Monday, September 28, 2009

Why getting to 2L year is like having a second kid

i have to preface what i'm about to do with a disclaimer admission or three. first, YES, i do read pregnancy blogs. (i also read parenting blogs, quiverfull blogs, grandma blogs, law student blogs and blogs about how to dress yourself. and my IRL friends' blogs. and people i hardly knew in college's's blogs.) second, YES, i am supposed to be reading about trust & estates, employment law and political and civil rights right now. third, NO, i am not wearing pants.

which is all pretty much typical for 9:30 on a weeknight, and was all true about 5 minutes ago when i came across a cute little post on A Little Pregnant, where i washed up after one of my nightly blog-surfing expeditions. half of my mind was blissfully tuned out of MY reality and into some other sucker's life. the other half was doubtlessly fixated on all the work i should be (but am not) doing. but as i continued to read, i realized that this crazy woman, describing her experience with a second kid, was starting to sound a LOT like me, describing my experience with a second year of law school to anyone who will listen.

thus, i present to you, "Why Getting to 2L Year is Like Having a Second Kid":

It is easier this time around, everything about babyhood law school, exactly like everyone told me it would be. That's true for a lot of reasons, most of them obvious, all based on prior experience: you know the tough parts end; you know that one day you'll have more time to yourself, more sleep, more sex; you know how to take care of a baby not fail your classes; you know that even if the baby you runs a high fever, develops a full-body rash, and suddenly sprouts a third eye just so he you can cry more, it's probably just a virus time to start outlining. That experience is much more persuasive than anyone else's assurances, so while the drudgery — I mean the endlessly repetitive daily blessings, hallelujah, lo, how I love skimming vomit from the bathtub! not having to go to work! Blueberries Greenbacks, aweigh! — of keeping a baby the dream of becoming a lawyer alive is the same, my feelings about it are altogether different this time. (This time I think, Could be worse. Could be hot dog med school.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

bad cop cross

Did my first cross-examination in Trial Ad today. I was like Kevin Arnold in an early episode of the Wonder Years. I imagined my line of questioning would be like a well-played game of chess. The smug 3L playing the witness would fall right into my trap. By his own admissions he would be backed into a corner, until all he could do is hang his head in silent admission of his own incompetency. The critiquing professor/trial team coach would have nothing to critique. "Wow," she would say. "Now *that* is how you do a cross-examination."

Instead, it went down more like this:

Me: "So Watkins was wearing a raincoat?"
Witness: "Yes."
Me: "On a clear night?"
Witness: "Yes."
Me: "A raincoat with big pockets?"
Witness: "Yes."
Me: Repeat line of questioning about a thousand times, interspersed with some rambling questions using cumbersome language.

The critique afterward involved some lecture about how I needed to organize my examination so I don't get sidetracked, and then, an odd question closed out my public rebuke.

"How do I ask this..." mused the professor. "JE, do you... or does anyone in your family have experience in law enforcement?"

"Um, no! Why?"

"You sound like a cop." She went on to say I used too many law enforcement words, but I immediately felt self-conscious for my somewhat aggressive, loud tone while conducting my cross. What had moments before felt like bold, groundbreaking tactical genius quickly dissolved into tyrannical, foot stomping, bad-cop acting.

And thus begins my year-long journey into the world of trial practice. I'm working on thickening my skin.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I remember

I'm only updating because I happened to already be logged on from leaving comments elsewhere. Otherwise I probably wouldn't bother. Why? Oh, I don't know. I just wouldn't.

I have been having some trouble lately. T & I ate dinner on the floor last night (at my insistence) and I confessed to him that I am freaking out lately. (As if he hadn't noticed.) As we were talking, words tumbled from my mouth and it is as if they landed brick-like on my toes, startling me into realizing their full weight. "When I grew up, I was kind of always waiting for everything to completely fall apart." Duh. I really was. I remember standing at the window of my parents' bedroom, watching my mom walk through the snow to her car and drive away after a loud, frightening fight. I remember being afraid, like she was never coming back. I remember sitting in the coat closet with the girls in my 5th grade class, mentioning that my brother and I felt scared of my dad coming home from work. I remember them laughing at me. "Scared?" one girl said. "Of your dad?" They laughed louder. I remember being tucked in by my mom and asking why they couldn't just work it out. I remember telling her that they should just sit in a room and talk about it. She said, I remember, that it was a good idea. That they really should do that. I remember saying to her, "Yeah, and I could help you talk to each other." I really thought I could. I remember she said, "Oh, no, honey." Something about how I couldn't be a part of that conversation. I remember being upset. Why not? They obviously couldn't figure it out without me. It was all so obvious to me. If they could just SEE what I saw, they could get along. It was so stupid, all their anger and tears and sadness. Obviously it was all a big misunderstanding. Logic. That was the key. Sane logic and a 10-year old referee sitting in a chair between them to help them come to an agreement.

Is it any wonder I ended up in law school? Haha. Seriously, I've worked through my stuff for the most part. I love my parents and feel lucky to have had them. Big time. I couldn't feel more loved. Understood, maybe, some of the time. But more loved? Never. However. I certainly had no role model for marriage when I was growing up. What I learned was that family was close, family came first and family felt like living on a fault line: it wasn't quite a disaster zone, but I was never entirely convinced that the earth wasn't about to open up beneath my feet.

So yeah. As I tried to articulate to T why I have felt like an insecure train wreck lately, it occurred to me that maybe I am just working through something. Maybe I am just having trouble believing that I am standing on steady ground, or that this family, this life, is something altogether different from the one I once knew.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I got home today and realized that I had left my two biggest case books at school today. Which means I can't study tonight for those classes. I happen to be caught up in my other classes. And class is canceled tomorrow. Which means... FREE NIGHT!!


I've been good most of the week. Going to sleep before midnight. Working out 30 minutes of dumb cardio. Not drinking soda or eating fast food. Actually reading. I've also been bad. I skipped two classes. But for the most part, good. I am happy to say that I have no plans for tonight except to have some drinks, watch the season premiere of It's Always Sunny (!!!!!!!!) and, well, that's it.

Boo ya. (Yeah, I said it.)

Monday, September 14, 2009


i notice a lot of "om nom nom" on the internet these days. i like it. it reminds me of cookie monster. (that's supposed to happen, right?) but i tend to get annoyed when i realize a phrase is cool. like in high school when all of a sudden all my buddies indulged in a 5 second prelude to every sentence: "duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!" better known on the internet as, "d00d!" then later T got into calling everyone a "dump" and it was quickly picked up by his roommates (as most of his phrases are). it became the word of choice for making fun of friends around his house. flashforward some years and bro-in-law introduced us to the "epic fail" thanks to some friend's proclivity for hanging out on nerd-core message boards. (i am certain i just used the phrase "nerd-core" improperly just now.) next thing you know, everything is a FAIL. almost literally. i was once at a party a couple years ago in Richmond when i noticed this picture taped to my friend's refrigerator. it was an enormous (real!) walrus with a bucket looking ecstatic, with the caption, "I HAS A BUCKET!" and then another picture of a man taking the bucket and the walrus looking very upset and the caption, "NOOOOOOO!! THEY BE STEALIN MY BUCKET!" and i laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and seriously would not stop laughing the whole way home. the next day, i realized i was the last person on earth to have learned about lolcats.

how did i start talking about all this?

oh yeah. because i wanted to start a real blog post by mentioning the delicious sauted bananas i made for dessert tonight. my new thing is frying fruit. yum yum. and that's where this came from. because in my head, i literally heard a delicious noise and remembered there's a meme for that now: "om nom nom." except i don't want to say om nom nom. i want to say SCROMPH! because that's exactly it sounds like in my head. not the same ring to it, i know.

in other news, i did exercise today for 30 minutes. i think i read trust and estates for about the same amount of time. ah, early semester studying. it seems so easy and relaxed right now...*

*note: i am not on law review or any of the other major extracurriculars!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

my potbelly is not cute

my best friend just posted pictures on facebook from her recent trip to visit me and T here in the Big City. wow. i've noticed for a long time, but i avoid being aware of it as much as possible. i have a mad potbelly. i'm not big all over. i used to be very thin, which i didn't take pride in or really even care about. it was just the way my body was shaped. but now, i am rounding out in a big way, and also in a very particular way. my stomach protrudes. when i stand sideways, i look pregnant. it's not cool.

i finally googled "why does my stomach stick out so much?" and came to the conclusion that i have visceral fat. this is, essentially, fat packed into my stomach between my guts. yummy yummy. and what's weird? it's mostly associated with men and post-menopausal women. the female horemone estrogen causes most women to store fat in their legs, butt and thighs. (i do some of this too.) i am truly starting to suspect that my body's horemones are all messed up. between the stomach fat-packing, the hair falling out in the shower, and the odd cycles, i'm starting to think something in me is very confused.

anyway. i want, but *really* want, to lose this pot. my mom has one. i could write myself off as doomed. but this early on in my marriage i think i need to try a little harder than that. so what does the internet say i should do?

1. 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week.
2. stop the alcohol (at least for a couple months, and then keep it down)
3. cut out junk and fast food, and consider going gluten-free

lately, i have slacked off on my previously healthier lifestyle by:
- drinking soda
- eating fast food
- drinking lots of beer
- riding the train to school, rather than walking to work

so, i am going to make an effort to exercise at the school gym on tuesdays, thursdays and fridays, and take a good long (dog-free) walk once a weekend. stop drinking all soda. stop eating all fried food. only drink on weekends. avoid beer.

lets see if i can't slim down that potbelly of mine.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Who lies? You lie!

You know what? As amusing and obnoxious as it was that Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted out at the President in the middle of his reassurance that (don't worry!!!) illegal immigrants will NOT receive health care under his plan....

As amusing and obnoxious as it was, and as tempting as it is to get my blood all boiled up, the fact is that I respect his right to do that. I remember it was really not that very long ago that I longed to be inside any given crowded, silent room with President Dubya, just so I could shout at him that he is a 'f@#*ing idiot'!! (Confession: I wouldn't have actually yelled at him, but I always was relieved when somebody was able to sneak in and shame him on my behalf. I got close enough a couple of times that I actually panicked and had to think about what I would do.)

So. Fine. Shout away.

I disagree with Ol' Fuss 'n' Feathers Wilson on his P.O.V. It's a stupid battle he's chosen. Obviously as long as there are rules that say you have to have a certain number and a certain ID to get certain benefits, there will be certain people creating, selling and using fake IDs and fake numbers in order to gain the benefit for themselves. It's inevitable that "illegals" are going to find a way to game the system if they really, really want to. And as long as there is rampant inequality and ginormous injustice in the way we do trade and the expectations and accountability we place on corporations, there are going to be unqualified people who really, really want to game the system to get a job here. Most aren't going to try their luck by using our health insurance. None that I know would even dare. Hell, they hardly have the trust in our system to call the cops when a guy holds a gun to their head and takes all their money and their son's bike.

God forbid an illegal immigrant get hit by a car, or choke on a hot dog, or sustain life-threatening damage to their lungs from working around pesticides, and they actually want care! Shit.

But I digress.

I totally, 100% support Joe Wilson's right to shout out. Yes, even at the President. I wouldn't make a habit out of it. I'd expect more from a U.S. Congressman. I agree it's irresponsible and sets a bad example. Anyway, if it were me, I'd find a way to get one of my prized interns to do the shouting for me. But, whatever. We live in 'Merica, folks. This is also part of our character, like it or not. I feel like I need a shower.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I'm bored with school. I think I drink too much these days. And I can't bring myself to focus on reading. I wish that T & I didn't spend so much time in front of the computer. And, by the way, even though I made a delicious dinner (seriously, try this)(and this) I am hungry.

I'm mad I didn't make the trial team. I don't feel like reading for Evidence anymore. I miss my honeymoon and the summer. Blah.

Monday, September 7, 2009

long weekend short post

nothing much going on here. my best friend and her husband came to visit for a couple days, which was pretty awesome. i love when people come to stay with us and i get to see my neighborhood through a fresh set of eyes. makes me feel pretty grateful for where i live. i especially love when people come from virginia, with their unspoken tales of cool breezes, green hills and long drives.

they brought their dogs, which added some fun but also made the entire visit a little more exhausting than it normally would've been. since they left, i have taken a long nap (3+ hours), talked to my bro on the phone, cooked from the awesome earmarked copy of the Moosewood cookbook that a friend mailed us as a wedding gift, won my first (half) game of trivial pursuit, drank pink zinfandel and half-heartedly hit on the Hubbard who responded with half-hearted interest. it's been a lazy night. i like it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Since the day after our wedding, the inside of my head has been playing host to a whole bunch of voices clamoring for attention and arguing their sophist truths at one another. In other words, I'm trying to come to terms with this new label I have: Wife.

What does it mean to be a wife? Well, that depends on the day and the internal voice that happens to have temporarily drowned out all its competitors.

"Nothing. You're the exact same person you were before."

"You're a shrew. Listen to yourself. Everything comes out Nag."

"This is hot. It's so cool to be married and yet go out, have fun and be young."

"It means you're getting old. Haven't you noticed the proliferation of gray hairs?"

"Hehehehe... you said 'Wife'."

"Did you notice that every other girl looks younger than you now? And hotter?"

So about half the time, I'm giggling to myself and glowing (at least, that's what the crazy lady with bad teeth said to me on the train the other day). And half the time, I'm cautiously tip-toeing around black, swelling pits of ageist stereotypes and anxieties that can only come from a lifetime of subconsciously absorbing the not-so-subtle messages in a thousand Jiffy peanut butter commercials and my mom's old Redbook magazines. Was I born with it? Or was it Maybelleine after all? Just who am I, anyway?

Last night, T & I went to dinner and then met up with Best Man and Woman for drinks at a bar. (Lest anyone forget law school still looms large, I paid for it today when I overslept and came late to Evidence.) It was an all-around good time. One of those times when being Wife meant having fun with the Hubbard, being hip and cool young city dwellers and sticking it to all the stereotypes of married life. At one point, in a moment of jovial drunkeness, T revealed that he'd been representing our position on having children as, "After law school? JE has been ready since last week!" Hahaha. Hilarious. I was not amused. (Side note: Why don't guys ever have to master the fine art of deflecting obnoxious and overly personal questions? Because they don't get them in the sheer volume that women seem to.)

Anyway, this conversation alarmed Best Man, who said, "Don't start having kids! Then we won't get to hang out anymore." To which T deftly replied, "That's what you said 3 years ago about if JE & I got married!" For some reason, I was very proud of his response.

Today, T went out with coworkers after work, and I came home to study. And study. Oh, and walk the dog. Order pizza. And study. Eventually, it was after 8:00 and I had no idea where T was or when he was getting back. And even though I was annoyed, I knew he wasn't up to no good. And more importantly, I wanted to placate the voice in my head that happened to be shouting at the time, "Don't be that wife! Don't be the shrew!" So I kept studying. And eventually, T came home. And although I was annoyed, I tried to bite my tongue. It worked out fine.

I guess I'm just wondering how long I'm going to feel this way, like I'm riding a bike for the first time. It's really not that different than NOT being married. T doesn't get it. He gets either annoyed or amused when I start giving a lot of voice to my wife-related insecurities. Although, the last couple of days, he's been asking if he's being a good husband. And the other day, he revealed what he described to be his first "husband thing": plucking a nosehair in the bathroom before work. So, maybe he does get it more than I realize. In any case, we're both here stumbling around together figuring it out. Just T, me and all the damn voices.