12.25.2007

I'm back for a snowy christmas at home. After multiple christmas gatherings, it's finally settled down. It was good to see all of the relatives, and share a bit of christmas cheer. At church on christmas day I noticed that a pair of my high school classmates have a brand new baby, which was a little bit of a shock to me. I guess I should get used to it. After the batch of errands I have to run tomorrow, I may try grabbing a beer at the hometown bar to see if any other classmates crawl out of the woodwork.

Oh, and Santa brought me a fly rod for christmas, which should be perfect for the Baja trip.

In other news, I finished The World Without Us, a book from Annie, which explores the idea of what would happen to the world if humans disappeared tomorrow. It's a really interesting read.

12.13.2007

We didn't take any photos at Alinea; my camera was borked and it seemed a little touristy, but after doing some digging I found other diners who did. Since the menu changes so often not everything is represented, but you get the idea:


Lamb Cubism

Hot Potato, Cold Potato

Scallop (though ours had chamomile flowers)


Sweetbreads


Transparency

Apple Cider


Beans

Bison (with the rosemary)

Butters

Chocolate
Annie and I had the tasting menu at Alinea last night, and it was easily the best meal I've ever had (though not the cheapest). We showed up plenty early, since we forgot about the time zone shift between here and Chicago, so we killed some time in a Boarders nearby. Once we were seated, the fun started, and continued over 14 courses. No menu was provided, though they allowed us to tailor the tasting menu if we had any special requests. At the end of the meal we were handed a copy of the evening's menu, which listed each of the courses and their primary ingredients. Here's what we had:

Trout Roe: coconut, licorice, pineapple
Roe from Michigan trout, harvested just days ago, on a coconut snowman... thing alongside pineapple foam and a dollop of licorice sauce. It was a little intimidating for a first course since it was so delicate, but the flavors worked well together. It was the first time I'd ever had caviar, and it was great; it tasted like the sea smells.

Beans: many garnishes, pillow of nutmeg air
Now things got fun. What looked like a burlap pillow was set in front of us, and then a large plate was placed on top. As the plate weighed down on the pillow, it released the scent of nutmeg, which we would taste, even though there was no nutmeg in the dish. The dish was pureed navy beans topped with a pancetta crisp, topped with a Guinness foam. Around the plate were a host of one-bite garnishes; green bean and almond salad, ginger topped with peppers, mango and orange leathers, a basil gel, a crunchy somethingorother, a bit of apple hollowed out and filled with molasses. Very tasty.

Scallop: parsnip, orange, chamomile vapor
This course started with a single bite of an orange gel, which was like a tart, palate-cleansing fruit snack. Two nesting bowls were set down, the outer filled with various herbs and flowers and the inner filled with amazing food. The outer bowl was topped off with hot water, which released a strong smell of chamomile. In the inner bowl sat a perfectly cooked scallop, topped with shaved razor clams, accompanied with a reduced stock and diced parsnips. One of the best dishes I've ever had.

Apple Cider: walnut milk, cinnamon, vegetable ash
A shot glass was set in front of us containing a green orb, dusted with a bit of powder, sitting in walnut milk. The entire shot was knocked back, and once the little orb was in your mouth, it exploded with a splash of apple cider, and then dissolved into a taste of cinnamon. Refreshing.

Salsify: caper, olive oil, smoked salmon
A column of (razor clam? some shellfish, but I think we missed that part of the explanation) coated in a crackley caper-and-crunchiness, suspended between a small stack of wonderful smoked salmon on one end and a salmon puree on the other, with a dollop of a dill sauce between the two and a few drops of a lemon gel around the plate. The smoked salmon was the best few bites of salmon I've ever had.

Sweetbread: cauliflower, burnt bread, toasted hay
A few bits of breaded sweatbreads, surrounded by dollops of gels from roasted cauliflower, vermouth, and burnt bread, along with crunchy roasted cauliflower bits and a cauliflower stalk wrapped in bread. Tasty, and the first time I've enjoyed sweatbreads.

Lamb: in cubism
A slice of lamb tenderloin on one end, and a braised and breaded wheel of lamb-something on the other end. In between, seven or eight overlapping squares of sauces. Our waiter didn't tell us what the sauces were, but noted that the garnishes on the lamb tenderloin offered hints to the sauces (which included mint, pomegranate, sour cream, horseradish, among others). Very playful. The round bite of lamb may be the best bite of food I've ever had.

Hot Potato: cold potato, black truffle, butter
We were handed a wax bowl, which had a long pin stuck through it. On the pin were a couple cubes of butter, a small round hot potato, topped with a large shaving of black truffle. This was all suspended over a cold potato soup. To eat, you pulled the pin out, dropping the hot portions of the dish into the cold soup, and then slurped the whole thing down like an oyster on the half shell. Vies with the lamb as the best bite of food I've ever had.

Bison: red cabbage, candy cane, rosemary aroma
Our tables were originally adorned with foot-long stalks of rosemary. When this dish was delivered, it was presented on a 500 degree brick that sizzed under the bites of bison. The bits of bison were adorned with a red cabbage braise, star anise and candy cane, and a mushroom sauce, respectively. The sear on them was amazing, though I'm not quite sure how the mushroom sauce was, since I manage to drop it. Drat.

Transparency: of raspberry, rose petal, yogurt
A big, stained-glass looking piece of transparent raspberry, with rose petals set into it and dusted with yogurt powder. It was tasty, but a little prickly, like a broken Christmas ornament.

Chocolate: passionfruit, lemongrass, soy
A big ribbon of dark chocolate sauce. Above it was a great rice pudding (only without the rice, though the rice flavor was there). Below, a noodle of passionfruit. In the middle of a soy marshmallow was a cube of iced lemongrass. Around were dollops of reduced soy sauce and soy powder. Tasty tasty, though I could have done without the soy. The chocolate, lemongrass, and rice pudding were all amazing.

Carmel Corn: liquified
Another shot, this one was a popcorn foam on top of a carmel cream sauce. It reminded me of a jelly belly, and tasted just like it should have.

Persimmon: carrot, red curry, spice aroma strip
A soft persimmon cake, with cubes of carrot in cognac, pistachios, a honey sauce, and other accompaniments. This dish felt a little disorganized compared to some of the others.

Pumpkin: pie dough, tempura, cinnamon fragrance
Pumpkin pie, frozen, then dipped in a creamy sauce, then tempura fried and dusted with a cinnamon sugar that was evocative of mini doughnuts. This whole things was served on a long cinnamon stick popsicle, the bottom of which was lit before it was served, so a cinnamon aroma permeated the room. An amazing finish to an amazing meal.

12.10.2007

Had a good time making indian food and playing wii with some friends last night. Tomorrow is the last day of classes, followed by a few study days and annie's xmas-present-dinner at Alinea. It's a little tougher to study for finals w/o a solid study group, but I'll keep badgering people until I have someone I can bounce ideas off of.

Freezing rain yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Gotta love south bend. On the bright side, I stayed rubber-side-down on the bike ride to class today.

12.05.2007

I bought another bike; got a good deal on a '77 Raleigh Grand Prix, from the good 'old days when the Raleighs were still made in Nottingham. Should make a pretty fixed, and will probably replace my Raleigh Pursuit as my day to day commuter. We got 4-5 inches of snow last night, so it was the fixed mountain bike for riding to school today.

Oh, and I started volunteering to assistant coach a local H.S. Mock Trial team. I went to my first practice last night. It was pretty fun, and I'll be back next week.

12.03.2007

I made it home for thanksgiving last weekend, which was fun. I got to see some friends, and take part in the big Family Turkey Day Extravaganza. Even made some money playing cards against the relatives. I took the train in and out of Chicago, which was nice.

I got out kayaking yesterday, when it was way cold. It snowed again last night, and it squarely feels like winter now. The semester is starting to wrap up a little bit, and everyone is looking toward finals. I'm happy enough to be heading toward the end of the semester; I feel like my afternoons have hit a little too much of a routine. Though my evenings are somewhat varied, I feel like just about every afternoon runs through the same motions.

Anyway, I've registered for classes for next semester. It's a pretty touchey-feeley, constitutional/civil rights semester, with Constitutional Criminal Procedure, Human Rights Practice, my journal, Constitutional Law II (Civil Rights), and 1st Amendment (Freedom of Religion). Should be fun.

11.14.2007

Oh, and I'm taking good advice for once, and no longer talking about my firm.
The parents were in town this weekend, along with my aunt and uncle and Lucy, the puppy dog. We had a lot of good food (I'm still eating leftover ham sandwiches) and had a good time. I even got to sew a bit, after Lucy chewed a hole in my comforter. Now Dad's back home, and Mom is off in Europe.

Plans are falling together for the spring break sea kayaking trip to baja; should be a really good time.

I'm still churning away through school, though it's a little tougher to motivate myself. The lack of a study group is significant, since it's something I relied upon pretty heavily last semester. I guess we'll see how things go.

10.29.2007

For those of you wondering what my favorite part of the aquarium was, it was the octopus.

I'm back at school, which is a little tougher to get myself motivated for. Now that the job search is finished, I have a pretty strong impulse to just mail things in. Every now and then I jab myself and get myself back on track, but I think next year it'll be even worse.

It's now squarely fall, and the trees around campus are exploding into color. It feels like fall outside too, with warm days and cool evenings. Hoffman and I are putting together a sea kayak trip to baja, which should be a good time. The rest of the law school crew is heading to Vegas, but I think sun and sea and camping is much more my speed.

10.24.2007

So I'm hanging out in Rainy Atlanta, bumming around with Annie and her family. We saw Lars and the Real Girl yesterday, which I'd recommend to just about anybody. Excellent movie. We had dinner with Annie's grandmother last night at the Horseradish Grill, which was quite tasty. The five of us made pretty quick work of a couple bottles of wine. Otherwise, things have been pretty low-key around here; I think we're headed to the Aquarium tomorrow.

10.16.2007

The great job hunt is pretty well over. My phone finally rang yesterday.

10.12.2007

Good news, my petition to seal was not challenged by the city, and was automatically granted.

No job yet. Stay tuned.

10.09.2007

I helped build a garage for habitat for humanity, played paintball, kayaked, and watched ND win this past weekend. Not too shabby.

No calls on jobs yet though. Should be soon. Hopefully.

10.04.2007

Oh yeah, this blog... thing.

The job hunt is getting somewhat stressful; no offers yet, compounded by the fact that some friends have already gotten jobs secured. I should hear from a couple of firms next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

The job hunt has really been the big news, especially since it's been sucking up the most time and energy. The journal stuff isn't so bad; I manage to chew through footnotes pretty quickly. I'm managing to paddle about once a week, and bike every day, both of which tend to keep me sane. Classes range from great to lousy, but fortunately the scale is shifted a little more toward the great end of the spectrum.

C'mon jobs....

9.25.2007

Had a great interview Monday, but a lousy trip back to IN. My flight was late to MSP, and I missed my connection by about 60 seconds. I got to spend the night in Detroit. Woo woo! Fortunately, friends of friends were around, and I had a bed to sleep in. Still wasn't very happy about it though.

Also, I had the best potato chips I've ever tasted. They were cooked with truffle oil. Yummy.

9.16.2007

I had a good interview in Denver on Friday. Got to live the good life for another couple of days; my hotel room was upgraded after my original room was full of somebody else's luggage. I really liked everybody at the firm I interviewed at; hopefully they'll extend an offer in the next few weeks. I got to hang out with Britt too; we went to a church fundraiser. Since I'm still poor, I wrote them an IOU. It never seems like I have a normal evening out when I hang out with the Denver kids. The travel back to the Bender was fine, aside from the ND loss.

This week it's same-old same-old. More job hunting. I have a few more things on my plate thanks to my SBA appointment. But generally, life is good.

9.12.2007

2 nights ago I was hanging out in my brightly colored hotel room in a leapord print bathrobe. It was pretty amazing. Then yesterday morning I wandered around DC, dumped off my bags at the firm, and headed over to the Air and Space Museum. It was impressive; though lots of their collection had been transferred to their new location at Dulles, there was still some great stuff there, like Buzz Aldrin's space suit and the like, and almost everything was original.

The interview at the firm went well; we'll see if I get an offer within the next couple of weeks. Then it was back to Regan to grab some food (paid for by the firm, of course) and catch my flight. I read a lot of the last Harry Potter; fortunately I fly out tomorrow and I'll be able to finish the rest on the way to Denver. We were held in a holding pattern over O'Hare for a long time, so I had to sprint through 3 terminals to catch my connection to the Bend, otherwise I would have been staying the night in Chicago. I made it though, but only because I was at a dead sprint. I need to run more.

9.05.2007

Next week is gonna be busy; headed to DC for Tuesday, and to Denver for Friday. Then there's that whole class thing. And the journal thing. All good problems to have, if you want to call them that. So, if anyone's in DC or Denver, we should hang out.

9.01.2007

For my fellow law students wondering about the numbers behind the whole callback procedure, take a look at this (especially on p. 16). It's a breakdown of how many callbacks are initiated, and how many end in offers.

8.31.2007

Amazing Business Cards
Things are going well in South Bend. I like doing these interviews, and they've apparantly gone well. I got one callback yesterday morning by phone, and then I got another callback at the end of a screening interview. As we were winding down, I told the interviewer that I'd probably email him a couple of questions, and he replied "Don't bother. I don't usually do this, but I know I'm going to call you back. Expect a call from our recruiting coordinator in the next week or two, and whatever questions you have, we can talk them over when you come down to DC." Pretty cool.

3 more interviews today. I even pulled out the cufflinks.

We also have our first homegame this weekend, which should be a lot of fun. The Cousin is in town for the weekend, as is Annie's dad. And I get to kayak on Sunday. Things are good.

8.28.2007

The shindig was a lot of fun, with plenty of mingling of 1Ls and 2Ls. Classes have started, and it looks like I've got a couple of really great ones, and one very meh class. Not so bad. Interviews start today; I've got one to start with today and then the rest are scattered through the rest of the week. We'll see how all of that goes.

8.23.2007

Well, we're moved into the house, and the place looks amazing. It's roughly 1000% classier than it was last year, and it was pretty classy to begin with. I'd take some photos if my camera wasn't borked. Should be a good year though; everybody seems to get along and such. Yesterday I made cookies and took them over to the neighbors to lessen the likelihood of getting the cops called when we had parties. The neighbors LOVED them. I kind of expected "Thanks, I'm so-and-so, nice to meet you." Instead, they were nearly overwhelmed, "Nobody has done anything like this, nobody does stuff like this anymore, it's great to have real neighbors, etc. etc." Definitely a good move.

Gathering tonight. Should be good times. Now it's off to run more errands.

8.19.2007

I snuck onto JLEPP. Woo hoo!

In other news, seeing the family was good; I'm down in the cities hanging out with some friends before rolling back to South Bend on my own tomorrow morning. If you're in MSP, come hang out.

8.13.2007

Things have been pretty busy out here since I've been done with work. Annie was out here for 4 days. We hung out with some of the law clerks, went up to a hot springs in the mountains, had dinner with tom and company, and generally had a good time. The day she flew out Andy flew in, and we headed up to a chain of alpine lakes just at the timberline. We hiked up one day and camped in a beautiful little meadow. The next day we climbed up to the ridge and hit Bushnell Peak and the Twin Sisters. I had a bit of an altitude headache, but it wasn't too terrible. That night one other guy came into camp and fished for the day, snagging some beautiful trout.

The next day we hiked out, and saw 15 hikers all headed up to the lakes. We timed the weather and the crowds perfectly.

The next day we went to a Craft Lager Festival in Manitou and drank beer (er, i mean, "carbo loaded") for the day. It was great.

Bright and early the next morning we geared up for Pikes Peak. 13 miles up, gaining 7,400 vertical feet. It wasn't quite as bad as we expected since the trail was really good the whole way, but it was more vertical feet than either Andy or I had gained in a day, and it was further than I'd ever hiked. We did 13 miles in just shy of 5 hours. It was weird getting to the top, since the top was full of people who either drove up or took the train. Sort of a festival atmosphere. We looked around, and then tried to hitch back to our car, not wanting to blow out or knees on the way down. We got a ride from the first truck that passed us, the driver was up training for the race the following weekend. Apparantly the fastest time up the mountain was 2 hours, 1 minute. Marathon pace while gaining over 7,000 feet. Crazy.

Today I'm in Denver; my crim case was just dismissed and I filed my motion to seal. It's hot and beautiful here in Colorado, and I head back to MN on Tuesday. I'll be back though.

8.01.2007

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I didn't make JLEPP. Or Law Review. So I'll have a less stressful, more enjoyable, and slightly less employable fall. *sigh*

But Annie's here in 2 days. Woot!

7.30.2007

Sunday's dinner: deconstructed coleslaw, scallop ceviche with citrus, sauteed vegatables, halibut with lemon and buerre noisette, coconut macaroons with lime and vanilla ice cream.

Got stood up by my paddling friends though. No fun. I also didn't make law review, and am on the waitlist for JLEPP. We'll see how that goes. Other than that, just winding down the week; Thursday is my last day of work.

7.27.2007

I've started the Great Job Hunt. Hopefully all goes well. I'm also waiting to hear from Law Review; apparantly they've started making phone calls, and they have to have everyone slated by Monday. Yikes.

I was sick over the past couple days, something caught from the roommate, but after barraging myself with airborne and zinc, I seem to have fought off whatever it is.

Only a week left until Annie's here! Yippee! By the same token, not much time left in the summer as a whole. Weird.

7.24.2007

First 101 Goals in 1001 Days, updated
To be finished: Feb. 3, 2010

Leisure
Learn to Snowboard
Travel to Bolivia to see Chris
Write 15 short stories or slam poems
Establish myself in a slam scene
Learn to make bread
Create bike-part art for house
Fly a kite
Move and cut out my unnecessary possessions
Decorate a room in bold, primary colors
Read Freakenomics
Weigh 160
Run a UE expedition
Throw a pot
Sail
Keep half a dozen potted herbs alive at once
Plant a tree
Read all of the Harry Potter books
Make Lasagna
See the Indiana Dunes
Take a cooking class
Go on a multiday hiking trip
Exist in 4 states at once
Study on Lake Michigan
Build another bike
Mountain bike in CO
Eat vegetarian for 2 weeks
Hit a bucket of golf balls
Own over half a dozen bottles of wine at once
Floss every day for 2 weeks
Build a piece of functional furniture
Cycle 50+ miles in a day
Learn 5 new constellations
Buy a piece of art
Plant flowers
Cull wardrobe when moving to CO
Cook 5 courses of new dishes
Order room service
Visit a brewery or distillery
Learn to play darts

Kayaking
Run OBJ
Run the Green Narrows
Run the Tallulah Gorge
Throw a Pan Am
Run a raft trip with the family
Log every kayak trip
Run an overnight kayak trip
Mentor a newer paddler
Establish a core group of paddling partners
Run the Animas
Playboat a 5ft+ wave
Run a 20+ foot falls

Academic / Career
Graduate NDLS
Win a moot court competition
Study Advanced Trial Ad.
Study Con Law II
Begin a job I enjoy
Establish a career network
Land a 2L summer job that pays well in a city I enjoy
Establish mentor/mentee relationship
Use all of my available vacation time
Keep my weekends to myself
Own a good suit
Make Dean’s list
Watch a felony trial from start to finish

Money
Sell my house above its purchase price
Start investing in index funds
Save 30% of my earnings once I land a permanent position
Start an adventure fund
Keep a monthly budget
Become financially independent
Live debt free
Give change to someone who needs it

Social
Establish a social network in my new cities
Go to 10 live concerts
Sit down and write an email once a month to keep in touch with distant friends
Be home for Thanksgiving
Learn to weld from Dad
Fish with Dad
Cook with Mom
Home for Christmas every year
Try 30 new wines
Get a pet
Know my neighbors
Pay for the next car at a toll booth

Vote
See a triple header at a movie theatre
Feed someone else’s parking meter
Couchsurf
Meet an online friend in person
Register to vote in IN

Meet someone new on a flight
Attend a Silverhawks game
Attend a high school football game
Attend a wine tasting
Subscribe to The New Yorker
Host a dinner party in semi-formal dress
Host a barbecue
Attend 5 plays (3)
Host a board game party
Go to an art gallery
Create a new 101 list

7.19.2007

Had another good dinner party a couple of nights ago; a chickpea and carrot salad, parmesan and lemon rissoto, prawns in a chili sauce, and melons with sorbet and a lime sugar. Tasty tasty.

The summer is starting to wind down a bit; we've only got 2 weeks left of work. Then Annie's in town for a weekend, then I bum about for a week and hopefully interview with some firms, and then it's back to MN.

It's too bad, there were a couple of rivers I had save for late in the season since they run late, and now I'm realizing that i may not be able to get on them. Oh well, I suppose I have that week of downtime, and there's always next summer.

7.12.2007

Huh. My 801st post.

Yesterday the fellow clerks and I got a tour of the Department of Corrections (DOC). It was a hell of a day. We started off at Territorial, the oldest prison in Colorado. We saw the liscence plate plant, where every licence plate in Colorado is made. We walked the grounds, where none of the guards were armed. The only officers with weapons were those in the perimeter towers, who kept an eye on the grounds. We saw the infirmiry, where inmates from all over the state were shipped for medical attention. There, we were told not to make eye contact with one of the guys in segregation. "He gets a little... crazy," one of the guards told us. Then they described how they put problem inmates in 4-point restraint, where the prisoner is chained, arms and legs, to the bed by 4 guards, using 7 padlocks. Every 2 hours, inmates in these positions have to be allowed to move, to allow for circulation. If the inmate is compliant, they get to walk around, but if they're noncompliant, they are allowed to move each extremity in turn, still lying on the bed.

Then we went to the Women's Prison, where we were taken to the cell block that houses the prison's dog program. There, the women live with dogs, which they train on a daily basis. The dogs are allowed to eat with the women 3-4 times a week, and are barred from the medical center. Other than that, the dogs and women are inseparable. When we went down to the cell block, the women and their dogs were released from the cells to chat with us. One woman was real talkative, describing how some families send their dogs in for behavior modification, and others are adopted from pounds to be trained and then sent out into the community.

Afterwards, my friend Jayne mentioned how she had recognized the talkative woman; Jayne saw her resentencing hearing, where the woman talked about how she enjoyed the program. "What'd she do?" I asked. "She shot her boyfriend, let him bleed for 4 days, then packed him into a freezer and tried to drop it off at a landfill." "Jesus." Nice lady though. I think she has another 12 or 14 years to serve.

We then went to Fourmile, a minimum security facility housed within a GIANT prison complex, eveloping six different facilities and about 5,000 acres. We were treated to lunch from the culinary arts program, which was a tasty chicken dish with roasted potatoes and vegatables, followed by an amazing pastry dessert. The culinary project was part of CCI, or Colorado Correctional Industries. CCI provides most of the work opportunities for inmates, and we were later given a tour by their director.

The CCI director drove us all over the facility, and chronicled their different projects, including the culinary arts program, a 1200 head dairy farm which provides milk to the prisons and to the general market, a Talipia farm and hatchery, a koi farm, a greenhouse and landscaping business, 600 milking goats for goat cheese, a program that handles 1200 head of wild mustangs and trains them for sale. Each business works on a cash basis and does not get any taxpayer money. It was quite the operation, especially when viewed from the goat pens, which were right in the arkansas river valley, unguarded and unfenced.

For a huge change of pace, we went to the Colorado State Penetentiary, or CSP. CSP amounts to the state's "Supermax" prison, where only high risk offenders go. Unless you're on death row (housed by CSP), your conviction for what you did on the outside can't get you to CSP. You have to have assaulted someone on the inside, been caught with huge amounts of contraband, or be an escape risk. The inmates at CSP are in complete lockdown, allowed out of their cells for 1 hour per day for exercise in an exercise room the size of my bedroom and a shower. The PR Officer explained that the goal of the facility is to restrict prisoner movement as much as possible. Almost all medical and dental work is done on-site. Almost every door is operated from either the main control room or one of the satellite, cell-block control rooms.

We even saw the death chamber, where the execute by lethal injection. The last executions in Colorado were in 1997 and 1967, and there are 2 on death row now. As the PR Officer explained to us how the procedure worked, the door to the death chamber slowly slid shut. Apparantly the camera in the outer hallway was malfunctioning, and there was a new guy in the control room. Fortunately, a few of our tour group members were outside the chamber, and asked for them to open the door on the intercom. "Lucky thing," the PRo said, "There's no intercom in here. If those folks wouldn't have been outside it may have been a while before they started looking for us, maybe not until they checked the log at 5." Yikes.

Every person or item coming into CSP is scanned as it comes into the facility. Contraband is pretty much non-existant. This is in contrast to the lower security facilities, where they switched from sugar to Equal, partially to help manage the diabetics, and partially to make it tougher to brew alcohol (though, paradoxically, busting up stills and undercover breweries is a good thing, because it means there aren't any drugs in the facility. fewer stills = there's a source of drugs from the outside). The PRo even told us of one inmate who is an escape artist, and managed to break out of every type of restraint they have at the facility. To transport him, they use 4 guards and what amounts to a shock collar around his waist. Creepy.

It was an eye-opening day, and one that is not likely to be repeated. The DOC doesn't give tours to the general public, and CSP is completely closed to the media. The only groups that tend to get tours are those in the legislature and in the criminal justice system.

Ah yes, the perks start rolling in...

7.09.2007

Had another gala dinner at Tom's this weekend. I did a green salad with radishes and prawns, roasted corn on the cob with herb butter, steaks with a mushroom tarragon glaze, bacon baked potatoes, and chocolate french toast. Tasty tasty.

In other news, the fellow clerks and I saw a pro se defendant in a sexual assault case. Creepy. And kind of sad. The guy was convinced that his public defender was in cahoots with the prosecutors, so he went at it on his own. Got tore apart. Work is humming along for the most part though; only 5 weeks or so left. Crazy.

7.05.2007

We had a rainy fourth of july in Colorado Springs. Instead of sitting in the wet grass to watch fireworks, my friend (and fellow law clerk) jayne and I saw Ratatouille and Transformers. Ratatouille is one of my new favorite movies. It's a great story, combined with beautiful filmmaking. The Pixar crew keeps getting better. The fact that it centered around cooking didn't hurt.

Transformers was badass, as expected. The dialogue and writing were very summer-popcorn-movie, but it was a fun ride. And badass.

7.02.2007

Had a pretty good weekend. Rode with the Denver critical mass ride, 200 or so riders heading around Denver on bikes. We had a full-on police presence, with 5 or 6 motorcycle cops and a squad car following us around to make sure that we were stopping at every light and coming to a full stop at every stop sign. Then on Saturday there was an alleycat race (bikers going to various checkpoints around the city). I had hardcore bike lust.

We had a going-away BBQ for C. on Saturday, and then yesterday I cooked up the menu below. We had about 8 people and probably spent $150-$200 just in ingredients, before the wine. I was working with the best of everything; fresh limes, sashami-grade salmon, a $9 vanilla bean. It was one of the top 5 meals I've ever had. The recipies were tasty, I didn't screw anything up, and the ingredients were amazing. To top it off, Tom's neighbors came over and they were into wine, so we had some great wines to go along with everything.

We're gonna have to do something like that again soon.

6.25.2007

Pretty low-key weekend; my paddling buddies bailed so I was in the Springs all weekend. I did pick up a library card, which released untold wonders. I forgot about how much free stuff you can get with those critters. And they have COOKBOOKS! Rows and rows of cookbooks!

I'm putting together a 5 course meal for some family friends tomorrow night, which should be fun. Red Lentil, Carrot, & Cumin soup; Carmelized pear & Arugula salad; Carmelised Lime Salmon; and Mango w/ Lime & Vanilla Syrup. Yum.

6.19.2007

I woke up in my bed on a Saturday for the first time this past weekend. It was a good day; I rolled out, went to the farmer's market, swung by the bike shop, and fiddled with my fixie until I got everything up and running the way it should.

Yesterday I rode out to the Garden of the Gods to get some mountain biking in. The trail system out there isn't real extensive, but the views are great. I guess there's a better place to ride out east a ways; I may head out there today or tomorrow.

The clerkship has been going well; I've been able to see some good trials and my projects have at least been somewhat interesting. We were invited to sit in on the DA's office's "forensic fridays" presentations, which look interesting. Last friday I got to learn all about how bullets and shell casings are traced back to individual guns. Very CSI.

I fired off a bunch of resumes and cover letters the other day. Hopefully I'll be able to get some interviews in before I head back to school in August.

6.11.2007

It was an interesting weekend. I hung out with some friends I hadn't seen for a while, and they brought me along for a bike ride. Suffice to say that it's an interesting story; if you'd like to hear it, email me.

6.08.2007

Another good weekend. The roommate and I headed up to the Poudre drainage with John, a boater I knew from MN who was in the state to visit his brother. We ran the middle and lower narrows and the upper Mishawaka stretch on Saturday, taking out at the Mishawaka Inn, which was hosting some sort of death metal festival. Good times. We had a nice campsite off in the National Forest, and on Sunday we ran the Spencer Heights stretch, which included some real fun IV and V stretches, really fun boating. Sunday we did a couple more laps of the Middle Narrows in the morning, which was a blast, since it had quite a bit more water than it had had on Saturday. Then we rolled back early, and I started pecking away again at my law review comment.


I’m still working on the law review comment, though the end is starting to come somewhat into sight. I’ve been getting quite a bit of boating in lately, which has been nice, and it’ll be nice to be able to get out a little more when this comment is disposed with. This weekend I’ll be headed up to Denver to spend some time with friends, which should be a lot of fun. Boating has been good, but it’ll be nice to do something new for a change.

5.31.2007

Things have been going well here; the judges are all really laid back, and I've been getting some interesting projects. I get to start researching some of the Gitmo detainment issues today, and I just finished an opinion on a breach of contract motion. I've been sitting in on some trials and such too; there was an interesting first degree assault trial last week, and a preliminary hearing on a cop killer case yesterday.



I've been kayaking a lot, almost half the time I'm here the past couple weeks, but I think that may taper off somewhat soon (well, at least no more 4 day weekends). I've started grinding away on my law review note, so hopefully that'll go well. I went out with a few of the fellow clerks for drinks and a pub quiz last night; it's a good group of people.

5.22.2007

Well, I’ve made it to the Springs. The drive down with Mom was long, but not too terrible (aside from Nebraskula, which was a monster, but it was tempered somewhat by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, of which I have the entirety on audiobook, which runs about 25 hours long). The apartment is great; I share it with C. and his girlfriend E.; it’s on the ground floor of a big Victorian mansion and my room is about the size of the living room in my house. After settling in on Wednesday, hanging out with Mom’s friend and his family and generally getting a feel for the place, I took off on Thursday to kayaking in Buena Vista, check out the paddling blog for the full story of the weekend and some photos.

I had my first day of work today, which was really great. There are a dozen other students in our program, and everybody who we’re working for is really laid-back, giving out breaks and time off without a second thought. As the head of the program put it, they realize that our 1L years have been tough, and don’t want us to stress out about anything. We’re encouraged to watch trials a lot, and have been encouraged to check out all types of trials and hearings, from capital murder cases to divorces. We have a home-base room for all of the interns to hang out in, a BBQ on Thursday, and the whole shebang is about a 10 minute bike ride from my apartment. Should be a good summer.

5.09.2007

I just got out of a trainwreck of a property exam. The whole class has been a bit of a debacle, so I suppose it's a fitting ending. As one student put it, we had a mad-lib exam. We had a 4 page story, with blanks, and a word bank. To make things even better, many of the words were nearly interchangeable.

And this is our only 4 credit class of the semester. Ug.

At least the rest of them are going pretty well. Who knows what will happen with this one.

5.07.2007

2 finals down, 2 to go.

On Saturday, D. and I went to a MN alumni gathering at Legends. It was great, we were fed appetizers and free booze (mmmm... scotch and ginger ale with a dash of bitters) and chatted with alums about law and such, and gave advice to a ND undergrad from MN who's headed to law school in the fall.

I'm in the process of getting the house buttoned down and ready for summer, all the while studying for finals. In a few more days it's goodbye Indiana.

5.01.2007

Today is the last day of classes in my 1L year. Tomorrow and Thurs are study days, and then we're into finals. Two weeks from now I'll be on my way to Colorado. It's been a quick year.

4.27.2007

Saw Flogging Molly last night at a free show at Legend's. I waited out in the rain for a couple of hours, but it was worth it (and I made some new friends). The show was great, no opener, just Flogging Molly for a monster set, I think they played for over an hour and a half. Legend's is a pretty small venue, 600 people or so, and it was packed, especially down in the pit. A constant mist floated in front of the stage lights; I assume it was all sweat. Hell of a show though; they played a great set and they're one of the best live bands I've ever seen. There wasn't a real violent pit, but I was in the middle of what was there.

Right. Back to studying.

4.23.2007

I went to a law review meeting today. These people can spot an italicized period. Ug.

4.20.2007

This made me laugh really hard. Turn up your sound.
I'm going to write a constitution
Registration has moved around a bit, and now I have the schedule I want:

Federal Criminal Practice
Evidence
Business Associations (req.)
Civil Rights
Moot Ct. Trial

Woot!

4.19.2007

A Polite Letter From the Smithsonian
So I'm registered for classes for next semester. I was in the last group to choose, which wasn't such a good deal. It was tough to get the classes I wanted, especially the required classes, though there's talk of one more getting started to account for the strong need. Here's what I've got:

Civil Rights
Freedom of Speech
Federal Criminal Law
Conflict of Laws
Environmental Law
Moot Court Trial

I'd like to get Business Associations or Jurisprudence (both required) and Evidence (a boon to any of the trial courses) so I'll be watching to see if anyone drops them. I'm all right with what I've got, but it could be a lot better.

4.17.2007

Middle School Moment from Con Law:

me *unpacks shit for class*
me *starts to sit down*
he "uh.... i'm actually saving this seat"
me "huh?"
he "i save this seat every day"
me *big eyeroll* erm... fine.
*packs up stuff*

4.16.2007

When you're playing the airplane ride game, it turns out that the base can put their feet on either the airplane's chest or hips. FYI.

In other news, Colorado Springs and finals are both on the horizon now. It sounds like the East Race is opening up this coming weekend, so I'll be able to get out on the water for a couple hours before I head to CO. Other than that, the finals anxiety is there a bit, though this time around it feels like everyone just wants 'em to be over.

4.11.2007

It's snowing/sleeting/being ugly out. Bleg. I suppose there's a payoff to all of this though; the spring will feel that much sweeter when it arrives. Casey, a kid from KY, mentioned last week when it was warm that he appreciated it a lot more up north than he did in KY. Everything is relative I suppose. And I think it's the hardship that bonds people together, that forms good art and music, that makes people who they are. Food for thought anyway.

4.09.2007

Had an amazing weekend of boating; I put up a full trip report on the paddling blog. Took a beating, ran a huge rapid, and had lots of other good lines. Now back to work...

4.01.2007

Had a good, somewhat lazy weekend. Barrister's ball (LS Prom) was on friday. It was good, but not much different than I expected. Hanging out with people and getting together beforehand was probably more fun than the pomp and circumstance. Watched The Transporter 2 yesterday, which sucked out loud, and Stranger than Fiction today, which was pretty good. Hung out with Annie a bunch, which was fun as always. Other than that, just tried to get work done, since I won't get much done next weekend (boating in the SE).

3.28.2007

Got a flat tire on the commuter bike today, which put it out of service for a bit.As I was patching it, I checked the bearings and such in the rear wheel and found them holding up quite nicely; I was pretty happy; the build that I had cobbled together out of scrap parts this past summer, then rode every day through rain/snow/salt/etc. had held up. Woot.

Bah; We got a couple nice days in the bender, and now it's back to gloomy spring. On the bright side, when it's nice our neighbors' kids are hanging about the neighborhood; the couple across the street has a family of 5 boys.

3.27.2007


101 Goals in 1001 Days

To be finished: Feb. 3, 2010

Leisure

  1. Learn to Snowboard
  2. Travel to Bolivia to see Chris
  3. Write 15 short stories or slam poems
  4. Establish myself in a slam scene
  5. Learn to make bread
  6. Create bike-part art for house
  7. Fly a kite
  8. Move and cut out my unnecessary possessions
  9. Decorate a room in bold, primary colors
  10. Read Freakenomics
  11. Weigh 160
  12. Run a UE expedition
  13. Throw a pot
  14. Sail
  15. Keep half a dozen potted herbs alive at once
  16. Plant a tree
  17. Read all of the Harry Potter books
  18. Make Lasagna
  19. See the Indiana Dunes
  20. Take a cooking class
  21. Go on a multiday hiking trip
  22. Exist in 4 states at once
  23. Study on Lake Michigan
  24. Build another bike
  25. Mountain bike in CO
  26. Eat vegetarian for 2 weeks
  27. Hit a bucket of golf balls
  28. Own over half a dozen bottles of wine at once
  29. Floss every day for 2 weeks
  30. Build a piece of functional furniture
  31. Cycle 50+ miles in a day
  32. Learn 5 new constellations
  33. Buy a piece of art
  34. Plant flowers
  35. Cull wardrobe when moving to CO
  36. Cook 5 courses of new dishes
  37. Order room service

Kayaking

  1. Run OBJ
  2. Run the Green Narrows
  3. Run the Tallulah Gorge
  4. Throw a Pan Am
  5. Run a raft trip with the family
  6. Log every kayak trip (in progress)
  7. Run an overnight kayak trip
  8. Mentor a newer paddler
  9. Establish a core group of paddling partners (in progress)
  10. Run the Animas
  11. Playboat a 5ft+ wave
  12. Run a 20+ foot falls

Academic / Career

  1. Graduate NDLS
  2. Win a moot court competition
  3. Study Advanced Trial Ad.
  4. Study Con Law II
  5. Begin a job I enjoy
  6. Establish a career network (in progress)
  7. Land a 2L summer job that pays well in a city I enjoy
  8. Establish mentor/mentee relationship (in progress)
  9. Use all of my available vacation time
  10. Keep my weekends to myself
  11. Own a good suit
  12. Make Dean’s list
  13. Watch a felony trial from start to finish
  14. Visit a brewery or distillery
  15. Learn to play darts

Money

  1. Sell my house above its purchase price
  2. Start investing in index funds
  3. Save 30% of my earnings once I land a permanent position
  4. Start an adventure fund
  5. Keep a monthly budget (in progress)
  6. Become financially independent
  7. Live debt free
  8. Give change to someone who needs it

Social

  1. Establish a social network in my new cities (in progress)
  2. Go to 10 live concerts (2)
  3. Sit down and write an email once a month to keep in touch with distant friends (in progress)
  4. Be home for Thanksgiving
  5. Learn to weld from Dad
  6. Fish with Dad
  7. Cook with Mom
  8. Home for Christmas every year
  9. Try 30 new wines 13
  10. Get a pet
  11. Know my neighbors
  12. Pay for the next car at a toll booth
  13. Vote
  14. See a triple header at a movie theatre
  15. Feed someone else’s parking meter
  16. Couchsurf
  17. Meet an online friend in person
  18. Register to vote in IN
  19. Meet someone new on a flight
  20. Attend a Silverhawks game
  21. Attend a high school football game
  22. Attend a wine tasting
  23. Subscribe to The New Yorker
  24. Host a dinner party in semi-formal dress
  25. Host a barbecue
  26. Attend 5 plays
  27. Host a board game party
  28. Go to an art gallery
  29. Create a new 101 list

3.26.2007

Chat log:

J: we should fondle him while running a red light and hitting him with water balloons
D: lets do it
Had a really good weekend boating; I'll have a post up on the boating blog sometime soon. Lots of driving, but great paddling.

Erm, what else... P. and I have to give our oral argument on Thursday. It's a mock appellate court, so we'll be arguing in front of a panel of 3 judges who can hit us with questions at any point (and in practice, the whole deal is basically just thinking on your feet). I know I like trial advocacy a lot; hopefully the same will go for appellate advocacy.

As far as classes go, things are starting to tighten down a bit; looks like this is the start of the big run to exams. I'm trying to fill up my house for the summer and next fall; hopefully that will get straightened out in the next few weeks.

The other day when I was driving I saw a kid who was out for a run, and the path that he was on ran into a HUGE puddle (pond) that was maybe 3 or 4 inches deep. I expected him to go around, but he just kept on trucking. It looked a little like he was walking on water. Pretty cool.

Barrister's ball (think law school prom) is this weekend. Fancy fancy!

3.19.2007



Well I'm back, and sligltly more tanned, thanks to our trip to Key West. The trip out was a bit long; delayed flights and baggage and all that; we ended up rolling up to our house at about 4:30 on monday morning. That aside, it was a wonderful trip. We hit the beach, had great food and drink (i.e. fresh lobsters off of the docks, grilled salmon, chicken picatta, etc.), saw a drag show, went to the sunset festival, some of us danced on stage (not yours truely), won a bar tab, went snorkeling in a storm, and all sorts of good things. Our house was great; it had a hot tub and a little sun porch that felt like a tree house. It was on a tour of key west, which was interesting; we waved at lots of tour "trains."

3.07.2007

Hell of a property class today. We're dealing with landlord/tenant law, and today we had a mock town council meeting regarding whether or not our fictional town should adopt an amendment that prohibited "shacking up," or unmarried cohabiting tenants. It turned into a melee, most of it regarding homosexual couples. A surprising number of people spoke against the proposal of an amendment which would allow landlords to discriminate based essentially on familial status. Then things got interesting, one student said (and I'm paraphrasing a bit) that "some non-stupid, non-southern people think that promiscuity is morally wrong, not in a joking way (as up to this point some comments had been pretty lighthearted [ed]) and if we don't allow people to exercise their consciences then..." and finished with something to the effect of "the whole house of cards will come down." Then another kid, one who usually doesn't speak up, came right back at her and said that homosexual promiscuity is a myth and that people like her perpetuate it and that they're essentially ignorant. Then things got heated. A few more comments were batted around, but things got back to her and she jumped into this lecture about the french revolution and how whenever we undertake social change we should do it slowly because there may be unintended consequences, so we essentially shouldn't jump around creating new protected classes. His response? "Bigotry has always painted with a broad brush." It was amazing. The facilitator let that one go by, and tried to lighten things up a bit more. All in all, it was definitely my favorite law school class thus far. I wish every day could end in a heated debate.

In other news, today was the last day of class this week. our briefs are due on Friday, but my classes for thurs. and fri. have been cancelled. Woo hoo!

3.06.2007

Found a nice bottle of wine last night and started one of my stove burners on fire. Exciting night.

Oh, and saw two movies, Jesus Camp (great documentary about the evangelical movement) and The Matador (sucked out loud).

3.05.2007

On the heels of the drunk kid post, I should note that I had the Cellar No. 8 Cabernet Sauvignon over the weekend and really liked it. I've been trying to find good, cheap wines that I like, and I picked up this one on a tip from the budget wino and it's a hit. Lots of flavor, and no heavy tannins that seem to plague cheap wines.
And interesting discussion on law and eyebrow rings.

The weekend was good, but pretty low-key. Went to watch the Bengal Bouts on saturday night with the boys (largest amatur boxing tourney in the world; proceeds go to a mission in Bengledesh). I don't think I'll ever be a boxer.

On the way home we probably saved a life. This kid staggered across the street in front of us, into a grassy area, and then faceplanted in the snow. It looked like he may have come out of a van. We all looked at each other and said "huh... that kid may not be ok." I chased after the van to try and get plates, since I wasn't sure if the kid had gotten stabbed or what. The van turned around at the next intersection and came back and asked if he was ok and if we needed any help. So apparantly they weren't the bad guys. We waved them off, and then attended to the kid. He was in a dress shirt and dress pants, no jacket, no nothing, and he was soaked from falling in the snow. We tried to figure out where he lived and talk him into going somewhere warm, but he was drunk to the point of blathering. A couple of us went to get the car, while three of us stayed with the kid. He liked J. a lot, thought J2 was a natzi for some reason, and generally ignored me. The car was fetched and we got him over to it, but he was still being somewhat surly and yelling occasionally, and seemed to want the five of us to go to his house be he was going to stay outside in the cold. That wasn't gonna work. Finally P and I called campus security, and a cruiser rolled up while we were on the phone. Turns out the cops were already looking for him; he had been called in already (likely by the van people). We eventually loaded him up with the cops and went on our way.

The kid almost pulled a gipper.

Yesterday Annie and I went out to brunch and then saw ND Theatre's production of The Mousetrap. The set was amazing; a nicely proportioned guest house sitting room recreated on stage. The show was good but not great; since it was a british play everyone was working with dialects, which was pretty hit or miss. Enjoyable day though.

P and I have been cooking away at our appellate brief, which is due on friday. The beast is 70% or so of our grade, so it's a bit of a big deal. Feels like it's in pretty good shape though. We have a meeting with our prof. tomorrow; hopefully she'll agree.

Classes are all right; the Property drama has somewhat slowed down. Contracts is a bit dry, but civ pro and con law are both moving along. Break will be welcome though.

3.02.2007

The forum that we had today was good; it brought out a lot of different points of view about the topic. The end result was that nobody really supports the petition as written 100%, but I think the instigators still plan on passing it around.

It's blizzard-ing agian, but spring break is just a week away. Thank the lord.

2.27.2007

I made the paper.

It's an opinion article in response to a kid's opinion article in which he got all bent out of shape about a comic that made light of the eucharist.

In other news, the 1L class is all up in arms about TA's grading assingments. There are petitions flying around, letters being drafted, meetings being pulled together. After the petition landed yesterday I was miffed since it seemed like an extreme measure considering the fact the class has never met to discuss the issue. So I started writing emails. Got ourselves a forum at least, so I guess that's one win for the good guys. Meanwhile, the 1L's garner a (only somewhat deserved) reputation as being whiners. *sigh*

2.23.2007

This was a pretty good week. The weekend wasn't much; we had a brief due yesterday, so I spent much of the weekend working. Annie and I saw Second City on campus, then saw Fast Food Nation, so it was a pretty cultural weekend. The brief went well; we all had to watch moot court arguments yesterday to get us ready for our oral arguments in our legal writing/research class. Should be fun.

Things have finally warmed up around here; I've been able to go on a couple real long bike rides around town (J. and I rode together the other day and almost got clipped by a car; other than that bit it was a very nice ride).

Bowling has been a nice break every thursday; last week I had a crazy game (150-something) and this week it was back to my standard 100-ish. Gotta get some work done now, as I may be able to go paddling this weekend. 60 degree temps down south. Woot.

2.15.2007


Annie and I. As Spies.

Valentine's Day was a lot of fun, Annie and I went sledding in St. Pat's park. There was a tubing hill there that was run by the city, but we weren't real excited about fighting off a bunch of kids in order to go sledding. So we tromped about in the woods, following a x-country ski trail, trying to find something suitable. The first steep hills we found plunged directly into the river... not so idea. But we walked a little further and found a great (though sort of kamakazie) hill. We sledded for quite a while, had a bit of a snowball fight, I tried to snap off my arm by hitting a tree, and eventually we headed back, cleaned up, and went out to a very nice dinner at the old Studebaker mansion. Quite the pleasant evening.

2.11.2007

I've added a feed along the right hand side of the blog of different things I've stumbled upon that I've enjoyed. It's been a pretty good weekend; I found out yesterday that I got the clerkship in Colorado Springs that I'd been hoping for. It's unpaid, but I may be able to get some money out of ND and through Federal Work Study. I'm pretty excited about it; it should be good experience and I'll be able to see a lot of felony trials. Sounds like they have a pretty good program set up.

We had a pub crawl in Chicago this weekend. It was a good time; I rode in with D. and we crashed at his friend's place. It was good to be in Chicago, but it kind of reinforced the feeling that a bar is a bar is a bar. It was interesting having a conversation with D's friend; he's a bright kid who's just really not doing the kind of work that he loves. Tough stuff.

2.07.2007

I got a job offer today, and had a pretty solid interview. It looks like one way or another I'll be in Colorado for the summer, though I likely won't be getting paid much unless something else comes up in the next couple days. On the bright side, it looks like there may be some contract work to be done to help supplement the bills.

2.05.2007

Had a pretty interesting weekend; saw Cirque du Soleil's Delirium in Grand Rapids with Annie, Carla, JP, and Pat. It was a cool show; they did some impressive stuff for being a traveling show, and it was different from their other shows (think Cirque doing live music videos). Afterwards, we crashed at Pat's mom's house with plans to return on Saturday.

Saturday dawned with a blizzard though; heavy lake-effect snow blowing all over the place. By the time we had planned to leave, multi-car accidents blocked almost every major road south. It was nice to hole up for the day though; we played pool, Life (lost), Monopoly (won) and watched movies and ate lots of food. It was great.

We made the drive on Sunday, and though the weather was still pretty lousy we only had one near-miss (or near-hit, more literally) and made it home in one piece. After getting some work done, it was super bowl time.

Today I biked to school. It was chilly, -5 degrees (-25 windchill) but my big beefy scarf made it quite bearable; pleasant, even.

1.30.2007


I was yelled at while riding in to the law school today. We've been hit with some big-time lake-effect snow lately, and the streets aren't clear yet. It went something like this

Me: *roll up to stop light*
Truckman: Hey man, get that fucking bike off the road, man. You're gonna get killed and nobody's going to feel sorry for your dumb ass.
Me: Erm, I'll be all right. Thanks though.
Truckman: Geez, I'd expect something a little more from a college kid. It's just stupid man. If you want a ride, throw your bike in the back and we'll go.
Me: I appreciate the concern, but I've been doing this for a while now. I'll be fine.
Truckman: Goddamn...

On one hand, I don't like getting yelled at much, but I appreciate the fact that the guy was just concerned with my getting drilled by a car. Once I got onto a different street things were fine, but the roads were still pretty lousy. Fortunately, Jane is built up and ready to go, and I had a fun (and exciting) ride in.

1.29.2007

Had a pretty good weekend, though much of it was spent hunkered down due to all of the snow. Almost took a couple spills when riding in to school, since there's a little bit of powder on the hard pack (some roads are cleared, but lots of them aren't) and had my rear wheel slide some, but I was able to control it each time. The little Saturn has been doing well in the snow; front wheel drive + a stick works pretty well.

1.26.2007

Today I was driving to the law school after my interview with the feds in South Bend (it went well; 2 slots for a pool of 10 people, way better odds than the Denver DA) when the school near my house was letting out. A group of kids crossed the street with one of the crossing guards, and this girl of 6 or 7 had a backpack of books and papers that let loose halfway across the street. She got halfway down the block before the yelling of the rest of the kids crossing the street got to her. It was (like the cats) way cute.

1.25.2007

Way Cute.
I have a couple interviews set up. One is a phone interview with a legal aid nonprofit in Denver, and the other is with a fed. govt. post in South Bend. The 'Bend interview is tomorrow; I'm not altogether sure what I'll do if they offer me the job; most likely I'll stall for as long as I can, since I'd rather have something out west (anything, really) than an unpaid position in South Bend, though I do have housing here.

In other news, we got real snow last night. It's beautiful.

1.23.2007

My newest project bike is up and running; I have a couple cosmetic touches to finish yet, but she's rideable. Her name is Jane; she's built on a Trek aluminum mountain frame, with a smattering of components and a gray/black color scheme. She's very elegant; I'll try to get some photos posted later.

In other news, things are good. Quite good, actually.

1.20.2007

This site is amazing.

That is all.

1.18.2007

Horray for secret courts!

Ug.

In other news, I'm settling into law school pretty well again. Con Law is looking pretty interesting, Property perhaps (prof is like a nice version of the property prof in The Paper Chase, but we have weekly written assingments which constitute 45% of our grade; not sure what I think about that yet), the jury is still out on Contracts and Civ Pro.

Almost finished my most recent bike project last night; all I had to do was slap tires on it, when I realized that none of my tires fit. Turns out the wheel is a 26 1/4, a wheel used on old English club racers which is impossible to fit with a MTB tire. Back to the drawing board...

1.15.2007

I got a quick response from the seller:

Hi,
Thanks for your inqiry.

This book is autographed on the 1st page by the author, and the inscription on the title page reads:
Crystal,
Looking back on this summer, I can see now that it is only you and a handful of people who I count as my close friends upon leaving K.P. Allow this, then, to serve as a token of my friendship, and as one more chance to say thank you for everything. As smarmy as it sounds, I can only hope we'll keep in touch after this wonderful summer at Kingsley Pines.
Sincerly,
J

Thanks again
Derek
Illuminated Books




Mystery solved.
I mentioned to a friend that my book was on amazon, and after checking to see if it's still there i looked at the used copies. Someone hawked a copy "signed and inscribed by the author."

I have half a mind to buy it, just to figure out who hawked my book.
The Bend has been treating me pretty well thus far. The other day was filled with shopping for books and groceries ($420 and $140, respectively) and scoring a sweet deal at the salvation army. Some guy with the initials JVG donated some custom-tailored shirts that fit me perfectly. All I have to do is seam-rip the G's out and I have handmade, monnogramed shirts for $2.99 apiece. Woot.

Last night I hosted a surprise dinner party for Annie's birthday. The menu:

Bruchetta
Baby back ribs with a citrus/soy glaze
Grilled chicken and pheasant breasts with a bell pepper and roasted garlic sauce
Mashed sweet potatoes with a sage butter
Blanched and sauteed green beans and onions
Curried lentils over rice
...and birthday cake.

I only tried to burn the kitchen down once; i was julianning some peppers and i had a pan of oil heating on the stove which i forgot about, and remembered when it was a column of smoke. Other than that, things went well. The sweet potato recipe is definately a keeper, as is the baby back rib recipe. The sauce for the chicken and pheasant needs some work, though I had to sub in a pinot for white wine in a pinch. Still needs a little more punch though.

I also got a good job lead today from a guy at a small firm, who may be able to use me along with a 2nd firm that he shares an office with. If it worked out, I'd be able to do a smattering of different legal tasks, along with some bike messengering. Read: dream job.

1.13.2007

The rest of the Denver trip was great. After my lunch meeting, I fired off a few emails from the house, and then met up with my hosts at a local housing collective where a bunch of wonderful people worked up a meal for Food Not Bombs, a program which distributes salvaged food to the homeless. We handed out groceries and a hot meal in a park downtown, probably feeding 35 people or so. It was a great experience, and eye opening at the same time. Lots of those who we fed looked homeless, but a few didn't. They weren't freeloaders either; everyone who we fed seemed geneuinely thankful.

That night we hung out at the house, drinking both good and bad beer and eating wonderful pizza. It was a great night.

My last day in town, I had a meeting with the ND Denver Alum Coordinator, a SJU alum, and an interview at the Denver DA's office. All went well, though the competition for the DA's office is real tough, with over 250 out of state applicants for 5-10 slots. Due to not paying particular attention to a map, I ended up getting everywhere I needed to be but not until after walking over 9 miles. In dress shoes. There were blisters.

That evening Britt and I hung around the house, I edited my writing sample for the DA's office, and then Joe and Krisana came back and we all headed to a little bar to see Dragon's show. The first band (they just changed there name to paper bird) was wonderful; lead by 3 female vocalists with amazing voices. It was a pretty cool crowd, the likes of which I wouldn't be able to find in south bend. Dragon was quite the entertainer as well. Afterwards, we returned to the (cold) house and made only-slightly-mangled falafle.

And then I headed home. Britt drove me to the bus station, and I flew out of Denver to Minneapolis, hopped in my car, and then drove back to the bend, rolling in around 1am just as I finished the audiobook version of The Hobbit. It was a great trip, and I met some wonderful people who I hope will be longtime friends, making job connections all the while. I couldn't ask for much more.

Oh, and grades are all in. I did pretty well, 3.38, though it puts me close-but-far from the law review cutoff (likely around 3.5). Not sure what I think about that bit, but I'm pretty happy about things overall.

Oh, and here are some photos:


The lodge we stayed in in CO

My parents and their Pagosa Property.


Night shot from the Lodge
Skiing at Wolf Creek Pass


The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gague



Couchsurfing in Denver

Me and the hosts in a pretty terrible photo. Great people. L-R: Britt, Joe, Krisana

1.10.2007

Things are going well in Denver; my host(s) are great and the networking has gone well. Yesterday was my first full day in town; I rolled out in the morning, wandered around town a bit, and met up with some alums and talked about the Denver legal market, ND football, and the stock show parade which was going on outside. After changing out of the suit, my hosts and I packed up about 100 burritos and rode around town, handing them out to anyone who was hungry. It was a good way to see the city, and a good way to do some good. Then I treated the hosts to dinner as a thanks for the hospitality, and we headed home for a bottle of wine and some conversation. Today I had a good (but early) breakfast meeting, and am meeting up with some other ND alums for lunch. Things are looking pretty good; hopefully some sort of Denver job will shake out of this whole trip.

1.08.2007

I'm hanging around Sky Harbor, waiting to fly to Denver. Today was beautiful (even though my dad beat me at both mini golf and bocce ball. so it goes...). My flight has been delayed, so I'm enjoying the free wifi and feeling a bit odd, since one of the terminal TV's is directly over my head I have a number of people staring slightly blankly over my head.

1.07.2007

The family and I are in Phoenix today after a few days in Pagosa Springs. Two days agao Dad and I went downhill skiing at Wolf Creek Pass, which gets more snow than just about anywhere else in CO; they had an 80 or 90 inch base when we were there. It was a lot of fun; there were some great runs through the trees, and all went well aside from the time that we found ourselves on a run chock full of moguls.


The other day we went to Durango to ride the narrow gauge railroad up to Cascade. It was a pleasant journey, and I got some pretty good photos of the old steam locomotive chugging through the pass (which I’ll post when I get a chance). Things were especially pretty since it was snowing. The RR followed the Animas river, which has some pretty amazing whitewater on it.

Only a few more days left before I leave my folks and head off to Denver to try and pin down a job. Keep your fingers crossed.

ND has posted some grades already. I'm happy about some, not as happy about others. I may still be in the hunt for law review, but I may need a little help from the remaining classes which are still out, and maybe even from next semester's grades.

1.03.2007

Dispatches from my travels

11:30pm 1/2/07

So my parents and I have made it to Pagosa Springs; we flew to Albuquerque and then drove up through Santa Fe. So far I’ve only seen southern Colorado by moonlight, but so far it’s been beautiful. New Mexico is nice as well, though there’s hardly anything in it, anywhere. My parents bought land in Elk Park, a rich guy hunting preserve which abuts thousands of acres of national forest that has since been turned into a development. The hunting lodge is still here, and landowners can rent it out for periods of time pretty cheaply; that’s where we’re staying now. There’s an (almost) full moon tonight, enough to cast shadows. It’s beautiful.

New Year’s Even went well; though the weather was crappy I made it down to the cities, had tea with Grace before getting kicked out of a coffee shop at 6pm (they were closing) and then went to Britt’s for the new year’s bash. Lots of wine was consumed, and it was a really good time, great to see everyone, etc. Most of us were even in pretty good shape for the first day of ’07 (aside from a select few) and after breakfasting on French Toast I dropped off Marnold at the airport and headed to the Verm for some paddling (Dennis talked me into it) then played video games with Erik for awhile before crashing at Tom’s. A nice way to kick of the year.