Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Post-CA Bar Life Update

Hi there! So, I survived the California bar exam.

Flash cards all day, every day. Actually, more practice essays and multiple choice questions. But flash cards, too.
Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. I think once you’ve billed well over 200 hours in a month, 18 hours of testing in three days just isn't as terrible as when you're coming off your laid back third year of law school. It was still stressful because memorization is not my strong suit, but nowhere near as nerve-wracking as when I took the New York bar in 2013. Also, Pasadena is really pretty!

It's nestled right up against the San Gabriel Mountains.
I ate most of my meals over the three days of the exam at Urth Caffe since it was close to my hotel and had delicious food. Highly recommend if you're in the area (it's an LA mini-chain focused on local and organic food).
Also: pretty outdoor seating.
There's not much to report life-wise or running-wise since studying took up the bulk of my time and my runs and workouts were strictly "let's burn off some stress and try not to lose fitness from Surf City training". Sourabh and I did a bit of hiking the weekend after the bar exam but both times were thwarted by nature/weather. 

First, we tried hiking in the Cleveland National Forest, but the area was closed because the area is trying to regrow from a forest fire. We hiked a few miles around the Irvine Regional Park instead but it wasn't quite the mountains I'd had in mind.

Still pretty, though.
We'd originally planned on heading up to Mammoth Lakes to hike but a major snowstorm was forecasted to dump a foot of snow on the mountain. Great for skiers, not so much for hikers with a foot-tall dog. So we did some short hikes in Orange County.

Apparently the powers-that-be were not going to let us escape from cold precipitation, though, because while hiking in the Santa Ana Mountains we were stuck in a freak hail storm. 
Before the hail...
We did catch a gorgeous, stormy sunset one night at Newport Beach.

Thankfully, last weekend was a bit more successful. My NYC office mate (and friend) Hana is visiting and the weather was great, so we got outside a bunch and had some delicious meals. Saturday dinner at Red O in Newport Beach (great Mexican food and even better people watching -- think the real housewives of OC types). One of our servers apparently wasn't used to normal appetites since he said "this is all for just you two?" when dropping off our food. And when he dropped off our dessert, he said "oh, only one?"

I mean, please confirm for me that this isn't that much...

Duck taquitos, beef short ribs sopes, ahi tuna tostaditas, guacamole and a chopped salad. (Unpictured: churros)
This is not SO MUCH food for two people.
Sunday morning we went to a SoulCycle class. It was hilarious after I'd watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt episode with a parody of spin cults the day before. The candle part was just so spot on... (Decent workout, though.)

For class, I tried out this top that I kept from my SWEATSTYLE delivery:

It's an ALALA tank top in the water print. I don't normally pick up prints, but I liked this one a lot. There's also a line of mesh running along the arm holes, which was cool. SWEATSTYLE is a service where you receive an outfit of workout clothes every three months. I'm not normally a fan of the delivery box services since I'm pretty specific about what I wear for work, but I like fun workout clothes, and I think Helena (the founder of SWEATSTYLE, a co-founder of Uplift Studios and a former attorney) is awesome, so I wanted to sign up.

Short review: I really like this top and it held up very well to the amount of sweating I did in the SoulCycle class. I'm going to do a full review after the next shipment I receive, but after one shipment I'm a fan. Receiving and returning the items was easy (and I'm lazy about that kind of thing). I liked that it exposed me to new brands other than the big "default" workout brands. I'll report back next time...

Post-class we had breakfast at W Cafe. I made sure to pick a place that had outdoor seating since Hana was coming from a brutal NYC winter, and then we headed for the hills and hiked at Santiago Oaks Regional Park.

Everything is SO GREEN right now. 
We did a short hike but the route was steep (Hana's fitbit said we went up about 700 feet over a mile and a half or so).

Mason was a brat and refused to walk . I was worried he was overheated and kept carrying him and giving him water. But as soon as we reached the top and I said "we're going back", he started running downhill. He wasn't even subtle about it. He'd just been lazy and hadn't wanted to walk.

Mason's preferred position. Unless he could be eating.

Sunday night we grabbed sushi on Newport Peninsula (it was meh) and dessert at Monster in the UC Irvine area (very tasty) before we headed to Turtle Rock to catch the last of the evening's sunset.

And now you're about caught up. In training news, I *think* I've picked a new half marathon to aim for, and I just put together a training plan. This week is the first week of training, so I'll be back to workout recaps soon!

Is anyone interested in a more detailed description of the bar exam? Happy to write more about it but also don't want to do a long post about the exam only to bore people.


  1. Friend, I give you exhibit A: post-Cherry Tree Mexican feast. You're welcome:

  2. Your pictures. That is all. Gosh I can't wait for some warm weather, beaches and pretty sunrises and sunsets! Glad that the bar wasn't TOO awful :)

    1. It was nice to be able to get out around sunset a bit more than I normally can during the work week!

  3. Pretty!!

    (Also, maybe send some of that Mammoth snow up our way, plzthnx? Tahoe is the saddest I have ever seen it. :( )

    1. The way my luck has been, I'd just need to make plans to visit Tahoe and it would get hit by a blizzard ;)

  4. I do not want to hear about the bar. Hehehehe.

    1. IT ISN'T THAT BAD! Oh wait, no, the first time was terrible. THE SECOND TIME IN A NEW STATE 1.5 YEARS LATER WASN'T THAT BAD!

    2. Hahah. I believe you. But in a weird way I can appreciate being in study mode too. At least during in finals so far... it's nice to finally feel like everything is coming together and actually means something. Hopefully I'll keep this outlook. ;)