Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I played Tijeras Creek on Sunday.  6:24 tee time was brutal.  I naturally being my amazing self decided to wear shorts and a light sweater, but the cold must have helped me out because I only had two terrible tee shots all day; the rest were fine or at least I gave myself some kind of shot.  I putted well, I dropped a downhill twenty-five footer, and it was awesome.  I did skull a few shots because I was popping up to fast; it rather embarrassing but it happens.  I swung relatively easy and focused on crisp contact and the ball flew well.  I am excited because I feel I can kick up the power because I only felt I was swinging about 75% or 80%.  I was also proud of myself for keeping the profanities to a minimum.  Usually I am the first person to curse the ball when it misunderstands my intentions.  I have been known to also curse in multiple languages all in the same breath, quite impressively I might add.  Even when the shot was ugly, like tales from the crypt ugly, I managed to keep my cool and re-focus.  For example, I was on #17 and I hit a 3-wood and landed in the left side of the fairway.  Because I was 170 out, of the dogleg left, small undulating green and a creek blocking it so rolling it up was not an option, I wanted to hit a wedge and then play a lob really close. I managed to hit the wedge fat and have it roll 50 yards instead of the 110 I was expecting.  I ended up with a double bogey.  I was frustrated but I got over it and let the show go on.  I am certain had I been angry for longer than the duff shot my score would have been much worse than the double.  I think I was so calm because Saturday evening was so pleasant.
So I read, according the WSJ, the that the US government largely sided with the Vatican’s argument and that the 9th erred by allowing the sex-abuse case to go forward.  I am reading the Amicus Curiae brief and I am blown away.  Also, the theory of Respondeat superior is all over it.  As some of you may remember that was the topic of our memo for first semester.  Amazing, I understand some of this discussion which a few months ago seemed like gibberish at best.  I think justice would have been served best establishing that the Catholic Church in America functions as one unit instead of going after the Pope who is the leader of a sovereign nation.  I do not believe that what happened to the victims should go unpunished, however it seems too far fetched to expect the Supreme Court to try and drag the Holy See into an American court room.  We shall see how it pans out.  
Things are going good.  I have been really impressed and have really enjoyed this past weekend, hopefully it can happen more often; and that's all I have to say about that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Playing golf on Sunday.  Going to do the steepened swing, we shall see. But the putter will have to really perform or else…ebay that sucker.
“The laws that govern circumstances are abolished by new circumstances” - Napoleon Bonaparte
I think that the quote applies to most if not all situations relating from societal norms to modern warfare.  There are however certain areas of life that should not change.  For example, your moral prerogative should be immutable.  The way one determines what is right or wrong should not depend on circumstance or situation.  I recall reading an article about the Kennedy family dealing with their personal and political lives.  Personally they were Catholic and adhered to the Church as the rule for their lives, but politically they voted with the majority often times supporting views directly opposing their religious views.  Why do people feel the need to mutate that which should be perennial?  Why must we change our opinion just because the masses do?  Among my group of peers there has been a trend to go out and “live it up” while we are young.  A few of them are married or contemplating marriage and preach patience and to wait.  Many say they rushed into it, and although they have no regrets... they would have waited or done things a little differently.  It makes no sense that this group is also the one preaching “Carpe Diem.”  Carpe Diem, seize the day, is what got you into the mess you are in, why would you want me to join that club?  Why do they preach patience with respects to one aspect of life and then action with regards to other aspects?  Would it not be easier just to be the same for all situations; and in that manner form character and identity instead of relying on speculation and opinion to form the person we call “I”?  I think that proper reasoning should go into every decision you make, even the words that you choose.  So many times we think we are saying something, but our choice of words reveals something else.  As a youth I studied Latin.  Our professor never wanted to hear, “I’ll try.”  He would say that if you “tried” to eat you would die, better to just eat and live.  The words we choose have an effect on the way we look at things.  The whole glass half, glass full; think about it.  There is a reason why someone can say the same thing in two different ways and generate two completely different responses from the audience.  There is a limit to how careful we must be with our words.  The more careful you are, caution creeps in and innovations steps out.  There should be a balance, no verbal vomit, no silent 2 word person.  Your friends and acquaintances may influence which side you fall on; either too wordy or too quiet.  The key is to step up and accomplish something.  What is the point of seeking safety and assurance when those are but illusions of an ever-changing present?  Now I say the present is always changing, but there are universal truths.  I will not preach them here, at least not today - not really in the mood, but they exist and those do not change.  Your person, your ego, should be reconciled with your beliefs and vice versa.  Why live two lives?  It is pointless to present one face to the world and then be a pile of (expletive) in private.  It’s an insane expenditure of energy that can be better devoted to make something of yourself or help out society.  Heck, go plant a tree, ride a bike, pick up trash at the beach; do something but do it.  The perennial in all situations is you, the changing is how you interpret and act in each situation. Bam, permanence and change all rolled into one.
So the Arizona thing is getting a tad on the ridiculous side.  Let’s be honest, Immigration is a problem in America.  The problem has good and bad side effects, but regardless it is breaking the law to enter illegally.  However, Arizona’s law is going to generate not only a hostile response from illegal immigrants themselves but also from minorities in general who will inevitably be stereotyped by police.  I am not saying police are bad or doing it on purpose, but if they uphold the law, i.e. do their job, they will racially profile, it’s a fact.  Many will say that the law is not intended to racially profile anyone, hmm, how do you determine who to ask for documentation or not? Really, don’t be childish we all know this is simply a smoke screen so officers can be immigration officers in addition to their already taxing duties.  It is not fair to cops, you build a rapport with a community and now that community will not trust you because you can deport them, really smart AZ, A for effort Z for execution.  I read an article where Los Angeles City council decided May 12 to boycott the state of Arizona and Arizona based businesses to protest the new law.  Have you though this through LA? Let’s take more money away from AZ, strain their budget so they; 1. Can’t employ illegal immigrants you are boycotting on behalf of since nothing is selling and 2. Cannot collect taxes and afford adequate law enforcement; cops become careless and even reckless due to stress and being over worked.  Shortsightedness is what got that law issued anyway.  You want to make a statement CA?    How about this - issue temporary work visas for all Arizona Illegal Immigrants who can prove residency in that state for 10 years or more.  Offer incentives for them to leave AZ and relocate to CA, give them a Tax ID and have them pay taxes in CA.  Help our bottom line, and get the message across - CA and the country needs comprehensive reform not weak band aids that violate the foundation our country was laid on.

Monday, May 17, 2010

This Saturday I went with a few friends to a baseball game. I am one of those people who takes very few opportunities to really just hang out with the guys; whether it be because of school or work plans just do not seem to work out. We caught Padres home game against the LA Dodgers. It seemed like more of a home game for LA, or it just may be that LA fans are louder. I was merely a spectator on this one because I am true to my California Angels (I know the name changed but whatever I can say what I want). I enjoyed the difference in personalities. Standard, we are all talking trash on each other and naturally I remained as neutral as I could with regards to my team. For the record, no I am not bleeding blue anytime soon. Only Dodgers apparel I would purchase is either a # 34 or a Lasorda Jersey because I have a lot of respect for them as players and contributors to the game. It had been a while since I just had a chance to be one of the guys which is nice. Sometimes I forget that letting my guard down every once in a while is a good thing. Just chatting it up and giving each other a hard time and being genuinely interested in everyone just having a good time. I very much enjoyed it, I would have liked it more if it was a freeway series or if San Diego had some fans, but it seemed a lot of people just showed up because their team is in the lead; after the all star break we'll see. The day sort of reminded me in an odd way of how things just work out sometimes. Plans for me in general seem to go awry and not work out. There is always a missing link or a missing element in the process somewhere so nothing ever really happens. I think that it is a good thing that some plans it did not, for my life would be very different. Instead of sitting here contemplating how to become better person, I would be contemplating things that would require more immediate attention. All in all the day worked out and I am really glad those guys were all able to go out and have a good time. If any Padres fans were offended by any obscenities or jests that we may have extolled upon you, I am sorry that your team lost, better luck next time. Don't take that as a comment that I am a Doyers fan..because I am not. I am just saying. 

I have steepened the swing. That's all I can really say about it. I was flat on the swing and was not getting the power I wanted, nor was it consistent. The steepness has caused better contact, feels odd but it will be that way for sometime. I had a long range session and another today. It was good to get the feeling of crisp contact. I do however think that my timing is still off. Some shots go 15 yards further than others. Now, obviously that happens to everyone, but I am trying to get this sorted out in a week. We shall see how it goes. I think I will be able to so long as my putter does not forsake me. It better not or I am walking the plank and diving head first into a bunker.
I finished re-reading a book that I had not read for years. The Count of Monte Cristo. When I read that book I feel empowered, as if there is a greater purpose and sometimes no matter how much we rant and rave at our misfortunes; good deeds are rewarded and bad ones are punished. I know that we all know that Dantes fell in love with Haydee and it worked out for him in the end. In a way she helped him regain his humanity and leave his hatred and anger aside. His character has been reviewed enough. I do feel sad for Mercedes. I feel that she got the worst of it. She lost all credibility with Parisian society and fell to despair because she settled. She settled knowing that she would never love that guy the same way she loved Dantes. It must be a sad life to settle for something knowing that you never really wanted it to begin with, or that it is merely a replacement for something you lost. I am not saying that she should have never found true love again, that would be crazy talk, she was told Dantes was gone forever. But at least be patient and go at it full throttle when you know; running to the arms of someone else knowing you had not fully recovered was probably the nail that sealed her fate. Forever bound against morality, ethics and keeping happiness hostage never to be set free simply because of a moment of weakness. Halfheartedness only fetched a sea of regret and disappointment for her. Call me crazy but I would have preferred a million times the suffering that Dantes endured as opposed to living in regret and self loathing, that would be the death of me. There is a Mexican song, many have heard it and I will not say the artist...but the line translates as follows... “just because the cage is golden, does not mean it stops being a cage.”
Law school took a lot out of me this week. I barely starting to getting back into a sleeping pattern. I read an article in the WSJ Law Blog about a study at Cornell. The study showed physically unattractive criminal defendants are 22% more likely to get convicted and get longer sentences than physically attractive criminal defendants are. Insane, so apparently if you are going to commit a crime you should try and spruce yourself up for the jury. It make me feel better about my imperfections knowing that although justice has a blindfold she takes a peek every once in a while.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Golf has been my escape from stress and I really do need it.  Sometimes going to the range and just working on understanding my own mechanics is just the amount of relaxation needed.  Mind you, it can be frustrating and annoying at times; but that one shot that bores through the wind or the putt that drops after two or three breaks is worth all the work.  I have been going back to fundamentals recently.  I am checking my grip and my posture more often.  Focusing on those actually makes me forget about hitting the ball.  Apparently thinking about it is not a good thing; I stop thinking and the ball flies where I intend, I focus on it and blade it with style usually injuring trees and random bunkers in the process.  Putting is back in full effect, I was terrible for a little while there.  I have returned to a smooth stroke and focusing on after impact keeping the face of the putter connected to the ball as long as possible.  This has helped because the backstroke moving a millimeter would bug my eye and open or close the face.  However, the change of focus now means I care less about the backstroke and focus on impact and swinging through the putt. 
Tuesday was my last final of the second semester of law school.  It is insane how fast time passes by.  When I first started I was so excited to study law, now I am excited at the prospect that I may be studying law forever.  Law is an ever evolving series of judicial decisions and to be a part of it, even just studying as a law student has been a blessing.  I have mentioned this before but there are some brilliant people out there.  Every time I have the opportunity to speak to anyone at school I am amazed at how different our backgrounds are but at the same time how similar our future goals seem to be.  Not going to lie, when it is all said and done I am happy that there is a break.  I need to get a few weeks of a solid 8 hours of sleep per night and less driving.  The 120 miles per day mon-thrus begins to wear on you a touch. 
In the last few months I have had a series of insights provided either by friends or family that have really allowed me to evaluate my life and how truly blessed and lucky I am.  I have dodged bullets but also walked into great opportunities.  Figured I should say thanks, because even though it is tough to stomach some of the criticism I very much appreciate it.  The fact they care enough to offer positive criticism is a testament to their friendship and care.  And I am sorry for stressing you all out these past weeks especially my immediate family.  I know that I have been a distant…and to the Starbucks, coffee bean, and cafĂ© baristas; gracias.  If not for your coffee making talents I would have fallen asleep or lacked the fortitude to keep reading. 
Politics and sports have long held opposite sides of the field.  However, recently the Phoenix Suns, i.e. Los Suns, have openly protested the new Arizona law targeting illegal immigration.  I have written regarding the law and we shall see how it goes.  There are a lot of variables to be considered, but I think “as is” that attempt at reform is not appropriate and prejudicial; we do need national immigration reform and we need it soon.  The Wall Street Journal Law Blog informed that some towns in update New York are considering passing laws that all business should be conducted in English.  The issues raised are obviously, 1st amendment, in case of emergencies, prejudice against immigrants and the like.  Instead of creating laws to alienate people why not create incentives for a better mastery of the English Language.  Solicit more feedback from school districts in regards to what works and what does not.  Maybe we can reward schools for excelling in English skills.  It is short sighted to attempt and make laws that cause animosity and ill will.  We did not learn Iroquois, Cherokee, Apache or any other native tongue when we ran across the country did we?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Golf has been good to me this last week and half. I have not been at work because I have been studying for finals. So, naturally my breaks were going to the course between lattes and espresso shots. The issues that plagued me at the beginning of the year, i.e. the tee box, are all but a distant memory. My new foe is the second shot. I am always caught between an easy hybrid or a long iron shot. When I am in the rough I go with the iron, and fairway I go with the hybrid. However, the uneven lies are kicking me right in the gut. I cannot seem to get enough compression on the ball to get piercing ball flight. Freaking ball seems to get slapped by air, its frustrating. I have holed it from of the green with my wedges but that second shot just evades me. I also have been putting lights out; my green reading has become much more accurate. I am lagging it pretty close instead of trying to hole everything and more stuff goes in. I have paid attention to some advice and I am sticking with the same irons and its been going well, I am swinging easy with no loss to yardage so I know if I need too I can squeeze a few extra yards out of each iron.
School has been going well. I had my Contracts final last Tuesday. It was a challenge and I definitely was feeling it on Wednesday morning. I went and got a haircut and even the stylist said I looked tired. I was so out of it, it was bad. I think the weight off my shoulders was necessary. Next Tuesday is going to be Torts. I am excited but at the same time I am afraid. I really am panicked at the amount of information and precision I have to churn out. Not exciting, but I am confident I will rock it. I hope.
Now over the last few weeks I have been meeting and chatting with a plethora of different people. I feel anew. In the past years most of my energy when speaking was spent explaining things. I was always explaining why I said this or that. I was always discussing, repeating, re-iterating and never really understood. It was ridiculous…and I have been called out on it a few times but it never clicked till now. I’d explain things to people starting with the assumption they do not understand, or do not comprehend. Every time that I would say something I was careful to use simple sentences not too complicated and be ready to explain that which was said. Overtime my way of speaking with certain people became limited, regressed, and quite childlike. When asked why I never had anything to say or why I would speak so freely among strangers or friends I could not answer….but now I can. Any word with multiple syllables became an issue. My personality left as soon as my expressions did. As my speech was ever more regulated so were my manners and even my everyday conduct. I became like a child and all for what? To attempt to explain myself to those who did not understand nor had the desire too? Had they attempted to understand it would have been different, but frustration set in and ruined the relations with that group. I had become a mute in my own mind. It was choking my creativity and passion for life. It was really a sad life. It took me a while to explain why I felt empty and stupid all at the same time. I since have been able to speak freely and not have to check my mannerisms or personality at the door; it’s great. There is one person in particular who really helped me see that, not with speeches or demonstrations…just by being themselves and I am so grateful to them its impossible to explain. I am so calm now. I can speak and be understood and things that I would have to explain I no longer have too…its wonderful being able to be me…really me. It is scary but exciting all at the same time; it is a type of freedom of expression I am not used too. I imagine that’s how the founding fathers felt when the 1st amendment was scribbled onto paper, electricity in the air that was so powerful the ripples echoed around the planet. I think that God put good people in my path and opened my ears to good advice when I needed it. I pray I can help others the same way I have been helped. The reason I mention this episode is not for my personal gratification alone. But I know that there are tons of people out there with my same thought. You are quiet, unassuming and perennial, but at the same time it feels like something is missing, something is out there in the world that you know exists but is just over the horizon. Something, it is different for everyone. For me it was acknowledgment that I was not that weird and that I could be free to speak like myself without explanations and it was okay. For you it may be another goal…Buena suerte