June 2005 Archives

A lot of very bad decisions have been made concerning the promotion and release of the new Fantastic Four movie. For example, an early trailer, after cursorily identifying itself as an ad for Fantastic Four, quickly cuts to a voiceover saying "Five astronauts went into space." So right away you're confused.

Another big boner? Releasing the movie the weekend after Fourth of July Weekend. If you have a hyped-up summer superhero movie that has the word four in the title, why not go for the actual weekend of the Fourth of July?

Fortunately the movie company has attempted to solve this problem by teaming up with Comedy Central for some kind of Fourth of July special. Fine idea. And, as with all things Comedy Central, each commercial break has at least three ads for it (viz. Mind of Mencia, Stella, etc.). This may be a good point to pause and point out the principal cast of Fantastic Four:

An unknown boring white guy as Mr. Fantastic.
Another unknown boring white guy as the Human Torch.
The fat bald guy from The Shield as the Thing.
Jessica Alba, the hottest girl in the world, as the Invisible Woman.

Now, given that line-up of talent, coupled with the fact that Comedy Central's core audience is young horny men, which of the four would you choose to emphasize if you were charged with creating promotional spots for the Fourth of July Special? Jessica Alba, The hottest girl in the world? That's a good choice. Unfortunately, Jessica Alba appears exactly twice in the ad. She pops up at the very beginning, and by the time you're over the shock of seeing Jessica Alba they've cut to one of the unknown boring white guys. Jessica reappears for a few seconds a short time later, with her head lowered and her face covered by her hands. The balance of the ad emphasizes the fat bald guy, wearing sunglasses and waving a sparkler.

Never have I witnessed such egregious under-utilization of Jessica Alba. Comedy Central should sell South Park, Reno 911, and The Daily Show to a network that knows what the hell it's doing and then dissolve itself in shame.

I'm supposed to read the Community Property mini-outline for class tomorrow. Community Property was one of two bar classes I didn't take in law school (which was a good move, considering it's one of three "weeder" subjects on the California bar). The mini-outline is only 21 pages long, but it's reading like The Secret Sharer - each page seems like ten pages and none of it makes any sense.

It looks to be a lot of disjointed rules that came out of various court holdings in which the judge was more concerned with "doing equity" that creating a body of law that would be at all clear to hapless law students and lawyers (I'm looking at you, O'Connor). The only underlying theme that I can seem to pick out is (1) family courts' latent hostility toward husbands/paternalistic imperative to protect wives + (2) traditional presumption that the husband has more traceable assets = (3) a general sense of screwage for any spouse who brings separate property to the marriage. Community Property is also nice in that it operates in the negative, like common law marriages. It's all about the status of property when two people are married, but it only matters when those people stop being married.

I'm pretty sure it's not just me thinking that it's overly complicated, however. Usually a mini-outline of around 21 pages means one day of lecture. But we have two days of hearing about Community Property. So hopefully everyone else will be as confused as I am.

On a related note, here's a little nugget from last week's Professional Responsibility Lecture. The ABA Ethical Rules prohibit contingency fees in divorce proceedings. So a divorce lawyer can't take his fee as any percentage of the property settlement he gets for his client. California has not adopted this rule, however, and a divorce lawyer in California can take a contingency fee as long as the fee doesn't encourage the break-up of an otherwise salvable marriage. Good to know.

Angels & Demons


I've updated the long-forgotten I Fought the Law Notebook with some pictures of angels and demons (the pictures and commentary are reproduced below through the magic of cut-and-paste). Out of nowhere the other day I had a religious awakening. Wait. No, out of nowhere the other day I started thinking that I really want to watch the movie Jacob's Ladder again, which got me thinking about the whole war between angels and demons and all that. I'll probably re-read Paradise Lost after the Bar. If my eyes haven't melted out of my head by then.

Angel on the warpath.

Sexy librarian demon.

Satan as a boy.

Angel striking a stately warrior pose.

Thuggish demon.

I'm not sure where the image of this angel came from. I think this is drawn from how I pictured Baby Jenks in Queen of the Damned, a book that I never made it through. I'm a little ashamed to admit that it has any influence on me at all. There may also be some Cammy from whatever Street Fighter II embellishment she first appeared in. You know, the braids and everything.

Enemies on All Sides


Apparently the government feels that Americans have too much freedom. The maniac conservatives of the U.S. House want to amend the Constitution to outlaw flag burning, and the liberal wing of the Supreme Court has okayed the seizure of private homes to build Home Depots.

The Supreme Court decision at least has the possibility of a political solution. If enough people piss and moan about municipalities' crusades to turn urban blight into suburban sprawl, cities may lay off and people may get to keep their houses. But the constitutional amendment, well, yeah.

I can only hope that if conservatives keep trying to mess around with the Constitution, the base of trendy War on Terror conservatives will come to their senses and start supporting moderates again. On the off chance that this thing makes it through the Senate, it will be an opportunity to see if liberals have learned anything from Karl Rove. If the maniacs successfully frame the issue as patriots vs. flag-burners (with reliable support from Fox News and all that), they'll win. If opponents of the amendment can successfully spread the message that dissenting speech is itself patriotic, and Americans should be trusted to express themselves however the choose, they'll have shot. But I honestly believe that the amendment will fail in the Senate, though it certainly has a better chance now than it ever had in the sixteen years since the Johnson case.

Also, without re-opening the tumultuous procedural constitution argument from way-back-when, I'll just point out that the only other constitutional amendment that imposed a net restriction (as opposed to expansion) of individual freedom was Prohibition, and we all know how that turned out.

Chocolate Frosted Frustration


Consider this an offer for the formation of a unilateral contract.

A free donut to the person who finds me a single goddamn place on the island of Alameda where it's possible to buy a donut after 6:00 p.m. Note that I said a donut, not a factory-sealed box with a bunch of donuts in it.

Stupid boring city.

Stress Ballz


Because, really, there just simply isn't enough to worry about with respect to the bar exam already, I bring you this tale of horror via some double-hearsay scraping:

Bar exams stolen, scores imputed, millions flee.

Follow the links to get the whole story, and don't miss this letter by a disgruntled applicant. It's always good to include plenty of invalid assertions of law in a letter complaining about not passing the bar exam.

I agree that the score imputing is completely indefensible. It would have to be a relatively simple matter, even with all the mathematical bells and whistles involved in turning 1400 into 2000, to reduce the total available points and scale the passing score accordingly when an essay goes missing. Especially when it's the bar's own damn fault that the essay gets lost in the first place. Imputing just makes no goddamn sense.

So I'll be worrying about this now. Because even though I'm typing my exam, and will therefore theoretically be able to retrieve any lost printouts from my hard drive, my computer will undoubtedly crash immediately after, if not during, day three of the exam. So I've got that going.

But the good news is, thanks to the official public outcry and a few e-mails from readers I never knew existed, I've decided to leave open the possibility of continuing with the stripping after the bar. I expected maybe zero people to complain about its termination, but I got at least ten or eleven responses, which is good enough for me.

This is a Picture of a Stapler


The previously alluded to crappy comic strip is now posted online for all the world to see, along with a desparate cry for help and a picture of an elf-king. This is how I spent my Thursday morning.

Also, I know I've talked to a lot of people about T-Shirt Hell, but just in case I have not yet touched you in my crusade I suggest you pay a visit and prepare to be offended, especially now that Worse than Hell is back. I checked the story about the guy getting poisoned on Lexis, and it was covered on CNN so it seems legit. As far as I know none of the Squelchers have ever been subject to medieval assassination attempts, which simply means that we're not trying hard enough.

If anyone wants to buy me the "single moms" t-shirt, I wouldn't object at all.

Arr, the Barrr


I had genuine optimism about spending the summer wrapping up the I Fought the Law comic strip in a satisfying way and setting the stage for its next incarnation, but the likelihood of me posting anything on the Inter-web that isn't somehow related to the bar exam for the next two months is becoming increasingly slim. I have a stupid little cartoon that I drew on some hotel stationery (-ary?) that may find its way into the digital universe if I ever gather the energy to hook up my scanner again. But as usual I make no promises.

This is not to say that I'll be blogging regularly about my bar adventures, either. For that kind of dedication I direct you here, a blog which I may have discovered earlier if Cement Horizon still told me who links to me (not that I'm complaining, I just miss it is all). I met the alliteratively initialed woman behind the blog this morning during break. She appears to have brother and sister dogs. I have brother and sister cats. It's like we're vaguely similar in some ways.

I also had golf lesson number two today. I was extremely agitated for the hour or so leading up to the lesson since I was stressed about all the crap I had to do today that didn't involve golf, but I came away from the lesson feeling surprisingly relaxed and refreshed. All this despite the back pain and the excessive man-handling by my Miyagi-esque instructor. No farts today, though, which was good. I suspect that golf will cease to be at all relaxing the minute I step off the driving range (where there is no failure) and onto the course (where there is aught but failure).

The BarBri Property lecturer has a daughter named Remington. Who does that?

I Guess She's into Malacas


This morning I was chatting with one of my female friends (or "girl-friends," as I like to call them), and she made a point of telling me how beautiful she thought Meli was when she met her on graduation day. I'm certainly not one to disagree with her assessment, but a fair number of my female friends have had this reaction after meeting Meli. Shortly after the initial meeting they approach me and express, usually with a palpable degree of surprise, how good-looking my wife is.

So apparently I exude some quality that leads people to assume that I have a horse-faced, bow-legged wife, and people have a tough time digesting Meli's attractiveness when this assumption is shattered. Clearly I must have done something right.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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