Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I don't have anything very exciting or insightful to share--I guess that's why I haven't been writing very much lately. The excitement and angst of moving has passed and we are all settled into a nice little routine.

Well, except for last week--darling fiancé got in a car accident and I couldn't be reached because my new cell phone is a piece of crap. But he is fine and I really don't want to relive that horrific drama.

I love routine and predictability and structure. That's why I came to law school. However, they have spent the last month telling me that the law is not static--but alive, ever changing and pliable. This is good too, it means the years I spent honing my arguing and bullshitting skills weren't wasted.

For the most part professors use the Socratic method here, while it encourages thoughtful discussion and examination of the material, it also causes us to go off on long tangents. Some people just love to hear themselves talk and since the professor just keeps asking them questions to lead them to the "right" answer, we waste time. I have no desire to listen to my classmates grope around in the dark, searching for an intelligent thought. I hate sitting quietly, patiently as they flip through the case book hoping the answer will jump out at them from the fluorescent yellow striped page. HINT: If you highlight all but 10 words on a page, you have missed the point!

Now, I'm not brilliant and I don't have the all the answers but I expect a certain amount of intelligence and professionalism from my fellow students. Do the reading, show-up on time and don't treat the class like your own personal conversation with the professor. Raise your hand and wait your turn. And a note to my professors: If you can hear a collective groan when you call on the same person question after question, day after day, and tolerate her outbursts time and time again--you are in danger of losing the respect of the class and you are wasting our collective time by teaching to just one student.

Wow, I guess I did have something to bitch about after all, and I feel a bit more self righteous since I just received the highest grade in the class on my first legal memo.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Welcome to Buffalo

Today I could write about law school, or the open house at Angel babe's school last night, or about how much it sucks that we have cut our family's income by three-quarters--but , I think I will just post a picture to help remind me of why I moved back to Buffalo. Sure, it was mostly to go to law school, but it was also to be part of a community again.

On Sunday darling fiancé and I went to the Bills home opener at Ralph Wilson Stadium. We tailgated with one of my bridesmaids (a Buffalo girl I met in DC and who also moved back home) and about 40 members of her family. Grills were blazing and the beer was flowing--starting at 9:00am. We were all there for the same reason: to cheer for the Buffalo Bills and have a good time. Everyone in the stadium--all 80,000 plus--had a smile on their face and a good word for the fans around them. Hundreds of strangers greeted us with high-fives and "Go Bills!" shouts. There is nothing like this anywhere in DC. I have been to Washington Redskins games, the crowd is blasé, there is a mix of team allegiances, hardly anyone talks to people outside of their group and by the fourth quarter the stadium is beginning to empty out. On Sunday, the Bills were up by two touchdowns on the fourth quarter and the place stayed packed until the end. I'm so happy to be home.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Mediocre Frat Boy Theory

Why is it that nothing succeeds like failure and it always seem like the person in charge knows way less that the person five rungs down the ladder?
Here's an answer Mediocre Frat Boy Theory. (tip to Republic of T. )

I am trying to figure out what the corollary to this is, is it the cute blonde theory or the sycophant in a pretty dress theory. For now I will stick will my mother's motto "Competence is its own punishment." Meaning if you do something very well you will be doing that job and 10 more, while the incompetent person at the next desk with get promoted so they will become someone else's problem.

I'm not sure why I'm feeling so indignant this morning, maybe I need coffee.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Katrina Timeline in Pictures

The devastation from Hurricane Katrina is unfathomable to me. I can't imagine losing everything I have and starting over with nothing and having to rely on the government to help me.

This incredible photo timeline really brought the experience home for me. It is very eerie to see how optimistic things looked after the storm passed and before the flooding started. This guy's tale is amazing.

You can donate to Red Cross relief efforts here.

God bless the survivors.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I'm Back!!!

I am finally back to blogging after a too long hiatus. Since I last wrote I have moved to Buffalo with Angel babe and Darling fiancé, sold my car, moved my whole family in with my mother and started law school.

We are pretty much settled in, but it wasn't without a few bumps in the road.

The "friend" who was supposed to help us pack up the moving truck bailed at the last minute, so DF and I did almost all of it ourselves. This set our schedule way back, since two grown men and me moving all of our stuff down 3 flights of stairs and into the truck takes a lot less time than just one man and me. Ugh! So instead of leaving at around noon, we left at 8pm. There were more reasons for the delay--like selling the car to CarMax--which I highly recommend!! It was quick and easy, it just took extra time that we hadn't originally planned one. So by the time we got to Buffalo after sleeping in a hotel about 3 hours away from 2am-7am, we hired professional movers to unpack the truck and figure out how to fit all of our stuff through narrow passages of my mother's house. This was the best $300 I spent in a long time and I'm sure it saved my relationship. We did really well through all of the stress of packing, moving, driving and taking care of annoying crap--but we were very close to the end of our patience. The horrible memory of the physical move is starting to fade--as well as the bruises and mosquito bites that I suffered.

I started law school last week; I think the biggest difference between this and undergrad is my attitude about it. Since I’m older and have already worked for a number of years, I have more confidence and am less worried about what the other students think of me. If I have something to say, I say it. I don’t hold back because I feel like I’m talking too much or that people will think I’m sucking up—like I did in college. My attitude now is who cares?! I paid my money and I am here to get the most out of law school so that I can get a great, interesting, rewarding job. Most of the other students are much younger—21, 22—so they are still focused on where the best place to go out is and does that guy like me, etc. But, it is refreshing to be around people closer to my own age again, since I spent the last 8 years working with mostly 50-year-old men. My section is quickly becoming a close knit unit, especially since we spend so much time together.

The next big development is Angel babe starting kindergarten. His first day was yesterday. They have uniforms at his school (even though it is public); he looked so grown-up in his khaki shorts, navy polo and little braided brown belt. He could have stepped off the cover of the Land’s End catalog with his backpack and lunch bag. He was a bit nervous, but excited to finally start kindergarten since we have been talking about it for a year. Everything was going well, he played on the playground with other kids while we were waiting for the doors to open. He found his locker with his name on it and said it was “cool.” He found the nameplate for his desk. Took a seat near some other little boys and excitingly began to drink his juice and eat crackers. That’s when it all fell apart. I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him to have a great first day and I’d see him later. He started to plead “Please stay Mommy.” “I’ll see you later, Mommy has to go to school to, all of the other parents are leaving and it’s time for you to do special kid stuff.” “I don’t want to stay here, I want to go with you.” “You’ll be fine.” “I don’t want to stay.”

This tearful exchange went on for twenty minutes. Finally I really needed to leave, so that I didn’t start crying in front of him. I was already late for my class, but had given up the hope of being on time. The teachers kept assuring me he would be fine. So I gave him one last kiss goodbye and walked out the door. He was screaming and crying “Mommy, Mommy, I don’t want to stay.” I could hear him all the way down the hall. It was horrible; I was nearly hysterical by the time I got to the car. I called DF, who was at work (it was his second day on the job) and he very sweetly tried to calm me down. I found out later that his work partner could hear me sobbing through the phone. Of course, Angel was fine 10 minutes after I left. This is pretty much how it goes. He puts on a big show for me when I drop him off—he doesn’t do this with Daddy or Nana (my mom), and then he’s fine.

When I picked him up at the end of the day at after school care he was fine. In fact he started getting upset because he didn’t want to leave!! Then he told me that he didn’t get on the bus from school to after-school care—his teacher didn’t put him on the bus—so she ended up driving him there!! By the time I got home yesterday I was done. But we had to have the special first day of school dinner. (Side note: Darling fiancé’s birthday was Tuesday night, the same day as his first day of work—in Rochester, an hour away—so I cooked him a birthday dinner—veal marsala and sautéed spinach—for his special day. And had promised Angel the same treatment for his first day.) What did my gifted little boy want for dinner? Hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and coconut shrimp. He loved it and ate nearly every bite—so it was absolutely worth the extra stop for the shrimp.

More later about this morning and Angel’s first time riding the school bus. But I have to say I love being back in Buffalo. Everyone is very nice and helpful—not at all like DC—and living in an actual neighborhood with sidewalks and yards is amazing. We have taken Angel for a bike ride almost every night. Darling fiancé has been incredible, since this whole move was basically so that I could go to school. He actually really likes it here to. I hope I can stay focused on schoolwork when I’m at school and not let the pressure or angst I may feel permeate into my home life. This is a new start for all of us and I want to make the best of it.