April 30th 2005

ow.

I have some really pretty bruises right now.

The biggest, a blobby, irregular thing, is smack in the middle of my right thigh. It’s PINK, which, if you know anything about bruises means it’s a pretty nasty contusion. A little purple around the edges, too.

The next one is just below that one, and it has a nice scratch mark through it—amazing what cardboard boxes can to do flesh, even through denim.

Moving on, I have a dark pink spot, with a purpling swell right next to it—deep bruise PLUS shallow bruise!—on the underside of my left forearm. And I have several other dark pink spots that, I’m sure, will blossom into puce flowers over the next few days.

They’re worth it, though. The bulk of the move is done. The guy who was supposed to buy the bed flaked (live in My Fair City? Need a queen-size bed? I’ve got a good deal for you), so the bed is still in the house. I reposted it on Craigslist and am hoping for some bites in the next couple of days. If I hear nothing by Monday, I hope we can get a friend to help us drop it at the Salvation Army or somewhere else. Urk.

Um, so, yeah. Other than the bed, though, we have only some cabinets to empty, and a few little piles of things to toss into boxes. All the furniture is out, and most of our clothes are in our new closet. We have built-in shelves in the new place, so I’ve unpacked lots of our books, and we ate dinner here tonight.

I’m a little shellshocked, to be honest. We’ve lived in that home for a while. Mr. Angst has owned it for four years, and while I haven’t lived there the whole time, when I didn’t, it was always my other home. I am thrilled to be moving on, yes, but this new apartment feels like an inexpensive resort cabin right now—sort of empty and soulless, with a generic aura.

The whole change thing overwhelmed me this afternoon, while I was loading up some necessities from the house—cereal bowls, pillows and sheets, and the removable shelves for the bookcase we’re keeping. Of course, the shock exhibited as a meltdown and I found myself repeating endlessly, “Do what you can, a little at a time. Do what you can, a little at a time.” The amount we have left to do isn’t all that great, but somehow, with all the other emotions swirling through me, I could only see the un-done-ness of it all. And I lost it.

The move isn’t over. But the beginning of it is over, and most of the middle. Now, I guess, we’re in cleanup mode. Tomorrow probably won’t be much fun—though it probably won’t be as bad as today—but it will eventually end. And then we’ll have a few months to make this place home before we totally uproot ourselves.

I’ve never doubted our decision to move far away for school, but I’m beginning to see the dark side of that decision. I don’t like this moving thing. I’m at the age where I should be settling down and feathering my nest—but instead, I feel like I’m back in college, living out of boxes.

Boy, this post took a morbid turn. I’ll try to be chipper again soon.

radio silence not entered

It’s raining. Why does it have to rain on our moving day? I’m annoyed.

So we’re slowly gathering things together, getting ready to just throw them in the truck when we can. We’re doing our last email checks. We’re reading the news. We’re hoping the rain will stop soon.

Sigh. I hate this. It’s not fun at all.

April 29th 2005

Reason #716 to love my new school

I’ve been living in a city with a top-ten college football team for too long.

Out of curiosity, I looked up season ticket prices for my future school’s football team—a Division 1 team, just like the team here in town—saw the price, and immediately thought it must be a per-game price. Um, nope. Season tickets for the season (at least, last year) were less than $50. Total. For six games. And that’s just football. Other sporting events are FREE. (Except maybe basketball. Maybe.)

I haven’t been to a free Division 1 sporting event EVER. I am a little stunned. Free. Wow. Football for less than $50. (That’s 1/6th the price we paid per seat last year for season tickets here!) Wow.

I am DEFINITELY going to some football games this fall.

bags and more bags

I think I’ve decided to get this bag for school. In the red-silver-red color combination. I know, it’s a messenger bag, and I want to save my back and all, but these messenger bags have the coolest feature—a back strap. It’s an extra strap that goes around your back and secures the bag to you, so it doesn’t flop around. I can only see that this would be helpful for my lower back and all.

Meanwhile, I will apologize now for what I’m sure will be a dearth of posting today and this weekend. For one thing, we’ll be entering radio silence sometime this evening when we dismantle the home network, and we’ll be offline until we can get everything set back up sometime tomorrow evening, after our cable has been turned on in the new place. I’m going to be a little wigged out without my always-on internet access, but I think I’ll pull through.

I’m trying to keep my eye on the prize through it all—this is just the first of many big steps we have to take so that we can get us some more book learnin’. I just have to suck up the inconvenience and stress for a couple more days and it will all be behind us.

Friday Spies&copy: Karnak the Magnificent Edition

Via the boy(s) and girl at BTQ.

This week we’re going to change it up a bit. Instead of five lame questions, Friday Spies is going Karnak-style with five lame answers:

1. Archibald Leach, Bernard Schwartz, Lucille LeSueur.

I’m casting a movie, and I need a real ladies’ man in the title role. He needs to be sensitive and dapper and he will, preferably, have a permatan. This will be to offset the leading lady, who will totally emasculate him. I’d like her to have a sort of scary, drawn-on-eyebrows kind of look. Oh, and they’ll need a best friend/neighbor guy, someone the leading man should worry is hopping in the sack with his woman, but for some reason, never will suspect. He’ll also be the comic foil. He may put on ladies’ clothes at some point in the film.

It would be really helpful if these were all completely unknown names. Who should I cast?

[Ed: I see now that I am not well-versed enough in TV trivia to have gotten the reference. I still stand by my question, though.]

2. To get to the other side.

Why did the chicken sell or give away half of her worldy goods, move with the rooster to the smallest one-bedroom apartment known on earth, and sign away her life for more education?

3. Drugs. Massive quantities of drugs.

What is the best gift someone could give THL right now?

4. Milbarge.

Who’s the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the….oh, wait. Wrong question.

5. Without question, the single most idiotic thing ever thought up by the human mind.

What is Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper?

April 28th 2005

Nooo!

There’s a reason I only ski in Lake Tahoe. I don’t even want to think about 30-foot waves rushing at me when the water is that cold.

I’ll be on the mountain, thank you very much.

affirmation

Reason #487 why my future school is going to be very cool:

On the admitted students’ discussion board, the Director of Admissions just chimed into a conversation about neighborhoods by mentioning his favorite taqueria in a particular area.

Love it.

April 27th 2005

i can’t help it, i’m drawn that way

Because I’m anal and a bit of a stress bunny, I sent my school an email asking if they’d received my deposit. I had to know.

They have. All is well. I’m still going to law school.

can you call it nostalgia if you’re only looking back five months?

I’ve been doing some cleaning out of my email boxes—I guess, since our house is a mess, I feel the need to tidy up where I can, when I can—and I’ve been looking at the emails I’ve gotten from my future school.

In particular, I was reading the email I got that announced my admission, and remembering the utter shock I felt. It’s a nice sort of memory, inspiring very Sally Field-ish, “You like me! You really, really like me!” kinds of feelings.

I probably don’t reflect on this stuff enough, because it is ocurring to me all over again just how lucky I am. I got into a school that was, early on, at the top of my list. I got into a school that meets almost all of my criteria for a law school. I got into a school in the same city as a school my husband got in to—the school that ended up being the best choice for him.

So there will be debt—we knew that going in. So we have hassles to deal with ahead of the fall semester, including moving twice and selling our house and maybe a car and finding a new place to live in our new city.

But so what? We are lucky. We get to go where we want to go. We get to study what we want to study in a city that we are both extremely excited about. We get to be together. I’m glad I chose today to reorganize my email folders. I needed a little wonder back.

head spinning

Packing. And more packing. And taping and packing and packing.

And waiting for someone to get back to me at work because a HUGE problem has developed and he usually responds pretty quickly to these sorts of HUGE problems, but I haven’t heard from him at all.

And dealing with a problem at the house that resulted from some repairs we had done on the request of the buyer, hoping that the repairman can fix the problem he caused and if he can’t, we could be screwed.

And then tonight it will be more packing and taping and packing.

Why do all the fires start burning at once?

April 26th 2005

summer reading

I’ve been hearing a lot of noise from 0Ls (from some fellow bloggers as well as from board posters) about what they’re reading this summer to prepare for 1L.

I feel like a slacker saying this, but I’m not planning to read anything law related. We’re about to move into a tiny apartment that is in every way worse than our home—except that it has a pool. I am not going to drag One-L, Law School Confidential, or Planet Law School II out to the water with my pitcher of screwdrivers (or vodka tonics) when I can read fiction instead! Just not going to happen.

Part of me understands the fear—the feeling of, “I must be prepared! I must be ready!”—but I just can’t muster up that urgency in myself. I want to spend the summer reading books that are good, not books that I picked up only because they’re on the Barnes & Noble legal shelf.

And I kind of feel like a slacker for it. I am excited for the academic rigor of law school, for the mental exercise and the learning of that “new vocabulary.” But I don’t feel like I need to start trying to learn all that stuff on my own before I start. I want to enjoy this summer as much as I can and start school refreshed. I’ll be reading, yes, but I don’t want to burn myself out before I start. After all, do I really need to read stuff like this now? Stress I don’t need in my life, that’s what that is. Besides, sitting by the pool, I seriously doubt I’m going to absorb any of the “tips and tricks” these authors will provide—especially since I’m not actually in law school yet and everything I read will be confusing out of context!

So I’m taking summer reading suggestions. I will entertain legal suggestions, as long as they are actually interesting and not written to help me game a system I’m not yet in. I’ll also take fiction recommendations, even cheesy ones. I don’t want to feel out of place at the pool, after all.

boxing up my life

The packing thing is going…OK. I bought 15 boxes yesterday but when I began taping them yesterday, Mr. Angst and I realized they were WAY too big for the stuff we need to box—namely, books.

We’ll keep them, as they’ll be useful for clothing and other soft, less-heavy items (and I can’t return them, because I bought them used and the used-box store doesn’t do returns on used boxes), but we need more small boxes. Today at lunch, I’ll go back to the used-box store and hope they have some used boxes in the small size that I can buy.

But the packing thing really is going OK. And everything else, really. The handyman came and finished the last few repairs the buyer required in the contract (although I think he blew a fuse somewhere, because one of the outlets in the dining room no longer works). I think I have someone coming to get the chair tonight. Things seem to be moving along, so I’m just ignoring that hollow feeling in my gut that washes over me when I lay down at night and stare at the empty bookshelves.

Moving is exciting but also hard for me. I don’t really know why. We didn’t move a lot when I was a kid, and I have always loved the excitement of going to a new place. But there’s something about living among boxes and empty shelves that really sinks my soul. Thankfully, this is a quick move—we’ll be done by Sunday, hopefully—so I don’t have to stare at the empty shelves for that long.

April 25th 2005

intolerance and illogic

Ed’s note: Though this post is not of a terribly timely nature, regarding actual media coverage, it’s still something I want to share. So don’t read this with an eye for “current events.”

I’ve been reading and participating in a thread about the sex scandal in the Catholic Church on a listserv for alumni of my alma mater. One of the things that’s really given me pause in the discussion is how many people associate sexual abuse of children or adolescents (particularly of boys) with homosexuality.

It all began with a post lauding the election of Benedict XVI, because of his adherence to orthodoxy. The post further stated that the sex-abuse scandal was the result of “moderates” in the Catholic Church convincing the church leadership that allowing homosexual priests was OK, since they’d be celibate. And what happened then? A bunch of little boys got raped!

The logical fallacy here is astonishing. Anecdotal evidence shows that the Catholic Church has had homosexual priests for centuries—men who became priests because of a strong and true vocation along with men who became priests because they didn’t know what else to do with their lives. (Note that the latter is true of heterosexual priests also—second sons in large Catholic families were often encouraged to become priests, whether they felt a true vocation or not. Also, it wasn’t uncommon for a young man to enter seminary at age 13, and never leave. How can you know your vocation before you finish high school? But I digress.)

So if homosexual priests (and priests with less-than-true calls to the vocation) have been around for so long, how can there be a connection between homosexuality and sexual abuse when we are only now seeing so many ocurrences of sexual abuse by priests?

We have to forget about homosexuality—after all, most sexual abusers of children are heterosexual. And we have to think about what’s going on in the Church that has fostered this behavior. Assuming that the sexual abuse actually increased and the scandal wasn’t solely a result of greater reporting of such instances, I can guess at some of the factors:

  • A severe drop in vocations led to either inadequate candidate screening or relaxed candidate standards.
  • Due to the decreasing numbers of priests, many priests found themselves in increasing isolation—where once several priests might have shared a rectory, now a parish is lucky to have a priest at all, and he likely lives alone.
  • Catholics are told their priest is a stand-in for Jesus—holy, pure, with their best interests at heart—and often do not question his actions (or are told NOT to question his actions).
  • I feel great pity for the young men who entered the seminary for the wrong reasons and found themselves sinking—perhaps weighted down by their own proclivities and emotional weaknesses, with little support from their fellow priests or from their superiors. The culture of silence in the Church would only exacerbate the problem. I do not excuse any priest who abuses his parishoners, children or adults, but I am very saddened by a church that would see the abuse happening and cover it up—and, what’s more, fail to provide appropriate treatment for the abusers! What could have been the motivation—economics? We’ve already got too few priests, so let’s keep the bad ones around and just move them away from where they’ve already done damage. Or was there some deeper, more sinister drama going on—of the “it’s always been this way, so let’s just hide it” variety?

    I didn’t intend this post to devolve into a commentary on the actual sexual abuse in the Church. Rather, I meant to pick apart the foolish arguments I’ve been reading about the abuse and its (in my mind, non-)connection to homosexuality.

    For instance, someone made the connection between the average age of the victims (12) and a statistic that most homosexual men have their first sexual contact at the average of 12.7 (compared to 15 and 16 years old for heterosexual men and both homosexual and heterosexual women). If those who later identify as homosexual are having such early first sexual encounters, who is initiating this contact? Why, it must be older, predatory homosexuals! Why is there an assumption that, because a young(er) adolescent is having sex (or a sexual encounter of some kind), he must be the victim of an older man? Is it because a lot of people still have this idea that a homosexual can be “made”—early sexual contact with another male must make little boys gay?

    What upsets me most is that this discussion was occuring among some very well-educated men and women, including attorneys, physicians, and other advanced degree holders. I know that education is not a proxy for tolerance, but I hoped it might be a proxy for a willingness to hold an open discussion. (And, to be fair, many of the participants in the discussion were quite open to dialog. It was the few, the profoundly intolerant, with their blanket statements and overwhelming arrogance, that got under my skin and made me so angry.)

    Sexual abuse is about power, not about sex. Sexual abuse is usually situational and opportunistic, which is why most victims know their abusers. And sexual abuse in an institutional setting, without repercussion, will only feed on itself. This is the real tragedy. If the Church would stop thinking about sexual orientation and start thinking about transparency, perhaps this is conversation that wouldn’t be happening.

    i’m shameless, i admit it

    Anyone wanna buy some stuff?

    attention, DC folks!

    I won’t be in Our Nation’s Capitol this fall, but Legal Quandary will. Send advice her way, if you can.

    April 24th 2005

    when in doubt, cook

    On the menu tonight, turkey meatballs (yummier than that sounds, I promise), fresh pasta (though not homemade; house clutter preventing me from cracking out the pasta maker), and homemade cheesecake with a raspberry coulis sauce.

    The cheesecake is the best part of it all. It’s a real, hardcore cheesecake—ricotta, sour cream, and cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and some lemon juice. The. Best. Cheesecake. Ever.

    Excuse me, I have to go make raspberry coulis.

    moving update

    OK, Mr. Angst hit the nail on the head. Our house has been so clean for so long and, suddenly, we are living in clutter again. This makes me grumpy.

    Hopefully, though, over the next few days, we’ll be able to reduce that clutter. Thanks to Coob, I now have a lead on some cheap boxes. Tomorrow, tomorrow.

    Off to Goodwill, to unload the half of our glassware that we’re not taking with us. Good to pare down. Very good.

    April 23rd 2005

    i’m not grumpy, i’m just stressed the hell out

    The problem with waiting so long to start getting packed up is that we don’t have time to do a lot of things—like order moving boxes online for a MUCH cheaper price because they don’t have time to get here.

    Of course, we couldn’t start a whole lot earlier, because we had to wait to make sure the whole house-selling thing was going to happen—get through the option period, get repairs done, etc. That doesn’t make me feel any better about it, though.

    So now we’re reduced to making piles and throwing things away (or giving them to Goodwill). We can’t really do much of anything else without more boxes, and we’ve run through the few ones we already had. Mr. Angst is going to scavenge at work Monday for more boxes; I’ll do likewise. I’ll also stop at our local liquor store—they like me there, I think. If we can’t get enough that way to get us through this move, we’ll go buy a few boxes at Office or Home Depot.

    The good thing, I guess, is that we’re only moving down the street. Next Saturday, with the moving van, we’ll move all the furniture and all the things we’ve boxed up. Those things that are not boxed up can be tossed in the backs of our cars and driven over as time allows and in as many trips as it takes. Since we’re not going to be limited to one trip, we can be a little more disorganized. Not that I like being disorganized, but the flexibility is nice.

    This first move will give us a good feel for how the other one will go. We should be able to tell how many more boxes we’ll need for an actual, cross-country move and we’ll have time to either buy them cheaply or get them in other ways.

    (I should mention that boxes are hella expensive! $3 for a “large box”—2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet. I think I should just go to WalMart and by a stack of those plastic storage boxes instead, since they’re a little bigger, a lot more sturdy and less prone to water damage, and and tend to run about $1.50 each.)

    April 22nd 2005

    the first of many checks

    I know I already decided on my future school—weeks ago, in fact. But I hadn’t sent my seat deposit yet.

    Well, now I have. The check’s in the mail. I’m goin’ to law school.

    i feel so…so…NORMAL

    Via Josh:

    Your Linguistic Profile:

    45% General American English
    35% Dixie
    15% Yankee
    5% Upper Midwestern
    0% Midwestern