Exact Approximations

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Just discovered I have two finals next week, both for classes I haven't been to since February. Lame. That means, come next Monday, I'm going to have to put in some serious study time.

I do believe this constitutes a Master of the Mother Fucker situation.

...Also, Pope Benedict looks really, really evil. Something sinister going on. Dan Brown will have a field day. Muahahahah.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

It's noon on Sunday and I just got out of bed. Daughter's Father is visiting, which means I get to sleep in, not cook, not clean and, well, mostly not do anything. This is awesome. I'm liking him more and more all the time.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

MPRE Alert

The ethics of procrastination and fishing pays off. Passed the MPRE, by a good margin. Way better margin than I ever hoped for. Everyone says the same thing about the MPRE: you take it, think you did awful, then find out you passed. Held true for me.

So, for fellow law students interested in the limits of procrastination, let me say, you can pass the damn MPRE with two 4-6 hour days of studying and 2 practice tests. No problem.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Pride and Consequence

I left my crap-trap hometown in 1999 and arrived at the Oakland airport with a three-year old, two suitcases and my keyboard. I was high on youth, freaked out and not sure how it would all work. It didn't matter though, because I was there. A high-school drop out going to Berkeley. Super sweet. Transfering out of hometown community college into possibility. I had set out to make it happen, planted things in my life that would lead to getting exactly where I was. And it worked. Everyone was skeptical, but I had done it.

The apartment I was going to rent from University-housing wasn't ready for move-in by the time fall classes began. Fortunately, my uncle put me and my daughter up in his studio in a nearby town. The boy who would later become Ex-Husband remained in Hometown, but we maintained a long-distance committment for the short 6 weeks until we would move into a Berkeley apartment together. During this six weeks, I made a friend - a neighbor. We shared a wall and I heard music coming from his apartment within the first few days. I made out Tori Amos, Sublime and what I thought was Nine Inch Nails. And live guitar. I actually put my ear up to the wall on many occasions so that I could hear the guitar better. That was probably over the line.

The first time I actually saw him I was struck by his intensity. Had the look of someone who thinks about things. Walking towards his front door, Radiohead's 'Talk Show Host' echoed in my mind. Slow motion. He noticed me and I sensed a sudden, slight change. He had adapted to my pressence. Maybe everyone does that, but I'm vain and remember it flattered me. He smiled shyly and dissapeared behind his door.

We made friends soon after. He had a couple margaritas in him, giving him the courage to offer me one. I accepted and proceeded to get to know my neighbor. Not only was he super-nice, he was an artist and a poet and I love these types of people. For the first time since I had met the boy I was engaged to, I felt attraction to another person. When I sensed he was trying to make a move, I said goodnight and almost fell over myself trying to run back into my apartment. The next day I explained that I was engaged, and nothing inappropriate ever happened. To this day I still have to ask myself how it was that I went through the whole night without mentioning I was engaged, and then convinced myself the next day that it had simply never come up. Should have been the first clue that Ex-Husband might have been the wrong person for me.

Anyhow, we maintained our friendship for almost 4 years, when one evening I got a phone call from him. He was clearly intoxicated, emotional... He talked about his feelings on my then-husband and confessed he felt more than friendship towards me. I was dumbfounded as I had spent the past year helping him through a break-up with a girl he really, really liked. I told him it could never be but assured him we would maintain some form of friendship. Two days later I sent an email telling him I couldn't speak with him anymore, that it was too awkward and then-husband was pretty pissed off. Truth was, Ex-Husband and I were having problems already, and there was no way I could both keep up the friendship and continue attempts at marital salvage.

Months and months passed. The old friend emailed me, apologizing and expressing hope that we might catch up. I replied only to tell him I couldn't, although it was not what I wanted. A few weeks later, Ex-Husband and I split. I wanted to mail the old friend right then, but was embarassed. Of all the high-minded reasons I gave for not continuing the friendship, none matched the weight of the reality: I had always wanted to, but worried about then-husband's response. But it seemed silly and weak and a bit of a cop-out... I really missed this friendship and wanted it back. I knew he had a girlfriend and it wouldn't be a romantic thing... the only reason I hadn't contacted him was because I didn't want him to know I had tossed the friendship as part of my last ditch efforts at fixing my marriage.

It took nearly a year to get the courage to contact the old friend. I sent him an email, letting him know I was moving soon and hoped he was well. He mailed back and we decided to hang out.

So much had changed. He now has a really great girlfriend, beautiful son and fatter job. I couldn't believe I had missed it all, especially his son. I was pretty much his only friend with a kid, and it would have been nice to have been able to be there for him through all the emotions having a child inevitable brings. But I missed it all, because I was too proud. Lame. Super-Lame.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Flattered to Freaked Over the Course of a Latte

I am almost better. Still have a cough, but mostly past it. In an effort to feel even better, I decided to shower up and run errands. Two of these were: 1) get latte and 2) restock adult store supplies.

Anyhow, driving down the road, in a pretty smooth car that isn't mine, I was rocking Lebanese Blonde by Thievery Corporation. I was having an excellent hair day. And wearing a fantastically coordinated outfit. Stopped at a red light, I noticed this Uber-Hot guy checking me out. Very exciting for Ms. Fori.

I parked and went into the coffee shop. I got in the back of line and Uber-Hot guy walked in!! He was looking straight at me. Piercing green eyes. Perfect brown hair. Confidence. Hot. I smiled and said hi and he hi'd back, smiling bigger. He ordered a huge ice cream and I waited for him to strike up conversation. He kept looking over, smiling - which was cute. He even stood there smiling after he got his ice cream. But that was it - he never took it to the next level. At that point, I was so baffled he hadn't, I figured maybe he thought I wasn't so cute up close. Doubt set in and I became too nervous to talk. Ah well. Mutual insecurity snagged herself another missed opportunity I suppose.

I got my coffee and walked down a couple of shops to the Adult Store. I was there less than 2 minutes when Uber-Hot guy rolled in. Must have thrown away his ice cream, because there is no way he finished that fast. I found him next to me now and again, looking at me look. Kinda creepy. Standing next to the whips and clamps section, I glanced back and saw him shamelessly gawking. It was at this point I decided Uber-Hot guy was really Super-Weird guy. He verified this when he picked up a harness and held it up just a bit, smiling at me across the store.

Fucking weirdo.

It was way out of hand. For those of you who don't ever go into adult stores, let me say this is by far the exception. Adult stores are generally staffed by friendly, knowledgeable people and are a wonderful place to learn about sexual health and safety. Fellow customers maintain a reasonable distance and don't laugh at you when you accidently drop a vibrator. I fully endorse adult stores.

As for having the rare boost of my vanity quickly shifted to self-preserving weirdo fear - that's not so much an exception. I'm super attracted to artsy guys. The payoff is huge, but weeding out the good ones is so, so difficult. The line between inspired-creativity and delusional mental disorder takes awhile to find sometimes. Hitting on girls via strap-on harness clearly falls on the delusional mental disorder side of said line.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"Good things come to those who wait, Lex."

"Better things come to those who don't, Mom."

It was years ago I offered my mother that response, and she never forgot the exchange. Mom just flew home after a week-long visit, and I am left with a realization: I suffer from severe Make Mommy Proud syndrome!!! Senseless really, because my mother says she would be proud of me if I sold beans out of a box. That seems extreme, but it's probably true, my mom is just the kind of person who would see that as an opporunity to have a flexible schedule, no strings attached to The Man and an outstanding chance of meeting interesting people. Congitive dissonance maybe. Mom doesn't judge; I think it's a favor she doesn't want returned.

Aside from that, the exchange is relevant to me because I'm at one of those all important crossroads. I'm making huge decisions that will have long-term impacts on me, my daughter, family, etc. Time to figure out how high the next leg of life is going to kick. It's scary and exciting and reminds me that I'm young and alive. I've decided to move out of state, closer to Daughter's father. Daughter is super-stoked about it. I worry it won't be perfect, but can't imagine not trying. It's amazing how people who love me more than anyone else always want me to take the safe route. I think deep down, instead of worrying like everyone else, my mom is proud of me for insisting on taking risks for things I believe in. I want to think so. Whenever she talks about the exchange we had all that time ago, she looks up at me with a sly smile, green eyes blaring with anticipation. Maybe she admires my ability to walk into fire despite best estimates; maybe she wants that admiration returned.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Playing Favorites

I've been doing a general poll lately, asking people with multiple children whether they have a favorite. None of this "I love all my children in their own way" bullshit. I mean a favorite. An "Oh my God, two of my children are dangling at the edge of the earth and I can only save one so I'll go with my favorite" kind of favorite. I've also been asking people whether they have a favorite sibling. So far, no one has admitted to having a favorite child. A small number fess up to having a favorite sibling.

Now, I understand that on an abstract level parents should love all their children the same. But is it really the case? There are bad apples, better combinations of genes and so on. I mean, a parent could give intelligence, health and beauty to one child and dim-witted ugliness to another child whose body is a lemon. It's a gamble. But I know that if I could only have one child, well, I would pick the smart one with good immunity.

The reason this has all been on my mind lately is that I've been thinking about children and whether I should have anymore. I love babies. Being a mom makes me happy. But I have to admit, and I realize it may make me shallow, but I wonder if I would love another child, even my own, as much as I love my daughter. She's pretty much the perfect kid (allow me to disclaim that tweenhood has not set in). She is well-behaved, thoughtful, caring, funny, respectful and everything else I could ever want. She's the one who made me want a better life. Not to say that this is fair, or that it doesn't reek of codependence, but my daughter is the reason I got it together and found happiness. Could I feel that connection and symbolism in my relationship with another child? Kid 2 would be the kid who had the nice crib and all the amenities and would allow me to parent with less guilt... but there is something about the love I feel for my daughter that I can't imagine replicating.

I know that I have a hierarchy of favorites for my siblings, which I am also told is "So Wrong." But it's true. Is that the first sign of the type of person that would have a favorite kid?

What does anyone else think about all this? Do you have favorites? Did your parents? Ever heard a parent admit such a thing?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

And So It Was

Ah and farewell to the Pope. No harsh words here at this time. I wasn't one of those people who just had to talk about Ronald Regan cutting welfare the day after he died. Nor will I be in the faces of the Shiavo pro-lifer freaks screaming victory any time in the next 2 weeks.

So, aside from pointing out that Uncle M and Cousin J each respectively owe me $5 in the Pope Death Pool for the Saturday call, I want to just give it a rest for a moment. I said an Our Father, not because it means anything to me, but because my dad would have liked that. And so it goes.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Tricked By The Grand Republican Matriarch

Recently, I got a phone call from my grandmother (on my mother's side).

Whenever I think of my family, the framework revolves around the females. We all come down from my Grandmother's Mother, who I always think of as this mystic, magical woman with Tarot cards and secrets. I don't remember ever meeting her, but my mother loved her dearly. There's her, then my grandmother, then my mother, then me. Following my footsteps will be my daughter. The men in my family, love them as I do, seem somehow secondary to the power of the women. Of the four daughters of my grandmother, three have had husbands die young. The fourth is working on it =) Grandma has two under her belt. We're a clan of strong women and the men are, well, accessories. Males break against the women, as if their only life purpose were to serve as an experience to make the women stronger and smarter. It seems a little cruel and overly broad, but it's true. Sorry boys.

Anyhow, grandma is a Republican. Politically, we disagree on just about everything. She thinks stem cell research is bad and I think breaking some of the ten commandments is a little hot. The thing about arguing politics with grandma is that she toally pulls rank in terms of pure knowledge. She has details and examples from living for so long - in my youth, I am frequently forced to argue abstractions. This makes things difficult. Last time I saw her at a family get together, my aunt had to separate us. Which I obliged, since I fear my aunt's ability to physically whoop my ass.

Like I said, grandma called the other day. Now, mind you, grandma almost never calls me - so I was a little high on that fact alone. Here is an Dramatic ReInWritement:

Grandma: "Lex, have you heard of Men in Black?"
"Yeah, sure, like the movie?" In my mind, I began singing the Will Smith song (**here come the men in black, doo doo doo doo***)
Grandma: Frustrated that a smart, educated young woman was capable only of referencing movies. "No, the book. About the Supreme Court."
Oh right, the Supreme Court. Check. "Uh, nope, haven't heard of it."
"It's all about the Supreme Court, it's really good and it's fact." This was the point at which my Conservative Trickster Radar should have gone haywire. Clearly, my failure to notice was induced only by my head fuzzying bronchitis.
Grandma (still): "I have two copies, so if I send one to you, will you read it? It's really good. Fascinating. I would really like for you to read it"
"Uh... well, not anytime soon. I'm in severe danger of not graduating, so I'm not reading anything non-school related till after mid-May."
"After that? Will you read it after that?"
Me: "Yes. I'll read the first 50-60 pages. But, if it's awful and I hate it, I can't promise to read anymore after that." I figured that was enough to get her to definitely call me again sometime. This was working out really well. I was getting a free book and some of my grandmother's sweet, sweet attention. She has a million grandkids so this is a big deal.
Grandma: "So you promise?"
Me: "Yes, grandma, I promise."

Then came the money line, spoken only after grandma had repeatedly guaranteed my promise:

Grandma: "Oh yeah. By the way, it has an introduction by Rush Limbaugh."



Foiled by the Grand Red Matriarch. I'm now committed to spending a good hour of my life subjecting myself to something sanctioned by a pillhead conservative. And I'll totally do it too, because I told her I would. You don't just back down from something you promised the family matriarch. I respect that about her, not many people could get me to do such things.

Nice form grandma, nice form.