Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Secrets of the Universe?

Ever feel like you’re on the verge of a great discovery and have just one more clue to find before the secrets of the universe will be revealed? I feel like I am on the journey – so close, and yet, so far. There have been so many changes this year with the birth of our second child, the emerging of our son from a toddler to a little boy, and me going back to school. The challenges and joys of two children are greater than I ever imagined. For me, kids are like the something I never knew I needed, but did. They keep me balanced and sane, despite the insanity they create. They require that of me, to some degree. The challenges all of this has caused for my wife are ten-fold that of what I experience, but I will leave that for her to process in her own way and time.

I’ve just spent a wonderful Holiday with my family, and the days surrounding it with two good friends I have known since high school. In fact, one I have known since the 6th grade. In most ways, no one knows me better, or is more accepting of me than these two beautiful women. We have, at times, been separated for months and even years, and yet, each time we come together, the years fall away and we are simply ourselves comfortable in the bond forged years ago. After spending time with them, I always feel more grounded and sure of who I am and where I am going. In being accountable to those who have known me for so long, I am forced to be as true to myself as possible. Especially as the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on my decisions and actions of the past and wondering if I am where I am supposed to be. We all have dreams in high school of how our lives will turn out, and few of them tend to come true exactly, and in many ways, this really is best. I am happy to know I can look back, and at each juncture know that I did what I thought was best for me at the time. It doesn’t mean all has turned out as I’d hoped, or that I made no mistakes, but I can say, I have been true, have not sold out, and not compromised values that turned me into someone who I am not. That is a type of success, for certain.

I never thought I’d be going back to school, particularly law school, at almost 40. I never thought Id’ be accumulating the debt I am in order to do so, and yet, here I am. That is a little frightening, and yet overall, as for going to law school, I still think, “How cool is this?” It feels right, and I have to trust it is.

Still, attending law school also forces me to confront some big issues. It is such an “academic/intellectual” field that I find myself more and more drawn towards the arts for balance. I look towards my lifelong aspiration of being a writer. I’ve done some writing, completed a novel, a screenplay and nearly completed another novel, yet I am not published (thanks to the freak publisher I got involved with who did not fulfill my contract – probably a good thing, in retrospect). That is still something I want to do – to be a well-known, published author. Maybe I will be the next John Grisham :) More and more, the theme of my life that is emerging is balance. It is about balancing the elements that I know are important, those that I want to be important, and those that I still need to discover are important. Maybe that is what we are all doing.
What a wonderful Christmas we had! The family got up early to rush to the living room to see what Santa had left for us. At our house, Santa leaves one gift for each child, and fills everyone's stockings with goodies both edible and non-edible. What fun to have Christmas with a 3-year old! Such pure joy! The first thing he saw was the colorful present Santa left for his baby sister. He pulled it out from under the tree and said, "This is for you!" She barely woke up to acknowledge that something was happening, and then the boy was on to his remote-control car and bike. (Santa left him two presents this year, since they were thematically related.) He actually got tired of opening presents after opening his stocking presents and about two others, and said it was OK to wait until later to open the others. We were shocked, but happy to be able to go at a slow pace and just enjoy the toys that had been opened. The last present was opened 27 hours after the first. Not bad :) We enjoyed visits and meals with relatives, opened more presents for the kids, and had a packed, but good, day. The day after Christmas was also spent visiting with family and friends, enjoying good food, including the best pizza in town (Thank you, B.), and playing with new toys. Great times - great days!

I am now at work for 1 day and then have the rest of the week off! Today I've been enjoying one of my Christmas presents, Melissa Etheridge's Greatest Hits/The Road Less Traveled . I absolutely LOVE it. No denying it, Melissa Rocks! I recently found out that my best friend's husband has a thing for Melissa. After seeing her recent video, "Refugee", which can be viewed from her webpage, I can't even imagine anyone, gay/straight/male/female NOT having a thing for her :) It is my desire to be that hot at 44. Wow. (Note: The video is not overtly sexual in any way, it is Melissa's beauty, movements, voice and energy of the music that make her really irrestistable.)

I believe I mentioned I'd be sharing some good tequila with an old friend (or was that old tequila with a good friend?). I did. The 1800 Anejo she brought over was amazing. So amazing, in fact, that we were "forced" to drink too much of it. *grin* Tequila has always been somewhat of a mysterious temptation for me, and I've located a great site with lots of tequila facts and myths. Fun to browse for a while. Good tequila, good friends, good food. Great night. Merry Christmas to us!

There may be another post happening today, but for now, lunch!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Just two more short hours at work and I’m outta here! I can’t believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve! This season, not to mention this year, has flown by! I’m looking forward to Christmas morning with the kids. Our boy is going to be so excited! My partner will be excited, too! As I mentioned previously, she’s getting a kick-ass Christmas present…plus a few other decent ones :) The baby girl? Well, she’ll probably be overwhelmed, as the Boy was on his first Christmas, but she’ll enjoy the activity and eating Christmas paper – yum!

Tonight I’ll be having my “end of the semester” drink(s) with the previously mentioned friend from high school who is also a student again. She’s bringing over “the good tequila”. *grin* I’ll have to remember to go easy – got kids and a wife to think of, plus don’t want to feel crappy tomorrow. Still, a toast to our accomplishments and in celebration of the Holidays will be good.

Odd how alcohol and the Holidays seem to go together. I was talking with a co-worker this morning and he said that Christmas is definitely the biggest alcohol-buying time of the year for his family. He’s not very fond of the family members who imbibe the most, so will probably not be drinking. Makes me wonder why people drink so much this time of year – to celebrate, to forget, to just get through? For some, I think the act of sharing a drink with friends and family truly is a ritual, if not exactly religious, as least almost sacred. For others, it may be a way of tolerating annoying relatives. For hopefully a minority, it’s just another excuse to get drunk. Such extremes. Guess everyone has their own reasons. I’ll be hoping people remember to stay safe, drink responsibly and stay off the road!

So, as we eagerly await our visit from St. Nick, we’ll be spending time with family and friends, and remembering what life was like before law school! At least 2 hours at the end of the day with the kids asleep now seems like a luxury! Just another fringe benefit of going back to school…

Oh - check out the great digital scrapbook pages my wife has done in just the short week since her birthday! What fun!


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Wahoo! I made it through my first semester of law school! Naturally, everyone keeps asking, “How did you do?” and the real answer is that I won’t know until...well, I don’t know when. I’m assuming mid-January or so. There’s nothing I can do about it now, so no point in worrying about it. I felt good about my performance and don’t think there is anything I wish I’d done differently given my current information. Guess if I really blew my finals, I’ll have to rethink that statement - and my study methods!

Sometimes, I am still amazed that I am in law school. I like that feeling of wonder and respect for where I am in my life. For so many years it would have been much easier to go back to school, but I really did not have the interest or motivation. Now that I have the interest, and am perhaps motivated by the fact that I have a family and that I am rapidly approaching 40, it is less convenient than ever before. Ironic, isn’t it? Things come together, or fall apart, for a reason, and at the time that is meant to be, so I don’t question it too much. It’s kind of like being on a ride and just enjoying it, but at the same time, I know to a great extent, I am in charge of the ride and my ultimate destination. OR – MAYBE I AM NOT IN CHARGE OF MY ULTIMATE DESTINATION. What’s really at work here, free will – or something else? I don’t know, and it doesn’t even matter much right now. (Hmmm....is that a symptom of a brain-dead law student?)

I am enjoying spending time with my family. I just had three days off with no work and no school, then a “snow day” stuck at home, making it 4 days in a row that I was home with my wife and kids. It was so nice to have both kids asleep by 8:30 last night and to be at home. We watched a movie, mostly uninterrupted, other than my partner having to nurse the baby back to sleep a couple times. Poor baby is getting in her two top teeth and it seems to be quite painful. I am happy that as adults we do not remember the pain!

I have a feeling I will be at a bit of a loss trying to slow my life down after the Holidays. Right now, it is already slowing down, but we have the excitement of Christmas approaching, and needing to get last minute things done, wrapping, all of that stuff. Next week, I have most of the week off; we’ll do family stuff with my partner’s family, then back to work for two weeks before school starts again. I know the time will fly by...but still...anticipate the “let down” as I do not have to be “on top of my game.” I admit, that it is even harder work to be at home taking care of two little kids. Perhaps "slowing down" is not the correct term. Maybe mentally slowing down? I have the easy task of going to work and school and only being “mommy” part-time. What is really unfair to my partner is that even though she takes on the brunt of the childrearing responsibilities, I get to be the “fun mom” that the kids want to spend time with. Right now, she’s mostly OK with it, as it is allowing her lots of time to play with her new digital scrapbooking program that she got for her birthday (Happy Birthday, Honey!), but when we are out and about, it’s not that much fun for her when the kids just want me.

I see I am rambling. I will stop here with one last thought, “We made it through the first semester!!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

First final of 1L down, 2 more to go!

Wahoo! We've made it this far. Completed a full semester of law school and seem to have suffered no major damage. Civ Pro final went well, I think. Guess I won't know for sure until next month sometime. At any rate, I had answers that seemed in the realm of correctness and didn't panic, or draw a blank or anything like that. First real test since high school. I went to the Evergreen State College for my undergraduate education - no tests, no grades. Emphasis actually was on learning - we just didn't have to spit the knowledge back out in exam form. I can see there was value in me having to study for the last couple weeks, and outline throughout the semester. I probably would not have solidified my knowledge nearly as well if there had not been a final to prepare for. Hmmm....guess there is something to testing. I'm not saying I'm suddenly an advocate for traditional testing methods, just that I can see there is value on both sides of the debate...or maybe I should say...all around the debate since I'm sure this is more than a two-sided issue.

Contracts Wednesday.

Con Law Thursday.

Then one whole month off with the family! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Little Revelations from a Law Student...

1) I was informed by my wife that the FRCP quiz from the prior post was not particularly funny, though she conceded that maybe it would be to a law student. I am still pretty sure if I went back and took it again, I would be laughing. Again, I've not had enough sleep. Guess it will have to be enough. Civ Pro final is in 3 hours! Bring it on!

2) I was informed by my best friend since high school that we need to get together drink once finals are over. She is also an insane adult returnee to the upper educational system. (I hope I am able to form such eloquent sentences later this evening.) This proves that no matter what age you are, the need to cut loose after finals is still the same.

3) I was informed by a friend/classmate that I am a smartass. I am quite sure the informers of topics #1 & 2 would agree.

4) Same friend/classmate warned of letting my mind drift in the midst of our Contracts final and creating my own hypos containing offer, acceptance and consideration based on the behavior of the women of the L Word. As a generalization, I'd say there are many implied, if not express, offers; acceptance by performance; and as consideration...well, not so sure there are many mutually negotiated exchanges of legal detriments.....therefore, no enforceable contracts. Now, were we to consider Promissory Estoppel, that might be a different matter.

OK, OK, clearly I am tired and am only amusing myself. Though I may slightly amuse at least one other 1L. If so, my work here is done.

I am off! (As, I am sure, all of the aforementioned parties would agree!)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Am I?

OK - I laughed out loud while taking this fun, little quiz. That goes to show you I am WAY too tired to even attempt studying, which is exactly how most of the rest of my day must be spent. Does anyone else hear that sound? It is the sound of hysterical laugher. I'm not sure where it is coming from....

Go ahead all you other law student types, take the FRCP challenge:


You are Rule 8, the most laid back of all the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. While your
forefather in the Federal Rules may have been a
stickler for details and particularity, you
have clearly rebelled by being pleasant and
easy-going. Rule 8 only requires that a
plaintiff provide a short and plain statement
of a claim on which a court can grant relief.
While there is much to be lauded in your
approach, your good nature sometimes gets you
in trouble, and you often have to rely on your
good friend, Rule 56, to bail you out.

Want to know the really funny part? This quiz nailed me!

Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, December 08, 2005

What kind of Seducer are You?

Your Seduction Style: Sweet Talker

Your seduction technique can be summed up with "charm"
You know that if you have the chance to talk to someone...
Well, you won't be talking for long! ;-)

You're great at telling potential lovers what they want to hear.
Partially, because you're a great reflective listener and good at complementing.
The other part of your formula? Focusing your conversation completely on the other person.

Your "sweet talking" ways have taken you far in romance - and in life.
You can finess your way through any difficult situation, with a smile on your face.
Speeding tickets, job interviews... bring it on! You truly live a *charmed life*

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

OK, so I can't be a rock star. Whatever.

So, it's back to the books. Seems that I am not alone in my quest for "other things besides studying." One of my classmates admits to spending the time and energy this past weekend to shop for, wrap and mail presents to an old friend that she's not exchanged gifts with for 2 years. Odd how right before finals that was suddenly a priority. I believe she also said she spent a lot of time cleaning this weekend, too. I'm finding it hugely important to surf the internet, read The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, purchase Post It Flags for marking up my FRCP book, and of course, do on-line shopping (Guess whose partner is getting awesome Christmas and Birthday presents?). Yesterday, while on some semi-legitimate search about lesbian/gay issues, a link on a page I was on said something like: Who Is Openly Gay? How could I not click to find out? Before I knew it, I'd found out that Angelia Jolie is bisexual, as is Drew Barrymore, Ellen's girlfriend, Portia de Rossi used to go out with Ringo Starr's stepdaughter, Francesca Gregorini, who was seen in April "canoodling" with Kate Moenning (Gay or not? It is said that it could have just been a rumor.) What exactly is canoodling?

canoodle: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
...ca·noo·dle (k-ndl)
v. ca·noo·dled, ca·noo·dling, ca·noo·dles Informal
To engage in caressing, petting, or lovemaking. (!)
To win over or convince by cajoling or flattering; wheedle: "his matchless ability to charm, bamboozle, or canoodle most of his political associates" (Timothy Garton Ash.)

Well, who wouldn't want to canoodle with Kate Moennig....or Francesca Gregorini, for that matter? Ah....we do want to believe that one is true, if only to verify that the hottest current lesbian sexual icon (and there have been so many of them) really is gay, or at least bi.

OK, well, as fun as this is, I best get on with my day. I have to find out if my friend was able to remove the mug that was superglued to the mahogany dashboard of her collectible jag...

Monday, December 05, 2005

Leaving to Become a Rock Star.

Hey – law school has been fun but I have decided to become a rock star instead of a lawyer. As I see it, the perks are way better: you can dress any way you’d like, become intoxicated while working and it is not only not frowned upon but actually expected, there are lots of groupies to carry your gear (when was the last time you saw an attorney’s groupies carrying her briefcase? Exactly.) and provide you with uh…”stress relief,” you can party all night and not have to get up early looking good for a client or judge, there are no finals, and no bar exam. As long as you are among the 1 in 1000 that make it big....the money is great. (Weren't those the odds of even getting into law school?) Also, you do not have to go $100K+ in debt to learn how to do it. Yep, I chose the wrong profession. Damn.
It has been pointed out by both my wife and a fellow law student seeking procrastination support that I have not updated my blog on a regular basis since serious prep for finals set in. Never fear – I am still here – and have been involved in a variety of non-school-related activities in order to assure that my own procrastination skills stay sharp! I have NOT spent all this away time studying. It is, after all, the Holiday, and I have shopping to consider. My wife’s Birthday is December 15th (right, Con Law final day). Best part about that is that it will be my last final. The Birthday present part is NOT going back to school after that night until January 16th. Wow – a whole month off! Sounds so decadent!

It will be strange to be back at home for a whole month. We all have our own new routines and ways of doing things, and this will definitely be a departure. My wife is used to being “queen” of the household with me not being around much, but when I am back home at 5:00 every night, I am fairly likely to disrupt her reign. Well, she probably won’t mind me coming home to cook dinner, give the kids their baths and generally make the “out of control” evening time more bearable. Hey – how about this one: instead of Wednesday being study day, it will be family day! There’s a treat. The kids other mom may want to take that opportunity to go out and have some alone time while I stay with the kids….or MAYBE, if I am feeling really brave…I will take the kids out somewhere and she can have the whole house to herself. It will be a good month, but it will go by fast, and then we’ll all have to get used to my school schedule again. Next semester, instead of getting out at 8:30 on two nights, it will be 9:00 instead. 9:00 on a Friday night? Whose bright idea was that? Ugh.

OK, well, as I this is not particularly entertaining, I am going to move along and consider blogging again later. Maybe I can think of some interesting stuff to write. I know that a fellow law student is hoping for some juicy stuff, and had hoped to find it last week in the story behind a deleted comment on this blog, but alas, it was only spam I had deleted. Let me see what I can come up with!

Have a Happy week! (Now get back to studying!)