Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm not here

Under no circumstances am I allowed to post today. I am simply too busy at work.

It's my last week at Mobius, and then I am off to Old Firm Chicago for three weeks before I head home to my beloved Patto for good. I am going to miss Mobius. We had good times.

Before I start missing it though, I have to get through 3 more assignments by Friday. I predict Thursday will be a long day. And night. Which is why I just can't post today, even though there is a lot going on and I have things to tell you.

Ok, one little story and then I'm going back to work.

Last night, Mobius had a dinner with the summers and a ton of attorneys, because the summer is winding down and they like dinner. After dinner, a few attorneys and another summer and I went down the street to a local pub for a night cap. After a few drinks, one of the most senior partners tells the following story:

At a restaurant with his wife one night, our partner friend spots a woman who looks familiar to him, but he just can't place her. So he does what you would normally do in that situation- he stares at her all night. Finally she gets up and goes to the restroom, and the partner waits a few minutes and then goes toward the restrooms so he can bump into her as she is leaving (which is not at all creepy, really). Sure enough, as she is coming out as he pretends to go in and he stops her and says, "Pardon me, but have we met before?" (smooooooooth). And she says, "you know, you look familiar to me, too. My name is Ann Sandine.*" And of course the partner suddenly straightens up and says, "Oh! Your Honor! I didn't recognize you with clothes on!"

Oh yes. Our partner friend had appeared before this federal judge multiple times, but of course is used to seeing her in a black robe and behind her desk, not otherwise-merrily having dinner out on the town. So he bowed and scraped his way back to his table and wife, probably convinced that he had just committed career suicide. Luckily, Judge Sandine is very forgiving.


Ok, now I really have to get back to work.

*Not her real name.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Summers behaving badly, Part 2

More hijinks of ill-adjusted summer associates!

This story comes from right here in Chicago, from a firm we'll call, oh, Kitten Munch, LLP. Apparently, Kitten Munch hired what they thought was a good and decent fellow from the Univ. of Michigan law school to be one of their many prestigious summer associates. What they didn't know, of course, was that this particular summer had a penchant for getting drunk at firm events and pinching the bottoms of his female co-workers (summers and attorneys alike. He's an equal-opportunity grab-asser). He was promptly fired.

Fired! FIRED! Do you know how incredibly stupid you have to be to get fired from a summer associate job? (Apparently, about this stupid). I mean, even the summers that sent the email from the partner's office didn't get fired, just reprimanded. In the words of one of our attorneys here at Mobius, you have to feel the hot breath of the EEOC on your collar before you fire a summer associate in the middle of the summer.

What an incredible moron. On what planet did he think this might be acceptable? Certainly not on planet sober. And apparently, not on planet Kitten Munch, either. Hasta la vista, idiot. Enjoy defending those criminal charges for assault and sexual misconduct.

I know this was covered at Michigan's seminar on how not to embarrass yourself and your school at your summer associate job, because my office-mate at Mobius is from Mich. law school. And apparently knows the guy. I told the office-mate that as long as he is going to maintain is long locks, he might want to watch his backside around this guy. He could get mistaken for a co-worker.

7/30 UPDATE: read the story on Above the Law, a forum of attorney gossip and ill-repute, here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Coffee Break

Darn you, Starbucks Mocha Frappacino blended coffee! Darn you and your frothy and frosty deliciousness!

I have never been a coffee drinker. In fact, I didn't drink coffee at all until college, and then I would only drink it once or twice a year, with dessert. Then in law school, I would occasionally toss in a splash of coffee with my hot chocolate. But nothing serious. All together, it probably wouldn't have amounted to a cup a week.

But now I'm working, and suffering from afternoon lulls. And I'm surrounded by other people experiencing afternoon lulls, and they often invited me out for a quick trip to Fourbucks to perk ourselves back up. And at first, I just went for the 5 minute break, the fresh air, and the company. And then I started grabbing a caramel cider or a hot chocolate to take back with me. But then I tried the mocha frap. And I'm hooked. It turns out that walks to Starbucks are the gateway drug-- you start out just to be cool and hang out with your work buddies, and the next thing you know you're drinking 6 cups of black coffee a day. It's a downward spiral.

I tried to explain my worries to my sister, but she missed the point of the downward spiral and seized on what a ridiculously shi-shi drink my beloved mocha frappacino is. Her words?

"You know, of course, that that is a completely silly urban yuppie drink, right?
And from Fourbucks no less! You're so on your way to becoming Frasier. I mock you for your choice in yuppie beverages. Mock mock mock! If you're feeling sluggish, get yourself a Red Bull or something. And when you finish drinking it, smash the can on your forehead. You obviously are needing a little more macho in your beverage
reputation. Mocha frap indeed! Resume the mocking! :-)"

And now you know why I always turn to my sister in moments of uncertainty and strife. Her kind words and strong sense of moral code inspire me to achieve my unrealized potential.

At least I don't get the new Raspberry Swirl Mocha Frappacino. Goodness knows she'd come to Chicago and slap me herself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Stay tuned

I'm not ignoring you, I'm just recovering.

On Thursday night of last week, my two closest gal pals, Amanda and Melanie, descended on the city of Chicago for a crazy fun girls' weekend. And crazy fun it was.

I'm going give details (only slightly edited to protect the innocent) as soon as I get my hands on the photo evidence, of which Mel currently has sole custody. In the mean time I'm going to try sleeping again. I remember sleep...

For now, let's just say it was one of the most crazy fun girls' weekends I have ever had.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Play it, Sam

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before.
It never rains in California,
but girl, don't they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours.

A sad song, really. It's stuck in my head right now. I'm on a sad song kick these days. Another current favorite is Billy Joel's "Through the Long Night." The bridges are beautiful. Oooh, and Simon and Garfunkel's "For Emily, wherever I may find her."

Any favorite sad songs I should add to my iPod?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Patto's new 'do

Last weekend, Patto came to visit me in Chicago. Here's a recent picture of Patto:
Patto, July 2007. Isn't he dreamy?

Anyway, while he was in, he decided that his current hairdo was just too... 'eh', and he wanted to buzz his hair. Now. I find Patto very handsome with his current hair, so I was a little hesitant at this point. But it's his hair and I support his decisions. (I have been telling him this for years, because I knew there would come a day when I would want to do something to my hair that he would not really want me to do, and I want to be able to say to him, "Darling, haven't I always said "it's your hair and I support your decisions?", thus trapping him into supporting mine. Since we're on the subject, that day came in November of 2006 when I bobbed my hair. He hated it from go, but is a tough little trooper. It's now back to shoulder-length, and he has quit whining about it).

But I digress. So Patto decides he wants to buzz his hair, a look he has not sported since the second grade. But I support him. And besides, he is always saying that if he ever starts losing his hair he is just going to man up and shave his head, so now is as good as any to find out if he has an odd-shaped noggin. Forewarned and is forearmed.

So I buzzed his hair. Buzzing a person's hair is some of the most fun I have had not on a segway in weeks. Especially the part where you run the clippers straight back and give him a reverse mohawk. I wish I had gotten a picture of that. But anyway, here is the final product:

Patto with 1/3 inch-long hair and no goatee. Isn't he dreamy?

The biggest difference to me is that I think it makes his face look more round, which is unusual given that Patrick has a rather long face (a horse walks into a bar and the bartender says... oh, nevermind). Anyway, Patrick returned home with his new crew 'do. On the following Monday, Patto reported the following exchange:
So, a guy from the admissions office came by today, looked at me quizzically, and said, "Do you usually wear glasses?"

To which I replied, "no, I usually have hair."
So if your significant other wants to do something out of the ordinary with his hair, I say support him! 1), he might stay just as dreamy (or become more so, depending on his current state of dreaminess); 2), he has no one to blame but himself if it is a terrible, terrible mistake (and any clever woman can think of how to use that to her advantage at a later date); and 3), when you want to do something drastic with your hair, you can say, "remember when you wanted to dye your hair purple? Haven't I always said, 'It's your hair and I support your decisions?' Now get to supportin' mine, bucko!"

Works like a charm.

Scalia makes me smile

Some of you know that Justice Scalia is my favorite Supreme Court jurist. Many more of you don't care. And yet more of you will gasp in horror because Scalia is your least favorite jurist and you're not sure we can be friends after this. Some of you don't know who Justice Scalia is. See me about this immediately.

Anyway, the reason Scalia is my favorite justice is because he is, in my and all other credible opinions, the most playfully brilliant Justice on the Court. He is witty, he is combatitive, and he writes dissents that inspire you to text your law school buddies messages like "OMG, just rd Scalia dsnt in PGA. ROFL!!!"

Ok, we don't actually text each other messages like that. But you get the idea.

Right now I am reading Scalia Dissents, a collection of his most famous and clever dissents. In addition to being highly informative and great debate-fodder, it's just plain funny in places, especially when he gets into one of his trademark rants. You can identify a true Scalia rant by whether Every Word In A Phrase Is Capitalized or every-word-is-hyphenated. Also be on the look-out for references to historical or literary figures, such as the "Majority's Pollyannish nonsense."

In case it will be a few days before you can run out and read the book yourself, I am including ten of the good Scalia quotes I have come across already. Enjoy!

"Now the Senate is looking for 'moderate' judges, 'mainstream' judges. What is a moderate interpretation of the text? Halfway between what it really means and what you'd like it to mean?"

"“[The Freedom of Information Act is] the Taj Mahal of the Doctrine of Unanticipated Consequences, the Sistine Chapel of Cost-Benefit Analysis Ignored.”

"The Court's statement that it is 'tempting' to acknowledge the authoritativeness of tradition in order to 'curb the discretion of federal judges' is, of course, rhetoric rather than reality; no government official is 'tempted' to place restraints upon his own freedom of action, which is why Lord Acton did not say 'Power tends to purify.'"

"[W]e Justices must confront what is indeed an awesome responsibility. It has been rendered the solemn duty of the Supreme Court of the United States, laid upon it by Congress in pursuance of the Federal Government's power "[t]o regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States," to decide "What Is Golf?" I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner or later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this August Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer?"

"The Court must be living in another world. Day by day, case by case, it is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize."

"This Court seems incapable of admitting that some matters - any matters - are none of its business."

"Robert F. Kennedy used to say, 'Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not?'-- [the latter] outlook has become a far too common and destructive approach to interpreting the law."

"Like some ghoul in a late-night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, Lemon stalks our Establishment Clause jurisprudence once again, frightening the little children and school attorneys of Center Moriches Union Free School District... Over the years, however, no fewer than five of the currently sitting Justices have, in their own opinions, personally driven pencils through the creature's heart (the author of today's opinion repeatedly), and a sixth has joined an opinion doing so. The secret of the Lemon test's survival, I think, is that it is so easy to kill. It is there to scare us (and our audience) when we wish it to do so, but we can command it to return to the tomb at will. Such a docile and useful monster is worth keeping around, at least in a somnolent state; one never knows when one might need him."

"This case, involving legal requirements for the content and labeling of meat products such as frankfurters, affords a rare opportunity to explore simultaneously both parts of Bismarck's aphorism that 'No man should see how laws or sausages are made.'"

"I am persuaded, therefore, that the Maryland procedure is virtually constitutional. Since it is not, however, actually constitutional, I would affirm the judgment of the Maryland Court of Appeals reversing the judgment of conviction."

And a bonus one: "The main business of a lawyer is to take the romance, the mystery, the irony, the ambiguity out of everything he touches."

Friday, July 13, 2007

My kind of politics

Slate magazine periodically looks at the Presidential Candidate hopefuls and comments on how they are using their ads and websites to overcome their perceived difficulties in getting and keeping voters.

Here is one about Hillary Clinton trying to overcome her "warmth" problem.

Here is one about Mike Gravel trying to overcome his problem with no one having any idea who he is.

WARNING! Do not attempt to watch these videos while pretending to be hard at work on something. They are far too funny for all that, and you'll just end up hurting yourself. I'm serious. I know what you are thinking- "I'm pretty tough- I'll just watch them with a disinterested eye during this conference call and be fine." This is foolishness! Know your limits!

But go watch them. Right now. Especially the Mike Gravel one. Hilarious.

Ultimate Dorkitude! Engage!

Yesterday I participated in one of the most dorkifying activities possible: Mobius went on a Segway tour around downtown Chicago. That's right. 4 summer associates and 4 attorneys "glided" around Millennium Park for over an hour.

It was oodles and oodles of dorkirrific fun. And I had a blast. It's good to embrace the inner dork.
But first, we watched an incredibly graphic video about all the ways you could kill yourself and others on a segway. The video was mostly live actors, but when they wanted to show you something truly horrific, they would switch to a little cartoon man. Kinda like in Kill Bill. We watched a little cartoon man fall down a flight of stairs; we watched a cartoon man careen into traffic; we watched a cartoon man crack his head open on the sidewalk in about 6 different ways. Then it was time to ride our very own segways!

Here is me getting used to my segway - or potential vehicle of death.

I took to my segway very quickly, but tried not to get cocky. The cartoon man had broken every bone in his body when he got cocky. The group of us and our tour guides did a little practice gliding around a park, and then we headed off to see Chicago. It occurred to me as we started off that the video did not show you how to flee the mobs of cool kids that are sure to beat you up and take your lunch money for being seen on a segway.

On the Tour

Sometime along the way we passed a segway tour hosted by a different tour company. Their gliders were forced to wear bright orange safety vests in addition to the helmets. We called them geeks as we glided by.

All in all, it was a lovely day to glide around Chicago, and no one was mangled beyond recognition. We were all rewarded with farmer's tans and rubber legs when we were finally forced off of our segways back at headquarters. I assume the ensuing rubber legs is why segways haven't really caught on in America. Oh, that and the supreme dorkacy of it all. Anyway, if you ever have a spare day in Chicago, I recommend the segway tour. Just stay away from the company that makes you wear the hunting vests. It gives your position away to the cool kids.

Me and my segway. And some globe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Temptation Update

Apparently, I am not the only Mobius summer to commit snack-sneaking. Just today two other summers confessed that they went out on a muffin mission when breakfast had not been cleared by 11:45am.

And these are the good summers! Of the (mostly) well-behaved variety! I bet they never wreaked havoc on their 4th grade classmates.

I'm not saying it makes a difference. I'm just saying that perhaps the breakfast should be sharing a little blame here. After all, how many people will it corrupt before we start judging its motives?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


For the past week and a half or so, Mobius has been hosting a group of people doing something or other all day in one of our conference rooms. What they are doing has nothing to do with me, although rumor has it they are trying to work out a settlement. What catches my attention is that the firm is providing food for these people. Heaps and heaps of food for only 8 or 9 people. They can't possibly eat all of the bagels and muffins and sandwiches and brownies and fruit that is layed out for them three times a day. And they don't. Which is where the temptations start.

See, the food is all layed out nice and pretty about 9 am each morning. The group of random settlement-lovin' folk show up, eat about a quarter of the food, and then retire to a conference room out of sight of the lovely heaps of breakfast. The food just sits there, abandoned, until it is cleared away by our hospitality folk around 11 so that they can lay out lunch. The first couple of days this happened, several of the attorneys and secretaries popped by and took a remaining bagel or muffin before it was cleared away from lunch. I was among them. Free muffin! Ok!

But it was not ok. The entire firm was issued an admonishment by an HR person that this food was for the folks slaving away and conferencing, and that we were not to touch it until it was removed and put out in the 5th floor conference room where it would become fair game. I believe this was mostly prompted by the people on the 5th floor, who are jealous of those of us lucky enough to be quartered on the same floor with the snacks. Anyway, we are now supposed to wait until an email is issued that the food has been removed from our floor and placed on the 5th floor. This means that no one on the 6th floor will get the food, because the 5th floorers have loyal secretaries that will hunt down the food for them before an email is ever issued. And in fact, no email has ever been issued telling us the food is now fair game. For all we know, the food just disappears.

Le whine.

So, every day I am tempted. As the clock draws near to 11am, I am torn between waiting for an imaginary email that won't come to alert me to free food or just grabbing a darn muffin on my way by, knowing it is minutes away from being carted off. This is compounded by my very hungry tummy. The tummy almost always comes down on the side of just grabbing a muffin. After all, the purpose of the "rule" was to make sure that the conference room people got their fill before we got to the food. But obviously the people are finished, as lunch is about to be layed out. On the other hand, there is the small matter of having been told not to eat it before it goes downstairs. And the tummy. Can't forget the tummy.

Which to obey? The letter of the law or the spirit of it?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The New View

I have been trying to get these pictures up forever, but the Internet connection from my apartment is nonexistent. So. Pretend I just moved to Chicago last week instead of 6 weeks ago.

This is the view from my new Chicago apartment on a clear day. As for right now, a summer storm has just passed, and out over the water there is a double rainbow. A tugboat is heading out between the arches. The late afternoon sun is out behind my building, and everything below sparkles, having been freshly washed. I tried to get a picture, but nothing does it justice. It's a beautiful city from where I sit.

More Apt Quirks coming soon, including a pic of the mannequin in the corner.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Oh, feets! Not you, too!

Boys and their fantasies

I hear a lot that women fantasize more than men do. I hear this is why the romance novel industry is a multi-billion industry, because women just love to fantasize. Well, this might be true in matters of romance (although I want to see some numbers on that), but I can tell you that in my vast experience of talking to men, on the whole, men fantasize much more than women. As in constantly. And not about what you might think.

The following is part of an actual email I received from one of my closest male friends, who was bored while trying to study for the bar, and let his mind begin to wander:

"I'm in Russia post-bar. Maybe a ship. Maybe stormy. I prevent some devious and dangerous crime. Months later in Chicago. Having dinner w/ firm folks. Attacked by Russian types. Big Bear of a dude. We show down. Many possibilities here, but final: I defend myself a little, a little impressively, but clearly will lose. Then intervention by other Russians. In charge is beautiful russian woman. Sort of modeled on the russian fighter girl from Street Fighter (though maybe w/out communist beret...). Somehow we have a past. Maybe on the boat. But there's still electricity.

Phew! Got me through this morning..."


Ok. Let me clarify for you, because it took a few emails back and forth for the entire thing to become clear (although it never made it to the point of realistic). My otherwise normal friend spent the morning daydreaming about protecting Russians from some devious crime on a boat and perhaps developing some chemistry with a woman who looks about like this, after which, the spurned criminals hunted him down in Chicago and were about to mangle him (despite his impressive efforts of fending them off) when said beautiful woman and her posse of Russian protectors arrived and saved the day, presumably by beating the snot out of the criminal Russians. He and Russian woman fall into one another's arms. Perhaps they go for cocktails and he regales her with his latest musings on Hegel. Whatever. I have one thing to say to this:


You may be thinking to yourself, "why would her friend even tell her about this?" Well, in fact, he began the email by saying "you would appreciate this." Why would I appreciate this? Because I married the King of fantasizers.

Oh yes. There isn't an idle moment when Patto is not inventing scenes of attacking marauders and his ensuing and heroic intervention. These episodes occur most frequently on the train. Patto will start staring off into space, and perhaps begin to squeeze my hand uncomfortably. I wriggle free and he looks up all sheepish. "What?" I say. And then he is explaining how he was imagining if the guy at the end of the train suddenly jumped up and pulled a knife on us how he would block like this (quick demonstration) and then would jump up and swing around the balance pole (I imagine like a stripper - but I don't think that's what he had in mind) and kick the guy in the chest, but then what if the guy jumped up and a bunch of his friends ran to help him? (What is it with guys and gangs of criminals?) THEN he would grab the closest one and throw him like this, and then trip the second one over the first one's body, and then hold him in this kind of choke hold and force the others to call the police on themselves or he would snap the hostage like a twig! And then....

You get the idea.

So let them say that women are always fantasizing. Just know that the next time your brother/friend/husband seems to have zoned out, he is probably dueling an escaped and psychopathic criminal pirate, who is attempting to derail a large passenger train loaded with rare medicine and bound for a small and impoverished village in Africa, (oh! and the conductor is a beautiful and intelligent woman who's father is the CEO of WorldBank!), and the only way to stop the crazed pirate is to hop a runaway stagecoach and set a trap involving Algerian bulls (the natural enemy of pirates) and then beat him in a battle of wits! And then...

You get the idea.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Dad Dives On

Not to be outdone by Volunteer 8 news or the Knoxville Sentinel, Knoxville's Channel 10 picked up the story of my gold-winning dad and how he just won't quit competitive diving. This one focuses a little more on his injuries than the Volunteer 8 story, but I guess they thought that the "incredible inspiration not to give up on your dreams" angle had been adequately covered. Read the news story here, and watch the video (that's my dad!) here.

I am so proud of him. I wish I could walk around downtown with my laptop showing strangers the news clips and saying "that's my dad!" But the last time I did that the cop told me to move along. So.

Go watch the video!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Baby Beavers Video

Perhaps you have seen my sister's post about the baby beavers being born at the knoxville zoo. I stumbled across a video here, so if you love you some baby beavers (or kits, as they are known by people in the know), go check it out.

Losing it

Last week, I was really, really tired. I'm not sure why, as I was getting a full night's sleep each night and certainly wasn't exerting myself at the gym. But anyway, by Friday morning, I was very tired and in need of a weekend.

And Sunday morning, as I decided to pour myself a big glass of milk, I opened the cabinet to retrieve said glass and found my carton of milk, neatly shelved among the glassware, where it had been sitting since Friday morning.

The scary thing was that as I stared with great confusion at my carton of milk in the pantry, one of my first thoughts was, "can it be saved?"

But of course it cannot be saved, not 48 hours later. So with heavy heart and empty glass I poured a 3/4 full quart of milk down the drain.

Happily, I haven't misplaced any perishables today (I don't think). But the day is young and I am ambitious.