9.20.2006

Studying with Johnny

When it comes to schoolwork I have always been a major procrastinator, but last week I did something I have never before done. I asked for extensions on three papers.

Now this bothers me a lot because now I am not only procrastinating, but I'm procrastinating with a deficit. So I cleared last night's schedule and planned on catching up.

Here's how the night went:
6:18
Arrive home from work.

6:31
Little Dog specifically requests homemade potato soup for dinner. Tell him I have mucho school work to do and suggest that he make himself nachos or a sandwich. He reminds me that is what he has done for the past two days and ups his soup request to fajitas. I glance at his skinny torso and mother guilt sets in, so I give in before he ups the ante to an actual meat and potatoes meal.

6:35
Peel potatoes and dice onions in the kitchen while listening to NPR.

6:50
Put the potatoes on to boil and head upstairs to take a shower, pausing first to load the dryer and start the washer. Open mail while the shower heats up.

7:15
Check potatoes. Head to the computer and find Little Dog on line. Demand that he get off and stay off for the remainder of the night. Get distracted by a phone call.

7:34
Finish soup and serve. Bask in the gratitude of Little Dog, who declares that even though I used too much onion and not enough bacon it is the best meal he's has all week. Eat and feel guilty.

8:12
Load dishwasher, take two more calls and finally sit down at the computer. 8 e-mails from work. Ack! Answer these and then log on to class website to remind self of what paper I am writing. Oh yeah, the Comparing the Rise of Christianity and Buddhism Subsequent to the Rise of the Roman Empire... er, ... or something.

8:41
Get up and take two Advil. Little Dog turns off the TV and retreats to his room so I can work without the distraction of Japanese animae in the background. Pop in Johnny Cash’s latest CD. Johnny cash singing about impending death and love is a good soundtrack to think by.

8:46
Google Johnny Cash because I can't remember how long it has been since he died. While on-line read a couple of friends' blog updates and check TWoP.

9:56
Force myself to get back to schoolwork.

10:08
Bojo calls for sympathy because she is sick.

10:21
Drink an entire can of Pepsi before returning to desk

10: 31
Have the carcass of my paper completed - just need to fatten it up. Reward myself with a break and a cigarette on the balcony.

10:45
Answer phone call from West Coast friend. Have brief discussion of Bacchus. Make tentative plans to visit in spring.

11:28
Return to desk to flesh out paper. Briefly consider withdrawing from the class. Entertain serious self doubts.

11:30
Receive IM from EagleFan11 asking me if I am up working on the math project. Realize Little Dog must not have logged off and therefore I am working under his profile. Briefly consider sending wacky message back to EagleFan11, but instead simply type "mom wrkg on LD's putr." Receive no more IMs. Feel unpopular.

11:35
Find an on-line article I need to print for reference. Article does not print. Crawl under desk to check printer connections. Run trouble shooting wizard which takes me off in various tangents, but doesn't solve the problem. Reboot computer. Still no printing. Completely abandon the idea of using that reference. Take paper in an entirely new direction.

12:45
Paper is done. Run spell check and then re-read. Realize I left out one of the major points of the paper.

1:17
Decide paper is finally acceptable. Tell self that a "C" is still a passing grade. Justify poor work on one assignment with my overall 4 point average. Realize this will jeopardize said four point. Ponder the dilemma before me.

1:21
Turn paper in via on-line drop box

1:45
Lay my exhausted self down in my bed.

1:48
Remember that I didn't go back and underline the book titles on my works cited page.

1:49
Resign myself to failure and pass out.

9.15.2006

I don’t need therapy, I need money

Apparently if you have enough money you are allowed to be batshit crazy. (Like this! )

You can be a proponent for the drinking of blood and then get appointed as a UN ambassador – which then gives you a kind of “Gold Card” status when shopping for cute foreign babies.

You can jump on The Oprah’s couch and shoot lasers out of your hands. You can claim parentage to the
toupee wearing Asian adopted baby of a fellow actor and even give it a dumbshit name

You can also creep around in Spiderman masks and cover your kids with blankets – hell, you can even name them "Blanket" and dangle them from balconies.

You can host your own television show, go to jail for committing a felony and still be America’s idea of a
perfect hostess

But if you want to divorce a man who is addicted to coke and whoring around and who smacked you when you pointed out this was not good behaviour…well, then you need mandatory counseling to end the marriage.

If you choose not to continue a pregnancy when you’re 17 and have no means of support and no desire to become a parent...then you need counseling.

If you are 25 and you know you never want to have children so you ask for surgery to prevent this…you need counseling.

Is this fucked up or what?

9.13.2006

Fluff and Banality - I Embrace You

I recently ran into an friend from college. We had engaged in many hearty political debates back in the days of Sysops and bulletin boards. I was always the go-to girl when it came to interpreting the current polls. He asked about my net presence these days and I directed him to this site. A few days later I got an e-mail from him in which he accused me of losing my mind - literally. He says my mind is gone.

He accused me of contributing nothing but "fluff" and "musings on banality."

Uh.. Okay, I have not held myself out as a political expert since the 2000 election. Why?

I. Got. Busy.

Yes, that is right, busy. The more mobile and social Little Dog became the less time I had. And let me tell you people: Being politically informed takes A LOT of time.

I no longer have the time to be outraged. Or even to be idealistic. I barely have time to keep the laundry done - much less keep up a laundry list of activities on The Hill.

I no longer have any idea what bills are in the house or senate at any given time - much less who wrote or sponsored them. I barely keep track of who's running for what any more. Hell, I've got too many schedules and PIN numbers and Dr's. appointments and flight itineraries to remember. There is only so much room in my brain. I have even had to forget a whole lot of pop culture trivia and obscure song lyrics just to make room for my current academic pursuits.

Okay, so not really, but my point remains the same: Life got in the way of my political pursuits.

And, if I am being completely honest, I have become disenchanted. I think in some ways the whole 2000 fiasco broke me. I still think we have not had a decent Democratic candidate since Gore, and I do not see one on the horizon. Many of my friends and colleagues are hoping for a very special announcement from Hillary. I, however, hope to hell not. I think it would be a terrible waste of opportunity - both hers and the party's. This country is NOT yet ready to elect a woman to the highest office in our land - especially not on the heels of this stupid war.
I kind of like the idea of a Obama/Clinton ticket, but I think both egos are too big to support each other.

So what does that leave? Nothing I am excited about.

And that is probably the real reason I have gone soft. American politics no longer excite me or inspire any passion.

So, my dear friend who still makes the time to care, I will look you up when I'm ready to jump back in. Until then, please continue to inspire those students whom you teach every day. Remind them to never trust statistics and to not pander to the polls. Bigger persons than them have been guilty of doing both and it has cost us our country.

And lastly, my friend, if you are ever in my neighborhood you should stop in. I will be happy to pick up our debate on health care reform right where we left off. I will just be folding laundry while we have it.

9.05.2006

School Days, School Days... yeah, ME!

What was I thinking going back to school? Was being a single mom with a full time job and a part time business not enough? Am I a masochist? I really have given up on the whole law school idea. I have accepted that, it 42, it is a little late for a law career. So what? Do I need a Master’s degree? Was my claim to fame as an English major not good enough for me?

Apparently not, because after over a decade out of the classroom I have enrolled in 15 hours this semester.

This all started when one of our summer clerks asked me what my degree was in. After I explained that my Major was English Literature, my Minor was Sociology and that I also pursued a certificate in “Women’s Studies” it hit me. I had majored in “hippie.”

Yup, not a marketable tool in the whole mix there, but I was great at organizing a protest and I can write a kick ass letter.

Do npt get me wrong. I am proud of my background in literature and I worked hard in that program. I just recognize the marketplace worth of an English degree. I spent far too many years being passionate about learning and pursuing higher education without any degree goal. My paychecks reflect the value of that pursuit.

So, I decided to go back to school and further pursue my studies, this time towards a degree that might actually pay off in more ways than owning a well rounded library.
This time my goal is to earn the right to put the letters after my name.

Does that make me a bad person?

I think not. I mean, I’m perfectly capable of doing the work in my current program. My background in English did train me to write clear and concise papers demonstrating that I interacted with the assigned text. I am great at rote memorization too. I test well enough.

So maybe I am not passionate this time and I will not get to write fantastically long papers dissecting a piece of ancient literature and making a case for its symbolism.

I can always do that in my free time.

It is not rocket science by any stretch. It is just school.

And until now I did not realize how much I had missed it.

Just Stuff

So I am becoming obsessed with the traffic cams appearing on top of stop lights all over my city. Really obsessed. They actually kind of freak me out. I keep expecting to find wads of pink tickets in my mailbox. See, I have this habit of running lights. Because of these cameras, I have become aware of how often I do this. Now, each time I have to wonder, “Was that appropriate? Did it change after I entered the intersection? Did I get by with it?!” It is the not knowing that kills me

I am also becoming obsessed with the Tom Cruise baby theories being floated around. I have no real vested interest in the parentage of baby Suri, but I am riveted nonetheless. I just love it when a good conspiracy theory is presented. And you have to agree, Tom Cruise is one freaky mo' fo'.

Mail. People, it is an incredible thing to place a piece of paper in an envelope, write few words on the front and have it magically be PHYSICALLY delivered into the hands if its intended recipient. This magic, however, does not work if you are too stupid to write recipient’s name on the envelope. My firm employs 101 attorneys and at least as many support staff. So, sending us a letter addressed to “Attorney” is like sending a letter to the zoo addressed to “Animal.” Gads people, I never send anything anywhere without the name of my intended recipient being clearly stated. If it is relevant legal information I am sending to my own Attorney, whose firm only employs 6 attorneys, I still address it to him by full name. Sometimes I throw in the Esq.at the end because, hey, he's earned it.

But no, here we receive stacks of mail each and every day with incomplete addresses. Sometimes people send us original documents – like birth certificates or deeds. Sometimes people even go to the trouble of writing out the firm’s whole name – all six names spelled out with “A Professional Corporation” at the end. Some will do this and then add “Attorneys at Law.” Some do both and then add the name of the building we are housed in. What the fuck? You can address it to the building by name, but not the attorney?!

Perhaps my favourite is when someone sends cash or check and they fold it up in a piece of paper so it does not show through the envelope (lest those pesky mail thieves identify its content and go wild.) They take those precautions, but then address it only to “Law Firm.” The best part is when they then write "CONFIDENTIAL" in big bold letters. Argh.

What else can I rant about?

SUVs still piss me off. There is not a single new television show I am anxious to see. The cost of text books is astronomical and something should be done about it. Muller has not returned my calls and I am getting concerned. I feel guilty for postponing my mammogram for another month because I just do not have time right now. (I know Dr. Cobble, I do not have time for cancer either.) I finally met someone who made me feel really ignorant – I mean “Paris Hilton stupid” in comparison to them. Thankfully that does not happen very often, but it has left me smitten and intrigued. RB is being a complete ass – yet again.

And…it looks like our time is up, so I guess we will have to continue this next session.


My parting advice? Don’t forget to change your oil!

Having limitations on your lifestyle is NOT the same as being poor.