In less than two hours we greet the year 2005. Some of us greet it with raucous crowds and funny hats, some of us greet it with a quiet sigh and a kiss. We're going for the latter this year. 2005 is going to bring big things. One last semester, graduation, and the Bar Exam for me. The end of the first year of MBA for the spouse. The fifth year of being in our house. The seventh year of being married. The year of the rooster. As far as resolutions? Passing the Bar. Working out more. Being healthy and happy. Here's hoping 2005 brings all you want. Happy New Year to you and yours.
As you know, I turned thirty nearly two weeks ago. You begin to wonder, do I actually look thirty? What about me says, "Beanie is 30." I shouldn't have been so quick to judge. In my trip to the liquor store today I purchased a small bottle of Irish Creme liquor and a bottle of late-harvest riesling. I had been wandering about the store for a while, these weren't impulse purchases. Upon taking the bottles to the counter, the cashier greeted me, looked me hard in the eye (to which I met her gaze) and proceeded to card me. I haven't been carded in a liquor store in about 5 years. I haven't been carded in a restaurant in nearly as many years. The last time I was carded was buying beer in a supermarket, and that's only because they have to put your birth date in the register to continue the purchase. Yup, Beanie's a hard drinking youngin. Damn straight.
Who knew it was possible to have too much time on your hands. Books to read at my leisure, rooms to clean, meals to cook, cabinets to paint, and couches to be lazy on. Crazy TV too...it seems I keep finding myself on BBC America and Fine Living. Heck in the last couple days I've learned about whale watching, Gibraltar, house prices in Southampton, and how best to neaten up your home to sell it. I've watched Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Hero with Jet Li. The last was unbelievable. I highly recommend it. Cheers to Winter Break!
First AI and Scott make the Times, now Jeremy has made it, with pictures and a bombshell about Anonymous Lawyer. His writing career is nearly assured. Congrats Jeremy!
Nothing says Christmas Eve dinner like Kentucky Fried Chicken. A little Popcorn Chicken, a bit of mashed potatoes and a biscuit. Had some pizza with my grandfather, kept a five year old in check...as much as you can, and am currently watching The Big Lebowski. Happy Friggin Holidays to you too.
Each year there are commercials showing the joy of putting a car under the tree, or in the driveway with a giant bow. Being the cynical Bean that I am I've always seen the problem with logistics this would cause. Finally, an article that proves me right.
Quote of the day from Monday Night Football, "...a chilly 52 degrees in Miami." Cry me a river will you please!
I am now actually 30 years old. It seems like much more of a landmark age than 18, or even 21. It was mildly anticlimactic, like all of my birthdays tend to be. This is not to say that I didn't get some lovely gifts I did not expect. I even did some self-gifting by turning in a majority of my Westlaw points for a 20GB iPod. Yes, I had those kinds of points. When I did this about a week or so ago, I was told 6-8 weeks. I got it today. I think it was actually delivered yesterday but I didn't discover it until today. I oooh, I ahhhed...I'm going to let it warm up first. I honestly can't complain...I'm 30, I'm nearly done with law school, I'm happily married, and I own a home and a car. Yup, I'm in a pretty good spot all things considered.
Yes, I do know that gifts between spouses are generally regarded as marital property. Darn good thing too, since it showed up on the test three times. And so ends another fun and oh so productive semester. Yes, when the professor tells you you won't need any more than an hour or so for the test, he's not kidding. Heck, give me 40 minutes and I'm good. Three hours my butt. It was a bit of an ego boost at the end, which isn't always a bad thing. And now, I need a good stiff drink, or four. Tomorrow is another day...the day I turn 30!
One more day, one more test. As for today? When the thought crossed my mind on the way in this morning that perhaps the guardrail would better than the highway...it was an omen. When the test monitor asked if we had any questions, and someone asked, "Yeah, do you know how to do this?" ... it was an omen. It was awful. It was more awful than the Trusts and Estates exam last spring...by a value of 10. When people just aimlessly flip pages in hopes of finding a question they could answer, it's a sign that we knew nothing. 3 1/4 hours in I gave up. I knew I could continue to play with numbers for the last 45 minutes, but it would be pointless. A modified open book exam, and it didn't help. All the numbers in the world could march across the page and it wouldn't help. Gift tax, estate tax, GST...bite me.
I may not know much about Estate Taxation, but I do know the countries of the world thanks to the Animaniacs. Thanks Yakko.
Remember the other night when I informed the world that the spouse and I have more education than some small towns? Well we just proved it in spades. The spouse, while drafting a holiday letter to some family members used the word "stuff" not once, but three times in three sentences. Yup, we is edumucated. I didn't say we were educated in English after all.
Wednesday is Estate Planning. Have you ever taken a course and then asked yourself why you took it? That's where I am now. This was a horrible mistake. At least it's not a full year course. At least I'm not committed to having to take Estate Planning II. While I like the professor, I just feel horribly misled by the course. It was Estate Taxation. I didn't take Intro to Tax. It's not a prerequisite. I don't like math. I can do my own taxes, and isn't that good enough? Perhaps if I eat some lunch it'll improve my mood. Yeah, I hope so. In the mean time, anyone have an outline for this puppy?
Two down, two to go. Last night I was up until 2:30am putting together the perfect outline to complement my other perfect outline for Evidence. Did it work? Oh, I think it did. It was straight forward enough, 30 questions in which you had to give a yes or no answer and justify yourself. In reality, it was effectively writing 30 small essays about the vagaries of character evidence, business record exceptions, and prior convictions. In four hours. Yes, I wrote like a fiend. I finished in 3 hours. I did not get up during the experience, nor did I stop writing more than a minute at a time. I know people that won't finish that test. The two outlines saved my butt. While the one was professor specific, sometimes you needed the bigger overview one to understand the rule. Put the two together and you had magic. I didn't even bring the textbook. I wouldn't have had time to look at it had I needed to. Now if the last two exams could work as smoothly as this one...that would be bliss...at least for me.
Quote of the day: My spouse, while I study for my Evidence exam, "Do you know between the two of us we have more years of higher education than some small towns?" My response? Laughter.
We have flags, lots of flags, colored flags all over! Yes, this is the key for this open book exam. Flags, lots of flags. And indices. Have I mentioned the indices? It's there, I just need to know where to find the information. Should the 700 rules be blue? Hearsay just screams green. And the giant red flags? Relevancy of course!
One down, three to go. Not as time pressured as I would have imagined given the sheer number of questions. I must say though, after 75 questions on service, jurisdiction and statutes of limitation, it ceases to be an exam and becomes a psychological marathon. You start noticing the same questions over and over again. You get glazed eyes, you stare off into space, and begin to dream about crab cakes. Okay, maybe that last part was just me. Either way, it's over. Time to move on to Evidence. Open book, 30 questions for which you have to give your reasoning. Yee haw.
Tomorrow it begins. Tuesday is Day One of four brilliantly scary exams. Actually only two truly qualify as brilliantly scary, but tomorrow is one of them. Closed book, 150 T/F, and several short essays. Three hours. Freezing rain expected. The review session yesterday was very well attended. It seems I actually did learn things, since I didn't bomb the practice test. Nearly got into a fight over long arm jurisdiction in matrimonial actions. Nearly got into another fight over due process and International Shoe. Only in law school could this happen. Anyway, enough with the writing, my outlines are calling me.
Update: Not only did we crash the server, we did so only four minutes into the process. And that was only the senior class. However, after a reset more than 70% of the class registered in the first two hours. I have to give major props to the registrar's office on this one. This could have gone spectacularly bad. I now have six classes for which I'm registered that I get to play around with: Criminal Procedure, State Practice II, Commercial Law, Probate Court Procedure, Securities Regulation, and Industrial Law. The last one seemed the most intriguing to me. We'll see how it all plays out.
It's the last day of classes today. I'm in total denial about it all. I wish I could jump on my burning, flying shark and forget exams all together. I even went to look up audita querela, but decided that I couldn't spare the brain cells to decipher what I read. I have State Practice on Tuesday next week, Evidence on Friday and lots of work between now and then. After I get done with Evidence I'll look at the last two exams, but not before. In the meantime, I'm getting myself drawn into the time suck that is early registration. When you decide you have to create a spreadsheet to illuminate class choice and time conflicts, you're wasting time on a whole new level. Add in the unknown of registering on the web and a 6:00pm time frame on the opening, I say we'll crash the whole damn server. I've got my password and I'm not afraid to use it!