Thursday, December 14, 2006

Go Everybody But Us!.... Wait... no!

I've got my last exam today, in a few hours. I hope to god it goes better than the first two, but I've heard that you never really know how you did until you get your grades... over a month from now, so it won't do me any good to worry about those now.

Today is a great day. I woke up at like 6:15 and couldn't fall back asleep because I was so excited. The last few weeks, starting basically the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, have been intensity in-ten-cities. I don't think I've ever worked this hard in my life, certainly never studied this hard. But studying from 8 AM to midnight can be much harder at times than working from 8 AM to midnight. I haven't exercised since I got back to Nashville from San Fran, I've been eating like total shit, and nobody hangs out anymore. It's weird how we went from a very social first few months, with people getting to know each other, and then after Thanksgiving everyone basically dropped out of life.

Tonight is gonna be a total shitshow. The only problem is that there are like 4 different people who bought kegs expecting to host the big post-exam party, but whichever party gains critical mass early will attract the bodies and the others will be up shit creek. Oh well. Not my problem. I just drink here.

I'm driving back to New York Saturday in order to get back in time for Semsky's sausage bread party, I mean Christmas party, on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of Semsky, I just had a laugh-out-loud moment in the library. My refrain of the day to all my friends at school has been "Go us!" which reminds me of the time I was with Semsky, and I think we were assessing what we needed other teams to do in order to help our team position itself for the playoffs. After we did the math and figured out who we wanted to win, I exclaimed, "Go everybody but us! ... Wait... no!"

Monday, December 11, 2006

Second Verse, Same as the First

T-minus 20 minutes until my second law school exam starts. I have studied "like a machine" for this exam (to quote Dani), and I still feel like I'm about to piss my pants and I'm not prepared. If I could just have one more day, I might be able to destroy this test. As is, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Fuck, I wish I was better at this.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It Did Not Go Well

... or at least, I don't think it went well. Fuck if I know.

Immediately after the test, I walked to the Corner Pub and ordered a beer and a shot. Of course, I had no idea both were 2-for-1 on Tuesday afternoon. Oh well. I had three shots of tequila within 15 minutes of arriving at the bar. It's not surprising that I was in bed by 7:30 and got a solid eleven hours of sleep.

I'm gonna need it if I'm gonna bring my average up with my torts and con law exams. I was working at the kitchen table by 7:30 this morning and have been at the library since 10:30 or so.

I don't know what I'm gonna do if those go down like the contracts one did. I'm in a shitty, shitty mood, which I expect to continue for the foreseeable future.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


My first law school exam starts in 7 minutes... and I'm pretty fucking nervous. This is unlike anything I've ever done before. I try to comfort myself by telling myself that I've been in much higher-pressure situations in the newsroom before, and I guess that's true, but the difference is I worked my way up to put myself in those situations. Here, I have no practice, nothing to fall back on, and it's all or nothing.

Wish me luck.

Monday, November 06, 2006

So... Why Does It Take Me 15 Hours to Drive to NY?

Fun fact of the day: The northeastern tip of Tennessee is closer to Canada than to Memphis (which is the southwestern tip). The things you learn from C-Span!

The funny part is that, when I told my friend Thad that tidbit in the law school library, after two-and-a-half hours worth of torts class, I said, "You learn something new everyday."

Yeah. That's the new thing I learned today at law school.

My New Favorite Statute

The title above assumes that I used to have a different favorite statute, but I don't think that's really the case. This is the first statute I've come across that really speaks to me. I should find out the author and send him some of the multitude of cake that Dani has been baking of late. (Soooo random, but whatever. It makes our fridge smell great. I highly recommend cake, even store-bought, instead of baking soda to keep a fridge smelling fresh. Even after it gets stale and inedible, it maintains its olfactory powers. I may invent one of those car air fresheners with "cake" flavor.)

Sorry, getting sidetracked. Back to my new favorite statute, from the great state of Colorado, which has its priorities in place:

"[T]he general assembly also finds that attendance at such professional baseball games provides a wholesome and healthy family activity which should be encouraged. ... It is therefore the intent of the general assembly to encourage attendance at professional baseball games." C.R.S.A. § 13-21-120

Monday, October 09, 2006

I Have a Friend at Vandy Who Fucked "The Rock"

She said he wasn't even that good.

With a name like The Rock, I mean, you'd think...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Shout-Out to the Bone

Through four games, the Bears have given up only 29 points.

For those of you scoring at home, per game that's seven-and-a-quarter.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Reason #37 Why the South is Bass-Ackwards

With the baseball playoffs starting, I turn my eyes to the TV set and my ears to the radio at all times. I may have slacked during the last month and a half of the season, but I'm back, baby. And with all the playoff games on ESPNRadio, I should have no problem if I need to run out for a quick errand, or if I want to listen to the game in the shower, right?


ESPNRadio in Nashville embodies everything that's wrong with the South. They first got on my bad side back in September when the Yanks swept the five-game series from Boston. The second game of that series was on Saturday, and before the Boston Massacre Redux, the AL East race was tight and it was a big game. Big enough to be on ESPNRadio... except in Nashville, where they were, I swear to God, airing a Big 10 College Football Preview show instead of Yanks-Sox in September! I may not be a college football expert, but I do know where the Big 10 teams are from, and it's NOT in Nashville, NOT in Tennessee, NOT in the South. So they forewent Yanks-Sox in order to preview a Midwestern college football conference.

And now. Now ESPNRadio has got all the playoff games. Guess how many ESPNRadio in Nashville is airing. ZERO. Instead, they've got their local slow-talking schlubs called "The Sports Guys," which include a guy named "Boots" and another guy they call "Coach." Instead of playoff baseball, the national pasttime, they're talking about what kind of shot Middle Tennessee State University has of "hanging in there" against Louisville this weekend. (Let me give you a hint, Boots: NONE.)

I wish that seven score and one year ago, our fathers had added a couple conditions to the South's surrender in the Civil War:
1) When radio eventually gets invented, no one named Boots is allowed to speak on-air.
2) When baseball playoff games are broadcast on national radio networks, all stations in that network have to air them unless they've got a legitimate reason.

Monday, October 02, 2006

"How was class?" "Not bad. I won ten bucks!"

Friday night I was trading one-dollar bets back and forth with this guy Casey over ongoing games of beerpong (Mostly it was whether the crappy team was going to hit two cups or not before Cullen, beerpong master, cut them down to size and finished them off). We got all fired up about betting and decided to put some money down on how many times our Contracts professor, Rasmussen, would say certain words. Initially we wanted to bet on how many times he'd say the word "Gosh" but it was too hard to set the line because the number's so high. I think we decided the line would have to be in the 16.5 to 20.5 range. Instead, we bet on how many times he would say the word "Azuri," because he uses hypotheticals to demonstrate different principles, and they always involve him buying an Azuri jersey (Italian national soccer team) from the Brown Sporting Goods Store (Brown is his wife and is also a professor here). We set the line at 4.5, and I took the under for five bucks.

It wasn't even close. Rasmussen started the class off by talking about something from the news about Starbucks e-mailing their employees and giving them a free iced drink and telling them to share it with their friends and family. Apparently, and I haven't paid any attention to the news at all the last couple months, it got e-mailed around the world, everybody and their mother was using them, and Starbucks decided to stop honoring them. Of course someone filed a class action lawsuit. More importantly, Rasmussen didn't get into his tried and true hypos. In fact, he didn't say Azuri even once, so I won five bucks. Casey went double or nothing with me for Thursday's class, which was dumb on his part because I would've been willing to move the over/under number down to 3.5 but he offered it at 4.5 again. Once again, Rasmussen went the whole 85 minutes without saying Azuri even once, so I was up ten bucks on Casey for the week (beerpong bets aside).

Casey decided, to his detriment, that he had no more money to lose to me. It was to his detriment because the next thing we would have bet on was how many astronauts have graduated from the University of Tennessee. He said it was 11 or 14, I offered to bet that it was under 10.5, he declined and we decided to do a gentleman's bet, and after some intensive internet research he got proof that the right number was in fact 11. Then on Friday I offered to bet him on the Azuri thing again and he declined... so of course, Rasmussen said it 7 times in the first 15 minutes of class. It was pretty funny because every time he said it the people sitting around the area where Casey and I sat would shoot each other knowing glances and stupid smirks.

Side note: In Friday's class we started a new subject and Professor Rasmussen said it would be the most confusing class of the semester. And even though Contracts is the class I'm having the most trouble with, I was a fucking superstar. I made a comparison between the Willistonian view of the parol evidence rule and the way today's courts view statutes, as opposed to the Corbinesque view of the parol evidence rule and the way the Seavey v. Drake and Hatley v. Stafford courts viewed statutes. Needless to say, Rasmussen had never considered that. It was extremely validating and an awesome way to end the week, because that was the last class before the weekend. Go me.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Irony Can Be Pretty Ironic Sometimes

On Monday I promised a post the next day about Well, part of the reason that I didn't get anything posted on Tuesday about Facebook was because I spend way too much time ON Facebook. It's pretty addictive.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Facebook, and I'm assuming that's almost all of you because most of the readers of this blog are older than 22, it's kind of like Friendster but set up with college networks. Every single person at Vanderbilt who came here straight out of college has been on Facebook since undergrad, and almost everyone who didn't come here straight out of college has never been on Facebook. It's the great divide.

At first I resisted joining, because I never really got anything out of Friendster, and I never joined MySpace either. BUT, after seeing it in action with my roommate and a bunch of my friends, I decided that for my social life it was a necessary evil. And evil it is, at least in terms of sucking my time away from reading and sleep.

It's awesome. It's got great potential for digital flirting, along with helping me get to know people that I've met over the last few weeks. What's basically happened so far is that when I meet someone and have more than a 2-minute conversation with them, either I "facebook" them or they "facebook" me, meaning one of us requests that the other become our "facebook friends." As of 9:00 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, I have 57 friends, 52 of which are in the Vanderbilt network.

I think the two most fun aspects of Facebook are the photosharing and writing on people's "walls." With the photos, if you upload an album, say, for example, all the photos that you took at the tailgate for Vandy's first home football game, you can "tag" the people in each photo and tell Facebook who they are. I was tagged in five or six different photos people took that day and posted to Facebook, and because I was tagged you can see those photos when you look at my profile. Of course people can also comment on photos. As for the "wall," it's really just a messageboard on each person's profile where you can post comments to or about that person. And when you're looking at someone's profile and see a wall post that doesn't seem to make any sense, you can click on the "wall-to-wall" and see the two people's back-and-forth wall convo.

There are also groups set up, mostly for comedic value, although some are issue-oriented, but I'm not too into them. One of the few that I am in is called "Fantasy Gunner." The basic premise is that before each class you pick a "gunner," i.e. someone who's always raising their hand, and you get points for every time they raise their hand and get called on. You get bonus points for all kinds of different things: if they reference a case we haven't read yet to slyly demonstrate that they've read ahead, if they pose a "hypothetical," if they go talk to the professor at the front of the room after class ends...

A couple weeks ago Facebook introduced a new feature called the "newsfeed." There was actually a bit of an uproar about it and it was in the news. Now when you log on to the site, the home page you see has a list of what all of your friends have been doing on facebook over the last couple days: who's written on who's wall, who's added whom as a friend, how many of your friends are now officially attending that party on Saturday, who's posted photos from the weekend. I think even the people who were up in arms about it at first have got to admit that it's pretty convenient.

Anyway, if you're interested in Facebook, I recommend checking it out. You used to have to have a college e-mail address in order to sign up, but they just (as in yesterday) rolled out a new system where people in the real world can sign up. Then you can search for me and we can become Facebook friends. Yay.

When I first signed up I was at such a disadvantage compared to the younger people who had been on forever, because none of my friends were on, so none of them had posted photos with me in them and tagged me, so for the longest time the only photos I had on my profile were ones that I had uploaded and tagged myself in (which is, like, a total faux pas and totally lame).

Monday, September 25, 2006

The General Deal Down Here

Part of the reason that I'm re-starting the blog is because a few people have actually asked me to get it going again because they enjoyed it, which was a little surprising and a lot flattering. But another part is that I've been doing a pretty poor job of keeping in touch with the folks back in the Northeast about what my life down in Nashville at law school is like. So while the Clubhouse will continue to have musings about Roadhouse II on DVD or the fundamental nature of Simpsky, at least for the next couple weeks I'm gonna try and catch y'all up with what I've been up to and how law school is going. There've been a lot of funny stories and things that have come up that I've been excited to share with people, either in person or through the blog, so I just hope I can remember them all and get them up on the web. That way when I come back to New York we can just hang out without me having to recap the whole last couple months of my life, and it'll be just like I never left. (I'm using the word "left" for lack of a better synonym, but for the record, I have not "left" the Northeast.)

For the record, I have not developed a southern accent and do not apologize for my use of "y'all" above. I believe, but can not verify, that I used that word before I came down here, and its usefulness is undeniable.

I can basically sum up August 16th through today in one sentence: I've done more schoolwork than ever before in my life and I've been drinking ridiculous amounts that rival undergraduate levels, if not surpass them. Of course it's been a long time since undergrad, and the times I drank a lot are not the most lucid memories, so it's tough to guage the second part of that sentence. That's another running theme during the last six weeks: I am OLD. Most of my good friends down here are 21, 22 or 23.

One of those 21-year-olds is my roommate Dani. That situation has been about as good as I could have hoped for. She's cool and totally Northeastern. She's from Strong Island so she's got a bit of B&T in her, but she's fucking hilarious. Here are a couple photos of us at approximately 3:30 in the morning last Friday night in our apartment. Friday was parents' visitation day, so we went out to dinner with both sets of parents and decided when we went out at 10:30 to just "take it easy" because it'd been a long day and we both had to see our parents early Saturday morning. Several hours of beerpong and flip cup later, we had a few people back to our apartment for some more drinks, and Dani and I ended up on the floor.

Please note the glass of scotch in the lower righthand corner of the second photo. There aren't many of my classmates who drink scotch (and yet, I'm personally burning through the gigantic bottle of Black Label at an amazing pace). Sometime last week I was being totally unproductive so I decided that it would be best for me to just go to sleep and wake up early to get my reading done. I had a bit of a cough so I decided to dose myself with Nyquil in order to ensure a good night's sleep. Of course, then Dani and I decided to hang out and have a heart-to-heart about boys and whatnot (there's a fair degree of drama, as one would expect with a 21-year-old girl who just broke up with her boyfriend). An hour later I was three or four scotches deep on top of the Nyquil and was having difficulty forming proper noun-and-subject sentences, but it was actually one of the more enjoyable evenings I've had down here.

This post is already much longer than I imagined it and has taken more time than I had allotted myself to finish it, so I've got to cut it off and come back to some of this stuff tomorrow. I'm leaving the law school now to go home and swim some laps-- I've been very good about swimming five or six times a week since classes started, but because of all the drinking I've probably actually put on a couple pounds since I got down here. Then tonight I'm going to my beginner swing class (yeah, das right) with my friends Maggie, Ashlee and Kristin, followed by a couple hours drinking at Chili's (which is donating 100% of their profits across the country tonight to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital) and then back to my place to watch the first episode of "Studio 60" on DVR. Then it'll be up at 6:00 AM tomorrow to get to the law school early enough to get a coveted close parking spot... I mean to get a headstart on my work.

College is fun.

Tomorrow I'll introduce you to the concept of Facebook.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Due to Popular Demand, the Return of Your Regularly Scheduled Blog

Allow me to start this off with an apology: I'm sorry that I've gone so long without posting anything. The vacation from posting coincided with Mohawk Party and the vacation from work in late July. Then I was getting ready to move down to Nashville, then visiting the fam in San Francisco, then driving down to Nashville, then putting together all my furniture, then doing orientation, then starting classes....

Anyway, game on. I'm back, and I'm going to make it a priority to keep posting. In fact I'm gonna go ahead and GUARANTEE five posts per week. Anything less than five a week and you get your money back.

I've got some catching up to do, so I'll start where I left off. Amazingly, there are only two photos of me with the mohawk that I had for two full weeks, and they were taken with a camera phone. It's not that amazing when you consider that I didn't see Canoni during those two weeks, and he's the only one of us that has a camera and takes pictures.

So here's the best picture of me with a mohawk. (Actually, there's a better picture of me with a mohawk, but it's on my Tennessee driver's license. Can't wait til the first time I get pulled over.)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Clubhouse Has Been Spammed Like a MoFo

I'm lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, when I hear my MSN Messenger going nuts. I'm getting e-mail after e-mail after e-mail after e-mail, and they're all comments to my blog.

My first reaction, lame and unrealistic as it may be, was that someone somewhere with a popular site listed my blog and I was all of a sudden getting mad hits. This pipe dream was fueled by the fact that a couple days ago I got my first comment from someone that wasn't a close personal friend (props to Meowkaat for the kind words).

The anonymous posts I received this evening (there were 17 total) were all very kind and encouraging, if not repetitive:
"Great site loved it alot, will come back and visit again."
"Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site! Keep up the good work. Thanks."
"I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative."
"Hi! Just want to say what a nice site. Bye, see you soon."
"Nice idea with this site its better than most of the rubbish I come across."
"Your site is on top of my favourites - Great work I like it."
"Very best site. Keep working. Will return in the near future."

Judging by the timestamps, it appears they were all posted within a matter of seconds. Oh, and they all also included links to pages that would supposedly lead you to gambling websites, health insurance, gambling websites, college loans, gambling websites, life insurance... and more gambling websites.

And all the links ended in .be or .pl, instead of .com. I don't know what country those are from, but this blog has already publicly declared its allegiance to the (Northeastern) United States of America, thank you very much! (N.E.)U.S.A.! (N.E.)U.S.A.! (N.E.)U.S.A.!

So, if you're trolling around and see a bunch of comments deleted by the blog administrator, you'll know why. And for a little while at least, you now have to register with in order to post a comment. Sucks, I know, but I hope it won't discourage you.

I can't imagine how many of these things I would have been peppered with if I hadn't been able to change the comments settings as soon as they started coming.

Damn spammers.

By the way, click this link.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Bet That Won't Happen in Tennessee

I was leaving the apartment with my roommate Copenhaver this evening, and as we were walking down the stairs he commented on the pungent dead-mouse odor that exists as you walk down from the third to second floor. I said I heard that there were no mice in Nashville, and he said he heard that there were no mice on the Upper East Side, which is where he's moving in a couple weeks.

As Cope went to push open the door to the outside, he met some resistance. He pushed again, still the door wouldn't budge more than a few inches. I looked down through the window to see what might be preventing us from getting outside, and saw a drunk/druggie/sleepy/dopey/whatever man lying on his side in the 9-to-12 inches in front of our door. Presumably he considered that a good place to nap during the downpour earlier in the evening.

And napping he was. Big time. We gave a couple more pushes, trying to nudge him out of his stupor, to no avail. Then we enlisted the assistance of a couple passersby, asking, "Hey, can you help us wake this guy up?" Some more nudging from the other side, along with some verbal encouragement, didn't get any kind of response, but we were assured that he didn't appear to be dead.

We couldn't get him awake enough to leave the area, but the man-on-the-street was kind enough to use his foot to move the drunk guy's legs far enough for us to open the door just wide enough to ooch outside.

He was still there (no big surprise) when we returned. Cope lost rock-paper-scissors* and it fell to him to try to move the legs again because he had shoes on and I had flip-flops.

A couple memorable quotes on the way back inside and up the stairs to our apartment:

Me: "Oh god, his face is on the ground now."
Cope: "Well, he is lying on the ground."

Cope: "I bet that won't happen in Tennessee... unless it's you."

*Editor's note: I used poetic license there (What, my blog isn't poetry? Whatever) in order to make the post easier to understand to the average reader. We did not in fact decide using rock-paper-scissors. We used a system called ham-and-eggs whereby the last person to put their finger on their nose has to accept the responsibility of a usually somewhat-odious task. (It usually involves more than two people) The most frequent usage is at dinner when the loser has to take the check and take responsibility for figuring what to tip and what people need to pay. I tried to find out if this game is called ham-and-eggs by anyone else outside my group of friends but couldn't find any usages on the web that weren't referring to the actual food. If anyone knows the backstory, please enlighten us via the comment section.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Someone at Entertainment Weekly is Reading My Blog

Last week I posted about the movie Road House and the impending straight-to-DVD sequel. Well you can imagine my surprise when I flipped open this week's Entertainment Weekly and found an article about both movies.

The best nugget from the review is that Kelly Lynch apparently says in the DVD commentary, "Patrick's mullet defied gravity and martial arts and explosions and sex — and probably water and hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes."

The most incriminating piece of evidence that proves the EW editors are ripping off my blog is that in the print magazine there's a little sidebar box labeled "Backstory." This info is basically stolen 100% from my blog: "Road House 2 isn't the only subpar sequel Schaech (above) has starred in. In 1996, he appeared with Alyssa Milano in the ill-fated Poison Ivy 2: Lily, and in 2005 he headlined the second-rate 8MM 2."

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Saturday Smorgasbord

Road House Trivia
Road House was directed by a guy named Rowdy. How appropriate. That movie may have the strangest last line of dialogue in the history of movies: "A polar bear fell on me." I swear.

In looking up the IMDB link for Road House I discovered there is a Road House 2: Last Call!! Coming straight to DVD this month, only 17 years after the original movie. No Patrick Swayze to be found, but it stars one of the dudes from That Thing You Do!, who has starred in some of the more unnecessary sequels since co-starring with Tom Hanks. I think it's safe to say that's gonna be the pinnacle of his career. He's actually credited as the screenwriter for Road House 2, and I guess it's because he's got the experience of starring in Poison Ivy II and 8MM 2.

Funny Link of the Day
When I say stupid things, people laugh at my expense. Now it's my turn to laugh.

Thoughts on Anonymity
I am that guy. The one walking down the street listening to his Ipod and singing out loud. (Note that I said "out loud" and not "loudly.") That may rub some people the wrong way, but what the hell do I care? I like singing and I don't know any of them. I walk past hundreds of people on the street every day that I don't know, will never know, and don't care what they think of me. It's something unique about New York City that I'll miss. It's tough to qualify it as strictly "good" or "bad," but I'll definitely miss it while I'm at Vanderbilt.

In New York if I wanna bop down the street singing Morrissey out loud, it doesn't matter. If I wanna head out looking like moldy hell*, it doesn't matter. In a college setting, and in a small town like Nashville (with a population of only 1.4 million people), chances increase significantly that, even with a short jaunt out of the apartment, I'm gonna bump into someone I know.

Oh well. C'est la vie.

*Editor's Note: the phrase "moldy hell" was created by combining two words from my random negative word generator, but just you wait-- it's gonna be catching on. Be the first on your block to use it!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3... Is This Thing On?

Check it out, I have a blog.

I've mentioned to a couple people the possibility of sending e-mails so people know when I've updated my blog, and some have had a viscerally negative reaction to that, perhaps due to some past bad experiences (I'm looking your way, Tacos N' Tonic).

But others have said they would like that, and given my penchant for going a couple weeks without posting anything, it would be helpful to know when there's actually something new to read on the site (other than comments).

So, I'm trying something. I've set up a "Google Group" that will allow anyone who is so inclined to join the group of people receiving updates on the blog. It's new to me, so there may be some kinks, but it should be pretty effective. You can opt in whenever you want, and unsubscribe any time you want. And the e-mails will have the full text of the latest post, so you won't even have to visit the site, you can just read your e-mail (unless you want to make a comment on the site).

I'd like it if people signed up. I think that while I'm away at school and out of sight, my blog will be a way to prevent me from being out of mind as well. Also, it works out really well for me because I'm super-lazy and I'd love to be able to share my thoughts with all the different people in my life with one click of the mouse.

If you're interested in signing up for the group and receiving blog-update e-mails, go to

Also, while we're being self-referential here, I'd like to point out that just because you can make anonymous comments doesn't mean you have to remain anonymous. It cuts down on the confusion factor if you register with blogger or at least create a screen name.

How Al's Camera Phone Will Cure What Ails Ya

Not surprisingly, Al Katz was up early on the morning of Saturday, July 1st. A little more surprising was his decision to snap a photo of me sleeping with his camera phone because he thought I was sleeping funny:

Indeed I was sleeping funny, but not as funny as I have been sleeping over the last few weeks, which is with my arms crossed and hands tucked into my chest. Al witnessed this a little later in the morning and snapped another shot:

For some reason it took Al's photographs for me to realize (a) this looks kinda strange and uncomfortable, although I wouldn't sleep like this if it wasn't comfortable, and (b) this totally explains why my left wrist has been killing me recently. It's extremely unnatural for my wrist to be bent like that for six hours straight, and, thanks to Al's camera-phone, I know I have to find a new way to sleep. That's the kind of research I can get down with.

Funnily enough, though, it wasn't my wrist that hurt me the most that morning. It was my pounding, aching head, resulting from a game of Three-Man late into the night and an early wake-up call for golf on Saturday morning. Al actually snapped another photo of me, just as I was waking up:

That about sums up how I felt that morning.

Props to Rotante for nursing me back to health, or at least whatever level of "health" I had before I drank all that beer, in a mere half-hour in order to get me onto the golf course, where I took money off Elis Davis and Chris Copenhaver with my unerring accuracy on par-3's (closest to the pin) and my "tactical rolling" philosophy, which allowed me to win the most Skins.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Am I Not a Moral Person? Wait, Don't Answer That...

One of the fun things I get to do as a Legal Assistant at a law firm is compare documents (or different versions of the same document) using a program called DeltaView. It's usually referred to as redlining or blacklining documents, and it's a very convenient program-- it shows what text has been deleted and what text has been added to a document.

One of the other fun things I get to do as a Legal Assistant is look on the server for documents that probably shouldn't have been saved there, or should have been saved their with some security to prevent schmoes like me from seeing them. This includes letters of recommendation.

I recently asked a partner for whom I've been working for a letter of recommendation to send to the law schools that relegated me to their waitlist. The letter he sent was saved to the system, as was the letter he sent on behalf of Josh, one of my former co-workers, who's also going to be going to law school in the fall. So, being the underhanded and naturally inquisitive person that I am, I blacklined my letter against Josh's letter.

For the most part, it was the same. Some phrases were slightly different, or had been moved from one part of the letter to the other, but it was basically the same letter.

With one exception: Josh's letter said that he had "a solid moral foundation," and there was no mention of anything like that in my letter.

Huh? A couple things pop to mind here. The first is that with this type of letter, the partner almost definitely doesn't write a word of it and probably doesn't even provide much input. It's his secretary who has the most influence. The second thing is, who cares? What a random thing to include in one letter and not in another. It's not like Josh is a priest or something. Was it the beard that I had for nine months? I know I should have trimmed it more often and sometimes I looked like a mountain man, but I don't think that's a proper benchmark to gauge morality.

Coincidentally, I've been wondering recently what kind of person I am. Am I a fundamentally good person that does some bad things? Or am I a fundamentally bad person that does some good things? I've known myself for 28 years and I can't figure it out one way or the other, but either this partner or his secretary has got me pinned in the 18 months I've been working here.

By the way, I'd like to think that I'm a fundamentally good person, but I don't know. What I do know is that it's good that I ask these kinds of questions of myself.

Keen Observation

Overheard during fireworks show in Rhode Island:

"There are few things cooler in this world than the discrepancy between the speed of light and the speed of sound."

The Law of Syllogism, or, How Canoni's Car Will Get Sold

p -> q
q -> r
therefore, p -> r

p = a gentle sander
q = 600 dollars
r = the torture chamber

I'd really like to explain this for those of you who are confused, and that's probably most of you. Unfortunately all I can say is that this is what happens when you combine a long day in the sun, a large number of beers, and the intellectual prowess of me, Copenhaver and Mr. and Mrs. Rotante.

Celebrate the Birth of Your Nation by Blowing Up a Small Portion of it

This 4th of July, in the great American tradition of open-ended "wars" that it isn't possible to ever truly win (see the War on Terror, War on Drugs, War on Poverty), I am declaring war. I am rising up in defense of the Northeastern United States.

My hand has been forced. It's not something I wanted to do, to make enemies of my brothers and sisters (both figurative and literal). But more and more people have moved out of the Northeast or made known their intentions to do so.

I find this completely unacceptable. There has been a tacit understanding, a covenant if you will, between and among those of us who have spent the majority of our lives in the Northeast. It's one of those important social contracts that separates us from the animals. It boils down to, "I'll stay in the Northeast, you'll stay in the Northeast, and we'll hang."

The great part is that it's not just a one-on-one arrangement; bunches and bunches of cool people are in the Northeast, giving us a degree of "Critical Mass" that no other region can match.

Recently, though, people have been flaunting this arrangement. Friends of mine and their siblings are under the mistaken impression that it's alright to leave the Northeast for Seattle, Atlanta, Kansas City, Virginia, and other places. They probably would not appreciate me naming them in this space, at the same time as I call for the heads of those who would leave the Northeast. I will, however, name Jeremy Veit, Sarah Veit and Anna Veit, all of whom have moved to the greater San Francisco area, as deserters. That's right. This war has truly turned brother against brother.

I don't think it'll ever be anything more than a Cold War though, because I don't own any weapons and can't see myself engaging in fisticuffs over it. And the comparison to a Cold War is appropriate on a couple other levels as well. It's not a fight for territory. We've already got the best territory there is, the Northeastern United States. It's more a fight for the hearts and minds of our friends and family members.

We're also fighting against a domino effect similar to what was feared during the Cold War period. If people start leaving the Northeast with impunity, others (i) start to consider the possibility that the Northeast may not continue to have its historical critical mass (a "critical mass gap," if you will), and (ii) think that it's okay to leave the Northeast.

Let me counter both of those misconceptions: (i) the Northeast will always have critical mass. Trust me, those of you who are living on the West Coast or down in the dirty South, you're going to be coming back to New York a lot more than any New Yorkers come visit you, and (ii) IT IS NOT OKAY TO LEAVE THE NORTHEAST. You will lose friends and loved ones.

There are a couple caveats that apply in narrow circumstances. If, as is the case with yours truly, you are leaving the Northeast to attend an institution of higher learning and you loudly profess your intention to return to the Northeast upon graduation, you are granted a temporary get-out-of-jail-free card. If your career path absolutely requires a stint outside the Northeast, you can go if you promise to come back as soon as it is professionally viable to do so.

There are probably some points I'm forgetting here, but you can be sure that I will re-visit this issue again in this space and in conversations with the people who visit this space.

Please join me in this important fight.

Andy Veit, Captain of Industry

Please see below a photo of me standing side-by-side (or side-by-side-by-side-by-side-by-side, as the case may be) with Teck Moh Phey, the President and CEO of Pacific Internet Ltd. on the momentous morning of June 15, 2006.

That day, those of us who are in the inner sanctum of close advisors to Mr. Phey gathered to open the Nasdaq stock market. Here's an action shot, from which I was unfortunately cut out (Mr. Phey had two people fired for that mistake):

This ceremony was broadcast live on the jumbotron in Times Square, as well as on the following TV networks: Bloomberg, Bloomberg Brazil, CNBC, Fox, CNBC India, KTVU, NDTV (New Delhi), Report on Business (Canada), and New Tang Dynasty TV.

You know you've made it when you make your first appearance on New Tang Dynasty TV. Hopefully it'll be the first of many for me.

The Story Behind The Story

I'd love to let the above story speak for itself, but (i) I'd get a boatload of e-mails asking me what the hell is going on, and (ii) as a former newsie, I can't let that kind of B.S. go.

What happened was my friend Alan Katz (we went to high school together) called me that morning with a problem: he had a client opening the Nasdaq market and they didn't have enough bodies wearing suits to stand behind him and clap. I happened to be wearing a suit because I was going to Todd Bender's rehearsal dinner that night, and I work around the corner from the Nasdaq. So of course I jumped in a cab, got there at 9:25, shook a couple hands (not Mr. Phey's) and stood as far off to the side as I could-- it's not a mistake that I was the first person cropped off when the camera pushed in.

They snapped some photos and then told us to clap and cheer for a couple minutes while we were taken live. The thing I was most pleased about was the fact that I snuck a couple "huzzah's" in while we were live. It seemed like an appropriate exclamation to me. What was I gonna say? "Woohoo?" Doesn't fit.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Gus Simpsky?

Watching "For Love of the Game" last night, the baseball movie with Kevin Costner as Billy Chapel, the baseball player who must choose between the woman he loves and the game he lives for, and it's also got John C. Reilly as his longtime catcher and friend. Great supporting role, but nothing of note... until, that is, you see the name on the back of his jersey. Gus the catcher's last name is Sinski.

You may not know "Mike Semsky," but he goes by many names: Simpsky, Semisky, Oopsky, Drinksky, etc. It would not surprise me at all to hear that at one time someone called him Sinski.

If you don't know Simpsky, you should make a point of it. I've known him for approximately 23 years, and those years were immensely better than the first 5. Seriously, I'm a fan. As I recently said to him in an inebriated state on the deck of his beach house in Rhode Island, I consider myself fortunate to be in his universe.

The similarities between Sinski and Simpsky go beyond the sounds of their names. For instance, when Sinski comes into Billy Chapel's hotel room and there a bunch of empty mini-fridge bottles of alcohol and Chapel's obviously hung over, he observes, "You know, a lot of little bottles makes a big bottle, Chapy," which is totally something that Simpsky would say, and he'd be right. Simpsky's right most of the time.

Later in the movie, Chapel's throwing a perfect game but he's old and tired and tells Sinski he doesn't know if he has anything left for the last couple innings. And Sinski tells him, "You just throw whatever you got, whatever's left. The boys are all here for you. We're gonna be awesome for you right now!" Ah... Supportsky.

Feel free to use the comment section to further compare and contrast Sinski (or catchers in general) and Simpsky.

(One thing about the movie that irked me, though: the premise is that it's the end of the season, the owner has sold the team and the new corporate owners want to trade Billy Chapel to the Giants, so he has to decide whether he wants to be traded out of Detroit, where he's pitched for the last 19 years, or simply retire as a Tiger. The problem, though, is that if he'd pitched his whole career for the Tigers he'd qualify as a "10 and 5" guy, with 10 years of MLB service who's been with the same club for the last five years, which means that he would have to approve any trade to another team. I know it's a baseball-nerdy thing to point out, but, well... I'm a baseball nerd. I even looked it up to see if it was a recent phenomenon, but the 10-and-5 rule was collectively bargained in 1973, so it should have applied in a current-day movie that was made in 1999.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Open your heart to me... and I will mock you mercilessly

I have a friend with whom I used to work when I was at CBS, let's just call him Joey Joe Joe. During the years that I got to know him, he became more and more infatuated with Jay-See, and during the years that he got to know me, I became more and more infatuated with baseball. And we would, as fellas are wont to do, give each other sh*t about our respective passions. He really got under my skin at times, but I never seemed to get him as riled. I guess it's all that inner peace that comes with the knowledge you're not going to aitch-ee-double-hockey-stix like me. But he also makes me laugh, like when I was at his wedding and he was walking back down the aisle with his bride and he leaned across her to whisper "Go Yankees!" to me.

It's been a few months since we talked. In fact, I can tell you exactly what date and approximately what time we talked: it was January 15th, sometime around 5:30 or 6:00, as the Bears were losing to the Panthers in the NFL playoffs. He called me during the game, I screamed at him and told him not to call me again because he was jinxing the Bears (which he was), and he did the unthinkable and called me again.

Yesterday, out of the blue, I got a text message from Joey, almost exactly five months later:
"I apologize for being an ass during the bears game."

Time heals all wounds, they say. This is a deeeep wound, but I guess "they" say that for a reason, and I had a good chuckle. I replied in kind with a text message:
"WWJD? He'd forgive."

A conciliatory response to a conciliatory message, right? But then I followed up with another message:
"I ain't Jesus."

I don't wanna toot my own horn, but that's some funny stuff. And I got a kick out of his response:
"Thank God you're not."

And we still haven't actually talked...

(You can file this as reason #127 that I'm glad I'm not a chick. When Joey and I do talk again, and hang out, it'll be as if no time has passed.)

"Andy, there's something interesting at the front of the boat!"

"Pipe down and quit trying to distract me from my beer."

Lesson Learned

The crazy thing about that sailing adventure, which took place the morning my friends Sean and Jessie got married, was what I learned about how crazy sensitive my skin has gotten to the sun. It wasn't just completely overcast, it was actually raining for half the time we were out there, and yet I still got color in my face. What?!? The things that used to be my sanctuary (the shade, the indoors, rainy weather) no longer offer safe haven. I was at a Yankees game a couple weeks ago sitting in the shade for the whole game and I still managed to get a little red.

So it's time to take the offensive against my skin. I got some sage advice from my friend Jen and bought some stuff that might help. The problem is my aversion to walking around with goop on my face all day, which I think is totally rational and I can't imagine how so many women do it. We'll see how it goes. If it's too goopy we'll move on to Plan B (Plan B to be determined).

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why Jason Grimsley and I will never be best friends

Aside from the fact that he's been regularly using steroids and human growth hormone, he just doesn't seem to have the kind of character and loyalty I'm looking for in a best friend.

Apparently when the Feds busted him he cracked like a little bitch right away and gave them the names of several major league players who he knew and/or suspected have used steroids, HGH and amphetamines.

That's fine. Go ahead. Sell out Mitch Williams, Terry Mulholland, Chuck Nagy, and Jose Mesa-- all former teammates of his (of whose drug practices I have no knowledge). What? You thought I'd list Lenny Dykstra, Albert Belle, Jose Canseco, and Glenallen Hill? The popular misconception is that it's only the sluggers taking these performance-enhancing drugs, but it's not. This is a journeyman relief pitcher we're talking about in Grimsley, and he's been using his whole career. This is one of the top reasons why I hate on a lot of the Bonds-haters, but that's a subject for another post.

The reason Grimsley and I will never be best friends is because of what he did after he gave the feds the names of several players:

"Grimsley also identified [redacted], a former Major League Baseball player, as one of his better friends in baseball. Grimsley stated that he knows [redacted] used human growth hormone and knows that [redacted] obtained the human growth hormone from the same source that Grimsley obtained his from."

Now that is one cold-hearted SOB. Don't you think the Feds would've been pleased as punch to get all those names he'd already given them? He didn't have to give up his buddy, did he?

It's all here in the affidavit that was filed with the courts before they searched his house. The good stuff starts on page 10.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

In the beginning, there was... Bobo the Clown

I decided on a whim (a caprice, if you will) to start a blog, and one of the first questions they ask you is what you want to call it. Because I hadn't properly thought this through, I went with "Uncle Nutzy's Clubhouse."

It's the phrase that inevitably leaves my lips when someone asks me, "Where do you want to go?" (Answer: "To Uncle Nutzy's Clubhouse!") The problem is that it's such a random esoteric movie reference that no one gets it, and even if they did... it's not particularly funny. Nor is it funny when people tell me, "I'm hungry," and I respond, "Hey hungry, I'm Andy." It's not funny, but I do it. Often. Good Lord, that's GOT to be annoying. I'm glad I don't have to live with me or hang out with me.

Uncle Nutzy's Clubhouse comes from UHF, the cult-classic Weird Al Yankovic vehicle. (Can a C-list celebrity really have a "vehicle" movie?) Some of us were on board before it became a cult classic, and I like to think I was the driving the bandwagon before everyone else hopped on. The basic premise is that Weird Al gets his hands on a tiny UHF station and gets to direct all the programming. Hilarity ensues.

BUT, because Al Yankovic knows his narrative form, there has to be an anti-climax before the station takes off and conquers the evil network affiliate down the street. His first attempt at a children's show is called "Uncle Nutzy's Clubhouse" and is a complete ratings failure. Al's character, George, starts every show by asking the kids in the studio audience (usually not more than 3 or 4), "Where do you wanna go?!?" To which they respond, with a level of excitement bordering on narcolepsy, "To Uncle Nutzy's Clubhouse."

Luckily for us (or me, I guess), George's ineptitude is wildly entertaining, like when he entices his buddy, playing the role of Bobo the Clown, into playing a game.

George: Hey Bobo, wanna play a game?
[Bobo honks his horn and nods his head]
George: Okay! Look up!
[Bobo looks up]
George: Look down!
[Bobo looks down]
George: Now look at Mr. Frying Pan!
[Bobo looks at the camera with a puzzled look, and Al proceeds to smack him in the face with a frying pan]

(Side Note: I am so ridiculous. I've seen that a hundred times. I know what I'm going to write. But as I type the words I can not help myself from chuckling. What's wrong with me?)

To make a long story short (too late), Uncle Nutzy's Clubhouse gets taken over by Stanley Spadowski (played by a pre-Kramer Michael Richards), who boosts the ratings to ridiculous levels. One of the classic scenes from the movie is from Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse, when a little kid wins a contest by finding the marble in the sandbox full of oatmeal, and his prize is that he gets to drink from the fire hose.

Everyone remembers Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse, that before Kramer was Kramer he was Stanley, the lovable janitor-turned-TV-star. What they all seem to forget is that, in the beginning, there was Bobo the Clown.

I haven't the foggiest idea what kind of content I'm going to be posting on this blog (I'll try to limit the baseball stuff), but I thought I might as well explain the name.