So I’m almost half way done with law school (2.5L). I say almost because standing between me and the holidays is one more monstrosity of an exam, weighing in at 10 hours long. I am shooting to be done with it in 8 hours, but its technically still 10. It will be consuming the entirety of my day tomorrow.
In addition to that I need to finish up some edits on my two term papers, but I’m already a few edits in and those will be mostly minor ones. So really at about 6pm tomorrow I will be a 2.5L and I am so so ready for it. I somehow managed to make this the most stressful semester of law school thus far and next semester is looking to be even worse, but more on that next year.
As is typical with the exam period, there has been lots of comfort-seeking, in both the form of food an drink. SB is already done with her exams and papers, in fact she finished a week before me, but that hasn’t stopped the (over) consumption of all things in the house.
Back before SB was done we had some delicious shrimp.
Of course exams always entail drinking, especially in law school (its actually a requirement, I think). So I started off with the “Snowed In” sampler from Harpoon. If it looks familiar its because I had the exact same box for Thanksgiving last year. Not much has changed, so I’ll be brief, but I did want to revisit these brews.
I’ve already addressed this brew more than once, so I’ll just repeat myself and say that it is a really good IPA. What I did want to address is that they’ve changed the label. Before it had a nautical theme, which would make sense. However, they’ve moved away from that theme and have now adorned the bottle with a tiger. I’m not sure it makes as much sense, but its still the same beer, so I’m fine with whatever the label is.
A great unfiltered wheat ale, probably one of the bests, at least in my book. This beer has essentially trumped Upland Wheat Ale in every possible way for me. As always, I continue to recommend it.
Much like last year, this beer continues to be a spice explosion (and continues to be loathed by Beer Advocate). I think its actually more spiced this year than it was last year. Its gotten to the point that I think this beer might be the victim of its “Winter Warmer” moniker more-so than it is a bad beer. I think a “Spiced Beer” would be more appropriate, or heck, even a “Christmas Malt” might fit better. Still, I like it, its just not your typical Winter Warmer as it replaces the warmth of the alcohol mouthfeel with a bunch of spices.
I actually enjoyed this one a bit more than last year. I don’t think the recipe was different, but my expectations definitely were. Last year I was really anticipating a gingerbread beer, but this year I changed my expectations in favor of a “Gingerbread inspired” beer, which to be fair is exactly what this is. I still think its a little heavy on the Ginger, but when it comes to a holiday beer this one is especially noteworthy. (As an aside, if you want a beer that really has a Gingerbread feel to it, try Shipyard GingerBreadHead from Shipyard Brewing Co.).
Beyond Harpoon, which is becoming a household staple, I also branched out to something entirely new to me.
This is a new to me brewery and beer. Widmer Brothers is actually based out of Portland, Oregon, so I’m a bit surprised I didn’t see it while in Seattle. Or maybe I did and I just don’t remember it (50/50 chance). Their apparent claim to fame is their Hefeweizen, which they claim to be the “Original American Hefeweizen.” Surprisingly my research seems to back up this claim, but as with all such claims I still doubt its veracity. My assumption is that the Widmer Brothers (Rob and Kurt) simply made the first well known American Hefeweizen back in 1986. I seriously doubt there was no American-inspired Hefeweizen recipe before that time. Anyways, I saw that the six-pack was only 10$ (which is sadly cheap for these parts) and decided to give their flagship brew a try.
This was a good, albeit mild Hefeweizen. I’m not super surprised given that it was America’s “first” original Hefeweizen recipe, but all in all that is not necessarily a bad thing. Its a very drinkable Hefeweizen, yet it retains most of the traditional Hefeweizen traits such as the cloudy appearance, subtle fruit tones and tastes, as well as the classic Hefeweizen crispness and bite. Its not the strongest Hefeweizen by any margin, but its definitely one of the more drinkable ones I’ve found. You could easily do a session of these without feeling like you’d ate a whole loaf of bread, something that isn’t true with more full-bodied Hefeweizens.
Other than beer and food we’ve still managed to stay productive around here. Speaking of productivity I found out (finally) that I passed my business school classes! Woo!
In other productive, but not as enjoyable news, I had even more blood-work done recently! Woo!
The good news is that everything is ok, the bad news is that it doesn’t reveal anything about any of my ongoing health issues. One cool thing is that I finally know my blood-type! Somehow in all the 40,809.24$ that has been spent trying to figure out my issues (which doesn’t include any of my out of pocket or Harvard physical therapy costs), no one actually tested for my blood-type. According to my Doctor blood-type testing isn’t very common for males anymore. Based on what I read online they now have a comparatively easy way of converting donated blood into universal donor (O-) blood, negating much of the earlier need to know blood-types.
We’ve still had some fun though, for example we went down to Boston College to see a hockey game.
It was kind of interesting because there had been a big norovirus outbreak (120+ people) on BC’s campus because of Chiptole and it was ongoing while we were down there. We didn’t get sick though because we took precautions and the outbreak has now passed over with no deaths or anything like that (norovirus is basically a bad flu). Of course there are now lawsuits against Chipotle, but those happen when a mouse farts.
The game itself was fun, even though BC lost to
the child molestas’ Notre Dame.
BC’s hockey arena is a bit larger than Harvard’s, but still not too big.
Those were our seats, which were pretty good. There was one area of the rink we couldn’t see, but there was a big screen covering the action as well, which helped.
At half time a guy got a chance to win a brand new Mercedes Benz, he failed spectacularly. Of course I would have too. The contest was more rigged than a carny game. He basically had to hit a half-rink shot into the goal, but the goal was covered by a piece of plywood (advertising the car dealership sponsoring the contest, of course). In the piece of wood was a puck-sized cutout. Literally the exact size of the puck, I don’t think there was more than 1/8″ of clearance on either side. So yeah, my guess is that even an NHL superstar couldn’t make that shot. However, this guy failed really bad, almost as bad as I would have – he didn’t even hit the board at all. It was still fun to watch though, and Baldwin came out onto the ice for it.
Speaking of Baldwin.
He was very active in the stands for this game. “Spot the Baldwin” is the real reason SB and I go to BC games, we should just admit that. At one point they were playing “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and Baldwin really got into it with his imaginary fiddle. It was hilarious, SB got a video of it. If Johnny got the golden fiddle, Baldwin would have got fiddle made of diamonds.
In the end it was a fun time, even if Notre Dame’s shiny helmets lured in one to many
children BC players and cost them the game. Final score was 3-4, which was the highest scoring of the three hockey games we’ve seen so far.
We’d really like to go see the Bruins play, but NHL tickets are just way too pricey for us.
Of course while all this (exams, booze, fun, and otherwise) was going on, the holidays have been rapidly approaching. Since starting law school I’ve unfortunately found myself to be highly ambivalent about the holidays. Of course when something like a 10 hour exam stands between you and the holidays its a bit easier to understand. I also think its because my law school breaks are so short, that no sooner than you are done, you starting back up again. Compounding this is that while you are home, you’re still expected to do things, I mean institutionally expected, not just culturally expected. So, while I’ve been a bit of a Scrooge for a decade or so, law school only made it worse. This is not to say that I don’t like the holidays, in true Scrooge fashion I explode with Christmas spirit, it just normally happens late sometime the night before Christmas, as opposed to some people in this country who start celebrating Christmas in August.
The point of all that, is that if it wasn’t for SB (and now the boys) I’d never decorate and may not even have a Christmas tree. This applies to all holidays actually. But that is not where I find myself, so last Friday we descended into the basement and drug up our Christmas stuff.
As this was Pig’s first Christmas he was both excited and confused, but Tristen and Valentino explained things pretty well for him, which increased his excitement exponentially. We all listened to some music (A Very Special Christmas and Trans Siberian Orchestra, of course) and put up some decorations.
Its comparatively not much, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. (There are now three little presents under the tree, and soon to be more).
Afterwards the boys were tuckered out.
And that pretty much brings us up to the present with Christmas stuff. We still have to get some more presents ready for the boys and for the human family. Clifford generally goes pretty crazy with Christmas presents, but he is old enough that he takes care of all that himself (and by that I mean he has slaves) so we don’t have to worry too much about him. Last night we went out with a friend of SB’s before she headed home and then we watched It’s a Wonderful Life, which is one of our two “Christmas Movies,” the other being The Polar Express, which will probably come on Monday.
For now, for me at least, its back to the grind of studying for this last (massive) exam and then I can finally enjoy myself for a week or so. I predict that I’ll be consuming a lot of coffee in the next 48 hours, of course that’s not much of a change, I’ve been living on the stuff lately.
I hope to get in one more “I’m Done” blog post before heading home, which will not only celebrating being a 2.5L (I have a special beer lined up) but also talk about getting ready for the new year. So, if things go according to plan, look for one more Dinosaur Bear post before we close out 2015.
Until next time,
P.S. – Nuts says hi!