Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Dance

My computer and I do this dance every other month or so.

Do you work? No. Okay, why not? Because I suck. Oh. Well, what's wrong? Everything.

Great.

I have been getting the blue screen of death with alarming regularity. Except, I think I have to stop calling it the blue screen of death, because my computer magically revives itself, kind of like that patient on Grey's Anatomy last week.

My favorite recurring issue is the power cord. 1L year, I noticed that it would not charge when I plugged it in. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we figured out that it was the cord that runs out of the power pack adapter thingy (yes, that is a technical term). We replaced it.

Then it started smoking, so we replaced it again.

And again, after it electrocuted my brother.

Today, once again, it stopped charging. Big sigh, lots of nasty words, asking God why he doesn't like me this week. Then I realized it wasn't even the power cord--it was the actual computer hardware itself this time.

Oh. GREAT. It is almost impossible to be a law student without a laptop. It is impossible to be me, as a law student, without a laptop. I can't even begin to tell you the depths of despair (Pit of Despair!) this caused today, given everything that needs to get done--that seems to involve files on my damn computer--in the next few days.

I just...I don't know.

So, Dear Computer,

I know we've had a good almost three years. Well, actually, given what I've just said above, not really all that good.

We have danced our last dance together. The DJ has turned off his equipment, the lights are on, people are leaving, so stop revolving with me on the spot like a bad high school slow dance.

Peace out,

Grace

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Blog Salad

Ahh, a blog salad. A mishmash of things that kind of go together, things that don't really go together, and the things that you have left over in your refrigerator.

Lettuce: The meat of the matter. My criminal procedure book is one thousand six hundred and seventeen pages long (1617 just in case writing it out was not impressive enough for you). Also, I have two supplements and endless articles on e-reserve that my professor has written, because He Is Kind Of A Big Deal (which I really am not joking about). I have to take a deposition next week for one of my litigation classes, and I have a trial coming up for my other litigation class. Some where in there, I am still a research assistant. Who is supposed to do be doing research. Oh! And! My professor, who is my research professor, who I cannot say no, has asked me to handle one of her classes, because it is on a topic I am well versed in. Sigh. School, though it is ending, is the lettuce of my salad, the meat of my life.

Vegetables: Let's face it, they are there because woman cannot live on lettuce alone. By extension, if I don't really want it, yet I cannot live on school alone, that must mean this part is about... the bar! Yes, that thing that will let me get away from school. I used to think that I would always want to be a student, that I loved learning with an undying passion, and that I was too afraid of the real world to ever leave academia. WRONG. Law school cures you of such notions. I have everything turned in, and my anxiety over the whole process has calmed. I've created a fun schedule (HA! Fun! Schedule! Bar Exam! All in the same vicinity!) for the summer, which really is half the battle for me in dealing with stuff like this. I'm ready to get my hands dirty (not dirrrty). Ah, the bar exam, the vegetables on my salad of life.

Croutons/Cranberries/Almonds: Face it, they are delicious, sweet, and totally there for fun. Vor and I went to Target today and got an orange card with an orange envelope to send to my sister Scrappy's youngest son--Jedi. He just got his orange belt in karate. Also, I made chocolate chip cookies. Vor's sister got a new job, which we are all excited about. All these sweet little nothings make the salad great, and in the end, add up to a whole lot of something.

Salad Dressing: It sets the whole tone of the salad. Seriously. Basalmic vinegar. You know, with just the right amount, it's postively delicious, but when you get to the bottom of the bowl, there is too much, and it's a vinegar overload (read: stress overload). I guess I just won't eat the stuff on the bottom, then, will I?

That's a blog salad for you. Total mishmash, but totally true.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Time to Buy Pencils in Bulk

Bar application = Done.

In my hot little hands is a paper, stated I delivered it by hand, and it's been received by the Board of Law Examiners, thankyouverymuch.

Vor and I have checked everything on there about ten time over, perhaps because I am a bit on the obsessive worrying side. I really think I should have told the BLE lady who took my application that piece of information, because, really, they should WANT lawyers who are on the obsessive worrying side.

Though, she did almost give me a heart attack when she paused for a slightly longer time over two parts of my application. I really thought I was going to faint on the spot (see above, obsessive worrying side).

If I didn't know better, I would say that taking the bar will be less stressful than waiting to see if I can sit for the bar.

The problem with saying that is I have a very distinct memory of hearing a snapping sound coming from our office while Vor studied for the bar last year. I went into the office and found he had snapped a pencil in half.

Oh, well.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Denial, That River in Egypt

*News Flash*

Denial--it's not just for parents anymore.

It now comes in Aunt-sized packages!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My cousins are on Facebook. So are my aunts, uncles, brother... and my oldest niece and oldest nephew. Yes, I am Facebook friends with them. Yes, I write all over their walls, because, let's face it, a) they are only eight and nine and a half years younger than me, b) I luv & *heart* being the kewl ant (joking! joking!) and c) I love them, love tweaking them, and they love me and the tweaking, too.

Also, I had to get a text messaging plan for my cell phone because all of my nieces and nephews text me so much it was costing me a fortune. Thus, I am very well versed in text-speak (IDK, my BFF, Jill, anyone?)

We send picture messages to each other like crazy.

And there's the denial, right there. Has anyone seen this article? Because it's scary. Sexting. What a God-awful, but accurate term.

As far as I know, they don't do this. I know they have been raised better. They are very confident, polite, modest, and involved kids. Seriously. This is not me bragging, this is a consistent commentary from anyone who knows them. Vor likes to refer to my family as the Von Trapp family. They break into song all the time, they have co-ordinated dances and lyrics, and once, to prevent me from leaving to drive back to law school, instead of taking out a part of my car's engine, they all decided to climb into my trunk. YOU try getting three boys and a girl out of your car trunk. It's hard.

Anyways. I used to say, they would never. Now I say, as far as I know, and I don't believe they would. I still believe I am right. I would put money on it. I can't express how strong my faith in them, my sister, and my brother in law is. But. But. They have their own laptops, their own cell phones, and their own rooms. There is always a but.

I see my sister again soon. I plan on dragging all this information out with her, just so she knows. Let's face it--my sister is a cool mom, but I am waaaay closer in age. I pick up on these things, most likely faster (mind you , I would never underestimate mother's intuition. My mother is uncanny. I just mean latest trends).

In the meantime...I feel a research project coming on. While I still have all this free Westlaw access.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Six Weeks

Six more weeks. Six more weeks.

The end of law school, and my life as a student (which has taken up a considerable chunk of my almost 25 years) looks much closer from this side of spring break.

I am so relieved that I can have a life soon, a career, not just writing student in the application box, and not having to tell people at parties or functions that I am a student...yes, school is hard...yes, I study quite a bit...yes, I know where that street is, that bar, that restaurant, etc. No more.

Perhaps the biggest improvement though is the fact I won't have to be away from Vor for four to five days a week now. We won't have to have a weekly readjustment to seeing each other, talking to each other, hell even sleeping next to each other. We've been learning and unlearning our habits all year, and it's taking a toll. At least for me.

However, the to-do list for the next six weeks stretches as far as the eye can see. That's a bit intimidating.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mail That Sucker

The bar application.

It's done. Amen. Just need to collect my last letter, notarize it, and send that puppy in.

I feel like the elephant on my back is slowly shifting its weight off me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Your Focus, Stupid

My mother gives my family lots of laughs. She will walk around the house, asking where her glasses are, when they are on top of her head. She's put her sneakers in the refrigerator, and the milk in the freezer. In not-so-humorous moments, she has left her credit card, wallet, and purse in various locations.

Is it a memory problem, or a focus problem?

Seeing as I have started doing this as well, Vor and I are leaning towards a focus problem.

Yesterday, I was taking out the trash. I had my wallet in my hand, and it slipped from my hand into the garbage. Just as I thought, "Oh, need to get that!" the phone rang. And I was distracted. My focus was gone, and alas, my wallet went out with the garbage.

I didn't even remember this little incident until today, when I got in my car to go to work. No wallet. It's in a garbage dump somewhere. Yes, everything is canceled, so don't bother trying to go sift through garbage to get a free ride.

I do this all the time, with my shoes, my coat, my car keys, my glasses. This is the first time it's ever been something really bad.

So, I need to find ways to improve my focus on mundane tasks. I don't know if that means something as simple as saying to myself every time I set something down, "Self, you put X down here," until it becomes routine to think it, or whether it means going out and buying a book to see what my problem is and get help.

Or maybe this is something that will lessen in severity once I stop living in two places, finish law school, and take the bar. I just don't think it will ever go away unless I do something about it.

I don't know right now.

All I know is that I will be spending the day getting a new driver's license, because you know that was in my wallet, too.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Earth to Mars

Veronica. Mars.

I just can't stop watching. Too bad spring break is almost over.

Just how much do you think you can get away with in a law school class anyways?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bar None, But Perhaps Me

The bar application.

It has me in utter knots. I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Not because I've ever done anything bad, or ever even gotten a speeding ticket, but just because it's huge, it's important, and I excel at Catholic guilt.

What if I forget every place I lived? I type an address wrong? Where the hell did I live that month I lived in Ireland? I have blocked a speeding ticket from my memory? What if I really am a criminal, and I just don't remember because I was sleepwalking, all through the crime, sentencing, and jail time? Okay, not so worried about that last one.

What if they just don't want me?

I can study for this test. I can take it, and pass it. The application process... I just don't know. I don't have control the whole way through. I can only do my part.

It has to be enough.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Ahhhhhhhhhh.

It's March, finally, it's spring break, FINALLY, and it's above 30 degrees...finally.

What is it about being above 60 degrees for the first time that makes me break out the mop and Windex?

So yes, I am spring cleaning, watching Veronica Mars, and cooking today, instead of what I should be doing (completing my bar application, outlining for my final semester of exams, working on my litigation classes). Much more fun, no?

Of course, my spring my cleaning has got nothing on that of the Crazy Lady's. Alas.

Oh, and I just got back from Virginia. Tell you more later.

The Windex is just calling my name.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Serenity, Part 2

Now that I've described to you the place where I was most serene and did some navel gazing on that subject, I feel the need to point something else out.

That is also the scene of one of the top 20 most anxiety-inducing moments of my life.

See, that area that I told you about in the photo...well, I would sit there often during my senior year, when I was writing my senior thesis. It was a great place to read Virgina Woolf and contemplate moments of being. But such a topic, once you wrap your head around it, tends to swallow you, and you lose track of time.

And then the entrance gates to the cemetery shut. And you think, no big deal, I'll just run to the exit gates. Plenty of time. But since you were there reading, not running, you don't have your running shoes, and you don't make it in time.

So, you are locked in the cemetery. A cemetery with very high gates all around it. There is no way to climb over those suckers.

Did you bring your cell phone with you? Of course not! You don't want to be interrupted while you are contemplating Virginia Woolf! In a cemetery!

Scrolling through your brain, like one of those neon-lit electronic banners in Piccadilly, is this: YOU ARE SPENDING THE NIGHT ALONE IN THE CEMETERY WITH NOTHING BUT A VIRGINIA WOOLF NOVEL.

So, you do what any self-respecting college senior who has never broken out of anything before would do. Try and fail to climb the fence. Try and fail to climb a tree to jump off of to get over the fence.

Then, get smart, run to the nearest empty trash can, kick it over, and with the aid of the tree, the fence, and the trash can, make it over the fence. Flee for your life back to your apartment.

Go over to the management office inside the cemetery the next day, apologize for knocking the garbage can over, offer to do a little community service, and have them laugh you out of the office, because, lady, don't you know that all you had to do was come knock on our door? There's always someone here.

I'm famous at that cemetery. I'm not sure that's a statement I ever wanted to make in my life.

Oh, and remind me to tell you about the time I had to vault into my apartment through the window.

Serenity

Surfing through On-Demand led me to discover that I can rent Serenity... you know, the spin off movie from Firefly (are you kidding me that you don't know what I'm talking about? It was a great series and an awesome movie. sheesh. go away. go watch.) and I said to myself:

Self, you can rent Serenity.

Now, there's an odd statement.

Can someone please show me how to rent serenity? Or better yet, buy it?

*Beware: Navel Gazing Below*

I started thinking--when is the last time I felt serene? I know the last time I felt happy, overjoyed, excited, thrilled, content, relaxed (I'm going with positive emotions here, serenity seems positive to me, though I suppose it depends on context).

But the last time I felt serene? That takes some thinking.

Now, I am sure there are times when I have been serene, but not been consciously aware of it. I'm pretty sure those times occur at two o'clock in the morning when I roll over and see Vor sleeping next to me, smile, and drift off again. But obviously, I am not awake long enough to really consider my emotional state.

So, better question: when is the last time I felt serene, and was aware of it?

Oh, I know the answer to this one. There is a cemetery in Buffalo (yeah, insert joke here) called Forest Lawn Cemetery. Because it was next door (I kid you not) to where I lived, and because I lived in the city, it was the safest place to go running.

Ah, those were the days--when I could go for a run without having my knees turn black and blue. Anyways.

I would plug in my iPod, set it to Enya, because it somehow seemed wrong to blast Seether or Distrubed, or someother hard music in a resting place, and go for a run. Now, lest you think I am morbid, tons of people use this place to run. Because it's safe, and pretty. As long as you are respectful to any funerals by turning around and going the other way, the management was fine with it. It's also huge, big enough to get lost in easily, and considered a park with magnificent art. Oh, and there's a president burried there.

It was utterly relaxing. Quiet (no jokes, seriously, I've heard them all) and peaceful, beautiful, and well, serene.

There was one spot in particular where I would go sit after my run:



You can hardly see it, but across from this monument, in the area all shaded by trees, is a set of long, old, slate steps that lead down to the water. They're bordered on each side by ivy and a small stone fence. I would sit on the bottom, and gaze up at the monument, and see the water from the fountain behind it rocketing up to the sky, catching the sun's colors. Think about life, poetry, family, love, and Virginia Woolf.

Serenity.


Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand, I don't care, I'm still free, You can't take the sky from me...Since I found Serenity.
(Firefly theme song, written by Joss Whedon)

Plague City, Indiana

Plus side: the fever is gone. All that is left over is sheer exhaustion, deep chest coughing, and a complete lack of interest in food.

Minus side: somehow, in the world of law school, this makes me eligible to return to class. So alas, after a weekend where I barely saw my husband (because I spent literally all of my weekend in bed) I am gone. Again. Hacking a lung out with all the other sick and recovering law students.

Perhaps it's best I'm down here.

You know, in the interests of containing this plague to one city.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fever!

...in the morning, fever all through the night...


Oh, what a lovely way to burn.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Multiple Choice Was Never So Easy

I politely asked the law school to release me from its evil grasp so that I could go home and get some sleep.

The law school:

A. Did not oblige, and kept me there past 11:30 the next night;
B. Did not oblige, and kept me awake past 2:00 a.m. the following night;
C. Laughed at my misery, and had a professor humiliate (humiliate!) me in class;
D. Finally released me, kicking me in the butt on the way out the door with a fever;
E. All of the above.

I am fairly certain you don't even need to guess.

Poor Vor. He has deal with a sick weekend wife, instead of just a weekend wife! Oh, and my sister in law is staying with us. And she is hilarious, which makes me happy.

I might be rambling.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sixteen and a Half Candles

A few days ago, my oldest niece, Prada sent me a text message, all in caps.

"I GOT MY PERMIT!!!!!"

So she is driving. A car. Around the streets. We talked, and she is giddy, and and she loves driving the mini van, but not the car, because she feels more like the winning party in the mini van. And of course, she wants to drive me little green car. And of course, I will let her, because I swear, I would give her and all her brothers and cousins anything they want.

***********************************************************************

I have three images in my head that I cannot shake as I write this.

One is about two weeks after Prada was born. I was 8, and there is a picture of me holding her. I am smiling happily but uncertainly at the camera, having never held anything so small and fragile before. She has a giant mop of dark black hair, and her head is nestled into my elbow. She is looking up at me, and her mouth is making that tiny "o" that baby mouths make when they yawn.

Fast forward a few months, and I distinctly remember sneaking into the room where she was waking up from a nap. I reached into the crib and took her out. I took a sticker out of my pocket that said "Got Milk?" and stuck it on her forehead, and then took her to my sister for breastfeeding. I don't know if I've ever seen my sister laugh so hard.

A few years later, Prada is going through my clothes, looking for things she could fit into, jewlery she could claim, and trying to walk around in my pairs of heels. Okay, fine, she shuffled around in them.

I don't understand how this tiny person became taller than me and started driving.

Dear Law School

Dear Law School,

While I appreciate the fact that you are a beautiful limestone building, with 4-story floor to ceiling windows, set partially in a nice wooded area...

I don't really want to be in you from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

See, I've done this for two days in a row now, and I've had enough. I refuse to stay past 6:00 p.m. tonight.

...which means I'll be with you until at least 10:00 p.m. Crap. At least you provide bean bag chairs in the library.

Love, Graced

Monday, March 2, 2009

Shades of Gray

I am 24 years old.

I will be 25 in less than six months.

That's still pretty young, right? RIGHT?

Why did I find a gray hair this morning? And why is there another one right next to it?

I mean... I don't really care. Seriously. If I'm going to go silvery-gray, fine. Maybe I'll dye it, maybe not. Not really a big thing for me.

I'm just wondering if this means I am too stressed out, or I need to take better care of myself.

That's what makes me worry.