Monday, January 31, 2005

I'm putting all this down in my memoirs, so if I grow up twisted and warped, the world will know why.

Due to the fact that the lady who sold me my new bridesmaid dress extraordinaire was apparently not paying attention to detail I have to borrow my friend's car and drive YET AGAIN to another city to have the damn security tag thing removed. It's actually not that far away, but the tag has to get removed so I can go see the alterations lady and get my friend's car back by the time he gets out of class since, presumably, he has other things to do than have me driving it around all the damn time.

Aside from bridesmaid dress drama, I am super busy with school and work. My "real" work wants me to complete this online training that is taking forever and features scintillating items like "Beryllium Awareness Training" and "Identify the Alarm Code" and "Magenta and Yellow Tape Means Don't Touch Or You Will Glow In The Dark." I'm not sure why I have to complete the entire training since I work mostly from home or the library, but I guess I have that to look forward to tonight.

In other news, three writing classes, plus Fed Courts, plus work, plus this blog = hand not getting any better. Since several people have asked me about it via email, the update is that I have a Dr.'s appointment on Feb. 7th. I'm not sure how much good it does to hear him say "Yup, it's severe carpal tunnel" when my insurance is so crappy that it would probably cost a fortune to take any corrective action, and I definitely don't have time for surgery and several weeks of recovery. On the upside, as my friend pointed out the other day, at least now it's a pre-existing condition.

Anyhow, as you can see, I feel like the world is moving approximately 20 times faster than me right now, but hopefully I'll make some real progress with work and with the dress situation today and that will allow me to actually get marginally caught up in at least one of my classes.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Chlamydia the Wonder Dog and her sidekick "The Clap"

M. and K. have officially adopted Chlamydia (god, just kidding, I'm protecting her real name from online stalkers), a retired greyhound (the pic is from before the adoption, they are good parents and don't make their new daughter sleep on shredded paper)...the cat is an oldtimer in the M. and K. family. Apparently the dog is quite terrified of the cat...and I guess this picture probably captures why.




The weekend beat-down report.

I just walked across the street to the Book Store to try to get a book I need for my Law and Pop Culture class, and guess what? I saw a guy getting his ass BEAT out on the street. It looked like several people were intervening so I didn't worry too much and went about my business. When I came out about 5 minutes later, the kid who was getting beat up was in handcuffs, and it appeared that the guy who I had thought was the bad guy was actually the loss prevention guy from the bookstore. There were three cop cars pulling up with full lights and sirens. Damn.

This is made all the more interesting because last night, on the way to LQ's, I saw three gang guys get into a fight with a total crack whore at the bus stop. Cops showed up and everything.

I feel a little like Stephen Glass in relating these stories, but I swear, I personally witnessed two major episodes of fisticuffs in less than 24 hours.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Choices...so many choices.

What am I supposed to be doing right now? Working and getting ready to go to a little party over at LQ's house. What am I doing instead? Making a "me" doll. H/t Amber and THL. And damn you for forcing me to spend a half hour decided exactly which shirt of the approximately 800 listed "I" should wear. It's practically as bad as real life.




UPDATE: Here's M., the bestest most best friend ever!


*Sniff* Thanks!

Wow. That's all I can say. The comments that were left to my post yesterday, and the very many emails I received saying "that is my story too!" are amazing. I'm not afraid to admit I cried like a little baby over them...I really did. If you emailed me, I will be writing you back...I just need a couple days to read everything again and get back to everyone. The outpouring of support was/is truly amazing.

Moving right along, I spent the last two days bridesmaid dress shopping. The saga is FAR too lengthy to get into since I owe my boss some work this afternoon, but after driving to three different cities and trying on about 90 kajillion dresses, I finally bought this (only in black). It is going to be paired with a cardigan sweater, fishnets, super pointy 50's style heels and pink sparkly jewelry to match M.'s dress. YAY!

I'll be back soon -- must go earn my keep.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Epiphany

Foreword: I *really* debated whether or not I was going to post this. In the end I am choosing to because it's important to me, and I have been struggling to articulate these issues for a long time. But, last night, suddenly, a lot of things became really clear to me, and so I'm posting it...even though it makes me feel semi-uncomfortable to put this much of my "real" self out there, if you will. Also, it completely goes against my earlier pledge of brevity, and for that I apologize.

Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night...oh wait, different story.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. The girl was nice, and funny, and had really pretty eyes, at least that's what people told her. But usually when people said nice things to her, they would say "You're so smart" and "You've got a good head on your shoulders" or even "You've got a lot of potential." Sometimes though, people would squeeze her pudgy little girl cheeks and exclaim "Such a pretty face! If only you would lose some weight!" The girl didn't think too much of it, she was happy-go-lucky and smiled a lot and didn't know why people would think her prettiness depended on her weight.

As the girl got older, she started to realize that a lot of people, including her own father, seemed to think that if she was thin it would make her a better and more valuable person. So, sometimes she didn't eat for a day or two and would feel almost high with her success. But, she was "big-boned" and "voluptuous" by nature, and no amount of starving really got her to the magic point of being thin enough to matter.

In junior high school the girl was thrilled when a boy told her he liked her and asked her to go out with him. She attributed the attention to her newfound permission to wear black eyeliner and enthusiastically agreed. In hindsight, she sees that nothing good could come of this situation, because now she's been trained to be suspicious of every compliment and seemingly kind gesture, but when she was pure and unspoiled, she didn't know better. When it turned out to be a big joke, and that the boy is the one who drew the short straw amongst the cool boys to befriend her and humiliate her for their amusement, she outwardly laughed it off, "Oh, I knew that all along!" But she broke on the inside in a way that wouldn't become obvious for years to come. That was the day she started adding "for a chubby girl" to every compliment anyone paid her. "You sure are smart...for a chubby girl." "You sure are pretty...for a chubby girl." "You sure are funny"...oh wait, this one is expected from a chubby girl.

The girl grew up and got married. People still told her she would be prettier if she lost some weight. Her husband liked the attention he got in public with her, because she was attractive and funny and charismatic, but in private he would nuzzle her ear and kiss her neck and tenderly say "I'm glad you don't lose weight, because then other men might look at you and I would have to worry about losing you."

The girl thought about those words a lot after her husband left her for another woman. Especially when she saw them together and noticed how small and petite the other woman was. The girl started running and lost a lot of weight, and wasn't surprised when the boy came crawling back, begging to be let back into her life. After all those years, the magic formula had finally been fulfilled! She felt like the most powerful woman in the universe when she turned him down.

The girl went into the military where her very career as an officer was contingent upon maintaining her weight. She was weighed several times a year by various people, her livelihood hanging in the balance of being able to attain adherence to the magic number. Despite lifelong struggles with her weight, the girl managed to maintain her magic number through the judicious use of selective eating habits, overexercising, and general neurosis. And then there was a terrible car accident and the girl couldn't run twelve miles a day anymore, or even one. And then she was diagnosed with a thyroid disease and the little bit of metabolism she had left from years of starvation dieting and crazy diet pills was cut in half, at least.

But, the girl was married again by now. She had dated a bit in between marriages. She actually fell in love once. The man she chose was a lawyer, and one day, while she was getting dressed after her shower, he said "You know, you're beautiful." She said "Thanks", not really knowing how to take such a bald compliment, never having received one before, but silently knowing that soon the other shoe would drop. It always did. And he, being a lawyer and so always needing to elaborate, added "I never knew I could be attracted to a bigger woman until I met you." She didn't break up with him though, because she knew that it was better to have someone than to be alone. He broke up with her and shortly thereafter she started running and had her miraculous, life-changing, magical weight loss.

At any rate, she was married again, so why worry about the past?

The girl's second husband was stationed in another state, so she called and told him about her car accident. He didn't seem that concerned, after all, she was "tough" and "independent" and what he loved about her was how she didn't need "constant attention." A few weeks later the girl finally got orders to go live with her husband in his new state and she was so excited they would finally be together, like a real husband and wife.

When she got to her new state she told her husband that she would no longer be able to marathon train with him because of a back injury from the accident. He didn't say much, except that he felt that she had "represented herself to him as an active woman who liked to run and exercise" and he hadn't planned on being married to someone who, at 26, was already letting themselves go. The girl, in the midst of starving herself to stay below the magic number since she couldn't do as much exercise anymore, was saddened by his words, but resolved to do better and to not be a woman who her husband would be embarrassed to be seen with.

Despite her best intentions, the girl's inability to run twice a day started to catch up with her. Her husband would kiss her every night before bed and say "Goodnight." But that was all. She finally asked him what was wrong, was he stressed out by work? Was there anything she could do to help? He said "No, I guess I'm just prejudiced against pudge." Seven months later they got divorced, never having reestablished an intimate relationship.

After a few dark months, the girl reveled in her singledom. She dated lots of men, and got lots of attention. However, it seemed like none of the men she dated ever wanted to have a real relationship. The girl began to think of herself as a party girl. She was fun! She was one of the guys! She didn't get all "attached" just because there was sex involved! She never once thought that not getting attached was a peremptory strike on her part against her failure to maintain the magic number. In the back of her mind though, she always thought that once she got back down to the magic number she would find a man who would want to be with her, publicly and openly, in a legitimate relationship. Like starting a diet on Monday and bingeing all weekend, the girl figured she would have fun while it lasted and once she was "changed" and "good" and "in better shape" she would start looking for a real relationship. It could wait until she was more deserving, until she had enough self-control and willpower to get her magic-number body back.

Despite all the fun she was having the girl decided she needed a change of life and a change of scenery and so she applied to law school, picked one, packed up her life and moved to a city she had never been to before, where she knew no one, and started school. She was lucky to make some great friends, but didn't really date or have any male attention except the kind that comes through the smoky curtain at the end of a bar sometime between last call and where-am-I-do-I-have-a-tab-here?

The girl didn't think much of this turn of events. Law school was hard for her. The other students were critical and competitive and the girl seriously doubted her ability to thrive and succeed. Her self-deprecating sense of humor seemed to make people laugh and relax, so she stepped it up. After all, everyone loves a jolly fat person, right? Her friends would laugh along with her, and then say "You're not fat! Quit it!" The magic number was a distant memory, like a hazy day barely even able to be consciously conjured from when she was three and her dad took her to the Balloon Fiesta wearing green plaid bell-bottoms and she was never sure if she really remembered it or if she had just seen the picture and heard the story so many times that she remembered the happiness her dad felt thinking she recalled it.

The girl started a blog. She would write in it, trying to be funny, trying to be semi-articulate, trying to reach out to a community outside the four contentious walls she was trapped in day after day. And it was a community. The only community she had ever been a part of where every interaction was not based on looks. She traded pictures with a few people, but not that many. She read with interest the observations and comments of other bloggers, calling out the flaws of supermodels, declaring defiantly "No Fatties!", stating their desire to only be with women who were physically perfect. Sometimes, when she thought about it, she wondered if her lack of magic-number-hood would change the views of these other people in her community towards her? "Your blog is so funny, if only you would lose some weight!" "You are so awesome, too bad you're chubby!" "You could be such a better writer if only you would take better care of yourself."

Finally, the girl went to dinner with a friend of hers from school and they talked about why the girl felt like she didn't deserve a man who would treat her well, with respect and kindness. And why she felt that she didn't deserve sexual attention and desire from a man that was sincere and long-term and, frankly, not confined to sneaking in and out in the dead of the night after a couple of beers and a furtive phone call. The girl realized that, voluptuous or not, she has internalized so many poisonous things about herself, about her looks and her talents and abilities, that she doesn't even know where to begin to start getting better. She thought she was being self-deprecating and funny and in an epiphany, a sudden flash, she realized that somewhere along the way she started to believe all these things that she had said and heard, that she was less-than, undeserving, not good enough. She cut herself down to make women like her, and let men cut her down so they wouldn't be threatened by her.

She felt sad and cried when another friend asked her what she wanted in a man, and in a relationship, because she couldn't think of anything except "Someone who is nice to me." It seems like a good place to start, the lowest common relationship denominator, and yet the girl doesn't remember ever having it before and isn't sure she'll know it when she sees it. Or feels it. Her friend told her that she doesn't think of the girl as fat, but whether she is or not, she thinks the girl is beautiful and funny and smart and deserving of more. And the girl wants to believe, so she's going to do her best to try. Because, like a pebble in her shoe, the girl is suddenly nagged by the constant presence of the less-than feeling. It's not enough to take the shoe off and shake it firmly and hit the sole with the flat of her hand, hoping the pebble will obligingly fall out. Oh no, it's time for some new shoes.

Did ya get the memo?

I finally got all my paperwork done. And notice I use the word "done" rather than "carefully completed" or "totally correct." I felt a little guilty today when I noticed on yet another sheet of paper a web address to go to with fillable forms on it, but then I didn't feel guilty anymore when I went to the website and none of the forms were there.

Anyway, here's to another dramatic saga over and done with (unless they return them because they are somehow "not right" in which case I will first kill whoever made Acrobat fillable forms non-save-able*, and then myself).

Now I am going to a lunch presentation put on by my CivPro professor from last year to talk to the 1L's about what I did on my summer vacation. I'm going to leave off all the stuff that happened in bars. And after bars. And, you know, whatnot. I worked hard, stayed in my room reading Supreme Court opinions to broaden my knowledge of the law, did not stay up late, drink too much, or carouse with strange men. Nope, not me.

I have a few posts percolating around in my brain, but no time to write them really. Maybe tomorrow.

*Is this a word? Even a little bit?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Anxiety is FUN!

GIMME A "P"
GIMME A "A"
GIMME A "N"
GIMME A "I"
GIMME A "C"

WHAT DOES THAT SPELL? OH F*CK!

This is a sterling week, the "f" word twice and all...that's two times more than in the entire history of this blog.

Yeah, so I just spent like 2 weeks doing my SF-86 for my summer job, for those of you not in the know, that's a security clearance questionairre. It goes back 10 years. I had to do not one, not two, but THREE continuation sheets because I've moved and changed jobs so much. Right on the front of the form, which I spent the last two weeks completing, it says that you may type or print in black ink, so I printed because the place I'm going to be working didn't provide me with an electronic copy, and I couldn't find a fillable form on the internet. So, over the past TWO WEEKS, I have diligently filled out this entire form....all 18 pages with attachments. Today I got fingerprinted which was basically the last thing I had to do. And then. DISASTER. While getting ready (procrastinating) for my Hearsay quiz tomorrow I decided to look over my forms. And there, in TEENY TINY BABY MOUSE-WRITING, on another form, a form not even remotely associated with the SF-86, it says "and...we will not accept the questionairre in any format except typed." GREAT!

So, I spent an hour looking for a fillable form on the internet, because who the hell has a typewriter anymore, and then three hours transcribing my forms into it, only to find out I CAN'T SAVE IT. I swear I almost cried. I just printed it out and if it's wrong, oh well...they're getting it "as is"...especially since I can't feel any of the fingertips on my left hand and have typed this sentence fifteen times to get it right...I don't want to tell you how awful the forms were with all the numbers and small little spaces and, oh god, the TABBING I had to do. It was awful!

I had to go to a totally other site to get a fillable continuation form, and download some stupid program that I had to register for, but, two weeks and four hours later it's done. For what it's worth.

Tomorrow I have to just do the little specialized resume they make you do for government jobs, and then I *HAVE* to FedEx or it's gonna be late. *Sigh*

I also have to go figure out why, despite all statistical evidence to the contrary, I get EVERY single Hearsay example question wrong. Probability says I should get at least 50% right, right? Maybe this is a sign of another dimension, or an alternate reality...the Hearsay Zone! Where every statement may or may not be an assertion but probably not, especially if you think it is, and every time you think something goes to the truth of the matter asserted, it's really an operative legal fact. BOOOOOOO!

Don't worry...you can totally wear it again!

I am not ignoring you, happy and faithful readers, I am doing work. So I can get paid. So I can buy lots and lots of booze when I visit M. for her wedding next month. I have to go bridesmaid dress shoppping tomorrow as a matter of fact, since I leave three weeks from today.

And, just to prove to you how super-awesome M. is, she has put no prohibitions on the bridesmaid dress except that it not be the same color as her wedding dress (which is going to be pink, she's having it made special, just for her). So, I can't complain because as of right now I am hoping to not even have to *enter* a bridal shop AT ALL, I am going to hit downtown TVPNM tomorrow and see if I can find a nice cocktail dress at any of the major department stores. I would love to have a nice dress I can wear again, but in the absence of that I'll take something that (a) is flattering in even the most remote way, and (b) is comfortable, since the wedding sounds like it is going to be 1/8 wedding and 7/8 booze and reception (no compaints here, that's my kind of ratio). Anyway, hopefully I'll find something this weekend because I would love to have that off my mind.

Today I am trying to get 6 hours of "paid" work done, plus I have a Hearsay quiz tomorrow in Evidence, and tomorrow is my long day at school, class from 8:30-3:30, and then a meeting of the horrible committe I am on, and then, if I'm not dead or in jail, dress shopping. Thank GOD it's Thursday.

Also, the school is having a poker tournament to raise money for Tsunami relief and I don't really know how to play poker except on the machines in Vegas where I mainly push the buttons according to "what looks pretty" or "what isn't spinning"...do you think I could do it? I think it sounds fun but I don't want to look like a total jackass...or, you know, more of a jackass than usual.

Oh yeah, and I got fingerprinted today for my summer employment paperwork. No cute cops AT ALL, in the whole place. Seeing as how both my ex-husband's were cops, that's probably a good thing. I seem to have some issues. It's EITHER the polyester uniforms OR the swagger and the guns...I'm betting on the latter, but who knows.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'm long-winded, what can I say?

My friend at school pointed out to me that all my posts for like, a week, have been super long-winded. He said he wanted to read all of them but he just couldn't wade through them. I will endeavour to write much shorter posts for the next few days so we can all not be scared of coming here to visit and being overwhelmed by all the letters, and words, and you know, whatnot.

Alright, gotta get back to Law and Order: SVU (how creepy is the pedophile dude on death row who can sniff the baseball caps of all the boys he molested and killed and remember their names even though it was about 20 years ago...gah!). I just thought I would let you all know I'm aware of your plight. Note to self: brevity is key.

I love you. And you love me too. SAY IT!

Via LQ, Soupie, and every damn one else.





take the WHAT INTENTIONAL TORT ARE YOU test.


and go to mewing.net. because law school made laura do this.


Did someone say navel-gazing?

It's been a while since I posted anything about law school, aside from one rant about my terrible grades that is getting all the attention, but I've been thinking about it alot, so I thought I would try to come up with something.

When I first started this blog, it was to talk mostly about stuff I thought was funny, some of which is related to law school because, hey, let's face it, if you get this many socially awkward, tense, sleep-deprived, nutty people in one place, funniness is bound to follow. Right? And, as an aside, someone pointed out once that I make fun of my fellow classmates and my professors all the time but that I should be aware that I self-selected into this environment so there might be something wrong with me too. Duly noted. Let's move on.

This morning I thought to myself that the thought of failing out of law school is actually kind of a romantic notion. In my "failing out of law school" alternative reality, I am sitting at a cocktail party, just me and Cabana Boy and my 10 closest friends, and I'm recounting to my rapt audience how, once upon a time, I failed out of law school but it was actually a blessing in disguise because it led me to my true calling, which of course turned out to be marvelously intrinsically and extrinsically rewarding. They all murmur exclamations of support and envy over my ability to overcome such terrible odds and persevere through it all, finding my true calling, and a hottie Cabana Boy, in the process.

In real life, I'm not going to fail out of law school. You know why? Because I go to a first tier school with a B curve that doesn't fail you out but allows you to wallow in a nebulous state of "damned if you, damned if you don't." My grades are OK, middling, mediocre, minimally meaningful, etc. My motivation (love those "m" words today) is slightly lagging. My interest in the law is, ummmm...., focused. And by "focused" I mean "I know pretty much all the stuff I hate." I'm not doing well enough to be overly enthused. I struggle through a lot of my classes feeling like everyone else gets all this stuff on a much deeper level than me and that it's pathetic I'm still here plugging away and trying to keep up. On the other hand, I am still really interested in many things about the law and the legal profession. I like my current job, but wish I had more time for it. I'm excited about my upcoming summer job. I love the "people stuff."

So, the point of this post isn't to make you all go "oh, everyone feels that way in law school" or "don't worry, I'm sure you're doing great" or whatever. I know that people have varying degrees of enthusiasm about law school and that I am not alone, either in my ability to do my part for the bottom of the bell curve, or in my angst-ed-ness over this short-term situation. The point of this post (if it has one at all, which is, let's face it, doubtful), is that I've been thinking a lot about alternative legal careers and I've also been thinking a lot about the overall seriousness of my situation. I have somehow become sucked into the "OHMYGODTHISISLAWSCHOOLIMUSTCONFORM" panic that seems to sweep all law students, at least on occassion. The way I've always handled life crises before is to map out what the absolute worst case scenario is and then see if I could handle it.

Worst Case "I fail out of law school or am a failure as a lawyer" Scenario:

I have a lot of loans that I have pay off.
- I have a master's degree and tons of professional experience, I can get a job easily in several different fields. I have friends and family that love me and will never let me end up in a truly dire situation. There's always webcams for fun and profit.

My family would be disappointed.
- This isn't their life and I've disappointed them before and they've still loved me. I can always lie and say I'm a lawyer and do something else (i.e. webcams). Check into fake business cards.

I have bad grades on my transcript and no one will interview me/hire me.
- I actually have a personality, therefore, at some point I should be able to beat out some of these assholes who have good grades but are legal and social automatons. Barring that, I can invest in a wardrobe that is heavily low-cut shirt-centric.

I don't like it here and might get stuck here, either practicing law or not.
- I have moved roughly 25 times in my life, I am never stuck anywhere. There is nothing more freeing than selling what you can, packing up the rest, and heading out to parts unknown. Parent's basement is always a last resort, but still a viable option. Sorta.

OK, I am feeling better now. Nothing terrible is going to happen if I take the time to figure some shit out as I go along. I get so caught up in the things that have to be done RIGHT NOW, that I forget to go back and assimilate what I know, and synthesize, to use a favorite legal learning term around these parts.

I am going to *try* to find a way not to hate this entire experience. I know it is a means to an end. I know it is short term. I know that *some* other people are having the same reservations and concerns that I am(some are actually gleefully excited about law school and I don't know what to make of that). But, I can't, in good conscience, let the next year and a half roll over me with every day gone and nothing to show for it but 15 hours spent studying for grades which, as it turns out, mean very little to me, to show to employers who, as it also turns out, mean very little to me if all they care about it grades.

Whew. Glad I got that all out. Blogging is like group therapy or something. I can't stop talking, even though I know no one cares, because, well, I love to hear the sound of my own voice (I SHOULD be a lawyer). But also, I want to record this stuff as I think it, so that as I go back, no matter what I end up doing, I can see where I was at different points. These posts are little pencil marks on the side of the kitchen doorway of my life. Or something like that. Yeah.

Random story of the day.

A couple weeks ago I had a bunch of friends over for my birthday, you might remember me briefly mentioning my birthday here, oh, about 22,000 times. My roommate from last year, because she is so awesome, gave me a great big bottle of Chimay to drink while we played some drunken board games, and even bought me a Chimay glass so I could be one of the cool kids.

As many of you know, Chimay, besides being one of only 6 beers actually allowed to be called "Trappist", and being the most fabulous beer I have ever tasted, comes with a cork. Not the small bottles, but the big ones...they all come with a cork, and that is essential to my story.

When I popped the cork on my bottle of Chimay at my birthday party, I was pretty sure I remembered retrieving it and throwing it away, but, let's face it, I was kinda tipsy, so that may or may not have happened. And, as most of you know, corks are light brown. However, most of you probably don't know that my carpet is also light brown. So, imagine my surprise when, as I was cleaning house this weekend I discovered said cork laying on the carpet against the wall in the entrance to my bedroom. This seemed entirely plausible because my kitchen entrance is almost directly across a short little hallway from my bedroom entrance.

Since I am the laziest person on the planet, I simply observed the cork on the floor and thought to myself, "Huh, I should pick that up." But I didn't. Every time I walked by I would see it laying there and think about picking it up, and then convince myself I was going to vacuum "soon" and that I would pick it up before I vacuumed.

Last night, in a fit of productivity, three days after initially spying the wayward cork, I bent over and picked it up. And guess what?

It wasn't a cork.

It was a tater tot.

I did, in fact, eat tater tots this weekend, however, I have no idea how one ended up in my room...it must have rolled off the plate while I was carrying it.

I feel so betrayed. Tater tots are like the leaf bug of the bottle stopping world. So cunning and deceptive.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Love is never having to say "Get that video equipment outta my yard!"

Soupie requested that I revisit my feelings on blog crushes.

Sure, sometimes I read someone's blog and I think, "Huh, I bet they're hot." No real rhyme or reason to it, but I think it's safe to say that in every case it's a blog I find really funny. That being said, do I have a "crush?" Um, not really. A crush to me *necessarily* entails personal interaction, because I don't get crushes on people who I am not (a) physically attracted to, and (b) I am not physically attracted to people I don't know and like and think are good people, kinda sorta. "Good" is pretty subjective, but I can safely say that it is indefinable. People I have crushes on make me laugh and are nice to me. Also, sometimes they're not nice to me...sometimes that even enhances the crush. Sick, I know.

Anyway, the point of all of this rambling is that I just don't think I'm capable of developing something as complex as a crush from reading things that people write on their blogs, things that may or may not be true, may or may not be representative of who they really are, and even worse in some cases, may actually be both true and representative of who they are. That being said, there are definitely bloggers I have gotten to know "behind the scenes" that I can say I have a bit of a crush on. But only on their minds of course, because I'm respectful like that. Anything more than that seems, well, stalker-ish, or something.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Smooches

Scott requested that I blog about my last (he points out that he means "most recent" rather than "last ever"...thank God) kiss. I looked it up, and Blogging Rule 318.329(a)(1)(C) says that I can change requests around in order to write something that's actually interesting...and by "interesting" I mean "not in a bar, fueled by Tequila, and/or prelude to the proverbial one-night stand", so, I am changing Scott's request to "tell us about your most recent AMAZING kiss." Wow Scott, great question!

The year? 2003 (sad, I know). The place? None a yer bizness. I had developed a playful and flirtatious relationship with a man I knew. This man was amazing. When he laughed his eyes sparkled...it sounds stupid, but it's true. They would crinkle up just a little bit in the corners and he always looked right at me when I talked and I knew he was paying attention to every word I said. And he smelled.so.good. The way a man smells to me is probably one of the top three things I notice about him. I always know I'm in love when I just can't get enough of the way a man smells, when I'm secretly sneaking his t-shirts to sniff when he's not around. Conversely, I always know I'm not in love anymore when the man I'm with doesn't smell good anymore, no matter what he does.

Anyway, back to the story. So, this man had amazing eyes, smelled really good, was funny as hell, and had the most amazing shoulders ever. In other words, he was so attractive that whenever he flirted with me I would quickly look behind me to make sure there wasn't some blonde Barbie standing there. Unfortunately for Mr. Perfect, I was on my way to law school and he was pretty settled into what he was doing with his life, so clearly there wasn't going to be any real relationship. We defaulted into a fun "drinking buddy" type of friendship that was exciting to me by the total repression of the whole other attraction issue...nothing is more intriguing then the part where you're still wondering when and if "it" will ever happen. The sexual attraction was the elephant in the room, and for a long time, we both just let Mr. Elephant hang out with us, enjoying the brew and the laughs, but not really paying his own way.

Finally, one night we were at a bar. An old fashioned kind of bar, with bar stools and rednecks dancing to a jukebox and a bartender who only knew how to make "Jack" and "Beer." So, we sat on some bar stools and were just talking and laughing and making fun of the dancing rednecks, when all of the sudden, "IT" happened (not *that* "it" you pervs). I turned to reach for my drink, and he was turning to look at something in the opposite direction, and his leg touched my leg. Full leg contact. Through his jeans I could feel every muscle and tendon and when we sort of bumped into each other he put his hand on MY leg. His hand, right there on my knee. And he squeezed. Just a little bit. Hello Mr. Elephant!

But, the kiss didn't happen that night. We talked about what had just happened and sort of agreed, if implicitly, that we would revisit the subject another night, with less booze and less heady "oh my GOD we just brushed CALVES" romance in the air.

About a week later, this person and I found ourselves in a situation where we were in a room alone. He had asked me to make him a copy of a CD he liked, and so I was dutifully making the CD and asked "Hey, is there anything else you want on here?" He said "Oh, let me see" and leaned over where I was perusing my laptop song collection and all of the sudden all I could think about was his breath on my ear, and the warmth of his chest hitting my back in waves, and that smell! Like gin, limes, smoke, and something warm, his smell always reminded me of the feeling you get when you first drink some really great red wine. He reached over my shoulder to point to a song he wanted and all of the sudden he just sort of touched my chin, and lifted my head up, and laid one on me. And after the kiss, he sort of sighed and kissed my forehead and hugged me really hard and for just the quickest second my face was buried in his chest and I breathed in and tried to take a mental picture of the moment because it was so amazing. I remember being so impressed that he took a minute to be tender (god that sounds so stupid, but it's true, so oh well -- ed.) instead of moving in for the kill and trying to get me into bed right then and there. It made me feel...I don't know...valuable.

Anyhoo, if I hadn't been sitting down I would have fallen down. It was that good. By far, the best kiss I have ever had the pleasure of receiving, partially because of the huge build-up, and partially because of the delivery. Go Mr. Hottest Guy I Ever Laid My Lips On! Way to perform! So, there you go, the best kiss in my recent past.

I'm happy that Scott apparently thinks my life is exciting enough to be getting lots'o'kissin' on a regular basis, but, alas no. If I find a Cabana Boy who knows how to smooch, you people will be among the first to know!

A fortunate fortune.

You will be fortunate in everything you put your hands to...in bed.

Chinese food for dinner and apparently I have the magic touch. I'm sure you already knew that. Not personally of course.

I am so loving writing these requests, if anyone wants to hear more stuff, drop me a line. It's so nice not to have to think of topics for a few days. I will finish up the ones I have in the upcoming few days, and give everyone a chance to read the ones I've already done. They're all really long, sorry about that, but the questions are, like, complicated and shit.

Anyway, I have to finish watching Wimbledon. I got to see that blond English guy who played Russell Crowe's roommate in A Beautiful Mind's bare ass, so that was nice. Too bad the plot is so...um...well, lame.

I heart birthdays!

Happy Birthday LQ!

Flexibility is the key to Air Power

As I continue All-Request weekend here at Favorable Dicta, I am moving right along from my first kiss to my worst job ever and into the next area, requested by both Fitz and Soup, a story about Officer Training School. Soup wanted a funny story, and Fitz wanted to know how I was turned into the stealthy killing machine you've all come to know and love. I'm combining these requests because honestly I can't really remember too many funny moments, and also, the whole 14 weeks was kind of a blur, so I'll have to just try to ramble through the experience and do my best.

My first husband walked out on me three days before the first day of my senior year of college. He was eating a hot dog left over from a barbeque we had thrown the previous weekend and I walked in the door from work and asked how he was doing and he said "I don't love you anymore and I can't live here. I think I want a divorce." And so, I moved through my senior year of college in a state alternating between panic, homicidal rage, depression, and mourning. To make a long story short, my dad told me if I started running I would feel better, and so I did. And, like Forest Gump, only with boobs and better hair, I ran and ran and ran. I got into such good shape that the military started to seem like a possibility for me, but I knew I would only be happy in the Air Force. So I applied. And to make another long story short, I ended up being accepted on my first board. I started Officer Training School on a breezy day in March at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

First, an adminstrative detail or two. Officer Training School (OTS) is different than "basic training" or "boot camp." Basic training/boot camp is something enlisted people do. It is 6 weeks long, and is an introduction to the military, mostly a physical introduction in a lot of ways. It is an attempt to get young enlistees ready to be a part of the military. After boot camp most enlisted people go to a long training school where they learn whatever skill they are going to be doing in the military. OTS is 14 weeks long. It is a comprehensive leadership school. The first six weeks are sort of boot camp-ish, but only in the physical sense. In my flight of 12 people at OTS, 9 were prior-enlisted. If not for those people teaching me the "insider" stuff like how to shine my boots and iron my uniforms and do my paperwork and manage my time I would have never, ever, ever, made it through. Also, without them telling me about the "real" military, I would have looked like an even bigger jackass after graduation than I'm sure I did. But, OTS is not boot camp. Secondly, the way OTS works is that each new wave of Officer Trainees (OT's) comes in at the halfway mark of the last class. So, every six weeks or so a new class comes in, the class over them becomes "upper class", and the class above the new "upper class" graduates. My class had about 160 people who were divided into 3 "squadrons" which were further divided into about 6 "flights" of 9-12 people each. Your flight is your family...you live with them, eat with them, work with them, and count on them to watch your back.

The first thing I remember is going to the MEP Station (I think that's Military Entrance Processing or something along those lines) to get sworn in. I did a bunch of paperwork and then I went into a room with a flag and I raised my right hand and took the following Oath:

"I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the
Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the
orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers
appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military
Justice. So help me God."

At the time, I can remember all of the sudden thinking "This is it, I can't back out...I have pledged to DIE for this country." And I cried a little bit, in a proud way...it was a very life-changing moment. For people who have never been in the military it can be hard to describe what it means to say to what is basically an institution, headed by the President of the United States as Commander in Chief, but representing some pretty nebulous ideas like "democracy" and "freedom" and "justice" and "truth", that you are willing to give your life to the "cause", as it were. Anyway, it was a big moment. After I took the oath, I left MEPS, and because I was local (my parents were stationed at Maxwell and I had been living with them), I drove myself to OTS and reported in.

Reporting in is a process that I *think* I remember being told I'm not supposed to talk about, so I won't too much. It involves being screamed at a lot while you try to memorize the Honor Code, your new address, and your room and building number. It can take hours depending on how flustered you get. I remember hearing people crying late in the night and upper class OT's shouting "YOU CAN GO TO SLEEP WHEN YOU GET IT RIGHT OT." It was pretty intense.

The next few days are basically filled with getting uniforms, getting screamed at, getting shots, drinking a lot of water, memorizing stuff, and getting yelled at some more. There are specific "magic phrases" that make things happen at OTS. For instance, whenever you need to walk down a hall and you have to pass an upperclass OT you have to stand at attention and say "Sir, OT Spatula requests permission to pass." It seems simple, but on three or four hours of sleep a night, and physically and mentally exhausted, and sometimes with an upperclass OT who is a little sadistic, this can take hours. This process is for everything. You can't do the simplest thing without asking permission in a certain way, and it has to be done perfectly.

Eating was another fun time. There is an entire process for getting into the mess hall. You have a time assigned to your flight, and you are expected to get your shit together, march to the mess hall, and report in at your time. Only, reporting in takes forever because it's so complicated. Once you finally got in, you would get your food and there was a whole other set of procedures to follow in order to eat. We got 2 minutes for breakfast, 3 minutes for lunch, and 4 minutes for dinner...at least for the first few weeks, and then I think we got 5 for each. Each person would sit down at the table and you all had to "ground" your silverware and trays. Grounding a process that you do with basically all your belongings and it involves putting them flush against the edge of something, usually a piece of tape that the instructors had put somewhere. Then someone kept time, and everyone would eat until that person signaled that time was up. After that, everyone would get up at the same time, with precision, and do a little routine involving putting the food trays and plates and stuff away. Did I mention there was no talking at all during this whole eating process or demerits would be given? Yeah, no talking.

After the first couple of weeks, most of OTS was filled with physical fitness activities, leadership stuff, classroom lessons on the military and the Air Force, etc. There are room inspections, uniform inspections, personal inspections. Marching everywhere takes up a ton of time. Basically from about 5am until midnight or 1am we were busy to the point of total exhaustion. I didn't have time to miss my family and friends that much. Mostly I just plowed through, trying to remember what I had gone through to get there, and how proud I would be if I could finish and have the most intense physical and mental experience of my life behind me. At week 6 you get to wear your "blues" for the first time. Up until then we had been in either BDU's or our fitness gear. During "New Blues", the ceremony associated with the whole wearing of the blues, you get your upper class rank as well. My dad came to the ceremony as a VIP and cried. It was one of the proudest moments of my life. After New Blues, the lower class shows up and basically you go through with them what you just went through with your upper class, and you have duties associated with training and leading them that are on top of what you already have to do anyway. The experience of OTS is why things like law school rarely seem that threatening to me. Even writing about it makes me wonder why I'm complaining about being busy...of course, there it is a closed universe, you don't have to do anything but train to be a military leader, so you're not pulled in as many directions I guess.

Anyway, I knew I was going to ramble. I could write about OTS for WEEKS because it's a long and very complicated process that takes you from being a normal college kid to being an officer in the United States Armed Forces. There is absolutely no way that I can convey the experience of OTS to you with any kind of clarity. At once it is a process that teaches you to think critically and make snap decisions and to show leadership in adverse situations, and also a process that necessarily takes away a bit of your personal identity and replaces it with a group identity, a process that changes you (I used to think subtly because I hadn't really noticed, but in hindsight I realize it was profound and I was too tired to notice) from the inside out. You can never be the person you were before. But for me personally at least, that's OK, because I feel like the benefits I got out of the military were so great, and the skills I learned so important, that I don't think I would even want to be the same as I was before.

I will try to think of a "funny" story, right now nothing comes to mind except "funny" in the "tragic" sense. Like, oh my god, it was pretty funny when I had to do an exercise laying out fake landmines and the first three times I did it I blew up half my flight. HAHAHA. See, not funny. I'll work on it though.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Wait, he's smoking what?

I did NOT say this. Wait, yes I did. It's the brain cloud, I swear.

You will not like me, but the more you hate me, the more you will learn.

F&D requested, among other things, that I talk about my best and/or worst job. Since things have been kinda heavy around here lately, what with all this talk about first kisses and hopeless romanticism, I thought best and worst job stories might be just the thing to lighten the mood a bit.

The best job I ever had, ever, in my whole life, was working at Baskin Robbins. I have liked other jobs I've had, but working at BR was awesome. I basically got to make cakes (I can still make pretty decent frosting roses), give happy people happy ice cream, hook all my friends up with shitloads of ice cream and cake, and get hit on by dirty old men who would try to look down my pink polo shirt every time I bent over to make scoops. That being said, I think the reason I have such fond memories of my ice cream scooping days is that I had a good friend that worked there with me, M. pretty much lived there, always eating her favorite, peanut butter and chocolate ice cream with strawberries (M., I love you but that still grosses me out), a boy that I had a HUGE crush on would often come in with the soccer team after practice and I would give them ice cream and they would just hang around and socialize (one of my favorite activities to this day...as if you didn't know). It was just a fun, happy, no-worries place to work. I started at $3.15 an hour, and after my "probationary" period was over, I got a fab raise to $3.45 an hour. Minimum wage was (I think) about $4.00 but they didn't have to comply for some reason, because they were a tiny franchise or something, and so, in search of greener pastures, I ended up at The Worst Job EVER.

M. and a really hot guy, who would later become Ex Mr. Spatula #1, both worked at a dry cleaning place in a strip mall about a mile down the road from our high school. M. and I had become super best friends forever, and so she got me a job at this place, and off I went to the land of minimum wage and carcinogenic chemicals.

If you've never worked at a dry cleaners, let me paint the picture for you. At the front of the store is a counter where customers drop off their filthy, nasty, disgusting clothes. Behind that is usually a place where all the clothes hang for pickup, and where you bag the clean clothes after they are pressed. Behind the hanging and bagging area is all the presses. There are shirt presses, pant presses, and big square presses for other types of things. At the back of the store is usually the big machines where the actual dry cleaning is done, and big washers and dryers for shirts and other laundry.

The place we worked at had no air conditioning. In South Florida. So, the back door was always propped open, usually with a bottle of some unlabeled chemical that I'm sure will one day cause me to have three-headed babies. But, the temperature at the front of the store when the machines and presses were on hovered around 710 degrees farenheit. The people who ran the presses we called "The Trolls." They were mainly women with little to no education, supporting their 19 babies and usually an ex-husband who beat them up but got to stay at home all day in the trailer with his feet up, drinking Bud Light and watching ESPN 8 "The Ocho", because he was "looking for work" but "hadn't found anything he wasn't overqualified for." The Troll ladies would get to work at like 5am and start pressing clothes. The presses are SUPER hot, and once you set the top part down on say, a pair of pants, it locks in place while the steam and heat set the crease. Let me just tell you that aside from maybe stevedores or those guys that work in the big holes in the New York City subways, I have *never* seen anyone, let alone women, with so many awful injuries. One lady even got her entire arm stuck in a pant press, and let me repeat, you CANNOT open it once it locks down. I mean, there's probably an emergency release or something, but when an emergency would happen they would all start freaking out while some poor lady would burn her finger or hand or arm off.

Anyway, the rest of the people that worked at the dry cleaner were pretty interesting too. There was the owner, Vivian. She would stand next to the dry cleaning machine, shoving in clothes and chemicals, the whole time with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth with an ash on it about three inches long. Jenny, M. and I were all counter people. Jenny had to "take a break" from college because she "couldn't handle the pressure" and spent most of her time attending jai alai matches in downtown Tampa with her abusive, much older boyfriend. Then there was Roxie. Roxie's dad was in the military and worked with my dad. She was kind of a dingbat and ended up getting pregnant (she was in 10th grade) after using a form of birth control that could be generously described as the "jumping up and down method." As a reward for failing out of high school and getting knocked up, her mom and dad bought her a brand new Miata which she would park in the lot next to my 1989 Hyundai Excel hatchback. There were a whole host of miscreants, ex-cons, and petty criminals of all varieties working at this place, but the real freaks were the customers.

We had these things called "priority bags" that customers could put their name on and then fill with clothes and just drop off, so they didn't have to stand in line. One guy, we'll call him Mr. X, used to bring in FIVE priority bags at a time, all filled with men's dress shirts. Probably about 200-250 shirts at a time. He would drop them off and EVERY SINGLE TIME go, "Special attention to the collars and the PITS." It was so gross. Plus, he always brought them in like five minutes before closing and so we would be there for two extra hours tagging all his stupid shirts and putting the treatment solution (which was some kind of foul smelling chemical in an unmarked plastic squeeze bottle that we would spray all over people's clothes) onto the "collars and PITS" which, as he had pointed out, needed "extra attention." YUCK. Priority bags were the bane of our existence. We were a dry cleaner, not a laundry, but these people and their effing priority bags thought they could do whatever they wanted. They would bring in a bag full of dirty underwear, sheets their kid had pissed on, and clothes they had clearly worn 47 times between cleanings, and just drop it off. We were supposed to put anything that wasn't dry cleaning or laundered shirts into a plastic bag and give it to them when they came back to pick up their stuff. That fun task usually ended not only with us having to wear rubber gloves to touch some nasty, funky underthings, but with the customer screaming at us when they came back and realized that we hadn't just "dry cleaned everything." I have NEVER been more verbally abused at any job I've ever had than when I worked at the cleaners.

Also, let me tell you about the shit people leave in their pockets. Used condoms, money (THOUSANDS of dollars sometimes, like checks that were already signed, and TONS of cash, big wads of it), notes from women/men they were having affairs with, pens, pencils, underwear, pantyhose, dirty pictures, knives, bloody handkerchiefs (tourniquets?), wallets, jewelry...the list goes on and on. It's good to know that people can apparently take off a piece of jewelry worth thousands of dollars and have complete confidence that the people working at the dry cleaners, most of whom were either convicted felons, high school students, or illegals working under the table, will return it with no harm done (and by "harm" I mean "pawn it and use the money to buy crack and hookers.")

And people are just so dirty. My God, every day was more disgusting than the last. One time a lady brought in her husband's pants. She told me that he had puked while wearing them and it had splattered all over them and she wanted me to take these little arrow stickers we had that we would put on clothes to point out stains, and mark every little puke spot on these pants. This lady is wearing a diamond ring the size of my head and her husband can't afford new pants? Also, I don't think we had 97,000 arrow stickers with which to mark this guys pants. He must have really been sick. But, of course, that beats the OTHER spots we would find on men's pants. I had no idea so many men were getting it on in their nice suit pants, and I think the really perverted ones actually enjoyed pointing out the spots and making us put the arrow stickers next to them. "Oh, look right here, at the white spot next to my zipper...I must have spilled something while I was eating!" Yeah, whatever you perv, just go away. One lady wanted us to clean her sister's Harley Davidson cutoff, arms cut out, biker-bitch t-shirt that her sister had been wearing when she was in a motorcycle accident where was not only killed, but DECAPITATED! The family wanted her to be buried in it (this was South Florida after all). Oh hell no. Uh-uh. I have to say though, I think our manager ended up doing it for her because she knew her. But not this girl, no way was I getting *near* that thing, I don't care how insensitive that sounds.

But, the incident that is really burned in my mind is the day that I was furiously trying to staple tags to a huge load of shirts someone had brought in, and I accidentally stapled THROUGH my finger. I stapled my finger to the tag and the shirt, with an industrial size stapler. It hurt SO bad. And when I looked at it, I totally lost it. I walked to the little medical clinic in the strip mall, and they had to bend the staple back with some kind of forceps tool thing and pull it out. I swear to God, it was so traumatic. I seriously had to go home and lay down, Southern-belle style, and rest afterwards. Ack.

Anyway, there you go, the worst job ever. My advice is, no matter how desperate you get, shun any job at a dry cleaners. Also, take those nasty things out of your pockets before you go. God.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Here's to staying single, drinking double, and sleeping triple.

Alan wants to know why I would want to cure myself of hopeless romanticism and idealism.

That's a tough one. I guess I don't think, for me, there is anything wrong with either of these things, except that I am consistently disappointed by the ability of others to live up to my expectations and standards.

My parents have been married for almost 35 years and are still deeply in love. It is telling that M. said one of the reasons she is marrying K. is that she feels like, together, they have many of the dynamics that my parents do. I'm not saying they have a perfect relationship, I'm just saying it's perfect for them. In my house the family takes a walk together at least once a day. We always ate dinner together. We had a family night all the way until I graduated from high school...friend's were invited but I had to be there. This is one of the ways that M. first became involved with my family, and they quickly adopted her as Daughter #2. Often my high school boyfriend would end up playing Trivial Pursuit with my family on a Friday night because I had to do "the family thing" before I could go anywhere. But aside from all of that, my parents are physically in love with each other, not just with being parents or the *idea* of what they have if they stay together. They hold hands. They always go to bed at the same time. They worry and fret over each other's defeats and celebrate each other's triumphs. And so, at least twice in my life I have thought that I could somehow attain that same level of love and affection and harmony, and twice I have been utterly cowed by the power to destroy a relationship that abuse, atrophy, and apathy can wreak, especially when wielded by someone who is not the least bit interested in being an active participant except in the sense that they participate in breaking everything that's good.

And so, over the years, I've internalized the things I've seen at home, and even with a few bad relationships behind me, I am still idealistic. I still think that I will meet someone who will love me because I will always make him cookies, and I will always rub his forehead whenever he puts his head in my lap as we watch a movie on the couch after a really long day, and I will write notes for his lunchbox so he knows how much I care. And the thing about this is, I know I will do these things, because I always do. Maybe not these things exactly, but I am always the person in any relationship who puts forth 99% of the effort. As my dad says, if relationships are cars, I have always been the engine and I am always on the lookout for a good lugnut.

In terms of being a hopeless romantic, I guess what can be so hurtful about being idealistic is that it doesn't seem to pay off, does it? I never was a perfect wife or girlfriend in any relationship, but I feel comfortable stating, with 100% confidence, that I always, bar none, put in far more than I ever got out. Maybe that's the thing about people who are sort of naturally willing to give and be caretakers, they are doomed by being attracted to people who like to take. Every last one of them fulfilled my need to be able to take care of someone, but always at the expense of feeling like I had no one to turn to when *I* needed a little lunchbox love note. And so I guess as I've gotten older I realize more and more that I do want someone who is on more equal footing with me, because in hindsight I realize that even though I had good intentions, having to control someone into loving you is probably never going to work out well. Correct?

I guess now I would say I am a practical romantic. I still have a tremendous desire to find someone who I am compatible with and who I can have a fulfilling relationship with, but not anymore at the expense of who I am, who I want to be, or the general values that guide my life and my behavior (yup, I actually have some!). It can be sad to realize that you've been through some bad relationships, and learned some valuable lessons, and the people who keep asking you out are just like the people who stomped on your heart in order to help you learn those valuable lessons. I don't know, I hear men tell me sometimes how different they are, and how evolved and fabulous and caring and sensitive they are, but I don't often see actions that back up their assertions...at least none that last past the initial "please go out with me" stage (and in my case, not even then apparently). Maybe people just don't do all that romantic and mushy stuff anymore, I don't know...if so, I think it's tragic that it's gone and all we're left with wedding parties wearing Pimp and Ho track suits and people pursuing ever growing numbers of drunken hook-ups.

So, I don't think I actually cleared that up at all, if anything, I rambled quite a bit more than I intended. In a last bid at being concise, I wish sometimes that I was able to lower my own standards of what I expect from myself during a relationship so that I wouldn't be so disappointed with what I usually get out of the other person in terms of their contributions to the relationship. But secretly I'm glad I can't. Because it makes me happy to believe "it" is out there somewhere...I guess I just don't know where yet.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Being a teenager sucks, but that's the point, surviving it is the whole point.

Kristine requested the story of my first kiss...so here goes. (I apologize that this story ended up being so long, I couldn't help it).

The year was 1991. I was 16 years old. My family moved to Alabama in the summer between my sophmore and junior years of high school, my third high school in as many years. My parents were worried about me going from a suburban rich kid school in California to what was essentially an inner city public high school in Montgomery, Alabama and so I was forced by my dad to submit to an IQ test that would allow me to get into a special high school for total dorks smart kids. In my first, and one of my last, acts of complete and utter rebellion, I refused to go after being accepted. Instead I chose the inner city school, complete with all the issues one would expect...a decision I somewhat regretted by the end of the year, that year having been the height of the song "Pop That Coochie" and me being solicited daily in the halls for a chance at a fabulous coochie popping of my own performed by one of the many local yutes.

So, I settled into my new environment. I started getting a ride every morning with a girl in my class whose dad worked with my dad. Her brother drove. I had a big crush on him, but he was a senior, played baseball, and wanted nothing to do with me. He ended up getting a girl pregnant, dropping out of college, and working at a home improvement store. Heh. As an aside, this girl's father was the first person who ever played Jimmy Buffett for me. I had heard all the usual songs, but her dad played the guitar and would often sit in front of their fireplace and play Jimmy songs and sing, and I've been a fan ever since.

Anyway, back to the story. Into an innocent young girl's life a little evil must creep. And, in a harbringer of basically every relationship I would have until...well...now, that evil was in the form of a man. And, he was a man. He had failed 12th grade and so was 18 or 19, from a prominent Montgomery family (his dad was a lawyer of the "picture on the back of the phone book" variety), and his name was Donnie. He smoked, drank, sold acid to the other kids, and wrote me lascivious notes that were both grammatically incorrect and incoherent. But, of course, he was devastatingly handsome. He asked me to the mall. I snuck out and went. We held hands and walked around and around and around.

At some point, on a balmy Alabama evening that smelled like cut-grass and night blooming jasmine with bright stars just on the verge of being right there with us, he was hanging around outside my house, smoking and hiding from my dad and he told me he could do a backflip. I stated my absolute belief that he could do no such thing, so he got up and demonstrated, doing not just one, but several backflips. And then he flopped down beside me in the grass and said he was dizzy and laid his head on my shoulder and kissed me. He tasted like beer and cigarettes and all things male and handsome. He smelled a little bit like smoke, and leather from the jacket he wore all the time even though it was too hot for it, and that sort of singularly delicious smell of "boy" when it's a boy you like, sweat and cologne and probably mystical teenage pheromones.

In my mind he was a character of the Jimmy Buffett variety...all bay rum and beachy rebellion. In that moment I pictured how he would change because of my love and devotion. I could tutor him into passing 12th grade. I could show him what being a part of a family meant. He could learn that with someone who loved him it was possible to rise above the expectations that have been set for you by people who don't understand what is in your heart and in your mind just waiting to be discovered (by me of course!). In that exact moment, with goosebumps and a chill up my spine, I felt an electricity that seemed special and fleeting and unique, but that I've since felt with the two or three other men I've really been in love with the first time they kissed me. A sense of awareness but detachment. Knowing what's about to happen but still not knowing what to expect, only that it's going to be exciting and it will make your tummy flip over every time you think about it for the next three weeks.

I really remember that first kiss I think because it was a long time coming, I had moved a lot and had never had an opportunity to really be a part of my school community and date and go to dances and such. But, I also remember that kiss, and the days following it, when Donnie took up with a girl named Kellie in my Algebra II class and he wouldn't make eye-contact me with me even when I confronted him in the hallway after lunch one day and asked point blank why she was wearing his class ring, as being the first time in my life, my adult life of womanhood and sexual almost-maturity, that I felt less-than. Unworthy of his attentions because he was handsome and popular and I was, in my mind, chubby and brainy and a goody-two-shoes. I had been an adolescent whose hair was never quite exactly in fashion, whose pants were not quite pegged right, whose band shirts were just a little out of date, and finally a boy liked me who I NEVER thought would because I just wasn't "that girl"...or even "one of those girls." You know the ones, they eat whatever they want and stay thin, their jeans always fit perfectly and are never too short, they glide and never stomp, their hair hangs in tendrils instead of unruly strands. Those girls. It seems stupid because of course he was a prototypical loser, and I was taking AP classes and already on a path to college and certain academic success, which in my family is and was equivalent to life success. But it's strange how one day, as a woman, you realize that one boy, one man, can determine the path of your sort of "female identity" for years to come.

Postscript: Donnie called me years later out of the blue while I was home visiting my parents on Christmas vacation from college. He had joined the Marines, was getting married, and wanted to tell me that he still had all the notes I had written him in high school and that he had turned his life around. All these years later he thought I should know that he appreciated who I had been in his life. He said that he was sorry for what he had done because he knew my intentions and feelings had been pure and that when he had read the notes again he was shocked by my unwaivering support of him and my certain knowledge that deep inside, where only hopelessly romantic girls who read too many sappy novels and watch too many happily-ever-after movies dwell, where they moon over bad boys and other unsavory but strangely magnetic characters, I had somehow known he was a good person. Only he was hiding it, cleverly, like a lot of people do. Because he needed the right girl, who was of course, ME! Just kidding...technically I guess it was the girl he was marrying. Or maybe he just needed the Marines. Anyway, it was great to hear, although I'm not sure it helped me change my idealistic and hopelessly romantic ways. It seems to be an incurable affliction. But still, those halcyon days of pure love are a memory that I still mentally peruse sometimes when I think of where my life has come and gone. I hope that feeling is like the cliche about always being able to go home, because it seems idealistic perhaps, but ideal at the same time, to go back to there.

The snozzberries taste like snozzberry.

OK...I'm totally over the trauma of grades because so many funny things happened today.

Evidence Class:

Prof: "...problem with people is that they often lie about speed, time, age..."
Me: "Length"
Friend: *snort*

Prof: "...it can be very difficult to portray sarcasm in a written format..."
Me: "God, tell me about it"
Friend: "Perhaps we should tell him about the sarcasm mark?"

Law and Pop Culture Class:

Someone (can't remember if it was Prof or classmate): "You know how they say everyone has a cocaine receptor in the brain that makes you want it and makes it feel good to take it?"
Quiet Guy in Class: "Do I ever!"
Whole class: BAHAHAHAHAHA

Classmate: "And so, you can see that while Atticus Finch is more like a 'King Arthur', Scout and Jem are more like 'Frodo' and 'Samwise.'"

Funny things that are the result of me not being able to feel my left hand/arm:
-Typing words wrong 18 times in a row.
-Dropping change and having to do an entire gymnastics routine complete with backflip in order to maneuver backpack into position allowing me to pick it up with my right hand.
- Spastic dropping of Admiralty textbook on bus.
- Wonder and amazement when I am holding things because I can't feel them. HEY, where'd that bottle of Diet Coke come from? How long have I been holding it? Where am I?
- Total lack of fine motor control.

I've gotten some good requests via the comments and email, but if you want to hear about anything in particular (PLEASE save me from having to think stuff up on my own) you know what to do. Or maybe you don't. Leave a comment or send an email...like I said before. Sheesh.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Memo to self: Fuck law school.

I rescind my earlier contention that I will be taking some time off to get all my studying done. Wanna know why?

Grades are back.

I worked harder last quarter than I ever worked 1L year, or in my entire academic life for that matter, and you know what?

My grades suck. They are stupendously bad. Not "drop out of law school to work at Burger King" bad. Or "They're gonna kick me out due to my total inability to learn the law and apply it to a hypothetical fact pattern" bad (even though it's true and they should). But subpar. Sub-curve-par. One or more standard deviations below the mean.

Fuck.this.shit.

And you know I never use the "f" word around here.

But seriously. I have a numb hand, I had a panic attack today complete with crying and wheezing, I seriously doubt I will ever exceed at this no matter how hard I try and in direct contradiction to the fact that I have succeeded at everything else I've ever tried, and I found three more gray hairs today. Even though I JUST DYED MY HAIR! Damnit.

Alright, I'm done.

Vaseline is the public masturbator's best friend.

I interrupt my craziness to bring you the quote of the day:

"He was very nervous, wearing loose fitting shorts with no other clothing, and he had a tremendous amount of Vaseline covering his entire body and the interior of his vehicle," Lansdale police officer George Johnson wrote in the criminal complaint.

Inside Cassell’s vehicle, police found pornographic magazines, sex toys, women’s garter bands and leggings, and a jar of Vaseline, according to the arrest affidavit.

When Cassell was arrested and searched, police discovered he was wearing a pair of women’s thong underwear under his shorts, according to court documents. When questioned by police, he admitted to having a problem masturbating in public places, according to court documents. (emphasis added)

I'm assuming by "problem" the author of this story means "can't stop" because in the context of that sentence it seems like he's got it pretty much down to a fine art.

Also, seriously, NO requests? God...I must be even less inspiring than I thought.

As you were.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hell yeah I smoke my mom's crack. I do what I want!

Alright people. Listen up. I hate to lower your already rock-bottom expectations of this blog, but I have to take a couple days off. My boss at work has decided to focus on what I've been doing for the *entire* Friday staff meeting...which is 4 hours long. He is printing off my work onto 42-inch paper, these HUGE spreadsheets, and is giving it out to everyone so we can all "talk about it" and "brainstorm." Yeah.

Also, I have a paper due tomorrow at 9:30am and one due at 2:30pm and the spreadsheets are due to the boss tomorrow by 5pm so they can be printed out. Due to all of this, I am at least a week behind in Federal Courts (the hardest class EVAH), and at least a few days behind in Admiralty andohmygodi'msostressedoutandmylefthanddoesn'tworkeither.

Anyway, I'm fine. Except for the fact that I'm probably going to have a nervous breakdown...but only if it doesn't actually require me to use my nervous system which seems to be broken.

I will be back probably around Thursday night. I promise to make it up to you by doing a BTQ style all-request weekend. If there's no requests then I'll hate you all forever.

Tu aliento ole como los melocotones.*

How long could I use the random other language phrase generator? ALL DAY LONG! I am endlessly amused by this. There are two different settings, humorous and serious. I have helpfully labeled these for you...because I'm nice like that. Also, my deepest apologies to whichever blog I stole this from, I saw it a day or two ago off a link from somewhere and now I can't remember where. Oopsies.

German:
(Humorous)
Das nennen Sie ein Schinken-Sandwich? Nehmen Sie das sofort weg!
You call that a ham sandwich? Take it away at once!
(Serious)
Sollen wir Federball / Badminton spielen?
Shall we play badminton?

French:
(Humorous)
Ça te dit de rentrer chez moi et de faire des choses que je raconterai de toute façon à tout le monde?
Fancy coming back to my place and doing the things I'll tell everyone we did anyway?
(Serious)
Je voudrais être électricien(ne).
I would like to be an electrician.

Dutch:
(Humorous)
Als je nu jou teennagels wilt afknippen, alstublieft doe dat ergens anders.
If you must clip your toenails now, kindly leave the kitchen.
(Serious)
Ik wou een stuk taart.
I would like a piece of cake.

Portuguese:
Desculpe, pode dizer-me se Satanás vive aqui?
Excuse me, can you tell me if Satan lives here?

There was no Portuguese serious, so I'm filling in with Spanish:
(Serious)
Me he desconectado.
I have been cut off.

*Spanish: Your breath smells like peaches.

Monday, January 17, 2005

You're making Leroy very mad.*

Since you already met Ex#1, and we're having torrential downpours here today that render me unable to go out and do anything interesting to write about, and also I've been at school working since 8am and will probably be here until 8pm, I thought maybe today would be a good time to introduce Ex#2.

Ex#2 is what happens when George Carlin, Peter Pan, and fraternity boys have a baby. He's a "fun guy"...loves to drink and cuss and joke around and just generally be a big drunken ham. I know you're thinking, "So, why wouldn't you two get along?" And the answer to that is complicated. First of all, I have the *capacity* to be mature when the situation calls for it...like when talking to my parents, or while I'm at work. Secondly, I have an above average ability for caretaking and for being able to look past my own needs to what's best for the relationship. Thirdly, I do not participate in drunken activities that can get me killed. Usually.

The only way for you to truly know Ex#2 is by examples...so, without further ado...the highlight reel.

Dating:

- I have often spoken on this blog about my parents, and how much I love them, and how incredibly puritanical they are. That is not an exagerration. They do not see "R-rated" movies, they don't drink, they don't cuss, they don't do anything "bad." Really. So, they came down to Florida to visit me and Ex#2 (they only lived about 3.5 hours away) when he was "staying" with me. He was living with me, but since it was just for a couple months we hadn't really declared it as such. Just as an aside, my parents decided to stay at a hotel because they didn't want to stay in the house because they thought it would condone us living together. As another aside, they would later come to wish they had encouraged cohabitation rather than marriage. Anyway, they came over after dinner and we all sat down to just watch TV and talk. This was at the height of the whole Viagra thing (no pun intended), and a "Bob Dole touting the benefits of Viagra" commercial came on. Ex#2 turns to my dad, who by the way outranks him by like 5 ranks, and is MY DAD, and goes "God Mr. Spatula, I know I have that problem all the time, how about you?" in regards to...ahem...erectile dysfunction. I have literally never seen my parents that uncomfortable. They left shortly thereafter.

- The first time Ex#2 visited me in Florida, he asked if he should bring some booze or anything, and I said "sure!" He showed up with a plastic gallon jug of Servicemember's Gin with a squeeze top. And pimento cheese sandwiches from the gas station down the street. Not just vile, vile+.

Marriage

- At various times during our marriage, Ex#2 would comment that I "seemed sad" and would often do something to try to make me feel better. These things included (but are not limited to): pulling the emergency break on the freeway, driving over the lawn and pretending he was going to crash through the front window (the window I was sitting next to inside the house in order to get some light to read), juggling knives (usually this required alcohol), and teaching the dog to grab Diet Coke bottles and run outside with them through the doggie door, telling a joke to my parents with a blow job punchline, and telling my parents a story involving anal sex between retarded people (c'mon E. Spat, it's FUNNY!).

- Ex#2 LOVED hot peppers. He would often eat 10-15 habaneros at every meal, just one right after the other. He would grow these peppers, habanero's and fatali's, and all sorts of other super hot ones, and then dry them, blend them up, and sprinkle the powder on everything. One time he blended up the dried peppers and then just stuck the blender in the dishwasher, which was old and crappy, and left to go running. About thirty minutes later the dog started to cough and gag, and then I started to cough and gag and my eyes were watering. The dishwasher wasn't sealed well and steam, in the form of pepper spray, was being released into the entire front of our house. We had to not only buy a new dishwasher, but it took HOURS to be able to go back in the house without gagging, and my eyes were red and runny for an entire day.

- Along the same vein, one of the Ex's friends came over for dinner and the Ex gave him a habanero to try. Of course, the friend freaked out and ran to the bathroom to wash his mouth out (it won't help buddy) and decided to pee while he was in there. Without washing his hands first. The first bloodcurdling screams were horrible and all the Ex said was "Oh, sorry dude, I forgot to remind you to wash your hands." That guy never came over again.

- Ex#2 was restoring a car in our garage (a story for another day) and he would spend HOURS every night and weekend day out there. I couldn't figure out what he was doing because the car never seemed to get any closer to being finished, but there was a HUGE pile of rags and other assorted debris piled in the corner of the garage. Because I am an ADULT, I was scared of the rags bursting into flames and burning our house down, so I decided to throw them away. And discovered...wait for it...a PONY KEG hidden in my garage. Ahhh...the closet drinker. Awesome.

- On our one-year anniversary of being married, I took Ex#2 to Austin for the weekend. I got a super swanky hotel room, and we went out on 6th Street for some nice food and booze. Only, Ex#2 got DRUNK....so drunk in fact that he spent the entire night puking up his guts in our hotel room while I sat in the lobby having a panic attack due to my vomit-phobia. On the way home he accused me of being "frigid" for not putting out...I guess he expected it in between trips to the bathroom or during the ten minutes he wasn't passed out on the floor.

Divorce

- During marriage counseling, after extensive visits with the counselors, they actually told us that "we should think seriously about cutting our losses and moving on without each other."

- During marriage counseling we had to do this exercise where you draw a circle and you put all the stuff you had before you were married (house, car, independence, etc...anything you want) and rate it one a scale of 1-10. We drew our circles and I rated my pre-married life a "9" and he rated his a "7." Then, you draw a married circle and put all the stuff you have now in it, and rate it again. I rated mine a "2" and he rated his a "3." After all of this we went out to Chili's (I swear to God, I don't know what it is about that place) and decided that we should try to preserve our friendship by not being married. The next day I came home and he was drunk and was painting huge post-it note yellow circles on the walls so the house wouldn't "remind him of me"...by which I guess he meant "have any element of sanity."

- After the divorce we made one half-hearted attempt at reconciliation because he swore he had changed and was ready for a mature relationship, and I had just gone through a really bad breakup with my post-divorce rebound guy. So, I went to where he was for a visit and he took me to Niagra Falls, where he got super drunk, embarrased himself in public, and would only stop at one non-drinking establishment, the duty free store at the border to buy, you guessed it, more beer to take home. My how times had changed!

Anyway, I could on and on about him all day, there are SOOOO many stories, maybe another day I'll tell one of the longer ones. Now you've met both my Exes, so I guess you have the foundation to understand why I choose to be single. However, I do need to point out that Ex#2 and I have stayed in touch. I wouldn't say we're "friends" but he lets me know how our dog is doing, and he recently got remarried and seems very happy. He emailed me to let me know he was getting remarried with the following observation "I guess I never really understood what it meant to be in love before." OUCH.

* A favorite phrase of the Ex when I was doing something to annoy him. Leroy was the dog.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

The end of an era.

Due to my brain cloud, I am having a lot of trouble typing. I think the good news is that the doctor has pretty much ruled out all the really horrible causes of "the cloud" as I like to call it, but the bad news is that in addition to a bunch of other things I apparently have, which are causing some of my other weird symptoms, I have really bad carpal tunnel. Like, hand entirely numb, can't put on my earrings, can barely type, can't feel my fingers, can't put the cap on the Diet Coke, can't hold a glass, hand hanging limply by my side, carpal tunnel. No surprise I guess since I spend about 17 hours a day on my laptop. However, you will probably notice that I will be on AIM much less than I was before. And, I will probably try to blog *after* I finish my homework so I don't exhaust my typing resources when I still have "real" work to do.

It has been getting progressively worse and I notice that lately I am having trouble even taking notes in class because, since I can't really feel my left hand at all, my typing doesn't make a lot of sense if I'm not staring at the keyboard...something I've never had to do before. I've actually started taking handwritten notes in most of my classes to try to combat this getting any worse, and the doctor promises that he'll try to get me some of those dorky splints next time I come in, but until then I basically alternate between pain and total numbness.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that I apparently don't have diabetes, or MS, or any of the other terrible things that numb hands can be a symptom of...especially because I had numb feet last year due to a compressed nerve...so the combination of numb hands and numb feet had the doctor worried/perplexed. For now I'm sticking with his carpal tunnel hypothesis...but I have this nightmare that in like five years I'm going to be walking around with a pen stuck in my numb claw, a la Bob Dole.

I don't know how to make a laptop any more ergonomically correct, but if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

A little slice of random E.Spat Heaven.

I am inexplicably in a great mood this morning. I think I have reached Chimay nirvana or something...I had just enough to make me feel so happy, but not enough to make the next morning icky. Also, I'm on my second Diet Coke of the morning in my favorite form, the 20oz plastic bottle. In my perfect world all Diet Coke would come in ice-cold in 20oz plastic bottles (and would not give me brain clouds). Also, Chimay would flow through the land like a lazy river of goodness and harmony and Cabana Boys would peel caramel hershey's kisses like grapes and bend my straw to just the right angle to allow me to drink Chimay directly from the flowing river of happy beerness. Ahhhh...it's like my own version of heaven. Oh yeah, and Jimmy Buffett would serenade me and the Cabana Boys so that I could relax and so they would have music to work to...it's so hard to clean my apartment and make me snacks without good music. And I would have a fabulous dog not named after a venereal disease for Beefy to play with, and pink notebooks to write in, and sweet cream ice cream with caramel and mini-marshmallows in it, and medium point rollerball gel ink pens, and pumpkin nectarine scented oil for my oil burner, and five million different shades of pink yarn to crochet.

Chimay. Mmmmmm.

I'm a little bit drunk, but this is a LOT funny. I don't even care if it's fake. It's that funny (note that you have to go through each page individually).

In other news...let's hear it for Chimay on tap. Also, I think technically I managed to maintain my new adultness/dignity while still indulging in my happiest, most favorite beer. I did let down the person who needed a ride from me* and had to take a cab, and I feel bad about that, but not as bad as I would have felt with a DUI. So, all in all...good happy times.

Also, next weekend we're gonna potentially have a showing of Super Troopers around here...I'm shocked and disheartened by how many of my friends haven't see it. For shame.

*I'm rocking the city in a borrowed car this weekend.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

GET IN YOUR CORNER!

Quote of the day...maybe even of the whole week:

"The bed was moving back and forth and then - swoosh - the comforter's burning," said Leo, who ran from the fire, apparently leaving her behind.

He said he then dialed 911 from another neighbor's place.

"This is so embarrassing," said Leo. "We had never done that before and now she's in the hospital and my cat's dead."

Shamelessly stolen from Fark.

Don't call me radio, unit 91.

M. just called and we had this long conversation about how weird it is to finally feel like we're growing up after all the times in our lives that we've made decisions just *knowing* that we were fully-formed, mature-thinking adults. I might write more about this topic later, but suffice it to say that in taking this little stroll down memory lane with M. I am reminded of some of the crazy adventures I got caught up in during my younger days, and I am astounded, positively perplexed, as to how I made it out alive.

Friday, January 14, 2005

I heart clean clothes.

Just in case you were wondering, the comment I made in the post below about how I'd rather be doing laundry must have been like a beacon to the Gods...a big fat lightening rod of bad luck pointed directly at me...me and my dirty laundry.

Three washers full of clothes. Two out of three don't spin the clothes, thereby leaving me with sopping wet loads of still sudsy laundry. The washers AND dryers take a laundry card that you have to preload with money in order to operate them. The money loader machine thingie is in the apartment office. Therefore, if you only have $3 left on your card, enough for three loads of laundry to be dried, and it's after 5pm...your only choice is to dry as much as you can and then hang up about 90 million various and sundry pieces of clothing all over your apartment and hope for the best. So much for cleaning up.

My Friday night was spent reading about ten million pages of my Evidence book in preparation for a paper that needs to be written this weekend. God, I love law school. On the up side, Beefy got all moved into his new digs and seems happy about how much bigger this tank is, yet seems creeped out by the filter. Guess I'll have to get him used to it in stages.

Tomorrow night...Chimay on tap at a local bar. But not too much, let's not forget my resolution to be a more mature and upstanding citizen now that I'm out of my hedonistic 20's.

No news is most assuredly NOT good news.

I just went up to Academic Services for my twenty seven times a day perusal of the book that tells whose grades are in...of course, the two I'm still waiting for aren't in yet. I wasn't worried though, because, today is the last day for grades to be turned in. OR SO I THOUGHT! The very nice lady that works up there told me the last day is actually Tuesday, and all grades will be posted sometime Wednesday...so, I guess on the one hand that means I don't have to check every 4.2 seconds for the rest of the weekend...but on the other hand, I'm still going to. I *have* to know.

I'm off to a meeting...a meeting that actually makes me look forward to doing my laundry tonight. I know...it's sick. The things I do for this school.

Damn you Sprint PCS

Cost of a new cell phone battery: $40
Cost of a new phone after $150 rebate for my old phone if I wait until Feb. 8th: $50

So, I guess I'll be dealing with the thrice daily recharges until next month, and then I'll get something even smaller and more technologically advanced that I will lose and be too stupid to understand. Hooray.

Moving on up for Beefy McManstick Badass Spatula

Grades are due in by today (supposedly), and I've only gotten one so far. However, I check approximately 92,673 times a day, so I would appreciate it if my professors would turn them in as soon as possible so that I can get back to my normally scheduled life.

Beefy McManstick Badass Spatula (who is STILL ALIVE) got a new aquarium last night. It has a little filter and a light in the lid, and the plastic plants are MUCH nicer than in the old one. However, I haven't cleaned his water in about two weeks because I've been planning on moving him into this new aquarium once I bought it, so hopefully he won't die before I have a chance to get him moved into his new place tonight. I'll try to take a picture of it once he's all settled, provided that he toughs it out through the move.

Last night I acted as a fake juror for my friend's Trial Advocacy class. Each of the students brought a friend and then they did voir dire on us. It was actually pretty interesting, and the "professor", who is actually more of an "instructor" I guess, is a practitioner in the local legal community. He was quite a character. Their mock case concerns a liquor store being sued for selling more alcohol to someone who was allegedly already clearly intoxicated. One of the "lawyers" asked me "So, you raised your hand and said you have a liquor store near your house. Does that pose any problems for you?" And I said "Well, no, I would consider it to be more of a convenience." The "lawyer" responded to that, still hoping to get me to say what she wanted, with "So, you don't ever see intoxicated people or other criminal activity going on there?" And, I busted out laughing and went "Well, it's not crawling with....like...hobo's or anything like that." Everyone got a good laugh, including the instructor, so I guess my work there is done.