Friday, October 23, 2009


I am getting ready to head back to my parents place for the second weekend in a row. Last weekend we swang by in order to drop off the dog so we could attend a wedding at the bottom of the state. This weekend I'm actually staying the whole weekend with the parents while I attend a job fair in DC. T is staying the night but then moving onward down 95 to attend to his printing press in Richmond. Instead, I will be accompanied by a classmate, a fellow 2L who I somehow never met until a recent dinner party for latin american law students. She's awesome and I'm glad to get to be hanging out with a classmate who is easy to talk to and with whom I seem to have a lot in common (aside from being "brown").


I am not looking forward to this trip. Obviously one reason is that it will involve a lot of networking. Considering I don't even have any interviews lined up (not because I was rejected... I simply didn't realize I was supposed to bid...gahh!!), I'm feeling less than inspired. Another obvious reason for my lack of enthusiasm is the fact that it's nearing the end of the semester and I could definitely get a lot more work done by staying put. However, the worst reason I'm not excited is that I feel this sense of dread about hanging out with other people. Why? I have no idea. I have gotten worse and worse at extending myself out of my comfort zone. It's not that I don't enjoy hanging out or that I'm not sociable. It's just that I get exhausted and anxious about it after a short period of time. A whole weekend at my parents house with someone I don't know that well makes me nervous, like I'll screw something up. Like I won't be able to relax. Is that normal? I feel weird just writing that.

Also, I feel like a terrible 2L because not only did I not do write-on or get accepted for some sort of legal sports team (i.e. trial team), but I haven't even applied for a single OCI. This weekend is supposed to be my big opportunity to find a job, but I don't have an interview. Instead, I'll mark it as the beginning of my great Job Search. If I'm gonna run off a few resumes, might as well make it a hundred. Might as well get a bunch of envelopes and start drafting cover letters. Might as well flood the mailboxes of legal eagles all over Virginia, where I hope to practice after I graduate, and all over Big City, where there's a plausible chance I'll end up for a while after I get the JD.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Every. Little. Bit. Counts.

Holy crap, I just did a lot of work. And by "work", I mean all that not-reading work that accompanies the long death march toward finals. You know. Outlines.

Today I finally paid attention to that neat little gadget called Google Docs that seems to be all the rage about the law school. And I discovered that I can work on the same outline from home, from school, from a library computer, from a rental laptop and even from outer space*!

So I worked on my Trust & Estate outline for like 30 minutes at school, found out my night class was cancelled, came home, cooked for like an hour and a half (stuffed acorn squash AND avocado & cilantro deviled eggs? for real...), ate dinner with T, engaged in some late-semester arguing about my less-than-sunny demeanor and settled back in at the computer. Where I just completed the first quarter of my T&E outline! With a month to go!

Word of advice to any 1Ls reading this blog out there... Outlining is daunting. And if you wait to start (like I do) you will find yourself scrambling to assemble a semi-comprehensible guide to an entire semester of legal principles (x 4 or 5, depending on your course load) in less than four weeks. That's okay! Outlining is daunting. If you're like me, you will put it off because of the sheer immensity of the task. That's NOT okay. Every. Little. Bit. Counts. If you only outline half a class lecture, you will be crying tears of gratitude at a later date for those five fewer cases you'll have to reconstruct from your crappy notes and half-assed briefs.

Actually, I think that's just a word of advice to myself. Disguised as "wisdom" for someone else, it's actually me just reminding myself to keep up the good work!

*probably, assuming there's wifi up there.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What a pear!

My new favorite food is the Bosc pear. Fry it up in some butter, toss in some walnuts and sprinkle dried cranberries on top. Crumble some cheese over the whole thing. Yum YUM! (Or should I say, "Scromph!") One day, I won't live a block and a half from Whole Foods. That will be a sad day for my diet.

I got my blood levels tested the other day on account of some issues with my "lady parts" as my mom so disgustingly delicately put it. Supposedly all is normal. But I am starting to worry that I am pre-diabetic. Wow, this blog is a crazy outlet for my hypochondria! I can't help but think it's doing T a great service. (Now I have the poor unsuspecting internet to listen to my various ailments and suspicions!)

And in other news, T & I went to a dance party wedding this weekend where, for the first time in our entire relationship (i.e. 7 years on Saturday), he kept dragging me onto the dance floor. I'm still not sure what got into him, but after trying to get him to dance at so many weddings, I'm not gonna complain! Even if I did have to hide in the bathroom a couple of times just to get away from him and catch my breath. Even if I did come out of the bathroom once to find all the guys at our table rushing at me saying, "Did you see what T did?! He got some guy crowd surfing!" Even if he literally made me dance my way out to the coffee nook and dance my way back to the table. And even if we did almost knock over the photographer not once, not twice but three times.

T has two theories for his sudden love of dancing. His first is that now that we've tied the knot, he feels like he can kick back and enjoy everyone else's without stressing out about whether we're going to have to do that at our wedding. His second theory is that it's because of something I've told him over and over (at every wedding reception, I'm sure) about how I don't care what he looks like when he dances, I just love to see him having fun. He said it's because of me. Obviously, I like theory #2 better. But they're both pretty good.

And since the wedding was in the deep south of Virginia, I got my good fill of the life I miss here in the Big City. We stopped at a fruit co-op and bought jars of red raspberry preserves and kickles ("pickles with a kick!"). We heard all about how the hotel receptionist's daddy declared on the day of her birth that she would be known as "Mary Cathreen" and how her grandbaby has the same name, so there are now two people on the face of this earth with the name Cathreen. We spotted a headless deer and a vulture (and possibly a deer head in the mouth of a vulture). And at the wedding, we ate mashed potatoes, green beans, lots of gravy and watched the bride and her mom dance to good ol' Rocky Top.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

born (hispanic) in the usa

I'm vaguely embarassed about my last post. Specifically, I hope I didn't come off as whiny. I really was poking fun at myself by trotting out all these childhood stories to explain my messiness. In actuality, I think it's just part habit and part gene, as Cee said.

Anyway, on to other news. Today I went to our local Hispanic Bar Association reception for scholarship recipients. Although I did not receive a scholarship, I did receive a free invitation to schmooze, partake in free drinks, eat a gazillion arepas and other deliciosos, and interact with my boss, classmates and some local judges on a more personal level. The best part (for me) was when the honoree of the evening, top brass in the legal department at a large corporation, mentioned Luis Eduardo Ramirez in his call for Latinos to be vigilant about the tone of debate on immigration in the upcoming year, as new legislation will take the forefront and hate crimes are already on the rise. Just to hear someone mention his name in person, to acknowledge that horrific crime, brought tears to my eyes.

I've been feeling sensitive lately. Can you tell?

Monday, October 12, 2009

chore chart

last monday, T came up with the idea that we should have a chore chart. (okay, so we've both come up with that idea, in various incarnations, thousands of times.) we decided to start small, and anyone who knows T will know that this was a major compromise on his part. our bigger, loftier chore charts have invariably failed, leaving both of us feeling annoyed, inadequate, gross or a combo of all 3.

i should add that i am the messy one.

anyway, we are now on week 2 of the chore chart. and it's going well enough that i feel inspired to write about it.

i spend a lot (pero MUCHO!) of time psychologizing my inability to keep a clean house. T has not unfairly observed that this psychologizing is a fantastically effective way to put off actual efforts to clean (and throw conversations about the problem wayyyyy off-track). among my various theories for my messiness, which i will boldly posit despite their shameless tone of unaccountability:

first, my mom never made me clean. she just did it all herself. sure, she would ask me put my dishes in the dishwasher. she would later downgrade that request to simply getting the dishes in the sink. usually if i ever did anything around the house, it was because mom nagged me into doing it or because she had decided on one occasion or another to actually enforce her demand. ("what did i tell you? you may not go upstairs and play until you have put away your dishes," called up to me from the kitchen as i reluctantly left my brother's bedroom where we had scattered all his micro-machines after dinner.)

then there was my dad's popular "this house is falling apart" refrain. or: "we don't know how to take care of our things." these two laments were so constantly echoing around the house, loudly proclaimed whenever something did not live up to his own standards of what he had expected grown-up life with a big house and two kids to be. i heard it so regularly that i must have believed it. i mean, what's the point in trying to keep it together if only the failures get recognized, right? negative reinforcement at its finest.

and perhaps he had a point. after all, i lived in a house where a giant pot-shaped circle was seared into the linoleum of our kitchen floor for years, due to a cooking mishap involving a saucepan, my mom and fire. never fixed. i watched water stains grow and take shape on the ceiling of my parents' bedroom. but mostly i don't remember there being a lot of clutter or mess, even though my mom talked about it all the time. i suspect that this lack of memory isn't due to my actually living in a clean house, but due to the fact that when you're a kid what you know is your normal.

so excuse me, mr. clean husband. i grew up thinking that it was perfectly normal to have 3 coffee mugs cluttered around your bedside table, that it makes perfect sense to hang your purse on the back of the bathroom door and just because the sink is full tonight doesn't mean it won't be clean in the morning.

i jest.

obviously i am a grown-up who needs to be a cleaner person. and the only reason i am indulging in this little shoe-gazing, tongue-in-cheek reflection on my days of yore is that today i happily cleaned the kitchen. belting out tim mcgraw. talking incessantly to the dog. scrubbing pots and pans and spraying down the counters and setting up our new programmable coffee maker for tomorrow morning's brew. i cleaned the kitchen. and you know what? it felt damn good. and yes, i may have snapped at T for offering to help me put a plate up on a high cabinet, and may have compared his generous offer to that of a mother following her toddler around the housewares aisle of Macy's. (sorry again, handsome.) but you know why? it's cause i'm groooowing. i'm sensing my independence and i can do it myself thankyouverymuch. this is a good thing. if this routine keeps up, i may even graduate to other parts of the house!

Friday, October 9, 2009

i have a small flower, and a tiny little butterfly on my...thigh

So I've been reading The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by that awesome Dominican author Junot Diaz, who also wrote Drown. Among its many other wonderful qualities, the narrator's charming Spanglish has me hooked.

And today, I discover this awesome blog. Among its many awesome features, the blog appears to be doing a weekly recap of Modern Family, which is verging on becoming my new favorite HILARIOUS show. I like Guanabee's recap because they focus on Colombian trophy wife & her son Manny, which no other reviewers seem to do, and have something to say about nearly every joke assigned to those two characters. It's great!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

and it burns burns burns

"Congratulations! You have a UTI."

Pretty much sums up my day. Am I the only 2L having a really hard time focusing on school work, by the way?

Monday, October 5, 2009

3 good things about my day

today was awesome because....
- i got to cash in on my health insurance! the awesome benefits of being married to an awesome guy who works for a pretty cool company (as cool as owning Lexis Nexis can make you) include getting to be put on his awesome insurance! and now, thanks to my love of filling out online forms, i have been able to get a mental health assessment, check out discounts on gym memberships and even get the number of the doctor who lives literally one block away from me and is accepting new patients! so many of my hypochondriac tendencies are about to be reckoned with...

- we ate in chinatown! just last night i was laying in bed griping about how i feel like we don't do enough fun things in our life, and how its been so much easier to kick back a few drinks than come up with something interesting to do. just last night, T was saying how he wants to explore new places, starting with chinatown. and then this afternoon i had a serious craving for egg drop soup, and we were working so closeby... voila! our plans put into action! we discovered a crazy bizarre 2-floor warehouse-sized shang-hai market full of books on chinese characters, colorful paper lanterns, silk robes, mysterious board games, bird and fish kites and an authentic acupuncture room in the back. there was some street percussion group with two dragons dancing around the street like a stationary parade. then we had a 10-dish dim sum sampler for dinner at a vegetarian restaurant someone recommended to us a few days ago. delish!

- i found myself neck-deep in a labor contract at work! i've never been involved in a labor dispute. where i'm from, unions are fairy tales told by wistful employees in in breakrooms across the state, scary stories passed around by executive types at corporate retreats to keep each other up at night. but today i actually got to read a worker contract and interpret the grievance procedure and figure out whether our client can bring a claim to get his job back! today i was useful AND i learned something. and as if that wasn't enough, i actually managed to learn the whereabouts of two clients who had been evading me for weeks on end. it was productive today. way more productive than i suspect class will be tomorrow.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

you're gonna miss this

This is the time in my life where I lived in the Big City, spent many evenings cooking dinner and studying and messing around on the computer, and went to a lot of bars to drink a lot of beer. This is the time of my life where I was a newlywed who felt like an old hand at my relationship with T. It's the time when we talked about 401ks and career trajectories, down payments and family planning, but it was all non-committal and blessedly rhetorical. This is when we lived on one income and our greatest hope was T getting a promotion and his department not getting shut down. It's when I tried to go to the gym to stay in shape because it was free, but I rarely actually followed through. It's when I spent entire afternoons in a library with other 20- and 30-somethings excited about the law, not jaded or overworked from years of practice, even though we all pretended we were. It's when I watched a lot of television on the internet, and T was obsessed with his Netflix queue. It's when the dog was decidedly past puppyhood but not yet an old man dog. When my parents and T's parents lived back in VA and we all looked for opportunities to see one another, but those opportunities were fewer and farther between than we would've hoped. This is the time in my life where I lived in a tiny, firetrap apartment full of dog hair and furniture and casebooks and zines, and not much else. Where we could walk to the grocery store or the park, to a diner or the train station, downtown or to a friend's house, without even breaking a sweat. Where life was everywhere around us all the time, in a loud, noisy, gritty way. It's the time in my life when I was 28 and in my first year of marriage, second year of law school and completely fascinated with trying to figure out what comes next.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Toiletbowl 200

Went to quizzo last night with T and some friends. On our way back, we walked down an alley where we discovered a toilet seat on the curb awaiting the trash pickup. T & I instantly looked at each other, gasped and then burst out laughing. I grabbed the seat and lugged it back to our apartment.


Because earlier in the day we had talked about how we would need a toilet seat to perfect the awesome Halloween costumes we were going to make. (Each of us silently thinking, "Where the hell are we going to find a toilet seat?") On the early morning walk to work, I was joyful breathing in the fall air as T grumbled about the cold. Since the prospect of Halloween being around the corner did not fill him with the same child-like excitement brewing within me, I told him that I was making it my goal to reintroduce him to the simple joys of Halloween of our youth. And then we saw our Isaiah Zagar on his way to work, and I came up with the best costume idea ever. Amazingly, T agreed.

Now, I have come up with great Halloween costume ideas before. There was the year I decided to go as the hunchback of Notre Dame in 7th grade, but realized that stuffing a pillow up my shirt just made me look silly for the 30 seconds before it fell out the back. Then there was the year I was set on going as the female reproductive system. Our kitten died the day before, so instead of scrambling to figure out how I would make it all work, I went to Walmart with T and bought a shovel to bury our first pet. But this year, oh this year. The year of promise.

Today was an interesting day, by the way. The class gunner called me the class gunner. Needless to say, I was more than a little perturbed. It didn't help that our "conversation" took place in a crowded elevator on our way to class, mere moments before I was slated to give my first closing argument. At the dinner table tonight, I told T how I was "on fire" during class. "So you had your Kevin Arnold moment?" he asked. "If it were an episode of the Wonder Years, there would be black and white footage of enormous crowds cheering," I assured him. In other words, I was not called a cop for the second week in a row. Score one for me!

And if this post wasn't random enough, this is my 200th post!