Friday, December 28, 2007

Blog takedown

What is going on with the law blogs coming down? I miss Legal Spanking and Law Bitches.

Law exams blew. I was supremely shocked at how subjective they were. I knew they would be hard and I guess I did okay, but at least one of them was extremely off base.

Plans for break.
Week 1 down - slept a lot, did a few errands, applied for a few summer jobs, got turned down for a few jobs. I don't think I am going to have one of those amazingly well-paid summer internships. I don't mind. I will likely go for an RA, take classes, or do an externship. I am kind of hoping to graduate early to start making the bling sooner.

Week 2: clean my pig sty of a house. And yes, this will take all week.

Week 3 and 4: work on a project for about 2 weeks. I will clean that up and stop having that hanging over my head. That will be wonderfully freeing.

Then it's back to the grind. I actually already miss it.

Hope everyone out there is doing well and having a good break. As for me, I feel great, sleepy, but great.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Knowing you are crashing and not being able to do a damn thing about it.

What I should be doing:
1. Outlining
2. Reading and briefing for this week

What I am doing:
1. Staring into space
2. Not studying

I woke up today feeling fine. Then DH woke and was almost screaming with pain. I got him to the hospital and now I am worried about leaving him alone. He is fine now and will likely be fine in the next few days. But he is never like that and it scared me. It was like seeing the future now, realizing one day one of us was going to be gone. And for some reason I am having real difficulty getting back on track.

Personal problems suck.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

To balance, the good side of law students

This week, I have seen numerous people bend over backwards to help others. I am in a study group that has been wonderful about sharing notes. Someone I barely know emailed a friend of his who happened to be a judge in the area I am interested in and asked if I could contact him

* The girl who stood next to the coke machines and bought the girl in front of her a soda when the girl at the machine didn't have any cash
* The guy who asked if the guy next to him wanted his outline for a class the second person was having problems in.
* The three women (of the young set) that told me I looked great one day when I felt truly awkward in my suit
* Asking a woman to attend a lunch with an attorney in a field that the invitor knows the woman is interested.

I want to think the best of people and this week was a stellar week to see how people can be at their best. Call me naive, call me Pollyanna, but I can't stand thinking everyone is out for themselves.

So to the women that made the shitty comments: You will not taint my perceptions of law school any longer.

Oh yeah, outlines are a pain in the ass.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Stereotype of Law School

It's that its high school. And that has finally come home to me. After having attempted to be very nice to a everyone and try not to feel like the "old" one, a friend has been openly maligned by a small group of 20 somethings. It's amazing what people will say when they think you aren't listening (maybe they think my age has rendered me deaf). The insults include "stupid" "she's [my friend] is at least 60" and that she shouldn't be here.

I am absolutely pissed that I wasn't in a situation where I could beat them up. Physically, I have about 3 inches on the tallest one and at least 5o lbs. Plus, my dad thought it was disgusting the way girls fought (not that I got into fights when I was young), so he taught me to hit properly. I've got a mean right hook.

So I made a comment that let them know that I am not quite the decrepit person they think I am. But I was so angry that was about all I could do. They did shut up, but good Lord, who thinks this way. The woman they were discussing is beautiful and I don't mean that in a "she looks good for her age" kind of thing. When I first met her I thought she was a good 10 years younger than I am. And she is highly educated, worked for years in a position of some status, and is intelligent.

What possesses people to say things like this? Every time my friends have wanted to bash other women at this school for things like the way they dress, how they act, or make disparaging remarks about their intelligence, I take the high road. I remind them that (1) every body has a bad day and will say dumb things; (2) everyone acts a little idiotic now and then, plus some people just don't realize that what they say may be offensive; and, most importantly, (3) I'm not sure that if I was 25 again AND had the bodies these women have, I wouldn't be flaunting a bit. I have tried to vigorously defend the younger women, saying that they are probably really nice people that are a little stand-offish with older women, cause they just don't know what to say or don't have anything in common with us. And we do have friends that are much younger. But I am appalled. And apparently this happens all the time. I thought this was exaggerated for blogs. But it's real and it's mean and it's just people being complete and total jackasses.

Well, I am here to say that if I hear this from anyone, I am going to be speaking up a lot more to them. Screw what they think of me, I won't be bullied or have people speak like that about my friends. I took enough of that kind of shit in high school. I didn't need it then and I sure as hell don't need it now.

The gloves come off.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stress and Law school

I haven't been too stressed out about school. I admit, I freaked out a bit when I got sick and fell pretty far behind. But I tried to put on a happy face and tackle the backlog, the whole time giving myself ridiculously positive reassurance. This comes from a life time of being a really negative person. I was the cynic, sometimes the whiner, but I could always find the cloud in a clear blue sky. That never worked for me. I have talked about this before.

So today, we got a lecture about how we should not be stressed and if we are we need to get help. Now, I don't want to say "duh" because when someone is in the midst of depression, alcoholism, or any other problem, it is really hard to have any perspective. What I did realize is that I feel sorry for any one in school younger than 28. Aging is crap, but the one thing it really can do for you is to put things in perspective. I realized in that talk, I wish someone had said these things when I was 28 and starting graduate school. What they did say was "hard work is its own reward." What a load of bollocks. Hard work is great, don't get me wrong. I am as Puritanical as the next American. But hard work and the work ethic isn't everything AND it shouldn't be. So if I were giving advice (ask me after this year and grades come out), the very first thing I would say is: "If you are over 28, you likely understand what it means to try to balance life and work. You may not have done it successfully, but at least you know that it must be attempted. For those of you that are under 28, or worse yet, just out of undergraduate school, yes, you have been shocked at the work load. I hear some of you flipping out when others tell you they spent 12 hours in the library yesterday. I have heard you moan that it's just too hard. I want each of you to take a deep breath and think about this for a moment. Do you really need to listen to how other people study? No. Worse, some of those people spent 6-7 hours surfing the web. Some are attempting psychological warfare. Still others don't get it, even after 12 hours in the library. Let that go. Find what works for you. What really works for you. So you think sitting in front of the TV briefing cases? Turn off the TV and ask yourself questions about the case. If you can answer them, great that does work. If not, turn the freakin' tv off..." and on in that vein.

Anyway, I am finally glad I am old.

Oh, 28, 25, 30, doesn't matter. I picked the age that I could point to myself and say, that's about the age I stopped being a dill-hole.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Increasing time devoted to school

I am not altering my schedule to increase time allotted for school. My reading is picking up speed and I think I am beginning to brief faster. But I have to start outlining this week, primarily because I didn't realize how scattered some of my notes have become.

Nine weeks until finals begin:
Week 1: First, catch up from the illness (almost done). Next, go through notes and make sense of them. May need to compare notes with a few people. Finally for this week, set up the "bones" of the outlines.

Week 2: Time to put a lot of time into the outlines. But I would like to see some examples of good ones. I am a little lost at how much information is important, I mean how much info regarding cases do you include?

Week 3: By the end of this week I should be caught up with the outlines and beginning maintenance phase. Of course, the big legal writing project is due sometime around this time.

Week 4: Now is the time to get exams. Not take any, just get them.

Week 5: Have I been using the flashcards? Do I have the flowcharts?

Week 6: Keeping up, doing practice questions, flashcards, flowcharts

Week 7: At some point between 6 and 7 take some practice exams. Then take the answers apart.

Week 8 and 9: Get the outlines into the old memory. Just keep reading, using mnemonics and flashcards.

Exam weeks (we have about 2 weeks of exams).

Whether or not I actually do any of this, I feel better for having put it out there.

Is that stupid?

Monday, October 8, 2007

I tried, I really tried and now I just want to cry.

I got sick on Friday, Sept 28. I spent Saturday and Sunday under a complete haze of fever, coughing, sore throat, and snot. I tried to read. Nothing doing. I did the least amount so I could turn in something. But that wasn't the end of it. Monday and Tuesday, I went to class to simply shiver and be completely incoherent. I then spent the week disintegrating by around 2 in the afternoon until almost the weekend. I couldn't eat. All I could do was sleep.

And now I am so behind. I am a week, a whole week behind in the reading. I feel like I have just royally screwed myself. I tried to read. I would complete the reading and have absolutely no clue what I had just finished. Then I would start over again and try to take notes. It's all gibberish.

It's been years since I have gotten a cold, YEARS. And when do I get one. Now. When I need to start outlining. When I absolutely need to stay current with the reading. I feel so like crying, looking at all of the reading I have to get caught up on. I can feel self-pity roll in, so I will fight it. Skip all TV this week, not do anything other than read, brief and outline. And by Sunday, I may see the sun again.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Review of "Moonlight" or how CBS can so disappoint me

Vampire show, I'm on board. I even used to watch this horrible late-night show called Forever Knight.

But this show, a show that could have rocked, just blew chunks.

Add a bunch of stupid monologues by a brooding vampire, a female reporter that has no depth or change of expression, sprinkle with one of the worst scripts out there, and let sit for an hour. And you wind up with Moonlight. Oh, and I forgot about the ridiculous backstory connecting male vampire to female reporter. And steal the crazy female vampire character from Buffy.

The show begins with the lead character being interviewed, which of course...well, I won't give away the surprise, though it's a dumb one. What ever happened to allowing (1) characters to develop over the course of multiple episodes and (2) answer questions that need to be answered through action. He can't be killed by sunlight, just put him in the freaking sunlight. Not combusting will clue the freakin' audience in.

I usually will watch anything having to do with vampires. But I am not watching this piece of shit.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I like, I really like it

When I forget being tired or pissed off about being confused or I don't talk to a couple of people for a few days, I realize that I really like law school. I like the thinking involved and the logic, no matter how stretched. I even like Civil Procedure (it's not love, just like).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I can't believe I am blogging the age thing

I realize that as you age, there are certain alterations to your body. But does it have to be so many. And why, oh, why, does one of them have to be energy. While I know if I was in better shape, I would be more energetic. But I still won't be able to go to the drinking events during the week and roll into class without a care in the world the next day.

Gee, does that sound juvenile?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Self sabotage and other realizations

It's hard for a sane, intelligent, fairly accomplished person to admit, but I self-sabotage all of the time. I am doing it right now.

And I hate myself for it. Every time I walk away from my desk KNOWING that I absolutely need to finish that assignment (or paper or proposal or experiment), I feel self-loathing.

I do not want a repeat of the PhD. I do not want, a year from now, to think, "Yeah, I would have had _____, but I didn't work hard enough." I want to not care so much about Law Review, Moot Court, Fancy BigLaw Firm, and everything else. I want, REALLY want, to do my best and be happy with that. I want to work hard and be happy with my efforts. Because behind the sabotage lies the ugly truth. I am terrified I am not good enough to be on Law Review, get picked for BigLaw, etc. And what it boils down to is that I am not good enough.

Eww, enough realizations today. I'm going back to CivPro.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Jackass Neighbors

As a neighbor of others, I attempt to (1) not be loud; (2) not encroach upon others property; and (3) not attempt to bend my neighbor's behavior in accordance to how I feel they should act. But living next to people, there comes a moment when you just want to walk onto their lawn and torch (preferably with a flame thrower that "accidently" singes those goddamn ugly lawn ornaments that simply should be put out of their misery) the one thousandth "nice" note left by your neighbor to alert you to some major issue that must be attended to, for instance parking.

I have never enjoyed attempting to park on the street. I just don't want to do it. Luckily every where I have lived, I have made sure to have, at the least, a driveway. But our neighbors do not have a driveway. And we have people who live with us, sort of. And they have 2 automobiles. Which they park on the street. And the neighbor seems to believe that the street in front of her/his home is strictly for their use. While I know it is annoying to come home and have to walk about 10 feet more than normal, IT'S A PUBLIC STREET.

Now am I going to walk over there, hand the note back, and politely tell them to shove it up their ass? No, I am going to ask the nice couple living here to move their cars. Why? Because I KNOW in my bones that if I interact AT ALL with these people, I will become homicidal. And we own this home, we want to stay in this home. And we live VERY close to these people.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

First week has lead to therapy_light therapy.

Not to be interpreted as "diet therapy" where you spill your soul in 100 calorie increments. No, I mean light as in the sun. It seems that being married, having pets, and having the personal goal of dropping around 100 lbs combine to be being NOT conducive to late night studying, rising late, and barely making it to class on time. This seems to only work if you can either thrive on 4 hours sleep, you never want to see your significant other or, more commonly, you are a single law student. So because I am trying to spend time with DH and the pets, cook some semi-healthy meals, get to the gym on a regular basis, and get all my studying done, I find myself getting up at around 5 AM. I wasn't even sure there was a legal 5 AM, but sure enough it happens. And it doesn't matter that the days are fairly long, it's freakin' dark at 5 AM. I keep hoping the 5 turns into an 8.

So I whined, um explained this to a few people the other day. I love my friends. As an aside, being 40 is awesome because your friends tend to have real careers established. My friend the psychiatrist started going into light therapy and the difference it can make with people, especially those that have Seasonal Affective Disorder or ADHD (me), and need a big boost to their inner clock. So on her advice (I will attempt to stick her with the bill if this doesn't work), I have purchased a Sunset/Sunrise alarm clock, which is exactly what it sounds like. In the evening, you program it to slowly bring down the light and same for am. So by the time my alarm goes off, the light is fully on and I have been exposed to light for about 15-20 minutes. The second thing I purchased is for during the day. It's a small, portable light box. I just sit in front of it for about 15 minutes at a time and it's supposed to really stem those afternoon slumps.

Here's hoping I didn't just flush a bunch of money I don't have down the drain.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I had no idea.

You can read the books, listen to what others have to say about it, and talk to professors and attorneys. But it didn't really prepare me for this. I am swamped all of the time. I was behind by the second day of classes. I just said good-bye to my weekends.

And I can't figure out if it's just me. It feels like everyone else is getting the reading done much quicker than I am. But then I just learned something horrible about my learning. I do not really get something until I have created notes for it. I am a transcriber. Reading doesn't do it. I can read passages until the cows come home, whatever the hell that means. But if I don't write it down in my own words, I don't learn it.

I am hanging on to the one bit of hope, it will get easier. If nothing else, it will get easier to say goodnight to everyone and turn back to my books. It will get easier to pour myself into the shower at 5 am to get more reading done before class. And it will get easier to only have a few hours on the weekend to "play." I know I have to get faster, more efficient, but with this whole bit about writing things down, I don't know how.

Any one can chime in on this, please!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bringing back the idea...

of a blog that is more than rants. I think once I get over some of this crap, I am going to try to spend more time on other topics than simply me. I'm tired of me.

I always thought I was to insignificant for the universe to pay me any mind

But it seriously looks as if it's out to get me. In the past 3 months, more bad stuff has happened to me or around me than the past 2 years. Some, I don't want to discuss here. It sucks, it's over with and I am movin' on.

Then there is the purse thing. Jackass cuts the screen door, walks into MY house while I am there and proceeds to steal from me. I feel unsafe, violated, paranoid, and disappointed. Mainly, I hate that some jackass can poison me on the neighborhood that 24 hours prior to the incident, I loved. Because we know it was someone in the neighborhood. All the charges were in the neighborhood (that we caught). And there are a couple of other reasons.

In my heart, I know this neighborhood is still safe (though I am much more careful than I used to be). Or at least I hope it is.

And then there is my financial aid problems. Not with the school. I am getting a sort of a bridge loan to deal with a lot of costs associated with purchasing this house, moving, and a few other things to clear up. We could do without it, but it saves us a lot of interest payments and allowed us to invest more equity in the home. But now I having spent hours (ahhhh, orientation for freshman, would that I knew) getting everything together, only to learn today that I can't do it the way normal students (including all other professional and graduate students) would. I have to do it the way the Law School has decided to set it up. Which means hours and hours of the past week (I had to do it twice with the purse stealing thing) have been completely wasted and the whole process is hung up until I get registered by them. Why so close to the start of the school year, why not a wee bit earlier? They may have perfectly valid reasons, but I don't understand them. I can handle this stuff myself, I am an adult. I am capable of walking to the appropriate office, get the forms, sign them, send them, etc. Well, I am if I know the right procedure (hrumph).

Not to mention getting all new ID with very little to bring with me. Just gotta love the DMV. Which I still haven't gotten yet, because they keep sending me away to another office. Or asking for other documentation. I finally got the student ID replaced first, since it constituted another picture ID.

Not to mention sending certified letters to freeze my credit report. And now I need to get a credit report every 3 months over the next year to make sure no one is screwing with my credit.

Not to mention the gas leak that cropped up or the water leak or the garage issue or the lack of a bed because of a door issue or the lack of the dishwasher because of a too crowded living room issue. Then there were the bruises from falling the last 3 steps of my backdoor because my dog ran after a cat. Or the shower head falling off and hitting me square on the head when I was bending over to pick up the soap (I had to say that). You wouldn't think those things would hurt, and you would be wrong. Or the falling over a box in the middle of a night, because the damn thing wasn't there earlier.

I give up. If I knew where to go to surrender, I'd be there in seconds. But they would probably refer me to another office b/c of ID issues.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

And the countdown begins...

Okay, we have moved...check
We are unpacked...good enough
I have my office set up...not exactly

I had my purse stolen out of my house by some jackass that slit my screen door and walked in while I was home and never even knew s/he was here...check

Yes, not only am I dealing with all the things that I haven't gotten completed in the last 3 weeks, but now I get to wonder if someone is out there ruining my credit. Because my purse was packed for the next day, in other words it had a lot of documents that can be really useful in the identity theft game. So I have been frantically trying to figure out what to do about the many documents, credit cards (cancel), bank account (alter), and passport. My social security card was in there (going to the DMV to change my license). The government has absolutely no way to report and flag a stolen social security number. It's fucking ridiculous. They could do so much to help prevent ID theft if they did this. Even if they issue you a new number, which is rare, they still have it set up to screw you (check their website, among others). And the police are just about useless in something like this. He took a report, gave me a number, and basically said "sucks to be you. You caused this by leaving your backdoor open for a couple of hours in daylight...etc" So I feel violated by this person and feel like the police are useless in petty crimes. Except it's not so petty to me. I could get really hammered by this if the person is a pro.

Oh, well I have to stop worrying about this. It's making me crazy. I can't wait to go to law school. I want my pro bono work to be identity theft now. Change the freaking laws.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Not tired and feeling contrite

I realized today that I have been expecting my DH to shoulder far more than he should. I have been angry that he hasn't been doing everything I wanted him to do. And it finally hit me today how self-centered I have been. Yes, I have a hard summer before school. Yes, I have had to travel for a good bit of the summer as well as squeeze everything in, but he has been balancing the home front (lots of animals), work, dealing with past work, worrying about our finances, worrying about his own career direction, and having to listen to me bitch and nag. And I am likely being passive-aggressive as well.

Okay, I am going to sit back, apologize, try to redistribute what I need to do and what I can take off his shoulders (he took so much off mine so these trips of mine were a lot less hectic).

Sometimes my level of self-centeredness scares me. I know that I am that way. I am a weird product of my childhood. I was an only child that was either ignored or treated like an adult, yet I still think the world revolves around me. I think that comes from making my own world and thinking that I was much more mature than I really was. It's difficult to learn anything if you believe you are more mature than the person you should be learning from.

I hope I can juggle law school and everything else.

And I hope I don't push my husband away.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tired and ranty

I am so tired, more from where I need to be. Every time I look at my to-do list I start to weep. That can't be a good sign. I am upset almost all the time. In the next 3 weeks, I have to

Get my ID card/gym membership
Labwork: Extractions, more sample collections, more extractions, and more incubations
Housework: Unpack and get everything in order, which is made worse as the part DH is responsible for is not working out very well.
Tie up loose ends with other people

It's not the work, it's the sheer number of little things that I have to do between now and when I start classes. The ones that eat away at your time, you look back and can't believe that it took so long. Oh yeah, and the fact that I only got one week off in the past 8 months of insanity and my DH doesn't understand why I want a few days to a week before school. I don't plan to sit on my ass and eat bon-bons. I mean, what the hell is he thinking. That makes me feel totally unsupported (not to mention pissed). And he wouldn't try to stop me if I did, but the discussion would quickly devolve into a bit of a crapfest. And I am angry that I can never take time without feeling like I am a lazy swine.

Cheers, I am going to soak my head.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Too busy to really write. I have been out of internet and computer contact for a while now. Will be again for another 2 weeks.

- We moved and it didn't completely suck
- We are not even close to unpacked
- My husband is a genius when it comes to rigging anything
- I hate having to work my butt off knowing that I won't be doing this come September
- I am flat broke with all the moving expenses and other expenses that have come up
- I forgot that dealing with financial aid cuts a big chunk out of the day
- I really don't like Dell and I don't like being forced to buy a computer that I don't want or need
- It seems like the minute I get busy that is the excuse I need to stop exercising and eating right

Another eventful week.

Monday, July 9, 2007


How do you know that you or anyone else has depth to them? I read a fair number of blogs, but one has been irritating me lately for no real reason. I don't want to describe it. But, suffice it to say, that it is someone that did not make a good first impression to me. And now I am trying to figure out why because I think that I am being reactionary.

Is it because s/he really is a bit pompous? Is it pompous to discuss issues? Are my own feelings of self-worth creeping in and colouring my perception?

I would very much like to know whether my gut reaction is to be trusted.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


There is no way I am going to keep up an intelligent blog.

I saw Transformers today. Exactly what I wanted to see. Lots of action and Optimus Prime.

Happy 4th of July, sort of.

Happy independence day! At the expense of the native Americans and on the backs of slaves.

It's hard for me to celebrate.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday Science: Lucy's coming to town;_ylt=AgjLvm6GZVzW7HyU6KHlxawPLBIF

As the big geek that I am, Lucy is coming to town. I don't know all the details yet, but it seems that Lucy (3.2 million year old female fossils found in Ethiopia) will be exhibited. However, there seems to be some controversy about the stress of travel on these fossils. In fact, she won't appear at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum because of this. Greedy geek that I am, I hope she shows up in the Twin Cities.

Want to know more about human evolution?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday reading: Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

This one has been sitting on my shelf for a while and recently I decided to forgo the usual chick-lit (a recent obsession) and try a little history. The author is Jack Weatherford. So far, I love it. Ghengis Khan and offspring were much more than I ever realized. I have only just begun the book but so far I find it compelling, though a little dry in the narration. But I am assuming the dryness has more to do with my recent selections of bouncy fiction than any real problems of Weatherford's writing style.

As soon as I finish it, I will give it a more thorough review.

A more recent novel is from Japan. Out a novel by Natsuo Kirino is amazing. Tension and enui amazingly combined. The main characters are a group of 4 women with a backdrop in a factory making boxed lunches. I was amazed at how I could simply hate their actions and be compelled to continue reading. The mystery is not so much a mystery, but the consequences of one action that continues to cascade throughout the book. The writing borders more on gothic, with a hypnotizing darkness that I loved. I am looking forward to other translations of this author.

Anon? Not for long with my big mouth.

I told a friend today about the blog. And then really wished I hadn't. Mainly because there isn't a thing enlightening about this blog. Oh well. Now I feel obligated to actually devote some time to issues that are a little more interesting, than just me whining. So I will have my own blogging themed days, although I will not likely blog everyday.

Monday: Reading
Tuesday: Biology/Science
Wednesday: Political roundup (as I see it, so it will likely be fucked-up)
Thursday: Grooming
Friday: Weight travails
Weekend: Whatever the hell I feel like.

Good reading JJK.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

WOW, that was a long post

The weight loss thing.

Losing weight...Why is it so freaking hard?

Make calories in less than calories out. That's it. The complete and total secret to weightloss. If I follow this formula then I MUST lose weight.

Ummm. Yeah, the calories in part. I make really poor choices. I think a lot of people have gotten obese because eating out has become such a big deal. I don't know the statistics, but most of the folks that I know that are overweight, including myself, eat out regularly. Sometimes one meal a day. And that one meal is usually around 3000 calories. It starts because eating out is supposed to be a celebratory thing, right? And who eats carrots to celebrate. At least that is the way it started for us. We ate out for something to do other than stay home (in that town, eating was about the only thing to do unless we wanted to be around drunk undergraduates. Not that there is anything wrong with that, as long as you are not an over 25 graduate student). Then it morphed into not having time to cook. Then it just became habit.

Being poor will help greatly with that. It's like not keeping the food in the house. If I can't eat out, I am not likely to make hot wings or Big Macs at home. As an aside, why are all plus-size clothes so damned high-waisted?

I want to lose weight. Why? I want to feel better, age better, not get diabetes (runs in the family), not get cancer (runs in the family), and not get heart disease (runs in the family). I wish running ran in the family. I also want to be able to buy clothes in "normal" stores. I want to be able to shop in consignment stores easily. I want to be able to run and jump without feeling like I am crushing my knees.

I will lose weight. I am confident that I can lose weight, because if the formula is followed it is physically impossible not to lose weight.

So on to the "Plan".
1. State goals in achievable, realistic, and concrete language: (a.) I will lose 110 lbs over the course of 2 years by losing approximately one pound per week; (b.) Calorie consumption per day will be 1800 calories; (c.) I will keep a food diary in order to track calorie consumption; (d.) I will exercise by walking or exercise video for 30 minutes every day; (e.) I will use hand weights and resistance training for strength training 3 times a week; (f.) Water, water, everywhere. Drink it damn it.
2. Envision my success: Spend time meditating on how this will help me through energy and health.
3. Avoid problem areas, in other words, no eating out for a while and let DH do the grocery shopping.
4. Keep myself motivated. This is hard. Motivation needs to come from within for the long haul. I know, I have lost and gained the same 45 lbs numerous times over the past 10 years. I'm doing this to be in charge of my life, not just to be a certain size. And that is the internal driving force. I am doing this for me and to make my life better.
5. Don't beat myself up. There are going to be days when I eat the brownie. And that's okay. I am tired of approaching weight loss as an all or nothing prospect.
6. Finally, follow through and affirmation. I am going to use my blog as a follow-through and affirmation place. I can record for those 2 or 3 that read this my daily struggles. And if it helps someone, excellent. If it helps me, even better.

So I am going to be perfectly honest here. On this blog. I am 5'6" and I currently weigh 244 lbs. My ultimate goal is 135 lbs. But my first goal, which is easily achievable is 5 lbs. So first goal = 239.

Yay me.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Studying or How to go back to school at 40!

I will be going to one of those prelaw bootcamp-like courses to move myself back into the swing of being in school. I don't expect to actually learn much (that would be a bonus), but I do expect to get back into the habit of being a student. So in preparation for law school, I started thinking about study habits and what mine used to be.

The bad: Wait until the last minute as a bet to someone that I could still make at least a B+ without having opened the book until the day before (never lost this one 'cause I chose my subjects well).

The ugly: All nighter's that I do not think that I can physically even do any more.

I am sure there were plenty of classes that I actually studied in a relatively decent way. But I am not sure about that. You see, right after I graduated with my Ph.D. I got fed up with the way I pay attention and finally went to someone about it. And it turns out that I have raging ADD. Which explains more than you could ever know. It explains why the fly in a class is so much more interesting than the lecture. Or why my mind goes on instantaneous tangential thoughts trying to listen to lectures. Or why I can hyperfocus for long periods of time to the detriment of everything else. My hyperfocus is so bad that my DH and I now have a system for him to get my attention. If I say yes to a question, he turns off the monitor, puts his hand over the book, or whatever is necessary to interupt me. It's annoying but it works. Unless you have to deal with this, you have no idea how insane this is. I have had entire conversations with him and others that I couldn't remember having minutes later. Because, I didn't really have them, the autopilot did.

People that I have told about this have always said the same thing: "Can't be that bad, you got through college for multiple degrees." And every minute after undergrad was like pulling teeth. I would have these elaborate systems to get myself to do things and crazy backups. And nothing ever worked well. Yes, I got the degree, but to this day I know I could have done so much better. Now, I know what I am dealing with so I make plans based on my attention span. Oh yeah, I also take medication. And the medication is like heaven. My brain stops throwing out a thousand random thoughts and I can have a conversation. I can listen and not lose track. But the really cool thing is that I don't take it all the time. I want to get lost in my thoughts or write, I stop taking it in the afternoon. And I have places for things and don't do ANYTHING without a list. I mean anything. Everything requires a list. And that list is broken down to sublists, etc.

So any way, back to studying. I actually feel better about developing study habits this time around. I got my meds, my habits, plans for dealing with the little quirks, and, hopefully, this bootcamp thing will give me a taste of what's to come. By next year, studying? Pshaw, that's easy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What do you do during the day?

Okay, from past posts, I have realized I'm not in touch with "what to do." Background: I was raised on TV. We never ate at the dinner table, we ate in front of the tv. My family lived in a series of places where they made no effort to know the neighbors and, basically, this seemed normal to me. So I had no neighborhood kids to play with and lead a fairly insular life. Later, in high school, I started the party thing. In my 20's, I tried a million outdoor activities, none stuck. And now, I am addicted to tv again, when I am not working. But this is not working for me. I feel like I am missing something. And it's experience. I can reel off millions of television and movie moments, but I have a hard time pointing to an event in my own life from the past 15 years.

So I sit here, trying to figure out what to do. What do I do? I could go out, but where? I could take a walk, but why? This feels ridiculous. I am actually searching on the web for normal people's schedules. I mean it, I am at a complete loss.

Okay, so I am going to try to figure this out. Oh, if you would like to tell me what you do with your day, I would love to hear it.

I love Spongebob

I am going to really miss the ability to "watch" (mainly listen) to movies and SpongeBob Squarepants while doing lab work. Really miss it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Using the past to stop the future

People do it all the time. They use past behavior or wrongs done to them to stop them from being who they could be. Some past wrongs are much worse and more crippling than others. I am talking about being dumped or used by people.

My latest realization is that I have tried very hard to shed me. I have spent years trying to be someone else. Many people do this. We all do it to some extent. Well, except those people that are just amazingly well-adjusted. As I get older, I want to rediscover who I really am. I want to stop who I think I should be and just start being.

In conjunction with the shedding process, I have also continually punished myself. Oh, I have made numerous mistakes and I have hurt people. There are a few people and what I did that I still can't think of without immense shame. But somewhere, we should forgive ourselves. Learn from what we have done, find the reasons we did the things that we did. The one huge mistake that haunts me 20 years later is that I cheated on someone that I loved very much. Because of this incident, for years I let other people take advantage of me and use me. I assumed that I was a bad person and should be treated poorly. To this day, I wish I could take back all of the hurt that I caused. But now I see a couple of people that were really bad at a relationship. He shut me out because he didn't know how to deal with me neediness. I started seeing someone else to compensate for the lack of contact. I have attempted, over the years to deal with my past. I still hate my actions and, on some days, myself. I am trying not to hate myself any more. I am not a bad person. That teenager wasn't a bad person. He wasn't a bad person. We were simply two screwed up people that had no idea how to talk to each other. I still can't write this without hearing that voice in my head that I AM a bad person. That I should be punished.

I have used this and other incidents in my past to stop my future. I slowly withdrew, using my career as an excuse. But part of it was always the need to punish or to not let anyone else see me. And now, I am tired of using the past. Yes, I have done things that hurt people. Just as I have been hurt by others. But I am going to stop letting it get in the way of making friends or doing the things I want to do.

The really nice thing about being almost 40. I can look like a dork. It's allowed.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

What happened?

That's the question that not only I but others ask of me, as well. Years ago, I started graduate school wanting to be a scientist. Not just as a career, I felt it was a calling. I obsessively threw myself into it. I would speak in hushed tones about it. I wanted nothing less than the brass ring; prestigious professorship at a research university.

Yesterday I met with a friend at old university. She is doing really well, an assistant professor with lots of grant money, many pubs, and a new lab she is really enjoying. I find myself envious. She helps by saying all the right things (the career is not for everyone, there are a lot of bad aspects to it...). Some how I still end up envious. I feel like she has the life I was supposed to have. Right down to being married to another successful academic and research in exotic places.

I so desperately want these feelings to go away. These emotions threaten to send me back into science, ditching any attempts to leave for another career. So why do I want to stay? I still enjoy the research. But not enough to stay. I want a defined career that doesn't define me. Science for so long defined me. And as I have said in earlier posts, I lost much to this career. I sacrificed it on the alter of science, an alter that I created. I think I was running from myself. I didn't want to be a nobody. I didn't want to be me. So instead, I shuttled everyone and everything that was associated with the me that wasn't a scientist. And in that, I tried to become a martyr thinking I would find that fulfillment that I found was missing within me. Yet that is the problem. It was missing within me. But fulfillment, in my opinion, has to come from within. It's like trying to shop, drink, or do drugs for love. It's why I turned from science to food. I eat for love. Food provides constant companionship and no judgement. I have plenty of judgement for a lifetime.

But my friend doesn't have the life I was supposed to have. There are enough moments in between the waves of jealousy that I can see that. I am happy. I have had a good life, full of numerous opportunities that have allowed me to explore so much of life.

One time, someone asked me why I changed my environment (job, apartment, town, etc) so often (often for them meant every 5 years). I said, and believed, that I felt the need to reinvent myself every 5-10 years to refresh my mind and spirit. Law will refresh me, I know that. But at this age, I am starting to become afraid. Afraid that I won't fit in at school, afraid that I won't be able to handle the coursework, and afraid that I won't find a job as a lawyer. But the one thing that I want more than any thing is to be afraid. Facing fear is the only way I know how to kick myself out of my comfort zone.

So what happened? I found out that science had feet of clay, that I couldn't be happy simply defining myself by a career, I was too burned out to keep going in this field, and I wanted a new way to look at science.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I just watched a documentary about the Intelligent Design movement. I still do not understand how people can deny evolution or even why. Or say things like "I don't believe in evolution." Evolution is not faith or belief. It's a matter of science. It's something that is continually tested each and every time scientists go into a laboratory.

I know that scientists have biases. Everyone does. But when it comes to testing theories, scientists are usually rigorous. They want to find out an answer, not prove their idea. I do not think that people truly understand this. I have stood beside other scientists that had their entire work reversed by a few experiments that negated their theories. And they didn't cover them up. They published them and changed the way they viewed and hypothesized their slice of science.

There are two major problems with trying to work Creation into science. And make no mistake, Intelligent Design is just another way for literal creation to recreate itself. The first major problem is that Intelligent Design is not science. Scientific theories or hypotheses, or at least the way many view it, must be falsifiable. This means that every test must be able to negate the hypothesis. In other words, just asking a question is not science. The scientific method, though reductionist, is a very good way to do science as it provides as answers that are as objective as possible. If you haven't seen it lately, in a nutshell the scientific method is observe, form hypothis, test hypothesis using experiments that provide for negating said hypothesis, and keep going. For instance, one of the hypotheses that I am working on these days is that carbon sources alter belowground microbial richness. Right now the answer is sort of. Which will be further tested and refined, at least until I start law school then someone else will pursue it. Intelligent design can not be falsified by any experiment. It is based solely on belief.

The second major problem, related to the first, is that the only way they approach proving ID is to attack evolution. However, advocates of ID rely on non-evidence. For instance, the fact or rarity does not prove a designer. It only proves that something is rare. My favorite quote comes from John Paulos:

"... rarity by itself shouldn't necessarily be evidence of anything. When one is dealt a bridge hand of thirteen cards, the probability of being dealt that particular hand is less than one in 600 billion. Still, it would be absurd for someone to be dealt a hand, examine it carefully, calculate that the probability of getting it is less than one in 600 billion, and then conclude that he must not have been dealt that very hand because it is so very improbable." --John Allen Paulos, Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences.

So possible and rarity are not incompatible by any stretch of the imagination. But falsifying evolution doesn't prove another theory. It simply falsifies evolution.

I don't have the space to deal with every ID argument, but there are a number of very good sources out there that do this.

So why do I care? Because evolution is a basic pillar of biology. It is important in discussing embryology, cell and molecular biology, pesticide use, antiobiotic and other drug useage, and in the discussion of the environment. Evolution is an important consideration in so many of the important issues facing the human race. Want to know why antiobiotic resistance happens and why it can be so dangerous? It has to do with evolution. Want to know why concern over species loss is so important or why small populations can be such a problem leading to extinction? It has to do with evolution.

Evolution is so important to so much of science. America wants to be a leader in the scientific fields. We can't do this if we deny such a huge driving force. We can't call ourselves educated if we do not understand as basic a notion as evolution. A professor will not write medical school recommendation letters for anti-evolution students. Do you want a doctor that doesn't believe in evolution over prescribing antibiotics or who ignores the reason why the flu vaccination changes every year? I sure as hell don't. Yet, people are suing him for discrimination. Idiocy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Talking myself happy

I am trying something I have always considered a little silly. My nature, in the past, leans toward the destructive side. Always wanting to party, always somehow envying misery even alcoholics. It's sick, I know. But I always thought there was something to the "noble" slide into misery and despair. Now I want to be an optimist or, at least, leaning toward happy.

Now I am trying to move away from that. Not the least of which, I kind of want to live a long and healthy life. I say kind of because I am still holding strong to many, many bad habits. One of which is complete and total cynicism. Cynicism is not realism. Just like optimism is not realism. And as for the old adage, "if you think the worst, at least you will never be disappointed," that is simply not true. When bad things happen, I am disappointed even though I expect the worst. A related trait is that I tend to belittle the good fortune that does come my way. Much like the other old adage, and I am paraphrasing, I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me for a member. All of this goes back to, of course, my beginnings. But I don't want to cling to all of this. I am tired of it. For instance, I got rejected or wait-listed by all of the top 20 law schools except for one. I expected that, plus I expected to be rejected from every other school. The top-20 one that I did get accepted into, I wanted to go to that one, even from the beginning. I want to live in that area. The resources for the area of law I am interested in are abundant at that school with numerous big firms that practice those areas. My first response: YAY! My second: Wait a minute, what's wrong with them. And so the cycle goes. I begin to doubt myself. Maybe this is a mistake. I will get a letter any day now telling me it was a mistake.

Anyway, I am now trying to be more accepting of the things that come my way, both good and bad. Good, we have a house that I like with a yard we can garden the heck out of. Bad, we are still trying to figure out where DH is working. Good, I get to go back to My State for field sampling, where I will get to see people I know and like. Bad, I have a lot of lab work to do in the next 75 days. Good, I am eating better because we can't afford to eat out any more. Bad, we can't afford to eat out any more. Good, we found homes for the kittens of a stray we picked up that was pregnant. Bad, I have to give my beautiful little guys away. And on it goes.

So the new thing that has taken me forever to write about is this talking yourself happy. I feel angry, I try to talk myself through it. First, it's okay to be angry. Second, breathe through it. Third, think happy thoughts, which could include beaches, hiking, skiing, etc. Fourth, really talk to myself about being happy. Repeat until the anger fades. I can't tell if it's working. Ask the telemarketer that argued with me about removing me from the call list.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

OMG, I am freakin' out

I hope I stop doing this on a regular basis, but I keep getting hit by the fact that:
1. We are moving July 12 and only have from July 4 to pack.
2. I still have papers to publish, projects to start, and laboratory analysis to complete.
3. I may have to pick up a few weekends in September to finish everything, which scares the hell out of me because of the whole grades thing.
4. I will have a small vacation in July. One I will have to cart my laptop to in order to finish everything.
5. And, not sure if it's a good idea or not, I signed up for a law preview course. It's been so long since taking regular courses that I hope this will help me.

These last three months have been depressingly busy. I was really hoping to have some down time before school, but that is so far from happening, I will be lucky to get a weekend. I keep thinking that I did this to myself, piling on stuff. But in reality, we did this. If we had been serious about saving money I could have quit sooner instead of dragging it right up until the day I walk into a classroom. I am going to orientation and then I will go back to the lab to finish up.

But on a much brighter note, we found a house. It's in a great neighborhood and there are plenty of cool places (like parks) in walking distance. I love the woodwork. And the garden (which pretty much includes the whole yard) will be awesome. AND we are done looking. That ended up being pretty much a huge pain in the butt. It had a lot to do with the price range. We would see these gorgeous homes in neighborhoods that were rundown. And because we were unfamiliar with the town, we didn't want to gamble too much on whether a neighborhood would make a comeback. Or we would see a house in our price range in a good neighborhood, walk in and realize that (1) it was tiny (we collect books) or (2) it wasn't move-in condition which we absolutely had to have with a July move. It was an experience I will not be eager to repeat. But we have the house! And we have a bus that goes directly to the campus! And we have cool neighbors!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

House hunting takes a looonnnngggg time

We must have seen over 100 houses at this point. And so many just sucked. Now I understand why some of these are still on the market. But I think we found the place we are interested in, at least I love it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

90 DAYS and HOUSE!

Not the show, my house. Tomorrow we start househunting in earnest. We will scour the town looking for everything. We have done this twice before. The first time our agent took us to so many scuzzy homes that when she showed us the one we bought, we weren't able to say no. Ah, so naive. What a wonderful way to trick someone into buying. The second time, we bought a condo. Never going to do that again, unless I am in New York City at some point. This time, the woman has been wonderful.

Can't wait, can't wait.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Check, check, and check's in the mail

Transcripts requested...check
Shots done...check
Last deposit sent...check

Now, house shopping next week. Need to find something that is big enough and in a nice enough neighborhood that we will want to keep it for a while. I love shopping.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Ah sleep. It used to be so easy. Lay down and within 7-10 minutes be fast asleep. Not freakin' any more. Oh no, now when I really need sleep, I get to stare up at the ceiling and regret all the mistakes I have made in my life. So, I told my doctor about this, because I have been dragging through my days on little to no sleep. Out comes the prescription pad. At this point, I don't care what she writes, as long as I get a good freaking night sleep. I take them periodically, but with dread. I can't wake up in the morning. I feel as if my head is muzzled with something. Screw this. I would rather stare at the ceiling then feel this way any more. I am going to definitely see if I can try something different.

Law school soon, Job over soon. Just get through it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Being hit with depression

is much like being hit with a 2x4, in one sense. You reel from it because it is so unexpected. I have spent years dealing with depression, only to have it crop back up again in odd moments. For instance, I have not had a bad bout for approximately 2.5 years. And now, today, suddenly it hits.

I don't want medication. I don't have a problem with medication, but the only one that works for me has a lot of side-effects that are unpleasant. So I am trying the natural route of tending to my depression. Warning: I am not a licensed physician or psychologist, this is only my opinion. If you are suffering from depression, please see a doctor or psychologist. That said, here is what I am trying. The last few days I have been irritable, sad, overly emotional, etc. All of these are indicative of a real black mood around the corner. My first instinct is to isolate myself. Since that is not a good one, I will make a call to a family member this evening. Second, I will make sure to take vitamins every day. Third, I will up my exercise to include things that will really physically challenge me. Fourth, I will use visualization to help calm fears and worries. And fifth, I will challenge my negative thoughts with "reasonable expectations."

Sunday, May 27, 2007

99 days and counting

I have to complete a summer's worth of sampling and processing. This does not bode well. But I think I am going to be okay if I shed a few things until Christmas. For instance, I am not worrying about sending out any manuscripts until Christmas. If anyone wants them completed sooner, then they can send them out.

In the next 7 weeks, we will need to find a house, purchase said house, give notice, pack, organize, dispose of numerous items, and move. During that 7 weeks, 10 days will be devoted to sampling and processing. Added, we would like to find 1-2 renters for the house, to bring down the mortgage payments as low as possible. I hope it won't be to hard finding people who want to live a little ways from the school. I only want to find folks that are in a professional or graduate school. I know this doesn't necessarily mean great renters, but I am afraid just to generally advertise.

Currently, I am trying to catch up on all movies possible. I figure my movie watching, something that I greatly enjoy, will be curtailed in school.

Also, switching to eating Special K (the cereal) chocolate in the evenings for my chocolate fix. Not bad so far. I am weighing in every Saturday and Wednesday, so I shall see. I so desperately want to drop a little weight. I walked up a hill yesterday and thought I was going to die. I used to run for goodness sake. I would love to do that again.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Choosing a neighborhood

I grew up poor, in a neighborhood that had no cohesion. But there were a core number of people, not us, trying to pull together to keep the neighborhood from disintegrating. I thought that was wonderful. Now, we are looking for a house and we keep asking ourselves the neighborhood question. Smaller house, stable neighborhood or larger house, potentially unstable neighborhood. Do we want to devote hours to neighborhood patrols and committees and working with our neighbors to make it a more stable area? Or would we rather give up a potential ideal for a stable existence? I really like the idea of trying to help stabilize a neighborhood, revitalize an area of a town that needs more home owners.

I am curious what other people think, if anyone reads this.

On a different topic, I am in for a hell of a summer. I am working through the summer, building a project that will take me into the first weeks of law school, which sucks. Plus, the travel alone is going to kill me. Once June rolls around I will be traveling hundreds of miles every other week. Feel sorry for me! So this summer, I now have to (1) learn to take care of myself and (2) work my ass off for a job I no longer care about.

(1) Learn to take care of myself. Not going to well. Still not off sugar. A little better with portion control though. I recently read an article describing how about 10 women lost a lot of weight. I read through what they eat a day and couldn't believe it. How are they not starving? I give you an example:
Bkfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, fruit
Lunch: Salad with beans, iced tea
Dinner: 3 oz chicken breast, 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, 1/2 roll with spread
Snack: 14 almonds, carrots
WHO EATS THIS??? Okay, obviously not me. But (here comes the whine) do I have toooooo? I spent 15 to 25 starving (literally, I knew the exact calories in one M&M). Then 25 to 35 gorging. And now, I just don't want to starve. Ok, ok. I know I have to do something. I am 100 lbs overweight. That is sooo not healthy. I would also like to like the way clothes fit again.

And this leads to the conundrum of (2). Working has caused most of this. Exercise? No time, I have labwork that has to get done. Eat healthy? Sorry, gotta grab something before the next reaction comes off. I am terrified that law school and this summer will kill any attempts I make to actually reduce my weight to a much healthier and less house-like size.

But isn't this the main problem, that I have been using excuses for so long? Let's face it, I weigh 240 and I am only 5'6. Face the problem. Face the reality. I don't care what others think any more. But I am slowly killing myself. Okay, I can do something about this. Maybe check-in with this.

Okay, goal this week. Cut out sweets. Try the old substitute fruit thing. What have I got to lose, except maybe a leg.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Will I ever say anything insightful?

Right now all I can think is "tired, tired, tired." I thought I was going to be discussing politics, legal decisions (yay, Paris Hilton gets no pardon). But I bitch about my work, my fashion, etc.

On a brighter note, I am getting really excited. We are almost approved for a mortgage (yuck, more dept; yay, not paying rent). House-hunting should commence in 3 weeks. The move should take place in 7 weeks. Packing will be done in a scary few days. My talent? I can pack a house in 3 days flat. I don't mean shoving everything into boxes, I mean organized, labelled, etc. It is a bizarre talent that has come in handy numerous times.

Yay, law school. Boo working all summer. Yay, moving early. Boo, still fat.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What I don't want to do

I don't want to go to law school and have a rehash of every other endeavor I have attempted. I want to do my best without losing my soul. I want to work very hard and then take time off. I want to not compare myself to everyone within days of starting. I want to drop the chip on my shoulder.

I got a Ph.D. but I didn't do as well as I wanted or could have. Yes, I am going to the law school that I want to attend, but I got into very few. I'm not like all those out there that are agonizing where to go. I got into 4, only 1 in the top 20. That was the one I really wanted to go to, so I am lucky. But I hear things like, well, it's not T14 or top 10 or whatever. I don't want to feel bad about this. I am in a good program, where I wanted to be.

What I have not done in my life that I planned to do:
1. I never joined Peace Corps
2. I did poorly in undergraduate
3. I didn't bust out double digit publications
4. I still spend far too much time watching television
5. Lose weight, get in shape
6. Run a marathon
7. Be popular (huh?)
There are many, many others. I can't believe that my self confidence is still so low after all these years.

This is a random entry because I haven't slept very well for weeks and I am losing a lot of perspective here.

I have been depressed about where I am in my life. In high school, I thought I could achieve so much, help so many people. Now I just feel like a failure. I need to go to bed soon.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Hate my job

I took a week off to get a few things done before leaving. I pray that my hubby gets the job that allows me to leave my work in summer. I can't stand going to work any more. I have had jobs I hate, I did them and left it at the end of the day leaving everything behind me. But this is worse because I no longer care about it, at all. I dread going back tomorrow. I dread having to be in lab or to write or analyze data. I just do not want to do it any more. And yet, I have no choice. None at all. I don't work, we don't move, etc. I hate not having money.

My career used to be so important to me. I loved what I did. I dropped friends and family for work. I never made connections because of my work. Then one day, I woke up and realized that I have no close friendships, my family barely knows me, and my husband and I were on the verge of divorce. Added to that, my work provided nothing any more, I hated it. I am not sure why I became so obsessive. What I traded for my career: My health (I am now obese), my energy (I sleepwalk through the day because of burnout and overwork), my joy (I have very little enthusiasm for anything). In many ways, I completely self-destructed in this career. While I am to blame for the vast majority of where I am today, I also think a little responsibility should be heaped on those in this field that continually harp on the "not taking vacations," "it's a calling, not a job" bullshit. Advisors, others, all saying these things. I blame myself for buying into this bizarre way of life. It's not this way for some. Many people have advisors that want them to have a life. Not yell at them when they leave for Christmas.

Here is my problem. People want these publications to come out. That's fine, I understand. The research was done, the publications need to be done. But I DO NOT WANT TO DO IT. Am I being selfish? Is it okay to be selfish? I want to send all the data and analyses and manuscripts to the different authors and say, "Go ahead, write it. I don't want it and I am not going to do it." But I did the work, I should follow it through. I feel like I haven't really completed that phase until these publications are sent out. I am in a moral quagmire.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The legal job market...What do they want?

I am probably beginning to think about this far too soon, but I am curious about what law firms want. Are grades paramount? Is it the school that gets a person their job?

I will be attending a top 20 law school, but is that good enough. I don't even know what a T14 is. And are these classifications real? And I am already beginning to fear the grading system. It sounds so arbitrary. Don't dump. Issue-spotting. But make sure to weigh all of the possibilities. But don't add detail that isn't specifically pertinent. Rule #1: DO NOT READ THROUGH THESE BOOKS UNTIL AUGUST. All I am doing now is scaring myself.

I have been paying more attention to court cases though. I kind of like reading the opinions, but the ones I have come across recently have been fairly easy to get through. I have seen some that I couldn't understand the first sentence. So soon, I will be wedded to a legal dictionary.

I hope this blog gets more interesting. I can't wait for Harry Potter (movie and book).

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I am fashion impaired

Oh crap. I just went through spring cleaning, deciding to finally get rid of all the clothes that don't fit, are in rough shape (I work with acid and other nasty chemicals), or simply look like, ummm, the 80's (not in a good retro way, in a more "Oh God, what was I thinking" way).

The results are:
Khakis - okay, that's fine. I like my khakis
Jeans - well, they look reasonable. They aren't "Mom" jeans.
only a few blouses - and they don't look that great
T-shirts - I can't live in T-shirts any more...WAHHHH!

And not much else that I would wear out of the house. What the hell am I going to do??? First off, I believe that science has crushed any fashion sense out of me. It's simply gone. I wear T-shirts and crappy pants because I don't want to ruin good clothes. After 15 years of this, any good clothes have dry rotted away and I just shrugged and didn't replace anything. Second, I am not of a size where consignment or Goodwill is going to lead to many fashion finds. I am overweight and it's difficult to find anything above a size 12 in most of the thrift stores. And lastly, I am actually doing something about the overweight thing, so I am not the same size from month to month.

Okay, I realize that law school is not the fashionista stronghold. But I don't want to look like crap anymore. I am losing weight (yay me) and I want to start dressing better. I remember what it was like, long ago when I liked to look like a female of the species. Unfortunately, after going about 15 years without using makeup I have forgotten how to apply it without looking like a clown. In fact, no matter how light I apply it, it still looks weird to me. Okay, I can go without makeup and probably will for three more years. But one day, I have to learn how to put it on.

Maybe I am stressing over this, so I don't stress over the experiments that are supposed to be completed before I leave (hopefully completed).

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

So much learning

Today I learned the word "gunner." But the problem is that there seem to be competing definitions for a gunner. Is it anyone who speaks up in class? Is it someone that speaks up often in class? Or is it someone that diverts the class away from the topic? And there seems to be even more ideas of this.

This particular concept will be difficult for me because I have been a professor. I encouraged students to speak in class. Most students responded with a dead-eyed stare or open-mouthed stupor. I loved the ones willing to discuss and participate. Those were the ones that tended to do well. They tended to be more prepared for class and had thought more deeply about the subject. In truth, the students that ended up doing poorly were the ones that kept completely silent and tried avoiding ever saying anything in class. But then there were the ones who spoke up having never done the reading or ignoring the topic completely. Tangents mostly just waste time. I hated those discussions.

Maybe law school is different, right? Most of them want to be there, right? But maybe I am delusional. Maybe it is just a microcosm of undergraduate, the people just happen to be more intelligent. Or if not more intelligent, able to do well on standardized tests.

I just don't know what I am going to be called if I talk in class.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Summer before 1L

Well, spring actually. I am getting antsy about starting, which I suppose has as much to do with wanting out of what I currently do as wanting to be in school NOW. I wish the university I was attending had the summer start program (I am such a geek).

But now, I wonder what I should do. Most people say there is really nothing I can do to prepare for law school. That doesn't sound right to me. I feel like there should be some way that I can prepare. Therefore, I am preparing the only way that makes sense to me: I am going to lose weight and get into a fitness program.

So to diet:
1. Cut out sugar (ow, ow, ow, ow). Why do this? Sugar saps the life out of me. It always has. Plus if I start now, I may be over the shakes by August. Yes, I get the shakes. I get headaches. There will be nights that I won't be able to sleep. It sucks. People think I exagerate about this, but I am completely serious. I gave up smoking (after smoking almost two packs a day for 15 years). And, for myself, it was much easier than giving up sugar.
2. Protein. It is the only thing that conteracts the sugar thing.
3. Fruits and vegies- TONS of them

1. Get off my duff and walk during the day.
2. Get in 3 aerobic sessions a week.
3. Toning, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and on the weekend.
Stretch every day so I don't get sore.

Will this help me? Yes. When I have energy, I think better. When I feel good about myself, I project a much more positive attitude. Being very heavy (probably could lose 100 lbs) makes my body hurt, makes me tired all of the time, and makes me just negative about a lot of things. So instead of reading a bunch of books that will likely scare the crap out of me about law school, I am going to train for it.

I am also taking a law preview course. Any opinions on this?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Avid posters

I doubt I will be like the many people I see/read who post every day. I want to get to a point where I post a few times a week, maybe write about certain issues or thoughts.

But I am being pulled in a different direction also. I wanted to talk about so many different things, yet I feel the need to also talk about purses, shoes, and hair products. Maybe because of a site I love (Dizzy; I will try to link later). I love reading her posts.

I am torn, but I think a balance can be reached. I think she has. If you read her posts, numerous entries discuss real issues (law school, being taken seriously, and many other issues). But I read comments and people treat her like a stereotype. Didn't she take the LSAT? Get into law school? Have a career prior to law school? Her posts, along with commenters from that school, helped me to decide not to attend a certain law school.

Anyway. I want it all; shoes and intellectual discourse. Ya know, like Dizzy does it.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Confusion hurts everyone

Being confused about the course of my career hurts me as well as my family. You see, they are waiting for a final decision. This decision involves whether or not to move to another state, whether or not to take out massive student loans, and leaving a career in which I have prepared for close to 18 years.

I started out as a lab technician in a biotech company years ago. I decided I liked working in a lab and could make more money if I had a Master's. So I got the Master's. Then went on for a Ph.D., which took much, much longer than it should have. Now I have spent 4 years in postdoctoral positions. I know I don't like teaching. I am pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy being faculty in other areas either, such as committee work. But I still like the science. I have just felt that in the past couple of years, I shouldn't be doing science.

1. Spending large chunks of time avoiding working. I mean large, as in days. Then working nonstop to catch-up for weeks. And then not disciplining myself into a regular schedule.
2. Dread when I wake up, not wanting to go to work, not wanting to interact with anyone.
3. More and more isolating myself from people. I do not socialize any more. I have stopped doing anything other than work and avoid work.
4. Having a difficult time mustering up the enthusiasm to put together projects.

Does this mean that I am done? Does this mean that I should push off and find another career? Or does this mean that I need to take a step back, shut-up, and start taking this more seriously?

I don't know what to do. I am at an impasse and it sucks. Not only for me but everyone around me.

I hate this.

Friday, March 30, 2007

First entry, new start

I am starting fresh. I am going to law school.

Quick introduction:
I am a research scientist in microbiology/ecosystem ecology that is tired of research, never liked teaching, and wants out of academia in a big way. Well, what I decided requires me to go back to school. When I grow up, I want to be a patent attorney. After speaking to a number of patent attorneys, this field seems interesting and challenging allowing me to stay in science, in a way, without ever having to do bench science again.

So what I want from this blog is not just personal ranting. I also want to use it to discuss political issues, legal issues (such as copyrights and fanfic), and the whole law school process. I have enjoyed reading many blogs about the law school experience, but many of them still feel like I am reading the thoughts of undergraduates. Not a bad thing, but I want more depth and understanding of the educational process. If I have to hear one more time about professors being lazy because they use the Socratic method, I will simply scream. Very few students understand or bother to understand what goes into any class preparation. The Socratic method seems difficult to prepare for because of continuous mapping of directions. So the next time you are whining about your lazy professors, why don't you at least bother to get off your own butt and check out what the professor does on a daily basis.