Tuesday, April 28, 2009

law school crazy

I'm maybe turning into a law school monster. I'm mad. Here's why. Because apparently 25 (twenty-five!) students got private seminar on tomorrow's take-home Con Law exam, from the man himself. All these study groups and random individuals were corralled into a seminar room to do a private Q & A with the professor about last year's take home, which fine, props to them for being on top of their game and able to discuss an old exam with the professor in time to get something useful out of it. That doesn't make it fair for all of them to get to pick his brain with questions about what he's looking for on tomorrow's test, does it? I used to think it was kind of annoying that my other professors would take up 10 minutes of class time answering unasked questions about the exam, simply because somebody dropped by her office at one point and said something that sparked a question. But now I see the point was to actually put us all on a level ground when it comes to what we know about the test.

And why would a professor who takes his cue from The Paper Chase do that? Why? Cue maniacal, desperate laughter.

And on top of all that, tomorrow we get the take-home and we aren't supposed to use supplements to help us. Only our outlines. Except this: For a great many of my classmates, the supplement is the internet. Specifically, wikipedia. And he never said we couldn't use Wikipedia, so... can we? I don't want to. But I don't want to be behind everyone else in my sources. I actually for half a second thought about how easy it would be to sabotage the Wiki with some fake holding or something... But no. I'm not devious. I'm just whiny.

Trying to take T's advice now. Remembering to breathe.

gleefully avoiding work

i've been saving for just the right occasion this meme that Lag Liv posted on her blog a little while back. now, staying home to study Con Law for our take home final tomorrow, i am giving myself a break as a pat on the back for a long uninterrupted study session this morning. All about T & Me:

1. What are your middle names?
Mine is Elizabeth (the "E" in JE) and his is Edwin.

2. How long have you been together?
6 and a half years (almost exactly), since 10/17/02

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Hmm... about a month or two. He had just come to school as a freshman, and I was running around all over campus thinking I was the shit, because I only had a year left until I graduated and busted out of town.

4. Who asked whom out?
Well, I asked T if he wanted to take a road trip over our fall break. I liked him at the time, but I just asked him as a friend because he seemed like a good traveling companion. During our trip (to Niagara Falls) he confessed that he had a crush on someone. I didn't ask who it was, and he didn't tell me. We had a blast hanging out in Canada and driving all over the East Coast on our way up and back. At the end of the long weekend, I dropped him off in front of his dorm, and before I could pull away, he ran over to my window and said, "You know it's you, right?" So... I guess he gets the credit!

5. How old are each of you?
He is about to turn 26, and I am almost about to turn 28.

6. Whose siblings do you see the most?
We see his brother the most because we all live in the same Big City. It used to be, before my bro moved to Colorado and we moved here, that we saw mine more often. This is a new development, but it's been fun to get to hang out with his bro and develop more of a friendship than we've ever had before.

7. Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
I am taking this as a current-situation question. We've been through some extremely challenging situations in the past, so nothing we're going through right now seems all that hard. But I would say the hardest thing right now is that I'm in law school and he is separated from the livelihood that makes him happiest (running his own print shop). It's hard that we don't get to do the things that truly make us happiest, and that so much of our time is devoted to work and study. Hm. I should also add that it's hard living off of one person's salary in this expensive city. But we make do.

8. Did you go to the same school?
We did go to the same school, or at least undergrad. That's where we met.

9. Are you from the same home town?
No, although we're from the same home state! I'm from northern VA (aka the DC suburbs) and he's from Virginia Beach.

10. Who is smarter?
I think he's smarter because he knows how to communicate with people and develop relationships and he is also generally more conscious of everything going on around him. He has a killer memory and keen observation skills, he is an amazing writer and can express himself succinctly and beautifully. He thinks things through. I, on the other hand, am good at Sudoku and logic puzzles and figuring out the tip. For those reasons, he may think that I am smarter. But he is probably wrong.

11. Who is the most sensitive?
Well, I think we're both sensitive. I don't think one of us is more sensitive than the other, actually. But, he is far more in touch with his feelings than I am, at least from my perspective. I have a tendency to cut myself off from bad feelings, whereas he acknowledges them and moves on. We are both touched by sad and happy stories, we both get our feelings hurt, and we're both ticklish. And I have passed my sensitivity of chewing noises on to him, so now we both can stand to listen to the other person chew!

12. Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Well, these days we don't eat out much, thanks to our limited budget. Also, there are so many restaurants around here that we haven't picked a certain one as a favorite. If you look at our history, as a whole, I'd say we eat out most at Waffle House, or any other diner or truck stop! Since there are no Waffle Houses and few convenient diners here, I'd say our most common eatery is a thai restaurant up the street.

13. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
As a couple...we have driven as far south as the tippy-tip of Louisiana (Houma, LA) and as far north as Acadia National Park in Maine (and Niagara Falls, of course). But for our honeymoon we are going to Spain!

14. Who has the craziest exes?
Neither of us have crazy exes, thankfully. I don't know many of his, but there hasn't been anything to indicate they are crazy. We are friends with one of mine and I lost touch with the other.

15. Who has the worst temper?
Hm. We can both have bad tempers, or mal genio. We both work hard not to let our bad moods get the better of us, because we can both be mean when we are feeling really off.

16. Who does the cooking?
Mostly I cook. Not because T can't or won't, but because I really enjoy cooking as the one part of the day when I can put down my books and do something nice to contribute to the running of our household.

17. Who is the neat-freak?
Without a doubt, it's T. Or at least, it's not me. He's not so much a neat freak as he just notices clutter and mess. Sometimes he's overcome with a need to clean it up. I rarely beat him to it.

18. Who is more stubborn?
Oh, I am definitely more stubborn. I have worked on trying to compromise and not insist on having things my way all the time, and I think I've gotten better at it. But, as a default, I tend to cajole and insist until T gives in, unless he makes it clear that he doesn't want whatever it is I'm asking for. Probably because this worked as a kid. T is better at setting boundaries. None of this is to say that T isn't stubborn. He can be very stubborn too.

19. Who hogs the bed?
According to T I hog the covers and pull them all to my side of the bed. I think T hogs the bed, because he lays right in the middle and inches over toward my side throughout the night. He says this is because I move away from him and he's just trying to get closer, but really I think he just likes having all the space.

20. Who wakes up earlier?
T usually gets up earlier, and I generally drag ass in the morning. But when I am set on getting up early for one reason or another I have an easier time doing it.

21. Where was your first date?
Well, it was to Niagara Falls. If you don't count that, I'd say it was the night we got back, when we met up with friends at Denny's, each grinning at the other from across the table because we had just admitted we liked each other.

22. Who is more jealous?
Both of us feel comfortable asking the other person questions about people in our lives in order to understand our respective friendships, etc. We are both just cautious about making sure our friendships have proper boundaries, etc. That said, I am much more likely to feel insecure and concerned than he is. I work on this.

23. How long did it take to get serious?
Given our natures, I think we were serious from the get-go. I knew that T was someone who was going to be in my life for a long time, and he wrote the lyrics to "Today I met the girl I'm gonna marry" on his shoe about a month into our relationship.

24. Who eats more?
Well, considering T eats for sport, there's no question. I eat til I'm full, he eats til he's full and then keeps going for seconds, thirds, etc. When we are out with Best Man, it turns into a spectacle.

25. Who does the laundry?
T does the laundry, not because I don't like to do it, but because I am usually studying and he looks around, sees some dirty clothes and decides to be productive. It seems like there is constantly a load of laundry running in our house. I'm grateful for this.

26. Who's better with the computer?
Well, T uses a Mac (which I am stuck with until I get a new computer) and I use PCs. I think we're each better with our respective types.

27. Who drives when you are together?
He does, usually, but that's because we brought his car to the Big City and not mine. Well, actually, I'd probably still let him drive because I don't really care that much about driving, and he seems to enjoy it a lot more than I do.

Well, now I feel sufficiently guilty to go back to work! Enjoy the day.


Today was one of those days that is forgotten even before it's over.

I woke up late. Went to campus to get a new Prozac prescription. Went to the library and studied for 4 hours, minus Slurpee break and brief nap on my Con Law: Individual Rights E&E. Caught a ride back home with my study buddy. Walked over to the coffee shop with Study Buddy. Studied property for 2 hours. Came home. Internet break. Studied Con Law for an hour. Ate fried eggs for dinner. Finished cookies and cream ice cream. Hung out in the bathroom with the comics section. Came here to document another day during finals. The End*.

* Back to studying Con Law.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Preparando para festejar

I am supposed to be outlining for Con Law. T went over to the Best Man's house to drink some beer with Best Man and Best Woman (for lack of a better nickname) and generally enjoy the nice weather. I didn't go because I really really really want to go to tomorrow's big parade put on by our local transplanted Mexican community, which is mainly from Puebla, in honor of the Battle of Puebla (the real reason for Cinco de Mayo, fyi). It sounds like it's going to be the real deal, given that one man interviewed for the newspaper about it was lamenting the only downside, which is that local ordinances prohibit participants from using real gunpowder when shooting off their muskets. Apparently, there will be a band imported from Mexico, and all the participants paid $100 to join. At a time when this city is struggling to sustain it's local festivals, this community has made certain to find a way to pay for its annual tradition. Obviously, my hopes are sky high. We'll see what happens.

So that's why I am at home right now. Erm. Studying.

And now that I feel sufficiently guilty, I will go back to trying to follow the stupid doctrinal line from Holmes' dissent in Abrams to wherever the hell it ends up...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


i couldn't fall asleep last night. my mind raced back and forth between wedding planning to-dos and horrible things i had read earlier in the day. the horrible things i read were two-fold:

first, in class, an acquaintance of mine, a guy i'm on friendly terms with, sat on g-chat during an entire discussion on gender inequality making misogynistic and sexually violent comments about certain women in our class and women in general. this is someone who adopts the "the more offensive the better" attitude toward humor. i know i'm not supposed to take that stuff seriously, at least that's what people of his ilk would (and did) tell me. but it was horribly offensive, distracting and off-putting. second, later in the day i was reading through the news when i came across an update on a sensationalistic murder of a girl last summer. one click lead to another, and next thing i knew i was reading one of the affidavits submitted by the defense. suffice it to say, it was a mistake to read.

but the real reason i was tossing and turning last night had nothing to do with stress or anxiety surrounding these disturbing events. no. the reason i slept like a princess with a pea under her mattress is because i flossed before going to bed.

about once every six to twelve months, i get it into my head that i should floss. is that disgusting? well, occasionally, i'm moved to be proactive about my dental health and i spend a good 10-15 minutes plucking tartar off the sides of my molars and watching the blood seep from my gums. for some reason, despite the pain (and it's always painful), i really enjoy this part. why? because i get to run around the house growling "RRRRRR!!!" and baring a mouth full of bloodly teeth. i'm like a little kid with a cape on. i think i'm bad ass.

then i go to bed, and wake up in the middle of the night feeling like i was punched in the mouth. repeatedly. and don't fall back asleep.

but no matter. it's worth it. after all, for at least a day or two, my mouth is so fresh and so clean. and that's more than i can say for the rest of me, which is wilting under the laptop permanently attached to my thighs until i finish my international law outline.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

a little optimism back in the mix

i don't feel like getting away anymore. i feel better. thank you for indulging my rant, internet. today was the first of my last classes. International Law. in honor of the beginning of the end, here is a list of some things i like about finals time:

1. a built-in excuse to sit for long periods of time in cozy spaces, such as the couch, a coffee shop or a hidden corner of the library.
2. camraderie around school, especially when it takes the form of free food at random hours of the day and night (e.g. the black law student association's free coffee, doughnuts and snacks from 6:30-8:30 tomorrow night).
3. not having to buy tokens to go to school on the train every day because i can do all my work at home.
4. feeling more productive than i have all semester, and that feeling that everything is all starting to come together and make some sense (or at least the anticipation of hopefully, eventually getting that feeling).
5. moments when i am not studying feel so much sweeter, especially when i am watching tapes with T in the living room at night.
6. baking and ordering pizza as "rewards" for studying.

okay, that's it. i'm not gonna push it. six good things about law school finals. pretty good. now, i have to finish my Con Law and Civ Pro reading for the semester. good night.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

today i feel like getting away

i am actually posting at school. for the first and (probably) last time. i hate to even acknowledge this blog's existence while i am at school because i am that paranoid. not that i have deep dark secrets on here or anything. i just really hate opening up without having some measure of control over who i am opening up to. ironic, then, that i have a blog in the first place, right? but oh well.

i got to school 15 minutes late for class and decided not to bother going. i had to turn in a late application for grant money so that i can hopefully get a little money this summer to supplement T's income. otherwise, there's a good likelihood i'll blow through my savings far too soon. i am definitely undercapitalized this year. but anyway, that's why i am sitting here in the completely empty student lounge, typing a blog entry on a computer that is dangerously close to exposing my online persona to anyone who would happen to sit down next to me. but nobody comes here, at least not before noon, so i'm cool.

there is something blissful about finding a quiet place at the law school, especially around this time of the semester when things are getting hectic and i realize i've turned into one of those people that can't be bothered to talk to others. but it's more than needing to study. i really feel this strong urge to be alone right now. when i was waiting for the train to come, i was staring at the map in the station and had this fantasy flashed before my eyes where instead of getting off at my stop, i just kept riding the train northward and getting off at a different place i'd never been to explore the outskirts of the Big City with my backpack and a clear conscience. i feel so overwhelmed.

sometimes i think law school was a huge mistake. not because i don't like studying the law. i love it. it's just the toll it's taking on my mental health is a lot higher than i expected, and it's taxing on my relationships too. not just with T, although that's the one i'm most aware of and fret about the most. i got my first rejection the other day -- it was a rejection for a slot on the Jessup International Moot Court. kind of disappointing, but all and all not the worst news i could have. the academic challenges are so much more manageable to me, with their sterile ups and downs, than the challenges of interacting with people. i can't put a finger on it, but i feel unhappy and insecure. they say that law school does a number on your self-esteem. but that's supposed to be about how bad your grades are, or because you might not make law review. it's not supposed to be because you feel alienated from everyone around you.

i'm exaggerating. but the truth is that i feel like a hermit. not because i really like to be alone to the exclusion of all else. just that i don't feel like i like myself much right now, and prefer to hide out. there's no real reason why. sometimes i go through periods like this. i try to wait them out, especially as they are often linked to my menstrual cycles. but for the time being, i'm just feeling pessimistic. i'd rather be riding the northbound train to a place i've never been than headed back to the law library to read about civil procedure. maybe it would give me something more interesting to talk about.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


T just got back from walking the dog. i'm sitting here trying to figure out how to start a story about a nice little moment earlier tonight, when he totally breaks my train of thought by standing in the doorway with an *enormous* reading lamp.

me: "where did you get that?"
him (breathless): "in the trash!!"
me: "does it work?"
him: "i don't know. it has light bulbs in it and everything."
me: "well, plug it in!"

he has since gone to our bedroom and i am listening to him clicking the lamp on and off and on and off and on and off and muttering to himself with each click: "unbelievable."

guess we got a new lamp. i wonder what we're gonna do with the old one. which, come to think of it, i rescued from a curb when i lived in Durham.

and to think, we're still arguing over whether or not to register for things like a working toaster over or nice place settings.


what i was going to say before i was interrupted by the exceedingly talented dumpster diver is that T paid me a really lovely compliment earlier. and i'll admit, i asked him for one. we were stretched out on the floor playing boggle as part of our recent effort to spend one hour a night together (dinner and DVDs don't count). one of us was brushing the dog, the other pinning him against the couch so he couldn't get away. i said to T, "tell me something you like about me," and he immediately responded, "you're sexy, smart and beautiful."

"tell me something you can't also say about some hot woman on t.v.," i insist.

"you're good at the whole law school thing," he said. i really had no idea why he would care how well i do at school, so i asked him what he meant. he told me he meant i was good at balancing going to school with the rest of life, and not getting completely stressed out all the time. "i mean look at this," he said, as i stretched out on the carpet with the dog plopped on my belly. "you aren't freaking out right now."

i weakly reminded him that the rest of the day, when i'm not at home at dinner or in the early evening, i AM stressing. but really, that's beside the point. and it's also beside the point, but kind of humorous, that the standard for good school-life balance right now is whether or not i'm freaking out while i lay on the floor of our living room.

it's nice to know that i have a little home and a big life and an identity that has not been totally consumed by law school or our decision to come here. even better, it's nice that i get to share all of those things with T and that he recognizes them as something to love about me. in those little moments with him, law school is such a side note.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


i'm hanging out in richmond. just got signed up with twitter by my good friend J. we are staying at J & P's house tonight. being here feels timeless, and comforting. thinking of our house in the Big City also feels comforting. it's nice to know that we have good friends with good lives and we also have good lives in our own good town, and everything feels chill on a night like tonight.

we've been drinking gin and tonics for the last couple hours. now they are all outside while J and T smoke cigarettes, a habit i wish he would drop, and P shaves T's neck. meanwhile, johnny cash has played san quentin twice in a row on the ipod, and i am trying to write a coherent sentence.

earlier, we visited T's business partner/friend who just had a baby with his long-time girlfriend. the baby is adorable and their lives are definitely changed forever, and babies have been the talk of the evening.

i like the south, way better than the north.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


doing my taxes feels like my recurring childhood nightmare of standing in the middle of a city street holding a giant parade float by a single string. at any minute, i could accidentally slip up and let go, and everything will fall apart. papers will fly everywhere, numbers will go in the wrong boxes, checks will never arrive and i will be left with the vague but unsettling feeling that i am not in compliance with the law. horrors.


somehow, early on in our relationship, i explained this nightmare parade scenario to t, and we began calling it my "bobbly-head" dream.

(pause while i run through my Form 1040 checklist and try not to knock anything over.)

...and i can already see the problems. i only have one copy of my W-2 for one of my "employers." (same employer, different entity.) this is because they had my address wrong and the actual proper ADP direct-to-employee version never got to me, so all i have is a lousy photocopy. crap. attempt to do this all in one fell swoop has failed.

i am teetering on the edge here.

at least i'm supposed to get a damn good refund this year!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


just came up from walking the dog over to the park by our place. there was a guy pushing his girl around on a bike, gently guiding her along the sidewalk in the shadows as she maneuvered the pedals for the first time. it was a sweet moment to witness.

back upstairs now, the house smells like cilantro, achiote and rice. in short, the whole apartment smells delicious. that's because T is cooking me a dinner he promised me, and which i do not deserve, because i have been cranky and stressed all week and he wanted me to take a break when i got back from this all-day thing i had to do today.

it's almost an idyllic moment here, of peace and quiet, with music on the stereo, the dog at my feet and smells emanating from the kitchen-cove.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ann Taylor never felt so good.

I'm all dressed up in my suit and drinking my coffee at home before trekking over to the subway for the ride to school. My oral argument folder is prepared and I think I've got a good handle on the case law for both my arguments and opposing counsel's. I feel confident (thanks Ann Taylor & caffeine) and excited (TGIF -- if all goes poorly, there's still a birthday dinner and a friend's show to go to tonight). I'm so pumped, actually, that my mind is daydreaming about a future career in litigation.

It occurred to me that now may be the first and last time I feel this way. I have no actual idea what it's like to make arguments before a judge. I may hate it or I may realize I'm an utter failure at it. More likely, nothing earth-shattering will happen, I'll manage okay and get on with my life, and probably take Trial Advocacy next year anyway.

What makes today so exciting to me is that for the first time since I quit my job and started law school, I am getting a sense for how the pieces fit together. I am getting a little (albeit "moot") taste of what it will be like to return to the working world, in the field I have chosen. All of this studying and cramming for exams and staying up late to write a paper and deciding whether to go to class... it's actually going to lead somewhere. It's getting me closer to the place I wanted to be when I decided that I didn't want to be a social worker, and when I decided that human resources wasn't for me, and when I realized that I loved working with the immigrant community but felt stuck in terms of what I could do. I'm actually feeling empowered today. It's a wonderful feeling that it's taken me ten minutes of typing and blathering on about to pinpoint. Empowered. It's a feeling I want to share.