Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mraz in Worcester!

Well, I had a great time last night in spite of the terribly rude people that were at the concert.  I got to meet Jenn and her husband Matt, they drove me out to Worcester, which was really nice of them.  I had a great time with them, we talked all the way out, had some dinner when we got there at a little hole-in-the-wall Chinese place that turned out to be pretty good, and then we froze for a while while standing outside in line waiting for the doors to open.  We got there at the perfect time, we were among the first few people in line so when we were inside we ended up standing pretty close to the stage, with just a few people between us.  Normally I'm scared of crowds but I didn't think this crowd would turn scary (they didn't really...just a little rude which I'll get to later) so I was okay with being that far up this time.

Anyway, Everclear opened for was pretty cool to see them in concert.  They didn't do a very long set but they still put on a good show.  I yelled really loud when they announced they're from Portland, OR.  Art Alexakis actually looked in my direction when I did that, I think I was the only person in the room that was excited about  What was weird was being surrounded by all these people who were too young to really remember when Everclear was really popular (or if they remember they weren't quite old enough to care), and seeing them all standing around like, "yeah, yeah, opening band, where's Mraz?"  They got into it a little when they realized they sort of knew some of the songs, but it was just a total trip for me because I remember both when Everclear would never have been just the opening band, as well as the day when Mraz would have been the opener instead.  It was so sad when they sang Santa Monica and tried to get the audience to sing along and hardly anyone knew the words.  But, hey, I enjoyed it.

After Everclear was done, the Makepeace Brothers and Bushwalla came on before Mraz, like they'd done in Richmond, along with Justin Kredible again.  This was their last concert all together like that, and you could tell that they were just having a great time together.  Jason snapped Bushwalla with a towel at one point, there was a point when they all "froze" and Justin Kredible ran around taking pictures of everyone on a Polaroid and then throwing the pictures out to the audience and Jason and Bushwalla were standing there talking and cracking each other up the whole time they were supposed to be frozen.  And Jason did a slightly different set of songs than he'd done in Richmond so it wasn't like I went to the same concert in a different place.

The only downer to the concert was that there was this group of obnoxious college kids (oh, by the way, the show was held at Holy Cross College) who pushed their way right up next to us...tried to get in front of us but we were pretty feisty and refused to allow it.  But they were talking the whole time after they pushed their way up, I was about to tell them that I don't know what they were there for, but I was there to LISTEN...but first I just gave them a glare, I met the eyes of one of them when I did that and at that point they pretty much quieted down.  They did almost knock me over while trying to push past me and I was pretty proud of myself for how hard I pushed back to not allow them to get up any further.  I got there early, I staked my claim, and I wasn't about to let a bunch of obnoxious 18-22 year olds get in front of me.  There was a time when my fear of crowds would have taken over and I would have just gotten freaked out and let them get around me, but I think riding the T every day has toughened me up a bit.  These little undergrads were much less dangerous than the crazy people I have to deal with on a regular basis.

There were some other rude people in the crowd trying to push and shove and throw elbows to get where they wanted to be, but that group was the worst.  Oh, and I guess they were drinking during the concert.  I didn't see it (although I smelled it but thought they'd just gotten drunk beforehand) but Jenn saw them knocking it back during a break.  Do you really need alcohol to enjoy a concert?  Especially a Mraz concert.  Seriously.  I know in Richmond I had a drink in the bar before the concert, but it was just one and I certainly wasn't drunk.  It was a good thing the concert itself was so great and that the performers were having such a good time.

Alright, I have to get back to studying.  I really shouldn't have taken the time to write out this post but I wanted to record the event while it was still fresh in my mind.  Time to get back to studying for Crim.
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Friday, April 25, 2008

No more 1L classes! Ever!!

Alright, so I still have to take exams. But my 1L year is essentially over!

We were told today by our Con Law professor that we're lawyers now. She said it's true we have a couple more years before we can actually practice, but she said the shift into being a "lawyer" happens in your first year. I think that sounds about right. People from my pre-law school life have occasionally told me I'm "talking like a lawyer." It's a shift in vocabulary, a shift in the mental process that goes on before you make a statement, a shift in how you back up your statements with solid facts. I always was hard to argue with, being as stubborn as I am. But now instead of just being stubborn, I use solid facts to back up what I'm saying...which makes it even harder to win any kind of debate against me.

Anyway, I won't really feel done until exams are over, but it is really nice to be done with classes. Now I have to dive into the outlining and the studying and looking at exams from previous years to get an idea of what I'll have to do, etc. But, I get to spend the better part of this next week in my sweatpants while I do all that studying...I don't feel the need to waste an hour going in to the school and an hour coming back on the T when I could just stay home and use those two hours to study here.

Just in case you're worried that I'll be sitting here going insane with my books for the next 9 days, don't worry, I am getting out. Jenn (Chucka Stone) has informed me that Mr. Mraz had some secret tour dates that you only find out about if you're on his email address...of course, I found this out well after I'd made the plans for Richmond and paid all sorts of non-refundable charges for tickets and bus fares and hotels (oh my!) which doesn't make me any less glad that I went to Richmond because it was a fun just makes me feel silly because one of his secret tour dates is in Worcester, which is just a short way from Boston! Oh silly me. Anyway, the ticket was cheap, and Jenn kindly offered to drive since she lives near Boston and is already going, so never fear, I will be getting out of the house on Tuesday to take a LONG study break and go to another Mraz concert! Perfect way to release all the tension I'm sure I will have built up while studying for the next few days.

In other news, I did apply for the LF position. I met with Lucy today and she allayed my concerns that I had about not really having teaching experience and such, and we talked about what other kinds of classes I want to take and looked at the fall lineup of classes and it looks like if I'm going to do this, I should do it now rather than in my 3rd year. I'm pretty sure I want to go into litigation and this coming fall really doesn't have many good classes for me, so it's the perfect time to get 6 credits out of one class and get a really good experience and a final paper out of it too! I think I'll take evidence and professional responsibility alongside the LF course. I need evidence as a prerequisite for almost anything else I want to take, especially any of the good litigation classes like trial practice or negotiation or something, and a really good professor is teaching professional responsibility that quarter anyway so it's a good time to get that out of the way. Oh, by the way, for those who don't know, professional responsibility is the only "required" class that I absolutely have to take in order to graduate. Not counting the ones they just assign us to in our first year, of course. I have to have a certain amount of credits when I graduate, but they can be whatever classes I want.

Anyway, all that depends on if I get the position, but Lucy told me that they solicit the people they think will be good (like she did with me) so if they already think I'll be good I'm pretty sure the application is just a formality. So, that's exciting! It cuts my summer four days short, two days for training and then the two orientation days where the 1Ls are the only ones on campus before the upper level students come back, but that's no big deal. So, anyway, very exciting!

Well, I'm off to immerse in studying. Be prepared to see cobwebs appear on this blog until exams are over. =)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I may have lost my mind...don't be alarmed...

Before I get into why I may have lost my mind, I have to explain how my school works. It's different from other law schools. The students all have to complete four full-time 11 week internships before they graduate. And I do mean classes when you're doing an internship and no internships when you're in class. So how do they manage to work this in? Well, for their first year the students are on on a semester system. The fall semester starts at the end of August and ends before Christmas break. Then the spring semester starts in January and ends early in May. Sounds perfectly normal, but that doesn't work when you need to fit in the internships. So, during the 2nd and 3rd years, the students are switched to a quarter system (the summer counts as a quarter) and they rotate between going to their full time internship and coming back to the school to take classes. Each year a balance manages to work itself out where 1/2 the students are on a "fall/spring" rotation, and 1/2 the students are on a "summer/winter" rotation. So if you're on the fall/spring rotation, you do internships during the fall and spring quarters, and you're in class in the summer and winter quarters. And the summer/winter rotation is the opposite. Got it? Okay, on to why I've lost my mind.

So, I'm sure you all remember that class that became the bane of my existence. The one with the giant project at the end. Well, before I get into how I lost my mind I should explain more about that class. It's called "Legal Skills in Social Context" (hereinafter "LSSC"), and there are basically three steps leading to that final project.

The first step is with your fall Lawyering Fellow (LF), an upper level student who is essentially your teacher and helps you learn what legal skills in social context is actually supposed to mean. Basically the 1Ls are assigned a set of articles every week, usually law review articles, that have a very strong social science spin to them. These articles talk about lawyering styles, how to deal with cultural differences when you're a lawyer, how to deal with moral issues, etc. For me it felt like sociology with some law mixed in...which was cool, I was a sociology major in undergrad. And the LF facilitates their understanding through activities assigned by the LSSC program. So although the LF is a teacher, they have to follow the lesson plan that the LSSC program tells them to follow. Anyway, generally class time is just a discussion of the weekly articles, the LF asks thought provoking questions, all is good. The students are also assigned little projects that relate to the project they'll be doing later (the big research project that took up all our time) and help them apply what they've learned by reading the articles to the project itself. At the end of the Fall quarter the fall LF leaves them to go do an internship during the winter quarter, and their winter LF, who was off doing an internship during the fall quarter, takes over. When the fall LF leaves, he or she has to submit a research paper about the ultimate project. This paper is kind of a jumping point for the 1Ls so they know what has already been found about the subject and what they should be trying to find.

Anyway, the second step in the project is their time with the winter LF. The winter LF's role is very different. He or she eases the students into their transition of working on the project, gets them started on it and then when the winter quarter is over in February, the 1Ls are left alone to finish their project. So the winter LF just facilitates discussions about the project itself and about how best to approach it and helps them over those first few bumps before leaving them to flounder on their own. He or she also helps them choose a leader or two from amongst themselves who will facilitate the meetings and make sure everything continues according to plan. The floundering with their selected leader(s) is the third step when they have to make sure to get the project done without any push from any LFs. There is some push from the program leaders themselves and a push from the faculty adviser, but it's really not very strong, the students have to do a lot of self-governing at this point.

Anyhow, so now you have a sense of how the program works. Now, after the program is over, of course they start asking for applications for future upper level students to be LFs. First they just put flyers on the bulletin boards around the law school and put a slide in the ever-running power point presentation that displays on various screens around the school. The deadline for applications was a couple weeks ago. But it seems they don't have enough applicants (gee, I wonder why people aren't applying to lead a class that was the bane of their existence) because they recently put a plea out in an announcement on the school online bulletin board for more applications. And it seems they've gotten to the point of asking specific students to do it. Because our faculty adviser emailed me today and told me she thinks I should apply. She thinks I'd be really good at it. Which is a great compliment. And I may have lost my mind because for some reason, being asked makes me think I might actually want to do it.

The rationalization...for one thing, I'd be the fall LF because I'm on the summer/winter rotation (remember, that means I do internships in the summer and winter and classes in the fall and spring). That was the semester I liked with all the articles. I will still have to do that research paper which does give me some hesitation, but at least I would know what I was getting into instead of having it thrown at me as part of a class I was automatically required to take. And being an LF counts as a 6 credit class so then I wouldn't really sign up for many more classes, most 2nd and 3rd years take about 12 or 13 credits so instead of being assigned this giant class but only being able to give 1/5 of my time to it...I'd be giving about half my time to it. And I have to do a research paper before the end of my 3rd year anyway and I can use the one I'd be doing as an LF to meet that requirement. So it wouldn't become another LSSC moment for me, it would be a very different role and I'd be done with it after one quarter, it wouldn't go on the whole year like it did this year. Oh, and I'd get a $1000 stipend for doing it...not bad for 3 months.

Anyway, I haven't agreed to anything yet, I'm going to meet with Lucy (our faculty adviser) on Friday to talk more about it, ask my questions, voice my concerns, etc. So, we'll see what I feel after that meeting. In any case, it was really nice to be asked. It makes me feel good that I stood out in her mind as someone who would do well in such a strong leadership role. And if I decide not to do least I will have met with Lucy and talked about it before deciding that.

Oh, I also asked around and the email was definitely not sent to everyone in my Law Office (that's what they call the group of 1Ls, by the way). So Lucy specifically wanted to ask me. I don't know if she asked anyone else but if she did it was probably only a few others.

Anyway. In regards to current classes, I only have two more days of classes left! And then I have reading week, and then exams. Almost there! Woo!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

If you're going to travel by Greyhound...

Better make sure the trip is worth it.

Luckily it was. The Mraz concert was fantastic. There's a reason I've seen him in concert 5 times now. It's because the concerts are really worth seeing. The excitement doesn't come from him being there "live and in person," the excitement comes from him making it a true performance, something truly worth watching. And he has such a great positive energy and it just flows all over the audience and everyone is just so happy to be there and we're all enjoying the music together and it's beautiful. And it was really great to be in Richmond, which is literally just down the road from his hometown of Mechanicsville, VA. The "hometown crowd" energy was a great thing to be a part of.

While I was walking there from my nearby hotel I was astonished at how QUIET Richmond is. Seriously. That is the quietest city I've ever seen. Okay, granted, it has under 200,000 people in it so that's going to make it quieter than Boston or Portland. But seriously, downtown Grants Pass is consistently more active than that city was at 7:30 on a Friday when I was walking to the concert. For those of you not from Oregon, Grants Pass has a population of about 30,000. Truly a small town. I think maybe Richmond has too much area for too few people. Their downtown looked pretty spread out from what I could see, about as spread out as Portland, maybe more. And Portland has over 500,000 people so it makes sense to have some spread in the downtown area. There I think it would be more active if it were more compact. But, even though it was quiet...I liked it, it was cute. I wouldn't live there, I need a more active city, but it was fun to visit. Really cute Southern colonial buildings. I managed to forget my camera (I realized on the bus...) so I have no pictures of the cute buildings I saw (or the show) but I might go back for a real visit sometime. This time with my camera. It's too hot there for me to live anyway. 80 degrees in April is just not allowed. 80 degrees in July is something I have to accept as a fact of life unless I want to live in Alaska, but April is not okay. I know many of you out there would love it, but heat makes me cranky.

So anyway, I walked the roughly 10 blocks to the show, and there was a pretty big line, it wrapped around the corner of the building. So I went back to the end where the bouncers were checking IDs and putting bracelets on people indicating whether they were over or under 21. The guy had to stare at my Massachusetts license for a while. Imagine if I'd still had my Oregon license. Then the father in this family in front of me turned to his daughter and said "you know what this reminds me of? Portland." My ears perk up when I hear that and out here I often wonder if they're talking about Maine or not, because Portland, OR is much bigger so it's possible they are talking about my home. Anyway, so I sort of listened for a bit and the dad continued to say, "You know, that place on Broadway, where the line wraps around the corner, with the big marquis..." and I started thinking, okay...that sounds familiar... and then he goes, "oh, the Shnitz, right??" Which means the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, which is, in fact, in Portland, OR and is exactly where he was talking about. So I decided to go ahead and let them know I overheard by saying, "Wait, you're talking about Portland, Oregon?" To which they said yes, and I told them that I grew up there, and they said they lived there for 13 years. What a small world. Anyway, so then once we got inside they went their way and I went mine and I went into the bar where they were serving food. Good thing because apparently people in Richmond don't eat. Or if they do it's not in restaurants. The whole walk to the venue I saw no food, and that was what I was hoping to find while walking so I was starving. So I had some chicken strips and I was sitting there with my food and my vodka cran when the dad came in, ordered some nachos, and asked if he could sit with me. The mother and daughter were nowhere to be seen, must have been holding seats. Anyway, at first I was thinking, "hmm...awkward...where's your wife and daughter?" but I let him sit anyway. We just chatted about Portland and why I moved and I guess they lived in LA before Portland and then moved out to Virginia. And he told me to look for these take away shows where Jason's just playing on the streets in France. Really cool. Then it was about quarter to nine and the show was about to start so he went to find his people and I went to find a seat. Luck was with me, I found a single seat right in the front row of the balcony so I had a great view without having to be in the midst of the crowd downstairs on the floor.

Anyway, so the show opened with the Makepeace Brothers who I'd never heard of before but they were truly fantastic. Really great sound, a unique blend of a lot of different styles. Then we had Bushwalla, who I'd also never heard of but was great as well. I loved that it looked like he'd just stepped out of the 70s, in his leisure suit and his afro. Fantastic. And in between sets we had Justin Kredible, a magician who kept us entertained with jokes and tricks while the bands set up. So there wasn't that lull you usually get at concerts when one band is done and the next one is getting ready to come on which was nice. And Justin Kredible was, in fact, just incredible (haha) so it was great to watch.

And then Jason came on. Actually, Justin produced him from a tent. And then they made some punny tent jokes. And then Jason started playing some music. The set was basically the same as what Jenn described in her blog about another show in PA that I wasn't able to get tickets to (hence the reason I went all the way to Virginia...). As for my reactions to the songs, I agree with Jenn, this time 1000 things really moved me. It was interesting. I know all the words to the song, but this time, I don't know if it was the way he played the song or just the mood I was in or what it was but it was the first time I'd ever really LISTENED to the lyrics.

"Suddenly the thousand things I've seen were nothing more than dreams of you and me..."

As for the differences in the set, one thing was really sweet. This girl down in the front had a sign that said it was her 16th birthday that day. Since I was up in the balcony I didn't see the sign, but he saw it and he talked about it. He asked her name and everything. He also talked about how he used to work at some local craft store where she probably bought all her supplies. And then he sang "happy, happy, happy, happy, birthday" a few times, which was really sweet. I'll bet that just made her day. And I sat in the balcony and pretended he was also singing to me since this was officially part of my birthday celebration, the whole trip was funded by my wonderful parents as a birthday present since it was just a week ago. So that was really cool. That just really shows how much he really cares about the fans. He's not just up there singing at us, he's up there feeding off our energy and making sure we're enjoying the music WITH him.

He also added one that he said was for his friends and family that were up in the back (another fun thing about a hometown show) and did Love for a Child instead of Sleep All Day like in the show Jenn saw. Which I preferred, Sleep All Day isn't one of my favorites and Love for a Child is really sweet and could easily become a favorite so that was cool.

He also didn't actually do the fake ending that bands always do where they go off stage but the houselights don't come back on so you know if you've been to enough concerts that they're coming back. And the "encore" is so well-rehearsed that you know it's not spontaneous. But since the show started at 9, when the time came for them to do the fake out he just said, "Okay, now is the time that we go off stage and take a break, get some water, call our moms, but since the show started so late we're just going to keep playing." Well, that's the basic gist of what he said. He did say "call our moms," that I'm sure of. And at the very end instead of just singing "You and I Both," he said we were going to do a sing along because that's what we were all there for - to enjoy the music together. So he had the whole audience singing it with him...and then somewhere in the middle changed some words, then sang, "yes I changed the words just to fuck with you" and then sang some more different words then went back to what we all knew, and we all just fell right back into singing along. So that was really cool, to just feel so connected to him and the rest of the audience and just singing together.

Then the show was over and I walked back to my hotel. It was much cooler then. Very nice walking temperature...but when the nice evening walking temperature doesn't hit until's still too hot. =P

Anyhow, so that was the concert. Now, for the trip. I have decided that the only time I'm taking Greyhound for a trip ever again is JUST to go to New York and back. I did that before, it's not so bad. The bus takes about the same amount of time it would take to drive there, and then you don't have to try to drive among the New York drivers. Definitely worth it. And while the trip itself was worth all the trouble to see Jason Mraz, any other show would not have been worth it. Changing buses is a hassle, if the bus is late (which is easy to do with traffic being as unpredictable as it is) you have to just hope they let you on the later bus because you missed the one you were scheduled feel gross and dirty and tired and hungry and cramped and the other travelers have no respect even though the drivers tell them to please keep their music to themselves and talk quietly and don't use the "walkie talkie" feature on their cell phones and in general RESPECT OTHER TRAVELERS. So, the next time I'm going farther than NYC, I'm taking a train or I'm flying. At least on a train you can get up and move around and they have a snack car. And you don't get stuck in traffic so you know if you're scheduled to be back in Boston at 10 pm you'll be back in Boston at 10 pm. Not 1 am because your first bus was an hour and a half late getting into NYC so you not only missed the 6 pm bus you were scheduled to be on but you also missed the 7 pm bus after that and the next bus wasn't until 9.

Okay, that's my vent about Greyhound. The trip down had no missed buses because I left Boston at 12:30 am so the bus had no problem getting to NYC on time to switch buses. Besides, it's a four hour trip between the two cities and the bus to Richmond didn't leave until 7 so even if it had been late I would have made it on the Richmond bus. So the whole crankiness really came from the trip back up to Boston. And I was probably cranky because all I wanted to do was just get home at that point and I had nothing really to look forward to other than studying when I got there.

I do have a fun list of random things from the trip down at least.

First, apparently I can sleep in public places, even on a bouncy Greyhound bus...I just have to be tired enough. Apparently leaving Boston at 12:30 am makes me tired enough - I slept the whole way to New York.

Second, I had my first random conversation with a random New Yorker while waiting for the Richmond bus. I was in line at this little greasy food place in Port Authority that was right next to the line for the bus. Some woman got in line and this guy asked her if she was getting food or just coffee and told her if she was just getting coffee she should move up to the front. So I asked him if I had to wait in line for a bagel and cream cheese since the place made breakfast sandwiches and eggs and stuff. He said I probably did have to wait, and then he just started talking, asked where I was from, where I was going, just random chit-chat. It was interesting. And he was very, very much a New Yorker. He interrupted a lot. I think I listened more than talked. I was amused by the whole experience.

Third, I have decided that Newark is to NYC as Vancouver, WA is to Portland. Trying to be part of the other city but still trying to have their own identity.

And is nearly impossible to relax enough to pee when you're in the bathroom on the back of a very bouncy bus. I normally wouldn't even try but I'd had a very large coffee right before getting on the bus and we had about 3 hours before we'd arrive at the travel center that the bus was stopping at between NYC and Richmond.

So, those are my random observations. And, for future reference, no one let me even say the word Greyhound unless I'm just going to New York! I'll try Amtrak next time. Or a car. Or something. I'll learn to apparate. Oh, but I will say it was cool on the way back, for some reason the bus went through DC even though it wasn't stopping there so I saw the Washington Monument sticking up know. Really, it does, there are no tall buildings nearby so it's just...there. And I think I caught a glimpse of the Lincoln Memorial, that was when we were still on the highway so it went by pretty fast. So...that was cool, although I think that going through DC was probably a large part of why we were an hour and a half late to NYC. I can't imagine that the most efficient way through traffic is to go through the nation's capital on a Saturday when all the tourists are out. And I mean THROUGH. The driver literally went on the streets of DC, not just on the highway nearby. I did learn that apparently the streets are named after all the states. Well, I only saw New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Montana, and South Dakota, but I feel like that's enough to assume it's intentional and that the other 45 are represented somewhere.

Alright, well, I should get to studying. I brought my stuff with me on the bus, but instead I chose to finish reading "Dexter in the Dark" by Jeff Lindsay (the third one of the books that the TV show Dexter is based on) and then got through most of Toni Morrison's "Paradise." In between naps and staring out the window. I knew that would happen, but I thought I'd at least make the effort and pretend I was going to study on the bus.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's too sunny to study!

It's that horrible point in the term where spring is really coming and the days are sunny and beautiful and you just don't want to sit in class anymore! And when class gets out, you don't want to study, you want to go play! I've always had a hard time being productive at this time of year. And it's made even worse because classes will be over in a week and a half, then we'll have "reading week" when we're expected to study for exams, then we have one week of exams, then it's done! Three and a half weeks left AND it's sunny? Of course I can't concentrate! Plus I think I have a new neighbor upstairs, I'm hearing an awful lot of hammering on the walls for it to be just the same old neighbor hanging up a couple new pictures. And there's new music coming from upstairs...I never heard music from up there before at all, it was always from downstairs. This music isn't as loud as the guys downstairs, but it is kind of annoying. It sounds kind of like a heartbeat...and it doesn't change.

And then there's the fact that I'm going to Jason Mraz's concert on Friday in Richmond, VA, so I get to take a trip somewhere I've never been AND I get to go to a concert. Good thing the concert is on Friday so I won't waste my entire weekend anxiously waiting instead of studying. It's a long weekend too so I can make up my lost travel time...apparently Monday is Patriot's day. There's no Patriot's day on April 21st on any of my calendars, so I had to look it seems that it's a special holiday celebrated in Massachusetts. And Maine. It commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War. Interesting. Move to a new state, get a new holiday.

Monday is also marathon it's definitely good that, for whatever reason, classes are canceled on the day of the Boston Marathon. I don't think I want to go out in the craziness. Hmm...and in looking more things up online, it seems that it's intentional that the marathon is on Patriot's day. I'm learning new things all the time.

Well, I should really stop procrastinating.

Friday, April 11, 2008


April 11th, 1983, 10:30 am, PDT. After 60 (what I'm sure were exhausting) hours of labor and a final determination to do a C-section, a baby was born in a hospital room at Oregon Health and Sciences University.

25 years later. That baby has grown into a young woman. She is a law student in Boston, miles from home. She is independent, determined, and passionate. And she is now sitting in front of her computer contemplating all the events that have occurred in her life that have led her to this place.

I've drafted and re-drafted this entry, considering going through my life and listing all the events that may have led to me being independent, determined, and passionate. And I've realized that 25 years is a long time and it was turning out to be a very long entry. A lot has happened in my life that made me who I am. I've had successes and failures. I've made mistakes, and I've learned from them. I've gotten into sticky situations and figured out how to get out. I've learned that if I'm so stuck that I can't get out on my own, my parents are always there to help. Even 3000 miles away, I know they're always there for me.

Some of my friends had an "existential crisis" at 25. They suddenly realized they weren't really doing anything with their life, and didn't even know what they wanted to do. There's this strange thing about being 25 that makes you feel like you should know what you want to do, and should at least be on your way to getting there. I'm glad I'm there. I'm not having an existential crisis because I know I want to be a lawyer, and I'm in law school working towards becoming one. Just knowing that makes me feel so accomplished.

Tonight I'm going to celebrate by going to a movie with Vanessa and then having dinner. It's quiet, but that's me. I like quiet, peaceful celebrations. Having a few drinks with friends, or a nice dinner at home is usually all I ask for. So I think tonight will be a perfect way to celebrate.

The only strange thing is that such a landmark year coincided with my first birthday away from my parents. Especially strange being away from my mom. Her and I are very close, I think part of it has to do with the fact that I'm her only child, and part of it is just that we understand each other. I never have to be guarded around her. Even though she's my mom, I can be completely open with her, even if I'm talking about things that people don't usually talk about with their parents. I love that about her, and I miss her the most on big important days like this. But I know she's always just a phone call away.

So. Happy Birthday to me. I'm off to go celebrate!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Guess who's going to be an intern at the Mass. Appellate Tax Board?

That's right! It's me! I found out yesterday...just one day after I went in for the interview! I guess I really impressed them. The interview was with two guys, the one that's going to be my supervisor for the summer, and then another guy that's basically his supervisor. They're both very nice, I liked them more than the people I interviewed with at the Sheriff's department so I think I'll enjoy working for them.

Anyway, the Tax Board is a semi-judicial agency that hears tax appeals, basically to save time in the state courts for other cases since there's such a large volume of appeals from tax decisions. They cover everything from income tax to property tax. So...I'll really know about taxes when I'm done. Well, taxes in Mass., at least, they don't deal with any federal tax appeals. As an intern, I'll be doing research and writing bench memos. Those are given to the board to use when hearing the case so that they have the relevant facts and rules of law in front of them to help them reach their decision. This is a really great thing for me to do for my first internship because it allows me to really work on my research and writing skills before I try for a summer associate position with a big firm after my second year. And it sounds like the office really knows how to help the interns work on improving those skills, they told me that my writing will be reviewed by a lot of different people in the office so I'll get a lot of feedback.

Anyway, so I'm really excited, and I'm also really glad that now I don't have to keep searching for an internship. I can go back to focusing completely on studying. Oh, and I'm also really excited that the office building is right in the middle of Downtown Boston, just a short walk from Faneuil Hall. I could go there for lunch! I hardly ever go in to downtown because I'm so busy studying and going to class, so I'm excited that I'll be working right there.

So, in general, yay for me!

What ifs?

Even though I didn't get "tagged," I love filling out these things so here you go!

What Ifs:

What if I could meet someone in the art world to chat with?
I agree with Jenn, oh so many to choose from. And most of mine are dead too. But, if they could be alive just for the chat I'd like to talk to Shakespeare, Leonardo DaVinci, Mozart, and Ansel Adams. And as for people who are currently alive, I'd like to chat with Jason Mraz.

What if I could have one wish granted for the benefit of all mankind?
That everything could be easily run by consuming renewable resources and thus the earth will still be here for all future generations.

What if I could travel anywhere in the world?
If I have to pick just one place, I want to go to France. All of France. Yes, I really want to go to Paris but I also want to go out to the countryside, to the vineyards, to the beaches, to the castles...everything.

What if I could live in a period other than the present, for 24 hours?
The Renaissance in Italy.

What if I could make over three areas of my body?
I have never liked the profile of my nose. I don't care how many people tell me there's nothing wrong with it, I don't like it. I'd also want to improve my skin, I'm tired of being almost 25 and still getting pimples. And I'd like a better digestive system. I get indigestion too often for someone whose favorite sense is taste.

What if I could become an animal for 24 hours?
Do I want to be a Siberian tiger or a cheetah? Cheetahs are my favorite animals, and I would enjoy being able to run really fast for a day...but the Siberian tiger is the biggest member of the cat family. It would be cool to be so powerful for a day. I can't decide!

What if I could bring someone back to life for 24 hours?
I wouldn't. Did no one ever read the Monkey's Paw? Bringing people back to life is a terrible idea. And the 24 hour limit makes it even worse. To lose them again? No. Let them remain at peace.

And now, I'm supposed to tag three other bloggers. But, I only have one person that hasn't been tagged yet so...Mom, better fill this out!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Goodbye Pwas: A Eulogy

Pwas, the family cat that I left in Oregon with my dad, was put to sleep today. While I'm sad, I'm certainly not as sad as I was when I found out about his cancer in January. I think when I went home in February, I did all my letting go when saying goodbye to him. I knew in my heart it would be the last time I saw him. So I picked him up, and held him one last time, and told him that I was letting him go. I told him that whenever he needed to go, that it was okay with me and that I'd always have the memories.

My dad is having him cremated, and then we're going to have a ceremony when I can be there. So I'm going to write a little eulogy for the cat.

You were a great cat. I remember when we first went to pick you up, we all swore there was no way you were only six months old. You were already the size of a rather large full grown cat. And then you just got bigger. But no matter how big you got, you were always on my side. You sat with me and purred when I was crying to make me feel better. You tolerated my childish antics, even when I thought it would be fun to dress you up in clothes borrowed from my dolls. You let me trim your nails, give you baths, carry you all over the house, all without ever attacking or fighting back.

You made me laugh. You were so big, and you always wanted to try to be small like cats normally are. So you'd try to balance on the arm of the couch or fit into a small box, and you'd always fall off or break the box and spill out. And then that thing you carried all around the house, crying out for someone to pay attention. That disgusting stuffed sock that we could never throw away for fear you'd be devastated without your "boppy."

In later years, you became the best old man cat I've ever met. Grumping around the house, with the occasional croaky "meow" issuing from your lips. Then you'd haul your weight onto the couch and throw yourself down next to me. And then whip me with that giant tail, just to remind me that you were still there.

You'd been in my life since I was 8 years old. Since then I've gone through the terrors of middle school, the growing pains of high school, the necessary experience of college, the post-college trauma of realizing I still have no idea what I want to do with my life, and then the moment when I figured that out. I've grown and changed and moved across the country and started my own life with my own pets. But I never forgot you. You were always my cat. My Pwas.

I love you. Be at peace now.