October 2002 Archives

Then What Happened?

Okay, I lied.  Go ahead and get excited.

The best thing about daylight savings time is that it makes my birthday weekend forty nine hours long every year. The worst thing about daylight savings time is everything else about it, but the most worst thing are the stories that people insist on telling about their DST-related mishaps, which always always ALWAYS have the exact same inane punchline. My colleague Sean once summed up the DST anecdote problem with a single, sweeping, ingenious rule: The only time you should tell a daylight savings time story is if it ends with "and that's why they died."

To conclude, if this week's strip makes fun of you, you deserve it.

Apparently this bloated weekend was also homecoming weekend at UCLA. I'm really not sure what purpose homecoming weekend serves at the collegiate level, since there's no dance, I don't think there's a parade, and at this stage in our lives there are precious few drunken virginities to be lost in the gymnasium. I don't even know if colleges have gymnasiums. But according to the banners that I caught glimpses of on my few cherished outings into the campus proper beyond the rigid confines of the law school, I noticed that homecoming weekend also serves as parents weekend. I'm quickly realizing that all this probably means about as much to you as it does to me. Moving on.

Halloween! Since tenth grade I've maintained an intellectual front against the celebration of all holidays. It's intellectual in that I still celebrate holidays, but I'm very disdainful of every mouthful of hormone-saturated turkey I ingest. Given the overabundance of sickly, recessive, Celtic blood that trudges through my veins, it was only logical that I would hate the modern manifestation of Halloween most of all, since as western bastardizations of once sacred spiritual festivals go it really takes the black and orange cake. I'll spare you the painfully obvious diatribe about commercialization and Harry Potter and blah blah blah youth-oriented marketing. It's enough to say that Halloween was always high on my list of intellectually objectionable calendar entries.

And yet, in the past few years, I've come to terms with the fact that, God damn it, I fucking love Halloween. There are two reasons for this undeniable affinity. The more mundane reason is that it's very near my birthday, so I always had positive memories associated with it growing up. The second, more philosophically satisfying reason is a different gloss on my broader anti-holiday stance. Halloween is the last bout of (now) secular, hedonistic revelry before the Dark Season of heavy-handed, obligatory, family-focused holidays pounds its deafening hammer on the souls of the wicked and righteous alike. Similarly, back in the day when Halloween meant something to Celts, it marked the transition point between the two seasons of the year, the night when the wall between the human world and the spirit world was breached as the Earth transitioned from the joyous, fruitful Spring and Summer into the cold and desolate Fall and Winter. I think you see where I'm going with this.

So in conclusion, slip on that sexy red devil costume and drink yourself gay. It's Halloween!

Now in Color! (Sort of)

Don't get too excited.  I'm just piling on the gimmicks early on to get people interested and hooked,  like Y107's short-lived no-DJ policy and Jet Blue's soon to be short-lived $29 plane tickets.  Next week we'll return to glorious, blinding two-tone.

So yes.  Bar Review.  I noticed early on that no one,  at any point,  is ever amused or impressed by the name.  Not even at orientation.  In fact,  hardly anyone even bothers to spell out the joke.  Anyone who utters anything along the lines of,  "Oh,  yeah,  'cause we take the bar exam,  but bar review in this sense means an actual bar.  That's pretty good."  is almost certainly doomed to drop out of law school before week four.  And good riddance.

The key thing about bar review,  see,  is that it introduces would-be lawyers to the importance of alcohol very early on in their training.  As John Grisham notes in his runaway best-seller The Firm,  lawyers and alcohol are like vampires and blood.  Sure,  there are a few holdouts who cling to their temperance and wring their hands fretfully at orientation about the evils of alcoholism even as their fellow panelists joke and laugh about how much fun bar review is,  but it quickly becomes apparent that such temperance,  like everything in the legal profession,  is entirely image-oriented.  The insufferable pricks in college who take every opportunity to mention that they don't own a television become insufferable pricks in law school who take every opportunity to mention that they don't drink.

As for the actual weekly bar outings,  I'll refrain from going into any great detail about any funny stories I may have about my own bar review expriences (hint: there aren't any),  but I will say a few words about the specific topic of this week's strip,  insofar as it deals with one of the more curious elements of recent bar review venues:  darkness.  Deep,  impenetrable darkness.  The kind of bars you walk into and feel like someone's going to club you in the back of the head as soon as you get in the door.  There's only one theory I've come across which might explain the "dark bar" phenomenon:  the darkness accelerates the beer goggling process by adding another layer between ugliness and visual perception.  This theory is total crap.  Bars like to sell beer,  and they sell more beer when people need it to score with people.  If you make it easier to score without benefit of beer,  you sell less beer,  and make less money.  It's unlikely that bar owners are facilitating casual sex among their patrons out of sheer benevolence.  So it seems the mystery of dark bars will remain as opaque as the bars themselves.

As far Claudio's final line,  more information about what he's talking about is available here.  This is one of those rare things that's creepy but also true.

Keep Your Friends Close...

After last week's logless bee spectacular I've returned with a thing or two to say about a thing or two.

First off, there's this week's stip, which marks the official devirginization of I Fought the Law into the print medium. The delightful six-frame bant-fest was printed in actual ink on actual paper and stuffed into nearly 1,000 actual student cubby holes as part of the latest issue of The Docket, UCLA Law's catch-all student publication. Despite the fact that it was heavily overshadowed by the horoscopes at the end of the paper, I've received positive feedback from the people in my section who read it. We're on our way now, baby.

Incidentally, the poor visual quality of the strip is due to the fact that I drew it, scanned it, sent it to the paper, didn't back up or upload it, and then my computer crashed, swallowing the original scan in a crushing cacophany of ones and zeroes. I was forced to re-scan it from the newspaper, so what you're seeing is a scan of a newsprint of a scan of a piece of printer paper. For the poor humorous quality I offer no explanation.

In other news, Saturday was gorgeous. It was the kind of Autumn day that reminds me why I love this time of year. The sun and clouds were dancing a slow, playful tango, switching back and forth between a gentle overcast and a cool, diffuse sunlight. As you may be able to tell, I love Autumn. Back in the days when I used to annoy the Daily Californian Opinion Page Editor on a regular basis I wrote an unpublished column about how much I love Autumn which has sadly also been lost, and at this point the only phrases I remember from the article are "hazy Autumn sunshine" and "undeniable womanness." But the point is, today was the kind of day that I've enjoyed ever since my earliest Autumn memory, walking with my dad through our El Toro neighborhood and seeing construction paper owls in the windows of our neighbors. Today was just that kind of day, a day meant for walking around and getting into lazy adventures, and I had the glorious privilege of enjoying the day through the library window.

But I'm not complaining. I knew what I was getting into. I'm just wondering when I'll have another October to myself.

In related news, I'm in the midst of a cite-checking assignment for UCLA's Entertainment Law Review, which I joined to get some exposure to intellectual property law. My diligent research eventually led me into the microfilm room, and you know what? I'm the model of incompetence when it comes to microfilm. I don't know what it is. I simply cannot get the goddamned machines to work. The workings are inevitably more complicated than any meager instructions the library feels generous enough to provide, and the little plastic levers never make happen what they're supposed to make happen. Why do we need microfilm at all? Why can't everything be microfiche? No moving parts there, just slap the stupid card under the stupid piece of glass and you're ready to learn.

So if anyone feels like visiting me in the north end of the UCLA Law Library and showing me how to make the machine do my bidding, I would greatly appreciate it.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2002 listed from newest to oldest.

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