Monday, October 31, 2005

Into the fray

Since so many others are doing it, I decided today, partly out of sheer boredom at work, to jump on the NaNoWriMo bandwagon. The idea is I'm supposed to churn out a piece of work, at least 50,000 words (which supposedly qualifies as a "short novel") by the end of November. I can't start actually writing until tonight at midnight, which isn't going to happen because I will be in bed then. But it will start shortly thereafter.

I'm actually pretty excited about this. Sure, I have a full-time job now (when the partner I work for has things for me to do, anyway), but I've always thought I'd like to write a book, and this seems to be a good way to motivate me. The working title of my novel is The Magical-tastic Turkey. It doesn't have a plot yet, or even a genre. But I like the name. It's kind of fun and seasonal and random. ... or is it?

He he he.

Beware, Californians!

I'd heard a rumor that today was the last day for us to have our moral character applications complete if we want to be sworn in before the California Supreme Court in December (assuming, of course, that we've passed the bar... shudder). I had no idea where mine stood, so I called the moral character people to ask.

Apparently mine got wrapped up sometime last week. Hooray! One less thing in the way of me becoming a California lawyer. Mwahahahahahaha.

Crappy Halloween

I would just like the record to show:

I was right.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Like a lawyer... in court for the very first time!

I'm going to court today!

Since the stupid California Bar hasn't given us bar numbers yet -- or even bothered to tell us if we passed -- I don't get to do much more than sit around and watch the partner I work for argue a motion (one on which I did extensive work :)).

But still!

The only time I've been in a real court before was for a speeding ticket when I was nineteen. This is way more exciting, and there's no possibility of traffic school involved (in spite of the fact that I sped to work to try to get here on time -- only to find a voicemail saying we don't need to leave as early as we had discussed). Last summer, unfortunately none of the issues I worked on had anything in court while I was there, so I didn't get to do anything cool like this as a summer.

I'm so excited, I don't even care that I can't wear jeans on jeans Friday :)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hmmm... can we sign up for each other's benefit plans now?

I got a glimpse of the other team last night.

I was in a funk when I came to work yesterday morning, and it showed in an email exchange I was having with a few friends. My sensitive and concerned friend Sarah picked up on it and asked what was wrong. I followed up with a list of complaints and stated that I needed a drink. Sarah agreed with me and we decided to meet for drinks after work.

Drinks turned into dinner at the Nick & Stef's downtown. As the waiter directed us to our seats he gave me the wine list. I shot Sarah a "neener-neener" look and proclaimed: "I have the wine list. Ha ha ha!"

The waiter looked apologetic. "You just looked like you were going to pay."

"Hmmm," I said to Sarah, "I think he just called me the man!"

The poor embarrassed waiter suddenly had other things to attend to.

Later, the wine steward brought us the bottle we'd chosen. Sarah had actually picked the wine out, but I had decided to ask the waiter about vintages and asked for the one he recommended. The wine steward showed me the bottle. I nodded and looked at Sarah: "Did you want to taste it?"

"Oh!" the steward apologized, "Sorry, they said you ordered it."

"I did," I reassured her, "She's just the one who had picked it out -- but it doesn't matter. We're both wine lovers."

"We can both taste it," smiled Sarah, "We'll both be the man tonight!"

The wine steward joined us in a laugh.

"Ahh, LA," I said, "It's nice that you can make jokes like that here and not be treated weird."

The wine steward gave a fuhgedaboudit shrug. "It's not a big deal," she said, "it's just normal, you know. I know bunches of gay people."

As she poured our wine she mentioned how she loved going shopping with her gay (male, presumably) friends.

After she had left, Sarah gave me A Look. "Did she think..."

"Yeah. She thinks we're a lesbian couple."

And I wasn't even wearing my Birkenstocks.

Snobs and Smoky Rooms

Apparently my paranoia is catching on. In the wake of Harriet Miers' withdrawal (I have to take a brief second here to hate on the east-coast bias that puts me three hours behind the rest of the country -- and I'm not posting a link because the story is freaking everywhere) other like-minded geniuses as odderie are expressing worried puzzlement over the strange series of events that have surrounded the coven of Supreme Court ruminators (how strangely appropriate that Halloween is Monday).

Most of you know how much intellectual snobbery irritates me. It's one thing to hold yourself to rigorous standards of debate and expect the same of others. It's quite another to criticize someone, on the one hand innocently proclaiming "we don't know anything about her!" and on the other calling her "unqualified" (I guess, then, we must know at least one thing about her?). Certainly much of the motivation behind criticisms of Ms. Miers was political, and I don't doubt that a fair share of it was sexist as well. But most of what irritated me was the latent elitism in so-called criticisms of her qualifications. She didn't go to a top ten law school, so clearly she could never make an adequate Supreme Court justice. She's a practitioner, not an academic, so clearly she knows nothing about "the law." Whether people were hiding behind their high-minded ivory-tower concerns while secretly harboring political motives, or genuinely thought themselves better than the woman actually nominated to serve on our country's highest court, these criticisms were, plain and simple, wrong-headed and ill-conceived. Sorry for all the hyphens.

So: might there be an ulterior motive underlying the events of the past month or so? Is Bush in fact an evilgenius (yes, one word)? People laugh and mock the notion that Bush has the mental capacity for such devious plots, yet those same people are quick to point out that he's destroying our country. Look, stupidity and power can do a lot of messed up things. But they can't destroy a country unless the country itself is dumb enough to let that happen. So I think people give Bush more credit than they say they do, and perhaps not even enough credit at that. If Bush nominates Michael McConnell, who now will have the jockeying power to ask, why not Alberto Gonzales or Janice Brown? Bush tried to give us a moderate woman, and we rejected her by hiding behind "principles" (and shoddy principles, at that).

We should be ashamed of ourselves. Well, not me, because I always liked Harriet. But the rest of you. Yup, ashamed, ashamed, ashamed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From West's summary of a contract dispute case

"[T]trial court's admission of irrelevant testimony that seller refused to aid a sick baby was harmless error."

So thinks the court! If the seller can't even help a sick baby, why would it blink at breaching a contract? How's *that* for legal reasoning??

(Is Harriet looking? Maybe she'll let me clerk!)

Monday, October 24, 2005

An Engage-ing Blog

Shut up. I'm at work and can't think of anything more clever than a lame pun.

I've stumbled upon an incredibly cool blog. Apparently Captain Picard himself has joined the blogosphere. About time the 24th century moved into the 21st century... or, um, something. It makes me very sad that they're supposedly not doing any more Star Trek movies, so I'm very glad that my favorite Frenchman is keeping us apprised of his everyday activities.



So I'm a bit bored at work (I guess something about me not being licensed yet makes them reluctant to give me tons and tons of work -- weirdos) and I've been browsing through some of my old posts from this summer. As I've done so, I've been reliving the horrid madness that was barbri and pre-exam stress (incidentally, this is just reinforcing how very badly I want to have passed). I've also realized that barbri, like any cram method, hasn't taught me much in the way of lasting knowledge. I remember thinking during barbri, "gosh! This is all so much simpler and straightforward than 1L year! Torts actually makes sense!" (Those of you who did not have my torts professor are probably scratching your heads, wondering how someone could go through three years of law school and never "get" torts. You're wondering this because you had torts professors who taught Torts. I had a torts professor who taught Economics and Rational Game Theory. Which really ought to be an upper level elective instead). And now I seriously can't remember a thing from barbri. I mean, maybe one or two of those weird mnemonic devices, but that's about it.

So, reading through the horrible old posts reminded me that last week I had my first nightmare since the bar exam. It was brought on by an episode of Grey's Anatomy I had TiVo'd.


Alex, the medical intern everyone loves to hate, receives news that he has failed his medical boards. He's told not to worry, since he can keep his job and the hospital will continue to pay him and give him time to study, and he can retake it in four months. If he fails again, though, he's out.

I literally got chills. I'm sure every recent California law grad also got chills. Evilest. Storyline. Ever.

I've also learned that the California Bar's website has a countdown until the release of results. Sadistic bastards.

So, I'm going back to my policy of not thinking about it. Because thinking about it just gives me a yucky feeling, right there in the pit of my stomach. Yuck, yuck, yuck.


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Speak of the devil...

I've discovered which movie is being filmed near my office. Apparently Mr. Cruise himself is stalking me -- or, rather, shooting Mission: Impossible 3 near where I work.


I don't know if this is actually a spoiler or not, but on the off-chance that for once I'm more in the know that most others, I thought I'd warn you. Apparently the movie, or part of it, is taking place in Shanghai. In order to give downtown Los Angeles that authentic Shanghai feel, they've replaced building signs, street signs and even road markings with Chinese words. This picture was taken Friday night from upper Grand, overlooking the intersection of 4th and lower Grand.

The new look of downtown LA

And I'm not going to play cool and pretend that it isn't AWESOME that they're shooting MI:3 right outside my office. Like, where I drive my car every day. Ha ha ha ha!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Crazy mothers!

This morning revealed three more victims of whatever it is that makes moms go crazy and kill their kids. A young mom in San Francisco is accused of throwing her three young children into the water. Only one body has been recovered but it looks like they're all dead. The mom claims she heard voices telling her to drown the kids.

I'm sure you're all wondering what I'm wondering about this: what does Tom Cruise think?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Investigative procrastinating

So they're filming something at and around my building. Since I started work, I've driven past a small collection of trucks and what appears to be moviemaking equipment on one of the streets around the corner from my building. A sign points to the right and says "HEYDAY." Apparently that's the name of a film company whose website I can't find. This week, the movie equipment has moved closer to my building, infiltrating the outside walkways. Odd-looking minitrucks sit on the curb bearing the Paramount logo. In addition, driving up today I noticed what must be fake posters for background shots (schilling brands like Nestle in what I think is Japanese). Maybe I'll try and get a shot or two of those as I'm leaving work today.

So, I've been able to whittle away some empty time trying to figure out what movie they're filming, but so far to no avail. Which means I also don't know which movie stars will be around, which makes it so much harder for me to nonchalantly bump into them as I'm walking to lunch. Sigh. It's like they don't even think about people like me when they do these things.


Career quiz!

Interestingly enough, I've always been interested in getting a Ph.D. eventually. Perhaps it's fate?

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)
You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.You'd make a talented professor or writer.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Who knew?

Los Angeles has thunderstorms!

Elevator Etiquette

We all know no one likes waiting for slow elevators, or riding on crowded elevators. And there's little that's more annoying than *finally* squeezing onto an elevator where no one bothers making room for anyone else, just to have it stop on literally every floor. This happened to me this morning.

So I squeeze onto the parking garage elevator, trying to stay out of the way of everyone else riding it, but also noting that the people behind me had plenty of room to back up before they hit the wall. Ahem.

So the elevator stops at literally *every* floor. The woman at the front of the elevator, closest to the doors, pushes the "Close Doors" button the instant we get to every floor, without even bothering to see if anyone is waiting for the elevator. I get that we're all impatient and cramped and irritated that it's stopping at every floor -- but the people waiting on those floors want to get to work, too, and it's not as though there was absolutely no room inside. People could easily have moved over to let a good three or four more people in for a few seconds. It's not like there are even 15 floors.

As we get to yet another floor where the elevator stops, Impatient Woman jabs her thumb at the "Close Doors" switch as the lady waiting for the elevator is trying to board. It's clear there's going to be a showdown. "No room," mumbles Impatient Woman. "I'm sorry," Level D Lady says, "I've just been waiting too long for this elevator." She says this as she sticks her shoulder into the closing door so she can get on, as Impatient Woman doesn't seem to care that other people understand that there is still room on the elevator.

This is seriously one of the most astonishingly rude things I've ever seen. It's one thing to let the elevator door close if you can't find the "Open Doors" button in time to let someone else on. It's one thing if the waiting person politely says, "I'll wait for the next one" and you don't argue. But my understanding of the unspoken rules of elevator etiquette is that it's the prerogative of the waiting person to decline admission to the elevator car. If someone crowds on to an elevator where there's no room, that's her right. You're allowed to think she's rude but it's still her decision. But for someone to stab the elevator buttons to save herself another three seconds, when another person clearly wants on to the elevator? I don't even know what that is. I do know that I was embarrassed to be sharing a building with her. Hell, a state for that matter. Maybe someone should make a book of elevator etiquette rules.


Friday, October 14, 2005


I guess he's big stuff in Britain.

I was really hoping for Clive Owen. Yumm.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Corporate world: 1; FAA: 0

T-shirt Hell is offering its customers free transportation to their intended destinations if they are kicked off of their airline flight for wearing one of the website's offensive t-shirts (its designs features such slogans as "The Koran... now in two ply!" and "What about all the good things Hitler did?"). This offer follows a recent incident on Southwest Airlines, wherein a woman was forced to de-board when she refused to remove an offensive t-shirt she was wearing as a joke. That story can be found here.

While the t-shirt was not one of T-shirt Hell's designs, the love-it-or-hate-it website has faced its own share of problems in the past, including an attempt on the life of its founder and owner, Aaron Schwarz.

I have to admire their tenacity. Whether their shirts make you choke or laugh, they have a strange sort of courage. That they're backing it up with actions (and money) is reason to respect them, in my opinion. Apparently FAA regulations allow this kind of infringement on free speech. Well, I'm glad that one private business is trying to take them to task for it. It's one thing for certain airlines to decide, we only want polite customers -- in a free market, this would probably be fine because other airlines would spring up to allow rude or offensive customers. But the skies are governed wholly, one hundred percent, by the federal government. There's no room for diversity in airline service. It's to the point where you're barely even allowed to take your own luggage these days.

I have a few offensive T-shirt Hell t-shirts of my own. I kinda want to buy some more now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Snooping Friendster users, beware!

The popular and increasingly-non-useless friend connector now has a function allowing you to see who's been checking up on you recently. On my most recent hits list: my ex-boyfriend (who is no longer counted as a friend, Friendster-friend or otherwise, so you can imagine the evil pleasure I derive from this). Mwahahahaha. I'm so glad I haven't looked at his profile lately, and now I'm never looking at it ever again, lest he think I give a rat's ass.

::hides in corner and giggles nervously::

Law as Life, Part Two

On the less-ponderous side of this series:

It strikes me that 6:45 now counts as "sleeping in." Granted, this is partly my fault for attending 5:15 yoga class, but it's also partly my firm's fault for assigning me to the office that's more of a drive from my apartment. (For those who had been wondering, my firm assigned me to my second-choice office about two weeks before I started work, when I'd already signed a lease on the place close to where I wanted to work. Sigh...).

So, I suppose that's one thing I miss about school. Though it's probably good for me that I don't get drunk as much as I used to -- which requires sleeping in.

Monday, October 10, 2005

James Dean, eat your heart out.

There's a new rebel in town.

HT: My sister

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Am I the only one who smells a rat?

I've decided to become a conspiracy theorist, because nothing in this world makes sense anymore, and this is much more fun than being normal.

I didn't get to watch the Roberts hearings, having been preoccupied with moving across the country and starting life as a bona fide adult with a full-time job in a major law firm. Thus I also didn't get the chance to blog about what was irritating me for that whole process. I am pleased to hear, however, that at least from the confirmation hearings Roberts seems more moderate than one might have expected -- though he would hardly be the first to change colors post-confirmation, if those hearings prove misleading.

But I'm not posting to talk about Roberts. Everyone seems up in arms about Harriet Miers. In typical Chicago-snob fashion, Prof. Stone criticizes her "lack" of "qualifications" (this "lack" being simply that she didn't go to the absolute best school, e.g., Chicago, and has had an "indistinguished" career as a lawyer who doesn't look much different from most, on paper, which as every lawyer or politician knows is all that matters). Certainly, had she gone to a school like Chicago, her brilliant journal and clerkship advisors would have set her soundly on the path to greatness, and any time she tirelessly invested in extracurricular (both academic and nonacademic) work she performed in law school would have been justly rewarded. *snort*

Bitter, me? Nooooooo.

Some have tried to hide their haughtiness by pointing, not to her education, but to her work as an attorney to show that it's "lacking." Slate demarcates the differences between Ms. Miers and my beloved Justice O'Connor by suggesting that she simply hasn't done enough to overcome her implied deficiencies. Here's the interesting thing to me: the main difference is that Ms. Miers stuck to strictly law-related pursuits while Justice O'Connor branched out into politics. Either one of these seems to me a fine way to prove oneself. But Slate's article, as well as other criticisms, belies two deeper prejudices: first, anti-lawyerism; second, partisanism.

Criticisms leveled at Ms. Miers all seem to talk around the issue. She doesn't have experience as a judge. Well, other justices started out at the Supremes before acquiring any experience as judges. Okay, comes the response, but she doesn't have the other great credentials other justices had: experience as oral advocates before the Court, for instance. Political success as respected senators and governors. Teaching experience as law professors. Ms. Miers, the argument goes, didn't do any of these things.

With the possible exception of SCOTUS oral advocacy, these criticisms evidence a supreme arrogance and fundamental misunderstanding of the practice of law. Politicians and law professors, as much as they may be brilliant thinkers, in many cases are horrible lawyers. Many of the acclaimed law professors under whom I studied had little to no practice experience (leaving one to ponder the appropriateness of the old adage, "those who can't do, teach" -- not to malign my teachers, many of whom were good people as well as great thinkers). Legislators, whether because they're beholden to special interests or merely incompetent, write laws so obtuse that lawyers and judges are subsequently blamed for the unpredictable fallout of their application. Lawyers, however, have the one thing that should be thought the most important in selecting a judge: a tangible, actual understanding of the law and how it works. If they didn't understand it, they would have lost their jobs long ago. Thus, the criticism that Ms. Miers has spent her whole life concentrating on being a lawyer is baffling -- she's spent her life excelling at precisely the sort of work she'll be expected to evaluate! Who better to serve as a justice?

But, ah, critics note, she doesn't have experience dealing with the kinds of issues likely to reach the court. Here's the interesting thing. Noted conservatives like Ken Starr have expressed disdain for clerks' preferences for sexier First Amendment cases and the like. The tide began turning just a few short years ago and a glance at this year's docket reveals a substantial number of cases dealing with corporate, work-related, and basic procedural concerns -- all of which a longtime litigator from Texas could be expected to have plenty of experience with. Corporate litigation is far from a saucy intruder, as far as the Supreme Court is concerned. Just because Ms. Miers hasn't argued in front of The Court Itself, doesn't mean she isn't well-equipped to deal with the cases it hears.

As to partisanship, that one's pretty clear. Conservatives feel betrayed by Bush's pick. Some even play lip service to the notion of appointing a woman (though the clear preference is for someone like Luttig or McConnell), but claim that they're worried that she's not clearly a legal conservative "in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas." It's one thing to admit that you prefer the law to be a certain way. But it's another to claim valid criticisms of a judicial candidate that are based on nothing more than clear-cut partisan ideology. It's as though we're back to all the "litmus test" nonsense -- conservatives, made anxious by Bush's latest pick, have dropped all facades of judicial neutrality and are coming right out to lambast Miers on ideological bases. A textualist like Scalia would be ashamed.

You're likely wondering, now, where I get to the conspiratorial part. Here it is. Jokes about Bush's intelligence aside, did he know that Miers would be greeted with this kind of reaction? Is he departing from the beaten path so that he can turn around and nominate, say, Luttig, and minimize the valid criticisms leveled against him for adding two more white men to the bench? He's certainly backed the Democrats into a corner. If Ms. Miers is not confirmed, he's got a built-in comeback to the dems' certain complaints about the lack of diversity: "I tried to give you a woman, and you rejected her. So here's my next choice." Republicans, of course, rather than offering grudging support (you'd think Roberts might have pacified them. But I supposed there is no "enough" for politicians), will be poised to demand a legitimate Scalia clone. Is this a crafty Bush ploy to stock the court with more conservative white men?

Maybe I'm just talking crazy. Maybe I'm more insightful than people give me credit for. Maybe I'm just trying to find something to complain about. Whatever the case, though, I say, Give 'em hell, Harriet. I hope you show them why they can't judge a book by her cover.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Law as Life, Part One

(I'm optimistically thinking I'll make this into an occasional series).

Evan Schaeffer recently posted about BigLaw Associate's blog and quoted an excerpt from a post of his criticizing BigLaw firms. BLA dislikes -- to put it mildly -- life at his firm and is contemplating a change of scenery in under a year (nine months, to be symbolic). However, in my two brief weeks as a big firm associate, I have yet to see what all the fuss is about.

Basically, everyone complains about working for law firms. Forget that you get paid an obscene amount of money for your work. Forget the prestige of putting (e.g.) Skadden, Arps on your resume. Forget the arguable experience (or, at the very least, abundant resources) you'll be able to take advantage of (this experience is what BLA takes issue with in the above-linked post). People eventually become irritated with the not-insubstantial demands on their time and attention. Sure, it makes sense to want more free time -- everyone who has ever lived in the working world wants more free time. And studies show that the less free time you have, the less you enjoy that free time. So it makes sense that people might reach a point where they decide that the money and other intangible benefits of firm life aren't enough anymore.

But there are two problems that I see with the criticisms I've read and heard. First is that some social researchers and economists are suggesting that we actually have more free time now than in the past. That is to say, people stress themselves out. We don't actually face a time crunch; we just psyche ourselves into thinking that we do. This is particularly interesting in light of the high volume of complaints lawyers have about their lives (see, for instance, some of the quotes and findings in this voluminous study). Maybe it's just that lawyers like to complain. Litigators in particular are trained arguers -- when we don't have anything to argue about we get bored, so we make up our own arguments. Perhaps, though, it's something else. Law schools, for instance, are highly competitive -- even the less-prestigious ones. While technically one need only prepare for a year before attending law school (registering with LSDAS, registering for and taking the LSAT by December at the absolute latest, and sending in law school applications), the psychological preparation needed is in essence much more extensive. Particularly in the humanities and social sciences, a bachelor's degree these days is little more than preparation for graduate school. With the possible exceptions of economics, sociology, or education, a liberal arts degree guarantees little more than meeting the prerequisite for entry-level general management jobs. Even those with business degrees often find it difficult to procure employment that puts to any real use the skills they've spent four years learning. So those with an ambitious eye on their future begin preparing early in their college careers, and often even in high school.

While initially it seems like a good thing that young people begin thinking so early about their futures, when taken in the aggregate it translates into a building problem for society. The struggle to gain a competitive advantage now begins as early as elementary school. With competition comes failure. With competition in every facet of life comes the perception of numerous failures where no failure has actually occurred. As an intelligent and competitive law student, I myself fell many times into this insidious trap of unhappiness. In this sense, working hard in the law is unlike working hard in other industries. Other occupations don't in a uniform, consistent manner, attract ambitious and accomplished people with the same rigor as the law and its related fields, like politics. So perhaps by earning our law degrees we've merely handed ourselves over to the merciless downward spiral of disappointment and dejection. In which case, perhaps the complaining about law firms makes perfect sense. On some objective level, they're no worse than any other difficult desk job. On a more personal level, however, they're the storage room for the crown jewels in the lawyer's individual hell. At a later time, I'll submit my assessment of firm versus school life, because in my vast experience I have some, I think, pointed things to say about that.

The second problem is that in many cases it's simply untrue. Yes, you work hard in a law firm -- but people work hard everywhere. Most people, in fact, would likely answer that they would prefer a job that consistently challenges them to one resembling, for instance, Peter Gibbons'. Indeed, there is room for the argument that Americans are better off working hard (though, admittedly, this assessment still must meet the challenge posed in the preceding paragraph -- that is to say, happiness derived from satisfying perverse incentives might not qualify as genuine happiness). Even if no real good comes from hard work, at least on a comparative level there's no particular reason to be unhappy. If you want a decent life in America, you're going to have to work a fair amount. That's just the way our country is. Another uniquely American trait is the inability to feel contentment. Perhaps that's our problem. The grass is always greener on the other side, for everyone -- lawyers, accustomed to hearing themselves talk, are just more vocal about their own yellowed lawns.

Certainly there are other legitimate reasons to leave firm life. The work can be unsatisfying -- or, indeed, the feeling of working for "the man" can induce guilt, particularly when defending large, rich companies against people who may have legitimate claims. This article ends with a suggestion that the key to increasing happiness may lie not in ensuring less work, but in restructuring our work lives to mean something. Still, most complaints (at least the complaints I hear the most) center around how central a part of lawyers' lives their work becomes. I contend, however, that this is entirely the lawyer's own fault. Just as I, numerous times, made the decision to allow myself to be dragged into the miserable dungeon of self-resentment (i.e., letting myself believe that anything in law school mattered), so lawyers are daily plagued with the difficult decision of whether to latch onto the unavoidable negative aspects of work, or remind themselves that they are not merely what they do. Making matters worse, the arrested adolescence many of them (us) suffer from only subjects us to greater pressure from our peers to compete, fight, win, and clouds our rational judgment, causing us to forget that other things matter, too.

If I'm right, and I usually am, then the only thing that makes a law firm uniquely unbearable is the embarrassingly obvious fact: it's full of lawyers.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Celebrity Sighting Number One

It appears as though Paula Abdul goes to my gym.

I ended up joining said fancy-shmancy gym last week, lured in by the promise of discount-priced personal training sessions and fabulous yoga, pilates, and cardiodance group classes. The individual cable TVs on their cardio equipment didn't hurt either.

Leaving this afternoon's pilates class, I got stuck on the stairs in between a personal trainer and a frustratingly attractive woman as I was trying to get down to the front door. She stepped out of my way and I glanced at her as I passed by. After about three seconds, the voice and the face matched up in my head and I realized: I just walked by Paula Abdul! Almost ran into her, in fact. See, she is nice -- she moved out of my way so I wouldn't bowl her over on the stairs.

And if Paula works out at my gym, who knows who else? Yes, I am that much closer to finding myself a movie star boyfriend. As Napoleon Dynamite would say, SWEET.