January 2004 Archives

H is for Hot

My non-grading law school has just released our grades, and some of us are more excited than others. Given the fact that anything you're going to accomplish with your grades is pretty much accomplished by the end of your third semester, at this point the grades serve no purpose other than pure vanity. Or crushing blows to your self-confidence, as the case may be.

In other news, I spent last week trying to decide on the fourth class in my schedule. Option one was a four-unit Entertainment Law class that would involve two papers over the course of the semester and providing input and feedback on other students' papers. The other was a two-unit pass/fail (actual pass/fail, not Boalt's normal pretend pass/fail) Advanced Securities Law Seminar that would involve sitting around talking about securities for two hours a week. For various reasons, hubris being among them, I went with Entertainment Law, knowing that the odds of me being among the handful of students responsible for the first assignment were small. Well, not small enough. I have a memo due Monday morning and I'm no longer going to Tahoe this weekend.

I suppose I should get used to my plans being thwarted by the Law, but I was hoping for at least another year of youthful carefreedom. Next year, no pants.

Boring Stories About My Cats: Used Meat


Background: One of our cats, Ruby, has thrown up a few times since arriving at our Alameda home. She isn't sick, she just eats too much for a cat of her size, she has a sensitive stomach, and she tends to rassle around with her brother right after eating. Put all this together and her body can't always handle its food-processing chores.

And so, Meli related the following story to me on the phone as I was driving to class this morning. Apparently she went into the bathroom after I left to brush her hair and found that Ruby had once again lost her breakfast. This time it wasn't a discrete puddle of partially digested dry food, but a widely scattered array of barely digested chicken chunks. As Meli started cleaning it up Pepe (Ruby's larger, possibly older, brother) discovered the scene and decided that chicken chunks were chicken chunks, regardless of where they were, where they came from, or whose stomach they had recently been in. I don't think I need to complete the image for you.

So Meli cleaned up the mess, all the while shooing away an increasingly irritated (and no doubt confused) Pepe. Maybe we should get him some vomit-flavored Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.

I Don't Want to Be a Patent Lawyer


I just found a link to The Delphion Gallery of Obscure Patents over at The Straight Dope. If you enjoyed the Unuseless Japanese Inventions books, this site is for you. The site is a study in American capitalism. Whereas Japanese practitioners of Chindohgu, the art of the "unuseless idea," develop ridiculous inventions for the sake of artistry, we western barbarians actually take our shit to the USPTO.

My favorites:

Apparatus for simulation a "high five"

Method of exercising a cat

Hyper-light-speed antenna (In your face, Raymond Chiao!)

Versatile necktie tying aid gauge

Pneumatic shoe lacing apparatus (As seen in Back to the Future Part II.)

Greenhouse helmet

Hat simulating a fried egg

And, unquestionably the best of the bunch, Bird trap and cat feeder

It Takes a Village


And, we're back. Happy fucking new year.

Another movement against curse words on the TV is in the works, led by FCC chair Michael Powell. One of two high-ranking stocky black men in Washington named Powell, Michael is the son of Secretary of State Colin Powell. I don't mind a little nepotism in government but I'd appreciate it if the President would at least make it a little harder to spot.

You may remember the younger Powell making headlines last summer when he boldly stood up for the poor, downtrodden media conglomerates by easing ownership restrictions. He was subsequently bitch-slapped by Congress, who ignored President Bush's veto threats and reversed the FCC's decision. Apparently the maniacal libertarianism that compelled Powell to try and hand over every radio station in America to Clear Channel doesn't apply in the free speech context, since he sees tough content restrictions as crucial in preserving the American way of life. Actually, Powell's plan seems to hold together nicely: If Clear Channel can prevent its affiliates from playing the Dixie Chicks and Paul Simon they can certainly stop them from saying dirty words. And that's good, you know, for the children.

So, Powell and a bunch of tight-pantsed congresspeople are trying to reign in the flood of obscenities on the airwaves, aided and abetted in their quest by fusspots like Morality in Media and Parents Television Council. These, of course, are the parents who have the time and energy to form meddlesome lobbying groups but can't be bothered to monitor and discuss their actual children's viewing habits, or just throw out the damn TV for that matter. I wonder if these people realize that they couldn't say the word "pregnant" on I Love Lucy, and what that says for the future of language in the media.

In other news, I've tweaked the links page again, removing the defunct comics and adding some new ones. New additions include the handful of newspaper comics I still read as well as the feminist propaganda of Ann Telnaes (who, by the way, is orders of magnitude more clever and insightful than Etta Hulme, whose comis rarely make any sense at all and are barely relevant when they do). My list of friends' blogs continues to grow as well. Welcome to eHow comrade Maggie and across the hall neighbor Paula.

Shameless Plea for Help


Meli and I would like to make DVD copies of our wedding video without grabbing a table for one of the Bay Area's many video duplication profiteers. If anyone has a DVD burner that they'd be willing to put to use, we'd greatly appreciate it. We'll even give you a copy.

California's 58 Counties



Have you ever looked at a map of California's counties? Have you ever looked at a map of California's counties... on weed? Well, I did today and I've got a few observations.

(1) We should stop referring to the Bay Area as part of Northern California. Look at all that shit north of San Francisco! Let's face it: San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, we're all yokeling it up with Fresno while they're doing authentic Northern California stuff up in Tehama and Siskiyou and Modoc. Modoc knows how to party, and that's no pie.

(2) What the hell is the story with that Mason-Dixon line running along the top of SLO, Kern and San Bernardino counties? Is it just practice for when they finally split us into two states? The rigidity of the barrier is making me uncomfortable. I feel constricted.

(3) There's a county called Butte. That rocks.

(4) Does the region just above the center seem excessively balkanized to anyone else? Couldn't we consolidate a few of those? This seems to be a fertile yet untapped reservoir of NoCal vs. SoCal jokes. Say what you will about our smog and traffic, but at least Southern California keeps its counties large and few.

(5) On a related note, San Bernardino county is the largest county in the U.S., so large in fact that it seems to have squashed Riverside. And you wonder why there are no metal detectors in the courthouse.

(6) After careful consideration I've developed an alternate configuration that both simplifies things and reflects the perception that those of us who live in California's greater metropolitan areas have of our fine state. Governor Schwarzenegger, I hope you're reading.





We just adopted Ruby (top) and her brother Pepe. Ruby adjusted right away but Pepe has spent most of his time so far hiding under the bed (see picture). We can lure him out with the feather on a stick but once playtime is over he inevitably slinks back to the shadows from whence he came. The name Pepe came from a burst on anti-creativity: he looks like a skunk. After getting to know him I think that Sam the Eagle is a more fitting cartoon namesake. But his tag is already engraved, so I'm pretty much stuck. Ruby is named after a cat that we saw in Santa Monica that we couldn't adopt, who was also grey and white. But when people ask why we named her Ruby the official answer is "Because she has green eyes."

Although Ruby has adjusted famously to life with the Holohans she does have the peculiar habit of grabbing a mouthful of fur and suckling when she's purring. If Pepe is nearby she'll suck on him, which he doesn't seem to enjoy. Even his cat brain realizes how weird it his and he sees fit to disapprove (see Sam's second hobby). I'm thinking of it as a pacifier stage and hoping she'll grow out of it (they're about six months old).

Wedding Thoughts


As I've alluded to in numerous recent posts, Molly and I got married on Saturday December 20th. The ceremony was extremely small, limited to immediate family, a single set of extended relatives each, and a few friends who are close enough to be considered family, DNA aside. In my case it was a little more intimate than I might have wanted, since my mom and my grandparents had to cancel at the last minute due to health problems. But everyone's healthy now, and we have video and tons and tons of pictures.

I'm not sure about Molly, but I was a stress monster pretty much until I got to the altar. It was just the usual wedding crap, compounded by the fact that getting my family together is like herding cats. But once I saw that everything was actually proceeding according to plan I relaxed considerably. I think the moment that it all came together was when John and Julie showed up. They were the last to arrive and I was worried about getting married without them (they weren't late, I was just paranoid), and I was elated when Ian signalled to me that they had arrived.

After the ceremony we all had dinner at Spanish Bay, where the Elliott and Holohan camps got to mingle a little more. There were lots a speeches and surprise gifts, and my impromptu closer was only slightly disabled by champagne. Dinner was fabulous and it was great to see everyone making fast friends. Before dinner we made some quick calls to the absent parent and grandparents, who were happy enough for us not to be too upset about having missed the ceremony. Disappointed, of course, but not devastated.

After dinner we headed straight to the Airport Hyatt (with a slight side trip to Alameda) to sleep for a few hours before our 7:00 a.m. flight to Zurich. Hitting four European cities in ten days (five cities if you count our wrong-station layover in Paris) is the exact opposite of relaxing, but we managed to take things as easy as possible while still squeezing in as many sights and food searches as we deemed appropriate. Rather than providing a play-by-play of the trip I'd prefer to let the pictures speak for themselves. I will say this, however: Everybody smokes in Europe. And they do it everywhere. After ten days of choking and wheezing I have a new appreciation for California's draconian smoking laws.

So now we're in the states, we're adopting two cats, and we're starting our life as an actual married couple. As soon as our marriage certificate arrives Molly will begin the process of legally changing her name. I know I should have some profound feelings about this, but I'm really just happy. I don't know when I've been more optimistic.

Selfish Thoughts



Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, and their two darling blond children were on our flight from Miami to San Francisco on Thursday. We sat a few seats down from them at the gate before they invoked their first class privilege to board before everyone else. After my initial star-struckedness died down I realized that if our plane crashed, the news story would be that Sean Penn died, not that the plane crashed. The rest of us would be the other six astronauts on the Challenger. And this made me sad, because if I'm going to die in a plane crash I'd at least like the common dignity of my fair share of ink.

Earlier in the trip I came up with what I believe to be the most selfish thing that ever crossed my mind: "I want the world to end the day after my funeral."


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Molly and I got ourselves married and then spent a week and a half galavanting around various European cities, generating around 300 photos in the process. A hand-picked selection is available for your online viewing pleasure.

Wedding photos
Honeymoon photos, Part I (Germany)
Honeymoon photos, Part II (Spain)

I'll write more later, I promise.

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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