Thursday, April 29


I’m moving to Melbourne. Not right now, though. I’ll be there from August 2005 until July 2006. I just accepted an associate position [judicial clerkship] with Justice Susan Kenny of the Melbourne registry of the Federal Court. So I’ve now signed up for 2 years of judicial clerkships and I haven’t even left law school. How did this happen? I’m going to be nearly 32 before I even have a chance of getting a job as a real lawyer (will I ever get a real job? – it’s looking less and less likely as the years go by).

The only way I could make up my mind about this was by not considering it a decision to move back to Australia permanently. Spending a year in Australia won’t make getting a work visa for the US any harder. I might try to line up a job before I leave and then use the year in Melbourne to get a new visa. And I still may decide to stay in Australia. The only problem with Australia is that there’s no interesting work. Does the better surf make up for it?

Now all my friends who live in Sydney, Perth and Canberra have to move to Melbourne. Come on folks, who’s up for it? You guys in Perth and Canberra know you have no excuse.

. . . .

Malcolm has moved from calling me a scoundrel to impugning all Australians. He is now convinced that criminality is genetic and that I stole his hat because of my convict ancestry (I actually have convict ancestry by the way). He is just trying to blame me for the fact that he spends 5-20 minutes every morning looking for his hat. His bad memory is to blame, not my convict ancestors, may they rest in peace.

A modern puzzle: Which page is funnier, the famous Peter Pan page or the new Tron costume page? Which is sadder? Which creates a stronger urge to gouge out your own eyes? I think the Tron costume page is the new champion on all counts.

Sunday, April 25


mp3s are now up on the fourelles website.

Friday, April 23


The fourelles website is up (just in time for graduation). Hopefully we’ll get Mp3s up there before too long.

I skipped class for surfing this morning. The waves were small but I still think it was the right decision. For about an hour I had all of Matunuk/Deep Hole to myself. Eventually one guy joined me at Deep Hole and about five surfers paddled out at Matunuk. Even bad waves on a weekday in 40F/5C water can draw a small crowd these days. Madness.

Monday night saw The Ex Models, Beans and Tortoise with Bill and Malcolm (who called me a ‘scoundrel’ today – just because I stole his hat). The Ex Models were not a good band for 9.30pm on a Monday night. Maybe they would work trashed late on a Friday. Beans (whose sole companion on stage was a stool with a Discman on it) won over a crowd that was there not only to see another band but another genre of music. I was impressed. Tortoise were better than I had expected (someone - was it Stewart Saunders? – told me they weren’t very good live). They opened with my two favorite songs from Standards and played Djed as an encore. They closed with something fantastic that I didn’t know (from the new, poorly received, album?) – it had a kind of Glass Museum feel but with more energy.

Saturday, April 17


The sound was good and we played about as well as we can. And we got free drinks and $60. Excellent. There was an awkward moment when the sound guy turned out to be the guy who had kicked three of us out about a month ago. There was a definite moment of recognition on his face as the main offender (see the March 7 post below) was introduced. Later he gave us some wary looks as we got into our free drinks. We didn’t start hitting our free drinks until after our set and Rudy’s closed before we had time to get ourselves into any serious trouble. That’s probably for the best if AJ and Jen want to get shows there next year.

I discussed bass placement with Bill as we were setting up. Bill pointed to an area to the right of the drums and said “You should go there.” I asked, “Do you mean me or my amp?” Bill replied, “I mean your Dasein.” I turned to Bill and it was clear from his cheeky grin that he knew how much a comment like that would annoy me. I told him “don’t ever say that to me again!” You can’t let people with English degrees take an inch.

Sheryl’s Magnetic Aura were about twice as loud as we were and the volume sent most of our law school friends running for cover. The law school wimps missed out because SMA rocked. (And, even though I’m hassling people for running away, I have to admit that SMA made me wish I had brought earplugs.) At times SMA, like Elefant a few weeks ago, tinkered on the brink of Interpol clonedom. People accuse Interpol of being highly derivative but I’m convinced that their sound is original enough to be copied directly. Speaking of Elefant, don’t miss this hilarious interview with their impossibly conceited vocalist.

Monday, April 12


Ray says that blogs are “diaries for exhibitionists.” Of course, this is coming from a man getting academic credit for a memoir. As revenge for Ray’s snide commentary, I’m going to link to this obsequious testimonial about his summer experience at a giant corporate firm (Ray insists that the testimonial was ghostwritten by Kirkland’s personnel department).

Ray shouldn’t be disrespecting the blog. After all, where else but a blog could I pass on the great headline from the front page of today’s Yale Daily News? And the art of blog is more flexible than Ray suggests. For a start, there’s straight down the line political commentary. Chris is starting to take this route. And there is the rare person, like Tim, who can write good stuff about banal events like locking yourself out of your apartment. Admittedly, any time spent surfing the web will turn up painfully earnest blogs by Sylvia Plath fans containing cringe-worthy pieces of blog wisdom like this: “there is a god because there is jimi hendrix, led zeppelin, cream, u2, aimee mann, coldplay and sheryl crow.”

Brevity is a virtue. I think my favorite post so far is from a friend of Tim’s. At the risk of violating international intellectual property agreements, I’m going to paste in the entire post. She writes:

GOSH i just found $10 in my drawer that i didn't know i put there.
and who said being a drunk slut wouldn't pay off?!
some total bastard, that's who.

We get ironic self-deprecation, an insult and a story with a happy ending all in 30 words. Brilliant.

Saturday, April 10


Only a few more hours until the Mates of State play tonight at The Space. At one point it looked like we were in with a chance of scoring one of the support slots. Jen was doing her usual thing and hassling the local venues for shows and I mentioned that it would be awesome if we could support the Mates of State. I didn’t actually think that we would (or, to be honest, should) have any chance. Jen reported back that the guy who books The Space said we might be able to play that night. Just as I was getting my hopes up, Jen added “He even said he’d come and check out our show at Café 9 to see if we’d fit on the bill.” DOH! At that point my hopes were shattered, the last thing we needed was for this guy to actually see us play. Sure enough, the guy did come out to see us and after the show tactfully told us the Mates show was already full. At least he was nice enough to offer us a consolation show later in the month. I guess I can go tonight without being nervous about having to play in front of a large crowd, but God damn it would have been cool to play.

Monday, April 5


Here are two amusing tales from the classrooms of Yale Law School.

From Bill:

Bruce Ackerman wanted to make some point about the relationship between wealth and status in the United States. He decided to illustrate the point using the students at YLS as an exemplar. He says to his class: “Take yourselves, for example. I mean, let’s face it, you’re not a very good looking bunch. But then I see you at graduation with your partners. Presumably many of these people are your life partners. And the partners are much better looking. Why do think that is? Well, it’s because of your big earning potential.”

This story is even more amusing when told by someone who can do a good impression of Ackerman’s pompous delivery.

I was originally going to include names in the next story but I decided not to because the story contributes to an underlying rumor and I have absolutlely no idea if this rumor is true. This omission takes away about 90% of the humor value of the story but so be it.

From Student X:

Just this week, Student X was sitting through a typical Yale class dealing with constitutional minutiae and abstractions. A Yale professor was a guest speaker. Last year, this professor was the subject of an avalanche of rumors about an alleged extramarital affair with a student. So this professor - for convenience’s sake let’s call him James - is arguing that by following the constitution we honor an intergenerational promise. James says “this is how we are different from animals, animals live only in the now but as persons we can we be faithful to the past and the future.” As an example of this uniquely ‘human’ behavior, he discussed ‘Joan’ who choses not to 'live in the now' and instead honors her wedding vows. A lone student couldn’t suppress a giggle. James angrily turns to the student and says, “Why are you laughing? This isn’t meant to be autobiographical. Joan is not James!” Priceless.

Thursday, April 1


Saw The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind the other day. Like everyone else in the known universe I thought it was fantastic. I’m beginning to worry about my increasing tendency to like the same things that other people like. This is just not right, what happened to the old contrary me? Anyway, I’ve had series of good experiences with cultural product that has been recommended to me. As a public service, I’m going to pass on some of these recommendations:

Jarhead : Anthony Swofford (memoir of marine from the first gulf war)
Prague : Arthur Phillips (fun but not as much fun as the Russian Debutante’s Handbook)

Turn on the Bright Lights : Interpol (ok, so I jump a bandwagon 1 year later)
Transatlanticism : Death Cab for Cutie (ditto)
Chutes too Narrow : The Shins
Team Boo : Mates of State
Our Endless Numbered Days : Iron and Wine (soundtrack for this post)

As good as Eternal Sunshine is, I worry about the unending supply of movies dealing with memory loss. It just doesn’t seem to be worth so much attention (total retrograde memory loss is very rare). As we left the cinema Jeremy said:

“I want people to experience their memories in sequential order and I want them to enjoy them.”

Absolutely! Of course, within a day of heartily agreeing with Jeremy I had finished Prague and moved on to another book. What book? Time’s Arrow of course. So, now I’m reading a book narrated by a homunculus trapped and powerless inside the brain of a doctor living his entire life backwards through time.

. . .

For the surfers, Oscar sent me this link (the photo is from Tasmania). We’re headed to Rhode Island again tomorrow; there’s a decent swell running but I don’t think we’ll encounter any waves quite like that.