Friday, June 27, 2008

This is a Special, Special Post

Last night was the NBA draft. Now, normally I don't watch the 294-hour long NBA draft, but once I started watching it, I was mesmerized by the absurdity of it all. The commentators sit there for at least six hours while the draft picks are announced, struggling to come up with different adjectives to describe the players. I can't tell you how many times I heard them rave about the "athletic ability of this extraordinary athlete." Really?

At one point, "special" was the word of the segment, which left me wondering if saying that a player had "special ability" and was a "special, special talent" meant that he was "special" in a borderline retarded way. Hey, extra HGH at a young age can have some "special" side effects. You never know.

(If you're interested, Bill Simmons does a great job finding the hilarity in the draft in this column for ESPN.)

Then I started thinking about it. Even though I found the draft to be a bizarre spectacle, it's no more absurd than the coverage of election returns. The same struggle for descriptive adjectives and analysis occurs, and the excitement of those watching it seems strange to people who don't care. And I'm saying this as one who does get excited about election returns, and who would totally host a presidential debate party.

However, I hope I never hear a commentator describe Obama or McCain as a "special, special talent."

New Developments

The sad new developments in the investigation of the death of UNC's student body president, Eve Carson. [CNN]


I have an acquaintance who consistently makes me laugh. Even though we're not super close, I kinda wish we were, and hopefully her sense of humor would rub off on me. For example, her Facebook status right now is:
"Elizabeth Stevenson just got a recipe for Mancatcher brownies. Start begging now."
Anyway, I was wondering aloud to a mutual friend the other day whether Elizabeth has a blog, and it turns out that she does. It's called Juxtapositiously, and if you like my sense of humor, you'll probably like hers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Girls Don't Need College; Beauty School OK

While looking through the pictures that have been uploaded to the Facebook group ("I judge you when you use poor grammar"), I came across this:

I hope this is a joke, but I can't find the story behind it. Anyone know whether it's an actual article from a high school paper?

I went to a Christian high school in Annapolis, MD, and the local newspaper there has a program that lets local high schools "take over" a page of the paper each week. The students choose topics and write the articles, and the paper publishes them. A few years after I graduated, I read the paper when it was my high school's turn to take over a page, and there was an article arguing that God allowed 9/11 to happen because America "isn't Christian enough." I was furious and embarrassed, along with many other people.

Even though my hunch is that the article above is a hoax, the experience with my high school tells me that it may be for real.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Are you tempted by the $199 iPhones that are coming out soon? I'm tempted, but I also know that giving me 24-hour internet access is like giving an unlimited crack supply to a crackhead. Although it would improve my online presence, it just may ruin my in-person social life. I'm still debating whether it's worth it.

This article, about iPhones and porn, is interesting. At first, I thought the concern was similar to car DVD players -- that pornography viewed on iPhones in public might offend unwitting passersby. The article also talks about minors who have iPhones, and how the phones make it easier for minors to have access to inappropriate material. The new phones will have parental controls:

"Our iPhone 2.0 software will give customers the opportunity to turn on parental controls," says Apple spokeswoman Bowcock. Some parents may not be tech-savvy enough to figure that out, though, and some kids may be clever enough to find a work-around. "If a minor with one of these phones pokes around, he could easily access adult sites without his parents' knowledge," says Holden, who authored "Adult Content in the Palm of Your Hand," Juniper's latest research report."

Most kids already have access to the internet, and it they want to badly enough, they know how to look up porn. I'm not saying we shouldn't worry about it, but in the end it's up to parents to be proactive and safeguard their kids. It's also pretty paternalistic to be concerned with what adults (legally) do on the internet. Society will find a way to prevent objectionable use of the internet in public, just as we've found a way to surf the internet from a device that fits in a pocket.

My main concern is that I'll be distracted by the ability to check Gmail and Facebook wherever I am. If you have an iPhone: is it a distraction, or is it helpful?

ADDED: In the comments, Phaedrus says "Sharon, come on! Gmail and Facebook, really? Mobile Westlaw . . . imagine the possibilities." Ha!

Girl Crush #1289

First of all, I've come to realize that the MTV marathons on Saturdays and Sundays are lethal to my productivity. I know they're a calculated marketing trick designed to suck us into whatever the show is. Today, the shows are prom-related reruns, and I'm fascinated by them -- even though I'm 23 and the topic is supposed to appeal to the 14-18 demographic.

Either I'm particularly susceptible to MTV junk-reality shows, or the marathon strategy works scarily well. It's probably a little bit of both.

Secondly, I have a girl crush on the country singer Taylor Swift. (This video is her performing at the CMAs -- how awesome is she?) When I say "girl crush," it doesn't mean that I want to make out with her; it means I want her talent and her wardrobe and her metabolism. And her paycheck. She's 18 and has a hit album out, and she wrote or co-wrote all the songs on it. Yeah, I'm jealous. She also plays guitar, and we all know it's awesome when a chick plays guitar. Cough, ahem, cough.

The final show on today's MTV marathon afternoon is a set-up of Taylor Swift surprising a high school boy in Tuscaloosa to go to prom with him. Taylor, if you make it back to Tuscaloosa, you can be my date to law school prom!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I got an interview request from the Christian Science Monitor in Boston. The paper's name might sound obscure, but it's actually a national paper that covers world affairs. We had to read it in college political science classes.

I'll let you know when the article should be coming out.

ADDED: I'm told, by my commenters, that there was no need to explain what the CS Monitor is. My readers already know what the great newspaper is, so thank you all for being well-read and exceeding my expectations.

Nature or Nurture?

The debate continues: What the Gay Brain Looks Like. []

Friday, June 13, 2008

"He was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades."

"Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it," [President] Bush said in a statement Friday."

Tim Russert died of a heart attack today. He was 58 years old. [CNN]

When I was in high school, our government teacher, Mrs. Brown, made us watch Meet The Press every week and write a summary of it. While I hated it at the time, I grew to like it and see that it was useful. I also came to like Tim Russert and see him as a good journalist. It's sad to see him go.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Emails, Etc.

We get emails and little letters in our boxes sometimes with "special" invitations to recruiting events for law firms. The wording always makes the event sound exclusive and prestigious, but they must forget we can see that they sent the email or letter to the entire law school. When the email has "TO: All UA Law Students" in it, your event is not exclusive.

ADDED: I was knocking the law firm's ineptitude at attracting students to their events, but then I got an email from another firm that used a very smart strategy. The featured text in this email was:
"Don't pass our bar... our open bar, that is!"

Friday, June 06, 2008

"The Wire" Sighting

If any of you were fans of The Wire, you'll appreciate this. I'm watching Law and Order right now, and Seth Gilliam, aka Sgt. Ellis Carver from The Wire, is playing a cop on Law and Order now.

I'm glad Carver found a new home.

ADDED: Marlo also found a new home on Law and Order, and guess what character he plays? A drug dealer, naturally. Ahhh, yes. All is right in the world.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Called Out!

Me: "I used to have a thing for Indian guys with British accents."
Gloria: "Yep, nothing like leftover evidence of colonialism to turn a white girl on."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Math for Lawyers

Damages professor: "My mother-in-law has a 1998 Toyota Corrola that she expects to behave like a brand new car."
Student #1: "Well, if it has low mileage, that's not unreasonable."
Student #2: "But it is 10 years old."
Professor: "It should behave like what it is: an 8-year old car!"


Have you seen that Liberty Medical commercial with the semi-large man talking about diabetes? He pronounces it "DIaBEEtis." He also talks about how diet and exercise can help, and I can't help but think, "Why doesn't he take his own advice?" If ever there were a sedentary man, that is him. And riding a horse does not count as exercise.

Flyover Country

Ha! Ann Althouse used the phrase "flyover states" to describe the states in the middle of the country. I've used this phrase sarcastically before, because it's astoundingly condescending, but I didn't expect her to use it. Especially because she's a law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Wisconsin definitely, in my book, counts as a flyover state.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Grammar Pictures

As you may know, we're working on a book based on the Facebook group "I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar." The group members have taken and uploaded an astounding number of pictures of grammatical errors that they've encountered in everyday life. Now I'm extending this invitation to you.

If you see a sign (or something similar) with a grammatical mistake in it, take a picture of it and send it to with the disclaimer:

“I, [name], give permission to Sharon Nichols and St. Martin’s Press to use the picture I uploaded to the Facebook group “I judge you when you use poor grammar.”

If we use your picture, you get a shout out in the book. We have until July 1 to collect the pictures, so keep taking and sending them. Thank you to everyone who's participated so far, and happy hunting!

Good Day

1. Today I was introduced to Rock Band, the video game. I despise video games and donuts; Rock Band and Krispy Kremes are The Exceptions. I especially love the drums.

2. My friend Chase introduced me to Rock Band, and the girl in the apartment below his made the unfortunate choice of turning her air conditioner off while she went home for a month after her exams ended. She came home today to huge circles of greenish brown mold on everything from her ceiling to carpet, lampshade to bed. Everything was ruined. There were guys in hazmat suits cracking out the sheetrock and throwing away her stuff. Note: do not leave your apartment in the Alabama summer with the air conditioner turned off for long periods of time. Bad things will happen.

3. My first job, at 14, was working at a snoball stand. I thought the stands were an exclusively northern delight, but there is one in Tuscaloosa that is fabulous. I plan to patronize it frequently and sport the resulting blue tongue (favorite flavor: blue raspberry) with confidence.

4. Oh yeah, and I made it to class. It was not noteworthy.

ADDED: Chase took some pictures of the moldy house. Check it out:

Hey Now, Hey Now

My roommate's back! I live in a 3 bedroom house, and for a few weeks I was here alone. It's creepy to sleep alone in a 3 bedroom house, so I'm glad he's back.