Wednesday, November 29, 2006

another dream

On Sunday night, I had a rather interesting dream. I learned in my dream that I've only got a year left to live. I'd more likely be concerned that the dream was prophetic if I had dreamed that I was going to die of something credible, like cancer or a car accident or polar bears, but I somehow can't seem to muster up much concern about dying of tooth decay.

Dream dentist: If you'd only come in earlier, we could have done something to help you. But it's too late now. The decay is irreversible, and you'll be dead within the year.

Dream me: I didn't even know that people could die of tooth decay.

Dream dentist: Well, you're about to find out that they can. And, as you'll discover, it's a rather ignominious way to die.

Let that be a lesson to you all. Go to the dentist, or else.

how rude!

My roommate told me that her former roommate was coming over to visit her tonight. Sure enough, about 30 minutes ago I heard the doorbell ring and my roommate went to get the door. Her friend came in, sat down on the couch, and continued talking on her cell phone for the next 25 minutes, completely ignoring my roommate. I thought this was extremely rude. Either hang up the phone and continue that conversation later, or else sit outside (or maybe in your car, so you don't freeze to death) until you've finished talking. Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

happy day

The judge told us that chambers would officially close at noon today and stay closed for the rest of the week. Technically, only tomorrow is a federal holiday, but our judge is nice enough to let us have more time off. (One of the other judges in the building is making his clerks work Friday. Yet another reason why my judge is so cool.)

When I woke up this morning, I thought, "I'm so glad it's a minimum day today." I hadn't thought about it in those terms before, but it really is very similar to having a minimum day in high school. I'm all in favor of it. Sure, it might be nice to have the whole day off instead, but a half day is long enough that you feel like you've been productive, while you still get that great holiday feeling of having guilt-free time off.

That said, it's time for me to leave the office. And I'm determined not to worry about my cases over the break. They'll still be waiting for me when I get back.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

not for the weak of stomach

I detest cats. And they can tell. No matter how standoffish a cat generally is with new people, it always tries to slink around my feet and jump onto my lap and try to get me to pet it. Sometimes naive pet owners believe that this is the cat's way of being friendly. I know better. The cats can sense my dislike, and this is their way of getting back at me. They're clever little fiends.

Recently, however, they decided to step up their level of aggression against me. Their previous sort of obnoxiousess wasn't bothering me enough, I guess. And so they've changed tactics. Every couple days or so, they leave a dead mouse or dead bird in the hallway outside of my apartment door. And, to really make sure that they really get their message across, they like to disembowel the dead animals on my doorstep. There's nothing like blood and guts on your welcome mat to let you know that you're not welcome.

The neighbors and maintenance men have apparently lived under the cats' reign of terror for too long to defy them. No one will touch the cats' friendly little messages, although the cats sometimes move the dead animals a few feet, just to let us know that they're still out there.

When I was younger, I really liked the song "There are no cats in America." I only wish that it were true.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

old people are funny

Two recent conversations:

Old person: So, I heard you were interested in the law. Are you going to become a paralegal?

Me: No. I've graduated from law school already.

Old person: So you used to be a paralegal?

Me: No, you don't need to be a paralegal to go to law school.

Old person: But wouldn't you like to be a paralegal? It will be good experience for you if you want to become a lawyer some day.

Me: I already went to law school. I don't need to work as a paralegal to become a lawyer.

Old person: That's too bad. Being a paralegal is a really good job.

A week later . . . .

Old person: Tell me what you do at your job.

Me: Well, I work for a judge, so I help him do the sorts of things that judges do.

Old person: So, you're like a secretary?

Me: No, I do legal work.

Old person: Like a paralegal, then.

Me: I'm not a paralegal. I went to law school.

[Pause in conversation]

Old person: Why did you move here? Aren't there jobs in California?

Me: Well, I wanted this particular type of job, and this is where I got the job offer.

Old person: Maybe if you went to school to become a paralegal you could find more work.

amazing logic

Dave and I have been really impressed by some of the very logical arguments we've read recently. These aren't direct quotations, but this is the gist of the arguments made:

1. At trial, the witness testified -- under oath -- that he was an untrustworthy person. Therefore, we can't believe anything he said at trial.

2. [Background -- you only have Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches and seizures if you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place searched. So, the question of reasonable expectation of privacy is frequently litigated.] The defendant clearly had a reasonable expectation of privacy here. This is obvious from the fact that he kept his drugs there. If he didn't expect that it would be private, he obviously wouldn't have left incriminating evidence there where police could get access to it without a warrant. He's not an idiot.

3. [In this case, police knocked and announced several minutes before someone answered the door, and they heard people running around inside trying to destroy and hide evidence during that time.] There's no evidence that the firearm was used in furtherance of drug trafficking. The drugs were inside the house, while police found the gun in the bushes outside the window. The government didn't present any evidence that the gun was stored anywhere else, so obviously it was stored outside the window. And since it was stored outside his window, obviously he wasn't using it during the drug crimes that took place inside his house.