Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What's more fun than Christmas with kids?

It was a wonderful Christmas at our house! The boy woke up at 6:00 ready to wake up his baby sister and see what Santa had left them.....not to mention the numerous presents from moms. The excitement as they saw their unwrapped Santa presents was priceless. Baby girl grabbed a baby from her swing/cradle/feeding station set up and kept saying "mine, mine." We assured her that Santa had left the babies and the entire center for her. The morning, really, most of the day, was a balance between unwrapping presents fast enough for the boy while going slow enough not to overwhelm the baby. We said the presents would last longer if we went slowly and played with each one a bit before moving on to the next. Grandma, grandpa, plus an aunt and uncle joined us for breakfast and more unwrapping, which took place a couple hours after the initial excitement of Santa having left presents and filling stockings. That was very nice and not the crazy frenzy of the larger family gatherings we usually have.

I must have been quite good this year, as Santa filled my stocking with lots of fun goodies, including 800 THREAD COUNT pillow cases (I am sort of fanatical about soft pillow cases), The Secret and High School Musical DVDs and lots of chocolate! My kids got me a beautiful necklace with picture of them engraved on it, and my wife treated me to Season 3 of The L Word, Season 5 of The Gilmore Girls and a Wacom tablet for doing graphic illustrations on the computer (or digital scrapbook pages reminds Wife, who plans on sharing this gift with me), plus other fun stuff. Not that Christmas is all about the presents, but we do have fun shopping for each other and finding something that is going to bring a special smile each other's face.

The day was filled with playing, visiting and eating lots of homemade treats. We rushed to open the last few presents before going to my sister's house for a big family dinner. Let me say that again - WE RUSHED - and really scrambled to be there on time. My nephew and his family did not rush and were over an hour late - because they were napping - because he'd stayed up drinking all night long. For some reason we waited for him. Ten adults, 3 teen or almost teens, and 4 small children waited for the same person that had delayed their morning celebration. We don't all have a formal sit-down and eat together Christmas dinner, so there was really no need to wait. Well, not my house, not my call. Still, we know our son is not at his best by late afternoon/evening, and especially on such an adrenaline-filled exciting day when he's been up for hours and hours. Delaying dinner and extending our time spent with a large crowd of people only sets him up to fail. So, although he did OK, he and his cousin managed to get reprimanded by various adults several times. The rules at this house are somewhat different than ours, and are different for big kids than little kids, so it is confusing and difficult for him, and therefore, for us, too. It's too bad that Tired Boy is the version of him much of my family sees....silly, almost out-of-control, too exhausted to listen, who comes off as spoiled. He can be so polite and interesting and most people think he is older than he really is. A new study just came out indicating that his lack of focus is a sign of happiness and creativity. (Something like that. I was busy playing with the new castle with the kids when Wife was reading me the story from the newspaper.) OK, we'll take a happy child over a troubled one with more focus any day. The day ended peacefuly back at home with the kids playing with us and their new toys, and drifting off to sleep much more quickly than normal.

For our last minute Christmas-miracle (related to gift-giving), that made our son's day, read my partner's blog here.

I just got done talking to a friend whose Christmas was filled with horrible child-custody battle issues. Though all is relatively OK now, and they are looking forward to a good week together, I thank God our family is not plagued by such self-centered drama. Our miscommunications and occassional hassles are so minor in comparison with a drug-addicted mother keeping her 7-year old daugher away from her father (who has full custody) over Christmas. Come on people, when are we going to get this child thing right? It is not about the adults and getting even with each other, it is about the children.

Well, hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday! In just a couple hours I am off work and will be back playing with TinkerToys and Weebles!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Are you Doing Any Work-Work?

A good friend made the following query...."Where did term work-work originate?" (As in "I'm at work, but since it's almost Christmas, not much work-work is getting done.") I don't really expect an answer....but if anyone has one, go for it!

Today, I am not doing much work-work. Instead, you will find that I have updated my sadly outdated link list on this blog. Yes, very important work, indeed (as opposed to today's work-work, which really can wait since no one is around to process what I'm processing).

I thought about changing my template, but then was afraid I'd loose my assorted links, and my new "blogarithm" feature (sign up so you can see when I update....I know, it's not as frequent as it should be!). Hopefully I would not, but there is a little warning that you will loose customizations, so, no point in taking such chances. So, we will all live with this format.

Our kids are adorable and all geared up for Christmas. Baby Girl is chattering a mile a minute and has so many words now that I can't keep up. New words every day, and as of yesterday, she could tell you that Santa is going to bring her "candy cane" and "present." Too cute! My son is nearly beside himself that I am going to be home for 4 1/2 days in a row. I reminded him this morning at about 5:45 (he's been waking up to be with me/watch tv before I leave for work at 6:00 - can't convince him it is too early for him to be up), and he giggled with joy. Very sweet. Good family times ahead!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Finals are Done!!!

What a huge relief! Although I would say that I was not particularly stressed out about finals now that I am a big, bad 2L (humor, folks), I have to say I was incredibly happy last night when I turned in my last final. *Whew* It is nice to be able to have the free brain space to think about other things and now, focus on Christmas. I realized today that I have not even considered shopping for Christmas brunch or my part of Christmas dinner. What did I ask my mom to bring for breakfast? Muffins? Guess that means I'm doing the Swiss Egg Scramble! I wonder if scrambled eggs freeze well? Could I cook a double batch and freeze it?

So....shop for Christmas food, including eggnog, pick up an ultrasonic mouse deterence gadget (half the world seems to say they work and the other half says no), wrap presents, buy last few remaining gifts (nothing for Dad, yet) and look for movies to record so we can watch at night after kids go to bed.

Speaking of watch movies.....which is much like watching TV.....The L Word, Season 4 starts on January 7th. Guess who will be ordering Showtime very soon? Maybe I should see if there is anything worth ordering it by this weekend for......Nope, nothing that looks particularly intriguing. Anyway, yes, a whole new season of The L Word, coming right up! Doesn't 12 episodes seem embarassinginly skimpy? Just 12 short weeks of TV that is meaningful and speaks to my life....we need MORE! That's what I should be doing with my life, creating "mainstream" entertainment for lesbians. The world has more than enough lawyers. What we need is more lesbian TV. Well, maybe I'll do both......

Random jump back to finals.......I have discoverd that I actually kind of like doing essay finals. Is that weird, or what? My Civ Pro professor was right last year. It is kind of fun to have the opportunity to show what I know. It makes me realize that I learned a lot. Enough to continuously write for almost 3 1/2 hours on Intellectual Property topics and still not feel like I said everything I could have. I don't know what I left out, but if I'd had more time, I might have found more possible claims, defenses, whatever. That's OK, though. I feel good about all my finals and just hope I did at least as good as average, and hopefully even a little better. It's a tough curve in law school. We all probably walk out of finals feeling preety good about how we did. We all probably did do quite well....but if everyone does a good job, it makes it really hard to stand out and to do exceptionally well. That's OK, in the end, as long as we pass, we'll still get to be called "doctor." Oh, wait.....that's med school.....Damn.

Happy Holidays everyone!

To keep up on our family happenings, be sure to check out my partner's blog (link to the right). She's much better at updating than I.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

One final down, two to go!

I realized this morning that by not regularly posting during this crucial time of year I am letting down my loyal readers that may be trying to distract themselves from studying. It is no coincidence that my site hits increase around finals :) I increase my own personal surfing rate significantly just prior to finals. Law students are champion procrastinators!

Odd bits of trivia from the past week or so:

- Multiple choice tests suck. Remember when those used to be the easiest tests to take?

- Cats enjoy artificial trees almost as much as real trees.

- You can still scratch the heck out of your arms putting up an artificial tree. (Yes, we went artificial a couple years ago when the prices of the trees we like went up to about $50-60, and we live in the Pacific Northwest. That kind of money buys nice Christmas presents, and the fake tree we got is beautiful. Hard to tell it is not real. Of course, now we have to use it long enough to make it a wise investment. Another bonus - we can put it up any time we like and don't have to worry about it getting too dry by Christmas.)

- Pine essential oil makes me smile.

- A person can get a cold, followed by stomach flu, and then a cold again. Damn. Worse for Wife than me since her flu was horrible and mine was very mild. All the hand-washing and antibacterial liquid does not keep the germs at bay.....could be because small children will cough and sneeze directly into your face.

- Friday is Wife's Birthday. No studying, day off, presents, Grandma watching kids, us going out to a movie, dinner, cake = FUN! Happy pre-Birthday, Wife!

- To any first-years reading this, congrats on making it through your first final(s). Some of you are completely done for the semester! (You go, Mieke!) Second year is much better, really. It all starts coming together, and the pressure is much less. (Sure, your grade still rests on the one 3-hour final, but that fact is not as intimidating once you make it past your first year. Really.) Enjoy the next few weeks off! It can be difficult to get back into the swing of things during Spring semester, so you really need this break for some R&R!

Whatever holidays and traditions you celebrate this season, I hope you take the time to really enjoy the moments - big and small - that make up LIFE!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Be Healthy. Be Healthy. Be Healthy.

That is my mantra for the week. Baby Girl got throwing-up/diahhrea sick for about 4-5 days last week. She was mostly better by Sunday. Wife came down with it on Saturday night. Yes, Saturday, approximately one-week prior to my first final. Imagine the fear I was struck with in the middle of the night, imagining how Wife might be sick 4-5 days, I'd have to miss work to take care of the kids, then I'd get sick and Boy would get sick and I don't have enough sick time to take off of work and I am not even almost ready for finals. I am counting on the last few days before finals to totally study/absorb/cram. I HAVE to be on top of my game. No time for sickness.

Wife was better yesterday. Bad again today. Ugh.

I am feeling good. So is Boy. It MUST stay that way.

Happy Finals, Fellow Law Students!
Be Healthy!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Power Rangers on the Home Front
My wife is getting a kick out of taking pictures of me playing with the kids and having me post them on my blog in order to reveal my inner kid. OK, so I'm playing along. (Wife also thinks my classmates have dirty minds. You know who you are and why she said this!)

This past Sunday morning while we were playing computer games, my son and I watched video clips from a new Power Rangers movie. I think it was a movie - could have been a tv show. Anyway, he said someday he wanted to dress up and be a Power Ranger. As luck would have it, that very day we were shopping at Fred Meyer and saw a Power Ranger costume on sale. Son was very excited. Wife and I thought about making him wait until Christmas, but then decided it could be an early present. Son had the mask on before he was even strapped in his car seat for the ride home. We played Power Rangers as soon as we got home, and Son even let me wear the mask and vest/shield. That was pretty special, plus, he was really into the sword and cell phone/weapon, so think he didn't mind sharing the costume part.

I was a bit too old for Power Rangers the first time they were popular, but this time around, I can see their appeal. Everything is more fun through the eyes of a child :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


OK, I said this was forthcoming, so here it is! ("Forthcoming"? Who uses that word?)

A couple weekends ago, I was on my own for a short time with the kids. It's good it was only a short time, because I let them do crazy things, like paint....pictures, the table, themselves.....Actually, I think I am only emotionally equipped to handle them for short periods of time. I could NOT be a stay-at-home Mom, and I thank God my partner mostly enjoys it. I do love playing though, and these are a few pictures of our big fun :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

So, now the real worries of parenting begin...

Today my wife dropped our son of for his second day of his twice-per-week, 90 minute preschool class. Tuesday he had a great time and was totally happy and geared up for a great day today. He barely said goodbye before running off to his cubby and his new buddy. 90 minutes later, my wife picks him up and he is in tears. He's a total wreck, melts down for almost half an hour screaming that he never wants to go back, and also upset about a pencil he lost. The student buddy said he didn't want to participate in the last part of class, which is the singing and dancing portion. She said he said he was tired. It would have been nice if she'd let him speak for himself.

Anyway, that is totally unlike him. He is Mr. Social and has been dancing since before he could walk. We don't know what happened. He says nothing happened, but something had to have happened. Whether someone just looked at him funny, or yelled at him, or he got a bad feeling from someone, or what, we don't know. His other mom already wrote to the teacher and she is going to talk to the student-teacher buddies (this is a high school program where the high school kids teach the preschoolers) and see if anyone knows anything about what might have upset him. He did say he is afraid the older kids might make fun of him. About what? About having two moms? He did say he didn't tell anyone last class because he didn't want them to make fun of him. No one ever has, and he's always proudly told any stranger that would listen, but I guess we've warned him it could happen. We told him he teacher (and hopefully the buddies) already know and it won't be a big deal. Is that what he is afraid of? Is our family structure already causing pain for our innocent, little four-year-old? Did someone say something? Maybe we should have met with all of the teens first to try to do some education and sensitivity training. I don't know if this has anything to do with that, but its hard to think that it is. He often tells strangers in the grocery store he has two moms and he is so proud of his family. I don't want that to change. I knew this would become an issue someday, but is that day already here?

OR - did someone make fun of his hair, or the way he said a word, or his artwork, or ANYTHING? Was it one of the teens or maybe another preschooler? What the h*ck happened? This is just the beginning of not knowing what goes on every minute of my child's life, and knowing he is with someone who will keep him safe and look out for his best interests. Until now, we've been able to control his world, or at least, have the illusion that we could control it. Now, the illusion is gone. Someone made my baby so sad, so upset, that he was in uncontrollable tears. He either won't tell us, or doesn't want to, or doesn't know himself why he was so upset. Either way, I don't like it.

Hopefully, we will learn more tomorrow. In the mean time, the teacher said he could have his Tuesday buddy again next time, and so our son has agreed he will go back to preschool. He really liked her. Thank God whatever happened is not as big as his fondness for his new buddy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Friday Night Fun!

There have been times in my life that such a phrase might conjure up nights out on the town - a dance club, a women's bar, maybe even the theatre. Now days, my life is a bit more sedate. Wait. No. That's not right. It is not sedate. Perhaps it IS theatre. It certainly has its comedic and dramatic elements, that's for certain!

This past Friday night.....a little Karoake with the kids. Well, not really that. Mostly it was playing with the microphone. Kelton has the moves of a young boy band member, and loves to get his hands on the microphone, preferably following a suitable introduction. Kaylen loves imitating anything her brother does. Me? Well, I was having fun making sound effects :) Do you know if you say an elogated "paw" into a microphone it sounds really cool? So cool, that your 4-year-old has to try it, too!

The last two pictures show the best way to climb up onto the back of Mama.
1) step up on heel
2) fit other foot into waistband (not pictured)
3) hoist yourself up
4) hang on tight

Coming soon: Painting fun!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Problem of Odor...aka Something Stinks
So, do people have to smoke and then come into a room with the odor still hanging on their clothes? Yes, apparently so.

Also, there are some guys (and probably some women, though I've not encounted that problem in my own experience) that really should shower prior to coming to class, or riding a bus, or coming to work. Just saying.

Perhaps tonight I am beyond the "person of normal sensitivies" classification. (Read: Feeling a little gritchy sitting here in class, though happy overall because I'm on page 46 of my paper!)

I will just mind my own business and be happy that I can smell - proof of the very happy fact that I do not have my wife's cold. Hope you are feeling better, Honey.

(How's that for another quirky post?)

Confessions of a Big Kid

So, my wife was harrassing me yesterday about serious posts and big words. It was probably her way of telling me I'm getting a little too involved with school and the world of law (and my A Paper that is due next week) and need to get a little more grounded. Well, I tell you, I was feeling pretty well grounded on Sunday when I took the kids out puddle-stomping in a rainstorm, and ended up cleaning out gutters, scooping dog poop from the yard, and putting away patio furniture, all in the rain, because, I was already wet anyway. It was actually quite fun. I even got to turn the hose on my son. He'd gotten fithy and I suggested it as a joke, but then he wanted me to really do it, so I did. He was already wet, and it was unseasonably warm, plus he was on his way into the house for a bath anyway. Where was I going with this? Right.....the confession that I'm truly a kid at heart, and often, in action.

Last night my wife and I are laying in bed.
"What was that?" she asks.
"This?" I say, thumping the bed with both hands as I'm laying on my back, causing the bed to move a bit.
"Why? What are you doing?"
"Feeling how squishy the mattress pad is."

This made perfect sense to me. We've had a new mattress pad for a couple months now, and I enjoy it's density and bounce. I was simply appreciating it.

Moments before I'd been wondering if I could soften the pillow cases by washing them with every load of laundry for the next three years. I have a certain set of pillow cases that I really like because they are super soft. They are super soft not because we paid $50 for high thread count pillow cases but because they are probably over 20 years old. Soft pillow cases are very important to me. I enjoy the texture next to my face. Who wants to sleep on a scratchy pillow cases?

It's these things my wife believes I should be blogging about because, heck, anyone can post about politics or law school (assuming they are in law school). So, from time to time I guess I will spice things up with confessions of my quirks :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats: Taking Our Country Back!
How could I resist a small acknowledgement of such good news?

The following is an excerpt from an article on MSNBC. As a co-worker read it out loud to me, over our cube wall, I realized this was blog material.

'Beginning of the end'
Regardless of the effect on world events, global giddiness that Bush was finally handed a political black-eye was almost palpable. In an extraordinary joint statement, more than 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament hailed the American election results as “the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world” and gloated that they left the Bush administration “seriously weakened.”

In London's Guardian newspaper, commentator Martin Kettle wrote: "The cheering can be heard not just in America itself but around the planet."

In Paris, expatriates and French citizens alike packed the city’s main American haunts to watch results, with some standing to cheer or boo as vote tabulations came in.

One Frenchman, teacher Jean-Pierre Charpemtrat, 53, said it was about time U.S. voters figured out what much of the rest of the world already knew.

“Americans are realizing that you can’t found the politics of a country on patriotic passion and reflexes,” he said. “You can’t fool everybody all the time — and I think that’s what Bush and his administration are learning today.”

Democrats swept to power in the House on Tuesday and were threatening to take control of the Senate amid exit polls that showed widespread American discontent over Iraq, nationwide disgust at corruption in politics, and low approval ratings for Bush.

Bush is deeply unpopular in many countries around the globe, with particularly intense opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the U.S. terror detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and allegations of Washington sanctioned interrogation methods that some equate with torture.
(article continues, but this was the best part....Please see link if you are interested.)

I'm not saying that global popularity = right, but these sentiments are so on target with with what many of us are feeling today that it seemed appropriate.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!!!
ARGGHHHHH! I be a pirate today, matey! So, batten down the hatches, filch some grog and prepare to set sail!

Ahoy! Thar be me and me son preparing to loot the kitchen while the wee one and me mate are sleepin'!
Have a Happy Halloween, maties!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Career Quiz

A quick and fun career quiz can be found at:

My results:

Blue Interests
People with blue Interests like job responsibilities and occupations that involve creative, humanistic, thoughtful, and quiet types of activities. Blue Interests include abstracting, theorizing, designing, writing, reflecting, and originating, which often lead to work in editing, teaching, composing, inventing, mediating, clergy, and writing.

Green Styles
People with green styles perform their job responsibilities in a manner that is outgoing. They prefer to work where things get done with minimal analysis and where persuasion is well received by others. People with green styles tend to be spontaneous, talkative, personal, enthusiastic, convincing, risk-taking, and competitive, and usually thrive in a team-oriented, adventurous, informal, innovative, big picture-oriented, varied environment. You will want to choose a work environment or career path in which your style is welcomed and produces results.

I see how a law career could fit with these things: writing, abstracting, editing, MEDIATING. Well, good. Glad my tuition isn't going to waste!

Monday, October 23, 2006

OK, so it's been 21 days since I last posted. I suck. So sue me.
(law humor)

This past weekend I was a student invitee/participant at the Oregon State Bar Family Law Conference. Great chance to observe "real, live lawyers" in a relaxed atmosphere and "schmooze" to my heart's content, as one of my sponsors so aptly put it. Ah, the art of schmoozery - not really my thing - but I'm getting decent at it. After a while, it is a bit draining though. This conference was at the beautiful Salishan Resort on the Oregon coast, and for me, it was a wonderful blend of hearing about practical applications of the law, networking, doing homework, and relaxing. It was only the second time I've been away from my family at night, and the 6th and 7th nights ever away from my partner at night. Judging from my welcome home hugs, the baby girl and wife missed me a lot and my son was happy I was away so I could bring him presents upon my return. (In reality, he probably missed me the most. As my wife has observed frequently, he and I are two peas in a pod, and have a soul-connection so strong people would think I was the birth mom. See - makes no difference.) The puppets purchased at the resort were big hits, but so were the hotel-provided pens, note pads, jar of jam, soap, lotion, paper coasters, and post-cards. Heck - my son even liked the paper gift bag with handles that he's not let out of his sight since I arrived home approximately 48 hours ago. We all survived the separation, and though I love traveling and would do it more often if I could, I suspect it will be quite some time before my wife wishes to brave it alone again, especially since baby girl has not been sleeping well for.....well.....her whole life.

I now have to say I've done my extracurricular "stuff" for the semester, and I must get serious about the school work. (Oh, did I fail to mention that my new mentor asked me last week to do some last-minute legal research for her? Yup. When I read her email request I said out loud, "Cr*p, I just don't have the time." What I typed into my reply email was, "Sure, I can spare a few hours..." It was fun, and she seemed impressed. Nice to do some real, non-academic legal work to feel like the pieces of the puzzle are coming together.) I need to write my A-paper (big paper of law school), I need to get on top of my barely-started outlines, I need to listen to 2-3 missed lectures, I need to do a few CALI lessons on Property since we've stopped using the English language and I've gotten confused. Fee tail? Contingent remainder? Vested remainder? Possbility of a reverter?

I should have just gone into acting.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I was tagged last week by my lovely wife and even though I should be reading ahead in Property (not because I am overly ambitious, but because I have two weekends that I will be out of town this month), I thought I'd take a moment to respond.

The challenge was to name 5 weird things about you or your pet. I'm not going to tag anyone else, because I mostly read law student blogs, and I just don't have the heart to lead them into temptation. (Oh, yes, I do, but not today!)

1) I have a wishbone-shaped scar on the inside of my left hand. (It's always with me for good luck!)

2) I like to lay in bed with one arm raised up in the air. It causes an odd sensation. (I don't do this a lot.)

3) I really like whole cranberry sauce in my chili. (Family thing)

4) Sometimes I prefer M&M's over really good dark chocolate. (Though not frequently. Yes, the M&M's darks are good, but not quite "real" M&M's.)

5) I don't mind getting wet in the rain, and sometimes do it on purpose with my kids, as long as I get to go inside my house afterwards to dry off and get dry clothes. (Not so much fun right before class with the air conditioning blowing on you even though it's only 65 degrees in the room.)

There! I did it! Should anyone want to feel tagged and use this on their own blog, consider yourself tagged!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Boundary Issues
I was commenting today on someone else’s blog, and it got me to thinking about boundaries. I refer to boundaries in the sense of where one thing starts and another begins and how we decide what the thing is in the first place. For instance, we were discussing religion, and someone else brought in a race analogy. Though the two do not have to overlap, they sometimes do, and when they do, are the distinctions even more important? Is a person who is visibly of a particular race and religion more obligated to support or denounce the behaviors of others within his religion (or race) because he is a visible representative of the group? Where does personal responsibility and social responsibility fit in?

Let’s move this away from religion, because truthfully, it’s not one of my favorite topics. Let’s say a person has self-identified and is visibly homosexual. He has a shirt on that says, “I’m Gay.” As long as he is wearing that shirt, or even after the fact given that many people may have seen him, does he have a moral obligation to represent all gay people in a positive light? No, of course not, but….let’s be completely honest here, all of us gay folk,….don’t we kind of hope he turns out to be an upstanding citizen and not do anything really stupid? If he does something stupid, how do we react? Do I have an obligation to educate those around me that “we aren’t all that way’? Where’s the boundary between “me” and “we”?

Closer to home for some, what about areas of the country where gang violence among a particular race is common? What is the obligation of the same-race college student or lawyer or stay-at-home mom to denounce the gang behavior, and serve as a call to their city that it is time for a change? Maybe there is no obligation whatsoever, but as I've been indirectly arguing against on this other blog, maybe there should be. The thing is, we as outsiders, can't create the obligation or define the boundary issue. I think that is an individual choice.

I’m working on a paper analyzing various arguments that states have used to either uphold or deny same-sex couples the right to marry. Some argue that all citizens have a fundamental right to marry. Others argue that is not a fundamental right. Some say, yes, we all have the right to marry, as long as it is a person of the opposite sex. They say there is no discrimination there because men and women equally have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. Same-sex couples and opposite sex couples are both given equal opportunity to marry someone of the opposite sex. Interesting boundary issues there. Some have drawn a boundary around – what? – a behavior, a biological trait, a preference? – and then proceeded to say that the boundary doesn’t really exist because a person can just walk right over the border and have full equal rights. Does any of this sound like the race discrimination arguments this country heard no so very long ago? Aren’t most of those “boundaries that aren’t boundaries” still boundaries?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Making connections is what is on my mind this week. I don't just mean in self-serving, networking, oh-my-god-I-have-to-find-a-job/internship sort of way. I mean making meaningful connections with people who can make a difference, or help others make a difference, in all aspects of life. Sometimes it's just having a brief conversation at work to understand a challenge or situation better, other times it is networking, or sharing contacts, or passing along the name of a book, or having a moment when the light bulb comes on and we see connections we'd never noticed before.

As I write this, I wonder why I am not writing in the first person. Why am I not telling you, dear reader, about the connections in MY life? Maybe it's because I actually am looking at this at a meta-level - wondering about connections all over the place and how we make them, how we can use them, and what my role might be in facilitating them. On the other hand, of course I have been viewing it personally, as well, putting my life under the microscope, then going back to the telescope and back again. (Dang....this is making me dizzy!)

OK - my connections - and it is at this point that I have to admit I've been reading a bit about manifesting your own reality, the power of conscious creation, and related ideas that I won't go into but am pretty sure if you do an internet search, you'll come up with a ton of stuff. (OK, here's one site: http://www.universeofpower.com/ Some of this may seem pretty far out there to some, and for others, it is as simple and clear as the power of positive thinking and like attracting like.) So, the connections that have happened for me lately -
1) I found out someone I know is a major player in a landmark lawsuit, having to do with what has
2) become my "A"-paper topic (Doing an "A" paper is a graduation requirement.),
3) my professor for the class in which I am doing my "A" paper nominated me to do something fun with lots of networking (connections!) potential, and
4) in that same week I was matched with a mentor in the same field of law.

Add in to all of this that over the last few months, via work, I have made a connection with a two women whose business motto is "Creating processes that empower people" and whose tag-line is the same Goethe quote that I've had taped to my monitor for the past 6 years.....well, the connections, or synchronicities, if you will, are certainly adding up!

What does it all mean? Well, for that, I will give the quintessential legal answer: It depends.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Sept. 11, 2001

Five years ago today, my partner was 11 weeks pregnant with our now 4 1/2 -year-old beautiful boy. She and I worked in the same high-rise building in downtown Seattle and always carpooled to work. (In fact, in those simple days before children, we only owned one car.) On our way to work, the newscasters still thought it was only a small private plane that had hit the World Trade Center. As the horror of the morning unfolded, and emotions and uncertainty were on high-alert, like most Americans, we processed as best we could. What would be next? We were only about a mile away from the Space Needle. If terrorists were attacking national monuments, this would be a prominent one....visually and emotionally significant, lots of nearby ports and a naval station not that far away either....Downtown Seattle didn't feel particularly safe. In reality, I suspect no place did. Being at such a critical time in pregnancy, my partner's supervisor sent her home, and I of course, was allowed to go to. ( I say, of course, as if it was a right or a given. It was not, but was the right thing to do.) In fact, all employees were told to do what they felt was right for them and their families.

We did not personally know anyone who died that day. Our lives were not significantly impacted, on any surface level, but really, to some degree everyone's lives were affected. The entire nation was impacted, security became "Post 9/11", we saw a portion of our country devastated beyond what any of us could ever conceive, and we wondered how/if our unborn baby would be affected. My partner's stress level was high, fear was a part of daily life for everyone for a while, who knows how that would affect a tiny developing life?

There will be plenty of people blogging today about politics, about the recognized and unrecognized heroes, about how so many families and friends still live with the horendous and senseless loss of loved ones. I won't add to that body of work. I'll just say that to me, what is important right now, is enjoying each day as much as I can and appreciating the family that I am so fortunate to call my own. A short video taken last night of me playing with our children is a wonderful tribute to the love my partner and I both have for our family. Please check it out at: http://naptimechronical.blogspot.com/ (It is the Sept. 10th entry entitled: Bath Time Fun with Mama.)


Thursday, August 31, 2006

Washington Request to Reconsider Gay Marriage

Hey - I'm back!
Swamped with work since being off last week in Disneyland. Our trip was excellent! Hope to write about it at some point, probably when I should be doing legal research :)
First week of school is going great! So far, the professors are clear, well-organized, and easy to listen to. I meet the last one tonight, so far, I've heard mixed reviews from fellow 2Ls who have not met him but either. We'll see.

Anyway, too busy to actually come up with anything creative to write myself, by wanted to share this:
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Gays ask court to reconsider marriage ruling
P-I STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES - http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/283091_samesex30.html
Gay and lesbian couples are asking the state Supreme Court to reconsider its July ruling that bars them from getting married in Washington.
Such requests are rarely granted, but the couples' lawyers said Tuesday that the stakes are too high to let the opportunity pass.

"We felt that we had to use every option available to us to show the justices the logic behind our arguments and how their decision as it is currently reasoned falls short," said Nancy Sapiro of the Northwest Women's Law Center.

State lawmakers are justified in defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman, the Supreme Court held in its splintered 5-4 ruling.
The decision overruled two lower court decisions -- one in King County and one in Thurston County -- that found the state's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.
The high court must now decide whether to rule on the couples' motion to reconsider the issue or seek a response from the other parties in the case.

"We believe the decision was correct, so if they call for an answer, we will certainly urge the court not to change its mind," said Assistant Attorney General Bill Collins, who defended the state's existing marriage law.

The losing side often asks the court to reconsider in cases that sharply divided the court -- such as a 5-4 or 6-3 ruling. But Collins said that in his 29 years as a state attorney, he has seen the court change its decision just twice.

Lawyers for the 19 couples in the combined gay marriage case relied on a pair of legal arguments in their motion asking the court to reconsider. The court's finding that the Legislature had a "rational basis" for seeking to regulate marriage was flawed, plaintiffs argued.
"They couldn't show any reason how it could hurt opposite-sex couples if same-sex couples get married, or why same-sex couples' children wouldn't equally benefit if their parents could get married," said Jon Davidson, a lawyer with the gay rights group Lambda Legal.

The ruling also overlooked an aspect of the state constitution's sex discrimination protections, the plaintiffs argued, by not recognizing that the gay marriage law treats individuals differently based on their gender -- a man can marry a woman, but a woman can't do the same.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Back to School Blues
The post where I confess that I am dreading going back to school.

OK, dreading is a strong word. Maybe "having mixed feelings" is more accurate. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of school, getting my feet wet with family law and intellectual property and just learning more. On the other hand, we have been having the BEST SUMMER EVER. It's been so wonderful spending time with my wife and two kids - seeing how the kids develop and change every day, laughing over silly things, having water fights, reading stories at night - everything that I get so much less of during the school year. We've been to Disneyland, the beach, Seattle, and done a couple of day trips. We've camped in the back yard a few times, had lots of barbecues, watched lots of movies and Seasons 1 and of 2 of the OC (not the kids, of course) and had dinner together every night. Sure, there have been arguments, crying, yelling, ignoring, and temper tantrums, like every home with kids, but overall, it's been a great summer! Now, the impending end looms like a dark cloud.

Yet, the sun shines through the clouds. The clouds will part. Light will prevail and we will adapt to our new routine of me being involved with law school, my wife caring for the kids all day and into the night, me arriving home after dark and Sunday being sacred Family Day, not to be disrupted by homework. I know once I'm into it, school will be fun again, but right now, I'm already looking forward to next summer.

On an up note - Saturday we leave for Disneyland Trip #2! We are all so excited we can hardly stand it!

Monday, August 14, 2006

I haven't even mentioned our new car yet!

We bought a cute little Scion xA. It's the little sibling of the bigger boxy car that has everyone asking, "What is that?" They are Toyotas, so I feel confident in the quality. Great gas mileage, stick shift, fun to drive, and holds more in its tiny cargo space than one would suspect. It's already done a trip to the beach and to Seattle. I don't have a photo, but here's a link. The color is Indigo Ink (blue). With the Saturn pushing 100K miles and me driving about 40 per day, I was starting to fear for the amount of money we were going to have to shell out in repairs on a car that was fine, but just that - "fine." This has become our new weekend warrior vehicle. Way fun!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summer Book Review

As some of you may recall, at the beginning of summer, I was quite excited about the prospect of reading for pleasure. I have made it through three of the six books I bought, and now must start some pre-school reading (not to be confused with preschool reading). I read, in order, Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Call me a product of my generation, call me shallow with a short attention span, but I have to say that I by far enjoyed The Da Vinci Code the most. I loved this book - clever, fast-paced, enough fact mixed in that you could believe you were reading non-fiction, and in fact, I wanted it all to be true. Gotta love a good conspiracy theory mixed with worship of the divine feminine. Therapy was like taking a walk with an old friend - enjoyable, reliable, comfortable, and though not entirely predictable, I never felt that I HAD to read the next page. I HAD to keep reading The Da Vinci Code, especially since the whole book is essentially one huge chase scene. (No, I'm not a big action movie fan.) The Time Traveler's Wife, which was recommended by many folks, was good. It was a creative, bittersweet love story. I'll put it in second place for the summer, but must admit, I did not love it. I liked it. I really liked the main characters and felt for their situation, but in some ways (this may seem wrong to those who have read the book) nothing happened. Maybe it was read too quickly on the heels of the much faster-paced Da Vinci Code. The two cannot and should not be compared. It is literature versus pop fiction? Yes, perhaps.

A friend since high school and I have a long running joke that I will become rich and famous for writing pop fiction and she will write good literature. This is reflective of our tastes in just about everything - books, movies, music. I don't seem to have the temperament to appreciate the beauty of art that exists more for art's sake, art that is crafted and textured with subtlety. Deliver the message in a straight-forward manner and if there are complexities for me to investigate at my leisure, wonderful, but don't make it necessary to enjoy without making the extra effort. Maybe this "deliver me my entertainment" mentality is a weakness I should explore. Maybe it addresses why I don't like to play chess, or any games that actually involve strategy and planning ahead. Let me shoot things (thought not realistic hunting games) and rack up points and not have to engage my brain too much. A weakness, perhaps, or maybe some of us just need a break from the mental gymnastics of life when we have the time for recreation.

Now, I am on to my fourth book of the summer: Family Law in Perspective by Wadlington and O'Brien. It is a prerequisite for the Family Law seminar I'll be taking in the fall, since I have not taken the actual prereq class. Should be interesting - deals with issues of adoption, divorce, and gay marriage, among others. Still, it won't be any Da Vinci Code.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thank you to the couples involved with Andersen v King County

I visted the Lambda Legal web page to see what they were saying about the defeat in Washington. Lambda Legal is "a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work." They have a summary of the case, as well as the plaintiffs' declarations, and an area of photos and short bios. These are such wonderful stories showing the happiness, fear, anger and love of these 8 couples. These are ordinary (and yet remarkable!) people who just want to be able to get married to the person they love. In many ways, these people are me, so I am not surprised by their stories. I wish more people were aware of these people, their stories, and the huge numbers of us out here with stories just like theirs.

It's sad that we live in an age that despite so much technological advancement, legalized discrimination not just exists, but thrives.

Looking back to the bright side, Lambda's press release says in part:
“While this was certainly not the result we were looking for it must be put into perspective. In 1948, when the California Supreme Court became the first state Supreme Court in the nation to strike down laws banning interracial marriages (which were on the books in 30 states at the time), lawsuits challenging such laws in 14 states had been unsuccessful (in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia). Despite those setbacks, people whose rights were trampled did not give up. They pressed on to change public opinion, to secure legislative repeal of those laws to win in California and ultimately, 19 years later, to win before the U.S. Supreme Court,” Pizer said.

So, we continue to hope, to educate, to fight for our rights, and to live our lives.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Adoption, Beach Trip, Denial of Civil Rights

Wow - has it been a busy week! As of Friday, July 21, I completed my first legal action. Granted, it was acting as a Petitioner In Pro Se (on my own behalf) which anyone could do, but the thing is, I did it, and actually understood what I was doing! It was for the adoption of our 17-month-month old daughter, which my partner gave birth to, and which we planned, conceived, and have raised together. Although we'd planned on going through the adoption process shortly after her birth, mixed answers at the County Courthouse for how to handle second-parent adoptions, and then law school, delayed plans for doing it ourselves. We'd hired an attorney for our son's adoption, but this time around we were hoping to save high attorney fees. Now that I've completed one year of law school, I at least got what a Petition was, along with the other documents that had to be filed, and understood the language when I spoke to someone at the courthouse. So, by doing the adoption myself, law school saved us about $1500, so far. Only another $32,500 and the year will have paid for itself! *grin* Does this count as a legal internship?

We had a wonderful trip to Long Beach, Washington with my nephew, who I haven't seen for 6 years, his family, plus my sister and her husband. It was great fun, and wonderful to see our kids all playing together. For the pictures, see my partner's blog for July 25th.

On the down side, Washington State confirmed it's discriminatory practice of denying same-sex couples the right to marry. The State Supreme Court in a 5/4 decision stated that the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), which states that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, was not unconstitutional. For the opinions, click here. As a student of the law, I find the opinions fascinating, and they really reinforce that reasonable minds can differ. Along with the majority opinion, there were two consenting and three dissenting opinions published. I have not made my way through all of them, but so far, they are all well-written, well-thought out, and even where I disagreed, I could see the rationality behind the argument. That somehow both reassures me, and concerns me that something that even the majority seems to be saying is not in the best interests of the state and is discriminatory can be upheld.

I don't have the time right now to go further into this topic, but let me just add that beyond being a law student, this decision impacts me personally. My partner and I live in Washington state, and this decision both saddens and angers me. Despite being upstanding citizens, parents, neighbors, friends, employees..etc...we continue to be viewed as second class citizens in the eyes of the law. The injustice must end, and it will, but when?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

TV Shows, Not Updating and Other Trivia
Wow. Do I suck at updating this blog, or what? In my defense, I will say I have noticed that most of the other law school student blogs that I read are also not being regularly updated. Guess the law student blogs are kind of on summer hiatus, not unlike my favorite TV shows, The L Word and Grey's Anatomy. (Click on it - you'll get to a cool blog by the show's writers.) Windfall is a fun new show out this summer about winners of a huge lottery. One of the stars is Luke Perry of 90210 fame. (Come on - you know you like him.) There are lots of other pretty people in this series that deals with the changes in the lives of these 20 people (now 21) that share the winnings. Love, lust, crime, greed, jealously - all the usual stuff that goes into good TV can be found here.

I am totally enjoying the summer! Getting in lots of time with my wife and kids. I wish I didn't have to go to work and REALLY had the summer off, but compared to not being home each night until 9:30ish, being home by 5:00pm and having weekends off is a wonderful break.

The kids are fun and amazing and growing so fast. For those of you that read my partner's blog (listed on the right), she updates more regularly than I and posts pictures. This weekend we are going to visit a lifesize, working Thomas the Train. Next month we'll spend a couple nights up in Long Beach, WA with my nephew and his family who will be visiting from Texas. I've not seen him in 6 (?) years, so am looking forward to that. Getting lots of maintenance kind of stuff done over the summer - having a heat pump installed in our house today, bought a freezer so we can stock up on food and make life easier during the school year, planning on putting up a new gate in the backyard, and assorted other activities. Just living life. It's much different than when I am in school. On that note, I must run to catch my express bus home!

Happy end of June!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Disneyland Resort Rocks!
Howdy all! We've been back from the magic of Disneyland for almost a week now. It was a totally fabulous trip! We were so pleased with the entire Disney Resort, which for those that haven't been in some time, is quite a switch from our last trip 8 years ago. It now consists of two parks (Disneyland and California Adventure), three Disney hotels and a shopping district that includes establishments such as the Rainforest Cafe and the House of Blues. We were dropped off by shuttle bus in front of Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel (where we stayed - we weren't just randomly dropped off!) and never left the resort for 6 nights until the bus picked us up again to take us to the airport. It was great to not have to go onto any "real" streets, see traffic, people's homes or businesses not related to the resort, and to just be lost in the ultra-clean world of Disney's team of creators. Disney calls its employees "Cast Members" and this is a reminder to all that Disneyland is one big show and there is a lot going on behind the scenes to create the grand illusion that guests see. It is worth the effort and the expense. This is not to say that all was perfect or that we did not experience the melt-downs of an overly tired 15-month-old or an overly excited and exhausted 4-year-old, but all in all, the kids (and adults!) did remarkably well and a truly, truly great time!

I will probably do a more detailed update, but for a little more info and a great photo montage, see my partner's blog at:

If you have any specific questions about the Disneyland Resort, feel free to ask me, as it is one of my favorite topics. I used to run a Disney vacation web site, but then law school came along...Anyway, we'd go back today if I had the vacation time, and we had the money! We've told our son, and ourselves, that we can go back in three years, when I graduate from law school. He'll be 7 and his sister 4 - great ages for Disneyland. Heck - any age is a great age for Disneyland!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Taking it easy.....
Wow, so this was what my pre-law-school-life was like. Sort of. Evenings and weekends at home with my family. Time for yard work, tv shows, even a little sleep. I'm getting to know my kids again, and my wife. These are very good things. I love school. I really do. Right now, though, I am loving summer! Bring it on!

The very first Saturday after finals were done we went to Powell's Books in Portland. For anyone not from around here, this is the most amazing bookstore ever. It takes up an entire city block and I don't even know how many floors. I could probably spend a week there without getting bored. Check out this quote from their website:

"The greatest bookstore in the world, bar none, sprawls in the blandest of buildings on Portland's Burnside Street....The store that calls itself the City of Books has been dubbed 'the best bookstore in the English-speaking world' (author Susan Sontag), 'the world's greatest bookstore' (The Seattle Times), 'the mother monster of bookstores' (author Ursula Le Guin), and 'one of the most innovative and creative enterprises in the country' (The Wall Street Journal). How does Powell's, an independent in a sea of chain stores, stay afloat? Answers: a vast offering of used books, a stunning selection of out-of-print books, a crammed roomful of rare books, its knowledgeable and verbose staffers, the comfortable ambience of the mother store, and its secret weapon: www.powells.com...." VIA: The Magazine For The Western Traveler, March 2003

I now have 6 books that I do not have to read for anything other than my own pleasure.
Thank you for your suggestions - received both verbally and on this blog. What did I end up with?

- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman
- Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman (Yes, I like Kellerman)
- A Widow for One Year by John Irving
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- The King of Torts by John Grisham

I've started with Therapy (about time, right?). I'm a long-time fan of the Alex Delaware series. They are techically murder mysteries, I suppose, but the main character is actually a psychologist who is a consultant for the police, so they've got a psychological thriller edge to them. The main character is straight and his best friend is a gritty, tough defying-the-stereotypes gay police detective. Nice, realistic banter between the two men. Oh, hell, what do I know? It might not be realistic conversation between men, but it feels real. It would be real if they were both analytical, not overly emotional, but still sensitive women.

This weekend we head off for 6 nights at the Disneyland resort! Great way to celebrate the end of 1L. Hey- I'm a 2L! "I'm goin' to Disneyland!"

Hope my fellow classmates are having a wonderful summer!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The End Is Near!

No, not a religious post.
Law school post.

One more three-hour exam, tonight, and I am done with 1L. Wow. It went by quickly, it really did. Someday, perhaps I will have the brainpower to contemplate the experience. Today is not that day. I don't know when I have ever felt this exhausted. I was really tired after my partner's 37-hour labor, followed by a C-section, followed by me becoming the primary (and somewhat clueless) caregiver since my wife was hooked up to tubes and such, followed by our baby's 4-day stay in the NICU. I barely got any sleep for those 6 days. That was exhausting physically and emotionally. This is mentally exhaustion, which I don't think I've ever experienced before. If I step back and look at it, it is sort of interesting: interesting in that floaty, what-was-that-I-just-took sort of way. In fact, if I think about it more that a few seconds, it puts a little smile on my face.

Random thoughts: Last post I was not saying I want a sports car. I wouldn't mind one, but that was not the point. It was about control and bonding and a lot of stress. I actually like of like the Subaru Baha. Not so much a sports car, but sporty, nonetheless.

Ghost Whisperer is an amazing show that had a totally"did-not-see-that-coming" season finale.

I thought I'd look up some interesting facts on chocolate. As it turned out, none of them held my interest. Trivia: There is a bag of M&M's waiting for me with my pre-final dinner. Thanks, Wife :)

OK, that's it. I'm out. Got nothing else but the hope that all I've learned in Contracts is stored in my brain and will surface when it is needed tonight.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The point at which we begin losing control...

It hit me this morning; the point at which our lives begin to resemble some suburban tv show minus the precisely timed wit and constant level of high drama. This could also be considered the time that we grow up or the time that we sell out and start living the prepackaged life that our society so desperately wants us to live. It is when we trade in that sporty 5-speed for a practical automatic that gets good gas mileage. A friend (you know who you are) pointed out to me the other day that her current car lacks soul. Yes, that is it exactly. My 2000 automatic Saturn is a fine car with 4 doors (plenty of room for 2 car seats in the back) and really good gas mileage. It's been dependable and looks nice, even when it's not been washed in close to a year, but it has no soul. Or maybe it does, but I've not connected with it. We are not best friends, pals racing to work, to the beach, to anywhere. We do practical things together and get the job done. Maybe, just maybe, it is when we give up being passionately involved with our mode of transportation and see it as simply a means to an end that we give up a little of who we are.

OR - it may just be the stress of tonight's 4-hour, closed-book, torts final is getting to me and the above makes absolutely no sense. I'm not eliminating that as a possibility.

I did make 10 minutes go by simply by blogging about it though :) 20 minutes more and I can leave work and go pick up my brief which is now graded. Then, I will still have two hours to kill before the final starts. Maybe a little music and sunshine are in my immediate future.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Civ Pro Final - Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress?

Well, I doubt it was truly an intentional disregard for the probability of emotional distress, no more so than any final exam. Actually, judging by the way I, and those I went out with following the final felt, maybe there was some battery involved. We all felt pretty beat up. (Can you tell that torts is my next exam?) I had lots to say, just not enough time to say it well and go back over my answers to check for errors or omissions. At least we all took the same test in the same amount of time. That's one down two to go. I'm already feeling fairly exhausted, and tomorrow is the 4-hour closed-book exam; Thursday the 3-hour one. Wow. It's going to be a long, hard week, but then, I am done with 1L! My family is very excited to have me home, and I think it is going to be nice to spend my evenings and weekends being a family rather than a student. I'll be ready for school to start in the fall, but for now, I am ready for the summer break!

On that note, I am taking suggestions for summer leisure reading. (Classmates - you remember that, right? It's where you read for fun, not because you need to learn the material, and you will NOT be tested on it later.) Required elements: 1) Must be entertaining; 2) Must be mostly mindless; 3) If there is ANY educational value, that must be a secondary purpose of the material. Bonus points for strong lesbian characters or appearing on the best-seller list so I can give the impression I have somewhat kept up on pop culture during my law school career. Suggestions need not be particularly current as I've done little pleasure reading since our 4-year-old was born. Sleep-deprivation and non-mandatory reading do not go well together. I will be looking forward to your thoughts and be assured this is yet one more method of procrastination. Suggestions will be researched on Amazon.com for reader reviews and probably purchased there, too. That ought to take up some precious study time! Thanks! Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What's Your Personality Type?

I've been hard at work this morning, and only minimally thinking about the upcoming finals. Minimally, in that sort of vague way that you can't really block out a toothache....Anyway, thought I'd go for a little something fun. I find it reassuring that no matter how many versions of this Myers-Briggs-type tests I take, I always end up the same - with my scores being almost identical for the following (though usually INTP comes out barely ahead). Link to do this quiz for yourself is at the end.

Your #1 Match: INTJ

The Scientist
You have a head for ideas - and you are good at improving systems.Logical and strategic, you prefer for everything in your life to be organized.You tend to be a bit skeptical. You're both critical of yourself and of others.Independent and stubborn, you tend to only befriend those who are a lot like you.
You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

Your #2 Match: INTP

The Thinker
You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More musings on a balanced life

Hadas confessed on her blog last Friday that she’d not made outstanding efforts at work since she’d been so focused on school and other things. I believe, and actually hope, that most of us are in similar situations. I certainly have not gone above and beyond in my job this past year. I do my job, I do it well, and occasionally do something that makes people take notice (in a good way), but it’s not generally for anything HUGE. I’d like to say it’s because I am working smart, not hard, but that’s not accurate. I simply have not had the energy or desire to put in 110% at work while I am also going to school at night and trying to maintain some semblance of a home life. It's nice to operate on cruise control, to some extent. A part of me wishes I was a person that had the kind of drive, energy and passion to exel at everything. I’m not, at least, not now, and not at what I am doing now. I believe I may some day find that passion, but I know when I do, my commitment to something else will wane. I can’t keep several fires all burning on high heat, and truthfully, don’t think I want to, at least, not on anything other than a theoretic level. Sounds like a recipe for burn-out. Still....on some level, don't we feel we have to sometimes?

Funny, this somewhat warped perspective so many of us seem to share (and the fact I see it as warped is an indication of mental health, I believe). Is it an over-achiever thing, a woman thing, a generational thing…and gosh, how will I deal with it if I cannot label it? Many people look at those of us who are working and going to law school at night, and they think we are amazing. Add in kids and it’s like we’re doing something superhuman. For most of us actually doing it, it’s just life, and we’re wondering how the heck to cram something else in, like law review or a clerkship, or exercise. Then, maybe we realize we are not achieving enough in one of our areas of like – work, home – and step up that involvement a notch. We look for a new job, or a new project to manage, or maybe we decide to have a child, or another child. Who is it we are trying to impress and when will it be enough? My guess is: Ourselves and Never. I think many of us are over the need to impress others. We're self-centered enough that we're really trying to impress the one who always urges us to achieve just a little bit more - ourselves. (I will admit I may be generalizing here, but my guess is, some of you are still with me.)

One direction of thought is that nothing will ever change about that equation until we change our own perspectives - allow whatever we are doing to be good enough, seek balance and be satisfied.


Maybe never being quite satisfied is part of the journey – what keeps the journey going. Maybe the constant push-pull/up-down of not being in balance actually creates the energy of movement. I’m almost never less satisfied than following a long stretch when I’ve allowed myself to become complacent. Living with and being happy with the status quo is what some people desperately seek. They like the inertia of balance. All year, I've talked about balance, but I think the reality is, I prefer jumping on one end of the teeter totter, watching stuff fly off the other end, and then running up the board to see what happens.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Thanks to all

(BTW- What has this world come to when your blog gets high-jacked?)

Thanks to all who posted or sent me personal Birthday wishes, and a special thanks to Hadas, who led our Civ Pro class in a rousing version of "Happy Birthday." No, I don't hate you. Yes, it was embarrassing, but what the h*ll. I'm sure I will embarrass myself much worse in the law school years to come.

My son woke up very excited to open my presents yesterday morning. He managed to wait until the rest of the family was awake, and then I somehow slowed him down enough to let his baby sister help out a bit, too. One of the gifts was an outdoor game set, so we had to immediately go outside and play. Mind you, this was about 8:00am, and I was still working on my first cup of coffee. Still, it was already warm outside and we had fun. Thanks to my wife and kids!

The morning was spent with my family and by noon I was on campus to study. Being my lucky day, there was a BBQ/party happening on campus so I got a free lunch and the opportunity to hang out with a group of fun day students who were very happily intoxicated. I could have joined in, but pretty sure that would have effectively defeated by study session. Besides, the only way to stay awake would have been to continue drinking and as it was only noon, and my classes would not end until 8:30 that night, that just seemed like a bad idea for me. I'm glad it worked out for some of my classmates :)

There was a small amount of drinking, a minor rumble of panic over how much I do NOT remember of Civ Pro, and some great time commuting listening to my new CD - the soundtrack to Rent. Way fun! All in all, a good day.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

**hijacking the blog**
She said not to do this but since when have I listened to what I shouldn't do? :)

This is Casey, partner of the one and only Law School Mama. I'm interrupting your regularly scheduled blog to say:

Happy 40th Birthday, Dakota!!
We love you and would be lost without you.
Casey and the kids

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thought for the Day

Is it just me, or is it amusing that there is a class listed on the 3-year planing schedule listed as "BS Principles for Lawyers"?

(OK, so it probably really stands for "Basic", but I am amused nonetheless.)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Finals are Coming! The Finals are Coming!

So, I’ve been a bit absent since finishing orals last week. Despite my assurances to the contrary, a good friend insists “orals” has something to do with sexual prowess and backs up her theory with the fact that "everyone knows lawyers are out to screw everyone. It’s just part of the training.” I’m leaving that one alone now.


It’s been a recurring theme all year for me. Not just me, but hey, it’s my blog. My “intro paper” for two of our classes last fall was a graphical depiction of the areas of my life that I’d need to balance over the next year. I’ve written about it a few times. I’ve managed balance sometimes better than others, with the overall feeling that nothing got as much attention as I wanted to give it, but I’ve somehow almost managed to survive my first year of law school with my life mostly intact.

This week, I am definitely out of balance, but with finals coming up, I know I am in good company. Hard to focus….mind wanders…much to study and yet, now seems like such a ripe time to be contemplating the future. What?! Student loan paperwork arrived. I can go another $35K in debt next year. At this rate, I will owe over $140K in student loans when I am done. If I am fortunate, and plan all of the “right” experiences and make some “good” connections, I will find a job shortly after graduation (or before) that will pay back the loans and keep my family in the lifestyle we currently have. Chances of any real net gain? Hmmm…..probably not high. A bit, I hope, but really, it can’t be all about the money. So, what is it about…..power, prestige, pretty initials after my name? Maybe it’s the experience, moving forward, a journey to a place I could never have gone before and now can, a feeling that this is the right direction and it really will pay off, both monetarily and in other ways. Yes, I guess that is it.

A friend of mine has a blog: The Journey. The title highlights that life really is more about the journey than the destination. We need to all make sure we are making the most of the journey and enjoying where we are while we are here. Ambitious in this fast-paced life we lead, but so important. Sometimes, I do a great job of it. Others, I see that I appreciate the theory more than the practice, and I have a short attention span for too much of almost anything. Maybe I am a product of too much network television (see "too much" is a theme cropping up), where a multitude of problems are tackled and resolved in 30-60 minutes, and next week, we’re on to something new and exciting. I’m not really going anywhere with this...just enjoying the scenery.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Orals Rocked!

Last night was the culmination of an entire semester, really, an entire year of Legal Writing and Analysis: our oral argument at the downtown courthouse. I remember in the Fall when our prof and TA were giving us an overview of the year they mentioned that in the Spring we'd be completing a 30+ page brief and then presenting it in an oral argument in front of judges at the courthouse, it seemed so remote and nearly impossible. (Thank God my brief writing was not filled with sentences resembling that last one.) We built our knowledge and confidence up along the way, and now, here we are: done.

I was not nearly as nervous as I was afraid I would be, and was happy with my performance. (That is what it is, when you get right down to it - a performance.) I got nailed with a very direct, confrontational question exactly two sentences into my introduction that I had spent days practicing. Still, I was able to answer the question, and all of the questions that were directed to me, and it was fun, partly because I KNEW the answers (Damn, our prof. was right, by the time we did orals, we really did know our case inside and out.), and partly because I remembered them under pressure. We all did well. I was impressed with and happy for my classmates and wished I could have heard more of them do their argument. Our judges asked tough questions, but they also threw us a lifeline now and then. You could tell they wanted us to succeed, but also wanted to push us a bit. Being totally done and having done as well as I had hoped was a total rush. Good thing, because I'm operating on about 4.5 hours of sleep today. (Thanks, in part, to going out with several of my classmates for drinks after arguments. Took longer than we thought since the place that had been pre-arranged by our legal writing dept. for everyone to meet was way too loud and hot and smokey for us to actually talk to each other, which is what we really wanted to do, so we had to walk to a different place. How could we recount our war stories if we couldn't hear each other? Then, on the way home, I remembered to pick up milk like I was supposed to, and added some "Thank-you-for-sacrificing-yet-another-night-to-law-school flowers, for my wife.)

My spouse, one of the few people, it seems, who has not heard my argument - mostly due to lack of time spent together- was waiting up for me when I got home, and was happy to share in my excitement in recounting the evening. Hers, filled with getting cranky kids to bed, was not nearly as entertaining as mine, and I know that is the case with much of our lives these days. She has the day-to-day routine with the kids while I am off interacting with the working world and world of new knowledge, classmates, and mysteries of the law. I will follow Hada's example here and say thank you to her, and to all of our significant other's who are putting up with us law students. We know it is not easy. THANK YOU!!

So, one class done, three more to go! Now the craziness of serious studying really begins. We sure don't get to ride the high of being done with orals for long, do we?
Hang on tight, here we go!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Inappropriate Comment at the Coffee Pot

Excuse me? Did my supervisor really just tell me to add more beans to the coffee grinder while I was in the process of making coffee, primarily for myself? Making coffee in the kitchen at work is not a hierarchical thing, for the most part (other than the dean does not make it, claiming she doesn’t make it very good. Right. Lame excuse.) There are three of us that tend to make a pot of coffee for anyone that wants it – and it is based on when you get to work and how much you want coffee. Many mornings, it seems like too much effort for me and I’ll wait until 9:00 or so to get a cup after someone else has made it. I arrive at work prior to 7:00 though, and some mornings, like today, I am so tired I need something to get me going, plus I figure I should take a turn from time to time. Today, partly because it is so freaking cold outside, coffee seems like the perfect remedy to this sleepy morning. (Did we cover THAT remedy in contracts?)

Back to my original question – as I was putting the bag of beans away, did my supervisor really say – “fill it up to here” and indicate with her finger how high I should fill the grinder? Now – I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “Even the dean thinks you make it way too strong,” or, “We aren’t really supposed to fill it so full that we end up with coffee grounds in the coffee,” or even, “Excuse me?” with the proper inflection. What did I say? Nothing. Too shocked. Too tired. I would say she should not expect there to be a pot already made when she arrives shortly after I do for quite some time. I can drink tea. Don’t like the way I make it? Make it yourself. Oh, right, then I have to drink it. (It’s not so bad as long as you dilute with hot water.)

Yes, afraid that this is the most interesting thing happening in my life as of 7:30 this morning. I am not, do you hear me, I mean it, thinking about my oral argument that is tomorrow night. (Any of you out there recognize the first part of that sentence? Isn’t Judith Viorst wonderful? Did you know she is over 70 and her real life sons, Nick and Anthony are both lawyers? Alexander does community development lending for a bank. - Wikipedia.com and SimonSays.com)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Coke Blak

After months of anticipation of the eutopian blend of Coke and Coffee, I have just finished my first Coke Blak. Thank you, Jen, for the heads up all these months ago, and the frequent teasers along the way. It was well-worth the wait. What's not to love, though, right? Coke plus coffee. Easy win. Smooth, sweet, bubbly. All that's missing is the chocolate and it would be the perfect food.

It is over-priced. Regular price is $6.00 for four 8 oz, stylish bottles. Safeway Club Card price through today only is $2.00 for 4! Score. I bought the limit of four. Hadas, Jen, if you've not yet rushed to Safeway after work, there will be bottles with your names on them before class :)

OK - I'm off to find out about the way the big firms hire in the fall for the next summer. Crazy!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Law 101 for Pre-Schoolers

My son will be 4-years old this Friday. Wow. Hard to believe he is getting to be such a big boy, but he is. He's quite interested in studying and my law school books. On Saturday while I was studying at my Mom's house (way easier than at my own house where said 4-year-old and his 1-year-old sister would constantly interrupt me), he called me. He said he was reading my school books that I'd left behind.

"Are they interesting?"


I was fascinated that he found these pictureless books interesting, but OK.

Then yesterday, he picks up my Contracts and Torts textbooks, carries them into the living room and declares that he wants me to tell him what they are all about. I sit next to him on the couch.

I start with Torts.

"This book is about how if you hit someone you can get into big trouble. Or, if you walk into someone else's yard and damage their stuff, you'll get in trouble."

That seemed to satisfy him. He moved onto the pretty red Contracts book, by Prof. Blum, who I am fortunate enough to have as my teacher, as well. (To all you other students using this book throughout the country - Prof. Blum speaks just as he writes and is an excellent teacher.) My son wants to know what this book is about.

"It's about how if you make a deal with someone, you have to keep up your end of the deal, or you will get in trouble."

"Like, if you promise to take me to the mall and you don't?"
(He totally came up with this on his own.)

"Yes, especially if we had our deal in writing. If I promised to take you to the mall and I did not, I'd be in trouble."

That was it. Torts and Contracts done in less than two minutes. If only our classes were this easy!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

It's Done

You know the part of Rent (the musical) - the 1996 version - where about three different people say, "It's over," all in different contexts about different subjects? The last one, as I recall, is Benny referring to Angel's battle with AIDS. Somehow, that phrase accurately reflects how I feel right now. "It's over." Last night, at 9:40, when I closed my laptop, the nearly-final version of our brief having been sent to my partner for a last review, I felt elated. Today, after some last minute printing challenges, it's merely exhaustion. (Why the h*ll is it on print preview, but won't print on the hard copy?) I guess that could have something to do with the fact I've been dealing with this stupid cold for getting close to two weeks now, and the last couple of nights not getting nearly enough sleep for mostly child-related reasons. At any rate, those things, combined with the HUGE relief of our appellate brief being out of our hands and at the copy shop, have left me wiped out.

Any ideas for how to stay awake during Contracts tonight?

Good luck to all of my classmates. I hope you already are, or are soon-to-be, done with your brief, too!

Monday, April 03, 2006

News in Brief

Ha! In my twisted state of mind, I find that rather amusing. Any of my classmates will probably at least know why, if not be slightly amused themselves. The real point: Our appellate brief is almost done! Very exciting stuff! Sure, there's still some stuff (that is the legal term, I am sure) to do, but the light is there, at the end of the tunnel, beckoning us forward. Yippee!

I thought I had more to say. I was wrong. Instead, I have a bus to catch.

Wow. That's entertainment, eh folks?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Frightening than Young Lawyers

I mentioned a week or so ago that I was amazed that 24-year-olds will soon be released into the world as lawyers. Today, I found something more frightening.

I work on the campus of a major teaching hospital and university. Today I attended a Grand Rounds lecture on psychiatric consultations with attorneys on criminal cases. It was quite interesting, and the case highlighted was a death penalty case where attorneys came to psychiatrists for consultation prior to and during the sentencing phase of trial. The defendant's family had suffered horrible tragedies at the hands of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and as a young child, so had he. There was a lot of evidence presented about abuse, low IQ, lack of proper parenting, poor language skills....etc. The psychiatrist was visibly impressed with what a wonderful job the attorneys had done at illustrating their client's history during trial and said that their level of detail was actually better than most medical reports. As a result, the client received life with no possibility of parole instead of the death penalty. What influenced the jury the most? The main items they pointed to were the horrors the family had suffered and the fact that they'd already had 5 children executed by the Khmer Rouge. This was a wonderful illustration of the powers of persuasion that we are learning about.

Another interesting note is that the speaker said he found attorneys who have sought him out for consultations are often more easy to work with and understand the nuances of cultural issues better than most medical personnel with whom he works. Interesting what that says about our respective fiels of medicine and law.

So, my actual point in all of this?
There were a lot of medical students at this presentation - students who already are treating patients. Some of them could not have been a day over 24. Now THAT is frightening.

Monday, March 20, 2006

What's My Pizza Personality?
(Seemed really important for me to know.)

Everything Pizza

Diverse and adaptable
You enjoy the full buffet of life
It's hard to you play favorites with friends... or flavors
There's very little that you dislike!
How Evil Am I?

You Are 14% Evil

You are good. So good, that you make evil people squirm.
Just remember, you may need to turn to the dark side to get what you want!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Law School Prison Blues

Law school friends - you must check out Mother in Law's blog of March 14 for a great parody on Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues.

Ewwww...need a shower now.

I just got done reading a posting from a fellow law student who found my blog, and so, I found hers.

If you are a member of the religious right or big fan of Jerry Falwell, well, not quite sure how you got to my blog in the first place, but let's just say that you won't be humored by the fact that I loved this post, despite it giving me the heebies:


Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Frightening Reality

They let 24-year-olds be lawyers.
I just read a 24-year-old's blog and she's ordered her cap and gown.

Now, before you start in on me being some kind of age bigot, let me just say, that I bet most 24 year-olds about to graduate from law school are 1) really smart and 2) just as amazed as I am that they are about to be let loose as attorneys in the real world (after passing the dreaded bar, of course). I will likely be amazed when they let me loose, as well. (I'll beat my smartass classmates to the punch and say, "I know, you will be amazed, too.)

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Paper is Done and Other Random Thoughts

WAHOO - The Argument section of my Appellate Brief is done! This is really no major revelation or accomplishment, as it is due in about 3 hours, but still, I feel relieved to have it out of my hands until tomorrow when I go over it with our prof.

Next, practice Oral Argument on Friday. I am very mixed about this. My public speaking ability has gone downhill since the days when it used to be something at which I was quite good, and actually kind of liked. Guess that means the ability really is still there, it is just in a weakened state from lack of use, not unlike many of the muscles of my body. So far, my public expression in class, except when adding a bit of levity to the situation, has been less than impressive. So, four days before practice, and about a month before the "real thing" downtown.

OK - next random thought - a revelation of sorts:
If Barry Manilow did 80's rock, he'd sound a lot like the lead singer in 38 Special. I know - that's weird. I can explain how I got there, but I won't, but I bet the next time you hear, "Hold on Loosely," you'll think of Barry.

Another? OK.
You know when you are driving and you go a distance without consciously remembering doing it? I had a prof when I was an undergrad who explained that our subconscious mind takes care of us in such situations while our conscious mind is occupied with more important things, like wondering what we are going to make for dinner, or if we turned off the oven, or in his case, grading papers. (I kid you not. He READ OUR PAPERS while driving.) Anyway, so I was thinking this morning on my way to work, how did I know that I wasn't just killed in an accident and just believed I was still going about my merry way to work? My answer: If I was dead and my mind was just making up all this stuff, I would undoubtedly leave out the mundane details, like waiting for the bus, deleting my junk mail..etc. I am not detail-oriented enough to bother retaining trivial detail, clear down to walking down the hallway to go to the bathroom and saying hi to someone I barely know. So, when I go to class tonight, assuming nothing happens between now and then, I will be alive, despite my quiet demeanor.

That is clearly enough for one day.