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Sunday, June 27, 2010

What's going on

1) Slaughterhouse
I just finished reading Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5. I have mixed feelings about it. The book is sort of about the firebombing of Dresden, which Vonnegut himself was lucky enough to survive. But that episode is interwoven with Vonnegut's usual dose of absurdity in the form of a rather annoying protagonist named Billy Pilgrim. Pilgrim was abducted by aliens from Tramalfador, who taught him that time as we know it is an illusion. Everything that ever was or will be already is. While everything dies (so it goes), everything also always lives, because time on the whole is more like an instant than a journey. Because of this idea, Billy lives his life in a strange mixture of apathy and contentedness that kind of makes me want to reach into the novel and wring out his neck. Everything is so meaningful and meaningless at the same time. I think I understand why Vonnegut did this. To me, the message is that there are inevitabilities in life, war and death being among them. That message syncs with me. I just wish it wasn't delivered in such a fool of a vessel as Billy Pilgrim.

2) X-Files
Ian and I are making a journey through the X-Files seasons 1-6. We've gone through seasons 1-3 and just started season 4, which is the season after the show really started to pick up momentum, and the season right before the very last good season of the show. Season 6 is not a good season because it began to take the plot into a really convoluted and ultimately disappointing direction, but it has some good stand-alone episodes in it, which is why I bought it. I like to pretend that seasons 7-9 do not exist, so I did not purchase those. It is kind of funny watching the earlier episodes now, many of which have rather silly looking special effects, though they were good for the time. But as far as character development goes, I can think of few shows that ever did it as well as the X-Files. It's a journey I am glad to take again.

3) Lime Tree
My poor potted lime tree has not been doing very well. Even though we got a late start on summer this year (it finally arrived about a week ago), I had expected my tree to show some signs of new growth, but instead it has been dormant all year. Ian suggested that it wasn't getting sufficient drainage, because I had it in a glazed pot. So today I went out and purchased a terra cotta pot, which will allow better drainage and breathing. When we repotted the tree, we saw that its roots were horribly rotted away. It's amazing that this thing is still alive at all. I guess it hasn't grown anything new because it's putting all its energy into trying to sustain the roots. We gave it fresh fertilized soil, and lime trees are supposed to be rather hardy plants (I have certainly abused it enough to test this), so hopefully it will pull through.

4) Yoga
Even though I now live in a town that is much more into things like yoga, I find that the availability of yoga classes close to my home is much lower than it was in Salt Lake. At least, it is for those yoga classes in my price range. I was excited when I found out that my place of internship hosts a weekly yoga session after the work day, so I attended it once. The price was right, at $10 for a drop in fee, but the class left me wanting. It was a little too meditative, and not enough of a workout. I barely broke a sweat, did not really elevate my heartrate, and only got a moderate stretch into my muscles. Plus, the instructor made us say "Om" three times at the end of class. I am so not into that crap. I do feel like yoga is as good for the "soul" as it is for the body, but I don't like this talk of centering my chakras. I once had to drop out of a yoga class because my instructor wore a towel on her head, talked about seeing the aura of her cat, and explained the significance of always looking at the clock when it reads 11:11 (you must be balanced). None of that hokey shit for me, thanks. I'm happy to say "namaste" at the end of class, that's fine. But that's about as hokey as I like to get. So instead of a live class, I have downloaded two Yogaworks classes from itunes. The one I really like is the core flow class. It's a great mixture of flowing cardio movements with strengthening poses and stretching poses. I get a good workout. The other video is the slim works class, and that is the hardest yoga I have ever done. I only made it through half the video before I had to resort to child's pose and just watch the rest, and I got even sweatier than I did with the full core flow class. I would definitely recommend the Yogaworks videos if you want to do yoga in the comfort of your home.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scholastic Update

I'm pleased to report that I'm keeping my scholarship for my second year of law school. After my first semester grades, I wasn't sure that I'd be able to do it, but somehow, I pulled two A's, a B+, and a B out of my second semester ass. That brings my 2.81 up to a 3.25 -- more than enough to keep my scholarship for another year.

I must say, I was not expecting to get any A's whatsoever, so I am ecstatic with this result. I am especially surprised that one of those A's was in my contracts class, which is the same class that I got the C+ in last semester. The funny thing is, first semester I thought I had aced contracts, but I got a C+, and this semester, I felt pretty bad about contracts, but I got an A. You just never can tell, I guess.

I am also pleased to report that I received an Honors award in my writing class. I did not win the Best Brief award that I was shooting for, but I certainly can't complain about an Honors. I was quite pleased with the brief that my partner and I produced, and I was just relieved to make it out of the oral argument alive.

So now I have regained some of my confidence in my abilities, which feels pretty nice.

In other news, I am on my third week at my summer internship. I am enjoying it quite a bit so far. Today I turned in a legal memorandum on Oregon Public Records Law, which was really interesting to research. I had to research the federal Freedom of Information Act in order to predict how an Oregon court would rule on my particular legal question, which has not yet come up in Oregon courts. It took about 1.5 weeks of research and two days of writing, and I feel like I was able to come to a satisfactory answer to my legal question. Now I'm starting on a second research question, looking into what happens to intellectual property licenses, such as a copyright license, when the licensee goes bankrupt. That is going to be an interesting topic to research, because it seems IP licenses have been given a different treatment in bankruptcy law than other types of licenses. But I know nothing about bankruptcy law, so I have a lot of reading to do. It's going to be great, I'm excited to learn.

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