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

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wet clothes and Mr. Smooth

This is my "not doing anything social because I need to buckle down with law school" weekend. Not working so well. It is not my fault this city just has too much to offer. My will-power goes out the window when people offer me free tickets to sporting events.

Nats Thursday didn't turn out too terribly well with the weather and all. Being the super-enthused Nats fans that we are, we were out at RFK ready to tailgate quite early with the chips and dip and brownies. In the beginning it was just me and Marci since Bug and the guy with the beer and steaks were stuck in traffic. Shortly after arriving, we were joined by our friend, the torrential downpour. We assumed the game would be called on account of the weather. Silly us, right? We engaged in the longest ever trek back to the Metro with huge freezing drops of sideways rain pelting us in the face and squishy shoes and sopping wet clothes. Had we known the game would not actually be called but merely be "delayed" for FOUR HOURS, perhaps we would have stayed. Who am I kidding? Dry clothes, tailgate food and Grey's Anatomy made for a fine Thursday night.

Caps Friday was much more interesting. In this city-o-important people, everyone wants to whip out a business card, flaunt their self-proclaimed significance and be that someone that people want to know. Very few of those folks are actually worth knowing. I met one worth knowing last night...and he came with free Caps tickets...and friends with free Caps tickets. When this "Mr. Smooth" offered two free tickets, I was the first person to gracefully respond "me! me! pick me! pick me!" Luckily for me, this gentleman works PR for the Caps and has season tickets in a really really good section that he never uses. So does his friend. Good people to know. Granted, his fairly intoxicated friend did try to put his business card down my shirt...but, hey, I got the card. And I think that stunt warrants his tickets to at least one regular season game, right?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I booked a flight the other day.

A flight that means for the first time ever, I will not be going home for Christmas.

A flight that means my 2007 will come five hours earlier than I anticipated.

Most importantly, a flight that means I get to spend three weeks here:

[Insert happy sigh here]

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wednesday is the new Pissy Tuesday

Dear Long Greasy Haired 1L Boy,
Yes, I realize that to you it may seem unfair that I am sitting alone with all my stuff spread out at a table that holds six people. I have been fighting for tables in this law school for two years now. I am a 3L now and I will not feel bad. I got here before you, deal with it.
Because I am a nice person, I will share my big table with you if you would also like to study. However, you are not allowed to invite all your friends to come talk about stupid 1L things.

Dear Friend of LGH1LB,
There is never ever a time that calling someone "Funny McMoney" would warrant a laugh. Ever.

Dear Boys sitting on Opposite Sofas,
It is not okay for you to play football in the lounge. It's a gorgeous day outside, you should go there. If I could plug my computer in the quad, rest assured I would be out there. However, I need a table...and a plug...and a lack of flying pigskin...to study. Who plays football while laying on a sofa on a day like this?

Dear Loudest Member of the J.Crew,
You must pick a spot and stay there. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but people actually see you coming and purposely sit elsewhere. That being said, you can't just up and change seats. That is soooo against the rules.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Recipe for disaster

What happens when you mix a Banana covered in Bugs, a Sports Chick, a Map-maker, a VP and Heather B then you Sweeten the pot with some Velvet (and myself)? You probably don't want to know. But it did involve a sunset at Hotel Washington's Rooftop Terrace and multiple attempts at photos. Once you add red wine and vodka-a-plenty, then you end up with an Asian man with really bad hair yelling "Shut Up!" to all the giggling blogger gals in the corner. Add a dash of racy stories and exclamations of "I'm HIV negative" and things start to bubble. To make things really interesting, tell stories of blog stalkers in the bathroom. To end the night off right, have a blogger fan club all run downstairs to see "someone" get off on a Harley. Good times.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Commence whining post

Worst. Day. Ever.

Remember that staph infection? Ya know, the one that was supposed to be cleared up by now? Well, it's not. PLUS, apparently, when the staph-a-something-or-other bacteria crowds together and organizes itself into an infection in one's fingertip, the nearest lymph node starts working overtime. The nearest lymph node is that one securely underneath the armpit. Now, I am not sure what lymph nodes do, but apparently, when they start having to work overtime due to aforementioned infection, they swell and throb and get sore and just freaking hurt. Considering the lymph node is under my arm, it hurts when my arm hangs down by my side where it usually belongs. It also hurts to use the muscle in that area to lift said arm that is connected to said hand that contains said infected finger. My left side is just plain useless.

Want more?...I have lived in D.C. for five years and have had allergies here and there. Never to this ragweed crap though. I do so enjoy the constant sneezing that makes my left side ache even more. Oh, and I love having itchy eyes. Really, how in the hell does one scratch an eye? The itching just does not go away. My favorite part though is the headache that kicks in about five minutes before I wake up to greet me when I come out of my slumber. Every. Single. Day.

Want more?...In all my left-side pain and clogged up allergy-ness, I ventured out today to co-host a bridal shower for one of my dearest friends. Well, I sorta ventured out. I got all the way downstairs to my car to find it with a nice flat tire. I'm talking a rim-all-the-way-on-the-ground, no air left, flat tire. I went back inside...called a friend for a ride...and fixed myself a glass of vodka with a splash of soda.

Worst. Day. Ever.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Trip into Adulthood

I recall as I child those trips to the doctor's office with a sore throat. Doc would take a look with a light deep into the crevices of my throat, make a reference to hamburger meat, then call in the nurse. By then, the tears were welling in my eyes. Nurse would come in with the longest cotton swab ever made and say "this won't hurt a bit." I looked up at mom. The nurse would stick that elongated Q-tip down my throat, gagging me and ending with a smile and a "see, that wasn't so bad." By now, I was crying. I was crying because I knew what was coming. First was the waiting. The whole time we waited, mom held my hand and tried to assure me it would be okay. Somewhere, in some back room, my throat on a cotton swab was being examined by some doctor. I waited what felt like an eternity but all the while, I knew exactly what he would say. Next was the "consultation" with the doctor. This is the part where he tells me what is wrong and I start crying as if it's the end of the world. Strep throat? Oh no...I know what that means. To clear up this nasty sore throat, I would need penicillin. Some doctor once made the mistake of discussing with mom, in front of child Law-Rah, that he could either give me a prescription for 10 days or a shot. Oh thank gawd. I can just take some medicine. Mom tells him to give me the shot. What? But mom! I thought you were on my side. Shots equal pain and I don't want pain. I want the medicine. I promise I will take it every day. I promise I will get better on the medicine and not complain about my throat ever again. Please mom, not the shot. It hurts! I hate pain!

Obviously, I lived through it. Fast-forward 20 years.

For a few days now, my finger has been bothering me right near the nail. Being the anti-doctor person that I am (that may or may not stem from those childhood visits), I decided to try and fix it myself. And by fix, I mean soak it in warm Epsom salt-water and take Advil. After only two days, my middle finger swelled to gargantuan proportions and looked as if it had grown its own goiter. This huge protrusion coming out of my finger was purple and throbbing. I decided it would be a good time to have a doctor look, right? Doctor tells me it's a staph infection and she will give me some antibiotics. She then tells me that if it does not clear up in five days, to come back and she can cut it open. I ask why I need to come back for her to cut it and she says that it will really hurt. I think for a moment: wait, I can walk out now with some medication that may or may not clear it up and my current ailment will remain until the meds kick in OR I can endure a bit of pain now which more than likely means things will clear up quicker? I made her cut it open. Then, I realized why mom turned on me all those years ago. Damnit, I think I may be an adult now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dear Itunes,

Please fix your stupid program. You see, when I get a "there is a new version, would you like to install?" message, I naively think it is in my best interest to install what you are alerting me to. I assume you have made an already stellar program even better. I believe that the new version will be an UPGRADE. Yay for Version 7, right? Silly me, I would never imagine your new version would be utter crap. I have had to change multiple computer settings (as per advice on help websites) and my songs still skip words. Justin is not "bringing sex back" and Fergi's London Bridge does not just "wanna go". Issue a fix! Now!

Adding insult to injury, I cannot just reinstall Version 6, because it says that my "Itunes library was created by a more recent version of Itunes."

Starting Pissy Tuesday early this week,

Friday, September 15, 2006

A guy takes a girl home from a bar...

I am sure you can imagine that a Southern-born American gal dating a French-Algerian in London will bring along some cultural differences. We discuss these things as they arise and are usually able to get by them fairly quickly. It is often as simple as "wait, what does that mean to you? Oh okay, this is what it means to me." Or "this is how we do it. how do you do it?" Or "so, you are only going to marry one woman, right?"

Sometimes, however, the differences take a little while to be put on the table. For instance, very soon after I met Ben, he mentioned not being in a relationship because he could not find a "special" girl. I decided I wanted to be special. Throughout the summer, on multiple occassions, I would coyly smile, look him in the eyes and ask "so, am I special yet?" He always responded with an odd look and a "no, not yet." Hmph. I became increasingly confused by this. Really, how hard is it to be special to this guy? He had already told me I had a place in his heart and he wanted a future with me. I finally just asked him what I have to do to be special. He told me that special is when you give her a ring because you want to marry her in front of all of your family and friends and spend your life with her. Oh shit. So, this means that in the one month I knew this guy, I had been continually nagging him for a ring? And he is still around? I explained to him my understanding of special, which is considerably less serious. We both had a good laugh as we discussed what the other had been thinking.

Yesterday's cultural difference took a bit longer to wade through, yet was truly hilarious in the end. I have a friend who is in London right now. I gave her Ben's phone number and told her she should meet up with him for a drink. When I spoke with him yesterday, we were discussing my friend. She had gotten in touch with him and I believe the plan is for them to meet up after he gets off work today around 4pm. I explained what she looked like so he will know her when he sees her. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Him: Where is she staying?
Me: In a hotel somewhere I'm not sure.
Him: Is she nice?
Me: Of course she is nice, she is my friend.
Him: (getting all matter of fact) Okay then. She will meet me at the bar, we will have a few drinks then I will take her home with me.
Me: (eyes bulging out of head, jaw on floor) WHAT THE FCUK????
Him: Yes, I will bring her home. She can stay at my house.
Him: No, baby, not for anything bad. I will take her home, cook her dinner, and we can drink wine in the garden and just talk.
Me: No, you will not!
Him: Why not? She can have my bed. I will sleep on the sofa.
Me: No, Ben, you are not taking my friend home from a bar.
Him: Why not? She is your friend. I want to do something nice for her.
Me: Then buy her a beer at the bar.
Him: But I want to show her respect and make her comfortable here. She is your friend.
Me: I'm sure her hotel bed is comfortable enough! It would be different if she did not have a place to stay.
Him: She should not have to stay in a hotel. I do not understand why you do not want your friend to come home with me.
Me: (thinking of how to explain this...) Um, okay. Remember this summer when some of your friends would take some of my friends home from the bar. Remember what that was all about? Remember the only reason those girls went home with those guys? Yeah, that's kinda what it means when a guy and a girl meet each other in a bar and the guy takes the girl home.
Him: No way. It would not be like that because she is your friend. It is different.
Me: I know that and you know that. But it is still just weird.
Him: (not believing that it would be taken as I say it would) But, if she is your friend, that thought would not cross her mind, right? Would she find it weird if I invited her home with me?
Me: Yes. In fact, she would probably go into the bathroom to call me and tell me that my man was trying to take her home from a bar and that I should break up with you.
Him: No way! Then I will not take her home with me.
Me: Thank you.
Him: I am glad you told me all of this.
Me: Yeah me too.

Still imagining the look on Miss M's face when Ben says "hi, Law-Rah's friend, good to meet you. I will take you home with me tonight."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Question for readers

Imagine this:

You are in the US military in the midst of a long war. The people you are fighting hate everything about you and will go to great lengths to destroy you. One day as you sit at your post watching images from the Predator Drone flying above the enemy's territory, you come across a vertiable jackpot. Almost two hundred bad guys all packed together in neat little rows with arguably no way of defending themselves. You know that with one simple push of the button, you can take out every last one of them. Two hundred less soldiers to kill your friends in this war.

There is a problem. These two hundred bad guys are at a funeral. In the rules of "fair-fighting" in war, you are supposed to respect the burying of the deceased. Your side has always respected the rules of fair-fighting and you will likely get in trouble if you do not. However, you know that if the tables were turned, and it was two hundred Americans at a funeral, the bad guys would not even hesitate to push that button, ignoring any and all "rules".

Do you push the button?


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Can you relate?

Relationships come in cycles with friends. It's always inevitable that not everyone in a group of gal friends gets into a happy blissful relationship at the same time. When the girls get together and everyone wants to talk about (read: whine about) boyfriends, the single gals just can't relate. It's not a bitter "damnit I am sick of hearing about your boyfriend because I don't have one" thing. It is more of a "well, I have nothing to add, can we change the subject?" thing. Those moments can be just plain boring if you are relationshipless and really can't participate in the conversation. Of course, the ante is upped with the ringing of wedding bells. Conversations then progress to annoying habits of husbands and (in the case of my weekend) "wifely duties."

I went to a bachelorette party weekend in Charleston this past weekend and I knew going in that I was going to be the only one not married, with the exception of the bride who is well on her way. (Yay Holly.) I was pretty much dreading a bunch of Southern gals sitting around talking about recipes or dishpan hands. Much to my surprise, this was not the topic of all conversations. For the most part, these married Southern gals were just normal ladies who liked to drink and play games and blow up inflatable "peter pecker" dolls. I felt like I was relating.

Somehow the breakfast conversation one day turned to husband habits. Damnit, I didn't see it coming! It's okay, Law-Rah, you can handle this. Do not feel left out, you have a man. You can still relate! The convo went something like this:

Southern Gal (SG) 1: Yeah, my husband has this really bad habit of leaving all his socks in the car and he wonders why he runs out. I tell him I am not washing his socks until he goes to the car and gets them for me.

SG 2: Well, my husband leaves wet towels on the bed and his wet gym clothes on the floor beside the hamper.

SG 3: Yeah, I told my husband that if he keeps leaving his laundry on the floor, I would throw it in the closet and walk on it.

SG 4: When my husband gets home from work, he leaves trails of his clothes all the way to the bathroom. They sometimes stay there for days.

Law-Rah: Once, when I spent the night at Ben's, he gave me a sweatsuit to wear and I placed my clothes in a pile on the floor. In the morning, after we drank our coffee, I went upstairs to get dressed and he had folded my clothes and laid them on the bed for me.

SG 1, 2, 3, 4: *looks of shock and disdain* (secretly revoking my membership to the Southern gals club)

(Um, yeah, I still can't relate.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Words to hold on to

As we lay there, I looked at him and asked "aren't you scared?" He asked what reason he had to be scared.

"Well, eventually I'm going to leave and we will be an entire ocean apart."

"Eh, it's just a pond. I'm a good swimmer."

"I'm being serious, Ben, I'm really scared of what is going to happen."

"Laura, if you close your eyes and just think about every single thing that the two of us have been through in our lives to bring us together...then you figure the odds of every single thing happening the way it did to bring us together...you have to know this is destiny. We are meant to be together and we will be together."

At that moment, I snuggled up to him and my heart just smiled. I spent my summer taking great solace in his words. He seemed so sure and he made me feel sure too. We spent the summer pushing all things practical aside and just living in the moment. I was in a relationship that, for the first time in my life, my insecurities about "us" or about myself did not take over. It felt good. Without any wall-building on either of our parts, we were able to truly get to know each other. It felt right.

We both knew that things would be rough once we were no longer physically together. We talked about it. Neither of us knew (or know for that matter) how any of this is supposed to work, but we both know we want to be together. Simple, right? Not so much. We are in a long distance relationship with a five hour time difference and 3,674 miles in between us. That is just not an easy thing. I think of those words that he said to me every single day. In some senses, those words keep me going.

Last week, I knew something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, but we were just "off." The more time that passed without hearing from him, the more frightened I became. The female in me began to overanalyze everything. I invented other girlfriends, family issues, job issues, no-longer-wanting-to-work-at-this-relationship issues, and by day six...he's-just-not-that-into-me issues. My doubts crept in and absolutely consumed me. I tried as hard as I could to hold onto his words. It was just not working.

When I finally heard from him, I was full of fear, sadness, anger, relief and anticipation. I figured it would be best just to listen. We had last spoken on his birthday and apparently our conversation hit him pretty hard. Hard in an "oh my gosh, I really care about this girl, but being with her means leaving my friends and family" kinda way. He described it as "you know when you are at the seaside and you somehow end up very far out in the water. You can no longer see the shore and you get scared because you look around and realize there is no one around to help you." Yes, I do believe I know what he means. He cancelled his birthday plans with his friends to stay home and be miserable. This was unacceptable to his cousin who picked him up the next day, made him call in sick to work and took him to his place outside of London. He spent a couple of days out there clearing his head, hanging out with his cousin and talking about his fears and his future. Although a tiny part of me wished he had come to me with his fears, a larger part of me knows that I am not the one he really needs to figure this out with. I asked him what all of this meant and where we stood. "Law-rah" he said "I'm back on the shore now and all I know for sure is that I want to spend my life with you."

Now I have more words, stronger words, to hold onto.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pissy Tuesday Round 2

Okay, so I have all-out warned everyone in my life that I will not be my bubbly smiling usual Law-Rah on Pissy Tuesdays. Seriously, don't expect me to be in a good mood. If you are G-Town law school, do not expect me to be understanding in that I have not yet gotten any of my grades and you want to charge me for them (in addition to the tuition I paid). If you are the taxi cab that is just plain stopped in the middle of an already overcrowded GW campus street, do not expect me to go around you quietly. If you are the stupid Webshots people and I "unsubscribe" to your stupid newsletter, do not turn around and send me a confirmation email of my unsubscription. If you are one of my students who keeps emailing me anal-retentive questions, just stop, the damn class is pass/fail. If you are Ben...um, oops, probably should have warned him.

Friday, September 01, 2006

No Title

You know your night was rough when you have this conversation in the morning (and by morning I mean 2pm)

Me: "Yeah, I think my night went downhill when I did that shot of Tequilla with M."

Friend: "Was that before or after we did the shot of SoCo and lime?"

Me: "I did a shot of SoCo?"

Friend: "Yeah, your students bought them for us."