Just Playin'
Random Thoughts...
Thursday, December 30, 2004

Unspeakable Tragedy

It seems inappropriate to post about my cruise when there is such unspeakable devastation and destruction being dealt with in South Asia. And so, for now, I won't. Suffice it to say we are having a wonderful time.

My thoughts and prayers are with the millions of people whose lives have been touched by the earthquake and tsunami.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Winter break. Happy everything to everyone, or happy nothing if you prefer.

I'm taking a blog holiday break. I'll return to blogging after the New Year; hope you'll check back then!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Christmas Shopping

I turned in my last final Sat morning. I refused to go shopping on the last weekend before Christmas, for fear I'd commit some sort of violent mall rage related offense upon on of my fellow shoppers. So I began shopping yesterday. And I actually got at least 70% of my shopping done in about 3 hours - mostly at Best Buy. I hate to feed the Best Buy machine, but you just can't beat the convenience.

I do have one suggestion for them: 5 days before Christmas, make an effort to put customers' wares in something other than clear plastic see-through bags. Hard to keep a surprise that way.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Sigh of Relief

I'm finished. Done with this semester's exams. 24hr Legislation final has been sent to its appropriate place. If I weren't so tired, I'd be thrilled. Back to bed. G'night.

Friday, December 17, 2004

I'm Gonna Snap

Yes, I'm taking my 24hr Legislation exam. Yes, I'm in the library - a nice, quiet place where I can concentrate and focus uninterrupted, right? No.

The 'student' - and I use that term loosely - in the kiosk behind me has now answered his cell phone and held conversations with the callers twice in the past 3 hours. He doesn't whisper, he just talks at normal volume. To the 1st caller he said "I'm in the middle of a final," as though they were bothering him. Um, THEN WHY THE HELL IS HE ANSWERING HIS PHONE?!?

The 2nd call just came in. Somehow, his settings were such that we (other students in the library - of whom there are many) could hear the voice of the person calling. She said, "Aren't you supposed to be taking a test or something?" Duh.

And in between calls he has been chatting intermittently with someone seated near him. Not about the exam he's taking, I hope.

I am very close to reporting this guy to the library police. I get a little edgy during an exam, but seriously, my complaints are warranted. This guy's gonna make me snap.

Gloves or Mittens?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

I'm a Dork

I saw a commercial today that moved me to tears. It features a woman singing Silent Night and shows several adorable infants and toddlers sleeping peacefully.

At first I was just delighted - sleeping babies are so cute. As the commercial went on, I was drawn in deeper. There is just something so amazing - so beautiful about these creations of God sleeping peacefully, soundly.

Maybe I'm just emotional because my sister will be having her baby in a couple months and I know I'll miss out on so many of the wonderful moments in my niece's young life. Possible.

But even without that, this commercial taps into something deep inside me. Peacefully sleeping babies are the picture of human hope. They are content, innocent, full of promise. They represent the best of humanity and exemplify what most of us desire for all of mankind - basic comforts like food, shelter, a warm dry place to sleep, and most of all PEACE.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Fun With Site Meter

From site meter, recent searches that brought readers to my blog:

1 - policy on playin games at your job
I don't know your employer's policy, but I'm betting they don't want you playing (or playin) games. Unless you work for Mattel.

2 - MPRE + scaled + score
Ah, yes. MPRE results came out a couple days ago. For those still a bit confused, here's a link to my post from September, when my results arrived. Hope it helps. And if you didn't pass, don't despair - I know several people who took it twice and passed the 2nd time. Congrats to all!

3 - pictures of women wearing just tampons
Yes, I do hesitate to put this combination of words here - I don't really want the type of readers looking for this stumbling upon my blog - but it's so crazy (and bizarre), I had to share it with you.

4 - plaid + pajama + pants
Hee hee. Looks like someone's in the market for some comfy study-wear.

5 - just + playin + blog
Hooray! Jackpot = you found what you were looking for. Hi.

Final Stretch

So, Evidence today @ 5:30pm - 5 hour exam. Then Legislation (24hr take-home exam) beginning tomorrow @ 1pm. (I had option to take Legis at another time, but declined for various reasons).

Estimate of how much sleep I'll get over next couple of nights? Heh.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Chuck, Sad News on Your Birthday: I'm Getting Straighter

Yes, it's sad but true. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was young. And I have always been sure the diag. was right, because pants and skirts fit me funny - as though one hip is higher than the other.

Last week I participated in a medical study. I spent the night at a local hospital and let them give me Lasix and monitor my blood pressure. In preparation for the study, I had to have a bone density test. It was essentially a full body X-ray, taken while I was supine on a weird padded table.

When the X-ray was complete, the technician pointed the image of my skeleton out to me on the computer screen. I asked her if I was 'crooked,' due to my scoliosis. She was surprised and said she saw no signs of the spine curvature at all, and that it was one of the first things she looked for as the X-ray was taking place.

So, it's official - I'm getting straighter. Sorry, sweetie.

Happy Birthday Chuck!!!

Simple Pleasures

  • Tabs in 5 different colors for my outline.
  • The melted cheese on the inside of a fast-food sandwich wrapper.
  • A full box of tissues.
  • Hovering over the wireless icon and seeing Signal Strength: Very Good.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Time is Running Out

I'm going to have to quit studying soon for the day.

Getting tired, you ask? Eh - I'm alright. I take frequent breaks and I got pretty good sleep this weekend. No pain, no gain.

Ah, then, library must close soon, you say. Nope - not 'til midnight.

Hmm... getting hungry then? Well, yes, but see the whole 'no pain, no gain' thing - I can work through that for a while longer.

Well, why the hell are you gonna have to stop studying? I'm running out of tissues. I brought a new 'pocket pack' and have made several trips to the WC to blow my nose. Not to mention I use each tissue twice (half and half, of course). But I only have 1 pristine tissue left. Which will get me 2 nose blows. Not sure what to do after that. But I bet these poor folks around me hope I decide to call it a day (night). Between my nose blowing, throat clearing, and occasional man-coughs, I imagine I'm pretty distracting.

Study Break!

Check out this hilarious post at Buffalo Wings&Vodka. Crack me up. Totally what we can look forward to once we get through the torture that is finals. And no, I have not checked my grades yet - not once - I haven't! I've only taken one final, for goodness sake. No WAY could that be up yet.

I haven't decided if it's a good or bad thing that I won't be able to check grades on the cruise ship over break. Think they have WiFi?

If reading a blog post isn't your idea of a study break, consider doing what Amanda's doing: making popcorn the REAL way - on the stove. Yum. Sounds delicious.

Back to work.

Evidence Agony

Did Crawford v. Washington overrule Ohio v. Roberts? Well, yes. So what does Crawford say about the intersection of hearsay and the Confrontation Clause? Hm. Well, if the statement that's being offered isn't testimonial, then the Confrontation Clause likely does not apply. I see, well what makes a statement testimonial? No freakin' idea. Why in the world are you asking me, anyway?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Rounded Up

The Weekly Roundup took notice of my recent exam post.

Here's an interesting post in the same collection about drugs students use to enhance performance while studying for and taking exams. Apparently kids are taking Ritalin and Adderall to dramatically increase their ability to concentrate for long periods of time.

TJ discusses whether he thinks the use of these drugs is cheating. I'd have to say I think it is. Bottom line is that taking prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal and for aspiring attorneys should be seen as completely unethical. I don't know how much of an edge such drugs actually provide a student, but I do know my own worst enemies when studying are procrastination and the inability to ignore distractions. I'd have to guess that a drug that could help me study for sustained periods of time would only increase my performance on exams.

I only recently became aware that students in college and law school were taking such drugs for this purpose during exams - is my head buried in the sand? Is this likely going on at my own school? I guess I do vaguely recall kids taking 'energy pills' and the like during high school. I should have realized that age and maturity wouldn't change these practices in students driven to produce certain results.


It's Sunday and I really don't have much for you guys. The relief after Thursday's T&E final was overwhelming - too overwhelming. I haven't quite been able to revive the last minute panic that fueled me during the home stretch. I've been faithfully preparing for my last 2 exams: Legislation and Evidence. And I certainly realize that time is short. But I haven't been able to conjure up the sustained panic that helps me work at a rapid pace.

Anyway, back to outlining/studying (in front of the Colts game for a while, of course). T and I went to church this morning and she's currently working on her own pile of put-off school work: a report on American wars and a book of the 'real story of Christmas' for a student in a lower grade at her school.

Hope everyone's having a productive weekend. Good luck on the upcoming week's final exams.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Painful to See

I am no fashion plate. And I realize it's finals - most of us are stressed and just want to be comfy, myself included (I wore scrub pants to the library today).

However, no one should ever again attempt in public the combo I saw today on a tall young law student. He was wearing pants - if you can call them that. Brown plaid - yes, plaid. They were a cross between pajama pants and 'Jams' - those crazy pants guys wore in the 80's with wild patterns and an elastic waistband. He paired these with a gray knit sweater and a light blue T-shirt hanging way out from below. It was quite a sight.

It can be painful to see fellow students in the grips of exam mania.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Law School Final Exam Tale

I took my T&E exam today. It was tough, but not unfair. I'm a bit of a procrastinator and this class covered a huge amount of information. 1 down, 2 to go!!!

I took the final where I take most of them - in the school's computer lab. Those typing on their own laptops were in another room, with yet a 3rd room for the hand-writers. If my prof said once she said at least 5 times that we MUST stop typing and/or drop our pens when she or her assistant called time at the end of the exam. Now, this rule isn't new to any of us as all our exams have a time limit. But in her case, she began with the admonition weeks ago in class and repeated it today. She even went so far as to acknowledge that once time was up we may have a keystroke or a mouse click to exit the exam software, but we should stop in midsentence if necessary and turn in our exams.

With 5 minutes left in the 3 hour exam the prof's assistant came in and wrote "5 minutes left" on the board. I was a little irked at first, because the exam software keeps track of how long you've been typing. I hadn't started mine the moment we received our exam, I'd been getting situated and such. Therefore, when she wrote 5 min left I probably actually had 10 minutes or even a few more. But our prof had made clear to us they would be strictly enforcing the "time's up" and I noticed others finishing up. I didn't want to still be typing when the assistant returned, so I wrapped it up and went with the rest of the folks to turn in my exam.

When I returned to the lab to gather my things, a classmate was still typing. I looked at the clock and figured she just couldn't help but eke out her last few minutes. She would type, look around the room frantically, and then keep typing. About 5 minutes later, one classmate tapped his watch and tsk tsk'ed her as he left. I stayed - checking my e-mail and such - and she was still at it almost 30 minutes after the exam had ended. A friend of hers was also still typing, but that student had started late for some reason and I assumed she'd gotten an extension (she had). Finally her friend comes over and tells her she'd better turn in her exam because it was 12:30pm.

She looked dumbfounded. "But I didn't know," she exclaimed. Didn't know what, I wondered. Then she started in about how the assistant had never come back to tell us time was up. Well, OK, but we can all tell time. And WAY more than 5 minutes had passed by then. Did she think we'd miraculously been given more time in which to complete the exam?

She went to turn it in and came back in tears. The professor was already gone. She asked the assistant if she'd be counted off for turning her test in late. "Probably" was the response. "I hate this place," she spat. Then she went on explaining how she could see penalizing a person who had been trying to cheat, but that she had just made a mistake. Her friends tried to reassure her, telling her that the prof probably wouldn't even notice and to not worry 'cause it likely wouldn't even matter.

Not matter? Hello!?! We're talking an issue-spotter exam, for a 4 cr hour class, that was crammed into a 3hr exam time. Everyone in the class save LLM students and this girl had only 3 hours. She had 3 and a half. An extra 30 minutes could mean a substantial amount of material added to an answer - and she was typing away the entire time. Now I feel for her, if it was an honest mistake. And I believe it might have been. I'm a bit puzzled what she thought, though, when almost every single person got up to turn their exams in. And how she could think that "5 more minutes" meant 35 more minutes.

So, what result?


Seems the story about Serena Williams' interview was a hoax. Daniel commented as much below, and M@ let me in on the info late last night while I was cramming for my T&E exam. No wonder I couldn't find a more reliable source from which to get the interview! My apologies.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

A Musical, for my Musical-ly Inclined Friends

This is cute. Courtesy of In The Agora.

Serena Williams is Done with Black Men

I was listening to Russ Parr this morning and they read some comments Serena made recently in an interview. Pretty harsh. A few excerpts:*

-When asked about her new boyfriend (who is white) she responded, 'I stopped playing with boys when I stopped dating black guys.'
-Serena also said, 'If Oprah would date outside of her race she would be married with children now.'
-Also, 'Let's be real. If you are a successful black female you only have 2 choices - date outside of your race or date other successful black females. That's why I am with a white man now. I am not going to settle for less just to stay within racial boundaries. A black man in my position wouldn't do it so why should I?'
-Another statement I couldn't find a quote for, paraphrased, "With black men you can only love them, like you would a homeless dog."

Yikes. Serena is certainly entitled to her opinion, but to generalize to an entire race is unfair. I figured the morning show hosts would unleash on Serena for her comments, but to their credit they didn't. They mostly agreed that she simply sounds hurt. Her comments likely reflect her personal experience, and it seems clear she's been hurt by relationships in the past.

I continue to be surprised when I find out that people aren't always who they seem to be. I've always seen Serena as a woman with her act together. Sure, she can be a bit eccentric, but her level of success doesn't come without some of that. What I've admired most in her, however, is her work ethic, discipline, and commitment to her love - tennis. I guess I figured that to achieve such a level of success she was likely well-grounded in all aspects of her life. But her recent remarks seem nothing but a sign that she is rather immature and has much room in her life for emotional growth.

*These were pulled off Russ Parr's website. I haven't yet found a news link to the comments. I will update when/if I do.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Panic Setting In

Blogging will likely be light this week. I do plan to post at least 1 'exam tip' a day at the IU-Indy blog, Sapere Aude. Today's tip is already up.

Colts win yesterday was fabulous - I was worried there for a bit, thought we were gonna fall for the onside kick all damn day. But we recovered and pulled out a nice win. I think the blocked field goal which was returned for a touchdown was the turning point! Nice job, boys.

Back to outlining...


Cahoots: Questionable collaboration; secret partnership.

Please use this word in an complete sentence that illustrates the word's meaning.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

I'm Studying Today

(Outlining Trust & Estates, to be precise).

What are you doing?

Friday, December 03, 2004

Missing Bobby

Posted by Hello This is a pic of my beautiful sister, Bobby,* and my yet-to-be-born niece, Anna.** J took this picture on her recent trip to Arizona. She is indeed glowing. I hope to be able to make it out there to witness (help with - I'm a labor and delivery nurse, ya' know) the delivery in Feb/March.

*Bobby's not her given name, but my daughter re-named all my family members when she was little. Bob stuck, as did the new names for all of us.
**Current tentative name of the baby-to-be.


It's dark. I'm asleep. It's 2:25am. My cell phone (normally off @ night, but being charged so was left on) rings. I turn on a lamp, shoot out of bed, and answer it. Hello? Click. Nice.*

It's dark. I'm back asleep. It's maybe 2:30am. My home phone rings. I reach over (keep it close to my bed) and answer it. Hello? Click. Nice.*


Energy Boost

Selected songs from this morning's edition of the Wrong Songs:
(almost too bad I got to sleep in a bit this morning and so didn't get to enjoy this in the car - the absolute best place to experience the Wrong Songs!)

Bill Withers ~~ Use Me Up ~~
The Jackson 5 ~~ I Want You Back ~~ (my absolute favorite)
Blackstreet ~~ No Diggity ~~
Dolly Parton ~~ 9 to 5 ~~

That's right, Dolly Parton. Perfect example of a 'wrong song' - the last thing you'd expect to hear in the compilation, and yet there it is, and it fits right in!

Reality Wrap-up

The Amazing Race

  • I guess I'm hooked. I've never watched a whole season of this, but it's a good reality show. The challenges are creative and you find yourself drawn in, wanting to see what happens next.
  • This week (Tues?) 2 friends, I forget their names, were eliminated. I felt sorry for them because the one woman spent 7 hours rolling hay bales looking for their clue.
  • Mostly, though I was happy that Gus and Hera are hanging in there - and the grandparents - yay!


  • I was happy that Ami got voted off. Why? I don't know exactly. Mostly because she was so cocky; she was too confident that she had the outcome all locked up due to the loyalty of her wonderful 'friends.'
  • She makes a point, I guess, about keeping her integrity, but something about her was just annoying. And her comment about wanting to hold Twila's head under water for 2 minutes to make herself feel better was a little telling about her true personality, I think.
  • Honestly, I don't care who wins at this point. Generally by this stage there is someone I am rooting for to win. I used to like Scout, but even she has been getting on my nerves. And I don't care for Eliza, but overall it makes no difference to me. I hope next season's folks are a bit more intriguing.

The Apprentice

  • I was sorry to see Ivana go, but Trump had no choice. She had a losing record and her little 'stunt' wasn't even close to a good decision.
  • Caroline was right when she said Ivana wasn't selling candy bars for $20. But on the other hand, neither were Sandy and Jen. Those guys shelled out $5/bar for the opportunity to flirt with those women. What is it about women with long blond hair and high heels that make men do stupid stuff?
  • I wonder what Mars does with all that 'reject' candy.
  • I hope to see Jen fall on her face next week - but I'm not gonna hold my breath!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

One of Each!!!

Beautiful Samantha joins beautiful Noah. What lucky kids - I always wanted an older brother.

Congratulations, Professor Cooper!

Dental Duties

Took T to the dentist yesterday. She has 2 cavities. Ugh. We hadn't been in about 2 years - but I went last week and managed to come away with ZERO cavities. Guess that was too much to hope for T. She's got 1 on the right and 1 on the left - teeth 18 and 30, both on the bottom. The dentist, a guy who is younger than me, which I find disconcerting, gave me a stern lecture about how we need to get them filled as soon as possible. I politely informed him again that we have no dental insurance and even getting there for a cleaning, exam, and X-rays took some doing. Not to mention that the X-rays were in preparation for our trip to the orthodontist, which will take place some time after the new year.

(I must admit to a little Mommy guilt that my daughter had cavities. I know this guilt will surprise those of you who know me :) Actually, it's only a little guilt - after all, she is 13 and therefore has to take some responsibility for her own dental health!)

Just wait until this time next year - we'll have dental insurance and I'll be waltzing in there telling him to find all the cavities he wants!!!

What a Feeling

Got the following message in my inbox today:
Important: Your U.S. Department of Education PIN Reminder. It said that to complete a 2005-2006 school year FAFSA I would need to renew my PIN. But I don't need another FAFSA!!!! Let's hear it from all those graduating in May '05 or Dec '04. Woohoo!!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Continuous Loop

OK, I have a fabulous song in my head - and I have no idea why. So, here are the lyrics that keep going round and round:

What can I do? Girl to get through to you?
Because I love you (love you) Baby (baby)...
Standing here, baptized in all my tears,
La? la? la? la? la?*,
You know I crying whoo hoo hoo hoo hoooo (da da da da da, da da da da, da da da da, hoo hoo hoo... da da da da da, da da da da, da da da da, say say say)

Youuuu, never ever worry,
And you never shed a tear...
You're saying that... my LOVE ain't real,
Just look at my face, these tears ain't dryin'..... da da da da da hee hee hee

Gotcha! Hope someone joins my (pleasurable) misery.
*I could have inserted the proper lyrics here, courtesy of Google, but this is more accurately what has been going on in my head!

For Fun

Fug has a great pic of Mrs. Federline posted. Jessica's commentary, along with some of the comments, would provide a great pick-me-up today for almost anyone.

What is a Blog???

The term "blog" tops dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster's list of the 10 words of the year.

Merriam-Webster's defines blog as: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks.

It's funny to me how blogs are such an integral part of the lives of so many people I know, while on the other hand there are millions and millions of people who have never heard of them - and those who have but still don't know what they are. (Even Blogger's spellcheck doesn't know what a blog is).

There are times when I begin telling a story to someone, but then think better of it when I realize it entails mentioning my blog and then describing what a blog is. Those blank stares are just too much sometimes.

This is a blog!!!

About Me

Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls

Today's Song Lyric

All you do is call me, I'll be anything you need

Contact Me

E-mail: justplayinblog -at- gmail.com


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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Do Not Overmix
From Engineer to Lawyer
Failure to Comprehend
Favorable Dicta
A Girl Walks Into a Bar(exam)
the imbroglio
Indiana Barrister
The Indiana Law Blog
IndyLaw Net
Legal Underground
The Menagerie
Mother in Law
The Neutral Zone Trap
Obiter Dictum
Screaming Bean
SC Trial Law Blog
Taking Down Words

Blogs I Read

About a Nurse
advanced maternal age
Be The Boy
code blog: tales of a nurse
Deb, hatched
Go Fug Yourself
Going Bananas
The Great Spirit
Jelly Beans...
Martinis, Persistence...
Overheard in New York
The Perils of Being in 3D
Post Secret
preaching to the perverted
Ruth's Blog
...the slack daily
Texas T-bone
30 Something Baby Doc
Unnamed Source
Waiting for the Punchline


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