Disclaimer

This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The plan is, there is no plan

We talked to one of the surgeons today (there are two), this one being an older guy and not the guy who did his fellowship under the doctor at Children's. He had a different opinion than the doctor at Children's. He doesn't think surgery will be necessary, at least not in an emergency situation. (Of course, he didn't actually have the MRI results, he only had the report from our OB at High Risk.) But he assured us that either he or the other surgeon is always on call and if surgery is necessary, one of them will be at the hospital within 15 minutes to do it. However, and I think this is because of his belief that surgery won't be necessary, there is no birth plan. He said that was up to the OB docs, and they'll be available should surgery be needed. I'm not terribly comfortable with that, but if Children's has the same opinion, then I'll leave it to the experts to decide. (I also have my doubts about letting some old guy that's been woken up in the middle of the night come in and take a knife to my baby's chest, but I realize surgeons do this sort of thing all the time and are used to it, so I know it's more of an irrational fear. I just like the idea of the fully rested surgeon better.)

I was hoping we'd be getting this kid out soon, though. I'll be full term in two weeks, and now I could go five more weeks. They just better not let me go past my due date. Ugh.

Anyway, I'm going on blogging hiatus again until after finals. At which time I will return to describe the soul-crushing experience of taking 5 finals for which I am most definitely not prepared.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Another post with TMI

Okay, I am soooooo over pregnancy. My pelvis now pops, and is quite painful, when I roll over in bed. That's just wrong. There should not be popping sounds, ever, coming from my vagina. I didn't leave the bed until 4pm today. I have some more nasty sinus congestion, can't take anything that actually works, and pretty much my entire body hurts, especially my pelvis. Second most, my back hurts, and then my chest hurts from all the heartburn and baby feet in my ribs. Get. It. Out.

We have an appointment with the surgeon tomorrow morning (after yet another NST). They were kind enough to schedule the appointment without asking me first, (when the appointment was going to be set up for Wednesday) so I'm missing two classes for it. Hopefully the fact that they scheduled it for the next business day means they are actually concerned enough with us that they felt meeting with us immediately was necessary, so we have a plan in case I go into pre-term labor. (Doubt it, but that's what I'm hoping.)

Anyway, we were less than pleased when we had our appointment on Wednesday. First, they didn't even have us down for an appointment (but fortunately squeezed us in), then they hadn't even talked to the doctors at Children's (they had to ask us what the results of the MRI were). I asked if there would be an actual delivery plan. That would be "no." We were back to the "NST's twice weekly and an ultrasound." Ugh. Of course I curtly pointed out, again, that we are paying for that out of pocket, and it suddenly wasn't necessary anymore. I really don't think they even know why they do NST's, they've yet to even explain the reason, but that it's just the usual protocol. Sorta like getting your weight, temperature and blood pressure when you go to the doctor for a sore throat. Only crazily expensive and inconvenient. Also, one doctor indicated she didn't even believe the weekly ultrasounds are necessary any longer, so I'm going to remind her of that next time we see them and discuss that idea in depth.

I have a feeling the surgeon will have something different to say about there not being a delivery plan though. I can't imagine they want to just wait for me to go into labor, and stay on stand-by for however long it takes to get the baby out, and risk being called in to perform emergency surgery at 3am on Christmas or New Year's. And there's no way in hell I'm letting a resident touch my baby. No way. It's either the attending (who did his fellowship under our doctor at Children's), or I'll just be delivering at the other university hospital and letting the group at Children's do the surgery, even if it does cost us a small fortune.

Now I just have to get through the next week of class, and two weeks of finals. Even all the work I did over Thanksgiving did not get me caught up, and staying in bed all day today didn't help. Ugh. Not only am I over pregnancy, but I'm over this semester too. I'll just be glad to pass with C's.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Long-winded musings

Husband and I talk a lot. Especially to one another. On nights when nothing's going on in the ICU, Husband will call me just to chat (of course, that doesn't happen very often in an ICU, having really sick people there and all). One of his co-workers commented on this recently. He was just very confused that we actually like talking to one another so much. (I guess he must not like talking to his girlfriend that much or something, I dunno.) But Husband and I like talking to each other. Even though we're in very different fields, and have different areas of expertise, we still find each other very interesting. We'll have plenty of conversations about medicine, and conversations about foreign policy. Husband will even read my graduate school books (he teases me because there's one in particular he's read that I haven't, a really long one on Iran... he's offered to tell me all about it before I take my comprehensive exams). Before Pregnancy, we used to spend a lot of time solving the world's problems over a bottle of wine, and years ago, when we still poisoned our lungs, through smoking packs of cigarettes. These days though, there's no more smoking (and hasn't been for a few years now), and if a bottle of wine gets cracked open, I only get a few sips which leaves the rest of the bottle for him, and that's just really unfair! But solving the world's problems... we're still on it, rest assured.

Anyway, I think Husband is pretty awesome. Oh sure, he's far from perfect, and it's possible that if he didn't work three nights a week, we may have killed one another by now. But perfect would probably annoy me much more than his quirks do. He suits me very well, in fact, and I think we bring out the best in one another. I am impressed by his strength and compassion, and he is always very supportive of me (and doesn't let me wallow in self-pity for too long when things don't go my way, a very bad habit I have). He's going to be a great dad, even though he is insecure about his faults, things like being quick-tempered and impatient. He thinks I'm going to be a great mom, even though I have my own (many) insecurities about that.

I asked Husband the other night if he thought I was crazy for taking so many classes right after having the baby, and if I'm just setting myself up for failure. I've been feeling less and less confident about the decision as we get closer to the unknown realm of actual parenthood. I know in reality that I just have to test the waters, and I might very well have to drop a couple classes and a few activities, but that I can make it through. However, I have this insanely pessimistic ability to picture myself screwing up everything I do, and if I weren't such a stubborn person, that pessimism might prevent me from jumping in and muddling through anyway. For example, I envision myself as this complete mess of a failure, having not showered in days, not brushing my hair, sleeping through every class, and my child just screaming at me every waking moment. I know it will be difficult, probably the hardest thing I've ever done, but I don't like to back away from a challenge. Even still, a semester off would be fabulous!

Husband has told me that if I want to take the semester off, I could. And that's a really huge offer, because if I did so, it would be an enormous setback for us financially, and would place a really large burden on Husband. Trust me, I've certainly been tempted. I'd love a few months off to just chill out and snuggle with Baby, maybe actually get some sleep on occasion. I'd hate to postpone graduation and/or my career any longer, but those are really secondary concerns to the financial ones. We depend on the residual student loan money to pay bills while I'm not earning a salary, and soon we will have many new expenses (the staggering amount of medical bills to pay off, insurance premiums for the baby, and just the added cost of the stuff babies need). It may have been more feasible before the medical bills, but it certainly isn't now. Also, it would pose an additional burden once I graduate and won't have an income until after I take the bar, but I would have already used up my grace period so my student loans would immediately come into repayment (I might be able to get an extra deferral, but I certainly couldn't count on it). Basically, we could do it only if Husband worked a significant amount of overtime, and also didn't take classes himself next semester, putting off his own graduation for an entire year. He's working towards his Acute Care Nurse Practitioner license, a more technical and much less physically demanding job. The physical demands concern us most. The ICU gets an extraordinary number of morbidly obese patients, and the big concern is that one day he's just going to blow out his back while turning a patient weighing six or seven hundred pounds, and not be able to work at all anymore.

Anyway, we've had a few in-depth discussions on this particular topic over the past few weeks. I told him flat out, no way, absolutely not. There is no way I'm going to let him work himself to death while I sit at home and snuggle with our baby. That would be incredibly selfish. Sure, I'm the one that actually has to grow the baby and give birth, which is pretty physically taxing, (oh is it ever!), so maybe it would be a fair trade in services. But Husband has just as much right to spend time with our baby as I do, and asking him to sacrifice so much precious time with his child just so I can spend more time with her, seems horribly unfair. (Not to mention we'd like to see each other too!)

Also, the baby doesn't need me there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. She needs someone to take care of her, feed her, change her, make her feel safe. That doesn't have to be me all the time. Since I'm going to breastfeed, she'll probably want it to be me, as I'll be a nice warm food source at her disposal. (So, at least for awhile, she'll probably like me best. That will change when she's a teenager, I'm sure!) But she's certainly not going to suffer because I go to class for a few hours a week. As much as some stay-at-home moms I've known (including my own mom!) believe their children would suffer irreparable damage from being apart from their mothers for a single moment, I really don't believe that to be so. If I took the semester off and stayed home with the baby, it would be for my own benefit, to recuperate, rest, relax, and snuggle. Which would be totally awesome if we had the resources to do it, but I certainly won't do it at the expense of my husband's health, career, and time with his family.

Also, I'm very supportive of the idea of Husband being able to take care of her so much, of us being joint-caregivers. He wants to take care of his daughter, and he's very excited about it. He has plenty of experience with babies, much more than I do, and he's not one of those guys who's all excited about "being a father" but at the same time doesn't think being a father means stuff like giving baths, changing diapers, getting up for feedings, etc. I love that plenty of men now want to take care of their children too. Our brother-in-law is a stay-at-home dad to our two nieces, while my sister-in-law pursues her career, and has been since the oldest was born. I think that's pretty awesome, and good for them! Not everyone agrees with that, however. I've seen a multitude of posts on those mom message boards from women who honestly believe that fathers could just never love their children like they do, will never understand that bond, and just couldn't take care of their children as well as they could. (How sexist is that? Poor Husband is always getting discriminated against. You wouldn't believe the amount of crap he actually got from faculty while in nursing school about how men shouldn't even be nurses.) The notion that a father just can't bond with a child as much as a mother can, that I will automatically love our daughter more and in a way Husband could never understand just because I grew her... it's just really shameful. Not only does it diminish the role of fathers, but it indirectly insults adoptive mothers as well, that obviously they could never fully bond with a child because they didn't give birth to them. I'm sure most of those women saying such things are just trying to make themselves feel more important, but I don't think they realize how degrading it sounds that only mothers can really provide care for their children. I applaud any parent caring for a child, male or female, biological or adopted. I don't see the need to pat myself on the back as a superior human being just because I will have given birth.

Anyway, so these are the random things running through my mind (and our conversations) these days. I love that Husband is always ready and willing to sacrifice so much for me, even though he surely knows me well enough to realize I would never let him do it. I love our marriage, because we share the same vision of what we want our lives to be, as equals. And more recently, I love that he actually thinks our little girl won't have him completely wrapped around her finger, a child with a 75% chance of having big brown eyes to fill with crocodile tears, pitifully whimpering, "But, Daddy, PLEASE!" and getting carte blanche for all she desires. I have plenty to be thankful for, and although I'm getting dangerously close to sounding way too sentimental and making myself throw up as a result, Husband has provided me with all that I value most, starting with him.

On that note, I'm taking a brief blogging hiatus for the holiday. I will update if anything important actually occurs, but otherwise, I will be finishing my outlines!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Furniture and Girly-ness

I took a brief hiatus from frantic outlining last night to go furniture shopping. The baby gift from my parents-in-law is a rocker/glider, and I was excited to go pick one out finally. We have a hand-me-down one from them that's rather ugly, and even worse, uncomfortable. So I wanted something that I wouldn't mind spending time sitting in, especially for middle-of-the-night rocking of Baby, and something that I wouldn't be horrified was upstairs where people would actually see it (all our mismatched hand-me-down furniture is banished to the basement den where it can clash in private).

The other item we needed was a dresser. I wanted one that was longer rather than taller, and could have a hutch attached to the top (for bookshelves and such). I had been looking at a few at different furniture stores, and most were too expensive, or too flimsy. I wanted something durable, and nothing cutesy or childish, since Baby will be keeping it for an extended period of time, and probably taking it with her when she leaves the nest. (My childhood dresser left with me when I moved out, although it has since been discarded.) But we actually found something very nice at Babies R Us, on clearance, because it's being replaced with another model. We got both pieces for under $500, which was about half the price. I was thrilled. The one I had pretty much decided on at a furniture store was over $800, and I didn't like it nearly as much. I was surprised that Babies R Us had anything that nice, and not crazily expensive.

So, baby furniture is taken care of. We have the crib, the dresser, and the rocker. We're going to buy paint (yellow!) and Husband is going to paint this weekend, and we can set up all the furniture and start decorating. I have the crib set (I got a really cute Beatrix Potter set that's in very pale pastels), and I'm going to accent with pink, like curtains and such. I'm not a big fan of pink in general, although a pale pink is acceptable.

Husband and I were talking last night about how I am very un-"girly." For example, I'm completely unromantic. I actively ruin romantic moments. Husband sometimes struggles with guilt over never being romantic, because men are programmed to believe all women want romance, even though he understands that if he did something like send me flowers or writing me poetry, I would probably think he was insane. That doesn't preclude doing things that are thoughtful, of course. Husband does a lot of things that are really thoughtful and sweet. Like last night I was doing some studying and mentioned I was a little hungry. He offered to get me something and I said, no, that's okay, I was just going to make a sandwich or something. Then he went and made me grilled cheese. I love grilled cheese, especially his grilled cheese, and that was the sweetest thing he could do for me. Grilled cheese satisfies. Sappy romance? Blech.

Anyway, finding romance distasteful is just one of many examples of how I'm un-girly. But Husband thinks having a daughter will chisel away at my un-girly exterior and somehow expose my inner girl. He might be right, I might end up becoming more girly. I don't think it will be a drastic change though. I can't imagine I'll suddenly start, I dunno, scrap-booking, or signing my daughter up for beauty pageants or anything crazy like that. But I suspect I will secretly enjoy putting my daughter in frilly little dresses, with frilly little bows. You just won't find me admitting to it...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Outlining

Uh, it's probably a bad thing when your PR outline is 12 pages, huh? Ugh. Anyone have a good PR outline for the Morgan & Rotunda text? Or a brain I can borrow? Mine has checked out for the semester.

I'm still working on my insurance outline, which is coming along okay. I've just started the Torts outline, but I'm not too stressed about that. It's only a two credit-hour course, and most of it is defamation law, which I'm good on. The one I'm really panicking about though is the Internet Law final. The class is full of every subject I suck at (contracts, conflicts of law, and just technical computer jargon I don't understand). At least it's an open book exam. The dude who had my textbook before me said not to use his notes in the book though, because he got a bad grade. Yikes! Some classmates and I are going through and sharing notes, because it seems on several days at least one of us blacked out and have practically no notes at all. One day, the only thing written in my notes is "huh????" Not a good sign!

Oh my god, finals start in two weeks. I may actually have to fake premature labor during finals. Peeing myself would probably be pretty convincing, and that definitely wouldn't be hard to do at this point!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Update

We had our follow-up MRI yesterday up at Children's. There was nothing bad on the MRI, per se, so we were relieved about that. However, we'd hoped they'd tell us the baby wouldn't need immediate surgery after birth, but unfortunately, there's a good likelihood she will. Which means the team at Children's needs to have a discussion with the docs at our University Hospital to find out if they have the resources to have a surgical team on hand at delivery to perform emergency surgery, and if they don't, then we would have to deliver up there. But we're pretty sure our hospital will be able to do the surgery, they will probably just want to plan the delivery rather than leave it to chance that someone's going to get a 3 am page, sometime during the holidays. I think this means they will plan a c-section, then have a team ready to perform surgery if necessary. It's not for certain the baby will need surgery after birth, but what they found on the MRI indicates it's a good possibility. If she's immediately symptomatic, they will do surgery within an hour of birth. If she breathes fine most of the time, but when she cries or is distressed and, for instance, her lips turn blue, they will plan for surgery within a few days and not send her home with us until the surgery. (Which is fine with me, I really don't want to take home a baby that turns blue.) And it's always possible she will be completely asymptomatic, and we can take her home and return for surgery in a few months. That would be preferable, but not the most likely option.

But still, we're disappointed to not know the delivery plan yet. We have to wait to talk to the docs on Wednesday, which probably means we still won't have a delivery plan, considering they haven't been great with getting their ducks in a row. And OB docs always like to play it by ear, so we may never have a delivery plan, until like, the day of delivery. Oh well. I just hope I can take my finals first, because as much as I'd like to not take my finals, I also don't want to make them up either!

After the consultation, we had dinner with our friends, which was nice to just relax and not be all stressed out and have a billion things to do. However, today, Husband and I are both sick. My mommy came over and brought us some orange juice and cans of soup. It probably means I am not ready to be a parent, when I still call my mommy when I'm sick. Heh.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sigh

My fundraising coordinator for ILS resigned tonight, 18 hours before our meeting. She didn't bother to tell me that a lecture going on at the law school tomorrow evening (scheduled for the same time as our meeting) is mandatory for her class and cited that as part of the reason she's resigning -- she can't put extra-curricular activities before academics. Well, no shit.

It would have been nice to know that lecture was mandatory before midnight the night before the meeting. I highly doubt she's the only one that won't be showing up to the meeting. Now I doubt anyone will be showing up to the meeting. I didn't even know there was a lecture scheduled for tomorrow evening until a few hours ago. Dammit, I'm just so pissed off.

I've considered resigning myself. The last thing I need is more stress in my life, and it would certainly have been easy to resign and let my VP take over. But I made a commitment to the organization and I don't take my commitments very lightly. And I'm angry when others do take their commitments lightly. I'm angry, and frustrated, and discouraged. I've had very little actual interest from the membership, and very little support from my officers.

I learned last year that I wasn't going to achieve anything more than mediocrity in my grades. I wanted to make something of my law school experience. I wanted to participate in skill-building activities and give something back to the law school, leave a legacy. Take an organization that had essentially died two years ago, had barely existed last year, and set the foundation for something that would be an excellent resource for our students.

Failure. Complete and total waste of time. If I could start this semester over, I wouldn't have wasted so much of my time for nothing. I had so much hope for this semester, and it all just seemed to fall apart almost immediately. I'll just be lucky to pass all of my finals.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Up and coming

Yesterday I had my law school baby shower. It was really nice of them to throw me one, especially since I know exactly how much they all lack time and money. The shower was coed, so the boys could come too. I thought it was really sweet the boys were willing to go, and were good sports about it. I had to drag Husband there, he was not exactly into the idea of the baby shower. But he had a good time. It's not like with that group it was going to be all girly anyway. There was excellent food, the usual raunchy conversations, and an arts and crafts activity involving a glue gun, turning gourds into what our baby is supposed to look like. (Apparently the choices are Hindu god, giant ears, giant boobs, or blue balls. This entertained everyone greatly.)

We're waiting until January to have a joint shower with one of our best friends who is due two weeks before I am. They're the ones we stayed with when I had the fetal surgery, and they will be moving back here when he graduates in December/after their baby is born. We thought it would be nice to do a housewarming/baby-warming event, hopefully involving alcohol, because I'm really craving bourbon. The cruelty of craving alcohol when you're pregnant, I mean, really. It's starting to get cold, and I love a nice hot toddy in the winter, although I usually drink bourbon with diet coke. Woodford Reserve. Mmm...

Anyway, I checked today and I got into both of my classes, Int'l Trade and Int'l Environmental Law, so no International Tax for me. Thank god! I'm glad I'm taking both of those classes because they will definitely help me prepare for my minor portion of my comps, which is in International Organizations. (My major is Diplomacy.) I've been feeling a little under-qualified regarding the IO portion, since I don't have much coursework in it. I think both those courses will help considerably.

The week ahead promises to be good. We have a sandwich sale for ILS on Tuesday, a meeting for ILS on Thursday, and absolutely no going to High Risk Ghetto Clinic this week. We'll have to get our mullet fix some other time. We have our appointment up at Children's on Friday for the MRI, so we have a week's reprieve. I'm going to ask if we can skip the Wednesday ultrasound next week and just have it on the following Monday, since I'll need to have the next week's ultrasound on Monday anyway (I have a final that Wednesday, then one on Thursday, I don't need to be dicking around at the clinic during all that). But it'll be nice to finally know what's going to happen delivery-wise, and be able to make plans.

I'm also glad we made it to 32 weeks, 9 weeks after the surgery, without needing any other surgeries. At the MRI, we'll be 33 weeks. From this point it becomes much more likely that if the cysts started to grow again, the baby will be coming out.

I'm really looking forward to the baby coming out. How less than 4 pounds of baby can make me feel like completely crap is beyond me. I can't imagine how I'm going to feel when there's 6, or 7, or 8 pounds of baby. Ugh.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More scheduling

If I have to take International Tax next semester, I will definitely need a prescription for anti-depressants.

Two of the classes I wanted have already filled with 3L's: Immigration Law and the Law & Lit seminar. Now I need to replace Immigration with another "international" topic course. I am pretty much in the middle of the 2L first pass, so it is questionable whether I will get into International Trade. I put Copyright down as an alternative to Trade, but it also has very few spaces left. So, if I can't get either of those classes, I will have to take Int'l Tax. Also, if Int'l Environmental Law fills (which is less likely), again, the only alternative that will work is Int'l Tax (since Copyright and Trade conflict). A large number of my brain cells just committed suicide at the mere thought.

Here's what my schedule will hopefully look like, so long as I get the classes I'm going for:




13 law hours, plus 3 hours for Italian. Shouldn't be a bad schedule.

I think Husband will probably be working Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Also, he has class one Tuesday a month from 8am until noon. Which means I should see if my mom can get Tuesdays and Thursdays off work to babysit, and also sit Wednesday evenings. We only live 15 minutes away from campus, so I can come home between Evidence and Italian. If things get too crazy, I will drop Medical Liability, since it's the only class I don't actually "need." I need the two int'l law classes and the language class in order to take my grad program comps. And I need Evidence in order to take Litigation Skills next fall.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

forcing pregnancy internationally

Legally Certifiable linked to this article yesterday. To think how many wing-nuts in our own country would hope for similar legislation and let women die for someone else's religious convictions. (Fortunately the South Dakota test case proved that the majority of people don't expect women to die for their religious convictions. A ban on abortion without an exception for the woman's health will probably never survive a vote by the people in this country, even in the most wing-nuttiest of precincts.)

Not that I wasn't already pro-choice, but our pregnancy complications have made me even more appreciative of the ability to make my own decisions about my body and my health. When I had surgery to install shunts in the chest of our fetus at the gestational age of 23 weeks, the specialists gave us an 80% chance of the procedure being successful and the hydrops resolving. They had performed two days worth of diagnostics in order to make that assessment. We chose to go ahead with the surgery because of the good chances of the procedure working. Even still, there was a 20% chance that the surgery would be unsuccessful, the hydrops would not resolve, and fetal death would eventually occur. One of the little-known factoids about fetal hydrops is that maternal mirror-syndrome can develop (basically like severe preeclampsia). I could have ended up in a coma, or worse. Not to mention the fact that between the diagnostic testing, the surgery, and the post-op hospital stay, we racked up nearly $10K in hospital bills. (And that's not including what we will owe our University Hospital for all the ultrasounds, NST's and pee-in-a-cups.)

We really want this baby. Our chances were good, and we felt the risks to my health were remote enough to justify continuing the pregnancy and having the surgery. So I made the choice for surgical intervention to attempt to save the fetus, and hope to prolong the pregnancy to full term, or at least to viability. However, if the specialists had felt our chances were slim, if they felt my life was in serious danger in continuing the pregnancy, that would not have been my choice. We would have been sad, but I would have been alive. Dead fetus is bad enough. Dead me? That would be much worse.

Abortions are legal in our state up to 24 weeks, but there are no doctors willing to perform a second trimester abortion unless it is for serious medical reasons. Sure, there are plenty of women so devout in their anti-abortion beliefs that they would be willing to die rather than abort a pregnancy that's going to terminate along with her life anyway, and hey, that's their choice. But that wouldn't be mine. I definitely don't want to die for someone else's beliefs. That law student shouldn't have had to die, but she did anyway. I'm grateful that I have the ability to choose what is best for my body, for my health, and not have those choices made for me by the government and those who lobby it on behalf of the Vatican.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Election Day political blogging

Today is Election Day, and our state is in the process of voting out one of the most shameful governors we've ever had.

This is most assuredly giving away my home state, because many of Governor Dummy's screw-ups have made national headlines, but here are just some of my favorite highlights of our esteemed governor's years in office:
  • Handing down an executive order on "Diversity Day," reversing an order signed by the previous governor that protected state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientations or gender identities.
  • Immediately raising health care costs for state employees (everyone knows you only work for the state for the benefits, because the pay sucks).
  • Blocking state employees' access to any liberal websites, or those that criticize the governor, leaving only the right-wing, pro-governor websites and blogs accessible. Getting sued over it.
  • Giving a tiny Baptist college in the middle of nowhere $10 million of state money to build a pharmacy school (probably so we can mass-produce pharmacists that are unwilling to distribute birth control/morning after pill/etc.) A private college that, at the same time, had been in the middle of a nasty controversy for not only kicking out a dean's list student after they found out he was gay, but changing every grade on his transcript to "F." If the college refuses to stop discriminating against gays, they will not be given accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, making the $10 million pharmacy program an even bigger waste of state money than it already is.
  • Making stupid comments in general, but one of my favorites was the one where he said that teaching Evolution in schools actually conflicts with the Declaration of Independence.
  • Nearly getting shot down in a private plane over D.C. by flying in restricted airspace.
  • Getting indicted for conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination during an investigation of an elaborate merit hiring system (a/k/a illegal cronyism).
  • Issuing blanket pardons for all of his cronies involved in his merit hiring system's illegal activities.
  • Arrogantly running for governor again, even though his approval rating was in the 20's, putting his pride before the good of his party, the state, etc., and making this yet another "for or against" polarizing election.
  • His own lieutenant governor refused to run again with him this year, and instead endorsed an opponent in the primary. (Who sadly lost. Even though I'm a Democrat, and Governor Dummy winning the primary has essentially sealed a Democratic victory, I would rather have seen his opponent win the primary. Then there would have been a real debate on the issues that actually matter to our state, as both candidates would have been moderates, and needing to distinguish their positions. Currently the issue distinction is Governor Dummy and Not Governor Dummy.)
  • Calling his slim victory in the primary an indicator of his electability in November.
Since Governor Dummy had absolutely no credibility to run with for this election, he has relied upon the standard right-wing nuttery tactics of fear and exploitation. Basically, that the election of a Democrat will result in the widespread homosexual debauchery and the destruction of your heterosexual happy family. Apparently prior to his election 4 years ago, our state had been one big homo bacchanalia for 32 years. Who knew? Apparently there have been a large number of fake recorded phone calls from fake "gay" organizations asking people to vote for Governor Dummy's Democratic opponent because he will happily spread gaydom across the state. (If there's anything people fear in this mostly rural, backwards state, it's definitely the gays.)

It's sad. Our state has always been conservative, yes, but still fairly moderate and not wing-nutty. Democrats and Republicans alike have generally been pretty moderate, with reasonable people on both sides (some rotten apples too, of course, but not this bad). Then we get Governor Dummy, who actually runs his first election on a platform of cleaning up the state, ending corruption, etc. Who knew that what he actually meant was just ending corruption for the Democrats, and bringing Republican corruption to new and exciting heights.

So, hopefully this is good riddance. I'm home sick from school today, but I'm about to go drag myself out of the house, away from my tissue box, to go up the street and vote.

UPDATE: Governor Dummy lost by a 20-point margin. Answered that "electability question."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Posting about absolutely nothing

Is it really heartburn if it's not in your chest, but actually in your throat? That's probably where everything from my chest has been displaced anyway, but I'm thinking, is that more acid reflux if the burning makes it all the way up to the back of your throat? Ugh. Regardless, there's an unpleasant new pregnancy development. Dinner: Maalox. Dessert: Maalox. Breakfast: Maalox. Yummy.

Yesterday I finally took my trip to the salon for my maternity spa day. After five hours at the salon, I sure needed a nap afterwards! While I enjoy the luxury treatment of salons, I just wish the employees would shut the hell up. I'm trying to relax, not engage in idle chit-chat. Maybe that's part of the appeal for most people going to the salon, but I find it rather exhausting. Oh well. Other than that, the facial was definitely the best part. I was very pleased with the result, and will have to treat myself with that more often. My pores have never been so clear.

After the day at the salon, we hooked up with some of Husband's old friends from college that he hasn't seen in years. Two came in from out of town with their respective sons to visit. One of them blogs, and we've corresponded for awhile now, so it was nice to finally meet her. Then we went to a couple's house (that we never see, even though we live in town). They have twins, a boy and a girl. So, four kids, all 10 months and younger. It's a glimpse into our future with so many of our friends having babies at the same time. Herd of babies. Or is it a gaggle of babies? I can never remember.

I am getting concerned about impending parenthood though. I'm thinking I should just forget the seminar class and kill myself in the fall instead, three law classes are bad enough. We saw our friends with the two-month-old baby this morning at mass. Mom was on the verge of tears, having gotten no sleep and having been screamed at all night. Baby was snoozing happily, having worn herself out from being up all night and screaming at Mom. Another glimpse into my future, I'm sure.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On ambition

Yesterday the Women's Law Caucus had a speaker come in, as October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. She basically did a run-through of statistics on domestic violence, reasons why abusers aren't prosecuted, laws that fail to protect victims, etc.

Anyway, the woman started off her presentation by giving the statistics of women in law, percentage of lawyers that are women, etc. Then she started talking about how the reason the numbers aren't higher is that women don't embrace their history, and don't challenge their place in society. Well, sure, maybe that's part of it. But I think the environment of the legal profession probably contributes more to the exodus of women than any deep-seeded psychology that makes women believe they are inferior and want to be subordinate instead. Any profession that tries to completely take over your life, is obviously going to suffer a great deal of attrition. However, men's attitudes are beginning to change, which I think is even more important than anything women can do to effect change in the profession. When no one is willing to sacrifice having a personal life for the demands of their legal career, when men decide they won't miss out on life in order to bill 16 hours every day, that's when the most change occurs. That's why, for instance, there's a new trend in Big Firms negotiating lower salaries for fewer hours, yet still keeping on the partnership track. Firms want to hold onto their talent, and not see them slip away into less demanding jobs because they get burned out, want families, etc. When more firms begin to embrace the philosophy that there's more to life than just work, I think the statistics of women in the legal profession will increase.

The question has been posed by a few other bloggers, about the ambition of women in the legal profession. I have to admit, I'm not all that ambitious. Part of it's being lazy, part of it's that I just never wanted work to be my entire life. Which is funny, because I also never wanted a family. But I still wanted the freedom to be able to travel, write, do other things that I enjoy. I don't really need to be the best at anything, in fact, I'm perfectly happy to let others win. I just want to feel like I did my best and achieved something good. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't. It's easy to get caught up in others' ambition. Sometimes I feel that sense of competition, and it irritates me. I prefer teamwork to individual ambition. I know plenty of men who feel the same way, so I don't think that it's a tragedy for feminism that not all women want to be at the top. It would be nice if more women were CEOs and partners at enormous law firms, or if we had a woman president. But I don't want to be any of those things.

I'd like to be partner at a firm someday (mostly so I can come in at 10 and leave at 3 every day). I want to be a good attorney. I think I'd like to be a mediator someday. I want to give back to the community in a variety of ways. I might even want to teach someday (although definitely not at a law school, I'd rather teach a class in IR). I want to be a role model for my daughter, and any additional children we might have. I want to spend as much time as possible with my husband. I want to travel, and write, and spend time with my friends. I want a full life with many different things.

But on the other hand, maybe I actually am ambitious to a certain extent. I could have dropped out of undergrad because it was hard due to a variety of setbacks I faced. I could have decided not to go to law school because it was hard. I could have stayed a secretary. I worked hard to get to where I am, even if that's not top of my class at a top school, editor of law review, etc. I'm just me, struggling with my own mediocrity, average fish in an average pond. I'm okay with that.