Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why would I want anything with a mind of its own bobbing about between my legs?

ARGH. I am currently writing a section for a competition brief in which the facts section can only be 1200 words. I finished the first draft...2500. So not quite your typical "snip out the adjectives and adverbs" type of rewrite. :/ WHOLE. EVENTS. They must go. Sigh. I'm down to almost 2000 words. Like I wasn't already regretting this competition...

ANYWAY. I did get to apartment-sit last night and used the time to polish off a good piffle book, Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? She is a comedian and writer--she was hired with five others to write six episodes of a first season for a remake of the British series The Office...yup, obviously it's been going pretty well ever since. (She also plays Kelly Kapoor on the show.)

It is the perfect book for a bath or wine or whatever, and if it takes you more than a day and a half to read it, you're doing it wrong. (As the book itself even points out.) I wouldn't say it was hysterical, but it had a lot of great stuff in it and lots of fun things to identify with. It wasn't a chick book by any means, but I would admit it may find more favor in a female audience...

I am also having dinner with a good friend tomorrow night, so I am looking forward to that. She was a very good friend of mine throughout university and we moved to Austin about the same time, but we lost touch after I moved to Japan. We used to always see Cohen Brothers movies together, so I blame her for O Brother sucking because I had to see it without her. But anyway! A mutual friend found her and put us in touch--so it has been ten years! She is just the same (though with some major life changes) and it was great to be able to pick up as though time hadn't passed at all. (Except we'd both traveled extensively, she's divorced now, etc., you know.)

The night after that, my oldest sister and I are taking my oldest niece to see a screening of Fellowship of the Ring, which will be her first time to see it. (Though she has started reading the books, I believe.) Because did you know IT HAS BEEN TEN YEARS SINCE THE FILM PREMIERED?? I really could have done without that information. :/ It's at a cool, newish theater I've been wanting to check out, but it's an hour away. I have to get back into that DFW state of mind...everything is at least 30-40 minutes away, that's the norm.

So I have to make sure to cram my work in somewhere so I can still enjoy all the fun stuff without guilt...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Next time, I get to seduce the rich guy.

I've been catching up on some fun, mindless action movies at the theater, hooray!

I actually liked Mission: Impossible, Ghost Protocol, much better than I expected. It did a great job with tension and action scenes. No one watches these things for character development I hope, because they will be largely disappointed. But it was directed by Brad Bird (of Pixar fame) and I thought he nailed it.

For me, I really appreciated the way they made all the stunts look (sound!) like they hurt. (Though suspension of disbelief is also crucial since they all keep running around at full-speed after each.) From what I've read online, it also sounds like Tom Cruise did a lot of his own stunts--including shots outside the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (above).

Even before that, I saw Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows. It, too, was well done but more of a oncer for me.

I still think this would have been a perfectly successful franchise without having to rape the whole Sherlock Holmes story, but whatever. It's fun, but you have to go in knowing it will be almost grotesquely slick, self-aware and will toe the line of over-produced. But yeah, it's fun. Some fairly solid lines, that's for sure.

And just to bring it down another five notches, I caught up with last year's Another Year. I thought it won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (Mike Leigh) but apparently not! It was nominated, of course, but The King's Speech won. Eh. I disagree, but then again, I often do.

Anyway, Another Year was really good but it was really fucking depressing. I'm always a fan of character-driven films, even though so often they are complete and utter downers. Needless to say, the actors are all superb here, particularly in light of the fact that Jim Broadbent gets the luck of being the only mostly-likeable character. The others aren't characters you openly dislike (with one possible exception--and even Mary, Lesley Manville, isn't an open and shut case), there's more to the characters than that.

I hope, despite having way too much writing and research to do, to get some Angelika time in...they have Shame, The Artist, The Descendants, A Dangerous Method, J. Edgar, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and then there's still The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo everywhere, as well!

Argh, priorities.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What about my holiday wish that we not be forced to attend meetings that degrade our sense of adulthood?

So the Tori Amos show was a lot of fun!

In all honesty, I didn't recognize most of the songs (although I did finally flesh out my Tori discography not terribly long ago). The set list often varies quite a lot from city to city in her case, so it kinda sucked to look at other cities' lists afterwards and think, "Dammit, I should have seen the Joburg show!" But it was still a very good show.

I also caught up on some TV over the past week. I don't know that it's great or anything, but I have been enjoying American Horror Story. Glad to see Connie Britton working steadily. Also, The Walking Dead has turned in a pretty solid season so far (after bumbling around for 1-2 episodes) and PanAm got much, much better after a fairly awful 3-4 episode foot-finding gap and they finally figured out what to do with Christina Ricci's character. I know the French stewardess is the fan favorite, but I quite enjoy Kate.

I'm also fairly certain throwing Goran Visnjic in for a couple episodes never hurt anybody's ratings.

2 Broke Girls is something I cannot admit to watching--it has a laugh track for God's sake (which is ok if you're a pre-1993 sitcom and therefore grandfathered in due to nostalgia)--but it also has Kat Dennings.

It's actually not too bad for a sitcom, but that laugh track. MAKE IT STOP.

There is another show I really won't admit to watching but the worst part is that it only has two weeks left so I have to watch it in Texas since I fly home Wednesday. So everyone will find out anyway. Oh well. Who was concerned about dignity, not I. Plus the show keeps pissing me off because the judges are mostly all worthless and the wrong people have been eliminated for the past two weeks, grrrrr.

Ok, I am clearly procrastinating instead of working on my stupid philosophy chapter that I am really ready to burn rather than begin YET ANOTHER re-write. SIGH. WAIT! I should pick out DVDs to take to Denton! Or make hard nog! Or continue binge-reading The Bloggess. ANYTHING.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

These were Italian!

So I've been busting my ass on this chapter for my professor's international-law-with-an-interdisciplinary-approach undergraduate book. ALL SEMESTER. It sucked because initially she was all, here, do this in two weeks with these materials. So I did. And then she was all, oh no, this is going to need more to it. (Duh, you gave me two weeks, the fuck were you thinking? IT INVOLVES COMPLEX PHILOSOPHY.)

So then I worked on it some more. For two weeks. And she was all, no, let's re-do the outline of this chapter and reorganize it. Three more weeks.

So today I get an email from her and she's all, hey, this is moving in the right direction but I really want to spend more time on it before we move onto the other section. Can I send you a marked up version to go over before our last meeting (i.e., the day before I fly out)?

I would just like to say that I very nearly wrote her back, "Hi, Professor [redacted]. That sounds good to me. Bring it on." Because seriously, I have just resolved myself to the idea that that chapter is never going to die. But I am less stressed than many past semesters, so I went delete, delete, delete, then wrote (instead of the last sentence) something like, "I can make time to look over..." etc.

But it was fairly tempting and she may have even found it humorous.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

What, do you think there's a lot of work down on the pier for hookers? Do you think I'm giving blow jobs down there to goldfish?

So guess who's ethical!! :D I was just sitting in the clinic earlier trying to fax off forms to a couple halfway houses to get my client's former treatment records and there it was...that ominous email that reads, "MPRE score report is ready." And you just have to click on it, regardless of where you are. I am very happy with my score and it makes me feel slightly better about my inability to take multiple choice tests and my odds on the bar.

Also, so far it sounds as if all my friends passed as well, fingers crossed.

I had a good day in court yesterday as well, mostly because my director decided we don't need any more cases right now. I had been throwing up earlier that morning since 5am but somehow dragged my ass into court (everything is better now, it was just...related to a particular chromosome, shall we say) and considering I have a suppression motion and trial to prep, I did not even pretend to flinch or hesitate when he asked me, "Do you care if you don't get a new case today?"

I still have a shit-ton to do in my international law work but tonight at least...tonight I am going to walk next door to see TORI AMOS. I would not even be going if my friend hadn't thought to ask me way back when, when they went on sale. So hooray!

Now if only it would snow when I was heading over like it did last year during Weezer (same place, one week later, though). I know, picky, picky princess.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

No drums! No drums! Jack Black said no drums!

Needless to say, The Muppets was quite cute. We went to a 7pm show that was very full in a very big theater and you know what? I think there were two whole children. I also think we were in the younger portion of the crowd! <3

Thursday, December 01, 2011

You know what we should watch? An American Tail. It's about a little Jewish mouse, with a great big heart...

To try and get in the xmas mood! I have not had the time to make cookies as I have in years past, and Thanksgiving was just sort of lonely and depressing. But anyway!

Yay, I got all those motions and stuff done. It wasn't really a time crunch at all, either. So WHEW.

Completely unrelated to anything, I would just like to say that I love that the only things on my grocery list are "Fancy Feast" and "whiskey" and it looks like a crazy person wrote it.

Classes officially ended for me yesterday, tomorrow they do for the rest of the school in general. It doesn't feel like much, though, since my writing class ended two weeks ago and I still have a client meeting tomorrow (NINE AM?) followed by two court dates in the next 10 days. :/ One of those is a duty date in which I get to pick up a NEW client. Because life isn't busy enough already. :D

Looking forward to a couple things, however, along the little path to the 14th when I fly HOME! Tomorrow night I am really going to try to see some Muppets, Sat night I get to see L--whom I have not seen in...yup, seriously can't recall. Tuesday night is finally Tori Amos night (next door to school, FTW). Then the following Friday we're having a holiday lunch with my clinic, which should be fun. Especially if court that morning goes well (for someone else, not me, WHEW). But I really like the other people in my little "law firm," they are really neat people.

VERY much looking forward to Little D, however, and all the perfect people who will be there! (The popcorn tins, wine, chocolate honeycomb, lobster tails and overabundance of delicious food in general certainly never hurt anything, either.) I just hope I can put a big enough dent in my competition brief, human rights research and suppression motion to be able to enjoy it as much as possible!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Your silent support means the world to me, as does your tacit endorsement of all my behaviors.

Six discovery motions due Wednesday, along with a mock motion to suppress in the afternoon in which I get to cross the cop (exactly like what I will be doing in January or February fer realz) in addition to needing to have completed a rough outline for a motion in limine/memo for another trial in January to prevent the prosecution from using conclusory language from a police report.

And yet...I seem to be procrastinating tonight.

Some things never change.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I don't make things difficult. That's the way they get, all by themselves.

So I got to see Katy Perry! :D I have no doubt in my mind that it was the biggest, most expensive production I have ever seen and probably will ever see. They only had 6 shows left and had already performed about 117 times this tour. O.o

There is no way you could have kept track of the number of costume changes--particularly since one number involved actual magic tricks where her dress would completely change in a matter of seconds.

There was some completely forgettable opening act followed by an annoying DJ (I still fail to understand how zero talent = payday, but anyway). There were three screens on stage, and there was a mini "film" that started the show and would play periodically throughout (read: bigger costume changes). It was just a Wizard of Oz take-off in which she (in the dream) loses Kitty Purry and runs off into Oz to rescue her. So the set was like a CandyLand on acid in Oz type deal...

First outfit! Someone was a little off key in Teenage Dream, but hey, guess she wasn't lip-syncing! ;) Also, those individual pinwheels on her dress up there all spin continuously. OF COURSE THEY DO.

Look! Kitty Purry! This was the end of the show and, sorry to give away the ending, but Kitty Purry was safe and sound.

But seriously, the money that went into this production, omfg. There was this thing hanging up in the rafters that was a giant pink cloud, but from below, it looked like something that was going to dump stuff on us. Nope! About 3/4 of the way through, they moved it up towards the stage and then down to her, then they strapped her onto it. And she stood on it with a fully-encrusted rhinestone guitar, then floated out over the audience to the way back of the auditorium. And sang a song back there! Oh wait, here's a pic...

This one's from a different show--she had a glittery dress on at ours. Gotta have some variety, I guess.

There were also Cirque du Soliel-style acrobatics going on during Pearl in flowy pink outfits. To keep her front and center during all that though, she wore what seemed to basically be a RHINESTONE MUMU while part of the stage broke away and raised her into the air alongside the acrobats.

At this point, the performers are just lifting her up--the stage hadn't started to separate yet. But it was impressive.

E.T. was easily the biggest laser show I'll ever see, Circle the Drain was very cool and hardcore but why there were giant pieces of meat hanging from the ceiling is a little beyond me. I think Firework was possible the most impressive.

As you might expect, yes, there were real fireworks. I guess when it's indoors it's called pyrotechnics, but it was very, very cool. It was the next-to-last number and the place still smelled like fireworks even after the grand finale (California Gurls).

Seen here, complete with dancing gingerbread men. (In the film at the end, when she "woke up" to find Kitty Purry safe, the film was B&W again. So a gingerbread man burst into the room, changing the film back to color while he announced, "Who wants cupcakes for breakfast?!" to her exclamation of, "Oh, Baker's Boy!" It was kinda fucked up. Anyway.)

And during California Gurls, near the end, they brought out the spray machine. At first I was like, um, there's a lot of electrical stuff, isn't there? And it's November in Connecticut, guys, wth. But though it looked incredibly like water, it was actually confetti-type material.

So a very cool show. Pretty good seats on the floor and people seemed to be fairly well-behaved for the most part. There were 11,000 people there and they had shut down the street with police blockades when we got out. We walked over to a bar for a beer to let the crowd disperse...

So that was definitely worth the 2 hour drive and the $50 ticket. I thought Hartford seemed like an ok city, but my friend--a CT native--warned me to "take my bullet-proof vest." I kind of mocked her, but the next morning she posted to my wall that a guy had been shot in the head about a mile from the venue. (It was on the other side of the highway in an arguably different neighborhood, but STILL.) Yeah, did you know Hartford and New Haven are actually a little sketch? It's the rest of CT that's your stereotypical white bread and country houses, apparently.

But now it's back to work. :( I have two major things due by Tuesday. One of them is related to the Rhode Island prison trip we made...our final memo is due, but on the bright side I was chosen to help write the rest of the final memo (for class we just write a portion of it) with two other people, one of whom I quite like. The other person tends to grate on me a little, but hopefully I can just deal with her via email. I was also chosen to present the final recommendation to the organization involved along with one other person, whom I quite like. So yay!

But seriously. Is it Christmas yet?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Goddamn it, I knew I should've listened to my mother. I could've been a cosmetic surgeon, five hundred thou a year, up to my neck in tits and ass.

Ok, one ethics test down. I have no idea how that went. All I know is I don't want to do it again. I also feel like the older I get, the worse I am at multiple choice. At least it was a good barometer to warn me just how brutal and serious my bar studying will have to be. :/ Good! Times!

I left the test center in Brookline and stopped off at Parish to treat myself to a Zuni Roll for lunch. Parish is a delicious upscale sandwich place on Boylston (the yuppie part of town) where well-known/established chefs in the city have each created their own signature sandwich. I see other sandwiches come and go around me, but I cannot stray from my Zuni Roll: smoked turkey breast, crisp bacon, chopped scallions, dill Havarti cheese and cranberry-chipotle sauce wrapped in a flour tortilla and served warm with a side of homemade potato salad or cole slaw.

It's always insanely busy, so there's that. Even trying to get a solo seat at the bar, which is what I do 95% of the time, is not even close to a sure thing.

I came home and worked for about twenty minutes before succumbing to a (goddamn well earned, thank you) nap with the kitties for a little over an hour. I'm also supposed to Skype late tonight so a nap was no doubt in order. But I've been dutifully working on my international moot court problem. I still have so much to do on it, the research is positively daunting. A rough draft is due Monday and I assure you, even calling it a "rough draft" is pretty embarrassing.

Because I have am having difficulty finding suitable cases or incidents that reflect our fact pattern, I am inadvertently learning much about international strife, little of which I knew previously. Which is good, EVEN IF IT'S COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT TO MY WORK.

Tuesday morning I am going to go watch the hearing for a case to which I was previously assigned but had to withdraw. I've mentioned it previously, but that was so frustrating. I really hope the new lawyer does a good job, otherwise it will be hard to watch! But more likely, he'll do it well and make arguments I wouldn't have and I'll be all, oh. But I guess that's why they call it a clinic. :/

And in TEN DAYS?

Katy Perry, baby!! :D Even if it is in Connecticut. :/ I also lucked the fuck out and was not chosen to have my mock motion to suppress the day AFTER the show, but two weeks after. (Thanksgiving's in there. That is so fucked up. Thanksgiving in THREE WEEKS!? STOPPPPPPPPP.)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Polly got in one good peck before that cat killed her. Good for Polly!

So I was listening to the 7/19/11 All Songs Considered podcast Cry, Baby, Cry: Songs That Make You Weep. Apparently they got over 8,000 entries. It's a 49 minute show but I think they said they were going to try to compile a blog with their favorites.

Apparently Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton did this installment in Bob's living room with tissues and wine. (They didn't want people to see them crying at work.) And fucking Robin told the most goddamn depressing story about the cat he'd had for fifteen years getting hit by a car right before he had to go into work (at NPR). I mean the cat even fucking died in his arms, it was heartwrenching. And so this song makes him think of his cat (it's a song from a cat's perspective) but in all honesty it's a fun song, too.

I switched back over to my regular itunes library after that since I was trying to finish my legal memo... :(

Monday, October 24, 2011

Of course she doesn't like to. No one likes putting a dick in their mouth.

Yay, I'm off to Rhode Island this Friday to meet our client from the Innocence Project! The crime originally took place outside Providence. I have to say, the cast of characters that make up this case (quite a few) have me seriously questioning the class of that town. To be fair, this was the early 80s.

Completely unrelated, I forgot to mention I saw Bill Maher the Sunday before last! Very good show.

I have to agree with my friend L, however, that these days I prefer Real Time to his stand-up. I like his older stand-up, but it seemed a little canned this time around. Still a lot of fun and plenty of good laughs. Oh, and the front of the Wilbur Theater is all little tables rather than rows of seats. I had chosen a particular table when I bought the ticket, but was unsure which seat I was assigned until I got to the theater. The woman who sat me pointed to the chair right up against the stage. First time for everything! :D And I did not hurt my neck looking up the whole time, either!

The Friday prior to that I got to see a new print of Bringing Up Baby which somehow D had never seen before.

It's still just as good as last time I saw it and it was even more fun to see it in a theater full of people who also love it. (Sometimes Boston can be pretty cool. I guaran-fuckin-tee you that would have been one dead-ass theater back in Big D.)

And then randomly this past weekend D and I caught a screening of 50/50.

It was enjoyable enough...if you don't know, it's a cancer movie for guys. Which isn't to say it's not also a tearjerker. I did have a few issues with it which I think were intentional issues but still bother me a bit because I think they'll still go over the heads of most guys. I can't really go into it without--well, not ruining it for you--but it would take some time to explore. I'm supposed to be researching positivist legal theory and slavery. So I can't right now.

Some motherfucker on the news said something about SNOW. I think it was just a LIE, I don't see jack on the weather forecast about snow. But give me a break, let it stay NOT FREEZING for just a leeeetle bit longer, please?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

This is our receptionist, Pam. If you think she's cute now, you should have seen her a couple years ago.

Hey, it's still October! Just barely, but whatever. I did not get to go apple picking this season and doubt I will get the chance, which is disappointing. Sadface.

I am also doing a very piss-poor job of trying to get a job. I have applied for two fellowships so far, that's it. One of them is one I absolutely will not get, but it would be a dream job. It involves working for an NGO I really like, and at the suggestion of the professor for whom I'm an RA, I wrote to my old supervisor (the lovechild of Wil Wheaton and John Krasinski from Texas) at my summer job to see if anyone had ever worked with them before. Naturally, someone has, and it is the woman I worked with quite a lot and who was intimidating as hell, very smart and assertive, but who we all really liked and wanted her to like us. OF COURSE.

But I still managed to man up and write her an email. Yay. (Strangely it was easier a month ago when I wrote my senior attorney for a letter of recommendation...)

Went to a law school function last night in an effort to be social. Meh. My friend S got a room upstairs for home base, like she often does. It was great to see our set of friends who hung out upstairs, I found it far more preferable than being downstairs around the douchebaggery. Also A's boyfriend Sean and I spent a good amount of time upstairs diplomatically sharing the remote between the Rangers and Bruins games. Neither of us was pleased with our team's outcomes, but at least the Bruins only lost by 1. Can't say the same for Texas. :/

I had D come get me before it was over and meet me at the hotel bar. They were--no shit--giving away free Ketel One-infused martinis/cosmos/something else I forget that were all pink and therefore in support of breast cancer. That they were free strikes me as contrary to the cause? Maybe Ketel One was footing the bill? Who knows. I just had one, however, since I had so much to do today.

Which I am clearly not doing right now.

It is grey out and there seems to be a distinct lack of motivation in this room. The whole apartment, presumably. I went to get a coffee from downstairs in a weak attempt to force myself to get things done.

Oh, but in other exciting news I will be going to Rhode Island either this or the following Friday to meet our client we're representing in the Innocence Project. Seems a shame that my first trip to a state is to go to the prison, but whatcha gonna do.

Ok, back to trying to suppress some drugs, write up discovery motions, read about 1,000 pages worth of international treaties, write an interdisciplinary-themed chapter about the philosophical underpinnings of human rights, and write a motion for a new trial. I will not go watch The Colbert Report. No!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

That makes me angry, and when Dr. Evil gets angry Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people DIE!

You know what fucking SUCKS?! CONFLICTS OF INTEREST. They fucking-ass blow. I will get into this more later. But I will most likely not be handling one of my cases anymore, yet the shit-show of conflicting out and going to court to withdraw and all the admin bullshit is SUCH A GOOD TIME.

This would be ok except I have research shit due Thursday that is already rumored to be balls. And some more international law research that I have barely started--I had to delay my meeting with her cause I gotta go to JAIL and tell my client I can't represent him anymore which I know he's going to be pissed about--but she still wants me to email her the research by Thursday (WHICH IS SO NOT DONE YET FTW). Follow that up with my bullshit int'l law moot court thing dumping a very impressive amount of research on me.

On the plus side, my director was absolutely elated with my research (ON THE CASE I HAVE TO CONFLICT OUT OF) and thought I did an amazingly astute analysis of the case relating to our big argument. This is great and also so depressing because I was TOTALLY looking forward to this argument. I think I almost whined when he was giving me the bad news. (No, I did not, just fyi. But GOD I wanted to.)

I do love all this stuff and find it fascinating, but could it not all happen at fucking once?

I keep thinking of that scene in A Few Good Men when Demi Moore is blathering to a shit-faced Tom Cruise about their next move (even though Markinson just blew his brains out), and Caffy's all, "Maybe you should drink a little."


Monday, October 03, 2011

What do you mean it's not really his thing? What's that supposed to mean? It's not really his thing. What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

So it's too early to call either way, but I'm not hating Pan Am.

Initially I wasn't going to watch it because all the pre-buzz was knocking this and some other show for being Mad Men rip-offs. Or at least desperate clingers-on. And honestly, this show doesn't even slightly remind me of Mad Men. It may be set in the early 60s, but that's about it.

And it is certainly far less stylish, nuanced or intelligent. That doesn't mean it can't still be entertaining, what the hell. The characters have a ways to go--especially Christina Ricci's character. Tom and Lorenzo nailed it--so far she's nothing more than a (horribly obvious) mouthpiece for social change. There was very nearly an after-school special moment in last night's episode.

So it's definitely still struggling to find its feet. It's only two episodes in, which can no doubt be found online. And it's on Sunday nights, an empty night on my Tivo schedule these days. So I'm kind of enjoying it so far. (And I don't find the anachronistic hairstyles quite as distracting as TLo.) If nothing else, it's entertaining as hell to see what flights might have once been like, even if this is exaggerated. (There's a scene where two stewardesses pass each other side by side in the aisle.) Hahahhahah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm just tryin' to get myself a drink, pal.

I saw this on facebook but I try not to repost things quite this colorful there.

I have no idea how I'm going to get everything done this week. We'll see. I can't believe next week is already October 7. My clinic-mate said, "Look, it's fucking Christmas already." I think he might be right.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

To Mighty Mutt.

I haven't done this much reading since my first year of law school. I think my eyes are bleeding.

I do not have court duty tomorrow, but one of my two cases has rapidly turned into a fucking nightmare...usually you go to arraignment and get a follow-up date for your pre-trial hearing. During that time your client is either released (by personal recognizance or on bail) or held (with or without bail). My first guy was released and I just hope I see him again before the next date. My other guy? Before even getting to a pre-trial hearing, we get to have a probation violation hearing.

The standard for this hearing is pretty low, and especially based on the facts, it is really, really bad. I guess on the bright side no one thinks this is going to go well, so anything that does will be a fucking miracle. Doesn't mean I'm still not terrified of missing something. There are three different ways the hearing can go, involving considerable pleadings and research, so I've already been assigned co-counsel and I've already hired a private investigator for certain aspects.

There was a huge chance it was going to be the morning after my Bill Maher show, but probation officers only do certain days, so it was pushed to the next day. Which is great, because there is no way I would have been able to concentrate on the awesome rants of the evening otherwise. In truth, I'll still probably be freaking out. :/ (It's probably in poor taste to be sad about not being able to enjoy the show when someone is sitting in jail with their liberty at stake, but first of all it was a really pricey ticket! And secondly I think I'm more worried about what's going to happen than my client, so there.)

And I'm supposed to be applying for jobs during this, as well as keeping up with other crap! On the plus side, my director said this happens 2-3 times a year to some of his students, and I'd rather get mine out of the way before everything else gets heavy as well!

For the record, I am still managing to keep up with Runway...this Tom & Lorenzo post was easily the best part about the last episode...don't read if you're not caught up! I am also secretly watching Ringer, aka that kinda dumb thriller with Buffy & Horatio Hornblower in it. ;)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Somehow Ken, I think the balance shall tip in the favor of culture, like a big fat fucking retarded black girl on a see-saw opposite...a dwarf!

So the first day of court is over. I gave two bail arguments and I already knew this, but it really just boils down to making the best argument you can. So many things beyond that are out of your control.

For example, I got my first client released without having to pay bail and his next court date is at the end of October. The judge is a fairly practical and fair judge. My client was not expecting to be let out today, and when the clerk read it out, he turned to me with a look of total surprise on his face and said something like, "Seriously?!" I wanted to tell him not to act quite so surprised...

But unfortunately after that I was appointed to a less cooperative client and because of several events had to wait until later in the day and got an infamously tough (that's the polite word for it) judge. It was a tough sell in any case but there were other fuckeries going on that didn't help. All I know is that despite my argument that he should be released and the state's argument he should be held on X amount, the judge randomly turned around and doubled it. For No. Reason. (To me, anyway.) And he's also the type of judge to poke and prod a new attorney to see if you know what you're doing. That's fine, do whatever you want with me, but why the fuck did you just double what the state was asking for?

Sigh. On the plus side I made the international trial team for which there were four slots. It was probably really wrong to accept it, given my ever-decreasing amount of time, but there it is. Screw it, I accepted.

I also accepted this lovely pink beverage in front of me now. We were in court for an unexpectedly long time today and by the time we got back to the office I said, "I'm going to be at my office with the vodka, see ya."

As one of my "colleagues" noted this morning, "It will never be as bad as it is right now." And I get that things may suck ass from time to time, but I agree with the sentiment because being new and clueless is just massively horrible. Familiarity will make some things remotely more bearable.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Maybe that's what hell is, the entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges.

I'm slow but I get the job done. This was my last night in Bruges! (You know, back in late June.)

It was a Sunday night so there weren't a lot of options for dinner. I opted for douchey/touristy and chose one of the big outdoor places near a big landmark you can probably rest assured is going to be mediocre and expensive. And it was! :D

I'm 80% sure this is City Hall. Feel free to correct me. But it was sunset so the big areas were clearing out and it was fairly peaceful.

Mussels! They are known for their mussels. I think in all honesty I am not a mussel girl. I've eaten them on more than a few occasions, so the vote is in.

Do not order steak in Belgium. I know this looks good. It was pretty sad.

Fries! Save! the Day! No, dinner was just fine, it was just very mediocre. Both my waiters were very nice, not sure why I had two. One of them was all, "Why are you spending your weekend alone in Bruges?" and I explained I was working next door in Holland and it was my birthday so what the hell. And he kinda rubbed it in some more--"Your BIRTHDAY? ALONE?" Jesus, well, I was cool with it til you put it like that...

One of my friends back in Holland insists he was fishing, but either way. Wth? And that's ok, because the second waiter just flat-out invited himself along to the rest of my evening. He asked what I was doing and I said there were a few places I wanted to check out. He said something along the lines of--"Maybe when I get off I join you!" I really don't remember how I got out of that without embarrassing either one of us but I recall it went down okay.

This was probably my favorite part--nice and simple and yummy. ICE CREAM DOESN'T LET YOU DOWN!

So then I wandered around (alone, thank god) in search of a couple pubs that my hostel's brouchure made sound cool. I was also a big fan of the Rick Steve's Amsterdam/Bruges/Brussels book. Rick Steves himself might be annoying as hell but that is a solid book. I think I had some Lonely Planet excerpts as well. Anyhoo.

The golden hour never fails to be the ideal picture time! Good night, Belfry!

Walking away from the city center to a vaguely off-the-beaten-path pub area.

There are still some good pubs open Sunday night, but it sure is quiet around town! Bruges is also supposed to be a very haunted town (pretty sure any town with any amount of history has this "reputation," read: "gimmicky tourist trap"), and I wandered around in front of a famously haunted house over here, but did not see whatever it is one is supposed to see in the window. I guess only arthouse cinema ghosts like me!

Poatersgat! I like this place--great atmosphere and besides, basement pubs rock. My hostel guide had listed it, noting its extensive beer list and cool atmosphere.

Let's go inside...

Again, really neat place. Would love to go back with friends and when it was hopping.


I miss Belgium beers!! Well, for these prices, anyway. Really good Belgium beers here (in the States) are $9-11 and then it tends to skyrocket. These were probably $6 tops. Sigh.

Ok. Then I left and went in search of this other bar nearby that sounded really cool. It was REALLY off the beaten path and I'm so glad I kept my hostel's guide because I could NOT find it via internet search (I could not recall the name, the place doesn't even have a sign I don't think!) no matter how hard I tried.

It's called On the Rocks and was written up as being a great late-night place where the barkeeps themselves go to drink. A "few years back" it used to be a striptease joint "with rooms upstairs." Classy. It mentioned it no longer had the pole but kept the red carpet and the Dean Martin/Shirley Bassey records. "Tony calls the shots and serves snacks til the last sleeping customer goes home, usually around 5:00. Good place for a solitary whisky, but don't come if you want to party." OMFG I WAS IN.

These photos utterly fail to capture this place. It was like a 70s strip joint from a Scorsese film. Very narrow place with LOTS of faded red/pink velour, all mirrors, it was PERFECT. And no, I was not creeped out. Well, wait. One guy was kinda icky.

He was sitting back along the mirrored wall and the bartender (well, the owner, Tony, see above) and I were talking. Tony is one COOL MOTHERFUCKER. He is older and is incredibly well read and has extensive, intelligent hobbies, like, learning Russian and shit. I forget most of our conversation, all this time later, but he was a lot of fun to talk to. The creepy customer would join in sometimes, and I was polite, but both times I walked to the loo he had to touch my arm. Whatever.

See that lone beer? That's where the creepy guy was. And he was harmless, probably just a remnant customer from the earlier years?

When I came back the second time I was going to head out, but I think they were both happy to have someone new in on a slow night, so I was just given a beer to stay. I absolutely will stay for Belgium beer.

But after my free beer I really did leave (they are Belgium, after all, I can't have that many) and wandered around looking for a particular bridge for a good night shot I wanted. I was distracted by a chocolate shop window along the way. Remember those ejaculating chocolate penises?

Sigh, why not.

And yes. For that classy touch.

Ok, now these pics were impossible to get in the low lighting but I still have to post them.

The details are what make it. First of all, the rabbit:

But best of all, the chicks:

So these are all chocolate, I guess? Neat. I was really tired and did not find my bridge--someone moved it--but I will get it next time.

The next day was my actual 32nd birthday, so I stopped off for lunch before hitting the train station. An easy panini sandwich and a (mini) white wine bottle. It's not proper-sized, in case the photo is deceiving! I had to change trains, after all. ;)

So obviously Bruges gets an A+. The hostel guide was so helpful and I kept it. It also had a section called "5 Minutes of History" starting from 1277 until 2009. Two of note that made me laugh:

"1892: Bruges wakes up. The popular book 'Bruges la Morte' describes the city as dark, poor and ugly. Locals are not too happy with this, but tourists see some romance in it, and start visiting Bruges more and more."

"2009: The movie 'In Bruges' wins an award for best scenario. Quote: 'If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me. But I didn't, so it doesn't.' So just like in 1892, somebody calls Bruges a shithole, which only attracts more tourists."

Waiting for the train to Antwerp! The day turned out to be a very warm day in both Belgium and Holland. Fuck it, it was hot. Ask my precious chocolates. And everyone and their dog was heading to Amsterdam, which unfortunately is AFTER den Haag. That was one shitty train ride with everyone packed into the aisle of a train in which people do not typically stand. At one point during a stop they threatened not to go anywhere unless some people got off.

But I made it back to the Hague and had a very nice dinner at my Italian spot with B. Nice birthday!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

What a kick-ass band! :D

So last night I went with my friend Z to see Within Temptation, with Three opening. I knew neither (but had heard of the former just briefly when researching Dutch music while living there). The cheap way to describe WT would be "Evanescence, but way better and more metal." They're symphonic metal, a little goth metal, but not heavy at all. Very, very cool and great live show. I had heard one CD and thought, hey, I like it, sure. But live was so much better! And that girl gets a serious workout every night!

More conventional cut:

Some of the videos are hysterically awful. This one is not, but still fails to capture how good this track was last night. Oh well, I still like it:

And I did pick up on something during the show last night and the second video really illustrates it as well, so no, you don't need to draw my attention to the fact that there's a little something "Ellen Aim & the Attackers redux" about this. ;) Overall, one could say it's the overtones of "musical theatre drama." Or something. Hey, at least I'm consistent in what I like...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What are they doing over there? They're filming something. They're filming midgets!

Not a bad day so far, except for it pissing down rain all morning. Makes it very hard to get up. The cats always run around in the AM and drive me crazy while I'm getting ready or studying (Bourdain especially), but on mornings like these they say heeeeeeeeell no and just stay in bed all curled up in warm balls. Bastards. (Yes, sometimes I torture them to get back at them. "Does this bug you? Does this bug you?")

But I met Betty Anne Waters this morning, since I'm working with 12 other people on a case for the Innocence Project.

We all watched Conviction a few days ago, which came out in 2010 but I had never seen. (It's directed by Tony Goldwyn, so it's a little OTT with the drama, but not horribly so.) It's hard to discuss the movie from a filmmaking position because it's a true story and though some of the sequencing of events at the end is off, it's mostly all true. Certainly the important parts are!

Conviction is basically the Hollywood version of Waters's story to free her brother Kenny from prison, which most of you have probably run across at some point or another.

Kenny (this was in MA) was convicted of a murder he did not commit and was given life in prison. She was a high school drop out, married with two kids. After her brother lost his appeal, he tried to kill himself, which understandably really upset her. So they made a deal--if he didn't hurt himself again, she was going to go back to school and try to get him out. And she did. It took a long time--she had to get her GED, an undergraduate degree and then her law degree. And take the bar. And her marriage did not survive this.

After doing all these things and also learning about DNA testing, she got in touch with the Innocence Project and started working to track down the evidence from nearly 16 years ago. (Evidence over ten years old was supposed to be destroyed.) That was one of the scarier parts of the story, thinking about the number of similar cases where, despite an arduous struggle to track it down, evidence really HAS been destroyed already. The other hard part is even when you do get your hands on DNA and you DO get it tested and the convicted person is shown to be eliminated, you can still run into strong opposition from the D.A. In this case, they were saying it merely showed he was an accomplice. So sometimes DNA alone doesn't cut it.

But it's a very compelling story, so I do recommend the film (Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell do a really nice job--and Juliette Lewis does an outstanding white trash asshole--even more so than usual). What the film does not mention (they thought audiences couldn't handle it since it was already so depressing) is that six months after he was released, Kenny had a freak falling accident, was in a coma for 12 days and died.

It was really good to meet and talk with her--she still works with the Innocence Project and is working on our case as well. She is clearly still very passionate about working with them (she does not practice law anymore in another capacity), and seems to be--well, I want to say "emotional," but that has a negative connotation and not what I mean. It is also immediately apparent just how much her brother meant to her.

So it was a good morning. But now I have some tedious systems training for my clinic and a meeting with the professor I'm assisting this semester. I worked for her last semester too, and I think this project will involve more international human rights issues than international economic law--what I did last semester. To be fair, I learned a ton doing it. But it was just as sexy as it sounds, i.e., NOT AT ALL...