Saturday, October 30, 2010

the social network

I just saw the movie and being the FB addict that I am, I rushed into Barnes and Noble to blog about it.

I can see why all my law school chums are raving about it. It should be on the curriculum in a depositions class. Do we have a depositions class? Well, we should.

Jesse Eisenberg played Mark Zuckerberg and I only know him as Hallie Eisenberg's brother and the resemblance was uncanny. Contrary to what Rashida Jones' character tells Zuckerberg, he is an asshole. And Eduardo Saverin was probably blind not to have seen it before. Poor guy. He really got the short end of the stick. The Winklevii also got a bit of a short-shrift and it was unfair for Zuckerberg to claim they were only climbing all over him b/c something didn't happen for them the way they wanted it to. These weren't just Daddy's fair-haireds coasting through Harvard on Daddy's name.

Aside: Hell, Daddy's name cut them no grease with the stupid Dean. Sorry Dean, but you were stupid and I am now reconsidering my life's dream to have Derek go to Harvard. Princeton, here we come.

Back to Bom.

These boys were top students and worked fucking hard to be the racers they are. They got stuff handed to them, I am sure, but no one studied for them or raced for them. I thought the movie got that across very well. The actors playing the Winklevii were great and managed to create personalities that rose above their looks. And it wasn't twins or even brothers playing Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss but Arnie Hammer and Josh Pence plus a little digital magic.

Andrew Garfield played Saverin and all through the film I knew I'd seen him before. It was in the Red Riding Trilogy. He is a fine young actor and had more to do, acting-wise, in the trilogy, but wasn't shabby here at all. He manged to convey his feeling of betrayal without making you feel like he should suck it up. He really showed Saverin as the only supporter and friend Zuckerberg had and it killed me to watch him duel with Sean Parker.

Ah, Sean. What a dick. Well-played by Justin Timberlake, who did such a good job that my brain didn't do the "it's Justin Timberlake!" jump every time he showed up on screen. It was a very unsympathetic portrayal of a man once hailed as a hero for providing free music online. Timberlake must have had a ball playing someone so arrogant and cocky.

One thing I realized, whether it's true or not, FB was a more collaborative effort than Zuckerberg would have himself believe. Parker seemed to have had the idea for pix sharing and tagging. The Winklevii had the big idea. Even Saverin's crazy ex had the idea of putting Zuckerberg and Parker together.

Other people in the film: Rashida Jones had me wondering what she was doing there until the very nice scene at the end of the movie. She does that kind of get-your-head-out-of-your-ass and-come-back-to-reality scene well. Joseph Mazzello was unrecognizable as Dustin Moskivitz, Zuckerberg's programmer. Who is he? The kid from "Jurassic Park" who gets electrocuted on the fence. He grew up.

I was very curious to see Rooney Mara who played Erica Albright, who may have never friended Mark Zuckerberg, deservedly. She is cast in Fincher's version of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" as Lisbeth Salander, because he was impressed with her. I've seen the Swedish version, and she has to come very very good to even compare to Noomi Rapace, who transformed herself physically and emotionally for the role. She didn't have much to do in "The Social Network", so I guess Fincher saw something that I didn't that screamed "LISBETH SALANDER" to him. The character actually had more presence when she wasn't in a scene with Eisenberg. It's Zuckerberg's reaction to Erica's name and what she might be thinking about him and his poor judgment is what fuels his actions. He makes her out to be more than she is.

About the lawsuits. all through the film, I was wondering what the susbtantive issue was in the claim the Winkelvoss brothers brought against Zuckerberg. It is easy to prove he didn't use their code for setting up FB and there is no copyright or patent on an idea. All the brothers seem concerned with is that their idea was stolen. But ideas are unprotected and I didn't have to be in law school to tell you that. And Zuckerberg didn't appear to sign any kind of contract with the brothers and Divya Narendra, but that didn't mean they didn't have an agreement. The movie didn't address this well and I thank New York Law School and my K prof for being able to fill in the blanks myself. The brothers and Narendra claimed Zuckerberg broke a relationship with them because they had an affirmative agreement from him to work on their HarvardConnection website.

Saverin's claim were a bit more concrete and basic: fraud. He got cheated out of his share through the machinations, it appeared, of Sean Parker and his influence over Zuckerberg.

All in all, a good movie. The editing was crisp and clear and the flashbacks worked very well. Timberlake stood out, but the story was very good and well-told. I haven't read Ben Mezrich's book "The Accidental Billionaries", on which Aaron Sorkin based his script, but the movie stood on its own without me having to know too much about anything, really. I'd even like to see it again.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

time to reassess

So we've been hearing about people dropping out of law school. Last week, our K prof said 2 people dropped out from our section. One was this really smart girl who felt law school wasn't her calling and chose not to stay in debt for a whole year to confirm what she already knew. The other did not speak English very well. I heard him once in class, early on in the semester. I couldn't tell if he was unprepared or couldn't articulate his answers in English. Or a combination of the two. Poor guy.

But it seems as though we were the last section to hear about people leaving or even have people leave. A month ago, a friend from another section said her K prof told them 4 people had left. Tough beans.

I've spoken to a couple of people who either entertained leaving at the end of the first week or plan to reassess at the end of the first year. It broke my heart. I admit to not knowing them well enough to see whether they belong in law school, but it looked like they were handling the work ok and it was hard to hear they were thinking about leaving. I can only imagine how hard it was to actually think it.

I do wonder if some people belong in law school. It is a perfect venue to show off. And the cattiness has begun. The things I hear surprise me. There are people who actually say out loud that they are pleased that some difficulty has befallen a classmate, because his attention will be focused elsewhere and that is less competition for them.

I am guarded. I take special care of my things and don't discuss papers if I can help it. I did it once and I still regret it. Not that the other people did anything, I just felt that I should have kept my mouth shut about my own thoughts.

But if it doesn't involve a paper, I am always happy to help. But I am seeing less and less of that as the term progresses. Either everyone is getting it or no one is going to admit they did not. Fine by me. I ask the prof or TAs when I don't get it. They are getting paid for that and I have $40K worth of questions in my bank.

I've been wondering how I would manage if I wasn't on the meds. I don't think I'd be able to keep my temper in check, and that would not be good. I might actually say some of the stuff I've been thinking. Plus, more importantly in my book, I would be very overwhelmed by the workload. It's not easy keeping up with classes, trying to revise what's already been done, dealing with home, the bitching, the moaning and trying to have a life with the friends I care about. I haven't even written home in a while.

On the bright side, I had to talk in Torts the other day and I thought I did well. Someone told me I sounded prepared and like I knew what I was talking about. Did I ever? I prepared the hell out of the reading and was I ever glad I did. I enjoyed it hugely.

This week has been tough. There are so many things going on other than class that I had no time during the week to prepare or study for anything. I wasn't exactly thrilled about staying home yesterday, but I was able to finish my memo and then relax for the rest of the day. But with the one thing after another this whole week, I had to do a lot of work last weekend.

I am keeping next week as free as I can because the Legal Research exam is next Friday and I need to devote some time to it. That also means covering the reading for the entire week over this weekend.

I have the all-important visit to the ENT next Wednesday and I have never looked forward to a doctor's visit more. The warmer weather has eased the sinus pressure a fair bit and I have been more comfortable this week than I have been in a while. Other than that, it's just K prof's celebration thingy and that is the only extra-curricula activity I have going on.

Pray for Mojo.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

js meme... how i've missed you

If I were a month I would be: June

If I were a day of the week I would be: Tuesday

If I were a time of day I would be: morning

If I were a planet I would be: mars

If I were a sea animal I would be: a blue whale

If I were a direction I would be: West

If I were a piece of furniture I would be: a bed

If I were a sin I would be: lust

If I were a liquid I would be: rum

If I were a stone, I would be: a bloodstone

If I were a tree, I would be: a mango tree

If I were a bird, I would be: a hummingbird

If I were a flower/plant, I would be: an iris

If I were a kind of weather, I would be: drizzly

If I were a musical instrument, I would be: a Spanish guitar

If I were an animal, I would be: a meerkat

If I were a color, I would be: green

If I were an emotion, I would be: overwhemlmed

If I were a vegetable, I would be: a potato

If I were a sound, I would be: a scream

If I were an element, I would be: fire

If I were a car, I would be: a mini

If I were a song, I would be: calypso

If I were a movie, I would be directed by: gurinda chadha

If I were a poem, I would be written by: t.s. eliot

If I were a food, I would be: cookie

If I were a place, I would be: a temple

If I were a material, I would be: cotton

If I were a taste, I would be: tasty

If I were a scent, I would be: lavender

If I were a religion, I would be: Pagan

If I were a word, I would be: crazy

If I were an object, I would be: a hammer

If I were a body part I would be: knees

If I were a facial expression I would be: an eyeroll

If I were a subject in school I would be: physical education

If I were a shape I would be: a hexagon

If I were a number I would be: seven

Friday, October 22, 2010

thick and thin, sick and sin

So the Hwang family has been married for almost 5 years and Mr and Mrs Hwang never thought we'd make it this far. Baby Hwang has already decided that he will go live with his Aunties when we divorce. We're staying together for Jess and Bri's sake!

Joke and fun aside, five years is a long time to be together and it's the longest relationship either of us has ever had. So, I say, kudos to Ma and Pa Hwang.

I laid down the law last year that I am not going to tell John what I want as an anniversary present. I wanted him to look into my soul and get me something that, preferably, comes in a small(ish) robin-egg's blue box and I better be surprised.

Well, I caved about 2 weeks ago and blurted out I wanted a Kindle. Sigh. I did try. I dropped hints but I chose to believe Mr Hwang was going through one of his denser phases and just said it. Turns out, he was going to buy me a diamond. To which Derek said, "Get her the diamond, Daddy, and then we can get aaaanything we want!"

To explain: Whenever John comes up with one of his outrageously expensive desires, which are mostly just outrageous in my book, I say he can get it if I buy a diamond. One day he said he is going to buy me a diamond and then buy himself whatever he wants and I will just have to lump it. I might have mentioned before that Derek is turning into his Daddy.

Anyhoo, the Hwangs have decided that the fifth wedding anniversary is electronica (which is good because the traditional gift is wood!) and Der already has a netbook and I am expecting a Kindle, since I clearly drowned the diamond idea! AND I caved and have decided to let John get a PS3 or X-box or whatever-the-fuck. But he will get that later on, maybe closer to Christmas.

Friday, October 15, 2010

conquering that first semester

Have I? I don't know, but I do seem to bitch less than everyone else, or at least a large chunk of the class, so that counts in my book.

The one thing I do complain about is being in a class with so many young people, barely out of their teenage habits. I'm beginning to feel like I'd like to be in a place with grown-up who are serious about their lives. My closest mates are over 30 and if we have nothing else in common, we share this frustration.


However, there are a couple of saving graces that manage to save the side. My study partner is a gem who actually understands I have shit going on and she is wonderful about making herself flexible for me. I am half in love with her sometimes, she is so great. There are a couple of women who I treat like daughters, but they just bring out my silliness more than anything. They laugh at my dick jokes and are grosser than a couple of guys I know. There are women who are so sweet to me and drop me line on FB chat just to say hi or that we haven't spoken in few days. I always smile when I see their pix pop up.

Why no boys, you ask? And why do I say women and not men, but boys? The boys are so pretty that I cannot think of them as men. I also have 2 sons, so all boys are babies. Plus, they are the most immature. I'd take the entitled princesses over them any day. Two boys sit behind me in one class and puss-puss the whole time. I have more than once turned around and asked them to stop talking. I don't even say shush or ask politely. I'm a hair away from calling them stupid fuckheads.

I could go on. It's my blog, and I could. But I am so fed up of them all.

Back to Bom.

Assignments are piling up and it's getting challenging trying to not spend all the time doing them and forgetting to prepare for class and keep revising. I take advantage of the TAs as much as I can and I can feel a couple of Contracts concepts slipping away from me, so I've been using office hours like a muthafucker.

Civ Pro midterm was last week and exactly what I knew was going to come, came, and I still wasn't happy. My study partner and I did an almost-exact question the day before and it all slipped away. I got the larger concepts in and matched the fact pattern to them but there were still things I left out. I could have done much better, I know. But I know 12(b)(6) inside and out and I can only pray that comes in the final.

My second Contracts paper is due on Monday and I pounded out a first draft and edited it as tightly as I could tonight. I'm not sure I want to take another look at it on Sunday, but I'll see how it goes. It's very hard for me to go over what I've written. I actually have a "done" point in my mind, which I find it very difficult to get past. I'm not sure what I'm not seeing. I find a first draft to be vital in anything I write. I can fool myself that it's not finished and just jottings, but it's really quite comprehensive. I find that I need to go back to using pen and paper, cross out and rewrite. I usually get three drafts that way, but can fool myself into thinking it's just one. One means it's not done. Three means it's almost there. It works for me.

Legal writing is getting interesting. There's an awful lot of bitching in that class and I find myself going later just to avoid it. I actually think the class is getting better and am kinda liking it. I'm definitely in the minority. I also like Legal Research and am learning stuff there too, despite popular opinion. There are only so many ways to make these two courses interesting and I think the teachers do try, especially in LR. I've always believed that school is like the Forest of Arden: it gives you from what you bring to it. If I schlep into class late, don't read ahead, moan about the professor, I know I will get nothing out of it because there is only so much self-motivation I can do under those circumstances I put myself in.

It's when I think like that I remember that being older has its advantages. I feel sorry for my very young classmates who won't know this for years, if they ever do at all. I wouldn't want any of the things that happened to me that got me insight to happen to them. Not even a little bit.

Ok. Back to Bom.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Wed, October 6, 2010
Alarm goes off at 6 and I hit the snooze twice until 6:20. Roll over on the husband and drag myself off the bed.

Feed pets, make coffee, ablutions, drink coffee, dress, check weather and MTS on NY1 and leave by 7:15.

First class is at 9 a.m. Till 10:15.

Then class at 11:00. Have time for coffee or yogurt and Coke. Class ends 12:40.

Civ Pro group meets with TA at 1p.m. Till.

Meet with study partner to do Civ Pro practice exam under exam conditions and then discuss.

With any luck, all that Civ Pro-ing can end by 5 so I can do my Legal Research HW and start my LR assignment.

Thursday, October 6, 2010
Alarm goes off at 6 and I hit the snooze twice until 6:20. Roll over on the husband and drag myself off the bed.

Feed pets, go upstairs and drag Derek off bed, make coffee, ablutions, drink coffee, dress, check weather and MTS on NY1 and leave by 7:15.

Drop Le Derek off to school and try to get to school before 9.

9-11 Civ Pro review session

12:45-2 Writing seminar

2-3:40 Torts

4:30-5:45 LR

Chances of me doing anything b/w classes on Thursday other than trying to eat and put books in and take books out of my locker is very slim. Mercifully, I am all read up for Torts this week.

One class on Friday morning and then Civ Pro for a good chunk of the day and more work on LW in the afternoon. Pick up Le Derek and come home.

Saturday, go to school and spend morning on Civ Pro questions and LR.

Sunday, spend day dividing up reading for K and Civ Pro.

I have a couple of movies at home to watch, much tv to catch up on and a husband and son to see and spend time with. Things are gettin' good!