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

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I am sitting alone in my room with only a glass of Cabernet and my thoughts. Oh the thoughts. I wouldn't say they are jumbled or scrambled so I am not sure why I thought I needed to sort anything out. Rather, I just want to sit with them. Enjoy them. I have had so much going on in my life these past six months, I haven't had much time to sit with my own thoughts. Trying to translate these thoughts and feelings into words on this blog is damn near impossible. So instead, I will just sit here smiling and taking in these feelings. I will cock my head to the side while shrugging my shoulder, then giggle and run my fingers through my hair, all the while grinning ear to ear. I will reflect on all that I finished today in my second to last semester of law school. I will look forward to tomorrow...tomorrow when I will finally see him again after 128 days apart. Damn that is a long time. To be honest though, I wouldn't change it.

When I met Ben this summer I did not anticipate ever seeing him again after that first night. A few days later we met up again and by day three, I had secured myself what I believed to be a summer fling. As time went by I realized something was different. He was different. I was different with him. I felt myself falling and I contemplated walking away. Rationally, none of it made any sense. Sure, it was fairy tale-ish and whirlwindy, but how could any of this ever work in reality? We made promises and talked about a future beyond this summer. Still, when I left London, neither of us really knew where this was headed. How could we? How could either of us have a clue as to what four months apart would do to us?

Things will be different this time I see him. We know where each other stands not only with words but with actions. We are going into this knowing each other better than we did this summer. Plus, this time the fairy tale will not have an audience. As much as I loved sharing our story (hey, it's a damn good story) and as much as I know some of you loved to follow along, I'm taking round two offline. I'm gonna need a little alone time with my man.

When I spoke with him tonight, as we were saying our goodbyes we both lingered for longer than usual. There was a strange feeling knowing that the next time we speak will be in person. As I was about to hang up, he said "wait wait. I have something I want to tell you." I gave him my full attention. "Darling" he said "I will see you tomorrow. It feels really good to say that." Yeah, it feels really good to hear it too.

To all my law school friends who finished exams, congrats. To those with exams yet to come, good luck. To those not in law schoo, count your blessings. I hope everyone has a very and safe wonderful holiday season! I will be returning from the other side of the pond just in time to watch the Irish go down.


Fall semester 2006 is done! I had every intention of sitting down to sort through some of my thoughts in the form of a blog post prior to leaving for London in the morning, but today just got away from me. Instead, I will have to sort them out this evening, after dinner and some adult beverages with some good friends. If nothing else, that means my thoughts will most likely be more interesting. For now, I must pack as I sip on a freshly opened bottle of Cabernet. (Well, I may not sip on the bottle, rather pour it into a glass for sipping.)

If I don't get the chance, see y'all in 2007!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My head is in so many different places right now. Still one more exam, still must finish my paper, still must finish grading memos. I have to-do lists. I have to-do post-it notes which can be thrown away when completed. I have a packing list. I have a hour-by-hour schedule of the next two days. Yet, still, every time I leave one room and head to another, I forget why I am there. I even forgot why I got in my car this morning. I am taking bets on whether or not I will be able to maintain control in the next 48 hours. Um, I meant 43 hours.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It's the little things

(*Warning: cheesy relationshippy post*)

When Ben and I began down this road of figuring out how this long distance thing works, the phone was (actually still is) our main only source of communication. (The boy's lack of email is a blog post in and of itself.) Anyway, as one can imagine, cross-Atlantic telephone conversations are not always simple. It's not as if either of us can just pick up the phone and push a speed dial button to get to each other. There are routing phone numbers, and pin codes, and country codes to get out and to country codes to get in. I have to push a total of 35 digits each time I call him. It tends to be a bit frustrating when he's not around to answer.

I didn't used to be a real text-messager, but I realized very early on that it is much easier (and cheaper) for me to send a text message to London than to call. So, since it is cheaper for him to call me, we fell into a pattern where I would text him and he would call me right back. Sometimes I would text him just to say hi and tell him I was thinking of him or that I missed him. The problem is, the boy NEVER texted back. When I would talk to him the next time, I would ask if he got my text. "Yes, darling. Thank you very much." Um. Okay. I would tell him "you know, you could text me back." He said he hated this text message feature, he would rather just pick up the phone and hear my voice. How can you argue with that?

As we progressed, the time lapse between my text messages and his phone calls started to get longer. Sometimes, I would not hear from him for a day or two after I sent him a text message. When I would talk to him, he would say that he got my "thinking of you" text message but was busy at work/with friends/etc. and couldn't call. Again, I suggested he just text me back with a quick "busy-will call you tonight." Again, he told me he didn't like to text. I explained to him that a simple text from him would make me feel like he is thinking about me. He said "but I am always thinking about you. Why do I need to text message you for you to know this?" Man, he's good at this.

One night, we had a particularly long emotional "how can we make this work" phone conversation. After we hung up, I sent him the world's longest text message. I told him to have a great day and asked (read: begged) that at some point - any point - during the day, he send me one single text message. The next day...nothing. I began to wonder why he was fighting this. Does his phone have a text messaging feature? Does it cost him a lot of money? Does he know how to spell?

Next came the typical guy vs. girl "I don't understand why you are making such a big deal out of this vs. I don't understand why you can't do this one simple thing that means a lot to me" conversation. I am not proud of what I did next. The gals reading will probably think "you did what you had to do" whereas the guys will think "ugh, bitchy girl move!" The convo went like this:
Me: I want you to send me a text message.
Him: I know darling, you keep telling me.
Me: I mean it Ben.
Him: (not taking me very seriously) I know, I know.
Me: Okay, you have one week. That is seven days. Count them, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Him: (giggling)
Me: Seven days, Ben. Sometime in the next seven days I want a text message.
Him: (giggling)
Me: I don't care what it says. I don't care if it is two letters "h-i" with no period.
Him: (still giggling)
Me: And I don't care what you have to do to remember. Put a note on your door. Ask your roommates to remind you.
Him: (still giggling)
Me: But you have seven days to do this one tiny thing for me....or I am cancelling my flight.
Him: (no longer giggling) What? You are serious.
Me: Yep.
Him: Why are you saying this?
Me: Because I want a text message. I am well aware that I am turning a simple text message into a "show me you care about me" moment and I simply don't care how childish that is. I want a text message.
Him: You are acting really funny, maybe we should talk later.
Me: That's fine. You still have seven days.

We hung up and I felt really bad. The thing I liked most about this guy and this relationship is the lack of game-playing. Did I just ruin that? Did I really need to stoop to such high school girl levels? Really? Then my phone beeped "Hi love, it's me Ben." A couple of hours later, I got another text message. The next day, I got another one. A week after that, I got two text messages in one day, then a phone call to make sure I got his two text messages. He was so proud of himself. "I was at a bar with my friends and you popped into my head and I thought 'Ahhh, I will send her a text message.'" Although I did feel a little bad for stooping to such low levels to get my way, in the process I realized how lucky I am to have a guy who will do anything to make me happy, even if my demands are irrationally girly.

All this went down back in October so you might be wondering why bring it up now. This morning when I woke up to a text message from London that read "Bon jour love!" I melted. All over again. Sigh. It really is the little things.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday night

What is a girl to do if:

...she just finished her two hardest exams (one of which actually brought tears to another student's eyes)...

...and she just finished grading 11 memos...

...and she still needs to finish her 30 page paper...

...and he still has one more exam that she just found out is closed book...

...but she has not seen many of her friends in ages...

...and she probably won't see them this holiday season...

...and she really needs a drink?

Well, if that girl is me, then she grabs her favorite Shark and heads to the DC Blogger Holiday Happy Hour!

You going

And...nevermind. Something came up. Something really really important.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Am I TOO chill?

Since I have tied up stressed out Law-Rah (see yesterday's post) and thrown her in my closet, chill Law-Rah is coming out to play.

I had my tax exam today. One and a half hours of multiple choice and one and a half hours of essay. I came in with the exam essentials: coffee, water, carrots, a blow pop and ear plugs. What else could a gal need, right? Well, apparently about half way through the test, this gal decided she needed a Snickers. For whatever reason, my stomach would not stop growling. So much that I looked around to see if people noticed. At that moment, while I was stuck between figuring out the depreciation of non-residential rental property and figuring out the tax rate for long term capital gain...I realized I was downright starving. And not in the mood for carrots. And I couldn't quit singing "snickers really satisfies you" in my head. So, I grabbed my purse, left the exam, and headed downstairs to hit the vending machines. (I should tell you that I know law students who will not get up to use the bathroom during an exam because of the time loss.)

Anway, if this story was not entertaining to you, which I am sure it was not because I am generally not an entertaining person during exams...then I would like to leave you with this video clip. And before you ask, the answer is 'no, there was no orgazm in my mouth.'

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Fighting demon Law-Rah

One of my students asked me last week "if there was one thing that you could have known going into your 1L exams that you didn't know already what would it be?" With ease and confidence I answered "that law school exams are a crap shoot." I got some puzzled looks. I hated to sound so pessimistic and harsh, but for me personally, I would have liked to have come to terms with that a long time ago.

The Law-Rah that entered law school over two years ago thought she had it all figured out. For years, if she wanted something bad enough, all she had to do was work hard and she could achieve it. Easy right? As for law school, her entire life had been leading up to this. She wanted it really bad and was willing to put aside the rest of her life, so surely she would excel.

Then came the harsh reality that is the law school exam.

The hardest part for a control freak like myself has been a lack of control in the outcome. I can know the material forwards and backwards. I can have the most comprehensive outline. I can meet with the professor to discuss minute details I may be overlooking. I can walk out of the exam with confidence and a smirk of a top-10%-er. And I can still get a B on that test. In the beginning, it crushed me. It was very hard to grasp my hard work not "paying off." I even got angry when I got an A on an exam that I didn't even finish. Normally, one would be happy with an A. But for me, the problem is more along the lines of there being no correlation whatsoever between my understanding of the subject matter and my grade in the class. Man oh man is that a hard thing to deal with.

This is amplified because I am my own worst enemy. No matter how many semesters of this I go through, I still cannot seem to get it into my thick head that I have no control over what goes down during those three hours of frantic typing that will end with a letter grade on my transcript. For some reason, I still stress myself out. I still work myself into the ground aiming for the best. Here I am, a 3L with a job lined up. Everyone says that a person in my position is supposed to breeze through this year without a care. Instead, I spent 13 hours straight yesterday stressing/prepping and just plain freaking out about my two tests this week. Despite knowing that working harder and putting more time in will not necessarily get me the A, I am still working myself into the ground. Why is that?

Because that's what I do. I throw myself into everything full force. I work really hard and I accomplish things. (Ignoring little voice that says "but you just said that working hard does not necessarily pay off in law school.") Normally, I like being this person. The hard-working, get things done at all costs, gal. This person is who got me into law school in the first place and who got me a damn good job that I (will) love. Yesterday, though, I wanted to tie her up and throw her in a closet because she was freaking me out. She seems to want to stand in the way of me being calm and collected as I go into exams.

I woke up this morning and a calm had come over me. I seem to have realized something downright ingenious: I have done the work...the rest is a crapshoot. And that, my friends, wraps up my struggle to take my own advice that I so confidently offered to my students last week.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Why today has sucked so far

My cell phone started blaring latin music at 6:50 this morning. 'Twas an unexpected wake-up call from London. I couldn't get too mad because he's just so cute with his British accent and his "hiya darling, I just wanted to tell you good morning."

Since I was awake, 7am became a good time to load up on coffee and start working the Federal Income Tax mid-term review problem. Now, I hashed out the entire first half of this semster in a study group yesterday. It makes total sense that I should be able to work the review problem that encompasses the first half of the semester. Right? (Note: I didn't actually DO the review problem or go to class when she went over it because I wanted to save it for finals studying. Instead, I just got the answers from a friend and tucked them away.) This four page fact pattern has been the bane of my existence for three hours now. What the hell? Wheels spinning, I called friend in a frantic panic trying to get her to remember back to the review problem in class. She said "oh, well, she told us that this review problem was way harder than anything she would ever test us on." I just lost three hours.

UPDATE: To searcher in Atlanta...I really wish I could help you, but you are really looking in the wrong place.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Well this is weird

I have two exams this week (Wednesday and Thursday). As of last night, both outlines are done, color coded, printed, three-hole punched, put in binders, and tabbed. This is very very scary. My usual law school exam method is hurrying to print my outline the day before (or of) the exam. I am not sure what this means. I DO KNOW that it does not mean I know this material or am ready for these tests. However, I have three solid days to learn it and work practice exams. Very very odd. (Especially considering my general lack of committment to law school this semester.)