Remember Two ThingsNot DMB, but Ted Frank.
Checking out Frank's individual blog (I've had reason to look at Overlawyered several times in a De Novo capacity; incidentally, there's a post up regarding my Ten Commandments of Law School Applications) put me in mind of couple thoughts I'd had lately. His review of the sweeping-the-blogosphere Firefly DVD
The show is formulaic -- you can feel the character archetypes being cut and pasted, complete with the inexperienced character that others can have plausible plot exposition conversations with -- but it's a good formula, and executed wellreminded me of watching Gosford Park. Very good fun and nice to have my latest celebrity crush (Clive Owen) reinforced, but the character of the little Scottish maid was undeniably the inexperienced character with whom others can have plausible plot exposition conversations. Certainly it's better than the old sci-fi cliche of "As you know, hydrogen gas combined with kryptonite makes butter" in order to let the audience in on relevant information, but nonetheless noticeable. I think in a murder mystery set in a houseful of gossipy people, with the upstairs folk treating the downstairs ones as so much animate furniture, the GP writer could have pushed even further to have the information sharing spread among the whole cast. However, perhaps Mary was intended to be a fairly strong protagonist in a large and excellent assemblage of characters/ actors, so her prominence in the information revealing was not accidental.
Also, for some reason Frank's link to the bar exam version of Schoolhouse Rock made me think of a conversation I had with a friend who's in her internal medicine residency about the bar exam versus the Boards. I'd just ordered a new copy of the board game Antitrust (I bought a copy at the same game shop on the Downtown Mall about six years ago when I was delighted to see it on the shelf after taking an econ class on the topic, but they didn't have it in stock anymore -- I suspect the store is more and more becoming a teenage boy hangout of comics, RPG cards and the like). We're both Trivial Pursuit fans, and she said something about there being something like TP for medical information, but that it didn't work very well because the field changes so rapidly except in anatomy and some pathology.
Much of law, on the other hand, is fairly stable. In particular, the kinds of things about which people bitch regarding the bar exam, such as the Rule Against Perpetuities, are things that don't seem to have changed in a long time. A lot of contracts and property law seems to fall into this category as well. There's also the Uniform Commercial Code and Model Penal Code for things that aren't exactly law but that one ought to know because they tend to get adopted by states (especially the UCC). This would be more specific than the future law nerd version of Trivial Pursuit that Doug Berman suggested; it would embrace the fact that studying for the bar exam is a pursuit of trivia -- and in the opinion of some a trivial pursuit insofar the bar itself is an absurdity -- and put it into game form. You could have various categories from various areas of the law, so that for your own good your classmates would always stop you from winning after you'd gotten all the tokens by asking a question from your weakest area of knowledge. For me, Contracts probably would be the bar exam equivalent of Sports in the current version.
And Reading Jeremy Blachman Reminds Me...I liked my Restaurant Week experience OK when I went during the winter one. Perhaps it's a sign that I've been in NYC too long already (or perhaps not long enough to have found the good cheap places), but $20.12 doesn't seem exhorbitant for a three course restaurant meal. A good big salad at Hamilton's Deli runs me about $7, then another couple of bucks for a drink and a couple more for a dessert, and I still have to find a place to sit down to consume it all. Since leaving NYC, I've found myself lunching at another Hamilton's, this one in Charlottesville -- not a deli, predictable dearth of delis in southwesternly Virginia -- but a nice sit-down restaurant. Their lunch menu is a godsend. I took the aforementioned doctor-in-training to it last week and she thought it was excellent as well. They charge about $10 per entree, and less for the vegetarian blue plate special, the make-up of which they change depending on the ingredients available but which has been steadfastly tasty. The portions are perfectly sized, just enough to fill us up when we'd been hungry without making us feel over-stuffed.
Also, while the #1 spot on the NYTimes chart of which shows last summer were most popular among Dems and Republicans is meaningless because it was one of very few shows with new programming and thus disproportionately watched, the #2 and #3 on each might have more significance. Willingness to watch a re-run of a show means that you must like it reasonably well, since you're probably not watching for the novelty of it. That the Republicans favor Everybody Loves Raymond for a sitcom while the Democrats prefer Will & Grace, and the Rs go for JAG's drama but the Ds for Law & Order's, makes perfect stereotypical sense to me and that's all for which one can ask from the media. As for the connection between the Idiot's Guide to Dating and the Satanic Verses, perhaps the former includes the recommendation not to be reading the latter while hanging out with a Muslim prospective date.
I hadn't heard about the new NYC subway rules; I suppose they're intended to keep it a bit cleaner, more like the DC Metro. Having people not piss in the subway area would be my #1 recommendation, but that's probably already ineffectively prohibited. Of course, the DC Metro is infamous for its draconian enforcement of its rules, whereas I have trouble imagining the NYC one going to as much trouble to ensure that people aren't consuming beverages. No doubt that we now will see someone asking the Ethicist or some other NY columnist about how to deal with the rule-breakers, whether to scold them or ignore them, much like the ongoing "don't be a slob/ don't be a tool" debates that the Washington Post's Bob Levey would host. (I feel kind of ashamed not to have noticed that Levey retired back in January 2004; I used to read him consistently when I first moved to Northern Virginia, but dropped off as I began to read blogs and they became a kind of substitute for columns.)
I don't watch Real World, any other reality TV or any TV period because I didn't own one until my little sister gave me hers, which I left in the NYC apartment. No TV all summer because the apartment I'm subletting also is TV-free. I mostly only miss TV because I don't know what advertisements people are talking about. When I have one again, I still won't watch reality TV, and if I get cable it will be for the Daily Show and "Everybody Hates Chris." All that said, I'm sorry to hear that Real World: Austin sucks, but perhaps it will incentivize people not to come to Austin and I'll have a better chance of getting a job there. Maybe.
(Is it just me or does reading Jeremy's blog cause me to ape his style somewhat?)