29.12.06

1L Finals: Part 2


The funny thing about blogs, besides the hilarious content, is that new posts always come before older ones, so when there is a two-part entry, such as this very post, the second part is above the first. So if you’ve missed the fist part, see below. This second entry is coming to you from the Valgardson farm in Taber Alberta, where I’ve traded in my casebooks for a hammer and screwdriver (which I am using to help build a garage) and have to drive into town in an old 1970’s Ford truck and connect to the internet in the Super 8 parking lot in order to post on my blog.

First off, I’d like to wish everyone a very merry Boxing day, which, since its main purpose is shopping and because of my recent move to the mother of all capitalist countries, has become my new favorite holiday. Also, in reference to the first part of this entry, I would like to make clear that Theresa bringing my hot chocolate is not evidence that she is my slave (since I didn’t even ask her to do it), but was merely a kind gesture by a loving wife who was passing the school on her way home from a shopping trip. But as we all know, my blog isn’t about love and fun times, but strictly about business, so lets get back to the topic of exams.

So, after all of our pep talks and hours of studying, the big week finally arrived. Law school exams are much different from my undergrad experience, which is defined by gymnasiums filled with row upon rows of desks and mediators who walk up and down the isles between the desks to make sure that not one eye wanders or one word is spoken. UVa Law’s exams are taken on the computer and may be completed in any of a number of rooms, none of which are supervised in any way. This mean there are about 739 ways that a student could cheat, from talking to IMing to internet searching to spending submission time to work on answers, but because lawyers are known for their integrity (and perhaps a little bit because the only punishment for any honor code violation is expulsion), none of these possible cheating methods are ever employed by first year law students.

Our first exam was Criminal Law, which was taught during the semester by Dean Jefferies, whose dry humor and passionate outbursts in opposition to unjust laws that often resulted in a raised voice and blackboard pounding made for a very entertaining and informative semester. The highlight of this exam was the students who, in response to Dean Jefferies’ revelation of his law student habit of dressing up for exams because it made him feel more intelligent, came to this exam wearing a shirt and tie. Now they may have dressed in this fashion because they really did believe it made them smarter, but if you ask me, this was just another stunt in a long line of acts that reveal their addition to brown-nosing that is so prevalent that the school’s blind grading policy and professors’ custom of not attending their own exams did not even convince them of the futility of their actions enough to override their innate tendencies to do every little thing they could imagine to try and raise their grade a few fractions of a point.

Next up: Contracts. Overall, Hynes was a good professor who, although he has the tendency to accidentally convey that he does not love his daughter or make other verbal slip-ups, did teach us a virtual tanker-load of contracts law and was able to successfully elevate Section J’s revelry with Section C. On thing Hynes could work a little on is estimating how many thousands of words the type A personalities who usually attend law school will typically write in response to his fact patterns; for example, on the test that he designed to be three hours took the entire four that he allowed, without any time to spare, making contracts the marathon of our finals.

Cival Procedure was our third exam. I particularly enjoyed that, by making one of his fact patterns about a failed Rock star that turned to law school, Garrett effectively wrote an exam about himself.

Last of all was Torts. At the beginning of this exam, Professor Armacost informed us that she tired to write the test so it will be fun for us to write. It is nice that she had such good intentions, but I think it is a little na├»ve to believe that a group of highly stressed 1Ls at the end of a long exam period would describe any kind of test with any adjective that could be remotely considered a synonym of ‘fun.’ The closest thing that I have ever experienced to a fun exam was a genetics test I wrote a few years ago that had a Lord of the Rings Theme, complete with pictures and questions that asked us to outline the genetic pedigree of Hobbits and help Sauron selectively breed a new species of poisonous berries (I am not making this up). Unfortunately, or Torts exam replaced the dwarfs and wizards of my collage days with mauling tigers and negligent doctors, which made the test more ordinary than I hoped. Hopfully, I was able to remember enough magic language to come out with a half-decent grade in that class.

So that’s that. I successfully navigated the mine-field that is first year law exams. Now all I have to do is sit around and wait for three months before I official receive a transcript full of B+s.

23.12.06

1L Finals: The Greatest Show On Earth


So, as some of my esteemed colleagues in Section J may recall, UVa Law class of 2009 has just competed its first round of final exams, which means, of course, that we can all come out of the library, rub off our eyes that have probably been damaged beyond repair from countless hours staring at their computer screens son intently one might thing that our laptops were dispensing some sort of life-saving safety tips during an airplane crash landing, and step outside into the December sun to realize that yes, even though Christmas is only 3 days away, it is still t-shirt and short weather—or as some of our more pretentious classmates might say, its more like remove your suit jacket and sport the white-shirt-and-tie look that professor Haynes has made so fashionable. Oh yes, now that exams are over, it feels so good to be able to stop trying to write legibly and go back to what I love most: one hundred and thirty-four (that, and writing out numbers long hand so that I can feel intelligent). So, because I’m sure that most of Section J have already just about finished repressing their memories of these past horrifying weeks, I decided to take a few minutes to remind us all just what exactly the end of a fist semester at law school is like in order ensure that my section-mates don’t suffer any pent-up rage that will probably burst forth in a number of years time when we all remember what we were put through and sent at least two or three of us on a murderous rampage (I’ll let you decide who).

First Memory: Kraus’ rousing pre-exam pep talk, where he recounted a story of those lazy ‘ol 3Ls who already have their job lined up, slack off during the year and still get a higher grade than that poor 1L, with her 128 page, color coated, tabbed, alphabetized, cross-referenced, indexed, categorized, cross-categorized, embossed (just in case they loose their sight during the test) and compartmentalized outline. The speech was quite inspiring, especially the way he emphasized the difficulty of the exams enough to put the fear of God, or at least recruiting attorneys, into all of us peons until he could feel the exact moment the stress level in the room slipped out of orange status into the zone where it becomes “more probable than not” that someone will collapse onto the floor in the fetal position, sucking his thumb and whimpering, and then alleviate all of our collective worries by assuring us that grades really don’t matter and, most amazingly of all, actually convincing us of that fact. Yes, the speech was good, but really, the most salient thing I took from the talk was that I can’t wait until I’m a 3L: looking back at my collage carrier, I think I was born for it.

I quite enjoyed both of our final legal research and writing classes, where in the first, Section J competed in true capitalistic style for fabulous prizes by beating the rest of the class at finding relevant cases. Considering that before this class, I didn’t even know what the “within 40 words” feature was, I was as surprised as anyone (if not more so) that my teammate Liz and I were able to snag a nifty, old-fashion outlining kit, complete with encouraging stickers that Liz thoroughly enjoyed and I finally found a use for as a way for Theresa and I to keep track of our scrabble victories (that’s right, I’m a geek). Right now, Theresa is up 3 to 1 (unfortunately, it seems like I’m not even a very intelligent geek). The very last class was just an excuse to eat pizza, which I really think we should find more of at UVa.

Despite all of the vicious emails that were floating around because of the parking snafu that arose out of the Circus’ unannounced and unexpected arrival in the Law School’s parking lot during the beginning of exam season, I believe that the whole affair was a large conspiracy to give fretting first years a chance to realize what a horrible mistake they made when they decided they might enjoy becoming a lawyer and join the noble carnie profession. That’s right, I believe the Law School administration was giving us the opportunity to run of and join the circus. I for one, decided to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime chance, and figured I could do something like tame the lion or be shot out of a cannon or something like that. So, I marched my way down to the blue lot, asked the bearded lady for directions, knocked on the door of the ring-leader’s trailer, and handed a copy of my resume to Wolf-boy, who apparently double as a secretary. Later that day I receive this reply: “Thank you for your interest in the Big Top Circus. You have an impressive resume and are to be congratulated on your hard work. However, we are not in a position to enter into employment discussions with you at the present time. I would encourage you to reapply in the fall of 2007 for a 2L position.”

You may or may not believe this next statement, but not once did I see a single undergrad in the library during the admittedly few hours I used the area for my scholarly pursuits (I mostly studied at home), but did on occasion politely overhear a conversation or two about how some Law students believe that their study time might be more effective if such students refrained from using our pristine faculty, and conducted their business in spaces dedicated to their programs. I am particularly disappointed that I was unable to meet the student who apparently brought half of the grocery store to his library table, as well as a coffee maker and toaster oven—disappointed because I spent my library hours munching on horribly untoasted bagels and lukewarm… hot chocolate and would have greatly appreciated a chance to borrow his equipment. Except, of course for that time when Theresa popped over to the University and brought me some nice warm cocoa—that’s right, single folks, my wife came to the school and brought me snacks, so have fun having to go all the way from the library to the cafeteria and buying your own heated beverage, suckers: I’ve got it made. Or else, I guess, you could always bring a coffee pot.

This post is getting too long. I'll post the second part shortly

22.12.06

No, I Have Not Lost My Fingers

But with all the outlining and exam writing I have been doing, I think I came close.

Just when I thought that my blog was getting to be old new and no-one read it anymore, you guys pulled through and… sniff… complained that… sniff… you… sniff… I promised myself I wouldn’t cry… that you missed my entries… sniff sniff… What happened is that once I passed the 6 mo. mark, I felt like there was no need to continue, seeing that I had already beaten the odds. Ok really, it stopped posting because it was finals time, and after I have spent hours typing up outlines and whatnot, the absolute last thing that I wanted to do on my study breaks is continue typing on my computer to post new entries, especially when I have an adoring, beautiful wife who is anxious for every minute we can spend together.

But finals are done, for better or worse, and Section J celebrated in their customary fashion: Drunken Debauchery and terrible, terrible Mexican food. I, being the kind who is not usually a party to said activies (by which I am only talking about the ‘drunken’ part) have taken the huge void left by the absense of anything meaningful to do, have gone back to my nerdy ways in front of my computer screen to post this simple message.

Oh, and although I thought that this was common knowledge, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of my section mates still do not know why I refrain for our school’s poison of choice, so I will take this opportunity to clear up any confusion once and for all: I’M LDS

And I will be posting during break.

27.11.06

Dashed Dreams and American Ones


It has come to my attention that my blog posts have become more and more anti-American. I assure you all that this has not been my intention, and have decided to show my true feelings of American patriotism by dedicating this entry to extolling the virtues of the great collection of states that sits as Canada’s southern neighbor. I considered showing my approval of the states by opening the post with a “U-S-A” chant, but I don’t think I am at that point yet. Baby steps. Instead, I have decided to comment one what I feel is a great analogy about what makes America great displayed on a billboard that I saw during my thanksgiving voyage to Southern Virginia University. The ad was for a little dinosaur tourist attraction, and while on my great road-trip through Montana and North Dakota I saw more than my fare share of dino statues, this park was different because the billboard depicted a Cowboy fighting an Dinosaur. This, to me, is America.

Oh sure, Guachos and Vaceros predate American cowboys and China has the worlds largest and best dino remains, but the image of a cowboy fighting a Dino embodies the great American ideals of freedom and independence, standing up for ones principles and not being afraid to take on seemingly-impossible goals. Also, Dinosaurs and cowboys are just cool. I, as well as probably every young boy, have at one point or another dreamed of being both a paleontologist and/or a Cowboy. Unfortunately, both these dreams have—so far—gone unrealized. The former dream was officially dashed when, as an undergrad, I lived out my childhood fantasy by attending a paleontology class and realizing that paleontologists actually spend much more time researching marine invertebrates and planktonic foraminifera than the terrible lizards whose replicas dot the Montana countryside. The later dream will also never be attained, mostly because of my tendency of forgoing wranglers and flannel for corduroy and Lacoste cardigans. Oh well, there is always Law School. Sigh….

And, if anyone is wondering, the Dinosaur would destroy that cowboy faster than Hynes would win in a fistfight with Garret. No contest.

20.11.06

The Big Zero-Point-Five

I read that 90% of potential bloggers do not even last for 6 months. Well, mine has officially completed 1/2 a year, so take that! (remember, my blog started on myspace, but was moved here in Sept.)

And Grand It Is


As a number of astute observers have noticed, my blog postings have become a little less frequent as of late. You can place the blame for this squarely on one person’s shoulders, and that person is Theresa Miller, beloved wife and notorious time stealer. Not that there is anything wrong with her stealing my time; when I let her take my free time, she fills it with activities that are much more fun than those I used to do in my spare moments (goodbye internet scrabble). I will continue posting, though, but updates will probably be limited to once a week, most likely written in Civ. Pro.

As to this week’s post: on Wednesday I took a little trip up to DC to attend a luncheon with Judge Rader of the Federal Circuit, who was scheduled to give a talk on “Intellectual Property in the Third World.” But don’t be fooled by the title of the speech, as I was, because the words ‘Intellectual’ and ‘property’ were probably not spoken during the whole day, except, perhaps by curious listeners whispering to each other during the presentation, ‘is he ever going to talk about intellectual property?’ The Judge instead spent his time relating the kind of stories about his global travels that I am sure he has retold so many times that they might induce him to vomit a little in his hand, like that guy on “I heart Huckabees.” They were quite entertaining stories though, and Judge Radar put out a fine effort trying to excise a moral out of them. Here is a very short rundown of what I learned from the stories:

In North Korea, they don’t have freedom of religion. Moral: America is great.

In the Ukraine, they have a huge and inefficient government bureaucracy. Moral: America is great.

In Uzbekistan, there is a Taliban-backed rebel force. Moral: America is great.

In China, the government built a disco into their brand new Federal courthouse. Moral: America is ok, but China is awesome.

Oh, sure, Judge Rader tried to explain that his story was really about how China’s communist civil law system is much less fair than America’s common law tradition, but once I learned of the courthouse disco, the effect of any other moral was completely lost. An interesting observation I have made throughout my time here and exemplified at this lunch was that the United States toots it own horn more than Dizzy Gillespie, as if by constantly reminding itself that America is a land of freedom, the country can collectivly look past its flaws, such as corrupt corporate lobbying and the diminishing quality of education in its public schools. I mean, Canada enjoys the same freedoms as our southern neighbor, but you don't get the same sort of chest-thumping self-aggrandizement you see in the States. The real lesson of the day, however, was that when you are a federal judge, you don’t have to actually talk about what you are supposed to, and are able to take the entire day from a very busy first-year law student who thinks he is going to expand his education with an informed discussion of technological law in developing nations, which means I would make an excellent federal judge.

That was my DC trip. Unfortunately, except for the Washington Monument (America’s phallus--talk about self-aggrandzement) I was unable to check out any of the sights and had to head back to the slave-driving Law school just in time for some cake and pumpkin pie. Speaking of Pie, Happy Thanksgiving again to you all. One of the good things about being, like Che Guevara, a “Citizen of America” is that you get to celebrate both Canadian and American Thanksgivings. I, personally, am about to set the world record for most Thanksgiving dinners in one year—I’ve already had four.

13.11.06

Escapades in a Weird and Far-off Place


This is the story of a young and beautiful Canadian girl who miraculously packed at least 3 truckloads of clothing and shoes into 2 suitcases and set off from the land of hockey and government subsidized health care and traveled a ridiculous high number of km (which is a slightly less ridiculously high number of miles) to the sunny commonwealth of Virginia, where large plantation homes remind us of more prejudiced times and where opossums roam the streets in frightening numbers.

The story begins on a blistery winter morn at the airport in the Northern city of Calgary, which carries a slight smell of cattle in the air and is known mostly as the setting of the Jamaican Bobsled team’s inspiring Olympic debut. The day was November 8th, and the task ahead of out heroine, Theresa Miller, was Operation: American Eagle. However, despite the best laid plans of mice and men, the operation met complications from the beginning: instead of passing through immigration in Calgary, as originally planned, Theresa was not scheduled to reach customs until she arrived in Toronto, over half a continent away from the comfort of home. But Theresa, being the intrepid, and slightly crazy, adventurer that she is, decided that because she had already packed and drove to the airport, she might as well carry through with the original plan, even though there was a good chance that she would be stopped in Toronto and subsequently become stranded in that great metropolis, having wasted the hundreds of dollars that she could have been refunded if she had be turned back in Calgary and without hope. The decision was, to say the least, daring, and became a source of great anxiety to her husband, as well as to herself, when she finally realized the gravity of her choice somewhere over Manitoba.

When our heroine arrived at her layover and presented her passport to the authorities, an alarm was immediately raised and she was forcibly escorted into that little room reserved for hardened criminals and illegal immigrants, which may or may not have been room 101. In this detention area, with a bright lamp pointed directly into her face, and sitting opposite a desk to a gruff detective who wore suspenders and a fedora and who had the habit of repeatedly rolling up his sleeves and smoking a bent cigarette, Theresa was given the “good cop, bad cop routine,” until well after her connecting flight began boarding. Finally, after thoroughly searching her bags and examining her documents, the immigration officer decided to let her pass, but only if she could answer riddles three. Unfortunately for Theresa, this particular officer was a cousin to one of UVa’s law professors, and the riddles actually came from one of her previous exams*. The riddles were:

1. I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10. Tell me what it is.

2. Imagine that a train engine is passing by a house, and sparks from the train ignite the roof of the barn. Now imagine that that train is actually from the future, the barn is made of dark chocolate instead of wood, and instead of throwing sparks, the train engine is spitting out knives. Is the defendant still negligent?

3. Give me some magic language and repeat it at least 3 times.

Luckily, Theresa was able to answer the first two questions correctly by saying, “11” and “yes, because the United States is a country where every rediculous lawsuit should be rewarded, the Defendent is always guilty, no matter how contrived the Planitiff's story is.” She avoided the last question by punching the immigration officer in his ample gut and running out of the room and across the entire airport with her shoes and belt in her hands and her pants almost falling down. At the very last moment, our hero was able to board her departure by jumping from the gate and grabbing onto the airplane door, just as the flight attendant was closing it. (She did, however, drop her package of fireworks, which exploded and caused mass claims against Air Canada for negligently encouraging her to jump onto a moving plane, which was subsequently dropped because the previous description of America's love of frivolous lawsuits does not also describes Canada's policies).

Theresa scrambled onto the plane and this story ends happily for all; Op. AE was a complete success and Theresa arrived safely in Virginia Wednesday night, much to the gratitude of her husband and just in time for the couple’s 6 month anniversary on Nov. 13th.

*provided by a fellow student, used with permission
**Story co-authored by Theresa Miller and may be slightly exaggerated (Seriously though, Theresa was interrogated thoroughly in Toronto and almost missed her connecting flight).

6.11.06

Lets Get Political


It’s that time again: when 16% of the country files into little booths and puts an ‘x’ beside the name of the guy who they think will have the best chance of not actually screwing up the country so much that the Untied States will climb even further up the rankings of the UN yearbook’s “Most likely to infuriate the rest of the world with their cultural imperialistic tendencies and overall self-important attitude” list. By that I mean its election time. Now, I have a difficult decision ahead of me as a Canadian with a modest understanding of American politics. Don’t get me wrong, there is news coverage about the United States in Canada, but I have the persistent habit of switching the channel from CBC news when they begin talking about American Politics in order to see what new Ashley Simpson video is playing on Much Music. This means I have little actual knowledge about the in and outs of those crazy republicans and wacky democrats. Facing such a daunting intellectual task, I have decided to commit to writing my thought process, as I decide who will get my little ‘x’ on Tuesday.

First off: the battle of the mascots. What was the Democratic Party thinking when they decided that a donkey would be a good mascot? An elephant I can see; it is strong and hardworking, and even majestic in its own mud-bathing sort of way, but a donkey? To me that just says dumb and stubborn. I’m sure that the majority of Democrats are nice and intelligent people, but it’s unfortunate that their party’s founders chose an animal that is so easily made to look ridiculous by political cartoonists. In their defense, the democrats are trying their best to make the most of what they are given by coming up with cleaver t-shirt slogans like “Kicking Asses.” But I was under the impression that that phrase referred to an ass that is kicked, and not an ass that is doing the kicking. Therefore the republicans win this round.

Next up is color. Ah, blue and red, the two colors that seem to be constantly battling one another for moral supremacy, even though everyone knows that the actual opposite of blue is yellow and red’s compliment is green. But this Red-Blue battle has been going on since time began: there’s Coke v. Pepsi, Lexis v. Westlaw, Harvard v. Yale, the Canadian Liberal Party v. the Canadian Conservatives, Red Communism v. well, the rest of the word, which when seen from space does look pretty blue, and of course the republicans v. democrats. But witch color is better? Well, I like Coke over Pepsi (which includes my preference of Sprite to 7 Up and Mexico’s Manzna Lift to Manzanita Sol), but I choose Westlaw (blue) over lexus (mostly because their candy is much better and the Lexus rep, with disdain in her voice, called me a ‘Maccer’ because my apple laptop had trouble printing from their site); I obviously prefer the Edmonton Oilers (blue) over the Calgary Flames (red); and I would take the Ninja Turtle’s Leonardo (blue) over Raphael and day. So, I guess this means that I prefer blue. Democrats: 1, Republicans: 1.

The Name. I don’t know what ever happened to the good ‘ol fashion titles of ‘Conservatives’ and ‘Liberals,’ but if I had to choose between calling my party democrats or republican, I would go for the big R, not because I’m against democracy or anything, but because I would want to associate myself as much as possible with Plato, in hopes of one day realizing my dreams of being a Philosopher King. Democrats: 1, Republicans: 2.

Next: Bumper Stickers/Billboards. I did get a little chuckle over the sticker that read, “Don’t Blame Me, I’m a Democrat,” and without endorsing or disapproving the message, I have to say those pro-life ads that show aborted fetuses or holocaust scenes just plain tasteless. Democrats: 2, Republicans: 2.

Killing. And by this I am, of course, referring to Kegs. Last time I checked, the Virginia Law Democrats have dominated in this area. Democrats: 3, Republicans: 2.

The Candidates. Interestingly enough, the only thing I know about Republican candidate, Allen, was that he may or may not have spit on his ex-wife, and the only info I have on the Democrat’s Webb is that he wrote sex scenes into his novels. Although I don’t approve of wife-spitting, I’ve got to give the Republican’s credit for some creative mud-slinging. Also, that Mike Stark really annoyed me (and I had to figure out how to get this contest to end in a tie).

So the final score is, surprisingly enough, 3 to 3, which really doesn’t help my election-day dilemma. I could try to decide based on policy, but both parties are almost equally right-wing and work much more for their corporate backers than for the American public, which means the Republicans are, despite the recent talk of extreme polarization, no less similar to the Democrats than Coke is to Pepsi, who, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover, pour billions of dollars into each party’s campaign in order to further Corporate America’s self-destructive goals. So, since underneath all of their flashy debates the parties are much more similar than they make themselves out to be, I guess I’ll have to decide the old fashion way—by flipping a coin. I’ve got my Canadian $2 coin (or ‘toonie’) out: ‘heads’ will be Republican and that polar bear on the other side will be the Democrats (so that they can be associated with a cool animal at least once). Here it goes…

This post is for you, W.F.F.

1.11.06

Write-Up of Our First Play-off Game

we lost

31.10.06

Operation American Eagle - NOV 8TH! (I don't know about you, but I sure am nervous)


I have officially become a living Law School exam question. That’s right, numerous friends (and by numerous, I mean 2) who are currently in Immigration Law this semester have approached me with possible solutions to Theresa’s immigration woes, and I hate to say it, but both of the students were unequivocally incorrect, which means, of course, that I would give them each a B+. (I do not wish to show any disrespect to the people who tried to help me out, for I appreciate their concern and fully understand that they are not finished the class and did not know all of the facts of my case, but I just couldn’t resist making a joke about how completely incorrect answers on Law School exams would get a B+). But anyway, although my wife’s predicament has, without contest, occupied the majority of my mental activity and my days of loneliness outweigh the enjoyable experiences that fill these pages, I have yet to actually write a full post about our struggles because, since I have long since grown out of the phase where middle-class teenagers who have never experienced real hardship believe their immature whines are legitimate forms of communication, I refuse to dwell on the negative. Accordingly, the fact that I have decided to write an immigration post today means there is actually something positive to say. So, since so many of you have offered your support and are curious to know about my wife’s current situation, here is a quick rundown:

Theresa is applying for an immigration visa, and because she is married to an American, the process is fairly quick and straightforward. Unfortunately, in immigration terms quick means a number of months instead of a number of years. We have all the paperwork finished and now merely have to wait for the consulate to schedule an interview, immediately after which, Theresa will be issued her visa and become a permanent resident. The interview will probably take place in December or January.

In the meantime, because she has an immigrant visa pending, Theresa is a “potential immigrant,” and cannot enter the States unless she can prove that she will return to Canada. Well, we tried crossing already, and were turned around for various reasons. Well, after numerous meetings with UVa’s office of international students, we have come up with a plan in which Theresa will attempt to enter the United States again. I have labeled this mission, “Operation: American Eagle,” partly because Theresa will fly into this country like the bird that is its national symbol, but mostly because her at least 90% clothing will, like any other day, almost certainly have come from American Eagle (yes there are American Eagle stores in Canada). Now don’t get me wrong, even though the code name may suggest otherwise, there is nothing illegal about the operation: we have merely carefully calculated the most favorable set of circumstances and arguments that will give Theresa the highest chance of making it across the line. We have even talked to the border she will go to, and they claim we have a convincing case. However, there is always a chance they will deny her entry anyway.

The Bottem Line: Theresa has a flight on Wed, Nov. 8, and there is a good, but not perfect, chance that she will be able to cross into this country and wait here until she gets her interview. Needless to say, I will not be able to breathe from the moment I wake up on that day until I receive word that everything went according to plan.

Wish us luck.

I’m sorry if this post was boring, I promise I’ll be back to my own self next time.

29.10.06

My Pre-Pre-Post


Ah Halloween, or, as at least one politically correct elementary school labels it, “storybook dress-up day,” the mother of all non-holidays, although that title was only awarded after it narrowly beat out Valentines Day in the swimsuit competition. I remember the days when Halloween meant dressing up in your costumes that had to be altered in order to fit over your snowsuit, and watching Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” on the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Co.) But times have changed from those carefree days, and for us here at UVa, Halloween seems to be an excuse for students to dress up in as little clothes as possible (girls and, unfortunately, guys), and my musical tastes are now more in line with the ensemble of Indie rock stars, who last year put out a hilarious and catchy song, “Do They Know it’s Halloween?” which I invite you to check out here:
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgux6aGzb3k

  • As you could probably imagine, Section J did not spend Halloween weekend sitting alone in their homes, preparing outlines or catching up on missed torts readings. No, no, on Saturday the majority of my class went to not only the Halloween Party and the Pre-party, but also initiated their own Pre-pre-party. All this partying means, though, that I am far to tired to actually write out a bunch of sentences and paragraphs, so today’s entry will list in point form some highlights of the evening:

    Captain Planet- was the theme of my, as well as a group of my section-mates costumes. Coach Q was the captain and I was heart, even though, as Theresa so eloquently put it when I told her, “He’s the gayest one.”

    Jeff M. & Jeff S.-were the winners of section J’s Beer Pong tourney, narrowly preventing the title from going to a team who included an outside ringer.

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iranian dictator- was my Beer pong teammate, and was creatively able to transform the normal cursing that accompanies beer pong like chewing tobacco accompanies Major League baseball into threats against Israel’s “Zionist Crusaders.” We made it to the semi-finals, mostly because I was able to aim the ball and Ahmadinejad was able to drink for two without even slurring his racial insults.

    Green Shirt- wins my vote for best costume. Now, I don’t even remember what his costume was, but I consider it the best merely because he chose it over the speedo he wore last year.

    The Guy in the Skeleton Costume- had the creepiest costume, not so much because his skeleton was very frightening, but because his persistant offer “Hey, do you want any candy,” was eerily similar to our lessons in elementary school about how to avoid pedophiles.

    The Hosts of the Pre-party- laid out a fine selection of treats, which was a welcome alternative to skeleton guy’s offerings.

    Tommy Train- was officially the first person to claim I was “robbing the cradle,” which refers to the fact that I married a 19 year-old girl who is more than four years my junior, and not at all referring to my habit of breaking into people’s homes and kidnapping their young children so I can train them to become an army of amazing tennis superstars.

    Vikas- was officially the first person to claim that I “could probably [sleep with] at least 10 girls tonight” (edited for content).

    Some guys from Section C-tried to get me to chug the contents of some large, glass bottle. Just in case anyone who reads this doesn’t know yet: I DON’T DRINK! This is because, as I have discovered some people still do not know, I am LDS.

    Charlottesville 1st ward (LDS congregation)- put on a great, yet paradoxical non-trunk “trunk-or-treat” and chili cook-off on Friday, even though the rain ruined the original plan.

    Section J- put on a great, and only slightly parodoxical, bowling activity for the kids Saturday morning after their original idea of baseball was ditched because not a single child participated in the original event

    That kid who, instead of bowling normally, ran up to the pins and knocked them all over with his hands- was able to successfully execute the strategy that got me banned from my bowling league last year.

    Well, that's all that I want to write at this time. All and all, a killer Halloween, complete with a tonne of candy, which I did not get from trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, and especially not from skeleton guy, but from, after carefully looking in both directions, stuffing handfulls of the pre-party's goodies into my pockets (hey, if everyone else gets to poision themselves with alchohol, at least let me do it with suger and saturated fat).

    Untill next year...

    27.10.06

    Thumbs Up!


    Because of my tendency to take whatever side of an issue that serves my fancy, I am a perennial flip-flopper, and therefore fear that, because of slanderous advising of my future opponent, I will not ever obtain my life-long goal of one day becoming the president of the United States and using my power to 1. Make sure that the Canadian wives of American students are able to enter the country freely, 2. Converting the country to the metric system, 3. Instigating a $1 coin so that you can actually use money in vending machines without having your bill rejected at least seven times, and 4. Ending poverty and instigating world peace under a Platonic global oligarchy with myself as the Sovereign-for-Eternity, and the rest of the philosopher kings definatly not including all those stuffy Ivy-leaguers who think that they are the smartest people in the country, when really they were only accepted because their daddy donated a new wing to the library, and ultimately just end up reducing the quality of education for all of those people who made it through their own hard work and intelligence. (And, of course, I am confident that any Ivy-leaguer reading this belong to that hard work/intelligence category).

    But I digress. What I am really trying to say that I have completely reversed my opinion of the Virginia Law Weekly and now believe that, not only are they justified in displaying our university’s founder on their cover, but have also earned the coveted “Most Perfect Collection of Words to Ever be Recorded in the History of Language” award, instigated by your own future-sovereign-for-eternity. In fact, I think instead of the Law Weekly displaying a picture of Jefferson on their cover, Jefferson should display a replica of our newspaper on his tombstone. Why such a change of heart? Well, the following was printed in this week’s edition:

    For any of you who are not content with simply being force-fed
    whatever news Big-Media deems appropriate, Here is a chance to fight
    the power and participate in what has been given the slightly
    communist-like title of "citizens media" by reading one student's
    blog response to an undeserved "thumbs down" from last weeks ANG at
    http://www.randyatuva.blogspot.com

    Yes, I’m sure you expert linguists have already figured out that this sounds an awfully lot like something I would write and I admit it now: I did write it, but only at the Virginia Law Weekly’s invitation.

    They also had this to say:

    Thumbs up to Professor Hynes for instigating, then mediating, a bet between dueling sections C and J over which team would win a softball game. And thumbs up to Section J for winning, then getting to decide the on-call order for Section C. Next week, you all should have a rematch with each team's Magic: The Gathering collection at stake.

    Is it just me, or does this law school seem to have an obsession with Magic: The Gathering. I think they should all just quit thier over-compensating, come out of the closet and set up an official leauge. And, in case anyone is counting, that is Section J's 3rd thumbs up in two months.

    Check out the Newspapers website
  • www.lawweekly.org
  • 20.10.06

    I'll Take Whatever 15 Minutes I Gan Get


    I am seriously starting to think that the Jefferson portrait on the front of the Virginia Law Weekly should be replaced with a picture of… umm… oh, some old American president that everyone hated, especially if the president was known for publishing newspapers that used rash judgments as the basis for uniformed, mundane and uncreative statements about the activities of law students. Why such a condemning opening statement? Mostly for fun really, because, although I single-handedly (yet anonymously) received a thumbs down form “Around North Grounds,” which may seem enough of an insult to merit a strongly worded blog entry, I am actually happy to have been considered important enough to warrant a published rebuke from a bunch of editors I’ve never met and will wear that thumbs down as a badge of honor. Maybe next time I'll actually get a thumbs up--perhaps for somthing like "best blog ever"--and finally earn the fame and adoration that will surely come from being complemented by such a prestigious publication. However, even though I have made peace with my thumbs down, I do feel the need for a little clarification.

    My first in which may turn out to be a great many ANG thumbs down reads: “Thumbs down to people who bring casebooks to football tailgates. You can’t learn how to enjoy life.” It is referring to the time when I… well, brought a casebook to a football tailgate. On the surface, this does seem like a pretty nerdy thing to do, and as such would be completely against my nature, but the truth of the matter is that I was actually just walking past the tailgate on my way to the Law School in order to study for my Monday Civ Pro midterm that I had not reviewed for earlier because I was too busy actually enjoying life with Theresa during fall break, when the guest of the aforementioned party called me over to join them, and subsequently pointed out that bringing a casebook to a tailgate was unqualifiably lame. Well, the only reason I actually consented to attending the party was because it was lunchtime ant I was lured to by the prospect of free barbeque, which, much to my dismay, was conspicuously absent and made the tailgate much less of a party and more of a group of guys standing around at noon and killing their brain-cells. So, without even breaking my stride, I walked around the house and promptly snuck through a hedge and continued on my way to the library, casebook in hand.

    Just to re-iterate, I actually hold no ill will towards Virginia Law Weekly, and I wrote this post mostly because I probably get as much enjoyment from arguing in convoluted prose about silly little issues that really do not mean anything to anyone as much as Saturday’s tailgaters get from standing around with red and blue plastic cups in their hands. Why do you think I want to be a lawyer?

    Not Another Softball Post


    I’m sorry, but since Theresa’s many attempts to sneak across the American boarders, including an ingenious plan involving a George Bush mask and a hot air balloon, have failed miserably and I am forced to continue here in Virginia as an unwilling bachelor, softball is one of the few things I have here that gives any meaning to my life (no, I haven’t forgotten about that pesky little law school thing I have to go to, but, as everyone here already knows, class is a much lesser priority than the North Grounds Softball League). Also, there would be absolutely no excuse not to post tonight, as we just finished our most important game of the season. That’s right, even if the Migra had finally tracked caught up to Theresa’s balloon and I had to rush off to Saskatchewan to plead her case in front of a tribunal of Mounties, I would have written this post on the plane. You may now be wondering, what made this particular game so important to merit such an immediate response? Well, simply put, it was the long-awaited meeting of Section J’s “Juiced” and Section C’s “Carnations,” and ever since an alleged Section J remark about C’s inescapable tendency of effectively wasting the majority of our joint contracts class with inane comments and irrelevant questions, which, as section J lore goes, actually did not happen, (although it might well could have considering the accuracy of the remark), the Sections have been the most bitter of rivals. Also, if the first meeting of long-time enemies is not enough to merit “greatest game ever” status, Professor Hynes increased the stakes by mediating a wager where the losing team gets to select the cold-call list for tomorrow’s class, which would only really make a difference if C won, because if we created a list that excluded all of J and only C spoke next class, I don’t think I would be able to tell the difference. All I’m trying to say here is that it was a big game.

    So who won? Well, get ready to dodge some flying scrabble tiles because we might have a section of sore losers on our hands. Except of course, since Section C would be doing the throwing, their weapons would more likely be “My little Ponies,” than scrabble tiles—I don’t really know how you could lose at “My Little Ponies,” but if anyone could do it, our pals in Section C could. Oh, and to complete my retraction of this paragraph’s opening phrase, I guess you wouldn’t really need to dodge anything, because, as Section C so effectively established on the diamond today, their throwing skills are such that I would be reasonably confident that no-one near the tantrum would be at any sort of risk of being hit.

    Am I being too hard on Section C? Well. after today reading the second of C’s resident blogger’s entries that include both “Section J” and “Sucks” it their titles, I have concluded that it isn’t. Anyway, here is the official game write-up, penned by J’s Bill (used without permission):

    Section J: 9
    Section C: 4

    In what was a foregone conclusion, Section J defeated their arch-rivals Section C nine to four on the muddied field of Copley today. I don't want to play up how big a showdown this game was because then people might actually think Section C had a chance. But it was one of the biggest games of the year. Section J and C's contracts professor was there. He brought snacks and a deal that the winner could pick who in the other section would be called on next class. Best contracts professor ever.

    Let's get this out of the way first. The Carnations? Are you kidding me? A pink carnation is either a symbol of a mother's undying love or what a bad prom date buys his soon to be ex-girlfriend.

    Some highlights:

    Section J had even stronger support than our usual…strong support. First, our amazing PAs. All five were there, with three of the five actually making the sacrifice of missing class. They even brought pizza and beer. So big thumbs ups to them for that. We even had 4 significant others in attendance. For the record, I don't think any of Section C's PAs were there. Although I actually give them credit for that: I wouldn't want to hang out with that section either if I didn't absolutely have to.

    Section C threatened a couple of times. Both times "The Bull" came up to bat. Let's just say he had one batting glove for each strikeout.

    The game was mostly won and lost on fielding. Two players really just sum up each team's efforts. For Section C, their first baseman with the ridiculously short shorts. I'm sure you've seen him around the law school. No other male wears running shorts that short. After a routine grounder to the pitcher the ball was a bit off target. Let's just say his balls almost fell out of his daisy dukes while demonstrating the stretching ability of an 11 year old girl. The fact that they didn't, actually calls into question their existence. For Section J, Mike in the outfield. He single handedly was responsible for the last two outs of the game. The first time with an amazing dive and roll snowcone of a catch. The second time charging in for a ball that popped over the infield, picking it up, and flipping the ball to the second baseman in mid dive for the last out.

    For the record, after winning 6 to 4 at the end of 5 innings, the umpire gave Section J the chance to end the game since an hour had elapsed. We immediately turned it down because we wanted another inning to run up the score. We also didn't want to give C an excuse.

    18.10.06

    Professor Hynes' Grammer Club

    Judging from his criticism about how the case we read today mis-numbered some of its points, I think it would be clear that he is one of thoe people who I mentioned in my Oct 13th post. You know, "one of those cynical people who spend their days writing angry letters to magazines for silly little misprints." In fact, I have it on good authority that Prof. Hynes is the President of the William and Mary Law School Grammer Club. I think I might have to transfer next year...

    For those of you keeping track, this is officially the first post that I actually wrote while in class. Which class you ask. Civ Pro of course

    14.10.06

    Moderately Down?!


    So, I just took the "Indie Scene Quiz" on CNN.com to find out how "indie" I was, despite the fact that, as one of the largest news companies on the planet, CNN would seem to the casual observer to not be the best place to learn about a movement that is commited to avoiding anything mainstream. Turns out, because I scored 5/10 I am "Moderatly Down," mostly, I think, because I do not consider The Clash to be the only band that ever really mattered, or it might be because dispite all of my best efforts, I cannot seem to shake my embarrassing habit of listening to Dashboard Confessional, even though it is probally Pitchfork's most hated band, and really shouldnt be of any interest to anyone over the age of 17 (even my 20 year-old wife has grown out of them). In order to improve my Hipster Rating, I have decided to cunsult with Dean Jefferies, who, as demonstrated by his astute criticicm of The Dave Matthew's Band, seems to have his ear on the pulse of the new music scene. In any case, I definatly should stop studying right now for my Civ Pro midterm and start making an outline of Pitchfork Media.

    13.10.06

    Proof that I cant find anything new to write about

    As much as I would think that a publication that prominently displays a portrait of Thomas Jefferson on its front page would be a pinnacle of journalistic integrity, I have a few complaints about the Virginia Law Weekly’s coverage of the 1L softball tourney.

    First of all, Around North grounds gave a thumbs up for section J’s beer pong exploits at on the field, and although it is well established that J’s talents are much more pronounced when it comes to throwing a ping-pong ball in order to drink oneself blatto as opposed to throwing a softball in order to make an out (especially when the latter is done after the former), I find it inaccurate to claim that our exploits made us the “(im)moral victors of the tourney, if not the best team,” when some un-named members of section J are really very moral and upstanding citizens who play beer pong purely for the sport of it—also, Section J was the best team out there.

    Second complaint is concerning the article on the back page that reads: “The next game featured the crowd favorite and lovable underdog L.L.M. team against Section J, a team comprised entirely of American Bullys.” Well, it should be quite obvious to anyone reading this blog that Section J also includes at least one Canadian Bully. Also, I find it inaccurate to call the LLM team a crowd favorite when it was quite apparent that there wasn’t actually a crowd at the 9:00AM game, but we’ll let this one slide because the LLMs were a lovable team, and because there is nothing worse than one of those cynical people who spend their days writing angry letters to magazines for silly little misprints because they want to be the star at next weeks meeting of their grammar club (which, by the way is conspicuously lacking here at UVa Law; I mean, how am I supposed to respect an educational institution that doesn’t support at least one organization designed to extol the glories of prepositional phrases and almost unlimited use of my all-time favorite punctuation mark—the dash).

    5.10.06

    Happy Thanksgiving Folks


    Yes, it is thanksgiving time up in the north country, and I would just like to express what I am most thankful for on this fine holiday. I am, of course thankful for my lovely and adoring wife, Theresa. Thats it, I'm sorry but your not going to get one of my almost tiring sentences that are amusing at first, but just seem to ramble on forever without much point or substance whatsoever, not unlike a Mars Volta song, but I felt that i might, on this occation, perhap take the time to actually express my feelings without sarcasm, because, and its a little known fact, Randal Miller is able to make a sencere declaration of love once and a while. In fact, Thanksgiving may be my new holiday, since it is giving me the chance to see Theresa after six long weeks. Needless to say I am more excited than a schoolgirl in a candy shop full of stuninly attractive and agreeable schoolboys (much like the guys of section J).

    3.10.06

    At least it's entertaining

    One of the Judges who were with the Federal Circuit, which was sitting at UVa today asked this about blogs: "can we derive from this database anything meaningful?" The answer, if this humble publication is any indication, is a resounding no.

    Champions in our Eyes


    QUESTION PRESENTED:

    Can a section of about 30 young, fun loving and surprisingly attractive first year law students ever have a chance of winning the 1L Softball tournament when their priorities are more centered on having the kind of fun that often comes in twelve-packs than fielding an skilled team?

    SHORT ANSWER:

    No. Winning is not fun. Oh sure, it is an enjoyable experience, but it is more akin to the satisfaction that Alexander the Great must have felt after he conquered yet another barbarian horde than the ideal sensation of fun that can probably best be envisioned by referring to that feeling you get as a child when you are finally tall enough to go on that big roller-coaster for the first time—you know, the one with the six loop-de-loops that made you older sister vomit when she first rode it last year. So, in order to win the 1L tournament, you better be willing to trade in your fun for a lot of yelling, intense determination and the ability to callously exclude your section-mates without regret.

    SUMMARY OF THE FACTS:

    Section J, which is apparently known as “the fun section” by the friends of our peer advisors, woke up after a late night of debauchery at J&J’s B-day bash to the soft sound of birds chirping and the smell of Bodo’s Bagels, (which were quite delicious for the first 3/4, but couldn’t hold my interest long enough to actually finish that last bite), on the slightly overcast morning of Sept. 30 for the annual 1L softball tourney. Our first match against the international LLM squad was over quickly, with section juiced immerging victorious because we were able to hit at least one or two balls over the gold-glove wielded by the LLM’s superstar pitcher to the not-so-superstar remainder of the team. Our second game was not quite as successful, and, despite some amazing plays, such as Wheels’ lead-off homer and Luke’s center-to-home throw-out, the mighty Juiced was humbled by the smaller and less-inebriated (or should I say ‘blatto’) Section K, who ultimately went on to win the fame and universal adoration that comes with a 1L Softball championship.

    DISSCUSSION:

    When some pathetic losers are defeated, they will wine and throw their scrabble tiles across the room and then, after the quick argument about how the Q is missing that is ultimately resolved when the lost tile is found beside the deck of Magic cards, the loser, much to the annoyance of everyone else, feels the need to explain the unique circumstances that lead to his unlikely loss. I would like to now exercise this right. Section J never really had a chance of becoming 1L champions, partially because the other teams were simply much better than us, but mostly because we held a firm conviction that more fun can be had off of the diamond than on. And because section J’s idea of fun, much like the roller-coaster kid’s, often induces vomiting, we didn’t have much hope of beating any section that has not previously drunk an entire keg between them. I would also like to point out that, unlike most other teams that made the weaker half of their section sit on the bench, section J fielded an impressive 27 players (85% of the section), without regard to their softball prowess. Although this meant that our team could not compete with the teams that only let their best players onto the field, it allowed almost our entire section the chance to play be involved and feel the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team (now, doesn’t that just warm your heart). For the better teams, there was no full-section effort, there was also no blazing wing challenge, no beer pong, and their defiantly was no funnels right before (and after) enthusiastically stepping up to bat and sloppily striking out, and, dare I say, there was no fun? (Yes, I understand that it is very possible to have fun without alcohol, considering I have had an incredibly enjoyable life up to this point and would highly recommend at lease trying to have a good time without booze; I also understand that the winning team probably had a very fun day, but if I admitted that, my whole argument would just fall apart, now wouldn’t it?)

    CONCLUSION:

    So, congrats section juiced. As it was so eloquently put at the end of our slightly uncoordinated run for the championship, “you are all champions, I can see it in your eyes”

    Oh, I could not end this post without giving a shout out to our good friends in Section C. Now there is a section that does not let their utter lack of fashion keep them from having fun. Of course, unlike Section J, their fun is a much more of a synchronized-skipping-short-shorts-and-pink-tank-top-wearing kind of fun, which I guess is fine if you’re the kind of people who think that naming their softball team “The Carnations” is a fabulous idea or if you are a trailer-trash 9 year-old girl who dreams of one day becoming a real princess—or at least the next Brittany Spears.

    Nos vamos.

    1.10.06

    Beer Pong For the Masses


    A very big, Virginia Law Weekly-type thumbs up to Prof. Armacost for, in a way that almost suggests a supernatural ability to read Dean Jefferies mind, decided to cancel Torts class on the exact same days this week that Crim was also cancelled. (Perhaps we could somehow use Aracost’s Jefferies-mind-reading abilities to find out once and for all if the Dean does indeed have a large collection of jorts that he wears on the weekend and to UVa sporting events and social gatherings). Anyway, the dual class calculation practically gave section J a four-day weekend, with only one class on Thursday and Friday—and everyone knows that Civ Pro barely counts as a class as it is. I was about to write that us diligent students in Section J jumped on the opportunity to plan parties on two consecutive evenings, complete with kegs and so much other forms of alcohol that I even got a little tipsy from the smell alone, but this would be a bit misleading, for, as we all know, section J would have thrown the parties even if we did have class at 9:00 AM the next morning.

    We called the first of these social gatherings a “section mixer,” and the second was labeled “J&J’s Birthday Party.” Now the later is quite a confusing title, because, although Section J called the event J&J’s birthday, neither of the Js in J&J was actually “J”—the Js in J&J were Josh and Jeff—not to be confused with J’s other Js: Jim, James, Joel, the other James and the other Jeff. But, it doesn’t really matter how confusing the names of our get-togethers are because it is no secret that, although the parties have different labels, they all involve pretty much the same thing: that thing being, of course, drinking oneself so silly that he/she starts to believe that making out with 3 different guys on the same night is a good idea (notice that I included the he with the she).

    Our section mixer on Thursday was also this humble writer's official introduction to the wide world of Beer-Pong (which is really just another excuse for people to drink themselves so silly that they start to believe that making out with 4 different guys on the same night is a good idea). I, of course, had to call in a pinch-drinker, and would like to thank Vikas for graciously volunteering to drink for the both of us, and sincerely hope that, as a result, he did not drink himself silly enough to engage in the above-mentioned activities. For anyone who is uncultured enough to be unfamiliar with beer-pong, it is quite as simple game: two teams set up nine partially-filled cups at either end of a table, and the teams take turns trying to throw a ping-pong ball into their opponent’s cups, carnival style, only without those giant stuffed gorillas that everyone wants so much when they are at the midway, but which always seem to end up with a 25¢ sticker firmly attached to its right ear at the winner’s next garage sale. When an opponent’s ball lands in your cup, you drink its contents and remove it from play. Now, I suppose the winner is the team that eliminates all of their opponent’s cups, but the way I see it, the magic of beer pong is that the games are always so close that, by the end, each team has drunk at least 8 cups of beer, so, keeping in mind that the real objective is drinking oneself so silly..., no matter who eliminates the last cup, everybody wins! (or everybody looses, if you take their livers’ point of view). Needless to say, beer-pong is such an entertaining and challenging sport that I smell an Olympic exhibition in the near future. Now, if only someone would start bringing stuffed animals for the beer pong champions to our next mixer/party/social/bar review/kegger/fox field/dandelion/pot-luck/barbeque/softball tournament/Tuesday.

    Hasta luego

    28.9.06

    He Poos What?


    If there is anyone out there who has realized that joking about the metric system or how Canadians supposedly have an innate tendency to tack the word “eh” at the end of their sentences hasn’t really been humorous for at least 64 years, and are looking for a new way to make fun of Canada, but just cannot think of anything because, lets just face it, Canada is pretty much amazing in every way, have I got the news for you. Last week, Canada handed out its prestigious Polaris Music Prize (think “Canada’s version of the Mercury Prize in the UK,” which, by the way, thankfully did not go to Thom Yorke’s disappointing album that sounded like it was made on his Commodore 64), and the winner was an album called “He Poos Clouds.” That’s right, Canada’s most prestigious music prize went to an album called “He Poos Clouds.” How can anyone take us seriously now? I can just imagine our ambassador trying to make a passionate speech at the UN about Venezuela’s abuses in the Oil industry, and Hugo Chavez could easily rebut any of our arguments by saying, “At least we don’t Poo Clouds!” At which point, the entire auditorium would burst out laughing, and poor Canada would have to spend his lunch hours crying in the handicap stall in the washroom.

    Anyway, since I have now probably convinced everyone that the Canadian music scene is completely laughable, I have decided to post a quick list of some good Canadian Indie Rock for you to download—legally of course, we don’t want anyone to be breaking any copyright laws because of me (American copyright laws, that is, because unauthorized music downloads are legal in Canada—just another reason why Canada is amazing). Oh, and by the way, “He Poos Clouds” actually is a good album by a band called Final Fantasy.

    Randal’s List of Awesome Canadian Cuts:
    1. Broken Social Scene—Anthems for a Seventeen-year-old Girl
    2. The Arcade Fire—Rebellion (Lies)
    3. Alexisonfire—No Transitory
    4. Bedouin Soundclash—When the Night Feels my Song
    5. Death From Above 1979—Romantic Rights
    6. Feist—Mushaboom
    7. Hot Hot Heat—Five Times Final
    8. Neverending White Lights—The Grace (ft. Dallas Green)
    9. The New Pornographers—Mass Romantic
    10. Stars—Ageless Beauty
    11. Wolf Parade—Shine a Light
    12. Sunset Rubdown—Stadiums and Shrines
    13. Metric—Monster Hospital

    26.9.06

    Back in 1606...


    Dear Diary,

    The University of Virginia is officially stuck in the Seventieth Century. Mind you, it’s a seventeenth century that is full of plaid shorts and polo shirts (I swear there are more Lacoste Alligators here then in the everglades), but a form of the seventieth century nonetheless. Not only are most of the buildings on the main grounds older than most people’s genealogy, but we are currently in the middle of a mumps epidemic. Ok, the word “epidemic” may be a little harsh considering there is only one reported case, but judging from the widespread panic that has ensued, including the quarantine of one of my section-mates, who very distraught that he must spend the day relaxing at home rather then spending his fleeting youth listening to lectures on the different interpretations of Rule 11 claims in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, we might as well start handing out signs that read “unclean” to the unimmunized. Fortunately for me, the good people at Capital Health has already hooked me up and I am free to come and go as I please, even if that coming and going is primarily done in the hallway that separates my contracts class from my legal research and writing class.

    Another seemingly medieval practice that is deeply routed in the UVa culture is secret societies. Is it just me, are such clubs not even interesting anymore. (OK fine, you caught me—if I really didn’t think they were interesting, they why would I be spending my fleeting youth writing in my blog about them?) There are three main societies here on the grounds, the Sevens, the IMPS and the Zs (that’s ‘the zees’ and not at all ‘the zeds’), but there are countless others. As far as I can tell, these clubs mostly occupy themselves with painting their symbols around the grounds and probably telling gossiping with each other using secret decoder rings (oh, and I guess they do things like donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the University, but, come one, we all know its really about the decoder ring.) Mind you, I’m not making fun. I would love to be in a secret society. In fact, I was thinking of creating one myself. I have come to the conclusion, however, that starting such a club would cost may too much money and effort than a frugal and lazy person such as myself could reasonably be expected to spend. So, instead of actually organizing a society, I have decided to instead capitalize on another popular UVa activity: Fantasy Football. Yes, that’s right, I am going to set up a fantasy secret society. How it would work is that each player will select certain UVa students and alumni, and every time one of their ‘team members’ say, donates money to the school, paints a symbol somewhere on the grounds, or marches around in cloaks an masks, then they would gain points. Naturally, whoever has the most points at graduation would win the game. What do you think? Is I a good idea, or will I just end up with a couple of decoder-ring-wearing gooneys at my door? Oh, don’t worry, I’m sure the local secret societies are good natured people. I think I would more likely to have thugs at my door if I made fun of either Westlaw or Lexis.

    Anyways, that’s it. Are you impressed that I managed to incorporate mumps, secret societies and fantasy football into one coherent entry?

    Adios

    21.9.06

    Legally Blonde 3

    Another belated post, this one from Sept 13,

    Dear Diary,

    If the moral of my last post was that Law School is Hard, then the moral of this post is that Law School is Wicked Fun. Not that the fun we are having is wicked, although there are probably many people who think that there must be something wicked happening if it includes a bunch of Lawyers having fun, but that the fun we are having is so incredibly fun that, not only should it be labeled as wicked, but also that wicked and fun should be capitalized.

    Point number 1 concerning the above statement:

    I went to the football game, and, lets all face it. There may or may not have been at least one keg-stand at the tailgate party. Now, I wont say who actually participated in said activity, but unless the keg was filled with mango Jumex, which, by the way sells for 50 cents a can here, you could be pretty certain that it wasn’t me. So, after the tailgate, we (being Section J and I) head over to the game, which is free for all UVa students. It started out with a huge marching band and one of those baton-twirling girls. Now, I have to say that I was highly disappointed in the lack of shirts and ties. I mean I go to all of the trouble of buying a new sundress and painting on my eyebrows extra-carefully, and no one else seemed to go to the same lengths as I did. It’s frustrating. What actually happened was that the couch just told everyone that instead of ties, he wants the fans to all wear orange shirts because it is the team color. Aye. But the game was fun. It turns out that our team actually sucks more than a Hoover. BUT, we did win. In overtime. Because the other team missed an extra point. So it was close and fun. I have decided that I should become a college football player. I mean, I am pretty much so strong, and while going to law school I have so much free time, I could easily become a linebacker or something like that.

    Point two:

    It seem like here at UVa, Softball is even more important as learning about the Mens Rea element of statutory crimes. Our sections first game was a come from behind victory lead by our superstar pitcher, which, in case you are wondering, was me. I’m also on the LDS team, so I will be like a double agent. I hope that my section J mates wont find out. If this were a romantic comedy movie, I would probably have a girlfriend on each team, and then at the end, our two teams would have to play each other in the softball final. I probably would have to keep running back and forth from the bushes in order to change my uniform. I would almost get away with it too, except, in the last inning I would have to go up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. And at the same time, my other team would call me in to replace the pitcher. I would have to decide which team to let down, and which girl I like better. What would I do?! Would I pick the one who is a good dancer like Brittney Spears or would I pick the one who looks like a cartoon character? Naturally, I'd get caught, but it will all work out it the end. I’d like to see Reese Witherspoon pull that one off! (By the way, I'd pick the good dancer, by the way, because the cartoon girl will turn out to be Kalan Porter!)

    So, in class today, good 'ol section J decided to have this game, where the first person to ask or answer a question and say 'meow" would win a beer. Well, you can just imagine that that class was pretty much hilarious. There were a few meows, but the one who took the cake (or the beer, rather), was Train, who actually used the phrase "the cat's meow." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH (yes, I ended my laugh with an H) the whole class just started laughing, and the prof was so bewildered. BEWILDERED! I'd like to see 'ol Reese pull that one off too!

    OK, one more random story: Our Civ Pro Professor is kind of young (30s), yet he seems as conservative as all of the other Profs here, with his cuff-links and glasses, and is so boring that one person actually shoved a pencil in his eye, just to get out off his class and go down to the nurses office. Well, it turns out that Professor Garrett may or may not be the lead singer in a really bad heavy metal band! WHA? It’s true. We found his band's web page. Its called 'CrackJacks', have a self-released album called 'Wire Mother', and sell t-shirts that say "why are you so cold to me?" Needless to say, the first person that says that in class will win more then a beer I think.

    I think I see the makings of a "Legally Blonde 3" here. Of course, I would be the main character, and after the movie comes out in Mexico, they will have to start a new brand of hair color called "Miller Blonde #3" oh dear.

    Well, that's it
    chao

    UVa Has Class?



    To get this whole blog thing rolling, I have decided to transfer over my last couple of posts.
    This on is actually from Sept. 7:

    Dear Diary,

    I have a terrible and shocking confession to make: I didnt actually make it to the wine tasting party! I know, I feel like such a phoney. I tried, but i couldnt find the house. Curse these streets that have various names! I seriously dont know why these streets change names so ofthen But, to make up for my lack of wine tasting class, I am going to a UVa football game on sat. I know what you are thinking:

    "Oh Randy, the only thing lower class then a football game is nascar. you might as well marry your cousin and live out of your car in a Walmart parking lot"

    But... apparently, everyone who goes to these games is supposed to wear a shirt and tie or a sun dress! And because all of my sun dresses are so last season, im going to go with the tie. Talk about eastern schools having class. I feel like i should get a tweed jacket with the school crest on it. If I had that, then I will be invited to every wine tasting party in charlottesville. And there will be a lot, we do live in wine country, you know I could talk about the advantages of aristotilean virtue ethics as opposed to benthanic hedonistic utilitarianism. Did you know there is a building on campus that looks very old and has big huge concrete letters on the side that say SOCRATES. whats the deal with that? Oh well, it just goes to show how high class we are out east.

    So are you sure you want to go to law school. It can be pretty rough. They use the socratic method. (can you believe that i just refered to socrates in two completly unrelated parts of my email?) Anyway, it means that the prof just says your name and asks you all of these hard and scary questions, and you are supposed to be so elequant and answer them based on your readings, which you apparently are supposed to memorize!

    So here is my conversation today:

    Prof: Mr. Miller (yes they say Mr.), say you are the council for the defendent, why would you say that the plantif has no cause of action.

    Me: um, well... the case says that the plantif does have cause

    P: yes, but what would your arguemnet be?

    M: I dunno, it seems pretty clear that he has cause of action

    P: Well, lets look at the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, What rule does the judge refer to in this passage?

    M:...

    P: which rule did the judge use to base his verdict?

    M:... (i frantically look through the pages of the case for one little sentence that refers to a federal rule)....

    P: Mr. Miller?

    M:...

    P:...

    M:...

    P:...

    M:...

    P: Miss Sheppe, how would YOU defend the claim that the plantif has no cause of action?

    Arrggghhh! The worst part is that the answer was right there in front of me, and i even had it highlighted. I couldnt have been more embarrased if I had accidently shaved off my eyebrows while sleepwalking and tried to draw them back on with a black marker! I pretty much wanted to die, i felt so stupid. The Moral is: you better be sure you want into this whole law school thing. (So, was my dramitization effective?)

    so i guess i had a killer week, but i mean it in a "Im going to kill myself before this school week is over." This weekend should be a good one, you should come done when there is a football game, it sounds like it will be totally a riot

    Oh, and i went to the spanish party. It was actually a "Conversationalist Club", and it was mostly people learning spanish, but it was at the house of this family from Salvador. They made these things that the called "pasteles", but it wasnt at all cake or cake-like. They were like empanadas, with this meat stuff inside, and you put on this homemade salsa. They were so good i ate my wieght in them. Now i weigh double what i did a week ago: 300 lbs! And there was this cool girl from spain and she spoke with that lispy accent and i loved it. Not in a "I love you sweety" way, but a "I love cheese" way.

    thats it for today. cant wait for your next message danny boy

    Oh Look, A Blog

    Seeing how it seems to be almost universally accepted by anyone over the age of 15 that myspace is a complete waste of time (unless of course, your primary purpose in using the interent is to watch prepubecent girls experimenting with thier new webcam), I have moved my blog. Although it may prove to be an inconvienece to my many loyal readers, I have decided this move is for the best.

    So stay tuned, you'll never know what waky adventures are in store...