Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Taking Stock, 2005 Edition

More money or less?
Less. Dear God, less. I wonder if I’ll ever get to answer this question “more”.

Biggest way to waste time?
Reading “Best of Craigslist” and watching re-runs of ER, Judging Amy, and Law and Order on “TNT’s Primetime in the Daytime”.

Best use of time?

My summer job. I learned more about law in the first two weeks than in the previous two years of law school. Plus which, the work was incredibly rewarding. Who wouldn’t love a job where you make people’s dreams come true every single day?

Best movie?
Boy, if I thought I hadn’t seen many movies last year, I was in for a bit of a rude awakening this year. I didn’t see enough movies to count on my fingers and use them all—including rentals. Harry Potter #4 was a fun movie, though not great Art, and... yeah. I didn’t see anything that I really want to rave about, to be honest. Maybe 2006 will be a bit better on that front.

Listened to?
I rediscovered my love of Björk, fell deeper in love with Patty Griffin, and expanded my collection of music in languages other than English.


More law crap than I can stand. God, I hate the law.

Of course, I also read a lot of non-law stuff over the summer, methodically working my way through quite a few books that I’d bought and then let sit on a bookshelf. A couple of them turned out to be wonderful and made me sad that I’d waited so long to read them (Memoiren eines mittelmässigen Schülers springs to mind). A couple of them turned out to be Terrible (Doomed to Repeat It—what a misleading cover and synopsis!). And after culling those Terrible books, I just turned around and added more books to the shelf that I will need to read in 2006.

Fatter or thinner?
Thinner. I’ve already talked about this quite a bit, so I won’t dwell here.

Smarter or stupider?
You be the judge: I got up, put on a sweatshirt bearing the logo of Our Law School, and went to breakfast with Ash. While freshening our coffees, the chatty waitress asked me “So, are you studying to be a lawyer?”. I was flabbergasted and for a very long moment, I could not figure out HOW she knew (!), so I just goggled at her in disbelief, before the voice in my head whispered “Your sweatshirt, idiot...

I thought law school was going to make me smarter, give me a chance to flex my intellectual muscle. Apparently, I was sadly, horribly mistaken.

Best buy?

My oh, so delicious ice blue silk comforter. Well worth every penny. No wonder I’m broke.

Best bargain?

My cute little mp3 player. Thanks, Lexis Nexis!

Stupidest purchase?

Ten pounds of butternut squash. What on Earth am I supposed to do with it all?

Drank the most?
Coffee. My consumption of this sweet, sweet nectar of the Gods has reached epic proportions in the past year. In fact, the last time it was this bad was when I was on the speech team in high school and we would have to leave for competitions at 5 or 6 in the morning. I was constantly trying to get adults to bring me coffee from the teacher’s room. Hulio is about to have me involuntarily committed to a detox program.

Best drink?
Pumpkin Ale. I bought the last case in the store and am looking forward to enjoying it when I get back home. Oh, and the bubble tea from that sketchy little shop in the strip mall in Maryland. God, that was good. I am so glad that I didn’t get food poisoning from it.

Ate the most?
Pumpkin everything. Pumpkin crème brulee for my birthday. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin cake. Pumpkin Spice coffee. Pumpkin granola (from Whole Foods—which was very exciting, not just for the sake of the pumpkin, but also because it’s very difficult to find granola with neither rice nor nuts), Pumpkin crepes, Pumpkin pancakes (and yes, those are two different things), Pumpkin pie...

Worst food eaten?
The chili I made with a pre-packaged spice mixture. It was so awful that I just threw it out. Then I was cranky all night because it had smelled so wonderful as it was simmering on the stove, filling my apartment with a tantalizing aroma that did NOT match the actual taste AT ALL, and I ended up eating something utterly unsatisfying after anticipating a big yummy chili dinner on that very cold Fall day.

Best food eaten?
Easily the Ethiopian food we had at the Horsewomen’s Birthday Bash.

New friends found?
Oh, yes, indeed: the lovely Miss Tink has found a warm place in my heart. I spent many a good evening with the very quiet but oh-so-clever Caleb. The sweet and wise Asako impressed me with her calm and deep aura. And of course, the old friend regained, which was one of the sweetest parts of the year.

Old friends lost?

Yes, I suppose, though in hindsight, the person of whom I am thinking was really more of a “frenemy”. In other words, no great loss.

Resolutions not kept?
Yes. I swore I was going to do ALL of the reading for my classes, but that just didn’t happen.

Missed chances?
I lived in Washington D.C. and hardly ever went into the museums.

Losing Finbar forever. Then it happened and I survived, though it was rough going. Now I’m terrified that I won’t find a job that I like, or that I won’t even find a job at all. And I’m working up to being really freaked out about taking the Bar.

Biggest success?
Getting an offer from my firm in D.C. I take that as a validation of my work and hope I made the right decision when I turned it down.

Biggest failure?

Not being able to stop procrastinating. I will never, ever learn. Ever.

Heathier or Sicker?

Healthier, much healthier. I don’t remember the last time I felt this good.

Best spontaneous fun?

Calling Ash for a date to Rahere’s party. I had no idea what would come of it.

Learned the most?
That I am stronger than I ever imagined.

What I definitely don’t want to see in the next year?

The kind of heartbreak that defines this entire year for me. If I came out the other side stronger and more resilient, it’s only due to the amazing group of women who are my friends.

TV puke?
The whole screaming-as-debate, shrill belligerence CNN lineup.

Monster House. I wish they would put it on at a consistent time slot so that I can actually watch it. I would love a Viking House with a flame breathing dragon deck.

Biggest change?

Not having Finbar in my life. Again, this was the defining event of 2005 for me, and I am still working my way through some of the repercussions. Although it was a keenly painful experience, it’s brought about some positive results for me. I am discovering and rediscovering things about myself that had gotten lost somewhere in the effort to take care of Finbar's needs and make a difficult set of circumstances work for us. I wonder if those things would have stayed lost, or if I could have found them eventually.

Biggest loss for mankind?

The continuation of the War in Iraq and all of the other attendant bits of the War on Terror.

Biggest Disappointment?
Our continued inability as a nation to make the connection between actions and results.


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