Friday, July 28, 2006

Photo Op

Summer Law Intern Appreciation Day

(L) - Me. (R) - United States Attorney (S.D.N.Y.), Michael Garcia

"Highlights of Mr. Garcia's career as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York include convictions of four Al Qaeda members who conspired with Osama Bin Laden to kill Americans by bombing two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the World Trade Center in 1993, as well as the planting of bombs aboard American passenger airlines in the Far East. After successfully attaining these guilty verdicts, he was nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement, where he led an agency charged with preventing sensitive technology from falling into the hands of those who could use it to harm U.S. national security.

In December of 2002, President Bush named Mr. Garcia as Acting Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) where he led the transition of that agency into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a monumental task that not only required him to establish a new agency while at the same time dissolving a 36,ooo-person agency. He was then named as Acting Assistant Secretary of DHS, heading up the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. There, Garcia led an organization of nearly 14,000 employees, including 5,500 federal agents, the second largest federal law enforcement agency. He remained in this position until becoming U.S. Attorney in August."

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ears. So Hot Right Now.

Hey. You with the Bluetooth.

Yeah, you.

If you're not talking to anybody, then take that ridiculous, self-important parasite off your ear before my flying elbow does it for you.

What's wrong with you?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

No Thanks, Just Visiting.

This post probably deserves a little more than just the barebones I'm about to give it. But, for the first time since Mom was diagnosed, I finally have direction again. Between taking time off or transferring or staying put, the future seemed all too ethereal. But, for now, there's some clarity.

For the coming academic year, I'll be taking classes at Yale Law (kind enough to admit me as a Visiting Scholar) while still earning credit for my degree at Stanford (kind enough to receive credits from a school fundamentally disabled at teaching legal analysis, according to one Prof. Robert Weisberg).

I'm happy that I'll be close to home. New Haven is less than two hours away by ferry - which is cheaper and easier than Palo Alto's seven hours by air and then car. Though I'll miss some of the people and places from last year over the next, this decision was pretty much a no brainer. It's important to me that I see Mom and my family as much as possible throughout this ordeal. Especially on days like today when CAT-scans return with the results of another ten weeks of chemotherapy.

So, aside from figuring out where I'm living, what classes I'm taking, or where this leaves me as far as Fall interviews, I'm all set...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New Jack City

I think I saw Nate Robinson at the 40/40 club last night.

That brings the celebrity count this summer to 4.

1. Kirsten Dunst @ Starbucks on Worth & Broadway.
2. Queer Eye Puerto Rican guy @ 37 Arts Studio.
3. Billy Connolly @ 37th St. & 10th Avenue.
4. Nate Robinson @ 40/40.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fire With Fire?

I understand that Israel has the need and right to defend herself in the face of rogue terrorists like Hezbollah.

But, even so, is that any justification for unapologetically blitzing Beirut's suburbs and airport? When did collateral civilian casualties become so condoned by the developed world? Secure the border. Fine. Fire rockets into militant strongholds. Absolutely. But, this bombardment just doesn't seem like responding in kind. These acts seem wildly disproportionate, callous, and haphazard.

I only assume (and hope) that they know something that I don't. Otherwise, I'm now entirely convinced that "international law" is complete farce. Or, at best, is as binding on and respected by State actors as Martha Stewart's rules of etiquette are on the rest of us.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Camera Crazy

Best picture that I've ever seen of Shuli.

And it was taken with a crappy camera phone. But, don't let her 5th Avenue flavor fool you. Though she'll look at a mountain of clothes and find nothing to wear, she can bake with the best of them. The large batch of oatmeal walnut cookies she made from scratch were inhaled by the crim div interns today well before the morning was out.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Drop It Like It's Hot

I think that law is the last profession that asks those practicing it to wear a suit every day. I've noticed that even the bankers and corporate types have fell into the good graces of some business casual revolution. Given the heat wave blanketing the city and the country this week, this is all very unfortunate.

It's just not fun to show up to the office with a freshly broken sweat. And, normally, I hate when people talk about the weather. I don't know why. I guess I find it the quintessential shallow platitude.

But, this is different. This is the type of oppressive heat that makes headlines. All at once, the gripes about mercury rising are serious. It's just too hazy outside my window for me to take the high ground.

Right Now for
New York, NY (10007)

Partly Cloudy
10:15 a.m.
Feels Like

UV Index: 5 Moderate

Wind: From W at 5 mph

Humidity: 37%
Pressure: 29.95 in
Dew Point: 62°F
Visibility: 10 miles

I can also see Brooklyn from this seat. So, about the suit, fuggetaboutit. It's dress down Monday.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Best Cartoon Ever?

There was a great Seinfeld episode about the obnoxiously highbrow nature of New Yorker cartoons. But, this one speaks for itself. And speaks well.

Seeing that I do reside between 9th and 10th Avenues this summer, I actually can affirm that this drawing is largely to scale. I can't wait to pick up here full time. This city casts it's shadow everywhere.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Who's The Boss?

As M. Drury, of Hoboken, writes in a question today to ESPN's The Sports Guy, "The Rising" is still "the only artistically valid musical statement about 9/11."

I agree. From my office this summer, I can see ground zero. I'm reminded of the attacks every day now. The hardest part in confronting this is that it's been five years already. Ordinarily, it's time that heals the wounds. But, what, if anything, have we accomplished since? It's just shameful. Listening to this tune and staring at that barren plot is more than enough to give me the chills and clench a fist.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Is This A...What Day Is This?

This is the Bellagio. These are the famous fountains.

There is also a botanical garden, a gallery of fine art, and a dozen pools set in Mediterranean villa style. Other amenities include a spa, salon, golf course, and, of course, a wedding chapel. There are five gorgeous bars, seven decadent restaurants (including Le Cirque and Prime Steakhouse), five more casual eateries, a bakery, a gelato shop, and the most ridiculous buffet that I ever laid eyes on - are five types of cooked salmon really necessary at breakfast?. There's enough convention space to hold a prize fight and a theater large enough to host a branch of Cirque Du Soleil. There are also close to twenty shops to indulge on fashion, like Armani, Gucci, and Prada, and jewelry, like Tiffany & Co. Oh, and it's a casino too. One that houses the most famous poker room in the world.

So, yeah, I would have been content spending the entire weekend in doors. That is, if the high times in poker season didn't draw me over to the Rio for my big chance to become the next amateur winner in the World Series.

I lasted 104 minutes in the World Series...

1. Level 2 Blinds - $25/$50
2. Under the gun, with $600 in chips remaining, I limp with Qc-Jc.
3. One more limper comes in behind.
4. Brad Booth, respected cash game player at the Bellagio, raises from the button to $125.
5. Both blinds fold.
6. I call. Other limper calls.
7 . Flop comes: Jh, 9s, 5d.
8. Having made top pair with good kicker, I move the rest of my $475 stack into the $450 pot.
9. Limper folds.
10. Booth pauses, looks at his moderate stack, and calls. Though the flop missed him completely, he turns over big suited connectors. Kh-Qh.
11. The Qd peels off the turn. I make my top second pair, but Booth picks up a gutshot straight draw...
12. which hit when the 10s spiked on the river. Damn.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. I even got my own bad beat story out of the price of admission. But, the real thrill was playing against the legends in the game. And outlasting some of them.

Running on less than four hours of sleep right now, I'm still in a post-Vegas haze. But, I know that it was hot as hell and with enough vices to make sure you end up there. It was, also, an amazing place to be a romantic and food fan in.

I can't believe it took me this long to get there. But, if t-zero is turning 21, I guess that it really wasn't quite the wait. Other highlights of the trip include: [This portion of text has been deleted by the "What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" commission]

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vegas Baby. Vegas.

Sat., July 8 at 12:00 p.m.
Event #14 - W.S.O.P., No Limit Hold'em
$1000 Buy-In

Lubester: did i tell you that i'm going to vegas with shuli this weekend?
BMJames1: yes
Lubester: but did i tell you about this...Sat, Jul 8 at 12:00 PM, Event #14 - WSOP No Limit Hold'em $1,000
BMJames1: nope
Lubester: well it airs on espn on oct 17, so you'll have to wait a while to see how i do
BMJames1: if you lose, make sure you at least make a scene to get on camera
BMJames1: start trash talking immediately after sitting down--before the first hand is even thrown out
Lubester: if i sit with anyone of poker note, you can expect me to run wild with trash
Lubester: and, dear god, if i win a hand in the wsop...even pick up blinds...i'm going to get my 5 seconds of fame
BMJames1: thats my Jonny
Lubester: what should i say people call me?
Lubester: how should i dress? poncho?
BMJames1: poncho and aviators
BMJames1: "The Gringo"