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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  • Monday, April 30, 2007
    Mother to a Perfect Child
    I wonder how it would feel? To be such a mother to such a child?

    I have absolutely no fucking clue.

    E shared with Beloved and I a week or two ago that some boys have been riding her kind of hard. She said it was happening mostly in her after-school program, and that it was 3 boys in particular. The teasing started as accusations that E liked another boy. She said that she didn't want them to know that it bothered her, so she shrugged it off as in, "so? what of it?" hoping that they'd lay off if they didn't get a rise out of her.

    No dice.

    We suggested that she tell an adult that the joking has been escalating to the point where she's feeling bullied. She said she can't -- that most people will just tell her to "ignore them," others are known to respond to tears, and the boys know it and will cry in order to win sympathy, and others just won't care. I thought perhaps she should talk to one of the boys, who she was able to talk with reasonably earlier in the year, when he is out of the presence of his posse. She sort of hemmed and hawed about the suggestion, but then Beloved stepped in and said no - that it likely wouldn't work. That of all the possible reasons for the boys to harass E, none of them would disappear after a heart-to-heart.

    I ended up leaving her with the advice to ignore the boys - AVOID the boys, and that if that proved ineffective, then perhaps we [i.e., Beloved and I] would need to approach some adults. But the issues surrounding the harassment weren't so huge. It was pesky, but not hateful. They were occasionally encroaching on her personal space, but they weren't hurting her.

    Not a peep about it again.

    Until today.

    And how.

    I got home from class at around 7:30 (Mondays and Wednesdays SUCK). J greeted me by saying, "you forgot to call!" I was so confused. What did she mean? Was I supposed to make some kind of reservation? Did she miss something that I was supposed to give notice of? Who did I forget to call? OH! I usually call when I'm getting on the bike after class, which lets Beloved know it is time to put dinner on, so it's ready when I get home.*

    So J tells me of her headache (she ate all of her packed food at lunch time, leaving nothing for a snack during her acting-group extra-curricular this afternoon, and she always gets a headache when she goes too long without food. I should really get her blood sugar checked) and that it eventually turned into a pukey-feeling belly. She told me about her solo for the play. She cuddled in. I kissed her little(ish) forehead and played with her hair. I see something out of the corner of my eye. It's Beloved. He's making hand motions and mouthing the words "ask E about her day!!" while gesturing toward E.

    "So, E, how was your day?"
    Well, I had lunch, and the ham was good and then I had music, and I played the cello and then my teacher gave me computer time, but the computer froze, and I tried to send an email, but it got stuck, and so I read a book, and I read 47 pages while my friend read 45, and then the teacher said maybe I was reading too fast, but that's just dumbbecauseverybodyknowsthati'mafastreaderandidon't
    knowwhyshehastopickonmeallthetime.....
    I looked at Beloved. What? What? What is going on? He shook his head ... she hadn't gotten to the point.

    "Anything else happen E?"
    Well, yeah, but it's more private, although Beloved knows, I'm sure, b/c [friend of mine, mom to girls' friends] told him.
    Oh shit. We got a call from another parent about a problem? fuckfuckfuck!!!

    Turns out the boys gave E a hard time again today at recess.

    Sort of.

    E's story is that they started to give her a hard time, but not until she went over to the corner of the playground they were in ... then she thought they were about to give her a hard time, so she tried to kick a rock that she thought they were "gesturing menacingly" with so that it was out of their reach, but accidentally kicked one of the boys. Then another boy was mad, so he "attacked" her, and in her attempt to get away from him, she kicked him, too. They then continued to pursue her .... with rocks .... throughout the duration of recess.

    Yikes.

    But actually, she didn't even tell me about her part in the situation at first. She just talked about all the wrongs they did to her. Which was to use this invention of theirs to hurl rocks at her.

    In the end ... I think her responses weren't what they should have been. She didn't avoid the boys - she didn't ignore the boys.

    And then, she told on the boys. All 6 of them. They all have a meeting with the principal tomorrow. They're mad. I am guessing that their moms are, too. At E.

    I decided I'm going to the school for 7:30, to try and talk to the principal myself. My purpose is to let her know - E didn't handle that well. Yet, her lack of perfect handling does not mean that the boys are blameless. She should have ignored/avoided them, true. But they shouldn't have been throwing rocks at her, and this was not an isolated incident. At the same time, not all 6 of the boys are the ones who she has this history with --- only 2 of them are.

    I am hoping to gain some credibility by not being that mom who goes in ranting and raving about the perfection of my child. She shouldn't have put herself in a position where all of this could have happened. I want the principal to know that I know that, and that now, so does E.

    And I want her to know that the bullying programs are crap. Kids don't feel like they can tell adults --- they can't tell adults. And when things do come to a head, and adults are involved, well, then the mommy circuit gets on the phone, and toes are stepped on, and relationships that involve entire families are implicated. [Although, my friend and I had an extremely respectful conversation, and neither of us were upset with the other - or the other's kid. I think we both wanted to really know what happened, and wanted to know where our kids need help in figuring out these situations in the future --- but for a kid, it's a bigger deal to have your mom on the phone with another kids' mom.]

    I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. I haven't ever had to talk to a principal before. I think this is best, though. That she knows going in what she's dealing with (i.e., not a 100% victimized little girl), and that she can find an appropriate solution - rather than hearing the boys' story, and then deciding "oh, then they must be blameless" and shifting 100% of the blame to E ....

    I'm gonna be late for my class tomorrow.

    * My class on M/W is 5:30 - 7. I was taking the T at the start of the quarter, b/c it was 700 degrees below zero ... so I wasn't getting home until 8. Therefore, he fed the girls at their normal time (6:30 to 7), and then when I got home, he and I ate. It kinda sucked. The girls missed me, I missed the girls, Beloved and I missed our dinner conversations with the family. So when the weather improved, we said, "the hell with it," and put off dinner until 7:30. It's kind of pushing it for a school night, but it's better than the alternative. In retrospect, I should have dropped this damned class .... it is a horrid class, and I would rather be home earlier. A lot earlier. It sort of balances out, though, b/c there are now 3 days (for the first time in my law school career) where I can pick the kids up right after school if I want to. That is nice.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:56 PM   2 comments
    Sunday, April 29, 2007
    Lunches
    My kids are packing their lunches for tomorrow. They've been eating "hot lunches" for most of the year ... this is okay with me because their school is one of the few in the state which has been making huge efforts at going organic/fresh/no bad stuff. We've had parent-events "catered" by the school cafeteria, and I'm telling you ... there are no toasty dogs.

    The problem has turned out to be time. The kids have to wait in line if they get hot lunches. The line is kinda long. By the time they sit down to eat, it's almost time to return to class (they have recess first, starting this year). So in the past few weeks, E has been packing her own lunch. Now J has decided, "my big sister is smart, I will be like her, even though she's bossy, and annoying, and yells too much."

    It's fun seeing them choose things. "Can I have some peanuts?" "Can I have some cashews?" "I would like a red pepper, is it okay if I slice this one?" "I don't really want juice, I'll bring my water bottle." "I'll take a banana, and a pear."

    These are some healthy-eatin' kids. I am pleased with the choices they make.

    Granted, if we had potato chips, chocolate chip cookies, and cans of coke in the fridge ... they'd likely think those were good ideas, too.

    But we don't.

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:08 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, April 28, 2007
    Nothing so pretty as dark storm clouds
    There's a thunderstorm brewing. It's very pretty to see as it's moving toward us. Beloved is likely less amused, as he's pedaling up toward Whole Foods hoping he can shop faster than thunder and lightning can travel. I was just outside chatting with a friend coming to pick up one of his kids and one of mine, and noticed that the temp felt at least 15 degrees cooler than 30 minutes previous, when I was running around the reservoir. Mmmm. Summer-time weather. Hot and sunny one minute and chilled and dark the next.

    Feels like a crazy day, but is really just another typical weekend day with girls the ages of mine with vibrant social lives. J was supposed to have soccer this a.m., but it was thankfully canceled due to saturated fields. Thankfully because without thinking, I'd invited a friend over straight after, and the house (especially the girls' room, which is their job) needed some attention. I was up at 7 to check on the fields, and then laid into the kitchen. Man, I went nuts. I scrubbed and threw away and cleared surfaces and drawers that hadn't been cleared in [forever]. I'm proud of my work. I now need to venture to Bed, Bath and Beyond to get a couple of last organizational tools -- a silverware organizer for the drawer that used to be the "junk drawer;" some bins [I love bins] for on top of the fridge, to collect take-out menus (my best friends) and other odds and ends that accumulate (since I no longer have a junk drawer) - which I will promise to put away each time the bin fills (Beloved is snarfing at me as he reads this, I guarantee it). Stuff like that.

    Friends came by while this was going on, caught me up on some of what I missed at a party last night,* dropped off their kid, and impulsively took one of mine. I then finished my cleaning and organizing while the younger girls played and Beloved .... I don't know what he did. But then Beloved and I took the girls for a walk - got them some lunch, got me some coffee, and then went to the bank because Beloved and I decided to take a major step and open a joint bank account!!! We had a long-ish wait, so we took the girls to a very fun game and puzzle store in town. They were excellent everywhere.

    Then Beloved and I shoved them out to the park and we went hunting for plane tickets to Europe. Ugh. Things aren't so great in that department, but they'll be fine. We'll just have to come home with fewer goodies.

    Then I went for a run, and when I got back, the girls were picked up and Beloved went to the store, and I'm home alone! How fun! I actually have to go and write a 1-2 page memo to go with my IP assignment. It's due Monday. I can't blow it off like I've blown off outlining, which is really not officially due ever.

    *This was an entire post that I wrote out last night. It touched on how I feel overwhelmed when confronted with the possibility of changing plans, and it discussed the reasons why I chose to stay home from this particular party, and the reasons why it was important to me that I stick to my reasons ... I don't think I articulated in that lost post that I was also quite honored that 2 friends were really unhappy to hear I wasn't going, and tried to change my mind ... but I was also overwhelmed. It was a good post, and I liked it. But as I was looking for a reference link, Firefox just kind of :::::: poof :::::::: disappeared on me. And I lost the whole post. I thought later perhaps that was good, because the post also had some bitterness in it, bitterness about my itty bitty apartment, and some honesty as to the jealousy that I feel toward those who have magazine-worthy homes. And that bitterness is lost now. But so is some fun dreaming about my future laundry room and my future in-home office.

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    posted by Zuska @ 4:37 PM   0 comments
    Friday, April 27, 2007
    My Day Off
    I've claimed Fridays as my day off. It started last Friday, and I wondered then if it could become a trend - I said no at the time, but I change my answer as of NOW. I'm so glad I thought of this with only 2 weeks left to the quarter.

    I've gotten to a point where my exercise routine is a necessary element to my day. Before I go to the gym, my head feels foggy and I feel kinda lazy. Then I work out for a while, and I shower, and I can do anything. Until midnight. It's really great.

    But every now and then, I think I need a day to go slower. To not jump out of bed at 6:30, to not fight the a.m. traffic on the bike at 7:30, to not find something to wear. I don't have classes on Fridays, and it because of that, it's the hardest day to get a fire lit under me.

    Today, it's raining. Hard. It's also kinda chilly out. I didn't feel like getting soaked on the bike again, and I hate hate hate taking the T to school, b/c of the lack of a direct route and the requisite changes of either trains or buses.

    I have a project to do for IP, due Monday, and I have all the stuff home with me.

    I have cramps.

    I also find myself craving time in the house alone. Beloved gets it a couple days a week, and it seems dreamy to me. My home, alone. I can putz around. I can make coffee and sip it on my couch, instead of grabbing it from a giant urn at ABP. Perhaps just wear jammies and yet - get work done. In the peace and quiet - or the peace and the iPod on the Bose (like now).

    I decided last night that today would be that day. I did not, however, decide to sleep through the girls' morning routine. We went to bed late, as usual, last night - probably a bit after midnight. I set my alarm for 6:30, which is when I yank E out of bed and into the shower. I did that. I gave her a hug (she's so cute when sleepy and stumbling toward the shower, I must give her a big hug every morning), turned on the water for her, set the shower timer (or else she'd shower for an hour) - and got back into bed - LIKE ALWAYS (on M,W,F -- on T/Th, I'm up at 6, and showered before she gets up). Beloved's alarm goes off at 7, and that's when I wake J up, prod E along, dry E's hair, make sure we sign their reading logs, etc., and get them out the door. I'm usually dressing and getting my own shit together, at the same time. Beloved makes smoothies and toasts the bagels. He's also in charge of getting the day's weather report.

    Today .... I was woken up by the girls coming in the room saying, "mommy! we came to say goodbye!" HUH? What do you mean? They were all dressed. One with her coat on, the other grinning weirdly. What happened? I turned over, thinking Beloved was in bed with me, that his alarm didn't go off, and the girls just decided they could handle things on their own, but he wasn't in bed either. I was so confused.

    I slept through his alarm; I slept through the blender; I slept through the hairdryer (Beloved dried E's hair), I slept through everything. Now, it is true that I had in earplugs, like I always do, due to Beloved's snoring. However, I always hear my soft alarm through the earplugs, I hear people talking to me, even if not the words, and I NEVER have slept through Beloved's louder more obnoxious alarm. He said that he told me to wake up, and that I responded to him - I said, "but I had my earplugs in, I couldn't have had a conversation" - and he said he didn't realize I put them back in after waking E. I think he may have been a little peeved with me over the sleeping.

    I didn't understand. I was so confused. I had nothing to drink last night ... no medication to speak of. Why the weird sleeping? I had deep intense dreams during that hour, too.

    Beloved later said that he thinks it was because I subconsciously knew that I was staying home and having a quieter day, and so I just slept. But this has never happened before.

    Anyway, it was a strange but fitting start to my day off. Now I am plugging along on the IP assignment in between vacuuming, straightening the kitchen, paying bills, making coffee, and trying on pants that were too small for a while, but fit me now.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:12 PM   0 comments
    The one thing I must do before my IP paper
    A meme. I saw this at unblague. Like her, I'm not really sure where the list came from ... a strange mix of classics, fantasy and junk. I've bolded those I've read, italicized those I mean to read, and put in red those that I wouldn't read if someone paid me and that I'm super curious as to why they're even here.

    1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
    2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
    3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
    4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
    5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) [I promise E we would read these]
    6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
    7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
    8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
    9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
    10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) [oh, what a hard book to read]
    11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
    12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
    13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
    14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
    15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
    16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Rowling)
    17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
    18. The Stand (Stephen King)
    19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
    20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
    21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
    22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
    23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
    24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
    25 . Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
    26. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) [didn't finish, but loved the movie]
    27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
    28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
    29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
    30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
    31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
    32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
    33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
    34. 1984 (Orwell)
    35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
    36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
    37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
    38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
    39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
    40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
    41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
    42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
    43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
    44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
    45. Bible
    46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
    47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
    48. Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt)
    49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
    50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
    51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
    52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
    53. Ender's Game (Orson Scott Card)
    54. Great Expectations (Dickens) [stupid high school]
    55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
    56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
    57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) [3 times: alone; outloud to E; outloud to J]
    58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) [a HUGE favorite when I was in 8th or 9th grade]
    59. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood) [an all-time favorite]
    60. The Time Traveller's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
    61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
    62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
    63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
    64. Interview With A Vampire (Anne Rice) [in 3 versions - print; audio; movie]
    65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
    66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
    67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
    68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
    69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
    70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
    71. Bridget Jones' Diary (Fielding)
    72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
    73. Shogun (James Clavell)
    74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
    75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
    76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
    77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
    78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
    79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
    80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
    81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
    82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
    83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
    84. Wizard's First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
    85. Emma (Jane Austen)
    86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
    87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
    88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
    89. Blindness (Jose Saramago) - An All Time Favorite! Read IT!!
    90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
    91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
    92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
    93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
    94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
    95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
    96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
    97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
    98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
    99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
    100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

    Well, I think I've read a good bit. I went through an English classics phase in college, and in a Russian phase soon after I was married to the ex. A lot of the classics listed here that I haven't read I am being honest -- I am not going to read them. Not sure I even really want to anymore. I'd love to read Homer, still, in its entirety, and there are other classic works that I would want to read. Not so much these.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:51 AM   1 comments
    Thursday, April 26, 2007
    A glimmer of hope --- prematurely.
    There is a house on a street where a lot of the girls' friends live, nearby to the center of our part of town, nearby to a park. In the house lived a man. He was very old. My friend, who lives directly across the street from the house, told me about 6 months ago that the old man's daughter was thinking of bringing her father to live with her, and of selling his house. Other houses on the street have been updated in the past 5 years ... kitchens redone, basements dug, etc. [we're talking about an old, old street with old, old houses on it --- not beautiful houses, for the most part, but at least one is on the national historic register -- there isn't much room for expansion with them, so they get built up, and DOWN, via basements]. This old man kept his house clean, but he didn't update it. At all.

    The old man died last week. I was really sort of hoping he'd last another year or so (and even then, I just wanted him to go live with his daughter, not to die!), due to the whole not having a job thing. So when my friend initially told me the news, and of the possibility that I could just snatch the house up directly from the daughter without having to deal with it being offered to the public, I said, "WO!!! I don't have a job! No! Too bad the timing didn't work out, but I can't do this."

    Then I thought about it.

    I mean, there will be probate. There will be sorting of the man's assets and such. There will be things that have to be done. No one was telling me that I have to secure a mortgage and sign the deed next week. Right?

    The reason why this house seems really good to me .... it's NOT updated, which means two things: 1) it should be pretty cheap; and 2) we can make it truly ours. So many houses are updated in order to put them on the market, and we don't usually like the decisions people make with their kitchen re-dos and such. With this one, we can do our OWN kitchen. It will likely even be an addition.

    The house has its negatives. The back yard is little, and there's a fence along it ... guess what's on the other side of the fence? The train!! Boston's green line of the T. Not necessarily ideal. The house also doesn't look that big. It's likely 3 bedrooms, but one of the 3 may be itty-bitty. But there's also the whole possibility of an addition to expand the kitchen downstairs, and the bedrooms upstairs.

    If it means that I can get a single family home (no condo fees!) for potentially 50% of what it would otherwise require, I'll live against the T tracks for a few years. Definitely. J would live across the street from her best friend, and E would have FOUR of her good friends (if not more!) on the street. Can you imagine?

    Of course, I really have no clue. I'm hoping it goes on the market [well, is it considered "on the market" if it's done privately?] for under $500,000, but the daughter may have more in mind. I am not sure, with the market in the shape it's in, that she could get too much more ... although I can't be the only one to see potential in the place. I'm also assuming it has 3 bedrooms, and that it's not actually rotting to pieces. It is really a great unknown. But it's fun to imagine that it goes our way.

    I think if it does go our way - the first thing I'll do is paint it. I'd hate to come home to a pile of mustard every day.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:52 PM   2 comments
    Wednesday, April 25, 2007
    I'm in a rare mood
    I just can't figure out my mood. I feel really cranky and pissy and mad and grouchy and itching for an argument.

    Perhaps it's all hormonal ... perhaps it's because exams are coming, the bar exam is coming, a life change is coming, and there is no income in the meantime.

    Perhaps it's because I struggle to keep my daughters happy and their life as "normal" as possible despite the fact that their parents are divorced ... and that means I carry the burden and fix the problems caused by the realities that are their father.

    Perhaps it's because I'm tired.

    I'm just in a pissy mood.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:29 PM   0 comments
    American Idol's Charity/Results Show
    As of now, only Chris and Jordin are left. Since we think Jordin is winning, I am pretty sure that Chris is going home.** I have another Phil Stacey/Religious Right post brewing. I think there is a conspiracy afoot.

    Update: They didn't boot anyone tonight. they all got a free pass, but the votes will be combined next week. I actually voted for Blake approx. 500 times last night. So I suppose I'll have to do the same next week. Ah well.

    _______________________________________

    Today in International Law, we discussed the question of whether International Human Rights is actually a new form of colonialism. Is the definition of "human rights," as written by the western-dominated UN merely an indoctrination of the world, imposing western views upon cultures who are demonized -- and categorized as yet another version of the "other"? I personally think the view holds a LOT of merit. How can we complain that governments and majorities are imposing their view on the majority, and in order to rectify this, we impose our views (religious, idelogical, economic, social) upon others? The majority of which do not share these views? Don't impose on the minority, because here we are, ready to impose on the majority ....

    It was with this very heated, engaging, troubling and thought-provoking discussion in mind that I sat down to watch American Idol, and their exploitation and manipulation of the peoples of Africa. "Is this the only room in the house?" "These conditions are appalling, this woman is dying, she should not be here!" Really? Where should she be, Simon? London? L.A.? And how the hell is she going to get there? or are you willing to let one of your two countries give up their world domination for the sake of equality with currently less well off nations? Something tells me no. Becuase then there may not be the money for ridiculous media empires that allow ridiculous things like American Idol to consume the nation.

    Can you imagine? When there are places where 12 year olds are the "man of the house"? Because their parents are dead, and there is nothing - NOTHING to step in? In a country where the fact there may be [woefully inadequate] mechanisms in place that step into such situations is lambasted and lamented? Decried as "handouts" to the "lazy"? And yet we walk out of homes in Africa, complaining about their inadequacy.

    And the thank you by the children here at the end? Uh. Ew. Why do these children need to thank us? Oh, thank you Ellen DeGeneres, for giving $100,000. We are certain that it will be a giant sacrifice ... just like the $20 hiding in some jacket pocket in the closet ...
    oh, thank you powerful americans. thank you for 2 hours of simpering at the carefully selected snippets of our tears ... thank you for feeling guilty for a small period of time enough to provide us with one year of an "education" and food. The generosity that allows us the tiniest of fractions of benefits that you were granted by your birth is oh-so-overwhelming, we lie at your feet in gratitude ..... thanks for coming here, and pointing out the appallingness of our lives and the "inadequacies" of our medical care and our housing and the number of fucking rooms in our houses ....
    In case you need some other reminder .....

    ** No updates until tomorrow. Fuck you, California.

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:37 PM   0 comments
    Today, I am a typical ex-wife
    Oh boy did I go off. I am not proud, and I have said as much to my current and ex husband.

    I started to write out the details of what went on, but I'm not sure they matter. What I said [I mean, yelled] at the ex was that I am sick and tired of having to clean up his messes; I'm sick of having to rearrange day after day after day to deal with yet another thing that he screwed up with; I am tired of dealing with crying girls, because he has let them down yet again. I told him taht he can't get a single fucking thing right, and that it's ridiculous that he expects Beloved and I to drop everything to make it all better for the girls .... every time. Big and small.

    This time was small. Which is why I felt like a fool. But it's coming on the heels of big, and then another big ... although I opted not to dwell on negative, and didn't blog about.

    I regretted making the phone call. Only because 1) I like to think I'm above your typical ex behavior; 2) it gives him fodder for condescending and rude comments for the rest of my life.

    I came home (from being out in the rain, running from class to softball to stores to try and replace the item that the ex fucked up with) and had an email from him, as I expected, but it's tone was not what I expected. He was more apologetic/explanatory than angry and indignant. I was surprised by that.

    I said nothing untrue. I still am not proud. I may end up revisiting the post I left behind, though. To sort of explain my bitterness and fierceness on behalf of my kids. :(

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:09 PM   0 comments
    I want to be with grown ups
    I'm a mom. I have 2 kids. J is going to be 9 next month, and 9 is still kind of young. So, when I have to remind her now and again to "stop chewing like a cow," it seems relatively appropriate. I also am careful in my reprimands (i.e., I don't think I always say she's chewing like a cow), because she has an overbite and other tooth issues, and I think it's really hard for her to completely chew with her mouth closed. There's still a difference between "her tooth is in the way" and "she's chewing like a cow" - like when she doesn't even TRY to resemble a human being. That's getting more and more rare, and seems to happen most when it's just she and E at the table for breakfast, and she wants to wriggle around under her sister's skin.

    Right now, my kids are at school. I am at school. So then WHY do I feel like I need to not only say, but SCREAM, "Stop Chewing Like a COW!!!"

    Oh, because there's a boy (who must be at least 21, or he wouldn't be here) in the law library who has like 17 pieces of gum in his mouth, and who is chewing so obnoxiously and disgustingly that even though I moved my seat to the other side of this area, I can still fucking hear him chewing! Holy shit! J couldn't even touch this boy with his chewing and slobbering and sucking. I mean, this is absolutely disgusting.

    Okay, back to IP.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:06 AM   0 comments
    Tuesday, April 24, 2007
    Considering I used to be 112% ....

    I am:
    -12%
    Republican.
    "The Marxists are too reactionary for you. With people like you around, America collectively thanks God for John Ashcroft."

    Are You A Republican?


    This is good! Thanks to my hyper-conservative friend over at Unblague. (2%? What is she, a heartless Bush-lover?)

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    posted by Zuska @ 7:33 PM   5 comments
    They Fixed It!
    I (along with at least one other) was whining about the fact that our gorgeous weather that started Sunday was being tempered by a nasty "highs in the low 50's" forecast for the end of the week and through the weekend. But now it's fixed! The weather gods have smiled at the sheer joy being felt in New England as tank tops, shorts, and WAY too revealing dresses were strutted around college campuses yesterday (83 degrees!), and thought, "hell, this is fun! All these undergrads are giving us the world's biggest peep show - let's keep it up!" and 5 days with temps in the 50s was edited to only one. The 70s shall return at the early part of next week! I'm liking this.

    Although I do plan to stay dressed.

    I also do NOT plan to buy a little sun dress with a band around the chest which ends up sliding down the chest so that itty bitty boobs (certainly not mine) are squished into a strange pokey ..... mass .... underneath the band.

    I mean, really. Don't most dorm rooms come with mirrors?

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:58 PM   1 comments
    Monday, April 23, 2007
    I have nothing to say
    Seriously. I got my period today, I'm a little grouchy, I sat outside, I got a slight sunburn, it felt great. I went to class. I came home. I watched 24. I'm going to read a single case for my single class tomorrow, and then I'm going to bed.

    Oh, and my bar loan check arrived. The stress on that front is sort of tiptoeing away. Not too much, though, b/c we have plane tickets to buy, rent to pay, bar applications to submit, and so on and so forth.

    goodnight.
    posted by Zuska @ 10:11 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, April 22, 2007
    In Honor of Earth Day
    I'm getting over my grudge against zipcar. We had a car all day today, and we were able to go away this past weekend, and then, when we were done, we were able to park it in its spot 2 blocks away from hte house, and then watch An Inconvenient Truth with the knowledge that we do our part by sharing cars, taking public transit, riding bikes, walking, recycling, buying energy efficient light bulbs, etc. E wants to write some letters tomorrow (we had fun drafting one to georgie pordgy), and J is going to be President. Really, this family, on its own, can lick global warming. Leave it all to us.

    We didn't even really digest the fact that it was earth day until we were done with the movie.

    The movie started to freak J out, especially since she's already the one who gets mad at us about global warming - having all the details spelled out for her created some tension. Until the end, when they talked about how it's fixable, and when we talked about how honestly, global warming is becoming a part of the national dialog. Things are looking up.

    And as of today, I plan on staying a zipster for a long, long, long time (until hybrids get a little better, to be precise).

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:41 PM   0 comments
    Spring is in the air! Yeah!
    I may have a sunburn on my face. I feel like I do.

    It's 75 degrees!!

    I woke in time to go to the gym, but turned that down in favor of running around the lake - it was too nice out to go inside to get my exercise. It was so crowded at the lake, it was almost hard to run.

    E started softball today, and J missed her first day of soccer yesterday, but will start Friday. I spent a good portion of the day driving around in the nice weather, and then sitting at the softball field while the 4th and 5th graders tried to find their softball grooves again.

    We let Chessie out today, too. I let him out this a.m. -- first time since October, I believe -- and he showed up at the window approx. 10 minutes later, meowing and shaking. He went back out a few more times throughout the day, and now seems to be back to his old self.

    It's supposed to stay nice tomorrow - even to hit 83! Wow. Fortunately I'm riding my bike early enough in the a.m., and late enough in the p.m., that I won't be riding while it's 83. I don't like riding when it's 83. I don't mind that it is going to be 83, though.

    By the end of the week, it's supposed to be back to the low 50's. I don't want it to do that. I want it to stay warm. I prefer the high 60's and low 70's.

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    posted by Zuska @ 6:40 PM   0 comments
    Home sweet home - with girls in tow
    We're back, they're back - everything's back to normal. Phew!

    I didn't have a bad time at my parents' house, I found it to be relatively stress free. I think Beloved didn't fully agree, since my parents are sort of taking off their "company faces" with him, and showing their true bickering selves.

    My dad really cracks me up. When we were there last weekend, he was in bed watching television, and my mom and I were hanging out down the hall in the living room. I really forget the reason, but she called him, "HONEEEEEYYYY!!" and he yelled back, "WHAT???!" and she yells back, "COME HERE!" (very maternal in tone, too). I heard him sigh and go, "fuuu-uuuuuck" as he got out bed. I just cracked up hysterically, b/c he's my dad. He's mr. religion. He's not supposed to say that kind of thing (I suppose he's not supposed to go through a bottle of Tanqueray gin every few days, either, but that gets overlooked as well). My mom didn't hear him, because I think a) she's getting old, and b) there's kind of a lot of weirdness going on in her head that she has to really focus on, to the exclusion of things going on outside of her head. She didn't understand why I was laughing.

    We had a few "issues" come up, too, where the political tensions were on the verge of heating up between my dad and myself (Beloved won't engage, but he's definitely on my side of things). First, my dad brought up the Imus issue. He said, "well, what gets me is that everything he said is true, people just don't like the words he used to say them." I said, "dad! you don't know anything about those girls' sex lives!" Because it was the quickest thing that came to mind about "nappy-headed ho's" - although I quickly thought of the excellent article I read about why it's so deeply offensive for an African-American woman to be called "nappy-headed."

    My dad was stunned -- why the hell was I talking about sex? He said, "what? who said anything about sex?" I said, "Dad! 'ho' means 'whore.'" "oooooooohhhhh!" he said, "I didn't know that."

    Geez. He listens to these crazy right wing radio shows all day long while driving around in his truck - I can't believe he's just been nodding along with them, thinking "ho" meant "girl" or something. I mean, jesus christ.

    I couldn't touch on the fact that he is, in fact, a racist. My mom already made him drop it, and it jsut upsets me to confront the reality that my dad is a racist.

    As much as my brother's homophobia/hatred bothered me later in the evening.

    The other issue was around gun control. I've been talking about gun control over at a friend's house lately -- funny thing is at my dad's house, I was arguing against the gun control he was advocating. He said he just doesn't understand why the Virginia Tech shooter was able to buy a gun. Why? Because he wasn't a citizen, but rather a legal alien. I don't know if that's true. I can't find anything on a quick google search, and I'm not inclined to spend hours looking deeper -- b/c it doesn't matter. My dad meant "because he wasn't born here," so it really doesn't matter whether he was here as a legal alien or as a citizen - he was here legally. I was upset by that - and said, "dad, you know a lot of people who weren't born here, and I'm sure that many of them would be very responsible with a gun, just because this boy snapped does not mean that people who aren't born here shouldn't have the same rights as you." And it's true. My dad has a few friends who moved here later - some from New Zealand, some from China - and I know he would never for a moment think they couldn't be trusted with a gun.

    I think that's it. I can't remember any other debates. They do all get carried out in a very reasonable manner -- and my dad is the one to bring things up every single time. "So, what did you think about Imus?" I actually try to deflect him from the issues. I succeeded for a while in getting us all to talk about how long Imus was on the air, rather than about the events of 2 weeks ago.

    Now we're home, though. And we don't typically debate. The girls are tired but happy, and I am ready to face yet another week scrambling to get by on the tiny amount of reading I find myself capable of this quarter. I'm also anxious for my bar loan check to come. Ever since last summer, I don't feel comfortable when my bank balance is under $1,000, and right now, it is. by kind of a good bit.

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    posted by Zuska @ 6:17 PM   2 comments
    Friday, April 20, 2007
    And then I brushed my teeeeth
    Beloved and I head back to my parents' house today. We are getting the kidlets back tomorrow, and driving back here after we have dinner with my parents and my brother and his wife-who-is-about-to-pop, and who I'm liking a lot more lately. I think she is a little shy (or self-protective? or unsure of herself? or, perhaps, from what others say of me, she has been intimidated by me? some say I do that to people. It's not on purpose. I promise.) and that may be why it's been hard to get close. But I reached out this past weekend, and I brought her some baby-presents, which included this kick ass diaper bag (yes, that is a diaper bag, despite its awesomeness), some baby books, a book for my brother, and some Allagash Tripel for my brother, which I introduced him to on Christmas Eve, and which he cannot get south of Massachusetts. And we had a nice talk, and she used the word "fuck." It makes me trust people more if they're willing to say "fuck" to me. Trust that the barriers are down, and they're being real. Which is funny, because there was a time in my life where I thought that saying fuck meant that the person speaking was a sinner and would go to hell unless they accepted Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. Now I think it means someone is a real person. [pause over that.] Yep, seems accurate.

    Anyway. I decided to "go slow" this a.m. I've been getting up at 7 or earlier every day this week, despite the girls' absence, and going to the gym, and doing my usual stuff. Today, however, I got up at 8:30, and then decided to "blog for a minute" which somehow turned into 2 hours (so far). I have my IP book sitting next to me here, and I mean to crack it open to do the reading for my 3:30 make up class. I am going to do that as soon as publish this rambling post. Then I will assess the time, and either a) get in the shower; or b) get on the bike (dirty) and go to the gym before class. I've been exercising 6 days a week, and if today's my day off, that's okay with me. It is also beautiful out, though, so I could consider running around the lake. Again, depending on the time. I also need to pack. That sort of tips the scales toward today being a day off.

    Last Saturday a.m., I was at my parents' house, and I went for a jog in the country. In the year 2000, my ex and I lived separately - not because of marital strife - but b/c his academic career brought him to another country for 6+ months. The fact that this sort of thing is acceptable to him is probably 30% of the reason for our eventual divorce. The realizations that the time apart granted me is probably another 30%.

    Anyway. While he was gone, I made it my mission to lose my baby weight. I couldn't afford a gym, b/c I had no husband and I was working part-time so I could be with my babies as much as possible (my mom also worked part-time, and together, we provided for their full-time care), so I ran around in the country. I lost a lot of weight, felt great, and enjoyed my time in the out of doors in hte early mornings before the birds woke up.

    That is the route I took last Saturday a.m. It was FUN to revisit. And it's so different from running here in an urban setting. While I was running, I passed this bush. Out of a bush came a ..... creature. I honestly don't know what it was, but it ran out, practically ran OVER my shoe, all in a flurry, and then ran in a circle back to the bush. It was quick and furtive like a squirrell, but I thought I heard the flapping of wings, like a bird. A bird, however, would never have come that close to me. I think it was a bat. Which is scary, b/c if it bit me, I'd probably have rabies. But it didn't really touch me.

    However, I YELLED. I was so scared! My heart was racing (and if it was racing beyond the speed it was already at due to running, I'm lucky I didn't just die of a heart attack!).

    That would have never happened here.

    I'm willing to see tomorrow a.m. if it will happen again.

    ______________________________

    Last night, E called me at 10:15 p.m. She was missing me a lot, but sounded like she was having a really good time - her voice was up and happy, and I could tell she's okay. Some way into the conversation, however, she told me that J was crying, and her father was talking to her to try and figure out what was wrong. E said she thinks that J was missing me, and she was mad at her dad b/c they again watched CSI, scaring J out of her wits. That made E miss Beloved and I.

    It was hard to put all of this together because she was using the ex's cell phone, and it doesn't work in his house. He has a land line, but they can't place outgoing calls from it (he's subletting), they can only receive. So I said I'd call the landline. She said I can't, b/c the ex was waiting for "an important business call." It was now 10:30. p.m. Hello? I said, "um, it's 10:30." She said, "yeah, I know, seems dumb." I dropped it. E then talked to Beloved, and then J talked to beloved, and then J wanted to talk to me. She couldn't understand me - I couldn't understand her - but I could tell that her voice was thin, and she was upset. She was being all "strong" and saying, "well, I can't understand you, so I guess I'll call you tomorrow." But she was fighting crying, I could tell.

    I was so angry. I get angry at my ex kind of rarely. I'm just not emotionally invested in him. But he knew that the kids and I were struggling to hear one another, and he just didn't care. He kept insisting he was waiting for an "important business call" at 11 at night (by the time we hung up). I think he's an asshole.

    (and i'm calling the kids now, so there).

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:01 AM   4 comments
    think think think
    please read that title in Winnie the Pooh's voice.

    Beloved was tagged as a thinking blogger on his professional blog (no link forthcoming - which is too bad, you're all missing out), and I laughed and said, "you can't tag me, my blog has no thinking whatsoever! it's just a bunch of blah blah blah!" And he can't tag me, b/c on that blog, he uses his real name.

    But guess what? Someone does think I can think!! Pissed Off Housewife tagged me as a Thinking Blogger. I'm very grateful for the designation. I feel like I have a bit too much of "today, I woke up, and then I brushed my teeeeeth, and then, I rode my bike, and the sun is out, and the kids have a runny nose" to warrant the designation, but I suppose every now and then my gears start turning.

    Now I get to designate 5 others as thinkers!

    1. Lyco. She absolutely is the first to come to mind. Her thoughtful analyses on issues and cases that are important to her are lovely reads, as well as her overall attention to a healthy balance in life. I'm sad for her lack of a garden this year - here's to future gardens!

    2. Frequent Citations. A fellow mom/law student. This post in particular is an excellent showing of this woman's abilities to think and reason. Her knowledge and intelligence often makes me think I don't belong in the same blogosphere.

    3. Lucky, Lucky Star. For a creative sort of thinking - her play on words and honesty in thought is always a pleasure to read (not to mention, she has great boobs). I love when a new post shows up on bloglines - but I must say - the decreasing frequency as of late is sort of depressing. I just *hate* it when bloggers get a life!

    4. Think Like Woman, Act Like a Man. One of my recent favorites. I try to block out the part on the left that says that Ana is just a persona for blog purposes. I think Ana is real, and I like her, and I love her introspective searchings, and her chats with WTG. How can she be talking with a friend if she's FAKE?

    5. Kid Squared. I love Mieke. She is such an intelligent, thoughtful, accomplished woman (and has 2 of the most gorgeous boys under the sun). I "met" her before she started her law school endeavor, and I just knew she would be successful - look at her GO!! I am jealous of all of those who know her in real life.

    I'm not usually one for insisting on those I tag follow the rules - if you're up for it, go ahead and tag 5 others as Thinking Bloggers. Otherwise, just know you are loved.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:30 AM   1 comments
    My Optimism
    I believe that the 2006 elections, Bush's low approval ratings, and a general feeling that the conservative tide is ebbing, leads to the possibility that this Supreme Court decision restricting mid-term abortions is the peak of the movement. This is it. They got their victory - but no more.

    While the new Congress is Democratically controlled, I don't think they have enough to repeal the mid term abortion ban (nor have I heard, anywhere but in my head, that they'd be so inclined), but they do have enough to ensure that no similar and farther reaching bills make it through.

    As stated in the New York Times, even state legislatures had a large Democratic influx in 2006, and there will be huge difficulties facing the conservatives who want to enslave women to their reproductive capacities. There are states that are danger zones (including my old home, Alabama, where a bill was introduced hours after Wednesday's decision that would ban almost all abortions, according to the NYT), but it's only a handful.

    On the national level, I think the conservatives missed the boat. I think that if this decision came down 2 years ago, we'd be in a scary position. But Bush and the Republican Congress have gotten their come uppance, and lost their general momentum before they could get the final branch in line.

    I can't wait for Bush to go home.

    I am inclined to say that abortion will be a major issue in the coming election, but I don't want it to be. It's such an ugly issue, and such and ugly debate. The pro-choice people truly believe that babies are being slaughtered. If I thought that babies were being slaughtered, it would be an important thing to me, too. Their minds are not going to be changed. It makes it so that the debate isn't really a debate. They're not talking about whether a woman should be able to decide when or if she gives her body over to a pregnancy or about self-determination or about women being told by men (or religious fanatics) what they must or must not do. They're talking about dead babies. Sort of hard to have a reasonable conversation.

    I don't want an abortion-focused election. But I want a President who will ensure that Roe v. Wade is not overturned, and that this nation does not become so backward in yet another area.

    Here's the text of the bill banning the mid and late-term abortion procedure:

    SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS.

    The Congress finds and declares the following:

    (a) IN GENERAL. -- Title 18 United States Code, is amended by inserting after chapter 73 the following:

    CHAPTER 74 -- PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTIONS

    "Sec.
    "1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited

    §1531. Partial-birth abortions prohibited

    (a) Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. This subsection takes effect 1 day after the date of enactment of this chapter.

    (b) As used in this section --

    (1) the term 'partial-birth abortion' means an abortion in which --

    (A) the person performing the abortion deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother for the purpose of performing an overt act that theperson knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and

    (B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus; and

    (2) the term 'physician' means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery by the State in which the doctor performs such activity, or any other individual legally authorized by the State to perform abortions: Provided, however, That any individual who is not a physician or not otherwise legally authorized by the State to perform abortions, but who nevertheless directly performs a partial-birth abortion, shall be subject to the provisions of this section.

    (c)(1) The father, if married to the mother at the time she receives a partial-birth abortion procedure, and if the mother has not attained the age of 18 years at the time of the abortion, the maternal grandparents of the fetus, may in a civil action obtain appropriate relief, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff's criminal conduct or the plaintiff consented to the abortion.

    (2) Such relief shall include

    (A) money damages for all injuries, psychological and physical, occasioned by the violation of this section; and

    (B) statutory damages equal to three times the cost of the partial-birth abortion.

    (d)(1) A defendant accused of an offense under this section may seek a hearing before the State Medical Board on whether the physician's conduct was necessary to save the life of the mother whose life was endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.

    (2) The findings on that issue are admissible on that issue at the trial of the defendant. Upon a motion of the defendant, the court shall delay the beginning of the trial for not more than 30 days to permit such a hearing to take place.

    (e) A woman upon whom a partial-birth abortion is performed may not be prosecuted under this section, for a conspiracy to violate this section, or for an offense under section 2, 3, or 4 of this title based on a violation of this section.".

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT. -- ÑThe table of chapters for part I of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 73 the following new item:

    "74. Partial-birth abortions ........................................................... 1531".
    SEC. 4. SENSE OF THE SENATE CONCERNING ROE V. WADE.

    (a) FINDINGS. --The Senate finds that --

    (1) abortion has been a legal and constitutionally protected medical procedure throughout the United States since the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)); and

    (2) the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade established constitutionally based limits on the power of States to restrict the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy.

    (b) SENSE OF THE SENATE. --It is the sense of theSenate that --

    (1) the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)) was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and

    (2) such decision should not be overturned.

    Passed the Senate March 13, 2003.

    I thought that I had heard that it did not contain an exception for the health of the mother, but it clearly does. It does not contain an exception for the well-being of the mother, which I believe Casey (1993 case upholding the right to choose) did address. Well-being extends beyond a physical disability or illness or condition, which, considering that woman are not merely incubators for the purpose of growing a man's offspring, is sort of important.

    I also find it ridiculous that the "father" has a cause of action to sue the doctor if this procedure is performed in violation of the law.

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:13 AM   2 comments
    Thursday, April 19, 2007
    Random Info Request
    Next year, I get 4 weeks' vacation.*

    Beloved and I were fantasizing the other night over what we'll do with those 4 weeks in 2008. We figure a week off during the kids' April vacation, 1/2 spent at home (their wish), 1/2 in D.C. (our wish/my refusal to use an entire week of vacation to sit in this town); a week in late summer with the kids after they spend time with their dad (perhaps a house on the Cape? Perhaps finally taking them to Bar Harbor? Perhaps camping?), and a week at the holidays to mostly stay home, probably go to my parents' house, etc.

    That leaves one more week.

    Beloved and I want to spend it together ... in the summer when the girls are with their dad.

    We're thinking somewhere in the Southeast. He threw North Carolina out there, and I actually vacationed there once with a friend and her family in high school, and I loved it. I would go back. HOWEVER, ever since I was in 8th grade and read Gone with the Wind, I've wanted to go to Charleston, S.C.

    Does anyone know if there are good spots in South Carolina -- not in Charleston, but on a beach -- that has rentals and such? We want a house on the beach. The quieter and more-removed the better. We want to be able to drive into Charleston for a day (perhaps more), but we don't want to be IN the city.

    I just did a quick internet search, and it made me want to take a nap. So I'm asking for help. You know, so I can have more specific fantasies.

    Then, in April of 2009, I want to take the kids to Spain.

    * A friend of mine who was at Future Firm with me last summer made it her mission in life to find out how much vacation time attorneys actually took. We all have heard that young associates are told they get 4 weeks, but then just get a check at the end of the year for the 4 weeks' that they could never take. My Friend the Researcher found that was not the case at our destination-firm. Every single person she spoke with took every single DAY of their vacation. Therefore, nay-saying is not welcome.

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    posted by Zuska @ 5:33 PM   3 comments
    Excellent
    This post, I believe, looks at what happened on Monday in an accurate manner. It has nothing to do with throwing the word "evil" around; nothing about people burning in hell. These religious and extreme sentiments are not ones I share - they aren't my knee jerk. Citations, however, seems to share my thoughts on the source of what happened. She just says it 1000x better than I ever could.

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    posted by Zuska @ 4:07 PM   0 comments
    Pomp and Pomp?
    We're having wee fires cropping up over graduation. I happen to know that another school in this city is having huge fires cropping up over their graduation, and our wee ones are really just silly-ness.

    Sometimes, I wish I could skip the ceremony. I can't, though. My parents and my kids are coming. And my husband.

    Now I want to go, because I feel like I had a (possible) impact I think I had on the ceremony. Nothing to do with the fires. I skirt around the fires.

    We don't have class rank, so we don't have a valedictorian and a salutatorian. We also have two "rotations" - because when one half of the upper classes are on co-op, the other half is taking classes. So in order to determine who is the graduation speaker, each rotation has a little popularity contest. That is How It Is Done. The other rotation did it while I was on my co-op over winter, and they chose a friend of mine who was in my first year writing class (a 9 person class) and who I think highly of. It's fun that he is the speaker. I know him relatively well (as compared to many people on the other rotation, who I probably wouldn't be able to identify as members of the Class of '07 or '08, and would perhaps mistake them for undergrads coming to use the library). He has a clerkship next year, and he is then going to work at a top firm. He's going to be a good speaker -- I also think he's going to make me cry -- a friend doesn't think he'll do that kind of talk, but I think he will.

    When our rotation had a call for nominations for speakers, I truly deliberated. I wanted a good counterbalance to Boy Speaker (I really shouldn't call him a Boy, he's over 30, he's been married for years, and he's not all that boyish, but anyone under the age of 60 gets called a "boy" by me. Unless they're a Girl). I wanted someone who was public interest oriented, especially considering that's what our school is most known for, and dammit, I wanted a vagina on that stage! We (like almost any other law school) are 60/40 in favor of the women - why have 2 boys speak? NO REASON. That's why.

    So I nominated an awesome person who's been incredibly active in the public interest arena, and is very intelligent, and honestly, dresses like the quintessential hippy. I'm not sure a big firm would let her within 100 yards of their building. I hardly know her from Adam. But I see her working like a DOG for her causes, and I hear the thoughtful intelligence that spews from her mouth in class all the time. And I know that she has a vagina (perhaps I only assume, but the assumption is made upon a good amount of external indicators).

    She won. WOO HOO! I like to think that I contributed this to my class. No one but me and 2 others know that I nominated her, and for all I know, 199 other people nominated her - but I don't care. In my mind, this is my doing.

    It was a close race, too. We had one vote where a lot of people were nominated (maybe 9?) but 3 clear leaders stood out. I think she was within 1 vote of winning on the first go-round, perhaps 1 vote up, but I think not. Her biggest competition was another Boy (who really shouldn't be called a man), who I really like and have studied with and worked with, and I think he's a great person, and if the other Boy weren't already speaking, I'd likely vote for Boy #2. But he's also going to a big firm, and he also lacks a vagina. No balance. No diversity.

    I was worried that our "public interest" school with 60% women and all its talk about diversity and equal opportunity and so on and so forth was going to vote for 2 white males taking the traditional road of law school to big firm life. Perhaps I'm not the only one capable of thinking about the big picture, and this is why my Nominee won. I think she won because she's cool.

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    posted by Zuska @ 3:14 PM   1 comments
    Sun and Sushi
    We've had miserable weather here in New England, probably for a week now. Everyone knows about the Nor'easter that parked itself in our sky, mucking with the marathon, and resulting in a 1 week tax reprieve, right? It was just so gloomy and windy and cold. It certainly didn't feel like April.

    Today, however, things are on the mend. It was still sprinkling this a.m., but I bravely said, "fuck it!" and rode my bike to school anyway (first time all week), and didn't even put on rain pants. I was barely damp upon arrival at school, so I wasn't regretful.

    When I got out of the gym at noon, however, the sun! It was blinding me! My eyes were not used to such bright and natural light! I went in frantic search for sunglasses as I smiled about how grateful I was that I rode the bike today. If I was on a stinky groaning BUS in this weather, I would have been pissed off!

    As of right now, the weathermen are telling us that we're going to have high 70s early next week. Wow.

    I'm going out with friends tonight. I feel so ... real. Like a real person. I have friends. We go out. Different friends, even, from those who I pahtied with on Saturday (and how). Spending years moving and moving and divorcing and moving while raising young children wasn't so conducive to making friends. Life feels better this way.

    One of my friends asked a couple of us if we were free on Tuesday eve, but I really just wasn't. Beloved and I had plans .... we were getting Shawarmas! And I had a lot of IP reading to do. And it was wet, and cold, and snotty out. I also was waiting to hear if my bar loan application was going to go through, and feeling a little pinched in the wallet. So I said, "no, but can we do Thursday?" And it looks like it's working out.

    I love sushi.

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    posted by Zuska @ 3:04 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, April 18, 2007
    I would like a definition of the word "news"
    Why, can someone please explain, did I have to find out about an absolute bloody mess in Iraq today from Aljazeera English? And why did I hear about the absolutely heartwrenching Supreme Court decision from my school's internal bulletin board? Despite the fact that I check CNN.com and a few other news sites on a regular basis (which for me means every 5 minutes)

    Because the major news sites were busy letting me know at exactly what time the VT killer wiped his damned ass on Monday morning - that's why.

    There is information I would like to know about what happened Monday. I think it's really important to how everyone views what happened to know that this boy had a "manifesto," and that he was clearly a very sick individual. Sick as in - needed treatment.

    It does not, however, have to come with an entire website's worth of links into a timeline, and interviews, and video clips of mourning students, and hypothetical explanations, and finger pointing, and speculation, and and and and.

    170 people were killed in Iraq today. I'm sorry - it's now 230.

    The Supreme Court thumbed its nose up at medicine and at women in general. George Bush commented on the decision:
    The Supreme Court's decision is an affirmation of the progress we have made over the past six years in protecting human dignity [like this ... and this .... and this] and upholding the sanctity of life [like here .... and here].
    These things are also important. Yet, they have absolutely no airtime.

    I see no justification for this deluge. None whatsoever.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:11 PM   2 comments
    Blake's Gone, and It's All My Fault
    just kidding!!! When I say Blake, I mean Sanjaya. Unless I'm saying I like him, then I mean Blake. Huh? See below.

    As of right now, Lakisha, Sanjaya and Blake are on the stage. If Blake is going home, I swear, I may cry. And, it will be my fault. And I promised Beloved that I would title my post as such. It would be my fault b/c I didn't vote for him last night, even though I knew his performance was a little weak, and he needed help, but yet, I went to bed, and didn't vote.

    If Lakisha goes home, I honestly don't care. She made it far, and I hope she gets a career out of this. She deserves it.

    If Sanjaya goes home, I may yell --- like I did last week when Haley went bye-bye -- with happiness and elation. I mean, seriously, this ridiculousness needs to END.

    I am really kind of nervous. Which is silly. I mean, come on, this is American Idol, a show that I was too good to watch for 5 whole years.

    I wish I were strong enough to say that if Blake is gone tonight, I'm done.

    But I am not that strong. I am no longer too good for American Idol.

    Update: I did yell when they said Blake was safe -- Thank God. And then, when they told Sanjaya that he was going home - I REALLY YELLED!!!!!

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:39 PM   1 comments
    BOOKS!!!!
    I'm really not overwhelmed. Really.

    I got my BarBri books today. It's not scary to have that stack of books sitting in my locker.

    Not at all.

    Then I got home, and my PMBR books were sitting on the kitchen table.

    My blood pressure is fine, thankyouverymuch.

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:32 PM   0 comments
    Tuesday, April 17, 2007
    The Lonely American Idol Rundown
    The girls are gone ... and therefore, so is some of the fun of American Idol.

    I thought Phil Stacey was bland. I thought his shirt was too tight, and he looked icky.

    Jordin rocks. I hope she wins. Or at least ends up in the top 2, with Blake.

    Sanjaya, in my opinion, is stronger now than he was at the start of the top 20. I didn't think he was as horrendous as Simon thought he was. I don't think he comes close to the same caliber as Jordin or Melinda, or Lakisha or Blake, and I'm mad at him for taking up the top spot. He doesn't deserve it at all - even with the bandana.

    Lakisha was fine, and I still think she's a top talent. I liked the song she did for her (even though she said the word "jesus" 4,000 times). I am just not on with the judges tonight.

    Chris sounded like crap, I don't like his singing-style, and I didn't think country worked for him. I found it funny that he argued with Simon over the nasal-sounding quality of his voice. I guess I kind of thought they were all beyond that now. I also CRACKED UP when he gave a shout-out to Virginia Tech, and the camera focused on Simon rolling his eyes.

    Thank you to Simon for telling Melinda to lose the surprise-look. At this point, it just seems like a put on. It's annoying. I hope she takes his advice further than tonight. She was good. I still want her to go home. I loved her hair tonight - her hair and face were prettier than I've ever seen them (especially once she lost that fake surprise look), but I didn't like her clothes at all. [go home, melinda; go home, melinda; go home, melinda]

    Blake, in my opinion, sounded far from his best tonight. I may have to actually pick up the phone tonight, just to try and help him through this week. I'm writing this before the judges' feedback. They'll probably say he was great, since I think he's not-so-hot. He's not "on" - but I love his moves and his clothes, and I would seek him out after hearing him on the radio. He's the only one I say that about. Ever. [And I was right - the judges liked him. Except Simon, who seemed to slightly agree with me.]

    My go home this week: Chris. Second choice to go home - Phil. I wish that either Sanjaya or Melinda would go home - but I know they won't. I mean, Melinda wouldn't go home - she would go straight into some studio where she would make records and do well. Which is why I want her off the show. I question whether it's appropriate to allow a professional singer - backup or no - to take part in the contest. Paula says that Melinda is their "resident professional" as a compliment ... but it's true. She's already made it with her singing more than most do. She has an edge over them, and I think it makes the contest slightly inconsequential.

    My top 2 faves - same for the past few weeks - Blake and Jordin.

    p.s. I so did not miss Haley tonight - for a minute there, I couldn't even remember who got voted off last week!

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:51 PM   0 comments
    What the hell was THAT, Ryan Seacrest?
    Ryan Seacrest opened tonight's American Idol with a word on the tragedy at Virginia Tech. Problem is, he looked like he was swallowing a smile/laugh through the entire sentence. It looked ... bad. At first, I thought he was making a joke - one in poor taste. But instead, I think someone was making faces at him off camera. Or he's one of those people who laugh at funerals.

    It came off BAD.

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:10 PM   1 comments
    Desensitization
    I did not post about the tragedy at Virginia Tech yesterday. I felt a little guilty later on in the day, realizing that as I was watching the scroll across the bottom of the Marathon coverage, I was posting about how I slept until almost noon.

    I thought about it as the day went on - why did this story not strike me like it struck others? More than it not striking me - I found myself 100% irritated at the news coverage. Both on the internet, and the television. I was very happy to hear that the campus and city police determined that the sole gunman was no longer at large, and that no one else would die. However. I didn't enjoy hearing (less than an hour after the shooting) the reporters asking questions like, "what type of gun might the shooter have used?"

    Really? We're going to sit here and list types of guns that maybe the shooter might have used? That's news? Conjecture and fabrication is news?

    I was also irritated when CNN.com put up their first banner: MONUMENTAL TRAGEDY. Really? And where is the cut off? When 4 people are killed, like at the CNN headquarters last week, it got a red banner of "breaking news" - but not the 9/11 style banner that this got. And then a week or so ago, when there was that workplace shooting in Michigan - again, just a red banner. Is it any # over 10? over 15?

    I was surprised later in the day when the statement was made that this was the largest number of fatalities in modern times from a single shooting. To me, it felt like one in a series of many.

    I was also surprised to see a few more-conservative-than-me bloggers who I subscribe to whipping out the "don't use this as gun control fodder!" preemptive argument, when I'd seen nothing of the sort from other blogs. Bloggers who are as or more liberal than myself (is there such a thing?) expressed sadness, surprise and shock. Not a peep on my sub list about gun control.

    Then I was ANGRY to see the media as usual scurrying to find someone to blame. WHY do these things always result in blame games? I hate that so much. A horrible thing has happened. It's bad -- really, really bad. Do you have to malign the Virginia Tech security and police before you even know anything? Most of the stories on the major news sites weren't even STORIES - they were questions. "Did they do enough?" Does that have to be the first step? How can the police and/or security predict that a student (one of 26,000) is going to snap?

    We hear about high numbers of people killed every single day now. Thanks to the war in Iraq. Most of them are Iraqis, and not Americans. But the numbers are often higher. Much higher. I feel like that is happening because of very wrong-headed decisions that are being made over and over and over and over again. In many ways, this upsets me more than what happened yesterday.

    The events of yesterday fluke were very tragic, and many young people died - young people who thought they were just going to class, and who should have been able to just go to class. I wish it didn't happen.

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    posted by Zuska @ 3:01 PM   1 comments
    Monday, April 16, 2007
    Oh. The Laziness!!
    I can't even believe I'm about to state this publicly. I got out of bed at 11:45 today. 11:45 a.m.

    What the hell? I haven't done that since college.

    The kids are gone, which often sinks me into a funk for a couple of days.

    I also slept until 11 yesterday, but that's because I had to finish sleeping off the alcohol from the night before, or I'd have had a wretched day.

    Can I also use the excuse that I rarely get more than 5 hours of sleep a night, so I needed to catch up?

    Beloved and I went to sleep last night around 2 a.m. So I slept 9.5 hours. If I had gone to bed at 10, and got up at 7:30 - I wouldn't feel bad. Right? But we are night owls. We saw a movie (Volver, which I loved) until 12:15 or so, then talked, then [we interrupt this program to avoid sharing too much].

    It helps that today's a holiday - Patriot's Day in good old New England. Also known as Marathon Monday. We woke just in time to watch the winners cross the finish line, and hear the Russian and Ethiopian national anthems. I am sipping a cup of coffee, and will then head out to the gym.

    Because I am very motivated of late because it seems like finally my work is paying off, and I'm feeling less fat.

    After the gym comes school work. I was considering staying at school to type up my bar application, but I'm really not certain school is open, so I don't want to bring my stuff over, and I have a lot of free time tomorrow, so I think I'll do it then instead.

    Having a Monday off is very nice for my week. I only have one class to read for tomorrow, and it's over at 9:30 a.m. I then have the entire day (and a non-weekend day, too) to get stuff done for Wednesday. I will try and get 2 classes' of reading done today, and make tomorrow even freer.

    I also have to cook tomorrow night ... but there's no kids. So we can eat whenever the hell we want, and picking the kids up isn't one of the pieces of tomorrow's puzzle. That part of them being gone is nice. But it doesn't balance out the bad.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:14 PM   1 comments
    Sunday, April 15, 2007
    My New Book
    I am reading eat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert for my book group. I usually wrinkle my nose at non-fiction reading, but she writes with enough humor and glibness that it's not bad. I remember reading a couple of books by Ann Lamott - back during my slow exit from Christianity. I found it hopeful that someone could have dredlocks, be a single mom, say "fuck" all the time, be a hippy, and STILL be a Christian. Turns out that I found the Christian core to be the hard part - not the typical trappings (overly coiffed hair, the pursed lips at the use of "inappropriate language," etc.) But I liked her books at the time, despite their lack of fiction (she has written several fiction books, but I haven't read any of them).

    eat, pray, love seems to be similarly written (although Beloved thought a passage that I had read outloud to him was horrid). I still wonder if the "pray" part will make me squirm. I likely squirm too much, and in an unhealthy way.

    I am in the very beginning of the book now, and I am slightly encouraged that her first attempt at prayer resulted in a quiet internal voice responding to her cries for help. Which I think is the effect of "prayer" (or, meditation, or careful thought, or pausing for a moment to really focus yourself on something that you need to work out - or whatever you want to call it). A grounding; a centeredness.

    But despite that, I never do it. I'm still too busy being bitter about anything that resembles religion.

    So, in many ways, this book seems like a challenge to me. I think I welcome the challenge.

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    posted by Zuska @ 3:43 PM   0 comments
    Yesterday
    I had a very full day yesterday. There was kid drama, ex drama, ex-in-law NONdrama (although I still have things to complain about), and then fun drama in the form of laughter, stories, and a few tears at a friend's bday party, at which I had a LOT to drink (but less than others), and had a really good time.

    I wanted to post about the kid drama. I was writing the post in my head yesterday as I was driving home from my parents' house. But now I don't feel like it. It feels like it's in the past, and I am slightly hung over, and I have taxes to do, and a bar application to complete and school work to read --- perhaps even IP to outline.

    It's awful outside, and Beloved and I are cozy inside, each at our computers in separate rooms, but circling around each other now and then to share bits and pieces of thoughts and things we read that we think the other will find interesting. It's peaceful, and nice.

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    posted by Zuska @ 3:24 PM   0 comments
    Thursday, April 12, 2007
    Imus
    I was pleased to read today that Imus refused to go on a "talk show tour" in order to repeat his empty apologies.

    Who cares about his apologies? I don't. I think they're fake, and they're pointless, and I do not understand this recent phenomenon of prolonged publicity for racist fucks. And homophobic fucks (God, it pains me to say that, because I find Isaiah Washington so very very attractive).

    In Comparative Law last fall, I learned about other cultures' use of an "apology" as a form of justice for a victim of a crime. I didn't understand it, really. What good does an apology do? If I've got a tort-like issue -- say someone drives into one of my girls as they're walking home from school, and they sustain injuries which result in large medical bills (but they're okay, after surgery, some physical therapy, and so forth). My insurance won't cover everything, and I'm stuck with $100,000 in medical bills. I am forced to bring a litigation to get the costs covered. I go to trial. I win at trial. The judgment is: the driver of the car must say they're sorry.

    Huh?

    I understand that the apology is a stronger force in a culture where people are more prideful, and honor is more valuable than money.

    As a member of this society --- I don't get it.

    I wonder if that's what's happening with these racists, though? They're trying to use the apology as a powerful tool, as if we were in China or Vietnam.

    You know what? I still don't think it works here. Imus has no honor. What does he lose by apologizing? Nothing. He was still doing a show this morning, laughing it up over this situation. He's spent as much time justifying his actions as he has apologizing for them.

    The truth is - these people are racist fucks. These words came out of their mouth as an expression of what they think, and what they believe. These people think it is okay to talk in a hateful, derogatory way about other people. Saying sorry to the leaders of the offended community does not, cannot, and will not take that away.

    So, please, Imus, skip the talk shows. Including your own. Go find a rock, crawl under it, and don't come out.

    And in the meantime, can we please, as a nation, figure out what the hell is wrong with us that we can still have these sentiments floating around out there in an obviously pervasive manner? This is disgusting. Why did Imus say this nasty stuff in the first place? Because it's seen as acceptable humor! I don't know the people who feel that it is acceptable, but obviously, they're out there. Michael Richards, Imus, Isaiah-Beautiful Washington, and Mel-Religous-Freak Gibson are a part of their society. They aren't a few "bad apples" - they're a symptom of a larger festering problem.

    Skip the apologies, and let's start looking for the solutions.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:17 PM   6 comments
    What's to Come
    I often wonder what I'll do with this blog once I start working. I have contemplating doing a private blog, where I only allow people I know access to, and including more kid updates and such - but that's no fun, b/c my blogging style would have to be completely stifled if I were hand my mother the URL. I have thought about doing a pure mommy-blog, still anonymous, but ditching the law aspect, since I can't really talk about work. I am not sure, though, that I qualify as a true "mommy-blogger," because 1) I'm not a stay-at-home mom, and 2) I don't have babes in diapers.

    I do believe I'll change things up in some way - but I think less than I had been planning on. I think my main focus will be the whole work/life balance, and while some realities of being a full time lawyer in a large law firm will be discussed, it will be nothing specific, and nothing outside of how it affects my role in my family.

    And I'll probably find a new template. New templates are fun. Maybe I'll even ditch blogger. That would be fun, too.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:06 PM   3 comments
    This is not Israel
    **** Disclaimer -- this post includes my thoughts during a class this morning. It does not purport to include any research or citations. I am sure some will want to provide me with statistics or a news stories in an attempt to convey that my thoughts are off-base. Have at it. These are my thoughts. ****

    I had my security/liberty class today. It had me absolutely squirming and frustrated. I am not really sure why I stayed quiet, and didn't go off in the presence of my classmates, but I sat in silent frustration, and am now ready to go off.

    Issue: Racial Profiling in the context of terrorism.

    We started off our conversation talking about Jerusalem. Point being - how comfortable would you be with racial profiling if you were in a place where suicide bombs -- the taking of lives -- is a daily reality. Where the threat is real, not imagined, and saving people's lives is a pressing need.

    Would it be okay for police to pay closer attention to Arab males between the ages of 15 and 35?

    My gut says yes. I am very sorry that many, many innocent people are going to be paid closer scrutiny. In our hypothetical, however, we were talking about legal and modest police activities. We weren't talking about rounding up all Arab males and shipping them off to Israel's version of Guantanamo. We were talking about police officers wandering over and saying, "how are you today?" if someone seems skittish. Perhaps increased traffic stops for this demographic. We were also talking about the reality of suicide bombers affecting a city on a regular basis. Over a length period of time.

    Then we somehow slide to Dearborn, Michigan -- where my professor says there is a very large Arab population, and then to any airport in the US. Somehow, the class [as a single unit] works to shift the same reasoning, the same principles, to the situation in America today without much apparent discomfort. The reasoning and principles being - if you are not only looking at race, and if you engage the community, keep them informed, if you put sunset provisions in place -- it is okay to focus police attentions on Arabs.

    BUT BUT BUT!!!

    There have been zero suicide bombers in Dearborn, Michigan. There is no "state of emergency," like in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, if you engage in racial profiling, you may have contact with say, 90% innocents and 10% potential terrorists. In Dearborn, Michigan, I believe you would have contact with 100% innocent people.

    In Jerusalem, the risk is taken from statistical facts as to past suicide bombers. In the United States, it's taken from fears which are extrapolated from one event. One event that happened 6 years ago.

    In 2002, were we "racially profiling" all white males in fear that another one would blow up another city building with a UHaul truck? Six years after Oklahoma City? The answer is no.

    So we're justifying these actions, which lead to the demonization of an entire segment of the US population, based on "what-ifs."

    I am hugely uncomfortable with this.

    Is the concern that we're going to end up just like Israel if we don't take these steps now? If we don't pull Arab-looking males over more often, we're going to have suicide bombers all over the place? Honestly, what's stopping that from happening right now? I get on buses in a major metropolitan area all the time, and there are no cops around. Same thing with trains, cafes, restaurants. There are many every-day targets - or what are targets in Israel - that are completely unprotected, and nothing is happening.

    I think it's because we are not Israel. Yes, 9/11 was a bad, bad day. But all indications show that it was years in the planning. It required a lot of resources. It served the purpose of providing a major shock, which was Al Qaeda's goal. I do not think that we can call our current situation a "state of emergency" and justify the categorical accusation and demonization of all persons with brown skin. Anymore than we could have 6 years before 9/11.

    I am sick of the fear. I see it as wholly unfounded. I am feeling no more inclined to be afraid of every Arab-looking man as a result of 9/11 than I was inclined to be afraid of every ex-military 20-something white male after Oklahoma City.

    Perhaps I would be more capable of fear, but it was killed in me in 2002 and 2003 when the "terror alerts" were persisently used as distractions from the Bush Administration's bullshit antics and its aftermath. And it's killed off again and again every time Bush and Cheney pull up the memories and horror of 9/11 to justify their abhorrent decisions and policies.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:26 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, April 11, 2007
    Justice on American Idol!!
    My kids weren't happy, but I felt that, for once, the person who went home was the one who most deserved it. Haley sucks. Really. She can't sing, and last night, even those beauteous legs showed cellulite. So why keep her? Clearly - we don't!

    I want Blake to win.

    My kids now know who J.Lo is. My J was looking at her incredulously as she sang and danced and had her dress billowing around her tights-clad legs.

    If they said who would be there next week, I missed it.

    I'm just pleased. I cheered when they said Haley was going home.

    Next week it should be Phil (or Sanjaya, but isn't that just a waste of finger-energy to type?)

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:31 PM   2 comments
    Oh, yuck.
    I have been talking to the ex today about our plans to do the kid-switcheroo. He is truly a fucker who is disinterested in everyone but himself and what he sees as his greatness, but since that no longer affects me on a day-to-day basis, I am more than capable of talking to him and seeing him without any visceral reactions.

    He told me today, however, that he is bringing his parents (mother and step-father) to pick up the girls. They're flying in from their far-away home, and he's going straight from the airport to me in order to get the kids.

    I really don't want to see his parents. His mother is really a problem to me. For the following reasons:
    • Ex-Mother-in-Law has let the ex know that it is her mission in life to "lead E and J to the Lord." (i.e., get them to be "born again."
    • Back during the initial separation period, the ex told his parents untruths about the reasons, mostly to garnish their sympathy and financial support (he has acknowledged this with me, I do not make it up), and they are completely clueless as to the real reasons. They therefore hate me. At least his mother does.
    • Ex-Mother-in-Law thinks I suck because I don't homeschool the kids.
    • Ex-Mother-in-Law has not seen me since I put on my law-school weight.
    • Ex-Mother-in-Law plays games. Her favorite is to claim she has mailed things to me, and then complain that "the mail man must hate her" and how "unusual" it is that packages just never make it from her to me. She's making shit up. I get mail from everyone. Never have I not gotten a package. I firmly believe that she isn't mailing stuff. And she likes to just play the "oh, what a nasty ex-wife my son has" game. But you know what? He doesn't have a nasty ex-wife. I am so ridiculously respectful of him, of her (well, at least in teh girls' presence), of his sisters, and anyone else I ever talk to the girls about from that past piece of my life.
    • Ex-Mother-in-Law was divorced when the ex was 3. She hates her ex. She never got over it. She acts like a fucking fool about it. She still won't even speak on the phone if he calls her house when my ex is there. She just puts the phone down and walks away. Apparently, she thinks that is the way that adults behave. She's wrong.
    • The ex MIL was very mean to her son when he was little. She married a man who mistreated her son. Who spoke horribly to her son. The man did not stop behaving that way when he had daughters of his own. He has mellowed with age, and is not unkind to my girls, but there is absolutely positively no reason why she married that man. She, by doing that, in my opinion, heavily contributed to the reasons for my divorce. And for her son's very very very deep unhappiness.
    • I dislike ex-Mother-in-Law immensley, and honestly -- I always have. She's nasty, she's tacky, she's rude, she assumes that everyone agrees with her judgmental, hateful opinions, and she exudes negativity from her pores.
    I am really really dreading this.
    So much so, that I'm considering crying to my daddy on Saturday that I can't do it, and instead begging him to do it for me.
    I can't do that --- the girls would never forgive me. The girls have a stable mother. A mother who refuses to be affected in her behavior by icky people. REALLY icky people.
    Just - yuck.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:41 AM   2 comments
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