Monday, July 30, 2007

back to normal, with some help

slowly, slowly, I can feel myself coming back. The me of the days before bar prep- the me who laughed easily and rarely said "no, I can't."

It is taking me longer than I expected to come back to myself. As much as this enrages the feminist in me, part of this is because TheMan wasn't home until Saturday. The three days I was alone after the exam, I walked around the empty apartment like a zombie, going through the motions of cleaning, making dinner, still carrying the weight of the test everywhere I went.

As we sat at dinner after I picked him up at the airport, I felt the layers of stress and tension peel off of me. I looked across the table and saw my husband again- my friend, not just that guy who insisted I leave my desk and go eat something.

It's a rather humbling revelation, to know that I can't even get back to being "me" on my own. Just like that old Beatles song, I get by with a little help from my friends (just, um, human friends, not pills)...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

now, back to our regularly scheduled life, already in progress

phew. it's over.

I don't really know how to feel. It's the strangest mix of relief and apprehension and hope couched with caution. I do know that I never, ever want to have to go through that again (but I won't know if I have to until OCTOBER. That long of a wait is just cruel.) But, for now at least, it's over. So, onward!

Driving home last night was probably not the best idea I've ever had, but somehow I made it safely back to the Nest (which was, unfortunately, empty except for the cats). TheMan had to leave for a business trip the morning of the second day of the exam, and won't be home until Saturday. Let me tell you, it is pretty anticlimactic to battle your way through exhaustion on the 4 hour drive home, open the door, say "I'm DONE" and only be heard by creatures whose grasp of the english language is limited to "tuna."

Back to a normal person life, one in which I am not studying in some fashion for more than ten hours a day...... Um, can someone remind me what I did before bar prep? What is this "normal life" and where can I buy one? Because at the moment, I am kind of at a loss as to what to do with myself. Maybe I'm just flummoxed by the bevy of options at my disposal. I could go shopping, guilt free! I could clean the Nest, guilt free! I could clear off the TIVO, guilt free! Wheeeeee! My life is so exciting, I'm looking forward to cleaning. sad.

Insert witty segue here.

For the tea party with TheMan the Sunday before the bar exam, I wimped out (as per TheMan's express instructions), and did one of the easiest treats I possibly could, Double chip cookies. For those of you playing along at home, it's a pretty simple formula.
1. buy two bags of your preferred chocolate/peanut butter/white chocolate chips (we used a combo of dark and white chocolate chips, but other pairings would work just as well)
2. make the cookie dough per the instructions on the back of the bag. the only minor deviation I must wholeheartedly encourage is to double the vanilla. no matter what lovely baked good you concoct, always double the vanilla in the recipe- it will magically render the final product extra delicious.
3. instead of putting only one bag of chips into the dough, put two whole bags in. (yes, I am an innovator, people. my creativity knows no bounds)
4. bake according to the back of the bag's instructions.

tada, one of the easiest (second only to the beloved Rice Krispie Treat) Tea Party treat is born.

Better treats to come next week, as I get this back to real life thing on track...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Southern comfort

the other day (ok, it was a while ago), the strangest thing happened.

TheMan and I were walking out to the car from the grocery store, laden with bags but generally in good spirits, chatting with each other, as you do when you're happily married and young(ish) and cool like we are.

Another young(ish) couple was exiting their car and walking in the general direction of going into the grocery store, and they were talking to one another. As we passed them, the woman looked me straight in the face and said with total sincerity, "Be not afraid, God loves you."

And the weirdest part about this unsolicited comment from a total stranger? I wasn't weirded out in the least. Usually anyone discussing religion in a personal belief way is uncomfortable for me. Honestly, I tend to feel like a person's relationship with God (or their preferred higher power) is their personal relationship and shouldn't be imposed upon by anyone. But I found myself comforted by this stranger's words, the exact opposite reaction I would have ever expected of myself.

Maybe I'm becoming a real Virginian after all...

finally over

i just got home from taking the bar exam (yesterday and today).

i'm going to lay down and die now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

patient zero

Remember how TheMan came home siiiick the other day?

Took 2 days to show up in me. Great.

Did I mention there are 6 days until the bar exam?

Did I further mention that TheMan used all the good meds? (Seriously - and here is where I am a bad liberal - just because some jerk is making meth out of it, does that really mean I have to suffer with the new! improved! formula that doesn't work even half as well?)

Grrr. Sick + stress inducing test lurking = crabbbbby.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tea Party

There's a new tradition in the Lark Nest.

Sundays, I make some delicious treat, and TheMan and I sit down together after dinner and sample the delights with some fancy tea (from England, even! Thanks, TheMan's Mom!). It's the most fun I've had since I was 6.

Here are the things I've made so far, complete with all you need to play along at home!

Last Week's recipe (a moderately healthy almond berry tart from Eating Well magazine)

This Week's recipe (an astoundingly delicious but not very healthy cookie, and no link because for whatever reason, doesn't have it listed, although I found it in the "cookie of the month" page (June, 2007, page 244) of her delightful Martha Stewart Living magazine).

Biscuit Sandwich Cookies

1 c. all purpose flour (+ some for dusting)
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 c. + 1 tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
6 oz. melted finely chopped milk chocolate, or 1/2 c. chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella) (*I used the Nutella, and lo, it was delicious)
You'll also need some parchment paper (*I used regular ole' waxed paper and it came out just fine)

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Pulse flour sugar and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With machine running, pour 1/4 cup cream and vanilla and process until dough just comes together.
  3. Roll dough between lightly floured sheets of parchment until 1/16 inch thick. (*The thinner the better for these.) Using a 2 1/2 inch fluted cutter, cut out 36 rounds gathering together scraps and rerolling if needed. (*I had no such cutter and just dipped a water glass in flour and used that) Space 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 mins.
  4. Wisk together egg yolk and remaining tbsp. cream. Brush onto tops of cookies.
  5. Bake until golden brown 15-20 mins. Let cool.
  6. Turn over half the cookies and spread 1 heaping tsp chocolate onto each. Top with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until set, about 15 mins. Good for 2 days.

Monday, July 16, 2007

danger danger

TheMan just came home from work early. He's siiiiiick.

8 days before the bar. Break out the hospital masks.

Lady Luck

I'm one of the lucky ones.

I landed the DreamJob a week before graduation, and while it does not exactly pay the DreamBucks, neither is it dependent on my passing the bar exam. I can be confident that this is true DreamJob love and not OhMahGawdINeedAJob love, since it came as a result of a DreamInternship. DreamJob is in the relatively small area of law where I hoped to practice when law school still seemed like it was really going to be fun (read: before law school started). I am absolutely one of the lucky ones.

But! Of course I can still find something to whine about, because lo, I am awesome. I still don't know which division I'll be assigned to. (yes, I realize that last sentence is grammatically incorrect, let's just blame it on bar prep and move on.) I'm hoping it will be where I was during DreamInternship, because my supervisor and coworkers were hands down the best I have ever had. They are a significant reason DreamJob is all that it's cracked up to be. There, I know what is expected of me. But, there is a possibility I'll be assigned Elsewhere. Elsewhere is still very good, still within that tiny scope of law I'm so obsessed with, but different boss, different coworkers, different expectations. Elsewhere makes me nervous about my first day, DreamInternship makes me feel in control. (and hey, have I mentioned once or twice that I like control?)

So really, embarrassment of riches. Either way, I'm exactly where I hoped to be coming out of law school.

I am absolutely one of the lucky ones. I can't wait to find out where I land.


we're feeling trapped, TheMan and I.

Don't get me wrong, our apartment is lovely, spacious even. We've put a lot of crap in it, so its hard to tell sometimes, but it is a pretty good size, in all honesty. And since we've lived here a while, we've gotten spoiled and it is cheap.

But we have outgrown our Nest. But there is no way out. With housing prices and my school loans, it will be more than 3 years before we've saved enough to jump into a house. Still doesn't change the fact that I want a yard. I want to be able to tear down the stupid wall and open up the kitchen. I want to be able to redo the bathroom grout if it's too old and gross for my taste. I want to rip out the 80's timeshare cabinets and lumpy linoleum. I want to paint a damned wall. I am tired of all the white, and of searching every design magazine for (cheap) ways to add color! without a drop of paint! (go ahead and google that, there are approximately 6 ways, and I have tried them all). I am tired of calling the design magazines vlugar names when they promise a cheap and easy redecoration strategy and only offer paint! as a solution.

So the next 3 years are about making the most of what we've got, turning on the suzy sunshine in me to full strength, and turning these lemons into lemonade.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

10 days

In ten days, I'll be sitting in an expansive room in the Roanoke Civic Center, along with everyone else who wants to be a Virginia Lawyer.

I have a stack of flashcards leaning Pisa-style on my desk. I have resigned myself to the idea that there is no way I will be able to learn it all. This realization makes my very type-A self royally annoyed.

I've done my best these past eight weeks...let's just hope it will be enough to make me a better test taker than 30% of my fellow masochists.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's like I think I invented "health"

So I decided, enough.

Enough with the "diet."

Time to use my (educated, adult) brain, and think a little about what is actually healthy to be putting into my body as fuel.

Because while the low carby diets may work quickly (at least in terms of numbers on the scale), I have to think maybe all that fat isn't good for my heart. And you really can't expect me to believe that sugar free ice cream is better for me than a banana.

I managed to fool myself that way for a while, because the numbers on the scale told me so. Look, I must be healthy, numbers are getting smaller! Except other important numbers were getting bigger. And really, it seems like blood pressure and cholesterol trump the numbers on the scale.

So I say enough. Time to eat the way I know is good for me, makes me feel good in my body, not just how someone with a book tells me I should.

Also, time to get some good running shoes and hit the road. Because I've really just had enough.