November 30th 2006

seeking advice

OK, kiddos, I rarely ask for advice here, but I’m really stumped right now.

I am in need of a good pair of winter boots. I have these, which I bought to take with me on ski trips, but they are pretty much worthless. The sole is too stiff, so it doesn’t flex when I walk, which means I pretty much don’t walk in them, I stomp. Also, every time I take a step, my heel comes up out of the shoe and my ankle presses against the front of the hi-top (which I have to lace super-tight so my foot doesn’t come OUT of the shoe), leaving me at the end of it all with a sore ankle and sore legs and knees from walking with an unfamiliar motion.

So, OK. Those boots are crap. But I need boots! I’ve been wearing my good knee-high leather boots, with the low heel and the neoprene-like lining instead, but they’re getting ruined from the weather. I’d like to keep them for nice, since they’re “nice” boots, and not “inclement weather” boots.

What I’m seeking, then, are recommendations. I want something that’s not leather, at least not entirely leather, or that, if it is leather, is designed to take a beating from the elements. I want something relatively light so I don’t feel like I’m wearing cinder blocks on my feet, and I want something that isn’t too bulky to go under my jeans or pants.

I want a lot, I think.

I’ve considered traditional Bean boots, with the GoreTex for warmth and waterproofness, but they are spendy and, since I can’t try them on, I worry about their fit on my feet. This, after all, is how I got stuck with the other boots. So, if you have Bean boots, can you endorse the fit? The lightness on your feet? The flex of the sole, enabling you to walk like a human being and not stomp around like a Yeti?

Alternatively, recommend other winter boots you love, that are warm, dry-feet-promoting, and not so bulky as to, again, cause the Yeti Walk.

Any and all comments are welcomed and appreciated!

October 3rd 2006

All Request Weekend: The End of the Road

C’s last question was whether my professors know I blog. The answer is short: I don’t know. No idea. And I don’t really want to know. I’ve said before that I’m not really anonymous, just “googlenonymous,” so it’s entirely possible that some of my profs know I blog. Of course, they’d also have to know who I am in real life, and I think I fly under the radar. Maybe?

Andrea also asked a question about food, and it was so hard I left it for last, and now I don’t think I can answer it. Because it would make me too hungry. I mean, I did eat dinner already, but it would still make me too hungry. And it would make me sad, because Andrea wanted me to list the three meals I would eat every day for the rest of my life, if I couldn’t eat any other meals but those three, and I love food too much to even contemplate being gustatorily restricted like that. I think I’ll cop out, then, by saying that for breakfast, I’d eat eggs of some variety with some variety of potato and a bread of some kind. For lunch, I’d have some lean protein and some green leafy vegetables. And for dinner, I’d have steak. If I could eat steak every night without dying young of a heart attack. And with the steak, a starch and a vegetable and a dessert. Or fruit. And maybe some red wine. Just one glass.

And that’s the end of the All Request Weekend. Until the next one!

October 2nd 2006

All Request Weekend: what are trees for but printing my resume?

C also asked about how my job search is going. (C had LOTS of questions in this All Request Weekend thing, but that’s OK, because the four questions C asked are all good ones.)

Some of you may have guessed that the very reason I asked for requests was because I could not (or would not) blog about my job search. Those of you who guessed that way are very smart because, indeed, I have MANY things I could be writing about in relation to my job search, but I am unwilling to actually write–and post–them.

But I will say a few things, generic things, about OCI and job searching.

First, one of the most important things I did was spend some time on my resume and get some good feedback. I ended up getting great feedback first from Mr. Angst and later from a great Career Services advisor. If you don’t have a spouse or a great Career Services advisor, find someone else–a professor, maybe, or someone you trust who isn’t a law student. Law students don’t have enough distance to give each other good advice.

Second, another important thing I did was prepare for interviews. Which isn’t to say I necessarily did oodles of research before my interviews. Instead, I did whatever I needed to on a given day to be ready to, essentially, schmooze for 20 to 30 minutes. And I attribute whatever success I had from OCI to this, because my ability to talk comfortably to any number of people about any number of things apparently went over well. Interviewing well means people will want to think about working with you. And this is a good thing, if you’re talking to that person because you want a job with them.

Finally, neither of the above things means anything in the grand scheme of things. Because in large part, I believe law firms (who are the only employers I have experience with) are looking for certain metrics and if they don’t see them in your transcript, having a well-prepared resume and being a good interviewee really won’t matter. And that, frankly, sucks. Because law students, in general, have all worked hard to get where they are and being cut off from showing their worth on the basis of some numbers/letters is really stupid. I wish there were solutions to that, too, and there may be, but I am not smart enough to come up with them.

And that’s all I’m going to say about OCI. I did not have a bad OCI experience, and I feel very lucky to be in the position I am right now. I know a lot of my friends are still interviewing and I am not, and I feel lucky in that respect, too–interviewing takes a lot of time and energy. By the same token, I do wonder how much of my current situation is related to my unwillingness to have too many choices and therefore cutting many opportunities off early so I wouldn’t have to possibly have them as options.

October 1st 2006

hanging on by a thread, knowing it has to be worth it

And it’s another All Request Weekend post.

C asks, “How do you manage with having (what I imagine to be because it is for my husband and I) such a different schedule from your husband’s? Do you try to treat law school like a job so you’re around when he’s home?”

So, for starters, Mr. Angst is also in school, which has it’s plusses and its minuses. The plusses are that both of us are more or less on the same academic calendar, at least in the fall, and so we tend to be very considerate of one another when things get busy or stressful. Also, because his classes are at night and mine are during the day, we can pretty much work it so the dog is only alone for about six hours a day, total. (That’s THIS semester’s schedule. No clue how next semester is going to work.)

The minuses are that he is in class at night, which means I don’t see him three nights a week. Other minuses include that he is on quarters, so the spring gets really funky when he’s got exams during my spring break, etc. The last big minus is that neither of us is working more than a few hours a week, so we are broke.

I had always intended to treat law school like a job–the 8-to-5 thing–and have more or less been able to do that. More or less. This year it’s more difficult. I am actually on campus from about 9:30 to 4 three days a week, but all of that time is packed full, so I don’t necessarily get a lot done in terms of reading, paper writing, etc. I have to rush around to the library to pick up printouts, check out books, do source-and-cite assignments, all within about a one hour window each day that I’m on campus. So that sort of sucks about this semester. And it’s basically that way because I’m just really oversubscribed with stuff. Thankfully, I’m done with my interviewing (but that’s another post), so the end of my week has really opened up since I don’t have callbacks to schedule. Of course, I do have hours to do for my judge, so it’s not like I have two free days a week or anything.

That’s a lot of detail to answer a pretty simple question, so I guess the pretty simple answer is that we manage the best we can. This semester–and I think year–are going to be much harder than last year. Mr. Angst’s classes are getting more difficult as he nears the end of his degree program, my schedule as a 2L is completely insane, and–oh, yes–we got a dog this summer. All of those things at once means we are stretched really thin. So we’re just trying to hold on and get through it, and not lose sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. Life has its ups and downs lately, more so than ever before, I think. But we’re coping.

September 30th 2006

All Request Week: “Law School Rocks Because…”

What’s my favorite part about law school?

There are two answers to this question: the “right” answer and the “real” answer. I’ll start with the “right” answer.

My favorite thing about law school is the intellectual process. It’s a different kind of process, and it’s one I really enjoy. It’s a process that encourages you to dig into the ambiguities, into the nuances, and really dig around. It’s not so much about finding the right answer as it is about exploring the possibilities. I like that. And, as a law student, you can start doing that pretty much right away, as soon as you’ve figured out how to “think like a lawyer.”

I heard someone say recently that the great thing about teaching in law school is that, once the students have gotten through the first year and have started thinking like lawyers, they are less “students” and more “junior colleagues.” I think there’s a lot of truth in that, and it’s really cool. I can participate just as fully in a legal conversation as my professor. I might not have read as much as she has, but I can analyze the legal issues and contribute my ideas just as successfully as she can. It’s empowering, actually.

So that’s the “right” answer for my favorite thing about law school: it’s an intellectually rigorous process that encourages you to swim in the ambiguities and recognizes that you can contribute almost immediately.

The “real” answer? Law school is about four hundred million times better than work, and I go to school with some really cool people. I am also lucky to be in school in a really beautiful campus in a really vibrant city. Because, face it, all that stuff about intellectual rigor pretty much becomes worthless if you can’t enjoy yourself because you hate your classmates or feel opressed by your physical surroundings.

That was fun! Look for more request answers coming up soon!

boo

Waaaa! I just spent thirty minutes composing a really good answer to one of the questions someone asked me. And it DISAPPEARED. Poof! Gone! (I did spill coffee on myself and I may have pushed a button, but I can’t figure out what button I might have pushed. And it went away.)

Boo. I’m sad now. It was a fun entry to write, and now I don’t have time to recompose it. Boo. Boo, boo, boo.

I guess I’ll try again later. Boo.

September 29th 2006

i’ll ask you ONE MORE TIME

Apparently no one caught on to my ALL REQUEST WEEK thing I posted earlier this week. And now? THE WEEK IS OVER, BITCHES. No request-answering for YOU. Hah! (That’ll show you!)

Punchy, aren’t I? Maybe it’s because this week wasn’t really any better than last week, and I’ve been insanely busy and I don’t know what I’m doing with half the things I have to do, and I still don’t know where I’ll be working next summer, AND I’M HUNGRY.

All that being said, I am starting to sort of settle into the semester and I am feeling competent again. Not terribly competent, of course, but much more so than I was feeling last week–and for that matter, Monday. I’m getting back into the swing of things–but it’s not a good sign that it’s taken me four weeks of class to get there.

Since that’s about all I can come up with today, I’ve decided to extend my ALL REQUEST WEEK into an ALL REQUEST WEEKEND! That’s right–ask your burning questions–serious, funny, even rhetorical, and I’ll attempt to answer them. Don’t bother worrying if I’ve written about it before, either. If you don’t know, chances are no one else does, either, and who’s going to take the time to dig through the archives to find out, right?

September 26th 2006

i know, i know, it’s the easy way out

I got nothin’.

I’d like to write something, I really would. It would help keep my page formatting from freaking out (stupid CSS), and it might actually be cathartic or enjoyable. But I don’t have anything to write about.

Or, rather, I have things I could write about but I’m not going to write about them. Despite my careful omission of Googleable details around here, I’m not stupid enough to think that I’m at all anoymous. So the things I’d write about are off the table. Ah well. I’m sure I’d drive off all of my readers if I were to wallow in all that self-indulgence.

So I guess I’ll do the lame thing–though I haven’t done it in a while–and make this a Milbarge-style All Request Week. Any questions you’re DYING to have me answer? Post ‘em in the comments and I’ll tackle them this week.

June 30th 2005

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

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 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?

June 19th 2005

per request

WhyLaw asked me to tell you about our apartment. I usually don’t write about stuff like that because, while the little details make me very happy, I am pretty sure they’re boring as hell for anyone else.

But because it’s a request, and I like to answer requests…

Our apartment is in a fairly urban neighborhood in Our New City. I originally thought I wanted to live a little further away, in a more “neighborhood-y” area, without a lot of tall buildings. But Mr. Angst wanted something slightly different. He’s never lived in an urban area before. So we looked a little closer to downtown. I’m glad we did.

One of the best things about our building is that, even though it’s a tall building, near lots of other tall buildings, it’s also on a street full of trees. I was worried about the area not having necessary amenities—like a reasonably priced and close grocery store, video rental place, and the like—but I shouldn’t have been. Three good grocery stores are within walking distance, a large drugstore is also nearby, Blockbuster is next to the drugstore, and there’s a rare bookstore a block further down the road. Also, our apartment building is a block and a half away from another street lined with local shops, restaurants, and bars. Oh, and our train stop is a block and a half away—right across the street from the nearest grocery store. Tra la!

As for the apartment itself, we wanted enough space to fit all of our stuff and we wanted air conditioning. We wanted storage and we wanted a logical layout. And we got all of that. We have a large living room with space for our dining table. We have a decently spacious bedroom. We have a large, walk-in kitchen (not a galley kitchen! hooray!) with cabinets coming out the ying-yang. We have two large closets (bedroom and hall), and we have a linen closet (rejoicing!). And, as a nice bonus, we got floor-to-ceiling bay windows in the living room and bedroom and no one lives above us (there are units on the floor above us, just not right above our unit).

So we got almost everything we wanted. I had wanted a gas cooktop, but alas, it was not to be. I also wanted more vintage details, but our building is sort of bland and featureless. We don’t yet know if we’ll be able to hear our neighbors through the walls, but that’s always at least something of a crapshoot. The elevators appear to be sort of slow, but I guess we’ll live with that. Yet I am OK with these “negatives” because we will still have a comfortable apartment at a reasonable price in a good neighborhood. I think we landed in a place where we can be happy for at least a year.

May 8th 2005

Things I wish I’d never seen at weddings

At a January wedding, in the Catholic Cathedral in my hometown, a guest wearing white linen pants, a white linen backless top (one of those handkerchief-with-strings tops) and a BLACK THONG. Totally visible.

One of my cousins so drunk at the after-rehearsal-dinner party that he actually messed himself.

Eighty-five wedding guests gathered outside the hotel at 6 o’clock in the morning because one of the guests couldn’t wait till he got outside to have a cigarette, so he lit up in the elevator and triggered the fire alarm.

The groom’s name misspelled on the program.

The food running out 20 minutes into the reception, before the bride and groom had even arrived from taking pictures.

The maid of honor repeating mindless phrases out of some “wedding toasts for dummies” book because she so strongly disapproved of the groom.

Champagne being passed out to ONLY THE FAMILY during toasts. (We had a bottle of Crown hidden under our table, so we were OK, but still. Tacky.)

May 7th 2005

wedding stories

CM asked for wedding stories.

I’ll try to accomodate. I may have to tell more than one, and not just about my own wedding. After all, weddings are the main social excursions for me lately. (By summer’s end, I’ll have gone to 18 in four years.)

OK. Wedding stories.

Keeping My Cool, or How Delegating Is a Beautiful Thing

To preface, I will say that I am a pretty even-tempered person. I don’t fret about things much. I also had planned my wedding pretty well. So there wasn’t much to worry about. In fact, this particular event was really the worst thing that happened at my wedding—with close runners-up including being kicked out of the church before we could finish taking pictures, having brothers leave before family pictures were done, having one of my cousins change into khakis after the ceremony, and having a guest show up in a white cotton skirt and a belly shirt (in January). But those things were minor, really.

When this particular snafu happened, the wedding had been over for about 40 minutes. Mr. Angst and the wedding party and I had just come over to the reception from the church, where we’d been taking pictures. I was starving and people were stopping us every five feet for hugs and chit-chat. I was enjoying every minute of it.

My maid of honor brought me the last piece of food from the cocktail hour—a slice of baguette and (I think) a piece of celery. She also brought me a glass of wine. I continued to chat and mingle and greet people. And then, a family friend approached.

This family friend, let’s call him Bob, was my cousin’s college roommate. But Bob has been coming to our family reunions forever, and he’s really just a part of the family now. So I smiled widely and told him how glad I was to see him.

NB: Bob was at the time single, and he knew everyone in my family, so I didn’t send his invitation with an “and guest.” We were definitely short on space and anyone who was family and would know more than 30% of the guests didn’t get to bring a random date, only serious significant others. Some of my cousins didn’t even get to bring dates. I thought that was a fair decision on my part, and my wedding party and parents agreed.

So there’s Bob, shaking Mr. Angst’s hand and telling us congratulations, and then he turns around and says, “By the way, I’d like you to meet Amy.”

Amy? Who is Amy?

Amy was his date. His date who didn’t have a seat in the reception, who didn’t have an entree, who didn’t have a placecard. Well, crap.

I’m sure I turned sort of white. My maid of honor, God bless that woman, because she is my ROCK, immediately walked away and came back with the hotel’s wedding coordinator. I finished chatting with Bob—and meeting Amy—turned away, and found the coordinator standing right there, already aware of a problem. (This is the beauty of having your reception at a hotel with a full-time staff. They do EVERYTHING for you.)

So I told her that we had a problem at Table 9 (yes, I knew exactly what table Bob was supposed to be sitting at, and I knew it was a FULL table), and that I also didn’t know what this new person was going to eat, but that she was there and needed to be accomodated.

And she took care of it. I don’t really know what she did. But 20 minutes later as we were going in for dinner, I asked her about the extra person and she said, “It’s all taken care of!” And that was the last I heard of that.

As wedding stories go, that was probably pretty boring. And really, my wedding, while not boring, was pretty problem-free. And problems make the best stories. So I’ll try to think of other things that might be more interesting for another wedding post.

May 5th 2005

last refuge of the uninspired

I can’t think of anything to post today, so I’m going to cop out and declare an all-request long weekend.

Send me your requests via email or leave a comment, and I’ll spend today through Sunday (if I need that much time) responding.

February 5th 2005

a meeting of angsts

OK, I think is the last of the requests until I get the Tahoe thing written.

Fitz asks for the story of how Mr. Angst and I met.

We actually met on July 4th. We were both at a mutual friend’s pool party. I was in the pool, sipping a margarita, when I wandered over to the edge where Mr. Angst and a friend were sitting. Tequila makes me chatty, so I introduced myself. We had a nice conversation, but for some reason Mr. Angst didn’t get my number. I am pretty sure alcohol was involved in that oversight—on my part. I should have just tracked him down and written it on his chest. Ah well.

A few weeks later I was at a bar with some friends when Mr. Angst walked in. He called me Katherine. We laughed about that and started talking—until a (female) friend of his showed up. She tapped him on the shoulder from behind, and when he turned around to see who it was, she completely turned him around and I was suddenly facing his back. Now I was alone, so I turned to his friend H. and, unfortunately, H. got my number on the pretense of including me when they all went to see X-Men. And then Mr. Angst couldn’t get my number, because that’s, you know, not cool to do to your friend.

Opening weekend of X-Men, H., as promised, called and invited me to see it. Not sure Mr. Angst would be there, I brought my own friend as insurance, just to make it clear that I was not on a date with H. Mr. Angst was there, but wicked hungover and hardly conversational.

Finally, about a month later, Mr. Angst, out with H. one night, asked him to call me, to see if I wanted to meet up with them. I think he was trying to figure out what was going on with H. and I—he was pretty sure nothing was going on, but wanted to make sure. So H. called me and I met up with them for a few minutes. I didn’t stay long, but I that night decided I couldn’t wait any longer for Mr. Angst to figure things out. I had his number because H. had used his phone to call me, so the next night, I polled some of our mutual friends, to see if I should ask him out. They all said, emphatically, “YES!” so I marked my calendar (yes, I actually marked my calendar) to call him Wednesday. (This was Monday.) I figured Wednesday was the soonest I could call him without seeming too pushy. I had never asked a boy out before and I was nervous—but VERY excited.

The next day, Tuesday, was my birthday. Somehow, Mr. Angst found my email address on a friend’s party invitation and—men, never do this—sent an email asking me out.* The email also wished me happy birthday, and I still have it saved on my computer. Yes, I admit it, I saw the email and my heart did this funny jumping thing in my chest.

So we had our first date that Friday and we’ve been together ever since—coming up on five years now.

*I said yes, but I repeat: don’t ask a woman out via email. Call her.

February 4th 2005

how families fit into the bigger picture

I’m continuing with the all-request end-of-the-week. Transmogriflaw asked about children.

Specifically, if I could choose, when would I have children, how many I would have, and how would I fit that into my life plan?

And this is a tough question.

When Mr. Angst and I were first planning our wedding, we had a conversation that essentially boiled down to the following timeline: we’d wait until our first anniversary and then plan to start our family.

Our first anniversary was last month. We are doing a lot of things right now—looking into selling our house, researching apartments in the two cities we might move to, filling out financial aid forms, visiting campuses and talking to people at the schools we’re looking at. We are not really planning to start a family.

And part of me is sad about that.

For a long time, I wasn’t sure I was cut out to have kids. I think babies are adorable and I like holding them when they are clean and smell nice and smile and giggle. But I don’t really know what to do with a crying baby. Likewise, toddlers are precious and make me smile when they’re behaved and cute; bratty toddlers, though, terrify me. I often don’t know what to say to older kids, how to talk to them, and what they’re interested in. Basically, sometimes I’m petrified of children.

So the “when” always seemed like it would be really far away—until I met Mr. Angst and the reality of family and children came a little closer to home. Of course, once I started really thinking about it, I was hooked—babies! I wanted babies! (Or maybe just a couple. You know.) I was bitten by the bug, big time. I wanted to hold babies and play with our friends’ kids and I knew, just knew, I wanted to start a family as soon as possible.

In my family (extended family), babies are why you get married. Oh, sure, marry someone you love, but then start having babies. All of my married cousins had their first baby within a year of the wedding. No lie. This often makes me feel like I should have started last year with the baby-making. But Mr. Angst and I were pretty adamant about one thing—we wanted some time with just the two of us. It was a good decision.

No one in my family is pressuring me/us to have kids, but there’s a part of me that wants to get started soon—we’re both ready for kids. But there’s also the part of me that wants to do law school the way most of my classmates will, and not have to worry about being pregnant while looking for a job or having a small child while starting my career.

So I’m not really sure right now about the ideal “when” to start having kids. I think a lot about having a baby in law school, and it honestly doesn’t seems like such a bad idea. Flexible schedule and all that. But then I think that maybe I’ll wait till I’m out and have a job for a year or so. And then I flip back to not wanting to wait that long, and then the little voice says I’ll only be barely into my thirties if I wait, so surely I can just hold off, and it goes on like this forever.

I want a family—family is important to me. I have great parents and wonderful siblings and I want them to be terrific grandparents and amazing aunts and uncles. I know Mr. Angst will be the best dad ever. And I want to be as wonderful a mother to my children as my mom was to me and my brother and sister. The “when” and “how” and “how many,” though—I just can’t seem to figure out answers to those kinds of concrete questions.

One thing I do know: There will never be a “perfect” time to have kids. So we’ll probably just start our family when it seems like it’s time. If that’s while we’re in school or right after we graduate or after we’ve both been out for a while, so be it.

So I guess I don’t really have an answer to Transmogriflaw’s question. Four months ago, I probably would have said, unequivocally, that I was going to have a baby in my second year of law school, and then maybe another within a few years of starting my first job. But now, I just don’t know. I can see us choosing that path, and I can see us choosing to wait. I can see a lot of different options, and they all seem pretty equally likely and almost equally attractive. It’s tough if you’re me, and you like to plan.

just a quick reply

OK, I’m working on a post about Tahoe, because I think it’s one of the greatest, most beautiful places in the US. But I need some help from some family members, so give me a couple days.

However, in response to Haas’s question about the Derby…

Um, Louisville is a cool city, what little I saw of it. We drove in from NYC, through the night, crashed, awoke, had mint juleps courtesy of our host, and went to the Derby. That was pretty much it.

We got tickets for the infield (I think that’s what it’s called—it’s the green area in the middle of the track). We did place bets, but we were mostly there for the drinking. Hey, we were college students, what can I say? It was like the best outdoor concert or festival you’ve ever been to, but with horses and gambling instead of music. It was a total blast, and I’d recommend it to anyone fond of that kind of thing.

I listed it because the Derby is fun the way we did it, and I’m sure that the Derby is also fun if you pay twice as much to sit in the upper grandstands (or 10x to sit in the front grandstands). But for rowdy, messy, drunken fun, do it cheap. Do with the students.

February 3rd 2005

My essentials

Haas Bloggisms and Fitz-Hume both requested, essentially, a list of favorites or essentials, so I’ll try to comply with that.

Keep in mind that this list is what I can come up with off the top of my head. I suspect that makes it pretty authentic, but remember also that mild ADD means I don’t always remember things that are important. In other words, don’t think badly of me if my lists are pedestrian.

Also, I’ve limited myself. No lists of 100 favorite movies here, sorry.

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the untaken career path

Sui Generis wants to know what I’d be doing if I weren’t going to law school this fall.

Um.

It’s almost embarrassing to tell this story, but I will anyway. That’s what all-request days are about, right?

Mr. Angst has been planning to go back to graduate school for a while. Indeed, he probably could have gone back last fall, but we’d just gotten married a few months earlier, I had just landed a good new job, and we both figured we needed some time to prepare for such a thing. Also, we both felt that I needed at least a year in my new job to build up some good experience in it so I could move into a similar position wherever he’d end up being in school.

And then I decided to jump on the bandwagon and go to law school. Couldn’t just leave well enough alone. It’s funny, because when people ask us about this adventure, they tend to assume I decided to go to law school and Mr. Angst took the opportunity to get his master’s just because we’d be moving. Um, other way around. Sorry, honey. I knew I’d go back to grad school eventually. I guess I stole a little of his thunder.

So if I weren’t going to law school, I’d probaby be planning to do much the same thing that I’m doing now. Which is to say, I’d either be in my current job or I’d be looking for something similar in Mr. Angst’s grad school location.

It may not be apparent, but I like my job. It suits me in that I’m very good at it. I work fast, I have good ideas, and I’m valued. All of these things are Good Things.

But it’s not terribly fulfilling. My last job was terribly unfulfilling and that’s why I moved to this job. I thought this job would be more sastifying, and it is, but it’s still just not enough. I lack challenge. (I don’t know why I’m saying all this, since most of it’s in the archives, but whatever. It bears repeating from time to time.)

At any rate, let’s go with the hypothetical. If we were to stay where we are, I would probably end up taking on some greater responsibilities in my job, which I would actually really enjoy. I’d probably get to manage some contract workers, have some greater decision-making power, and could likely move up in this organization. And sometimes, I feel a twinge of regret that I won’t be able to do that. But I wouldn’t have been able to do that in any case, since we’d have been moving on for Mr. Angst.

So let’s assume I move onto a new city with my husband and don’t go to law school. I’d probably try and find a similar job, which means I’d probably end up being a technical writer or a copyeditor in a marketing firm. Maybe I’d be lucky enough to end up working in education as I have for the last several years. Or maybe I’d end up going corporate.

The gist of all this is that I don’t have an ideal career. Like Sui Generis I don’t know what the mythical dream is. If someone offered me a million dollars to do exactly what I wanted to do for a year and it could be anything, I’d probably end up doing a lot of reading, a fair amount of writing, and maybe some drawing. Sans drawing, that sounds sort of like being in law school. So I’ll go into $150,000 of debt for the honor of doing that for the next three years. And if I’m lucky, then someone will pay me to keep doing it for a while.