Friday, September 30, 2005

Like Oliver! But with more blood

Love these four day law school weeks. I suppose it's early comfort for when we leave law school and work eight day weeks.

Tonight I'm off to see Polanski's Oliver Twist. I'm a bit confused at the critical reaction for the film. There's a substantial amount of critics that don't "want some more," as it were, but their common reason doesn't make sense: they all complain about it being a faithful adaptation. Some even resort to punnery and lament that there is no "twist." What, should Oliver be played by Samuel L. Jackson perhaps? Should we replace workhouse-era London with Vietnam? There are some things you just don't fiddle with, and Polanski definitely recogni- nevermind.

Speaking of a faithful adaptation, I'm willing to bet that Elton's John's musical version of Lestat! isn't. Interview with the Vampire is one of my favorite films, and this can only be good news for my plans to one day create a musical version of Die Hard. (By the way, I'm not sure if the title does actually have an exclamation mark, but isn't it better that way?)

The rest of my weekend will likely be spent looking into these Tax and International papers. I'm trying to maximize my Christmas holidays this year to an all-time high of 29 days. I'm a bit hazy on the math, but I think second year law school involves about 20 days of school. Give or take.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Worst play-action fake ever

I've found myself watching a fair bit of TV lately. And now I find myself blogging about it:

Everybody Hates Chris is hilarious. Not Arrested Development "taste my sadness" hilarious, but still better than most other comedies. The kid who plays young Chris is quite a good actor, and he's no funnier than in the fight scene of the series' pilot.

Updated: Watch the whole thing online. For, like, free.

I like the ongoing ruse on this Guatemala edition of Survivor, where ex-NFL star Gary Hogeboom is trying to hide his identity for fear of getting kicked off. I like it because Gary is easily the worst liar in Central America:

Hey Gary, is it true that fifteen years ago you played in the NFL as a professional quarterback?


[Gary walks away]

I don't know when The O.C. stopped being funny and became so cloyingly melodramatic, I just know that I don't like it. But I did like in last week's episode how B.R.M.C.'s "Salvation" became the official theme song for farewell beach sex/vicious debt collector reprisal.

The Amazing Race: Family Edition starts this week, and if the current promos that show parents dashing off the starting line in complete ignorance of their younger, slower, considerably more tramplable children is any indication - then family time just got more interesting. Remember, root for the Dennis Hopper look-a-like clan, they're my ticket to moola.

And it's not on in North America yet, but Ricky Gervais' Extras is quality comedy. To tide you over, watch Ricky on the Daily Show, where he devotes a lot of time admiring the name Bucky Gunts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Consider my timbers shivered

It's one thing to learn in Tax class the number of ways people try and escape tax liability, it's another thing to have your provincial government arrange it for you. I love Vancouver's coastal setting, but I really loves my Alberta oil riches.

With the influx of tax-free $400 from a "prosperity bonus" coming my way, the question is how to spend it. The economics student inside of me points out that I have a crushing law school debt, and I would be wise to put it towards that most shining gift of all - education. But the less lame student of reality inside of me says spend, spend, spend!

I can vividly recall my first major purchase as a young child. (And no, it was not Hootie.) I saved up $120 for the massive "Barracuda Pirate Ship" from Lego, at that point in time being in the full swing of my pirate phase. Sure, investing that money in a 20 year treasury bond may have made me a lot better off now, but the rate of return on childhood whimsy is, you know, immeasurable.... damn I could use that money.

Anyway, I gather the ship is not sold anymore, which is a true shame. Instead, they give children this watered-down excuse for a pirate ship.

Anyone recall their first major purchase?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

39 Licks and 1 Sucks

I like tense courtroom dramas as much as the next filmgoer, but I've never sat through the self-knowing absurdity of a James Bond film and silently wished, "I enjoyed that villain's violent dispatching, but I'd really like to see him get some black-letter justice in a court of law!"

After doing my assigned reading regarding the reliability of direct witness testimony from Evidence class, I decided that maybe that's because I'm not a Supreme Court Justice. From R. v. Nikolovski (1996), 141 DLR (3d) 647 (SCC):

"It cannot be forgotten that a robbery can be a terrifyingly traumatic event for the victim and witnesses. Not every witness can have the fictional James Bond's cool and unflinching ability to act and observe in the face of flying bullets and flashing knives. Even Bond might have difficulty accurately describing his would-be assassin. He certainly might earnestly desire his attacker's conviction and be biased in that direction."

Something tells me Bond might not have the same mystique if he delivered his catchphrases from the witness box.

I bought the latest Rolling Stones album the other day, (love "Rough Justice" and "Rain Fall Down") but almost as important, it marks the first time I haven't absolutely hated a song where Keith Richards sings: "Infamy," the final track. Alright, "Happy" from Exile on Main Street isn't so bad, but I'd still like it more if Mick sang. And recall that last track off 40 Licks where old Keef sings, "Losing My Touch?" I think that's the first documented evidence that Keith actually died at one point in time.

I'm making my way through this new Ryan Adams album, Jacksonville City Nights, which is absolutely, unabashedly country (in case the geographical hinting of the title didn't clue you in already.) Don't let that turn you off Adams, but but instead let this photo do that. It's Adams in his Jack White does Bob Dylan does Vincent Price phase.

Finally, do you value your time? Then don't play this game at all. Just don't even click. I'm doing you a favour.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

With George Lazenby to follow

That last post was pretty heavy on the law, and it's not even December exam season yet. So here's a Gawker-esque collection of news and links you wouldn't care about were it not for a witty slugline:

Nintendo revealed their brand new game controller, which is just the perfect shape and size to get lost in the couch. I understand by such a bold product design, the company is trying to shed their image as the console with the least exciting gaming choices, but with this quote from the article, I suspect they may need to try harder:

"Imagine a game that simulates the fly fishing experience... using the Revolution's controller, you'll actually mimic casting a fly rod."

RS wrote an article about how Jack Johnson has achieved success in spite of the relentlessly scathing reviews the magazine writes. And by that logic, with their latest album (which I like) the Dandy Warhols shall now become enduring American icons. Ouch.

Upcoming concert dilemma: Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene or My Morning Jacket? I have a feeling that MMJ will be the best value, as the other two are likely part of the late-born, absurd economic rationale that deems indie = pricey.

However, I will acknowledge that Arcade Fire are the only ones touring with a band worthy of this lofty - and utterly hilarious - distinction:

"We've had Led Zeppelin, Guns n' Roses, the Sex Pistols all party on this boat, but we've never had to kick anyone off. And now I am kicking you off."

Sure, The Goblet of Fire looks cool, but I'd still like to see Roger Moore take a kick at the franchise.

And for good measure, one for the McSweeney's classic canon: Strategic Attempts to Deflect Attention by the Most Obvioulsy Overweight Member of the Donner Party.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

V is not for Vendetta

May I begin by saying that I am, unequivocally, the greatest blogger in the long, storied history of the blogosphere.

We've progressed far enough into second year law classes that I'm starting to figure out which ones are my favorite. So far I'm a fan of this Secured Transactions business. It's basically comprised of every bit of financial terminology that makes the average person cringe. The course could more accurately be titled, So, you know that small print that you see at the bottom of every car commercial? That's what this is.

But so far my philosophy in law school so far has been to acknowledge that every subject is quite fearful, and the best you can hope is to master the subject - and instill that fear into others. Thus, that's what I'm doing with Secured Trans (as the cool kids call it).

[Legal note: the aforementioned "kids," herein known as "law students," are in no way "cool," "trendy," "with it," or in any way whatsoever "fly," and any future mention of law students being such shall be of no effect in all applicable jurisdictions.] (See what I've just done here? Not cool.)

Anyway. The whole process of making myself like a subject reminds me of my former undergraduate roommate, V____, who, because she hated olives so much, forced herself to eat a few every day until she didn't hate them any more. So it's the same with Secured Transactions.

It makes me want to drink a martini.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


I thought I should write it down, because I doubt I'll ever hear this quote again in law school from a professor:

"I'll be quite honest, you can get a very decent mark in this class without doing any of the reading."

Speaking of Criminal Law and professionalism in the field, there's sad news that one of my favorite TV lawyers won't be returning this season. (Not Sam Waterston, that man's a rock.) Barry Zuckerkorn (played by the Fonz) from Arrested Development (season premiere next Monday!) is no more, as Winkler is moving onto another sitcom that should have a much easier time getting cancelled. So who better to replace him than Scott "Chachi" Baio, who'll play Bob Loblaw. Love it already.

And here's some random music stuff because nothing else of note has occurred in this second week of law school, (though bless the saint who returned my lost copy of the International Law course package, you must be new here.)

Wilco - or should I call them Thrillco! Ok, I'll never, ever, do that again - are releasing a double live album from some shows in Chicago. It's too bad there aren't more covers on it, but I can attest to the fact that their live shows are amazing and... Thrillco!

Rollingstone put up an extended piece about Death Cab enjoying their "indie " status, meaning the honeymoon is officially over. Does that make them "mainie?"

And finally, NME, Britain's rock rag has finally redesigned their website. It's not as ugly as sin anymore, but it's still guaranteed that every article is a "shock!" and every review is "brilliant!"

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Interstate 5 is no Yellow Brick Road

Lawyerlike: post-Seattle Edition. Made the drive down to the Emerald City with my favorite passenger yesterday, and discovered a faint sense of deja vu - I think the city planners for Vancouver left their schematics in the photocopy machine. I have an easier time finding six differences between panels of Slylock Fox.

I was, however, amazed by the parking rates for Downtown Seattle. 5 bucks for the day!? In Calgary that same spot would cost you at least... yup, a barrel of oil.

Took a walk around the Pike Place Market, and while I wasn't struck by any volleyed fish, I did catch this snapper:

"Hey, look, it's the original Starbucks. Now where's the final one?"

Who says Americans don't have the capacity for wit.

Law Revue is off to a promising start after nearly fifty people signed up at Clubs Day this past week. Hmm, that may just be enough actors to pull of a full-cast, law-themed, musical production of Les Miserables. Or not.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

0.1 km to another Starbucks

Been blogless for a while, but that should end, as law school part two (the second in a trilogy, missing a genuine introduction or denouement, but including the spectacular Battle of Helms Deep) has officially begun. So much to say, so I'll give some observations of the intervening period:

The drive from my door in Calgary to my door in Vancouver is precisely 999.9 kilometres.

In the film Red Eye, keep an eye out for Colby from Survivor: Australia, who doesn't portray a senatorial security guard so much as portray Colby trying to portray a senatorial security guard.

Making my way through Bleak House, I'm struck by the notion that Dickens really loved his orphans, as well as portentous portraits hung on walls.

I finally saw The Firm, (I know, I know.) Two frightening observations: one, the interview process and articling work shown is eerily familiar, and two: Wilford Brimley!

Bob Dylan's new live CD, performed 33 years ago, is unlike any other, as you can actually hear waitresses clearing plates in what sounds like an empty cafe. Check out Moonshiner and Barbara Allen, up there with the best of them.

When I saw U2, I didn't know an audience could go so nuts for a band - until I saw Pearl Jam play GM Place.

Despite being a blight on my Tuesday and Thursday mornings, Evidence is shaping up to be an amazing class, and putting me one step closer to annoyingly - but correctly - yelling "hearsay" to everything my friends say I disagree with.

The surprise you feel when you receive a gigantic Taxation textbook free begins to fade when you realize the similarly large local phone book is also free, and eminently more useful.