Because Theresa was scheduled to arrive in the Old Dominion last night, I did not plan on writing a blog post today. But since Mother Nature decided to kick me while I’m down with one of those sharply pointed shoes that have been in style (cruel women are always impeccably fashionable) by sending Minneapolis a snowstorm that canceled my wife’s incoming flight, I am spending Sunday morning alone one more time. So, not having thought of a brilliant idea on which to write, I will fly this one like a blind pilot and list five random and completely pointless observations I have made of late:

1. Law School interviews bear an uncanny resemblance to speed dating: I mean, you are forced to sit across the table from a complete stranger for 20 minutes, force out a conversation about the weather, try your best to feign interest in each others hobbies and then hope to get a call in the next few days. (Yes, this observation does mean I have speed dated. No, I did not meet my wife this way. And yes, speed dating is as completely worthless and agonizing as it sounds.)

2. I don’t know if anyone else who aimlessly wanders the dark bowels of the Law School at night (Grogan?) has noticed this before, but one night after my Genetics class finished watching Gattaca, I heard a muffled cheer from a dimly-lit conference room near my locker. Upon investigation, I discovered a surprisingly large number of Law Students huddled around the table playing Magic: The Gathering. Or at least I think they were law students, but judging from the shady nature of the gathering, they just as probably could have been the mole people of Jennifer Toth’s underground cities, come up for a little air. I mean, I didn’t see that club’s table at the activities fair.

3. Our fellow law students are completely wasting that flat panel TV that is set up so enticingly in the library’s group study room. Whenever I walk past the room after staring at my textbooks for hours, I hope to see someone in their basking in the soft glow of daytime programming that I could join for a study break. But alas, the room is always occupied by one or more students quietly studying (an act that could very well be accomplished in a room with no television), the remote control resting unused on the table and that large, beautiful screen completely black.

4. I have noticed with a hint of satisfaction that public washrooms are the great levelers of society. Whether you are the CEO of a fortune 500 company or a humble sewage diver (I recently watched a program on the world’s worst jobs), if you are at the movies and nature calls, you’ve got to use the same dirty crapper as the next guy. Kind of makes you feel nice inside, in a socialist kinda way.

5. At the risk of sounding overly frugal, I would like to point out that there seems to be an awful lot of fundraisers at a school that costs so much I’ve heard rumors that next year’s tuition will include signing away your first born child. $50 for beer pong? You can’t squeeze blood from a stone! But then again, I am probably underestimating the number of students whose Daddy pays for their school, have already made their first million or are already counting on those big paychecks that are dangled in front of us like the dollar on the cover Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. I am especially baffled that UVa Law churns out enough bake sales to fuel an obesity epidemic. I would complement the school on it’s mastery of the domestic arts, but more than half of the products sold come in a package that says “Krispy Kreme,” or “Harris Teater” on the side. I you love your club so much, roll up your sleeves and do a little work—a batch of cookies takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.

6. I hate Con Law. OK, that was six observations, but it had to be said.


Happily Ever After

It’s Done. Hallelujah.

I’m so happy I could vomit.

Theresa Miller is now officially the proud owner of a shiny new American Immigrant Visa. After months of waiting and the expenditure of more dollars that I like to think about, it is all over. The sad part is that after all that waiting, spending, and more than one harrowing journey across the continent, the entire process culminated in a five minute interview. That’s right, we waited four eight excruciating months and flew through blizzardy torrents over Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, just so Theresa can go sit in a small room for five minutes while a consulate officer quickly skims the documents that cost us our fare share of blood and sweat, more than or fair share of tears (Theresa’s of course, I’m to manly to show that kind of emotion), and perhaps just a milligram of begging in order to give her a little stamp in her passport, send her on her way and call in the next applicant.

Oh well, I am just so overjoyed and relieved that everything went well and our separation is finally behind us, I don’t care how anticlimactic the process was. So, for anyone who was beginning to doubt the American immigration policy that lets thousands of illegal immigrants across its borders every year but strictly forbids entry to a young and harmless girl from visiting her husband simply because she was too honest to lie to the port officer, you can take solace in this outcome. The process does work—kind off.

My immigration problems don’t end her, though, and it looks like my next challenge might be even more difficult than my first. Now I have to put my bureaucrat-fighting skills to work trying to register my car in Virginia. Aye…

Well, I don’t really know what to say now: one of the main topics of my blog is finished and I don’t really have too much more to write. I suppose all of you can get back to checking out all of the other web pages that you brose during class time, whether it’s CNN, the Onion, Pitchfork Media (my personal favorite) or, in Sam’s case, other sites that I will not mention because my family reads this blog. Or should I say my family used to read this blog, since “Adventures in a Strange and Distant Land” has officially come to a close.

Yes, of course I am joking. Someone who thinks so highly of his wit and ingenious sentence structuring would defiantly not stop posting on his blog simply because he has absolutely nothing more to say.

Especially when he had nothing to say to begin with.

See you soon


A Guest Blogger Means You Don't Have to Listen to Me (as much)

You can tell it’s Valentines when just about every organization in the western world either sells roses, candy-grams (or any other kind of love-themed gram), or allow computers to take the jobs of well-meaning aunts everywhere and attempt to match you up with your perfect mate. (I personally didn’t participate in this last activity, for ever since that year where I was accidentally listed as a girl I haven’t trusted my intimate details to a scan-tron). In truth, though, I have never really treated February fourteenth to be any different from the thirteenth, or the twelfth. That is, until now.

This Valentines Day, I have opened my blog to a special guest author. Hot of the presses and more anticipated then The Arcade Fire’s next album, I am proud to present the sequel to Bailey Miller’s highly successful book “All About Love,” which delighted readers worldwide and inspired a film by the same name (this being a documentary made by your own humble author for his wedding reception). For those of you who aren’t well enough read to recognize this work, I have reproduced it in its entirety below:

All About Love:
By Bailey, Illustrated by Bailey

Some people are in love. My brother is in love
Don’t forget love; you can never forget love
Wow! Being in love is hard. Yes, it is hard
Even getting married, buying all those things
I like food. Food is yummy
Food is Important; you can never forget food
Mmm, carrots
Can love be in the sea? No
In the park? No
Ring Pop
Whatever your name is, you will always get married
Yes! They kissed! The End. Kiss!

And now, part two:
All About Love: Version 2
Writing by: Bailey Miller

Once upon a time, there was two people named Randy and Theresa. They Lived in a Castle


Wow! Wrong story
[This is a joke: Bailey tricked us by making us think that she was going to write a story about Theresa and I having a baby. A situation which will not be occurring any time soon, I can assure you. For one thing, I think that the couple actually has to be in the same country to have a baby together]

Love is love and you respect it! Now, love is when two people fall in LOVE

Kids can't fall in love! They're not old enough!

A message from the government of Canada: Canada Rocks!

About the author: she is seven years old. She has four siblings

To end, I just want to say to my dear and sweet wife, Theresa: I love you.

That is all


Dia De Juicio

February marches on, Feb Club marches on, firm receptions marches on, and my continual streak of unending work marches on. I am not complaining, though, because this semester’s schedule is a carefully orchestrated plan designed to get all my work out of the way before my dear sweat wife makes her triumphant return to the US of A in a week or so in her most daring mission to date American Eagle II: Judgment Day (or AE:II, for those of you who prefer speaking in the often confusing language of acronyms). This hastily created and entirely unimagitive title, which sounds like the name of a horrible Hollywood sequel, refers to Theresa’s Visa interview that is scheduled this very Thursday. The preparations are (barely) complete, and our stalwart heroine is ready to make the cross-country flight to Montreal (where the only consulate that processes immigrant visas is located), stay overnight, brave the mean streets of Canada’s second-largest and first-most-hip city, and face down the consulate officer in a battle of the wits (only to have to fly all the way home because of the office’s strict policy of mailing the Visa to one’s home). Everyone wish her luck, although our case is straightforward enough that there should be no problem securing her permanent residency.

As for me, and returning to my previously mentioned semester plan, Thursday just happens to be the very last day of my rewarding yet arduous Genetics and the Law course, and on Friday the bulk of this semester’s only Legal Research and Writing assignment is due, leaving me with a much reduced course-load for the half of the semester that Theresa will actually be here for. The bonus, if anything is needed to sweeten the pot, is that I will only have three, count ‘em, three exams this term. So, to recap: now I have an above average workload and a markedly below average love life—soon I’ll have a below-average workload and a markedly above average love life. A pretty good setup if you ask me.

This weekend was particularly busy since I decided to participate in the Dillard Fellow (read: Legal Research and Writing Teacher Assistant) tryouts, which consisted of editing a student memo that was so incredibly badly written that I am sure that if the author was an actual student, he would have had to have used some extremely sophisticated method to hack in to LSAC and change his grades enough to get himself accepted into any law school, let alone UVa. The tryout also required a statement of intent. Below is reprinted an portion of my actual statement:

“I am a grammar geek. I have a favorite punctuation mark: it’s the full colon. I can spot a comma splice from fifty yards away. My pet peeve is people who say “quote” when they really mean “quotation.” I attempt to write 500 word sentences—grammatically correct ones, of course—just for fun. I have a special green pen that I use exclusively for editing (red sends too much of a negative message). I formatted my blog’s softball write-up like a legal memo. And I would love to be a Dillard Fellow. I have wanted to be one since my first day of Legal Research and Writing, and I truly hope that I am offered the position.”



I have changed the settings so that anyone can post comments, regardless of whether or not you have a blogspot account, and I encourage all to do so, partly so that you can voice your own two cents, but mostly to feed my own self-aggrandizing sense of self-worth that is so caught up in other peoples opinions that if I don't get any feedback, I just might end up with a serious eating disorder--I haven't decided which one yet, but I'm currently leaning towards hyperphagia.

West Coast Boyz! (Or East if you so desire)


I might just be another one of those nutcase conspiracy theorists who come up with crazy ideas like that George W. was elected by a secret plan laid out by the ultra-conservative cheese lobby (we don’t want France’s namby-pamby gourmet cheeses forcing hearty Wisconsin cheese out of the market, do we?), but I think I smell another East-Coast, West Coast gang war in the music industry. Only this time, its not going to be competing rap labels who will be popping caps at each other, but rather those art-schooling, clarenet-playing indie-rockers who will be involved in this decades turf wars—and not just any indie rockers, Canadian indie rockers.

That’s right. Over the past few years, I have been studying the patterns closely and have come to realize that the Canadian indie rock scene is sharply divided into two main camps, roughly divided by their latitudes. These factions involve bands that intermingle frequently, forming new bands together and collaborating on albums, but rarely, if ever does a band member from one coast play together with a member from the other. This, in my humble opinion is a recipe for an eventual turf war that has the potential to leave Canada without many of its most prized musicians (no, not Avril Lavige).

So who are in these gangs? Well, the head of the East Coast is none other than Broken Social Scene. I mean, when there are 20+ members in a rock band, you know there is going to be trouble. Other affiliated groups include, to name a few: Feist, Metric, Apostle of Hustle, Do Make Say Think, Valley of the Giants, Stars, Emily Haines, Memphis, The Most Serene Republic, Jason Collet, Amy Milan and The Dears. Notice how members of these bands seem to intermingle. Yet, have you ever heard of Amy Milan play with The New Pornographers, who just happen to be the ringleaders of her West Coast rivals? Oh no, the New Pornos are too busy gallivanting about with the likes of Destroyer, Neko Case, Wolf Parade, Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Hot Hot Heat, Swan Lake, Bell Orchastre, and The Arcade Fire. Again, these bands intermingle and have a sound quite distinct from the East’s social scene.

Now, it’s possible that these two factions will learn to co-exist peacefully, but I’m willing to bet if the Pornos ever walks out of a Vancouver bar late at night and sees Kevin Drew (of BSS) hangin’ in their turf, there is going to be some major violence erupting, indie-rock style.

Oh, and if anyone cares about my two cents, I’d put my money on Broken Social Scene emerging victorious, mostly because of their seemingly infinite line-up, but also because I think Emily Haines will be two much for the Pornos to handle. Sorry guys.


Let a Geneticist Into Your Genes

As I lay in my bed after church attempting to have a short nap, which despite my great fatigue was ultimately a failed endeavor, I pondered on what glimpse I might provide into my increasingly uneventful stint in the Old Dominion, I realized that I effectively have no life. The thing is, I cannot complain too much about my sad state of affairs because, in the immortal words of Radiohead: “[I] do it to [my]self, [I] do. That’s what really hurts. [I] do it to [my]self, just [me], [me] and no one else.”

But how has this happened? I’m pretty hip, right? I could get some (strictly platonic) action, couldn’t I? The answer, my friends, is yes—yes I could. However, last fall, I was tempted by that wily short-term class devil, who lured me into its grasp with a light end to the semester and no exam, only to bind me with the silken cords of an extremely arduous schedule with classes that begin on most days at 9:00 AM and end on all days at 6:15 from Jan 22 until Feb 15, which unfortunately for me, is the exact time period that I am currently experiencing. This means that while my section-mates are wining and dining at law firm receptions and preparing for one of the daily Feb-club parties, this humble protagonist is either still in class or trying to tame the mountain of reading that has accumulated the first couple of weeks this semester.

The redeeming virtue of my short-term course, and I really mean redemption because it is easily my favorite law school class, is that this short-term course is “Genetics and the Law,” which just happens to be the very subject I spent four of my best years studying (well, minus the ‘and the law’ part). So, after too many long weeks of contracts and …shudder… Civ Pro that made me reexamine my reasons for packing up and traveling all this way to study law in the first place, I now feel like I’m back in the good ‘ol gene-splicin, chromosome isolatin’ and florescent in-situ hybridizin’ days of degrees past. Ok, to be honest, the only thing that my class has isolated is ourselves for a couple of hours each day. But the point is that we’re busy discussing the latest genetic issues, from genetic discrimination to non-medical sex selection to pre-marital screening. So, if anyone out there is thinking of marriage (or are just worried that their not-always-platonic Feb-club antics might catch up with them) and is wondering if they and their partner are genetically compatible, give me a shout, and I’ll be sure to help you out. Or, at least engage you in an intellectually stimulating and rousing debate about the ethical and legal implications of discovering said compatibility.

And if Section J ever manages to set up a mixer with UVa’s genetics students and are wanting to do a little non-medical sex selection of their own, I suggest they try this pick-up line, (compliments of Train): “If I were an enzyme, I’d be an alpha-helicase, so I could unzip your genes.” (You see, in order for DNA to undergo its usual semi-conservative replication cycle, the double helix must first be denatured and the phosfodiester bonds between adenine and thymine, as well as cytosine and guanine, must be decoupled in order for the DNA polymerase II to attach and initiate the 5’ to 3’strand elongation that ultimately results in the complete synthesis of an new but identical DNA molecule. Alpha-helicase is the enzyme that provides this essential function, so although it is not the most accurate way of phrasing it, it not incorrect to say that the enzyme performs the above-mentioned “unzipping” of a person’s genes.)