Saturday, May 30, 2009

SOMEONE'S Sleeping On The Couch Tonight.

I'm pretty upset and I don't care if I am in the wrong. I want the world to know because, dang it, the person I'm upset at either doesn't know or doesn't care.

I admit I was pretty moody today (for more info read the previous post). Today was my birthday and we did nothing to celebrate. Earlier this month I didn't get to celebrate my first Mother's Day because I was studying (seriously, my husband could have at least given me a card right?). Then Thursday was our elopment-versary but we both worked so we didn't celebrate. I was kind of hoping for at least SOMETHING on my birthday to make up for these past transgressions.

My husband wished me a "happy birthday" in the morning and that was it. Wah? No card? No gift? Not even an offer to take me out for ice cream? I was mad as hell and when I get mad, I just get moody. Yes, I'm passive agressive like that. I laid around on the couch and in my bed moping. I wore a constant pouty face and ignored my husband completely- yes, I was a total bitch. I thought maybe I could at least get his sympathy but he just commented about me being in a bad mood and didn't care at all to try to console me (I hate when he allows me to wallow in self pity uninterrupted!!).

This evening we went to my cousin's wedding and on the drive home he finally asked me why I was so moody (good god, it took him all day to think to ask me?)
"I wanted to celebrate my birthday" I said.
"We went to a wedding," he offered.
[Hateful silence.]
"We went to the zoo last week. Pretend that was for your birthday," he continued.
[More hateful silence.]
"I think it's stupid when people get pissy about their birthday," he finally said. Then he acted all put out and made me feel irrational and acted like he was the victim.

That did it. He added insult to injury. By this point I was so angry. Hello. Dipshit. It's your wife's BIRTHDAY. Try to make her feel a little bit special why don't you? This was the day she was brought into the world. Is it just me or is his behavior completely inappropriate? Am I being too dramatic about this? What's wrong with wanting your husband to be thoughtful about your birthday?

When we got home he went to bed and I went straight to my computer. I'm so angry at him still and I hate that he just ignores how I feel. Since he's already in bed, I guess I'M the one who has to sleep on the couch. I seriously feel the urge to leave. I can't stand being in the same house as him right now.

From Reluctant Reciever To Reluctant Non-receiver: Why Birthdays Suck.

I hate having birthdays. And it's not even because I'm that old. I hate birthdays because birthdays are just another day to be let down and disappointed. Perhaps I am being overly dramatic. You'll have to forgive me because it's my birthday and today sucks.

For the past couple years, I have had a string of not so good birthdays. I think it was the hard transition from happy childhood birthday parties that you look forward to each year and the all-too mundane adult birthday. After I turned 18, it seemed too indulgent for me to invite a slew of guests to come bring me gifts in nicely wrapped boxes. So I settled for lunches and dinner with family. I was ok with this compromise for a few years. As long as people would confer upon me as much attention as before while I could play the reluctant receiver of attention (all the while LOVING every minute).

But lately, birthdays have lost all their glamour and it all started the day I turned 21. Do you know how long I had looked forward to 21? Of course you do! That's the age you have your sights set on the second you step foot on a college campus! But the day I turned 21, my friends and roomates completely let me down. All I wanted was to go out to a club and dance - I had been looking forward to it forever! One of my roommates couldn't take any time out of her busy schedule to go out with me. My other roommate was anti-social and wouldn't go out. And my supposed best friend told me that it just wasn't her thing. I understood that it "wasn't her thing" and that she might have been a little uncomfortable but seriously, together we would have had a blast.

So I didn't let them stop me. I boarded the "el" and headed to a bar near DePaul...alone. I didn't know anyone at DePaul and so I entered a room full of strangers. I bought a drink and started dancing. Eventually I met this guy who bought me a drink. I told him it was my 21st birthday and he looked at me in disbelief.

"Yeah right," he said.
"Seriously. It is!"
"You're just saying that to get free drinks. If it's your birthday, where are your friends? People don't go to bar alone on their 21st birthday."

He hit the nail right on the head with that one.

Since then, birthdays have all been the same: uneventful. I get a nice call from my parents and from my brother who shares the same birthday as me (although he is 2 years younger). And I get a "happy birthday" greeting from my husband. And that's it. The problem is, it's my fault. I secretly expect my birthday to be a special day about me just like when I was a kid. And every year I get just an ordinary day. It's not so much the presents I miss, because really I get uncomortable when people buy me things. It's just the attention I miss. I miss people making my birthday a big deal.

So happy mundane birthday to me. Maybe when everyone goes to bed I'll have a glass of wine and think about how old I am. Wait- I'm 25 today so doesn't that entitle me to some kind of quarter-life crisis? When I drink my wine, I will start picking out my quarter life crisis: car?, baby?, new job as a stripper?....hmmmm.....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Office Funny Guy

There is an associate a couple doors down from me who thinks the office is actually the set of his own Tom Green show. I admit he's got a good sense of humor. And he's a really nice guy. But sometimes he takes his jests too far. How far? To The Social Awkardness of No Return. When I see him coming my way, I always brace myself because I never know what he is going to say but I know it will be off the wall.

There are two problems. 1) In order to stave off the awkward echoing silence of his jokes' aftermath, I need to quickly fireback a witty response. But I'm not witty. At least not on the spot anyway. 2) Even coming up with a response can be problematic because it only fuels his fire and keeps him going. What's a girl to do?

This is what he did to me the first day of work.

Him: "Hi. I'm Jim."
Me: "Jim? Nice to meet you."
I proceed the rest of the morning to talk to the legal secretary about the assignment Jim has me working on. Later on my Boss strolls into my office. Boss comes sees me talking to Jim and says, "I see you already met this guy. Come on, I'll introduce you to our other new associate."
Me: "Bye Jim."
Boss: "Jim? His name isn't Jim. You have a hard time with names?"
Me: [exasperated sigh] I guess...
All the while "Him" is cracking up.

Some clipping from today's conversations:

Him saunters by my office and exclaims: "Hey, remember our agreement in which you promised to buy me a mocha?"
Me: "Ha ha."
Him: "Seriously. You don't remember? I remember it perfectly. I like mine with whip cream."
Me: .......
[five full seconds of awkward silence]
Me: "Oh yeah. I remember! This was the same agreement where you agreed to a full night of free babysitting." (saved by the delayed, yet witty response).
Him: "There you go. Yup, me and the little guy. I'll take him out on the town."

Later in the day:

Him, as he pops his head into my office: "Hey, Alex just came back from the bathroom. He says its really gross in there. Before you leave today you have to clean it."
Me: "ha ha, sure."
Him: "I'm serious. It smells god awful. Get in there and scrub it."
Him: "Well, if you want to go home you know what you have to do."
[awkward silence and the Moment That Could Not Be Salvaged]
He stands there for the longest time while I cannot come up with anything to say in reply. He finally laughs and walks away.

Even later:

Him: "I'm also a member of the bar in X state. You don't have to take a bar exam there. You just have to pay your dues."
Me: "Oh wow. That's nice. You can return anytime you want to practice."
Him: "Yeah Cee. I'm actually planning on going back." [smiling enthusiastically]
Me: "Really?"
Him: "Yeah. I'm looking for a place there now."
Me: "Oh wow. I thought you just started working here. You're already going back?"
Him: "Hell no. Unemployment is like 17% there. What's wrong with you? Do you think I'm crazy?"
Me: "Um. Oh you were being sarcastic?"
More awkward silence.

I need to beef up on quick wit before this becomes the longest summer of my life or at least the summer filled with the most awkward silences.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Just A Dreamer.

Last year I LOVED my job and I was excited about the prospects of becoming an associate at this firm. I loved the crazy complication of litigating construction defect claims. I enjoyed handling personal injury cases and I also thought it was awesome that I got to dabble in many other areas of law. While I still enjoy the people I work with and I feel pretty dang competant at what I am doing now, I just don't feel quite as excited about my cases this year. I'm looking at the cases I'm handling and thinking- so what? If we win, another construction company that engages in poor practices gets off the hook. Because althought what they do may seem wrong to me, it is still legal afterall.

I've seen too many less than deserving plaintiffs win more than they should. I've seen too many greedy clients suck the other party's insurance policy dry. While I often feel proud to be part of a successful (yet smalll) law firm, I feel like I should be doing more with my legal education. This has only been a problem for me recently. While I'm not ashamed at all of the legal work I do, I just feel like I owe society more. At the end of the day, I'm still yearning to make a difference. Before I jumped on the LSAT bandwagon, and before I even thought about going to law school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. But I knew I wanted to help people. I had this quixotic yet burning passion to be a servant of human kind. To recognize a void in the lives of others and fill it up.

I think I could spend the rest of my life in my own office, talking to mediocre clients on the other end of a phone line. I think I could do that and be content. But I don't want to be content. I want to live my life with passion. I want to get out of bed each morning excited to go to the office because I am truly helping a client who could not otherwise access legal representation.

So, here is my blue sky, reach for the heavens idea: to start a pro bono legal clinic for low income families in my community. While there are a couple in the big city, there aren't any in my own community. I know this is crazy and probably naive. I don't have money. I don't have a whole lot of experience in areas such as family law and real estate (which are usually the two biggest areas that legal clinics deal with). I know I need a lot more resources and help. I'm not even a JD yet officially. So I'm willing to keep churning this idea around and waiting on it as long as I have to.

Ideally, I'd like to be involved in a clinic like this part time and still have a part time job to fall back on. So I need to do a lot more research. And I think I need some kind of business plan. I'm not really a detail person. I'd rather just do the dreaming.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I LOVE The Zoo!

And so does Jacob! I've been begging my husband for a family outing to the zoo since this kid was one month old. My monthly grovelling was always met with my husband's "are you kidding face" and a sturn "No." But THIS month, Husband finally gave in and agreed that Jacob was old enough to actually enjoy it.

And he did enjoy it! He loved looking at all the animals. This was evidenced by his wide eyes, intense stares and the fact that he pointed at everything we saw.

He pointed at the elephant and said, "dah!"

He pointed at the birdies and said, "ah, dah!"

Jacob pointed at the beluga whale and said, "digga digga dah!"

He pointed at the monkeys and snakes and said, "Eeeh!"

But he wasn't just amused by the animals, Jacob pointed at trees, garbage cans, the sky, flowers, and other people. What can I say? My baby is just like me, easily amused.

Here is Jacob doing his body builder pose... Or is he raising the roof?

"Look at those big blue eyes!" That was the sentence that we heard over and over all day long. As nice as my blue eyes are, I think they were talking about Jacob.

Now I'm begging my husband every month to take Jacob to the petting zoo. It's totally worth the wait, especially when I can sneak embarassing photos like this:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Terrible, Awful, Horrible Screams

Jacob is eight months old and I swear he is going through his terrible twos. Recently he just starting this thing where he suddenly decides he wants something and if he doesn't get it, he releases a high pitched screech. It's so high pitched that I'm amazed I can actually hear it. I wouldn't be surprised if one day I opened my front door and saw a pack of neighborhood dogs congregating and looking up expectantly as if someone had blown a dog whistle.

At dinner time, if I don't let Jacob hold the spoon. He sreams. Often when I'm washing the dishes he will crawl to my feet put his head against my legs and beg to be held. If I don't comply immediately... you got it, I get the blood curling scream. He also frequently screams if he wants out of his carseat mid-errand, if he doesn't want me to wash his face, or if we don't let him eat the cat food.

It must be that Jacob is frustrated with his lack of communications skills. He is so smart and he knows exactly what he wants but he doesn't yet have the ability to tell us this. It also might have something to do with the milky white peaks starting to poke out of his bottom gums. Poor guy. Please people, don't tell me it only gets worse.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So Much For Being Cool

As I was getting off the ferry on the way to work, I ran into someone I went to highschool with. This happens occassionally. And usually, when I see an old highschool classmate, I stop dead in my tracks, then quickly bolt in the opposite direction because, yes, I was THAT much of a nerd and I would rather people not remember me, it's just too embarrassing. [Flashback #1: me running around the halls after math class pretending to be Indiana Jones. Flashback #2: me staying up until midnight each night to watch reruns of Star Trek Deep Space 9].

Well, I didn't bolt away fast enough this time. This guy caught my eye and said hi. We chatted for a couple minutes. I told him I was in law school and heading to my legal summer internship. I think he was impressed, considering he probably only remembered me as that weird kid who went to space camp.

Before we parted ways he made a remark about how it was nice to know people who were lawyers so they could get him out of trouble. I laughed and promised that if I couldn't get him off, I would at least sneak him some beer in prison. I thought this was pretty clever but he just gave me a weird look and left without saying anything else.

What did I do? I thought about it all morning. I guess his reaction might have had something to do with my promise that I would "get him off?"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Day At The Office

I am now officially a working mom. I started my first day of work for the summer. It was nice but it could have been better. The hardest part was leaving my husband with the baby in the morning. I know he is more than capable, but I always get the baby ready in the morning and drop him off at grandmas. I guess I have to get used to him being Mister Mom.

Some things I did today:

(-): got my heel stuck in a sidewalk crack (on a busy sidewalk), had to backtrack with one bare foot to slip it back on...almost ran over three people in the process.

(+): got promoted to a bigger office with a bigger desk!

(+): found two blue raspberry jolly ranchers in the desk- they still tasted awesome.

(-): learned that my first assignment is to revise and add case citations to a powerpoint (lame).

(-): miss Jacob.

(+): started reading a book for fun- To Kill A Mockingbird (best book ever!)

(-): wish I could install a webcam at my in-law's so I could watch Jacob play.

(+): did not give in to my desire to shop at the Nordstrom across the street on my lunchbreak.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Class of 2009

Yesterday I walked in the graduation ceremony with my 1L class. I still have one more semester of classes to go so I didn't get that excited about the graduation. At first it just felt like I was going through the formal procedure without having much to really celebrate.

I made the decision to walk with my class at the last minute- a week before hand. And when I called up to reserve my gown and cap regalia, the gown people told me I would have to show up the day of and see if there was anything left. Let's just say that I was totally freaked out that my family would show up to watch me graduate and I would either be turned away from the ceremony due to lack of gowns, or (possibly worse) I would have to wear an XXL gown and look like the wiked witch of the west after she melted (all robe). Everything turned out fine, except that I didn't get to iron my robe. I looked like I was wearing elephant skin.

When I got in line with all my classmates as we prepared to make our grand entrance, it finally hit me. It was likely that I would not see many of these people again. I looked around at all the familiar faces- so happy and confident. Very different than the nervous and timid faces we wore 1L year. Back then we were thinking "What the heck did we just get ourselves into and would we come out alive?" But we did it. Every one of us has a uniquely exciting law school experience. We all were graduating as very different people than when we came in.

My 1L contracts professor was helping at the event and he walked by congratulating us. This was THE PROFESSOR. You know, every one has THE PROFESSOR, the one that really made a difference. The one you will never forget and will be telling stories about for the rest of your life. He knew I had a baby and I have talked with him at many social events. He came up to me and said, "Well, miracles DO happen!" Um...what exactly does it mean when your professor compares your graduation with nothing short of a miracle? Ha ha, not sure how I feel about that.

When we filed into the ceremony room, I saw the stage where our professors were sitting. I saw al our family and friends in the audience. Something powerful came over me and tears started to build up in my eyes. I had been wrong all along. This ceremony actually was starting to mean something to me. It might have been the feeling that I had accomplished something that had been so mentally and emotionally trying. I had finally overcome this three year long battle. Not only had I not let my many struggles beat me, but I also survived my own fears.

Maybe it was the feeling that I had survived, through the sweat, tears and pain and I could finally breath easy. Like the feeling I get at the end of a half marathon. Except this was a three year marathon. I cross the finish line feeling exhausted, tired of fighting my mental demons as well as the physical. I collapse on the ground after having given every ounce of myself. My legs and my lungs hurt like hell but I'm grinning from ear to ear.

Or maybe it was the nastalgia. Knowing that a chapter of my life is almost over. That I can never go back to this time. That this event that I have been anticipating is almost here and gone. It could have been the feeling of being part of something bigger than myself. Walking side by side with classmates and being a part of their journey. We had gone through this amazing yet awful experience together. We share something, it may be undescribable, but each one of us feels it.

And here I am. Arriving at a destination I had only DREAMED about three years ago. I made it. I did it. Who knew? Miracles DO happen.

Now I only have to return in the fall to finish up 14 more credits...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baby Heaven Is...

A spilt box of Cheerios...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Picture Diary: A Day In The Life Of An 8 Month Old

First I'll play with Daddy's DVDs. He has so many, he won't mind!

Uh oh! Caught!

Um. It wasn't me. Really. I swear.

What is this thing doing in the wall?

Hmmm. Tastes funny.

I think I prefer the heat register.

Me + heat register = <3
I wonder if the Geek Squad would hire me?

Yeah, I fight crime in my spare time.

Nap? No way. Too busy for that!

Shh...keep it down. I'm watching Baby Einstein.

All in a day's work.

More Hate And Bow Ties

Have you ever thought you did SO POORLY on an exam that you felt compelled to email your professor and explain yourself? I just took my payment law exam which covers Article 3 and 4 of the UCC. I studied for 4.5 days straight. I re-did every problem in our coursebook. I studied my notes over and over. I took multiple practice exams. I sacrificed my MOTHER'S DAY for this test. I felt so prepared going in. I thought I would dominate the sh*t out of that test.

Except. I failed. Yes. I'm pretty sure I failed. What happened?

The wrath of my professor. That's what happened.

Towards the end of the semester SOME students (*cough* me *cough*) were getting a little lazy. We let a problem or two slide away from us. We started skimming UCC provisions. We stopped coming to class prepared. The professor did not like this one bit. In fact, he lectured the class, shamed a select few (thankfully not me otherwise I would have erupted in tears), then sent us all nasty emails about the proper expected behavior outlined in our class syllabus. I guess he decided to take this out on us all through the exam.

This test for my measley 2 credit payment law course was the hardest law school exam I have taken yet. It was exponentially harder than my 4 credit Sales/Secured Transactions exam. I am so dissapointed because I thought I knew all the material. I was as prepared as I could ever have been- no amount of extra study time would have helped. The exam was just THAT hard.

So why do I feel like I need to explain myself? Because this is the bow-tie professor. He wears a BOW TIE. And... I have a thing for bow ties. So as arrogant and mean as this guy can be, he meets the one necessary element to qualify as my crush: BOW TIE. Seriously, he is also super smart (another important factor) but the bow tie gets me every time. Dreamy. Sigh.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Effing Mother's Day

Today sucked. My baby spend yesterday and last night at my mother-in-law's so I could focus on my exam for tomorrow. Depsite the fact that today is mother's day, I spent from 9am to 6pm studying for my exam. I finally got to spend 1.5 hours with my baby when my mother-in-law had us over for dinner. But then I left him with her again tonight so I could resume my studies.

Instead of thinking how awesome my new life as a mom has been, or how much meaning Jacob adds to my life, I spent my first mother's day totally consumed by presentment warranties, funds availability, and holders in due course. The good news? This will probably be the worst mother's day of my life- so it can only get better from here. I just miss Jacob and I hate that I have to be away from him for so long.

On the way to dinner, we stopped by the store to pick up a card. No exaggeration, the store was FILLED with hundreds of moms and their babies/children (ok, maybe slight exaggeration). I totally teared up in the checkout aisle wishing it was me who was making faces at my baby and pushing him around the store. It must be finals. Finals has made me a total wreck. Yep, I'll blame finals.

There is one bit of advice that I want to share with other students who happen to have a new-crawler at home. If you need to study but your crawling baby requires more attention that usual, try this simple and easy trick to keep tabs on your kid (all you need is a balloon!):

Can you find the baby?

Re: my last post, I just wanted to clarify that I am NOT one of those people who eats, breathes and sleeps law school. But I feel guilty for that. I think that is the point I wanted to make, that law school puts pressure on you to be consumed by study. I don't have that luxury (nor do I think I would want it) but I feel guilty or like somehow I am not living up to my potential for not doing so. Living in the law library does not translate into success in the legal profession, but I feel like, in the traditional-successful-lawstudent sense, you cannot do as well if you have a life outside school.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Unless You're In Lawschool, You Won't Get It

I realized yesterday that lawschool is so much like being a mom. Unless you are in lawschool you just don't get what it's like. Unless you are a mom, you have NO IDEA what a mom goes through (the good and the bad). And they both substantially change your life.

Yesterday I met up with two people from one of my classes to study for our final. I usually stay away from study groups. Usually, because I study better on my own but also because study groups remind me of highschool cliques. I remember 1L year people in my class meeting up in secret because they didn't want to let certain people "in" either because they didn't think certain people were smart enough, they didn't think certain people were dumb enough (if you were too smart you might ruin the curve) or they though people just weren't "cool" enough.

While my two friends and I were studying we started chatting about significant others. The general consensus was that significant others have NO CLUE what we go through during finals week (or anytime during the semester for that matter). This is like the one truth about law school- your non-lawschool friends and spouses just cannot fathom how hard it is. It's not just the academics that are hard either. It's the general pressure to focus only on lawschool and let the rest of your life pass you by. It's the stress you feel everday in class thinking you might be next in the "hot seat," answer incorrectly and forever be branded with a scarlet "F" for failure (or "T" for tool).

I hate to complain, but it is true that my husband has no clue. He goes to work in the morning and comes home in the evening. He doesn't see that I've been studying for eight hours straight while trying to arrange childcare for Jacob. When he comes home, I'm working on feedign Jacob and putting him to bed. When Jacob's asleep, I spend another 3 hours racking my brain. Basically, since class got out last week, I have been studying every spare second. I know I have too much to learn in the short time I have. It's just a sad fact. So I'm way stressed out and I feel relieved when my schedule changes to just give me an extra 30 minutes of time to study.

I tried to explain to my husband how hard these two weeks of finals were for me. He said, "I know. I've taken finals before." But that just proves how little he does know. Law exams are NOT like undergrad finals. Each final has the potential to impact your bottom line- your class ranking. And most of my classes this semester are curved. How is that for pressure? While my class ranking is around the middle, and I have peacefully learned to accept that, each final brings me this little bulb of hope that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can bring that ranking up a tad.

You know what? I think I could. If I didn't have a baby. Or a husband. Or a life. I wish I could show my husband how, in order to really be a law school success, you have to put your entire life on hold. You have to eat, breathe, and sleep law. The past week and a half I've felt so anxious and trapped. Because I know what I need to do. I need to escape for 12 hours at a time to prep for exams. But with a baby, I simply can't. By the time I get him fed, dressed, changed, and out the door, half of my day is gone. I haven't slept over 5 hours in weeks so by the time I do get alone time with my books, I can barely keep my eyes open.

My husband is really awesome, but he doesn't realize that if he would step up to do the little things, my life would be so much easier right now. I just need finals to be over so things can return to normal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Some Finals Humor....

Brought to you by Jacob. "Prof! My Baby deleted my final exam!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sucking Face

Since finals are pretty much a tsunami of awfulness, I'll focus on my baby instead. (Holy hell, why didn't anyone warn me how hard it would be to study with an infant- it's like he knows I'm writing a paper and will decide to be crabby ALL DAY).

Anyway....Jacob can pretty much crawl now. That means he tries to get into everything he is not supposed to. I can't blame him. Who wants to play with stacking cups and plastic key rings when there are daddy's CDs to pull off the shelf or the houseplant to rip apart?

The trouble is Jacob likes to put smaller things in his mouth. The bigger things? He puts his mouth ON THEM. Too frequently I will leave the room for a second and return to find Jacob face down on the floor, with his mouth firmly suctioned to the floor heating vent. Um, gross? But you should hear his squeal of excitement when the heat comes up. I guess now I have an incentive to start dusting that thing.

He also likes to suck face with: the speakers in our living room, any and ALL power cords, daddy's belts, and the CAT FOOD!

Handsome Big Boy.

The air feels funny on my face!

Reaching for mommy.

So much fun.

I guess I like this swing thing.

Saturday, May 2, 2009