Friday, September 28, 2007

Law Student Treads Water

The weekend is almost here! It has been a busy week, and will be a busy weekend, as always, I suspect. I am beginning to feel behind at school, even though I technically am not. This is maybe the point at which I realize that I am reading and paying attention in class, but haven't had any time to consciously absorb anything. I'm just treading water, but not really learning to swim. It is this way every semester, I suspect, for most of us work-by-day/school-by-night students. At some point, probably around finals, much of it sinks in, but I fear much gets lost, as well.

What I haven't got a good grasp on is my energy paper. There is so much to learn that it is hard to know where to focus. At least, I am really interested in it, which is good.

Today, after class and a bit of work, I will go to my mom's to study. I am not sure if it is good or not that I cannot work at home. The kids are just so excited to spend time with me (and I with them) that it doesn't work out. Poor wife, whenever she wants to work from home, doing blogs or scrap booking, she mostly has to wait until the kids are in bed. Have you ever noticed on TV that the parents get to do whatever they want, whenever they want, even if they have 10 kids, and the kids never get in the way? Isn't that false advertising?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

That Time of the Semester

After class yesterday a friend mentioned to me that she seems to have hit that point in the semester where everything stops making sense and the amount of information to learn seems overwhelming. I haven't hit that wall yet, but know it will come. It always does. Maybe it's not a wall....maybe it is....I don't know...something that just has to be ridden out and acknowledged, but you know you will get over. It is sort of a storm - you can't see through it, and aren't making any forward headway - but it will clear.

So - if you are coming up on that storm, or the storm is coming up on you - grab your rain gear and have faith that it will clear.

Whine about Meal Planning

When you have to eat two meals away from home, meal planning can be a real pain. OK, no matter what, meal planning can be a real pain. Don't expect me to offer any answers here - I have none.

I have recently started trying to pack a fair amount of food into work on Mondays - the makings of at least a couple meals - cheese, fruit, Coke - and figure I can supplement that as needed. It's nice having a 'fridg at work where I can safely keep my food. Still, sometimes I don't want to eat what I brought or it seems like too much trouble to prepare to take to school for dinner. (Trouble = open can of chili, add some cheese and cranberry sauce, find containers for it and for the leftovers. My threshold for "trouble" is apparently low these days.) Sometimes it seems like some diet pills
would be easier. They don't even have to be ones to help me lose weight, although, that would be a bonus, but ones that would provide nourishment, like a meal replacement, THAT would be handy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Confessions from a Dabbler

I confess, I'm a dabbler. I get interested in things quickly - sometimes pursue them a bit - and soon am onto something else. ("That's not dabbling - that's ADD." Maybe.) I play around with illustrations, electronic and non; I've played at gardening, writing books, various home businesses, and countless other things. I read a lot about Internet marketing trends and what the biggest "gurus" are saying, and fortunately, have invested very little money into any of it. Most of it is free, if you look around enough, or at least, the advice about who to listen to and who not to bother with, is free.

What was my point? Oh, right. If you are anything like most people, you have thought about starting your own Internet business. Everyone seems to be making money there, right? The entire world is potentially your customer or your audience. Cool - but where do you start?

There is so much to know about building a web site, and getting in good with the search engines, and advertising...and on and on, and pretty soon you either give up, or try something out of desperation to make a move. Most people who start a web business end up with no traffic, or pay way to much for what little they do receive. (No - I do not have a citation for that fact. Just trust me. I'm not a doctor and I do not play one on TV.)

About two years before I started law school, I did a ton of research because I wanted to start a business to bring in some extra cash. I finally found a product/service that seemed to offer way more than everyone else at a very reasonable price, plus they had a money back guarantee. I explored their offerings, success stories, samples..etc. and was really impressed.

I finally took the plunge and purchased Site Build It.

What a fun process! Ken Envoy, owner of SBI, walks you step-by-step through figuring out what you are interested in and building a content-based web-site that will attract traffic, and eventually, generate money for you. Best of all, the techie stuff happens without you needing to know a thing about it. It took me maybe a month or so of working very part-time to build up a decent-sized web site, but I could have had it up much faster. Within a few months, or so, I was making an average of $100 per month.

(The site, in case you are interested was:

About then, I started really focusing on the LSAT, and left the site on auto-pilot. Once I was accepted, I decided not to renew my annual membership, even though I could have made back the money in just a few months. That was a mistake. It was generating cash! Hello! Well, I was overwhelmed with the prospect of law school, and the 2 little kids, and leaving Wife home alone with them all the time....

Anyway, I have come full circle and plan to recreate the web site, or a version of it anyway, in the not-too-distant future. (Maybe after I've made some progress on my energy law paper.....) I've done a lot of research again, and through independent means, ended up back at SBI again. Their methods are tried and true. No gimmicks. No get rich quick. Just a little work each day or each week (or a lot all at once, if that suits you), and soon you will have a web site that will attract more and more traffic each month. You get the traffic - you can make money.

So, if any of this sounds good to you. Click here to check out more about SBI. If you have questions about my experience, feel free to comment here, or to email me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Escape to Seaside!

It was a beautiful, sunny Friday.

I was supposed to be going to do my homework.

I wanted to go to the beach.

The beach won!

For details, check out Wife's blog.

I am now fitting in my homework in between work and classes. I'll end up taking some time off of work tomorrow, but it was worth it! Even though the weather on the coast was not supposed to be particularly nice, it ended up warm and wonderful! Lots of good time with the kids, and Wife and I dreaming of a kid-free weekend. (In reality, none of us is ready for that....but kids asleep by 6:30, or a babysitter so we could enjoy some shopping and quiet dining time sure would be nice!) The bright side of fitting in last minute studying, is that the material will be fresh in my mind. That almost never happens! I study on Friday for my next Tuesday and Wednesday classes. This could be good! (Like how I rationalize my impulsive behavior?)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Law School Schedule Blues

So, we are one month into this new semester, and I must admit, none of us (the family) have adjusted well to this new schedule, yet. Fortunately, we've had no "normal" five day weeks where there wasn't a first day of Kindergarten, or a Holiday, or a human or computer virus to remove me from either work or school for a few extra hours with the family.

Five full days is a long time to go without seeing Baby Girl (who is really no longer a baby, but still the baby in our family). I generally see the Boy in the morning before I get up. He is an early riser, and likes to get up to spend time with me, even if he is only watching tv on the couch while I rush around feeding cats, dogs and myself. Wife and I spend half an hour up to 2 hours together some nights, but by then we are both pretty beat, and the together time is mostly vegging in front of the tv after taking care of any "must do-s".

Yup - weekends are the best! Sleeping in, hanging out playing and reading stories to the kids, watching movies (oh, and the shopping and other chores), and just all being together. That's what it's about, isn't it?

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One of Those Days

Seems I am having one of those days where my mind is rambling from topic to topic and I am going several different directions at once. I believe the politically correct, polished term for this is "multi-tasking." *grin* I have worked on a number of contracts, done several blog posts (as you may have noticed), spoken on the phone for both family and business purposes, helped a co-worker figure out what to do with some misc. items, made coffee and drank said coffee, done some emails and I am, back at my blog.

No class tonight. It is study night. Tomorrow is study afternoon, followed by family evening. Good. I miss my family :)

Furniture and More Furniture!

If you are looking for Contemporary Bedroom Furniture, Furniture From Home is a nice looking place to browse, and possibly make a purchase. They have furnishings for the living room, dining room and home office, and a really big selection of bedroom furniture . The pictures provide good detail and are easy to load. Shipping is free, and in case you are new to buying furniture online, they have a whole page devoted to easing your mind.

Given that our kids are getting bigger, I am most interested in kid bedroom furniture, and they have some really distinct pieces. I especially like the trundle bed sets - great for sleep-overs! Funny, in our house, I am pretty sure that the child bedroom furniture, is what we have spent the most time and money acquiring. Maybe some day, we'll treat ourselves to a really nice matching bedroom set, but first, we'll make sure the kids' rooms have been properly outfitted!

Flashback to First Year

I know I have some first years reading this blog. I don't know if you will find this reassuring, or not, but probably. Last night during class I totally felt like I was somewhere in my first year again. I could barely track the conversation, the case I'd read only barely resembled the one the prof. was talking about, and I was so tired I really just wanted to go to sleep. Yup - sounds like first year alright! Fortunately, it only lasted for about 2/3 of the class and I felt almost experienced again as we neared the end of class. By the second class of the night, I was on top of my game again, and understood about 75% what our adjunct energy law prof was talking about! (Not a bad percentage for that class!)

So, if I had a point, I guess it is that sometimes, we all feel lost, but eventually, we find our way out of the dark.

Is Working Hard Smarter?

Interesting thinking about work ethics, isn't it? Have you ever had a job where people thought you were Wonder Worker just because you did what you said you were going to do when you said you'd do it? I've had several of my friends answer that question affirmatively. Is that such a rare occurrence these days? Sad. Of course, it does make it easy to stand out: just do your job. Now, if those people were in a pay for performance situation, the world would be just and they would be getting paid more than the slackers in the cubes down the hall. In the real world though, mostly, those that do work well, get more work piled on them to compensate for those who do not do their work well. Is that screwed up, or what?

Relaxing in your own Conservatory

How relaxing would a conservatory be, or, as we call them in the US, a "sun room"? (Conservatory sounds MUCH nicer!) This site has beautiful Home Improvements products, such as windows and doors, driveway cobblestones and garage conversions. "What is a garage conversion?" you may ask. It is a package to turn all or part of your garage into living space, or specialty storage space.

This company offers beautiful and practical products, with a variety of special offers to make the cost more affordable. So, if you live in the UK - check 'em out.

If not, you can still take this moment to relax, breathe deeply, and imagine yourself stretched out on a sofa in your very own conservatory, the sun bathing your skin in just the right amount of warmth. Ah.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Computer Peace Restored

Elimination of the computer virus problem, by removal of the computer, seems to have quieted our hectic home. Odd that the computer virus seemed to have infected the human inhabitants, as well. At least the crankiness and frustration seems to only to have been a 48 hour virus.

Just another sad testament to our society that there are people out there whose greatest challenge in life is to mess up the lives of people they don't even know. (Sound a lot like anti-gay activists, don't they?) Do I believe they look beyond their own challenge to the consequences of their actions? No, not really, not beyond the simple thought that society somehow owes them and this will really show 'em. As Wife mentioned, though, imagine if these peoples' energies could be focused on solving real problems. Wow! What power that could be! Solutions for achieving world peace? An end to world famine? Affordable alternatives for clean energy? An end to global warming? Who knows?!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

5 Stages of Computer Virus Grief

We were hit by a computer,correction, computer viruses and spyware. Hit hard. I was on the phone with a gazillion agents from Geek Squad on and off through various antivirus sweeps for approximately 40 hours before giving up and asking for a refund.

It was quite an emotional and physical ordeal. I realized, as I was going through it, that there were stages to this process.

1) Anger. Damn. Porn Pop-ups when I am not even on the internet. Great. Just what I want the kids to see.

2) Hope. Geek Squad can help for just $99. Nice, knowledgeable agents available 24/7. Lots of tools. This problem can be fixed.

3) Despair. Nothing is working. Even when the analysis says the system is clean, it is not. We are embarking on another 2 hour and 40 minutes sweep, after which they will look at it again. This will never end. I should throw my computer out the window now.

4) Resignation. Eventually something will work out, somehow. We'll probably have to dump the whole system and start over. I'm too tired and drained to care much anymore. Whatever.

5) Acceptance. System is infected beyond repair. Let's save personal files, wipe out the entire system and start fresh. Better yet, let's pay someone else to do it. Let's have him install more memory, while he is at it. It will be better than new, soon!(Thanks for the recommendation, Nikk.)

An entire lost day of work and classes, countless hours on the phone, and two very NOT relaxing "family" nights at home, and it looks like the problem will be resolved by Thursday morning.

Those responsible for viruses and spyware deserve to suffer a very long and painful death.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Random Friday Thought

I was thinking about the phrase "piece of mind" only I was really meaning "peace of mind." If you want reassurance that all will be OK, whatever the contemplated action is will give you a peaceful sense - thus "peace of mind." With me so far? If someone else gave you the advice, say a "piece of their mind" does that give you a reassuring "piece of mind"?

I should probably go get a cup of coffee now. *grin*

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Am Not Gay Enough

...or at least, my blog is not. According to someone's blog that Wife found, our blogs are only "Gay-like." I thought at first it was "Gay-Lite," you know, all the fun but with 1/3 less calories? So, feeling "not gay enough" I brainstormed this with my fellow law students.

We did find some flaws in my/our lifestyle. We had not taught our 5-year-old son how to play any form of baseball or softball until recently. We do not play golf, or tennis, or any sport really. I did get points for being able to reference "toaster ovens" (the fabled prize for recruiting lesbians into our secret society - made famous by Ellen Degeneres on her previous tv show.) I think I should get points for being a woman married to another woman. I don't drive a pick-up truck or a Subaru. I don't write much about the S&M dungeon in our basement, because, after all, all good gay people have a wild sex life. I am also not political enough. Do I get points for my son proudly telling everyone he meets that he has two mamas? Maybe there is not enough drama in that. People just smile at him and tell him what a lucky boy he is. Perhaps that is it - lack of gay drama.

Guess I am not gay enough.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Thoughts of lawyering and mommying

Wife and I went to an awards ceremony at at drag show cabaret/bar last night. I was the recipient of one of their several generous scholarships. It was a warm, wonderful crowd. The people that much of society looks at as freaks do so much wonderful fundraising throughout the year to benefit scholars and community organizations. It is a shame more people do not realize that fact. Anyway, I was feeling bad most of last night because when I had to give my "thank you speech" it was the opposite of everything "WE" expect lawyers to be - articulate, poised, prepared. My voice was shaky and when I went to say thank you to my wife, who is pretty much raising our children as a single parent during the week, I got all choked up with tears. (Thankfully my mention of our 13+ years together received a nice round of applause.)

Have women fought so long to be respected in this "man's profession" that I feel like being emotional takes away my credibility? Maybe. Maybe it's also those emotions that will keep me in line, and doing the right thing for my family, and others I impact.

I feel better after reading a friend's post today. It is a poem about appreciating the wonderful moments with our children. I was in tears after reading it and remembered something I realize more and more. Being a mother has changed me. I am more emotional. I see how beautiful and how fragile life can be. I worry about my kids and I love them more than I ever thought possible. I don't think that will make me a bad lawyer. I think it will make me a good one - well-rounded and able to keep an eye towards what is truly important.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

End of Summer

I can feel it in the air - the end of summer rapidly approaching. (I know, I am in denial - Son and I are both in school, let's face it, summer is over!) The days are still getting warm-to-hot, but there is a chill in the air in the mornings and leaves are starting to change color. We may still be able to get in one more evening with the fire table on the back patio, but I'm not sure. Before I know it, our boy will be bringing home Fall-themed artwork, and we will be shopping for Halloween costumes. Where did the summer go?

Fun Times in the Mailbox

Remember how fun it was when you were a kid to get to go to the mailbox? I loved getting the fun stuff that my mom didn't want, like pretend checkbooks that were really coupon books, and have been happy to discover that our son has the same belief that Mailboxes are a unique form of toybox. He and Daughter happily played for a good hour today with junkmail and a very fun toy catalog. Too bad we generally aren't nearly as excited by the mail that we get!

School and Home: Two Different Worlds

Wow! The less I am around home, the harder it is to be there sometimes. Isn't that odd? I miss spending time with my kids and wife, but the less I am there, the less tolerance I have for the crazy messes - the cars, the little men, the castle parts, the doll house parts, the jigsaw puzzle
parts, and the books scattered everywhere. The noise is a bit insane sometimes, especially compared with how quiet work and school are. Then again, I look around, and my two-year old plops herself down on my lap with a book and asks in the sweetest voice, "You read this to me, Mama?" and all the craziness is worthwhile.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Annoying Sales Pages

I guess this is a Friday rant. I'll come up with something at the end to offset it, deal?

Has anyone else done a fair amount of internet research on pretty much any topic about which you could buy an informational product product or service - making money as a stay-at-home mom, home internet business, conscious creation, how to succeed in X? Have you become annoyed by the "sales letters" or "sales pages" or "promotional pages"? They all look the same and have the same features, and all because internet marketing experts tell small business owners this is what works. Really? Still? I mostly find them irritating.

They go like this....Do you need X, Y and Z? I am an expert in X, Y and Z because blah, blah, blah. Here is all the really cool stuff you will learn/receive. How much would you pay? Wait before you answer, you will also get all this really valuable stuff (and you know is is valuable because I am putting a large dollar number next to it)absolutely free when you buy my product. Now, are you ready to buy? Wait! You also get a money back guarantee (because studies show most people will not ask for their money back). Cool, right? Finally, the price and easy payment options.

Clearly, this technique does work, and if I think back to my childhood, they've been selling Ginsu knives on tv with the same basic ad format for years and years. Tried and true method. Still, I find them irritating and will be happy when I stumble across someone doing something unique rather than a version of the same thing that is everywhere.

I'm done now.

OK - good thing about today: It is Friday, which means, if I read fast this afternoon and get the last 5/8 of my homework done, the next two days are family days! It may have technically been a short week, but it felt long for all of us. Starting Kindergarten is emotionally draining, but hey - Son seems happy and at this point, that is what really counts.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

More Law Student Tips I Thought up When I Should Have Been Studying

Check out my recently published content on Associated Content:

5 First-Week-of-School Tips for Law Students

Associated Content publishes articles and pays authors a very small amount for them. I figure, why not do it now and then? I'm going to need some serious coffee money this semester!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kindergarten - Day 2

Another succesful day for our Kindergarten Boy! Yippee! Today he didn't even want Wife to meet him at the school when getting off the bus. They compromised and she waited outside of his classroom, but he found his own way from the bus to the room. She said he looked little and scared, but when he saw her his face lit up and he happily ran to his classroom. Good thing Wife was there, as he had been reassigned to a different teacher, which was, as he put it "his dream come true!" He really like the other kindergarten teacher better than the one he'd originally been assigned, so we are all happy about that.

I tell you, no amount of skin care products could possibly give me the happy glow I have knowing that my boy is happy.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

This weekend the kids and I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas, which despite the strong Disney ties I had never seen before. (Disneyland has a whole The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay they put on the Haunted Mansion in time for Halloween.) I actually enjoyed it far more than I thought I would and the storyline is really quite good. I had to explain it to the Boy as we went along, but he liked it and we both found ourselves singing some of the songs afterwards. It is really fun that he is getting old enough to have an attention span for real movies. Guess we'll need a popcorn machine soon!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

We have a Kindergartener!

Our boy started Kindergarten today.

He was so excited and happy this morning. Wife put him on the bus. His bus trip was outstanding. Baby Sister and I met him at the school so we were there when he got off (and so was Wife by then). He was happy, excited - we lined up to go into his classroom, and it all fell apart. He did not want to go inside. We finally got him in....he did not want to stay and did not want us to leave. There was quiet drama. We finally had to leave, and he was in quiet tears. All of our hearts were broken. Wife and I stressed for the next 2 1/2 hours, wondering how it was going, and why, after such great day camp prep experiences this morning went so terribly wrong.

Wife went to pick him up in time for his 12:05 release - and guess what? He LOVED it, and can't wait to go back tomorrow! I talked to him on the phone and asked what he did. He very excitedly told me he had a snack! How funny - the snack was what he was most excited about, and it was just cereal. What a huge relief. Looks like we are successfully heading into this new phase of all of our lives.

Happy Kindergarten, Son!