Wednesday, May 30, 2007

juris doctored...

good grief! it's been one hell of a week. i had eight family members in town, i graduated from law school, and i finally (FINALLY!) got this done:

which comes from this:

which has a story that i've told too many times in the past week to bring myself to tell again. but that's not the point.

the point is that all of a sudden here i am, with some more letters after my name, and things seem, well, different and the same and a little dizzying.

and it's not just because i had my brother, my sister, my dad, my step-mom, two aunts, an uncle, and a cousin in town for several days. this weekend was a major terminus in my life and it brought with it a lot of complicated emotions. when i saw everybody off at the airport at the end of the weekend, i stood at the airport watching them go through security and until they vanished from sight and i sobbed. cry cry cried like a cliche. and then i walked back to the car and just lost it.

and graduation was so anticlimactic... the ceremony was pretty lackluster. there were cameras flashing all over the place -- proud parents documenting the experience. but i did have a nice little cheering section when i got to walk across the stage with my fancy juris doctor hood -- that's the benefit of having lots of family in town.

i had a rare and wonderful successful family weekend. it was amazing being with daniel and caitlin, even though they got to stay up later than me because i had to get up and go to bar exam school. and dad? dad was so proud of me! it was nice.

and now that they're gone and the regalia is turned in and i'm left with my bar exam books and a degree.

so why do i feel kinda sad?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

emily, this is your life...

here you go! welcome to the next two months of my life, courtesy of youtube (and krista, who found this and sent it to me!)

Monday, May 21, 2007


on wednesday, my brother and sister are coming to town. on thursday, my dad, my step-mom, two aunts, an uncle, and a cousin will be here. why? because on saturday i'm graduating!!!

...which is kinda fantastic in a lot of ways, most of them of the whole accomplishment/celebration/all-the-hard-work-has-paid-off kind, but let's just say that having eight family members in town is a little bit nerve-wracking.

...which is basically the understatement of the year. i am afflicted with major hostess anxiety in general, and i'm feeling a ridiculous amount of stress at being cruise director this weekend. plus, my friends and i have that big picnic/cookout thing on friday that has been in the works for months. which reminds me, i need to get a keg...

i called my dad earlier to find out what kinds of things they wanted to do in the downtime. he cautioned me not to overplan, but given that visits from dad in the past have met with disaster when there weren't things to do, i'm not sure that overplanning is such a bad idea. better to have things to do and choose not to do them than not to have enough to do, right?

i'm tired. i just cleaned my bathroom, i have laundry in the dryer. tomorrow i'll take care of the sweeping and dusting and vacuuming. and the dishes. for now, i think i'll play some super paper mario for a bit...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

woke up this mo'nin...

okay, so here's something that i don't think i've dealt with on this blog -- i'm kind of obsessed with _the sopranos_.

it all started only a few months ago. carson and i watched all of them so i could get all caught up before this last season. and now there are only two episodes left in the series and i'm a little sad about it. because even though none of the characters are really likable (well, i do love silvio), and the stories are filled with death and blood and betrayal and deception, there's something about the show that has got me completely hooked, and i just can't stop watching!

i had missed last sunday's episode, so before tonight's show i got caught up. and omigoodnessholycrap!

so, yeah, two episodes left. looks like it's the NYC vs NJ mob families, in ultimate deathmatch style!

Friday, May 18, 2007

dear torts professor, my apologies...

so the torts portion of my bar exam preparation course is over, and i'm left with the overwhelming sense that my first year torts professor did a much better job of teaching us torts than we've been giving him credit for these past couple of years.

see, where other torts classes were reading over a hundred cases and going over all of the elements of the intentional torts, we read about 25 cases and focused on the elements of negligence -- duty, breach, causation, and damages. and for each of those cases we broke down the rationale of the opinions and offered the best critiques of that rationale that our green, rigid, not-yet-lawschooled brains could muster.

and we did a lot of bitching (as if we actually knew enough to do so!) because we weren't learning about battery or assault or defamation or trespass, but based on the stuff we covered in the bar prep class, i really do think we got a damn fine torts experience. and a much less boring one than some of our colleagues.

also, this bar prep stuff has got me feeling like a 1L again. suddenly, things like res ipsa loquitur and fee tail are funny again, and i'm well aware of how little substantive law one needs to know in order to be a decent lawyer.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"so you reach into your jacket and pull out your gun, the one you carry for the purpose of all torts hypotheticals..."

today was the first day of the rest of my life...

okay, so it's not _that_ dramatic. but i did start my bar exam preparation course today, and i was overwhelmed. i think i felt my stomach move from my throat down into my guts at least four times this morning. gulp-o-rama! but this is all part of the madness, and at least now i know what an intentional tort is.

oh, and can anybody recommend a restaurant in pittsburgh where i can take nine of my family members for dinner next saturday after graduation?

Monday, May 14, 2007

i made a monkey!

see? he's a little, well, imperfect, but who isn't? he's also a prototype. i wanted to make something for my friend dave's daughter charlotte, but this one was my draft version.

i told caitlin about this little monkey's mismatched ears and she said she thinks she'd like to have a monkey like that, so when she's here for my graduation in a couple of weeks, he's all hers!

green thumbs up...

ta da! it's my roof garden! isn't it lovely? i put up a picture of it now because it's only a matter of time before it either dies of its own accord or the birds eat it. but i love it and i will do my damnedest to keep it alive.

the cast of characters is, from left to right, arugula, tomatoes, lettuce, more lettuce and some just-sprouting beans, peas (i LOVE the way the peas grow, btw), green and lima beans, and peppers. grow your hearts out, little guys!!!

and before any of you so-and-sos go and tell me that i'm gonna need bigger containers and more dirt and all, I KNOW!!! i'm working on it.

emily's mii minion army...

so part of the fun of having a wii is that you get to make miis, little people that you can use when you play certain games. here's my mii:

isn't she awesome?

but it doesn't stop there. i have begun to create an entire universe of miis. i have a mii for milo, one for kenobi, one for sufjan stevens, one for ramon fernandez (from wallace stevens lore, and also what i've named my ipod). i also have a goth mii and an emo mii, and greg and andrew made miis when they were here the other night. soon my miis will take over the world!

btw, i'm planning to make a series of supreme court justice miis next. stay tuned!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

the sum of all things...

in a nice occurrence of serendipity (i'm not sure this is the right word for this, but whatev), i got a phone call yesterday from one of my favorite college friends. this is a woman that i think is so fantastic, and i really don't talk to her nearly enough anymore.

she called, we chatted, and then we got on the topic of how she's in a relationship that she needs to get out of. it's not a bad relationship. it's not unhealthy. it's just not what she wants and it's making her sad. and she's gone on like this for a while. so we talked and we talked, and we agreed that "the kind of guy that every nice girl in her 30s should want to marry" really isn't what either of us is looking for.

and oddly, having this conversation with my friend about a breakup after just having been broken up with was fantastically therapeutic for me. and i realized something about what i had just gone through -- that two people can be at the same point with things, but the way that manifests itself through the individual personalities can be very different. and there's more, but no need to go into that. and so i got it, i understood, and if i'm correct (and i really don't need to know whether i am or not) then i might have just attained the seldom attainable moment of clarity about the end of a relationship.

huh. and so it goes.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

family stuff...

last night i called my dad, trying to track down my brother. you see, this weekend my sister is moving back home from college for the summer and my dad and brother are driving up to fetch her. hence the calling-dad-to-find-daniel. daniel wasn't there -- my dad was going to pick him up this morning.

dad could tell i was upset, he could hear it in my voice. but it was 11:00 at night (my time), all i could hear in the background through my dad's end of the phone was the television at what seemed like a volume appropriate for old people who are hard of hearing, and my step-mother's voice talking to my dad. and the thought of explaining what had happened was just about the last thing i wanted to do, given all of that. so i was kinda short with my dad, told him i didn't want to talk, told him i'd talk to him later.

so just now i called him back to apologize and explain. and i'll say this -- sometimes my father drives me absolutely insane, sometimes he's the last person on earth i want to deal with, but when i need him or in those moments when i'm at my worst, he's absolutely amazing. i think he's got some sort of superpower when it comes to helping his children when we're not feeling so hot about things. and that makes me feel like the luckiest daughter ever.

Friday, May 11, 2007


so, when i got up this morning i intended to post something about how greg and andrew and i had a silly night of sangria and wii sports, but then i got dumped. so i kinda didn't feel like writing about the goodtimes anymore.

i went over to krista and paul's place tonight. at one point i kinda just blurted out, "i'm just so tired of being single." and i meant it -- i don't want to be married or anything. but i want to be in that nice settled stage of a relationship when you're past all the drama and the hesitation and you've reached the point where things feel stable and nice and you know that you're with someone who loves you with all of your imperfections. unfortunately, you don't get that until you go through all the ups and downs of the early stuff. it seems, though, that most of the time you don't get past the early stuff.

i don't care where i am in my life or what's going on, breakups are always gonna suck. there's always gonna be that feeling of unfairness and misunderstanding and wanting to talk until you're blue in the face when you know that somebody's mind was made up long before the break up actually happened. and the way that mind got made up never ever ever will make sense to the other person. and there's the anger and the frustration and the sadness. and the only thing that can make it better is time.

so, yeah. there you go. i'm not on the appalachian trail as planned, i've had a real crap-fest of a day, and this phase between the end of finals and the beginning of my bar exam preparation class (that starts on the 17th) isn't turning out to be the much-needed rest and relaxation that i had wanted. but what can you do?


Monday, May 07, 2007

true to form...

yup. it wouldn't be the night before a paper is due without some stupid blog post. here i am, 11:40 p.m., 12 hours and 20 minutes before deadline time, and i'm sitting on my bed, surrounded by my computer and all of my seminar paper research. you're right -- i should be sitting at a desk or a table or something more, um, conducive to writing. but i don't really have a desk, and my table is covered in clutter.

i was just thinking about dyeing my hair. i know that i shouldn't. it's just that i've now gone a whole year without changing its color, which basically means the stuff on my head right now is the color that nature gave me. but, you see, there may be some grey in there. i can't be sure, but when i look in the mirror, it looks like i've got these stark white hairs contrasting with the normal dark stuff. however, when i pull the hairs out of my head (of course i do!) and hold them against something light in color, they just look blonde. not grey -- just lighter versions of the rest of the pigmented stuff. huh. but i'm 30. it's time for grey, right?

but it's not the grey i want to hide. i think i'm on the verge of a serious oh-holy-crap-this-is-my-life crisis, in which i freak out about having just quadrupled my debt and having wasted the best childrearing years of my life with my nose in a casebook.

oh wait, i don't want kids.

that's not the point, either. the point is that i will never skip another class, write another ridiculous paper that involves fidgeting with fonts and margins to get to a desired page length. i'll never take another job for credit. i'll never wait anxiously for another student loan refund check at the beginning of a term so that i can pay the rent. i'll never keep old notebooks and a bunch of stuff i never use in a locker. i'll never have an annual income that is too low to qualify for federal taxes (please oh please oh please oh please let this part be true!). i'll never get to wear jeans and t-shirts and my blue adidas gazelles in my, erm, "professional" life again. i'll never get another report card. i'll never be a student.

i had to proctor a couple of exams today -- civil procedure for the first years in the morning; russian law and mental health law for the upperclassmen in the afternoon. both exams were in room 113, which worked out nicely for me, because i could spread out all of my seminar paper stuff and not have to move it midday. at the end of that last final, with only about 3 minutes to go, i was watching the clock, watching the second hand move around the clockface and allofasudden the second hand stopped...


and there was this part of me that thought, "YES! I don't have to go through with this!" as if maybe the horrible weight of all the uncertainty in the coming months had just lifted and i could stay where i'm comfortable, i could continue this beautiful semi-transient life that's measured in semesters. i could become the consummate mentee, floating from professor to professor until i truly feel comfortable with all of the things that i feel like i didn't get the first time around... maybe!

but a few brief timeless moments later, that second hand cruelly jerked itself to attention and continued its journey. as if it had only been temporarily distracted from its duties, lost itself in a reverie... i know the feeling. losing myself in various reveries is something at which i particularly excel.

time went on, the exam was over, the academic cycle draws to its close so that a new cycle may begin right away... sigh... i was so close... thisclose... almost...

and after i had collected all of the exams and put them in order for the registrar's office, after i put my backpack on my back and moved the chair i had been using back to where it belonged, as i headed for the door, i paused and turned around and looked at room 113...

during my first year, room 113 was property law and constitutional law. i was so little then, knew so little, less cynical, less confident. i realized as i stood in that room today that as soon as i walked out that door, i really had no reason to ever re-enter room 113. that was it. time keeps going. i had to leave it for the next class of students.

and my heart broke a little bit...

but what could i do? i turned back to face the door, went where my feet knew to take me, closed the door behind me, and kept going.

it feels like too much. right now, it's just a little too much.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

here at the end of all things...

the only thing i have left before i'm officially done with law school is to finish up my seminar paper. it's due at noon on tuesday. i'm working on it at a snail's pace. why? maybe it's regular old procrastination. but maybe it's a hesitancy for this to be over.

last night a bunch of us got together over at harris grill to celebrate the end. kelly is leaving for alaska tomorrow. oliver left for philly today. josh is headed to ohio after graduation. aubrey will also be in philly. sandy will be in wheeling (but she's gonna see lots of me whether she likes it or not!). andrew's gonna be in delaware. ed will be in philly. george will be in germany. me? i'll be here at least until the bar exam in july -- let's hope that there will be a job for me to begin in august...

these people have been incredibly important to me in the past three years. add to that list above krista and katy and laura and elizabeth and grant and greg and chris and donny and tom and tom -- my experience at pitt law wouldn't have been nearly as rich and wonderful had it not been for my relationships with these people. what to say? i know that this is only the end of law school, not the end of those relationships. but i've been through enough goodbyes and transitions to know that maintaining contact will become more difficult as time and distance accrue. despite the inevitable rough patches along the way, i am very fond of all of these people. they are brave and brilliant, strong and supportive, funny and insightful, compassionate and real. i've grown as a result of knowing them, and i'm grateful for all of the memories i carry with me as a result.

andrew posted some really kind words. i link to his page because i think his post is beautiful, and also as a bit of a tribute -- andrew can be a pain in the ass (and i'm sure he'd gladly say the same about me), but it has been very important to me that we've reconnected over the past few months. it's a nice little reminder that good things do happen with good people.

i wish a billionty good things for all of the good people i've been so fortunate to know. these folks are gonna contribute to the undoing of those ugly stereotypes about lawyers. if we are judged by the company we keep, then things look good for me, too. i'm truly honored to have been surrounded by such amazing folks.

i love you all! and i'll see you soon!

Thursday, May 03, 2007


i had no proctoring obligations yesterday, so carson and i went down to ohiopyle state park for a little hiking, you know, as practice for the big AT venture.

now, here's the point where i admit that i've never really gone hiking before. i mean, sure i've gone "hiking", like when you take big walks in the woods and stuff. but as far as the hiking boots and the packs and the carrying lots of water and gear? never done that. so yesterday i filled my pack with 5 liters of water (in containers -- i didn't just turn the faucet on into the main compartment) and a bunch more stuff than i needed as an exercise in hiking with a good amount of weight on my back.

the whole hike was really awesome. ohiopyle is freaking beautiful:


and take a look at this:

it's a tree that carson and i happened upon along one of the trails. i made carson stand in the picture for scale's sake.

i kinda loved the whole trekking bit. carson and i both found some terrific sticks to aid our walking (and i realized that there's no reason to throw a ton of cash at fancy trekking poles when there are awesome sticks all over the woods to use). i realized that i'd much rather go uphill with a pack on my back than downhill -- downhill there's too much potential for falling, erm, ass over teakettle. [i only fell down (like really fell down) once.]

also, we did a bit of fjording (me with shoes off, carson with shoes on), drank some river water, saw some awesome rapids, wore lots of sunscreen and bug repellant, and passed a lot of local teenagers who looked like they came to the woods to smoke the pot.

and as a little side adventure, since it was on the way to ohiopyle, we stopped off to walk around the grounds of this place:

look familiar? so, yeah, we had a really nice day, it was fantastic to be in the woods and away from law school -- i'm really looking forward to the AT hike.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

i'm the luckiest girl ever!!!

i'm officially the proud owner of a brand new nintendo wii!!!

now, i'm not sure if you guys have been paying attention, but although the wii was released in november, nintendo has been way stingy with making them widely available. what this has meant is that if you want a wii, either you suck it up and pay almost double on sites like ebay or through amazon resellers, or you try your luck at stores all over town in the hopes that you'll be there on the day that they happened to receive an order of like 4 of them.

but have you PLAYED a wii? so much fun! and not all techno-gamer-y, either. it's a gaming system for us regular folk. and i decided that for my law school graduation, i was going to reward myself for 3 years of hard work and stress with a wii.

...which created the problem of how exactly i was gonna get my hands on one. i refused to order one online -- the wiis retail for $249. that's expensive enough, without having to also deal with higher prices due to the demand and shipping costs. so i've been asking all over the place for weeks. and always i get the, "no, but we had some in the other day." why even bother to tell me that there WERE some in stock? obviously that helps me none. ugh...

but today i had a wild idea that i should drive to target at the waterfront to see. i have this theory (which may be totally wrong) that shipments come in on tuesdays (because CDs and DVDs and games are released on tuesdays), and i thought maybe in the middle of the day on an odd tuesday, i just might get lucky. so i parked the car (erm, carson's car), headed into target, and made a beeline for the electronics section.

and there they were!!! in the locked gaming case were several wii boxes!!! but the boxes themselves can be tricky, because on my quest to find a wii i've learned that lots of stores use empty boxes as displays. so i scanned the department for someone in a red target employee shirt. i found her in the back, helping a guy with a broken arm get a television into his shopping cart. so i waited until she was done, and then the following dialogue ensued:

me: um, hi. um, are those wii boxes just boxes? or are they real wiis?
adorably nerdy target employee: they're real wiis!
me: (gasp!!!) can i have one?!
a.n.t.e.: you certainly can!
me: omigoodnessi'msoexcited!!!
a.n.t.e.: we got 12 of them in like an hour ago. your timing is perfect!
me: i've been looking for one forever!
a.n.t.e.: [gets wii out of case] here you go! you've found one!
me: can i get a paper mario, too?*
a.n.t.e.: of course!
me: omigoodnessi'msoexcitedaboutthis!!!
a.n.t.e.: you have a wii!!!

and the conversation carried on like that for a while, and i found out that she's graduating art school and she designs video game art and while i opted not to purchase the three year warranty right now, i can do so within 90 days with my receipt.


but here's the catch -- see, this wii is my gift to myself for having finished law school, and with that 20 page externship writing requirement and my seminar paper still to complete, i technically haven't finished law school. so i am not going to allow myself to take the wii out of its box until those things are finished and turned in. think i can do it? i haven't had a cigarette in months. if i can survive that, i can totally go a few more days until the wii!


*super paper mario is a wii game. duh.

adventures in proctoring...

the registrar's office asks students who are already on the law school payroll to proctor finals. i'm a TA, and although my measly $140/month barely qualifies, i am officially on the payroll. and since my only two exams this time around happened to occur on the second day of the finals period, i signed up for lots of proctoring.

so far i've done two days. but i also proctored last semester. i'm gonna make a bold statement here: first year law students are better test takers than are second and third years. they follow directions better, ask more intelligent questions about the administration of the test, and seem to be more respectful of each other during the test time.

now, i've been lucky -- the first year finals i've proctored have been disaster-free. i don't know what would happen if a 1L's computer were to freeze in the middle of an essay, but it's not a stretch to imagine an occurrence of mass hysteria. when bad things happen, i would bet that generally, the upperclassmen have the upper hand. at least they've heard the horror stories about so-and-so whose computer started emitting sparks and smoke halfway through the property final and nonetheless what had been written was recoverable. the upperclassmen have all seen somebody from the IT department come in during the finals to save the day for a computer that called it quits.

still, i like the first years. a lot better than the second years. is this because i've never had classes with the first years and i have no knowledge of what percentage of them are insufferable gunners? is this because i had a really good experience with my first year writing students? is this because i'm graduating at the end of the month and i'm sickly nostalgic for the good old early days of law school? i dunno...

but yeah, i'd rather proctor the first year finals. they're so earnest and dedicated! i miss that...