Tuesday, August 29, 2006

weirdest. first day of school. ever.

you know what they should tell you at 1L orientation? they should tell you that law school is for the 2Ls. because being a 1L is like a 9 month sentence in the deepest depths of hell, and this whole 3L gig seems like the one last formality before they throw us to the wolves.

maybe i'm being dramatic, i mean, today was the first day and all, but so many of my friends were with me on the feeling that today was just weird.


more to come...

Monday, August 28, 2006


ta da! many happy returns to mark, who i think is like 21 or something today. happy birthday!

today is also the 54th anniversary of my mom's birth, which means there have been lots of thoughts of my dad and daniel and caitlin. i love you, family! and i miss you all.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

question for you readers...

so, if you had 92 holy cards, not a one of them the same, what the hell (pun intended) would you do with them?

i've had this odd collection of holy cards for a while now, and i want to put them to some use, but i'm not sure what that use should be... house of cards? collage? trade 'em with friends?

anyway, i'm looking for ideas, so if you've got ideas, let me know.

Friday, August 25, 2006

not too bad, for a friday...

by 9:00 this morning i was practically skipping down centre avenue on my way home from my appointment with the neurologist! why? because i don't have brain tumors. and i still don't have MS. what i do have is scars on my brain from the old lesion and the biopsy that will always be there. these scars will always run the risk of interrupting the electrical activity in my brain, so seizures are always a possibility. the spots are little, so the possibility is small, but it means i'll have to stay on the anti-seizure meds. that's the not-so-great part, since the meds make me feel so foggy, but given the alternative outcomes here, i'm not going to complain too loudly.

as for the neuro that i saw today? she's awesome. i'm going to stick with her, since she seems to be both good in person and able to use a telephone. and, she kinda looks like a nun in civvies, which reminds me of my younger catholic school days.

and as if that wasn't enough on its own, i've also gotten an internship at the public defender's office for the fall. i went there today to meet with the attorney for whom i'll be working, and then subsequently became overwhelmed by everything in the office. it's amazing how much one can forget about criminal law in a year's time... but this is what i'm really thinking about doing after graduation, so this internship is important on several levels.

so, there you go. that's been my day.

bad news/good news, each of galactic proportions...

first, the bad news...

so, some folks who term themselves the "international astronomical union" have decided that pluto is too dinky to retain its status as a planet. what the?!?! i think i'll make a t-shirt to show that i protest this seemingly arbitrary declaration:
Pluto, a planet since 1930, got the boot because it didn't meet the new rules, which say a planet not only must orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape, but must ''clear the neighborhood around its orbit.'' That disqualifies Pluto, whose oblong orbit overlaps Neptune's, downsizing the solar system to eight planets from the traditional nine.

and now, the good news...

i don't have brain tumors! i'm just a girl who gets seizures. and that, i can deal with. hooray!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

changing gears...

so i'm just about all moved back in. all that remains is my trunk and a couple of boxes that are currently at jess's place. i'm glad to be back in my apartment, even though my subletter put a padded seat (?!?!) on my toilet.

had my MRI yesterday. there were some complications of the insurance-out-of-network sorts which prohibited me from getting the scan done last week in philadelphia. i ended up crying on the phone with my pittsburgh neuro's office when i was told that the earliest appointment i could get would be in a few months. and then, they put me on the phone with a new doctor in the practice who told me she'd get me an MRI and an appointment to see her when i got back. long story short? she's my hero, and if i had known that all i would have to do to get things done would be to cry, i would have done that weeks ago!

anyway, i'll find out what the MRI shows on friday morning. it's all i can think about. i'm fearing the worst. not exactly expecting the best, either.

i'm having some difficulty adjusting to being back, too. i feel out of the loop. soon enough things will feel normal again. soon enough.

right now, though, i'm really missing philadelphia and the people there. i'm glad to be back here, looking forward to getting back into the groove of classes and friends. but i feel so overwhelmed with things like, oh, finding a job or signing up for the bar or planning the next phase of my life. you know, little things.

it all makes my chest hurt. i'm going to have a glass of something...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

public transit...

so, the last two really heartbreaking goodbyes i've experienced have involved public transit. there was one back in february, waiting for the 28X on fifth avenue in pittsburgh. and there was one tonight, waiting for the trolley in west philadelphia at 40th street. both of those relationships turned out to mean a lot more to me than i ever would have thought when they started. and both of those relationships met their demise because of distance. or timing. or perhaps, distance and timing.

you never ever ever get used to it. it doesn't matter how many times you go through this kind of thing, it always hurts.

this was my farewell weekend in philadelphia. friday was goodbye to work. friday night was goodbye to friends. today was goodbye to center city, goodbye to rittenhouse square, goodbye to someone i'll miss a lot.

i'll be back. and i am looking forward to seeing my friends in pittsburgh again (!), finding out how their summers have gone, sleeping in my own bed (!) and using my own shower with real water pressure (!).

but transitions? i goddamn hate them.

there will be more to say soon. i've got at least one good blog post about the end of things here in me. but now i need to finish packing and get ready to return home.

i love you, philadelphia! thanks for one hell of a summer!

Monday, August 14, 2006

little miss sunshine...

oh my goodness! somebody finally did the "feelgood movie" right! go see _little miss sunshine_! see it twice! or thrice! it's amazing and funny and charming and heartbreaking and delicate and beautiful. (just like me!)

and i'd like to say a few words about steve carell. he's got the whole understated, misunderstood, brilliant, subtle thing down. i'm gonna say something bold here, friends. and you can disagree with me if you want, but i'm gonna say it anyway. steve carell, if he doesn't screw it up along the way, is on the path to being the next bill murray.


and toni collette is hot.

Friday, August 11, 2006

knowledge is power, and why i love my philly neuro...

part one: knowledge is power...

saw the philly neuro today. i love her (see below). but she's still insisting on this whole MS thing, a diagnosis that dr. b. in pittsburgh has been confident in dismissing. which leaves me, the patient, caught between the opinions of two very intelligent, well-educated, determined experts. my own little rock and hard place. thus, the necessity of second opinions. but what does one do when one finds a doctor with whom one feels comfortable? if i were to go with dr. p. here, and put myself on some sort of MS-preventive course of drugs, i would (a) have to find different insurance, because my piddly student health plan wouldn't cover the expense of the injectables; (b) again have to wrestle with the fear of the diagnosis of a very unpredictable and potentially debilitating disease.

...deference to those who are supposed to know. these docs, they've seen a whole lot more seizures and lesions and episodes and adverse effects and blocked peripheral vision and headaches than i have. so while i've got all the necessary data to ask the questions, they're in a much better position to suggest the answers. suggest the answers.

knowledge is power. with great power comes great responsibility. yet, the docs aren't really taking care of me, i'm doing my best to take care of myself. guh... what the eff? i just want to figure out what to do next.

part two: why i love my philly neuro...

i had two primary objectives for my visit this morning with dr. p. (1) change my meds. even though i've felt SIGNIFICANTLY better since i self-lowered my dosage of this crap, i still feel wonky. and feeling wonky isn't something of which i'm particularly fond. dr. p. had no objections to trying something else out. and (2) get an MRI scheduled so i can get my brains scanned and find out if that seizure was indicative of a greater problem. dr. p. said, without me even having to bring it up, "well, it's obvious to me that we need to get you in for an MRI." i LOVE her! she retains the designation of my favorite doc. i'll have the MRI on monday evening and will talk to her next week. fingers crossed that the MRI looks just like the last one, because if there's any change, well...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

z is for zarouhie...

i've put up a new link, to my friend zarouhie's artist website. she and her work are fantastic and she's one of my favorite new additions to my social circle this summer.

she and drew have been welcome fellow southerners up here in yankeeland. drew is from pascagoula; zarouhie is from new orleans. they moved up to philly after the storm last year. i'm so glad i've been able to spend time with them in these past few months. let's just hope they'll stick around in philadelphia for a while -- that will make it all the better when i return here after school is done.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

no more joe-mentum for CT!!!

the results are in! according to the hartford courant, the new candidate for the dems in the connecticut senatorial race is everybody's favorite who-the-hell-is-this-guy: NED LAMONT!!!

hot damn! i love me some democracy!

Monday, August 07, 2006

from your friendly neighborhood career services office...

why is it that whenever i get an e-mail in my inbox about career fairs or on-campus interviews or job postings, my first instinct is to crawl under my desk, fold my arms, and pout?

i've so far managed to resist that urge, but the frown on my face is pavlovian.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

safe mode...

in one of those countless moments of waiting in the e.r. after my seizure, i looked over at keith and said something about feeling completely as if my mind was some sort of blank slate and he said, "well of course it does -- your brain just rebooted."

too true. and i don't want to run afar with these computer analogies, but if a seizure is like the brain crashing and rebooting, then maybe these anti-convulsant meds are like running in safe mode. because i don't feel like i'm at full capacity, i'm not accessing all of my programs, and i might as well have the words "safe mode" framing everything i do.

here's the real deal, friends -- I. HATE. THIS. MEDICINE! and i want to get off it as soon as humanly possible. want to know what i did last night? i had a big long talk with keith about how i seriously think i'm losing my mind. i was crying, i was panicky, i was distressed. actually, change all instances of "was" in the before sentence to "am". i don't know how to describe it other than that i feel glitchy. like things aren't running quite right. glitchy.

now, things run with glitches in them all the time, but this is my brain. want some examples of the glitchiness? okay. how's this for you: on several occasions over the past week or so, i've had the very real and very realistic urge to pick up the phone and...wait for it...call my mother. call. my. mother. as if she were just hanging out somewhere at her job or reading the paper. as if i could just dial a phone number and she would be there on the receiving end. my mother has been dead for almost eleven years. i KNOW that i cannot call her. and this isn't like a feeling that it would be nice to be able to call her, this is a feeling just like how i could call my dad right now. or call krista. or call my brother. glitches.

and i keep confusing my 412s with my 215s, i fumble over the order of the streets in philadelphia, streets i've known for years. i catch myself quickly enough, but it's not automatic, not like it usually is.

and, glitch-in-the-matrix notwithstanding, i have weird deja vu feelings AT LEAST three times a day. i feel tired and then not-tired. and dizzy and then not-dizzy. and sad and then not-sad. this is neurochemistry all fucked up. this is your brain on drugs.

when i talked to keith about it last night, he said he's noticed that things have been different with me since i've been on these meds. he said i've been jumpier, kinda paranoid, my perspective on certain things has been unrealistic. and while one could argue that it's just him getting to know me, it provided some comfort to hear him tell me that. because maybe i'm not losing my mind and spiraling inwardly into some sort of brain tumor-induced hell. maybe it really is something external and fixable. keith said to me, "this isn't you. and you don't have to feel like this."

sheesh. i SO wanted all of this stuff to be behind me. and i SO thought that it was. but that's what i get for trusting a neurologist who won't respond to repeated phone calls and e-mails from a patient in distress. or maybe that's what i get for clinging too tenaciously to hope and idealism.

regardless, i've got an appointment on friday with dr. p, my neuro here in philly. friday. 10:00 a.m. that was the SOONEST they could fit me in. but so help me gods, i will not walk out of her office on the same medication and/or dosage that i'm on right now. i'll fight with her if i have to. i can't do this anymore. i feel crazy and sick and miserable and not at all myself. and i'd rather have seizures than feel like this.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

damsel in distress...

friends. i've managed to get myself into a bit of a pickle. you see, the last day of my internship is friday, august 18th. and i need to be out of my sublet by the end of the calendar day of sunday, august 20th. and i, my cats, and my stuff have no way of getting ourselves back to pittsburgh.

rent a car? well, i'd like to, and in a lot of ways that makes the most sense, but you see, given that i've had recent seizure activity, i'm not so comfortable with driving by myself 300 miles across the lonely state of pennsylvania. just in case. better to be safe than sorry. et cetera.

take a train! okay. but i have two cats (and their carriers), a couple of plants, two trunks, my bike, and other odds and ends that would be too cumbersome to try and bring on a train, and too expensive to try and ship.

this leaves me reliant on the kindness of friends. hopeful in the generosity of those that i love. keeping every finger and toe crossed that somebody will be willing to take a little adventure and give me a ride across the state in 2.5 weeks.

anyone? anyone?

remember that i'm turning 30 next month and this would be one hell of a b'day present! and remember all of you who e-mailed/called after i had my seizure and said you'd be happy to help out anyway you could? well, here's your opportunity!!!

i'm GREAT road trip company. i provide antics. and i think this experience would be an excellent thing to turn into a podcast!?!

opposing counsel, part three...

this doesn't really count as opposing counsel, but the clerks in municipal court should all be strung up by their toesies and forced to memorize their own procedural rules!!!