Dixiepuddle posted this earlier. It is epic.
Law school has changed everything.
There is a homeless man who walks past my house every day. He whistles the same tune as he walks. When I hear the lovely melody of Edison Lighthouse’s “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes,)” I sing along in my head and have walked outside to talk to him a couple times.
If I am already outside, he always speaks with his daily dose of “news.” The first time I met him was on July 18th of this year when he told my moving buddy, “Steve” that he should, “Fuck the system. Overthrow that corrupt Governor of ours. Live life.” I wasn’t frightened of this short-statured street-walker and his outgoing openness, even though I had never met him and did not know if he was dangerous or not. He finished his meeting with us asking “Steve” if he wanted “to go check out the underpass.” “Steve” declined.
He wears mostly the same thing: a green shirt and destroyed acid-wash jeans. He has a pair of worn trainers that are about three sizes to small. His big toe stuck out of the right shoe until Wednesday afternoon when I left him a pair of my old shoes on the front step. I wasn’t home when he came past, but he said he loved them last night and that they fit, “fine and proper.”
He always asks how I’m doing with a smile from a mouth that has three teeth or so. His wispy grey-haired balding head, shows the effects the beating sun of the south shines down on him daily. His journey usually takes him by my house around 10AM and sometime between 11 and 12PM. Twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays, he walks past in the afternoon.
His views on the world are about as steadfast as the his schedule. He hates the government, hates lawyers and hates organized religion. He loves his meth, his “freedom” and the water he drinks constantly. The guy is almost always carries a water bottle. He says it is his key to life. I don’t disagree with him there.
Last night he came by about 11PM and was whistling his usual tune. I had just finished a drink and thought to myself, “I could go say hello. Why not?”
I walked outside onto my porch and said hello. He had the usual to say and I questioned his feelings on “Congress is a bunch of sissy pieces of shit. You know that, don’ cha’ boy?” I said, “Well, they are by far the weakest branch of government… wasn’t really supposed to be that way, but that’s how it ended up.”
I apparently said the right thing. The man smiled. He clapped. For a moment, I thought he might jump for joy.
“Boy, you sure gots that right. Well, I’ll be damned… maybe there is gonna be one good lawyer.”
I am glad this guy believes in me and my journey through law school. At least one other person does.
“The Supreme Court has always had the power, boy. They took it from da other branches with that big case. That uh… uh… Marbury Madison case. You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout, boy?”
Yeah, I think a lot of people know what he was talking about. But how many homeless guys know case law? I mean sure, it is a landmark decision that established judicial review and it has probably been the basis of every 7th graders social studies class since WWII… but c’mon… this guy knew that? Now I was really intrigued. I played dumb.
“No, tell me about it,” I said coyly.
“Well, it gave them damn justices all the power. It told the pres’dint to take the sen’tors and respreset’tives dicks and shove ‘em up his ass,” he said.
I seriously wish my 7th grade social studies book gave me that definition. I would have understood the case so much better. I mean can you really disagree with how this man characterized the case? I can’t. It fits exactly what my college judicial process class taught. Maybe there is some more colorful language, but all in all it is the same.
I finished up my conversation with the man and I bid him a good night. I decided to tweet about the encounter since I hadn’t really told anyone that I had been talking to this guy. A frequent visitor to the blawg and twitter mate, sjblawgs, was intrigued and we decided that not only should he be a focus of a post, but that some sort of daily dose and hashtag was appropriate for the gentleman I talk with so often. We started throwing out names. #NomadNorman #VagrantVincent and #HomelessHowie were some popular choices that were eventually decided against. sjblawgs had the perfect name. #VagabondVern – And it is a perfect fit.
So, I am announcing here that I will have a #VagabondVern installment on the blawg whenever something happens that is especially colorful or interesting. I can’t promise a ton, but I have hope that this will be a regular thing. If he keeps giving me history lessons then I am sure this will only grow. Keep an eye out on twitter for the #VagabondVern hashtag, as I am sure that will become very popular.
I want to give a special thank you and an “Alliteration-Alive Award” to sjblawgs. She is what made me actually post this and more importantly named my homeless friend.
I hope #VagabondVern keeps coming by. I hope my room mate doesn’t mind when he moves in next week, that I have befriended him.
Our school has a page designed to help 1Ls find each other roommates, or classmates easily on facebook.The page is very useful as my roommate and I found each other on the site and made our move south painless.
However, the site has people already worried about what law school is going to be like. One person posted: “AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH” to the fact that we are something like 19 days from our first class. I must be missing something.
Am I worried? I think I would be ousted as the worst liar in the world if I were to say that I was not. However, I’m much more excited than worried. In fact, worried may not be the real word to use here. “Cautious” is probably better. I’m perfectly content to take orientation and the first weeks of school as they come. Keep my head down and try to make it to Labor Day weekend with some semblance of sanity or calmness. I am a loud and outgoing person by nature, so keeping my head down will be harder than it seems for me anyways. I think buckling down 6 nights a week can make this semester a success. I figured out (a little late in college, finally) my best studying is done when I am at home locked in my room.
Forget study groups and library all nighters. Yeah, I know I am sure I will live to regret that statement. I am a library in the daytime, room at my desk in the nighttime sort of studier and worker. When I do my best writing, I am at home by myself, not in the library per say. I never thought I would say it, but after my last semester in college, I realized that I love to get up early and stay up late.
When I get up early, I am more active and alert. I eat breakfast, I read the paper and I get things done. I’m ready to do that with school as well.
So what am I spending my last 19 days doing? Well if you follow me on twitter (@YJ_SL) then you know my house is receiving some major repairs. My schedule is boring to some but I think it is the best way to get me ready for school.
7AM: Up and showered/shaved. (This is an acomplishment on the shave part. I had a goatee all through college and shaved maybe every other day if the girl I was dating at the time complained too much. Now I’m clean shaven and feeling much more fit in down here in the south.)
7:30-10AM: B-fast…Reading various news outlets on my phone and reading The Chive. I tweet on my personal account and the account for the blawg constantly. I creep into the twitter lives of my friends.
10AM: Take a morning constitutional around my neighborhood. I don’t live in the best neighborhood but I like a good walk. Plus I am still getting used to my surroundings. I usually walk for an hour or so. Decent exercise (if you can call walking exercise) and it gets me out of the house and into the heat for a little while.
Noon: Lunch. (See Dinner)
Afternoon: Visit library, deal with repairmen, check the mailbox constantly, promote synergy, hit on Debra, get rejected, swallow sadness, send some faxes – Like A Boss!
6PM: Dinner. Making it a point to actually make something good. No PBJ for me. Also trying to eat a bit healthier since I will have less time to do that later on in the year. For me, a habit dies hard so if I can make the salad a habit… well then it will stay. And lord knows I could use more salad. Tonight I broiled a chicken breast and then cut it up, seasoned it and threw it over a salad with some italian dressing. The salad was prepackaged, but I added diced green pepper and a couple of slices of tomato. It may not be restaurant quality but it was damn tasty.
Evening: Writing, watching movies, having a drink. Movie collection is getting a work-out. I have watched: Thank You For Smoking, Shaft, Coach Carter, Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Green Street Hooligans, A Few Good Men, Rules of Engagement, Beerfest, Super Troopers, The Rock, Jerry Maguire, American History X and Old School. I’m moving and grooving to say the least.
My day is no where near as grueling as most of my days will be this fall, but at least I am getting up and doing something. I don’t want to get to used to sleeping in and sitting on my ass all day long. I mean, I’m not a slob, right? I’m not a gunner, right? I’m in the middle? Because that would be fine with me.
The house I grew up in was really odd. I never knew it was so odd until I got older.
I grew up on Earlybird Lane in a yellow house with green trim. I guess my love of the Packers started early.
My undergrad apartment was on Madison Street.
My new place is a yellow house with green trim on Madison Street.
Odd I know. It gets better.
My house growing up had a leak in the roof above the kitchen that had to get fixed two or three times when we lived there. I’m not exactly sure what was wrong with it… but it was there.
My new place also has some leak issues in the kitchen in exactly the same place.
These coincidences kind of hit me in the face last night as I was setting up a pot to catch water and calling the landlord. It is really cool when things happen like that.
My grandmother or “Nana” as I call her is at it again. She would kill me if I told you her age, so let’s just go by the date.
She was born in 1921 and graduated high school in three years. She piloted planes during the war for the Civil Air Patrol. She was a runner-up spelling bee champion and still has the medal to prove it. She was heavily involved in the state cookie council for the Girl Scouts. She still can cross-country ski. She makes the best strawberry preserves you have ever tasted and is the all around greatest person I have ever known.
Last night she co-piloted a 1942 Boeing Stearman Bi-Plane. You can see more about that plane here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing-Stearman_Model_75
Can you imagine that?
I cant help but be proud to say that she is my grandmother. I had posted some info
on facebook and twitter and some of my friends responses were things like “badass!” and “I saw her go over my house!”
When she got back to the ground, she said, “I didn’t care what we were flying over, I just cared about being up in the air. It was great!”
You can’t beat that kind of spirit and attitude.
Our family is headed to the lake house for our annual reunion this weekend and we are having a secret, special party for my grandmother. She has no idea what is going on and more importantly, is going to be embarrassed that the focus is on her. I cannot wait. My aunt has even put together a movie with home photos covering my great-great-grandparents all the way through me. It is pretty awesome to say the least.
I can’t wait!
P.S. This may give away too much personal info in this post… but I really don’t care too much. I doubt any of my readers who doesn’t know me will figure it out anyways.