Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goal for the New Year - Slow Food, Good Food

I have watched Food, Inc and read Fast Food Nation. I am on to Michael Pollan's many books as well. And I know another person that is striving to eat "clean." (no634.net). I am making the choice to pay a little more at the store as well as venture out into other places (Mississippi Market, Farmer's markets, local farmers). I do not kid myself, this takes planning, effort, a little more money, and a lot more time. But I am doing it for a number of reasons.

Many moons ago, I was a strict vegan, then a lacto-ovo vegetarian, then I started eating meat again. I LOVE meat. But I don't want to contribute to the factory produced meat market currently around. Even if I didn't weep every time I think of those cows, pigs, and chickens, I wonder why people are not up in arms over the pollution and disease stemming from this style of "farming."

Let's talk about pollution first. The first part is simple. Concentrated animal area = TONS of POOP. TONS of POOP = bad water, bad air. Dooky levels at these places are so high that the air in some areas of the farm can't be safely breathed, too much hydrogen sulfide. Gaseous hydrogen sulfide scars lung tissue and can even cause asphyxiation. Scarred lung tissue leads to further troubles, such as increased exposure to disease including bronchitis, pneumonia, and even lung fungal infections.

Poop in my water, not okay. Poop in really tiny amounts is everywhere. Can't be helped, because as the book says Everybody (or in this case everything) poops. But poop from these farms are stored in lagoons. Yep, they have doo-doo lagoons. Can you see yourself sippin' a Mai Thai on a beach chair next to one of those. EWWWW. And those lagoons do not stay there. Spillage is a frequent occurrence because they are so full the poop actually pushes down the earth embankment. What happens next is usually pretty bad. Fish kills, river and stream contamination, and ground water contamination. Poop in my water.

Now the other pollution. Grain is grown for these animals. Grain uses water and fertilizer, plus other chemicals. Even if you didn't care about water, those other chemicals and fertilizer are mainly washed away. So more stuff in my water. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Now let's tackle disease. Commonly recognized foodborne infections are caused by the bacteria Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli O157:H7, and by a group of viruses called calicivirus, also known as the Norwalk and Norwalk-like viruses. The bacterial infections cause diarhea and other symptoms. Each can cause death. E. coli is usually considered fairly benign. But this lovely creature releases Shiga toxins that can produce all kinds of problems. Thinking of taking an antibiotic to get rid of it? Not so fast. A quick kill can release ALL the Shiga toxins. In up to 5% of people, it causes hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This severe complication includes temporary anemia, profuse bleeding, and kidney failure. For more information, check out the CDC. And factory eggs are at a greater risk for Salmonella than organic eggs.

But I am ultimately doing it because I eat crap any more (hamburger is quite literally partly crap). I want to be able to eat something and know exactly where it came from and be able to pronounce all of the ingredients. I also want to live my values.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Crisis at Christmas

My dad had emergency surgery the day before Christmas. He is fine now, but what a way to usher in Christmas. Needless to say, I have done nothing after finals ended last Tuesday. Because of this I am going to have to double-time it next week to get a few things done.

Studying for the PTO - need to get on the ball on this one. The test is scheduled for February 18. Supposedly, I should be studying for at least 15 hours a week, but I lost about 3 weeks for papers, work, etc. So the next 52 days are going to be very, very full. I want to pass the first time around with no trouble. So beginning tomorrow, for three weeks, I am putting in about 35 hours a week on PTO, then 4.5 weeks of at least 20 hours a week. Basically, I need 2 weeks for taking practice exams. Q's are repeated, so that should help A LOT.

Work - I have fallen way behind at work and need to get back on it. Plus I am adding another job, potentially. We are broke and could definitely use the money. And the semester shouldn't be too bad.

Exercise, nutrition - get back on the exercise, nutrition bandwagon.

Have some fun over break, I know I am going to fit some in.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like...FINALS

And I am attempting to muster up some caring. I feel like I should care. I mean, I am paying a huge amount of money to be here, so I should care, right? That's the way many people here look at it. Or the ones that are still under the spell of law, still care for the idea of justice and law.

Me? I am just counting down the days until this is over (at least today I am). I don't care about the theory of law or the grand idea behind it. I just want to get out and start working. I haven't felt this adrift since the last educational foray. I think fall semester is simply like that. Spring semester is close to something. Close to volunteering for the summer (1L), working for a potential job (2L), or graduation. But fall semester feels like there is an eternity between now and my goal. So much time between now and summer. Even so much time between now and taking the Patent Bar in February.

What is it about this time of year? Is it winter? Snow, cold and darkness? Or is it something else? I wish I could be philosophical or even poetic. But right now, this waiting game just sucks. It's not exams, it's the FUTURE. That slow road to completion.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Doing my best to prop up 2L grades

In one week, I will have 2 exams. I have downloaded or begged outlines from folks. And that's the extent of my exam preparation. I would like all 2L's in my classes to send chocolates to my carrel. I am taking a bullet for you guys and hope you truly appreciate the sacrifices I am making. For instance, tonight, instead of spending time studying and outlining, I am watching Hot Fuzz on Comedy Central. One of my favorite movies. Yep, my sacrifices should be rewarded.

So to all 2L's out there, fear not. Most of the 3L's in your classes do not give a crap any more.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy, happy, joy, joy

I am thankful that I don't care any more. I am thankful that I am not that poor 1L that had a meltdown in the library. I am thankful that I am not cooking anything for Thanksgiving and instead having lunch at a neighborhood bar. I am thankful that my cats are total loons and incredibly entertaining. I am thankful that I had enough money this month to send the dog to the sitter. I am thankful that we got a fantastic deal on a weekend stay at an awesome hotel.

I hope everyone out there has things to be thankful about.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Employment numbers - Law School Edition

There is no where that you can find the break down of employment numbers from universities (that I can find). I cannot believe that I didn't look at this prior to going to law school. I merely looked at the employment rate and thought "gee, that's pretty good." Oye, what an idiot! So bartenders count? Yep. How about housecleaning? Yep. Anything that you are being paid for counts as employment. Isn't this skirting the edge of fraud? I mean, when people look at these numbers, aren't they assuming that it's LEGAL employment? Shouldn't there be a warning label of some kind?

What can be done?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is it possible

that I am just not going to be happy until I graduate? I think that's the issue. I need to get out and get back to the workforce. I think the three years of not going to work is wearing on me. I know that there are numerous unprofessional people in the "real world." But I can handle that. Working around people is fairly easy. Adapting to others is also fairly easy. What I hate is the competition that is meaningless. Okay, some may say that I hate school because I wasn't as successful as others. And on some days, I believe that. But then I look back to when I did well in school (Ph.D., etc.). I hated school then.

I can't wait to get out. And if ANYONE ever suggests that I go back to school, I am going to hit them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So much for the Happy Post

Crap, crap, crap, crap. Everything is happening so quickly. And because my emotions seem to be right on the surface, I am oscillating between happy and sad in split second increments...

Accepted to take the Patent Bar Exam...Happy

Having to study for the Patent Bar Exam...Sad

Hearing that we might get help on buying a house in new state...Happy

Hearing that this is not set in stone and not really "real"...Sad

Hearing that houses in neighborhood are selling quickly...Happy

Hearing the prices the houses are selling for...Sad

Hubby finding jobs in new state to apply for...Happy

Hubby deciding that he has to stay here for a while b/c of house...Sad

Get assignment done...Happy

Realizing write-up is, well, crap...Sad

Mix it all together and what do you get? A 42 yo, 3L that is about to burst into tears at the slightest provocation. So much for me being tough...or happy...hell, or sane.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Happy Post

I walked the dog for almost an hour this morning and feel good. It always amazing (yes, I am a slow learner) to me when exercise can cause a distinct shift in attitude.

So today is the Happy Post (or Grateful post):

1. I got my oil changed, radiator flushed, and window wipers replaced yesterday. Non-squeaky wipers - happy.

2. We went to my favorite Indian place last night and the service didn't suck - very happy.

3. I made dining reservations for our Thanksgiving weekend extravaganza - giddy.

4. Law school doesn't seem so daunting today. I still have 2 major papers and multiple exams to contend with but I feel better about the stuff I am doing. One of the papers is important to me. The other is starting to seem much more interesting. And I see myself improving in another class. Happy.

5. I started Weight Watcher's and weighed in at less than I thought I would - ecstatic. I ate healthy for most of yesterday and started today with a bowl of oatmeal - feeling good.

All in all not a bad week. Rough start because my black moods are intrusive and overwhelming. But I am using cognitive therapy techniques to readjust my thinking. For instance, I had fat dreams all last night (people laughing and making rude comments). I have these sometimes and wake up feeling very low. But today, I threw off the covers, put on sweats, got the dog and walked for a long time. Cleared the head.

To all those out there that are struggling with negative feelings stemming from LS, I don't have any good advice. It's all been said. But I hope that you can find something that will get you through this. From now until graduation, I am going to try (I said try, dammit) to keep a more positive spin. Mom always said to fake it and maybe it would happen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Misery of Law School_What does it say about our choices?

I know that I am tired of LS. And I could point to a thousand problems with the way LS is run, from career services to fostering negative competition (I don't care what they say). Added to that, I am tired, bitter, and a little cynical about the whole experience. And I am not alone, given the recent spate of blogs discussing this topic. So what does this say about our choice to go to LS.

I'll admit it, I question my choice to go to LS almost everyday. I know numerous second career folks that do the same thing. We look back on the career we had and suddenly it seems bright, beautiful, interesting, and heaven. To counter this, I have developed a set of index cards that includes every reason I left my last job. It helps on the regret. But what it doesn't do is create reasons to love LS.

Is this simply November? Exams around the corner, projects coming due, work still there, Bar stuff, PTO exam, and on and on. Is it simply that the work never seems to end? What causes people to begin to hate that thing they thought was so precious? And, ultimately, is there something that we, as students, can do about it. I am flummoxed. I try to exercise, sometimes eat right, keep this journal, etc. But most of the time, it still doesn't work.

And then we fall into wondering "If I hate it now, will I hate being a lawyer?" Do feelings in LS transfer to the actual career? If you begin to think about going in a different direction, is that legitimate? For some that struggled with the decision to go to LS or grad school, that seems definitely legitimate. But, take me, for example. I spent all summer after my first year creating a business plan for a cafe (there is this awesome building in my neighborhoods). Is that a legitimate new direction? Yeah, not likely. But a lovely fantasy to engage in when I am in Tax.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Most Awesomest Birthday Present Ever!

Over the bday weekend, I did nothing except take the MPRE, study, and write parts of a paper that I have been putting off...well, forever. I then asked my husband for a tiny birthday present. He says to me "Sure, go ahead."

So for MY birthday, I am getting a cleaning service in on the day before Thanksgiving to clean my house AND steam clean my carpets. Sing it with me "I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright! And I pity any girl who isn't me tonight."

Right this moment, I would scoff at luxury vacations and diamonds. My birthday present is, without a doubt, the most awesomest ever! Not to gloat or anything :)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hitting me that I am amost done

It was the MPRE that did it. I could fail and take it again in March, but the taking of it marked a passage into lawyerhood. I will be judged as ethically enough. The funny thing is, if I fail, it's because I am too ethical (thinking I must do something when I only have the option to do it).

Thank you MPRE for helping me realize that one day soon I will be a real attorney. Now my thoughts are consumed not with up-coming finals or projects, but rather with client meetings, moving into a new house and office, getting up for work instead of school, and all of the other things I look forward to instead of studying. The closest thing I remember from my last profession was defending my proposal during third year of grad school. This is way better. This is definite mark. No more, if. It's now officially in my head of when.

It's a shame that these tests don't come earlier in one's schooling. Because, for me, it creates a sense of relief. I am in law school, but it is a finite time. In second year, if I had been able to take the MPRE earlier (maybe I could have), then I would have felt that everything was more concrete, much less esoteric. That may not matter for some, but after spending so much time agonizing over whether I made the right decision, a little concreteness would have helped.

So to all those out there that have this step out of the way (theoretically), let's celebrate the milestone. We are so close to being finished and for our "lives" to begin, that we can now see the finish line. I will miss law school and the fact that my decisions on hypos affect no one. But I won't miss the constant second-guessing my decision or wondering if I should take a course or worrying about impressing my profs. I will be a "Real Man of Genius."T

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Eating my own words

I guess Sunday all day is out of the question. So instead, we scheduled a 3 day weekend vacation for Thanksgiving weekend. Until then, I will work so I have that 3 days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

On Beating Burnout

Yes, it's that time of the semester kiddies!! The time when every deadline looms near and the minor freakouts come more frequently. Burnout is the unfortunate result in most cases.

What is burnout? Burnout is both mental and physical exhaustion that leads to very bad things. It begins with a dragging feeling, although that indicates you are well into burnout phase. Work seems bigger, more onerous. Soon, everything, even pleasurable events, are harder, both physically and mentally, to get through. You put things off, things take longer than usual, you wake up feeling tired no matter how much sleep you had, and, ultimately, you begin to feel defeated or even hopeless.

If you don't think you have ever experienced burnout or think it won't happen to you, check your mental responses. See how tired you are day to day. Get 8 hours of sleep a few nights in a row and see how you feel when you wake up.

I am obsessed with recognizing burnout. I spent years in my last career in burnout mode. It took me weeks to get out data for something that should have taken days. Months for weeks...you get it. And I didn't recognize it until my first year of law school. I thought I was just slower than everyone else. Truth was, I was exhausted. So my first summer, I took about a month and did absolutely nothing. And slowly I came back. I still have to monitor myself, but I am much better at recognizing the signs.

Luckily for you (and me), Fearfully Optimistic has provided a link to short-circuiting burnout. And if you don't think it's important, numerous studies show that burnout has a huge effect on GPA. If a person is not mentally prepared during the exam, that person is going to miss things. Go ahead, ask me how much my grades improved after taking time off. Yeah, they were second year classes, but they all had a stiff curve.

So as I see myself beginning to slow down on work, taking 2 hours for writing one page instead of an hour, etc, I know it's time to do something that seems absolutely inconceivable to the average law student. I will cut back. This Saturday is the MPRE. So Sunday I will stay home and relax. Yeah, I will have to come roaring back on Monday. But because of Sunday, I will come back!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Coffee shops

I love coffee shops. I love coffee. But unlike every other person I know, I can't work/study in a coffee shop. It sucks. But I get way to distracted by everything going on around me.

1. Heavenly Daze - too intense. The law students there are simply far too studious. The groups really study, they aren't gossiping about anything. So I can't concentrate because the people around me are intensely talking about cases from first year. No thanks.

2. Starbucks (anywhere, but especially Barnes and Noble) - too many "writers." They sit at their table, surrounded by books they will never buy, periodically tapping away at their laptops. And they are writing. Sort of. Then they look up to check out the crowd. Okay, I am completely cynical. I assume they are checking to see if anyone is watching them write. Can't concentrate there because I am making up conversations ("Oh, yes, this new novel is about the death of man, death of society." "Really, sounds fascinating. My new character arc is taking me so many new places.") I know, I am catty. They are probably good people trying to break into an impossible field. But my thoughts are far more fun than Tax.

3. Wilde Roast - all time favorite place. Great food, fantastic coffee, and fun conversations to listen to. That group is discussing biofuels and organizing a new symposium. That group is discussing human rights issues and gay marriage (eck, I want to interject a legal argument. that's how crappy my thought processes are). That group just came out of the bookstore next door with an armload of homosexual erotica and are now critiquing it. How can anyone ever read through Tax with that in the background.

And I can't even study with music. So I resort to earplugs and then folks look at me weird because I have these huge orange things sticking out of my ears.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Call it anything you want...I got senioritis.

I laughed when I heard 3L's talk about it. Seems silly right? We are all grown-ups here?

But I try to put in the hours and I find myself staring at this stuff thinking, I am never going to use this (I know that now) so why do I care so much. Is it noble to study for the pleasure of learning? I am winning zero nobility awards.

Back to Tax. Yeah, right. What's on Hulu?

Friday, October 30, 2009

What's wrong with me that I don't get Twilight?

I devoured Harry Potter books and movies. I love fantasy, vampires and angst. But the Twilight series is a boondoggle to me. I thought it might be because I am older than the target audience (outside of puberty ). But it turns out most of the women I know my age and older looovvveee the series. So what am I missing?

I thought maybe the movie would speak to me where the book couldn't. Nope. I felt that the movie was all angst and no vampire. I mean the whole "I love you, I can't have you" stuff was the movie. It just so happened to be vampires in the movie.

And now I get this odd woman left behind feeling. I feel like I SHOULD like them. Which, of course, given my contrary nature leads to me disliking them more. Maybe I should go back and read the first one again. Or maybe I should give up. I don't have to be on every bandwagon!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The application to the bar

An application to a state bar is a lot more complicated and time-consuming than I ever would have imagined. You have to turn over your entire life. Now for someone just out of undergrad, this may also be time consuming. But 18 years after undergraduate, having also moved extensively due to work, this becomes almost an insurmountable problem.

So what goes into a bar application? And what are all of the parts just to get to the bar?

1. Character and Fitness forms. Luckily, the state I am applying takes the National Conference of Bar Examiners' form. So at least one of the forms is in a localized place.
a. Addresses - finding those can be a huge pain. But there are ways, including research sites on the web.
b. Traffic tickets - I know I have 2, one over 10 years ago and 1 over 20 years ago. I am almost certain which states for each. And that is as far as I have gotten.
c. Then there is the education list, the work list, etc. The part-time jobs I had in college are going to be difficult because at least 3 of those are no longer in business and I have no idea what the names were.
d. The time...just a lot of time to sit down and do it.

2. Affadavit of why I didn't apply prior to 390 days of being in law school. Do they accept...I didn't have a job in that state and had no idea that it was even possible? It also must be notarized so that is one more step.

3. Dean Certification from the Law school. Got to get it in to the Dean prior to January. Though they will obviously not fill it out until graduation.

4. The Student registration forms

5. The Bar registration forms

Basically, I am getting confused on which forms I have to fill out, how I am going to find all the information I need, etc.

Breathe...just breathe

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I hate repeating myself

BUT the f'ing library is for QUIET. Not just quiet in the stacks, but shut up in the study rooms, the offices, etc. I don't want to hear your damn phone conversations, your hyena laughter, or your gossip. I don't want to always be THAT person, shushing everyone the hell up. Show some damn respect for the people around you.

This is just bullshit.

But other than that, I am having a great day. Smile and the world smiles with you. Scowl and everyone leaves you the hell alone.

I may come back and delete this.

Friday, October 23, 2009

If law school is rough, what will change with being an attorney

Hopefully everything.

A small group gathered for lunch recently. The discussion began like this.

S: I can't get everything done that I need to do. (Pause and a weird look) What the hell am I going to do when I am actually a lawyer?

E: Crap, don't think about it.

And the subject was changed.

But in that question is one that haunts many law students. If we are so freakin' busy now, what happens afterwards? Every attorney who brings this up says "Wait until you are actually in practice." That's supposed to be helpful. Or calming?

To stop worrying so much, I asked a few lawyers how things are different and how to prepare or at least have the right mind-set. Hear is a summary of what they said:

1. Start becoming organized NOW. Even if it's the last month of your third year work on creating an organizational scheme that works for you.

2. Related - do only what works for you. I specifically sought out an ADHD attorney to discuss this, in particular. Basically, you can't shoehorn yourself into another person's organizational scheme. So if the tips from one book fail you, keep looking. And look for what you have done right in the past. For me, it's complete silence. No music, nothing. And, unfortunately, it's also taking my medication everyday like clockwork (I forget).

3. As much as I don't want to admit it, exercise, nutrition, and down time are all very important. I don't want to admit it because I would rather eat MickyD's, never take another stair as long as I live, and work until I drop. But this year I have decided that this is not working for me.

4. Realize that being an attorney is different. I know that sounds like a stupid, duh statement, but many law students have no real clue what they will be doing on a day to day basis. Instead of reading cases for class, you have to find only a couple on point and hope you haven't missed something big. Also, you are much more time limited. Some even said to take advantage of Westlaw and Lexis training seminars on effective research. One quote: "I don't care how on point a case is if it took the associate 15 hours to find it. That's time I can't possibly bill to the client."

5. Stop listening to the attorneys that babble on and on about how being an attorney is harder than being a law student. Many of the associates I spoke with said these folks are just in that mindset of wanting to go back to when the work didn't matter. Working 60-80 hours a week for a grade is a lot less terrifying than working 60-80 hours a week knowing that your mistake could cost people their money or, worse, their freedom. Dramatic, yes. True, yes.

So the next time you are sitting around talking about the workload and hoping you aren't going to drown think of (1) you are still in school, so stop it; and (2) as one professor put it "stop worrying. I mean really, look at all the idiots out there in practice, you'll be fine."*

So there.

* That is a quote from a professor, NOT MY WORDS.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How to avoid insanity in law school?

Get food poisoning. Or stomach flu. Not sure what it was but it sure did the trick. Not only am I no longer reveling in self-pity but I actually looked forward to being able to read this afternoon. Yep, nothing like a good, ole fashion virus that makes you wish for death to remind you how good you have it when you don't have to spend the majority of your day booting up the linings of your intestines (and what ever miscellaneous organs that come loose in the process). Honestly, it's rainy, damp, cold, dark, I have a thousand things to do, will never finish everything today and STILL feel like dancing a happy dance around the library and its poor, perspective-denied inhabitants.

On the other hand, I wish I had time to laze in bed for "recovery." Ah, but we can't have everything, can we.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bwaaahhhhaaaaa

Come on, add more. I don't care!!! I am insane!!!! I spend my days curled under my carrel praying no one finds me. I mumble imaginary answers to the MPRE. Tax codes are inked on my skin. Evidence rules get yelled out at the most inopportune times. And I laugh maniacally as I send in my application to take the Patent exam.

I want (1) a straight-jacket; (2) padded cell; and (3) all the time in the world to contemplate the floor.

Happy mid-semester everyone!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Adding more stuff

I know, I know. Everyone is busy. And I am NOT bitching, really.

So I got a part-time job. It's wonderful because it is right up my alley science-wise. Though they want me for the law research, they liked me because of my background. Basically, I won't have a problem deciphering what the scientists are talking about. And I get to leave the law school a couple of times a week to work some where else (added bonus).

But then today, with everything that I planned to do...I felt utterly drained. It's 3 and my neck/back is stiff from sitting in a carrel for a couple of days staring at whatever. I feel like my brains are pudding. So I thought to myself, let's take tomorrow completely off. No cooking, no cleaning, no school, nothing. Most importantly, no freakin' 5 am alarm (that's another insane story).

REALLY?

No go. Tomorrow, I get to spend 4 hours in a BarBri class learning ALL about the MPRE.

Oh, and here I was thinking I'm still young. My doc is sending me to a freaking cardiac clinic. WTF? When did I get old? I swear I am just going to start using a walker. I caught myself the other day telling my husband to hurry and we might make the early-bird special. I am vastly ashamed of myself. Therefore, I must find a young woman to switch bodies with. This will require switching to worshiping the devil, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Adding one more thing

I want to get through a number of things over the next 4.5 months.

1. MPRE

2. Patent Bar Exam

3. Papers...ugg, papers

4. Working, hopefully.

Oh, yeah and classes. I know I am missing something because a moment ago I was freaking out over getting everything done. Oh, yeah, Bar crap. Including BarBri stuff.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mediterranean Diet...HOW on my schedule?

Maybe someone out there can answer this for me or point me in the right direction. I have made amends with working much of the time. I barely clean my house enough to satisfy me (and I am no neat freak). We have a difficult time getting out to do just about anything that takes more than an hour or two. We divide the errands because it is more efficient that way.

And I desperately want to cook the "Mediterranean" way, but where the hell am I supposed to find the time to do this. First, to do this is basically retraining myself on cooking. Right now, cooking for the week is done on Saturday and usually involves a large piece of meat put in the crockpot with assorted spices to try to make it a little different from the last piece of meat cooked last week. Then I move on to a soup or stew. Granted, that falls under the mediterranean diet, sometimes, because one of the easiest things in the world to cook is lentil soup. But fresh fruit and vegies. Maybe an apple and banana, but everything else tends to go bad. And don't get me started on vegetables. We buy fresh, then we toss rotten vegies in the garbage. And I have no idea how to cook fish. Plus the fish at the grocery store is gross. I would have to add another stop to my week by going to Whole Foods to get decent fish.

AGGG...the universe is conspiring against me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Should absolutely not be awake

But I am. Insomnia crops up at the most inconvenient times.

So I am exercising much more, but I am also eating constantly. I feel hungry all the time, which is new. But I hope that calms down soon. Maybe if I move the eating around, like eating in the am (usually makes me ill, but could try it). Other than that, I have dropped a little weight.

And Ashley got robbed on Top Chef. That's all I have to say about that.

I still love Depeche Mode, especially Black Celebration.

Crap, I have to get up at 5:30 and it's almost 12:30. It's not going to be pretty in the morning.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Suit Does Not Cover BO

Walking down the stairs behind a well-dressed young man. Slight hints of odor. Wondering if I didn't shower properly. Then get close to young man and realize "good god, he has bad BO." Hm. I then begin thinking: Is it a genetic problem that can't be resolved? Did he forget deodorant? He looks clean, sort of. I suppose the hair looks a little greasy.

Moral to the story. TAKE A SHOWER. Or multiple. A nice suit does not mask BO.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Made the first step to complete a long overlooked project

It's just an email, but it's a a start. Goal date - October 30, 2009.
First goal, the email, completed.
Second goal completed Friday Oct. 9, 2009.

I am boring

Just read a post at Virgin in the Volcano. And I realize, I have become soooo boring. For instance, my husband and I have "date night." Every Friday we do something together and we try not to let anything interfere with it. Tonight, we are having dinner at home and watching a movie. I LOVE our date night. I look forward to it every week. This week, I said that I would stop by a party. My husband said it was okay. But I can't do it. I love the person throwing the party, but I just can't break date night. So, I have decided that I am okay with being boring and living vicariously through Virgin and no634. I don't need to go out when I can read their adventures. So PLEASE keep having adventures for all of us!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Procrastination strikes again

I want so much to get over this. Set deadlines...stop work. No deadlines...work. AAAAARRRRRHGGGGGG!!!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How do you write a paper?

This question has bugged me for a very long time. You see, I used to basically write for a living. I wrote a Master's thesis, a doctoral dissertation, multiple articles, lecture notes and tests, and even opinion pieces. Then I get to law school. And on my very first writing assignment, I am told that I am not a good writer...Really.

What happened after that is not supposed to happen to someone that has already made her bones in another field. I froze. I could not write. I would procrastinate to the point of all nighter's. Anything to avoid writing! Now, I have a paper that I HAVE TO COMPLETE. Not only that, I have to have it done by the end of October. Doable - you betcha. Doable by me - that's more in doubt. I am honestly considering signing up with a writing coach. A writing coach is someone that you report to on a daily or weekly basis. Many people sign up for one when they get stuck on the dissertation. I always thought it was hooey.

What kind of problems do you have? How do you get going? And what kinds of bribes do you use?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Exercise...It's the right thing to do, and a tasty way to do it

Starting the new and improved schedule. Getting up at 5 am to work out. Starting weight - very heavy. First goal? 10 lbs. Timeline: First goal by October 24.

Today I went to the dentist. Have you ever heard of scaling and planing under the gum line? I hadn't. I will ALWAYS floss from now on.

Any interesting class bits? I need to start writing these things down.

Prof Tax told us that s/he was one of the first people to develop mortgage-backed securities, basically to put together the residuals. Yah! Wait, weren't those the things that hid the actual risk in the market (buried subprime mortgages into these huge pools). yay. And wasn't that the reason why the subprime foreclosures caused so much crap and helped to melt the economy. ummm, not so yay. I couldn't concentrate the rest of class, I was either stifling laughter that this prof. was so proud of what s/he had accomplished or about to leap over the table to throttle the prof for exactly the same reason. Maybe I just didn't understand what s/he was saying. Or Prof T is the devil.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crunch, mmm carrots

Starting to bring my lunch more often. In fact, I am aiming for everyday and have only missed a few days. My favorite right now is a banana and peanut butter sandwich. It tastes almost like dessert. And little carrots are tasty, then top it off with an apple. MMMMMM. Sounds so simple, but it's quite good.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy with a side of guilt

1. Woot...I ate a salad today, with yogurt, low cal fruit juice (I feel cheated, basically watered down fruit juice), and fruit. AND the salad was not drowning in dressing.

2. I hate this feeling. A prof canceled class because of a family tragedy. I feel sorry for him, because I know it's rough. But underneath is this truly self-centered emotional response of happiness that I don't have class tonight.

3. Feel like I am getting into the swing of things. It's the beginning of the 3rd week, so I am in the swing a bit earlier than last year!

4. I do not feel like a moron. Nuf said.

Enjoy the week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

As I completely ignore resolution to get healthy

I went back and read some entries. Seems in a drunken stupor I said that I was going to get healthy...read drop a lot of weight. And in that same stupor, I claimed that I was going to have weigh-ins with real weight. Well, that has come and gone. But I should be taking this uber seriously. In light of my posts, I will begin the metamorphosis (no, not a cockroach).

So today I weigh...a lot. I can't bring myself to post it. Let's just set a goal and I will post how I am doing each week. So WebMD says a doable goal is 1-2 lbs per week. So for my very first goal, I am aiming to lose 1 lb per week for the next 4 weeks.

How do I feel...IT'S NOT ENOUGH. I should be aiming for 5 lbs a week. And that, friends, is exactly what causes myself to lose momentum. It is a strange process (completely counter productive, result - gain weight). First, I set a realistic goal. I begin achieving said realistic goal. Then I get antsy..more, more. So I start doing things that cause the weight to drop faster. And then I get even more impatient. Ultimately, with a lot of circular reasoning, depressive episodes, toss some insanity in, and I end up gaining everything back.

But each time is different, so never say never.

To lose 1 lb per week, I will:

1. Exercise at least 15 minutes 6 days a week
2. Take my lunch and eat breakfast
3. Not eat out more than one time per week

Okay, 3 fairly simple goals. Rah, rah, rah.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday and Tax

I will spend hours on tax today. And then go to a civilized cocktail party with people who are not law students or lawyers. I will have nothing whatsoever to say that anyone will want to hear. Egads, my life is ragingly dull. Maybe I could pass a few no634 stories as my own. Nah, no one would believe it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Whew!

I really need to chill. For some reason, everything is driving me crazy.

Fridays are a little odd because there are not that many folks on campus, a large % are 1L's. Every place I attempted to study, something got under my skin. Loud talking, music, even youtube watching. Moved to the library and I became ultra-sensitive to every noise around me. Out come the ear plugs. Now my ears hurt from having them in for hours. I guess I should take them out more often. So I end up grumpy.

Then I walk out to the parking lot I use, which is not a school parking lot. It is usually never manned. There are exceptions. This time, one of the people that runs the lot came over and asked me how much I paid. I tell him and he says I owe more. Yes, the charge changes, but when it does there is always a sign (which there wasn't this am, I always check). He keeps badgering me. So I simply say, the sign wasn't up. He keeps saying it was. (1) I don't actually have the money to pay more and (2) he has picked the wrong person to berate. I then say, nope, not going to pay, which I didn't. I am now banned from the lot, but happy that I left without a fist fight. Not from me, but this guy was doing everything but hitting me; grabbing my car door, my bag, my arm. While I am still a little pissed over the whole interaction (I don't care who was wrong or right, he was a total prick, I was leaving and the event he was upcharging for didn't even start for another 2 hours). The lesson, nothing was accomplished. I will park in a different lot for the same amount of money and that parking lot will likely be mostly full everyday. I hate these kinds of interactions. I will now spend the next 24 hours vacillating between feeling I was in the wrong and angry that I keep revisiting it.

Ugg...the weekend is off to a helluva start.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rains, pours...fill in the cliche

In this season of disappointment and recessionary depressed economy, I feel guilty for being happy. We thought that this semester would be really difficult money-wise, but in a day, we are back to equilibrium. I think we have found a renter for the apartment and a friend contacted me about a potential part-time job. So I am breathing a huge sigh of relief. And to top it off, I may get to ditch a class that I really am not diggin'. I am having a little fun with Tax and Evidence, plus the seminars are going to be much more work than I thought.

And I appreciate the folks out there that are blogging. It makes my day much more entertaining, I have found.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Why I fear sickness

For the last 2 years I have been lucky enough to have almost all my classes with the most perfect student. One who never gets sick (or only on weekends), attends every class, and takes perfect notes.

I, on the other hand, have no immune system (well, it's gotten better since I actually started eating vegies on a regular basis). I get everything from stomach flu (oh god, I am going to die) to, very likely, swine flu. Cupcakes and other goodies bought me notes from perfect student. But now perfect student has abandoned me for the last year in LS. He is at another school for the last year. There are others I could ask, but it's just not the same. I got notes from someone when I had catastrophic flu (read, almost 2 weeks out with 102 fever). There were numerous words that weren't. Put another way, when taking notes, the English language simply escaped them, though they were born and bred in the US. Another person took so few notes it was pointless. Still another took notes that made absolutely no sense to what we were reading. The notes were basically reminders to her of what she wanted to remember. Needless to say, I never asked for another person's notes again, with this one exception (or in really dire circumstances).

Why am I going on about this? Because I have a headache, a slight sore throat, and a bit of a runny nose. Now this could be nothing but what I call library fever (I am allergic to SOMETHING in this damn place). I take an antihistamine if it gets too bad and it goes away. In the winter, it gets much better, not sure why. BUT there are numerous industrious souls dragging their sick-asses to school and infecting everyone they touch, sneeze on (thanks by the way), cough near, or germinate through door handles, faucets, etc. Yes, I get it, LS is a bitch and it sucks to miss class. But really, do you HAVE to come to school when you look like you are dying???? There are times, when I believe that there should be laws that if you (1) have a fever; (2) are snot-person; or (3) have a cough, it should be illegal for you to come to school. You should be stopped at the door and sent to the quarantine room until a special car picks you up and deposits you on your doorstep.

Before LS, when I worked (granted in academics), I sent people home when they dragged in. First and foremost, you are a danger to everyone around you. We look at colds and flu as if they are nothing. But one of the people I worked with had reduced lung capacity from childhood pneumonia, so a minor cold could be life threatening to her. The flu kills people every year and yet few people have qualms bringing it to work or school. To give you an example, we had a young woman demand to drag herself in every day that she was sick. And she was desperately sick. She gave it to a few people in class (likely through touching desks, etc.). One of those people had a compromised immune system. They were in the hospital for over 3 months.

So the next time you decide to "be brave" and bring whatever sickness to school with you, just know that everyone around you hates you. Especially me, because I know I am going to get it and now I can't stay home because I lost the best student notetaker on the planet. So I hope I get a variant that can be transmitted back to you. Yeah, I am that petty.

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Digress

Okay, just spent yesterday ranting about library noise. However, if everyone was as entertaining as the 2 (1L's? Lost undergrads?) near me this am, I might give them a pass. This next part might sound mean and it is not, really, for the following reasons. (1) Everyone has been in similar situations, though not quite this one (no one has been clued in everyday of their lives. And everyone wants to believe SO) and (2) unlike other annoyances, I felt quite maternal in my sympathy.

Young woman walks up and sits at table with other young woman (YW1 and YW2). yw1 states that she is having serious relationship problems which have lead to class related problems. yw2 sympathizes appropriately and turns back to books. yw1 goes on about relationship. It seems that she is confused whether to get rid of partner because of underwear found in glovebox of partner's car. Said partner claims it is yw1's underwear, yet yw1 can not recall ever purchasing said underwear. Additionally, the underwear is at least 2 sizes too large for yw1. The partner explains this away as her (I kid you not) "fat period." The conversation went on for approximately 10 more minutes in this vein with yw1 attempting to figure out if said underwear were indeed hers with yw2 suppressing serious laughter. I wanted to go over and share a piece of wisdom handed down for generations of women in my family...Git another one cause they makin' 'em everyday. (Also taken from the Sweet Potato Queens, though my great-grandmother said this all the time). I just wanted to hug her...Bless her heart.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

And so the library madness begins

At the beginning of the fall semester, I have found that the exact same thing happens until about mid-semester...No one knows how to act in a library. Others have similar experiences.

It begins with a slam of books, a crunch of chips, a whispered conversation. Not bad, I can deal with that, not a problem. Then it elevates to real conversation, a cell phone ring, and a loud conversation about how ____ got so drunk last night at the generic get to know you event hosted by whoever. Now, I am the first to admit that I am cranky. But come on! Really?! You spent how many years in college and you still don't know how to act in a library. Do I really have to shoot death glares or berate you into silence? Do I really have to walk over to the study room, knock on the damn door and tell you that the whole floor can here your screeching laughter? And are you so clueless that you haven't figured out that all of the other folks in the library are trying to stare you into a little quiet?

This cycle will continue until about the middle of the semester. Many of the perpetrators will either avoid the library or avoid being any where that I am (smirk). Of the few that do not get it, others will begin to come forward to shut them up. By the end of the semester, many of these self-same people will be freaking out over exams and outlines and studying that one potato chip crunch will send them into a frenzy of shushing.

But for now, excuse me while I go tell some 1L to shut the hell up, I am trying to blog.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First week...out of schedule already

Usually it takes a couple of weeks for me to get off schedule. I outdid myself and was out by day 2. Going to make for an interesting semester.

Also, tried to talk to some 1Ls. Were we like that? They seemed to only want to congregate amongst themselves, so I bid adieu quickly. I suppose its the whole shared experience thing.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am turning into a really cranky person

So, I am spending a lot more time at school in order to be able to spend more quality time with DH at home. This comes after many months of "I would love to do that, but am reading (fill in blank)." I have spent the last two years being unable to separate school from any other time. While this works (not well) okay with singles (all right, maybe not), for smug marrieds (nod to Bridget) it can lead to total disaster around exam time. Meaning, as soon as the REAL stress is on, that is the time chosen for your significant other to have a meltdown. While we have had only minor sallies, I don't want any more stress in my life than needs to be.

So, that brings me to "cranky."

Most of my time is being spent alone and in the library with little contact with other humans. While I realize this represents most law students lives, I have also spent some time previously isolated (about 4 weeks) doing all the things (read nothing) that I, and I alone like to do (okay, I am not always this self-centered). So in the past two days, I have begun to interact with others again. And I realized (with the help of a friend that was very direct) that I have to relearn how to interact. It seems that if I stay away from people too long everyone thinks I am angry during conversations. It's the abruptness. I begin to speak in very short sentences and not cuing into facial expressions. Finally, someone just flat out asked if I was angry. No, I am not angry. Just socially maladjusted.

So if you decide that you need to hole up for a very long period of time, remember that once you emerge, there will be an adjustment period. Don't be surprised if you spend the first few hours pissing off people :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Late start

Wow, we start so late in the year. It is so wonderful to start so late. And to have had so much time off. And to have a job. Thank you greater being than myself, that I have a job. This year is going to be so much better.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

This Year Is Tough, Money-wise

I don't want to complain, because I have so much to be thankful for. But this year is going to be interesting. Our money supply is beginning to run short just when expenses are piling higher. I have to take the Patent Bar, MPRE and the bar this year. Plus, we don't have the extra income this year from a part time job. And then there is the whole moving at the end of summer. The question remains how in the world are we going to sell our house for a reasonable rate.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tired all of the time

Wow, 2 posts in one day. Guess I am on a roll.

I have been feeling tired for a long time now. It comes and goes, but lately it stays for much longer than usual. Everyone gets tired, I know that. But when this happens, I feel like I am in a brain fog. My thoughts get scattered and it's difficult to focus at all. For instance, right now, I feel as if I am typing through molasses. I could literally curl up on the floor and go to sleep. For a long time I thought I wasn't getting enough sleep. But that doesn't explain the vast majority of it.

So here are the possibilities:

1. Being overweight. But I did have major bouts when I was thin. Doesn't rule it out, though.

2. Poor nutrition. This really could be the source of all evil. I am terrible about eating right. I become a child when a meal rolls around. Right down to a pout.

3. Lack of exercise. Again, very good possibility here. The strange thing is that when I do exercise, I feel much, much worse. However, that may just be the initial phases. Maybe that floodgate of energy will crank open once I make exercise a habit.

4. Sneaking smokes. Yep, I have a tendency for lying to myself about smoking.

5. Too much caffeine and too little water. I live for coffee, always have. I was chugging the stuff in high school. Maybe it's time to let it go.

Okay, so maybe the whole losing weight based on good nutrition and exercise will actually result in a huge increase in energy (or at least fewer days like today where it's almost painful to do anything).

Here's to me getting off my ass.

The FINAL year

Okay, we are about to start school. We start late here, not sure what the reasoning is, but I love it. I had a few weeks to do very little and loved it.

I can't believe I didn't blog at all this summer. Quick summary:

1. We did indeed nurse a cat back to health. And it freakin' cost a mint. His name is now Vacation, because that is exactly where all of our vacation money went. We are just lucky we didn't book far in advance.

2. I worked for a firm in the South this summer. The firm was great, the people were good folks. That is high praise in Southern.

3. I got an offer from said firm. Relieved.

4. We lost fabulous tenants that we would have like to have stayed the whole three years. But when a house falls in your lap, you have to purchase. So now, we are kind of sweatin' about renting.

5. We stayed at home for vacation (see #1) and had a great time. So much to do around this city, so little time.

And now school is looming like the dark specter that haunts your dreams. I don't wanna!

Random tidbits for 1L's coming in this year:

1. Advice is all well and good, but frankly, until you get your first semester grades you don't know what works for you.

2. I didn't start getting good grades until I stopped using a computer in class.

3. I know people that study like fiends ranked low and those that don't, ranked high. And vice versa.

4. For the vast majority of people, law school blows. Most get over the whole, wow isn't this intellectually stimulating crap.

5. Don't believe the administration. Jobs are freakin' hard to come by. I don't care what the stats say. I didn't get even a nibble until I thought to look in my home town.

6. Decorate with liveliness. Don't you want to spend time in a place that has your name written all over it?

7. Laugh, laugh, laugh. Laughter reduces stress hormones. Laughter actually works abdominal muscles. Laughter just plain feels good.

8. Be kind to that woman or man in your class that seems odd. You never know. Plus, you just might prevent someone becoming an addict or worse.

9. Keep as many parts of you that make you who you are. Okay, kind of convoluted.

That's it. Oh, one more thing. I am doing weigh in Wednesdays. Since I keep blathering about losing weight, I am going to post my weight each week (yep, my real weight). The plan is simple: (1) stop eating out; (2) exercise everyday; (3) sleep 8 hours; (4) eat around 1500-1700 calories a day; and (5) drink tons of water.

If anyone is still reading, how ya doin'?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Weekend

Yes, I bitch about working but I love the law school on weekends in the summer. There is no one here. I love the quiet, going into the student rec room. No one playing pool or watching tv or playing video games. Just an empty room where I can spread out my stuff and work in the silence. And honestly, the best part? The absolute best part is that there are no intense pre-lawyers discussing the import of Marbury v. Madison, contracts, torts, etc. No equally intense, but even less inviting, person discussing their GPA in the abstract or their awesome new summer job or whatever else the most arrogant asshats discuss in front of an audience. Or bemoaning their workload, etc. I love the silence.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Got a job, may lose a volunteer position, and overwelmed

I am awful. I procrastinated this last semester worse than any other semester. The problem is that I did so with my responsibilities outside of law school. I did fairly well at keeping up in classes. But my home is a shambles.

During Spring Break I had an interview with a great law firm. Or at least it seems great to me. Young, relative to many other firms I interviewed with. And not age young, necessarily. Young as in lots of room to grow, populated by energetic people excited about what they do, and the possibility to create my own niche in a good town. Not where I thought I would be but where I could do a lot.

Now I am afraid my procrastination is catching up with me. I was a volunteer for an organization and they ominously contacted me after a very long absence, on their part. I assume that I am going to be unvolunteered. I have never lost a job before, not even a volunteer position. Oh well. At this point, I will just say okay, sorry it didn't work out. Hopefully my ego will survive through it.

And I have a massive amount of work in the next 4 weeks. Ugggg.

And to top it off, we have been nursing a cat back to health and it has been a bit of an uphill battle. I am so tired of vets and trying to force medications into the cat.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

In light of the New Year, 2009...good-bye 2008, I hate's ya...I am making resolutions. And much like ImNobody, I want resolutions that are concrete, real. I have thought about this for a week now and I now I think I have the ones I want.

1. Exercise aerobically everyday, for at least 15 minutes...and housework counts. I can do anything physical, I just have to get it in every day. And do not take the easy way. Walk to a further bus stop, take stairs, take breaks to cross the river periodically.

2. Two to three times a week do strength training of some kind. Start with pushups, my core exercises and a few other weight exercises.

3. I want to eat real food, slow food for at least 3/4 of all meals each week. That means that I have to plan out the week for cooking, do it simply (pull out the slow cooker for beans and stews). I want to stop treating my body like a garbage dump. I love food, I love to cook. There is no reason that law school should stop this. Get back to steel cut oatmeal with walnuts and berries. Real cream in my coffee. Slow cooked dried black beans with coriander, onion, and mint.

4. Be the one that is not busy. I love the philosophy but haven't been able to quite internalize it. This year I will spend more effort to this end. The one that is not busy is the one that is able to focus be it work, play, or anything. And not only focus, but shift focus relatively easily between tasks, etc.

That's a lot, but it's all things that are important to me.

Wish me luck and good luck for the New Year to every one.