Time for another installment of the series, "Things I wanted to write about, but the moment passed." Thanks to my immersion in bar exam preparation, I have basically abandoned emailing, seeing, or really even talking to anyone who (a) I'm not married to, (b) doesn't already have their own keys to the apartment, or (c) doesn't go to the gym or my local Chipotle. With that in mind, here's my email to the world:
1. Last weekend L and I had our best New York City Independence Day, ever. We began with a question: What's more American than Staten Island? Obviously, the answer is "nothing," and that's why we booked passage on the renowned Staten Island ferry to go see the S.I. Yankees play the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Seriously, minor league baseball is the way to do it. It felt great to escape Manhattan, and although Mahoning Valley was not well-represented in the stadium, Staten Island certainly was. Strong accents, husky people. It's a good thing they have their own island.
The best part is that the stadium was shrewdly designed so that the outfield opens up to the water, with a great view of lower Manhattan, the coast of Jersey, and the statue of liberty. Consequently we had great views of several fireworks displays, as well as a show at the stadium itself, where the fireworks shot above center field as the PA system piped in patriotic tunes like Lee Greenwood's elementary-school era classic, "God Bless the USA."
2. On Sunday I took a practice bar exam: 200 multiple choice questions divided into two three-hour blocks. We took it at the Javits center, where nearly a thousand people (I believe) sat in a room that was like a parking garage, but with fewer frills. I managed a seat in the second row, and as I would return from the bathroom I would look at this literal sea of eager beaver bar applicants and kind of laugh at the absurdity of the situation. Needless to say, the exam did not go as well.
3. Musically, I'm still in a very intensive R. Kelly phase right now. I'm at the point in my knowledge and understanding of "Hair Braider" where I cue up the song, google the lyrics, balance the computer on top of the TV so I can read the words standing up, and then sing the hell out of it, especially the part where R. notes, "My hair braider so hot, I call her my booty shop."
4. Also on the musical front, I finally figured out how to stream my favorite Washington radio station from their website. I feel like I have uncovered a secret passageway back to my core. DC radio is a lot better than New York radio, if you ask me. The DJs are a lot less crude and they are very attuned to DC's musical culture (namely, gogo, and a bizarre tendency to play Maxwell's modern classic "This Woman's Worth" multiple times a day, still). I feel like they resist some of the lockstep programming decisions that forced us all to hear songs like "Apologize" eighteen times in one hour on eight different stations for a year and a half. The link to the site, which, like most radio station sites, is comically bad and stuffed with visual crap and nearly impossible to navigate, is to the right.
5. On the white music front, I've been listening a lot to the new Coldplay album and I'm really liking it. I need to hear it some more to get a full sense of its textures and everything, but it's a marked change from their old stuff (nice work, Brian Eno) but it feels like a very natural progression. They are definitely pushing themselves and moving in a new direction, which I appreciate, especially since a lot of recent music seems like it's just trying to copy previously successful formulas (I'm looking at you, Mariah Carey).
6. Also, at Chipotle the nice lady recently took a look at my credit card when I was paying the other day and now knows my name. This is great, except now other employees know my name too, and I feel uncomfortable. Today some woman was giving me crap for ordering something innocuous like corn ("Whoa! Something new today, huh? Changing it up! Watch out!"), and it made me feel like an idiot. My tip for people in the restaurant industry is to consider that there is a fine line between making regular patrons feel appreciated, and making them feel like giant losers for eating at the same place every day. Today that line was crossed.
7. This afternoon we got our shots and prescriptions for our Asia trip. My shoulders are still sore from where they gave me vaccinations for polio, Hepatitis A, typhoid, and TB. We also have prescriptions for anti-malarial pills and something to help us out when we inevitably get sick from the food. Like most other people, nothing gets me more fired up to travel than the thought of Hepatitis!
8. Also, finally, the bar exam is kicking my ass. They told us things would intensify in July, and they have. But I cut my studies short tonight because I am exhausted and needed a breather. This morning after the gym I came home and puked up water into the toilet before my shower -- that is the sign of a tired person who is not managing his fluids, let alone his mastery of the law. So tonight I'm taking it easy, and then tomorrow we're back at it. The slow boil is heating up -- next Wednesday, once our formal preparation program ends, we're basically in a sprint for the next ten days or so before the exam. And then the exam. And then it's done. Like Diddy says, time and time again: "this too shall pass."