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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  • Saturday, July 28, 2007
    Some people just can't let it go ...
    and by their inability to do so, they are FORCING me to also hold on for one minute more. My site meter shows that in the past few days, several people have hit my blog looking for something to do with Massachusetts, commercial paper and secured transactions:

    A funny thing about the MA bar exam.

    I'm sure this is the case in other states: BarBri gave us the "frequency chart" of essay topics, which they used as a suggestion of how to prioritize our study time. Two of the hardest (i.e., most unfamiliar) topics were at the very bottom, having been tested only twice in the past, like 40 exams. Or more. Or something.

    Bottom of the list: Secured Transactions and Commercial Paper.

    Even as late as last week's PMBR class, I was contemplating blowing those topics off. I thought they were dead. I really thought they were being phased out, and that it would be a waste of my time to struggle through something so unfamiliar.

    Then, on the Thursday after PMBR, one week before essay day, I forced myself through Secured Transactions. I didn't mind it so much, b/c it's similar to mortgages which I for some inexplicable reason "get." I decided alright, alright, I'll do commercial paper. Tomorrow.

    It was so difficult for me to do. I didn't want to, and didn't think I had to, but couldn't afford the risk. So I gathered up my note cards, my notes, and my essay book and went to a cafe. I felt that I needed reduced distractions (computer, floors which could be scrubbed, etc.) in order to focus. And I worked through it. I still don't know why "indorsing" a check [I thought it was Endorsing, but whatever] makes someone so damned liable. They're not the one who wrote the damned thing, and it seems pretty freaking unfair that if my employer pays me with a shit-check, *I* am screwed. I found a way to shove my reason aside, though, and just deal with the stupid topic.

    Then I did the practice essays, and I realized I still didn't know squat. I forced myself to memorize Holder in Due Course, and the specifics for each prong, and then I forced myself to learn the presentment warranties (which my friend kept calling the transaction warranties).

    On the exam, we had a secured transactions question in the morning. It was pure Secured Transactions. Nothing else mixed in (well, according to my present memory and my then-abilities). I was glad I learned it, even though I'm not sure I got the answer right. I talked about the right stuff in the process of reaching the maybe-wrong answer. At lunch, everyone was talking about how this meant there would be no Commercial Paper. A friend had heard that both NY and Rhode Island tested Commercial Paper, and she thought that MA would, too. But since we got Secured Transactions, we were free and clear. Everybody can dance now.

    In the afternoon, the first Q was evidence. The second Q was wills. I said too much, I spent too long, I filled up my papers. The third question was ..... commercial paper!!! Commercial paper, Contracts and MA Consumer Protection laws all wrapped into one.

    So we got double-dinged. It was a surprise, for certain. If I had been riskier, I would have walked out of exam day feeling very, very stupid, and convinced that I failed. I am glad I spent the time (even though I'm far from convinced that I didn't fail -- and I won't be until November 15th, or thereabout. Unless I find out then that I did fail).

    And now, for the first time in years, BarBri has to edit their frequency chart to make the "2" next to Secured Transactions a "3" - and both topics will still be at the bottom, but they may not suggest that people prioritize them last on account of the numbers anymore.

    Although, all of their top 14 subjects were tested.

    Wow, we were tested on 16 out of 20 possible topics. From what I can tell, we got slammed this summer. Huh.

    Now - no more! I'm going to Europe! The bar exam is OVER.


    posted by Zuska @ 10:22 AM   3 comments
    Friday, July 27, 2007
    I read Harry Potter!
    I finished! I finished!

    Somehow, I also managed to get my hair cut, do the laundry, get a manicure, get some Euros, and pack. There were a few other things I intended to do, but instead, I read. (Like, make the girls' room be the girls' room again, instead of my office.)

    I would say - "anyone who wants to talk about it can e-mail me" but I can't. I'm going to Europe now.


    posted by Zuska @ 11:49 PM   0 comments
    Shifting Focus
    I have butterflies in my stomach again.

    Have I mentioned? I'm going to Europe tomorrow? I mean, tomorrow?

    I packed my new bag (it's a backpack) last week during a "break" from studying, mostly to be sure I could fit all my stuff while deciding which bag to return. I haven't taken everything out since, and I'm pretty sure that it doesn't contain everything I need. Also, I don't think it's very neatly packed.

    I'm getting my haircut today. And a manicure/pedicure. I have to mail the rent check, and I have to go see if our local bank has Euros, so that we can show up with some change in our pockets.

    WOW! I'm going to Europe! TOMORROW! I haven't been since I was 15. Unless you count the Island (U.K.), then I guess I can say that I was there in 2000. But I am not really sure it counts. It just felt like a really old U.S. As dumb as that sounds. But ... wow!


    posted by Zuska @ 9:35 AM   3 comments
    Thursday, July 26, 2007
    Today felt infinitely better than yesterday. The afternoon today felt infinitely better than this morning.

    Tonight feels infinitely better than 2 nights ago, and infinitely x10 better than 2 nights ago. Hell, than 2 months ago!!

    I was lucky today. I was tested on things I had studied. There were things I didn't know, so I had to flub (WHY, after all these months, do I not know with confidence how and when prior convictions can be used against an accused???), but this afternoon, there was more that I knew, and I felt pretty good.

    Except my hand. It hurt. Still does. 10 essays is a LOT.

    I really freaked myself out last night. I was so tired, I had great, vast difficulties reviewing my state info for the essays. When I tried to look at the "Mass Distinctions," nothing felt familiar, and I felt like I would NOT be okay. I thought, "Zuska, you have done so many practice essays, and you've done well - just go read some essay Q's and their answers, and then you'll feel better." Instead, the questions seemed like they came from a different state, and the answers felt like they came from a different planet.

    I went to bed thinking, "I'm not ready. I can't do this."

    I was ready, though.

    Except, I don't seem to know what the hell Miranda is, and I don't know what the effect is of a police officer not identifying himself, and abusing the crap out of someone for like 45 minutes before he finally says, "oh yeah, I'm a cop."

    Also, when they say we are supposed to use IRAC, don't they mean, "just say, 'a property owner has no duty to trespassers'" and then move on? No? Really?

    I'm all done.

    Harry Potter, a bottle of wine, a pint of ice cream. That is my evening.


    posted by Zuska @ 6:20 PM   6 comments
    Wednesday, July 25, 2007
    I know, I know
    It's just this last time, then never again (she says with crossed fingers), but I'm so tired, and so ... tired. I don't want to go over my state's distinctions, and I don't want to look at Wills and Trusts and Corporations and Secured Transactions and Agency and Partnership and Professional Responsibility [is that everything?] OH! and Federal Jurisdiction ... I just want to go to bed.

    But alas, I have one more day.

    Tomorrow night: A pint of ice cream, a bottle of wine, and Harry Potter.

    p.s. What the fuck is a Dumper's Rule?


    posted by Zuska @ 6:55 PM   4 comments
    Tuesday, July 24, 2007
    Thinking of other things ....
    and it always back to this: I miss my girls.

    posted by Zuska @ 2:34 PM   1 comments
    How old am I?
    I mentioned the other day that I've taken to reading magazines at the gym. I have not indulged in pop culture immersion in a very. long. time. Maybe in 1996 when E was a baby, and for a couple of months, while she was suckin' on my boobies, I watched Oprah and Rosie every day. That was before Rosie came out, I am fairly certain. Even that didn't stick. I've occasionally picked up a People magazine when I'm nervous - on an airplaine, in a doctor's office - and can't concentrate on anything deeper. So it's a little funny to know what people are wearing (outside of GFY's snarky comments, which I've been chuckling at for years) and who is dating who and who is being arrested (Did that used to happen as much? can't these girls at least figure out how to hire a driver? I mean, this is ridiculous).

    One thing that really strikes me is how the magazines just don't know what to do about weight. They have one article praising the likes of Kelly Clarkson and the girl who plays Callie on Grey's Anatomy for not being "too skinny," while the facing page is asking whether someone has gained 10 pounds (not kindly), and then the next is wondering if Angelina Jolie is starving to death. The ads for weight loss gimicks are likely the most frequent, even though they're trying to talk about the dangers of being unhealthy out of the other side of their mouth. It's sort of funny to watch them dance the line -- failing miserably.

    I was looking at Shape magazine the other day, instead of US Weekly or People (b/c I'd already read all of them), and came across an article on "How To Be Healthy - At Any Age." Okay. It talks to people in their 20's about getting enough sleep while club-hopping, and fun "young" ideas for exercise (i.e., roller blading, rock climbing), and I flip through, "yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever" to the section on women in their 30's.

    Most of the tips involved how to eat healthy along with your toddler. How to fit in exercise time while nursing. How to turn housework into a workout.


    I'm 34.

    No toddlers!!

    No nursing!!

    [No Housework!!]

    I had to go to the FORTIES to find things that may apply to me. Such as "time to watch your blood sugar" (due to my family history) and "now that the kids are in school ...."

    Not to mention the funky sound my knee makes when I do the leg press. I had to turn off my music b/c the clicky sound was so odd, and sounded nothing like it came out of a body.

    I may look young, and I may be younger than most of my kids' friends parents, but reading that made me feel OLD.

    I also got a little sad as they categorized one's 20's as the time where they can go to concerts and bars and date lots of people and be "carefree." In my 20's (early), I was going to church 6x a day, then putting a husband through law school, stressing about how to support a family, giving birth, nursing babies, and I don't think I went to ONE concert. Unless you count the Praise Rallies at Liberty University. Which I don't. At all. They sucked.

    Of course, my early start means that in my 40's, when my kids are in college, I will get to have the freedom to travel, go to GOOD concerts and theater, and have more money to do it with. Maybe that's a good thing.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:28 AM   1 comments
    I slept well last night, since I'm not a Tuesday person (best of luck everyone!). I woke earlier today than I've been, so that waking even earlier tomorrow will not be a problem for me. I knew pretty quickly, "shit, the bar exam is tomorrow" and then I thought, "wow. what if today was Wednesday, and I forgot to set my alarm, or overslept or something?" and I got butterflies.

    Now, 30 minutes later, I'm checking bloglines, seeing posts by the above-linked Tuesday people, and again, the irrational "what if" of today being the day, me getting the days mixed up, and the exam actually starting in 30 minutes.

    One of the first things I thought when I woke up was, "huh, no anxiety dreams."

    I dreamed that Beloved and I were near a window, and it was sunny outside, and the wind coming in through the window was ferocious. It was hurricane wind. It was warm, though. I wouldn't let him close the window. We were just standing there, watching the wind come in (I could not see outside, but he was looking outside), and there were flashes, and then thunder. The sky, I knew, and sort of could tell even though I wasn't looking at it, was all sherbet-like and orangy, and there was lightning. Beloved shut the window against my protests, and I went into the other room, where the window was open and there was no wind, and the outside was normal.

    Still, it wasn't an anxiety dream. I wasn't naked. I didn't have a pencil that kept breaking. I didn't find that I had messed up the numbering of my answers as I filled in the last answer into the 99th bubble.

    Now I will go to the gym. Then I will come home and do note cards and questions all day.

    The advice given by all - to take it easy tonight, and stop studying - to that advice, I say "fuck you." Perhaps those who feel like they know everything can do that. I cannot! I have an excellent short term memory, and I plan to cram as much into it as I possibly can.
    posted by Zuska @ 7:53 AM   3 comments
    Monday, July 23, 2007
    I have no idea why, but I am so teary-eyed today. Every little thing is choking me up. I went to the gym, and read Oprah's magazine.* On the back page, she had a little ditty about her dog, Gracie, and how she died. She choked on a ball. She was two. Whatever. It's a dog. But then Oprah says that the next day, she went out to the spot where she always called the dog from, and started to call her - not that she forgot the thing was dead, but like a ritual goodbye sort of thing.

    And I'm like, on the elliptical, fighting back sobs.

    I don't even like dogs! I don't even particularly care for Oprah! Just the thought of the loss that was being expressed hit me in this weird out-of-the-blue non-Zuska way. I didn't consciously think, "oh, imagine if I lost E or J" but the feeling it evoked in me - that must have been how I translated it.

    It wasn't the only time, either. I'm reading a stupid magazine, and I'm getting choked up at weird moments - pictures of twin girls who trust their mommy to give them medicine, letters to the editor about skin cancer - everything. Boo-hoo. Songs on my iPod on the way home - boo hoo.

    I am not sure if it's the mounting pressure upon my soul that is stronger with every passing second, or if it's hormonal. Either way, it's going to be okay. If it's hormonal, then I know it's just today, and I'll be fine by Wednesday. Which is a good thing. Could you imagine? The hypothetical about some dog running out of the yard and falling into a badly-marked open hole in a street will leave me running from the room in tears.

    If it's the mounting pressure that has me so precariously tearful, the adrenaline will fix it soon enough.

    * Trashy magazines are my new gym entertainment. Listening to PMBR just wasn't cutting it in the motivation department. Checking out photos of drugged up, anorexic and otherwise messed up celebrities seems to keep me moving at a record pace.

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:13 AM   1 comments
    Sunday, July 22, 2007
    Bar Exam = Obnoxious Zuska = Clean House
    Last week, or maybe the week before, Beloved and I realized we'd done nothing about taking care of our cats during our trip. Our 12 day trip.

    I said: "Kennel them." Reasons? I don't have time to clean the house, everybody we know who we could ask or pay is gone the same week we are (the greater Boston area is ridiculous with how much people just FLEE in the summer!), and I have no time to clean the house. No time. The house cleaning would have to be big, I said. We would have to do the floors, the walls (just a couple) - - everything would have to be company ready.

    Kennel the cats.

    Beloved didn't want to. Our black kitty witty isn't really .... right in the head. We're lucky that she ever emerges from under the couch or the bed. I think if she had to spend 2 weeks in a cage in a giant room with assorted other animals, she'd jump out of her fur. Even my well-adjusted royalesque boy would probably be rattled beyond recognition.

    So he said "I don't want to kennel them."

    I said - fine. Then it's your job. It's your job to find someone, and it's your job to make the house perfect. PERFECT.

    Now, I actually did a lot -- I took care of a lot of clutter, and I did my bedroom, and the living room looks better than it ever does (and has since I cleaned it up initially, slowly, 2 weeks ago).

    But today?

    Beloved is elbows and knee deep in bleach. He did the kitchen floor. It's gleaming. He did it on his hands and knees. He scrubbed everything. He moved the fridge, vacuumed behind there, and he did lots of other hard-labor scrubby things.

    When I said it - that it was all his job - a week or 2 ago - I felt perfectly justified. After all, I'm taking the bar exam.

    Today ... maybe not so much. It's been all day! While I'm in here filling in bubbles and scribbling on note cards, he's sweating and cleaning and scrubbing like mad!

    I'm very appreciative, and it looks great.

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    posted by Zuska @ 6:10 PM   0 comments
    I just did 100 mixed Q's from BarBri, and man, was that tedious. I started to worry that I'm going to bomb the MBE b/c I will end up throwing my pencil across the room saying, "stop! i can't do any more of this! it's boring!"

    Of course, the adrenaline will kick in on Weds. a.m., and no such thing will happen.

    People are heading to their test destinations, and shutting their computers down until after it's all over. We're really getting there now.

    I think having the other test-taking bloggers to check in with now and again has been both a blessing and a curse. I really have enjoyed seeing that other people exist in this odd universe that the bar exam creates, but I also have freaked out seeing numbers of MBE practice questions that I couldn't find without multiplying what I've done by double-digits. I wish everybody the best of bar-luck, which I'm sure no one needs, because we've all worked our asses off.

    I, personally, will not be giving up my blogging-breaks. Not until .... Saturday night when I get on the plane for Paris? But we will be doing internet cafe stops so that we can say hey to the kids and the parents, so perhaps even then blogging shall ensue.

    Although when I get back is when I need to think of shutting this place down a la New Professional Zuska.

    p.s. I can't believe today is the 22nd of JULY. I just can't believe it - yes, those are butterflies in my stomach. I wish Wednesday were just HERE already.
    posted by Zuska @ 3:39 PM   2 comments
    Saturday, July 21, 2007
    Despite all my good faith efforts ....
    I have been thwarted. 100% thwarted!

    E went to a bday party in May where they did a Yankee Swap in lieu of traditional bday presents. Each kid brought a gift, including the bday girl, and then they played the game, and everyone came home with something.

    E came home with a certificate ... she was going to receive a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows upon publication.

    She figured her friend would mail it to her, and she intended to provide said friend with her address in the Middle of the Country. She forgot.

    I made plans for Beloved to bring the book home for me from his work on THURSDAY (next), and X promised E he would buy her a copy.

    Unfortunately, the store where they were attending a midnight party yesterday had sold out of copies. She was heartbroken. She wanted a copy NOW! She asked me to call her friend, and INSIST that they ASAP mail it to the middle of the country.

    I of course refused. B/c we are polite people in this house, and despite ocassional lapses, try our best not to be bulls in china shops.

    However, at approximately 4:30 p.m. today, our phone rang.

    "Hi, this ___, is E there?"
    "No, ___, E is away for a couple weeks, but are you calling about the book?"
    "Yes! Can we drop it off this afternoon?"

    So guess what's sitting on my kitchen table?

    Yep. Harry Potter.

    You should have heard the threats I sent Beloved's way! The threats of what would happen if he allowed the thing to cross our threshold.

    And yet - it's on the kitchen table.

    They brought it in a plastic bag, and I did take it out. I touched the cover.

    But I did not even read the inside flap.

    And certainly not the last page. Temptation lived inside my heart, it is true. But seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. I will pass this bar exam, and some foolish woman who's taken to living in castles will not stand in my way.

    Beloved just got home, and now he will be my Police Officer, I know. We're gonna wrap it up and send it overnight to E first thing Monday.

    If she didn't end up getting a copy last night, after all. I hope not! Because if so, we're up a copy.

    Update: E e-mailed. She got a copy last night. She's on Chapter 2 (she was finishing a re-read of #5 before she would start #7, and she re-read #6 right before she left .... no, that's nowhere near in order).

    So the copy which Beloved hid is mine, and he just won't get one from work.

    Which means I need to study somewhere else tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, so I stop hearing voices from somewhere in the bedroom (where it MUST be hidden).

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    posted by Zuska @ 6:24 PM   2 comments
    I think this is okay ....
    I had a super-successful productive day yesterday. I got through everything I wanted to, and thensome. I was working right up until midnight. I read through the February 2007 essay questions (all 10, which I found on the internet during the whole lawsuit media flurry, and liked having all 10 questions together to give myself a sense of the package deal) and felt okay - I didn't think I would have gotten a perfect score on all of them, but I think I understood what the issues were, and could have talked some for each.

    Then today, we got up a little before 8. We went to our gyms. We came home, we showered. We walked up to town and went to our bank to sever our accounts (joint from individual) on our ATM cards, and changed our pin #s to be Euro-compliant. We went to an Indian food buffet, which was DELICIOUS. We went to the Gap, b/c I would like more skirts that I can just throw on to walk around town, and all my old ones fall off. We walked home slowly, stopping at Radio Shack to look for electricity converters for Europe. We talked, we enjoyed the 72 degree weather.

    I did not freak out. I did not start twitching. I did not get upset.

    It's now 1:30, and I'm about to head into my office/bar-study room/ kids' bedroom.

    Do I feel guilty?


    Do I feel refreshed and ready to be productive?


    Do I, momentarily, feel like a healthy, well-rounded, able to carry on a conversation sort of person?


    So no ... I don't feel guilty.

    p.s. Feeling normal again also makes me miss my kids :( I really would like some snuggle time with them. I saw clothes in Gap Kids that would look great on them.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:27 PM   0 comments
    Friday, July 20, 2007
    A Moment of Mommy-Sadness
    My kids are in a play. Right now. They have been in a drama camp in the Middle of the Country, and today is the performance. There are two of them (performances) today. They are in a scene together, and have a duet, and a dance, and everything.

    I have never ever ever missed one of their performances. And in two short years, there have been MANY. 3 per year per kid. Maybe 4. I have to say, I'm feeling quite sad about missing this one. I would never have entertained the idea of traveling to the Middle of the Country for this performance ... it's a 2 week camp, it's X's thing, blah, blah blah (and that's not even considering what's going on at this point in MY life). But the sadness remains.

    I bet they're so cute. I hope there's a way to get pictures. I guess it's good that X gets a taste of the excitement, and the nervousness, and the process. I just miss it.

    I also fear that they will have a harder time once this camp is over (this performance marks the end). They have been seeming to be very busy, and to be having a lot of fun there so far. E has weird moments, though, where she calls here with an almost-desperation. Last night, she called using X's cell phone (which she seems to have unfettered access to) from a concert. So there was lots of noise, and a frantic voice saying, "MOMMY! MOMMY! I CAN'T HEAR YOU MOMMY!" I tried to tell her that it was clearly not a good time for a phone call, but she couldn't hear me. So I hung up. She called back. Finally, she called from their walk home, and said that she just missed me so much, she had to call.

    I think that next week, they'll enjoy the ability to just knock around the house, but the NEXT week, they'll start to get bored. And they'll have almost zero access to me, since I'll be in Europe, and I don't have a phone that works in Europe, and I don't want to pay for international cell phone calls.

    I will buy a phone card once we arrive, but E won't be able to call ME whenever she's feeling frantic and desperate. She'll have to adhere to a schedule.

    Tonight they're going to the HP release party. They're VERY excited about that, and X's wife has been helping them with their costumes, and took them to a second hand clothing store yesterday to find robes and such - I am very grateful that she's so engaged (and always has been) and really picks up the slack that X has always always left behind.

    I think I'll go place a quick "good luck" phone call (I realized that I once again added an hour instead of subtracted - their performance is in an hour.)

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    posted by Zuska @ 5:50 PM   0 comments
    less crappy than yesterday
    Yesterday was crappy. I didn't get as much done as I wanted to,* I argued with Beloved,** and I just had trouble focusing.

    Today, however, I have had a better day with the working and the learning and the studying. The sad part is, I skipped going to the gym in order to feel this way. That does make me sad. I've lost a good bit of weight, but I'd like to lose some more, in order to be the svelt Zuska that I was before injuries (minor) and law school conspired to Bloat Me. I haven't lost any weight in at least a month.

    Today, I got up at 8, apparently forgetting to set my alarm for 7 last night. By the time I dragged my sorry ass out of bed, it was 8:30, and I was cringing at the visions of not starting my studies until almost noon again.

    So I stayed home. I did some BarBri advanced questions (shittily) and then took a shower and took Commercial Paper and the essay book to a cafe. I struggled through Commercial Paper, then flipped to a few Commercial Paper essays and thought "wo! this has NOTHING to do with what I just learned!" and then once again convinced myself that it's the model answers that are stupid, not me. Because I HATE the model answers. And it's not just b/c they tell me I'm wrong, but sometimes, it's b/c I *know* they're wrong. I know it. They answer with multi-state principles despite the fact that we KNOW that Massachusetts is different. They're dumb. I hate them.

    THEN I went and got a Chicken Shawarma with EXTRA garlic sauce. Yeah, Beloved's working today. I ate that while studying the chart on comparative and contributory negligence, to the point that I think I may actually be able to puzzle through it all. Now I'm going to go do 50 Torts Q's, then I'm going to review Trusts, and then I'm going to do essays.

    I think this feeling of accomplishment was worth skipping the gym. Even though it makes me sad.

    Also, I think getting out of the house and going to the cafe, and then the walk to the Shawarma joint really helped me to just feel better in general. I even tossed around the idea of taking the Red Book of Questions (which I am nowhere near even 1/2 way through, even though every one else in the Bar Prep Universe is already 3/4ths through the elusive Blue Book) to the park. In hte sunshine. With some water. On the grass.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that I will fall to sleep, and then, during the real exam, I won't do well, what without the sunshine and the grass and all.

    * Although I did: clean my room, clean up the kitchen, do 6 loads of laundry and pack for Europe as a run-through to see which bag would work. These things were not done because I had to do them that moment. They were evasive maneuvers.

    ** It was his fault. ;)

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:08 PM   0 comments
    Thursday, July 19, 2007
    Something I keep thinking about ...
    Last weekend, I was at the gym, and a news show was on one of the TVs. In this news show, some pundit (Democrat, I'm sure) was complaining at the Iraq government is going on vacation for the entire month of August. They're adjourning. Apparently, Bush's response was, "well, it's really hot there in August, sometimes 118 degrees." [Oops, I found it in print, it's actually 130 degrees. See the story here.]

    To which another person responded - and our soldiers? who aren't in a government building in summer attire, but rather in the streets, lugging pounds upon pounds of equipment, and likely wearing masks as well as uniforms? Can they, too, adjourn for the summer "b/c it's hot"?

    Every time I hear a story about Iraq since I saw that segment, I picture some poor young boy sweating to DEATH in a uniform and a mask, lugging guns and equipment all over the place, hoping he doesn't get shot ... in 130 degree weather.

    That is all.

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    posted by Zuska @ 10:14 PM   0 comments
    Note to self:
    Do not ever, I mean EVER, change your mind.

    In other words: Do not EVER erase one little bubble just to fill in another one "on second thought."


    posted by Zuska @ 6:03 PM   0 comments
    looking up and the sadness of harry potter
    i had a great night's sleep last night, and am on my way out to the gym for an installment of endorphins.

    spoke with the girls last night - i think they're doing well. they have not gone to see HP 5 yet, so i'll keep crossing my fingers that they don't make j go.

    they are going to an HP book party on friday (jealous, jealous, jealous), and E is dressing as luna lovegood, and J is going as draco malfoy. he he he. really, she isn't a bad child.

    not only is beloved not allowed to bring the book home from the party at his work on friday night, but he's not allowed to FORGET to bring it home from work on thursday, the 26th. i told him if he comes home (at 9 p.m. or so) without the book in his hand, we will return together, at 10 or so, to get it.

    i am considering going dark b/t saturday and the exam on wednesday. perhaps locking my computer in a safe somewhere, and then losing the combination. i don't want to read spoilers about the book.

    time to go sweat for a while. i think i'll bring our new book on Paris, and spend the time looking at where i'll be in just over a week.

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:31 AM   1 comments
    Wednesday, July 18, 2007
    Feeling better (and tired)
    Another long day of PMBR, but it's over now. which i guess is good. i'm working on essays, and trying to self-grade them. I just bombed one of them .... but i did okay on 4 of them. okay enough to think, "I can pass the essay part" --

    Let it be known - i'm skipping all commercial paper essays! For now. It's on my list for tomorrow.

    I shall puzzle through it, and I shall be ready to attempt to answer some Q's about it - maybe.

    I also need to take a deep breath and do Corporations. I wrote it on tomorrow's to do list, and even writing it on the list hurt. I broke out into hives. Then today, every single person I spoke to said, "I went through corporations yesterday ...." and i felt woefully behind. they did it yesterday, i'm doing it tomorrow.

    i bought shoes for Europe. I'm going to wear them around the house tomorrow while I study and do laundry.

    beloved's getting tired of this, i think. i think i'll need to kick in a little bit, and take a little off his shoulders so he doesn't reach his max point on, oh, say Tuesday? the DAY before the bar exam? I mean, that could be one way to take my mind off the exam the next day: fight with my husband all night.

    No. not a good plan. i think i may go put away some dishes and take the trash down, or something like that. then PMBR questions. Then I will make Trusts flash cards.

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:06 PM   1 comments
    Likely Typical, But Certainly Not Welcome
    realized out loud to Beloved while climbing into bed ... a week from tonight, i won't be sleeping, i'll be freaking out. because it will be the night before the exam.

    i can't form words. i'm trying to say things, but the words are jumbled. i was trying to say "proceed" and "persist" sort of at once, thinking they were the same word. i think beloved was worried about me.

    now it's 12:25, and i can't sleep. since i can't sleep, i'm not going to use capitalization.

    i was trying to get my mind of ademption by extinction and the $25K (plus some fraction of the rest) that a spouse gets through the elective share statute as compared with the $200K (plus some other fraction of the rest) that a spouse gets if their SO dies intestate.

    i tried to think instead about the novel i finished last night ... using the excuse of a mock exam and a couple glasses of wine, i studied not (well, i did 2 essays) and instead, finished The Road.

    thinking about that novel was depressing, and i didn't like doing that.

    the brain switched.

    no more substance. no common nuclei of operative facts, no 10 v. 20 v. 30 day time limits.

    lets instead think about my schedule! oh yes. good idea.

    tomorrow, i have to do 300 essays, note cards for 3 MA subjects (one of which being Corps, which makes me want to die, and will likely take 8 hours), and at least 8,000 PMBR questions. did i mention i have PMBR from 9 to 4?

    can't you feel the sleep creeping in? ha.

    then i think ... huh. once the exam is over, i'll likely start freaking out about my job at future firm. i wonder what i'll wear. we're going to be low on funds, and i'm [at least] 30 pounds down from the last time i put on a suit.

    this weekend i tried on some pants that were my faves last summer. i liked them b/c they made me feel slim.

    they are now clown pants. it's not just in the waist (looks like literally 6 inches of empty space) but also in the rise. is that what you call it? from the crotch of the pants to the waist? i had been thinking i could get my old stuff taken in ... but putting these pants on made me think, uh, not sure it's gonna work. hopefully, by the time i start work, i'll be a 10. i used to be a 16, and they were a wee tight. today, i'm a 12.

    then i thought, 'shit,' somewhere in the past 6 weeks of insanity and stress, i had some form of communication from future firm. they said they wanted a photo. for the little orientation book. or something. i think it was back in may. i didn't give them one. they said if we don't give them one, they're just gonna use last summer's photo. last summer's sucked. i took it while on vacation, and i was in a hurry, and it was just horrible and i hated it being in the summer book. i want a good one now. i'm happier with how i look and how i photograph.

    i do this at night. i think of the things i need to do. things like:
    • sign and send in the lease
    • figure out what to do with the cats while we're in europe
    • find new shoes for europe
    • write e-mails to people i have neglected
    • put away the laundry in the basket so i can remove Mount Launderest from next to my toilet and perhaps even
    • do laundry
    • get picture for future firm
    at least this time (right there) i wrote it all down.

    i think i'm trying to find some solace in this freak out. this is how: i am pretty sure i'm going to pass the bar exam. i know what i have to do this week, and i feel capable of doing it. it's just a LOT, and in between, i'm going to freak out. if i didn't think i could pass, it would be some other kind of freak out. not this kind. not the "words no longer form propectly and the brain doesn't work unless it's reviewing the test for when a confession of a co-defendant can be used in court."

    i'm also going to start suffering from PMS. I'm guessing by Friday, the PMS, and by Sunday, the .... M. being the 7-day gal that i am, it means that i will be mid-M during the bar exam.

    i know, i know. i'm repeating myself. but i just typed that word "preating" instead of repeating, and it wasn't b/c it was a typo, it was because in my head, i said "preating." b/c i can't talk.

    and now i can't sleep? shit.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:23 AM   2 comments
    Tuesday, July 17, 2007
    I am upset with X. I know, everyone's jaws are dropping to the floor.

    This is the issue: J hates scary shows and movies. J makes this clear. J has spent many a phone call to me CRYING b/c either X, his wife, his step-father or his mother has ignored the fact that she hates scary shows and movies, and insisted on watching House, or CSI, or inappropriate movies with her. CSI and House have been the biggest offenders.

    Harry Potter 5 is in theaters.

    E has read all the Harry Potter books, and I think she's (as of now) read them all twice.

    I read 1 and 2 to J, and then during 3, she cried Uncle, and set them aside. She's not interested. Dementors are not her thing. I guess she's not into soul-sucking, and in THIS house, that's respected.

    The movie is said to be "the darkest of them all." It's rated PG-13. I read a few articles that question whether or not it's even for kids anymore.

    E can handle it.

    J cannot.

    X called me last week. He said, "how firm is this rule that J can't see the movie until she reads the book?" [yes, I do have that rule - but I haven't tried to enforce it when they're at his house, apparently, this is what J told him as the reason why she didn't want to see it.]

    I said, "Not only is it pretty firm, but I would think you would understand. Also, it's only 1/2 the reason. The other 1/2 is that it's too scary for her. She doesn't like scary movies." He said, "oh."

    Today E told me that they have "a problem."

    She and X were going to go see the movie, just the two of them.

    But now X's wife decided that SHE wants to see it, too. She's 35. X is 37. J is NINE!!!

    You think it's too scary? You think you'll have nightmares for a month? Too-bad, so-sad little girl.

    You think you may want to read the books one day? You think it will ruin the experience if you see the movie? Too-bad, s0-sad little girl.

    You better fucking grow UP, b/c in the Middle of the Country, there is no respect for your wishes, your desires, your person hood. There is no consideration for your boundaries and your limits. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

    Yeah, they're making her go. Yeah, she's crying.

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    posted by Zuska @ 6:10 PM   2 comments
    A little more draining than I expected
    In the past few days, there has been some news coming through my bloglines peoples. The news makes me realize that - really - the bar exam is small potatoes.

    As small and potato-ey as it is, though, it's tuckering me out.

    PMBR Day 2 was tiring. Likely not as tiring as yesterday was, but tiring nonetheless. Tonight, I must review Wills, I must do 6 essays, and I must do probably (according to yesterday's practice test) 700 Evidence questions.


    Three subjects I did best in during law school.

    Three subjects I sucked ass in on the damned mock MBE. And on the BarBri one.


    In 11 days, I'm going to Paris.

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    posted by Zuska @ 6:05 PM   0 comments
    Monday, July 16, 2007
    Exhausted, but Re-Macified
    Oh, my lovely computer came home today. It has a new keyboard. The keys are lovely and textured, and the letters have all their ink on them again. Or still ... since it's new.

    Today was the practice MBE a la PMBR.

    These are the things I heard today (and read just now looking for more confidence-boosting):
    • PMBR is very, very hard. The hardest practice test out there.
    • The national average of correct answers on PMBR is less than 100.
    • If you want to figure out how you'll do on the real (raw) MBE, add 35 to your PMBR score.
    Uh. Okay. Then perhaps, just perhaps, I'll say "I got a 152." That's after I apply the above to my score sheet -- which prior to application of the above left me feeling that I must have been using the a.m. answer sheet on the p.m. answers. Because it can't be 8 days out with me having that much wrong, can it? Because that is a little scary.

    I told Beloved: Today was mentally exhausting, but I'm guessing tomorrow and Wednesday will be a mental vacation. I will just be talked at for 2 days. That's how I'm justifying a) my plan to do nothing but 4 essays tonight, and b) the likelihood (a la glass #2 of wine) that I won't even do that.

    It looks like I will not be able to see the Harry Potter movie before the exam. If I had been able to go on Friday, it would have been ok, but by the time I'm done with PMBR, it's less than a week until the Real Thing, and I'm not throwing away 3+ hours on a movie. I can't do that.

    This is the new plan:

    I leave the Real Thing on Thursday ... at some time on some clock. I take the T to the theater. I buy a ticket for the next show. I shop at REI for shoes and perhaps some last minute tops/pants for the trip until that show starts. I go see the show. (Note: Beloved works until 8 p.m. or so on Thursdays).

    During the show - I zone out. I watch the movie. While I'm watching the movie, all the stress and anxiety about MBE questions #108 and 115 (today's stressors - I got both wrong), and about the essay on 93A will evaporate out of my brain. I will leave the movie ready to pack for Europe. To, for the first time since May, Think About Other Things.

    Hell, I may even have sex on Thursday night (next Thursday!! Next!!!).

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    posted by Zuska @ 7:19 PM   1 comments
    Saturday, July 14, 2007
    Unless you want to talk about divisible contracts
    I am pretty boring and useless.

    Beloved and I woke early-ish today and walked together to our respective gyms. I had a good work out. Then I came home. I looked through an LLBean catalog.

    Then I started going through my (state) Civil Procedure outline, and putting it onto note cards. There were a few sections I had to pull out the book to puzzle through, but otherwise, it was straight forward.

    Why, then, did it take 5.5 hours? Not sure.

    We had dinner together (I'm so lucky that I have someone to cook for me), and then he went out. I opened up my Agency and Partnership outline, but found my stomach feeling quite sour at the thought of starting a new topic.

    Now I'm looking at the movie Little Children.

    I'm not really sure that I know why I got this movie from Netflix. I read the book. I was not impressed. I thought, perhaps, that Kate Winslet would be fun to watch. But her character is just as unlikeable in the movie as she was in the book - maybe less so, b/c movies can't explain the inner turmoil that causes her bitchiness with and disinterest in her daughter.

    Also - why the HELL is the movie narrated by an old man? Hasn't anyone yet learned that odd narrations of books turned to movies SUCK? It really just sucks.

    Fun bonus: a few scattered chances to look at Jennifer Connelly. I'm not sure I knew she was in this. I love her. If: a) I were not heterosexual; b) she were not heterosexual; c) I were not married; [is she married?] d) I hung out in Hollywood circles; and e) she were up for it - I'd hook up with her.

    I came in to peer at my notecards while the movie is paused for peeing purposes, and I find myself much less than excited to get back to it. Agency and Partnership is super-short. Maybe if I went through it quick now, and THEN finished the movie, I could do even a third topic before sleeping? hmmmm.

    WonL is doing a fun music post. I can't play. I can't listen to music while I study. I need my full concentration, and music with lyrics breaks that up and makes me NOT study, even while studying. What a waste that would be. It is quite unfortunate that I can't be fun. I wish I could be fun.

    And a final thought --- I have never been such a NON mother. Not in 10 years. Almost 11. Maybe even more, because I did feel like a mother while I was pregnant with E. This summer, though, my brain is full. It's full of the bar exam, and it's full of Europe, and it's full of the upcoming Future Firm experience. I talk to the girls - geez, I think I've spoken with E every day, if not on the phone, then on IM - but I'm nowhere near as sidetracked by their lives in the middle of the country as I've been every single other year that they were gone. X will just have to handle things.

    The worst part is, though, that E is pretty intuitive -- especially pertaining to me -- and I'm afraid she can sense my disengagement. There's really nothing I can do about it right now, though. The bar exam has to happen. I shared this hysterical post with her,* and she enjoyed that, and now is constantly saying, "I support you in law school!" Very cute.

    J isn't as difficult - J is very good at being in the moment, in the situation she is in. Sometimes, that's not always so great, b/c those she is not with feel neglected (don't even get me started on her BFF and the enablement from that girl's mother - even that sentence feels like too much. Ya never know who will find the blog). I am personally happy for her that she has learned to be where she is, especially after the summer of 2 years ago, where she called me every. single. night. crying that she missed me and wanted to come home. God, that was miserable.

    * Okay, it's not just a post - it's a project Quirky did when she was E's age. How cool was that? Please go look at it. I swear, some of the lines, I could 100% picture E writing herself! The bad part about sharing it with E ... she's now demanding a higher allowance. If she survives this summer knowing her Momma has Other Things To Think About, she can HAVE a higher allowance. Tons of thanks to Quirky for sharing her past with us :)

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    posted by Zuska @ 8:05 PM   3 comments
    Friday, July 13, 2007
    I have gone through more pens during this bar exam nonsense than I ever have before in my LIFE. I start with a pen, and I use the pen a lot - to take notes in class, to write note cards, to make notes while doing questions ... and they die. It used to be that I spent so little time writing, I'd use a pen here, use a pen there, but they lasted a really long time, until I lost them. Now, I kill them. I suck all the ink out of them and work them to death.

    Yeah, that is really all I've got.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:20 PM   1 comments
    Thursday, July 12, 2007
    Waiting on a Second Wind
    I did a bunch of Con Law questions this a.m. Then I went through the answers. Then I went through the MA distinctions for essay-purposes. In between, I did 6 loads of laundry (no, I think it was 8), and all of that was AFTER I went to the gym.

    now I'm eating tuna salad, and wondering from where, exactly, I'm supposed to muster the energy to do another 4 hours of work today?

    I also feel so LOST on the essays. I just don't know how to study for them. I can do multiple choice. I'm one of those people who test well with that kind of test. But the essays are so overwhelming.

    I heard recently (I think on a PMBR lecture from the disks I love) that a lot of states don't focus on their state law for the essays. The dude even said, "in Connecticut, and Massachusetts, the essays are on national law." Liar. They are not! I wish they were. I'd go take a nap or something.

    Yesterday, I went through the Federal Jurisdiction (i.e., Civ Pro) notes, and made up note cards, and then wrote a couple of essays on that topic. I felt okay about that. But it took like - FOREVER - and I don't have FOREVER times 13. Or 19, if you count MBE topics that we have to know the stupid "distinctions" for.

    I just got another of my evaluations from the Spring. At least my days are peppered with these confidence boosters "Oh, I do have a brain, I do!"


    I am bringing my stupid MacBook into the Genius Bar tonight. I am really not happy about this. It's got all my notes on it (easy to e-mail to myself), and it's got the BarBri Study Smart software on it, which I'm really enjoying. I went off the Paced Program, and started doing the advanced questions as mixed subject Qs on the computer, and I really like how it tracks my progress and shows me which sub-topics I need to focus on.

    But it won't stay asleep AND the area where I rest my hands is discolored and cracking AND the screen flickers ominously when it dims itself just prior to NOT going to sleep. All of these things conspired to make me believe that I did, in fact, need their protection plan, and I bought that a couple of weeks ago. Stupid MacBook.

    It's likely ok that I have to live without my Study Smart. It just gives me more time for essays, and then the computer will come home on Saturday or Sunday, and all will be well.


    I think I found my "Fuck You" subject. It's comparative/contributory negligence. I hate hate hate hate those questions. I know if I sat down with the "large outline" I could work my way through the nuances. But I don't want to. I hate hate hate hate it. I don't want to do the fucking math, and I don't want to make a goddamned CHART in a multiple choice question. I think I'll figure out how we do it here in MA, and tell the MBE to go to hell on that score. I mean, how many questions really can there be with the stupid percentages and other such nonsense?

    I went out last night. Out to dinner with Beloved and another couple. We had good food, spent a good bit of $$, and I had 2 drinks. We laughed and chatted, and were home by 10:30. I got home and did more Qs.

    Nice life I have here, eh?

    I'm going out tonight, too. I don't think I'll only have 2 drinks, though, and I sort of don't think I'll be home by 10:30.

    But I can't be out TOO late, b/c at 9 a.m., I'm going out for coffee with a friend.

    Bar exam? What bar exam?

    Did I mention I want to go see Harry Potter tomorrow? The morning coffee date likely precludes that, though. I don't mind taking a break a day ... 2 breaks, though, is likely beyond "maintaining balance" and heading toward "blowing off the bar exam."

    Okay - I'm going to force myself into the essays.

    Frizzum frazzum.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:27 PM   6 comments
    Wednesday, July 11, 2007
    Do the hairs need to be split this fine?
    Really, when the answer options are "Defendant may introduce evidence to show honesty," and "Defendant may introduce evidence to show truthfulness," is that really fair? I knew it had to be one of the two - but seriously - what's the difference? I looked it up in the dictionary, and truthfulness is defined as being honest.

    I know, I know, it's a "term of art" or some such bullshit. I think it's just rude.

    I chose truthfulness. I was wrong. It was honesty they were looking for.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:56 PM   3 comments
    Tuesday, July 10, 2007
    A couple quick random notes
    I wasn't going to keep typing up notes for my last classes. I had not typed up Professional Responsibility, Corporations or Secured Transactions/Commercial Paper. But the next 3 practice essays are on Corporations, and I decided I should do it. It looks pretty likely that Corporations will be on the damned exam, so I should do it.

    I'm still going to try and avoid Commercial Paper and Secured Transactions, though. And I am NOT typing up the stupid Domestic Relations notes.

    But these are my notes:

    1) Zipcar just upped the daily limit on miles. This is very very very good news for me. When I visit my parents, it's a 150 mile ride. When I was getting 125/day (as opposed to the new 180/day), I felt that I had to rent the car for 3 days in order to avoid massive overmileage fees. Now I can easily do 2 days, and come in well under the 360 mile total. One day trips are still out, but you know what? Those aren't good for my health, anyway.

    2) I can't believe I just had my last day of class. Wow. I feel so ... adrift. Not free as much as adrift. I like structure! I need structure!

    3) A friend of mine who was in my Securities class came into BarBri this a.m. surly and pissed at the Securities Prof. I felt sort of badly about this, b/c she did work all quarter. She read for every class, she outlined as she went. I scrambled at the end, read nothing, and definitely out-graded her. My other friend who fell somewhere in the middle of friendA and I in the work department was happy with her results. We didn't share details, so I don't know if no work came out above medium work. Ah, law school.

    4) I am not really proud to be a resident of Massachusetts this week.
    posted by Zuska @ 2:58 PM   0 comments
    Monday, July 09, 2007
    Huh? What? I was a student? Just this past spring?
    It wasn't really out of the blue - I'd mostly forgotten, but for the fact that my mother keeps harassing me: Have you gotten your grades yet? Have you gotten your grades yet?

    My school doesn't send out grades (well, really, ever, but that's another topic) before the 2 month mark after exams ended. EVER. Not only that, but I sort of don't care. I did perhaps, a month ago, but today? I don't care. Securities; Security & Liberty; Intellectual Property; and .... uh .... International Law? Were those the classes I took?

    Today, 1/2 my evaluations were e-mailed to me. My two adjunct professors managed to get their grades (i mean, evaluations) submitted on time, while my 2 faculty members were not!

    Securities Regulation - remember that class? I can't believe I pulled it off, but I got the highest "eval" possible.

    Balancing Security & Liberty? The class I loved? Not so much. I got the equivalent of a B.

    But see, Future Firm told me to take Securities. They didn't tell me to take Balancing Security & Liberty, and something tells me that when they see it on my transcript, they'll roll their eyes. I'm not too sure they give a shit about how I "baffled" my judge/professor by not mentioning the Convention Against Torture (the benefits of evals ... I get to know just how much I perplexed my professors), but they may be pleased to know that I possess a "mastery" of the law pertaining to securities. So, whatever.

    I haven't heard from the other 2 yet. I am guessing I did better in the in-class exam than the take-home.

    I'm trying to tell myself that my ability to pull shit out of my butt during in-class exams means I'm going to pass the bar exam.



    posted by Zuska @ 7:10 PM   2 comments
    Sunday, July 08, 2007
    But first a brief update on the diversions
    Today I bought a new shoulder bag for the trip. I was going to bring my Timbuk2, but since my clothing choices keep heading toward skirts and less sporty attire, the Timbuk2 seems less appropriate. So I got a canvas British-looking thing, which is a bit more dressy, but not really.
    I continued my search for shoes, but it was fruitless. I am contemplating taking a break from studying on Friday to head to the movies and see Harry Potter 5, and there's an REI over there. It may be my last attempt at finding a new pair of shoes, and if unsuccessful, I'm just going to deal with what I already own. It's getting to be so very frustrating, I could just spit.

    Beloved and I saw two Third movies yesterday - Pirates and Oceans. I liked them both just fine. Neither blew me away, neither made me feel like I'd wasted my time or money. I was well entertained.

    That is all. Everything else is "bar exam this" and "bar exam that."

    One more random thought - having a dedicated study room is BLISS. I can't believe how peaceful this, and how focused I've felt. I spent time on Friday night (until 1:30 a.m.) cleaning this room, and it's spotless. I have a fan on in the hall (because this is the only room that is not air conditioned, which sucks if you're E or J) which keeps any sound that Beloved makes to a minimum (which is already minimal - he's writing in the other room all day while I'm studying in this room all day ... not so noisy in either camp).

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    posted by Zuska @ 9:37 PM   1 comments
    Despite a few short forays into the land of e-mail, IMing with my mom, and dinner with Beloved, I have worked a LOT today. I certainly needed to, and I'm glad to find this much stamina within myself.

    I have made note cards and otherwise sufficiently digested Property information so that I can have approx 75% accuracy on the "intermediate" questions and 100% on introductory (the volume of questions is not so high, so don't think too highly of my abilities).

    I have started to catch up on essays, going through several of them today (I found myself behind by 12 essays - TWELVE!).

    I have done 66 extra questions in preparation for the MBE.

    I am going to finish off the day by reviewing some older topics: Torts and Evidence, I think.

    Way back on May 30, Criminal Law was the first topic on which we were lectured. There were so many details and so many rules - I couldn't believe that it was 1/13th of all that I had to know. How could I possibly know this many details for all these topics? Of course I've done it, and probably more, for the 3-4 exams that I took in class each semester, but 13? At once? I just didn't see how it was possible.

    Yet now that we're further removed from Criminal law, it's the topic I'm consistently scoring highest on. I think it's because I've had that much time to marinate in it.

    I am going to make it my goal to go over my outlines in each topic every night - independent of the questions and the essays and the note cards. Hopefully, I can bring these later topics up to speed with Criminal Law (and to a lesser extent, Constitutional Law), and help to up my scores with those, as well.

    Right now, I'm pretty damned tired. I think I've earned some rest. Just as soon as I finish these notes ....


    posted by Zuska @ 9:30 PM   0 comments
    Saturday, July 07, 2007
    Truly, the last post
    The girls called tonight. They're okay (of course). X did make some improvements to their bedroom ... or rather "X is making some improvements to their bedroom." J couldn't go to bed yet, even though her voice sounded like sandpaper, b/c he was still trying to put some furniture together in their room at 10:15 this evening. But he's making an effort, and I know that they notice. This is good for them.

    It's good to hear their voices. I avoided telling them that I was sweeping and vacuuming their room in order to get remnants of them OUT and the trappings of BarBri and PMBR in.

    They miss us a lot, and it results in them wanting to just park their butts on the phone. I hate cutting them off, but at the same time, they need to live their lives there. They need to be with their father. They need to not hold on so tight to this part of their lives, to the exclusion of the other.

    I hate knowing that E has 1,000,000 things going on in her head that she doesn't share, and I feel like I'm being over-scrutinized when I tell her that it's time to say goodnight. That perhaps she's thinking, "oh, mom is glad we're gone, she can't wait to spend her time doing other things." When really, that's not true. I mean, yeah, I have to study, but I'd always rather have them here than not. She asked, though, if she can chat with me on google talk tomorrow, and I told her we'd be out for most the day (Shoes! Movies!) and she was a little disappointed.

    I know ... she'll survive. She knows how much we love her, and she knows how much of our lives we dedicate to her and her sister's happiness and well being.

    I know.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:24 AM   0 comments
    I know, I know ....
    I'm clearly not in bed.

    I felt that I should share what tomorrow consists of.

    Not note cards.

    or questions.

    but rather ... the gym, then shoe-shopping with Beloved, then 2 movies.

    I was going to buy new sandals. Remember my angst over shoes?

    Well, during my note card extravaganza before class tonight, I remembered that I had Dansko sandals. They were perfect for my Berkeley, CA sole-practitioner lawyer office that I worked in pre- law school, but were woefully UNdressy for Summer Firm, and woefully OVER dressy for the student life. So they've been stuck in a closet for a while.

    I know that in that past post, I said it was Dansko shoes that hurt my foot, and that I can't wear. But that was the clogs:

    They have a different heel. These are the sandals:

    I also still wear Dansko heels ... and I love them. These are my faves:

    God, I love those shoes.

    I have these, too:

    I'm starting to think that, perhaps, maybe, I have too many shoes. (Beloved, I hear you snorting. Stop it.)

    Anyway -- the sandals pictured above are (once again) THIS year's shoe. Mine are either last year's, or the year before's, or the year before's. When I pulled them out and put them on this eve, I felt that my sore foot was miraculously HEALED. Not just 'hurting less,' but rather HEALED.

    So I am thinking I may wear them in Europe.

    But they're last year's shoes. Or the year before's. Or the year before's.

    So I'm going to wear one of my Europe outfits tomorrow, while out with Beloved, and my old shoes. I'm going to try on the new shoes. If the new (this year's) shoes look a LOT better, I'll have to upgrade.

    If, that is, my foot continues to feel HEALED.

    After the shoe decision-making (mine is only half of it - Beloved is really no easier to shop for, when it comes to shoes, and he is also in the market), we are going to see Pirates 3. Then, we are going to have some dinner. Then, we are going to see Oceans 13.

    My mother was quick to comment this evening on how wretched Oceans 12 was. Whatever. Yeah, it sort of sucked. But you know what? There were many beautiful people in the movie. Beautiful owners of both penises and vaginas. And they were ALL fun to look at. Therefore, I did not care that the movie was really sub-par. I hear that this one is better. But really, who cares? The beautiful people remain, and for this movie - that's why I go. There are other movies that I go to in order to watch things blow up. Others that I go to so that I can see pretty scenery. And yet others that I go to so I can learn about different cultures and characters. There are yet even others that I pay money to see because I want to support a cause that I care a lot about. And some that I may want to see, but won't, b/c I won't support a person or issue that I oppose.

    Oceans 13? It's about the beauty. The end.

    Pirates 3, too, really. But there's also cool stuff - like waves and whirlpools and ships that break in half and stuff.

    We actually had a hard time finding a theater that was still showing Pirates, and we were thinking we may have to alter our double feature. I want to see Sicko. But I just don't have the mental energy right now. My mental energy is spent studying and missing my daughters. I'll see Sicko, I promise.

    It just may have French or Dutch subtitles running across the bottom of the screen at the time.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:04 AM   0 comments
    In my head ...
    Beloved was going to re-arrange the furniture for me.

    But when one comes home from the airport at 7:30 a.m. and falls so dead asleep that she does not hear the sound made when cats knock over all of the contents of the windowsill ... and one stays in said state until 12:30 p.m. (i.e., after noon), one is not tired very early.

    But one's husband did not have the luxury to sleep and sleep and sleep, and had to be at work for the entire day.

    So it would be foolish for one to wait for another to take care of her business for her.

    Therefore, I turned my dining area into a pathetic-looking bachelor-esque eating center (we have plans to hang art on the wall, I swear):

    and I turned my kids' bedroom into something .... nasty:

    I went to the night class tonight. It's so weird how the breaks during my morning class are welcome respites. Times to chat with those around me, and enjoy the break in the monotony. Breaks during these unfamiliar sessions, however, are nothing but NOISE. These people I don't know, the culture I am not familiar with - it's loud, and it's intrusive into my life and my head and my peacefulness.

    I spent the afternoon catching up with property. I hate property.

    But you know what? Property isn't supposed to be happening this week. This week is supposed to be this:

    But do you see all those arrows and cross outs and circles? That means "I am going to hang out with my daughters, and blow off BarBri." This behavior started last week, when I had my property lectures. See? Even more arrows:

    Loops, even.

    So today, I finally went through the property notes. Then I finally started those property intermediate questions, which I should have done before the mock exam last Friday ....

    Guess how I did?

    Yeah, that's 4 right out of 15 (yes, I am one of those people who stops and checks my answers as I go along). Which is no better than I did last Friday, when I ended up in the 16th percentile for the Real Property questions ... which I tried to say was "okay" since I hadn't done these practice Q's and hadn't yet condensed my notes, and and and ....

    So tonight, while waiting for the evening class to start, I spent my time in a constructive fashion:


    I'm not really sure why I'm making note cards. The only point is to write the information down. When I write (not type), I learn. I could very well just write it over and over on a piece of lined paper. But for some reason, I do it on note cards. There have been (rare) occasions where I later go back and review the note cards. This bar exam nonsense may be one of those times, but since I've (wasted? spent? blown off? prioritized?) time with my family up until now, I may not have time to review note cards.

    You know what? I need to go to bed. It's 1 a.m.!!

    ** Don't I have funky handwriting? I can't help but to look at the handwriting of those around me, and really, I think mine is weird. It's really not very girl-like. Nor is it very boy-like. I'm a handwriting FREAK.


    posted by Zuska @ 12:26 AM   0 comments
    Friday, July 06, 2007
    Skins, Kids and Books
    I just downloaded a new skin for my updated Firefox - I'm not sure I like it. It's green. I think it will likely match my blog layout, but I don't tend to spend much time reading my own blog, and it doesn't match much else.

    The girls are gone. They got on the plane this a.m. J was very emotional and tearful last night, and was more "depressed" (not in the clinical sense, in the quiet and withdrawn sense) this morning. E was being stoic last night. She was spending time in her room, preparing. She packed a lot more personal stuff than she usually does, and declared that she will NOT be living out of her suitcase this summer, and that if X did not get them a dresser, she will insist on some sort of dresser-like arrangement so she can actually move in this time.

    Poor kid.

    X called at 8:30 - he had them in hand and said they were happy, smiling and excited. It is the transition that bothers them the most - not the fact of their father, I think. They do have true complaints about how they spend their time and how he acts toward them, but while the transition period makes them say they would NEVER want to go there, I don't think that's the real truth. I think they do want to be there. It's just hard.

    I came home and napped. This was the plan:

    Sleep from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
    Go to the gym from 10:30 a.m. to Noon
    Shower, start working at 1:00
    Leave home at 4:30 to to go the evening class of Corporations II

    This is what actually happened:
    Sleep from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30
    Email/blog/make coffee set up until 1:30
    Starting working at 1:30.

    Huh. I guess that the sleep I got from 1:30 to 4:00 a.m. just wasn't enough.

    Now it's time. Now I crunch. What usually serves the purpose of the family calendar will become the bar calendar - a dry-erase month-at-a-glance ... with subjects and questions and essays written in rather than birthday parties and picnics and school assignments.

    I'm less nervous now than I was in June, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. I definitely have a lot to cram into my head, and I am definitely not in passing range yet. I suppose I trust my ability to learn, but this is definitely time to dig in deep for my ability to persevere and NOT procrastinate.

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    posted by Zuska @ 1:20 PM   0 comments
    Thursday, July 05, 2007
    With baited breath, they waited
    The girls have been anxious to receive the news as to what class they'd be in next year, and who would be in their classes. J has been in a class with her BFF since the year we arrived (1st grade for her), and it's a little uncanny that they've stayed together this whole time. But!! Success again! They are on their way into their 4th year running in class together.

    This time, they have the *favorite* teacher in 4th grade. Mr. Wonderful. I sort of didn't want J to have Mr. Wonderful, b/c I fear that if a teacher is oh-so-wonderful, in the way that this Mr. Wonderful is rumored to be, J will be L.A.Z.Y. Mr. Wonderful will love her, and will enhance her self-esteem, and make her think school is fun ... but she doesn't need to think school is fun in this Mr. Wonderful kind of way. She thinks Math is fun. She thinks writing stories is fun.

    Yesterday, or the day before - not sure which - we were on the T. She had a funky look on her face, with her brow furrowed and such. "What are you thinking about?" I asked her. She spent about 2 minutes complaining about how I had interrupted her train of thought, and how she was not longer thinking about ANYTHING, but before I so rudely interrupted her, she was doing a math problem.

    A math problem.

    On the train.

    She's 9.


    I hope she has a good year.

    E I worry for as well. Reason being she has all three points of the world's nastiest triangle in her class - well, since she's one of those points, it would be hard for her not to have at least some of the triangle. Hopefully the fact that she has a few other friends in the class who are not associated with those triangle peoples will mean that she will not become distracted with the nastiness, and will focus on school and positive friendships, and not get caught up in the drama of the negative friendships.

    Unfortunately, I don't have much evidence that E's personality works that way. She loves Drama. It draws her in. She likes to argue.

    (like her mother.)

    It's just a big year for her, and she can't afford to spend 6th grade focusing on catfights instead of school work and building positive relationships with the people in her class.

    And she's 11, and anything I say to her is met with, "you just don't understand," and when I say, "explain it to me" she comes out with something about privacy, and it being HER friendships, not MY friendships, and yadda yadda yadda.

    Did I mention they leave tomorrow? We're getting up at 4 a.m. This makes me sad. I'd rather get yelled at.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:52 PM   0 comments
    Dirty Rotten Liar
    Once again, my weather-boyfriend has done me wrong. I wish that I could break it off, but I just can't. Despite the abuse he doles out semi-regularly, he's there for me every single morning. Sometimes he may screw up, and the results are disastrous, but often, much more often than not, I am wearing appropriate clothing.

    We got wet.

    On the 4th, by the river, before the fireworks. Wetness came out of the sky, and it landed on us, and into our "shelter" (i.e., not quite a tent, full of much screened area so as to "let in the cool breeze" which just so happened to be accompanied by wet chilly rain yesterday).

    I had on shorts and a t-shirt. I brought a sweatshirt, but couldn't work out how to get it to cover my arms, my legs and J's freezing cold short-shorts-clad legs all at once. She brought a jacket, but it was a thin one, b/c her mother ( who was relying on her weather-boyfriend) told her to put away her thick oversized hoodie, b/c "it's going to be 84." The same mother who held her tongue when she wanted to call E crazy for wearing denim capris, b/c she knew that E's 11 year old "I am smarter than anyone" mentality would come out, and she would go put on a SECOND pair of capris on top of the first pair just to spite me.

    But the fireworks were gorgeous, and considering everything, it was worth it to go, and it was worth it to be a wee damp and a lot chilly for a couple of hours.

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    posted by Zuska @ 2:47 PM   0 comments
    Wednesday, July 04, 2007
    Happy/Sad News
    E. Spat is blogging again! I was so excited last night when I saw her new post on bloglines.

    E. Spat was the first law school blog I found. I don't even remember how - I think I was clicking "next blog," honestly. What a happy discovery that was, and the gateway into this whole law-school-law-blogging world.

    It is sobering, though, to read about what brought E.Spat back to blog-land - she was recently diagnosed with MS. I know that she'll find a ton of support (and MS walkers!) in this community.
    posted by Zuska @ 12:55 PM   2 comments
    Happy 4th!
    Beloved is down on Boston's Esplanade saving us our spot. He has a sun-shade tent, books and snacks. We're home, in our jammies, in the air conditioning. E is re-reading Harry Potter 6 (just as ravenously as I did on Sunday), I am blogging and looking around at clothing and shoe options for Europe, and J is sketching at the table. We will leave around 2 or so.

    We're looking forward to picnic food, the Boston Pops concert piped through the speakers, and fireworks later on. My weather-boyfriend said it's going to rain just as it's time for the fireworks to shoot off, but Beloved heard they won't cancel fireworks unless it's thundering and lightning. So we'll bring umbrellas and raincoats, and get a little wet. It's worth it.

    I'm bringing note cards and outlines. I never did put Evidence on notecards. I need to focus more on Property, but I haven't printed that outline yet, and so, it will have to wait for another day (i.e., Friday - when the bar studying goes insane, and Europe and Harry Potter will just have to wait).

    So far, today is not a bad one, considering that it's the girls 2nd to last day home. Such days are always wretched. A holiday is a nice distraction. Tomorrow will likely be the hard day. Woe is all of us.

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    posted by Zuska @ 12:33 PM   0 comments
    My new obsession - travel wear
    I am spending my revived internet connection on checking into what to wear in Paris and Amsterdam. I had been a little nervous, b/c I read that Paris was a dressy city, and that Amsterdam is not. So I thought, "crap, I'll have to pack two wardrobes" -- but now I think I'm okay.

    I do worry about my feet.

    In November of 2002, I stumbled down the steps of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I had on Dansko clogs, and my foot twisted onto its side in a way that [i think] pulled every single muscle and tendon in my foot. It hurt so much, I could barely walk for a week. I went to the doctor and had x-rays taken, thinking it was broken, but there were no breaks.

    It's bothered me ever since.

    I have changed my shoe-buying habits since then. I often go for brands that are known for their sturdiness rather than for their fashion-quota ... although I try to bridge the two. I still wear Danskos, but not that same heel, b/c I do occasionally turn my foot in them, and when I do, it sparks every bit of pain that I had on that day of the fall. I hear from many of my friends that they also turn their feet in those shoes, so then I don't think I'm that clumsy.

    Now that we're going to Europe, I am not sure what to wear on my stupid feet. I wore my Clark's slides yesterday (they're kind of like this ... but not really), and my foot is still killing me.

    So Beloved and I are going shopping for Born's on Saturday. I'm thinking of either these, or these. They're a little clunky for the skirts I'm planning to bring (like this one) but I just can't wear a strappy little slide and still have the ability to walk the next day.

    A friend of mine told me about these shoes that are supposed to work on all the pressure points of your foot. The ones that I am finding, though, just aren't me, and the ones that are look too much like sneakers. I could not find more websites that say loud and clear DO NOT WEAR SNEAKERS IN EUROPE! Not to mention, Beloved wouldn't be caught dead with me, I don't think.

    Sneakers and Shorts = the two no-no's in Europe. Which why I'm leaning toward skirts all around, with a pair of capris or 2 thrown in for travel days. I have 2 skirts I know I'm bringing (the one I linked to above, and one which is sort of similar in length and dressiness), and that I think are less "mix and match" pieces, and more of a piece of a set outfit. Then I have 2 long linen skirts - they're straight and ankle-length, super comfortable, and easy to dress up or down. I think I'm going to bring them, even though I think they're less stylish. They look good, they're just not "in style." And that's it! Not too hard.

    Beloved is a little jealous. I think it is harder for men. Especially once you have the "no shorts" rule. He is a shorts guy. He would not, however, wear shorts in Europe. I suggested linen pants, and we're on a hunt. If anyone knows of a place to get nice men's linen pants for under $100, let me know.

    Any feed back on my plans thus far from those seasoned Paris and Amsterdam travelers?

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    posted by Zuska @ 11:36 AM   2 comments
    Tuesday, July 03, 2007
    The Internet is back! The Internet is back!
    Woo hoo!!

    But now my cell phone won't ring :(


    posted by Zuska @ 6:22 PM   0 comments
    10 and 11 years too young, respectively
    Last night was frustrating. We had planned on going bowling in the afternoon - the whole fam damily - but Beloved called to confirm their hours and costs, and it turns out that they didn't open until 5:30. No problem - I went to the library and got some work done, Beloved planned an early dinner, the girls hung around at home reading and making sculptures out of frosting and graham crackers (I never said that Beloved was a good influence, did I?).

    At 6 p.m., we finally left the house.

    At 6:35 p.m., the woman at the counter of the VERY loud and VERY dark bowling alley took our shoe sizes, and as she reached under the counter to get the shoes, she said, "oh, and just to let you know, after 6 p.m., we're 21 and over."

    After 6.

    I said (being brilliant and all), "It's 6:35." She said, "Yeah, you're right."

    So why was she giving us shoes? We had short people with us. Very short people. Who have yet to grow any boobies whatsoever. They can't be mistaken for short 22 year olds. They just can't.

    We left. The girls were MOST disappointed. I promised to take them back today - but they continued with the tears, b/c today meant no Beloved.

    We soothed them with promises of Pac Man and devouring their aforementioned sculptures, and trudged back home.

    We did to back today, though. Just the 3 of us. I had a blast. E had a blast. J was frustrated with her 700 gutter balls, but eventually pulled out of her funk enough to listen to my instructions, which got her considerably more pins in the prone position. But in the end, she lost both games (it would have been hard to beat me, what with my 2 strikes and one spare ... heh heh heh) and turned into a crying, whining, pain in my butt over it.

    I don't really have much sympathy for a 9 year old crying b/c she didn't win. She went through that phase when she was 5 or 6. She moved past it. She learned where her strengths and weaknesses were, and lost with as much pride as she won. Where did it go?

    I know. It left for the middle of the country ahead of her. They're both a little "off" with the impending transition, and I tried to pull out extra-understanding and extra-hugs. I stopped glowering at her, and she snapped out of it, and by the time we returned to our town on the T, she was happy again, and told Beloved that she lost with no sign of her past tearfulness.

    Now we're at the library. Trying to soak in as much of my daily internet requirements as the timer on this damned computer will allow me.

    And I am NOT studying. When we go home, the girls are supposed to clean their room, in preparation for Thursday/Friday's departure, and perhaps I'll get some work done then.

    I'm sure I won't fail the bar exam, though. Right? I mean, they leave on Friday, and then I have nothing stopping me from studying 20 hours a day. Right? So I'll likely pass? Don't you think?

    Tomorrow: Fireworks by the Charles River.

    Maybe I'll bring my notecards .....
    posted by Zuska @ 3:27 PM   1 comments
    Monday, July 02, 2007
    Newsflash: Zuska stolen from the internets!
    Yeah, our modem broke. We had spotty internet service last week, and when I called, I was informed of a system-wide outage for our area (we have DSL), so when it went down this weekend, I assumed the same. But no. our modem had shorted out. After wasting 2 hours on the phone with an absolutely inept tech guy (who had to keep putting me on hold to go ask someone what to do next), I was informed that it's the modem, and they can't order me a new one until Monday (today). I know we could have run out to Radio Shack or Best Buy or something, but the tech guy said it was because of last week's outage that the modem shorted, and so I figured I could get a free one from them.

    it won't be here until Friday.

    And it's the girls' last week home, so I likely won't be hanging out in the library for the connectivity non-stop, so ... bye for now.
    posted by Zuska @ 1:00 PM   0 comments
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