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.