Complaining Just to Complain

October 31, 2011

A couple days ago, I went to the office hours of a professor (no I’m not a gunner, I just had a freakin question… Back off!), and as I was waiting, I overheard a second year girl say to another second year girl, “I would kill for one night of seven hours of sleep.” When I heard this, my brain almost exploded. In my almost two and half years of law school, I haven’t gotten less than seven hours of sleep each night. At this point I realized, yes, law school kind of blows, but at some point people complain just to complain and this is just unattractive and annoying.

If I go back to my blog posts about law school in my first year, I’m assuming they would say something like, “Wow, law school sucks. I can’t believe I have to work so hard. This is nothing like college where I had a Madden to work ratio of 5:1.” However, at some point you just get used to it. You get used to the mind numbing amount of work, and at some point you just have to accept that this is your life and deal with it. I certainly did. It became the norm for me to do a lot of work. I accepted that there would be no such thing as heavy drinking on Tuesdays anymore.

If I go back to my blog posts about law school in my second year, I’m assuming they would say something like, “Wow, law school sucks, but I’m used to it.” I’ve slowly come to realize that unless you are a professional athlete (minus A-Rod or Lebron–seriously have two guys ever been hated so much?) or a billionaire who did nothing to earn your money (like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian–seriously, who wouldn’t make a sex tape and become filthy rich and famous for no reason other than the fact that you filmed yourself having sex and your father made lots of money), your life kind of sucks. There is no such thing as no responsibility and not being busy.

I’m sure when I look back at all my social networking over the next eight months, it will say something like, “I miss law school. Why won’t anyone hire me?” It has become very apparent to me that the grass is always greener on the other side. Sure law school sucks, but is it any better being unemployed and having to move back home? And is it any better when you finally get that big paying job where you can’t enjoy the money you make because you are working 100 hour weeks?

The point is, people are always complaining about something, but at the end of the day, is there any situation where people aren’t complaining? It just seems like a cyclical process to me where people are never truly happy. I say we just all stop complaining and let future Mike or future [insert whining person’s name here] deal with whatever problems you have because quite frankly, your professional life is never going to get better… unless the Yankees finally sign me.


Why I Dislike Rolling Backpacks

January 30, 2011

As I was walking to my first final in the fall of 2010, I was very focused. I had my headphones on, listening to some music to pump me up for the final (possibly Talib Kwali but this is completely unimportant). I entered my law school, was looking forward and very focused on not forgetting certain parts of the UN Charter. All of a sudden I felt something at my feet and in slow motion I felt like I was falling forward. Luckily I regained my balance, but I looked down to see who and what the culprit of my almost-fall was. It was someone I didn’t know and their weapon of choice was a rolling backpack (sounds like the end of a game of “Clue”).

I think rolling backpacks are stupid. Really stupid. I remember when these things came out. I believe it was middle school, in the late 90s to early 2000s. Everyone had one. I remember thinking to myself, “These are stupid” (I then thought to myself, “I wonder if it is Domino’s pizza day in the cafeteria”). There was just no point. Sure, some people said that it would prevent scoliosis, and put less strain on your back. Others said it was easier to carry around. However, the negatives outweigh the positives here.

First, you take up double the space. These rolling backpacks have a long extended handle and trail behind you as you walk. I completely think rolling suitcases are fine because they weigh a lot and it is a lot easier than carrying it through an airport, but I’ve realized that you can’t walk normally with them. You are constantly concerned about it turning over or hitting the back of your legs. Now imagine something about 50 pounds lighter, much smaller, and with a smaller center of balance. I see kids having trouble walking with these things all the time. The worst part is, normally they are used in a crowded school, so not only does this inability to walk normally affect the user of the rolling backpack, but it affects everyone around him or her. I remember in middle school doing one of two things when I saw a rolling back pack: (1) Dodging them or (2) Kicking them and telling people to get normal backpacks. Now, I just dodge them because I’m not a complete dick anymore.

Second, you make every one’s life more difficult. Rolling backpacks are not easily transportable when you have a school with stairs. In middle school, we didn’t have an elevator, so you would always hear the constantly clunking of a backpack up stairs. Additionally, these things were not easy to carry up stairs so the person carrying it up (and by carrying, I mean dragging it up the stairs because a person with a rolling backpack, for some reason, refuses to actually pick up the backpack. I guess it would defeat the purpose) would inconvenience everyone behind this person. And we had four minutes to get to class! In law school, we have elevators, so we have one of two scenarios. The first, is the classic middle school scenario, except in my law school, the stairwells are narrower, so we can’t even attempt to go around this idiot. The second is when someone gets on the elevator instead. And most of the time, the person gets off at the second floor. If there is one thing that drives me crazy is when people use the elevator to go up one floor (side note: in college I broke my foot and my apartment was on the second floor. I used the stairs. If I could use the stairs with a broken foot, you could walk the 10 to 15 stairs up to the next floor). Add that together with a rolling backpack and I have to count to ten in my head before I say anything stupid.

Third, you look like an idiot. People in middle school looked like idiots, but when you are in between the ages of 0-12, you can look like an idiot and every one will just think it is cute (i.e. wearing sweat pants with holes in them to school. I think my brother did this until sophomore year of college). So, imagine how dumb a 12-year-old looks with a rolling backpack, then add 10 to 20 more years to him. So, this person is a foot taller, probably 50 pounds heavier, potentially gray-haired, and still with that same tiny backpack. It’s almost comical.

Fourth, I don’t believe fear of scoliosis outweighs fear of shoulder dislocation. Scoliosis doesn’t hurt. In fact, scoliosis used to be awesome when you were in grade school. You would get a doctor’s note saying that your back was uneven and the school would give you a second pair of books for your home so you didn’t have to carry them home. This is as opposed to shoulder dislocation, which hurts like a bitch. Why would you want to carry around 25 pounds of books with one arm fearing that someone will, by accident, run into your rolling backpack and potentially hit it so hard that your shoulder dislocates? I’ll take scoliosis. Also, for most of the normal people who carry books on their back, they don’t have back problems. I’ve been doing it for 18 years and I’m pretty sure I’m okay.

So this is why I hate rolling backpacks. If anyone could think of a valid reason for one, please comment. I’ll repost them if they are good. I just don’t see the point. They just inconvenience everyone and are a potential cock block to the person using it. Just get a normal Jansport.

My Post Halloween Crappiness

November 4, 2010

I love Halloween. I will quote myself from two years ago, when I said that Halloween is great because women dress like a “slutty nurse, the slutty umpire, the slutty devil, the slutty football player, and the slutty mentally handicapped person.” (Side note: This year, instead of girls dressing like a slutty (insert costume here), girls opted to dress as Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga is in no way slutty or attractive. In fact, she represents everything I hate about society today. She is fake. She was probably some rich New York Gossip Girl who got bored one day with spending all her parents money and created some persona. Don’t get me wrong, she writes catchy music, but I’m pretty sure she’d be as effective and more attractive if she wore a Gap shirt and blue jeans. Okay, I’m done. Side note 2: I just checked Wikipedia, and I was right, she was some rich New York Gossip Girl. Damn, I’m good).

Well, over the past two Halloweens, Halloween has come to mean more to me then just standing in line for an hour to get into a crowded bar where you can’t move. First, it means that I have to hear the Halloween parade one avenue away from me until one in the morning (imagine 100,000 Lady Gaga costumes). Second, it means that my fun is pretty much over.

You see, law school kind of sucks after Halloween. For me, the first two months consists of going out three nights a week, watching a lot of television (I already caught up with Modern Family and considered rewatching LOST, but then I realized the ending would still suck), procrastinating, and of course, thinking of blogs to write. It also means staying updated with my reading for law school, but if I don’t understand something, I say, “Oh well, I’ll figure it out in a month.” (i.e. I thought Torts was a French pastry until November 14, 2009. That was a very disappointing day).

But after Halloween, things change. In law school, we have to make outlines for our finals. This is a time consuming process that involves a lot of frustration, purchasing of horn books, and figuring out how long of a break I can take if I do 50 straight minutes of work (answer: 15 minutes… which turns into 30 minutes). The Monday after Halloween is when I start these.

So what changes for Mike now that he’s in outline season? For one, it means watching less television. It also means not going out as often (maybe once or twice a week), and when I do go out, I set a curfew for myself (try talking to a girl while looking at your cell phone clock every 15 minutes thinking, “If I leave here at 2 and plan to wake up at 9, that’s still 7ish hours of sleep.” It’s impossible. You end up just talking about time and law school… and then politely excusing yourself because you can’t hold a conversation any longer). It’s awful.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I will have less fun than you will this month. Unless, dear reader, you are a law student or medical student. Then your life will be as terrible (or as Sir Charles says, “Turble”) as mine will be.

My 22nd Year In Review

July 26, 2010

A little more than a year ago, I set out a check list of things I wanted to accomplish in my 22nd year. Since I am pretty low on creative ideas (law school has sucked away my soul… and creativity), and my reader(s) have asked me when I’m going to write a blog entry, I think this is a perfect time to go through that list and see if I accomplished my goals.

Goal 1: Win More Than a $50 Scratch Off Lottery Ticket
This goal was not accomplished. When I come home from law school (or a year ago, it was college), there is nothing to do. I play a lot of Playstation 3 (I just bought Little Big Planet, which could essentially end the extremely limited social life I have in my home town), and go to 7-11 with friends. This is the main excitement for the night (except for the off-chance of seeing Gran Turino on HBO where Clint Eastwood is an amazing racist). Why is it exciting? Well, that’s because we buy scratch off lottery tickets and plan what we would do with the $30,000 we win. Unfortunately, we have never won that much. In fact, in the past year, I don’t think I’ve won more than a couple of times, and in those couple of times, I don’t think I’ve won more than the $2 I spent on the actual ticket. This goal was a complete failure. I think I should give up on this goal and spend my money on things I actually have a chance at winning… like betting that the Knicks will get Lebron in 2016.

Goal 2: Get Good Grades In Law School
Well, it really depends on what you define as good grades, right?

Goal 3: Start Dating A Girl I Didn’t Meet On JDate
I actually accomplished this goal. I have a great girlfriend. She is way cooler, better looking, and smarter than me. AND we didn’t meet on JDate. I don’t know how JDate works. Nor do I ever want to find out. This is the sentiment I was echoing last year. It just seems crazy; You post the most flattering pictures of yourself on a website, and put interests down that you think attractive Jewish girls would like (this is how it works, right?). It just seems like by joining this, you are being someone you actually aren’t. Of course, this is coming from a guy who met his girlfriend in law school, which is kind of just like college and high school in regards to the social life part–there are always people around who want to chill on weekends (however, when it comes to academics, it is waaaaaaay different [see Goal 2]). I guess in real life, it is very different. How do you meet a girl normally? By going out to a bar? And we all know how that ends up (see “Knocked Up”). So, I guess I have softened my stance on other people using JDate because if it wasn’t for law school, I’d probably still be single (and trying to do that cool thing that Seth Rogen did when he reached over the bar and grabbed beers to try to impress Katherine Heigl… okay, I saw “Knocked Up” on TV today… okay, it was on the E! Network, and yes, I was looking for the Kardashian show. But, to be fair, that show is brilliant).

Goal 4: Not Take Myself Too Seriously
I think I accomplished this goal. I try to live life as lightly as possible, and turn on the serious stuff when the situation calls for it. For instance, when I’m in class, I take it seriously by taking notes and paying attention, but if someone asks me to borrow a pen, I’m probably not going to use that pen to stab them for interrupting my learning experience. I think there are times to be serious, and times to just have fun. For instance, summer is for fun, but when I’m in work, I’m all business. The proper balance between seriousness and fun is how I stay sane. Besides, if I took myself too seriously, I probably wouldn’t write a blog with self deprecating humor.

Goal 5: Travel to Europe
I have to admit, I put this goal in here because I wanted my parents to read this and decide to send my brother and me (also a famous Nickelodeon television show) to Europe over winter break. After realizing that my parents were footing the bill for me to live in New York City, this idea went out the window. So, I don’t see this as a failure. I’ll call this one a draw. Anyway, I had a great time over winter break, which brings me to my next goal…

Goal 6: Keep In Close Contact With My College Friends
I’m going to call this one a draw, too. This is a difficult one. As evidenced by many of my college blog posts, I had a close group of friends from college. Unfortunately, we were all over the country in the past year, ranging from Los Angeles to DC to New York. So, I guess my definition of “close contact” really changed throughout the year. I tried to talk to people as much as possible and see my New York college friends as much as possible, but sometimes people were busy. I also didn’t anticipate meeting a really good group of people in law school (in fact, in my head, I thought I would be the only person in law school trying to stay in the “College State of Mind” (also Jay-Z’s next single), but I was very, very wrong). However, my college friends and I had some classic times over the past year, whether it be on New Years, random weekends or a Lake House Memorial Weekend Extravaganza, and I look forward to more of these until we die, or they realize that I suck.

Goal 7: Continue My Gym Going Habits
Damn you law school. Damn you. I have gone back to the gym this summer, but I have to rant for a paragraph about how terrible this gym is. I go to this new gym in my hometown, and besides for all the grunting, man sweat, and high school reunions I have every time I go, it’s not terrible, but the grunting is hard to get over. Seriously people, why do weight lifters need to grunt? Back in my heyday, when I was lifting a lot more, I never grunted once. I may have breathed hard, but never once did it sound like I was getting violently penetrated in every hole of my body. Half of the time, it’s actually impossible to lift at this gym because I’m too grossed out by this gym’s audio resemblance to an S&M sex shop. It’s terrible. Grunters: just stop–it is possible to lift without grunting.

Goal 8: Continuing My Blog and Keeping My Creative Side Alive
Unfortunately, my blog has almost been M.I.A. for an entire year (and summer for that matter). I just can’t think of anything to write about anymore. There are few things that really annoy me, unlike when I started this blog. So, dear reader(s), this will be my last entry. Stop cheering, I was kidding. Jerk.

Overall, I’d think the last year was a success. I am incredibly happy with my decision to go to law school (even though none of us will have a job when we come out) and the things I’ve experienced over the past year. My goals for the next year are to continue my friendships with my college friends and new law school friends (seriously, spending every day together going through hell actually brought us together), continue my relationship (and for it to hopefully be stronger than Kourtney Kardashian and Scott’s relationship… dammit, I have to find a hobby and stop watching that show), go to Europe (hint, hint parents), and keep my creative side alive. If I think of anything else, I’ll make an addendum, but life is pretty sweet right now.

Wow that may have been the first time I ended with an optimistic sentence. I have to fix this… Oil spills, wars, Lebron James, debt. Okay, good.

Yet Another Reason Why Law School Is Harder Than Your Life

March 11, 2010

I’ll admit it: I continue to write why law school is harder than whatever you are doing because it makes me feel better about myself. If you don’t like it, just click the little “X” button on the right hand side of the window (or for the cooler Mac users (yes, I’m a Mac elitist) the little red circle on the left hand side of the window). It makes me feel better because there must be some rhyme or reason to subjecting myself to this, but I haven’t exactly put my finger on it (some reasons I have come up with include: making more money, helping people (haha), the social scene of law school being almost on par with my old social life, actually liking the law). Because, I have only come up with four sub-par reasons for this, I continue to compare my long days to most people’s (including people working at jobs where they make money (I would love some money) and people in other graduate school programs), and it makes me feel better about myself. Also, a third of my readers are probably law students and they could relate (What? I like getting hits on my blog).

My newest rant has been inspired from what I saw while on the elliptical at the gym today (yes, men do go on the elliptical. I swear I’m not the only one). I was watching the television and flipped to MTV where they were playing live performances (they were actually playing music. I know, it’s shocking. I was expecting (and hoping) for a Jersey Shore re-run). These live performances were of past MTV-U Spring Breaks. It finally clicked in my head that a year ago on March 16, I was on the cruise of a lifetime, where I was drinking, having fun with friends and acting a fool (do I have to cite Ludacris for that?). Yes, it finally occurred to me that March has rolled around and this means it is time for Spring Break. Although I have spring break this year, it won’t be like past years.

In the past I have had the incredible opportunities to go to New Orleans (I did do relief work, but Bourbon Street is god’s gift to humanity, and I would advise all people under the age of 25 to go there and go crazy), Florida and Mexico. This spring break will be slightly different. I am taking a week and a half long (Sweet! The longest spring break I have ever have) vacation to my hometown in New Jersey (Not sweet!), where I will be chained down by Passover (Not sweet!) and writing my law school final outlines (Definitely not sweet!). Let me explain to you how crappy this truly is: Passover, by itself, is a great holiday (I love seders), but the great minds of the Jewish religion definitely didn’t think this one through. First off, they put it during and around Spring Break time, and for Jewy-Jews, this means one thing: no traveling. Why? Because we can’t eat anything (seriously, would you go to Italy if you couldn’t eat the pasta, pizza, bread products, cannolis, and anything else? No. Budda-ay!). Thus, I will be stuck in New Jersey. To add insult to injury, I am in law school. For those of you who haven’t read anything about law school, for finals we have to do outlines, which are essentially how we learn the entire year’s material for the test. Being the diligent person I am (oh shit, I’m giving away my study secrets. I hope the cut throat kids aren’t reading this), I am going to start outlining over break (and for you cut throat kids, if you truly want to learn the material I hear it is best to do your outlines while being under the influence of alcohol… or may you just shouldn’t do them at all. Wouldn’t that be a challenge?). So, while you other undergraduate and graduate students enjoy your fun in the sun, sleeping late, and general debauchery, I will be at my town’s library for the second time since I’ve been in law school and second time since elementary school (and the invention of internet researching). I hate all you slackers.

Love and Law School

February 10, 2010

Let me first point out that yes, I did make a play on words on the famed Spike Lee movie “Love and Basketball” (let me just say that this is one of the few great sports movies that females can also enjoy. Come on, just look at the title: the basketball part is for males and the love part is for females. It works brilliantly. See also Jerry McGuire).

But on to the real reason for this post: Valentine’s Day. In the past, I have demonstrated a hate for Valentine’s Day synonymous to the hate New York has for Boston or Maryland has for Duke (man I’m just rolling with the sports commentary in this blog… probably has something to do with the fact that the rest of this post will be emasculated by talking about love). However, this year I’m going to take a different route. I’m not going to talk about how I think the holiday is ridiculous (which I have lessened my stance on), but instead I’m going to talk about the impossibility of maintaining a strong relationship in law school and the fact that those who do are god among men (and women).

First, I want you to take a look at a normal weekly schedule for me (click image for full size):

As you can tell, it’s pretty packed. There isn’t that much room for fun. Or having a girlfriend. I go to sleep at around 11:30 so there really isn’t anytime for anything really, except for Lost, of course (and the hours necessary to think about the show is left for when I’m in a boring class). According to my flawless logic (I say that VERY lightly), with a girlfriend (or for the ladies, boyfriend) in the picture, you probably need to dedicate an hour a day to them at least. You have to figure that your significant other will want to talk on the phone with you, or if you live together, have a meal with you or vent about how shitty their job is (and then you answer, “Are you serious? I’m in law school! I am in a buttload of debt, work my ass off and have no time to myself.” Then your significant other leaves the table, goes into his/her room and you have thus ruined the one hour of couple time for the day). Therefore, one must maximize the time in the day to include this lovely person.

So, what to eliminate first? It’s definitely not the gym. According to Mike’s Encyclopedia of Incredibly Flawed Theories (it’s copyrighted so don’t even think of stealing it), relationships are 40% physical. This means one thing: if you don’t look good (or don’t over compensate in some other area), your relationship is 40% closer to ending. Here are samples of what a girl or guy can end up looking like without the gym:

Would you date these people? The answer is no (unless your name is Tom Arnold). So, therefore, the gym can’t be eliminated. The next option is eliminating sleep. But, that is just out of the question. I have found that my quality of work goes down when I don’t have the proper amount of sleep. So, the only possible option (besides on Tuesdays when I can eliminate Lost, but that is the equivalent of killing a family member–you just don’t do it) is to cut down on homework and studying. This, unfortunately, also has some pretty tough negative side effects. If you eliminate the amount of work you do during the week, you will probably become a worse student. When you become a worse student, your job prospects go down (or so they tell us… I don’t believe it, but let’s say you do believe this propaganda), and then you can’t provide for you and your significant other who has the terrible job. This is just a terrible situation.

So what is the solution here? Well, besides spending all your (limited) free time on the weekend begging your significant other for forgiveness or ordering every flower possible on, you have two options: sacrifice your quality of work, or have a failing relationship (I’m sure Kobe and Shaq didn’t sacrifice their quality of work so their relationship failed… sorry I had to throw in one last sports reference). It’s a tough line to toe. I don’t have a solution here, but you can see where the conundrum lies. With that, I want to salute the people who maintain their relationships in law school. Damn, homie. I couldn’t imagine doing well at both… or doing well at one by itself either.

January 20th Is Quite A Day

January 20, 2010

January 20th has become a special day to me over the past couple of years. Including this year, this date has shaped part of who I am and who I have become. So, for your reading pleasure, here is a little rundown of the past four January 20ths:

January 20, 2007, Israel: If anyone asks me about my experience in Israel, I always start out with the words “life changing,” not only because of my religious connection to the country finally being realized, but for the memories of who I was before and after this trip. Before this trip, I was coming out of a long relationship, and I really had no focus on who my true friends were and what I wanted to get out of college (in fact, I was not even declared as a government major yet). Coming out of this trip, I had a newfound passion for Judaism and for Jews and a true focus of what I wanted to do in the near and far future. In my high school years, Judaism and being friends with Jewish people had been completely ruined for me (i.e. my high school friendships, USY, Bergen County High School of Jewish Studies). I had no interest whatsoever in being apart of that scene. Coming back from Israel, I was refocused on the fact that I was proud of my heritage and realized that there are some pretty cool Jews out there. From that point on, I got involved with the Jewish community and by the time I left college, I pretty much had only religious Jews as friends (go figure). If someone would have told me five years ago who my closest friends would be, I would have called their bluff, and this reformation changed when I entered and left the Holy Land.

January 20, 2008, Italy: Whereas Israel changed who I was as a person, Italy reaffirmed who I was as a person. I loved my experiences in Italy and I came into that situation, not with the mindset I had in Israel (which was to look for a life changing experience that would actually shape the person who I would eventually become), but rather to maximize my “fun time” and just look for classic experiences that would further the lore of Mike (yeah, I said that). In Italy, I continued being a good student, but for the first time in my educational career, I combined it was a brash, loud mouthed personality that resulted in new friends, classic times, and a new mentor. Had I not had that life changing experience in Israel, I probably would not have been so open to going on this trip and creating lasting relationships and memories. But now, I had a new outlook on life, which was to work hard, play hard and be myself around people. Furthermore, I reaffirmed my Jewishness by going out of way to attend synagogue in Rome and Florence (can you say “hot Italian Jewish girls?”).

January 20, 2009, Washington, D.C.: I feel like Robert Langdon in the those Dan Brown novels with the way I’ve traveled the world and had classic experiences (but not near death ones) with the third one coming in Washington, D.C. But here, unlike the newest Dan Brown novel, it did not end in disappointment. If you haven’t read my blog from last year about this experience, click here. Working for CBS for the inauguration of Barack Obama was one of the coolest experiences in my life, and the things I saw and got to do, and the people I got to meet (hellllllooooo Oprah) is something that very few people outside of Katie Couric can say they’ve done. Being about 75 feet from Barack Obama and overlooking the Clintons, the Fords and the elder Bushes is something no one can take away from me and one of the most unique experiences. This entire experience made me more passionate than I was (with working on the Hill and dominating the government school in college) about the government. It was what drove me to law school and what still drives me today. I still get chills thinking about how lucky I was and the long hours I worked over that winter break. I also remember long underwear and no sleep.

January 20, 2010, New York City: Okay, this one is a tad depressing. I go from Israel, to Italy, to the inauguration, to… law school. Bummer. But in actuality, it really isn’t that bad. All four of these experiences have impacted who I am. Law school is just another chapter in my life. Granted, the work sucks. So does the long hours. And so does missing out on the Real World and Jersey Shore. But in the bigger picture, I chose to be here because I want to become a lawyer. It’s what keeps me going through the long hours of reading and studying and finals (and the grades that follow). The fact of the matter is, in two and a half years from this current date, I will be a law school graduate, which is pretty cool (it also means I could potentially be making enough money to buy lots of Playstation 3 games, which is actually the sole reason I decided to come to law school). And worse comes to worst, hopefully by the time I graduate the technology for time machines will be available so I could go back and enjoy better January 20ths.