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.

law students
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  • Thursday, August 31, 2006
    finding my groove
    Today was my first Thursday, and it was good. I think that this quarter is going to shape up just fine. I have large chunks of time to do with as I please, and I have a good bit of diversity in what my classes demand of me. My professors are underwhelming (especially as compared to quarters past) -- I have none of the Superstars, none of my favorites (oh, except for Professional Responsibility, he's a Star, and his voice is super soothing). So that may be a downer. I will, however, muddle through, and enjoy the content of all of the classes.

    I had an interview for the tutoring position. I think it went well. I think I may have said something stupid, but I don't think it blew the interview for me. She asked me for suggestions on how to set up the program, and get the first years to actually USE it, and how to make it accessible to all of them, and make them feel welcome. I said that she should make sure she has a good mix of men and women, b/c not all men would be willing to come to a woman for help on figuring out how to study and/or prepare for exams. I think that what I said is true, but at the same time, I felt like it came out kind of sexist, and that it was perhaps bad judgment. Ah well. As I said, I don't think it blew it for me. It probably just made her think I'm weird. Which I may be.

    I also talked to someone about my winter job. At my school, we're on the quarter system, and out of 4 quarters, we spend 2 of them working. I have one more work stint this coming winter. I find myself in an odd position for this working stint. usually, people have 1) a public interest gig; 2) an area of interest gig; 3) a judge gig; and 4) a placement gig. I got numbers 1 and 2 in the same run, and now I have a 4th slot, and nothing to fill it with. Since offer and acceptance have happened for post-school, I feel like I'm in a netherland.

    So, I'm looking at work stint #4 as my "money gig." I want to not be broke. I would love to work somewhere that allowed me to squirrel some dollars away toward a bar trip.

    This may mean another big firm.

    Or it may mean a medium sized firm.

    Or it may mean a general counsel.

    The big firms become an issue - both logistically and socially. Logistically b/c the big firms that hire in the winter (and fall and spring for that matter) are EITHER using the opportunity as a recruiting tool, OR clearly don't want to depart from their summer program as their recruiting tool, and just use this opportunity as a way to get work done. But I don't know how to figure out what they're doing. Some (2) have said clearly on their little info blurb "please do not apply if you already have post-graduate employment." Pretty simple. Others say nothing.

    We only get 10 application slots (kind of like OCI bids ... only not). So, if I WASTE my slots on firms that have said nothing, but meant to say "please do not apply if you already have post-graduate employment" - I could end up with less opportunities.

    The social aspect .... I feel confident that if a firm is going to hire ME, a person with a post-graduate situation lined up, then they are clearly NOT looking for a permanent employee. However, my fellow students may not understand how very transparent I'm being in the process, and if I were to be so lucky as to land a big firm job in the winter, and then those of my counterparts who have NOT secured post-graduate employment see on the little public board that the school uses for all of us to sign up on once we secure our positions .... they're gonna be pissed off. They will think I'm "taking all the jobs." Someone basically said as much to me today. That I better not apply for the big firm jobs, b/c it's just not fair. Is that true? Does my not applying guarantee that s/he will get the position? Firms don't HAVE to hire any of us, they could forego the whole program for a quarter (or so).

    But I wonder if perhaps I should just limit myself to the smaller firms (like anywhere from 4 to 25 attorneys), the ones who clearly do not and never do hire fresh graduates - they just want students to help lighten their loads. And the pay is still good. Sure as hell a lot more than I'm making now :)

    I'm very frustrated this week with how quickly the nights are over. i have been for the most part getting home pretty early (around 5? Except tonight, b/c I had class until 7:30), and before I know it, it's 10. I sit down to blog or to do some other piddly thing, while waiting for the kids to calm down and drift off, and all of a sudden, it's so late. We had to be very determined in order to get things settled and put aside last night so we could start a movie at 9 (we saw Brokeback Mountain), and I was still up until midnight. I don't even REMEMBER the last time we [omission of too much information]. Well, it was probably last Friday. No. Last Thursday. So a week ago. That's SHAMEFUL. I'm a hornier person than that, and that's just WRONG. But the kids aren't yet in school, and so they're not getting up at 7, so they're not going to sleep at 9 or 9:30 - they're in BED at 9 or 9:30, and not asleep until 11, or sometimes, in Thing One's case, 12.

    I look forward to the weekend to catch up on sleep and sex. [oops, forgot to omit it that time.]
    posted by Zuska @ 9:22 PM   0 comments
    Tuesday, August 29, 2006
    modes of communication
    My contribution to the Fall Whine Fest which is so very prevalent in Blogland:

    at my law school, we have an electronic, internet based community bulletin board. the year that i was a 1L was the thing's first year. i know that the upper level students along with about 80% of the faculty and staff HATED the thing, but I also knew that since we were in on the ground floor, we'd get quickly used to it, and it would phase in very nicely. apparently, the old system involved hundreds of e-mails per day, as well as paper notices put up on physical (as in, on the wall) bulletin boards.

    most professors use this bulletin board to, in the appropriate place, post their syllabi at the start of the year. They use it to announce class cancellations, and they use it to share any other important info.

    some professors seem to have not caught on, and so THEY have a back-up bulletin board where they can post assignments, as well as place hard cover syllabi for students.

    still some OTHER professors post things outside their secretary's office.

    My professor for Comparative Law is also a first year professor, and has posted the info for her first year course on the electronic board, on the central bulletin board AND outside her office.

    Comparative Law was NOWHERE. Absolutely NOWHERE. I took this to mean that we had no assignment ... as did others. I was checking the board diligently, including at 4 p.m. today, which is pretty damned late for a 10:15 a.m. class tomorrow.

    A friend and I had run into each other in front of the secretary's office making one last check. We were saying "woo hoo! no Comparative Law reading!" Then we turned on our heels, and found, on an oddly placed table in front of the professor's office .... a syllabus.

    The syllabus not only included an assignment for tomorrow a.m., but two out of three of the items are not in the ($143) book ... they are in a packet of "supplemental materials."

    Our school uses one copy center in particular. I was there this morning, at 10 a.m. I was there last Thursday. During neither visit did I see (and I did look) an entry for Comparative Law on the available copy packet list.

    So at 4:35 p.m., as I had my rain gear on, my bag packed, and one foot out the law school door ... I find out that I have to go to pick up yet another packet of materials (and probably pay another $50)?

    I decided that NO, I do not need to do that. I think this is ridiculous. This professor has been given THREE OPTIONS that students are aware of. This professor chose to use NONE of those, but rather to squirrel the syllabus away in secret. I somehow think that if I did go to the copy center, the packet would NOT be ready. Which is part of why I was unwilling to go. I would have been so angry if I went down there (it's only 3 blocks away, but i had my bike raingear ON!!! I was ready to GO HOME!!!) and found that it didn't exist. It didn't even say on the syllabus that it WAS there. It just listed Excerpts. (I should really go check both TWEN and Blackboard after I post this, to be sure that they're not there).

    So this is my start of the quarter complaint.

    Otherwise, Day 1 went well.

    We read three cases for Tax, but since he decided to give a remedial lecture on "legislative history" for about 20 minutes, we only got to one, and have nothing new assigned for Thursday.

    My Professional Responsibility Professor has written a book. It has to do with reviving "spirituality" in the law. He does not advocate a specific religion, but yet looks to the removal of "spirituality" from the law as the reason why lawyers are unhappy alcoholics. Being an ex-christian with bitterness and issues, I'm very curious as to how he will reconcile the several EVILS that came with the "spirit in the law" with the idea that its removal was a bad thing. (Hello, witch trials? laws against interracial marriage? the general criminalization of a range of behavior according to religious texts?)

    I will need to take the MPRE on November 4, along with probably everyone who is taking Prof. Resp. with me - so we have a lot of make up classes scheduled on my Fridays "off" to get us on track to take the test. This is really okay with me, since 1) one of them is NOT scheduled for our weekend in Disney; and 2) it is early enough that if the mood struck, I could go and get the girls right after school, allowing them to skip after-school care.

    Tomorrow is Day One of Comparative Law (which I will not have read for) and Professional Responsibility (which I *have* read for, since the assignments were posted in two out of three of the above-listed NORMAL spots!!)
    posted by Zuska @ 8:24 PM   1 comments
    i'm at school. i am reading tax. it's relatively interesting.

    my new laptop will have a big test today .... is its wireless strong enough to give me web browsing during class? the ultimate question. we have pathetic wireless here at the school. the computer services people are vague as to the reason - whether it's money (which makes no sense when you understand what it takes to provide wireless) or it's the professors preferring a lesser amount of access during lectures. However, OTHER people have had computers powerful enough to pick up either the wireless from the dorms across the street, or the pathetic signal from the library across the hall. We'll see if mine puts me there.

    I just shelled out another $142 in school books. I'm still not done, because neither my Appellate Advocacy book, nor the 2nd volume of the copy packet were ready. I think I will be doing yet another $80.

    + $142.00
    + $ 80.00
    my entire summer salary

    It is kind of normal to be back. Good to see people. It seems a wee bit odd that social lines have shifted after this summer. those of us who had the BigFirm gig are acting a wee bit more "connected" than in the past. I was looking at a couple boys as they went on and on to be about classes, and other general things, "we talk? this is the first time we've had a conversation ... why is it lasting this long?" But at this "public interest" law school, we have now been outed as the Un Cool Kids, so perhaps some of their public defender friends have turned their backs, and so they're scouting for some other money-grubbing Corporate Whores to chat with.

    I rode my bike this a.m., and it was okay b/c I was not in a hurry - but my bike tires piss me the FUCK OFF. Every time I get back on the bike after as much as a week of it sitting idle, the damn tires are low. Why does this happen? It can sit idle for 3 weeks, and the tires are without air - but if during the NEXT three weeks, I'm riding the damned thing, it doesn't happen.


    Guess what?

    I want a new bike.

    (When Beloved reads that, he's going to yell at me, I know it. Don't worry, honey! I'm not gonna buy one! I promise, when I go to REI to drop off the fucking tires, I will NOT come home with a new bike!)
    posted by Zuska @ 12:24 PM   0 comments
    Monday, August 28, 2006
    My Last Day Off
    It doesn't feel like my LAST DAY OFF. It feels like every other day in these past two weeks.

    My new camera came, and I played a lot, to wit:

    I've been very tired, because Thing One did not sleep until almost 2 a.m. last night. She actually DID sleep on and off, but restlessly, and kept waking and freaking herself out over her first day of her new acting group today. Needlessly. Once I did fall alseep, I had a fear of her waking and therefore, I did not sleep soundly.

    I read a wee bit of tax. Perhaps if my camera didn't come, and the girls didn't want to go to the park, I would have been more successful? I don't know. I was sitting in a Starbucks for 3 hours while Thing One was acting her heart out, and I still only got 1/2 of it done. Not for a lack of time, but for a lack of focus. duh.

    Beloved is making a delicious-smelling spinach mushroom eggplant garlic tomato-saucy THING which is baking in the oven presently, and making me STARVE to death.

    We saw some baby possums on the sidewalk today. Apparently, a storm knocked a branch out of a tree. That branch had been holding their nest. They were not playing possum ... they were dead. It was kind of sad. They were super little, super UNhairy, and super [cute]. They were perfect - no injuries or anything. so they did look like they were sleeping.

    Thing One was most concerned with finding out if they were boys or girls.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:52 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, August 27, 2006
    One of the many things I love about my kids ...
    they are thus far unspoilt by modern culture. tonight we saw the movie Captains Courageous, which was filmed in the year 1937. Thing One said, "oh! black and white!" when Leo the Lion first came on before the credits. When we asked if it was a problem, she said, "no, i've just never seen the lion in black and white!"

    They loved the movie. two hours of fishing, bonding, conversation, and a new world of men who fish for a living on the open Atlantic, and there was no fidgeting, no fussing, no nothing. the kids were enthralled and entranced.

    I love that they can be entertained by things that even I could not have sat through at their age, let alone their contemporaries.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:30 PM   0 comments
    jammie day
    that's what i call the clothing you wear to bed. other people call them pj's. some call them pajamas. i cannot remember which term i used (b/c I think I do call them all three) when we were at our friends' house recently, but their kids laughed at me, b/c they call it something else. still one of the three, just a different one.

    it's raining out. pretty hard.

    we're watching James Bond on Spike TV, which really seems like it is not the ideal channel to be watching with an 8 and 10 year old. there's lots of previews for scary movies and commercials for stuff with sex in it. so we're muting it, and allowing the kids to just be confused, rather than overloaded with inappropriate jokes and innuendos.

    then we're eating dinner.

    Then we're watching another movie, from Netflix. A family movie with Spencer Tracy in it, who I love. During the movie, we will be eating Rice Krispie Treats.

    Then we're putting the kids to bed.

    Then Beloved and I are watching Brokeback Mountain ... FINALLY!!!!

    The rain and de-stressing my parents' departure just makes it a t.v. day. a movie day.

    a Jammie Day.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:29 PM   1 comments
    Just us, again
    Okay. Parents are gone. I can feel the stress oozing out. The stress of pre-parents, the stress of being in the moment of parent visits, and now .... it's oozing out.

    But now there's the stress of one day until school starts for me. Also the stress of this week, which is a weird one, b/c I am in school, and the kid folk are not.

    For the past 2 years, the kids have spent this week with my parents. The first year, they went camping and did other vacation-like things, and last year, they hung out at my parents' house (which is in the country). This was good and bad.

    Good: I got to have my first weeks of school with a single focus. This was necessary in 1L, b/c I was starting law school, fearing I bit off more than I could chew, and freaking out. This was necessary in 2L because I was starting the Class that I Was Teaching, was realizing I bit off more than I could comfortably chew, and the demands on my time were extreme.

    Bad: The kids had recently returned from thier Summer Away, and it added another layer of transition, which was not always welcome. They were okay once they were in it, but during the prelude and the farewells, they were UNHAPPY about leaving.

    Last year, Beloved was working during this week.

    The year before, we made the plans while we were still in California, and we thought that Beloved would be working by the time my school started, but in reality, he did not start for a month after (which worked out well, b/c we hadn't found childcare until then, either).

    This year, I have nothing extra. I have a very sparse schedule.

    But that's not really why they're home.

    they're home, b/c in the spring, Thing One was approached by one of the women who run the little community theater that the girls are involved in, asking her to audition for a special troupe that uses this week as intense preparation for a short spurt of performances at the schools in town during September and October. She was very honored and excited. Beloved and I were happy for her, but saw the conflict with the dates right away. At the same time, however, we had already decided that due to my Summer Employment and his company moving, Beloved would take the Summer Off. So we decided that he would either 1) continue with his time off; or 2) take a week off during this week.

    So the girls are not going away with my parents. They are staying home. Tomorrow is Thing One's first day of practice, and she already has her lines memorized (which is what they wanted of her). I do not have school tomorrow .... I start Tuesday. I will bring her to her practice for 9, and Beloved and Thing Two will go grocery shopping (I think that's what I heard them planning). Perhaps I will stay out and have some time to myself, which I am oddly craving, and pick her up at noon.

    For the rest of the week, i will likely continue to drop her off for 9, and Beloved and Thing Two will pick her up at noon. They will spend their days doing whatever they do (I think he's talking about doing a Mapping project with them), and I will rejoin them when I'm done. On Thursday, I have nothing until 3:15 p.m., so perhaps I'll hang out with them all day. I guess it depends on how much reading I have to do already.

    It will be an odd week (or so), though. The girls won't be in a routine yet, Beloved is not working again yet (isn't planning to until we return from Disneyland), and I will have to start full force. The kids may not be so willing to accept that. Nor may be Beloved - sometimes the transition is tough for him, too. It's hard to remember that after 3 months of being able to watch movies together in the evening, or just hang out and chit chat - I may have to start cracking the books.

    but maybe it won't be the case. I feel like this will be a pretty light quarter. We'll see.
    posted by Zuska @ 3:08 PM   0 comments
    2 year contract
    Before I moved to New England, I signed up for an AT&T Go Phone. I needed a phone for the apartment hunt, and I felt that I would do better with a number local to where I was trying to get a place. I was able to sign up in CA for a New England number, but since I didn't know what service worked best, etc., i got a "pay as you go" plan --- the Go Phone.

    I really never use my cell phone. I think it's because I am old. I just haven't made that switch from a land line, and voice mail that I can check from anywhere, to a cell phone.

    Perhaps that's not why. I mean, I have made the switch from the USPS to e-mail perfectly fine. From typewriters to word processors gleefully. From walkman tape players to iPods with absolute finesse.

    Maybe the real reason is because I live in a semi-basement apartment, and the cell phone doesn't work worth shit. Maybe because being a Head of Household to 2 kids makes it more convenient to have a phone in the house where all people can be reached.

    but I don't use my cell. So having to pay $25 every time I run out of minutes works well. If I'm on a trip, I'll pay that up to 3x in a week, but typically, during my normal life, it's once every 6 weeks, if not more.

    But, as many people may know, Cingular bought AT&T.

    At first, it seemed that this would be okay. What do I care if the name that shows up on my bank statement starts with a C instead of an A???

    But then Cingular started to call all the time, and say that they were gonna dump us if we didn't "switch over" to a new account. they said that I had to go into a Cingular store, and just easily move myself over from one to the other and they'd even give me a free phone, which i need --- no, which I want.

    Beloved also has the Go Phone, and so he was getting the same calls.

    I went into the store right near my house right after I got my haircut on Thursday.

    And guess what the boy said to me?

    Oh, I know that they're telling you to come into the store, but actually, you need customer service, and we don't have access to that, so you need to call.

    I was mad. And I decided I was not going to stay with Cingular/AT&T/Whatever.

    So beloved and I signed up for a Family Plan (no more pay-as-you-go) with T-Mobil. It is only $49/mo for the 2 of us, and since we're the people we talk to the most, the fact that we get unlimited calls to each other is a Good Thing.

    i can't wait until my new phone comes.

    i also still can't wait until my new camera comes.

    school starts in 2 days.

    posted by Zuska @ 12:00 AM   0 comments
    Saturday, August 26, 2006
    The Loins from Which I Sprung Forth
    My parents are here. This makes it so that by the end of the day, I am exhausted.

    My mother's crabby, and i don't know why. She spent some time explaining to me this evening WHY it was MY FAULT that I didn't go to Yale from my high school. How I wouldn't get off my RUMP and take school seriously.

    Sometimes, I think she forgets that it's been uh, 15 years?

    she also was angry with me earlier because I made my kids stop "playing a game" which she didn't want them to stop playing, and asked me just who I think I am, for telling them to stop.

    Well, actually, I'm their mother.

    Beloved doesn't feel good.

    Thing One was mean to her sister.

    My father made racist comments that really upset me.

    It is not a good day. Despite the fact that we went to the zoo, and I spent probably over an hour (all told) staring at big cats and the weather was gorgeous.

    We went out to dinner, and it was mediocre, at best.

    good things about the day: it was 68 and sunny; I saw tigers fighting and playing like kittens; i saw a lion roar; my kids both made me laugh on several ocassions; i had a yummy breakfast; i discovered a yummy new wine.

    i will try and focus on those things.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:55 PM   0 comments
    Friday, August 25, 2006
    I did buy my books yesterday. When I got home, I finally filled out the rebate form for my computer (which gives me a check for $150 for the iPod I bought, but will be free after the rebate).

    While I was filling out the rebate form, the rest of the family got in an argument, and it made me mad. I stayed mad. then I had me a glass (or two, or three) of wine, and went to bed.

    Now, today, we are going on a family outing, but I must say, my bad mood is lingering. I'm hoping to snap out of it soon.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:40 PM   0 comments
    Thursday, August 24, 2006
    On a Whim ....
    I just applied for a job at school for this coming fall quarter. It's just a little work study thing, but it will bring me a few hundred a month, and will be fun - it's tutoring first years for the Academic Success Program, and is only open to 3Ls. I have SUCH an open schedule this quarter, and I think this could be a fun thing to spend time doing, while making money and helping to calm some of the nerves of people who don't need to be nervous, and perhaps for some of those who DO need to be nervous, I can help give them some tools to make things easier.

    I'm going to drop off all my evals when I head to school within the hour to purchase books.

    f'ing books.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:07 PM   1 comments
    I cut my hair!!
    I think about 4 inches were cut off, the ends were thinned, and I got relatively long layers. I liked my hair cut person, b/c she did not push a lot of hair products on me, and b/c she didn't style it all poofy for me to leave. Furthermore, she listened to what I said about liking to tuck my hair behind my ears, and not wanting to spend a long time styling my hair in the a.m.

    So, I am well pleased.

    Sorry, no photos of Zuska and her new hair shall be shown on this blog. Not until I learn how to photoshop my face out of it - which ain't happenin', b/c I don't have Photoshop.

    he he he.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:57 AM   2 comments
    It's early, and I'm trying to stay awake
    So I lifted this fun little bit from Frolics and Detours

    1. In two words, explain what ended your last relationship?
    Selfishness and Disinterest (on his part. for 7 years.)
    2. When was the last time you shaved?
    One week ago (last Thursday)
    3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?
    It's 7:41 right now. I'm sure I'll be reading bloglines.
    4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
    Catching up on blogs
    5. Are you any good at math?
    I am capable, but not quick.
    6. What did you do on your prom night?
    Dear Lord, that was 16 years ago. Do you really expect me to remember? I went to a party and went home - my date was a friend, and we hung out with other friends.
    7. Do you have any famous ancestors?
    A distant uncle married a singer-lady -- Patty Paige. That's it.
    8. Have you ever taken out a loan to pay for school?
    Just for law school, but it's a lot.
    9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile?
    I don't have a myspace profile, and I feel certain that I never will.
    10. Last thing received in the mail?
    A renewal thing for Utne magazine, even though I have 6 more issues coming to me; and a spy club toy for my daughter. I'm sure there were catalogs, as there always are.
    11. How many different beverages have you drank today?
    zero. i got up 30 minutes ago, and i don't drink ANYTHING before my coffee, which I'm too tired to make right now.
    12. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machines?
    More than I don't
    13. Who did you lose your concert virginity to?
    I'm very tempted to lie, and mention a concert I CHOSE to go to - but when i was 11, a friend of the family brought me to Huey Lewis and the News. That was it.
    14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
    No, I draw my daughters' names.
    15. What's the most painful dental procedure you've had?
    Tightening of braces and wearing of elastics on said braces.
    16. What is out your back door?
    My back door is right next to my front door, which I think is very dumb. It's the hallway to my building, only a little further down.
    17. Any plans for Friday night?
    My parents are coming in from a nearby state at approx 10 p.m., and I think that I'm having a Family Movie Night until that time.
    18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
    Yes, it makes it blonder and a little curly.
    19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different kinds of popcorn?
    20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?
    Yes, at a museum at least twice.
    21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?
    Yes. And if my kids don't, they get reprimanded.
    22. Some things you are excited about?
    Being done with school and starting to be a grown-up, finally, after 33 years; watching my kids grow up; going to Disneyland.
    23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?
    Since I found out that Jello is made out of horse hooves, pretty much none. I guess it used to be cherry.
    24. Are any of your great-grandparents still alive?
    My great-grandma died last year. She was 96. She was actually the mother to my STEP grandfather, who is pretty much dying right now, and is my last living grandparent.
    25. Describe your key chain:
    It is a leather folding picture frame with photos of the kids inside. the pictures are old and should really be replaced. I am NOT a good mom in that way.
    26. Where do you keep your change?
    Initially in my wallet; then I transfer the quarters to the laundry-quarter holder, and the rest into our change jar, which is very full, and needs to be taken to a Coinstar thingy. We told the kids they could have the $$ from that.
    27. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
    Probably last year's orientation for 1Ls. I've had to speak since, but I wouldn't call them "large groups."
    28. What kind of winter coat do you have?
    Which one? I have a brown suede coat; I have a Columbia 3 in 1; I have a black dress coat; and I have a red puffy coat.
    29. What was the weather like on your high school graduation day?
    Again --- 16 years ago. I only remember that it was sunny out because I can picture it as I was getting pulled over by a cop on the highway to get my first speeding ticket. Considering it was late June in New England, I'm gonna guess it was in the 80s.
    30. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?
    If the kids are home - open so I can hear them. Unless I fall asleep after having sex, for which (of course) the door gets closed and locked. I guess I just sleep with it open, b/c if they're not home, there's no need to ever close the door.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:45 AM   0 comments
    Wednesday, August 23, 2006
    Memories on Demand
    Tonight the girls and I went for a walk. I decided that I did soooo much laundry and cleaning and entertaining of more children than I birthed that I deserved CHOCOLATE, and we didn't have any in the house. (Well, no milk chocolate, just Beloved's dark chocolate caramels, which to me, are poops).

    Beloved has to write a review tonight, and so I promised him some time to himself. I took the kids to Trader Joe's with me to get some of my favorite peanut butter filled milk chocolate bars.

    We walked out the door at 7:45 to a slight chill in the air and the sun on its way down. This is just the BEST time of year, and the BEST time of day. I decided I needed a sweatshirt atop my shorts and t-shirt, so the girls went ahead to the park across from our apartment building while I went back inside. I came back out to see through the trees that they were running and leaping and cartwheeling. They were very happy and active. By the time we walked across the park, Thing Two was saying, "this is so fun! I love this place! This is so perfect!"

    We walked through one other park on the way to TJ's, where the girls continued to practice their cartwheels. A woman who seemed to be on break from the neighborhood nursing home was grinning ear to ear at their attempts and "look at me, mommy!"

    While we were at TJ's, Thing One was commenting that it was the first time of the summer that she had that "free summer feeling, where there's nothing you have to do, and you can just run around like CRAZY, and it's okay."

    This is one of those nights that I want them to remember. Forever.

    I don't want it to end up (like it is with me, and my memories of my childhood) that all they remember are the days where they get in trouble, or that I'm grouchy b/c of exams or an upcoming trial, and say something I don't mean, or don't want to say. I want them to remember the sun going down, and them laughing with their mother b/c of her needing a sweatshirt on a summer evening as if she were from CALIFORNIA or something.

    I want them to go back in their memories, and find the day that it was PERFECT, the weather, the park, the company, everything - the coziness and happiness and glowing.

    posted by Zuska @ 9:13 PM   0 comments
    Creeping in -- Reality for All
    It's getting more real to me that I'm back in school in less than a week. Two more of my syllabi were posted today, and I've decided it's time - tomorrow is book-buying day. (Damn Tax.) I even have assignments to start in on. Then I'll feel like a real student, and the bubble that has been my obvious belief that I was Once a Law Student will be burst. Having a taste of the real world (ha ha ha - summer associate = real world? ha ha ha) this summer makes it hard to believe that I will ever study again.

    I also did make an appointment to get my hair cut, and I did ALL the laundry. I'm talking 12 loads. I had a bunch of new stuff (sheets and socks and undies) to wash before wearing/using, and that tacked at least 3 loads onto my already respectable 9. I am such a shitty housekeeper. Seriously.

    Thing Two had a friend over today. I like her. They got along well with Thing One, which is always a feat in itself (not Thing One as much as the sibling of the child whose having a friend over).

    Thing One pulled out her cello for the first time since June today. WOW!! She sounded so awesome! The notes were so strong and clear, and she had the songs down, still, from last year. Her cello looked little on her, even though she (according to our pre and post summer measurements) only grew 1/2 inch. She will be having private lessons this year, and I'm really hopeful that she'll stick with the instrument.

    Thing Two was finally told (by me) that she will be going to the After School program at the school, rather than getting a new babysitter. She cried ... but it seemed forced. Like she wasn't REALLY upset. I think her main reason for being upset is that she loses the chance to have impromptu "play dates" with her friend who came over today. But the reality is that her friend's mom and I have gotten close (ish) over the past 2 years that the girls are BF's, and we will still work things out. They have theater together on Mondays, her friend has Hebrew School on Tuesdays, and their family routines preclude play dates on Fridays, b/c they spend a quiet family afternoon before they go to Temple. So, uh, no - she can't have a babysitter for the occassional Weds or Thurs playdate with this ONE friend! She has approx 4 friends (close friends) who also attend the program, and who are NOT in her classroom this year. She will have fun.

    And I think she knows that, and that's why the tears were fake. I am sorry that it's not her ideal situation ... but this is a tough spot, b/c it IS her sister's ideal situation. Thing One *loves* the program, and gets a lot of out of it, and all of her friends are in it.

    And I can't pay for 2 separate after-school situations. If I could find someone who was willing to make HALF the going rate to care for Thing Two, so that my costs weren't doubled, then it would be fine. But uh, that person does NOT exist. and if they do, something's wrong with them, and I don't want them near my kids. So there.

    ALSO. Beloved is not planning on getting a new job until October (after our trip to Disneyland), and so he will be available to ease Thing Two's transition. She can get picked up earlier, and have shorter days.

    ALSO. My school schedule is RIDICULOUSLY sparse this year. I am done very early on Wednesdays and have nothing on Fridays.

    She will be fine, and even HAPPY, I think.

    Today Beloved finished his part-time gig that he did this summer, in his dream field. It ended with a faint whisper of a potential paid opportunity for him, there, in the near future. This is a good enough opportunity at a perfect enough place for him and his interests that it would definitely make us reconsider our plan for him to be an at-home presence upon my establishment as a Real Lawyer. I'm sure we'll find a solution - we always do.

    So it's almost time. I'm thinking through the year's new routines and requirements. Our fun weeks of bliss and lack of responsibility are fading out, and in comes the responsibility and demands.

    But .... we still have some time. I will be sure to enjoy it.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:47 PM   0 comments
    High School Angst
    We joined Netflix. We are not sure if we'll be able to get enough use out of it to make it worth while, but b/c of the kind of people we are, we pay a LOT of money in late fees. Perhaps not the $14.99/mo that we're going to start giving to Netflix, but probably $10/mo. It usually is charged more as $25 every other month, but -- it's there.

    One reason we aren't sure it will work for us is because we tend to watch no movies, and then binge. We are known to rent 5 at a time. (and if they're only ONE day late at the place that automatically gives us another 5 days at $4.50 per, waaa laaa!! $25 in late fees!!)

    We're hoping, however, that having Netflix will help with the late fees. Since often, at least two of the five get returned unwatched, 2 movies at a time may work better for us.

    Yesterday, we got our first two movies. And we watched them both. First, Swiss Family Robinson with the girls. They LOVED it. Thing One remembered it from a couple summers ago, but Thing Two only remembered bits and pieces. She was so into the movie, and so anxious (in a good, smiley way), it was hysterical. Her favorite part was the fight with the pirates at the end.

    Then Beloved and I saw Brick. A movie about high school students, and the little world they create for themselves.

    As I said a few weeks ago, Beloved and I saw Napolean Dynamite one evening a few weeks ago. I didn't like it. I thought it sucked. It was a movie about high school students, and the little [pathetic] world that they create for themselves.

    Yet, the movies could not have been more different. Brick was intelligent, and crafty and artistic. It also had my favorite actress from my favorite show in it -- Claire in Lost. I think I have wee girly-crush on her. I definitely am an equal opportunity TV crush person. Current boy crushes are Dr. Burke from Grey's Anatomy and my weather man, Matt Noyes. He brings me storms. Who could not not love that?

    Anyway, I recommend Brick. I will warn that they talk funny. All this "lingo" that takes some time to figure out - if you're even meant to.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:13 AM   0 comments
    Tuesday, August 22, 2006
    Things Un Done
    I did not get my hair cut.
    I did not do the laundry.
    I did not buy my school books.

    I am pathetic. I did go to IKEA, and I did go to Target to get the girls new socks and underwear to start off the year with. Beloved and I chose a new bedspread at IKEA, too, and it's really pretty. We had a navy blue one, and it was too dark, and darkened the room too much. This new one is lighter brighter colors, and I like the effect.

    Tomorrow, Thing Two will have a friend come see the new bedroom (for which we got a rug today), and I will do the laundry.

    Thursday, Beloved will have to spend much time iwth the Things, b/c I need to get my haircut, and I *suppose* I need to buy my damned books. Stupid Tax.

    I can't believe that I'll be in school a week from today. How fast these 2 weeks off are going. I feared that it would be hard to have this much time with "nothing to do." I don't do well without plans and schedules and deadlines. But I'm doing just fine right now. We've been busy with things to do every day (even if last Wednesday, the only Things to Do were a sushi lunch and manicure/pedicure). Our trip broke things up nicely, and really, we have something every day. My parents are coming into town on Friday evening, and I'm not sure how long they're staying for, but come Monday - Thing One starts a new theater program in the mornings right up until their school starts (September 7), and on Tuesday, I start school.

    posted by Zuska @ 7:19 PM   0 comments
    Peace Restored; Peace Lost
    Beloved and I talked things through, and came up with a solution for the Battle of the Stuff. We bought a cheapo shelving unit at IKEA today, and he tucked it into a corner on the other side of his computer, and will use it for his books, etc.

    Thing one, however, is definitely about to hit the Double Digits. Her little attitude is really something. She is currently tantruming (in a 10 year old way, not a 3 year old way) b/c she was told not to eat too many cornchips with her black bean soup, but she did. She was able to rationalize her way through a very large bowl of chips, and then, upon finishing 1/3rd of her soup, she declared she was "full." When I pointed out the predictability and unacceptability of this situation, she was very snotty and rude so that she got sent to her room to put on pajamas and with threat of not being able to watch a movie with the family tonight (Swiss Family Robinson).

    Grrr to kids who are snotty and act like they're 15 when in fact they are 10.

    although she is currently at the table, finishing her soup, chatting happily with Beloved about Thursday's trip to the Farmer's Market. So perhaps all is well for the rest of THIS day.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:13 PM   0 comments
    Monday, August 21, 2006
    Best Google Search Ever
    Check out the first result of this Google Search. This is obviously intentional, since a search of the bio does not turn up a single instance of the word "failure. He he he.

    I found this over at WonL.
    posted by Zuska @ 4:26 PM   2 comments
    one week left
    school starts a week from tomorrow. i'm all itchy in my skin because i just looked up my booklists, and i could be happier about the money i need to shell out. Tax alone is going to cost $190. Isn't that crazy? Comparative law is being taught by a professor whose specialty is Asian Law, but they hadn't altered the course description from saying that the course compares the U.S. with the systems of France and Germany. I don't think I'm any less interested, but still feel slightly irked.

    on top of that, this is one of those courses where we read the professor's book, which is available through the bookstore for $135; Amazon for $145; and half? the used books? $227. nice. I guess I'll be schlepping to the bookstore soon. Maybe even today.

    I was going to get my hair cut today, but the local place that has been recommended to me is closed on Mondays. I will call tomorrow and see when I can get an appointment for.

    The girls' old babysitter is coming over today to hang out with them for a few hours. I am not sure what I'll do during that time. I thought I'd be getting my haircut, but now that's nixed. Then I thought I'd go buy my books .... perhaps that is what I'll do. Get it over with. I don't know why. I should buy them on the first day of school. piece meal, in loads I can carry.

    I think if I could look through used options, though, and see if there are any without highlighting, I could consider a tainted book. I have a better chance of THAT if I go today.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:44 AM   0 comments
    Sunday, August 20, 2006
    almost done? tales of a slob
    i have tackled the biggest job in my house, for me. that is my bedroom. i cannot show photos, b/c Beloved has yet to do his part. I admit freely that on 364 days of the year, it is 100% pointless for him to clean his sections of the bedroom, because mine are so overwhelmingly messy. Today, however, mine are clean.

    I have done a very thorough job, too. I moved my bed, and swept and wiped down the floor under and behind the bed. I cleaned out the radiators, both inside, on top, and under. I have dusted shelves. I have wiped down walls and knocked down cobwebs (yes, I had cobwebs. shut up.)

    I am about to do my closet floor, which I don't think is too bad. I think most things there can just be thrown away and/or donated.

    Some things I took out of the bedroom must now be dealt with in other rooms. i have a piece of furniture which I tend to call "the green thing." I don't know what else to call it. A sidetable, perhaps, except that it opens up, and is a filing cabinet inside. I think it's pretty. It's green, and it's from L.L. Bean's Home department - my mom bought it for me back during my marriage to the Schlurg, which may be part of why beloved hates it, i don't know.

    It's supposed to be where I file things. Papers and such. Except that I don't typically file. Plus, when we moved here from CA, we didn't have anything to put the stereo on, so we put it on the Green Thing. It's a big multi-component stereo of Beloved's, and it is NOT portable, in any way. So I did not file in the Green Thing for approx 1.5 years. Now, however, the stereo has been moved, and I have my Green Thing back.

    In its absence, all of my papers ended up in various boxes. They are not bad boxes - we got them at IKEA, and they have labels and stuff on them. it wasn't so willy-nilly. Now that the Green Thing is Free, and I have an entire extra wardrobe to fit into an already full 1/2 (more like 4/10ths) of a shelving unit and 1/2 of a closet, I needed the space. So I must now re-file all of these papers (1.5 years' worth!) into the Green Thing. I'm gonna do it tonight.

    Right now, however, the Things and Beloved are watching the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy while I clean the room and listen to a book on tape. I'm done (but for the closet), but their movie isn't over.

    I'm also arguing with Beloved. So I don't want to be in there right now, b/c I am a very MATURE 33 years old. We are fighting over our limited space. I think he brings too much stuff into the house, while constantly getting on me for not "getting rid of things," and he thinks (this is my best guess, we have yet to speak of it, b/c I refuse to fight in front of the Children) that I'm trying to PUSH his stuff out of the house, leaving him no individuality to speak of.

    I am difficult, I think (know). Generally, I am a slob. I truly am. I take off my clothes, and leave them on the floor. Often with the belt on the pants, and the underwear tangled through the legs -- and I just walk away (in my loungewear) and sit on the couch. By the end of the week, there are at least 4 or 5 of these jumbled messes. I admit it, I'm horrid.

    However, every now and then, I get a bee in my bonnet, and I want to clean. When things are "clean," I want them CLEAN. I want my "show" mode to be perfect. I don't want stacks of books or "neat piles" of crap. I want PERFECTION. I want something worthy of a Pottery Barn catalog. It must be very difficult to be my partner. See? I acknowledge my contradictions - but I don't know what to do with them.

    I see the solution as relatively simple -- I am willing to work on things so that they are clean ALL THE TIME. I feel that in very small bits, I'm getting there. Typically, I can keep the main areas of the house clean. Straightened and clean. The living room, the dining room, and if I'm being good, the kitchen. Also, I'm good about my bathroom (we have two in this apartment. I share mine with the girls, and Beloved shares his with the cats. I have the better deal for soooo many reasons, namely: 1) the girls are toilet trained; 2) the girls can be forced to do "chores" which include emptying the bathroom trash, wiping down the bathroom sink, even sweeping the bathroom floor; 3) the girls do not shred rolls of toilet paper into tiny bits when they're mad at me for waking up late and not feeding them; and last, but certainly NOT least, 4) the girls never ever ever wipe their poopy butts on the bathroom floor, trying to get a hair unstuck.)

    My bedroom is the sore spot. But now that the girls' bedroom is so organized and good, I want the same for myself, and I'm willing to work toward it. I have a few things I've already changed, and a few plans to change more. I think (and hope) that if I can keep my things from disintegrating into squalor, beloved will keep his things a wee bit more under control. But of course, it's hard for me to expect that I can snap my fingers when the mood strikes, and have him get in line with my whim (which is, right now, for cleanliness).

    Hopefully, soon, I'll be a Better Partner, and Beloved and I can be in the same room again.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:24 PM   0 comments
    procrastination nation station
    as you can see by my ridiculously long and over linked previous post, I am procrastinating. It is Cleaning Day. Pshaw. I have finished the girls' room, and started (pathetically) on the living room. As in, I threw away 4 pieces of paper, emptied the shopping bags from last Tuesday (school clothes shopping with the girls), and told the girls to put away stacks of laundry. My stacks of laundry remain on the floor.

    I also plan to tackle my room. The girls' room looks soooo nice all clean and organized. Mine is so messy and terrible, and it's all my fault. It's also dark, b/c it's so messy that I don't want to open the window, b/c then people walking down the street will see my messiness.

    Beloved is going to take the girls to Kinkos so they can do a glossy print out of some things they made on the computer. while I clean. Not post about my Summer Purchases, but rather .... CLEAN. Perhaps even do more throwing away of things.

    Enough posting. (for the 2:00 hour, at least).
    posted by Zuska @ 2:52 PM   0 comments
    a few new toys
    After some deep self-examination, it has occurred to me that I am a Toy Person. I decided that I would like to embrace this aspect of my personality. I am not ashamed. If I were a Toy Person who was unwilling to do a little research, and a little bargain hunting, and if I were still the Zuska of the past, who had ZERO patience (on a scale of 1 to 10, I now believe I have patience at about a 5 or 6, rather than the ZERO of days past, although I think that without the 10 rating, Beloved will continue to say that I Do Not Have Patience. he is wrong. i have about a "5" of patience. and that is good.)

    Where was I? Oh yeah, the lack of shame. b/c i'm not as impulsive as I used to be.

    My New Toys.

    1. Computer and Related Treats.

    My main toy of the summer is my new Mac. It is a dual purpose machine, 1/2 Toy, and 1/8th Tool. No. 1/2 Tool. (b/c of school? right?)

    Since it is partially a tool, and needs to come to school WITH me, I needed to be sure that the transportation process would be safe for the sweet little thing. I have a really excellent Crumpler messenger bag, which I spent a good deal of money on last year, and didn't really want to replace. My bag has a built-in sleeve, but for my old 17" Dell. My cute little 13" Mac is kind of lost inside it.

    a. The Sleeve.

    So, I went sleeve shopping. First, I checked out this one at Timbuk2, but wasn't so thrilled with the look or the size. So, then I did a google search, and found some super-cute ones, but the sizes were a bit off. Either too big or too small. It also irked me that they cost a bit more, just b/c of a flower. So then I found myself back at ebags, which is where I found my computer bag that I love (despite its largesse). And I found a sleeve that I like. It holds just my computer, not all the accoutrements, but I don't need those held, the sleeve is just going into my bag and giving my Baby some extra protection. Furthermore, the little flap that flips up into a handle will be very useful for those times that I want to run across the street to grab a smoothie, but don't want to pack everything up, and don't want to leave the laptop behind. Now JUST the laptop can come along for a smoothie run. I used to leave the Dell behind. I am not leaving my new one behind.

    b. the defender against all oils.

    While I was doing the Sleeve-Shopping, Beloved told me he found something that I NEED. I have been freakish about people touching my computer screen, and I already (despite the freakishness) have a couple smudge spots. He found this cool keyboard cover, which protects the screen from getting the oils which end up on the keys after typing on it upon folding. So I bought it. I got it in blue. It was $6, and it was the only item on the whole site that had free shipping. I thought that was kind of cool. Because at first, when Beloved showed it to me, I said "yeah, I see that it's only $6, and it will probably cost $10 for shipping!" So I was skeptical. But upon ordering, there was a 1st class USPS shipping option, which said, "(for keyboard cover only)".


    2. Digital Cameras.

    During my last 2 weeks of work, I went through this period where I really wanted a new digital camera. We have a digital camera. But it SUCKS. The lag time between shots is ridiculous, and it pisses me OFF. So i spent a lot of time looking at the Canon SD700. I found it to be a wee pricey, though, and so was taking my time. Then one of my fellow summer associates let slip that he had been shopping for a digital camera, had settled on the SD700, and that it was going to arrive at the office in 2 business days. So I put my plans on hold, until I could touch his, in real life. I thought for certain that it would clinch the deal.

    Instead, when his arrived, he pointed out the little wheel thingy that switches the camera from photo mode to review mode to video mode, and the fact that people have complained about it, b/c it feels like cheapo plastic. Well, that was the end of THAT love affair. It WAS cheapo plastic, and I was not about to spend $500 for something that included cheapo plastic.

    then I realized that I'd really like something more powerful, if I'm going to spend more than approx $200, and that I'm not ready for that yet. So that's the end of that. No digital camera. There was a moment last week where I lost the little USB connector that goes from my camera to my computer, and I thought, "well, crap, I guess I do need a new camera!" b/c I couldn't upload the photos of the Things' bedroom. But then we went to Staples for school supplies, and I found a replacement USB connector.

    Then we went away this past weekend, and we took some photos. One photo of Thing Two and her friend by the bonfire looked so wonderful on our little 1" x 1" viewfinder. It was perfect. Their smiles were gorgeous, the lighting was great, the picture was clear.

    Then I got home, loaded the pictures on the computer, and what the fuck? The damned photo was all BLURRY. it sucks. It's a wretched picture.

    So, while waiting for my unloving uncaring sister to stop fussing with her son and get back onto the computer to chit-chat with ME ( which clearly should be her higher priority), I did some MORE research, some comparisons, and some sale shopping. I had narrowed it down to either the Canon SD630 or the Canon SD550. Both were being sold for well below $300, and got good reviews. Except, the SD630 didn't have a viewfinder, and some people felt that made it useless in high sun, b/c the screen was not visible. and it was the pricier of the two.

    So I bought the SD550. I bought it through Dell, where it was an additional 20% off, and had free shipping. It was approx $200. The 1MB card was also on sale. So I spent less than $250 total.

    The end. (for now)
    posted by Zuska @ 1:32 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, August 19, 2006
    back home
    our trip was great. i have a couple of share-worthy photos, but not too many, b/c i'm not comfortable posting photos of other people's kids or properties.

    We swam both in a pool and a lake, we went to a play, we had a bonfire complete with Smores, we watched kids play, kids fight, kids smile, kids tantrum (thankfully, not mine). Us adults sipped wine, sipped beer, played cards until 1:30 a.m., and slept little. I tended to bug bites, tried to pry reasons for unhappiness out of children. My older daughter learned to dive and became one of the house pros at shuffleboard (table top). My younger daughter got to hang out with her "best friend" who she hasn't seen all summer.

    The younger girls, with masks:

    My older girl, telling stories around the campfire:

    A pretty sunflower, in the pretty yard, by the pretty house, on a pretty day:

    Yes, a good time was had by all.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:48 PM   0 comments
    no security, no liberty
    No, this is not a political post.

    I was going to write about my splendid weekend, perhaps post a few photos. Then I checked my school's internal bulletin board for the first time after our trip, and I found some upsetting news.

    they canceled my seminar. The professor is "on leave" - this is clearly a last-minute thing, b/c she had just posted looking for some research assistants, and was scheduled to teach TWO classes --- one which they just announced the cancelation of (mine - "Balancing Security and Liberty"), and the other which they announced a new adjunct professor for.

    I am upset. This is the class I thought of taking LAST fall, but went with Family Law instead, b/c I'd just done a summer immersed in Family Law, had some issues I'd love to explore, and thought that I'd do pretty well, due to my recent experience.

    Instead, I got my worst evaluation of my law school career (this was the one that the professor said I wrote a "funny paper," as well as 21.9 other pages' worth of gobbledy gook). So I have ever since regretted taking that class. And since wished I had taken Balancing Security and Liberty. And was very pleased that my opportunity had arrived.

    And now, it has been taken from me.

    My second runner up is a class I registered for back in July, since two of my four classes were limited enrollment. I will be taking Comparative Law. The professor is one that taught Civ Pro my 1L year, and those who had her did NOT like her. Hopefully, this won't present a problem.

    If they offer the Security and Liberty class in the spring, I will NOT have time to take it. I have about 1500 classes I want to take in the Spring, and at the same time, do not want to be loaded down in my final quarter of school. I saw too much senioritis from my 3L friends this past year.

    grrrr. argh.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:54 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, August 16, 2006
    Small trip
    As I said in my fuming post (I am still angry, b/c mean apartment lady took my clothes out of the dryer, as I was walking in to get them, and with 5 minutes left on the machine), we are going away tomorrow.

    It is 9:42 p.m., and I still need to:

    Finish this laundry;
    Pack the girls and myself;
    Make a grocery list (we're contributing fruit and salad stuff to their summer house while we're there);
    Figure out what time I need to get up in order to:
    a) shower
    b) get to Whole Foods
    c) buy said produce
    d) bring everything home and
    e) pick up the zipcar at 10 a.m.

    We need to leave as soon after 10 as possible, b/c our friends are waiting lunch for us.

    Said friends have 3 kids. Their youngest and Thing Two are "best friends" and their middle child and Thing One are in the same grade, and while their oldest is a year or so older than Thing One, they get along really really well. So it will be a really fun time for the kids (as long as the odd number doesn't create strife - or the fact that there's only one boy).

    Beloved and I also plan to have a fun time. There's a pool, and there are hiking trails, and perhaps some museums and/or plays. It is a little hard to get a consensus from 5 children and 4 adults, but we're gonna try!!

    And despite the length of my list, and all I have to do, I am feeling like writing multiple posts is more productive.

    posted by Zuska @ 9:48 PM   1 comments
    templates and towels
    Hey - I got my way! i wanted a new template, and now, I have a new template. Please let me know about any problems or difficulties, including any mis-categorized links or if I neglected to bring anyone over from the Boring Blog.

    I'm currently HUGELY grouchy. Despite my happy new template. I am doing laundry, around editing of the template and parenting teh children.

    But the children are out of control. Out Of Control. No. OUT OF CONTROL. I was initially pleased that they were otherwise occupied while I was fussing with the blog. They were designing "binder covers" for their notebooks for school using some Microsoft program. Thing One seems to be quite apt at figuring out how to do funky things with minimal tools. Then, my sister was chatting with me via Google Talk, and mentioned that Thing Two had sent her a message on Sunday. So I told the girls that my sister was on line. So they went and chatted with her, but then they switched to the voice function on Google Talk, and I think that's when things started to get crazy. CRAZY.

    Then I went down to the laundry room (on the trip that started the smoldering in my chest), and when I returned, they honestly were BOUNCING around the room. No, wait. FIrst they ran down stairs to the laundry room, 2 little streaks of voice and energy, "we sent you voice messages ...meep .... e-mail ..... phone .... sound" AGH! I came back to the apartment (still angry), and there was more hyperactivity, and EIGHT messages in my gmail box --- voice messages. Huh?

    So I told them to brush their teeth and go to bed. But they wanted the chocolate I bought at Trader Joe's today with the promise of sharing after dinner. So they continued with their hyperactivity, including Thing Two's over use of "cooooooo-ellle!" (i.e., "cool" in a very annoying lilting way).

    Finally, I got them toward bed, but only with the strictness kicked up a few notches - requirements of SILENCE and of room cleaning and grouchiness on my part.

    Beloved, I believe, was laughing at me. He took a moment between the chocolate and the mommy grouchies to show them a leaf bug he temporarily captured for their viewing pleasure. It was very cool looking. They then let it go.

    Now. the Laundry.

    We have 16 units in this apartment. Several of them with kids residing within. I would say at least half of the apartments contain families.

    there are two washers and two dryers. They are normal capacity. Sometimes, to say the least, it gets crowded down there.

    tomorrow, THIS family is going away. We are going to friends' summer home in the Berkshires. I have not done laundry since, um, I was at my parents' house on August 5-6. Now, granted, the kids weren't back until the 12th, so it wasn't the laundry of 4 people that was mounting, but rather of two, and MY laundry was largely drycleaning. So it wasn't really so horrible. I'd say I had 6 loads to do.

    While my clothes were in the washer, another mom had clothes in the dryer, but she'd overfilled her washers, and so she needed to do a second round in the dryer. No problem. She's very nice, we chatted while we waited for the machines to shift around, and all was pleasant. Someone else had come down, and put their clothes "in line" after mine.

    My clothes went into the washer and started their cycle while the dryers (the ONLY TWO dryers) still had approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes left. The washers take 20 minutes.

    When I went back down to just re-set my internal timer (i.e., I was soooo engrossed in copying links to my new template, I lost complete track of time), I found all my clothes had been taken from the washers and plopped on TOP of the dryers, which had approximately 40 minutes left on them. The washers were almost done - that other person's clothes. One pair of Thing Two's wet shorts were on the FLOOR of the laundry room.

    WHY would someone do this? It is not going to get their laundry done any sooner. All they're doing is being RUDE. Unless they plan to go down there and stalk the machines so they can put their clothes in the dryer before mine, there's just NO POINT in taking my clothes out of the washers.

    IF I was one of hte MANY people in this building who find it perfectly appropriate to put their clothes in the washer at 8 a.m., and then go upstairs, take a shower, load the kids into the stroller, walk to the library, walk to the grocery store, play at the park, and at some time around 3 p.m. come back to put their clothes in the dryer, I could UNDERSTAND my clothes being put on top of the washers. But this was not the case. I was not being negligent. I am NEVER negligent with my laundry. I KNOW that there are people waiting for me. I KNOW that we SHARE these appliances.

    I came back upstairs and told Beloved (with a raised voice and a little bit too much passion) that the NEXT time we move, it will be to a place where we have our OWN machines, b/c I am SICK AND TIRED of RUDE people mussing with my clothes!!!

    A few minutes later, the nice, responsible, considerate, respectful mom whose clothes were in the dryer knocked on my door to say, "come down in 10 minutes, my clothes are gonna be done early, and I'm afraid someone's trying to cut in front of you."

    At least there are some nice people. grrrr. arggh.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:19 PM   3 comments
    Two things
    1) I found an interesting new blog this morning:

    2) and if you couldn't tell, I can't figure out how to put links in my posts on the Mac, like I used to on the PC. Slowly but surely, I'll figure all of this out.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:43 AM   1 comments
    Needing a change
    I really despise this template. Really and truly. I've been looking for a new one, and can't find anything that's just right. I also don't know how to change my template.

    Does anyone have any hints or advice? Or know of anyone who designs templates for a reasonable fee? I am so bored with this stupid brown and stupid scroll business. grrr.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:18 AM   0 comments
    Tuesday, August 15, 2006
    Is the Blogosphere Killing Law School? My Note to Pre-L's.
    A lot of blogs written by law students are less than a glowing endorsement for the law school experience. Wouldn't most of you agree? There are many law students who HATE law school, and feel inclined to post about it. They hate the system, and they hate the professors, and they hate the career options upon graduation, and they hate the debt and they hate the law. Or at least the studying of it.***

    On my school's internal bulletin board, we have one extremely bitter boy stirring up the pot on almost every issue at our school. The style of grading, the adjunct professors, the class selection, the posting a book list, whether the Socratic method is really modeled after Socrates, and on and on. His bitterness is hanging heavy over the entire atmosphere - even though I'm only experiencing it electronically right now. He's upset b/c his co-ops have sucked, and apparently, so have his evals.

    See that? The bitterness came from bad things. Bad things that ALREADY HAPPENED.

    A sad thing that I'm seeing is bitterness that people are picking up on even before they experience any badness.

    In these days with no clothes to iron or fun to squeeze into 2 short weekend days that also demand the completion of laundry, I've had more time to read up on some blogs.

    Some of these blogs are written by Pre-L's and 1L's who are just embarking on orientation.

    And guess what?

    They're bitter. About the system, and the assignments, and the professors, and the classes, and the prices of books.

    I think that's sad.

    Law school can be fun. I have found it fun. I have enjoyed my classes, and my professors. And the system? It's kind of worked for me - I know it doesn't for a great majority - but these Pre-L's don't know yet which group they're in. Where's the optimism? The excitement? The butterflies?

    I don't understand why, if you're disillusioned before writing the first check, people would even GO to law school.

    If I were to write a post right NOW for those who have accepted a spot in a law school class - it would be to tell them to stay away from law school blogs. Stay AWAY!!! At least until October or November of your first year. At the very least. Figure out for yourself what law school is. Figure out for yourself if the system works - if exams are just "graded randomly" (I think they are not). Figure out for yourself if your professor has anything meaningful to say. Don't listen to people who are jaded b/c something along the way did not work for them!! Whether success didn't come, didn't come as easily as expected, or if their personalities just didn't coalesce with law school well -- there's a reason why some law students feel that law school was the biggest mistake of their lives. In order for people to be this bitter, something went wrong.

    Don't take that upon yourself, before even walking through the door. And if it seems that believable, that likely ... why go? Why incur up to $150,000 in debt? Why put yourself through late nights, long weekends, and immeasurable stress?

    Shed the bitterness. Put it on a shelf until you've earned it, or it has earned you. Be excited, and happy, and grateful for the opportunity to better yourself, your options, and your career prospects. Look forward to the intellectual stretching, and the chance to push yourself.

    Enjoy it. Don't hate it just b/c others did.

    *** Update just to remark that I am not at all taking issue with those who post on their blogs about their experiences, and their perceptions of those experiences. I merely think that newbies should work to protect their individual law school journey from the influence of others in the pre and early days. I certainly do NOT think that people should be anything but honest out of a fear of jading others.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:41 PM   8 comments
    Bedroom Photos
    Here are some photos of the kidlets' room, with beds down and up:

    I looked for some "before" photos - but didn't find any. I think that Beloved may have taken some before he started the project, so they may be forthcoming.

    We still have quite a few details to work out. Today, we purchased a new bed covering for Thing One. (Hers is the brown bed.) Aww, heck, here's a photo of the new bed clothes:

    We also chose a bed covering for Thing Two - which is from IKEA and is full of orange spots:

    See the large empty white space (wall) above the headboard when the bed is open? We're going to do something with that space. I'm told that the girls already picked themes for the murals that are slated to go there.

    We will also get curtains, and are putting up a shelf above the window for overflow books (which are presently all over the house). We are also going to get a large rug. they didn't have this much open space in the past, so their rug was 3x5. Now we need an 8x10.

    We ordered lockers for them, which will hold their bike helmets, baseballs, bats, gloves, a random basketbal, and other assorted locker-type things.

    They will be able to decorate the walls as they wish.

    Slowly but surely, things are coming together.

    But they're not together yet. So when Thing One brought 2 friends and one mother into the house to show off her new room, I was less than thrilled. Fortunately, she was impressed enough with the new editions that I don't think she thought much of the boxes still stacked up, the bags filled with school supplies all over the house, or the little organizing bins with price tags still on sitting in the middle of the hallway.

    It's really been quite fun.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:36 PM   0 comments
    A memory has been triggered
    When I was young, my mother worked nights on the weekends in a hospital. She's a nurse. She worked from either 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., I can't remember which. She would get home around 7:30 or 8 a.m. on Saturdays, and my father would then go to work. He's always worked at least 6 days a week.

    One particular Saturday morning, when I was approx Thing One's age (I think I was 10, going on 11, so one year older than her), the phone rang before Mom got home. I was at the kitchen table, eating cereal. I think it was Frosted Flakes. My father came into the kitchen and yelled at me to drink the milk from the bowl. It always bugged him that I used a lot of milk in my cereal, and then dumped it down the drain. My dad was the type that it was perfectly okay (i.e., not dangerous in any way) to get up, walk to the sink, dump the milk -- all while rolling my eyes and listening to him harp. This morning, however, he YELLED at me to drink the milk. I drank it. I even remember the disgusting sweet taste of it. I didn't know why he was acting this way.

    Mom came home, and he met her in the garage before she came into the house. She came in running up the stairs, and told us that we needed to get dressed and get a few things together, we were going to a friend's house. I didn't know what was going on, but this was strange. Usually, when Mom came home, she went to bed. Usually, she was the one to rant and rave at us -- but now Dad was ranting and raving, and Mom was changing into clothes, not jammies, and we were going to our friend's house? (Dad's friends, who had two kids, that none of us 3 got along with, but we liked the parents.)

    I don't remember much about the day. I remember talking to the Mom of the family much later in the day (I'm guessing 2 or 3 p.m.) and asking her what the HECK was going on. She told me that something bad had happened, but my parents would talk to me when they returned, which would be soon.

    My parents came back, and before they brought us home, they sat us down in the living room of the friend's house -- powder blue rug, fancy furniture, a piano -- and told us that my Uncle Bobby had died.

    Uncle Bobby was my father's youngest brother (Dad was, at one point, the oldest of 5). He was 25 when he died. He was the "wild one" who had recently been in trouble with "the law." (While we were away, I believe for that previous Thanksgiving, he had gone to a bar with some friends and gotten drunk - not atypical in hte slightest - his friends dared him to swipe a case of beer from the backroom of the bar. he accepted. He was arrested. The police beat him up pretty badly while he was in jail.) He was relatively irresponsible, and what I suspected then but had confirmed since - slightly disturbed (i.e., depressed and unhappy, at the most). He had been living with us, although, he was rarely at the house.

    When I was 6 (so 5 years previous), my paternal grandmother died. I think she was 50. Perhaps 55. Either way, she was young, and her sudden heart attack was a surprise. This hit Uncle Bobby, who was her baby, pretty hard. When he lived with us, he and I both slept in the downstairs, which is sort of a basement, sort of not. I used to stay up late, b/c I thought that the Hand (from a horror movie I saw when I was 9) was going to crawl out from the slats in my closet door and choke me to death while I slept. I would read until 2 a.m. sometimes (at Thing One's age, so perhaps I should stop yelling at her for being up so late), and would hear him come home. One night, I heard him sobbing in his bed, and I knew it was about his mom.

    How did he die? Apparently, he and a friend had gone out drinking (see the theme?) and Uncle Bobby was too drunk to drive home. We do not know why he did not go into his friend's house, and sleep on the couch. He instead, slept in his car. Before sleeping, however, he lit up a cigarette. Then, he passed out.

    17 years previous, on the same street, but around a corner, my Dad's just younger brother hit a tree while driving home, and died. My dad was driving home behind him (Dad was 18, his brother was 17 - and they were out on a double date), and so he was on the scene. As the story goes, one of the police officers that came to the scene made a comment that Michael (the brother) was a "troublemaker" and that it was for the best that he had died. My father punched the police officer. He was not arrested. Michael WAS a troublemaker. He used to get in knife fights, and once, he called in a bomb threat to his school during the prom, b/c he had been banned from attending due to prior bad acts. It was a big deal. he was not a good boy.

    Obviously, either was Uncle Bobby.

    When Uncle Bobby died, my paternal grandfather was living in Florida with his second wife. My dad flew down to Florida to get him. His wife, however, refused to leave their new Mercedes in Florida for an extended period of time, and insisted that they drive back up to New England. My father was upset, but he drove them up. He was gone for a few days.

    I don't remember my brother and sister during these few days, I remember just myself, and my mother. My mother asked me to sleep with her while my dad was gone, and I did. I remember having a dream, while sleeping in my parents' room, that I heard Uncle Bobby's truck coming up the driveway, and I got up, and looked, and there it was coming up the hill and around the corner. It was all a mistake - he was alive. That, however, was a dream.

    My birthday came during those days that my dad was gone. I turned 11. My Mom gave me an Atari Game - QBert. There was no party, no cake. I wasn't upset about that. i was upset that Uncle Bobby died, and I appreciated the mindless escape into the pyramid of changing colors. I played my game for hours while mom lay in bed depressed and unhappy (also angry at my grandfather's wife for making them drive up from Florida, which was stupid).

    I don't remember if it was this funeral, or the one some years later when my paternal grandfather died, where I have the clear memory of my father and my Uncle Stan hugging on hte lawn of the church, crying. It was one of the first (and only) times I'd ever seen my dad cry. These brothers are of a rough sort. They are not the crying types. So it was a very moving sight.

    Another Uncle died in 2002. He had a heart attack at the age of 45. My father used to be the oldest of 5 brothers, and the oldest son in a family of 7. Only himself and one brother remain - except, of course, all of us offspring, and our offspring. how odd that these 2 remaining brothers are the ones with all the offspring.

    I have so few memories, I figured I'd write this down, since it came to me.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:25 AM   0 comments
    Monday, August 14, 2006
    bangs and layers
    the girls got their hairs cut today. they look super-cute. Thing One asked for "bangs" and Thing Two asked for "soft layers." the result is remarkably similar to one another.

    I think I want my hair cut now. I have had very long hair (all one length, no bangs) for a very long time. I am sick of it. It feels too heavy. I want it shorter and lighter. I am getting recommendations to go to the Vidal Sassoon Salon on Newbury Street in Boston (for this kind of drastic change), and I am feeling intimidated. I think I can afford a splurge, taht doesn't mean that I feel like I belong in a Vidal Sassoon Salon.

    So, I don't know what to do. I want my hair to feel and look good. I'm ready for a big change.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:11 PM   1 comments
    me? not so much.
    Frequent Citations is a pure lady. Polite and proper, it appears.

    I, however, am not.

    You Are 52% Lady

    You're part lady, part modern woman.
    Etiquette is important to you, but you brush aside rules that are outdated or silly.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:26 AM   0 comments
    Sunday, August 13, 2006
    More Nesting and Purging
    Today, I have filled 8 white plastic garbage bags, and at least 4 paper shopping bags, and two boxes. The girls and I went through their stuffed animals (3 white bags were finally discarded), their clothes (5 white bags to be dropped off in the donations box), their old shoes (2 paper bags), and several shelves' worth of books (2 paper bags for library donations). We still do not have enough space for books. Beloved, however, is going to Save the Day by mounting a shelf over the window in their room.

    Also today we have gone to the park, watched a movie, ate some Welcome-Home cake, and otherwise goofed around and enjoyed each other's company.

    All in all, their transition to home is going well!!

    Oh yeah, and I also checked out the prices of my income tax books on line, and was stunned to see that one class alone will likely cost me $250. Damn!!
    posted by Zuska @ 6:16 PM   0 comments
    The girls are IN the building.
    The whole time the kids were gone, I was an utter and complete SLOB. Almost like I was in high school. The place was a disaster. Beloved did pretty well at not complaining, b/c I would put little efforts in each weekend to hold things over. I cleaned my bathroom a few times. I cleared off that dining table at least 3 times. that's pretty big. Once, I even brought the recycling down. Oh, and I vacuumed once.

    However, this morning? I woke up at 8, and I disassembled the kitchen, scrubbed the counters and the walls (that splash guard thingy), and I wiped down all the cannisters. I scrubbed the stove. I CLEANED!!! It looks awesome.

    This is just one example of how having the kids back home makes everything slip back into place.

    They are wonderful. TAN!! like I would not believe. Thing One has tricked me all these 10 years, making me think she was MY child who freckles and burns - does not tan. Last night she ripped her shirt off while readying for bed (no, modesty has not kicked in yet), and I screeched at the tan lines on her back. She looks like ... CARAMEL!! They swam a LOT over the summer - pools, oceans, lakes. Their faces look relatively normal - just a little sun kissed. They told me they were very good about sunscreen, but their backs got a lot of sun due to the whole water intensifying the light issue.

    Unfortunately, the Schlurg has earned that name for himself. Thing Two had started her summer homework, and then he promptly lost it. She started it THERE, so I know it wasn't me who lost it. Now tomorrow, we need to call the school and see if I can get a packet of 3rd grade homework, and have her start all over.

    They had Thing One's homework, and she's 4/5ths done with her reading, and zero percent done with her math.

    We now get to cram a summer's worth of homework into 2 weeks. Yee ha!!!
    posted by Zuska @ 9:51 AM   3 comments
    Friday, August 11, 2006
    love affair
    Beloved is building things in the Things' room. While they are gone, he's completely redesigning their room. First, the bunkbeds were disassembled, then Murphy beds (2) were built, then shelves were erected.

    Upon his completion, my job comes up. I need to put their things away, organize their clothing, and generally make things nice. This was supposed to be our Friday evening.

    However, some of his final tasks were delayed. This meant that he had to continue with the drilling and nailing and screwing and mounting [ooh, i crack myself up sometimes]. I could not organize and fold and otherwise make nicey-nice.

    Instead, I cleaned off the dining table, which without children at home went from being the family evening gathering place (tonight, we ate takeout Thai picnic-style on the living room floor .... just as an example) to being the dumping grounds for mail, shopping expeditions, and any other crap that we happen to have in our hands as we pass by.

    I also started moving my suits (which I do not anticipate wearing until at least October) into our hallway closet.

    I also cleaned up the kitchen.

    I also fumbled through's instructions on how to transfer my iTunes library (2400 songs) from my old computer to my new computer. This process required some pretty heavy-duty acclimation to the new platform.

    And now, I am, in love.

    Everything is just PRETTIER on a Mac. The colors are richer, the chats are bubblier, the iTunes are brighter.

    I even put a DVD inside, and I was stunned at the clarity and color and beauty.

    So, my earlier uneasiness with hte unfamiliar platform is gone, and I am a Very Happy Camper.

    AND ... my iTunes are on, and it did not fill up the entire hard drive, as it did with the Old Computer!!

    I also went through the old computer and took off all my documents, bookmarks, stored personal information, and other things that I found necessary before handing it off to the children. So, if they happen to be on, oh, i don't know, .... they won't find MY stored Credit Card number, and think that they can just have whatever they want ... for free.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:47 PM   1 comments
    I feel so different
    uh. this is weird. first of all, this keyboard is brand new, and the keys have this really cool almost sandy texture. second of all, i don't have my bookmarks. third of all, i can't use google talk in the normal fashion. fourth of all, i no longer use Firefox, but now this Safari business.

    fifth of all, this was my last day of work, and I no longer have Blackberry, and no longer will be fed amazing lunches on a daily basis and amazing dinners on a semi-regular basis.

    sixth of all, the kids are coming home tomorrow!!!!

    Every year, I worry that I won't be able to return to my Momma groove. Every year, I stress out and freak out, and generally cause a bit of a tizzy for myself. This year, I've been pretty consumed with work and such so that I've really only had passing moments to dedicate to the "how weird, soon, kids will live here again!" But now that work is OVER, I think I'm doing a pretty good job at cramming weeks of freak-out into one evening.

    Seventh of all, it feels like either Fall in New England outside, or a sunny day in Berkeley at any time of year. I wish I could enjoy absolutely GORGEOUS weather (72 and sunny with ocassional fluffy puffy shadowy clouds) without having insane flashbacks to either 1) pregnancy and the resulting 24-hour-day nauseousness and puking that came along with OR 2) the period of time in which i was miserable in making the decision that my marriage was over. It's not a re-living of the actual thoughts or considerations - but rather the FEELING of conflict; the tumultuousness inside of me as the difficulties that were in front of me were realized.

    I tried to take a moment to just close my eyes, and feel the cool breeze, and just let it be TODAY. To tell myself, "this is a cool late summer day in Boston, during law school, in my 33rd year." But it didn't work. Instead, I was searching backward, trying to picture the exact scene in California that the air was bringing me to. I decided it was walking through downtown Berkeley, kids in tow, on my way to the YMCA. A little more than 5 years ago? 6 years ago? I'm not sure.

    Or it was when Thing One was approx 14 months old, and I was sooooo sick with Thing Two baking inside, and I would DRAG myself out of the house to take her for a walk. The weather was beautiful, but all I wanted to do was throw up. Ever since then, nice weather in Berkeley always made me have a slight feeling of nausea.

    I don't want this to be the case. I want to enjoy TODAY.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:07 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, August 09, 2006
    silliness, stupidity, and dumb-ness (not a word, right?)
    Beloved and I went out after work tonight - we went to get some yummy fish tacos and to see Talladega Nights. It was fun. I think that one of the best parts of the evening was when we snuck into the previews (only) of World Trade Center. It started at 7, and ours was at 7:30, so it worked really well to see their previews.

    It was our last solo outing sans Things. The pretty little creatures come home on Saturday. Tomorrow night is my last event for work, then Friday is my last day.

    I did something stupid.

    Not feeling well earlier this week made me kind of lose track of the days. I have known that this is my last week for Quite Some Time. And I have intended to slowly be bringing things home. I have a good bit of personal things in the office, including 3 suit jackets and 4 pairs of shoes. (They have all migrated to under my desk, which gets pretty tricky when I need to get up and walk somewhere - today I had on one brown shoe and one black .... fortunately, there was no risk of me walking around that way, it was just funny.

    Since we have an event straight from work tomorrow, I do not see myself bringing things home then. Which means every single thing needs to come with me on Friday. Which sucks. I'm so dumb.

    My school has been having some "discussions" on our internal bulletin board. Some of them have gotten heated. I have been tempted to throw in my 2 cents, but held back. Then someone said something I found offensive, and felt that the other voice needed to be on the table, and so I spent the ENTIRE day composing a response. Thinking things over, choosing words carefully, deleting phrases or works that may seem too incendiary. I sent it to my sis like 3 times to say "what do you think NOW?" and finally, posted the damned thing.

    I then spent 2 hours hitting refresh every 2 seconds, b/c I was so nervous that I may have pissed someone off. I didn't want to piss anyone off.

    I told Beloved - something has to change. I have to either 1) decide that I don't need to be a part of EVERY conversation; or 2) I need to stop freaking out over whether or not I've offended someone.

    Doing both is just dumb.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:47 PM   2 comments
    Monday, August 07, 2006
    i have nothing to say. work was as dull as dull. i am not feeling so well in my gut. it started yesterday, and i think that i was poisoned at Maggie McFly's. Beloved worked on the girls' room a LOT today, and I .... sat at my computer at work. I watched a Web Cast on backdating of stock options, then typed up my notes to send off to a REAL lawyer, then gabbed with a friend, and then, at 4:42, went home. I sat on my couch listening to a book on tape for 2+ hours, then decided I was hungry (despite the upset stomach all day) and ordered a freaking PIZZA. I do not know where my brain was. When, pray tell, does a PIZZA make sense for someone who's feeling poorly? So, the cheese and the bread now sits in my stomach like a ROCK.

    I feel like I'm just limping through this final week with no work, but my final paycheck sits at the end, beckoning me like the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm also limping through this final week of "life on hold," i.e., life with no daughters. They land on Saturday. Thing One is getting a little clingier via phone, email and google talk, and Thing Two doesn't want to hang up when we talk. So they're ready to come home, too.

    Oh, and I got into Appellate Advocacy. I was the #2 person on the list. So, all is well with the world. Or at least it will be ... once my stomach repairs itself.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:49 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, August 06, 2006
    home and calm
    okay. i am back home, and i've gotten over the wretched event of last evening. I vented sufficiently to get it out of my system.

    Beloved is out shopping for more supplies for the girls' room renovation, and I .... I don't really have a plan for this afternoon. Woo hoo!! Maybe I'll read. Maybe I'll watch Six Feet Under.

    Maybe I'll clean my bedroom.

    ha ha ha ha ha. Just kidding.

    Time to gear up for my last week of work.

    Girls are home in 5 days. I'm so ready.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:09 PM   0 comments
    Friday, August 04, 2006
    Ten Apples Up On Top
    I have made a good chunk of change over the summer. I have been worried that I don't have enough to show for it. I will be needing to pinch my pennies through the fall quarter, and I was hoping not to. But I have actually done a lot with this money.

    First of all, Beloved has taken this opportunity to test the waters in the world of those who do not "work outside the home." This has gone very well, I think, and has been a worthwhile shift in funds.

    Second of all, I am able to put away rent for the next 4 months.

    Third of all, I am very well dressed.

    No. Wait. That should be at the bottom. (this is also the item that causes the guilt)

    Fourth of all. We are going to Disneyland. I have already paid for the hotel and the park tickets, and the plane tickets (cross country!). I also have put away spending $$ for the trip.

    Fifth of all ......

    I just bought a new MacBook!!!! Woo hoo!!!!

    I am sooooo happy about this! I have wanted to do the shift over to the Mac products for sooooo long, and have put it off and put it off and put it off. I really wanted an ew computer this year, b/c my computer (a Dell) is very BIG and very HEAVY and causes pain within my body. Now I am getting an itty bitty computer that is pretty, and cool, and FUN.

    It also came with a free iPod Nano (if I remember to fill out the rebate form it will be free. Will someone PLEASE e-mail me in approx 7 days to remind me to fill out that form? PLEASE?? Anyone? Anyone? Beloved? Beloved?)

    I have a 30 [whatever the letters are] iPod. It has video. I love it. It is my prize possession (since my MacBook has yet to arrive).

    So who gets the free Nano?

    The same person who gets the trip to Disneyland!!

    Thing One. It's her bday present. I got her name engraved on it (so I can't change my mind).

    She is young for a pod. I'm not going to let her take it to school (i don't think). but she is going to be SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy. She is going to be full of glee.

    Part of why I decided to do it is because she will now have a computer where she can have her iTunes. This one. The big and heavy one. It will be for my Things.

    Furthermore, I received an MP3 player today, as an "offer acceptance" gift --- so that can go to Thing Two, to soften the blow that her sis got an iPod, and she did not. Then, at Christmas, Thing Two will get one.

    I can't wait until my computer comes.

    For all you students out there --- Apple does provide a discount for students. There was $50 off my computer, and I think that it goes up to $200 off.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:10 PM   1 comments
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