Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Announcements of the television and matrimonial sorts.

I found out yesterday that Joan of Arcadia has been cancelled. I am DEVASTATED. I love that show. Sadly, I'm sure that I'm not in the target demographic but I still love it and I cannot believe that CBS would take it away from me. This is the first time I've ever had a show that I really loved cancelled before its time had come. Sigh.

Congrats to my favorite mildly intelligent monkey, CDog, who got engaged this weekend. Congratulations on finding a gal who not only tolerates you but manages to keep you in line! She's a total sweetheart and clearly way too good for you. Love you both. (P.S. Do you realize that you have now left me without a back-up? I think I found another one though. But still. OUR SONS WERE GOING TO PLAY HOCKEY. You've gone and thrown it all away.)

Ah. One more wedding for me to attend stag, fielding questions that have no good answers, such as, "So, what are your plans after law school?" [nail my diploma to my cardboard box wall, or burn it for warmth] "Anyone special in your life?" [if by special you mean the bad kisser who leered at me, made a lewd comment, who I then took home and made out with on my couch and thankfully never saw again? then yes, I have several very special people in my life] and "How does it feel to know that you will die alone surrounded by cats and crusty cans of baked beans?" [I've already drawn up my will - the cardboard box will be left to the cats]. Sweet.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Holiday weekend!

Yesterday afternoon I emailed my friends an impassioned plea to hang out "and do something chill, something that doesn't require mascara." BestFriendandRoommate, and two other friends, headed down with me to the sports bar to watch The Red Sox - Yankees game. (Ouch). True to my word, I had on no makeup, I was wearing dark baggy jeans, old running sneakers, a black printed T-shirt, and my Red Sox hat. It wasn't pretty. Friends joined us, more friends joined us, and we decided that after the Sox had their asses handed to them, we should play pool. We played a game and put a quarter on the table.

The individuals who put their quarter down for the two spots in front of our quarter never showed up. We were eyeing the table, figuring we'd give them 5 minutes, and then just take the table back. During our allotted wait time, two young men came in and started playing pool. I was indignant. They saw the quarters, discussed them, and disregarded them. I can't say I blame them - no one was using the table - but ahem? I wanted to play pool. After they finished up their first game, they were gearing up for a second game. I jumped off my bar stool and strolled over to them. "Hey guys, do you mind if we cut in for a game?" I slid in front of him, blocking him from the coin slots. "You see, we're quarter #5. Quarters 3 and 4 never showed." The young man, who was quite attractive, smiled and said, "Of course. Do you mind if we play you? Doubles? We'll pay."

And without mascara, that's how I ended up with yet another man's phone number in my cell phone. S, as he later introduced himself, is a teacher from the Midwest who relocated out here just to get away for a few years. He's moving back in July. His friend T was taller, slender, with glasses, and a total sweetheart. He is an auditor, visiting from the Midwest and is in town for the weekend. My friend C hit it off with S, and I was having a good time chatting with T. As per our bet on the second game of pool, T will now be paying off my student loans. I invited them to our house for a BBQ this weekend, if we can find pleasant weather, and so I'm the one who ended up with S's phone number. Since I do a lot of the social gathering, it is guaranteed that I'll get C and S in the same place again, which does avoid the typical awkward number-swapping phase between two people. Oooh, I'm a matchmaker!

And still haven't actually STUDIED for the bar. It's more like an awareness of it than it is preparation. I'm now two days behind on the VERY CLEAR AND PRECISE bar review homework schedule.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Loan Consolidation Hell Part II

I underestimated the total amount of my loans, by the way. Oh yes, THERE ARE MORE. It has become clear to me that I will never lead a life as decadent as the life I led in law school.

If I don't get LRAP funding, I will be hanging my prestigious law school degree on the wall of a cardboard box. I would live in my car, but that's about to die too.

I've spent all morning trying to figure out what information this federal direct loan consolidation app was asking of me. I don't know the servicer, lender, or guaranty agency of every single loan (and don't forget that every year is technically a new federal loan!) and hell if I can figure out where my undergrad loans are. It's my own goddamn fault, but this is really confusing. I finally gave up, again, and I think I'm going to heed Allison's advice. I'm a firm believer in the do-it-yourself method - if I can apply to consolidate my federal loans directly with the federal government, I'm reluctant to get a middleman agency involved because I believe that it somehow creates more paperwork and will cost me more money. I don't know whether this is actually true or not. I also used to do my own taxes, on paper, until two years ago when I broke down and got TurboTax because I couldn't believe that I actually qualified for the tax breaks that I had calculated for myself (but it was true). Slowly I'm starting to realize that my aspirations of tackling government bureaucracy by myself are silly, and to hell with it. I need help with this.

Anyway, I consolidated my undergrad loans with a small local organization back in the day, and since they currently have that loan, I think they will let me consolidate my law school loans with them too. I emailed them a "Please help me!" email and asked if they would be able to sit down with me and sort through all of this. They've been pretty helpful thus far, I hope they will help me. This whole thing has me so stressed out that I am incapable of doing anything right this second. I had to take out some Whiskeytown tunes, drink some coffee, and blog. These are my coping mechanisms.

This has taken up so much of my time and energy this morning that I have completely disregarded BarBri's strict bar studying plan method thing and have done nothing. This bar studying stuff is OVERWHELMING. So much info, so few brain cells willing to accept new information. As a matter of fact, yesterday after my bar review course ended around 5 pm, I went home, cooked dinner, witnessed Wade Miller get shelled and watched m fantasy team plummet, swept the upstairs, stairs, downstairs, cleaned the entire bathroom, washed the bathmats, washed the dishes, sliced some celery and watermelon for today's snacks, watched O.C. reruns, wrote in my journal, and read some Gabriel Garcia Marquez before lights out at 10:30 p.m. Alarm went off at 6 a.m., I finally got up around 7:30 to go to the gym. Look at how much I can get done when I'm trying desperately NOT to study for the bar!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ooops. Hi Allison!

So I deleted some loan consolidation comments, believing they were spam, and viola! they were actually from my old friend Allison. I owe her an apology for thinking she was a psycho spammer. Love ya!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Loan Consolidation Hell

Total amount owed? HEART ATTACK. $150k. For REAL.

Filling out the federal loan consolidation paperwork is incredibly difficult. The feds have a database of what loans you currently have outstanding, but you have to enter each of your loans into the consolidation app separately, and they want things like the lender, guaranty agency, account number, and all that jazz. Hello? YOU ARE THE ONE THAT LOANED ME THE MONEY. Shouldn't YOU have this info? Damned if I know the amount, lender, guarantor, and account # for each loan. It's taken me over an hour to just give up on this whole thing. I'll have to figure it out another time.

Apparently, one can consolidate loans either 1. while still a student or 2. right before your grace period ends. If you consolidate in the middle of your grace period, you have to start repayment within 60 days, which could actually shorten your grace period. So don't do it.

I give up. Time to watch more MTV Cribs.

Monday, May 23, 2005

A great post over at Stay of Execution: Legal Lies
We in the legal profession don't treat our young very well. We lie to them systematically.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

once upon a cool may evening

We were out on his porch curled on the papasan couch under the quiet heavy night sky.  A small down blanket covered us, our limbs and bodies entwined, the cool breeze blew across our faces from time to time.  We fit together nicely - pieced together against one another without discomfort or awkward angles.  His eyes closed, his face placed gently between my neck and shoulders.  I stroked his thick black hair and wondered why he didn't make my stomach churn like he used to.  Our conversations were easy and comfortable.  Our lips remembered how to kiss.  He was more attractive than I remembered.  "I missed this," he murmured as I lay on top of him, my tongue tracing his neck, his lips.  He didn't miss me.  We spooned, again pieced together effortlessly and comfortably, and he gently kissed my shoulders and the back of my neck, raising goosebumps on my arms, over and over again.  "I had forgotten how soft your skin is," he whispered to me. 
I wasn't overwhelmed with passion.  I just felt like I had returned to normal.  It was easy and comfortable, and in the quiet night with our bodies curled up against each other, I knew what it meant to feel truly content. 
"I don't know what role he plays in my life.  It was fine - we were comfortable, I enjoy his company.  We're good companions for one another.  I just don't know, if it were ever possible, if we could date.  We never had the chance to.  So why is he in my life?  What role does he play in my life?"
"He's your lover," she said thoughtfully.
I recoiled from the word at first.  "Um, well,"  I stammered.  My mind tried to grasp this concept.
"Yeah, I guess you're right.  A lover."

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What I Learned in Law School - 1L Year

1. I am not nearly as smart as I thought I was. Being smart in a class of smart people isn't easy. It was instructive to heed our professors' advice to keep in mind that every single one of us had always been the smartest at what we had done before, and now we were all assembled in the same law school class. To encourage us to keep our perspective on what we were doing, one professor joked, "What did the snail say as he rode on the turtle's back?"


2. There's nothing shameful about hitting the curve. Or, for that matter, hitting well below the curve...

3. ...Because law school grades demonstrate nothing about how hard you worked or how well you knew the material.

4. The Socratic method will shatter you.

5. But that's not always such a bad thing.

6. How well you do in law school will tell you nothing about how well you will do in the practice of law.

7. Law school is like a curio cabinet of characters.

8. My professors knew when we were playing solitaire, minesweeper, or were reading from a commercial outline in class.

9. If done correctly, 1L year will be the most rewarding.

10. The best decision I made in law school was to MAKE FRIENDS, and make friends early. You're going to be staring at these people for 3 years, might as well make a good time out of it.

11. How to think like a lawyer.

12. How to drink like a lawyer.

13. Thinking like a lawyer will only serve to terrorize your friends and family for the first few months. Keep it in check.

14. Examples & Explanations on everything. Get it.

15. The Supreme Court's sole reason for being is to make people ask, "What the...?"

16. The law is a jealous mistress.

17. You will love it as much as you hate it.

18. Saying no to some social events is ok. Saying no to all social events in favor of sitting in the library, color-coding your tabs and highlighters, reading Wright & Miller to supplement your Civ Pro prowess will not be nearly as rewarding a life experience.

19. It is essential to keep in mind what drove you to attend law school in the first place. If you don't know, that's ok too. Just make sure you take time to reflect on what skills you have, what skills you want, and what you value in your present and future experiences. People? Technology? Economics? Policy? A particular lifestyle? Let those help you make your decisions.

20. You will be surrounded by people with diverse life experiences. Take advantage of that.

21. 1L summer will be the time to get a new experience without completely committing to something. Try criminal work, or policy work, or international work. (I, of course, would encourage EVERYONE to do public defender or capital trial work their first summer. If you like it, you'll love it. If you don't like it, your world view will be so much the better for it).

22. To be continued.

What did you learn your 1L year?

Monday, May 16, 2005

director's cut

It's been a busy few weeks, and the next coming will be just as busy. The laughter, the tears, the beer. Here's a brief clip of what I've been doing in the past few weeks. These clips are not necessarily representative of how my time has been spent or all that has elapsed, but this blog has never purported to be an accurate account of anything.

Scene 1: Party sponsored by myself and my roommates. WotL stands against a doorway, beer in hand, in the midst of switching groups in which to mingle.
D: "By the way, I read your blog."
WotL: [cringe] "Really?"
D: "Yeah, XX told me that you wrote about law school people, so I read it. You didn't write anything about me. I read the whole site and you didn't mention me at all."
W: "I have a rule against writing about people. I only write about me."
D: "You wrote about T."
W: [pause] "Yeah, I warned him I was going to blog about him. Otherwise, it's just too hard to write about the people you know, because then everyone reads it, and you have to work really really hard to make everyone look good so you don't piss anyone off."
D: "You're saying that we're such assholes that you have to try that hard to make us look good?"

Scene 2: Same party as above. This time, sittin in a pink armchair. Boy #1 perches on the arm of the couch next to me. WotL just found out that Boy #1 has a long-term girlfriend. Boy #1 tells another person, "She's not a girlfriend, she's a situation."
Dialogue summary:
W: "Who's coming to visit you this weekend?"
B1: "Oh, you know, my family, my siblings."

Scene 3: Another party, several days later.
B1: "Yeah, XX came with me. She's in the bathroom right now."
W: "Oh yeah? XX is your sister?"
B1: "Um, XX is my, uh, ex-girlfriend."
W: "Oh really?" don't think I won't nail your ass to the wall, fucker. "Wow, you guys must be really close, you know, to have an ex come all the way to town to visit."
B1: "Well, you know, we get together, and break up, and get back together. She's kind of my ex, slash situation thing."
W: "I see."
XX returns from the bathroom, WotL commences making friends. We hit it off immediately.
She says, "Wow! I love this girl. She's super cool. She's totally the type of person you would have hung out with [in undergrad]."
B1, looking at me: "She's the type of person I would have hung out with in law school, too."

Scene 4: A small gathering. We are all raising our glasses in a champagne toast, standing in a circle. Drunk friend stands in the middle, raising the bottle of champagne from which he will totally swig.

Scene 5: Three roommates of two years in a large group hug in our hallway, crying; it is the last moment that we will all share as housemates.

Here's a shoutout to you, D: Happy birthday, you ignorant slut. You are forever immortalized here on the notorious blog of WomanOfTheLaw. I love you more than you know.

Monday, May 09, 2005

me me me

Since we're debating my flaws, I'll take this opportunity to talk more
about myself. Whoot.

Despite any contrary indications on my blog, I have lots of love to share.
I love, lots and lots and lots. I love everyone. I force other people
to be loved by me. (Ask my law school friends. I forced them all to be
my friends). I love to see other people happy, and I love it when other
people share their experiences with me. I love getting people together
for a wonderfully rewarding social interaction and catch heat sometimes
because I always go home early. But hey, as long as everyone is having a
good time, then my work is done. I almost never say things about people
that I wouldn't be prepared to discuss with them directly. I remove
myself from conversations in which other people (people I know, anyway)
are being disparaged because it makes me physically uncomfortable. (I'm
ok with talking shit about public figures). I love. I love to love. I
want everyone to be happy and be loved and to love others. As trite as
all this sounds, this is how I go about my day.

I love people so much that I fear that people do not love me nearly as
much as I love them. Which is kind of a harsh way to go about my day,
really. I'm worried that all this luvvvvvv is what will drive me out of
indigent defense work. I'm worried that I'll love some clients too much
(not in that way) and they won't give two shits about what I do or think;
I'm worried that I'll care too much and just see defeat, time and time
again; I'm worried that there will be clients that I won't like very much
at all, and that I'll feel guilty about it. I'm worried that I'll care so
much about the people and problems in the world, that I'll feel too
helpless to do anything, and one day I'll just stop caring all together.

My luvvvvv doesn't generally extend to kissing strangers. As a matter of
fact, I have (romantically) kissed one person since the start of the New
Year. In the past 12 months, I've only actually dated one person. Kind
of shitty, isn't it? To have so few meaningful and worthwhile
interactions? To live a life devoid of such basic human affection? I say
it's because of law school, and I'm too busy, blah blah blah, and that's
true. But there's a large part of me always thinking, Something is
critically wrong with this.

As for strangers - well, I do love meeting new people. There are few
things in life that get me as excited as getting to know new people does.
I thrive on it! You might think that I'd do well in large group social
situations, but actually I don't. I'm terrible at it and generally don't
like it. I'm not sure why this is. I think a large part of it is that I
assume that no one there is particularly interested in what I have to say.
Frankly, I don't have very interesting things to say. And I fear that
people always tend to mold into cliques in which I'm not welcome. But I
love figuring out what makes other people genuinely excited and happy, and
I think I'm good at it. I've had tremendous luck so far identifying
genuinely interesting individuals. I'm particularly going to miss this
law school crew. It's a group of characters like you've never seen
before, but I am bursting with love for all of them. Our separation is
going to be quite wounding to me.

So that's what I have to say about that.

White supremacists clash with Holocaust observance in Boston
And Mitt Romney told them that he doesn't like their type and wants them to go back to where they came from. This is irony, right?

Insert witty public defender remark here

Chicken ticketed for crossing the road

Saturday, May 07, 2005

boys boys boys

Am I really that scary? I think I'm very warm and fuzzy. Maybe just delusional?

I'm still working on Boy #1 - the one in which I'm actually, and very much, interested. How do I let a boy know that I'm interested? How do I know if he is interested? Or how do I at least know that HE knows I'm interested? We're tentatively scheduled to meet up for a beer after his exams are over. Positive indication, or just another sign of general male ignorance in regards to the affections of a woman?

study music

The Killers "Mr. Brightside." Over and over and over and over again.
Joseph Arthur: "Honey and the Moon."
Zero 7: "In the Waiting Line" - acoustic live from AOL Sessions
Whiskeytown's 'Faithless Street' album
Uncle Tupelo's 'Anodyne' and 'No Depression' albums

My week at a glance

Juries are racist, and so is the Supreme Court.

31 pages of grammatically incorrect and hardly intelligible blather about jury discrimination does not a paper make.

You will meet an incredibly, incredibly hot & drunk undergrad.

You will see two very famous music artists perform.

The boy that you like will not come to your BBQ.

But you will run into him the next day, and he will give you an acceptable excuse, and be appropriately contrite. He will walk you towards your destination.

And on your way home from running into that boy, a boy on the street will hit on you.

And you will bring him home.

And shamelessly use him for his MLB TV.

And make out with him on your couch while your roommates are studying for their finals. Dirrrrrty.

You will nudge Boy #2 away from you because "Kevin Millar is batting."

You will also tell Boy #2 that he has no game. Which is very true.

You will send Boy #2 away but continue to watch his MLB TV.

You will live in absolute denial of the fact that you have a paper and an exam within the next 5 days, at which point you are absolutely no longer a law student. Which you won't have time to think about because you have more job stuff to take care of immediately after graduation.

Monday, May 02, 2005

an email exchange, demonstrating that yes indeed, my friends are much cooler than I am...

Backstory: T has bizarre eating habits. One thing that he used to eat consistently was wings. So he would regularly harass me to have wings with him, and I would occasionally submit to doing so. On Valentine's Day, he offered to take me to wings and I agreed. What better way to spend a Valentine's Day? Not only did he order us wings (and mock himself thoroughly about what the wings people must think of him, bringing a girl out for wings on V Day), but he even requested the remote control to change the TV to SportsCenter for me. What a darling. Unfortunately, due to food poisoning, T can no longer consume wings (and had to drop out of the wing-eating competition for which he was training). Fortunately, he discovered a wonderful steak and cheese sub place. Apparently it happens to be in a gas station. Realizing that I only have two weeks left in which to enjoy his company, I decided I'd preempt his cheesesteak nagging.

{Fri} Email to T: Cheesesteak date? How about Monday evening?

{Fri} T: Definitely cheesesteaks on Monday. Wings on Valentines, cheesesteaks from a gas station....I know how to treat a lady. We can discuss it this afternoon over pork.

{Fri, over pork} W: I'm totally blogging that.

Today, 9:02 am, T: [edited] Pick you up around 6?

W: {10:34 am} Yes pick me up at 6 pm. Make sure you call [xx] as well though. Are we eating at the gas station? Frankly, I'm up for doing that. If not, let me know so I can clear some space in my living room to eat.

T: {11:24 am} No, this isnt a fancy sit-down gas station. We'll take our sandwiches and get out of there. We can eat at my place if you want. I have all the coke and potato chips we'll need over there.

W: {11:16} And here I thought you were trying to be romantic. Little did I know you were taking me to a take-out gas station. Phooey.

[intermediate email from me to several friends, gloating over my fantasy baseball prowess. this list included T]

T: {11:18} Look I've got a final in less than 24 hours...I don't have time for all of these frivolous emails.

T: {2:24} I talked to [xx] and he's in. We'll be over at 6. One thing I should have
mentioned is that while the sandwiches are being made, I read Playboy. I hope this isnt an issue with you.
ps-I miscalculated; It turns out that I do have time for frivolous emails