Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Things I think of instead of doing homework...

A few things on my mind right now.

I should be researching 7th, 12th, 13th and DC Circuit factors for trademark infringement. I'll get to that in a bit. Bit first, some fun...

Ok, so I was able to come up with a song for each day of the week, thanks to some help from gail-marie, dahl, missing link and Scott.

But then I thought.."why not cover each day of the week with a band name?"

And then Scott suggested doing it with an album name. So...why not.

Your mission - find an album name to cover each day. The rule: it can't be an obscure artist, or a movie soundtrack, or a compilation (so Sunday Coffee is out). I've given you a start. Let's see how you do. Good luck.

Sunday: Black Sunday, Cypress Hill
Wednesday: Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. Simon & Garfunkel (album & song)

Ok, up next: my list of the five best comic strips ever written. Feel free to add your comments...

1. Calvin & Hobbes
2. Peanuts
3. Bloom County
4. Foxtrot
5. (tie) Dilbert
5. (tie) The Far Side
5.(tie) Doonesbury

Hey, it's my blog. I can cheat. Besides, I'm a Libra. We're notoriously bad at making decisions. So there.

OK, I have to do some homework now. I'll leave you kids alone here to play. Play nice. No hitting (hitting on, however, is ok, especially if you're hitting on me). And try to keep the place neat. I've put a lot of work into cleaning the place, the least you can do is pick up after yourself...

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Why I haven't called you...

So this girl on sends me a wink. I'm curious, so I reply.

We go to dinner on the Saturday before my b-day and things go well. She seems nice. Three days later, we go out again. Then the next Saturday, even though I just moved and am kind of tired, she invites me over and we rent a movie. We don't watch much of the movie. The next day, I'm very busy 'closing up' the old apartment, and don't call. Actually, I'm busy unpacking and doing school stuff, so I don't call until...Thursday. My bad. She calls back on Saturday, invites me to meet her and two friends to watch the game. We go back to my apartment, which has marginally improved over the week. Things get quite interesting again.

And then.....she says 'those words'.

"I'm not sure what I want"

Not what I want to hear. Especially when we're in the "deciding about you" phase. Not when I spent a good chunk of last year falling in love with someone who threw me that same curveball after first inviting me to meet her family.

Sure, we fooled around after she said that. Sure, she spent the night. But...I kept thinking about those words. And some others that came out. And I decided to nip it in the bud. I've been through the emotional wringer twice. I'm not going there three times. No way. She's out there, the one for me, who knows exactly what she wants, and it's right next to her in the bed, warts and all.

So I hope you weren't mad that I kind of shoved you out the door (though I did that more because you told me how you promised your friend you'd be there to cheer her on in the Marathon, and keeping your word is important to me). And I hope you're not mad that it's Sweetest Day, and I haven't called. Nor have I called all week. Because I've been thinking about what you said, and I don't want to talk about it. I talked about it with Dawn, and then with Laura, and it got nowhere. I'm not doing it again. Every ten minutes (if not sooner), a cute woman goes by my apartment. There's too many opportunities for me to work on a project. And I have too much going on in my life right now for a needy girlfriend.

You were very nice, S, of luck.

How to dump a man (with thanks to Wendy and Patty)

Dear ________,

I regret to inform you that you have been eliminated from furthercontention as Mr. Right. As you are probably aware, the competition wasexceedingly tough and dozens of well-qualified candidates such as yourselfalso failed to make the final cut. I will, however, keep your name on fileshould an opening become available. So that you may find better success inyour future romantic endeavors, please allow me to offer the followingreason(s) you were disqualified from the competition.

Check those that apply...

Your last name is objectionable. I can't imagine taking it, hyphenating it, or subjecting my children to it.

Your first name is objectionable. It's just not something I can picture myself yelling out in a fit o passion.

The fact that our dining experiences to date has left MY wallet a little lighter, and YOUR pants a little tight.

Your inadvertent admission that you "buy condoms by the truckload" indicates that you may be interested in me for something other than my personality.

You failed the 20 Question Rule, i.e., I asked you 20 questions about yourself before you asked me more than one about myself.

Your constant emailing shows me you have TOO much time on your hands!

Your legs are skinnier than mine.

You're too short. Any son that we produced would inevitably be beaten up repeatedly at recess.

You're too tall. I'm developing a chronic neck condition from trying to kiss you.

You have a hairy back.

I find your inability to fix my car extraordinarily unappealing.

The fact that your apartment has been condemned reveals an inherent slovenliness that I fear is unbreakable.

The phrase "My Mother" has popped up far too often in conversation.

You still live with your parents.

Although I do enjoy the X-Files, I find your wardrobe of Star Trek uniforms a little disconcerting.

Your frequent references to your ex-girlfriend lead me to suspect that you are some sort of psychotic stalker.

Your ability to belch the alphabet is not a trait that I am seeking in a long term partner.

Your height is out of proportion to your weight. If you should, however, happen to gain the necessary 17 vertical inches, please resubmit your application.

Somehow I doubt those condoms I found in your overnight bag were really necessary for a successful business trip.

I am out of your league, set your sights lower next time.


Well, at least there's more parking now...

So the Cubs lost. Honestly, I kind of expected that. They never had a good bullpen, and you don't win World Series' by forcing your best pitchers to go eight innings. Six innings, then bring in middle relief. But the Cubs have never had good middle relief, and no true closer since they let Lee Smith go back in the late 80's. Neither have the White Sox.

So what do you do? Well, Greg Maddux should be available. Sign him to a two-year contract, and let him teach Wood and Prior how to place their pitches. Let him encourage Clement and Zambrano to do better, too. Imagine that lineup. I'm sure if Maddux had pitched game 5 instead of Zambrano, we'd be gearing up for that Series.

Corey Patterson should be back next year. But what about second and short? Two problem areas which need to be addressed. Third base has always been a question mark, but give Martinez a shot at it. Mueller was average, then went to Boston and became awesome. Let's see if Martinez can do the same after leaving Pittsburgh. Truthfully, I think the Cubs overachieved this year. Second place in the division would have been a nice improvement. Houston shouldn't have collapsed, but they did. Wonder what the Astros fans will blame that on? In contrast, the White Sox are a year away, too, and finished right where they should. If Kenny Williams tweaks a bit more here and there (like getting some decent relief pitchers), the Sox will be in the playoffs next season. And maybe we'll get that Red Line series after all..

And finally, fix the middle and late relief problems. No way should Mark Prior be throwing 125 pitches. Get some people who can get the job done. Now.

And stop blaming Steve Bartman and the goat for all your problems. And Cub fans, do me a couple of favors. Stop whining about "XX years of frustration" and next year, when the Cubs get to the NLCS, act with a little more class. Etiquette says you don't dance in the streets until after you've won the Series. Everything else looks laughably pathetic. You want to be champions, then act the part. I'm not saying it isn't cause for celebration when your team advances, but what went on here after the season clincher and game 5 of the NLDS was overboard.

And remember, it's not over until the last out of the last game. Tuesday was pathetic. The fans and the media here were talking about how Prior and the Cubs were going to the Series, etc. with one little problem - the game hadn't started yet. No doubt several articles from the Sun-Times and Tribune were tacked up in the Marlins' locker room as motivation (for evidence, see Pudge Rodriguez' reactions in the 8th inning of Tuesday's game - you think he didn't read those articles and get pissed?).

More Cubs tales:

As I left my apartment for class Tuesday, one woman had the audacity to walk up to me and ask me where I was parked so she could have my parking space (this despite the fact that the area is clearly marked as a permit only zone). I told her I was taking the 'L' (which I was). She looked pissed.

Wednesday, I had to endure a ride on the Red Line with five drunk teenagers (think fourteen, not nineteen), one of whom loudly shouted "CUBBIES!" over and over. His friend laughed and said, "you're funny when your drunk, dude," to which he replied, "I can't watch the Cubs when I'm sober, man - they piss me off." They were headed up to Addison - to do what, I don't know, because they weren't even in the area code of being old enough to enter a bar. One of the three girls in the group was chattering on her cell phone with a friend, and became upset when she found out that the Cubs were losing 7-5. C'mon people. It's just a baseball game. Sheesh....

Lastly (on the Cubs theme, anyway):

When you're walking/driving through my neighborhood, please be polite. If it's after 11 on a weeknight, be quiet. We have jobs we have to go to in the morning. Even if you're not going to yours, others don't get that option. And you wouldn't like it if we did what your doing in our neighborhood in yours, so be considerate of our property as well. Thanks.

Other news:

I have a job. Well, I have two, really. One which pays, one which doesn't. But they're both interesting, and I'm excited about both. And they're both legally-related, and full of networking opportunities. So I've got that going for me. (Note to Marty Stark: One's with Big Law. This should be interesting. I'll let you know how it me if you want to know who)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

It's 9 p.m. and all's well

Sammy Sosa just hit a nice, soft line shot to advance the runner to third...the Cubs lead 3-0, getting a couple of insurance runs the last two innings, and McKeon's gotta be looking down the barrel of defeat right now. Six more outs, and this neighborhood goes wild. I moved my car a mile away, partially because I don't have the requisite LV2 permit (which subjects me to a $150 tow risk), and partially because I don't want it damaged should people get nuts around here. I doubt that, though, because I can look out my window and see no fewer than three cops standing on Racine, one just below my window.

Alou just popped up to end the seventh. The crowd is loud, but when I opened the window earlier, I couldn't hear a thing, just the sounds of the cars and the people out on Racine. Cornelia is just as silent, I presume, even if it isn't as well-lit.

I should be working on my paper. I am, really, but I wanted to post this because - hey, I live four blocks away, and I can now hear the car horns and the people, getting ready to explode in two short innings. Being a Chicagoan, we are all too negative - we remember 1984, when the Cubs went to San Diego with a 2-0 lead, and lost the next three. I was four when 1969 happened, and anyone from this area needs no further explanation about what I'm talking about. We lived with frustration from 1963, when the Bears won their last championship, to 1986, when they won the Super Bowl. We got accustomed to winning when MJ took the Bulls to six (it should have been at least seven) NBA Championships.

Five outs to go.

But look at our teams:

The Cubs last won the World Series in 1908; the last time they were there: 1945.

The White Sox last won the World Series in 1917; the were last there in 1959.

The Blackhawks won their last Stanley Cup in 1961, though they were in the finals in 1992.

The Bears won their only Super Bowl in 1986. They haven't been as far as the NFC Championship since 1988.

The Bulls last won a Championship five years ago. They haven't done much since.

Wonderful. Now its 3-3. See what I mean?

Monday, September 29, 2003

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

The packing continues. I have so much crap, it's unbelievable. I should just toss stuff, but....where do I start? Holy cow, there's a lot of stuff....where did it all come from? What the heck am I going to do with it all?

One nice discovery today - my Lincoln at the Parks brochure from when I moved in. Why is that nice? I discovered that I'd transposed some numbers in my head. My apartment isn't 960 square feet, as I'd thought. It's 906. That means that my new apartment will only be....six feet smalller! One less bathroom, for sure, but I had to force myself to use it. I never had a lot of company here where I needed a second bathroom anyway. Laura used it a couple of times when she came over, but by month three, she was using my bathroom to get ready anyway.

For those of you who birthday was nice. Mom & Dad got me a bag to carry the laptop and (most) of my with wheels, which will take pressure off of my back, which has really been bothering me lately. Sis got me workout clothes, though workouts have been suspended, pending resolution of the back issue. Hopefully, it's nothing serious, but going for a run on Monday, and spending Tuesday on your back isn't fun....

And this weekend was nice, too. Especially Saturday. But that's all I'll say. My secret.... ;o)

Saturday, September 27, 2003


So things will probably be sparse the next few days, as I run around the apartment packing up for the big move one week from today.

It dawned on me Thursday, as I was writing my paper, that I was moving in a week. One week from today, I'll be unpacking in a new home. Hard to fathom that.

When I moved here, things were much different. I packed over a couple of weeks, and brought stuff to this place box by box over a week-long period. I won't have that luxury this time. I'll have three days to do it all, and on Friday morning I have an interview. (Arrghh!!)

But two years ago, I was ending a ten-year friendship, as my friend Jeff had clearly chosen his girlfriend over me. She had decided she didn't like me, and he was pussy-whipped, as they say. Whatever she wanted him to do, he did, because he did anything for (almost) any woman who let him into her pants. Pathetic. They're married now, so I hear, since he's never physically spoken to me since the day I moved out - September 22, 2000. No idea if they have kids, though when I went by their house a couple of weeks ago (on the way to meet some friends), I didn't notice anything resembling kid's stuff outside. But it's only been about a year since the wedding, so....who knows. Who cares.

As I type this, the Cubs lead 6-2 in the bottom of the 9th. One on, one out. Deep fly to Slammin' Sammy took care of the second batter. Hernandez 1-for-3 up....swing and a miss......second pitch......DOUBLE PLAY BALL!!!! OUT AT SECOND! OUT AT FIRST!!!!!!! CUBS WIN!!!!!!

oh, crap. That means traffic is gonna suck. And I'm moving four blocks from this in one week........

I can't wait.

Thursday, September 25, 2003


Today is D-Day. As in Draft Brief Day. As in the Draft-brief-that-I-haven't-finished-and-should-be-working-on thingy. Instead, I'm listening to Eric & Kathy on WTMX and fooling around on the weblog, responding to comments by two of my favorite ladies, Ang and Annika.

Now, I can justify the radio part. After all, the topic on E&K is screwups by home contractors, based on a news item that a woman come back to her North Side home to find a tarp covering half her roof. Seems the roofing company had been contracted to replace the roof of her neighbor's house. Oops. Thus inspired, E&K asked listeners to call in with their stories.

First there was the guy who bought a lot in a new subdivision, and was told by the builder that they wouldn't get to his section for another year. One day, a few months later and on a whim, he took a drive through the subdivision that was to be his future home. And what did he find? A house. On his lot. And not the one he'd contracted for. Seems the builder 'accidentally' built a house on his lot, so they had to give him another lot in the subdivision. I would've made sure it was a better lot than the one I gave up.

Then there was a lady whose situation so closely paralleled a Bus Org class hypo that it was scary. In our class hypo, the prof asked us if he would be liable if he came home to find that someone had paved his driveway. Not only that, but they'd stuffed a note and a bill in his mailbox. In the real life situation, the woman came home to find that her lawn had been aerated and trimmed. Inside her mailbox? You guessed it, a bill. But while the prof's hypo involved a company illicitly trying to drum up business, her situation involved an error. Right address, wrong street (happens to my parents, who live on 129th Place, all the time - they constantly get the mail of the family on 129th Street). So, of course, the woman called the company to tell them they made an error. Their response? "We're sorry, but since we did your lawn, we expect you to pay your bill anyway." When I heard this, I thought "oh my gosh, I hope she didn't pay...." (she didn't).

I guess now I really am thinking like a lawyer. I'd better go work on the defamation section of my brief now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003


Please answer the following questions. Feel free to embellish where needed. If you need to look up embellish, hit the little X in the upper right hand corner of your screen.

Background info:



Brothers: ___
Sisters: ___


Yours: ___
Other: ______

Undergraduate alma mater: _______________
Grad School (if applicable): _______________
Law School (if applicable): _______________
Trade/Vocational School: _______________

Personal (Circle appropriate answer):

Are you sane?


See that little X in the upper right hand corner? Try that. Now.

Describe your last relationship:

I dumped him because:

I just wasn't in love with him (the "you're a nice guy, but" option)
I wasn't ready for a relationship (the "it's not you, it's me" option)
I decided to stick to one relationship.
Hoping to finally have a relationship.

He dumped me because:

Because he found someone younger
Because he found someone with bigger boobs
Because I gained ten pounds (uh, ten times ten pounds)
Because he's an idiot, and didn't know how good he had it
Because he found out he was gay


I caught that !^$&%*! loser with my best friend
Hoping he'll take me back.
One night stands are nice, but so last week

My self-confidence can be described as

High: I'm not afraid to ask a guy out
Moderate: I don't normally ask guys out, but I'm not shy.
Average: I wait for guys to make the first move.
Low: please date me. Please.

Quick, which is larger ?

Your IQ
Your chest measurements.

On a first date, if I like the guy, I'll

Kiss him
Sleep with him
Hug him
Shake his hand

You can tell I like you when I:

Smile at you
Tell you so
Give it up pal, you have no chance!

What are you looking for?

Someone who'll respect me for who I am
A hot guy with great abs know
The guy on the cover of this month's Men's Health
Brad Pitt (please indicate what you'd do about the "Jennifer problem")
Someone to pay for everything I want
A place-filler until something better comes along

When you're in a relationship, you:

Communicate. Nothing's better than when it's what you both want
Dominate. It's my way or the highway, pal
Subordinate. I need you to tell me what I should be doing

Sex is:

Best enjoyed by two
A necessary evil
A weapon
I don't know what you?re talking about here.

Speaking of sex, my favorite position is:

Any. Sex is something fun, as long as it's not too kinky.
Lying there reading a book, wondering if he?s done yet.
I still don't know what you're talking about here.
On top (cowgirl)

I'd describe myself as:

Romantic : I like flowers and calls "just because"
Practical: do something nice, but don't blow the 401(k)

You should pick me out of the millions of qualified applicants because (points for originality, humor, grammar, punctuation and spelling. All cites must conform to Bluebook rules.):Please add any details about yourself that you feel were not adequately covered by these questions.

Please return to this email address, and attach a photo of yourself.


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

To: Greg
From: MetLife
Re: Denial of claim

Dear Sir:

This is to inform you that we have denied your claim for the following reasons:(a) Services were rendered prior to the effective coverage date.

Hmm......This shouldn't happen. I have COBRA!!!

(beep beep boop boop beep) Riiiiiinnnngg.....riiiinnnggg....

Welcome to MetLife!

If you have a touchtone phone, press 1.
Los needos personas to hablas espanol, numero 2.
If you don't have a touchtone phone, and have no idea what we said in the second sentence, please hold while we transfer you to an underpaid, overworked customer service 'specialist' who just got dumped by her boyfriend and could care less about you......


If you need to enroll, press (1), then press (3), then press (4). We have no idea what will happen when you press (3) and then (4), but we thought it would be fun to say.

If you have a question about your company's enrollment process press (2) and you'll be transferred to our Spanish speaking operator.

If you have a question about your benefits, and are currently at work, press (3) to be disconnected. You should be working, not screwing around.

If you have a question about your benefits, and are currently at home with the afternoon free, press (4) to be put on indefinite hold.

If you have a question about your benefits, and are currently standing in the emergency room bleeding to death, press (5) and you will be put on emergency hold. Currently, there are 2,545 people ahead of you.

If you are a retiree, and have a question about Medicaid payments, press (6), and we'll tell you we don't know.

For all other questions, please hold, and we'll get to you sometime before the new year.


Please hold. You're business is important to us. Please hold. You're business is important to us.Please hold. You're business is important to us....


"MetLife, this is Susie. How can I help you?"

Hi. My dental claim was denied, and I was wondering why.

"Your name and SSN, sir."

greg. 123-45-6789.


"Sir, I show your coverage was terminated by your employer as of June 1st."

No, no. I left my employer on Memorial Day. But I'm on COBRA coverage now.

"I'm sorry sir, I don't show you as being on COBRA. You'll have to contact your employer's service center to find out what they did."


(beep beep boop boop beep) Riiiiiinnnngg.....riiiinnnggg....

Thank you for calling the Employee Service Center. Your call is important to us.

If you have a touchtone phone, press 1.
Los needos personas to hablas espanol, numero 2.
If you don't have a touchtone phone, and have no idea what we said in the second sentence, please hold while we transfer you to an underpaid, overworked customer service 'specialist' who just got dumped by her boyfriend and could care less about you......

Do all these guys shop at the same voice mail store?


If you are a current employee and have a question about enrolling, please wait until November and press (1)

If you are a current employee and need to change your benefits, press (2) to be connected to your boss. Be prepared to answer why you need this change.

If you are a current employee and have a question about your benefits, we can't explain them to you. Press (3) to be connected to a benefit provider at random. Odds of you getting the right provider: 1 in 50.

If you are a retiree and have not gotten the mailing about how your costs will be increasing by 50% effective tomorrow, press (4) and we will attempt to sound sympathetic while we use small words to explain the reaming you're about to get.

If you are a retiree and have gotten the mailing and wish to complain, press (5) and we'll put you on hold for the rest of the day. After all, you're retired. What else do you have to do?

If you are a former employee, are on COBRA, and just got denied because your former service provider has ABSOLUTELY no record of you having coverage, press (8).

To repeat the menu you've just been listening to for the last 5 minutes, press (9)


(do do doo doo doo doo doo.....)

"This is Marcus, how may I help you?"

Uh. Yeah. I have COBRA and MetLife denied my dental claim because they don't show that I have COBRA coverage.

"Ok. Your name and SSN please."

greg. 123-45-6789.

"Ok.......(clickclickclickclickclick)....hmm....(clickclickclickclick)....uhh.....(clickclickclick)..hmm....sir, my computers are down. Can you give me a number where I could contact you when they come up?"

That was Monday. I'm still waiting...
Check it out.

Tell me what you think.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

How's your vision today?

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

What I've been up to....

Writing. Lots and lots of writing. The first draft of my appellate advocacy paper is due this coming Thursday, and I've bee plugging along trying to write up the brief. It hasn't been easy, since I really don't like a.) the topic and b.) the case. I have to write for the appellant for this one, and I really have to admit: they don't have a case. Ok, they have a case, but not much of one. So it's been fun.

What else have I been doing?

Well, Thursday I went to court. Not any court. THE court. Well, at least the biggest court around here - the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. I have a friend who works there, and he assured me that Thursday would be a good day to go. Why? Judge Frank Easterbrook would be presiding, and for those of you who don't know what that means, well....let me share a story he shared with me.

Seems a rather prominent attorney, who does most of his work in the 9th and 2nd circuits wished to file a brief in the 7th. Unfortunately, the attorney's brief did not conform to the rules of the court. When the clerk informed him of this, he told the clerk "I do most of my work in the 2nd circuit, which is much more prestigious, and that brief conforms to their rules."

Well, you can guess what happened. The clerk 'let it slip' what the attorney had said. Unfortunately for the attorney, Easterbrook was the judge to whom the clerk let it slip. And Easterbrook was the presiding judge in the case. So when Mr. Self-Important Attorney got up in front of the Court for his allotted twenty minutes, he got a - yep - twenty minute lecture on the rules of the 7th circuit and why they should be followed. He got not one minute of time to present his case.

So in full knowledge of how Easterbrook can shred an attorney (Richard Posner, another 7th Circuit Judge, has a similar rep, though Easterbrook's younger and more vocal, from what I've heard), I showed up on Thursday. Most of the six cases were dry affairs, though the Northwestern University prof who showed up to argue a habeas case on behalf of the defendant certainly had fun dancing his way around Easterbrook's shots. Judges Wood and Evans were fairly quiet, though Judge Wood grilled a female attorney who showed up to argue a deportation proceeding.

The highlight case was United States v. Mallon which concerned an Irish civil servant (though the BBC says he's merely a consultant) who came to the U.S. for some State Department things, and decided to march in the St. Patrick's day parade here in Chicago. And he figured, since he was here anyway, to have sex with an underage girl. Or he thought she was underage. Instead, "she" turned out to be a Cook County Sheriff, and he happened to get welcomed to Chi-town with his own committee....and some neat digs out at 26th and California.

But that wasn't the highlight, argument-wise.

No, that went to this exchange:

Attorney 1: "Your honor, I am here today to....."
Easterbrook: "Why are you here today? Frankly, I don't even know if we have jurisdiction to hear this case."
A1: "Excuse me, Your Honor?"
E: "Your brief doesn't include the required statement on the state of incorporation and principal place of business of your opponent." (Easterbrook's a stickler on the rules!)
A1: "Uh.....I'm pretty sure they have their principal place of business in New York."
E: "But your brief doesn't say that. It doesn't say anything. But don't worry, the other side's brief doesn't either."

Surprisingly, Easterbrook let him continue. That's probably because the attorney seemed not to be a real attorney, but a guy representing himself (He had the same name as the plaintiff). Besides, Easterbrook had another attorney waiting to be roasted - the other guy.

Easterbrook: "Your brief violates the rules of this court. It does not state the state of incorporation or the principal place of business of your client."
Attorney 2: "I think it's in the complaint, your honor."
E: "I didn't see it in the complaint. Besides, whether or not it is in the complaint doesn't matter. It's supposed to be in your brief."
A2: I don't know what state they are incorporated in, Your Honor, but I'm pretty sure that their principal place of business is not in Illinois."
E: "I don't want an attorneys guesses, counsel. I want facts. In the brief, where it belongs."
A2: "Yes, Your Honor."
E: "I'm giving parties seven days to amend and include the required information."
A2: "I imagine you want the plaintiff (A1) to amend first, Your Honor?"
E: "No, I want both parties to amend. In seven days."
A2: "Do you just want a supplement with the information?"
E: "I'm sure a properly written and formatted brief will suffice."
A2: "Yes, Your Honor."

At least Attorney #2 got a chuckle when he referred to a California appraising company as "foreign".

According to my friend, Monday has a real interesting case coming up. If Easterbrook's involved, I'll be there.

Last days....

I had two positions when I was at Exelon. I started in reporting, and ended in support accounting. My replacement at the report accounting position, Jen, left the company on Friday, and I joined up with some ex-co-workers to see her off (her hubby, an ob/gyn, got a residency in Los Angeles). First up was watching the DVD of her and my friend Jim going skydiving (Jim liked the experience, not the DVD - he didn't buy his). Miguel teased Jen about how lively she was before she got up in the plane, and how quiet she got once there. Actually, as Miguel pointed out, the guide nearly had to pull her ripcord, because Jen was too busy waving and smiling at the camera to notice that they'd passed the altitude they were supposed to pull it at. All in all, it was quite funny.

I told Jen that with her in LA and Scott in San Diego, I'd have to come out west soon. Then I could meet Moxie, and Annika, and Joanie.........hmm....winter sounds like a good time for a trip....

In other news, I'm going to be moving. No, not apartments, which I am going to do in about three weeks. But blogs. I've struck a deal over at for my own space, and I'll be moving over there soon - probably about the same time I move to my new apartment.

Friday Five

Ok, so it's Sunday, not Friday. But I originally spent a good hour typing the above and my answers to the Friday Five and then hit post and watched it all disappear....

So here goes...

1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?

I have lots. Bruce Springsteen, Sarah McLachlin,'s a long list. Music defines a large part of my life, as regular readers can probably tell by all the lyrics I quote here. I use music to make me happy (Sit Down by James, Return to Innocence by Enigma are two that come to mind), to express anger (Godsmack), when I'm sad (Sarah), when I'm reflective (Enya)...and on and on. To pick one as a favorite? Never

2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?

Oddly, this is easy. Van Morrison. Yuck. I'm not a big fan of Led Zepplin or the Beatles, either, but this says musician, and I like Paul.

3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?

Yes, to all of them.

4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show? Ok, here's the concert list:

AC/DC (1981, Rosemont Horizon): My first concert. I still remember riding in the car with my friend Al Crutcher, and his friend Bob. Very Loud. Very fun.
Queen (1982, Poplar Creek): Their last US tour. Best light show, hands down.
Wham (1984-ish, Poplar Creek): My friend Brian talked me into going, cause there'd be tons of girls there. There were. And they all thought Brian and I were a cute couple.
Bruce Springsteen (1985, Rosemont Horizon): There's a reason he's called The Boss. 'Nuff said.
Peter Gabriel (1987, Poplar Creek): I can still feel the drumbeats of the encore song, Biko. Awesome.
J. Geils (1987, Poplar Creek): One Big Party
John Mellencamp (1987, Rosemont Horizon): This one involved some effort. I had an interview in Deefield (an hour from home), and then had to go back to NIU (in DeKalb) because my Econ prof moved the date of the exam, and wouldn't let me take it another day (I can still hear him say, "It's a night class, you can do the interview and the exam"). Then I had to drive another hour back to Rosemont through a horrible whiteout so bad that Mellencamp himself recently called it the worst conditions in which he did a show. It was worth it.
Yes (late 80's): They came to Poplar Creek (since torn down and now part of Sear's HQ). They had just had their first hit in years (Owner of a Lonely Heart), and were riding the crest of a wave of new stardom. Most boring concert ever. The wave didn't last long, either.
U2 (1992, The World Music Theatre): The day of the show, it was about 98 degrees and humid outside. An hour before the show, the skies opened up for about 15 minutes, or as my mom likes to say "long enough to get everything wet." Including all the tops of the girls, most of whom wore white, and many of whom left the bra at home. It was a good show. And what was on the stage was good, too.
Bruce (again) (1992, The World): I used to know this girl, MK, who liked to tell tall tales. She did work for Jam Productions, and she did have a backstage pass, but that was about it. The funny part was when she told us how she bumped into the Big Man (Clarence Clemons) backstage and talked to him. She shut up quick when I pointed out that Bruce had recently fired the E Street Band, and that they were probably not on speaking terms at the moment.
The Cure (mid-90's, Rosemont Horizon): I went with a co-worker, Kathleen, who was from Detroit and not all that gorgeous, but to whom I was attracted to anyway. Good seats, good show. No date.
Melissa Etheridge (mid-90's): She did a show at the then-Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena). I went with my friend Jeff, his then-girlfriend and her friend (who was disappointed to be fixed up with me). She did the middle third of the show from a satellite stage 15 rows away from us. Kenny Arnold (Mellencamp's drummer) did a solo on her acoustic guitar. It was great.
Nine Inch Nails (mid-90's, Rosemont Horizon): One of only three concerts for which I still have the t-shirt (the 92 Springsteen and U2 shows are the others), and the t-shirt that's in the best condition of the three. Wins the award for most bizzare, with the Jim Rose circus appearing as the opening act, and a big silkscreen covering most of the stage. And Jeff's future wife/ex-wife's cousin bobbing his head incessantly. On the way home, he said he had a headache. Wonder why.

I haven't been to a concert since Melissa/NIN/Cure (I don't remember which was the last of them), partially because I object to Ticketmaster's rape of the public with their fees, and partially because - well, I'm not 21 anymore.

But David Bowie's coming in January. And I bought tickets. And coughed up $8 per ticket (on top of the $40 ticket price) to Ticketripoff.

5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?

Explain to me this: How is downloading any different from borrowing your buddy's CD and taping it? Hmm?

Friday, September 19, 2003

I found another good website for those of us undergoing anxiety in the interviewing process. Check it out.
Ok, now I'm pissed. I wrote a huge post. I talked about a lot of things. I hit post. And f+ing MSN had logged me off, and not told me. So I lost it all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

There oughta be a law....

Ok, they did it. Again.


It. S-X.


The couple across the way from me. Again. Second time in a week. This time, he was on top. Last time, she was.


No, I am not a pervert.

So how do you know then? Hmm?

Because they were doing it with the lights on, the blinds open, and......right in front of the window. It's damn unfair. Looking out the window, seeing them going at it like rabbits. It's getting so I can't walk out on my balcony. And what's worse is......dammit, I don't get to do that, why should they!!

Stop whining!!

You're right. I should sell tickets for this. If only I could get them on a regular schedule. What I thought was funny was this: last time, a woman walked her dog right under their window! Wonder if she heard them. Wonder what she thought....

Sometimes, Joel, you've gotta say....what the fuck???

I got this letter today via Loyola's email system:

From: Law-1stYR-Student-Life
Date: Tuesday - September 16, 2003 4:53 PM
Subject: Proposal on Grades

A proposal has been made through the College of Arts & Sciences that Loyola implement a grading system that would include minus grades. The faculty asked that I write to ask your opinion of such a change, which is still in discussion in various parts of the University.

The immediate consequence of this change would be to add three more grading categories (A-, B-, C-) to our grade system and change the value of the grades of B+ and C+ prospectively. In other words, our current grades and their values are as follows:
A = 4.0
B+ = 3.5
B = 3.0
C+ = 2.5
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0

The proposed grading scale and the associated values would be:
A = 4.0
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.0
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.0
D = 1.0
F = 0.0

I regret that I don't have details regarding the implementation of such a proposal, but I would appreciate your reaction to it as described above.

Best wishes.

James J. Faught
Associate Dean

My response:

Dean Faught,

How about we follow Harvard and Yale's lead and shitcan grades and rank altogether? Ok, so it's only Yale that doesn't issue grades, but neither of them rank students.

Personally, I'm against subdividing grades. The AICPA used to have no grade issued on the CPA exam between 69 and 75 (the lowest passing score). This was so that no one could complain that they'd "just missed" a passing grade by getting a 74. (They've since changed that policy, to their detriment, I think.)

What's next? A++? C--? Why did we go to plus grades anyway? To make those people who didn't get an A feel a little better because they got a B+? So what? Employers don't care if you got 31 B+s. They care about the numerical grade - whether you have a 3.54 or a 3.24.

How about this: we make all final exams worth 100 points. The sum of all Legal Writing papers in a given semester would be worth 100 points as well. At the end of the semester, you'd achieve a certain amount of the maximum points available. For example, if you had five classes, and got 100 points in each, you'd max out at 500 points. Class Rank (if you must) could be determined by multiplying the points earned by the hours for each class. Thus, a student earning 10 hours with a maximum score of 500 points would have a total of 5,000 point hours.

I vote NO on minus grades. Stop pandering to the whiny children who get their first "B" in college after having their high school teachers kiss their ass for four years. Life's rough. Deal with it, kids.


Greg Z

What's going on here? Minus grades? How far do we subdivide our grades?

"Gee, Mark, I see you got a C------- in Contracts. I'll have you know I got a C------ in that class. So let's got a 2.008 to my 2.010. Man, I feel sorry for you. Looks like Dewey, Chetham and Howe won't be calling you!"

Ok law students. How does your school grade? What do you think of Dean Faught's proposal? And dare I point out that it's the ART students who want to split hairs here?

Monday, September 15, 2003

Miscellaneous things on my mind:


Why is it, when you’re trying to study, the DJ plays good songs? So far this morning, WXRT’s Terri Hemmert has played Coldplay’s God Put A Smile on Your Face, A3’s Woke Up This Morning, and Steve Miller’s Swingtown. If I hear Rev It Up or Good Day For the Blues, I’m gonna scream.

This never happens when I’m driving on the road, dying to hear a good song. I’m stuck listening to crap like 1980’s/90’s Eric Clapton (sorry, but he hasn’t done any good music in about 20 years), Van Morrison (can’t stand him), the Beatles (a few good songs, but not my favorite band), or Led Zepplin (a little goes a long way. A very long way).

TV ads:

I saw an ad for the American Mint on Friday. Seems they are taking the quarters issued by the government, painting them colors, and selling them as ‘limited editions.’ Their ad was pretty funny. To wit:

“Each quarter is minted in limited quantity, and sells out quickly…”


“1999 quarters were produced in very limited quantity and are very rare…”


“Each quarter is produced for a limited time, and never again…”

Sells out quickly, eh? Very rare, eh? Produced for a limited time and never again? So explain this: if all this is true, how is it that you’re offering a “limited edition” (there’s that phrase again) three-year set? Did you not sell all the 1999 and 2000 quarters? That would make phrase I a lie. Actually, it would make phrase II a lie, too, since they can’t be that rare – otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to sell the limited edition set. Instead, you’d be selling them on their own for whatever you could get. Kind of like Cub tickets. Or White Sox tickets. Especially for any playoff series past the first.

Of course, the funny part is that you advertise that whomever buys this will have “all the latest” quarters, even though you’re only offering quarters issued between 1999 and 2001, despite the fact that eight more quarters have been issued since 2001.

Must take a while to cull all those quarters from your loose change, I guess. But hey, for only three easy payments of $19.99, they can be yours. By the way, true collectors hold painted coins in contempt, and don’t give them any extra value. So those quarters you’re doling out big cash for? They’re worth, oh, $3.75 on the collector market. Enjoy.


What is with people ditching their blogs? I have about ten or so that I regularly try to read, and in recent months, several people have given up on writing. First was Caryn, a/k/a G.I. Jane. Then Mike bailed. I was bummed out, but not as much as when Angie bailed on hers. I felt like I lost a friend (I know you read this, Ang. I wanted to know that I hope you don’t stop. And send an email occasionally, ok?). Now edie singleton is considering giving up her blog. C’mon guys, don’t leave me standing out here all by myself… least Moxie, Leah, Marty, Maizzy, Joanie, Scott, Annika and Jeremy are all still around. I'd better drop in on Fish and Petit Hiboux. It's been awhile, and who knows?

Kelly over at crimeny wants me to install an RSS feed. Kelly, darling, I’d love to do just that, but…..I don’t have the first clue how. I’m good at typing. Beyond that….uh, well…..I have about as much luck as I do dating, which is to say none.
If you can help, I can definitely meet demand number 2. And while you're at it, if you can install a paypal link, so I can shamelessly beg for cash, I'd appreciate it. And I'm sure any future dates would also appreciate it, provided I get any.

Other things:

Men’s Health this month has an article on why straight guys need gay friends. I have several gay friends (and a gay cousin), but they’re not doing what this article says they should be. I need to sit down with them and discuss this article, tell them they need to ratchet up their work ethic, otherwise I’ll have to put them on some kind of ‘friend probation.’ I mean, c’mon, all guys know cute girls dig gay guys – so why am I dateless? Hmm??? I’m sensing underachieving performance here. So what if my gay friends are telling me my wardrobe needs updating. That’s what girlfriends are for, damn it! Right? So get cracking, guys!

Ok, maybe I’m not totally serious about the friend probation thing.

Oh, and finally….

Thirteen more days. Ugh.

Friday, September 12, 2003

How NOT to make a good impression

Today was my first interview in four and a half years. I hate interviews, because they bear a remarkable similarity to dating.

This morning I actually got off to a good start. I managed to get up after only one 'snooze' session. I didn't slice up my face until I looked like Freddy shaving. The printer didn't crap out printing out my revised Trial-Level Brief that the US Attorney's office requested. Kinko's didn't have a line, and I was able to make extra resume copies, copies of my transcript and copies of the brief in record time.

The major obstacle would of course be the 35 mile drive from Naperville to Loyola. First there was the East-West Tollway(I-88) to deal with; once that was conquered, I'd have to overcome the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290). That would put me at the south entrance to Wacker Drive, one block south of the Sears Tower. From there, I'd have to negotiate my way around the Loop to the Near North Side and the Water Tower, where Loyola is. The traffic reports were saying it was forty minutes from Wolf Road to Downtown (Wolf Road is where the I-290 extension and I-88 merge to form the official beginning of the Eisenhower; just west of this road is the infamous "Hillside Strangler," so called because at that point, I-88 goes from two lanes to one, just as traffic exiting off of I-294 (the Tri-State Tollway) merges in, and I-290 joins I-88. It's called the Hillside Strangler because a.)it's located in the suburb of Hillside, and b.) this used to be the worst backup in the state; with new construction, the backup has now moved east, to 25th Street. "Downtown" refers to the Old Post Office, which serves as a gateway to Congress Parkway and the entrance to Wacker Drive). On a good day, with no traffic, it takes fifteen minutes to get to Wolf from my apartment. But on a Friday morning, it can be easily double that. So thirty minutes plus forty minutes meant an hour and ten minutes from Kinko's to Downtown; count on another ten minutes from Downtown to school, and then some time to find a parking spot. Since it was 8:20, I was worried about cutting it close to the 9:50 interview time.

I shouldn't have worried. I made it to the entrance to Lower Wacker by 9:10. Lower Wacker was mostly empty, so I quickly circumnavigated the Loop. Amazingly, I immediately found a meter spot just across from school. By 9:20, I was at school, parked and on my way to Seattle's Best for a cup of coffee. Even that went smoothly. I made it up to Career Services by 9:30, twenty minutes early. Since law school interviews are twenty minutes, the person ahead of me should be starting shortly.

But they weren't. They hadn't even checked in yet. I made my way back to the back of Career Services, where Mandy was supposed to show me where Room 7 was. But she wasn't there. I asked the woman who came in if she was Mandy; she said no, but could she help? I asked for Room 7, and she apologized, but she didn't know where it was. Suddenly, a woman came out from one of the rooms, dressed in business attire:

Woman: This is room seven.
Me (smiling): Hi! Thanks, but I'm not the person you're looking for. I'm the person after the person you're looking for.
W (looking at list posted on door): You're Greg
Me: Yep.
W: Hmm.
Lady Behind Desk (to me): You're not the 9:30?
Me: No, I'm 9:50
L: Hmm.

(Lady disappears)

W: Well, I guess I'll wait five more minutes, and if she doesn't show, we'll just get started
Me: Fine by me. I'm flexible. I'll be right over there, reading my paper.
W: Ok

(Lady returns)

L (to W): She hasn't checked in yet
W: Well, I'll wait five more minutes

I retired to a chair, took off the suit jacket (I was hot) and sat down to read my copy of the Financial Times. Five minutes later, and my mysterious classmate had failed to arrive. As a result, I got an extra ten minutes on my interview.

As for the interview, I think it went well. We started off with small talk about how far Naperville was from Chicago, and how bad traffic seemed to be here (she's from Western Michigan). She seemed impressed by the fact that I worked two jobs and went to school, and she was very impressed by the fact that I went to Europe this summer. She asked about the similarities between the Italian and American legal systems, which I was only too happy to answer. In between, she told me about the work I'd be doing, how I'd be involved in criminal work, and how they would not hire me upon graduation, because the US Attorney's office only hired experienced litigators. Oh, and how only two of the four openings were paid positions. She asked me if I was interested in criminal work, and I said yes (it's true). I told her how I was a Discover Channel junkie (she admitted to being one, too), and how my grandfather was an Illinois State Trooper (which he was, prior to WWII).

On the one hand, the work would be absolutely fascinating, and the experience would look awesome on a resume. On the other hand, I'd have to move to Michigan for the summer.

One interview down, one to go. But that's not until October 3rd. As for my no-show classmate, she's screwed. The rules for OCI clearly state that if you cannot make it to an interview, you must call and notify OCI before your scheduled time. If you fail to show without calling, you are banned from any further use of OCI. Any interviews you had scheduled will be cancelled, and the next person on the wait list will move up. Even worse, the ban is permanent. That means not only does she lose out on interviewing for summer associate positions this year, she won't be able to interview for permanent positions next year. So hopefully, she'll get an offer from whatever firm does hire her. My suspicion is that she's like my friend Anita. Last night, Anita told me she'd put in for several interviews, but hadn't heard if she'd gotten any. When I asked if she'd picked up her packet at Career Services, she said no, she didn't know she had to. So she went back upstairs and got it. Maybe Miss No-Show didn't know either. But then, that's why the sent four emails reminding people to pick up their packet, and why they tell you to watch your email and your mailbox. It's too bad she missed the interview, but I don't feel sorry for her. We're all adults, and we have adult responsibilities.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Empty Sky

I woke up this morning
I could barely breathe
Just an empty impression
In the bed where you used to be
I want a kiss from your lips
I want an eye for an eye
I woke up this morning to an empty sky

Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky
Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky

Blood on the streets
Blood flowin' down
I hear the blood of my blood
Cryin' from the ground

Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to the empty sky
Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to the empty sky

On the plains of Jordan
I cut my bow from the wood
Of this tree of evil
Of this tree of good
I want a kiss from your lips
I want an eye for an eye
I woke up this morning to the empty sky

Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky
Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to the empty sky
Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky

Two years ago today, I was standing outside the clubhouse at Harborside Golf Course, a substitute golfer in the annual Exelon Charity Golf Outing, waiting to be told which foursome needed a golfer. Kathy Namors, the Building Manager for Exelon's Warrenville Office, and one of the organizers of the event, came out onto the portico where I was standing, just outside of the clubhouse doors. It was a conversation I'll never forget:

K: A plane just hit the World Trade Center
Me (Turning to face her): What?
K: A plane just crashed into the World Trade Center
Me (thinking Cessna-type plane, not 747): What, it wasn't big enough the idiot couldn't see it?

Looking back, that was stupid and insensitive to say. But I had no idea what the heck was going on. I went inside, where CNN was showing the burning tower. Corbin McNeal, then Chairman of the Board of Exelon, was desperately trying to turn the sound up on the only TV in the Pro Shop, to no avail. His son worked five blocks away, and no one was sure what was going on. At that time, registration for the outing was going on; people were milling about, talking, and ironically buying golf equipment, oblivious to what was going on behind them. Suddenly, without warning, plane number two hit the second tower.

The charity outing is one of two hosted every year by Exelon; the one out east raises funds for a favored PECO charity, the one in Chicago for the James J. O'Connor Scholarship fund. It's a very high-powered event; all the major executives show up, and many heads of ComEd and Exelon customers and affiliates do as well. There are six nuclear power plants in Illinois, and that day, the heads of all six, as well as several junior executives were all at Harborside. In fact, Corbin had just decided he wouldn't be golfing that day, and not more than five minutes before Kathy came out, I'd been asked to take his place in the foursome. Not being stupid (and not being a scratch golfer), I demurred. Instead, my boss' boss, Rob (who is a scratch golfer), took Corbin's place, and I later took Rob's place in his foursome.

I called my counterpart out east to tell her the news. That conversation went like this:

Me: Freddie, did you hear? A plane hit the World Trade Center
Frederica: No, no, it hit the Pentagon.
Me: No, Freddie. The World Trade Center. It's on CNN. See if you can get CNN on the TVs there (Exelon has a number of TVs scattered around their buildings. They mostly show company-related stuff, but they can pull in CNN and the Weather Channel, which the company monitors for weather issues which may affect service)
Ken (in background): They hit both!
Freddie (to Ken): What?!
Ken: Planes hit both the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. And they think there's another that crashed.
Freddie: Oh my god....

It only got more surreal from there.

Harborside has two courses; Port (North) and Starboard (South). The Port side has probably 14 of the 18 holes that have views of downtown Chicago, and all day long, people kept looking downtown. The skies grew very quiet as well. Those with Motorola text pagers (the higher-ups who hadn't immediately left) kept the rest of us updated: The FAA had grounded all airplanes, 50,000 people worked in both towers, hundreds of emergency workers on the scene. Then, the worst news: the first tower had collapsed. Not having access to a TV, we could only imagine it (though most of us thought the top half had toppled over, not the pancake collapse that had actually happened). Around the 15th hole, we heard the distinct sound of a jet engine, but saw nothing. "Military," said a former Navy Captain, an Exelon employee, and member of the foursome ahead of us, "F18 probably. They're patrolling the sky now." It was a very somber moment. Someone cracked a joke to break the tension.

Eventually, we finished the round. Part of the outing is dinner and a charity auction, and before that part began, we had a prayer and a moment of silence. Because of its nuclear plants, Exelon hires heavily from the Navy, and if George Bush had asked for volunteers, eighty percent of the room would have up and left right then and there. I can't describe the mood, but there was anger, anguish, sadness, and helplessness all combined.

When my coworkers heard that I was going to the outing, I got razzed for "taking a day off" and "getting out of work early" and so on. Ironically, the company would send them all home at ten a.m. By noon, they'd be home, watching TV with the rest of the world. I didn't get home that day until after six-thirty. My roommate, who worked afternoon shift (2-10), came home at seven. He hadn't really done anything - everyone was watching TV at work. Testing clutches suddenly wasn't that important.

Let's hope none of us ever live to see anything so horrible again.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Just Another
Pete Yorn

You and I , we’re two of a kind,
I hate to say it but you’ll never relate,
What makes you tick?
It makes me smile

You said that I should get away from it all
And bury my head in the sand if I want to,
I think you…..should thank me now

You were lying wide-awake in the garden
Trying to get over your stardom
And I could never see you depart us
And you’re my baby,
You’re just another girl
Just another girl

I never mind the way I had to see ya
My working on a day show never explains why I see you
And I feel your pain.

I love to wear my work inside of my head
I can’t complain but you should never react the way you did
I feel your time

You were lying wide-awake in the garden
Trying to get over your stardom
And I could never see you depart us
And you’re my baby,

You were lying wide-awake in the garden
Trying to get over your stardom
And I could never see you depart us
And you’re my baby,
You’re just another girl
You’re just another girl
You’re just another girl

Jonas Vargas drove southwest down the Adlai E. Stevenson expressway, the weight of thirty-seven years of frustration bearing down upon him. At a time in his life when he should be raising children and earning a decent living and worrying about college costs, he was single, foot-loose and fancy free, and frustrated. He had never been married, had no children – hell, he hadn’t even had a date in six months, and sex? What did they always say in the mob movies? Fahgetaboutit.

When you haven’t had a date, much less sex, in a while, you begin to think about all the ones who got away. The oh-so-close, and the not-so-close. The ones who would have married you in a heartbeat that you just couldn’t commit to, and the ones you were desperate to marry who could never commit to someone like you. You think of all the “you’re a nice guy, but…” speeches, and the pretty blonde girl who wanted nothing more than to be your girlfriend that you never bothered to call back. You begin to wonder why you couldn’t see that the girl you dated in your sophomore year in college (and who willingly gave you your first blow job) was a wonderful, loving person who liked you for who you were. Or why you did call back the brunette you dated your first years out of college, even when all the red flags pointed to heartbreak. Most of all, when you’re thirty-seven years old and never married, you hear your relatives talk about their “single cousin” in the hushed tones and voices that people use when they wonder secretly if… you’re….well… know. How do you explain them that your longest relationship lasted more than eighteen months? Because of the few who’ve made it past date three, the family has never met any of them. And what would they say if they found out that some of your best friends are… know.

And then there’s your friends. Happy, married (although some, admittedly, for the second time…you swallowed beers and heartbreak with them when they went through the first divorce), many with children (those without never wanted them anyway), they all are further down the road of life than you are. It was a road that, long ago, terrified you, back when you were thin, in shape, and had a full head of blonde hair and a bright future. But the light at the end of the tunnel was an EMD locomotive, and the future is more uncertain today than when you were eighteen. Back then, thirty-five was old – and by then you’d be married with a successful career and a big family with lots and lots of kids. The children are just ghosts now, memories long faded by the harsh reality that is your psyche, a dream never to be realized. You’ll never be the scion of a successful family, ala Joseph Kennedy. You worry more now about dying alone, being the lucky son-of-a-bitch fortunate enough to outlive family and friends, and be the person some poor Fed Ex delivery person finds three days dead and bloated when the packages you order in your senility off of QVC and E-bay start piling up. The anguish overwhelms you, as you get lost in the music on the radio, and wonder if things will ever get better.

Send lawyers, guns and money…
Dad, get me out of this…

Friday, September 05, 2003

Things of note

Maizzy sent me this link via a comment, and I absolutely thought it was hilarious. For the record, yours truly answered no to every question. I wonder if I can use that next time I'm trying to get a date.....maybe I can post it on my profile. "Hey look! I'm not a complete jerk!"

Yea, that'll work....

When you follow the link to Witt and Wisdom, click on the link to Julia's website for an absolutely hilarious eight-minute dating tale. I've been down that road all too many times, except that they didn't end after eight minutes.....


I've reposted the photo link above, for all you who haven't seen them (including some photos of me, for those 3 people who are dying to know what I look like). I've got some from England and Ireland, some from Paris, and some from Interlaken. More to come, perhaps this weekend. Depends on how motivated I am to do homework. Right now, things look good for the photos, since it's already 11 o'clock, and I haven't done a whit of homework yet. I really need to get motivated....but right now, I'm still in a funk.

Signed the lease for the new apartment on Wednesday. Move in begins October 3rd. I have to be out of here by the 5th. While I'm looking forward to the change in scenery (and the easier commute - I hope), I'm not looking forward to packing. And somehow, the 'rents are insisting I should get movers. Not that I'm excited about that, mind you, but last time I tried the "use the friends and pay them with beer" method, only one showed up - the guy I lived with, who was motivated to move me out so his bitch girlfriend could move in with him. They're now married, which is fine, since years of friendship was forgotten the first night she slept with him. I need that kind of amnesia....

I need to find someplace to put the motorcycle, since I won't have a garage at the new place.

Today is September 5th. 23 days to go before my birthday. Don't delay - start your shopping now, so you'll be able to ship it to me in time!

One month, five days before high school reunion day. Still no date on the horizon. Must remember to send in check soon - guess it'll be for one.......oh well.....

Hmmm....I'm hungry. I think I'll have breakfast. In the meantime, check out these nice folks who've been kind enough to link me.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

God Put A Smile Upon Your Face

Where do we go, nobody knows
I've got to say I'm on my way down
God give me style and give me grace
God put a smile upon my face

Where do we go to draw the line
I've got to say I wasted all your time
Oh honey honey
Where do I go to fall from grace
God put a smile upon your face yeah

And ah, when you work it out I'm worse than you
Yeah, when you work it out I wanted to
And ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine

Where do we go, nobody knows
Don't ever say you're on your way down when
God gave you style and gave you grace,
And put a smile upon your face oh yeah

And ah, when you work it out I'm worse than you
Yeah, when you work it out I want it to
And ah, when you work out where to draw the line
Your guess is as good as mine.

It's as good as mine, It's as good as mine
It's as good as mine

As good as mine, as good as mine,
As good as mine, as good as mine

Where do we go, nobody knows
Don't ever say you're on your way down when
God gave you style and gave you grace
And put a smile upon your face

Today's headlines....


Can Kobe buy his way out? Why not? Plenty of other rich people have. Why not Kobe? Rare is the wealthy person who gets tried and convicted. Even then, they have to have a certain amount of hubris before juries get fed up enough to toss them in jail (see Helmsly, Leona). There once was a 3L at Loyola who worked at the Cook County State's Attorney office. According to him, the only offenders who had a chance of not going to jail were those who hired private attorneys. And since Kobe has more money than you and I and five other people combined will ever see, he should be able to hire the best attorneys available (as it seems he has) and get out of any real punishment (provided, of course, he's guilty).

Lance Armstrong, wife splitting up. You're just hearing about this? It was the topic of discussion in Paris, when I saw the Tour de France. Guess only having one nut didn't stop Lance's wandering eye. Too bad. They made a cute couple. So what celebrity do you think Lance will be seen with now? The irony is that they announced the pending divorce on the same day that the House congratulated him on his win. Too funny.

Can a Chicago team win the World Series? Why don't we just wait and see if we get there first, shall we? Too many years of flops to start counting chickens now.

Other news....

Maizzy will be happy to know I've pitched the salad. And she's welcome to come over and help decorate the apartment anytime (you too, Joanie!). In return, I'll take you to Wrigley Field, four blocks from my apartment. No guarantee on baseball, though.

I also signed the lease on the apartment last night, capping a very tumultuous week. Things on the deceased uncle front have only gotten juicier. Seems we have some underhanded stuff going on. More to come....

And I should be posting more photos soon. Really. I mean it....

That's it for now....more later, when I don't feel guilty about not doing homework..

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Memos from Law School:

Now that Loyola’s IT ‘team’ has figured out how to add me to the main law school address list, I get all kinds of interesting emails. You know, class announcements (for classes I don’t have), death notices (for people I’ve never met, and wouldn’t know), and general announcements, such as this one:

Date: Friday - August 29, 2003 11:21 AM
Subject: ATTENTION OCI Students

Someone has turned in an OCI preference sheet without a name on it. This makes it impossible for us to enter you into the computer.

If you have preferenced
(is that a word?) the following employers in the following order and feel you may have forgotten your name, SS#, etc. on the sheet please contact us ASAP.

Quinlan & Carroll
Cremer Kopon & Shaughnessy
US Securities & Exchange Com.
Cassiday Schade & Gloor
City of Chicago


A little while later, this one came:

Date: Friday - August 29, 2003 12:02 PM
Subject: ATTENTION OCI Participants

Someone has turned in another OCI preference sheet without a name on it. This makes it impossible for us to enter you into the computer.
(Thanks for pointing that out again. I hadn't figured that out after the first email.)

If you have preferenced the following employer in red ink
(red ink? I hadn't realized that we were supposed to write our choices in blood, but then, there is a Satanic quality about OCI) and feel you may have forgotten your name,(easy enough to do the first week of law school) SS#, etc. on the sheet please contact us ASAP.

Cremer Kopon & Shaughnessy


Getting two emails in a row with Cremer, Kopon on it (note to Loyola OCI: it's actually Cremer, Kopon, Shaughnessy & Spina) made me feel much better, since this is one firm I, too, had "preferenced," though I doubt I'll get an interview. Cassiday, Schade was another of my firms, so I'm very hopeful of a good shot at a job. After all, the first person had a higher class rank than I (the SEC requires upper 30%, and Cassiday prefers upper 25%, so they must be ranked above me).

This one was a gem:

Subject: Law School Blankets for sale at Student Activities Fair

As part of a fundraising effort for PILS, School of Law blankets will be sold at the Student Activities Fair this Thursday from 4-6 pm. in the
student lounge.

Cost for each blanket is $30.00, which is the retail cost minus tax for the Loyola blankets available at the bookstore. However, these are specially made limited edition blankets that have "School of Law" on them.

Checks or cash only!!!

ALL proceeds from the sales will go to PILS. Stop by and prepare for winter.

law admission

I’m all over that, guys. Just what I wanted: a limited edition blanket. For a mere $30. What a deal.

I think I'll wrap myself up in my limited edition blanket and go watch "The Paper Chase" DVD. Enjoy!
Weekend Daze…

I’ve kind of been in a funk all week. I think it’s the whole back-to-school thing, and all the pressure of the week. To top things off, my granduncle died this week; his second wife was such a bitch, she didn’t want to tell any of his four children by his first marriage (my aunts and uncles) that he’d died. She told her own daughter that she’d called the family and let them know. Fortunately, the daughter decided to keep asking, eventually learning of her intent, and persuaded her to tell her stepchildren. But it was the daughter who called, and not until Monday night (he died Sunday morning), to tell her half-siblings that their father was dead and the wake would be the following morning and the funeral on Wednesday morning, and, oh, if you could please not talk to the second wife, that would be grand. Actually, I don’t think wifey #2 used the word please. And at least one half-sibling found out via message on the answering machine.

Of course, this meant that my cousins would be interrogating me once I walked into the funeral Wednesday morning, after finding out Tuesday night at dinner. I had half-expected this, since I knew that things were strained to begin with, and since Wednesday, I’ve learned that many an interesting thing has happened. And that it will only get more bloody. Fortunately, my involvement will be limited to merely referring the attorney we work with at the small tax office where I do part-time work.

Apartment Hunting – Fini

I found a place, as I said before. But Thursday brought the official news that I was approved, and that I was the official new tenant. Scott posted a comment welcoming me to the neighborhood (thanks, Scott – I move in October, so we’ll have to do beers at Yak-zee’s sometime after that to celebrate), and warning me about dumb Wrigley-area tourists, a breed I’ve been familiar with since my days at Ace Hardware’s HQ, when my co-worker Joel lived at Grace and Kenmore. He, too, told tales of people wandering around, asking silly questions. His bad luck was to live down the street from the left-field wall, where an occasional Sammy Sosa home run would come bounding down, chased by hopefuls intent on snatching a souvenir.

So now I need to start packing. And tell the current landlord that I’ll be moving out.


With the stress of starting classes, deadlines anew, finding an apartment, the funeral, and God knows what else (including spending today feeling like crap because I think the salad I made wasn’t properly cleaned – damn), I needed a good laugh. Thank God for Jeremy. I laughed so damn hard, I cried. Especially the post about law school resumes (room 750, closet #2? Holy crap those rooms at Harvard are small).

Here’s my take on a few things:

Buying books:

Jeremy, you lucky bastard. Only two hundred bucks? Wow. I dropped $500, and that was without supplements. Toss those in, and I’m over $600 easy. Your review of the crim law book was dead on, though. The only book more fun than that (so far)? Civil Procedure, of course. No, wait. Contracts. Definitely Con (yawn) tracts…

Things I could have bought with the money wasted on textbooks that will conveniently not be taken back next year:

Two tickets to a Cubs game (bleacher seats), including Ticketmaster fees
A small jet
Seats on the NYSE
Any minor league professional sports team
Season tickets (first base side) to the Chicago White Sox for the next 30 years
One Bears PSL, or two tickets to any Bears game (end zone), not including Ticketmaster fees

On Campus Interviewing (a/k/a OCI):

Unlike Jeremy, who was a full-time student last year, I was a full-time employee of a major corporation. Occasionally the boss came rolling around (ala Lumbergh of Office Space) at 4:15. Now, my normal work hours were 7:30 to 4:15, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who actually worked those hours. And more often than not, I’d get the late-afternoon surprise. It usually started out with, “Greg, you got a minute?”

Of course, in the world of my former employer, “a minute” was 30 minutes in normal, human time. “A couple of minutes” was basically the afternoon, and “what are you working on?” translated to “tell me what you’re doing, because I plan on taking you away from it for about six months”. “Special Project” translated to either “forget about seeing your six-year-old’s high school graduation,” or “get your resume ready, because if this thing tanks, you’re the scapegoat.” All this would be couched, of course, to appear as if it were an “opportunity,” though the only opportunity you’d get is the opportunity to be paid next week. Maybe.

All this meant that school took a back seat to work, and since it was tax season as well, school often came in third place. I wanted an ‘A’ in Legal Writing badly, so I put in a lot of effort in that class, but failed miserably in doing the same in Contracts and Civil Procedure. As a result, the grades last semester weren’t the greatest (but I did get that ‘A’). So…..for me OCI stands for One Chance In... [hell], which is about what chance I’ve got of getting a job next summer through OCI. Helllooo NALP guidelines!

Meet the Employers Night (MTEN):

This annual right in self-humiliation should be outlawed. My classmate and friend Gretchen summed it up best; when I told her that Anita, Tina and I compared interviewing to dating, Gretch opined that if that were true, then MTEN was the equivalent of three-minute dating, with the students playing the part of the desperate, loveless boys, hoping to attract one of the lovely ladies (employers) they’re sitting across from, and trying hard not to fuck it up. I had no hope of being interviewed by any of these firms; they all wanted people in the top 15% or better of the class, and I’m barely (for now) in the top half. Of course, my resume doesn’t say that. Nor does it mention my GPA. It does, however, mention the fact that I made the Dean’s list in the fall (a true fact). I’m a firm believer in don’t ask, don’t tell. It was fun telling all the employers my background (CPA, MBA with emphasis in finance and international business, ten years of tax work) and watching them drool with anticipation, especially the SEC guy. (I couldn’t keep up the charade with the SEC guy, thought, because he was actually very nice, and, like me, he’d changed careers in his thirties.)

Moot Court/Law Journal:

I think my school has these, but since I wasn’t invited to participate (as a part-time 1L, I wasn’t eligible for LJ), I can neither confirm nor deny their existence. I can however guess that they do exist, because Heather (who always gets what she wants) is on all of them (for her, that’s CLJ, PILJ, and Moot court). I believe the term justifiable homicide was invented for what should happen to bubbly, pert, former flight attendants who get all the breaks, then proceed to tell you about how hard they worked to get them (because, of course, they were not working a full-time job, or any job for that matter, but for some reason decided that they needed the part-time schedule anyway). I am so not bitter. Really.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Dean for America

Ok, I don't spout off on politics much here. In fact, I can't even think of a time when I have. But the truth is, I'm a democrat. For the most part. Usually vote democratic. So there.

Anyway, a classmate of mine, originally from Connecticut, is big into working campaigns. I've always wanted to, so I've been bugging her to volunteer at an event. Well, finally, she asked me to work the Howard Dean event today in good old Chi-town. Since class didn't start until 4, and the event was scheduled to end at 1, I decided to go for it. I wound up as part of her local press crew, where my job was to make sure members of the press made it easily from the credentials table to the press riser.

Yesterday was the walk-through. but it didn't prepare me for today. I arrived early (no minor miracle, given my penchant for lateness) fifteen whole minutes before I needed to be there. After a short wait, we were taken upstairs, where we helped put together banners and such while waiting for the press to arrive. Since Dean was speaking at a neighboring convention, the press arrived in a trickle at first.

Eventually, his speech at the other convention ended, and the press (and public) flooded over to ours. Governor Dean was scheduled to speak at noon; the height of the lunch hour, and the hottest time of an already hot, humid day. It was around 11 when the people were finally admitted to the terrace, and what an eclectic crowd - hippie types, college students, professionals, senior citizens - they all came to hear from the gathering storm that is Howard Dean. They were not disappointed. After a young, dynamic, African-American speaker introduced him, the Governor went on, albiet a few minutes late. He spoke to an enthusiastic crowd, who chanted and cheered each point he made. And good old George Bush, Jr. gave him plenty to make.

After he spoke for about thirty minutes, he worked the crowd, shaking hands. In the distance, rainclouds gathered. My classmate called us together, and told us she would get us in a photo with the Governor. But nature had plans of her own, and the DFA film crew needed to break down their equipment in a hurry, lest thousands of dollars of sensitive equipment get damaged by the impending downpour. Tom and I were pulled away from where we waited for the Governor, and the photographer bailed for the bus, rather than get caught in the rain (obviously, he's not a Rupert Holmes fan). I told Dave, the national coordinator, that he owed me a photo op for the one we'd lost (he chuckled and said "okay" in the way someone who's been told they have to do something they have no power over does). Tom, Jonathon and I helped Nathan break down the equipment. By this time, the Governor had left the terrace, and Chicago's finest weren't admittting anyone without credentials to any of the back areas. But we had them, (and what a cool feeling it was, to flash the "staff" badge and get into any area I needed to) so we were in.

We zipped across Navy Pier's interior to the North side, where the press bus and Governor Dean's car waited. He's not a nominated candidate, so he doesn't get a Secret Service detail (I'm hoping he is nominated, because I've heard that it's very exciting to work a national campaign, with all the activity). We dropped the equipment in the bus while trying to dodge raindrops from the deluge occuring around us. Nathan thanked us for our help, and went into the bus. We high-tailed it back inside, where it was cool and dry.

Once inside, Dave thanked us again for our help, and went upstairs. Jonathon went with him. Tom and I stood around, chatting. I heard a group approching from behind us, and turned around. It was none other than Governor Dean himself. I took a chance, and said loudly, "Good luck Governor." He turned saw me, and said "Thanks!" as he stretched out his hand to shake mine. As he did, he noticed we were wearing the "Staff" badges, and said "You guys did a great job here today. Thank you very much for all your help, I appreciate it. Keep it up!" He shook Tom's hand as well, and we were so shocked neither of us could think of much to say beyond "thank you very much, Governor, and come back here often."

If first impressions mean anything, I'll say I'm impressed. He's not tall (I'm 5'8", and we were about equal in height), but he is friendly, and considerate; he was fully willing to run out into the rain ("Just tell me which car I'm going to before I make a mad dash"), but when a staffer told him she had an umbrella for him, he told her to try to get as many people under it as she could.

Needless to say, I told my classmate I'd help whenever she needed it. And maybe someday, I can tell my grandchildren I shook the hand of a future President. How cool would that be?

Apartment Hunting (Cont'd)

I think I've found a new home! On Saturday, I went to look at three apartments in a multi-unit building. None of them impressed me. But the one diagonally across from them did. The owner had just put out a sign; he hadn't even published an ad yet. The apartment is $135 a month less than what I pay now (not quite the $300 drop I'd hoped for, but then, those which fell into the $850 range sucked) and only 60 square feet smaller. It's got hardwood floors, two window air conditioners, and a built-in dining room hutch. All in all, it's pretty nice, and my classmates were all excited last night when I told them. I just need to turn in the application, go through a credit check, and - if all goes well - my hunt is over. And I couldn't be happier. The best part? I'm four blocks (count 'em, baby!) from beautiful, scenic Wrigley Field.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

By Nick Lowe and his Cowboy Outfit

I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

Well the bride looks a picture in the gown that her mama wore
When she was married herself nearly 27 years before
They had to change the style a little but it looked just fine
Stayed up all night but they got it finished just in time
Now on the arm of her daddy she's walkin' down the aisle
I see her catch my eye and give me a secret smile
Maybe it's too old fashioned but a-we once were close friends
Oh but the way that she looks today she never could have then
Well I could see her now in her tight blue jeans
Pumping all her money in the record machine
Spinnin' like a top, you should have seen her go

I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

Well a proud daddy only wanna give his little girl the best
So he put down a grand on a cozy little lovers nest
You could have called the reception an unqualified success
Had a flash hotel for a hundred and fifty guests
Well take a look at the bridegroom smilin' pleased as pie
Shakin' hands all around with a glassy look it his eye
He got a real good job and his shirt and tie is nice
But I remember a time when she never would have looked at him twice
Well I can see her now, drinkin' with the boys
Breakin' their hearts like playin' with toys
She used to do the pony, used to do the stroll

I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

(harmonica solo)

Well I can see her now with her walkman on
Jumpin' up and down to her favorite song
I still remember when she used to want to make a lot of noise
Hopin' and a-boppin' with the street corner boys
She used to wanna party, she used to wanna go

I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

I knew the bride when she used to do the pony
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

I knew the bride when she used to wanna party
I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll

My friend Janet got married yesterday, officially taking off the market the one single girl in my age range I knew. She looked (as every bride does) absolutely gorgeous in her dress. Surprisingly, the reception was quite a small affair, attended by just under 125 people, including some ex-coworkers of mine from two jobs ago, some of whom I’ve kept in touch with the last four years.

So there I was, at the reception, watching the big bridal party parade when it hit me. I don’t think I could do this. I don’t think I could stand up in front of everyone and go through with the whole shlocky thing – walking in, arm in arm, “Eye of the Tiger” or “Theme from Rocky” or “Rock ‘n’ Roll Part II” (big here in Chi-town after the Bulls’ six championships) playing overly loud in the background, trying to look like I’m having a good time, when I’d rather be elsewhere. I do know that I’ve told my family that, in the less-than-likely event that I should finally get married, the “Hokey-Pokey” and the “Chicken Dance” will be verboten. I hate both of those songs. With a passion. And I’m not sure about the whole bouquet-and-garter thing either. I’m not big on that. When that part of any wedding I'm at comes up, I usually make for an exit (as I did last night), only to reappear just after some poor schmuck has garnered the prize.

I’ve heard countless people tell me that you don’t meet women in bars. You meet them at the grocery store, or at a wedding (just to name two places that come to mind). I’ve never met a woman at either. Ironically, there was a wedding next door to Janet’s where there were tons of women – but I’ve outgrown the 14-16 year olds. And the cute 23+-year-olds that were there all had very nice rocks on. So much for meeting someone at the wedding.

But, disappointment aside, I had fun, and while I only danced to one song (can you guess which one?) it was a good night. Best of luck to Janet and Dave – here’s to a long, happy marriage. And lots of kids. Who all grow up to be just like mom.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Apartment Hunting....Part Deux....(the search continues)

Because the first Tour of Chicago apartments didn't yield a gem, I wandered the streets of Wrigleyville on Monday, searching for more candidates. And found several. In addition, I made an appointment with a real estate agent to look at several in the Logan Square/Bucktown neighborhoods.

Yesterday was the culmination of that effort. Surprisingly, after having a boring-as-hell day on Tuesday, yesterday turned out to be as busy as hell.

It all actually started on Tuesday, when I adecided to actually get up off my lazy butt and get motivated. I went to the tax office in the afternoon, and while there, decided to check the Loyola email system. For what, I don't know, but it turned out that my professor in Oxford, who runs the ethics part of first year orientation, needed discussion leaders for Wednesday, and would I be able to help?

Now this presented a problem, since he needed me at 11, and my appointment to look at apartments was also at 11. But one quick call later, and I'd pushed it back to 12. So I called him and told him I'd be there. Of course, he asked me to come at 8:45 to pick up the materials I'd need.

So me, in all my genius, decided I should a.) save money and b.) save time, by taking the train into the Loop. I caught the 7:00 am shuttle bus to the train station (cost: $1.25, reduced by the driver to $1.00 when I mentioned I had no change, and she wanted to get going). I then hopped on the 7:25 express train to Chicago - only to find out that back in January, the Metra ticket agent had given me a Zone E ticket, when I really needed a Zone F ticket. So I had to cough up an additional buck. Argh.

Halfway to Chicago, it dawned on me that the evening shuttles only ran until 6:30, and I had an appointment on Belmont and Seminary at 6:00. There was no way I'd be able to make the last shuttle, so I'd just signed myself up for a two-mile walk from the train station to my apartment. Genius.

Then things really started to go into the toilet. The discussion group didn't get started on time, so instead of ending at 11:50 we ended at 12:05. Five minutes after I was supposed to be at the real estate agent's. Fortunately, his 1:00 was seeing the same apartments I was, so we just picked her up at 1:05, and kept on going. Unfortunately, I was supposed to be done by 1:30, and we didn't finish until 2:00, which made me late for another appointment. That appointment ran long, too, so I wound up being late to my 4:00 (none of these were near each other, and I had built time in for travel, but obviously not enough). I wound up grabbing a Whopper at the State of Illinois building food court and trying to eat it on the 'L' on the way to the 4:00. It worked for a bit, but then I started getting sauce my only decent pair of shorts.

The 4:00 appointment turned out to be a very nice apartment. I was stunned, actually, since everything I've looked at so far has been disappointing, to say the least. I told the lady I'll be in touch, and unless something better comes along (typical guy frame of mind there) I will. But right now, it's the leader.

I can't be as nice about the 6:00, which was the only appointment I made it to on time (actually early). First, I wound up standing around waiting with someone who's (male) roommate had already looked at the apartment, and all she "needed to do was look at it." That, of course, implies that boyfriend liked the place, and that they might be ready to sign on the lease. Then, Brad (landlord), showed up. Brad didn't have the right keys, which proved frustrating (I wanted to say something nasty, but couldn't, since this only seemed to be par for the course on this apartment hunt). Angie was obviously pissed off at this, but after a bit, Brad managed to open up the apartment and let us in. In the meantime, another potential tenant arrived for a look.

It took about three seconds to rule the place out. Supposedly the place had recently been "gut rehabbed," but if that was the case, then the previous tenant (who had supposedly moved out only the day before) had really trashed the place. I wasn't buying it, nor was the other woman. We both took a quick look around, and bolted. Angie, however, remained behind, talking to Brad. The main positive was that the other woman turned out to be very nice, and pleasant to talk to - and fairly attractive (Angie was as well - I'm looking forward to living in the city). We chatted for a few minutes, before we both had to leave, and to my surprise, she gave me her card and told me to keep in touch...

I walked about half a mile back to my friend Tim's apartment (I'd walked there earlier, too, in between the 4:00 and 6:00 appointments), and we had dinner at Sabo, a nice place on Southport, not far from his apartment. I wound up catching the Brown line 'L' back downtown, making it the third line I'd ridden that day (after the Red line and Blue line), and wound up getting back to Naperville at 10:30 (the evening conductor never noticed I had the wrong ticket). It took me around 40 minutes to walk back to the apartment (after the requisite stop at the DQ for a Snickers Blizzard). But at least it was a nice night.