"In vacant or in pensive mood..." I am: Bekah; 24; Law Student / Favorite Things: Carbs (so there!), Johnny Damon, Smiling at babies, Grilled cheese, Comfortable silence / Favorite Supreme Court Justice: Brennan / Favorite Wilson: Owen by an inch / Today's Special: Song: Elliott Smith, "Bled White"; Quote: "You know, there's like a butt-load of gangs at this school. This one gang kept wanting me to join because I'm pretty good with a bowstaff." Please love me: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 September 2005
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Coolest Dad Ever
Dad: I'm listening to The Horror.
Me: Huh? Conrad?
Dad: A Gainesville punk band. Not to be confused with Terror.
Me: Of course not...Which is what exactly?
Dad: A hardcore band from California.
Me: Right...Ok, I'm going to go keep being less cool than you now.
Not the Reaction I Was Going For, Thanks...
Me: Actually, I'm taking Cyber Law in the Spring.
Me: It's like cyber sex, except not.
Melissa: You love saying that don't you?
Monday, December 22, 2003
Coffeehouse Remembrances and An Embarrassing Example of the Self-Doubt and Self-Pity That Ensues When One Reads a Good Book and has Too Much Time On One's Hands
Three horribly obese men and a bodybuilder-looking dude just walked into the coffeehouse. The sight was just plain farcical. By the way, this is not my old coffeehouse, but another place with wireless internet and a good dark roast. It's local, so it's theoretically better than Starbucks, but I'm still not here by choice. I am here because I have exiled myself from the usual place. This is because the owner of my old coffeehouse was recently incredibly rude to my friend Elliot. (Incidentally, "E" is for "Egregious," "Ecstatic," and, in terms of prior postings, "Elliot." I procured permission to use his full name, thanks man). A few weeks ago, during exams, Elliot had a Starbucks cup in my old coffeehouse while he was there studying with me. The owner came over and said "You can't have this crap in here." And it was true, Elliot should not have brought it in, but the owner didn't stop at pointing that out. He went on to actually confiscate the cup and tell Elliot that he "had to buy something or get out of here. When you own your own business you'll understand." Elliot smiled, seemingly subserviently, but actually ingratiatingly, and immediately left. I haven't gone back either. Dad says I should write a letter or call and complain, saying that I've been a loyal customer for a year and a half, and that I've put a good deal of money into the place, and that I won't return and my friends won't return unless Elliot and I get an apology. It seems like the civil thing to do, but I'm on break and I'm tired, so I think I'll just stop going.
Anyway, today, at this new coffeehouse, since I am not in school and had nothing pressing to do, I read a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. There have been many such books written, I'm sure, but today I actually read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. And I do have things to say about this book, because the work was pretty damn heartbreaking and its genius basically was staggering. But I hate myself for even writing about it right now because it pisses me off to be always writing about shit that other people do. I loved this book, but it pissed me off, because commenting on another person's work just seems so empty to me, and it makes me feel useless. I am almost 24 years old. I don't want to read other people's triumphant works anymore. Ok, I do, but I would also like to be writing something. Contributing something. And I can't, because there is this thing called law school that I'm pretty invested in right now. Oh, so tragically heartbreaking, right? Yeesh. I'm going to leave this place now. My butt is molded to the chair, and the waffle print is not becoming. Maybe when I stop feeling jealous and sorry for myself I'll write something coherent about how this book made me feel.
Saturday, December 20, 2003
I'm sorry, I've been overwhelmed by blog apathy lately. Even typing these pathetic sentences is a little bit draining right now. I hope to recover in several days, at which time I plan to start updating regularly again. Any words of encouragement at this time are most appreciated. Think of me as Tinkerbell: I need people to believe in me, or I'm going to slip out of existence...
But wait--ok, fine, I do have one thing I want to write. This is going to be a struggle, but I want to tell this story. I feel so conflicted. Like an athlete who is totally burnt out and wants a rest, but can't stop cranking out those last 15 bench presses just by force of habit. Damn you, blogger. Damn you.
Anyway, I was shopping for Christmas/Hanukah/Birthday gifts with J today and we went into some overpriced store with all kinds of weird stuff in it, like an alarmingly tacky sterling silver bank thing that said "Viagra Fund." Anyway, on the way out (which followed closely on the heels of "on the way in,") we saw a statue of a monkey holding a bowl of balls. Just a monkey, holding some balls. It was so pointless that its very existence offended me. J turned to me, throwing up his hands, and said, "A monkey holding balls. I guess I just don't get it." I wish I could convey the tone with which he uttered those words. It was so defeated, so hurt, so utterly helpless--as if he thought that people who would buy statues of a ball-holding monkeys for their foyers are somehow in the know. And that may be. But in this context, I think we're both perfectly happy in our ignorance.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Post Mortem Musings
There is one word that sums up 2L year: anticlimactic. For starters, the whole "first year is the worst, it gets much better/easier/more bearable" thing isn't all it's cracked up to be. I will admit that I was happier this year, but I think that was just due to my personal decision to take classes that didn't make me crazy. Most of my friends thought this year was just as bad, if not worse than last. But the main thing is that it's just not the same when you and your friends don't have identical exam schedules. Last year, everyone was done on the same day, so exams went out with a huge, drunken bang. It was so cathartic to go out with everyone and be able to release all of our tension at once.
This year, all of my exams were scheduled early, so I was done on Monday. Most of my friends, however, won't be done until Friday. Therefore, I can't be really excited to be done (because I'll look like a total ass for rubbing it in), so I end up feeling bad about being done. I dropped by to see some friends at a coffeehouse yesterday and happened to mention that I was going to Target and to the mall to do all of the things I hadn't been able to do for a month (like get toilet paper). Everyone looked up from their books with the most pathetic expressions on their faces, as if Target was some magical land--the most exciting destination that their brains could fathom. And then they clenched their teeth and said, "go on, have fun." And you know what, I really SHOULD be having fun, because I'm DONE with HALF of lawschool, which is a pretty big thing. So...hooray for me. Hooray for school. Now everybody hurry up and finish because I'm very lonely.
Friday, December 12, 2003
I'm pretty sure my professors, in their diligence, have saved my previous correspondence, (Memo #1 and Memo #2), but as a 2L there are just a few things I'd like to add. Very brief things, of course. After all, I am a 2L.
To: Law Professors
From: Your Conscience (pesky, right?)
Re: Your Persistence in Emulating Satan
Dear Law Professors:
Hello. How are you? I hope you and your cohorts are having a pleasant and festive exam season, filled with maniacal laughter over exam-grading and exciting legal-trivia based drinking games. I would have hoped that you might have perused my memos from last Spring in an effort to refresh your memory about what it might take for you to refrain from being satanic, but it appears that you've been too busy. I've attached them here for you to review at your convenience. As I am in the middle of the wrath that you senselessly inflict at the end of every semester, I cannot add very much new information. It shouldn't be much of a problem for you though. All you do is recycle old lectures and exams anyway, so you should be pretty comfortable with my methods. Now go cackle over your 1L exams and let me have a beer.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Still pushing that tomato up the hill. I'm almost at the top now, but it will fall back to the bottom around 12:00 p.m. today, and I'll have to get going again for tomorrow. For now, I'll leave you with this exchange:
Me: See, we'll go through this list of cases, one by one. Every time we get done with a new one, we'll go back over all of the ones we've already done, from the very beginning. That way, we'll remember everything.
E: Ok, that sounds neurotic...I'll do it.
Note: You may have reached some sort of law school exam preparation pinnacle if you have managed to double-tab an already-positioned index tab. As in, tabbing the tab. With a different colored tab, naturally. I will now retire to the nerdery with my calculator.
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic
A few days ago at the student center, I made an unexpected connection. I am exactly like the lady in charge of the salad bar.
During exams, law students start feeling helpless and angry. We feel like no matter what we do, it will never be enough. All of the hours spent outlining, reading, talking, debating, and praying ultimately come down to a group of ridiculous fact patterns that we have to flail around in, hoping to find some way to either 1) show what we know, or 2) hide the fact that we know nothing. We build ourselves up to get knocked down.
The salad bar lady is the same way. She is in charge of keeping the salad bar presentable. She spends her day arranging the cucumbers in an aesthetically pleasing manner, retrieving wayward chick peas, and wiping up the globs of Ranch dressing that thoughtless students drip all over the place. It is this woman's job to do these things. And yet, I can't help but think of her as a modern day Sisyphus, constantly pushing that tomato back up the hill. I used to get angry and stressed out when I witnessed her performing these tasks, because under this woman's watchful eye, I felt extremely pressured not to drop a carrot shaving. I felt pressured because I didn't want to make her life harder, and I didn't want to seem like some thoughtless undergrad who was just throwing vegetables around at will with no regard for the person who had to clean it up.
But now, rather than feeling pressured, I just empathize with the salad bar lady. Because really, she and I are exactly the same. We're both striving blindly for perfection that just cannot be. And it is sad.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
It's the end of the semester as we know it...
Prof: How do you get around that requirement?
Class: [Dead, dumb silence].
Prof: Look, I know you haven't read the material. It's ok! I'm in a generous mood. Just give it a guess, ok?
It's All Happening
J has this theory that there is a vast conspiracy against him, perpetuated by anyone and everyone who enters his life. I usually try to allay these psychotic worries to the best of my ability, reminding him that I, for one, am not plotting against him. Unfortunately, I periodically do something to indicate that I am actually the ringleader of the evil scheme to destroy his life. Yesterday is the perfect example. It started out fine (if "fine" can involve law school classes), but by lunch time the day was spiraling out of control:
1. We were planning to study, but I needed the internet to get an outline that one of my friends sent me. So we had to drive all the way to school, at which point I realized that I'd deleted the email. So then we had to sit around school--which he hates--to wait for a response to my request that the outline be re-sent. The response never came.
2. After hours of sitting at school, we went to dinner. Except we had Mediterranean food, which, as you might have guessed, J hates (but sometimes eats "for me.") Not to mention the fact that he is sick and can't eat anything anyway.
3. Upon arriving home from dinner, J noticed a distinct shit-like odor in the car. I light-heartedly assured him that no, this was not the conspiracy at work--there was no shit stink. But alas, upon arriving home, I looked down and observed a nice piece of shit partially attached to my shoe and partially attached to the floorboard of his car. My invocation of Adam Sandler's classic "It's poop again!" only seemed to make matters worse, as did my desperately trite plea that "shit happens."
4. We had planned on studying at a coffeehouse after dinner. Except every coffeehouse we attempted to enter was completely and totally full. There was no room at the Inn. At this point, I was maniacally laughing at our misfortune, while J was taking a small amount of pleasure in all of the evidence he had been able to compile that day re: the vast conspiracy.
5. Finally, all of yesterday's events must be evaluated in the context of the following lamentable realities: 1) J's roommate is moving out because of me, 2) I have contributed, at least marginally and probably extensively, to the slow dismantling of his entire group of friends, 3) I am on Law Review (which is slightly threatening to his manhood) and periodically spend time in the "evil lair" of the law review office, 4) I sometimes get presents for people other than him, 5) I listen to Belle and Sebastian (a habit that is offensive to his "elitist" musical sensibilities, largely, I think, because Jack Black ripped on the band in High Fidelity), and, most importantly, 6) I make pseudo-anonymous fun of him on the internet.
I think he might be right about the conspiracy after all.
Monday, December 01, 2003
Should I ever go back to that coffeehouse?
Old Man: Why hello, young lady. May I ask, are you a student?
Me: Yes, I'm a law student.
Old Man: Are you going to be a lawyer?
Me: It looks that way.
Old Man: Do you think I could sue you for flirting with me?
Me: Um, no. No I don't. (Thinking: Uh, I'm pretty sure you don't have much of a cause of action there, scary man. Please leave).
Abort Conversation. Repeat: Abort Conversation.
[Note: "E" is a dear friend of mine--a friend who unfortunately has tragically right-leaning political views. We try to keep our politically-oriented conversations light in order to maintain our friendship.]
Me: E, look, I'm reading about one of our favorite topics for 14th Amendment. Abortion.
E: Ah, good old abortion. You know, the French call it "abortement." (Said in a thick, unauthentic French accent).
Me: Ha, well the whole thing sounds a little more innocuous when you put it that way, doesn't it, E?
E: Why yes, it does. As long as you're aborting French babies, I'm all for the procedure.