lake Mindy -- Part III -- Body on the Shore.'

I have a little less free time -- or temporary unemployment as I like to call it -- than Mindy. I start work at a big, scary law firm at the end of this month. I'll try to have some adventures, though, so I can entertain my fellow bloggers while they are hard at work!