Thursday, April 29, 2010

The day that would never come

Tomorrow morning I take my last law school exam ever.*

I'm so deep in my own crankiness that I can't even imagine what it might feel like when I walk away, but here's hoping that it's something good.

*A little anti-climactic because it's pass/fail, but hey, I still have to pass.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

All that's missing is a poodle skirt

I grew up adoring old movies and television shoes.  There were evenings you would have thought that we hadn't moved up to a color television yet, with all of the black and white Lucille Ball and Ginger Rogers and Bing Crosby all over the screen.  I loved the shows themselves, but what really drew me in were the clothes.  The women were so classy and gorgeous, even the comedians.  I longed for that hourglass figure - oh, just give me hips and boobs and please, dear god, a waist! ran through my little 10-year old brain.

My love for splendid clothes expanded - Fanny Brice's gorgeous clothes in Funny Girl, Jane Austen dresses, the bonnets of the Ingalls girls, the voluminous skirts of Deborah Kerr in the King and I, the cleaving bosom of Scarlett O'Hara - oh, how I longed for a cleaving bosom.

No matter what's in fashion at the time, I've always felt that they used to do it better.  When I tried out for The King and I my senior year of high school, I wanted to be on stage and sing, but what I really longed for was a good excuse to follow in Deborah Kerr's footsteps and wear one of those awesome dresses.  It turned out that I was better suited for the role of Lady Thiang (as well as a white 17-year old can be, I suppose), but no worries - the moment I stepped into the costume shop, I was done for.  I got to have 5 costume changes during that show.  I was in heaven.

So imagine my delight when I recently discovered some amazing vintage shops while procrastinating perusing Etsy. It's like these people were building shops just for me.

I should be clear - I'm fashion shy in the day to day. I wear the clothes that happen to be in style at the moment - nothing too fancy or interesting.   I'm not the sort of gal who can pull off a 1940s sailor dress while I'm out getting the groceries - hence, the draw of the theatre.

So, here's a request to anyone out there looking to direct a show and set it in the 1940s or 50s*, please cast me in it (preferably as the lead) and let me wear this:

Or this (it's a bathing suit!):

Or this:

Or please please please, for the love of god, this:

Am I wrong?  They just don't make clothes like this anymore, do they?

* In the alternative, someone could host a Halloween party where all of the girls are specifically commanded not to dress like hookers.  But that's a whole other post for another day.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Turn Turn Turn

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.

The babe and I have a recurring conversation about death - or life - depending on how you look at it.  The babe wants to die in her 80s, and I would like someone to come interview me when I'm 110 because I'm the oldest person around.  The babe's reasons make sense - she doesn't want to live long enough to see all of her loved ones die, and she doesn't want to be alive when she can't really live anymore.

It's not that I want those things to happen - it's just that I need the time.  I cling to stories of people who are bopping around, mowing the lawn and gardening when they're in their 90s. There are so many things that I want to do, and I need all those years if I'm going to get to them all.

There are days when I feel just desperate about the fact that I don't have a garden, not even some herb pots by the window.  I wonder how I can dream of having land and a vegetable garden, how I can delightedly buy myself a copy of The Backyard Homestead when I didn't even make it a priority to rent an apartment with a south-facing window.

I'm daily traumatized by the fact that I don't write regularly, that I haven't acted in years, that I'm not in a choir, that  I haven't started my own baking/crafting business spent more time crafting, that I'm not a mom yet, that I've never learned to speak Spanish.

But then I try to calm myself by remembering back to this post I read a couple of years ago.  I don't have to do everything right now - in fact, I can't.  Asking myself to start a backyard homestead while starting a job at a large law firm would be like asking the universe to make it snow while it's 95 degrees outside.  We can't ask for all four seasons at the same time, but just because it's spring now doesn't mean it will be spring forever.

This is my legal season and realizing that it will not go on forever will allow me to really appreciate it for what it is.  Believing that there will be many, many years and many seasons in the future for me to do all of those things that pull on my heart strings helps me in those moments where I feel panicked about the things I'm not doing.

So I'm holding on to all of my dreams and desires and counting on the fact that I'll be around here long enough for their seasons to come.

Friday, April 23, 2010

When I grow up, I wanna be a debtor

We are so very close to the end here.  The babe's last final is today, and I have one more next Friday - pass/fail, though, so I'm feeling pretty relaxed about it.

As we spend our final days in law school, there's much talk of jobs - who has one, who doesn't, who has decided to forgo legal employment entirely.  I feel very very lucky to have a legal job for the coming year (even if I don't know the actual date I will begin), but so many of my friends do not have jobs and are struggling with the fact that everything after the bar seems to be a complete unknown.

When the law school rankings came out last week, the babe and I were shocked by the employment numbers.  With the financial meltdown and rampant layoffs and deferred hiring and law firm closings of last year, we were shocked to see such high employment numbers.  Something just  I don't know how the numbers are crunched, but I'm skeptical.

I was glad to read this article about two students who are creating a non-profit organization - and website - to address the lack of detailed, reliable employment information for legal students.  I think what they're doing is so incredibly important.  For most students, law school involves a huge amount of debt.  In the past, many students have gone into law school under the assumption that they would leave with a "good-paying" job that would help them pay off that debt.  Students choosing to enter law school now need to understand what their real chances are of finding employment and what types of employment are available and probable out there.  Hopefully these numbers will help encourage more students to think carefully about the financial decision that they're making.

The recommendation that I see so often for students to go to the best school that they can get into isn't always the smart financial choice, particularly in a job market where there may not be a salary after graduation to pay off all that debt.  Sometimes the smarter choice is to go to a lower-ranked school where they can get a scholarship, or go part-time and work, or it might even be to decide that law school actually isn't the best choice in the end.

I'm excited to see some people addressing the issue, and I'm hopeful for this new crop of would-be lawyers.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The best way to a dog's heart is through his stomach

We've been feeding Jammer by hand.  Our trainer recommended it to address the resource guarding problem, and I've seen it in some guidebooks as well.

I guess the theory is that he'll learn that we're the yummy food ladies we're in charge of when he gets to have things. He gets each piece of kibble when we hand it to him.

At first I thought it seemed really irritating and time-consuming, but it has become one of my favorite things to do with him.

Maybe it's the leo in me -  I love having his adoring little face look at me expectantly, waiting for that next piece of kibble.

Of course, in these pictures, I've caught him giving the same adoring looks he gives to me - but to the babe!


Sigh.  I just can't bring myself to hold it against him, though.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fiduciary duty from beyond the grave

I just came across this sentence in the corporations outline that I'm using to create mine:

"The burden is on the corporation to prove the decision was made in good faith by disinterred people."

And here I thought they just had to be disinterested.
Corporations just got way more exciting.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Things in the Midst of Finals

Our beautiful orchids (this picture doesn't do them justice). There are three blooming at the same time!

A yummy lunch - tuna sandwich, sugar snap peas, and kettlecorn popcorn. Mmm.mmm. good.

Hanging out (i.e. mutual studying) with the babe close by.

Reward for finishing mediation paper = 30 well-spent minutes at Carpe Librum, the annual mega used book sale.

And of course this guy.

P.S. If anyone can tell me how to post pictures in blogger without it sucking total ass and making you want to stab yourself, I'd appreciate it. Thanks. Okay, back to happy thoughts.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The light at the end of the longest tunnel ever - the one where you have to walk across broken glass the whole time

The law and literature papers are printed and stapled. They're not brilliant, but they also don't suck ass. Most importantly, they are now out of my control, which is - ironically - a wonderful feeling.

It's funny how you can work so hard* on a paper and by the time you turn it in, all you care about is whether it's the right number of words. What does it f-ing matter what it says? Or is that just me?

So now all that remains is the mediation paper, the corporations exam, and the pass-fail commercial paper exam. Seventeen days until freedom. And in three hours and fifteen minutes, I'll walk out of my last law school class ever - except of course for that thing called Bar Review, but let's not think about that. Let's focus: Last. Law. School. Class. Ever.

Yes Ma'am.

* By work so hard, I of course mean: begin writing the paper no more than one week before it's due and then work frantically on it while checking blogs, walking the dog, going to class, sleeping, having dinner with old friends, posting random pictures of your to-do lists, and watching the occasional episode of Jon Stewart.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Can you say high fructose corn syrup?

I had hoped to be in a better position going to bed this evening - with 2 first drafts done and not just one - but it's not to be. I'm halfway there on the 2nd one, so I'm not totally lost.

As my dear friend B reminded me, sometimes what you need in these difficult times is a high ponytail and some double bubble. Tomorrow, getting back to my college roots with Pril, I might also throw in some Doritos and peanut M&Ms. Not my normal snack foods, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Trail mix just ain't gonna cut it. There's work to be done.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Last Wind Up

Possibly the last to-do list of the semester.

After Wednesday (dear god, please) I should have done all of the things on this list - especially since two of them are due on Tuesday (although I'll likely still be working on my bar application), and all I will have left to do is study for two exams.* And one of them is pass/fail. And then I'll be done. FINISHED.

* Who knew studying for exams could feel like such a Not Big Thing? After writing these papers, it'll be a welcome diversion.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The New Life: I've got a piece of american cheese in my pocket

I pushed fairly hard for a dog, and I was super excited when we were heading down to get Jammer. Nervous, but excited. I knew that all of the struggles of having a new dog would completely fade away in the shadow of my love for him, my complete joy in having a darling puppy in my life. I imagined myself waking up every morning, gleefully hopping out of bed to run over to my puppy and shower him with kisses.

I was wrong. As much joy as Jammer has brought us, he's also brought a lot of stress and some fear and even some regret. That last has been the most painful.

Things like peeing in the house or not walking well on the leash - those things I can relax about. We'll get there. We'll figure that stuff out. But the resource guarding has been really, really hard for me. When I was explaining it to my mom she asked is resource guarding just a yuppie term for biting?

I explained that it's a dog trainer term and that it's sort of a sub-set of aggression. He's not a generally aggressive dog. He hasn't been aggressive with other dogs, and he's not aggressive with us generally. He just gets a little aggressive about his favorite toys and treats. Let's be clear - he hasn't bitten either of us. Or anyone else that we know of. But he makes aggressive moves. He'll get very still, put his paw on his toy and then look up at you like did you think you were going to take this away from me? If we have to, we coax him away with a little special treat. That's now after we've started working with a trainer. In the beginning, before we realized what was going on, he snapped at us a few times.

The first time he snapped at me, my feelings were hurt. I know - he's a dog. I'm not saying it's rational, but all I could think was we rescued you. we're feeding you and loving you, and you're going to try to bite me?! I realize now that it's a normal dog action (not an acceptable one, but a normal one), but somehow I can't help allowing it to affect my relationship with him. This little bit of fear and hurt and disappointment keeps seeping in.

Between that and the kleptomania (which leads to resource guarding) and the separation anxiety (if that's really what it is - there's some question about it), there have been moments where I have wondered if we made a bad choice - Is he not the right dog for us? And then I feel overcome with guilt - this is OUR dog! We love him! I think back to this Dog Whisperer episode that I saw where the woman's dog was aggressive with strangers and had even bitten HER MOM twice, and she was all I guess this is just the life I'm going to have to lead. I mean, that's devotion to your dog.

A moment of clarification again - Jammer is our dog. We love him. That's not going to change.

But this dog ownership business is filled with so many more emotions than I had anticipated. Perhaps that's affected by our close proximity to finals, and perhaps things will settle down a bit afterwards, and perhaps working with our trainer will solve all of these dilemmas. But whatever happens, the last month has definitely been an enormous learning experience - about the difference between expectations and reality and what it means to truly accept another being into your life, faults and all.

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