11 May 2005

Making Good on My Promise

A random quote from SuperNanny, because I couldn’t find the remote and forced myself into watching it: “Putting Adam to sleep was really difficult.” I guess you know you’re having trouble with the kids when you have to resort to that.

As promised several days ago, the first of my “2L in a Nutshell” entries. I originally thought I’d devote each of these posts to a certain subset of things, like music, or people, or experiences, etc. But life is much more random than that, so I’ll be random, too.

(1) Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and the overall renewed vitality of ABC—
I don’t get the premium channels, so I don’t know if The Sopranos is all it’s cracked up to be. I don’t know if Deadwood is just that good. What I do know, is that I like it when the regular old networks produce quality stuff. I won’t pretend that their full slate is good. I’m rather neutral about Desperate Housewives, for example. I guess it’s an inability to relate to any of the characters. The Bachelor is just a load of dead weight that should have been removed a while ago. And I’ve grown weary of Alias, even though I still watch, expecting something to match the excitement and interest of that season that ended with the big fight between Sydney and Francie. Here’s a tip: lose the whole Rambaldi subplot. Whenever I hear the guy’s name, I take a bathroom break. But I love Lost, so J.J. Abrams has redeemed himself somewhat. When it’s really on, it’s excellent and moving, and when it’s off, it’s still tolerable—which is more than can be said for many shows. And I’m impressed with Grey’s Anatomy. I can match each of the characters to friends I actually have, and until I write the first great law school drama, this provides an excellent proxy for how law school and being a twentysomething feel sometimes. Sometimes. Except for all the sex, in my case at least, but I’m sure for most people that is the reality. Again, it can be off at times, but even then it remains entertaining and highly watchable. Well-acted, decently-written, and fun escapism for a Sunday night.

(2) Professor Campbell and the Estates and Future Interests Drafting Seminar—
Every law student should have the good fortune to have a class like this. An enrollment of just twelve students, three hours once a week, and a wise, old professor who readily imparted not only his legal knowledge but his knowledge of the profession and, dare I say it, life. In the beginning, it was a pressure cooker—Socratic method applied in a class that small can be intimidating. But eventually the pressure became formative, even fun. I left that class feeling a little more confident, a little more—grown.

(3) Getting a 28 Hand in Cribbage—
I discussed this more in one of my early entries, but if you’ve ever played the game, you’d understand why it deserves the extra attention. So, I guess you can read that entry if you want the details. Simply outstanding.

(4) The Spartans’ Double Final Four—
Again, another reference to earlier stuff. But any basketball fan—any sport fan for that matter—can appreciate how cool it is to have two teams progress so far. It would have been nice to win the whole shebang, a la the UConn Huskies last year. In Spartan land, though, basketball is king, and any achievement in that arena is outstanding.

(5) The Elevated Train Scene in Spider-Man 2—
Yeah, I’m a glutton for mass media, right? Actually, if it’s good mass media, then yes. There was a ton of stuff packed into this movie, and I can’t really contemplate what could be done in the third to top it; not that movie sequels should be about “topping,” but generally it’s nice to have a consistent quality level across a series of movies. I felt the movie started unevenly, but the elevated train scene—if you need more description of it, then you probably didn’t see the movie—was the best scene hands down in a superhero movie that I’ve seen. And I’ve seen just about every mainstream superhero movie. Nothing offered in Batman, Superman, X-Men, and the like even came close. Spider-Man 2 raised the bar, and I sincerely doubt it will be topped, although I’m hopeful that bar can be met a few more times.

(6) Finding my Study Spot in the Law School—
I’m a study at home guy. I don’t like studying in the library, I don’t like studying in the “study lounge” (talk about an oxymoron). If you have the luxury of not living in a dorm, then you really don’t need to leave to study. And the apartment I live in is nice. But I’m still at the law school a lot, more than I’d like to be sometimes, and for the entire first year and a half I never found a good niche. Everyone else seemed to have his or her spot staked out, and if you were looking for that person, you knew where to go. A vacant third floor classroom here, a certain library carrel there. Well, I finally found mine. And I would divulge it, but I don’t want anyone else taking it. I will say that it’s nice and cold and by a set of windows, but there’s about a dozen places matching that description in the building, so my spot is still safe I think. Yes, I am just that possessive J.

(7) Getting Over (Somewhat) My Fear of Speaking in Class—
You wouldn’t think after knowing me a while that I’d have a problem with this. I mean, honestly, it seems so pathetic—like such an unnecessary crutch. I’ve played the piano in front of a thousand people, and yet I get more nervous briefing a case in front of a hundred people I know. Totally inexplicable, but anyone who has had to deal with this understands just how scary it can be. This year, I finally got over it a bit, and that makes me very happy. My heart still pounds some when my name is called by a professor, but the reaction is more biological now than mental, so that’s a relief.

(8) Madeleine Peyroux’s “Between the Bars” (from the album Careless Love)—
Whoa. This is the kind of song that just….haunts you. Not happy, not really sad, just haunting. It swirls and circles around your mind, long after playing it, and you won’t regret having it stuck there. I’m not even sure what it means, although I think it’s about alcoholism, and I’ve heard pieces of it in other songs. The whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts, though—the modulations, the instrumentation, and her voice (which is eerily reminiscent of Billie Holiday) combine into something unique. Many of the other songs on the CD are good, too, but that one is exceptional. If I ever am lucky enough to make the kind of movie that I imagine all the time, this song would have a place in it.

That’s all for now. It’s harder than I thought to write these kinds of entries. My memory isn’t as crisp as I had hoped, and some things that really meant a lot are things that I just don’t feel comfortable sharing on my blog. At least not yet. We’ll see…

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