Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Big N (like WU-Tang) for the Kids!

So the other day Big N and I were walking back to la escuela de ley when we see a couple of hundred tiny children filling into the main campus auditorium. They’re all about 7 yrs old in little uniforms looking like cherubic Campbell’s soup kids, although in this case they are Catholic school kids.

They’re so cute and tiny and in a line and I feel strangely compelled (or the voices tell me) to run down the row and high five all the little kids. I tell this to Big N who laughs and thinks it’s a great idea. So she puts up her hand and shouts “come on kids, high five, high five” and she runs down the row of kids. And then, to my surprise, not one kid validates her effort with a high five. Not one little kid. None. Nada. Zero. Zip.

Now mind you, Big N is ethnic and all the kids are white, and after she is denied props by a row of little kids Big N looks at me and says, “Damn Bush propaganda, they probably think I’m a terrorist.” I offer to test her hypothesis and have my cracker ass run down the line of kids and see if they’ll high five me, but it would hardly be scientific since it is unknown if they were simply unprepared and might high five me because it won’t seem so out of the blue, or if they really do think she's a terrorist. Sadly, the question stays unanswered, but if I had to guess, crackers win again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Law Student Gives Up

So Big N is cracking up. As evidence of this, please view the answer to her Contracts II homework for tomorrow. I have included the questions for your reading pleasure.

Question 16.1.a.

Your law firm has a new client, Pierre La Clede, who owns an art and framing gallery in the trendy part of town. As the firm's UCC (Uniform Commercial Code) expert, you end up getting to counsel Pierre. He first confides to you that he really dislikes lawyers, but his show has been having so many problems with title issues lately that he had no choice but to seek legal advice in order to sort things out. The first situation Pierre asks you about involves his gallery's recent sale of a $70,000 abstract painting entitled "Pain." The painting was purchased by a man who identified himself only as "the Critic" and who paid for Pain with a suitcase containing 700 $100 bills. the problem is, the bills turned out to be counterfeit and "the Critic" is nowhere to be found. Pierre did, however, discover "Pain" at Lucy's, a competing gallery down the street. Lucy Fenton, the owner of that gallery, said that she had purchased the painting for $20,000 from a stranger who called himself "the Critic." Pierre wants to know whether he should be able to recover the painting from Lucy's. What do you advise? See U.C.C

sections 2-403(1), 1-201(9), 2-103(1)(b), 1-204 amended

Answer 16.1a: Like the rolex (I refuse to capitalize rolex) case, did this other art gallery owner know that the price was way below what it should have been?
Was she a good faith purchaser? It seems that the og (original gangsta) gallery owner has a case against the other gallery owner.

Question 16.2.a. Pierre's next question deals with a $40,000 painting (with frame) entitled "Peace." Pierre had bought and then custom framed that painting himself, and Lucy from down the street had asked Pierre to bring Peace by her shop so that she could look at the fram job. Pierre did as Lucy requested, but later that same day one of Lucy's clerks mistakenly sold "Peace" to Frank Baebler, a new customer, for just $30,000 (reflecting Lucy's customary 25 percent "new customer" discount). Frank paid for the painting with a personal check that was later returned for insufficient funds, but he said that this was just an oversight and the he would be happy to make good on that check with a $30,000 cashier's check. Before Frank makes good on that check, however, Pierre discovers the problem and demands that Frank return the painting. Should Pierre be able to get it? U.C.C. 2-403(1), 2-403(2), 2-403(3), 1-201(9), and 1-204amended.

Answer 16.2.a.: 16.2a: Hell yes, no one has been paid, no money has been exchanged and the other gallery owner should fire that stupid clerk.

Question 16.2.b Same facts as part a., except Frank quickly gives Lucy the cashier's check for $30,000 after Pierre demands the painting back but before Pierre actually takes the painting from Frank. Should Pierre be able to get it back? UCC 2-403

Answer 16.2.b: Oh hell yes. If Lucy knows, then she never should have accepted the check. Whatever happened to honesty, decency, common fucking sense? Even Stevens even?

Question 16.2.c: Same facts as part a., except Frank quickly gives Lucy the cashier's check for $30,000 before Pierre even demands the painting from him. Now should Pierre be able to retrieve the painting from frank? UCC 2-403

Answer 16.2c: Does Lucy not remember Frank lending the painting to her? Is this the 80s? Is everyone on cocaine?

Qustion 16.2.d: Same facts as part a., except Frank never gives Lucy a bad check but instead a cashier's check from the beginning. Now should Pierre be able to retrieve the painting from Frank? UCC 2-403

Answer 16.2d: I honestly don’t know. Maybe Pierre could take Frank out for some wining, dining . . . Maybe finesse the painting out of his possession. (I figure if it’s the 80s, they’re guys, they’re coked up, and they’re into art they must be fruity tooties.)

Question 16.2.d: Same facts as part a. What rights does Pierre have against Lucy assuming that Pierre cannot recover the painting from Frank? UCC 1-103

Answer 16.2e: I have no idea.
My sentiments exactly!

Jem is Truly F*ing Outrageous

So, ladies of a certain age, I'm sure you remember a certain cartoon known as "Jem." Jem was the paragon of the 80's archetypal woman, like Barbie but so much more: she had pink hair, was in a rock band, and oh yes had earrings that gave her powers. The powers of holograms. Ooooh.

However, the only real holograms that I remember from the 80's were just silvery stickers that would change rainbow colors depending on how you moved them in the light. Apparently, no one had thought of a sophisticated application of this rainbow power, no one that is, until the cartoon Jem. You see, Hologram powers were to the 80's cartoon world what nuclear radiation was to 1950's monster movies, that is, a product of science that made anything possible. For example, you have a normal lizard, it gets exposed to some radiation, and then next thing you know you've got a 100 foot lizard ravaging the city. Likewise, in the 80's you've got your average blonde ditz (who thinks math is hard), but expose her to some holograms and presto-chango she's (what else?) a crime fighting rock star. Yeah!

Also, she has a boyfriend who she has to hide her secret from, although I don't really remember why. He thinks Jem is awesome, he thinks his blond girl friend minus hologram powers is awesome, so why doesn't she tell him? Any real man would get all hot and bothered if his real life girlfriend could turn into his fantasy woman with some holograms, so what the hell? I guess it all made sense when you're little and watching cartoons*.

(*this is the same logic that my neighbor and I used when we were kids and shot each other with the pellet gun to see what would happen. P.S., it hurts and left a sort of blood blister. We told his dad that the pellet bounced of the tree and hit us both. His Dad obviously did not buy this for a minute, but the lie seemed perfectly plausible to us at the time, just like Jem not telling her boyfriend that she's Jem made perfect sense at the time).

I also had the Jem doll when I was little, which may I add was a major disappointment. Not only did the doll come sans hologram powers, but she was a big horse of a doll. Not elegant like Barbie, but with a body like your 3 year old cousin would make if he had some clay. The only cool part was that she did have earrings that blinked (they were just LED's), but their placement made them look like she had blinking Frankenstein bolts in her neck. The best part of the doll was that it came with a tape but I seem to remember you couldn't pick which tape you got, and horor of horros, I got the Misfits tape! Coming with the Jem doll, that's sacriledge! (For those of you not in the know, the Misfits were the mortal enemy of Jem and her band the Holograms). The tape did however have the Jem theme song, the words to which, if I'm not mistaken were awe-inspiring:

Je -em is truly outrageous
truly truly truly outrageous
whoah Jem (Je-em)
is truly outrageous
truly truly truly outrageous

The song begs the question, what made Jem so truly outrageous? Was it her pink hair? Her earrings? Or was it just the in the 80's and outrageous was a synonym for cool, but cooler than cool. If the song had been "Je-em is truly cool, truly truly truly cool" I don't think we'd be talking about her to this day.

At any rate, why is Jem on my mind? Well, my friend who is a year younger than me but with a much better memory sent me a little quiz on Jem. He took the quiz and got 13/20, which is impressive since this show was cancelled in 1987. I took the quiz and got 7/20 which means that basically all I remember is that there was a girl named Jem, she had the power of holograms, and she was truly f*ing outrageous.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pop a Squat

So several us will be going on the same study abroad programs this summer and we were discussing this at dinner. Somehow the subject of toilets abroad came up. Gentle reader, as you may or may not know, plumbing the world over is vastly different from here as you will see nary an American standard toilet. When returning from abroad, there is not a much sweeter sight than the first American Standard toilet that one has the pleasure to sit on.

So some of us are going to Italy this summer, and sometimes in Italy, there is just a hole. This is not so much a problem for the gents, but for us US ladies it takes some ability to pee in a hole and not wet yourself and your pants. And if you have to take a number 2, well, Lord help you. The gents have greater difficulty with this one as well. Furniture Boy, clocking in at 6'3" is aghast at the idea of crapping in a hole. "I thought Italy was first world" he says bewildered. I explain that it is, but it's old and sometimes plumbing is just not top priority.

At this time Candy Girl jumps in with her experiences in Japan and India. In Japan, sometimes there is not a hole, but a trough that runs bowling alley style, with no doors, in the bathroom and there are little foot holds on either side of the trough. She explains that you do it a few times and your bowels with thank you because this is how nature intended it to be. I point out that Furniture Boy and myself aren't small people and our center of gravity has changed quite a bit from the days of nature i.e. there's a lot of us to bring down to The Hole. Candy Girl replies that Gorilla's are big too, but I point out that they are used to knuckle dragging and we are not.

Furniture Boy is still trying to wrap his head around shitting in a hole. He starts thinking aloud and suggests that perhaps there is a collapsible device that one can put over the hole and sit on. D suggests that there might be such a device for campers, but she points out that it might not be something that you want to carry around with you all the time*. Tiny, who should have the least problem with this whole enterprise, wants to make a device as well and thinks that if she can get her hands on some metal she might be able to solve this problem. Furniture Boy conceedes to D that he might not want to carry it around and asks if there are handles to grab onto and Tiny wants to know if perhaps the room is small enough that you can hold yourself up with the wall. D flips out and says "no no no, you don't want to touch anything in that room." I explain to Furniture Boy that there are no handles, so he suggests that maybe he could carry around handles with suction cups. Again, this present the problem of having to carry around toilet acoutrements.

D and Candy Girl each have their own technique. D suggests squatting and grabbing your ankles, Candy Girl suggests stretching your arms in front of you like a down hill skier. Furniture Boy and I are not thrilled by this prospect. I admit that on my previous trip to Italy I did not master The Hole. D suggests that we practice and build up the muscles.

So this evening instead of outlining, we try both the down hill skier and the ankle grab. I have developed my own technique which I call The Catcher -- I squat and rest my arms on my knees. I shall defeat you Hole!

*Such a device does in fact exist. and also

Big N is Captain of Her Ship

D, Big N, and I (Texas) are all in the same Contracts class in which our professor takes attendance and requires us to sign in. One day D borrowed a pen from Big N to go sign in, and forgot about it and, "allegedly" put it in her backpack at the end of class.

Cut to several days later.

D is a sucker for crazy internet stuff a
and found a picture of this two headed baby which she sent to her fellow sick friends, including myself and Big N. Big N replied to the email "Wow, I can't believe that's not photoshopped. Oh and by the way, did you steal my pen?" Clearly the reply to D's email was just a pretense to ask about the pen. D responded to Big N's email saying something along the lines of "Blah blah blah it's not photoshopped and I didn't steal your pen."

The next day Big N confronts D in the hall: "I know you have my pen," she says very agitated with lots of arm flailing. "I loaned it to you to sign in the other day." D is bewildered, as any sane person would be, and replies that she doesn't know what Big N is talking about and says she thought she borrowed the pen from me. Big N gets increasingly agitated, saying that the pen was in fact hers and she saw it next to D's laptop and she was going to ask for it back but then she didn't want to be rude and take it because she thought D might need it. Somehow in Big N's mind it is less rude to accost someone about the pen for 3 days than to merely take it back, but I digress. About this time I roll up as the agitation level increases and confirm that D did not borrow a pen from me. Validated, Big N starts to get more upset since D has no idea what has become of the pen.

What to learn from this? Even though Big N is all of 5'3", don't take her stuff. She'll cut you.

So today we have Contracts and Big N generously loans the boy who sits next to her a pen. Mind you, she doesn't feel too warmly towards this boy since he coughs on her all the time and because of this chronic condition she refers to him as "Ebola." Although Big N is territorial about her belongings, she feels it would be just a bit too antisocial not to share, so she forces herself to do so. But no good deed goes unpunished, and at the end of class Ebola cuts out taking Big N's pen (I'm sure you can see where this is going).

Meanwhile, everyone starts to pack up their stuff and Big N accidentally grabs D's book and starts to put it in her bag. D stops her and Big N says "I don't know what it is about this class but it makes everybody kleptos." She mentions the pen D "allegedly" stole, and how Candy Girl had stolen her coffee mug, and it is at that moment that she realizes Ebola has escaped with an article that belongs to her -- which is completely unacceptable -- so she busts out the door. Meanwhile D and I have a question for the professor about a problem so we are hanging back waiting to talk to him.

Five minutes later Big N busts back through the door waving her pen triumphantly shouting "That's right, I 'm the captain of my ship," with a gleeful look on her face. D and I laugh and ask what took so long. When Big N realized Ebola was gone, she first looked for him in the downstairs lounge, but no dice, so she shot up a floor to lockers where she managed to hunt him down. She corners him and demands her pen explaining "Sorry, I'm kind of weird about this." Ebola apparently replies that it's no problem and it was his fault for taking it. Of course this is what Big N said, so who knows how smoothly this went in real life.

Even though he "allegedly" took it well, I doubt Ebola will be asking to borrow a pen from her anytime soon.