Monday, March 30, 2009

I am Sooooo Entertaining!

Tonight was the annual BLSA 3L banquet.  It's the last official BLSA event of the year, when the organization says good by to it's graduating 3Ls.  It was my third one.  I had been waiting for this particular banquet for quite a long time, especially for the slide show and the superlatives.  "Finally, I'll get to be in the pictures on that big screen!  Me and my friends, being silly and studious and pretty..."  There was no slide show. :(  Darn 2Ls (they plan the thing) dropped the ball.

There were however superlative awards.  The superlatives are these silly awards for things like 'Next Johnnie Cochran,' 'Best Dressed,' or 'Most Likely to Commit Malpractice.'  (Mr. Trizzle won two of those last year; I'll let you guess what two.)  All the 3Ls vote on their classmates. 

I was excited about seeing which of my friends would get what awards, but was pretty certain I wouldn't get any myself.  Some of the awards might have kinda fit me, but not better than they fit my classmates.  So, I was prepared to sit back and watch My Rhyming Twin get the award for 'Most Likely to Brighten Someone's Day,' and my newly married friends get 'Most Likely to Have Children First', etc.  Well, I was wrong. 

I did get an award.  And not just any award.  One of the most ridiculous awards (probably just behind 'Most Likely to Buy a Luxury Vehicle w/ 1st PayCheck' and the malpractice award - both of which went to the same person this year).  For some confounded reason, my classmates voted me "interesting enough to watch during prime time."  Yes, I got the 'Most Likely to be a Reality TV Star' award.  What?!

All I have to say to my classmates is, 'y'all better mean Top Model, cuz if you think I'm going on one of those Real-College-Trip-Bug Eating-Mud Wrestling-Find a Spouse shows, you've got another thing coming!  Geesh, I don't even have TV to watch reality TV, and if I did, I sure as heck wouldn't watch that stuff!  Excuse me, but can I please get the 'Most Likely to be Laura Petrie' award instead?   ... oh never mind, she wears flat shoes anyway.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Regions Bank has Just Lost a Customer

I went to the bank today to deposit some money.  The bank wouldn't let me.  Well, wouldn't let me without a fee.  Regions wanted to charge me $5 to deposit MY money in MY savings account! This makes absolutely no sense.  It's the bank's job to deposit my money in my accounts.

When I was a little girl, I would go to the bank with my grandpa and stand on my tip toes to peer over the big, tall counter.  The teller would lean over to say hello and hand me a Dum Dum sucker.  If I was lucky, it'd be ? flavor; my favorite.  The room was gigantic, and the fancy woodwork and velvet ropes made me feel like royalty.  Against the back wall was a long row of gadgets on display - blenders, mixers, ice cream scoops - gifts from the bank to its customers for different accounts and stuff.

Now I go into the bank and wait on a cold tile floor wound around airport security line-like belts and wait to approach the bullet proof glass covered counter.  I slide my little slip under the counter.  The teller demands an id and that I remove my (prescription) sunglasses and types away at their computer.

Daddy used to have this jar of pennies on top of his dresser.  When it would get fall he'd take the jar (and me) to the bank to deposit his pennies.  The teller would pour the pennies into a big machine that would jumble them all together and tell the teller how much money Daddy was depositing.  Saving spare change like that is a great way to save money.  (Especially when not having change in your purse prevents you from using the vending machine.)

Every week, or when my purse gets to heavy, I empty out the change, setting the quarters aside for laundry and putting the pennies, nickels and dimes in my piggy bank.  My 'piggy' bank is actually a wooden truck.  My grandpa made it for me.  It's green and says US Mail, and the wheels really work!  Today, I went to my little green truck bank and discovered it was full, so I headed to the bank.  The worthless, scummy bank.  $5 to deposit my bank of change that probably only adds up to about $5!

So - I am now looking for a new bank.  One that actually acts like a bank.  In the meantime, Mommy, are you guys driving down in May?  Can you take my piggy bank to deposit in my Marine Savings account?

Far, Far Away

"They're so far away," I thought, as I lay stretched out on my bed, looking down at my feet.  "How did they get all the way down there?"  "Why, that's the other side of the bed!  Half-way across the room!"  It's amazing really.  If I'm sitting at the top of my bed and there's something at the bottom of it, that thing will be far too far away, too difficult to get, impossible without moving.  Yet, there my feet are, just chilling at the other end.

How did it happen?  There was a time when my feet were so close to my head I could easily stick them in my mouth.  And now, now they're so far away I can hardly believe they're mine.  For goodness sakes, I can't even see them without my glasses on!

I wonder what Daddy thinks when he looks down at his feet.  Or does he not even try?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Days Like This That Make Me Excited about My Future.

8:30 am - end of breakfast.  felt like I had walked into a lion's den.  breakfast chatter for a few minutes brought out Lessig-bashing.  I sat holding my Creative Commons laptop case on my lap (Lessig founded Creative Commons), trying not to get boiling mad and only correcting the lady when it would be uncontroversial. 

The day soon improved.  Keynote speaker from Universal Music Group filled me with hope for the future.  (They aren't as dumb and ostrich-like as I thought - see Wed. IP blog post for more.)  The session on Digital Copyright was an amusing blood-bath like escapade with high tempers and enemies sitting next to each other.  One guy who is the CEO for a music publishing association (i.e. helps song-writers get paid) said Apple is making money off of selling iPods and people use their iPods to put music on them, so song writers and musicians should get part of Apple's iPods profits.  Right, and I say I buy socks and use them to wear shoes, so the sock companies should get part of the proceeds from the shoe sales.  After all, what good are socks without shoes?  Or vice versa.  What good's a music file (or cd/record/tape) with nothing to play it on? 

Sadly, the industry logic is often like this.

There was also some nice cat fighting over whether there's too much or too little copyright protection.  Ironically, the panelists turned it into America vs. America.  Free Markets vs. The Constitution.  If you care, I'll explain more, otherwise I'd wind up spending a page explaining the foundations of copyright law.  There was also much disagreement over whether users have a right to content once it's been released (legal access, not right to just take) or whether creators should always have a right to say "no."  (Ironically, that's a bit more moral rights, which is something Europe has, but not the US.)

All fighting, scratching, nitpicking aside, the best part of the conference (to me) was those speakers from yesterday speaking again.  Sadly, only about 6 people went to their panel, and of the ones that were there, few people understood.  I think part of it was that American music industry folks are too worried about their "crisis" to care about anything having to do with Africa.  And the other part, they just don't get Africa.  Sometimes I hate those save the children ads for the impression they perpetuate.  Problem is, those kids do need help.  But Africa is so much much more than that!  If I had one wish, I think I'd wish that everyone in the world could see the true beauty that's in Africa, and all the exciting, wonderful things it has to offer, instead of just the disease and destruction.

Anyway, I like these guys' work a lot and don't worry, as soon as they send me the reader-friendly version (as opposed to the law journal version) many of you will be getting an email.  (And there's a new post about their work on Afro-IP.)  It was just so neat to talk to them again.  I hope it wasn't the last time. ;)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Most Amazing Day

When I got up this morning, I had a plan.  By 9:30am, that plan had been chucked out the window.  Why?  Well, this was in my inbox as part of the weekly school announcements:

ESLS, TELP, and the International Law Society present Mark Schultz and Alec van Gelder: "International Intellectual Property Development and the World Intellectual Property Organization"
Monday, March 23  |  12:00pm - 1:00pm  |  Moore Room

Mr. Schultz and Mr. van Gelder will be in Nashville for the Leadership Music Digital Summit, and they have kindly agreed to come to Vanderbilt Law to discuss their recently published paper, "Nashville in Africa," which discusses similarities between Nashville's music industry and currently developing creative industries in Africa.  Their talk will focus more generally on international intellectual property development.  Pizza will be served.

 

By noon, I had received several emails, including one from one of my favorite professors, making sure I had heard about the event.   Guess people know me!  Mzzzz Jones even asked if I set up the panel (that they'll be on at the Leadership Music Digital Summit).

Their paper had somehow come to my attention while I was in Nigeria, so it was saved on my computer, though I hadn't yet had a chance to read it.  Perfect time to have Adobe read it to me! (while I scrapbooked.  I am of the multi-tasking generation.)  It was very interesting.  My favorite part: Mondo Music and the large sections of the paper devoted to the Zambian music industry.  Yes, that's right, I said Zambian.  You don't happen to know anyone who knows anything about Zambian music do you?  Yeah, me neither.  ;)

So I walked up to school for the noon event.  I was sitting in the hallway, waiting for the 1Ls to empty out of our meeting room (their class room), when who should walk up, but the speakers themselves!  The student escort left them there, room still occupied by 1Ls.  It didn't take too long, we were soon all talking about about Africa and copyright.  Then my professor walked up, he knew one of the guys already and mentioned to them that he had just emailed me about their event.

Sitting in the hall, talking with the three of them, it was so neat!  I mean to just be able to sit and talk to people about the stuff I care about, wow.  Cuz really now, how many people do you know that will sit down and talk about Zambian music, the Nigerian Copyright Commission and African copyright laws with me?  Sure, sure, you all humor me (and I appreciate it!) but do you really want to talk about it?  Didn't think so.

They're speaking again at that conference tomorrow.  One of my Twitter friends gave me all the info about the conference.  (He goes to Belmont, it's at Belmont.)  I'm heading over tomorrow morning for a nice day of music, tech and IP issues.  The founder of Pandora will be there, too - could be helpful for my paper on Pandora and int'l licensing, if I can miss class.   We'll see.

What a great day!  Now I have to try to go to sleep.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Cold Up Norf

Hiya folks.  One of my dear friends from law school is moving up Norf and she's scared.  Originally from TX, Nashville's pretty much as far north as she's ventured for a long period of time.  After graduation, she's moving to Detroit for a year and then to Chicago.  [She's absolutely brilliant: doing a Federal clerkship and then going to a big firm, on Law Review, TA's for legal writing, got published, you get the picture. ]

Chaz and I were giving this Miss SmartyParty Pants some pointers  but we couldn't cover everything.  [Chaz is from Connecticut.]  Help us out.

All my cold weather friends, and this includes you MR since you still remember, leave a bit of advice about dealing with Midwest winters for Miss SmartyParty Pants!  I'll get you started with some things Chaz and I told her already:

  • Don't bother washing your car in the winter, but do get it winterized before hand
  • Don't worry, you don't really have to go outside when it's cold - attached garage to parking garage
  • ... you're turn

 

 

P.S. for long time readers, Miss SmartyParty Pants is the one who hosts the fun BLSA game/movie nights.  Mommy, she bought Partini because it was such a hit when I brought it :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

*SIGH* Law School

Hello folks.  You may have noticed my recent extended absence.  (With the exception of major excitement for my little sister!)  I've been busy being a law student.  It's really the first time all year I've felt like I was in law school.

I had this paper due.  I had worked on it over spring break, and awhile before that.  I thought it was due today, and had everything all planned out.  Then last week happened.  Thursday morning I found out it was due Friday evening.  Vampire!  I got an extension until Saturday morning, and, in two days, pumped out 25 pages (I had 4 Thurs. morning).

Saturday morning we had a bar prep writing workshop with this crazy super-hyper lady.  Woah, somebody give her a sedative!  She asked what bars people were taking and kept saying, "you'll kill it."  Until she got to Cali.  Then she says, "I feel sorry for you.  I'm even afraid of that one."  She's passed 3 state bars.  Whatever, every person that graduated from Vandy last year and took the Cali bar passed.  I'm not worried.  (not a lot anyway, not yet.)

After crazy lady, Mzzzz Jones and I had an assignment to work on: our Peeps for the Washington Post's Peep Show competition.  I'll post it after they announce the winners.  You'll have to wait 'til Easter!

Peeping over, we went to the campus step show.  For some vapmiring reason, the campus felt it necessary to have about 20 security guards and the actual Nashville PD at this thing (not just regular Vandy PD) plus metal detectors and bag searches.  To watch a show!  WTV?!  I was pissed.  So was Mzzzzz Jones.  But our friend's group, the Alphas, won! Congrats :)

Returned home about midnight Saturday.  6am Thurs - midnight Sat. = 6 hours sleep.

I've been recovering.

And preparing for today's presentation.  Some highlights (that I can share cuz they don't require animation)

 

image This slide was my "This is the world. This is the world on licensing" slide.  If you don't get it, one of us is too old.  [Music licensing is a mess, esp int'lly.]

Another fav part of mine was this email from Mr.Trizzle I used.  I redacted his name and then bleeped out the naughty words. :)

email from dorian about pandora w redacted and vampires

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Welcome to the Family

MWAHHHHAHHHAHHAA  - well, it would be an evil cackle, except he knows exactly what he's getting into.  And, he still did it.  He must really love her.

Congratulations Wendy and Nathy-Boo!

wendy and nathan by tree in museum

Nathy-Boo (finally) proposed to my beautiful little sister!  Happiness all around!   He did it in a really cute way, but it's not my story to tell, so I'm trying (and failing) to get Alfred to write a guest-post.  My favorite part of her phone call was when she was telling me about the ring, "it's got a big stone in the middle that's diamond or fake diamond or whatever; I don't care it's sparkly and I like it..."  If only Nathy-Boo had known earlier, he probably could have saved some money. ;)   And apologies for the picture - Nathy-Boo really doesn't like having his picture taken, so this was the best I could do.  Most of the rest look something like this: 

wendy trying to move nathan's hand

Anyway, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(and you know I'm already trying to think of the best wedding present)

Monday, March 9, 2009

You Know You're Old When There's a Generation Below You

My birthday's not for another month yet, but I'm already starting to feel it.  Between the grey hair, varicose veins and inability to sleep through the night, you'd think I'm about to turn 58, not 28.  Anyway, I saw something today that made me really realize I'm no longer a spring chicken.  I'm not the current generation.  I'm past; I'm old news.  I'm not what the media companies want; I'm not who the advertisers are trying to get.  I'm so last decade.

Jerry Del Colliano writes articles about music, mostly about how terrestrial radio is vampired thanks to the morons who consolidated it.  Today, he had a post that broke down the generations tech/media-wise:

Baby boomers (that's my mommy and daddy)
• Radio (always on)
• Raised on TV (sit down to watch particular programs as scheduled)
• Newspapers (at the breakfast table)
• Cell phones to make calls (if they can figure out how to use them)
• iPod as a fascination (haven't gotten there)
• Social networking just breaking through (Mommy on Twitter)

Gen X (me)
• Radio (but it sucks -- their words) (very much so! But I still use it in the car and often at home)
• TV and MTV (MTV when it played music, will stare at TV if it's on.)
• Get their news online not in print (yup, only read a newspaper if I happen to come across one somewhere)
• iPods, Blackberries (well, I hate iPods and am against the mega-phones, but I do love my Zune.  My phone will have nothing more than #s on the keypad as long as I can help it)
• Social networking -- frequently for marketing purposes and business connection (ah, the beauty of Twitter (and blogging))

Gen Y (Munchkinhead)
• Radio only when there is nothing else (Munchkinhead does like her indie radio in Milw.)
• TV is better on a laptop or computer and even more desirable without commercials (I think she still watches TV on tv, but I don't know)       
• Forget newspapers (they make nice hats)
• iPods are standard equipment for this generation (never see her w/o her iPod)
Mobile phones are built into their hands (pretty much, or into her pants)
• Text messaging is obsessive ($40 over-text limit bills, right Mommy?)
• Spying on each other over social networks is a right of passage (that girl lives on Facebook!)
• They want to be involved in their media
• Want to stop, start, time delay or delete on demand
(yeah, I really have no idea here - Munchkinhead?)

I looked at this break-down and realized, I'm out.  What shook me up even more, my little Munchkinhead and I aren't in the same generation.  Technology has developed so fast, it's sliced a generational gap right down the middle of us.  I was born in the early '80s; she was born in the late '80s.  Somehow, that's a world of difference.  I grew up on Snorks, Rainbow Brite and Fraggle Rock.  I don't know what she watched in the mornings because, by the time she got up to watch morning cartoons, I was into sleeping late.  On weekdays, I was at school before she was up.  Mine and Alfred's after-school shows were Square One and Saved by the Bell.  I don't know what Munchkinhead watched after school; I got home with Mommy since she picked me up from my after-school activities on the way home from work.

It's funny though, despite how differently we use technology, and how I have no clue about many of the staples of her generation, I never felt separated from her.  I never felt like I wasn't around.  We played together all the time, often forcefully dragging Alfred into it.  (Like the time I made her Sir Barnabus and told her to go attack the grizzly bears, and she ran right for poor Alfred, who was trying to fix the computer desk.)  I feel like we share a lot of the same memories, just not necessarily the ones that relate to pop culture and media. 

Our media connections are either from our parents' generation (White Rabbit, the Beatles, etc.) or things that continue producing through multiple generations (Metallica, Sesame Street, etc.)  I can think of a few exceptions, things that Alfred and I sort of forced to stay relevant (the Little Brown Tape, the Little Blue Tape, maybe even the Little Green Tape, though we didn't discover that 'til we were in high school).

Well, I guess I better go eat a bran muffin and take a nap.  That's what old people do, right?

Heading Home from Spring Break: a Few Loose Ends

There's a few little stories I forgot to include throughout the week (and enough events at the airport so far to write a novel).

Earring

Wednesday evening, I realized I lost an earring.  Sadly, it was one of my favorite dressed-up-nice-fairly-conservative-but-not-boring earrings.  Silver double teardrop dangles from an old friend.  Yesterday, Mr. Trizzle's putting stuff in the backseat of his car and says, "I found your earring!"  He pulls this gigantic silver hoop of the floor.  I started laughing, "that's not my earring."

Po-po

Mr. Trizzle spent a great part of the week trying to convince me to like the police.  Then, on Wednesday, an investigator came into the DA's office.  He used to be a beat cop in Oakland.  After listening to him for over half  on hour during lunch, he completely undid any progress Mr. Trizzle might have made.  In fact, he probably increased my agreement with NWA's sentiment.

I have yet to meet an honest, decent, or trustworthy officer.  You can keep trying, but you have a large mountain to climb.

The Airport

Mr. Trizzle dropped me off at BART.  The train I needed was on the platform.  The Air BART bus was waiting at the Colosseum BART station.  There was no line for check-in and only four people in front of me at security.  I was through everything in no-time.  And then things started to go downhill...

I accidentally left my boarding pass in the restroom.  Luckily, I realized it pretty quickly and went back for it.  I decided to get a green tea frappe from Starbucks to help me have energy to work on my computer during the flight.  Got my drink, got to the gate, spilled half the drink on the floor.  Splendid.  Got set-up, everything was fine, airport guy called clean-up.  Then, some lady decided to try to roll her suitcase over my power cord.  Rolled the cord (and power pack) right into the green tea/whipped cream pile, turned around, and left.  Thanks, now I have a sticky, soupy cord mess to clean-up.  Got it cleaned-up.  So far, no new issues.

While waiting for my flight, the gate loads a flight to Denver, with continuing service to Nashville.  I'm waiting for a flight to LAX to switch planes to Nashville (after an 1hr and 1/2 lay-over).  Funny how that works.

The clean-up lady just came - no more giant green and white slosh puddle.

Spring Break Day #9: The End of My Trip

But Mommy, I don't wanna go back!

Low key day, last minute things in the Bay.  Went to Top Dog today to get a veggie dog since I hadn't been there yet this trip.  That was the first place Mr. Trizzle took me when I first came with him to Berkeley in 2007.  It was well after midnight, and we'd been driving across the country for 3 days.  Yummy veggie dogg hit the spot.  You'd think with a great first impression like that, I'd like Berkeley more.  Oh well.

Second stop was a clothing shop down the street.  There was this great hoodie I wanted to get for Munchkinhead.  It didn't come in anything smaller than a Large.  In case you couldn't tell by her name, Munchkinhead is not even close to a large.  Sadness, no hoodie.

Last stop for the day, Mr. Trizzle's house in the Berkeley hills.  I don't know what it is about that place, but being there always makes me a bit disgruntled and rather depressed about being in California in general.  I wound up back at the hotel missing Wisconsin more than ever and wanting to hug my mommy.  But I didn't hug my mommy; instead, I bought bubble gum, ba-oompa-oompa bubble gum.  Actually, I worked on my paper for most of the evening.  Mr. Trizzle worked on job applications.

The Contra Costa Country DA's office notified everyone to expect to be laid off at the end of April.  The Board of Supervisors is cutting the office's budget so much, they'll have to lay off 33 attorneys.  That includes the entire misdemeanor department.  You know what that means?  Everything at Target will be free!  (As long as you only take it in batches that total under $400 each time.)  I keep hoping the DA is frontin' to try and scare the Board.  Mr. Trizzle's pretty sure his job is gone, so he's looking everywhere in the state.  When he looked at the jobs in LA, I said, "yay, we can move to Torrance."  He said,"what's that?"  Guess not...

Tomorrow, it's back to the Ville.  S'psd to be in the 70's all week; that'll be nice.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Spring Break Day #8: Almost Like a Real Vacation (or Help, I'm Turning into Daddy!)

I wanted to go to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for my last Saturday in the Yay. But, with a forecast of high of 58 and the boardwalk being on the ocean and stuff, that idea was vetoed. So, I told Mr. Trizzle he had to come up with something fun that he hadn't shown me yet. He did a great job! We went to the Tech Museum in San Jose and then to the Oakland Carnival. (Even Daddy would have had a tough time planning a better day.)

The Tech museum in San Jose was not at all what either of us expected. Based on the on-line information, we both expected a museum about tech. Here's an old computer, here's how technology has advanced, here's where we're headed - that sort of thing. Nope, it was basically a hands-on science museum, aka full of kids.

The line to get tickets was super long, and there was one person working the counter. The membership line was non-existent, but there were two people at that counter. Since the line was so long, I said to Mr. Trizzle, "can I just run into the gift shop really quick to look for something?"

"What?"

"A thimble for my mommy. She collects them, so every time we go somewhere, we get one for her."

"What's a thimble?"

"(suppressing giggle) A thimble is something you put on your finger when sewing so you don't prick yourself."

"Oh! The Monopoly piece."

"(failing to suppress giggle) Yes, like the Monopoly piece."

"Why would they have a thimble there?"

"Because people collect them. It's one of those random collectors items. Most museums have them."

Mr. Trizzle continued to assert that he thought it was ridiculous that I would look for a thimble in a tech museum and that he strongly believed I would not find one. I came back about two minutes later with this:

thimble for mommy

All he could say was "w-o-w." Hee hee. Point for goldenrail! Mommy, you'll get your thimble as soon as I mail it.

The museum itself was pretty cool. I would have had a lot of fun there with my sisters, especially in the giant Tinker Toys playroom. But Mr. Trizzle was some fun, too. He played a quiz game with me (and won) and he took a picture of me as a hockey goalie.

dorian playing trivia for blog me as hockey goalie for blog

Museum admission also came with an Imax ticket. We saw a film narrated by Robert Redford about the saving the Colorado River. At one point in the film, they're touring these old Native American ruins and this lady says, "you have to admire the Anasazi for building their homes where there wasn't any water." And, true to what Daddy would do, I thought, "no you don't! That's stupid; that's why they all died when there was a drought and now it's just ruins!" The movie was a bit annoying because it's Berkeley-ness was a little over the top. I also found it kind of ironic in an amusing sort of way that this movie was being shown at the tech museum because it kept talking about how bad all these technological developments were for the river.

After finishing up the museum, Mr. Trizzle was given an opportunity to one of the things he likes best - jam sticks in The System's spokes. He was given this opportunity in the form of a parking ticket. The ticket was for an expired parking meter. But see, here's the thing: the meter wasn't expired, it was broken. meter pic for blogThey didn't ticket him for parking at a broken meter, or for being parked there too long (there was a two-hour time limit, but the ticket was given an hour and a half after we parked). So what did Mr. Trizzle do? He took my camera and took pictures of the area and the broken meter and he's going to send them with a letter in that little ticket envelope.

The freeway was gridlock at some point on the way back, so we got off and took a nice tour of Hayward and Oakland until we got to the Oakland Carnival. We had seen the carnival on the way out to San Jose, so Mr. Trizzle said we could go if the lights were on when we came back. They were!

It was the most ghetto carnival I've ever seen. The scariest people were the ones working there. (Who, incidentally, were also the only white people there.) They had messy hair, scrunched up faces and, for the women, too much bad make-up. The scariest was the guy with three teeth and a beer in his hand, he was running this one ride that flips upside-down.

We had a lot of fun. We both went on the Tilt-A-Whirl, the pendulum-thingy that they called 1001Nachts (there was this girl that sat next to us and kicked two little kids off - who had, in all fairness, just ridden - so that her boyfriend could get on the ride. He had some nice shiny grills in his mouth; I was a little jealous.), and that ride that flipped upside-down; it's called the Energy Storm. That ride was terrifying! I was slipping all over the seat, my head flew out sideways and I couldn't bring it back in. And to make it worse, being upside down that long made my head start to itch. Can't scratch it - still have cornrows! Mr. Trizzle also went on the Gravitron to use up the last four tickets, while I got a snow cone.

For dinner, we headed to one of Mr. Trizzle's fav Chinese places (one we hadn't been to yet), the Pink Place. I felt so awful that I could hardly eat anything. I had half a little dish of vegetable soup. Mr. Trizzle managed to eat the rest of it, but he wasn't feeling great either. I was so sad. When I was a little kid, we used to go on all the rides all day long, and spin around in the living room for fun. Now, like Daddy, everything makes me sick. It sucks! We paid for our very small dinner and headed back to the hotel. I was in bed by 8:30 on my last Saturday night in the Yay. :( At least the day had been a lot of fun.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring Break Day #7: The Lawyer, the Commodore, and the Pro-Wrestler

And they all sailed out to sea.  Ok, not really, except maybe the commodore, but they weren't in a tub anyway.

Today, I went into the City (that's SF for you non-yayers) to have lunch with one of my fav attorneys from City Hall that I worked with a lot last summer.  It was a nice lunch (very yummy veggie burgers) and great to catch-up.  I also got to stop in and say hi to my old supervisor and other attorneys with whom I worked.

After lunch, I headed out to Daly City to hang out with my uncle some more.  Several years ago my Aunt Cindy was supposed to be Commodore of their yacht club.  Sadly, she passed away before she had the chance to serve.  So, Uncle Stevie served as Commodore for her instead.  (He sent Daddy a card that was like a get-in-free-anytime card for any yacht club.  Daddy had no idea what to with it.)  During the past year, Uncle Stevie's live-in friend was the Commodore.  She passed away near the end of last year.  Now, Uncle Stevie's the Commodore again.

We spent the afternoon just chillin, catching up on family gossip.  He also made a yummy snack of tomatoes with basil and mozzarella cheese. :)  And I showed him how to email a file.  (He's still light years ahead of Daddy, who can't send an email at all unless he's hitting reply.)

I headed back to the East Bay on one of the longest BART rides I've taken, from almost one end of the line, to almost the other end.  By the time I got back into El Cerrito, the sun had completely set, so Mr. Trizzle picked me up from the BART station.  That was really nice of him.

Mr. Trizzle found something totally new and different to do in the evening.  We stopped at El Cerrito plaza for dinner (Chinese for him, not Chinese for me), and then headed into Oakland to a place called Parkway Speakeasy.  It's an old-schoolish movie theater with just two screens.  No rows of cramped-in folding seat , no $20 popcorn that you have to put your own butter on,  no getting lost trying to find the right screen. 

The concession stand is huge, and serves real food like sandwiches, salads and pizza.  And get this, the popcorn is regular popcorn, with real butter!  The seats inside are couches and comfy chairs  with little end tables next to them.  If you order food that needed to be cooked, the staff brings it to you and takes the giant letter they gave you at the concession stand.

Mr. Trizzle and I found a nice comfy couch and I curled up into a nice warm ball.  Once it seemed like almost everyone was in the theater, Mr. Trizzle went back out into the lobby to get concessions.  He came back with a metal bowl of popcorn and a bottle of white wine.  I felt like I should have been sewing instead of watching a movie!  We ate popcorn, sipped on wine, and watched the guys that run the theaters tell us about what's coming to the speakeasies.  Then the movie started, and that was pretty much the end of eating or drinking for me.

Mr. Trizzle has this thing about only going to see movies that have ranked really highly on Rotten Tomatoes.  Personally, I think this is a really stupid way to pick movies.  It doesn't matter what it is, if Rotten Tomatoes gives it like a 97%, he'll go.  Why should a bunch of critics know better about what kind of movies you like than you do?  Anyway, the movie was filmed partially in that hand-held home-video way that the Blair Witch Project was notorious for.  I was getting really bad headaches from not being able to focus on anything, and nauseous from all the jolting on screen.  I gave up on eating and eventually even on looking at the screen.

Besides not really being able to enjoy the movie because I couldn't physically watch about half of it, the plot was boring and depressing.  I don't like to waste my time filling myself with other people's bad emotions.  I have enough of my own.  If I'm going to spend two hours (or more) of my life in a fictional land, it better be happy or at least vampire funny (i.e. House of Yes). 

I was quite disappointed.  The movie sounded bizarre when Mr. Trizzle read the info, but I was willing to give it a shot.  After all, I wanted to see the speakeasy, but uck!  Ok, ok.  There were two good things about the movie:  The Music, it was a lot of 80s hair metal except for when younger strippers were on stage, then it was Stuntin Like My Daddy and other newer hip hop; and the fact that about half the movie takes place inside a strip club.

I may stop agreeing to movies Mr. Trizzle picks out because of their Rotten Tomatoes rating.  He did that once before with a DVD.  Michael Clayton.  NOT a feel good movie.  (But has sticking ability - I just found the actual title of the movie by googling a quote I remembered from it.)  Actually, maybe I can use this Rotten Tomato thing against him.  I just Rotten Tomatoed a slew of my favorite films and THE Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth, got 100%Boogie Nights and The Producers are also in his "will-view" range, possible Arsenic and Old Lace, too. Hee hee.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Break Day #6: Productivity

Yesterday was a pretty low key day.  I spent most of the day recovering from the previous night and morning's nightmares and working on my paper.

When Mr. Trizzle came back from work, we headed into Berkeley.  He picked up his dry cleaning, (the suit I made looks really nice now that's been professionally pressed - that means I did a good job :) ), got his hair trimmed (I got a little nervous when a large disoriented guy stumbled into the shop with an almost empty open bottle of Absolut), and then we went to get some dinner.  Korean BBQ for Mr. Trizzle - i.e.  some rice and a big BIG pile of meat, Italian for me. :)

That's it, not very exciting, just nice and chill.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Break Day 5: Take Your Lady to Work Day

Or so it was designated sometime around the middle of the day.

Today I was Atty Trizzle's shadow at work.  It was awesome!  I met a bunch of his coworkers and got to see some court action.   No trials today, but wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

So, we went to the court room.  It was not what I was expecting.  The judge came in and the bailiff said "stay seated."  What?!  It was a scheduling thing I guess, but it looked like a zoo (and made me want to watch Night Court.)  Everyone talking at once, people in green and yellow jumpsuits coming in and out, attorneys up and down and in and out.  Yet, the judge was exceedingly efficient and got everything done in a fairly orderly fashion.  If someone wasn't there or wasn't ready, she moved on and came back to it later.

The Judge sent Atty Trizzle down the hall to his favorite judge's chambers to take care of a couple plea deals.  That was really neat because it was just him, the public defender, the defendant and regular court room ppl (reporter, bailiff, judge, etc.).  Then it was back to the zoo room for more scheduling.

Atty Trizzle was on trials, which means he had about four cases, any of which could be sent to trial today.  He wasn't expecting any of them to go, but the judge sent one: a DUI, .15bac w/ resisting arrest.  So we hopped back down to the courtroom with his favorite judge.  The judge didn't want the case to go to trial because it wasn't really worth it, so she encouraged Atty Trizzle and the public defender to work something out.  Atty Trizzle had to keep going back to his boss and the public defender had to keep talking to his client, so it took quite awhile for them to sort things out.

During one of the public defender's conferences with his client, Atty Trizzle and I took a break to visit the jury people waiting downstairs in case the trial went through.  Why?  Because Atty Trizzle's mom was in the jury pool today!  Pretty sure she would've been struck if the case had gone to trial. ;)  We said "hi," chatted for a bit and headed back upstairs to take care of finishing up the plea deal.

Many of his coworkers were like, "is this the lady?!" and his fav judge said, "You're the Valentine!"    Not sure what he's been telling them about me, but didn't seem bad (he must be lying).  One lady asked if I was the one that sent the tree.

That was the morning.  We had lunch out, despite my having packed sandwiches, cuz neither of really wanted sandwiches (it was cold inside!!) and we had to go to the Post Office.  Atty Trizzle got Chinese food and Taco Truck for me - except Atty Trizzle had to order cuz I don't know enough Spanish.

After lunch, Atty Trizzle worked on filing and I worked on my paper (in between my naps).  He actually left early today, before 5:30 even!  And it was sunny when we left :)  A nice dinner at a local, and amazingly good, Vietnamese restaurant (the one we tried to go to first on Sunday) and then time to relax.  It was a good day.

 

dorian g and check for blog This is Atty Trizzle in his office with his G and a copy of the check from the case he won Monday.  His coworkers hung the check up in his office.  When I saw the G hanging on his door, I thought it was cuz he's a G.  But no, it's a G for Guilty because he won the most recent case and the defendant was found guilty.  It was a check fraud case.  From the picture, you'd think he was the one found guilty.  (I had to beg just to get this grumpy shot.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spring Break Day 4: Family Time in the City

Today, I spent most of the day hanging out with my Uncle Stevie.  We toured art galleries in San Francisco in the morning.  I had no idea there were so many art galleries tucked in all over the place like that!  There was some pretty interesting stuff and some pretty scary stuff as well.  We also visited the Yerba Buena gardens  and walked behind the MLK waterfall.  We toured the area a bit, too.  (Art galleries don't open very early....)

For lunch, we met up with Uncle Stevie's good friend who works just a few blocks from where we were.  We had a really yummy lunch at a Asian Fusion restaurant called Unicorn.  When we first arrived, we were still waiting for Uncle Stevie's friend.  The waiter sat us at a small table in the center of the main aisle and said he'd add a chair later.  Then Uncle Stevie's friend showed up.  He knew everybody.  They moved us to a bigger table out of the path of the wait-staff.

After lunch, Uncle Stevie and I walked down to the Embarcadero to go inside the ferry building.  We glanced at the shops, looked out over the water, and headed back inland to see some sculptures around the city.

It was raining on and off most of the day, but the rain was very nice to us.  It only rained when we weren't walking outside.  When we went to get the car out of the parking garage, it was sunny and actually starting to get warm.  As we pulled out of the garage in the car: torrential downpour!  It worked like that most of the day.

We headed over to the East Bay in the early afternoon to avoid traffic later.  We hadn't been out of the car 2 minutes in Berkeley when we saw a booth for signing petitions to overturn a state law.  Vampiring Berkeley.  We tried to find some good things to do in Berkeley, but didn't have much luck.  The Berkeley Botanical Gardens were closed because the first Tuesday of the month is maintenance day.  The Berkeley Art Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  So we settled for wandering around, visiting bookshops and game stores and having an afternoon snack at a small Italian cafe.  It was still fun, but boy are my legs sore!

In the evening, we met Mr. Trizzle and his mother for dinner at that Chinese restaurant we almost went to on Sunday.  That's the reason Uncle Stevie and I had come into the East Bay in the first place.  Dinner was nice.  The food was good and the company quite enjoyable, despite the varied interests at the table.  Mr. Trizzle was still on a great high from having won a hard case in trial last week.  (Jury came back Monday, guilty on all counts.)  Trizzle's mom was glad to be out of her regular work/study routine.  (She's taking a teacher's exam in two weeks.)  Uncle Stevie said he enjoyed the day out and about (and wouldn't have to leave his house for another week after all this).  And I was glad to be with so many fun people and enjoying my spring break.

Hooray for another happy day. :)

Spring Break Day 3: A Greater Appreciation for Vandy

Today, after a morning of working in the hotel room, I voluntarily went into Berkeley.  Why do I do these things to myself?

There was a book I wanted for my paper.  Found the full text online...in Italian.  Not very helpful.  Found out from WorldCat that the Berkeley library and Boalt library (Berkeley's law school) had copies of the book.  And also that the closest copy to Nashville was probably at Nathy-Boo's school in Iowa.  Easy enough decision, time to get on BART and head to Boalt.

On the mile-long, completely uphill, walk from BART to Boalt there was a girl standing on the sidewalk handing out pamphlets.  (in your best sing-song voice) "It's a beautiful day to save the forests; let me tell you more about it!"  Vampiring Berkeley.  It was overcast, cold and rainy.

Boalt Hall is ug-ly.  Vanderbilt is very pretty.  Boalt is also under construction.  I found the library fairly easily, even though there was no welcoming Miss Phyllis to guide me in the right direction.  What I could not find easily was a seat in the library.  At quarter to three in the afternoon, every seat in the place was taken.  At Vandy, the place is nearly dead that late in the day, especially on a Monday.

I needed a little help finding my book because the library has several floors of stacks.  The girl at the Patron's Desk directed me to the 4th floor.  I took the elevator up and exited into a hallway with three unlabeled doors.  Well, one door had a label; it said "Stairs."  50/50 chance with the other doors.  What do I do?  Listen?  Go In?  Walk into a Wall?  I listened.  I heard a Tax Collector.  Oh no!  Run away!  Wait, the Tax Collector is chasing you!!!!  Just kidding.  I didn't run away.  I went in.

And it seemed like I somehow walked into a 4th floor dungeon.  The ceiling was so low, it barely cleared the top of my head.  Row after row of metal shelving units spanned the room, rising out of the concrete floor and blending in with the pipes above.  In the dim light, I could hardly find the call number I needed.  A row of windows lined one side of the warehouse like room, but they were covered in that white-don't-look-in-my-bathroom sheeting material, taking away much of whatever extra light the overcast sky was willing to share.

I headed back downstairs, book in hand, to scour out a seat.  No luck.  "Maybe there's secret study places like at Vandy..."  I started exploring.  Floor after floor of dungeon.  I found a help-me-I'm-short stool against a wall of empty shelves (where study hutches would have fit perfectly) with outlets in the middle of the wall.  I pulled up the stool, turned my jacket into a cushion and made myself a little study area.

After I finished in the library, I wandered around the Cal campus until Mr. Trizzle was finished with work and could get to Berkeley.  The campus is actually pretty nice inside, once you get away from the streets.  Minus those protesters and vampire.  There's tons of trees on the campus!  And this one area has such big trees and vines and bushes and stuff, I was totally expecting a dinosaur to step out into my path.  I don't get why people are sitting in trees behind the stadium when there's a bunch more of the same trees everywhere on the campus.  Oh, and a circle of fresh cut stumps with a sign that the "open space" is going to be utilized by planting a garden.  News for you: garden = no longer open space; it's a garden!

After wandering around long enough to get my fill of beautiful old buildings scrunched in with weird-looking modern ones, bicycles flying past and people dressed like sloppy clones in the name of 'diversity where everyone belongs', I headed over to the blue and yellow restaurant to meet Mr. Trizzle for dinner.  Dinner was very nice.  He got Chinese; I didn't; we were both happy.

P.S. I counted people in high heels during my 4.5 hours in Berkeley: 1.  3 if you count like Mzzzz Jones.

 

modified hassle castle

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Spring Break Day #2: Lunch Fail

The day started out with a simple plan: do work.  And for most of the morning, that's what we did, worked.  Then, around 1:30ish The Legend im'd Mr. Trizzle and soon there was a massive group g-chat about all getting lunch together.

Basic plan as we left the hotel: get SassyCarrot from the Del Norte BART station near the hotel then pick up The Legend at his house and go to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant.

Change in plans #1:  As we were headed to the BART station, another one of Mr. Trizzle's friends who had been involved in the massive g-chat but seemed not to want to get out of bed called.  She was waiting for the bus with one of her friends to come along after all.  After various phone conversations, Mr. Trizzle and The Legend got them directions to the restaurant.  All good.

Change in plans #2:  Mr. Trizzle, SassyCarrot, The Legend and I rolled up to the designated restaurant.  It was closed!  The bus girls were called and given instructions to get off the bus at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station bus stop.  We headed over there to pick them up, and on the way The Legend suggested a different Vietnamese restaurant on San Pablo.

Change in plans #3: The bus girls got off at the El Cerrito Plaza stop instead of the El Cerrito Plaza BART station stop.  After some more phone calls, we arranged to meet them in front of Ross.  After a successful pick-up and some squishing in the back seat (yay for shotgun!), we headed to the Vietnamese Restaurant.

Change in plans #4: We found parking near the restaurant on San Pablo and headed to the door.  Closed again!  As we tried to enter, the waiter told us they were closing now and would re-open in an hour and a half.  We headed towards downtown Berkeley, throwing around suggestions the whole way.  Eventually, it was decided we would try the Vietnamese place on Shattuck next to the movie theater.

Change in plans #5: After circling a few blocks several times we gave up on finding parking and decided to find something else.  We decided to head up to a Chinese place on University, a few blocks up.

Change in plans #6:  As we headed to find parking near the Chinese place, one of the bus girls commented that there was another Vietnamese place just 2 blocks from there.  We decided to park by the Chinese place and walk down to the Vietnamese place.

Change in plans #7: It was closed.  So what did we do?  Did we walk back 2 blocks to go to the Chinese restaurant?  Nope.  We walked four blocks the opposite direction to go back to the Vietnamese restaurant by the movie theater.  They were open and we finally got to eat.

After lunch, we split up.  Most of the group was much closer to their homes than where they had all bused and BARTed to in the beginning.  What an afternoon.

Spring Break Day #1: Round and Round the East Bay

Hello from the Yay!  Yesterday was my first full day of the "vacation" part of my Spring Break.  It consisted of a bit of a tour of the East Bay.  (click on images to see larger version)

image Start: El Cerrito - I'm staying at a Super 8 in El Cerrito.  It's pretty nice.  The room has a separate little living area with a couch, table and desk; plus, there's a fridge and microwave.  The hotel has free wi-fi and a continental breakfast every morning.  A big bonus, which will be very helpful later in the week, the BART station is close enough that I can see it from my window.

dorian in office smallerStop #1: Richmond - Being Saturday, Mr. Trizzle had to go into work.  He was in trial most of last week and had several witness rosters to fill out, plus some filing to do and an appellate brief to finish.  His office building and the adjoining courthouse sort of look like a middle school built circa 1950.  I liked his office because his desk reminded me of my daddy's (see photo).  I think the tree adds just the right amount of needed color.

image Stop #2: more Richmond - After finishing up and Mr. Trizzle's office, we headed to The Legend's house to visit him.  He wasn't there. :(  We had tried calling first, but his phone was off.

Stop #3: El Cerrito again - It was well after lunch time (for me, Mr. Trizzle often forgets to eat) so we headed to El Cerrito Plaza for lunch.  And guess what we saw!  Berkeley students protesting. Imagine that.  Apparently they don't want Panda Express on their campus for a bunch of reasons.  dorian and panda proestersThey were handing out pamphlets that articulated their reasons in one very long quote with bad grammar and poorly structured sentences.  These reasons included that the food isn't healthy, the inauthentic nature of the cuisine will offend the authentic diversity on the campus, and the chain doesn't buy local "animal friendly" ingredients.  Ummm.... ok.  After eating at Panda Express, Mr. Trizzle wanted his picture taken with the protesting panda.

image Stop #4: Berkeley - After lunch we headed to Mr. Trizzle's house in the Berkeley hills so I could watch him do his laundry and chat with The Legened on gchat.  (Ok, ok, I was supposed to be working on my paper, but it was frustrating and my seat on the bed was not comfortable, and there's a bit of animosity in that house.)  Somehow, all this took several hours, so by the time we left it was after 8pm.

imageStop #5: brief layover in another part of Berkeley - We had to drop off some stuff Mr. Trizzle had borrowed from his friend J.  It was quick stop on the way to dinner.

Stop #6: Albany - Dinner time!  We had yummy (and cheap enough) burritos at Gordo's in Albany.

Stop #7: El Cerrito - We headed back to El Cerrito Plaza to do some grocery shopping at Lucky's.  I figure, being in a hotel for a week and a half, I'm not eating out every single meal.  So, we picked up some snacks and sandwich materials.  that way I can  also pack Mr. Trizzle lunches for work.  (Like I said before, he forgets to eat.)  Mr. Trizzle was so funny in the grocery store, "isn't this place huge?!"  It was the same size as all our Pick 'N Saves back home, but it is much bigger than the grocery stores out here, so I'll give him that.  El Cerrito Plaza is one of my favorite places out here.  Besides having a big grocery store, it has a Ross, and my absolute favorite, a brand new HUGE Jo-Ann.  ;)

Stop #8: Back to Richmond - Last stop of the evening, Mr. Trizzle had to pick up some more files from work to work on that evening and today.  It only took a few minutes.  He just had to sort through those huge stacks on his desk and pull out all the DUI's and petty thefts.

End:  Back at the Super 8 in El Cerrito.

image