Thursday, December 29, 2005

How to make your fridge smell bad

Since before I left for break, my fridge in Ann Arbor was smelling somewhat funny. Kind of a rotten eggish sort of smell. I figured there was something that had liquified in there that I would eventually find.

When I returned from break, I threw out all liquified objects (all those that weren't meant to be liquified, that is). Still, the fridge smelled funny, and none of the objects I'd thrown out smelled at all like the unidentified stench.

Today I went grocery shopping, and among many other things, picked up some more kimchi because I was running low. By the time I got back to my apartment, my car smelled like something small and furry had crawled in there and died weeks ago. Either that, or someone was hiding back there uncontrollably farting. Kimchi is quite distinctive in its odor.

Interestingly enough, when I got home, I discovered the source of my fridge's smelliness. First, there was a cracked rotting egg in the egg shelf, which made the fridge smell, well, like rotting eggs. Amazing how that works. Second, my old jar of kimchi had fallen over, and despite being double-bagged, had leaked all over the bottom shelf of the fridge.

The combination was stunning - farts squared. But with a quick wipe-down, all hint of gaseous emissions was least until the next time my kimchi gets knocked over and stinks up the place.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Bear sits on the media's head

For several years now, my primary academic obsession has been with Russian energy politics towards the Near Abroad. The clues were abundant - multitudes of examples of Russian energy companies buying up energy interests in the former Soviet republics, exerting heavy-handed pressure by threatening to cut off energy supplies to anti-Russian republics, and controlling ever greater sectors of these republics' economies. All the while the media snored, unaware that a Bear was tapping its claw on their heads.

Finally, the Bear got frustrated and sat on the heads of the media. Suddenly, oh boy! Look at this! Russia may have a foreign policy interest based on energy politics rather than on traditional military power! Amazing! Look at that! Ukraine goes against Russia, and its gas rates are raised five-fold, while Belarus' gas-rates stay steady. Hey, maybe there's something going on here! The media, squashed by the sitting Bear starts writing things up.

This drives me crazy. It's not just the media either - experts and scholars have been strangely silent on the topic. How could they not see the clues? I always figured they simply weren't interested. I guess they simply didn't get it.

So upon the suggestion of one of my friends, I am going to pull out my paper from April, rewrite it to include the latest information, and submit it for publication. If everyone else is too dense to see the all-caps writing on the wall, that's their problem, not mine.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

There's an orgy in my mouth...

...and my tastebuds' pants aren't invited.

Take: 1 piece of beautiful restaurant-grade prime rib, cooked to perfection.

Add: 1 thinly sliced piece of Cotswald cheese (the yellow kind with chives).

Put cotswald on beef.

Eat combination.

End result: Oral orgy.

Aaaah Christmas

Aaaah Christmas! That time of year where overindulgence in everything becomes the norm! That time of year where drinking at 5 PM is suddenly acceptable and being sickeningly drunk is expected! That time of year when eating more than is humanly possible is not only acceptable but necessary - because otherwise you insult the meal.

This was the first year that Christmas really wasn't about the gifts for me. I couldn't have cared less if I got anything or not. I was happy to give gifts, but more importantly, I realize something about Christmas.

To me Christmas is a time to reminisce about the people in your life who you've lost touch with. It's a time to wonder how people are doing. It's also a time to get back in touch with people, to find out what people you once loved are up to.

Christmas is about family and friends. It's about being thankful for those you have in your life who make it more fun, intellectual and enjoyable. It's about sneaking kisses at Christmas Eve behind your friends' and family's back. It's about warmth, sharing, food, and booze. It's not about presents. For wasn't the whole point of Christmas, as in the point of that man who some choose to worship but others of us view as simply a very very good man that of forgiving those who have hurt you and being thankful for having simple things that make life good?

This Christmas was a special one for me - after everything I experienced in this past year, I saw it for what it really is (until I have my own little ones, of course) - a holiday to be shared with others.

I hope all of you who celebrate Christmas had an equally meaningful and wonderful one. And for those who don't, Merry Christmahanukwanzakaa! And good tidings to men!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

End of exams

I took my last exam of the semester today. It is now over. I have typed thousands of words over the past week. Tens of thousands, in fact. Very many words. A lot of typing. Typing furiously. Typing typing thousands of monkeys at thousands of typewriters....aaaaaaargh!

My day has been exceedingly nice. Besides the end of exams, I received two very much appreciated Christmas presents from friends of mine - a super-cool (ok, super-geeky) LED scrolling belt which I've been contemplating getting for months (thanks Jeanne!) and one of my most wanted items from my Amazon wishlist (other than the $2500 complete Star Trek set) - the Nontechnical Guide to Petroleum Geology, Exploration, Drilling, and Production (thanks Sat!).

Now I'm about to head out to the bar to celebrate the end of my first year of law school (more or less - with the exception of Constitutional law).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


This was just taken about 20 minutes ago from my balcony. I love Michigan weather...


Monday, December 19, 2005

Crazy lady

The crazy woman at Caribou coffee does appear to reside there. Third day in a row I'm studying and she's there.

Now, I just went outside to have a smoke, and she came outside to smoke as well. She was busy talking to herself - actual conversations with invisible people, reflecting different people, because the conversation snippets were about totally different things, but indicated that there was someone else she was talking to.

And then she exploded with an outburst:

Wizard of nigger shit!

I don't know what to say. I'm not sure what this means. But I'm still giggling. I can't treat it as a racial epithet so I'm in the dark as to its purpose or relevance. But damn, too bad it uses the word "nigger" - otherwise I'd use it as my newfound favorite exclamation.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Only in Grosse Pointe?

I'm sitting in Caribou Coffee in Grosse Pointe - the haunt of my youth, where I went on my first date ever and where I used to get together with friends for writer's group on occasion. My mission: study criminal law. I opted to go home to study for this one since I was beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic in my apartment and wanted to be fed by my parents. I've been here for a few hours now. And there's this crazy lady who was here when I got here and has been here forever, as far as I can tell. She's got tourettes - random verbal explosions here and there (fortunately I can't hear them since I have my headphones on), and at least a couple of fun friends in her head - one of which tells her hilarious jokes, since she doubles up with laughter at times while talking to herself. She's very possessive over her seat by the fire and whenever someone tries to take it when she goes out to smoke, she runs back in to reclaim it.

What she's just done, however, takes the cake. She just got Dominos DELIVERED to the coffee shop. I kid you not. This is so unlike Grosse Pointe that I feel like I went through some sort of wormhole and am now in New York. I just hope that when I step outside of the coffee shop, I will find myself smack dab in the middle of Chinatown.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Property law haikus

Property exam
Tomorrow I will take it
Law school is a bitch

Negative easement
Passively enjoyed by one
Makes land more pleasant

Touch and concern me
Covenant runs with the land
There is privity

The Covenantor
Like the great Governator
Fills me with hatred

Bad ordinances
Arbitrary, capricious
They are not valid

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Exam time

Today was my first law school exam taken at the same time as many other law students (in the summer it was just the 90 of us).

A few things of note:

1) Civil procedure is OVER!
2) Sweatpants are the fashion of choice in the law school at the moment.
3) The one bathroom on the second floor smells like fear. And by fear, I mean uncontrolable diarrhea.

And now, back to studying - this time for the much dreaded/anticipated property exam.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words...


Friday, December 09, 2005

Mountain Dew MDX - geek marketing


Everyone knows that no one drinks more Mountain Dew than computer programmers. The unholy quantities I saw consumed in my years of living with computer science people in undergrad left a permanent association in my mind of Mountain Dew with marathon sleepless coding sessions, mostly done at night.

I just saw a commercial for the new Mountain Dew MDX - an energy drink version of Mountain Dew. The slogan - "Be Nocturnal." The commercial - actually pretty cool and definitely marketed directly at the geek demographic - let's make it seem cool to be nocturnal. Needless to say, the commercial doesn't show any actual people - just nocturnal animals. Probably because being pasty white, out of shape, blinking in pain and confusion at the light of the sun and unwashed, while living off nothing but microwaveable food and Mountain Dew will never really be cool.

My mom used to call us gollums, for our ability to go weeks without seeing the light of day. She was probably a lot closer to the mark than Mountain Dew is. But who cares - we thought we were cool, and that's all that really matters.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Starbuck phenomenon


Move over Angelina Jolie, Katherine Zeta Jones and Charlize Theron. It seems like these days, guys are more drawn to the badass character of Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from Battlestar Galactica than to the more traditionally beautiful aforementioned actresses. Well, maybe not all guys - but a lot of guys in my circle of acquaintance.

Does this indicate a change in the perception of what a woman should ideally be? Or are all the males I know just drawn to strong female tomboyish characters who could beat the crap out of them? Probably the latter.

I didn't really understand the mystique of Starbuck until watching BSG. She really is pretty awesomely badass. And I really do find it amazingly refreshing that the males I know are attracted to someone not because of her skin tight clothing and feminine allure, but because of her awesome badassness.

There need to be more characters like Starbuck to serve as rolemodels for young girls. Starbuck demonstrates that you can exhibit certain masculine traits and still be a desirable sexual object. Moreover, she shows young girls that getting into fistfights, smoking cigars, and not taking shit from anyone is the way to go. All of this is very valid and certainly no less unacceptable than teaching girls that marrying and making babies and keeping house is the best kind of destiny for them.

Instead of Barbie dolls, there should be Starbuck dolls...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It chirps!

*happy sigh*

I'm so happy. It chirps...

I must say though, with a "Community" section like this, it may be the single dorkiest product ever:

Message Board
What next? A quick chat with friends on the community page leads to a debate about what drink Captain Kirk and crew shared with Balok in season 1, episode10. You quickly scroll to the Media section on your Communicator and stream a clip from The Corbomite Maneuver. You were right; they drank Tranya.

I can't wait to have one.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mingus memories

I finally managed to drag my ass out of my nice apartment to Rendezvous coffee shop to study. The apartment was getting too distracting - cat being very loving and affectionate, which is normally great, but not what I need when I'm studying, and the DVR having taped many episodes of things that I wanted to watch.

So now I'm sitting here, studying civil procedure with much greater efficiency, all outside noises blocked out by my awesomely huge headphones and the soothing sounds of Charles Mingus' album "Blues & Roots." This brings back lots of memories. It was less than a year ago that I walked across much of Manhattan in a snow storm, headphones on. Mingus started me off, with this very album, and I can't hear it without thinking of that beautiful day and my long, snowy and somewhat wet adventure.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The insanity defense

I'm reading my criminal law book - we're doing the insanity defense. And as usual, I stumbled across something that made me giggle.

From State v. Green, Tennessee Court of Appeals, 1982:

"Green carried a bag around with him, explaining to his parents that the bag 'kept him company.'"

Needless to say, he ended up murdering someone - a police officer. And I'm sure the bag wasn't with him that day. Bags just aren't the best things to keep one company. Unlike towels. Which are infinitely useful and should be carried around at all times.


I pretty much had a perfect weekend. This was quite surprising, since I have finals in a few days and should be completely stressed. Instead, I had a wonderful dinner party at my place on Friday night. And last night I ended up having a wonderfully exceptional, totally unexpected experience. It was the sort of night that I'll remember for a long time.

But now the weekend is over and I'm back to focusing on school work and will be for the next 18 or so days. If I don't blog a lot, you'll know that I'm poring over rather heavy legal tomes to the exclusion of almost anything else..