Thursday, December 31, 2009
So yeah, the shower by myself was AMAZING.
Then I mopped all the floors in the house. And started cooking my very favorite meal- meatball sliders with galric-molasses mini-rolls (thank you Smitten Kitchen). So then I started on a load of laundery. Our couch majorly needed to be washed. I took the blanket we use as a couch cover/slip and threw it in with a load of my whites. (Amber Alert: Cee mixes her colors and whites! Alert the National Guard!). While it was drying I finished my cooking meal and got all my appetizers to the table. When the dryer buzzer went off I pulled just the couch cover out of the machine and draped it (not so) neatly on the couch. Not too shabby.
I finish up in the kitchen until the doorbell rings- woo hoo- my guests have arrived! As I walk to the door, I notice a lavender colored lacey thong static clinging to my couch!! Oh man! I pulled it off and shoved it into my pocket just as my guests were walking in. CLOSE CALL.
I kinda wish I didn't catch it in time. It would have been really embarassing but really funny to have my husband's friend sit on the couch and then pull a lacey thong out from under his butt.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"Look Jacob, it's a sheep! Sheep says 'baaaah.'"
Turn the page.
"This is a monkey. Monkeys say 'eeee, eee, oooo, oooo.'"
"Can you say bear? Bears say 'Grrr!.'"
"This is a hippo......um.....hippo says..... 'ROAR!'"
"And this is a giraffe, a giraffe says......um..... 'ROAR!'"
"A rhino says............?.......... 'ROAR!'?"
"Ooooh, how about the alligator! An alligator say..... wait a sec?.....um..... 'ROAR!'"
"Look at the camel Jacob. The camel also says 'ROAR!'"
"How about the lion. I KNOW the lion says 'ROAR!'"
"This is a walrus. A walrus says...........????.....ummmm......"
Jacob looks at me and says, "ROAR!"
Poor Jacob. He will have to re-learn all the animal noises in kindergarten. All his classmates will be able to correctly identify the "growl" of a platypus and, thanks to his genius and creative mother, Jacob will think it says "ROAR!"
Monday, December 28, 2009
Then I have moments like I am having right now where I would pay a million dollars to get out of the house and just get away from him. Moments when he is so tired and whinny but won't take a nap, he runs around the house screaming or crying over silly things like his sock came off or I won't let him play with a knife. And the house is a mess and I can't even get dressed without him clinging to me and all I want is to eat a stinking piece of toast IN PEACE! I put him in his crib because he is CLEARLY EXHAUSTED but he screams at the top of his lungs for 65 minutes. My patience is gone and I'm using all my excess energy (which isn't much) to will myself from smacking him in the noggin with the largest stuffed animal I can find.
I hate the person I become when Jacob has a bad day. I become a raving, savage and violent lunatic. My emotions get the best of me and I lose control of myself. I hate being this way. Jacob doesn't MEAN to make me angry but I always take it so personally- like he had this whole day planned as a personal vendetta against me. Jacob needs a mom who is always loving and kind and understanding. When he's upset he needs someone to hold him and comfort him. Instead, I force him to scream himself to sleep while I mutter swear words under my breath and lose my temper. After going into his room for the fifth time to make him lay back down, I lost control. I smacked his butt and forced his head down with my hand. Then I took off his Elmo slippers and threw them across the room.
OMG, WHO AM I?
After screaming for 65 minutes, he finally fell asleep and I'm sitting on the couch feeling nothing but guilty. I might have won considering he is finally getting his nap but an hour of hell for what I know will only be a 30 minute nap is just not worth it. Is there a scarlet letter branded on my forehead- because there should be. I feel like a horrible mom. Maybe I just wasn't cut out for this stay at hom mom stuff. Thank goodness I have the bar exam coming up to keep me occupied. I need to start work and I need to do it soon.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
When it comes to religion, it's not that I'm hell bent on not believing. It's not that I believe I am "above" religion or that I am too educated to have faith. In fact, I WISH I believed. It seems that religion is a big source of comfort for many people. Where I am afraid of dying, others are comforted to believe they will be in a better place. I love the Catholic traditions I grew up with and I know very many devout Catholics who are some of the most inteligent people I know. But I question everything. I doubt everything. My lawyer mind wants evidence and proof. The logical side of my brain rejects everything supernatural or Divine. I will never believe in ghosts or big foot. I won't ever believe in alien abductions. Heck, I don't even believe in the dog whisperer!
I want to belong to a faith. I have friends that are part of wonderful and close knit communities. I feel like a lost wondering soul that just doesn't belong. And I can't help but think most religious people are super cheesy. I respect them and I am in awe in their ability to have such deep faith. And I want to be have what they have, but it's impossible. My logical side just scoffs at it all. It's like there are two people in my mind- one religious and one atheist. Somehow, the atheist always wins.
So during Christmas, I open my mind and my eyes and I take everything in. I enjoy the traditions that I remember as a child- such as lighting the advent wreath, putting out the nativity set, attending Christmas Eve Mass and celebrating Jesus' birthday. I try to get into the mindset of what Christmas is about- one man sacrificing his life for the rest of the world. I also try to stay away from the consumerism, because it can pull you in so easily and it sickens me that buying things and accumulating objects is all to often the focus of American holidays. I focus on giving back to others and spending time with the people I love. And I hope someday, someway, somehow, I will be able to Believe with the same conviction as the childhood me.
As much as I hate focusing on presents and gifts, Jacob did make out like a bandit this year. It's so much fun watching the holidays through his eyes. Everything is new to him still. He reminds me to turn on the Christmas tree lights, and help him put on his Christmas socks each day. Being with my family was the best part of this Christmas season.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
So I think this whole money thing is really getting to me. I mean, aside from living the next three months with my breath held until a nice little income stream starts pouring in, the whole being in debt and living off my credit cards is starting to get to my subconscious as well. I had a dream last night that I held a giant graduation party. Long lost family members from all over the country poured in to pay me a visit. And, I guess I wasn't too ashamed to show my greedy self, I had a big glass bowl on the table just ready and willing to accept cash graduation gifts.
People would walk by and drop in a one or five dollar bill as they entered my party. Then some random young dude dropped a HONKIN' wad of greens into the bowl. My first thought was, WOAH- how much was that?! My second thought was, who is this young guy that he can part with wads of money like that? My third question contained two parts: (1) is he related to me and (2) is he single? I guess my dream self was not married yet. In my dream he ended up being a far removed cousin and he resembled a quasi boyfriend from undergrad (quasi as in we had a movie date once at his condo, he took me to his room and asked for a blow job, I pretended to be tired, left and never called him again- oh and this guy supposedly knew Bill Clinton- yeah right...). Oh and this cousin, apparantly wanted me.
So, I'm not sure if that dream was good or bad. My money worries were temporarily abated by my distant hot and rich cousin who wanted me. But then I woke up and realized I didn't have a rich distant cousin. I certainly didn't have one that was hot or that wanted me. And I'm still up to my butt in debt.
Life goes on.
And with that, "Merry Christmas Eve Eve."
Saturday, December 19, 2009
As much as I do feel guilty about the associate positon I have lined up for immediately after the bar exam, I am SO FREAKING GRATEFUL to have potential employment. My firm officially made me an offer on fancy letterhead and everything. And I officially accepted the offer. But nothing in life is ever this easy. I have this horrible sensation in the pit of my stomach- like it's not real. It's too good to be true. My biggest fear right now is that the firm will take back their offer before I begin. It's this haunting feeling that won't go away. I think it has to do with the fact that the economy is still on the mend and that most lawstudents in my class have been unemployed for six months, and have no bites. And I've heard horror stories from others about rescinded job offers.
Thank you employment law research memo of summer 2007 for reminding me that I have no property interest in an at-will employment position.
Anyway, I need this job more than ever now. Part of it has to do with my $120K in outstanding student loan debt. Part of it has to do with the fact that I need a career and experience. But mostly, I'm worried about how the hell I'm going to pay off my Christmas shopping!! I'm relying heavily on my credit card now. I may be broke, but dang it- it's CHRISTMAS. Did you hear me? It's CHRISTMAS! If you have to load yourself down in credit card debt, CHRISTMAS is a darn good reason. (But seriously, someone take my card away because I just can't stop!) The first ten gifts for my son were completely necessary, but I'm starting to question if he REALLY needed the singing and dancing light up elf, or creepy elmo that sings when you shake him (what is THAT supposed to teach our children?), the Twilight boxed set, or the "Santa Is My Homeboy" t-shirt...
I'm saving all my receipts in case I have to prove the element of "reliance" for a restitution-breach of contract claim. (How sick am I for thinking this way- thank you law school).
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
But we make him change into this:
Then at the fancy country club (husband's work party) he tries to unwrap all the fake presents under the tree.
And then he violates the strict dress code by removing his shoes.
At least he's good
Why does He always looks guilty, even when he's being good?
No more exams (oh wait, there's a little three day thing called the BAR). No more lectures (oh wait, Barbri lectures all January). Nothing to tie me to the law school (oh wait, I owe them approximately $120K). I am a free (not-quite) woman!
Ok, so my victory is not complete nor my freedom uninhibited. But I still feel GREAT! I drank too much coffee this morning and I've been full of excess energy since. My last exam was at 8:30 and I just turned it in! The exam itself was a horrible mess. Two hours to shift through a three page hypo with a 20 page insurance policy attached. Damn. I knew the material. I rock insurance law- it's my area of practice. But I just didn't have enough time! I felt horrible when the proctor called time. But I only let myself feel bad for 10 minutes. Now I'm footloose and fancy free!
I'm going SHOPPING! I'm going to not think about law school for the rest of my life (unless it's to fantasize about my hot nerdy bowtie professor). I'm going to go home and do mindless activities like read western romance novels and watch cheesy Hallmark christmas specials. Then I'm going to make out with my husband and fall asleep early! Wow, I'm so out of control. World, are you READY for the uninhibited, sleep deprived, end of finals-induced craziness of ME?
LIFE LOOKS GOOD on the other side of law school.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Hurts. So. Bad. Quick, send Chocolate!
Or Obama in a bowtie (hotness).
Saturday, December 12, 2009
I don't know what it is! But someway, somehow, miraculously, law school exams don't seem so hard. I completed my second exam in three days and, surprisingly, I feel very good about both exams. This never happens. I ALWAYS feel like I did terribly the second I walk out of the exam room. The main reason is that I never feel like I have enough time. Definately, I would say that time is an examming lawstudents' worse enemy (and a small bladder, and the girl in front of you who keeps blowing ridiculous amounts of snot out of her nose).
I had a Professional Responsibility exam on Thursday. It began at 8:30am (horrible!). The truth about this class is that I did not do ONE assigned reading the whole semester. Then three days before the exam, I started reading the assignments. They were pretty short, for a law school course. I learned the Model Rules like the back of my hand- by that I mean I used 10pt font to summarize the rules applicable to each "ethical problem." We were allowed to bring in one double sided 8.5 x 11 paper. I saw at least five students with miniscule, telescopic font printed in at least five columns across their page- I think they fit their entire outline on there! I zoomed through the problems and was finished with 30 minutes to go! I even had time to go to the bathroom and review my answers. But the amazing thing is that I felt confident about the whole thing. What the??? This isn't right. Something must be wrong!
Then I figured out the secret that I wish I knew all along. After my seemingly breezy exam experience, I went to the bathroom and realized that I had put on my underwear inside out by accident. (I am a lawstudent, I can analyze death defying, three page hypos in under the time limit, but I can't put my underwear on right!). Since I felt so confident about the exam, I was convinced that inside out underwear was my lucky charm. So I decided to do the same for my Trusts & Estates exam- I'm telling you, it WORKS!
This morning (8:30am on a SATURDAY!) was that Trusts & Estates exam. It was open book and open note. You all know what that is code for right? It means "Ha ha, you're f*cked! This exam is so hard it's going to extract the retinas from your eyeballs!" So, I didn't exactly study a lot, I just prepared a really basic outline of 15 pages (for a law school class, that is a SHORT outline- am I right?). It was short enough that I could easily find each topic.
Can I tell you all what I think the secret to a good law school out line is? Not thoroughness. Nope. You should try to be as brief as possible. You should take each potential issue or cause of action, write the basic rule down and then summarize in TWO SENTENCES each relevant case from your book. But only use the cases that actually help you understand how courts apply the rule or that give helpful context to the elements of a cause. If you write more than two sentences, it's just a waste of your time. Even if you have a closed book exam, this is the best way to condense the information into something somewhat memorizable.
So back to T&E, I only had one day to prepare the outline that I would bring in to the exam with me. This was a mistake. I didn't complete the outline until 11:35pm. And we don't have a printer at home and my school print center would not be available when I got to school early the next morning. So I had to ask my husband to drive 15 minutes to his OFFICE to print my outline- at midnight! After I eventually fell asleep at 12:30, my son woke up screaming at 1:30. I couldn't fall back asleep for an hour and I had to get up at 5:20. I only got 4 hours of sleep! Times like that really make me wish I had it as good as nonparent students.
I have more advice for soon to be law students. If you have the option, DON'T COMMUTE. Be as close to campus as possible! See, when I lived 1 mile from campus, I could wake up an hour before my exam started. Although I go to Seattle University, I actually live on the Kitsap Peninsula- a one hour ferry ride from downtown and a 25 minute walk to campus. And I'm dependent upon the inconvenient ferry schedules. So, to get to my 8:30am exam on time, without freaking out or feeling rushed, I had to wake up at 5:25 and catch the 6:20 boat to Seattle. Another reason not to commute is that you really miss out on on-campus opportunities and social events. I never felt it was worth commuting 3 hours for an hour long school sponsored dinner, speech or happy hour.
Ok, ok, again back to T&E. The exam was littered with issues to spot. But as I read the questions I was able to make an outline on scratch paper of all the ones that jumped out at me. Then I could immediately start to tackle each issue as identified. Later I could always go back and look for more hidden issues. When I completed the exam, I had a whole five minutes to kill! Woo hoo! I defied a reasonable lawstudent standard and instead of going back to review my answers, I sat back and chilled. It felt amazing!
If you are a 1L and think law school exams are the most horrible things on the planet, I have two things to say, (1) you're correct- they are horrible, and (2) but it gets easier! I don't think the exams themselves get easier, but you eventually learn how to prepare for them and how to take them. You eventually figure out what your professors actually want from you. You'll figure out what works best for you and it will be all right in the end. The problem is, you might just have to wait until your last semester to figure all that out. Of course, take my advise with a grain of salt until I actually find out what my grades are.
P.S. Insurance Law exam: here I come- inside out panties and ALL!
Friday, December 11, 2009
2. When other students desperately hope for snow days to postpone their final exams, you disguistingly hope that it DOESN'T snow because the only thing worse than taking a 4 hour Sales & Secured Transaction exam is to put off the pain and take it in the middle of spring semester.
3. You fight with other nonlaw students about who has it worse. "I have the worst chem test tomorrow." "Oh yeah? I was up all night reading 45 constitutional law cases on the differences between the "rationality" and "strict scrutiny" standards in preparation for my 3 hour long exam! Take THAT!"
4. In procrastinating for your studies, you are likely to do a combination of the following: (1) read up on the Amanda Knox trails and prepare an analysis of her possible issues on appeal, (2) read law blogs, (3) create a Facebook status in accordance with #1 on this list.
4. You require a copy of a fellow student's transcript and resume before you let them join your study group. (Read Divine Detail's take on it here).
5. You laugh at jokes like these:
"You're so childish, they can't even execute you!"
"Your mother's so fat, she holds a joint tenancy with herself. And she's ALWAYS in diversity jurisdiction."
6. Your backpack is half your weight but you still refuse to buy a rolly backpack because, they are SO nerdy. And from a law student, that's saying alot!
7. You consider 5 hours of sleep a good night's sleep.
8. What you owe in student loan debt, other people owe on their mortgage.
9. You can identify intruding undergrads in the law school building because, aside from the fact that they stick out like a sore thumb, they talk about frat parties, school basketball games, and not how much they hate lawschool. Damn undergrads- stop taking up all our tables!
10. There are more bags under your eyes than in the belly of a 737.
11. If you don't get coffee before class, it's a human rights violation. And not just for you but the other students who have to sit next to you.
Edited to Add:
12. Finally, you know you're a law student when your math is so horrible that you cannot count appropriately just to make a simple list, that is why there are two #4s on this list. Yes, I did it on purpose :)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I still find it a little scary that I can be disciplined in my profession even for nonprofessional conduct and activities. Even doctors don't face professional discipline for personal conduct outside of work. This means that I can face disbarment or suspension from practice if I bribe an umpire at my kid's t-ball games. If one year I cheat on my taxes. If I steal a dollar out of the church collection basket. If I lie on my application for membership into the Seattle Astronomical Society. If I get drunk and pull a Tiger Woods. If I get pulled over for texting while driving! If I run naked down my street naked! Oh man! I never knew I would have to sacrifice so many activities in order to become a lawyer.
Along those same lines...today when I went to the public library to study, I faced a moral dilema of epic porportions. The sign on the front entrance of the library said, "No food or gum inside." But I was thirsty- so I put on my lawyer hat and started to think like a lawyer. "By specfically enumerating prohibited behavior, the library is impliedly consenting to all non-listed behavior. Conclusion: I can drink Snapple in the library."
Now I get to send myself a bill for .1 of my hourly rate. What's .1 of $0?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Me: "Well, he can say 'boots,' 'hot,' 'shoes,' 'kitty,' 'duck,' 'cheese,' 'step,' 'dip,' 'no no no' and 'uh-oh.' You know, all the important words.
Pediatrician: "Dip? How did he learn the word dip?
Me: "Um...I let him coat his food in ketchup in order to get him to eat. He loves it. He thinks it's the greatest thing since butt paste. The problem is that he learned to suck the ketchup off his food and re-dip it. He is way too smart!
Pediatrician: "So does Mr. Smarty know any of his body parts yet?"
Me: "Oh yeah, he knows a couple."
Me: "Jacob, where are your eyes?"
Jacob proudly points at his ears.
Me: "Um. Ok. He really does know it, I swear. Jacob, where's your NOSE. Jacob, your NOSE.
Jacob points to his mouth.
Me: "Silly guy. Jacob that's your mouth. Where's your MOUTH?"
Jacob points to his nose.
Me: "Jacob, where is your 'wee wee?'"
Jacob correctly points to his wee wee. Go figure...
15 month stats: weight clocked in at 23 pound- the 25th percentile. Height clocked in at 31 inches- around the 50th percentile and, to continue his monstrous head trend, his head circumpherence measured 50 cm- right at the 97th percentile. I'm so glad that each check up verifies the medical necessity of my c-section.
Sadly, he had to get four shots total- his hib and hepatitis shots as well as TWO flu shots. Poor guy!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I don't know whether to be happy or sad. To celebrate or reflect. I know I will eventually, one day far from now, miss being a student. But I also know I will NOT miss the inherent evils of law school. All I can say is that my law school experience was NOTHING like I expected it to be. However, I didn't expect much because I decided to go to law school on a last minute whim.
When I started my summer criminal law class in 2006, I didn't know about the Socratic method. I didn't know what a tort was or that there were federal AND state court systems. I didn't even know what attorneys did. Words that I now toss around in casual conversation or make lame jokes about today were completely foreign to me: jurisdiction, adverse possession, due process. I didn't know what a "brief" was. I was shocked to learn that a memo could actually be 15+ pages- I thought there were just those sticky pads you kept on your desk. OMG- remember when we didn't even know how to READ A CASE? I remember my professor handing out a printed case from Westlaw and thinking, "Holy hell, what does this mean and where does it say who the winner is?" (because phrases like "Judgment entered in favor of the Plaintiff" or "Remanded" meant absolutely nothing to me, it might as well have said "rocky road is the icecream choice of south american mammals" or something.
But my last day of law school classes was sadly disappointing. It was very anti-clamactic. I didn't have any friends to share in my excitement as they had already graduated. I didn't really get to know anyone this semester (thanks to commuting and putting family time first) whom I could even talk to about it. After my last class ended today I wanted to get out of my seat and yell-"I'm done forever!" But I just kept to myself- in a room full of strangers, who would even care? It didn't help that it hasn't sunken in yet and I don't FEEL done, at least not with three finals coming up.
I will say that being a parent and a law student at the same time is one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Law school alone is enough to make you a sleepless wreck. Add an infant to that and it's like a nightmare where you have a bloody hatchet sticking out of your head and are being chased by giant, fleshless zombies who are getting closer and closer while you are uncontrollably running slower and slower and it's just a matter of any heart pounding second before they eat you alive. My crazy 2.5 hour- one way!- commute didn't help any.
I spent this semester envying the law students who only had to worry about school and nothing else. I'm crazy for willingly becoming a mom and a wife while also being a law student. But this MILP network truly helped me persevere as I realized I was NOT the only crazy one out there and that it WAS possible to do everything at the same time. But really, it is my AMAZING family that has got me through it all. My husband has been so understanding and helpful and he let me be crabby when I needed to be. My mom and mother-in-law took turns watching my son all week so I could attend class and study- they are incredible. My son was also so patient with me and cooperative (most of the time: minus the waking up at 5:30 am). My god, this is starting to sound like an oscar award ceremony.
My final reflection on law school is that despite the tough times, the occassional depression, feelings of inadeqacy, and the assload of debt, it was an overall amazing experience. I have grown so much in the last three years. I am hardly recognizable as the timid person who first stepped onto campus in 2006. I am strong. I am smart. I am capable. I am passionate. I am caring. I am an adovcate. I am soon to be an officer of the court and of justice. I am...in deep shit when it comes to final exams.
How did I manage not to do a SINGLE reading assignment in my Professional Responsibility class all semester? And they are going to let me handle million dollar insurance defense cases?
Monday, November 30, 2009
The more I visit Canada, the more I like it. I don't know what it is? Maybe the fact that I can go to a Casino and not get carded (19 years is drinking age). It makes me feel so grown up. Or it could be that they have an amazingly good dessert called Nanaimo bars. It's like german chocolate cake meets pudding meets a chocolate bar! On the way home we stopped at a grocery store and I bought their entire stock.
The only problem with going to Canada is that it's like a four hour trip one way from where we live. Oh and we have to deal with the ridiculousness of crossing the border. We felt the love entering Canada. But entering the US was another story. There was an hour wait to get across!
I feel guilty whenever we go on a weekend excursion without the Child. I mean, I rarely see him during the week because of commuting, school and study time. The weekend is our only time to hang out as a family. So when we dump him somewhere and go do our own thing, I feel like a horrible parent.
PLUS, I totally miss him! During the trip, my husband and I kept making comments like, "Jacob would like this" or "This week it was so cute when Jacob did this." And then there is the amazing divide between us and our friends. We are parents and everyone else just has dogs. When friends ask how Jacob is doing, I always wonder how much they really want me to go on about his fourth tooth or his latest arsenal of new words. I'm so self conscious about how much I should talk about him. I don't want to be the annoying friend who ONLY talks about her kid.
It's funny how similar chats about pets and children can be.
"My puppy is crazy sometimes. He keeps us up at night and chews all our furniture."
"Yeah, our kid does that."
"He always begs and gets under my feet all the time."
"That sounds like our baby."
"I can't leave him alone for a second- he'll destroy our house."
"Gee, I know how THAT feels!"
"I can't wait to get that dog house broken."
"We're counting the days until Jacob is potty trained."
"At least I can just put him in his kennel and throw him some dog treats when he's out of control."
"Thank goodness for the kennel and the dog treats!"
Then our friends whip out their digital camera full of pictures of their dogs doing nothing and I feel better. You can't be too annoying when you don't even keep pictures of your son in your wallet.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Is there really anything I need so much that I am going to get up at 3am and wait in lines outside the shopping centers? Seriously, what can you want THAT badly. I'll admit. I like getting new things. Wearing new clothes for the first time, opening a package of something I ordered in the mail- no bigger thrill. But I guess I've just been spending too much on me this year and I'm now experiencing an internal backlash from all the boots I bought (yes, I DID need three pairs, thankyouverymuch!).
I'm not against the concept of shopping. Actually, I used to have a lot of fun shopping with my family in preparation for Christmas. But it's the fact that shopping has become the FOCUS of our holidays, that disgusts me. Sure, there's the turkey, but oh THE SHOPPING! THE DEALS! Really, why do we even do gifts? YOu don't have to give gifts to be generous or to show someone how you feel about them. Nowadays, it seems like time is a more valuable commodity than money. We never have enough time. Wouldn't it be better to spend TIME with the people we care about rather than MONEY? To actually go visit and have a chat with Aunt Marmalade rather than send her some dish towels in the mail?
I'm not against spending money, or shopping or presents-I actually love all three. I like capitalism. But I just feel so disgusted by the excess. The commercialism. The general focus on shopping. The need to buy another, better bigger screen TV because, for heaven's sake, living with JUST a 36 incher is akin to living in poverty! I don't mean to be a bah-humbug. It's just lately I've been wanting to get back to the basics of enjoying the holidays. Wanting more than what I can just buy at the mall. Looking for a little something more.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
For some reason I wasn't nervous abou this oral argument at all. This time we actually had to go down to the superior court and argue in front of a REAL superior court judge. I waltzed my way through the day- putting my argument outline together last minute. Enjoying an extra long lunchbreak. on the bus ride to the court house, instead of anxiously reciting my argument to myself, I popped in my headphones and got lost in Billy Currington. I was so freakishly calm, which I though might have been to my detriment- aren't we supposed to get nervous for a reason? Aren't we supposed to scare ourselved into being better prepared? Oh well.
The thing is, this summer I got to go to a hearing on a motion for attorneys fees. I wrote the repsonse and the associate invited me to tag along to hear him reciting my arguments. The associate was so "cool" about going to court. He was even working on another case up until the time he had to leave for court. To him, it was no big deal. He went to court many, many times. I think watching him and tagging along made me realize- court isn't scary. The merits of our argument will go up against the merits of the other side and may the best party win.
So back to the other day, sitting in the marble hallway outside the courtroom, my nerves finally started to impersonate mexican jumping beans. I felt the way I used to feel before a big cross country race. Adrenaline shot through my body. But I just forced myself to relax and convined myself that I knew my shit- even if that wasn't true.
I was the moving party so, lucky me, I got to go first. I just went through the arguments like I had practiced. It is important to start out strong and to end strong. You have to tell the judge right away what relief you want. (Don't forget to reserve rebuttal time!) And the last words out of your mouth should be a statement of the relief requested.
The judge only asked me one question. I wanted him to ask me more so I wouldn't have to give a monologue argument about why I should win. But maybe it was better this way. I have no idea what I said in response. I kind of blacked out and my inner lawyer demon possessed me and put words in my mouth. But I must have done ok because I got props from my professor, who was acting as bailiff. I wish I knew what I said. The 9 minutes went by in a blur. This left me only 1 minute for rebuttal when I had originally wanted 2 minutes. You can imagine how fast I talked during my 1 minute rebuttal.
All in all, the professor said that we both did really well. Apparently I need to work on speaking more slowly (hello! how can you do that when you only have 10 minutes to argue a fact specific case?!) and make better eye contact with the judge. But I survived! One final exam down, three to go!
Who would have thought, shy widdle me thinks court is fun! I can't believe how far I've come since my 1L year, or even my 2L year. It's amazing how much you learn and change during lawschool. Let this be hope to all those 1L who think they won't make it and will never seem like a lawyer- if it can happen to me, it CAN happen to you!
Monday, November 23, 2009
Why can't we wear jeans to court? It would make my life so much easier and HELLO why isn't the entire justice system focused on making my life easier.
I have a feeling going to court in Seattle is a little trickier than going to court in other hoods, ahem, I mean geographical locations. I generally love Seattle. And I generally love rain. BUT going to court in Seattle is just no fun. Even if the prediction is clear skies, you STILL have to prepare for the likely probability that it will rain. Because, get real. It's Seattle. Rainy season is September to July.
Why is rain so horrible? Rain = messed up hair, drenched suit, soaking wet breif case and motion papers.
So, not only do I have to lug around a huge umbrella. I have to bring a raincoat. Extra shoes- suited for walking in the rain. Money for the bus so I DON'T have to walk in the rain. And my hair straightener to remedy the fuzz of a humid-infested environment. Do you even know how un-hot your hair is when it is half dry and half wet?
Oh yeah, I have to prepare the SUBSTANCE of my argument as well. Almost forgot about that.
P.S.- If I have to dress up to go to court, why can't I at least wear a fun accessory like a tie? It's not fair- why don't girls get to wear ties? I'd wear one with flames.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
In your fantasies:
1. Does the instructor speak clearly and understandably [in bed]?
Excellent. [His point ALWAYS comes across...if you know what I mean.]
2. Is the professor well prepared and organized [in bed]?
Excellent. [Always has a game plan and always scores the winning point.]
3. Does the instructor incorporate new and current material
Satisfactory. [Good use of "material," especially the vibrating variety.]
4. Does the instructor appear to have an adequate grasp
Excellent. [No further comment necessary.]
5. Does the instructor cover
Excellent. [Where no man has gone before!]
6. Does he stimulate
Excellent. [I'm stimulated speechless!]
7. Does the instructor make
Excellent. [If your definition of interesting involves office hours, strategic placement of casebooks, and spectacles.]
8. Does he make good use of examples and hypotheticals?
Excellent. [You know what they say, "Don't fight the
What suggestions would you make to this instructor?
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Like riding horses. Exhibit A:
This is Jackson, the beautiful horse that I get to ride once a week (soon to be twice a week!). I LOVE riding. It takes so much focus, coordination and communication (with the horse of course) that I can pretty much escape the rest of my life. I thought riding would be 100% thrill. Like boating or going on a carnival ride. I thought I could just hop onto a saddle and ride away into the sunset. But actually, it's really challenging and takes a lot of skill and patience. Some days it's 70% frustration and 30% whatever else. But it's ALWAYS fun. Basically it's what gets me through the week, knowing I have a lesson at the end of it.
I was never one of those "horse" people. You know, the kids who wore screen print horse sweatshirts to school. The ones who collected My Little Ponies and watched Black Beauty a million times. In fact, I was never much of an animal person. I always prefered playing with babies to animals. But now I have a new appreciation and admiration for horses. They really are amazing animals. I can't believe how strong they are. And so stubborn. But I think that's why we get along, I have an affinity for stubborn things and I have a stubborn streak myself.
Damn it. I have to take back what I said about not being one of those "horse" people. I just remembered that, this afternoon, I ordered a sweatshirt from the stables. It has a screen print picture of a horse on the back AND my name on the front. Shhh, don't tell anyone...
P.S. The best part about riding is that I have an excuse to wear my cowboy boots in public. Then I like to make a trip to the grocery store on my way home and leave a trail of dried horse poo behind me. When people make a comment about my boots I get to say, "Oh, I just came back from the stables."
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
It totally amazes me how much it costs to attend law school. I think education is the greatest equalizer when it comes to socio-economic issues. But how can it be an effective equalizer if only the rich can afford it? Sure, there are a bunch of great public schools. But because of our tax-financed public school system, the good public schools are in the rich neighborhoods. And public colleges aren't even affordable anymore.
Anyway, in addition to owing 120K to financial institutions for my legal education. I now owe Barbri (the bar exam prep people) my soul. Talk about life kicking you when you are down. I just signed away a huge chunk of my paycheck for the next 20 years to pay back my tuition loans and now They want to send me through the ringer one more time. It's like "Are you SURE you don't have some assets or trust fund money stashed away somewhere? Come on now- GIVE IT UP! How about pennies under your bed. I'll settle for your lunch money." The bar exam itself is about $600. Then you have to fork over enough to cover hotel and meal expenses for three days during the bar. But the bar exam prep course is what kills me. The month long course costs $2,700! Plus $500 extra to take advantage of the mobile option (I'm not commuting 5+ hours a day, five days a week to actually SIT IN on the course).
My whole financial outlook is bleak right now. And all of this just to be qualified for a job in which I will be earning less than my engineer brother with an undergrad education? Ridiculous. To make this bleakness a little darker, let's consider all the things I could have bought INSTEAD of my legal education:
- Boob jobs for twelve people
- One Diet Dr. Pepper every day for the next 329 years
- A cozy four bedroom home in Gorst, Washington (with 20K to spare!)
- Two Hummer H2 SUVs
- 9,230 trips up the Space Needle
- Half of a fast food restaurant franchise
- 1/10th of a head of Brittany Spear's hair
- The adoption of 3-12 children
- A necklace once owned by Elvis Presley (sold on juliensauctions.com)
- Clothing and accessories for Sara Palin during the campaign
- 30 average sized engagement rings (about $4000 each)
- I could charter a five room luxury yacht for a week
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I went on a cooking binge this week. I'm pretty much exhausted from measuring, kneading, checking the doneness of meats and WASHING dishes! I swear I used every single one of our dishes at least three times. The best part is that the refrigerator is overflowing with leftovers.
At times, it really did seem like a storm in our kitchen. I think the smoke alarm went of six times this week. But to my credit, the oven is really dirty and smokes easily. Wait- how is that to my credit?
I love to cook. There is just something about having a finished product at the end of all your work. Very unlike reading casebooks, studying or attending class. And the results taste much better too. I got really tired of thumbing through my million cookbooks and trying to remember old recipe websites to find my favorite recipes. So I bought a really nice journal at the local bookstore and I have been transcribing all my favorite, no-fail recipes into ONE BOOK. It's totally awesome. I LOVE my recipe book. I even have false hopes that my kids will pick it up after I'm long gone, make my old recipes and fondly rememberme...ha ha ha- ok, back to reality.
This week I made the following:
Spatzle- German dumplings with ham and Sauerkraut (my great grandma's recipe!)
Homemade pizza bagels- from scratch!
Country fried steak with biscuits and sausage gravy (all from scratch)
Tandoori chicken (a recipe from my Indian friend- but still not as good as hers)
Pecan Pie (times two!)
Teriyaki chicken with homemade sauce
Chicken Sio Pao (phillipino dumplings - like the round chinese dumplings)
Wow, I'm exhausted just thinking about it all. This is going to be one yummy week of leftovers. If I would have just spent a fraction of the time that I spent cooking on doing my law school homework, I could have been ready for tomorrow's 8am class. Sigh.
**Updated to include recipe links!
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
As a die hard country music fan, this totally pisses me off. Ok, so country is just not your thAng, I get it- that's fine. But REALLY? You like every other category in the repertoire of worldly music EXCEPT country? How much more of an insult can you give to a down-hown, line-dancing, wanna-be country gal? It's borderline ridiculous!
I mean seriously? You'd prefer to listen to hours of ear splitting mountain yodeling than country music? You would choose whinny teenage emo music over a couple bars of an acoustic accompanied by a fiddle and some lyrics about pick-ups and bud light? How about hokey polky acccordian music in another language? You'd rather listen to THAT too? Well, at least you disclaimed a distate for rap as well, but notice how it is almost an afterthought as if country music where the ultimate in horribleness.
Am I missing somethere here? Is country music THAT horrible? I mean it's a brother to Rock and Blues. And excuse me, but ELVIS PRESLEY was consideres a country music artist as well. I admit a lot of country is "redneck," but that's because country singers know how to HAVE fun and MAKE fun of themselves. Example lyrics:
"She thinks my tractor's sexy."
"I can hotwire your tractor and plow up your land."
"I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor."
"If you gonna learn to farm you gotta learn to drive a truck"
"We all gotta hillbilly bone deep inside."
"I was sittin' there sellin' turnips on a flatbed truck."
Maybe it's genetic. You are born to like country or not. Maybe I just like it because it brings back memories of riding my bike in my garage as my dad worked on his boat and blasted the local country station. Maybe it just speaks to where I am in life right now. Or maybe I'm just a country girl trapped in the city. Oh, and there IS something beautiful about an accoustic or steel guitar that can't be replicated by a synthesizer.
In highschool I claimed that I hated country along with all of my friends. I think I even believed that myself for a while. From highschool to the age of 25, I refused to listen to it because of it's reputation as being "uncool" and "hick." But then, one day, my mom drove my car and left the radio station blaring. I decided to leave it on that channel for my entire 45 minutes drive home. By the time I got home I was singing along to my old favorites and loving some of the new stuff. I could hide no longer- country found me again and it stuck.
If you just don't like country, I respect that. I'm not trying to convert you. I just want people to respect country as a legitimate expression of the values and experiences of people from all across the country. And not just unsophisticated, toothless people, either. Sure it can be as loud an obnoxious as a dirty pickup with monster wheels. It can be as sexy as a shirtless rodeo bronc in boots and a dirty cowbow hat. But it can also be as sweet, romantic and breathtaking as an endless field of wheat and rolling hills.
And if you STILL refuse to respect country, you can take my shit kickers (aka:boots) up your @$$, you dimwitted gooseberry.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
In my "trial" class we all had to sign up to conduct pretend depositions in the pretend case we've been working on all semester. Well, somehow, I managed to forget the day of my deposition until that very day. I looked up at the syllabus and realized, "crap, I'm deposing a witness in three hours!" So I quickly skimmed the chapter on depositions, prepared my opening- you know all those necessary intro questions such as "have you ever been deposed before" and all the instructions like "please answer the question even if your attorney objects- unless he tells you not to answer the question." One hour before class, I was totally ready. I knew all the things I would try to get out of the witness. I was ready to rock it!
When class started, I came to the front of the room for the exercise. Halfway through my intro, I realized I needed to have the court reporter (a random student who sits at the deposition desk and pretends to type in his lap- pretty funny!) administer the oath. So we do the oath and then I have to start ALL OVER.
Then I told the witness that she can only give VERBAL answers to my questions since non-verbal answers cannot be recorded by the court reporter. I asked if she understood. She replied by nodding her head. I was so awesomely nervous that I didn't even catch this until my professor pointed it out at the end of the dep. Yay for me!
We started to go into the details of what she witnessed the night in question. The witness (another student playing the part) was 78 years old. She was deaf, confused, and she didn't remember anything. This made for a pleasant experience.
"Did you notice anything particular about the man's demeanor?"
"Did you notice anything particular about the man's demeanor that night?'
"What does demeanor mean?"
"How he acted."
"I'll rephrase my question for you. Did you notice anything particular about the way the man acted that night?"
"Did you notice anything particular about the way the man acted the night of the shooting?"
"Oh, wait. What man are we talking about again?"
"The man that you saw enter the bar."
"Who did I see enter the bar?"
"That is what I am trying to find out. You told me just a minute ago that you saw a man enter the bar on the night of the shooting."
"Oh yes. I did. But I don't remember."
"You don't remember that you saw a man or you don't remember how he acted that night."
"I remember that I remembered seeing a man. But now I can't remember him."
"Are you currently taking any medication?"
"Have you consumed any alcohol in the past 24 hours that might affect your testimony today?"
"Oh honey, I don't drink alcohol. It gives me gas."
How do real attorneys 1) prevent themselves from punching the lights out of really frustrating witnesses, even when they ARE 78 years old and 2) keep a straight face when a witness discusses her flatulence problems?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
First off, I am a horrible person. I read romance novels. They aren't all that subtle either. I've got a problem. I'm addicted to reading about how the strong, sexy guy gets the girl and then pleases her beyond all bounds of reality. To be honest, I actually just like reading about The Chase and imagining the witty dialogue taking place. When the author actually goes into the DEED- I get a little embarrased and start skimming as if the people AROUND me can hear what I'm reading. Weird huh?
But all these romance novels have gone to my head. Now I have a slew of unreal expectations about how MY romance life should be like. For example, husbands will always tell wives how they feel. They will pour out their soul at a deeply feminine and emotional level when the need arises.
They will always make you feel sexy and loved and wanted. Oh and the obvious, husbands will always want to have sex. They will crave your body more than their favorite internet car message boards. More than sleep. Even more than nachos!
And sex will be often and spontaneous and romantic and HE will make the first move (think rain sex, in a woman's dressing room sex, on the kitchen table right in the pecan pie sex). He will always start by kissing you wildly before he explores every inch of your body -because, although he's seen it a million times (even during those times when there was a baby coming out of you), he is just as mesmorized by your every sexy cellular membrane as he is by watching the the final pass of a tied super bowl game (they do have passes in football, right?).
Let's not forget the obvious (and the most disgusting myth from the romance novel genre)- you will be PLEASED each time. Sometime you will be PLEASED multiple times in one serving, if you catch my drift. Romance writers- STOP feeding me unrealistic bullsh*t!!
When I'm separated from my husband during the day, I often rumninate over what will happen when the baby goes to bed. Of course it's steamy and piping hot. Then I focus on that all day. I look forward to things playing out the way I pictured them- steamy and hot and....EXISTENT. Then I come home and life happens. Husband wants to play on the internet or is tired or has work to do. I put on something sexy- trying my darndest to catch his eye. Not even a glance. Are these panties defective? Can I return them?
I lay in bed thinking about my failed day time fantasy. I'm a little let down and have lost all faith in the reality of romance. I think, hey, it's NOT me. It's these dang romance novels. They teach us to have high and unrealistic expectations of the male sex. It's not fair to us and it's not fair to the men.
I am two lessons wiser now:
1. Don't try to be sexy. Guys don't care what you do or don't wear. As long as you have the parts, they will take a drink when they get thirsty (that's pretty much what sex is you know, the meeting of physical needs- just about as romantic as taking a drink or a poop.)
2. Don't have any expectations. None at all.
Girls, that's all you need to know about sex and marriage.
Friend and I made plans earlier in the week to go out to dinner. Since then my son has come down with the mini-swine flu. Fever, cough runny nose. When my baby is sick, the world may as well be falling apart because 1) he won't eat ANYTHING, 2) naps? fahgetaboutit, and 3) he has to be in his mommy's arms unless you consider glass-breaking baby wails to be among your most pleasant experiences. When baby is sick, Mommy is frustrated and helpless. Don't mess with the beasts!
So my friend texts me, "Are we still on for dinner?"
Me: "Jacob is sick has fever have to reschedule." (punctuation optional)
Friend: "Your husband can watch him. I'm really looking forward to dinner!"
Me [PISSED!!!]: "He is really fussy- he only wants me."
Friend: "He would not be at the restaurant so who cares if he cries."
Me [OMG- what's the equivalent of a text bitch slap?]: "Sorry, Jacob comes first."
Friend: "Fine. I guess you gotta do what you gotta do."
OMG. I'm befuddled. That's my final answer.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
After my final law school exam in the middle of December, the only thing standing in between me and actually being a card carrying lawyer (we actually get cards?! Sweet) is a pleasant 3 day bar exam covering 20+ areas of law...how lovely.
So, aside from being in constant disbelief that I may actually never be a student again, for the REST OF MY LIFE, I am also in a state of awkwardness. Allow me to explain. There is this law student in one of my classes who sits directly across from me. Some of our classes are arranged so that the students sit in a "u" shape around the professor's podium. In one of my classes, this guy sits on one end of the "u" and I sit on the other. When I look straight ahead, I unavoidably stare directly into his face. The problem is that I do this often. I don't mean to- his face is just right THERE. I have to try to NOT look directly at him throughout the class. The result is that we happen to make awkard eye contact ALL CLASS LONG. I look in his direction and he automatically meets my gaze. Then I shift mine away at the ungracefully not so speed of light. AWKWARD! It's like I'm face stalking him. Or our gazes are clashing in the air between us and having a wild make out session.
It's getting so weird that I'm starting to wonder if he thinks I have a major crush on him.
Well, this week I discovered that he is also in another one of my classes. How did I discover this? By accidentally face stalking him of course! In this class, I turn around in the middle of class to get something out of my bag. When I turn around, the guy directly behind me is absent and, low and behold, whose gaze do I lovingly meet? Yup. HIM. Then I realized that I didn't have a pen in my bag like I thought I did. So, I actually had no reason for turning around and catching his eye. To the trained or paranoid eye, it could appear that I turned around just to have another intense eye gazing session. Now I'm trying extra hard to NOT look at him and I bet it seems even MORE obvious.
Final thought. To all those people who like to ask questions 30 seconds before class ends: SHUT THE HELL UP! Turn off your inquisitive mind and start packing your bags like the rest of us for Pete's sake!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
While waiting in line I asked my husband if he wanted anything. He said no. This kinda pissed me off because he JUST got off work and hadn't had dinner. With my super wife/mommy sense I knew that in one hour he would suddenly be STARVING and make me stop to get him something. I asked him again just to be sure, "Are you SURE you don't want anything?" Nope, still no.
I pull up to the order screen.
"Welcome to McDonalds, would you like to try our new frappacinos with...."
"small piece chicken nuggets please."
"Would you like sauce with that?"
"Can I get you anything else?"
This is when my husband suddenly nudges me. "Oh, can you order me a whopper?"
"Yes, I would like a whopper please."
There is a resounding silence coming from the black order box. Hmm. Did I forget something? Am I supposed to chose a topping or side or something? I look up at the McDonald's menu. I see a Big Mac. Nope. I see a Quarter Pounder. Hey, there isn't a whopper on the menu. OMG. This isn't Burger King!
I feel all the blood rushing to my face as I try to make amends with the McDonald's employee. "Oh um. Nevermind. Forget that. I'll just have the chicken nuggets. Yes, that's all."
I turn to face my husband and he is cracking up. He is laughing so hard he's crying. In between sobs he says, "What kind of idiot tries to order a whopper at McDonalds?!" I start slapping him with my free hand as I pull forward to the order window. I was so embarassed when I had to confront the employee in person. I wanted to melt into my seat.
My husband got me good and he hasn't let me forget it since.
To my credit, about one hour later, he made me stop at Jack in the Box for dinner becase he was STARVING.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
So, all weekend I was amazed at how little homework I had. This should have been my first indication that I was completely missing something.
I was sitting in my third class on Monday afternoon when I suddenly had this really really bad feeling. Like the feeling you get when you suddenly realize you locked your keys in the car or that you forgot to pay your credit card bill on time, or when you dump bleach into a load of colored laundry.
So I checked the assignment listed in the syllabus for my next class. Right there in big bold letters it said "Motion for Summary Judgment Due at 5pm on October 26th." Wait. When is the 26th? SHIT? IT'S TODAY?!?!? AS IN, DUE IN TWO HOURS? MAJOR FAIL.
My heart started to pound in my chest. My palms got sweaty. I was facing a nervous breakdown. I had no idea what I was going to do. Although I am past caring about doing well in class, I still feel totally horrible looking like a slacker in front of my professors. Even though I am only hurting myself in failing to complete assignments, I somehow always feel like I am letting my professors down. Lame isn't it?
I didn't happen to hear what my Trusts & Estates professor said for the rest of the class period. I was too busy having a nervous breakdown about my Motion for Summary Judgment- or lack thereof. By the end of class period, I figured out what I would say to explain the situation to my professor and rehearsed it in my head several times. When I walked into my next class, I approached the professor and explained it to him. I was prepared for the worst.
He simply laughed and said "Can you have it to me by our next class?"
I was shocked first, then reliefed. Then reality set in.
That, people, is how I ended up writing a Motion for Summary Judgment, from start to finish, in just TWO DAYS. Do real attorneys even ever have to do that? For two days my head was a walking storage tank of case law and material facts. I couldn't turn it off. I even woke up in the middle of the night thinking about my arguments. In order to complete the assignment in time, I had to skip all my classes, ban myself from the internet and give my child sharp pointy objects to keep him distracted.
Don't be like me. Read the syllabus.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Am I guilty? Hell yeah.
Am I gonna contest? Hell yeah.
If I didn't contest it, I would be taking all of our constitutional rights for granted! If I merely paid the ticket, it would be like taking a big smelly poo on the pillars of justice of this great country. The county has to prove it's case against ALL defendants! I may be guilty but I'm protecting the procedural rights of all those innocent defendants that will come after me- preponderance of the evidence, y'all!
That, and I can't afford to pay the $113 fine...
So yesterday, Jacob accompanied me to the county courthouse while I filed my discovery requests. He ran in circles by my feet and ran up to creepy looking DUI defendants, dead beat dads who missed their child support payments and ex boyfriends who violated their restraining orders. Maybe now is a good time to teach him not to talk to strangers (except for Halloween when it is perfectle OK to accept candy from total strangers dressed as Count Dracula or a serial killer).
I walked into the District Court office and submitted my beautiful, typed request for the court to subpoena witnesses for my contested hearing. It felt nothing short of magical. The clerk took my request and stamped it "Filed" (so official!). It was all over so quickly but I walked away feeling empowered. I JUST SUBMITTED A REQUEST FOR SUBPOENA! I did it all on my own! I know my way around this here courthouse!
I was walking on air. Anything I touched then would have turned to gold. "Heck," I thought, "this is fun! I should get more speeding tickets."
I grabbed Jacob and walked outside. And with the glow of accomplishment still fresh on my face, I happened to walk under a tree, the wrong tree. That's when some cheeky little bird splattered my hair with fresh bird shit.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Me: "Can I have a pony."
Husband: "You can have an imaginary pony!"
Me: "That's stupid! I want a REAL pony."
Husband: "Yeah but can a REAL pony do backflips?"
Husband: "I have an imaginary pony and HE can do backflips."
Me: "My real pony could do imaginary backflips."
Husband: "My imaginary pony can do REAL backfips!"
Me: "NO WAY. An imaginary pony can only do imaginary backflips. And ANY real pony could do an imaginary backflip."
Husband: "That's ridiculous. Imaginary ponies can do REAL backflips."
Me: "That's like saying an invisible man can do a visible cartwheel."
Husband: "Just because the pony is imaginary doesn't mean his backflips are imaginary. He can still do both imaginary and real backflips."
Me: "Ok, have your pony do a "real" backflip and I will tell you if it was real or not....Don't make me call an expert witness."
Thankfully our check came at this point in the conversation.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The real reason that Jerry Springer reminds me of my son is the lovely fact that my son WATCHES the Springer show. At least twice a week. My mother in law usually lets her TV play in the background while she is watching my son. Apparently, she allows my son to watch the show because he gets really excited when the audience chants "Jerry, Jerry!" He and his cousin even clap along and do a special little Jerry Springer dance.
So, as I passed by and glanced at the domestic strife playing out on the screen today (theme of the day: "I had a threesome with your sister!"), I wondered to myself, "Is Jacob out there somewhere watching this very same show?" It made me miss him a little bit more but it was oddly comforting to think we had this little connection through Jerry Springer to bring us together, if even for a moment.
I have to admit that the Springer show has encouraged a lot more reaction and interaction from Jacob than any Baby Einstein video we've watched. When Jacob starts to chant "Jerry, Jerry" in public, however, we might have a problem.
Ahhhh, educational TV programming....
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I signed up for the LSAT at the last minute, around my undergrad graduation, while other members of my graduating class had taken their LSAT at least six months before me. When I received my decent LSAT score, I applied to law school because, what the heck else was I going to do?
In law school, I stumbled my way through courses. I didn't know what a tort was until well into my first week of torts class. I didn't even know exactly what lawyers DID. But I wanted to do something intellectually challenging and mildly prestigious. I still didn't want to be a lawyer. I didn't even have an interest in any particular area of law. I enjoyed studyig law but I lacked a driving passion to be part of a certain area of practice.
After my first year, I stumbled into a legal internship while working for a public agency-- the local lawyer handling real estate issues for the agency recruited me. I discovered that while I was a mediocre law student, I had a knack for practice. I received constant praises and acknowledgment for my work even though I didn't think I did anything outstanding (and was often confused by the legal work I was doing). Anyway, once I started to pretend to practice law, I was sold on the idea that I could, in fact, be a lawyer.
Then I stumbled into a summer associate position at a small litigation firm in Seattle. I enjoyed the work I did at the firm, which was mainly in the area of construction defect and insurance defense. They gave me an offer at the end of the summer and I took it. So, I guess you could say I also kinda blundered my way into a job. I feel like it was pure luck that I randomly picked a profession that I ended up loving and that I was offered a job in a field I ended up enjoying. Clearly, my experience has not involved chasing after purposeful goals or desires. I didn't see anything I really, passionately wanted and then set myself out to achieve it. I kind of went with the flow and miraculously made it out alive, well and satisfied.
Go figure that in my last two months of law school I would finally find it. My legal field of passion! I picked up an article about LLM programs in the United States. I was comparing the legal focuses of all the different programs. Some emphasized insurance law, some corporate, etc. My eyes glanced at an Agricultural Law LLM program in Arkansas. I started reading about Ag Law. The more I read, the more fascinated I became. Ag Law is a web of rules and regulations that protect agricultural businesses, farmers and our food from the time it is planted or grown to the time it reaches our tables.
I found myself drawn to this area of law, one in which I had absolutely no interest in before. And now, the more I learn the more I am sure that I absolutely have to be involved in it somehow. I can totally see myself practicing in this area! But the bad news is that I'm already graduating. I can't look for externships or take relevant classes. I can't build this passion as a student through student organizations and events. I'm all set to start practice in another area of law. And I know NOTHING about job opportunities or the job market in Ag Law.
I feel stuck. I have to figure out how to get to the land of Agricultural Law while riding a speeding train that's quickly heading to the Graduation Town and Insurance Law City. Any advice out there? Anyone have any knowledge pertaining to careers in ag law? The long awaited discovery of my deepest, darkest law passion- has it come to late?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I was driving to my mother-in-law's house to pick up my son. It was 5:30 pm, the very peak of rush hour traffic and the busy highway I was driving down had become a sea of idling vehicles waiting their turn to to leave the city limits. Traffic was at a standstill. This particular highway is rather scenic. And it was about to become a little more so. To the left of the highway, a number of humongous navy ships are anchored along the shore. To the right, there is a grassy median and a paved sidewalk. Beyond the sidewalk are private residences with nice green (mostly) lawns.
Approaching an intersection, I noticed a man standing on the sidewalk. From afar I could tell he was watering the lawn in front of him. As I inched closer, I noticed this man had a case of Miller Lite at his feet. Hmm, odd? Then I saw that he was also holding a can of beer in his hand- it was probably opened. Drinking on a public sidewalk is so illegal. Oh well, I've seen crazier things. Wait? If he is watering the lawn where is the hose? I look closer but I don't see a hose anywhere. However, there is clearly a stream of liquid shooting two feet in front of him, landing squarly into the grass.
That's when it all became clear.
This guy is RELIEVING himself on someone's lawn. While drinking a beer. In complete daylight. In the middle of rush hour traffic. And I don't think that's his lawn. Cars started slowing down to gawk at him but he didn't seem to be bothered in the least. He finished his business. Gave his appendage a little shake, picked up his case of beer and continued down the sidewalk.
What's the point of a camera phone if you never remember to use it? DARN!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
If you love fast food burgers but are watching your weight (hopefully watching it decrease not increase), then let me introduce you to the HAMBURGER DIET! It goes something like this:
My favorite hamburger at Dairy Queen is the 1/4 pounder Classic with Cheese. Normally, this burger is packed with 560 calories. Let's not even go into grams of fat shall we? BUT, if you order this burger without cheese (90 calories) and then remove the bun (190 calories), then you can eat the patty with ketchup, tomatoes and pickles like a pizza slice or even fold the patty in half like a taco. A third option is to wrap the patty in lettuce leaves- which is my personal fav. This bunless, cheeseless "burger" is only 270 calories!
I ate this for dinner multiple times a week on my way home from class. It always hit the spot. I was still splurging on greasy fast food and I was still getting 18 grams of protein. I didn't feel like I was dieting at all. And a dinner that is under 300 calories is a great way to trim down. If you are lucky like me, you can order yoru husband a full burger meal and then steal a handful of fries to wash the burger down with...my only weakness in life = fries...yummmmmm.
DELICIOUS HAMBURGER DIET!! You will never hate dieting again! (unless maybe you are a vegetarian?)
Monday, October 12, 2009
My voice used to do this totally involuntary thing when speaking to elders, bosses, teachers, strangers or any time I was socially intimidated or shy. My voice would transform into a high, soft and "sweet" chorus of a sound. Like I said, it was basically invountary, kind of like a nervous eyetwich or something. Anyway, I was ok with this for many years. It worked great when I worked retail or did childcare.
But when I started my first legal internship, I knew, without a doubt that the "sweet" voice had to go. And not only because I had to listen to that voice over my own voicemail one day- it was horrific. It became clear to me that no Partner or client would liked to hear about a quantum assessment of damages from a sweet and unassuming voice. Partners, clients and other lawyers want to hear case analysis from an authoritative and confident voice. Similarly, it became clear to me that no one would take me seriously or treat me as an equal if I continued to use my timid voice. Somehow, I needed to be bolder and more firm.
I hate to say it like this, but when it comes to lawyer voices, the more stereotypically male you sound (as in deeper, stronger voice), the more credibility and authority your arguments and statements will possess. In a (still predominantly) man's career- you have to be as assertive and confident sounding as your peers do. Don't get the wrong picture of me, I don't walk around the lawschool or the office spouting words from the depths of a deep baritone voice. But I did have to train my voice not to automatically become an octave or two higher when conversing at work and at school. I had to train myself to just talk in my normal voice- if not a touch deeper.
Voice may seem like a small, petty thing but I think it is as important as how you dress in the workplace. I think most people are likely to have their first encounter with you over the phone or from a voicemail message. You want to leave the impression that you are confident rather than a timid pushover. I think this is especially important for a woman working in a man's field.
For the most part, experience with, knowledge in and comfort with the legal field and legal work is what helped me sound confident in my voice and in my tone. I still catch myself once in a while resorting to my old "sweet and timid" ways and it is still a struggle for me to keep confident and sound confident (especially meeting new people and being in new situations) but I'm slowly getting there. My opinion is, if you try to make yourself sound like a confident and authoritative person who is comfortable in her own skin in the first place, it is easier to feel that way.
When all else fails, for a confidence booster, start singing "Eye of the Tiger" to yourself while imagining everyone else in a sheer girly panties.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I have taken many steps on the path to adulthood:
- I make myself eat veggies even when I don't WANT to
- I've learned how to tolerate and even like coffee (although not without tons of milk and sugar)
- I've walked in the ceremony for my law school graduation
- I worry about things like health insurance and what to cook for dinner
- I've gained some (although limited) experience with foreign concepts like: "tax deductible," "downpayment," and "toilet bowl brushes"
- The appropriate response upon hearing a friend or relative is pregnant is more often "congrats" than "oh sh*t!"
- I watch my husband pay my car insurance- I was going to tell you all that I pay my car insurance but that would totally be a lie.
BUT BY FAR, today's experience has made me feel the most grown up out of any other adult step I have taken. Today, for the first time in my life, I paid a babysitter. Think about that for a moment...For a good decade and a half of my life I have BEEN the babysitter. Now here I am, interviewing awkward teens thinking "how are YOU good enough for MY baby?"
Rather than spending late nights waiting for some other children's parent to come home with a big fat check for me, I'm the one dolling out the big bucks (dang, childcare is expensive). Seriously people- how did this happen? I'm too young to be the "parent!" Where did my childhood go?! Then, after I PAID the babysitter, I *gasp* DROVE the babysitter home. The first time I actually said the phrase, "I have to drive the babysitter home" I almost choked on my own breath.
I used to think parents were crazy when they would be out on a rare date and keep calling home to check in on their kids. I used to wonder if parents really meant "help yourself to anything in the fridge" when they said it. I used to wonder why they would often come home later than they told me they would come home. And now I totally understand it all.
But you know what? I kind of miss being the babysitter.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
My point is, I don't judge slackers for being slackers because those are my people. But I DO judge slackers for their failure in delivery. Oh boy and today I was in some kind of mood or something. Herein follows my harsh judgment of those slackers who failed to meet my low standards:
Today in my insurance law class- at least 5 people in a row had to "pass" when the professor called on them. This is ridiculous. My insurance law class meets once a week. And for homework, the prof usually assigns 5-6 cases that are about 10 pages each. For those of you who are expert case skimmers- you can read almost any case for a below-proficient level of knowledge in just 5 minutes:
1. Skim the facts (1 minute).
2. Find out what the issue is (hint: the court usually says "the point at issue here is..." or less subtely the court will preface the issue with the word "whether...") (45 seconds).
3. Skim the relevant court's analysis - if this case is for insurance law, you can go straight to the discussion about duty to defend and it's a safe bet you can skip any discussion about things like evidentiary rules or constitutional law. (2.5 minutes).
4. Find the paragraph with the court's holding - you don't even have to read this because if you get called on you can easily go straight to it and recite it in class. (30 seconds)
VOILA! You read an entire case in under 5 minutes. Congrats on being less than proficient!
HINT: If you get called on you can chalk up your lack of knowlegde to "faulty memory" since, duh, you read this case six days ago when it was first assigned- right!? Of course!
But, if you can't even brief via the Slacker Briefing Method as outlined above, you have to be able to "pass" with equal parts style, wit and humility.
One student in class failed miserably according to my book. This one girl in the front row, after she was called on, actually had the balls to say, "I have to pass on this case, but if you could come back to me when you get to So and So case, I would totally appreciate it." HULLO! You can't CHOOSE which case you get called on for- that's so cheating! First off, that defeats the big slacker gamble. If you could chose when you get called on, where is the risk? Where is the pay off of being a slacker? Way to ruin it for all of us!
Also, slackers should OWN their slackerness. Don't live in the delusion that you are a could-be Law Review student. A slacker by any other delusion is still a slacker!
Finally, that "pass" was SO cheesy! Cheesy. Cheesy. Cheesy. On the instances in which you have to pass, you end up feeling bad, and horrible and stupid. This is how you are supposed to feel. This is what law school is about- feeling dumb and inferior in a controlled environment where the professor is the inflictor of shame and there are not enough sharp objects to cause serious bodily harm. You can't try to overrule these feelings by volunteering for a different case. You can't try to justify your failure by showing the professor you actually aren't the useless piece of crap that you feel. This is just wrong. (Am I bitter or what?). And "I would totally appreciate it"? That phrase, when spoken to a professor, triggers my gag reflex.
However, one student in class today shows us how it is done. This student was able to "pass" with both dignity and style without trying to be a major brown noser. He is the major Model Passer. People, THIS is how you should "pass." Turn it into something funny- most preferably, you should be the butt of the joke, but if not, it is acceptable to make an objective funny.
Prof: "Mr. Smith, can you please tell us what the court ruled in this case."
Mr. Smith: "Um....hmmm....well... Can I poll the audience?"
Prof: [laughs out loud] "So you're electing to use a life line?"
Yes. Mr. Smith gets a 10 out of 10 in my play book for his style in evading giving an answer without resorting to saying "pass" or cheesy brown nose tactics. I award him Slacker of the Week.
May we all aspire to be the Slacker that Mr. Smith is.