Avast, me hearties! In case ye land lubbers have forgot, today, September 19th, be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Enjoy yer day, drink plenty o' grog and get ye some good wenching while it still be today. Yarrrgh!
In continuing to do fantastic things on Saturdays, last night I went to see the Minnesota RollerGirls v. Tampa Tantrums roller derby. Prior to yesterday, I had never heard of roller derbies but after last night, I'm a complete convert. The sport works a bit like this: a bunch of girls on rollerskates (the four-wheeled kind) skate around a track and each team has one scoring girl (called the jammer) who gets a point for every time she laps someone. The rest of the team tries to help their jammer get around and prevent the opposing jammer from passing; now, when I say "tries to help", I mean by blocking, checking and generally abusing the other team. If you want a complete description of how things work check out the WFTDA home page but, basically, it's girls on rollerskates beating the crap out of each other. Seriously, roller derbies are the best spectator sport ever created.
The sport is getting pretty popular in the US and there are teams all over the country so those of you out there that know what's good for you will go watch your local team compete. Apparently the #1 ranked team in the US is the Austin Texecutioners so, Riad, it really behooves you to go see a match.
Having experimented with margarita preparation a bit this weekend, I feel that I have come up with a perfect recipe for a non-purists margarita. Feeling as I do about cocktail preparation, I have foregone the use of the abominations that are premade margarita mixes but as pure as my cocktail preparation intentions are, my recipe does not make use of freshly squeezed lime, so I cannot truly consider it a proper margarita recipe. That said, I think the results do speak for themselves:
- 3/4 cup Tequila
- 3/4 cup Triple Sec
- 1 cup (half can) frozen Limeade Concentrate
- Margarita Salt
In a 2 liter blender, combine Tequila, Triple Sec and Limeade Concentrate. Add enough Ice to fill blender. Cover and blend. Serve in glass rimmed with margarita salt. (To rim a glass with margarita salt, take two wide, flat bowls, fill one with 1/4 inch water and the other with 1/4 inch margarita salt, then dip a glass, rim first, in the water followed by the salt)
As variations on the above recipe, the Triple Sec may be replaced with any orange liqueur. Blue Curaçao, for example, will make for an equally tasty but very blue margarita. Of course, Grand Marnier or any other orange liqueur is also acceptable.
Noticing my earlier discussion of how apprehensive I was about starting law school, I thought that I should weigh in and let you know that school turns out to be really not so bad. The Socratic method is not terrifying and if you know what's going on the professors tend to acknowledge that and move on to someone else that isn't quite so quick. It can be a little annoying sometimes when a professor continues talking to three or four students through an entire class and you can't get a comment in but it's interesting to see other people's views/understandings/opinions get confused and drawn into question. As not bad as the classes and the content turn out to be, the workload is decidedly not so pleasant; I'm getting ~50-100 pages of reading a night and these law texts are not the clearest or easiest things to read. The materials is interesting but the sheers quantity of content that is being shoved into my brain left me mostly burned out by the end of this week. Of course, a game of golf and such has pretty well cleared my burned-outtedness, so I should be set to get tomorrow's work done. So yeah, law school really isn't that bad.
Today has been a genuinely good Saturday; if I can make ever Saturday of the remainder of my law school career turn out as well as today has, I will certainly be quite pleased with the way I'm doing things. I started out the day by sleeping in, which is always a good start for a weekend day. After waking up, getting some cereal and watching TV for a while, I went out to play golf with my housemate Paul. Golf because I just bought myself a set of clubs figuring that any good lawyer ought to learn how to play golf and Paul knows a guy that can get him free rounds on a local golf course. So my afternoon was spent playing my first game of full golf in my life (it's been driving ranges, pitch & putt, mini-golf and hitting balls into the woods up 'til now) and although I'm not very good yet, I have to say that golf is a pretty fantastic game (or sport, depending on how you feel about it). On the way back from the gold course we stopped by the grocery store, grabbed a bunch of sausages and various other things. Once we got back to the house, we fired up the grill and made some margaritas. Two margaritas and four sausages (of which the cheddarwurst definitely took top honors) later, each, we played a few games of pool and now I'm joining the rest of the house in watching some television. Really though, between golf, sausages and margaritas, you would be hard pressed to construct a better Saturday, in my opinion.
In reading the Articles of Confederation for my Constitutional Law class, I came across an interesting little tidbit in Article XI, which reads as follows:
Article XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union; but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
Basically the United States was explicitly saying that United States would accept Canada as a new state if Canada wanted to join the United States. This in and of itself is kind of cute but added to another thought experiment it becomes even more amusing. In my Constitutional Law class we have been discussing whether or not the Constitution was validly adopted based on the matter that the means in which it was adopted were in violation of the, then in effect, Articles of Confederation. If the Constitution were to have been illegally adopted then it would follow that the Articles of Confederation are still valid to this day. Between all these facts we have the situation that it could be argued, with some validity, that Canada has the right to join the United States to this day and that all Canada would need to do would be to say they wanted in.
Whilst I had previously found myself totally at ease about going to law school, in the past day or so I have started to develop some very strong apprehensions. Quite frankly, I'm flat out terrified right now. I am aware that my fear is simply a fear of the unknown but that provides me little solace and I am left plodding forward and hoping it turns out to not be that bad. There are really three matters that contribute to my fear: grading, participation and homework. Grading is done in a manner that I am unaccustomed to, namely there's a final and nothing else; my entire grade for each class will be determined by a single test that I take in three and a half months. Although participation essentially doesn't contribute to my grades, I am not looking forward to the Socratic method of calling out and grilling students; that said, it may turn out not to be as bad as I currently think. As for homework, class has not yet begun and I already have about forty pages of reading with some writing assignments due for each of my classes and if I'm getting this much before class begins, I'm a little concerned about how much work I will have later. I'm glad that this fear has only just set in as I'll get some relief once classes get underway in two days but I'd certainly prefer if the fear wasn't here to begin with. Anyway, I mostly just wanted to vent and get my apprehensions out of my head but I'll keep you folks posted on how things turn out as time passes.
This morning I woke up early to join some 3Ls in hitting up a costume shoppe and going to the Minnesota Renaissance Faire. I should note that the costumes we were looking for were not D&D geek style tights, we were looking for giant foam cowboy hats. We proceeded to spend the day wandering around the Faire dressed as caricatures of cowboys, being heckled and getting funny looks. We attended a couple of comedy shows and ended up being the butt of the vast majority of the audience targeted jokes. Basically, we were wandering around making fun of everyone solely by our garb and being given a hard time for it. I am not normally the type for Renaissance Faires but taking this approach really made it a fantastic way to spend a Saturday; I highly recommend it.
Between the last post and last Tuesday, there hasn't been much to report: I hung out a bunch, got sick a couple times and some other not very noteworthy events. Since Tuesday, however, an awful lot has happened: I've moved halfway across the country, become single and begun preparations for the next big phase of my life, law school.
Since I'm going to law school in Minnesota (University of), it was rather important to cut my commute down from the 22 hour drive from Massachusetts to something more reasonable. The solution to my commuter problems was to be found in moving to Minneapolis, MN and locating a place of residence that is about 15-20 minutes walk to the law school. This, of course, means that I had to drive out to Minneapolis, MN in my dilapidated wreck of a Ford Explorer and I am happy to report that the trip passed uneventfully. I didn't stop to do much in the way of sightseeing along the way but I should like to note that, while passing through Wisconsin, I was able to confirm that fresh cheese curds are, in fact, all that and a bag of chips, oh yes, certainly the bag of chips. Also, while I'm on the topic, let me just put in a plug for the US Interstate System; in Massachusetts, I hopped on I-90, which I was able to stay on until Wisconsin, where I transferred to I-94, drove another hundred and change miles and was at my destination. There is something very convenient about being able to drive 1400ish miles at 75MPH in a fairly straight line from point A to point B almost entirely on one road.
As to my unfortunate return to the land of the single, I consider the matter to be one of necessary evils. Kristina and I broke up preceding my departure for Minnesota because she didn't much want to be in a long distance relationship and, to be frank, neither do I. Between how bad I am about calling people to talk on the phone and how much a relationship tends to depend on being in contact with someone, I would expect an attempt at a long distance relationship to crash and burn horribly. As far as I'm concerned, I like Kristina a bit much to want to let a relationship with her crash and burn so, instead, I'm inclined to believe that the best approach is to break up and then, perhaps, we'll get back together at a more convenient time in the future. That, however, is the future and is, as such, a matter to be concerned with when the future becomes the present.
As for the law school phase of my life, I've got myself pretty much fully moved into my new place and beyond that, I'll probably keep you posted as new details emerge.
Having been sitting around doing nothing in Woods Hole for nearly a month, I have been pleased with my ability to avoid boredom and going stir crazy. Sadly, I have been feeling the initial pangs of boredom recently and I worry that restlessness might set in soon. On the positive side, I don't think that I have been this relaxed and generally at peace in over half a decade but I think that I might have hit my limit. Hopefully, I can drag out the relaxing for another couple of weeks and take off before boredom really sets in.