il pirata

Or, more accurately, Marco [Pantani]. That's what Pete jokingly called me when he saw how I like to climb hills. I really really love to stay in my drops. Risers? Flat bars? Bullhorns? Never.
I dream of being a decent climber. I dream of ascending steep hills and knowing exactly when to shift to keep a constant cadence. I've been dreaming of road bikes, too, spending an hour here and there fantasizing about custom frames [Igleheart? Indy Fab? Seven?], pretending I had the money to sink into yet another bike.
I know, I know, I just got a new bike. But it's an addiction; cycling, that is. It's sort of totally changed my life, too. I'm not going to go out and get that bike-related tattoo just yet, but I'm hoping if I ever do, it won't be something I regret.
I'm doubting myself, though. I've been through enough phases [from punk to sourdough baking to boxing] to hedge my bets a bit. And when finals arrive and I'm more than a little unprepared, the doubting becomes worse as I desperately try to find something I'm good at. Because it's certainly not law school [unless you count being spectacularly mediocre at studying law some kind of impressive feat]. I've been doing a fairly okay job of clutching onto the last shreds of my sanity though. Well...until yesterday.


I ran into Mark outside the library and hitched a ride into Newton Centre to get a decent cup of coffee. On our way back to the library, we ran into a guy in our Constitutional Law II class; a guy who is on Law Review with Mark. He mentioned going to meet with our professor to ask some questions before the official review session, and, looking at Mark, invited him, pointedly ignoring me, saying:
"Yeah, I'm sure the guys will be okay with you coming. All the smart kids are going."
I gulped awkwardly, then managed to excuse myself from the conversation that I was never a part of, to head back to my carrel. Biting my lip, I pushed aside feelings of frustration, inadequacy, and not being good enough. I have too much shit to do to feel stupid over petty comments; so I dove back into my work.


Hours later, back home, I gave myself a 20 minute break to sprawl out on my bed and think about nothing. Turning my head to check the time, I glimpsed my pretty Dolan. I wondered how long this was going to last. I dream of being fast but, like punk rock and boxing, sometimes I wonder if I was ever really built for this obsession I've immersed myself into [the answer to the aforementioned interests ended up in the negative, mostly because I couldn't seem to excel at either]. When passion turns into that hungry, all-consuming desire to be better, faster, stronger, smarter...does it all end there?
Even if I'm never good at cycling, am I still going to love it...?
I'm honestly not sure. For now, I'm going to do the only thing I can do: keep my head down, in the drops, and just try to climb.

this is taxing

In T minus too few hours, I'll be going Chernobyl on a tax exam. Or more accurately, I will be attempting to survive the nuclear winter that will be my tax law exam.
I'm in good company, at least. Misery, a common theme this time of year, still manages to make itself useful by forging bonds of solidarity. As a few friends and I navigated the intricacies and tiny little details of the tax code for a few hours this morning, fluctuating between comprehension and utter confusion [yes, even with the exam less than 24 hours away], there was the unspoken understanding that if we fail, we'll fail together. And until then, we were going to pretend that that just wasn't a possibility.


Dragging my feet back to my carrel after the study session, a friend who sits at the carrel next to mine spotted me in the hall and held up a hand for a high five. I reciprocated weakly, half missing his hand, mentally thanking God it wasn't Zack at Cambridge who would undoubtedly make me do it over and over again until my palm was numb. I sighed at my ineptness and stepped to walk past him when he asked:
"Do you know why I just gave you a high five?"
"No." [I mean, did there have to be a reason???]
"You're getting published."
He took three steps past me before I realized what that meant. I shrieked a little too loudly, and attempted to hug him before he pushed me away in feigned disgust, muttering something about how he now needed to take a shower. The failed hug was made up by a subsequently successful one with another friend and journal-mate who was also selected for publication. My fantasy of getting my name [and note!] in the Westlaw database is actually coming true [in Spring 2010].
That means more work, more time in the library, more pounding my head into walls over the issue of homonymous names of geographic indicators of cheese in the European Union. But those are things to worry about next winter. For now, as taxing as my current situation is [pun totally totes intended], the news gave me a much-needed academic ego boost and sort of hinted at the possibility that maybe I don't completely suck at all things legal.
...Well, that might not include tax law, though...
[And yes, the pictures of papers all over my desk will stop soon.]