Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I can see the perfect sky is torn

I heard that song "Torn" by Natalie Imbrugiliaigualia (sp?) on the radio this morning while driving to work. It inspired some sort of epiphany in me, and led to the following internal monologue:

"Wow. I should write about that in my blog when I get to work. Except. No. I swore off the computer today. Today I will actually get work done, but that means NO TOUCHING INTERNET EXPLORER... OR MINESWEEPER. Oh well. I guess I can enjoy this little gem of insight all on my own."

It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: What the hell kind of epiphany was it? Wish I could remember.


So I totally knocked out my advanced Minesweeper top score, which is now down to 182 seconds. I like to imagine myself in some kind of tournament like the one that takes place in that Fred Savage movie about the Super Mario Brothers 3 tournament, all intense stare and rapid-fire clicking, opponents being knocked out and collapsing to their knees all around me.


Law school is coming. But first: my birthday! A weekend at T's family's house! Seeing my sister! Visiting NC! Packing and moving! Borrowing $15,000! Spending a week at the beach! Some other stuff, probably!

We are trying to take it all in stride.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Highlights (for Kids)

CM and the gang are well on their way back North by now, and I am left recovering from three nights of sleeping on the floor. It was a really nice visit. I got to see my goddaughter for the first time since C & R's wedding four years ago. Back then, K was only 3 years old and we were pretty preoccupied with the wedding, so I didn't have much of a chance to get to know her. Before that, my only post-partum visit with K had been the time C came down to shop for wedding dresses and K was just a baby, crawling all over the trains and trying to eat tiaras in David's Bridal.

This visit, K is seven and a half, full of enthusiasm and excitement, and very affectionate. She took to me right away, and dragged me around the amusement park on Tuesday, trying to pull me ahead of everyone else so we could be the first in line for all the roller coasters. We rode: the Scooby Doo (or as K called it, the Scooby Doobie), the Rebel Yell, the Hurler, the Grizzly, Ricochet and the Anaconda (and I also rode the Dominator (or as K called it, the Denominator), the Shockwave, and the Volcano). Every time we got on a roller coaster, she started to scream as soon as our seat neared the top. Sometimes her screams took the form of words, like, "I want my mommy!" or "I don't like this!" But inevitably, as the ride came to an end, she turned to me and bounced in her seat, jabbering, "Letsdoitagainletsdoitagaincanwedoitagain!!"

As fun as it was to hang out with K, she wasn't much of a surprise. Her personality is very much like her mom's, although C swears her daughter somehow inherited many of my idiosyncracies. The girl is a spitting image of C, and has the same precocious attitude I remember from when C first moved into the house next door.

On the other hand, I must have been a small letdown to K. Apparantly, she was expecting me to have wings.


It's back to thinking about law school. The last few days have been a pleasant break from the anxious scrambling to find an apartment, plan a move and create a plan to prep for school. Yes, I plan to be one of those people that preps. It's amazing to me that there is actually a controversy over whether or not to prepare before school starts. After all, you can prep and also have fun. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.... right?

If this pre-move, pre-1L era were a roller coaster, I wonder what name it would have.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Off to see the Wizard...

T and I have decided to move to Oz. I don't remember why I came up with that name for the school I will be attending. Something he said last night made me joke about it, and at the time I thought, "That'll be handy if I decide to blog about this anonymously." I'm wondering in the back of my head if and when this space will make the transition from blog to blawg. I've been having so much fun reading other people's blawgs that I feel compelled to jump in and join the fray.

So... Oz it is. A scary place, for sure. But I'm hoping it will be, if not a magical journey, at least a manageable one.

And that's all I can write about that right now. After months turned to weeks turned to days of excruciatingly nit-picky observations about various turns our lives could take, we woke up this morning ready to just take the (law school) plunge.

Or more accurately, T, dressed sharply in his go-to-work clothes, and gazing politely past my pink-bathrobe-clad frame, leaned in to tell me with a confidence he mustered out of God-knows-where, "We'll be okay..." He kissed my cheek and added, "...because you're too pretty."

I'm not sure I trust his reasoning, but whatever keeps us moving at this point. I love him.

Bombs away!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Forgetting Judd Apatow

T and I went to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall last night. On the way home, I got flustered by the extremely receptive audience response to the movie, and yada yada yada, we walked home in silence.

Sadly, I don't have the time or mental energy to flesh out the vague objections I have to the latest installment of the Judd Apatow 'n' Pals series. But fortunately, many other bloggers have done the job for me already. I'm linking to some posts that raise questions or take issue with FSM (and Superbad)... I don't necessarily agree with these bloggers on everything, but I can relate and in many cases I do agree.

For your browsing pleasure:

Hard Crayon on the Spontaneous, Quirky Girl and other two-dimensional female characters
Steve the Penguin on the questionable premise of Superbad
Antagony & Ecstasy feels like a grouch for not being okay with the sexism in FSM
Heavy Boots asks: what if the guy in FSM was a female and Sarah Marshall was a dude?

And two males weighed in on the issue...
41 Miles to Freedom quibbles with the ending of FSM
NPR's Fresh Air on the Great Sexual Divide

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What's my age again?

Friends, I am confused. Yes, I realize that I am older than many of my friends and acquaintances. This is because I met the love of my life in the year that I was mentally checked out of college and preparing to jet out of town, which was coincidentally the year that he showed up for freshman orientation. Over time, I've gotten used to being maybe a couple of years ahead of the curve.

At the same time, I have many friends who are older than me, or at least the same age as me, with a few extra notches in their life belts (wedding rings, children, 100k careers). As of May, I will have been out of school for five years. FIVE YEARS! Where did that time go, for real? I think, or I guess anyway, that I stopped being "just" out of college around the time T graduated. Definitely, that period of my life was over by the I left Durham. My mid-twenties are now bleeding into my late-twenties; it's a subtle change, but started far earlier than I expected to.

But now that I am going into law school, and seeing just how young my classmates will be, I'm feeling genuinely behind. Kind of. I'm sure I'll go back and forth about this for a while. But here it is: most of the incoming Law School Class of 2011 that I can find on Facebook are part of the '08 graduating class of some other university. That is to say, they are coming to law school directly from undergrad. And I just found the blog of a woman, aged 25 (TWENTY-FIVE), who just graduated law school and just got engaged and is so excited for the next chapter in her life.

I am not generally in the business of justifying or publically validating my own choices, though lately I feel compelled to do just that. That said, I am truly glad that I did not choose that route (undergrad, law, career/etc.). For one, I can't imagine it; I literally cannot imagine it. For another, I didn't even know I wanted to do law until, like, a year ago. And for still another, I would have NO CLUE about all the things I know about myself that I think are going to make me an awesome law school student and even better legal professional, eventually, hopefully. My convictions are bourne largely out of the people I have known, in my college town, in the ESL classes I taught in NoVa, in my travels, in Durham, and everywhere I have found myself randomly dancing with strangers around the issue of migratory status and the power it holds over our destinies.

And all that said, I am jealous that somebody would "have it all figured out" and be done with law school at an age that beats by one year the age I even realized I wanted to go. The logic is obviously flawed: I went through X, Y and Z experiences which lead to my decision to go to law school at age 26. Stranger decided to go to law school at age 21, therefore she must have gone through X, Y and Z by age 21. Wrong! Getting to law school is not conditional upon having experienced X, Y and Z; X, Y and Z are merely possible precursors to law school.

[Side note: I realize that my justifications are getting far too cereberal and long-winded. Please, humor me. I promise it's not my intention to be pretentious.]

Back to it. This stranger, the 25-year old with the law degree, surely knows a lot more about law than I do. She is far more qualified and far more prepared to enter the legal profession, and rightfully so. My 21-year old classmates, the future 25-year old graduates, will be equally qualified as me. This all creates the illusion to me that they are smarter than me, got there faster than me; in short, they beat me. I'm already pre-disposed against them by their youth.

These are not pretty or nice words, I realize. But I am having to come to terms with the fact that I'm a lot older than I realized, and that though it may seem like I fell asleep at the wheel, I have only been bravely trying to figure myself out. That's a process you can't rush. So I must remind myself: life is not a competition. The only person I'm racing against is me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stomach bugs

I am becoming increasingly excited about law school. This is probably dumb. By all accounts, come six months from now I will be one big person-shaped mound of stress. Nonetheless. I'm looking forward to trying, yet again, to stay on top of all my reading. Maybe five years out of the books and classrooms will have changed me for the better somehow. I definitely sense that I have a leg up on many incoming law students, in that I know what I'm going to law school for and I think I have reasonable expectations. Despite what some relatives may be mistakenly expecting, I won't be coming out of school with a six-figure salary. I'll consider myself lucky to break $50,000. But that's okay. Low expectations with high returns are certainly better than the other way around.

One thing I'm grateful for, with respect to my upbringing, is that I was never mindful of money. Not in a "we have so much of it, I don't even notice it" way. More like in a "it doesn't exist, just make do with what you have" way. It's not that my family was poor (as a wise person once told me, one should NEVER call oneself poor unless s/he is truly poor). Rather, I recall things as always having been in some state of disrepair or another around my house. The charred circle on the linoeum kitchen floor, where my mom had set a flaming pot down in a panic; the ever-shifting water marks on the second floor ceilings, where water seeped in from the roof; the hand-shaped hole in the wall outside my bedroom door, born of someone's poor anger management skills. I'd say that I got used to things being less-than-perfect.

I'm glad for that, because I grew up relatively unscarred and learned to find joy in things other than a clean house, a nice car or designer jeans. Now, I know that whatever hand I am dealt, I can live with it. I see no reason to strive for the big paycheck, because what will big pay buy me that I absolutely must have. More importantly, I want to be paid to do something that I can live with doing for the bulk of my days. That something is public service, bringing justice to those who would otherwise do without it.

At this point in my post, I picture myself as some kind of puffed up superhero who forgot that underpants go on *under* your pants. Hands on hips, I look gloriously off to some distant point... blah. I'm not a superhero and don't want to be one. But I don't want to be a high paid attorney either, and I don't really have a clue about what it means to work for a Big Firm. I don't really care, and I hope it stays that way. I feel liberated by the fact that I don't seek a big salary, and the fact that I am not going to take on $100,000 in loans to go to school. Hopefully, I'll even be able to keep it under $50,000!

I'm excited. The problem is, it's only the beginning of June. I've got a couple of months that I'm supposed to spend enjoying the "freedom" of not being in law school. (Translation: Working.) And no, I haven't made a final decision on a law school, though hopefully that's coming tomorrow. We have talked ourselves silly, and I'm leaning toward an answer that I will articulate eventually.

Maybe I will turn into a blawger after all.