Movie: The Great Buck Howard

I’ve been waiting to see The Great Buck Howard since I missed it at Sundance two years ago. It wasn’t the greatest movie (quasi-pun intended), but I liked it well enough. Here’s why.

  • The main character is a kid who hates law school and only went because his father corralled him into it. I chose to go to law school on my own terms, but my father is a lawyer and I am in law school. (Strangely, and this goes for only a few people in law school, but I seem to have an affinity for books and movies about “the law.” By that I mean that I willingly and eagerly seek them out. Some of my classmates, instead, run the other way.)
  • The main character wants to be a writer. I would love to be a writer, but I’m not sure I’m willing to sacrifice the earning potential presented by the legal field. However, considering there are not yet any crops in my legal field, I may be just as well off either way. Hello, Hollywood?

That’s really where the similarities end. I wanted “the law” to play a bigger role in the movie, but it wasn’t. Except that “law school” is used as a symbol of oppression from which the main character escaped. I like the message – do what you love … no matter what … and enjoy the journey.

Blog Reading is a Waste of Time

Blog reading is a waste of time. So is microblog reading and tumbleblog reading.

Let’s tale a look at what I get from each sub-genre.


I subscribe to about 100 blogs via Google Reader. On a good day, I read about one third of those and that still took 1+ hours of my time.

Most of the information I gleened from blogs was unrelated to me. Topics like how to do things better, faster, in an odd way. Topics about art, law, photography, and economics that were far too obscure scrolled down the screen too often.

In theory, I found all of the topics to which I subscribe interesting. In practice, I simply didn’t need to know 99% of the stuff I read. It’s not just that I didn’t need to know it. The information made me think I constantly needed to improve, rearrange or change my own habits. Not good.

Solution: Limit my blog reading to: friends’ blogs, local info and direct interests (golf and law). Although, law will be highly focused.


Same overindulgence of information here as with blogs. I don’t need to know who is complaining about what all of the time.

At one point a couple years ago I was using Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and a couple other microblogging sites simultaneously. That’s insanely annoying to admit, let alone practice.

I check Twitter while I’m bored, walking around places. I see this as an admission that I find people’s tweets more compelling than either my surroundings or the people I am actually with. That’s not, in fact, the case.

Solution: Only follow friends I’ve met in person.


These are the worst. At least with Twitter the user has to create something semi-original. Tumblr allows users to post scraps (pictures, quotes, videos) without adding anything to them. I’ll admit that this is incredibly addicting, but it serves no purpose and is a huge time suck.

Solution: stop using and reading.


What this all comes down to is that the Internet, as I have been using it for 6+ years, is a huge waste of time. I usually have a laptop with Internet within reach about 90% of the day. This was because I thought I needed to be connected. What I’m discovering is that I’m happier without the connection. I still have my iPhone. I can chech email and Google directions, but the time suck stuff has gone away. The life tips have disappeared. The random information has stopped scrolling.

What is left? More things I can trip over, talk to, and smell. Everything around me. Everyone around me.

Spring Semester: Final Week of Classes

I am halfway through the first day of my final week of law school classes ever. There have been some tweets to this fact by a few of my fellow law school tweeters. The mix is from excitement to sadness. And I fall at both ends and in between. Or, at least I plan to.

The excitement hasn’t quite hit me yet. I still have a good deal of work to do to finish the semester in good fashion. But, come the end of finals, whether that is the end of next week or the week after (it all depends on how much I want to pack my days versus spreading the work out and delaying the ultimate end), I plan to be excited. I can imagine how it will feel. I’ll walk out of school after dropping off my last assignment. I’ll close my eyes for a second to adjust to the late-spring sunlight, and then I’ll smile. I’m not one to scream or jump around. Not about things like this, anyway. (I save that for the golf course and tennis matches and watching Michigan football games.) My smile will turn into a grin and my shoulders will relax. It will be a relief.

Inevitably, I’ll feel a sense of something short of disappointment that stems from my always wondering if I could have made the entire experience better, more efficient, more fun, etc. Something can always be improved. But instead of being disappointed this time, like I was when I left Washington D.C., I hope to accept that I’ve learned many things about “the law” and about myself during the past three years. It’s amazing, when looking back, how fast – how absolutely fast – the time has passed.

Looking back will be easy. There is a definite end to things. My last day of class. Finishing my last final. Receiving my diploma on graduation day.

Looking forward is less concrete. The rest of my life is going to start on May 17th when I get into my Ford Explorer and start driving west to Chicago, Illinois. I’m working diligently to bring the unplanned into focus. I’ve sorted my storage shed into “ship,” “sort,” “sell” and “toss.” I need to find an apartment in Chicago, a task I generally leave to the very last minute. (This past semester, I didn’t find an apartment until the day I arrived in town.) And most of all, I need to find a job while studying to pass the bar.

This is just me rambling. I could go on, but I have my third-to-last class in ten minutes, so I’ll end my commentary here.

WireLESS Days

Just a heads up. I haven’t forgotten about this blog. The wireless on my computer is on the fritz, so I’m living in a mostly Internetless world these days. I still have my iPhone. (Posting from it.)

This situation is interesting and refreshing. General observations.

1) Having an iPhone is crutial, but my tolerance for it’s capabilities is limited. It is good for reading email, Twittering, and passive web browsing. It falls short as an efficient way to read news and blogs. And I can’t do research or collaborative wordprocessing on it.

2) Not having the daily temptation to “keep up” with RSS feeds, managing my inbox, updating my groups in TweetDeck, etc. feels awesome. The time freed up by not having to do these things is enlightening as to (1) what I need a computer for and (2) what I think I need a computer for. Less than I thought!!

3) Although I’ve grown to dislike texting and instant messaging because they are pesky and often abused for idle entertainment between people with nothing better to do, not having a computer to iChat makes me realize the subtle scheduling “lubrication” that IMing provides. Deciding dinner is easier when I’ve kicked around a few ideas via AIM than when I’m already at the grocery store.

Hopefully the wireless will be resolved soon. I’ve got a few good posts I’d like to write.

Spring Semster: Masters Week

School is as busy as ever, but the end is in sight. I am preparing for a team negotiation in Copyright Licensing. My team is representing a website developer who has been contracted by a small toy company. The essence of the project is to negotiate and come to an agreement on the controlling contract.

My final Judicial Opinion Drafting order is due one week from yesterday. I am writing as the Supreme Court of New Hampshire deciding whether the Superior Court erred in affirming a Department of Labor decision to award wages and liquidated damages to a peeved former employee who was denied her previous-year’s bonus when she left her job as an insurance agent with a small family insurance company for a larger insurance company. I’ll spend the weekend doing this, but at least I’ll be mostly done with one of my five classes.

Nothing much else notable regarding school work. Four of five of my classes have take-home finals. Most of my exam weeks will be spent writing documents from home, which should be less stressful than the typical “cram-dump” exam routine.

Barrister’s Ball is this weekend. I didn’t get tickets, and the only ones available are going for 100 to 200% above face value. It would be fun to go, but partaking in law-prom ranks quite low for me.

Putting all of the work in perspective is my anticipation of The Masters broadcast this weekend. This is by far my favorite golf tournament of the year to watch on TV. I’m hoping Tiger Woods makes a run for the green jacket, but that the contest is close. Who do you think will win?