And the peasants rejoice!

The grades are all in, and I am rather pleased to report that my GPA did not go down. In fact, it got a little bump upwards, so that I probably qualify for the top 25% of my class now -- a magical number that many employers want to see before they think you are worthy of consideration.

I got an A in Intellectual Property, a B+ in Entertainment, and -- most squeal worthy -- a B+ in Sales!!!!! That last one is the best B+ of my life. In fact, I am shocked, shocked, I say, that my exam was worth that much, because it felt like a train wreck when I wrote it.

Last term was actually my highest grading yet, much to my surprise. Doener Kabaps will be consumed this weekend in celebration, with plenty of Hefeweizen.

I'm hoping this semester will go just as well, if not better. I think the fact that I actually like my classes this time could help. I feel much happier for the time being.

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Back in Black

I just finished my first week back at school. This semester looks like it is going to be so much better than last, curriculum-wise. I have not hated any of my reading so far, and I have only been somewhat bored in my ethics class (and that probably won't change), but everything else is holding my attention pretty well. I am even getting pretty intellectually excited in some of my courses, like copyrights and constitutional law II.

I have a slightly heavier load than last term -- with 16 credits instead of 14. But I will have the same number of exams (5) and one 15-25-page paper, which is basically the same load in terms of my output. In terms of input, only slightly more reading will be required, but I think as my reading interests me more, it shouldn't be like pulling teeth to get my assignments done this time around.

My schedule is kind of wonky time-wise, as predicted. The hardest part is going to be Tuesdays going into Wednesdays, because I have two evening courses Tuesdays nights that will lead directly into three morning courses Wednesday mornings. Essentially that means that by Tuesday night I have to have read for 5 classes, because there won't be much time to do anything in between. I'm trying to solve that problem by reading through Tuesday's assignments over the weekend, but I was still one class behind my optimal reading schedule this week, so I may modify that to reading through one Wednesday class over the weekend. Then once Wednesday is done, I don't have class again until 8:PM the following night, and between that time I only have to read for one more class that week and I guess any extra I want to pick up for the following week.

It's a really odd schedule, but it kind of gives me a nice combination of feeling rushed followed by getting to chill out for a bit, instead of feeling moderately tense all the time. I think my body might like that better. I only have to get up "early" (read: for a 10:30 class) twice per week, then I get to sleep in every other day, which I love. I also get to spend more time at home during hours where I get the house to myself and can focus more on my reading. And just being able to sit around in my PJs drinking tea and eating eggs on toast is pretty splendid compared to sitting in the always over-air-conditioned-even-in-the-middle-of-god-damned-winter student lounge eating a $6 turkey sandwich with questionable "meat" trying to get work done when there's always someone who wants to chat.

So, I'm liking this very much so far, thank you.

Let me say, it is a relief. After last semester I feared the first year I might have been sipping some koolaid that made me think I was having an ok time. But now I think maybe I can still have an ok time, provided I have classes that don't make me think of creative ways of offing myself.

On another note, grades are due next Tuesday (so next week's post might be sprinkled with a few tears, pending the results of my Sales Contracts final), but already two of my grades are posted, and they are good. A- in Copyright History and B in Administrative Law. That puts me ahead in terms of what I expected to grade, so I really can go ahead and get a D in Sales and still be ok. God forbid, because I really will cry, but it will still all be ok.

Stay tuned.

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Tears of laughter

I was doing a little blog reading and stumbled upon a video of a blogger named Skepchick sharing stupid celebrity health tips for the new year (that one is quite funny, check it out). I liked it so much that I visited her YouTube channel, and found the below video. In it, she makes fun of people who attack her opinions by means of attacking her appearance. It's a very clever use of self-deprecation to make her point. I dig this girl's style. Be sure to also check out her blog. The post on the movie Idiocracy made me guffaw whilst silent tears squeezed outst mine eyes.

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Ressy, Ressy

It's resolution time! Hope everyone had a happy new year, btw.

Ressy 1) You're fit, but my gosh, don't you know it!  It's time for me to get fit (how original, I know). Once school starts on the 10th, I plan to begin my fitness regimen, which will include (a) an overt sugar embargo, (b) regularly scheduled exercise, and (c) attempts at eating smaller portions of healthier food. It's such an easy formula when you lay it out like that, but we all know theory does not easily translate to practice, and results are often hard in coming. Still, I shall give it a valiant effort. I don't really feel too overweight, but I don't really feel too good about myself either. When you find that you would be embarrassed to take your clothes off for someone you've never slept with before, it's a pretty good sign that you are ready to get fit. Luckily, I don't have to take my clothes off for anyone new, but I would still like to get fit for the benefit of those of us who still do have to see me naked from time to time. Plus, I have designs on one day acquiring this ninja suit, and I want to make it look good, bitch.

Ressy 2) Find law school zen again. It's not that I didn't work my ass off last semester, or that I dropped the ball, but I felt completely off my game anyway. Normally, after slugging through a few awkward weeks, you get into a pretty efficient law school routine each semester. You become a magical little reading machine that can easily pack away 40-60 pages a night of reading in 4-6 hours with little whining. That didn't happen for me last time. Every page of the 2,500 or so that I had to read was painful to get through, and it often took me twice as long to get through it as it should have. And what's worse, I felt less prepared by the time I got to finals than usual. And finals itself was a two-week marathon of three-days-cramming-then-one-day-testing-times-four that I would hate to repeat. I want to reclaim the zen that I sometimes felt during my first year, especially around finals. I don't actually know how I'm going to achieve this resolution, but maybe if I just keep it in mind, things will happen. Unfortunately there is no magic pill to make law school go smoothly.

Ressy 3) Try to be more positive, and think more of other people and less of myself. I actually do think these two things are related, which is why they are one resolution. I have been so focused on my own needs, and I have not nurtured any of my relationships to the extent they ought to be nurtured. Since I am so focused on myself, and since my existence has been so full of drudgery, I have felt very depressed. My solipsism should end now. Maybe by focusing more on other people, I will see that my own problems are not so great and will feel happier. This will be hard, because I have always been very self-focused anyway, but I do remember a time when I actually did care quite a bit about caring for others, even if I am not always good at showing it. I feel like I've lost touch with that, and want to try to fix it -- to remember what it is like to have meaningful connections with people.

Seems like such a depressing note to end a resolution list on, since such lists are supposed to be optimistic. But I am trying to be. I am trying to recognize that there are things that need to change, and that is the first step in actually changing. So here's to positive growth in 2011.

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Halfway, baby!

So I finished all my finals at last. I thought this semester might never end, and I can't tell you how grateful I am that it is over now. I never hated school -- and in fact always rather liked it -- until this semester. But this semester is in the past now and I can start to let all that pain go.

I won't find out about my grades for probably at least a month, which is just as well. I feel like I probably passed my sales final, which is all I want out of that class, and everything else probably went fine. (You have to qualify it with "probably" because anything can happen in law school. There is no security.) But I am officially halfway through my law school career. 'Zah!

My sleep schedule is all kinds of screwed up right now. It's presently nearly 4:AM and I'm not really tired at all. Might have something to do with the fact that I slept until 2:PM today... er, yesterday. So I need to work on getting that schedule back to normal.

I also need to work on getting some order back into my life. I straightened up my desk today for the first time in months and can actually see the surface. I used to work for an attorney who always had shit all over his desk and office floor, and I have no idea how he ever knew where anything was. Now I kind of see how that can happen, and hope I don't turn out that way. I have also completely neglected my housecleaning duties. I don't like to say it's justified, but I don't know if there's a way I could have done things any differently this semester because I was so mentally beaten from it. I hit the ground stumbling and never recovered. Here's hoping next semester goes better. It should, since I am signed up for classes I should be more interested in.

Now I also have to get down to looking for a job for next summer, which is stressful. I've found a couple firms that would be perfect if they are hiring. They are small general business firms that specialize in the artistic side of IP much more than the technological side, which is exactly what I want to have for myself some day. It would be great to get some experience in that environment while I am in law school. So I need to put together some application materials over my winter break and hope that someone out there who is a good fit is hiring. I will work for free, for god's sake. I just want a summer job. I feel like the 2L job has to be so much more important than the 1L job. I need to do something that will either be an audition to get hired after I graduate or that will be impressive enough that other firms will want to talk to me after I graduate. I wish I had a stand-in to do job searches for me, because they always weigh on me hard. Somehow things have always worked out, but what if one day they don't? It's a tough economy out there, and not even lawyers are safe from its effects.

I kind of feel homesick for Utah today, because today was my brother's 30th birthday, and it was also the birthday of one of my very dearest friends, and I really wished I could have seen them both today. If you guys are reading, I was thinking of you both today, and love you and miss you.

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The good news is...

... In an effort to make myself feel a little better about my dreaded finals, I predicted some worst-case scenario grades based on what I think could actually happen in my courses, and it looks like if I get an A, three Cs, and a D, I will still be above the GPA required to keep my scholarship. Phew!

Now, obviously I do not want to get Cs or Ds. But knowing that I can and that it will be ok makes me feel a little better. Of course, scholarship or no, I'd still have to explain such craptacular grades to a hiring attorney. So obviously, that is not what I'm shooting for, but with 3 closed book exams, and 2 of those being particularly difficult subjects, I would not be surprised to pull such atrocious grades this time around.

I have already taken one exam last Thursday. It was copyright history, and I honestly didn't know what to expect out of the exam, since it was not going to be your standard law school issue-spotter exam. After taking it, I have no idea how I did, either. All I know is the curve is set at B+ because it's a seminar course, so I decided to round down and allow myself a C in my estimation of that course. I actually think a B is not uncalled for, but I can never tell.

Monday I am taking two more exams: Entertainment and IP. The IP exam is only a 1-hour multiple choice because I have been writing papers all semester to account for the rest of my grade. Based on how those papers have been scoring, I am predicting an A in that class, although I could also see it being an A-.  For entertainment, I have spent the last two days distilling 63 pages of 10-point font notes into a 10-page skeletal outline of entertainment law principles, and I will spend tomorrow trying to commit that stuff to memory, because the exam is closed book. I am estimating a C for entertainment, but it could very well be higher. I actually have no idea what to expect since my prof does not release any past exams for practice purposes. On Monday I will wake up at the crack of 10:30 (early for me right now), have some brekky, get myself to school by 12:40, take entertainment exam from 1:00-4:00, eat lunch at the cafeteria and rest my mind, then take IP from 6:00-7:00.

The three days after that will be spent trying to learn as much about administrative law as possible. I'm worried about that class because there is a lot to it and it's closed book, but I am not so worried because it is a multiple choice exam (albeit 3 hours worth). Friday I will take that exam and just pray that the fact that about 80 people are in that class will mean that I am probably average enough to get a B (but in my estimation, I am allowing for a C).

Then I will have three more days to try to get as much of the UCC into my head as possible for my final exam in sales contracts. That's the class I am estimating a D in. In fact, if ever there was to be a class that I would fail in law school, this would probably be it. In all honesty, I would be happy with a C in sales, which is why I am estimating a D. It's not going to be a pretty exam, not at all. It is mostly what keeps me up at night.

Eleven more hellacious days to go.

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I have pulled myself from my bed at 3:15:AM (having gone to bed only 45 minutes ago), because I can't sleep. It's the stress of my upcoming finals that plagues me when I try to bed down for the night. My heart beats wildly from my anxiety of impending failure. I think of all the ground I still have to cover for all 5 of my finals, and the fact that I only now have 1 week until I take my first tests. For some reason, I can't turn it off. So instead I exhaust myself into sleep by staying up later and later. 2:AM used to be the average, but it's been creeping up to 3:AM and beyond. 4:AM is not unheard of. Then, of course, I need to make up the lost hours during the daytime (I am not one of those people who can withdraw from sleep and not pay for it; I tend to get sick with enough sleep deprivation).  Oddly enough, I can sleep very well during the day. I think it's because I know that when I wake up it will still be the same day it was when I went to sleep, so in a way it will be like I haven't lost any time. I will still have the same number of days left until my exams. When I go to bed at night, my mind tries to hold onto the present day. I am not ready to take steps forward, because it feels like I am running beside the train tracks and the train is getting away from me. As much as I dread time moving forward, I also can't wait for these finals to be done so I can well and truly rest for a few weeks before waking up again into the same bad dream.

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Dreaming up an infringement

Deep down in my secret life plan, I have thought that eventually I would write some kind of amazing book that would free me to live the life of a queen. Ok, I know that's completely unrealistic, but I still think about how maybe one day I would write. Sometimes I dream dreams that I think would make interesting stories. Recently, I dreamed a character who went by the name Dirks Bentley, but his friends called him Deke. Completely geeky, I know, but I couldn't help what my subconscious brain told me. But I thought, that's kind of a cool name for a renegade loner type character, and I filed it into my mental file for future writing reference. Then today, I found one of those Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week cards lying around in my house (where you get a free iTunes download of a song from a featured artist). The artist's name is Dierks Bentley, which means I totally did not dream that name up. Instead, I subconsciously misappropriated it as my own creation. Son of a bitch. Oh well, the man can have it. It's a nice name for a rugged guitar playing type (judging by his picture and not his song, which I've yet to download).

I wonder how often this happens, where we think we've come up with something on our own, but really we just saw or heard something somewhere and some unconscious synapse stored it away to be awakened in dreams. I bet it happens a lot. Many years ago, I was whistling a tune I thought I had made up, but it turned out to be a really well known Gershwin piece. I recently read a copyright case where this very thing happened, but the unfortunate subconscious misappropriator was Michael Bolton, who basically rewrote as his own an Isley Brothers song called "Love Is A Wonderful Thing". I'm sure it was completely unintentional. But the fun thing about copyright infringement is that it's a strict liability offense. That means you don't have to know that what you are doing is infringement in order to be liable for it. Now, there's an issue of proving that you had access to the original work, because copyright law does actually protect independent creation. So if Bolton had never heard of the Isley Brothers, and certainly never heard their song, but he wrote a song that was strikingly similar to Love Is A Wonderful Thing all on his own, he would not be an infringer, and indeed (I think) would get his own copyright in his version. But there was copious proof of access in that case, so Bolton had to pay up.

Isn't it odd, though, that you might completely unintentionally come up with something that you think is original, but really your brain picked it up unconsciously at some point and filed it away for future unintentionally infringing purposes? It is very odd to me.

In case you are wondering, there is a chance to mitigate your liability in damages in the case that you are an innocent infringer. But this requires that you have no notice that there was a copyright, and if somebody marks their work with a copyright notice (something that is NOT required to get protection, incidentally), that counts as constructive notice of copyright, even if you didn't actually see the notice. So Bolton was probably SOL on that case, although my memory fails me as to what damages he was liable for.

Now, you can't copyright a name, although you can get a trademark in a name, which, if famous, could be diluted by somebody else's use of that same name. There is also possibly a common law or statutory right of publicity for famous people, which protects against misappropriation of one's name or likeness or identity for commercial purposes. Those things could have possibly applied were I to use my dreamed up Dirks Bentley.

So, the moral of this story is watch what you write.

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Nothing, absolutely nothing!

Completely unproductive weekend so far. Well, not really when you consider that I spent Thursday night finishing up my copyright paper before the midnight deadline. Thursday night is like my Friday night, so normally I come home and veg in front of bad 90's TV programs, but instead I had to work. I'm feeling not too good about that paper, either. It's ok. But the more I think about it, the more I know I didn't say enough about Fair Use and I certainly didn't talk enough about the policies in copyright law, which is something we were to focus on specifically. I talked about it some, but I know not enough. It was a hard problem, and if I'm to get a mediocre or even bad grade on one of my papers, it will probably be that one. The other two so far have scored among the top three in my section, so I still think I can probably work an A out of that class. And that is the only class I feel so confident in. Yay.

The rest of my weekend has been spent doing fuck all. I saw Harry Potter 7.1 today. It was much like the book: too much wandering around in the woods doing nothing. I think when Rowling wrote that tome, she must have been unsure where she was going herself, and so she figured wandering around in the woods would be a fine way to meet her pages deadlines until she figured out how to end it -- which she did really well in the last 100 pages of the 700 or so page book. The pacing in that thing was just really off, and I hoped they would fix it in the movie, but then of course they decided to squeeze double bucks out of it by making it a two-parter, thus allowing for full coverage of all the mundane woods-wandering details. Don't get me wrong: I liked things about the movie. The look of it is nice, and I actually like the slower feel, because it feels more like the books feel -- you are more immersed, get to take your time with the development. But the utter lack of action really gets to me.

Also, we discovered that there is a Jimmy Johns sandwiches shop in Beaverton, OR, which is where we go to the movies usually. It feels almost exactly like Sandy/Fort Union in the Salt Lake valley, except that somebody took a bunch of wet spaghetti, threw it down on a piece of paper, and said, "Trace the spag, boys -- here is where we shall lay the roads!" So Beaverton is the Portland equivalent of suburbian hell, but they have a few of my chain-store favorites, like said Jimmy Johns, and like Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Whoo boy. So I had a nice JJ's sandwich today.

And that has pretty much been my weekend. I guess I have to read a bunch of pages tomorrow in light of my slovenliness. But at least next week is a three day week.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

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Tunnel Vision

I know things are getting down to the wire when my task list in Microsoft Entourage loses its vertical scrolling bar. I only have one non-vertically-scrolling screen of assignments left in my semester before the death of finals falls upon me. In one way it's a relief: the end, as it were, is in sight. In another way it's chaos: I don't know enough, I'm not ready, I'm going to bomb everything (or I would if I had to do it all right now).

Thinking back on my previous two semesters, I'm in the same spot I was in then, as far as how prepared I feel to attack my finals. I have been on top of my assignments, and have tried to prepare them diligently. When it comes time to condense that information and internalize the knowledge, my notes are generally enough to get me there. Of course, there is the little matter that usually my exams are open book/note, and this time most of them are not. So I have to know this stuff a little colder than I knew it for my previous classes.

Ok, that's not really true. Law exams are so time pressured, generally, that you don't have a whole lot of time to consult your notes or books, so you kind of need to know that shit cold anyway. But it takes a bit of the mental pressure off to have the safety net of open notes/books. So I don't get that luxury this time around, except in the two classes that I just so happen to be least worried about anyway.

I guess it's technically time to buckle down and engage in what the Brits call "revision".

On another note, I reworked my Spring semester schedule. I was signed up to take Evidence, but I heard such heinous things about the course as taught by the professor that I decided it would be more worth my while to sacrifice a more pleasing schedule time-wise in favor of a more pleasing schedule subject-wise. So I'm taking Trademarks instead, and I also added a class in IP licensing, which will involve hands on analysis of drafting license agreements. Those will be better suited to my interests in any case.  Evidence is a bar subject, so I will have to learn it eventually, but I find that the clarity of the law, such as it is, only becomes more clouded by classroom instruction. At least, it does for me. So I'll just BarBri that crap when the time comes. 

But my spring schedule is going to be weird in that, on Mondays, I will pretty much be at school all damn day, and then on Thursdays I will only have one class but it won't start until 8:PM. Tuesday will likewise have an evening schedule of two classes, and wednesday will switch to a day schedule of three classes. It's going to be really weird and I just might hate it. But really, I think (hope, pray) that I will like the subjects better than this semester (it won't take much), and I'd much rather bitch about how I hate the crazy time madness of my life than hating the entire substance of my daily being with a fist-shaking vengeance.

Tomorrow I am getting my second to last (or penultimate, if you prefer) paper assignment for my writing intensive IP class. We are handling copyrights now. To my surprise, the copyrights unit was much more complicated than the patents unit, so I am kind of dreading what type of analysis I will be expected to fit into 1800 words this time. Sheesh.

We are now entering our trademarks unit, which is admittedly the IP subject I knew least about beforehand, so I am kind of looking forward to seeing some new things (I swear, this class is the only reason I haven't slit my wrists already [joking, really]).

The other plus side is that now my entertainment law class has finally left behind the drudgery of contract law, regulatory law, and first amendment issues and has entered the exciting domain of copyright law, as it pertains to the entertainment industry, naturally. Blessedly, I have already read several of the cases in this area for my IP class, so my reading load for that class is going to decrease.

All in all, I am actually feeling pretty chipper -- well, relatively, I guess. A little anxious doom and gloom lingers in the background and will only grow as finals near, but I am hating things less than usual, which is nice. I have been so damn hateful this semester, and even I am getting sick of it. It's not pleasant to read about all the time, and believe me, it's even less pleasant to write about and even less so to live. But everyone's life has shit in it, right? And there's certainly more fearsome shit out there than what I have to deal with.

So, hell yeah, man. Weitergehen.

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A lawyer walks into a bar...

Today I watched a documentary called A Lawyer Walks Into a Bar. It follows the stories of six JDs working hard to pass the California Bar Exam (touted as the most difficult bar exam, with only a 36-39% passage rate). True to statistics only two of the JDs end up passing. And, I must say, it was the two who I felt deserved to pass the bar on account of them being the least annoying. God, law students are so annoying.

Anyway, if you have Netflix (and really, you should, it's the best bang for your buck TV-wise these days), you can find this documentary on there. I've posted the trailer below to ensnare your interest.  Maybe this show won't interest most of you, but I found it very heartening to watch, because I see in these JDs many of the same emotions that I have been going through in my own law school adventures. Namely, manic hysteria. It makes me feel better to see other people like that too.

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Vote the Spectacle

It's time to let your voice be heard on something of utmost importance: my new spectacles. Using Zenni Optical's try on feature, I have selected 13 frames that tempt my purchase, and I need your help deciding what suits me best. I should note that some of these images look rather horn-rimmed, but that is just Zenni failing to get the perspective right on the arms of the frames. I assure you the frames are not so pointy.

Notes: Some of these frames are the same but in different colors. Number 9 looks like metal, but it is actually a clear plastic half-rim. Number 10 is the only metal frame, in sort of a pinkish hue. Yes, number 4 really is orange, and yes, I'm ok with that. I think the shape of number 1 suits my face rather well, but I am coming to think that black is rather a harsh hue for me, glasses-wise.


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One of those days...

This morning, I left my house at 10:00 as usual to get to the bus stop and make my 10:30 class. The walk to the stop takes about 7-9 minutes, depending on the beat of the song spieling out of my iPod. Not one minute into my walk, it occurred to me that I might have left my wallet, and hence my bus pass, in my other coat. Sure enough, it wasn't in my bag. Also not in my bag were my house keys. So I had locked myself out of my house with my wallet and bus pass inside my house. Scheisse. I also had no more than 60 cents on my person, and a bus ride is $2. It takes 45 minutes to walk all the way to school, but I only had 30 minutes in which to do it, or I would be late. I could have skipped class altogether, but this is the same class that I missed last Thursday because the bus was either very early or very late, so I really had to go today. And besides, where would I go otherwise without keys or money?

Speeding up my pace, I tried to look for the time, but I had grabbed my iPod Shuffle today instead of my Touch, and my phone was dead, so I didn't have a timepiece to monitor my progress. If I weren't weighted down with 15 pounds of books on my back, I probably would have thrown a physically angry fit replete with cussing, gnashing of teeth, and shaking of angry fists at the universe. My books kept me grounded.

I walked the mostly uphill trek to the halfway point when I got a single lucky break: there is a free school shuttle that travels from downtown to school, and it picks people up about halfway from my house. I managed to get to that point a few minutes before its arrival. Because of that, I was able to make it to class on time, but I was sweaty, and disheveled, and looked terrible, and felt like you feel when you have no choice but to sit back and let life shit all over you.

On Tuesdays, I usually get out of class at 3:20, and get home by about 4:10. But Tuesdays are Ian's sushi and anime nights with his coworkers, so I knew not to expect him to make it home until probably after 7, and since my phone was dead, and I'm pretty sure the on campus phone doesn't do long distance, I couldn't call him to beg him to forgo his merriment for the sake of letting me in the house. So I resigned myself to staying on campus for a few extra hours. Would have loved to sit in the Starbucks instead, but, again, wallet was at home.

I boarded the free shuttle again at 6:00, and asked to be left off at the halfway point again. One 20-minute walk later, I saw that the living room light was on, and Ian must be home.

"I'm so glad you're here," I said, as I opened the door.

"I've been here waiting for you," he said.

"Waiting? What do you mean," I asked, "How long have you been here?"

"Ever since I got off work."

"You didn't go to sushi night?!?"

"No, it was cancelled."

"Well, son of a bitch."

I could have gone home after all.

It hates me, the universe.

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(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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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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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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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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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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