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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's over

Hopefully it stays over. What an awful experience, I want to sleep for a week. Suckily, I'm driving for 10 hours tomorrow, I'll sleep next week. So here's the bar exam recap:

Last week, I continuously freaked the hell out, studying 14 hours a day and doing every possible practice multiple choice problem Bar/Bri provided. Seriously. Then Sunday night, I stopped studying, watched the latest episode of True Blood and tried to relax and chill the hell out.

On Monday, I got up early to spend some time with Cora before taking her to daycare. The past two weeks had been pretty sucky, and I hadn't seen much of her at all. We had breakfast, then I took her to daycare in time for water time. (They have "water days" on Mondays during the summer.) After that, I got a much-needed manicure and pedicure, had lunch with a classmate, then headed out of town and to the hotel.

I did a little bit of studying at the hotel on Monday afternoon, but then went for a nice relaxing swim. I met up with a few friends, and we decided to escape the hotel for dinner and have an adventure. Without a clear idea of where to even go, the four of us hopped in the car and ended up trying to find this Mediterranean restaurant from the GPS. Unfortunately, it didn't exist (at least, we never found it). There was another Mediterranean restaurant that had just opened, however, when the lady had to call the owner to ask how to make a gyro, we decided to go somewhere else. Instead, we wandered into this "winery and bistro" that was absolutely fabulous. I had a half-rack of lamb with mint gnocchi, that was just awesome. I'm definitely going back there sometime. They have a large selection of their own infused vodka that I would have loved to try had that pesky bar exam not been going on the next morning. But it was relaxing and fun and just serendipitous. It was really what I needed the day before.

On Tuesday I was nervous as hell. I took a Nyquil the night before so I would actually sleep, and had room service breakfast delivered so I would actually wake up. I got up early enough to review my notes some and make sure that my brain was working. Registration was a zoo, with all the laptop insanity. First on the agenda was the state-specific essays, written by our state examiners. The topics were fantastic for me, because most were MBE topics, and there was nothing awful from some class I never even took, like Admin or Federal Estate Tax (I still don't know what the hell a QTIP is, other than something you clean ear wax with). Anyway, it was Torts, Evidence, Real Property, Contracts, Family Law and Corporations. I knocked it out of the park. I mean, completely. I made it my bitch.

Then we get stuck in the examination room for Epic Technology Fail. The tech guys were not so on top of it. For example, my table-mate was using a Mac and when she tried saving her exam to the thumb drive, her computer went into meltdown mode. Tech Dude comes over, takes a look at it and goes, "Man, I've never seen a Mac crash that hard before." Ol' Girl turns three shades of green. Yeah, not so great with the customer service. They managed to get her exam onto a thumb drive finally, though. They should hire our school's tech team instead of The Other Schools' tech guys. Funnily, our IT director was hanging around, because his wife (one of my good friends) was also taking the bar and he came along for moral support. But, sadly, he wasn't working the event. The exam ended at noon. We didn't get to leave the room until 12:30, and we had to be back in the room by 1:15. So, we barely had time to get an overpriced sandwich from the hotel concession stand, scarf it down and go back to testing. I had finished pretty early, but opted not to leave because I felt I should go back over my exam responses very carefully and make some additions. We could leave if we finished within 2.5 hours, but couldn't leave during the last half hour. So I made sure to get the hell out of dodge when I could during the afternoon session.

The afternoon session wasn't too bad. I wouldn't say I aced it, but I did respectably considering how many subjects I barely know that were on the exam. We had Trusts, Fed Civ Pro, Crim Procedure, Secured Transactions, Con Law, and Partnerships. I got the Secured question mostly right, I was surprised. I screwed up the Partnerships question a bit, but I did manage to throw in some of our state law that should give me some extra points. Trusts, Crim Pro, Civ Pro and Con Law were all my bitch. I was pleased. I finished in 2 hours, 25 minutes, and got the hell out of there. I went for a swim, and then waited another hour for my friends to get out. Most of them were pretty shell-shocked, but I'm sure they did fine. I mean, it honestly doesn't take much to pass our state's essay portion. Hardly anyone fails it, and it's practically unheard of to fail the essay but having passed the MBE. Of course, there are people who fail. For instance, the two people (not from my school) who were talking about "piercing the corporate veil" on the partnership question. Seriously? Um, yeah, you fail.

We then headed out to dinner to go to a local pub that brews its own beer. Most awesome, I had two beers and a bison burger. It was fab. Then we geeked it out by going to a really great comic book store [where I made myself feel better about missing Comic-Con and declaring my love to David Tennant, because of the stupid bar exam], and buying the latest Doctor Who comics. Went back to the hotel, ran through the Conviser Mini-Review again, and Nyquiled it up for bedtime.

This morning, same routine, with more Mini-Review. Then this morning was most horrific. The morning MBE made me its bitch. When you go through the first six questions and you're like, shit, am I even taking the right exam...? Yeah, you know you're screwed. I was slightly traumatized. But it seemed like everyone else was too. Morning session was effin' hard. I have no clue how I did. I liken it to one of those Bar/Bri sets where the goal is 48%. I might have gotten 48%. Maybe. Then they added insult to injury by keeping us hostage for 25 minutes while they ineptly collected our scantron sheets, test booklets, and pencils, again, eating into our lunch hour. The exam was so hard that, even though my usual time for the 100 questions is 2 hours 15 minutes, I took 30 minutes longer than usual.

The afternoon session was much better. I flew through the questions. The afternoon session got owned. Hopefully it got owned enough to make up for the 98 questions I probably got wrong on the morning session, ugh. But we'll see. No use speculating about it, I'll find out in October (right around my 30th birthday, which will either be epic win or epic fail, depending on those results.) When I have more brain to use, I'll write a blog about my experiences in bar exam prep and advice about what worked for me, and what didn't work, and stuff I should have done sooner. Anyway.

I left the hotel at 4pm, got home about 5pm and was very happy to see Cora and Husband. Cora gave me a quick hug and then immediately went back to watching Elmo, like, yeah, Mom, whatever, you're blocking Elmo. Husband paused it, and she gave us a horrified look and proclaimed, "It stopped!" The kid's language skills are great, her interpersonal skills need some work. Pff.

Anyway, we went to the pub for dinner where Cora chowed down on some pita and goat cheese dip and I drank beer from my big mug, and came home and read some books. (Elmo was in two of them.) Now, I'm just relaxing, and have a long day tomorrow of driving with my mom and a screaming toddler. Oh well. They have beer in Toronto.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Pray for Us


St. Catherine of Alexandria, by Caravaggio, c. 1598
[Patron Saint of Students and Lawyers]

And so it goes. I'll be back on Wednesday.

Good luck to my fellow bar examiners. See you on the other side.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The End of the Road

Well, it's here: The end of the road. I've got a little bit more studying to do today, but the bulk of it is done. And whatever happens, happens. I'm not as prepared as I feel I should be, but I have the feeling that no one goes in feeling as prepared as they should be. I did all of the practice questions available, and I just finished taking an exam in which I scored 64%. We need a scaled score of 132 to pass, and that would be it. I remember when I took the LSAT, the very last practice exam I took was the exact same score I got on the LSAT. Let's hope that pattern also applies to the MBE.

I'm still struggling with Real Property (only getting around 40% correct), and my Contracts scores (although immensely good during the first practice MBE) aren't doing much better. I would feel much better if I were scoring higher on Property, but I just don't think that's going to happen. I listened to Joe Tom's lecture again, I worked problems out of the Future Interests Primer (remember that from 1L?), I've done every Property practice problem, including repeating the ones I got wrong, and I only improved by about 10%. That's total crap. I don't know what's wrong with me. But my Torts, Evidence and Crim Law scores are solidly in the 75% range, and Con Law is decent too. So, I'm just hoping for a good day, and an exam filled with the stuff I know, instead of every damn thing I don't know.

Tonight, I'm going to watch the new episode of True Blood with a couple friends, then do a few more practice essay questions. Tomorrow, I'm getting a pedicure, shipping my iPod back to Bar/Bri (with every possible insurance option available so they don't have me arrested and disbarred), and driving to the hotel where I will relax by the pool while flipping through my essay topic flashcards and take a Nyquil to sedate myself (and be able to breathe... stupid allergies) and go to bed before 10pm. Tuesday I will eat a room-service breakfast, take the essay exam, and have dinner with classmates that absolutely will not include talking about the day's exams (absolutely verboten). Then some skimming of the Conviser mini-review and repeat Nyquil dosage. Wednesday, more room-service breakfast, checking out of the hotel, and the MBE. Wednesday evening I will drive home and spend some much-needed time with the kid and the husband.

I really want to pass. If for no other reason than I just don't want to do this all again in February. I'm exhausted.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Radio Silence

After today, I'm going off the radar for the rest of the week until the bar exam. So, you won't hear all the stories about me curling up into a ball and sobbing hysterically, setting fire to my Bar/Bri books, or running away and joining the circus instead of taking the bar. Just know, I'll probably be doing all of those things.

I took another night off last night. I've been studying too much, and it was doing no good. So Husband and I went on a double date with a classmate and her boyfriend, and we proceeded to drink excessive amounts of wine and went back to my house and continued drinking wine. Needless to say, I slept in pretty late today. But it was definitely worth it. I'm feeling rejuvenated and more relaxed, and even though I still have a little bit of a lingering wine headache, I'm still getting my Property learn-on. It is good.

So, the rest of the week will be spent doing practice exams and reading through flashcards every morning before I start them. I feel really confident on the MBE and if I can just not suck on Property, I will pass. I don't even have to do that well on Property. If I can get half of the questions correct, I'll be golden. But I can't only get 1/3 of them right like I did on the Fake Bar.

Next Monday I'll be putting the materials away and heading to the Other Big City to get settled into my hotel room, and take a sleeping pill at 8pm the night before. I'm sure I'll be having a massive anxiety attack if I don't properly sedate myself.

Good luck to you fellow bar exam takers out there. This is the final challenge and then we get to concentrate on our careers. We survived three painful years of law school, so what's the big deal about one more test?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Diversion

Husband is working tonight, but instead of getting a sitter and doing more studying, I decided I deserved some quality time with the kid. We ate dinner, watched some Elmo (today, Elmo referred to Mr. Noodle as being a "swinger" and I nearly spit Diet Coke out my nose), and played with Cora's new bath toys, these letters and numbers that when wet, stick to the bathroom tile. Cora loved them so much, she didn't want to get out. I need to upload the videos I took, they're hilarious. Then we read books about Elmo and duckies before heading to bed. Then I cleaned the house. Bleh.

Before picking Cora up from daycare today, I went shopping and spent a ton of money on baby and wedding gifts. I've been told before that I have too many friends. Heh, there might be some truth to that. Four weddings in the fall, and a bazillion babies! Thankfully, I'm doing neither!

Looking forward to all the celebrating though. Two weddings next month, one is a law school friend and the other is a childhood friend. The law school friend is getting married a week after the bar exam in Husband's "hometown" (Husband was an Army brat, that's where they settled when his dad retired and he went to high school). So, we're dropping Cora off with her Pa-Pa and boozing it up at my friend's wedding. Yay, booze! Uh, yeah, and marital bliss, whatever...

I was up until 3am last night, got back up at 9 this morning, and I'm feeling like my brain is absolutely fried. I'm going to bed early tonight. I'm starting to find fact-patterns everywhere, it's insane. I was watching "Better Off Ted" last night and coming up with defenses for Veridian Dynamics various products liability issues. (Sigh. I really am an insurance defense attorney at heart. It's because I'm dead inside.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bitterness

I know Husband has earned his leisurely summer vacation. Since he finished his clinicals the first week of June, he only has to work 25 hours per week, which is only two shifts (he works 2 days of the weekend, but gets paid for 40 hours, since he works every weekend). However, he believes if he does one thing a day (i.e. make dinner, mow the lawn, or wash dishes), he's been immensely productive. Now, I don't actually care that Husband doesn't do much of anything productive all day. Frankly, I told him we should hire a lawn boy, because I sure don't want to mow the lawn, I'm allergic to it, so why should he have to do it. Also, once this bar nonsense is over, I will be the laziest person on the planet every weekend, for like, the rest of my life. (Much like I enjoy gluttony, sloth is also one of my favorite sins.) He's got a ton of laundry thrown around on his side of the room, clean, dirty, you name it. He's got a long list of things he "should" be doing. But he doesn't. And I don't care. I'm definitely not a neat-freak. As long as it isn't disgusting and/or smelly (or dangerous to the kid), it can sit there and gather dust for all eternity, I don't care. I'm sure not gonna clean it, unless absolutely necessary.

But for right now, it makes me incredibly bitter, since I spent the day studying Real Property, Admin, Torts and [I'm about to start] Secured Transactions and he spent the day watching MY favorite film noir. Grrr. I want to set fire to my bar materials (and the bar exam itself), and watch some film noir too. Have a breakfast beer. Take a long afternoon nap. Waste my days away playing video games, then leave him with a pissed off toddler an hour before bedtime to go hang out with my friends. It's incredibly unfair. But his time's coming. He'll have boards to study for next summer. And I plan on sitting around the house, in my underwear, surrounded by empty beer bottles, my feet propped up on the table, and watching all of his favorite TV shows, while he's holed up in the poorly-lit den memorizing a bunch of obscure crap.

Anyway, I was also sad to find out a good friend of mine didn't get the job she really wanted with a state supreme court justice. She was an excellent candidate for the job, she's in the top 15%, on journal, had a note published, and one of her professors was a former state supreme court justice who even phoned this justice on her behalf to give her a recommendation (she got an A+ in his class). Still no go. Who knows who actually got the job, but I can't imagine anyone more deserving. So, that sucks. And to find out two weeks before the bar sucks even more. Yeah, this economy sucks. I'm very lucky to have my job, even if I did have to move two hours away to take it. I guess I should stop bitching about the bar exam and study some more so I can pass the thing, keep my job, and, you know, like, practice law someday. (It doesn't make me any less bitter, however.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Countdown

The bar is in two weeks. Crazily, I wish it was next week so it could just be over.

I have a lot to do still, both as far as studying and as far as getting ready for the new job. I haven't even started packing, I put Husband on the task of securing a moving van, and there are all sorts of things I need to buy for the new apartment. Fortunately, I'm a pack-rat, so there are duplicates that I kept when we moved in together. Stuff like a hair dryer, a microwave. So, it's just a matter of gathering up what I need. I figure I'll just get the furniture and the basics moved, and then concentrate on the rest later on. I'll be back on the weekends, so I can just move stuff a little at a time.

The day after the bar, I'm leaving for a trip to Niagara Falls with my mom and Cora. 10-12 hours in the car with my mom and a toddler. Hell. Pure hell. We're going up to visit family. I might dump Cora off with my mom and take a day trip into Toronto. The kid doesn't have a passport, and I don't want to pay to rush it. Then, right after I get back from NY, I'll be moving into the new apartment, ready to start my job two weeks later.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taking a Break

Tomorrow evening, I'm going to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I'm so nerdily excited.

I've been watching Goblet of Fire while eating dinner/making more flash cards. It's my favorite of the whole series. It's where the books start getting darker, and more "grown-up." Cedric Diggory's pretty hot, so that's a bonus. But by far the hottest guy in the movie is David Tennant. Such sadness that Barty Crouch, Jr. doesn't stick around longer. Oh well. (And I also hate the Bar Exam for making me miss Comic Con, where David Tennant will be making an appearance. Husband knows I will leave him for David Tennant and has accepted it.)

Anyway, I got together with a couple classmates today and we went through some of the essay questions together. We also did subjects we haven't really studied much for yet (like Secured Transactions for me), so we can practice answering questions when we have no freakin' clue what the substantive law actually is. I'm feeling a lot better about the essays now. I still have plenty of work to do (I mean, I probably should know something, anything, about Secured Transactions before the bar). But, I'm not freaking the hell out. I have a study plan for the next two weeks, and it doesn't involve killing myself, and probably not even curling into a ball, sobbing. (I'm reserving that for after the bar, when I convince myself I failed.)

But tomorrow night, I'm taking an evening off to see Harry Potter. After all, I've done really well by sticking with the Bar/Bri schedule, even getting the lectures done before everyone else. I did all the practice problems when they were assigned, I've been making flash cards. For the people who are, like, just now starting to study, then, yeah, go ahead and freak out and study 16 hours a day. Not me. For once in my life, I actually made a study plan and stuck with it. Now I just get to relax, do some practice problems, study my flash cards, and try not to freak myself out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bar Preparedness

Making this list makes me feel better.

Topics where I rock:

Constitutional Law
Contracts Law (MBE only)
Torts
Crimes
Evidence
Wills
Trusts
Family Law
Federal Income Tax
Commercial Paper
Personal Property
Fed Civ Pro (except I keep getting the state distinctions mixed up, ugh)
Corporations
Agency/Partnership
Conflicts of Law

Topics where I suck:
Secured Transactions
Federal Estate & Gift Tax and Future Interests
Real Property
Contracts (essays)
Admin (possibly because I haven't done the lecture yet)


On the essays, I want as many family law, torts and crime questions as possible. I would love a tax question, because it's so basic. I wouldn't mind a commercial paper question, I kinda liked that topic. Wills and trusts are fine.

Real Property I still don't "get" but as long as I can manage to get at least half of the property questions right on the MBE, I can still pass the MBE with flying colors. I now rock at Evidence. I went through all the Law in a Flash evidence cards, and my practice scores jumped dramatically. I need to track down my Property cards and see if that will help.

I need to learn the "terms of art" for Contracts. I do ridiculously well on the MBE questions, but when it comes to describing the "why," I'm having some difficulty remembering "what stuff's called."

Fed Estate & Gift Tax and Future Interests. I'm screwed. The only thing I could possibly say to get any points at all is "QTIP." I can define it, but I'm really not sure what it even means, how it applies, and I didn't even understand the answer to the questions in the book. That's some epic fail right there. Our state hasn't asked a question on that topic in over a decade, I'm hoping they continue that trend. I might need to find someone who took Estate & Gift Tax and see if they have any supplements, an idiot's guide maybe, because the Barbri stuff is no help at all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blog RIP

Those of you who read the MILP blogs have probably noticed one of those blogs has recently disappeared.

Unfortunately, because of reasons that cannot be disclosed, this blogger has been forced to take down her blog. She wasn't allowed to explain why to her readers, nor even to say a proper goodbye. She feels quite terrible about this, I know. So I'm giving a little eulogy on her behalf.

However, rest assured, she is alive and well, as is her little duckling. She's still out there, being a total rock star by balancing her career in public interest law and life as a single mom. Nothing has changed, other than her ability to blog about her experiences. Which is truly a shame for all of us. As someone who would love love love to do what she does for a living someday, her experiences and observations were really informative. Having to take down her blog is part of the reason I have decided to keep mine going. Because the rest of us can't be silenced out of fear. These blogs are important to help those who come after us, those who are considering law school, parenthood or both. To lose one of the MILP bloggers sucks because of the valuable insight she gave. And I'll keep giving mine, for what it's worth.

So, if you want to tell her goodbye, do so in the comments here. Please do not mention her name/blog moniker, however. Just refer to her as "ND." But she would love to hear from you to bid her a fond farewell.

Adieu, ND. We can only hope that someday you'll return to the blogosphere.

Dear Bar Exam,

I hate you.

I wish you would spontaneously burst into flames and meet a fiery death so we never meet.

I hate you that much.

Oh, I'm all over you with some MBE. That's right. The MBE is getting owned on July 29th. Owned. You will be my bitch, MBE.

But you are currently kicking my ass with the essays. I am getting a little tired of going through the essay book and getting answers completely freakin' wrong.

For instance, I happen to know that when there is a potentially fundamental change to the corporation, that shareholders need to vote on the matter at hand. What I apparently didn't know is that a sale affecting 50% of the assets of the corporation is not substantial enough to be fundamental. WTF? That wasn't in the corporations lecture. That wasn't in my Business Associations class. Do you just make this stuff up to screw with me? But, how important is it that I get that point right? The answer to the question is still the same: the directors can't vote on the matter, because two of the three have a conflict (they're the ones trying to conduct the sale for their own benefit). I got the issue right, the rule right, the answer right, but I got the analysis wrong. How much does that matter? Less than 25% so that I can still get a passing score on the question? Please?

Oh, and leave it to my state to have a freakin' bass fishing question, that I completely missed. Stupid wild animals issue, not an accession issue. And what a stupid result. Surely my state's bar examiners would know that if you leave your pole unattended and you hook the biggest bass ever, that sucker ain't reeling itself in, and it'll take your pole with it, too. So, why do you still get the fish? Constructive possession, bah.

Anyway, I'm a bit frustrated. I don't really understand how the essay grading works to determine how good (or how bad) I'm actually doing. The book has these beautifully crafted answers that someone significantly smarter than me wrote. I know we don't have to write that much, or that well. But it's still unclear to me what actually is a passing answer. Would I have gotten any credit on the bass fishing answer for completely missing the boat? Sigh.

So, yeah, I hate you, Bar Exam. I desperately hope that after July 29th, we never meet again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Dear University Hospital Administration,

You can suck it.

Today, I am mailing my final payment on the massive amount of hospital bills you assholes charged me because I was underinsured during my pregnancy (because I had the crappy university insurance policy). For instance, every week that I needed an ultrasound (which was every week from week 21 to week 36), you not only charged me at least $800 for less than 10 minutes of use of the ultrasound machine, but well over $300 for 10 minutes of the ultrasound technician's time, and 2 minutes of the doctor's time. Oh, and I might have gotten 5 minutes of some first year resident's time, but really, let's be honest, I should be charging you for that experience, not the other way around.

Now, what pisses me off about these bills is not a complaint about the service (other than the aforementioned occasional dealings with idiot residents and the obscenely long waits in the waiting room), because my prenatal care was just fine. They properly diagnosed my condition, referred me to physicians out of state that could help, and then watched my condition to make certain there were no further complications. And finally, they managed to retrieve the baby, without any massive trauma to me or to said baby. (Just some slight emotional scarring.)

No, what pisses me off is the fact that when my insurance company was paying for the ultrasounds, they only had to pay a fraction of that cost. A small fraction! Why is it that the broke law student and nursing student, both students of this institution, get the shaft while the insurance company gets a big fat discount? Oh yeah, AND MY HUSBAND WORKS FOR YOU. Why is it that when I asked for a discount in services, I was basically laughed at, because we don't earn below the poverty line? (Nevermind the fact that paying THAT FREAKIN' MUCH in medical bills is what would put us below the poverty line.) So, I have a HUGE balance on my credit card from having to pay you HUGE payments each month that there is no way I could have afforded otherwise. Yeah, so that's what pisses me off.

But, I'm done with you. I have paid you in full for the services I received. (Nineteen months later.) And I'm no longer a broke law student. I am an attorney (hopefully a licensed one as of October), and earning a very good salary. Our combined household income is now well into the six-figure range. Now, of course, I've already started to get mailings from you asking for donations. Are you kidding me? Seriously? I'll tell you exactly what I'll be telling my stupid law school when they call me for donations in October: HELL NO. I have paid you in full for the services I received.

Instead, we will be making annual donations to the Nonprofit Hospital that gave us a 30% discount on their services, donations that will greatly surpass the discount we received. If you're kind enough to not completely overcharge the few patients that actually pay you, they're much more inclined to give you donations.

We're grateful for the care our daughter received, but when you make it apparent that this is just a business for you, and earning a big profit from our medical treatment is more important than charging us fair prices for services (so you can add on that ugly monstrosity of an addition that's overtaking south campus), then you don't get donations. Oh, and you don't even pay your nurses as much as the other hospitals in town do, or have nearly as good benefits, and they have to pay for their own parking. So, you can suck it.

You are the reason we need healthcare reform in this country. Because even when you have insurance, you still get screwed. We're just lucky enough to have the means to (eventually) pay off our medical bills. Most people in the same situation wouldn't have been so lucky.

And you don't care about them either.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Crazy ensues

It's been a bad couple days for me. I've been studying my ass off for Evidence, and it doesn't seem to be doing any good. I think I've hit a wall. So, now I'm trying a different approach and spending the evening going through the Law in a Flash cards for Hearsay and Character Evidence. I think my biggest problem is just figuring out what the hell the statement is actually being used for, because it's not always clear to me from the problem whether the statement is being used to prove the truth of the statement. So I figure the more hypos I do, the more likely I'll figure it out, and a light bulb will come on. I got a decent grade in Evidence, I dunno what the problem is. Bah.

I've been fighting bad headaches, sinus congestion, fatigue, dizziness and an all around foul mood. Also, I'm gaining weight again, I can feel it. I'm supposed to be losing weight (so my suits fit). If I gain anymore weight, I'll have to forgo my job and apply to one of those shows where fat people go to fat camp, or learn to dance, or something. I need to force myself to go to the gym tomorrow, then I need to find somewhere else to be for the next two days, because my father-in-law will be in town. He will both stress me out even more, and make me even fatter. I'm grumpy and need to be alone. And alcohol. I need alcohol.

I'm just glad the bar will be over in 3 weeks, because any longer than that, I'd not only end up in fat camp, I'd be doped up on anti-depressants as well. I hate the bar.

Seeking

One of my jobs in our house is finding stuff. Husband is really good at losing stuff, and so I spend a lot of time tracking things down. His wallet, his phone, his keys, his shoes, you name it, I've looked for it. For instance, last night, Husband was tearing apart the house looking for a book he borrowed from a friend which he'd taken on vacation. I'd asked him if he'd looked in our bedroom (because that's likely where he dumped all the stuff from vacation). He made a big production about how he'd looked everywhere, and it definitely wasn't in there. Uh huh. (I found it. It was in the bedroom.)

However, Cora is much better at hiding things. She's the freakin' Easter Bunny. (Seriously. After Easter, she took to hiding eggs all around our house. I'm still finding plastic eggs.) She took off with my sunglasses last week, and I just found them yesterday (under my bed). The last time I was looking for something she'd hidden, it was one of her shoes. She'd stuffed it in a drawer, the one where I keep her washcloths. I'd looked all over the house and didn't find it for two days until it was time for her bath.

So, I had a good chuckle last night when I was about to load up the dishwasher. I opened the dishwasher door, and this is what I found:



I think she's just trying to screw with me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kiddie Stuff

Part of being a parent is, of course, being re-emerged in the world of Kiddie Stuff. Songs long forgotten have to be relearned, and sung, and sung, and sung. Stuffed animals, and cars, and blocks, and crayons litter the house and are part of our daily lives. Not to mention Children's Programming.

As an arachnophobe, singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider makes my skin crawl. But I suffer through, because it's Cora's favorite song. (Her godfather was singing it to her over the phone the other night, and she was singing along. It was quite cute.) The other thing that makes my skin crawl? Elmo. That thing is creepy as all hell.

Cora hadn't even seen Sesame Street yet, but the daycare has an Elmo doll that the children worship and burn sacrifices in homage to play with. If she catches sight of it on the way out the door, she points to it and says, "ELMO!" Finally we decided since she likes letters and numbers so much (and Elmo), that we should start letting her watch Sesame Street. Then came the Elmo books. The Elmo videos. And the Elmo doll (although I refuse to buy the evil possessed one that cackles). So, it's all Elmo, all the time here. Eek.

Don't get me wrong, I grew up with Sesame Street. I loved Big Bird, Maria is probably the reason I had an interest in learning Spanish as a child, and I remember being immensely sad because Mr. Hooper died. People criticize kids watching so much TV, but I was an early reader, no doubt in part because of shows like Sesame Street. And one of my favorite memories as an adult was a night in grad school when we were all out drinking and trying to get our Russian classmate to "do the Count" and say "TWO, ah ah ah!" and he kept getting the "ah ah ah" wrong. "Ah, AH, ah, ah." "Ah, ah, AH, ah." It's undeniably an important part of our pop culture, even as adults.

But even if Elmo is a bit much, I do get a bit of a kick out of watching it now with Cora. Maria's "daughter" Gaby is all grown up and not much younger than me. There are several new characters (including Elmo). The purple latina sheep cracks my shit up, I dunno why. And there are some really awesome guest stars. NPH as the Shoe Fairy? Effin' awesome. Then there was Kim Cattrall on there, teaching kids the word "fabulous" and how to use it. ("Having cosmopolitans with my girlfriends after screwing a man half my age is fabulous!" was sadly omitted.) So, the kid stuff ain't all bad. Yet.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tired, cranky

It's been a long weekend. And not all good.

I've been knocking out the rest of the Bar/Bri lectures early so I can concentrate on practice exams for the next three weeks. Corporations guy was really good, even though he was SUPER obnoxious. I wish every lecturer had been as good as him though. Not only did he give us the black letter law, then hypotheticals to apply it, he didn't just give us a one-sentence answer to the hypothetical. He went through and told us exactly what we needed to say in response to the question in order to get full points on the exam, starting with the rule, the exceptions to the rule, applying the rule to the facts, then the conclusion. It was extremely helpful. Considering my grade in corporations was crappy, I feel really good on that topic now. Bar/Bri should hire that guy to go back through and reorganize all the other outlines and lectures and make them useful, because several of them are decidedly not useful at all. Anyway, I have two lectures left, Tax and Admin, then I'm done.

My friends were nice enough to watch Cora yesterday. They took her to the Fourth of July parade downtown. Unfortunately, they got rained on. I went over to their house for dinner and then some fireworks, along with some other friends. Normally we can see the downtown fireworks from their backyard, but apparently the weather kept the show to a minimum and we didn't see much. They'd gone and bought fireworks in another state (the good stuff is illegal here), so we got had our own show anyway. Cora was decidedly unimpressed by the fireworks, and fell asleep in a friend's arms. It was past her bedtime, and she'd had an early nap that day because of the parade anyway.

I noticed while we were there that her chest congestion was getting worse. One of my friends is a nurse and he listened to her chest with a stethoscope, and it didn't sound really bad. But she woke up about 2 am coughing and wheezing, and I noticed she was running a fever. I gave her some Tylenol and stayed up with her, because the cough sounded really bad and I wanted to make sure the fever went down. She slept on me/on the couch off and on, still waking herself up coughing, until her fever broke and I put her back to bed. That was about 6 am. Husband took her to the twilight clinic when it opened at noon, and they wrote her a prescription for an inhaler because they said it was asthma. Which hasn't made any difference at all in how her breathing sounds, and why would she have a fever if it was asthma? But whatever. And Husband was throwing a tantrum because I didn't take her to the ER in the middle of the night and he had to lose sleep to take her to the doctor (even though I could have taken her this afternoon, but then he wouldn't have had anything to complain about). Let's see, $100 (which I currently don't have) trip to the public hospital's ER on a Saturday that also happens to be July 4th, sitting in the waiting room until next week while every dumbass in town gets their thumbs sewn back on/third degree face burns treated, which is much more urgent than a toddler with a cough and a fever that broke with Tylenol. I had tried calling Husband at work and couldn't get an answer, so I made a judgment call.

Anyway, I finally got her down for a nap and my mom's coming over to watch her the rest of the afternoon so I can study. Doing some practice tests today, and then maybe some Admin tonight. Then I'll have to take Cora to her actual doctor tomorrow and she'll probably have to stay home from daycare. Three weeks til the bar. Fantastic.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I have a MUG! Oh, and an apartment.

I'm unbelievably excited about the fact that I have a mug.

We frequent this British Pub. Sadly, when we came in tonight, the waitress remembered what we ordered three nights ago. That's how often we're there. We even bring Cora (she loves the goat cheese dip on pita). Anyway, back when I was pregnant, they did a promotional where they were selling mugs. The mugs hold more than the normal glass of beer, but it's the same price, and they keep your particular mug there for you to use when you come in. You just tell them your mug number and get your big ol' mug full of beer. Well, I didn't buy one when I was pregnant because, unfortunately, I wasn't drinking beer. Even more unfortunately, by the time I could drink beer again, they'd sold out of mugs. (As in, ran out of space to store any more.) So, all this time I've had to get my Strongbow or Tennants or other lovely brew in a puny little glass while Husband and our friends had their nice big mugs. But finally they decided that if people haven't used their mugs in two years, that they were reselling those mugs.

So, tonight, I finally got a mug. Just in time to move away. Balls. (Oh well, we'll still be there on the weekends!)

Speaking of moving, my apartment-hunting trip proved fruitful yesterday (third time was, in fact, the charm), and I put down a deposit on a duplex. It's a two bedroom, one bath, for $450/month, (sadly, includes no utilities). It's getting a make-over, thanks to the previous tenants. But it doesn't smell bad! I just hope it's not crazy expensive to heat in the winter, since it's an older home. Anyway, it's six blocks from my office, on the same street, and in walking distance of both my office and Cora's new daycare. It's also right across the street from the park, so Cora can go "outSIDE!" (her word for both the playground and just going outside). I'll have an upstairs neighbor who just relocated to the area too, apparently she's a new nurse. Maybe she'll be up for splitting some wireless internet.