Thursday, April 2, 2009

the last chronicles - pacing

One of the books that Kaplan sends out is a Pacing book. It allows you to work on timed section without having to do any entire test. There is an Endurance book for that. Hopefully, more on than later.

This Saturday, there is another full-length test. I'm pretty okay with the long test. I take my water in my stainless steel bottle and my veggie burger with me and try not to go to the bathroom until the test is over. I am concerned that I am going to be in a testing center with over a hundred people, 75% of whom are women and a good chunk of them on the rag. Including me. Lining up to use the bathroom might not be something I'd care to be doing.

What I am trying to practice now is time and section management and the Pacing book is good for that. Sometimes I get a little discouraged, especially in the Logical Reasoning sections, where I get the same kinds of questions wrong over and over. But I still feel I am doing things the right way.

I came across this website in my online research even before I started the Kaplan class. It is chock full of terrific advice and little things that no one tells you. One of the reasons I am keeping this blog about the LSATs is that whenever I spoke to anyone who had already written it and were in or out of law school, they had trouble remembering what they went through while taking the test. I understand wanting to forget about it, but I could use the help.

This guy is just giving away all this lovely information for free and I have no idea why. It's just wonderfully helpful. I get a lot of reinforcement that I am doing things the right way from reading his blog.

Tutor said in the last couple weeks leading up to the exam, he began doing tests with music on. I try to have some kind of distraction going when I am doing a Pacing exercise. I use Pie's egg timer and the ticking can drive you mad. I sit next to the ferret cage and they are loud motherfuckers when they are running around in there and the rest of the house is quiet. Plus, they have the noisiest water bottle in the world. That thing wakes me up when I am asleep so I will be glad when we replace it. Sometimes, my neighbor has work being done in his flat so I get the joy of drilling and hammering.

Go me.

ketch my ass

I had real trouble with the previous post. Something happened in the formatting and it got entirely screwed up as I tried to transfer it from a Gmail "compose mail" form to the blogger post. Words broke up in the middle but there were no hard returns anywhere.

I couldn't fix it using the blogger tools. Mostly because there wasn't anything to fix. I copied the text to a Word doc and it was fine. I had to wind up typing everything over into new, blank blogger post.

I spent far too much time on that.

some good guys in books

I love British crime fiction. In the last year I've read almost everything by Ian Rankin, Ruth Rendell, Caroline Graham and Paul Charles. Long before that was Agatha Christie and Colin Dexter. I've seen more television adaptations than one human being should ever see. Yet, I am always thrilled to re-read a good murder mystery. Now, I'm going through P.D. James and John Harvey. I've also read all of the Kurt Wallander mysteries by Henning Mankell and some Ngaio Marsh, just to show once a good crime fic shows up, with a great detective, I'ma loving it.

I've always loved Morse. I think he is always going to be my favorite. I learned the meaning of "irascible" and would love to include it more in my daily life. I'm very loyal to Poirot and Marple because I cut my mystery teeth in Agatha Christie.

I met John Rebus quite by accident. I came across one novel in the library and couldn't put it down. I immediately found a list of all of Rankin's Rebus novels and requested them. I would up buying the last, and final, Rebus novel because I couldn't wait for the library to get it. I am desperately in love with John Rebus and I wish I owned the entire set. At least, I read them all.

Paul Charles was cool. His tea-loving Christie Kennedy was almost dreamy, certainly the dreamiest of the lot. His so-called girlfriend, ann rea, is a real dud, though, and [SPOILER] I was happy when, in the last book, she left him... yet again! Charles makes it difficult to see what Kennedy sees in her. And it always kills me when, in promos, she is referred to as "ann rea, always in mysterious lower case". It's NOT mysterious. She says it in the first book and EVERY book thereafter: she's a journalist and, in looking to boost her profile, borrowed the lower case name think from k.d. lang, who, in turn, stole it from e.e. cummings. No fucking mystery and the fellas that write the copy for the book flaps need to actually read the books.

Ok. Rant over. See why I need a blog?

I missed one Kennedy novel, "The Justice Factory", which, from what I hear, is the best one. And the one where all kinds of good stuff happens. It's almost impossible to find in the States and a new copy costs an arm. I did find one second-hand and hope to be able to get it somewhere down the road.

John Harvey is my new passion. I didn't think I'd like his jazz-loving Charlie Resnick (what is it with these guys and music — Rebus likes rock, Morse had his Wagner, Paul Charles' day job was in the music industry so his books were peppered with references). But, if the mystery was good, did I need to like him? Harvey himself described Resnick as someone who thought like Morse but "dressed like Columbo". But love him I do. I could not find all the novels in the library (most of them appeared to have been stolen!) so I've only been able to read a few in the series. Unfortunately, a lot of good shit happens in the ones I missed. Harvey is also one of the few to bring back characters (some very minor) in later books. This is also a collection I would love to own.


I am reading the very last Resnick novel, "Cold Hand". I am about halfway through when a beloved character is killed. I couldn't take it. I closed the book and put it down and went to watch "Twilight", just mercifully arrived from Netflix. I have yet to pick it back up.

I enjoyed Harvey so much, I read his Frank Elder trilogy in lickety-split time. Good stuff. Not sure I like [SPOILER] that Frank went back to his wife at the end of the last book. Still, I was hooked into those three like nobody's business.

I loves me a good British detective fiction. Can you tell?