Thursday, February 26, 2009

sallying forth

i'm starting to worry. for about a week now the inside of my head has looked something like this:

seriously. this is not a "law school reading is dry" problem either. i was up until 1 in the morning yesterday because i had it in my head to write out the previous blog post. i downloaded oregon trail to my cell phone yesterday. i completed an entire crossword puzzle, a sudoku and all but the final answer of that stupid jumble puzzle during con law. and, as previously noted, i am way too concerned about sally forth:

i wonder whether this is medicine-induced. back to trying to focus on property. i am struggling this week.

imagination and its limits

been thinking a lot about how my life right now is different than what i ever imagined it would be. as a kid i didn't much think about Being An Adult. i don't guess many kids did. i pictured my future family (always minus the husband) and my future house many a late night while laying in bed, conjuring up the perfect children's names for my three boys or, occasionally, two boys and one girl. we lived by the ocean, in a house modeled after a beach house i spent a week in with my family one summer. i would have a darkroom and be a photojournalist, traveling often to exotic locales around the world. but despite all my excursions, my fantasies always revolved around my home life - the mundane afternoon spent with my kids, little life lessons i would teach them in the darkroom while we developed prints and hung them up to dry.

that's about as far as my planning for the future ever got. that's as much detail as i'll ever recall about who i imagined myself to be. (unless you count a 6th grade project in which i had to write a newspaper all about my life, which had stories about my life as a famous actress and a city that was named after me.) once i hit high school, i didn't have time to imagine my future. i was too busy trying to hang on to every precious moment that was flying by. somehow i got it in my head that my high school days were the best days i would ever see, and that i needed to cherish each day. so absorbed was i in my teenage life that i actually believed i would spend my whole adulthood longing to return. who knows? maybe someday i will.

i'm amazed i managed to find myself in a decent college. god knows i could hardly spare the time to think about what kind of college experience i wanted. i was too busy making out and breaking up with my high school boyfriend, playing in a band with friends in my parents' basement and crying over my two best friends, one of whom had a severe eating disorder and the other who smoked weed all the time. looking back, it's no wonder i jumped right into a new relationship when i got to college. i had no idea what else to do with myself.

anyway. all of this to say: i truly never imagined i'd end up here. and by "here" i mean in law school; in a strong, functional and loving relationship; in the Big City; childless. yes, childless. the one thing i did picture, the one detail i had actually stopped to consider, was that i would have kids young. probably because my mom had me at 37, my brother at 39, and she took a lot of naps and i had two older siblings who were grown with families of their own. i always wanted to start early and stick around a long time. but there are no short-term plans to procreate. and that's probably for the best.

what i do have, though, is this life where i get to walk everywhere i want to go, take public transportation to get to work (er, school), go to countless happy hours with free food and beers, stretch out on the floor playing Trivial Pursuit with a guy i am in love with, eat dinner every night with a guy who loves me back, chase my dog around a dog park i also walk to, swing by whole foods for free snacks on my walk home, learn the law -- seriously, learn to be an advocate for people, get to work with farmworkers, plan a wedding, hear church bells when i step outside on a saturday, buy myself a dinner out, or a wii... ok, i'm just thinking about all these silly little things off the top of my head, but they are things i never imagined for myself.

T & i were talking yesterday and he made a joke about that old john lennon (?) quote about life being what happens when you're making other plans. that distant memory of the future i'd always imagined for myself turned out to be so limited by the things i knew and didn't yet know i wanted. i knew i wanted a better home life than the one i lived in. i didn't yet know what i was supposed to look like. and now, at the age when i had imagined myself with a couple of kids and a house, i have neither of those things. instead, i have the two things that i literally never dreamed of having: a sense of self and a loving partner. and i am so grateful.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

this post was written with a wii remote

spent 30 minutes at the library catching up on the current Sally Forth sub-plot. [what is the deal with Ted & Aria?!]

called T at work in an old-school bout of comic-strip invoked paranoia.

now home. we are simmering water to keep our eyes & noses from drying out. i am trying to catch up on all the rules of privity i didn't learn while sick last week.

or not.

i am painstakingly typing out blog posts, testing the limits of my wii internet capabilities and thinking of standing over the stove just to breathe the air.

oh, tuesday.

Monday, February 23, 2009

two hearts, one computer

my computer busted about two weeks ago. i know it's been about two weeks because the last time i used it was to watch episode 4 of lost. one night i'm happily curled up in bed watching shirtless sawyer in streaming hi-def, and the next night i'm obsessively unplugging and replugging my monitor to figure out why it won't come on.

fast forward two weeks and the situation is getting dire. last night, around 1 in the morning, i'm laying in bed when i remember i have a conference with my writing professor in the morning. i jump out of bed to use T's computer for the umpteenth time to print out my brief draft.

when i get back to bed, our conversation goes something like this:

me - "thanks for letting me use your computer"
T - "i've been trying to make my office uninviting. have you noticed all the piles of stuff all over the floor?"
me - "yeah, i noticed."
T - "it's a very precarious set up that only i can handle. i made it that way on purpose so other people will stay out."
me - "and by other people, you mean me."
T - "i mean you. i'm tired of you leaning on my desk. ever since your computer broke, it's been wobbly."
me - "you're crazy."
T - "i bet you slammed the computer shut. i heard you in there, leaving fingerprints all over the screen."
me - "i liked it better when you had a pc."

luckily, my parents are coming this weekend and i plan to hijack my dad to fix my computer. hopefully the world (read: T's desk) won't fall apart before then.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

woo hoo!!

I gots a job-ah! I gots a job-ah!

*end song*

I had an interview with a local legal aid office that has a farmworker program yesterday. It seemed to go well. The interview ended earlier than I expected, which is usually either a very good sign or a very bad sign. In this case, I took away vibes that it had gone well. Went home, did very little reading and a lot of clipping from a stack of wedding magazines a classmate gave me, then decided to check my e-mail around ten at night, where I found... the offer!

So, I haven't even written them back yet, but I am going to. This is exactly the type of job that I came to school to do. It's a little weird in that they receive federal funding so are limited to the clientele they can serve (aka no undocumented people), but they are sensitive to that and partner with other organizations so as to not have to flat out turn people away. And I'll get to do safety and health stuff and work on bringing workplace rights to a vulnerable population of workers. I might even get to take a trip across this vast state to visit farms in parts of the country I've never visited before. With this news, how am I supposed to concentrate on the second half of my semester?

Oh, well. There are worse problems.

Life continues to move along. The hour that T and I spend together in the evenings before I get to work is usually consumed by board games, my favorite way to pass time. Last night we played Trivial Pursuit and I lost in a sudden-death pie-off at the end. We ate leftover beans for dinner, in a true homage to this recession and our meager "putting in our dues" income. Somehow, I managed to get T to say, indignantly, "Hey, I'm the one who gets to make Who Moved My Cheese? jokes." I don't even remember what that was supposed to mean.

Obviously, I am far too wired for 9:15, and it's going to be one of those days where I can hardly concentrate on getting work done. Oh well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

on weather

Looks like wedding planning may be starting to pick up again pretty soon. My "bride to be" (his words, not mine) and I recently talked about it and decided that it's probably an appropriate time to start edging toward that precipice again. I have to admit that after getting very excited about the planning over winter break, and then suddenly feeling like I had a bucket of cold water poured over me, I am a little reluctant to delve back into everything. But this morning I called my parents on my walk to work and my mom asked, "So, is the wedding still on?" And I realized that maybe I need to pull my head out of the sand, for at least a little bit.

On another note, the weather has been suspiciously spring-like these last few days. For the 27th time, the first warm day of a new year has nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes. At the risk of sounding like a cliche, spring feels like getting a new lease on life. Especially after a bitterly freezing, windy cold winter in the Big City. But wait, what's that you say? It's the middle of February, not exactly springtime? Yeah, shhh... I know. I'm about to get my heart broken for the 27th time when the first warm day of the new year gives way to the most unwelcome snow day of the new year, which according to my weather report will be sometime next week.

Walking home from the train today, I noticed the waning sun casting a golden light over some buildings in my neighborhood, juxtaposed by the dark storm clouds off in the distance. Back in Virginia, this was one of my favorite sights... Golden green trees in the late afternoon with dark stormy clouds just yonder. I spent a moment taking in the sight, trying to decide if this same weather/color phenomenon was as beautiful in the middle of a crowded city street as in suburban (tree-lined) Virginia. Then I saw something flying lazily, gracefully across the skyline, carried along by the breeze and cast in that same lovely shade of gold. It was a plastic bag, I realized. I kept walking.

The other night, when I still had to wear a scarf, full coat buttoned up to my chin, gloves, a hat and long underwear, it snowed. A lot. For the first time, the snow stuck on more than just the cars. T went down to walk the dog and called up to me from the bottom of the stairs: "Come down. You're going to want to see this." So down I trudged, into the six inches of snow, wearing sneakers and the whole winter get-up. He was right. It was a beautiful sight and the streets were strangely quiet, lending a bit of that Southern ambience to the scene. We threw snowballs at the dog, buried treats for him in the ground, made a snowman to try to scare the s*~t out of him (unsuccessfully) and generally made merry. A pair of Mexican couples from the southern end of the neighborhood had made their way up to the park by our apartment and the streets echoed with their unselfconscious laughter. They were throwing snowballs at one another and pulling one another to the ground. It reminded me of the time, just before I left my job in North Carolina, when a morning snowfall struck unexpectedly on a morning when none of the crews had work. There were only a couple of new employees hanging around the warehouse taking care of some odds and ends, and I didn't know them that well. As I sat at my computer, one of them had rushed in urgently, with a look of alarm on his face. "Quick, tell the patrona," he said, gesturing toward the window. "There's something wrong with the light out there." He was talking about a street lamp that for some reason sat in the middle of the warehouse yard. I asked him what the problem was. "It's sparking. Some kind of an explosion!" We rushed to the window. The street lamp was casting a light on the falling snow, refracting into the darkness and creating the illusion of sparks. I asked if he had ever seen snow before. "No, I've only been here a few months," he said. For some reason, that was one of those amazing moments that I'll never be able to recreate or retell. But when I saw those couples playing around in the snow, I thought of that nameless guy at my old job, and was really glad I had known him.

Monday, February 9, 2009

con(ned by) law (school)

i felt like crap after con law today. that class makes me feel so stupid and frustrated. i worked so hard to catch up over the weekend. (okay i only worked on sunday, but still... i worked HARD!) and then we blow through 9 cases in one class and i leave class behind all over again. ugh. on top of that, i just don't feel like i'm *getting* it. this is worse than torts.

then, i walk through the door to our apartment building and the stairway smells like death. something disgusting, a mix between mold and rotting food, is stinking up the entire walk to our apartment door. by the time i get to the top of the stairs, i'm not sure if the smell has disappeared or it's just not noticeable because it's everywhere. but i entered the house a few minutes ago feeling like we're living in a sealed off cave with stagnant air, and i'm dying to open all the windows, but too tired and not sure if it's warm enough yet.

on the bright side, it is sunny, although you'd never know it from our dark apartment. more easy to appreciate is the fact that my precious dog, who was so happy to see me just a few minutes ago, has now settled at my feet, on top of all of t's paperwork in his office (sorry, t), and is snoring away, already back asleep. how lovely. i think i'll join him.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

It's been one week

I was thinking the other day about how when I was a teenager I wrote in a diary every single day, on the theory that if I wrote even a little bit about each day, no day would completely disappear into the oblivion of the murky past. Probably I was laying in bed, about to fall asleep when this thought occurred to me: What is the one thing I should remember about today so it will stand out for the rest of my life?

In that spirit, I'm giving myself this challenge. Going back a week, can I name one thing that happened each day? Let's see..

Yesterday, Monday: On the train ride to school, I got a text message from T referencing the HBO mini-series on John Adams: "I shall endeavor to be more patient." I laughed out loud, amidst a bunch of strangers.

Sunday: We went to an art space in a warehouse district of the city to listen to people read zines on the radio as part of an art show. Did not watch the Superbowl.

Saturday: Went to my law school's basketball game against my hometown, where T and I tried to have serious conversation while sitting in the nosebleeds and then came home and collapsed in a pile to watch John Adams on the couch.

Friday: Got into a big fight with T that centered around his desire to fix my computer monitor and my insistence that he STOP this instant. Fell asleep in bed by 10:30.

Thursday: Went out to drinks with classmates after Civ Pro, a refreshing break from a week of intense studying. Came home and did nothing.

Wednesday: Did not make any effort to watch Lost because I was at home studying. T & I laid on the couch talking for an hour and I really liked it.

Tuesday: T & I resolved to spend an hour together each day just spending time together - not counting cooking/eating dinner or watching movies. We played dominoes on the floor.