July 31st 2006

YAY! YAY! YAY!

I ROCK. I’ve got mad negotiating skillz, because I talked our landlord down from what he wanted to charge us to something in the 50%-of-that range (though I agreed to make part of it nonrefundable, as a concession).

In other words, we can bring Himself home as soon as we can work out the timing! I am SO EXCITED.

whimper

So our landlord is supposed to call tonight to discuss amending our lease and collecting our pet deposit, so we can go ahead and get our dog. (Who, I have decided, I am going to call Himself. Not because I think he is going to dominate us, but just because he’s one of those animals that is definitely a big personality in a little body.) So, anyhoo, I told my landlord yesterday to give us a call tonight, sometime after 6, since when I called yesterday, he was on his way into dinner. (He was very short with me, in fact.)

It’s 8 now, and I am beginning to think he won’t call. Not because it’s been two hours, he’s NEVER going to call! but because I just have that feeling. I’ve never spoken with him after about 4pm, and I have certainly never spoken to him in the evening. I get the feeling he’s just not one of those landlords who does his landlording at night. During the day, on the weekends, sure, but not at night.

So that means I am going to have to call him at work tomorrow. And if he still can’t talk, I’m going to have to set up a specific time for him to call me back and discuss this thing. Because I want to take care of this before we leave town this weekend (which is making everything more stressful), and I want to let the owner know that we are going to be able to take Himself. I don’t want Himself to end up in rescue. I want him to end up with us.

Maybe this is a strategy by our landlord–wait me out till I am so freaked out and stressed that I just flat out agree to pay the ungodly pet deposit.

Good things and annoying things, on the home front

This morning I dropped off the keys to the old apartment. The office doesn’t open until 10, but the doorman had opened the door so that all of us moving out could drop off our keys and forwarding address. There were fifteen other scraps of paper and little envelopes of keys scattered on the desk, and one of them was ours.

In other moving news, though, our landlord would like to charge us an UNGODLY pet deposit, so we are in the midst of negotiations over THAT. Hopefully there won’t be any further problems, and we can get that mess worked out so we can bring our new dog home next week.

July 30th 2006

Weekly Law School Roundup #29

In the aftermath of the bar exam, I present to you the 29th edition of the reincarnated Weekly Law School Roundup, presented to you with (very) random song lyrics. (And when I say very random, I mean VERY VERY RANDOM.)

And that’s it for this week’s roundup! Look for it next week at Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground (now with more electricity!) and, in two weeks, back here.

dog is my copilot?

Thanks for all the good-luck waves–it looks like things are going to work out with our “opportunity,” namely, we are on our way to adopting a very sweet dog! I am very excited–he is surprisingly mellow for his breed, housebroken, not much of a barker, and generally just a very lovable fellow.

Of course, because this is ME, I am up at 4:30 in the morning thinking about it.

I am worried, mostly, about leaving him home during the day for stretches of time. He’s not a puppy (in fact, he’s nearly middle-aged), so my concern isn’t about potty training or destructive behavior. But I am concerned about him getting bored or lonely or sad. And I know that thinking about my potential schedule for this fall isn’t terribly fruitful–it’s not going to be a normal schedule, and will only last for one semester–but still, I worry.

I know that millions of Americans have dogs that they love who stay home all day and do just fine. So why am I so worried about our potential baby? That’s pretty much what he does now, is stay home all day. And even for this fall, there would only be one day, potentially, that he’d be home alone for a longer stretch. But how long is too long of a stretch? Some websites say 5 hours alone is too much for a dog, particularly if he’s crated. What if he’s not crated, but confined to a certain room in the house?

I have wanted to get a dog for the longest time, and this particular opportunity is almost so perfect it’s fate–the owner travels too much to take care of the dog properly and needs to find him a good home, he was just on the verge of calling the local breed rescue organization when I called him in response to an email a friend forwarded to me, the dog himself is so wonderful and obviously well-loved and treated (and he travels well), he’s an adult dog, which is what we wanted to get . . . the list goes on and on. But now, faced with bringing him home, I am so worried that we won’t be good enough for him. I worry that we will be bad dog owners. Unfounded though this worry may be, it is completely consuming me.

[Come to think of it, I’ve been very obsessive over little things like this lately, so I worry also that I’m becoming sort of neurotic. Still, isn’t it marginally better for me to be up in the middle of the night worrying about whether we’ll be good dog owners than whether or not our paint will look good?]

So the good luck waves worked–he’s a good dog, he’s trained and so sweet, the owner seems to like us and approve of us taking his baby, so it’s really just a matter of turning in a pet deposit and bringing him home (maybe for a short trial, over a weekend, if the owner is willing). No major glitches so far. Keep up the waves, though, for my mental health, if nothing else.

July 28th 2006

request

So I just found out about an opportunity that’s really exciting, and I don’t want to say too much about it in case it doesn’t work out for some reason, but any “good luck!” waves you might want to send this way would be cool.

July 27th 2006

i need a break from summer break

So I’m in this place right now where my projects for my summer jobs are coming to completion, and my class is starting to get busier, and a variety of administrative things are coming due (like loan paperwork, class selection, OCI stuff), and yet I am feeling almost bored.

I almost don’t know what to do with myself. I worked all day today–on stuff for work, stuff for OCI, stuff around the house (four loads of laundry)–so I don’t want to work on stuff for class tonight. But I don’t want to just sit and watch TV. And I don’t want to read, since it seems every book I pick up lately is about a woman who makes the worst life choices I can imagine, and those stories make me want to throw the books across the room. I hoped we might go out tonight, but Mr. Angst is feeling sick, and we’re going out tomorrow, so I’m just sort of sitting around doing not much.

The end of the summer is turning out to be . . . sadder, maybe? . . . than I expected. Frankly, I’m ready for school to start, to get back classes, to see my friends on a regular basis, to have social structure again. Meh.

July 26th 2006

dream an impossible dream

Ladies and gentlemen, it is possible.

I had a productive meeting with career services today. I got good advice, some of it stuff I actually hadn’t heard before, some of it stuff that wasn’t just common sense. I actually feel a million times better about my strategy for OCI now, and I have a plan!

Yes, Virginia, sometimes career services can help you.

July 24th 2006

a letter, because letters let you vent passive aggressively

Dear Shitty Downstairs Neighbors:

Yeah, I know you’re all moving in a month. That’s great — you have NO idea how excited Mr. Angst and I are that you and your drum kit and mix table will be gone by September 1. This does not mean, however, that we are willing to sit by and listen to you beat on your drums and play your music louder than any human being should have any tolerance for — in the middle of the evening, no less! Play your damn drums, but play them during the day, when we are AT WORK.

Let me give you a tip: if your music is so loud that you can’t hear us beating on your door, it’s TOO LOUD. Further, because you have seen our reaction to your loud music — more than once! — I will bear no responsibility if Mr. Angst goes postal on you one of these days. Moreover, if he has a heart attack in the next five weeks, I will immediately blame you, because I have NEVER seen him get as angry as he does when you beat on your drums and blast your music in the middle of the evening.

Downstairs Neighbors, we want your final weeks here to be as pleasant as possible for you and for us, though, of course, mostly for us. So keep it the hell down and I won’t call the cops on you.

Thanks!
Your (Legally Educated) Upstairs Neighbors

P.S. If you ever again make this much noise the night before I have a TEST, I will figure out a way to lock you out of the building.

to all taking the bar this week…

GOOD LUCK!

July 23rd 2006

sorry, just let me whine here for a bit.

I have a test on Tuesday.

A TEST.

I sort of hoped taking a summer class (particularly the summer class I am taking) would exempt me from all the normal angst that accompanies law school assessment. But no. No, I was wrong. So here I am, on a beautiful Sunday, sitting at the dining room table (we have a dining room! Huzzah!), surrounded by paper and books and highlighters, studying.

I know, I know. I shouldn’t bitch–after all, I’m not taking the bar exam. Still, I find it somewhat unfair that my Sunday, which could have been full of things like breadmaking, or pastrymaking or even just pleasure reading, is instead consumed with studying.

July 22nd 2006

farmers’ marketing

In general I believe the best strategy for getting the good stuff at the farmer’s market is to go early, when you maximize your chances of getting the best produce. I say this because, while I am sure you can get lower prices on what’s left by going later, you have to take what’s left and chances are that produce is not the biggest, brightest, sweetest, least bruised, etc. And if you are buying produce for eating, you generally want the biggest (when the price is per unit and not per pound), brightest/sweetest (for best flavor) and least bruised (so it keeps longer).

However, for flowers, I suggest the opposite strategy. Today’s trip to the farmer’s market yielded a bunch of brightly colored peonies for $1 because I was there in the last hour of the market. They are just as bright and beautiful as flowers earlier in the day but not worth the waste of transporting them back for the seller.

July 21st 2006

wakey, wakey

Here’s what it is.

Sometimes my brain just won’t shut up. This isn’t news to me or anything, it’s just fact. It’s also a fact that the times of day my brain most likes to ramble are at bedtime and wakeup time. So, when I’m trying to go to sleep, my brain will not shut down; in the morning, if I’m trying to snooze, it will go into overdrive.

During the big part of the move, my brain would not shut up. But that’s all done now and, for the last few days, i’ve actually been able to go to bed early with no problems–and sleep in with no problems. [I was starting to think I had lost my touch when I comes to sleeping. Used to be I could sleep all day. Lately, I’d been waking up before the alarm and couldn’t go back to sleep. I thought I was becoming my mother. I may, in fact, be becoming my mother, but I am not ready to start waking up at 4:30 am just because.] So I was pleased — I was clearly comfortable enough to relax in our new apartment, I was getting more rest, my brain didn’t seem to be freaking out about anything in particular.

Until this morning. And this morning was strange. Instead of going into overdrive because of something specific going on (like painting, packing, etc.), she just took off without any direction. First, I started thinking about my reading for class next week and how I hadn’t done it, and how I needed to email a couple of people about an assignment and I worried I had procrastinated too much on it. Then I started worrying about a work assignment that has no deadline, thinking I had been sitting on it for too long and recognizing that I still have half of the project left to complete. Then I started worrying about the bills–and when I start worrying about the bills, I know it’s time to just get up because nothing else will silence my mind.

So all of that is to note that I was up before I wanted to be today.

July 20th 2006

accomplishments

Today, we finished (OK, Mr. Angst finished) setting up our entertainment center/stereo equipment/TV. It’s SO NICE now that all the stuff is in its place, even though we do have a really big rat’s nest of wires piled in a corner.

The next task is clearing out the bedroom, since a footlocker is currently blocking the closet halfway. And there are a few other things that need to be taken care of — pictures hung, some stacks of paper filed, and some leftover laundry washed.

Remarkably, we have only been fully moved in for…what…five days? Five and a half?

To reward myself, I am getting a REAL haircut tomorrow, at a REAL salon, and I just ordered these. Squee!

bad weather and printers

When the weather is this wretched (pouring rain and thunder) even the prospect of free Westlaw printing is not enough to get me to drag my butt to school to do work. Instead, I plan to scrounge around the apartment and find every piece of paper that has only been printed on one side, using those to print out the stack of cases I’ll be reading today. Because Lord knows I’m not going to use what little printer paper I have. That would be wasteful. And then I’d run out and have to go buy more–in the weather. No thanks.

July 19th 2006

Happy Blogbirthday to Me!

I almost forgot to post today, and that would have been a shame, since today is the second anniversary of divine angst.

I admit, there have been times I’ve thought of calling it quits, like when I don’t have enough time to craft something interesting or fun; there have been times when I’ve regretted disclosing so much; there have been times I wondered what the hell I was doing with this thing.

But I’m glad I’m doing it. Today is one of those times when I am just too swamped to really do this post justice–I think last year, I did a retrospective of good posts–but I just couldn’t let the day end without noting this monumental interesting notable event.

July 18th 2006

technology’s a wonder, ain’t it?

God love backups.

With the move and all, I had forgotten to charge up my Palm Pilot. For quite a while, I guess. If you don’t charge your Palm, though, it gets so low that it shuts off and deletes all your data. I pulled my Palm out this morning to check something and it was dead. Dead dead dead. So I plugged it in, let it charge up enough to turn on and see what was going on, and discovered that, yep, all my stuff was gone. I even had to reset the date and time and time zone.

So, yeah, all my data was gone. The address book and calendar stuff I wasn’t worried about, since I have all that on my computer. But I had some add-on applications that I’d installed on my Palm, and I was a little upset that they were gone. Like, the niftiest crossword puzzle application, that downloads daily puzzles when I remember to sync every day. And a better memo application with better tools for categorizing and exporting. And some games. Sigh. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get any of them back, since my Palm is…old. I mean, REALLY old. Black and white screen old.

But never fear! Apparently, the Palm Sync software backs up even those things–applications, too. So it’s all reinstalling right now. I am much less upset. And I have all my data! Happy, happy, joy, joy!

July 17th 2006

Mondays don’t have to be wretched

Today, duckies, I am working from home, in our OFFICE. Which is set up and comfortable and TOTALLY usable and, best of all, is in a Separate Room. We have an office again. It makes me SO HAPPY.

Granted, I’m not really working yet. I spent the last half hour or so trying to figure out where the power cords were, where the monitor cable was, etc., etc. But now I’m SET and ready to WORK.

First, I need more coffee, though. And maybe I want to put my slippers on, so my feet don’t get cold. And maybe I need some music….

Damn. The extra room doesn’t cure procrastination.

July 16th 2006

oh my god so good mmmmm

With last week’s Peapod order, I got some on-sale chicken breasts. When they arrived, though, I was dismayed to find they were bone-in, skin-on–and HUGE. I’m not used to cooking anything like that, so I dithered over how to fix them.

Tonight, I gave it a whirl. I used a Cook’s Illustrated method for pan-roasting them and then made up a pan sauce, since I didn’t have any of the stuff to make any of Cook’s pan sauces. The result was so tasty, this one is going in the weekly (or near-weekly) repertoire.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Honey-Lemon Pan Sauce

2 whole, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (I actually made three)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1-2 tablespoons finely minced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme and oregao
1 dried bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 450°. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. (If you have time, you can brine them, but I didn’t bother with that step and the chicken didn’t seem to suffer for it.) Heat oil in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet or pan until almost smoking. Place chicken breasts in pan, skin-side down. Cook till golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook the other side till golden, about 3 minutes. Turn chicken over again, skin-side down, and place in oven. Cook until a thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the breast registers 160°, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil to rest while you make the pan sauce.

Take the skillet and, using an oven mitt to protect your hand!, place over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and white wine vinegar, and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add honey and stir in well. Add spices. Cook about 5 minutes until reduced and slightly thickened. Whisk in butter to finish.

Serve chicken topped with sauce. YUM.

it’s a sunshine day

Mr. Angst and I went to the beach today.

I always think that I love the beach. And I do, especially when it’s a freshwater beach. But I really dislike sand. That is problematic for going to the beach. And the beach we went to, unlike the Gulf Coast beaches of my childhood, didn’t seem to have a shower station or other kind of facility for rinsing the sand off on one’s way home. That’s also a problem. Sand in shoes hurts. Sand in other places chafes. Sand in your apartment is a pain to clean up.

But I do love the beach–the parts that involve laying in the sun and going in the water. I wish the beaches here were also the kinds of places where you could sip a cold beer while laying in the sun and going in the water. But alas, no alcohol. [Honestly, this is not such a big deal, since I trust myself to behave like an adult while drinking at the beach but I don’t trust the 22-year-olds who were right behind us to not act like fools.] I digress, though.

The best part about spending a couple of hours at the beach is the pleasant languidness you feel when you get home. If you do it right, the sun will leech just enough energy from you that you feel sort of soft and floaty, similar to the way you feel after a good run.

Happy Sunday, all.