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Friday, October 29, 2010


(1) My dear friend Sov, an amazing photographer and delightful blogger, is now selling prints of his photography online. I simply have to give him a shout-out. Please click that photographer link and look at his portfolio. He has quite an eye for composition. I was with him when he took several of those shots, and some of them were shots I also tried to take, but his versions are heads and tails above mine. His photography shows the quiet beauty of solitude/desolation that is very indicative of the mountain-west. Among his catalog is a shot that is one of my very favorite portraits of myself. It's gritty and real in a way that a lot of portraiture isn't. I will be ordering a print of it. Perhaps there is something there for you too.

(2) Zenni Optical is an online eyeglasses retailer featuring glasses as cheap as $7.  I have ordered several pairs of specs from them in the past. They have recently revamped their website so that you can upload a photo of yourself and "try on" each of the frames with the click of a button. Since I own quite a few pairs of Zenni specs, I can vouch that the try on feature is pretty true to what the frames look like in real life. Sometimes the frames you think would look most ridiculous actually look pretty good when you try them on, and vice versa, so it's nice to be able to try before you buy.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Method of losing sleep

Tonight I finally emailed off my second legal memo for my IP class. This time we got to play with patents, which is pretty fun for me, since I worked around them for 3 years in my former life (you know, all those years before law school). But all in all this week was pretty bad for my stress levels. Not only did I have the memo, but I also had a not-graded-but-practically-mandatory midterm for my advanced sales contracts class. It took me about 5 hours to do the midterm, but luckily I was able to do most of those hours at school during my lunch breaks this week. I wrote the bulk of my patents memo Tuesday and Wednesday nights, and then finished it up tonight. After writing everything I wanted to cover, I was 300 words over my limit, so I spent another hour and a half trimming the fat of my verbiage. Hopefully it still resembles English.

Now that those tasks are done, it seems like it wasn't all that bad. I only missed two reading assignments this week, which of course I will have to make up this weekend, but that's not too bad. The worst part was that I stressed over last weekend about all that I had to do and how hard it was to force myself to do it. I kind of had a mental roadblock in place. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars, do not write your memo on Friday and Saturday because instead you should stress about it all week. And I did stress. I had to take a Xanax one night just so I could go to sleep. Another night I forwent the Xanax, but ended up awake past 4:AM worrying myself to exhaustion. The next three nights also saw me up to at least 2:AM writing the paper or finishing other readings. I contemplated skipping school one day so I could just stay home and focus on the damn paper, but I don't like doing that, because sometimes class actually is important, and because most of my classes this semester have an attendance quota. and I do like leaving the house once in awhile, even if I only get to be outside for a short time.

Also, I turned 28 years old this week.  That is a little weird to me, because I know I was 25 when I made the decision to go to law school, and I kind of wonder what happened to those 3 years. So it was kind of a shit week to have a birthday, although I don't really put much stock in celebrating birthdays anymore anyway. But tomorrow night, we have tickets to see She & Him at this great concert hall downtown. It actually has seats. Plush ones. In my old age, that is important for a concert. And they serve beer and wine. So there can be celebration of a musical sort.

P.S. to my dad in case you read this before I remember to call you back: I'm not dead :) Thank you for the card :)

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Spin cycle

During the day, I can't think straight. I read my assignments almost as if they are in some foreign language I don't understand. I try to follow the discussions in my classes with varying success. Sometimes I feel like I am completely too dumb to be in law school, and how the hell did I ever get here anyway? I think it is a time of day thing that causes this fogginess.

In the evening, I am beat, and can think even less clearly. All I want to do is take a 2-3 hour nap, but I must read for my classes. But I feel so put upon in having to do that that I break it up in chunks to try to swallow the bitter pill of death. It goes like this:

Read a few pages, take notes on those pages, rest my mind by reading fluff on the internet. Read a few more pages, take notes on pages, read more fluff. Wander into the living room to see what's netflixing. Grab snack. Read a few more pages. Attempt to curl healthy fingernail-clad fingers into fist to shake angrily at the world. Take notes on pages. Go tell Ian that I hate my life. It'll all be over soon. Not soon enough. Read more pages. Why the hell are there still 10 pages left in this assignment? I've been at it for hours! Read fluff on internet. Take notes. Curse my life. Make final push to finish pages. Finish notes. Turn to next 30 page reading assignment. Wash, rinse, repeat. Ian goes to bed around 10:30. I still have 20 pages. Come midnight, almost done. Midnight-thirty, go to bed, but not tired anymore. Instead anxious. How will I ever manage all this? How can I learn what I need to learn to not fail my exams? Haven't applied for any summer positions that might actually consider interviewing me. Feel paralyzed. Heart beats fast. What if no one will hire me, what if I can't get a job? Ever? Fear. Get out of bed. Read fluff on internet. 2:AM. Exhausted enough to probably fall asleep. Go to sleep.
8:00 first alarm. Hit snooze. 8:10 alarm. Snooze. 8:20. Snooze 3x's, but hop into shower. Hurry to get clean and get back into bed ASAP. 8:50 alarm. Snooze snooze snooze. 9:20, oh fuck me, snooze. 9:30, sonofabitch. Get out of bed, grab glasses, clothe self, wrestle with bipolar hair, curse bipolar hair, grab books and laptop, grab thermos, place one sugar cube and splash of milk in thermos, grab two tea packets. 10:00 out the door, ipod on. 10:10 arrive at bus stop. Wait for bus 5 minutes. Board bus. Be strangely ignored by people who should at least be on a polite nod and smile basis with me by now. 10 minutes arrive at school. Trudge to locker, deposit books. Trudge to hot water dispenser, make tea. Sit in atrium, try to find zen moment. Instead wrestle down anxiety. Go to class. Finish class. Read assignment during lunch, maybe visit with one or two friends as well. Go to class. Wait 30 minutes for bus. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Yeah, I hate my life. And I need to break this cycle before it breaks me.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Like: silk long-johns

Dislike: administrative law

Like: Red Bull Cola

Dislike: advanced sales contracts

Like: crisp autumn air

Dislike: entertainment law

Like: new flavored Starbucks Via instant coffees

Dislike: copyright history seminar

Like: intellectual property survey

Dislike might not be strong enough for a few of these. But note that I do actually like one of my classes. At least I have Red Bola, Via, long-johns, and crisp autumn air to help me get through the rest.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Capstone, nails, and spiders, oh my!

This week, I made the nearly last minute decision to opt out of writing my capstone paper this semester. I felt an immediate weight lifted from my shoulders when I did so. There's just too much going on for me to get that paper done in god knows how many weeks are left this semester (rumor on the street is that we are halfway through next week -- eek!). Or at least, I couldn't have gotten it done without having some kind of freaky mental breakdown. So I'm going to put it off until next semester or next year. I'll probably approach my copyright professor about doing a capstone project under her supervision, and maybe I'll be able to stretch the project over a year instead of a semester. I'm thinking of doing research in fair use and fanworks, aka transformative works. But I don't even want to touch that shit this semester. So I feel much better having made that decision.

Today marks the third week that I have been free from biting my fingernails -- a habit I've tendered most of my life, save the 5 or so years from late high school and college where I actually quit the habit for a few years, though I always kept them cropped. I just randomly decided now that I wanted to cut it out again, so I got some fingernail polish to help remind me not to bite them and slathered that stuff all over my fingers. Some of it actually got on my nails. The first day I tried to keep my hands hidden from Ian, until he noticed and forced me to show him my left hand. "That doesn't look too bad," he said. "You should see my right hand," I replied. I am right-handed, so naturally I get more polish on the fleshy bits surrounding the nails of my right hand. He then proceeded to coach me on the proper method of painting my right hand: "You hold the brush still and move your hand against it -- don't you know how to paint your nails?" he said. "Do I look like the kind of girl who knows how to paint her nails?" I said. But I'm getting better at it, and my nails have more whites on them than I have probably ever seen. They kind of drive me nuts because I can't ball my hands into fists and shake them angrily at the world as comfortably as I would like to sometimes. But they look rather more normal now, and I like that. I shall try to keep it up.

There's a post-it note wedged between the pencils in my pencil-holding tin on my desk. It reads: "Probably a dead spider in here." I shot a spider on my ceiling with poison and it karmacally fell onto my desk, location yet to be determined. My best guess is that it fell into my pencil tin. I couldn't deal with it just then because, cruel though it may be, the poison takes a little while to work its magic, and the thing probably wasn't quite dead when it fell in there. I didn't want to find an angry spider with a last dying wish for revenge, so I decided the best thing to do was write myself a note so I will remember to look for it later.

These are the exciting adventures of Sra these days.

In more exciting news, we have plans to go downtown and get Doener Kababs this weekend. I am always happy when that is in my near future. When in Portland, one must so do.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fake it until you make it

This week I kept thinking about this time I was studying abroad in Kiel, Germany. I was taking three classes, a German philosophy course, German culture, and German lit. There was far too much reading, particularly for the philosophy and literature classes, so sometimes I would just read what I could and skim or skip the rest. One day I hadn't done the reading for my lit course, so I asked a friend of mine to brief me on it, which she did. Since I wasn't prepared, and the universe likes to punish you for things like that, I was called on in class to discuss the readings. I could have said I wasn't prepared, but instead I opted for faking it. I said what my friend had said to me about the readings, and when asked to expound upon this or that, I gave an opinion that would probably be sound based upon what I knew. My professor seemed satisfied with my responses and eventually turned her questioning on someone else. My friend who had saved my ass commended me for actually sounding like I had done the reading.

I guess in a way I should feel intellectually dishonest because of that story, but I don't. 

I don't know why I have been thinking about that story. I haven't been missing any of my readings so far this semester (though I'm sure I will at some point, it's inevitable). I haven't had anyone get my back, and I haven't gotten anyone else's. That's not really the way things are in law school, I don't think. I guess maybe I feel like law school is a lot of faking it -- pretending to know or understand more than you actually do.

Why is it that that makes me feel an emptiness while the Kiel story makes me feel a fond sense of camaraderie? Where's the real illusion here?

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