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Sun, Mar. 12th, 2006, 01:28 pm

Insert shameless plugs for scotus_news and mypolitibang, communities consisting of Supreme Court news and my political ramblings, respectively.

Zed had been bothering me to start a politiblog for a while. I set it up as a community in the hopes that I could get either him or powerplay to balance off my shamelessly correct and well-thought-out discussions with mindlessly right-leaning drivel. Sadly, as soon as I actually took his advice, Zed lost interest, so we'll see how it develops.

Tue, Feb. 21st, 2006, 04:00 pm

I'm waiting to see if I get a full-blown jury summons. I got a questionnaire a week or two ago in the mail, and answered it by phone. I assume I qualified, since I've never been convicted of a felony or anything, and frankly I'd like to serve on a jury once before I graduate from law school (since that'll all but disqualify me in the future). I assume being in law school will as well, but...

Where do you go to school?
Yeshiva University.
Which campus?
Brookdale Center.

[NOTE: Tom does not actually plan on misleading lawyers if he gets a jury summons.]

I made oxtail stew and stacked enchiladas this week. Separately, of course. I had some dried red chilis around, and so I simmered them and made enchilada sauce, and did a filling with shredded pork, carmelized onions and jack cheese. Good shit. The oxtail stew is also nice - West Indian style, thickened with yams and brutally hot. I'm enjoying it quite a bit. Unfortunately, oxtail is ridiculously expensive around here. Flank steak, too. Who told everyone that cheap cuts are some of the best to work with?

Other than that, nothing too terribly exciting's been going on. One of my friends is on the wagon for the rest of the semester.

Aren't 1Ls adorable?

Sun, Feb. 19th, 2006, 02:18 pm

I picked up this month's Men's Health and GQ on consecutive days last week, in the wake of the alleged blizzard that was only 27 inches and didn't close anything but a couple of schools. (I took some solace in the fact that I couldn't get coffee at my usual place, but that was only because they got shut down for apparent health code violations. And even then, I only had to go a block out of my way.)

Blizzards always amuse me, and they help me maintain this blue-collar image that I wasn't trying to cultivate but somehow ended up with anyway. (I suppose it has something to do with the 19-inch neck, beard and flannel.) It's easy to just rumble into school in sneakers while everyone's struggling to stand in their boots, with icicles hanging off my mustache, stomp on the carpet and totally no-sell the fact that there are gale-force winds blowing champagne powder all over. Meanwhile, everyone else panics, the guys at The Big Enchilada are using a hose to spray the slush out from the front of the store (seriously), and I'm able to singlehandedly push cars free from the snowdrifts, prompting them to say thanks and me to spend a few bucks at Japonica for decent sushi because I've been subsisting on crockpot stew, beer, and street-stand falafel for the past few days.

But I digress.

Men's Health was decently amusing this month. There was a pretty good recipe for turkey chili that I'll have to fire up when I finish my current batch of beef stew. GQ, meanwhile, was a little more interesting. There was an article by a chronic shoplifter who denies being a klepto but claims merely to enjoy stealing shit, and one about "new-breed steakhouses." You know, the usual GQ nonsense. There was also an article entitled "Joe Biden Can't Shut Up." Unfortunately, it apparently meant this as a compliment. Without getting sidetracked, I think Biden's great to have on the floor, but he'd make a bad presidential candidate.

Karaoked twice this week, including one time when a Greek LLM candidate decided I was his brother shortly before being removed for finding his way into the kitchen of the place where we were singing. The second time, at Izu, I had my feathers fluffed by a couple of girls who whispered to one of my friends that I was really good. Must have been drunk, since all I can do is match pitch, and I don't have a particularly strong voice.

Anyways, duty calls. Hope to get another update in soon.

Happy President's Day.

Tue, Jan. 31st, 2006, 02:56 pm

Been a while since I updated. The visit to Albuquerque went beautifully - the Older Woman and I are doing well. It's a matter of figuring out where we're going to end up, though, which is tough. If everything I've been half-offered in Lea County works out, I'd be more than willing to do time as an ADA in rural New Mexico if it means living where rent is cheap and Erica's happy. (Plus, the salary would qualify me for decent LRAP.) On the other hand, if she ends up in New York, there might be bigger problems. The Manhattan DA's office is just so ridiculously competitive that I won't be working there, and I'm worried about whether I can even end up working in the Bronx or Staten Island. Jobs are competitive.

Everyone wants my the SBA's money. Grr.

Ah well. I'll survive. And maybe update slightly more frequently.

Thu, Dec. 1st, 2005, 03:01 pm

Erica sent me a care package consisting entirely of $40 worth of Pocky.

God, she rocks.

Sun, Nov. 20th, 2005, 01:47 pm

This entry brought to you by PandaCam.

It's been an interesting week. Fall Bash very nearly got cancelled on Thursday. (For the majority of you who don't go to school with me, Fall Bash is a drinking-oriented event that we schedule this time each year for the sake of breaking the pre-finals tension that's going on with everyone. We rent out a club and set up an open bar.) The club we'd set up cancelled at the last minute (5:30 on the day of an 8 PM event), after assuring us several times that they'd be able to open up. They didn't have liability insurance, apparently.

After trying to shunt us to Bar 13, we ended up getting a place on the West Side Highway that was pretty good. The open bar wasn't solid - we didn't have every liquor available, for example, and only one bartender - but for a place on such short notice, it was pretty solid, especially after the first hour when everyone got some booze in them and quit bitching. ("No, we won't be reimbursing you for the cab you didn't have to take. Go to hell.")

I did, however, end up holding the hair of a woman who is not my girlfriend while she vomited. This did not amuse me.

It's a rough time of year, though. There's a lot of tension running through pretty much everything, and so people are oversensitive. I'm also getting to a place I haven't been in a while - thinking of myself as The Building That Doesn't Burn. I got castigated for making a lose-lose decision the other day. Without getting into too much detail, a friend of mine looked like she was going to repeat a mistake she'd made, and I texted her to remind her of that. Apparently, I didn't choose my words quite carefully enough, because I now think she's an idiot, and I had to listen to the stomach-turning "No matter how drunk I get I never lose control" speech.

FYI: "It's something I wanted to do anyway" is nothing but being impulsive when you're drunk and rationalizing it after the fact. I don't know if people who think that way think that other people just lose control of themselves as soon as they smell beer, but everyone retains the ability to make choices up through, say, the five-beer-an-hour mark. You're not special. You become uninhibited like everyone else does, and if you're claiming that justifies things you did, fine. But that doesn't mean you were acting the same way you'd act when you were sober.

I also don't appreciate the implication that I become piss-ass drunk and lose my ability to function, since - get this! - your tolerance isn't what you think it is, I've been drinking longer than you have, and I outweigh you two-to-one. I don't call you on it, but maybe I should.

But I digress.

I'm a calm, reasonable person. I wasn't always, and occasionally I do visibly lose control, though not to the degree that most people do (and certainly not to the degree that my intimate circle of friends does). I have goals, I pursue them, and I find ways to make up for potholes and missed turns along the way. I let people rely on me, I give them a shoulder to cry on, and when they ask, I give them competent, well-reasoned advice.

Nobody gives a shit, because the news is about buildings that catch on fire.

And this is frustrating. When, occasionally, I do catch on fire, I get put through the ringer for it. It's not fair, especially considering everything I do for the people around me. It's not that I'm the first person in my family to get anything past a bachelors degree (yeah, my sister has a masters in ceramic engineering. She's a secretary. It doesn't count.), it's that my grades aren't what they should be. It's not that I'm the first in the family to actually make something of myself, it's that being academic isn't an "honest job" like unloading trucks. My cousin failed a year of pharmacy school, for god's sake, and he's still lionized by everyone... but I don't own a car, so there must be something wrong with me. (I'm. In. Manhattan.) I don't know if I'm just setting myself up for a bigger fall by not being more impulsive or what, but the crap has got to stop.

Oh, and by the way: Do you know what the difference is between the Supreme Court and a regular court?
- The Supreme Court comes with cheddar and bacon bits.

Sun, Oct. 30th, 2005, 10:56 am

"Mr. Tom is here." - Kristina's doorman, announcing my arrival and misunderstanding my name.

The trip to Hoboken was largely uneventful, although I did find out that the grocery store next to Kristina's building doesn't sell beer. Is that a New Jersey thing? No alcohol except from a liquor store? Ah well. She told me where she hid the good bourbon, so I was happy.

I went as a redneck, with a mismatched denim jacket and jeans, a beater, my old painting shoes and the beer-box cowboy hat my dad made for me. The hat was the hit of the party, apparently. Frankly, I'm mostly embarrassed by it, because it was a sincere gift, but that's neither here nor there.

There was a guy there in a British imperial officer's outfit. He showed up with a bottle of Tanqueray 10 gin (nice!) and proceeded to stay in character all night. Yes, even after the Indian guy showed up. (That was rather awkward.) The boyfriend was also clearly feeling threatened, which was adorable. He was a little fratty and became I Love You Man fairly early on, which I'm always uncomfortable with. I get the impression from piecing together what Kristina's told me that he considers me a threat not in the traditional sense but in the greener-grass sense - like, he didn't want to go to Barrister's with her last year, and so she kind of dangled me over his head.

And ended up breaking up with her. Erg.

So, the overcompensation ("This is a great guy. A fucking great guy. I love this guy." "... this is the second time I've ever met him.") was just a tad awkward and uncomfortable.

I'm considering changing my mind on the take-home-final option for my Jurisprudence class. It struck me the other day that it might be nice to write a paper instead.

It's past midsemester.

I think I'm insane.

Sun, Oct. 23rd, 2005, 02:19 pm

Interesting get-together on Friday. I did James Carville's Paul Begala's Boys' French Toast on Friday night, featuring two loaves of Union Square Greenmarket challah and a quad batch of the batter (because it's better when it's soggy - ahh, how many things that applies to). A bunch of the first-years showed up, as well as several of my friends. The actual dinner portion of the evening was pretty bad - none of the very talkative people showed, and so we had Michelle and her friend sitting there silent, one of the neighbors sitting there silent, me teasing Sharon and forgetting that not everyone else is aware of the give-and-take that we have (and thus me looking like a giant bipedal penis), Lorraine getting half-cocked on a bottle of cider, and Missy and her boyfriend sitting there like we were all preventing the on-getting of it. After dinner, Chris, said boyfriend, asked if I knew where Sahara East, the hookah bar, was. As I didn't know, they skipped merrily off to their room to look it up on the internet.

"If they're not back in ten minutes, let's head to Reservoir." - Lorraine
"Let's just go now." - Me

Much to my surprise, however, they did show back up, leading to an interesting series of events including a trip to the hookah bar and an attempt to get into Coyote Ugly, which was stymied by the fact that the boyfriend is only 20. This, of course, led to a trip to El Cantinero ("Where even if you're not allowed in the bar, we'll sell you a beer"), and then a trip to 119, and then a trip back to the building where there were ill-advised drinking games.

I didn't know people in their mid-20s still drank Crystal Light and vodka.

At one point, Missy accused me of groping Lorraine, which I mainly attributed to the fact that Missy was seriously in the mood and so was seeing things. However, in the discussion that followed, mention was made of the fact that she's very close to someone who's been the subject of several friended entries in this journal, and that she would like to see Kristina-the-Puppy and I "grow up, get married and have kids together." Where she got this from, I have no idea.

I mean, shit. I don't even think she wants kids. *cough*

It's been an extremely drunken several weeks. Once October's over, I think I'll be in better shape, but there was a birthday party every Saturday from the first weekend of October. Yesterday was the first one this month where I didn't have plans. I did, however, go to the 1L post-Elements bar night, since I picked the venue out. I felt a little skeezy, since I was the only non-1L there, but luckily I'm younger than most of them anyway. One of my fellow Senators got a little extra-friendly with me, which was uncomfortable, particularly after a small group of us headed to Off the Wagon to continue the madness with dollar beers and seven-dollar pitchers. (Yes, I was wandering around topping everyone off all night, and yes, I also drank from the pitcher. Just to get it out of the way.)

I have three Halloween parties - one in Hoboken (I'm organizing a flotilla to travel with me), one at some guy's apartment that some other guy invited me along to, and one LLM party at a different guy's apartment that I'm going to because I'm an honorary GLS member or something. I still have no idea what I'm doing costumewise. I might have to reprise last year's ("Fat, bearded Hunter S. Thompson").

Oh, speaking of, I've grown the beard out from Amish Chinstrap to Full Beard. I've had a request for photos which I'll take care of soon, but I'll be trimming back in the very, very near future.

Anyway, this is getting dangerously long. Here's hoping I'll be able to make more entries in the near future.

Fri, Sep. 30th, 2005, 10:18 am

TomIofIV: I have half a keg in my office.
TomIofIV: I'm just sitting here in silent appreciation of how much better this is than college.
biggmouth1133: hahahaha

Mon, Sep. 26th, 2005, 03:20 pm

The SBA Constitution passed. I celebrated with a few Blue Point IPAs at Reservoir, where I was accosted by a group of transfer students. Apparently, no one's paying attention to them - which makes sense, since the Tulane kids are like transfers, only cooler. I've gotten to know one of them fairly well, and a couple of them have sort of adopted me as their Senator, which is interesting now but will inevitably become annoying.

Someone's asking around for my LiveJournal name. I hope I've privated everything I need to private. And shit, even the stuff that's private isn't that interesting. Tom lacks intrigue.

Not that I want to be too frat boy about this, but I was so hung over on Sunday morning that it wasn't even funny. All I remember is a haze of karaoke and jello shots, and a Russian girl telling me that she found the construction of the sentence "I want to prosecute" absolutely hilarious.

Interesting dream the other night. I was a prosecutor and was in charge of prosecuting a contempt charge against Justice Antonin "Nino" Scalia, who had (at a New York County Supreme Court trial) told a judge to go fuck himself. Through a variety of procedural errors and frivolous arguments, this case made it all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. Much of the dream centred on getting Nino to recuse himself from hearing the case.

The only other notable part of the dream was the introduction of the Justices. They all had theme music. Most of them were brought out to "Eye of the Tiger," complete with strobes and such. However, being Chief Justice, John Roberts had his own theme music - Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues." He also wore a cowboy hat and high-fived everyone on his way to the centre seat.

I need to cut back on my sugar intake.

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