C'est un blague.

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  • Thursday, June 30, 2005

    Dinner menu: no crow for me

    Just got the call back...

    They "don't do that." Oh well.

    Strangely though, my antipathy for them has gone down because they finally called and were actually quite cordial. It only took them 2 months or so, but they finally called.

    What's wrong with this picture? Is it any wonder that I'm single that I feel better once I get the return call, despite it being 2 months later???


    I just had a conversation with a fellow summer who told me that her law school grades on a C curve. I was stunned. That is one helluva curve to surmount for a competitive GPA when most schools' curves are much higher. My law school (MLS) has parked its curve somewhere between a B and a B+... and I've even heard that our curve is out of date (apparently, it hasn't been revisited in something like 10 years, which is unusual). Transfer students to my school have told me that their previous school's curve was also much lower. I wonder if that's something that MLS takes into account when accepting transfers? I wonder how well law firms, clerkships, fellowships, etc. even recognize the Lombard Street-esque nature of law school grades...?

    So, those of you who are battling the curve, what is the curve at your law school? Do you think there is an awareness of the differences? What do you think about the politics behind first/second/third tier schools setting the curve higher/lower?

    Just curious.

    I may have to eat crow

    I just got a call from the Andre Chreky salon with the message that they would be happy to support my donation.

    Now, I don't know what that means -- it could be that they're happy to cut my hair so long as I pay for it (which ain't the answer I want, as everyone knows) -- but at least it's a (long awaited) response.

    We're already on round #2 of telephone tag. Let's hope this is not nearly as protracted a process as what got me to this point.

    (and sorry for breaking my promise of not belaboring this on and on... but hey, at least it's good news?)

    Wednesday, June 29, 2005

    It's all a matter of perspective

    One last post today...

    I am now working at a law firm for the summer. Yes, I'm a "summer" as they call it -- it's kinda like being a cross between a temp and an apprentice, but I digress...

    My firm believes that they should expose us to the real work (which I think is a good thing) but also do fun stuff. Unlike a number of other firms, we don't get spoiled with the wining, dining and courting with no real work. We get real work and the occasional wining and dining. I have been told that the summer experience is a realistic snapshot of what life is like as a junior associate.

    Unfortunately for me this week, it's been all together too true. I stayed at the office until 10:00 Monday and yesterday evenings. I was miserable -- because it was a LONG coupla days and also because no one else was around. I was all by my lonesome, wallowing in a multi-state research project (bleck). However, in some ways, it was a good thing that no one else was around; that means that the firm doesn't kill people, staying all hours of the day and night.

    Today, I escaped at 6:00. Can I tell you that I actually felt joyous with a spring in my step as went to pick up my drycleaning (so happy that I got out while it was still open)???

    Picking up my dry cleaning was a happy thing? I need to get a life! LOL.

    Disillusions of grandeur

    Another installment of the saga of my hair...

    I've been deliberately growing it since October 2001 when I last chopped it all off to donate to Locks of Love. That means, no cute cuts, no layers, nothing but a blunt cut across the bottom... pretty boring for someone who likes changing her appearance.

    Anyway, my hair is now getting to the point where the length and weight are actually starting to annoy me (perhaps the humidity has something to do with it? Hmmmm....), so I've been thinking about getting it cut again. I have enough that it wouldn't be short, short... just short.

    Last time I did this, I called ONE salon and asked if they would support my donation by giving me a free haircut. The guy, Kevin, was incredibly enthusiastic and wonderful and supportive. He gave me a nice cut and wouldn't even take a tip despite spending a great deal of time with me. It made the whole experience incredibly positive.

    And I didn't realize until this go-round just how positive it was. I have called, dropped in or otherwise inquired at four or five salons in the area if they would support my donation with a free haircut. Universally -- and frequently with a measure of distain -- the salons have told me that they "don't do that." They are more than happy to donate my hair (and take the credit?) to the organization so long as I pay for the cut.

    This has saddened me profoundly.

    It's not like I'm looking for a handout exactly. I grew my hair for the express purpose of helping out some kids. If I have to pay for a haircut, I will... but I am really saddened that others don't have the spirit of supporting this very good cause. It's not like just anyone can support the organization with a hair donation -- the minimum length is 10 inches -- so how many free haircuts would it be (spread out over all the salons in this city)? I'm really disillusioned about this, and my idealism is tarnished. Don't get me wrong, I'll still make the donation -- but I just wanted some support (affirmation?) in my donation. I still believe it's a great cause, but it seems like folks around me don't. Or they don't care... which saddens me too.

    Am I being petty being upset that these salons -- and the hairdressers -- don't care to donate their expertise for a good cause?


    (And I promise, no more about this -- except perhaps a post when I actually get it cut)

    Headline news...

    My observation back in April. CNN's story yesterday.

    I guess when you start playing the game, it's almost inevitable that you get sucked in...

    Oh Canada...

    Here is another example of (1) why Canada really is very different than the States and (2) motivation for moving to the great white North.

    "Legislators voted by 158-133 to support the bill, which makes Canada only the third country in the world after Belgium and the Netherlands to permit gay marriages."
    Because of its low population relative to its size (and for other reasons, too, of course), Canadian immigration requirements are less onerous than other places like, oh, say the United States.

    I know. I checked after the elections.

    Monday, June 27, 2005

    Who knew?

    I actually heard an attorney use res ipsa loquitur in a normal sentence the other day.

    Who knew the phrase had a non-law school application? And yikes -- what does that say about the crowd I'm hanging out with?

    Closing out the term

    Today, the Supreme Court announced more decisions for this term. We've had an expansion of the application of eminent domain; a legal aid door opened for the poor; and now these decisions on religious displays in and around courthouses.

    What I don't get is -- for a man who lives and kills federal law over plain meaning in statutory interpretation, Scalia seems to be awfully flexible when it comes to the First Amendment.

    What part of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..." is so ambiguous to allow an interpretation of large stone monuments and mosaics with the Ten Commandments -- in and around courthouses -- as secular? And since when do textualists say stuff like, "The determinative factor here, however, is that 40 years passed in which the monument's presence, legally speaking, went unchallenged."???


    My naiveté is showing.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2005

    Rest in...

    I guess the cosmic forces that make law school websites update heard my whining the other day because all of my grades were up all together today. I wasn't thrilled with them, nor was I devastated. No pleasant nor nasty surprises. I guess it's all good, even though I was hoping for a slightly higher grade in one class and praying that I wouldn't get a lower grade in another.

    All in all, perfectly adequate.

    Three years down, one semester to go. Now, THAT is good news.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    First in...

    Got my first grade today. It was what I was expecting in a class that I wasn't too worried about. The classes where I believe I did a very stylish but painful crash and burn have yet to be posted.

    Fingers, toes, eyes, etc. crossed for the rest!

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    Woman in waiting

    I've come to the conclusion that while technology can be a wonderfully facilitating thing, it has also shortened everyone's attention spans and patience thresholds. I mean, don't you get annoyed whenever you get a busy signal on the phone? Or frustrated with a computer that takes even nanoseconds longer to load a document or retrieve some data than it really should? Why is that? It's because our expectations are that better technology should allow us all instant access.

    Well, that better technology doesn't help when it comes to law school grades being posted. Human delay prevails.

    Grades at my school were due into the registrar today. Never mind that 60% of most of classes had already been reported because of the graduating students. One might think that it would make sense to submit the rest at the same time -- or soon thereafter (graduation was a month ago!!!~)... but nope. Still not a single grade up for any of my classes. Most other students have some already. Many have most. I have none.

    And I know it's not the technology that's creating the delay. It's either the professors or the registrar or both. It's the technology that created the expectation of instant gratification however.


    I guess that law student habits of procrastination don't fix themselves after graduation. Professor procratinate too.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    The good, the bad...

    Okay, well just good and bad... nothing particularly ugly.

    It isn't often that one has such a spectacularly positive experience with a customer service rep -- so when one does, it's worth blogging about. I have to tout a recent experience I had with Verizon. I used to subscribe to another cell phone service provider, but their consumer service was so awful that I jumped ship the first chance I got. And I jumped to Verizon, for several reasons. First, they have a large boat. Everyone in the area with whom I spoke just loves them -- the coverage, the service, etc. Second (and more importantly for me), Verizon has the lock on service in the metro system. It isn't perfect (calls do get dropped when switching underground), but it also isn't a roaming charge. Being able to make a call in the metro is handy -- if annoying to those around you -- when you're late for a meeting.

    But my recent encounter with my local Verizon store is the reason why they get the "Good" award here. Here's the story: I have really -- and I mean REALLY -- bad luck with cell phones. I haven't lost one yet (knock on wood), but I have dropped, broken and otherwise mutilated all my previous phones. One might say poor quality of construction. I say "klutz". And since I buy the cheapest, least fancy ones with the fewest bells and whistles to break (in other words, the ones that are sturdiest and hardest to break), my track record with cell phones is something of an accomplishment.

    But I digress...

    So, anyway, I had destroyed my last phone and decided to get a new one. Now, I'm WAY too cheap to buy one new so I got one slightly used elsewhere at a discount. Not a tremendous bargain, but good enough. The phone was scuffed but entirely functional. That is, until I dropped it. The first time I dropped it, I messed up the screen. Not a big deal, still functional. The second time I dropped it, well, that was it. I completely lost function on the volume. You know the "Can you hear me now?" commercials? They could, but I couldn't, even with the volume at full blast. Grrrr...

    I had only had the phone about two months, so I was really pissed off at myself (and I broke it right after taking a particularly egregiously obnoxious final exam, but that's another rant). I didn't want to spend the money to buy yet another phone so soon, so I thought I'd wade into the waters of Verizon customer service. My previous experience with them wasn't all that helpful (when my other phone broke, they told me it was my fault and tough luck on that), so I approached the whole thing with some trepidation.

    Lo and behold, to my extreme surprise, the folks at the Verizon store were extremely friendly and helpful -- AND (drum roll please) despite the fact that I got the phone used, they figured out it was still covered under warranty, so they just replaced the whole thing with a brand, spanking new phone.

    Wahoo! That kind of news is enough to make a girl's day. I now LOVE Verizon.

    That's the good. Here's the bad...

    Many know that I decided a few months ago that it is time for me to donate this mass of hair hanging down my back. I have the requisite 10 inches and then some and it's getting to be a pain to deal with, so I decided to do the deed and lop it off. I made a few calls to one salon that has something of a reputation for good service and support of charities (I remember seeing a poster in the metro for a charitable event in which they were participating) -- as well as talent with the shears. Most salons are very amenable to this kind of thing, so I was hoping for some good luck with them too. However, nothing ever came of it, and finals rolled around, so I just let it go for want of time.

    Well, after finals, I called one of the owners again and even dropped by the salon to speak with the owner about the possibility of the salon supporting my charitable donation. Messages, messages, messages. Response? Nothing. Zip, zero, zilch, nada, rien, nani mo nai. So, deciding to give them one last chance to respond to my message (#4 or 5 at this point), I called them again this Monday.

    They have yet to give me the courtesy of a response. Not even a "thanks, but we don't do that" call. They blew me off completely, which means they are blowing the charity off completely too. To be honest, I truly only grew my hair this long to do the donation. Otherwise, I would have long ago gotten some kind of cute, sassy cut. I'm appalled by the complete lack of interest this salon owner has in supporting a very worthwhile cause. I'm appalled that this full service spa has such a lousy attitude and poor public relations. Even more than that, I'm appalled at the lack of common courtesy that the owner would not respond to any one of the 4 or 5 messages I left. That's just plain bad manners (and bad business). Needless to say, they won't be getting any of my money ever.

    So, based on this experience and for the record, I think the Andre Chreky spa stinks.

    Big raspberries for them!!!

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    In the name of science

    So the other day, I got this outreach letter from one of my alma maters extolling the virtures of participating in research to find a drug to treat and perhaps cure breast cancer. This is something I believe is worthwhile and care about, so I read on with the thought that I might consider volunteering...

    The slick, colorful brochure outlined the what the clinical trial was, what it was seeking to test, what it meant to participate, etc. I kept reading until I hit something which stopped me dead in my tracks. And made me laugh...

    "... for post-menopausal woman..."


    That's when I noticed that all of the photographics on the slick brochure were of women with mature faces and gray hair. The drug was for treating post-menopausal women who (perhaps because of lower estrogen levels?) were at a greater risk for breast cancer. A very good cause, but... what I wanna know is just what demographic data does that school have for me and what the heck am I doing getting this info? After all, this info came from one of my alma maters, which ran the list of potential participants (what they are doing "selling" their alumni lists is another issue entirely).

    Sheesh. It's been a few years since I graduated, but definitely not enough to flag my file as a potential participant in a clinical trial for post-menopausal women.

    But it does very nicely complement the AARP notices I've been receiving...

    Spam subject lines

    As the junk email filters have gotten better, so have the spammers gotten more creative. I think all of us know how to spot the spam when it manages to evade the electronic gatekeeper -- usually resulting in an immediate "delete" -- but every once in a while, I'm intrigued enough to actually look at the message.

    Two things that have gotten my attention have been when the sender is a name I know or could be someone I know through work -- and I don't mean spoofing viruses, but rather when the spammers invent senders that actually sound like a real person whom I might know.

    But it's the subject lines which are the most amusing. Usually, it's just mumbo-jumbo to avoid the filters, but today, I got something quite different. The subject line read: "You left something the other night..." from a name that sounded feminine but could have been masculine either.

    I can certainly see where that spam might cause relationship miscues if a significant other didn't realize that the message was spam, but since that's not an issue for me, I found it kinda funny.

    Tuesday, June 14, 2005

    Hot, hot, hot

    Temperatures definitely hit the upper 90s, and while I tend to eschew air conditioning, I embraced it today -- just as my jacket and pants were clinging from sweat.

    DC was built on a swamp. Today (and yesterday), it felt like we were still in it.


    Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    Catching up with me...

    Now that the crazy of finals and transitioning out of my old job is over and the anxiety of starting a new job is waning, I'm starting to remember that I did really crappy on my finals this semester -- and I'm starting to worry about my grades.


    At this point in my law school career, the reality is that my GPA isn't going to move too much either way unless I really bomb. So I shouldn't get my pants too much in a twist. But the flip side of this is that, at this point in my law school career, I shouldn't be bombing classes. I guess it's a pride thing.

    So, even though I know grades aren't due in until later this month, I am OBSESSIVELY checking for them every day. At least two or three times a day. I gotta wonder how healthy it is to let my compulsions completely override my rational processes.

    Watched pots = law school websites.

    Coming up for air!

    So, last Tuesday, I started at a large law firm as a summer associate. It's pretty daunting to begin a new job where you are the dumbest person around -- not only on the law, but also on process, procedure, protocol, basic floorplan, etc. No major gaffes yet, but I have to say that it was a kinda a lonely start. I'm used to knowing everything and everyone, and now I barely get any emails at all! My fellow "summers" are really great and terrifically talented, and that is one huge benefit to the program... that and all the free meals, t-shirts and other swag. Hey, I'm a student -- I'm all over the free stuff!

    I am enjoying the work, such that it is. It's been a slow start, but the firm has a variety of practice areas. Some of the work that I've been told about but not yet assigned sounds really interesting. Some doesn't, but ya' know... And I think the folks at the firm -- so far -- are really collegial and helpful. I still don't know if it's the life for me, but I definitely want to keep an open mind.

    Our first payday is Friday, and that doesn't hurt either...

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