Monday, October 31, 2005

You know you're obsessed with football when...

you spent all weekend studying while watching football games, both NFL and college.

you get excited by the prospect of Monday Night Football even though the teams playing are of no interest to you.

you really want to buy a copy of the ESPN College Football encyclopedia because you're frustrated at not having facts and statistics at your fingertips.

you find yourself watching Lloyd Carr's press conference on the Comcast local channel on Monday evening because there isn't any football on.

*sigh* I'm going to miss football season when it's over.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Law students know how to party

Law students around the country have the reputation of being big partiers. This is certainly true at Michigan, and from what I've seen, is also true elsewhere.

So why are law students such partiers? There's a few reasons.

1) Many law students have been out of college for a while and realize that this is their last hurrah at behaving like idiots and drinking way too much at undergradlike parties.

2) Law school is a lot like high school. Particularly at Michigan - we even have lockers. Unlike high school, however, there's more cordiality and although cliques form, they're not exclusionary the way they were in high school. Because of the small size and high schoolness of the experience, partying is something that most people take part in - there is always a party going on somewhere, and student organizations socialize in bars.

3) Lawyers are notorious alcoholics. Law students are merely practicing their skills so that in their firm jobs they won't curl up and die when faced with "working" lunches.

Now, add costumes to the fray, throw in some campus buses taking law students to a party, and provide unlimited beer and you have an idea of the drunkenness that last night's Halloween party produced. Needless to say, I'm not going out tonight. Instead, I'm going to study, finish watching the football game, and remember what it was like to be four years younger and unconcerned about the future of my liver.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A topic dear to my heart...

My passion is Russian energy. This is not most people's passion. It makes me somewhat strange. But when I read an article like this one, from RIA Novosti, my heart speeds up a little bit, and I get this happy warm feeling inside.

This is part of the reason I think I should focus on international energy issues in my professional life. After all, how many people get excited about the concept of Russia's electricity giant, UES spearheading an effort to create a common electricity market between the CIS states? Just think of how much this will benefit UES, Chubais and, most importantly, the Russian government.

Moreover, the article mentions investment by UES in the Khudoni hydropower plant in Georgia. That's right, Russia. Take your many tentacles and wrap them firmly around the energy sectors of the former Soviet Republics.

*giggles maniacally*

Monday, October 24, 2005

Human trafficking

Back in the early 1990s I was friends with a human trafficker.

Everyone in the small town in Hungary where he lived knew that he was a human trafficker. He transports ‘dancing girls’ to Western Europe, they’d say. And did you hear about the one girl he sold to the man in Italy? Her brother was in the military and came and rescued her.

I met him when I was about 13 years old and he was 30 or so. Hormones raging, I was an awkward, unattractive teenager. He was working at my good friend’s bike repair shop, where I spent many hours hanging out during my long lazy Hungarian summers. My parents weren’t worried – my good friend was the son of their best friends there, and they’d known him since he was three years old. He operated his bike shop out of my parents’ friends’ garage at that point. And my good friend was an honest, hardworking guy, and still is. The human trafficker, on the other hand, was different.

He lavished me with attention, made me feel sexy. He flirted with me. And being 13, I thought that this was perfectly normal. The first summer I knew him, even my parents were taken in to some extent – bringing him a Chrysler logo for the front of his 1990 Dodge Caravan from the States.

The next summer, he became more aggressive in his flirtation with me. My mother began to hear the stories, and told me to stay away from him. But nothing would keep me from that bike shop. He was married with three children, the oldest of them being a mere two years younger than me. His wife knew about his activities – apparently accompanied him at times. She knew about his philandering. But I don’t think she liked it. She would sometimes show up at the bike shop when he was gone, wondering where he was. She always looked sad, tired, and much older than her age.

He told me that I should lose my virginity to him. That he would be romantic, do things by candlelight, all romantic. He showed me the back of his minivan – it was converted into a bed with an amazingly expensive stereo system. He told me that I should dress sexier, like his daughter. Told me that he dressed her, and asked if I liked what she wore. She dressed like a roadside prostitute, and I thought that was the greatest. I was 14. I was a ball of hormones.

I have my mother to thank for the fact that I didn’t get involved with him. She kept an increasingly close eye on me when she learned of his activities. She knew what teenagers are like. She knew that it wasn’t just a matter of not trusting me, as I thought at the time, but of not trusting him. She warned me about him, over and over again, and planted the seed of doubt in my mind, although I talked back and ranted and raved about her rules and regulations.

We came to Hungary for Easter the next year. We stopped by the small town for a night or two, and while we were at dinner at our friend’s house, I went to the bike shop to hang out with my good friend. The trafficker was there.

There is a tradition in Hungary at Easter where men sprinkle women with perfumed water. He sprinkled me, took me on his motor scooter on a ride around the block, with me riding close behind him. And then he kissed me.

The next summer, I no longer saw him frequently. He had left his wife and moved in with a girl who was only a year or so older than me. The year after, his daughter moved in with them. Then he sort of disappeared from public view.

I used to reminisce fondly about him. Then I thought it was funny – I knew a human trafficker. And I would tell people about it.

Tonight, I watched the first part of the Lifetime original miniseries with Mira Sorvino and Donald Sutherland called “Human Trafficking.” And it suddenly all came back. And suddenly all stopped seeming funny. Or romantic. Today, I realize there is no lower form of life than a human trafficker.

Back in the early 1990s I thought I was friends with a human trafficker…

Romanian Hungarian diplomacy

Today, great strides were made in furthering relations between Romania and Hungary. As representative of the Hungarian people, I spotted a Romanian law student for the cost of his ticket to the law school's Halloween party until he could go to an ATM.

As some of my fellow students remarked, this was truly a great moment for Hungarian-Romanian relations.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Who wants to be a Serbian Princess?

It's really too bad that the Serbian royal family is looking for local ladies to matchmake to their princes. I think I'd be a perfect candidate for Serbian Princess.

If you read my blog, Serbian princes, here is what I have to offer:

1) Well-educated
2) Excellent table manners
3) Cleans up kind of pretty
4) Good with languages - I could pick up Serbian fairly easily, I think
5) I actually know something about Serbia
6) I've actually BEEN to Serbia
7) I actually LIKE Serbia
8) Serbs are nice people who are the scapegoats of the Balkan War (it wasn't the Serbs who blew up the Mostar Bridge...)
9) I really like pljeskavica
10) Oh, and I'm single

*goes to wait by inbox for princely email offering marriage*

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Whoever ratted me out... know who you are. I hope you feel bad about this. You made me feel really miserable and exceeded any bounds of decency. If you see me walking around with red, puffy eyes - it's your fault. As my classmate, you should have realized that I have a warped sense of humor about things, but that I am also an honest, head-strong individual with a deep sense of integrity and an understanding of injustice that will serve me well as a lawyer. To question my character is to question the very essence of my being and it hurts me all the more that you did it behind my back. Again - you know who you are. I hope you feel like a bastard.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Panda love


I had to chuckle when I read the following in this article about the naming ceremony for the baby panda at the Washington DC National Zoo:

"Tai Shan is a result of the love between the two giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and also represents the great feeling between the American and Chinese people," Yan Xun, deputy director of the conservation department of the Peoples Republic of China, said through an interpreter.

There's just something undefinably strange about that quote. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it makes me chuckle. Also, the baby panda is ridiculously cute.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Cannibal girls?

I have a stat counter that allows me to see how people came to my blog. Most of the time it's something boring - someone else's blog, direct typing, image searches - but every now and then I get a gem - someone typed something into Google that brought them here for some incomprehensible reason.

That latest gem:

Someone searched Google for "roasted suckling girl cannibalism" and came to my blog from there.

I have never posted about roasted suckling girl cannibalism. I have also never searched for that. Nor would it ever occur to me to search for that.

Why was someone searching for "roasted suckling girl cannibalism"? Is this a fetish I am unaware of? Is this a reference to something I'm completely missing?

Whoever you are, if you should ever return - don't worry - I don't know who you are and I don't hold it against you. Maybe, just maybe, however, you should seek psychiatric help.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The man is bringing me down...

...and the man has brought me down. (Post deleted because of the man)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I'm going celebrating!

I wasn't going to go out tonight. I went out last night. I was just going to stay home and study.

But then we won. With one second left on the clock. It was beautiful.

I was so nervous in the last couple of minutes that I thought I was going to be sick. That last was a glorious moment - I almost cried.

Penn State is no longer undefeated. We've redeemed ourselves somewhat. And Chad Henne threw that last pass like the Chad Henne of last season.

Tonight will be a beautiful night in Ann Arbor. The obnoxious Penn State fans that overran the town last night will be cowed, whimpering losers. They can just go eat worms for all I care. And we will be proud again. Like we have been in so many years past.

Friday, October 14, 2005

I used to like property law until...

Property law was fun at first. It was about wild animals, adverse possession, gifts - things that were sort of neat to learn about.

And then we reached the unit on deeds and conveyances. And now I don't like property law anymore.

Why, you may ask?

Because of this (from the textbook): "Further, this reversion, perhaps because of the law's preference for vested interests, is regarded as vested, subject to being divested by a condition subsequent, the vesting of the contingent remainder."

Even the textbook makes fun of the subject, equating it to the famous party of the first part bit in the Marx Brothers' movie A Night at the Opera. Yeah. It was funny in the movie. It isn't so funny when you're supposed to understand it.

I see the word "vested" and I think of dorky guys in argyle sleeveless vests. Not property. Being divested is much like being defenestrated - it's when you take a dorky guy into your bedroom and take his clothing off. Right?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Genius in the kitchen...slacker at updating blog

I need to get back to my regular updating. This is shameful.

Yesterday, I left the world of legal studies behind and focused all of my efforts on making a fantastic dinner. The menu follows:

Bruschetta with goat cheese and homemade olive tapenade (pitting olives sucks - the meat doesn't want to leave the pit and my finger still hurts. Also - anchovies are seriously gross).

Seared scallops with a hint of chipotle and curry powder over a bed of frisse lettuce with a homemade mango vinaigrette (I bought one of those plastic restaurant-style squeezy bottles - so I could make pretty designs on the plate...very exciting, especially for $2).

Roasted lamb rolled around white asparagus with green asparagus on top, served with a tomato, goat cheese and poblano chili polenta and a fig port wine reduction sauce (surprisingly good since I made it all up and had no idea how it would turn out).

Raspberry chocolate mousse with raspberry whipped cream and raspberry sauce (absolutely deadly...seriously...and I don't even like dessert).

And all of this was homemade. And tasted good. Which only serves to emphasize my desire to go to cooking school and learn how to do things properly and more efficiently.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The romance of the law...

From Gallagher v. Delaney, for my civil procedure reading on summary judgment:

"That [plaintiff] accepted botanical and other offering from [defendant] on occasion does not necessarily demonstrate her amenability to an intimate relationship."

It's been a long time since I accepted, much less received botanical and other offerings from a man. I'm not a huge fan of the botanical offerings. I prefer the ethanol- or cocoa-butter- based offerings.

The law is so poetic at times...


I just found out about the annual Spamarama Spam cook-off that is held in Austin, Texas every year.

I now have a mission in life. To go to Spamarama. I'd love to enter the competition. I would also just love to attend it. Really, I'd just love to take part in anything associated with Spam.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Serenity and Che Guevara

I finally saw Serenity last night, after having watched all 14 of the original Firefly episodes.

There have been countless glowing reviews written of it, comparing it to Star Wars in its space operaesque elements, or going beyond it, as Orson Scott Card did, calling it the greatest science fiction movie ever.

It's not the greatest science fiction movie ever. I'm not a fan of defining anything as the greatest fill-in-the-blank ever. It's pretty damn great. There's not much I can say that Orson Scott Card didn't already say in his review. It's a movie that makes you think. It's a movie bursting with heart. It's a movie about finding a cause that you're willing to die for.

And that's where Che Guevara comes in. Che Guevara was a man with a cause. Serenity is a movie about finding a cause. About things greater than the individual. About laying your life down for something that matters. These are elements that we've overlooked in recent decades. And it's something that Che Guevara epitomized. I think he would have like the humanity of the movie and the message it embraces.

Serenity isn't meant to be political, I don't think. But in today's America, where we live such self-absorbed lives that we often forget about the rest of the world, it is a welcome breath of fresh air. We've mostly forgotten who Che Guevara was and what he stood for - above and beyond "Communism," he represented the oppressed populations around the world. He didn't have to. He could have taken the easy path, lived his middle class life as a doctor and never thrown himself into a life-or-death struggle. Serenity in its own way, represents just that. And that's what elevates it from merely being a fun space opera/western science fiction movie to something greater than its seemingly humble TV premises.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My Name Is Earl - a genius sitcom

Yeah, I know....seems like I post about TV a lot recently. Bite me. I'm in law school. And I hate going out to the typical law student bar hangout. So at night, I watch TV.

I rarely come across a new show that I really, truly like. Especially sitcoms. Most sitcomes are garbage - useless drivel, repeating a mindless formula discovered decades ago by snuffling piglets sitting in front of typewriters somewhere (apes are too intelligent for sitcoms).

But My Name Is Earl stands out. I've given it three episodes - the real mark for a show. All three have been utterly charming.

It's like Kevin Smith with a good sappy edge (as opposed to the bad sappy edge of Jersey Girl). And yes, I realize Kevin Smith has nothing to do with this show - but between Jason Lee and sailboat guy, and the way the show is set up, it really feels Kevin Smithesque.

Why does the show appeal to me so much? Because it's truly about everyman. Unlike Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, and other such unrealistic expression of the American life. This is a highly fictionalized account of the average American, yes...but it pokes fun at situations that are infinitely more realistic than those of people auditioning for roles in soap operas or such. And isn't that what sitcom is about?

Monday, October 03, 2005


I just realized that I haven't been posting as regularly as I should.

Things have been pretty hectic - classes, extracurricular activities, and most recently, a brief visit to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit my cousin.

Right now, I'm enjoying a day off - studying, watching Iron Chef and struggling not to join my fuzzy cat who is curled up in a ball on the couch next to me, napping.

Mmmm....napping. I love my cat, but it's truly tempting to curl up in a ball next to her - she looks so peaceful, with her tufty paws sticking out, and her fluffy ribcage gently moving up and down, occasionally interrupted by little muscle twitches as she chases invisible mice in her dreams.