Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

Freshly Cut: Albums of the Month

(May 2007)

1. Elliot Smith - New Moon
2. David Bowie - Low
3. Feist - The Reminder
4. Van Morrison - Astral Sheets
5. M. Ward - Post-War

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Graduated From Law School and All I Got Was This Lousy BAR Examination.

I graduated a week ago from Boalt Hall School of Law. It was a pretty quick turnaround from the end of finals, to graduation, and now . . . gasp . . . studying for the California BAR Examination.

Rather than take you through an excruciating blow-by-blow recounting of the festivities, here are a few observations and highlights that I think capture the weekend:

  1. Graduation gown does add 15 lbs.

  2. Failed to consider that 3L year also adds 15 lbs.

  3. Not surprised one bit when, after stepping foot in Muir Woods for three minutes, my father said, "So, it's a forest."

  4. Mad that I didn't come up with the punchline in #3 before my dad.

  5. Was incorrect in believing there would be a lack of parking on graduation day.

  6. Was correct in anticipating that my dad would complain that my car was "dirty" even after spending an hour and a half detailing it before I went to the airport. Note to self: clean dirt INSIDE the crevices of the trunk door.

  7. Amused that the "Viagara is for men with ugly wives" joke is even funnier in Urdu.

  8. Mystified as to why Trader Joe's puts in small print on the side of a cheesecake carton "Thaw before serviing" but insists on putting in huge, all-capital letters on the front of the box, "KEEP FROZEN." Not sure why they don't just write "THAW BEFORE SERVING" on the front because that presumes that we're going to freeze the damn thing and then actually remember to thaw it out before company arrives.

  9. Was amazed to have a great breakfast at the Marriot in Walnut Creek.

  10. No accidental homicides and only one intent-to-kill homicide.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

10 Songs I'd Love to Blast on my Car Stereo But Feel Awkward Doing So Because Rap and R&B Songs Don't Age Well

  1. How Many Mics? - The Fugees
  2. Ain't Nothing But A G-Thang - Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg
  3. Girls, Girls, Girls - Jay-Z
  4. Thuggish Ruggish Bone - Bone Thugs 'N Harmony
  5. We Ain't Going Out Like That - Cypress Hill
  6. Gotham City (Remix) - R. Kelly feat. Trina
  7. What Means The World To You? - Camron
  8. Me So Horny - 2 Live Crew
  9. Snoop Dogg - Snoop Doggy Dogg
  10. Big Pimpin' - Jay-Z

Thursday, May 03, 2007

On Being Facetious

If a person ever explains, "I'm being facetious," after they make a statement, don't bother looking the word up in the dictionary because all it means is that that person is being a sarcastic ass.

There are no circumstances under which anyone should ever have to explain they are being facetious. Not only are they telling you that you are too dumb to figure out that they were joking, now they're showing you that they know big words too.

Now, if they knew how to deliver the punchline, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Regarding Boalt Hall's Class Campaign of 2007

I got a call from a staff member at Boalt Hall's Alumni Center today asking me if it was alright if an "anonymous donor" could donate on my behalf. Why? Because I haven't donated through the Boalt Hall's Class Campaign of 2007. I am very deeply disturbed by the whole thing and I'm still not sure if I'm going to contribute. I have until May 11, so if anybody reading this has an opinion, please chime in.

Here are a few problems I've seen with the way this Campaign has been conducted. These are largely why I feel reluctant to donate through this campaign. I will be donating to a specific Boalt Hall student organization on my own, without any of this damn fanfare, so I always have the option of donating that money through this campaign and earmarking it for that group (but of course, a percentage of that gets lopped off before it ever hits the group's bank account).

Problem 1: Attack!

From the middle of last semester, all I've been hearing is how I NEED to donate to this Campaign or else I'll be the only one left out. All I've been told is that we want to get to "100%" without any explanation as to what their goal was in terms of a dollar amount. Who cares if you get 100% and everyone donates $10.00 -- that's not much help to the school. Day after day I have these Campaign-related e-mails and handouts force fed to me.

Problem 2: Let's Beat Stanford!

The other thing I keep hearing constantly is how we NEED to beat Stanford. Really? Do we? Am I that motivated to participate in a rivalry I could care less about? What rivalry anyway -- they suck at football.

Is it really in this Campaign's best interest to tell me that I should be donating money just to stick it to another school and show off? I think it'd be better to tell me how important it is to donate to this PUBLIC INSTITUTION regardless of what Stanford, or anyone else, thinks.

Problem 3: Beat your other Mods!

This is largely the same gripe as the Stanford thing. Can you believe that this bar graph is not a joke, but is proudly displayed on the Campaign's website? It completely turns me off to the entire idea of charity/investing/giving back when the whole concept is predicated on donating publicly and loudly so that I can rub everyone else's nose in it. Ugh!

Problem 4: No Anonymous Donations

So here's one major gripe. I can't donate anonymously. If I donate and I want to be anonymous, they will still include me in the count so that they can get to their precious 100% goal in order to gloat. So, irrespective of my good intent and also irrespective of the fact that they have my money, they won't really be happy until they can publicize my donation.

Problem 5: "Is Your Name on the List?"

This is an actual subject line from a few e-mails sent out on behalf of the Campaign. They publish each student's name and let everyone else know whether you've donated or not (and no, it doesn't matter if you donate the same exact amount to the same exact group, just outside of the Campaign -- why? Because the Campaign is premised on the fact that giving back to your school needs to be a competition).

So now instead of beating Stanford or beating other Modules of students at school, the impetus to donate is shame, that is, shame that your name is not on the list. The nerve of this Campaign! Why not publish the names of people who HAVE donated and leave it at that? Then at least you can give people who want to donate anonymously to ask to not have their names published.

Problem 6: The Donor Roll

And so this "list" of donors is going to be distributed to everyone at graduation, so they can shame me some more. The best part is that even if I donate, my name won't appear on that donor roll because as of April 26, the Honor Roll of Donors will already be sent off to the printers. Sure my argument is that I don't want public recognition -- but I can do without the public shame, too. Why the hell does giving a sum of money voluntarily have to be so damned public?

What should I do? I think what pisses me off about the Alumni Center asked me if someone can donate anonymously on my behalf is that the Campaign won't even let ME donate anonymously! I'm either going to give money through this Campaign and earmark it for a student group or give money directly to the student group and save my dignity (with temporary discomfort and shame). Anything I'm overlooking?