Friday, June 29, 2007

The Quest Continues: A Blank Writing Pad?

Does anyone know where I can find a perforated "legal" pad (bound with glue and/or staples on the top) that is 8.5" x. 11" which has NO LINES?

Think of a regular legal pad you'd find at any office. Now think of that same pad, but with blank paper instead of lined paper. Why is this so hard to find?

Call it one of my neuroses, but I can't stand writing on paper that has lines on it. It is damn near impossible to find a "legal pad" (or "scratch pad," "easel pad," "writing tablet," or "planner refill") that is just BLANK.

I can't quite figure out why nobody seems to make this product. I'm stuck buying these spiral bound sketch books, which are cumbersome because I'm a lefty and the spiral is always getting in the way.

What the hell? Any thoughts on where I could find one or order one? Has anybody ever seen one?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup -- That Song

I was up at around 3:00am watching an episode of Conan O'Brian I taped awhile back, and while skipping through the commercials I caught a few seconds of this ad. I couldn't get the tune out of my head for a few days.

The song is done by a Canadian techno band called Chromeo. The song is "Needy Girl."

It's . . . gitchy (or kitchy, I can't remember which).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

uni-ball 207 Premier: Seriously, Go Buy This Pen.

I'm a pen whore.

I know that by posting about a pen, I'm taking a risk in outing myself as a real geek. But then I realized, I'm practicing patent law in a few months, so I'm not fooling anybody at this point.

I've managed to keep my pen addiction to a minimum for the last 7 years. I don't lose my pens very often, so I've been able to use the same core set of pens since high school. And because I have used a laptop to take my notes, I haven't felt the need to take too many notes by hand.

But during my preparation for the CA Bar Exam, I find myself having to handwrite a lot of notes. So when I finished my last exam, I treated myself to a minor shopping spree at Office Depot. I found a decent Cross ballpoint pen, and on my way out of the aisle I took a risk and picked up uni-ball's 207 Premier, priced at a mere $4.50. I didn't have the highest hopes, but what the hell.

Seriously, go buy this pen.

The medium (0.7mm) ink throws out an ample amount of gel ink, which is acid-free, and fade- and water-resistant. I did try a bold (1.0mm) refill and I don't recommend it unless you're about to sign the Declaration of Independence; and even then someone else is likely to ask who the jerk is that used that really inky pen.

This pen is on the light side, but remains well balanced. Unlike these uber expensive pens that are always top heavy, a little blurry, and therefore more difficult to control, the 207 Premier is even-keeled, sharp, and agile. It has a decent squishy grip that is contoured, but the pen overall doesn't suffer from that pandemic "Dr. Grip"-bloat. This isn't the size of a magic marker.

This pen isn't flashy, but its a joy to write with.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Freshly Cut: Albums of the Month

(June 2007)
  1. Junior Kimbrough - Most Things Haven't Worked Out (1997)
  2. The White Stripes - Icky Thump (2007)
  3. Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris (2007)
  4. The National - Boxer (2007)
  5. The Good, The Bad, and The Queen - The Good, The Bad, and The Queen (2007)

Simulated BarBri Multistate Bar Exam 2007

So I took the Simulated Multistate Bar Examination today, which consists of 2 sets of 100 multiple choice questions that are spread out over 6 hours. The experience of sitting there for six hours isn't all that bad actually, and purposely staying away from water or any liquids didn't seem to affect my concentration one bit. I thought I was going to get a headache towards the beginning of the afternoon session, but it never came.

A few minor observations:
  1. I still hate writing with pencils;
  2. I may have to go to the art store and find a good eraser for D-Day because someone at Sanford thought it would be a great idea for an eraser to make your existing pencil marks even darker;
  3. During testing conditions, someone coughs or sneezes approximately once every 16 seconds;
  4. Subway sandwich during lunch was a very good idea;
  5. Found myself wondering more and more whether the "dirty tricks" or the "curveballs" BarBri and PMBR allegedly play with these questions are actually just a function of their poor and sloppy authorship;
  6. Man vs. Wild, All New Season -- Fridays at 9:00pm on Discovery. This show is freaking ridonkulous. Discovery Channel really has its act together.
  7. Still perturbed by Professor Michael Kaufman's Agency and Partnership lecture in which he insisted that for the purposes of tort liability, automobile brake repair constitutes an "ultrahazardous activity." So, if we're keeping track, that makes the list of ultrahazardous activities: (i) blasting; (ii) manufacturing explosives; (iii) pile driving; (iv) fumigation with cyanide; (v) nuclear energy; AND . . . (vi) automotive brake repair. Sounds fishy to me.
  8. Bought 40lbs dumbbells about two weeks ago, but couldn't really curl them. Broke down yesterday and bought a set of 30lbs as well, but discovered later that night that I could curl the 40lbs ones. Irony is great, but too fucking expensive.
  9. Students still fail to recognize that when you're walking into a narrow aisle to get to a seat, you can't turn from side to side if you still have your backpack on;
  10. Female student, not looking at all where she's going, knocked over a GIANT cup of soda belonging to someone else. After seeing that the owner was not at her seat--and seeing that ice spilled everywhere in the middle of the aisle, she ran away!

Apart from these minor observations, the other thing I noticed is that BarBri is starting to bug me a little. I realized it when they played this videotape this morning as an introduction to the Simulated MBE. I'm not sure who the guy was, but he started telling us how this exam we're taking is much harder than the real thing and that we shouldn't be discouraged by how poorly we were going to perform. What a pep talk!

And that's the problem -- I don't need a damn pep talk.

The only reason we ever need a pep talk is because of all this lame psychology BarBri feels is essential. They assigned us another practice exam earlier this week. On that one most people did pretty well. I assume this was to get us in the right mood to take this exam, which was significantly harder.

Its as if the real thing isn't good enough for them. They just can't just let us play and figure it out--they need to feel like a part of the game, altering the momentum here and there supposedly for our benefit. They're like NBA referees.

They wouldn't need to build up my confidence if they didn't fuck with it in the first place.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

10 Bar Review Observations Through Week 5

  1. Thought I was great at Contract Law for three years of law school -- now thoroughly disillusioned.

  2. Rescue Me, Wednesday's at 10:00pm on FX. Clearly one of the best written shows on TV. I recommend buying the box sets of the first three seasons or, as the yougin's like to say, "putting it in your queue."

  3. Purchased a pair of 40LBS dumbells from Sports Authority -- now thoroughly disillusioned.

  4. Curious that I have yet to feel any sense of panic regarding my impending doom.

  5. Surprised to find that even though they dispatched my beloved Denver Nuggets in just five games, I still found myself rooting for the San Antonio Spurs against the Cavs.

  6. Amazed that a failing grade will get you a PASS on the California Bar Exam.

  7. Humbled by the fact that half the exam-takers in the state don't manage to get a high enough failing grade.

  8. Discovered that after a few days of not washing dishes, mugs that once contained "Milk Chocolate"-flavored Carnation Instant Breakfast mysteriously smell like peppermint.

  9. Wondered if I've now jinxed myself by mentioning #6.

  10. Contra #4, now feeling a slight sense of panic regarding this whole jinxing business.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Guess what? I've got a fever. And the only prescription is more multistate BAR exam questions.

So studying for the BAR sucks, sort of. The only reason it isn't as bad as I thought it would be is because I thought I'd be putting more time into it.

Here are ten observations for Weeks 1 and 2:
  1. Three students at BarBri's Boalt Hall location already admitted to the hospital with respiratory failure; diagnosed with "Black-letter Lung."
  2. Gatorade tastes good at 8:30am.
  3. That feeling great after your BarBri lecturer made everything seem so easy has nothing to do with his or her skill as a lecturer, but everything to do with them ignoring finer distinctions in the law and tricky subject matter -- you know, the material actually tested on a regular basis.
  4. Lebron is in the playoffs . . . and I've lost another few days of study time.
  5. Less than 50% performance on "Introductory Drills" from BarBri versus consistent 65% performance on "advanced" questions. What gives?
  6. Gatorade tastes good at 8:30pm.
  7. Getting the same question wrong twice is not a freak occurrence.
  8. Getting the same question right twice is a freak occurrence.
  9. Carnation Instant Breakfast makes me gassy.
  10. Recurring nightmare that the Bar Examiners will finally unveil questions featuring choice "(D) Some of the above."