Saturday, July 3, 2010

magnolia doin' work

so as i have whined about for a month-plus now, i am about to take the bar exam. that explains why it is a gorgeous saturday morning, blue skies, warm temperatures, low humidity... and i am sitting at my kitchen table with books open taking a study break by, well, whining some more.

if this were any other summer, i would still be in bed. i woke myself from a very nice slumber (with a very nice companion) to get dressed, walk back here and start studying. but it's not like this is a permanent situation; this time four weeks for now, i will be in the warm embrace of good friends, blowing off steam and drinking like it's the last night before prohibition. but for now, we work.

i've done everything in my power to make this process as painless as possible. but it's crunch time; no one can save me from the arduous task of learning enough law to be minimally proficient at it all for two days at the end of the month. sigh. so here we go into the breach. i'll do what i can to maintain my sanity. that's all i can do.

Friday, July 2, 2010

bonus post: blog games!

woo-hoo; 2 posts in a day! this is total birthday decadence. so here's the deal. the fabulous jessica has tagged me in a blog meme. and because a) it's my birthday, b) i hate studying real property and c) why the hell not, i'm playing! so without further ado, the great eight. (hell - it's a meme named after my beloved ovie. how can you go wrong?)

1.  What is your favorite board/party/card game?
trivial pursuit! trivial pursuit! and no one ever wants to play with me. we always end up playing asshole at parties. that's fun, too, but i really want to own everyone at trivial pursuit...

2.  What is your earliest memory?
i have this weird vestigial memory of standing in my crib looking at a fan in a window. i thought it was something i made up, but once i described it to my dad, and i apparently described my room at one year old to a T. weird.

3.  If you could witness one event that occurred prior to your birth, what would it be?
the march on washington, 1963. i did a giant protest in DC in '04 (the march for women's lives), and that was amazing enough. imagine being a part of something where there were real, fundamental human rights issues at stake...

4.  What is your favorite curse word?
ahahahaha. it's so great. my favorite swear word is "motherfucker." oh, it's so much fun to say. it feels like a load off just saying it. i am fond of just about every swear word there is, though. i have a filthy, filthy mouth.

5.  What is your main fault?
without question, i overanalyze everything. but all of y'all already know that. you read it here. i am worse in my personal life. i would also offer that law school has made me really addicted to order, which doesn't help the overanalysis thing at all.

6.  What turns you on?
a good-looking, brilliant man who flatters me. i MUST have a smart man. i love to talk about high-level things, all the time, and i cannot abide a guy who can't keep up. a good conversation is deeply stimulating to me.

7.  What is your idea of misery?
heh. that one's easy. misery is knowing what you have to do, knowing how much it's going to hurt, and not having the nerve to pull the trigger. you may as well run your soul over a cheese grater.

8.  What do you wish you knew more about?
i wish i knew more about using technology. my interest is deep; my knowledge base is SHALLOW. i'd like to be able to do a lot more with computers, web stuff, etc. than i can. 

whew. fun! ok, so now i have to spread the love. here's my group of tagged bloggers:

enjoy, folks! :)


today is july 2. this is the exact, unequivocal middle of the common (non-leap) year. 182 days behind us, 182 days in front of us. this is halftime, kids.

and it is also my birthday.

a lot of other people share this day with me: rene lacoste (the tennis/polo shirt guy), thurgood marshall and medgar evers (civil rights heroes), dave thomas of wendy's, john sununu, larry david, jose canseco, lindsay lohan and johnny weir, among others. it's quite a day. hell, when i was a kid, i used to think of the whole 4th of july thing as a nice big protracted celebration of me and my life. i was truly disappointed when i was told that the fireworks were not for me. (yeah, i'm an only child.) regardless, there's always a party, people are generally in a good mood, and hilarity almost always ensues.

i come to this birthday - 29, the start of my thirtieth year of life - at a weird, unsettled place. i'm in the middle of the biggest ordeal of my professional life in studying for the bar. i'm in the middle of the end of something i expected to have forever. i'm in the middle of, for the first time since i was a teenager, really having to look myself in the eye and say, "okay. now what?" i'm in the middle of, well, the middle. it's mushy, it's unclear, and there's no clear path to a solution anytime soon on a lot of this. all i can do is keep up the slog.

there will be birthdays when things aren't so crazy. it's up to me to rise above the middle-ness of it all and reclaim my day. i stand alone in this moment and say, "yes, it's going to be OK. it's all going to be OK. so let's have a drink and celebrate." that, my friends, is the best gift i give myself this year.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

soul food

tonight was a big damn deal for me. i mean HUGE. i did something i never, ever do: i went out socially ALONE, to a bar, just to talk to people. i have been described as someone who likes to be around people, to the point where i was told (disdainfully) that, "you're... SOCIAL." but i usually need at least one other person with me as backup to truly shine. i mean, in my old life, when i was sent out into the world to network, i would totally shut down without someone from the office there with me as support.

well, given what i'm in the process of doing to my emotional and social life, that's just not gonna fly. i can't rely on others to charge my batteries; if i want to go and do, i can't sit around and wait for partners in crime. so tonight i put the books down, dolled myself up and swaggered on into a downtown watering hole 100% solo. and you know something? i did not die. no one hurt me, i was not laughed at. in fact, i started conversations with total strangers that led to actual connections. it was fun. and moreover, i was myself without any kind of spurring or crutches. i didn't need someone standing there with me to validate my presence. i did it. and it felt really, really good.

and by god, that counts for a lot. i can do this. i will do this. i got the deeply vital social interaction that i need, and i got it without help. damn. moving forward may not be so hard after all.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the end.

man, there's really nothing like being a grown-up for just total buzzkill sometimes. i mean, not having to deal with parents, being able to drink legally, all that stuff? totally fabulous. but then there's... well, there's the fact that you have to think about end-of-life issues. not just for yourself, either, but for everyone around you. death stops being this nebulous reality without a real meaning and starts becoming another thing to PLAN FOR. i swear, if anyone was ever going to take leave of any rational sense and allow me to mentor the young, that's how i would describe adulthood: a never-ending parade of events for which you must plan, up to and including the big sleep itself. so that's how, tonight, i found myself going over end-of-life plans with someone very close to me. wow, that's a conversation you don't anticipate when you're running around the playground with someone. but it is what it is.

part of me is honored; how could you not be, when someone trusts you to be the one to handle things for them when the end comes? but it's just so... i mean, we were just teenagers not that long ago. we were driving around the wilds of the gulf south in late-model import cars, talking trash and acting silly. on summer nights like this, we were most likely on our way home from some late-night road trip to the beach, not getting ready for work and class. but that's where we are. i'm thrilled beyond belief to still have these people i've loved so much for so long in my life... and i guess that's the opposite side of that coin. having people in your life who you plan to keep there forever means that you inevitably learn that every "forever" has an endpoint.

cherish it all. that's the takeaway, i guess. there's a period at the end of every sentence.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


it's a natural byproduct of the aging process to find things easier to do as you practice them. as i practice memorizing the elements of crimes, torts, and various other minutiae, i naturally find this easier. this applies to not only intellectual pursuits, but practical life things as well. i mean, it now takes me about 10 minutes to do my tax return, but i've been filing taxes for over 10 years now. making a car rental reservation, getting utilities hooked up, registering for classes - you name it, i can do it. i've got this adulthood thing all nailed down.

so it's kinda shocking to me when i look around at grown people and they just. can't. do it. i've been up to my eyebrows in people who are chronologically adult, but who simply can't handle the basic tasks of adult life, WAY too much for my own personal sanity these days. it really makes me wonder how the black hell these folks got this far in life without knowing how to do things. i shouldn't get phone calls from people twice my age asking how to handle basic machinations that are just a part of adult life. somehow, some way, something should've stuck with them, and it didn't. that scares me.

so here's to all the people in my life who made sure that when i left the nest, i had the toolbox i needed to, if not do things i needed to do right away, at least know how to find out what to do. thanks to y'all, i've been spared the rather sad and pathetic fate of being grown and having everything be a nightmare. i can get through arduous and annoying tasks without my walls crashing down. not everyone can do this. i am reminded of that far too often for my taste. and i am grateful as hell that i will never be that person.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


[can't find the sound for you; this is a song by the amazing band slobberbone. track's called, conveniently enough, "butchers."]

"now she's had seven years of happiness with a boy she's always claimed to have adored, and there's fewer who've been truer but as of late she finds herself a little bored..."
growing up means growing apart. there's no getting around it. there are people with whom i spent every freaking second of my life at age six who, if we met today, would have no common ground with me whatsoever. not that there would be hostility, mind you; far from it. it'd probably be one of those nice, little heartwarming things that happens every once in awhile. you come home and say, "hey, you'll never guess who i ran into today." well, you say that if you've got someone to come home to. and there's the twist; what happens when that person from whom you're growing apart is the person to whom you come home?

"she tells him she still loves him and has only good thoughts of him, and the times they've had and hopes that it'll help him understand..."
oh, lord. this is the part that people just don't face, i think. this is what sets the brave and heartless apart from the kind and spineless. how do you admit to someone who, really, isn't such a bad person that you've outgrown something you swore up and down you'd stick with forever? y'know, you'd fight for through thick, thin, etc. sigh. it's not like this sort of thing is uncommon. maybe it's an outmoded way of thinking at all. hell, it happened to the gores, and they were all story-book-ish and whatnot. and they were rich and privileged on top of it. oh, who knows. there's only one outcome ahead: ripping, tearing, blood, tears, tragedy.

"when she runs her knife straight through him, it's the only way to do them; she's the winner of the game but she'll never get the bloodstains off her hands..."
so i'll do it, i'll cop to my evolutions, my growth, my change, and my frustrations. i'll cop to it all. and i'll probably get what i want. yay. but what the hell do i win? i don't win anything, except the space to suffer the consequences of what i've done. youthful mistakes so heavily compounded with the trappings of adulthood. god, there should be some kind of psychological test requirements to do what we did. but there's only so much "why?" you can ask. if you can avoid making a flowery, emotional speech when you break the news, the boy will respect you for your frankness, if nada surf is to be believed. heh. i don't think it works that way when you're as grown as i am.

"in the end, they all fall just the same but she'll never get the bloodstains off her hands..."
the end of a life is never pretty. there's nothing attractive, nice, or fun about this. there's just the slowly rising feeling of some amalgamation of dread, terror, relief, sorrow, and something black and heavy mixed together in the depths of my heart. people do this stuff every day and i know that. i am not special for the havoc i'm about to wreak. far from it. but that doesn't change the permanent alteration i'm about to undergo. (and i really, at this point, only have business worrying about myself; worrying about him is just condescending.) the why, the how - none of it matters anymore. i just have to carry the fact that i'm a butcher, a murderer of dreams and possibilities, and that the flowers i carried down the aisle that long-ago day have long since died. he'll hurt. there's no doubt. but i'll be changed forever. you carry your victims with you wherever you go. i will be no different.

"he'll have some temporary pain, but she will never get the bloodstains off her hands."