Legal Quandary

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Hey Garbanzo!

Where you bean?

I've been back for over a week and I've only managed to get one lame little post up. Much of this is due to having to rely on my neighbors' unwitting generosity in providing me with wireless access since Earthlink seems incapable of getting its act together. In a nutshell, here's what I've been up to. I'll warn you now that it's long and rambling, so I totally understand if all but the 3-4 of you who know my in "real life" decide to skip on over this.

- Back to school shopping (thankfully, not for myself. Yet.) Clothes, notebooks, paper, you know the drill.
- Getting kids to school orientations. I don't know how these manage to suck up as much time as they do. EC started school last Tuesday and seems to be settling in pretty well. Lil Q starts a 2 day a week part time "enrichment" program tomorrow.
○ This means I'll be able to go to the gym twice a week. Hooray! I feel so fat and lazy after 3 years of next to no physical activity, a summer of studying for the bar, and going to Germany where it seems like I ate nothing but full-fat sausages and triple-cream cheese. Shhhh - If you listen very closely you can actually hear my arteries hardening.
- We celebrated EC's first day of school by spending about 4 hours in the ER. She'd bragged early in the evening that she'd gone all day without injuring herself. Then she copped an attitude at dinner. Mr. Q sent her to sit on the stairs to cool off - a punishment usually reserved for the 3 year old. This upset her, so she punched a step, thus injuring her right hand. Luckily it wasn't broken, and we left with only a bruised hand and a bruised ego. The moral of the story? Never underestimate EC's ability to injure herself in new and different ways.
○ BUT…we celebrated the second day of school here.
- Unpacking. Slowly. The kitchen should be done this week. The kitchen is the hardest because I always end up arranging things a couple of times. I'm almost done with the pantry (or pantery, if you prefer.) This will leave only 2 bedrooms, the living room, the basement and the office.
- Cleaning the house. I'm always sort of amazed and disgusted at how dirty it turns out the previous residents were. At this point I'm more or less convinced the last woman did exactly 2 things while lived here. Those things would be "Jack" and "Squat."
- Going to Spouse's Orientation for Mr. Q's Masters Program. I won't say it was a total waste of time, but seeing as how I just graduated from law school, I think I already knew he might have to study at night. Some of the other spouses wives (let's just be honest…it's an engineering program - all but two of us are wives) seemed a little surprised. His first 4 weeks will be spent in "refresher" courses. For my part, his schedule just refreshes my memory as to why I am a lawyer and not an engineer. To wit:
○ Introduction to Fourier Analysis, Intro to Probability and Statistics, Analytical Tools for Electromagnetics, Calculus and Differential Equations
- Catching up on some of my reading. Just for fun.
The Anonymous Lawyer by Jeremy Blachman. I actually started this while I was studying for the bar. That was a mistake, as I noted here, though I still managed to finish it right before I left to take the bar. I must confess that I didn't really "get" the Anonymous Lawyer in blog form. I was aware of it and checked it out once or twice, but I really think the idea was a lot more effective as a book. Or maybe that's just because I am lazy and never bothered to go back and read the blog archives. Anyway, I really liked it. Sure the main character is kind of an SOB - but I think that's the point. He's the jackass that people like me would love to be if 1) we thought we could get away with it and 2) didn't have consciences and stuff. I snickered a lot and laughed out loud often enough for my family to ask me what the heck I was reading. My only complaint was about the ending - I didn't really see how it could turn out much differently, but was hoping Blachman could find a way to pull it out. I had heard a rumor that the ending was a little different in the "real" version. (Yes, I had an advance copy. Yes, I'm delinquent in posting about it, but I think taking the bar, moving, and being without real internet access adequately explain that.) However, when I checked at Barnes and Noble last week, the ending seemed the same. I will probably buy extra copies for some of my non-lawyer friends. I don't recommend it for bright-eyed 1Ls. Wait until they're already disillusioned 2 or 3Ls.
The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld. The author is a law professor, but thank goodness the book doesn't read like it. It's historical fiction about Sigmund Freud's visit to the United States. I was a Psych major in Undergrad, so I was pretty excited to see how Rubenfeld would spin Freud into a semi-fictional character. My main disappointment with the book (and this is minor and nitpicky) was that Freud turns out to be sort of a minor player, acting mainly as a mentor to the main character, Dr. Stratham Younger. He tends to show up at dinner parties and meetings at opportune moments to give some brilliant flash of insight and then we don't hear from him for another 30-40 pages. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the book though. It's an interesting story and well written (I had an advance copy of this book too, so I'm trusting they'll work out the typos before it goes final.) This is the book I had with me when we were stranded on the tarmac on our way to Germany. As soon as I finished it, EC (the 12 year old) picked it up and started reading and she loved it. She kept telling me how much she enjoyed reading a book that was interesting and challenging. The funniest part about her reading it was that she suspected Carl Jung of being the murderer. At one point she thought Jung might have been the Chinese man mentioned in the story. (I know this sounds a bit far-fetched for normal people, but Mr. Q's family is full of people with a very German last name but who look Chinese because they are between 30% and 50% Chinese.) She was even more impressed with the book when I explained to her that both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were prominent psychiatrists. Since I was a little brain-dead when I read it (mostly coming home from taking the bar), I plan to re-read it…as soon as my mom brings it back later this month. She picked it up as soon as EC was done with it and seemed to be enjoying it when we left Germany.
Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Since EC and my mother deprived me of the opportunity to immediately re-read The Interpretation of Murder, I obviously needed another book to read, so I picked up this one and Persuader by Lee Child. I won't really go into the Persuader, because it was pure brain candy (not that there's anything wrong with that - I read a lot of brain candy.) Anyway, I'm not exactly sure what I would call Johnathan Strange, but it is anything BUT brain candy. It got off to a very slow start, but the characters were just quirky enough to keep me reading until I was hooked on the story itself. This book was also different from most fiction in that it contained footnotes. Lots and lots of footnotes - some of them quite extensive. I've scanned the reviews on Amazon and other people seem to either love it or hate it. I don't know that I really fall into either category. I'll admit that I spent the first couple of hundred pages (my version was well over 1000 pages long) wondering when Johnathan Strange was going to show up. All in all, it ends up in my plus column and I'll probably read it again in a month or two.
○ I've also re-read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the Brethren (Grisham) in the past 3 weeks. Both fall solidly into the brain candy category. I'm currently reading a Lawrence Block novel, Tanner on Ice. Based on MLP's recommendation, I'll probably start reading A Prayer for Owen Meany tomorrow.
- Watching movies.
Gone With The Wind came on TV while we were in Germany. My mom and I were perfectly content to watch it in German, but EC felt a little left out. Also, helloooo, it's nearly 4 hours long. I've always felt Scarlett O'Hara and I would have gotten along well, though I can never understand what she sees in that wimpy idiot Ashley. We've been watching about an hour a night, so at this rate we should finish it Wednesday evening. Lil Q has been watching right along with us and I was surprised to find she was enjoying it. She likes all the princess dresses.
National Treasure. Ok, so I'm several years behind the times - what else is new? Yes, there were times I had suspension of disbelief issues, but one of the best movies I've seen in a really long time. And I understand this quote now.
The preservation room. Enjoy. Go ahead. Do you know what the preservation room is for?

Delicious jams and jellies?

- Buying a Grill and testing it out. Grilled pork tenderloin with grilled veggies....mmmmm.
- Going to Baseball games.
○ We drove to Cincinnati to watch the Reds lose to the Giants tonight. Which is really ok with us since Mr. Q is an East Bay kid. A couple of "gentlemen" reeking strongly of cheap cologne and beer tried to start something with Mr. Q who went to the game wearing his Giants jersey with a Reds cap. (A signature Mr. Q move.) Luckily either something exciting happened in the game or the beer guy came around again and they were easily distracted.

It'll be another busy week in the Quandary house. EC has swim team evaluations tomorrow evening, and we're traveling again Thursday night. This time for a family wedding - being held on Lil Q's 4th birthday, so we're trying to squeeze in a little birthday party for her while we're there.

good to hear from you!! Things sound super-busy over there which I suppose is to be expected with the start of a school year for the kiddos and all.

I also just read Anonymous Lawyer. It was surprisingly endearing, after reading the blog regularly for a while. I thought it was fun!
Holy crap, you're busy! I have a wedding to go to on Saturday, but I'll try to call you on Sunday if I don't get time to do it on Saturday before you are likely going to be in bed. I sent you an email too - things are CRAZY here!
Well, with school starting up again, I've been remiss in my blog reading...but I am glad you finally understand that movie really needs it's context to be funny.
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