I know it's been a while. I just wanted everyone to know that everything is going well; I'm just very busy. I'm ironing shirts on the kitchen chair in the morning--without the iron. Last night, I got a nifty blinking ring. Jewel loves me even more for it.
I'll write more later. How is everyone?
So here's the question: Does agreeing in a contract-type thing to go to court and file a motion when a particular thing happens leave your agreement equivalent to a contract with an arbitration clause? I've been trying to find the answer for three days. I haven't found the answer, but I think that leaves it up to me to argue the hell out of it. I think that's pretty much my summer job as an intern for a couple of lawyers: Either find the answer or argue the hell out of it, and bill it to the client. I'm having fun with it; I got to wander around City Hall to file a motion last week. I knew I had a job to do, but I took a couple of minutes to admire the architecture and made sure to stand up extra straight in case any judge ambled out of chambers.
Jewel and I are going out to my restaurant tonight to celebrate her promotion. She is now in charge of her "little store" in Exton. We thought that she was being groomed to run the show since she got hired, and our feelings turned out to be right on the money. So if you see her, tell her congratulations. Buy her a drink.
The Department of Justice has been castigated for illegal hiring practices. Top aides under Alberto Gonzales were cited for letting politics affect hirings from law clerks to top counter-terrorism prosecutors. (The President lets politics affect hirings for the Supreme Court, but that's another story.) The report absolved Gonzales from any blame, and the conservative former Attorney General issued a statement wherein he said he felt "vindicated." His spokesman? Robert Bork, Jr.
"We have fun together, don't we?" she said to me on the bus one night.
Yes. We do.
It's not easy staying sane when you have to remember the parties and holding of Trident Company while trying not to remember the only thing that wants to pop into your mind, which is that the judge who wrote it is being investigated for his porn collection. It takes a special kind of mindset to learn in law school, one that doesn't always make it easy to love.
But love she does. We keep each other focused, uplifted, and grounded in reality, but we always have fun. That is what it comes down to. Even when we're tired or ww would rather be alone, we make time and keep each other as our first priorities.
I've been too busy to post in a long time, but I'm hopping back on the horse. She, at least, will be happy about that.
On Sunday, muse and I went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the first Sunday showing of the Frida Kahlo exhibit. Jewel is a big fan of Frida - our apartment has a little Frida shrine around our desk. Jewel just missed this show at the Phoenix art museum, and she was delighted that it followed her to her new town. We capped off a pretty nice week with a morning bus ride to the Museum District.
We fought against the crowds that were there for free admission on Sundays (although donations are always suggested) and climbed up my favorite part of the museum: the Rocky steps. (Jewel: "Was Rocky real?" Me: "No, but this is Philly, and we cling to whatever we can.") After rolling her eyes at both me for singing the Rocky theme up the stairs and the tourists for getting their pictures taken in front of the Sylvester Stallone-as-Rocky statue, we hopped on in. I hadn't been to the museum since I was 12, and I had forgotten what the place looked like on the inside. We paid our Frida fee (not free) and stood in a disorganized line to witness the magic.
The exhibit was crowded, even though they controlled traffic into it, but even the big crowd and the occasional screaming kid couldn't diminish the palpable feeling of genius and high art and suffering that circulated throughout. Jewel was instantly spellbound (more on this later). The exhibit skillfully integrated Frida's paintings, mostly in autobiographical order, with personal photographs of her, family and friends, and her husband Diego Rivera, another famous Mexican painter. The artifacts of Kahlo's life were needed to lend background to her paintings, which, especially toward the end of her career, are almost indecipherable unless you know exactly what's going on in her life.
The overarching myopia of Kahlo's work always rubbed me the wrong way. Making herself the topic and star of all of her works seemed indistinguishable to me from a selfish pro athlete - putting self above art. I always thought that artists should show universal themes in their work, injecting themselves only to the extent necessary to show or personalize those topics. (The fact that I often fail at this indicated, to me, that I had a lot of work to do in my art.) The showing changed my mind a bit on this. Through the various rooms, I got to see why a work previously thought egomaniacal, such as The Two Fridas (Why do I care about one Frida, much less two?), was actually a work of universal expression. We all have had the feeling of having two of us to show the world, or one to show and one to keep, and also having a feeling that no matter which of us we project to the world, it isn't good enough. By displaying herself, Kahlo expressed the only feelings that she knew for sure existed, making her art more real.
As with a lot of things that Jewel is more into than I am, I didn't know how to approach it. I kept a little bit of distance from her for most of the exhibit, letting her know with a glance or a hand or a little shoulder-rub that I was around, but it was her show. She appreciated the space, I think, and also grinned at the fact that we were so close, experiencing her favorite artist together. She cried a little bit when the audio tour explained the pain behind the cold, almost bored, malevolence of Self Portrait with Thorny Necklace. That dichotomy is what I was aiming for: We were close enough to see Frida together, she had enough space to express herself.
The exhibit ended in the gift shop (convenient!) and Jewel beelined for the jewelry counter, eyes falling on two hummingbird necklaces (one with thorns, one without). She continues to sigh, in the other room, even now, as she thinks about them. Someday, baby. Frida didn't even have them until she painted them on.
Last night, after I did my reading, and instead of doing something productive, like clean the bathroom or get a life, I whipped out some paper and whipped up a mock 2008 NCAA Tournament Bracket.
It's funny that when I go back to law school is finally when I have a couple of minutes to update. I've been missing this whole LJ thing, and I want to be able to dive back into it and devote myself like I used to really soon.
So, I'm finally here and almost all the way moved into our new place which straddles the Manayunk/Roxborough border. Only a couple of my things still litter the floor, and I guess they'll stay there until I decide that cleaning them up is more important than McCullough v Maryland. I love just about everything about the place - it's neat, in a great neighborhood, it really feels like I'm in a home. My walk to and from the train station, despite being just about straight up and down, is really nice. Yesterday I walked back in a snowstorm and arrived home to Jewel with snowflakes in my hair. I have never believed in something the way I believe that I'm doing the right thing now. As I've said about fifty times too often over break, I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
We won't have a housewarming party, per se, but after this weekend I'll have a good sense on whether we'll have a little shindig on Main St (hanging with the trendy people!) sometime next week. We'll keep the line open.
For now, I need to concentrate on getting the semester started off right (I'm actually breifing the cases!) and learning how to cook. I'm not sure which school, law or Jewel's culinary, will be tougher.
I know I promised I'd update.
I'm sorry. I'll do it for really reals when I'm not so stressed.
I just made a breakthrough in my law class assignment - a law journal article about the very topic I need to write about. I was jumping around my room, shouting "Fucking YOU-REE-KA!" like I was in Black Hawk Down. I feel good. That made my entire day in the library worth it.
In a less exciting vein, the only thing I can think of worse than a Red Sox series win (sorry bobdapoet , you root for the devil's team) is if the ALCS goes seven games, because that is more Tim McCarver than anybody should have to deal with. It's not just that he's condescending and boring and annoying and treats every game as if he's convinced that nobody who's watching has ever seen a game before, but often, he's wrong. Seriously, check it out. So some guy with a guitar (along with pretty much everyone I've ever talked to) feels the same way, but he had the courage to write a song about it. (Thanks, Deadspin!)
If you like that, also check out his hit "Osama Bin Laden, You Ruined My Birthday." Pretty funny for being half-awake
Every single law book I have has some kind of coffee stain on it.
This morning I woke up tired and the coffee I had just combined with the 3 gallons of coffee I had yesterday to make me a grumbly mess. So when Obnoxious Arkansas Guy behind me is going on and on about the SEC being the best conference, I set off a couple of fire alarms with the smoke coming out of my ears.
"All the Pac-10 is is bias," he said. "You see that when Kirk Herbstreit has 3 Pac-10 teams in his top 5, even though one of them lost."
"That's because Oregon lost a highly competitive game where they looked better than almost any team in the country," I spat out, uninvited, and if I hadn't been rage-blinded, I might've mentioned to a Pac-10 team that stomped on a good SEC team. "And Kirk Herbstreit is from Ohio State, for fuck's sake."
I got a couple of stares. Eileen behind me said, "I don't think that warranted the f-word."
I decided not to talk for a while.
It is not a good time to be a Philly sports fan. The Eagles were mercifully spared another loss this week by being idle. The Phillies looked almost desultory in being swept by the Rockies. (Maybe I'm not a math expert like my brother, but I know that getting half as many runs as the other team in each game means you won't win.)
These are the times that it's nice to think about Jewel's vacation to Philly. Actually, anytime is a good time to think about that week and a half, to relive the magic and comfort of being in her arms and by her side. She came to me ebullent and ready to drink in the city and me and took full advantage of everything.
We went out for her birthday on the 16th. It started with a champagne brunch, and a day of laughs began. Jewel insisted on a champagne brunch, and nearly every phone conversation we had to that point mentioned those two words prominently. So what happens when we get to our champagne brunch? She orders a bloody mary. I have a girl who will not be held down by convention, and I love her wild child that bellows at animals and wants to do crazy things in churches. We walked off our delectable breakfast (not delectable in the McGriddles sense, but really delectable) around Manayunk and stopped by a vodka bar to unwind in the afternoon. After a drive across Philly, I led her into dinner a Moshulu, a posh restaurant situated on an old ship on the Delaware River where my friend Kim works.
I not only got fat off the wonderful food, but I got fat off her beauty. She was absolutely shimmering, her eyes glistening as bright as her earrings, and both far more sparkly than the lights off the bridges spanning the river, all of which we could see from our seat. I fell in love with her all over again, and it seems like she finds a way to make me do that every day. By the time dessert came out, a small sort of dulce with "Happy Birthday" spelled out on the rim of the plate in chocolate syrup, we were falling into each other's eyes. We couldn't have drowned any more quickly if we had cement shoes.
The rest of the trip was a happy menagerie of Hello Kitty-esque cuteness (or, depending on your perspective, ipecac-esque nausea). She fell asleep on my lap while watching Monday Night Football. We ate yummy sushi while visiting the Lenahans. We jumped all over Corrie and Rich's living room with Wii controllers in hand, laughing maniacally and serving good-natured taunts. We danced alone, like crazy, like no one was watching, to "Only the Good Die Young" at my cousin Karen's wedding.
Watching her leave was tough, as it is all the time, but it was tinged with the knowledge that soon, she will be back in my city, our city. And we will laugh and love and make even more memories that we will save like rare coins. Soon, days like these won't be so abnormal, even though they will be just as exceptional. When I wake up next to Jewel, she might as well be wrapped with a bow.
When every day is another gift, one just has to thank the sun for its generosity.
(For those of you looking to hear about muse 's and my incredible week and a half together, stay tuned. I think I'll have time to do it justice after flag football tonight.)
As I finished up my 10+ page memo for Legal Research and Writing this morning, the morning public radio host interviewed Pat Gillick, the General Manager of the Phillies. She asked him about the rumor that the Phillies would leave Adam Eaton off their postseason roster. As you may know, the Phillies made the playoffs this year for the first time since 1993. The Phils have been playing with a 40-man roster for the last month, but for the playoffs, the roster must be pared back to 25 guys. You want to have your best 25 in there, so the postseason roster selection is vitally important. That's why a dumbfuck like me is going to come up with what I'd like to see as our postseason roster before the official one is announced tomorrow.
(Note: There are actually pretty complicated rules for selecting these rosters, but most are irrelevant to the Phillies this year, unless you really want to argue for Pete LaForest to make it. In that case, you have more problems than ignorance of the rules.)
(Second note: Check out the Phillies' season statistics here.)
To me, there are 17 no-brainers for the roster: Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Carlos Ruiz, Chris Coste, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer, Kyle Lohse, Brett Myers, Tom Gordon, and J.C. Romero. That establishes the starting line-up (including a platoon in right field), a second catcher, the rotation and the back end of the bullpen. There are seven pitchers on the roster. During the season, a team might carry 12 pitchers, but with the days off in the postseason, the Phillies can get away with 10 or 11.
The next three pitchers I would take are Geoff Geary (not-atrocious 1.44 WHIP), J.D. Durbin (fairly reliable to pitch middle relief without giving up too much), and Clay Condrey (who strikes out more hitters than anyone left at this point). These pitchers illustrate just how bad the pitching is, but we'll leave that alone.
We have five more spots. Let's stock the bench: Tadahito Iguchi is the best bat off the bench (.804 OPS since he joined the team). Abraham Nunez is a needed glove at third, plus a utility guy in case anything goes wrong. Michael Bourn is some speed with a decent .348 OBP. Carlos Ruiz, the starting catcher, bruised his elbow in getting hit by a pitch last week, so we'll need a third catcher, Rod Barajas, who also slugs better than anyone else we can pick. That's 24.
Now we have a choice. We have three catchers, which is enough. We can stock an extra infielder (the struggling Wes Helms), an extra outfielder (Chris Roberson, who hasn't done anything at the big league level yet) or another pitcher. I'd go with the pitcher. There is no one else at any position that I'd like to see more than another pitcher, which says something about Helms, et al. This might be the biggest compliment the Phillies pitching has received all year.
The pitchers available for the last roster spot are Adam Eaton, Antonio Alfonseca, Jose Mesa, Kane Davis, and Fabio Castro. We have enough starters and starter-types on this team, and Eaton has shown absolutely nothing to me the entire year (6.29 ERA! 1.63 WHIP! Jesus Christ on a Persian rug!). He's out. About the only thing Castro has going for him is that he's left-handed. Even so, he hasn't pitched in two weeks, and wasn't doing much then. No to Castro. Davis walks way too many people (2.21 WHIP) and with the playoff pressure, you can't have a pitcher with that lack of control. He's also 32 and hasn't pitched more than 50 big league innings in a season since 2001. Yikes.
It comes down to two horrible veteran pitchers. Alfonseca, who's brought in with men on base to try to stop rallies, has four strikeouts the entire month of September. That won't do, pig. So, quite literally by process of elimination, Jose Mesa makes my postseason roster. God help us.
Shaun's 2007 Phillies Postseason Roster
Infielders (6): Dobbs, Howard, Iguchi, Nunez, Rollins, Utley.
Outfielders (5): Bourn, Burrell, Rowand, Victorino, Werth
Catchers (3): Barajas, Coste, Ruiz
Pitchers (11): Condrey, Durbin, Geary, Gordon, Hamels, Kendrick, Lohse, Mesa, Moyer, Myers, Romero
The esteemed* blog The Good Phight disagrees a bit, putting Helms on in place of Barajas and replacing Mesa with Castro. When you get down to the dregs like that, there are no really good options, but I'd point to the stats in encouraging Mesa and Barajas.
*(esteemed=first hit on Google)
NLDS Game 1 is tomorrow at 3 p.m. I've done all I can, Pat. Go Fightin's!
"Larry Craig Haiku"
If airport bathrooms
Aren't safe from prostituting
Senators, where is?
It's that time of year again. Football season is about to start, the temperatures are starting to get a little cooler, and the increased influence of other people in school means that there's a bug going around. I started to feel it a bit yesterday - a little sniffly, throat a tad scratchy, a touch of the chills. I want to nip this sucker in the bud, so I did what I do - I made shit up.
Herewith, then, is my recipe for tonight - Shaun's Bug Buster (and Belly Buster) Dinner.
Step 1: Boil some water. Grab the box of pasta that has been in the cupboard the longest. Wonder why, if it came from the "olde country", it has a purple box.
Step 2: While the water boils, chop up a green pepper. They have a higher vitamin C content than oranges!
Step 3: While waiting for the water to boil, drink a glass of orange juice. Switch to water when done.
Step 4: The water should be done boiling by now. Cook that shit.
Step 5: Lightly sautee the peppers, to keep their crunchy goodness.
Step 6: Mix, add sauce to taste. Grab salad from the bag. Ask yourself if blue cheese has vitamin C.
YUM-O, MOTHERFUCKER. YUM-FUCKING-O.
Clean up (optional): May include doing all dishes of roommates and finding a Black & Mild in the sink.
I feel better already. Time to make believe I know what the fuck the torts reading means.
You're goddamn lucky, Felix.
My first official law school classes start at 9:00 a.m. later today. The last week has been classes, but they haven't been official, only part of orientation week. Torts and Contracts are tomorrow. I guess this means I have to pay attention now.
I think the first thing that law schools do to try to set their students apart is re-educate them on the famous McDonald's coffee case, where the woman spilled coffee on her lap and collected damages. I've heard two arguments so far in favor of the plaintiff, and I actually agree with them. I hope that makes me a real law student now.
I stepped in as a pinch-hitter on Friday for a Quizzo team, the A-Team (if I had known, I would have brought Mr. T in your Pocket). It is always ridiculously fun seeing law students work together for a common prize - a sizable bar tab.
So yeah, I think I'm adjusting, and I think I've started the process toward being a successful law student (a.k.a. having a lot of coffee available).
P.S.: There is a certain deviant charm to writing erotica on the subway.
It seems like the times of the biggest responsibilities are when I'm reminded the most of how kickass my childhood used to be. I mean, don't get me wrong, by any stretch - I am ridiculously excited to be a Temple Owl, as you can see in this incredibly cheesy photo of me with my new ID , and even more excited to be a law student, but these days of crushing adulthood just remind me of how good I used to have it. I mean, I used to think days where I had to go to school and play a Little League game were tiring days!
We had the almost-annual Parents vs Kids softball game on Saturday, which was insane nostalgic fun. I actually managed to be competitive while getting along with everyone and having a good time. Beers were consumed and parents were hugged instead of tagged and threats to break every bone in my body were made and passive voice was used. I got to see Corrie and Rich, as well, and we made dinner plans for when Jewel comes into Philly in, oh, three and a half weeks. The night found me at Lenahan's where, against everyone's better judgment, we played Settlers of Catan. I crashed on their couch, and in a nod to my quixotic quest to continue doing things an adult should, Tim taught me to make French toast in the morning.
If I ever thought that this whole law school thing made me the toy in the Cracker Jack box of society, life has made sure that I see exactly where I stand. Ikea is a ridiculous tool of humility, and if Hitler knew just how mortal the furniture giant makes people feel, he would have invaded there too. My dresser and end table are black-brown, and really gorgeously designed pieces of furniture. But the directions had a shaded piece of wood at the back of each, and I couldn't figure out for my life why they wanted me to hide the dark painted piece of wood in the back. Only after both were together did I put two and two together and realize that the shaded piece in the diagram was the untreated wood. Now I have an untreated two by four plastered uglily at the bottom of each piece, laughing at me, mocking me. If you ever see me giving the finger first thing when I wake up, that's why.
I also showed up late for the first day of school. You'd think that after they give me a scholarship, I could do them the service of showing up, right? Well, I thought they'd do me the service of sending a shuttle to where they said they would, until I waited for forty minutes. Tomorrow I'm taking the subway.
So classes start next week, Assateague is the week after, and the week after that, Jewel gets into town, just in time to watch me get bent over by law school. The next chapter of all phases of my life has started. That means I'm growing up. I'm going to like it. But it doesn't mean I can't enjoy being a kid once in a while.
I love the NFL, but I hate preseason games. The league uses them to rip off season-ticket holders, forcing them to buy exhibition game tickets for real-game prices. It's a total scam, an excuse for the league to get fat off the injuries of their players.
Having said that, when the tickets are free, I'm going. I've got tickets to tonight's game. GO EAGLES!
I'll see you guys after the game tonight. Doesn't count = more beer to make it interesting.
After taking the whole summer off, I'm ready to reuse this sucker to relieve stress and engage in drama during law school. I'm ensconsed in my place in Philly (1730A W. Tioga St., 19140) and, after the jump, I'll show you some pics of my new room, with almost all-new furniture and almost all-old wall decorations.
But the short version of things: I missed my Mesa peeps, representing at Nationals, orientation starts on Monday, I am criminally under-writing, and I am still madly and irretrievably in love with muse . More details and stuff to come early tomorrow morning, though with how often I've been on here, I wouldn't blame you if you didn't believe me.
( Anyway - room!Collapse )
My mother was very inquisitive last night, and she got a lot mor facts than she wanted, I guess. She learned what shrooms were, where Travis Hafner's nickname "Pronk" came from, and what I look for in books.
In the midst of her information-gathering, she asked me what attracted me most to Jewel.
I said, "Her intelligence."
Today's apartment-hunting question of the day: Is having a doorman at the place a sign of civilization or a warning flag?
Yikes. It seems like I have been absolutely cut off from the outside world, with my hectic road trip and subsequent exiling in my house with no cable and little internet access. I'm not even going to try to catch up on my friends page, sports stories I missed, or Deadspin, and I'm not looking forward to slogging through mountains of email. You guys could tell me that Fidel Castro is out of power or that the Phillies swept the Mets and I'd believe it at this point.
Posts about Arco (still!) and the trip are forthcoming (and actually in hard copy, or on their way to doing so). Quick recap of the road trip - Jewel got horribly sick on the way, Chicago was fun, we were exhausted, we got here safe.
(By the way, Jewel got a terrible bug on the road trip, got a stomach ailment here, got stung by a bee and a huge gash on her foot, and she still said she wouldn't trade this for anything. We might have something here, folks. Sending her off at the airport was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.)
I'm diving in, I guess. Welcome to summer.
I know I'm lagging on Arcosanti Slab City memories (Part 2 coming later today! I swear!). but here's a haiku I just thought of.
Can be rape without proper
It's been a productive morning - I'm finally caught up on the Internets (just kidding, I could never be caught up on the Internets, there's too much porn to distract me), and, thanks to Us Weekly (motto: "Stars are JUST LIKE US!! They need gardeners too!") I know who Natalie Portman is seeing (hint: It's like she's never seen a ten before). I guess that means I can't put it off anymore - It's my highly anticipated (by no one) recap of Arcosanti: Slab City Slam 2007.
( I hope this isn't the last time I'm hereCollapse )
Everything's going well in the days leading up to Arco. I fully intend to continue the "Year of the Kut-Aire" by tearing the fucking roof off at Arco, and I have four pieces confidently off page to accomplish that. Not as confidently, CFG's ass is mine at the haiku slam. In fact, here's one I just wrote.
I talk to myself
Sometimes, but usually I
Don't know what to say.
Come on up tomorrow, people...I feel like playing. I've got life by the balls right now, and I ain't letting go.
I'm in the middle of a massive two-day moving session, trying to sift through my room and find the most important parts of my life to cram in a late model Ford Taurus sedan. Much like I'm taking college with me in different haphazard ways, lessons that I'll heed in varied ways and locales, the stuff is being shoehorned into bags and boxes and anything that'll hold for a couple of days and a couple of thousand miles.
I don't think it has really hit me that I'm leaving the Valley for good. It was where I started this whole LJ journey, and though I've had plenty of adventures in other places in my college career (hello Flagstaff! hello LA! hello Austin!) this was the home to too many good times and bad times to really be conscious of. Tomorrow I'm leaving it behind, and next week I'm leaving behind the entire state.
I've been doing a lot of looking - I'm obviously ostensibly looking back at my time, especially when I'm packing things (filled with the "Why did I keep this?" wonderment I have when I don't understand my own nostalgia) or catching up with Kenny. But I'm also looking ahead, looking forward to a successful culmination of my education and, after that, the beginning of my professional career. And while I can't claim to know what forever looks like, I'm looking at the closest thing I've seen to it, looking at seeing it even more clearly over the next two weeks.
I think I've made my peace with everything and everyone here. It was a great ride, and I want to come back someday to visit and catch up. It's been a blast, and I'm glad I spent my college years here.
To everyone I'll see at Arco - I'll see you at Arco. To everyone else - I'm glad to have known you, and give me a call tomorrow if you want. I'll be leaving in the evening.
I'm going. But I'm not going away.
P.S. Let me be the last person to wish bobdapoet a happy birthday. I hope your day was as amazing as you are, sir.
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