Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Best of 2003

New Year’s Eve is a time of reflection on topics both pointless and otherwise. The following lists of the best of 2003 probably qualify as the former. Nevertheless, here we go:

MOVIES:

1. Kill Bill, Vol. I
2. Pirates of the Caribbean
3. Intolerable Cruelty
4. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
5. Bruce Almighty

DVD PURCHASES:

1. Gladiator
2. We Were Soldiers
3. The Indiana Jones Trilogy Boxed Set
4. Donnie Darko
5. Fight Club

CD PURCHASES:

1. Greatest Hits 1962-1966, Beatles
2. Smallvile Soundtrack, various.
3. Greatest Hits, Rod Stewart
4. Very Best of Sheryl Crow, Sheryl Crow.
5. Oh, Yeah, Aerosmith

BOOKS:

1. John Adams David McCollough
2. American Caesar, William Manchester
3. Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites, Tucker Carlson
4. Redneck Nation, Michael Graham
5. D-Day, Stephen E. Ambrose

And the best part about 2003--it's finally over. Good riddance and hope for a better tomorrow. Stay safe, all.
People Not like Us

Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City purchased a brand new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. The R.V. left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the owner's manual that he couldn't actually do this. The jury awarded him $1,750,000 plus a new motor home. Winnebago changed its manuals. I wonder why. Anyone so stupid as to leave the driver's seat is probably also too stupid to read a manual.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Cleaning House

I've spent the day cleaning out the stuff I've accumulated over the last two-and-a-half years. I was surprised at how many knick knack, old magazines, andother assorted junk I have. it certainly didn't seem like I ever had the free time to use any of it. School has taken up my entire life.

Someone said to me not too long ago that he'd like to bring himself from five years ago into the present to show him why law school is a bad dea. he then asked me if I'd do the same. I smirked. Law school would be the least of his worries.

1998 JAMIE: So I'll have to spend every waking minute doing this--and be hugely in debt?

2003 JAMIE: Yep.

1998 JAMIE: Well, at least I'll have Lenna for support.

2003 JAMIE: Actually, she married someone else and moved to Charleston.

1998 JAMIE: What? But things were going so well!

2003 JAMIE: You'd think that, but you'd be wrong. It wasn't love, kid. She just didn't want to hurt your feelings--until she found a guy she really liked, that is. Then you were inconvenient, and the charade ended.

1998 JAMIE: I guess I don't trust girls anymore, huh?

2003 JAMIE: Son, you don't trust anybody anymore. Everyone describes you as "aloof" and "distant" when they are being kind and "acerbic" when they're not.

1998 JAMIE: Have mercy. Well, how did I wind up in Virginia? I wanted to go to USC law.

2003 JAMIE: Rotten story. You don't want to hear it.

1998 JAMIE: Worse than Lenna?

2003 JAMIE: Indeed. Bureaucratic error, mixed up grades, a graduate assistant who didn't give a rat's behind whether you got the right grade or not. It was fun times.

1998 JAMIE: At least I'm getting a law degree. That promises a great career, doesn't it?

2003 JAMIE. Uphill battle. You spent most of 1999 getting every door of every bank and insurance company in Columbia slammed in your face. Employers weren't too eager to put you on their health insurance. You look too darn young, too.

1998 JAMIE: At least I kept my health.

2003 JAMIE: Actually, you had a detached retina in 2000. You lost a good portion of your vision.

1998 JAMIE: I never saw that coming.

2003 JAMIE: Oooh. Bad pun.

1998 JAMIE: Sorry. I've kept my sense of irony, at least. Well, I suppose I have a home to go back to if things don't pan out, too.

2003 JAMIE: Actually, you don't. You had to sell it.

1998 JAMIE: What do you mean *I* had to sell it. Where's Mother?

2003 JAMIE: Jamie, she's dead. Died last March. Things got...complicated..afterwards. She wasn't entirely honest about her life before she had you. It's best you find out for yourself the truth rather than me spill it here.

1998 JAMIE: Is anything going right for me?

2003 JAMIE: I don't know, but I'm not exactly setting the woods on fire at the moment.

1998 JAMIE: Am I really that far gone?

2003 JAMIE: Yes, I'm afraid you are.

(Seems like a good idea *not* to bring him to the future. Law school won't be the number one thing on his mind, no?)



Hmm

I'm still not keeping this thing up like I said I would, am I? Oh, well.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

I'm Back

Christmas Break was a bit awkward, but nice. I'll explain more later once I've gotten all of my stuff packed away. There's a ton of things to clean up around here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Holiday Break

I finished the bar review. There's plenty of work ahead of me in that regard. Regardless, today i head home (or at least what qualifies at the moment) for Christmas. I shall return sometime Saturday. Merry Christmas, all.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Jingle Bells, Jangled Nerves

I finalized plans for Christmas break. I am leaving for my sister's on Tuesday afternoon. I still feel awkward, but since this is the first Christmas since Mother died, I'm chalking it up to that, rather than my usual cynical and suspicious nature. maybe this will not ge as stressful as I think it will be.

Speaking of stressful, rtomorrow will be the Contracts and Constitutional Law review. I've been sweating these practice tests. Like the plan says, I'm taking them cold, without any review, just to guage my basic knowledge. I'm running about 35-40% of the questions correct. I'm gad this is only preliminary, and I have 26 or so weeks to bone up. Fortunately, I am still scoring higher than many f the February bar takers in the class. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes with those scores. I'm gad I have the time to work on it. There are 3,800 practice questions to do from now until July.

(Yes, I am wondering why I thought law school was a good idea. Why do you ask?)

I wrapped Christmas presents today. This is the latest I have ever finished holiday shopping. Usually, I'm much more on the ball than that. I must be slipping in my old age. I hope everyone likes what I got them. I'm so out of it, I'm not even sure who has what interests anymore. I really hope my gift cheers up my oldest niece. She scored a 1010 on her SATs and thinks the world is coming to an end. I told her anything over a 1000 is respectable. I should have chosen my words more carefully. She's an overachiever, too. "Respectable" is so...plebeian. Heh.

I'm still cold. I hate Virginia.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Cold, Cold Heart

I did not want to get up this morning to go to that bar review session. Unfortunately, today they were covering Property, which is my weakest subject. Ergo, I had to show up whether I wanted to or not. It snowed a bit yesterday, and there was ice everywhere. I only had one pop tart as breakfast type food in the house. Finally, its so cold here, I can barely keep the place warm. (Rev. Pat skimped on the insulation, it would seem.) In other words, today started out as a "Walked to school, in the snow, up hill both ways" day.

But, the good news is I scored higher on the Property practice test than I have on either Criminal Law or Evidence. I was surprised. As I said, Property was my worst subject as a 1L. Torts is tomorrow. I hope I can manage it well, as it was my best 1L subject.

I've been listening to the Beatles Greatest Hits 1964-1967 pretty much continuously for several days. Yes, I am an Elvis person, but I had forgotten how much I liked the Beastles, too. Hearing In My Life a few weeks ago for the first time in years brought back memories. Yes, i'm an old softie. I had to track the song down. Now I'm glad I did,

Saturday, December 20, 2003

By the Way...

I got an "A" in Trial Practice. After putting up with Heather's attitude, anything less would have elicited a pox on someone's house. I still think I deserve combat pay--or a Purple Heart. Yes, a Purple Heart would be a nice addition to my life.
Twisted History

Twisted History: interesting column by Thomas Sowell on how our education system is short changing our children by applying modern moral standards to historical events. Do we want to teach our kids the facts, or politically correct "moral" outrage? I vote the former.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Hear the Crickets Chirp?

Today was the first in a while in which I had nothing pressing to do. Such days do not come around often. I had on the radio a little while ago that it may snow overight. Snow in a city with "Beach" in the name of it. That sort of thing should never happen. If it does, though, I am glad I have my new leather jacket. After wearing it awhile, I am appalled at how inadequate my old coat was. And here i thought I was just cold natured.

The jacket is a stylish thing, too. See? It pays to buy yourself your own birthday gift.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

The High Cost of Living

Christmas is one expensive holiday. Because of my small family, I have a relatively short shopping list. ("Relatively"..."family". Ouch. I really didn't mean the pun.) Regardless, count up all the CDs, DVDs, books, teddy bears, and Barbie dolls I've purchased, and it all really adds up. I'm glad Christmas only comes once a year. I'd even suggest making it every election year only, but I'm afraid the world's children might burn me in effigy.

Or worse.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Well Whatta Ya know

Turns out the Health Care law exam wasn't all that easy, either. What a semester this has been.

Mike and I went out tonight to celebrate his graduation. He'll take the bar in February and has a litigation job waiting for him in North Carolina. Jodi is graduating, too. She just gaveme her new address--along with all the food from her freezer. it feels strange now that my classmates are starting to graduate and are all trickling back to where they belong. This is a preview for May when 98% of us graduate and ride off into the sunset.

I'm not exaggerating when I say law school is like being in combat. You build certain kinds of friendships because law students are the only peope you are ever around. Although its not fun, it is an experience in ehich you build a certain kind of bond. It's going to feel odd when those bonds are broken in a few months.

Monday, December 15, 2003

It's Official

Business Associations has replaced UCC I as the most difficult, mind-boggling, hair-pulling exam I have ever taken. I didn't stop writing for nearly five hours except for the few moments I stuck my thumb in my mouth and waited for Divine inspiration. (It did not come.) I certainly hope I survived it. Fortunately, like in any other law school class, you don't have to be first, you just have to not be last.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

A Place to Hang My Hat

A recent law school graduate from the University of South Carolina has decided to spend a year in the Peace Corps. I will likely house sit for him over the summer while studying for the bar. That would work out well, although I really think I should bite the bullet and get a more permanent place to live. Since I don't have any roots anymore, tat's probably awiser course of action. i'm going to have to think about this one a bit. Actually, I've been thinking quite a bit about all sorts of things lately. i debate how much of it to put in here. For now, I'm opting for virtually none.

Friday, December 12, 2003

There's Still Time

He was born in the summer of his 27th year
Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before
He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again
You might say he found a key for every door

(Rocky Mountain High--John Denver)

I suppose I'll see, as time marches on. Isn't it funny how life takes you from beginning to the end, but it never lets you know if there are miles and miles behind you, or miles and miles to go?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Long Night Ahead

My Criminal Pretrial Procedure professor decided to make her exam a take home. I just picked it up from the secretary a few hours ago and have been mentally outlining my essay answers, but this is going to be one long ordeal of an exam. Take homes turn a three hour, sit down affair into a twenty hour marathon and mad dashing through books, notes, and study guides to write the most comprehensive essays ever conceived by God and or (wo)man. I don't know who came up with the concept of them, but I know for certain he was an evil, evil person.
The Endorsement

All media are abuzz about Al Gore and his endorsement of Howard Dean for President. The bulk ofthe chatter is speculation as to why Gore would endorse Dean and not his old running mate, Sen. Leiberman. Some attribute some sinster, self-serving power brokering on Gore's part, that he is somehow setting all this up ro benefit himself. Allow me to offer something much less conspiratorial: Gore endorsed Dean because he thought Dean would be the best man for the job.

This doesn't change the fact that Dean, the darling of the far Left, will go down in flames just as Dukakisand McGovern did before him. Nevertheless, it has been fun over the last two days to watch the other candidates snipe at each other in frustration. While the endorsement may not help in the general election, it will help Dean pretty much sew up the Democratic nomination.

I still am voting for Bush, of course.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Head

The tragedy of your times, my friends, is that you may get exactly what you want--a new world, whose only preoccupation will be how to amuse itself.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Thursday, December 04, 2003

First "Hard" Decision Made

Actually, it has lead to a tangential question--which new musical instrument am I going to learn to play? Decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

In My Life

There are two kinds of people in the world: Elvis people and Beatles people. I'm an Elvis person, but still....

In My Life
(Lennon/McCartney)

There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Use Care in Making Promises

I heard just a snippet on NPR at lunch; I think the interview was with someone who just released a book about Johnny
Mercer. The part I heard was about his wife and his love, although not the same person. He was married to a dancer named Ginger but in love with Judy Garland. He wrote songs that are supposedly about Judy, and the person being interviewed said he considers Judy to be Johnny's muse.

Johnny kept asking Ginger for a divorce, and she kept saying no. Finally she tried to put him off just a little bit longer so she could take a cruise with her sister. On the cruise she fell sick with hepatitis and was rushed home to the hospital. The doctor told them she had three days to live. Ginger begged Johnny not to leave her then, on her deathbed. He promised he would stay with her until she died. Unfortunately for Johnny, a man of his word, she recovered and lived another 30 years.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Quote of the Week

"We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq, pay a bitter cost of casualties, defeat a ruthless dictator and liberate 25 million people, only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins. We will prevail. We will win because our cause is just." --George W. Bush, from a tent in Baghdad.

Thanksgiving

I'm back from Texas. It was great fun. I really liked being part of a big family, even though I wasn't really family. All of Peter's relatives were good to me. I worried that I might feel out of place, but they certainly made me feel like part of the group. His sister even gave me a birthday gift even though I had only met her once previously.

Dallas and Ft. Worth were neat places to vitist. The weather was unusually chilly, but that didn't stop me from playing tourist for a while. I took plenty of pictures, which will be scanned and posted eventually. My favorite was roaming around Dealey Plaza where President Kennedy was assassinated. There's still a heavyclous that hangs over that place. People had put flowers around the Plaza in honor of the 40th anniversary od the assassination.

I also had some quiet time to reflect and make a few hard decisions. I don't know that I will speak of them directly in my blog, but I'm certain the paths i've finally decided to take will become clear to all in the coming months. Perhaps it won't be as bumpy a ride as it has been.

Oh--to answer the number one question--no, I did not get a cowboy hat. I looked around, tried on a few, and really liked one that was the same style as Clint Black wears, but couldn't bring myself to actually get it. I am, alas, hatless.