Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ricks v. Heroes of 2010

Inspired by CNN's Heroes, I decided that for my usual year-end fanaticism with lists of "best of" or "top ten"s I'm going to make a list of the many heroes in my life. I've had a wonderful Christmas break this year, and it's given me some precious extra free time to think and reflect. I recognize now more than ever that I am not much of anything without the help I get through prayer to Heavenly Father. I owe so much more than I even know, and I come to know more and more of that debt each day. I also see clearly that God has placed people in my life for a reason, and I hope that I fulfill whatever reason that He has put me in theirs. Rather than just list off names or delve into too much of specifics, this list will take on more of a thank you card-style tone. *Warning: For readers who have a low tolerance for cheesiness, stop reading now.* Without further ado (except the present ado) and in no particular order (and some of these definitely apply to more than one person and more than one of these apply to individual people):

  • You are my hero because you helped me to know a lot more about who I am, and helped me to open up in a way that I haven't in a long time.
  • Your patience with me and ability to lift my spirits when I've felt pretty crushed astound me.
  • Your ongoing campaign to get me to try new things, while often fought against, is not unappreciated. In fact the opposite.
  • Your helpfulness in getting me through the end of my undergraduate degree was... helpful.
  • Your prayers are so appreciated, and I wish that I made more time for you because you always make time for me.
  • You are the fashion-guru that came to my rescue when I probably needed it most.
  • You are always there to give me encouragement when I'm beating myself up.
  • You are an example of who I hope to be.
  • You helped me to learn stuff, and that's a feat.
  • You really saved my bacon when I probably didn't deserve your help.
  • Your ability to forgive my suckiness as a friend (and rude comments that I don't even notice) and to help me feel a bit more comfortable in the midst of a hard transition is most appreciated.
  • Somehow, someway you're still my friend after all these years, and I can't thank you enough for all the cherished memories and for putting up with this old soul.
  • You always can put a smile on my face.
  • You've given me so much, set such a great example, and shown incredible endurance and I'll appreciate you forever for it.
  • Your advice and inspiration mean more to me than you know.
  • I can count on you.
  • You always help remind me that I have people who care about me and that actually want to be with me.
  • You helped me to get out of my house and live some life.
  • There aren't adequate words to describe why you're my hero, but I know you're in my life for a reason, and you are my hero.
  • You tell it to me straight. Such a rarity.
  • You read this crap that I write for some unknown reason, but it makes a difference to me.
  • When anyone says the word "patience" or the word "hero," I think of you first. You give so much to me, and ask so little in return. You inspire me everyday, and I don't have enough "thank you"s to satisfy all that you do for me, and have done for me.

Wow, I think I didn't even realize there were that many people that help me in my efforts to make something of this life when I had the idea for this list. And of course, there are many more that help in many other ways, but these are the first and foremost that I think of. Thank you. Even if you wouldn't dream of reading this entry and have no idea it exists, thank you.

Reading back through this makes me realize just how much I owe to you people. Looks like law school debt isn't the debt I should be most worried about after all. Ok, bye.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ricks v. 49 Thoughts

Let's see if I can come up with 50 thoughts. Some random, some relevant, some... none of the above?

1. I'm now happy that my semester is over.
2. It's Christmas!
3. It takes having free time for me to remember how much I love living here, but I love living here.
4. I'm excited to see my fam, and not via Skype that my sisters think is super awkward.
5. It's funny to me when kids shows sneak political jokes into them for adults.
6. While flying makes me a bit nervous, I love doing it. It's always exciting because I only do it when I'm going somewhere I really want to go.
7. Dr. Seuss is awesome.
8. I hate hot chocolate, I love warm chocolate. I don't understand why people bother with a liquid that burns your mouth!?
9. My favorite new word that came out of this semester is "torted." (It's not grammatically correct, or a real word, at least not in the sense that I use it.)
10. According to my torts teacher, it's only a matter of time before your car will get "torted" in DC.
11. It's funny how we think we're keeping someone's secret when we tell someone else, but tell them not to tell anyone else.
12. Dozen.
13. This one's for Spencer, "Thirteen."
14. Rhythmic gymnastics is weird.
15. Whoever came up with the term "smart phones" and got it to stick was a genius. They got the rest of us to call our own phones dumb! Genius advertising!
16. I HATE cologne/perfume commercials.
17. Wonder what the weather is like in Djibouti today?
18. I'm excited to exercise again. I've missed it.
19. My house has a door to nowhere.
20. Rowan Atkinson would play me in the movie of my life.
21. Red Rocks in Alexandria is the best pizza place... ever.
22. I could really go for a FH'zookie right now.
23. Michael Jordan.
24. Paul Millsap is the bomb.
25. I'm a little surprised no one has come to visit DC while I've been here. I had a bunch of people ask if they could crash at my place when they came out here.
26. My eyelid has been twitching for weeks. I assumed it would stop when finals were over, but alas, it continues.
27. I saw the huge National Christmas Tree a couple weeks ago with my roommate and some other folks:We also saw Santa Claus.
28. Stuff exists.
29. It's weird to not have something so pressing on my Monday that I need to stay up all night on Sunday!
30. I expect the Aggies to win the rest of their basketball games this season. It could very easily happen.
31. I just randomly got the Charlie Brown's Christmas song stuck in my head.
32. Ocean Lion.
33. Narwhals are cool!

34. C.J. Miles has been playing well lately.
35. Truman G. Madsen was quite the insightful fellow. I'm a fan.
36. I HATE not knowing my grades.
37. I'm clearly a very patient person.
38. I always buy bread, but I rarely use more than half of it before it goes bad. Sad.
39. Milk, on the other hand, has rarely, if ever, expired under my watch.
40. Can you believe that you've read 40 of these? Because I can't.
41. I'm excited for some recreational reading over the break.
42. This one's for Shavonne: 42.
43. I'm happy that I have friends who help me to get out of the house when I have time!
44. Mmm... the over-priced shake I had at the Silver Diner after my property exam the other day was really good.
45. While I love NoVA, I still prove from time to time that I do not know it's roads very well.
46. My mom is the best. Hi Mom!
47. Ugh, I need to buy a new suit. Badly.
48. Am I lame for inserting the accents in résumé?
49. This one's for James Wilson Marshall, and for California history buffs.

That's all. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ricks v. Cautious Pessimism (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Law School)

Woah. How did I get here? I really can't believe this semester is over. I can't say I haven't enjoyed it, because I have. (Parts of it at least.) I also can't say it was easy, it wasn't. It has not been what I expected. Well, that's not true. "It" has been what I expected, my interaction with "It" has not at all been what I expected. I haven't been how (who?) I expected me to be. I know I sound crazy, but this is the inane babbel you get to deal with because you read my blog.

I'm being cautiously pessimistic about how my first semester grades will turn out. Frankly, I think I did a lot worse than I could have, and even then I might not have done superbly. I say cautious because there's still an off chance that I'm making myself look worse than I really am by suggesting that I did poorly--when perhaps I did well. But mostly, I'm feeling pessimistic about my grades. However, I think I've successfully conquered the worrier (Worry Warrior--that should be an indie band name, along with Cautiously Pessimistic) inside me that would have me to think that just because my grades may turn out horribly that my life will be a complete ruin. While, yes, life would diminish to a rather rotten state, it would certainly go on. Should my grades cause an implosion of my plans, I'll find a way to go on. As I've said, I'll mow lawns to pay off my law school debt if I must. Honestly, I doubt that I'll manage to screw up that badly, but there's a sizable chance my grades won't reflect even my lowest hoped-for potential outcome. In that case, I'll just take what I've learned in this 1/2L semester, and move on. I'll keep trucking through law school, and I'll love it, too. Even when it just hurts.

And, it does hurt. I wrote the above two paragraphs at 4 am last night when I needed a breather from my studies. I just now got home from my property law, and last, final exam. I have a bad headache from not getting enough sleep last night, and possibly from only having eaten a shake at the "Silver Diner" with a bunch of my classmates who either don't drink or were just going to go drink later than that. (I can't imagine if I were to add an alcohol hangover on top of the way I feel right now!) Anyway, so, I'm done for the semester. Shouting for joy, jubilation, happiness... yeah... not really feeling like that at all. It might help if in a couple days I get a chance to take in the big picture of what I've been through, but for now I think I feel emotionless because the joy of being done for a few weeks and the anxiety over feeling like I didn't do very well are canceling each other out. I'm an emotional void right now. Emotion neutral? (Another indie band name! Wow, either I'm on a roll or I'm just particularly emo in this blog post.) Well, so... that's that. See you in a couple days when maybe I'll be more interesting or exciting.

Update on the previous blog post's subject: I saw my arrested-neighbor's father this morning. He kind of just stared at me while I scraped the snow off my car. It was awkward. Well, ... bye.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ricks v. Terrorism Threats & News Stories

Ugh. Today has been very very distracting. So, my neighbor was all over the local news today for having supposedly made a terrorism threat on Facebook.

I looked so nasty. I really wish I had at least looked in the mirror. My story is wrong, too. I didn't know that I saw the dad instead of the son who's the one that was arrested. I've pieced together that I saw the dad being escorted around by the feds and I assume he was showing them that there were no bomb-making materials and that's why they picked up the blanket in our yard.

The news crews have been outside all day and they've been trying to interview us. I'm pretty mad at myself for opening the door. Now I know. Word to the wise, just don't talk to the news! The main reason I'm upset about it right now is that I see the dad a lot because we leave the house at similar times of day. Anyway, I hope this goes away fast. It sounds like the guy was making hollow threats.

Anyway, enough about my neighbor, I need to get all of that craziness out of my head so I can focus on my last final. This has made studying for property hard because I've been so distracted.

My econ test was yesterday. It went alright. I know it didn't go as well as the midterm did, but hopefully that will turn out ok. It felt very much like an undergrad test. It was mostly all stuff we'd covered, but the questions were asked in ways that tried to make them harder than they needed to be.

Well, speaking of studying. I'm off to do some more before I fall asleep. Remember, don't talk to the news. (But if you do, at least look in the mirror first.)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ricks v. Contracts

Jello, slush, water, liquid in general, lava-lamp contents, raspberry preserves (with the seeds), ketchup, Silly Putty, dust, pasta, couscous, empty vacuous space, a void.

These are all analogies for how my brain feels after my second law school exam which was for my Contracts class. I felt a lot better prepared for this one than for Torts, but my professor's ambiguous question approach left me feeling like I really wish it was the other way around.
(The above picture is really the deer-in-the-headlights look I had on my face right after the exam, one of my classmates was making fun of me. I honestly felt like my brain had leaked out.)
This test may have been ok, except that there was one question that I hardly got to and it was worth a lot. Again. I just have to pretend that I'm not freaked out, and now I have to focus on economics.
K, see ya. Hope your brain is less analogous to weird liquid/quasi-liquids than mine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ricks v. Torts/Terrorism?

Ok, I'm ready to vent about my exam, now. (Don't worry about me, I'm just getting it all out because I haven't really talked to anyone about it.)

The jury's out. If I even made it to a jury trial. Torts might be getting a summary judgment.
So, It's 8 am the next day at the moment. I finally fell asleep late yesterday evening after having stayed up pretty much all night the night before(despite my efforts to sleep for a decent amount of time.)

Before I rant, first a story:
When I got home from the test yesterday afternoon, my street was blocked off by random cars. I was really confused and frustrated because I just wanted to come home and sleep. There were a bunch of random people strolling around, too. It was bizarre. I drove around the block to try to get to my house and had to squeeze past a big truck. I parked in my driveway and looked at the blockade in the street trying to see what it was about. Then I realized that people were looking my direction. I turned the other way to see some dudes dressed in military-like gear cuffing my next-door neighbor who had apparently been hiding under a blanket in my yard. (Mind you, I'm super tired at this point, and probably look stoned and confused.) Woah, I was about to speculate about what my neighbor might have done, but I could be liable for libel. Let's just say, it appears that he did something to warrant the application of cuffs. The weird thing is that I can't figure out what kind of unit the guys would work for. I've seen enough military uniforms that I could identify one of the branches, but these guys were dressed differently. They definitely didn't look like regular cops either. I really don't know, but it freaked me out. I've been tweeting about my neighbor's struggles to start his car each morning, but I didn't hear any attempt to start it today. So weird. It's official. I don't live in Utah anymore.

About the exam. I will say that I'm happy that I was able to get to the exam early, my computer didn't have a meltdown, and I answered all the questions. My lone assurance of any points though is that I wrote my test number on each exam page, thereby avoiding an automatic 1% score reduction. Look at me! I'm 1% on my way to an A+!

I always think I do poorly on exams. It's a reaction I just expect from myself. This time feels different. (And I always say this, too.) (See examples: 1, 2) But for real, I often think I did alright, but that I could have done better. This time I really feel like could have done a LOT better. I was shocked that when I got home from the exam and laid in bed I couldn't fall asleep. Instead I was running over the test repeatedly in my mind. I thought of just about every question and ways I had screwed up, or things I could have done much better. I keep having flashbacks to my calculus class in college that I seriously screwed up in. I'm not comfortable with how it went, but I have to be. I won't get my score until February or something horrible like that. I don't do well with waiting for scores and grades, but I have to learn to be when it comes to law school. I'll find out how my LRWA paper went in January-ish, and then I won't get my grades until February or March. Yeargh.

Well, I think this probably wasn't a very interesting read to anyone except myself, and perhaps the government driving instructor who needs to teach his guys how to REALLY block a street. (Even from tiny Nissan Sentras.) Sorry about that. I promise to try to be more entertaining come December 18th.


Thursday, November 25, 2010


(Obviously I'm only including the "Ricks v." in my titles anymore for tradition's sake.)

However, this is the ugly truth of how my Thanksgiving has gone so far:

Despite how much more exciting Strict Liability cases' fact patterns tend to be (explosions, guns, planes), it's still hard to keep going sometimes. (Actually, the truth is that I slept in, and I have been studying since I woke up.) I am really pretty terrified over finals that will begin in just two weeks. (A week and a half... CRRAP!) But... I do have a lot to be thankful for:
1. Family.
I have a kick-trash family. They are very supportive, even from a couple thousand miles away.
2. My good friend Jessie.
She was kind enough to invite me over for her roommates' shindig this evening, so don't worry, Mom. I have somewhere to go for Thanksgiving.
3. Friends in general.
I am very thankful for the friends I have back home and out here. The people who have been placed in my life have definitely helped me through my first semester, and I'm very fortunate to have their support. Spencer and Greg from my study group have been really helpful when I've been sick, etc. They're great guys.
4. Legal Research Writing and Analysis (LRWA) and Econ.
That's right. I said it. I'm grateful for my legal writing class. The fact that my econ midterm and that many of my legal writing assignments went well has been a serious blessing in keeping me motivated, and giving me a glimmer of hope that I can actually do this. (Plus, my grades won't ALL be awful if I bomb my three big tests! --Yeah... that's not SUPER comforting.)
5. Finally having full days off. Although I'll never have studied so much in my life the way I have/will this couple of weeks before finals, I'm very grateful that I have full days with an empty schedule to actually catch up and study.
6. Northern Virginia. Translation: NO SNOW. Haven't seen a single flake yet! Love this place!
7. Pumpkin pie. I'm off to study some more, and then I'm headed to Jessica's to probably eat some potentially weird vegetarian Thanksgiving food that her roommate made, and pumpkin pie supplied by the good folks at my local Harris Teeter Grocery Store.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ricks v. 1L (with the help of "A New Name For Everything" by The Weakerthans)

Wow. I don't really remember the last time I wasn't anxious about something. This has been quite the life-changing experience. I'm generally one to keep a positive attitude, even when I'm feeling negative about something, but my first 1L semester has made my answers to the most common questions change. "How's it going?" or "How are you?" used to be the simplest question in the world for me to answer. Now I hesitate EVERY time I'm asked that, and my answer now usually is similar to, "I'm surviving." It isn't all that bad really and I'm not unhappy, but 1L has come with many a challenge. When people ask me if I like law school, I usually respond that I do, but truthfully I don't have an emotion either way. It's what I chose, and it's just happening. I don't have time to really stop and think about my feelings about the whole thing, so perhaps this is me snapping in the midst of my studies to take a typographical breather and just reflect. I'm going to steal the words of a favorite song by The Weakerthans to help me explain... because, why not?

"When the bus shelter windows and napkin-dispensers surprise with distorted reflections; it's never the someone you're hoping to recognize." --Sadly, (or perhaps smellily) I don't think I've had my morning routine steady enough to get in a daily shower for a straight week since September. I hold on to sleep for every last minute I can grasp in the mornings (this probably isn't anything new, but the lack of showering at least 6 times a week, certainly is). Hence, I find myself on many mornings quickly assembling whatever high-fashion ensemble of clothing falls out of my dresser, making some attempt to brush, and at least rinse my hair and then I'm on my way out the door. I am often disgruntled as I'm walking from my parking garage to the school to see in my reflection off the shiny-granite walls of a neighboring building that my hair has dried in some funky Mohawk/Alfalfa/Dennis the Menace-esque style.

"When the... borders of night start to give."--Yeah, this is not a new problem, but, for those of you who know me, you'll be shocked to hear that it's WORSE. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I cannot sleep at normal hours. I apparently broke or seriously offended my internal clock because it definitely isn't telling my body the time anymore. It's not just that I stay up late (as I've done most of my life), now I never know when I'll be awake or asleep. It's not healthy, or fun. Sometimes I'll get home in the late afternoon, I'll get dinner, and then after a bit of studying I'll zonk out. Then when I wake up at midnight it's pretty confusing trying to figure out how I should divy up my sleep and homework time. Would someone teach me how to sleep like most humans? Thanks.

"When the one-ways collude with the map that you've folded wrong and the route you've abandoned is always the path you probably should be upon."-- This has less to do with 1L and more to do with living in the DC area. I get lost. This is not a problem I'm used to. Even in Georgia I could always find my way. (Perhaps God was helping me then.) Before moving here I could just check a Google Maps map and I'd be just fine. I'm pretty good with maps. However, DC is a serious conundrum because signage is terrible here! You can't rely on the signs to tell you where you are, where you need to go, or if they do tell you where to go, it's rarely with enough time to get to the proper lane to get there! GPS? Perhaps.

"When you can't save cash or conviction..."-- I've never been in a situation where I have a lump of money that just steadily disappears. I actually am pretty good at budgeting, but I don't like it at all. I go between thinking, "Oh, I've got enough money that I could actually get that!" and "Crap... it's not money, it's debt." I'm a much bigger fan of just having a steady income where I know exactly what I can and can't spend. Trying to stretch my money now is a lot of guess work, and I'm not a huge fan of feeling like there's a chance that I'll just run out of money.

"When the... threads of your fear are unfurled with the tiniest pull."-- It's pretty funny when I'm having a conversation at lunch with my classmates from my section and I realize that there are 2Ls or 3Ls listening in. Sometimes we 1Ls can get very uptight or panicky about pretty stupid things. It doesn't take much for us to worry we aren't doing enough, or could be disadvantaged in some way. Personally, I tend to worry more about big picture things. I don't know if you've noticed, but apparently the economy isn't great. This doesn't help me feel super secure all the time. I can be having a great week and feel like everything is totally fine, and then I'll struggle to answer a question in class or read a discouraging article and then suddenly I'm convinced that I'm not going to make it. I'll never get a job! Of course I know that isn't true. I'll get a job. I might have to mow lawns until I die to try to pay off my law school debt, but the point is that no matter what, things will work out. I know this, but it doesn't take much to cause me a brief fit of "I'll never make it because I couldn't remember the prima facie case for defamation"-syndrome.

"Stand with your hands in your pockets and stare at the smudge of a newspaper sky and ask it to rain a new name for everything. Fire every phrase. They don't want to work for us anymore."-- Words have seriously become very different to me now. Not that I talk differently, but I've found through my studies that there are a lot of words that I've always used incorrectly, been oblivious to, or that I've known existed but never knew of their meaning. I didn't know what "torts" meant before I started law school. I'd heard it a lot, but I had never actually known what it was about. Now I have an entire class about torts. (In short, it means wrongs done by an actor to another.) I learned that you don't get a mortgage, you give one. There are also many words that have differing regular and legal meanings. And there are words that are funny to get away with saying (i.e. bastardy.)

"So put on those clothes you never grew into and smile like you mean it for once."-- I have a lot of events that require that I wear a business suit. I presently own one suit. It's from my mission. It didn't fit then, and despite my addition of a layer or two, it still doesn't fit. I've been meaning to go get me a nice new suit. Speaking of the events that require a suit, the other day I got to feel really intimidatING, even as a lowly 1L. How you ask? I was a judge in a national mock trial competition for undergrads. It was fun! Not everyday that a 1L get's to don a judge's robe!

Anyway, I don't really think this song worked all that well, but it's a good song that you should listen to. Uh...pretty sure there was more to talk about, or at least more interesting things that I should have previously written, but whatever. You already know what I'm like. I'm hungry, so you're stuck with this crappy post. K, see ya.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ricks v. "Facile"

fac-ile [fas-il or, especially Brit., -ahyl]

1. easy to perform or achieve
2. working or moving easily or smoothly
3. without depth; superficial
4. archaic relaxed in manner; easygoing

I don't know if I ever talked about this before, but one of my favorite professors, (Professor Davies--who teaches my Torts class) gives away Supreme Court Justice Bobbleheads! Each class he will ask a few students to quickly define a word from the day's readings that are generally more difficult. (If ever there's a latin phrase, you can count on it being one of the vocab words.) Anyway, a few weeks ago, in my reading I came across the word "facilely." I don't think I have ever seen this word in my life before that point. I looked at it, and I decided that it must just mean easily. This because the Spanish word for easy is "fácil," and because it looks like the root might be the same as that in facilitate. The word didn't come up in that day's vocab, so I all but forgot about it.
Then today came along and I was given my second opportunity to define a word, I was given "facile." I got it right! Very fortunate that I remembered it from before, as I don't remember coming across that word in today's reading, and I didn't know the words before and after mine. But I secured myself a Justice David H. Souter bobblehead.

Do you know someone with a collection of weird things? Maybe not weird, but, things that people would not necessarily think of when they think of collections. Maybe it's your grandma, or another elderly person? Perhaps it's you? For instance, I met a lady once who collected cookie jars... who knew there were SO MANY varieties of cookie jars to be collected?

Have you ever wondered how these people get their start? I think it might look something like this...

(Prof. Davies gave us all the smaller one earlier in the semester.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ricks v. The White Board

Just once in my life, I'd like to be able to write something AWESOME on a white board like this:

As my roommate has been preparing to go to Nepal, I've been wishing I could go with his humanitarian group.  Perhaps I can go on one of his many adventures in the future.  But for now...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


UPDATE:  Ricks v. Weather:  You may recall that I filed an injunction to stop the great weather from leaving.  That injunction failed.

UPDATE:  Ricks v. Male-Pattern Baldness:  I've attempted to settle out of court with MPB.  If it will agree to stop advancing across my head, and will encourage my mini-mullet to cooperate and stop growing at such an obnoxious speed, then I will drop this suit.

UPDATE:  Ricks v. Apple's iPod nano Pedometer:  I've decided not to appeal the "district court"'s ruling in Apple's favor.  I did this for two reasons, (1) I've figured out how to deal with the pedometer's lack of abilities (see photo and caption below), and (2) some of the contributory reasons for my anguish at the time of the incident (regarding my econ test) have been pretty well turned into joy.  I did SIGNIFICANTLY better than I thought I would.  I was shocked when I saw my score.  I asked someone to make sure the test was out of 100, and not 200 or something.  I know that I didn't nail that test, and so I'm led to believe that my econ professor was very lenient on his grading.  So it's certainly in small part that I understood most of the material, and in large part luck-- or divine intervention.  For real.

Ricks v. Apple's iPod nano Pedometer:  I figured out that if
I clip the nano onto a watch band, the pedometer works much
better.  Also it's way more convenient for changing songs, etc.
UPDATE: Ricks v. Keebler: I should probably implead Krispy Kreme.  They are also very guilty of "fattery."

UPDATE: Ricks v. October:  I mentioned this "case" in my comments of the "Squib Cases" post.  I hate October.  It's not a great month.  However, I will admit that at least here in Virginia it is still at least warm on some days.  And we actually got Columbus Day off.  That was nice!  Other than that, I'm still not a fan of this month.  

UPDATE: Time v. Ricks:  Yeah, probably contributing more to that case right now.  Best get back to my homework.  K, bye.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Squib Cases

Entered into evidence in Ricks v. Law School Reading

Ricks v. Male-Pattern Baldness:
My lawsuit against this culprit for IIED (intentional infliction of emotional distress) continues, and damages continue to increase.  The jury is out.

Ricks v. Law School Reading:
I've filed a motion for directed verdict for false imprisonment by the law school reading that I'm feeling buried under.

Ricks v. The Half-Way Point:
The events of the week surrounding my half-way point through the first semester of my 1L year were not kind.  This past week kinda beat me up.  I came out conquerer and won this suit.  Last week owes me a day off on Monday as damages for battery.

Entered into evidence for Time v. Ricks.
Ricks v. Perkins:
My car, Gregory Perkins, is being a butt.  I bought a new battery for it, and it ran great for about a day.  Then it decided to poop out on me again.  What does this mean?  I have gotten to ride the metro for about a full week now.  I'm suing Greg for my travel costs, and the repair costs I will incur tomorrow.

Ricks v. Today's Weather:
I'm filing an injunction to force the weather from today to stick around forever.  It was perfect.

Ricks v. Armstrong:
Not Lance, nor Niel, but Louis.  His rendition of "What a Wonderful World" is a darn good song.  That is all.  I made this one up.  (The rest of these cases are REAL*.  Trust me.**)

Ricks v. Bus Driver:
There is an awesome bus driver that always makes me smile who has the shift on my route home from school.  Why am I suing him then?  He made fun of me the first time I boarded his bus, because I had my earbuds in and he had to honk at me twice and was about to drive away before I saw him and flagged him down.  Sometimes I need extra help.  After I climbed aboard feeling pretty dumb, he was smiling at me and said, "You gotta come back man!" as he pointed at his head.  I said, "Yeah, no kidding."  (I was particularly mentally drained that day.)  He remembers me from that, and we both laugh on the inside about it each time we see each other.  Uh... he must pay?

Time v. Ricks:
Time is suing me for negligence.  I think that sums it up.


K, bye.  See you next month?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Alternate Dispute Resolution Society v. Ricks

I'm informed that the Alternate Dispute Resolution Society of George Mason University (ADR Society) is preparing to file a claim against me in the coming days.  It seems entirely frivolous.  (Obviously, every "claim" on this "blog" is going to be "frivolous" because if these were not "frivolous" I would probably be filing them in an actual "court of law."  Wait... forget those last two "quotation marks."  And yes, you should read that sentence by doing air quotes with your fingers each time.')

A note I received from an inside source at the ADR Society's representative firm (Lyons, Tigers, Behrs, & Ohmi) read as follows:
RE: ADR Society v. Ricks
The ADR Society felt that from the looks of excitement, diversion, and general relish on your face during the negotiation intramural today, you had too much fun.  They feel that the exercise wasn't supposed to be so entertaining, and that you should probably learn to better hide how much you really enjoyed the opportunity to get a taste of what real-world negation could feel like.  They feel that you've intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon them by not reacting appropriately.  You seemed to enjoy when you discovered that you're actually the type to go on the offensive and push to reach your "client's" objectives.  You didn't seem to mind when you felt intimidated by the 2Ls that you faced in the second round (of the two) that clearly had a much more coherent game-plan than your own team.  You seemed to have fun working together with your teammate, Spencer, who's from Payson, UT and is a very cool guy (but you know that already, why would I tell that to you?  Oh well.)  The judges, practicing attorneys from the area, could tell that you weren't highly experienced at this, but that your lack of experience didn't prevent you from acting like nothing was wrong and having "a blast."  As your friend and informant, I'd recommend:

  • That you not participate next year unless you intend on having fun with it again.  
  • If you should happen to have won the competition and be qualified to move on to the regional competition in Virginia Beach, I advise you to chill out and not enjoy it so much.
  • That you not post anything about this on that weird blog of yours.  I know no one reads it, but if word happened to get back to our client, you could get yourself into even more trouble.
  • Go eat some cookies.
--Your friend,
        Informant Behrs

So, as you can see, I competed in the intramural negotiation competition today.  It was really quite fun.  Spencer and I represented a man that was being recruited by a fictional university for a business program (round 1), and then we also represented a union who represented TAs that were getting hosed on their monthly stipend and on the amount they had to work (round 2).  Both pairs we faced off against were girls, the round 1 team were 1Ls like us, and the second round team were 2Ls.  It's funny, but I was telling someone the other day that there is a visible difference between 1Ls and 2Ls/3Ls.  You can just tell who has more time.  The first round was the easier of the two fact patterns, but I felt like Spencer and I might have done a lot better in the second round.  THe problem with that is that I feel like our opponents did better that second round as well.  I don't know what exactly the judges were looking for, but based upon the feedback we got in the first round, I really doubt that Spencer and I will "win."  I was surprised that I didn't get more flustered.  I tend to have that problem when facing situations like this where there are a lot of unknown factors.  It was tough, but quite fun.  

K, bye.

(Yeah obviously it's tough to work all the stuff about my real-life experiences into these dumb fake cases.  Whatever.)  K, bye...... for real.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ricks v. Apple's iPod Nano Pedometer

Ricks v. Apple's iPod nano Pedometer*:
258 Int.Barn. 3 (DCoLIB 2010)
[The plaintiff, known for his ability to whine and ramble on about nothing, gave this testimony to the court, "On September 14, 2010 I was having a rough week.  I was studying up for my big econ test that would take place on Thursday of that week [two days later], and I just reached a point where I needed a break.  So, naturally, I decided to suddenly buy an iPod.  You see, I won an iPod in college.  It was only a 2GB nano.  I was very happy that I won it, and I have gotten a lot of use out of it.  However, I have always wished that I had an iPod that could fit more of my music.  So when I decided to go get this new 16GB iPod nano, you have to realize that this was a very exciting experience.  This was the first iPod I ever bought.  I was thrilled to discover that this iPod also included a pedometer app that I could use to keep track of the length of my runs.  Well, Thursday came along and I took my horrible econ test and I decided that I generally survived it, but am very unsure about what score I will fetch.  Anyway, after a nap I decided to head out for a run and finally put this cool pedometer feature to the test.  So I forged out into the dense humid air of Arlington, compelled by a strong desire to enjoy this interesting feature of my supposedly cutting-edge gadget.  Upon returning from my run I was highly chagrinned to see the result listed on my pedometer.  442 steps!"  The plaintiff's counsel also entered into evidence that Google Maps verified that the plaintiff ran 2 and half miles on this particular run.  In response to the defense's allegation that the plaintiff must have failed to use the product properly, the plaintiff responded that he had followed the instruction on that reads, "Clip iPod nano to your sleeve, jacket, or running shorts," by clipping the device to his running shorts.  The plaintiff seeks damages for emotional distress inflicted by the failure of the device to meet his needs just hours after his painful experience with his first law school exam.]
SAM JUDGEGUY, J. gives the opinion of the court:
The defendant has moved for summary judgment and I am inclined to grant this request.  As the plaintiff's only real accusation amounts to the common law tort of outrage, or intentional infliction of emotional distress, I find no possibility that a jury could reasonably determine that any outrageous harm of any extraordinary measure is found within the facts of the case at bar.  While it is certainly regrettable that the pedometer device measured only 442 steps when the defense admitted that the average mile run as measured by a pedometer generally measures approximately 2000 steps, the failure of an electronic device to achieve its implied purpose is certainly a common experience for any who experiment with the cutting-edge of technology.  Also, the plaintiff testified that the iPod device met his primary need in desiring to purchase the item, while the pedometer abilities (or lack thereof) were merely an afterthought as far as his desire to use the iPod nano.  This does not amount to an outrage that no reasonable person should be expected to endure.  Also, there is clearly no intentional infliction of emotional distress as I find any evidence of a malicious intent entirely wanting.  I think the plaintiff should just chill out and try attaching the device to his shirt sleeve next time he runs.  That might work.
Motion for summary judgment granted, with costs.  

*Fake court case, duh!
About my econ test: Really, it wasn't horrible.  I really don't know what to think about it though.  I know I didn't nail it.  It's so disconcerting when I can't just get whatever score I get, but rather my score will be adjusted for our harsh curve.  All things considered, (including that there are many former econ majors in my class) I think I'll be ok with a B.  (That's a new feeling.)
K, bye.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My latest lawsuit: Ricks v. Keebler

(So sorry if you hate this, but you're going to have to deal with the fact that this is how my posts are going to be until further notice.)

Ricks v. Keebler*:
257 Int.Barn. 2 (DCoLIB 2010)

[The plaintiff, Ricks, has sought damages for a heretofore unestablished branch of tort law that his counsel has entitled "Fattery."  The plaintiff alleges that the defendant, Keebler, has exploited the plaintiff's debilitating addiction to chocolate chip cookies and has inflicted many pounds of cookie-weight.  This has left the plaintiff feeling rather out of shape and flabby.  He is saddened by the outcome of his excessive cookie binging.  Plaintiff claims that the defendant's actions amount to fattery through creating irresistible cookie treats with chips of chocolate in every bite!  He has asked for $3 million for emotional distress and physical harm that will surely only be removed by liposuction due to the plaintiff's lack of time for continuing his P 90 X regimen.  The defense has filed a countersuit for court costs, due to what they consider a highly frivolous claim.]

CASSANDRA NIGHT McCONNOR, Judge in the District Court of Lame Internet Blogospheria gives the opinion:

This is a really, really stupid claim.  I'm going home.
Case dismissed, and plaintiff must pay defendant's costs for a frivolous claim.  Fattery?!  Wow, I thought I'd heard it all.

K, see ya.
*This is a real** case.
**Really fake.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Law School Style Post: Ricks v. Sleep

Ricks v. Sleep:
256 Int.Barn. 1 (LIBCoA 2010)
[On September 13, 2010 Mr. Ricks felt incredibly tired and decided to sue Sleep for not giving him enough energy to fend off the onslaught of Law School's impact upon his personal well-being.  Plaintiff claims that Sleep has a duty to provide energy for such activities, and was negligent in not providing quality enough of energy such that plaintiff could reasonably pay attention in his Torts class.  A jury in the District Court of Lame Internet Blogospheria found in favor of the plaintiff and assessed damages in the amount of an afternoon extra-power nap.  Defendant appeals based upon erroneous jury instructions that the Plaintiff could not himself have been contributorily negligent with regard to amount of sleep.]
UNLEARNED FOOT, Justice of the Lame Internet Blogospheria Court of Appeals gives the opinion:

Affirmed for the defendant that jury instructions erred in the trial court by stating that Plaintiff could not be found contributorily negligent by not acquiring a sufficient quantity of sleep.  A person such as the plaintiff should well know that Sleep's benefits are directly proportional to the quantity of hours that a buyer like the plaintiff purchases from the sleep store.  This court finds that a jury could very reasonably determine that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent if the plaintiff did indeed lack in sufficient quantity of hours purchased the preceding evening from the sleep store.  

Reversed and remanded for retrial, with instruction to determine whether the plaintiff could be contributorily negligent due to insufficient quantity of sleeping hours purchased the foregoing evening.

The District Court of Lame Internet Blogospheria assembled a new jury to determine the aforementioned component of the case at bar.  The evidence in the original trial presented by the defense revealed that the plaintiff had purchased at most 6 hours of sleep the preceding evening.  What result on retrial? 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This is me, freaking out calmly...

As the reality of how hard my exams are going to be--and more specifically how hard it will be to stand out in the crowd on those exams--is getting more and more apparent, I'm freaking out... more and more.  But I'm still calm.  I feel that everything will be ok no matter what happens come exam time, but it's still troubling when I'm afraid of things not going how I want them to go.

I'm currently chilling in my professor's "Office Hours" where he just stays after class and answers anyone's questions in an open forum.  (Thereby giving everyone the chance to hear what he says to any question asked by anyone.)  A very fair process.  He's a hilarious professor, too.  It's entertaining just to listen for that value alone.

I don't really have much to say right now, but law school is tough.  K.... see ya.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Some stuff...

Well, it has been a week since I've written in here.  Here are some things about this week.

  1. Having awesome memorials/monuments that people pay hundreds of dollars to travel to see in my neighborhood is encouraging my desire to go for runs.  
  2. Near miss by Hurricane Earl I suppose.  Not really that near.  We just had one of its tentacles go over us.  It didn't even rain.  It's been great weather temperature-wise.  Thanks Earl!
  3. I saw a guy that looked just like Gary Coleman, only 6 foot 2.
  4. I got a lot of free stuff this week from various student organizations and local businesses.  Even a shoe shine.
  5. Being graded on a strict curve against my classmates is not great.
  6. Just found out that the Supreme Court had a vote on how to spell Marihuana/Marijuana.  They chose the version with a J.  
  7. My teacher gave us a hypothetical the other day about a cow named Jonathan.  It was hilarious.
  8. I love my institute class.  It's only 45 minutes long, but it's great.
  9. I decided one of my professors should have the nickname: Gray-Hair Colbert.  He has the exact same mannerisms as Stephen Colbert.  (Yes, this would be the comedic-genius behind Jonathan the Cow.)  
  10. One of my other professors reminds me of Garry Marshall.  He's not funny.
K, see ya next time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Yes, I'm one of THOSE people now...

Seemingly overnight I was changed in a rather significant way.  As mentioned in the previous post, I've spent much of the last few years just moving day to day, and basically just organizing my life's events mentally, or when pressed for time I'd utilize the oh-so-handy to-do list -- often scrawled on some random scrap from my bedroom floor.

It quickly became apparent to me after I moved out here and started going to all these random school-related events, that I would need a new system.  So after toying with the idea of buying a big wall calendar, I realized that all along I've had a very handy program on my MacBook called iCal.  It's a pretty straightforward calendaring program.  But the how I changed isn't really important, it's the how long that is significant here.

I think this change, is almost definitely a permanent one.  I foresee the addition to my vernacular of many a typical logistical phrase heard in office settings like,
"Yeah, let me just check my schedule and pencil you in for the first available time."

"Let's coordinate our calendars and get this taken care of."


"Oh, I'm sorry.  I'm looking at my calendar, and that day just won't work.  How about the following Wednesday?"

The thing that's weirding me out is that I'm going to be hearing, and saying, these kinds of phrases probably for the rest of my working life.  I'm one of those people now.  I just don't really see a time in my near future when I'm going to have abundant time off such that I won't need some sort of schedule.  I did this on my mission, I suppose, but that lacked the permanence of this change.  Not a big deal, but you know, just one of those simple life changes that are required when someone finally starts doing grown-up things.

I'm excited.  While I am up kind of late right now, I actually get to sleep for a full 8 hours tonight!  Woohoo!  Best be getting to sleep.

Uh, I'm not too sure I actually arrived at any point for you to read this post.......... k, bye.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I've killed oh-so-much time... and now time is killing me!

So often I've written on this blog about killing time.  I worked in a computer lab where at least 95% of the work time was spent trying to occupy myself with something.  I don't exactly have an excess of hobbies, so I've spent, and by spent I mean MURDERED, so so so many hours on the internet, on this blog, on just... dumb stuff. I have so much guilt... I've murdered so much time, and now I wish I could unslay it all.
1L: And this isn't even all of them!

I'm not really that torn apart by this all.  I just thought it sounded fun and melodramatic.  But realistically, I've never felt as busy as I have for the past 2 days.  And they were just my 3rd and 4th days of law school.  I feel about how I think I would feel if I had to study for a test every day and also work a full-time shift in that same day.  To clarify my analogy: Test=classes, study=prepping for class-time, full-time work=THE READING.  It's honestly probably not as bad normally as I have felt these past two days, but the fact that I'm not getting enough sleep either is not helping.  I probably shouldn't really even be taking the time to write this post, but it feels nice to get my feelings out in writing.  (Hence the insane amount of babble on this blog!)

As for my 3rd and 4th days of classes:  I went to Property, Torts, Econ (again, last Thursday was our first time in that class) and Contracts.  My contracts class was by far the most stressful, despite all the hubbub 2Ls and 3Ls have made about my professor for Property.  I found Property's Socratic conversation to be a bit more straight-forward and bearable.  Contracts was only stressful because he decided to start delving into civil procedure, a subject that you may have noticed is not covered by my 1L courses at the moment.  So almost everyone he called on looked pretty dumb today.  If he had asked me about any of the cases we read (and he did talk about the cases), I would have and did know the answers to his questions.  However, when my first opportunity to be cold-called upon, "Mister....(looking at his seating chart)... Ricks, where are you?"  I raised my hand.  All this after the previous victim had seriously fumbled a guess to his question.  He asked me the same question (a fairly basic civil procedure question).  I somehow managed to just brush the situation off and said, "I would make a guess resembling Mr. Chrysanthemum's." (name has been changed to protect the said victim)  My professor looked at me and said, "Oh, so he was guessing?"  I replied with my typical laugh (not really nervous at all, despite how dumb I was looking for not having just looked up the answer by now), "His seeming guess."  Professor: "Oh, so he was seemingly guessing!"  ... and then... he just moved on to someone else!  I got off SO easy compared to some of my other classmates.  It was kind of nice, but at the same time, I would feel better if I had just made my own guess, which, would have been more accurate than either of the other two guesses.  Darn me and my ability to avoid confrontation!  I'm joking, but I do wish I would have had an answer.  In retrospect though, I think that's why he left me alone, and I should count myself lucky in that regard.  My Torts and Econ professors are pretty funny.  Something I really appreciate.

Anyway, back to time... I feel like I've been in school for weeks now.  But it has only been a few days.  Incredible.  As for the overall experience, I am actually enjoying myself.  The law is still new and exciting.  I'm actually enjoying what I'm learning.  I think that has more to do with the fact that I'm gaining useful knowledge in each class that I could use in my future "real-world." My previous post-secondary education has not quite lived up to that.  (What use is knowledge of the chronology of development for the Mahayana school of thought in Buddhism?)  Other than that, I'm just tuckered out, but there's still more to do.  My Mondays and Wednesdays are by far the MOST demanding days, but Tuesdays will be quite demanding as well.  Wednesday after class is kind of the oasis in the midst of my week, with the exception of Sunday.  (I'd say Saturday, too, but that's pretty much spent in preparation for the week and mostly for my Mondays!)  Anyway, as tomorrow is a Wednesday, I need to stop all that crazy-talk and get to it!

See ya later.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jeff's Top 140 Favorite Songs as of August 2010

Law school is starting out well.  I feel like I'm going to be able to do it.  Granted, I've only been to my two easiest classes thus far, but I feel like things will go just fine, nonetheless.  I've had a bit more down time than I had anticipated.  So, of course I choose to waste it by making a list of songs!  Instead of being ridiculous and wasting at least an hour of my time, I decided to dispense with the arranging these songs into the order of most favorite to least favorite among my favorites.  Instead, I've just sorted them by Artist alphabetically.  Also, instead of slimming it down to 100, I just chose to tell you about 40 other songs that I also enjoy a great deal.  Yet one more time saving technique: Instead of copying and pasting the list and then having the typical formatting nightmare, I've just done four screen captures.  Enjoy!

There you have it.  Wow... maybe I like Sea Wolf even better than Travis now!  It actually looks like I just don't like Travis as much as I thought... but I still like them a lot.  

Anyway... doubt anyone really studies this list or anything, but if you were curious... (thinking, "Hmm... if Jeff had to make a list of 140 of his favorite songs, I wonder what it would include!?") or if you want to check out some stuff you've never heard, I'm sure there's something there for you.  (Run-on)

K, see ya.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What a fine First-Day-Of-Law-School Eve!

I always feel awkward putting spiritual posts on this blog that is so full of ridiculousness like steak-flavored gum, top ten potential stalker anthems, and the story of someone urinating into Old Faithful.  However, I had such a great time at the temple tonight that I think I'll just force this juxtaposition of both the spirituality and randomality of my life.

Everything was beautiful tonight as I drove to the Washington D.C. temple (That is actually in Maryland.)  I took the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which is very very green.  And since it was a bit foggy tonight there was a cool glow about the whole trip.  And the temple looked really cool tonight, too.  Anyway, when I was in the temple, I was thinking about the creation.  It's such a phenomenal thing when you really think about it.  The thought came to mind about how much everyone must have cheered when the earth was completely finished and prepared.  How amazing would that moment have been?  This then set me off on a mental tangent about how we actually only cheer for rather minor things in life.  (I'm not talking about how we don't cheer in church, but it is actually really hard for me not to applaud the musical numbers in my ward out here... they've both been incredible!  2 for 2.  Seriously, this ward has some phenomenal talent.)  Anyway, the only time we ever really cheer is at concerts for songs played, or at sporting events for goals/points scored.  It's sad that we don't even come close to cheering for the valuable things that people do all the time.  The first thing that came to mind was road-construction workers.  Instead of cheering for them when they complete or repair roadways, we just say, "About time!"  In fact, we curse them while they're doing it.  (I was guilty of getting upset about construction for much of my drive out here.)  Anyway, I don't know that my writing any of this is of any value to anyone, but it was just a thought I had.  I guess the moral is that I've decided to have more respect for people who accomplish the helpful, every-day things that I often take for granted.  I felt such a peace at the temple.  I always get guidance or at least encouragement when I go there.  It's a wonderful thing to know that even when my classes and life might really get me down, I have a temple about a half hour away.  It's a great place to relax, pray, and recharge my batteries.

Yeah, law school starts tomorrow.  I'm not really nervous as I only have one class in the morning, and we didn't have any homework for it.  (All my other classes require reading and/or various homework activities.)  So, I'm glad for that at least.  I'm finally really getting settled into my room.  I now have a desk, a dresser, a rug, a mirror, and a desk lamp... things I did not have before.  I feel ready, despite not really knowing what to expect from classes.  I know what is expected outside of classes... READING!  My pile of books is at least 2 ft. tall.  It's nuts.

Wow... it's amazing where life can take you.  I never thought that I'd go to law school.  Just goes to show that planning ahead is a dumb idea.  Wait... maybe I missed the great life lesson that I should get from that...  oh well.

K, see ya.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I need more articles like this one...

My sugar addiction is ridiculous.  I just pounded way more chocolate chip cookies than anyone who has hypoglycemia and isn't even hungry EVER should.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My twitter-narrated journey around the National Mall...

I'll let twitter tell this tale.  Included are some of my friend Tyler's replies to my tweets.

I've gotta get out of the house. Might go wander in DC.