!!!Norge Tur!!!

For the next two weeks, I'm in Norway with the family. I know. Lucky. :D In the meantime, if you want to track some of our travails or see pictures, check out my lovely sister's blog. This is the first time in her life that people can pronounce Kirsti's name correctly. Anyway, I'm sure this whole trip will provide me with lots of blog fodder. Life is good!



Ever since he was a puppy, Zeus was too big for his body. The tiny brown-eyed Siberian Husky pup had over-sized ears that made him look like some kind of furry radio antenna. And his moose-paws! Those paws were better suited to a horse than that little fuzz ball we brought home in the Summer of 1995. They were so big, poor Zeus would often trip over himself trying to hop onto curbs or come barreling at you when you visited his tiny personal kingdom: the backyard.

Even with those giant paws in the way and ears that only served to drag up wind resistance, Zeus LOVED to run. He's a sled dog. That's what they do, I guess. We could take him on a 2-mile walk/run/pull, and he wouldn't get tired. If you took him to the park and let him off the leash, he would run around in circles, sniffing trees, snuffling smelly things, and nuzzling any neighbor kids. He would go and go and go and go and go ... until you made him stop. So let's just say when we let my sister "take him for a walk" wearing her roller blades, it was not a recipe for success. (She's OK, I promise, but the dives she had to take in order to stay out of traffic and below 20mph were probably hard on her knees).

With all that bigness in mind, though, you should know that the biggest part of Zeus was always his heart. Zeus never learned how to bite or really growl. He was a mess when other meaner dogs came around. He just didn't have a mean bone in his body (unless a stranger came into the backyard...). Instead, his preferred weapon was his tongue. Zeus would lick your face, your hand, your shoes, your hair--whatever was conveniently in front of him. It was either his way of showing affection or his way of getting your attention so you could show him affection. Like everything else, that dog's heart was too big for him.

This little story is probably the best example of why I love Zeus, and most dogs, as much as I do: When he was younger, my little brother, like many of us, played little league baseball. One summer day, he went out in the backyard to practice his swing with his metal bat. While taking cuts, he didn't notice that Zeus had loped along to come say hi. On a very hard backswing, my brother felt a thud and heard a crack followed instantly by a pained yelp. The bat hit Zeus full in the mouth, cracking several of his teeth. I don't even want to think about the kind of pain it caused. From what I hear, Zeus (understandably) didn't react well--lots of yelping, running in frantic circles, and confused looks. Worse, I'm certain that my brother didn't react well either. He was so upset by the whole thing--he'd just hurt his best buddy--that he started to cry. While my brother was crying in the backyard, as my Mom tells it, Zeus noticed. He perked up and immediately stopped yelping. Picking himself up, he trotted over to where my brother was kneeling. Zeus simply put his head in and began to nuzzle my brother, licking his face, grinning in his dog-way through a ruined mouth.  

Zeus was just a big, loveable, wonderful dog. He was happy, and he loved to run. At the end, he couldn't run anymore. He could hardly walk. He could move and eat, but that effort tired him out. Even in his weakened state, though, Zeus' heart was just the same big love. We all said goodbye in our own ways this last week. He licked my hand one last time. Today, Zeus became too big for his body for the last time. He's running again. And he's loving it.


On the Nevada Desert Wavelength

I was driving back to Salt Lake City from Los Angeles last week when I hit that dreaded stretch of nothing just East and North of Las Vegas on I-15. Every time I make this trip, I'm reminded afresh why I just don't like this part of the country. It's dry; it's sandy; it's windy; it's deathy. So, in short, it's just four things I tend not to like all that much. So, here I am, driving at 12:00 am somewhere in the starched nowhere between Mesquite, NV and St. George, UT and in a moment of startling clarity realize I need to stay awake. It's probably not a good thing when you have to remind yourself that you need to stay awake when you're powering down the highway at freeway speeds. Needless to say, I took a swig of my Mtn. Dew, turned on the air conditioning, and pumped up the radio to sing along. Problem is, there is only one radio station that can broadcast all the way out into the starched nowhere: Las Vegas' own Hot KVEG 97.5. Blazin' Today's Hottest Music!!! Yep. You guessed it. In the middle of the desert, where water is scarce and the parched traveler must wend his drowsy way home, he gets graced with...Hip Hop. If you know me at all, you probably know that I really don't listen to Hip Hop much. At all. Really ever. But I needed to stay awake. It was my last alternative, I swear... and so for the next two hours or so, here's what I learned
  • When you're afraid of plunging off the road, you can hit some really impressive high notes.
  • Every time that Jay-Z speaks in rhythm and rhyme, you can't help but listen up and put your non-steering hand with your thumb, index, and middle fingers out wide, movin in sync with the music.
  • Rappers have some kind of preoccupation with champagne. Lots of it. Every song. Drinkin' it, pourin' it out, bathing in it, etc. Who knew?
  • Every gangsta who ever graced a rap album was some mother's baby boy or girl. Makes me wonder if Mrs. Dogg really named her baby boy Snoop, though...
  • Beethoven and Lil' Wayne would have been home boys. Yeeeeah. Tupac and Mozart, on the other hand, probably would have dueled with pistols held sideways for effect. (Speaking of Tupac and Mozart...you think they both faked early deaths to ensure their later success and legend? I wonder why no one's ever made this connection?)


I Just Geeked Out

...to Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before. Saw it. 70mm of IMAX Glory. Loved it. Wanted to cry, wanted to cheer, wanted it to be longer. (Greatest compliment I can give a movie). Felt like I was driving home at warp speed on I-80. Debated string theory at the Pie afterward. All in all, got my geek on.


I am a Free Man: Thoughts of a 20-Something Juris Doctor

Well, I know I announced it over a week ago, but this is still the biggest news in my life. Three years, 30 tear-streaked textbooks, a sedentary tummy, and a blown-out mind later, and I am now officially a Juris Doctor. Not that I can be called a doctor, mind you (unless I lived almost anywhere else in the world). But at least I've got that in my quiver of letters attached to my name. Better than BA, I suppose. After all that work and now the pomp and circumstance, I just wanted to share, as a newly christened attorney,* the five things I learned from law school. In no particular order: Lesson 1: Freedom is relative. Sure. You are free to spend your time as you like. In America, you even have certain freedoms, like speech, belief, and privacy. But, darn it, everything you do has a consequence. You didn't study hard enough for your exam? You were free to do it, but now you have to live with a cruddy score. You chose to study instead of spending time with your family? Shoot, the test was a success, but your kids/spouse/girlfriend/etc. have forgotten your name. We're free to live or not live our lives as we want. Greatest right on earth--liberty. But liberty can be a fickle lover. We have to be careful to watch ourselves in her presence. Lesson 2: Balance is relative. How many people did I hear say "You need to achieve balance in your life!" during law school. I totally agree with them. Balance is necessary for a sane mind. But how often do people confuse "balance" with doing other things--like being at home instead of working. Don't get me wrong--home time, family time, friend time, etc. That's mucho important. But, while I can physically be at home, how often are my heart and my head there with me? Is my brain wafting off to the office? Is my heart stuck somewhere else? Likewise, when I'm supposed to be working, are my thoughts there at the office/desk/assignment, or are they continually drifting off to light saber fights on Tatooine and strolls through the white city of Gondor, etc.? Balance is essential. But making my time, wherever it is, whole and dedicated and me ... that is even more important. Lesson 3: Genius is relative. I love my law school classmates. They are each brilliant individuals, and I'm sure so many of them are going to find tremendous success out there, within and even outside of the law. However, being in this environment, so stacked with booksmart people that have spent their entire lives easily racking up As and Gold Stars, I've learned that pure intelligence only goes so far. Intelligence is a tool that if not sharpened, and more importantly, if not used, can quickly dull and become no use to anyone. So what if I nailed a final exam? What does that prove? That I can memorize facts and rules, apply them mindlessly, and type faster than someone next to me? True genius, unlike pure intelligence, lies in creation. Taking the intelligence we've been blessed with and working with it, molding with it, creating...something. Anything. But genius requires work. And it requires dedication. Ultimately, true genius requires not just a head, but a heart and willing hands. I hope I graduated with 150 true geniuses. Now we get to go prove it. Lesson 4: Succes is relative. I did pretty well in law school. Grade-wise. I guess. But I'm much prouder of two other things: (1) the relationships I forged there: the people I touched and the people who touched me; and (2) the lessons I learned. I will always treasure those friendships I formed at BYU. I will always treasure those great lessons I learned, both in the law and in life. My grades will fade and will be replaced by other achievements (I hope). But the people...my friends and family...those will never fade. Lesson 5: Love is eternal. Where almost everything in this life seems to be relative--Freedom, Balance, Genius, Success--Love is not. It is elemental, it is concrete, it is everything. And if we're not motivated by it, inspired by it, or striving towards it, something grand is missing from our lives. Never thought I could include a post about love in memories from law school? The romantic in me is now utterly hopeless. ;) *subject to passing the Bar Exam in the relevant jurisdiction of my choice, of course.



Hey, sorry I've been an absentee blogger. That will change tonight. Watch for new posts tonight and several over he next few days. I've got lots stored up and need to get them out now that I'm free from the shackles of law school. :D Hip, hip, Hooray!!!