Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dear Friends Who Only Took The NY Bar, But Not NJ

This is your only warning...

There is a little known justification defense for a charge of homicide. If you dial me under the influence tonight, knowing full well that I still have an exam tomorrow, your action will give rise to a justification defense if I subsequently kill you.

Have fun tonight though!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

11th Hour

You know how sometimes, you're doing questions and things are going really well and then WHAM!!! One fucking question breaks your whole stride, you stare at it for like 5 or 6 minutes, and it doesn't get any clearer. As bohemian as it sounds, sometimes, you really just need to take your eyes off the test and laugh to yourself for a minute.

So, if when you're taking the exam, you get caught in one of those moments, here are a few brief moments from TV and movies relevant to stuff on the exam. Not to suggest that they're substantively helpful, but if you can take a step back and think about any of them, they may be able to make you laugh for just a minute, which may help you get your mojo back on. I'm sure there's 1000 more, but these are just a few that come to mid right now. If you have a good one, post it!

In "My Cousin Vinnie," Joe Pesci's opening argument for his clients who were charged with murder was two sentences: Everything that guy just said... is bullshit. Thank you.

In "Liar, Liar," Jim Carrie is watching opposing counsel destroy Carrie's case on counsel's examination of a witness. (Remember: that the whole point of the movie is that Carrie was incapable of lying no matter how hard he tried) Carrie stands up and flamboyantly proclaims "Oh, objection, your Honor!" The judge replies with a puzzled look on his face, "On what grounds?" To which Carrie defiantly proclaims "It's devastating to my case!"

Also, while Carrie is later examing a witness, he accuses the witness of being involved in a love affair with a party to the case. Actually, that would have been acceptable. What he actually did was accuse the witness of "stuff[ing] her like a Thanksgiving turkey!" As soon as he finished the word "turkey" he began gobbling, and mime-ing doggie style.

On "The Simpsons," there's that attorney that's a fuckin' shark - not Lionel Hutz - but the guy that usually plays the prosecutor or high priced attorney. There's an episode when someone - I think Marge - is on trial for something. In his opening arguments, the attorney walks up to the jury box and asks them, "Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, who do you find more attractive: Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise?" The judge interrupts him and asks "What's the meaning of this?" To which he replies, "Your Honor, the prosecution is so confident of Mrs. Simpson's guilt, that we feel we can waste the court's time by rating the super-hunks!"

Another time, there was a probation hearing for Side Show Bob, and everybody was testifying about why he should not be released. Selma was testifying about how he tried to kill her. The same attorney, who was Side Show Bob's attorney this time, asks the court room in his cross examination, "How many people are thinking about killing her right now? Be honest." One by one everyone's hand goes up, including the jury's. I'm not sure why there was a jury at a probation hearing.

In one episode Apu's wife was thinking about divorcing him. She went to an attorney and asked him a question about being able to take Apu's pension. The lawyer maniacally replies "Aahh yes... that goes back to the case of Lawyers v Justice. That was a glorious day for us." When she mentions that they have 9 kids, he jumps up on his desk and does a tap dance.

Another time, something goes horribly wrong in some proceeding and Lionel Hutz moves for "a bad... court... thing-ee," to which the judge replies "A mistrial?" Hutz says "Yeah, that's it!"

Another time, Lionel Hutz is prepping the Simpsons for court and he says, "Uh oh. We got Judge Schneider." Marge asks "Is that bad?" He answers, "Well he's kinda had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. But replace accidentally with repeatedly, and replace dog with son."

...and on that note, in case I don't get to say so before we all feign sleep on Monday... Good luck to everybody! It's been absolutely awesome sharing in this horrible, horrible ordeal with so many people. Tear it up. Then afterwards, get drunk and make a public spectacle of yourself somewhere great. If anybody tries to impede on your celebration, poke him in the eye with your thumb Rick Flair style, run away, and carry on somewhere better. Also, may I suggest public nudity?

"See you on the other side, Ray..."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Changes at All Bar Sites

So I was looking over the stuff we can and cannot bring to the exam, and it occured to me that they forgot a lot of things. So I wrote a strongly worded letter to the bar examiners. They have since promised the following things will also be allowed into the examination site:

A stress ball.

Barf bags.

A change of underpants.

A roll of quarters - to hold in your hand when you sucker punch the asshole sitting next to you who keeps tapping his foot or erasing in a manner that shakes the whole table.

The first ten people to arrive at each site will be given one of those little novelty cans that "moos" like a cow when you turn it upside down. While these might not sound very useful, think about it: if you're stuck on one of those questions where the call asks you "which of the following
would be most helpful in establishing his defense," and you don't even know what the cause of action is, and then you heard a faint "mmmooooo" from a remote corner of the room, you would laugh.

Water-wings to keep you from drowning in your frustration.

Astro-glide. Does anyone really need an explanation for this one? If so, I suggest visiting Tucker Max (link on the left) and reading this.

One jacket-a-straightening.

One water gun filled with urine, with which you can squirt any asshole who shows up to the exam in a Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc. law school tee shirt.

One can of Axe Body Spray with which you can douse anybody that shows up in a fancy-pants law school shirt, when you know they don't not even go to said fancy-pants law school. Now everybody will know what a douchebag that guy is because nobody cool wears Axe Body Spray. Zing! I'd rather be soaked in urine. Even if the makers of Axe claimed that Axe has a chemical in it that makes the opposite sex attracted to you... I'd rather be sprayed with Smilex. (If I had thought of this earlier, I totally would have had a tee shirt made that just said "Fancy Pants Law School," and worn it all 3 days. Damn it.)

An easel and poster board - for that one fucking property question where there's 18 people involved; 27 transfers of property, including 12 mortgages, 6 gifts, and four assignments; only half the people record and only half of them record on time; the facts aren't even presented in chronological order; the bar examiners don't even have the decency to give everybody a name that begins with a different letter; and some people have names like Davis Brown, but instead of referring to him by only one of those names, they use them interchangeably, so that it reads "Davis mortgages to Bank," and then later says "Brown pays off the mortgage," whereupon you ask yourself, "who the fuck is Brown? And what the fuck ever happened to Davis's mortgage?"

A ball-gag for anyone who tries to talk to you about the exam during lunch or immediately after the second session.

Also, to accomodate those students who plan on pulling this exam out of their ass, the bar examiners have promised testing facilities where students can take the exam standing up. Seats are really limited for this, and expected to go fast, so hurry up and secure your space.

And for the end of the exam, students will be permitted to bring 1) a taser so you can fucking zap any inconsiderate piece of shit audacious enough to try to leave in the last 15 minutes and 2) a flask so you can get your drink on as soon as you put your pen down.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

You Might Be Studying For The Bar If...

You have a clever idea for a blog post, but the best format you can think of is a cheap, cliched knock off of a Jeff Foxworthy joke.

Your last thought before you go fall asleep everynight regards a doctrine of law (duh).

Your second to last thought is a calculation of how many hours you will sleep tonight.

Your third to last thought is a violent fantasy about the total stranger who, this morning, got up to the Dunkin' Donuts counter and didn't have his money out yet...

...your fourth to last thought is one of complete disbelief that no one you told about the guy at Dunkin' Donuts shared in your moral outrage... not even the person lying next to you.

Your diet now consists primarily or even solely of foods that you swore off years ago.

Last thing you remember is getting really angry at some asshole in front of you in line at the supermarket. Now you've just awoken under a remote tree. Your jeans are tattered and the rest of the clothes you were wearing are missing.

Drinking leads to crying.

Meeting with your friends begins to sound a little like an intervention in that everyone is telling you how much they care about you, how great you are, how everything is gonna be fine, "you can do this."

Punch-lines to your jokes involve words like "loquitur," or "remainderman," or "estoppel," or phrases like "and then I said 'Sca-lee-a? I hardly know ya!'"

You could swear all the pedestrians in crosswalks have cross-hares on their shirts, and that those who don't, ought to or might as well.

You recently discovered that a car horn can break or wear out.

You're studying in the library when someone stops near your table to make a cell phone call or talk to somebody else, and you imagine yourself lunging over your table like Mini-Me at him.

You have a sense of entitlement with regard to things that, two months ago, you would have thought was a lovely favor... like having someone make dinner for you. When someone does make dinner for you, you become a world-class food critic i.e. "There's too much salt." After announcing your criticism, you change it into something personal i.e. "How could you put so much salt in this when you know I have to study for the bar?"

Your significant other has asked you recently to "please shave."

Your TiVo hard drive is maxed out.

Whe you see total strangers with great tans, you think to yourself, "She can't be studying very much if she's laying outside so much," even though you have no reason to belive that she is even taking the bar.

You're expert with respect to which pens are the most comfortable, which highlighters last the longest, and which pencils have the best erasers.

Part of you craves nasty weather so you don't feel like you're missing out on anything.

You're never prouder than when you find a way to save yourself five minutes of time... like by brushing your teeth in the shower... as if that five minutes changes everything. Alternatively, deciding in advance to brush your teeth in the shower can be justification for hitting the snooze button one more time.

You ask yourself everyday, "What book did I forget to read in law school?"

You classify your friends and loved ones into categories like: people whose phone calls you will return when you get a chance, people whose calls you will return after the bar, people whose calls you will not take under any circumstances, and people who, if they call you again, you will blow up their house...

...or people you whose calls you will not take, but you will call back, but only at a time when you know they will not be able to answer the phone, so you can just leave a message without getting stuck on the phone with them, and they can't give you a hard time for not returning their calls.

Every night you make a new resolution like it was eff'n New Year's, only all of your resolutions pertain to studying.

You hate people whom you only know thru conversations that you overhear.

You suffer from what I will call Cinderella Syndrome, where you find yourself with a loved one at the end of the night, and think "If we're gonna make out tonight, we better get started soon because I gotta go to bed early so I can get up on time and start studying." Apparantly, if you don't wake up by 8AM on Saturday or Sunday, your PMBR CDs turn into pumpkins.

You do that thing in the shower, that fighters always do in movies after the fight... where they stand under the shower head, hands out in front of them against the wall, and head down 'cause they're too tired to stand on their own.

Your plans for after the bar don't necessarily involve something specific, but if you don't somehow make the evening news, your post bar celebration will be somewhat of a disappointment.

You have a new four letter "f" word that you're terrified to use and you shiver when other people use it. It rhymes with "pail."

All your dreams involve absurd law school dramas... like failing law school algebra, or sleeping thru your law school spanish exam. You wake up physically and emotionally exhausted as if you actually did it.

All of your voice mails begin with "Dude, are you alive?"

Instead of all the things you used to do in your spare time... like drinking, making out, watching TV, leisure reading (remember what that was like?), or all four, now you just blog.

More signs...

No matter what you eat or when you eat it, or what medicine you take before or after you eat it, your body suddenly becomes an orchestra.

You’ve become an expert on other peoples’ flaws e.g. that fat bitch at the counter, that stupid asshole in front of me, that obnoxious piece of shit at the next table, that superficial whore on the phone, etc

Girls – you have a new look… it’s called “Flu.”
Guys – your look is called “Unibomber.”
“Flu” and “Unibomber” are this summer’s “black,” among law students, and the only way you can be cooler is to be “flu-ier” or “Unibomb-ier.”

You have acne in places you didn’t even know you had pores.

You can save your page in your PMBR book with the hair that’s fallen out of your head.

A good day is a day with no notable indigestive problems.

You experience symptoms now, that you’ve only heard your grandparents speaking of at family gatherings, so that gatherings with your bar exam friends sound like the scene in “Christmas Vacation” when the grandparents show up e.g. “They took a pint of fluid outta my back,” and “I have hemorrhoids.”

“Bar exam friends” is an acceptable and recognized social class to you, and at least relative to your non-bar friends, your bar friends have executive privileges.

Two Words: Elastic Waistband (I think there's a little more dignity in the Letterman format than the Foxworthy one, don't you?)

Somebody you know who is not studying for the bar recently accused you of being inattentive, rude, or insensitive with regards to others but over-sensitive with regards to yourself, and it took every ounce of self restraint not to rip his fucking head off, shit down his neck, and fuck his skull.

You are inattentive, rude, and insensitive with regards to others but over-sensitive with regards to yourself.

You overhear somebody talking about a newspaper article about a local man awarded a medal of honor for some heroic feat, for example, in Iraq. You think you deserve similar recognition for the lifestyle you’ve led this summer. You imagine that such an article about you would read “A local man has not showered in 3 days or shaved in 2 weeks. Last night for dinner he had peanut butter from the jar with his last plastic spoon. He ran out of toothpaste yesterday, but refusing to leave his desk, he insists he will use mouthwash only until the 29th. Calls to his cell phone were not returned.” Which leads me to...

For the last week, you've been out of something that you ordinarily use everyday, like laundry detergent, milk, deodorant, clean underwear, or MONEY MONEY MONEY.

Faced with the option of catching up with an old friend, or clicking over to Girl Walks Into A Bar, you decide your friend has waited this long; he can wait another week.

You honestly think that this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, or this is even remotely funny. Seriously... in a week, I won't be able to pay my best friends to read anything that I have to say.

You and your friends quote Rob, the ex-semi-pro athlete who loves cats and believes that mental sit-ups are as important as regular sit-ups, like he’s Will Ferrell in Old School.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jay's Best Friend

The only picture I could get him to look at the camera... and I look like a serial killer. And yes, that's a "Jay" sign that I stole from a highway in the town of Jay, Vermont... though it's just a fortunate coincidence that it made the picture AND happens to be pointing right at me. Do I need to report that to the bar examiners? Or now that you know, do you? Oh well. Sam is the most loyal f'n creature in the free world. I don't need a leash or anything when I walk him - not even if some deer or other dogs come running around, because he never leaves my side. He's got a thyroid problem that makes him gain weight really easily, and then he gets lazy and arthritic, and gains more weight. Lather, repeat. So anyway, I was helping him lose weight by walking him every night since about October, but since I've had to get up so early, I haven't been able to walk him in a while. And I can't take him during the day cuz he gets tired too easily in the daytime heat. When I first started walking him, all he could do was a 45 minute mile, but 6 pounds lighter, I had him all the way down to about 20-25 minutes before BarBri broke us up. We have another collie, named Shiggles (which is short for "Shits and Giggles," because my family is so damn classy) that looks just like him but smaller, but she's insane, and would never sit still long enough to take a picture. Now that BarBri is over I can finally take him for walks, and we can be BFFs again!

No more sappy posts, I promise, but I am really glad to be able to play with him again. Posted by Picasa

You Want A Piece of Me?

I read this on A Girl Walks Into A Bar, and realized that it beautifully illustrates another sign that you might be studying for the bar: you crave confrontation. Granted, in GG's case, a brick to the head of the offender might be more tempting than most confrontations would, even were it not for the bar, but the point is still the same.

Used to be that if I was studying somewhere, and people were talking too loudly or something, I'd just kinda shrug it off and bitch about it later. Everytime I'm studying now in my library, if someone starts talking too loudly a little part of me, more and more everyday, really hopes that a confrontation can somehow evolve of it - most of the time, the confrontation seems preferable to having them just talk quieter - just to give me an excuse to emasculate or otherwise humiliate someone.

And then the other day it happened. I was hip deep in sellers' remedies, when these two fat fucking pieces of shit started just yammering away in right the middle of the designated reading area. Now, ordinarily I'm a pretty nice guy, and I wouldn't ordinarily resort to petty name calling and juvenile labeling of people... but the way I see it, if you're gonna make a public spectacle of yourself, then you invite any ridicule imaginable from those you're annoying.

So anyway, normally, all I would have to do in this situation is lift my head and sigh or something like that, and a normal person that was talking too loud would realize that he was talking too loud, and talk quieter or move somewhere else. That didn't work this time. So I began to leer, wating for one of them to sense it and see me. And they did, but they didn't stop. So I looked back into my notes and did the "those-fucking-morons-who-do-they-think-they-are" disapproving head shake. That they saw. Please, please, please come over here and try to confront me, is all I could think. And this they obliged.

"Excuse me," Tweedle-ton said as she approached my table. "Do you have a problem with something?"

"Well it's just that this is the reading section of the library, and I doubt that you talk that loud even outside of the library, so I don't understand why you would talk that loud here." It was at that point than something else became very obvious: You know you you talk about "pushing peoples' buttons," sometimes? Well this lady's buttons all blinked in bright colors and made cool noises... you couldn't them.

"Listen to me, you," she said. "I am not a child, and if I want to -"

"Oh, I know you're not a child... a child would know better than to stand in the middle of the library, shouting like the rescue ship was flying overhead."

Kool-Aid stared blankly for about a second and then said the worst thing anybody could say in a confrontation with a student studying for the bar. "This is America," and I already knew where she was going with this one, "and if I want to talk, I have a right to -"

"HEY! Take a lot at these books on my table, and realize that I know far more about your rights than you do. I'm not asking you not to talk, I'm not even asking you to talk quieter. You came over here and confronted me. I was content imagining this confrontation, but you came over here and provoked it. Now I'm sorry if you thought this was gonna be an easy fight for you, but when you think about it, this is really the least embarassing way that this could have happened to you. If you talked that loud in any other library around here, you'd have been in a school, and you'd have been 'shushed' by a child."

So anyway, her friend pulled her away from my table and out of the reading section and that was all that happened. Does anybody else wanna fight like this all the time now? I was so f'n proud of myself, and this was such a huge acomplishment to me, that I was certain that if I went outside and started running, all the townspeople I passed on my route would join me on my run.

Gonna fly now...

Free At Last!!!

Unfortunately I don't have anything particularly scandalous to report about or about BarBri or about our student reps. I do, however, have a funny story about how, on my way home, I thought I pretty much secured my seat in Hell, but later realized that God instead saw fit to punish me here.

The best thing about riding the train in the middle of the afternoon - really, the only redeeming part - is that everyone gets their own 2 or 3 seater, and everybody sits quietly, either sleeping or reading the paper. As we pulled in to Elizabeth, NJ, I noticed a blind man on the platform, waiting for the train. What I didn't know yet is that this was the worst blind man in the world. You know how when you see a blind person getting around, it's usually really impressive? Not so much with this guy. The first thing he did was walk right into the side of the stopped train - I mean, like, nose-against-the-window "into the side of the stopped train."

I couldn't help it: I laughed out loud. God apparantly heard me and saw fit to smite me.

The blind man stumbled onto the train. I presume he was just feeling his way around the aisle seats, because he walked past the first two rows of seats, where people were sitting next to the aisle, and into my seat... because I was sitting against the window. I presume that he thought he was getting into a 2 seater, and not a 3 seater, by the way he catapulted himself into it. But I'm not sure what was his basis for concluding that the whole seat was empty though, but I do know that he was extraordinarily heavy, that the inside wall of the train in extraordinarily hard, and that he basically crushed me between the two of them.

You know how you hear about people deprived of one sense, have stronger other senses than the rest of us? Apparantly the loss of his vision only enhanced his ability to comfortably talk at an unnecessarily loud volume. As soon as he removed himself from my lap, he removed his cell phone from his shirt pocket and placed a phone call. I also gathered from his conversation that he probably, in addition to being blind, was developmentally challe.... retarded. He just kept repeating himself at the top of his voice. I guess he plays in some kind of music ensemble in Elizabeth and was talking about some piece he was working on. "Yes, that would be nice because it would keep me honest. Ha! What? No, honest. Honest, right. No, it would keep me honest. Right. Honest. You? No, me. Honest. Right. I said it would keep me honest. Yes, honest. Honest. No, honest. Yes."

So anyway, he ended his conversation, put his phone back in his shirt pocket, and began singing to himself. Not lyrics, or even a melody. Just a non-sensical series of "beep[s]," and "boo[s]," and "boop[s]," and "bah[s]," in his falsetto voice. If you don't know what a falsetto voice is, it's the voice, for example, that a guy might talk in if he was doing a crude impression of a woman... that fake, higher pitched voice than he normally talks in. If you wanna know how I know what a falsetto voice is, read Hey, Hey, HEY!

I kind of started to doze off until his cell phone rang. Actually, it wasn't the ring that woke me up; it was the way he answered it. He had on of those walking sticks that blind people carry, that folds like 4 times into a shorter stick. Well apparantly, it came a little unfolded and opened, so that even though he thougt he was holding all four shorter lengths, he was only holding 3. The fourth - the one that would be the very end if the stick was unfolded, was stuck between the seat back and the seat cushion. And when his phone rang, it startled him, and he flinched really hard. He swung his hand that was holding the stick, up in the air... but since the end of his stick was stuck, it didn't give right away... but when it did, it snapped up in the air and caught me under the chin... really, really hard.

"Excuse me," he said to me, "Hello," he screamed into his phone.

He ended that conversation quickly, but as we pulled into New Brunswick, and I was still massaging the sensation back into my lower jaw, I realized that we were both getting off at the same stop. He got off the train and walked right into a railing, nowhere near the stairs he was looking for. "Can I help you," I offered, certain and correct that this would backfire somehow.

"That would be nice," he replied in a normal volume, confirming my unannounced suspicion that his gift for talking too loud only applied in closed spaces. I reached to grab his wrist so I could guide him to the stairs, but not content to be held by his wrist, he grabbed my hand... fingers interlaced. Faced with being publicly branded either "that older retarded blind man's nice younger lover," or "that arrogant piece of shit who refused to help the older retarded blind man," I bit my lip and walked him to the stairs, avoiding eye contact with everyone on the platform.

Anyway, this is taking longer to write than I thought it would, and I need to get back to studying, so I'm not gonna waste any more time trying to think of a lesson or some other nice way to wrap it up. But if you have a nice or funny way to do it, post it in a comment.

And then get back to studying. I think this test is really soon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Celebratory Note To Self...

Tomorrow is that last day of BarBri. Therefore, tomorrow is the last day I have to get up at 4:30AM. Tonight is therefore, the last night that I have to go to bed by 10:30. Tomorrow night, I can therefore resume watching The Daily Show. HOORAY!

Also BarBri has promised us pizza tomorrow... but I've been hurt before.

Hey, Hey, HEY!!!

In response to the angry comments I received on my last post...


It was a freakin' joke! But you know what? It doesn't matter 'cause BarBri did fuck up. I know that people give the reps a hard time. Some of my best friends are reps, and I sit right next to Danielle, one of our reps in our class. I hear every stupid question, comment, and complaint registered to her everyday. You know why I'm not a rep? Because I knew that that shit would drive me up a fucking wall, and that I couldn't handle that during the summer. That's why. I made a point to say in my post that the reps in our class are always on the ball, and the "incompetent norm" line was a fucking joke! How could I honestly presume to know the norm having only been to two different classes?

And I feel bad for all the reps that have to put up with this shit, but at some point in time you must have thought to yourself, "Yeah I'll probably have to put up with a lot of stupid shit, but I could use the money." I don't mean to suggest that that grants the rest of us a license to shit on you for no reason or for any reason [because is does not], but the BarBri reps did fuck up in my case - the morning rep took the video home, instead of leaving it for the afternoon rep. I posted my blog entry as a letter to BarBri in general, because I decided that that was funnier than "Why do you hate me, BarBri rep in the class that I don't ordinarily attend?" And for the record, anybody that has a sense of entitlement with regards to anything that involves the student reps, other than showing up to class on time with the videos, is a dick. And anybody who doesn't understand that sometimes, the student reps hit traffic, break down on the way, or even oversleep, should walk a mile in their shoes... and should have to carry Roonie's boxes... and should probably talk to Dr. Fayza, too.

Today, BarBri - not the reps - fucked up, and everyone was really cool to the reps. To make up for us having to stay so late today, BarBri even promised pizza for lunch... and then renegged around 12:15 because they couldn't find a pizza place in fucking Brooklyn!!! A pizza place is about as easy to find in Brooklyn as a single flip flop - not even a pair or flip flops - is in CA. That excuse, therefore, is also funny... and that's why I put it in my blog. I did not put it on my blog because I think that BarBri actually owes me pizza now.

C'mon now. I know that people are stressed out, that it's easy to take something personally that wasn't meant to be personal, and that our senses or humor - particularly about oursevles - has been kind of impaired... but we have to at least maintain a sense of humor about ourselves amongst each other.

I'll go first...

On my college applications where it asked about any high school sports or extracurricular activities, this is what I had:

6 years of marching band, 4 years of jazz band, 3 years of jazz ensemble, 4 years of percussion ensemble, 4 years of concert band, 2 years of symphonic band, and two years of wind ensemble. Also I played drums in our school musical all four years, in the choir for 2 years, and in the flute choir for one year.

Then on my law school application where it asked the same about college activities, this is what I had:

3 years Golden Ram marching band, 3 years of Criterions jazz band, 3 years of jazz ensemble, 3 years of percussion ensemble, 3 years of symphony orchestra, 2 years of symphonic band, 2 years concert choir, 1 year mens' choir, and 1 year masterworks' choir.

Also, my freshman year of highschool I wore a back brace because I had really bad scoliosis. I was allowed to take it off for a few hours everyday, but I only had one bag to carry it in - it was the bag that the doctor's office gave me and it was green, with a graphic of a toddler with a walker on it. I had to have surgery to correct my scoliosis at the end of my sophomore year, and my parents had to rent a geriatric recliner for me to sit in all day every day for the whole summer. Now I have two steel rods in my back and I still set off airport and courthouse metal detectors.

Also, I never weighed 100 pounds until I was almost 19. My little brother is 6'4" and I'm 5'9". My eyebrows now are normal sized but they haven't grown since I was about 14, so I had to grow into them. But for 2 years of college I lived with four girls and one time (actually, twice) they talked me into going to get electrolysis, so I could report back to them about whether it hurt or not, and they could monitor whether or not it worked. The first time the electroysist zapped me, I lept off the bed-type-thing I was laying on, like they do on hospital shows when someone gets shocked with a defibrillator... except he put it on my eyebrows, not my chest.

Oh yeah, and this Sunday was the worst day of my whole summer... because I heard that the New York Times was gonna publish an All-Harry-Potter crossword, but they didn't. It was some crappy off-shoot of the Times, and it was a children's puzzle with clues like "12 Across: Harry's Brainy Friend; 8 letters." I almost tried to get my $3.50 back from the bagle place where I bought the paper, but Regina teased me, so I didn't.

Now here's a joke at your expense...

My blog is not I'm not interested in reading both sides of an argument. My blog is way for me to laugh at myself, and sometimes at others because that is the only way I will maintain my sanity for the next few weeks. Also, I'm a whore for attention. Unfortunately for you BarBri reps, I can guarantee you that I will write another nasty post about BarBri before the test is over. But it's just a joke. Please don't leave any angry comments on my blog... unless they are also funny.

But in case anything I or anybody else says upsets you so much that you just have to say something about it...

I created a blog for all the disgruntled BarBri reps to post their complaints about the other students in their class. Its called BarBriRepsArePeopleToo. Go to the site. A username and password is in the first post, so anybody can leave a post instead of just comments. Side note to other readers: If you're not a BarBri rep, you'd be a total douche bag to put new posts on the site... unless they, too, are funny.

REMEMBER... I didn't create the blog to be mean... I created it because I thought it was funny. Like a clown, funny. You know... ha, ha?

I think Mona Lisa Vito said it best, when she said, "Maybe it was a bad time to bring it up."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Why do you hate me, BarBri?

I made you that pie!!!

I'd like to take a moment to thank Danielle and Josh, the BarBri Student Reps in our class, for actually getting shit done the way it's supposed to. As I've read Girl Walks Into A Bar, and all the other CA bar blogs, I've just assumed that BarBri only sucks out west... but that for whatever reason, they're much better back here.

Well they're not. Apparantly Danielle and Josh are just a blissful exception to an incompetent norm. And I don't throw accusations like that around very often - I have tremendous respect for anyone who works in any kind of service related industry, where personal interaction with your clientelle is required. That being said, If Bill Bucker was in the afternoon BarBri class today, he would have been the first to say "How the fuck can you fuck up something so simple?"

I'm just lucky to have reps with their shit together in the morning class that I usually go to. But today I had to go to the afternoon class because I had an orientation for my clerkship that starts in September. As an aside, I'd like to know who the f'n genious is that decided 7/12 and 7/22 were acceptable dates to ask all of your hires - who are all studying for the bar - to take a morning off to swing by and fill out some paper work for a few hours. Anyway, so I had to go to the afternoon BarBri class so I could tell my county that yes I would like health insurance, but no, I do not know which plan I want or which plans my doctor accepts. This wouldn't be such a terrible burden if it didn't involve sprinting to the train station, and then hustling to Brooklyn to make the afternoon class - an hour and a half commute each way.

And it wouldn't have that bad if when I got there, the BarBri reps had the fucking Agency video!!! I got all the way to Brooklyn, just to find out they didn't have the fucking video. "But don't worry," they suggested, "we're just gonna play tomorrow's Domestic Relations video."

Dear BarBri reps in the afternoon section,

What kind of stupid ass solution is that? You know the hand out we were supposed to use today for Agency? If I fill in the blanks to my Agency outline with the lecture notes from tomorrow's Domestic Relations lecture, will I understand a damn thing about either of them?

Seriously now, I understand that you guys are students just like us, but what the fuck good does this solution do anyone. There isn't even a fill-in-the-blank outline for Domestic Relations, which means that everyone needs 1) Blank paper, or 2) a laptop, with which to take notes, or 3) as I suggested earlier, to just fill in the blanks on the Agency outline.

Nobody needs this aggravation right now, and if the video is missing, it's the fault of a BarBri rep that is either in the building now, or was this morning and will be again tomorrow. So get on the goddam phone! Many of us commute to get here... many more were studying before they left, and faced with the option of hacking away with a pen and unlined printer paper at a lecture that we wanted to use our laptops for, or just taking an afternoon off from class to study our own material, probably would have chosen the latter.

So what the fuck are you thinking?

Monday, July 11, 2005

New From BarBri's Engineering Program...

Only a right side of the brain thinker could come up with this design for a water bottle that's supposed to be used by people "on the go."

See how it flares out at the top? The means that when you tip it back, that top has to fill with more water than an ordinary bottle does. That means that you have to tip it further back, towards your face, to drink from it.

The flared top requiring you to tip your whole head back just to take sip would suck in even a regular bottle. But this bottle has lip with a 3 inch diameter... which makes not spilling this while you walk and drink from it 100% impossible. That's right, BarBri put a wide mouth on a bottle that requires you to tip your head all the way back for even the first sip... and expects you to travel with it. Who is the genious that said "Hey, you know how every other water bottle gets skinnier at the top? Fuck that. I think wider at the top is the way to go."

This is the world's only stationary water bottle that you can casually carry. I defy anyone to drink from this while walking without spilling it on himself. I have a great idea for next year's bottle, where every bottle has a straw that operated like one of those games at the fair where the groundhogs pop out of the ground and you have to hit them with a foam mallet. Posted by Picasa

The Little Known Larceny

I did this question today and it was the last straw and provoked my first full-on, frothing-at-the-mouth, face-in-my-hands nervous breakdown.

While hiking through an area that had been recently devastated by fire, Hiker discovered a sign that stated: "Now entering State Wilderness Area." Thinking that the sign would make a nice decoration, Hiker took the sign home with him. He was arrested and charged with violating a state statute that provides, " Any person who appropriates to his own use property owned by the state shall be guilty of a crime and shall be punished by fine and/or imprisonment. At trial, Hiker admitted taking the sign, but claims that he believed the sign had been abandoned since the area had recently been devastated by a fire. In fact, the sign had not been abandoned.

Hiker will most likely be found:

(A) Guilty, because this is a strict liability offense.
(B) Guilty, because intent is not placed in issue by this statute.
(C) Not Guilty, unless the jury finds that the state hadtaken adequate steps to inform the public that the sign had not been abandoned.
(D) Not guilty, if the jury finds Hiker honestly believed the sign had been abandoned.

So this is what I did...

I lost a lot of stupid points on the practice MBE because I rushed thru the problems, and blew over one word that changed the whole problem. AND I finished both halves of the MBE with 15 minutes left. So I'm making a more conscious effort to read the problems slower, and analyze each answer choice, even if I think it's wrong.

So here's my analysis...
(A) This seems to make sense for now because there is no mens rea given in the statute, which would make this a strict liability offense, rendering what he was thinking when he stole the sign meaningless. Even though the offense itself sounds like a common law larceny, the definition of the offense in the statute is different from larceny in that it does not require intent.
(B) This sounds to me to be the right conclusion, but the way it's worded makes it sound like one of those answers you can typically eliminate off the bat. Also, since there's no mens rea given, no mental state is put in issue, let alone intent; if this is a strict liabilty offense, he'd be guilty even if he stole it recklessly or negligently or lovingly. Plus, it's not as specific as (A), which comes to the same conclusion.
(C) This sounds like they're hinting at Due Process - that (for the purpose of the exam) a defendant generally can't be convicted of a crime that has only recently become a crime, unless legislators have issued some kind of notice to the public. But when this is an issue in a question, it's far more explicit than it is in this fact pattern, so Due Process is prolly not gonna save Hiker.
(D) An honest mistake can only function to negate intent, but this statute - even though the offense sounds like larceny - doesn't require intent, so this can't be right.

So I casually pick (A) and check my answer...

...only to learn that there is a little known form of larceny known as the larceny-type offense. And that a larceny-type offense requires intent! What the EFF is a "-type" offense?!?!? So now, when I read a question like this I have to think to myself, "Sounds to me like the legislature in this case meant something entirely different than what they very explicitly wrote." Seems to me that a methodical reading of this question would be a huge impediment to answering correctly. This question totally favors the knee-jerk response that we keep hearing we have to avoid - if I had just mowed thru this question without a careful reading, I would have said "larceny, intent, (D)," and never looked back... and I'd have gotten this question right because it turns out then when a statute sounds like a common law offense, it is applied like a common law offense.

I'd like to suggest to BarBri that no, this does not sound like a common larceny because it doesn't require intent!!!

But, man I hope that philosophy will get me thru torts. "Wow, I really don't remember much about defamation, but this kinda sounds like a defamation-type tort, so the answer must be defamation."

Sounds to me like either BarBri wants to keep us nervous, or the bar examiners were drunk and high when they wrote this question to be funny, and they can't wait to see our faces when it shows up on the exam.

Fuck this man, I need a little Dane Cook, to relax.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Dark Side of the Bar

Lately I've noticed that the bar has made me kind of umm... sensitive. I've always considered myself a fairly patient individual, but lately, umm, not so much.

With so many good movies out right now, it's damn shame that the last one I saw was Star Wars. Not that that was a bad movie - I actually really liked it - but maybe that's the reason that movie is stuck in my head right now. What I'm getting at here, is that I do believe I've recently crossed over to the Dark Side, very much like Anniken did. I am constantly finding myself wishing horrible demises upon people who engage in behavior that, two months ago, I would have found rather innocuous. "Non-bar-conformists," if you will. I say I've "crossed over," because I'm quite certain I've learned to channel my hatred to wreak havoc upon those who defy my present, more stringent ideal of decency and reasonableness (GODDAM IT, I hate that word.)

Anyway, example:

Yesterday I got stuck on an evening rush our train, which I usually go to great lengths to avoid because they're so aggravating. I would have made it out of NYC before rush hour if I hadn't left my cell phone in Brooklyn. Actually that's not entirely true. I could have made it even if I did leave my cell phone in Brooklyn, if I had only realized that I left it in Brooklyn before I got on a train in Penn Station. At least I realized it before the train left, but at that particular moment, such a truth was of zero consequence to me and did nothing to help subside my anger.

Now I had to go all the way back down to Brooklyn, and back to Penn Station, just to get on the very train that I tried so desperately to avoid earlier.

So I went back, got my phone, returned to Penn Station, got on a train, and closed my eyes, listening to the soothing siren sound of Professor Daniel Fessler's PMBR contracts lecture.

"I smell popcorn," I thought to myself. And it made sense that I smelled popcorn because the guy sitting in the seat next to me was working on a freshly popped bag of Pop-Secret. My recently aqcuired way-over-sensitive temper kicked in and I thought "What kind of an asshole eats microwave popcorn on the train?" I wasn't mad so much that he was eating, as I was that he was eating something so aromatic - good or bad smelling, it doesn't matter - in a closed public space, and that now I was gonna have to smell it for an hour, all the way back to New Brunswick.

I tried to think of a justification defense for choking him, but thought of nothing, and stopped short of checking my Crimlaw notes to see if maybe I was forgetting one.

But just watching him made me angrier and angrier. Then he swung his legs out into the aisle and crossed his legs, blocking anyone that might try to get by. "Who does this guy think he is? Isn't anybody gonna do anything to stop him?" We can't let him get away with this!!!" is all I could think.

Then he started spilling popcorn all over his seat and the floor... and any popcorn that fell into his lap, he very nonchalantly swept onto the seat or floor with his hand. I thought about confronting him. "You know," I would say, "I don't have a problem with you eating popcorn on the train, but do you have to eat from your hand like your performing cunninlingus on it?"

I hesitatingly decided against the confrontation, but the Dark Side was beginning to take over.

And then he went too far. He removed from his bag a pint of orange juice. I can't honestly say which made me madder: the fact that he had more food, or the absurdity of an individual who drinks orange juice with popcorn.

As he took his first sip, I relaxed and allowed the hatred and the anger to flow thru my veins. I concentrated all my rage at him. And then I did it...

...I spilled his orange juice down the front of his shirt, all over his lap, and even more impressively, into his bag of Pop-Secret, and I did it all using nothing but my rage.

"That'll teach him," I thought, after I laughed outloud. Still not completely vindicated, I waited impatiently for the conductor to come and check his ticket, hoping I could sneak a peak at where he was going, in hopes that he was going even further then I was, and would thus have to ride in the crowded, air-conditioned train, covered in orange juice for as long as possible. And sure enough he was... all the way to Trenton, end of the Northeast Corridor line. Now I can't prove that I used The Force to send him all the way to Trenton, but I can't prove that I didn't either. And I really hope that at Trenton, he had to pick up a Septa train to Philly.

So now that I know I can exercise such wrath, I can't wait to find another unexpecting, and probably otherwise undeserving individual to smite. I'm gonna like the Dark Side.

[Cue music. Roll credits]

Sunday, July 03, 2005

BarBri Beans

Is it just me, or as the bar gets closer, is a dollar worth less and less, so that everyday I'm more willing than I was the day before, to spend more money in preparation for the bar.

Everytime someone from BarBri tells me about an extra class I can pay to take, or book I can buy, I think of the old America's Most Wanted epsiodes, where some deadbeat in Florida scammed some 80 year-old war widow for everything she was worth, claiming to either be helping her get in on a prime real estate deal, or finding her long-lost child. I can almost hear the menacing "bad guy music" playing in the background, while Robert Stack asks "if you or anybody you know has any information on the whereabouts of [insert BarBri rep's name here]..."

But it wasn't always like this...

Two or three months ago, when a professor at my school who also lectures for BarBri said, "By the way, some of you may want to consider taking my Essay Advantage class this summer," I thought to myself suck it, dude. I got this far without your help, and I already know how to write an essay. You're not getting another dime from me.

Yesterday I got a phone call from BarBri... or at least it was someone purporting to be from BarBri, though he kept refusing to tell me his name or how he got my cell phone number (since BarBri only has my house number), his number showed up blocked on my cell, and I'm pretty sure he was covering the phone to laugh on more than one occasion throughout the phone call. Anyway, I record all my phone conversations, so here's the transcript:

Anonymous Caller: Hi, Jason. We here a BarBri know that you're working really hard, and that as the bar gets closer, you may want to find some more supplements to help you prepare. But we also know that there's not always enough time for more supplements, so around this time of summer, we try to offer our students a few more alternative, affordable means of preparing.

Me: I'm sorry, what did you say your name was?

Caller: Jason, do you want to pass the bar this month?

Me: Well, yeah.

Caller: Did you know that last year over 85% of the people that took BarBri passed the bar?

Me: No, but what was your name, again?

Caller: Jason, those numbers don't lie. But do you know what those students who passed did to pass?

Me: Besides study?

Caller: Ha! That's great, Jason. I'm glad you haven't lost your sense of humor, like so many of the other students I've talked to have. That's how I know you're a smart guy, and you're not gonna pass up a deal like the one I'm about to offer you.

Me: Thanks.

Caller: Jason, what do you know about magic beans?

Me: Excuse me?

Caller: You heard me, Jason. Magic beans... guaranteed to make you pass the bar.

Me: I don't understand.

Caller: Neither do we Jason. That's how we know they're magic. And they work all the time... so you don't have to.

Me: You want me to buy beans to pass the bar?

Caller: For only $300, you'd be a fool not to. The beans don't lie, Jason. If you buy these beans you will pass the bar.

Me: Sounds like it would be a waste of $300 not to buy them! How soon do you need the money?

Caller: I can take a credit card number over the phone right now and process it, and you can have your beans in just 4 days, and be on your way to a successful law career.

Me: Gimme a second to get my card. (I get my credit card and read him my digits)

Caller: Jason, do you have a limit on this card?

Me: Yes, but I've got about $5,ooo left on it.

Caller: Great. Now, should I also put you down for the blue smoke and the copper magnet?

Me: Are they extra?

Caller: Only $250.

Me: I don't know. I already have to...

Caller: I should tell you Jason that the beans aren't guaranteed to work without the smoke and the magnet.

Me: I don't understand. I thought that copper wasn't even magnetic.

Caller: Of course it's not. That's why you need the special copper magnet, and that's what makes the magic beans work... after you let them sit in the blue smoke for two weeks, of course.

Me: Oh. I think that I should probably thi...

Caller: Jason, could you hold on for a minute, my boss is trying to get my attention for a minute. (caller leaves for a minute, and returns) Jason, my boss says we're running out of the copper magnets and the blue smoke, and that after today we can't even guarantee anyone that we'll have them back in inventory before July 26.

Me: OK! I'll take them. I'll definitely take them.

Caller: Perfect. So I'll put you down for one set of New York beans.

Me: But I'm also taking the Jersey bar.

Caller: Oh, man. I wish I had known that earlier, I would have called you sooner. Jersey beans are harder to come by. Lemme go check and see if we have any Jersey beans left. (caller leaves and returns shortly) Jason, you're in luck. I am presently holding onto the last set of Jersey beans. Do want them for $300?

Me: I guess I better. Do I need more blue smoke and another copper magnet?

Caller: Jason, don't be silly. We're not trying to run some kinda scam here. The smoke and the magnet is good for both the Jersey annd the New York bar.

Me: Then I definitely want it!

Caller: Great! By the way Jason, I see here that you commute.

Me: How does BarBri know that I commute?

Caller: Jason, when was the last time you changed the air in your tires of your car?

Me: Why would I do that?

Caller: Why would you do that? To keep it from going stale, of course!

Me: The air in my tires goes stale?

Caller: After a few years, yes. And with the temperature fluctuating like has been this summer, your tires are especially vulnerable to stale air. And with stale air in your tires, you could be on your way to the bar exam; next thing you know: your tires don't work, and you miss the exam.

Me: I had no idea!

Caller: Jason, BarBri has a service, just for commuters, where we will come to your house at night while you're sleeping, so not to intrude on your studying, and change the air in your tires. I can offer you this service, as a package deal for already buying the magic beans, the blue smoke, and the copper magnet, for just an additional $100.

Me: I'll take it!

Caller: I knew you would, because I can tell just from talking to you that you're a smart guy, Jason. Jason, do you have a vault in your house, where you keep any valuables?

Me: Yes.

Caller: Great. This is what we need you to do, in order for us to change the air in your tires: Leave a key to your house under the mat on your front door. Leave a key to your car in the vault, and give the combination to the vault to me, now.

Me: Why do you need my keys to change the air in my tires?

Caller: Jason, you ask a lot of smart questions, and that's how I know you're gonna pass this exam, and make a great lawyer. The simple answer to your question is: It's complicated. I'm not a mechanic so I don't know how this stuff works, but lemme tell you something: Because I work at BarBri, I get a a discount on these services, and since I've gotten the air changed in my tires, my tires always work.

Me: OK, but can't I just leave my car keys outside then, instead of leaving them in the vault?

Caller: Well yeah, I suppose you could, if you're comfortable doing that. The thing is, Jason, there's a lot of dishonest people out there, and leaving you car keys outside your house might not be as safe as leaving them in your vault with your valuables, and giving me the combination to the vault.

Me: I guess that makes sense.

Caller: Of course it does, to you! You're a smart guy! So do we have a deal?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Thank You, New Jersey Transit

A friend asked me the other day what brought about the sudden burst of posts on my blog, when during the semester, posts were so few a far between.


Clearly the bar exam has provided me with ample agression, and the blog is a means to vent it, but there's another force more powerful than the bar, that has provided me with countless observations of human depravity and stupidity: New Jersey Transit.

Simply put, riding public transportation for two hours a day each way and looking for something funny to write about is a lot like wiping your ass... you're always gonna find something.

On the subject of bathroom habits and public transportation, here's a great example of the hilarity with which NJT has provided me - and my only regret about this story is that it happened with so much time left in the summer, so nothing I observe for the rest of the summer can ever top it: Last night after the fake bar I got on a rush hour train home. I turned down drinks with my friends so I could sit in a crowded train, return to New Brunswick, and drive my '93 Dodge Caravan with no air conditioning home to Belle Mead amidst rush hour commuter traffic and the early-Friday-night-Rutgers-University-drinking-pedestrian traffic. And it was totally worth it. As soon as the train started moving, some crazy with a capital "CRAZY" lady comes stumbling thru the vestibule yelling completely incoherently, carrying about 8 big ass trash bags of stuff. She's bumping in to everybody, cursing, and mumbling. She gets up to the conductor and starts yelling at him...

(brace yourself for this)


(are you sure?)

..that she peed her pants trying to make the train.

Go ahead and read that sentence again, 'cause this story is only beginning to be obscene.

Not content to tell him that she peed her pants, she proceeded to prove it to him. Without putting her bags down, she swung one arm around in front of her, grabbed the inside of her right pant leg with her right hand, lifted the leg, and swung it outside to her right, to show him the pee that had run down her leg... all the while swaying back and forth, fighting the weight of the bags on each side of her and the mild turbulence of the train, to maintain her balance on just one semi-dry leg.

And let me tell you, I've been on an AmTrack train when the train breaks down and people start acting up... and AmTrack's crew sucks at handling even the smallest of crises. If I ever ordered an drink on an AmTrack train, and they brought me someone else's drink by accident, I'd be afraid that sending it back might somehow derail the train. If I'm ever on a train that's involved in an accident, I hope it's on a NJTransit train 'cause the conductor kept a straight face thru the whole thing.

"Well what would you like me to do do for you," he politely and softly asked, without even emphasizing the "me" to make the question rhetorical and sarcastic, and even maintaining eye contact with her while he continued punching tickets for the passengers who had not peed their pants.

"Nothing," she shouted at him. "I just want you to know because you, an'dis train are gonna be hearin' from my docta and my loya and my huzbin."

So she stormed past him, thru the vestibule, into the next car, and out of my life forever.

And the second the door shut behind her the the whole car just erupted in laughter. To walk into our train car in the middle of it, you'd have thought that we all knew each other... like the best man just toasted the groom, and we were all laughing about the "college days story." The conductor almost passed out from laughing so hard. He may have been holding his breath just to keep from laughing during the whole transaction with her... or it may have been because of the pee, I can't really say.

But in any event, thank you, New Jersey Transit.

More to come...

Friday, July 01, 2005

BarBri: 1; Me: 0

So today was our first practice MBE and I gotta say, I really hope I have some other talent that just hasn't been discovered yet. I'm hoping that SNL will somehow hear about me now cuz law clearly is not my thing. Maybe it's time to get my crime-solving band, Adverse Possession, back together for a reunion. Look for us during our Prima Facie Fantasy Tour. Of course, we'd have to actually learn more than 3 songs. It's pretty bad that we only know three songs... but what makes it even worse is that the band only exists in my head... and three songs is all my imagination can afford us.

If the middle hour of the second half of today's MBE (which by the way, I'm convinced stands for Most Bitterly Exit) was in Portugese, any reflection I could offer on it would be as thorough as my present reflection is. I think at one point, I was certain that the answer to an evidence question involved a fresh collection re-impressed hearsay exception. And I was frustrated that that wasn't in any of the choices.

Maybe if I spend more time blogging my confidence in this test will improve...

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Be a BarBri Superstar!!!

Some days class makes me wanna bang my eff'n head on my desk. It's recently occured to me that no one in my class is ever gonna remember me as "the guy who payed attention real well," and that even if they did, no stories of my attention paying - not even if exagerated - would really make for a cool conversation over beers. So here a few things I'd like to do... things that anybody could do to make themself more memorable to the people in their class. If you're excited by the thought of like 30-100 total strangers telling stories about you to a bunch of their friends years from now, this is for you.

1) Everytime the professor uses an example where somebody dies, run out of the room crying hysterically like you know somebody that died the same way.

2) Make balloon animals. I'm not sure which would be funnier: to make them and then pop them, make them and pop them, make them and pop them, or to hand them to the person next to you as you make them, and give him a nod indicating to "pass it down." You decide.

3) Go to the bathroom and come back with toilet paper stuck to you... but not to your shoe. Put it somewhere creative... like three feet hanging from the back of your collar.

4) Wear a band-aid on a diff't place on your face everyday.

5) In the middle of class, pull a case of soda cans out, arrange all 24 cans very meticulously on your desk. Open all the cans as quickly as you can, then pack up all your stuff and leave class, leaving the cans behind. I don't know how funny this really is, but I imagine the sound of each can being opened would attract enough attention to make for a good story for someone.

6) Every half hour or so, put down your pen and lick all ten fingers, one at a time, in quick succession, pick up your pen, and resume writing.

7) Fall down the stairs in your classroom or auditorium. All the way down.

8) Sit in a middle row of your class, finish what's left in your water bottle, and just whip it at the back of the head of someone in the front of the room. This close to the bar, people will be too stunned to react. Therefore, not only is this hilarious to you, but it establishes your dominance in the minds of those around you.

9) (video classes only) As soon as the professor lists the elements of a particular cause of action, raise your hand like you have a question. Visibly grow impatient by the fact that he hasn't stopped to call on you by holding up one arm with the other and doing a pee-pee dance in your chair. As soon as the professor clarifies one of the latter elements (e.g. that the intent required for a battery is intent to cause the contact, not to cause harm) drop your hand and sigh & groan as if that's exactly what you were gonna ask.

10) Come to class a few minutes late carrying a potted ficus tree and pretend to be hiding behind it. You gotta have fun with this... move all the way to the front of the room, stopping every few steps like you're trying to make sure no one can see you. Once your in the front of the room, peer around and look like you're taking notes on the people in the room, still acting like you're trying not to be noticed. After a few minutes of that, pick up the plant and move next to somebody in the middle of a row - a few steps at a time like you did to get to the front on the room. Continue acting like you can't bee seen while you squeeze past everyone to get to the middle of the row. Make like you're copying someone's notes over their shoulder, continuing to act like you can't be seen because you're hiding behind the ficus.

11) You need a partner for this one. One of you has to dress up like a giant gorilla, chasing the the other, who will naturally be dressed like a giant banana. Bust in thru the door and chase the banana for one or two laps thru the room and then right back out the door. If you're in a mock trial room, or any room with something big like a judge's bench in the front, be sure to run behind it once and pretend to run "downstairs" once you're behind it. Stay behind it for a few minutes, run "back upstairs" and back out of the room.

12) Find someone in your class that looks enough like a TV or movie character that everyone would have to agree on the resemblence, and in the middle of the lecture yell a line at that person from the show or movie. For example, there's a guy in my class that looks just like Long Duk Dong from 16 Candles. Before class ends, I wanna yell at him, "No more yanky your wanky! The Donger need food!"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

BarBri to English Dictionary

For everyone in my life not presently studying for the bar - and for those that are, but clearly haven’t learned the language yet - here are a few invaluable translations that will aid you in communicating with your friends and loved ones who are presently studying for the bar.

The phrase on the left is in BarBri; the phrase on the right is English

1) I need a minute to figure this out => Leave me the fuck alone.

2) Maybe I’ll meet you there => Drink one for me.

3) Later (as in “I’ll call/see/talk to you later”) => Under no conditions will I call/see/talk to you before July 28, and in any event, probably not until I return from the Dominican in the second week of August.

4) BarBri supplemental text/course => Approximately $175 US e.g. Regina: About how much is airfare to the Dominican going for in the first week of August? Jason: 2.5 BarBri supplemental courses, roundtrip, for each of us.

5) I’ll let you know later => Ask me again, and I will stab you in the eye. (Also see number 3, above)

6) I gotta get a quick shower => Where’s my hat?

Si usted los tiene, fíjelos aquí!

Dear Fun,

I know we haven’t exactly been on the best terms lately, and that in fact, we haven’t even spoken or seen each other for a few weeks. I guess I kinda knew for a while now that this is how things were gonna end between us, and I suspect that, at times, you knew as much too. It seems pretty obvious, by now, that things aren’t going to work out between us – at least, not right now. I think that right now, we’re just not right for one another.

Look, I’m sure that you’ve heard all kinds of rumors about me and Boredom, or me and Exhaustion, and especially about me and Solitude. They were all just flings, and they meant nothing to me – especially compared to you. But most importantly, I want to make sure that you know that nothing happened between me and any of them until you and I stopped seeing each other. When we were together, you were the only one I wanted to be with.

I guess I just need something different right now, which is why, as I’m sure you’ve also heard by now, I’ve been spending so much time with Cranky. Maybe it’s just that you and I have been together for so long, that I’ve never known anything else. For that, sometimes I feel overly dependent on you, which makes me nervous for two reasons: 1) obviously I have to get thru this test on my own, and 2) as much as I love you and love being with you, I’m concerned that my own sense of self revolves around you sometimes. Maybe we both just need to take a step backwards from one another, take a break from the other, and try seeing other people.

With the bar exam coming up, I guess Cranky is just better for me. Especially since when I’m with you, I’m unable to think about or do anything else that isn’t you. Every time I think about the time you and I have spent together, and the things we did, I still smile. Sometimes Cranky gets really pissed off when I start talking about all the great nights drinking you and I had together, the Halloween party, your semi-formal, or “Taco Night.”

I know that you understand, but I just wanted you to hear it from me because you deserve at least as much, and because even though I know that I’ve messed up too bad for us to just jump right into being friends, I hope that with the passage of time – maybe in a few weeks – we can re-evaluate our feelings for one another, and at least try to be friends again.

Missing you,


Saturday, June 25, 2005

Oh, Lord, How Thou Doth Shower Me In Hilarity!!

If ever I've been convinced that there's a God, it's this weekend, when Billy Graham will be hosting his final revival... and the Gay Pride Parade will be just around the corner. So this weekend is the time to come to NYC, where you can wake up! and come out!

I get a semi at the thought of some lost Christian family in Penn Station asking me if I know where the revival is. "Of course," I'd enthusiastically reply. "Just hop on the 1 or the 9 downtown to Christopher Street, and when you get off the train, just follow the crowd. You can't miss it. Have fun!"

There truly is no better hilarity than hilarity had at another's expense.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

BarBri on the Brain

BarBri has pushed me over the edge and I can never go back.

Today, it was about 30 degrees in the library I study in, so after carving my initials into my table with my nipples, in protest of the cold, I decided to go home and study.

When I started my car, whatever radio station was on was doing one of those "Wacky News" segments. Apparantly some woman in Kentucky (wait... let me finish) is suing a radio station down there for money she claims she won in a contest. The contest prize, according to her, was $100,000. According to the radio station it was "A Hundred Grand..." as in the candy bar.

Instead of just laughing at the kooky inbred woman from Kentucky, I immediately and completely impulsively began analyzing the issues of this suit.

I got so caught up in it, waiting at a red light, that I didn't notice the light had changed until the car behind me honked. "The audacity of that guy," I thought about the guy who honked. "If I don't figure this out, that radio station is gonna screw that nice lady."

But then I got to thinking... "Well, what did she have to do to win the money? 'Cuz if it was something really silly, than she should have reasonably believed that the contest may be a joke. Was there a disclaimer? Probably not, if the radio station thought the contest was too ridiculous to even warrant a disclaimer. And how long has this contest been going on for? Maybe it's something they do every morning."

BEEP!BEEP! Another honk, this time because I didn't notice the "left turn" light I was now sitting at had changed in my favor. But who has time to pay attention to things like traffic lights, when radio stations across the country are in danger of being hauled into court on frivolous complaints, if I don't figure out a way to beat this money grubbing bitch from Kentucky.

I actually got mad at the radio station I was listening to because in the end, the only conclusion I could come to was "How the EFF does this radio station expect me to resolve this on just these facts?!"

Does this happen to anybody else?

I constantly find myself eavesdropping on strangers' conversations on the train and in restaurants, and creating legal issues from them - and contemplating the rule and the exception to them, then defenses. I fear it's only a matter of time before I turn around in my seat, a la Wilson from "Home Improvements," and say suggestively to a total stranger, "You know what you should do?"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

BarBri Mad Libs

This is just to test the water... maybe a good way to blow off some steam for 15 minutes or so. If enough people try this by the end of the weekend, I may try to do one every other night or so. You gotta do this totally blind though. Just get a pen and write down the words you want to use. Then click to leave a comment. I have typed the whole mad lib in as the first comment. Get it? Basically you pick the words, then click on the comment link, to read the whole mad lib - I'll leave the black spaces where they belong. If you're so inclined, leave your words posted as a comment, so anyone else that tries this can read your mad lib. In the numbers below, I put a blank space between lines to indicate where a new paragraph begins.

Here it goes...

1. noun 2. verb 3. verb(present participle - that means ending in "ing") 4. adj 5. noun 6. noun (plural) 7. verb (past tense) 8. adverb 9. number 10. noun (plural if 9 was)

11. adj 12. noun 13. adverb 14. adj

15. adj 16. (repeat #5) 17. verb (past tense)

18. noun (plural)

19. verb 20. noun (plural) 21. verb

22. (repeat 9) 23. (repeat 10) 24. noun

25. verb 26. verb 27. verb (past tense) 28. verb 29. noun

30. verb 31. (repeat 9) 32. (repeat 10) 33. noun 34. (repeat 31) 35. verb (past tense) 36. noun

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Greatest Prank of All Time...

I found this on The 15 Minute Hipster, who actually got it from Boing Boing, and I had to post it on mine, because I worked for TGIFriday's for a long time, and I thought that me and my friends had a lot of fun at their expense. Well we got nothin' on this guy.

If you or anybody you know has ever worked in a restaurant, you need to read this...

If you or anybody you know has ever eaten in a restaurant, you need to read this...

If you or anybody you know has ever seen a commercial or an ad for a restaurant, you need to see this...

And if you or anybody you know has ever tried the Atkin's Diet - for the love of GOD - YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

To The Guys That Work Out At My Gym:

That's not a growth on my shoulder.

It's my neck. And I rather enjoy having it.

I appreciate your concern for my bod, but I'm not interested in having yours. Please stop interupting my workout to offer me advice on how my workout can be changed, so I will look more like you. I'm just here to work out little bit, to blow off some steam, and to lose a few bad pounds and gain a few good ones, before I go on vacation at the end of this summer.

I'm not interested in "pushing it," my plans don't involve ever "maxing out," and I'm already "breathing." If I was interested in working out like you do, I'd start by waxing my chest, and developing really bad back acne... or in some cases, I'd staple a shag carpet to my back... then I could also get "PAIN" tattooed on my knuckles, to match your tattoos.

I'm not interested in what supplements you take... herbal or otherwise.

If I interrupted your workout to tell you, "Hey, if you lift a little less weight, do a few more reps, and stretch a little more, your form might improve, and you might not sound like you're making love to the weights in a manner that would make Tommy Lee blush, everytime you exhale," you'd think I was an asshole.

If you want to help someone, go help that guy holding onto the treadmill like it's a mechanical bull. He clearly doesn't know what he's doing... as opposed to me... who just doesn't do what you do.

Unlike you, this is not a lifestyle thing for me. It's just a hobby. And I don't mean that in a slanderous way... I just mean to say that we're different. I take studying as seriously as you take working out. But if I saw you reading a book on the train one day, and I snuck up from behind you, put my index finger against the page, and moved it along as we both read to ourselves, you'd think I was an asshole.

So once again, thanks, but no thanks. I'm not interested in how much more I could be lifting by the end of the summer, if I do what you say. I'm not interested in how much bigger your workout will make me.

But most of all, I just like having a neck.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

An Open Letter to Anyone Thinking About Going to Law School


The following story has two parts: the first part is a general characterization of what you could expect every one of your semi-annual three week reading and exam periods to be like; the second part is a story about an exam that I recently took. But don’t think for one second that my story is exceptional. It, like the first part of the story, is perfectly reflective of a generic exam experience, but it just works better when it’s told in the first person.

Part One: Buy Sweatpants
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Jay, I just finished college with two degrees and a minor, and I never stressed over exams.” Hear me now and believe me later: the difference between college exams and law school exams is like the difference between Cancun and Colonial Williamsburg, Disney and Epcot, Diane and Rebecca, a brothel and a convent.

Now pay attention…

During exams, sweatpants become the new black. While comfort is always an issue, waist size controls. You see, during exams you don’t have time to eat normal meals at normal times. You’ll be on a roll, about to break the Erie Doctrine, first year law school’s Da Vinci Code, and won’t want to breaka you stride, so you will study thru dinner and get some pizza around 10 or 11. Just get a pie… that way you can pick at it thru the night and polish it off for breakfast on your way back to school the next morning. Grab some garlic knots, too. And you’ll probably stop at the Chinese place and pick up some egg rolls to snack on while you wait for the pizza. Better grab a coffee on your way back, too. On your way back to school, you can take a moment to bask in your shame for eating like this and promise yourself, that you will go to the gym tomorrow. I know, I know – you said the same thing yesterday when you spent more money on the McDonald’s Dollar Menu, than you would have if you had just gotten 2 Value Meals. But this time you mean it. Think of an excuse now, so you don’t hold up the line in Dunkin’ Donuts tomorrow morning.

By the end of the first week, your sweatpants… the ones you usually only sleep in… the ones you woke up in this morning… the ones you never wash because you put them on when you do the laundry… will be the only pants that fit you. Better pick up some Febreeze, because these pants have to get you thru every day and night for the next two weeks. If you wish you had another pair, but can’t afford it, don’t worry. Pick up a few extra rolls of Tums or bottles of Maalox – with everyone’s new diet, heartburn and indigestion medicines become currency. You can sell them to Professor Chang’s students at the table next to you, who, after three days, have almost figured out the first Commerce Clause question in his practice exam. Alternatively, you could buy stock in a toilet paper company – with the digestive problems that exams inflict on most students, Charmin’ should buy advertising space on our practice exams. Use the money you make from either or both of these investments to buy a second pair of sweatpants.

Another interesting social phenomenon occurs during law school exams: practical and ordinary hygienic practices become socially unwelcome displays of elitism and shameless self-promotion. Expect to hear jeers like:

“Hey, everyone, look who shaved last night! Well la-di-dah.”

Or, “Did you hear about that empty tube of toothpaste they found in the bathroom last night? I hope they catch that bastard.”

Or, “Looks like some one’s gunnin’ for a promotion and changed his socks!”

In this manner, law school exams are appropriately analogous to bulimia, in that you binge and binge and binge on your material for two weeks, and then you walk into each exam and purge into a Selson-Blue-Book. At the end of the exam, you wipe your mouth and hand in the exam, never to be seen again. Afterwards, you're convinced that everybody else is still better than you and that you should have purged some more. Next time you’re gonna use three fingers.

Part Two: Quothe the Clock, "Nevermore..."
In my last New York Practice class, my professor told us that the exam would be three questions with multiple parts. No big surprise there, as most of our exams are pretty much like that.

Exam starts at 9am and ends at 1.

I get the test and give a perfunctory glance over the instructions. I notice that he's even suggested time allotments for each question - 2 hrs for Question 1, 1hr 15 for Question 2, and 45 for Question 3. Short of that I read none of the instructions because apparently I like to be smug and cavalier, and apparently reading the instructions on an exam is beneath me, as a third year student.

So I turn to the first question and see parts 'A' thru 'D' for it, take a look at them and think "Yeah, this should take about 2 hrs, just like he suggested." So I read this fact pattern he's given us and start Question 1A. He had requested a "RA RA" approach to answering his question, which simply means answer each question by first stating the "R"ule and then the "A"nalysis, repeat. So since he's grading the exam, it behooves me to comply.

2hrs and 15 minutes later I finally finish 1D, turn the page and move on to Question 2. Mind you that I actually know this stuff really well, and the 15 minutes that I went over in Question 1 was completely the result of me including gratuitous stuff in my answer just to kiss his ass (and to impress myself) - and that it was NOT because I was slow recalling the material or anything. Basically I'm just bragging to him because I am actually delusional enough to think that this kinda stuff impresses professors.

I actually finish Question two and all five parts of it ahead of his suggested 1 hr 15 minutes.

I take a minute to emotionally pat myself on the back and wallow in my own pride and sense of self satisfaction. Back on schedule with his suggested time allotments, and the last question looks easy. Relax, Jay. Put the pen down for a second and stretch… in fact, yawn as if you’re bored with the exam… other people in the room will be impressed by you.

I turn the page and start the last question and its 4 parts. Everything is going great. Not only am I accurately stating the law and relating to the facts he gives us, I’m actually bringing up my own legal arguments because the taste of my professors asshole is slowly starting to fade from my lips.

And then about half way thru Question 3 it happens...

Before I continue, let me characterize to you the type of shock I was about to face by putting this shock in a more readily understandable context...

You know how when you're little and you have that dream where you're in front of your math class or something and you're in your underwear? Remember how that dream is like terrifying when you're young? but do you ever notice that now when you have it, even in the dream youactually know it’s not really happening… even in your dream, common sense, alone, tells you that this is too ridiculous a situation to be a reality.

That’s what happened to me.

I looked at the bottom of the page and saw in bold black, large font "TURN THE PAGE AND BEGIN QUESTION 2."

The thought that I may, in fact, have been just about to finish Question One of three, with less than an hour to go, was so terrifying that common sense told me it couldn't possibly be so... can't be real cuz it's so bad. I spent about a minute trying to prove to myself that I had been right since the beginning, that I was, in fact about to finish the exam with some time left to read over my exam BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY THAT ALL THIS TIME I'VE ACTUALLY ONLY BEEN WORKING ON QUESTION 1. It’s too frightening to be real.

But it is.

The exam does not only consist of three questions with multiple parts... it consists of three questions, each with three multiple parts, EACH MUTIPLE PART OF WHICH HAS IT'S OWN MULTIPLE PARTS.

At this point I start looking for my "yipes" sign... like the one that Wiley Coyote always pulled out of nowhere when he hovered in the air for a second, just off the edge of the cliff, right before he plunged to the canyon floor.

So where do I stand? How far from the edge am I? I’ve been working a question that my professor has supposed will take me 2 hrs to complete, for 3 hours and 15 minutes and now I have 45 minutes to answer the last two questions - each with their own unrelated factpatterns - and all their formidable parts, which the same professor has supposed should take me a combined 2 hrs.

I’ve finally accepted the situation as reality...

... so I begin to look for similarities in the facial features of my exam proctor and Ashton Kutcher.

No sign of Ashton.

So what do I do?

First, it's clearly time for me to throw caution to the "RA RA" form and just start cheering for me to write as fast as I can. No more careful attention to the fact patterns. Read the question, start writing the rule while I look for what I need from the fact pattern to answer his question. two things happen as a result of this: 1) my answer lacks any coherence because I’m writing one thought, while I’m simultaneously looking for something specific in the fact pattern and simultaneously trying to relate that thing to my answer... also punctuation becomes a luxury that I cannot afford... as far as I’m concerned my professor will know it's a new sentence when he sees a capital letter; and 2) I realize that I can write hieroglyphics.

That’s right... hieroglyphics... well either that, or my hand writing has gone completely to hell since I’m reading from one paper while I’m writing on another. What I’m writing is substantively pretty good. That is to say, that I know all the rules real well, and I can apply facts to those rules... I just hope that my professor knows that when he's reading my paper, the man with a fish on the spear means "statute of limitations has not accrued until discovery of the injury, except in limited circumstances, causes of action involving toxic torts."

Five minutes left in the exam and I have finished the "real" Question 2... Not that "fake" Question two that just low-balled me about an hour ago.

And it was at this time that I made one of the greatest "grace under pressure" decisions in the history of mankind. I figure to myself that I can't even read the fact pattern to Question 3 in 5 minutes, let alone start an answer. So I take out my magic eight-ball, shake it, and ask it "what have we covered this semester that hasn't been on the exam yet, that is probably gonna be in the last question?"

"Looks like 'attachment.'"

Than “attachment” I shall write

I put my exam away, and just wrote everything that I knew about "attachment." No analysis cuz I didn't read any fact pattern (or question for that matter)... just every rule and procedure and burden and standard and time limit I know about attachment.

Our proctor announces "time" literally as I put a period at the end of the last thing I knew about attachment.

I take a second to look thru all I’ve written and realize something. while my entire answer for the first question is written nicely and looks like I actually applied the pen to the paper, everything after my first answer looks like I was writing so fast, that physics began to work against me and the speed with which my pen crossed each page forced my pen to hover just slightly above the page, enough to make the ink obviously more faint for the last two questions than for the first one.

I wish I could be a fly in the room when he grades this. My first answer was so well thought out, neatly written, precisely organized. he's gonna think either my medicine wore off after the first question, or that "a la [insert any Olsen twins movie here]," I left after the first question, under the guise of going to the bathroom, where unbeknownst to the exam proctor, my goofball twin brother was waiting to take my place for the second half of the exam.

Holy crap – I think that horse just moved! I better hit it one more time: while my first answer looks like David Bruce banner when he meets the nice lady who picks him up on the dirt road and gives him a ride in her pickup truck, to the nearest town which happens to also be her town, my second answer looks like David Bruce banner after he 1) walks in on her abusive husband while he’s beating her, tries to stop him, and starts to get beat up by the husband and his misfit friends 2) turns into the hulk, 3) beats up her abusive husband and his misfit friends, and manages to aid the police in catching the international drug dealer that the misfits were somehow tied to and 4) wakes up as David Bruce banner again.

What makes this so unbearable isn't even stress over the grade... I’m pretty sure I did fine... not as well as I’d have liked, but fine. This is what sucks: I DON'T DO SHIT IN THIS CLASS. No reading, no notes, no attention span in class. The only way I could be less productive in this class is if I was a hindrance to other people who were actually trying to learn...

...oh, wait... I WAS A HINDRANCE to those people because I watch DVD’s with subtitles everyday on my lap top in class and distract everyone around me with them. Here’s the thing though... I’m kinda like that in most of my classes and I’ve always been. and every semester 1/2 dozen nay-sayers tell me I’m never gonna be ready for the exam in time, that there's too much reading, and too many notes and that they don't wanna hear me cry when I finally reap what I’ve sewn. And every semester I defy them and heckle them to no end when I do fine. Well this semester, the harassment from my more studious friends has been near intolerable... especially for this class. I busted my ass and taught myself this shit in just a few days not so I could do well in the class, but so that I could heckle my friends when I did better than them.

And instead what happened? I got greedy. I put all this extra fancy-pants shit in my first answer that wasn't relevant, lost all kindsa time doing it, and now have compromised my chances of drunken gloat-ery when grades come out, not because I couldn't learn it, but because I tried to hot dog the exam.

In fact, Wiley Coyote is perfect analogy, because up until the end of question one, I had been cruising thru this exam on Acme rocket skates, and then suddenly I just crashed, top speed, into the brick wall THAT I PAINTED A TUNNEL ON!!!

So what have I learned? Probably nothing. I accepted a long time ago that I may not be great at everything I like, but I’ll ONLY be good at those things. Next semester I’ll just have to get better DVD’s.

The good news outta the story is that attachment actually was a crucial part of the third question. So thank you, magic eight-ball. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

If I've learned just one thing in law school...

... it's that the people who know that least about any given subject, always know it the loudest.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Quite Possibly the Funniest Thing Ever...

Save Toby. Since this website is kinda out of character on my blog, I am willing to relinquish it Dr. Noisewater upon his request, for posting on his blog, where it can mature in a more aptly suited environment.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Strongly Worded Letter to Phish Fans Who Hate On Dave Matthews

Stop it. Your hatred is misplaced. Don't misunderstand me - I can accept that some people just don't care for DMB's music, and that some even hate it, but then would you please be secure enough to just say you don't like their music. There are some amongst you, whose hatred is so perverse and unqualified, that you feel compelled to make up up bullishit reason for it, other than simply not liking their music. I am now left with no choice but to out you.

There is a movement among Phish fans towards bashing DMB - claiming they suck, they have no talent, they're lame, etc. But ask proponents of this view a few Tucker-Carlson-style pointed questions, and the roots of this resentment begin to surface - and the proponent is usually the first to trip over said roots. Here's a good question to start with: "What don't you like about DMB?" To this, you may recieve any variation on one of the following two responses: 1) "They're too college-y;" or 2) "They try to rip off Phish with their jams."(this reply can be used interchangebly with "they have no talent.")

In response to the former: You are the worst music critic of all. "College-y" is nothing more than a pretentious euphamism for "trendy" or "popular." Granted, there may be more "real" hippies at a Phish concert than at a Dave concert, but if you think Phish's music is more popular among any demographic than it is among college students, you are either A) retarded, B) a bubble boy, or C) blind and desperately in need of a new guide and braile instructor.

In reponse to the latter (and this is the most common reply): If you consider "jam-band" the exclusive province of Phish, you are helplessly retarded. My suggestion to you is to buy a catcher's mask, the chest guard, some shin and elbow pads, and oven mits - and don't take them off because you need all the protection form the rest of the world that you can get. Also, avoid shoes with wheels on them and people who use them.

I will remind you that long before Phish there was a band - indeed, a few bands - with a reputation for hosting long, unstructured improvisatory sessions. Maybe you've heard of them. They were called The Grateful Dead. And I remember a time, in Phish's earlier years, when Phish fans were persistently harassed by Dead fans, who thought Phish was encroaching on the Dead's territory, or even ripping off the Dead. For a Phish fan to now turn around, and seek to belittle another band and its fanbase for the same reasons is as ridiculous as Rosa Parks suggesting that all the Mulattos sit in the back of the bus. You're like the cliched self-hating Jew... but of hippie-dom. Hey, here's a few more bands that were hosting long jam sessions long before Trey wrote "I've gotta hand it to you - you've got a lot of heart:" Santana, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and lest we forget, The Brothers, Allman. Before any of them, there was anther guy who was really into improvising... I don't remember his name, but I'm pretty sure it rhymed with Miles Davis... maybe you've heard of him. Oh - and about 200 years before that guy there was this Austrian guy who... tell ya what... you fill in the blanks and see if you can guess who this musician was that was also an extraordinary improvisor: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozar_.

In case you're not sold yet, and still think Dave Matthews Band has no talent, I'll remind you that Dave has a successful solo career and that Trey is now only 1/5 of "and Friends." If you said "But what about Oysterhead," you can stop reading now - although I'm surprised you even made it this far. Actually, no, don't leave. I have a great idea for a TV show I'd like to pitch to you. It's a spin-off of The Three Stooges, but instead of having Larry, Curly, and Moe, there's just three Moes. Does that sound interesting to you? Of course not. So why would Oysterhead be interesting? Make no mistake - talented as he may be, Les Claypool's longest lasting contribution to music is going to be the Theme from South Park, and if Stewart Copeland could go back to the 80's and do it all over again, he'd have his name legally changed to "Sting's Drummer," before he'd quit The Police. OK, OK, so maybe you just like rock trios. Here's a list of rock trios, any one of which is better than Oysterhead: Nirvana, The Police, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, Grand Funk Railroad... even ZZ Top and Rush were better than Oysterhead. As a fraction of "and Friends," don't forget that Dave Matthews also now signs Trey's pay check.

Please, don't get me wrong. I like Phish. It's you I don't like because you've made me do this.

Here's another way you can try to gauge any band's talent - by seeing what other musicians want to play with them. I know that Phish has had a few heavies join them on stage, but Carlos Sanatana was still between careers when he recorded "You Enjoy Myself" with them, and the Giant Country Horns never quite made it - hell - Phish even sold out Giant Country for Tower of Power, first chance they got. Check you're liner notes if you have to, cuz that's an obscure reference. Hey, do you know why Tower of Power was available to record with Phish? Because Huey Lewis and the News had stopped touring.

Hey, I'm speaking from experience here, too. When I was in high school, I went thru this really obnoxious phase where I thought that everything that wasn't jazz, was crap. I took that silly-ass attitude so far, that I traded in all my Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumkins, Lenny Kravitz, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Pepper CDs, just to name a few. Guess what I traded them in for... MORE JAZZ CDs! What do I have to show for it now? Nothing... unless I end up hosting a wine and cheese party or something, because short of anyone that would ever throw or attend a wine and cheese party, I'm the only person who would ever be impressed by my jazz collection. In fact the, the only non-jazz CDs I held onto, were my Phish CDs!

But here's proof that I learned my lesson from that experience. I recently attended a John Mayer concert. First of all, I was the only guy there with facial hair, who wasn't there with a daughter. Also, I noticed a lot of girls I can only speculate were 12-15 years old, running around in low-rider jeans, with a thong strap way up under their shoulders. Now, I'm pretty sure that I'm on some kind of government watch list as a potential pedophile, because I also bought my tickets with a credit card. But I've not since said that John Mayer has no talent. I just won't go to his concerts anymore... thank you, Megan's Law.

Yes, I would say that your resentment is quite misplaced. What you actually hate is the people you have to put up at a Dave concert. And I'm totally with you, there. Going to their concerts sucks cuz you gotta put up with all these screaming, vomitting girls that can't hold their liquor, and their boyfriends, who, stuck in some kind of adolescent/post adolescent identity crisis, can't decide if they wanna be pretty or tough, so they wax their eyebrows, spend 45 minutes on their hair, and then go to the concert in a wife-beater and pick a fight with the guys tailgating next to them. I hate them, too, and trust me - you don't know shit about putting up with these guys 'til you've put up with them in Camden, NJ - recently emblazened "Most Dangerous City in the US," neighbor of Trenton, a city that turns out more assholes than Peter North, and just a stones throw away from Philly, home of the classiest fans of any kind, in the world.

So there you go. Now look in a mirror and say it: "Teeny-boppers and Zack Morris-y thugs suck." Don't take your agression towards the obnoxious people at his concerts, who annoy other fans like myself, out on the band. Cuz when you say the band sucks, when it's really just a bunch of people at their concert that sucks, you just sound like the squirrely kid in middle school who says he hates gym class, when what he really hates is changing in the locker room.

Think about it. And shut the fuck up.