Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Reason #15 I Love Austin

I was in line at Buffalo Exchange today (GREAT consignment store a block from my apartment http://www.buffaloexchange.com) and I overheard a trapeze artist chatting with a roller derby girl.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reason #14 I Love Austin

Today was our last legal writing & research class and our professor brought us cupcakes!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Finals studying time is upon us which means my focus for the next month will be on Property, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law, rather than on barbeque, margaritas, and music. This is probably a good thing though, and of course reflects the primary reason I moved to Austin. The fact that I now live in a dynamic city that has taken ahold of me must be secondary to my academic aspirations... right?

Right. I say this to serve as a disclaimer that over the next month my posts will probably be more school-oriented. Thanksgiving is this week and I am staying at school to buckle down in the library, only to break for the Law School Thanksgiving Dinner and Dance. And yet I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving "vacation."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Law School Humor

Law school can be pretty funny. In line with the way I approach most endeavors, I came to school hoping not to take it too seriously and to have some fun. So far neither of these goals has been difficult to realize, though with finals coming up I'm actually trying to step up the seriousness. On the other hand, I don't think the fun part will wane. It's about appreciating the little things. For example:

It seems like everyone in school has a cold and with it, the requisite sick noises: sniffles, coughs, and sneezes. As property class was starting yesterday, the noises were synchronized in pitch and rhythm, like a symphony of sneezes. I was thinking this when suddenly I let out a loud, high-pitched sneeze, similar to cymbals crashing. This was the grand finale, and with it class began. I looked up to see my friend looking at me and laughing and I knew he was thinking the same thing.

Today in constitutional law our professor caught himself as he said, "naked power organ" in reference to the Court.

Many times amusements come from learning about Texas law. Today I learned that in Texas, calling someone a "communist" is libel per se. This is the most serious kind of libel and means that malice does not need to be proven.

There's a framed painting in the Atrium of the law school of a bunch of men standing around laughing. They are tan, many silver-haired, a couple wearing newsboy caps, one in sunglasses, and with drinks in hand. I'm guessing they're hot shot alums but when I first visited the law school I actually thought it was a painting of the cast of the Sopranos. I laugh every time I walk past it.

I was thinking of starting a website similar to "Overheard in New York," but instead "Overheard in Law School." Part of the learning process here is to test the law - to see if rules hold up in extreme circumstances. The hypotheticals people come up with are worth recording. In one class, we were talking about whether ignorance should negate the culpable mental element of a crime. One of my friends came up with a hypothetical where a bunch of Swedes are in a room with automatic weapons. "But, you know" he demonstrated, "they're Swedes so they don't know what the guns are." Could the innocent Swedes be brought up on weapons charges?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Reason #13 I Love Austin

It's November and today I was lounging poolside in a bikini. (Studying, of course.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Home Sweet Austin

I have been shirking my blog duties! Austin has been busy and beautiful. The weather has remained in the 70s and sunny, school work has picked up in the past week, and I had a special visitor the past four days. Robby flew in from NYC for Halloween.

Last week one of my classmates posted on his facebook status a message to the effect of how grateful he is to be at the law school he always dreamed to attend in the city he always dreamed to reside. Unlike my classmate who seems to have had a good idea of his path for a long time, I never could have predicted I would be attending UT Law, let alone that I would live in Texas. Yet, like my classmate, I do have a keen sense of gratefulness to be where I am now. This sentiment is omnipresent among students I talk to at UT Law. I think it is the symbiotic combination of living in a diverse, affordable, "weird" city and studying at a great school that has instilled in us this sense of appreciation.

With these thoughts abound, Robby arrived in Austin on Friday. I loved having him around so I could share with him this enthusiasm for my new home. Friday night we had a drink with friends downtown and then headed to the Alamo Drafthouse on 6th Street for the 10:00 showing of Nightmare on Elm Street with the Master Pancake Theater (http://www.originalalamo.com/Signature.aspx?id=15). Master Pancake is an improv group who comments as the movie is playing. They will ad lib their own dialogue, or make keen observations on the movie. As we learned, the mother in Nightmare on Elm Street is constantly drinking vodka and a character in the beginning of the movie looks eerily like Rod Stewart (a woman, of course).

Saturday we decided to take advantage of the perfect weather and conduct our own walking tour of Austin. We walked from my apartment to the Capital (about 20 blocks), then to downtown (about 8 blocks) and over the river to South Congress (about 20 blocks). We walked through the UT campus, passing a pond overrun with turtles, then to and through the Capital and its grounds, pausing for a picture of Robby with the Dubya portrait. We came upon the Texas Book Festival downtown, walked through food stands with huge outdoor grills, and saw a cooking show being filmed. Our final destination became a Tex-Mex restaurant on South Congress, which was hopping at 12:30 in the afternoon. It may have been because it was Halloween, or just because it's Austin, but there seemed to be a party everywhere we went. The bar was packed and in the spirit of the festivities, we enjoyed a couple margaritas. We then headed back to my apartment to put on our costumes. Robby donned a banana suit and I was a sock-hop girl in a poodle skirt and cat-eye glasses.

Robby happened to have a friend in town staying at the Hotel San Jose (http://www.sanjosehotel.com/) on South Congress so we went to catch up with him and his friends before the Halloween evening activities ensued. The Hotel is one story with cabana-like rooms and an outdoor pool/bar. It's inexpensive with a retro style that emits that cool, laid-back Austin vibe.

We headed from South Congress to downtown and bar-hopped a bit before meeting up with a Trinity friend and her husband and sister at a lounge. They told us about their friends who were in a cross-dressing informal parade that was going through Austin, the paraders dressed as a marching band complete with the instruments and baton-twirling. The band made its way through the bar and I made sure to get photos with the members. Those ladies were looking hot.

We proceeded to 6th Street around 10 PM and the street was packed with costumed revelers. We toured the grounds to costume-watch and settled on a 6th Street bar, whose name of course escapes me. There we encountered two more bananas and a banana dance-party ensued. Robby and I headed home around 11:30, satisfied we experienced an Austin Halloween.

Sunday night we went with my friend from school and her boyfriend to The Salt Lick (http://www.saltlickbbq.com/), a famous barbeque restaurant outside Austin in the Hill Country. It's located in a dry county, which I didn't even realize existed until last weekend, so we brought a couple six-packs. We filled up on the best brisket, ribs, and sausage I (and Robby too, I think) have had and made sure to leave with the mail-order catalogue. The finest smoked meat in Texas is a pretty solid Christmas present.

Robby stuck around until Tuesday and it was such a pleasure to have a buddy with whom to share this wonderful place. For the first time, I felt like I was showcasing my home. When Robby was here in August it was over 100 degrees every day, I didn't know anyone, and I got lost with every turn. Since then, the temperature has dropped 30 degrees, I have friends, and I know the cardinal directions from most points on campus. It's been a pretty productive 2 1/2 months.

While it was wonderful to have Robby in town, he was quite the distraction so now I am hunkering down with my schoolwork.

Above are some pictures from Robby's visit, taken on our Saturday walk and with some marching band members Halloween night.