Thursday, March 31, 2005

wireless in class: blessing or curse?

Today students at Boalt received an email from our Dean. In pertinent part:

1. I am very pleased to announce that, at long last, serious wireless has come to Boalt -- in all classrooms except 100 -- and all classrooms finally have electric power to the seats.  We have now surpassed Haas School of Business in our wireless access, and have the largest installation on campus. 

This announcement came a bit late as I discovered the blissful existence of classroom wireless at least three weeks ago in Room 100 while dying to read more about ANTM and check my email in class one evening. At first I thought that the advent of wireless in all my classrooms was pure goodness. Certainly the service has improved in the library which is undoubtedly positive. Now, I'm beginning to wonder if the goodness is pure, but more like... cocaine is pure. I think I'm hopelessly addicted. It's becoming more and more difficult to stay engaged with old doctrines, obsolete case law, and general class discussion when I can read the news and correspond. I fear that unless I can curb the desire to sign on, this might seriously impact my grades. Even though I'm starting to question the wisdom behind this wireless invasion, I've got to admit it's provided some moments of pure hilarity. Yesterday my seatmate and I were merrily multitaksing (emailing, listening, and taking the occassional note) when someone IMed her with full sound effects. The only thing that was louder than the IM noise was her frantic reaction.

In other Boalt news, the law school rankings have been updated. Boalt Shool (sic) of Law is now #11 despite the spelling error on the very front of our building. For more info check out "Nuts and Boalts" to which I'm adding a link to this blog since it provides regular updates on happenings (at least among 1Ls) at Boalt.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

il postino?

i'm a bit swamped with work this week so, as a disclaimer, i expect to post very little in the next few days.

i promised a tidbit about my mysterious mail a few days ago. here goes.

i recently received a regular white envelope with no return address. it was forwarded on to me by my dad - whom I should probably consult since as a letter carrier he's bound to be an expert on these matters. it appears that the mail was initially sent to my address from second year of college in chicago. from there it was forwarded to my parent's address in mpls. the sender just stuck a typed label (courier font) over the dormitory address. when that reached my dad, he updated the label to reflect my current abode and sent it chez moi.

normally, when my dad sends me mail it's fundraising pleas from places i used to volunteer at in high school, church news, or (very infrequently) mail from old acquaintances. i was sort of excited at the possibility of who this letter might be from.

much to my chagrin, but intrigue, the mail was a newspaper sized four page advertisement or "special report" on "How to Get Money From The U.S. Government."
Question: What do Fed-Ex, Ben & Jerry's, Jenny Craig, Donald Trump, and even Callaway Golf have in common?
Answer: They all got money from the U.S. government! Can you believe it! It's true! (emphasis and exclamations in the original)

unfortunately, i know all too well how to get money from Uncle Sam. he has given me loans on top of loans all to keep me in school for the past 6 yrs.... anyway, affixed to the first page was a handwritten yellow post-it note that reads:


You gotta see this!


the handwriting is unfamiliar. i have NO clue who may have sent this to me - especially at such an old address. instead of boring any readers with my speculations, i'll open the call to all of you aspiring private eyes, Encyclopedia Brown fanatics, Nancy Drews, and Hardy Boys. please send me your suggestions as to who this mystery sender could be. if it was you, you could even reveal yourself. i can't promise you fame but i'll guarantee you gratitude.

now in case that story wasn't mundane enough, i'll include a few details from my day: accidentally caught the bus that takes the long loop around campus, became more addicted to "milk tea" that comes in a bag with premixed "milk" and sugar, learned that a very important laptop was stolen possibly subjecting my confidential information and that of countless grad students to the wiles of unscrupulous dudes and dudettes. bummer! got a very sweet easter package from mi madre. learned i have approximately 30 minutes left on my cell to get me through next week...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

50 Cent is my new clothier

While in NYC I made a shopping stop at Century 21 with one of my roommates. We were blown away by the daunting selection, the range of European languages spoken within the dressing rooms, the Prada, the Marc Jacobs, and the generally awesome deals on brand name labels and top couture. In a brief conversation with a cashier I learned that live (cat)fights regularly break out over shoes, purses, and more. Unfortunately, I missed seeing a squabble.

In any event, I purchased some shirts and sunglasses. One shirt I found is pretty unassuming (like most of my clothes). It's a small brown, cotton tank top. It has skinny satin straps and a small amount of lace at the top and bottom. When I tried it on, I noticed it had a small label sewn on the bottom left side, a la American Eagle or Abercrombie. I paid the label no mind and figured I'd remove it when I got home.

Well, my laziness proved too great and I went ahead and wore the shirt yesterday without removing the little label. Always sharply observant jdm noticed this tag and registered a look of incredulous disbelief.
  • "G-Unit?"
  • he exclaimed, "Isn't that 50 Cent's brand?" I couldn't believe my good fortune. Turns out, after checking the tag online, that I am unwittingly part of 50 Cent's fine posse. You can catch me in 'da club...

    In other news: Christos Anesti! And tomorrow the story of my mysterious mail.

    Saturday, March 26, 2005

    shadow of an unshared vigil

    At the Tenenbrae Service at First Pres Berkeley yesterday, one of the seven extinguished candles represented "The Shadow of an Unshared Vigil."

    Psalm 22:11 - "Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help."

    The Passion History recounted the story of how the Disciples fell asleep while Jesus was praying at the Mount of Olives just before his betrayal.

    All of this caused me to think about the crushing feeling of loneliness. Of recognizing that you're alone in making certain decisions, deserted in times of struggle, or abandoned by the people you thought you trusted most. I am blown away by the humanity in these passages. Comforted by the fact that the Apostles wrote that their Teacher, and Lord, experienced these same feelings, for us, on the deepest possible level. I am also astounded by the humility in recording such blunders.

    On a more lighthearted Easter note, I've been recalling some key Easter moments from my childhood. I remember winning the peculiarly violent Orthodox Easter Egg Super Smash Extravaganza at my Uncle Nicky's house one year. Greeks dye all their eggs deep blood red. The symbolism is potent, but as a kid I imagine I would have regretted the lack of creative PAAS opportunity. Fortunately for me, I'm half-WASP and benefitted from years of vinegar-y multicolored ova.

    Anyway, after creating an army of bloody hard-boiled eggs, Greek kids play an awesome game wherein you hold your egg and hit the bottom of your egg on the top of an egg that your cousin or yia-yia is holding. Typically, one egg cracks and the other stays strong. After a thorough round of egg bashing, one egg emerges the unscathed victor. It's extremely exciting to win and an all around fabulous supplement to the also bloodthirsty and more typically American Easter Egg hunts.

    My other formative Easter memory was one fateful Easter morning when my little sister got to wear my favorite dress. This was a styling flowery dress I had outgrown but adored in previous years. Once she put it on I couldn't bear to see my dress sported by another. In bitter revenge I poured my cup of breakfast orange juice over her head and all over MY dress. She was forced to wear something else which was precisely my desired outcome. Mission accomplished. The Easter pictures we have from that year are, in retrospect, pretty hilarious since you can tell that I've just gotten myself in deep trouble.

    Perhaps by tomorrow there will be additional Easter drama and exhiliration. WTTW, watch out for me and my OJ on Easter morn.

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    ten things

    Top ten lists are so appealing. I love the fact that they can be simultaneously reductive and detailed. Inspired by a series of lists started on blogs of various friends and acquaintances (if I knew how to create links, I would here) I thought I'd include a list in this post. You can expect more in the future.

    10 Things I'm Bad At [no particular order]
    1. letting anything go
    2. swimming laps
    3. shaving my legs (I suppose that is one area in which I excel at letting things go)
    4. walking in high heels
    5. being patient
    6. flipping omelettes
    7. Rubik's Cubes (despite ctnguyen's brilliant efforts)
    8. photographing any parts of my life
    9. singing
    10. navigating

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    back home

    Despite "Super" Shuttle's best efforts to thwart my flight home, I am safely and soundly on my way to bed in Berkeley. Although the first portion of my travels today were less than stellar, I slept like a rock once I finally made it on the plane. I swear, Jet Blue spikes their animal crackers with something crazy.

    Returning to the East Bay reinstilled my appreciation for this place. Instead of sleet and cold, I returned to sunshine, expansive sunsets, and trees in full bloom. From a noisy place with cabs lining each street, I walked quietly home while tugging my wintery suitcase and didn't spot even one solitary cab. This was, for some reason, a very reassuring feeling.

    [Since I'm writing on this Mac - I can't manage to underline any text. Please bear with my formatting issues and my embarassing technological ineptitude.]

    On the OC tonight: Better fancy dresses than usual for the ladies. Ryan punching it up. A priceless oneliner from Ryan to Marissa dissing her typically abysmal fashion sense. Something like - "I think stupid hats are more your thing." Well, Marissa, let's be honest, so are unfortunately placed brooches.

    technical difficulties

    Moments ago I tried to post this little note and I failed. I fear that my beloved and adorable Macintosh is somewhat incompatible with the format of this fine site. We'll see if this works.

    Egg Cream, or Egg Dream?

    While in NYC I ate a lot of good food. Tried the matzo ball soup, pastrami, hot dogs, pizza, and cheesecake. I reaped the amazing benefit of tasting homemade chicken cutlets. You have not lived until you've tried these - crispy, succulent, slightly sweet, totally delicious. Yesterday, after a pleasant trip to the Museum of Natural History, I realized one taste sensation was still left unconquered. I had not yet tasted the fabled "egg cream" and I had just over 12 hours in which to track one down and take it home.

    This spurred immediate Internet research where I learned the following:
    1. Egg creams are nearly universally revered. Even people on Atkins seem to dig them.
    2. Egg creams have NO real egg in them.
    3. Egg creams are bubbly.
    4. Egg creams can be chocolate.
    5. A lot of egg creams live in Brooklyn.

    To spare you the details of long and tortuous walks down Broadway in search of this delicacy, through snow, sleet, hail, and rogue umbrellas... I will summarize with this - egg cream, you were unbelievable. My thirst is not quenched. You were delicious. I will find you again. This is my quest.

    Now if only "Super" Shuttle were as determined to pick me up. I'm afraid I'm soon to miss my flight.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    In the Beginning...

    This, my inaugural blog, must begin with an homage to A.F. Hagan. He opened his abode to me in NYC, fed me Frosted Donettes (TM) and questioned the impetus and the drive behind starting this little piece of online turf.

    For awhile, I debated whether or not I should write something like an introductory post. Whether I should indulge in explaining that questionable impetus and drive. Whether there would be any use in explaining my reasons for starting this enterprise. To be honest, I only started this because at the end of an 8 day vacation, I began to feel like I had something to say. I've seen a lot of awesome stuff on this trip and have... reflections. Also, since jdm is contemplating getting tatted- I decided to make a (decidedly less permanent) life decision.

    Although I don't think there's much use in explaining the rationale behind "For God and For Cheese" (since only the very first and possibly most devoted readers will ever see this) I will sketch out my thoughts nonetheless:
    1. I am a terrible e-mailer. I have a real difficult time ever writing substantive emails to the people I don't see on a daily basis. Perhaps this blog will afford distant amigos and amigas an opportunity to read about the boring details of my normal life.
    2. Often times I do stuff (e.g., walk for 2 hours in search of Chipotle burritos, talk to someone I don't know on the bus, eat animal crackers on Indian Rock) that I would like to write about.
    3. Everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn't I? Ah, herd mentality.

    Things I saw today: a pile of rocks that looked like vomit, a $5 "triple-hologram" postcard!!!, the lesser and greater koodoo, an old lady with a black eye on the Subway, chi-chi la-la strollers.
    Things I may write about tomorrow - you heard it here first: (hopefully) a recap of a succesful search for the elusive and delicious "Egg Cream," the glories of JetBlue.