Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Always look on the bright side of, I mean life!

Taking the bar exam is one of those experiences you really can't begin to describe unless the other person has been there.  And even then, the California version removes itself to a whole different category of indescribable horribleness.
Yet, in the midst of the horror, I am trying to be a more positive person, look on the bright side of things, some may say...others might say I have accepted the only bright spot in my life may be death and at least that is inevitable, for now at least.  Anywho, the California Bar exam, 3 days (not 2, 3) of torture.  Where is the bright spot?  Well, every six months you have the opportunity to take a 3 day vacation from work, minus the relaxing part.  Aside from the studying and worrying and filling in bubbles and typing until your laptop keys fall off and hoping you don't die of a heart attack from stress (don't worry the EMTs are set up across from the laptop room, seriously...) while simultaneously praying an earthquake hits, its like a reunion.  See, this permutation of the exam is known for being vicious in its pass rates, particularly February.  Why?  No one has ever told me, but I think its because they like taking my money every 6 months.  But, every six months you have the opportunity to catch up with those individuals that you took your first bar exam with, commiserate over the crappy retail jobs you are forced to work because of the lousy job market, figure out where the best island medical school is located, proclaim your plans to take the exam next time in North Carolina, laugh at people who think they are actually passing it their first time...its like a secret party, but only for the initiated.
So congrats to all you DC-ians who finished and the rest who finish today. And to those Thursday essay writers who despise their compadres who are already on their bar-cations, just accept that they are lame.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wicked is infuriating, but I love it. It's a very distressing subject...

I hate the Wizard of Oz.  When I was younger we had a neighbor who was obsessed with the Wizard of Oz and would watch all the Oz movies all the time.  Have you ever seen Return to Oz?  Most disturbing children's movie, EVER, and I grew up in the 80s... Needless to say, I was forever scarred by these experiences.  Not to say I hate all things Oz related.  "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a classic that can't be ignored.  I was totally jazzed when I got to dress up as Dorothy for a dance recital (lil' sisKort's class dressed as the Tinman, being older totally rocked that recital).  I wanted a dog that I could carry around in a basket. (Toto was the original purse dog, dontcha know)  Which is probably why I decided to pick up the novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the West.  Also, I have a soft spot for villains in stories...are they really villains or are they just misunderstood?

If you have read any of Gregory Maguire's novels you will realize that they are exceptionally dark.  Dark in a good way, though, as all fairy tales truthfully are.  Other than the very end of a fairy tale, when the hero shows up, where is the happiness throughout the story?  So the novel is dark, it ends in death (sorry, it's been 50 years, not a spoiler, it's pretty much a given that if the witch died in Wizard of Oz, she's gonna die in this one too), and for effect, there are a smattering of adult situations throughout the story.  Wicked the novel is not Wicked the musical.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What makes pizza good pizza?

I've been thinking about pizza a lot lately. Most likely due to the fact that I kind of went vegan-esque when I moved back to Cali (for a lot of reasons, none of which being animal rights, sorry PETA!) and haven't had any due to the cheese thing (vegan cheese is not the same as cheese, no matter what anyone says, ever). However, I broke down and had a slice of real pizza with pepperoni on my break today, and oh, how good it was...
Now, some people say there is no such thing as bad pizza. Obviously, these individuals never ate in my elementary school cafeteria...
But what exactly is good pizza? Disregarding the NY vs. Chicago style debate (clearly NY style for the win), what exactly makes pizza sooo good that you go back over and over again?
People will mention artisan ingredients or wood burning ovens or the water for the dough, but there is where the actual dilemma lies. What kind of pizza are we talking about here?
I view pizza as the everyman's food. Everyone, at every level of society, likes it in some capacity (seriously, find me someone who hates all pizza and I will give you a cookie).  Now, I have had some fabulous pizzas, with perfect crusts and fabulous, fantastic toppings, but isn't it the everyman aspect of pizza that make it great? So in my mind, the good pizza is cheap pizza, pizza that you can eat while you are studying, consume cold to sooth your hangover, AND eat with friends at movie night on the couch straight out of the box.  In my mind the perfect pizza was the Jumbo pizza from Ameci's.  It served all these purposes and reminded me of my childhood at the same time.  The pizza is like 20 some slices and cost like $10.  There's not a lot of sauce, the middle gets a little soggy cause it's so big, and the cheese tends to slide off the first slice you pull from the pie. It's this chain from the area where I grew up that happened to put one on my college campus 400 miles away from the rest of their stores.  It's the pizza that was served at my childhood girl scout pizza parties.  It's where I decided pepperoni and pineapple should become pizza topping buddies. It is my guilty pleasure.  And isn't that what good pizza should aim to be, so bad that it is actually good?