Sunday, May 31, 2009

Still don't know what to do

Training is at 8:30 tomorrow morning, and I don't know whether to ask my brand-new boss if I can leave work early on Friday to travel out of the country. I mean, my cousin is getting my ticket. So, if I don't ask (or tell) her, the ticket and miles get wasted, I think? But I don't want to ruin my reputation this early on in the summer. (Or at all!)

Plus, I'd have to come into work late on Thursday.

What a horrible time for a family member to get quadripeligic and have to go on life support!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Call for advice

Dear reader,

If you happen across this blog and have ever worked in a summer legal internship, I need your advice on a sensitive issue. I start my summer internship at a legal aid clinic on Monday. Well, technically, I'm at a training on Monday and Tuesday, and then it's to work. I'm excited about the job! I'll be working for a single attorney with a single paralegal, on a specific issue.

Here's the problem. Earlier this week, I received news that my uncle, who I am close with, suffered a stroke. This was a shock because he is physically fit, relatively young and healthy. He also lives in my family's country of origin (i.e. not in the USA). My uncle has generously hosted me for visits for years, and is all around a very loving, caring guy.

Flashforward to yesterday. The first reliable news comes in. He didn't suffer a stroke, it was an aneurysm that burst. Due to congenital defects, his brain cells immediately started dying, and he suffered serious brain injury. He is now stabilized, but he is quadripeligic, only able to move his eyes up and down. Most of the time he is sedated, but when he's not unconscious, they say he is aware of what's going on around him. This is not going to change.

Tio is on life support, but according to his will, he stated he never wanted to be left on life support. However, in the country where he is hospitalized, the doctors make the final decision. Family is rallying together to fly relatives to visit him this week. I am making arrangements to get my passport in order so I can go.

The problem? My work. I just plan to go for the weekend, which is amazingly possible. But all flights seem to leave during the day. I can take a night flight but I won't get there until Saturday morning, and I'd have to leave Sunday morning in order to be back in time for work on Monday. So I would either have to go for 24 hours, miss all/part of a day on Friday or miss all/part of a day on Monday. And this is my first week. I have to book my flight before my passport meeting this week.

Should I even bring this up to my boss, or just do the 24 hour visit and not say a word? If I do bring this up, should I e-mail her this weekend or wait to mention it at the training? Do I mention it casually to see what she says, or do I approach her directly? Please advise whether I will kill my reputation early by bringing this issue to the table!

Thank you ever so much, reader. I appreciate it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

back to it

today i feel much better, if not completely well. i suspect i will have charged through the entire roll of Scott 1000 before i'm completely done with my five-day course of anti-biotics. it's looking kind of thin. but aside from sniffly nose, hacking cough, and bits of green randomly spewing from me, i really am feeling a world of difference! i actually slept last night! really! it was amazing, if not perfect.

i know i slept because i had this ridiculously funny wedding nightmare in which i showed up to the reception and found hundreds of place settings and a bizarre mix of random people i vaguely knew in high school and college. it dawned on me that i may have accidentally sent the invitation to my wedding to all my friends on facebook. luckily, there was a crowd, so all good, right? except my groom was hunkered in the corner, no family was in sight, we had a d.j. playing cheesy 80s songs (not the good kind), and we hadn't actually gotten married. it was all very confusing, and ended with the guests trickling out before anything actually *happened*, and t's parent's finally showing up, with t's dad immediately crawling under covers and saying, "i don't want to deal with this. i just don't want to deal with this."

well, anyway.

i registered for classes for next semester today. i'm actually excited about it! somebody smack me upside the head. what i am NOT excited about is starting my job next week. not because i don't think it's an awesome job. it's just....petrifying. am i really prepared for this? also: i'm like the only law student who is going to be working for this particular department (i think). spotlight, ON. i'm realizing that i am very, very afraid of messing up, to the point that i think i avoid big challenges. too late to avoid this one. i guess i'm going to have to screw up the courage to do the work and (hopefully) do it well. whatever it turns out to be. i have no idea. i am avidly reading the blogs of other rising 2Ls who started work already, to see what i can learn and to remember that i am not alone. eek!

my goal is to have kicked this nasty infection/virus/bronchitis/sinisitus/swine flu-thing by tomorrow so i can go shopping for work clothes, get a hair cut and prepare to look fabulous on monday! here goes nothing.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Warning! This is post is just a rant, ending in a hissy fit, that reflects my lack of sleep and overdose of self-pity, no more, no less. Read at your own risk.

So: I've been sick for the last seven days. It started on the train ride down to Georgia. I took a nap about two hours in, and woke up with a sore throat and swollen glands. It all went downhill from there. By the middle of the night, when I was supposed to be well into my write-on note, I was curled up under my blanket, shivering and sucking on ice cubes, trying to get comfortable in a packed Amtrak coach car. My mom picked me up when I got down to GA, at quarter to seven in the morning, and when we got to my sister's I went straight to the bedroom to crawl under covers. Needless to say, the trip was not what I had hoped for. And? I didn't finish write-on. Ugh. I'm not sure if I really care at this point. I'd settle for a good night's sleep.

Yesterday, I caved in and decided to go to an urgent care clinic instead of waiting til my school clinic (aka FREE clinic) opened after the holiday weekend. It was actually a not unpleasant experience. We had to drive across the bridge to the urban wasteland across the river, but T was kind enough to treat it like an adventure, when I was feeling guilty for making him spend his last day of the long weekend carting my miserable self into an unpleasant suburban ghost town. "Hey, look," he said, optimistically gesturing at the skyline as we drove over the bridge. "See? It's already exciting."

And I have to say, it was pretty exciting that we got into and out of the clinic in only 25 minutes. Plus, I was the only patient they had there. And since they'd only opened two weeks ago, it was incredibly clean. But the best part was that I came away with drugs. Precious, precious drugs. Antibiotics and cough medicine laced with codeine that I was warned would make me very "woozy". Considering I've been up all night coughing for the last seven days, that sounded fan'effing'tastic.

I wonder what it says about me that the codeine didn't knock me out?

Anyway. Today I was determined to *not* lay on the couch all day working on my night cheese and farting into my slanket. So I dragged myself over to campus for my monthly visit with the school psychiatrist to re-up my Prozac. In the course of our meeting, I explained to him that I wanted to "bump" my dose up to pre-law school levels. (What the hell was I thinking, by the way, dropping my dose when I started law school?) We had talked about that last month, but at the time I wanted to give it another month to be sure.

So I'm running through the litany of complaints I have, which I always feel self-conscious about doing, because as anyone who has struggled with low-level chronic mental health issues can tell you, it starts to be unclear whether these things are symptoms or just, well, life. And the doctor says to me, "So you feel bad about yourself?" And I'm like, "well, yeah. Well, sometimes. It gets worse at certain times." And then he delivers the kicker: "Because I've never seen you feeling happy in here." Or something like that. Thus making me want to jump up in his face and insist that I AM a happy person, that I DO like myself, that I'm NOT always bummed out, that I haven't slept for more than 2 consecutive hours in ONE WEEK, etc. etc. And of course, if I were to do all that, it would only make me look more crazy/angry/unhappy or whatever.

I got my higher dose. But he wants me to consider going back to therapy if it doesn't do the trick. For some reason, this pisses me off. But then again, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Apparently it's in my nature.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

train's a'comin...

Just so life doesn't get lost in the passing of time (and because I still have plenty of write-on work to avoid).... a recap of my weekend.

On Friday night, a momentous occasion happened when I was successfully able to hang out with law school friends AND T (along with Best Man & Woman) at the same time for more than 45 uncomfortable minutes! We made a plan ahead of time to swing by a classmate's birthday party but to continue on with our night at other bars downtown, hopefully meeting up with other friends. Instead, we had dollar drinks at the bar up the street from our apartment, along with Best Woman, then walked up to the basement pub for the birthday party. When we got there, we were among the first ones to arrive, and settled in to one of the cooler (read: not crowded, filled with annoying drunk dudes and super-expensive "lagers") bars for the night. Eventually, we were joined by Best Man and one of his band mates, along with several people from my section, who congregated in one corner of the place. It turned out to be a lot of fun (and tall boys), mainly just chatting with my buddies and wandering over to be sociable with school people from time to time. I felt in my element, personally, and in the sense that I was getting face-time with "colleagues" which brings its own sense of enjoyment. Plus, T and I kicked some ass at slide-hockey!

Saturday, we went to a crazy neighborhood festival at the curb market up the street from our house, where I ate: ravioli, pizza slices, cannolis and water ice, and drank a bunch more beers. Also, I got to meet Vito from the Sopranos! Sweet! Then we walked back to the apartment and slept for a long time. Eventually, I woke up, worked on write-on stuff for approximately 20 minutes and began cooking a dinner that we sat down to eat around 11:00 at night.

Today was lounge-around time. Late breakfast. Sunday paper. Walk to Starbucks to do more write-on stuff. Best Man came over for dinner at our place. Baked brownies for T's birthday tomorrow. Played some Boggle. Now, just chilling (aka avoiding more write-on work). Tomorrow, I actually have to start writing. Eek.

On Tuesday, I am taking a 15-hour train ride down south to visit my sister and watch my second-oldest niece graduate from high school. I can't believe she is actually graduating. *I* was just graduating from high school! How is this happening? Seriously. Anyway, I plan to use the train ride to finish writing my note, then fed-ex it or have T print it and deliver it to the school on Thursday. I'll figure those pesky details out later... More importantly, I am excited about the dining car!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

defrost / unfreeze

my non-law school mind is starting to come back to life. slowly.

the jack-and-jill move my dog pulled on me yesterday has not been a major set-back, thank God. i went to campus today to pick up materials for write-on and to see if my knee could be examined at the free clinic. turns out, nothing appears to be broken or severely misplaced. just a serious "contusion" (bruise), so i'm good to go on with my vacation-enjoying!

which, of course, means freaking out about wedding plans!! so, i need to figure out flowers, officiant, contracts on the ceremony and reception sites, catering contract, music for the reception, cake details (we're doing homemade all-cake centerpieces + wedding cake), what the heck is actually going to happen during the ceremony (aka readings), and probably a bunch of other stuff i'm not thinking about. t is helping with much of this, including taking on the invitation stuff himself. which he is freaking out about in his own right. we are both having wedding nightmares, and neither of us are the "type" of people we'd expect to freak out about wedding details! so it's kind of funny.

and way more exciting and fun than write-on, which is just reading 400 pages of case law and then writing a "note" about it. (and by "note" they mean a 20-page paper analyzing, evaluating and predicting the outcome of a court opinion.) i'm so not stressing about that though. write on can KMA, for all i care, because if it's not graded, and there's not a final, it's not worth the silver hairs that are sprouting out of my scalp with greater frequency these days.

ahhh...not being in class.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Falling down the stairs

is how I started my first day of summer.

Scene: Living room, 9:30 am.

"Mijo, do you wanna go outside?"

Dog perks up his ears and trots over to me.

"Getcha leash!" I reach for my shoes, and pull my prescription out of my backpack. First on my list of business to take care of now that school is out: fill my scrip and take my much neglected dog to the dog park.

The dog is now panting and wagging his tail, as I snap his leash into place around his neck. Before heading out the door, I grab my to-go coffee and, since I'm feeling a little woozy from the last few days, a piece of cheese to fill my stomach.

We start out the door, the coffee and scrip in one hand, and my snack cheese in the other, the dog's leash looped around my forearm.

Normally, I let him charge down the stairs, not holding on to him. We live in a 3rd floor walk-up with one straight, steep staircase leading up to our front door. The 2nd floor neighbors have a dog too. My dog and their dog have a kind of Maggie Simpson-Unibrow Baby relationship. They bark at each other through the door, digging at the floor and making mean noises, even though if they were to actually see each other, they'd probably play all day.

So, for some reason, I am attached to Mijo's lease when we start down the stairs, and I'm still attached when he bounds down the staircase, literally leaping 3 steps at a time, to get to the 2nd floor landing where his arch-nemesis is waiting. I go tumbling down the stairs in slow motion, watching my coffee cup fly through dead air and land nearly at the bottom of the stairwell, and wondering whether I was going to end up there too.

But I landed, ironically, on the landing, screaming in pain because somehow I really hurt my knee in the whole process. Arch-nemesis dog is barking non-stop now and trying to dig his way to me from the crack under the door. My phone is upstairs on the charger, exactly where I left it, not having imagined I would need it for an emergency on my quick errand run. And Mijo has become suddenly stoic, perching himself on the edge of the landing, facing toward the bottom of the stairs and watching the legs of people walking by through the little window in the front door.

I laid there for about 10 minutes. First the pain was almost unbearable. But eventually, it subsided enough that I could think of other things, like whether I should try to call someone, or if I should go up or down. Finally, I stood up, prompting my dog to also stand up, tail tucked between his legs. He instinctively walked back up the stairs, knowing he had ruined our walk. And I followed him, slowly. We got back inside, and I crashed on the couch to sleep for 2 hours.

Now I'm sitting here icing my knee, wishing I had bought the health insurance and feeling sorry for myself. It could be worse. As T said, think of the kid who fell out of a tree on the first day of summer break and had his arm in a cast all summer and couldn't go swimming.

Monday, May 11, 2009

How did I get here?

sometimes, the way we end up where we are in life amazes me. how did i end up with an entire year of law school under my belt? how did i end up with a guy who loves me so much he encouraged me to do this? how did i end up 27 and happy with who i turned out to be? i am so lucky. this is a day to celebrate.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

International law, schminternational law

As of 9:50 pm on Saturday, the penultimate night of studying for 1L finals, my international law outline is 49 pages. And I am approximately half-way through the syllabus. This is seriously outrageous. And yes, I'm aware I should have been outlining the entire time or something.

Basically, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be writing down and what not to. As a result, I am creating a hideous Frankesteinian monster. Its out of control growth is so fast that the entire document is sure to consume me for breakfast on Monday morning as I sit staring helplessly at a 7-page fact pattern. I just hope I can get through the course in time to pare this thing down before the exam.

Like me, T is at his wits end. I keep trying to write about the things he's been doing to try to get my attention, which are all sweet-seeming things designed specifically to bug me and get a rise out of me. But then I realize that I'm just at that tail end of finals when everything, even nice, good, happy things, just bother you. For no reason, except that they are nice, and good, and happy, and you feel anything but.

I can't even imagine what life is going to be like after Monday!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

as the rain falls.

okay, okay, okay. i should stop blogging about Luis Ramirez and problems with the Shendo trial. but i'm be keeping my eye on that case for sure. today the DOJ acknowledged they are looking into pursuing hate crime charges against the "kids".

but aside from that, i am actually doing other things. well...thing. singular, not plural. i'm studying. all day every day, more than i did last semester even at exam time. t and i went out to dinner last night and i was complaining about how dull everything seems. he pointed out to me that i am in the middle of what feels like finals "month" rather than finals "week" (as the rain continued to pour down on the sidewalk, on the 5th gray day in a row). i've been laying out my books and highlighters and E&Es and the laptop every morning and stretching across the floor to outline, and it does appear to be working. i do feel like i knew what i was talking about when i went into my property exam. and i feel like i'm grasping some of this whole procedure they call "civil" now. the one really good thing about tanking my con law exam is that nothing feels quite so bad in comparison. ever the optimist, i am.

so, i'm taking a well earned break to watch a little tv on the internet. and then i'm going back to figure out the particulars of the Erie doctrine. again.

oh yeah, our wedding website is up. exciting! t's brother did it for us. so that's pretty awesome. he not only designed the site, but he also did the drawings for the background. my brother said "it's very indie rock." haha. he would say that.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Jim Goodman

Who is Jim Goodman and why did he put on such a shoddy prosecution? What the hell happened? I'm still pissed about this.

Here's a great summary of the trial at the outset. Before people knew it was going to end so quickly with "simple assault" as the most serious charge against a couple of guys who jumped this Mexican immigrant, sucker punched him and left him with his brains seeping out of his skull.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This can't be justice...

I followed the death of Luis Ramirez, a guy who was:
- 25 years old
- an undocumented immigrant from Mexico
- father to two young kids with a US citizen woman
- boyfriend to that woman's 15 year old half-sister
- a farm-worker of 7 years
- resident of Shenandoah, PA
He was walking through a park with the 15-year old when some high school boys, drunk from a block party, said to the girl, "isn't it a little late to be out?" according to the lovely AP article, "this enraged ramirez who began yelling at them in Spanish and calling people on his cell phone." from all the affidavits given prior to trial, i understand that he made phone calls only after the boys and him began fighting, asking his friends to come by because he might be in trouble. six drunken dudes, one sober guy on a date.

one guy went running after him, giving him a running punch that knocked ramirez to the ground. after ramirez was unconscious, one guy kicked him in the head, causing ramirez to go into convulsions and, ultimately, killing him.

So, flash forward to a jury trial, which only came about because the Feds got involved and media attention basically forced the local folks to press charges. The prosecution rested far sooner than anyone expected, which raises questions for me. Defense barely said anything. then, the jury deliberated, and according to the foreman it wasn't even a close vote. The two guys on trial were found guilty. Of simple assault. The end.

I feel sick.

Friday, May 1, 2009


okay, if you sound it out correctly, my blog entry title should sound precisely like the noise of a jet engine crashing and burning. because that is what i did. all. day. and the worst part? my exam is still here. with me. living inside my computer. all i have to do is suddenly KNOW con law, and i could fix it all up. right now. except.. it's a little late for that, folks. so, instead, i'm blogging at one in the morning, one hour after leaving the library in a state of confused resignation. (wasn't it just five o'clock?) in the morning, i will wake up, re-read what i wrote, try not to panic, and then print it out in a hurry so that i can turn it in on time. at least i have a one-up on last semester's memo. this time i've checked the word limit before five minutes before i have to walk out the door. score one for me.