The bar exam is next week. And you're doing what?!
Hat Tip: S.E.K. for the format.
7:15 AM: Nifty IHome IPod Alarm Clock Radio streams NPR really, REALLY loud.
7:16AM: Groan. Shift, try to turn the click wheel thing down. Listen to Nina Totenberg talk about whether execution by lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. Perk up a bit. Start to listen, groggily.
7:25 AM: Nina Totenberg is done talking. Listen to a few headlines. Decide not to listen to Corva Coleman talk about the lawyer Cheney shot. Think that it sounds like another lawyer joke. Wonder at how it got to be such a big deal. Chuckle at the "Darth Cheney" line Kevin Drum wrote yesterday.
7:25-30 AM: Actually get out of bed. Switch from NPR to the Buddy Holly for today. Stretch, humming to "It Doesn't Matter Anymore." Do a couple of yoga poses remembered from that one quarter back in junior year of college, five years ago. Look at self in the mirror. Think that Betty White is the only other person who would wear this frumpy nightgown purchased for $5 on clearance from Kohls. Shrug.
7:30-35 AM: Brush teeth. Wash face with Aveeno Positively Radiant cleansing bar. Pat dry.
7:35-7:45AM: Change into khakis and some activist T-shirt procured from a rally. Brush hair, moisturize with Aveeno Positively Radiant moisturizer with SPF. Fill in eyebrows, add a little blush, eyeliner, lip gloss. Think to self that daily grooming rituals are important, even if one lives at home and has nowhere special to go. Convince self that getting dressed and dandied up with expensive, department store makeup adds a touch of dignity and structure to the day, making one feel less like the failure living at home that one is.
7:45 AM: Go downstairs. Greet aged parents in Vietnamenglish. Pour bran flakes and milk. Make self a cup of black tea with hot milk and Splenda. Note the five pounds lost since switching to Splenda from sugar. Decide not to make an issue of whether switching from sugar to Splenda can be considered "dieting," which seems like such a loaded term. Decide not to question body image today. Move on.
7:45-8:10 AM: Eat, sip tea, read the funnies, peruse headlines of crappy local libertarian newspaper--the same daily ritual since the age of 7. Luxuriate in the familiar. Translate for mother important headlines, like "that guy Cheney shot just had a heart attack" and "they're building a new library in town."
8:10-8:15AM: Go upstairs and pack Bar review materials into decent, but lacking laptop pocket Nike backpack. Curse cheap self for buying from evil brand just because it was only $14. Vow to replace it with the coveted LL Bean pack as soon as money is saved up. Any other day would be spent in room, reading. But it's the day to watch brother's kids. So it's time to trade places and go to brother's house for peace and quiet.
8:15 AM: Head out the door, saying proper Vietnamese goodbye greeting. Promise to be home in time for dinner and to bathe the kids.
8:15-8:30 AM: Drive to brother's really nice, really big Suburban Track Home in Exclusive Neighborhood 5 miles away.
8:30 AM: Let self in door. Despite having just had breakfast, check out what's in the fridge. Look disappointedly at the diet food. Brighten at the sight of the corndogs in the freezer. Break out the box of Cheez-Its to have near side.
8:30 AM-10:30 AM: Review property law. Get really, really bored. Hate Property. Hate the Bar Exam. Hate Lawyers. Hate self.
10:31 AM: Decide to take a break.
10:31-10:45 AM: Hop onto brother's computer. Check Google homepage for the headlines from 10 law professor blogs, 5 general political blogs, and four newspapers. Pick a few to read. Decide that not all can be read today. Give up on being knowledgable. Check site-meter stats. Feel important, but not as important as Scott Eric Kaufman. Check comment threads on own blog, and new posts and threads on Acephalous, and Ancrene Wiseass.
10:45 AM-11:15 AM: Feel inspired. Blog.
11:15 AM: Sigh at the fact that almost an hour as transpired. Go back to studying.
11:15 AM- 1:00 PM: Review Evidence. Think to self that this does not resemble CSI in the slightest. Curse CSI, a formerly liked show, for constantly saying that cheesy line "It's all about the Evidence. Our job is to find and interpret the Evidence. The Evidence doesn't lie," anthropomorphizing Evidence. Curse the fact that this is totally messing up juries, who send people (minorities) to jail based on circumstantial evidence like fibers. Curse CSI again for using songs from The Who in the opening credits of all three CSI shows, such that listening to beloved Who CD only reminds self of now cursed CSI franchise. Hate the fact that TV-shows are called franchises, reminding self of McDonalds. Wonder at how sister can like David Carruso from CSI: Miami even though he_talks_in_such_a_weird_and_halting_manner. Curse sister for being the chief enabler of crappy TV show addiction. Go back to reading the Federal Rules of Evidence. Get really, really bored. Hate Evidence. Hate the Bar Exam. Hate Lawyers. Hate self.
1:00-1:15 PM: Break for lunch! Make self a nice, toasty corndog. Revel in the enjoyable lowbrow cuisine. Accompany corndog with banana, Cheez-Its, and some of the kids' gummy bears. Feel like a kid again. Eat lunch whle perusing old Ikea catalogue. Fantasize about decorating future apartment in unknown city. Brood anxiously about chances of admission at graduate schools. Go back to picking out couches. Think to self that when future imaginary friends come over, it would be best to make light of the decor and say that "the apartment has a certain Swedish sensibility, don't you think? I decided not to go with German bauhaus." Chuckle to self at own wit.
1:15 PM: Make a mug of green tea using Bro's handy hot water dispenser thing. Think to self, "Man, Asians have cool gadgets." Remember other technological wizardry seen at Japanese supermarket, like the Hello Kitty toaster and handi-vac. Chuckle to self. Go back to studying.
1:16 PM to 3:30 PM: Review Criminal Law and Procedure. Think to self that Law and Order is actually pretty helpful for remembering this stuff. Opine to self that Law and Order: SVU is now the better show of the three. Mentally thank sister for introducing self to the show, despite original misgivings at anything replacing the beloved original Law and Order. Note to self that the original is hardly watched anymore. Go back to reading Criminal Law and Procedure. Get really, really bored. Hate Criminal Law and Procedure. Hate the Bar Exam. Hate Lawyers. Hate self.
3:30-3:45 PM: Snoop around Bro's house. Play with the Asian Gongs and Bells that he uses for decoration. Automatically bow before the Buddha altar. Realize that spirituality is growing in proportion to the decreasing time to Bar Exam date. Think to self that this house is an intesting mixture of East Asian and Baroque decoration. Say to self: "What's up with that?!" Wonder at how one can be related to siblings that not only like the treacly art of Thomas Kinkade, but also buy his cross-stitching kits at Michael's and upon completion, frame them in ridiculously ornate, Baroque-ish $200 gilt frames. Contemplate the axiom that one cannot choose one's relatives. Perk up upon discovering Bro's pen collection, of which there are over a hundred pens. Nice, collectible ones, vintage Parkers, Sheaffers, Watermans, Mont Blanc special editions. Puzzle at how weird bro is, that his email handle is "penaddict," and that he named his son "Parker." Again, think bemusedly of how one can be related to such people. Soften at the thought that bro is a really, really good guy. Chastise self for being so judgmental and condescending. Remind self of own quirks, obsessions, hobbies and collecting habits. Feel like a bad person. Decide to dust Bro's home office in penance.
3:45-4:30 PM: Review Civil Procedure. Remember that this was the first class ever in law school. Think fondly of handsome, smart, funny gay-rights defending gay law professor. Realize that this is where the nerd crush on professor thing began. Chuckle at school-girlishness of self. Realize that studying is becoming unproductive. Decide to quit for now.
4:30 -5:00 PM: Go for a brisk walk on beautifully desert landscaped trail behind brother's house. Think to self, "I need to get out of the house more often."
5:00 PM: Pack up, decide to stop at Target on the way home to pick up a label maker that's on sale.
5:00-5:30 PM: Pick up a lot more than intended at Target. Pick up the label maker, some decorative magnets at the $1 Spot!, a new comb, some body wash, and a foam poster board for craft time with the kids. Note to self the feelings of guilt from a month spent not taking care of them. Think to self that there is a perceptible decrease in love and affection from the children. Wonder if they kiss other siblings more than they kiss self. Wonder at how much guilt is going to be felt when the official move away to another state/city occurs. Wonder if the babies will remember face, voice, existence. Wonder if the babies will recoil at this "stranger" who claims to be their aunt. Feel sad. Decide to pick up a pack of stickers for the kids too.
5:30-5:45 PM: Drive home, listening to "All Things Considered." Feel guilty at being too poor to donate to the local public radio pledge drive after the measly $100 devoted to other charities dries up. Promise to be more charitable in the coming year. Curse current lack of income.
5:45-6:10 PM: Come home, greet parents in traditional Vietnamese way, and hug kids to death. They appear to still be affectionate and well-adjusted. Eat a quick dinner. Think to self how much Vietnamese food will be missed if stuck in the Midwest or East Coast. Nearly choke on chicken bone. Curse.
6:10-6:45 PM: Give children bubble baths in atonement for not being with them during the day. Get splashed. Get really wet. Get soapy kisses. Think: "it's all worth it." Then the three year old boy, Parker, the exhibitionist, decides to run around the house naked. Chase after boy. Catch boy, and in turn get hugged ferociously by boy, which means that baby genitals were just smeared onto activist t-shirt. Think "ewww," even though they're clean. Remind self that it beats shoving Baby Tylenol suppositories up the boy's ass, an all too familiar and unfortunate activity. Look at boy and girl fondly, thinking one day they'll be too old to be babied, and that eventually, the whole genital thing will be even more weird and gross. Focus on the moment. Dress kids. Get hugs and kisses. Think: "it's all worth it." Tell them to go eat their dinner.
6:45-7:00 PM: Go up to room, unpack backpack, check email. No new email. Feel like a loser. Remind self that despite going home every weekend, thus declining every party, bar hopping, barbeque invitation until eventually the invitations stopped coming, somehow friends were made. Friends exist, even if they do not email or call. Remind self that they are being good friends by not disturbing during bar review time. Feel comforted. Check sitemeter stats, comment threads. Feel even better. Bask in the warm glow of an online community.
7:00-7:15 PM: Open new label maker. Think to self, "This looks like a Star Trek Phaser weapon!" Hold label maker like a phaser, pretend to shoot things. Bob head and say "cooooooool," like a guy. Think to self that wearing the comm badge would fill out the fantasy. Remember ultimate fantasy of owning all the DVD collections of Star Trek: The Next Generation and a full on uniform to wear when watching it. Think to self: "Oh my God, I am such a loser geek." Assure self that it is cool to like Star Trek. Think to self: "If I went to a Star Trek convention, I would be considered quite the hot babe in the sea of engineers." Feel assured. Try to work phaser label maker. Realize that what's missing are six AAA batteries. Slap forehead for forgetting to buy batteries. Curse self to high heavens.
7:15-7:30 PM: Shower, trying to ignore children banging on door. After showering, look critically at hair and perpetually young face. Decide to try to experiment with ways to look older and more professor-like, such as cutting long hair into a Tipper Gore style bob and wearing glasses on a permanent basis. Wonder at how voice can be modulated to sound deeper and more authoritative. Realize: this is pointless. Resign self to always sounding like a little girl. Decide to just get the haircut.
7:30 PM: Get out of bathroom, trying to make way back to room despite severe myopia. Get shocked by blurry-looking children shouting "Boo!" at self. Let heart calm down. Tell children to play with the foam stickers and foam board to make a foreground for a puppet show. Congratulate self for brilliant idea.
7:30-8:30 PM: Children are quietly playing. Clean up desk. Read The New Yorker. Pine for simpler times. Wonder if future life with own kids can be reading The New Yorker with kids playing in the background. Seriously doubt it.
8:30-9:00 PM: Children's parents come home, bearing Play-Doh. As the children's parents eat, attempt to make a Play-Doh bumblebee for the four year old girl. Achieve mild success. Have 10 minutes of work instantly squashed into a yellow and black lump by girl. Hug her anyway. Scold three year old boy into cleaning up toys, which he has spread all over the house. Resist urge to spank when he tosses toy at face. Remember that this is the baby feared to be autistic at first for his inexplicable emotional outbursts and lack of language expression until 2.5 years. Feel relieved that the fear has passed and boy is now capable of speech, affection, understanding. Turns out he's just weird. Send boy to corner. After 2 minutes, call boy back. Demand apology. Apology is given. Hug boy. Clean up together. Think to self: if this is hard now, being a parent will be even worse.
9:00 PM: They all go home. Breathe sigh of exhaustion.
9:00-11:00 PM: Review Torts. Like Torts. Be reminded of good professor and own innate ability to analyze tort law, and how the good professor was impressed by this. Feel good.
11:00 PM: Decide for no other reason than further self-aggrandizement, to blog about self.
11:38 PM: Finish. Contemplate studying more or reading for fun. Decide: Fun is not an option. Feel resigned. Think to self: Only one more week.
11:40PM: Hit "Publish Post."