Thursday, June 28, 2007

I realize this is a very strong statement, but I think this might be the corniest music video ever created, at least if we don't count Youtube videos that the artist had nothing to do with. I had it on a VHS tape for a while from a VH1 one-hit wonders show, and then I forgot about it until I saw the song at record (actual vinyl) store this afternoon. I don't know if it's the red shades, the fire hose bit or (ok, I do know:) the air electric trombone, but I love it and can't get enough of it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've been going to a particular bar every Tuesday night for the past several months for karaoke night, and I almost inevitably end up there until close. This is not particularly convenient, given bar study, given that I wake up at 6:30 every weekday morning (except Wednesday) to go to the gym before bar study, and given that it's a really random night. You might conclude that I have an insatiable desire for karaoke; that would be false. Ann Arbor has more karaoke per capita than any place in the world (from the Dept. of Made Up But Plausible Statistics), and I could get my fix any time. Don't get me wrong, I really like karaoke, to the point where I think some people have homed in on it as making me "The Karaoke Guy" (kind of a "Big Tuna" thing--Jim not Parcells--but closer to legitimate). But that's really not it.

The reason that Tuesday night karaoke night (and, last spring, Monday night karaoke night) has become non-negotiable in a crowded weekly schedule is that I've rediscovered the joy of being a regular. It turns out that I love the idea of going to the same place with basically the same crowd every week--knowing the bartender, knowing the other regulars, knowing the ebb and flow of the evening, etc.

I don't know if I'm going to be able to get that working a Big Law schedule, but I hope I can find a way to be at least a semi-regular somewhere.

Monday, June 25, 2007

If performance in practice is any predictor, when faced with the multiple choice sections of the Bar one month from today I will hold their head underwater and make them say "uncle!" in a most glorious fashion. I will then have to face the essay sections of the test, at which point I will whine, complain, delay, and find an excuse to just practice more multiple choice questions.

In related news, I received a letter from the California bar association congratulating me that my character is sketchy high enough to qualify to be lawyer in the state. You know, if I can make myself get around to practicing some essays.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I did something today that is a really stupid little thing that a lot of people wouldn't think twice about, but it was immense for me. For some reason on the spur of the moment, I decided that instead of hopping on the elliptical machine at the gym, today I would get on the treadmill. And instead of my usual treadmill activity--uphill walking--I would try some light jogging.

At first I thought I'd go for five minutes if I could, thinking back to the first time I hopped on an elliptical and thought I was going to die 3 minutes in. But 5 minutes came and went and I decided to shoot for a half-mile (going at 5 mph). Then I thought 10 minutes might be attainable. Ultimately, I ended up getting to a mile in just over 12 minutes, and then I stopped.

One mile. I ran one mile.

That's nothing, but it's everything, because I came to the jaw-dropping realization that never before in my life had I run an entire mile without stopping for a break.

But the best part is that I could have kept going.

Man, I am really going to miss this past week.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No rats, no shouting matches, no more wondering about where I'm going to live come fall. Note two features: the red arrow pointing to the place, and the white scale bar in the bottom right corner that says "50 yards".

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

David the Future Roommate is going to the likely future apartment again tomorrow, and if he doesn't find a dozen rats (unlikely) or get in a shouting match with the landlord (less likely still), we will officially have our new apartment by the end of business (PDT) tomorrow. Suffice it to say that these were our criteria: 2+ bedrooms, 2+bath, 2+ parking, < 2 blocks to Venice Beach, good-sized kitchen, and within our price range; we've met or exceeded all of them!!

Jamarcus Russell could hit the beach from our place throwing from his knees.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Studying for the Bar is conducive to neither doing interesting things to write about nor to having time to write about the interesting things that you aren't doing. Still, I've managed to find some "me" time here and there, including the first in in two weeks yesterday that I didn't do a single practice question. That was nice.

One of the days of the exam is the Multistate, a.k.a. the MBE. The MBE is a multiple choice exam given in 48 of 50 states (damn you Louisiana and Washington!). In many ways the MBE is your friend, because if you do really well on it then you have a lot more wiggle-room on the state-specific essay portion. But the nationwide nature of the test also creates some anomalies. For instance, no one has common law property law or criminal law anymore, and in fact it's arguably unconstitutional to have common law criminal law, because you don't have notice of what the law is. But because every state has their own, it's hard to test on those areas unless you test traditional common law principles. So the entrance exam for the legal profession requires you to learn a whole lot of out-of-date information about those areas of law. Conversely, common law evidence was a mess, but the Federal Rules of Evidence are crystal clear. So we're tested on those, even though most attorneys (hell, most litigators) worry a whole lot more about state evidence law than federal. Other than that, the whole process makes a lot of sense.

In other news, there's a potential apartment in the offing, but I don't want to jinx it by saying much more. Suffice it to say that it's exactly the location I've been hoping for, in our price range, and big. Beyond that, watch this space...

Monday, June 04, 2007

You can go many years without doing certain things, and then when you do them again you haven't forgotten anything and it's as if you've been doing them all along. It's proverbially like riding a bicycle; it just so happens that literally riding a bicycle is like that too.

Certain other things you tend to forget after 15 or 20 years. For instance, you may forget that you can scrape up your elbow and knee pretty badly when you fall off your bicycle. You can also forget how a big ol' scab is kinda gross but also kind of a weird little badge of honor, proof that you are a physically active person. Most of all, you can totally forget just how unnervingly compelling it is to pick at your scabs after 5 or 6 days when they start healing, and also that you really shouldn't do that because it makes you heal really strangely and unevenly.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Here are some of the things that I have learned so far in preparing for the Bar:

  • Prodigious feats of memory do not correlate with charisma. Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, the pre-eminent Constitutional law scholar at least among law students who believe in study aids, gave the Con Law lecture in a very impressive fashion--two days, eight hours, no notes, following his outline to perfection. He was also as boring as shit. The professors with notes have been much more entertaining.
  • Professor Whitebread, for instance, rocks. The highlights of his two-day Crimes lecture were (a) finishing in three hours on the nose both days (some profs go up to 4), and (b) saying that if you chose the answer choice of "a gun with only one of six chambers loaded is not an inherently dangerous object" for a question about Russian roulette, then "you have problems, both for the Bar exam and for life; if you chose (b), you will never own your own home."
  • Under penalty of maybe failing the Bar, I can take notes in outline form. No other stimulus has ever been sufficient to cause me to do so, but it is possible.
  • Torts and potential torts are everywhere, but people not studying for the Bar don't necessarily want that pointed out to them every five minutes.
  • You will periodically be reminded that people, including really smart people from really good law schools, fail the Bar, especially the California Bar. Many people will react to that by studying all the harder. Meanwhile, other people will tell you to relax and not drive yourself crazy studying too much. I'm guessing that the latter group has it right, and that the fallacy the former engage in is thinking that the people who failed prepared a moderate amount and failed. My guess is that most people fail because they seriously under-prepare and don't do nearly what Barbri says to do, or they get into the exam and panic regardless of how much or how little they have prepared.
  • To be continued...