Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
In case you (my many, many readers) haven't figured out by now, bar studying has me pretty miserable. That doesn't mean, however, I'm not counting my blessings.
First - Judge Benson reaaaaaaally taught me Evidence. I am slaughtering MBE questions on that subject.
Second - I am super grateful that I took Secured Transactions 2L year. At the time, it was boring and I got a bad grade (justifying Professor Burns' belief that I was stupid. Prof. Burns believed in the Socratic method, calling on students at random. Whenever she called on me, she let me ask my neighbors - "MS. ZOLLINGER" or "MS. WILSON" for help. On the last day of class, she let "MS. WILSON, MS. FROST and MS. ZOLLINGER" work together to answer a yes-or-no question. And no, she never let anyone else in the class work as a team.) That being said, I can't imagine trying to sort out security interests, attachment, perfection, inventory, financial statements, purchase money security interests, etc. based solely on a 3 hour Barbri crash course. Thank you, Prof. Burns. If I get a Secured Transactions essay question, I will be - in your words - happy as a pig in shit.
(And the blog whining continues...)
No, I'm not just talking about the whole concept of Segways generally. I'm talking about our failure as a society to buckle down and drag ourselves out of this economic mess that we all helped to create.
Today The Salt Lake Tribune reported that UTA had wisely spent federal stimulus money on scooters for UTA security officers. (http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_12704589, Brandon Loomis, UTA's New Segways: Tool or Toy?)
Now, granted, some of that money was specifically designated for "security," so it's not like they could have done something really sensible (like putting the money toward the general budget and reducing fare costs for riders this summer, when gasoline will probably increase in price like it always does). But, I don't know ... how about hiring MORE OFFICERS?
(Important caveat - I am not particularly opposed to the federal stimulus package. I think that, employed efficiently, it has a decent chance of working. That being said ...)
I'm no economist, but I was under the impression that the federal stimulus package was supposed to stimulate the economy. I'm pretty sure the best way to do that is job creation, not useless stuff production. How on earth does it help UTA, much less the greater economic climate in Utah, for these "cops" to have scooters? Shouldn't they have put that money toward a year salary and benefits for another PERSON, who would then A) Not be unemployed and B) Have money to pay rent, buy groceries, open a savings account in troubled banks - you know, stuff that would actually as opposed to artificially stimulate the economy.
And I'm not just blaming UTA, though they are my favorite punching bag of inefficiency. (Can someone tell me why the head of UTA makes more money than the heads of transportation in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago - all places with larger populations and public transportation THAT IS ACTUALLY CONSISTENT? But I digress.) Davis County Sheriff's office bought a Harley-Davidson (retails $24,000) with their money. I think that might have paid a part-time deputy for a year, but maybe that's just me.
This is a problem that transcends government and hits every one of us individually. We don't need to shop more to stimulate the economy--we need to pay off debts, save more and create more. (Rocket science, I know.) The "create more" is the one that really kills me. I think we all have the friend who is planning to become a millionaire by selling real estate or juice or creating a business exactly the same as a business that has already been created. The guy who feels the need to say, "Oh yeah, I was going to go to law school/business school, but then I realized how much more money I could make doing construction." (For realsies. I've heard that twice on dates, only sub in "working on my business" - still don't know what that is - for "construction" on the second one.)
I just don't understand how we could have all this pride in our "pioneer heritage" (it is almost July, after all) and retain none of our forebears' ability to buckle down and get a job done. C'mon, Utah, how many more multi-level-marketing schemes do we really need? Did our grandparents really fight WWII and end the Great Depression just so we could be satisfied with jobs as bank tellers and obstructionist DMV employees? So we could drive brand new cars we don't need and buy a Blackberry even though we work at Sherwin-Williams? (Paging Bethany - we're out of semi-gloss eggshell, repeat, out of semi-gloss eggshell!)
And I know I'm no better. As a fetus lawyer (soon to be full fledged baby lawyer) I know that I create jack shit - I just help clean up problems once they've already arisen.
But at least I'll never ask my government to buy me a Segway.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Pet peeve of the day: Attempting to defeat my current argument with my past "failure."
I hate talking issues with people. I would say I hate talking politics with people, or hate talking religion with people, or hate talking the law with people, or hate talking sports with people, but it really has devolved to the point where I hate talking about anything with people. People suck.
People suck mostly because they don't follow the logical path to an argument. They throw in imaginary statistics and facts they heard from somebody once. And it's all so tired, because stupid people (the very worst kind) always make the same stupid arguments. And they invariably think they're clever, because they backed it up with a google search.
My favorite example is the, "Oh yeah? Where were you when X happened?" argument. Such as ...
Me: "I wish conservatives would stop this smear campaign against Judge Sotomayor. Everyone knows she's not really racist."
Them: "Oh yeah? Where were you when liberals were smearing Judge Bork as a racist?"
Me: "I wish people would stop demonizing President Obama. We should all be hoping for his success, not predicting his failure."
Them: "Oh yeah? Where were you when people were doing the same thing to President Bush?"
Answer: Um, also hoping for President Bush's success? (albeit with less optimism?)
Me: "Guh, I hate how the media pretends that Mitt Romney is still relevant. Why do we need his opinion on stuff eighteen months after it became obvious he's not going to be president?"
Them: "Where are you when the media lines up to take quotes from Jesse Jackson?"
Answer: Oh, I don't know ... eating a sandwich? (Good job on switching up the past/present tenses, though.)
The main problem with this "tactic" is that it reminds me of a problem we all had when we were teenagers. Remember when you were 12 or 13 and you learned that awesome word "hypocrite"?
Much like Julie Taylor of Friday Night Lights (pictured right, about to tell her parents they're hypocrites for not letting her wear the slutty top Aunt Shelly bought her), you probably thought, "A ha! A clever thing to call my parents when we're fighting! They're going to hate it!" (And they suuuuuuure did, didn't they?)
But most of us also remember being about 17 or 18 and realizing, "Hey, some of what I see as hypocrisy might actually just be evidence of complex character. Much like Buffy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when she started nailing Spike instead of staking him like a good vampire slayer ought to."
Yeah. You learned a lot that day, didn't you?
So what is infinitely frustrating about this "you must come to every argument with totally clean hands" line is knowing the speaker somehow missed out on that invaluable life lesson that UPN taught most of us years ago. Where-Were-You-Wheners, did you never have the satisfaction of watching Mia Thermopolis embrace her inner hottie on Princess Diaries? John Conner look to the T-800 for a father figure in Terminator 2? Virginal Blair get down and dirty with womanizing Chuck in the back of a limo in Gossip Girl? Murderous, sociopath Dexter look at step-kids Cody and Astor with so much affection on Dexter?
People - we are more than the sum of all our previous behavior. Stop trying to create hypocrisy from innocent statements of hate about our socio-political structure by stretching them further than they were ever meant to go. Julie Taylors, heal thyselves.
When it comes to the little things, I've always been a bit of a shit show. I lose keys, lose cell phones, misplace W-2s, forget passwords, forget car registrations, forget bar deadlines, miss trains, make inappropriate comments, make poor nutritional decisions, befriend homeless people, get hit on by homeless people, speed on roads where I know there are cops and have twice - TWICE - had a wardrobe malfunction at church. (Let's not talk about the many times I've had a wardrobe malfunction elsewhere.)
This weekend was a doozy of personal failure, and I shall not recount it here. But let's just say I've since spent a lot of time since talking with bankers and trying to verify my identity by answering questions like, "Which city were you married in?" (Um, never been married) and "Which of the following addresses have you lived at?" (Is 'none' an option?) and "When did you work for Thomas Pshjn?" (Hey, there aren't any vowels in that last name!)
But today I had a triumph and found my birth certificate in the super safe pocket of my messenger bag. Booyah!
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I like that romance novels don't try to "class it up" and pretend they're something they're not. Today, perusing the shelves at B&N, I was in for a literary treat. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the best of the romance section - complete with commentary.*
- Ruthless Tycoon, Inexperienced Mistress: A novel by Cathy Williams
Cesar Caretti has had a string of sophisticated socialites warming his bed--until he meets Jude. Her untainted beauty sets his Spanish blood on fire! (Wait ... isn't Spanish blood supposed to be constantly on fire?)
Jude struggles to keep up with Cesar's glamorous world. (Kegels.) Then her inexperience is fully revealed: she's expecting the Spaniard's baby. (Because virgins don't know how to use birth control.) For Cesar there is only one option--marriage. After all, he is a Caretti. (And you know how those Carettis can be.) And, as Jude discovers, his proposal is not a question--it's a command! (Just like in good old pre-suffrage days!)
- Virgin Mistress, Scandalous Love-Child: A novel by Jennie Lucas
In the seductive heat of Rio during its Carnaval, Ellie succumbs to her dangerously charismatic boss, Diogo Serrador. (I smell a lawsuit!) But, having taken her virginity, the Brazillian billionaire wants nothing more to do with her--until he discovers she's pregnant! (What is with virgins these days?)
Diogo will accept nothing less than taking Ellie as his bride. (Um ... so, no on the lawsuit, then?) Their marriage is passionate by night, but tense and loveless by day. Ellie realizes that she's in an impossible situation: Diogo's dark past has frozen his heart, but she's fallen in love with her husband ... (Let me get this straight - you're married to a billionaire with cheese grating abs, and you don't have to provide for him emotionally? Tragic.)
- Captive at the Sicilian Billionaire's Command: A novel by Penny Jordan
Rocco Leopardi's demand is nonnegotiable: Julie Simmons must bring his little nephew to Sicily to the child may take his rightful place as a Leopardi! (There just might be international treaties on this issue.)
At first Rocco thought Julie would be a gold digger (out to get his nonnegotiable fortune), but her unexpected innocence (read: virginity) is arousing. When it's proved that Julie is actually the boy's aunt (?????), the sensual Sicilian changes the rules of his game. (Ugh, Sicilians, always changin rules to stuff.) He's got more than one good reason to keep this inexperienced waif captive -- and make her his wife! (So ... not on the lookout for gold diggers any more?)
- Bought for the Sicilian Billionaire's Bed: A novel by Sharon Kendrick
To get the hordes of predatory women off his back (yes, that's right - hordes), billionaire Salvatore Cardini impulsively asks his petite office cleaner to be his convenient mistress! (Why the exclamation point here? They seem pretty standard after the first paragraph.)
Jessica reluctantly agrees - who would say no to such an incredibly attractive and commanding man? (Girls with self-esteem.) But he is on the international rich list (score!), with a glamorous lifestyle to match, while she has to work two jobs just to survive. What she hasn't realized is her role isn't just to be on his arm in public--but to be his mistress in private, too! (Which makes you a hooker, Jessica. But don't worry, if you're also a virgin, you're going to get pregnant and then he's going to want to marry you.)
- The Greek's Forced Bride: a novel by Michelle Reid
Greek billionaire Leo Christakis is convinced the drab, shapeless suits worn by Natasha are simply a cover for the gold-digging harlot who lies beneath. (You know, I'm starting to feel for these poor foreign billionaires, beating off harlots with a stick.)
Mistakenly thinking Natasha's been stealing from his company, Leo commands her to be at his beck and call - in and out of the bedroom. (Theft, rape, tomato, tomahto.) Natasha is thrown into his world of unimaginable luxury. (And she LOVES it!) Then Leo discovers she's innocent -- in every sense! (Oh, those virgins, getting the billionaires again.) Now she has no choice -- she must become the Christakis bride! (Because otherwise she'll make off with his seed!)
- The Ruthless Magnate's Virgin Mistress (Seriously, virgins, what is your deal?)
- The Spaniard's Virgin Housekeeper (My favorite part of this one is not just that it's another poor virgin at the mercy of her employer - when did that stop being sleazy and start being romantic, again? - but that her name is "Izzy Makepeace.")
- Taken for Revenge, Bedded for Pleasure (Also, what is up with the resurgence of the verb "bedded"? Love it ...)
The dozens more who continued to refer to men blackmailing women - either through use of child custody disputes, dying parents, or abject poverty - into putting out. Swoon.
* Ahem. These are all real books - real titles, real back cover descriptions. You would think that I might have made up a creative little zinger like Virgin Mistress, Scandalous Love-Child, but no. Can't take credit.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I don't like children, but I can usually tolerate them. Today was not a tolerate-y day.
I went to Red Mango today for some delicious refreshment while I listened to an evidence lecture, and encountered easily the crappiest family in Davis County. (Yes, a family can be crappy, and this one certainly was.)
Now, don't misunderstand me - I know I was at a frozen yogurt shop, not a library. I wasn't expecting total silence, and in fact that was part of the reason I went there. I enjoy a certain amount of white noise when I study, and stayed there quite happily for two hours as the radio blared, patrons went in and out, ate and had normal volume level conversations.
But this family was the ultimate.
Three boys, all under the age of 6, all extremely likely to be felons someday. Two vacuous "cool parents." For fifteen solid minutes, these brats screamed at the tops of their lungs and chased each other around the store, knocking over chairs and generally harassing every other person in the joint.
Their terrible parents did not care, and in some ways seemed to encourage this bad behavior. Then, naturally, the oldest little monster pushes the 3 year old into the wall, where he smacks his head so hard that I heard it over all the other noise. He starts screaming even louder, and without stopping to punish the older two - or even pausing to tell them to stop screaming/running/assaulting their brother - the "mother" picks him up and carries him outside, exercising the first semi-sound judgment of the afternoon.
Now, folks, I know it's hard to be a parent. I know that I have no spawn of my own, and therefore probably shouldn't judge. But here's a thought - if your kids are being absolutely awful, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BE BUYING THEM ICE CREAM.
I don't know, might send a mixed message.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Official Day of Bar Studying No. 12:
First time I woke up by 8 am! Woohoo for me!
Finished real property.
Finished community property. Delighted to realize that "community property" had very little to do with property, and lots to do with family law, which is easy stuff. Not sure why I didn't realize that before, back when I was procrastinating the community property lecture.
Exercised. (Man, this is a day of personal bests.)
Registered for Exam 4. (And not on the last possible day, too! Yay me!)
Got a letter from the Supreme Court of Arizona, saying they've received my certificate of graduation, and I can sit for the bar. Woot! (Well ... there is the whole character report I haven't finished ... but since I've been pushed back to January, I think I'll be ok letting that slide another week.)
Finished Con Law I AND Con Law II.
I think the phrase we're all looking for is "kicking ass and taking names."
Suck it, bar exam.
So, if on that fateful day in Tucson, Arizona, I am staring at an essay question with no earthly idea of what to write about, I want to have some back-up plans. You know, in the absence of legal knowledge, what am I planning to write in an effort to get a pity point? (If bar exam graders give pity points, that is.) Or let's say I do know the answer, but am getting a little punchy in the heat of the moment. I have to have a little joke or two to lighten things up.
This will be an on-going project, but I have come up with two goals so far:
1. On any standing question, try to work in, "On the grounds of Brooklyn, your honor." (Newsies.)
2. On any question where I just have no idea, write, "Only the Shadow knows." (From The Shadow, duh.)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Official Bar Studying Day No. 10:
So after my mini-freak out yesterday, I decided to buckle down and try a new approach. I made some flash cards. I took another practice test. I took a practice essay, which I now have to fax to Arizona for grading. I watched 2 episodes of The Simpsons on my break instead of two episodes of Dexter.
Then I went to the gym and walked five miles on the treadmill while I listening to an iPod lecture about future interests and the rule against perpetuities. Guh.
And now I'm back at home, making more flashcards and planning to take another practice essay. (Really should have read the rule about not being able to fax in two on one day more carefully ... but whatevs. Other than that teeny mistake, I'm right on track.)
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Official Bar Studying Day No. 8:
Day starts out slow, with me catching up on The Bachelorette. Feel justified in watching, however, because I am also reading the StudySmart Bar Review outline for Con Law.
Listen to the criminal procedure lecture on the iPod.
Take a practice crimes test (covering criminal law and criminal procedure). Only score a 76%. Hmmmph.
Read a blog to take a break: http://www.whymormongirlsstaysingle.com/. If you need something written by a hilarious douchebag to pass the time, this is your site.
Listen to the professional responsibility lecture on the iPod. Feel pretty good about how well I'm burning up these lectures. Booyah!
Listen to Part II of the Essay Workshop. Feel a little disheartened about the fact that I have yet to write out a full essay. Whaa-whaaaaa ...
Set new goal to write two essays tomorrow. Onward and upward. :)
The professor I used to work for called me today. I forgot how he would mutter, "S**t, f**k!" to himself whenever he was traveling and talking on the phone. It's like he forgets that you can still hear that. :)
Monday, June 8, 2009
(Clearly, I'm not too tired to write blog posts that aren't related to the bar.)
I'm beginning to worry that my blog doesn't have a "unifying theme." Years of English classes have impressed upon me the importance of theme, and even though one hippified creative writing teacher tried to undo all that damage, the lesson has been taken to heart. So the fact that this blog - which is partly chronicling my bar studying experiences, partly chronicling the funny things that happen to me on occasion, and partly just serving as a complaint forum - is so haphazard it hurts my heart. (I also learned about alliteration in all those classes.)
But until I figure out what that theme is, I'm just going to keep regaling my three readers with one of my favorite anecdotes:
It was the early hours of New Years Day -- probably around 2:00 am. I'd already driven halfway home from a party when I received a phone call from one of my friends, asking if I could give some people rides. At that moment, I didn't really mind -- after all, no on likes drunk driving accidents.
I picked up my friend and another gentleman who I will not name, but will instead refer to as "Fergie." Fergie was suspiciously silent on the way home. I attributed it to his trying to refrain from vomiting all over himself. My friend and I chatted a bit, and then I dropped them both off at her apartment. He stumbled out of my car in silence; she cheerfully waived goodbye. I drove home without another thought.
Three days later, when I had occasion to use my car again, I opened the door and was greeted by the most unearthly stench this side of a Russian prison camp. I honestly thought I had left a package of meat or something in the back seat after grocery shopping, and it had started to rot. (The first few days of January 2009 were unseasonably warm.) I cleaned out my whole car - I aired out my whole car. I Febreezed my car. I bought new air fresheners. NOTHING I DID GOT RID OF THE SMELL.
Skip to two weeks later. My friends Christina and Hailey and I decided to go snowshoeing, and I drove. Hailey sat where Fergie had sat before. Long story short, Hailey and Christina (having both worked at a residential treatment facility for children) recognized the smell.
Yes. Fergie had peed himself in my car.
After a fair amount of screaming -- Hailey was, after all, sitting right where Fergie had sat -- we calmed down long enough to go snowshoeing, and I made an appointment to get my car detailed. Now my car is happy, and pee free.
Favorite parts of this story:
1. Endlessly debating with people what Fergie must have been thinking at the time of the incident. Did he think he could get away with it? Was it possible he peed himself without realizing, or was his silence a sign of his attempt to be stealthy?
2. My friend's reaction when I told her what had happened: "But I let him sleep on my couch that night!!"
3. Thinking for for about a week that I would remain silent about this story, wanting to save Fergie's reputation at school.
4. Realizing there was NO WAY I could keep this a secret, and promptly telling EVERYONE. Except Fergie, of course. I'm not cruel.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Official Bar Studying Day No. 5:
Oh, so you thought bar studying was a Monday-Friday thing, did you? Alas, it's a 7 days a week thing. So here's my happy Saturday schedule:
11:00 Listen to Torts on iPod
2:45 Take a break
3:00 Start online torts workshop
4:00 Outline two torts essay questions
6:30 Roll out for friend Laura's birthday.
Friday, June 5, 2009
So, some of you may know that I've had a mixed track record when it comes to living space. Freshman year in the dorms, my suitemate liked to have sex with her boyfriend in our shower every single morning and cook mac and cheese in our sink every night.
Then I moved into a semi-haunted sorority house, and believe me -- the sorority part was scarier.
Out in DC, cockroaches abounded and lesbians had sex on my mattress. (To be fair, one of the lesbians was my suite mate, and she was considerate enough to have sex on ALL of our mattresses. I wasn't the only one singled out.)
Down in Phoenix, I nearly had a roommate kill me when she started a kitchen fire, passed out drunk, and then threw me out of the apartment at 2 am when I had the audacity to extinguish the flames.
Up in SLC, I had a roommate who smoked pot in her room, had loud obnoxious sex that even the neighbors complained about, flushed paper towels down the toilet when she ran out of regular t.p., insulted my sister, and on top of everything else, shopped at Urban Outfitters. I actually lived with her the longest out of all of them.
But I think the real high point of all my living experiences came earlier in the week, when my OCD landlady came over and pointed out all the flaws in the apartment I'd spent two days cleaning. (I believe I've alluded to this in an earlier post.) Well, a few days ago I left her a message to let her know I would be dropping off the keys on Thursday, if that was ok, and to call me back.
She never called me back. I felt a little weird about leaving the keys in the kitchen and the door unlocked, like she'd told me to, and therefore neglected to do it.
Today she called me, annoyed that the cleaning service she'd hired to repair all my slovenliness was standing outside the apartment, unable to get in.
One of my personal flaws is the occasional inability to respond to conflict when the moment requires. Instead of pointing out that she'd never called me back to let me know leaving the keys was all right, I promptly apologized, jumped in my car and tore off to Salt Lake.
How much do you friendly readers want to bet she tries to take the cleaning lady's wasted time out of my deposit?
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Official Bar Studying Day No. 3:
Drove my pops to Salt Lake.
Met with Professional Development Services.
Went to lunch at Cafe Rio with Ryan.
Went to Gateway with Ryan and Chris, checked out the Apple Store and ate some Snowies.
Went to an open house for a new condo complex. Mostly just wanted the free food. Realize that today involved a lot of food.
Sat in the Sears parking lot and listened to the second half of the Civ Pro lecture.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Official Bar Studying Day No. 2:
Slept in until 11:30 - totally did not mean to do that. Should not have given in to that last episode of Dexter. However, will be blaming excessive sleep on lingering cold, not poor life decisions.
Slept in until 11:30 - totally did not mean to do that. Should not have given in to that last episode of Dexter. However, will be blaming excessive sleep on lingering cold, not poor life decisions.
Checked some emails, looked for pro bono jobs. Thought about hauling down all my stuff to D.I. ... decide to put that off until this weekend.
Poured myself a bowl of Corn Pops, settle down with my friendly little bar iPod again.
Watch your back, Civil Procedure. I'm after you.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Whenever you get too big for your britches (and no, I'm not talking about the tragic amount of weight I gained in college ... and added to in law school ... and then there was that cruise I went on ...), it's nice to know the universe will always be around to remind you that you're nothing special.
Like when you get your very last law school grade, and it's the worst you've ever gotten. Yeah ... worse than Calculus in high school and worse than Organic Chemistry in college. And this grade doesn't even appear next to a moderately difficult class -- no, it appears next to "Conflict Management," where we simulated mediations and talked about our feelings. Damn you, feelings!
Or when you go to an electronics store, and the way the clerk is talking to you makes it clear that he thinks you haven't graduated high school yet, and maybe you should talk to your parents before committing to such a big expenditure?
Or you play a round of Wii Fit, and realize that your ability to balance (that's right, just stand upright without moving) is apparently sub par.
Or someone offers you eight Lagoon tickets for the drumset you've been trying to sell on KSL.com for the last five months.
Or after spending two days cleaning out your apartment (with familial help, natch), your landlady shows up and STILL says things aren't clean enough, and why don't you just go down to Home Depot and just buy all new stovetop grease catchers if you want your deposit back?
They're all little things, and they don't really matter, but it all helps keep life in perspective, no?
So here's to you, universe, for keepin it real. :)