Friday, July 01, 2005

My day of work.

If you read my post from last night, you know that I was planning on some heavy lifting of bar/bri books today. This is what I've done so far:

8:30am - Turned off alarm
8:45-Noon - Turned off alarm again every 15 minutes
Noon - Got out of bed
1:30 - Went to post office
2:00 - Had a big salad
3:00 - Pedicure
3:30 - Manicure

Now it's 4pm. So, it's a good thing we didn't have class today so I could get the really important things done. I'm going to head off to Starbucks and do some Civ Pro now, I swear.

But first, here is your Strangers Who Hit On Me story for the day:

On my way back from the post office I walked past a bus stop, which was quite crowded. I noticed some guy a few feet away trying to stand in the shade of a tree and he happened to look over at me when I looked at him. Mistake #1. I keep walking and after half a block I hear someone rapidly approaching behind me. It's the guy. He catches up to me and says, "I saw you walking and you convinced me to walk instead of wait for the bus." At least he didn't say, "I saw you walking and just had to talk to you."

So I kind of smile and nod and he keeps talking, about how he's not used to the heat, and it's not like that back in his country. He was foreign, by the way, and definitly over 40. So let's skip past his rambling, like when he insisted on carrying the unfolded box I bought at the post office that weighed about 5oz (I said no thank you) and get to the good part.

Foreign guy: "So, is it polite in this country to compliment someone's feet?"
Me: "Um...what?"
FG: "You know, in my country we love feet."
Me: "Uh...I guess it depends on the person. I'm not really a foot person."
FG: "Oh, because you have lovely feet."

Man, I really know how to attract them. Ironically, I had just made my appointment for my first pedicure ever (as mentioned above). I never get them because I hate people touching my feet. And I was just thinking about how, being somewhat small-boned, I have unusually fat toes. I hate my feet and everyone else's feet, and really only wear flip-flops for comfort in the summer. At my pedicure the girl was like "filing only?" because I had almost no toenails, but it'd been a week since I cut them so I said, "no, cut them please."

Anyway, it's just like me to 1) have some guy from the bus stop follow me home, 2) a guy who is foreign - foreign guys love me for some reason, 3) have him compliment me on my feet, of all things.

Moral: I need to meet a nice guy who doesn't have a foot fetish.

AHHHHHH!!!

This is why I don't read the news anymore!!

Sandra Day O'Connor Retires

Now Bush is going to get nominate at least TWO Supreme Court Justices?

Hey, how about Gonzales? SURE! WHY NOT? Why don't we give him his own torture chamber in his office so he can practice on his clerks! But hey, he's hispanic right? And surely he represents ALL hispanic people. Like Thomas - leader of the black movement!

Hey, I know - since the Democrats caved on Owen, why don't they just ram her onto the high bench! She's a woman, guys! She represents all women! At least, all corporate whoring, people hating women.

I'm going back into my news seculsion.

Sleepy.

Let's talk about the fact my email has been down for the last five hours. Do you have any idea what kind of important information I'm missing right now? The ambassador could have invited me to dinner. Skadden might have made me a partner but revoked the offer because I didn't respond in time. My god - my mother could have sent me cute doggie pictures!

Well anyway, let's talk about make-up. I bought this "tint" yesterday, because the concealer I usually use is not weathering the humidty well. I've had to wipe off the stuff that's gathered in my eye wrinkles after my mile walk in the heat-death trap of downtown DC. Also, this stuff was on sale and it's supposed to clear up your skin. I've decided I love it! It doesn't gunk up and gives me a little color without looking like Lindsay Lohan after a self-tanner application. It's more like a lotion. Maybe it'll clear up the zits I'm collecting on my chin from resting it on my hand during class.

Tomorrow I have to relearn contracts, torts, con law, evidence and property - and learn for the first time civ pro, corporations and community property, so I can take this simulated exam saturday. I also need to take out the overflowing trash... and put away the laundry that I washed over a week ago. And...go to the post office. And the grocery store.

Fuck.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Representative from California has the floor...

I am deeply in love with the new Green Day album. Though I guess it's not all that new anymore. Everytime I hear "Holiday" on the radio I holla back "amen!" I mean, he asked, right? On the other hand, System of a Down makes me want to pound my head against the wall repeatedly to make the screeching stop. Why must they continue to abuse the airwaves with their vitriolic noise?

Thanks for all your well-wishes guys. I've decided to go to the courthouse anyway next week, to protect my interests if the worst should happen. It would suck to have gone all this way and then lose because of something stupid. Also, if the lawyer isn't planning on sending me the settlement papers until the judge approves, I can get them from her that day. And I can tell her to warn her client (who probably won't be there) that if he stops payment on the check - which would totally not surprise me - that I'll file again so fast his head will spin. And this time all I'll need is the settlement doc with his signature on it.

A Victory For the People!

The guy I'm suing wised up! His lawyer called me this morning and said he accepted my offer! It's pretty unbelievable, because I would only settle for a very little less than what he owed me - so obviously if he thought he had any chance of winning, there's no way he would settle. I'm sure he thought there I'd never go through with it, or I'd get worn out and settle for something ridiculous. If you had heard the numbers he was throwing at me before today, you'd know he was just trying to screw with me.

So, his lawyer said she'd draw up the settlement offer and since the court date is so close she would go next Wednesday and give notice of the settlement. Technically, I don't have to be there - but what do you guys think? I mean, the lawyer is obviously going to have big problems if she's lying to me, but the defendant is a total douchebag, and I don't trust him farther than I can throw him. On the other hand, the courthouse is a 45 minute metro ride into Maryland at 7am, which I'd like to avoid.

I've got to run to class - but woo!! Sorry I won't have any dramatic court appearances to share ("Objection your Honor! The defendant is clearly a douchebag!") but at least I got my money.

Court dismissed!
Gavel

When was the last time you were in Cambodia?

I just got an email from a friend of mine. I hope she doesn't mind if I quote, in part:

"I also spent some time in a Mynamar refugee camp along the Northern Thai-Mynamar border."
"I took a picture and ran. I'm a big chicken when it comes to armed conflict."
"The next day we rode elephants through the jungle for about two hours."
"I have survived my first bought with tropical illness."
"My guide was a former Burmese child soldier. He had been kidnapped when he was 14 and ran away from the army to join his family in Thailand when he was 17. He hid for 15 days in the jungle. After he told us his story the groups' whining stopped, mostly."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Or, you can count sand.

It's been awhile since I blogged about the lawsuit I'm in, so let me recap. I did some freelance work for a guy last year who then tried to hustle me out of my pay. Everything is in writing over email, where he approved my finish date multiple times, so I took it to a few of my professors who told me I had a good case and, in their opinion, "this isn't the first time he's tried to do this to someone."

So, I filed for breach of contract in small claims court. It's been going on for awhile because 1) it's a lawsuit, duh, and 2) he filed a motion to dismiss early on which was denied after I added a defendant to the case. (I sued him personally, for various reasons, and he claimed I should have sued his corporation, which may or may not be true, but the judge can figure it out now.) So it's been an interesting dive into Maryland Civil Procedure, to say the least. My friends keep saying, "Did he forget that you have legal training and that you have access to legal professionals?" I think so, but was brought back into reality when he got my Motion to Deny Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and my Motion to Amend Complaint, along with their respective Orders. Secretly, it was a little fun.

Anyway, before the first court date his lawyer (yes! he lawyered up for small claims court!) called and offered me - seriously - 1/5 of the contract price. I said no. So, after the corporation was added the court date was moved to July 6, next Wednesday. I admit I'm a little nervous about standing in my suit in front of a judge, but it's small claims so it's not like I need to bring precedent and legal theories with me. I will, however, be spending July 4 preparing my evidence, so that should be a blast.

The point of bringing this up actually is that his lawyer just called and offered to settle again, for double his first offer. My professors said he would probably do this once he realized I knew what I was doing. However, I have a particular number I'll settle at, and he hasn't reached it yet. His lawyer is going to take it to him and let me know. I doubt he'll go with it, but, that's his problem. I'm ready to take him on if I have to. I don't want to get overconfident though, you know how it is with lawsuits - anything could happen.

Oh, the count sand thing is what the lawyer said to me after I made my counter-offer. She kind of laughed and said "or he can count sand, right?" I actually didn't hear her and asked her to repeat it, which she did and added, "I'm just joking." I think she felt a little dumb. I've never heard that phrase before, have you?

Addendum: My mother and Rebecca and JM have pointed out the obvious: I am dumb. Or deaf. Or something. She probably did say "pound" sand, but like I mentioned, I couldn't understand her the first time so I probably still mis-heard when she repeated it. Pound sand makes more sense, and also explains why she seemed to be a little concerned when I said "what?" because it could obviously be taken as hostile. Clearly, I didn't.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I'm so stressed I'm __________!

It's the law students favorite pasttime. God knows I played it enough. Like, this week even. And it seems we've reached the point in the summer where all the bar studiers start to freak out. I don't know, I'm a little concerned that maybe I'm not stressing out as much as I need to be. My friends are all breaking out and getting fat and spending 8 hours a day in the library on top of class.

Disclaimer: I may live to regret these words.

But, doesn't it all seem like a little much? After some experience with the essays and a short look at the performance exam, I think the lecturers are right when they say it's actually better to have a cursory knowledge of everything, than know absolutely everything in depth. My friend picked up the CMR today and said, "There is NO WAY I can learn everything in here." And she's right, it's silly. I'm sure I'm going to forget things on the exam, but I think that will happen whether I'm studying 10 hours a day or 4. I think it's more important that I stay calm and be organized. Including when I'm studying. I do feel guilty when I waste part of an evening, but, hey, it's wasted, all I can do is move on and work tomorrow.

If there's one thing I learned in law school, it's that everyone (even me) loves to give advice about how they study, if they made outlines or flashcards or ran 10 miles everyday or went to office hours every week. And it takes most of your first year to realize you shouldn't be listening to anyone but yourself. I know, for me, stressing out makes me unable to retain as well. Studying in the morning is useless and flashcards are great. For me. Not for you. Well, maybe for you, but not because you read that I was doing it.

I say this because a lot of my blog and real-life friends seem to be at the aforementioned "freak out" stage. Of course, it's certainly possible I will fail the bar, so my advice is to be taken with a grain of salt, but I have this to say: There's no reason to sacrifice your sanity for this exam. I may have started slacking on the gym, I've been eating way too much junk food and I keep forgetting to call my friends back, but I wash my face everyday, my clothes are generally clean, I watch an hour of tv everyday, and I talk to someone who's not taking the bar at least 4-6 days a week. Call your mom. Email your old work-buddy. If you can't remember the four kinds of slander per se, don't worry, because the girl who wouldn't SHUT up at the table next to me today didn't even know what slander per se was. You can do this and you don't have to know all the answers.

That's all. Good luck everyone. And take a break.

P.S. I'm watching Law and Order, and let's be thankful we aren't in Canada. The lawyers have to wear funny costumes.

The Salad of Victory

This salad has not actually won anything, but it should. I'm posting it again because a few people have found my recipe online and enjoyed it as much as I have. It's been awhile since I made it, because the bar studying tends to turn me to the ice cream food groups, but it was so satisfying tonight! I'll make a link to this post permanent on the sidebar for anyone who wants to copy down or refer this recipe to someone else. :)

Best damn salad Salad
There's a ton of spinach on the bottom that's hidden by all the goodies. The second bowl is the one I had tonight, with some deli turkey.

The ingredients:
1 bag spinach
1-2 large tomatos
1 medium pepper (your color choice)
1 cucumber
1 can hearts of palm
1 can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can garbanzo beans (same)

Keep the spinach in its bag until you're ready to make a serving, otherwise it gets soggy if it's in the bowl with the rest of the veggies.

Let me know if you try it!

When I was little...

...I never tucked my hair behind my ears because I thought it would eventually make them stick out.

True story.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

War Photographer

I watched this movie last night, about renowned photographer James Natchwey, and it was incredibly moving; right up there with Hotel Rwanda. Videocameras followed Natchwey around for a few years - from 1999-2000 he was in Palestine, Kosovo, and all over Indonesia. In my dreams, James Natchwey is the person I wanted to grow up to be. In his twenties, in the early 70's, he decided he wanted to be a war photographer, largely because he wanted to see the world and because the images from Vietnam had such an impact on him. Over the past thirty-five years, he's taken some of the most powerful photographs of the worst conflicts this world has seen. Genocide, starvation, mass poverty, even police beatings right here in the states.

Natchwey interviews that he struggles with what he's doing, if he's capitalizing off people's misery. But that's not what he's doing. He talks with these people, which is more than most of us can say; he tries to understand their lives, and his photographs are the only way to communicate that to the rest of the world.

If I were a braver person, I would follow his footsteps. But, I don't think I am. And it's not fear of being in the middle of it all - though I might feel differently once I'm on the street filled with men firing guns at each other - it's fear that people wouldn't accept me there. I love my camera and can take thousands of photos in a couple of days abroad. The few photos I have of people, in their own environment, are usually my favorites.
Boy in Bolivia Athenian Ticket Seller

I feel more comfortable with landscapes, inanimate objects that don't look back.
Bolivia Laguna Desert Plant San Pedro Church Playground

Everytime I point my camera at a person I fear they're going to resent me for some reason, for intruding into their lives. It's something I could over maybe. Maybe the real fear is treading into non-academic waters. To me the path to a career has always been through school, so it's hard for me to believe I could take a leap of faith and rely on some artistic talent without failing miserably. So, maybe I admire Natchwey for waking up one morning and knowing exactly what he wanted to do with his life and pursuing it to the end.

The boobies are back!

You can get your fill here.

If you're having trouble appropriately covering your boobies, Ashcroft hasn't written his book yet, but there's some useful advice here.

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