Thursday, December 11, 2008

Great Moments in the Life of: Pat O'Brien, Vol. II

*The second in a continuing series...*

On the eve of his 25th birthday, I thought it would be nice to add to the series. So...

Submitted for the Approval of the Midnight Society...I call this story:

The Tale of Gymnastics Camp and the Big, Bad Wolf

The summer after 5th grade, I went to a summer camp. I'm really not sure exactly where the camp is/was, but it was somewhere in the mountains of San Diego County. That summer, Sean went to a surf camp down there. I know, right? Why didn't I go there? I dunno. I went to a regular camp. It was fun, though. Two weeks of eating terrible food, getting filthy and not wanting to use the communal showers, playing basketball, playing aussie-rules football, playing baseball and generally having a pretty good time. 

Each week, each kid got to choose two activities...a morning activity and an afternoon activity. The morning activity I chose each week was basketball. 5th Grade Me lived for basketball. I was a really fuckin good 5th grade basketball player, let me tell you. The counselor, who played at the University of Arizona, told me to not forget about him when I'm playing college basketball one day. Yeah, I know.

After the first week of camp, my little brother Patrick came to the camp for just one week. At the end of my first week, some of the people I had gotten to know left for home, and new ones replaced them. So I was sort of a seasoned veteran at camp, and had quite a few dudes I had gotten to know. One of these guys, I forget his name, seemed like a pretty cool dude. We'll call him Lance, because that's a pretty douchey name. He was good at basketball, but not as good as me, and so we were sort of buddies. 

I was about to enter the 6th grade so I was probably not that inclusive of Pat, who had just finished 3rd grade. I mean, he was what...nine? And, to make matters worse, for whatever reason, Pat signed up for the "Gymnastics Camp." Now, as I got older I realized, gymnastics is probably pretty cool. You get really strong and chicks think you have a sweet body. But of course, most dudes from age 8-15 think gymnastics is "super gay." I think Pat's buddy did gymnastics back home and talked Pat into it. Patrick, care to chime in?

So Pat was one of "those" kids. I didn't get to see him much because gymnastics camp kids didn't get to choose an activity. Also, the cabins were split up by age group, and you sat with your cabin at meals, etc. For Pat and the gymnastics kids, gymnastics was their activity, morning and afternoon. So there just wasn't a lot of time to see him, anyways.

Middle of the week, probably Thursday night, there was a dance on the basketball courts. I mean, I was a pretty cool dude at this camp, at least among the dudes. I was talking with a group of other dudes as we awaited the ladies to make their way across camp to the dance.

I look across the court and I see my little brother Pat with some people. It appears he is sort of getting teased by Lance. Probably for being in gymnastics camp. Possibly not altogether undeserved, but still. That's my brother, and if there is one thing our dad taught us it's that you always stand up for your brothers. 

I keep my eye on the situation from a fair distance for a moment or two to see if it will just resolve itself. I should probably mention here that not only was I not inclusive of Pat during that week, but I don't think anyone other than the counselors even knew we were brothers.

Suddenly, I see Lance shove Pat. Probably not hard, although Pat can chime in on that. But just a douche bag kid trying to be a bully to the kid who wears a leotard and prances on a balance beam while we are playing basketball. Nonetheless, Pat is my brother.

Have you ever seen the cartoon "Lambert the Sheepish Lion"? If not, watch it here. It's a Disney short wherein a lion is accidentally delivered by the stork to a mother lamb. Even though he's a lion, Lambert loves his mama, and his mama loves him. He's kind of a pussyfoot of a lion, though, being raised by a lamb and all. But at the end of the movie, a wolf is dragging Lambert's mother away and something in Lambert snaps! He sheds his sheepish exterior (figuratively speaking, of course) and beats the crap out of the wolf to save his mother.

Not that I was ordinarily sheepish, but if you've seen the cartoon, I was like Lambert when his mother is being dragged away. Something snapped. Mid-conversation, I sprinted across the basketball court...probably a good 30 yards. And even in 5th grade, I was built like a little tank. Solid as a rock. I just destroy this douchebag Lance. I swear, he flew a good 20 feet into the fence surrounding the court.

In a daze, he looks up at me, bewildered.


I wasn't messing around, you know.

He stammers something about not knowing he was my brother. As if that excuses his being a douche to some kid 2 or 3 years younger than he was. I think he then began apologizing profusely. He was probably crying. I don't know.

Pat seemed stoked and everyone else was pretty stunned. There were no counselors around, so not one got in trouble. And whenever the story is told, my dad beams with pride.

Ok, so maybe this is more of a story about me than it is about Pat. But so what... it's my damn blog.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This Won't Be Terrible Exciting, But It Should Kill A Couple Minutes of Your Otherwise Jobless Day (Lisa, Ryan...I'm Looking at You)


Exam Day! Such a wretched/blessed feeling. How is it possible to loathe and love the same thing so much at one time? I think the loathing part is clear. Who likes exams? Especially law school* exams. But, I also love exam day. My long national** nightmare finally ends. Four months of frustration, reading, procrastination, studying, procrastination, not reading when I should be, attending class, skipping class, and feeling miserable for skipping class all comes to an end in three*** short hours.

I think but am not sure that today is the first time in my law school career that I managed to sleep the night before my exam. Usually, in a manic state, I am up for at least 24 hours before the exam. Of course, I know it's not helpful. Nor healthy. By the time I get to the exam, everything is a blur and I am ready to tear my eyes out.

Today, though. Oh, today. Today would be different! With some helpful encouragement from a certain boo, I got a good night's rest. I took some NyQuil**** and fell soundly asleep at 1am.

Sweet dreams were had all around.

I wake up at 6am sharp. Shower immediately. For breakfast, I had some yogurt and granola, and boy was it delicious. Finally, after much procrastination, I decide to download the exam taking software I need. 

Why put it off to today? No idea. But, to take the exam, you have to use this program called ExamSoft. Basically, it's a word processor that keeps you from accessing ANYTHING on your computer besides the exam program while you are taking your exam. You start it, begin the exam, it reboots your computer, and when it reboots it boots directly into the ExamSoft program and your exam begins. 

The trick for me can't use Mac OS with ExamSoft for whatever reason. But you CAN get a real copy of windows installed and use that. So at Thanksgiving, the brother who didn't bail on his family that he's known for almost 29 years****** installed Windows on my new Mac. 

I boot to Windows, plug in the ethernet cord... and there is no internet. No internet means I can't a) Download the ExamSoft program; b) Download my exam; c) Turn in my exam.

I have no idea how to fix this. It's 7am and my exam is in a few hours. OH EFFING HELL.

I jump up and head to campus. I get there around 7:15, but the Internet Help Desk is not open till 9. So I head to the library and get online to seek Pat's guidance. He says I just need my Mac OS boot disk to load some drivers. Well...I don't HAVE the freaking Mac OS boot disk with me because I had no idea I might need it.

I am flippin pissed. It's now like 8:30 and I decide to head back over to the Internet Help Desk to see if just maybe they opened early. So I walk back across campus...

Lights are on! Yay! 

Door is locked! Booo. 

But the guy comes walking out and says, "Oh sure, no problem" when I explain my sitch to him. 

And then I pull out my Mac. "Oh...this is the new one. I don't think I have all the right drivers on this Disc because it's for the old one."

My head starts spinning. My knee******* did not love the walk here this morning and it surely won't like a walk back home and back to campus even more. He decided to give it a shot... and whaddayaknow... the damn thing works. Phew. I download the program, download the exams, run the test...and everything seems to be working.

Crisis averted!

The moral of this story is simple. No matter how much sleep I get before an exam, something is bound to almost go horribly wrong for me.

The most important question out of all of this, though is:

Tommy, why are you writing this blog when you have an exam in less than four hours instead of studying for Constitutional Law? You are still unclear on the nuances of Procedural Due Process. You still don't understand when and how to apply the O'Brien Test********. 

Touche, my dear self. Touche.

*I am most certainly sticking my nose up in the air as I type this sentence
**Ok, personal. I just like the phrase Long, national nightmare. Don't you?
***God, help me get out in 2.
****Yes, I AM sick, but damn...that stuff is straight from God's lips to mine own.
*****Can I just say...that Trader Joe's French Village or whatever yogurt is the BEST!!!!!! It's got a sharp bite that I oh so love.
******Sean, I don't think you read this, but I'm kidding. Kind of.
*******Stupid god damn knee.
********Isn't it ironic, don't ya think?