Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The String Game!

For anyone out there reading with kids, I have a FABULOUS New Years Eve thing for you.

First, you get a giant roll of string for each kid. Then you get some cool but trivial prize (for me, as a child, it was a box of those butter cookies... you know, the kind you can stick a pinkie finger in the middle of and eat the edges off).

Next, wind the string all over the house. I mean everywhere. Under furniture, through things, etc. Make it ridiculously difficult. (Oh, you can keep it confined to a room as well... my sister limits her kids to the basement)

Hide the prize and attach the string to it.

Give the kids the string, and make them roll it up (no pulling, bunching, or otherwise cheating - you have to rewind the string).

I swear, this kept me diverted for hours on New Years. My sister has repeatedly done this to her basement with her four kids, leaving the adults free to party for hours upstairs, while the kids engage in this form of string twister and climb all over each other.

Once, I even had to bring a muffin of apology to my niece Prada because Vor and I had made her line of string so difficult.

I can't wait to do this to my hypothetical kids.

Social Butterfly...Or Not.

I took three nasty exams.

I came home to Christmas whirlwind and chaos.

I celebrated a huge chunk of my Christmas away from everything familiar, everything that I had always done.

We went to Virginia to see some of my family.

We enjoyed the company of an 8, 5, and 2 year old. Chaos in itself.

We flew home.

Now, we have company coming to spend a few days.

I may have mentioned before that I tend to get over-socialized. It results in crankiness, silence, and other forms of bad behavior. This whole scenario is a complete set up for this to occur.

Anyone else like this? How do I avoid the inevitable bitch-out?

Oh, Frodo

I don't care how many times I watch Lord of the Rings, I still love it every time.

I put up the Christmas tree to a James Bond marathon, and now I am taking it down to The Fellowship of the Ring.

I always loved the books when I was younger. Generally, I will always prefer the book to the movie... but not so here. It is such a close call.

Oh, and Viggo Mortensen? Fabulous.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The View From Virginia

It's a balmy 78 degrees here.

We sat outside on the porch, eating brie, drinking wine, and having dessert.

Do you think I can do this every December 28th?

It's been a lively (actually, I meant to write lovely, but lively fits as well) visit with my brother and sister in law. Kids = adorable. Brother and SIL = fabulous. Parents = hilarious.

More later.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dear Nameless Relative

Dear Nameless Relative,

Vor and I would like to thank you for the thoughtful wedding gift.

I especially would like to thank you for the fact that it was a ridiculous $145 crystal ice bucket from Tiffany's. An ice bucket that was too small to hold a bottle of wine. An ice bucket that was, quite frankly, ugly.

I am writing to thank you for all these qualities of the ice bucket, because it was those qualities that drove Vor to suggest returning it to Tiffany's, resulting in the Tiffany blue bag with a white ribbon sitting under my Christmas tree.

So, Nameless Relative, thank you so much for my piece of Tiffany jewelry--my Christmas present.

Love, Grace

Have Cookies, Will Ship

I have accomplished four kinds of cookies this break:

The Andies Mint Cookies (I like to call them cookie crack)
The Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (great for the gluten allergies)
The German Pinwheels (old family recipe, and the only one without chocolate)
The Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies (delicious with tea)

And that, my dears, is why I have not been writing to you.

I have been consumed by cookies.

(not consuming the cookies)

Ummm...

I know. I promised to come write more.

I lied.

Vor reminds me that he is a loyal reader, and that he desires more.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joy!

I fled the city my law school is located in like it was my job. I'm now back home, happy in Indianapolis, where everything looks like it has been covered with pottery glaze (or better yet, that glaze bakeries put over fruit desserts, yum).

Exams: Accomplished.

Law School: 1 Semester left. Yikes.

Goal for rest of today: Groceries. And these cookies.

I'm sure I'll have something more creative for you tomorrow, when my brain is not so fried by a three hour exam, then two hours of legal paper work for clients, then a two hour drive home.

Promise.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thank You, Already!

I am a horrible person. Scratch that. Vor and I are horrible people. Why? Because it is December. We got married in August. And we are just now sending out thank you cards.

Now, let me defend myself. Vor took the bar barely two weeks before we got married. The dog died. So, those gifts that came in before the wedding? Thank you notes didn't get sent out for those. My bad.

We came back from the wedding. We got back to our home at about five in the evening, and I was up at five the next morning, going to class, doing the commuting thing. Vor started his brand new job. He got slammed with work, I tried to adjust to commuting, school, and working.

And, holy cow, it's December. When did that happen?

I got a VERY snarky Christmas Card from a relative, reminding me in a very passive aggressive way to have a merry Christmas while I wrote her thank you card. Would it be easier if she included a stick on return address label?

Why, yes, thank you.

What's really sad is that her gift actually arrived the day Jekyll the dog died. I cried for a very long time.

Thank you's are coming, people. Keep your pants on.

Just Call Me a Plank Jumper

Good grief, I am so glad that is over.

Now, international law.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gee, Mr. Pirate, This Plank is Awfully Short

Everyday I have been inching closer to doom, also known as my secured transactions exam.

It's now looming over me, insisting that I begin at 9:00 am tomorrow.

Kind of like pirate sticking you in the back with a knife to get you to jump into the sharks swirling in the water below.

But, no pressure. Really. I'm sure it will be fine.

(Gulp)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just Because I Wasn't Worried

It's my family law exam, right? No worries. I already work in that field, I have it covered.

What I didn't have covered was the sudden migraine 30 minutes into the exam.

I got home, crawled into bed, and slept for almost 12 hours. Poof! No more migraine.

Now, about that exam... yikes.

Monday, December 8, 2008

And the Procrastination Prize Goes To...

I am about to watch The Empire Strikes Back with Vor.

Am I studying for Family Law? Secured Transactions? Not right now. Later.

For now, I am going to relax to the music of John Williams and a screen play only George Lucas could write (said with love, admiration, and sarcasm).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Who Let The Cookie Monster In The House?

Vor came home with pretty cookies from one of the best bakeries in town. See:



But how long do you think they stayed cute? Not long.



Not long at all. Delicious.

(note the uneaten Santa's surprised and terrified look)

Brief Rant

You know, I'm just really freaking sorry that I can't please everyone at once.

Take a number, get in line, and stop complaining.

While you're waiting in line, please remind yourself that you are not all important.

All done. Feel better now.

Too Bad It's Only A Wish

If I had a wish that I could use for anything, no matter how impossible, I know exactly what I would use it for. (Of course, there is the standard world peace, but I'm taking that for granted and moving on)

I would wish, just for a few hours, to have my paternal grandparents back, so that Vor and I could have tea with my grandma and papa.

Caveat--I love my maternal grandparents too. But I never met my mom's dad; he died just after my mom got married. I remember my mom's mom very vividly, but she died when I was about 7ish. My paternal grandparents were a huge part of my life growing up, and I am just as sure that if they had been around, my maternal grandparents would have been too.

My grandmother could direct a mean cup of tea--before her arthritis got really bad, she made the mean cup of tea. It was always perfect. She was sharp, politically aware, and way too into college football. She could carry on a conversation about anything. She taught me how to sew, and how to make applesauce. She bribed me with ice cream to take naps when I was younger. I learned how to play cards, how to play checkers, and how to make cool crafts.

My papa could make toast like no other. It was always sourdough bread, browned to perfection, with real butter slathered on top. He would put the plates on top of the toaster oven, so that the plate was nice and warm when he handed you the toast. He made tea for my grandma when she couldn't anymore, and he taught me how to mow a yard. He set up a fort for me in the garage attic, and would play with me ceaselessly in the basement. He also let me use up cans of his shaving cream, while I made "pies." He was a pattern maker during the war, and had actually turned down a chance to play with the NY Yankees for that job. He made puzzles for us, wooden Christmas decorations, and the manager for my nativity set. I like to think he and Vor would have had much to talk about.

I lost my grandmother a few days after I turned 16, and my grandfather a few days after I finished my freshman year of college.

I took ivy this past summer from their garden--the people who live there now were gracious enough to let me do that--and used it in my wedding bouquet.

Of all the things I could wish for, I just want a good, solid, tea time with them, so they could meet my husband.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Avert Your Eyes! Cover Your Ears!

Vor is going to roll his eyes when he reads this. Just stop now, love. Go get a cup of tea, and pretend you never saw this entry.

I was thinking about babies yesterdays, for long complicated reasons, none of which has ANYTHING to do with me wanting one right now. Velvet (my semi-roommate) and I were talking about surrogacy, and she noted that she had actually wanted to offer herself as a surrogate, but that the baby would have been due right around the bar exam.

For future reference, I have a question: how the hell am I supposed to litigate and be pregnant?

I mean, my sister's morning sickness was actually all day sickness. I can't just say to the judge, "Your Honor, would you please be so kind as to pass me that garbage can behind your comfy chair? The morning sickness, you know..."

Though come to think of it, there are a few judges that I will be practicing in front of who would not only cheerfully hand me the garbage pail, but would also make sure the court reporter turned off the recoding so the sounds of sickness weren't on the court record.

I can't arrange my schedule around morning sickness. I can't arrange my morning sickness around my schedule. Having worked at this place for two years now, I can safely tell you that I will be in court almost every day. There were times this past summer when I didn't see my cubicle for a week at a time.

People at work would be totally cool with it. I mean, we have this great comfy room with soft couches, and it's dark...the two attorneys I work with have totally been known to take a nap from time to time.

Just can't shake that image of my morning sickness someday being recorded for public record.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pie Goddess

I had a dream that one day I would create a pie as pretty and as tasty as my mothers.

Oh baby. I did it.

I came up with a few super secret tips of my own to make it work, easy as, well... pie.

They are so super secret, in fact, that if you comment, I will most certainly give you the trick.

Okay fine, I can't keep a secret. But I can make you comment.

Did I mention that it was really tasty? Because it was. It's also gone.


Oh, I also made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving:


I don't really like pumpkin pie, but this was pretty darn good. It just took adding in quite a few things to make it so.

Oh pie. How I love you.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Being Ornamental

My favorite ornaments on the Christmas tree:

1. The American flag heart, for remembrance.


2. The lollipop, because it's candy.


3. The cupcake, because it's from my mom's Christmas tree when she was little.


4. The spaceships, because Vor and I are cool nerds.


5. The purple balloon, because it's weird.


6. The starfish, because I pulled it off the rock on a beach myself.


7. The weird cylinder, because its just so retro.


8. The wedding bells, because my niece Prada gave them to us.


9. The sparkly beaded ball, because it's sparkly.


10. The glass bells, because they came from my dad's tree when he was little.


You?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two Random Facts

1. My mother works at a zoo in Florida. She was promoted today to the position of "turtle herder." I am not joking. Apparently, she chased (I guess some turtles can actually move fast enough that you need to chase them) a turtle around its area today while she was holding a snake that kept wrapping itself around her wrists like handcuffs. (insert bad joke here)

2. I confess. I went to see Twilight with Vintage on Tuesday night. And you know what? It was a good time. A baseball game never looked so good. And If you don't know what I'm talking about, go read the book.

Just Thought I'd Let You Know

Walking through crunchy orange, red, and yellow leaves, holding Vor's hand, knowing we are going to go home and have homemade spaghetti sauce waiting, and smell the baking pies in the oven.

My favorite time of year.

Challenge of the Day

It is officially Thanksgiving break, and where am I? Snuggled up with my husband? Making one of the two pies I promised for the Thanksgiving table? Putting up the Christmas tree?

Nope. I am still in miserable Bloomington, with the miserable law school. See, I have a hearing today. Now don't get me wrong--I am pretty sure that the best thing I could be doing is staying here to help this guy. He needs the help, and he has really gotten the short end of the stick.

The problem?

Sick. No voice. Faint. Dizzy.

How do you conduct a hearing with no voice?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks, But I'd Rather Slam My Hand in the Door

Description: How Law School Makes You Feel.

1. Like you are underwater, with a straw barely sticking up above the water. Also, it's windy outside, so there are waves constantly overflowing into your straw. You get just enough air not to drown.

2. Like you need to wear a helmet.

By Someone, I Mean My International Law Professor

When someone hands you 100 pages of reading that you need to be able to explain to the classroom at large, and that you is me, you panic.

Then, you relax a bit because that someone promises to send an email drastically reducing the amount of necessary reading.

Then, you enter into a swearing fit because their idea of "drastically reducing" the ridiculous amount of reading was to require people to "skim" certain sections.

However, because you, aka me, are on call, you do not get to skim.

You get to read all 100 pages.

Oh, and someone may also make you crazy by adding an additional fifty pages of reading the day before, in class.

I will never finish this.

In other news, I have a hearing on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, that no one is prepared for. And my other Clinic clients have gone crazy again. And exams are starting soon.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Give In

I am giving into temptation.

I know. No self control. Just can't help myself. Irresistible.

What is that I am doing, you ask?

I am breaking out the Christmas plates. I'm playing Christmas music while I do it too. The Christmas tree is getting set up next weekend, so, well... I mean, all that decorating in one week would be overwhelming, right?

Right.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

You Can't Make Me Pay Attention!

I. Hate. Secured. Transactions.

It is fifty minutes of hellish lecturing, with a sprinkling of cold calls. It is as boring as laying face down on a carpet and counting fibers. I went to law school to AVOID math, not do more of it in class.

The teacher is teaching the course backwards. Literally, we started at the end, and now we are getting to the penultimate question--"What is a secured transaction?" Really, maybe we should have started with that. Maybe.

Also, there is this guy--there's always this guy, right?--that asks about five long winded questions a class, and then giggles after each question. He also giggles throughout our professor's answer.

I am not a giggling person.

In other news, I have clients who cannot pay attention.

Sigh.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Classic

My family... they're just classic.

So here, have a classic moment or two:

1. My niece finally admits that it is not likely she ever date Nick Jonas.
2. Nephew #1 can actually rest his chin on top of my head, and hits on a girl at his "fight class" in front of me.
3. Nephew #2 makes me a giant poster. GIANT. POSTER.
4. Nephew #3 is up to my chin now, when informed that he is a cute, replies in a matter of fact, long suffering manner that he is fully aware of this problem.
5. My brother in law tried to go to a formal event in camo overalls and a tie. My sister almost had a melt down.

It's not funny on paper... but that's because you didn't see me trying to get my family to guess the name of the band Def Leopard without making a sound.

Sassy

Stress.

It really does induce strange things. See, e.g. the constellation on my face. It also brought on the extreme, well, ahem... sassyness... that my patient husband has put up with for the last few weeks.

Okay, seriously? I have been downright hostile. And I apologize.

But for some reason, it all vanished while I was in Buffalo. Yeah, my clinic clients still bothered me, and yeah, the weather was miserable, but there is nothing like my niece and nephews to lighten the mood.

Mirable, (yes, that is a word, and I adore it) it all stayed vanished when I came home. All I could do was smile at Vor, hold his hand, and snuggle up. Bliss.

There is no vanquisher of stress like a husband who reads in bed with you while you fall asleep.

C-R-A-V-I-N-G

I am on the internet, googling the nearest Seattle's Best Coffee, because while I am not interested in their coffee, I am interested in their Very Chocolatey Mocha With Whip Cream And Chocolate Sauce And Little Slab O' Chocolate, thank you very much.



See, now imagine that with the luscious whip cream and chocolate sauce I was talking about.

Can you spell craving?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Snow and Other Musings

I leave tomorrow for the great, snowy, abandoned, and abandoning Buffalo.

I am ready for some time with some cute kids (aka, my nieces and nephews) and my sister and brother-in-law. I am NOT ready for the possibility of snow.

I am also not ready to leave Vor. I've seen him one day since he's been back. In about two weeks time span, we will have seen each other twice. I thought marriage was supposed to fix this problem?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Relief

Several glasses of wine and a party later....

I can reclaim my husband today. I'll be able to pick him up at baggage claim, as long as I have the proper documentation to show that he, in fact, belongs to me. You know, that little baggage claim tag they give you? (ahem)

Did I mention that I am relieved to see him again?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Whine/Wine

After my post detailing the ridiculous things that happened, I thought I was done.

WRONG!

The alarm went off at random points throughout the night, ensuring no sleep. I got lost in my own city this morning on the way to the exam. Thank God Vor has a Blackberry that can access a map.

Oh wait, that implies that a map will help. Because the building was NOT at the address that was on my admission ticket.

I am driving to Velvet's house now, and having some wine. Red. Now. Please.

Friday, November 7, 2008

To Vor, Love Me

Dear Vor,

You're in Boston, and I miss you.

I will bunch up all the pillows and the blankets next to me, but it just isn't the same.
I will talk to you on the phone, but you sound far away.
I will look at your picture, but you don't look back.
I will make a pot of tea, but only wash one cup afterward.
I will go see Vintage, but it's more fun with you.

I will imagine a kiss, but I can't wait for a real one.

Love,
Grace

Lose My Mind

I left the house at 7:30 this morning. I went downtown with Vor, and I sat in the Border below his law firm and worked while he worked.

Work? HAHAHAHAHAHA.

I needed to email documents to my supervising attorney at the Clinic. My internet wouldn't work, wouldn't work, wouldn't work. I called the T-Mobile people, who made it work.

Vor interrupted my MPRE studying for a lovely lunch.

Then I did an MPRE exam that was a complete failure. And the man sitting next to me in the Borders fell asleep and snored.

I took Vor to the airport to go see his twin sister. This induced a meltdown, for no apparent reason. I just can't help myself sometimes.

I got home, thinking I would study a bit more and relax, only to discover our alarm--which never does anything, because it is not activated--was going crazy. Who knows where the codes are? Vor, on the airplane. The landlord in some strange foreign country. The landlord's wife, who was as clueless as me.

Thank God for plane delays...Vor called just form the plane as meltdown #2 was in progress. After a few circuitbreaker tries, all was well.

Now I just need to pass this exam.

I swear I will be less grouchy and whiney after this over.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So Call Me a Whiner, I'm Just Venting

Top ten signs that it is not a good day:

1. You find yourself curled up in bed with an exam book.
2. You must continually leave the bed to answer the phone calls from your crazy clients, who have all just done really stupid things (I am an intern at the school's legal clinic).
3. The guy leading the cycling class was either hitting on you or telling you that you suck. Either way.
4. You can only think about cookie dough. And chocolate. And cookie dough and chocolate.
5. You are pretty sure there is an actual scratch on your eyeball. One that requires a lengthy and expensive visit to the eye doctor.
6. Your husband says, "I really have no idea when I'll be home." (Not his fault)
7. It's seventy degrees outside, but your feet are so cold that they are almost blue.
8. Your family calls to pick a political fight.
9. Your family calls AGAIN to pick more political fights.
10. You give in to #4 and create chocolate chip cookie dough. And now, you must not eat the dough or the cookies.


Sheesh. I'm going to meet Vor for dinner.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ethics-Smethics.

I have this nasty little thing called the MPRE on Saturday. It's the ethics part of being admitted to practice law.

It really is a sad comment on what an ethics exam is when you get this advice:

Attorney I Work With: "MPRE, huh? Pick the second best answer."
Me: "What?"
Attorney: "I mean, an answer that seems wrong and unethical to you, but not too unethical. It's never the one that leaves you lily white."
Me: "I feel dirty."
Attorney: "Yeah, I wanted a shower after I figured that one out."

On that note, where is my Purell?

Eavesdropping Makes you Laugh

Ever try it (unintentionally)? It really is good for a laugh.

I was strolling outside in the yellow and red leaves when I caught a snippet of a conversation that made me laugh.

Girl 1: "I don't know, I walked outside this morning, and I was just expecting...CHANGE."
Girl 2: "Like what kind of change?"
Girl 1: "I don't know! Just CHANGE! Anything from a dime on the ground to the sky being green!"

Okay, maybe you had to be there, but it was funny.

Of course, the most classic conversation I've ever overheard was this one, from two girls one row ahead of me on an airplane:

Girl 1: "Chernobyl....Chernobyl...What is that? It sounds really familiar..."
Girl 2: "I haven't heard of Chernobyl. It must be like Barnes and Noble. "

I planted my face into my tray table at that one.

44th

Pretty incredible stuff tonight.

I came home from class, and desperately wanted to go to bed.

But really, where do I want to tell my kids I was when he was elected to be the next president? Not asleep for sure.

So I am awake, much later than I usually am.

I'll sleep well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Makes me wanna...

Having left over food makes me miss the dog.

Seeing giant posters of an adorable puppy for the movie "Marley & Me" makes me miss the dog, and makes me want a puppy.

The calendar of cute golden retrievers we have in our kitchen is not helping with either of the aforementioned items.

You must think I'm crazy. I understand. I should just get over the dog. He was suddenly and unexpectedly sick, and he has gone to a better place. I was really attached though... When Vor and I first started dating, Jekyll was a given part of life. I thought I was marrying Vor, and getting the dog too. (Oh please, don't take it like that. The dog had nothing do with why I married Vor.)

I guess it was just a lot of life changes, all at once.

Here, have some pictures.




Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cake Summons



Remember that pretty pink cake I made for my mother in law?

She sent us home with a giant piece of it.



Godhelpmekeepmyhandsoffthiscakepleaseohpleaseohplease.

I'm sure someone else out there understands. Right?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Through the Cracks

We are human. We can only do so much.

Sometimes, things slip through the cracks.

But what happens when those things are lives?

We found out today that a child was killed. We fought long and hard against this child being returned to this situation, but we lost.

Cracks can be valleys. I just hope that, in my time doing this work, I can build a wider, safer bridge.

It's Not Too Early for Thanksgiving!

Thank you for:

A husband who makes the best pot of tea ever.
Crunchy and colorful fall leaves.
A home where I can walk to the grocery store.
Cycling class.
The SciFi Channel.
The rose bushes on the side of our house that keep blooming, even though it's almost November.
A hilarious, persistent family.
My nieces and nephews, in varying stages of adorability.
Election polls (they're addicting, you know?)

And several hundred thousand other things.

How to Drive a Neat Freak Crazy


I got two pumpkins yesterday. I lugged inside the grocery store, only to have the cashier tell me, "You could have just told me you wanted two pumpkins."

Sigh.

They are sitting outside, on the porch, waiting until Vor and I load them into the car and go up to his mother's house. I plan on carving their gooey guts up there, if no other reason than because my mother in law goes crazy when she sees a speck of dust floating around.

I pointed this out to Vor and he laughed evilly.

We love Mama Vor, we really do. And to prove it, I baked her a two layer, giant pink cake for her birthday.

What girl hasn't ever secretly craved a pink cake?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Pie in the Sky

I have a dream, a dream that one day, I will make a pie like my mother does.

Even as I type that, I can see Vor rolling his eyeballs at me, and saying in that exasperated tone of voice, "Your pies are great!" And it is true. I make a good pie. I made apple pie yesterday for a dinner party, and it was positively delicious. We had to control ourselves from eating the whole thing right there.

It's just not my mom's pie, you know? Hers are perfect and pretty. Though, she often tells me that her first pie wound up in the garbage can. If that is any indication, I am on the right track, because my first pie wound up on the garbage can too.

Do you sense a story coming on? Because I do.

It was Thanksgiving, my first Thanksgiving with Vor, and he had come to spend it with my sister's family and I. My parents were statiyng with my brother. Thus, I became the resident pie maker because my sister does do pie crust. So did I decide to pick something simple, like apple pie? Nooooooooo, I pick lemon meranguine.

It took me hours to make the pie crust the night before, from scratch, and it was delicious. I made little roll up cookie with the extras. Everyone was salivating. And then, having spent hours making the pie crust, I got tired, and decided to make instant lemon pudding. So I made the pudding, made the meranguine (from scratch!!!!) and set the pie out to cool.

The next morning, it wasn't set. It looked like yellow liquid, which in turn looked like...well, you get it.

My sister and I tried to trouble shoot my pie. Was it the crust? The merganuine? The oven temperature? Possible... the instant lemon pudding?

"What did you make the pudding with?" She asked me. "I followed the directions on the box," I told her. "2 cups water..." And my sister bursts into laughter. "Milk!" she shrieks. "You needed milk!" And then she proceeds to say that don't you know there's pudding in milk, Bill Crosby let his kids eat pudding because it was healthy because there was MILK in it.

Good grief. The pie went into the garbage can. I laughed, and I cried, and my sister called my brother, who called me to make fun of me, and so on.

When I finally got over it, and went to the grocery store to get a store made pie (ugh) I cam back to find Jekyll, Vor's dog, with his head in the garbage can, eating my crust.

He looked at me, and I could hear him saying, "But it's sooooo delicious!"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Have a Holly Jolly Halloween!

I need to take a deep breath, and before I start typing this, remind myself, and you, that it is October. It is not even Halloween yet.

The first step to recovery is admitting it, right?

I have been shopping on iTunes for Christmas music.

Yes, I know. That's why I have the disclaimer sentence up there to start with. And normally, I am completely anti-anything Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. I don't understand this craving inside me, but I think I need to seek help.

Or maybe if I buy the music, I can feed the beast and it will go away.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gone Away

I am curled up, under a giant comforter, in a cool room. All would be well if my husband was with me.

Huh?

Let me explain. I commute. I have class from Monday through Wednesday (it is much more intense than it sounds). My law school is an hour away from my home. After having class from 8:45 am to 9:00 pm, I just can't drive home. I swear, I might not make it. And--there are lots of deer. I just know I would hit one.

So here I am, at my friend Velvet's apartment. Her cats (see "Stoner Kitties") are piteously meowing and yowling and otherwise scratching at the door, desperate for food. Perhaps they can smell the dinner I brought into my room and hid form them. Perhaps Velvet gave them more cat nip (I shudder at the thought).

This commuting is awful. I leave notes for Vor, and he sends me silly and *ahem* entertaining emails and notes, but really. Who envisions their married life as only part time?

The complaining is a good thing, I promise. It means we have a good thing that I hat to leave for even a few days and nights.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Take the Battery Out of That Clock!

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Anyone hear that? No, it's not the crocodile from Peter Pan swimming by, but close.

I think that noise is the infamous, feared, loved, hated, and held in awe, biological clock.

And I'm pretty sure it's not mine.

Mine breaks out in occasional spots. My nieces and nephews are awfully cute and cuddly, and other people's kids, when they are being cute and clean and calm, are nice to have around. Moments like that make me smile, and sigh a little sigh. For about two seconds, and then I remember babysitting.

Babysitting, all you parents out there--make your kids do it. It is the best form of birth control.

Anyways. This weekend, we have had two friends come visit, complete with spouse and child. And the kids are cute! And... Vor is having an awful lot of fun playing with them. He snuggles, gets them to smile, laugh, run, spin around, and fall down.

It's actually rather frightening watching him, for one reason only. The only time I ever desire to have a child is when I am watching him do this. Must be a sign of how great a dad he will be someday.

Someday is not anytime soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Garage Sale

Come one, come all. We have merged our stuff, and now we must get rid of it.

Oh wait, you have no idea who I am or where I live.

Too bad for you!

Stoner Kitties!

Because the law school is an hour and a half away from where Vor and I live, I stay with a friend, Velvet, during my very short school week.

Velvet has two cats.

Now, I am no lover of cats. I am a dog person. And, cats make me sneeze, they climb all over anything, and no matter what anyone says, I know they are actually too dumb to be trained, not too arrogant. Though arrogant they are.

Two days ago, I experienced my first cat on cat nip. It is an experience like no other. They were crazy, they were jumping, leaping, flipping, playing, etc. When they began to tire themselves out, the gray cat decided she was a hippie. She was rolling around on the floor, and rubbing up against Velvet and I. I could practically hear her say, "Yeah, baby... free love... here's some love for you, and you, and you..." The other one just got incredibly hungry.

After seeing this, I'm pretty sure cat nip is drugs for cats, and that Velvet has stoner kitties.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Crash

On my way from school to home, I saw three car crashes. None looked too serious, from what I could tell from the sides of my eyes.

I refuse to rubberneck around at car crashes. I hate it that people do that, and slow down so they can get a better look. Yes, I know--we all feel the pull of curiosity. Resist it, for godssake.

In my brief glance over at one of the accidents (it had just happened, and I wanted to make sure someone had a cell phone) I saw the face of one of the individuals. He wasn't shocked, scared, or angry. Just pale and sad. It made me wonder what other crashes he's had in his life.

I know I should be writing some uplifting blog about how great the honeymoon was (amazing) or how much fun it is to change my name (it's not), but the truth is I saw that guy's face, and I understood. I feel the same way right now. Pale, and sad.

Don't get me wrong. Vor is great. We are great. We are so happy (relieved!) to be married (finally!), and we are just all kinds of cuddly and nauseating. But now school has started, and I have an hour and a half commute, every Monday and Wednesday. I am away from the person who knows me and understands me best for the three most stressful days of my week. The work is overwhelming.

I feel like a car crash. I am the intersection of all these things.

I am pale, and tired.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Abandon to Begin.

Abandonment.

Yes, I left you. I am sorry. No good reason--just my wedding, and honeymoon, and all. Yes, that is a good enough reason!!! Stop your whining.

I have abandoned my family to start a new one. I'm in the process of changing name (thank you Social Security Administration for such lovely, fun times), and trying to make people use my new name. I am abandoning my name.

We abandoned all the wedding stress, and had a lovely honeymoon in the great state of Colorado. Really, people, you need to go there. It was just breathtaking (not just because of altitude) and inspiring, and romantic (heh, heh. I know what you're thinking). It was great to leave the stress behind.

And now, we have abandoned the fun times to return to normalcy. Except that part doesn't feel like abandonment--

It feels like beginning.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One more.

This is all I have to say one day before the wedding:



AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ;LS(*^()^t*&%^&&u&^&^&JKJHKJKJK*&^&*%$^%^*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Really.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Magic Words

It's so hard to find the rights to say when you're looking pure grief.

I wrap my arms around him, I kiss him, I try not to cry. I do what I think I can, and somehow I think it's not enough.

Can someone please tell me what the magic words are? Because I am pretty sure they are not "I'm sorry."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Requiem, Our Dog

Jekyll Vor, born December 26, 1996, deceased August 6, 2008.


You are loved, and you are missed.

12 Days

It's August 4th. We get married August 16th.

I can still tell you what I was wearing the first time we went on a date. I can tell you where we were the first time we met, and what we talked about. I remember the first time he sent me flowers, the first time he kissed me, and the first time he told me he loved me.

So where did the last three and a half years ago? I'm pretty sure my memory isn't normally that stellar.

Vor is sitting next to, creating the wedding program, while I create some DJ music lists. We still have to make payments, do placecards, etc., but the fact is, this event really is here now.

I just wish this had been an easier few weeks leading up to the wedding. I don't want to look back at this week, and think, "Gee, that's the week we were miserable because Vor was taking the Bar," or "Gosh, the wedding... yeah, the was the week the dog got really sick and we didn't know what to do."

On a lighter note, my wonderful friends, Velvet, Vintage, Mocha, and Wildcat got me a Victoria's Secret gift card. Yes, yes. That was put to good use. I'm sure Vor will agree, when he sees it later.

12 days.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who DOES that?

I have a hypothetical question.

Who, as a mother of the groom, two weeks before the wedding, goes golfing, retrieves a ball, falls down a hill, rolls through poison ivy and poison oak, dislocates their shoulder, and has their car damaged by a break-in attempted?

All in a few hours?

Oh.

That would be my future mother in law--Mama Vor.

I love that woman! :)

For Love of the Dog

Dear Jekyll,

I never knew you when you were a puppy, but I've heard tell that you were a meeper (as in, one who makes a meeping sound), and generally, a cute fuzzball Golden Retriever. Of course, your philosophy on retrieving has always been, "You throw, you retrieve."

While you lived with Vor's family, you lived the life of a king--doughnuts, toast, hotdogs, and other goodies were your food. Then, you came to live with Vor, and all the goodies disappeared, substituted with Science Diet, Large Breed, Adult, Lite.

You love to be brushed by Vor, and you law with your paws wrapped around his leg. You love having your teeth brushed with that chicken flavored toothpaste, and you like to be vacuumed. Your tail is a force to be reckoned with, and it has knocked over many an unsteady T.V. tray table. You stand on your head, and put a paw over your eyes when someone pets you. When you law on your side, and I say, "Stretch, puppy!" you stretch out your front and back legs as far as they will go.

When I was horribly sick, you climbed onto the bed with me and wouldn't leave until I was better. You love Vor best and first, but I am your favorite play time buddy.

Oh, my sweet puppy, you are sitting in a vet's office, anxious, scared, and blind, while we try to figure out what happened, and how to fix you.

Love,

Grace and Vor

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Congratulations Vor!

You took on the bar. And it's all over now. I know it sucked, but I also know you did just fine.

I love you, and congratulations.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh, you mean MY courthouse!

I am walking around in utter bliss and amazement.

I'm sure it must feel like this for anyone who takes a job in a professional field that requires some specialized training. Doctors must look at those tools like, seriously? You want me to do what with that? I mean, I know I trained for it, but really... I don't know...

Yesterday, I did something amazing.

I litigated. I handled a trial all by myself.

I went to law school not being sure I wanted to be a lawyer, but convinced that if I did, I was NEVER going to see the inside of a courtroom. I left my first summer convinced I could never work in a law firm, but terrified to be in a courtroom. And now, I am addicted. I am going to follow my supervising attorney around the courtroom tomorrow like a puppy dog looking for an ear scratch, looking for a chance to cross examine, please just one little bit!

I just never knew I could do it until I did it. I never knew it was for me until I tried it. I never knew I would love it, need it, until I tasted it.

I am the shy one, I sit in the back, I don't speak in class, and when the professor calls my name, my face turns as red as a tomato. Yet, I did it. With flying colors.

I'm hooked.

Monday, July 21, 2008

I'm Coming Home

I've been away for only a few days, but somehow it felt like far too long.

I left on Saturday morning, early, to go back to Buffalo for the bridal shower. I did the family reunion, the going out, the shower, the packing, the long discussions about choices.

I came back on Monday morning.

And I realized, as I was sitting next to Vor in the car, coming home from the airport, that he is so much more than friend, husband, lover, playmate, counterpoint. He is my filter, he is my sounding board, my sense of humor, my hankie, my source of all that is good and right, and my home. Not that life is perfect, but that the imperfections help me, help us, grow, and they are wonderful in their own way.

It might be ridiculous that I'm not telling him this, while he sits here giving Jekyll the dog a good petting, but...

I love you. Come back and read this any time you want.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Believe You Have My Stapler.

I fought the office stapler.

I lost.

Do I really need to tell you anymore?

Okay, fine. It was a heavy duty stapler, stapled through easily 150 pages of a legal memo/report for the court. And once I stapled it, I realized that the other four copies did not have Exhibit J, because for some reason, the copy machine decided it wanted to own my soul.

I traipsed back to the copier, stapled original in hand, and grabbed the staple remover so that I could get Exhibit J. Just for reference, the exhibits went up to "O". Also for reference, I am not what you might call a "copy bitch." We all do our own copying, faxing, and typing here--we have no paralegals, we are a small not-for-profit organization. Ahem. Just to clarify.

The staple refused to budge. I mean, I could literally hear it say, "Yeah. Make me." I finally had to get scissors to pry it apart, and then slide the pages painstakingly off, one by one. It took almost an hour to assemble some damn copies, not mention the small little outburst that had one of my supervising attorneys checking in on me and looking very concerned.

Well, they were concerned until they saw the stapler, at which point, they slid carefully away.

I'm pretty sure that means they lost to the stapler at some point too.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I Have Fertilizer And I'm Not Afraid To Use It

I would like to take this moment to point out that my wedding is only 40 days away, not counting today. That my dear readers, is not very long indeed.

I am a total slacker, and I need to get some things done. But somehow... I have just stopped caring.

All I want to do is marry Vor and be done with this process.

At first, we wanted a wedding that was small, manageable, and intimate. Like the size of a potted plant. Controllable. Then we discovered the wedding HAD to be in Buffalo. That made the wedding more like one of those weeds that grows uncontrollably until you kill it.

Did we kill it? Nope. We fed the beast.

It's now more like a giant leafy tree, due to what we term "cronie additions," aka, friends of our parents that we never knew, let alone knew existed. I wanted to be married outside, somewhere in the mountains, in a simple ceremony with maybe a barbecue lunch. I think Vor likes that idea too. Now, we're in a church with the formal reception.

I know I probably sound ridiculous and ungrateful, but I'm not. It will be wonderful to have all my family and most my friends (we had to finally draw the line before the tree became a redwood tree). It will be memorable, and most importantly, we will be married at the end of it.

I wanted a small potted plant, and I got a tree. Oh well. They're both still pretty.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vile Little Creatures

I am in a murderous rage.

At mosquitoes. Black flies as well.

They fly in, unwelcome and unannounced, slowly sneaking their way up to me. Then they wait until the perfect moment, the moment where I can't defend myself because I am talking to Mocha, my friend, on the phone for the first time in a month since she left, or I am trying to drag Jekyll the dog away from my neighbor's newly poured concrete. THEN, they strike.

They bite me on the neck, on the arm, on the leg. I scream and swat, and then go in the house and pour water and salt on the bites in an effort to make the itching stop.

Yes, I know you think I am a drama queen. But really, it's probably worse for me than it is for you. Why? Because I am actually allergic to those mosquito bites.

Let's say I am bit on the arm. If I do one absent-minded little scratch, then my entire arm swells up. It truly is a sight to see.

Vile little creatures. I'm plotting their demise as you read this.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

P.S. #2

The irony of it all just struck me.

Look at the title of the previous two posts. Go on. Do it.

Yeah. "Can't You Just Stop?" right next to "Lie Like Broccoli." Oh, the irony.

Can't You Just Stop?

I need an off button on my brain.

My mom, my siblings, my family, my friends, even Vor--they were all concerned when they heard what my line of work was going to be. Working with children who have been neglected/abused/other? Sounds hard. How do you leave it at work? Doesn't it get to you? I have patiently explained that yes, sometimes I see terrible things, but sometimes I see truly beautiful and amazing things too. The beauty and joy in the end tend to stick in my head more than the pain.

Except. Except. The Indiana Supreme Court has handed down a decision that makes me shudder. I understand it in the context of the case they were looking at, I guess. But oh, Lord, the precedent it sets.

Apparently, it's okay to beat your children with belts or extension cords now.

I've seen the damage that even good-intentioned parents cause. Why do we need to give another legal tool, legal defense, to those who would do this any ways?

I'm not exaggerating when I saw this precedent is horrible. I've already seen cases slip out from underneath us and others, all because of this great new defense. Lower courts are apparently a little wary in thumbing their noses at our Supreme Court. Imagine that.

It's a Saturday, and I'm working overtime in an effort to pull together as much ammunition I can for another little kid, one I don't want to get lost in this system, in this precedent.

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to not think about it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lie Like Broccoli

I. Am. A. Vegetable.

Really. That's what I was yesterday. I try to tell myself that it is rest in anticipation of the oncoming crazy week (trial, hearing, trial, hearing, hearing, conference, hearing, conference, trial...). Or maybe it's because of last week (ditto).

But really. I think I am just a vegetable. I watched about four hours worth of West Wing episodes, and I plan on repeating about half of that tonight.

Lie like broccoli. Sleep like sausage. Rest like ricotta. Yawn like yams.

Okay, I'll stop now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How Wide is Your Balance Beam?

This has been a crazy week. Insane. Nutty. Intense. Long.

And it has made me crazy. Certifiably. One fry short of a Happy Meal. Not the brightest crayon in the box. And so on.

Vor, once he takes the bar exam, will be taking the big firm job, doing the technical patent work that is over my head. You know--those firm jobs that we hear about, and as lawyer and law students, are supposed to covet, yet dread because of the long hours.

Since I never coveted said position, I went into public interest, saving the world, one child at a time. I thought, we thought, both of us cannot be in a big firm and the hours it demands.

So why, why, was I the one at work for twelve hours yesterday?

Don't get me wrong, it was an awesome day. But man, was I crabby this morning. I'm just fortunate that today was a slow day, and that I got to leave a bit early. This has concerned me slightly; part of the reason why I went into public interest (a small part, to be sure) is the idea I had that I would have more flexible hours. I mean, someday, I want kids. I don't want to give up my career though. I really do believe that both can be done; you just have to find the balance.

Maybe that's still true. Maybe I'm not seeking the balance right now because I know I don't have to. Maybe I'm avoiding the balance because I know, as a newbie, I have to throw myself into this, heart, body, and soul. It's the only way to gain some ground.

For now, I will give it everything. That way, I can get the job permanently. I can carve out a niche, get some people to know me, and have my own network. Then, maybe then, I'll sit back a bit.

I'll learn to walk on the balance beam later.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sleepwalking World Champions

Sleepwalking runs in my family.

I have done this countless times, though my most memorable occasion involved waking up, outside, in three feet of snow, with my school uniform on at 1 a.m. I even had my lunch and books with me. I guess I was waiting for the bus. Equally memorable was the time my alarm went off. I thought I shut it off, got dressed, and ran out the door to crew practice. As I was "driving" to the river, my phone rang, and my coach screamed into the phone until I really woke up.

What is that? The reverse of sleepwalking? Realistic dreaming? Even once I was awake, I kept insisting to my coach that I was on my way, and I didn't know how I ended up back in bed.

My niece Prada yells about fireworks in her sleep, and my nephew Jeter has asked his Dad repeatedly where his space ship was. My other nephew, Jedi, has tried to use the laundry room for a bathroom, and has told me, insistently, that his mom told him it was the new bathroom.

Oh, did I mention that Prada fights in her sleep? Because she does. She must have learned those moves from Scout, my oldest nephew, because they sure are effective, and painful.

Blossom, Brick, and Squeaker have not shown signs of sleep walking yet. Maybe it only runs on the female side of the family.

I do think that one of my old team mates wins the prize on sleepwalking activity. In her sleep, she took a hairnet and put it over the toilet seat. When we found it in the morning, we connected the dots, because we had all heard her whimpering in her sleep about the toilet monster.

Apparently, hairnets keep the toilet monster where he belongs.

Can I Sleep on the Treadmill?

I am so tired.

Being in law school makes you tired. You get no sleep, your brain is constantly working, and there are endless demands on your time. But despite the dreariness that is law school, there is time.

Now, I know I just implied that there is never time in law school. Well, there is never a large block of time. But, you can make your own--schedule all your classes early or late, make it so that you have Fridays off, or create long breaks in your day.

Not so in the real world.

In law school, I could creep to the gym in the morning, or during my break at 1:00. I could go to the gym at 2:00 in the morning if I wanted to, because I didn't have class until noon. But now, I work from 7:45 to 5:00. Getting up early is just asking for me to fall asleep at the staff meeting, or at my desk, or worse, when the judge gets a little long winded.

Going when I get home... well... it's just not an attractive option.

I like to see Vor. I like to talk to him. And cutting out those few hours a day when we can talk is just not okay with me. So I walk Jekyll the dog with him, and it just isn't enough. I know this, and he knows this, and yet, we are at a stalemate. There isn't enough time in the day.

It's not like I'm one of you lucky people for whom a nice sweaty walk is enough, or a good round of yoga or pilates. Nope. My body is still used to high intensity activity, and that is the kind of activity it demands. Worse than that, my mind demands constant interaction, thought, and reaction--the kind of thing you get from a complicated team sport, where you are constantly shifting and adjusting to what others are doing.

I need the mental and physical intensity. I am a junkie for it.

So tomorrow morning, I will drag myself to the gym. As I will the day after that. I will keep going there, until we have enough money and time to join a different gym, where I can find what I need.

In the meantime, I'm going to see how fast I can run in my sleep.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

That's Ms. Tofu to You!

Today was my first attempt with tofu.

It was smashing, if I say so myself. I had always sworn I would stay away from it, until some was snuck into my pad thai at a Thai restaurant. I thought, hmmm. Maybe not so bad after all! And then, I discovered it at the bottom of my miso soup when Vor and I were eating sushi. The clincher was opening my newest cookbook and seeing a recipe for chicken and tofu.

Perfect! In case the tofu sucks, the chicken is a backup. It was foolproof. And yes, it was delicious. At least, I thought so. Vor will have to tell me later, as he has crashed on the recliner chair and is determinedly sleeping through the wonderful aroma filling the house.

I couldn't wake him for the life of me though, he looks so peaceful. I also happen to know how tired he is--we've still had crazy thunderstorms going on, and last night was no exception. Between the thunder clapping and lightening flashing and basement potentially and semi flooding and Jekyll the dog getting up and running around and the street becoming a river once again, there was little sleep to be had.

You know what he needs to wake up and have energy to finish the day?

TOFU!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Love/Addiction

Sci-fi. You love it, or you hate it. I personally am on the love/addiction/obsession side.

I was just cut off from Battlestar Galactica by the untimely occurrence of a thunderstorm. Vor has informed me that since all cable is out, it is likely not recording. Frak!

Whoops. Pardon my French. (If you don't get the joke, then you're just not cool like other BSG lovers).

Also, there is Stargate. Any and all versions, whether it is the movie, the two different T.V. series, or any other thing they want to come up with. That's fine with me. I even read Joe Mallozzi's blog, though I admit I just enjoy the pictures of the food and his dogs.

Of course, I approve of the Sci-Fi channel in general.

Star Wars. Oh, Star Wars. I was a fan before they released the episodes and it became cool again to be a fan. I could recite those movies to you. My mother once asked me what the fifth word of Empire Strikes Back was. It's "seven" in case you were wondering. (As in "Echo Three to Echo Seven. Han, old buddy, do you read me?") My nephew, aptly named Jedi on this blog, has taken after his Auntie Grace, has his room decked out in a space theme, and can recite all the Star Wars movies to you, including the Clone Wars video game. I can't wait until he's old enough to give him the Star Wars books.

I have Star Wars ornaments. Vor has Star Trek ornaments. We actually might need to get a Christmas tree just to put our sci-fi ornaments on.

If that isn't love/addiction, I don't know what is.

Blogging in the Rain

Currently, our street is a river.

No, not as a result of some global climate life altering earth changing event. Unless that's how you routinely define a massive thunderstorm with a side order of tornadoes.

I keep asking Vor if we should go into the basement, and he continues to think I'm nuts (he's right--we haven't had any evidence of tornado touch downs near us).

I am just ceaselessly impressed by the fact that our street has a current, and waves. Now its creeping up into the driveway, and soon it will make its way over the curb and into our front yard. To give you an idea of how impressive this really is, there are people parked on the street whose hubcaps are in the water, and it is rising.

And cable went out in the middle of my show. ACK!

This reminds me of the time well one of the man times, but certainly one of the more memorable times) that my parent's basement flooded. I wanted to go swimming in the basement, but my parents, with years of wisdom and experience, knew where that water had come from and refused. However, the dog forgot to ask my parents whether he could take a drink.

He made such a mess in the living room my mom had to call a professional cleaner.

Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hey Mr. Postman!

Is there a message in your bag for---BANG! Jekyll the dog hits the door and barks at the mailman. The mailman freezes.

Hey, Mr. Postman! Seriously! I need that message in your bag for me. Don't run away!

I'm not kidding either. The mailman was poised on the verge of flight, having locked eyes with Jekyll. Never mind that Jekyll would hold a flashlight for a burglar. It's the fact that Jekyll has a deep, scary bark--it's what I like to call a "sub-woofer."

Ha, ha. I am hilarious. Anyways.

The mailman thought fast about running once I appeared in the door. Guess he didn't want to appear wimpy in the eyes of the female in the business suit. But, actually, his next move was pure genius--he pulled out a dog biscuit and slipped it through the mail slot. Jekyll picked it up and ate it.

Now, he can't wait for mailman to come. I can just hear him changing the lyrics of the song to, "Is there a biscuit in that bag for me?"

Screwed!

When's the last time you had a tetanus shot? Huh? Huh? 'Cause I bet I know my last two dates better than you.

Oh wait, that's because one of them was yesterday.

On lovely, sunny Memorial Day, I was blissfully cleaning the new house and doing some laundry. Sounds boring, but everything is fun when it takes place in a new house. Prior to moving in, Vor and I both swept the basement, to clear out any rusty nails or screws.

Guess I missed one. ::Looks down awkwardly::

Not only did I step on a screw, it landed in the softest, most vulnerable part of my foot. At that moment, the words that came out of my mouth would have made my Uncle Sub, a former sailor, proud. After Vor helped me upstairs and we determined that yes, it had broken the skin, you know what he said? "There's a reason why the bottoms of the feet are the subject of torture."

Thanks. I think I figured that out on my own.

The first thing I did after I could walk again was get a pair of slip on Crocs. They're sitting at the top of the basement stairs.

Monday, May 26, 2008

You want me to be...what?

Social? You want me to socialize?

Sheesh. You'd think I was entering the professional world, and that my husband to be was already in the same professional world. You'd think we have to network. To socialize.

Oh, wait. We are. And we do.

So that was this weekend. We decided to try mixing friend groups this weekend, and I had some of my friends over (Vintage and Velvet) and Vor had two of his friends over. That was fun. Our first experience at entertaining. Then we had a party that involved people from our professional spheres. That was fun as well. Then we had a party at his Mom's house. Great food, and again, fun.

How did I end up over-socialized if I was having fun?

Sometimes I feel like the little kid who gets over-stimulated and needs to go sit in a quiet room for awhile.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Caught Red Handed.

Devil Dog strikes again!

I called to Devil Dog this morning after Vor left, to let Devil Dog know I was still in the house. Shortly thereafter, I heard the faint tearing of paper, and I thought to myself, No. He wouldn't. Not while people are still in the house.

Yeah. He did. When I walked in the room, he look terrified. He knew he was a bad dog.

Vor has suggested to me that Devil Dog is not an appropriate name to give the precious pooch. It's true. Most of the time, our beloved animal is sweet, loving, and simply sleeps, curled up on our sun porch, though perhaps with one eye open to watch the world go by. It's just those moments where he acts like this--those moments are much for fun to write about. Vor thinks a better name would be Jekyll; you know, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Great guy most of the time, crazy psycho for a small bit. It's true. That is a better name.

Henceforth, Devil Dog shall be known as Jekyll.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Secret's Out

No one knew about this blog, until I 'fessed up.

Hi Vor. This is my journal. This is my rope over the writer's block wall.

Small Victories

If we don't measure the small ones, then there is rarely anything to measure.

Our house is almost set up, I am ready to start working, Vor is starting bar classes, and we are happy. There was a much needed clearing of the air between families members, I am excited for this weekend, and I have great friends.

When I look at these small victories, they seem like large ones.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hurt Me

It really shouldn't come as a surprise that when you grow up, you enter the real world, and you have the work out and on the adult relationships in your life. And you have to deal with those pesky adult responsibilities. Yet, every once in a while, it hits me like a brick. This has been one of those weeks that sometimes you wish had never happened.

Issues of faith and religion are always going to be difficult, even when you were raised with the same ones, in the same family. No matter how much law and scripture your church hands out, there's always interpretation, and those infuriating independent thoughts that slip through the cracks. And this, this isn't even a matter of interpretation. This is just a plain determination to impose an interpretation.

Discussion is one thing; cruelty is another. Saying, I just can't talk about this right now, and we need to talk later is very different from hanging up the phone. Actually, the cruelty I can deal with. Not very well, because it's hurtful to hear it, but I can work through a moment of lapsed judgment, when those words just come right out.

I can't deal with the hanging up part. I don't live in Buffalo anymore. I live in Indianapolis. My relationship with my family is essentially a long distance relationship. Long distance relationship don't work if one of the people in it just hangs up on the other when things gets rough. Fortunately, for this past week, I've been in Buffalo, so I can go stand on someone's porch until they can't ignore me ringing the doorbell anymore. But those chances are few and far between.

I'm almost twenty four years old. I'm the baby of the family. And I'm tired of always taking the first steps towards making things better once again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Time in a Bottle

Have you seen those allergy commercials? The ones that talk about time in a bottle?

They're true. They ARE NOT KIDDING. I personally don't think it matters what allergy medicine it is, it is time in a bottle. I just wish I hadn't fought the magic for so many years. I was all, "No, I don't even take Tylenol, what on Earth makes you think I would take a Claritin?" But I have awakened. I have seen the light, and brothers and sister, it is a beautiful day outside!

I know I sound ridiculous. But you don't understand. We first figured out that I had allergies when our dog died my freshman year of high school, and my persistent cough-runny nose-red eyes magically went away. Needless to say, we promptly got another dog.

Then I moved to Indiana. Oh. My. God. Corn fields, HARVESTING, pollen, it was like my own personal hell had descended to Earth and sat itself at my bistro table on the porch. Still I suffered in silence (well, sometimes not so silently). And then, miracle of miracles, this week, I am standing in my sister's kitchen, doing my wheezing thing, and she slams the damn allergy medicine down in front of me, and gives me the look that she has perfected. And I took one. And suddenly, I didn't have to search for tissues, or eye drops, or sneeze, or feel woozy, or have to go in and sleep because the powerful pollen was taking me over.

I am here to tell you, if you have allergies, take the damn pill.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Meet Grace.

Hi! ::waves madly::

No, my real name is not Grace. Sorry. Though, it is part of my name, and a nickname for me, used only by five people in my real-time life. I'm from Buffalo, the land of snow, ice, and chicken wings hot enough to melt the first two things. And if you're mentally translating chicken wings into "buffalo wings" then you're kidding yourself that you've ever had a chicken wing.

I knew I needed to leave Buffalo for law school when one of my college room mates looked at me and said, "NO WAY. I am not letting you go to U.B. (University of Buffalo) for law school." I love Buffalo, but I think it tends to suck you in. It's hard to leave, and easy to come back, so its much easier to just stay in the first place. Therefore, I left.

After various unsuccessful relationships (though some became very successful friendships) I found Vor through friends. After several entertaining scandals and more drama than I am used to, we started dating. And, so, we are poised to be married in about three months.

My sister and brother are both older than me--I was a bit of a surprise. My sister, Scrappy, is married to Prankster Dentist, or for short, PD. They have four fabulous children, Prada, Scout, Jeter, and Jedi. My brother, Pilot, is married to Tuscon, with Blossom, Brick, and bringing up the end of the niece and nephew train, Squeaker. My mom told me that she wants three grandchildren out of me, that way she could have an even ten. Vor told her that we could have one, and she would have an even eight. I'm not sure she thought this was funny.

I love rowing, volleyball, swimming, and walking. If I could, I would do all of these with my nose in a book.

This is probably the most specific thing I will tell you. I am (was--but am, this is something you never really give up) a synchronized swimmer. Yeah, go ahead and laugh. I can drown you and keep you company underwater while I do it. Over the years, I have competed on national and collegiate D-1 levels, with some truly amazing people. Competitiveness is in my blood; in my family, we are pretty sure it is a gene. Even my oldest niece, Prada, who claims to have no inclination towards sports, is the most competitive shopper I have ever seen. Although I'm not swimming anymore, it has touched my life just as profoundly as merely being born has. Ask anyone who is a competitive synchronized swimmer. It creates, molds, and defines you, long after you leave the glitter and chlorine behind.

Truth be told, I went to law school because it was either that, grad school, or back to the retail shop I had worked at for four years. Grad school was out, because I had no interest in being a professor. I was pretty sure that if I stayed at the retail store one more moment, a regular customer was going to be missing a limb. (I was in a mechanic type business with repeat customers. Try being a girl in a mechanic business.) So, law school it was. As soon as I entered law school, I felt out of place, but my first summer helped me find a purpose--public interest and child advocacy. And I'm decent at it. And I love my job.

I love to cook, but I am a feminist. I am a feminist, but not in bra-burning extremist way. I love wine, but I don't like drinking. I love dancing with my friends, but I'm not a fan of clubs or loud music. What I'm trying to say is that I know the value of compromising.

Enough. Seeing so much of me on "paper" make me want to hit the delete key, so I better post this before I change my mind.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

P.S.

P.S.--Prior to the Granola Bar Incident with Devil Dog, we had already learned that he needed to eat eight pounds of chocolate before he was in any trouble.

::Sighs::

Meet Devil Dog.

I know it is strange to introduce you to Devil Dog before I introduce you to Vor, my fiancee and very soon to be husband, but there are some overlaps. (I love you dear, and Devil Dog is a wonderful puppy).

Devil Dog is an eleven year old Golden Retriever who has anxiety attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder, and attachment/dependency issues. Goldens are the best adapted parasite ever--any other being, human, animal, or otherwise, would have been kicked out the door long ago, but Devil Dog is so damn cute.

Devil Dog is the neutered son of Abby and Bubbah, Abby being Vor's family's dog. So Devil Dog has been in the family since birth, and believes himself to be somewhere far above all other dogs, and slightly below humans.

Now, I am not kidding about all of his disorders. One of them that I did not mention are Devil Dog's abandonment issues. When Vor leaves the house, Devil Dog gets very angry. VERY. In his half hour of rage (we're pretty sure he forgets after a half hour and just sleeps the rest of the time he is alone) if he does not have a chewie, only God knows what he will chew.

My personal favorite, and Vor's least favorite, incident is the Granola Bar Incident. Our friends came to visit us, and left several boxes of granola bars on the ground, in a bag, in another bag. Devil Dog, upon being left, proceeded to eat all the chocolate covered granola bars, which numbered twenty-four (24, people, 24 chocolate covered granola bars!). Then he moved onto the Nature's Valley granola bars, which are more healthy.

He ate one. That's a grand total of twenty-five granola bars.

When we came home, his tummy was bulging out on either side of him. I would like to think he regretted his decision, but that would imply that he remembered making the decision, and not just, "Wow, my tummy hurts. I hope Vor gets home soon. Where is he! I'm angry he's not here! I must chew something!"

We saw purple and foil Quaker Oats wrappers for days afterwards. I haven't eaten a granola bar for a year.

The Entry With No Title.

This is a blog entry on how I don't want to write one.

It's been a lazy Mother's Day, and I would like to continue to be lazy and law on the couch and watch movie with my mother. I just want tot take a shower and go to bed. Yet, that just will not do.

I need to write. Must. Keep. Going. Somehow, I will break through this two year slump and remember how much I enjoyed the writing, the release, the creativity.

Has anyone else noticed their profession ruining their enjoyment of TV shows? For example, if you're a med student, do you HATE Grey's Anatomy, though once you vaguely enjoyed it? I can't handle Law&Order anymore, and even watching movies with legal issues in them drives me bonkers. Weird.

I'm missing Vor. He's coming on Wednesday, complete with Devil Dog.

I have nothing else for you.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Takes Your Breath Away

I had to do a bunch of things for the wedding yesterday. I'm back in Buffalo, exams are done, and it is time to get serious about the biggest party of my life.

So I called the florist for an appointment, the priest, the reception hall, the photographer...oh wait, I still need to call him. I had a hair appointment to figure out how to deal with my mass of waves and curls, and miraculously, I found my shoes.

A moment for the shoes--I don't do heels. I am a sneakers and flip flops kind of gal. So this process of finding shoes has been painful (literally). I pull out flats, and my mom/sister/niece/friend rolls her eyes. I pull out white Sketchers sneakers, and they take them away from me (I bought those anyways). Everything I tried on was too high, too small, or had no back. And then I found these--amazingly, by a designer called Grace, how appropriate--and they were comfy and only fifteen dollars. Perfect. The Battle for the Shoes was over.

So I bebopped home, dragged my mom out of the garden, and tried on my dress with my shoes and my earrings. And my mom starting crying.

"What?" I asked anxiously. "Is it the shoes? I can take them back. Or I can get a different hairstyle. It's okay!" My mom sniffed some more. "No," she said, "you just take my breath away."

I was such a sweet moment that I didn't want to tell her the dress was literally taking my breath away. Exam time always packs more weight onto me, and so, it is time to shed the exam and stress pounds.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hypocrite!

Yeah, that's me. I told you all about how I was keeping this blog to get back into writing. And then I left you for weeks. Except no one reads this! So it hardly matters... but these things happen when there is no accountability.

Is it wrong of me to say I can't write, and then post something I wrote? Is that contradictory? Actually, more importantly, if I post something I wrote, will someone rip it off and claim it as their own? I mean, I will have the scribbles from when my writing was being created, but how would I prove it?

And now that I think about it, that's pretty arrogant. That's all assuming anyone would think it was good enough to steal. So here goes:

Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, hypocrites are too.

Whoops! Meant to type out the other one. Maybe later.

My Friends Are Better Than Yours.

Sorry. That's just the way it is.

I had a horrible day. I had to drive an hour and a half as Vor drove back up to Michigan to finish our respective packing problems. I couldn't seem to keep my brain straight, and I forgot, in various stages, things I needed to do, and what I needed to have with me. Which really covers quite a bit of ground when you think about it.

After driving the hour and a half back up to our new house, I discover that the garbage cans, which Vor so diligently put out that morning, were left untouched by the garbage men. Apparently, even they did not want to try to life those. When I tried to drag them back into the drive way and behind the garage, I discovered three things.

1. I am not as strong as I used to be when I was a swimmer and rower. Yes, I still go to the gym, and yes, I lift the weights, but it really just doesn't compare to the intensity of college sports.
2. I was exhausted from effectively moving for three straight days. My back and my knees were at their limit.
3. The garbage men were right. These things were too damn heavy.

So I stood on the end of my driveway, conquered by the garbage cans, having a meltdown. The kind of meltdown that involves crocodile tears. Apparently, I have a kind neighbor named Bob, who helped me drag them back up the driveway.

Anyways. It was a bad day, and I was supposed to go out with my friends to celebrate the end of finals. I hemed and hawed, and finally made myself go.

When I was let into the apartment, they all jumped out--surprise!!! Bachelorette Party!

They went all out, ridiculous t-shirt, bedazzled cups, sash, cake, lingerie, and gift card. It really was too much, and it was wonderful. And so, we went out, like all good bachelorettes do.

Yes, this sounds run of the mill. But I have never been good at making friends, and keeping them. I'm sure it runs in line with other deep seated insecurities I have, but it's always been a problem. I can't count the number of time I made friends in undergrad, only to alienate them when I felt they were too close, or they knew too much about me. Finally, my junior year, I had done it yet again, and I saw the pattern. When I needed something to change in my life, I went about it in the most extreme way--I shed everything, including friends. Clearly, not the way to go.

I promised myself I wouldn't do this in lawschool. However, I know I certainly have tried that little trick of mine; I just can't stop myself. Now, I am blessed with friends who don't put up with that; who track me down and say "Avoiding me much?" And I laugh, and it's all better. For some reason, these friends know me on a level that no one else does. And I am blessed.

Vor was looking at the huge bedazzled margarita glass and jokingly said "Well, you cup certainly runth over." I just smiled, and said, "With my friends, it certainly does."

Monday, April 28, 2008

I'm... moving out.

Just like the song.

During college, I lived on campus all four years, with some really great roommates, sharing a room, sharing a bunkbed, sharing a bathroom, and sharing a kitchen. It's great, but its hard, and it is a great teaching tool for how to interact, socialize, and behave.

When I came to law school, I frustrated my parents to no end by telling them no matter how much more money I spent, I was NOT going to have a roommate. I just knew that for me, having a roommate in law school would be a bad idea. And so, I've lived alone for two years, without even so much as a goldfish in my apartment.

I love my apartment. It was brand new when I moved in, so I know exactly what happened on my carpet. It's clean, it has just enough space, and all my stuff fits. I know exactly where everything is, and everything is where I want it to be.

Except. Except.

Except now, I'm moving out. I'm moving about an hour and a half away, and I will be commuting to law school. I'm moving to a beautiful old house, with all hardwood floors, a backyard, and a garage. And a fireplace. And a basement. And another person.

Hmmm. I've lived alone for so long, this might take some adjusting. I have to combine my dark cherry and mahogany woods with his light oak woods. Since we have three beds between the two of us, we need to decide which bed frames get used, whose hutch gets displayed, whose T.V. gets to be in the living room, and so on. The only thing I have absolute say over is the kitchen--I love to cook. That will be my knives, my pots and pans, and my Corningware. And Vor gets absolute say over the office room, since he is the only one out of us that actually works at a desk. So that will be his desk, his laptop, and his decorations.

So, goodbye apartment. You've taught me lots of things, such as where the best place to keep a flashlight is, how to keep the insects from coming in, how to change the air filters, and how to operate a dishwasher.

But I'm ready to start adjusting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Grace in the Confessional

I must confess.

Why am I back at this ridiculous blog again, twice in one day, after I have taken a grueling exam? No, not because I think I am so witty or insightful that the world needs to know what I am thinking. And certainly not because I have readers that are anxiously awaiting my words. I mean, have you seen my comments section? Zero, zip, nada, nil. Nix, nine, no, nuh-uh-uh, as my mother would say.

I'm here because I'm like Stella. I need to get my groove back.

Whoa! Not like that, people. I meant writing. I used to write ALL THE TIME. My mom pulled her hair out because there were papers all over my room, and she wasn't allowed to throw any of them out. I stuck post it notes to my walls because I would get good ideas in my dreams. I wrote in class, and I got in trouble for it. Except for Mr. V. He encouraged it, gave me a book to write in, and told me to major in English in college. Whenever my swim team or my homeroom or any other such group had secret santas, I would have a blank book. And I loved it! I wrote through college, and loved every paper. My poetry class was the most fun I had every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And my senior thesis...oh, Virginia Woolf. How I love thee.

Law school sucked the creativity out of me. I couldn't write, I couldn't read, I couldn't create. I didn't dream, except for those odd dreams of my contracts books eating my fingers off. Now that I am finishing my second year of law school, it has finally dawned on me what the problem is. I need interaction!

Yes, I have friends. I socialize. I talk to Vor every day. But in college, I was always volunteering, which brought me into contact with all kinds of people. I hadn't had time for that in law school until this past semester, when I joined a Clinic. Then, slowly, the writing came back. Little rhymes in the margin, little phrases on post it notes. Bliss.

So, I am here again. I'm the woman with whose going to disassemble the Great Wall of Writer's Block with my hands, even if it kills me (or breaks my nails).

Banned!

There are things in life that should just be banned. Fried okra, for example. Nails an inch and beyond. Cell phones on the bus. Loud people on cell phones in small spaces. Restaurants making chicken wings when they haven't been taught how to do it in Buffalo. Eight hour exams.

What?

Yeah, that's right. You heard me. Eight hours exams. Actually, that should be at the top of my list because I just finished one. Eight hours of sweat, blood, tears, furious typing, legal pads, post it notes, index cards, outlines, and more. I'm exhausted, and I can't believe I am even looking at a computer screen. But that's what law students do best--take the punishment and come back for more.

I think I need to reward myself for this, whether it's sitting on the couch for the rest of the day, drinking some wine, or going and playing on the awesome playground here. Seriously--you should see this playground! It has ten slides, a huge five layer spiderweb, so even if you fall through one level, you can't actually hit the ground, tunnels, bridges, and all the good stuff. You're never too old for a playground, especially when your brain has regressed to the level of a six years old. I'll fit right in.

That is, unless I become the next banned item--twenty-three year olds on a playground.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Wedding Planner

I have become a wedding planner.

No, this is not a job, or a hobby. This is necessity. I'm planning my own wedding, which, although many other brides do this every month of the year, is no small feat. I live in the Midwest, but my wedding is in Buffalo, my hometown, and where I met my fiancee (I'm going to call him Vor--for privacy's sake, and for our own inside sci-fi joke).

I'm not really a planning kind of girl. I don't like to plan the get togethers, the reunions, the nights out. I don't even like to make the decisions when we are already out. For example, I have two wonderful yet equally indecisive friends at the law school. We stood there in a parking lot, staring at each other because we couldn't make a decision about where to go next. We stood there for about five minutes without blinking. We were made for each other, I swear.

But there are so many things to coordinate, to decide, to organize... and so on. Flowers, invitations, wording, tuxes, colors, favors, napkins, chairs, cakes, flavors, food... it goes on and on.

Truly, I love the wedding that we are going to have. It'll be big, but I have a big family, and they'll all be there. Same for Vor; his friends and family will be there, en masse. It'll be at the church I was baptized in, made my First Communion in, got confirmed in, where my sister and brother were married, where my parents were married. The reception is on a back terrace of a country club, so we will be outdoors. And, we will take our wedding pictures in the park where Vor and I took so many long walks when we were first dating.

It sounds so idyllic--what on earth would I want to be different? Oh, a hundred million things. I would love to have had it be very small, to be in Colorado at the base of a mountain. Or to be in Ireland, and have the Irish side of my family there. Or instead, to invite everyone over to my parents and have a barbecue instead of something so formal.

But despite the hated planning, despite the wishes, and should haves, its really perfect. Really, not despite--probably because of. Its a product of decisions, his and mine, and memories, his, mine, and our families. It's all uniquely ours.

Meet Walks Like Elephant.

The weather has finally changed, and it was warm, sunny, and generally beautiful today. I thought, since I have a porch, I would make my exam studying more bearable by sitting on my porch and working. So at 8 a.m., I dragged my chair, my lap top, and my papers outside, complete with glass of water and sunglasses.

I was there for about ten minutes when my upstairs neighbor (who shall be referred to in this post herein after by her Indian name, "Walks Like Elephant"), dragged out her chair. Then her radio. Then her cigarettes. She turned that thing up so loud the bunnies in the bushes went running for cover, and began to puff like the puffer fish.

When she started tapping her ash onto me, I got pissed. Do I ask her politely to stop? No, because nothing can be asked politely when you have to scream over ten decibel music.

Then, inspiration struck. American Girl miraculously came onto her radio--a song I am rather fond of. So, I began humming loudly to the song. Then I tapped on my railing. And then, I began singing along.

The bunnies ran even further away, and Walks Like Elephant went inside.

This all probably makes me sound childish, but sometimes, you need to give into the urge to stay sane. Also, loud music at 8 a.m.? I wasn't the only one that was irritated. I could hear the doors slamming, the huffs, and the windows snapping shut. I was just the only one that was aggressively passive-aggressive.

I'll be nicer when exams are over. I promise.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

I'm almost ready.

I have trimmed my nails down to a very low point, and lacquered them with clear nail polish. I have laid out my clothes for tomorrow, meticulously planned for the occasion. I will shower tonight, so my hair is easier to deal with tomorrow. I have been going to the gym for months, to make sure I am in shape for this.

What is this event, you ask? Prom? No, because I'm law school. Well, is it law prom then, better known as Barrister's Ball? Oh, no.

See, this is combat I am going into. In addition to the above, I also have a band aid wrapped around my finger where I get blisters from holding a pen, I have all my pencils sharpened, I have a new battery in my computer, and I have countless stacks of paper to aid me.

It's exam time. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the two week exam period, which will end in a miserable eight hour exam, a twenty-five page paper, and a ten page paper. Not to mention the exams that come before it.

So, hold your breath, plug your nose, and take the plunge. Wish me luck.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dramatic Suspense

That's what I was going for. Really. I made a blog back in September, and waited until now to post another entry. It was all about suspense.

Now that I'm done lying to myself, I would like to point out that I experienced an earthquake last night! It was odd, exciting, and a bit scary. It woke me at 5:30 in the morning--it sounded like a garbage truck. When I got out of bed to see what was happening, the floor started to shake.

Now, I never lived in the Midwest until recently, so I never had to deal with tornadoes. I know, tornadoes are not earthquakes; but let me explain how they relate in my head. I have conditioned myself, as a newcomer to the Midwest, that anytime some strange weather thing happens, to run into my closet. So, when I felt my floor shaking (mind you, I am on the ground floor) what did I do?

That's right. I ran into the closet. Brilliant!

After being in there for about three seconds, it dawned on me that the closet was not the place to be, and perhaps I would be better outside. By the time I got to my door, it was all over.

Apparently, there is no link between law school and understanding what to do in an earthquake. Who would have thought?