Wednesday, October 31, 2007

distraction politics

i didn't watch the democratic debate last night. but, i was reading a recap...and i've got to hand it to Joe Biden for one of the best political one-liners i've heard in a while. he was discussing Rudy Giuliani, and stated:

"There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11. I mean, there's nothing else."

zing.

in all seriousness, though...i'm really hoping voters in 2008 don't fall for the "vote republican or the terrorists will win" idea, or "vote republican or else you're betraying all the hard work americans have done to pull together and fight terror after 9/11." i was hoping that would be the case in 2004, although there was no such luck there. yes, we have a distinct interest in preventing further terrorist attacks. but, curtailing civil liberties and fighting a war that only increases anti-american sentiment and risks soldiers' lives is not the way to achieve that goal...and that is the approach the republicans have taken.

furthermore, 9/11 is by far the only issue that's important to the american populace. it hasn't been the only issue since those first few days after the attack, when all that was on anyone's mind was wondering what had happened, who was responsible, and how to prevent it from happening again. that last consideration, preventing further attacks, is still an issue. but, so is education. so is health care. so are a million other things that voters should not be distracted away from by the mere invocation of 9/11.

this isn't intended as a diatribe against voting republican. this is intended as a diatribe against using 9/11 as a single issue or a pervasive theme in a campaign. i'm against single-issue campaigns as a rule, since governing a nation requires knowledge of the multitude of issues, and for the participants in government to have well-reasoned positions on the whole gamut of issues. using such an emotional, hot-button issue as a distraction tactic insults what i can only hope is the intelligence of most people, and belittles the rest of the spectrum of issues.

field trip

today my incarceration class took a field trip to FCI Greenville, a federal prison. i appreciate the effort my professor made to arrange the trip, because knowing what goes on in a prison is crucial to being able to understand the law of incarceration, and the tension between the interests of the prison management and the prisoners. i also understand that a prison tour is probably the closest a common person who does not actually work in a correctional facility will ever get to life on the inside.

still, i really feel like it did more harm than good. first of all, the prison officials were very evasive, as if they were hiding something. i'm not surprised, but was still disappointed. i don't trust law enforcement a whole lot, and corrections officers and wardens are part of that. but, the trip through the prison felt a lot like a public relations event--which, i'm sure, is exactly why they allow people to take tours of federal prisons, to gain goodwill among the citizenry.

the only person who struck me as particularly honest was the prison psychologist. the prison holds about 1500 people. she told us she was the only psychologist on staff for the entire prison, that there was no way you got to see her unless things were serious, and that the people she saw today had been on the waitlist for three months. apparently full staffing is four psychologists. that is still quite disturbing; many prisoners have mental issues that demand treatment, and i doubt even four psychologists are enough to treat several hundred people who need psychological treatment.

but, at least she was clear that she was doing what she could, but her services weren't enough. everyone else i talked to equated all they could do with ideally all that could be done, and i found that to be such a defeatist attitude toward running a prison, an attitude that could be fatal to much-needed prison reforms. they seemed more concerned with making sure we left the prison with a positive impression of the place. i would have left with a far more positive feeling about federal prison if the people running it were a little more ready to admit that they still had a ways to go before the conditions were anywhere near optimal.

the other thing that bothered me profoundly about the prison tour was the fact that we were going right through their living, working, and playing areas. i had been on jail and prison tours before, and seen cellblocks, recreation areas, and work areas. all of those previous trips, i had seen the facilities without any people in them. it was always interesting to see the facilities, but i had wondered what they would be like, if they would be any different, if people had occupied them.

i learned today, and it was unpleasant. i felt so uncomfortable when i was there...like i was a voyeur. i was not allowed to talk to them, and they were not allowed to talk to me, because any question from a person on the outside to someone on the inside would be considered an interview--something that required written consent from the prisoner. this rule was interpreted so rigidly that it included common pleasantries, such as "hi, how are you." all we could do was walk around and look. it started innocently enough; we saw the prisoners stroll across the prison yard from building to building during their ten-minute transfer period that they get every hour. that didn't affect me much at all.

but, we then walked into a cellblock and watched the people who were still in it. we saw people sitting and chatting...we saw people watching television...we saw people walking in and out of their cellblocks...we saw people leading on their lives in the most private area that they get. i felt so out of place as a stranger watching what was going on in the cellblock. it never got any better as we walked to other places: the fitness room, the gymnasium, the classrooms, the library, the religious building. it all felt the same: like i was watching strangers to live their lives when i wasn't invited at all to see them. it was wrong for me to be there.

you lose a lot of rights going to prison, and i understand that...you lose the right to come and go as you please, and the right to interact with the rest of society. that's part of the deterrent, and the hope is that the time away can be used for rehabilitative purposes. but, it's unsettling to think that one of the rights you lose is the right not to have random people traipsing through your living space, while you were there, at the whim of the warden. that goes to basic human decency, and that's a right you shouldn't lose no matter what you may have done.

Monday, October 29, 2007

*shakes fist at devil*

i'm almost done with guitar hero 3 on medium...but not quite. i had one thing that happened that made me feel like a guitar hero, and one thing that made me feel like a guitar zero.

  • guitar hero: i five-starred "one" by metallica the first time i played it. that song is what guitar hero is made for, and apparently i have some kind of aptitude for doing it. i have a feeling that's one of the ones i'm going to go back to and try and do even more accurately, but i feel like a stud for five-starring it the first time through.
  • guitar zero: the guitar battle against lou the devil absolutely killed me. lou was firing battle tokens at me so fast...it's not even like the battle with slash, when i got to the end but just couldn't get slash booed off the stage the first few times. i didn't even make it to the end of that guitar battle before i got booed off the stage! i'm going to try again when my wrist isn't absolutely killing me...maybe i'll at least make it to the end. that is hard...far harder than anything else on medium. it's a fitting ending for the game...i just need to be able to put that devil away. that's the last thing i have to do before i have medium beat.
(for the record, the arrangement of "the devil went down to georgia" used in the battle against lou rocks. it's not the original, but it's a fantastic interpretation.)

i promise, i'll stop blogging so much about guitar hero once i have that stupid devil lou beat...besides, i need something else to blog about. i was talking a lot about those amazing jonathan lee riches © suits, but lately justia has not been posting most of them. well...they've been posting the documents composed by the court, things like the orders from the judges dismissing the cases, but not the actual complaints.

that makes me really sad. i look so forward to reading his lawsuits as amusement after a long day of law school, and they're taking that simple pleasure away from me.

ambience

contemplative music1 for a contemplative day:

"amazing" by blue october


"calling you" by blue october


***
1 ignore the visuals on both, and concentrate on the music. the first song never had a video, so it's just some pictures that some guy set to it; the second one is an actual video, but the video is just not very good. the songs, however, are both gorgeous.

...

panic at the disco has it right...it's much better to face these kinds of things with a sense of poisoned rationality.

i'm just incapable of doing so.

the rest of the story

despite what you may think, i occasionally did things this weekend that did not involve playing guitar hero.

halloween

i ditched the school's halloween party. yeah, it's one of the big events of the fall semester, blah blah blah...but they had it at laclede street bar again, just like last year. that bar is just far too small to accommodate so many people, and last year's party was not fun at all because of that.

instead, i went with some friends to another friend's costume party, and then we went to the city museum. city museum was awesome. i actually had a costume i could climb around in this year...i was a hipster zombie. i had some ripped-up jeans, a ripped-up suit jacket [with hipster band buttons!], and a johnny cash t-shirt on. my hair was spiky, and my face was made up to look really, really scary. another one of my friends dressed like a zombie hunter from resident evil, so i kept trying to eat her brains, but she never let me. :( my other friend who came with us was dressed as a giraffe...but she didn't let me eat her brains, either. sigh. hungry zombie.

the city museum was insane...there were depressingly few people in costumes there, but we didn't care. we were loud, drunk, and goofy. climbing around outside while inebriated is really the best thing ever. [even if everything was all wet and slippery because of the rainstorm...oooooooops.] any of you who have ever been there will remember the really tall wire tunnel outside that arches far above the top of the rest of the outdoor jungle gym. when you're sober, it's fun, but it's also scary, because the thing shakes. when drunk...not scary at all. the shaking is just funny. we climbed through it once...but then one of my friends, the zombie hunter, lost her gun. it was at the apex of that tunnel. so...she and i climbed up again and retrieved it.

after the city museum we went to courtesy diner...which was shiny, as i previously mentioned. we ate greasy diner food, sang loudly with the jukebox, and probably annoyed everyone in the restaurant.

the next day we all dressed up again. we went to dinner at the drunken fish, and then to the outdoor halloween party in the central west end. we weren't there for long, though...it was just so crowded, and it didn't feel like much more than a ton of people standing in the street. so...it was, of course, dave and buster's time. sadly, there's no "thriller" dance on the pump it up machine...but it was still a blast dancing around dressed like a zombie.

football

i went to my first professional football game ever yesterday. my friend's mock trial coach gave her two tickets to the rams game...and man, they were amazing tickets. we were on the bottom level, maybe twenty or thirty yards from the field, and we could see everything. i've had worse seats at high school games. the view was awesome.

the game, however...less so. the first quarter was nice, the rams scored two quick touchdowns to take a quick 14-0 lead. then, they just decided to stop playing football. they were doing pretty well...but then started to betray that they were an 0-7 team that had given up on their season. no one taught their linebackers how to cover a receiver, and no one ever taught marc bulger that every pass should not be a long bomb. it was ugly. they were up 14-0 so early...and managed to lose 27-20.

the team wasn't the only depressing thing. the crowd was, as well. in the fourth quarter, with two minutes to go, the browns got the ball. it was a seven-point game with two minutes to go, and throngs of people LEFT! i won't even leave a blowout early, but a seven point game with two minutes to go? what was up with them? the rams did actually manage to get the ball back with a minute and a half or so to go. of course, they booched it, and threw an interception with about twenty seconds to go (ON A FIRST AND FIVE, BULGER TRIED TO THROW A LONG BOMB WITH A RECEIVER WIDE OPEN ABOUT FIVE OR SEVEN YARDS AWAY! I WANTED TO SMACK HIM!). but, the fact that they didn't convert isn't the point here. the point is that i don't even purport to be a rams fan, and i stayed for the entire game to cheer them on. throngs of people dressed head to toe in rams gear were leaving a seven-point game with two minutes to go.

and really, that's even more embarrassing than the terrible football the team were playing. have they ever heard of supporting a team even when they're having a hard time?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

i am stricken and can't let you go

my hand is about to fall off.

guitar hero 3 came out last night. i'm trying to beat medium as fast as i can, just so i can unlock all the songs. medium on guitar hero 3 is hard...that perfect kind of hard. it's not quite as hard as the hard level of guitar hero 2, but it's harder than the medium. it's great, because i can practice hammer-ons, pull-offs, and very fast or off-beat passages without having to worry about also doing hand position switches.

i haven't beaten it yet. in three sittings between last night and now, i'm three quarters of the way through. i just unlocked level seven...i was going to finish that white zombie song that i didn't do before the encore on level 6, but then i got distracted and instead used my hands' last strength on something distractingly shiny on level 7: "stricken" by disturbed. i hadn't even realised that song was going to be on there--and that makes me so happy. it's one of my favourite disturbed songs...i like "remember" better, but that's it. and..."stricken" has a really catchy guitar riff.

i've also had some minor distractions from pushing through my career on medium. biggest of all is the distraction we call "minus celsius" by the backyard babies. i'm a little disappointed that it's not one of the level songs, because then more people may possibly pay attention to its all-consuming awesomeness, but it was the first song i unlocked from the store. i've probably played it four or five times already, just for fun...i five-starred it the second time through, but it's just so addictive. it has a great beat, it's singable...i love it. i was also playing some cooperative mode when one of my friends came over. i was a little disappointed when "reptilia" by the strokes came up...because i don't really like them. but, i got proven wrong, at least with respect to guitar hero. that song has a fantastic beat for the game, and the guitar hero part is extremely fun to play. i'm disappointed, though...i can't play it alone, it's one of the few songs that is only playable in the cooperative mode.

(so, if any of you want to come over and help me play "reptilia", i'd be much obliged. also..."sabotage" by the beastie boys is cooperative only...so if you like that song, i'll give you a hand with it if you give me a hand with "reptilia.")

still, though, i've beaten everything on the first try except for the level 5 guitar battle, the one with slash. the level 2 battle with morello was so easy. the one with slash...far harder. it took me three tries to do it. it involved a new skill, strategically saving up and using these battle tokens that trip up the other player. it's an new feature, something that wasn't in any of the older guitar hero games. it's fun, and i can see having a great time with it against friends. still, i don't know about computer guitar battles. it's a good intro to battle mode, but being able to screw up real people and watch them squirm just seems like a lot more fun than playing against a computerized slash. at least i beat that, so i could move on to level 6.

everything else, though, i beat the first time through. they have all been four or five stars except for one song..."kool thing" by sonic youth. whoever decided that this song should go on guitar hero should be given a swift kick in the nuts. it's a terrible song for guitar hero. it doesn't have particularly discernible things like "a beat" or "a guitar riff"...which, in my humble opinion, are rather crucial things for a song in guitar hero to have. this is the only real dud i've hit so far, though...there are some songs i like more than others, of course, but that's the only one that i think is just terrible.

the gameplay is very much like the old ones...except for one extremely obnoxious thing. i don't naturally play the game with the guitar horizontal. i usually hold it tilted up, forty-five degrees or more. it's just more comfortable. problem is, in guitar hero 3, you have to tip the guitar a lot less to turn on star power. that's probably fantastic for all those horizontal-guitar people out there, but it's terrible for me. i'll be playing, and the star power will automatically be tripped by the angle where i naturally hold the guitar to play. i know it's a problem with the game and not with the new wireless guitar--because with my old guitar, the plugged-in one that i got with my guitar hero 2, it does the same thing. that's frustrating...i'm having to change the way i hold the guitar in order to have any hope of strategically deploying my star power.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

grrrrr.

i have beaten nineteen songs on the hard mode of guitar hero 2. my goal was to beat twenty by tomorrow, when guitar hero 3 comes out.

i have met my nemesis.

i was trying "sweet child of mine", the level 4 encore. and...i failed out eleven percent of the way through the song. that is the earliest i have ever failed out of a song on that game. i just could not follow the dots. they were all over the screen, they required a ton of hand position changes, and it's over my head.

i'll have to practice and practice that one...although sadly, i doubt i'll be able to nail it by tomorrow.

that song is evil.

shiny.

courtesy diner rules. it's probably the only restaurant in st. louis that wouldn't kick a zombie, a zombie hunter, and a giraffe out for drunkenly and loudly singing along to the jukebox.

and, their omelettes are amazing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

sigh.

all day today, it was one of those days that i could never settle on the right song to listen to. i wasn't in the mood for funny stuff, because i was already so loopy. i was also not in the mood for sad stuff, as i've been uncommonly happy as of late.

this is bad, given my music collection...given that it's about 15% wesley willis, and about 85% grade-a depressing alt rock and emo.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

heroblogging again...

T minus just about two days until guitar hero 3 comes out. :D

i'm sixteen songs into hard right now...i knocked out "tattooed love boys", "war pigs", and "cherry pie" this morning before class. war pigs is awesome on hard...i didn't do so well on it first time through, just three stars, but i'm going to feel like such a stud if i can nail it.

i tried going back into it tonight...but flunked out of "who was in my room last night a few times, and my left hand was spasming. it still is...i'm having to replace so many typos in this blog entry.

i won't have hard beaten by sunday...but i want to at least vanquish level 4 by then, so i'll have hard halfway beaten. we'll see how that goes.

i swear, this game is going to give me arthritis. but, it's so amazing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

*drools*

transit porn. shiny, shiny transit porn.

i know what i want for my birthday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

dover beach

we are singing a setting of this poem in the choir. the more i sing it, the more i love it. the more i read the words, over and over...it feels like a little slice of my life right now, put into words far more eloquent than i ever could.

Dover Beach
by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

some rather special spam

some of the spam i get on my email account just cracks me up. case in point, what i just received today:

date: Oct 23, 2007 10:00 AM
subject: Don't put off your happy life, order our patch today

We receive heaps of letters from happy men daily. Please read one of them:

"Because of my dick size I have never been able to enjoy sex. I avoided relationships as they only led to frustration. A Cock Growth Patch system has changed my life. It really works. I enjoy my self-confidence now and I love having sex. Thank you so much."

Matt, Leeds.

Order our Cock Growth Patch and your problems with dick size will become history.


clearly they don't pay any attention to who their sending it to...because really, would they actually think that my gmail handle is "superherogirl" because my penis is just so small that i can't call myself "superheroboy" in good conscience?

sheesh. as i always say when i get these emails...if i wanted a bigger cock, i'd go to early to bed and buy one.

if you don't understand those tubes can be filled...

more hilarity, courtesy of xkcd:



i'll stay off your lawn if you stay out of my tubes. capisce? capisce.

candy has left the building.

somehow, my wireless is randomly working again...i was trying to fix it last night while on my wired connection and didn't think i got anywhere, but apparently i did.

*does not question it*
*squee*

untitled

untitled
by fuel

i wanted to feel something
to be something
to see something

i wanted to find
one thing that was mine
and leave this behind
but i
i can't find my way
to get far away
and bury these days

fantasy once reality
becomes such a parody

if i could find
one thing that was mine
i'd leave this behind
but i
i can't find my way
to get far away
and bury these days

if shining
or if shaking
it's reality speaking

if i could find
one thing that was mine
i'd leave this behind
but i
i can't find my way
to get far away
and bury these days

Sunday, October 21, 2007

happiness

the bad news is that the internet card on my computer has gone down like candy the five-dollar whore,1 and my computer is pretty much useless until i can take it in to get it fixed.

the good news is...well, everything else. being in chicago this week has been fantastic. i've done my share of partying, between mocktoberfest on friday night and the big birthday party last night. mocktoberfest rocked, because i got to meet some of the new faces in the u(c) mock trial programme, and see the people who have been on the team for a while--all the people i coached back in '04-'05 as first-years are now fourth-years! [crazy!] the birthday party last night was also a ton of fun...there were silly games, lots of fun conversation, some friends, and some new people there. my days i've spent running around town, seeing more of my friends, and just enjoying the fact that i'm back here for a few days.

i'm in a far better mood right now that i've been in a long time. i feel relaxed and happy.

***
1 if you don't get this reference...you seriously need to play the card game "let's kill."

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ARRRRRR!!!!!!

IT'S A PIRATE PENGUIN!!!!!! WITH A PEG LEG!!!!!!! AND A PIRATE HAT!!!!!! SINGING ABOUT HOW A PIRATE SAYS ARRRRRRR!!!!

SQUEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

i love the backyardigans.

rock band!

i just found out that the ps2 version of rock band is coming out december 10.

this is bad. i must have this game the day it comes out...but that's the first day of the second week of finals.

guess this means i should try to take as many finals the first week as i possibly can.

p.s.: if i'm feeling really evil, i'll bring the game to school one day during finals week, take over the big television in the law school lounge, and get a big game of rock band going in order to distract people from their finals. :D

karaoke!

last night i tried five new songs at karaoke. some of them went well, some of them not so much...but it was so much fun to try new things, and i may adopt a few of them into my regular rotation.

  • "anthem of our dying day" by story of the year: i love the song. i knew it was going to be terrible for my voice; i knew that from my repeated attempts to sing along to it on my iPod while i'm walking down the street. but, i wanted to try it. it was a lot of fun to sing. i doubt i'll ever do it again because it's far too screamy for me to sing well, but i'm glad i just got trying it once out of my system.
  • "before he cheats" by carrie underwood: this song is officially joining my regular rotation. it's fun to sing, it's a crowd pleaser, and i can pull it off.
  • "war pigs" by black sabbath: for a seven and a half minute song, there's so little singing. but, there's a ton of guitar. the few verses there are in it are a lot of fun to sing, and i felt like i could pull it off because the song is a lot more belty than it is screamy. and then...there was air guitar. oh, the air guitar there was. bob (the karaoke guy at novak's) didn't have his inflatable guitar there, the one that he usually brings, but we were air guitaring like crazy! so much fun. i'm not going to adopt this in my regular rotation because there's so little singing in it, but every so often i'm going to resurrect this one because it's pure, self-indulgent fun.
  • "walking in memphis" by marc cohn: i had never done this one...back at blue hill, it was karaoke mike's song.1 it's a song i've loved since i was a kid, though, and it was fun to sing at karaoke. i think i was alright on it...i doubt it's going to be a regular song for me, but i may bust it out every so often.
  • "you oughta know" by alanis morrissette: this was at the end of the night. it was an excuse for a rather drunk girl to scream a lot into the microphone. it wasn't pretty, but it sure was fun. i wasn't even a fan of that song when i was a teenager...but it's a piece of nineties nostalgia, and it really does have its place. i may try that song again when i'm in better voice, when i'm sober.
i should try new karaoke songs more often. last night rocked.

***
1 for you guys who aren't in st. louis, blue hill is blueberry hill, a bar out near wash u. they used to have karaoke on thursdays, and that was my regular karaoke joint for over a year. (the bar still exists, but does not do karaoke.) there were two guys who ran the karaoke night, who we called karaoke mike and karaoke al. karaoke mike was an amazing singer and an all-around nice guy. karaoke al was an awful singer and the skeeziest guy in town.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

FREEBIRD!!!!!!!!!! well...and carry me home, too.

as of right now, i have five-starred everything on medium, on guitar hero 2.

i got home from class, and did freebird. i five-starred it.

i was going to post about that here...and i decided nah, i'd give carry me home a shot, just in case i could do it.

and i could. and did.

time to buy the viking--because really, what can be more shiny than a guitar that looks like a big viking head?

well, maybe a guitar that looks like a log, but i seriously doubt i'll be getting that in the near future. i'm basking in this for now. :D

***

p.s...screw basking. i finished typing this, and decided that playing only two songs, however well, was not enough guitar hero. i was a few hundred bucks short of being able to buy that shiny viking-head guitar i had just unlocked, and since i had five-starred everything on medium, i really only had one way to raise that last few hundred bucks--start beating stuff on hard.

the only problem with that was the fact that i still had to beat "woman" in order to get any more songs, and i had never gotten past 75% on that song.

it fell on my first try today. only three stars, of course, but it fell.

and then "tonight i'm going to rock you tonight" fell the first time through.

and then "heart shaped box" fell the first time through.

and then i had enough to buy the viking.

my hand is about to fall off, but i did it.

:)

i conquered two things tonight that have been a long time coming:

  1. the moot court brief.
  2. "institutionalized", with five stars.
item 1 means that only the fun part of wiley is left--the oral arguments, coming up in a couple of weeks.

item 2 means that i only have two more songs to five-star on medium: "carry me home" and "freebird." this is surprising--i could have sworn "institutionalized" would be the last song i'd five-star. that song is HARD.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

blogginating the prisonside

i didn't think you got the internet in prison...but i have a funny feeling i may be wrong in that regard.

the excellent blog dreadnaught keeps track of the hilarious lawsuits that jonathan lee riches © has been filing. it links to a lot of the lawsuits he files. (and...the writer has more patience than i do, since he actually types out the lawsuits he posts, instead of just linking to the .pdf file.)

well...apparently jonathan lee riches © has found that blog. why? because he mentions it in his lawsuit against coke. he claims to have a contract with dreadnaught, but the author has stopped contacting him because of how bad it is that his copyrighted likeness is used to advertise pepsi, a drink that makes him sick.

congratulations, dreadnaught!

i'm reeeeeeeally curious whether you can read blogs in federal prison now. and...if so, i'm wondering if their internet connection is better than the connection i get here at the law school. because, if it is...i'm going to be mad. not mad enough to get myself hauled away to federal prison, mind you...but mad.

whoohoo!

i feel like i'm coming down the home stretch on this moot court brief...i've only got another two pages or so to finish writing.

going to sleep last night and finishing the brief this morning is one of the smarter decisions i have ever made. i was getting really, really sick of writing about sentencing yesterday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

vegas, baby, vegas!

you'd think you were reading the national enquirer...given that you've got a young man claiming donald trump is his sugar daddy.

but, of course, you'd be wrong. thanks, jonathan lee riches ©!

(although, seriously...the jonathan lee riches © resort and casino would be the most fantastic place ever. if that were ever built, i'd never stay anywhere else when i went to vegas!)

stuff i like. :)

courtesy of Allison:

Comment on this post. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so others can play along.1

1. becoming a duck
i love the llama song. it's hilarious. and, at the end of it, it says "time for me to retire now and become a duck." retiring and becoming a duck sounds really, really amazing. ducks are cute. ducks get to float around the pond and quack a lot. i don't remember where my friend hilary got the quote from...but it's always a great day to be a duck.

2. ellix powers
ellix powers is a poker player with a great sense of humour. during the 2004 world series of poker, he was playing at the final table of a limit hold 'em tournament against a field of players that included james mcmanus, the author of positively fifth street. now, james mcmanus thinks that poker needs to be this serious, revered thing, and people aren't supposed to act silly at the table. ellix powers rejected this theory, so they spent the entire day snarking at each other.

it got to one hand...ellix powers had a good hand, and james mcmanus did not. but, james mcmanus was on tilt, and stayed in. james mcmanus called ellix powers' last bet, and powers turned over the winning hand. mcmanus turned over his losing cards--and he didn't even have a pair. ellix powers found this hilarious, and started yelling over and over, "he called me with a jack high! he called me with jack high! can you believe that? he called me with jack high!"

that became a bit of a catch phrase, at least among people who watch too many poker telecasts on espn. strangely enough, james mcmanus didn't have jack high--he had queen high.

3. onesidezero
onesidezero is a band i love. i discovered them back in 2001 when i saw them at the metro in chicago, playing with some other bands. the music just blew me away...and they were really cool guys, i hung out with them after that show, and after the second time i saw them as well. their first album, "is this room getting smaller", is still one of my favourite albums of all time. they broke up in 2003...but then got back together a year or two later. they're still putting out music and touring, although sadly their touring has been confined to the west coast, so i have not been able to see them again since. hopefully soon, they will make their triumphant return to the midwest.

4. teledus
a teledu is animal that looks like a badger and sprays like a skunk:

the word "teledu" was in my spelling bee study book back in middle school, and i thought it was the most hilarious word ever. i would say it all the time. i would talk about teledus so much that i would get in trouble for talking about teledus too much.

i've still never seen a teledu in real life. i need to do that sometime...when i have the time and money to travel to java or sumatra.

5. tidewater grain
tidewater grain is one of my favourite bands...although, sadly, they are defunct. i discovered them when i saw them open for caroline's spine in the summer of 2000. they had been local, up in pennsylvania, but were finally releasing an album and touring the country. they broke up soon after, in 2001. still, their album "here on the outside" is one i listen to a lot...and "one man show" is one of the most gorgeous songs ever. the internet at school is way too wonky for me to upload anything to yousendit and post it here, but when i get home, i will be posting a link to that song here.

6. ratbag hero
ratbag hero was a punk band in chicago...although they are now defunct. they broke up in 2005. none of their music was particularly serious, but it was a lot of fun to listen to. their songs were all about getting drunk, getting laid, partying, hanging out in bridgeport [no, not the connecticut town, you goofballs--the neighbourhood on the south side of chicago, out near comiskey park], and other fabulous pursuits of the young and stupid. they were also a lot of fun to get drunk and cause trouble with.

7. radio wazee
radio wazee is my favourite internet radio station. it plays some well-known alternative rock...and a lot of not-so-well-known stuff. i've discovered more great bands and great songs than i can count through listening to this radio station. and...it's what kept me sane when i had that awfully boring job barcoding books at the library during my year off of school. whenever i was entering barcodes into the computer system, i would fire up radio wazee, plug my headphones into the computer, and discover great new music while doing all my mindnumbing work.

***
1 yes, i know that interest lists are a livejournal thing. but, i never pass up the chance to post random blathering about myself anywhere on the internet.

i know i've got skills, man, i know i've got skills...

i'm working on moot court right now, and about to go crazy. but, sometimes in my research, i stumble upon cases that may not be relevant, but still provide a humourous break.

enter, United States v. Burt, 134 F.3d 997 (10th Cir. 1998). the defendant had been convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. the prosecutor had applied for a sentencing enhancement applicable when a defendant uses special skills in order to commit the crime.

now, under the sentencing guidelines, "'special skill' refers to a skill not possessed by members of the general public and usually requiring substantial education, training, or licensing. Examples would include pilots, lawyers, doctors, accountants, chemists, and demolition experts." U.S.S.G. §3B1.3, comment (n.2).

the prosecutor then tried to argue that the defendant had special skills...in the field of drug dealing.

this led to the wonderful passage:

We hold that regardless of whether Defendant learned his drug-dealing tricks through his work as a deputy sheriff or through self-teaching, tricks such as concealing drugs in a can with a false bottom do not qualify as "special skills" within the meaning of the guideline.

Such drug-dealing "skills" cannot reasonably be equated with the skills developed and possessed by "pilots, lawyers, doctors, accountants, chemists, and demolition experts."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

it's a psychobilly freakout!

i just five-starred psychobilly freakout.

*screams with glee*
*dances around*

that is all.

yuck.

dear couples,
plz to be not making out in line at the coffee cartel.
kthxbai,
the persecuted crack smoker

p.s.: this includes you, middle-aged couple that i just saw making out in line at the coffee cartel.

i can has bible?

they're translating the bible into LOLcat. this is weirder than translating it into klingon.

and ceiling cat is god. srsly.

i can has comic?

moot court is driving my crazy, and apparently bizarre comics have become my coping mechanism.

this one, courtesy of dork tower:

ugh.

why do i play poker? seriously.

i finished the blogger tourney in 963rd place...i had pocket jacks, an overpair to the board...and the guy who flopped a pair of nines turned another nine.

sighhhhhh. unlike the game of poker...at least mr. rutledge loves me.

heroblogging, etc.

pokerstars has a blogger poker tournament every year...and i'm playing again this year. wish me luck! <3 it's today, it just started...and placing in the money would be very, very shiny.

i'm feeling like such a guitar hero lately...i've been playing that game way too much. i beat guitar hero 1 on medium this morning. i've got a smattering of songs that i still have to go back and five-star, but they're all at least cleared--and i didn't fail out of any the first time through. [not even cowboys from hell...which is just plain HARD.]

i've also made some progress on guitar hero 2, in my quest to five-star everything on medium. i five-starred "hangar 18" on friday, which got me so excited i started screaming. i love that song, and have come so close to five-starring it so many times, that actually doing it just felt GOOD. then, yesterday, i ticked two more off my list: "misirlou" and "yyz". thank goodess i beat "yyz"...i really don't like that song a lot, and now i don't have to play it anymore if i don't want to. that puts me at four songs left i have to five-star on medium: "freebird", "institutionalized", "psychobilly freakout", and "carry me home". i had been stuck at three stars on all of those but freebird (four stars), despite all my trying--but this morning, i finally four-starred "carry me home". that has a lot of weird rhythms and fast passages in it...but i got a lot of them this morning, and i think i'm not too far from being able to pull five stars on it. the other three, however...riiiiight.

i've also been trying to play guitar hero 2 on hard. i've beaten "shout at the devil", "mother", and "surrender"...three stars on each, but at least i made it through them on hard, right? "woman", however...that song is making me tear my hair out. i'll get to 72% or 73% of the song, and then fail out--my judicious use of star power be damned. the verses and chorus are manageable...but the solo in the middle ties my fingers into knots. it's frustrating, too...because on hard, you don't unlock the next level until you have beaten EVERYTHING on the previous level--not like easy or medium, when you unlock the next level when you've beaten only three of them. so...i can't attack "heart shaped box", or anything else on level 2, until i make my fingers work fast enough to play "woman". sigh.

in other news...pearls before swine did another crazy extended pun today, and it makes me happy. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

...not to even mention moot court

arrrghhh. so busy. i've read so many cases about sentencing that my brain is about to start leaking out my ears. i sang in my first choir concert of the year last night, despite the fact that i'm sick. i sang as well as i could, though, and my voice didn't crack too much...or too audibly...i think...i hope. i've got another performance with the choir in half an hour, singing the national anthem at the football game. [i'm in worse voice today than i was yesterday.]

then, it's back to the slu mock trial tournament. it started yesterday...i saw round 1 before i had to go back to wash u for the choir performance. i watched one of the ole miss teams...i was so happy i wasn't needed to judge, because they were very shiny. :) maybe i'm a little biased--but at the rate they're going, i've got a funny feeling that they will be booking trips to minneapolis come april.

i hope i get to see the other squad that's here when i go to round 4 this afternoon.

alright, time to head out to sing. i'll leave you with an xkcd that's funny...and so darn true.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

jonathan lee riches © is alive, well, and still suing the pants off of people

just so you all know...jonathan lee riches © has not stopped filing tons of insane lawsuits...i have just stopped posting every single one of them here because i got the feeling most of my readers thought i was smoking crack.

(and, even though this is the last refuge of the persecuted crack smoker...i am NOT smoking crack, nor have i ever!)

i am still reading them religiously, though, and they still make me laugh so hard i cry. i may allude to the occasional one here...but i've moved most of my sue-perman-related commentary to the jonathan lee riches © facebook group, which you should join if you want to stay up to date on all the wacky, cracky stuff that the lawsuit king of the universe has been filing.

i just saved a bunch of money

xkcd ftw:

shiny judge.

i love judges when they smack down litigants for filing bad pleadings and briefs. i found a nice little passage like that in one of the sentencing cases i'm reading for moot court, barden v. keohane, 921 F.2d 476, 480 (3rd cir. 1990):

"As can be seen, the problem with this case is the common one of correctly framing the issue. Unfortunately, neither the pro se claimant nor keohane [the prison warden] have provided much help in this task. Like ships that pass unseeing in the night, the parties sail past each other's contentions. Their briefs show no disagreement on any particular point except the result."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

goodbye, miller.

after reading this article, i am no longer a miller drinker...budweiser is officially my Cheap Beer Of Choice.

we had some good times, me and the old mgd. but...this joint venture with coors is just too much. coors of the non-union beer...coors of pete coors the crazy fundie...coors of pete coors who is dumb enough to be the beer maker who racks up dui charges.

no more mgd for this one, since it's now the same thing as drinking coors. i'm a bud man.

:(

i'm so tired, and i think i'm getting sick.
i just want it to be fall break already.

Monday, October 08, 2007

working class hero

i had forgotten how absolutely gorgeous "working class hero" by green day is. that song makes me cry, for some reason.

AAAAAAHHHHHH

sigh.

instead of not updating this thing because i don't have anything going on...now i don't update this thing because i've got too much going on. as of last week, the semester magically has shifted from relaxing to overwhelming.

i'm a good week or two behind in all of my classes except for trial.

the debate against the brits is tuesday.

i have an opening statement to give during trial class on wednesday--that i haven't even started formulating.

i have a choir performance friday.

i have a choir performance saturday.

friday and saturday, when i am not at these choir performances, i have to be at SLU for the mock trial tournament.

i have the client counseling competition a week from tonight.

i have my wiley rutledge brief due on wednesday--that my partner and i are trying to get done by monday afternoon, because both of us have such hectic tuesdays.

i wish there was some way i could make myself function with no sleep, no fun, and no mental rest for a week...either that, or magic fairies that helped me get all this stuff done.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Game Cube > Time Cube

i mentioned here a few weeks ago the pure lunacy that is the time cube. on crank dot net (thanks, Dan!), they link to an absolutely spot-on parody of the time cube website.

i present to you...

Nintendo's portable simultaneous 4-player Game Cube!

a woman can't resist a detainee who looks good in a speedo...

you know things are going to get really funny when there's a letter exchange involving contraband speedos in guantanamo.

it's bizarre...a detainee there was caught with Under Armour briefs, as well as a name-brand Speedo. (why someone would risk getting caught with contraband to wear a SPEEDO is anyone's guess. men look uniformly ridiculous in speedos.) in response to this, a member of the JAG corps sent the detainee's lawyer a letter, basically accusing him of assisting sneaking the contraband briefs into the facility.

that letter is amusing for how seriously it takes Under Armour and Speedos as a security breach.

the lawyer's response is classic for how pointedly it skewers the JAG guy for flipping out about some underwear. it goes into a long, mock-serious discussion of reasons that the lawyers could not have smuggled it in, as well as ways the underwear could have possibly gotten in--complete with citations.

however, the most fabulous part of the letter is the section about Speedos, which i reproduce here in its entirety:

On the issue of Speedo swimming trunks, my research really does not help very much. I cannot imagine who would want to give my client Speedos, or why. Mr. Aamer is hardly in a position to go swimming, since the only available water is the toilet in his cell.

I should say that your letter brought to mind a sign in the changing room of a local swimming pool, which showed someone diving into a lavatory, with the caption, "We don't swim in your toilet, so don't pee in our pool." I presume that nobody thinks Mr. Aamer wears Speedos while paddling in his privy.


so many extremely wrong, extremely funny mental images there.

the best intro ever.

behold, more of the genius that is jonathan lee riches ©:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, coming in at a weak 125 pounds at 5 ft 10 inches, bald head, originally from South Philadelphia, the current Lawsuit King of the Universe, the digital criminal, Tampa's identity Santa, the Zeus of lawsuits, I am Jonathan Lee Riches ©."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

movies? really?

i just found out that we have to watch a movie as a make-up class for Ethics, since last week's class was cancelled.

that's disgusting. i think i'm the only person in the world who dislikes that...but i don't generally enjoy watching movies. i'm going to fall asleep during it. there's a reason i didn't take Reel Justice (the ethics class that involves watching movies and busting people for ethical violations in movies). i took this class specifically to avoid having to watch movies for my ethics class...and now i have to watch a fucking movie.

sigh.

world blogger championship of online poker

...i wouldn't otherwise post this on my blog, but i have to in order to confirm my entry. hooray for blogger poker!

and, hey, if any of you other bloggers want to play in it, sign up! i'll kick your ass, i promise!

Online Poker

I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!

This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.

Registration code: 5495912

the epitome of shiny

AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

this is awesome. awesome. a million times awesome. as found on the official NBC website:

American Gladiators


AMERICAN GLADIATORS IS BACK!

The NO-HOLDS-BARRED hit competition series returns to prime-time television!

NBC is relaunching the classic competition series "American Gladiators" and is currently auditioning CONTENDERS and GLADIATORS for our upcoming premiere season.

We are looking for weekend warrior types that are BIG, bad, and athletic. If you think you have the heart, skills, and desire to COMPETE then we want to see you at THE GLADIATOR ARENA!


***

as long as they keep the format like the old show, and don't really screw around with it...this could be the most awesome thing ever.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

welcome to debate.

i'm getting a little nervous...excited, but nervous.

next tuesday, the British national champion debate team is coming to Wash U. they're going to be debating whether troops need to be withdrawn from Iraq or not, and they will be debating against two students from wash u: a member of the debate team, and me.

this is a little intimidating, i'm not going to lie. i've never done debate before in my life, and i'm going to be debating people who have won a ton of debate titles.

it should be fun though...i'll be practicing, so i don't look too silly. tonight, i'll be debating that issue on WUTV (the closed-circuit campus TV station) against my partner in the debate against the Brits next week. i just found out about that today...i was meeting with my partner, and he was going to be debating someone else, but they could not come. so...he asked if i wanted to step in, and i decided it would be good practice. it feels strangely like jumping right into a really cold pool, even though i'd really rather take my time to acclimate.

arrrrr.

i realise i haven't posted a substantive entry here in some time...and for once, there's stuff going on other than the usual.

this past weekend was a Great Midwestern Adventure. i took the bus up to chicago and hung out with the foof for the afternoon and evening. it was a lot of fun to see him again, and be back in chicago. i hadn't been up there since finishing my job this summer...and even though it was only for eight hours or so, it made me happy.

then, it was back on the bus to the twin cities.

(aside about the bus--my bus from chicago to minneapolis was a DOUBLE DECKER bus. that's right--megabus now has double decker buses! that made me really happy. of course, i sat on the top level of it--why would you sit anywhere else? it's a double decker bus!)

my friend taryn was having her pirate party on saturday night, so i went up for that. i hadn't seen her in a year and a half or so, so it was a lot of fun to see her. :) my bus got in at the crack of dawn...so of course my first order of business when arriving in st. paul was...MORE SLEEP.

that afternoon, it was off to the mall of america. despite the fact that i had been to the twin cities several times before, somehow i had never made it up to the mall of america. it was...a ginormous mall. i saw only a small part of it, as we maybe spent about twenty minutes or so tooling around the mall before going to hooters. but...twenty minutes was still long enough for me to end up buying something. the first store we dropped into was gamestop...and i scored a used copy of guitar hero 1.

after that...time to get ready for the pirate party! we made signs. i wish i had pictures of the signs, because some of them were very silly.

the pirate party was amazing. there are all kinds of crazy pictures...most of which are on facebook. words cannot express the amusement of seeing so many people in pirate hats, pirate rags, pirate bandanas, pirate boots, and all manner of pirate garb. there was rum, there were games, and there was lots of screaming "ARRRR!" and "AVAST!" :D

it was also really funny...we were in the upper room of a bar, but there was another party room downstairs. some people who were there for the birthday party downstairs accidentally came upstairs to the pirate party, and were very confused to see people dressed up like pirates. their confusion amused me a lot.

after that...not too many more stories. i took the bus home. the bus ride was long, and i ditched my morning class yesterday because i didn't get back to st. louis until 5am yesterday. i'm finally feeling like a human being again, though, so that's good.