Thursday, February 28, 2008

Random Musings on the Bar Exam...

So, now that the exam is over, I have a few thoughts...

First, it was kind of funny when the nice gentleman sitting next to me on Day One (who had just taken NY the day before) asked if I had just taken NY too. I was able to answer-- "eight years ago."

Second. Today I was doing the essay portion of the exam via laptop. At the end of the morning session there was quite a bit of delay on picking up exam materials, etc. I was one of the first people whose materials were taken. I asked the proctor if I could leave to go to the ladies room. I'm met with "I'm sure you really have to go, but I'd hate for you to miss any important instructions." Yeah, okay. I then proceed to sit for five more minutes both while my bladder is expanding rapidly and my lunch hour is ticking away. The room starts to rumble with "why can't we leave-yets" and then the head proctor gets huffy about making sure people don't want to lose their exam answers. I'm thinking, lady, at this point I don't care if you lose my answers! Finally, they let us go, but not until after the other room full of testakers have been dismissed. What does this mean? Line at the ladies room. Why is it that women always take so long in the bathroom? (With the corrollary to that being they never put in enough bathrooms for women in public places?) For years on end I had prided myself on never having to pee outside of the house. I had the bladder capacity of a camel. Then comes childbirth. What could make this situation worse? Having to listen to "We've Only Just Begun" by the Carpenters, in Muzak while waiting in line for the bathroom.

Other thoughts? Having to bring loose m&ms in to the exam room in a giant ziploc bag as a way to discourage people from both i) cribbing notes on the wrapper and ii) discouraging making paper crunching noises seems a bit like administrative overkill.

Adventures in Babysitting....

During yesterday's bar exam session the cleaning ladies were scheduled to visit the homestead while Mom was watching Miss Baby. When we left the house I really didn't even think about the fact that the alarm was on. At our lunch break we called and checked in with the Mom and all was well. When we finished our exam session in the afternoon, the Husband's cell phone had a voicemessage from a random 800 number. We called home to check in and the Mom didn't report that anything was amiss. We checked the voicemessage and heard that it was our alarm company telling us that there had been an alarm call and that the person at our house couldn't verify any of the secret code information and as such, the police were being called.

As we were getting ready to call the Mom back to alert her to the police visit, I noticed that the call from the alarm company had been placed over two hours before. When we got home, we got the whole story.

Before the cleaning ladies arrived, Mom realized that she'd need to disarm our burglar alarm in order to let in the cleaning ladies. The Mom checked in with Dad for the code. Unfortunately, the code, as remembered, was incorrect. When the cleaning ladies arrived, Mom opened the door and the alarm went off. Punched in code? Doesn't disarm. Alarm goes off. AlarmCo calls, Mom can't verify. AlarmCo asks whether perhaps the cleaning ladies would have the code? Mom, rightfully asserts that if she doesn't have the code, why would the cleaning ladies have it?? Alarm eventually stops going off, but now the doors are closed and Mom realizes she can't open the door to let the cleaning ladies out without setting the alarm again. Next thing you know? The police show up. They pound on the door and demand to be let in. Mom opens the window near the door to let them know that she can't open the door-- the alarm will go off and she doesn't have the code. The police say that they have to come inside to make sure that everything is okay. Next thing, they're asking Mom whether someone inside the house is making her say that everything is okay.

Then, the police ask whose car is in the drive way, and is that person forcing Mom to keep the door shut? Now Mom, with Miss B has to go and get Gloria (chief cleaning lady) to confirm that everything is okay! Next, the police want to see Mom's license, which (because the door can't be opened) she has to shove underneath the window screen!

Then, Mom tells the cleaning ladies that they have to stay at our house until I call back from the bar exam to give her the code (what a great fact pattern to test False Imprisonment!), Mom calls Dad on this one and Dad reminds Mom that she can't hold the cleaning women hostage. Luckily, after a bit of back and forth, the Mom and Dad recovered the code. Cleaning ladies can go free and, as the SBPD said, "that was the strangest alarm call I've ever been on."

Something's telling me we'll be getting a bill in the mail.

It's Over!

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that... he was gone.

Monday, February 25, 2008

We're all...


tired of studying...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Michael Clayton.

What can I say, George played a cross between the guy from Syriana and Danny Ocean. Love George as a general matter but this flick? Not that great. Liked the ending and everything but it was a long time coming and nothing really shockingly new about the legal profession here. It reminded me of The Insider, except not nearly as good.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hmpf.

Tonight Miss Kitty was watching Golf. She actually made it a bit interactive when she reached up and pawed at the TV screen when the Golf Channel did an aerial shot of the course. I guess she liked the look of the greens. Perhaps she took her savings from having worked at Taco Bell and has scheduled a tee time at Pebble Beach. You never know. It could happen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tax Deductions...

I had a bag of odds and ends (baby clothes and mugs and other knick knacks) sitting in the laundry room for the longest time. The other day in the mail I got a postcard from the Lupus Foundation seeking donations of household goods. Last night I went on to their website and scheduled a pick up for this morning (love the internet!). I indicated that my goodies would be in the driveway. My confirmation email told me to put the items out before 7:30am. I put the bag out on our front steps early this morning (as it was too cold for me to actually put the bag in the driveway-- but I figured they'd find it.)

Coincidentally, my Mom is coming to visit. My parents like to travel light, so she's shipping her clothes up via FedEx.

This afternoon my Mom asked whether her box of clothes had arrived. I told my Mom that I hadn't heard FedEx, nor had I seen a box, "oh, and by the way, did I tell you I left a donation for the Lupus Foundation?"

This chain of events made Mom a bit nervous as FedEx had sent her an email saying that the box was delivered at 10:30am. Needless to say her first instinct was that the Lupus Foundation had taken both my bag of goodies and her box of clothes.

I happened to be in the car while we were having this conversation and I drove right past the house-- thankfully, FedEx box was on the steps, garbage bag of odds and ends, nowhere in sight. "I Love Lucy"-Esque Crisis Averted. Priceless.

Cuckoo

Last night I walked through our entry foyer on the way upstairs and a small round brown object caught my eye. It was on one of the throw rugs and it kind of looked acorn-ish. I admit, I was being lazy, the lighting wasn't that good and I wasn't about to pick it up for closer inspection. I told myself it was probably an acorn, didn't want to attribute how it got there and went about my business. This morning I was walking up stairs and I saw another one. "Oh, no." I thought, "Is it some sort of bug cocoon?" (I hate bugs). "Why on earth are there two of these things? What is invading our home?!?" I decided I would be brave and take a closer look. Mystery object? Cocoa Puff.

The Husband brought Cocoa Puffs upstairs as a snack last night. It isn't clear whether he was leaving a trail back to the kitchen a la Hansel and Gretel or if the Cocoa Puffs knew that their fate had been sealed and decided to jump ship.

Satellite...

The errant spy satellite is expected to be shot down on Wednesday around 10:30pm, ET near the Pacific coast of the U.S.

MSNBC's coverage notes, "complicating the effort will be the fact that the satellite has no heat-generating propulsion system on board. That makes it more difficult for the Navy missile's heat-seeking system to work, although the official said software changes had been made to compensate for the lack of heat." Which basically says to me that the missle could just as easily take out some poor schmoe with an ipod in Oregon.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Window!

Skills.

So suffice it to say we were having some difficulties today which led us to think that attempting to try a cloth diaper would be a good idea. While we have tons of cloth diapers (as they are convienent for use as burp cloths) we don't have any pins and I don't actually happen to know how to properly fold one. At the time that this grand plan arose it was not amenable to internet research. Thus, I called upon the only similar skills I know-- scarf tying, thanks to the little Hermes "How to Tie a Scarf" book. I'm not quite sure whether our friends in Paris would be mortified or proud to learn that their handywork has been put to use with diaper folding. I made my initial fold on the diagonal, in order to maximize the size of said cloth, put Baby in the middle, wrapped both ends around her waist and tied a knot. I then proceed to fold up the point of the diagonal towards her mid section. What ho, nothing to tie it to. Do I have diaper pins? Of course not. I didn't even know where I could locate a safety pin. But alas, I am a lawyer, so of course, I have a house full of random sized Binder Clips. Yes, not only can a binder clip serve as a "chip clip" in the event of a snack emergency, the small size can be a makeshift diaper holder in a diaper emergency.

wow.

Right now we're sitting in line at the drive-thru at Wendy's and the line of cars is actually so long that it is outside of the parking lot. They *really* need to build another fast food joint around here.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Crank.

So, for those of you who have seen the above-referenced Jason Statham flick, this is to let you know that this evening we realized we had our own Crank on our hands, or in this case, "Crank-y". Miss Baby was very exciteable and wound up before bedtime tonight, such that merely sitting and playing with toys was wholly unsatisfying. Nope, she needed adrenaline. Had we a baby bungee jump she would have gladly partaken. She wanted to be bounced, carried around while mom was running through the house singing, carried around by dad while running to chase after mom, jumping up the steps, floating up to the ceiling, dancing (with assistance) to a tune reminscient of "Shake your Booty" by KC and the Sunshine Band.

Reasons to Love Jamie Oliver...

Who else says things like: "I've got recipes for leeks, man, that'll blow your mind."

Random!

Check out the illicit cultural property website which appears to be keeping track of art theft, etc. around the globe. Oddly interesting.

Down to the Wire...

Even though we are getting close to bar exam time, tonight's dinner was a fun one... mini cheeseburgers on Hawaiian rolls with waffle fries! Woo-hoo!

More Movies We're Not Going to Go See...

Jumper, with Hayden Christensen. As MSNBC states, "Christensen, in particular, has an astonishing emptiness to him on the screen, somewhere between a 1950s Hollywood contract player and a 1990s Czech gay porn star." Exactly! So god knows why George Lucas cast him as the young Darth Vader!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Code...

So this evening it is becoming ever increasingly difficult to study Contracts as my study materials keep refering to the UCC as "the code" and all I can think about, of course, is the Da Vinci Code. Damn Tom Hanks!

Friday, February 15, 2008

How to Beat the High Cost of Living...

This is right up there with movies of my youth like "The Increible Shrinking Woman"! Anyway, its on Retroplex!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This is a Response Post...

In response to 410e9th.

First- a question. If the "basic democratic platform is formed around the notion of providing social safety nets for the lower quartile of Americans, greater economic opportunity for the middle 50% and paying for it, at least partially, by increasing the burden of the upper 25% (especially the top 10%)" how is Hillary's proposal ofrequiring illegal immigrants to pay fines and back taxes consistent with this platform? Unless there are some illegal immigrants in the upper 25% or top 10% of the population (you know, all those illegal Swiss banker types...)

That being said. How would a democratic candidate earn my vote? By recognizing that the "middle class" and "upper middle class" make a lot more today than in the past and thus maybe they're targeting tax increases at the wrong people. Why not embrace abolishing the tax code and enacting a flat tax?

Besides all of that. Hillary just scares me, plain and simple. You're right I phone banked in '92, yada, yada. I believed the hype. I was a complete Clinton supporter. Then the rug came out from under me. The whole Monica Lewinsky thing. I'm sorry but Bill Clinton lied to Congress. I don't care what he lied about or why, to me it just goes to show that the power of the presidency made him think he was above the law. He lied about something as stupid as Monica-Gate, how could he be trustworthy at all? The Clintons claimed that they would be doing all of this "good" but at the end of the day they were (and are) just as money and power hungry as the Republicans, but without the tax cuts.

The man should have been impeached. There you go. That's how I feel.

As for Hillary? She hung on with Bill. Why? Because she's even more power hungry than he is and without a drop of charisma.

How can a person who hails from Illinois, was the first lady of Arkansas justify that the right next step is to become a Senator from New York??? Why? Because Moynihan's seat was up and NY is one of the most powerful states in the union. God forbid she actually rise up through the ranks of Congress by being a representative from a state where she has a connection to the constituency and then become a senator in due course. Nope, she stuck with Bill and so her reward was a Senate seat.

Further, the Democratic party focuses on all of these wonderful social programs which we'll get the benefit of, but during the Clinton administration what did we get that was really beneficial? Yes, the economy was good, but was that by virtue of a social agenda? I didn't receive any exceptional federal grants or loans during college (and certainly not during law school) and I of course earned too much upon leaving school to benefit from any interest deductions on my taxes for the student loans I did incur. Want to work in one of those programs where you qualify for Federal Loan forgiveness? The income which qualifies you is so paltry you certainly couldn't successfully live in Manhattan, heck one might even be priced out of Omaha.

Obviously, no one these days likes George Bush, but within just a few months of his taking office I got a check from the federal government for $300. That was a nice check to get.

As for Barack Obama-- he seems truly like an idealist and that's great but at the end of the day the man has about as much viable political experience as a Boy Scout Leader.

This all being said, the Republican pool isn't much better. Huckabee. Well, I don't even think you need to go beyond the man's name (a discussion of the whole "evangelical" thing is scary enough) and while John McCain would have been a viable candidate years ago, the fact that he would be entering as the oldest first term president is certainly not a good thing.

I don't know what to tell you but I don't think the options out there are good and I'm certainly not looking forward to higher taxes to supposedly fund "benefits" which I'm never going to see.

ps. glad the necklace was a hit. ;)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What I Heard on MSNBC...

Here's a link to Hillary Clinton's speech from El Paso this evening.

Below are a few excerpts, with my thoughts.

"I see an America where everyone willing to work hard has a job with a rising income."... so we can collect more tax from you.

"I see an America where health care is a moral right, not a privilege." Okay, I'm all for health care for everyone, but I think that needs to be done by requiring ALL employers to make benefits available and by making insurance companies lower premiums for folks who work part-time or are in lower wage jobs. That being said, as I'm studying constitutional law for my bar exam prep, no where have I found a constitutional right to health care. I hate to sound like Ron Paul, but really. It's not there.

"They will not have the door slammed in their face because of the costs of higher education." Hillary says that for young people, they shouldn't have the cost of higher education be a barrier for entry to college. Of course not, but by the same extent, let's make sure that if you earn what we consider to be "too high" of an income after you get out of college, you'll not get any tax deduction for all those student loan interest payments you'll be making.

"In my America, we're going to make sure that the federal government gets back into loaning people money at a low interest like they did when I went to school instead of the student loan companies." Guess what, Hil. The Federal Government does loan money, unless your parents "make too much" and you don't qualify. Those would be the same people who you'd like to raise taxes on so you can fund universal health care. What do you say, will you lower the financial thresholds for government loan funding? Will government loans be made available for people going to law school and med school (yeah, right.).

And, with regards to the illegal immigration problem, Hillary thinks that the road to citizenship should certainly be paved with things "like paying a fine for coming here illegally, like paying back taxes" do we not see a theme here?? Now she even wants to get more tax money out of illegal immigrants-- probably the people making the LEAST amount of money out of everyone....

Monday, February 11, 2008

Best In Show...



So we managed to make it to MSG and find the Thisbe family! Yay! A fun day was had, but note to self and all other dog loving families out there-- the more kid-friendly day is definitely Day Two at Westminster.

Bad Day at Black Rock

Today is the day that we go to Westminster! Unfortunately, the day has not gotten off to a great start. First, its like 18 degrees outside (at least its sunny). This means we're very bundled and Ugg boots are on all around. As we're getting ready to go down stairs and head to the car, Miss Kitty hacks up breakfast on the second floor landing. Ugh. Nothing says "joy of cat ownership" more than cat puke in the morning. Next: trying to find snowsuit, finally locate snowsuit just in time to change monsterously stinky diaper (which indeed required full outfit change). Am too tired to climb stairs so I use spare outfit from diaper bag and jeans from dryer (thank goodness!) Get bundleme from dryer. Bundleme has of course managed to come completely unzipped and is now in two pieces. Attempt to reattach bundleme while in garage where it is approximately 25 degrees. Baby in car (check), maclaren in car (check), diaper bag (check). Car keys? No car keys. Back in house (what about that train you're supposed to catch??? Forget about going to the bank for extra cash-- looks like you'll be using one of the "thousands" of Bank ATMs convienently located at a Duane Reade in Penn Station...) Aha! I have a valet key. It starts the engine but won't lock the doors... At least it gets me to the husband's office where I can pick up spare keys.

Get spare keys. Find space at station. Pack Miss B. Into maclaren (where, mind you, bundleme velcro has become like steel and I can't properly allign shoulder straps... Attempt to pay for parking. I have a twenty. I need four singles. (Otherwise I'll get stuck with 5 parking tokens...) I buy my train ticket figuring I'll use the change for parking. I get back multiple sacagawea dollars (and one Susan B.). Score! I have four dollars (in coins).

Parking token dispenser only accepts dollar bills. Its just like the French tollway. No coins, just bills (and of course, no credit cards!). As I'm dealing with this... Train pulls away. That was the 11:18. We were supposed to catch the 10:50. Go to train station cafe, trade in my coins for dollars. Pay for parking. Figure we'll catch the next train. At 11:41. That's where we are now (at Newark Airport). Its making every stop. I also just finished eating cottage cheese while riding backwards. Miss B is blissfully asleep (best way to experience NJ Transit). Its got to get better, right?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Westminster!

It's official, we are getting very excited about our upcoming trip to the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Monday with the Thisbe Family!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Duplicity!

Today Miss Baby and I visited the Big City to go to an open casting call for the new Julia Roberts/Clive Owen flick Duplicity. We waited in line for quite a bit and chatted with the wacky tall man in front of us in line (who kept telling bad jokes) and the nice Ukrainian girl behind us (who was an extra in "I Am Legend!"). As usual when going to an open call for background actors the mix of people was rather unique-- a true cross-section of Manhattan! Here's a shout out of thanks to everyone (Ukrainian girl especially) who helped us manuever the Bugaboo up and down the steps into the church auditorium and here's to hoping we all get called back!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Go Rudy!

Yes, that's right, as of 12:59 am I was one of 460 people in Middlesex County to vote for Rudy even though he dropped out of the campaign!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Boo Boo!


MSNBC has an article about "loveys" and the lengths that parents will go to to replace them if lost. Luckily, Boo Boo (pictured, in Venice) has never been lost, but thanks to the Mom and Dad, Boo Boo has been replaced and replicated many times over, despite being made from a pattern sold only in the seventies. I excitedly anticipate Miss B's development of a particular affection for a stuffed something. So far Grover is in the running, but really, the field is still wide open.

660!

This is post 660! I don't know why but I find that interesting. Baby is napping at the feet of Grover.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Super Tuesday...

We finally got in our W-2 forms today, which means it's tax time. All I can say to anybody out there who will be eligible to vote in the primaries on Tuesday is: DO YOUR TAXES before you go to the polls. Maybe what you see will influence your vote.

In the Democratic Debates last night Barack Obama indicated that he wouldn't mind having to pay a bit more in taxes in order to fund certain of his programs (including his health care proposals).

Given that we don't qualify for the child tax credit (earn too much), can't deduct student loan interest (earn too much), got our "energy savings" rebate reduced by almost 90% (earn too much) and our AMT burden increased by $7,000 from last year (when for four months out of the year I essentially had little to no income) tells me that perhaps we're all paying a bit too much in taxes as it is.

If no one won tonight's MegaMillions jackpot the next drawing will be for $102,000,000. I say let's have a national lottery, abolish the tax code and institute the old Steve Forbes' favorite flat tax.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Romney's New Policy

I had a discussion yesterday with the Dad about politics. He mentioned that Mitt Romney's new way to deal with the deficit is to sell Montana. I thought it was a brilliant strategy. If we sell Montana to Mexico we can deal with the illegal immigration problem at the same time!

More Thoughts...

There's a show on this afternoon called "Amazing Births"... the description indicates that one of the vignettes will be about a Girl Scout who assisted her mother in delivering a baby. My question: what kind of badge do you get for that!?!

Today Martha is doing a Superbowl show. She was demonstrating a chicken wing dish with Eva Longoria and she actually called the marinade a "Mar-in-ahdd".