The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pissy Tuesday

Well well well. They decide to boot a planet, I decide to mess with the calendar. I have decided that we have a new name for this day of the week. We are calling it Pissy Tuesday. Oh the joy that awaits me (and those around me) every Pissy Tuesday for the rest of the semester.

Imagine it: You arrive at school...you know the one where you pay $34k a year to attend...the one where the air conditioning doesn't work...the one where someone (Admissions I believe) has allowed in 600 new kids who take up all the valuable table space...yeah that school. So, you arrive in time for class, truck it up four flights of stairs and bump and push your way through the overcrowded hallways of very sweaty smelly people and then you sit. You sit for three back-to-back classes for over four hours. Federal Income Tax. Complex Litigation. Professional Responsibility. I can see your pangs of jealousy right now! Four long drainging hours.

Is it time to go home yet? Nope. After a two hour break, you have to sit in and listen to 75 minutes of an adjunct professor teach his section of your Legal Writing class - a class you took two years ago. He's great and the class isn't that bad, but by 8:10pm on Pissy Tuesday, well...you're just plain pissy.

I dropped to my knees this morning

I prayed for everyone in my homestate last year.

I prayed for everyone in my homestate this year.

I prayed for the emotional well being of the children who lived through Katrina.

I prayed for the souls of all of those who were lost.

I prayed for those who survived and were left with nothing.

I prayed for those who cannot face returning and I prayed for those who never left.

I prayed for the rebuilding of the spirit of my people.

I prayed for the economic revitalization of my homestate.

I prayed that everyone will quit bickering and blaming and come together to find solutions.

I prayed for strength during this upcoming hurricane season.

I prayed for the guilt I still feel for not being there when my friends and family needed me the most.

I prayed a prayer of thanks for the outpouring of support those in need received from fellow Americans.

I just prayed.

It is the least I can do.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Tidbits on a Blog Monday

1) A couple of years ago, I went through a Craigslist phase. Oh come on, you know you have all done this! For me, it was not really an online dating thing it was more a boredom obsession. I have nothing against online dating, I just never had the nerve to meet up with the strangers. With a full time job that bored me out of my mind, I did what everyone else in DC did: I became addicted to that crazy website. Free stuff. Missed connections. Boys looking for Girls. Best of Craigslist. You name it. When I was not drafting roof details, I was buying furniture or laughing at the ads from some of the gents (and ladies) out there. One day, I came across one ad that caught my eye. The subject line read "Where are all the good Jewish girls?" Of course, I immediately thought of my good Jewish roommate. I forwarded the ad to her and told her she should email this guy and meet up. Not that my roomie was really actively looking for a relationship, but she probably thought "what the hell, can't hurt"? So she emailed him. Years later...Saturday night...while he was on one knee, he slipped a ring on her finger. Congrats Amy! I am so happy for you.

2) Go see Little Miss Sunshine. I am usually not a huge fan of going to movies because they are over-priced, some idiot always kicks my chair and not everyone bathes like I do. Plus, the movie I just paid for is usually not worth the $10. Usually. Little Miss Sunshine had me literally crying I laughed so hard. Best. Movie. In. A. Very. Long. Time.

3) I start school today. Blech.

4) Um, you know what is not fun? Finding a quiet place in the library to study for an hour then looking down to find a mouse trap 2 inches from your toes.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Yesterday's Blogging

Yesterday kind of came and went and I did not notice what was going on. This is probably due to the fact that I spent my day at IKEA and Target and then I spent my night with red wine and good friends. Regardless, I knew something was going down.

Did you know? Did you notice? Anyone? Anyone? Yep, yesterday marked two years to the day that I began writing here on WonL. Two years! My gosh the time I have spent procrastinating from law school work writing on this blog. I will admit that WonL has led me down some fascinating paths I did not expect. Who would have thought that a rambling post that began with "Oh my gosh, I start Law School today!" could have turned into something like this? When I began writing, I sent the link to my family and friends as a sorta 'law school chronicles' thing. My mom sent the link to all her friends (hey Mark) and on one of my trips home, they actually had a "meet Law-Rah" dinner. Seriously. I also renewed some college friendships through WonL (hey Dani B and Naomi).

As time went on, a good friend got me all technologically advanced with bloglines and a site meter and everything else to make me a true dork blogger. Once I figured out the concept of the blogroll (thanks Evan), I began getting all linked up to other law school bloggers (or blawgers if you are down with the lingo). My blog-idol The Imbroglio (formerly Ambivalent) started grabbing some of my posts and using them as "advice on law school" posts. I would venture to say that is what led me to teaching new students this semester. I went to my first ever blogger happy hour and met a few law school folks from around the country here in DC for the summer (including THE Energy Spatula.) It was probably at that point when I felt myself succumbing to the dorkism that is blogging.

As I continued to write, I met this guy in cyberspace who showed me that DC actually had it's own little blog scene. Well, not really little. Between the DC Metro Blog Map (which sadly is dead) and DC Bloggers and of course DC Blogs...one can obviously see that the DC Blog Scene is pretty large and diverse. In fact, that's what makes it work so well, the blogs in DC are a reflection of the people in DC (which can sometimes leave a bad taste in one's mouth, but that is beside the point). I have gotten to the point where I have actually made good friends in this crazy blog world. Friends. Like actual good friends. They aren't just bloggers anymore. At a birthday party last week, one of my non-blogging friends turned to me and said "wait, all these people are bloggers? Wow, it's like I need to start a blog to be cool and make friends around DC." I would have never expected any of this.

So, despite the fact that someone out there considers me a "loathsome" blogger, I would like to think I am doing pretty well for myself. In two years, WonL has allowed both my writing and my friendships to truly develop. I have to say that I am a tiny bit proud. This, my friends, is due mostly to those of you who come back day after day. Thanks for two great years!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My new job

Law-Rah: "So, I got a job offer from my law firm."

Ben: "That's great baby. I am so happy for you."

L: "Yeah."

B: "What do you mean 'yeah'? You are going to take it, right?"

L: "I think so. I'm just not sure right now."

B: "How can you not be sure? Do you think you will find one better?"

L: "No way. This place is amazing."

B: "Then why would you even hesitate to take it?"

L: "It's complicated."

B: "How so?"

L: (holding breath while putting cards on table) "Well, if taking this job means that you and I will not be together then I would have to think really hard about whether or not I would take this job."

B: "We will be together."

L: "Yeah, but..."

B: "Hey, I have not seen you in two weeks and I still feel like you are right beside me."

L: "Yeah, but I mean physically together. I want us to be physically beside each other."

B: "This job is good for you, right? It will be good for your career and make you happy?"

L: "Absolutely."

B: "Then, take the job. I will be beside you."

L: "Yeah, but I want..."

B: "Law-Rah, I will be beside you. Take the job. Not just in my heart, I will physically be with you."

Monday, August 21, 2006

For the lefties...

Note: not saying I agree, but am admitting that it is pretty damn funny!

1- Go to www.Google.com

2- Type the word “Failure” in the search box

3- Look at the first listing and laugh

4- Tell other people before the people at Google Fix it

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I spent some time this weekend alone. I desperately needed to be alone with my thoughts. Since I have gotten back from Europe, I have been going ninety miles per hour. Friend dinners, happy hours, slumber parties, phone conversations, EPH nights and the like have kept me just busy enough to not have much time to think about things. I took that time this weekend.

It has all been a strange and somewhat exhausting transition back to this life. On July 2, I left thinking five weeks would fly by because in the grand scheme of things, five weeks is a very short time. When I left DC, my entire life as I knew it was just put on hold. I knew it would, but the actual feeling was quite strange. Friends, work, school, apartment, bills, family, TV shows...everything just kept going...but I was not a part of any of it. I spent from July 2 through August 9 in a completely different world and I made a place for myself in that world. I made different friends, ate different food, lived in a different place, walked a different city and had an entirely different life. Five weeks became a very long time. On August 9, I had to say goodbye to that life. Some of which I was more than ready to leave behind, some of which I wanted to take with me.

Upon returning to DC, I guess I am just supposed to pick up this life as I left it. This has been hard for me. Sometimes, I find myself just watching...feeling like a stranger looking in. I know that I am the same Law-Rah, but in many senses, I am not. I am not really sure how to handle this transition. I am confused because when I left DC, I was extremely happy with my life. I could not have asked for anything different. It was a life I thought was more or less all set. Now, I feel differently. I feel as if I found other things out there. Other things I never realized I had been missing. Other things that I want to be a part of my life. But, what life is that? It sounds really strange, but I feel stuck right now. Stuck in the middle of two lives. If none of this makes sense, my apologies...not much inside my head makes sense right now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fellow of the Dean

I spent all day yesterday, and I do mean ALL DAY, being orientated on how to teach the incoming law school kids. Remember that time I asked y'all about what I could "teach"? Well, after all of your great (and asinine) ideas, I taught my 2-4 minutes of how to start a charity. The folks over at my law school, perhaps in a fit of insanity, believed that I taught well enough to hold the fate of some of the incoming students in my hands. Yep, that's right, they selected me to be one of the Dean's Fellas for the Legal Research and Writing classes. Once a week, I will run a class of 11 new students teaching them how to research and write and most importantly, teaching them the ins and outs of law school. We were told yesterday we have to be really careful what we say from here on out because these students will hang on our every word and believe what we say to the be truth and the only way. Oh boy. These kids are in for a treat because censored Law-Rah does not come out very often. Sarcasm aside, I am looking extremely forward to this. Law school can generally be a grueling, life-altering, ego-slashing, self-confidence-eliminating experience. I will spend my last year of law school making sure this experience is not only tolerable, but a good experience for at least 10 new students.

Of course this experience is good for me too because I just love the attention. All the young'ins think "oooo, Dean's Fellow, how prestigious." (Little do they know:-) Last night, I had a guy come up to me and tell me "You are Law-Rah. We all wanted to have you as our Dean's Fellow. Can I switch into your class?" Aw, that's too cute. I think he only said it because earlier they introduced three of the Dean's Fellows (myself included) in front of the class of 120+ by saying "and these are the Dean's Fellows that are so enthusiastic to meet you that they came early"...I replied with "oh, wait, I'm just here because I thought the free food and alcohol was in this room." Oxy-moronically, I am determined to be the "Cool Dean's fellow". Wish me luck.

Okay, so I am sure some of you are wondering about my class of 11, but my dedication to 10. Well well well. We had a reception last night that gave us the opportunity to meet each of our students. Most of mine are just great! But let's just say there is one young lady that may have to work a little harder to earn her grade. (Probably was not wise on her part to be the only student left on my list that never came to meet me until the very end of the evening when she approached me with "um, like someone told me that you had assignments for us. I thought that like I was just like supposed to come over and meet you and stuff and I was like whatever.") Um, yeah, for her sake, I'm going to chalk it up to the alcohol.

And now, I leave you with the T-shirt they made me wear yesterday. In front of other people. Lawyers are just soooo funny!


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Blog Sucks - HELP!

I had coffee with a school friend yesterday and after some idle conversation he says he wants to talk to me about "my experience in London." I quickly let him know that if he had negative things to say, he should keep them to himself. He says that he luvs me and hopes I don't take this the wrong way, but...but..."Law-Rah, your blog has become downright unreadable." I knew I was probably losing my male readers as my blog was turning into a Danielle Steele story, but "downright unreadable"? That's harsh.

I spent the rest of my day walking around Arlington with my head hung in shame. What was I doing? I had broken my number one blogging rule and it may just have cost me WonL. What do I do now? Do I try to subtly transition back to the snarky embellished dramatic writing I know so well? Would people notice? Do I just call it quits now? Do I continue writing what is in my heart knowing I am no longer communicating well with some of my most valued readers? What oh what is a girl to do? I knew I couldn't do this alone, but I didn't know where to turn. On my way home I passed a Church...a doctor's office...an acupuncturist...an oil change place. All closed. I had no where to turn so I headed home...alone...fearful of the laptop that awaited me.

I checked the mail when I got home, as I do daily. Student loan stuff that needs to be taken care of; Wachovia bill for my former roommate; credit card bill; bachelorette weekend invitation; and a package. I somberly stepped onto the elevator and surveyed this package. Looking at the return address, there was a sticker over the name, but I could see Atlanta, Georgia. Sigh. Long live the South. But, who do I know in Atlanta? It says "Sensitive Media Enclosed." What is this sensitive media?

I popped the sensitive media into my computer and was momentarily blinded by the glaring good looks of the five men on my screen. Thankfully, there was some great music to keep me entertained until the movie began. I quickly popped some popcorn and settled in for this epic thriller. I spent the rest of my evening watching and listening to the sights and sounds of the South. I saw the five most handsome men in all of Georgia using their guns, their good looks, and their sharp tongues. So intense. So real. I felt like I was there at the Playaz Ball...I was at the table gambling with the guys (and Kenny). I ate comet dusted Krispy Kremes with Phil. I was in bed with the Beaver and Bon. I, too, yelled at Tom Selleck. I wrestled with Tac. I, too, drank with the Pope. I was in the shower with the Guv'na and his soap on a rope. Most crucial, I fell in love with Wayne. The way he holds that gun. Sigh.

So, once again, just when I need help the most, the Playaz are there! They are there to remind me what blogging is all about. I promise to return to your regularly scheduled WonL programming soon!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

His breath

I cannot recall exactly where we were the first time he said it, but he leaned in close to my ear and he said "you are my breath."

"Thank you, " I said "but what does that mean?"

"It means that you are my breath."

"Right, okay. But does that mean like I take your breath away?"

"No, it means you are my breath. I'll show you." He took the back of my head with his hand and he pulled me close. So close I could feel his lips to mine without them even touching. He told me to close my eyes and then he breathed in. Long and deep, he just breathed me in. That moment sent shivers through my body. "You see, you are my breath."

Throughout the summer, he often breathed me in...when we danced, when we hugged, when we squeezed tight on the Tube. I was his breath. He said he needed me.

Yesterday, when we got off the phone, he said "Hey, I still breathe you every time I close my eyes."

Friday, August 11, 2006

Do you want to see Europe?

Unlike the Express, I have no intention of flying you there.

However, I did take plenty of pictures during my five weeks in Italy and London that can allow you to relive the moments with me. Okay, perhaps not, but some of them are really pretty.

For privacy reasons I will not be posting them on WonL. However, since a few of you have already asked for pictures, I figured I'd open the offer to anyone interested. I am still in the process of uploading, but if you would like to view the albums, leave a comment with your email or send me an email and I will send you the links.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I arrived safely back in DC last night and it looks as if I got out of Heathrow just in time. I sure do appreciate the Angel that has been watching over me this entire trip.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Payback really is a bitch

The computer/printer situation around here is insane. We have a "cluster room" downstairs in which we can print all our notes and outlines. This is crucial considering exams are open notes and no computers are allowed in the rooms. In theory, you can save your notes on a jump drive, walk down to the cluster room and print from any of the 30 computers at any time. Easy enough, right? Until, of course some freaking genius decides the weekend before our Monday and Tuesday exams would be a good time to re-network the entire cluster room. Fifteen computers became immediately inaccessible. Of the remaining, about eight were just not working. Of those that were working, no thumb drive access. Are you kidding?

After multiple protests, our director jumped right on it and got us access. They rigged the printer up to four special computers to enable us to conveniently print during the weekend. Fabulous.

In my quest to attack my second exam, I went downstairs today to print and low and behold...now there is no paper. This must be some cruel joke. Adding insult to injury, the guy who works the desk in our building seems to be gone. Getting really pissy, me and a friend head to the front gate to find out where our desk worker is. The man up front says he can give us one reem of paper. One ream per day for the cluster room. That's it. He tells us we are "rationed." Rationed to one ream of paper for seventy students to print during exams. I paid $1800 for a month with a jackhammer outside my window, no air conditioning, smelly maids, a crappy shower, and sparse silverware...and you cannot give us another freaking ream of paper? Really? Boy is the shit going to hit the fan tonight when everyone heads downstairs to print.

Instead of getting mad at gate-worker, which would be fruitless...I began to think. I do believe that I am owed a sheet of paper for every door that has been slammed. I am owed paper for every single time I had to walk into the kitchen to find soggy french fries in the sink or salad on the floor or wine spilled all over my food in the refrigerator. I am owed paper for every time someone yelled outside my door at four in the morning. Yep, looks like this ream of paper ain't going to make it into the cluster room. Muahahaha.

Exam 1

My first exam is in a little over an hour. Constitutional Law 2. This class focussed on only two amendments yet I have well over 120 pages of notes. The test is only two hours (as opposed to the usual three) and there is a catch...no computers. I have to hand write my answers. This is going to be brutal!

I told Ben that I would not be able to see him much today or tomorrow because of my tests. I leave on Wednesday. It is killing me that in my last few days with him, I cannot be with him. He makes it easier though. He called last night to tell me goodnight. He called this morning to wish me luck on my test. He said "good luck to you. And listen, try to concentrate. Don't think about me too much." If only he knew.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Removing the rose-colored glasses to get downright pissy.

As most of you already know, I sure am enjoying my fairy tale summer. Since I met Ben, I have been saying I do not want to return to the States. I love London and love being here with him. However, as the end of my summer trip approaches, I do know that I will be going home soon. In anticipation of this, I have been reflecting on things that I miss about "home." In the process, I have come to realize just what a spoiled American I am. I miss the convenience of my life!

Most obviously, I cannot wait to get out of this god-forsaken dormitory and back home to my huge comfortable luxury high rise apartment. The lack of respect and quiet of the people in this building is unbelievable. So. Sick. Of. Doors. Being. Slammed. I just want a full night's sleep. I am so tired of having to wear earplugs to fall asleep. It's just not comfortable. I miss my big comfy bed with my down comforter. The bed here is so hard and fits only one-half of a person. I am so sick of running into the wall when I turn around. Oh and the shower, don't get me started on the damn shower. I actually dread taking a shower because it is the most miserable experience of my day. Aside from the shower itself being tiny, the shower head sprays in every direction possible except down toward me. If I want to get the conditioner out of my hair, I have to jump up and down to get some water. I have actually just given up and I think I am walking around with about three weeks worth of conditioner build-up.

We have "maids" that come once a week and clean our rooms. This is crap considering the maid that came last Friday smelled so horrendous that I had to use up my body spray to get rid of the odor in the room. Oh, and speaking of body spray, I ran out and went to three stores before I could find more. The body sprays here don't actually smell good. They all remind me of Jean Nate. And they are all aerosol. Everything here is aerosol. It's as if they don't care about the environment. Oh my gawd, the pollution. There are some streets I cannot even walk down because of the excess pollution. [Wow, getting a little off track here.] Let's wrap up dorm life by saying that it sucks and I spent $1800usd to live here.

I miss my money. I am tired of needing to purchase things but having to double the amount to know how much it is actually costing me. London is already expensive but London is more expensive when you are spending worthless American dollars. And the coins. Why must there be so many coins? Seriously, if 1 pence is such a negligible amount, why do you feel the need to have a 2 pence as well?

You are really going to gasp at this one, but I miss the Metro! Seriously, I had a "tube vs. metro" conversation with my friend the other day and he swears by the convenience of the Tube. Are you kidding me? I have lost well over $40usd on crap tube rides. You know, the kind where you get to some random stop and they say "everyone off the train, um, signal failure, um, good luck." I cannot believe it is such a common occurrence here. Yesterday, I actually only got one freaking stop. I recalled what friend said about other options to get to my destination and how convenient it was. Conveniently, I could just take a regular train from where I was. Not so conveniently, the sign in front of the train entrance said "no train, there is a person on the track." Convenience aside, the Metro is air-conditioned. Enough said.

The weather over past few days in London has been divine. Prior to this week, however, it has been downright miserable. Apparently, I selected the all time heat-record-setting summer in which to come here. I realize the same is going on in the US, but at least at home, I have air conditioning in my apartment, at school, at work, at bars, etc. Here, nada. I spent three weeks just sweating. Never actually cooled off. Add on the misery of showering and it's just rough!

It's the everyday little things that have really inconvenienced me. However, even with all of them piled on daily, l still love London and I am still not ready to go back to the States!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Comparative Law (School)

Tomorrow is the last day of class and exams are right around the corner. My how the stress levels around the James Lighthill House have begun to elevate. Let's do a little comparison between normal school and the summer program in London:

Normal School: 13 week program; 1 hour classes; meet a couple times a week
London Program: 4 week program; 2 hour classes; meet every day

Normal School: Exam reading period - approximately one week between last day of class and first exam
London Program: Exam reading period - a weekend between last class and first exam

Normal School: Space your exams out with a day (or a few days) in between to catch your breath
London Program: One exam Monday, one exam Tuesday

Normal School: Print outlines and notes on your home printer or at school if necessary
London Program: Frantically try to figure out how to print in a "cluster room" with no email access and computers that do not accept jump drives

Normal School: Study in the comfort of your apartment with peace and quiet during the day
London Program: Cannot study even with ear plugs because of the jackhammer 2 feet from your dorm room window during the day

Normal School: Sleep at least 6 hours a night with perhaps a nap during the day
London Program: You are lucky if you get 3 hours in the dorm with the pot smoking, loud sex, and drunken chatter until 5am

Normal School: Stress during exams.
London Program: I'm predicting all out insanity around here!

Yep, my friends, people around here are really losing it. Things is gettin' ugly. There has already been yelling, confrontations, reprimands from the director of the program and a couple of tears. I'm predicting it will only get worse in the upcoming days.

As for me: I'm fairly calm about the whole situation but that's easy considering my two classes are Pass/Fail. (Translation: I only have to pull of "C-" on a "B+" curve.) Not to mention, I have a man with a very quiet house in which I can study. I think my classmates may hate me for this.