Exact Approximations

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

On the Value of Reliable Understudies.

So I graduated law school.

Feels a bit undeserved and tainted with the possibility others may someday suffer for it. A lot like getting my driver's license.

Except for the part where I still have to pass the bar. It's the Arizona bar though, so I might have a shot. Some cocky guy in an interview last month bragged how he only studied two weeks. I wanted to ask him so bad how much easier the test was 30 years ago.

I had serious doubts about finishing school this spring. As of very, very recently, my writing requirement was nowheres near complete and a second paper was waiting behind it. I was caring for Daughter, attempting to find a new home, dealing with a truck-sale snafu, figuring out how to move and wanting to make myself write over 50 pages. On top of that, I felt pretty crappy physically.

Daughter's Father wasn't convinced when I told him things were fine, so he decided it was best to hop a plane. Taking over damn near all my responsibilities, I was left with nothing to do but write the papers or get better. He has Daughter, cleaning, cooking, house-hunting, packing and related-snafus under control. His help made a huge difference - and his insistence helped show he really wants Daughter to live closer. It's pretty hot, I think I'm re-falling for him...

So now I am off - off to the Arizona desert. Will keep posting, back in a week or so - assuming those bastards have internet ;)

Thanks to WT for the words of support. Good luck in Maryland

Friday, June 24, 2005

Uncodified Codes at Boalt Hall?

Ok. It has been over a month and a half since the ceremony.
Sure, I can't be positive I passed IP.
Fine, the paper isn't completely finished.
I know, other one either.

I missed all my deadlines. Then extended deadlines had to be pushed back. Finally, after two encores of the absolute and final last deadline, it occurred to me I might not pull this whole graduation thing off. It was early in the morning and I had computer head. One hour from a deadline with 'drop dead' in its name. Seriously. I closed my eyes and emailed the Professors my incomplete works, thanking them for their patience, recognizing I had missed my shot, and asking where to go from there.

I've been told to push ahead and work till finish. For some reason, the powers that be at Boalt Hall insist upon my graduation. Don't get me wrong, there is the whole sick thing, and it kicked my ass ten kinds of ways. But I've been sick for awhile now. Two months and my sad disastrophe has never been questioned, no one at Boalt so much as asking for a doctor's note.

Frankly, I was expecting to hear "Enough is enough" by now.

Nope. I'm thinking there must be some uncodified portions of the Boalt Hall Honor & Academic Codes. Professors are supposed to keep exams fair and blah blah blah - but there must be an exception, prohibiting Profs from failing any 3L if it would cost graduation. And, if something is about to cost a 3L graduation, well, that's just unacceptable, and deadlines will be extended some more. I wonder how long this can go on, it just doesn't seem right. Being a law student still totally sucks. I'm grateful for the ninth chance, but man o man, being a law student still totally sucks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Dream Reports.

It's been awhile since I've blogged about a dream, but I haven't had any powerful enough to stick long. Until last night. I only remember this part, but that's enough:

Shocked by swirling images, blurry but familiar. Sudden recognition I have been hurt. Bad. Suffered unexpected and catastrophic injury. The images swirled faster and slower, and Daughter appeared, smiling. Behind her, a younger girl danced towards a piano. She circled on her toes, arms wide and daydreaming. Daughter again, younger. I realized I was in memory. Then knowledge of inevitable death. Panic. I didn't want to die. But I was going to. And soon. To allow final thoughts to be framed in fear seemed insulting to life and a waste of death. I decided to focus on happiness Daughter again. Everything to remember
was her. Daughter sleeping. Calm. Daughter's reflection in a mirror, brushing my hair into lopsided ponytails. Lost teeth and birthday surprise and how she cried at a puppy because it was 'so beautiful.' I wasn't certain anyone remembered well enough to never let her forget. Sadness. She kissed my cheek and ran off to school.

And so it went. I was dying and wanted to accept and enjoy it.
But my memories were invaded by a present fear for Daughter's future, I kept returning to uncertainty and the anxiety it caused permeated the happiness I wanted so desperately.

Upon waking, I remember hoping that when I do die, it happens without consciousness, the standard in-my-sleep wish. But that isn't what I want. What I really want is what I was going for in the dream. I hope death is the best moments of life, washing over me like calm rain. A sense of being every age, every place, every thing I had ever been, all at once. All of life in a flash, left only with a peaceful exhaustion eager for the quiet.

Hm. Maybe I better take out a life insurance policy on myself for Daughter's Father, to make sure Daughter is cared for, just in case. Wouldn't want a catastrophic injury getting in the way of things.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

More on a Dead Bird's Luck & Intro to the TomGirl Movement

2 things Daughter told me about today:

1) Lucky the dead bird had a stroke of bad luck. Both regular readers know that Daughter recently found two dead birds in the backyard of a friend's home. The girls gave them proper burials, and Daughter named her bird Lucky. She did this because the other bird was bloody and had guts hanging out. Her bird wasn't inside out upon death, and so Daughter deemed him lucky. Today, I picked her up from Friend's house again and Daughter informed me that Lucky wasn't so lucky anymore. Apparently, the graves had been unearthed and the bodies removed. Daughter believes Lucky's fate was as dinner for another animal. Thus, Lucky's once intact body has likely been mutilated. This reinforces the entire point of my first post on this matter: things truly are relative.

2)Almost all the boys in Daughter's 3rd grade class are self-proclaimed "Tomgirls." I'd never heard that one before, but Daughter explained it as term for boys exihibiting traditionally 'girl' qualitites. Apparently the boys are big on fashion, coordinating outfits, making friendship bracelets and migrating to passive forms of agression. This is all something the boys are aware and proud of; many of them have even come up with female alter-ego names for when they are really feeling it. Daughter has a crush on Rebecca. I guess the Northern California metrosexual craze has trickled down to the youth. I think the phenomenon of TomGirls is great. It seems these boys must not have heard as much bullshit about how men should act and what a woman's role is. When I was a kid, most father's I knew would tell a son with a female alter-ego to stop acting like a girl. When I was in school, a self-proclaimed TomGirl would have been the center of bullying and ridicule. I like the development, but am bummed we are still placing behaviors on a male/female spectrum. As if friendship bracelets have their own vagina or something.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The American Idol Effect

Just returned from the Talent Show at Daughter's elementary school. Same as every other talent show I've been to: the 'coolest' teacher hosts and cracks lame jokes; first graders are paraded on stage to mumble This Old Man to four moves of choreography; musicians bust ass to no applause; popular girls getting standing ovations for singing off-key and waving to friends.

The best act by far was the advanced Pop & Lockers, but I'm biased because Daughter is a beginner in the class. Last fall, when Daughter's friends were taking up cheerleading, she came to me with a permission slip to join a dance class, a popping/break-dance class. I was so stoked she preferred this, and she seemed to really enjoy herself. We were screaming and yelling for all the older kids in the class while they performed. They were pretty awesome.

One thing that I noticed was that I found myself so bored after only a few brief moments of each act. The kid would start, I would be get super into it, then I'd mentally evaluate the kid's skills. Twenty seconds later, I was ready for the next act. It was always the same, even when they were good. I blame this on American Idol and scrolling news headlines. My attention span is shot. Seems nothing is enough to sate me these days.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Unsent Letters from the Catharsis Collection: Annoying Grocery Store Lady

"Dear Annoying Grocery Store Lady,

I am writing to inform that your behavior in the check-out line was unacceptable, even by my resiliently low-standards. I would have pointed out your exploitation of sexual harassment policies then, but you were bigger than me and already pissed off. Plus, you were buying 3 bottles of hard alcohol, two Lunchables and one Us Weekly. At 1:30am on a Tuesday morning, that says something to me. Survival instinct kicked in and restrained my inhibition disorder.

You know damn well it was not the cashier that caused your cards to be declined. He also didn't draft and implement the check acceptance policy. I don't usually comment on other people's baseless drama, I just silently watch their self-planned tragedies unfold. I've seen things lady, you have no idea.

But you stand out. To even imply your situation was the result of your failure to reciprocate the checker's "obvious" advances?... Give me a break!... your DD's were spilling out of your extremely low-cut, extremely-hot, extremely-ruffly red shirt! True, I don't know for certain whether he was staring at your girls, but that is only because I was too preoccupied staring at them myself. I mean, look at the way the ruffles gather together at your cleavage! Beautiful. The manager entertained your nonsense, ignoring your cursing while he ran your cards three times. And after all that, you wanted to file a sexual harassment complaint against the poor checker?!? Seriously? Wow.

Don't get me wrong, I play the Feminist Victomology card just as much as the next girl. But limits exist and you were out of hand. Your appearance, attitude and words were rank with insincerity.

You might want to work on that.

Thank you and best of luck in your future endeavors.

Lex Fori

Sunday, June 05, 2005

It truly is all relative

Daughter had a playdate with a friend of hers today; when I picked her up, she got in the car and asked me to turn down "Good People" from Jack Johnson's In Between Dreams. This meant she had something serious to say; Daughter loves that song.

So Friend lives in a house with a little backyard. In this backyard is a little hill with a little tree. Up in this little tree there lives a little bird nest, which Friend and Daughter have been observing for a little while. Today, when they went outside to slide down the little hill on pieces of cardboard, they found the little nest on the ground. The three eggs that were once safe inside were strewn about. One was cracked open, clearly dead, covered in blood and bird intestines. The second was also cracked, and the bird was dead, but the body was preserved well. The last egg was intact, and the girls put it back inside the little nest and placed the little nest back in the little tree. They are hopeful he will live a big life.

Friend and Daughter then set about giving the less fortunate little ones proper burials. They dug holes, decorated the graves with rocks, and created headstones.

Daughter: "We gave them names, and wrote down nice things about them."

Me: "That was very thoughtful. What did you name them?"

Daughter: "Lucky. That was the one I named."

Me: Perplexed. "What made you think of the name Lucky?"

Daughter: "He was lucky because his guts didn't fall out and he didn't get blood all over him."

Me: "That makes him lucky?"

Daughter: "Well, compared to the other one."

I Can Already Tell You Dig Me

Daughter had a friend stay the night last night. Friend came over with her father, and we ended up talking for a bit. Somewhere in the conversation I got really lost. Friend's Father was talking computers, not exactly my specialty. He was talking all technical and numbers got involved. I didn't get it.

Lex: "Uh... Flux capacitor what?"

Friend's Father: "Ah, so you're one of those huh? Not exactly tech savvy?" He was grinning in his gloriously superior computer knowledge.

Lex: "Well, no, not really." But that wasn't enough, my defensive pride proceeded to explain away my ignorance. "It's not that I can't, it just violates my Efficiency of Relationships theorem. I always end up falling for the computer geek, meaning there is pretty much always someone around to fix those sorts of issues. So, I never bothered to learn much about computers save how to restart. One thing I do know is that you're using unneccessarily confusing multi-syllabic words to impress me. "

Friend's Father: "No I'm not." Ah-ha! I wasn't the only one with defensive pride. But his was a weaker form than mine. Laughing, he let his guard down. "Actually, yeah, I am."

He was so honest about it, I really respected that. I laughed and told him I was tech-tarded, and he needed to talk down to me. He obliged and now Blackberry technology makes sense. Finally.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Inappropriately Named Stuffed Animals

I was at the store with Daughter today when we saw a stuffed unicorn identical to one she got for her 6th birthday. There is a funny story behind the naming of Daughter's unicorn, which she remembered immediately and laughed about. She told me that she "got it" now. I'm slightly weirded out by her now being able to get it. Anyhow, here it is...

We have a tradition where there is one last birthday present before bedtime. Daughter was really, really into unicorns at the time, and when I saw this fuzzy, shiny unicorn, I knew it was just for her. The year Daughter turned six, she got a unicorn, all fuzzy and cute with a shiny horn.

In full-on excitement, Daughter squealed:

"Oh, I love it, it's so cuuute. I'm going to name her Horny!!!!"