Wednesday, December 26, 2007


So, I learned a few things this Christmas. First of all, I like being married for the's pretty great. I also like it when I get my 6'4" husband Superman pj's that he wears with pride, and I also like the oldschool Ms. Pac-man that you can plug right into the TV and enjoy hours of fun. And I also like the napping, and the treats, and the family, and the time to wish Jesus a happy birthday. I also learned (or, was reminded) that many other religions love Jesus, too, and it's nice to all get together every once in a while. The highlight of this year was definitely hitting up midnight mass downtown at husband's genius suggestion.

Relax, relax, we're not converting to Catholicism. But neither one of us had been before, and this time next year we'll have a kid which makes it unlikely we'll have the opportunity to go again. So yes, believe it or not, I managed to stay up til 2:30 (a record for me, probably since we got hitched but DEFINITELY since the baby started to grow in me belly, as I am usually down for the count by 10 PM), and readers: IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL. Over a thousand people were there, and all kinds of people, too: suits and green mohawks, jeans and fur coats, a really heartwarming mix, and the cathedral is breathtaking, and there was a lot I didn't really get, but I'll tell you what I did get: when they turned the lights down and we all knelt on those kneeling pads and sang "Silent Night." Incredible. I will now include a couple of verses of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" that we sang for the processional hymn. I had never heard these before, but I loved them, and I hope you love them too, and singing them with 1000 other people at midnight in a strange and beautiful cathedral is something I can't recommend highly enough. Merry Christmas.

See, how the shepherds summoned to his cradle
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze.
We there will also turn our joyful footsteps.

Child, for us sinners, poor and in the manger
We would embrace thee with love and awe
Who would not love thee, loving us so dearly?

Thursday, December 20, 2007


This morning, I finished my last final of the semester. Know what this means?

As discussed in an earlier post, halfway means that if you round up, I'm basically finished. Though rounding could be dangerous, bc if we rounded yesterday, I wouldn't have been accepted yet. Anyway, halfway also means I have earned the "J" portion of my "J.D." So if I stopped now, could I still just put the J after my name? Relax, relax, I'm not quitting (though I might be more popular in some circles if I quit, considering I've been told that finishing school with a baby is "putting my career ahead of my family"). After all, IT'S HALFTIME.

Inspired by Smith's post, let me just thank a few people/things that have gotten me this far:

1. Husband. Even though you weren't called "husband" when I started, you have been called "husband" for 2/3 of my 1/2 of law school. Now before this turns into a fifth grade story problem, let's just cut to the chase and say that when I finish, we will have spent 83 percent of my law school time married, which is a lot of law school to be married through, so GOOD JOB, HONEY. You put up with me talking about false imprisonment in The Office and federal rules of evidence during Law & Order (they never authenticate anything on that show), you patiently put up with my obnoxious jargon, and always remind me to eff the hype, and drive me 45 miles on a Saturday morning when my car poops out, and you don't hold a grudge when I neglect you during intense times, and you rub away tension in my back, and proofread boring, repetitive papers and sit through snooty dinners and give me pep talks. All while you have your own graduate program to worry about! Oh, bless you.

2. Rest of family. You let me give you coupons for free legal advice one day instead of gifts, and show up to watch boring competitions that don't really make sense, and you communicate with me electronically when I'm trapped in the law library all day and unable to talk out loud. Good job.

3. Government. Thank you for letting me stay here legally and for lending me money and for watching over me in a big brother way. Okay, not the last one. But thanks for the funds and the legal status and everything.

4. Diet cola. You haven't helped me much this year, because I am trying to help da baby grow big and strong (but not too big, bc she still has to come out) without things like caffeine and fake sugar, but you helped me LAST year, and if I hadn't survived last year, I wouldn't be blogging this blog, so seriously, great work.

5. Itunes shared libraries...nothing helps a girl study like finding out her classmate has every Ace of Base song known to man available. And Disney's greatest hits. And Tupac everything.

6. Lunch dates. Without you, I'd be under my desk rocking back and forth in the fetal position.

7. YOU! My dear readers, who don't mind my boring law stories, and give me an audience for venting and laughing, and who understand when I occasionally start humming the "I have a bad case of diarrhea" song.

recent addition: 8. Da baby. You always sit so reverently in class, and you haven't made me barf even once, and have been such a good fetus all around. I reward you with continued nourishment.

So, hurray for halftime! Where's the band? How about a skanky dance routine? A wardrobe malfunction? How about at least a little half-time shimmy? And from my experience, the last half of everything always goes faster. Your gas tank, for example. Either way, hurray. It's winter break.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

a story

My mission companion and I were knocking doors on an average suburban cul-de-sac when a guy pulled up next to us and yelled "Sisters! What are you doing in my neighborhood?" This guy had been baptized a few months earlier, and we sat on his porch for well over an hour as he gave us the play by play.

He had worked in marketing at some hotshot real estate firm in the South for a couple of years after college. After one of his employees yelled at him on the phone, he slammed the phone down, frustrated. He picked it back up, decided to go to law school, and called a 1-800 number to register for an LSAT prep course. That's when it started.

Months later, he was at a law school fair in the east, where law schools from all over the country set up tables and answer questions. The BYU table was deserted (he claims it looks like there were "tumbleweeds") and he felt sorry for the lonely man sitting at it, plus he'd had a buddy go to BYU a decade earlier, so he stopped at the table for quick pity-hello. (The dean sitting at the table later told him that he'd had a feeling when walked by. He felt like this man would come to the law school and join the church, but figured he should act natural about it, because talk about a quick way to freak someone out and let them know exactly why your table's deserted).

Anyway, this guy was well-qualified and could've gone anywhere, but quickly realized the J. Reub was three times cheaper than anywhere else and figured hey, nowhere else is actually three times better. So, he did it! And his first week there, he got turned away from the financial aid office for wearing too short-shorts (ha!) and felt like an alien when he washed his truck outside on a Sunday with his shirt off as church-goers gawked. People had warned him that in Provo, he would eat freakish amounts of ice cream and a friend even told him to tie a ribbon above his knee underneath his jeans in case any girls looked for his undies, because then they'd be more likely to date him.

So, during his three years at the law school, he was given 5+ copies of the Book of Mormon, met with a dozen sets of missionaries despite his consistant "thanks but no thanks" response, even met an apostle or two, had multiple leaders and even mission presidents sit him down and invite him to learn more, yet miraculously survived three years in Provo without joining the church...only to go home to NY and have a change of heart years later.

He compared his joining the church to barfing. Like when you know you're going to throw up, and you don't want to get up, and you think you can suppress it, but then you realize "Uh oh. I better run for the bathroom, it's coming up no matter what I do." The missionaries told him, "Our job is to help you find the toilet." Everything about his baptism was great, he told us, except the outfit they made him wear. Straight out of the 70s, way too snug, slightly off-white with some Dumbo-ear-sized lapels. Besides the outfit, it was the best day of his life.

As we sat on the porch that sunny-but-freezing day, he found out I would be applying to law schools shortly; naturally, he began recruiting in earnest. I was as anti-BYU as they come (remember? I went to high school at EFY) and laughed in his face, though I admit I was shocked and secretly impressed that he had such a great experience there as a non-member. He was normal, smart, fun, and funny--the opposite of everything I imagined about BYU Law students who only wore khakis and didn't laugh when someone said "bastard." When I told him I had way bigger plans and threw out some of the schools I was thinking about, he responded laughingly, "Do the math and get back to me." And it's true. I'd owe six figures right now if I had gone any of those places. The rest of my mission, he kept telling me perk after perk about the law school, put me in touch with some of the deans, never let up. The more I talked with him, the more I felt nudged toward the J. Reub but just kept kicking bc seriously, it's BYU.

But of course, he was right, I gave in, and you know what? I am happy. Looking back, he and his miraculous story were definitely an answer to my prayers for where-the-freak-should-I-go-to-school-guidance and he became a great buddy. This baby wouldn't be on her way if I'd gone anywhere else, that's for sure. Some of the funniest things he told me about law school:
"You won't find a job you like. You're a lawyer, not a Disney guide."

"Sure, you can be a purist and write your own outlines and it will be a good learning experience. And writing Microsoft Word software would be a good experience too, but useless when all you need to do is print a document."

"Briefing every case is like mowing a lawn with your hands, grabbing fistfuls of grass."

The year after he was baptized, and a year after we met him, he married one of his law school classmates in the temple. Two months ago they had a baby girl. Last month, I asked him to give a presentation at the law school about his conversion story, along with the dean who first recruited him. In that presentation, he said "You can sum my story up like this: Man unhappy, man joins church, man now happy."

I just found out that he died yesterday in a skiing accident.

Thank you for making me go to BYU and thank you for your example and thank you for your helluva story and thank you for your life. I'm glad you gave into that barf-baptism feeling and I'm glad I met you. We'll miss you, Jason.

Monday, December 17, 2007

So much to discuss

Hello blog! Hello blog readers! Hello the Internets! Sorry I've neglected you for well over a week. I blame Evidence, First Amendment and Criminal Ho-cedure, all of which sucked my time, sanity, wit and charm from me last week, but as I emerge from the tunnel of law school finals doom (emerge, mind's not over til Thursday), I find myself bursting with e-updates for you. Also, when school ends, that means two weeks of time to...drumroll....READ FOR PLEASURE. So please prepare your suggestions. Now for the e-updates on my thoughts and feelings.

First, I've been having the weirdest dreams since this baby started growing in me body. For example, last night I dreamed we parked our car in a parking structure, not realizing that to save space, the structure magically shrunk the cars as soon as we left. So we had to look for our car with a magnifying glass, and the man working there helped us find our teensy car, and afterwards I tried to invite him over for dinner as a thank you, and he said I had tried to re-activate him last time we were there and he still wasn't interested in the gospel. What does it MEAN? Is our baby a prophetess and trying to send me messages? Maybe I just need more bedtime snacks. Then, my stomach will be hard at work as I slumber, distracting my brain.

Another example: last week, I woke up and told husband: "I just dreamed that instead of a baby, I laid twelve eggs." Not huge like ostrich eggs, but not teensy like the "large" ones at the grocery, either (do I sound hip and/or European if I just call it "the grocery"?). I kept them warm like a good mama bird. Does this mean I'll barf into our baby's mouth to feed her when she's born? Point to ponder.

Second, in studying for things like law school (which, believe it or not, I often enjoy), I realized I have an intense fear of becoming a CB. That's right. Corporate Bastard. I won't, though, right? CBs depress me. I know we all start out saying we want to help people, and others laugh at our idealistic ways, but for crying out loud, when PEOPLE need lawyers it's because they need help, and I want to help them. When people or companies hire CBs it's because they screwed over the little guy and need help muffling his cries, and my job would be to smother the little guy with a pillow, then get in my ritzy but-in-a-boring-way ritzy car and go to our house and kiss our kids on the cheek when the nanny goes home, then take them to the country club. PLEASE. NO. I need substance in my life. Or maybe I just need to watch more Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and less Erin Brocovich, and I'll feel better. Next week, I'm halfway done with law school, which means if you round up, I'm basically finished, and if I still have (relatively) moral motives this far in, I'll totally be okay, right? Right? club...Knocked Up Lawyers Against Corporate Bastardization. Watch for an upcoming membership drive.

Third, in early college, I was at a store (not the grocery) and I saw some normal, kind-looking young moms chatting in line. I remember smiling to myself, imagining that perhaps I would one day be them, then throwing up in my mouth a little when I heard they were talking about wallpaper and stenciling. WALLPAPER. Can you believe this? Are you as shocked as my 18 year old self was?? It's not that they were talking about it, as much as it was that they were talking about it so enthusiastically. Since then, I have had a desperate fear of becoming them. So if I ever blog about wallpaper (not in an "I just remodeled the H out of my home" way, like The Summerill Surf, which is inspirational and outstanding, not lame), but if I ever start talking about ridiculous things like they are awesome, I want you to come find me. Intervene like they do for AA, reader. The first step toward recovery. HELP ME IF I BECOME THAT. This may be part of why I have such negative feelings toward learning to cook or craft, because I am afraid that it is all I will do, and all I will talk about. Some of those people freak me out. Note that if you cook and/or craft, I still respect you. You just freak me out a little.

Fourth, I am three years old when it comes to husband and Christmas presents. As soon as I get him something, I have to tell him or I'll explode. Is this normal? Also, we still don't have a tree. Is that bad? Maybe we'll get one tonight. We're totally tree-ready, though, so good for us. What else should I get him? Shoot. He reads this. Give any suggestions you have in code, with the first letter of each word spelling out the item. For example, you want me to get him socks, you say Snuggle Often Creepy Kite Sinker. Nevermind. NOW HE KNOWS THE CODE. See what I mean about not keeping secrets?

Fifth, I might be a hippie on the inside. I only want our kid to play with blocks. Will this pass?

Sixth, I need to write a brief about protective sweeps, which I don't like nearly as much as complaining about CBs. So, I'll carry on with the brief writing now. But if you want to join the club, let me know. We might need a more inclusive name, FLAL. Future Lawyers Against Lame. No, come on Gurrbonz, more inclusive. You don't need to be an FL. How about just PAL. People Against Lame. PAL, unite!

We can design our own wallpaper.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Why law school eats my self esteem for dinner

So, I'm taking evidence practice exams. Those make me unhappy in general, but especially when I get a lot wrong. The fun part is reading WHY I got them wrong in the explanation portion, so they can help me learn for next time, so I can be a good person and lawyer and citizen. In a problem I just did (which I'd list here, but it would put you to sleep and/or give you a nasty rash), I chose option D with much confidence. I turn the page and what do I read?

"(D) makes absolutely no sense."

This is a bad sign.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

what. the. freak.

Ladies and gentlemen, if this doesn't prove the Internet's value, nothing does. Husband just sent this to me and I knew, again, that I made the right choice in marrying him.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Schmelz revisited

Dear Readers,

I realize now that I have done a disservice to you and all who like fun by burying a glorious link in a long public transportation-related tirade below. So here is the Schmelzy video, in its whole own post, here for your viewing pleasure. I wish I could somehow hold it up like Rafiki holds up Simba on the Lion King, because deep down I think we all want a gem sweater.