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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

(Not) The End Of The Semester

OH, HELL YES! I'M DONE WITH FINALS! I'M HALFWAY DONE LAW SCH- Hey, what's this e-mail I got, sent 15 minutes after my last final ended?

"Good work on the paper Alex. I have some comments. When are you going to be on campus again?"

Oh, right. My Comment. Due on Monday. Dammit, I still have work to do.

Like Michael Corleone once said, "Just when I thought that I was out, they pull me back in."

Hey, maybe I can become a consigliere like Tom Hagen. He was a lawyer by training. And the word has the same etymology as "counsel." Although I don't recall seeing any Mafia families at OCIP.


You know that Miller commercial where the clerks refuse to sell the beer to customers who are under 30 because they can't fully appreciate the taste of MGD? Well, two things about that commercial: First, bulls---. MGD tastes like any other generic beer.

Second, there's two guys in the commercial who are indignant that they've been refused their precious MGD. Shocked at the rejection, they tell the clerk:

"We are partners in a law firm!"

If I ever become those guys, you have my permission to bludgeon me with the legal tome of your choosing.

(And by those guys, I mean those guys who think they're entitled to everything because they're partners. You're not allowed to beat me with a reporter just because/if I ever make partner somewhere.)


I got one of those chain e-mails today that tells you to forward it to people, and then Microsoft will send you some fat check, blah blah blah. Here's the text of the e-mail (contact info of the forwarding people omitted to protect the ignorant):

>>> Xxxxx Xxxxxx 12/9/2005 11:39 AM >>>
i hope it works i could you extra cash!!!!!

Xxx Xxxxxx
Anchor/Managing Editor

Xxxxx Xxxxx Xxxxx - XXX Maintenance Coordinator, Phone: 765/771 -XXXX
Pager : 765/420 - XXXX
To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages, But this is from my friend Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxxx and she really is an attorney. If she says that this will work - It will work. After all, What have you got to lose?SORRY EVERYBODY.. JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! I'm an attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General Electric not too long ago.

Wow, this person is an attorney? Then she should know that corporations don't file class action lawsuits against each other.

Dear Friends; Please do not take this for a junk letter. Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent later. Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user) For a two weeks time period.For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a check.
Regards. Xxxxxxx X Xxxxxx General Manager Field Operations
1-800-842-XXXX Ext. XXXX or 904-XXXX or XXX
292-XXXX Xxxxxxx_Xxxxxx@xxx.com

"You will repent later?" What is this, the Bible?

Wait...Microsoft and AOL? I thought it was AOL and Intel. Whoever wrote this can't even get his own story straight. And I highly doubt even Microsoft can track my e-mail. And if they can, then they shouldn't need to contact me for my address to send me that check; they might as well use PayPal.

thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and withindays, receive a check for $24,800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can affoard this, Bill gates is the man.It's all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10,000.00 We're not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time. My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When i went to visit him for the Baylor/UT game. She showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid in full"Like i said before, I know the law, and this is for real.

If you are bound to get at least $10k, then how come this guy's brother's girlfriend's check was only for $4,324.44, huh, slick? Also, if Microsoft is paying you in increments of $245.00, $243.00, and $241.00, how did the total come to a figure ending in ".44?" And maybe it's just my bank, but when I deposit a check, I don't get it handed back to me with a "paid in full" stamp.

Oh, and never mind all the spelling, capitalization, punctuation, grammatical, and factual errors made by these so-called "attorneys." Yeah, I'm sure if Microsoft ran a promotion like this, you'd hear about it from a chain e-mail and not on the news. (Oops! It was on "Good Morning America Today Show" and was on two pages of USA Today!)

I don't care how much money Bill Gates has; he's not giving away $10,000 to random Internet users. That's a million dollars for every 100 people who forward this e-mail. Come on, stop and think for a second - don't you think Microsoft has better ways to invest $1 million in the growth of the company? It blows my mind that people still forward this crap. It kind of makes me want to write my own chain e-mail, just to see if it'll start circulating. Hopefully, it won't - I think (at least, I hope) I associate myself with people who are smart enough not to forward stuff like this. (The guy who sent it to me gets a free pass - just once - because he's a freshman in the middle of his first final exams ever.)


This semester, I made the big move to switch my in-class computer solitaire games from unscored to Vegas-style scoring. Basically, the way Vegas-style scoring works is that each hand costs you a $52 bet, and then for every card you move up to the suit stacks, you win $5. (Suit stacks is the technical term for the piles of cards that go on the aces. You can look it up, as I did, thereby becoming the first person ever to click on the "Help" menu in computer solitaire.) So if you can get 11 cards up to the suit stacks, you're in the black for that particular game; if you get them all up there, you win $208. It's made more difficult by the fact that you can only go through the deck three times, so you have to use a little strategy - you might not be seeing a card again when - or if - the deck goes around the next time.

Anyway, I think the whole idea of Vegas-style solitaire is hilarious. Have you ever seen anyone playing solitaire in Vegas? That's about as lame as it gets, and this is coming from a guy who once took a trip to Vegas that involved bowling, reading law books by the pool, going to a couple of minor league baseball games, and no gambling (I was visiting my brother; give me a break).

Lame or not, though, Vegas solitaire is tough. It's easy to hit a run of a few games in a row where you can only get one or two cards up to the suit stacks, and suddenly you're in the hole $150. Then you need a complete win to dig yourself out. More often than not, I find myself running from the creditors at the end of a class period than bathing in money, Scrooge McDuck style. I haven't yet figured out how to run a profitable solitaire scheme, a la Bringing Down The House (the book, not the movie), but I'm going to keep practicing next semester. When the first World Series of Solitaire rolls around, I want to be ready.


Hey, guess where this picture is from:

If you said March of the Penguins, you're wrong.

That photo was actually taken at a law school's on-campus interview program. Note the herd mentality and the identical outfits they're all wearing. All those people in the background? They're law students telling each other about all the callbacks they've already been on. And those two in the front are actually in the process of conducting an interview. That's a 3L on the left and a hiring partner on the right. See, if you look a little closer, you can tell by the name tags.

Sorry, those puns sucked.


One of my old hockey teammates IMed me today in anticipation of his first law school final, asking me for some last-minute support. I didn't want to tell him he came to the wrong guy, so here's what I told him:

FormerTeammate: any final words of encouragement before i take my first exam
JustOffCamera: serious words, or joking?
FormerTeammate: either or
FormerTeammate: or both
JustOffCamera: ok, well, the outcome of one exam is not going to kill you. the dean of stanford law school recently failed the CA bar exam. and she's doing fine for herself anyway.
FormerTeammate: gotta go
JustOffCamera: and you just have to look at it this way - the curve is not about only the top 20% or whatever getting As, the curve is about 4 out of 5 people getting Bs or better
JustOffCamera: good luck
FormerTeammate: thanks

This is why it was a good idea not to sign up to be a law school mentor.


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