Archive for June, 2010

Tappin The Rockies

Well not really tappin’ the Rockies. I left Johnny Law at home alone last week with strict orders to get ahead on bar prep while I was gone for the annual conference my organization puts on. His response..well, after initial chuckles he came into use the bathroom while I was taking a shower and flushed the toilet which has a direct effect on the shower temperature..then he laughed at me again.

I’ve been busy and sleep deprived for  a while now, so don’t expect too much from this post. But I thought I would share a sampling of the photos I’ve taken while I’ve been here.

The 16th Street Mall area here in Denver is amazing. Its the perfect location for people attending events in the Conference Center to wander around into restaurants and pubs, and it has some of the best people watching I’ve ever seen. In fact, if the buildings weren’t so nice I’d swear I was in Eugene.

Exhibit A

Seattle has the pigs, Spokane has the ugly bears, CDA has moose, and naturally Denver has these.

I love Colorado Women

Johnny Law's Bike

Johnny Law's Stolen Bike

Backstory: When we moved to Eugene, my Dad gave Johnny Law his old bike. This bike was over 10 years old and had been thru a fire…yep, you read that correctly, it has survived a fire. But, someone in Eugene still thought it was worth stealing (it was definitely not). I nearly had myself convinced that Eugene was feeding stolen bikes to Denver until I realized the paint on this one looked too nice.

PS- Love Denver..

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An Ode To Hoopfest

It was the summer of Oooh fiivve (sing to the tune of Summer of 69’)

Five years ago, in a house on Desmet Street off the Gonzaga campus, (most likely not suitable for living by anyone other than college students), I was “picked up” by Johnny Law.

..actually “picked up” isn’t the correct term. More like he talked to me between swigs of Jack Daniels and Coke (he had only recently discovered this combination) and I was happy to have someone to talk to since I only knew one other person at the party. By the end of the night he had my number, and I had explained to him what Hoopfest was—how could someone living in Spokane not have a clue about its most famous holiday coming up in one short week?

Growing up, Hoopfest was always my favorite event of the summer. One year I think I had something like 15 family members playing on different teams. That was the year my Dad tried to relive his youth and ended up with a bum ankle for the rest of the year. We were really all just happy that he and my uncle didn’t suffer heart attacks. I’ve played on a court within 50 yards of a knife fight, I’ve witnessed a mother run onto the court and punch an opponent of her son’s team, I’ve lost my temper and yelled at one of my opponents parents (I contest he yelled at me first)—this event really brings out the best in people. Those are all obviously extreme examples that the Hoopfest committee wouldn’t appreciate me reminding people of. For every crazy parent or person re-living their non-glory playing days, there are lots of great people coming together to put on the largest 3-on-3 event in the U.S.—it’s an awesome event. I love running into people I haven’t seen in years, I love watching my cousins play, I love watching my brothers and sister play—heck I love watching strangers play. As you can imagine, the people watching is also phenomenal.

A week later Johnny Law proceeded to follow myself and about 15 of my girlfriends from college around for the entire weekend. Since I had only seen him once before people were surprised at this development, but only a few of them were creeped out by our new ginger stalker. Although our team was at least 75% hungover come Sunday, we somehow managed to win the Losers Bracket (if you would’ve seen our ragtag bunch playing—this victory would amaze you). Michele also threw what I think was the best Hoopfest party ever.

The rest as they say—is history.

The next couple years after that Johnny Law and I played on a team together (we were terrible), and now each year this weekend rolls around I’m bummed out that I can’t go back and get my people-watching fix for the year. The ISTE Conference that my organization puts on falls on Hoopfest weekend every year so I have to put on my big girl pants on and go to work. This year I’ll be running around like a crazy person all weekend, and Johnny Law will be confined to our apartment cramming his mind with all that law garbage while a lot of our old buddies are officially kicking off summer.

To get my fix this year, I dug up some old videos one of our friends, Eric Lindstrom put together. He is becoming quite the filmmaker so I want to give him a little shoutout here if you haven’t heard of him yet. He’s getting married this year (congrats!) and he’s started up a company in San Diego called Faded Twilight Productions. If you’re in the San Diego or Spokane area you should check him out.

Enjoy!

Friends Don’t Let Friends Have Rattails

Warning: No rattails were harmed during the writing of this blog post.

Since I live a few hundred miles from my sister, we only really use text messages and Facebook to stay in touch on the most important things in life. On almost a weekly basis, I receive a text message or email from her with an update on our family or life in general that makes me laugh so hard I start to tear up a little bit.

Last month, it was rattails.

If you’re not familiar with rattails, see the picture below for a refresher (we’ve all seen them before), and you can also click this Wikipedia post for a full explanation.

It all began when my sister informed me that she saw a family at her local Wal Mart that was comprised of two rattails and two mullets. Now, my sister is much more fashionable than I am, but even I know rattails are out of style and need to be stopped. All great people, just unfortunate, outdated haircuts.

Full disclosure: While writing this post it occurred to me that I once was kissed by someone in elementary school who had a rattail. In my defense, it was on the bus, during the 80’s, and my bus route went through a trailer park which was completely beyond my control. There is also photo evidence of me having terrible haircuts throughout my childhood. I’m not here to judge, as humans we just need to help each other out.

I’m calling for an end to the rattail. But first, I’ll invite you to share your best rattail photos. It seems that everywhere I go these days, someone has just had an epic sighting, and I don’t want to miss out on any more of them. In fact, when Johnny Law and I went to the beach last weekend, I forgot to take photos of the gorgeous cloud-free day we had, but I took this one of a rait-tailer sharing the bar with us.

It's hard to see, but he's sportin' tail. There's also an attractive woman hanging all over him...he must be rich- there's no other logical explanation as to why she'd put up with that thing.

That same weekend, one of my friends snapped a photo at Winco of someone with a triple-rattail! These things must be stopped.

I’m unsure of what the prize will be, but email your submissions to barexamblog@gmail.com and I’ll share them with readers and give you photo credit or keep you anonymous- whichever you prefer.

United for an end to the rattail!

Like Sand Through The Hourglass…So Are The Days of Our Lives

That video will probably be the highlight of this post. When it came to thinking of today’s blog post I thought I’d do a “day in the life”, and then this song sort of hit me. I must have it ingrained in my mind from years of walking over to my Grandma’s house to watch soap operas with her. Technically she stopped watching Days sometime in her 80’s, because it was too unrealistic with so many people dying and coming back to life all the time.

But Young and the Restless, General Hospital, and a few others were realistic enough for her…hmmm

Here’s a run down of a day in our lives.

6:00-7:15: At least three different alarms go off signaling us to wake up (not necessarily succeeding). Johnny Law’s always up first (which is much different than when he was in school).

8ish in the morning: Out the door in opposite directions.

8ish at night: Both of us return to the homestead around this time. Oddly enough we always get home about the same time even though our schedules are always different. Kind of eerie.

I light my birthday cake smelling candle to try and cover up the musty/fresh paint smell in our dungeon/apartment and try and scrounge up the least-work-required dinner option. Since we don’t have TV anymore we pop in whatever old DVD we’re on. We blew thru 30 Rock while we were moving so right now we’re on a diet of Star Wars or Lord of the Rings if Johnny Law beats me home, or the West Wing if I win the race.

10:00: I try and hit the sack so I’m not too grumpy the next day. If Johnny Law hasn’t resumed studying, he starts doing some timed comps by now.

12am ish: I assume Johnny Law comes to bed after finishing up studying for the day. Or he could be playing the trombone he has stashed away in our guest bedroom for all I know- I wouldn’t wake up for anything.

…rinse…spin…and repeat

Tapping Into Johnny Law’s Graduation Treasure Chest

I finally found a positive out of this law school mess- graduation gifts…ones directed my way. I’ve pretty well milked the graduation cash cow for all its worth. I had two of my own, and I cleaned up pretty well at Johnny Law’s. Last weekend was my final day of glory, and we finally figured out the right way to visit the city of Florence on the Oregon Coast.

A lot of people in Eugene head out to the coast a lot since its just over an hour or so out-of-town, but we’re not those people. The one time we went before we didn’t plan ahead and sort of stumbled around- but now I feel like a seasoned pro. Here’s my tips:

#1: Have someone else pay.

Johnny Law was nice enough to ask for this as his graduation gift from his parents so they hooked us up with a place to stay, golf, and dinner. Best graduation gift ever (granted not mine, so I may be a bit biased).

#2 Go to the Waterfront Depot Restaurant. A reservation is highly recommended, but if you blow yours like we did, you might be able to get a spot at the bar. Downside: This will make you drool over the homemade cakes during your main course and you will not be able to leave without a slice of it. Horde and eat as much of it as you can, it’s phenomenal. Also, take my advice and get the halibut. If you forget, its ok, anyone who works there will tell you to get it also because its famous.

The Amazing Cakes!

#3 Then have a nightcap at Wakonda Brewing. I’ve got to thank Yelp for this one. This is a local brewery (the owner gave me a sample out of a mason jar), and here you’re sure to get the skinny on all the local characters as well as how much they dislike the traffic when tourists are in town. Usually I only like one of the eight or so beers we sample from a “real” brewery. I like two of the four poured here. Johnny Law also said this place had the best stout he’d ever tasted locally. A good-nurtured hop-bashing ensued for a few minutes.

#4 Stay at Driftwood Shores. The place is swarming with families, but some children are cute in small doses, and all their rooms face the beach so you can sit on your balcony and look at the ocean all day long if you want to.

#5 Golf at Sandpines. I’ll amend that. If you don’t care about your score, or getting windburned, golf at Sandpines. It was an excellent course, beautiful to look at, but you’re going to spend a lot of time…you guessed it…in the sand. Totally worth it though.

Since Johnny Law so graciously shared his graduation gift with me, I let him win at golf. Just wanted to make sure I got that in there for the record.

An Education In Patent Agents

Usually my blog is filled with junk—my own unsubstantiated observations and conclusions about Johnny Law and a few jabs at lawyers and law students. Since I’m yet to write anything that takes the law seriously, I thought every once in a while I might write something that actually explains the law.

Today’s topic: Patent Agents

Johnny Law is already a patent agent. Lucky for him and a select few of his classmates, people who want to be Patent Lawyers get to take two bar exams-the regular Bar Exam and the Patent Bar Exam. Hence the title of my blog- Wife Behind Bar(s). The Patent Bar Exam is taken on a computer and is a multiple chose test. You just hand over your money a couple of months in advance, wait around for your test date, and sit in a room for 8 hours hoping you don’t fail and have to do it all over again.

Johnny Law passed the Patent Bar last spring, so now he can write and submit patents to the US Patent and Trademark Office. Its so official that you could go to the USPTO website and look him up if you really had time on your hands.

If you’re into history like I am, you might think this stuff is pretty interesting. Thank you Wikipedia for dumming-it-down for me.

The legal basis for the United States patent system is Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution, wherein the powers of Congress are defined. It states, in part:
“The Congress shall have Power … To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;”
The mission of the Patent and Trademark Office is to promote “industrial and technological progress in the United States and strengthen the national economy” by:
• administering the laws relating to patents and trademarks;
• advising the Secretary of Commerce, the President of the United States, and the administration on patent, trademark, and copyright protection; and
• providing advice on the trade-related aspects of intellectual property.

Pretty amazing that the Framers of the Constitution had the foresight to see how important patents are…and now Johnny Law can continue in the spirit of capitalism by charging for his services…(cue evil laughter).

That is, when he’s done studying…only 47 more days until its all over.

…And Bar Prep Officially Begins

After a couple weeks of kicking back, today Johnny Law officially sets foot (rather, his behind) back into the same seats he painfully sat in for three years of law school, this time for two months of bar preparation. It seems kind of mean to me for him to have to go back to the place he probably flipped off the day he finished his final exam, but studying five minutes from home really is quite convenient, with limited distractions, so there ya go.

To enjoy his last weekend of freedom we road tripped it to the metropolis of The Dalles. You might be familiar with this town from the AMAZING old-school Oregon Trail computer game (I played it on floppy discs—half the time I made it to victory by caulking my wagon down the river, the rest of the time I died of dysentery).

This weekend the occasion was another graduation, this time celebrating Johnny Law’s youngest sister. The Dalles graduation is hands down the best graduation I’ve ever been to—no offense intended for my siblings or my parents for all of the stuffy ones they’ve sat through. Upon entering I was once again bummed out that I didn’t have my camera, but it was the first day in weeks I’d been outside without an umbrella so I was busy soaking up some vitamin D and was a very happy camper. This was the first high school graduation I’ve been to on a football field, and it had a little something for everyone. There were some nice speeches, and lots of crowning achievements to celebrate, but what we loved was seeing the whole town come out to support the grads. Priceless people watching for the entire family.

See, The Dalles is really awesome!

When we got back home from a fun weekend of catching up with family and old friends, I finally took Johnny Law out for what ended up being his Graduation Dinner /Last (Day of Vacation) Supper. I guess we’ve been busy. We ended the weekend by watching the original Star Wars movie. I’ve never seen the Star Wars movies (or Lord of the Rings, Star Trek etc. etc.), so this was a landmark occasion requested by Johnny Law. He explained all of the characters to me as well as what a landmark production the movie was for the future production of movies (well, the ones nerds watch). He really is a very, very cheap date.

Still not sure if I’m married to someone who just finished law school, or a five year old. But now I know what my five-year-old Godson is talking about since he is obsessed with Star Wars. Oh what an exciting summer this is shaping up to be…