June 30th 2005

a rare music post

I’m listening to a song called “All My Little Words” by The Magnetic Fields. It was included on a CD I got last year at a “feting” (committment ceremony) I went to.

Anyway, it has the best line in it:

“Now that you’ve made me want to die,
You tell me that you’re unboyfriendable.
And I could make you pay and pay,
But I could never make you stay.”

First, I really like the word “unboyfriendable.” The second thing I like about these words is how well they encapsulate the angst of an uneven relationship.

Anyhoo.

And now, thanks to iTunes party shuffle, I’m listing to a lovely Mozart motet.

it can’t be all THAT bad, can it?

I had drinks last night with a friend of mine from college who is moving to a new city this weekend for a fellowship. Her new city is actually not that far from MY new city. We talked some about how cool our respective cities and how nice the summers are going to be.

And then she told me that she’s terrified of the winters. This from a girl who went to high school in Connecticut! It doesn’t seem to matter, though—she is really worried about coping with the cold!

Come to think of it, a lot of my future classmates are also terrified of the winters in that part of the country—such that they’re planning to pay hundreds of dollars more than we are to live in apartments that are super-close to campus, simply so they won’t have to venture out in the cold too much come winter.

So, am I missing something? Because I’m really not all that worried. Cold sucks, yes, but you bundle up and walk fast and get to where you’re going quickly. Or you take the bus instead of walking, or you call a cab if it’s really bad. Right?

Those of you who live in the tundra, tell me—it’s not really so bad that I should be terrified, right? Assuming I have a warm coat and good boots and gloves, right? I’m starting to think I should be more worried than I am.

this is better than my mutant daisy!

Thanks to teahouseblossom, I now have one more reason not to see War of the Worlds.

There’s no way I could sit through two-hours-plus of Tom without watching for him to open his mouth just enough for me to see the mutant tooth.

Orientation? How about Indoctrination?

WhyLaw asks about my upcoming ten days of Orientation.

Apparently I forgot to post about this—it might have been because I received it right before the four hour drive from hell—but I finally received my Orientation packet. And this is what I learned:

Orientation starts on a Friday but all we have to do on Friday is register at Law School, letting them know we’re in town. This is, apparently, MANDATORY. Even though no other mandatory events will occur until Monday, we HAVE to be there Friday. (This is fine by me, but I could see problems for someone else.) If one doesn’t show up on Friday to register/check-in/pick up one’s stuff, one forfeits one’s seat. Ouch! Friday we also take pictures for things—student ID cards, and maybe our facebook.

Saturday and Sunday are light and fun. (They’re trying to fool us into relaxing before the week starts.) We can participate in some community service activities and a kickball tournament! Oh, and there’s a breakfast with a panel called “Living with a Law Student.” I think Mr. Angst and I will go to that one. None of these events are mandatory, by the way.

So far it sounds kind of like camp, right? Hah. Monday morning, we report in for the official Welcome and…class. That’s right, we’ll be meeting all week with our Legal Writing sections. Sometime next month, we’ll be getting a reading assignment (and we’ll have to go BUY THE BOOK); during Orientation week, we’ll be assigned further reading. The sense I get is that there will be actual WRITING about this assignment, and certainly discussion of it. And lots of meeting with our section.

That week will be interspersed with other events—lunches, dinners with faculty, a mandatory reception with some law firm types, Bar Review, and even a baseball game. Those events, though, are a smokescreen. Because that whole thing about Orientation being kind of like camp? Yeah, not so much. Orientation being a lot like SCHOOL? Yeah, that sounds about right.

(Of course I am totally excited. Really!)

June 29th 2005

some template updates

So I remember hearing at one point some muttering about people not liking popup comments. And as this blog grows, I see the drawbacks.

So now my individual post pages won’t have popup comments. They’ll still pop up from the main page, category pages, and monthly archives. But individual posts will be nicely viewable WITH their comments, all on one page.

We’ll see how this goes and decide to keep it or not.

oops

By the way, I just pissed off a coworker. Not really through any fault of my own (she’s having issues with a computer upgrade), but I tried to take control and show her what she couldn’t see, and she got upset.

Five weeks. Five weeks. Five weeks.

Update: Watching our IT help her makes me realize why I could never do tech support. I know more than he does about this particular problem, but he’s so much nicer about dealing with newbies. I’m too impatient and get too easily frustrated with luddites.

Book #16

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I loved this book. Loved. Very excellent.

This book, apparently, is an American classic. And I see why. It is the story of a young girl, Francie, growing up in Brooklyn, child of the child of immigrants. They are poor but seeking greater things. The plot is not traditional—this is not a typical story, with exposition, climax, and denoument. Rather, it is memoir-like, meandering. As Francie grows, the storytelling grows along with her. Her childhood is filled with the observations of a child; as she gets older, the writing reflects her age, becoming sharper, tighter, more adult.

One of the critical “characters” in this novel is Brooklyn, the Brooklyn of early 20th-century immigration, the Brooklyn of poor, working class men and women, the Brooklyn of Tammany Hall. It is lovingly, but fairly, treated by Smith. I think anyone whose family came to America at that time should pick up this book for no other reason than to feel these descriptions.

Highly recommended.

things I’ll miss when I don’t have an income

Stag asks what I’ll miss while on a student budget.

Um, so, I’m pretty cheap. And I’m one of those people who, in the grocery store, looks at the per-unit price that’s printed on the price tags on the shelves. And I rarely splurge on stuff for myself.

So realistically, there won’t be much I’ll miss. I’ll miss being able to go out to a nice dinner every couple of weeks—or going out to a nice dinner and being able to get the nice bottle of wine—but that’s a minor thing. I’ll miss being able to buy the clothes I need and afford them (I suspect that I’ll spend more on clothes before interview season than I do NOW, which is frightening). I’ll miss…um, yeah, those are probably the main things.

Because, honestly, I don’t spend a lot of money. I color my own hair. I have it cut rarely (once every six months or so). I don’t get facials and I have a friend who works a salon who does my eyebrows for cheap. I shop at Target and Ross and Payless. When I can’t find what I need there, I go to Steinmart. I buy the grocery store brand if I can and, if I can’t, I get the next cheapest option.

I’m cheap, OK? It’s actually something I’ve started to see as a sort of flaw—this reluctance to spend money on things I can afford because they seem sort of unnecessary. Things like nice dress shoes and a brake job for my car. (Yes, the latter is something I’ve waited to have done because I have been too cheap to spend the $70.)

So I think what I’ll miss being on the law school budget is, perhaps, the progress I have made towards doing nice things for myself. In the last year, I’ve gotten better about buying myself nice clothes or shoes and getting a more expensive haircut. I’ve found the joy in buying figs at $9/lb. when they’re available, just because I love them so much. And I won’t be able to make those splurges as much any more. I think I’ll miss knowing that I CAN splurge (even if I almost never do).

June 28th 2005

lemme tell ya about MY afternoon

Mr. Angst called me to tell me he’d had a blowout in the borrowed car he’s been driving. Then he told me he couldn’t get the tire off because certain critical parts of the jack apparatus were missing.

So I left work, drove up to where he was, and we tried the jack apparatus in my car. No dice. The two systems were incompatible, and my jack wasn’t tall enough to do anything to his car.

So we called roadside assistance. Thank goodness for that extra $3 on the car insurance. It’s worth it! What we got, within 20 minutes, was a fellow in a beat-up Chevy car and a heavy-duty jack. We were back in business in just a few minutes.

Not a fun way to spend part of your afternoon, particularly when temperatures are hovering somewhere near, if not over, the 100-degree mark. But at least no one was hurt and the car is still drivable. Needs a new tire, yes, but drivable.

Part of me is really frustrated about the whole thing, but another part of me just finds it funny (I seem to find odd things funny lately). Maybe it’s a sign of impending mental breakdown. Or maybe I just can’t find the energy to get too worked up about this kind of crap right now.

I have a few hours now to cool down and relax. My mom is coming into town to take us to dinner tonight.

drowning in a sea of paper

Law School Health Center requires that I send them my immunization records. This poses a small problem, since they require that my physician fill out the immunization records section of my health forms. Unfortunately, my physician doesn’t have my immunization records on file because, duh, she hasn’t been my physician my whole life.

I have a copy of my immunization records that I somehow obtained from my undergraduate school’s heath center. But I don’t trust that they still have my records on file, and I don’t trust them to send any forms to Law School Health Center.

My physician says they will take my copy of my immunization records (an original, stamped copy) and Xerox it and forward it to Law School Health Center along with the rest of the form that they’re supposed to fill out (or that I think they have to fill out; more on that below). But they can’t certify any immunization dates and records for shots that they didn’t administer. And I haven’t had any shots done by my physician.

How do people get this stuff done? Unless you’ve been going to the same doctor your whole life, how can you get your immunization records certified? I know I’ve had all my shots—after all, I was allowed to enroll at my undergraduate institution, and they required all the shots—but how do I prove this to Law School when I’ve changed doctors so many times over the course of my life?

I guess I have to call Law School Health Center and find out if I can bring that stamped, original copy of my immunization records to them in person (thankfully, the deadline for turning it in is not until September 30) to fulfill that requirement. Meanwhile, I have to figure out which parts of the other forms are required—the main instructions say, “Law students don’t have to fill out Part II,” and page 2 says, “Law students don’t have to fill out this page.” But page 2 has part II (not required) AND part III (required?). I have no clue. And those pages are required by July 15!

Gah! Bureaucracy! Infuriating!

Update: Law School Health Center was wonderful. The guy I spoke to laughed when i said my doctor wouldn’t sign the form because they didn’t give me any of my immunizations. He said, if that copy of your immunization records has been signed at some point by a doctor or nurse practitioner, we just need to see a copy of it (not even the original!). And I don’t have to have my doctor fill out part III on page 2. I just have to fill out pages 1 and 4 and attach that copy of my immunizations and I’ll be done with it. Relief! Joy!

June 27th 2005

sanity might be overrated, though

TP asks how I plan to keep my sanity 1L.

Right now, I’m not really sure. Not having yet gone through 1L, I can’t say with any certainty what things will work and what things won’t. In general, I cope with stressful situations in a couple of ways—I nest (start baking, making up recipes, rearranging furniture or tinkering around the house) or I burrow (hide in my room and read books, watch sappy movies, drink). The first of those methods is probably the more healthy approach; the latter is somehow more satisfying. I can see myself falling into either of them during 1L if things get particularly hairy.

But I’m hoping to stave off any stress breakdown by keeping organized. I’ve worked an 8-5 job for the last 6 years, so I think I’ll try treating law school the same way: get to campus early, study and do my work while I’m there, and then, when I get home, spend the evenings with my husband. He’ll be in class at least two nights a week, so those can be my stay-on-campus-late days, if I need them (and I think I will later in the semester). I want to have Saturdays or Sundays free, so we can explore the city, see movies, continue our culinary experiments (I like to try out new recipes on the weekend), and generally spend quality time together. I think if we can manage that, my sanity will be safe. Mr. Angst keeps me sane, really, so we’ll HAVE to manage it!

Other ways I hope to keep my sanity? Staying in touch with non-law-school friends. Finding a little time to watch a favorite TV show each week. Squeezing in a reread of a favorite book. Flipping through trashy magazines at Barnes & Noble. A well-balanced life = sanity, so that means trying to do other things besides law school for at least a few hours a week. Maybe I’ll join a choir, if I can find one without onerous rehearsal requirements. I think Mr. Angst and I will try to continue practicing Aikido, and that can be a nice outlet, too.

What do the other 0Ls out there think?

technology at work for you

I just used my first customer service chat—you know, the “chat online now with one of our customer service representatives”?

Very excellent. Every company should have one of these. So much better than calling, waiting on hold, then sitting around while the rep looks up the information you need.

this is what we do when we run out of ideas

Why do drivers of giant pickup trucks like to ride my little red bumper? Every time I get on the highway, some idiot in a 20-ton diesel truck with 4-foot wheels comes crawling up on my butt. Look, you’re bigger than me! Your vehicle probably (probably? definitely!) has more get-up-and-go power than mine. So GO AROUND ME.

With that little rant, I have exhausted my stockpile of post ideas for the day. Therefore, I’m announcing an ALL REQUEST WEEK. Yes, that’s right folks, I’ll be here ALL WEEK and I’ll be TAKING YOUR REQUESTS.

What do you want to know about me? Or what do you want me to make up about the world? How can I help you and would you like fries with that? Email or comment your requests and I’ll take ‘em on.

June 25th 2005

nighttime reflections

The restaurant across the street from my fifth-floor hotel room plays music loud enough to sing along to as I sit here in bed. I realize it’s Saturday night, but people do sleep sometimes—hopefully I’ll be one of them soon—and the not-as-tired part of me wants to stalk downstairs and take on the manager. But my room’s AC kicks on and covers the noise and I hope it stays on long enough for me to drop off to Dreamland.

It’s been a long day, full of heat and sticky sea breezes; long ceremonies and no small amount of discussions bordering on acrimonious. I watch a daughter get annoyed by the mere fact of her father’s disagreement with her and my shoulders tighten. The only thing that relaxes me is recognizing that I can go home whenever I want. Adulthood is a great privilege.

gah!

Oh, and if you were wondering where I was most of yesterday, I was suffering. First I was dealing with a “migraine”; then I dealt with four hours of driving in a car—through Texas!—WITHOUT EFFING AIR CONDITIONING.

Oh my god, I have never wanted to be somewhere else more.

Posting light this weekend, due to obligations implied by the aforementioned four-hour drive.

surprised by joy

Even at events with people you think you have little in common with, you can discover common ground.

Without going into detail most of you won’t appreciate, I’ll say this: people will surprise you with their open-mindedness. That is a Good Thing, always.

I didn’t think I’d be so cheerful tonight, but I am.

June 24th 2005

getting through six weeks

Things that happen in six weeks:

  • Beaujolais nouveau is ready to be drunk (time after the harvest).
  • Ferrets, kangaroos, and squirrels gestate.
  • You can get flat abs for life.
  • Your new passport will be processed.
  • One can sell one’s house.
  • Things I remind myself as I cross the days off on the calendar.

    Friday Spies©—Kung Fu fighting edition

    In case you’re wondering, yes, we do consider it our fate to wander the Earth like Caine from “Kung Fu,” doling out insipid questions so we’ll have something to blog about. This week’s wisdom, channelled via meditation from Master Po:

    1. What’s your favorite season?

    Spring in Texas. With wildflowers and perfect temperatures and mornings that aren’t too early, but yet are early enough to wake you up in the morning with the light glinting between the blinds. And evenings that aren’t too early but early enough that you can enjoy a warm, breezy sunset right after dinner, while you drink a glass of wine.

    2. Do you have a green thumb?

    So, no.

    3. What is your favorite sport to watch? What is your favorite sport to play? Do you have a sports hero?

    I absolutely love to watch college football. Preferably in person. (Not such a fan of any sports on TV, unfortunately.) I generally enjoy playing any sport as long as there’s no expectation that I will be any good, and I’m not playing with people who might hurt me because they’re so much bigger than me. (This is why I don’t play in the family “touch” football game at our fall family reunion. The men in the family are too competitive and way too much bigger than me.) I don’t really have a sports hero.

    4. Which would you rather be: Mayor, Governor, Senator, or President?

    Queen Bee.

    5. What are ten must-own items for single men and single women?

    Didn’t we already discuss this at E. Spat’s?

    Ok, I’ll do it again.

    Women:

    1. At least one piece of really good furniture that you purchased for yourself, that wasn’t handed down from someone in your family. Maybe your first good bed, or a beautiful antique side table—buy it yourself.
    2. The perfect little black dress that fits just right in all the right places.
    3. A really excellent hairstylist who knows how to work with your hair and what will complement your face.
    4. A simple-to-make but fantastic-tasting recipe suitable for all kinds of company—family, a date, girlfriends.
    5. Speaking of girlfriends, have a bunch, but make sure you’ve got at least one that you can call when you need to bitch and on whose shoulder you can cry.
    6. A doctor you trust and like. Staying healthy is so important.
    7. A really good pair of tweezers. Yes, they make a huge difference.
    8. Good cookware. Yes, it also makes a huge difference.
    9. A library card. Everyone should have one of these, in fact, single or not, female or not. Being well-read is important.
    10. A sense of humor and a willingness to laugh at yourself.

    Men:
    What are you talking about? I’m not a man. Why would I know what a single man needs? I’ll leave this list to someone else.

    June 23rd 2005

    why is joy always tempered?

    My nephew was born this morning, at about 2 am. Seven-pounds-something.

    It’s a bittersweet moment. I am utterly THRILLED for my brother- and sister-in-law. But I’m sad because I have no idea when Mr. Angst and I are going to be able to meet him.

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    As seen at Purr Se.