Friday, December 09, 2005

Counselor at Law

I've heard the moment of truth is rather anti-climatic; boy was that ever accurate. Since the company I'm temping for does real estate, there are a bunch of notaries in the building. My boss called her friend in Legal, who said she'd be happy to help me out. When I got to her cube she said, "So, what is this for again?"

"'s my attorney oath for the State of California."
"Okay, I don't really do this [notarize] very I sign here?"
"NO! No...I think that's where I sign. You sign here."

Then she pulled out her stamp and pressed it in. Aren't I, like, supposed to say an oath when I take my oath? I guess not. It's a good thing I practiced saying it aloud in the elevator on the way down, so I consider that my official oath-speaking. At least she didn't charge me.

I considered not doing it today, because I knew it would be completely non-special and...I'm a little OCD when it comes to ceremony, I like things to be perfect because it's a good omen of things to come. Okay, I know that's bull, but OCD isn't logical, my friends. I forgot my chapstick this morning, which means my lips have been burning since, oh, 8:30am, I'm a little hungover, and I kind of hate the shoes I'm wearing right now. They're not horrific, but I wasn't thinking about size when I bought them, so they're too big and make my feet look huge. All of this is very important to my future career as an attorney.

Then around noon I realized that this is the perfect time to get sworn in. My journey to become a lawyer has been fraught with hot burning agony, copious amounts of alcohol, more than a few fashion mishaps, and incompetent strangers who wield my destiny in their hands. So, why should the final moment be any different, right? That, and since I finally got the card today, I didn't want to waste anymore time getting an attorney temp job so I don't actually have to give the CA and DC bars my first-born in lieu of dues.

Heather, Esquire

Ask and ye shall receive...

Guess what I found in the mail when I got home last night. Yup, my letter from CalBar. It's a good thing my credit card bills aren't taking three weeks to forward to me. Not that I was going to go to the ceremonies, but since I only got the information after they'd all taken place, I couldn't even if I had wanted to. Also, did everyone else enjoy that return envelope for your oath card that was folded in half inside the packet, with the words "Please Do Not Fold" printed on it? Priceless.

Did anyone pay the extra $180 to get sworn in with the district court? I'm going to have to start panhandling or selling drugs just to pay for all this shit. (But don't worry, then I can take the "substance abuse" class for one of my 10 hours of mandatory CLE.) I'm sure each one of those classes costs money, too. And a certificate for $68? I can hang it in my cubicle at my temp job. Classy. And...ironic.

And I'm going to have to pay NCBE to transfer my MBE scores to DC (on top of the $650 DC application fee). Let's discuss those scores for a minute. According to California rules, bar passers are not told their exam score, and I can live with that. I am curious, but I also really don't want to know if I only passed by half a point, you know? However, because of this rule, I just have to cross my fingers and hope that I scored over 133 on the MBE, which is what DC requires. If I didn't, which is entirely posssible - I knew as soon as I left the exam that if I passed, it would be because of my essays and NOT the MBE - then I'm going to pay the DC bar $650 to tell me I'm not good enough. I can get people to tell me that for free, you know? If I knew my MBE score, I would know whether or not to bother trying. Can you say "racket"? I knew you could.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I do believe I have a problem on my hands...

And I don't mean listening to my cube-mate talk about how she wishes people wouldn't call the police when she hits her children in public. Or how I hang up on every single person I try to transfer. Both of those are problems, but not the ones I'm concerned about at the moment.

This is what concerns me: I never received a letter from CalBar about my bar results. At first I figured it would just take longer, because my mail is still being forwarded from my last address. Yes, I did try to change my address with CalBar, but they screwed around with me so long I gave up. (For the last attempt, I mailed the required info to the woman doing my character application and received it back unopened with her name crossed out and the words "not at this address" written next to it. It was the same address I used all summer.) But I digress. I still have not received the letter, even though I'm still getting mail forwarded.

To those who received it, was there a note on it saying "please do not forward"? Cause that would just be mean. I haven't looked into the problem seriously, because I'm afraid if I call CalBar they're going to say, "oh, I'm sorry, our website was incorrect, you actually failed." Cause they're like that.

However, it's starting to look like it was more than just a letter and that I am going to really need the information included with the packet. Like say, cards to get notarized for the swearing in? Are those in there? Information on swearing in ceremonies, all of which I've missed by now? Like, who can do it and where (a DC notary public, perhaps)? Information on how to get sworn in for specific courts?

I was reading about the swearing in over at Eve's (congrats to her!) and posed some of these questions in her comments section. LP replied with some useful information, but there's still no firm confirmation on any of it.

I've scoured the website and still haven't found exactly what I'm looking for, so I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and call CalBar. God.

All of this concerns me because I'd really like to file my DC waiver application before the end of the year - because I can get higher paying temp gigs if I'm "DC pending" and a particular job that pays quadruple what I'm making now starts in January. However, DC's application is even MORE rigorous than California's (who knew that was possible??) and I can't finish it until I'm a oath-taking, dues-paying member of the CA bar.

If anyone can has any insight on this problem, please share.

Butterstick meets the public!

The Post has a video of lil' Butterstick waddling up and down the rocks in his pen at the zoo. You just want to eat him up, don't you?

Uh oh...looks like someone is already planning to.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I see your status quo, and raise you a feminist.

Don't you hate it when you've got an idea or multiple ideas in your head all day that you want to blog about when you get home - then you completely forget them all? Yeah. It was a really slow day at work so I surfed the internet for nine straight hours. That takes stamina the pharmaceutical companies would envy. I really considered blogging at work but couldn't bring myself to cross the line. Tomorrow I'm going to have to reconsider my position on that playing field, because I left very little of the internets unread, so I'm going to have to just start contributing my own words or I'm going to go crazy.

On a more interesting note, my mom sent me a link to a story today about stay at home dads. The guy who writes it talks about how they're often seen as anomalies and that he's even asked by strangers if those are actually his kids he's walking around with in the middle of the day.

My mom said it was funny and reminded her of how my dad became a stay at home when my sister and I were babies and they were both in the military. Here's the story in her own words [with a couple of my own notes for clarification]:

You know he was one of the first Stay at Home Dads. Just the other day I was telling the story about how he and I were both in the service and assigned to mobile units (ready to go anywhere in the world at a moments notice - bags always in the car). We knew one of us had to get out because we were in Texas and had no one to care for you and Erin if we both got called [because my grandparents lived in California]. After a lot of deliberating, going over the pros and cons we went to personnel and and said we wanted to apply for a hardship discharge. This was not an unusual thing to do except when the clerk looked at me and said "so you want to get out?" and I said "no, (pointing to your dad) he wants to apply for a discharge." Talk about a blank stare. The clerk proceeded to tell us how they always let mothers out for this but have never had a man ask to do it. Well, we just told him to look at the regulation and notice how it says a PARENT can apply for this kind of discharge,
it didn't say MOTHER. Anyway to make this long story short... The discharge that is normally approved at the Base Commander level within 5 working days, went all the way to the Pentagon and took 30 days! Your dad was the first father (at least in the Air Force) to do this. You have to remember it was 1981.

We're a family of rebel rousers, we are.

Monday, December 05, 2005

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

I TiVo'd The Hulk yesterday afternoon and just watched it this evening. (If I haven't mentioned yet that TiVo will someday become animate and rule the world from its shiny digital throne while we grovel on our knees with glassy-saucer eyes, I'd like to do so now.) Listen people, the movie didn't suck THAT bad. Yes, it's a bit cartoony. It's based on a COMIC book. In any case, I might have a crush on Eric Bana now, not the Green Big Head-ed Eric Bana, but the dark broody one. Hot.

So I started my new temp job today. It's totally do-able. The people are really nice and I was told today there would be tons of down time because of the holidays so I should "just surf the internet or something." Yes ma'am!

I won't be bold and say it went swimingly though. I mean, we're talking about me here. Let's just say I accomplished the following:

1. Broke the copy machine.
2. Copied a 125 page document, where the resulting copy was 129 pages with no blank pages.
3. After misprouncing an employee's name three different ways to the secretary I was asking for directions, still delivered the documents to the wrong office and had to go back later to retrieve them.

Let's go Day 2!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

You have no idea.

Do you ever have no idea what to write but you really need to express yourself? I went to a party tonight and ended up talking to a number of people who really made me think about things. Honestly, I think it's only because I'm in a position to always be thinking about things, out of school and perpetutally jobless. It's really interesting being around other people in their twenties. Some of them have started their own businesses. Some have had babies. Some are writing their thesis. Some are working for a company you've always wanted to work for. Some followed their dream in a way you never thought you had the guts to. Some have terrible dreary jobs you can't imagine lasting a day at. Some don't end sentences with sentences with prepositions. I think, unlike a few years ago, I really enjoy talking to new people and finding out what they're doing with their lives, because it's always fascinating, even when it's terrible.

We drove out to BFE Rockville tonight to a friends party, who lives in a full-on suburbia 3 bed 2 bath house that made me nearly cry with it's fruit laden wallpaper and cat portraits. As I was eating my seven-layer dip and 24-hour simmered beef I told my roommate this party was very, ahem, "adult," to which he responded, "You mean boring?" "Um...yes." My roommate and I are very corner creatures until we drink a little, and then he's still a recluse, but I suddenly don't mind meeting strangers. So after a few beers his boyfriend dragged him off and I ended up meeting a guy from an awesome organization that I'd love to work for, if non-profit's actually paid enough to hire someone as in debt as me. Actually, I talked to him for quite awhile before we introduced ourselves, then he gave me this name that I recognized as semi-famous on the progressive blogs I read and I realized, once again, that I live in the Capital, and should expect that I could unknowingly be talking to such a person. I got his card and will be speaking with him later about opportunities, but it was enthralling and also...a body-blow to be talking to such a person. Why? Because I sparred as an equal on all of our debates. (Also...I'm much taller.) This was one of a number of conversations I had this evening where I really enjoyed myself, but while I was intellectually body-slamming someone I realized, why the fuck aren't I semi-famous like this guy? Why aren't a freelance photographer like that guy? Why aren't I a production assistant and moving out west like this guy? (Sorry, it was a gay party, they were all guys.)

Seriously, I had conversations with all of these people, and it really amazes me how much people my age have accomplished while I've been writing meaningless legal briefs for some crap law professor who deigned to give me a B+ because I fell into the bosom of the curve.

The guy who picked us up today, who happens to be a freelance photographer I've gotten to know pretty well, stood in our living room as we were getting ready and said, "You know, I've been thinking about these photos you have, and I just love them. Seriously, they're just...I don't know, I really think you could do something with them." He was talking about a couple of my Chile photos we framed because they brought some color to our pale living room, and I'll be honest, I don't know how to take compliments well, especially when it comes to my photography, but I was flattered. He really seemed like he'd been thinking about them for awhile, and mentioned to me a few times later that evening, asking what I'd been doing for the "next step" in my photography. (Those prints are actually how we met, by the by, he came to my party in October, mentioned to someone that he like our art, and they pointed them to me.) Anyway, the point is, why aren't I doing more? Why aren't I semi-famous? I'm not trying to be a big artist, or famous, or rich, I just want to do what I love, and everyone else on gods-green earth is going gung-ho, full-throttle forward.

Why aren't I?

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