Sunday, July 30, 2006

"Simple Mistake" My Foot

A "simple mistake by an 85 year old man"? If the driver in question had been 25, do you think the police would have said "Oh, it's just a simple mistake. No charges will be filed." When you get confused about the accelerator and the brake pedals, that's far more than "a simple mistake".

It's a testament to the power of the senior lobby that there hasn't been a push for mandatory testing of older drivers with revocation of the license as a possible penalty. While teenage drivers have more accidents per capita, seniors and teenagers have the same rate of accidents per mile driven. Senior drivers have high per mile fatal accident rates, and those 85 and older have the highest fatal accident rate of any age group.

I don't advocate automatically taking away a driver's license just because you're old. If you're 96 and still have good hearing, eyesight, and reflexes, go for it. If you're 55 and unable to meet a certain minimum threshold, then you should voluntarily give up your license and if you're not willing to do that, the state should take it away from you.

I understand that limited mobility and isolation can be problems for those elderly who do not or cannot drive, and I also call for the state to fund and implement better access to transportation for the elderly. It's a matter of safety for all of us, not just Grandma Betty. Living in Our Fair City, with its aging (aged) population, I've had my share of close calls with elderly drivers who blow through stop signs, drift over the yellow line, bump other cars in the parking lot because they can't manuever their cars in and out of the parking spots, and worse. In fact, on my very first day in this city, I was in the car with Hulio, stopped at a red light, when suddenly another car plowed into the back of us. The 84 year old woman behind the wheel first said that she'd gotten confused and hit the gas instead of the brake, but by the time the cops showed up, she changed her story to "My Club had rolled under her brake pedal and prevented her from depressing it to stop. The police declined to cite her because, according to them, they couldn't cite a driver unless someone was injured badly enough to be taken to the hospital. Frankly, I'm still insulted by the low opinion he must have had of our intelligence to make up such a stupid lie. He should have just said "It was a simple mistake by an 84 year old driver."


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Post-Bar Life, Day 1

I slept for 12 glorious hours last night and napped twice today. I did NOT read or study. I played Super Mario World and played with my poor neglected cat. I soaked in the tub. I ate pancakes for breakfast/lunch and didn't feel guilty about taking the time to make them. Also? I cleaned my toilet and started cleaning my bedroom. My apartment is so filthy right now that it smells bad. I plan to rectify that toot sweet.

I wonder how long it will take before I stop feeling like I have to study all the time? When will I stop thinking of things in terms of the bar exam? And HOLY COW how did it get to be almost AUGUST already??


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Not That They'll Listen

Advice for the newbie law kids. And good advice, too. I can't say that I really disagree with anything that he says, not even the part about not dating your section mates. At least wait until 2L, when you won't necessarily have to share classroom air and space with someone who you regret letting you see in any sort of...deshabille. I would only add this: do a clinic, preferably one in an area that sounds interesting, but one in an area that you may or may not want to specialize in later will do. Despite having interned in a small firm-- getting lots and lots of hands on experience-- I feel completely unprepared to practice law, not because I don't understand the law (I think I do, or at least I know where to go to find help and answers), but because I have no practical skills to speak of.

But then, I wouldn't have believed any of this before I started law school. Funny how people tend to insist on making their own mistakes, even when they're the same mistakes countless others have made before.

Oh, wait! I would also add this: law school goes by in the blink of an eye. Don't waste the three years, but don't feel like you have to excel at everything. You've got long careers ahead of you, and plenty of time to continue learning. Take your opportunities wherever and whenever they come along-- and they will come along in the most unexpected places.


Thursday, July 20, 2006


It starts out like your typical inane news story.*

I can't decide what the worst part of it is: the fact that the guy basically admits to public indecency or worse (if you think I'm even going to take the time and effort to look up the applicable Ohio law at this point, you are sadly mistaken) on camera with no appreciable shame, the violent reaction of the creep's father, or the apparent inability of the library to keep the creep out. I mean, Juice's stories about Chester the Potential Molester are bad enough, but at least it seems that he's kept things to a certain point of "not bad enough to be truly criminal". This guy, on the other hand, has already crossed the line and can't even see the line off in the distance by now. "I'm not a sexual predator", he says. I don't know if that's true. I can think of one reading of this incident that says he is, since deliberately engaging in lewd acts in the presence of children is a crime in this state, and probably in Ohio, too, and furthermore, it's exactly the kind of crime that gets your name on a sex offender registry.

It also irritated me to no earthly end that the news guy kept calling it "having sex", when what he really meant was "masturbation"**. Is "masturbation" too dirty a word for television now? Couldn't they have found a more accurate euphemism? Because the last time I checked, "having sex" involved at least two people. Also? I understand that they're supposed to maintain journalistic objectivity and all, and I'm sure the overwhelming desire to get such a sensational story clouded the guy's judgement, but I guess I'm failing to understand why the police haven't been involved. Especially after the guy was already sternly warned and barred from the library months ago, and is still there in defiance of that ban. Hmmmm... does this sound like a warning sign to anyone?

I wonder if this little story has incited anyone in the area to engage in a little vigilante justice? After all, they did show the guy's face, his parents' faces, and their house, as well as giving the guy's full name.

*Link via Legally Blonde
**I can't wait to see my stats after this post hits google.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

OK, So I Lied About The Not Blogging Thing

It's just that I'm ready to puke and I need a break, and suddenly I have lots of stuff to say because, well, I'm a master at the art of avoidance.

Plus it's lunchtime and this looks really yummy, even though it would kill me.

Labels: ,

Charmed Ash's spot on impression of Jon Stewart doing an impression of W.

And even more charmed by the fact that, after making me laugh far too loud the first time he did it, now he does it often and looks at me out of the corner of his eye every time, clearly hoping to make me laugh again.

It always does.


Please Stop The Clock

One week from right this minute, I will be 40 minutes into the Multistate Bar Examination and the essay portion will be ancient history. Well, recent history. I don't know if I'll have much time for blogging between now and then, plus I imagine that y'all don't really want to read my musings on venue and intervention of right, or on future interests (kill me now, please). BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD! MINIMUM CONTACTS! COMPELLING GOVERNMENT INTEREST! INTENT FOLLOWS THE BULLET! BREACH OF DUTY! That's what my thought patterns pretty much look like right now, interspersed with hysterical sobs.

My plan is as follows: One last review of the essay topics, then the entire weekend will be practice MBE. I'm hoping (praying) to rock the MBE so hard that they won't even look at my essays, since I'm pretty sure that will be the only way I can pass, barring divine intervention. Monday, I'm going to shop for lunch stuff, so that I don't have to try and buy something with the other 2 million bar takers in my 40 minute lunch break. I also need earplugs. Tuesday is the essays, and I'll probably blow through the super condensed version of the MBE outlines for Evidence and Property before bed that night (by far my weakest topics), just for a little refresher. Wednesday, the MBE. Then I will come home, drink beer, and go to bed. Thursday, I will sleep until I get a headache and drink some more. I'm hoping to drive the memory of this hellish summer out of my head because dear Lord.

So, to Dirty Birdie, Catherine, my dear friend N in California, and Jill, as well as any other bar takers who are reading this blog, but I'm just too fried to remember:

Good luck!!!!

Check back next Friday, when I will hopefully be awake and my brain will be semi-functioning again.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I Just Might Be Losing It

Question for Ash and the Dirty Birdie... and anyone else who had the same professor for Crim Law:

If, on the bar exam, I would happen to write something about possession of "schmocaine", how good do you suppose the odds are that the person grading my exam will get the reference and will it work in my favor or not?


Monday, July 10, 2006

Treat Yourself

I made a very, very good cobbler last night and it was so easy that anyone can make it. I am going to tell you how to make it so that you can all make one for yourselves and have the same kind of small joy that I had with every bite of my yummy cobbler.

First, you need a can of pear halves and some port. Put the pears in a colander and rinse them well to get rid of the remnants of the syrup they package them in. Then, put the pears in a narrow tupperware container. You want all of the pears hollow side up in one layer with not much room around them. Pour a small amount of port over the pears. Most of it will run off and collect in the bottom of the tupperware, which is cool. A small amount should pool in the hollow of the pears. Put the lid on and store the whole thing in your refrigerator for a couple of days to let the pears soak up the port.

After the pears are ready, go to your cabinets or to the grocery store. You will need about 4 or 5 cups of fruit. For my cobbler, I used a bag of three berry blend that I bought at Aldi. Apples will work as well, or whatever fruit you have on hand or can get cheap at the farmer's market or in the produce aisle. If you're using something like apples, chop them up into cubes. Try to get the cubes about the same size so that they'll cook evenly, but don't be obsessive about it.

Put the fruit-- except for the pears-- in a smallish sauce pan. It shouldn't be overflowing, but neither should it be rattling around in a big ol' pot. Over low heat, thaw your fruit if it's frozen, or cook fresh fruits just enough to soften them a little. Then add about a cup of sugar and about a cup of water and stir everything well, but do it slowly to keep from mushing the fruit too much. Once the fruit mixture starts to simmer, add your spices. I used a small pinch of allspice, two large pinches of nutmeg, one small pinch of cardamom, and a bunch of cinnamon. For those who don't like to eye measurements, I suppose it was the equivalent of 3 or 4 tablespoons. Stir everything and let it simmer for a while on low heat. The low heat is key here, because if you let it singe, you'll have to throw it away. Nothing tastes worse than burnt sugar. For that same reason, you have to keep stirring the mixture while it simmers. Not constantly or anything, but pretty often. Your kitchen will be smelling sooo good by now, you may be tempted to eat some of the fruit. If you value your tongue, you will resist that temptation because that stuff is HOT.

While your other fruit is simmering, take your port soaked pears out and cut them into cubes of roughly the same size as the other fruit. Again, it's not an exact science, so don't fuss too much. Add them to the mixture, give it a good stir, and remove the whole thing from the heat. Now you have a decision to make. You can continue this process in the oven, which takes much longer but does not require your constant attention, allowing you to go back to studying (or, in my case, hanging out with Ash and reading the Sunday paper-- if I fail the bar, you can blame it on that.). OR you can continue it in the saucepan, which means you'll have to stand over the stove and pay attention to the process.

If you chose the oven route, pour the mix into a small casserole dish or a small pie pan, as long as it's glass and deep enough to hold all of your fruit mixture with maybe 1/2" or so to spare. Place it in the oven at about 400. You'll have to check on it every 15 minutes or so and give it a little stir.

If you go with the stovetop method, turn the burner back on and put the pot back over the heat. Sorry to confuse you, but I wanted you to have a moment to think about your options. Continue simmering the mixture, stirring it frequently to prevent burning.

Either way, your mixture is ready when it gets kind of thick. It won't be solid, or even close to it, but it should have the consistency of pancake syrup that's just a little colder than room temperature. Remove it from the heat if you're using the stovetop, then pour it into a casserole or pie dish. If you're using the oven, turn the heat down to 325. You can leave the fruit in or take it out, whatever suits you.

Now you need a can of buttermilk biscuits. I know you can also do this with Bisquick, but this is another way, and I happen to prefer it. You can use any brand, but they can't be the "flaky" kind OR the kind with little grains of a buttery substance in the dough. Take a damp paper towel and wipe down the countertop. Then place a length of plastic wrap along the counter. The dampness will keep it in place. Use a dry paper towel to smooth it out and remove the residual dampness. Take a handful of four and dust the plastic wrapped counter. Then, rub your hands together just a little to get some of the flour on them. Now, take all of the biscuits and smoosh them together to make one ball of dough. Then, take a rolling pin, dust it with flour, sprinkle a little on the ball of dough, and start rolling it flat.

Roll back and forth, quickly and firmly. After a handful of strokes, pick the dough up, and flip it over so that the part you were just rolling is on the far edge and roll again. The next time you flip it, rotate the dough a quarter turn. The next time you turn it, flip it over. In this way, you should roll each of the four quarters of the dough evenly. You'll want it to be vaguely circular. The dough will keep springing back as you roll it out, but if you just keep at it, it will start to hold the flattened shape. If it starts to stick to the counter or to the rolling pin or to your hands, sprinkle a little more flour on it. When it's just slightly larger than your casserole dish and maybe 1/4" thick, pick it up and carefully lay it into the casserole dish. Note that I said "into", not "over". You can kind of wrinkle it up as you lay it into the dish, kind of like a messy bedspread, to make it fit. It should not touch all the edges, but it should come close. If it's very floury on top, don't worry about it.

Place the dish into the oven and bake it for about 10 or 15 minutes at 325. It's done when the top of the crust is just a little browned. Take it out and let it cool. When it's mostly cool, take a pastry brush and very lightly brush the excess flour off.

Now comes the part that really makes this cobbler come together: vanilla sauce. I make mine from either the Dr. Oetker packets or from the IKEA mix. If you mix this up after the cobbler is baked but before it is cooled, you can stick it in the fridge to chill faster, or even in the freezer, but don't let it actually freeze.

We ate a bit of this loveliness last night, still warm, and it was amazing. At lunch today, I had some cold, straight out of the fridge, and it was even better. In fact, it was so good that I spent the entire day studying property and didn't freak out once. Perhaps I should eat a little cobbler every day between now and the bar exam...


Just Think What I'll Be Like Two Weeks From Now

The closer I get to the bar exam, the more my hatred for people who cut their grass or whack their weeds with a noisy gas-powered tool grows. Especially for the jackass down the street who is using an ancient asthmatic lawnmower that keeps sputtering and wheezing and almost dying, then roaring back for a few brief moments of earsplitting grass cutting, followed by more sputtering and wheezing until it just stops every ninety seconds or so. Then Mr. Lawnmowing Jackass spends several minutes trying in vain to restart the mower, which, if it were alive, would surely have been sent to hospice by now and given medication to keep it comfortable until it dies. The lawns here are postage stamp sized, so really, he could bring a pair of toenail clippers or kitchen shears outside and be done faster and with considerably less damage to the quality of air-- and life-- around the neighborhood.

Also, I am really starting to hate the lawn care company that my landlord hired to mow the patch around our building. I know, I know: no one wants to work in the heat of the day. I get it. Truly, I do. And I even sympathize. But! 7:27 a.m. is TOO EARLY to rev up your mowers! I would think, given the ever sinking price of non-gas models and the ever increasing price of gas, more of these companies would be switching to electric or manual mowers. It would be a win-win situation! No noise, no noxious smell (because nothing makes my morning coffee taste better than a healthy dose of exhaust fumes just outside my windows-- on both sides of the apartment at once, because one crew is in front and the other in back), lower fuel costs, and no appreciable change in labor costs. At least, that's what I gather from the people I've spoken to who've switched to electric or manual mowers for their own lawns. Of course, if you're mowing an enormous area, that wouldn't be feasible, but again, most of the lawns in this area are not rolling acres of green. They're not even the kind of lawn I grew up with, which was big enough for a swingset and a small aboveground pool, but not much more. Totally do-able with an electric or manual mower.

Back, semi-ironically, to studying for property, a.k.a. "My Worst 1L Class". I cannot WAIT to never think too closely about vested remainders and the effing rule against perpetuities again.

Labels: ,

Friday, July 07, 2006

... I'll Tell You Who You Are

With apologies to Brillat Savarin:
Am I a Security Seeking Ascetic? Or maybe I'm a New Aquarian. Personally, I think the second is closer than the first, and if I go back and take the survey again, changing some of the answers that I felt could go either way, I come up as a New Aquarian. I felt especially frustrated with questions like "'Children should be taught to obey authority' or 'Children should be taught to question authority'?" because I don't think either one is right. I mean, "obey authority" is just as stupid as "question authority". You have to do a little of both in life. Some authority is good, it's what keeps us from total anarchy and allows us to have a civilization. But at the same time, not all authority is good, and it's our responsibility to think about the things that our authorities ask us to do, and at times to question their edicts or even to disobey them. Also, money is for 'making and saving' versus 'spending and circulating'? Again, try a nice middle ground. You want to save enough to make it through the rough times, but you don't want to be a miser and never enjoy the fruits of your labor. Money is for living. It's for providing necessities first and foremost, and after that, it's for making life worth living, through creature comforts, through luxuries, and through giving to others-- and not necessarily in that order.

Anyway, I can't remember whose blog I found this little survey on, though I think it was Jill. If you want to take the survey yourself, it's here.

Okay, now I'm off to study evidence. One hour. Then, when I start to feel sick and worried and curse the name of Professor Feedback for the sheer lunacy that was our Evidence class, I will stop and work on Torts. Yesterday, I made Intentional Torts flashcards with different colors and everything! Today, I think I will make negligence flashcards. Or maybe "defense to torts" flashcards. Is it sad that Torts feels like a "safe" subject to me?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

From the "Judge Slaps Stupid Lawyer" File

Make sure to read the footnote.


I'll Pay Off My Loans In No Time!

I mean, I just don't understand how people can be in debt when it's so easy to save money!

Also? I am going to give up my pricey daily latte in favor of a cup of Starbucks "house brew" with a lot of milk from the free fixings bar in it. And I am going to use the money I inherited from my dear Aunt Sally to pay for my four bedroom condo overlooking the river and the daily cleaning service so that I can let my live-in maid go.

And Ash? He is going to stop flying to Vegas to booze it up with the boys every weekend and start hiring strippers here at home. Oh, and no more overpriced cocaine from Brazil. Instead, we're switching to meth from the lab down the street.

I mean, really! Don't people know how to budget?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

I'm, Like, Really Going to Take This Exam

My admission ticket came in the mail today.

Along with the admission ticket, we also received a schedule. I was horrified to learn that we get only 40 minutes for lunch. Would it kill them to make it a full 45 minutes, especially given that all 5,000 of us will be descending on the same set of restaurants during the same 40 minute period along with all of the worker bees from the downtown area. It could take 30 of those 40 minutes to get your hands on food to begin with.

Also, we got a list of permissible and impermissible things on exam day. I was relieved to learn that we can, in fact, use earplugs. I tend to become hypersensitive when I am freaking out, so I could imagine myself fixating on some particularly loud typer, much like I fixated on the jerk from the Other Law School who sat in the row in front of us during PMBR and typed so forcefully that I really thought his laptop ought to stop working altogether. We are not allowed to wear baseball caps, fashion hats, or hoods of any sort, unless they are religious in nature and approved by the board of examiners. We are also, contrary to the advice of the PMBR rep, allowed to bring drinks in, so long as they are in containers that can be completely resealed. We are not, however, allowed to bring our laptop bags into the room with us. Instead, we have to leave them out in the lobby of the convention center. I will definitely not be taking my very awesome new laptop bag with the pretty dragonflies.

I can't believe this is really real.