Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh Yeah, I Go To Lawschool Too Sometimes

For my final semester of law school, I am taking:

Insurance law
Healthcare Law
Professional Responsibility
Trusts & Estates
Pre-Trial Advocacy (we handle a pretend case through complain, answer, deposition, witness and client interviews, and summary judgment motions)

Today I was amazed by a few things. First of all, for the first time of my law school life, I am not terrorized by my law school professors. For the first time EVER I thought, "Eh, so what if Prof calls on me for a case I have not read. i'll just say "pass" and move on with my life." Usually, I am thinking more along the lines of "Holy Sh*t! What if he calls on me? I'll just DIE and people will realize I'm not smart and then the law school will tell me they want me to drop out and no one will ever be my friend and the Prof will think I'm a slacker loser and I will have to join a circus in order to achieve gainful employment!"

Also, for the first time EVER, I was distracted and not paying attention to a class lecture (GET THIS) in order to read for the another class. For once, it wasn't Facebook or Google or Blogger or CreateFarts or that was to blame. In Professional Responsibility, I had my Trusts & Estates book cracked open on the desk and I was pouring wildly over the proper execution of a will while the class was discussing what to do when your client insists on giving false testimony. HULLO- if he was my client, I would either (a) kick him in the balls and tell him to stop being a twerp or (b) drop his ass and make him find another attorney to commit all kinds of ethical horrors for him. Class dismissed. What is there to discuss? (Am I going to fail that class?).

This is also kinda crazy, but I actually have enough real world litigation experience to actually understand the context of what I am learning in my classes. This is expecially trye for my insurance law class. I did insurance defense for two summers in a row and will continue to do this when I start my job in March. The professor asked a question today, the answer to which could not be found in our reading, and I ANSWERED the question! I knew the answer solely from my litigation experience! Yes, I have officially become the annoying person who knows everything from personal life experience.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Famous Last Words

"Just one more cookie..." (there goes the whole box).

"I think I can make it one more hour without changing Jacob's diaper." (major wipeout ensues).

"I'm not going to brief for this class, the Prof never calls on us anyway" (you can guess this one).

"The recipe says this dish only takes 30 minutes to make." (dinner is 1.5 hours later).

"Oops, forgot deoderant. It will be ok, I'll just try not to sweat." (P.U.)

"This stairmaster is so easy! I'll increase intensity" (Why don't they make underwear with ice pack pockets?)

Oh and tonight my husband turned down a session of lovemaking. Yes, that's right, he turned down my seductive advances (i.e. "wanna do me?!") so that he could do something else. But I think we will take a poll and I'll let YOU guess what that something else might be.

My husband turned out an evening of awesome love making with me to:
(a) finish a manly action film co-starring a half naked chick
(b) take a dump (when you gotta go, you gotta go!)
(c) eat a box of pepperoni pizza and guzzle a keg of beer with his guy friends
(d) iron clothes.

If you guess a, b, or c, you assumed my husband was a normal human male. If you guessed d, then you know that is just simply NOT the case.

It went a little like this:
My husband walks into our bedroom where I am reading in bed. I look at him seductively and ask, "Want to join me in bed? Wink, wink."My husband rolls his eyes, gives an exasperated sigh and stated, "I JUST turned on the iron!" He then grabs a stack of clothes and marches out of the room. Like seriously, WHAT WAS I THINKING? He needs a freshly pressed wardrobe for the week and I'm over here being a sabateur by trying to force bodily pleasure onto him! Come ON!

Please tell me, the romance gets hotter with each year of marriage, right?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Carousels, Lies And Cotton Candy

We took Jacob to a local fair last weekend. You know the kind: 4H animals, gut-wrenching rides, cotton candy, mullets that put Billy Ray Cyrus to shame, over priced food, games you can never win, and fat old men that make you cry.

Oh, I have to clarify that last one? Ok.

We got to the fair and Jacob immediately started squealing over the carousel ride. He walked right up to the little gate surrounding it, pointed at the horsies moving up and down, and screeched wildly. I was excited too- I really wanted to take him for a carousel ride. So, with my husband reluctantly in tow behind me, we marched all over the fair looking for a ticket booth. When we found one, I purchased four tickets- the amont required to ride the carousel. It's such a racket. Four tickets doesn't sound expensive right? Well it came out to nearly four bucks! Oh well, my precious Jacob is worth every penny (this is the sentence that frequently follows all massive expenditures that I have to justify to my husband).

Then the lady who sold us our tickets might as well have flung poop in my face. She looked at me and solemnly declared, "Only children 2 years and older can ride the kiddie rides." This was synonymous to telling any child that Santa had just been killed by a stampede of wild buffalo. I was shocked.

"Not even the CAROUSEL?" I asked.

"Not even the carousel."

"But the carousel has benches that are nailed to the floor. He can sit in my lap!"

"Sorry." was her response. That bitch. She didn't sound the least bit sorry.

I walked over to my husband and explained the horrible news. As I was doing this, a sneaky thought crossed my mind. Why don't I just SAY that Jacob is 2 years old? I mean most people don't have a clue how old babies are. Plus, babies grow at different rates. I can just say he has some sort of "problem" or that he's small for his age... And besides- are they going to ask for his PHOTO IDENTIFICATION? My plan seemed solid. The sadness started to drain from my body. My husband looked at me like I was Momzilla (Bride-zilla's more crazy older sister).

I grabbed Jacob and marched him right over to that carousel. The man handling tickets was old and chubby. He looked so vulnerable. Little did he know he was about to be victim to my cunning prowess. I had him for sure! He looked at Jacob as we approached over the rim of his glasses and asked, "how old is he?" This was the moment of truth, or to be more exact, the moment of non-truth.

I looked at him bodly and opened my mouth. But as the words, "he just turned two" were forming in my mind, my conscious got the better of me and before I knew it, my resolve was crumbling under the weight of my principles and fear of authority. "He's almost two," is the best I could do.

"Sorry," sad the man. "He has to be two years or older."

My eyes welled up with tears as I turned around in the ride line and had to march Jacob away from the shiny, moving ponies he loved so much. This, people, felt like ripping a bottle right out of his hungry mouth. It hurt SO MUCH. Recounting the memory is making me tear up all over again. I walked toward my husband and started to BAWL. Tears streamed down my face, my nose immediatelty stuffed up and I explained in-between wails, "They won't let Jacob ride the PONIES!" I was almost hysterical and full of sorrow.

It must have been quite a site for passerbys. To see this hysterical momzilla bawling her eyes out in front of the carousel because, the world is ending, and her baby can't ride the PONIES. I'm sure my husband thought I was a total whack-job. But he quietly rubbed my shoulder, said "it's ok, we'll bring him back next year" and bought me some cotton candy.

Later, my husband did make the astute observation that I have a problem with lying to a carnival employeee but have no similar quams with lying to him...hmm, well, you can't CHOSE your conscious can you?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Adventures At A Law Firm Cocktail Party

My first official act as a future employee of the Firm was to drink a beer in the office hallway. Ok, technically, I attended a two hour long all attorney meeting FIRST. Then I attended the all attorney cocktail party immediately following. Silly details.

As I sat in the all attorney meeting, several things occured to me:

1) Out of the 22 attorneys working at the firm, only 3, including me, are female. One of the female attorneys works at our office in another state. So in our Seattle office, I will be working with about 15 male attorneys and only one other female attorney. I know this shouldn't shock me considering all I know about practicing law and gender roles in society but it still DOES shock me. Maybe it's particularly bad because it's a litigation firm- which equals extra stress and less flexibility for family.

2) Real attorneys are people just like me. I was super nervous about attending this event. I've worked as a summer associate for two years at this firm and never really had a chance to attend a work social event. I was so worried I would have no one to talk to and nothing to say. But the second the cocktail party started, I was determined to start chatting with everyone. By some miracle, it wasn't even awkward. In fact, I discovered that I wan't nervous at all, I was having FUN.

3) When I start work I won't be the newbie. In fact, I think I already went through my new associate hazing. I already had to embarrassingly confess my childhood nickname to all the partners at an attorney meeting and I already had to take BS from that annoying associate. Remember the guy who introduced himself to me as "Jim" on my first day this summer when his name was, in fact, not "Jim." And I only discovered this after I made a fool of myself in front of a partner? Well, this time that attorney approached one of the other new associates and told them his name was "Jim." I was like- YES! I'm not the butt of the joke anymore!

4) Holy Shit. I'm going to be responsible for actual cases. People 's money and the revenues of big companies will depend on me? I had one of these moments during the attorney meeting when the partners talked about proper case management. I seriously started to freak out. It reminded me of the time I was pregnant and had to watch the birth video. "I HAVE TO DO THAT?!" "WHAT IF I FAIL- OR DIE?!" "WHAT IF I GIVE BIRTH TO A TURTLE?!"

The best part of the cocktail party was when an office assistant went around taking candid pictures of people socializing. There are at least five pictures of me in the background trying to take a bite out of other attorneys' cakes as they are in deep conversation with someone. I also tried really hard to hold a different kind of glass or bottle in each picture so it looked like I was pounding down the alcohol. Ahhh, I'm such a responsible and contributing member of society.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Piss(y) & Vinegar

Ok, this post is more pissy than vinegar.

Multiple run ins with school bookstore employees today have led me to this conclusion: You know you've been in lawschool too long when people frequently ask you if you are "staff." I should just say yes so I can get my bookstore discount, but then they probably will want proof or something- lame!

In an unrelated note: on the way to school today I got pulled over and had my @$$ delivered to me by a cop. Not just ANY cop- but the fake motorcycle cops. It's like they aren't trusted enough with a real vehicle so they have to ride these dinky motorcycles and "wave" down traffic violators with their bare hands instead of fancy flashing lights- how unauthoritative can you be waving frantically at speeding vehicles that pass you by? And what is with those ridiculous boots they wear? They remind me of a cross between women knee-high boots and children's plastic rain boots.

So this cop gives me a freaking speeding ticket (my first one ever- I ALWAYS get a warning- where is my fifth warning not to speed on a public highway, so not fair! My due process rights have totally been violated!) but first he looks all solemn and says "You were going 15 mph over the limit but I only wrote you up for 5mph over the limit- I gave you the lowest possible fine." Then he hands me this naseatingly green paper all gracious-like, as if he is returning my lost puppy or something and leans into my car, just waiting... waiting for what? Does this dude want me to THANK HIM? I dodge eye contact and take the paper carefully as if I just watched the cop drop his pants and wipe his ass on it. WHAT? The fine is $115!! That's the LOWEST possible? I never want to see another cop as long as I live! Even if I was the bound and gagged and nominated pinata at a gang party. You can bet I'm going to contest the heck out of this thing- even if I AM guilty! Take that!

[Insert witty segue here]

Oops, not THAT kind of segue... anyway...

It is a TOTAL power trip to reject friend requests on Facebook! I rarely do this. In fact, I only reject people who I obviously don't know or who are scamming something. But, nonetheless, clicking that dainty little "ignore" button totally makes me want to clench my fists in ruthless power and raise them into the air while lightning strikes in the background. It totally does something to my ego and makes me feel like the coolest kid in school. I wish I had the guts to suddenly pretend to click an imaginary "ignore" button in real life when someone I can't stand starts talking to me... maybe someday that will be an option?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Never Drink & Booty Call

Last night my husband gifted me with a drunk phone call from a bar (he and his buddies were out celebrating after the Seahawks game). My husband is basically a lovey drunk. Get five or six beers in him (he sincerely claimed he had 14?- can that BE?). And he is the happiest, mushiest man on the planet.

However, he could use a lesson in flowery language or at least learn how to channel his affection into more romantic words.

Ladies and Gentlemen, my eloquent husband:

"You are the hottest piece of ass ever! SERIOUSLY. These girls at the bar have nothing on you."

"Seriously! I'm serious! I want to lick your legs off."

"Right now, all I'm thinking about is you. I promise. Well, ok. I'm thinking about two things: 1) I'm thinking about you, 2) I'm thinking about eating McDonald's $1.99 ten piece chicken nuggets."

Seriously, I'm so flattered.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Between Worlds

My husband just left for a Seahawks game with a bunch of his friends and I have the whole day to spend with just Jacob. Times like now, when it's me and baby versus the world makes me realize that I don't have a group of friends to just "chill" with. Heck, I don't really even have one. When I get a free day or some down time, I don't have someone to call up and plan a day with. Usually it's just me and the baby.

I'm not a stay a "stay at home" mom and not a full fledged law student. I feel like I fall in the crack between these two worlds when it comes to the social side of things. Because of my family, I don't spend any extra free time at school or at school functions. When I'm not in class, I'm rushing to class or rushing to catch my ferry so I can get home to my husband and baby before they go to sleep. I feel like I've missed out on making lasting, close friendships through lawschool.

At the same time, I'm not a stay at home mom either. I don't have time to do the mommy group things that stay at home moms do. Even if I did have time, all those functions are scheduled during the work day when I'm unavailable. I don't meet other moms at the park or for baby play dates.

Sometimes this makes me so incredible lonely. I mean, I'm not a loner. I KNOW a lot of people. The problem is, aside from my husband, I don't have any close friends. No one I can confide in and share things with. So I wonder- what makes a good friend? Can just about anyone BECOME your best friend if you make the time for them or does it take a special kind of compatability? The best friends I've had in my life just kinda happened naturally.

I feel like I split my time living in two different worlds - the law school/legal profession world and the mommy world - but I never spend enough time in either world to feel like part of them.

The good news? My son is so freaking adorable:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Discard Your Social Camo

There is something so sincere about a child. When we are children we have less social inhibitions and are more free to be who we really are. As a child/tween, I was a total free spirit- I was who I was with no care about how society viewed me. Proof: I wore sweatpants, Ninja Turtle t-shirts and a purple rhinestone baseball cap to school until like 7th grade. I was a fashion nightmare- but my outfits reflected 100% who I was. I didn't care how I LOOKED compared to everyone else. I cared only about how my clothess made me feel- I wore what I was comfortable in.

When I was 11, my best friend and I had big plans for our futures. We spent our time planning every detail and outlining our thoughts in a spiral notebook. We were going to move to Montana. We were going to have a house and a barn with horses, cows and other farm animals. We were going to make our money teaching horse riding lessons, holding summer camps, teaching line dancing and making and selling pottery (ok, so the plan had some gliches). In our journal we named our animals, kept a newspaper add of the land we were going to buy, and drew blueprints to our house and barn. We loved getting together and dreaming. To us, it seemed like anything we could dream up, we could do.

Then you grow up and society tells you to "get real." Get into a good college. Get on a fast track to a professional career. One day, like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, you are suddenly aware of your "flaws" and the many ways in which society is judging you- you feel naked and inadequate in front of everyone. You have to buy nicer clothes, have nicer things and act like everyone else.

I admit that for a good couple years, I fell into these pressures. In college (the first time I ever started caring about my appearance), I burned up my highschool savings on clothes. I still never felt accepted, mainstream or satisfied. Inside, I was still that free spirit. But except for certain times when I was with close friends, I felt like I had to suppress that quality of myself.

You think pressure is high in highschool and college? Well, it's through the roof in law school. There isn't so much pressure to fit in- it's more like pressure to do well in the traditional law school sense of getting good grades, being on a law journal, earning awards and achieving a high class ranking. Oh yeah, and get a JOB. And although I find that your average law student is unlike your average undergrad student and may be more prone to being "awkward" and "nerdy" and accepting of people who are unlike them- there is still a sense of "fitting in."

However, after 2.5 years of lawschool, 2 years of marriage and one year as a mom, I'm finally unlearning all the things society taught me about what being "cool" is. It finally clicked as I read To Kill A Mockingbird the second time this past summer (and as I ruminated on the concept of International Law and how the law is basically defined by behavioral "norms"). It finally hit me that- duh- society is just a herd of sheep being lead by a handful of blind but really loud shepherds. Someone yells, "this is cool! come this way!" and we all rush to comply. Society is not some divine truth. Society can be wrong just like any other individual. Proof: skinny jeans- holy hell those things are awful.

The scary part- laws are created by society. If society can be "wrong" then laws sure as hell can be "wrong." I mean, how do a lot of law come about- Legislators are pressured by their constituents and society as a whole to enact them. As lawstudents, I think we often view laws as the Ultimate Truth- this is because outcomes turn on what the laws say and how they are interpreted. But we shouldn't forget that those laws establishing "justice" and "order" are often merely what the majority of people (or even just a handful of people) think are "just" and may be a far cry from what they should be. (Getting off my To Kill A Mockingbird soap box now).

Admittedly, I do take into consideration the messages society sends me. And, I also have to admit, that while I balk at some social trends and messages at first, many times I learn to accept them and sometimes I even start to agree. But I try to accept those messages and trends only if they mesh with me personally- I won't accept them JUST for the sake of accepting them and JUST because of social pressure. So yeah, I will always be influenced by society, and my internal compass might be "adjusted" in part by social pressure- but I strongly reserve the right to be a free spirit.

I want to be like the kid I used to be. I want to do things regardless of how society views me and do them just because that's who I am. There is always going to be a force within me saying "don't go too far if you want people to take you seriously" but I think it's healthy to know how to get along in your environment and connect with others. Like most of the themes of mommy-lawyer blogs, the key is BALANCE. Be part of your environment. If you want people to take you seriously as a lawyer, then you have to fit into certain social perameters. but you can be an individual at the same time and you don't have to suppress that inner free spirit (unless your inner free spirit tells you to wear skinny jeans or become a card carrying member of a Nazi survivalist group- both are equally heinous). And most importantly, it should be our JOB as lawyers to always scrutinize the laws and norms of our society and challenge the status quo rather than mindlessly accepting them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Lost My Will

I can't for the life of me get motivated to study. Mostly because I can't figure out WHY I should.

I'm a 3L. I have a job waiting for me when this hateful semester is over. My grades are too crappy to worry about "keeping them up." I have an awesome toddler who is way more fun than a stack of putrid casebooks. I'm no longer afraid of the Socratic method or my professors. Who gives a d**n if my professor thinks I'm a dim-witted slacker- it's probably closer to the truth!

I'm in serious need of a kick in the lawschool pants.

Oh and when did lawschool become a beauty contest? I swear the girls in my classes are on constant display in the offshot chance that we will be asked to come up on a Miss America stage and take a spin about the room. At least I can be content to come to school in my non-designer jeans and sweatshirt and not worry about someone wearing the same outfit!

Monday, September 7, 2009

365 Days Never Seemed So Short!

Last week, on Sept. 2 to be exact, my baby turned ONE! Oh my, I'm still in shock. My little baby is officially not a baby anymore but I don't want to call him a toddler. Ahh, life is so hard. Last year during labor day weekend I was, very unhomorously, going into labor. Well, kind of labor. The kind of labor with a lot of pain and no progress.

September 2 last year was THE most horrible days of my life, hands way down (!!), but ended in my life's single greatest joy. But doesn't that perfectly sum up how most of life is- the best things always come through the hardest experiences. I recall vividly the terror that gripped me as they hauled me into surgery, covered the lower half of my body with a blue curtain, and started poking me with things. I clearly remember the string of songs the doctors played from Sting's Greatest Hits as they carried on casual conversation like they were all sitting around over coffee. Then, suddenly, a baby cried. It was such a foreign sound. For some reason I imagined that I would instantly recognize his voice but it was a completely new and unfamiliar sound.

Now, Jacob is one and I have spent the last 12 months getting to know this independent, changing and incredibly charming person. It booggles my mind how much a human can change in one year. And yet, despite all those changes, he is the SAME kid. Does that freak anyone else out? When I recall old memories of my own childish self, I am amazed to think that it is the same person as the me I am today. But, for some reason, it's more weird when you are a daily and observant witness to the change.

Jacob has turned out to be really sweet and charming- clearly someone ELSE's influence on him. He waves at everyone, everywhere we go! Seriously, it takes an hour to go grocery shopping because he wants to wave at everyone and then talk to them. At Target today I put him down next to the cart and he thought it was one of his push toys- he started pushing the huge thing up and down the aisles. People were CRACKING up! Especially because from the front it looked like it was moving on its own.

To celebrate Jacob's birthday, we had a cowboy themed birthday party for him. It was compelte with a cowboy boot cake, straw to play in and a homemade (guess how many hours of study time THAT took up) stand up cowboy picture. Jacob made out like a bandit (or outlaw?) with way too many fancy toys! He has a fire truck with firemen that dance when you push a button. I told Jacob that mommy likes dancing firemen too, but I don't think he got it. He also got a rocking pony that sings and moves its mouth and Jacob immitates it by moving his own mouth open and closed.

See all the fun we had!:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oh WebMD- Could It Be Chocolate Deficiency Syndrome?

As a (or at least 2/3 of a) lawyer, I have dealt with many cases involving medical issues from an injury standpoint to a damages standpoint. When trying to fit medical issues into the legal framework that is ideal for your client, I highly suggest you consult some bona-fide professional, such as my bestest friend, WebMD. WebMD kicks major butt (ok, ok, I guess it's not AS persuasive as some IME report from a real doctor- but sometimes it just might be more objective).

But WedMD was no help to me this week. Since last Saturday I have suffered from a list of random ailments that are unlike any virus I have ever had before. I'm starting to worry.

On Saturday I had major chills. I swore I had a fever. I was hot and cold at the same time and sweating more than a lawstudent victim of the Socratic Method. But no fever ever registered. All Sunday I had the same symptom and stilll no fever. Monday I woke up THE SAME. I even went to the school nurse who checked my vital stats and told me it was nothing and that I should just focus on school instead of trying to fake the swine flue (THE NERVE! If I had wanted to fake it, I would have been so good, she wouldn't KNOW- duh). On my way out she handed me an informational ipod download on STDs. THANKS. I hope it falls out of my backpack in class and all my classmates see it! NOT!

Monday night I finally had a fever- and it was a fever of 102. In addition, the tops of my eyeballs started to ache constantly and it kinda hurt to turn my head to the side (you can guess how many times I checked my blind spot while I was puttering around town). The fever continued through Tuesday. By Wednesday, the fever was gone but not the achey eyeballs and, on top of all that, I had a mother of a sore throat. Seriously, who excavated my throat with a fire poker when I wasn't looking?

Today, the sore throat is gone but I still have achey eyeballs (What the heck? Who gets achey eyeballs- it's like my eyes got drunk and now have a major hangover). What is really causing me concern, however, is this dibilitating headache that I have had constantly for 15 hours- despite ingesting doses of Tylenol and Aleve that would probably overdose an elephant. No, I take it back. Not headache. MIGRANE. It hurts when my feet touch the ground as I walk. It hurts when I move my head. It pounds when I stand up. Heck, it aches when the wind blows on it.

What is going on? This is not a normal flu! This is some psychotic, schizophrenic flu that can't stay with any one symptom for too long. And throughout this ordeal, WedMD has been completely unhelpful. The web doctor seems at a loss for diagnosis- hwever, my symptoms are teetering a little too close to such things as swine flu, brain tumor, respiratory infection, and, my favorite, chemical poisoning.

Of those, I think I can guess what I most likely have. Take a look at this picture of me taken last Saturday and then make your own guess:

Man, I KNEW that was a bad idea.