Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mock Trial: Legal Litigators or Alcohol Induced Actors

When I was younger I always dreamed of being a lawyer.  As time progressed and stole the years of my youth, I began to believe that I didn't have the stuff of lawyers.  I had no drive, I wasn't that smart, I wasn't socially blessed.  But as time progressed, I returned to school, brought my grades up, changed my major, and saw the light at the end of the tunnel.  Now sporting a 3.0, I began to look at eventually conquering that last windmill.  The Mock Trial Team.  I envisioned a group of overly dedicated scholastic slave drivers who were hounded by family and an internal need to succeed.  I found that in order to become a member of a team, one simply had to attend the requisite course and show aptitude and interest and you too could become a member.  So I joined a class called Trial Evidence and Procedure believing it to be a traditional theory based socraticly taught course.  Which would be followed by a tryout for the team and my eventual ascention.  I could have never known the reality.  The class is a hands on primer, a collegial carbon copy of the technical school model.  A hands on dirty hands version requiring the students to participate and stage different mock trial scenarios and gain experience through performance.  I thought of it as a Theatre class.  And then I got the fever.  For a short time I got a burst of desire to excel and propel my team to the heights of the class.  Nothing would stop our domination!  And thats when I realized we were all college students.  The very students that wrote papers last minute, drowned themselves in alcohol, and played games on their computers during class were now going to shift, become responsible, meet deadlines, and be available.  After heading the group until the first trial, I realized the folly of my thinking.  I would have to take a much more hands off approach.  so I stepped back and analysed my next move, reassigning roles within the group, and allowing others to test the waters of leadership in the hopes that added responsiblility would engage the members.  After weeks of preparation and conflicting schedules we performed against other class teams for spots in upcoming competitions.  Three of our group were chosen for outside competions alongside the "masters."  This is it! We've made it! Now we're with the Big Boys!  Excited for this chance to learn from the "Old School,"  I waited for our first meeting.  In the interim, members dropped out, last minute replacements were found, and schedules were worked out.  The meeting came and went and I realized what was what.  We were all just students (albeit some with experience), and everyone was trying to find their niche in a conflicted and confusing process.    I also learned that the win is not in a great performance by an individual or even by a lawyer and his/her witness.  The victory is in the ebb and flow.  The whole court case should sound smooth and fluid with bumps that are minimized and marginalized and clear cut easily understood ideas.  The defense needs to discredit the prosecution, and the prosecution needs to befuddle the defense.  The closing ties everything together, and imprints a lasting impression on the mind.  The final result is a story told.  And that is victory.  Victory is in the story.  But that was not my only impression.  These people work hard, and play hard.  I heard jokes, and stories, and saw drinking and obscenities, and I realized we were not just going to Duke to kick some ass as stiff necked tight collared automatons.  We were going to Kick ass, Take names, and get silly afterwords.  And that's alright too ;)

Bringing Sexy Back at Door 44!

There are nightclubs and then there are nightclubs. 
While many of you might see this as the asinine statement of the evening it has a certain transcendental truth to it.  And that is this, some nightclubs are actually nightclubs and some nightclubs are venues.  Take Door 44 for example.  Door 44 is a nightclub found on 44 12th St in Atlanta.  On a busy night or any time after 12pm you will find yourself faced with a combination of baddies ranging from Boris, Dr. No, or even the ubiquitous John Cena staring back at you with all the scrutiny of a Homeland Security agent guarding entrance into the CONUS (Continental United States).  After passing your background check (Did you bring Pretty Women?), you get the nod and the wave, and enter into the sexiest club in Atlanta.  This club is small by my Compound, Opera, standards, but exudes a sexiness not found in most of its erstwhile companions.  In fact one gets the impression that Door 44 might be the slutty friend of Opera, Compound, and Primal that gets excluded from the society outings for fear of how she might behave.  Door 44 is the one you take home to your mom, but then realize the tactical error as she begins to trace her toungue around the rim of her glass at dinner or deepthroats shishkabobs.  Her scent lingers when she passes, and she hugs others just a little too long.  And you're pretty sure she just pinched your dads ass.  as you walk further in, the Red Louis Vuittonesque wallpaper reminds you of an old french Brothel, while the glass cased counter filled with assumedly fresh rose petals adds the right touch of romance to an establishment that's one martini away from getting fucked.  Add in the metal art on the walls with fleur de lis', and the flat panels with Art Nouveau Backgrounds and scantily clad women in the foreground grinding away against indescribable objects.  The VIP is not exactly VIP, its on ground level and clearly within view of the masses, but it is roped off so as to say: this is our side, and that is yours, see our oppulence and despair.  This would normally describe a seedy bar until you factor in that the entire entrance is a dancefloor, and in the background behind his podium lies the arbiter of justice himself.  Spinning a delighful blend of hip hop and top 40's with snippets of rarer fare, The Judge (that's what I call him) lays down the law with some of the most innovative (albeit premixed) backbeats and transitions to be found in a nightclub (sans visiting DJ's).  And who could forget the bartenders?  These lovely ladies slither sexily behind their counter delivering deliciously luscious libations to the awaiting masses.  They actually interact with thier patrons (imagine that?) and respond well to good tippers.  Don't be shocked to see Aphrodite staring back at you from across the counter locking you with her emerald eyes as she hands you your first (of several) comped drinks.  This trendier atmosphere attracts a more refined crowd despite its attempted "street" personna, and it shows both in the attitude of the patrons and the interactions.  The ladies are plentiful and seem to be outnumbered, which is quickly rectified by the smooth and predatory gentlemen (ahhhm... me) that are happy to part them from their platonic escorts (sorry dude, but she's not taken, although you have been ).  I found several of the ladies I... talked?... to that night to be shockingly interesting and not drunk and stumbling like the majority of the Dancehall style clubs.  And there wasn't a single butaface in sight(sorry ladies, but guys have different esoteric needs).  The end result is that the venue is exceptional, and I will be found frequenting it's red hued heights smiling across from ( not down at) you on a sultry evening here soon. ;)

The Final Solution: Grazing the green grasses of Kennesaw State University

Attn: The Sheeple@ KSU
So Students decided to camp outside of the police annex at Kennesaw State University two nights ago in protest of homelessness, and in support of Homeless Awareness day or something.   Why on earth would you trivialize homelessness by camping outside of a campus police department on perfectly manicured grass in brand new tents with guitars and marshmallows over sterno cans in some sort of callous attempt at coming off as caring or being socially responsible.  Of course no one likes the homeless' plight.  But I'm pretty sure adding to the Coleman coffers is not beneficial to any homeless people.   And guess what?  We were all aware of homelessness.  If you really cared, you'd volunteer to help the homeless, and get your friends to go too! That's real progress.  not a touchy feely "Koombayaahh" damn weinie roast fascade of a damn awareness campaign.  I thought that time would temper my immediate disdain, but it has served only to temper the flavors of my disdain and accentuate the notes of displeasure within.  I even went and walked through Ground Zero of the "squalid" sectors of multifamily tents laced with the smells of Off Backwoods Mosquito Repellant.  The Home Depot or Walmart thanks you for your purchases, now go home and leave homelessness to those who sadly do it best... actual homeless!

In the Beginning...

I've often thought about starting a blog and here it is. I'm not sure what's good and well in regards to blog posts as I've never really followed anyone else's blog posts, so if I'm out of wack, too bad. I think as this is my first offering, I'm going to make it about a series of thoughts that consistently runs through the course that is my mind. I thought by giving this blog the title of Ruminations I would speak to it's nature as thoughts not necessarily acted upon so please don't be alarmed by the wild machinations of my dropped on head as a kid mind. ;)