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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Epiphanies

As I'm sitting in my office, doing research on an issue of civil procedure where I'm finding nothing useful to our position, and thinking this would be a lot easier if I'd actually learned something in Civ Pro (our prof hadn't taught the course in 30 years and didn't intend to suddenly start then), I began to daydream wistfully about New Year's. I'm looking forward to the party at our friends' house, and my mom is taking our kid and their kid overnight so we can get our drink-on and not wake up with hangovers to feed and entertain toddlers. Then I started to think about the New Year itself. It's always a new slate, new beginnings. What do I want to resolve to do in this new year? Lose weight, quit bad habits, etc., etc.?

Then I realized. This New Year? Is going to suck. One more semester of law school, with a rather tough schedule ahead. Four classes with exams, part time internship and a part time job. Having to study for the bar exam right after graduation. Taking the bar exam, and out of town too, because The Other Big City hosts the July exam, we host the February one. Waiting anxiously for bar results. Desperately looking for work and likely not finding any. Student loan residual money running out. Student loans coming into repayment. Oh, and then turning 30. Ugh. Oh, and Husband thinks we should go ahead and get pregnant again, because I don't have any job prospects anyway, I might as well sit at home and breed. I see his point, but hell. Double Ugh.

So what are my New Year's resolutions in this year of unpleasant things to come?

First, not taking shit so seriously. I think I'm getting better at it. While the no-job prospect/repayment of student loans thing would normally have me in Severe Panic Mode, like to the point of needing to be heavily medicated as I sob hysterically in the corner, I find myself not really giving a crap. I am doing the best I can, joining legal organizations, networking as much as possible, leaving no stone unturned, but if at the end of the day I end up waiting tables, meh. Such is life. I hope I will be able to take the same attitude with the bar. I'm going to study hard, do the best I can and not panic. Things will turn out all right. And if for some reason I were to fail the bar, well, it's not like it'll cost me a job. There's always February. Somehow, that does take the pressure off. I figure I'm about to enter my 30's, I'm overweight and I have a family history of heart disease. Time to make some lifestyle changes, and one of those is eliminating anxiety, otherwise I'm going to totally stroke out.

Second, I need to drink more. No, seriously. It'll also help with the first resolution.

Third, I need to go back to the gym. This one is my annual resolution, because by the end of the year I've stopped going. Once I graduate, I'm canceling my Y membership and going back to the "good" gym, that has fewer creepy old men trying to chat me up (even with the iPod on) and many more available machines. I'll be including that expense in my post-graduation budget, but it's so worth it.

Fourth, eating better. I've been eating significantly less, thanks to Cora always having her grubby fingers in my food, which is probably why I had lost ten pounds when I went to the doctor a couple weeks ago. The kid has quite an appetite, and she literally eats half my food. I hope since she has her father's appetite, she also gets his metabolism. (Husband's one of those annoying people who eats five times the normal portion size, and doesn't gain any weight. He did pack on some weight by being off work for two months when Cora was born, but he ate a few salads and went to the gym a couple times and dropped most of the weight. Bastard.) But hey, cutting down my portions has been good for me. Saves more calories for alcohol. And I now weigh less than I did when I got pregant, and am two sizes smaller. I bought new pants the other day, because my pants are all too big, and I only bought one size smaller when I should have bought two. It's good to be downgrading, instead of upgrading.

Fifth, enjoying life more. I've given up a lot of activities I enjoy during the past few years of painful law school agony. Reading books for fun, singing in the choir (which I'm starting back in January, so I've been doing some vocal work during the break... I need so much work, it's embarassing) and playing musical instruments (piano, violin, and I'd like to learn guitar), learning/practicing foreign languages (I definitely need to build my Spanish back up... it's amazing how much you forget when you don't use it. Even so, I had always kept up my reading proficiency, but even it's lacking these days. Sucks.). I want to play racquetball with friends again, and tennis in the summer. I'd like to start running again. I'd like to get a scholarly article published. I'd like to write a book. Hell, I'd like to write a screenplay! I'd like to learn to paint. There are so many things I want to do, and I feel that once law school is over, I'll have this weight lifted from my shoulders. Granted, if I actually get a job, I'll probably be working crazy hours and not have time for all that. But if dreams come true and I get a job where I don't work crazy hours (like a job with the state, that'd be real nice), there are so many other things I'd like to do, even law-related. Coach a mock trial team at my old high school, volunteer for our local immigration clinic. Who knows? I just think that, whatever happens, as of August, my life will be my own once again. (Other than being an indentured servant to the student loan people.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Carol-blogging

As a gift to my readers on this blessed evening, I give you a bunny singing "Silent Night," a capella. It's the bunny, I swear. (Christmas miracles and all that.) There would have been (electric) piano accompaniment, but my stupid amp has gone out, so the bunny is a little off key. I have nothing else to offer you other than song, I am sorry.

video

And here's my favorite little bunny and her Christmas photo:


Cora and Bernie, Christmas 2008

Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finished

I finished my seminar paper on Friday afternoon, in all its glorious mediocrity. It has been turned in, and life can go on. Husband proofed my science, and I had to remove entire paragraphs because, apparently, I don't know "how science works." Bah. Anyway, it's turned in, it's done, and hopefully I will never be involved in toxic mold litigation, because frankly, mold is super gross and super boring.

Friday evening there was much celebration. We got together with law school peeps and had sushi and alcohol. Then we headed over to our friends' Christmas party, where I proceeded to have more alcohol. Saturday I was nursing a hangover, and then the in-laws came in. We finally got a Christmas tree, decorated it, and I think I'm allergic to it, because the sinus issues I had two weeks ago have resurfaced. I have super-terrible sinus headache. I'll go back to the doctor if it doesn't resolve by tomorrow and look into other options, like different allergy meds, nasal sprays, or having my head surgically removed. Whatever works. Anyway, I've got dinner plans tonight with friends in from out of town. In 20 minutes, in fact, but I'm going to be late because Cora's still napping. I'm letting her nap as long as she wants to, since she's had a very busy weekend of being doted upon by grandparents.

Back to work tomorrow, and then Christmas. We already opened our gifts today, since the parents were leaving... Husband totally rocks, I got an over-priced collectible X-Files figurine I've been wanting. Super nerdy, I know, but I'm a super nerdy fangirl, and my husband humors me. In return, Husband got two Doctor Who trade paperbacks and a verrrrry nice bottle of 21 year old single malt Scotch. (The scotch is so old, it can legally drink other scotches.) Cora got a ton of toys, and lots more clothes from her Grandma. We got DVDs from the parents, and they also got me a book on starting a solo practice that came highly recommended. More on that later on.

I still have some shopping to do, like I need to get a gift for my mom, but other than that, Christmas is pretty much done. Part of the problem was our semester ending so damn late. Last year it ended on the 14th. This year it ended on the 20th. Also, I just checked the academic calendar, and we only get three weeks off. That totally blows. Oh well, at least it's my last semester.

Tonight's project after Cora goes to bed is to catch up on an entire semester's worth of laundry disaster, and finally post the book review I was supposed to have done months ago. (Sorry, I suck. Good thing I'm not getting paid for reviewing the book... that might be why no one asks me to review books for money.)

Happy end of semester everyone!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmastime in Hell

Only law students understand the special kind of hell that is finals week(s). How taking a four-credit-hour course means you get to sit and take a four-hour-long final exam. That's curved so you get a worse grade than you would otherwise have gotten because you had the misfortune of taking the same class as all of the smart people. That's completely demoralizing and awful. Don't even get me started on paper-writing and how asinine the citation system is compared to the ease of Chicago Style. (Oh, History, how I miss thee.) Law school sucks, there's just no getting around it.

But no one really understands that other than law students (and former law students). They don't understand that the 20-page paper they're writing on the US/Soviet space race is somehow significantly easier and less work than the 10-page paper on the material support of terrorism provision of the INA. I didn't understand that when I was writing that paper while a junior in undergrad, for a graduate-level course that was super hard but the class was open to undergraduate students and taught by an adjunct with my (future) graduate program. I rocked that paper, I spent an entire weekend doing it, and I got an A in the class, and was so proud of myself for taking a graduate-level class and getting an A.

I just spent an entire weekend writing my immigration paper. I decidedly did not rock that paper. I did a good job, I believe, but I won't be submitting it for publication in any law journals, that's for sure. I think I got a good grade, but unless no one else does brilliantly, I seriously doubt I'll pull the best grade. Definitely above the curve though, so that's something. It'll almost make up for the epic fail of the BA exam.

Anyway, I'm waiting for Cora's bedtime so I can get back to working on my 25-page seminar paper, of which I have a whole 2 pages written. (Right now she's eating dinner and making a mess of herself.) I think it's technically due Saturday, but I don't know where to turn it in on Saturday, and frankly, as of Friday at 5pm, I'm done. I don't care if my paper is written in crayon and 5 pages long, it's getting turned in Friday afternoon. But, it won't come to that. I can get 10 pages written tonight and get the rest written tomorrow, with Friday for revisions and fixing all of my horrific citation mistakes. Then I'm going to dinner with law school peeps for our annual post-finals outing, and off to a Christmas party to see some non-law school peeps. Then to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law. Hopefully she'll be up for some shopping on Saturday, because I have done absolutely no Christmas shopping, no decorating, we haven't even gotten a tree yet. Fortunately my in-laws have the same laissez-faire attitude about cleaning as I do, so they won't be offended by my disaster of a house.

On the agenda for next week: Going back to work on Monday (hopefully I still have a job... I've been sensing the ax is coming with the lack of work). Cleaning my disaster of a house. Going to the gym. Sleeping. Lots and lots of sleeping.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saving my breath

I know this is difficult for people to imagine but, even though I went to school to become a lawyer, I'm not madly in love with the sound of my own voice. I also have the unfortunate tendency to lose my voice if I use it too much, so I prefer to save it for when it serves a purpose (especially when I need it to sing). So, when people ask my advice, in long, drawn-out marathon discussions, I give it with the expectation that I'm not just talking to hear myself talk. That people will actually, oh, I dunno, take my advice under consideration at the very least.

I think even bigger than my pet peeve about people who constantly complain about their problems but take absolutely no efforts to change their situations, is my pet peeve about those same people who then ask me for advice and never follow it. I didn't get a degree in psychology or social work, but I think I'm a reasonably smart person who has learned a lot throughout her life, and does have actual training in conflict resolution. I can definitely give very good advice about what NOT to do in a multitude of situations in life, many coming from my own personal experiences. And when it comes to legal matters, I can't give actual legal advice yet, but I can give advice about who to go talk to for legal advice, what to take with you when you go, what questions to ask when you talk to that person, etc.

Anyway, I'm getting to the point where I'm tired of watching people make extremely bad life choices and still continuously being asked "but what should I do?" Simply? Stop making bad choices. And when you ignore that advice and make the bad choices anyway? Don't call me to ask me what you should do now. Sheesh. If I were a licensed therapist, I'd be making a lot of money off of my friends and family, that's for sure. And if I were a licensed attorney? I wouldn't take their cases, because if they're that much of a pain in my ass now, imagine if I were supposed to represent them in a legal matter.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Too much husband

Husband has decided to take a weekend position at the hospital. Which means he will only be working two nights a week instead of three (but still gets paid for three) and both of those nights will be during the weekend (Friday, Saturday or Sunday). This is all going to end badly. Very badly.

The biggest problem I foresee is the change in baby schedule. Generally he works Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights, then gets home in the morning when Cora wakes up Monday through Wednesday. Which doesn't really matter, because I work those three days and have to get then anyway, but at least I don't have to wake us both up extra early. My mom comes over to watch her on Mondays and Tuesdays, and on Wednesdays he takes her to daycare. Thursdays and Fridays, however, he whines every single morning because I want him to get up with Cora and take her to daycare so I can sleep in a little before heading to campus all day, even though he can come home, go back to bed and sleep until the evening if he wants (and often does), whereas I'll get an extra two hours sleep. I can only imagine what kind of whining there will be during the entire week that he's not working. I have class every day early in the morning, so while I'll get up, feed her and change her, he'll still have to be up with her after I leave to take her to daycare. Which will mean having conversations every single day about why I can't take her to daycare on my way to campus (uh, because I'm not getting me and the kid up an extra 45 minutes early to go further away from campus in rush hour traffic when he has nothing better to do other than sleep all day and can wait to take her until traffic has cleared). Gives me a headache.

The other problem will be seeing entirely too much of him. He'll be home all day, every day, while I'll have class all morning, then having worked all afternoon. (And eventually, hopefully, having worked all day.) And instead of getting the evening to myself after Cora's bedtime, he's going to drive me crazy.

The final problem will be having the kid all weekend by myself. Even if he works every Sunday and then either Friday or Saturday, if he works Friday night, he'll just sleep all day Saturday and wake up around 7 or 8pm, and if he works Saturday, he'll still sleep all day Saturday and go to work at 7. The weekends are usually when I get caught up with my homework. During the week, between school and work, I'm usually too tired to get much done at night. Now I'll have to figure out some other time to do homework.

I hate the new schedule. But what was I supposed to tell him? No, you shouldn't cut your hours for the same amount of pay, because you will irritate me? Sigh. I think I'll be spending more quality time at the newly asbestos-abated law library in the evenings for the good of our marriage.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This Day in History

It was Sunday morning on the beautiful island of O'ahu. Hawaii was not yet a state in our union, as it was 1941, but the United States had a naval base in Pearl Harbor, home of our Pacific Fleet. What was a beautiful morning soon turned deadly as 177 Japanese planes appeared from the sky and attacked the naval base. Simultaneously, the State Department and US intelligence received delayed word that peace negotiations had ended between Japan and the United States. Japanese headlines soon read: "War with the United States."

Four US battleships were destroyed, although only Arizona and Oklahoma were lost in action. (California and West Virginia were able to be reconstructed, only because the harbor isn't deep enough for those vessels to have sunk.) Light to moderate damage was done to four others which remained afloat. Also damaged were three cruisers, three destroyers and a minelayer, not to mention 188 aircraft destroyed and 155 damaged (lined up all pretty in easily-bombed rows).

History would prove this to be a foreign policy EPIC FAIL on the part of the Japanese: a preventive strike to destroy the US Pacific fleet and insure Japanese expansion into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies (rich in oil, which was needed after we initiated an oil embargo). Pearl Harbor was a clear strategic failure for the Japanese. They had hoped to destroy the US Pacific fleet, however, six battleships survived, as did the majority of the facilities at the naval base. What was destroyed was predominantly obsolete. Repairs were efficiently made, and the force rebuilt. Further, the attack taught the US a lesson in naval advancement, and instead of battleships, began to rely upon aircraft carriers. The aircraft carriers had not been in port during the attack, which was most fortunate for the US naval fleet.

However, 2,402 US servicemen and civilians were killed and 1,282 wounded. Franklin Delano Roosevelt described December 7, 1941 as "a date which will live in infamy." It marked US entrance into the Second World War, an event which resulted in the deaths of 72 million people worldwide. A war directly caused by the foreign policy failures originating from the previous world war. Sometimes we just fail to learn the lessons of history, and keep repeating the same arrogant foreign policy mistakes.

Of course, on a happier note, for us December 7 is also a notable date: Cora's birthday. As a history geek, it does amuse me that this is her birthday. She will be getting battleship birthday cakes for years to come.

So, happy birthday to Cora! We've had her for an entire year. It's been a great time overall, (even considering all the drama she causes).


December 2007


December 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008

Despair

I'm beginning to feel like this is the theme of my law school experience:



Sigh. More FAIL ahead. My BA final is on Thursday. It will definitely be craptastic. I know I have a week to study for it. That honestly will not make much of a difference. It shall be bad. Very very bad.

I saw a job posting on Monster today for a legal secretary job, which pays $40K a year. I'll be lucky if I get a job making that as a lawyer. I'll be lucky if I get a job at all. Weeeeeeee, unemployment, whatever. Our career services dean told me not to panic. I think she might just be saying that to avoid all of us curling into a ball and sobbing hysterically at our impending bankruptcy. Meh. I'll figure something out. I used to have such big plans and big dreams.

Oh wait.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Things

Things that are awesome:

1. NPH is definitely awesome. So is this video:

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die


2. Spending the break time between classes not studying, but rather searching for phallic/otherwise dirty kitchen utensils on Williams-Sonoma and repeatedly sending the links via Facebook to a friend creating a wedding registry. Our favorite? This. (If you don't get why it looks dirty, I'm not explaining it to you.)

3. The phrase "900-page cloud of flatulence" used to describe a wingnutter's guide to history. This is my new favorite phrase.


Things that are not awesome:

1. Standing outside for 20 minutes in 30 degree weather, having no coat (only a hoody), because someone accidentally pulled the fire alarm when their backpack got hooked on it.

2. Babies with daycare funk. My kid was up half the night coughing her little head off. Our friend's kid took a trip to the ER earlier in the week for a more severe case of what Cora's got now.

3. 1L's having a food fight in the library. I'm hungry, bitches, why are you wasting food?

4. Being at the courthouse until 9:30 again tonight for the final Lit Skills trial. At least I'm just a juror. I'm a 3L, I have mastered napping with my eyes open.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home stretch

It's finally the home stretch. Last week of classes, two weeks of finals ahead.

Last night was my Lit Skills murder trial. We lost. We had no real evidence, we had two witnesses that were just terrible and one who was unrealiable at best (the characters, not the folks who performed). The judge suppressed key evidence that might have swayed the jury to convict. Oh well. That's just how it goes. It was fun though, I really think I'll enjoy the prosecutorial internship next semester, although I still have a long way to go before I would consider myself "good" at trial work. At this point, I'm acceptable though. I'm painfully aware of my weaknesses, and continue to work on them.

But, one class down, four to go. We made the official call last night to withdraw from the moot court competition. I'm incredibly disappointed, but I understand people's financial situations are changing, especially thanks to the sudden realization that none of us are going to have jobs next year. However, we are still going to fundraise in the spring and get next year's group started. I still learned a lot from working on the memo, and once the winning memos come out, I plan to look back over the problem and learn from the best and brightest. Terribly bummed that we aren't going though, and still pissed at the dean for her attitude concerning the whole thing. Not to mention, if we could have asked for donations, this wouldn't be an issue, we could have gotten the whole trip paid. Anyway, I'm saving my frequent flier miles that I was going to cash in to get my plane ticket, and instead, provided I find employment, Husband and I will go to Europe next fall.

Since I suddenly have less to do this week, we're going to dinner tonight with some friends. (Their daughter is three months older than Cora.) It will also be nice to spend some time with Cora. I've had to be at the courthouse at 6:30 the past two nights, and Husband was working, so my mom kept Cora at her house since Sunday night. Fortunately, our trial ended at a reasonable time last night and I got home at 9. Mom got there with Cora about 15 minutes later. She was very happy to be home. I think she was happy to see me, she gave me big smiles and a big hug... and then immediately reached for the dog. Sigh. I don't know why the dog is so cool, I find her rather annoying and disgusting myself. But Cora had a delightful time playing "fetch" with the dog using an empty coke bottle (the dog loves plastic bottles, she carries them around in her mouth and they make popping sounds when she squeezes them... best dog toy ever). Cora would take the bottle from Bernie's mouth, throw it (it lands like a foot in front of her), and laugh ecstatically when the dog would pick it back up. I'm glad they keep one another entertained. And honestly, if I could teach the kid to use the bathroom outside, or teach the dog to change diapers, it'd be a fantastic arrangement.

Anyway, today's my last day of work until after finals. Tomorrow, I'm looking forward to sleeping in because I haven't gotten more than 4-5 hours sleep each night. Since the moot court thing is bust and the memo doesn't have to be finished now, I'm going to bed early tonight. Yay for sleep.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sigh

It's not looking good for our international moot court team. While we're pretty sure we can raise the money to cover the registration fee and the accommodations in Vienna, I don't think we'll be able to raise enough to cover our airfare. I have enough rewards points on my credit card to pay for my trip (I use my credit card for everything), so it's not an issue for me. However, we need at least one more person who can definitely commit, and right now both of the other 3L's who initially said they could go are waffling. If they can't commit, we will need to withdraw our registration and get a refund, which will make me very sad. Especially since I've put in a lot of work on this brief, and so have a couple other people. But we can't argue a moot with just one person.

We have to make a decision by Thursday. I'll be disappointed if we don't go, but it doesn't mean I'll give up. I've learned a lot about International Business Transactions, that I otherwise wouldn't have, from working on the brief, so the effort was at least worthwhile. Also, we can still raise money this year and get a head start on the team for next year. It's not over yet, but I don't want to be too disappointed if this thing doesn't happen. And if it doesn't, maybe after the bar, Husband and I can cash in those frequent flier miles and take a trip ourselves.