is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


Spring again

Well, it’s after my birthday (last Friday, I’m still accepting gifts) which means it’s spring again. I really hate Minnesota winters. They take so long and just make me crazy waiting for the weather to get nice and the snow to melt and above all to feel warm again – sometimes I get the idea that I’m never going to reach a comfortable body temperature ever again. And I live for summers and camping and canoeing and fishing and having fun. Which reminds me, it’s time to start paying attention to the lakes and when they ice out, as that defines the beginning of the season. The UMN ice out monitor is such a great site (see also the historic averages, for planning purposes), and I’ve posted it now for three or four straight years. A must, if you NEED to get on a lake as soon as possible. Maggie and I have gone camping within a week of ice out in April for a few years in a row. The weather is cold usually, the wind howls, and the water is frigid, but we have a great time and so does the dog.

Maggie and I went to see “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. I really liked it, but what I really liked above all else is the fact that I had heard nothing about it, read no reviews, and had no idea about the premise of the plot. After seeing it, I went home and read the review in the paper, and was really dismayed about how much of the plot it gave away. Reviews and worse, previews (trailers, sic) just can ruin much of the enjoyment of a clever plot if they don’t allow the storyteller to control the exposition of important themes and events. I won’t even talk about ESSM, as saying anything would screw it up. If you have heard about what happens, I guess you might still like the movie, but if you haven’t definitely go see it before some asshole ruins it for you. I saw “The Crying Game” when I was a senior in high school, before any of the hoopla hit ( I developed a close friendship in high school with one of my main rivals in the state in speech and debate, and on his suggestion we went to see that movie. He later turned out to be gay, and I wonder in retrospect if he was trying to pick me up. [Jerry Seinfeld] Not that there’s anything wrong with that! [/Jerry Seinfeld]) I was SHOCKED at the big twist, having heard nothing, and it made the movie a lot more interesting and fun than for the people who had loudmouth jerks spoil the movie for them prior to seeing it. So, uh, go see it or something.


People actually listen to the twelve year old preacher?

How compatible of marriage partners are religion and sports? (The silly Kurt Warner accusations that he was benched because he was pro-Jesus are discussed)

Read The Da Vinci Code? Read the Opus Dei response.


A belated update

Hey, remember how I went to New York a month ago for moot court and was going to try to update with what happened? Oh, yeah, we did really well. Second overall, and I personally got second speaker. Since I am without scruples, let me just steal the law school’s bandwidth to show our picture.

(L to R: Brad (coach), me, Devon (teammate), Todd (teammate), Kristin (coach))

A word on what the competition is. Moot court is a competitive event done by upperclass law students that simulates appellate advocacy. Prior to the tournament, teams must submit their briefs on one side of a fake case. This brief is given a grade, and that grade forms the base of your team’s score (weighted at 40%) for each round of competition. Then, each round of competition has two people on each side arguing an issue before a panel of judges. As in real appellate arguments, the argument may be interrupted at any time by a judge’s question, which means that the arguer does not get to exactly choose the points that come up. Procedurally, moot court nationals is done really strangely, in that the preliminaries are so short. For example, most debate tournaments have no fewer than six preliminary rounds, and most national-caliber tournaments have eight. Moot court regionals have a mere three rounds, and nationals had two. Which, of course, makes the pressure on those two rounds pretty fierce. Thus, it should go without saying that when we lost our first round (to a fine Nebraska team) I thought we might not even make it to the elimination rounds. But, we beat Seton Hall in round 2 and sneaked into the round of 16, from where it was single-elimination. In that round we beat San Francisco, which set us up against Hastings in the quarterfinals. Hastings was very, very good. Their second speaker was an impeccably dressed and composed woman who sounded so polished that I figured she was delivering a canned speech. But then, when she was asked a question she answered in exactly the same way and I knew it was trouble. But, we squeaked by that and into the national semifinals, where we matched up with the team that beat us in the regional finals—Drake. After beating them, we made it to finals and that’s where we lost to South Texas.

Okay, enough about me. A couple of interesting links, movie themed to celebrate Oscar week:

Lost in Translation is really a good movie. Here is a link translating the already famous Suntory Whiskey commercial scene.

Viggo Mortensen’s new movie Hidalgo is claimed to be “based on a true story.” Except, um, it isn’t.

Jeremy Larchick, I know you're out there. Write me an email.