parens binubus

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

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  • Friday, September 29, 2006
    interview crazy-ness
    I recently read a crazy interview story over at unblague. I was stunned that she had to deal with that.

    And now I have a story of my own!!

    I had two interviews this a.m. for my winter co-op. The first one went really well, and I hope I get an offer. I liked the firm, I liked the types of work they do, and I liked the over all atmosphere.

    The second one didn't go as well. It was nowhere near as bad as the experience that She Says had, but it was awkward. He started off the interview sort of venting about the process our school insists we all adhere two (which involves employers being required to call offers into the school office, and then us having 3 business days to respond). He feels that if he chooses who he sees as the best candidate, and that person drags their feet in answering, by the time they go to the second-best candidate, that person is snatched up by another. I'm sure it is frustrating for them.

    He then asked me why I'm going back to Summer Firm. It was not really asked in an interview way - but more of a "what is WRONG with you?" way. He then referred to the firm by a name that plays off their real name, but is definitely a clear expression of disdain and dislike.

    He then laughed at a few of my professors and the evaluations they've written.

    We got along well through all of this, and there was no ONE comment that offended me. But by the end, I had a funny feeling. I didn't think I really wanted to work there. And then in the "farewell" discussion, I felt like it was almost mutual. he was saying that it's a hard, hard choice, and if I'm not chosen, to please not see the door as closed, b/c if their first choice doesn't accept, then I will likely come next on the list. I found this odd. I found it clear that he was saying that I'm not his first choice. And I smirked. And he smirked back.

    Later this afternoon, when our afternoon posting came out, that offer had gone to someone else. A wonderful someone else, who I'm sure interviews fantastically. I was glad of it, b/c I had already decided that if it did, by some odd chance, come to me, I would have to turn it down, b/c I knew the guy wanted a quick answer, and I knew I had a bad feeling, and wasn't going to turn away from the 5+ potential jobs that are out there still for the sake of a place I didn't want to go to.

    BUT THEN!!!

    I get an email!! Mine was the only email address in the "To:" section, but it was addressed to my classmate who received the offer. It was confirming salary, and conveying hope that the firm was still this person's first choice.

    I laughed while writing back. I thanked him (named partner, mind you) for meeting with me this morning, and let him know that the e-mail was not received by the intended recipient.

    He wrote back very graciously, letting me know how difficult it was for him to make the decision between myself and this classmate, and that if for any reason my classmate does not accept the offer, I have a job with them.

    ha.
    posted by Zuska @ 3:03 PM   3 comments
    Thursday, September 28, 2006
    Too Much Homework
    Not me, though. E has too much homework. I am struggling to find proper routines, lessons and consequences.

    This year has been a GIGANTIC leap for her in the level of responsibility required. It is also a big time with extra activities - she's doing two performances right now, instead of one, she just started soccer, and uh .... we went to Disneyland.

    i am trying to figure out what to do. Every day this week, she's forgotten one of her assignments SOMEWHERE - whether she left a completed assignment at her after-school program; left a notebook in her desk at school which she needed to do an assignment in (at home!); left an explanatory paper at school; left a completed assignment at home on her desk; and then ... "didn't realize" that there was a back page on a worksheet she was supposed to complete.

    Agh!!

    I am implementing a routine where she does all her homework, checks it off her list as she puts it in her folder/notebook, and then lets me check it. If I go over her assignment list, and something is checked off but not completed and put into her folder and ready to be put in her backpack .... SOMETHING will happen to her.

    What will happen to her? I do not know. I am not a fan of punishment -- for the sake of punishment alone - as a deterrent, as a philosphical whack with a stick. I prefer to find a way to create a consequence, which is related to what went wrong.

    But I don't know what that is in this instance. the evenings are so intense already, and if you throw in stuff like a trip and jetlag and an open house (at their school last night), we feel like we've been thrown into the deep end.

    One thing that E is involved in right now, and is eating into her time, is the newspaper that she and her friends started, and have kept up. She is the "Head Reporter" and is responsible for filling in most of the articles. A lot of the kids who started hte newspaper have fallen away as their other activities took over (the newspaper was started in the winter, when things are pretty quiet), and so E ends up picking up a lot of slack. She's currently writing a story (fiction) in installments - a chapter a week.

    That is the thing I am considering cutting out. I have already told her that I expect her to do her writing on the weekends, b/c she cannot do it on Tuesday/Wednesday nights. this week, that didn't work out, b/c we weren't here. This weekend, however, I hope to enforce it.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, PLEASE let me know!!
    posted by Zuska @ 9:30 PM   5 comments
    rejected and denied!!
    I got word on the first position I interviewed for (winter co-op) --- REJECTED!!! The job was offered to the one person out of four who does not have post-graduate employment; the one person who has a penis. i am not inclined to think it's the penis that got him the job. It could just be that he worked on issues this past summer that are in the same field that this firm needs help in this winter.

    i also got word on the smaller firm that I felt to be my first choice - DENIED!! They called in 5 people for interviews and I was soooooo not one of them!

    striving not to be defeatist - to assume that I'm not going to have a job at all this winter, let alone one that comes with a paycheck. I have three interviews lined up (two tomorrow a.m., and one on Monday), and 4 firms who have yet to respond in any way.

    I am also thinking that the job who didn't pick me may end up going to a second round. The boy (you know, the one who has a penis ... or at least I presume he does), on account of his lack of post-graduate employment, has a couple of other interviews - some with large firms (who may be hiring for the long term - which this firm, that we were competing for - explicity is not). It'll be interesting to see if I at least made it as their SECOND choice.

    i'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow morning's interviews go well.

    And in the meantime, I have a few Grey's Anatomy episodes to watch. I am refusing to watch the new season until I've completed Season 2. iTunes makes this possible. I currently have disk 2 from NetFlix, but don't think I'm going to waste our Netflix options on it anymore - I can't watch enough (being in law school and all) to justify depriving the family from seeing fun and fantastic movies.

    I saw that episode that was after the Superbowl - it was the first I saw -- the one where the guy had a rocket stuck in his chest - and it was the one that hooked me. However, I didn't understand all the dynamics. So I will have to see it (them) again.

    It is the world's best show. Even if the McDreamy/Meredith story line is painfully similar to Ross and Rachel ... but whatever.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:13 PM   1 comments
    do you remember?
    that class i complained about before? I had it tonight, after missing a week (it meets once a week) for the sake of Disneyland. I had pretty much decided, once it was clear how things were going, that this 2 credit class was 2 getting 2 credits' worth of my time. The end. I don't think I need an "outstanding" from this class .... furthermore, the prof has made it abundantly clear that despite teh amounts of preliminary drafting he is asking for - he isn't collecting it, and it's not affecting our final evaluation.

    So while some have put 40 hours into it, I've put 10.

    and tonight, i felt that my decision was the right one. We had 3 weeks' worth of assignments, all of which I handed him tonight. I spent the entire day (8 to 3) working on this class, and only this class. I was 100% immersed, and had little to no distractions (evident from the lack of posts today). I made GOOD progress, got GOOD work in, and felt pretty good about my product. I gave him my stuff before class, and he was happy to get it, and not upset. He then lectured, and told us that since we NOW have the info that he felt appropriate to impart, we could now go back and re-do all the drafting.

    he also had told us via the syllabus that our first REAL draft was due next Thursday, and some people worked very hard to get done early for various reasons, just to show up to class today and be told that he had certain issues in mind that had to be addressed, and that they had an extra week.

    Phew. I called this one right.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:00 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, September 27, 2006
    Zuska the Loser
    This week is so weird. I have been working. A lot. But yet, I'm behind. In almost every class. I know that it was a decision I made to go Disneyland, and then to miss classes on Monday - but now I feel like I'm drowning!!

    I spent the 1.5 hours of my tutoring office hours this a.m. scrambling to read my 50+ page assignment for comparative law (obviousy, i was skimming, not "reading," but it wasn't too dense, so I felt good). Just to arrive to class and find out that our instructions on Monday were to swap the order of the next 2 assignments.

    So, I hadn't actually read.

    Then comes Professional Responsibility. That professor does participation by rows. So on the first day, Row 1 is up, then Row 2, and so on and so forth. I missed class on Weds., and on Monday, but I thought that the last time I was there, Row 4 was up. Which would have meant 5 on Weds., 6 on Monday, and then 1 would be today. I'm in Row 2. So I didn't read. I was too busy scrambling to NOT be prepared for Comparative Law.

    Guess what? Row 2 was on call.

    Fortunately, Comparative Law let out early, and I had 45 minutes to skim 30 pages. The book is like a Learning to Read book, so I felt okay. Then I volunteered during a discussion, thinking I could grab the bull by the horns, and not be put on the hot seat.

    Instead, the professor said, "Zuska, since you were so right on the last problem, let's see how you do with this one?" I don't think I was so right that time. I was floundering, and wasn't grounded in the rule.

    Oh well.

    And I got another interview for co-op. now I'm running out of time to go to interviews, AND catch up with my classes. Fortunately, we have no class on Monday, in honor of Yom Kippur, and Beloved is available to hang out with E and J, so I can use that whole day to bounce around in downtown if I have to.

    off to read tax for tomorrow (and perhaps Tuesday?)
    posted by Zuska @ 2:02 PM   2 comments
    what i've learned in law school
    at the Au Bon Pain (ABP) across the street, the salads on the bottom have the most cheese. Clearly the ones stacked on TOP of the fridge were the last ones made, and the cheese had run out, b/c they're skimpy. But if you go to the bottom, there's as much cheese as one could possibly want.

    mmm. cheese.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:00 PM   0 comments
    Tuesday, September 26, 2006
    quiz 2
    okay, i disagree. i mean, i answered all the healthiest things, except for where i get my protein, and my family history.

    my goal is much lower than this.

    You Should Weigh 165

    If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight.
    If you weigh more than this, you may be losing a few pounds soon!




    Found at the same place!!
    posted by Zuska @ 8:09 PM   1 comments
    quiz
    Found over here.

    Your Love Element Is Metal

    In love, you inspire and respect your partner.
    For you, love is all about fusing together for one incredible life experience.

    You attract others with wit and a bit of flash.
    Your flirting style is defined by making others want and value you.

    Greatness and optimism are the cornerstones of your love life.
    You may let go too easily, but you never get weighed down by your past.

    You connect best with: Earth

    Avoid: Fire

    You and another Metal element: will control and smother each other
    posted by Zuska @ 8:04 PM   0 comments
    tidbits
    1) Emz' bday went well. She was in good spirits, and liked her bday dinner and cake. she loved the gifts she received from myself, beloved, her old babysitter, my mother, her other grandmother, and her aunt (ex's sister). she received phone calls from all of her grandparents and her father. she actually called the Schlurg's parents, b/c it was that grandfather's birthday, too.

    When the Schlurg called, he told Emz that he would put something in the mail for her "tomorrow." I believe she was disappointed, but she didn't say so.

    She loved her iPod (of course) but didn't get to use it. We had to set it up and charge it and such, and she had PASSED OUT before all of that was done. The child who had sleep issues just a scant month ago is now sleeping the INSTANT her head hits the pillow.

    2) Julez got the lead part in the play she's doing right now. She was very excited. She had tried out for a second-to-lead, and was very happy with the surprise. It's not a ton of lines - but the point of the community theater is that all kids participate and have as even of a role as possible. It doesn't matter. The play is called, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," and the child is Charlie Brown. How much more could you ask for?

    3) Interview notices are starting to roll in for winter co-op. I had my first interview this a.m. This is not as convenient as with OCI for summer recruiting. No one comes on campus to interview. We have to go to them. So at least 1.5 hours is required for each interview. And the line of the T that passes by school is having issues, so things are delayed. I had to take the T to school today, rather than the bike, b/c I had to wear a suit. However .... said suit is now hanging in my locker, so next time, I can ride the bike and then change in time for the interview. I am already comfortably esconced in my jeans.

    This morning's interview went well. I was one of 4 who were interviewed, and the other 3 are very competitive. Two of them did Moot Court, and a different 2 of the 3 had summer associate positions in other firms (not necessarily a given at this school). I think that the dude and I clicked and that it went well. He also patted me on the back and said i had the best "evaluations" he'd ever seen. Ever. And he's been doing this for a long while (8 years). I love law school. It is my friend. Unlike college. Unlike high school. I am now friends with school. We love each other.

    I don't know however, if I want it to have gone well. Of course, I don't want to be rejected, but I didn't want to come back to school to find an offer already posted, b/c we have very stringent rules over this process. I believe the rules are necessary to make the whole thing work, and to keep employers active in the co-op program. But from the time that an offer is made (they call the school, who then posts the offer ... they don't give the offer directly to me), I have 3 days to decide and inform the employer of my decision.

    At the time of the interview, I still had 8 (out of 10) resumes out there, with decisions to be made quickly. Now I have 6. I have been chosen for 2 more interviews, and passed by by 1 firm. I don't want to have to decide on one firm before I know what's going on with the others.

    I am being a greedy person. No. I am being an economic actor. I want the job that will pay the most. That is my criteria right now. Why? Childcare is costing $908/month this year, and as of right now, Beloved is not working (although he has an interview for The Job on Friday). I want $$$. Some people feel that when an offer is in hand for post-graduate employment, as is the case with me, the final co-op should be used to "play." But I did play. I worked for my dream organization LAST winter, for no real pay, and for the judge the summer before, for no pay. I'm in school now, for no pay. I'm sick of no pay. I'm in my mid 30's, and am supporting (for the most part) 2 daughters. Not the time to play anymore.

    So, there are two firms with considerably higher pay than all the rest. The one I interviewed with today pays $1000/week, and that is pretty much the average. One of them who I have not heard from yet pays summer associate dollars (i.e., $2600/week), and another pays $1300/week. I think that the $1300/week is my first choice, b/c of the type of law it does, the size firm it is, and the amount of hours I'd be expected to put in. however, if the $2600/week comes my way, I'm takin' it.

    but i have to play the timing game, and I find that stressful. I jumped on my first interview kind of quick, b/c I was relieved that someone picked me. having an offer in hand can be a detriment. Who wants to pay me this winter? Just to train me for my future employer? Furthermore, the larger firms (the $2600/week kind) do still use the co-ops for recruiting purposes, and hiring me for the winter would not suit their purposes. But I think that I excluded those from my list. I only applied to one of those, out of 6, after looking with an advisor at their hiring practices.

    So with these next two interviews, i'm dragging my feet. If I get notice of the interview today, I have to call by the end of tomorrow to set it up. I may just wait to the end of today, and make all my phone calls at once (b/c there's a final posting to come at approx 5 p.m.), and I may wait until the a.m. We'll see.

    4) I had my first drop-in student during my tutor hours today. I think I helped him out. I felt good about that.

    5) Beloved has not gotten his bag back. he called to suspend his cell phone today, and we have to think about replacing what we can replace. This sucks. We bought super-cool new hats in Disneyland (well, in the shopping area outside the park), and his was in his bag. It was not a cheap hat, and he had been wanting one for a very long time. We really want his stuff back. I don't know how long it should take for a cab driver to find a black bag in the trunk of his car, and how long it should take him to then drop it off at the lost & found for the police station at the airport ( the 2 places he's been told to check). When do we give up? He is going to call our landlord and get our locks/keys changed, just to be safe. Since the house keys were in there, too.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:30 PM   0 comments
    Monday, September 25, 2006
    comfortable and squirmy
    comfortable with my decision not to attend class today - i went and handed in my thesis statement for my comparative law class, and i'm fine with that. and i've been reading (ahead!!) for professional responsibility, and i'm just fine with this day going this way. school is getting 1/2 of it, and i'm choosing what half, and how i spend that 1/2. I ran into a fellow acceptor of the offer at Future Firm, and he was saying he skipped more than HALF of his classes last week, and that an associate at Future Firm told him that the Firm doesn't even ASK for 3L transcripts.

    uhhhh, okay. i'm not going THAT far. Geez.

    I'm just taking a day to put family and mental health first.

    squirmy b/c today is the day that responses re: final co-op stuff is supposed to start FLOODING in. I don't know why I'm so nervous about it. I have never been before. but i've dreamed about it for approximately 3 nights in a row - i've dreamed of scurrying around to find a computer to check the postings, i've dreamed of the postings (in an odd and not-real format) and a list of what places i got interviews with, and which i did not (no to the big firm, yes to the medium size firm that does family law).

    So I spent the whole morning hitting refresh looking for the "early morning posting" and it finally gets posted at 11:11 a.m. (early morning? what the fuck?) and it had only TWO listings, and they were both for state court judges that i could care less about.

    FIRMS!! Post the firms!!

    I think, sometimes, that I'm not happy unless I have something to freak out about.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:32 PM   1 comments
    Birthday details.
    we are all so exhausted today, it isn't even funny. i HURT i'm so tired. and i'm not even sure it's "lack of sleep" tired as much as just sheer exhaustion. the idea of getting up and coming to school was just painful this a.m. now i'm here, and the idea of going to classes is painful.

    it's Emz' real bday. the day she turns 10. She was born like, exactly 4 hours ago, 10 years ago today. At either 12:51 or 12:59 a.m. Julez was born at the OTHER time, in the p.m., so i can never keep straight which time was which. i think Emz was 12:59, so it's 8 minutes shy of exactly 4 hours ago. (I'm accounting for the different time zone she was born in.)

    beloved and I have a lot to do. he is going to make her the meal of her choice (spaghetti squash with meat sauce) and a cake. And since he cleaned out the fridge and cabinets before we left, he has to do some major shopping first. He also has to take care of some formalities for his potential job opportunity, AND!!

    try to find his carry on bag that the cabbie left in the trunk last night. the trunk of the cab. the cab from a company. we don't know what company. we stood in a line at the airport and got in the next one that drove up, and NONE of us paid attention to which cab company it was. Emz said this a.m. she thinks the guy's Cab Medallion was 206.... and then some other number. Julez said it had an ESPN ad on the top (helpful). I sat in the front, and all I know is it had a GPS thing, which most cabs do NOT have around here, so that may actually be a useful clue. He started to call cab companies last night, but they informed us that they don't track airport pick ups - BUT!! there is a central lost-and-found for all cab companies. he got the phone # for that, and is going to call today. I think he's gonna get his bag back. he thinks he is not. he thinks someone will try to sell his 2 cameras, his iPod, and his cell phone.

    I have to go and pick up a book that Julez wants to give her sister, and then i have to go to the Paper Source and get some awesome paper to wrap both the book AND Emz' iPod in.* Did I mention that I got her an iPod? She's gonna FLIP OUT, and Julez may throw a fit of jealousy. But Future Firm gave me an MP3 player of sorts over the summer that I tucked away to appease Julez upon the giving of the iPod to Emz.

    Emz is a little young for an iPod, I think. But ... it was free. It came with my MacBook. It's a very small Nano, with only .... 256 MBs? I think? It was the $129 one, before they came out with all the fancy colors for the Nano. And she won't be allowed to take it to school.

    Anyway. We have a LOT to do. And I have 3 classes today, and quite honestly, i'm not prepared for any of them. i'm exhausted. it's my daughter's birthday. she's a whole decade old.

    so i think i'm going to continue sitting in Au Bon Pain (where the music has been quite pleasant this a.m.), figure out my thesis for my Comparative Law paper, read my Professional Responsibility assignment, and go home. Notice the lack of attendance of classes that I listed here? I think I'll be much more productive in my own world today than in class, trying to interact with professors and such. Also, Emz wants me to pick her up at 5, and if I don't get out of class until 4:30, no gifts will be wrapped, no books will be bought ... nothing will get done. (except i'll have gone to class.)

    * This is where I get embarassed of who I am capable of becoming once the income increases. Why do I have to go and buy fancy paper that is $2.25/sheet? It is so gorgeous and beautiful, true, but why can't I just ... MAKE something gorgeous and beautiful? like, out of a paper bag? oh yeah, I'm in law school. and i have blog posts to write. but seriously - i'm going to be stuck in my big firm job for the rest of my life because of my tastes in damned wrapping paper.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:51 AM   1 comments
    questions answered
    Emz came to talk to me last night (at 11 p.m.!! Jet lag sucks!). Despite our agreement to table the issue of beloved and I getting married, she was ready to discuss it, and to explain her feelings.

    turns out she was very afraid that if Beloved and I get married - we open up the possibility for divorce. She said she is very frightened by that, b/c there is thus far nothing tying both of us to this area. She's afraid that we'd get divorced, and then one of us would go back to California, and she'd never get to see Beloved anymore.

    also turns out she was pissed off at schlurg for getting married on the sly. she felt that the fact that he asked his New Wife to marry him, and 2 weeks later they ran to Vegas, meant that they were trying desperately to either sneak around behind the girls' back, or do it without them in the way. she said that she felt confused when beloved and i made things official with her at the table - that she wasn't sure WHO she was mad at - Beloved for including her and Julez, or Schlurg for not.

    We talked through some things, and she did feel better. However, life always seems so very OKAY while we're in our day-to-day, I think I lose sight of the larger things she still wrestles with. I think that I will take steps to see if I can find her someone to talk to. I am glad that she feels she can talk to me - and I think she is honest with me - but I think it would help her to have a neutral party to talk to and to get advice from. As hard as I try to be a neutral party, it is likely impossible for me to not be me. For example, she was very upset to say out loud that she oftentimes LIKES beloved more than she likes the Schlurg. This is the kind of thing that on some level makes me happy - that our family is working. But it doesn't make her happy.

    I think I'll do this. See how it goes.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:42 AM   2 comments
    Sunday, September 24, 2006
    football!!!
    i watched football on the plane today while i read for comparative law. i loved it. i had a hard time keeping quiet. there was this awesome on-sides kick in the Jets/Bills game, and i loved it. I decided that being where I am, it's time to become a Fan of something.

    I am now a Patriots fan. i decided it.

    and of course, they're freaking losing.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:02 PM   1 comments
    on marriage --- revisited
    I posted before about my feelings on marriage. I guess it was mostly comprised of questions. doubt. Vascillations.

    But in the 6 months since, i've pretty much gotten to where i just want to get married. we really do both refer to each other (when talking to others) as "my husband" or "my wife."

    and whether he's just acknowledging my feelings, and discerning that i've developed this need (really, more than a want) - beloved has also decided that the time is upon us.

    and so, this past weekend, while at a favorite restaurant of ours that we'd gone to together (and alone) 5 or so years ago, he officially asked me to marry him, and i officially said yes.

    and then Emz started to cry, and said she likes our family the way that it IS, and she wants [beloved] to stay [beloved] and if we get married, everything will change. she doesn't want anything to change. [makes no sense to me! nothing will change. everything about our family is the same as if we were married. many people wouldn't even guess that beloved isn't their father. he does more for them than most biological fathers do in the day-to-day care of children. she is not offended when he's the one who picks her up from school, when he's the one to read a story at bed time, when he's the one to sign her school papers .... where will the change come from? we put ourselves forward as husband and wife. everything about our lives is the same as it will be. honestly - except for the issues raised in the comments of the post linked to above - taxes, insurance [not even, at my Future Firm, he can be covered as a significant other], and as a pessimist would say, social security]. I don't get it.

    she was also upset b/c our trip was timed with her bday, and she felt that we were turning her birthday trip into an engagement trip. I did tell her on that point that we had a family trip. It was timed with her birthday, but we all were on vacation. I told her that Saturday was the day that she was wearing a giant HAPPY BIRTHDAY button so that she got to go to the front of the lines of the rides, and could get special phone calls from Disney characters ... but the trip was not just her trip!

    Not Julez. Julez knew it was coming, is happy, and wants to see it happen.

    oftentimes, beloved and i look at snapshots of our pasts -- our separate pasts, and wonder -- could we have done it then? could we have met? and had things works so that we had Emz and Julez together? where was i? where was he?

    there are really very few places in our pasts that we could have been in better position to meet. he is 11 years older than me, so if we met before HE got married, i would have been, like 13. that's gross.

    if we met before i got married, i would have been a born again Christian, and he would have hated me.

    so we're stuck with the complications. but things have really gone very very very well. but now we're looking at "tying the knot" and one kid is excited, and one is in tears.

    i think Emz is potentially being dramatic. we told her we would table the discussion, the issue, the everything --- until after her birthday. and we have tried. we've each slipped and said little things -- once she pouted and glared, and another time, she forgot she was supposed to be upset, and participated happily in the conversation.

    i do not know how much was dramatics, how much was her birthday, and how much was a real issue for her. Once her birthday is gone, i will bring it back up, and try to wade through dramatics v. issues. if she has issues, i will have to check into some sort of counseling for her -- try to figure out if there's something we need to deal with left over from the divorce between the schlurg and i.

    which leads me to being offended and feeling like a victim of my gender. why? why does Schlurg get to get married with no pouts, tears or issues --- only celebration, while I - the MOM -- get the strife? It's a good thing if Daddy has someone to take care of him, he NEEDS someone to make his damned sandwiches, but why can't Mommy stay primarily MOMMY??

    once we get over THAT 10 year old hurdle, we have the hows, wheres and whens to deal with.

    i still don't want another wedding. i want something super-private, and i think just the 2 of us. beloved has mentioned perhaps even on the trip that is planned for next year. It is supposed to be the bar trip, but if he gets this job that is in the making, he will have publication deadlines that he's responsible for at that time of year, and we'll have to go a little later. My mom will definitely be willing to come to town and take the kids to soccer, acting stuff, and cello practice. so we may be going a year from now.

    beloved wonders if we can do it ON the trip, or else use the trip as a honeymoon - have a civil service here in boston, and then take off. Not including my mother, sister, father will create a small amount of tension ... but that's life. Actually, to be fair - sis will understand. [Sis! understand! I command you!] Mom will NOT. Not at all. She'll want to throw a party. She'll want to MAKE it be the way she wants it to be. [grrr. argh.]

    details don't matter, really. little of it matters. beloved and i will remain beloved and i. what we said to Emz is true ... nothing will change. [i would never again in my entire life change my name.]

    but i am happy. i love him, and i want to be with him always. he knew that already -- i knew that already, but i'm happy nonetheless that we're gonna do this.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:20 PM   7 comments
    he's at it again!!
    as i've mentioned in the past, i went to Jerry Falwell's "Liberty University" for undergrad. And I said that I hate having to tell people that I went to school there, and that I really really really think that man is atrocious, and horrid, and nasty. Well, he's at it again. This time, he's said that if Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2008, his "flock" will be motivated to rally for whichever pale, pasty white man the GOP puts forward than if the "devil himself" were running on the democratic ticket.

    You know, I don't want Hillary Clinton to run for President. I don't like her. I don't like her views, I don't like how she walks the middle of the road to the point that she doesn't appear to have a real position on much. I don't find her nearly as endearing as her husband. At least, as he's become since he was president. When he was president, I was a Rabid Republican ... I was softening around the time that he was being impeached, and I thought it was horrid, what was happening. I went from thinking he should step down to "spare the nation this indignity" to thinking he was right for standing up to the attacks. That was my transformation period ... nothing to do with him, though.

    I don't like Hillary, I don't want her to run, and if she does ..... well, I won't vote Republican, so I have no threat.

    What I found more interesting about the Falwell story was the following, which is far from focused on, but which I find even more problematic than his equating an annoying human being to the DEVIL:
    Attendees also were assured during the prayer breakfast that God would preserve a Republican majority in Congress.
    What the hell? This is the same crap my kids were told in Sunday School at my parents' church a couple of years ago, which made it so that they will NEVER attend again. Is this really our country? God has a political affiliation? really? is that the definition of faith? of god? of religion in america? Republican???

    again .... i can't believe that my persona on paper is so intertwined with this man.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:57 PM   0 comments
    in the airport
    At Logan, they had wireless, but I had to pay $8 for "the day." Who the hell spends "the day" in an airport? We had 45 minutes until boarding. So no way.

    Today, however, at this odd ball dinky airport in Long Beach, CA, Jet Blue has provided us with FREE wireless. And our shuttle brought us to the airport like 400 hours early, so I have time to enjoy the free-ness.

    Beloved is reading a newspaper, and the girls are ..... getting hyper. They are playing with the monkeys we won on Paradise Pier at the new park near Disneyland called California Adventure. The Pier is set up like a carnival, with rides and games. The one that us girls won was a pitching one - we had to throw a ball and knock down some little wooden dude. I can't believe I did it. Julez did it first, and that wasn't a surprise. But ME doing it was a surprise. She did NOT get her athleticism from me. It came from the other side of the tree.

    The California Adventure park is sort of fun, and is a nice little "break" - but we didn't spend a whole day there. We spent parts of 2 days. Disneyland is definitely still the main attraction.

    I had thought this would be our last trip. The girls are 8 and 10, and it seems that there is so much in the world to explore and visit, why keep spending so many trips going to Disneyland? (This was our second .... well, it was the girls' third, b/c the Ex and I took them with his parents when they were 1.5 and 3.) But it turns out we do want to go again. There are roller coasters and things that they don't feel ready to do yet, but want to do in the future. It also is fun to revisit a good time had before.

    So we're thinking of going again in 3 years. That's three years for other vacations. The Grand Canyon is the one I'm most wanting to do. I would also like to do Yosemite. And eventually (soon, me thinks), they'll be ready to bring out of the country.

    My plane ride will be spent reading for Comparative Law. I have a lot of articles to read for class, then quite a few to look through for the purposes of my paper for this quarter. It is 20-25 pages, and will have SOMETHING to do with Afghanistan. Not exactly sure what yet. something to do with the speedy implementation of a democratic system without any supporting education or preparation or really anything. Or perhaps it will be about the flourishing market system and its impact on the crops that Afghanistan is known for. I don't know. That's why I have to look at the articles.

    We land at 6:22 p.m., Boston time. I need to somehow get the kids in bed by 9 p.m., even though it will feel like 6 p.m. to them. Hopefully, the fact that they went to sleep last night at 1:15 a.m. and got up today at 7 a.m. will make this a possibility. I doubt, however, that we can keep Julez awake on the airplane. So she won't be as exhausted as is necessary for this to work. Emz never sleeps on planes, and she has school work to do - like her momma.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:23 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, September 23, 2006
    vacation
    we're in disneyland. the kids are sleeping. my feet are aching. we're having a good time. beloved asked me to marry him. tomorrow's our last day. i haven't done any school work. i am going to be behind. i don't think i really care. interviews for winter co-op should start rolling in on monday. i've scheduled 2 meetings since we're here. beloved's (probable) new job should start to move forward when we come back home.

    i'm exhausted!!
    posted by Zuska @ 2:27 AM   2 comments
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006
    Separation Anxiety
    My boy is not too happy that we're leaving:

    He seems to think that he can keep us home by holding the travel goods hostage:


    I wish I could get him to stop pouting. It makes me sad.


    He and the girl cat keep rumpusing around the house - tearing up the carpet in the hallway. I can tell she's sort of upset, too, b/c she let me touch her this morning. She even rolled around on the ground so I could pet her tummy.

    Of course, they will be fine. Fed and exercised ... but Boots won't be going out, and that makes him cranky. he is already glaring at us for telling him no (we can't let him go out this a.m., b/c then he won't come home!)
    posted by Zuska @ 9:46 AM   0 comments
    Tuesday, September 19, 2006
    tomorrow's departure
    i am in the library, where i've been for approx 5 hours, trying to get reading for next week out of the way, so I don't come home from VACATION all backed up. Despite the distractions of updating iTunes and my iPod and downloading some TV Shows to my Pod so I can watch it on the plane, and making lists and lists and lists of all the things I need to pack for me and the girls (fortunately, Beloved is 100% self-sufficient), I've been relatively successful. Interpret that as you wish.

    Our plane takes off at approximately 4 p.m. tomorrow, and we'll land in California at 7 their time. We're hoping to get settled into the hotel in enough time to enjoy a pre-bedtime swim in the pool on the roof of our hotel. Disneyland doesn't open until 10 a.m. the following day, which is kind of nice, because we won't have to jump out of bed and go crazy to get there at the first raising of the gate (that's beloved's influence, right there - the first raising of the gate nonsense).

    It is a little strange that we're taking off, just as we're settling into our new routines. The girls are each missing soccer practice (but no games, a la Yom Kippur), Emz is missing one of her acting/theater practices (but it's a new production, so it's not so vital - the main point of this session is handing out roles ... that's how young this is), and Julez is missing something in her classroom called "Mystery History" where the kids put things about themselves into a brown paper bag, and the other kids have to guess who it is. This was her thought on that:

    I'm a little disappointed to miss it, because I think it would be fun, but in 23 years, I'm not going to remember the silly mystery history thingamajiggy, but I *will* remember flying to California and going to Disneyland!!!

    Beloved and I both have potentially large job things coming up while we're gone. His is bigger than mine, b/c it's not just a co-op, but it's also okay, b/c the people who are involved are actively recruiting him for this amazing, fantastic, unbelievable, dreams-coming-true opportunity. And he has his ducks in a row, and all will be fine.

    We just need to bring the computer with us, so we can be checking our emails and electronic bulletin boards and such.

    then there's the MAJOR ISSUE. Grey's Anatomy season premiere - while we're in the park. ho hum. i have TRIED to make myself seem like a reasonable creature by suggesting that SINCE the park closes at 8 p.m., and SINCE the kids will want to play in the pool and SINCE i look like shit in a bathing suit, perhaps beloved could take them to the pool, while i go up to the hotel room and watch my show.

    perfectly reasonable? no?

    I got a VERY DIRTY LOOK. I got glared at, for a LONG TIME. His eyes were SLITS, I tell you. and they didn't open soon after!

    So uh, yeah. I'm probably gonna miss that, too.

    I watched it last night. I was upset with my mother, and upset with my daughter (I was the guts of a Difficult Person Generational Sandwich), and I didn't want to deal with my irritation and grouchiness, so I plugged in Disk 1 of Season 2 (from Netflix) and disappeared into Dr. Burke and ectopic pregnancies and poor little (i think) funny looking Meredith saying "choose me!" for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

    but see that? Disk ONE. I am NOT caught up. I have no way to catch up. I was hoping to finish Disk 1; mail Disk 1; Receive Disk 2 -- all before the trip, so i could watch it in the beautiful glory that is my MacBook on the way to California (it does play movies oh so beautifully) - but no such luck. Disk 1 is getting mailed today. Disk 2 will likely arrive on Thursday - perhaps Friday.

    I also requested it from my library, but I seem to be #14 in line.

    beloved pretends it's a dumb show, and that he hates it - but he watches it with me. sometimes, he gets up to leave the room with a comment like, "oh, i'm done wasting my time with this ridiculous-ness" and then his shadow will stay in the hallway for another 10 minutes.

    Just like with Lost. He doesn't deny it anymore with Lost.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:59 PM   1 comments
    Monday, September 18, 2006
    no tax shelter
    today was the deadline for my applications for my final stint of working in the winter. I get to apply to 10 places, and they all have different requirements. all of them want a resume, of course, but some want writing samples, some want other co-op evaluations, some want course evaluations, some want references. It was okay - i was ready. Julez and I went to Kinkos on Saturday while Emz was at a friend's and Beloved was making meat sauce fantastico, made all hte copies, and then came home where I assembled all the packages.

    All set, right?

    No. I went to the office this a.m., and found that I forgot that I needed 6 extra copies of my resume and 3 extra copies of all supplemental materials. I had allotted a period during the afternoon with no classes to read my INCREDIBLY SHORT tax assignment (seriously, like a total of 8 pages). But instead, I was making copies and reassembling packages.

    I was hanging out in our common area afterward, relatively comfortable with showing up to Tax without having read, when I ran into a classmate who reminded me that my row was "on call" for the reading. He didn't remind me. He told me. It somehow went over my head. Probably because i knew that I had more than enough time to prepare, and would certainly be ready to answer some piddly question. ha ha!! my procrastination and the co-op demands conspired against me!
    • it's not my fault.
    • i didn't have time.
    • they didn't tell me!!!
    No, just kidding. it was my fault - i should have had time, and they DID tell me. This is my third time in this process, for crying out loud!

    I shrugged and said, "i'm not going." there was no way in HELL I was going to show up for a class I hadn't read for, and be CALLED ON!! I'd never done that in my life, and am NOT going to start as a 3L. No fucking way.

    But the boy from my class convinced me that the assignment was short enough that I could wolf down my salad, and read the stupid 8 pages.

    So I did. and I didn't get called on.

    which is a good thing.

    Why? Since i did quickly digest 8 pages of Code and conjecture thereon?

    because i couldn't focus. twice, the professor called on people, and i realized that if it were me, i would have not even known what the topic was! It was 3:30, and I was pooped. i went to bed at 1 a.m., got up at 5:20 (and had a great run, wherein i felt wide awake and alive ...) then I went from holding office hours as a tutor to Comparative Law to Professional Responsibility (printing out resumes, short writing assignments, and reference lists in the 15 minutes between classes) to the scurry of major copying, to realizing i hadn't eaten, and calling beloved to check in. then by the time I sat down for Tax .... my brain wasn't screwed in properly.

    but then, i went to Trader Joe's, and browsed in the vino department for a while. i had about 40 minutes to wander around, and slowly look around, and ran into a friend, who made fun of me for my Starbucks coffee, and then went to pick up Julez from her acting thingamajiggy (hard to define).

    i thought all was well ..... i didn't know what was brewing with my other child, though, and really, Tax should have been hte high point of my day.

    grrrr. argh.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:25 PM   0 comments
    Just .... ugh
    this night SUCKS. all caps - yes!!

    Emz was a real grouch this morning. it was a hard start to the morning, but i was proud of myself for not losing my temper at her. she was on a short leash (one more time of grouching at me, and she was in bed at 8 p.m.), but i didn't snap, and she held it together enough to not tip things past the point of reconciliation.

    i had it in my mind all day - that she had been exhausted, super grouchy, and was likely going to have a rough evening.

    as if that ended up being the half of it.

    when beloved went to pick her up, her after-school teacher had to have a "chat" with him - her and her friends (4 others) were misbehaving during homework time. they were giggling, talking, and "not keeping their hands to themselves." You know what? They're not kindergartners. They just started 5th grade. What is UP with the "not keeping their hands to themselves" business?

    I was upset when I got the word, and said that the 8 p.m. bedtime had been realized. the child was unhappy with me.

    but then, i was ready to go through her homework with her (especially since she said the reason why they had acted up the way they did was because they were DONE with their homework). none of the items were complete. there was a note in her folder from her teaching looking for an older assignment that hadn't been handed in (although I know Emz did it) and one item Emz claimed to have finished, but then left at after-school. So she doesn't have it.

    Well, then i was pissed. don't tell me that you're goofing off with your friends because you're done with your homework - and THEN not have ANY of your 4 assignments complete! What the hell?

    THEN I found a story in her backpack. When I asked her when she wrote it - guess what the answer was? During homework time at after-school.

    her response to my righteous anger?
    • it's not my fault
    • i didn't have time
    • it's not fair
    • i have too much homework
    • they should have given us more of a transition - we had 1 thing of homework last year, and now we have 10, and they should have prepared us more
    • don't touch my things - you're contagious
    • my teacher didn't tell me where to hand it in
    • you didn't tell me that
    • it's not my fault
    • it's not fair
    righteous anger x 10.

    I ended up coming down pretty damned hard on her. her calling me "annoying" and telling me I'm not allowed to touch her things really was a problem in my mind. I have always had a pretty casual relationshpi with my kids, and have NOT had issues with them drawing appropriate lines. Sometimes they'll "joke" in a way that I think goes too far, and I'll call them on it. This was the first time that in an argument, the child was practically calling me names.

    And I came down pretty hard on her.

    She is living under the threat of having to quit newspaper, of having an 8:00 bedtime every night (as opposed to 9 or 9:30). She also had her mother explain (in a loud and harsh tone) about the inappropriateness of calling her maternal creator "annoying." She was told that as miserable as this night is, it will become the NORM if she ever speaks to me that way again.

    But now I'm exhausted!! Utterly exhausted.

    We did all have dinner together, and ended up laughing and joking at the table, and not lingering on the negative. She did NOT finish her homework by 8, but is in bed, and will have to wake early to finish.

    Sometimes, being a mom is HARD WORK.

    not sure I recommend it today.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:14 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, September 16, 2006
    10 years ago today,
    Emz was supposed to be born. She wasn't. The day came and went, and I remained pregnant.

    But I have yet to forget that THIS was the day I was waiting for. Not only to STOP BEING PREGNANT, but also to meet my girl. That girl came, and now she's writing newspaper articles, acting in plays, kicking soccer balls, sulking around the house, laughing loud, and telling funny stories, and giving fun hugs and kisses.




    Definitely worth the 9 day wait.

    posted by Zuska @ 8:23 PM   1 comments
    soccer - day one
    the girls both had soccer games today - both at 9 a.m. (i'm very tired now, as a result). I had gone with Julez to her practice on Wednesday, and had a chance to see her play there. Today, I went to Emz' game, and beloved went with Julez.

    Emz did pretty well, for it being her first time ever playing. She was right there on the ball, doing her best. She is often afraid of balls. She was not today. She was good.

    But the report from Julez was not so good :( I was/am very sad for her. She soooo loves playing, and loves being on a team, and today, there were problems with the other team. Apparently, they were on average a foot taller than J's team. They also were more aggressive. But two of the girls on J's team reacted badly, and started to cry and yell to the point of being pulled from the game, and the tone was really really sour. They had accused the other team of purposefully stepping on their feet, and elbowing them.

    Poor Julez was practically in tears over it, because the situation made the game not fun. She wasn't in the game during the quarter that had the issues, and beloved said it was hard for the coach (or any adult) to fully know how to react, because no one saw anything happen, and when the 2 girls on J's team were having hissy fits, they were 2 goals behind (where they stayed) and it slightly rung of poor sportsmanship.

    I am trying to say it was a bad day, and be optimistic about the rest of the season. In some ways, I am feeling rather regretful, because there had been some discussion of moving J to the OTHER team comprised of girls from her school, including her "best friend." i made the decision NOT to switch her, because her team was fine, and i don't fully believe in mucking up the works in order to keep best friends together. beloved and i discussed it, and even thought it would be good to keep them separate -- what if they have differing abilities? what if they get in a fight, and end up not playing good b/c of it? what if they are so busy chit-chatting that they don't focus on the game?

    now that her team may suck, i feel badly. i wish i had? or not?
    posted by Zuska @ 11:38 AM   0 comments
    beloved's endeavor
    beloved started a blog. the focus will be on his cooking endeavors, with other little asides peppered throughout.

    anyone interested in foodstuffs should check it out.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:36 AM   0 comments
    Thursday, September 14, 2006
    Foiled Again
    Last year, (i feel like i just started another post with this very phrase, "last year,")

    I interviewed with my soon-to-be-firm toward the end of OCI. My call back was on October 13, I think (and there was a wind storm). But between the call back notice and the call back itself, I was invited to a dinner for people from my school - both attorneys and those of us who had been given a call back.

    It was on .... October 4th or 6th or something like that --- whatever is the day my brother got married.

    So I couldn't go.

    I was bummed, because I knew it would be a nice dinner. And I wanted to know who else got call backs from this firm.

    I knew this summer, however, that I would get to go to the dinner for my school once the decision about call backs was made for this class. and my brother's not getting married!! So that would mean I could go.

    Right?

    Wrong.

    I got the e-mail today. The dinner is next Wednesday.

    The day we leave for Disneyland.

    Our plane takes off at 3:55 p.m.

    No dinner for me :(
    posted by Zuska @ 10:26 PM   0 comments
    lack of respect for authority
    I have been pretty lucky in law school as far as professors go. I really only had one I didn't care for too much, but she's widely regarded as one of our best, and most people love her, so I was able to say it was just a personality thing, and move on (actually, I found her judgmental and biased). [Oh! I just remembered Corporations! He was HORRIBLE!!!]

    I have heard many horror stories about adjunct professors, though. And I told myself that I would NEVER take a class with an adjunct. Our faculty is, for the most part, really great. Why not just load up my course schedule with them?

    However. I've been wanting to take a certain skills-based class FOREVER, and it has always been taught by an adjunct .... who has always been, shall we say, rather well-versed in the field. So uh, okay.

    The typical adjunct, however, was not able to do it this quarter. We didn't know this right away, and those of us who took the course did so after talking to our fellows who took it in the past, and said that the course was really a piece of cake.

    It's also 2 credits (important plot point).

    New adjunct this time, though. The newbie is a colleague of the outgoing adjunct, so perhaps it will still be okay?

    Well, see, last week, he lost me. On the first week of class, he told us to draft a court document. It was in the syllabus, and was verbally reiterated as we left the class that first day.

    about a week later, as I'm sitting down to draft the document when I decide to put it aside and review the course materials. Included within is the document we're supposed to be drafting - for the same case.

    What the hell? I think. Does he want me to just RETYPE it? Did he not realize it was THERE? Is there something wrong with it?

    I type one up, I make a few little (minor, inconsequential) changes, and print it out. Whatever. It took 7 minutes, I wasn't about to complain.

    We get to class that evening, and he says, "who here drafted the document?" Only about 1/2 the people raise their hands. what the hell? Why are people not doing the first assignment in this class? an assignment they have to hand in?

    But then he points to one of us who had our hands raised and says, "why did you draft it?" she says, "it was good practice." WHY DID SHE SAY THAT? It was our ASSIGNMENT!!

    Apparently, this is what happened --- someone saw the document in the stuff, and wrote him an email and said, "do you want us to do something other than what's already here?" and he said, "the fact that you wrote me this email means you passed the assignment, you're done." That person told another, who told another. but it didn't quite make it all the way around the grapevine, since at least 1/2 of us didn't get the email.

    But to the 1/2 of us who raised our hands? The prof/practitioner says, "this was just a test to see who actually reviewed the materials. it was on the syllabus to do so, you know."

    This really pissed me off. I don't really appreciate being "tricked." It made me not like him. This conclusion is permanent, it turns out. That happens with me sometimes. Not always, so I can't predict when a bad interaction will stain my impression of someone forever, but it does happen.

    Like once, last year, one of the mom's in Emz' class approached me at a classroom gathering in the early part of the school year (probably October, but remember, they start on like Sept. 8), and she said, "oh, i just had to meet you. i was told you were really YOUNG, and the YOUNGEST Mom in the class, and I just HAD TO see what this YOUNG MOM looked like. But I just don't understand why I've never seen you before, you know, I'm ALWAYS here, in the morning AND in the afternoon, and i've NEVER ONCE seen you."

    Yeah, first of all, I'm not that young, leave me the FUCK alone. Just because I'm aging well does not mean that i need to hear people go on and on about how I'm the YOUNGEST MOM in the school. Second of all? Our daughters are 9 and 10. They do not need their hands held into their classroom anymore. Since my younger daughter's teacher has told parents not to walk their kids to the classroom anymore, and since my older daughter is a capable individual who can get herself through the hallways of her school all by her own self, I don't see the point in loitering around the classroom.

    I still don't like her.

    Oh yeah, my class.

    Tonight was really no better. Others were upset because of the amount of reading, cryptic assignments, and exercises in futility (we had a drafting assignment due today - some people spent up to 8 hours on it - i spent 3 - just to be told after "lecture" "now that you all know what you're doing, go back and re-do the assignment for today."

    I was mostly upset because he kept referring to the trial judge in a case that is central to the class as "he." Uh. Her name is Diane. Assume much? Forget to "read the materials?" It's in 3 places.

    The problem is, for the most part as my classmates see it, this is a 2 credit course. we're getting up to 12 hours of work per week, and this upsets those who chose to take a 2 credit course in consideration of the fact that they're doing a clinic, or have a job, or some other 3rd year adventure.

    I am just bothered because I don't like him. I don't like his "tricks." I don't like that the change in adjunct professors made it so that a class I was looking forward to is now just a series of futile exercises.

    So. eww.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:44 PM   1 comments
    picking up
    i suppose that the quarter is picking up steam. the feeling that i have "nothing to do" has left me, and I am feeling a bit more hectic. I had meetings and lunches at the start of the week, as well as things to do with the kids that required rushing home straight from class.

    I had wanted to write a 9/11 post, and it's back there in draft form, but already feels irrelevant, so I believe I'll drop it.

    Has anyone seen this interview with George Bush and Matt Lauer? I guess it took place last Friday. It made me oddly uncomfortable. they were standing very close to each other, and both of them had hand gestures and mannerisms that made them seem like they were REALLY invading each other's personal space. A lot of people are tagging it that George Bush was trying to intimidate Matt Lauer. I have to say, I don't think so. They both seemed like they were GLUED to their spots, and Matt Lauer's hands were as close to the President as the President's hands were to him ... just Matt's hands were open, and relatively inviting, whereas the president was pointing and ..... pointing some more. I don't think he was intentionally trying to intimidate Matt ... I think it's just naturally how he behaves.

    Which is equally as sad.

    Beloved showed me the video last night, and then this a.m., we saw the news coverage that Ann Richards had died, and they showed a clip from one of the debates between her and Georgie, and he was shaking his head and acting all disgusted, and it was funny ... it was so similar to this video linked to above.
    posted by Zuska @ 9:52 AM   0 comments
    Monday, September 11, 2006
    one of the differences
    that i anticipate for this quarter is that i'm going to spend a lot more time in my Mom role. The girls have quite a few activities, and they have places to be. My schedule appears to be such that I can get them places. Myself. This is good, because we no longer have a babysitter (she's in France), and the after-school program does not escort children to soccer practice and music lessons and acting classes.

    I also like that I don't have class early. Last quarter (spring), I had a pretty hefty course load, and I had classes every day at 8:30. It was okay for me, because the high # of credits needed long days of studying, so being at school by 8:30 was necessary.

    This quarter, my earliest class is 10:15. I thought about using the freer mornings to get up later, walk the kids to school for 8 in my running garb, and then go running from there. However, I decided that was going to kill just too much of my day.

    So I'm getting up at 5:30, and am back by 6:45 to wake Emz up for her shower. but i don't freak out, i don't run around like a chicken with my head cut off. i slowly fix their breakfast, and then I take a shower, and then walk them to school. Then I come HOME and get all my crap together, and today, I left the house at 8:30, and was at school before 9. I had time to review my readings (one of the necessities now that I read things up to a week in advance) and slowly sip a cup of coffee before class.

    Time is a beautiful thing. That is my observation for the Month. I also am fully aware that I better drink it in, since next year at this time, I'll be getting all my suits and work garb cleaned so I can start work.

    yikes.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:16 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, September 10, 2006
    the future
    Starting in March of '06, I began a weekly routine of checking the housing market in our area. I knew it was highly cost prohibitive, but there were the whispers of rumors that things were about to plumet. I am REALLY salivating over the thought of owning my own (spacious) home, and wanted to see just how impossible that would be.

    In March, homes with 4 bedrooms in our part of town were approximately $1.3 million.

    We are stuck in this part of town ... which isn't bad for us -- it is not the ritziest part of town, it is not the crappiest part of town. it is what I like best -- the middle ground.

    The elementary schools around here are assigned according to where you live - there's no lottery, no waiting list, no anything. If you live in a particular zone, you go to that school. The end. The girls are well settled into the school that we are in. It's a great school, they have great friends, they know the teachers, and on and on.

    Also, moving is hard on them. Changing schools, etc. By the time we're ready, Emz will be in 6th grade, if not 7th. (Elementary schools here are K-8).

    This is why our choices when we move are very limited - whether it's renting a bigger place or buying a house. Our geographical area is pretty damned small.

    And in this geographical area, 4 bedroom homes were running at $1.3 million.

    Then, in May - they were at about $1 million.

    Then, in July, they were at approx $900,000.

    Now? A 6 bedroom home, with 3 floors of living space and 3100 square feet, with hardwood floors, and 3 fireplaces on my favorite side street (in the desired school zone) is listed with an asking price of $849,000.

    Huh???

    I wish I had $849,000.

    I'm very hopeful that the trend will continue. I know that those who own a home already don't share my hopes, but for a first-time buyer, this bodes well.

    _____________________

    On another front (future-related), our local magazine, Boston, came out with a high schools edition. Our public high school, in this smallish town that neighbors Boston proper, is listed as #4 (or thereabouts) in the state .... on a list that includes private schools (in a prep-school world, mind you), it's #20.

    I think the girls are in a good place.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:11 PM   0 comments
    officially a soccer mom
    i don't think i can keep up with two blogs. besides, i love this template, and don't want to put anything in a boring icky blogger-generated template.

    so, we took the kids to City Sports today, and bought $186 worth of soccer gear. shin guards, balls (they each need their own, because they're each required to bring them to the games and practices, and sometimes, they have games at the same time), soccer-socks, water bottles, and soccer shorts. And Julez needed cleats. Emz got hand-me-downs from a close friend, and really didn't make a single complaint about not getting her own. So I bought her a new pair of flip-flops, which were on sale.

    She really only wears flip-flops right now, and had worn hers down so far that it was like she was walking on the concrete directly. I was astonished when I had to go into the women's section ... all the kids' sizes were too small for her. I was so amazed yesterday when her friend said she's wearing a women's size 7 .... her friend is almost 2 years older, so it wasn't such an insane idea ... but today, Emz bought a women's size 6!!! yikes.

    We then came home, and the girls got all outfitted, and we went to the park for them to break in their new gear. They had a really great time, and after a while, Beloved met up with us (he had parted ways after the run to City Sports, so that he could do the week's grocery shopping), and he kicked the ball around with them for a while, as I sat on a bench and read a book.

    he was mad at me, b/c I refused to kick a ball around with the kids. But first of all, I had on sandals. Second of all, I suck. Last week, I pitched a softball to them, and played catch with them, and did softball stuff, and if I didn't have on sandals, I probably would have participated today - but I did not. He said I was being sexist, and furthering the stereotypes that Dads play sports and Moms sit on benches.

    But I had on sandals!! And I was good last week!!!

    The girls ran around for a solid two hours, and are now quite tired. Hopefully that will help them get some sleep tonight, since they slept in until 9 this a.m., and tomorrow must return to the harsh reality of 6:40. Yikes.

    Emz has a conflict this week ... it shouldn't be typical, but her extra acting gig has a dress rehearsal on Friday until 5:30, and her soccer practice is from 4:30 to 5:30. I wanted her to leave practice early in order to make soccer, but she REALLY sees the rehearsal as a priority. I am going to let her make that call .... she also said it's a performance that WE can go to. The rest are in schools during the school day, and we likely can't go (to schools that my kid aren't students, in the middle of the school day? probably not). So that's what we'll do.

    And, in only 10 days, we leave for Disneyland in honor of Emz turning 10. Woo hoo!!
    posted by Zuska @ 4:58 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, September 09, 2006
    indoctrination
    (cross-posted at the thus far experimental "zuska's house")

    as i have said here before, i have a History with fundamentalism (which i use to mean born again christianity). my mother was "converted" when i was approx 13, the house rules changed, and life was drastically altered. i attended an uber-religious college (run by the illustrious Jerry Falwell) and married directly from that environment, a boy with a background more heavily steeped in the nonsense than my own.

    we then changed. differently, it turns out. as i learned, path away from christianity (the flavor i had tasted, anyway) did not after all go in a single direction (i.e., to Hell), but rather, opened many doors.

    he went the way of intellectualism and philosophy (secular) and i went the way of Love Thy Neighbor and non-judgmentalism. turns out, we stopped being compatible.

    His parents, however, as well as my parents, remain immersed.

    i have fought with my parents, had several conversations, and eventually come to terms with the fact that I am no longer of their religious fold. they spent many years trying to, on the sly, indoctrinate the girls. eventually, on threat of alienation, i stopped that.

    since my ex and i separated, his parents have not raised hte issue with the children. it made me trust them more than i trusted my own parents. i am not close with his parents ... he told them half and un-truths in order to gain their support (financial) in the days following our separation, and they think I'm Evil. but i still felt that they treated the girls well, worked toward their happiness, and resisted stooping so low as to try and Indoctrinate them.

    The other day, however, i spent some time on the phone with my ex. he told me that he had been at his mom's house, and she sat him down.

    Ooooooh boy.

    she laid into him!!!! She told him that he is failing his family (and defined it as: his new wife, his daughters (my daughters), and his new wife's extended family) in that he is not guiding them toward the lord. she said that she KNOWS that his seat in heaven is secured, because she can picture clearly in her mind the day when he was 4 years old and bowed his head and asked jesus into his heart, but that he has since dropped the ball, and he needs to put his heart right, and lead his family to jesus.

    she then said (makes me sick to think of it) that she prays daily that god give her the privilege to bring MY DAUGHTERS to jesus, that she can walk them through the lord's prayer (which I have termed 'the magic spell') and bring them to the lord's throne.

    he at that point found it appropriate to crack a joke along the lines of my parents being ready and willing to arm-wrestle her for the privilege.

    So ..... the trust is gone. i told the Ex that i thought that the girls were pretty stable at this point, and would not just get swept up from a single attempt to bring them into the lord's army. he said that he didn't know, b/c he hadn't discussed such things with them in approx 4 years.

    4 years.

    i hate to think of the girls having the schtick thrust upon them. the fear, the flames, the emotional manipulation. i am pretty certain that the ex and i are on the same page .... i know he fancies himself an athiest, but i don't know that he thinks it's all that important that the girls not be subjected to it

    after all, he was subjected to it ... he even said the Magic Spell, and he's fine.

    (never mind the divorce and the fact that he's separated from his daughters for the past 6 years ... he's FINE)
    posted by Zuska @ 11:13 PM   0 comments
    stretching
    i'm considering a spin off. i feel that if people read my blog at all for the sake of my legal involvement, they are quite likely bored by the stories of the kids' first day of school, and if people read for the sake of the kids and my role as a parent (even a working parent), they are bored by the posts about school hierarchy, class schedules, and mostly, anything legal-related.

    I also was wanting to play with the features on the new Beta Blogger, which I can't do with this fancy (and loved) template.

    So, I started dabbling over here. Let me know if anyone has any gripes or nods toward the idea of splitting myself into 2.

    of course, there are things about myself that i am not sure where i would put.

    also, the blogger templates are boring. i can't enjoy the new features on an outside-designed template, so, eww.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:02 PM   2 comments
    love rediscovered
    I often tell people that I was a poly sci major in college. so it is not like i truly forgot. but i did forget all that i loved about the topic, and why i did well with it. I know that the quality of my education was low, and I did not come out with my political science degree in hand feeling in any way like an expert, but I did enjoy what I did learn.

    but then i walked away. and then the Schlurg delved into a lot of the same issues of nation-states and law, and its role in societies, and questions of where law comes from -- but from a more philosophical view, and I didn't feel anywhere near the same passion for the issues that he did, and I kind of shut my mind to it all, and avoided any similar discussions or readings like the plague (because i thought they ruined my marriage, b/c the Schlurg was so invisible to me and mine for the sake of his studies).

    Now that I'm in Comparative Law, we're starting off with a lot of political theory literature and scholarship, and i am just LOVING it. The class was introduced as a way to look at how the relationship between a market economy co-exists with democracy, and how we can take the valuable pieces and help a developing (or ravished) country to establish the same.

    But I have a hard time reading with the eye toward the international. i find myself scrutinized the underlying idea (that a market economy is a good thing; that competition is the root of an empowered populace), and thinking also about how the ideals set forth in these writings are so far from the truth in the United States. i am looking for what went wrong HERE, and wondering how these things can be fixed while still calling ourselves a capitalist system.

    I haven't re-educated myself enough to have any kind of answers or theories, but I find myself devouring the assignments, and ordering books from the library to supplement my understanding of the concepts. For example, one issue I'm tracing to a source cited in the article: - It was stated that a dispersment of power is required for true freedom to flourish, that the more power is concentrated within a single group, the less true freedom of choice, and freedom from coercion, those without the power have. How can you allow for companies and industries to grow and grow and grow -- which a true free market should allow -- at yet avoid a concentration of power? we have not, i do not think.

    So uh, yeah. This is kind of fun. It's a good quarter for this to come up, because I do have the time to do supplemental reading, and really pour myself into the paper I'm writing for this class. I'm looking forward to it.
    posted by Zuska @ 6:02 PM   0 comments
    Beta?
    My love for new technologies and Google stuff in general made me (MADE me) impulsively switch my blog to the "Blogger in Beta" thing that shows up on the main page. But I'm not liking it. I'm not liking it, because now, the only way I can log into Blogger is through my Google account, and that's fine, but then ... I can't comment on Blogger blogs that ARE NOT in beta.

    But the thing that made me switch was when I was visiting a blog that HAD made the switch, and I couldn't comment WITHOUT going to Beta.

    so now what? has anyone else had this happen? Any opinions on whether I should switch back? Or should I try to come up with an alternate Blogger ID through regular Blogger?
    posted by Zuska @ 5:57 PM   1 comments
    Names
    as is well known from parens binubus, i am divorced, and my daughters' father lives far away.

    when i married the ex, i changed my name to match his. The children were born, and they (of course) had the same name. When my older daughter, Emz, was approximately 1.5, my Ex and I considered changing our last name.

    Why?

    Because when my Ex was 9, his mother changed HIS name from that of his biological father (who divorced his mother when Ex was 3) to his step-father's name.

    His step father was not, in my opinion, an excellecent substitute father. In fact, in my opinion, he did a Shitty Job.

    His step-father's name is not a good name, either.

    It's more like..... Fireman. Or ..... Curbside. That kind of compound word that is a part of every-day life, and that provides much fodder for childhood playground teasing.

    His biological, given name, however, was more like ..... Sterling. Or perhaps, Marshall. Maybe even, Washington. A good, solid name. One that sort of reeked of class and provided no teasing possibilities.

    In the end, however, after filling out the official forms for all 3 of us (this was before our second daughter, Julez, was born), we decided that the act of changing all of our names would cause way too much animosity with his mom and step-father, who were, without a doubt, a much more integral part of our lives than his abandoning, selfish, icky father.

    So we didn't do it.

    I did, however, always resent the fact that his mother changed HIS name to that of his step-father. Mostly b/c I knew that the reason was that she was made nauseous every time the school called asked for "Mrs. [good name]" b/c of the bitterness she has not yet (30+ years later) let go of as pertains to her ex-husband. It had nothing to do with Ex (who was NINE!!! hello??? your CHILD??), or his well-being, or his future.

    So I resented it. Among many other things that had been done to him or had been withheld from him by his mother and step-father.

    ____________________________

    When I divorced the ex, I couldn't wait to rid myself of the wretched compound-word name that I had taken for 7+ years. I started using my maiden name again pretty quickly after the split, but couldn't do the more official things (banks, social security, etc) until the divorce was final, and that took approx 3 years. I couldn't wait to get my name back. by the time i did, beloved and i were together, and looking long-term - but i knew that there was no way in HELL, regardless of whether we ever decided to shove aside our hatred (yes, hatred) for the institution of marriage and tie the not -- change my name.

    _____________________________

    The girls kept their father's name. and i felt pretty confident that i would never take any steps to make it otherwise, since my resentment toward his mother was so strong.

    However.

    isn't there always one of those? if there wasn't ... would this post exist?

    ______________________________

    the other day, the girls and I were walking home from school, and Emz told me that she wants to take MY name on. She no longer wants her father's name. She said 1) my name SOUNDS better (she's told me that she's been made fun of for her name); and 2) when people ask her about her family, she thinks about me, beloved, and Julez. She said she doesn't even think of her father until way later ... and she doesn't understand why she has to have HIS name, when she feels more like MY daughter.

    and, it sounds better (it does sound better).

    I told her that i wanted her to talk to me about it again in a month. that i'd never heard anything from her about this before ..... despite the fact that her SISTER, goes with a hyphenated name. She uses both. Emz didn't want to - she "hates dashes." (good thing she doesn't read my blogs). I said that I didn't think that this was a small issue, and I was not willing to do anything about it for her to change her mind again in another month.

    She was mad. She said no one ever lets her make her own decisions ... and that she's 10 now, and doesn't understand why she can't decide this for herself.

    ___________________________

    My thoughts? I think I can pretty easily change her name USAGE in school without doing anything permanent. I think I just have to go there, let them know - hey - my kid wnats to use my name, not her father's -- and it's done. The Ex would not be happy if he knew ...

    but he won't know. he doesn't call them, he doesn't write them, and if he does - he doesn't LISTEN to them.

    But is that sneaky? I'm not "changing her name" - if we do this, this year ---- she can un-do it very easily whenever she wants. And if when it's time for her to head to college, and if she still wants to go with my name, we can consider an official change.

    It's really NOT the same as changing her name to that of her step-father ... she doesn't want Beloved's name (and there's the main point - SHE DOESN'T WANT - we're not doing anything TO her - this is her request.) (but uh, she's 10. Not even.)

    When the Ex's name was changed, he had no choice. He didn't ask for it, and from what he told me, he didn't want it. The name he took on had nothing of his heritage or identity in it. If it was his mother's maiden name, I think it would have been different.

    Say his mother's name was Smith. If people said, "huh, Smith. any relation to Joe Smith, the famous baseball player?" He could say "nope, my family has no ties to them" without having to say "it's my step-father's name, not mine" Or if people say "oooh, Smith. Is that English?" He doesn't have to say, "no, actually, it's German, but I'm not. I'm Polish and Cherokee." or whatever.

    If she has MY NAME --- not only is it truly her family, but it's "her" family ... the side she looks like, the side she acts like, the side she's strongly connected to.

    The reason why I put it off for a month is becuase it's very likely that in a month, she'll say "huh? change my name? why would I do that?"

    but i won't even ask .... it's for her to bring up again.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:29 PM   2 comments
    Friday, September 08, 2006
    connectivity and the lack thereof
    I just got word that my grandfather died on Wednesday.

    He was ailing for over a year, nothing necessarily specific, just a general breakdown of mental and other basic functions.

    He and my grandmother moved to Arizona (from New England) when I was approximately 12. They came back to New England about once a year to visit, but he just watched t.v., and said little.

    My grandmother died in 1994 of cancer, and very soon after, my grandfather remarried.

    Also important to the story (or lack thereof) is that he was my mother's step father. That should not, and often did not, make a difference in the family relationships. My mother's father died of Polio when she was 3 months old (the youngest of 3 girls), and my grandmother married my grandfather when my mother was 3. They then had 5 more children, and lived as one family (of course).

    However, once my grandmother died, there did seem a less of a connection coming FROM my grandfather. Furthermore, his sister (who was always my aunt) and his mother (who was always my Nana) had been known to make comments about the fact that some of us were not "real family" anymore.

    Of course there were other reasons for the distancing -- as in, the distance, and his age, and his new marriage.

    I feel pretty certain that he never met my girls. I'm not fully sure. My last true memory of him is from my wedding, in 1994, when he was following my mother around trying to excitedly tell her that he was getting married, and that he wanted to make the announcement at my reception. My mother was devestated - my grandmother had not been dead for 4 months yet, and my wedding had been her "goal" - she had said she was going to make it to MY wedding --- but she did not. My mom remembered that, and was very upset and missing her mother, and was VERY resentful that her dad was giddy like a kid over getting remarried already.

    That's the last time I remember seeing him. I must have at least one other time, because I knew I met his new wife, but only once, and I can't for the life of me remember the circumstances.

    Most of his children stayed good about going to visit him in AZ, but he really almost never traveled back this way.

    So now, he's passed away. And I feel like no connection has been broken, and like there is no loss in my life.

    And I realize that honestly, I have kept very few connections to my extended family. Very few. I moved to California with the Schlurg, and then we divorced ... something that is heavily judged by my family (either for reasons of Catholicism, fundamentalism, or Russian Orthodoxy, it is BAD BAD BAD). I keep in touch with my parents, my siblings. Period. I have kept in better touch with my cousins on my dad's side of the family since I'm back on the east coast, and we see each other more than I do those from my mom's side.

    It's not just me, though. They don't get together anymore, like we all used to when my grandparents lived here. my mother talks with all her siblings (or at least most), but when i see them, it's a formality. They all love my kids, but lose track of how old they are, and what's appropriate for them (one aunt bought Emz a giant floor puzzle with 50 pieces in it for this past Christmas. A puzzle that is really designed for toddlers. Emz was 9 ... she looked at me with utter confusion as to what she was supposed to say; I coached her to say thank you, of course.)

    My parents are out of the country -- their first time crossing the Atlantic. This is why I hadn't heard of my grandfather's passing until today. Either did my mother - she got an e-mail from her sister letting her know that they tried to call her, but could not get the phones to go through (I doubt they've ever heard of a "country code"), and so they just e-mailed her. He passed away while my mom was flying over the ocean.

    She is okay with it (being in a different country). She plans to set up a memorial service on this side of the country.

    So then there's the question ... do I need to miss classes and go? I probably do - for my mom's sake if not my own or my grandfather's. That is IF the service takes place before or after our trip that's planned for the week after next. Mom returns on the 15th, and I leave on the 20th, and don't return until the 24th, and the 25th is Emz' bday. So????
    posted by Zuska @ 12:25 PM   1 comments
    First day of school, Chapter 2
    It was the girls' first day of school. They did great, of course. Julez came home downright giddy, and Emz fought coming home at all. They like their teachers, they're excited and happy.

    Emz is in 5th grade now, and this will be her first year to have homework on the weekend. It's only a "reading assignment" which may be simple (if the book is one of her choice) - or it may not (if it's chosen by the teacher, and Emz kicks and screams over how BORING it is). We'll see.

    Julez is in 3rd, and has a teacher that Emz had 2 years ago. That feels nice. We know what to expect, we know the pros and cons (many more pros than cons), the teacher knows Julez, and Julez is already comfortable with her.

    The school did a smart thing (surprise, surprise) in that they swapped lunch and recess. The kids used to go to lunch, and then line up near the door to go out to recess. You could go out (or line up?) as soon as you finished.

    The result? Kids wouldn't eat. They would take 2 bites, and then line up to go outside. If the class was running late b/c they couldn't get their act together - they'd take one bite.

    Now, they're going to recess first, instead of lunch. This way, they have more time to eat and they also go back to the classroom a bit more settled.

    It's very freaky to me that Emz is on the verge of not being an elementary school student anymore. Next year is 6th grade. That's kind of old.

    Their school is K-8, and the grades are grouped so that 5th and 6th stay together with the 1,2,3. Then when they hit 7th grade, they go to another building, which is also the Kindergarten building. I think this is very good - keeps the older kids away from the 5th and 6th graders that they would perhaps be otherwise prone to bullying, and allows them to have a feeling of caretaker and/or mentoring of the VERY little kids.

    This set up is what makes me think that Emz can continue to be thought of as an elementary school student until the end of NEXT year. It's also the last year she's able to go to after school care. As of 7th grade, she's on her own.

    Speaking of which --- beloved has had a good bit of success in a new field lately. A field he's wanted to enter for some time, and I am very happy for him and proud of him. He had a short-term thing going on over the summer which he was hoping to turn into a Foot in the Door, and he received an email yesterday that it is a real possibility that it will be the case.

    I am very excited for him.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:00 PM   0 comments
    Novelty
    I did something absolutely novel yesterday.

    I read a newspaper.

    Not on the internet.

    I held it in my hands - i spread it out on the table, and read it.

    A lot of the stories, I only needed to scan, b/c I had read them on line already (eh hem, during class). But some I had not yet seen, and I got to read the editorials and letters, that was fun.

    Another reason why I love this quarter. When I have only an hour off between classes, I can use the time to call my daughters and read a newspaper.

    Very nice!
    posted by Zuska @ 11:58 AM   0 comments
    Olberman Did It Again!!
    Here's the link ...

    I told beloved, I think that Olberman rented Goodnight, and Goodluck recently, and decided he wants to be That Guy .... Beloved said I'm being too cynical.

    Regardless of his motivation, I like having a frank discussion in the main stream media.
    posted by Zuska @ 8:24 AM   1 comments
    Thursday, September 07, 2006
    On a lighter, brighter note ....
    Well, Suri was a bright note.

    The weather here in New England has been amazing. I am telling you, I am in absolute heaven.

    Today was supposed to be around 77, and sunny, and I was able to think, "oh, that's so warm" -- b/c we have been having the IDEAL early fall with temps in the mid 60's almost consistently. The evenings are cool enough for us to consider sweaters before heading out for a walk, and the nights are chilly enough for windows to stay open (we can't when it's hot, we MUST switch to A/C) and blankets to be a nice addition.

    Early next week? 64 and sunny. 65. Perhaps one day in the near future is forecast to be 69.

    Last year, I believe it stayed in the upper 80s and even 90s into the start of the fall quarter, and I was riding the bike and it was all nasty and sweaty and poo-ish.

    Now, it's delightful. Gorgeous.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:17 PM   0 comments
    3 [completely unrelated] things
    1) I absolutely positively HATE the headnotes/keynotes, whatever the hell they're called - on both Westlaw and Lexis. I just want the DECISION, I don't want their idea of what the various holdings were ... not while reading a case for a class. I need to just READ it.

    2) This is truly a compelling child. This was the website I found with the best Suri pics, and if you click on them, they blow up and such. She is a BEEEOOOOTIFUL baby.

    Do you think she's really theirs? And not just a model-baby rented for the day?

    3) I have comment moderation turned on, because I was getting spam comments (despite the word verification). This means I have to publish comments as they're made. You know what? If someone makes a comment that is completely vitriolic toward a fellow **commenter** for absolutely no reason, that does not in any way relate to my post or the substance of that fellow commenters POINT, I'm not publishing it. I'm rejecting it. Throwing it away. If you have a rant about some obscure point -- start your own damned blog.

    This is not a forum for random hatred and spewing.

    So you can stop checking to see if it's published yet - it's not. And it won't be.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:12 PM   1 comments
    Wednesday, September 06, 2006
    Zuska the Slavedriver ... and the Driven.
    Emz forgot that the first day of school was tomorrow, and wore the outfit she had decided was her "first day of school outfit" yesterday to her acting class. So it was in the hamper. I made overly grumpy faces about this fact, and before she caught on that I was going for HUMOR, she said, "if you want, I'll wash them myself." he he he.

    Is 10 (well, 19 days shy of 10) too young to do one's own laundry? How about one's own laundry plus the soggy towels left by both herself and her sibling on the bathroom floor? Also, with a pair of mom's jammies thrown in?

    No? Good. Because she did. I walked her through starting the first load in the washer, and from then on, she was on her own. She really didn't mind, and seemed to enjoy learning something new. It is unlikely that she will have a new chore to do ... she probably won't have time to do the chores she had been doing this year. She has soccer, acting, cello, after school program, and i think that's it, but it feels like a LOT.

    I ran into a professor of mine in the town library today. I had Julez and 2 of her friends with me. He was grading papers and keeping 1/4th an eye on his daughter (who is Emz' age).

    I find it very odd to have my two, typically distinct, worlds intersect.

    We got word today on when Julez' soccer practice is. It's on Weds., from 4-5. Emz has her acting-doohicky on weds from 2:30-5:30. I *think* she'll be able to get to her acting thing with others (I need to set that up, still, though - i'm being slow, b/c we have that freedom with beloved home for right now), and so we need to get Julez to soccer practice for 4, and then pick her up at 5, and jog up to a different part of town to pick up Emz for 5:30.

    Yikes! I'm sure it will all work out. (deep breaths, deep breaths).
    posted by Zuska @ 9:22 PM   0 comments
    Today Feels Eventful.
    But it's really not. I had two classes. I suppose that's more eventful than yesterday.

    Oh! And I got that tutoring job. The prof. e-mailed me this a.m. to let me know, and I'd already convinced myself that i'd been REJECTED b/c she said I'd hear on Tuesday, and i did not, and I had heard an announcement that a pretty cool prof was looking for a second Research Assistant, and was thinking maybe i'd do THAT for work study, and then I got the e-mail. I decided to stick with the tutoring, b/c an RA job may be more conducive to the spring.

    In Comparative Law this a.m., the prof got mad at us because no one wanted to debate Weber's theories and principles, and so she made us each go around the room and share something we were thinking. I was intimidated.

    I had written to Beloved before the class, telling him I was worried that everyone dropped because of the ridiculous COST OF THE BOOKS (i never did vent about that on the blog, b/c I try to be an "optimistic" blogger, I try to convey my LOVE for law, and law school, and all things law-related, but this PISSED ME OFF. Maybe I'll tell that story next). I was WORRIED (getting back on track) that everyone dropped the class because it cost $250 in materials and the prof was all discombobulated on the first day, and that I would be stuck in a 3 person seminar on economic theories and international law - things I know NOTHING about, and things which my education at Liberty University did NOT prepare me for.* And I knew that my one friend who went to a stellar University and majored in Philosophy was in the class, and he would laugh at me. [turns out that not so many people dropped the class, and i'd guess we were between 15 and 20 in the room, and it was a good, comfortable mix, with a nice split between 2Ls and 3Ls, and between those that were taking the class because of passion/relationship to their future goals and those who were taking the class because it "seems interesting." I am i the SECOND group.]

    So, when we had to do round robin with our thoughts, I was nervous. The first person to go around the room had read a book a year or so ago that was written by the author of one of the articles we had to read, and so used his time to explain how the theories related to today's discussions. (Why didn't he volunteer before the prof got all irritable with us???) All I could do was express doubt about a system that is built upon the premise that man is a self-interested and solely economic actor because I don't think it's true. Then a friend who had NOTHING ELSE TO SAY piggybacked on me to say that uh huh, man is so self-interested. Then three others got involved to talk about tribal communities who worked toward the communal good, rather than that of the individual, and whether or not there was any self interest in such actions, and an entire discussion sprung forth, and the professor was happy.

    I am an ignoramus. I may have to put aside my fiction reading and do some self edumacation on these philosophical issues which Jerry Falwell protected me from back in The Day.

    I am not, however, a huge fan of capitalism. I know that much.

    Then in Professional Responsibility, we had discussions - both with the entire class (115 people) and in small groups. I was reminded with FULL FORCE that in my school, the most PC thing you can do is bash Big Firms. The funny thing was, people sounded like they had no idea what they were saying. Like they were just spewing forth the things they had been told by others. There are plenty of valid criticisms of big firms, but these people didn't sound like they were MAKING valid criticisms. They sounded like Bush cronies talking about the War on Terror or about "these. democrats. just. want. to. cut. and. run. i. do. not. have. an. original. thought. in. my. head. cut. and. run. cut. and run. eviiiiiiiiil."

    Kids today, what can I say? My contribution to the conversation was that the reason why lawyers are miserable is because lawyers don't like the law -- they go to law school for "prestige" or "money" or because they have nothing better to do, and then when they find themselves stuck in a life in which they are practicing LAW, they're upset.

    See? The blogosphere is edumacational.

    I should be reading Tax right now. I need to go and pick up Julez from a playdate at 4, and that leaves me less than an hour. I'm still ahead in my reading, so all is well, but I want to be MORE ahead. I'm addicted to being ahead. I want to be done for the entire next week!!

    So, have a good day.

    *Actually, this was how Liberty did philosophy: "Karl Marx was not a Christian because he said religion is the opiate of the people. Friedrich Nietzsche was not a Christian, b/c he said god is dead." [and so on and so forth] They also tried to explain the benefits of a theocracy, ruled by Old Testament Law. I honestly kid you not.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:22 PM   1 comments
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