Sunday, September 30, 2007

Play Ball!

The playoffs are here! Post-season baseball is the pinnacle of sports. There's simply nothing better. Yeah, my Twinkies didn't make it in this year, but I'm still excited to watch.

I think I've finally figured out who I'm rooting for. In the NL I'm rooting for the Wild Card team. There's a one-game playoff between Colorado and San Diego, but either way I'm taking the winner of that game. The Rockies have underdog all over them, and the Padres have always had a special place in my heart, ever since I found out the name of my first little league team. I guess the Diamondbacks are 2nd on this list. Boo Phillies and Cubs. Way too many people on the Cubs bandwagon.

Being an AL fan, my AL team will be the one I'm rooting for all the way. Unless of course the Yankees or Red Sox make the World Series, and then I'm rooting hard against both teams. Boo teams that spend too much money and get too much attention and focus too much on marketing, etc. Jerks. I like the Angels, and I almost decided to take them as my pick. It's so hard to support the Indians, since they're such an intense rival of the Twins. But I'm going to go with the theory that the Indians winning just confirms the superiority of the AL Central, and therefore they're my pick to go all the way. Go Tribe!

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Laura and I played 3 softball games this weekend. I've become a pitcher on my team, which is a very new and strange thing. In softball a bad pitcher can really really hurt a team. But the pitcher isn't exactly a key defensive position, and I don't really feel like I get to play in the field. Defense is probably my favorite part of the game, and so I really feel like I'm missing out. Then again, pitching is a nice challenge, which can be a ton of fun.

Also, very tiring. After one game, I'm not nearly as consistent, and I'm definitely more prone to walking batters. Hopefully more games makes me a better pitcher.

Either way, it's just great to be playing ball.

Buy us some shoes and maybe take us for cola

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

What's In A Name?

My wife kept her last name - "Guetter" - when we got married. It isn't the most obvious name to pronounce, and people often come up with unusual mispronunciations. Of course, you still wouldn't expect those mispronunciations from someone who actually has the last name.

This evening Laura turned to me and said, "My mom always pronounces it 'get-er' but my dad has always said 'git-er'. I've always just said it like my mom, but I wonder if that's even correct?" I just shook my head. After a quarter-century, this really shouldn't still be an open question for her.

Since my mother-in-law took her husband's last name, she was an outsider coming in, so one might expect that her pronunciation is this wrong one. But I'm inclined to think it's actually correct, and that the 'git-er' version is the slang/quicker/easier way of saying the name. 'Git-er' is quicker to say than 'get-er', and you don't have to move your mouth as far. Try saying it quickly, and see which works better ('bit-er'?).

We called B.I.L. (Laura's younger brother) to get (git) his take on the situation. When asked how he pronounced it, he quickly said 'gid-er' (which is actually even quicker/easier), complete with spelling. Seeking confirmation, Laura asked, "So that's how it's supposed to be said?"

B.I.L.'s quick response came back, "No. I just say it that way because it's quicker and easier." He then admitted that the correct pronunciation was probably 'get-er'.

So it seems my wife has, in fact, been saying her own name correctly.

Thought of changin' my name
What's in a name?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Phickle Thoughts

I was out of town for training on Tuesday and Wednesday. The training was specifically geared to new legal aid attorneys. It was very encouraging to me that the housing law portion of the training (which happens to be one of my two practice areas) was almost entirely review. On October 10th I'll have been in my job for a full year, and I'm really starting to get comfortable. Every day has all sorts of new challenges, but I'm constantly feeling more and more confident in every task.

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Which is a good thing, because in some of my cases I've had attorneys use some very aggressive tactics to try to scare us off the case. It hasn't worked.

Usually I have a very good working relationship with other attorneys, and even though we're on opposite sides, we can usually figure out something that works out well for everyone. I'm almost shocked when I come up against lawyers who feel it's their duty to try to squash everyone. The fact of the matter is, those attorneys simply aren't always going to be able to get the best results for their clients. And that's what it's really about. It can be extremely difficult, but you've got to put your personal feelings aside and work for your client alone. It's a rare thing when you actually get the best result for your client by being a jerk.

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I never really had an opinion on the Patriots, but now I hate them. Cheaters.

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I'm still debating who I'll root for in the post-season this year. Any suggestions? (NOT Boston).

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I've literally got a problem with biting off more than I can chew. And this isn't one of those times when 'literally' means 'figuratively'. I actually take bites that are too big, and then I have difficulty chewing, further slowing down my already tortiselike pace of digestion.

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If you're one of those jerks who uses 'literally' to mean 'figuratively', for Pete's sake, knock it off already! You're a moron. I suggest you fix this ridiculous word-usage, because then at least you'll be a moron with better speech.

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Is anyone else worried about this season of The Office? Where are they going to go? So help me, if they end up doing the Jim/Pam "together, not-together, together, not-together" thing like every other show, I'm going to be very angry. We don't need another Scrubs.


Its time to bring this ship into the shore
And throw away the oars, forever

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Overheard On The Metro

Girl #1: I never really got into South Park because it's too conservative for me.

Girl #2: And they curse too damn much!

They're not even a real country anyway

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Simpsons Challenge

As a primer to a future blog post that has been ruminating for some time, I am issuing the following challenge:

List your top 25 episodes of The Simpsons, and indicate your top 10, and top 5. (Only indicate, don't actually rank each individually). To help in your task, here's a complete episode guide: http://www.snpp.com/episodeguide.html. Exclude all non-"regular" episodes from consideration (for example, the Treehouse of Horror episodes, other episodes with 3 individual shorts, Behind the Laughter, etc.).

Here's my list:

Top 5
Homer vs. the Eighteenth Amendment (#4F15)
22 Short Films About Springfield (#3F18)
Simpson Tide (#3G04 / SI-828)
Das Bus (#5F11 / SI-911)
You Only Move Twice (#3F23)

Top 10
Bart Sells His Soul (#3F02)
Mom and Pop Art (#AABF15 / SI-1015)
Trash of the Titans (#5F09 / SI-909)
The Old Man and the "C" Student (#AABF16 / SI-1016)
Homer the Great (#2F09)

The Rest of the Top 25
Two Bad Neighbors (#3F09)
Homer's Enemy (#4F19
Itchy & Scratchy Land (#2F01)
Homer to the Max (#AABF09 / SI-1009)
Summer of 4 Ft. 2 (#3F22)
Stark Raving Dad (#7F24)
Wild Barts Can't Be Broken (#AABF07 / SI-1007)
Lemon of Troy (#2F22)
$pringfield (or, How I learned to stop worrying and love legalized gambling)
Bart the Genius (#7G02)
The Joy of Sect (#5F23 / SI-923)
Team Homer (#3F10)
Last Exit to Springfield (#9F15)
Marge vs. the Monorail (#9F10)
Lisa on Ice (#2F05)


Your turn. Good luck!

These white slippers are albino African endangered rhino

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I May Be Crazy...

But at least I'm not "kneel down in the metro and start juggling" crazy.

Sunglasses with Elton John's name, on my drag wall

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

What Is Wrong With These People?!?

Today's rant: cell phones in movie theaters.

This past weekend, Laura and I went to see a movie. Before the show they flashed the standard "please silence your cell phone" message. And yet, throughout the movie, people kept using their cell phones, distracting the rest of the audience. Apparently it's time for a new message, because "silence your cell phone" hasn't eliminated the cell phone scourge. Oh sure, there weren't any phones ringing, which was nice. But the people texting is almost an even worse problem.

Apparently people can't understand this, so here's the skinny, for those who're too stupid to figure it out for themselves:

Movie theaters are dark, except for the screen. Cell phones, particularly when used for texting, emit light. In the middle of a dark theater, any other bright light is going to be a tremendous distraction from the screen. It draws the eye. It's a painful annoyance. If you've ever sat anywhere other than the first row, and had someone in front of you start playing with their phone/PDA, you'd presumably have figured this out by now.

And yet, there we were, second row from the back, with at least 5 people in front of us flashing their bright cell phone lights all over the theater, and the girl sitting next to us still hadn't figured out that when she turned on her phone it would be a distraction to those around her.

Good gravy, how dumb do you have to be not realize that you've become a massive irritation to 95% of people in the theater? And what the hell are you doing texting during a movie anyway? If there is something so important in your life that you need to be checking your PDA/text messages every 15 minutes, then what the heck are you doing at Superbad?

Of course, we all know that these peons, idiots too dumb to figure out how annoying their behavior is, don't really have anything so important in their lives. The real reason they're distracting the audience is to find out from their friends "WU?" Probably from the same exact person they were texting an hour ago while they were cutting you off on the way to the theater. And of course, that person's response is the same now as it was an hour ago: "nothin, WU w/ U?"

Cut the freaking tether people! Wake up! Put down the phone! Live your life! Or at least watch the movie and quit interfering with mine.

This is exactly the kind of thing we obviously need laws to control, because too many people can't figure it out on their own. I propose the "Popcorn for Texting" statute. Anyone caught texting during a movie must immediately leave the theater and purchase everyone at the screening a bag of popcorn. It punishes the offender, seems roughly proportional to the offense, pays back the victims, and incentivizes people to GET OFF THEIR FREAKING PHONES!

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And while I'm on the subject, who are all these parents that think allowing cell phones in schools is a good thing? They constantly cite that cell phones will allow their children to communicate with them during an emergency. First, what emergencies? With rare exception, high schoolers don't actually face emergencies. Unless you count the rumor mill, and they sure as heck aren't going to call their parents for that. Second, what are you, as a parent, going to do about that emergency? Let's imagine Columbine all over again. How does a bunch of students with cell phones actually solve any problems? It doesn't!

At best, a bunch of self-important parents will probably interfere with the actual solution to the problems. The biggest benefit of cell phones in schools is that in the absolutely rare circumstance of some sort of disaster parents will know a little earlier that their kids are/are not alright. And admit, that does have some value.

But it's off set by the constant distraction that cell phones pose. They increase students' ability to cheat, increase their ability to mess around when they should be learning, and increase their ability to undermine teachers and staff. Most parents acknowledge that there should be some limits on student cell phone use, but once you introduce them to schools, all limits are off. Of course, most parents who support cell phones in schools are completely oblivious to the problems, or are convinced that their precious children wouldn't abuse their cell in class. Wake up people! Of course your children aren't using their cell phones responsibly. After all, they learned from their parents that rules don't apply to them - that it's OK to do whatever you want, whenever you want - no matter how many people it affects. Better that they know "WU" with their friends at every minute than geography or algebra.

Jerks.

There's not a lot of things that she'll take back

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Welcome Back

It's September, and I'm back to posting. I took August entirely off from blogging, essentially to recharge my batteries and just give myself a break. I feel bad when I don't post regularly, but it had gotten too difficult to post regularly. That clean month break helped, and now I'm eager to get back to multiple-posts a week.

I'll start with a quick summary of the cool things that have happened in the last month.

First, I was accepted to Loyola's (Chicago) Health Law LL.M. program. They only accept about a dozen folks a year, and I was honored to be picked. The acceptance arrived a little late, and Laura and I decided it would be best if I not attend this Fall. I deferred my matriculation, and there's a fair chance that we'll end up in Chicago in Fall of '08. Then again, maybe Laura and I will head some other direction. We'll see. Regardless, it felt great to get accepted.

We took a trip home for a pair of weddings in the middle of the month. Laura's cousin got married in Wabasso, and we spent a few days with her folks and siblings. Wabasso was nice and quiet as always, and a chance to relax. It was also a stark contrast to the time we spent in Crapids with my family. My sister Emily got married the weekend after Laura's cousin. It was an absolute blast. From the time spent hanging out with friends and family before hand, to the rehearsal dinner, to ushering my mom down the aisle, to being the last ones on the dance floor, it was an awesome time. It was especially nice to see so much of my extended family that we so rarely get to see. Many of my mom's siblings are spread out around the country, and almost all of them made it back for the wedding. It's so awesome to see them together. It's a strong reminder that I don't always want to be away from home. Someday, we're going back to Minnesota. Family is just too important.

Being home also provided an opportunity to catch up with a bunch of my old friends from high school. A party was thrown, and there were people there who I hadn't seen in 6 or 7 years, and yet we all still seemed to fit together as a group, just like we had in high school. There's something really remarkable about how those ties can just keep holding throughout the years.

A week after we got back from that vacation, a bunch of the gang from college drove out to Baltimore/D.C. to catch the Twins at Camden Yards. First, baseball at Camden is amazing. Second, baseball with the guys is amazing. Basically, the experience was doubly amazing. Adding on was the fact that the Twins won both games.

The first night was the best. Somewhere along the line we may have imbibed some alcohol, which certainly didn't detract from the enjoyment. The Twins were losing, 4-0 in the 7th, when Justin Morneau came to bat. He hit a rocket shot over the fence in right field. The ball must have crushed someone's beer cup, because from our spot in center we saw an explosion of malt beverage.

Two batters later, as the pitch was leaving the mound, Brendan called a Jason Kubel home run. Sure enough, the ball kept flying, long and deep, towards the center-field stands. About half-way into it's journey we realized it was heading right for us! Unfortunately, it sailed just over our heads, about 5 rows. Fortunately, it bounced right back down 4 rows, right behind me. I had turned to watch where it landed, and it came to a stop right in front of me. I quickly bent over the back of my seat, and picked up the Jason Kubel home run ball. An awesome souvenir to remember an awesome time.

The month has ended on a down note though, as I've been ridiculously sick the past 3 days. Worst cold I've ever had. Not a good time. It seems to be clearing up though. Somehow, I think I'll pull through. Just in case I don't though, Brendan gets the Kubel homer ball, because, after all, he called it.

It's just my Japanese cigarette case