Thursday, December 27, 2007

I say I don't . . .

But I really do love quotes.  Take them out of context--I don't care, as long as you don't hold it against the person you're quoting.  This is a gem from Eugene McCarthy:

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it's important.

As my post-college cynicalism develops, I believe this statement more and more.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2d Tier School = 1st Tier Life

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog named an anonymous commenter known only as "Loyola 2L" as the Law Blog Lawyer of the Year.  Loyola 2L won because s/he has "brought to light" the general deceit of law schools and the media-at-large in conveying that lawyers will leave law school and immediately make lots of money.  The truth is, s/he contends, that most lawyers who don't graduate from 1st tier schools usually have trouble landing jobs at all, much less high-paying ones.  The comments were generally vitriolic, mostly criticizing Loyola 2L for being lazy.  I, in my narcissism and arrogance, think they all missed the point.

Baylor is currently ranked #53 by U.S. News & World Report, placing it close to the line demarcating the 1st and 2nd tiers.  Admittedly, though I had several on-campus interviews with Biglaw firms, I did not get so much as a callback from any of them.  I also know only a few classmates who actually landed jobs in Biglaw.  Am I bitter?  Should I be?

Well--I was.  But then I realized: at Biglaw, you work innumerable hours for a taskmaster boss with very little control over any aspect of your life, very little meaningful client interaction, and very little real-life lawyer experience.  My criteria for the ideal job: numerable hours, decent boss, control over most aspects of my life, meaningful client interaction, and real-life lawyer experience.  Funny how they don't match up at all.

Maybe that's why I didn't get any callbacks: my Biglaw interviewers could tell I didn't belong.  But I'll live.  I've secured two jobs for next summer, both of which I'm really excited about.  I'll be working for the Texas Attorney General's Child Support Division and the Federal Attorney General's Tax Division.  Maybe my paycheck won't be as fat as my private-sector classmates, but at least my wife will remember who I am.

Plus Greg gives us 17 state and national holidays.  Seventeen.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Marrying Up

That was my plan, and I've accomplished it.  Today, Ms. Avacado got the results of the fourth and final section of the CPA exam: straight A's, mis lectores.  I don't know what's left in the certification process, but I'm pretty sure it's coasting from here on out.

Lost? Use a map.

This is for President Scott, my fellow cartophile. This is awesome: an unofficial map of the Island from Lost.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lance's Evil Twin

Beware this educated, internationally traveling, francophonic murderer--he is wicked fast on a mountain bike:

He allegedly shot and killed an armored car guard leaving a Phoenix movie theater three years ago, took about $56,000 in cash, and then sped away on a mountain bike.

(emphasis added)

Don't cops have cars?  Is Phoenix the kind of town where a mountain biker really could beat a car?

On a Role

In my college Ethics class, we studied existentialism and its influence on ethical thinking.  In particular, we talked about how some existentialists reject the concept of defining life through roles played.  At the time, I thought it was a beautiful way to live, and I've pretty much agreed with it without question ever since.

But the following from John Le Carré's The Constant Gardener gave me pause:

[S]omething was happening to Justin that, to his excitement and alarm, he was unable to control.  He had been drawn completely by accident into a beautiful play, and was captivated by it.  He was in a different element, acting a part, and the part was the one he had often wanted to play in life, but never till now quite brought off.

I've never heard so eloquent a defense (even if it may have been unintentional) for viewing life as a series of roles to be played, each with its own rough script.  Maybe a significant number of our decisions are made because of who we are--the role we're playing at the time--and for no other reason.

Just a thought.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Democratic Triumvirate

President Scott first posted about this test a few days ago. Kudos to him for paying a lot of attention. I promised my Democratic results, and here they are:
  1. Barack Obama (18 points)
  2. Chris Dodd (17 points) (very surprising to me)
  3. Bill Richardson (16 points) (also very surprising)
  4. John Edwards (10 points) (disappointing)
  5. Hillary Clinton (5 points) (not surprising at all)
Come on President Scott--and my other faithful readers--where are your blue results?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Yankee Ticket

There's a cool quiz-type-thing you can take on the Washington Post's website to help you figure out which candidate(s) you support for president. Basically, they ask a question, you pick the statement you most agree with, then you rate how important that issue is to you. The trick is that you don't know which candidates are saying which statements. You should try it out, you might be surprised by the result. I know I was:

  1. Rudy Giuliani (27 points)
  2. Mitt Romney (25)
  3. Mike Huckabee, John McCain (15 each)
  4. Fred Thompson (13)
  5. Ron Paul (10)

These are just my Republican results. Later, I plan to try the Democratic candidates and see whom I like. I'll let you know.

Monday, December 03, 2007

That was unexpected

Did you see Adam Sandler and Kevin James in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry? My wife and I rented it this weekend, and I was blown away. The story begins with Mr. James's character, a firefighter named Larry, saving Mr. Sandler's character's life (Sandler = Chuck). Thanking Larry, Chuck explains that he now owes Larry a life-debt: "Whatever, whenever." As it turns out, "whenever" = today. Larry learns that, because he did not act quickly enough after his wife died, he can no longer change the designated beneficiary of his pension to his kids. So, if Larry died tomorrow, his kids wouldn't get any of his pension. There is a loophole, however--if he marries again, he can designate his new spouse as his beneficiary. With no female offerors, he convinces Chuck to drive up to Canada and become his lawfully wedded husband. The City of New York, however, smells something fishy and assigns Steve Buscemi to investigate. The movie ends memorably, but my lips are sealed.

You know, I was a little surprised when Ms. Avacado suggested we watch it. You would think that if one of us had suggested, it would have been I. But--seriously--she wanted to watch it. (Heh--then she fell asleep halfway through.) As expected, it had scenes obviously targeted toward the male audience, but it was an amazingly sophisticated and complex story. Think John Howard Griffin's Black Like Me, but with straight guys pretending to be gay instead of a white guy pretending to be black. As the story develops, the viewer glimpses the strife of being a gay American through the eyes of characters who are just like us and have no obvious gay-rights agenda. Just like Griffin, Sandler and James show us how the other side lives.

As a law student, I am a student of argumentation. This movie argues very effectively in favor of gay marriage, or at least fighting sexual preference-based hatred. By the end of the movie, you find yourself asking "Why not?" to the question of gay marriage. Brangelina's reported refusal to marry until everybody can get married, on the other hand, only annoys me. I don't care if Mr. and Mrs. Smith ever get married--but Chuck and Larry made me think about how I think about homosexuals.

I recommend I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. (I just wish they had given it a shorter title.) Watch it, think about it, see if it inspires you. Black Like Me made me conscious of how I think about and interact with those who are visibly different from me. Chuck and Larry just may make you think about how you think about and interact with those who are not so visibly different.

Let's erase the hate. ¡Somos todos americanos!


Check out that linked story on the side. You won't, so I'll just tell you what happened. During the first half, the Lady Jackets went on a 46-2 run. At the end of the first half, they were up 48-6. They took a break in the second half and gave up 18 points to win only 88-24. What can I say about that? It's no wonder these girls are ranked #1 in the nation.