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?