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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  • Thursday, May 31, 2007
    Yesterday the Blur
    BarBri started yesterday. I didn't find it to be so bad. We started off with Crim Law, though, which had a certain comfortable familiarity. Something I enjoyed, and therefore paid attention to as a 1L. Today is Crim Procedure, which is also within my comfort zone. I do worry about commercial paper. Something tells me it's not silly of me.

    After the class, I came home and looked through my stuff, the homework schedule, etc., and tried to decide what I should bring with me for an afternoon of chaperoning many children from activity to activity. I was putting my hand on a novel when Beloved said, "no! you need to read for bar class tomorrow!" So I brought the stupid Conviser Mini Review. What the hell kind of word is that, anyway? "Conviser." It's not in the dictionary. Stupid-ass "mini" book which weighs 100 pounds.

    I did review Crim Pro, though, while sitting on the stoop of a Temple in which kids were recording songs from their past performances onto a CD. I then rounded up 8 of those kids and paraded to a Taqueria, where we all indulged in burritos, quesadillas and tacos. I then escorted all 8 of them to the softball field, where I again opened the Conviser book, and talked to friends while charts stared up at me.

    It seemed like I was having a crappy start to this bar prep nonsense. A friend called me twice while I was at the softball field, sitting on soft grass, enjoying the weather, and talking to a law-person who's a fellow mom. The friend was freaking out, "Zuska! Have you condensed your notes yet? how long are they??" then the second call, "Zuska! Are you doing practice questions tonight? None are assigned, but people say I should do them every night!"

    I did go home, and despite exhaustion resulting from a 5;45 wake up to go for a run (which sucked. I was glad I got up, but I ran like shit) and then class and then responsibility over a total of 12 kids (at different points of the day - from school to activity 1; during breaks at activity 1; from activity 1 to activity 2; during activity 2), I consolidated my notes.

    I was proud of myself for that.

    Then I passed out. At 10:45 p.m. Which is unheard of for Zuska. It did allow me, however, to get up at 5:45 again, and this time - my run was not shitty, it was great, and now I'm in a great mood and ready to go learn about Criminal Procedure from Dear, Funny Professor Whitebread.

    I would also like to say I just loved those kids. I love their ages, and their personalities. I love every single one of them. E's friends, J's friends - they're all such great kids. The conversations they have (other than the wee bit of gossip the older girls engaged in until I glared at them sufficiently to make them stop), the way they interact, the way the older girls hung out with the younger girls, their responsiveness to each other and to me .... they are just great people, and I'm glad to know all of them.

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    posted by Zuska @ 7:49 AM   1 comments
    Tuesday, May 29, 2007
    Where is the Line?
    I had a professor in my first year of law school who I purposefully took a class from in my 3rd, b/c I liked her so much.

    A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through the park with the girls, and I ran into her. It was the weekend before exams. (And a funny side story, b/c I am Zuska, while I was on the way to cello with the girls, a school-friend called to ask me a question about either IP or Securities, and I said, "well, I have that answer in my outline, but I'm actually on the T with the girls right now, heading to cello practice" and my friend was all aflutter. It hadn't occurred to her that the weekend before exams could be spent doing anything but exams, and was quite thrown off. She told me the next day that she told her mom about the phone call, and that she felt bad for "interrupting" my mom-duties. Her mom told her - you are always doing mom-duties. It's not really an "interruption" to bring something else up, otherwise, you'd never do anything else!)

    Anyway. My professor.

    She told me that day that she had moved to the area, and that we're now in the same neighborhood.

    I saw her again today.

    Today, she has my exam in her possession, and will be grading it shortly, if not already. It is a blind grading for exams, but not for the overall class as a whole (i.e., class participation, the mid term drafting project we did, etc.)

    So I didn't talk to her much. I said hi and some cordial statement about the weather and the bar, but I didn't engage in a conversation. It felt like it would be weird, if not completely inappropriate.

    The other day, Beloved found a really funny ditty on Parody as Fair Use in Copyright Law, and I wanted to send it to this professor, b/c she had used some mixed media in the class, and this would have been f-u-n-n-y. But then last minute, I threw away the e-mail, b/c --- well, I remembered she has my exam.

    I'm thinking I was right to ditch the e-mail, but probably could have done more chatting in the park.


    posted by Zuska @ 10:00 PM   1 comments
    End of the Break
    This 10 days "off" has felt, for the most part, like anything but. I have been so busy and stressed and life has been so full and chaotic.

    Today, on my final day before BarBri starts, I slept until 10:30, then slowly got up and dressed for the day, had some coffee, my requisite 2 hard boiled eggs, and hopped on the bike for a ride to the gym. I had a great work out. Except that I have an inexplicable rash on my chest which is exacerbated by sweating, and a great work out = much sweat. So that hurt.

    Then I got a phone call from E. Major sidetracking here: E is driving me crazy. She is 10, going on 30, you would think. Today was the third day that she called to ask me permission to leave her after school program and go do something else, b/c she is "bored to death." Last week, she wanted to go to her friend's house. I said, "is her mom home?" No. Then you can't go! We've had this conversation 100,000 times. She may not go to a friend's house if there are no adults home! if adults are home for the most part, and they need to run to the store, or pick up a younger sibling - FINE. But if they're not home at all, and have no intention to be -NO NO NO!!

    She and her friend came here, instead, while Beloved and I were prepping for J's bday party. Which was fine with me - I'm comfortable with her friends, and had no problem telling them that they could either go out back to the park, or bring the recycling down to the basement and empty the trash [they chose the work over the park ... dorks].

    Today she calls me on my cell phone as I'm waiting for my smoothie to be properly blended and while I'm cursing that 411 doesn't have a listing for BarBri so that I could call and get directions from the T -- "Mom, can I go to S's house?" Uh, is S's mom home? "Uh, no, but pleeeeeeese????" No, E, you may not. go. to. a. friend's. house. if. their. parents. are. not. there!!!

    "Well, can we go to our house?"

    No, E, I am not home. I am going to Boston to get my damned book.

    "Okay. Um. Well, S2 and I have research to do at the library, can we go to the library?"

    Damn these kids to hell. Why do I pay $500/mo for her to have the after school program just for her to think of any excuse to blow it off? And why oh why oh why am I having to deal with my kid begging for freedom when she's TEN. Is this appropriate? 10? Really?

    So, they've been at the library for an hour, and now it's time for me to go "visit" them. He he he.

    I have the "second half" of my BarBri books. Half? This is like, the 2nd 2/3ds. It's a much bigger box than the first half! Not halves, then!!

    Also, it's really hot out, and I wasn't appropriately dressed for biking in this heat. 2 layers of shirts and long pants? No. Not smart.

    Time to go harass the kids.

    I am going to seriously have a talk with E tonight, b/c this has to stop - I'm not going to fail the bar exam b/c I'm so busy fielding phone calls about how "bored to death" she is, and she can't have friends over every day ... or I'll fail the bar exam. I can probably let her have a day a week that she comes home with a friend, and perhaps I'll give her some $$ so they can stop on the way home and pick up a [cold] snack, and therefore leave me alone while I'm in my room studying.

    grrrr to older kids. grrrr.

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    posted by Zuska @ 3:44 PM   0 comments
    Monday, May 28, 2007
    Zuska the Dork, v2
    Last week I shared a story of me being a dork. Today is the second installment.

    We went to the beach. We had fun. We took the zipcar. When we got to the beach, I locked the car, using the handy-dandy zipcard. You need to scan the card on a card reader on the car in order to lock and unlock the car. The car key - the normal kind which goes inside the ignition - is always IN the car. It's not how you lock the doors. I was nervous this weekend at my parents' house, b/c I washed my zipcard. I left it in my shorts pocket, and then threw my shorts into the washer at the end of the day, and the card got washed. I'm certain this was at least the second time, but I was still relieved when the card worked afterward.

    So, the beach we went to was a little weird. We'd never been to this one before. It has a shelf which extends pretty far out. When we arrived, it was low tide, and the water was soooo far out from the high tide line, it was strange. We set up our chairs and blankets relatively far down the beach, but still were far from the water. Too far to let the girls run off on their own. So I went with them. I had my shorts on, and didn't see the point in taking them off, because even people who were 1/4 mile out were only submerged to their knees. So we went frolicking.

    Eventually, the water got deep enough that it was threatening to wet my shorts. I hopped up on a sandbar and took the shorts off, and just laid them across my shoulder, trying to be careful not to lose my Burt's Bees lip balm out of the pocket. We spent a good bit of time in the water, and then went back to Beloved (who was guarding our stuff on the beach), and he and I switched positions - I sat guarding and reading, and he went into the water with the kids.

    While we were sitting there, I thought, "where did I put the zipcard?" I checked my purse. No. I checked the food bag. No. I checked the beach bag. No. I checked my shorts pocket. No. I thought, "well, when we were leaving the car, and J had to pee, I probably just handed it to Beloved." I looked in his wallet. No. I checked the pockets of his bag. No. Shit.

    I tried to forget about it, and just read my book until Beloved and the girls returned, but I was too preoccupied. I went and met them (1/2 a mile toward the ocean, it felt like), and asked him, "do you have the Zipcard?" No.

    I called Zipcar, and said, "Um, hi. I'm in the middle of a reservation, and we used the car to go to the beach, and I lost my card in the ocean." Because I must have put it in my butt pocket, as per usual, and not noticed when it fell out as I flung my shorts over my shoulder.

    FORTUNATELY, Zipcar was able to remotely open the car, and then switch the reservation over to Beloved's card (which was in his wallet).

    And also FORTUNATELY, Beloved didn't berate me once. He wasn't agitated or frustrated in the slightest. He just sort of sat there chatting with the girls while I called Zipcar, and then 1/2 chuckled out me as he was getting into the car. That's it. Even though this is a habit of mine that he hates with a passion.

    And our afternoon continued to be fantastic. We always have great car rides. I love driving with him, and with the girls. J dozed after the frolicking, and E was listening to a book on tape. Beloved and I listened to The Black Crowes and talked about whether or not we could get a beach house over in this part of the state. Just a bare hour away from the city, but remote and beautiful. Seems like a good place for a second home. Too bad it costs so damned much. I think we'll keep looking at Vermont at first.

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    posted by Zuska @ 7:55 PM   0 comments
    I'm excited. We discovered last night that I screwed up our Zipcar reservation. I meant to return it at 10 this morning, but accidentally reserved it until TONIGHT at 10 p.m. Oops. We found out last night, when Beloved went to park it in its spot and found another car there ... he called to find out what to do and heard that we have it until 10 p.m. I tried to change it, but because it was so late and already into the reservation, if I had changed it, they still would have charged me the $67. So I kept it, thinking maybe we'll want to run an errand or something today.

    But now, E is home from a sleepover, Beloved is making potato and macaroni salad for our Memorial Day Dinner, and we were sort of wondering what we'd do with the day. There was a light bulb over my head when I put the two pieces together. We have a car. It's a gorgeous day. We live in a coastal state! Woo hoo!!

    So we're gonna go to the beach! I hope to return with photos of gorgeous girls frolicking in freezing cold water.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:44 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, May 27, 2007
    Spinning Top
    I graduated on Friday. See how happy that seems to make me? *

    Apparently, however, I've been under some stress this week. Between traveling to see the baby, graduating from law school, ushering my daughter through her 9th year, and traveling back to home state to see the baby again --- physical symptoms of the stress have struck me in the form of multiple cold sores, which tends to be the plague of Zuska. I can handle all this stuff, I can do it, and be mostly okay, but my body says, "bullshit, woman, this is too much!" and waa laa! My lip is swollen, and all I want to do is hide in my house.

    Or in this case, my mother's house.

    J's bday went well. She enjoyed her gifts - especially the roller blades that grandma and grandpa gifted her with. They also gave E a pair, which tends to go against my usual beliefs about siblings receiving gifts when it's not their birthday - but in this case, it was for the best. J won't want to go rollerblading on her own, and if E has some, too, they can do it together, and therefore more often. Her paternal grandmother sent her knitting supplies, which she enjoys a great deal (weirdo).

    Graduation also went well. There isn't too much to say about it ... the ceremony was fine. I was not impressed with our faculty speaker .... our commencement speaker was no biggy. Our student speakers (who are elected by the student body b/c we don't have class rank) were really good, and I especially like the one who I nominated. She ended her speech with a rap. She was so cute. I wish I knew her better.

    We came home from graduation and my parents and I all napped for an hour before we went out to dinner. Dinner was really good, and then we went home and I crashed .... well, after I tried to sort through clothes in my room.

    I'm having a horrid time with clothes right now. I've gone down a size and a half, pretty much, and don't really have clothes. The clothes I had been wearing were stretched with belts for a while, but now I'm to the point where they look like clown pants. I bought a few things to carry me through - not wanting to buy too much, b/c I want to keep shrinking.

    I was afraid to get rid of the useless ones, though. Like I said previously, I can't continue with the gym, and it's hard for me to wake in the a.m. So what if I end up needing that bigger size again? Beloved said - no. Get rid of the clothes. He said I won't need them again, he knows I'll keep up with the exercise, and if over time, I do need the bigger size again, I should buy new things that are in style, etc. (In style? Me?)

    And so, my mom offered to take them. I put them all in big garbage bags, and she's throwing them all into her attic. Which meant I had to get it done. Great night-after-graduation activity? No?

    THEN I crashed.

    Now I'm back in home state. I spent the afternoon at my brother's, but was unable to hold the baby b/c of the stupid cold sores. J did great with him, though, and loved holding him and seeing him. I actually was going to stay home (hello? exhaustion? stress?) - but J really wanted to see her cousin.

    We played Scrabble last night ... J, my mom and I. I left E home with Beloved, and they watched movies that J can't tolerate (she can't do intensity - regardless of the rating), and who knows what they're doing today ... if they're even awake.

    This week ... BarBri starts! Woo hoo. Yippeee. Yikes.

    Oh yeah, and prepping for J's bday party (joint party with her BFF whose bday is a week after hers) which is on Saturday. Groan.

    *So yeah, I decided to supply a face with the blog ... considering that we're in the end-stages of this journey here, and I know I'll be closing up shop at the end of the summer, and that I'm likely identifiable already by anyone who knows me, and by anyone who wants to figure out who I am.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:53 AM   7 comments
    Thursday, May 24, 2007
    Borrowing Trouble
    I have no idea how much I'm looking for negatives and how much I'm right.

    I think that X forgot J's bday (which is today!!). He always tells me when he puts something in the mail for the girls, and he didn't. We spoke earlier in the week about financials, and the birthday didn't come up. Nothing has come in the mail for her, except from his mom.

    I told Beloved last night that I was wondering if I should call X and let him know - call you daughter tonight. I just think that if it was E who he was close to forgetting about, she'd be on the phone herself bitching him out, b/c she's been so bitter (which really is hurt from feeling neglected and ignored) about him lately. But J has such a sunny disposition about people. She knows that E is so angry and full of spite toward X, and she sort of just shrugs and says, "but I like Daddy." I will be so sad for her if he doesn't call or do anything for her bday, and she ends her day upset (if she even notices).

    Beloved says I shouldn't call him, b/c I'm not his mother. Yet, it's not his mother I'm interested in being it - it's J's.

    Like I say, though. For all I know, he'll be calling later and saying, "your gift is in the mail." It's just so hard to imagine, I guess. That your daughter's birthday is nothing but a phone call and a promise. No trips into downtown for dessert items; no rushing around to get trinkets to pass out to her friends in the classroom,* no bday invitation-making parties, no waking her up with tickles and songs and cuddles.

    * Yeah, we used to hand out cupcakes. But then allergies became so damned widespread, and the ingredients just can't be monitored, and so - no baked goods allowed. Kids hand out pencils, and little animals, and hi-bounce balls ... stuff like that. We got glitter-covered pencils and fancy little eraser tops to put on top of them. She'll hand them out at the end of the day, and her teacher will pull her ear (??) and she will be happy.

    Update: I decided that if his mom called before he did, I would call him - just because I had a lot going on with my parents in town, and E coming home early with a friend, and errands to run - but X called on his own, with no prompting, around 6 p.m. He told J that he'll give her a gift when she arrives at his house for the summer (in July). I'm glad I didn't end up calling him to remind him, b/c he did not forget, and I'd rather we (mostly E and I, b/c E was so sure he'd forget, and she was really due to be wrong in this sort of thing with X) know that he called on his own, rather than me just thinking "yeah, right" when he said, "oh, I was gonna call."

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:58 AM   1 comments
    I just returned from a run around the reservoir. I took a longer path through the back roads TO the reservoir, including a gigantic stair path. I went around twice, instead of the usual 3 times, but was out there moving for over an hour. I felt like I wasn't working hard enough. This is what bothers me about outside exercise v. gym exercise. I can't track what I'm doing.

    I know that when I'm on the elliptical in the gym, and it says that I burned 450 calories in 30 minutes, it's probably not telling me the truth. However, if the same machine tells me the next day that I instead burned 480 calories in 30 minutes (and since it used to tell me that I was burning 300 calories in 30 minutes) - I know I succeeded in pushing myself a little further. I miss that feedback when I'm outside. I miss knowing how fast my feet are moving and down to the 10th of the mile how far I've gone.

    But now that BarBri is starting, it's just not feasible to go to the gym anymore. It was easy for me to go before my noon class on M/W, after my 8 a.m. class on T/Th, and whenever I felt (or didn't feel) like it on Fridays. Now that I have to be somewhere that's NOT on my campus (where the gym is) every day by 9:30 - I don't see how I can do it anymore.

    If I didn't have 2 kids to usher off to school, it would be a piece of cake. I could easily ride my bike to the gym, work out, shower, and then hop to the T to the class, take the T back to my bike, and go home.

    But the girls walk out the door at 7:45, and I'm not yet ready to abandon that routine entirely to Beloved. Mostly because I know I am abandoning it next year when I'm at Future Firm. I plan to leave here well before the girls wake up. So, I'd like this last 3 weeks of mornings.

    This means that I am going to have to run around the reservoir at an ungodly time of day.

    UNLESS - I went to the gym after BarBri. But I think that will screw with my studying. The gym kinda takes a while. It will take at least 30 minutes to get there, an hour-plus to work out, 30 more minutes to shower - and boom. Time to go get the girls. (Or close enough to it that I'll find myself not doing any work.) I also could buy a membership at a gym in the neighborhood, but it just seems so wasteful. The school gym is open to me until late June, and then I can buy a summer membership for pennies.

    I need to find a way to push myself harder around the lake during BarBri. Despite its lack of digital read outs.

    Any good equipment recommendations are welcome - my mother had bought me a pedometer for my birthday, and it was clearly designed for old farts. The only way it would work is it was attached to a BELT. Like, a leather belt that goes around golf pants which a polo shirt is tucked into and with which loafers are worn. I don't wear belts when I work out. Call me crazy. I tried to just carry it one day, and when it hit .63 miles, it died. It just stuck. Stopped reading mileage, and was just ... broke.

    I think the Nike/iPod pack looks very interesting, but I don't have a Nano, and I don't really want one (I have a shuffle for the gym, and a regular iPod for normal stuff), and the package is pretty pricey once you factor in the shoes (which would likely be uncomfortable on my very picky feet) and the Nano. (E has a nano, I could adopt it .... )

    Another bad thing -- at the gym, I do strength training. I keep saying I'm going to do it at home with the various weights and floors around the house - but I never end up doing that, either.

    I have lost over 20 pounds since March, safely, slowly, and healthily. I'd like to lose another 20 pounds. I can't really stop exercising if I expect that to happen. I'm sad that the convenience of the past 2 months is going away.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:41 AM   6 comments
    Wednesday, May 23, 2007
    One More Thing Before I Pass Out
    I had a Yahoo e-mail address for years, but it started acting pretty wonky this year. I get a large # of spam emails, and I started to have several REAL e-mails thrown into the spam folder. Since I sometimes get hundreds a day, I hadn't been sorting through them, and I missed a few e-mails. Then Yahoo started getting flagged by my friends' jobs as blocked addresses, and they stopped getting my e-mails. All-in-all - very unreliable.

    I kept the Yahoo address, though, and continue to use it for on-line shopping, surveys, and other internet-y things I like to do (like Zogby surveys. I love doing Zogby surveys.)

    I started a new, paid service, e-mail for my "important" stuff. I was very happy with hte way it was working, b/c whenever anything on line wanted an e-mail address, I gave it the Yahoo, and only give the other, truly primary address, to those who I have hand-picked as worthy. No junk mail!

    Somehow, an evil Loan Consolidation Place (as in law school loans) caught wind of my REAL e-mail address, and I'm getting 3 e-mails a day saying, "our records indicated you've graduated now! Please call us ASAP to reduce your payments!"

    No. I won't. Leave me alone. I hate you.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:51 PM   1 comments
    Graduation is in my WAY
    I finished school last Friday. I don't understand why people keep asking me if I'm excited. If I'm proud of myself. Why? I was last Thursday.

    I don't want to go on Friday. Why do I have to go back to that world? I already left. I handed in my exams. I haven't seen those people in over a week. I don't have time for graduation. My daughter is turning 9. My nephew was just born. I have a Bar Review class to start, I have dinner plans with friends. My 11 year old is trying to educate me on the philosophy of Plato. Why do I have to give 2 hours to sitting a stage? Why?

    I think it's going to be nothing but emotionally exhausting -- in the same vein as that birthday party I have to do next weekend. I *hate* doing birthday parties. I'm just not far enough on the Extroverted side of the scale to like bday parties. I am just enough extroverted to enjoy talking. A lot. To 2 or 3 people at a time - MAX.

    Update: Oh yeah, and just to make graduation even SUCKIER - it's gonna be 92. NINETY-TWO!!! I am not a heat-person. I am a 62 kinda person. Perhaps, if I'm in a good mood, a 72 kinda person. 92? Hello? You just skipped an entire .... set of 10s. Or something.
    posted by Zuska @ 11:42 PM   2 comments
    American Idol is Over
    I drove up to my house at 8:35, so I missed the first bit of the finale. From what I saw for the last hour and 30 minutes -- I don't care.

    I hate that they dressed the "African Children's Choir" in leopard print. I thought it was tasteless and crass and lousy.

    I loved the Green Day boy. He always strikes me as a little "off." In a way I like.

    Everything else was dumb.

    Especially the Bush Baby issue being prolonged. I mean, let it GO already - it was one of the nastiest treatments of a person I've ever seen on television, and they brought it back up, and then they KEPT talking about it, and then they KEPT talking about it, and they shouldn't have. At all.

    So, uh, yeah. Next year it will be Carrie and Kelly and Katherine and Ruben and Taylor and JORDIN. Woo hoo. Another person to sing a part of a poorly done montage. I have no hopes that Jordin will release interesting music. I'll keep my eyes peeled for Blake, and I'm curious as to what, exactly, Melinda will do {hello, church music much?}, perhaps even LaKisha.

    OH WAIT!!!

    Beloved said he heard that Sanjaya was signed by Fox to do a reality show! I can't find anything too official about it, but there is this. God, that boy just needs to go hide in a cardboard box.

    And now, for something completely different.

    Are the Losties saved? Holy crap, that little Jack-forward-flash was kinda weird. I missed the first hour of the show, so I'm excited to go back and re-watch on iTunes tomorrow ... but is next year being filmed, like, in the real world? This is my prediction: They all get rescued, go home. Then Jack snaps out of this alcoholic tupor and starts gathering the key players to go BACK to the island for whatever unfinished business is brewing, and at least 1/2 the season is him running around trying to collect his peoples, then the other 1/2 either getting to, or getting reacclimated to, the island.

    Either way, I found that to be a satisfying ending.

    And with that, my darlings, especially you, Housewife, my television blogging has come to an end. All season finales (24, Grey's Anatomy, Lost and American Idol) have happened, and I am going to do my best to watch ZERO television until I have Tivo or a Tivo-like device, on about October. Or so.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:28 PM   1 comments
    Well, honestly, the baby (C) is very very cute, and I'm glad I went. Once again, I found my sister-in-law to be quite endearing and much more "real" than when she's in the presence of my parents. My brother said something as I was leaving that made me wonder how much my mother is in the middle of our conversations [although he doesn't get off that easy]: "Z, call me when you leave town -- don't just let Mom call and assume I know you left!"

    Which is one of my complaints about him - the assumption that my mom is passing knowledge all around, and releasing him from the need to have any conversations with me directly.

    I am glad I went today. I am mostly glad because I got to be there with my brother, his wife and the baby without my parents in the room. They came later in the day (I had left and then went back), and it really was very different. Very different.

    I am still not thrilled about the prospect of going back this weekend. I am still thinking it over - can I do this again? Should I? Do I want to? It's not an easy drive, and I sort of kind of have a life here. Sort of. Kids, and a husband, and friends with whom I've made plans. That sort of thing. A birthday party to plan (next Saturday) with a friend. Birthday parties to bring kids to, and to shop for. You know. Life.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:24 PM   0 comments
    BarBri Question - Note-taking?
    I start my BarBri class next Wednesday. We have been informed that there are not enough outlets to go around, and if we want to, we can bring our laptops, but they need to have enough battery power to last through the whole class (mine likely can do it, but may fall a bit short).

    Question -- should I bring my laptop? What kind of note-taking will I want to do? Will I want to catch every single word the lecturer says? Should I do my best with hand-written notes, to get my hand in practice for writing essays on the actual test?

    Please, those who have gone before me, impart wisdom.


    posted by Zuska @ 11:22 PM   3 comments
    Tuesday, May 22, 2007
    Growing Pains
    I am really glad that the school confronts adolescence head on. E is in 5th grade, and it's time for them to start to learn about development and puberty, etc.

    Today, E brought a friend home with her from school. Straight in the door "oh, we saw this movie in our class today," and "we saw that, too - it isn't fair that the girl section is 15 minutes and the boy section is like 30 seconds. We are so unfortunate." "yeah, someone in my class asked 'why does a penis get hard?' and the teacher made us a diagram." Someone else's 10 year daughter using her finger to depict the penis in its flacid, semi-erect, and fully erect state.


    The conversations that just went on after dinner (just our family) sent Beloved running from the room out of fear that he'd say something inappropriate ... E came out with, "[it ocurrs to me that repeating this conversation will result in many search hits which I'm not really looking for]." Basically, Beloved and I were trying to stop ourselves from saying things that would clue the girls into knowing that we are, in fact, despite our status as their parents, sexual beings. We know the things that they're learning right now b/c of experience - and the girls don't want (or need) to think/know about this right now. So we'll just stifle our thoughts, keep from sharing our inside knowledge, and smile later at the kids' ability to be so very candid and open, and comfortable while talking about hand-held mirrors and the benefits of knowing where all your equipment is located.


    We're watching American Idol. I am leaving 1/2 way through to go my book group where I can make sourpuss faces at the book - Eat, Pray, Love. I think I'm NOT a memoir person. If I don't know someone - I don't care 300 pages worth about their life. Not if they're just some chick who got sad so traveled to some different countries. She's just some chick!!!

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    posted by Zuska @ 7:53 PM   1 comments
    Nine Plus Pounds
    My poor sister in law. She does not share my family's genetic material. We're bigger people. I'm the shorty in our family, at 5'7" - my sister's 5'9" and my brother (eh hem) is 6'5" My sister in law is 5'2", I think.

    So, after 14 hours of labor and 2.5 hours of pushing, she ended up with a c-section.

    Which seems like a real nasty situation to me. Ugh. To go through all that, and still have the section? I know she isn't the first one to have this happen, but still. Ouch.

    I'm going tomorrow, and bringing E with me. Missing a day of school won't kill her, right? She doesn't want to come this weekend, b/c she has a birthday party to go to. I can't stay long, b/c J's bday is on Thursday.

    What a crazy week! So much for a week off between school and BarBri.

    And now my parents will come for J's bday.
    posted by Zuska @ 4:40 PM   0 comments
    All for Naught
    My sister-in-law is in the hospital, 4-5 cm dilated. The boy will surely be born today, and graduation will go forward.

    I don't think I can drive down there before the weekend, since MY child is having a birthday on Thursday. I guess we'll see.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:48 AM   0 comments
    Monday, May 21, 2007
    Why I'm Glad I Have a Blog.
    (sorry to all readers who don't want to hear about these things)

    When I'm feeling a wee crampy, and the thought pops into my mind, "hm? when did I last get my period?" I can search my own posts for the word "period" and find that on 4/23, I complained about being crampy and grouchy due to my period.

    Which means it makes sense to feel crampy on 5/21. To be otherwise would be worrisome.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:16 PM   1 comments
    I am having a slower start than I expected [flag this as the understatement of the day]. I planned to leave here at 9, go to the gym, then drop off my loan paperwork and then come home. 9 a.m. turned into 10:15, and I realized that it had gotten too late for me to go to the gym prior to putting food in my stomach. Or else I'd be too weak. So I boiled some eggs. Now I'm waiting for them to cool to a temperature appropriate for salting and eating.

    In the meantime, I'd like to tell a story about Zuska the Dork.

    I have a thing for mugs. I like pretty mugs. Sometimes, it seems foolish of me to like and therefore purchase pretty mugs, b/c I typically purchase coffee and tea from Starbucks or ABP, or some other cafe. But when I'm home, and I brew my own coffee, I want it in a pretty mug.

    When Beloved and I moved here from CA, I had to get rid of a lot of mugs. Mugs tend to get chipped around here, too, so I've lost others in that manner.

    And, since we've been here, my cafe drinking and my budget have steered me away from buying mugs. I've gotten a couple as gifts, but I haven't really bought a pretty mug in a long time.

    Yesterday, I brought E to cello, and went on my usual trek to Starbucks in order to a) get my daily caffeine injection, and b) kill time before I could retrieve her.

    While in Starbucks, I saw a Pretty Mug. It was a little taller than usual (and since I drink larger than usual cups of coffee, it was perfect), and had a pretty red floral-ish, hippy-ish design. I said, "that would be a perfect "you finished law school" gift for myself." And I bought it. It was $8.

    They gave it to me in a handled bag, which I like to have in the house because they're useful for packing lunches, etc. I had on my Timbuk2 bag, but it was full of stuff, and I thought that the mug may not be safe in there as I got on and off the T with E and her cello and so forth. So I kept it in my hand.

    As I was getting off the T to get E, post-Starbucks, I was thinking, "maybe I should put it in my ba----"

    I didn't think the "g" in "bag" b/c as it was about to enter my articulated thoughts .... the handle of the bag slipped out of my fingers, and the bag fell to the ground.

    Of course, I thought, the mug broke. But I checked anyway. It was broke.

    I threw away $8. Basically. Little budget-zuska, trying so hard to make her limited summer-funds last the summer, decided to splurge and spend $8 on a mug, and then she dropped it.

    Beloved said, "sweetie, you weren't meant to have that mug." I stomped my foot (loudly) and said, "I'm replacing it!" He said if I try, I'll be tempting the fates.

    Fuck the fates. I'm replacing it.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:42 AM   0 comments
    The Ham
    E was in a play this weekend with her community theater program. It was an adaptation of Shakespeare's 12th Night, which I will admit I had zero familiarity with. E's part was pretty small - she was part of the very adapted "chorus." They were a goofy troupe of actors, re-enacting the play in a humorous manner every now and again when it was assumed that the audience was left confused by either the intracacies of the plot, or the oversimplification of the plot necessary to the adaption for 9-12 year olds to perform the play.

    E seems to have been pegged a ham. She is funny. She has no problem over-acting, and she's very charismatic. She had a slightly hammy part in Peter Pan - she was the little brother Michael.

    People love her. They love her smile and her exuberance and her ability to get lost in her part. She's really very adorable up on stage. VERY adorable. (She might be getting too old for that word to accurately describe her.) I don't understand where her comfort on stage comes from. Sure as hell not from me. She has no problem forgetting that there is an audience, and just going with it.

    I got so many compliments about her after both productions - sometimes, I don't know how to handle them. It feels sort of trite when someone says, "E was so great! She's such a natural!" for me to say, "oh, L was fantastic, too! I loved her song!" I feel like I'm reading lines in a play myself. One person even said to me, "Zuska, E was so fantastic, I swear, I could see her on Broadway one day!" and to that, I just laughed.

    We went out to dinner after last night's play at our local Vietnamese place. It was delicious, and we all ate a ton of FANTASTIC food, and I had a basil martini. I love drinks with basil in them. Yummy.

    Unfortunately, on Saturday night between the productions, E ended up upset with X again. Notice, there are no posts about him being in town. He did not come. Last I spoke with him, he said he'd "try" - but that he didn't have much notice [it was last weekend ... but we told him about it in March, too]. She ended up upset about her entire relationship with him, and was complaining about how awkward she feels with him, and how she always feels like he's just "pretending" and that he's like an "actor."

    Yet again --- she is seeing on her own one of the reasons why her father and I are no longer together, and once again, I'm feeling badly for her that she can't walk away as I did.

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:07 AM   0 comments
    Friday, May 18, 2007
    1st Day Off
    You know when a thunder storm is coming, and the dark clouds are gathering, and you just KNOW the rain is about to come - and then you can hear it before you can feel it, like a strange wind, but really it's just SHEETS of rain, sometimes accompanied with a CLAP of thunder?

    And then the rain is so heavy and hard and the raindrops are so big, they could even be snowflakes, if it weren't 80 out?

    Well. That kind of rain has been coming out of my sky for the past, uh, 6 hours.

    I keep looking out and seeing the sheets and sheets of rain, and thinking, "it'll slow down soon, and THEN I'll go to the gym." But it isn't slowing down. So I need to suck it up, put on my boots, and go.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:38 PM   0 comments
    Thursday, May 17, 2007
    I finished.
    As in .... I finished law school.

    I wonder when I will ever carry my computer around again? I think maybe never.


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    posted by Zuska @ 3:34 PM   6 comments
    Guess what?
    Now I have to get rid of 58 words. Then I'm done.

    posted by Zuska @ 3:06 PM   0 comments
    Laura over at WonL just wrote a goodbye letter. It makes me feel quite sad. I will hold out hope that she will start up elsewhere, and that she'll let me follow her - the sadness isn't just about her. It's because, well, I know a lot of the blogs I've been reading are going to do the same. I am going to do the same. I just don't know how yet. I am CERTAIN that I will be here through the bar exam. But then what? Do I leave my archives up? Do I change my name? Do I let everyone who reads this follow me to that?

    I think I have to be more selective than that. Which sucks. Because I like my daily hits. I'll have to start building a whole new readership.

    What kind of readership? Mommy readership? I'm not sure I'm Mommy-ish enough for that. I read this thing on Alpha moms v. Slacker Moms ... I know for a FACT that I am a slacker mom (defined as those who forget to hand in field trip permission slips and occasionally forget when it's there turn to bring the damned orange slices). I don't think slacker-moms get to have Mommy blogs. [Ooh! Maybe that's my calling! Starting the new wave of slacker-mom blogs. I bet we all work.]

    And - it's super sad because it means law school is ending. IT was fun to come across a blogging world of people in law school. I mean, it is a pretty damned unique experience, and having those who understand to rant toward probably helped Beloved to survive the experience.

    I like law school.

    Which may explain why I'm taking 7 hours to finish this last take home, when it should have taken 3. I just don't want it to end.

    I decided today that it's likely that I will cry at graduation. And then I started to think about how dumb that will look. This old woman, old enough to be everyone's mother (okay, okay, so that's not true --- but maybe too old to be an older sister? No. Not really. I could be the older sister) sobbing like a baby.

    I am happy, too, of course.

    But right now, I'm more sad. Perhaps if I go and focus on the international law regime's effectiveness or ineffectiveness in protecting the environment I'll feel less sad.

    Or more sad.

    Damn. I need to shut up so I can write a real goodbye letter later, and not have it be all repetitive and boring.

    And so I can write my fucking take home exam!!! (900 words to go!!)

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:07 PM   3 comments
    More on the Disgustingness of Others
    It's really unfortunate that I've been finding that this quarter, I work best in the law school library. Reason being that people in law school are really gross. I mean, a couple weeks ago, there was the gum chewer. Now there's this dude who has a cold, and is constantly coughing crap up, and moaning and groaning while breathing (mouth breathing, nonetheless), and just being generally disgusting. Really really disgusting. He wasn't here when I got here. Or else I would have sat elsewhere. Now I have papers and books strewn about my cubicle, and I don't want to get up and move just because he has a bug. Geez.

    I used to study in my town's library. It's bigger, and things are a little less cozy. Also, I think people get less confused, thinking that they're actually in their living room - or perhaps even their bathroom - like they tend to do here in the law school library.

    I am now at 1,000 words. I need 1500 more.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:35 PM   4 comments
    Now it's 11:30 a.m., and I just hit the library. No one stole or mangled my bike overnight, which is a relief. Even though I have no clue when I'll be using that puppy again, now that I will be pulled into downtown - to which I'm afraid to ride - for the foreseeable future (BarBri then Future Firm).

    When I left Future Firm last summer, they gave the summer associates a jacket. This seems to be common practice with the big firms. I've seen others -- fleece jackets that people don't want to wear because it has a firm logo emblazoned on the chest or the back or whatever. But when I saw the high quality windbreaker/rain coat which was given to me, I was pretty impressed. Further impressed by the fact that firm logo was on the back of the HOOD in such a way that if the hood is down, you can't see the firm logo. Which means I can wear my jacket at school without people thinking I'm a braggart or a dork or something worse.

    Just today I discovered that not only is the firm logo on the back of the hood - but I can roll up the hood, and stick it into a pocket in the collar. The logo is 100% invisible!

    Glad to know I'll be joining a classy place.

    p.s. I am glad Melinda was voted off, despite the fact that she totally ROCKED her second song on Tuesday night, and gave me chills. If she was voted off. If the producers didn't decide that she was getting boring because she was such a given and just told Ryan to SAY she was voted off.

    p.p.s. Can you tell I feel D-O-N-E? By the chit chat and the mere fact that I'm posting in and of itself? I can't feel done. I have another exam to write. It has to be 2500 words, and it has to be good, and I only have 646 mediocre words thus far. Please, send positive worky vibes my way? I'd love to hand it in before I leave school today ....

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:30 AM   0 comments
    Now, 3/4ths Done
    And it's a good thing, because the week is 4/5ths over [noon tomorrow is the cut-off].

    I just uploaded one of my 2 take home exams. It is 8:46 a.m. I must go to school, and I think work out, and then hole up in the library to complete the FINAL take home exam. I would really love to hand it in before I leave school today to pick up the girls. Imagine? Friday OFF? Done a day early? That would be divine.

    Perhaps, though, reckless. I'm working on pretty low energy and brain power at this point. Sleeping on this take home tonight and then leaving tomorrow a.m. for any final polishing may be wise.

    I was actually starting to have panic attacks in bed last night. We went to bed at 11:30, and I was exhausted. As soon as I tried to fall asleep, though, my heart started to race, thinking about my 2 take homes, the 2 exams I took in class, what my evals will look like, the end of law school, not being in classes anymore, starting work, taking the bar exam, starting BarBri ....

    So then I started to think about Lost, which was good last night, and the world of make believe calmed me down and I fell to sleep.

    I left my bike at school yesterday for the first time in 3 years. We had some nasty thunderstorms (perhaps even tornados inland in this state, and near my home town in that other state down there) while I was writing about torture and enemy combatants, and then the temp dropped from the 70s to the 40s. I had on flip-flops and capris and NO rain coat. So I took the T home. I hope my bike's okay. I hope no one took it. Or the tires off of it. That would suck.

    We woke up this a.m. to no power. That was strange. Fortunately my alarm clock is battery operated. E usually showers in the a.m., but since there was no hot water, I let her sleep in. MISTAKE! The girl's a grouch without a shower to wake her up and make her smiley. And then J had fits over shoes and socks - nothing was comfortable. Socks were too thin, shoes were too tight, and she has a walking field trip today. She has like 100 pairs of shoes. I don't know why she was suddenly insisting that they all SUCK. Not to mention the 200 pairs of socks.

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:45 AM   0 comments
    Wednesday, May 16, 2007
    Last In Class Exam --- Evah!!!
    I finished IP. I have to say, I came out of it feeling less confident than I did coming out of Securities. Perhaps it's because I didn't just learn IP in 2 days - I've been reading and paying attention and caring and understanding all along. So being able to write about it didn't feel like a big deal. But I don't think so. I think I missed stuff. I know I didn't bomb it, but this is a professor I respect, and I don't want her to read it and think, "zuska's dumb." But since I had her for Property first year, and she didn't find me dumb, it's more likely she'll say "zuska's a lazy 3L."

    Who knows - maybe I only feel less confident because it was closed book, and I couldn't go through a written checklist and KNOW that I talked about all applicable issues. I'm not really willing to go back through my notecards, either, to find out what/if I missed. I'll just stay in blissful ignorance until my evals come out (in 100 years or so).

    This morning, I was a freaking MACHINE. In honor of exams, I guess. I woke up at 6 [30 minutes earlier than usual] and threw on clothes, put my hair up, and got on the [pre-packed - which is soooo not-Zuska] and rode to school. I went straight to the gym, carried my index cards and outline up the stairs with me and sweat like a PIG for 45 minutes while memorizing PFCs.

    I ellipticalled .2 of a mile less than yesterday in the same amount of time - when I was not memorizing elements of a cause of action for Trademark infringment suits. But I think it's a worthwhile trade off. 2-tenths of a mile = no days skipped in the exercise regime AND memorized elements of causes of action.

    And in other blissful ignorance news - the scale in the gym is broked. So I don't know if I've lost or gained or what in the past week.

    I'll tell you one thing - on Friday - when I'm DONE with law school - I don't give a shit about the scale.

    I'm eating ice cream.

    Now I'm off for a quick walk to get a notebook and a bottle of yummy orange sparkling water before I come back to the library and settle in to electronically retrieve my 24 hour take home.

    I sort of wish I had time for a nap.

    Oh well.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:47 PM   1 comments
    Tuesday, May 15, 2007
    Jerry's Dead
    Well, no more Jerry Falwell to complain about or blame for my college experience.

    Update: Okay, so - when I first wrote this post, I had another paragraph that said, "I wonder how many people in my current life are reading this story and thinking immediately of ME?" I erased that line/sentiment, b/c I thought "Zuska, you cocky bitch, some man just DIED, and you think people are thinking of you? Get over yourself!"

    Since then, I have received 7 e-mails and 4 phone calls "Zuska! Jerry Falwell died!" My friend who just called (sorry fellow library studiers!!) said, "I read the news and I said, 'I have to call my friend! She's my only Jerry Falwell connection!'"

    I now feel like I can add my second paragraph into this post. People ARE thinking of me when they read the news. Jerry Falwell = Zuska. At least, since I left that world, and since those people who are in MY world really know very little about Jerry and Liberty University, and since I have educated many people in the realities of the Jerry Falwell Universe.

    I may still be a cocky bitch, though.

    Update 2: Wow. I just read a blog of an old classmate of mine (from liberty) who just posted this font of sadness over Jerry's passing - talking about how much he respected him, and how he (classmate) "and everyone he hung out with" was so happy to have Jerry on their team when we were there.

    Uh. I hung out with this guy - we made fun of Jerry all the time. All The Time. He was a joke. He was this odd omni-presence that we used as a tongue-in-cheek reference whenever we broke the rules (i.e., went to the student center during chapel to take a nap).

    I am sorry I cannot link to his blog - because there are many other topics on his blog that I often find surreal - proof that he somehow continues to live in that world, and is raising his poor, poor daughters in that world. I am not really up for him tracking back to MY blog if I ended up a referral for his.

    So y'all have to take my word for it.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:44 PM   2 comments
    Monday, May 14, 2007
    The Worst is Over
    I took my Securities Regulation exam this afternoon. Amen. I am done with that class.

    I felt good coming out of it - like I'd hit the major issues, and was lacking very little information. I was a little worried because I didn't know the specifics about how the SEC refers matters to the DOJ for criminal prosecution ... I was worried that was going to hurt me. I just said, "the SEC may refer the matter to the DOJ for criminal prosecution of the fraudulent acts." Post-exam screening says I may have said, "under section 17" but otherwise - I am more than fine.

    Coming out of there, I feel like I did a damned good job at learning an entire course in 2 days. I always feel good coming out, though. I do know, for a fact, that I passed. This is what really matters. Because 2 weeks ago, while sitting in that room with that infuriating professor and all of his, "right? right? right? right?" nonsense, I thought, "I'm going to fail. I need this class to graduate, and I can't focus on a thing this man is saying b/c he's the world's most annoying poo-poo head to walk the face of the earth - so I am going to FAIL."

    I did not fail.

    Now I'm working on my International Law take home exam -- some nonsense about the environment and China and mercury. I will go home in a couple of hours, and eat some food. I'm hungry. I'm also tired. Because I just took an exam.

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    posted by Zuska @ 4:49 PM   0 comments
    Sunday, May 13, 2007
    Happy Mother's Day/Exam Prep
    Today is definitely not going in the books as the "Best Mother's Day Ever" for several reasons. Not the smallest of which is the fact that I spent 80% of it (thus far) studying Securities Regulations, and am about to switch over to Intellectual Property.

    I ran into a professor in the park today. The park right behind our house. She was playing with her kid, and said, "what are you doing here? do you live here?" I said, "yes, I live right there!" and she was stunned, b/c so does she. They just moved here.

    I now have one judge, and TWO professors in my neighborhood. I am pretty sure there are other "legal celebrities" that I'm just not remembering right now. Oh yeah, right -- a third professor. One of them has lived here since we have, and his daughter is E's age, but in another school. His daughter plays against E in softball, and was in the same spelling bee, etc. So we tend to run into each other quite often.

    I look forward to graduating. Then they're not "my professors" anymore, but rather "a professor at my alma mater." Then I won't feel like random conversations in the park are stilted by my concern that she's making me memorize 9,000 facts by Wednesday.

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:09 PM   1 comments
    Saturday, May 12, 2007
    The Unfairness of Me
    Yeah, a study break.

    My Beloved is really an amazing man. He is very thoughtful - he thinks about things that most men do not think about. He is very considerate, in that he considers me, my personality, my strengths and my weaknesses in most decisions that he makes. Some of my faults frustrate the shit out of him, and he wants to change them -- i.e., my propensity to fling my keys into a pile of crap, then add more crap to the pile, then push the pile to the ground, and then have a frantic hour of searching for keys the next morning on hte way out the door ... often to find that I removed them from the pile of crap and placed them in my bag, where they belonged in the first place. He wants me to just put my keys in the same place every time I walk in the door, and then I will never have to look for them, and always know where they are. I think that's sort of alienesque behavior ... and I am not that interested in it. Although, in all honesty, I haven't lost my keys in a long time, and I do typically put them on the little stand-thing by the door now. But many of my other faults, he suffers through, and works around. Like my ability to do "other things" in the morning until it's too late to pack a lunch ... he packs my lunch for me now, and will even go so far as to put it in my bag so I don't forget.

    He is really great.

    When I started law school, I was not at my ideal weight. Mostly due to a couple of injuries and a decrease in free-time because of single motherhood and my entry into a full-time workforce. But over the 3 years that I was in that situation, I didn't gain too-too much weight. Maybe 15 - 20 pounds (yeah, to some, that's too-too much weight. I don't come from one of those families. I have an aunt who has .... uh, 215 pounds to lose. And I'm really not kidding. She's 5'2" and weighs 35o pounds.)

    Beloved said not a WORD. He did not show any lack of attraction to me, he did not make any disparaging comments [like X would have], and there was no reduction in affection, compliments - nothing.

    Then came law school.

    I was stressed. I had no time to exercise. I found refuge in ice cream. So I put on more weight. (damn me.)

    Still ... Beloved said nothing. Same thing with the whole consistency of our relationship and his kindness and lovingness.

    Now I'm losing this stupid weight. It's coming off relatively steadily right now, and my smaller clothes that were put away are back out, and loose.

    I get frustrated, because Beloved says almost nothing. I suppose I've whined and wheedled enough that he does now say SOME - but he isn't all "OH MY GOD YOU'VE LOST SO MUCH WEIGHT YOU LOOK SO HOT LETS HAVE SEX 24 HOURS A DAY!!" And I have pouted a couple times over this.

    But I recognize that it is unfair. The fact that he is so damned accepting is something that I treasure and love and recognize as a gift that the universe has given me out of kindness.

    If he were to go on and on and on about the shrinking-ness of me, then doesn't it take away from the acceptance of the NOT shrinking me who was here a few months ago? I think it would. And if my battle with my family history is something that continues to require my full focus and I one day have to give that focus to something else - or if I were to get injured again, and can't continue with the exercise ... don't I want to feel like the consistent love and acceptance of Beloved still exists? I don't want to look back and say, "oh, but he was so happy when I lost that weight, and now I'm gaining it back, and perhaps I have to once again feel like I don't live up to my husband's expectations [other husband] and that our relationship is bound up in our physical appearances and that my life sucks."

    No. I don't want that.

    I am grateful and happy that my desire to rediscover my healthy zone was not necessary to my husband/love's respect and appreciation of me.

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    posted by Zuska @ 4:16 PM   0 comments
    Last Day of Classes
    Yesterday was my last law school class. It was a little surreal, because our classroom was moved due to 1L exams, and we ended up being put in a classroom I had almost all my first-year classes in, but haven't been in since. I also was in IP, which is taught by the same professor who I had for 1L Property. It felt like 3 years ago - I remember the Property review session perfectly, and I'm pretty sure I sat in the same seat.

    When we left, my friends were VERY happy. Doing dances and such.

    I wasn't. Not really. I was nostalgic, and also a little sad. I've really enjoyed school. I've enjoyed being in class again, and I've enjoyed this sort of learning process. I don't want it to continue, and I'm not combing the land for the "perfect" ph.d. program. However, I'm not doing a dance, really.

    I think my friends who went to law school straight from undergrad were the ones who were happy. They just finished their 20th year straight of school (right? Is my math okay here?)

    I had 10 years off. I think it made me more appreciative, and now a little more sad.

    But uh, I can't wait for exams to be over. And I can't wait to be done with the bar. And I can't wait to go to Europe with my Beloved, and I actually really can't wait to start work/my career, and I'm optimistic (to say the least) about the future.

    So I wasn't that sad.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:02 AM   4 comments
    Thursday, May 10, 2007
    Plugging along ...
    all last week, I noticed that many of the law school blogs were mostly a list of what exam prep had taken place that day. I was feeling a little pleased that it wasn't me yet, since my school is on the quarter system, and are exams happen sorta late.

    Now it's my turn.

    Today I worked on International Law and Securities. Both went better than I expected. I consulted with two classmates on the International take home, and I felt like I have a good grasp of the material. Then I went and holed up in the library to tackle Securities.

    I've been really worried about Securities. My professor started off the quarter on a super-sour note, and I had a hard time getting over the bitterness. Really, I never did get over it. I might have, if he was a decent teacher. But he isn't. He sucks at teaching. He should NOT quit his day job. Fortunately for him, and unfortunately for all of us, he DOES have a day job, and that's why we were left waiting for 1/2 hour, and it's why we had to tolerate him answering his cell phone and blackberry during class on several occasions.

    Or, perhaps, the reason why was because he's an inconsiderate person who has respect for no one but himself, and found us to be itty bitty babies hanging on his every word (never mind that the average age in the classroom was likely 30+, and I somehow don't think he has yet reached 40).

    Anyway -- because of this attitude of mine and lack of teaching ability of his - I have learned nothing this quarter. Nothing. I know that there's a few laws pertaining to securities. The end.

    So today I set to the task of learning about securities. I think I'm getting there. I'm about 1/2 way through the course, and I feel pretty good. I will not fail; I am certain of that.

    I will have a very insane 8 days coming up here. I would like to move into the law library. I can bring a sleeping bag or something. I have probably 24 hours/day of work to do. I have 2 take homes, but I can't start on them until Wednesday - and one of them has a 24 hour limit, so I won't start the second one until Thursday. Which leaves me less than 24 hours to do that one. I will look for corners of time over the weekend, when I need a break from the others. But I still don't think I'll turn to it until Thursday.

    And I'm not willing to give up the gym next week. I already made my plan to leave the house at 6 or 6:30 on Weds a.m. and head to the gym with either notecards or my outline, and do my last minute cramming on the elliptical. I can't write take home exams at the gym, but who cares. I'm sure that the 2 hours it takes won't fail me.

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    posted by Zuska @ 5:50 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, May 09, 2007
    Prolonging the Inevitable - American Idol
    Sorry, Housewife, I just can't resist. You should see the hit boost this brings me!!

    Last night, I was not impressed with anyone. Except, perhaps, Jordin's first song. Yet, I voted about 700,000,000 times for Blake, and 700 times for Jordin (knowing she didn't need it).

    All of us were rooting for Melinda to go home ... no such luck.

    We knew it was Lakisha or Blake - Beloved thought Blake, I thought Lakisha.

    I was right. [nanny nanny boo boo]

    The little "get to know the contestant" blurbs they had going on made me like Lakisha even more, and I was sad to see her go. But I wouldn't have, talentwise, chosen her over Blake at this point.

    I said to the fam tonight - "only one of these people are artists, the other 3 are just performers."

    I think that's true. Blake is the only one with a real ... character. Who actually is creating something new each week. And for that, I wish he would win.

    But I think he's out next week. I'm glad he made it one more week, but I think next week, unless Melinda gets the boot (as I wish would happen), he's outta here.

    And I think Jordin will win. Should win. The whole tiara.


    posted by Zuska @ 11:25 PM   3 comments
    Beloved bought our tickets today! We're going to Europe, come hell or high water! I am getting very excited, and find myself tempted to search for hotels (the right balance between cheap, clean and possessing showers in the room ... the last one I suppose I'll give up on if I must) and train tickets, instead of focusing on stupid IP and stupid Securities Regulation.

    I mean, how boring does Securities Regulation sound? Thanks to the professor, it's that times 10,000.

    Woo hoo to the first hurricane-ish thing forming off the east coast! I love storms! I want a storm in Boston!! {of course, I want a fun, windy storm which knocks the power out for a day, and gives us nice views out our apartment window - I do not want a devestating storm which kills people and once again points out the ineptness of this administration in truly protecting the people of this nation, and helping them once the protection doesn't happen ....}

    Okay - back to school. Bye.
    posted by Zuska @ 3:51 PM   0 comments
    Tuesday, May 08, 2007
    Getting Serious
    Alright, finally, I'm ready to buckle down and prepare for exams. I got a substantial portion of my IP outline done today, and hope to finish soon. Then I switch over to Securities, with a slight blip of Int'l Law on Thursday afternoon. We are getting our take home exam tomorrow, but it isn't due until next Friday. A friend and I are getting together post-gym on Thursday, though, to do some initial brainstorming. I won't be able to actually write the damned thing until a week later; the day before it's due. Woe is me.

    My Security/Liberty exam has a 24 hour limit - we can pick it up one day, and it's due exactly 24 hours later. I think I'm going to pick it up after my IP exam, which is Weds. a.m. I told a classmate today, I plan to pick it up at 2 p.m., b/c then I can work a good bit in the evening, and then sleep on it, and finalize it in the a.m.

    I am not looking forward to this and next week. They're poops. I can't wait until they're over.

    I have friends who arranged things so that they have like NO exams. Or their only exam is the 24 hour take home. I am jealous now. I have 4 exams. Ptooey.

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:46 PM   0 comments
    As per Mieke -- 7 things
    As I said, Mieke tagged me. I have to think of 7 things that people wouldn't know about me. Not an easy thing to do, since I say (and type) everything I think. Well, that's not true. There were at least two things which I considered for this list, but then passed on for something a bit less ... personal.

    1) I tend to throw myself into temptations, rather than resisting them. Sometimes this is as minor as buying an album on iTunes when I know very little about the artist, and other times, it's as major as kissing someone I perhaps should not.

    2) Right after E was born, I bled pretty heavy, and was a hair's breadth from being whisked away into surgery to make it stop so I didn't die. All the while, I was lying there, grinning, feeling fine, b/c the baby was out of me, and she was crying, and even though there were some scary things going on with HER before I pushed her out, she was okay. I was really on some other planet. X, my mom, my doctor, and the nurse were all frantic, and I was grinning at the little sparklies around the lights on the ceiling.

    3) I had a C average all through high school. I shared this with a friend of mine last year [who I met through the kids], and she was stunned. She just could not believe that I hadn't been a good student. Well ... I was not. I was horrible. I didn't do my homework, I was completely disorganized, and I put forth zero effort on most of my assignments. If my kids do the same as me, I will be very ANGRY with them. I will likely be ANGRY with myself, too, for passing my genes on to them.

    4) I have only had sex with 3 people in my life ... and since I've been married twice (well, one is current), it goes to show what a prude I am. I know very few people with such a low #. My kissing # is also quite low.

    5) When I was 21, I was fired from a job. (Or rather, I "resigned in lieu of termination.") It was one the worst experiences of my life, because by that time, I'd already been in the work force for 8 years, and one thing I thought I was really good at was working. In my experience, it was the very beginning of shared document networks in law firms, and in the early days of interoffice e-mail. Another employee had been caught accessing private and confidential documents (that required passwords), and was fired. After that happened - the office administrator did a search of the system to find out who had accessed other people's documents. My name was on the list of people who accessed more than [some arbitrary number -- I think it was 25] documents, and so I was on the list of seven people who were given the boot. They did not care that I had legitimate reasons for being in other people's documents (i.e., I did a lot of overtime and overflow work, and worked for several people other than my boss -- far more than 25). All of the documents I accessed were "public" - not private. I had not hacked into anything, nor was there any allegation that I accessed information I should not have, and certainly no allegation that I misused information that I shouldn't have had. This was my third (or fourth?) rider to my bar application; along with the one about the divorce; the one about Liberty's disciplinary policies; and the one with my 100 jobs beyond the blank spaces provided. I've told a few friends this story in the context of me needing to write it up for the application, and at least one person looked horrified --- she said, "agh! at my summer job, I went into other people's documents all the time to see how certain documents were done there!" Yeah, no duh. We were also told to do that at Future Firm, and at the firm I was working with at my last co-op. Because that's the point: shared documents. I was told after I left this firm, though, that the sweep of people who were gotten rid with me all had some issue or another -- whether it was one woman with rheumatoid arthritis, or the other whose baby had health issues requiring her to miss a lot of days. Some suspected that it was a front to get rid of people who were no longer needed/wanted. [I had just asked for a leave of absence for the summer, b/c X had a clerkship in another city.]

    6) All my life, my dad had a good bit of gas. Burps, farts, you name it. Turns out, I have his genes. I tend to fart a lot in the evening. It's perfectly controllable - I mean, if I go to a friend's house, I don't fart. If I'm at a restaurant, I don't fart. Actually, for the first 2 or 3 years of my live-in relationship with Beloved, I held onto the farts. Now, however, I let 'em rip (that's what he gets for taking the plunge into marriage). It's become a bit of a family joke. So much so that yesterday, when J and I were at Target, she laughed uproariously at the gift card with a picture of Flower (from Bambi) on it that said "I smell like Roses." Because that's my mantra .... It's okay that I farted, because it smells like roses. Also, when Beloved and I watched Volver, and Penelope Cruz knew that her mother was in the house because the house smelled like farts, we laughed a lot. I am curious as to WHY, and if something's wrong with me. When I eat bread, rice or pasta, there is more, and more PAINFUL gas. I already stay away from those things, for weight loss purposes. We tried a meat-free week a couple weeks ago, and that had no discernible effect. Perhaps some day, I'll go to the doctor.

    7) I wish my hair were red. Preferably an auburn color - like Addison from Grey's Anatomy. Actually, I wish I looked like her - entirely. I think she rocks. Nicole Kidman used to be my "I wanna look like her" girl, but she's gotten emaciated and weird. I don't like her anymore. I liked her when she and Tom [freak] first got married ... when they did Far and Away together. And when she did Dead Calm. Like here. Not like here. Or here. [I mean, ewww??] Nope. Now it's Kate Walsh for me. If I could, I'd look like this.

    Phew. That was hard. It took 3 days!!!

    I'm really not a fan of tagging people - if you want to be tagged, let me know, and I'll link to you in this post. Otherwise, steal at will.


    posted by Zuska @ 8:08 PM   1 comments
    Very exciting
    I just went and handed in my bar application. On the T, while traveling to the office, I pulled it out to go over things, and just be sure I didn't forget anything.


    I did.

    I forgot to include the judge I worked for in my first summer of law school. I didn't know what to do. He wrote one of my letters of recommendation, so there was no way they would think I was hiding the fact, but still. I then thought, "well, it's the only job that I wasn't paid for - maybe I can just say I didn't think I needed to include it?" But that's dumb, in this world of internships and co-ops.

    So I stopped at a FedEx/Kinkos right near the courthouse, and re-did the rider. The reason why it slipped through the cracks was b/c I had to add 5 pages' worth of additional jobs that the application didn't have room for - I thought "oh, all my co-op jobs fit on the first page" and started the Rider with other stuff -- but the Judge didn't fit on the first page.

    While I was in Kinkos, I ran into a fellow summer associate from Future Firm. That was fun.

    Now I'm back at school, outlining IP -- again and forever more.

    I am more worried about Securities Regulation. My classmates tell me I shouldn't be - that when I sit down to go over it, and create an outline/index, it will go much quicker than I think it will. I'm still worried.

    It's in less than a week!! So I need to finish IP, and get it out of the way (for now) so I can spend the weekend steeped in Securities.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:32 PM   0 comments
    Monday, May 07, 2007
    I've been tagged!
    Mieke tagged me - I have to come up with 7 things that people don't know about me. With those last super-revealing posts, I feel like there's nothing unknown about me anymore! I'll have to think on it for a bit. I'll start jotting things down in between sections of my IP outline ... no, really, I'm going to finish that thing one day.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:13 AM   0 comments
    Sunday, May 06, 2007
    Religiosity IV: My Exodus
    Here we are - my final installment in the back story of my religious experiences, which all coalesce to make Zuska the bitter, or is it better?, person that she is today.

    Religiosity I
    Religiosity II
    Religiosity III

    X [Like the new moniker? I'm trying it on for size] and I did find a church as soon as we were married. I think we were both uncomfortable with the church world at that time, but we weren't in any sort of all-out rebellion. We were newly married, knew we would one day be parents, and we wanted to do the "right thing."

    We went to a relatively large church, but by far not the largest in Birmingham, which a friend of his parents recommended. I was quickly startled at the similarity between this church and all I had seen at Liberty. Liberty was my first exposure to church as a stage, and I thought it was unique. Turned out it was NOT unique. The pastor in Birmingham had the same hair sprayed man haircut that all the men at Liberty had; the sermons were cookie-cutter; the parade of people walking down the aisle so they could "rededicate their lives to Christ" was just as persistent; the fear of hell was just as consistently evoked. I was not impressed.

    For a little while, we were just less than enthusiastic about attending. We had initially tried the "young married couples" bible study group - but I found no real connections with the girls [no, we were most decidedly not women, no matter how desperately we were playing at it] and all of their hairspray. X found no connection to the boys. In some ways, looking back, the "young married" bible studies I had come across in those years give me the absolute creeps. I almost feel like it was on the same spectrum as the training of boy soldiers we saw on Blood Diamond last night. They didn't hand us a gun, of course, but they handed us the ability to bind ourselves to one another, to bring children into the world, and to think exactly what they wanted us to think. We were painfully young, and so wanting to do good in the world, and with our lives, and each other, and our future children. But we were so little. I was 21! X was 22.

    X was concurrently embarking on another major relationship in his life [our lives], which I think contributed to his discontent with the Church. He was heading into a much more "intellectual" phase of his life, and I think he was ready to be done with the emotionalism. I just thought it was fake, and I was sick of all the damned hairspray. I also thought that the repetition, and the 'sameness' of it all made it suddenly less credible. I was squirming. My world view was starting to crumble and shift.

    So we started looking around at other churches. The first thing we tried (which, really, is 100% in line with X, his field, his interests) was the Episcopal Church in town. I was uncomfortable with that church. First of all, there was a woman .. what? priest? pastor? reverend? Had they not read the bible?? Women can't head churches. Hello, sin much? Second of all, they were having AIDS fundraisers. This was absolutely, positively pushing things too-too-too far. How could they support homosexuality like that? I couldn't do it. I felt like there was no point in attending a church that didn't even bother to crack a bible open (which, oddly, was also a complaint I had about Jerry Falwell in that he spent so much time on politics, I would seethe over the fact that there was no real preaching going on).

    I think, instead, we just stopped going to church.

    Then we moved to Berkeley. E was born 25 days later. Once a kid was in the picture, I felt like we were missing something by not going to church. I had heard somehow about a Presbyterian Church in town, and I wanted to try it.

    In the meantime ....

    I had a very close friend from college. We will call him T. When we were in college, T was just the life of a party (a very alcohol-free party, of course). He was fun, he was funny, he was warm. He was a very very best friend of mine. He had an excellent sense of fashion, he loved to sit and tease girls (and boys) for their lousy clothing choices, he used to just revel in the fact that he, myself, Rose, and our other friends were considered "beautiful people." I was so comfortable with him all the time.

    At one point, X and his friends told me that they walked in on T kissing another boy. I told them they were full of shit, T was not like that, and they were a bunch of macho fucks [okay, I probably said "jerks"] who had too much testosterone. T was my friend. Of course he was not gay.

    At another point, T called me to tell me that someone else had accused him of being gay [I think it was X's friend - X was/is a jock, and his friends were of that sort. He was, too.]. He asked me what I thought. I said, "it doesn't matter, because you're not." Maybe I said, "well, we'll tell them that you're not."

    I wonder how quickly I knew that I had failed a major test of our friendship? Was it that day? Or was it not until much, much later?

    After college, T floundered around a lot. He couldn't settle down. He was flitting from NYC to Atlanta to D.C., and then at one point, he landed in Maryland, at some camp or something. Why a camp? What is he talking about? he said he was trying to be more spiritual. There were things in his life he needed to deal with, and he realized that, and so he was trying to deal with things. I think it was a place like this.

    By the time I hit Berkeley, it was clear to me that T was gay, that he had been hiding it, that he had been making up the fact that he had girlfriends over the summers at home, and that he was in the world's shittiest situation. I was angry. How could this be? How could someone try so damned hard, and still not be what everyone around him thought he should be? I felt that there was something fundamentally unfair about a religion that served to make people hate themselves, and put people in a situation where they could not live up to the standard - no matter what they did. No matter how many damned CAMPS they went to. T was T. And he wasn't going to stop being himself because this religion said that he was sinful.

    That was Issue Numero Uno -- my doubts were huge at that point, and had nothing to do with hairspray and face make up. [An aside to say that during my last days in Berkeley, T moved to San Francisco. We got together, he officially came out, I told him, "I know, T!" and I apologized for not being more accepted years before. We had a great 6 months hanging out before he realized that San Francisco was not and could not be home for him, and he went back to the Southeast. We still talk occasionally, and every time, it's like home again.]

    A second thing: I had made a couple of friends through the Presbyterian Church. They were Very Christian. They used their beliefs (separately, though) to craft a parenting style which I saw as mistreatment of their children. Spanking their babies for crying when they were told to stop. Creating a puppet of an 18 month old who would practically walk in place crying and frustrated because he was afraid of what his mom would do if he didn't listen to her, but wanting to run over to her and grab her legs. The spankings, though! So many spankings.

    And my own parenting journey also pulled me away. Dr. Dobson's parenting missives were nothing but child abuse in my mind. Why was I being told that my children were horrid sinners at the age of 2 months? Why was I being told that my job is to teach them to get in line; to obey; that when they cry in their cribs, they're not unhappy or hungry or lonely -- they're rebelling?

    This went 100% against my instincts, and I was unwilling to take any of it on for myself.

    How much was I influenced by the town I was in? I like to think not at all. I don't think it mattered that I was in a town with co-sleeping, bare breasted, baby-sling wearing mommas who would have had me arrested if I dared raise a hand to my child - because I didn't know them yet. I was alone - other than these two women I met through the church. Who were scary.

    There was also the time that I went home to my parents' church while visiting. E was in my arms - she was probably 9 or 10 months old. An ex boyfriend of mine was their with his wife and their 6 month old child. His father was a deacon or whatever in the church, and he got up to pray, and in his prayer, he said to god that he knew that both my E and his grandson were sinners. That they had been sinners since their conception, and until they accepted Jesus Christ at their lord and savior, sinners they would remain.

    I walked out. I would have nothing to do with a place that told me and my child and the heavens above that a 9 month old child was a sinner.

    So, that was Issue #2.

    I believe my final big issue - other than some other episodes that worked to seal the deal - was the Welfare Queens. Another big lie which I had uncovered.

    X was a student, and we didn't have that much $$. I wasn't willing to give up my goal of staying home with my baby, and so I decided to try to start my own business. I posted fliers, I sent out letters, and I made phone calls. I ended up with a few lawyer-clients, a few mediator/arbitrator-clients, and a few professor clients. And a couple of students. For the lawyers and mediators, I did paralegal work - summarizing transcripts and depositions and other legal things. For the professors and students, however, I did straight transcription.

    Oh how boring, you may say.

    But really, not so much.

    I worked on a project about sex ed in schools; a project about sex workers; a project about welfare reform; a project about father's involvement with their kids if he was never married to the mom, and it also ended up being a LOT about welfare; and a project about college admissions.

    I listened to tapes of conversations with people who were experiencing a poverty I had never imagined. Women with 2 or 3 children and no income other than welfare. I learned what the welfare system really is. I learned about the lack of opportunity given to people who find themselves on welfare long term. I heard the voices of women who were absolutely trapped, and had nowhere else to go.

    There were no welfare queens. There was no cheating of the system. There were poor women, poor children - suffering from a true lack of food, education, opportunities, self-respect, respect from others, and on and on and on.

    I could not believe how the principles I was taught varied from the truth. How could people just say "if you want a job, go to McDonald's and get a job!" - and put the kids in what daycare? And get there with what car? And wear what clothes when we get there? And when we can't do the work because we left school before we could read - not because we were rebellious, not because we made bad choices, but because we did not have the examples that you had, Mr. Falwell, and your children, and your students who pay $10,000/year [yeah, that was all it cost then] - we didn't have those examples, and those lessons. We had schools that were falling apart and we didn't have textbooks and we didn't have buses, and we were hungry all day.

    And I knew that I was lied to.

    I was lied to about people who need help; I was lied to about the fact that they are out to take from me - and that if they only TRIED, they would be able to "pull themselves up by their bootstraps" and have everything my parents had.

    I was lied to about homosexuality.

    I was lied to about human nature, and the sin in babies.

    And I found that when it came time to talk to E, as she got older, about the universe, and about church, and about god .... I couldn't do it. I had piles upon piles of books that were full of religious bullshit - written for kids, sent by the grandmas - and I couldn't read them to her.

    Because I knew that if I did, then I was lying.

    I did spend some time reading the bible on my own. I thought that perhaps the people who I had learned from had contorted the message. Perhaps it's not the religion itself, but rather, the religious. I looked closely at the passages about women not teaching men. I didn't see it as succinctly put as I was taught to think it was, but I still wasn't won over by some new, and newly beautiful, truth. I put the bible down.

    Other episodes:

    1. When I found out that X had lied to me about how and why we were in Berkeley, I felt like it was all a freaking sham. I thought I had "found god's will" and in fact, I had found that someone wanted my husband -- really bad.

    2. When I found out that when he was 8, my brother had been molested by our "worship leader" at church - a man who I had felt so close to, and whose family (wife, son and baby daughter) was so important to me during my later teen years. I was so angry - but less at him, and more at my parents and the general population of the church. At their blind trust because this man stood up at the front of their church every week with his hands raised to the ceiling made them turn off their other filters. I know that I didn't have alarm bells going off about him, either, but -- I think they were there. I hated the idea that someone can just say, "yes, I'm born again" and wa la! Come to my house! Eat at my table! Have my children at your house whenever you want! You are a Christian, and therefore, you are "okay."

    3. When I realized that if X hadn't been a virgin when we married, I would have known that for some reason, having sex with him gave me yeast infections. Every fucking month. Yeast infections that made me feel like I was on fire, all the time. That made sex hurt more than any other painful ordeal I had been through (including childbirth!). I would also have known that X didn't give a shit if sex hurt, that he wouldn't be willing to change a damned thing (I don't know what would have worked), and he wouldn't be willing to stop having sex.

    And he wouldn't have been a virgin if we weren't told that sex was evil and bad and gross and that we would go to hell if we did it. We would have been able to find out whether or not we made a good couple. Hell, we could have moved in together before getting married, and I would have known that he was not just a tall boy with a high level of intelligence who played Division I baseball, but rather that he was a selfish son of a bitch who had a lousy sense of humor and loved to manipulate people into thinking that they were stupid and that he was so smart that they should never think to disagree with or argue with him, or else he would laugh at them, for being stupid. (Which his daughter, E, has recently pointed out to me - and which made me very, very, very sad. Because while I was able to file for divorce - there isn't anything that I can do to help her avoid that condescension, as infuriating and hurtful as it is.)


    So, if you take all of these issues and episodes, mix them together with the fact that I never really "got" the spiritual vibe of the religion, you get Zuska today. There were times, while X and I were still together, that I wondered if I made the right choice. Was I snatching my kids from heaven's promises? Those doubts are gone - they were fleeting. I never wonder if I was wrong. Never. I have been to my parents' church on a few occasions since I fully turned my back, and I was not at all pulled by the message or the "truth" as they see it. I went once with my sister, and she pinched me and said, "Z! You need to stop looking so angry, I swear, you look like you're going to explode!" because I just can't fathom believing that crap. Why do people choose to sit down in a town hall or a high school or a store, just to be told that they're evil sinners? When they're not.

    I don't think I'm articulating this last piece as well as I'd like to. I want to talk about the brutality of this god of my parents', and about the absolutely SICKness of revering a being who killed his own child. I want to talk about the promise of heaven as it is described by the churches I was a part of: a place where you spend all day every day on your knees praising god. Huh? That's heaven? What the hell is up with this god character that he keeps creating new people, trying to convince them to live their lives in this manner while thinking themselves (and everyone who doesn't agree with them) vile, just so they can die and then fall on their knees and worship him forever and ever amen? No thanks.

    I'm going to sit on it a bit - the story's still the story. I'll see if I can revisit the conclusion when I'm more refreshed ... which will likely be on May 19th, after I hand in my last exam.

    There may also be more story in how my parents a) found out that I'd turned my back; and b) reacted.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:39 PM   1 comments
    Finally, at home, just the 4 of us.
    Wow. My head is spinning. The weekend was so intense. We had kids here, kids there, kids at soccer, kids at softball, kids at cello, kids at birthday parties.

    Friday evening started crazy.

    But I want to first say: I was a very happy girl. I had on an old skirt that was un-closable for some time, and on Friday, it was baggy all over, but most notably in the hips. Where I rarely have room for baggy. It was fun to wear a summer skirt, some pretty sandals, and a linen blouse. And I didn't feel like a cow.

    I ran into friends on the soccer field, and all of a sudden had plans for dinner, plans to gather with others for wine, and was forced (arm twisting and everything) to call Beloved and tell him "don't go to the store! don't cook dinner!" It was a fun evening, and yet, something about the night left me feeling a little .... blech. Not sure what. I didn't drink too much (at all), didn't behave inappropriately (at all) ... perhaps I just missed Beloved? Not sure.

    I got up early (for me) on Saturday to go for a run, and picked up E on the way home --- I forced all 3 kids (a friend of J's adding the 3rd point to the triangle) through the motions required to get out the door. Then Beloved went with them to a soccer game, and I sat down with an IP outline.

    An IP outline which is going MUCH slower than I wanted it to, and which I'm not looking forward to sitting down with again. And the exam is in 10 days, and before that one comes Securities Regulation, which I've done even LESS work for. Woe is me.

    E's friend came over Saturday night, and we had to go for a walk to buy a gift for the party on Sunday. We also had to buy some Coronas to go with Beloved's cinco de mayo feast. And cokes for the girls.

    E had some difficulty behaving in her normal manner with a friend around. I noticed at least 3 different times that she was pushing me. I also noticed in those moments just how well behaved my kids are.

    1) We were in Paper Source, getting paper to wrap the kids' present in, and I had finished paying - the 2 girls were over at a display looking at pens and pencils. I said, "Come on girls, we're going" and headed for the door. E came over, but when she saw her friend hadn't budged, she went to see what was up. I had to say, "girls?" like 3 more times. Still, nothing. What the hell? My girls never do that! NEVER. I eventually had go to over there [4 whole steps] and GET them. I was stunned.

    2) The girls are allowed to go to the park behind our house on their own. Never truly alone, always with one other, which is usually their sister, but not always. They are required to stay together, and not let the other out of their sight. They also have a 30 minute limit, where they have to come check in with me. They can then go for another 30 minutes, but I need them to check in. I also am more than prone to going out and checking on them while they're out. there. Yesterday E and J went with E's friend. In pretty much exactly 30 minutes, J came back. Alone. What the fuck? She said that E and her friend were being mean to her, and telling her to "stop following them" - and when she said, "it's time to go in," they refused.

    I had just gotten to my feet to drag E home by the hair* when they came in the door. For the first time in her life, E received a nasty lecture in front of a friend. I was very unhappy with her for breaking at least 2 rules, not to mention the general rule that you don't treat your family like shit just so you can look cool in your friends' eyes. I mean, come ON.

    3) This a.m., we had to go to cello, and straight from there, E and her friend had a bday party to go to, and straight from that, they were going to softball. It was a marathon. E had to pack her softball bag, pack up her cello, shower, get dressed, brush her hair. Since she had approx 3.5 hours from the time she woke up to the time we left, you'd think it would be okay. No. She dawdled or dwaddled, or whatever the hell is the proper word. She was told to shower, and 30 minutes later, found her sitting on the floor picking her nose or whatever. Anything but showering. I ended up having to be super naggy in front of her friend. Which I didn't really like, but, she asked for it. This wasn't such atypical behavior, it's just usually limited to school days, and usually only on the worst of days.

    Now it's already 8:15, and it feels like we got nothing done all weekend. I also didn't get a chance to go running today, and feel like a lazy butt because of it. But today, I was anything but lazy. So I'm gonna let it go. I'll go to the gym tomorrow - right before I go get my $815 money order for my stupid bar application fee.

    *anyone who knows me knows this is a figure of speech.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:53 PM   0 comments
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