SUI GENERIS punk rock bike shop home-brew art/craft love

Sui Generis is certainly not meant to be a microgramma clone

I'm going camping in central Wisconsin with some friends this weekend. It seemed like a good idea to make the reservations two weeks ago when the temperatures here hit the high seventies and low eighties, but now we're packing up the long underwear and lots of firewood. The weekend forecast has been all over the map in the past week. It looked really cold for a while, then warmer and dry, and now a 30% chance of rain and snow all day tomorrow. So if I don't post on Monday, you know where I am. The search party will discover a thawed corpse in a couple of months.

Cigarettes are Sublime by Richard Klein

Welcome to the latest entry in the Sui Generis book club series. I'm just going to go ahead and title these posts with the name of the book from now on, if that's okay with everyone.

Until now, I've only commented on my fiction reading, but this book deserved some further reflection. Cigarettes are Sublime was brought to my attention by this post on Conversational Reading. It was written for and by an insider, a smoker, and the author intimates early on that a non-smoker will be essentially unable to understand it. But that is how I approached the book: as an outsider, trying to get inside the mind of a cigarette smoker. The experiment was almost too successful. At several points during my reading, I wanted to close the book, drive down to the gas station and buy a pack of cigarettes.

I've had a love/hate relationship with smoking for several years. In elementary school, my best friend's parents were both smokers. I spent a lot of time at his house, which was permeated with the smell. It often gave me headaches. Fast-forward to college, when I started making positive associations with cigarette smoke. I sat in clouds of the stuff and listened to great music and my eyes watered when I got in my car to go home, but the smell hung on my jacket for a couple of days and I could sniff it and be right back in the venue.

The two go hand-in-hand, of course. Good time at a show = cigarette smoke. I was at a show in a new club in Minneapolis when something was bothering me. An essential element was missing, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Then it came to me--the cigarette smoke!--it was a non-smoking building. The place didn't feel right without it.

I still never tried a cigarette myself, or even one of those cloves my friends are so wild about, because I know it's bad for me. They know it's bad for them too, but they do it anyway. That's the sublime nature that I was trying to understand, and this book not only opened my eyes but changed my whole way of thinking about it, to a degree that I rarely encounter. When I do, I know that I've found a remarkable book.

Klein says that the process of writing this book enabled him to kick his own cigarette habit. By analytically picking apart the phenomenon of smoking and exploring their sublimely addictive nature, he apparently attained the dispassionate outlook required to give them up. But his evocative, obviously very personal musings on the joys of smoking and the beauty and history of cigarettes were enough to make me, a lifetime non-smoker, nostalgic for an experience that I'd never had. I craved for the first time something that I had always scrupulously avoided in the past. Cigarettes are sublime, indeed.

Categories: books

Sui Generis fed the starving children

It was a volunteer thing with my company. About a dozen of us carpooled over to the office of Feed My Starving Children, which is a somewhat clumsy yet apt name, since that's literally what they do. For the two or so hours we were there, we combined soy and rice and dried vegetables and vegetarian chicken-flavored vitamin mixture into little bags, sealed them, and packed them into boxes.

All the women grabbed the assembly-line positions so I got stuck with warehouse duty. I was hauling big Rubbermaid containers of rice and soy into the working area and stacking full boxes of food on pallets. It was cool to do some physical work instead of sitting around in a cubicle all day, though. We made enough meals-in-a-bag to feed over four thousand kids. That's something to feel good about.

Categories: life

UT, can't you see?

We were meant for each other!

American Cities That Best Fit You:

65% Austin

60% Atlanta

60% Honolulu

60% Las Vegas

60% Miami

Give me another chance, Texas. We can work it out.

Sui Generis is suited for work and leisure

In a recent comment, ambimb asked, "So do you think waitlists are a good thing? or would you have preferred a definitive answer from those schools over this waiting game?"

Waitlists suck, but they're essential from the law schools' point of view. I'm quite ambivalent myself about my feelings toward them. On the one hand, getting placed on a waitlist is a minor accomplishment. It's better than rejection, and it might result in acceptance. But the waitlisted applicant has no idea of how (un)likely this outcome may be, or how long he may have to wait before a decision is reached.

On top of that, being waitlisted is worse than acceptance because it's a way of being told that you are not quite good enough. Being rejected is at least a clean cut--it stings, you feel bad, you get over it. But a waitlist hangs over your head until it's resolved, and even if you wind up getting into the school, you know--you were not their top choice. It's the adult equivalent of being the last kid picked in gym class. They only took you because they had to. They simply ran out of options, and they needed somebody to fill the spot.

So a waitlist is a mixed blessing at best and a thinly-veiled insult at worst. If I had an offer of acceptance on one hand and my three waitlists on the other, I'd waste no time in withdrawing my applications from the latter and accepting the former. In the big scheme of things, however, I would rather get in off a waitlist than not at all. At this point, I'm not too proud to come in last place if it means I get to finish the admissions race. In lieu of a better offer, I'll take what I can get.

Short answer, if I end up getting accepted from even one waitlist, then all the waiting was worth it. If not, I'd have rather had "NO"s all around. And in a perfect world, I could actually choose one or the other. As it is, I just have to wait and see.

law school

Acceptance (of non-acceptance)

We decided not to do anything unless something changes, so we're staying in our current apartment and just doing the long commute for now. I have calmed down and accepted my situation-- although when I named this post "Acceptance," I realized how that might confuse some people. To clarify: I'm just talking about inner harmony here, not getting into law school. In other words, I'm back to waiting.

But, now I'm waiting proactively. We're running full-scale on Plan B, looking at apartments and townhomes between J's job and mine. We're throwing away a ton of our crap in anticipation of the move (and simplification is its own reward). I'm outlining a second novel. There's a good chance we'll be getting a dog soon. And numerous secret plans are afoot.

It's a good place to be. But it's going to throw the future of this site a bit off course if I continue down this road. I'll need a new tagline: "the blog of a boy who didn't go to law school."

Categories: life, law school

My stupid situation

This is a weird time. J. and I inaugurated our apartment search yesterday by visiting a real dump of a duplex in St. Paul. We're going to see a South SP apartment tonight and a townhome tomorrow. Each time I make a call, they ask, "when do you want to move in?" and I try to explain our situation.

"Well we might want something month-to-month now, but just for a couple of months... I applied for law school this fall and don't know if I'm getting in yet... so if I don't get in then we'll stay and we can sign a one-year lease, and if I do get in then we may or may not stay in the area... but we have a lease now so we're not sure if we want to move, and I might have an answer early next month, so I don't know..."

"How about I'll just show you the place, and we can work out the details later."

"Okay, thanks."

As seen @ Stag & E. McPan's

Too much fun.

Sui G is reality TV star

“At Last, You Could Become America's Next Best Selling Author and Reality Show TV Celebrity!”

So there's a new reality show for wanna-be writers. It's called Book Millionaire, and the whole website just screams out, "SCAM!" although I can't figure out what the scam is. There's even a "dear friend" letter on the main page, for crying out loud. Lit bloggers have been decrying the idea as bad reality television, but am I the only one who suspects that this show will never even be made?

Seriously. Look at this. The color schemes, the disparately-sized fonts, and the horrible grammar throughout--I don't see how this can be for real. Not to mention the fact that, in order to qualify as a contestant to "become America's next [first? last?] Book MillionaireTM", you "don't need to have written your book or manuscript but you have an idea you feel would be a good book." Way to narrow down the number of applicants!

Okay. But the weirdest thing? They're apparently going to be filming this show near my home town of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now that's just a crazy coincidence. After reading that, I had half a mind to apply and see what all the hoopla was about. That is, unless someone like beats me to the punch (nah... Rob's too busy with his new baby).

What's next?

As the application process shuffles toward its eventual conclusion, I am becoming more excited about the probability of not attending law school. Once the question of where we will be in the fall is settled, our lives will be settled enough that we can think about adopting a dog. With the admissions ordeal over, I can focus more energy on other career plans. J's new salary and our freedom from law school debt open up the possibility of buying a house.

She's eager to settle down. I'm excited to have our own home, and build equity, and be able to decorate however we want, but there are opportunities all over the place (hypothetically)! I don't want to tie myself down to one city until I've examined the offerings elsewhere. Now is the time to set the world on fire before we have kids, careers, mortgages, and other responsibilities holding us back.

My pick? Teaching English in Japan for a year.

More waiting angst

Barring acceptance at U of M or Georgia, I should soon have nothing but waitlists to sit on. In that event, we're going to assume that law school is a wash for this year... but maybe I will hear from one of those three schools after all. It wouldn't be stupendously difficult to uproot and move out to Madison (U of WI). Of my three WL schools, this is by far the nearest, but it's still a stretch to assume that we could do so on the first day of classes should a student fail to attend. And the other two we will certainly have to forget about when it comes down to a month or so before classes start.

J's new job requires a crappy commute, and we're looking into new apartments. We might break our lease a couple of months early to save on gas money, but we can't really do anything until the applications are resolved. It would be no fun to move and then have to move again a few months later, and that's still a possibility. So she drives a couple of hours every day, but at least she's commuting to a job with promising possibilities. Meanwhile, we keep watching that mailbox every day and hoping for news.

And in six months, I could start the process all over again!

I got tagged

I noticed yesterday that Why Law called on me to share with the entire class. I talk about books all the time anyway, but why not? I can't disappoint my fans.

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be saved?

Unlike some of the people who have gone before me, I've actually read Fahrenheit 451. I'm not saying that to brag, just to say that I wondered the same thing when I finished reading it. It would be quite the responsibility to memorize a book, knowing that you may be the only surviving source of that material. I couldn't come up with a very good answer at the time, but I think I would pick one of the gospels. Probably John.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Can't say that I have had a crush per se in the way I think of crushes, but my favorite books feature characters that I can fall in love with in one way or another. I'm drawing a blank right now on any female characters that I really liked; most of the books I've read recently were lacking strong female characters of a legal age.

3. The last book you purchased?

That would be the massive Oxford Guide to Wine. I borrow novels; I buy reference books.

4. What are you currently reading?

I'm taking my time with The Cost of Discipleship, with breaks inbetween to read fiction. You can see more of my upcoming selections on the TBR pile at the bottom of the sidebar to your right.

5. Five books you would take to a deserted island?

I know, it's cheating to say "Guide to Practical Ship-Building," right? We're talking about five books that stand up to the test of time, and suffer multiple re-readings, also assuming that these may be the last and only books that one reads in the event of no rescue. Plus you don't want something you can read in an afternoon, because you'd get sick of it really fast. Also, these will not necessarily be the same books I would like to own under normal circumstances. I prefer to buy books that I can't find at the library: foreign works, rarities, graphic novels and independent stuff.

With that said, if I knew that I were about to be stranded for an indefinite period of time in an unfamiliar environment, and disallowing practical guides*, I would take along the following:

  1. the Bible, to keep my mind on what matters,
  2. Complete Works of Shakespeare because I could totally kill time by memorizing all the lines to Hamlet and staging my own one-man show,
  3. Finnegans Wake, since I would have all the time in the world to figure it out, and nobody to make fun of me for reading it out loud,
  4. A big art book full of prints so that I'd have something beautiful to look at, and
  5. The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, for much-needed comic relief
On the other hand, if I'm just sailing out to the deserted island for a week-long holiday, and returning to civilization afterward, I would simply take the next five books from my TBR pile.

*Which I would take the best books I could find on shipbuilding, survival, plant identification, ocean navigation, and maybe some puzzles to keep me from going insane.

Woop Woop shiraz

The weekend wine selection from my cellar. Thick, sticky and nicely spicy, with a surprisingly light finish. Very tasty. Still smooth and mellow a couple of days after opening the bottle. Bonus: pretty label art.

Categories: wine

I accidentally won a 32" TV this weekend

I don't know what to do with it. I don't really want it, but I got a $400 TV for $20. My wife and I are currently in negotiations.

What happened was that J. bought us two raffle tickets for a benefit event for her sister's husband's aunt who has a disease. We gave them money because it was a nice thing to do and we wanted to support the cause. Then we forgot about it.

On Sunday morning, J's cell phone woke us up and I heard her mumble, "can I ask who's calling?" So I immediately knew that it was for me and I had to wake up too. She handed me the phone.

"Who is it," I asked.

"I don't know," she said. The woman on the phone introduced herself to me and I couldn't tell who she was, either. It sounded like a sales call. I responded with confusion.

"I'm calling about the benefit raffle," she explained. "Were you at the benefit last night?" That's when I thought, "oh no, somebody stole my credit card, and he's spending my money at fancy benefit dinners."

Finally something I said sparked J's memory and she said, "that's for the thing that we bought the tickets for!" And that's when the woman told me that my ticket had been drawn and we had won a 32-inch television set. I was surprised by how much it didn't excite me to upgrade from our current 27-inch one. I'm perfectly happy with that one. It's practically still brand-new. It satisfies all my TV-viewing needs. Why would I want a bigger, heavier one?

We had some friends over for the weekend, and enough money to buy food and drinks and hang out together, and I was totally thrilled. A larger TV does not add to my satisfaction in life; neither do many of the things I often wish for. Some time with good friends is the greatest thing I can imagine. Everything else is window dressing. I'm dangerous close to becoming truly content. But I still sat in awe when we watched our new G5 boot up for the first time on Friday night.

Map your blog in the form of a tree

Mine is very pretty, I think.
Do it here, do it now.

Some questions

I stay out of the Friday Spies game usually, but a couple of questions got my attention this time around. Let's make it three out of five.

1. What names did you consider for your blog?

Most of the cool kids' law school blogs that I came across first had legal terms for names, and I decided that this was very clever and that selecting one for my blog would result in many hits from people searching for definitions and correct spellings (it has!). The only trick was finding one that hadn't been used already. Plus I wanted the name to say something about me. Sui Generis seemed to fit.

2. What is your favorite adult beverage and why?

It's always the Sailor Jerry's Rum & Coke (+squirt of lime) if we're talking about liquor, but I suppose wine is my fav beverage category. I'm getting into Shiraz these days. The "why" for both is because they taste good.

3. If you could cancel 3 televisions shows, what would they be?

I hate the TV. My wife loves it. If I could cancel Friends, ER, and American Idol, then we could just as well throw it out. But then I would be a horrible husband, because what kind of a jerk would cancel his wife's favorite TV series?

As I look up to the sky today

This morning I struck on the idea of looking through satellite images for things other than landmarks and static objects. Lo and behold, a Wired article discusses the same phenomenon, with some cool images. I found shots of boats cutting through black seawater like shooting stars. Perhaps you would like to see them?

When I discovered the entire globe was available on Google, I zoomed over to Japan. This is where I lived; it's a heavily developed and populated area. Kyoto and Osaka should be in this shot. But they aren't! Perhaps someone who knows more than I do about satellite photo technology can explain what is going on here. My theory is that it travelled backwards in time and is sending images back from the pre-industrial period.

Status change

Originally I was hoping to move across the country to law school on one of the coasts, but this is decreasingly a preferable outcome. For one thing, there's my wife's new graphic design gig, which she would lose if we moved out of state. More pressing is the elapsing of time which is narrowing our ability to make the neccessary arrangements for moving away. The day will soon come when it is no longer feasible to drop everything and find a new apartment and rent a truck and haul ourselves to a new city. Yesterday I realized that Minnesota is looking better and better. It is pulling further ahead of the pack.

But it's not too late for the waitlist schools to come through. Nor Georgia, where "[my] application for admission has entered the committee review process. This process usually takes several weeks." I believe they said the same thing when I last checked, several months ago. I don't understand how any school can wait this long to make admissions decisions. It doesn't seem very prudent, unless they're waiting for the borderline cases to drop off before sending out letters.

Yet it seems that if they're at all interested in an applicant, they should throw him a bone. Otherwise, everyone with an offer elsewhere will figure that Georgia is a lost cause and send in their seat deposits. Thus, the better students (who had an interest in Georgia, and might have waited for a decision if they were on a waitlist or deferred) are lost, and Georgia is stuck with those losers who couldn't get in to another school.

Can someone explain this to me? I don't get how this is good for Georgia. But it looks like a system that is highly favorable to students in my situation.

Categories: law school

Follow-up is key

As a p.s. to yesterday's post, I should add that I wrote and mailed a thank-you letter to the Director of Admissions as soon as I got home. Also, sorry about the lack of photos. I forgot to ask my wife to bring the camera (guess I had other things on my mind). You'll have to take my word that it's a pleasant-looking campus. And, as J. remarked, surprisingly quiet for its location in the middle of Minneapolis. I wouldn't mind going there at all.

Sui Generis book club

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

I read both of these books last weekend, in that order, so comparisons were inevitable. Both are classified as science fiction. That's about the only thing they have in common.

The Time Traveler's Wife (henceforth TTTW) pokes at interesting ideas like fate, free will and predestination, but I was disappointed that they were not explored more deeply. Instead, it was content to be a love story with a twist, which is fine if you're into that kind of thing. But the chapters tended to drift along and I found myself occasionally losing interest. And unless I missed something, most of the little plot diversions and promising threads turned out to be red herrings; I kept waiting for everything to tie together in an interesting way, but I was left with a disconnect.

There's a lot of good stuff in there too, but it didn't add up to a great novel in the balance. Like Randy Jackson says on American Idol, "it was just okay for me." If I myself were a time traveler, I would advise my past self to skip it.

After waiting a couple of hours for these impressions to sink in, I turned to Snow Crash. Unlike TTTW, this book gripped me from the start. I was blown away by Stephenson's writing; each line sparkled, he made every word count, and he kept up the pace consistently throughout the entire novel. Snow Crash introduced tons of cool ideas, and then played with them, expanded them, changed them and turned them over and re-examined them from different points of view.

You could say that TTTW is more character-driven, i.e. its strength is in the people rather than the concept, but I cared about Snow Crash's Hiro and Y.T. just as much if not more than for TTTW's Henry and Clare (I also had to think for a few seconds to remember Henry's name). Maybe it's an unfair comparison--after all, there's a reason that Snow Crash is a classic.

The upshot of it is that I was unimpressed overall by Audrey Niffenegger and thrilled with Neal Stephenson, and Snow Crash raised the bar on my own writing. It is sadly lacking in comparison. But like I said, he's a master, and I can't expect to write a masterpiece on my first, second or thirtieth try. It's good motivation to keep trying.

Categories: books

The Talk

So today I called in sick to work and drove to downtown Minneapolis to speak with the Director of Admissions at the U of M. My wife came along. We got to campus with about a half hour to spare, but I'm unfamiliar with the area and so we got turned around a little, but we parked and walked across campus to the law building. It's gorgeous outside, so we enjoyed the walk.

I checked a map in the lobby and headed for the stairs, but J. pulled me to another set of stairs and we went up them instead. We ended up in the library, confused and lost, and couldn't find our way back out. Everywhere we turned it was "emergency exit only" or dead-ends into computer labs. We found an elevator in the back, but when we got inside, we discovered that we needed keys to operate it! So we walked back through, past all the studying students, and I asked a woman at the information desk how to get out of there.

"Leave," she said.

"But where are the exits?" I asked. She pointed us out. Quite embarassing. We returned to the lobby and took the stairs that I originally wanted to take, and the Admissions Office was right at the top.

The interview went about as well as I expected. I had a printout with me of all the points I wanted to cover, and I touched them all. Mr. Byrd, the Director of Admissions, firmly but amiably guided the conversation. It all went very smoothly, and I was relaxed and confident and mostly coherent. He told me that seat deposits are due on the 15th, and they take out all the deferred applications for final review after that (I was cutting it close, eh?), so I should know by early May. I walked out feeling pretty good.

After going back outside to relax for a while with J, I went back to sit in on a Con Law class with Professor Carpenter. The 1st & 2nd floors had seemed almost deserted, and I wondered where all the students were hiding. It turns out they keep them underground, in the "sub-plaza" level; down there, the hallways were swarming with people. I immediately thought of the entrenched subterranean warrens packed with starving half-mad students in Flow my Tears the Policeman Said.

But really they all seemed very nice. A third year student walked me down from the Admissions Office and assured me that Carpenter was a great prof. I followed the crowd into classroom 55 and sat in the back row next to a guy named Paul. We talked for a while before class started, and he said that Carpenter is about the best professor that he's had so far. When the man cleared his throat up in front, everyone shut up and he got down to business right away. Maybe that's common of 1L classes, but he seemed to command respect.

He started by lecturing for about ten minutes, then called on people from a list. He seemed to enjoy going from one person to another and then back again, occasionally making them argue opposite sides of an argument. After a couple of questions he would move onto a new person. He called on maybe 6 people during the 55 minute class. No one was volunteering answers at first, but about halfway through the class, some students were asking questions or adding their opinions, which he integrated into the discussion.

The professor was clearly very smart and people seemed to be engaged in class. There was minimal alt-tabbing to AIM and games and CNN. Mostly people took notes in Word, and they took lots of notes. About 95% of the class was using laptops, but a few just had legal pads.

After class, I met back up with J. and we drove to Uptown for lunch at French Meadow an organic/healthy/tasty/awesome Bakery & Cafe (we went there on our honeymoon--twice! long story). Then we spent a couple of hours at IKEA before we remembered that we can't afford to buy anything because we've got a G5 on the way (!). My feet killed when I got home (dress shoes) and my legs were sore, and traffic was craptacular the whole way back, but it was a truly great day. Even if I get rejected by Minnesota, it was worth it to go out there and give it a shot. Plus I got a day to run around the city and have fun with my wife. Priceless!

Categories: law school

Deep breaths

I've been super busy at work. I'm pretty sure I just got transferred to the Collections department. Interesting. I'm very amped about the interview tomorrow, and by amped I mean so anxious that I'm getting almost sick to my stomach. I should have done this months ago, and I feel woefully underprepared. Showing up is half the battle.

After the chat, I've arranged to sit in on a class (Con Law) so I'll post my impressions of that as well. Plus I'm going on a self-guided tour, which is as exciting as I want it to be, and I think the fun will include some photos of the campus. It will be a good day for blogging, if nothing else.

I'll be okay. The only thing I'm struggling with is a couple of closing questions for the dean. It's tough to come up with something that displays my interest and enthusiasm for the school but I couldn't just look up somewhere, or make it sound like I'm reading back the latest press release. One last time: any suggestions would be lovely.

Thanks kids.

My last best chance

I'm reading up on Stag's interview tips in preparation for my meeting with the Dean of Admissions in two days. I confess that I'm a bit nervous about this. It's my one opportunity to go in and try to make something happen. I haven't been thinking much about law school lately and fear that I may be a bit rusty, so I'm brushing up on the school and what I've sent them so far and what they might want to hear from me. I am open to any suggestions/advice at this point.

Stag's advice boils down to:
1. Telling them why I'm awesome and they should accept me
2. Why they're awesome and my #1 choice and I will attend if accepted, and
3. Q & A to clear up any lingering issues.

I'm pretty sure that my application got hung up because of my borderline numbers (GPA/LSAT), so I'm going to emphasize that I intentionally only applied at 'reach' schools. I think it will speak well for me that I'm aware of my position and looking for a challenge rather than applying at a school where I know I'll be in the top 5%. So that's me. The school is good because we have family and a new job in the area and thus motivation to stick around. And they don't need to be told that they're the best law school in the state, but I'll be sure to share my awareness of that fact.

This is my last hurrah for applications. If you can think of anything I'm missing or have a word of wisdom to share, now is your chance. Comment now or forever hold your peace.

A weekend away

Blogger, you so crazy! I didn't notice until today that Friday's post duplicated itself. Moving on...

I had a great weekend at the house of my parents-in-law. They were out of town, so I stayed with J. and we took care of their dog, Cody. We brought in some Applebee's to go spinach & artichoke dip, which we both love, and drank a couple of glasses of wine each and watched a half hour of Big Daddy before we started to fall asleep on the couch.

J. had a baby shower on Saturday, so I had the house to myself basically all day. I finished reading The Time-Traveler's Wife and made myself a grilled cheese sandwich, although I couldn't find any peppers or tomatoes to make it gourmet. After cleaning up the kitchen, I took Cody out for a walk and looked at all the green buds and sprouts popping up all over the place. All sorts of birds were hanging out in their backyard and singing. I drank some wine and took a nap on the couch and Cody slept on the floor next to me. Then I woke up and started reading Snow Crash. J. got back around 8:30 and brought some food from the party.

On Sunday, we drove out to Wisconsin for her grandma's 80th birthday. The highlight for me was we got to visit her uncle down the road and see his garage/motorcycle restoration shop. My father-in-law hopped on the Honda Scrambler that they're working on and took it for a spin. We saw a couple of the bikes he had restored (two other Hondas) but we did not see the Triumph that he kept in another garage.

We got back to our place and just collapsed. It was so nice to stay in a place where there weren't people shouting on the other sides of every wall and running around on the floor above us. Living in your own house all the time must be really nice.

Congratulations to my wife!

This morning, J. interviwed and was hired for an entry-level graphic design job! We are both very excited as this is what she got a degree for and wants to do for a career. We will be celebrating tonight!

Congratulations to my wife!

This morning, J. interviwed and was hired for an entry-level graphic design job! We are both very excited as this is what she got a degree for and wants to do for a career. We will be celebrating tonight!

Too Cool

Stag satellited her current home with Google's new service, so I found my apartment building for everyone to admire. This is pretty much how Minnesota looks this time of year: everything is brown and the lakes are frozen over.

Stag reports having some trouble locating her place on the satellite image, but I was able to track down our neighborhood without much trouble by switching back & forth between the satellite and street maps.

Bonus info for SG stalkers!! Here is where I work. Boring.
This is the general location of my undergrad school. Much prettier photos, but I can't zoom in much further without taking a big hit in resolution.

I could play with this thing all day. My dad is a private pilot, so I've actually seen some of these things from the air, which is much cooler than looking at static satellite photos. But this is the greatest thing I can get from my desk at work.

Media I have consumed recently

Have you ever seen Shaun of the Dead? This movie is awesome. It was funny, suspenseful, and even sometimes touching. Plus there were several LOL moments, much to the surprise of my wife who was fast asleep in my lap and then jolted awake by my uncontrollable burst of mirth.

I also watched Bourne Supremacy last weekend and was very impressed. Lots of handheld camerawork and real stunts gave it a very imminent feeling. So check that out if you haven't already.

Sorry this post is so lame. I got nothin' today.

Life, Qwantz, Gender

Shout out to Denise:
T-Rex and Utahraptor deconstruct gender issues today on Dinosaur Comics! [Comic moved to here]
Is gender a social or biological construct? Read the strip to find out!

Let's Review

How did I become the Master of Patience? Not only has it been, as of today, exactly five months of waiting since my applications went out, with no solid good news since then; but also some big gaps in between the times I got any news at all. My application adventure up till now:

11/5/04: All applications submitted via LSAC
...then an initial wait of 42 days before the bad news...

12/17/04: Deferred at Minnesota

...and another wait of 45 days until...

2/1/05: Waitlisted at UConn
2/2/05: Waitlisted at Wisconsin

...then a couple of weeks later:
2/17/05: Rejected at Washington

...nice short wait of 21 days...

3/11/05: Rejected at Colorado
3/18/05: Rejected at Texas

...a glimmer of hope...
3/25/05: Waitlisted at William & Mary

...but then...
4/1/05: Rejected at Washington & Lee

...but I still haven't heard a thing from Georgia! That's all right though, since according to law school numbers there are many people still pending at that school. So I've still got a chance there, I would say, plus my deferral & three waitlists might pan out. Who knows. I'd be happy if Blogger would just work like it's supposed to for a change.

One wait ends...

Just found out that I didn't get the job I applied for way back when. They were looking for someone with experience in hectic, stressful, mandatory overtime positions. And I wanted to argue, "no, I can do that..." but I wondered why I would want to. I enjoy having a job that doesn't suck me dry and break me down every day. It's nice to work with enough free time to blog a little and talk to my coworkers now and then.

On the other hand, I would like a job with more responsibility.

On the third hand, this would be a crappy time to try job hunting on top of everything else on my plate. I'm happy staying with the company while I wait (plus the benefits are excellent and at least we're insured). The only question is, do I transfer to this position in Collections they have available, or just lie low and ride it out in a job I'm familiar with?

I'll be relieved when this stupid law school applications thing is done. I almost don't care any more whether I'm in or out; I will be celebrating when it's all over. I just hate the feeling that my life is on hold.

Let's do this like Brutus

Well, all right... it's time to get off my butt and try to make something happen. Stag's interview inspired me to set up a meeting with the Director of Admissions at the U of M. I just hope it's not too late in the process to make a difference.

I'll admit something to y'all: I may be the Master of Patience, but I have only kept a cool head thus far by giving up little bits of hope, one at a time. I am very dispirited by the whole process. By now I've basically given up on getting into law school. It doesn't look good. Hard as it is to believe, tomorrow marks the five month point after sending out my applications. And less than three months from now, I need to make a decision about my lease and my future and time is running out, and I still haven't been accepted anywhere.

So now I'm finally going to break free from the inertia that I've built up over the past five months and see if I can make a difference after all. My appointment is for next Wednesday. It's do or die time.

Weirdy weekend

So yesterday my grandma took me and J. out to Panera for lunch, and we ended up sitting next to a total whacko, which always seems to happen to us when we go out to eat. He was talking (loudly) about how Moslems are all anti-American and want to kill us infidels. He kept repeating the phrase "marked for destruction" or something to that effect, and he told stories about how there are secret temple meetings about how to destroy America, but we can't get in to find out about their plans because of the separation of church and state. He was very angry, he said, to find out about this. There was a younger girl sitting next to him, nodding and agreeing with every crazy thing he said. Very bizarre.

Then on the drive home, we saw not one but two vehicles bouncing around, showing off their hydraulics. Now up here in Minnesota that is quite a rare sight outside of car shows and the like, so I was pretty surprised. The second car was a Saturn.

Check out all that yummy sediment. Decanting is fun!

Rejected by Washington & Lee

Previous April 1st fooling aside, I trust you will believe the title of this post. It's true.

Understand that, once again, this is not bad news. Nothing has changed except that a bothersome unknown has become a non-factor. I'd like for this process to come to an end, and being placed on another waitlist just extends it. I've been dreading additional waitlists since being placed on William & Mary's, which is why I was similarly unfazed by the UT rejection two weeks ago. At this point, I just want to reduce the number of variables. Sure, acceptance would be great. But rejection is the next best thing. No more waiting, thanks.

Sui Generis book club #18

Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow

For real folks, no foolin', this is another winner. I can't get enough. Doctorow had better come out with a new novel soon, because now I'm seriously hooked.

I used to read a ton of science fiction, but I gave it up for a while. Before D&OitMK, it had been a long time since I'd read any sf. When I finished that book, I couldn't remember why I stayed away. After reading this one, I realized the answer: I was sick of gloomy, dark, sad sf, and reading Doctorow was the antidote.

His stories are primarily hopeful, fun, and bristling with cool ideas: a futuristic utopia. Doctorow's futures are happy futures. Sometimes bad things happen to the people who live in them, but that's life, and that's conflict that makes the story go. They bounce back up after getting knocked down and life is good again.

Overall, I get the impression that it's a future I'd want to live in, and that's why I love reading about it so much. This is good stuff!

Categories: books