Friday, December 11, 2009

One Final Down

That's it. That's the only news I have to report. I have one on Monday as well. I haven't read for that class or taken notes. It's closed book. I think it's going to be grrrrrrreeeeeeat.

As for the one last night, I think I did fine. Who knows anymore. I can honestly say it was probably the most prepared I've been for a law school exam since first semester of 1L year (the last semester I cared...). That means absolutely nothing, though. Why do I feel like professors sometimes just play pin the grade on the law student?

Pray for me and my GPA...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


At this point, it pains me to look at this blog. Every now and then, I sneak glances and think to myself, "man, I should really post something." Then I go through the motions of trying to think of something interesting/not self-indulgent. Since I'm mostly interested in myself, I give up and go back to looking at dinosaur cartoons or Deadspin.

Over the summer, when I was in Oxford, I liked to post. I'd do it for an hour, almost daily! Times have clearly changed. Who wants to hear about my antitrust class (I love the subject but hate the prof) or my internship (at an undisclosed location)? I guess it's interesting that I got a cool internship at this shiny NEW place next semester, but I can't really talk about that either. There have been times when I've wanted to blog about sports, but that pretty much cuts out most of my audience (I love you, Mom!).

What prompted this blogging explosion? You guessed it, FINALS! I started outlining today. I hate outlining with every fiber of my body. I LOOOOVE flash cards. I HAAAATE outlining. If I can't learn a subject through flash cards, I'm one ornery dude.

I'm also a dude who looks for any and every way to procrastinate. Watching six-year-olds pancake other six-year-olds on deadspin can get old after the 100th view. I guess that leads me back here; my one-time home of many happily wasted hours. Let's hope this does the trick a while (for both of us! I love you, Mom!).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ridiculously Something

So, one of the awesomest aspects of gchat (and let's be honest, law school) is the plethora of distracting gchat statuses that fill up hours of law school boredom. Today, I was stunned to find THIS link on one of my more conservative friends' status messages.

First of all, this is really explicit. Whatever, I wasn't offended by it or anything, but I was a little surprised that Above the Law chose to run it. I would feel so, so bad for the girl who wrote that if she was exposed because of it (no pun intended, I swear).

That said, whoa boy, that dude is in for some serious, serious loving. Somebody needs to tip that guy off, because that sort of legal writing should not go to waste. At the very least, the Supreme Court should grant cert. That just might be the thing that finally puts Justice Scalia out of commission...

Monday, October 19, 2009

God, I Hate Penguins

It's back! Finally! I was starting to look at cute animals without profanity racing through my mind. What a relief.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ridiculously Bad

I posted this link as my gchat status today and got quite a few "I'm so sorry's," and "that really blows, dude." My typical response was "kill me." One particularly brilliant friend suggested that I kill him (the him being the owner of the Washington Redskins, Dan Snyder). She was joking...I think...

If only the Danny would take Drew's advice and "walk in front of an oncoming cement mixer." Maybe then it wouldn't be another 18 YEARS UNTIL THE SKINS WIN ANOTHER SUPERBOWL, YOU ^#&*^*ING ^#&*!!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ridiculously Good

I hate most of my law school textbooks. Usually, they're cobbled together by some prof who's overly obsessed with the nuances of an overwritten opinion from the 1630's. They change one page each year and then charge you an arm and a leg to buy the "new edition." If I had the grades to be a law school professor, I would, just so I could cash in on the textbook selling boom.

Once in a long while, a book comes along that bucks the boring trend. This happened recently when I opened up my new Trusts & Estates textbook and saw a picture of Marilyn Monroe. I thought to myself, hmmm, that's odd. A picture of a sexy actress in a textbook. Yeah, she's long dead, but that certainly beats staring at the pile of hair that Justice Cardozo called his eyebrows.

I flipped through the pages hoping for more gems...a cartoon about lesbian married couples here...a picture of Charles Kuralt with his mistress there...a footnote describing in detail the devotion a pet dog showed for his testator/master here...a picture of Scott and Laci Peterson there. Clearly this isn't your mother's textbook.

Wait what, it IS your mother's textbook? OMG!!

So, I called my Mom to shoot the [breeze] a few week ago and I was telling her how much I liked my Trusts & Estates textbook. She responded, "Ooooh, is it the one with the pictures?" Yes, I replied. Yes it is. She loved it too when she took the class ten years ago. Clearly, it's in the genes.

Now, trying to choose a suitable amusing passage out of a 1000 page textbook is not easy. I'll stick with my favorite then. This is the footnote about dog and owner. It's sad, but cool and pretty much sums up why I love the book and dogs:

"6. A letter from James C. McSween, Jr., the winning counsel in Taylor, to Robert H. Sitkoff, dated Oct. 9, 2008 reveals:

I inquired of Doris Holt, concerning the identity of "Muff" mentioned in the Will. It appears that this was a pet dog that [the testator] had for several years. She told me that the dog anxiously awaited his return from work late each night, and would anticipate his arrival by furiously moving from window to door at the usual hour. Muff became very despondent after the death of [the testator] and died within a few weeks."

My note in the margin? Just a big highlighted heart. Thanks, Dukeminier (sadly deceased), Sitkoff, and Lindgren. Your book has lightened up many a sad hour devoted to law school homework.

Ridiculously Good!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Blog blog blog blog blog. Blog blog. Blog? Blog.

I don't really know what to do with this thing. I don't like to talk about myself unless it's in an entirely self-deprecating fashion. I could post my musings on the world around me, but who really cares what I think (besides me, of course)? I could write about the failures of my beloved Redskins but that would just be depressing.

We're coming up on the one year anniversary of the beginning of this blog. I need to find something entertaining to do with it.

I know! I could draw a single cartoon with different, silly text every day! I could have a main character and a couple of secondary characters. They could be, I don't know, DINOSAURS!!! That would be awesome, you guys!

Wait, what? Somebody already did that? I have a link to it on my blog? Oh goddammit.

Alright, alright. Let's think. I want this thing to be amusing for people other than has to be different from other blogs...hmmm...I know. I'll write about ridiculous things that happen in the world. These could be good or bad.

Today, I will focus on the good. My awesome former roommate alerted me to the opening of the Harry Potter theme park. Plans can be seen here. This is ridiculous. IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE!!! Bar trip? I think so. Bringing my own wand? Definitely. Going to get laid? Certainly not. (But in a just world, I'd have a chance with Hermione)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Interview Fail

As a 3L without a job, I'm forced to take interviews for jobs I don't really want. One of those interviews occurred today. Not good.

Bad sign number 1: neither interviewer was wearing a wedding ring. So yes, that's kind of weird that I check those sorts of things but it's a basic quality of life issue. If they're married, they have time for family and such. That's important to me. If not, they either got divorced because their work sucked so much or they were too busy to date. They seemed like they could have fit in either category. Not good.

Hold on, douchey 1L at 12 o'clock. Trying to impress table full of girls. I'm glad to see the torch of douchey 1L's has been passed on.

Bad sign number 2: the first interviewer saying that I'll be the most cultured person in their office. That might seem flattering but I think it shows a basic lack of worldliness which I find disconcerting.

Bad sign number 3: the second interviewer telling me that the interview will be conducted entirely as a hypothetical. I'm not totally opposed to hypotheticals but I'd rather answer questions about my background (which I find interesting).

Bad sign number 4: when the hypothetical revolved around areas of law that I have no recollection of! Ah, the joys of being a 3L and FORGETTING EVERYTHING YOU LEARNED DURING YOUR FIRST TWO YEARS OF LAW SCHOOL!!!

Bad sign number 5: when they told me, "don't tell me what we want to hear, tell us what you would actually do." I did that and it was pre-tty clear that they preferred the answer they wanted to hear. I'm cool with it though. They asked me a moral question and I gave them a moral answer that I will always stick by (the question was whether the Redskins rule. I answered "Of course!!!" Although, let's be honest, they suck).

I don't think I'll be getting a call back. But you know what? THEY WON'T BE GETTING A CALL BACK FROM ME EITHER!!! That's right, SUCK IT, JOB THAT I WON'T DISCLOSE ON MY BLOG!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Work Fail

Pardon the extreme blog fail. I started class, a new internship, and spent the weekend camping. Life sometimes gets in the way of virtual writing. Shocking, I know.

Anyway, I started said internship yesterday. When I arrived, I was informed that my boss is out of town. For the next two weeks.

They have no work for me (or the other intern). I've been sitting here in my fancy suit finding new and creative ways to waste time. Mostly, this involves reading about the Redskins.

Normally, I would welcome such a work fail. I strongly fear, though, that the absence of work will turn into a plethora of busy work. I did not go to law school to do busy work. I went to law school to do grunt work.

Dear internship,

Do not rob me of the opportunity to do soul-crushing grunt work. There is a pulse of soul inside me. I do not know what to do with it. Please stamp it out immediately.

Love Always,


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blog Fail

Um, yes. I've been failing on the blog posting front. I blame the move. When you spend all day packing, loading, and unloading in sweltering DC heat, you tend to spend the rest of the day doing things not involving any form of exertion. Yes, blogging is a form of exertion. I believe I burn at least 3 calories per paragraph. My fingers feel heavy as I write this. Might not be able to finis

Monday, August 17, 2009

GW Address Fail

I was changing my address online for school today when I discovered something mildly hilarious: among the many nations individuals can claim as their home country, "U.S.S.R." remains an option. Nice work, GW. Way to make our comrades feel at home.

Combine Obamasocialism (kidding, I love the dude) with this and things are getting a bit red around here. Hey, I'm not complaining. I'll be first in the bread line (mmmmm, carbs).

PS: Speaking of fails, I was washing my hands in a restaurant in Adams Morgan yesterday when I read the following words on the wall: "Please wash your hands...this sign brought to you by the District of Columbia Department of Heath." I don't know you, Heath, but damn it I respect you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


One of the many things I was dreading upon my return to the states was my impending move into my Dad and Stepmom's house. This has been compounded by the imminent rental of my childhood home to a Parisian couple. In order to rent the house out, I have to have all of my belongings out of the house by August 23rd. I have a lot of things at the house. This is not going to be fun.

I've been planning on writing a sort of wrap-up of everything that happened at Oxford and Nice, but have been sidetracked by my obligations here. Once I get everything out of the way, I'll be sure to share all the joy that was my summer studying the law abroad. Yay moving!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jet Lag

I hates it! I woke up at 7:30 this morning! That's just wrong. Last night, my eyelids felt heavier than Rush Limbaugh by 7 pm. I drank two cups of coffee at dinner last night. I don't drink coffee. I'm supposed to watch my beloved Redskins tonight at 7:30. I'm honestly afraid I won't last that long. (slapping face). I can do this. (electrocuting self). zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. (fail).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Um, Wow

That posting once a day thing didn't happen. There's good reason for that; I spent every day in Nice not in my room on the internet. I consider that progress.

Nice is indeed Nice. I spent all of Sunday lounging on the beach on my own personal bed. Yes, I rented a bed for the day.

The beach at Nice is a rock beach. I know that sounds painful, but they're all super smooth. Still, the really swank hotels have their own private beaches where you can rent a bed with a canopy.

Each section has their own personal waiter. For some reason, my waiter was extremely nice to me, so he found me a bed in the front row, right by the water. Next to my bed was a carpet into the Mediterranean. This, people, is luxury. Oh, and it was a topless beach. I was topless.

I spent Monday doing all the non-Beach things Nice had to offer. I started by visiting a Russian Orthodox Cathedral that looked like it was airlifted from the Kremlin. Pictures weren't allowed but I managed to take some incognito photos with my palm pre. It's possible that I'm going to Russian Orthodox hell, but it was totally worth it.

I then walked in cool Mediterranean rain up to the Marc Chagall museum. I knew nothing about Chagall and had low expectations for the place. When I walked in, I was immediately blown away. His paintings were so vivid and meaningful. The museum was arranged by periods of his artistic life, culminating in a room with a series of religious paintings centered on depictions of famous events from the Old Testament. Very cool. I'll post pictures once I upload them from my camera.

After that, I walked what seemed like forever up to the Matisse Museum. That was exhausting. So exhausting that I'll leave it for another post...

Part II to come later...I gotta run...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Nice is Nice

I'm at the French Riviera. Repeat, I'm at the French Riviera. I'm staying in Nice for the next few days in an attempt to purge my mind of all the ridiculously horrible cases I read involving international human rights violations. My plan was to get to the nicest beach I could afford to go to before heading back to DC. Somehow, Nice seemed like the appropriate place. I hope I am correct. In an attempt to make everyone absurdly jealous, I will try to post at least one gorgeous picture a day. Yay, vacation!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Have a Contract From Oxford

It's true! As a result of my performance last Friday at formal dinner, the University gave me a contract in order to reimburse me for my services!

As you might recall, I paid 240 pounds to rent my cello. That's pretty steep. When Professor Steinhardt heard how much I paid, he looked into getting an honorarium from Oxford in order to help me defray the expense. That resulted in a contract paying me 150 pounds for my services! Granted, that's not all that my cello cost, but I never told them how much it cost. I'm more than happy with the amount.

The coolest part is that I now have an actual contract from the University of Oxford. Here are the terms as written in my contract:

"Dear Mr. Ruckman

Set out below are the details of the programme on which it is proposed you work. Our terms and conditions are given below.

Programme Summer School/Masters in International Human Rights Law
Venue New College
Role Musician at Formal Dinner (!!)
Dates Friday 31st July
Fee 150 pounds (they used the actual pound symbol)

etc........legalese......blah, blah, blah....

If the proposal and the terms and conditions are acceptable, please complete the form below and sign your acceptance, and return one copy of this letter to me at the above address.

Yours Sincerely,

Name of Oxford Employee (which I shall omit in an attempt at discretion)"

Awesome, right?!? I might not cash the check when I get it from them. I'll just frame it next to my first food stamp (kidding, kidding).

Okay, back to studying.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Exams During Summer = No Bueno

It's my last week here at Oxford. On Friday, we have back to back two-hour exams. If you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm freaking out in the Oxford law library. All of that busking and not studying is finally catching up to me. Sad face.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Blair Witch Like Proof

Um, I'm having a hard time figuring out to upload the video to this here blog. Instead, I posted it on YouTube. Sadly, I haven't been able to edit it to make it right-side up. That is likely a project for when I get home. Also, the actual video is 16 minutes long, but for some reason this one is only 9. I must figure this out.

Although the mic on the camera was pretty good, I'd have to say that it sounded much boomier in person. I hope you enjoy anyway. Just remember to turn your computer sideways! In case you didn't click on the link above, here it is again:

A Seat at the High Table

As mentioned previously, Friday nights at Oxford are formal dinner nights. Everyone gets all spiffy and is served a classy meal. Last night was doubly significant because it was a celebration of Professor Steinhardt's birthday. My contribution was a performance of Bach's first cello suite.

When I arrived, Professor Steinhardt asked me if I'd be willing to perform some Bach for the group. I agreed and then rented a cello. Once I rented the cello, I was told that I would be performing after formal dinner on the third Friday night.

As you might imagine, I was quite nervous about performing in front of the whole group. So, in order to prepare, I forced myself to go out busking. I figured if I could play it well on a crowded street, I could play it well in a gorgeous chapel.

I think it turned out okay. There is video, but my camera is out of batteries. Once that situation is remedied, I will post the video. The setting was perfect for Bach, my cello sounded good, and everyone was extremely appreciative. I wish you all could have been there to witness it live. Hopefully the video will suffice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Last Busking Post, I Swear

I actually busked last night. It was glorious. I'm in a bit of a rush, so I'll just go over some highlights:

  • The logistics: I busked from ten of 7 to ten of 8. Per the official busking code of practice, buskers cannot busk for more than an hour at any one of the officially sanctioned busking locations (there are ten total). Buskers can only busk from 10 in the morning until 8 at night, so I was running up against a deadline there.
  • I busked at the corner of Market Street and Cornmarket Street. Apparently, markets are segregated in Oxford between those that sell corn and those that don't. I get it, I don't want corn spoiling my markets either. (Cornmarket Street, is a pedestrian only area where most of the tourists frequent. There is a Burger King and a KFC on Cornmarket. Classy).
  • I chose that location because it meant I could play underneath an overhang. It was extremely cloudy with some light rain at times, so the coverage was vital in order to protect my rented cello. I almost didn't busk when I saw it was raining a little bit. I'd put the temperature at about 60 degrees. It was certainly brisk.
  • As I expected, there weren't many people out. Due to my afternoon nap, I came much later than I hoped. I think most people were at dinner or home. It also was a Tuesday night. Not exactly a Sunday afternoon...
  • Regardless, I made 30 pounds! That's about $55 an hour (probably more than I would make as a lawyer). It cost me 240 quid to rent the cello. If I can keep up a rate of 30 pounds an hour, I'll only need to busk for seven more hours to make back my investment! That is my goal. We shall see.
  • There are some minor busking issues. First, I am a bit of a one trick pony right now. I've really only been working on one Bach suite since I got my cello on Saturday. In order to fill an hour, I could play it three times, (risking the dreaded, "OMG, he keeps playing the same shit over and over again" reaction) or I could work on some new material. Considering that I have pages and pages of reading to do and exams next week, this could prove difficult. I suppose I could attempt to swallow a sword the second time through and light myself on fire the third time through. I fear though that this would prevent me from busking further. Thoughts?
  • Second busking issue: my busking depends on good weather. I was lucky that it was only raining a bit. I would not be able to play in actual sustained rain. The overhang does not go out that far and any splashing of the cello would destroy it. Cellos are fragile pieces of wood. Old wood and water are not a good mix. In order to pay the owner of the instrument the value of the instrument (I'd estimate, based on what I paid to rent it, that it's worth somewhere around 4,000 quid), I'd probably have to busk until my fingers fall off. It's raining right now. Hopefully it doesn't rain next week, when I plan on busking my ass off.
  • I was nervous at first. It's weird to sit down in the middle of a public area and just start playing a musical instrument as loud as you can. Why did I try to play so loudly? Because cellos don't project outside. We need enclosed spaces to sound good. Thus, I was blasting away in order to push the sound out to a general area. I just closed my eyes in order to block out my surroundings, but a pretty constant clinking of silver against my cello case can be distracting. Most people waited until I finished a movement to come up and drop money in, which was kind.
  • A pair of young Japanese girls approached me while I was playing and asked if they could videotape me playing. I kept playing, and said sure. One proceeded to come behind me and smile while the other recorded her standing next to me. I was sort of curious whether they wanted me to stop in order to get a picture, but she seemed not to understand me when I asked her if she wanted me to stop. So, I just kept sawing away. They seemed happy and dropped some silver into my case and left.
  • Some other interesting moments included the time when a group of young Oxford punks walked briskly by and one of them flicked a pound into my case as the others smiled. This took me a bit by surprise. Who knew they liked Bach?
  • One gentleman in particular leaned up against the post next to me and listened as I played almost entirely through the suite. I thanked him in between movements and he said that he was a big fan of Bach.
  • Once I ran out of material, I repeated the first Bach suite again and I noticed another fellow across the street stay through the whole thing (it takes about 25 minutes). That's dedication, people. When I finished, I started packing up and he came up and told me what a good job I did. It turned out that he was a pianist/bass clarinetist from Canada (and he had the accent to back it up), hence the interest.
  • The nerves drifted away after about the first fifteen minutes. From that point on, I just started working on different things as I played. It was like getting paid to practice. I'd play through a movement focusing on a certain musical idea or bowstroke, seeing what sounded the best. It was kind of cool to feel that comfortable even as people intermittently stopped and listened or just floated on by.
  • All in all, I'd call my first busking experiment a 30 pound success. Hopefully there will be more busking glory in my near future. If there are pictures, I will be sure to post them.
  • Happy hump day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Busking Win!

Okay, so I didn't play today, but I did manage to get my busking permit! I now have an official Oxford City Council busking permit. It's got my picture on it, my signature (saying that I will not violate their "Busking Code of Practice), and their nice little code of practice on the back.

Here are some do's and don'ts:

Do: "Smile, enjoy yourself and entertain others!"

Hahaha! So lame!

Shut it.

Don't: "Perform in a manner that is dangerous to yourself or to the public."

Duly noted. I will try not to impale myself with my cello.

Do: "Only perform within the designated entertainment areas."

Why do they have to hate on music. It's not like you're protesting. You and that card are so lame.

Anger rising.

Don't: "Position yourself on a footway or highway in such a way that could be deemed as begging by passers by or the Police e.g. sitting on or wrapped in a sleeping bag or blanket."

Hahahaha! Looks like you're shit out of luck, buddy!

Son. Of. A. Bitch. How am I supposed to make money? Ah. Awwwwww. I guess I'm going to have to start shaving again.

Do: "Hold an Oxford City Council busker's permit."


Ya, but wait until people see the picture on your permit. People will start asking YOU for money.

Dude, I'm tired. Stop trying to hold a man down. I'm going to rock it out tomorrow. You'll see...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Busking Fail

So, when I arrived here, the director of the program requested that I perform solo Bach cello for the group. In an attempt to be kind, I said, suuuuuuure, why not? After two weeks of failing to secure a cello for free, I finally broke down and rented one yesterday. The cost? 240 quid. In US dollars, that's about $450. Balls.

On my way home, I was having severe buyer's remorse. Could I have negotiated him down? He gave me a deal on it, but was it worth it to spend that kind of money on a rental cello? I'm only going to have it for two weeks! GAH!

Then a thought came to me, I could busk! I've never busked before but it seems fairly easy; just sit and play on the street and hope people toss some pounds into your case. I thought today would be a fine day to do such a thing, since it's a Sunday and all.

Just in an attempt to do my due diligence, I put the terms "busking" and "oxford" into google search. This unfortunatly led me to the Oxford City Council's restrictions on busking. It turns out, I need a permit. Suck, suck, suckitude.

Although it seems fairly easy to get a permit, that means today's out. In my mind, Sundays were a total cash cow. I thought I'd dress up as a beggar and play the shit out of my cello and then people would start making it rain all around me. Sadly, I will have to hope this is the usual Monday scenario (if they give me a permit).

Um, sorry to interject, but shouldn't you be studying, instead of attempting to make money on the streets of Oxford? Aren't you retired anyway? And what about your "I only play when drunk" policy?

A. I have time to commit a couple of hours each day to busking. I'll just have to cut down on my leisure activities, like sleeping.

2. I'm in the UK. I'm pretty sure the musicians' union doesn't have narcs over here.

iii. Oh, I'll be drunk (kidding, kidding).

I'll keep you (my one reader) posted.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Urgent House Elf Update...

They are reading this blog! No sooner did I post about their lack of room cleanage did they show up and clean my room! They even cleaned my sink and vacuumed my floor! Oh glorious day. Thank you, house elves. Thank you. I shall free you all once I leave (as long as you continue to clean my room while I'm here...and don't mouth off).

That reminds me, I forgot to mention that I have a sink in my room (but no bathroom). This has turned out to be quite a luxury. I would call the sink the MVP (most valuable part) of my room so far. Every morning, instead of grudgingly trodding off to some shared bathroom to brush my teeth, I merely have to walk a few steps to my very own sink! Need a glass of water? No problem, I'll just head over to my sink! Oh, what's that? You got a stain on your shirt? No worries, I'll just wash it in my sink! Yes, this has made me quite the badass around these parts.

You're aware that others have their own sinks too, right?

Ah, awwwwww. You're such a debbie downer, italics dude. Brb, going to mess with their plumbing. House elves are terrible plumbers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quick Hits

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been illin for the past few days. Again?!? Yes, again. Immune system FAIL.

Below are some things I've been meaning to write about:

1. I'm going to get hit by a car and die.
One would think after a week and a half that I would know which way to look when crossing the street, but no, not even close. The first day I was here, I looked left and then crossed the street only to hear the sounds of a cyclist screeching to a very sudden and angry halt. My bad! This morning, I thought to myself, "look to your right, look to your right, look to your right." What did I do when crossing the street? Looked to my left. GAH. This will be the end of me.

2. The house elves read this blog.

And they were offended by it. Since my post, not one has come to take the trash out of my room or make my bed. Either Hermione has been leaving more of her shitty, knitted hats underneath the trash in order to set them free, or they hate me. I miss coming home to the scene of my bed made and my teddy bear on top of the pillow. You have a teddy bear, AND YOU BROUGHT IT TO OXFORD?!? You're such a fucking hater.

3. The weather here stinks.

Okay, so it's actually good for me, not so much for others. It's perma-fall here. Contrast that to the soup that is DC in the summer and I think it's pretty great. The only drawback is that I brought mostly t-shirts, so my two sweaters are getting some wear and tear.

4. We have a long weekend this weekend.

Where are you going? Paris, London, Rome? I'm going to sit in my room and catch up on everything I missed while illing over the past couple of days. Dude, that's so lame and sad. I fucking know, alright? With luck, I'll finish by Sunday and head up to Lichfield to visit a friend of mine. We shall see. You make me sad. Suck it, italics dude.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Last night was my first Oxford formal dinner. This is a tradition that really must come to the states. Americans need more excuses to dress up (and by dress up, I mean wear classy clothes, not the douchebag uni that kids wear on NYC Prep). We also need more opportunities to get shitfaced around our professors. Ya, that last one was fun for me. For others? Not so much (unless the profs like getting hit on by drunken Americans, then it's fun for everyone!).

For those of you who don't know, a formal dinner requires the men to show up in a jacket and tie. Ladies must wear whatever constitutes chick formal wear. Normally I would take these opportunities to show up my fellow man by coming ridiculously overdressed. I thought I would class it up a little this time though, since there were Brits present. Sadly, I just wore a suit. Picture: here.

Side note, I just looked out my window and saw the largest pigeon I've ever seen sitting in a tree outside my window. What the fuck? That thing's almost as big as a cat. I'm pretty sure if it tried to fly, its wings would refuse.

I digress, yes, so the formal dinner. Everyone looked lovely. It was nice to see people outside the classroom setting and see the professors and their families seated at the head table. The food was good, the section 12* company was fun, and the drinks were awesome. Good times for all.

*This would be section 12 version 2.0, not the incomparable section 12 beta.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I really should have posted this yesterday but between class, my (three hour) afternoon nap, and homework, I didn't find the time. Anyway, I saw Harry Potter on Wednesday night. At a theater in Oxford. Next to a kid holding a wand (drumstick). Awesome.

I thought the movie was brilliant, mostly because it brought me back to my high school days of having my food laced with love potions (in muggle terms: roofies). In all seriousness, it's far better than the fifth. I highly recommend it.

As for the viewing experience, I'd give the Oxford movie theater a solid troll (in muggle terms: an F-). When we got our tickets, we noticed that our seats were assigned. This can be a good or bad thing. Our seats were very bad. They were in the second to last row of a smallish theater. Stadium seating? Check. Air conditioning? Fail. What's that spell? A gang of ornery Americans feverishly shedding layers and trying to sweat through a three hour movie.

All melting aside, it was cool to see a Harry Potter movie in Oxford. Through most of the movie, I could see remnants of the halls we spend our days in. It was also cool to see how a young, English crowd would respond to the high school shenanigans. Let's just say, there was cheering when a certain someone kissed a certain someone. No, I wasn't cheering. I was sweating. More than the actors, but for slightly different reasons. Oh, the good times in Oxford.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Existential Issues

So, I'm going to see Harry Potter tonight at a theater in Oxford. If I see a movie about Hogwarts while at Hogwarts what does that mean? Am I falling through the looking glass? When I leave the theater, will I be a muggle in a sea of wizards? Will I return to my room and see Dobby making the bed?

That reminds me, every day I come back to my room to something magical; my bed made! I never see anyone come in or out of my room. I surely don't do it myself. They even empty the trash for me and tidy up a bit. How have Americans been living all these years without house elves? I think I made my bed and cleaned my room twice this year, only because I couldn't stand the withering glare of my roommate who shall not be named. And I did it myself! I might've even broken a sweat! Gah!

PS- Sorry for the angst yesterday. It's been glorious outside here and not being able to enjoy it has been killing me. Today, I managed to get my work done quickly, so I shall be reveling in the glory that is Oxford for the rest of the evening. I wish everyone could be here (considering I most likely have a readership of one, I wish you, my lone reader, could be here).

PPS- The above photo is of the "front quadrangle" at New College, otherwise known as the place Harry was taught quidditch in the first film. The building on the left is where we eat (the Chapel), the thing in the middle is "Muniment Tower," and the building on the right is the "Old Bursary." You see those stairs leading up Muniment Tower? I climb those every day to get into the Chapel for my meals. Glorious. Simply glorious.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Drowning in Pages...

Like all blogs, this will be a forum entirely devoted to whining. Right now, I'm in Oxford, England. It's beautiful, historic, inspiring, blah, blah, blah. But do you know what I spend my day doing? Reading about how horrible humans are to other humans around the world.

But Jonathan, you're in law school. This is a program run by your law school. You should have seen this coming.

Thanks, ya, I know. The thing is, when I'm in Foggy Bottom, I don't care that I don't have time to take a scenic walk to the GW Hospital Emergency Room or chow down at ABP. When I'm in freaking Europe, I want to drown myself in Pimm's and scale walls and shit. This is just wrong.

Dude, it can't be that bad.

Fine, you do my reading, you paternalistic bastard.


Sunday, July 12, 2009


A friend of mine, who happens to be a prolific blogger, suggested that I blog about my experience in Oxford. Although I considered this thing dead, I thought that was a pretty good idea. Better this than mass emails, right? I'll try really hard not to be as lame as the blogger who shall not be named.

Anyway, I arrived at Oxford at 2PM and checked in. This was after a rather uncomfortable flight that consisted of little to no sleep. I'd flown Virgin America in the past and thought it rocked. Virgin Atlantic does not rock. It feels like Virgin America's bastard child. The planes are much older, the economy seats are ridiculously narrow, and there's no leg room. I seriously had to move to the bulkhead in order to gain some semblance of comfort. Upgrade for the return flight? You betcha.

The best part of the trip was the bus-ride to Oxford from Heathrow. The bus was really nice and clean, it had wireless, and outlets. The outlets thing would have been awesome if I'd remembered to buy a converter at the airport. Oh well. Ironically, the bus was the first place I managed to get some sleep.

I think that's enough for now. To give you a sense of where I'm at and what I'm up to, here's a pic of the college I'm staying at: Look familiar? Ya, they filmed parts of Harry Potter there. I know. It's awesome.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ummm, yaaaa

So, I survived the ski trip. How? I have no idea. When we arrived, the thermometer read -9 degrees. -9 degrees feels exactly how you imagine it would; like a complete absence of warmth. As soon as I stepped outside, I could feel everything in my nose freeze. Gross, right? Hey, I'm trying to be descriptive.

I then spent the rest of the night doing what people do on the GW Law ski trip. After a few hours of sleep (and Wii playing), I hit the slopes. I'm not a fantastic skier. I can get down the mountain without paralysis, but I've been run over by skiers before and subsequently ski patrolled off the slopes. That is not good times. I was hoping to avoid a repeat performance.

Surprisingly, and certainly out of character for me, I did the smart thing and stuck to the green and blue slopes (beginner and intermediate). Although I wiped out a few times on both days, I did so with grace and lived to tell the story. Clearly, the lack of hospital visits indicates progress.

On both of the final nights, I continued to do what people do on the GW Law ski trip. This mostly involved many hours of playing Kings, F&^^@ the Dealer, and Ride the Bus. Now, that last one is a doozy. If you're itching to find new and creative ways to get drunk, I would advise playing Ride the Bus. You will get drunk. Quickly. Embarrassingly. Laughingly. Amazingly. Do it.

Perhaps the highlight of the trip was the annual trip to Snowshoe's "Connection" nightclub. When people from previous ski trips mentioned "Connection," they couldn't do so without laughing. This piqued my curiosity. Surely we can all use some connecting in our lives, no?

It was everything I'd hoped for. Semi-toothless bouncers guarded the entrance like it was their personal conjugal trailer. Inside, a DJ spun "hits" while many GW Law girls danced on the stage. Meanwhile, the townies stared at them, sadly thinking they were attractive. Ah, isolation (I'm mean, they were all quite lovely).

We ultimately made our way back on MLK Day, a little wiser, a little sadder, and definitely drunker. Thank you, GW Law Ski Trip, for teaching me such great lessons. I'll never forget you.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I'm still trying to get over the fact that Winter Break and I split up. Things were going so well and then poof, gone. I've been keeping myself busy in an effort to avoid thinking about it.

Here's a quick review of my post-break activities:

1. Went to class (oh, and lots of them!)
2. Went to work (only fifteen hours, not so bad)
3. Broke my drinking-less resolution by getting drunk at the Big Hunt, a party for an incoming Senator, at a tapas place in Arlington, and a little at my house. Whoops!
4. Watched a lot of football while studying
5. Hosted a friend of mine from my old symphony
6. Rested (this was the best one)

Plans for the upcoming week? Saving my energy for this weekend's ski trip. I REALLY don't want to break anything, throw up, or die on this trip, so resting up beforehand is imperative. With any luck, I'll be healthily watching Barry's inauguration from the comfort of my Balls-ton home a week from tomorrow. With more luck, I'll check in before then. Godspeed.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Dear Winter Break,

Please don't go. I know that we've only been together since that crazy Wednesday in New Orleans, but I was hoping this wasn't just a fling. I thought that these past two and a half weeks really meant something to you. I know they meant the world to me.

Don't you remember all the amazing things we did together? We partied like rock stars in New Orleans, met my very first niece in that lovely hospital in Boston, heck we brought the New Year in together. I even saved my New Year's kiss for you. Doesn't that mean anything to you? Am I just another student passing through until next year's shenanigans?

You know what, you can just shove it. I've been hearing rumors about this hot new break called Spring Break. Apparently Spring Break passes by like a shooting star but she's much warmer and one step closer to a Break I could really settle down with; luscious Summer Break.

So screw you Winter Break! I'm moving on to greener pastures. Clearly you didn't appreciate what a good thing we had going. There's an outside shot you can get back into my good graces by early December next year, but you better come up with something good. A trip to Cabo maybe? It was fun, Winter Break. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.



Sunday, January 4, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009


I'm with Calvin on this one. I've never been one to make resolutions. You're only setting yourself up for failure by resolving to do something you haven't been able to do your entire life for an entire YEAR. A year is a long time, people. We're talking a complete revolution of the earth around the sun. Do you know how far that is? 150 million freaking kilometers! That's just absurd.

If I was one to make resolutions, the following list encompasses things I should probably resolve to do (and soon):

1. Look for a summer job!
2. Drink less, watch other people drink more.
3. Attempt to show up on time to class.
4. Lessen my carbon footprint by not opting to drive any distance over ten feet.
5. Not eat every single meal out.
6. Learn to say "women are not objects" with a straight face (which I've been unable to do for over a year now)
7. Blog more than once a week. I'm sure you're all keeping your fingers crossed on that one...

At Least I'm Still Alive

I ended up rallying enough to go to a party, get mildly drunk, go to a club, not get mildly drunk, and then take care of someone who was WILDLY drunk. I would rate this as a solid B+ compared to previous New Year's Eve experiences. Sad? Maybe. Progress? Definitely. Next year I'm aiming to be the one WILDLY drunk and have someone awesome (like me) taking care of me. That will merit at least a high pass. Happy New Year!