Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So close ... so close ...

I couldn't help but laugh.

As I walked through the muggy parking lot at the Desmond Hotel, 1.5 miles from the Albany airport, I saw a girl's face as she sat in her car talking on a cell phone ... and I couldn't help but laugh.

All of the sudden, the whole, sadistic hazing-on-a-grand-legalized-scale just smacked me in the face. I mean, the girl looked like she was about to cry. Now, it may not have been because of the bar. She might have been experiencing some other tragic, painful, drawn-out and confidence smashing event I didn't know about; but then again, res ipsa loquitur* ... ha, ha.

But even if her near-tears were entirely unrelated to the exam, seeing her face made me realize the tremendous silliness of the whole process. And I just had to chortle a little.

As I write this, I still have one-fourth of the bar left ... the second half of the Multistate portion. It's not over yet ... and if I don't pass, maybe it never will be ;)** Still, I can't help but feel a little relief that even in the midst of the most sorrow-inducing academic event of my life, I was able to detach myself, look back at everything unfortunate that's happened over the past few months - the craziness, the anger, the frustration, and the hopelessness - and laugh.

And if I don't pass***, that may be one heck of a consolation prize.

* Latin meaning "The Thing Speaks for Itself." A little legal joke ... very little ... so little that ... oops, there it goes ...

** Knock on wood ... knock on wood ... find me a piece of wood, dang it!

*** More wood ... MORE WOOD!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

An Avian Nightmare ...

I woke up last night in a cold sweat (literally ... cold ... sweat). * For the first time in a score of years, I had a fully cognizant, heart-wrenching, scream-until-your-voice-gives-out Nightmare. Like most things in my life, though, it was far from typical and, hence, I thought I'd share the highlights.

Apparently sick of the insanity that bar review brings, I must have decided it was time for a vacation because in this dream I found myself in Australia. That's right, Australia. Walking around what I can only assume was the "Outback," I came across a cute, cuddly Kookaburra.

It sang lovely little songs, danced lovely little dances, and in all other ways exuded lovely little cuteness (and fluffiness and all that is good in this world).

Things remained rather pleasant for a few more minutes as I moved on to examine some of the other animals that call Australia home (and to eat something the may have been grilled Toad). When I turned back to look for the Kookaburra, though, I discovered that it had been transformed into a sixteen-foot tall Cassowary.

Excuse me ... a really pissed off sixteen-foot tall Cassowary.

With the presence of mind that only dreams can bring, I knew - immediately - that the Cassowary wanted only one thing: To pound my head repeatedly with that large, sharp beak from Hell. Having a fairly keen survival instinct, I did the best thing I could: I fled like a cubbed-out Swede being chased by Finnish bullies. In the end, though, the Cassowary caught up. And it did not end well. My head became the nail to it's hammer beak.

If only I had had a table.

Of course, it's hard to tell what the inspiration behind this dream was (or any dream for that matter). I can only speculate - and mind you, it is pure speculation - that the dream was a devilish combination of "Up":

And Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds":

Not sure. Still, it made for one heck of a memorable morning.

* This is a lie: Actually, there was no sweat involved, cold or otherwise.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

(Nearly) Universal Appeal ...

Waltzing into Barnes and Noble a few months back, I happened across this:

Truly, one of the oddest literary concepts I've seen in recent years. After guffawing heartily at the gruesomely appropriate cover art, I nearly squealed with devilish glee after reading a few of the books passages.

Here is the beginning of the plot summary found on Wikipedia:
["Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"] follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice, but places the novel in an alternative universe version of 19th century England where zombies roam the countryside. The undead are generally viewed as a troublesome nuisance, albeit a deadly one, and their presence often affects the plot of the story in subtle ways — messages between houses are sometimes lost when the couriers are captured and eaten; characters openly discuss and judge the zombie-fighting abilities of others; women weigh the pros and cons of carrying a musket (it provides safety, but is considered "unladylike").

Elizabeth Bennet and her four sisters live on a countryside estate with their parents. Mr. Bennet trains his daughters in martial arts and weapons, molding them into a fearsome zombie-fighting army. On the other hand, Mrs. Bennet plans to marry the girls off to wealthy suitors.

If the novel lives up to even half of the tremendous potential inherent in the title (and concept), then this may be a book to unite the genders, bring us all together in a euphoric, Utopian literary world. After all, what man or woman could turn down a tale filled with (1) unflinchingly true romance AND (2) hordes of the undead.

I may cry.

Update 1: I just purchased a copy of PPZ on Amazon. Through the virtue of Amazon Prime I'll have it in two days. I tingle with anticipation.

Update 2: A old friend of mine (with whom I have recently reopened correspondence after years of silence and neglect ... and whose Facebook profile re-sparked my interest in PPZ) alerted me to another fascinating exercise in Austen-esque imagination. The series, "Lost in Austen," gives us a rather witty, surreal glimpse at one young woman (Amanda Price) whose Austen obsession opens a door to the world of Pride and Prejudice.

Favorite quote (thus far): "How lovely to have the society of ladies who are not promiscuous with speech."