Sunday, October 28, 2007

Things to do when you haven't done anything

1. Study
2. Study
3. Study

Just kidding. Surprisingly, I did get quite a lot done this week and for that I am very proud of myself. But I still have a great deal left to do. It seems like the more I do the more I have to do. Thank goodness I have the memories of a wonderful weekend and a well-stocked refrigerator to keep me going through these busy times.

Friday was a wonderful day - decided to go for broke and take the boys for a walk on campus. They walked around and chased squirrels and pranced for admirers for a couple hours, and when we got home they were probably more tired than we were. Both of them curled up for naps almost immediately. We went to Rocco's for dinner, and had great pizza, and met Rocco! Ah, the celebrity sightings of small-town America.

Saturday morning we ventured out to the Farmer's Market. What a discovery! I bought a red pepper, a delicious French boule, a head of brilliant purple cauliflower, some cookies. We shared a soft pretzel (best I've ever had - those Amish know their pretzels) and took home two smoked chicken and apple sausages, which were probably some of the most delicious sausage I've ever had (just sizzled in a pan, heaped with red onions). Then for dinner, Tom's favorite pork chops in tomato sauce. Not to mention that we watched 3 Disney movies while playing rummy throughout the day. What a way to spend an afternoon.

Unfortunately, this weekend and week are at an end. Real life resumes. At least I shall be better prepared for it, and refreshed enough to boldly face the workload that awaits me.

Yeah. Right.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Overcome by the domestic

With all this time on my hands, and so little desire to study, I've been swallowed, up to my elbows, into the mire of domestic bliss - dusting, vacuuming, laundering until I can launder no more. Cooking, especially. A very petit chicken is bubbling happily away on the stovetop, mere hours away from a beautiful soup speckled with celery and rounded with cute little macaroni elbows. I've also whipped up a chickpea salad and will try my hand at slow-roasted tomatoes sometime this week. The full stock in my fridge makes me sigh with happinnes.

Lest ye think all this culinary exploration emerges simply from an urge to procrastinate, think again. My digestion is thanking me as I slowly begin again to eat food that hasn't come out of a box. The supply of frozen meals in my freezer is dwindling, yes, but thankfully my vegetable crispers are once again full and I'm beginning to get something akin to the daily recommended amounts of nutrients. Time for food is really a luxury, I've discovered, and I intend to take full advantage of it until the blur of school starts up again.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Laughter is the best medicine (and sleep, and more sleep, and more sleep)

All I've done so far this fall break is laugh, sleep, sleep, sleep, eat, and read Crim. It has been so relaxing and restorative that I'll head back to South Bend with a much lighter burden and a renewed sense of energy, but I'll also be sad to leave my friends and my Tom. But I'll get to see the boys, and that's good enough.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My musical renaissance

Delayed, yes, but it's here. And Mary Chapin Carpenter and I will never again be separated.

How to get it done

1. Turn off the TV. Do not allow yourself to turn on the TV. Do not sit in front of or anywhere near the TV.
2. Equip yourself. Food, beverages, whatever. This is not the time to be stingy about calories. You need to get things done and you need to get them done now.
3. SIgn onto Pandora radio and tune to something mellow. Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joni Mitchell are both excellent choices. Keep it on low.
4. Do NOT surf the internet. Pandora and that's it.
5. Stay away from the TV.
6. Do it.

This is 99.99% guaranteed. Side effects include a natural sense of euphoria, pride, accomplishment, and possibly weight gain. Which you can dance off later with all the free time you'll have after getting it done.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Is something I usually lack, in abundance (can you lack something in abundance? If you lack it, doesn't that mean you have no abundance? Confusion). But today I had foresight and I slipped through morning and into afternoon so easily that I think I might try this foresight thing for a while.

Exhibit A: shut down my computer last night and put it in its case.
This morning I just slid it into my bag! No fuss, no muss, no waiting for it to shut down. Fantastic.

Exhibit B: left my Torts book at school
Usually I cart my books back and forth like a crazy overloaded person, but today, ah, one of my books was already at school. How terrific! Never mind that I had a good five minutes of panic this morning looking for it before crossing my fingers and hoping that I had, indeed, left it at school. The important thing is that three days ago (!) I had the vision and preparation of spirit to leave it in my locker.

I feel like today's gears have been well oiled and smooth running as a result of all this planning. I don't know what to do with the extra 30 seconds I've bought myself today. Maybe I'll give myself a quick pat on the back.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Flu,

I've nursed you well, I think, for the last four days. Your dizziness, pounding head, sore muscles and staggering exhaustion were a bit much to take, at first, but as I lay in the firm grasp of clammy sweat and sunshine-induced chills, swathed in several layers of blankets and bathrobe, we grew closer. I held you close in my arms through fitful slumber, through the strangling of my pajamas around my glowing limbs, through the feeling that every muscle and joint in my body was being slowly unhinged in the most painful way possible.

But Flu, we've grown apart. Your most potent charms have departed, and the evidence of our relationship litters my apartment - debris of cough drop wrappers, empty water bottles, torn packages of Emergen-C and a spot of dried batter on the counter from when I just had to have pancakes to sustain me through the illness. Your essence is gone. I sleep well, and no longer wake up drenched in sweat or suffering from strangely realistic flu nightmares.

And yet, you linger, Flu. The persistent sore throat and nagging cough remain. Physical exertion is still more dificult than it used to be. And this relationship is bad for me. I know it's true, and you know it's true, and I think it's better all around if we just make a clean break. That would be the healthy thing to do.

In other words, Flu -

Get. Out. I never want to see you again.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Learning to learn, a little at a time

I feel like law school has been more of an onward rush of information that I've needed to learn how to learn, more than anything else. Undergrad was so fragmented and disjointed, easier to learn in chunks. By comparison law stuff is like swimming upstream trying to drink in as much as I can on the way.

In the interest of the almighty grade, I'm starting the study process a early - going over my notes, trying to actually read when I read, and absorbing as much as I can. I've been to see a professor once already, too, which puts me way ahead of the undergrad learning curve. I think I saw a professor only a few times in college, usually when I wanted to shift up from a + to a -.

And other news: family relocation. I'll say more later. Until then, this is Bernie-crim law-civ pro-torts, signing off. Goodnight, and [wish me] good luck.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Why it's hard to be an environmentalist while in law school and/or working as an attorney

I just printed my notes to start outlining. My crim notes alone were 36 pages. Sheesh. I'll need to plant a small grove of trees after I'm done with this semester just to right the balance.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Malice aforethought and breakfast

I've taken to eating my breakfast during criminal law, which means surreptitious bites of a granola bar while trying to absorb my professor's wisdom. No really, he's wise and I am trying to learn it all. To aid and abet me in this manuever I've just purchased the cutest little plastic juicebox. It's squat and square and looks like it needs a Stairmaster. So cute.

On a side note, it's October. Huh?