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Random Thoughts...
Friday, April 30, 2004

If Wishes Were Horses...

-The tax exam would be comprised entirely of charitable contributions and capital gains/losses problems. A+ for sure.

-Snotty boy here in the library would quit with the incessant sniff, sniff and get up and go blow his damn nose.

-I'd be at home in bed, snug, dry, and fast asleep.

NUBBIES!!!

Speaking of Nubbies, (some of us were, I promise), I have 4 pencils I have been using to work tax problems. I keep wearing the lead down to nubbies and then sharpening the pencils back up again.

15 Minutes in the Sun

I just took an hour for lunch. Yep, an hour. Sometimes you just have to. I was up late teaching myself tax and up early this morning doing the same.

So I talked with Amanda and Deb for a while about the tax final and other more important things. (Yes, there are definitely more important things in the world than this exam.)

Then I scarfed down my PB&J and Doritos (while reading about income taxation of corporate shareholders, mind you).

But the piece de resistance (did I spell that right?) was laying on the bench for 15 minutes, soaking in some rays. We even have a fountain outside by the picnic tables providing the sound of running water. There were blissfully few people around me and it was a nice break. The weather is just too lovely, the sun too inviting, to deprive myself of a few minutes relaxing (trying to relax) in the sun.

So I am back (from outer space) and it's time to get busy again. I wish everyone their own 15 minutes in the sun today - especially Amanda!

Thursday, April 29, 2004

She-Devil is Gone

Shii-Ann got voted off on Survivor tonight - thank goodness. That chick just rubbed me the wrong way. For a few tense moments I thought she was going to win immunity again. I must admit she didn't give up. Her 'scrambling' to get Jenna voted off was admirable.

But the alliance of the remaining 5 has proven pretty unshakeable. It will (hopefully) be interesting to see how things begin to change now that they have to start voting themselves off.

Best line of the night: when Big Tom, enjoying the fruits of his reward challenge, predicted that Shii-Ann was back at camp "trying to form an alliance with a bush" since she had tried to do so with every other member of the tribe.

I'm trying to decide who I would vote for if I was on the jury and Rob and Amber were the final 2. (That's not at all a prediction, just a for instance.) I think Amber would have a tough time persuading me she had done more 'game-playing' than coattail riding.

Note to self - Don't forget that Mom said she would 'pass' if asked to eat a tarantula on my behalf :)

Lord Just Let Me Pass

This is how I feel about my exam for this Saturday - Income Tax.

I wish I could say I have no idea why I took this class. But it wouldn't be true. I remember thinking it was sure to provide me with practical advice I could employ in my own life, if not in the lives of future clients. I remember thinking it was one of the suggested bar courses so it would be a good choice. I relied on advice from a respected family friend and attorney who had the Prof years ago, loved him, and highly recommended I take it. And I vaguely remember thinking I ought to take it to challenge myself - that must be the symptom of some incurable disease. The same symptomology was behind my decision to leave my nursing career and apply to law school in the first place.

All these things and more convinced me to take the class. Now I wish I hadn't. I was excited by the first couple weeks of classes. You may remember we were "playing in the code" for a bit. The pace of the class, the way the Prof interrogated students, his constant assurances that we would eventually understand everything he was saying and his announcement that our 400 question multiple choice exams would not be graded on a curve - all combined to make me think I had made a good choice. We started out slow and I was able to follow along for a while.

I thought no curve sounded good to me. After all, it's multiple choice - don't curve my grade, just give me what I earn. Ugh. Slowly I began to lose track of what was being taught. Soon I was behind in every class. Eventually, I was generally lost about 85% of each 2 hour class period.

Now I have a 6-7 hour exam on Saturday. And I am blogging. I have almost given up. I know my grade will be poor and I just can't stop kicking myself. I had a real chance to bring up my GPA this semester, which was the general goal. I even have a grade back already, and it's a good one. But Tax will shoot all that to hell. Which is frustrating. OK. Back in I go. Wish me luck. Say a short prayer if you're so inclined. Lord, just let me pass this class.

Update: I taught myself the topic of charitable contributions. 1 topic down, approx 47 to go. (Something tells me this is too little, too late!)

Smod?

I remember watching a hilarious show years ago called Not Necessarily the News. My favorite part was Sniglets: words for objects, situations, and events that are not in the dictionary.

I need a word for that look that is exchanged between fellow law students at finals time. Classes are over so when you pass someone in the library or the hall, you know they are here studying for finals. There is that sometimes almost imperceptible smile, nod, knowing look of agony, transferring of sympathy that passes between 2 students who are in the midst of finals hell. That exchange, oddly comforting at times, needs a sniglet.


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Admin Tip of the Day

Hard-look review is an attitude.

(for Lori and Deb - it's not a T-shirt, but it's the best I could do)

Hate to See That

On my way into the building this morning, I was passed by a student who ran from the parking lot into the building and up the stairs. Said student was carrying a large sealed manila envelope - presumably the result of efforts on a take home exam of some sort.

Hope she made it in time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Where Do You Park?

When parking in a public place (grocery store, mall, movies, restaurant, etc...) do you:

Park in the nearest open space or

Park as far away as possible from the other cars.

So much to do, So little time

Monday, April 26, 2004

Today's Pet Peeve*

I just spent a good 5 minutes making attempts to get a bottle of water from a vending machine with 3 different one dollar bills.
It was like a bad comedy sketch.

Luckily, I found 4 quarters and was able to acquire a water.


*I realize this is not a real problem in the grand scheme of things. Nonetheless, I was super annoyed.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Drawing the Line

I am Hispanic. My Mom was born a Garcia. My ancestors settled in what is now Texas but was then Mexico. My mother grew up in south Texas. She and her siblings are bilingual. Most of my cousins, the ones who also grew up in south Texas, are bilingual.

My Mom married a 'gringo.' I have no idea what percentage of me is Hispanic but I am proud of my heritage. Growing up, I always identified myself as Hispanic when filling out forms that asked for race/nationality/ethnicity. (These forms have evolved over the years and there is now generally a choice for white of Hispanic origin).

In high school I received an honorable mention for National Honor Society minority student achievement. In undergrad I received a Minority Achievement Scholarship.

Now my daughter is at the age where she qualifies for different honors and programs. She was given an application for an engineering program that takes place in the summer for minority junior high students. I was uneasy about letting her apply. Her father, too, was a 'gringo' and I wonder just how far removed we have to be from our ancestors to no longer qualify as 'minority.'

What makes a person a minority? Color of skin? Ethnicity? Origin of ancestors? Lack of opportunities? What happens when Hispanics/Latinos outnumber Caucasians in the US? Will whites then be the minority?

Why can't you set your monkey free?

I am trying to study, but keep distracting myself. (I'm making progress but there is SO much more material to cover).

Current distraction: lyrics to George Michael's Monkey running around in my head.

Person at fault: Bekah, due to this hilarious post.

Tipped Out

I tip relatively well, I think. I tip at least 20% unless the service was poor. I know if there were problems with the service I should discuss them with the manager, but I almost never do this. Most the time when service is poor my server is well aware. I contend they know when they are providing quality service and when they are not.

But recently I have noticed 'requests' for tips that leave me wondering: for what service do you deserve a tip? Like at Qdoba, there is a tip can right next to the automatic coin dispenser that dispenses change. I don't like this. I feel guilty for not leaving a tip here. But on the other hand, I don't see much reason to leave one. I pay over $6 for a simple cheese quesadilla and drink. I appreciate that they make the food in front of me, but that's part of the concept of the store and I'm already paying for that.

Last week T and I ate at BW3 after her soccer game. We were way out on Pendleton Pike and looking for a place we could agree upon and that accepts credit cards (I was cashless). We walked in and placed our orders at the counter. I paid with Visa and the receipt I was given to sign had a spot for a tip. Tip for what? Taking my order? Who would get that tip? The girl who took our order was not the same person who brought out our food. Again, I felt bad for not filling in a tip amount but I couldn't figure out why I should tip anyone.

Thoughts on this?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

May The Force Be With Us

I've invited 25 twelve and thirteen year olds to our house for a party today.

I'm guessing this won't be conducive to studying.

Update: The party went well. The rain (mostly) held off and I think the kids enjoyed themselves. The highlight had to be the pinata. We had to hang it from a large tree in the front yard and they had a great time trying to bust it open and diving for the candy. (For just a moment, they were more like 5 and 6 year olds than teens and pre-teens - which was a nice change of pace).

Friday, April 23, 2004

Pet Peeve

Trash cans that require you to touch them somehow (open a door or flap) in order to throw something away. ICK.

GMail!

I have a new e-mail account. I need a 4th e-mail account like I need another hole in the head. But I went for it anyway. Google is testing GMail and Blogger is offering it free to Blogger users. Neat. Ambulance chaser thinks so, too!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Make Me Laugh

I always thought I'd be a good candidate for one of those make me laugh type shows. I generally don't laugh at things unless they are truly funny, unless they inspire physical laughter from me. So I'd be a good laughor? laughee? on one of those shows. I'd be a good 'tough crowd.'

It's been a somber couple of days and today will be no exception. So, give it your best shot. Got a good joke or one-liner? Let me have it. I could use it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

What's it All For?

Pardon the free flow of ideas, here. I have these thoughts floating around in my head and after reading Paul's somewhat related post at Josh's site, I decided to try to commit them to black and white.

I wonder daily why I am here, what my purpose in life is, why any of us are here. I wouldn't call these thought morbid, exactly. I'm not contemplating ending my time here, I simply want concrete answers to these questions. And I get frustrated knowing there are none.

I think of my life as a gift from God, my father. I get this notion from my Christian upbringing. But then I continue to wonder what God wants me to do with this gift. I remember discussions in grade school about talents. Teachers wanted us to write down what are talents are and to recognize and develop these talents. This was a difficult task for me. I don't have any particular talents. I wasn't very athletic, I can't carry a tune (though I LOVE to sing), I played piano but not well. My only talent in grade school was really school. I was pretty smart. My 'hobby' was reading; it occupied my spare time.

I was relieved to be able to articulate if not a talent then at least a gift to me from God. But as I got older I began to wonder if this was a gift to be cultivated. I was exposed to people who felt that the value I placed upon intelligence and learning was misplaced. That I was being selfish and that God didn't care how smart I was, he was only interested in how I lived my life.

And to an extent that made sense. So I continue to wonder what my purpose in life is. If very few of us will be remembered more than 10 or 20 years after our deaths, and if we all must die anyway, then what is even the point? What are we do to with our time here?

The only halfway satisfying answer I can come up with is that we are here to help others. I think about the life as a gift from God idea from a parent's standpoint. Certainly God wants us to enjoy life - he wanted us to experience the profound complexities of his gift. But that doesn't give us free reign to be irresponsible, does it? To enjoy every experience to the fullest with no regard to how it effects others simply because it is 'our' gift to do with what we please? When I give T a present, I do so because I love her and I want her to enjoy it. But I also hope she will take care of it and use it wisely.

I want to take care of the gift I have been given. I want to use it wisely. I want to help others. But I get bogged down in the mundane daily responsibilities, the material wants and needs. And I find that my life is controlled by them rather than the other way around. I find that helping people takes a backseat to helping myself and I wonder if I am living the life God intended.

Must . . . Study

I really am going to get some good studying done today. Yesterday I got several hours in but I won't admit to exactly how many. Certainly not sixteen like some people I know. But it wasn't all my fault. I woke up and my allergies were driving me crazy. I was sneezing, I couldn't get ready in the morning without having to blow my nose every 30 seconds (which really slows me down), my nose was itching, and I was incredibly irritable as a result.

I was scheduled to help a child through standardized testing at T's school in the am, so I did what any reasonable person would do. I took 2 Benadryl. I'll say no more other than that my nose stopped running.

But today no medication and lots of studying. Close your browsers and get to work!

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Chuckle

I volunteered a bit at my daughter's school this morning. As I waited for the designated time, I read through artwork and such that were displayed on the walls of the hallway.

One 2nd grader's prayer for peace:

I pray for peace in the world.
And I pray for an end to the war because my cousin is a maureen
.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Around our house when we hear of someone's death, such as a celebrity, we say that deaths tend to come in 3s. I don't really believe this, and I pray it isn't true in this case.

Yesterday we got the news that a good friend of the family, M, died late Saturday night. His wife, D, has been a respected piano teacher in our neighborhood for years. I took lessons from her as a child, as did 2 of my sisters. My daughter was next in line and my Mom still takes adult piano lessons. D is a wonderful woman and she and my Mom have become good friends over the years. M owned a computer store for many years and during a tumultuous time in my life he hired me to work there. It was good experience for me and I appreciated he and D giving me that opportunity. D told me on the phone yesterday that she loved her husband deeply. She is feeling a profound loss with the death of her companion. Though M was diagnosed with leukemia several months ago, we didn't expect his death.

Today we found out that another friend of the family, J, died yesterday. She and her husband have been friends with my parents for years and years. They get together with other couples every month to play spirited (beverages & competition) games of trivial pursuit - boys against girls. J was also a teacher at our Catholic school for a few years and had my sisters as students. I worked for her husband this past summer. She has been battling cancer for years but her death was unexpected.

My thoughts and prayers are with these families and all who are dealing with loss. I thank the Lord every day for my many blessings. But despite my faith and religious upbringing, I struggle often with my fears of death. Times like these only accentuate those fears. I pray that these 2 children of God are in a better place; I pray they have found peace.

A Uniform Used to Mean Something

It's only a commercial, but this is damn funny. Click on 'uniform' and watch (with sound). Superman likes reality TV!

Thanks to ambimb for the link

So Distracting

I have developed a new affinity for studying in the reading room. I actually find I am more productive in here than at a kiosk in the library.

I've been in here now for about 2 hours. Apparently a 1L class just let out because we got a large influx of students.

One girl sat across the table from me. (We are facing each other, with no barrier in between). She set up her laptop and opened what appears to be notes or an outline. But she isn't studying. Which is fine, I don't care what she does - except that was she is mostly doing is staring out the window behind me. That and looking around the room - craning her neck to the side of and behind her. This is completely distracting for me. Couldn't she stare out the window somewhere else?

I do realize this would be less of a problem if my powers of concentration were a bit stonger.

Update: She lasted all of 30 minutes, if that, before giving up the ghost; she's gone. Wonder if she will later tell someone she studied in the library today? (At least 5 of those 30 min she was on her cell phone outside the reading room.)


Bad Luck

On my walk Saturday, I crossed the path of a beautiful black cat sitting at the end of a driveway on my block.

I wonder if she will now have bad luck.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Scarlet Letter

Actually, it's more like scarlet arms, chest, and face. The question that might come to mind when you see me is "Study much?" Yep, I got a bit of a sunburn today. I certainly can't pretend to have studied all weekend.

But that's OK. As a (single) parent I have determined what my priorities are. And I would not have missed standing in the sun today watching my daughter participate in her first track meet of the season.

Watching your child compete with others in public is an unparalleled experience. It's a mixture of pride, fear, competitiveness and the desire to protect her from all harm. Awesome stuff.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Today

I changed my wall calendar from March to April.

I'm doin' my best to keep up, y'all.

Lovely Day

It is simply beautiful in Indy today. I am currently at school and am amazed by the number of people in the reading room of our library. I thought that despite approaching finals the perfect weather would cause more than a few to slack off a bit today.

I did take a 5 mile walk earlier today. First time in quite a while I have done so. But I don't see it as slacking. I certainly need the exercise but more importantly I should have long since been training for the Mini marathon.

I only walk the Mini, but nevertheless, if I don't kick it into gear with some more walking in the next couple weeks, someone will have to kick my ass into the 'sweeper' bus when I collapse on the route!

Yummy

I got up super early this morning to took my Dad to the airport. He's off to Florida for over a week - he's a jet-setting retiree.

On the way to the airport, we passed a Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. On the way back, I passed it again without a second glance and drove out of my way to Long's Bakery. (Scroll down a bit)

I'm not generally a donut fan. I prefer salty foods to sweet if given a choice. And donuts are so heavy - I feel almost sick after eating only one sometimes. But Long's donuts are the bomb! They are so light - they just melt in your mouth. If you've never had the pleasure of a Long's yeast donut, you should.

I couldn't even wait for the 10 minute drive home - I ate my donuts in the car.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Vocab

Brouhaha: An uproar; a hubbub

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

Apprentice

This'll be brief - I have a final in less than 2 hours. (Think good thoughts for me)

Trump could not have made any other decision after what he saw of Bill and Kwame's performance on their final tasks.

It may arguably have been Omarosa's fault that things were so unorganized on Kwame's end, but I think he could have tried harder to combat that.

And don't feel sorry for Kwame: all the contestants have received multiple job offers and I'm sure Kwame will be no exception. In addition, he is separated (divorced?) from his wife because he realized he has a few years of 'skirt chasing' left in him. Nice of him to figure that out after getting married. Men.

We Aim to Please

I like when businesses/service providers display some variation of this message:

If you were pleased with our service, tell someone else.
If you weren't, tell us.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

If I Were an Optimist...

- Next year, my last year of law school, I would take only classes that interest me instead of those 'recommended for the bar.'

- I would sit alongside the soccer field at my daughter's game this afternoon. (The field runs parallel to a relatively busy street not more than 10 feet away from where the spectators sit - No thanks, I'll sit up here at the end of the field).

- I wouldn't be so worried about whether I am going to enjoy my summer job at a firm here in town.

- I might have committed to our school's health law concentration and used what I learned to lobby for much needed changes in health care for the benefit of both patients and health care providers.


Wednesday, April 14, 2004

What Do You Call It?

In the post below, I typed "money mover" instead of ATM and then decided to change it when I re-read the post. I wonder if that's a Hoosier thing or if it's a widely accepted term for an ATM.

What do you call it?

Loser

I'm at home. A few of you will know that means I skipped tax class this afternoon. I wish I could say I was fully enjoying my 'freedom', but my propensity to feel guilty about things like skipping class won't let me.

I had a laundry list of good reasons (excuses) not to go, including:
I have a final this Friday morning and need the time to study;
My daughter has a soccer game this afternoon and we might not have made it on time if I had stayed for class;
I hadn't had lunch, was starving, penniless and there is no ATM at school.

Despite these reasons (rationalizations) and a few others, I can't stop feeling like I should've gone to class.

Good for a Giggle

Though I should have been studying for Friday's Appellate Practice final, I took some time out to watch the President last night.

I'm going to leave the insightful comments to the pundits. I do have a feeling, however, that the bottom line is he didn't win over any of his detractors nor did he alienate any of his supporters.

I did particularly enjoy one moment, though. The President was asked what is the biggest mistake he has made (since 9/11) and how has he learned from it.
Granted, this is a cheesy big-firm interview type question and I think even I could have come up with something more interesting if I'd had the chance to ask him a question on national TV.

Despite the uselessness of the question, it was amusing to watch the President struggle with an answer. I think he should have just left it at his 'I'm sure something will pop into my head later in this press conference' remark, but he then aimlessly droned on about mustard gas and WMD. He wrapped up with "...you just put me under the spot here..." and I couldn't help but giggle. I pictured a large spot descending from the ceiling and trapping Bush underneath, rendering him unable to answer anymore questions.

(Incidentally, near the end of the Q&A, in response to a question about possible changes in the FBI and leadership from the White House, Bush included this is his response: "And my fear, of course, is that this [the war on terror, I assume] will go on for a while -- and, therefore, it's incumbent upon us to learn from lessons or mistakes, and leave behind a better foundation for Presidents to deal with the threats we face." I'd have say this was empty babbling if he can't articulate even one mistake from which he and his administration might learn.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Every 8 Minutes

I do not need a traffic report every 8 minutes. Maybe I would if I lived in Chicago - but I don't.

How about some more news instead?

Monday, April 12, 2004

*Sigh*

Prince is hot. The concert was awesome. I actually felt bad for him, a bit, though (only a bit - don't lecture about how much $ he makes and not to feel bad for him). He seemed to be just going through the motions when he opened with little more than a medley of old popular songs. I think he hates that stuff - and it showed.

But he got into it as he moved into other material. The concert was great. That man is one of those people who has a certain je nes se qua (did I spell that right?) that I find simply irresistible.

The best thing about the show was the audience. It's very rare that one event attracts such a diverse crowd. Black, white, asian, etc... Hicks, brothas, conservative folks, etc... I saw people ranging in age from about 8 years old to at least 75. I just love when people from so many different walks of life gather and enjoy something together.

Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock.

The clock is ticking - the time for finals is fast approaching.

I'm relieved to have trial practice over and done with. It's nice to get one class under my belt and open up some time to study for other classes.

I do, however, have a final on Friday. This is before the official exam period - which is good because it opens up more study time during the actual exam period - but is bad because it gives me less time to prepare for that particular exam.

And, of course, I am going to the Prince concert tonight - when I should be studying instead. I'm psyched about it, but at the same time I'm still tired from all the work and time I put into my final trial. (And I'm worried about Friday's final).

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter!!!

My family celebrates an Easter tradition called Cascarones. Here are a few cascarones websites.

Long before Easter we begin saving egg shells. Instead of breaking the egg open in the middle, we just gently tap around the pointed end to remove a small piece of that end - just enough to get the contents out. Then we rinse the shells and set them to dry. The best place to store them is, of course, an empty egg carton.

Close to Easter (J, J2, and T were doing this last night) we paint the outside of the eggshells. We don't dip them in dyes - we hand paint them with brushes. They are usually covered with anything from names of family members to flowers or abstract designs. Bright colors are a must.

Once the paint dries, we fill the eggs with confetti. Usually we cut up the funnies to make the confetti. Then we glue on pieces of tissue paper to cover up the hole. On Easter my Dad hides the eggs in the yard. (Yes, I am too old for this - but it is so much fun). Then my sisters and my daughter and I (only 3 of us here this year) hunt for the eggs.

The best part is that once we have found all the eggs, we run around the yard cracking the cascarones on each other's head. It's a blast!!! Sorry I don't have the ability to share the pics. Take my word for it that we make quite a sight chasing each other around the yard and cracking eggs on our heads. Enjoy your Easter!


Friday, April 09, 2004

Trial Practice Hell

So, this is the home stretch. Final trial is tomorrow. The building is filled with teams for both sides (prosecution and defense) preparing, strategizing, debating, practicing.

I had my last appellate practice class early this morning and then started work on trial practice around 11:30. I have been working on it since, with a quick trip the Taco Bell drive thru around lunchtime.

Questions remain: Can we violate our own (granted) motion in limine? Will our witnesses supply the answers we need them to? Who will our judge be? How will I get home from the Cozy, which is where we are headed immediately following trial.

No time for a real post. But one thing we learned in trial practice: lawyers are thieves. They learn their craft, their tricks of the trade, by watching and listening to other lawyers. Nothing any one of us could come up with hasn't already been done before.

The blog world is much the same. Most of us take cues and good ideas from blogs we read. This morning during class break I ran across some good stuff on other blogs.

Check it out:

Which apprentice are you? quiz, link courtesy of ambulance chaser. She is Jessie, I am Troy (probably not to accurate on my part, but I'll take it 'cause I adore Troy).

Speaking of Troy, this Troy has a couple must see posts. First, the sanctity of marriage. This stunt illustrates the absurdity of the 'sanctity of marriage' argument made by those against same sex marriage.

And camel spiders? Lord, help those troops. I know this isn't their main concern over there, but that is crazy!!! I would shit my pants if I woke up in a tent and one of those things was there.

(I seriously need to consider acquiring the ability to post pictures on my blog!)



Thursday, April 08, 2004

Price Hikes

Yes, the price of gas is outrageous. (Though I did see $1.71 today and was pretty excited about it; that's definitely a bad sign here in Indy.)

But this? Milk, butter, and . . . not the cheese, please, anything but that!

Update: JCA gave up cheese for lent. I am in awe.

Reality Break

A break from reality or a break to watch reality?

Survivor. Good show tonight, the challenges usually bore me a bit but I thought they were good tonight. I still like Boston Rob, but I wouldn't trust him any further than I could throw him (which wouldn't be far with my bad back!) I liked Lex and was disappointed to see him go before, say Shii Ann. But I was a little weirded out by how emotional Kathy and Lex were about the whole thing. It's awesome if the players can form true friendships out there, but it truly is a game with high stakes and I was surprised by how 'hurt' they seemed to be.
It is quite interesting to me how honest the contestants (yes, contestants, not blood brothers) are with each other about voting others off. First Lex was straight with Ethan and Jerri and now Rob was up front with Lex. Evidence that the friendship bonds have truly formed between these Survivor all-stars.
Finally, Amber and Rob seem to have 2 different styles of play. It wasn't smart for her to promise Lex and Kathy she would take them to the end. I think she's gonna wind up paying for that.

Apprentice. Another good one tonight. First off, it was awesome to hear Kwame say immediately upon re-entering the suite from the boardroom that he and Troy are still friends and that he was dedicating the rest of his efforts to him. I'm impressed how those 2 were able to maintain their friendship and not get bitter with one another.
I was super happy to see Nick go home - I always thought he was more hot air than anything else. I was surprised Amy got the boot, but certainly not disappointed.
Kwame and Bill are a good match up for the final challenge. I worry for Kwame, though, with Omarosa on the loose. Up to now, I haven't liked her much but figured that was just the way the producers wanted me to feel and that my perception was probably not quite in line with her true personality. But after seeing her antics tonight - lying to Kwame, disrespecting the woman trying to organize transportation, and generally being her lazy self, I think the woman has flipped her lid. I started to think the cards were unfairly stacked against Kwame with O on his team, but when he decided to leave her in charge of 'finding' Jessica Simpson after he had been put on notice that she hadn't followed through with her assigned tasks, I'm beginning to feel it will be his own fault if she causes his function to flop.

Best moment: Trump telling the 4 candidates they were about to be put through grueling interviews and then telling them to "have fun." Silly man.
Close second: watching Amy swallow (was that an Adam's apple?) compulsively both when she learned of the interview process and when she realized she was about to get the ax. That girl needs a massage!

Motherly Love

This story is way better than that of my lucky catch. A woman in Mexico performed a S-section on herself with liquor for anesthesia and a kitchen knife for a scalpel. She had amazing strength and resolve. I am so glad she survived the ordeal.

Thanks to Shelley for the link.

Double Trouble

A TV ad for Extra! or ET or one of those celebrity gossip shows came on this morning during the news. It featured a clip of one of the Olsen twins (it was Mary-Kate, no, had to be Ashley) saying that the 2 "can't do twin movies forever."

I beg to differ. Those girls could do twin movies, and make $$ off them, until the day they die. They would just have to be prepared for a change in the demographics of their audience. Especially once they hit about 60 years old.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Free Driving Lesson

If your car is already in the far right lane and you intend to turn right at the next available opportunity, it is completely unnecessary for you to swing into the left lane before turning.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Jury Mentality

I spent a good part of my day observing a murder trial at the courthouse. The defendant is accused of killing his 17 month old daughter and attempting to kill his own mother. There questions regarding his sanity.

One thing that bothered me a bit today was the conduct of the jury. It is made up of 2 men and the rest women. The jury was several times throughout the day for several reasons. More than once, as they would line up in the back hallway before re-entering the courtroom, we could all hear them talking, laughing, and generally carrying on. At one point, the laughter was quite loud and came in several bursts. A few of them even continued chuckling audibly as they filed back in and took their seats.

Now, I realize that jurors are under some strain - especially in a murder trial. (I really do, I served as a juror in a week-long murder trial several years ago). And I know it is difficult for them not to be able to discuss the case with each other and that they have to find other things to talk about. (It was day 2 of the trial). Of course they can't remain straight-faced all the time, and nor should they be expected to. The judge has an easy way about him and there were often humorous moments in court that served as tension breakers for all.

But there was just something disconcerting about this raucous laughter. If I were the defendant, I would be a little wary of the seriousness with which these people were contemplating my future. Some of the defendant's family was in the courtroom, as well, and I can imagine how the behavior might seem to them. The irreverent laughter was jarring juxtaposed against the quiet courtroom where the defendant sat waiting for his fate to be determined.

Delayed Reality

Tonight I finally got around to watching last week's reality TV.

I love Boston Rob. He's good-looking, I like the accent, he seems to be quite the carpenter, and his devotion to Amber is cute. OK, I admit, the 'A' he inscribed on his arm was a bit much, but they all get a little loopy out there in the middle of nowhere.

It was sweet of him to make a move to save Amber. But the 2 of them should know better than to think the others will let them remain an intact couple to the bitter end. Previews indicated he may already have alienated someone - but I don't trust the previews.

My man Troy. I liked Troy. I don't think he comes off as any more of a slimy salesman than any of the others, especially Nick. Nick is one of the few that I remember made some 'guarantees' about his abilities and then didn't deliver.

I realize Troy is a little bit of a country bumpkin. And I agree with others that he probably needs more experience and maybe maturity to combat his 'loose cannon' tendencies. But he seemed to me the candidate with the most drive, creativity (except for maybe Amy), enthusiasm, and motivation. I was sorry to see him go. I don't much care for any of the others that are left. And what was that bit about Omarosa returning?

Monday, April 05, 2004

Best Post Ever

Ok, I admit it, that title is really the ol' bait and switch. It should really be 'Uninspired' or something like that. I don't have much for ya', folks.

I am tired - gearing up for trial in trial practice and getting organized to prepare for finals is keeping me busy, along with logging some hours in at work and some time-consuming DTS duties. Thank goodness my daughter was out of town last week; I missed her but I didn't have much at all in the way of time to spend at home with her. Unfortunately, this week won't be any better. Pre-trial conference is this evening, final trial is Saturday. Need to spend time preparing for final trial in between preparing for and attending class, working tax problems since I am behind in tax, spending at least a day in criminal court for hours towards my internship, laundry, etc...

I did watch a good movie yesterday. When I woke up I turned on the TV and Normal had just started. I only watched about 45 minutes of it before it was time to get ready for church. It came back on in the evening, so I sat down to watch the remainder. Basic premise is after 25 years of marriage, (and 2 kids) Roy (Tom Wilkinson's character) announces to his wife (Jessica Lange) that he is a woman in a man's body and wants a sex change.

I just love Jessica Lange, so I was destined to enjoy the film. But I thought it was very well done and tackled a complex story in a down-to-earth way. It has me thinking about the labels we attach to people and what it means to love someone.

Questions arise: Roy loves his wife and wants to stay with her after the change - so he's straight as a man but gay as a woman? If his wife stays with him after the operation is she now a lesbian?

Why do we operate under these labels? Lange's character says something to their misguided pastor about her husband: "He's my heart." They love each other, not because of their gender, but because of the people that they are and the love that they give.

I wonder whether the world could ever reach a point where people fall in love with others based on their inner qualities and not preconceived notions of gender and what's acceptable. I realize this is arguably not in line with the tenets of my faith, and yet it is to me an intriguing vision.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Tales from the Hospital

I was working triage in the OB/GYN area a couple nights ago. I brought a non-pregnant patient into the triage room to asses her: get a set of vital signs, ask her why she needed to see the doctor, request a urine specimen, etc... She hesitated before telling me her problem. I told her to lay it on me, that she probably wasn't going to tell me anything I hadn't heard before. She laughed and agreed that her problem wasn't unique.

She began, "My spare tongue hurts after I pee..." and continued talking, but I didn't hear what else she said. I stopped her and asked her to repeat the part of her anatomy where she was experiencing pain. She indeed repeated that her spare tongue had been bothering her. "Isn't that what it's called?" she asked.

I ran through the brief list of possible alternatives for her. And then I informed her that we had both been wrong: that was one that I hadn't heard before after all.

---

Another patient I triaged that night was Spanish-speaking only. With my limited Spanish, I can usually get through the preliminary stuff without an interpreter and then call the interpreter when it's time for the doc to examine the patient.

Her paperwork from previous visits indicated that she was 30 years old, but her birthdate, in November of 1975, indicated that she was 28 years old. So I asked her and she told me she was 30 but she also agreed with what I had listed as her date of birth.

We discussed this issue for quite a while. I ended up writing down for her each year from 1975 to 2004 and showing her how old she would have been in each year. (It wasn't a language barrier - we understood each other). Something else was going on there. Could she really have believed she was 30? Maybe. More likely she had borrowed someone else's SSN or driver's license at one point and memorized the DOB but got the age wrong.

I would sure love for someone to tell me one day that I'm actually 2 years younger than I think. Instant fountain of youth!

Friday, April 02, 2004

Ugh

I registered for classes just now. I was able to get into all classes that I had chosen, but there was no satisfaction in registering this time around as there has been in the past.

Fall:
Trusts & Estates (not a practice area of interest, but will have some practical application)
Bus Assoc I (ugh - no interest)
Legislation
Mediation (I am interested in these last 2)
Law Review

Summer:
Accounting for Law Students - a necessity for me!

My problem is this: I don't want to take Bus Assoc at all. But I have no knowledge in this area. My summer job is at a 'full-service' firm that focuses on business and commercial law. They have other areas of practice, however, but I wonder if I should have some basic knowledge in this area. Can I really learn everything I need to know for the bar in Bar Review? I feel like I shouldn't waste this opportunity to take classes that interest me - but I don't want to handicap myself when it comes to a potential job or taking the bar. Any advice or suggestions? (especially if you have taken the bar!)


Thursday, April 01, 2004

A Different World

Law school has been an experience unlike any I have had in my life. I suspect that most law students could make this statement. However, considering my undergrad degree, I think it has particular application in my case. My undergrad is a Bachelor's in Science and Nursing. (BSN) The current curriculum listed by IU School of Nursing can be found here. The upshot is that there are very few classes in the liberal arts arena.

I remember a literature course, a communications class, intro to sociology, and my favorite class in undergrad by far - Logic.

Aside from those few, most of my classes were science classes. While I found some interest in them, they were mostly a means to an end for me. What I like most about nursing is caring for and interacting with my patients. While I think our bodies and the way they function are fascinating, I don't have enough interest in that topic to conduct in-depth studies or to put myself through the torture that I perceive med school to be.

Going back even further (What we gonna do right now is go back, way back, back into time...), there are quite a few things I should have learned in high school that I didn't. I did have world history, but didn't pay very much attention. I was too busy worrying about the upperclassman behind me who liked to gleek on me while I was trying to pay attention. I also had American History, but this was during the year that I got pregnant. We worked out a deal with the school (a story for another time) whereby I would attend school as normal for the 1st semester and then attend only half day for the 2nd. This put American History as one of the classes I was teaching myself through 'self-study.' We did arrange to have the class taped, but I have to admit that my mind was on other things that spring. It was spring, after all, and I didn't have enough discipline at the time to force myself to study that material outside of the classroom. Not to mention I was thinking about other things - such as having a baby at the age of 17.

Given this history, and the fact that I spent the 6 years before entering law school working 12 hour night shifts at the hospital, I have come to the conclusion that my education is quite lacking. Not only are there substantive gaps in my knowledge, but I also never experienced any environment, aside from some high school classes, where I was challenged intellectually and forced to exercise my brain in the way the law school requires and encourages.

I enjoyed my nursing job - loved it for the first few years, in fact. There are numerous reasons why my enthusiasm for the job decreased and I decided that I needed a change in my life. One of those reasons was that I often felt like something was missing in my occupation and in my life in general. I think this stemmed from the fact that most of the talk among employees of the hospital centered around just that - work. We talk about patients, our last crazy shift, the new batch of residents, and of course - food. I love the nurses that I work with to death. And I have managed to maintain friendships with several of them despite that I had no free time to spend with any of them last year. But there were really no intellectually stimulating discussions taking place.

I began law school with no idea of what to expect. I didn't read 1L, if I ever saw Paper Chase it was in grade school, I didn't purchase any tapes or manuals that would 'prepare' me for the experience. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that class often consisted of sitting around talking about interesting ideas and theories. This was what had been missing in my day-to-day. I loved it. And though I had a difficult time keeping up with the reading and often went to class nervous about being called on, I enjoyed the atmosphere and the Socratic approach. (Of course, Prof Magliocca's excellent facilitation of class discussion only increased my appreciation for this style of learning.)

But for quite a while now, I feel like I have reached my maximum capacity to participate in most discussions - whether in class, on a blog, or in a group of friends. The level of intellect of most of my peers is amazing to me. I am awed daily by the wide range of knowledge and intellectual capacity of people in general. From the patients at the hospital who think orange soda is equivalent to orange juice in nutritional value to the likes of Prof Magliocca and his brilliance or Josh and his seemingly endless knowledge and ability to be informed on any given topic, the differences in people are amazing.

I am intimidated by most of my peers in law school. I enjoy blogging, but generally keep it either light with an attempt at humor or personal. I do this on purpose because I feel there is no way I can compete with the likes of Josh, Kevin, or ambimb when it comes to expressing my thoughts and opinions on hot topics of the day.

I bring this up because my beloved Chuck has requested my opinion on the Pledge of Allegiance controversy. And then he called me out for all to see by stating that I hadn't honored his request. So, Chuck, the above describes some of why I hadn't discussed this issue as of yet. But I will give it a shot - my humble opinion below.

Pledge Controversy - Quick and Dirty

Article here from Chuck summarizes the oral argument before the Supreme Court. Well-stated thoughts here from Deb.

Newdow is an atheist whose daughter attended public school where every morning the teacher led a recitation of the pledge. He challenges the constitutionality of the words "under God" in the pledge.

The school district first addressed the issue of standing - Newdow doesn't have primary legal custody of his daughter. I must confess part of me hopes the Court decides the case on this issue alone, finds that Newdow does not have standing, and doesn't yet reach the issue of "under God" in the pledge.

There is something very comforting to me in these words. I believe that our founding fathers were able to do some of the work they did through their trust in God. Of course, I am Christian. And I realize that the same words that comfort me work to make others feel excluded. This feeling of exclusion is a strong counter to the sensible argument that those children who don't want to recite the pledge don't have to. I picture one child standing among his classmates and feeling ostracized because he is the only one not reciting the pledge every day. Not an ideal result.

The school district argues that the pledge serves the purpose of unification - pride for our country and all that, I guess. While I think that argument has merit, it doesn't address those who don't believe in God or who believe in a God other than the Christian God. They aren't likely to benefit from the goal of feeling like members of a unified country if they feel their beliefs are being disrespected every time they are around others reciting the pledge.

I think it's clear that the "God" in the pledge is the Christian God. And I believe the Court, in following the law, will have to find that public schools asking their students to recite the pledge violates the Constitution.

As my knowledge on certain topics increases, I fight the regret that some things have to change and remind myself that change and evolution are what life is all about.


About Me

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Approaching Middle Age
Dabbling in Blogdom

Tear Down The Walls


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Blawgs I Read

(Fresh Pepper)
In the Agora
Audacity
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
teahouseblossom


Blogs I Read

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

Archives

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