Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Font size 8 means you haven't studied enough

I'm eager to being third year, but I suppose I'm just as happy to finally be leaving that demographic to which "back-to-school" sales apply. After 20 years of having Augusts ruined by low-priced pads and pencils, this will finally be the end of it. I'd be afraid of "back-to-work" sales, were there ever to be enough time off during which you'd have to eventually 'go back.'

Of course, since I've been in law school I can't recall buying many supplies. Everything is done on this laptop, from the taking of class notes, to the downloading of better notes, to the "select-all" and "reduce to font-size 7" functions that make open book tests truly possible. It's handy, but also a little disappointing, considering that I'll never be a more prime candidate for yellow legal pads.

So in lieu of real supplies, this Tuesday turned out to be a great day for those things I'll really need in the coming months: new albums from The Roots, Dylan and M. Ward all hit the shelves, along with the final season of the only show to feature a lawblog in its scripts, Arrested Development.

Just one more week till one more year.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Chill with Ceau┼čescu?

You know a new year of law school is fast approaching when you start to think about the next summer.

Due to the brevity of post-secondary school years and the generous scheduling of PLTC courses, I find myself with four months of unscheduled freedom next summer. I believe the technical, economic term for this period is "frictional unemployment," but to myself and a majority of others with false illusions about their spending power, it's "prime travel time."

I've been lucky enough to visit Western Europe on several occasions, covering most of England, France and Spain. But I believe I'd be remiss if I didn't look North and East, to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe (specifically, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Romania). It's a region that I unfortunately know little about, save the descriptions I've gleaned from Henrik Ibsen and Bram Stoker. (Ok, Ok... IKEA and Blade II.)

Since this whole trip is still in a flight of fancy stage, I thought I'd see what travel books were available on the regions. There are a lot of these guide books that I avoid like the plague, as they are either so inexhaustible as to take all the mystery out of a region, or padded with too many stock photos to be of little use. I've had the best luck with the Rough Guide brand of book, something I swore by (and most importantly, not at) during my month in Spain.

I couldn't find their edition for Central Europe, assuming it exists, so while I was in the store I perused a random Romanian book. I'm not ashamed to admit that if I ever reached the country, Dracula's Castle would be on the itinerary. So I wasn't surprised to find inside this book, amongst the Top 10 Things to Do in Romania: "Creep in the footsteps of Dracula," (forgiving the absurd notion that he would leave footsteps, Dracula naturally being a glider.) I was even pointed to a handy link where you can plan a trip around ol' Vlad.

I was, however, a little more surprised to find in the Top 10 list, this perplexing suggestion, which I recall verbatim:

"Hang out with a shepherd."

That's precisely what the wolves want.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'll refrain from excess emoticons

In keeping with the never-asked, reluctant-to-tell policy about job details on this site, I won't mention much about the fruits of this recent articling/interview week save to say that I did, indeed, secure a job. And in case you couldn't tell beneath the excess loquacity of a Victorian-style writing habit, I'm thrilled!

Anyway, on to other matters: while I was downtown I came across a film shoot on the steps of the Vancouver Art Museum - or rather, with American flags displayed everywhere, the steps of some New York Supreme Court building. It wasn't the recent Rachel McAdams shoot that has caused an upswing in public transportation use lately, but rather some new show called Psych. Apparently it's not about what I would have guessed - the exploits of a wisecracking meta-detective who converses with ghosts (such shows being in desperately short supply).

I didn't recognize any of the actors on the shoot except one: Timothy Omundson, who played Brom Garret in my new favorite show, Deadwood. (Well, OK, second favourite show - and fanatics will take note that Omundson actually did appear in an episode of 24 as "suicidal terrorist" - go figure). Anyway, I bring him up because the Brom character was a favourite of mine in Deadwood, portraying a bumbling gold prospector that most closely resembled Niles Crane.



And you can guess how well Niles Crane and the Old West would mix.

Friday, August 11, 2006

140km/h is not in their algorithms

Between returning from Calgary, driving to Tacoma for a wedding (and beating the Google maps driving estimate by 43 minutes), preparing for interviews and entertaining friends from out of town, I haven't had much time to attend the cruel mistress that is this blog. Lucky for you, nothing much of note has happened. Except for the awesome time I made on that drive.

As is the case at every summer's end, I start to look forward to another school year. I'm not sure if it's a sad thing or not, but this is the last summer I'll have that. Although, third year law will mark my 20th straight year of school, so maybe it's not so much a sad thing.

Thankfully, it's been a great summer. Every December I usually prepare a list of my year end favorites, so now I thought I'd mention some of the favorite parts of these past 4 months:

Film

Go see Little Miss Sunshine. It's as simple as that.

Books

Nothing was more fun to read this summer than The Ruins, as amazing a character study as it is a horror tale. That said, this is the summer I discovered the writer Cormac McCarthy, finishing Blood Meridian and No Country for Old Men and recommending them to everyone I know. I recall this excerpt as being indicative of how great the author is:

"They did not noon nor did they siesta and the cotton eye of the moon squatted at broad day in the throat of the mountains to the east and they were still riding when it overtook them at its midnight meridian, sketching on the plain below a blue cameo of such dread pilgrims clanking north."
TV

This is also the summer I discovered Lost, a show so smart (yet popular) that makes me question the argument that Arrested Development was too smart for American audiences.

I also got into Deadwood, the great, foul-mouthed HBO Western that makes up for the fact I watched an awful lot of Saved by the Bell this summer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Insert Ennio Morricone Music









This blog post is like the Old West (which I imagine is almost conveyed in these photos I took) - pretty lawless. It's the subject matter you get being on vacation away from a law-related job and pre-interview anxiety. So I'll just briefly mention a few news items that have interested me:

The next Die Hard film, while completely unnecessary, still managed to pull through with a decent title.

The next Wes Anderson film couples an even better title and a better premise still.

Both Ryan Adams and Emily Haines have new songs available. Some may argue one is unnecessary while the other has a better title.

Also, if anyone goes to see Miami Vice in the near future, please enlighten me as to where Colin Farrell magically produced that grenade from after being frisked down by those drug lords. Yes, inside that mullet is a distinct possibility.