The adventures (and non-adventures) of a marginally seasoned attorney.

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Half-Marathon Training, or: How I Learned to Stop Whining and Love the... MY LEGS ARE BURNING MAKE IT STOP!!

I was never an athlete.  When I was a kid, the coaches stuck me out in left field during t-ball season because no one could hit the ball that far (except this one portly kid, but he couldn't run very quickly so my inability to throw or catch the ball was irrelevant). And though I was never the last one to get picked for dodgeball teams back in the day, that was because I never actually played dodgeball.

As you may know, though, I've been running road races since my 2L year.  I'm not exactly sure why I decided to do that, but it probably had something to do with the fact that I was addicted to Hershey bars with almonds at the time and was not willing to give up that high-calorie habit.  Anyway, I'm usually one of the last ones to finish each race, but I've had a good time at them.  I've had such a good time that I've decided to run a half marathon in March.

The problem with this half-marathon decision is that I decided to quit running for the entire month of December (thanks, finals!).  And a good portion of January, too (thanks, laziness!).  So now, it's 40-ish days to race day and I'm getting exhausted after running only 4 miles. Since running the whole dang thing is looking less and less likely, I'm trying to come up with ways to not fail miserably:

  1. Run as much of the race as I can, walk the rest of the way, and congratulate myself afterward on a valiant effort
  2. Run as much of the race as I can, find a "shortcut" along the way, and impress the masses with my excellent finish time
  3. Put on a sweatband and walkman and join the power walkers
  4. Not join the power walkers but put on the sweatband and walkman anyway
I'm willing to bet that the final result is going to be a combination of #1 and #4.

Anyway, I'm going to get through all of this without whining, mark my words.  The chorus of my running theme song starts out with the lyrics "He's fat and he don't run too fast. But he's faster than me."   And this pretty much describes every race I've ever run, but I always manage to finish with a a smile on my face.  So you go, man who don't run too fast!  You'll see me at the finish line in a few minutes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Please, won't you be my neighbor?

I stay at home quite a little bit.  This, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that law school has turned me into a cranky old lady who would rather sleep or sit on the couch than spend an evening out on the town. Anyway, I'm getting to experience all the fun things about life in an apartment complex.  And as you know, no experience is worth having if it doesn't involve fascinating people.  So let me introduce you to the fine people who've surrounded me at some point during the last two years.

Brown Paper Bag Man - Okay, the first few times I saw this guy in my old neighborhood, I was really confused.  This guy would sit in his car for extended periods of time, listening to the Spanish-language radio station. And he always sipped from a brown paper bag during each of these extended stays in the car.  He did this EVERY DAY.  I've decided the reason he drinks in the car is because he has kids in his apartment, and he doesn't want to drink in front of them.  Good for you, Brown Paper Bag Man.

The Little Drummer Boy Upstairs -  So there's this guy who lives above me.  He doesn't actually play the drums.  But he does like to play a certain bass line very loudly at very odd hours.  And I'm pretty sure it's always the same bass line.  I certainly hope it keeps him as entertained as it keeps me annoyed. Pah rum pum pum pum.

The Daysleepers - Oh I MISS these guys!  They lived in my old neighborhood. Such good neighbors. They played a lot of video games, and they had boxes piled up all over the place, but they were very, very quiet.  My roommate and I never actually saw these guys during the day.  The only reason we knew they existed is because we'd see them walk into their apartment with some Taco Bell late at night.

Willy D -  Willy D's is the name of the piano bar in Fayetteville.  Willy D is also the name I have given my next-door neighbor, as he received an electric keyboard for Christmas.  He, just like the musicians at the piano bar, plays his keyboard into the wee hours of the night.  I think he needs to learn some Journey so the neighborhood can sing along.


And last, but not least:

The Happy Meal Bandit - Hey, we all like our quarter-pounders and fries.  Someone in my neighborhood, however, likes their McDonald's treats so much that they can't wait to get out of the parking lot to eat them, and they leave all the wrappers in the front lawn.  There was someone like this in my old neighborhood, too - a Fudge Rounds Bandit, if you will (roommate and I think it was one of the Daysleepers).  Apparently, the bandits have not been reading all the news reports on obesity in America. I sincerely hope that the Happy Meal Bandit will become a Baby Carrot Bandit one day instead.

Anyway, I should probably go introduce myself to these people.  I'm willing to bet that one of these guys is going to have the cops called on him or get sued for being a nuisance.  And when that time comes, he's going to need an attorney.  Incidental Justice, at your service.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mighty Matt and his Super Hearing Powers

I'm on Christmas break, so I'm taking a break from writing about law school, as well.  Here's a tale from my undergrad days.

I was a dorm rat throughout most of college. Even though the rooms were tiny, and funky smells seeped out of the room of the computer science major who stayed inside all day to play video games, I kinda liked dorm life.  Not gonna lie, it pretty was nice not having to wake up until 15 minutes before class started. I'm sure no one cared that I showed up to class in pajama pants and with sheet marks across my face.

Actually, the only real problem I had with the college residential experience was dealing with the dormitory rules. Not because I could get into any kind of actual trouble for breaking said rules; I got written up nine times my freshman year for noise violations, and clearly, it did not affect my ability to graduate from college.  No, the problem was the people who tried to enforce these rules - specifically, my senior-year RA Matt.

Oh, Matt. Matt was younger than my roommate Erin and me.  He also lived right across the hall from us.  He also was on a power trip about his RA duties.  His excuse was always "Hey, I don't care what you do, I just have to enforce the rules to keep my job." Sure, Matt.

The first time Matt decided to enforce these "rules" was the week before classes started.  Erin and I moved into the dorms about a week early, and there were *maybe* 25 people in the entire dormitory during that time. And at about 10:30 p.m., Erin and I were talking. At 10:40, Matt decided to knock on our door and scold us for our naughty noisiness.  Nevermind the fact that his knocking was louder than our giggling.  And that no one had to go to class in the morning.  And that it wasn't quiet hours yet.  Anyway, Erin and I then dubbed him "Mighty Matt with his Super Hearing Powers" and decided that if he was going to make things difficult for us, we were going to make things difficult for him.

Erin and I really didn't do anything *that* mean-spirited throughout the school year.  For example, when Mighty Matt made us fill out a cheesy "roommate agreement" the first week of classes, we didn't take it entirely seriously.  And by "didn't take it entirely seriously," I mean that we filled in the blanks with silly, harmless things such as "I don't want her making out with guys in the room while I'm studying," and "We will resolve all disputes by mud wrestling." Anyway, after we turned in this "agreement" to him, Mighty Matt knocked on our door and scolded us for not writing serious things in the blanks of our agreement. He told us to write up a new one and said, "Sorry, I just have to do my job." God forbid that he'd get fired and we'd be forced to have an RA who did something other than scold his naughty residents.

Anyway, after a year of putting up with our shenanigans, Mighty Matt wound up getting the last laugh.  I moved out of my room on graduation day, and Mighty Matt came by to do a final inspection of the room to make sure I hadn't destroyed anything.  As he inspected the furniture I said "The drawers in the dresser haven't worked all year.  I turned in a complaint to maintenance, and it never got fixed."  Mighty Matt laughed.  "Yeah, I know they don't work," he said.  "That dresser was in my room when I moved in.  When I found out that it was broken, I switched it with the one on your room."

I glared at him as I stood there in my graduation cap and gown. "Thanks, Matt," I told him.  There wasn't much else I could say at that point.  And you know, it was kind of a fitting end to my days in the dorm.

I have no idea what Mighty Matt is doing right now, and I really do wish him all the best.  But if some of his furniture happens to break, I probably won't feel all that bad.