One L(ove)

April 19, 2009

Sighs of Relief and Despair

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 9:29 am
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I

Ladies and gentlemen, the summer job search has come to an end. I will be interning fulltime with one of the justices at the Appellate Division, First Department in NYC this summer. The courthouse is extremely beautiful, both inside and out. Although the internship is not paid, at least I’ll get a wealth of experience. I’m really looking forward to it and am extremely excited. After work, I could go take the bus up to MoMA to watch the films that are played there. Also, the Strand Bookstore is less than a mile’s walk away. The Bryant Park Summer Film Festival will also be taking place soon. Now I have to find a good music store, preferably with a strong jazz collection. I can’t wait for the summer to start. 

This upcoming week is my last one at my current job. I’m going to really miss some of the people there. 

II

I had my oral argument for my Appellate Advocacy class on Thursday. You wouldn’t believe what happened before it. An hour before my argument was scheduled to take place, my car’s tire blew out. Can you believe that? My partner picked me up and we both went to campus to further prepare for our arguments. As we got on campus, we saw four police cars standing outside, along with an ambulance. One of our classmates, from the first round of arguments scheduled for the day (we were the third and last), came up to us and said that one of the girls from round 2 fainted while being questioned by the judges. We were in disbelief. Surely enough, a stretcher with a girl on it was wheeled out of the front door and passed right in front of me. I hope she’s doing well. It’s really stressful. You can’t help but to have deep respect for litigators. 

I’ve realized something. Following this approach towards oral argument will make your responses to judge’s questions efficient and effective: 

III

God has made me discover the works of John Cassavetes and Phillip Glass. And I’ve been on my knees ever since. I’m also getting into opera – uh oh. 

IV

Finals are two weeks away. I’m nearly done with my first year! This means that I have to change the blog’s name. Two L(ane Freeway)? haha…that’s horrible. 

V

I hate hipsters.

VI

I promise to update this blog as much as I can during the summer. 

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Currently listening to: LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver

Recently watched: Tony Kaye’s Lake of Fire

 

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December 19, 2008

Day of the Lords

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 3:34 am
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Just came back from the work party commemorating the tenth anniversary of the law firm’s existence (It was held at the Glen Head Country Club, a small yet cozy place full of warmth. Despite it being such a nice place, it was definitely hard to find. I came an hour and thirty minutes late because I couldn’t find it. I swear to you that I kept on driving circles. The GPS (what I affectionately like to call “Goddamn Piece of Shit”) kept on telling me to make U-turns and when I did, it would always say that I just missed the place. This vicious cycle lasted for a whole hour. Honest to God, I thought I was in The Twilight Zone. Remember the episode where that guy sat in the train and he would always stop at the same station, no matter what he did? That was me. When I finally arrived, I saw that everyone was there. How embarrassing! I found out that they announced my name so I can be introduced to the families of the attorneys and staff members of the firm. Heads turned to look for me, haha. Even more embarrassing! It kind of struck me as funny because it’s not that different from the work setting where my boss calls for me on the speaker and I’m walking around outside, aimlessly, in Mineola. Also, all the men were dressed in suits and the women in dress. For those of you who know me personally, don’t worry, I didn’t wear my corduroys, I tucked my shirt in, and also combed my hair, although I did look like a lost, starving poet, plagued by storms, amongst comfortable lords. I had a really good time though. I played blackjack all night and won $3700 (sadly, it wasn’t real). I met the wives, husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends of attorneys and staff members and they were all really nice. One of them, a wife of one of the counsel attorneys (who by the way, studied in Paris during 1968!…I have yet to ask him about it), said she heard so much about me. Michael, one of the youngest associates in the firm, told me that all I need to know from law school for purposes of practicing law is to learn how to do research. That’s it. How awfully true. I had a great time but something within me kept my eyes darting towards the open doors – hoping, just hoping, but never came…

Guess what? I’ve got my first case from the Unemployment Action Center. The hearing for my client is on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Garden City. Although I’m not going to talk about the details of the case, I do hope I get over this anxious feeling. I did well in keeping myself composed while taking my finals, but this is totally different. This is the first case of my legal profession and someone’s interests are at stake and it all depends upon me to make her win the unemployment benefits. So much rests on your shoulders. Tomorrow I’m going to give my client a call. Saturday, make the first interview. Saturday night and Sunday, hit the books and do research, develop a strategy, blah blah blah. Monday, go to the Department of Labor in Garden City to review and study in depth my client’s file to see if she hasn’t left anything out, and also go over with the client any last things. Tuesday, judgment day. It’s incredibly nerve-racking, yet extremely exciting! Wish me luck!

By the way, I saw The Jane Austen Book Club. I was disappointed with the film but it nevertheless inspired me to pick up Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice. I’ve never read it before but look forward to enjoying it.

Currently listening to: Mission of Burma – The Obliterati

December 16, 2008

“What Is House Music?”

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 9:10 pm
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Nearly 30 pages away from being done with James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain. Such an amazing novel.

Bought some really neat books and records today:

Appointment in Samarra – John O’Hara

The Wretched of the Earth – Frantz Fanon

The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir

Palace Walk (Part I of the Cairo Trilogy) – Naguib Mahfouz

Everything All the Time – Band of Horses

L.A. Woman – The Doors

Modern Times – Bob Dylan

Incredible Jazz Guitar – Wes Montgomery

One of my co-workers, who also happens to be a DJ, gave me a CD today of various house music songs on it. He wrote “What is House Music?” on it in black marker, thereby preempting me from asking him that question. “It’s really spiritual stuff, man. Don’t listen to it right away. Listen to it when you know that the time is right. When everything in your life is in harmony with the world’s essence, man.” Despite of my severe distrust for such language, something tells me that this is going to be really interesting…

Currently listening to: Band of Horses – Everything All the Time

December 15, 2008

She tapped her foot in the elevator and said, “If there was no such thing as music, there’d be no joy.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 10:58 pm
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I’m back!  My last final was today. Can’t believe that half of the first year is already done. It went by so fast!

So what did I do as I handed in the Torts exam? Left the law school, didn’t look back, and went straight to the Guitar Center near my work. I bought my first bass guitar. It’s the Squier Jazz Bass Affinity series model. It came in a package with simple instructions: “Stop Dreaming, Start Playing.” So I did exactly that. It includes a 15-watt amp, headphones, gig bag, strap, DVD Instruction, tuner, and a cable–all for $279 (including the bass, of course). I absolutely love it. I just learned how to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” haha. Only my two-year old nephew would appreciate that. It’ll blow his mind away completely. I plan to play this bass throughout the next three years and hopefully upgrade to a real Fender Jazz after graduation.

So after I bought the bass, I went straight to work. Even though I was gone for a couple of weeks, I didn’t realize how much I missed some of my co-workers. Some of the people thought I got canned, haha. After a brief celebration of what seemed to be a warrior’s return back home, I got bombarded with papers. One of the partners there, after finding out that I finished my last final for the semster, gave me great advice and encouraging words. Oh, I’ve got to tell you. While driving to the school in the morning today, the Northern State Parkway was jammed because there was a car on fire on one of the lanes ahead. It was 7:30 in the morning and I had an hour to make it to my exam (I made it to the test room at 8:20). Suddenly, I hear someone honking right beside me and calling out my name. I turned my head to see who it was. I couldn’t believe it. It was Ed, an attorney from the firm I work in. He’s a Hofstra Law alumni and absolutely such a great guy. I think if  there has to be anyone who prepared me to handle law school, it has to be him. Hands down. He told me that the only way to survive law school and to do well there is to have confidence. That’s it. Anway, I’ll be working there full-time this winter. I think I’m also going to request a case from the Unemployment Action Center tomorrow. Oh man, I also have to make an appointment with the Office of Career Service to have them look over my resume.

So now what? A whole month to myself. Hopefully, I’ll get to read some good books. Watch good films. Listen to good music. Have good sleep. Play music. Hopefully, I can dedicate time to my poetry this winter. I haven’t written a single poem in over a year and that frustrates me. I’ve looked at all the poems that I’ve written in the past and feel like destroying every last one of them. Besides that, I hope I get to spend a lot of time in the city. See some art. Hopefully, I’ll learn how to cook. I want to take care of my health. Learn French. Most of all, above anything else I desire, I hope to see that beautiful, smiling face. Sometimes I think I’m going to get hurt real badly and when it happens, it’ll be of my own doing. I guess that’s just my insecurities talking. But what would we be without our insecurities? They’re our personal prophets who write apocalyptic scriptures upon our conscience. These doomsayers explicitly warn that if we don’t heed them, we’ll lay down cobblestones that’ll create pathways to our heartbreaks. Quoting the title of a well-known jazz tune, while at the same time being fueled by the Beat-driven ethos/madness, leads to me to evoke some of the most holiest words a human being can ever utter: “So What”?

Currently listening to: Lou Reed – Transformer

November 26, 2008

When a Firing Brings Forth a Cold Breeze in the Workplace

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 2:15 pm
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Keeping in mind that with the economy in a bad state and law firms looking for any reasons to layoff attorneys and members of the staff (i.e. looking to fire people who aren’t dedicated enough), what do I ask my boss for? A two weeks vacation – well, it is not a vacation really, I need the time to study for my final exams. Ah, the timing couldn’t be more perfect! But I’m not afraid of losing my job. Even though my boss reluctantly gave me the time off, I could read from her face: “If you weren’t big, adorable, cuddly, and strong enough to lift boxes [minus the adorable and cuddly part, of course], I would have canned your ass. You’re lucky. Having a great Thanksgiving.”

The firm I work in did fire somebody though. The legal secretary they fired was such a sweetheart, extremely dedicated to her work, and really helpful in giving me good advice about my prospective career and life in general. It is definitely true that as a law student, you learn more about the legal career from the staff than you do from the attorneys. Some of us at work still haven’t found out why she was let go, especially before the holidays. When a thing like that happens to a good person, you can’t help but to feel bummed out and feel really uncomfortable for a very long time.

Currently listening to: TV on the Radio – Dear Science

November 7, 2008

A Restroom Tale

Filed under: Uncategorized — galileehitchhiker @ 11:02 pm
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After a long and tiring day at work, I decided to go to the restroom before I headed back home. So as I’m standing in front of one of the two urinals in the restroom, taking care of business by drawing out what move to make in the chess section in the newspaper while humming Mingus and tapping my right foot, I hear someone punch the code to the door and enter. Ah! The Other! Yes, here was the Sartrean “Other” who restricts my free acts with his presence by making me focus on myself and at the same time orienting my world around him. It happened to be one of the lawyers who works at the firm. Well, he doesn’t actualy work for the firm but rents out one of the offices in it–but we treat him as if he is part of the firm. He’s extremely fun to be around, extremely outgoing, and full of life, a sort of a Neal Cassady figure. There I am, standing upright, looking straight, not daring to turn my head, stopped humming, stopped tapping my feet, because I thought a partner had just entered the restroom. All I kept on thinking to myself is, “Don’t screw up! Don’t screw up! Don’t screw up! Just stay safe and don’t say anything because otherwise, you’ll definitely screw up!” I hear a zip go down behind me. It was so loud that I felt like I was a bat, taking in the echoes of the unzipping bouncing off the walls. It’s remarkable what a partner’s presence does to law student. I hear someone approaching the other urinal and I told myself not to move my head. I moved my head. After I saw that it wasn’t one of the partners, I let out a huge sigh of relief. It was Michael, the lawyer who rents one of the offices in the firm. I slouched down a little, relieved. He looks at me and says, “What the hell are you doing here? You must really love this place.” I answered back, “Today was such a busy day. I’m so beat. I felt like I had to take care of business before I leave for home because I know it’ll take me ten hours (equivalent to 1 hr. and 30 minutes) to get there.” Then he says, “Yeah, man. Tell me about it.” After that, something happened that frightened the hell out of me. I thought death was imment, no lie–and death frightens me. In the time it lasted, which was about seven complete seconds, I thought: 1. there’s apparently a cat in the restroom that has just been frightened; 2. an old woman is sitting in the corner of the restroom wailing her heart out; or 3. Judgment Day had arrived with a single blow from God’s trumpet. I soon realized it was none of the above. Apparently, our friend Michael ripped a HUGE one (the emphasis is still an understatement). After I regained some sense of composure, I didn’t know what to say. “Look straight! Don’t say anything!” Did I listen? Of course not. “Oh…my…God!” I said. He started to laugh and said, “Hey, man. You’ve got to do it some place.” Strangely, I felt flattered in a sense because usually when you rip one around people, without restricting yourself, you’re really telling the person, “I’m comfortable around you and I know you won’t judge me.” Usually, except for the brave souls, we’re afraid to do so because we’re afraid of that Sartrean gaze, that “Other” who converts us into an “object” for his own viewing. For example, when you’re dusting in your living room and your curtains are wide open, a person can look in any time. However, you are not aware of it. As soon as you turn around, and realize that anyone could have stared at you dancing while dusting, you feel yourself become an “object” in that “Other’s” world. You become concerned with how you appear in front of others. But the amazing thing about ripping it out loudly is that it usually defies that. It lets the person know that you resist the “Other” turning you into an “object” by letting them know that outright and also letting them know that you’re comfortable around them. How many other human communications can express that? Remarkable! What a great statement of personal liberty, of no restrictions, undermining social mores with a single act. After telling him a funny story about what I did one time during my undergrad days, he told me a story about how he ripped one (the type that scares everyone: sort of like when the hand of a zombie comes out of the ground at the end of one of those B-rated horror flicks) at a Chinese restaurant when he was taking his wife out on a date. When he told me about the people’s reactions, we both had a good chuckle about it. The poor receptionist thought we were having the world’s most serious conversation about transactions. All I wish is that when I finish school and go out for interviews, he’ll be there: “Oh, we’ve got to hire him! He’s got great ‘communication’ skills. Hey, man. You won’t believe this. Before coming here…” As we parted ways, all I could think of was that if he’s that loud in public, I wonder how he’s at home? Livy, the great historian, once said of the Gauls, who struck fear in the Romans and eventually sacked the city: “They are given to wild outbursts and they fill the air with hideous songs and varied cries.” I feel so sorry for his poor wife.

Currently listening to: Tom Waits – The Heart of Saturday Night

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