An Open Letter

Dear [Insert Name Here], You are in our thoughts more than you know. Believe it or not, we watch out for you. Sometimes, we only see you once after a glance on a cold bus. Sometimes you married us and started everything. Sometimes we became your friends after a high kick. Sometimes we only hear about you on the radio, or the newspaper, or the tv (if it's really sad or really happy). Sometimes we're in your family and you love us because you have to, even at those moments when you wish for a second you didn't. Sometimes you're our nemesis, but we would drop everything to help you if someone messed with you besides us. Sometimes you're in another country and there are men with guns; other times, we're next door and you let the dogs play together. Sometimes we're in love with you even when it's not easy. Sometimes you died before we could tell you. No matter its degree, we have a relationship with you. We're all in the same pond, rippling away with our pebbles, little waves overlapping. We just want you to know how much you mean to us: We love to see you laugh. We smack our foreheads when you make mistakes. We wink at you when you say something silly and pretend that it was hurtful. We get angry when you hurt us. We hurt when you get angry with us. We can't wait to hear about your trip. We read about your accomplishments and smile. We mourn your pain and drop our eyes and hats when it hits. We flinch when you do. We cry when you do. We laugh when you do, we laugh with you, and--SORRY--sometimes we laugh at you. We can't wait for you to stop telling us about your trip. We ignore you too much, listen too little, forget too often, force things when they shouldn't be forced, and make the biggest mistakes of our lives when you're involved. We desperately want you to succeed. We desperately want you to be happy. We desperately want you to meet your potential and shatter records along your way. We desperately need your help. We desperately need you. Why? You're here. And that means everything. Really. Love, Everybody.


Thanksgiving, Pt. 2

Through all life's ups and downs, crises and crashes, loves and losses, it's great to know that only today matters. And today we give thanks--for each other and for life and for love. Here are some favorite Thanksgiving quotes: If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy Remember God's bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude! ~Henry Ward Beecher Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron For flowers that bloom about our feet; For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet; For song of bird, and hum of bee; For all things fair we hear or see, Father in heaven, we thank Thee! ~Ralph Waldo Emerson We give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. ~Author Unknown O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. ~William Shakespeare For hearts that are kindly, with virtue and peace, and not seeking blindly a hoard to increase; for those who are grieving o'er life's sordid plan; for souls still believing in heaven and man; for homes that are lowly with love at the board; for things that are holy, I thank thee, O Lord! ~Walt Mason Happy Thanksgiving to all. Much Turkey, Much Mash, Much Stuffing, Much Love. --Eric



Three things I'm afraid of (and why): 1. Oprah If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, when is Oprah going to destroy us all? 2. The Future This is all speculation, but it keeps me up at night: What if Michael J. Fox and Dr. Brown had it right? What if my rock star future depends on a hypothetical drag race I might or might not have with a gang of local hooligans? What if the decisions I make today could turn my future progeny into whining, sniveling airheads? What if our future flying cars run off nuclear energy and one melts down on the aerial I-15? What if I accidently ride my hoverboard over a body of water? What if my time machine gets stuck in the past and I can't find the requisite 1.21 gigawatts to power the flux capacitor? What if I don't get to end up with the girl in a tricked-out truck and a weekend camping trip? What if.... 3. Egg Nog What is actually in it? Milk, sugar, and eggs? What if it goes bad and I drink it? And if it's so great, why do people tend to drink it with a hefty spike of rum? Isn't that what Pirates drink to stave off a case of the Mondays? Do Pirates drink Egg Nog? 4. Being an Attorney Granted, the great majority of attorneys are great people. However, the greatness of this group is not what worries me. This great group of people collectively suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Autism, Turett's Syndrome, and Severe Nerd Tendencies. Don't believe me? Go into any law firm and say "I'd like someone to take my case pro bono." Observe the ensuing chaos. Seriously, I'm excited to enter this field and try to work some good and become great at what I do. But knowing now what I know about attorneys (see Above Paragraph), I must question my own mental state: OCD: If you consider my losing sleep at night because I should have established my web address as "bev" not "ebv" to keep it in the proper alphabetical order, then YES. Check. Autism: "The three main characteristics [of autism] are (1) impairments in social interaction, (2) impairments in communication, (3) restricted interests and (4) repetitive behavior." (1). When in social situations, I tend to talk about law school; (2). When communicating about law school, I often don't notice when other people's eyes glaze over; (3). My interests are pretty varied--from law school pedagogy to law school success programs; (4). I don't feel my behavior is repetitive. But the fact that the above list states there are three main characteristics of autism when it actually lists four was enough to make me want to reboot the computer. Sooooo... Check. Turetts Syndrome. I don't consider myself to have a potty mouth. But sometims, whether I'm driving or analyzing arguments from opposing counsel, the angriest language slips out. At these times, I've been known to shout something like "Stupid, stupid, STUPID!" (always in threes) and slap my forehead in frustration. If I get excited, on the other hand, you may overhear me say "Yeah, yeah, YEAH!" (again, always in threes) and shake my celebratory fist in the air. I can't control these things. They just pop out! Check. Severe Nerd Tendencies. See All Previous Blog Posts up to This Point. Check Plus. Hmmm...maybe this is the field for me after all. I fit right in.


Football Haiku

Football Haikus Only rule? 17-syllables. Please submit yours; either pre- or post- BYU/Utah game! Holy War. Annual Crusade; "big plastic crack heads" Throwing balls at each other.


Car Scratching

Well, noticed the front bumper of my beloved Corolla this morning had some nifty scratches on it, courtesy of some inconsiderate other bumper. A couple took off the paint. I've narrowed down the possible locales for the damage: Church or the Law School. Whichever venue it was, no one left a note. Sigh. The irony is scrawling itself across some after-life's sky as you read this. If there is a hell, there is a unique place for non-note-leavers. Or at least a short stop in purgatory. Maybe one where they have to write me a note with their contact info in order to get through the pearly gates. (Insert frustrated pejorative term here). Current Mood: Burning Out Like the Lone Ember in the Long-Extinguished Firepit of Academia.


Just for fun...

Magic. Even better when you factor in the reality of my attending East! Thanks t0 Law School classmates who really know how to kill time in lieu of finals preparation.
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It's Hip to be a Vampire no Longer

I know, I'm breaking my own rule, but this was too good to pass up: Thanks to astute reader, Tom Nicholas! Seems like I'm not the only one a little perplexed by Stephenie Meyer's success (and subsequent insanity...). Check this out from Twilight the movie's biggest star, Robert Pattinson--a.k.a. Impossibly Perfect Sexy Hot Amazing Edward Cullen, Latter-Day Vampire: Ben Lyons: What do you think it is that has people so enamored with the world of Twilight? Pattinson: Well, I mean, I think people -- there's a thing about the books where, uh, when I was reading them, I, ugh, I didn't know how to read it from, you know, teenage g-- or any woman's perspective, I guess. I don't really know why they like it. But what I thought was weird about it, the, what, the reaction I had with it was ... umm.... When I read it, it seemed like (grimaces) I was convinced that ... Stephenie was ... convinced that she was Bella, and uh, and you, it wasn't, it was like it was a book that wasn't supposed to be published, like reading her ... her sort of sexual fantasy about some -- especially when she says that it was based on a dream, and it's like, "Oh, then I had a dream about this really sexy guy" and she just writes this book about it, and there's some things about Edward that are just so specific that it's like, I was just convinced that, that this woman is mad, she's completely mad, and she's in love with her own fictional creation and I -- sometimes you, like, feel uncomfortable reading this thing, and I think a lot of people feel the same way, that it's kind of voyeuristic, ah, and it creates this sick pleasure in a lot of ways. But then it kind of introduces a lot of the, the action elements and it's very honest and really really honest and that's kind of what's weird about it. Addendum: See the original interview here. Well said, Rob. Kind of. Anyway, with that kind of criticism already unleashed by one of the movie's stars, I say let the dogs loose!!! Here's my plan: Let's go see Twilight this Friday with as big a group as possible to laugh, point, and guffaw at the awefulness it will undoubtedly be. I'm up for a Provo or Salt Lake City showing, preferably a matinee performance (that extra three dollars means a lot to me, ideologically). Let's get this discussion rolling and determine where, when, and how many. My only rule? You must laugh at the awfulness of it all. Remember, MST3K and I swear the time of your life will be had. This could be the pinnacle of bad. Or the nadir of good. Depending on your viewpoint...


Gender Roleing

I got a letter in the mail today from the American Bar Association (hoity-toitiness to its extreme) addressed to one Mary B. Vogeler. (Now, to all those readers who may not know, I am in fact a man. With that little distinction out of the way, I will proceed.) At first, I thought the ABA might be pranking me. They've been known to have fun at least once in their prestigious history, and I figured this could be the second time. But upon further review, I'm convinced they've just made an error and consider me to be Ms. Mary B. Vogeler, future esquire. Rolling with this new-found gender freedom, below is my list of seven things I'd like to do if I really were a woman. 1. Slumber Party!!! I want to know what goes on at these things. Shrouded in mystery, this foundation of teen- and college-aged female bonding time has perplexed boys and men alike for at least some millenia now. What really happens there? I have my hypotheses, but aside from pillow fights, nail-painting, frozen bras, and giggly girl talk...what makes the slumber party so mysterious and so secretive? If a guy asks a girl what she and her girlfriends did while there...well, he'll probably hear something like "Oh, just girl stuff." I may not know much about women, but I have learned that "girl stuff" is actually code for "Oh, so many things that I swore an oath upon my copy of Twilight to never share with anyone outside of the Slumber Party upon penalty of social death." Hmmm.... On second thought, maybe I don't want to know what goes on there. 2. The Ladies' Room This is one category I've actually witnessed. The ladies room at any respectable joint tends to be the porcelain equivalent of Shangri-La. Leather sofas, ottomans, gold appointments, platinum hardware, eunuch servants zestilly brandishing grapes and hot towels, ready to defend the place from "guys" with their deadly scimitars. Don't worry, unlike the Slumber Party, I don't need to infiltrate the Ladies' room. I already know (or am convinced of) what goes on in there. I just want to be able to lounge or bask or be waited upon in the bathroom if the feeling so strikes me... 3. Complete Power Over Slightly-less-than 50% of the Population Come on. You know it's true. Women as a community have us guys pleasantly wrapped around their pleasant fingers. With that kind of power, I'm surprised the world hasn't blown up yet. You know if guys had that power...we'd um...well...I imagine that not a lot would ever get done. This would be the equivalent of a super power to most guys. Think a combination of mind control, visual manipulation, and fire. Don't believe me? Ask any guy who's ever been smitten by any girl. Equal parts FIRE and ice. I'm so grateful that most ladies out there don't abuse their super powers, for with them comes great responsibility. 4. Shopping I really just want to know where all the money goes--and how it goes so quickly! 5. Police Encounters I want to be able to get out of a speeding ticket with nothing more than a few blinked back tears, a quivering voice, and a coy smile. Believe me, I've tried. The response for Eric B. Vogeler: "Cowboy Up, Pansy Man! I'm chocking up another 10 miles for crying." You see, for men, there's no crying in...well...whatever we do. 6. Girls' Intramural Flag Football See post below. Heck, I'm tempted to invest in a wig and a coconut bra and try my luck with the Blitz anyway. and No. 7 . . . ? If I were Mary B. instead of Eric Boyd, I'd probably laugh at the idea of being Eric Boyd and shiver at the thought of being a guy. I wonder...what would YOU like to do if you were the opposite gender?

I really mean it. Meanest Sport Ever: Girls Intramural Flag Football

Check this out everybody! Listen carefully for the heartless soul who, after the bone crunching hit, kept his focus on the goal, gave 110%, and shouted "No First!!!" I swear, the girl in the white shirt died after this hit. Nikki Davis, everybody. When you see this, please clap.


Law and Order

This is why you don't mess with a law student anytime near finals. Seriously: http://www.kpho.com/news/17931454/detail.html#- It's so good to know that I'm not the only one who would FREAK OUT if someone touched my laptop near finals time. It's also good to know that law students are blessed with special ninja skills when their babies...er...computers are threatened. Fight or flight. Come to think of it, this brave law student probably analyzed all of the torts and criminal infractions this perp had engaged in before deciding how to proceed. All I have to say? Your apartment is your castle, brother. But your laptop is your fair maiden. Way to prioritize!


ALS-- A Good Man, A Horrible Disease, A Wonderful Cause

In light of some of the vitriol and inherent give and take of politics in the last months, weeks, and days, here's a story I have no hesitation sharing with everyone: Professor Michael Goldsmith, BYU Law Professor Extraordinaire. He shares his experience with ALS in this week's edition of Newsweek magazine. Please, please, please read this article and share it with everyone you can. Especially if you may know anyone with links to or just a love of Baseball. Thanks guys! ebv


Jason Chaffetz--Putting the C back in Conservative

This is why I didn't like this guy. Follow this link to Jason Chaffetz' "Inaugural Address." First day on the job and you call the President-elect a "Socialist" as though it's an epithet? Nice one, Jason. First-term Congressman in the minority party, and you are going to effect change? Stave off the horrible effects of...what exactly? Hey, props for the energy and zeal, but...really?! Back to the socialism thing. I've been hearing this a lot lately. That Mr. Obama is a socialist and that he's going to bring about the final destruction of our nation that has been in embryo ever since Bill Clinton had his grubby hands around the nation's throat. I hate to break this to everybody, but the United States has been Socialist for a LOOOOOOONG time. Even more so since this bailout. We the people now own a considerable portion of our banking system courtesy of...GASP...a Republican President. Now, before people choke on their capitalistic doughnuts and coffee, this isn't the "evil" kind of socialism practiced by our neighbors to the North and throughout Europe. (Although, funny thing, that darn socialism happens to be the governmental system of countries with consistently the highest standards of living). I just don't think anyone can argue that our system of government hasn't already become a form of socialism mixed with a heavy dose of capitalism. If they think they can, I invite them to comment. That said, my favorite apocalyptic saying being thrown about in Utah county today? "With Obama in office, I'm moving to Canada before socialism takes over." Unintentional irony is a delicious meal... best served in Provo I think. :D


Grats Obama FTW!!!

Well, here's to four years of Hope and Change. The vote got Baracked. No matter your affiliation or leanings, let's hope the change can be made and get this country back on track. I believe it can. ebv