Thursday, December 24, 2009

In my dreams...

This would have been one of those imaginary posts that never made it to the blog, except I just read this post from Cee at Starting to Melt, and took it as a Sign.

So this morning, I awoke from my slumber as T was getting dressed for work just in time tell him all about my dream:

"I dreamt that I was sleeping in a bed with Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (aside: for some reason, I think he is the cutest guy on the show)."

T's ears perk up.

"Yeah, we were in a bed with four people, and I was on the end, and he was laying next to me, and I was very sleepy. The last thing I remembered saying to him before I fell asleep was 'So you use a Mac, right?'

Then, later, Charlie was freaking out about how he had to brush his teeth, because he was sure we had been making out, and he knew I had a husband. He was babbling about this to someone else (who had apparently been laying in the bed with us) when I woke up and was like, 'Uh, Charlie, that NEVER happened. I've been asleep.'"

T continued buttoning up his shirt, nonplussed, through this fascinating account.

"The point IS," I cleared my throat. "Charlie from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia obviously had a thing for me in the dream."

At that, T laughed.

"What?!" I demanded to know.

"Do you remember that time you had the dream Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer from 24 had a thing for you?"

OMG, I totally forgot!

I present to you the top 3 recent trends in my dreams (not nearly as sexy as the one above):
1. Being trapped in a free-falling elevator.
2. Struggling obsessively to find an outfit to wear from my closet.
3. Having to fight off sometimes-hot television stars who are way into me.
Guess which one is my favorite?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

After the fact pattern

Post-finals life has been chugging along quite nicely, but it's not without its adjustments. On the relationship front, it seems that as soon as the time is called on my last exam, I awaken from my study-induced stupor to notice all the shortcomings in our day-to-day life that T has no doubt been trying to call my attention to since around mid-October.

"We don't spend any quality time together," I whine. "Why do you come to bed so late?"

T patiently explains to me that he is not used to me actually wanting him around, especially in the evenings, when I am notoriously at my most cranky. When we leave to meet friends at a bar, and he suggest that he bring my set of keys, I glare at him. "Why? Do you think I'm going to come back early, without you?"

Without blinking he responds, "Yes. I guess so."

Like a petulant kid, I pout, "You'd better get used to me being around all night. I'm not going to leave early so you can hang out without me anymore."

"I can get used to that. I'd like that," he demures. "I just forgot for a second."

I like to pretend it's rough, realizing that the world has been revolving without me for the last two months, but the fact is that I'm in utter delight most of the time. Random squealing may be prompted by any of the following: getting under a blanket on the couch, taking down a box of instant cocoa, pulling the wrapping paper out of the closet, watching T change into pajamas, putting a leash on the dog, etc. As T says, I'm easy to please.

There are less than pleasant things going on right now. I'm fearful, truth be told, because of some troubling test results that my mom received a couple of weeks ago. The full implication of the results won't be known until after the holidays, though, so there's not much I can do. When I first found out, I spent a day shivering and fighting worry-induced nausea, staring off into space. This was while I still had to exams left to take. I prayed about it, and tried to let it go. After about a day, I found myself able to resume enjoying life. I'm still a little scared, but I'm taking it as my cue to practice not being in control, and to just live.

There are also super exciting things. My trial advocacy professor put me in touch with someone at our local public defender office who does work with immigrants in the criminal justice system. As anyone who has ever known a non-citizen living in the States knows, the legal system in this country has a completely separate set of consequences for people without citizenship. I am excited and encouraged to have made a connection with someone working on the front lines of this crossroad, and have even been invited to shadow the person at an upcoming hearing! Very good news, indeed. These days when I see the fruits of my decision to go to law school take shape, I am always so grateful for the choices that brought me here. Of course, it would have been impossible without T's unwavering support, which I realize more and more each day. But now I'm starting to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech.

Speaking of prizes, there is one other exciting development in my life. Last night, T, Best Man, Best Woman, another friend and I played Quizzo and actually WON! After many, many failed attempts, and an overflowing collection of consolation prizes (i.e. crappy books like "Dummies Guide to i-Pods" and a history of the Lilith Fair), we managed to snag a round of free drinks and a bunch of knock-off Yuengling swag. Supposedly, our picture is posted on the mirror behind the bar for the next week. Boo yes!

And that's life, post-finals.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Adult humor

T and his friends used to joke about "adult humor" -- the kind of automatic wisecrack that spills out of people's mouths at the office (especially Mondays and Fridays) or in line at the grocery store. These are the kinds of jokes that broadcast one's passage from hip youth to embarrassingly unfunny adult. At least, that's how I always imagined T & co. interpreted them. It was always good for a laugh to point out when one of us indulged in adult humor, either on accident (in the course of being polite to strangers) or by design (oh, irony).

It occurred to me this morning that my joke to a cashier at 10,000 Villages yesterday was adult humor to beat all previous attempts... and I wasn't even trying! I present to you the following exchange, which took place as a sales clerk spotted me looking around the crowded store for fireplace pokers and trying to locate T:

Saleswoman: "Can I help you find anything?"
Me: "Do you sell fire pokers?"
Saleswoman: "No, I'm sorry, we don't."
Me: "Well, in that case, have you seen my husband?"
Saleswoman: "They tend to get lost around here."

I have to admit, I am smiling to myself a little at the cleverness of it right now. I guess the appeal of adult humor is that it's just so *easy*. Maybe that's why T makes jokes about being in trouble with the wife. Even though they drive me crazy and I don't think they're funny, I imagine they are irresistible to him.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Massive Storm Slams East Coast!

yep. that about says it all.

sitting where at my computer, if i turn my head to the left, i see dusty white snowflakes flying by like they are on some kind of invisible highway, and they have someplace important to go. it's awesome.

t and i are about to brave the living winter weather alert to walk downtown and do some christmas shopping. it may be less than a week to go, but i'm going to enjoy every last hour of this holiday season come hell or high water. finals may have forced me to put it off, but it could never suck dry all my christmas spirit! besides, who knows what next year's holiday season will be like. from one year to the next, it's too easy to take these things for granted. i'm just going to try and soak up all that we're blessed with this year, while we have it.

on that note, i better get my scarf and hat on.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Shaving your legs.
Saying "I'm sorry."
Not falling down stairs.

What do these 3 things have in common?

Here's a hint.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ready or not...

Even though I told T this morning that I was going to take my last exam on Friday to give myself a final day to review, I have changed my mind. I went to the coffee shop with an old E&E this afternoon and was surprised to see two girls sitting at a couple of tables with their fat old casebooks. By this late in the game, I figured I'd be the only one studying. I asked them what school they went to. Turns out they go to mine.

We chatted about how much it sucks to still have exams to take while everyone else is already immersed in the holiday spirit(s). I confided that I was taking my last exam tomorrow (Friday). This provoked a response of perfectly equal parts pity and confusion. Why would you do that?

Indeed. Why would I? I have too much other stuff to do. So, ready or not, Political and Civil Rights, here I come!

Among the many (many) things I look forward to finally completing when I'm done with this horrid exam cycle: finish sending thank-you notes from the wedding (omg, for real?! yes, for real); write back the people who i am ashamed to even think of because i haven't talked to them since the wedding; respond to the helpful job leads i was given ages ago; see about getting a wedding album done up for my parents for xmas; come up with creative non-monetary gifts for everyone else; oh jeez. so much more.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The first shall be last

This is the semester that will not die. My original plan was to be done early, while all the rest of the suckers slaved away during the second half of exam week. It happened that all four of my exams were scheduled during the first week, and although I could postpone some, I had no plans to put off the inevitable. After all, my brother was graduating from college on December 12th, after many long years of equivocating over whether to put forth the effort to get the degree. On top of that, one of my 30 things to do before turning 30 was to get out to Denver to visit him. I was planning on boarding a plane on Friday with nothing but a change of clothes and a fifty dollar bill with which to get my brother hammered.

Then my first exam happened on Monday. I was able to fight off the strong urge to go straight to the bar to drink my troubles (i.e. 1500-word limits!) into oblivion. As any survivor of a law school exam will know, that is no small feat. However, the only reason I was able to stay sober was because I had a date to study with a classmate for my evidence exam, a mere 40 hours away. After we were through, thoughts of the "free slot" exam I had planned to take the next day took on a laughable tone. Instead of studying, I hung up Christmas decorations with T and we watched more Deadwood. Post-Evidence exam on Wednesday, I had all but vowed in blood that I'd be postponing ONE exam until the next week. I was still ready to take on Employment Law on Friday.

Then I remembered rush hour traffic. To be more precise, my friend reminded me that the airport we were planning to fly out of on Friday at 7:00 takes an hour and fifteen minutes to get to without traffic. My exam was due to let out at 5:30. It was postpone exam #2 or miss brother's graduation (and lose out on a bunch of money). I made a beeline to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

So. Flashforward one week and here I am about ready to take an exam at 6:00 so I can come home to cram for my final final exam on Thursday (or, horrors!... Friday??). Thus I am fulfilling at least the second half of the biblical prophecy: The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. May I never secretly gloat over finishing my finals before other law students again.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

On checking off boxes in life

Several things occurred to me this morning as I was decidedly NOT studying for the myriad law school exams I have yet to take this week...

1. I'm not sure what exactly constitutes a law school blog, but I'm pretty sure mine doesn't. I do touch on being in law school, but it's mostly just the backdrop for my life. If there were a bright line test, I would certainly not meet it. I'm not sure I have enough to meet a totality of the circumstances balancing test.

2. If I'm not careful I can spend way too much time reading other people's blogs. I think I spend too much time imagining myself in others' shoes. I like to read about people who have 10 kids, people who are spouses to people in law school, people who are fans of ralph nader and jesus christ at the same time. I could feel like a lurker in others' lives for half the day if I'm not careful.

3. When I stop measuring my own life up to the lives of anonymous others, I realize that I can do a lot more to improve it and, paradoxically, I have it really really good. I'm 28 and recently married. I spent a lot of time dating my husband before we tied the knot, including time spent in college, time living with my parents, time traveling the globe, time in a long distance relationship, time of heartbreak, time of coming together, time dreaming, time compromising about our futures, time working in retail, time learning how to make radio programs, time living in little mexico, time with a kitten, time with a puppy, time in small towns, small cities, the south and the north. I've done a lot. I used to imagine that by this time in my life, I would have kids, a successful career (as a photographer) and a house. I have none of those things. But it's not because I'm behind. No way. It's because it turns out life moves faster than I expected it to. Because I was just living it, doing the things that made sense to me... after high school, after college, after traveling, after co-habitating with T. It never occurred to me to look at the watch. And I'm glad. Because if I was as hung up on checking off boxes in my earlier twenties as I can sometimes be these days, I never would've:
- Faced down depression and post-graduation fear by taking a bus south of the border and not stopping until Panama
- Eaten mole for breakfast in Oaxaca, Mexico
- Danced cumbia with my uncle in Girardot, Colombia until they shut off the power
- Realized some things are more important to me than solo adventures, and T was one of them.
- Stared my childhood in the face by moving home
- Sought out life-changing therapy
- Learned to force myself to chase my goals even in the face of fear
- Realized how much fun March Madness can be
- Become fluent in Spanish & OSHA regulations
- Mentored 6 amazing kids
- Learned who I am when I live by myself in a city with nobody I know
- Adopted my wonderful, bestest dog in the world
- Fallen in love with the South
- Forced myself to move beyond my social fears and push myself beyond my comfort zone
- Figured out that even with all the right pieces, there's no short cut to a happy ending
- Committed myself to fighting for a happy ending
- Discovered the joys of Virginia
- Enjoyed taking LSAT prep tests in the heat of a summer night
- Applied to law school on a whim
- Moved to a big city at the age of 27 just for the experience

And so much more.

Why am I writing all of this? To remind myself, I guess, that I am where I am because of how I got here. To remember all the things I've done. And to break myself out of the box-checking mode that has me longing to be done with school and on to other things. To imagine all the things I'll be able to add to that list from this experience here in law school and in the Big City.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


It's Christmas-y!!!

Just read Carolyn Hax's Annual Holiday Hootennany of Horrors after swinging by the jeweler's to pick up my ring (getting fixed before the stone fell out), who said that he was hosting his annual holiday party tonight. Snow is falling all over the place, and a glance to my left reveals a window full of fat snowflakes. I have dark chocolate Swiss Miss cocoa and four finals to study for (i.e. an excuse to never leave the house). It's holiday time!!!!!!!

Now where are those stockings and that rat's nest of Christmas lights?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The coffee shop awaits

At 7:30 the alarm goes off. I let T hit snooze over and over again. Eventually he tires of this and starts making kissy-noises on my face. I tell him its annoying. No wait. I tell him, "Don't use your nose for evil." He laughs. I open my eyes. "Finally, a sunny day," I say. There is blue peeking through the slots in the blinds.

Yesterday, I promised him that I would make the coffee while was in the shower, so when he gets up to start his day, I get up to start the coffee. Inspired by this bright start, I return immediately to the bed. I invite the dog "up up", then fall promptly asleep.

I wake up at noon. Whoops. Once again my self-discipline has been conquered by my love of sleep. The dog has been barking. It occurs to me that he may not be barking in alarm at noises he hears coming from the street. He may be simply shouting at me to get my lazy ass out of bed. I open my eyes again. He is staring at me.

Before I pull back the covers, I start to sing. This is my way of exciting the dog. By exciting the dog, I feel more guilty for not getting up. It works. Eventually, I pop upright, and the dog hops down. We start.

I consider my options:
- Walk the dog to the coffee shop with me, and study there with him. No. I won't get anything done.
- Walk the dog to the park, then go to the coffee shop and eat something there while I study. No, I am tired of eating croissants for breakfast and lunch.
- Walk the dog to the pet store, buy him a bribe bone and then go study. No. He needs a real walk. And I need a real breakfast.
- Cook breakfast, then walk the dog, then study. Yes.

Last night I baked brownies in a fit of procrastination. For once in my life, I decide this isn't enough sustenance to get me through the afternoon. I eat two canned pineapple rings. Not enough carbs. I fry up the last couple slices of fake bacon, while looking at the nutritional info. Good for some thiamine and not much else. I check out the box of Rice Cripsies. OK. Pineapple slices, some bacon and a bowl of cereal. It warrants a brownie for dessert.

I eat and read the city weekly. Some police officers recently arrested a guy in our area of the city for filming an arrest on his iPhone. Crap. This reminds me that I have a lot of outlining left to do for Political and Civil Rights. No time to think about that.

Post-breakfast, I saddle up the dog and go down to the park. We chill for a while. I take him back. I pack up my backpack. Then I make my way over to the computer to look for an outline someone was supposed to send me. I end up checking out blogs until the dog comes in to whine at me. So I get up, guiltily, and walk over to the living room to pet him. I lay on the couch for five or ten minutes.

Finally, I get up, sling my backpack over my shoulder and walk out the door.

The coffee shop awaits. It's always waiting.