Monday, May 21, 2007

DC Dispatches ## 1, 2 and 3

My internet has been buggy. So this is a recap of my first week in DC:


I have been in DC for just under 19 hours and I just saw my first war protest march. At least I assume it was. I was taking a smoke break and was not really focusing on their chanting, but I did see signs that said something about Iraq and one that said "Impeach Bush."
I won't lie, I voted for Bush **cough**twi**cough**ce**cough** I really wish I could have that second one back. I would have voted for myself. (Note to reader, In the 2000 election my vote counted, not only because Bush won, but because it was a pretty close race in the state where I voted. In 2004, I voted in IL, where my vote did not matter at all. I only mention this, because I shudder to think what would have happened had Gore been in office on 9/11. Short story, he would have had to prove he was a tough guy, and would have bombed someone by 9/17. Also, it shows that I hate politics (now anyway)).

DC has also made me more political. Please ignore it, I talk mostly out of my ass. What do you expect, they give me a free paper every morning when I get on the Metro; it makes me feel learned.


I fucking hate IL. If I still lived there, all would be grand. But I do not. I go to school out of state, and now I am in DC. I still maintain my IL residency because god knows where I will be in a year. And with living at my parents still a possibility, I have not bothered to change the tags on my car or get a new driver's license.

Contrary to what the IL court system may think (anyone know a good traffic lawyer in the Downers Grove area? I have a court date for speeding in a construction zone in June (yes, it is a must appear violation, and I already continued it once since my first court date was the week before finals)), I qualified for the safe driver renewal. This means I send them a check, and they send me back a sticker. A sticker to put on the back of my current license.

Now the problem is that my license expired in February. I got the sticker, but the sticker goes on the back of the license. Many, many retailers (I still lack the balls to head into the shady "Cold Beer" store on the corner) have begun looking at the expiration date on the license. Not just the birthdate matters anymore.

So the most recent tale of woe. After a particularly fulfilling day where I did jack shit for eight hours, and got paid for it, then headed to VA for some cheap smokes ($22 for 10 packs! OK, it was buy one get one free, but still, awesome), and finished up my day by walking around the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial (if you ever go, just study his face, his shoulders and his posture. Atlas revisited). With blisters on my feet, I headed to the nearest Giant food store for a nice six pack of bud light. Then I went to checkout.

I guess in DC you always have to show your license. So as I bought my beer, I did. Uh-Oh, my license is expired. I tried to explain to her how the stupid auto-renewal system works. She had none of that and went to see a manager. Yep, I am now the ass holding up the express line. I am sorry to all the folks behind me. I am legit. I was not trying to scam beer. And if I was, it would not be a six pack of Bud Light.

Anyway, after talking with the manager for five minutes, they summoned me over to speak my peace. I do not think that the manager bought my explanation, but she certainly accepted my male-pattern baldness. And I was just about to whip out my law school ID and threaten to sue them. Oh well.

Anyway, that link above, I am printing that page out tomorrow at work and carrying it around with me from now on. This shit happens all the time. It sucks.


Finals killed me. And I am broke. I went straight from finals to packing to taking a trip out of town to driving to DC. This first week was not exhausting, but I was freaking exhausted. I slept at least 24 hours over the weekend (not counting Sunday night). It was glorious, as sleep usually is. So I did not do anything fun over the weekend.

I am also broke, which seriously puts a crimp into having fun. I do not get a paycheck for another two and a half weeks, so it appears that I will be maxing out another credit card (that makes 4! God Bless America and the ability to live beyond your means) before I get to that point. Ahh well, fun will be forthcoming. I hope at least.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

A Diamond is Forever, but My Salary is Exponentially Fleeting

The other night I got into a debate over how much an engagement ring is supposed to cost. I remained steadfast in my opinion that it is two month's salary while she was adamant (likely for personal reasons) that it was three. After getting no where with hearsay and conjecture, I did what any good little law student does.

I researched. Lexis and Westlaw were no help, so I used the second best thing. Google.

So I found this page, which pretty much confirmed what I already knew, that it is two months salary not three.

There are also numerous articles and videos detailing what a scam the diamond trade is, but we already knew this. They keep supply (what is available for sale) low and pay miners 2 cents hour, yada, yada. That ain't my fight (maybe one day, but not today).

However being brainwashed is my problem. Over the course of my investigation, I discovered a video on youtube that is a DeBeers commercial from the 1990s. Here it is:

Yeah, its nice, classic DeBeers, but did you carch the end?

Here is the screenshot of the last scene (click on it for large size):

See what it says there? "How else could a month's salary last a lifetime?"

When the fuck did it become two months salary? Was this a cheap ring? WTF? You cannot arbitrarily change your slogan to brainwash me into spending an extra couple grand. Was this youtube doctored? I need answers because I am pissed off about this.

However, I know this is a losing battle, because I am screwed either way (if I can by a cheap ring I end up married; and if I refuse to overpay for a ring, I end up cold and alone. Lose/Lose). To quote Ron White, the actual slogan for DeBeers should just be, "Diamonds . . . That'll Shut Her Up."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

And I Will Play Your Game Beneath The Spin Light

Morning Exams will be the death of me.

For the first three semesters of law school, I have had afternoon exams. Now they decided to change things up, and force me to take my exams in the morning. As has been well documented here, I am not a morning person. This causes a huge problem. See, my brain refuses to function for the first two hours of the day. My notes from my morning classes past are a dyslexic hodgepodge of incoherency. So briefing cases my first three semesters was actually worthwhile, at least for a couple of my classes.

The week before exams I practiced getting up early, i.e. earlier than I absolutely had to (for instance, a 9 o'clock class means I get out of bed at 8:45 because it takes it takes me five minutes to piss, brush my teeth, and throw on the dirty clothes laying on the floor, five minutes to drive to school, and five minutes to walk to class). Needless to say, it was an epic failure. They say practice makes perfect, but what happens when you utterly fail at practicing?

I will enlighten you. My first exam was a four-hour furtive flailing fast finger fest (whatever the hell that means, I felt like throwing in some alliteration. This is why I am not a poet). Because that exam started at 8:30, I deduced that I had to be up by 5:30 a.m. in order for my brain to function properly by test time. That is all well and good, except I did not fall asleep until are 3:30 and my alarm started going off around 4:45. But, the important thing is that I was up and moving by 5:30, and around 7:30 the fog lifted from inside my cranium and was able to take the test and remember most of what I needed to.

So I had another exam this morning. Same scenario. I had to to get up early, blah, blah. I think I was asleep by 2:30 (or shortly after the end of the first episode of the second set of Futureama). Except I could not be roused this morning. The 96 alarms I had set just weren't cutting it, and I finally gained cognizance around 6 a.m.

You are probably thinking, hey 6 a.m., that isn't too bad. Well, smart-ass, I had planned on studying since I did not know this shit at all, and was desirous to get up around 4:30. When that did not happen, I said to myself, "Screw it, I just won't go to the exam this morning."

So I did not.

I am taking it tomorrow, and it should be all good. It does screw up my exam schedule a bit, but I should be O.K. Plus, with the two hours of sleep I got last night, I plan on passing out around 7 pm tonight, and getting up around 3. Ahhh, 8 hours. That will be nice. Hopefully I can keep this schedule up, and I might be able to survive the next week. Only four exams left!

Oh, and a couple random notes. This is the best song not created by Brand New, LBC or OLP, that I have heard since Jet Black New Year by Thursday (so I am a little late on the bandwagon, but at least I am on it now).

Second, in the purported best of the blog in the post below, they are listed in no particular order, so if you started at the top, and thought they sucked, you were probably right. But if I could make two recommendations, the New Years story and the Normal Thursday story, while I have no clue if they are any good, were my two favorite to write up.