Friday, November 19, 2010


The Bears won, 16-0.

See previous post for context.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eli Cares About the NFL?

Let it be written--this is the first time in my life I have ever cared about an NFL game (and that includes the Superbowl).

I haven't blog-announced this yet so I should give you an update before I explain my sudden interest in the NFL: I was recently offered a clerkship with a judge on the Utah State Court of Appeals. This is VERY exciting news for me and something I had been keeping my fingers crossed for for a while. I will tell you the following not to brag or pat myself on the back but just so you can get a sense of how excited I am about this: clerkships with judges are often very competitive to get, particularly clerkships at the appeals level. This year they are even more competitive than usual (I had some judges email me to say they received around 2,000 resumes for 1 or 2 positions). I have been wanting to do a post-graduation clerkship for a while as they are great experience, look wonderful on resumes, open a lot of doors, and seem very interesting. A court clerk works directly with a judge in his or her chambers and helps research, write, and generally get a good view of how a court works and how a judge makes decisions. I applied with many different judges and the judge that ended up offering me this clerkship was actually the one appeals judge that I wanted to clerk for the most from the very beginning of this process so it really is an absolute miracle that it worked out (due credit should be given to the professors at BYU and the attorneys I work with at the AG's office who gave me some great advice, encouragement and wrote wonderful letters of recommendation).

Now, this judge has two clerks working for him at any given time. He has a new clerk start every January and September and clerkships go for one year. So this judge hired myself and one girl (the professor I work for gets mad at me whenever I refer to any adult as "boy" or "girl" and tells me I need to take her "becoming aware" class, which is taught once a year and apparently covers the words "man" and "woman") who is attending a law school in California. He left it up to us to decide which one of us will start next September and which one of us will start the following January (2012). We connected via email and initially neither of us had strong feelings one way or another so we've sort of stewed over it for a few weeks. After getting advice from various trustworthy sources (included Bob and Cathie, who have never led me astray yet, except for one time when I was 7 and Cathie told me that it's important to write in your journal because that way if you ever get accused of murdering someone, you can open your journal to that page and show someone that you have an alibi, thus leading me to a lifetime of consistent journal writing which from ages 7 to 12 contained many very calculated and detailed accounts of where I was at certain times of the day in case the motherly advice I was given ever came to fruition. She also used to tell me that she had an eye on the back of her neck but I still don't know whether that one is true. There was also the whole Santa Clause thing. But in my adult life, they've been 100% reliable), I decided that September would be a better option for me. The other clerk also decided that September would be better for her.

So to resolve it, I proposed that the outcome of our decision be based on tonight's game between the Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears (after having my sports savvy friend help me figure out what upcoming game might be close--this is something I never could have figured out on my own). She responded and chose Miami. So there you have it: if Chicago wins tonight, I will start my clerkship next September. My life's fate comes down to a football game.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's Happening Again

Bad things are happening with my mind.

We all know that this is normal--law school tends to do this to me as the semesters progress (flashback to infamous incidents such as putting soap and laundry in the washer and never starting it as a 1L, undressing in a study room thinking I was at home as a 1L, losing my shoes at school on multiple occasions without ever remembering taking them off, etc.).

Two weeks ago I got a call that my car was fixed since the big traumatic accident. I had been driving a rental car for about 10 days (and I still don't know what kind of car it was, much to the disappointed shock of one friend of mine who could identify model, make, year, and interior accessories by glancing at any one square inch of any vehicle from 100 yards away). Corey came with me to drop off the rental and then hitch a ride with those people to the auto body shop. Simple project. Unfortunately it didn't all go as well as one might hope.

I told the car rental people where my car was located and some guy gave us a ride to that place. We went in and the following conversation took place with the girl working at the front desk:

Girl: Hi, can I help you?
Eli: Yes, I'm here to pick up my car.
Girl: Ok, last name?
Eli: McCann, two c's, two n's.
Girl: [type, type, type] alright and you have the Honda Civic?
Eli: Yup!
[silence for a moment while she pulls up my records]
Corey: Um . . . no you don't.
Eli: No I don't what?
Corey: You don't drive a Honda Civic. You drive a Nissan.
Eli: Um . . . oh yeah. I don't drive a Honda.
Girl: Um . . . I don't have a Nissan here.

One phone call later I discovered that my car was at a completely different place on the other end of town; a place with a name that was in NO WAY similar to the name of this auto body shop that I had originally instructed the rental guy to take us to. I thought for a moment about a way to explain to the rental guy that my vehicle had been moved, but he looked more intelligent than an animal so I gave up on that plan.

Eventually we made it and I retrieved my vehicle, only to discover the next day that there were a couple of things wrong with it that weren't wrong before. So I drove back to the auto body shop (the correct one this time) and explained my two very disconcerting problems to the owner.

The result:

1. The light failing to turn on automatically is not actually a tragic "electrical problem" (as I had termed when I walked in) but simply a failure to flip the switch from "off" to "on" on the light itself.

2. The automatic locks making a slightly louder sound than usual is not indication that my car is about to blow up, but indication that new power locks were placed in the door and simply have a little more power than the old ones.

I nodded and gave them a knowing "just as I suspected" look as I quickly backed out of the door, only to avoid driving anywhere near that end of town for the rest of my life (or until I undergo enough plastic surgery to be unrecognizable by anyone).

Then this week happened, where, other than making from scratch mac and cheese for 400 people for 5 hours on Wednesday night where I was the only one of the 6 of us who seemed to think we needed to be in a hurry and got really bossy after a while, barking out orders while my arm was stuck in a tall bucket, stirring 70 pounds of noodles and hot cheese sauce (another story for another day), I had the most miserable experience of my life trying to get my fingerprinting done and mailed off for the Utah bar application on Friday.

Before actually taking the fingerprints, a nice police officer with a moustache typed in my personal information into a computer. Unfortunately, this happened:

Cop: Address?
Eli: Um . . . [gives an address that is a mix of the last 3 places I've lived]
Cop: Social Security number?
Eli: [first gives his BYU ID number and then has to stand silently for 15 seconds while the pressure mounts to remember the social]
Cop: What year were you born?
Eli: 2004 (said confidently and without hesitation).
Cop: Um . . . ?
Eli: Oh! Sorry! I mean 1998.
Cop: Um . . . 1998?
Eli: Yeah. I don't know why I said 2004.
Cop: So, you're 12 years old?
Eli: ?
Cop: 1998? That would make you 12.
Eli: Oh, I mean 1984.
Cop: Are you sure about that.
Eli: Well I'm 25 now.
Cop: Ok.
Eli: No! I'm 26! But 1984 is correct.

I then spent the rest of the day wondering why 2004 and 1998 were so significant in my mind that I would declare each as my year of birth. And I'll tell you right now, NOTHING significant happened in either of those years for me. In fact, they are probably the two least significant years of my life in terms of mile-stones or other life-changing events.

Do they make medication for this kind of stuff?

~It Just Gets Stranger