parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Tuesday, February 28, 2006
    my pet
    I have seen these around ... most recently at Blonde Justice. I am trying to figure out how to get it in my margins, but it pushes into my posts, and so, for now, Mr. Penguin is top posted.

    adopt your own virtual pet!

    We have a thing for penguins in this house. There are several around the house. They are our friends.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:06 PM   0 comments
    spring break 4 me
    day two of spring break brings 4 degree temperatures, and a 6:30 wake up time in order to get the kidlets to school on time. woo hoo. party on.

    yesterday was spent doing my taxes and going to accupuncture. today was going to include a trip to the gym and a shopping spree (if school books can be the result of a "shopping spree"). Instead, I feel like shit after not really sleeping last night, and I think I'm going to use that coupled with the 4 degree weather as an excuse to stay home. Perhaps take a nap, read a book, and just to feel less guilty, clean up the giant pile of clothing in my bedroom .... designed to get a smile from Beloved. There's very little else to do in the house - he did a lot of work while we were away.

    Tomorrow can be the start of the new gym routine, and the purchasing of several hundred dollars' worth of books so that I can learn about Administrative law, Corporations, Employment law, and Federal Courts. I already have my first assignments in Corporations and Fed Courts, so I can start as soon as I buy the books. Perhaps that's part of why I'm putting it off today. I am reading Little Children ... a novel!! and hope to have time to read at least one more work of fiction after this.

    I am really looking forward to starting up classes again, but I'm determined to enjoy some true down time. I know, I know .... I just got back from vacation - how could I need down time? But this is real down time. The house is empty. The kids at school. I can READ. I can watch a movie (Garden State? Perhaps Season One of West Wing?). I can take a nap.

    :::::: I should also be going to the gym - one of those other Zuska-centric things that I can't often do ::::::::
    posted by Zuska @ 8:23 AM   0 comments
    Sunday, February 26, 2006
    we are home!
    after a very long sleepless red eye flight, us three girls are reunited with Beloved. we are currently (at 2:32 p.m., eastern time) sitting in our living room watching the first Pierce Brosnon Bond film on television, b/c it's about all our tired brains can handle. the Things slept on the plane for about 4 hours. i slept for none. no hours. no minutes. i cannot sleep on planes. so we got home around 8 a.m., and i was asleep by 10, but up by 1, so that i can still sleep tonight. the Things also took a nap, but I woke them, too, since they have school tomorrow.

    beloved greeted us with hugs and a clean home with new curtains he made and put up in the living room. the kitties have said their hellos, and i have sorted through the mail. Now it's just a countdown until bedtime .... man, am I exhausted!

    I have some final trip recap and photos to post, hopefully before I settle in for my week off. Since this coming week is spring break. with 10 degree temps and snow and sleet forecast. My plans include taxes, my FAFSA form, buying books, and reading as much fiction as I can before I'm required to pick up the others.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:32 PM   0 comments
    the end of the berkeley posts
    As I had mentioned previously, Sis and I took the kids to an old favorite burger place, right around the corner from her home, and my old home:

    The apartment building that you can see right above Smokehouse, that's beloved's old place. Back in the day when we were living in separate abodes.

    It was just around the corner from my old house, which I also got more pictures of:

    Smokehouse is not gourmet food, to say the least, but the fries!! They are so yummy!!

    and they have outdoor seating, and the day was gorgeous. So gorgeous that we didn't mind that it took 40 minutes for our food to be readied. The kids ran around in the grassy area nearby and Sis and I made faces at each other through the glass window while she was stuck inside waiting to pick up the food, and I was outside "holding a table" (i.e., soaking up some sun).

    We had fun walking around the old neighborhood in such weather.

    The weather was turning the day we left. The cold was coming in as we were at a park, letting the kids stretch their legs after I spent the morning doing laundry and packing. We didn't get to stay long, it got so chilly. Today is forecast for rain, and it's to last for a few days.

    Yet I came home to 10 degree weather. So my sympathy for Sis's complaints about 50 degree rain will be slight, at best.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:47 PM   1 comments
    Goodbye, Sebastopol
    We had gone back up to Sebastopol in the middle of the week to hang out with our friends. The girls and I stayed in a hotel while we were there, since our friends had work and school in the morning (at least the dad and the boys, A and Little Z were around for us to enjoy). We got our Olympics fix at the hotel, which was nice.

    But not as nice as our ride to the beach!!

    Thing One spent most of the time off playing with F, and Thing Two stuck a little closer to mom. She was able to hold Little Z some (Thing One had NO INTEREST in the baby. None).

    A very nice time, all around. I hope we see our friends again before the next 18+ months passes. But maybe on this coast .... I'm tired!!! Of course it will be no easier for them, since they have 3 kids to deal with .... 2 boys and a baby. I strongly suspect that my Things are easier to travel with than that combination.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:16 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, February 22, 2006
    remember last week?
    when I was an ESTJ? Look at today!!! (I chose to display the top 5, just to check out what the ranking was - this test gave some situational (although simple) options). I kind of think that the ESTJ is still the most accurate. At least for how I view myself. beloved should weigh in on this one!!

    Your #1 Match: ISTJ

    The Duty Fulfiller

    You are responsible, reliable, and hardworking - you get the job done.
    You prefer productive hobbies, like woodworking or knittings.
    Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you.
    Conservative and down-to-earth, you hardly ever do anything crazy.

    You would make a great business executive, accountant, or lawyer.

    Your #2 Match: ISTP

    The Mechanic

    You are calm and collected, even in the most difficult of situations.
    A person of action and self-direction, you love being independent.
    To outsiders yous eem impulsive, surprising, and unpredictable.
    You are good at understanding how all things work, except for people.

    You would make an excellent pilot, forensic pathologist, or athlete.

    Your #3 Match: ESTJ

    The Guardian

    You're a natural leader and quick, logical decision maker.
    Goals are important in your life, and you take many steps to acheive them.
    You enjoy interacting with others, mostly through work related activities.
    Your high energy level means you are great at getting things done!

    You would make a great teacher, judge, or police detective.

    Your #4 Match: ESTP

    The Doer

    You are adventurous and risk taking. You act first, think second.
    You love being the center of attention. Chances are you were the class clown.
    Competitive, charming, and charasmatic - you have your own code of honor.
    You live a flexible life, bouncing between a series of activies that interest you.

    You would make a great salesperson, marketing director, or entrepreneur.

    Your #5 Match: INTJ

    The Scientist

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

    You would make an excellent scientist, engineer, or programmer.

    This version was found at Angry Pregnant Lawyer.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:19 AM   2 comments
    Tuesday, February 21, 2006
    vacation with kids
    Honestly, i believe that my daughters are the best human beings. i adore them.

    Thing One has had her grouchy moments, and Thing Two her bratty ones. There have been times that I've felt exasperated. However, on the whole, this has been great. I have been peppered with their wisdom and insights. sometimes they're displayed through the questions asked, and sometimes put forth more directly.

    The Things are slightly swapping roles on this trip. Thing One, my usually socially awkward child who functions on the periphery, is in the spotlight most of the time, while Thing Two makes due with what she has ... perhaps a 5 year old boy (not something this 7 year old girl would EVER bother with), perhaps her 33 year old momma, perhaps momma's friends. It's typically Thing One who's pasting together her love of reading and her ability to hang out with adults instead of acceptance of her peers. Thing Two is typically being fought over by eager girls. (for example, we stopped by A's 5 year old's classroom, which is a mixed class of Kindergarten through 2nd grade (thing 2 is in 2nd grade), and all the 2nd grade girls were just STARING at her, and were trying to engage her in conversation).

    I think this is good. For both of them. I think Thing Two could use to see what it's like to not be clamoured over, and that Thing One deserves the break - the chance to be fawned and fought over.

    At my friend A's house, her son F and my Thing One have the tight friendship that I previously described. her 5 year old son want in on that. My Thing Two ends up on the outskirts of it all, and often comes and hangs out with me - who is more than willing to play a game, or to scratch her back (which she loves) while she reads a book.

    Another pleasant surprise ... Thing One has been really expressive about how much she misses my Beloved. During the whole process of us becoming a new Family, it is the Thing One and Beloved relationship that has required the most effort (in my opinion, perhaps Beloved thinks it's he and I, with the law school chaos and all .... he has made my life nothing but easier, and more palatable, and more blissful. Perhaps that cannot be said for him, with the demands that lawschool makes). We have talked things through, we have tried different things, we have had patience, and lots of love. It has been more good than bad ... but there has been some transition issues. But on this trip, Thing One is really missing him. And to me, that's an icing on the cake of all the progress we've made through hard work and carefulness. She has, through this expression, the family we've created. and I am happy about that.

    And as i said. I love my kids. I love their happiness. I love their adaptability. I love their senses of humor. I love their passion about the olympics, and their excitability over the deep and hot bathtub in the hotel room. I love their perceptiveness. I love the conversations they're now capable of having. I love that I can look forward to years of more vacations, and more fun.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:58 PM   0 comments
    The Food Post (vacation version, part I)
    We are just about to head back up north. Once I drag myself and my daughters out of our make shift beds.

    One of the many good things about going up to A's house is we get to eat home made food. She had made me a chicken soup when we were there on Thursday eve, b/c I was very sick. I am no longer very sick (although still congested), so now I can eat (and drink, etc.) anything.

    Other than the home made stuff, eating has been fun. As I mentioned previously, we had a great lunch/snack of Indian food the other day at Naan & Curry, but that was minor compared to other dining experiences. We had at least 4 favorite restaurants we wanted to hit while in Berkeley. Happily, we have hit them all already. I plan to post photos to supplement this post in the near future (within 48 hours, I think).

    The first place we went is Fillipos. It is an Italian restaurant in our Elmwood area. I'm sorry. Berkeley's Elmwood Area. Which is a relatively upscale area populated more by families, graduate students and working singles than by college students. it used to be walking distance from our home, and was 1/2 way between the girls' school, up in the hills, and home. We tried this new restaurant, Fillipo's, when it first opened. I'm sure the food was passable. But our waitress was what clinched it for us. The girls had a blast with her (they were much younger then, probably 5 and 6 ... maybe even 4 and 5). I also ordered bruschetta, and Thing One fell in love with it, and has loved it forever since. So we went our first evening here with Sis and Nephew and had TWO orders of bruschetta, and the kids all had spahetti in one form or another, and Sis and I shared a salad and a yummy pasta dish.

    Another favorite place is a taqueria called Picante. I do not remember how I first found the joint .... but I tried their mole burrito, which is called a Manchamantales burrito, and I fell in love. I am a bad Californian there ... the burrito is so full of deliciousness that I just cannot eat it right. I always unwrap it, plop it on my plate, and stick a hole in it from which I pull out the deliciousness. As has been previously established, I am a freak. But I did it again on Saturday night (right after the vivarium, pictured below). Thing Two loves burritos, and she had a child's version (i.e., just beans, chicken and cheese, that's it - no salsa, no guac, no Mexican cheese, no sour cream ..... booooorrrriiiiiinnnnnngggg). Thing One wanted a taco, but none had lettuce and tomato, so she instead got a Steak Taco Salad. It was very large, and she really went at it.

    Then for lunch yesterday we went to a place that Beloved mentioned was the thing he was most jealous of missing out on .... a burger place that was right next to his apartment. Which meant he'd been there often. Therefore, I took pictures of one of the best parts -- the fries:

    This was the most junk food i had in a long time - a double cheeseburger and several fries. We even got Cokes. As a treat. Despite the fact that they have High Fructose Corn Syrup in them. This is, after all, vacation.

    I had another favorite place which was just mine .... maybe Thing One's, too .... our #1 sushi restaurant here in town, Kirala. i went last night. I abandoned Sis with all three kids and went out with an old friend from work. I ordered something I'd never heard of before - Robata. It said "asparagus and beef" and i was in the mood for both, and i tried it. it was so yummy .... asparagus spears rapped in thinly sliced beef and grilled on a skewer. It was delicious. Then I got some rolls (tuna, cucumber, and rainbow -- which has fish wrapped around hte outside as well as filling the inside, and is a favorite of mine), and I was happy. My friend wasn't as much in the mood for sushi, and had plenty of options. She got ginger beef, and it was great.

    While I was gone, Sis made my favorite food with the kids .... potato pancakes. I love potato pancakes. So do the kids. I had some when I got home. heated them up on the oven, and gobbled them up with much sour cream. mmmmmmm.

    We're off again to Sebastopol today. Looking forward to it. I like that we're getting a good mix of the city and country life [lives?]. I worry that Thing Two feels more on the outs in Sebastopol, but I play games with her, and keep her with me, and I think it's okay. For once in the child's life --- being OUT of the spotlight may not be a bad thing.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:24 PM   0 comments
    Monday, February 20, 2006
    a cloud of me and mine

    I found this over at Lyco's, and loved it. My Sis is here with me, and was very happy to see that "sister" showed up, and not being all tiny and hard to read. it also says "girls good"

    And I am pretty sure that "beloved" is the largest word there!! he he he.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:53 PM   0 comments
    a few of my favorite Things (da da da dum, da da da dum)
    we are really having a great time in berkeley. one of the byproducts of the girls' being the [victims? product? affected parties?] of divorced parents is that they often are required to spend their time off from school with their non-custodial parent. They have both complained to me - they don't want to spend every school vacation LEAVING to be with their father. they want to spend some off time with me. this is a school vacation. and the sweethearts are with me. their father was oh-so-gracious to allow me to take them on this trip. i am infinitely grateful.

    We woke relatively early today, and spent the morning on a nice walk to our old favorite cafe. The walk was fun. We got to pass our old house [we had the bottom front 3/4ths of the house]:

    and i walked by an old neighbor's house, which contained my old favorite Berkeley-Scent - my favorite flower of all time (it's jasmine .... which has this wierd way of not emitting an odor until you're walking past it. you can't sniff the flower and catch the scent ... you must be strolling down the street, and notice it wafting around you as you pass .... really beautiful):

    We had a nice time on our early morning walk, the kids happily picking flowers and enjoying the crisp air:

    I found it odd to remember that there is a place, in this country, where trees and flowers are blooming in February - as I know Beloved is dealing with 8 degree weather:

    Thing One has a lot of friends here, still, and her dance card is quite full (that just struck me as the cliche of an old woman .... i am my mother). Thing Two was a very popular child in kindergarten .... but it was kindergarten. the friendships were just infants when we left, and it just so happenedd that a few of her closest friends from Kindergarten (the year she finished when we left) moved when we did.

    So Thing One went to a friend's house this a.m, and Thing Two hung out with Sis and Boy and I for the day. We went for a drive, and on the way back, saw my old Hill:

    When Ex-Schlurg was in grad school, we lived in student housing located up on the hill in the distance. We would get off the highway, and drive as pictured above. The Things were super-small .... 2 and 4 ... and would not be very happy with me for forcing them to sit in uncomfortable seats with much restraint (uh, yeah ... carseats seem really constricting now that they are old enough to just sit in the car ... no special fancy seat with special 5-point harness systems). So if we were traveling afar, by the time we got off the highway, the girls' patience was long -expended, and i would try to keep them happy and quiet by pointing out "our hill." They became quite accustomed to looking for and celebrating the hill.

    I also used to hike up one of the trails that can be barely detectied in the photo .... with my dear friend A whom I have visited and will visit this week.

    Then we replaced a hat that Beloved lost - we had gotten the original at this store, and had to go back in order to find the same hat.

    Then we went to Telegraph Ave., shopping at an old favorite bookstore - Moe's. i bought the girls a few used books - Double Fudge by Judy Blume, the Oxford Book of Children's Poetry (which is really nicely illustrated and NOT dumbed down with poems like "roses are red and violets are blue" and it contains the Walrus and the Carpenter, which Thing One recently memorized but discovered upon an attempted recitation that she needs to polish it up); and I purchased myself a NEW copy of Everything is Illuminated, and I purchsed Beloved _________. (surprise cannot be spoiled).

    Then we got some Indian food at an old favorite place -- Naan & Curry:

    We ordered way too much Naan, especially since Thing Two chose garlic Naan, but the garlic was so beautifully fresh and plentiful (mmmmm) it ended up too spicy for her. So she shared plain naan with her cousin while Sis and I scarfed garlic naan and palek paneer.

    The stroll continued - checking out street vendors and thrift stores. one street vendor was doing these hair weaves, and Thing Two had wanted one forever. So she did that while the three of us stood around waiting and watching the very flavorful Berkeley foot traffic. There was a debate meet on campus, which we were 1 block from, and there was this odd phenomenon of young people in suits buying hippy hemp jewelry. trying to stuff the necklaces down under their ties.

    We then were on our way back home to deposit the other 3 in a place with facilities (the kids had to pee) and i was goign to pick up Thing One from her "very best friend forever"'s house - when we ran into some old friends in the park. Their son was in Thing One's class, and their daughter and Thing Two used to play a lot. So after I picked up Thing One, we went to their house for an hour or so while the kids played and really enjoyed each other. We're going back to their house for dinner on Friday.

    The dad in that family was a Stay At Home Dad when our kids were in school together, and mom was in school. i honestly had never met the mom - even though the dad and i had gotten together many times iwth the 4 kids. MANY times. worked out childcare swaps, went places with them all, etc. Last night, mom was home - she's done with school now - and we had the best time talking. I wish I had gotten a chance to know her when we lived here, b/c she was the kind of person i coudl really connect with. turns out the same people drive us crazy, and the same types of behaviors bother us, and i think we could have had some fun bitch-fests going on if the opportunity had arose.

    ah well.

    A wonderful trip, we're having, I think.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:25 AM   2 comments
    turtle porn
    on Saturday, we went around town a good bit, had some fun, ran some errands, but then found ourselves kind of done in hte area where we wanted to eat, but not quite hungry, and wanting to kill at least an hour. So Sis, in all of her infinite widsom and wonderfulness, brought up the vivarium [look, don't i have such pretty Things? beloved is going to FREAK that i posted their photos]:

    So in we went. I do not think that there could have been a better place for us to hang out and have fun. Not only cuz we were with 5, 7 and 9 year olds, either. I had a blast. And I am 33.

    There were turtles (oh, sorry, tortoises):

    [this guy was about 4 inches long. we really wanted him. not just the girls, but me, too. he was so cute!!! (thing two says that best ... she's the one in the white shirt up above). But alas, we could not purchase the creature. For a few reasons. 1) He was in CA, and we live in MA. Not really feasible. 2, they were relatively expensive, to wit:

    and there were lizards:

    and some snakes, too .... big ones:

    This head was bigger than my hand. The dude was HUGE!! Sis and I tried to put hands in front of the glass for perspective, but .... um, it didn't work. Can you tell how big?

    We spent over an hour in the store. It was fun. They had these spiders that were probably also as big as my hand, and really really gross. They also had tree frogs ... which were a central player in one of my worst nightmares as a child, but they were asleep in a giant pile of Sleepy Tree Frogs, so no nightmares were induced. After some time of looking around, we noticed some weird banging come from the LARGE tortoises' tank. They were, um, about 2 feet long? Maybe 3. We went to see what was going on:

    Thing One, who is 9, but rather innocent, was quite curious as to what was going on. She asked me if they were having sex. i said i did not know, b/c i didn't know if turtles had sex. she said, "but then how do they reproduce?" and i - being very much NOT a biology person, said that i think that there are plenty of animals that reproduce when a female lays an egg, and then a male goes to the egg and fertilizes it. Thing One is very inquisitive, and really has no qualms. so she found an employee, and said, "the turtles are on top of each other, what are they doing?" and the employee, who also had no qualms, said, "they are having sex. They do it for about 3 hours a day."

    we were quite entranced. thing one and i (does this make me a bad mom?) spent a very long time contorting our postures to see what a turtle penis would look like ....

    while i did not catch it on camera, we did find it. it was really spikey.

    Thing One is keeping a trip journal. i peeked at it after she went to bed (with her permission, of course), and she commented that the girl turtle "did not seem like she wanted sex." Thing One was right. the girl turtle did NOT look like she was having fun. In fact, she kept eating lettuce.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:22 AM   1 comments
    Saturday, February 18, 2006
    rainy and cold is gone
    i am feeling better, for the most part.

    berkeley is cold and rainy. it has not reached 50 degrees today, and is now raining. we went down to our old favorite flea market, and the girls and i each bought a new ring. then we went to an old favorite park, and the kids played until the moms got too wet and cold.

    we have pesky errands to run today - we need shampoo and sis needs something from Home Depot. we are going to run these errands, and end up at an old favorite restaurant - Picante. The most delicious mole burritos in the world!!

    I do miss my beloved. i wish that we worked it out for him to come for at least part of the time. this was where we met, and where we spent the first years of our relationship. riding our bikes around town, enjoying the local book stores, and going for adventures in the surrounding area.

    sis and i were hoping to head out to the beach one day this weekend, but the weather is so raw and chilly. Also, Thing One's friends are available all on different days and it doesn't leave a day for us to go to the beach. we're not complaining, b/c of the coldness and rawness.

    while at the flea market i spent time talking with a pamphleteer from the Socialist Party, trying to use the Katrina disaster to garner support and build up membership. I gave them $1. His biggest line was that the Democrats are not the answer .... and I tend to agree. More and more each day. But I'm not sure that I think that the socialist party is the most likely to find much support here. Here, as in the U.S. at large. If we were talking about here as in Berkeley .... that would be a very different story.
    posted by Zuska @ 4:48 PM   2 comments
    Friday, February 17, 2006
    goin' back to cali
    oh, it's good to be back here. we didn't spend much time in berkeley, b/c we were in a hurry to head up north to hang out with friends. the little time we did spend made Thing Two start whining "why did we have to mooo-oooove? why did you have to go to lawwwwwww schoooooool? I want to come baaaaaaacckkk!!!" i told her she had to stop whining, or else i can't bring her here on vacation anymore. she stopped.

    my friends live up in wine country, and it's so beautiful. it was also great to be with them. A sat me on her couch and fed me tea and other healing items all day. the kids ran around and played. i enjoyed her middle child's maturity since i last saw him, and spent much of my time chatting with him. The older 2 (Thing One and her friend) were really non-existent all day, except for a couple times when jet lag hit Thing One, and she came to rest on me (and through me, the couch) for a little bit.

    F and Thing One are what can be no better described than bosum buddies. They met when they were both 3, and we moved into family student housing. Ex-Schlurg and I were moving our belongings into our apartment, and F was following us around. He was clearly wildly intelligent, with an amazing vocabulary for a 3 year old. I thought "wow, Thing One will get along with this kid."

    That was an understatement. Neither Thing One nor F have ever been the smoothest in the social department, and they had always been able to rely on each other during rough spots in preschool.

    Eventually, however, F's father (A's husband, and one of the most impressive people I've ever met in his gentleness and involvedness with his family, and his intelligence and talent, etc.) graduated from school, and they moved. They stayed relatively close to Berkeley, in different places, and we stayed in touch, although more sporadically than the days where we lived right above them. Thing One and F always kept their connection - even if we hadn't seen each other for months, they would instantly fall back into that easy friendship. and continued to be that refuge from other stresses and hardships.

    Then we moved across the country. and we hadn't seen them in 18 months. the longest ever. thing one was nervous. she asked me a few times "do you think F and I will still get along?" i told her yes, i do, that i think that they have that kind of friendship where it feels like you saw each other just last week. she said "mom, it's your JOB to tell me that, i don't believe that you mean it. Just like the way moms always tell their kids that they love their drawings - it doesn't mean it's true, it's just the mom's JOB." I told her that the two are NOT related, and that I really meant it, and that there were other people that we left behind that I *hope* she doesn't get along with anymore, b/c i didn't think they were good friends. she still didn't believe me.

    but i was right. F was a little nervous when we first arrived, as was Thing One, but within 10 minutes, they were back at it. we were there for 9 hours today, and they were still loathe to say goodbye. we are spending the day together again tomorrow (or at least a good chunk of it).
    And since we left, F has a new sibling. Little Z was born in October, and I met her for the first time today. She is gorgeous. b/c of my nasty cold which is not improving as of yet, i was unable to hold her today. which was sad. because she is the prettiest, happiest, nicest little baby!! i can't wait until we're back here next week when i'm [hopefully] better, and i can eat her up.

    Right now, the Things are fighting over who is taking up more than 1/2 the bed. they're actually pissing me off. so i'm going to turn on the light, mediate the argument over the middle of the bed, and then take my Nyquil, so i can rest. i don't see anything on the label about fighting kids as one of the symptoms is treats .... but one can hope.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:07 AM   0 comments
    Thursday, February 16, 2006
    safe and sound
    i'm on my sister's couch, where i slept, coughing non-stop. it is 8 a.m. here.

    we got on the plane at 7:30. while boarding, they made an announcement that due to very strong headwinds, we could not make it across the country without stopping for fuel, and we would therefore be stopping in OK City to gas up. This stop would put approximately 1.5 hours onto our trip, which would mean landing at 12:45.

    Well, they lied. It put 2 hours on our trip. And then they decided to go home and not put our bags in the airport. or at least that's how it felt. we waited for about 45 minutes for them. then another 45 minutes for a taxi.

    so yesterday, when i said we would get in at "effectively 3 a.m." -- i mean, actually, 3 a.m. in the new time zone. so i got into my sister's around the time that beloved's alarm was going off. nice.

    i slept as well as one can when unable to breathe through their nose, and when breathing through their mouth makes their throat tickle and makes them cough.

    one of my first stops today is a pharmacy to get some night time so you can rest medicine. even though i usually hate the way it makes me feel.

    the girls did very well, considering the circumstances. they slept a lot, although fitfully. i slept about 2 hours, tops. then another 4 at my sister's.

    meanwhile, beloved's going to find out how strong of glasses he needs for his old-man eyes, and i can't wait to hear how blind he's become.

    we're taking off for wine country within the hour to stay with friends until tomorrow. strange to have only seen my sis in passing last night and this a.m., but we'll be back tomorrow for many days of boundless fun and adventure. i'm not sure if the adventure is going to include tattoos or not ... we haven't discussed it. her love was just here from another country, where he's living, and she was rather all-consumed by that visit. so i am unsure if she was able to get anything lined up.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:04 AM   1 comments
    Wednesday, February 15, 2006
    flus and flights
    my elder daughter found out that i have a blog. it's a little disturbing. she just asked me why i didn't put pictures of her play on my blog, and i said, "what if people think you're so cute that they come and try to steal you?" and she said, "mom, that's a lame excuse, they don't even know your address." i know of a few blogs where kiddos put comments on their mom's blog, like Frequent Citations, for example, and I think that is very cool. but her daughter is old. she's graduated from high school and is on her way to being an independent world traveler. my daughter is NINE. and I like talking about her.

    she is home today. sick. she went to school yesterday, b/c on monday, she had a complete recovery in hte evening hours, and my many checks of her in bed proved that she had no fever. she went to school knowing she could feel free to call if necessary - but did not need to. but then she got home around 5:30, did her homework, put on her nightgown, got into bed, and fell asleep. without telling anyone. when she woke - back up to 102.

    So today she is home. she has no fever. she does not feel sick. but since her fever is coming in these waves, and we are getting on an airplane this evening, and since i have no work anyway, she is home.

    i feel like dooky. i do not have a fever, but i never do. i have a head and chest cold. i had a very hard time sleeping, and had very odd dreams that Thing One was converting to Islam (is it called converting when you have nothing to convert FROM?)

    I need to do laundry, pack the three of us, and perhaps clean my room. perhaps. i hate to leave beloved in the mess of our room for 10 days, but [turning on whiny voice] i don't feel good.

    I am perplexed as to why my non-stop flight is taking so long. it originates on the east coast at 7-something, and lands on the west coast at 11:15. both are local times. there are no stops. i always thought flights were closer to 5-6 hours. not 7. It will be 3 in the morning to our bodies when we arrive, and i feel like dooky. not looking foward to it.

    Furthermore, we were supposed to go and visit friends tomorrow, but these friends have a 6 month old baby, and i highly doubt they want a chest and head cold inflicted upon her. they also have a 9 and 6 year old, though, so they're probably not too uptight about germs. I'm going to give them a call later to find out if I should rearrange the plans.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:43 AM   0 comments
    my last day of co-op went well. we went out to lunch. i handed off my pending files. i had a little exit interview/evaluation conference with my supervisor.

    i feel a bit ambivalent about the whole experience. i learned so much, and people were fine. there was one person who really grated on my nerves, but my interaction was limited. other than that, there were no negative experiences or personalities. but things still fell a bit flat. over the summer, i really clicked with the judge i worked with, and we have kept solidly in touch. when i go back to visit, everybody is very happy to see me. this last place, i really didn't interact with that many people. i was kind of in my hole of an office intensley researching and writing.

    so i'm looking for something, long term, that can give me a bit of a spark in my day-to-day interactions, but yet have intellectually stimulating and important work. perhaps i'm more of a collaborator than i had previously believed. working alone in a hole isn't so pleasant for me. not all day every day for weeks on end.

    so now it's off to california tonight, and then upon my return, it's spring break! i will hang out here at home while the kids go to school and beloeved goes to work. nice that i end up with this time off. Classes start back up on March 6. I'm looking forward to that, as well. b/c i am a freak.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:04 AM   1 comments
    Monday, February 13, 2006
    tomorrow is a non-a-day
    beloved and i do not celebrate valentine's day. the manufactured nature of the "holiday" is irritating at best. our chinese new year celebration and day/weekend out is our celebration of "us" and our relationship, and we really don't participate in the Hallmark Day.

    But the kids are different. for some reason, classrooms cling to valentine's day, and we would not begrudge the girls participation in it.

    This year is tough. we were consumed by the play for all of last week, and Sunday, our one day off, ended up different than planned. i had thought that the girls would spend a few hours with their father in the morning, and while they were out and about, i would run and get supplies for valentines ... b/c i cannot abide the princess and transformer and spiderman pre-fab style valentines sold in the stores, we have always made our own. even though i'm not crafty AT ALL.

    but then the blizzard came, and their father was here from 12-5, instead of 10-2, and everywhere was closed.

    so i ran and bought some pre-cut hearts, and Thing Two is decorating them for her friends with the babysitter right now ....

    but not Thing One. Thing One is in bed. She is asleep. She has a fever. She is not well. This is not good.

    Last night I started to feel some chest congestion creeping in, and while working at home all day today, the aches and pains started to be a little more present. (I currently have a very sore throat, and 2 earaches, which is not how i usually get sick).

    Then around 12:30, I received a call from the school, Thing One didn't feel good. She didn't wnat to come home, but she thought I should know she felt icky. She had a stomach ache. She wanted to go to the cast party, and go to her audition, but thought I should know that she felt bad.

    When she got home, she didn't want to go to the audition. She thought she should just reschedule for another time .... but I pushed her to go. by the time we got home (less than 30 minutes later), she was immediately in bed, and very quickly after, sound asleep. She would never do that unless really truly sick.

    I then went out and bought her that kind of valentine i hate, in case she wakes up okay. they're cool, though. these weird 3-day 60's hippy design things. no princesses, no cartoon characters. just peace signs and smiley faces.

    as i've mentioned umpteen million times, tomorrow is my last day of co-op. today was bad enough, not being able to go in b/c of the blizzard (although no one did, and i did plenty of work while at home). i cannot miss tomorrow. beloved has a meeting that he has to put together tomorrow. my babysitter is free, but not until 10 a.m. So beloved and i will have to draw straws to see who gets to stay home until the babysitter arrives, and then see if either of us can possibly come home early as well.

    i hope that we both get better quickly, and certainly not worse, since we're flying on Wednesday night.


    Update: Thing One woke up from her nap, and has a 101.7 fever. I will stay home until babysitter arrives, beloved will come home early and pick up Thing Two on the way, and I will stay at work indefinitely in order to finish up and clear my stuff out. all will be well - i'm sure.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:18 PM   2 comments
    quiet empty peaceful house
    The girls did have school, with a 2 hour delay. i suppose that's time to let the sun melt the crap left on the roads, to let teachers get in from the 'burbs (after shoveling the snow off their cars and letting them run with the defrogger on for at least 30 minutes), and yet not have to tack an extra day on in June for the sake of a snow day. I think that the district finally figured out how to handle a snowy day in a reasonable manner. After the kids were all stuck getting released from school during a terrible blizzard-like thundery storm in December, and then had a snow day for a day with a light rain in January .... the February snow brought wisdom to the school officials. good for them.

    and my office is closed, i heard from my supervisor, so i am working at home. frantically.

    the kids had such a great time with their play this past weekend. i am very glad that i signed them up for the community theater group for this coming spring. Thing One has to go in this afternoon for an "audition," b/c she is missing the first session due to our trip to California on Wednesday evening. Thing Two doesn't start hers until mid-March. They're both excited, and I'm excited for them. Their friends are also involved in this, so they will have a really good time, I think. Doing this will also help them hone their skills so they can get bigger parts in the school plays in coming years.

    I can't believe I'm going to CA in a couple of days. I need to pack. It's very different weather there, from what I can tell. It has been very warm and sunny, but the forecasts seem to say that it will be only in the low 60s when I get there, and perhaps a bit foggy. i should also make some phone calls to the girls' old friends to make sure that they have time to see everybody.

    but now, i'm off to write about true threats. i'll have to deal with the packing and the calling and the planning later.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:06 AM   0 comments
    Sunday, February 12, 2006
    sleds and hot cocoa? or no?
    well, boston schools are closed for tomorrow, but thus far, the Things' school is not. since boston is closed, it means my office is closed. any other week, and that would be great for me. i brought work home, so i can still get things done, but i'm already quite stressed over the fact that tuesday is my last day, and i got a large project dumped on me as the result of a court hearing on friday, and have 2 other things to "wrap up" before i leave.

    if the girls do have school, a friend has offered that i can drop them off at her house in the a.m. so i can work at home without difficulty, and my babysitter can pick them up from her house at 2. I should be set no matter what, but i'm still not very happy about this. it's not a good way for my last couple days to go.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:37 PM   1 comments
    beloved in a blizzard
    He approved this posting of his photo, since it's about as anonymous as a photo of someone can be. We both had that very small amount of face exposed, and it was pretty miserable, even still.

     Posted by Picasa
    posted by Zuska @ 1:45 PM   2 comments
    My street, with little to no visibility
    the sidewalks are not yet shoveled (since the snow is still coming down fast and furious), so you would think that you can walk in the semi-plowed street, but you cannot, b/c it is dangerous b/c there is no visibility and the sound is muffled, so you don't know when a car is coming. I would have guessed there would be little to no cars on the road in this situation, but that is not the case. I even saw two zipcars go by.

    Therefore, our usual way of getting around is not working out so well. Housebound is good, though, on a day like today after a weekend/week like the one past. We have movies to watch and food to eat.

    As soon as the girls' father leaves.

     Posted by Picasa
    posted by Zuska @ 1:21 PM   0 comments
    Blizzard in New England
    Thing Two approaching the little pond in the park in our backyard. We didn't last outside for very long. It was cold, and the snow was blowing into our faces a little too visciously.

     Posted by Picasa
    posted by Zuska @ 1:16 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, February 11, 2006
    eww! yuck!! gross! get it off! get it off!
    You Were a Spider

    You tend to be the master weaver of fate - both for yourself and those you know.
    A creative force, you tend to work from divine inspiration.

    (they don't really freak me out, but they do freak Thing Two out .... to say the least.) I don't remember where I saw this! I have too many windows open.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:58 PM   0 comments
    3/4ths of the way there
    The second and third plays are over. Ex-schlurg is still in town, but i didn't see him at all today.

    He was scheduled to pick the Things up at 10:30, and to hang out with them until 1:00 when they had to be at the school to get ready for the play. He was an hour late. So they didn't get too much time together. I am VERY worried about tomorrow (when they're supposed to spend most of the day together) b/c we have a BLIZZARD coming into town tonight, through most of the day tomorrow. So we'll see what happens.

    My parents and brother came today, and all went well. My parents are very boisterous, and my brother and father combined can be downright rowdy, so eating a restaurant was pretty interesting. I spent most of the time trying to convince myself that i did not need to be personally embarassed for their behavior, that I am a separate entity.

    Thing Two is not in tonight's play (which starts in an hour), but she was in the one this afternoon. She is sitting here in near-meltdown mode. I am not looking forward to this evening in that regard. Hopefully she'll get lost in the story of the play, and be fine. We have made multiple offers for her to stay home, but she insists that she needs to go and see her friends who are in tonight's performance.

    I am very excited about our blizzard, despite the side-stress b/c of Schlur's presence in my state. I love storms. we rented Star Wars I and II in case we are snowed in tomorrow. Last year we had a blizzard, and we watched IV, V and VI. I made my kids watch them in the order that I watched them.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:59 PM   0 comments
    Friday, February 10, 2006
    First Play Done
    Last night was the first showing of the Things' play. Only Thing One was in this one, so Thing Two was in the audience with Beloved and I. The play was great.

    I am definitely questioning the wisdom of a Thursday night performance, however. I think it starts the kids off EXHAUSTED, and it's hard to catch up from that before it's all over. To be at school by 8 a.m., and not leave from the play until 9:15 p.m. .... that's too much for kids as young as 7. In my opinion. If they feel that they need four shows, I'm going to recommend they nix the Thursday eve, and add a matinee on Sundays.

    Thing One did great!! Her parts are pretty small, but she did a wonderful job with them. She was very happy and excited, and on a bit of a performance high last night. Here's to a great repeat tonight!!

    Even though I was exhausted when we got home, I finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The only thing I can say about that is WOW and GO READ IT NOW!!! I thought it was absolutely fantastic.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:42 AM   1 comments
    Wednesday, February 08, 2006
    patting myself on the back
    after my flurry of posts this a.m., i then proceeded to read all that i needed to read. i am ready to go into a meeting tomorrow, and then move on to my next and final project for this co-op.

    i did manage to upload about 10 CDs onto iTunes at teh same time, to straighten the livingroom and the kitchen, and take a shower, all at the same time.

    Oh, and I cuddled a LOT with boots.

    Now the Things are home, and b/c of this play, and very long days of practice after school and (of course) encroaching colds, they are grouchy and whiney. which means early bedtimes (so they get healthy in time for the play), which isn't always a bad thing.

    Maybe i'll get to finish my book!!
    posted by Zuska @ 6:12 PM   0 comments
    Personality Tests! Woo hoo!!
    Today, this is me.

    ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.
    Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

    This is the actual breakdown:

    Extroverted (E) 57.58% Introverted (I) 42.42%
    Sensing (S) 51.52% Intuitive (N) 48.48%
    Thinking (T) 66.67% Feeling (F) 33.33%
    Judging (J) 56.25% Perceiving (P) 43.75%

    I have come out in the past as an Introvert. Those were probably the days that I was a little less secure, and less likely to speak to strangers or to people who I viewed as more "together" or "successful" than myself.

    Here's more info on "me" (I made red the things that are NOT ME -- Anal???? pfft):


    organized, group oriented, focused, conventional, leader, emotionally stable, anal, attention seeking, planner, realistic, fearless, responsible, finisher, decisive, norm following, respects authority, punctual, hard working, stiff, self confident, thinks rules and regulations are important, follows the rules, clean, outgoing, social, content, does not like being alone, normal, regular, does not like weird or strange people / things - intolerant of differences, strict, disciplined, aggressive, assertive, content, happy, proper, formal, strict with self, meticulous, strong sense of purpose

    favored careers:

    executive, ceo, supervisor, business consultant, manager, strategist, financial planner, business person, office manager, public relations manager, international business specialist, business analyst, management consultant, operations manager, loan officer, lawyer, marketing, sports management, government employee, investment banker

    disfavored careers:

    poet, artist, songwriter, musician, novelist, art therapist, theatre teacher, art curator, film editor, video game designer, photo journalist, travel writer, actor, record store owner, camera operator, art historian, music teacher


    Aww. I really want to write a book some day. Damn.

    (one hour down, no cases read.)
    posted by Zuska @ 9:50 AM   1 comments
    Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
    That is what I'm reading right now. It's by Jonathon Safran Foer, who I suppose wrote a doozy of a first novel called Everything Illuminated. I read about this book yesterday a.m. before work during my brief a.m. perusal of favorite news sites, and it really caught my interest - 9 year old boy whose dad died in 9/11 and the book is mostly about him going around New York looking for clues about his dad's life.

    This book is different than others I've read in that it has pictures in it. Little representations of things that going on in the book. There's a part where a boy and an old man are talking in a bedroom, and a flock of birds flies by next to the window, and when you turn the page, there's a 2 page spread of blurry flying birds. Another part, he talks about how he misses his dad, who died in the Towers, and then when you turn the page, there's a picture of a person falling from the Towers. In another part, he goes into an art store, and talks to the manager about pens, and she is showing him the little pad next to the colored pens where people tested the pens - some people wrote their names, some people wrote "green" (in green) - there are three pages depicting this pad, in color.

    It's kind of fun. I think that some of the pictures (like the doorknobs that show up randomly without any association to the words) have clues in them. Clues about what the boy will find out about his dad.

    I highly recommend the book. I checked it out of the library yesterday at 5:20, and I am now 2/3rds of the way through it.

    (I will read cases today - i will read law review articles today - i will not read my novel - i will not read my novel)
    posted by Zuska @ 9:33 AM   0 comments
    working at home again
    i really truly do have work to do, too. i have to read a lot of cases and law review articles about abortion clinics and the buffer zones that some states have put around them, to try and get an understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of using an injunction rather than a generally-applicable statute.

    but in the meantime .... i just went running, and i feel really good, like in my muscles and stuff. it was 23 degrees outside, so i wore lots of layers, and wanted to take some off along the way. i would like to do this on a daily basis. today was easy, with the whole "working at home" thing - it didn't require me getting up at 5 a.m. I dropped Thing Two off at school at 8, and ran off. Tomorrow, if I repeat this activity, I will be up at 5 a.m.

    Not only b/c it will get in the way of my new exercise routine - but i am 1/2 wishing we were NOT going to California. I am going to have approximately 3 weeks off before school starts back up, and I am slightly yearning to spend them at home. Some time to myself, some time to get the house in order, some time to just chill. I will get that when we get home, for about a week, so that's good. but this co-op was pretty draining, and i wouldn't mind a chance to truly rest before hopping on an airplane.

    I guess deep down inside, I am a home-body. Either that, or I'm craving some alone time, and I'm most definitely not going to get that in California. I guess the best thing I can do for myself is bring my sneakers. Just inform my friend and my sister that I would like to go for a run every day. Then I feel like I'm dumping my kids on them, though. Although usually, the kids take care of each other - especially when they haven't seen each other in a long time. And I think that my sister and my friend will understand. If my friend is not healed (b/c she is not resting), then I will most certainly NOT leave her alone with any kids, I will instead carry her baby and any other items which need to be carried, around the house while she RESTS!!
    posted by Zuska @ 9:16 AM   0 comments
    Tuesday, February 07, 2006
    Freak Out.

    As I mentioned in recent days, The Things are in a play this weekend. And as I also mentioned, their father is going to be coming into town. I am so dreading this. I have not seen him in well over a year, and it’s been a nice year.

    Ever since we split up, he makes a comment about my appearance every time I see him. Whether it’s the length of my hair, the zit on my chin, or the weight I’ve gained, I can count on him to say something negative.

    I also am unclear on how all the logistics are going to work. Before beloved and I were cohabitating, I would let the Ex-Schlurg use my house to hang out with the kids, and I would just go hang out with Beloved at his place (which was right around the corner). Ex-Schlurg took GROSS advantage of this – leaving me his dishes to wash, allowing the Things to take out 6 games and throw the pieces around and leave it for me to deal with, etc.

    He will be in town early in the afternoon on Friday, and said he hopes to spend some time with the girls before they have to be at play practice. But … how? Where? His friends that he’s staying with live some distance away (not many miles, but Boston isn’t so easy to maneuver come rush hour) from the girls’ school where they must report prior to the play. They go to an after-school program on Fridays, and he doesn’t know where it is, and he SUCKS at finding places he hasn’t been before. I honestly can’t picture him FINDING them. I am working all day – although I plan to get off at 4 so I can get home and feed the Things before their call-time. I just can't envision how this will all come together.

    Furthermore, my parents are coming in on Saturday, and bringing with them my brother and his new wife, neither of whom have seen my apartment. So I really need to find time to thoroughly clean the place – which isn’t too much of a struggle, except my bedroom. It’s a disaster. The rest requires a quick straighten and vacuum, but my room requires a bulldozer. And it’s not mine and beloved’s things – it’s MY things. He’s not as messy as I am. He puts things away when he’s done (and quite frankly, it drives me crazy). I leave things everywhere. I even *toss* things. I take an elastic out of my hair, and I just … toss it. Why do I do that? Do I *like* having to run around and pick up hair elastics off the floor? No, I do not. Do I *like* seeing my daughters just toss things onto the floor b/c they learned it from me? No, I do not. Do I *like* knowing I’m a hypocrite when I reprimand them for such slovenly behavior? Uh, no opinion on that one.

    Also – this is my official last week of co-op. and I need to leave early on Thursday and Friday, b/c the Things are in a play, and I am their mother, and I can’t not do the things that are required of me in order to make this happen. So I’ve donated next Monday and Tuesday to this organization, so that I can go out on a better note than rushing out the door an hour early frantic that the evening won’t go well, and that my ex-husband is going to drive me crazy.

    I’m quite stressed over it all. Which means I’ll get a zit on my chin. Which means Ex-Schlurg will have more ammunition for his nasty comments.

    posted by Zuska @ 2:02 PM   5 comments
    Monday, February 06, 2006
    surprise gift
    i got the mail today -- there was a bill from Dell, b/c I bought some toner for the printers, and a postcard from Boston Magazine, which I tossed aside, assuming it to be junk mail.

    But while we were eating, I looked a wee bit closer at it -- it was actually a gift notice. I had received a subscription as a "Happy Holidays" gift - and the name was quite unfamiliar. beloved and i were pondering who it could be until i could bear it no more, and got UP from the dinner table to google the recipient.

    It was a recruiting person from my Summer Firm. I am sure that they send the magazines out to sell those Out of Towners which will be my co-workers over the summer on the city. and i have one less magazine to try and speed read while waiting in line at the store!!
    posted by Zuska @ 8:11 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, February 05, 2006
    Studying as a Parent
    I received a question in the comments earlier today which I decided to address up here:
    I have a Very Important Question for you. Very important because I have two kids, who will be 6 and 2 when I start law school myself in the fall, and they're pretty rambunctious and generally noisy, and hopefully we'll be able to get a big enough place at whatever law school it is I end up at, but what do you do when you just _gots_ to study?
    The quick answer? Library or iPod while locked in the bedroom. Long answer below.

    Before I started law school, I worked with lawyers. Once they realized that asking me over and over if I was *sure* I wanted to go to law school wouldn't work to change my mind, they started dishing out the advice. One woman who had been to law school as a mom herself told me, "Zuska, treat it like a job. You are used to working a 9-5 job, and if you treat law school like a 9-5 job, you'll be fine. Maybe you'll need to do 8-5, but that's all you'll need."

    This has been my goal, and I think that I have been largely successful.

    My kids are both school age, so I drop them both off at school at 8 a.m. If I have an early class, they can do various activities at school (Math Club, Reading Club, or even eat breakfast) as early as 7:30. I then am at school, and wide awake, just as if I were arriving at work.

    I do not go to lunch with friends, I do not go to the gym (I've tried, but considering that I do try and protect my evenings, it proved hard - that was during 1L, and while teaching a class), I do not go shopping in the middle of the day. I do not take naps in my dorm room for an hour between classes.

    I used to be home between 4:30 and 5. Once I went out on co-op, however, and was working until 4:30-5, I arranged childcare until 6, and have not changed it back. Partly because the girls' schedule has gotten fuller, and they aren't usually home when i get home at 4:30 - they're at the park with friends or at someone's house, or at play practice, etc.

    I really work to capitalize this time that I'm not home. During 1L, I worked at night pretty solidly from 9-12. But between 5 and 9, I belonged to the family. I think that there were literally 2 or 3 nights during entire 1L where that was not the case, and I had to shut myself up in my bedroom.

    Weekends also were, for the most part, protected. A few times during the semester I'd feel behind or whatever, and Beloved and the girls would rent a movie, and I would, again, shut myself up in the bedroom.

    During exams, I needed more time. My parents took the girls for a weekend during both 1L exam times, and Beloved kicked in for at least a Saturday day trip during those times.

    If I needed to study on the weekends (typically, as I said, only during exams), I would go to the public library. I hate our school library, and it is also relatively far away (20 minutes by bike, 45 minutes to an hour by public transit). The town library is 1.5 minutes by bike, and 7 by foot. I have developed a large resentment for time spent on something as wasteful as commuting. The bike is a very big solution to the commute-problem. Public transit isn't a straight shot, and on the bike, I can cut my commute time by 1/2 to 2/3rds.

    We do not have a large apartment. It is 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a large great room. No office. When I need to study at home, I bring my books and my laptop into our bedroom, and stick headphones in my ears.

    My largest goal, for so many reasons, is to get the point where I am not studying/reading at home. To fit everything into an 8:30 to 5:30 schedule. That gives me the earlier evening hours for my kiddos/family at large, and the later evening hours for my beloved and any personal things i may want to do (like, you know, read a book, watch a movie, peruse the internet).

    But if you must work at home ... I have one word for you ....iPod!!! Drowns out sounds to the replacement sound of your pleasure. Well, unless you can get place big enough for a sound-proofed office.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:32 PM   3 comments
    Saturday, February 04, 2006
    anxious to join the party
    all the other law school blogging people are in school. they have to read, and outline, and brief cases, and they're getting called on. but NOT ME!!! I'm jealous, and anxious to get back into the schooling part of law school.

    I think I'm going to have a good quarter. I have some really solid professors (one I've had before), and some pretty "core" courses. They will require mostly reading, and will mostly have exams. I will feel pretty close to being back in my 1L comfy bubble. Except with more background knowledge, and co-op provided experience, to help my understanding of issues and material.

    I do wish I could have slightly more of a mix, however. Perhaps some philosophical or sociological twists. But not this quarter - it will be Corporations, Administrative Law, Employment Law, and Fed Courts. There are several seminar courses offered at my school, but not this quarter. So I'll have a very foundational quarter now, and hopefully do things like "women and the law;" "racism and the law;" (as well as Tax and Professional Responsibility) in the fall.

    I do not think I'm going to do a clinic during school. Sometimes, I don't understand why my school has clinics. The experience that people get from clinics is so similar to the experience that we get while on co op. I have therefore chosen not to do a clinic. They all encroach severely on the time that I try to protect for my family, and it seems redundant. Pshaw on clinics.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:44 PM   0 comments
    saturday ramblings
    a friend of mine who has been on co op out of state came back into town for the weekend. we had lunch together, along with Thing Two. Thing One and Beloved had gone to run a different errand -- getting a music stand and a tuning fork for her cello. They had lunch out, as wellI hadn't seen this friend in some time, and it was great to hang out. Thing Two was a very good girl, with no complaints or anything. I had delicious raw fish, and Thing Two had Pad Thai, and my friend had a Bento Box. Then we went to get coffee.

    Coffee is something I shouldn't be drinking. My acupuncture doctor told me so. Beloved tries to enforce this. But I keep drinking it on the weekends --- i've switched over to green tea during the week, which is a miracle, since Starbucks is on the first floor of my building, and people pop their head in once an HOUR to see if we want something from downstairs. But on the weekends, I allow myself this little cup of fun.

    It was very nice to talk with my friend. we spoke of our grades, and some classmates, and we spoke about books, and movies. we may both be around during spring break, and were thinking of what movies we'd like to see during the day while my kids are being edumacated. it was good.

    Then the girls and I went to Target to get a black leotard, black pants, and black shirts - the girls' play costumes. The play is next weekend. Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Saturday night. It is going to be one. crazy. week. And their dad is coming for the Friday night performance, and wants to hang out with Thing Two during the Saturday night performance, b/c she's not in that one, but she doesn't want to. She wants to go to the play. I have to go to all FOUR performances. Yikes. Ex-Schlurg refuses to go to even two. He is going to only one.

    The girls are currently fighting. Sort of. They were drawing, side by side, and Thing One reached over to "add an ear" to Thing Two's drawing, and Thing Two pitched a fit that Thing One isn't allowed to draw on her pictures, and she's crying, and yelling, and Thing One is saying, "i'm sorry, i didn't know it was such a big deal. i'm sorry. is there anything i can do to make it better?" but Thing Two just keeps crying and saying "you should ask first!"

    i'm sure that those of you who don't have kids are now glad of that fact. The noise level here is loud. i'm trying to pretend it's not happening, and to not interject, b/c i think that they need to learn to handle these things. but ..... Thing Two is being annoying. She isn't feeling very well this weekend, and that may be part of why a giant brat-like creature is climbing out of her, but it's still annoying.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:07 PM   1 comments
    Friday, February 03, 2006
    in my inbox when i woke up .....
    "Subject: What to do in 120 degree weather when you have all the money in the world!

    [comment by sender] "Let's do something about it!!"


    During the construction phase……

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

    All finished. Notice the palm trees outside……….

    Remember, this is in the middle of the desert…. The very HOT desert where temperatures get up to 120 degrees…..


    But true…..

    The INSIDE view:

    Why is gasoline $2.39 a gallon for regular unleaded?????? Supply and demand??? That must be it…. we want them to supply us with the oil and they demand that we pay the price!"


    Any thoughts? I shared a piece of my mind with the sender, but I'm curious what other reactions are.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:13 PM   0 comments
    Friday Cat Blogging: Cat on the Phone
    here's boots, making long distance phone calls while we're off playing in New York City:

    Crap! wrong picture. here he is, really:

    (beloved took this photo at an angle, and no matter how many times i flip it, it looks wrong. i'm sure there's ways to play with it, and make it look like the cat is not defying gravity, but i can't figure it out).
    posted by Zuska @ 2:21 AM   1 comments
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