Monday, February 23, 2004

8(a) is Enough

Thanks to Jim Dedman for helping me discover which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure I am:

YOU ARE RULE 8(a)!

You are Rule 8, the most laid back of all the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. While your forefather in the Federal Rules may have been a stickler for details and particularity, you have clearly rebelled by being pleasant and easy-going. Rule 8 only requires that a plaintiff provide a short and plain statement of a claim on which a court can grant relief. While there is much to be lauded in your approach, your good nature sometimes gets you in trouble, and you ofen have to rely on your good friend, Rule 56, to bail you out.


Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?
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Friday, February 20, 2004

Keeping the Faith

Respectfully protecting the identity of a masked Mardi Gras captain, I wish to extend a joyous congratulations to a good friend of mine who appears to have proposed to his girlfriend during the Krewe of Ancient Druids' parade earlier in the week. Here's an excerpt from the story:
While some women along the Uptown Carnival parade route Tuesday night bared body parts to score plastic beads they'll soon discard, Houston resident Cynthia Robidoux flashed a naked finger and received a diamond ring she promised to wear for the rest of her life.

The ring came with a marriage proposal from the Krewe of Ancient Druids' masked and costumed captain, who worked a bit of magic to keep his wedding intentions as much a secret as his identity, in keeping with the krewe's tradition.

After a tearful "yes," a guy in a Tulane cap whose nickname is "Big Elf" began playing Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" on a comb, and a man in black leather whipped out a clarinet and noodled through "Bourbon Street Parade."

After one more kiss, the masked captain climbed the stepladder to his saddle, yelling, "She said yes! She said yes!" and the parade rolled on.

This helps to restore my faith in Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras Murder

On Wednesday night, a teenage feud turned deadly along the uptown parade route New Orleans, ending in the murder of one innocent bystander and injuries to three other parade watchers. As reported in the Times-Picayune:
Suspects Ray Smith, 19, and Adrian Norris, 17, were among the teenagers who came to the Saturn and Muses parades from a rough-and-tumble section of Mid-City less than two miles from Uptown, but worlds away from the turf that is home to their street-savvy rivals. The two young men live three blocks from each other on Gravier Street, near the criminal courthouse, though family and neighbors said they were acquaintances, not close friends.

Suspect Alvin Wilson, 17, came to the parade from the B.W. Cooper public housing development, also known as the Calliope, as did Carlos Miller, 15. Although the housing complex is in the 2nd Ward, residents long have considered themselves part of the 3rd Ward, referring to the apartments as "CP3," for Calliope Project 3.

The two groups had intended to confront each other last week, at Canal Street and Elk Place, but rain thwarted their plans, one police investigator said.

It was unclear whether the encounter Wednesday on St. Charles Avenue was planned. But shortly before 9 p.m., Wilson's group and the Mid-City group apparently crossed paths on the neutral ground, between Josephine and St. Andrew streets, just as the third float of the Muses parade was about to pass.

Before any of the parade-watchers realized what was happening, several wild shots had been fired. Two women and two men, all local residents with no connection to the suspects, were hit.

Shaken by the sudden violence, some spectators ducked under parade ladders and others lay face-down in the street, hugging the pavement in search of cover.

I attended nearly every uptown Mardi Gras parade during my three years in law school and have returned to New Orleans for the carnival both years since I graduated. Never have a seen any sort of violence whatsoever along St. Charles Avenue, which is generally filled with families enjoying the festival atmosphere. One of the things I've found amazing about the experience is the jubilant mix of people, all peacefully enjoying the parades.

At first, I was shocked at the apparent lack of fighting, especially considering the massive quantities of alcohol being ingested. Soon I grew to appreciate the "spirit" of Mardi Gras, in which different social and ethnic groups partied side-by-side.

The recent shooting has (temporarily) tarnished my Mardi Gras' memories.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Crabby Jack's

Having just returned from New Orleans, I spent the past several days living a life of gluttony. Amidst visits to many of my top ten Big Easy restaurants, we made the trek down Claiborne Avenue to Crabby Jack's, a relatively new (estabished 2002) restaurant opened by Jack Leonardi, the owner of Jacques-Imo's. A casual, lunch counter eatery, Crabby Jack's provided the best oyster po-boy I've ever had. Unlike the vast majority of fried seafood, Crabby Jack's fare was lightly battered and perfectly fried, avoiding the all-too-often excessive crunchiness that comes with overfrying. The roasted duck po-boy was heavenly. Here's a better review from www.bestofneworleans.com:
At Crabby Jack's, nobody cares if you play with your food. The wait in the 30-seater space is long; by the time customers get face-time with their food, they take it literally. You'll find yourself rubbing love handles with men wearing K&B T-shirts who let the gravy-mayonnaise drippings squeezed out of a Not Famous Ferdi po-boy trickle down to their elbows, and women who announce they haven't showered yet today in anticipation of boiled lake crabs by the pound. I once spent 20 minutes watching a man tugging single fried shrimp from a po-boy, showering each one with Tabasco and savoring them individually. Many customers push stools aside to attack their sandwiches standing. The only rule at Crabby Jack's is painted on folk-arty signs from Dr. Bob around the restaurant: "Be Nice Or Leave."

Anyone familiar with Crabby Jack's owner, Jack Leonardi, won't be surprised by the creed. Also the man behind the madly popular Jacques-Imo's restaurant Uptown, Leonardi is best known for his unconventional food combinations, his chile pepper chef's shorts and his generosity with a tequila bottle when the wait at Jacques-Imo's exceeds the standard hour and a half. He took over the restaurant end of Louisiana Seafood Exchange and retails the wholesaler's raw seafood out of the shop's refrigerated cases.

Crabby Jack's lunch service ends right when Jacques-Imo's opens for dinner; just as Leonardi is an active host at night, he sometimes passes through the lunch place patting diners' backs and making sure they lick their butcher paper clean. His efficient front staff embodies a similarly good-natured spirit, wearing flip-flops, shorts and rosy cheeks as if a shift in the sandwich shop were a day at the beach. The prep cooks, whose work area opens onto a crowded gravel lot, also smile as customers park within a Saturn's length of their parsley chopping and fish cleaning.

For the rest of us, there's little struggle in being nice where you can scoot in for a muffaletta and leave with raw scallops the size of key limes; where whole red snapper, drum and grouper recline on a communal bed of ice; where red beans are thicker and creamier than softened butter and, for $6.95, are served with a pork chop whose spiced meat easily pulls from the bone with a plastic fork; where go-cups printed with Leonardi's scruffy mug are reaching cult status; and where a roasted duck po-boy wetted with thin, brown jus is so luscious you don't mind that the kitchen forgot to dress it.

Crabby Jack's menu is a mix of casual New Orleans and typical Leonardi ingenuity -- all prepared to a surprisingly high standard considering the restaurant's youth, and all packed in Styrofoam. An innovative daily special of hard, blue-corn taco shells filled with blackened swordfish strips, salmon in shreds, salsa and cheddar cheese is every bit as rewarding as a basic po-boy made with Cajun-spiced fries and reddish debris gravy. Blackened drum fillets with lump crabmeat and lemony hollandaise are as popular as po-boys over-stuffed with frayed roast beef. There's a wonderful salad of fried green tomatoes with crunchy shrimp smothered in a warm, garlicky red remoulade. Even side dishes seem to be made with love, like half-mashed potato salad with Creole mustard and pickles, and tart red cabbage slaw with a dab of creaminess. In the balmy room, brownies are like chocolate chips melted over walnuts.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Purple Reign

I hadn't planned on watching the Grammy awards, but I'm glad I caught the opening act. Prince is the man. Twenty years after (arguably) the height of his commercial success, and His Purple Majesty is still one of the most electrifying perfomers in music. Combining brilliant showmanship with musical genius, Prince is truly one of the most gifted entertainers I have enjoyed watching in my lifetime.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Self-importance?

The surprisingly-egotistical Jim Dedman recently posted yet another of his discussions concerning the Confederate Flag. While many who read his blog might have delved into the substance of Jim's rhetoric, I found a quote early in his entry quite interesting:
"As you know, my law review article detailed the jurisprudence of the Confederate flag, the First Amendment, and the public school classroom."
Now, I realize Dedman's blog has seen enormous growth in readership over the past year, but does this justify such a presumption? Does he truly expect all those who visit his site to automatically know of his law review article?

I, for one, am at daggers drawn over this.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Supercalifragalisticexpialidotious

I take it all back. The Super Bowl was fantastic. Both teams played spectacularly, thrilling us with explosive entertainment and one of the most exciting final two minutes of professional football in recent memory. Even without the "shocking" and "unintentional" halftime show, the game provided unpredictable enjoyment.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Super Bore

Although Fantasy Football has worked wonders in increasing my professional football interest, overall I still view the NFL with little enthusiasm. Today's Super Bowl does little to excite me. Perhaps my attentiveness might be greater if I followed either team, but, as fan of neither, I will be watching with feigned fanaticism.

However, I look forward to PVRing the game so that I can review the commercials at later time. Yip. Dip. Doo.

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