Monday, February 28, 2005

In French, the "t" is silent

La nuit avant le moot. Tomorrow Team Awesome steps up to the podium in the first year moot, the definitive statement of might and fortitude in law school. Actually, there's a greater likelihood that we have spent more money on photocopying our cases for judges than in time preparing.

I am mildly excited, in fact, if for no more reason than I finally get an opportunity to wear this new suit I got over the holidays. Then again, as per Canadian court rules, we have to wear robes during the moot, which sort of precludes any courtroom fashion statement. Maybe it's for the best. I'd prefer to win on the strength of my argument than the sheer awesomeness of my silk tie.

Anyway, just a quick post. I'll offer a good luck to all* members of small group Bane. Here's to a good moot.

(*But not my opposing appellants. You guys are done. Done like dinner.)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A day that will live in blogfamy

Ah, fleeting internet fame. No, this blog hasn't been picked up on the cultural radar... yet, but I did win a little contest over at Stereogum. I adeptly, and quite shamefully, identified a music video screenshot as belonging to an old Bryan Adams video. I made it clear that I wasn't a fan, but after months of trying to sell friends on the virtues of Ryan Adams, only to have them ask me if I said Bryan Adams, this will not help.

I'm aware the B-prefixed Adams is a pretty crappy artist, and it's a pretty bad video, but those were still the golden years on Muchmusic as far as I'm concerned. Days when you could still see a wealth of decent Canadian talent, VJ's that cared more about music than launching their own careers, and where one didn't have to put up with endless reality TV piped in from another once useful music station south of the border.

Anywho, I'm still awaiting the email from Stereogum with my free iTunes song code number (my prize!), at which point I think I'll get the new Bright Eyes single, "When the President Talks to God." I checked out a sample of on iTunes earlier, and it's positively the most Dylanic-sounding of all his songs. If that doesn't float your catamaran, it's quite the anti-Bush song, which might broaden the appeal.

Anyway, that's just a little bonus after a great day. 16 degrees and sunny here in Vancouver today!

Oh, and P.S. Adam Brody, I want my zings back.

Monday, February 21, 2005


This is, as they say, the homestretch. In two months and one day, I will be done my first year of law school. I'd say "that's crazy," but I've learned a thing or two from the political correctness of Criminal Law, so I'll just say "that's mentally diseased!"

Reading week is over, so I thought I'd review that little numbered to-do list I wrote up. In doing so, I'll offer some post-game commentary as it were:

1. Visit Stanley Park. Done and done, much to the chagrin of my poor, poor feet. My faux-Mod sneakers are on their last legs (what a weird, elliptical analogy), which made for a rather uncomfortable (yet photogenic) walk around the eastern part of the park. Maybe it's best if I didn't try to make them match the life of my last faithful pair of sneakers. Man, I loved those Airwalks. They were with me from the first day of undergrad until they died a debilitating death along the cobbled streets of Cordoba, Spain, nearly three years later. Semper fi.
1. subsection a) Visit a shoe store.

2. Buy guitar strings. Check. Plus, I actually attached the things correctly this time. Still lacking, however, is a wire cutter. The metal ends of the excess string poking out from my acoustic are a liability to my eyes as I pluck away. I've heard of the famous bluesman Blind Willie McTell, and now I might know how he got that way.

3. Finish my Johnathan Strange book. Aw, hell no. This is unfortunate, as I wanted to tackle at least another novel before exams approach. I did put a sizeable dent in the amount left, however, and I look forward to its conclusion - which I suspect will be a literary humdinger!

4. Paint my room. Again, nothin' doin'. Perhaps I overestimated my nature as some sort of handyman. Someone told me that yellow is the colour that makes you anxious to leave, and thus, most waiting rooms are yellow in colour. That may be true, but I have a better magazine selection.

5. All-you-can-eat-sushi. This was, as expected, glorious. To boot, my friend and I got to sit right up by the chef, thus eliminating the waiter/middleman that tends to take his time when you're trying to milk a sushi restaurant for all it's worth. Among the highlights: Prawn Tempura maki roll, cooking on the Korean BBQ and of course, le wasabi.

6. Work on screenplay. I should probably be realistic and defer this until the summer, when I can have a proper go with it. Sigh, with an at-times hectic law school schedule, that's one of the few things that keeps me non-mentally diseased.

In review: I'm 3 for 6. That's horrible, awful - a tragedy. Or applying the wording from Torts Law, "that's lucrative."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Then I perambulated up 5th Ave.

Team Awesome is one step closer to achieving a definitive win in the battle royale that is the upcoming moot. I finished my half of the factum today, hopefully overruling what the "learned" trial judge held. Now I'm just practicing my oral argument: "With respect, your honour, is you crazy?!"

For the first real break I've had this week I took a brief jaunt down Vancouver's 4th Avenue. First stop was The Comic Shop to pick up volume 2 of The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist. Now, before you start sounding the nerd alert! alarm, buying this issue has more to do with my admiration of literature than comic books. The Escapist, you see, is the faux-superhero created by Michael Chabon's book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. (Michael Chabon is ever so cleverly credited as Malachi B. Cohen in the comic's liner notes). So, it's meta-comic-fiction! And I'm not so much a comic book geek as a comic book meta-geek... Yeah, that could be worse.

Anywho, next on our tour is a stop at the much ballyhooed Zulu records. And the ballyhooers are right. Great selection, although I didn't pick up anything this time round. I'll be stopping there again next week when the new solo Joel Plaskett album comes out, as well as the new Bloc Party disc (which my brother described in his instant-messaged haste as "wicket!") Assuming no new developments (viz. leaks) in the indie-music blog world, (see: Stereogum, One Louder, and Soviet Panda) getting that new Joel album will mark the first time in several years that I bought a physical album without hearing anything off of it first. What adventure!

Next stop, there was a great magazine store a few blocks up, though its name escapes me. I spent my money on the new issue of Filter (lame magazine title but a great Beck interview), so I was unable to buy and scan in further evidence that I am Michael Stipe's twin. If anyone is around a magazine stand, check out page 72 of the latest issue of Blender. It's Michael circa 1987, but it's also me circa 2002 when I had grown out my hair for eight months. Zounds!

Tomorrow, I plan to check out Stanley Park and visit Rufus' Guitar Shop on Alma Street. I'm curious to see whether guitar store employees are as snobbish and show-offish in Vancouver as they are in Calgary (and what I suspect, as they are everywhere). Try it out yourself, pick any guitar off the shelf and start playing it. No doubt an employee will approach you, worried that it is out of tune. In "tuning" it, he will "treat" you to some unrequested Zeppelin solo or Stones lick. Not that it'll be any good - it'll sound polly wolly crappy.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Funny story, it was my G-string

Ah, reading week. How crushingly apt that title is. Day 2 of the "break" from law school and I find myself buried in the readings I've put off for weeks. Incidentally, I read a sleepwalking-murder case for Criminal Law where the dude got off scott-free after killing his parents. Apparently, if an accused recounts a "whoosh" feeling in his testimony of the facts, he gets his walking papers. Ah, the justice system, entirely infallible.

Next, I've got a self-imposed and self-deluded deadline of Wednesday to finish my half of the factum. My partner gets to argue that what the judge decided at trial is correct, while I get to argue that what the judge decided on another point is dead wrong. Surely, I won't be the favorite.

Supposing I can get all that done, there are a few other things that I'd like to do over the next week:

1. Visit Stanley Park. I don't precisely know what I'll do there, maybe fly a kite or play hopscotch or something. People still do that right? No? Never you say...

2. I just broke a string on my guitar today, and I need a guitar strap, so I should do some shopping for that. Stupid Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, if you didn't write all your songs in Drop D tuning this never would have happened!

3. Finish my Johnathan Strange book. Ha, joke's on you school! You didn't say what kind of reading! Actually, that's no joke at all. Or maybe it's on me. Plus, I have, like, 500 pages left to read. Ah crap.

4. Paint my room. I tire of this yellow walls shtick. Yet, looking through a catalogue of paint colours is not exactly helpful, what with the variety of names. It reminds me of how a friend who worked in the paint department of Home Depot once told me, black isn't called black, it's "Dark Secret."

5. Hit up another all-you-can-eat sushi. That's just good advice anytime.

6. Get back to work on this damn screenplay. It's a tad disheartening how so much law reading can sap your strentgh for making fun of the law in screenplay form. Frankly, it makes me angry. So angry I could murder someone...


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Cheeks will be missed

Quelle semaine! My first Law Revue is over, and it was fantastic. During three days of rehearsal, I probably spent a good thirty plus hours in a sweltering theatre. I still hate Cats, but I do have a deeper respect for the work put into theatre productions. I worked with some great people, upper years at the law school who I would have otherwise never talked with.

The best news is that the whole production was a huge success. We had record attendance and the crowd had a great time. Maybe that's not so tough when you pump them full of beer, but still, writing funny material is not an exact science. Thankfully, the sketches I wrote went over really well. I was particularly proud of the Weekend Update skit, where my friend Katie and I were co-anchors. As tragic as it sounds, you can get a helluva lot of laughs from a squirrel's suicide note.

Certainly one of the best parts of this whole law school experience, and I can't wait to do it next year.

Last Friday was also great, as I got to go to my first art exhibition opening. I had no idea what to expect, but having seen Closer the week before, I pictured twenty or so wine glass-clutching eclectic types waxing artistic over blurry photographs or off-colour paintings. Strangely, things weren't that far off. I've got to hand it to Vancouver, an art opening on a Friday night draws enough of a crowd to snake a lineup around an entire city block.

Inside the art museum things were incredibly swanky. Wine glasses, European dance music, and Narduar of Muchmusic fame, satisfying the eclectic personality requirement for the evening. I would have liked to talk to him, and congratulate him for outing the band Jet as AC/DC melody thiefs, but he was busy.

Anyway, reading week is just a few days away, when I can finally sit down and.... read. Nutty world indeed.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Yes, that's what a person from Halifax is called

I'll try to keep musical musings to a minimum (and also alliteration.... damn!) but I had to post this great lyric that I heard. It's from "When I Have My Vision," from the Joel Plaskett Emergency's first album:

I heard once / that it don't make sense / to build a wall where you should have put a fence /
I heard twice / you shouldn't put me / where you put a fridge, and a couch, and a tv

You gotta respect a singer who embraces his laziness like that. And word has it, Joel will be hitting BC on a tour to support his upcoming album. I recommend going. Anyone who has gotten in such an argument with me will know my contention that Joel is the best live act. ever.

It's actually a big deal that he's hitting the West Coast, having toured very little west of Ontario. I suspect that being a Haligonian, (like my folks) you get trained to never leave your surroundings for fear of an oncoming blizzard, and subsequently never venture far from home.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Permission to treat Wheeler as a hostile witness?

Aloha. The last few days have been less than stellar, (merely stell-ish) so I've kept busy a-readin' and a-writin'. I've polished off a couple sketches for this law revue production. I'm hoping all goes well next week, and that my attempts at humour come off as more Seinfeld than Banya.

This upcoming Saturday I'll be part of that salivating throng that tries to get U2 tickets. Truthfully, I'm as excited at the prospect of seeing show-opener Kings of Leon as I am Bono & Co. Hopefully a few of us can snag some tickets, which would cap off a pretty good year for concert-going. Wilco at the Orpheum, Death Cab at the Commodore, and that street performer on North Granville St. who only knew the middle section of "Stairway to Heaven" and repeated it ad nauseum. Rock on, intermittently!

Then, at the end of the month, us law folk get to do our first real moot. Actual judges (robes and all!) will be present to grade our objection-yelling skills and ability to get the proper inflection on "I want the TRUTH!" (which we can't handle until 3rd year). My co-counsel and I (Team Awesome) will be representing a pair of retirees whose waterfront paradise has been invaded by the evil Shellfish Corp. and their toxic spill. (This is UBC, where these facts represent the ultimate worst case scenario). I don't want to give away too much of our strategy, but don't act surprised if Captain Planet shows up on the witness list.