Tuesday, December 15, 2009

dream come true

Remember when I was studying for the bar exam and felt like MY WHOLE LIFE was a story problem, and I couldn't even watch TV without thinking about whether two characters formed an enforceable contract or who would be liable or if certain behavior was negligent or blahblahblah?

Guess I'm not the only one.
Thanks to the Volokh Conspiracy, I just discovered there's a CLE (Continuing Legal Education) seminar on Seinfeld. Ummm. Yes, please. Tell me you wouldn't geek out at this in a heartbeat. The description:
Fans of the famous 90`s sitcom, Seinfeld, may not have realized it, but they were watching a show rife with complex legal issues. Not only were there numerous lawsuits and potential lawsuits within the storyline of the show, but one episode even sparked a real-world suit against the network. In this unique seminar, Robert Rushing uses the milieu of Seinfeld to discuss a wide range of legal concepts. Don`t miss this chance to brush up your legal knowledge in a unique and entertaining way.
The following is a list of each episode mentioned and the related legal issues:

"The Puffy Shirt" - Contract law, meeting of the minds, the Mirror Image Rule, damages
"The Wink" - Real property conveyances, contract law, actionable conversions
"The Old Man" - Elder law, conservatorship, competency, informal agreements
"The Seven" - Contract law, promises, rhetoricals, warranties, ADR, quantum meruit
"The Soup" - Real property
"The Soup Nazi"- Libel, false light cases, intellectual property (real-world lawsuit)
"The Serenity Now" - Products liability, disclaimers, causation
"The Alternate Side" - Tort law, proximate cause, liability and agency
"The Pie" - Tort law, intellectual property
"The Sniffing Accountant"- Libel, slander per se (in-show lawsuit)
"Newman`s Speeding Ticket" - Ethics, perjury, Rule 303
"The Marlborough Man" - Ethics, ex parte communication, Rule 7-104 (in-show lawsuit)
"The Finale" - Character evidence, modus operandi, relevancy (in-show criminal trial)

Monday, December 14, 2009

get v. don't get

Things I get:
  • Libraries. It's like the store, but free, so better. Word has reached me that due to budget problems, Philadelphia shut down their public libraries this year. Is that the most horrible thing you've ever heard?
  • Pregnawinters. Wintertime is a great time to be really pregnant because you just feel warm instead of enormous. I might take this back once the kid's here and I don't leave the house for months straight, but right now, it's pretty nice.
  • Also, pregnancy in general. I know those of you who have a rough go of it don't want to hear this, but I'm still pretty comfy and can see why people do this a lot.
  • I don't sing or really understand much about music but I really like it in Christmas programs when the congregation sings normally while the choir does something fancy and high. It sounds angelic and often lovely.
  • Costco hot dogs. Is there a better way to spend $1.50? I know, I know, hot dogs are gross and bad, blahblahblah, but I had one the other day and it was delicious. And if you're wondering if I dragged a buddy on a 2-hour road trip for a Costco outing, the answer is yes. Hey, it's winter.
Things I don't get:
  • Darling, in any form. "That is so darling!" "Darling!" "Love it! How darling!" WHAT? It makes my head hurt. Maybe for puppies or a brand new baby, but even then, what does it MEAN? MAKE IT STOP.
  • How that freaking Hannukah song by Orrin Hatch is so painfully catchy. It's looping through my head to the point of painful.
  • All the crap people sell to new parents. Remember the Sacajawea theory? I know I only have 1 kid in my uterus and 1 kid out so I don't claim to be an expert on this stuff, but my minimal experience tells me that YOU REALLY DON'T NEED ANYTHING. Well, a carseat, and diapers, and boobs. Okay, a basic pump if you want. Infant mobilizers? Diaper genies? Special pillows? Wipe warmers? (For anyone that thinks I'm kidding, THOSE ARE REAL THINGS. PEOPLE PAY MONEY FOR A CONTRAPTION THAT WARMS BABY WIPES. NOT A JOKE.) And though this is a separate topic perhaps for another day, I find it bizarre that a lot of marketing to moms, e.g., "We know what you busy moms need!" assumes little kids in diapers and strollers. Where is all the junk people peddle to moms of older kids? Will I discover that when I reach that point in life, or does corporate America just know that moms of older kids are less dupe-able?
  • Ham sandwiches. I just don't know why you'd choose ham when there are so many other perfectly good meats out there to have in your sammich.
  • Consent forms signed DURING LABOR. I took a too-long childbirth class at the local hospital last weekend (yes, I've given birth before, but I wanted a refresher and was hoping for a tour, though it turns out they aren't giving tours thanks to the flu) and my head almost exploded. In a horrible portion of the class that involved discussion of forceps, vacuums and c-sections (none of which I will mention EVER again bc I'm a hippie and all about POSITIVE BIRTH STORIES ONLY), the teachers kept saying "side effects and complications are rare but all mentioned in the consent form you'll sign if you need one." Granted I have a brand-new law degree and don't claim to be an expert on anything except certain types of bad TV, but HOW in the HELL are you in a position to give any type of "informed consent" WHILE IN LABOR, let alone after hours of labor and if your baby is in distress? I don't think you have to sign anything, but if you do sign something, is that in ANY WAY enforceable? Warning to those who will study/are studying/have studied law: IT MAKES US UPTIGHT.
That's it for now. How about you?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

hard-earned wisdom

Hello friends. I've been e-absent for some time but think of you often and fondly. Thanks to some generous in-laws, one day you might find yourself on a weeklong trip with a bunch of extended fam to the beautiful land of Hawaii, and if you do, and you happen to have a kid or two and be 33 weeks pregnant at the time, you'll thank me for what I'm about to share.

Some advice:
  • There is no need to be self-conscious because there will be many, many women who are way more pregnant than you are but they will be wearing significantly fewer items of clothing.
  • There is nothing in life that can't be improved with a few palm trees, an ocean breeze and some sunshine. Also, a ukelele. And caramacs.
  • Nothing will melt your heart more than watching your cute kiddo bond with her cousins in Utah (where you made a brief stop) and then MORE cousins on the island except maybe when she puts on sunglasses and a hat and bright pink sandals and runs for the door shouting "Beach! Daddy! Beach!"
  • If anyone sees you wearing a swimsuit cover-up and says "WOW! One size really DOES fit all!" just trust that they mean it nicely.
  • If the beehives in your ward are big into The Mysterious Benedict Society, go ahead and use this vacation time to climb on that train, as you'll likely find it delightful.
  • Most importantly, if you take the red-eye flight home, take an extra shirt for yourself on the off chance that the turbulence could cause your cute toddler to barf on you, thrice, when you still have 2 hours of the flight and a 2 hour layover and another 2 hour flight ahead of you. I hope you'll already have a change of clothes for the kid and a helpful spouse to crack up about it with, but if you don't pack yourself an extra shirt, you may find your very pregnant self in the airplane crapper, standing in your undies as you wring your clothing out and then put it back on. You'll eventually buy a horrible (though, fortunately, clean) t-shirt at the airport that says DENVER on it in enormous letters across your burgeoning belly and spend the rest of your journey realizing that you not only smell awful and look horrifying but your feet have swollen to a remarkable size that makes the term "cankle" seem quaint. But, you'll be grateful you won't see a soul you know. Which might remind you of when you bought a freaking jumper at Dollar General on your mission as a joke and the ONE day you ever wore it happened to be the day you ran into someone you knew from regular life. And if there's anything better than running into someone you know while wearing a jumper, it's probably running into someone you know while wearing a extra-large DENVER AIRPORT t-shirt over your generous belly and smelling of old toddler-vomit with tree trunks for ankles.
Anyway. Aloha!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Monday, November 02, 2009


Many of us had the privilege of knowing and learning from (and being publicly humiliated by) Professor Michael Goldsmith, who passed away yesterday. Everyone lucky enough to know him was affected in ways that are tough to explain (and not just because he's probably the first real, live Jew many J. Reub students ever met). Sharp, vibrant, sincere, witty, with a contagious zeal for life and the law. I can't adequately express how terrifying it was to sit in his classroom, how ashamed I felt if I even though about not reading for his class, and how much higher I held my head on the day I answered one of his questions sort-of-correctly. Under his tutelage, we all wanted to be the best, most diligent version of ourselves. Some quotes:
"When you get caught speeding, don't say 'I'm sorry.' Say, 'IF I was speeding, I am sorry.' ADMIT NOTHING."

"I'm not opposed to playing games. If you want to play solitaire, bring a deck of cards."

"For expert witnesses, there are 2 requirements: must have gray hair, and must have hemorrhoids to convey the proper level of concern."

"It was horrible! He covered everything but his 1990 colonoscopy. Good example of a bad speech. Everyone wants to go home, so unless you're awfully funny, keep it brief."

"This is my job. I'm just trying to do my job, and you're giving me a hard time. I don't give you a hard time with your job. I just order my burger and fries."

"The children of lawyers who don't read footnotes will STARVE."

"Let me give you a hypothetical. Jesus goes to law school, graduates, what does He do? Criminal prosecution or defense? That's right, he's defending these monsters. He's a defense attorney. That's my gospel insight for the day."

Brief story to give you a snapshot of this guy: one of my other favorite lawyers no longer with us told me that while he was attending the J. Reub as a non-LDS student, he and Goldsmith were surprised and startled to run into each other at a bar in Salt Lake. They were each holding a beer. Awkwardly, they each hid theirs under the table for a moment, made eye contact, shrugged, and then raised their glasses and said "Cheers!"

(Goldsmith would probably want it noted that, hypothetically, if I were trying to get this admitted, the story might be hearsay and since neither one of them is here to talk about it and it doesn't fall under any recognized exception, it's inadmissible. But, I wouldn't give up that easily, bc he taught me to be a "can-do" lawyer, so I'd still get it in under the residual exception, OR just argue that it's not hearsay because no one intended to assert anything and it's not a declarative statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted...it's just a story.)

Thanks for everything, Prof. Goldsmith. If I weren't Mormon and pregnant, I'd drink a tribute beer right now. We'll miss you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

this I believe

In addition to my handful of strengths (being good with names, decent with accents, and the ability to nap at will), I'm also a philosopher.

((cue the fog machine))

You see, friends, in the last 27 years, I've pondered the world around me and developed several deeply-held theories that explain many of life's mysteries. I shall now share one with you.

Everyone on earth can be divided into three categories: fun haters, fun havers, and fun makers.

(1) Fun haters. Guess what they do? Hate fun. They hate having fun themselves, they hate other people having fun, they hate hearing about fun, and they hate the existence of fun. Examples: Your friend who WOULD come to your party except she's not feeling well...ever. They'll never want to go to a late movie because they'll be tired the next morning. They'll tell Mom if you sneak out during a jr high sleepover. They won't consider going to a last minute concert because it's FHE. They roll their eyes when you tell them a true funny story bc they "saw the ending coming." They never go out to eat because it's too expensive.

(2) Fun havers are willing to HAVE the fun if someone else makes it. They have the same trusty 3-4 stories they'll tell at a gathering once someone gets the ball rolling. They have a stupid human trick they do with enough prodding, e.g., walking on their hands. They'll smile and say "That's hilarious" instead of laughing. They have a good hearty ugly laugh they'll bust out when someone does something hilarious, but they don't DO the hilarious thing, they just appreciate it.

(3) Fun makers MAKE the fun, often out of thin air. These are the people who take a yawntastic get-together and get the party started. There are several sub-species of this category, including (a) adaptable fun makers, who switch freely between fun-having and fun-making depending on the circumstance, and (b) alpha fun makers, who must be the only fun maker present and can rarely relax and HAVE fun bc they are so busy making it (and wanting credit for making it).

Am I right or am I right?

Theory addendum:
Regarding fun-haters, havers and makers, my friend Wendi just made an important point about the fluid nature of these categories.

At different times, I am each one. I am a fun hater when the fun is being had by annoying teenagers or snickets. I am a fun haver most of the time, cause I'm too damn tired to make the fun. Also, I can be a great fun maker sometimes, but it all boils down to how many fun-havers show up.

Amen and amen. Thank you for your time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


"Deliberately shaved heads are almost always a sign of aggression."


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

the internets are genius

Ever had an obscure [item of your choice] on your mind that you couldn't quite pin down?

And then it got even more maddening as you realized you didn't have enough information to even know where to start? For example, perhaps you catch yourself humming a little tune you can't place, and quickly realize you don't know any of the words so you can't even google it? Or you end up asking a friend a question and, as it forms, you realize you sound mildly autistic? ("What was the book you told me about, you know, the book about the girl, and the girl in it, maybe it was a boy, I think the main guy might be a boy, either way, there's this PERSON in it, and I think you said they have a friend ...")

This not-having-enough-initial-info-to-go-on happens to me quite a bit in regular life, but is even more common in pregna-life, and it can be awkward. (e.g., when packing our hospital bag for our kid's birth, I couldn't think of the word "ipod dock" and ended up asking my husband "Where's that thing that....(long pause)...(begin waving arms dramatically) makes the ipod go everywhere?")

Anyway, all this is my way of saying that if this happens to you, DO NOT DESPAIR. Hub and I were recently discussing obscure television shows from the late 80s/early 90s. Some of what we covered you probably aren't familiar with since chances are you didn't have the privilege of spending those years in Canada (Dear Aunt Agnes, anyone?), but others you may remember fondly. I found myself describing a show about which I could remember almost nothing but still insisted on discussing. The following sentence came out of my mouth:

"What is that show, with the girl, oooh, what IS it, she has a mom who is an alien living in space but she's a regular girl and they communicate through a box?"

If you've ever doubted google's power, I invite you to STAND BACK.

"What is the tv show where a girl has a mom who talks to her from a box in space?"

And what do you think is the first link listed?? Go ahead! Try it!

It wasn't even her MOM who was the alien...it's her DAD! But the internet didn't even need that info to take me to the right place! Behold, the power of the interwebs, bringing totally useless topics to your fingertips given only the most inane of clues.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is this heaven? NO, IT'S IOWA.

If there is a better fall weekend activity than bundling up and chasing your toddler around the actual field of dreams, I don't know about it.

Also, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. Were we still in SLC, this occasion would warrant a visit to Chuckarama or someplace similarly awesome/embarrassing. However, since we aren't, and since I am presently hanging out with our kid all day and the excuses are dwindling fast, I shall momentarily attempt to make a substantive meal. Not turkey. Geez. I'm realistic. But the goal is something warm and reasonably tasty. This could get ugly.

Let us pray.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

rage against the keyboard

My tolerance for lame is even lower during pregnancy than during non-pregnancy. I have a lot more rage and am a lot more likely to lose all tact. Just be aware of that.
  • Speaking of which, what I am about to say is harsh. Brace yourself. I know some may find it cruel. I loved my mission as much as anybody. It affected me a lot, in a good way. I think about it almost daily. I really feel like it was an opportunity I didn't deserve and that I will spend my whole life paying back. It rocked my world in a million ways. But it is also OVER. And when people come home, they need to move on. Keep your good habits, keep your memories, but there is no reason to yap on and on about it and YEARS later be wearing your (mission country's) soccer jersey or saying "burrrrito" like you're a native speaker or unloading useless bits of church history trivia on everyone you see. IT'S OVER. CUT THE STRINGS. LIFE GETS BETTER AND BETTER. MOVE ON. THE BEST IS YET TO COME.
  • The same is true for every life event. It's cool, but it wasn't THAT cool. If you have too much pride for STUDY ABROAD '96 FOR LIFE! or DRILL TEAM '03! or if you're thirty and still talking about your ward freshman year, or really just involved any overly-nostalgic yappage, it's embarrassing. Can you mention them? Yes. Briefly. If relevant. But take the letterman's jacket off.
  • On an unrelated note, we hit up Philadelphia last week which was awesome. Not only was it delightful to see hub's sister's fam and watch our toddlers bond (meaning ours took stuff away from theirs), but it also caused me to reflect on things like the Constitution. And sometimes you forget how miraculous it was, and that stories aren't just stories; they involve real people with real lives, but sometimes important things become so familiar that you become numb to their significance. This is true, for example, with the pioneers. You hear enough stories that you end up thinking, "Okay, they walked and walked," like you're talking about something trivial like running a lot of errands, but once in a while it seems real and you feel real reverence. I had that experience several times in Philadelphia, looking at pictures of people from the suffrage movement or abolitionists or what have you and feeling real awe and amazement and how stories aren't just stories; they involve people. Where is the balance between talking about something enough so we honor, and talking about things so much that our senses become dulled? Now, back to the griping.
  • What is WITH the obsession with the 1950s/60's stuff? The red lipstick, the pillbox hats, the aprons, the bright kitchen appliances, the fetishization of domesticity, the whole bit. I'm pro-parenting, pro-cooking, pro-cleaning, and so on, but I'm confused about the costume-ification of SAHM-life. No offense if you're into it, but can you explain it to me? I suspect it's more than just fashion. It seems to be romanticizing a time which--NEWFLASH--was not all that innocent or really all that awesome for us women, many of whom struggled mightily to forge their own identities and be treated as non-ornaments. Do we really want to go back there? Do we? Betty Draper as a role model is pretty depressing.
  • Annnd, just to remind you that I don't spend ALL my e-time outraged: a funny friend (who is also a beauty expert) sent me some Moroccan Oil for my hair the other day. Not only did it cause the best hair day of my life last week, but it also gave me a few minutes of belly laughing thanks to this video (click on the short video and then wait for the dude in the white shirt, aka, professional hair-swisher, to begin).

Friday, September 25, 2009

seven and twenty

In college, my friend Moosh had a roommate who was 26 or 27 and we thought she was old enough to be our mom. Maybe bc she was uptight. I think she taught school, and was angry, and would make us do things like clean up when we made a mess and shut up if we were shouting.

Of course, looking back, she probably wasn't uptight. WE were just obnoxious. If me-now met me-then, I would strangle me-then. Me-then did things like videotape myself driving around with people on the roof of my 1988 car, and get hickies, and get those horrible airhorns for no apparent reason. I know. So, sorry about that, girl we thought was old when really she was just normal.

Anyway, welp, today I turn(ed) 27. It feels pretty good and not as uptight as I once thought it was. If you want to celebrate my aging, you can do so with a nap and then a treat of your choice. I recommend cookie dough, a large wonderful soda, or one of those big delicious mall pretzels, which I had today after I bought some pants that I thought were on sale for $20 but then they magically rang up as $3 as a present from the planet.

P.S. On my mission, my birthday was on a rainy fast Sunday which is the longest most miserable day on missions. It was a bummer day, but at the end of it, we met these two roommates who seemed really interested and we were sure we would teach them and probably go to the temple with them in a year. We high-fived ourselves and considered them my birthday present from the planet.

But then, it turned out that they were a gay couple and not interested.

So, I'm hoping these pants don't turn out the same way.


Sometimes, I like watching Wife Swap.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

completely true story

This post is inspired by the illustrious MCB, who makes me wish in a sick sort of way that I'd read anything by Jack Weyland in my life.

When I was 19, I briefly dated a 24-year-old fellow who was nice enough, although looking back, I can see that he sort of resembled a reptile or kind cartoon turtle. Why he thought it was normal to date someone fresh out of high school is sort of gross now, but at the time I thought it was hot.

We once had the following bizarre exchange:

Him: "How many books have you read?"

Me: "What?"

Him: "How many books have you read?"

Me, thinking what the hell kind of a question is that? This year? In college? In a particular genre? He can't possibly mean IN MY LIFE. Note that I used to get grounded FROM reading and have to go outside to play, so in elementary school alone I probably read thirty million books...: You mean, ever?

Him: Yes, ever. In your life.

Me, giving him the where-am-I stare: Um, a zillion? (long pause while I wonder where this is going) How many books have YOU read?

He then told me that the only book that he had read cover to cover IN HIS TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OF LIFE, including high school when he just read CliffsNotes, was...


Weird it didn't work out between us.

Updated: Though (obviously) not much of a reader, this fellow had many other redeeming qualities which is why we went out in the first place. This story, however, involves facts, which speak for themselves. No offense intended to my friend who set us up. And who is also his sister. Whooooops.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

and another thing

I'm posting twice in a row, but don't let this new post stop you from reading the serious post below and nodding knowingly.

However, I have been catching up in blogland and was just wondering: What is the deal with cruises? Have you been on one? If so, why? Do you get claustrophobic? What is the difference, if any, between a cruise and a week-long all you can eat buffet with tanning lamps?

I don't know. I just don't know.

click on the first line for a slew of church commercials

Yes, yes it is. I haven't had any of it in a long time and now I have tons. Not like I sit around making our 17-month-old massage my feet and feed me grapes. Taking care of our kid full-time while I grow another one isn't exactly free time, but it IS flexible time and more than I'm used to.

A law school friend once told me, "I don't want to have kids for a while because I need some ME time," which I didn't really understand but respected. I thought of it today as I realized that my whole life has been me time. Twenty years of school, and who has benefited so far? ME. Did I work? Yes. To pay for ME and MY life and MY stuff. Sure, I served a mission, but even that benefited ME and I went because I wanted to. ME ME ME. And law school is, in many ways, a very selfish period of time. Sure, it's an investment in the future (learn now so you can help later) but it's still ME ME ME ME ME.

And I've just always been over-scheduled, which has been fine but a little hectic. And now, as I enter this bizarre new period of my life, I'm just as busy but not as scheduled, so I'm up for random service opportunities in ways I haven't been before. Can I bring randoms dinner? You bet. Can I watch people's kids while they nap/take a class/recover from chemo? Sure. Not every day, of course. But I love that I'm not stretched too thin right now. That I don't have forty things hanging over my head. That I can wake up and think about what my kid needs from me and worry about HER and HER needs, and help others out here and there as everyday, last-minute stuff arises without hyperventilating or feeling crazy-frazzled.

I haven't been in this position before. It's new and temporary and I like it.

Am I an ever-helpful saint? Nope. And will it stay this way forever? Of course not. But I like that if my buddy's childcare plans fall through for the day, I don't shrug and wish I could help as I rush off to a presentation or class or a study group. I like that if someone needs dinner or a ride, I'm down, and I don't have to bail on anything pressing to do it.

Maybe in all my bustling around I've really been missing out. Anyway, this marks a shift for me, and I like it.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

does public e-prayer make me a pharisee?

Dear God,

Thank you for letting me pass the bar exam.


Friday, September 11, 2009

yappity yap

  • I swear to you our kid gets cuter every day. Frankly, her cuteness is ridiculous. I've spent the majority of the week pretending to chase her around. I say "pretend" because I just have to act like I'm going to chase her, and then she'll cackle and shriek and run around the house and I just make noises and move slightly and then she comes back to me, like this joyful toddler boomerang.
  • I busted out the maternity clothes this week. I put it off for a while, but the time is here. Unfortunately, I remain in the awkward limbo stage of pregnancy where my shirt choices are monstrous tent or leeeetle too snug, but I shall carry on. Sometimes I realize that we're going to have another kid and I can't help but grin. No wonder all these people have been having kids for so long. Turns out reproduction rocks.
  • My brother and his hilarious fam came for a visit last week which was deeeeelightful, and we did lots of fun things like run around the city and eat and paint and blahblah. I asked the kids what their favorite part was (expecting they'd say the children's museum, or the awesome park downtown), and to my delight and amazement, they said, "The backyard!" and it melted my cold heart.
  • A friend of mine, lamenting the number of her acquaintances who look identical, recently said, "If you have blonde hair and are over 20, you're a liar or an albino." BAHAHA!
  • And finally, a lot of stuff in the ABA Journal can be semi-interesting. It provides easy, surface intros to some of the latest goings-on, like crazy settlements or huge layoffs or what have you. But every now and again, you run into a treat of an article like this one, with "consultants" offering older interviewees groundbreaking advice like (kid you not), "Ditch the combover or toupee," and "Try not to date yourself by saying things like 'in my day' or 'when I started out,'" and "Don't refer to women as 'gals.'" Wow. Great insight. No wonder you get PAID to give this advice. Every time I think about it, it gives me the giggles.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

I'll stop my grumbles soon, but this must be said.

There's something you should know.

These are not decorations.
These look like hostages.

Thursday, September 03, 2009


A candidate for a local school board position has signs up all over the place around here. I'm sure this person has a lot going for him or her, and clearly he or she has a lot of support in the community bc those signs are everywhere. But I cannot support this candidate on principle. Why?

There are a few basic, unarguable facts of life. The sun rises in the east. Property law is boring. Most people should wear deodorant. Babies need naps. Cheese improves most foods. And, HORRIBLE FONTS ARE DEAL-BREAKERS.

ESPECIALLY if you are running for the freaking SCHOOL BOARD and on your signs, your name begins with a cutesie lowercase letter. You should not be in charge of education decisions for my kid if you don't understand that proper nouns must be capitalized. Save your barftastic font for your freaking family home evening board if you must, but for public use:

Thank you for your time.

Friday, August 28, 2009

experimenting: perma-BAAA! & perma-boohoo

warning: rambles ahead. though really, what else is new?

I have this friend...let's call her Schmerin, to keep her identity safe. Long ago, people were often shocked to discover that Schmerin and I were friends, and they would say things like "You're FRIENDS with her? She HATES me!" But I knew she didn't hate them. This exchange occurred repeatedly. You know how most people default to reasonably friendly? As in, unless you have a reason to DISLIKE someone, you generally like them? Well, I realized that Schmerin defaulted to dislike, meaning unless she had a reason to like you, she seemed to dislike you. So the world (and by world I mean school) was full of people who thought Schmerin hated them when really she just had yet to interact with them enough to have a reason to like them. (Fret not; she later figured this out and adjusted her default position to something less socially awkward.)

Similarly, most of us have a neutral face or vibe that we send off when we aren't high on life or in the depths of despair. It's not awful, it's not thrilled, it's just NORMAL. Yesterday I met someone whose default position is high on life. Like, unless she has a reason to be down, she has an enormous frozen smile on at all times and shouts and claps her hands. She says her name happily, she says goodbye happily, she says "GREAT MEETING YOU!" the same way she would say "I WON THE LOTTERY!" or "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE GETTING MARRIED!" or "IT'S SO GREAT THERE'S PEACE ON EARTH."

I'm a happy person and many who know me may find ME overwhelming, so if I, the bombarder, am bombarded, that's really pretty impressive.

Sometimes I have this intuitive need to balance things out, i.e., if someone is a total bummer with permafrown and sigh, I end up louder/more animated/Tigger-esque in an effort to balance out their misery and get the room to a workable equilibrium. Similarly, if someone is smiling their brains out or bouncy or laughy or just generally sending off the stole-my-kids-ADD-meds-again vibe, I'll become the bummer just to even things out. So if you tone it down too many notches, I'll tone it up as many notches as necessary to bring the average in the room to a 5. Does anyeone else do that?

Anyway, this leads me to wonder what people who are THAT HAPPY all the time do when they ARE faced with a reason to be abnormally happy. You know? If you're using your "THEY CURED CANCER!" voice to say things like "CHICKEN IS ON SALE!", what do you use when they do, in fact, cure cancer? If you introduce yourself "HI! I'M AIMEE!!!" with the same voice you use for "YES! I WILL MARRY YOU AND THOUGHT YOU'D NEVER ASK!", how do you portray actual excitement as opposed to default excitement?

The opposite is also true, isn't it? If you are a total downer all the time (and we all know someone like this), monosyllabic in your responses with your eyelids at half-mast, what happens when something bad REALLY happens? You have nowhere to go from there, do you?

Anyway. All this is my way of saying that there is a part of me that just wants to poke bears with sticks, so to speak. Yesterday's frozen smile woman (I know this will shock you but she was teaching an aerobics class, further proving my suspicion than most aerobics teachers consume startling amounts of uppers) made me want to tell her something incredibly tragic just to see what she'd do. Is that bad?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The circus, Lagoon and your 6th grade science fair, combined and on crack

Hard living ages you, so it's tough to guess if he was 65 or 80, but he was definitely too old to have all those naked ladies tattooed up and down his arms. His bald head was a gleaming, veiny mix of wrinkly old man tan and sweat but luckily we were still able to decipher the blue tattoo on his cranium that said "THAT TURNS ME ON!" in block letters. We listened to his smokey laugh as everyone gazed at the miniature horses dressed like ninjas and tried not to hurl from the manure and body odor swirling around the barn.

The Iowa State Fair is ridiculous, overwhelming and awesome. And I say awesome less like "far out" and more like truly awe-inducing bc this thing is unbelievable.

The 4-H exhibit hall was out of control cool. Breathtaking wooden porch swings and bed frames and gun cases, all handcrafted by 13- and 14-year-olds, ridiculously interesting and funky photographs, complicated quilts, the whole bit. Basically, name something people can make and/or grow, and the blue ribbon winners and runners-up were on display. We also saw posters presenting things like "Iowa's Owls," "Types of Beef Cuts and How to Best Prepare Them," and "Making Your Own 100-calorie Snack Packs Will Save You $137 a Year." To our delight, the incredible mix of stuff was perfectly illustrated by the fact that the picture-enhanced "Deer Hunting with Disabilities" poster was right next to "The Life of J.S. Bach." And on stage, two 9-year-old boys played Chopsticks (though the poster advertised it as "Chop-ticks") on the piano for an appreciative audience of several hundred fair-goers, while moments later, three overweight 20-somethings in sequins took the stage to gyrate/lip-sync to "Hit Me With Your Best Shot!"

That was all just in the first building.


In another huge building, there was a 1,100-pound pumpkin and blue ribbon cucumbers, zucchinis, gourds, corn, and everything else you can think of. We honored the winners of the weed identification contest and drooled over the best strawberries and soy beans in the state before comparing the size and texture of various apples. We later sauntered through an incredible milking station and applauded the enormous and virile "Super Bull." And most of all, we saw droves and droves of people. An estimated 100,000+ people A DAY go to this thing and it is NUTS.

(Turkey legs, which, as you may know, are significantly bigger than they appear so when you eat one you look like a Viking.)

Though we ate only a few regular treats and a turkey leg (and felt delightfully barbaric), we could have easily sampled: BBQ everything, walking tacos, po' boys, fried candy bars on a stick, fried oreos on a stick, fried twinkies on a stick, pork chop on a stick, funnel cakes on a stick, hardboiled egg on a stick, veggie dog on a stick, fried pickle on a stick, cotton candy-flavored fudge, fried mac-and-cheese, and bacon dipped in your choice of cheese or chocolate. We could have also partaken of a fried wonder entitled the Potato Lollipop.

Thanks to a sweet, exhausted kiddo who loved petting the cows and making friends but who did NOT love missing her nap, plus a mid-afternoon rainstorm, we didn't get to see everything this time, but apparently we missed arm wrestling, sheep shearing and even a cow made of butter.

Had we gone in previous years, reliable sources indicate that we could have seen a life-sized butter sculpture of Tiger Woods and Iowa's own olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson.

Can you feel the magic?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

plans n such

I'm getting a lot of "What are your plans now, gurrbonzo?"

Is this bc hub, kiddo and I abruptly moved across the country on a bit of a whim after finishing school and I took the bar in a state in which I no longer live so most people I know are confused? Is that what this is about?

1. Why'd you take the Utah bar if you live in the midwest now?

Welp, turns out you have to apply to take the bar months in advance, and (as many of you know all too well) the application process is a large pain in the buttocks. The FBI background check takes at least a month and you provide an absurd amount of info (e.g., contact info & reference for every place you've ever worked since you were 18, the address of every place you've ever lived since you were 18, every drug you've ever abused, every single time you got arrested, blahblah), and then you have to drop like 500 bucks. Plus for the July exam, you have to decide what state you'll take it in by March-ish. As the deadline approached, our plans were still up in the air, and we lived in Utah, so, Utah bar. And by the time we decided to move, it was too late to take it in our new state, so, why not utilize the funds I'd dropped and the buttock pain I'd endured during the application process? I can't imagine that taking the bar exam will get any easier than it would be right now. Which is a depressing thing to say.

2. But what's the point of being admitted in Utah if you don't live there?

Shiz. I need a POINT for the stuff I do? THAT would have been useful to know 26 years ago.
Turns out you have to be admitted somewhere to do ANYTHING. To put J.D. on your business card, to help your buddy with his will, to help your cousin get custody of her kids, to answer somebody's question without saying I AM NOT AUTHORIZED TO GIVE LEGAL ADVICE, whatever. Apparently you can't do squat unless you're admitted at least somewhere, and you can do a lot of federal stuff anywhere as long as you're admitted somewhere. Make sense? Thankfully, in this fine new state in which we reside, they accept the 6 hour multiple choice part, which is the same nationwide. So assuming (please bless) my score on that is reasonable, I'll only have to take ONE day of the two-day test in our new land.

Which I can do either next February or next July.

But probably not February, bc in January, we're having a baby girl. Woopwoop!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

living on the edge.

There are two things taking over my new life in the midwest (besides our kid, and getting settled): church and the law. I also spray painted a couple of our chairs today on a whim and it may have been a poor choice. Sigh. Anyway:

An inevitable part of Moving While Mormon is figuring out your way around your new congregation. It's nice to have a fresh start, but overwhelming bc there are just a lot of people to deal with. Soon you find your scene and all is well, but the first month or so can be a little intense. This is especially true when you move to a state, nay, a region of the country in which you don't know a soul and so pray that there are some non-snickets under 75 that you can bond with and spend your time actively searching out new hangout friends. To advance these efforts, I'm experiencing hyperactivity. Not scurrying in circles with stickers on my forehead, Capri Sun spilled down my hot pink shirt while chewing gummi worms and shouting "I'm hyper!!!" Rather, way more involved in church than is normal for me. We're talking having randoms over for dinner, feeding the missionaries, going to midweek activities, the whole bit. This might be normal for you but for me, it's pretty intense. My new assignment in our ward is to hang out with the teenage girls. This means I do things like let a pack of seventh graders french braid my hair and throw tic tacs and be nervous about forgetting locker combinations. Pretty awesome.

The law
I'm trying to purge my brain of at least some of more useless law stuff I've shoved into it this summer in preparing for the bar, but to no avail. It is taking over my life. EVERYTHING FEELS LIKE A STORY PROBLEM and it's starting to get embarrassing but I just. can't. stop.
  • Last weekend, we were at a wedding with a sit-down dinner and they had fancy old-fashioned high chairs for the little kids. Without buckles! I could not stop thinking about who would be liable if someone got hurt.
  • The parking garage at the public library has NO FINE PRINT on the tickets. Isn't that bizarre?
  • I drove past a cop who had pulled someone over and immediately started thinking about what he could and could not search if it were a basic traffic stop and how he didn't have to inform them that they didn't have to consent if he asked to search their car.
  • Today I saw Azucar's update that a fly in her house had been there so long it had squatter's rights, and I immediately thought about why that wasn't technically true.
  • I can't read the news without thinking about who might be liable as an accomplice or co-conspirator.
  • I agreed to help a friend with something and then when needs changed, I immediately started thinking about whether there was sufficient consideration to make the modification binding.
  • I watched last night's Dating in the Dark (good grief, I love bad TV). Are you watching it? It's delightfully/painfully dumb and I recommend it if you feel like wasting an hour of your life feeling good about yourself in comparison to the rest of humanity. Anyway, I spent most of the episode wondering what kind of waivers they signed to get on the show bc cameras go in their houses "without their knowledge." There is NO WAY that would be allowed, would it??
This is getting embarrassing.

This is my life, people. French braids and theorizing about reality tv contracts. I know. I KNOW.

Monday, August 03, 2009

the latest

Well, last week was a helluva week!

  • the damn bar exam. I'm really sick of talking about it, and if you have any friends or e-friends who took it, you're sick of hearing about it, so let me just say, in the words of my wise classmate (and former Miss Indian BYU): "Remember, results aren’t supposed to come out for 8-10 weeks. Don’t ask, if I don’t tell. And if I fail, it was because you weren’t faithful enough. So really, I’d be feeling bad for YOU." She also compared being done to "your birthday and Christmas wrapped in bacon and topped with a fudgesicle" so basically, it feels good.
  • I ate a lot when I was in Utah, mostly Cafe Rio, Taco Amigo, JCWs, you know, the important things in life. I also had a delicious Gandolfo's breakfast sandwich on both mornings of the bar and plan to credit them with my success or blame it for my failure.
  • I've gotten some interesting guidance from several friends about traveling alone with a toddler. One dear friend said, "Get people near you on your side before she freaks out. Then they'll be so charmed by her they won't even be mad when she's screaming." Another advised, "You will never see any of the people around you ever again, and you'll have that relationship with your kid your whole life. So worry about your kid and meet her needs and do your thing and don't feel bad about the strangers." I employed a mix of the two strategies and in spite of total dead-arm, a flight delay, a mini-meltdown or two (me, not the kid) and a couple of diaper situations (kid, not me), all was well.
  • I had the first massage of my life thanks to a gift certificate from husband. I got it for graduation and made one of the best choices of my life by saving it until the day after the bar. Go get one, now. Sidenote: the place I went (in foothill village) just happens to be located in the same spot as the old office of a congressional campaign I worked on before law school, and don't worry, the room I was in was actually in MY OLD OFFICE. As in, I paid a stranger to give me a rubdown in the same little room I'd color maps and ask high-rollers for money in. Gross and awesome.
  • It's great to be home. Husband painted the kitchen, living room, hall, kid's room and our room while we were gone, and it rocks.
  • Anyway, I've been wondering lately about themed parties bc I think they're lame. I guess I get it if it's just a get together for the heck of it then great, but if the party already HAS A THEME, say, a bridal or baby shower, does it really need a second theme, like butterflies or luaus? Isn't the theme that it's a baby shower? Same with weddings. The theme is that it's your wedding. Stop dressing up like cowboys or whatever.

Monday, July 27, 2009

i gotta feeling!

Do you have any good vibes lying around? If so, want to send any my way? There are lots of deserving homes for your good vibes and I hate to hog them, but any rooting for me and my fellow comrades typing as fast as we can over the next few days is more than welcome.

The bar exam is Tuesday and Wednesday, and at this point, the most effective way to help me and hundreds of other hoping-to-soon-be-legit-lawyers nationwide is prayer and/or raising a fountain drink in a toast and just sending a lot of positive energy. Are you up to the challenge? Can you visualize success with me?

I have a long history of doing significantly better than I deserve to on standardized tests. Let's hope this is no exception.

Friday, July 24, 2009

home stretch

Have you ever haphazardly thrown spaghetti at a wall and prayed some of it would stick as you watched it all slide down into a goobery mess? But you just kept throwing?

Me neither.

But that's what reviewing for the bar is reminding me of right now.

Sometimes I open up the phone book to "Attorneys" just to remind me how many goobers have passed this thing. It's like the opposite of positive affirmations. Instead of saying "I am smart and can do hard things" you say "I am dumb, but lots of people are dumber."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

umm, kind of.

Studies are so all-consuming (particularly now that I'm in the same state as two of my child's grandmas and therefore have, as a certain former boss of mine used to insist was an accepted term, "uni-dimensional focus") that I have twitchy-eye, and so I cope with things that pop into my head, e.g., this.

Once, years ago, I lived in an upstairs apartment with a bunch of other sophisticated/fabulous women, and a kind but awkward young married couple lived below us. They were particularly impressive when it came to skills such as slow blinking, open-mouth stares, odd forced laughter at bizarre times, and so forth. They were so painfully awkward that one of our roommates began to refer to them, collectively, as Socially Inept. As in, "Socially Inept dropped by," or "Here's that note from Socially Inept." They were technically the apartment "managers" but I'm not sure what that job consisted of except pausing longer than necessary in polite conversation, looking mousy, and leaving the occasional passive-aggressive note. But we loved them.

One day, I came home to find a typed note taped to our door. If you're wondering if it immediately went on our fridge for about a year, the answer is yes.

Dear Residents,

Please do not park in spots that are not assigned to you, even briefly, as it causes other tenants incontinence. Thanks,

The Management.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Know what I like that is really gross (besides Del Taco)?

The term "grow a pair." I know, it's so vulgar. But it's also really effective, and it portrays exactly what I want it to most of the time, in a way in which "grow a spine" or "buck up" or "pull it together" just don't. As I adjust to a new region of the country and know no one but my hub in a 1,000 mile radius, and as I strive to prepare for the damn bar exam by shoving more information into my head than I previously thought was possible, I tell myself to grow a pair a lot. I mean, figuratively.

There is so much information swirling in my head right now it's a little freaky. I'm out of room in my brain but still need to cram (significantly) more in before the bar exam. There are only two solutions: it's time to brain-purge and get rid of all unnecessary/non-urgent info floating around in there, like how to sign the True to the Faith hymn, or that a group of owls is called a parliament, or that there are a number of ways in which women can prepare and subsequently consume their placentas.

See? I have room for like three more things now. Yikes. Guys, it really is like preparing to take 20 intensive finals rolled into one. SO. MUCH. INFORMATION. Brain exploding.

I know, I know...time to grow a pair.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


If your dryer breaks so you have tons of wet clothes, you might think that hanging them up to dry is a good idea. And maybe it is. But if the humidity is 95% where you live, it could take a while.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

we made it!

I can't find anything.

Not the towels, not the can opener, not the freaking grocery store. But who needs to find stuff when you have a yard and a new state to call home? I'm a moron about directions generally, but when there are only gorgeous rolling hills but no mountains, I have no idea which direction I'm facing or really, where I live. So that's unfortunate. But I have a map and a phone and with those two things I cannot fail.

Unless I get turned around on the map and have a close call or two on a so-called one way street. In which case it's less of a "failure" and more of an "opportunity to learn from experience."

Part of how I know I really learned something in law school, or at least in my latest bar-study efforts, is when I have ridiculously nerdy responses to things, e.g., the parts of the Michael Jackson saga I'm most interested are about the details about his will and whether it's valid and why. Similarly, if you happen to, say, buy your first home right after reviewing for both the contracts and property law portions of the bar exam, you may enrage everyone else in the room when you insist on reading everything. But come on! Do I look like a dummy? If I sign something that says "ONLY TODAY'S WRITTEN AGREEMENT IS ENFORCEABLE AND NO ORAL PROMISES OR EXPLANATIONS HAVE ANY VALIDITY," am I really expected to listen to these guys 'explain' things to me and then take their word for it and sign my rights away? Sigh. I suspect this is just the beginning of a long life of being uptight. But that's what happens when all you do is learn about absurd worst case scenarios and the schmucks that get squished like bugs for not reading the fine print.

Remember The Office episode in which Michael locks everyone in the conference room to teach them a lesson and every law student in America had a heart attack because THAT HAS ALL THE ELEMENTS OF FALSE IMPRISONMENT?

Anyway. Our kid has loved the move, shrieking as she goes around each corner to discover ANOTHER empty room in which she can run around with her hands in the air shouting words she understands but no one else does and beaming at us. Sometimes she just claps and looks around delighted at the world and it melts my cold heart. She is also the cutest moving-urchin, in her pjs all day with who knows what smeared on her face and black feet from running barefoot on filthy floors. They're clean now though so when you come see us you can take your shoes off without fear. Also there are a bunch of kids next door who like to feed my kid raspberries through the fence, so if you hurry, maybe they'll be some left for you.

We moved!

(Imagine me saying that in the same voice little kids, e.g., my nieces, say things like "I DID IT!" after going to the bathroom. Triumphant, jubilant, please-applaud-me. That kind of tone.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

affairs, MJ and pep talks, oh my!

I. John Dickerson had an interesting piece in Slate this week about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford. I'm as jaded as anybody when it comes to politicians and affairs...at least, I thought I was, until the John Edwards story broke a while back. Call me naive but I was genuinely shocked and sincerely sad/disappointed. Sure, everyone else in national politics cheats on their wife, but JOHN EDWARDS? The handsome, polite, every-soccer-mom-had-a-swoony-celeb-crush-on-him advocate for the poor who lost his son in a car accident and has a smart, normal, not-size-2 wife and now has a couple of cute little kids and came from really humble beginnings? It really surprised me a) that he had an affair and b) that I was so affected by it.
Anyway, with the recent Sens. Ensign and Sanford (and everyone else) stuff it's easy to make jokes about politicians and affairs and the bizarre number of "family values" spokespeople who keep being destroyed by personal scandal. And I definitely like to make mean jokes. But this piece just made me think a bit about how people are people, even if they're famous. A relevant excerpt from the Slate article:
The snap judgments failed to acknowledge a grain of the fundamental human carnage we were witnessing. You can laugh at Sanford, as you can laugh at a video of a wrecked Amy Winehouse falling all over her house. But at some point, even though they did it to themselves, you have to feel sorry for them as human beings. You can do that, I think, and not be a fan of adultery or drug use.
Sometimes I just want to take a second and feel bad for people, even famous people who are obviously vulnerable and human and maybe slightly crazy. I mean, I'm crazy too, it's just not in the tabloids and I don't have to give a press conference explaining my crazy to the unforgiving masses waiting to twitter about it. Aren't you kind of crazy too? Maybe it's partially that I have the public figure/private figure NYT v. Sullivan defamation and libel stuff on my mind (thanks, First Amendment). Maybe it's that with the scandals and the King-o-Pop, there are a lot of (often hilarious) harsh jokes about those whose lives just ended or are falling apart. But on some level the bleeding heart in me thinks geez, we ARE all brothers and sisters, and I can and do and should feel bad for the poor Sanford family (even the dad who caused this mess) just like I can feel bad for poor crazy Michael and his nightmare of a childhood.
But really, I appreciated John Dickerson's article and the fact that a regular reporter would say "Back the train up, this is a PERSON," which is probably not easy in the world of journalism when it's about juicy headlines and skewering the vulnerable and the flawed. Anyway, I'm glad I ran into it and it caused me to really reflect on that for a while and want to hug everyone.

II. On a completely unrelated note, I ran into this article about supporting your kids' dreams a while ago. Maybe it was even on your blog! I can't remember. But it's given me a lot to think about, and I like it. Here's how it starts:
"I've changed my mind," said my 13-year-old daughter, Francie. "I don't want to be a lawyer anymore. I want to be in the FBI." I tried to imagine my daughter's bespectacled face staring back at me from the climbing wall at Quantico, but the image didn't come easily.
Still, I replied, "How cool is that?"
"Yeah," Francie said, arms folded in satisfaction. "It's going to be good."
I hope it is. I hope that her life turns out absolutely according to her dreams. If she doesn't quite hit the bull's-eye, then she'll still have aimed in the right direction.
Go read it and come back and tell me what you think, okay? We can have an internet book, I mean, article club about it. I like the idea of just being in someone's corner, not just with your kid but in life. If my kid wants to be an astronaut, she can be an astronaut. If my buddy sincerely wants to be a trash collector, she'll be the best damn trash collector around. Seriously. Who am I to pee on someone else's dreams!? There are plenty of Debbie Downers in the world and the last thing any of us need is a PARENT or FRIEND to be our Debbie. I like that when I think up something ("I want to start my own firm! No, I want to go back to school! No, I want to be a corporate bastard! No, I want to start an on-ramping program! No, I want to work on immigration! No, I want to build a barn and save up for a pony!"), my hub or mother or friend will often say, "Ooh, now you're thinking. You'd be good at that. We could make it work." If it's a dumb unworkable idea, I'll figure it out soon enough. It's just really nice and important to have someone that says "Hell yeah!" when you have an idea. What do you think?

p.s. If you need a pep talk from me, just let me know. I will happily counteract the bummer patrols in your life because guess what? You can do whatever you want.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


"I like fry sauce. Those people who don't like fry sauce? I don't trust them."
--my dear friend Rachel W. at JCWs today

Monday, June 22, 2009


There are certain things that baffle me. As a people-watcher, I like to analyze behavior, and even when I disagree with someone, most of the time I can figure out where they're coming from. But there are a few things that confuse me and I just can't get to the bottom of them despite my constant ponderings between bouts of shouting at my property law review (if there is something more ridiculous than property law, whatever it is, I hate it) and scheduling lunch dates for my last week in Utah. If you do any of these things, or know and love someone who does, will you tell me why? Enlighten me! All of these puzzle me and I desperately need some insight.

  • Grow as a transitive verb. ACK! As in, "Don't you want to grow your business?" or "Grow your audience." I cringe just typing it! WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?? It sounds like weener-enhancement spam mixed with business school douchebaggery. For some reason, "Grow your business" sounds so much more barfy than "help your business grow." Why is this? And do you think "grow your business" is more or less aggravating than the surprisingly popular and grammatically baffling "Want to come with?"
  • Taking pictures of food and blogging about it. I don't mean a pretty cake you made or a special occasion dinner. I mean, lifting fork to mouth with mouth wide open or an "mmm mmm" smile. WHY? WHY? WHY? I recently saw a blog post with a picture of just a plate with some smushy pancakes on it all gross and swimming in syrup and beneath it, all it said was "Breakfast." Why do people document their average meals? WHY!? I see posts like these at least weekly and remain totally stumped. Several questions: a) do people who take these pictures personally love that meal enough to want a record of it forever? We've each had a thousand meals just in the last year. Recording each one is both nonsensical and totally unsustainable. b) do people posting said pictures think their audience enjoys pictures of breakfast? Is there some sort of positive feedback that perpetuates this bizarre cycle? What is the motivation behind these pictures of half-eaten cheeseburgers and melted ice cream on some squished brownie? I'm just so confused by it. Also the drinking out of a straw pose. What IS that!?
  • Homeschooling. Why does it happen? I'm not for it and I am not against it. I don't really have an opinion on it yet (shocked? I know!). I just don't really get it. Is it generally bc of pro-home feelings, or anti-public school feelings, or a combination of both? Did the parents have a bummer of a public school experience themselves so now they don't want to inflict it on their children? Or do they just think their kids are gifted? Or that regular teachers wouldn't teach their kids enough? And for parents (generally moms) who conduct the homeschooling, aren't you just pooped? Do you ever get 5 seconds for yourself? And once you homeschool, how do you decide when to make the switch to other-people school? And what if you don't remember how to do whatever you're supposed to be teaching them? It blows my mind. I am also baffled at the generational shift occuring: I only know weirdos who WERE homeschooled, but I only know normals that DO the homeschooling now, as parents. Of course, the kids my age who were homeschooled, welp, that was all like 20 years ago, and probably not a representative sample. Have the types of parents who homeschool gotten cooler? So it was the socially inept crowd in the last generation but in our generation, it's hip? Does this reflect your experience?
  • Shops/boutiques that sell little girl hair bows. Seriously, do they make any money or is it a fakeout? There is NO WAY there is a market for TEN BILLION $2 hair bow businesses. Is there???
  • I'm thinking a lot about cloth diapers. Landfills aside (and I fully support reducing waste), is it a pain in the butt? Is it really that much cheaper?
  • Did I think in bullet points before law school or is this something I should thank J. Reuben for?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

things on my mind and therefore my blog:

Hi everyone! Still aliving, still thriving, still word-vomiting on the internet from time to time. Ready?
  • Today's bar studies brought me this unfortunate phrase: "...which are taxes in the state where the sale was consummated." CONSUMMATED? Ew! When I told hub he said it sounded "fiduciarily erotic."
  • Sometimes I forget about odd little things, and when I see them, there is a brief flash of recognition. One example: when I see a bumper sticker for Peter Corroon, like I did when parking at the library today, I think "Oh yeah! Peter Corroon! I forgot about him." Same with Blanche from Golden Girls. Kind of.
  • Sometimes I get a lot of feminist rage when people act like I have mush for brains bc I'm a female and a parent. Grumble grumble.
  • I like it when people share real stories about real problems, particularly in church settings. A few weeks ago we had one of those 5th-week-Sunday joint men/women meetings at church and guess what it was about? Not food storage, not gossip, not dutch oven cooking. Drug addiction. Several recovering addicts shared their stories and they passed out a sheet with meeting info (location, time, place) of various addiction meetings around the area. It was one of the more intense church meetings I've attended, but really refreshing to see concrete gospel-in-action stuff. Not "I had to learn to...(sniffle)...forgive the meanie teacher who said something bad about my perfect 10-year-old at parent-teacher conference! SAD!" but legit, full-fledged, raw and honest "I hit rock bottom in more ways than you can imagine and today I'm putting the pieces together with God's help and here's where you can show up if you have the same problem." To the whole congregation. I like it.
  • I prefer living in the same state as my husband. While we're only apart for a week or two, it is not my favorite thing and I salute those that survive it.
  • I also prefer spending time with my kid over studying. She is way more hilarious and interesting than trying to figure out what rights vest when and if it matters that one party's not a merchant and who has the burden of proof when and (did your eyes glaze over? MINE TOO!). Anyway, our cute one-year-old does a lot of awesome things. For example, she dresses up like an old lady lately. Yesterday she started walking around with assorted necklaces on, a bright orange visor, my mom's keys on one of those long teacher key chains (what are they called?), holding a neon yellow container in one hand and a Reader's Digest in the other. She looked like she was heading to the RV to play a bit of bridge and/or canasta. I love that kid.
  • You know those long key chains? What are they called? Lanyards? Anyway, you're allowed to have them, you really are, especially if you're a school teacher or a referree or something. But can you think of ANYTHING more annoying than people spinning them around and around mindlessly in public places!? Ack!
  • What preposition do you use after forbidden? Are you forbidden TO do something? Are you forbidden FROM doing something? Not sure. Turns out 20 years of school still leaves you wondering about (or should i say wondering through) these pressing matters.
Welllp, that's about it. What's on YOUR mind?

Friday, June 05, 2009

tartly torts

Studying for the multi-state portion of the bar exam is a serious flashback to my 1L year. I can even hear the unforgettable voice of a certain professor whom I adore and who also happens to bear an uncanny resemblance to Velma from Scooby Doo.

I think you know who I mean.

Anyway, many of these quotes are readily available on my sidebar, but for your more convenient/immediate pleasure and because of my stroll down memory lane today as I re-pour into my brain information about assault, battery, false imprisonment, strict liability, res ipsa loquitor and let's not forget good old-fashioned negligence, I give you....

tidbits from my torts class.

The year: 2006.

My status: unmarried (engaged) and shellshocked (post-mission awkwardness at an all-time high).

My mood: awesome (by nature) and overwhelmed (by school).

"Punitive damages are un-freaking-predictable, but it's the consumer's way of saying 'corporate America, you can't screw me over.'" -- Prof

Prof: "And what did the court say about that?"
Student: "They didn't mention it."
(awkward pause)
Prof: "Actually, it's italicized. Hahaha!"
(as any classmate present will verify, it's the nelson-type pointing and laughing that really made this experience memorable).

"I don't know if any of you have neighbors with vicious boars, but if you do, you should probably move." --Prof

Student: “I would think so.”

Prof, incredulously: “You would THINK so?”

(awkward pause)

Student: “But I would obviously be wrong.”

“Companies respond! Hello! Why did Fisher Price make little people bigger? Because children eat them.” --Prof

Prof, when another law school class was scheduled to take place in our classroom during our classtime:
“No, we will not get up and leave, we will fight them. TORTS IN ACTION.”

Prof to student: "What, you can't write this down? You don't have hands??"
(long awkward pause) "Well, I guess you do have one arm in a sling. Never mind."

“Assuming you have a head, you should be able to write like the whole time.” --Prof's advice on taking finals

Student A:
The thing speaks for itself, don't you think?
Student B: Then I want to know what the hell it's saying.

Student: I give up.
Prof: Actually, only I get to decide when you give up.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

freudian or weirdian?


While reviewing some criminal procedure notes as part of today's less-than-diligent bar review studies, I just realized that I had typed

"the defendant's right to childbirth."

instead of

"the defendant's right to trial by jury."

Whooops. Easy mistake right...childbirth, trial by jury. Childbirth, trial by jury. Understandable mix-up?

And what does that even mean?? Pregnant women are screaming, "I HAVE A RIGHT TO BIRTH THIS BABY! YOU CAN'T STOP ME! THE CONSTITUTION SAYS IT HAS TO COME OUT EVENTUALLY!"

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

the latest

Isn't packing a pain!? Stuff multiplies exponentially in closets and it freaks me out. Good news: we did it! We got out of our place (thanks to my husband's dedication, his absurd physical exertion and the spacial sense of loved ones, oh and a little company called PODS) and are now relaxing. Well, not exactly. These days, I study for the bar while husband and cute baby play in the sun as we wait a couple weeks for the midwest expedition to begin. Some good things about moving:
  • you get rid of a bunch of junk.
  • you get to feel suicidal panic and triumphant relief on the same day.
  • You feel like you make a fortune when you find all these clothes you forgot you had. Guess what else we found? $18.47 in change (thank you Coinstar), $20 in an old purse, $100 in mystery giftcards lying around (presumably from our wedding?)! So basically bc we moved out, we got $138.47! Does anyone know how many snow cones that is?! Or, more responsibly, how much of a future student loan payment that makes? ((celebratory shimmy))
In other news, studying for the bar is fun for the topics I had interesting and dynamic teachers for and enjoyed, but maddening for topics I either didn't take or may as well not have taken. Whoooooops.

Welp, in OTHER other news, I just want everyone to know that if you have a pet, that is great, but it is not your child, and when you buy a pet, it's not okay to announce "We're PARENTS!" and then complain to actual parents of young children about how hard it is to get up during the night. Unless you're nursing your new puppy, then maybe. But speaking of kids, if you're wondering if our daughter gets cuter and funnier every day, the answer is yes. In fact, right now she's swinging a baby doll around her head by its neck and cackling, and if that's not a sign of an awesome toddler I don't know what is.

Also, sometimes I eat at Del Taco and I LIKE IT. Can we still be friends?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

purge o rama

Hrmm. Tons of preparing-to-move stuff-purging going on. Enormous DI run or last minute yard sale? Please advise.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Big changes are brewing in the bonzo household. May I present a few quotes regarding said changes?

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." --Lao Tzu

"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."
--(I'm shy about attributing this quote accurately bc it's the Chicken Soup for the Soul guy. Seriously. Next thing you know I'm rocking the ropes course and doing the trust fall. Let's pretend it's Lincoln.)

"Whoa." -- Me and hub, repeatedly, over the last several days.

We're moving to Iowa. I KNOW! I know! You're thinking, Iowa, seriously? Who moves to Iowa? Apparently me and my fam. What do you think of the midwest? Is it as green and interesting and soothing as it seems? Anywhere that has a farmer's market on WEDNESDAY NIGHT instead of only on Saturday morning is a place I like. If you add in a gorgeous old campus and some hole in the wall restaurants, hey, sign me up.

Monday we left on an awesome road trip, not sure where we were going or when we'd be back, just knowing we'd be in Iowa for husband's job interview (for a position right up his master of public policy alley) on Wednesday. Welllllp, we got in Tuesday night, and while he interviewed, our cute kid and I explored the surprisingly awesome town...it was pretty gross out so we hit a museum or two and the awesome new public library and awaited word. Turns out he rocked the hell out of his interview and they offered him the job that afternoon and in a surprising turn of events we found an awesome house and put an offer on it Thursday.

It's not as rash as it sounds, I promise. We'd been talking about buying a house for...um...twelve hours.

Whatever. Sometimes you just need to grow a spine and spice up your life. And by you I mean me.

Friday we signed the bank stuff and hit the road to Canada right in time for a Saturday wedding reception and some quality time with the extended fam, and got home yesterday. 3,600 miles in eight days with an abrupt decision to borrow six figures and move halfway across the country to somewhere we spent 72 hours in once.

hell yeah.

Now we just need to move out of our current place, sell our old cars, blahblah. Who needs furniture when you can have a YARD? Oh yeah, and there's that whole bar exam thing. Whatever.

Let's get this show on the road. Want to visit?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

presenting a haphazard assortment of thoughts brought to you by Gurrbonzo, J.D.

*When I hear someone say "My bad!" I always pause for a moment and wonder if it's 1995.

*Sometimes, I pick up dinner from Paradise Bakery, but every time I order something to go, they hand me the bag to put it in, rather than just put the food in the bag themselves. This causes me to stand right in the way for a few minutes while I unfold said bag and put the stuff inside it, and each time I get rage. Why are you making me do this task that you could do much more easily, and for which you are paid?

*Similarly, I will go pretty far out of my way to hit up a Harmon's grocery store because they don't make me take the stuff out of my cart myself, and the ease and joy involved in not having that assignment be my problem is worth nigh unto any price, and it's kind of embarrassing how much I like it.

*Today I busted out some negotiation skills on a car dealer and it was empowering.

*One reason MCB and I are friends is because she sends me text messages like this one: "There are a bunch of wiccan goth types at Joann's. I love humanity."

*Today I bought our baby some adorable pink sandals. They were in a little bag so I didn't realize til after I got home that THE HEELS SQUEAK. That's right. Shoes for a one year old. Who just started walking. And they SQUEAK WITH EVERY STEP. Umm. Shoot me. Whose idea was that?

*The rumor is that in Mexico and Germany they call lawyers "doctor." Is that true? If so, can we start that up again here? But if I were a real doctor I'd be pissed bc I would have gone to a dozen more years of school than the fake lawyer doctors and I'd want them to know their role.

*I love it when someone I initially thought was boring and/or two-dimensional ends up being awesome. Those are my favorite surprises.

*Also, I graduated from law school this week. I don't know what to say about it except that honestly, there were times when I thought this day would never come, especially during the first year which, for me, was just as intense as everyone says it is. I had some serious "I've made a huge mistake" moments a la Gob Bluth before I found my groove. And now, suddenly it's all past tense. When I think about all the people I've met, and about my dear hub and my mom and a billion other family members who picked up so much of my school-induced slack and without whom this would never have happened, and when I think about the time going to law school first dawned on me as a painfully clueless 21-year-old pseudo-snicket, and when I remember applying to law school on a few p-days in the library in Shortsville, NY, and starting to hear back from law schools during the last few months of my mission and wondering what the freak the future held for me, and now I have a cute one-year-old and a J.D., I get a little disoriented and a little teary-eyed and a lot happy.
And then I think about the bar.

*I know they are different, but when I think about times in my life (mission, childbirth, law school, to name a few) where I have honestly felt like I could pick up the planet or a house or run across the country, just that for a split second I feel like I really can do anything, I want to do more hard things, because it is awesome. So for a split second I get why people become crazy triathletes and all of that. I mean, not enough to DO that, but I get it, and invite you to do something hard because in my admittedly minimal experience it's basically the best feeling in the world, and I can't think of anything more rewarding than realizing that hey, you know that thing you thought you couldn't do?
You just did.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

renegade of justice

I am truly touched/startled at how many of you seemed truly alarmed at my parking predicament. Now that I've survived the ordeal, I can tell you about it and not have you worry about accomplice liability.

I drove my mom's car. That's right. I did. And parked in visitor parking. And MY HEART WAS POUNDING! There were two men* standing at the entrance, so I took an extra lap around the school, and then drove up, sweating and nervous. They came over to my car as I pulled into the lot and just looked at me.

I rolled down the window, checked behind them to see if there was a WANTED poster with my name and picture on it, then smiled sweetly and asked in my most innocent sister missionary voice: "Do I need a little ticket or anything?"

"No," they responded in the eerie, unnaturally pleasant tone all school employees are famous for, "As long as you're not a student here, you're fine."

I smiled and swallowed nervously as I saw the sign behind them which read Be prepared to show current identification upon request. What if they ask me my name? What if they look up my name and see the permanent ban and escort me away and I never finish law school and my picture hangs on the wall of shame indefinitely? I parked. I got out of the car as quickly as I could without looking suspicious and felt nervous all day. Well, every time I started to feel better, I'd see another person who would ask me excitedly, "HOW DID YOU GET HERE?" I was scared to answer bc they record everything.

BUT, I DID IT. So, I violated the ban, and I won, and it gave me a rush. Maybe this is why people shoplift...

*(meaning 21-year-olds with acne)

Friday, April 17, 2009

because I am erratically irresponsible

Generally, I'm pretty on top of things. I'm a list-maker. I multitask. I'm a good student. I clean up. I budget. You know the story. With most things, I do what I say I'll do and what I'm supposed to do and feel bad if I don't.


Sometimes, I just don't.

I pick really dumb things to flake out on. For example, I recently lost a library book. Straight up lost it. Who does that? Am I eleven? I brought it with me to Miami and it disappeared and now I have to pay for it. Whatever.

I also meant to get a parking pass this year but it just never happened. It's free. I applied online, but there was a problem of some sort and I never called to figure out what it was. Give me a break! I'm always in a hurry, and I never go "across the street" to regular campus on principle. So, it just didn't happen and I have only myself to blame. I drive to school 2-3 times a week, park in the graduate student lot, get the occasional parking ticket and just grumble and pay it and think about how I should get my damn pass but I just haven't. In March, I thought about it and realized hey, it's March, why get it now? Just get school over with.

No big deal right?

And I would have gotten away with it, too...

I signed for a CERTIFIED LETTER today at the post office and to my delight/embarrassment/amazement, I am "permanently prohibited from driving and/or parking any motor vehicle on campus at any time."

Wait, let's back up.

This is awesome.

They bothered to send a CERTIFIED LETTER? And the ban is PERMANENT? As in, forever? And I love that it's not just parking, it's even driving. Like campus is surrounded by an electric fence and if I try to drive a car (not just MY car, mind you, ANY CAR) on campus it will zap me and the meter maids will yell "YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE!" This "certified letter" says if they find my car on campus it will get impounded and I'll get a $300 citation AND they forward my traffic records to the honor code office.

Seriously? This letter is killing me. Why are you so uptight about this when THE PARKING PASSES ARE FREE? What's the point of enforcing this with such ridiculous language? Look me up. I'm a student. I can park there. Everyone relax.

Also, I hate the word "permanent" almost as much as I hate the word "mandatory." Sometimes in law school they think if they add the word "mandatory" to something, it's like a weapon of intimidation. Nothing's ever really mandatory, and nothing's ever permanent. Quit pretending you're the sheriff of the world.

I also love that it says this "PERMANENT BAN" includes (this is a direct quote): "Weekends, Holidays, Sunday's, etc... All are included in the parking ban." How come weekend and holiday are plural and Sunday is possessive? Does Sunday have something that belongs to it that I can't use? "DON'T PARK HERE EVER OR ON ANYTHING THAT BELONGS TO THE SABBATH." Here's an idea. You let me park one more freaking day, and in return, I'll help you fix embarrassing mistake's on your certified letter's you send out.

It gets better.

"Your ban is permanent and remains in effect unless the Parking Services Office notifies you otherwise in writing." BAHAHA! Like, in 2029, I'll have to say "Sorry guys, let's drive the long way...can't drive through campus. It's forbidden. I have a record."

I just keep looking at it and laughing. A PERMANENT BAN? This could be one of my favorite mail pieces ever. Well, either this or the wedding announcement printed on a photo of the couple riding horses and kissing, so their names were superimposed over a horse's ass.

Anyway, the only time I have to go to the law school ever again is Tuesday for a final. What should I do? Take the bus? Risk eternal damnation by violating the PERMANENT BAN? Borrow someone else's car? Wear a disguise? Park in visitor parking and act natural?

Guide me, internet, guide me.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

today I played a game called "name that chick"

It was bizarre and fun.

Speaking of bizarre, I listened to this podcast yesterday about 10 bizarre ways to die. (I've climbed on the "How Stuff Works" train lately and am slowly building up a startling reservoir of useless information.) Unfortunately, the website is one of those that makes you click "next" a thousand times instead of just showing you the whole article, so I'll do you a favor and jump you right to the weirdest one.

Anyway, the Name that Chick game involved charades-meets-Catchphrase/Taboo sort of antics where we acted out a solid assortment of famous women, including:

Oprah Winfrey
Catherine Mackinnon
Gwyneth Paltrow
Bella Abzug
Clara Barton
Diane Sawyer
Picabo Street

I don't know if you can really beat that as far as bizarre fun goes. Or can you?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

the latest

What's the latest? Why, I'm glad you asked!

I made bread.


Intense, I know. Next thing you know I'll be planning elaborate party favors for cute little baby girls turning one. Just kidding. That will never happen. But you know what I mean. Maybe this is one step closer to MCB taking me under her sewing wing. Clips! Pillows! Dresses! Curtains! Petticoats! Who knows!? The sky's the limit now that I'm making bread!

In other news, our kid is walking. Well, practically. Zombie steps here and there, but I think it counts. She gets the giggles these days and loves oranges, things with wheels, and minorities. Today it was hot so I took off her socks and shoes, so not only was she barefoot but she also had a runny nose. This makes for the cutest street urchin ever to roam the halls of the J Reub!

And speaking of school, IT IS MY LAST WEEK OF LAW SCHOOL. Can you believe it? I know, I know, some of us thought this day would never come, but here it is so let us rejoice and give thanks. There is but one big fat paper and one big fat final between me and freedom, if by freedom you mean studying for the bar. And guess who else is almost done with school, though he has a couple more weeks left than I do? Husband! So, yep, that's pretty great.

Okay, but seriously, back to the bread. I MADE IT. Like, kneaded it (seems like past tense should be kned) and everything. No gadgets. Just me and the flour, like Mother Eve (or whoever). Who knew it was a) so easy and b) so tasty?? Do you guys have OTHER such information that would have been useful like ten years ago?