Saturday, December 31, 2005

The 2005 Esqys

Everyone else makes a list at the end of a year...why not me? The following is a list of awards I am presenting to myself, covering the best and worst of the closing year. I'm an odds-on favorite in most categories.

Best purchase of 2005 = my iPod shuffle. It has made commuting not only bearable, but downright funky at times.

Runner up = our new Apple computer (purchased shortly after we realized our old computer was three operating systems behind the minimum needed to work an iPod...geesh...)

Best trip of 2005 = our anniversary weekend in Calistoga (which, as of today, is under like 6 feet of water...guess we shouldn't have sacrificed all of those goats to Baal).

Best book I read this year = Beasts of No Nation, by Uzodinma Iweala. Powerful, horrifying, and fast-paced all at the same time; I could not put this book down, even though certain passages made me want to cry.

Best new habit = running (even though I haven't been going as often as I should)

Second best new habit = haircuts (even though I haven't been going as often as I should)

Most fun/potentially troubling new habit = online poker (so far, I am only playing the free far...)

What should probably be considered my best new habit = working again.

Lifetime Achievement Award = George Lucas. No series of movies has impacted my life more than the Star Wars saga, and by wrapping up the series in a (mostly) satisfactory fashion this past summer, I can now look forward to finding something else to occupy my downtime. TK421, why aren't you at your post?

Hope 2005 was a good year for you; it was a banner year for me. See you in 2006, and remember to nominate your favorites for next year's awards!

Friday, December 30, 2005

Hundreds of fools and their money...

If only the internet had been around when I was in undergrad, I could have done this to pay for college instead of all those pesky part-time jobs, grants, and student loans. Here's the page itself, if you want to take a look...I have to admit, pretty clever.

By the way, I am proud to report that, as 2005 comes to an end, so do those pesky undergrad student loans! With today's paycheck, I will make my final payment to Sallie Mae and officially close out my account with them for the loans that helped propel me through EKU (in conjunction with the aforementioned jobs and grants). I was on the ten year payment plan, and did it in a little over six, thus depriving SM of at least a little of their hoped-for interest. It couldn't have happened to nicer people.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Feliz Navidad!

Had a wonderful brunch this morning; all the fun of eating with good friends, and no one had to cook or clean up. Doesn't get much better than that.

While we were sitting there, laughing and talking, I was reminded of something that happened a few weeks ago coming home on the train. A woman was wondering where to get off to go to the new De Young, so she asks...the homeless guy. Not a lot of transit experience, I'm guessing. Anyway, this guy not only tells her (accurately) how to get to the De Young, but how to get to other SF museums, when they are open for free, how he has been going to them since he was a kid, and speaking of when he was a kid, how he raised a rooster as a young boy, and how it was a very pretty rooster, even though it liked to get the idea. This went on for an uncomfortable twenty minutes or so.

Eventually, the lady got off at her stop, and so the homeless guy's attention me. It was tough to avoid him, so I nodded politely, throwing in an occasional small comment ("It liked to mentioned that, yes"), until he finally got to his stop. As he exited the train, he stopped, looked at me, and said, "Thank you for talking to me...most people just ignore me."

It was a good reminder to me of just how lucky I am; I have regular, meaningful human contact with people I love and care about, something I take for granted occasionally, but something a lot of people simply don't have.

I hope you had a nice holiday weekend, and I hope you had a chance to spend it with people you love.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

You can't handle the truth!

I had my first full-blown trial yesterday: entering evidence, cross-examining witnesses, objections, the whole thing. Very cool. The judge ruled the way I wanted her to (in dependency law, I don't think there are usually "winners"), and I think I did a good job. Definitely learned a lot as well, not only about opposing counsel and the judge (both filed away for the future), but about my own style and areas I need to brush up on (my objections weren't as smooth as I would like them to be).

Unfortunatley, unlike my Moot Court experience, I did not have the opportunity to work Phil Hartman's Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer character into my closing argument. Maybe next time.