The LSATs…

October 14, 2008

As last weekend came and went with thousands of college kids taking the LSATs, I began to think back to when I took the LSATs four months ago.  I thought about how insanely superstitious I got (I’ve always been superstitious, but the LSATs brought this to a new level), how intense I became and how much I wanted a good score.  I also thought about the day before the LSATs and how intense that day was.  When I look back on it now, it is kind of comical.  So, for comedic purposes (and to truly scare away people from talking to me ever again), here is a play-by-play of that last day, June 15, 2008.

10:00am:  My alarm goes off.  It has gone off the same time for the past month in my lonely apartment.  I was typically the only one there, as my roommates were either at work or back in New Jersey.  This day was no different.  I hit the off button on my clock and go back to sleep.

10:05am:  My alarm goes off on my cell-phone.  I always made sure that I had multiple back ups for waking up since freshman year when I slept through a class.  I hit the off button.

10:10am:  My second alarm goes off on my cell-phone.  I turn it off again.

10:15am:  My third alarm goes off on my cell-phone.  I know, I’m insane.  I turn it off, get out of bed and go make myself some breakfast.

10:30am:  I make my cheese quesadilla (I know, it’s not much of a breakfast but it gave me carbohydrates and protein to start the day), Diet Coke (for a jolt of caffeine), and some watermelon, pretty much the same thing I made everyday.  I sit down on the couch and watch Sportscenter.

11:00am:  Typically, at this point, I would start my practice sections, but since today was the day before the actual test, I took a day off to clear my head.  There was no chance I was going to do better than what I had at that point, and in some sections I started to go down in score because I was getting burned out.  So, I played NCAA Football ’08 for Playstation 2.  For some reason, I thought it would be good luck to win.  At half time, I thought it would be better luck to win by 50 points.  By the third quarter, I was convinced that if I did not get 3 sacks with my defensive end, I was going to fail the LSATs.  This was just the start of my day of complete insanity.

12:00pm:  After beating my opponent by 70 points (on the hardest level, I might add) and my defensive end getting four sacks, I saved the game and turned it off.  It was time to go to Washington, DC, as I was going to stay in a hotel across from the test site at Georgetown Law.  I packed last night, and I packed everything to make sure my sleep was going to be the same as it had been for the past month.  I packed my fan that I have by the head of my bed, my laptop, my own alarm clock, and food for the next morning (the same as I had eaten for the last month).  I also packed all of my test supplies and quadruple checked to make sure I had everything.

1:00pm:  My roommate Benjy drove me to the Metro Station.  He noted that I looked pretty calm considering the biggest test of my life was in 24 hours.  As I left the car, we exchanged our typical good-byes:

Benjy:  Hey, go fuck your mother.

Me:  I’ll fuck your mother and your father and your aunt.

We both laughed and I told him that he better have plenty of alcohol ready to party with tomorrow.  I thanked him and he was off.  I was all alone with my thoughts for the next twenty hours.

1:30pm:  I get on the Metro with my big bag of stuff.  The LSATs never crossed my mind on this trip because my crazy self was convinced that I would not do well unless I read every word on this sign.  I was becoming borderline Obessessive-Compulsive, so it was a good thing I had to switch from the green to the red line.  On the red line it was no different.  I read the entire sign in front of me.  Thank god I had arrived at Union Station.

2:00pm:  I checked into the swanky hotel across from Georgetown Law.  I sat in the room for awhile, and was quite entertained because there was a television in the bathroom.  My parents really hooked me up here.  I decided to go for a walk in DC and try to take my mind off the test.

4:00pm:  At this point I had walked the entire mall, watched a kickball game on the mall and managed to buy an ice cream at Haagan Daaz (so much for the diet).  My feet were beginning to hurt and I was sweating.  I started to get concerned about my feet.  I thought that I would wake up and my feet would be sore and I wouldn’t be able to take the test.  In a matter of 6 hours I had become a hypochondriac, obessive-compulsive and completely insane.

5:00pm:  I walked twenty minutes from the hotel to a poorer area to find a CVS.  I bought Advil because I was concerned my feet would be in pain.  As I walked back I passed a hobo who asked for money.  I ignored him.

6:00pm:  As I sat in the hotel watching “Ready to Rumble” (great movie), I began to think of that hobo.  I thought that if I gave him some money it would be karma.  So, I got my shoes back on, trecked fifteen minutes and gave the guy a dollar.  He thanked me.

6:45pm:  I sat and ate my Pita Plus dinner I had bought before I went to the Metro Station.  It was delicious.  I started to think about how Pita Plus gave one of my friends stomach aches.  This freaked me out.  As a result, I walked another twenty minutes back to CVS and bought Immodium, and walked back to the hotel.

7:30pm:  As I sat and watched ESPN, I started to sniff.  “Oh shit,” I thought, “Allergies.”  Now I’m sure I didn’t have allergies, but at the time, of course, I freaked out.  So I walked in the dark (which probably wasn’t the best idea) back to that same CVS to buy allergy medicine.  My mom thought I was insane when I spoke to her on the phone.  She was right.

8:30pm:  I watched the Lakers-Celtics championship game and in my head I started to become worried again.  If the Lakers win, I thought, that would be a good sign.  But if those stupid Boston Celtics won this game, this would be a horrible sign.  Thank god the Lakers won that game, which put my mind at ease.  I slept like a champ that night with my fan blowing at my head and my alarm clock staring at me.
I know what you are thinking:  Mike is crazy.  And on a normal day, I would say you are wrong.  But this was the LSATs.  I had to be perfectly healthy.  It was a one shot deal.  I had and will probably never again (until the bar exam) act like this again.  I wasn’t even nervous.  Just insanely superstitious.  Athletes do it in a different fashion.  They don’t wash their jerseys, don’t change their underwear, etc, etc.  So, they would understand.  Just look at my 3 CVS visits as a dirty uniform.

Oh, and if you are wondering how the next morning and the test was, I was fine.  Minus the intense sweating I had in the first two sections.  Seriously, I was drenched.  Then it magically disappeared, and I was perfectly fine.  I guess that dollar I gave the hobo really did pay off.

So about that debate last night…

October 3, 2008

So the vice presidential debate last night was held between Senator Biden and Governor Palin.  Now, I normally wouldn’t comment and inject my own political opinion into my weblog (hey, Republicans read blogs too) because I feel like people should be left to make their own decisions and opinions and not be influenced by what others write.  However, after last night, I can’t keep quiet or else I will explode.

Eight months ago, in one of my government and politics classes, we were having a discussion about the Obama-Clinton primary elections.  I, of course being an outspoken Clinton supporter, argued on the side of Hillary Clinton.  However, just to be a devil’s advocate, I said that Senator Joe Biden of Delaware was the most qualified to be Democratic nominee.  His long (over 30 years) Congressional record in foreign policy, the economy and more was amazing.  He was the well-rounded candidate we needed.  Smart, ballsy, and outspoken.  Someone who could relate to the people.  Obviously, people in this class flipped out on me and thought I was a jackass.

Seven months after that class, Biden was announced as Obama’s VP, which I thought was the second most brilliant move the Democrats could have done besides making Hillary the VP candidate (and obviously that wasn’t going to happen since it is clear that Obama and Clinton don’t get along).  Shortly after this announcement, the McCain camp announced Sarah Palin, an Alaskan hockey mom, as his VP candidate in hopes of getting some of Hillary’s votes.

When Palin was first announced, I didn’t know much about her.  However, over the past month, I have gotten pretty well educated about her and her work, which brings me to the debate last night.  I have to say, she did hold her own against the intimidating and well qualified Biden, but her “cutesy” act detracted from what she said.  First, when both candidates came out, Palin said to Biden, “Can I call you Joe?”  This started a night full of the Palin “I’m just like you” act.  It is disgusting. 

If the McCain-Palin ticket does win, she will push women’s rights back fifty years.  I think when she did make points, they were good, but her cute act doesn’t belong in politics.  If you want to talk about “equal rights” here’s a nice little point for you:  What do you call a man acting the way Palin is acting?  AN IDIOT.  I thought it was disgusting when she gave a shoutout to her brother’s 3rd grade class and said they get extra credit.  Save the cute for Sesame Street, not for politics.  I don’t want a cute, regular person in the executive office!  I want someone who is smarter and MORE QUALIFIED for me.

So there you have it.  I had to get it off my chest.  Palin disgusts me completely.  She has to start acting less like a drunken midwesterner and more like a qualified person who wants to be VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!

Ode to Blink…

October 1, 2008

First off, happy new year my Jewish friends!  You would think that after 5769 years the new years festivities would get old, but the Jews continue to not disappoint.

Anyway, onto the real point of my entry (first one in two weeks if you’re counting… and by you I mean the one person who actually reads my weblog).  It’s been a couple of days since Travis Barker’s plane crash.  It’s quite an unfortunate situation, but I’m glad he is doing better and my prayers are with him, DJ AM and the victims of the crash.  Crazy how life changes in a flash.

Anyway, this isn’t going to be an entry about how you shouldn’t take life for granted because it could change in an instant (I shouldn’t have to tell you not to take life for granted).  No, this is an entry on Travis’s best work: Blink-182.

Blink-182 is my favorite band.  Period.  Always has been, always will.  People make fun of me and say they aren’t great music.  That they’re no Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Guns and Roses, etc, etc.  But, first of all, fuck you for judging my music taste.  Second of all, and in all seriousness, I think music should be something that speaks to you.  The lyrics should be meaningful in your life.  Sure, the Beatles are classic rock.  Amazing.  But their lyrics say nothing to me.  I could understand why they would speak to a person my age in the 1960s (the music reflects the time period), but not in the 1990s and 2000s.  This is why my favorite band is Blink.  Every one of their songs speaks to me personally.  They talk about love, loves lost, fart jokes, your mom, and more.  Stuff that I could relate to.  Stuff that any 16-23 year old could relate to.   Think about it.  “What’s My Age Again” was about screwing around and acting immature, but then they follow that single up with “All The Small Things” which is about doing the small things to impress a girl (i.e. flowers on the stairs, etc).  Both subjects definitely reflect my life.

Blink is music that caught the mindsets of this age group of this generation.  This is why they were incredible and extremely successful (and also it is a shame they broke up).  So, as an ode to Travis (and Mark and Tom) I present to you some insightful analysis of songs you may not have heard (so not “What’s My Age Again” or “All The Small Things”):

“Wasting Time”, album: Cheshire Cat (1996)

Favorite line: “She’d teach me about modern art and I’d teach her it’s okay to fart.”

This song is about trying to impress a girl.  Mark talks about joining a band and making jokes all in hopes of making a girl like him make her laugh.  This kind of resonates with me.  I always try to impress girls that I like by doing interesting things, but most important, I try to make girls I like laugh, either by being witty or just plain rediculous-all in hopes of trying to make her like me.  Another line of the song, “Sometime I sit at home and wonder if she’s sitting at home thinking of me and wondering if I’m sitting at thinking about her.  Or am I just wasting my time?”  is such a clever line and is something I definitely do ALL the time.

“Waggy”, album: Dude Ranch (1997)

Favorite line:  “I don’t wanna live this lie again.  I know I’ll get it right but I don’t know when.  I’ll open my eyes, I’ve got something inside, I’ll just jack off in my room til then.”

Again, Blink hits us with the heartfelt line, but counters it with the immature humor.  This line is the epitome of why I like Blink.  They could be serious and write beautiful lyrics but at the same time be immature.  It works brilliantly.  This song also really hits home for me (which, as you can see, is a common theme in all their songs for me).  Mark talks about being ready for a serious relationship, but he just dumped a girl because she is not ready for one.  So Mark is willing to wait around in his room until he finds a girl who is.

“Online Songs”, album: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001)

Favorite line:  Na na na na na na na na (seriously listen to the song, it’s great)

This song is one that I definitely dealt with a couple years ago.  It’s about seeing your ex-girlfriends screen name on your buddy list and it bothering you a lot.  Blink just writes about kids dealing with problems for the 21st century and this is a prime example of it.  Mark talks about trying to put the past behind him, but everytime he signs online there her screen name is.  When you think about the entire situation, you just want to laugh, but I’m sure it has happened to everyone.