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, May 25, 2009


My kid's been alive for what, like, 18 months now? She apparently believes this entitles her to have opinions of her own. The worst example being that I have purchased three pairs of adorable sandals she refuses to allow touch her feet. Sandals are obviously not real shoes and the world will end if she wears them. She emphatically shakes her head when I present them to her, and wails in agony if I actually put them on her feet. I'm definitely getting a taste of toddler angst, which is going to be oodles of fun, I'm sure.

Things Cora really likes: The Sound of Her Own Voice (great... a lawyer in training), Shoes, Handbags, Sunglasses, Cell Phones, Staircases, the Park (particularly the slides), Books, Balls, Balloons, Anything Spherical, Ducks, Dogs, Animals in General, Toilet Water, Bugs, and Mandarin Oranges

Things Cora hates: Daddy Leaving the Room, Elevators, Six-Hour-Long Car Rides, Sitting in a High Chair Once She's Done Eating, Sandals, Pedicures, Leaving the Park, Swings, and a Big Yellow Chicken [that, when you press the wing, it plays the chicken dance song, flaps its wings and moves back and forth... terrifying]

Aside from her likes and dislikes, she doesn't actually say "no" or "yes" yet, but she shakes her head for "no" and nods her head for "yes." They're practically the only common toddler words not in her vocabulary, and I'm not complaining. The point still gets across though. "No, you horrible lady, I do not intend to leave the park and return home, I have only gone down the slide 37 times!" is the meaning behind the dirty look she gives me as she shakes her head and babbles something at me in toddler speak that I'm pretty sure is an expletive. (I'm her mother, I read her thoughts.) And then on the walk home, when she runs up to someone else's porch, sits down and waves, "bye!" that means, "I have found a new home. Surely these people will allow me to run into traffic, eat rocks and roll around in bird poop. You, however, totally suck, Lady." It is apparent that we will have a very long 16 1/2 years to come.

Cora in a box... equipped with my cell phone, an egg, and a maraca

Cora with her new tricycle, a gift from her cousin (they're best buds)

Getting a little push


The view from my canopy bed at the pool...

If you have some vacation time and a little extra cash, I highly recommend taking a trip to Mexico right now, particularly Quintana Roo. It is super cheap to fly there right now, and it is super empty of tourists. Our resort wasn't all-inclusive, and of course there is a big mark-up on food and alcohol, but we still ate and drank ourselves stupid (oh I think I gained 15 pounds, ugh) and spent about $100/day, also including activities and shopping. And did I mention we drank a whole helluva lot? Oh man did we drink a lot.

We had a great time. The weather was (nearly) perfect. It was a little muggy when we first got there, and rained for a couple hours one day. (I simply laid in the lounge chair under an umbrella and continued reading my book and nursing my really crazily strong Mai Tai.)

We stayed at Grand Mayan Riviera Maya, which is a beautiful, and currently very empty, resort. Our friends' parents have a timeshare and got us the place there. It was their 5-year anniversary (yay!) and they invited us along since the "room" is actually a two-bedroom condo that sleeps 12 and has two bathrooms, a kitchen, living room and private balcony. The only complaint we had was the beds totally sucked. And as much as we drank, all-inclusive would be much cheaper. (Seriously. We drank a lot.) So when we return someday, I think we'll go with that option (since the hotel room won't be practically free next time!). But, if you aren't drinking 10+ mixed drinks a day, and making a glutton of yourself, the regular resort is probably the way to go!

Our friends got there the day before we did. When we arrived on Sunday evening, we took our stuff to the room then went out to look for them (I'll call them H and L). We were able to find H in the pool (trashed off his ass since he'd been in the pool drinking for 7 hours) where he'd made friends with a large boisterous guy and some other people (pretty much the only people at the resort). We hung out in the pool for awhile until the pool bar closed (a bar inside a pool, how awesome is that), and made friends too, which was really cool since the resort was practically empty and we were the ones who weren't going to let swine flu half-way across the country deter us from our vacations. H left the pool, and then L went off to find him, since he was shitwrecked (although she wasn't much more sober). Apparently after H left the pool, he got into a scuffle with a giant lizard, or possibly a giant moth, or possibly a flock of angry flamingos, and when L caught up with him, he was outside our room being attended to by resort security and a paramedic for the gashes in his shin. No stitches required though, nor any trips to a Mexican hospital. He has no memory of how his injury occurred. Seven hours of drinking in the pool will do that! (Like I said, we drank a lot.)

My Mai Tai and a nerdy but fun book on int'l relations. Yay for reading for pleasure!

The view from our private balcony

In addition to hanging out at the resort in Riviera Maya, which also had beach access (the beach is too rocky to really enjoy, however), we went to Playa del Carmen for some shopping and awesome beach time (and since we couldn't find a restroom, L and I changed on the beach while trying not to scare any locals with our pasty white asses). We also had one of the most fabulous meals ever, which included some awesome shrimp empanadas and a mango margarita that was super strong, whew!

We also spent one day doing an all-inclusive "luxury bus tour" to Chichen Itza. All-you-can-drink beer and mixed drinks on the bus, a lunch buffet and open bar again, and a guided tour of Chichen Itza, with a pit stop to the Cenote (sinkhole) for a swim and lunch. It was hot, but not unbearable (on our last trip to Mexico, we went to Tulum and Xel-Ha, and it was so unbearably hot and muggy I thought I was going to stroke out). Unfortunately, they don't let you climb the pyramid anymore, but it was still pretty awesome. (I'm an archaeology nerd, so it's a life-long dream of mine to visit the site.)

Chichen Itza and our tour group

Diving into the cenote

In addition, Husband and I also went parasailing for the first time. We went out from the beach on Riviera Maya, took a jet ski to the boat where we geared up and sailed off the boat. It was breathtaking, I definitely recommend it! We always talked about doing it and then never did, so we finally did it. It was expensive but so worth it, it was totally cool. I love adventurous sports that requires little athletic ability on my part (because I have none, and I have no sense of balance). Stuff like scuba diving, rappelling, rafting, etc. I'd love to try waterskiing, but I'm pretty sure that requires balance, so that would probably be something I would suck at.

The guacamole was so fantastic, we had it every day (thus why my pants are tight). On our last night, we went to the very expensive (but so worth it) dinner buffet with open bar and "Mexican entertainment." I definitely ate and drank my money's worth (I woke up the next morning still full! Ugh! So fat!). The show... oh my. First, there was the mariachi band. Okay, makes sense. Then there's a Mexican-flavored Vegas-type show, with scantily-clad dancers and acrobats and we even saw this one dude's junk. (The final costumes were these skin tight white pants for the guys, and they weren't wearing anything under them... as evidenced by the fact that one dancer had a rip down the middle of his crotch. Even worse that part of the choreography included side kicks. Wardrobe malfunction!)

Then we flew home on Friday with no problems. Spent some much-needed snuggle time with Cora, who apparently was acting out at daycare in protest of us being gone, throwing tantrums and shoving other little girls out of their chairs because she wanted to sit there instead of her own chair. But overall she did fine. My mom watched her for the week, and one of my law school friends babysat one night while mom was at church. Then Saturday we headed up to Chicago (the western 'burbs) to see family, since Husband's sister and nieces (who live out west) are here visiting the sister who lives in Illinois. Cora got to play with all four of her cousins, and Husband's parents are here visiting too. Cora especially bonded with her youngest cousin, who is four. They had such a great time together, it was adorable. We're leaving tomorrow morning, before the family picnic, however, because Husband has to be back at the hospital on Tuesday for clinicals, and I'd really like to spend some time relaxing before BarBri on Thursday. But it does suck we'll miss seeing all of Husband's cousins (he has like 30 of them), and aunts/uncles. We're hoping to get home by early evening and get things back to normal!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


We leave in the afternoon for Mexico! Hurray!

I remember when vacationing was so much more spontaneous. For this vacation, I:

1. Purchased interruption/cancellation and medical insurance. How grown-up and lawyer-like.
2. Registered our trip with the State Dept., so in case there are any freak hurricanes, they know to look for us.
3. Updated our life insurance policies to include the kid as a beneficiary (in case the State Dept doesn't find us in the hurricane).
4. Hand-wrote a will, in compliance with state law (again, in case we're lost at sea); and
5. Wrote out all the emergency contact information for my mother, who is watching Cora this week while we're gone.

Whew. Not only that, but in order to pack Husband's stuff, I had to,GASP! clean his side of the bedroom. You wouldn't believe the crap I found over there, it was frightening and disgusting. But it's (mostly) cleaned and organized now. When we get back from vacation, I have to start cleaning my side of the bedroom, which isn't really bad, it's just covered in mounds of clean laundry that I'm too tired to put away because it's 2:30 in the morning. But in 17 hours, I'll be in Riviera Maya, enjoying margaritas and cabana boys. Hells yeah!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Life after law school

1. Graduation weekend and partying like a rock star. Friday after graduation, I had a party at my house where we killed two fifths of bourbon, then off to the "homo bar" after everyone left to continue knocking back drinks, including several rounds of shots, and dancing the night away. One friend was so drunk, we were actually asked to leave after he crashed to the floor along with his bar stool. Win. However, I realized I'm too old for all that partying and paid for it by spending the next afternoon praying to the porcelain goddess and sleeping several hours on the bathroom floor. I finally regained consciousness about 8pm. I felt really bad because I had to "call in sick" to my volunteer engagement with the local ballet. They didn't *really* need me, but I still felt guilty.

Anyway, I still had another party to attend Saturday evening, although I didn't go crazy and made it home before 2am. The only alcohol I drank was some champagne from a can through a bendy straw, and the obligatory glass of Mad Housewife Chardonnay. The Mad Housewife Chardonnay was the Bottle of Shame from a wine tasting party/fundraiser we attended 1L year where you bring four bottles of the same wine. Three bottles are assigned a number, wrapped up, and put out for tasting. The group that brings the best wine, takes home the fourth bottle of all the other groups, except for the group that brings the worst bottle, they have to take home their Bottle of Shame. It was a very large fundraiser, with about 80 groups. During the blind taste-test, we rated the wine "smells like pee" and "tastes like feet." Apparently, the other attendees agreed, and that bottle of Mad Housewife Chardonnay went home with my friends. We agreed it was to be saved for graduation. More than two years later, the Bottle of Shame tasted even worse. It actually had gotten even more yellow with age, and was slightly more rancid in taste. It was a fitting way to toast the end of law school, which also gets more rancid over time.

2. Mother's Day. Husband worked the night before, so he slept most of the day. Cora's godfather was in town for my graduation, and he watched her for a couple hours while I hit the mall with a girlfriend and got lunch. Then my mom came over and we took Cora to the park. Afterward, he had to leave to drive the few hours out to see his mom, and Cora was just not having it. She was convinced she was going with him. She kept waving to me and saying "BYE!" when he'd get close to the door. We walked him out to the car, and he had her in his lap in the driver's seat, and again, she kept waving to me and saying, "BYE!" We finally distracted her with playing in the yard long enough that he could leave without her melting down. When she realized he'd left, she waved where his car was and, frowning, she said in this pitiful little voice, "Bye." She cheered up as we ate dinner, take-out from our favorite Italian restaurant.

Oh, and kudos to SNL/The Lonely Island for this Mother's Day goody. If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right...

3. Vacations. We had to reschedule the trip we were going to take up to Niagara Falls this week to visit family, because of that family's medical issues. Hopefully we'll be able to try again in June. We are going to Mexico on Sunday, since things seem to have calmed down, attractions have reopened and the flights *should* go smoothly. And since everyone's scared of swine flu and canceled their trips, we should get really good service since the locals will just be glad someone, anyone, is there spending money. The area is really hurting right now, since tourism is its bread and butter.

4. Bar/Bri. Better be sending my ridiculously overpriced bar review materials soon. I wanted to get some studying done this week since I'll be vacationing so much this summer, I need to get started. Everyone else has already gotten their stuff. Mine is MIA. Fail. On the bright side, my future boss sent me a big fat check as reimbursement for the course. If only he had offered me a shoe stipend, oh well.

5. Extra cash for shoes. I'm having a chat with a recruiter tomorrow about doing some temp work over the summer as a legal secretary. I didn't want to work as a clerk because it would be too exhausting doing research/document review and then coming home and doing bar review, so I quit my clerk job instead of working over the summer. But I figure typing off a tape and making some phone calls won't be too bad. I don't need the money that badly, but I don't want to rack up too much credit card debt over the summer, and then spend the first year of my new job paying off my credit cards. So, some extra cash would be nice. It'll help to make some quick contacts too at firms I'm not familiar with.

So, that's that. I need to clean the house, go to the gym, and pack for Mexico. Oh, and hit the salon! Yay, summer!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

No More Law School

I am officially done with law school. (insert cheer here)

I took my last final (for Family Law) this morning. I cleaned out my locker at the law school and took off the lock. I stopped by my former office and dropped off my key and said adieu to my former boss and coworkers. I got my oil changed (or more like oil added, since my oil light has been lighting up whenever I make a sharp turn... oops). I had lunch with Husband at a Mediterranean restaurant and then sat outside reading the first chapter of Dr. Herring's book (Finally! I'm so excited! I get to read for fun!). I got a manicure/pedicure with my law school girlfriends. I had pseudo-Mexican food and margaritas (yay for kicking French imperialist butt... but especially margaritas). I played with my kid. It was a really good day.

Tomorrow I'm getting my eyes checked for the first time in three years, since law school has done considerable damage to my sight. Just in time too, I'm finally out of contact lenses. My glasses are even older than three years, I can't remember the last time I got the lenses changed. Then I need to start cleaning the house, which is a disgusting mess. And cleaning my car, which has basically been my library/garbage depository. And finally get caught up with the bazillion loads of laundry, and pack away Cora's 12 month stuff, since she's grown out of most of it and is now wearing 18 month stuff. Finally, if Husband gets his take-home exam finished tomorrow, we're going to go out for a night on the town and send Cora off with my mother for the night.

And finally, Thursday night is a law school mixer at our alumni country club and Friday is graduation.

For the first time in 25 years, I won't be a student. I'm graduating.

Dude, I'm finally a lawyer.