Sunday, November 29, 2009

FRE falling

The CALI website goes down just when I planned my entire afternoon around doing their stupid evidence lessons. Just like that: all my holiday cheer is out the window.

Dammit! Son of a bitch...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

holiday season in the big city

one thing i love about the change in seasons is the opportunity to revisit old memories and make new ones around the same themes. in the spring, i get to recall the sudden blossoming of trees in fredericksburg, the bright colors along 147 as i drove to work in durham, warm days and the promise of even warmer ones to come. in the summer, the sound of ice cream trucks, scorching sidewalks and the smell of chlorine take me back to childhood. i relive the excitement of the annual june liberation on those last days of school. fireworks and sweaty naps in unairconditioned rooms and swims in the river. sunshine at 9 at night. in the fall, perhaps my favorite, there is the crisp air of so many trips to my family's mountain cabin ("the lot") and splashes of orange everywhere remind me of field trips to pumpkin patches or my first date with T, when we drove to Niagara Falls on a whim on our school's fall break. crunchy leaves and farmers markets and sunday afternoon football. the promise of a better Redskins year.

it's all about the memories. not the ones that already exist, but the ones we are making this year. holiday season is my favorite season because you can almost sense the nostalgia even before the present becomes the past. you can look around a table full of family, friends, and imagine what it will be like to tell stories about these people to future generations, or just to remember them when you're older, grayer. unlike at most other times of the year, it's almost second nature to appreciate what you have during the holidays. last year, T's grandma was here with us playing wii for the first time in our tiny apartment. this year, she's up in heaven watching our first-annual wii tennis tournament in her honor. last year, my uncle was down in Colombia and i wasn't even thinking about what he was doing. i just knew he was there. and now he's up in heaven, undoubtedly watching his granddaughter celebrate her fourth thanksgiving.

i like that this is my second thanksgiving in the Big City. its another year to walk the streets and see the christmas lights go up, watch the lines of people waiting for cannolis at the bakeries, taste the pumpkin bread at my favorite coffee shop, enjoy the decorations in all the rowhouse windows... cement these images in my mind so i can recall them more vividly when we've moved on from here eventually.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

happy thanksgiving ya'll

the end of class today marked the beginning of a blissful two-day period of ignoring law school. i celebrated with my friend A by driving back to my neighborhood in the miserable gray cold, where we parked ourselves on a couple of bar stools and talked about our mock trials.

tonight, i will attempt to turn a long list of places to clean in my apartment into a fun and cozy game for T and I to share. we'll tackle the stove top, the corners of the bathtub, the pieces of nylabone in the carpet. i even hope to brave the tumultuous depths of my closet. all in an effort to be able to take pride in our newly-marital apartment when T's parents come up for the first time post-wedding.

then, after doing all that cleaning and hopefully sneaking in a trip to the grocery store (perhaps a bit ambitious considering it's quarter to nine as i type), we'll snuggle up to a couple episodes of deadwood while the weather outside continues its descent into winter.

tomorrow, i'll get up early to continue what i hope becomes a new thanksgiving tradition as long as we're in the Big City. i'll walk down to the Italian bakery a few blocks away and park myself in line for a few thanksgiving day treats to share with the family. the smells from the bakery will lure me in while i'm still halfway down the block. my mouth waters thinking of it.

and then, when i get back, after putting on the pot of coffee and eating the sugary treats with T, i'll start cooking. T will make his amazing green bean casserole. i'll make the baked sweet potatoes, glazed carrots and guacamole deviled eggs. we'll load the food up and bring it over to T-bro's house, meeting up with his parents somewhere along the way, and then we'll EAT.

last year, T's grandma was with us. this year, she's not. we'll keep her dear to our hearts, and try to appreciate one another a bit more this year.

happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

Monday, November 23, 2009

notice and a hearing

"i notice that i am feeling anxious."

"i notice that i am feeling guilty."

"i notice that i am feeling ashamed."

i notice that when i notice and acknowledge my feelings, i feel a hell of a lot better than when i try to pretend they are not there. when i try to ignore them (my natural inclination) they follow me around like shadows, casting a pall over my day. (talking only about the negative feelings, here.) my stomach gets twisted in knots or my face falls down toward the sidewalk as i move about my business. i get irritable and blame it on all the wrong things. this is what happens when i make no conscious effort to feel my feelings.

in fits and spurts over my adult life, i have tried to be better about this habit. since we moved to the Big City and i started school, however, this is an aspect of my mental health that i have paid less attention to. in therapy, i worked on it. but out of therapy, i take my medicine and hope for the best. of course i learned some tricks, challenged some assumptions and dealt with some crap back in therapy that has made life generally easier to handle and given me important every day skills. but the fact is that i am still more likely to crank up the radio, immerse myself in Spider Solitaire, crack open a beer or get hooked on a television show when i am dealing with tough emotions, rather than sit down with a journal or even just take a deep breath and say, "i notice i am feeling..."

it seems so simple. its surprising how easy a habit it is to forget. for the most part, its a habit i have felt little need for in recent times. sometimes i wish i could just wave a magic wand and i would suddenly be an expert at handling my emotions. i guess everybody must feel that way sometimes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

No No No Si Si Si

Want to know how to ruin a perfectly good date? Easy! Go to a Mexican restaurant where there are televisions in every corner blaring reggaeton music videos, and allow your eyes to stray back to the gyrating dancers every time your date takes a bite of food.

Want to know how to ruin a perfectly productive morning? Easy! Go to YouTube and look for all the reggaeton videos you saw last night on your date to the Mexican restaurant so you can post links on your blog.

Want to guess who'd rather be perreando than studying? Easy! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Back in the saddle

It's been a while.

So, the last substantive post I had I believe I was talking about starting my job search. Haha. I put that on pause immediately after I returned home from the job fair. On the plus side, I really enjoyed spending the weekend with my classmate who came along. She and I had a lot to talk about, and since the second day of the job fair turned out to be a bust, we spent the afternoon exploring the monuments on the National Mall. Ah, to be a tourist again!

We also had some friends come and visit from down south. They brought their two-year old child with them, which was an absolute delight for me, as it seems I cannot get enough babies in my life these days. I'm not gonna lie, I'm running a slight fever. (I can just hear T reading this and cringing/laughing at the word "slight".)

I'm drinking PBR at midnight while I update this blog, which can only mean one thing: It's crunch time! School is taking the front seat again, hence my return to the blog. I'm taking a break from going into the office for my internship, although I'll continue to do research from school and home. I'm doing a kind of exciting memo for my boss on probationary union employees and their right to tort remedies for wrongful employment. I never thought I'd write the words "exciting" and "memo" in the same sentence, much less adjacent to one another. But I talked to a guru of farmworker law today, and he seemed pleased with my analysis of this particular fact pattern and gave me a lot of good starting points for research. I feel thrilled to be around so many attorneys doing so many cool things. (I also organized some law students to volunteer at an AILA event, helping LPRs apply for citizenship, and one of our volunteers got a job! Very cool!)

In other news, I have been marking "x"s on the calendar every day that I remember to take my medication. Which is both helpful (I feel better when I take it every day) and annoying (I also have trouble sleeping, sweat a lot in my sleep, and feel much more hyper... at least at first).

Now, I must go because I have a date with a husband, an episode of Deadwood and the rest of this tallboy. I look forward to re-making your acquaintance, internet.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Sunday at St. Paul's

Realizing that I haven't updated here in like a million years, for no particularly good reason, I just need to throw out here that I just got back from my first ever Catholic Mass! (Unless you count funerals and weddings.) I know that on my 30 Before 30 list, I had put that I wanted to attend one of the local masses in Spanish or Italian, but instead I went to a full-on Latin Mass. While the ritualism and formulaic nature of the service is definitely not necessarily for me, I definitely see some value in the sense of tradition and the dedication of the parishoners. I'm glad I went. It was an hour and a half of a Sunday well-spent. If nothing else, it's nice to step out of the craziness of life for a little while and take some time to reflect (or space out).

In other 30 Before 30 accomplishments, I'm now almost done with the Gospel of John, which will put me through all 4 of the gospels and a good way through my goal of reading the New Testament! I realize that all my goals seem oriented toward religion, but these happen to be a couple of the easiest of my goals to accomplish. I'm debating whether learning to put mousse in my hair counts as learning a new hairstyle.

And since it's such a beautiful day out, I'm going to saddle up the dog and round up some casebooks and go sit in the park to study. See how that works out.