Browsing Category


Jokes and Sass, Lawyering

I’m working from home and so is my dog

May 15, 2020

Friends, you are doing great, even if you are not doing great. I’m very proud of you. Many of you are doing things that should be impossible and that you shouldn’t have to do and you’re still here. I am not a parent, nor am I on the front lines of any healthcare operation, and our household still has incomes, and I’m able to do nearly all of my job from home. We’ve got space and good internet and we’re very blessed. That being said, yeah, of course we’re going a bit stir-crazy and are always somewhat-to-significantly on edge because the world is falling apart (well, I am; Andrew remains the coolest of cucumbers). A few weeks back, John Oliver mentioned in an interview that “it’s a suboptimal time to be a human being; it would be a great time to be a dog” and I agree with that statement. And if Bailey could understand it, I think she’d agree with me.

I love Bailey. So much. Just an absolute ton. But we are seeing each other nearly every waking minute of every day, and because she is a dog and doesn’t understand pandemics, she just thinks we are home to hang out with her whenever the mood strikes. This is especially true for me, because my “office” for now is at the kitchen table and she hangs out on the couch near it. She’s a 75-pound dog who isn’t allowed to say hi to other people or dogs right now so I am pretty sure she’s at least a little mad at me all the time. Stuff is weird, and your pets can sense tension and angst, and she’s a lot of dog.

Because I find myself amusing (and because everything hurts real bad rn find the light if you can) I have been referring to her as my coworker. Unfortunately, she has managed to be every bad coworker you’ve ever had at some point in the past two months.

Just to be clear: I love her, and for 95% of the day, she is a soft floppy pooch who is quiet and nice and I routinely schedule breaks in my day to go pet her because it is like holding on to a warm cloud that gives you kisses. At night she will cuddle up next to you on the couch and I get to pet her head and belly and I feel like the best pet parent in the entire world because she wants to be next to me. My dad has jokingly started calling her “Killer Dog” because nothing could be further from the truth. She is a big, scary-looking muscle-y block-headed black dog and yet she is sunshine and would only hurt you by stepping on you to give you face kisses. She eats spaghetti more delicately than I do. I would carry out a mob hit for her, but she would never ask, because she is the GOODEST GIRL. And again, I am exceptionally lucky and blessed to be able to work from home, to have not been ill, and to not have to take care of children. However, where is the fun in being satisfied with your lot in life; how could I possibly be inspired to write unless I am annoyed?

Therefore, The Night Is Dork presents: Bad Coworkers That Are My Dog

That one who sends an email and then comes to your office to tell you about the email

This punk will start whining about nothing (absolutely nothing, like the dog equivalent of someone sending a chain letter joke to the whole firm) while staring out the window, and if I don’t immediately say “Miss Bailey, what’s going on?” she will come over and shove my arm with her nose. I got your email, doggie. It isn’t urgent. Nothing is urgent. Time is a flat circle. Go back to your office, which is the couch.

The reply-all disaster

Oh, did a child outside accidentally scream so loudly that it reached everyone? And that bothered you? And now you are reply-all woofing to the reply-all to ask to be taken off the list? And now other dogs and children are replying-all? STOP IT. EVERYONE STOP.

That one who eats and drinks way too loudly

Breakfast is like, if your coworker had baby carrots and kettle chips for every meal. It’s so much crunching, dog, just, SO much crunching.

Can you, at your waterbowl, be like a thousand percent less? The slurping is out of control, our house is effectively an open office plan, and I can hear every sip. Get a Hydroflask or something, jeez.

The “whatcha workin’ on?”

“Hey there. Hey. Hey. Hi. Whatcha workin’ on? What’s that on your screen? Some emails? Wild, that’s so many emails. Is it a project? Do you need to focus? Do you mind if I sit right next to you as you work on it? Is that okay? Is this bothering you? Am I breathing too loud? Do you need me to go away-” BAILEY I SWEAR ON A THOUSAND TENNIS BALLS IF YOU DON’T GET OFF MY LAP RIGHT NOW

The one doing something very personal at their desk, something that should be done in private

Not even gonna discuss what you decided to lick right now, and stop biting your nails

The one who takes like eight servings of whatever is in the break room and meant to be for everyone

Bailey. You already had breakfast. I already gave you several treats. I already gave you a small amount of turkey while I was making my sandwich. You cannot have the entire goddamn sandwich. That is unreasonable. Stop looking at me like that, like you’re saying “is anyone gonna finish this?” before half the office knows that there’s cake. Even if you walk over there I can tell you took something WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS

The thermostat of our discontent

Are you cold? Is that why you’re curled up like a donut? Are you too warm? Is it because you’ve been lying down with your belly directly in a patch of sunlight for two hours while still being very covered in very dark fur and now you’re panting because you overheated? Are you gonna flop down on the kitchen floor because it’s cooler than the couch? Could you pant any louder? Bring a goddamn cardigan to the office like everyone else the world doesn’t revolve around you

The one you always gotta be like “per my last email”

Yeah, just like ten minutes ago, when I said you aren’t allowed to chew on the blanket, that is still the rule and you still can’t chew on the blanket. I know you’re doing it because you want to feel important, but PER MY LAST EMAIL, PUPPO, CUT THAT SHIT OUT IMMEDIATELY.

The one who leaves their office door open while they take really long personal calls

I know. You have. A tennis ball. Or a bone. Or an itch. I chime in with a “haven’t you doggies ever heard of/ closing the goddamn door”

I’m glad you’re psyched to be chewing a bone but the scraping noises are starting to pinball in my brain and it is no bueno, poocho

The “always wants to go out to lunch, never offers to pay”

Instead of that kibble from home how about you go out and get me a steak and then a larger steak whoops my wallet must be in my other fur my bad I’ll get you next time I promise

The one who takes a walk at lunchtime 

Overachieving punk-ass

Congrats on your “health” or whatever

The one who emails something “urgent” and you reply and they don’t get back to you for 5 hours

Okay, you want to go out. Right now. Okay. I get it, right this second, it is an emergency, you’re very uncomfortable, and I need to get you on a leash and out the door immediately. Got it. I’ll just get your collar and your leash and head to the door and- why are you still standing at the top of the stairs? Why are you just LOOKING at me? You told me this was urgent you little twerp I swear you had better- oh good you ran down the stairs like a dozen bowling balls that’s not disruptive to everyone’s life at all, BAILEY

The one who looks like this

Okay doggie you can have whatever you want oh my word look at your FACE

Lawyering, Personal

For World Mental Health Day

October 11, 2017

I missed this by a day, forgive me.  The sentiments remain the same. And as my wonderful friend Adrienne said, “every day is mental health day when you have the clinical diagnosis of ‘my brain hates me.'”

You may have read my post a few years back when I was returning to law school after a medical leave to treat my depression.  That time still ranks as the worst my illness has ever gotten, and there is definitely a strength associated with knowing the answer to “well, how bad can it get?” (this! this bad! *precisely* this bad!)

Fun fact: I am still depressed.  Over the past 4 years, I have been able to reduce the frequency of my therapy sessions, and even stop attending completely for almost a year before starting it again, but boyyyy howdy am I not “cured,” and that might never be a thing that is true.

I’m still taking medication: SNRIs have proved to be pretty generally good for me, although I had to switch from one to another because my insurance stopped carrying one and it was gonna be something in the range of two hundred dollars a month so I spent a week switching and frantically observing my body and mood to see if I was not coping well.  I lucked out and everything was fine but I also was basically fueled on phone calls and rage for 10 days or so.  My current meds are 7 dollars a month instead of roughly 7 dollars a pill, so that’s, uh, better.

I still take sleep medication sometimes: I’ve had a night or two still where I’ve slept maybe 90 minutes and then headed into work which does not come highly recommended. Ambien will make me a bit groggy the next day, and it’s no bueno when I remember that there’s something I still need to do after I’ve taken them (walked our dog the other night and we could have gone to Narnia for all I know), and I will sometimes sort of sleep-eat when I’m taking them, but gosh darn do I love my sleep so sacrifices must be made.

I still have an incredibly supportive partner: I’m now married, and while Andrew doesn’t always totally get what’s going on in my brain (it objectively doesn’t make sense), he is so incredibly wonderful about asking me what I need and if I’m okay and telling me he doesn’t hate me.  Because that is a question I ask with disconcerting frequency.

I still am ridiculously lucky in many ways.  I am (usually) financially fine enough to attend therapy and pay for my medication through Andrew’s insurance.  I am able to schedule therapy appointments around my work schedule.  I do not have to worry about childcare or supporting another human being during my bad periods.  And, of course, I am a white, cis, heterosexual woman with an advanced degree and despite my mental illness I have a hell of a lot of privilege.  Getting help saved my life, but I was able to ignore or walk around many of the barriers others face in receiving and paying for treatment.

That being said…

Being a depressed lawyer is hell, sometimes.  Many of the aspects of the profession require you to pretend or to actually have no emotion (other than anger, maybe), and my depression is basically having emotions to the point of incapacity, so it doesn’t work super well for me.  I’m lucky in that I’ve never missed court or anything super important because of my depression, but I’ve certainly had to do some excuses the morning of a responsibility.  The choice of whether to disclose is still an incredibly challenging line to draw (will they be understanding? will they fire me?) and it requires me to read a situation while I’m mired in despair so deep that I can’t see my hand in front of my face, so I’m sure I’ve blown it at some point, but I continue to Do My Best.

There’s also this other whole element of needing to report your mental health treatment for severe disorders to several states’ bars when you’re applying to take the exam.  For Pennsylvania, I was not required to report details, but I was required to report any time away from school, which amounted to a full year of law school before I returned.  For New Jersey, I had to report my diagnosis.  The question in New Jersey asks if you have ever received treatment for a list of disorders, and major depressive disorder is one of them.  This meant that when I found out that I passed the bar in New Jersey, I was not actually listed as eligible to be sworn in, because I had to be interviewed by a member of the ethics committee about my treatment, my current status, and my ability to handle the practice of law.  We met in a restaurant.  I ate some fries while she asked me about the worst part of my life and whether I’d fuck up a client’s file because of my brain telling me I’m worthless. The fries were good.

There’s also this whole other element of my depression sometimes telling me that maybe it would be better if I wasn’t alive.  The first two minutes of this clip from Louis CK’s newest special (not ideal to link to him but this is so accurate) is exactly it, and this cartoon and its part 2 from Hyperbole and a Half are the best ways I have to describe this.  And I terrify so many people when I talk about it, and I almost wish that wasn’t the case.  Not because suicide isn’t horribly serious, because it is.  And not because the idea of “missing the signs” isn’t an enormous struggle for concerned loved ones, because it *is*. Because, actually, “I might not want to be alive” should not be the worst thing someone can say.  When I say it, it doesn’t mean I’m in imminent danger.  It doesn’t mean I’ve made any kind of plan.  It doesn’t mean I need to be taken to get sectioned or restrained or hospitalized.  All it means is “the pain of being me right now is so great that *not* being me sounds like a better deal.”

In actuality, it means telling my husband to hide my sleep medications from me and giving me a dose for sleep if I need one – not because I actually plan on doing something, but because it doesn’t benefit me to have a full bottle of Ambien next to my bed.  It means asking those close to me to tell me I have worth and have been at least somewhat a net positive in their lives so I can have proof to show my brain when it says “no one likes you, you’re a disappointment on every plane of existence.” It means walking my dog and feeding her, because then I can point to her healthy doggie body and say “here is a good thing I did recently.” And sometimes it means being in bed for an entire day with the crushing weight of the opinions of the entire world and the struggle of my own existence weighing down on my chest and limbs like a lead blanket and waiting for the next day to come because at least it won’t be today anymore.

I am depressed.  Sometimes that means I’m fine, and sometimes that means I am in a hell my brain has designed specifically for me.  And I’m doing my best to make the “fine” days outweigh the “hell” days.  If you’re here, know that I am here with you, and that you have value, and that I am so proud of you.


Alternative responses to “is counsel here”

August 28, 2016

Judge: is counsel here

Me: I mean, kinda… tbh Your Honor I’m pretty tired

Judge: is counsel here

Me: I am where Vanished objects go

Judge: …

Me: into nonbeing, which is to say, everywhere

Judge: is counsel here


Judge: Counsel-


Judge: is counsel here

Me: who’s Count Cell, he sounds mysterious

Judge: …

Me: Is there a Countess Cell


Judge: is counsel here

Me: *is a block away getting a soft pretzel*

Judge: is counsel he-


Judge: is counsel here


Judge: Excuse me, is counsel here

Me: apologies, Your Honor, I was daydreaming about Daniel Dae Kim

Opposing counsel: same, tbh

Clerk: same tbh

Stenographer: same tbh

Judge: okay yeah now same tbh

Judge: is counsel here

Me: so have you ever considered having a court dog; like, you know, a dog that just hangs out in the courtroom all the time

Judge: counsel

Me: you could call him Gavel

Judge: counsel

Me: or Judge Woofington


Me: okay no that’s fair I could see how that would cause confusion you don’t want two judges in one courtroom

Judge: okay I’m holding you in literally all of the contempt

Judge: is counsel here

Me: I’m making an appearance but I haven’t entered my appearance, ya feel?


Me: opposing party don’t start till I walk in, ya feel?


Me: I’m filling in for the other attorney he’s in court a county over I’m not entered on this case

Judge: I hate you, I hate you *so* much

Judge: is counsel here

Me: were there any psychiatrists in Panem


Me: like even after the revolution did they start training people because I feel like Peeta really could have benefited from several years of therapy

Judge: is counsel here

Me: yo so I’ve been rewatching some Game of Thrones and can I just get your opinion on trial by combat? Like are there any circumstances under which it actually might be kinda cool


Me: it’s cool, I know you have to uphold the rule of law and stuff I promise I won’t tell anyone

Judge: is counsel here

Me: *double-fisting Costco churros* yeah, w’sup

Judge: is counsel here

Me: goddamn do I still hate TV Daario


Judge: is counsel here

Me: is everyone going to go see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them even if it sucks?


Me: yes.  the answer there is obviously yes

Judge: is counsel here

Me: should I still say yes even if I really don’t wanna be

Judge: yes

Me: okay then yes

Judge: is counsel here

Me: can I live, or

Judge: is counsel here

Me: *bursts into tears*





The bar exam’s wacky and dumb cast of characters

July 17, 2014

The MBE (also known as the “Multistate Bar Exam”) is the multiple choice part of Pennsylvania and New Jersey’s bar exams.  It’s a part of many other states’ exams as well.  It is three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon, with 100 questions for each session.   It is the bane of my existence, partially because the same stupid people keep showing up in the fact patterns for each question.  If you’re taking the bar, you already know about a lot of these, but the explanations are for the benefit of those who are not currently in #barprephell. This is the test that will let you be an attorney and that is absurd.


1. The adverse possession guy

So there’s this thing in real property law (think “land ‘n stuff” when I say “real property”) that says, essentially, “if you sit on a piece of land long enough, even if you don’t own it, if the owner doesn’t notice and formally try to kick you out, it’s yours now.”  Adverse possession (or, for white folks, “colonies”) takes a looooong time, like 10 to 20 years, and I guess the policy behind it is if you’re too stupid to notice that some guy is grazing like a thousand cows all over your land, you don’t deserve to own it? Idk.  We have to sit there and then analyze if this total asshole who literally TOOK SOMEBODY ELSE’S STUFF now gets to keep it because Law.  I waste time sitting there going “but it’s not yours, you douchebag” which is a waste of time because apparently *~*~*aNyTHinG iS pOsSIbLe if you just ***belieeeve***~*~*

So in essence, there are a ton of people on the bar exam who just pull this move:

This land is your laaaand
Oh, whoops it’s my laaaand
‘Cuz I just sat here
For several decaaaades

2. The guy who owns a goddamn bear

Let me explain.  There’s this concept in torts that they inexplicably like to test on which basically says “if you own a goddamn wild animal, you are responsible for anything the WILD ANIMAL does because you put it in a house instead of the WILD, you PIECE of SHIT.” There are two different ways this question shows up.

a. The guy who owns some wild animal but it’s chill
The question will start off with some ridiculously implausible situation like “a man had owned a bear for many years.  It was OLD, you guys. Like SO OLD. It had no teeth, and its claws were like little nubbins, and it would just sleep all day and it was just such a mellow bear, you guys. Like a bear rug but not yet.”  The question’s narrator basically turns into a giant Hagrid impersonator talking about Aragog (‘e’s just a big softy, ‘e is! I swearrit! Tot’ly misunderstood creatures, bears!) but you’re supposed to determine that if the bear does something to hurt someone, even if it’s just escaping and hanging out in the woods and a little girl sees it and gets scared you are STILL RESPONSIBLE because it’s a GODDAMN BEAR.  Only you can prevent strict liability by NOT OWNING A BEAR.

b. The guy who uses his own personal zoo to defend property
The concept here is a combination of that first rule, plus “you are not allowed to use deadly force to protect your property which includes setting Shark Week on intruders.” No, seriously, this is on lots of practice MBEs and is almost guaranteed to be a question on my actual bar exam which is just…why. Why does this exist.  I want to be a lawyer, not goddamn Siegfried and Roy.  The two choice ones I’ve had recently are a guy who had a declawed bobcat (a fucking BOBCAT, YOU GUYS) on his property because people were cutting across it to get places.  The question hinged on “bro if you operate a personal zoo you’re responsible for When Animals Attack” but it was still about protecting property, but it was hard to focus because BOBCAT.

The second, even better one I had recently, involved a mall security guard who owned pet rattlesnakes, and because people kept breaking into the mall, he decided to bring his rattlesnakes to the mall to help defend it.  I’m not kidding.  My test for becoming a lawyer includes “Paul Blart: Mall Cop and his Plucky Team of DEADLY FUCKING RATTLESNAKES.”  No, sir, you can’t bring your rattlesnakes to help protect the mall, and even if someone breaks in, you are liable to the person when your MALL COP RATTLESNAKE DOES THE SNAKE THING AND BITES THE INTRUDER.  Did not think I had to write this one down for you but lesson learned, y’all

3. The criminals from the 1930s

I guess the MBE can’t swear, or something, I’m not sure, but the slang these guys use is like, dad-joke level terrible plus a dash of Jay Gastby in their dialogue.  These questions test a whole bunch of stuff, usually criminal procedure or hearsay evidence stuff, but it’s just so painful to read.  I’m not expecting The Wire quality conversations, but can we seriously not use the expression “somebody finked to the cops”?  I’m gonna get this question wrong because 1. I don’t know what the hell “finked” means 2. I am the whitest girl in history and even I know “snitches get stitches.” Is that shit copyrighted or something? TRY HARDER, BAR EXAM.

Other things that have showed up on practice questions:
A gang called “The Dineros”
A criminal called “Condor”
“Bookies” (do we seriously have bookies anymore?)
Someone selling a stolen painting and calling it “fenced” goods
“Do it or the kid gets it!” THREE SEPARATE TIMES
“Shut up or I’ll knock your block off”
An actor who shot another actor who said “You’ve stolen the part I’ve always wanted to play, now you will die for it!”
A guy saying to his wife “Dear, we really did know those TVs were hot, after all, we bought them for $10 each!”


“Hi Disgusted, I’m Bar Exam”

4. The guy who never records any paperwork pertaining to his property

This can also go for lenders, owners, literally anybody.  There are certain rules for who owns rights to property, based on several things, but one of the big ones is “notice,” meaning “this is written down somewhere that someone else owns this property so you can’t buy it because it’s not for sale.” Depending on the jurisdiction/made-up law/drunk-ass set of circumstances, exactly what type of headache this is can change, but it is always a goddamn nightmare.  However, based on the bar exam, roughly 90% of the deeds, mortgages, etc. out there are never written down or filed because there are jackasses who receive the paperwork to this ENORMOUS PURCHASE and are like “fuck it, I don’t need to write that down anywhere important.  Everything will be fine.” NO IT WON’T, YOU ASSHOLE.

I have had questions where there are three separate claims on this property, and two of them forgot to record the fact that they spent like tens of thousands of dollars to acquire it because apparently they are Scrooge McDuck and just have swimming pools of gold coins because LOL what’s money is that this paper with pictures on it someone else takes care of my problems for me.  From now on, if you don’t write your stuff down, I am throwing the deed in a Hunger Games-esque arena and y’all can fight for it: whoever lives wins the deed (or if two of you are cute and theoretically in love I guess you can both win idk THAT’S MAHOGANY)

5. The guy who leaves his property to his family like it’s the Iron Throne

This is another fun part of real property law (can you tell I hate this subject most? because I dooooo) where you have to figure out what type of property rights a person in the future has.  When you normally think of a will, or any other “leave my stuff to a person” deal, you probably think of something along the lines of “my kid gets my house, my sister gets my jewelry, and here’s ten grand for a charity.”

HOWEVER, if you are a person on the bar exam, LOLOL NOPE FARRRRR TOO SIMPLE. “I leave my property to my sons, and upon their death my grandsons, and upon their death the Baratheons, unless the Baratheons have been conceived in incest between Lannister siblings, and if so, then it goes to the Derek Zoolander Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good, unless all the kids can read, then let the kids dig up all the grass and throw it at each other until the Others take us all.”  FUCK YOU AND YOUR STUPID PROPERTY.  You are dead and we are all running your dirt errands and seriously everyone hates you.

6. The guy who thinks anybody’s gonna buy his bullshit story in court about what he meant to do

This one is probably my person favorite, just because it’s got a great combination of Big Brother-mind reading and astounding incredulity were it to ever actually show up in court.  As you may know, much of criminal law requires a person to have a certain intent (the “mental element”) to commit a crime.  Lots of statutes will say things like “knowingly,” “recklessly,” or “with the intent to.” This is obviously important because “oh shit I didn’t mean to do that” is actually a legit defense sometimes, but in order to test it, the questions have to be all up in the person’s head and tell you what they thought.  It is always and forever the highest octane bullshit that would get you laughed out of court if your defense attorney is dumb enough to bring it up, but for the bar exam? Absolutely crucial to getting points. Lawyer licensing, everybody!

My personal favorite is this one, which has shown up three times that I can think of offhand and probably more.  Person A thinks Person B took their stuff and brought it home with them.  Instead of a) asking them for it back b) filing a report with the police c) doing literally any other goddamn thing, this person decides “the best possible thing for me to do is to follow this person home to find out where they live, wait until The Cover of Night, and break the fuck into their house to get my coat/laptop/who cares you broke into someone’s HOUSE.”

But Wait, There’s More!

This person then realizes “oh shit, that’s not my coat/laptop/whatever,” it actually belongs to that other person, and then Person A decides LIKE A SOME KIND OF SOCIOPATH to just KEEP THE STUFF. Yep, they realize this is not their belonging, but they decide to hang on to it anyway.  The question then goes “so, Future Lawyer, what crimes can they be charged with?” and you have to answer “well not burglary because that requires breaking in with the intent to steal and they thought the coat was theirs ahahahaaa what is this what is my life” and pretend like someone would legit show up in court and say “no but seriously I thought it was mine and the best option was to pull a home invasion but then the coat was just super cute so I kept it.”

This list doesn’t include the less frequent offenders, such as “Dude with a Bow and Arrow,” “Mobster who Didn’t Mean to Kill Anyone Just Meant to Shake ‘Im Up a Little,” and my personal favorite, “Important Witness Who Dies After Saying Something Crucial to the Case Outside of Any Court Proceedings.” Two weeks, guys.  Two weeks. 


Lawyering, Personal

Bar prep is a study in contrasts

June 29, 2014

I’m a little over a month out, y’all, and even if the rest of the time were rainbows and butterflies, this would still be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  It is also just a ridiculous process.

(Realtalk before I get silly: it would be awesome if you could check in on me, because this is the worst, and if I see you in real life and snap at you it’s not you, it’s me/bar prep)

I no longer have any idea how smart I am
I will do like, 60-ish practice questions and get a decent number right because I just made a whole bunch of flashcards for the topic and I’ll sit there like I AM THE SMARTEST (WO)MAN ALIVE and have grandiose visions of fist-bumping Ruth Bader Ginsburg and getting an Oscar for portraying myself in my own biographical movie and being chosen to lead the free world BECAUSE I AM THE GREATEST

Aaaaaand then I’ll read a practice essay, skip happily to a conclusion about what the issue is, write an outline for it, and then read the sample answer which is roughly the length of all the One Direction fanfic put together and realize that my outline is about as quality as the average One Direction fanfic because I missed literally everything important about the question (“there was a torts issue here? what? since when? oh since forever and you learned that 4 days ago”) and then I just want to dive into my bed of shame and stay there until my brain reaches its goddamn potential which is NEVER.

I have a lot of feelings about the prep program I chose
(in all seriousness, Barbri has been great so far: the experience itself obviously sucks but in no way do I feel like they’re leading me astray or that I don’t have enough prep, and I really appreciate their graded essay program…disclaimer over)

I’ll sit in class or watch a recorded lecture and be like “lawls bro made a Kenny G joke and I’m actually impressed with the level of fun in this horrendously boring topic” and I’ll do a practice essay and get useful but non-soul-crushing feedback about the stuff I did right and the stuff I missed, and the program is inherently impossible to keep up with but definitely makes sure you cover everything important.

Then I’ll get to a torts question that includes this:

“Once she confirmed with the bank teller that the charges from the escort service were not an error in the bank’s system, she went outside to the driveway, where her husband’s car was parked.  She took a baseball bat to his headlights and carved her name in the leather seats.”

did u just



Also all the lecturers thus far have been white and all the lecturers except three have been men and this has therefore become a study in “if one more old white dude on a power trip with no hair and a nasally voice tells me how to run my life I will SNAP”

My emotions are both all over the place and no longer related to reality
Yep, saw a really cute dog the other day and started crying.  Because it was cute.  Really cute.

That’s my major one right now: tearing up at things that are cute or pretty or some other equally benign adjective.  Songs are a big one, but I’ve also teared up at a really delicious piece of chocolate, Game of Thrones, a text my mom sent me, Johann de Meij’s “Hobbits”, my new running sneakers, and, most embarrassingly, I teared up because I was laughing so hard at Jason Derulo’s “Wiggle” being played at my spin class.  Yeah, apparently what to do with that big fat butt is “burst into tears.”

There’s also what those in the biz call “bargression,” which is hating pretty much the entire world.  This means getting really upset at legitimate things, like racism, or an email from Sallie Mae, or the fact that “The Bachelorette” exists, but also little things.  Everything becomes a trigger for Hulk-like levels of rage.

A non-exhaustive list of things that have set me off in the past month:
dropping my bar of soap while in the shower
a child’s laughter
someone unironically using the expression “the bae” on Twitter
someone yelling their orders at Chipotle
someone ordering too quietly at Chipotle and needing to repeat everything
low battery on my Kindle when I am sitting next to the charger
engagement photos
the Red Cross emailing me to donate blood
cars (just cars, being on the road, at the same time as me)
someone looking at me in the gym
a commercial being on all 6 of my radio presets
texts from my apartment complex
“kaleesi” (sic)
not being able to find the specific pair of workout pants that I want that day
doing laundry
the sun

My brain can store a lot of things!…none of which are important
There is a LOT of stuff required for the bar, and although you’re basically told that you can’t really learn everything, you should know a lot.  Which includes the dozen or so exceptions to the hearsay rule in evidence, the five elements of a negligence claim, roughly 8 goddamn million ways you can leave your stupid, stupid property to another person (no I’m not bitter why do you ask) and all the overlapping “who’s in charge of THIS topic” shenanigans that is our three-branch federalist system of government. No but seriously states are the dumbest thing why do we have states I hate states one law only forever

At any given point, I am confident of about ten percent of the above material.  Fun fact: ten percent competency does not let you pass the bar.

HOWEVER, I am about 95% competent on: Harry Potter spells, quotes from the movies Clueless and The Princess Bride, the words to “Welcome to Duloc” from the first Shrek movie, the words to “Guy Love” from the musical episode of Scrubs, which season of Say Yes to the Dress I’m watching by who the consultants are, the timing of the Rifftrax lines for all but the last of the Twilight movies, drawing a visual of Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms, what Panem’s districts specialize in manufacturing, and the Allomantic powers in the Mistborn novels.

You don’t have to be disgusted: I already disgust myself, don’t worry.

Basically if the bar exam has Harry Potter trivia, Titanic history, or Mean Girls quotes I’m golden; if it’s on any other topic I am barely/possibly competent.  (Hogwarts is a tort waiting to happen and some people who felt personally victimized by Regina George may have a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress and/or slander.)

My wardrobe is incredibly varied
lololol NOPE I get up, change into my daytime pajamas, study forever, shower, change into my nighttime pajamas, sleep, wake up, and repeat.

Yes, I have different pajamas for daytime and nighttime.  It’s important to be comfortable but not so comfortable that my brain just goes “screw this” and goes to sleep in the middle of a real property lecture review.

My energy level is basically a lightswitch
At about 7 PM or so I go full on Rip van Christina and my eyelids droop regardless of how much work still remains and I either 1. take an Ambien like a good little girl and then proceed off to sleepland to have my weird dreams (sleep meds are fun, y’all) 2. act like I’ll calm down enough to not need an Ambien and attempt to read myself to sleep and toss and turn in a mattress of anxiety for the next four hours.

The next day, I get my first two hits of caffeine in AM hours, and that gets me functional, usually.  Sometimes, I get a third thing of coffee in the afternoon, and then I’m just SO EXCITED to be ALIVE and STUDY EVERYTHING and OH MY GOSH I’m gonna make ALL THE FLASHCARDS and watch ALL THE LECTURES and do ALL THE ESSAYS and WHY ARE MY HANDS SHAKING WHEN I TRY TO WRITE IS THAT MY HEARTBEAT THAT’S MY HEARTBEAT AWESOME

The next few weeks should be better because the lectures taper off and I don’t have to wake up to go in if I slept terribly the night before, but I can’t quit caffeine right now.  (They legit tell you before prep starts to not change any of your habits, up to and including “if you’re doing cocaine regularly, keep doing cocaine. Quit after the bar.”)

I am both the healthiest and least healthy I’ve ever been
I am at the gym like, ALL the time.  I am running out my bargression (that’s bar + aggression) and going to spin class and running more.  I should go to yoga, but I walked in this week, felt like punching a wall, realized I shouldn’t scare all the nice people, walked out, and did speedwork on the treadmill for like half an hour. I’m drinking a ton of water, exercising like a beast, and sleeping like a log a LOT.

However.  My diet is all over the place, because some days I’m like “hell yeah, salad” and other days I’m like “every carb in the world represents one of my feelings and they’re all going into my mouth right now.”  My posture is shit because I’m in a desk chair for like 10-12 hours a day, and as my prep program slowly crushes me, my spine bends like a pipe cleaner in a kindergartener’s craft project and everything hurts and nothing is beautiful.  I’m hoping bar prep-induced acne is a thing, because otherwise something is seriously wrong with my face, and my hair is legitimately drying out.  I cut a ton of it off recently as well (and came really close to a “fuck it, we’ll shave it off” moment while in the stylist’s chair because I don’t have time for shenanigans) so as a total package, I look like the Monster Book of Monsters.  Again, if I progress this way…world’s first orc lawyer.

Everything is really, really hard, but I am four weeks away from the exam, and I took a practice exam on Friday that went okay-ish, and this will not kill me.  Andrew has the patience of a dozen saints, Twitter is full of hilarious bar preppers, and this too shall pass, and SO SHALL I.  And then I get to go watch three of my friends get married over the month of August, and I’m planning a trip to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I can do this.