Legal Quandary

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Productivity Report

I have determined that I would be so much more productive if I didn't actually have to attend class.

EC was sick today. At least she said she was sick today and I was too tired to argue about it. She she felt like she was going to throw up this morning. She's usually pretty honest about those things, so I let her stay home. Mainly because the last time I made her go to school when she said she felt bad, I ended up having to pick her up about an hour later. Logistically, it just made more sense to keep her home.

Because I don't like leaving her home by herself, I only went to Admin (because it wasn't worth using up an absence - especially when I know I'll be missing a day or two to househunt in DC this quarter). When I came home, we ate some lunch and I totally rocked through my Law & Economics reading, took a short nap (interrupted...grrr), did 4 hours of externship work, revised my resume, AND completed my Admin reading. Though truthfully, "completed" is being a bit generous, since the last 5 pages or so just got skimmed. Oh, and played a couple or twelve games of Text Twist. I lay blame for that squarely on my friend, Mrs. Gorilla.

I feel like I might have another bout of pink eye coming on. This would be a really bad time, since I have yet to get new glasses after snapping my old ones in half. And I'll be damned if I wear my BCGs to school.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Sometimes I go for days without getting a single phone call. (What can I say - I guess I'm just naturally antisocial). Or if the phone does ring, it's our next door neighbors warning us about solicitors coming to the door, or Mr. Q calling to say he's on his way home. But in the great grand scheme of things, I don't get a lot of phone calls.

So why is it that whenever I lay down to take a 20 minute nap (because I was up late reading an unreasonably long Admin assignment) the phone rings 3 times?

And it's no one I particularly want to talk to.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

On Another Note

I asked one of my classmates today if she'd had a good Spring Break. She replied "well, I found out I have a tumor in my head. I might have to drop my classes this quarter to have brain surgery. So, no, not really."

I didn't even know what to say.


Well, actually I've been back since Saturday night, but just haven't had a chance to sit down to write.

I ordered all my textbooks before I left for Nebraska, but of course, none of them arrived before I left, so I've been scrambling to get all my reading done for my various classes.

I've determined that our Admin Law professor is IN-SANE. During our first class, he told us that if "we're fast readers, he expects it to take about 3 hours a night to read" for his class. Plus there's a "journal" assignment. And group projects. And other stuff. He's interesting to listen to in class and I'm sure I'll learn a lot from him, but he's just a little over the top. For example, we have to keep our own attendance (he takes attendance too), and then at the end of the quarter, we have to email him with how many times we've missed. He also password protects his syllabus - which I think is a little strange....shhh - don't tell anyone we're reading Schechter this week!

Professional Responsibility will be fine, if a little dry. I had this prof last quarter for Transmission of Wealth, and she really tries hard to make the subject interesting. She had us watch the Simpsons in class yesterday to identify various ethical violations when Bart got hit by a car driven by Mr. Burns.

Law & Economics will be really interesting. It's taught by my Contracts prof from last year who is a total rock star. I'm a little dubious about a law class that involves math, but so far it seems doable. It's also very policy oriented.

My other 3 hours this quarter are an Agency Externship working for the same people who were paying me to work for them up until January, when they ran out of money. At least I know exactly what I'll be doing and the people are all mostly nice. (As with any organization, this one has a couple of asshats.)

All I want to do is sleep, and I still have about 40 pages to read for admin tonight. This will definitely be the class that sucks up all my time this quarter. Why does every quarter have one of those?

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Dear Ngudu,

Last night we ate at the restaurant where Schmidt had his retirement dinner.

More later. Getting on a plane headed home.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Dear Mr. Apartment Builder,

For some reason you decided that 1 inch ceramic tile floors were a good idea in the bathrooms of your apartment complex. You know, the kind that collects dust which settles in and later has to be scrubbed out with a toothbrush....

You are a fucking idiot.

Just so you know.



Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I Come From Unclean People

Someone told me a couple of years ago that research proved that she "was genetically disposed toward inactivity." I didn't say anything at the time, but later joked that I hadn't read that scientists had discovered the gene for laziness. Maybe there's more to that theory than I gave her credit for.

My family must be woefully lacking in the gene for cleanliness.

I arrived Monday morning on the red eye. [sidenote - it's amazing the things people will discuss in airports with perfect strangers. I learned wayyyy more than I ever wanted to know about several of my fellow travelers.] I'm staying with one of Mr. Q's aunts. They had to go to work, but left the door unlocked for me! Chances of me doing that where I live ~ 0.0%.

The house was freakishly clean. No dishes left in the sink. Nothing on the counter. All the beds were made (doors were open - it wasn't like I was snooping). Amazing. My house is never that clean - even after I've cleaned, you can bet there's one room or closet where all the papers and stuff has just been piled up "to be sorted out later." [read: when we move]

I took a nap, and then headed out to shop and go to dinner with B. I met him at his house, where he gave me the nickel tour. Also, freakishly clean. Even the garage was immaculate. It's a good thing he didn't marry me - my (lack of) housekeeping skills would have driven him nuts. On the plus side, we had a nice dinner, and we might get together again Thursday with his parents for Greek food. The benefit of being an ex-girlfriend and not an ex-wife is that his parents still like me. Though I fully intend to go visit my ex-mother-in-law this week too (and she still likes me too), so maybe that's not such a hard and fast rule.

This morning I arrived at my dad's. Only freakishly clean if by "freakishly", you mean absolutely filthy. We have movers coming to do the weight estimate tomorrow, and I still have to finish scrubbing the kitchen. I spent 4 hours today cleaning half of the kitchen and it's a small kitchen. When you have to start using Easy-Off as a general purpose cleaner, that's a clue you've got a problem. And I'm sure I'll end up with some sort of degenerative respiratory ailments as a result of breathing in all the fumes.

I finally had to stop because I was sweating into my rubber gloves and my fingers started to wrinkle up and hurt.

Foibles of the day.

Number of plastic tv dinner containers neatly stacked, but not washed, in the cabinet - 34
Number of kitchen cabinets - 7. Number of cabinets that had at least one (most had 6-7) twist tie wrapped around the handle - 7. Number of fruit stickers (the annoying kind they stick on the fruit) stuck on said cabinets - 13.
Oldest perishable item found to date. An unopened bottle of grapefruit juice purchased on the 6th of February 2000.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Leavin' On A Jet Plane...

...but I'll be back next Saturday, come Hell or highwater.

I'm not totally sure what kind of internet access I'll have, so this might be the last y'all hear from me for a while. Or maybe not - who's an adventure.

In less than 12 hours, I'll be hopping on board a plane destined for the semi-frozen tundra that is the midwest. Winter coat and gloves are already packed.

The rest of my stuff is not packed, since I elected to watch really bad tv last night instead of actually packing. Note to self - late Saturday night tv has 1) really crappy commercials, and 2) really bad shows. Even SNL more or less sucked.

I am also only packing contact lenses, since my glasses snapped in half right before my Fed Cts final (I hope that wasn't an omen). The only other glasses I have are my military issued ones. I have my chem gear inserts, my BCGs (birth control glasses - the ugly plastic brown rimmed things), and my other supposedly normal pair. Right before I got out, the military (or at least the Air Force) wised up to the fact that nobody was actually wearing the BCGs, and that it was a huge waste of money. (Duh) So, they started letting us pick from a limited selection of other frames. Except these look like they're overstocks from the 1980s and are uncomfortable to boot.

I'll be packing my maybe I'll be able to document the neurosis as it unfolds.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Friday Spies

The Boys of BTQ came up with some tough questions this week. I'm not 100% sure I'm satisfied with my answers, but since Friday is almost over, I'm posting them anyway.

1. Who is an author whose work you've never read, but want to?

There are tons of authors I feel like I "should" read, but either just haven't gotten around to, or have attempted and given up. I'm a pretty voracious reader, but there are a couple of authors I've attempted and given up on in the first 100 pages. War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Return of the Native, and Les Miserable among them.

So, I guess that's where I might start. I had a tough time with Dickens in high school (too wordy) and had no clue what the Great Gatsby was about until I re-read them a couple of years ago. They made so much more sense as an adult than when they were shoved down my throat at the age of 12.

Beyond that, I received a copy of "The New Lifetime Reading Plan" for Christmas a couple of years ago. It outlines 133 authors whose works you "should" read at some point during your life. When I have more a) time and b) brainpower (read: after law school), I will probably read many of the recommended books. Right now, when I'm not reading my school books, I tend toward "brain candy" and anything my kids are reading. Not exactly intellectual.

2. Can men and women be friends?


3. If you could choose to live in a different time period, would you?

If so, when would live and why?

The answer to the first part depends on whether I could choose my social status as well. Assuming I could choose to be fairly well off (but not fabulously wealthy - why be greedy?), I think I would choose to live in Vienna during the late 1700s-early 1800s. Vienna is one of my favorite cities and to be there while Beethoven and Mozart were alive and performing would have been pretty darned cool.

But all in all, I'm pretty happy now.

4. Have you ever sold anything, bought anything, or processed anything

as a career? Have you ever sold anything bought or processed, or

bought anything sold or processed, or repaired anything sold, bought,

or processed, as a career?

As a career, huh? Well, I'm assuming that means no one is interested in the couple of years I spent working for a telemarketing company. It wasn't a career, but did go a long way toward paying the bills in undergrad. And I'm sorry to say, I was actually pretty darned good at it.

5. They're going to make a movie about your life. What's the theme song?

I have no idea. The only thing that comes to mind is all the goofy love songs that Mr. Q. and I like. Which I'm not going to post for fear of being ridiculed.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Na-Na-Na-Na, Hey, Hey, Hey...

Goodbye Fed Cts!

It's finally over!

Did I sleep with my Nutshell under my pillow last night? Yes, I did.

Did it do any good? I have no idea.

Do I care right now? Not in the least.

In the immortal words of Legally Intoxicated - Fuck it. I'm out of here!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Baby Steps

To My Neighbors Across the Street -

I just want to commend you for the progress you made today in beginning to accept the results of November's election. I understand you were deeply saddened and disappointed by your candidate's loss, but I was beginning to wonder if you were planning to keep your campaign yard sign up for the entire duration of the winner's term of office. You did a bang up job of cleaning up your yard for Spring this past weekend (something I have yet to do), so when you left the sign out front, I started to get a little worried....I mean, even the people who draped a little black ribbon around their yard sign after the results were certified managed to take their sign down a few weeks later.

I just want to give you a little pat on the back and some words of encouragement for today's act of moving the sign from front and center in your yard to semi-hidden near your front steps. Don't push yourself!



Yes, But Does it Have A Beat I Can Dance To?

Clearly there's something wrong with me.

I was having one of those early-morning-right-before-you-wake-up dreams this morning. I was watching American Idol. Now, never having watched it, I'm not 100% sure how it works, but in my dream they were down to the final 2 contestants. One guy doing a particularly bad rendition of Loverboy's "Almost Paradise" against a girl doing the song "Put 'em High," only the words were changed so that it was about a habeas corpus petition.

That's not the worst part.

The "Put 'em High" contestant lost because Simon said "the Court was clearly too soft on the petitioner."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In Which I Blatantly Violate the "What Goes TDY, Stays TDY" Rule

I just listened to Denise's Birthday podcast over at Ambimb's place. Yeah, yeah - I know I'm behind the times, but I'm studying - cut me some slack.

She talked about blowjobs during her podcast. The drink, not the act, you pervs. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Denise mentioned she didn't know what was in a blowjob, but quite accurately described the technique for consuming one. Her podcast reminded me of one of my Air Force tdy's (temporary duty, for all you non-military types).

A bunch of us had gone to Colorado Springs for an awards ceremony and to meet with some folks from our MAJCOM. Part of our group was staying at the Radisson, where they give you these coupons for free drinks. So obviously, that's where we went to drink. For some reason the group decided it was time for one of my friends to get good and drunk, so they started buying her drinks. A blowjob was one of the ones ordered for her.

The Radisson bartender also didn't know what was in a blowjob (and there's actually several different ways you can make it - just kahlua, kahlua and vodka, kahlua and irish cream, and probably other variations). But all of them have to be served 1) in a shot glass and 2) topped with whipped cream, and then 3) drunk without using your hands. The bartender got it mostly right, but didn't have any shot glasses (wtf?) and substituted a rocks glass. A rocks glass is NOT a shot glass - not even close. And unless you have a mouth of huge proportions, there's no way you're going to be able to consume your blowjob properly. [Insert joke here.]

However, my friend was a good sport and did her damndest, but ended up laughing so hard that she wasn't able to drink it. She spit most of it out, but some of it came back out her nose. She decided at that point that she was done drinking for the night.

So the blowjob just sat there until one of the commanders started talking about his unit coins.* I forget which one of the group wanted that particular coin, but he asked what he would have to do to get it. The commander just pointed to the drink. We got the bartender to add some more whipped cream and the guy took the drink and got the coin. I sure hope it was worth it.

Question: What do you call a recycled blowjob? Answer: Sloppy Seconds.

* Military tradition - units have coins as symbols of membership/camaraderie. Commanders give them out to people for winning awards, sucking up properly, whatever. The other tradition that goes along with it is that you always have to carry yours with you. If someone else throws a coin out on the bar (a coin check), whoever doesn't have theirs has to buy. You carry your own unit coin and try to trade for others.

Had All the Fun I Can Stand

After a full 12 hours or so of teaching myself Fed Cts by way of reviewing several outlines, going back to the text, and looking the cases up in Casenotes, I've decided it's time to call it quits for the night.

I shall now retire to my room to read my Nutshell in bed for about 30 minutes and then gently place it under my pillow in the hope that it will do some good.

I am certain I shall awake tomorrow morning with a complete understanding of Younger abstention doctrine, habeas corpus, and whatever other stuff I should have picked up sometime during the last 10 weeks.

For those of you waiting for acceptance letters - just remember - this is what you have to look forward to.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Soup Blogging

Instead of studying for Fed Cts like I should be, I decided to play with Hello instead. I was finally able to get multiple photos to show up in the same post! (I know - everyone on Earth probably already knew how to do this, but it made me happy. It's the little things....)

E. McPan inspired me with her question last week to cook up a big batch of soup this weekend, even though the weather has been unseasonably warm and beautiful. Nonetheless, we went grocery shopping Saturday and I bought all the ingredients for a big pot of Beef Barley soup. AND I decided to document the cooking process because I am geeky like that for posterity.

Cooking a batch of soup is always a production in my house. For starters, we have the world’s smallest kitchen. I must have committed some terrible culinary sin in a past life to be forced to cook in a kitchen this small. Even the drawers are of miniature proportion – seriously, who would design a house where the largest drawers in the kitchen are 8.5 inches wide? Look – I have proof…


It seems like they could have made one decent sized drawer instead of two dinky ones. I use these two as my spice drawers, since there’s also no other place to put spices. And yes, the spices are alphabetized. Except for the large containers of black peppercorns, cinnamon, and garlic powder, and the odd little containers – they just go along the side or in back.


Soup cooking is also a production is because I generally quadruple the recipe. I figure it’s easier to dirty everything up once, chop once, and cook once.

I start by cutting up the beef. I also always kosher salt it before cooking. Mainly because I think it makes it taste better – but it’s entirely possible that you’re not supposed to salt meat before cooking it.


Lots of chopping of onions, celery, and garlic. I use a Pampered Chef food chopper to make it easier and much, much faster. There are other choppers out there, but I prefer the PC one because it's easy to use and easier to clean than the others I've looked at.


Once the beef, onion, celery, water, beef broth, barley, spices, and bouillon are simmering, I start chopping the carrots, zucchini, and green beans. The fancy slicer is also from Pampered Chef. One of my friends is a consultant and I registered with her when Mr. Q and I got married. So, I have a lot of their stuff. Some of it is better than others.

Veggies||Drawers||Spices||Meat||Onion||Zucchini Posted by Hello

Finished! Posted by Hello

Voila! 10 Quarts of soup! It's always better after it sits for a day - the flavors have to blend together. I served it with a fresh baked loaf of homemade Oatmeal bread. Mmmmmm....

Ok, back to Fed Cts. Really. No, I mean it this time....

Ummm...Bad Juju?

In a week, I'll be back in Omaha to help my dad pack up his place. We finally worked out all the details, and he stopped being a jackass, so I'm taking the red-eye out Sunday night, working my tail off for 4 days, and flying back home on Saturday. I'll be hauling several of my textbooks with me so I can be prepared for class when we start back up on the following Monday morning. Also, because I can't sleep on planes, so I might as well study.

The first day in Omaha, I won't be doing any packing, but have made tentative plans to have dinner with my very first boyfriend, B. We dated for 4 1/2 years, broke up, both married other people, divorced those spouses, and both married again. 3 years ago, he called me up out of the blue, and now we chat from time to time. I haven't seen him in almost 10 years.

I sent him an email the other day to tell him when I was going to be in town and to see if we could grab lunch together. In his response today, he not only told me he was getting divorced again, but suggested we have dinner at what was our favorite restaurant when we were dating. Gmail, ever-helpful, had an ad for the restaurant in the sidebar touting "cozy, romantic, fireside dining."

Should I be worried about this?

Turning My Homework in Late

As I'm sure everyone knows, since they all have these up on their blogs (sorry - too tired/lazy to link), the boys at BTQ have started Friday Spies. There's supposed to be a little copyright symbol there at the end, but I'm too lazy to get one of those too. Consider it copyrighted.

Obviously Sunday night is NOT Friday. My only excuse is that we've had houseguests this past week. Laptop appropriating houseguests. Which does not sit well with me, because I am extremely territorial about my laptop. Mr. Q, on the other hand, has absolutely no problem handing over the single repository of all my classnotes, outlines, writings-in-progress, and IM/email addresses. He says it's all about being a good host, but I don't know that I'm buying it.

Without further ado....

1. Tell me what's in your desk drawers right now.

Apparently, like everyone else, I don't have a desk. Ergo, no desk drawers. I tend to use the study and sprawl method. Currently, I have several Fed Cts outlines, my text, my Casenotes, my Nutshell, my supplement, and my laptop bag spread out across my bed. My Evidence book is under the laptop because otherwise it gets too hot. Classy, no?

2. How many states have you visited or lived in, and which of the others do you most want to visit?

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourFlorida travel guide

Of those, I've lived in Nebraska, Virginia, California, and Washington. Alabama and Mississippi if you count military schools. I only counted visits lasting more than 24 hours - I've driven through most of the CONUS.

I really want to visit Hawaii, and explore the East Coast while we're in D.C.

3. What was the last cd you purchased, and what was the last movie you rented/bought a ticket to?

CD? I honestly don't remember. Probably when I bought Erasure's "Other People's Songs" and Blind Boys of Alabama "Higher Ground" for Mr. Q. a couple years ago. I normally like Erasure, but that cd just sucked. "Higher Ground" was pretty awesome though. We saw BBOA when they opened for Peter Gabriel - who is just incredible, especially when you consider that he looks like he's about 80. Mr. Q. buys cds a lot more frequently than I do. Also, lately one of our friends has been putting together these amazing mix cds - I have 4 of them in my car right now.

The last movie we rented was "Napoleon Dynamite." The last one we saw in the theater was an IMAX, "Forces of Nature." The last "real" movie we saw in a theater was "The Incredibles."

4. Have you ever sung karaoke? If not, what song would you be willing to sing in front of people?

I have sung karaoke, but not well. If I get to choose the song, it's generally "What I Like About You" by the Romantics. Hey!

When I was attending one of my Air Force schools in Mississippi, a bunch of us used to drive to New Orleans. One of the bars had a 3 for 1 happy hour with karaoke. My classmate Pakka (not his real name) was an incredible performer. He would sing and a bunch of the girls would be his back-up singers. (Photos available for a small fee.)

5. What was the best concert you've ever attended, either because of the performance or because it was otherwise memorable?

Several years ago, Mr. Q. and I took one of his sisters to see Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Hornsby, and Jackson Brown at the Concord Pavilion. I wouldn't have put any two of those performers together normally, but it was just the coolest concert. To have Bruce Hornsby playing piano for Bonnie Raitt was just awesome.

I've also seen the Indigo Girls in concert three times (4 if you count Lilithfair). I had a chance to go one other time with Mr. Q. before we started dating, but I hadn't listened to their music and only knew the stereotypes. When he asked me if I wanted to go to the concert, I tried to be funny and fliply responded "but I haven't a thing flannel to wear." He interpreted that as a "no" and took someone else. He bought me a cd for my birthday, so that next time I would know what the hell I was talking about.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Number of papers turned in by me within the last 24 hours? Three, including one completed with E.Spat, and another done with a group of undergrads. More on that later.

Number of pages involved in said documents? 48.

Approximate number of pages actually authored? 35.

Good God, I'm tired. E. McPan can vouch for the fact that I've been online at all hours of the day and night working on said papers.

Expect no posting tonight. Just lots of sweet, sweet sleep.

Just Plain Nuts

Back here, I wrote about my dad's apparent Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I'm starting to wonder if Little Q suffers from the same affliction.

Every morning when I pour her cereal, she insists "No Nuts! No Nuts!" and proceeds to pick out any nuts that make it into her cereal anyway.

I usually mix up several different Kashi cereals and then add cinnamon, raisins, and pecans, but this time, I left out the nuts because she doesn't like them and I just have to pick them out.

Don't you know that girl threw a fit this morning because there were NO NUTS in the cereal? She wouldn't touch the cereal until I added she could pick them out and tell me, "No Nuts, Mommy, No Nuts!"

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Dear Lowermybills[dot]com People,

What is it with you and your annoying ads every time I want to indulge my voyeuristic instincts and go read about what some weirdo is doing in Yahoo Oddly Enough news?!

I think your Gingerbread man is stupid looking. And for your information, Christmas was almost 3 months ago....hellloooo! The thing with all the states is dumb too, and I have no idea what the point of the pig is.

But a cobra? Why? Are we being "bitten" by high interest rates? Don't you know that there are severely phobic people out there? For whom the mere sight of a snake - even computer animated - means nightmares? Especially when they are already stressed out thinking about papers they have to write and upcoming finals?

What the hell is wrong with you people? I'm never buying anything from you. Ever.


An Afterthought.

I realized earlier today that there was actually another elementary experience that I could have brought up in this post.

When I was in the first grade, I got punched in the stomach by a boy named Dennis. I don't know exactly why he punched me, but I have a strong sense that I probably was not completely innocent in the matter. As you can imagine, being punched in the stomach by a boy totally took the wind out of my sails, and I immediately ran home and told my parents.

That night my dad called his dad. You know the drill. I don't recall if Dennis apologized or not, but he went to a different school the next year and I forgot about the whole thing.

Several years ago when I was about to move away from my home town, the phone rang at 1 in the morning.


Is this Legal?


Legal Quandary?


Who went to Bag O'Doughnuts Elementary?

Yes. Who is this?

This is Dennis. I punched you in the stomach in the first grade. I, um, was just calling to tell you I feel really bad about that and that I HAVE NEVER PUNCHED ANOTHER GIRL. EVER. Are you still mad at me?

Obviously, there was alcohol involved, but he seemed sincere, so I assured him that I was not mad at him any more. We ended up talking for a couple of hours and he convinced me to let him buy me a drink. [Note to self: get unlisted phone number]

We went out for a couple of drinks and went dancing at this off-the-beaten-path total dive bar. They played good music and had cheap drinks though. This is how I found out what happened to all the stoner kids from my high school because they were ALL there and probably still stoned.

I was already dating Mr. Q, so it was understood that this whole outing was to be completely platonic. Also, Dennis was not at all my type, so he didn't stand a chance anyway. But still - WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING GOING OUT WITH THIS GUY? HE COULD HAVE BEEN AN AX MURDERER!

If I ever disappear, now you all know I probably agreed to go out with some random guy who called me up in the middle of the night to apologize for something he did years ago.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Weapon of Choice

I was all signed up and ready to go for my Spring Quarter classes when I got a notification from our Academic Services office that a space had opened up in Admin Law - a class I was waitlisted for. I figured I'd never get in because I was number 49 on the waitlist. Anyhoo - Admin Law and Labor Law overlap on the schedule.

So, here's my dilemma. Do I take Admin Law and get it out of the way here now that I've managed to get into the class with a prof I hear is really good or do I gamble and *hope* I get in next year when I'm visiting, with no idea of what kind of prof teaches it? (Keep in mind that visiting students are next in line after the Girl Scouts for class openings at most schools.)

I'm pretty sure I need to take Admin Law, but I'm interested in Labor Law, and was excited about taking it.

That's right, I'm seeking input again. But for your sake, at least this is something law school related and not another bizarre request to know your inner psyche. AND as a "blawger," I suppose the occasional post actually dealing with law school is obligatory. Or at least expected. Or something.

Update: Thanks to everyone who responded! I just dropped Labor Law and added Admin Law to my schedule. I notice that E.Spat didn't reply to the previous post. Maybe it's because she knows that now she'll be stuck with in 2 classes again next quarter!

Monday, March 07, 2005

O'Doyle Rules!

THL requested a post on my worst elementary school memory. But it has to be school related. I wasn't sure if this meant "related to things I was actually supposed to be learning in elementary school" or "things that happened while generally confined to school grounds."

As far as the first one goes, my elementary school days were relatively carefree. Aside from periodic bouts of severe procrastination (I pulled my first all nighter as a fifth-grader), I was a good student, and didn't have any trouble with the academic aspects because let's face it, grade school really wasn’t very hard. I distinctly remember coming home from my first day of first grade and informing my parents that "I was the smartest kid in the class." Although they told me not to brag, they really didn't try to disabuse me of the notion. And honestly, I'm not entirely convinced it wasn't true.

You'd think that being a pint sized smarty pants would have been a problem for me, but it didn't really become an issue until quite a bit later.

So here's a couple of my bad experiences that happened on school grounds. Most of them are the result on some level of being the only child of freak parents and having no social skills. You decide which is episode is the worst. I guess I lean toward the last one.

In the third grade, I was one of the victims of school bussing. Although I lived less than a mile from an elementary school, the powers-that-were decided that putting middle-class white kids onto a bus for a 1/2 hour every morning and sending them into the heart of the ghetto sounded like a pretty good idea. Let me assure you it was not. Nothing in my young life had prepared me to deal with these kids. It was a culture shock in every sense of the word. The worst was this huge girl named Yolanda. She was enormous and took an immediate disliking to me. Mighta had something to do with the whole smarty pants thing, but maybe not. Every day on the playground was just another chance for Yolanda to torment me. Playground taunts in rhyme, being pushed off the high bars, and having portions of my lunch forcibly taken were all standard fare. After one of my "falls" from the high bars, I told the teacher without thinking about the possible consequences of this action. You see, Yolanda's mom was one of the lunch patrol ladies and was about 6 times as large as Yolanda. She cornered me in the lunchroom a few days later and demanded "why did you lie on my Yolanda?" I had no idea what she meant - I'd never lain on her child - or even seen her lying on the floor. But I wisely elected to just keep my mouth shut and got the heck out of there.

In the fourth grade, we moved to Virginia while my dad went to a military school. Once again, I was bussed to a school in the not-so-great part of town. (At this point, I have to say I have my doubts about how much my parents truly valued my education). This is the first time I learned about cliques and that some people could be intentionally mean. A bunch of us were walking to orchestra class together and the other 2 girls in the group were talking. They were fifth-graders - I was the only fourth-grader in orchestra. I guess I felt I knew something about whatever it was they were discussing because I piped up with my two cents worth. They both laid into me for "butting in" on their conversation uninvited. I didn’t even know there was such a thing among children. This is about the time I learned that you can pick up a lot of information in the world by just pretending you're not listening. Painfully acquired, but a generally useful lifeskill.

Sidenote: After Virginia, my mom and I moved to Germany to take care of my Oma, and I attended a German gymnasium. I'd never ever written in German before, although I spoke it pretty well. It was definitely challenging, but I had a blast. Most of the kids were really nice - and as a fifth-grader, I was taking algebra, biology, physics and English. Not because I was special - that was just the standard curriculum. Oma eventually got better, and we went back to Nebraska.

This is where I learned that even people you'd spent years around could be mean to you on purpose. We moved back to Nebraska in the middle of winter. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but most of my winter clothes ended up taking several weeks to get to us. In the meantime, I had to go back to school. Because of the shortage in winter clothes, I ended up wearing this pair of snow pants (navy blue - the overall kind - I LOVED those pants!) a couple days in a row. As we were headed back from recess one day, one of the boys pointed and in a voice that was loud enough for other people to hear, said "Hey! Didn't you wear those yesterday? What are you - poor?" *ouch* You know, I don't think I wore those pants ever again.

I Love Clothes That Make A Statement.*

Today's emsemble is screaming "I could give a rat's ass!"

* This is a bald-faced lie. Even under the best of conditions, which these aren't.

In Which I Discuss the Truly Important Things In Life

I don't want to talk about politics or the meaning of life. What I want to know is those little details about you, my adoring public. (Humor me, here). Yup - it's another reader participation post! Mainly because it makes blogging so much more fun for me when I get comments. Stop being so stubborn and just play along, damn it! It'll be fun.

Coke or Pepsi? I'm a Pepsi girl, myself. Mmm-mmm, bubbly sweet nectar of the gods. Too bad I decided it had too much corn syrup and stopped drinking it. *sigh* There are days I really crave the cold bubbly goodness of a Pepsi over ice, drunk through a straw because I have sensitive teeth.

Chunky or Smooth Peanut Butter?
Chunky - always! I love Skippy peanut butter, but stopped eating it a couple of years ago because it contains hydrogenated oils and tons of sugar. I've grown accustomed to Adam's Natural Peanut butter, but it really isn't the same.

White or Wheat? Or something else? It depends on who's doing the baking. If I'm using sandwich bread, it's Milton's Healthy Wheat bread (no trans fat, high in fiber, good taste). I will also typically get my Subway sandwiches on wheat. If I'm baking, it's usually a sweet white bread, but I make a really yummy oatmeal bread, a fantastic honey-wheat with walnuts, and a chocolate nut bread that is just to die for. I also like almost anything from the Essential Baking Company. If you visit Washington state, visit one of their stores (I like the one near Gasworks park in Seattle). I'm sure there are plenty of fine bakeries in D.C. Until I find them, I will daydream about EBC's bread. Oooh - the Lituanian bakery in Omaha is also fabulous. Their sourdough rye is my absolute favorite - so yummy lightly toasted with cream cheese or served warm with butter and homemade strawberry preserves. Their Napoleon torte is also a treat!

Vanilla or Chocolate Ice Cream? Duh. Chocolate.

Perfect After Sex Food (ASF)? Fig Newtons. Not just a great ASF, but a great anytime food. Sweet, portable, and very yummy. Get out of bed to eat them though.

Butter or Margarine? Butter. It tastes better. Margarine doesn't even enter my house. Seriously - I think the last time I bought margarine was in undergrad. I read an article about trans fat, and decided if it's bad for me and doesn't even taste good, I'm switching back to butter. And I did.

Coffee, tea or neither? I'm really more of a tea drinker by nature, but law school has turned me into a coffee drinker. I still drink it with lots of cream and a fair amount of sugar, but I've started drinking regular coffee and not just mochas. Mainly because it's so much cheaper and my espresso machine sucks.

Sweet pickles or Dill?
Both. I prefer dill pickles about 95% of the time, but every once in a while I just crave those little sweet gherkins. I also like German barrel pickles. I hated sweet pickles until just a few years ago. I don't know what happened to change it.

Stupidest thing a boy told me and I believed? I once dated a guy who was originally from Michigan. I'm pretty sure all Michiganites (Michiganians? Michigonians? Really - what is it?) know Vernor's Ginger Ale - at least I've never met one who didn't. The gentleman in question claimed that his great-great-grandfather developed the original formula and sold it to Mr. Vernor. I'm fairly certain now that's bunkum. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that lots of Michigan boys tell that story to try to impress girls from other states. I'm not saying I was impressed - I'm just saying they think they can impress girls that way. Silly boys.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I know the answer should be "attorney," and yes, I really do want to be one. But someday, I would like to learn to be a pastry chef and then open a super-fantastic European style coffee shop/bakery/ice café, where you could buy a simple ice cream cone streetside, or come in and enjoy an absolutely amazing "eis becher." A "becher" is literally a cup, but I guess sundae would be more accurate. Not like any American sundae though. The gelato is not as heavy as American ice cream and the toppings are not as cloyingly sweet. And it's topped with real whipped cream, made fresh. I think I would open a place in a little coastal town. In the summer, the tourists would come for the gelato. In the winter, locals would come for coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and incredible baked goods. Although I would serve primarily German Torte and Kuchen (cake), I would still offer good old American cupcakes, because who doesn't love a good cupcake?

Alright, I've bared my soul here. Now, it's your turn. Answer all, some, or none of the above, but leave a comment. While relevance is always appreciated, random commentary is fine too. Don't make me consult my step-cousin-in-law, THL and borrow whatever she's threatening her readers with these days. You'd all better comment!!! Or else!

For Brian and THL, I'm still working on answers to your questions from the other day. Notice that it's 2:32 and I'm still up. I've been working (mostly) diligently on two of my three papers due this week

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Also Sadly Accurate.

EC just took the Sorting Hat Quiz. Given what I just posted about her, this looks about right.

You are a Ravenclaw!!! You're a smart-ass, pure and
simple. You know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING,
and you are NEVER wrong. Believe it if you want
to, but it's NOT the case. Never has been and
never will be. You're just stuck in a fantasy
world that even Harry Potter cannot rival.
Oh...and you are so get
the picture.

Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz
brought to you by Quizilla

Sadly, Very Accurate.

And I wanted to be in Gryffindor.

You are a Hufflepuff!!! You are way too damned
sweet, pure, and innocent for your own good.
The little things creep you out, like someone
touching you without washing their hands first.
You are so squeamish about things that you have
to leave your classes to go throw up in the
bathrooms so often that you are starting to
fail them.

Harry Potter Sorting Hat Quiz
brought to you by Quizilla

Actually the squeamish part isn't true at all. Dissection was always my favorite part of any biology class. Probably why I didn't do so well in Botany - lots of memorization and no dissection.


I'm home now after spending many hours at school sitting in an uncomfortable chair. When I finally started daydreaming about being at home in my pajamas, eating a ginormous bowl of pasta, I knew it was time to leave. So now I'm sitting at home, in my pajamas, eating a ginormous bowl of pasta. I thought this would be the perfect time to answer E. McPan's question on soup. But not before I take a minute to extol the virtues of a good bowl of pasta.

I love pasta. Buttered noodles, macaroni and cheese, linguini and clams, spaghetti - doesn't matter. I don't care what anyone says about carbs, there's no greater comfort food than a good bowl of pasta. I would always get to eat macaroni when my parents left me with a babysitter - it was a treat, though I'm not quite sure why, because we ate pasta pretty regularly anyway. But then, most kids could live on macaroni. Or at least mine could. So, as I enjoy my bowl of shell pasta, with lots of real butter and freshly grated parmesan, I'll also write about soup - one of my other great loves in the food world.

E asks if I cook soup. Indeed, I do! It's so hard to choose a favorite soup, but if I had to pick, I would say my specialty is Barley Beef Soup. The base recipe is straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens "New" Cook Book on p. 464. You know - that red and white checkered cookbook that pretty much everyone has in their kitchen.* I typically add beef broth (instead of just bouillon), and I use bouillon that my mom sends me from Germany. Even though you can buy Knorr beef bouillon in the states, it isn't the same. I use a better cut of meat, don't add potatoes (they get too mushy - especially when you freeze the soup), and I don't like to use frozen vegetables. Fresh zucchini, green beans, celery, and lots of carrots. When I say I use this as the base recipe, it's because I really only use it as an ingredient list from which to deviate. I add more of everything than they say and season by taste. I always make this in huge batches and freeze it in gallon zip-lock bags.

I also make an excellent lentil soup (Base recipe on p. 473), wild rice and mushroom (p. 474), and potato leek (a different cookbook).

My other favorite doesn't come from a cookbook - it's my mom's recipe for French Onion Soup. Lots of onions sauteed in lots of butter, then simmered in water with beef bouillon and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Topped with homemade croutons and a decent swiss cheese, and then put under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and browned. Served with fresh baked bread. Can you believe that no one else in my family likes this soup?!! So I rarely make it. Vanilla Gorilla can vouch for the tragedy of this.

The pasta is now long gone, so excuse me while I spend an hour or two detailing what's wrong with our state's intestacy law. And now I'm really hungry. For soup.

*Except me. I didn't have it until I married Mr. Q - though it was appropriated from his apartment long before we actually married. If we ever divorced, I would have to buy him a new copy because this copy is so marked up with various post-it flags and notations on how to improve recipes, that it would take me too long to re-do. Better to just remain married. If it's not on your shelf - go out and get one - it's an excellent all-purpose cookbook.

ps - if this shows up all messed up, it is NOT MY FAULT. I have no idea what Blogger is doing with my fonts and spacing!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

You can't chose your Tortfeasor

Or your parents.

Two people requested kid stories. I don't know if they're funny or even mildly amusing, but these 3 spring to mind. I realized that I haven't written a whole lot about EC, but she's a pretty funny kid. And stubborn. And sneaky. Both of us also hate to lose - which means we were destined to have monumental battles of will.

Sneaky. I have a great picture at home of EC when she was 2. She is half crouched behind a rocking chair. My purse is beside her, and she has a package of gum in her hand - except the pack is empty. She had unwrapped and chewed EVERY SINGLE PIECE in a large pack. I'm quite certain she knew she wasn't supposed to get into my purse - why else was she hiding? Lil Q also loves to steal my gum, but she just goes to my backpack and takes it in full view like its no big deal. I chew huge quantities of gum (Trident Spearmint), so I always have it - and those darn kids know it!

Stubborn. When EC was a toddler, we used to have HUGE battles over what to wear each morning. I was newly divorced at the time, and working for the base commander. Which means I was expected to show up on time and looking presentable.

We went through the whole organized parent (hah!) drill of picking outfits the night before and discussing how excited she was to wear the green pants the next morning. The trouble was, when it came time to get dressed in the morning, she never wanted to wear the clothes we picked out. Ever. She would break down in tears and complain about how the pants "tickled" her. That was her way of saying they were itchy. So, I would invariably have to go through the rest of her clothing to find an acceptable pair of pants. Which would always clash with the shirt she was wearing. To this day, the girl has NO sense of either color or pattern. I can sympathize with the "itchy" part, since I am also freakishly sensitive to various fabrics and seam placement, but we HAD gone to the trouble of picking out the clothes together.

By the time we got out the door in the morning, one of us would usually be in tears. One morning when I really couldn't be late, I finally snapped. I told her that if she didn't wear the pants we'd picked out, we'd just have to go without them. I wrapped her up in a blanket (it was winter), strapped her into her carseat and away we went! By the time we made it to the babysitter's house, she was begging to wear those pants! From that point on, all I had to do was ask her if we were having a "no pants morning," and she would get dressed.

Funny. EC was also quite precocious. She talked very early - by 18 months, she had a pretty firm grasp on the English language and hasn't stopped talking since. I don't think she could help it - my former mother-in-law is a championship talker. Seriously. So is my current mother-in-law. Ironically, they are from the same hometown. I wonder sometimes what would happen if they were put in the same room together….but this post is not about them.

One of the drawbacks to having a stubborn and precocious child is that they start talking back early. One day early in my relationship with Mr. Q, we were all in the car, and I asked EC to please stop kicking my seat. She replied, "Yes, your highness." Mr. Q was sure the child wouldn't live to her 5th birthday. I had a hard time not laughing. It's exactly the kind of thing I would have thought, but never said.

Klutzy. EC's other stand-out characteristic is her remarkable ability to injure herself. By the age of 10, she's had eye surgery (this one isn't her fault), broken her wrist, sliced her thigh open with a knife that was lying on the floor at my ex's house (an issue in itself), and fallen down a large number of stairs in more than one country. We're always amazed at the things people will give us when a child falls down the stairs. Bottles of water, snacks, candy, ice packs, and more.

At A Loss For Words

I even said so in my last post.

And just how many posts could I write about my bizarre childhood? (Answer - probably many, but I'm saving them for the novel. Y'all probably aren't interested in providing me free psychotherapy anyway - but please buy the novel when I write it - I obviously need to pay for therapy somehow.)

So...I'm jumping on the bandwagon and soliciting input/questions from my readers. I know I run the risk of getting zero response with this being the start of the weekend and all, but here it is anyway. Whaddya wanna know about LQ?

C'mon...humor me. THL has already got the dragon all fired up. I haven't asked yet, but I'll bet she'd let me borrow him.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Hey Monkey Face!

How you doin'?

The greeting I just got walking across campus from a man with dreadlocks carrying a guitar.

I have no words.

GET to Know Me!*

Alt Title: Why I am the Way I Am.

Recognizing that I only wrote one lame little self-depreciating post yesterday, I feel like I owe you all something. Since I wrote 2 days ago about my frustrations with my father, I thought I'd highlight some of the reasons why "nothing in my family is easy." This also offers some insight into why my kitchen cabinets and pantry are the way they are. Can you imagine the fun of being a child in this house?

Some of my dad's little foibles:

  • He tracks his currency by serial number. He lived in Europe for 10 years and did this for D-marks (and later Euros) and Dollars. I think I might be partially responsible for this since I went through a period in Jr. High where I routinely occasionally took money from my parents. (What kid doesn't - and hey - they didn't give me an allowance! Not that it makes it right. Nor does it change the fact that EC would be soooo grounded if I ever caught her doing this.) Every morning, he prints out a list of the serial numbers of the currency he's taking with him wherever he's going, broken down by denomination. As he spends it, he crosses off the bills he hands over and writes down the serial numbers of the bills he gets as change. Obviously, coins don't get tracked like this, but he does write down what coins he gets in return.
  • We clipped coupons while I was growing up - something I still do because I am cheap like that. The part of the process I have dispensed with, however, is filing the coupons by 12 digit UPC - you know, the little bar code on every product. So, in my parent's house, if you had coupons for, say, Campbell's soup, you would have to file it under 005100. Of course, every Campbell's product has another 6 digits (5 are the product code, 1 is the check code). You'd want to file those numerically within the brand code. If you're interested in knowing more about this (I can't imagine why), go can look it up here.
  • After we went grocery shopping, every item had to be stamped with the date it was purchased, entered into the computer inventory (yes, even when we only had an Apple 2+, we had a computerized inventory - by UPC), and then put on the shelf, newest items in the back.
  • All automobiles have a logbook for tracking mileage. To this day, whenever I drive one of my parents' vehicles, I have to write down when I leave one location, when I arrive at another location, and what the mileage is on the vehicle. Locations are recorded by zip code/Postleitzahl (plus house number if there are multiple places you go in one zip code), and all times are recorded in Greenwich Mean Time. Go here to figure it out.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder anyone? Being a total control freak provides fun and entertainment for your kids' entire lives!

* Any resemblance to the title of a Jon Lovitz SNL skit is purely intentional.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Note to Self

My housekeys will not open the office at school. The converse is also true.

Also - my Fed Cts Casenotes will not help me in the least in Transmission of Wealth.

Is this quarter over yet?

Does This Make Me a Bad Person?

I am in the process of making reservations to travel to a midwest city over Spring Break to help my dad pack up his apartment there and move his stuff to a different midwest city. He's been living in Midwest City A for the last 4-5 years because of a job. Last May, he was diagnosed with a particularly nasty type of cancer. He's since retired, but hasn't moved his stuff. Because he's undergoing chemo, he's pretty weak and can't pack up by himself. City B is where he's originally from, and where he plans to live. Keep in mind that my mother is still in Europe, taking care of my Oma. And my dad is currently there visiting her because my mom just had hip replacement surgery. Which is frightening to think that they're both "taking care of" each other. And also begs the question as to why he's moving back to City B - but the only answer I can think of for that is that nothing is easy in my family.

I talked to my dad back in November about coming out during Spring Break for the purpose of packing up and cleaning his apartment and gave him the dates. He booked his travel to Europe so that he returns the day of my last final. Well before he left for Europe, I looked up the phone numbers of movers, emailed them to him, and told him to call and set up an appointment to get weight estimates and quotes before he left. Didn't happen.

Finally, last week, I offered to make the phone calls for him because I have so much spare time in my schedule - and because I thought it might be fun and entertaining to arrange another person's move from 6 states away. No - I really did it for purely selfish reasons - the whole air travel arrangements thing. When I called the movers, what did I find out? That you pretty much can't get a weight estimate and move in the same week because they have to schedule things based on weight. Which is pretty much what I figured when I asked him to call before he left. This morning I called him and explained the matter to him, and told him I would be taking the red-eye out and would arrive the Monday after finals.

His response? "That doesn't give me much time to recover from my flight back from Europe." So I calmly tried to explain that I only have a week for Spring Break and that I needed to fly back on Saturday to spend Easter with my kids and start classes on Monday. Because we are on the stupid quarter system and get a whopping week for Spring Break. I told him I would do as much packing and cleaning as I could, and we could set up an appointment for the whole weight estimate, and get them to leave some boxes so I could pre-pack some things. He continued to grumble and I said, "Look dad, I only have a week" not even bringing up that he's the one who booked his return flight so close to the date I told him months ago that I'd be there, or that he couldn't manage to call the movers, but could book a flight to Europe. He says to me, "Well, I have less than a year."

I know he's sick. I know chemo makes him feel crappy, but the general self-centered crabbiness is a pre-existing condition. And I'm trying to help him. And I feel like the fact that I'm taking my one week off between now and June and going to pack his house and scrub his toilet means he could be at least decent toward me. I'm not doing this because I expect gratitude or saint points, but because this is what family does. I have to admit though that I'm starting to feel like he's deliberately making things difficult. I suppose the repressed Psychology major in me could look at this as a last ditch effort for him to maintain some control. Or something.

And then I feel guilty about being angry with a (most likely) terminally ill man. *sigh* I swear, I can't win here.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Because Meretricious Relationship

Sounds so much better than "I'm just using him for the sex."

To the folks who found LQ today doing google searches - welcome!

I'm not sure who I'm more excited about...

My UK visitor who searched for "legal implications of a tower crane," you were very very dedicated to find me. I got through 10 pages and gave up looking. I'm guessing you weren't looking for photos of my child prodigy's architectural creations though.

My Sacramento visitor who searched for "drunk off mouthwash." I'm sooo very proud to report that I am the #7 google search for that particular phrase (and probably moving up fast, since I just typed it again. Drunk off mouthwash - hah!) I notice, dear reader, that you did not stay long. Did I say something to offend? Or perhaps I didn't include enough tips on how best to get drunk off mouthwash. Does one take it "neat" or "on the rocks" to affect the greater buzz? I would go with straight shots, since mouthwash doesn't qualify as a "sipping liqueur." Which brands are best for getting drunk off mouthwash? My guess would be Listerine just based on the flavor and the general burning sensation I get whenever I gargle, but I don't base that on any kind of scientific data. I DO know that Rembrandt mouthwash (aside from tasting nasty) contains NO alcohol, so if a buzz is what you're after, avoid that brand.

Oh - and if you do go with Listerine - avoid the Orange flavor. E. McPan and I don't recommend it.