Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Holiday Season amidst

Ramblings Post #78
Life is like a cookie. Or like a cheese log. Or like an oyster. Or a box of chocolates. Or maybe even like a ice cream sundae with caramel and whipped creme. Well, not really, life is like life...and that about sums it up. There you go, reality for Christmas. And I didn't even wrap it.


I've calculated that over the years, since I've been working at my present job, I've not used upwards of 90 vacation days allotted to me, out of the possible around 120 or so I should have had. To put that in context, if the days rolled over - which they do not - and took them all starting in January, I would have to come back to work until the second week in May. It maybe for this reason, people think of me an a workaholic. Or at least Sporty used to.

These holidays are no different. The, for lack of a better term, gentleman who fills in for me when I'm out is off and so I'm stuck. In the office, watching the hours flit by I wonder how soon it will be before my brain turns to mush. They've unblocked Youtube, so when it gets really boring I watch British comedies I would much rather buy on DVD, but that they don't sell in this country. Right now it's Hyperdrive with Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It's Star Trek if the Kirk were an idiot, Spock an psychopath, and Star Fleet were run like a real government agency. Really a good show.


The holidays went well. Family is all well, and life is well, lifing right along.

My time with Sporty was short, but lovely. Sunday, my RP hollers at me that right after Christmas he's having a Sunday drop in, a little food, a little drink and some folks through to watch the Falcons game...or rather, let the Falcons game play in the background while we play cards (spades, bid whist, whatever). A little earlier that morning however, Sporty hit me that we'd get together as soon as she is out of church, so I'm planning on doing two great things - seeing her AND having brunch, my favorite meal. But she hasn't hit me by eleven, so I figure I'll run over and show my face at my RPs, and then roll out to see her when she calls.

The drop in doesn't drop, but rather avalanches. People just keep showing up, and instead of the 10 or so folks I thought would be dropping through, it's 35 or so people. But I'm a romantic (or sucker, your call) and although there are plenty of women there, I hit up Sporty around 2pm and tell her to "remind the Reverend that she is going to church again next week, so he doesn't have to explain the whole God thing today". I thought it was funny.

So she invites me over to where she is right then. And in the midst of a party, a nice little set where the ratio of men to woman is heavy in my favor and everyone is festive...I get my coat and walk out the door.

Life is about Priorities.

Over there me and her talked and talked and hung out and watched the game and got accosted by small child and, well at least for me, basked in the personal warmth of seeing someone you wanted to see. She liked to little book I bought her for Christmas, and the little book that I made and it was as an enjoyable a two hours as I've ever spent. As we hugged in the street saying our good byes it was like we didn't want to let go. And she told me love me...or rather she shouted she loved me from the curb as I got into my car, as though she'd forgot to say it and was making sure to get it in. I shouted it back. We're out of sync...but apparently both want to get back. So it was a Merry Christmas.

I rolled back out to my RPs spot where the party was still in full swing. A head or two missed me, but most hadn't realized I'd slipped out. Spanky noticed and because she didn't know where I'd been, Serve was non-committal (for the record, Serve does not like even the idea of Sporty). Then the day just kept getting better, as the Cowboys beat the dogsnot out of the Redskins! Oh, how I need the Cowboys to end up with a No. 2 seed to end the hate, er...piss off the Cowboy haters. *insert snide cackle here*

Soon school will start again - one of my professors was nice enough to send the reading assignment the day before Christmas Eve - and work will continue as, well, work has a tendency to do. It's the end of the year, start of a new decade, a start of new...something.

By the way, I'm not really a workaholic, I'm quite the hedonist. Well, maybe I used to be quite the hedonist, but I'm hedonism semi-retirement. Or so I like to think. Maybe. But that's not important right now.

Barkeep, that really was rambling...wow. Something strong, I stop drinking on Thursday and I need to get my last licks in!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas in the City/Country

Ramblings Post #77
It's Christmas time, oh, sing the joy of the holiday and let us rejoice in the company of men as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Or...it's Christmas time and there is a sale at the mall, my list is long, my money short and let us come together to shake our booties, get bent on good liquor and get one last shot of freaky sneaky before NEXT year, when we'll never do something like that again...again.


It's Christmas Eve, and I'm broke. I spent my last few pennies on my Grandmother, my mother and Sporty. The last one of these had an emergency and I came through for her, but that means as one of my facebook friends put it..."due to the recession, the period for Christmas gift giving has been extended to Easter." I cut it close, but not so close as I forgot family. You gotta take care of family.

In a few hours I'll gas up the Pacer, pack up the gifts and head down to South Carolina for two days of holiday cheer. My mother is gearing up for her hip surgery, so other than the one trip to see my Grandmother, I might not have to spend the holiday in the car! Yay, me!

And if I'm really lucky, when I get back all my stuff will still be here. As I've mentioned several times before, I live in a neighborhood in "transition"...with no real neighbors. Which seemed like a brilliant concept when the transition was actually in progress, but now with it stalled, it just makes the house a tempting target. Oh well, you roll the dice.

I hollered at Sporty, and when I asked if her schedule while in town would permit any hang out time with yours truly (I'm fairly certain her girls have got her booked up trying to catch up) she said she would make time. Which means to some degree she thinks I'm important. Which felt good. And it will give me a chance to give her the book I made for her as her Christmas present, although she says I've already done too much for her already.

We'll see.

But the next week is looking right, come payday I'll be straight, I got a NYE party already lined up thanks to my RP, and I might have to start throwing out food I've got so much.

Barkeep. Give me some of that Eggnog Alizè!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just like riding a bicycle

Ramblings Post #76
If you've been doing something for a while, you tend to get good at it. I've been at the current job for seven years and at this point, I can condense five or six hours of work into two intense hours. You do learn it and know it. But I've been hanging out since I was ...well, let's just say I've closed out my second decade. I've had my good time, some of your good time, and I'm borrowing against someone else's good time. And so though I've been away from the "game" for a minute with school, when we lace'em up and hit the hardwoods, I'm still hitting three's from the top of the arc. Rebounding still not so hot.


I hadn't been out and about in a long time. With work, school, studying for school, sleeping and the occasional bathroom trip, I really haven't had the time. I'm guessing Sporty and I would have been Monday night or Sunday night regulars had she still been in town. But with three weeks of the kicking it until I head back to the legal gulag, it was amazing how fast it all came back to me.

Friday night at 5:30, I'm still at the office messing around when my RP calls from 5 years ago. By that I mean: There is a party happening somewhere in Atlanta right now or in the next hour, this is the host, here is the address or some directions and... go! We hadn't saddled up and rode like that in a while.

So I run by the house and spiff up a touch then roll out to the Christmas party for an Atlanta law firm being held in the event space on the 50th floor of 191 Peachtree Tower. Which means things haven't changed all that much. Back in the day the invite would be a mansion somewhere or an invitation only spot where my name would somehow end up on the guest list, so the only thing that has happened is that we've gotten older.

The spot is nice, the usual crowd is in attendance and apparently women can smell the legal on you. I wasn't there 10 minutes before I'm chatting with a few chicks and getting the look from a few more. I want to say I worked it like the smooth player that I am, but the reality is I'm so out of the game I put myself on the bench a few times that evening, not sliding in like I know I can when confronted with a possibility.

Saturday Sporty hits me and surprise, she's going to be in town the week of Christmas. Which is like WOW. I'm not sure what's going on. But I do know it means I have to clean up the house like for real. And just when I was going to break out and do the little bit of shopping (I'm a college student, and I'm broke so the operative word was little) .

Saturday night was....how can I describe this? Long? Tiring? Interesting? Saturday night we had the annual "Come as you are" Cocktail party. We invite our folk, we gather some toys for children and have a nog to celebrate the passing of another year. Okay, we gather up as much alcohol as we can, crank up the beat and let it all hang out until we can't take it no more. We're closing in a decade with this party, and it just keeps getting bigger. Then the Cowboys beat the Saints and the night is just looking all spectacular! I also broke a personal rule and went out for the third night in a row. I'm getting too old to keep doing this, and a while back I said that three nights in a row was just showing off...but here I was again.

Out at the "Mansion", we set up the DJ booth, iced down the drinks and got started around 8pm. I was still serving at 3am. I know we don't do it as often as we used to, but I need to talk to RP about the good ole days when we'd shut it down around 1am just because.

At this point I'd like to ask God why he sends them all at once.

So I'm at the party and who should pop up by...let's call her Swift. I've known Swift for a while, about my age, from NY with a noticeable accent, and apparently...really into me. I ran into her last summer but we were just passing ships in the night. So she pops up a Christmas time. She and her buddies stayed until long after the set was over, hanging out and dancing and all the other after party futzing around that happens when the party's over but you want to play that one more song, or do that dance you hadn't done in a while. Swift seemed like suddenly she was interested instead of our normal flirting and then "see ya" we normally do.

So like, what's going on? I mean really going on...

I think I'm reading way too much into anything right now. I'm suddenly missing the mindless intensity and attention to detail of law school, and that's saying something.

Barkeep...Tall glass of Ice Water. Make it a double.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Record Report

Ramblings Post #75
The year 2009 draws to a close, and I'm slowly coming to grips with not being a kid anymore. Don't get me wrong, even in my lumpy form in ill fitting clothes driving my Road Hazard Turbo 05' I still am the recipient of the occasional glance of the young chippie. That or they've mistaken me for their father. In either case, it means age is just a number. A big number, but just a number.


One of the many signs of old age is when you think the current music is horrible, and that they they don't like they used to "back when I was growing up" . And this may be the case for me, as lately music...well, the more popular rap music of today, seems to have taken the term "quality control" to new heights, or lows depending on your point of view. This little tirade was prompted when listening to the radio this morning on the way to work, Jay Z's new single, the one about New York, came on....so I changed the station...and then Jay Z's new single came on...so I changed the station, again....and then Jay Z's new single came on...so I changed the station, again again....and then Jay Z's new single came on...so I turned to the gospel station.

As you may or may not have guessed, I'm not a big Jay Z fan. I think the last song of his that I liked was "I Just Wanna Love Ya" in 2000.

Don't even get me started on the mess that is Lil Wayne.

And if I as a consumer have no interest in the two "hottest" rappers in the game, then maybe it's just that I'm getting old and this is just a sign of the times.

And you would be wrong.

I like a lot of "new" rap. Atlanta's own Gucci Mane's "Wasted" I found catchy before they played into oblivion. Kanye's "Big Ego" was quirky but likable, I just got turned on to Fred the Godson (though he is a little gangsta for my usual tastes) and Blitz the Ambassador , so I do like some of the new stuff. Even Officer Ricky (Rick Ross) is okay. But these guys? Well....

Jay Z lucked out, then I guess worked that good fortune to his benefit. That good fortune being that the rap game was bereft of any talent or heat in the late 90's. And Wayne gets by on image and inertia. He has the prototypical "rapper" look that makes us mad when suburban white kids emulate it, yet "we" celebrate it. The thing about these two "rappers" that bothers me the most is that according to them neither can be bothered to put pen to paper prior to walking into the studio. And their songs sound like it.

Jigga is at least practiced at freestyle to some degree, but his rhymes have a Flavor-aid feel to them, as opposed to authentic Kool-aid. Instead of the complex construction that is the NY norm, this Rockafella original comes across as light in the cookies, but with good production. In a subgenre that places heavy emphasis on wordplay, Jay to me appears to be a really popular middleweight, and not a heavyweight.

Wayne on the other hand, just needs to stop. That latest thing currently in heavy rotation for no reason in which he laughs between lines is so bad, it's gone on through back around to good and then back to bad again. At least that Jay Z song I don't like has a loose theme - very loose - but Wayne just appears to be in the studio messing around. The single is almost like one of those old time skits rappers used to put on the albums to deflect all the gunplay and being black angst they displayed. Not that I'm hating that you can just throw something together and get paid, but as the theoretical consumer, I don't appreciate being insulted either. And that's what that is...insulting.

For the record, the last Lil Wayne song I liked was "Stuntin' Like My Daddy", although his wordplay is horrible there as well, the beat is killer.

The occasional one off that is nonsensical or just pure braggadocio is okay, even expected in the rap game. A continuing series of them quickly becomes tiring. Over several years it becomes wearisome. In a four minute song we're talking about roughly two minutes of rap...or three scores of sixteen bars, not including chants and general screaming into the microphone... not a whole lot of writing. And it's not like either one of them are "battle rapping", so I don't really see the big thrill.

Maybe I'm just getting old. But more likely, I'm not.

Barkeep. For old times sake, a Schlitiz Malt Liquor Bull and bag of pork skins...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Nights out in SPACE...

Ramblings Post #74
They don't miss you until you're gone, and you don't realize how much you had until you've wasted it. None of that applies here. After a long semester, and a longer final (Ha!) I'm back on the scene with a gangsta lean...temporarily. Until January I'm back in the game, just hoping to get in a few reps and maybe score a TD or two without having to resort to the trick plays. We'll see. Until then...here we go!


So, for the first Friday in three months that I don't have anything to do, I put on my spiffy and head out to Serve's birthday party. She's holding it with S-to be-named at a little spot on the Southwest side of Atlanta called SPACE.

It's the Space in SPACE...which isn't all that much.

SPACE is one of those spots that frequently pop up in Atlanta. I'd been to Rathbuns and Krog bar and a host of other spots that 125 years ago, or 5 years ago, used to be something industrial and so it has lots of raw space. And if you polish the concrete floor, seal the windows and put in some heat and A/C, then stick in a kitchen and bar and you turn around and you've got a restaurant/lounge. SPACE is exactly that. All that's missing is the "authentic" Atlanta Heritage Building concept, in that it "used to be" this specific historical spot. That and it's missing decent parking.

The evening starts off funny. I'm picking up Slim, who suddenly no longer is. We spend fifteen minutes at her house because suddenly nothing fits anymore. Then because the eVite says the party starts at 7pm, we breeze in at 8pm...and are an hour early because the party doesn't really start until 9pm. No worries, the spot has food and bar so I figure we can amuse ourselves for an hour. So I ask the waitress if the bar has any whiskey worth talking about. She doesn't know but goes to check. There selection is piss poor, so I order the basic with some Sprite. Then, she looks me dead in my eye and asks seriously: "Do you want them in separate glasses?"

That became the joke of the evening.

Slim and I argued over her bad instructions until S-to-be-named showed up and went over what the evite was supposed to have said. We then all decided that somewhere else in Atlanta there was a birthday party happening that Slim had agreed to be at, and that they probably were very salty with her for not showing up.

Then came the next great joke of the evening. SPACE was hosting three seperate events that evening, the birthday party I was attending, a second birthday party in the back room and what I guess was a third birthday party. There may have been a fourth event, I really wasn't paying attention. But what are the odds, as it turns out the party in the back room: I know those guys. And the chicks with the third birthday party: I know them too!

I go to one spot and run into three events where I know someone? The term Atlanta is too small quickly comes to mind. That or I know entirely too many people. So I spent the evening bouncing back and forth from party to party, seeing a great deal of folks I hadn't seen in ages. The space, as most spaces are, was laid out improperly to maximize the crowd flow, but then that's great for meeting people. It was a pretty fun night.

I almost got my swagger back. Then i remembered I hate that term, so I decided to get something else back.

Barkeep...first, I want the liquor and the soda in the same glass....okay? Now....

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Office Moguls...the continuing saga

Ramblings Post #73
There are some people who, when you think about it, don't really know. You know? I mean they really don't have a clue about how the world works outside of that insular little bubble they've somehow managed to construct. Sometimes it's because of money, sometimes it's ideals, and other times it's just they're completely oblivious. And then sometimes, it's because you're a Mogul...even though you work with the rest of us.


Naive Mogul is back at the stocks. Apparently his father has given him a few more dollars to play with. He asked one of the actual learned and disciplined investors for advice, and because neither of them do any real work I half listened to them discuss strategies for like Chatty Mogul was there (thank God he wasn't). It's funny because the actual investor, who has dedicated money from each check going to an investment account he manages using tools he actually paid professional investors is being talked down to by Naive Mogul, who uses USA Today and Yahoo to guess at investments.

Daddy Mogul is experiencing the joys of contracting. He getting some work done on the house and his contractor, like every other contractor who doesn't have his own television show, hasn't shown up. He's spending more time "working from home" waiting for the contactor to show up than seems logical.

Chatty Mogul is...indecipherable. Chatty Mogul spent the last 24 months as the, hum...er.... "Head of Chicken Plucking Knowledge", the job he wasn't doing when he was doing everything else. Recently, at his own requests because the one monthly reports were just too much pressure, he was moved back to plain ole' "Chicken Plucking", something he did for two years before his promotion. Now of course, he's forgotten how to hold a chicken, how to pluck a chicken, and how to tell if a chicken has been plucked. A few days ago he spent the better part of hour avoiding his job arguing how he doesn't avoid doing his job.

And just when I thought it was over, because to do the regular "Chicken Plucking" your desk has to be much further away from mine and you actually have to pay attention to what you are doing and so where I thought I wouldn't be inundated with updates of the dear boy's life, management wants me to train Chatty Mogul on my job as a third tier backup person.

Oh joy.

If you see a news article "Man beats coworker after repeated dumb questions", that will be me.

Pray for me.

Barkeep, something to numb the pain.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And With A Gurgle of Frustration, It is Done. For now.

Ramblings Post #72
I'm trying to remember the exact moment I decided to go to law school. I haven't always wanted to be a lawyer. I remember the convincing argument that if I went in X amount of time I would be a lawyer, and if I didn't go in X amount of time I'd be the same age, but not a lawyer. It sounds a lot more convincing when you're tired of talking. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy law school, as it's nice to talk with people as smart as I or smarter - unlike the chikin' plucking job - but sometimes, I ask why did I do this to myself. And that sometimes is usually right around finals. Go figure.

A fast recap of my week of finals, for which I took an unprecedented week off from work to get ready for.

The first exam, a three hour lovefest which was open book, seems almost quaint looking back. When I got to a question on a case and I wasn't quite sure what the reading said, I actually looked the case up and reviewed it quickly for the answer! I felt confident leaving the room, taking time at the end to review my answers. A this point the test feels remarkably pedestrian for such an involved and in-depth subject.

The second exam I could still be working on right now. Three hours, no notes, you just had to know the material. Essentially one long fact pattern from which we had to discern the arguments and counter arguments - like say - actual lawyers who have to consider what the other side will say and be ready with a response. Because I'm part time, and just now finishing my first year, my class was split between actual first time law students and we semi-second year kids. I felt better about my response when I found out that most of the first year folks didn't bother to take the practice exam the prof was nice enough to give us, so I'm certain their responses weren't as crisp as they could have been. And in law school they grade on the curve.

Then, flush from my imagined success on two exams, mind still burbling with responses to the exam questions I could given, that Friday night right after the second exam I opened up the email from my last professor regarding his exam, my last. And, obviously a bit woozy and delirious from exam taking, I figured I had read it wrong and needed a quick lie down. In the morning it would all be clearer. And it the morning it was. Or wasn't depending on your point of view.

Now my first year of law school my profs would tell us about the test, but having never seen one I had no idea how to approach them. Then having seen them, it took a minute (a semester) to get my skills right. So looking at the instructions for this exam, and knowing how the prof phrased his questions I was - well, stunned.

The usual law exam is a few questions to check fact knowledge and a great deal of essay. Acres of essay. The second exam this semester was all essay. Lawyers are by in large storytellers, who weave a narrative of the facts into something persuasive for the best representation for their client. This semester, I had one professor that during class insisted our spoken answers have "a beginning, a middle, and an end" so that we get used to speaking in a narrative. A lot of our professors tell us they don't care what our final answer is as long as we can logically and persuasively defend it using the law, i.e, create a narrative.

I say all that to say that this was not that test.

This test had clear right and wrong answers. This final exam was black and white in field that specializes in shades of gray. I come from a small country town, and this exam when handed out was thicker than my hometown phone book. The questions just kept coming and coming. Page after page. And then essay questions that didn't really ask for a persuasive defense, but for specific terms and concepts. We had four hours to work on it, and I took three hours and fifty minutes.

Hopefully, I did okay. I hope.

Barkeep, the stuff you been keeping for a special occasion. Four semesters down, six to go.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tiger by (well, after) some tail

Ramblings Post #71
There is an old country song that fits perfectly with this post. Written by the now wholly artificial Kenny Rogers, the opening strains of "The Gambler" used to be known to a generation. And today, facing a media onslaught and quite possibly an attack on the homefront, the words: "Know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run" have rarely had greater resonance.


I'm not sure who is advising Tiger Woods right now. But whoever it is needs to give that young man the following advice : Get out your checkbook and proceed directly to divorce court.

Had he cheated with one girl or two, it might have been palatable to the wife and we could have had the "stand by your man" story of redemption that turns into a Lifetime movie and an Oprah Winfrey Book Club selection someday. But the Becky's kept falling out of the woodwork, each one a little cheaper than the last. And for a self described "boring guy" and family man, finding out you like'em "cheap and blond with it going on" and that you fly women around the world to hookup looks like hypocrisy. And if it ain't the cover up that gets you, it's the hypocrisy.

Now trailing only Wilt Chamberlain in scoring....

Tiger Woods is poised to enter the pantheon of the great rogues of history but he seems reluctant to embrace his new status. If he were single and trailing a string of women - ala Derek Jeter, or Tom Brady - we wouldn't have batted an eye. Rich and famous and taking advantage of women throwing themselves at you? Er, that's how it's SUPPOSED to work! But the married with kids, and acting as though you don't do this type of thing is the problem.

Which is why you need to: Get out your checkbook and proceed directly to divorce court.

I'm not sure what the media's fascination is with the destruction of the successful black male. Especially one married to the angelic blonde haired and blue eyed model type. Tiger hit OJ and Micheal Jackson saturation at times in the past few days. And while the media was busy digging into, forgive my odd allusion, Tiger's dirty drawers, it seems that Congress still hasn't passed a Health Care Reform Bill AND we announced we're shipping 30,000 more troops off to war. The vaunted fourth estate was dominated however with reports of a male golfer being sorry after he go caught doing what reportedly 60% of all married men do. Repeatedly. And with fairly attractive women.

Why is this news?

And since his "transgressions" have hit double digits, and his wife probably has some self respect left, the odds of her sticking around are right up there with the Detroit Lions making the playoffs. The reality is, what you're really waiting on is the season to end. My advice is just let it go.

With the right PR folks, this will all be old news in 18 months, and you can go back to picking up waitresses in Vegas or wherever and NOBODY will care. So, I reiterate: Get out your checkbook and proceed directly to divorce court.

Barkeep, a little burbon for me, and keep the waitress away from friend.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

They got room for one more?

Ramblings Post #70
I've been Joe Social. I've been to more house parties and social events than I can count. I've kicked at mansions and at little hovels, with models and with people grandmas, eaten the finger food and gotten a plate, but even I never figured that if they were throwin' a party at the White House, I could just go. Even if the President is black.


At president Obama's first state dinner, two people put on some nice clothes, showed up at the White House and not only got in, but got up close and personal with the most protected man on the planet. I mean like hug me close.

As a person who has on more than one occasion shown up at a party dressed appropriately with no idea whose home it is and been welcomed. And eaten and drank heartily. And have been mistaken for the host (it's a aura I give off). And occasionally received a gift bag for coming. Well, let's just say I can understand where they're coming from.

Then today I read they are convening a panel in the House of Representatives to look into what happened.

Why?

Did we elect security specialists to the House? Do house reps understand security zones, checkpoint layout, all access passes and dignitary indigence? Has even one of these reps "worked" the door at an event? Worked as a roadie? Then this is just about a useless exercise. I understand bringing this to light and all, but you can take this two ways. One, you can fire everyone involved and make an example out of them, or Two, you can look into procedures, make some adjustments and keep the people who let the couple in on staff because I guarantee you that they'll never make that mistake again. And since the reps aren't in charge of hiring and firing, why are they involved? They need to keep this brief.

Then I read that the wife, Michaele Salahi, is a Reality TV hopeful.

Which brings me to the point of my post.


Do you see, television? Do you see what you've done to us? The infection that is The Hills, Real Housewifes of wherever we can find some suckers, Rock of Love and STDs, Jon and Kate plus his girlfriend and whoever else has spread to a National Security issue. It was bad enough when the balloon boy's parents sucked in the national media trying to get famous enough to get recognized at the Shoney's, now to get famous for doing nothing, people are doing something! And that something is risk prison time, threaten national security. Somewhere in Hollywood a producer was trying to track down the guy who shot four cops in Seattle and ....

..you know what, that's one's just too tasteless to even tell.

I admit it, I'd like to famous too. But I like to believe it's because I have a skill or talent that makes me different, and use that skill to get some notoriety. But famous for audacity...or in this case, sheer bravado? Famous for being famous. How long before someone does something really stupid just to get on television. Wait, somebody just did. How long before someone does something ridiculously stupid...and accidentally destructive...to get on television? I'm a little scared to find out.

We banned cigarette ads from television. We just lifted the ban on Liquor ads. I think there is precedent. What we need is a ban on Reality Television.

And I won't miss any of it. How could I? I stopped watching TV when I went to law school!

Barkeep. Vodka with pineapple and cranberry.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trippy

Ramblings Post #69
Sometimes bad things happen to bad people. But more often than not, good stuff happens to bad people, and then keeps happening and then continues on as long as you can stand to watch it. This is how some people get rich, despite certain personality attributes that would normally render them "beat down". Every now and then though, they slip. And it makes the world right again.


Last week, apparently upon his own initiative, Naive Mogul decided to hold a meeting. As long as I have been with my current "chicken plucking" firm, we've been trying to implement a system that eliminates, well, er...error in chicken plucking. The idea's been tossed around and put on the back burner more than a few times, but apparently it was time to drag the old beast out again.


It is Naive Mogul's plan to show he really should be management by implementing something.

The meeting was a rehash of old ideas, wasting a good hour and half of my day. We don't go through his printed agenda as it's unfocused, he leaves out whole sections of the process that we have to go back and fill in, he doesn't know what the new process will do the existing processes, he's not sure of the value of adding the new process and we spend the bulk of the meeting deciding which "chickens" to which we even want to apply the new process. Typical first meeting stuff, you know how it goes if you've ever worked in an office: You've hashed out some basics, everyone gets a few assignments to report back and we schedule the next meeting to work over them, repeat until you get something workable.

Naive Mogul then announces, as I start to get up to leave, "at the next meeting we'll talk implementation."

One meeting and implementation? Um...no.

There is a momentary silence.

There is that quiet, almost furtive look around that everybody does, because somebody is going to have to burst his bubble, and they don't want to be the one.

Then the tech guy, whom he invited because it's a "tech" process, starts into him. He's the one guy not in the usual chain. The tech guy basically explains how you have a complete and through implementation process. Tech guy goes over what all is required to fully document a process as it exists now, and how future changes will affect that process, the pros and cons of the changes proposed, value gained etc, and why certain people invited to this meeting probably didn't need to be invited (that would mean me!). Basically in front of four or five senior people, including Naive's boss (via conference call), he told him that he doesn't know what he's doing.

And then I got up and left.

Barkeep. A shot of the Russian vodka.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sometimes I surprise myself

Ramblings Post #68
A few weeks ago, I hit the six month mark of time left on my cell phone contract. And those duffers at AT& Suckers are playing hardball. The little online thing I got said I could renew my contract and upgrade my phone for only $18. Apparently there was some fine print I did not read. I am less than happy about this whole affair. What does that have to do with post? Nothing. Just wanted to rant.


The many colors of my life...

For the second time in three years, I'm not heading home for Thanksgiving. Two years ago it was because my brother and I donned our painting togs for my new house and since we both had jobs, it was the only time frame we had to get the work done.

This year it's Law School finals, which happen the first week of December. Last year I believe I was a little too cavalier in my approach, believing that a single day of brushing up before the actual test would be enough. And since our program was broken into to two parts and we didn't get our grades until the end of spring, I had no real idea of how I was doing until grades arrived some many many months later. Now, I'm still in school, but let's just say I'm not in danger of knocking the valedictorian out of their spot. So this year, I'm stocking up on snack food and kool-aid and battening down the hatches.

Promises to be fun. Not.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my usual last hurrah of the school semester didn't happen - the Halloween bash, so I've been dribbling out bits and pieces of social life.

Sporty and I are burning up a chat. I'm sending her email two or three times a week and texting all the time. I'm not sure where we're going, but I'm still down for the ride. I apparently have a bible to read...

Slim and I hung out for a hot minute, but she still is in recovery from her accident. She did put me on this really live little chinese spot in Marietta which I should have reviewed, but I need to eat there again just to be sure. Okay, I'm cheesing, but I did like it.

And then while I was studying this weekend - my parents had traveled up north to visit my brother - another girl buddy "whose name hasn't been decided yet" called and invited me out to a bullfight. Like with matadors and throwing roses! I've never been to a bullfight. I really wanted to go. But instead, I took the practice exam under the actual conditions (3 hours - no breaks, no notes). I be a gud stujent.

Good ole Spanky is still mad at me for even going to Law School. She texted me from Orlando mad that I didn't make the trip. That and I am proud of her for deciding not to spend any money on her new man-friend. As opposed to all the other guys upon whom she was very generous, she's tightened up the purse strings as of late. But then I could have used some new shoes.

Schmoopy is out of town for all of December, on a month long vacation to Africa. We had our last little brunch, well, lunch since to me brunches only really happen on weekends, and caught up on the last few weeks. We've been meeting up every so often again for a while, between her training for a half marathon and studying for the GMAT and as she says, she talks to me more than most. I felt special.

That and, well, Schmoopy looked good enough to start a fight in church between deacons. She claims, or thinks anyway, I don't notice her a lot, but a lunch she had on these black tights and this fairly small top with the puppies out. We made it through lunch without me noticing her whole outfit because she beat me to the restaurant. But as we drifted into that comfortable lazy conversation after the meal that always happens with us, relationships, life, etc, my office called and she stepped away from the table. At that moment she stood up, I lost my train of thought. She looked like ...well, let's just not go there.

Trying to figure out again why I didn't marry that girl when she asked. Man running does a body good.

Then this weekend after my folks left town and the study session was over I ran by one of partner's house to check on him after his car accident. While there, and he had a house full of folk checking on him, another girl buddy of mine "whose name hasn't been decided yet" ran up on with a hug I took as more than friendly. Just all extra friendly. I have no idea what's up with that.

And I needed a haircut.

(that's not a metaphor, I really do need to see a barber)

So apparently despite all my efforts not to have one, the last little bits of my social existence do still carry on. Surprised me to.

Barkeep, some Bookers and a little Sprite. Apparently I'm doing good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thoughts on Things...

Relapse Post #5
It's been a long time since I've been down this road. And although I'm familiar with the trip, I get lost every time. It's scary, and searing, but just a little bit fun. Okay, a lot fun. The trip alone is worth whatever the destination.


I wish I knew where I got this...

Sporty and I have been chatting on IM a lot lately. And the frequency in which she hits me up tells me I might be on her mind as well from time to time. In what capacity I try not to speculate. She's making moves to try and get her situation straight and I keep hoping part of that plan involves me. Our conversations happen on Sunday mornings and after class and on slow afternoons at work, ranging from the philosophical to the mundane, from the silly to the almost serious and I'm like a teenager trying to pace myself and not appear to eager to hit her up every hour or so. I miss the nights we'd spend talking for hours after the dinner plates were cleared away. Her live "in concert" is so much better than digital.

Is this one of those life moments? And how would I know if it was?

She's on my mind a lot, despite my need to concentrate on law and my upcoming finals, and in quiet moments and during some of the slower periods of work I've managed to craft a second novella for her. It's in pretty much the same format as the previous work I mentioned last summer, in which I've mixed her love of travel and our relationship into what I hope is a cute little story. I include the poetry she's inspired me to write and some other things to round it out to 30-40 pages. She claims she loved the first one. We'll see with the second.

As of late I've justified the concept mentally of her NOT moving back to Atlanta with the idea that she would be a huge distraction from my career aspirations. [ Sidenote: Law school can make you see both sides of nearly anything ] I feel like I'm bracing for the hurricane of emotions that will come when she says she's heading to XYZ Faraway West.

Over the course of my life I've had good fortune, or God's blessing if you will, for the most part. My parents are still with me, and the grandparents I've lost I was too young to comprehend what I was missing. When things go badly for me, opportunity for redemption or rescue has a way of presenting itself. Even those things that end up really bad eventually reveal themselves to be object lessons that make me a better person.

But Sporty is that which didn't go well. Not as well as hoped anyway.

As you can see from earlier justification she really would be a huge distraction. Even though work and school and the life that's happened between now and then mean even her being back wouldn't be a return to the same ole same ole, but I want her in Atlanta anyway.

Barkeep. The good brown stuff.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Law School Tips #2 - Concepts

Something Else #2 - Law
Last time I gave those fabulous 1L's some advice. That's what they call first year students, One and El, learned something new. Well that was advice, now here are few concepts to get you through this first...of many...rough patches.



They don't really want to to fail

Well not most of them don't. I did have one professor who was relatively clear in his need to "protect future clients from our potential incompetence." Which is admirable. But the vast majority of at least first year law professors want to help you pass. That and you're paying that tuition thingy. If they let you in, they want you to be there. So go and see them in their office, ask them questions after class, and don't be afraid to say the words that no one wants to say in front of you competitive peers - " I don't know." I can just about promise you that half your class is in the same boat. And if they aren't, you need to drop the shame and catch the hell up!

Your professor isn't crazy.

To practice law for any real period of time....then go into teaching... you have to be some sort of character. Especially teaching new lawyers, all of whom have these notions of what law is based on old episodes of Matlock, Law and Order and the movie Legally Blonde. [ sidenote - law professors love that movie. I don't know why. ] They have to wrest the sugar candy visions you have of law from your head and make you realize most of law is reading and writing, and there are very few "right" answers. They may be peculiar, and sometimes you don't get it, but it's kinda like watching a part two of a trilogy without seeing part one - you have no idea yet why they're doing what they're doing. Yet. There is a method to the madness.

You'll get it eventually

There is no middle ground here. At some point, as my professor told me, you'll start giving more commentary than answer because not only do you know what they're talking about, you've developed an opinion on it. My first year of law school I was a mess. I talked a lot, but I didn't know what I was talking about. Law isn't really about memorization and regurgitation, which is the premise of 85% of all other education. Law is about a foundation based looking at how the actual law was created, then taking that and applying it to a given situation. It would be simpler just to give you the law and ask you repeat it, but then you'd suck as a lawyer.

Write it down

The law is about writing. Yes, you can read it and get it, otherwise you wouldn't be in law school, we know all that. But it's the application that always gets us. We know what we want to say, but can't figure out how to squeeze it all into the space limitation they've imposed. And since, because you're smart, you waited until the night before it was due to get cracking...you don't have time to craft an answer with grace. I'm telling you now...WRITE IT. Practice writing it. A lot of us issue spot - go through looking for the issues to see if we got it - and don't practice the actual writing down a cogent response part. The people who got 95 and above? They're practicing writing. Or they are law prodigies.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Office Breaks and Gold Ping Pong Paddles

Ramblings Post #67
The office is a strange place. You go early in the day, sometimes before the sun comes up, meet and hang out with mostly like minded folks doing pretty much what you're doing for 8 or 10 hours a day and then....go home to real life? If I'm not mistaken, that job is your Real Life, and what you do at home is get ready for it, relax after it and on weekends recover from it. And yet it's taboo to try to pick up dates there. In the dominant part of your life. Go figure.
Sometime ago, while cleaning out her rec room, the director of the department I work in decided to upgrade their family Ping Pong table. And rather than throw the old one out, they took down a few empty cubicles here in the office (there seem to be so many lately) and set up the Ping Pong Lounge, complete with futon couch and chairs, so that we could relax. On Breaks, during lunch and when we weren't working.

This has resulted in sweaty Ping Pong players coming to my desk to ask about client questions.

If you ask me what I do, I am for the most part a professional chicken plucker. It's easier to tell you that than explain what it is I actually do with technology and client's and other people's time. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. So when the Office Moguls and the rest of the office gang aren't plucking chickens, they're playing Ping Pong. A whole lot of Ping Pong.

I knew it had gotten out of hand when.... a) they began purchasing new equipment...like the $50 Ping Pong paddle, b) they started to hang around on Friday night AFTER work to play Ping Pong and finally when c) they started a collection to purchase a NEW Ping Pong table. Yeah, they asked me for money for a game I don't even have time the play. I hear managers looking for people to get stuff done, knowing these fools are on the table. I'm certain in the team meetings "Ping Pong time management" has been discussed.

Sometimes as I'm creeping out on Friday night to go fall into a law book, I'll see someone who has been off for two hours waiting to play. Or someone hovering above the table waiting to return a tricky serve and I'll pass their waiting wife in the parking lot. Is there something about Ping Pong I'm missing? I hear "come and be graced by this whipping I'm about to give you" and other Ping Pong challenges and exhortations on the floor. Guys discussing serves and returns, angles and stances. I get the impression before long I'll get the email about a company "Ping Pong Tourney" complete with prizes.

Hath the Ping and the Pong cometh for us?

If you are looking for a job and getting frustrated, you should be pissed. Because some of the folks still working don't appreciate what they have, and are mad they can't go to the office and just play Ping Pong all day.

Barkeep. A whiskey and soda for me, and round of beers for the guys at the Ping Pong table. They're not going anywhere.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Law School Tips #1

Something Else #1 - Law
I'm not quite sure which category this post falls into. It's not just general rambling, nor is it bar chatter or political. Maybe I had another category somewhere but I'm too lazy to look right this second.


First year law students, here is a quick bit of advice.


Start your outline now.
- Seriously. You need to do your complete outline, copying it over if that's all you do, but do it twice each weekend. Add in the little bit for this week, and then write it over from scratch. Your outline is your bible. And the more times you look at it, the better you will do. Law school isn't undergrad. I remember one undergrad class I only went to for the last review session before the for tests and the tests. You cannot do this in Law School. I know you're overworked as it is, but believe me, now is the time. Hell, now is almost too late! Start your outline now, even if you can't take it into the test with you. The repetition will ingrain it in your mind.


Read your professor
- Each professor is different. I had one prof who gave tests with references to the Three Stooges and German Opera, in the same question. I had another who sounded like a mix of Richard Pryor, Bernie Mack and old preacher. And yet another who was a good ole boy who mixed in jingoism and good old common sense. Each one's test was different, but looking back I realized that they telegraphed how the test would be during class. Some personality traits shine through. The good ole boy's final was straight forward, just like his teaching. The property prof with the Hawaiian shirt collection and the great stories, loved answers with great stories and odd references. Read your prof, learn what he likes. It will be on the final.


Supplements
- Some call them horn books, or treasties or whatever, but you need them. Reading cases cold is hard. You didn't get it. You know you did get it, but you're wrong. Go to amazon and pick out the matching supplements for your casebook and order it now. Then read the case - read the case synopsis - and read the case again. You'll be surprised at what you miss. Don't use the supplement as a substitute, ever...but use them.
- Sidenote: only take the supplement to class if you sit in the back.


Classmates
- Law is a funny animal. Sometimes I think some folks got out of law school only because they lucked out with a slow bunch. You're all in the pit together. The curve is set by whoever is best, so you need to get to running now. You want to do better than everyone else, but you need everyone else to assure your own survival. You need a "study group" and by that I mean you need another set of eyes, so one other person is enough. I personally don't have a "study group" but I do have folks I will talk an issue over with. And it's different people, so I get different perspectives. And different answers. And in law, the more answers the better. Most times.

A few quick one liners to get you through. Just remember you're doing this for the greater good of humanity. Besides, even if you quit now, you'll still owe the student loan.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knowing is aging

Ramblings Post #66
This year I had a birthday I've always envisioned as something so far off it was always ages and ages away. And now that I am that age I used to laugh at, karma has come in from doing the yard and started pointing out all those little things I used to think should never have to me. Not the big stuff, the little stuff. What little stuff? Read on...


Wanna know how you know you're old?

When you hurt yourself, not playing basketball, or working in the yard, or slipping in the bathtub, but reaching for the alarm clock.

I have a horrible habit in that I've found out, or figured out, how to turn off my alarm clock in my sleep. Well, not turn off but hit the snooze. Which is kinda why my alarm is set for 6am, but I don't actually wake until well after 7am.

To combat this I move the clock around the nightstand, to the floor, to the other side of the bed, etc. I'm considering buying another alarm clock that requires more than a button tap to get to the snooze part. I've also considered sleeping with someone who'll actually get up when the alarm goes off. Let's just say there are plans in "flux".

But Monday morning, as the alarm went off for what had to be the 8th or 9th time I reached out this time semi-awake to get a few more minutes. The clock was just out of my reach. Apparently the previous time I'd hit the snooze when I rolled back over into the covers I had rolled a little farther away. I stretched out just a touch. Didn't make it. I stretched a little more...

...and my wrist popped.

I was damn sure awake then. I could move my fingers and all that, but it sure hurt like hell.

I hurt myself trying to turn off my alarm clock. I've been in car accidents, run into walls and doors, and nothing hurt quite like this. I mean this hurt like a mofo. I could barely hold a pen and doing all the things I normally do one handed really wasn't the move.

And hurt till this morning. Maybe it was a wrist sprain.

I started to get gray at 22, so that really wasn't a feeling of being old to me when the gray started coming in a little stronger. And I've been out running the streets since sometime in late 80's, from college to my hometown and finally in Atlanta for a decade, so my slowing down and getting a little weary of the "scene" didn't strike me as me getting old, I'd had my good time, and some of yours. But hurting yourself just moving? I mean damn. Is there another sign of being old?

Maybe I'll get me some vitamins or something.

Barkeep, let me get a Centrum Martini.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mickey and Jerry in for a visit

Ramblings Post #65
There are things I just inherently don't do. I do not do hot pants. Anymore. I don't do heights, but only because having to call the fire department to get a grown ass man off a one story roof is ridiculously embarrassing. And as you just found out, I don't really do cheese. But wait, there's more. Read on...


Slim called for the first time in forever. She's been on the down low for a minute, and still has a while to go so I wasn't expecting a word from her. She was in a automobile wreck a while back, totaled her car and broke her foot. She's in therapy and has been out of the game, but last night she called because she has a little visitor she can't get rid of.

She as a mouse.

And as a big strong he-man type, she over course called yours truly to handle the situation. And that would have been cool. Except I'm allergic to rodents. Small and hairy? My eyes will swell up, my body starts aching, I sneeze like I caught the bird flu. It's not good. But then that's how I would know if I've got a problem at my house. I start sneezing and aching for no real reason? Time to call my exterminator, because the furry ones have come to visit. But despite my allergies, after class I rode over to play Tom Cat to her visitor Jerry.

She's put on a few pounds, but then I always thought she was too thin, but it looks good on her. It's not often you meet a plump vegetarian. A pleasingly plump vegetarian.

I did a sweep of the grounds, she had already laid out the sticky traps so I put out the neck snappers (using her $8 brie cheese ) and afterwards we caught up. She's thinking about starting a blog, or a website since she's basically just chillin' all day and I gave her a few addresses and ideas. I admonished her for not having a lawyer (see legal mind popping out already). And before I ended up having to get doped up on benedryl and vodka to make to the morning, I skeddaled.

And when I got home, I marveled at my exterminator's prowess, because I need to clean up. Bad.

Barkeep. A little cleaning music and kickstart beverage.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bar chatter

Bar Chatter #7
When it's not enough to make a post, but deserves to go out to the world... it's just Bar Chatter.


Boston Market must be better than I think. I ran out at lunchtime to knock off a few errands, and on the way back in I decided to forgo the burgers, taco, subs, fried chicken or wings and get something at least semi-decent. So I stopped at Boston Market.

Lunch for one at Boston Market was $11.00.

The actual bill. Yeah, I ate it, I was hungry.

Do they know it's a recession? Why is there no value menu? And it's not like the joint was empty at nearly 1:30pm either, they had more than a few folks eating. On the way back I passed a closed TGI Fridays, a closed BBQ joint, a closed french bakery and yet the Boston Market charging $11.00 a head for lunch is still open?

Did I miss something?

Friday, October 23, 2009

So they loaded up the Truck, and moved...

Ramblings Post #65
A shrewd investor I read back in the day, when I read investment advice like some men read a sports page, advised that during a calamity, one needs to look for bargains. And if the current state of Wall Street isn't a calamity, I'm not sure what would qualify. The problem I have now is that my tools are so rusty, I can't accurately tell what's a deal and what isn't. Now I at one time had the skills....think about what the Moguls are up against.


"So I made $3,000 like a month ago. But then this month I've lost $4,0000. And I spent $2,000 getting my car fixed. But if this other stock ...."

And the moguls continue.

It still amazing to me that Naive Mogul still has a belief that he can beat the market. Listening to him and Daddy Mogul talk - and it's not like I'm trying to listen, he talks loud - the concept that maybe just maybe they can't win just has not occurred to him. At any point. Not in all the months he's been trying. Naive Mogul is afraid that at the end of the year he'll have to cut his losses and see if he can get some more money - cry to his father - so he can invest again. Actually, I believe the word he used was play.

Even in the worst of times, those privileged live in a fantasy world.

He hasn't realized that like in Vegas, the only way to win is if you own the casino.

Chatty Mogul has rejoined the general work group, and by his own estimation the days seem to go a lot faster as of late. Well, since he's working as opposed to sitting about and talking about his 1) house, 2) dog, 3) diet, 4) inventions, 5) his grand ideas for the future, or whatever other crazy thought strikes him.

Side note: Two weeks ago Chatty was considering law school. I advised him to get a study guide and maybe take a prep course before taking the LSAT, but he figured he would just go take it cold to see what it was all about, then if he felt he could do it, he would study and take it again. When advised against doing that, and why that was a horrendously bad idea (they would average the scores, not take the highest) he quickly lost interest.

After Naive and Daddy discussed their losses for at least 20 minutes - this stock won't move, this other stock took a dive, etc and so on, they started on Daddy Mogul's new health plan. Which is infinitely more interesting, as the man is actually losing weight. The point where their "boss" walked by and asked what they were doing. When the boss (and my boss too), who is only in the office maybe twice a week, and in our area away from her multiple meetings, for maybe and hour or so a day, can spot you're not really working, what's really going on.

I mean really.

Am I wrong for hoping Naive gets wiped out? And actually has to maybe, do his job to live? Then I guess I'll just have to be wrong.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheese

Ramblings Post #64
Everything isn't for everybody. Some of us have no business eating shellfish, some of us need to re-think skinny jeans, some of us need to stop at the first glass of whatever we're drinking and let's just say that certain clothes need to stop at certain sizes. And moreover (legal word) there are things that some of us just don't like. And we shouldn't have to put up them all the damn time.


Why cheese?

This morning I went down to the lady who makes the breakfast sandwiches and got what I had hoped to be a nice bacon and egg sandwich on multi-grain bread. Chatting with a co-worker who had just discovered YouTube, my tummy was ready for a little touch up before lunch, and then my later classes. So, I get my little styrofoam container head back up, grab a cup of coffee (it's free) and settle in the do a little munching.

No bacon. But a liberal slathering of cheese.I'm not a big cheese fan. Oh, I'll eat pizza, and sometimes even get extra cheese as a topping. But on my sandwiches? No. I don't even eat mac and cheese unless she's really cute. I make a reportedly delicious grilled cheese sandwich - you need a touch of garlic salt and two kinds of cheese (I've never actually tasted it) - and my baked pasta is the kind that makes you look at me cross eyed. But I'm so not into cheese on everything. I don't want it on my taco, my hamburger, my french fries, my salad, my fish sandwich, my hot dog, my hash browns, my grits, or as a basic add on to anything else on a menu.

So why does everybody offer to throw on piece of cheese like they're doing me a favor? When did a thin piece of cheese because a value item? At Wendy's they throw the cheese on like they're trying to get rid of it! Why do you have to ask for something without cheese anyway? They should have to ask if you WANT cheese. Like loving cheese is the default or something.

I'm not the crazy one. They are the crazy ones.

Meat, bread, ketchup, maybe a little mustard. Topped with french fries. And the occasional lettuce and tomato. And Fried onions. And if you got one of the sesame seed buns or a kaiser bun great. A little steak sauce isn't the end of the world. BBQ sauce if we're on the grill. But no, and I repeat, no cheese. Seriously.

Thanks.

Barkeep. If you're serving cheese martini's so help me I will....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fill in the spaces

Ramblings Post #63
We all get busy. There's the thing, and then the other thing, and that stuff we were supposed to do but we forgot, and then that other thing and before you know you forgot something. And then you're really in trouble. Luckily for me, this a truly optional blog. So I'm not in trouble. I think.


It's been a minute since I blogged, well a few days or such, and well, nothing much has been going on.

Oh, I had a break in attempt at the house. And since I actually have something worth stealing at this point, that was as tense a few moments as I've had in a while. But once the villains had broken the window, they apparently couldn't figure how to get inside without gouging an artery or two on the broken glass. So, I'm only out a window and medication for high blood pressure.

And, the finals for this semester schedule is out, and my finals are back to back, well, there is a day in between but since the prep is so tight, that's the equivalent of back to back. For the first time EVER, I'll be out for a whole week either taking a final or getting ready for one. Either I'm about to prove my worth the company, or they're going to realize they really don't need me. The rubber meets the road.

And I'm worried about Sporty. who suddenly is a character from a Terry McMillan black chick lit novel. For the first time she showed and interest into returning to Atlanta (well, she announced she's looking for work here), and though our long IM conversations, I can almost feel a change in her. She's much more spiritual, and her outlook on certain aspects of life seemed to have changed. I do so wonder what the hell happened to her in Texas, because it seems it was a life changer. One day when she's ready, she'll tell me.

And I need to get back on salads. As I've explained before, although I'm lovable and huggable , funny and urbane, learned and generous....all of that goes by the wayside unless you possess six pack abs. And I'm way down as of late, I mean in the mirror I'm not looking too shabby. And that's with the glasses on! After school wrecked my workout schedule, I was on a salad a day for while. But that got real expensive - Chick-fil-et, Zaxby's, Wendy's and whoever else sold the leafy green stuff because I'm too lazy to toss some greens at the house. Maybe salads at night.

The moved the Moguls around at the job. Chatty Mogul gave up his cush job because it was, and you can quote me, "too much pressure". This from a man who worked maybe an hour a day. And after a shift in the org structure, it's just a matter of time before Naive Mogul talks himself out of a job, because he new boss doesn't like him as much as his old boss. Or sleeps himself out of a job. Or as Daddy Mogul put it this morning, "Migraine? Is that what they call a hangover these days?"

My days are wakeup, wakeup again, turn off the alarm while awake this time, get up when the alarm off again, morning absolution, go to work, avoid strangling anyone, go to class, go home study, sleep, repeat.

So , as I said. Nothing much has been going on.

Barkeep, B-12 and some powerade. Sporty really likes powerade.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Democratic Stalemates and Chicago Presidents..

This is a political post. Well, part political post, part political fantasy. Man I'm getting old, I used to dream I played football.

A little while ago, holding a bulletproof majority in the Senate and a drunken reprobate margin in the House, the Democratic Party managed to shoot itself in the foot and not get passed any reform at all, with or without the public option, or really do anything when you think about it.

First, so there is no confusion, the public option is basically a government insurance company. It's not a take over or anything like it, unless you realize that once a player with no profit motive enters the field, a whole lot of insurance companies will have some explaining to do. I think one firm had an 89% profit increase, while only increasing the customer base 24%? Oh, and their profits will drop. Although profiting off of people's health feels unseemingly if you don't have a medical degree of some kind.

So, why does the party with all the chips seem to be dancing with themselves? Well, probably because the Democrats are the party of inclusion, which means everybody can join. Unlike the seemingly Borg cloned Republican party, the party currently in charge of America is so diverse it can't agree on soup and salad vs. salad and soup.

Obama was a constitutional law professor before the senate and his current job, and as I've taken constitutional law (or rather am currently taking) I can understand his methodology to some degree. The President isn't supposed to make laws. Which is why he didn't go to Congress with a pre-written INSURANCE reform bill (it's not really a "health care" issue) and tell them to pass this, much like Clinton tried. He knew he could set the agenda, but it was up Congress to work out the nuts and bolts. Forgive him for trying to work the system.

Add in that this is the first time the Democrats have been in power in almost twenty years and that it takes a special kind of person to even run for a job in Congress and what you get are little power mad "my way" rogue agents with a made gleam in their eyes and their own private agendas, looking for a leg up or a high sign. The Blue Dog Democrats, the Gang of Three, and whoever else where it wasn't negotiation but three to ten individual people holding the nation hostage.

His own people are raining on his parade.

Obama isn't one for drama, so let's be glad I'm not President. Dramatic statement would be the course of the day. Even Fox "News" would pick up the feed. I'd be the "damned" Chicago President. I'd show up on Capitol Hill one morning with my Secret Service Team in tow, and bum rush Congress. I'd start at Nancy Pelosi's office and basically ask her if she was with me or against me on Health Care. She can have her own opinions on other things, but for this it's cut and dried. Thirty seconds. And if she joined up, I'd make her tag along while I hit the next office with the same line. Until I was walking around with 20 or 25 senators. And then when I get to the holdouts, it would be browbeat time. With me or you can go home now, because whatever you put up, the Republicans will vote down and the folks behind will too, for the rest of the time I'm in office. Maybe its a bluff, maybe not.

By like 3pm, Health care, er...Insurance reform would pass.

Sometimes, with people used to being coddled and begged, you have to knock them out of their comfort zone.

Supposedly Pete Rozelle, when he met an impasse trying to merge the then established NFL and the upstart AFL into the single behemoth we know today, told the team owners that nobody was leaving the room until they figured it out how to balance everything up. The owners, rich powerful men used to having people jump when they called, all laughed and went ahead to argue for hours. Then around 4pm, guys with cots and pillows showed up. Dinner was brought in. Everybody stopped laughing. They got it done in less than 48 hours.

Somebody call the White House. I know where Obama can get a deal on 435 cots. For cheap.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #6
When it's not enough to make a post, but deserves to go out to the world... it's just Bar Chatter.

I've pretty much stopped eating.

I'm down to the one meal a day. Well, one good meal and maybe a snack or two. And I wish I could say it was due to my renewed commitment to health and the betterment of me as a person, when in reality, it's because I've gotten lazy. My kitchen is relatively clean and after the bug guy makes his 3 month check - that was money well spent, believe it - it's gonna be even cleaner. And since I don't get home until 9pm or so three nights...and I sleep in on weekends...

I think I need some vitamins.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Quick Restaurant Review - Parish

Last year, for the first time in four or five years, Shade and I didn't spend her birthday together. She'd just moved to DC from Boston, had just started her residency and the idea of flying in for one or two days just wasn't in the cards. I thought we'd ended that little streak when she hit me up this year and let me know that she was slipping into town this year to do her usual, I was like yeah.

Then the rains came. And came and came. Then it rained some more. And her plan had been to eat her favorite little hideaway, Canoe. With it's garden right on the river.

Yeah.

Did I mention the rain? Did I mention it rained so hard it flooded and shut down I-20, I-285, and the I75/85 downtown connector? THE three major arteries of the city? Whole neighborhoods underwater? And did I mention Canoe with it's garden is, er, was "riverside"? I did? Oh. Well, let's just say that Canoe probably wasn't going to be the spot this year. Probably not.

So Sunday, we dropped into this Spot in the Virgina Highlands called Parish, as the fill-in location. It's the kind of restaurant that Sporty and I would have hit in our heyday, a little off the beaten path but still cool enough to charm your pants off. I had originally invited Schmoopy along when it was at Canoe, but I demurred, as I had also been supposed to slide into her birthday party the night before and had fallen asleep with Tort Law in my lap. I didn't figure she'd be too happy I'd went to one and not the other. Next time we go to brunch I'm taking her there...as kind of a makeup trip. I'm a bad friend.

Parish is one of those spots you're not sure of. The interior looks like the building has been their a hundred years, but the exterior looks brand new. The walls are a mix of raw brick and peeled plaster, and the ceiling is a medley of tin tiles that looked like they were salvaged from an abandoned building. It's supposed to be a New Orleans theme, and it looks like they nailed it. And if I hadn't been reading every home renovation magazine and and watched HGTV off and on before goign to law school, I would have much like my dining companions been wondering "how did they do that?" Don't get me wrong, it's a good look, but it's just a look. Also note, because the sound echoes off the brick, the din is gonna be a little thick once the place gets full. We mercifully had a fairly slim late brunch crowd.

The actual food on the other hand is real. The Belgian Waffle with the brown butter, powdered sugar and maple syrup was great. I should have ordered two. The waitress thoughtfully had it brought out first, unlike some places where all the food arrives at once. Shade, myself and two other all got a taste and agreed that somebody needed to go steal the recipe. The food emerged a few scants seconds after we'd finished, a testament to the kitchen's timing and even the two people who arrived late and ordered late had their food arrive quickly. The cook is a professional, not one of the many food burners that infest far too many a restaurant. Considering our orders varied between standard fare, omelets, eggs Benedict, shrimp and grits and a few other things, we really had worked him out.

There was supposed to be a picture here, but my little camera sucks.

The conversation on the other hand was a little too varied. The side debate of health care and big government turned into conversations of home security and the recent Atlanta flooding. The sound issue made it hard for one end of the table to talk to the other, so we were kind of stretched out and couldn't be as inclusive as some other spots. That and I met the other black person who isn't an Obama fan. Imagine that.

The last time we gathered for Shade's birthday brunch, it lasted well into the time the restaurant was setting up for dinner. We repeated this time, only after we'd taken the requisite pictures and had the one more conversation, we looked up and found ourselves in an empty restaurant. I mean no other patrons, no staff, just us. We considered turning off the music and the lights before we left. I've been places before where I have been told to "lock up" when I leave, but this just struck me as unusual.

All in all, Parish is a gem. I just wouldn't expect to be too conversational if you arrive and the place is full. I understand, but didn't go down and see, that they have a nice little specialty market downstairs from the restaurant, which a couple of my party breezed into afterward. The neighborhood is nice, the food is good and if I can get this law stuff off the ground, this is the area where I'll be moving to when I get the chance. If you get a chance, swing by and hit Parish. I know I will again.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Quick Weekend Recap - Redundant

Ramblings Post #62
You wake up ready to go get it done. Then you run out of toothpaste, toilet paper and you breakfast biscuit looks like they gave you the one they dropped in the back. I mean it still has the bugs on it. But the cute girl smiles at you right before your car gets towed, so it's not a total loss. Okay, none of this happened to me, but just think....


Let's Recap from last week...

I got the TV guy coming Saturday morning [He didn't show], a seminar for law school from 10am to 4pm, [Which was nice, informative and educational] my alma mater is playing in the GA Dome [ Didn't get to go - SEMINAR - but I heard the band was on fire. And I think we won too.] , a old partner of mine is riding in from out of town around 6pm or so [He didn't show] , Schmoopy is having her birthday party[ I owe her an apology, I fell asleep waiting for it's late starting time], my old partner wants to go to Old School Saturday[if he wasn't here, I wasn't about to....], the city will be on fire as everybody and their cousin will be throwing a party for the FAMU-TSU classic [ Seminar, study attempt, sleep, what happened?], and Sunday morning Shade will be in town...only Canoe (her favorite restaurant) got flooded so we're scrambling for a new spot to have her birthday party, [went to a spot in the Va-Hi] my Civil Procedure writing assignment needs to get done [er, and still needs to be done], I still have my regular homework [still have bits and pieces], and somewhere in there...I might want to go the bathroom [May I suggest Charmin, good stuff].

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bar Chatter

Bar Chatter #5
When it's not enough to make a post, but deserves to go out to the world... it's just Bar Chatter.


Is it true? Are Crunchy Cheez Doodles making a comeback. After discovering a cache at my local grocery, and buying all three bags left, I noticed that one of the packages mentioned that a New new and improved (yet again?) edition was coming out. Or they were changing the bag. Or something. I just hope it means the store will carry more. I'm that far from writing the company again and asking why the local supplier won't stock an obvious seller.



Will my Doodles ever come back to me?

And can Kellogg's Dig'em Smacks be an adequate substitute?

Friday, September 25, 2009

News from the Desert

Ramblings Post #61
Sometimes we make decisions based upon a careful thought out and well reasoned set of facts, sometimes we make spur of the moment calls, and other times we make the best of a bad situation. I'm not sure which one law school is, but I do know that it has been both good and bad on more levels than should be reasonable. And thus, we soldier on.


They haven't kicked me out yet!

Some aspects of my law classes are finally starting to come together. In reading for the last few classes the cases no longer appear to be some sort of secret law club hieroglyphics and are turning into actual discernible and understandable words. I even formed learned opinions about the past few constitutional issues, so much so that I was giving more commentary than answer in class.

Huzzah!

Picture from Photobucket...and that's all I know.

Of course when my RP was in law school, he said it was right before the end of the first semester when the light clicked on for him. Granted he was going full time, so he isn't as distracted as I am by the rigors and manufactured hysteria of my workplace. Sliding into the work mind space, sometimes I think our people believe we're overnighting water to people on fire. Which for the record, probably isn't the most efficient way to do that. But everyone seems to think we work in seconds, not the usual hours that anything actually takes. Or what any activity usually entails. If one more sales person says the client is hysterical, and when you get them on the phone they're actually quite pleasant.

You just don't know.

School seems at once easier AND harder at the same time. I did find out some of my study habits were perhaps flawed - I would read the case before the case supplemental, when I should have been reading the supplemental before the case (that way I know what I'm looking at) - and that some my exam prep exercises were severely lacking. I need to order the books with the example tests next week. But then the tips did come from a full time student, who has vastly more time than I to get some of that done. I'm still thinking about switching the full time if I'm still in the program next summer. Yeah, its still like that.

Life's funny. And then it's not.

Barkeep. Some of the Maker's Mark and a touch of Sprite.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let's see, this weekend...

Ramblings Post #60
Every now and then, everything comes to a head. You have to go in for the interview, the test date actually arrives, you actually have to open your eyes who see who that is snoring, and so forth and so on. It's just generally unusual that all of it happens at once. And then there is that one instance that it does. And it's funny because it happens to somebody else. This is both not and is this case.



I got the TV guy coming Saturday morning, a seminar for law school from 10am to 4pm, my alma mater is playing in the GA Dome, a old partner of mine is riding in from out of town around 6pm or so, Schmoopy is having her birthday party, my old partner wants to go to Old School Saturday, the city will be on fire as everybody and their cousin will be throwing a party for the FAMU-TSU classic, and Sunday morning Shade will be in town...only Canoe (her favorite restaurant) got flooded so we're scrambling for a new spot to have her birthday party, my Civil Procedure writing assignment needs to get done, I still have my regular homework, and somewhere in there...I might want to go the bathroom.

Did I leave out anything?

Funny. Last weekend all I had to do was read my homework and eat every so often. Oh the difference a few days makes.

Barkeep, let me a Crunk Juice with a shot of Red Bull.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Old Age

Ramblings Post #59
We get little signs as we get older. A twinge where there used to not be a twinge. Somebody calls you sir or ma'am, for no reason. The first gray hair, I got that one at 25 for the record. Suddenly, ten shots of tequila has the reeling, where twenty used to just be the start. And you realize that cute little thing in the tight pants that you'd like to introduce to your "game" is young enough to be your daughter --- and she's drinking in the same bar you are. There are a lot of signs. Damnit.


Yesterday old age arrived. I noticed the beginnings of a double chin.

If there is anything that makes you suddenly realize you need to take thine ass to the gym, it's looking in the mirror and seeing the start of that extra little roll of fat under your chin. The roll of fat on your hips you're used to. You've learned designer camouflage. Now you're trying to figure out how you'd look in an ascot, and thinking it might not be that bad.

I had been waffling on tightening up my diet: Adding the salads I'd started skipping back into the mix, going back to the bran cereal, cutting way back on the carbs....but have you ever tasted fresh hot fries? Or had chocolate chip fudge brownies that a still kinda soft and warm? Well I have and since I'm not working out for the moment, those snacks are looking at condo prices in my love handles. And since some old acquaintances have started pasting old photos.. and I looked stuffed and bloated in a few of them... this is not a new problem. I can see why I've avoided cameras and pictures and all manner of preserving for posterity.

It is singularly depressing.

I've done short term adjustments before: The juice week, low carbs, brief diet changes... but short term isn't gonna get it.

As many times as I've complained - whined, lamented, etc - about how women are a lot more visual than folks want to admit I'm letting a situation I can control with a little will power slowly become a a real problem. I dream of one day taking off my shirt to get into the pool and having the women look at me like a fresh grilled pork chop. With BBQ sauce. That hungry look in their eyes, that says "I need to gets me some of that." And I may have to cut back a lot of things, but I will get there.

Salads. Cutting carbs. More fruit. Already cut out the sodas. Get back to the gym.

I is gonna make it.

And this time, I mean it.

Barkeep. Pear Juice. And two rolls of toilet paper and a good book. And a magazine.