Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's Baaaaaaaack!

Five years ago, I had a ganglion cyst removed from my left wrist. My sister can tell you fun stories about how she found me hopped up on Hydrocodines after the surgery, angerly weeping and trying to find someone to cover my work shift at the front desk of my residence hall, since I was only conscious an hour or two a day. I'm pretty sure she is responsible for the padlock that was temporarily installed on the outside of my dorm room. Anyway, I think the cyst is back.

My left wrist has begun to ache again in the exact way it ached before. And, more telling, a small knot has developed right under the scar. At least the doc will know right where to cut this time, if it turns out it IS another cyst and needs to be removed. The downside to this is that I really don't want to keep having cysts removed from the same spot every 5 or so years.

But, every the optimist, I hear hydrocodines go for like $10 a pop on the street. At least I can offset my copay with cash from the excess pills I'll get.

PS- for those of you who check out the common treatments of ganglion cysts, please note that if my doctor suggests whacking it with a heavy book, I will gather up my hospital gown and march out. If I wanted to be beaten over medical conditions I would try haggling with my HMO.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We never said we were exclusive...

I've been caught red-handed in the arms of another firm.

Last summer, I worked for a wonderful firm that I really liked. The only trouble is that this firm is in Boston, and the fearless Patto and I have decided we want to go to Chicago. Upon my return from the windy city last week, I have been doing some intense comparisons and have decided upon the New Firm for me. And now for the awkward task of breaking up with my Old Firm.

Last night, Old Firm Boston invited me and the other Harvard students they are recruiting for next summer to cocktails and dinner. I popped in for cocktails and was chatting with the hiring partner, a truly great guy whom I wish I could move to Chicago with us. He knows my heart has been wandering as of late, and quickly put me in touch with Old Firm Chicago Office, hoping to at least keep me in the family. Alas, I have decided that New Firm has better opportunities for me, but I haven't quite found a way to break it off with Old Firm.

Hiring Partner asks me about the job hunt in Chicago. I tell him it's going very well. He asks if I have heard from Old Firm Chicago. I say not yet. Suddenly, my phone rings. I glance at it, laugh, and say "there's a Chicago number now." "Answer it!" he cries, "It might be Old Firm Chicago!" So I answer it. It's New Firm, checking the spelling of my new last name so they can send me a "thanks for choosing us!" fruit basket.

Talk about awkward. We go through the same old song and dance- it's not you, it's me, can we still be friends, I'm at a different point in my life right now, you've changed, I've changed, nothing will ever change, don't cry, you'll find another student soon, you're a great firm, you'll make someone else very happy...

I think I will still go back and put in a cameo appearance at Old Firm Boston at the end of the summer. They like that sort of thing, makes them think they can still win you back, maybe you'll be sorry you ever left. Maybe you'll walk in the door and say, "God you're beautiful."

It's what every firm wants to hear.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wewease the secwet weapon!!!

Ahhh, callbacks. I have reached the part of the interview season where my firmie friends fly me out to their firm to meet 6 or 7 attorneys and find out if we are a good personality fit for each other. If OCI was like speed dating, this is the like the third date. To quote a friend- who was actually speaking of the callback process- "we aren't ready to sleep together, but I might consider getting handsy on the couch after a glass of wine."

This week I am in Chicago, looking at about 5 firms. Last week I was in another city, which shall remain regionless, when I encountered the following: "Wewease the secwet weapon!!!" Ok, no one I was talking to at the firm actually said that, but they might as well have. One of the women who worked in the department I want had an accent/speech impediment/bizarre vocal tic that made her sound like Gussie Mausheimer from An American Tale. Do you know how difficult it is to ask intelligent questions and get a good sense of what a firm has to offer when you are humming "There are no cats in America?" Role play with a friend. You'll see what I mean.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Must... find... job....

I haven't mentioned that the past three weeks have been spent interviewing for my summer job, and, just to pile on the pressure, THE NEXT TEN YEARS OF MY LIFE!!!! See, the place you work after your second year of law school is most likely the place you will go after you graduate. Most firms don't even interview third year students, because they want 2nd years to spend a summer with them so they can make them permanent offers and retain them forever and ever amen. Everyone is well aware of this, so the summer job hunt at Harvard is a giant production. That starts before you leave for the summer at the end of your 1L year. Firms PAY MONEY to come to Harvard and have 20 min initial interviews with students in Sept. If they like them and have room for them, they ask them back to their offices for callback interviews, a four-hour interviewing extravaganza. Callbacks are nice. They fly you out to their office, put you up in a nice hotel, and reimburse all of your expenses. Usually they take you to lunch or dinner (or both) while you are in town.

To accomodate this process, Harvard cancels school for a week so that we don't miss anything while we are flying all over the country interviewing with the firms we want. It really is a little ridiculous. The office of career services is committed to maintaining their 100% employment upon graduation rate, so they really hype up the second summer and the importance of locking down your future 30 seconds into your second year. Meanwhile, the office of public interest, concerned that everyone will be pushed into firms and not into legal aid or government work, starts a counter-campaign. Their slogans go a little like this:

"Attention 2L's! Do not feel pressured to do OCI (on campus interviewing) and work at a firm this summer. Not everyone is cut out for firm work. Last year, .00000043% of graduating students went into a very fulfilling career in public interest work! And Harvard pays back your $40,958,720,495,872,094,857 dollar loans if you work below the poverty line (which is $50K at Harvard), so don't be sucked into the high-paying, lunch-buying, luxury-hotel-accomodating hype! You have another choice!"

I have one friend who is not interviewing with firms. She has never wanted to work at a firm, so I say good for her. I have always wanted to work at a firm, so I am undaunted by the public interest counter-campaign. Apparently, so are 99% of my classmates.

I have callbacks in two cities, as Patto and I haven't decided where to live after graduation. So for the next two weeks, I will be zipping around Atlanta and Chicago, talking to about 8 firms. I wonder if firms will reimburse my dry cleaning expenses....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Garcon, I'll have the PB&J

So I know I'm all over the place this week (it comes from avoiding my studies with a passion unmatched in these parts), but I just read something in my tax casebook that bears sharing. And trust me, there are not many passages in my tax casebook that fit that description.

The subject matter is business meal deductions. Here ya go: "Suppose a theatrical agent takes his clients out to lunch at the expensive restaurants that the clients demand. Of course he can deduct the expense of their meals, from hich he derives no pleasure or sustenance, but can he also deduct the expense of his own? He can, because he cannot eat more cheaply; he cannot munch surreptitiously on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich brought from home while his client is wolfing down tournedos Rossini followed by the souffle au grand marnier..."

Awesome. Patte, anyone?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Too Cool

This a picture of Caesar, taken by my new MacBook with the "thermal image" effect on. Yes, that is my arm and neck in the background. I am clearly a cold person, with the exception of my delts. clearly.

I have 16 other effects to choose from. Let's see what Caesar looks like in he "comic book" style.

Way to make an impression

Honk if this has happened to you:

You meet someone, maybe at a party or a conference, and have a wonderful, interesting, thought-provoking conversation with them. They are brilliant, they are fun, they are witty-- they think you are brilliant and fun and witty. You think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

Then you see them the next day, and they smile and wave, and you smile and wave too! And then you realize they were waving at the person behind you, and they didn't even see you. But they see you now, because you are smiling and waving like an idiot and... they can't place you. They tilt their head and furrow their brow as they pass, unable to remember why you look familiar, if indeed you even do.

Ego. Bruised.

Luckily for me, right after this true-story, a guy passed me and smiled and waved! And I had no idea who he was. But I smiled and waved back, and even tossed in a "hey" as I passed. I didn't want him to know the difference, even if I was "heying" at the guy behind him...

Life is... cyclical.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

RIP Compaq, Helloooooo Mac

My PC has crashed for the last time. You see, the part of the computer brain that receives signals about the power source seized, and it stopped recognizing that it was receving power from either the battery or the adapter. It has done this twice before. This time it looked like it might be time to make out a will and call the family. Computer experts agreed to fix it for anywhere from $300 to $more than its worth, so Patto and I decided to scrap it and get a new computer. And I wanted a Mac. So a cute little mac I've got.

Now, I am not a paid spokeswoman for Apple, but I love my new MacBook. It has a built in camera so I can video-conference, it does all the nifty creative things I want to do but doesn't do all of the things I will never do, so I don't feel bad about having paid for them. It even has a magnetic power cord, so that if someone trips over it, it disconnects rather than pulling my laptop into the floor and mangling it. Heck, even if it did mangle it, my warranty covers accidental damage too.

Now maybe I'll get around to doing the research I've been putting off because I didn't have a laptop and I don't like sitting at Patto's desktop. Yeah. Maybe. Or maybe I'll take more nifty, distorted pics.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Toes and the sadness that is IRRAR

I take offence to the freakishly long ape-toes comment. I think people with... advanced toe growth should be celebrated and admired for their toe resourcefullness, not mocked and jeered and commented about in their sister's blogs. I think this is a common case of toe jealousy, as we all know long toes rule.

Now that we are all a little more educated, I would like to explore a REAL disability, the inability to reconcile one's reading assignments with reality (IRRAR). Many Harvard Law professors suffer from this terrible and deabilitating disease, and continuously assign 100 pages or so of reading per night, though they can only humanly cover 15 pages or so in class. Therefore, at approximately 5 weeks into the semester, the professor is on page 100, but expects you to have read through page 436 in the text. Knowing you could be called on to answer in-depth questions about 300 pages of text is not comforting. By the time November rolls around, I expect I will be called on and will be responsible for whatever the professor actually covers that day, plus the 900 pages he somehow thought he would get to, and will on that day decide to jump ahead 500 pages in an effort to "get caught up." Sigh.

If you think your professor suffers from IRRAR, ask him or her this simple hypothetical (they love hypotheticals): "Train A leaves Professorville traveling at 5 mph. Train B leaves Studentville traveling at 300 mph. At what point do they meet?" If your professor answers with anything other than "They don't! The Studentville train must stop!" s/he probably suffers from IRRAR. Seek professional help immediately.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Hello Change!

Wow, what a busy 3 months I have had. I started (and finished) a new job, I got married, we moved into a new apt, and we got a new kitten. I have just over a week until my second year of school starts. So because so much has happened since I last wrote, I will give you the super short version of each event:

Job: Fantastic. I received an offer to return to the firm next summer, I have a couple of partners who want to be my reference for the job hunt next year, and it seems I might actually be good at the whole lawyer thing. I am interested in checking out the Chicago office of the same firm (Patto's new favorite city for us to go to after graduation. The Windy City is now barely beating out Atlanta- which had been his choice for the last few months. I'll check out both).

Wedding: Exhausting but lovely. The highlights: Patrick tearing up during the ceremony, pre-wedding massage, dancing all night. The lowlights: broken A/C, pushy photographer. All in all I think everyone had a good time. I did. We went to Aruba for the honeymoon and had an amazing time. It's beautiful and it was great to get to recharge our batteries.

New apt: super old house closer to school. 12-14 ft ceilings, hardwood floors, crooked door frames, 50% larger than the old one. It's got character. We like it a lot. We tried to burn it down the first night (another post), but other than that, it's great so far. We have done some home improvement, like painting and changing out some light fixtures, and it's coming together.

New kitten: Caesar. And he deserves the name. He thinks he is in charge. Tobey finally tolerates him, despite a few run-ins. I caught them napping together the other day, although Caesar prefers to be laying in your way for his naps. I'll get a pic of him on here soon. I can't wait until he can be neutered and have his claws out. We are putting those little soft claws on him right now, which is helping, but he seems to chew them off very quickly. We just got a new surround sound system, and if Caesar sharpens his claws on the speakers, Patrick will kill him. That would be unfortunate.

But understandable.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Let's Make A Deal

So I know I owe you guys posts on other things, but I want to take a minute to talk about the counter-intuitive mathmatical phenomenon that my friends and I have been playing around with in our heads for the past couple of days. You are probably already familiar with the set-up: it was used famously by Monty Hall on the old "Let's Make a Deal" show. For those of you who didn't grow up with Nick at Night, here's the premise: A lucky contestant gets to pick among three closed doors, behind one of which is a car, and behind the other two are goats (or some equally undesirable "prize"). The contestant picks a door. Monty Hall opens one of the un-picked doors to reveal a goat. The audience cheers. Now the contestant is given a choice- do they want to switch doors? Now, most people will reason that nothing is gained by switching doors, after all, they have a 50/50 chance of getting the car. But here's the kicker and the mathmatical head-scratcher: they are actually twice as likely to get the car if they switch doors!

No, seriously. You will not want to believe this, because basic logic tells you if you are down to two doors to pick between, one of which has a car, you have a 50% chance of getting the car no matter what. But you are wrong. And I was wrong. And it took me a half dozen hand-drawn diagrams and articles to figure it out. And even now, I don't like it. But it's true. Here's the skinny:

Originally, you have a 1/3 chance of getting the right door. Which means if the car is placed randomly and you choose randomly, you will only choose correctly 33% of the time. When a non-car door is opened, your odds don't improve- there is still a 66% chance that the door you selected is a goat. So 66% of the time, it makes more sense to switch doors. Only 33% of the time does it make sense to stay with your original choice. Thus, your odds really are twice as good if you switch. Make sense? Don't worry if it doesn't at first, a bunch of us Hah-vahd kids sat around and drew it and did mock trials before we would believe it either. But if you want, try it out on your spouse/co-workers/kids: Do it several times (at least 9). See if it doesn't come out this way.

An important caveat: This only works because Monty Hall knows what door the car is behind, so of course he isn't going to open that door, even though you didn't select it originally. If it was a random opening, and the car was not revealed behind an un-picked door, your odds are 50-50. But because Monty can control which door is opened, you are twice as likely to win if you switch. Trust me on this one. It won't work for you all of the time (after all, you might have selected the right door immediately), but hey, doubling your chances can't hurt you.

Friday, April 28, 2006

I knew this would happen

I went in to CVS this morning to pick up a birthday card for a classmate, and I came out with 7 cards and a king-sized kit kat bar. Damn card organizer. I blame it. (With the exception of the kit kat bar. That is not the card organizers fault. That is my torts class' fault). Anyway, I was thinking to myself, as I waffled between two cards for my friend, "hey- I could get both, and put whichever one I don't use in my card organizer for next time!" And it was all downhill from there. I found a couple cards that my sister would love, good ones for people's upcoming birthdays... I doubled my amount of unused cards that need to be organized in one day. I am a marketers dream.

On my way to class moments later, I was passed by a guy walking a huge doberman pinsher on one side and a minuature pinsher (or minsher pinsher as I call them) on the other. It was like Dr. Evil and Mini-Me. I tried not to laugh as I passed this guy (after all, he was walking two dobermans), but I was thinking that he looked ridiculous with these two dogs. Almost as ridiculous as I looked with 7 cards and a kit kat bar.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Good Morning, Starshine

I know I've been missing for a while, and my loyal fan (hi Mel!) has probably been wondering where I've been. To celebrate my return, I thought I would write a (hopefully) non-law school post. Maybe it will be good enough to get me linked to my sister's blog.

So mom got me this Hallmark card organizer to help separate the piles of cards she seems to think I have laying around the house. It's very nice, and almost as worthless as extremely expensive receipe box she got me last Christmas. It turns out that I only have about 5 unused cards, and the organizer came with 3 of those. It makes me want to acquire cards so that they can be organized. This is how Hallmark gets you. They convince you that you will be considered the most put-together and thoughtful person on the block because you always remember every little occasion (have you seen those commercials? Advertisting brilliance) and then shame you into buying unneccessary cards because your organizer sits empty. It reminds me of my favorite advertising ploy: create a problem and then offer a product to fix it. No one even knew they were sufferers until you came along and told them how to get better. Genious.

My sweet little Tobey (see above, isn't she cute?) has been a model litter box user ever since we moved to MA. It makes me wonder what it was about my old apartment/roommates/city that made her want to wet the bed. Still, she wouldn't be Tobey if she hadn't developed a new quirk in the mean time. Tobey has decided, after a year and a half of never doing this, to become my morning alarm clock. Apparently she has finally learned that I get up at approx. 6:00 am every day. She has made it her mission in life to be sure that I don't sleep in by howling the howl of a dying animal in my face at 5:58. If I hide my face from her, she chews on my hair. It's hard to be angry at such a thoughtful kitty, although I manage to do it every morning at 5:58am. As annoying as this is on work days, it is even more annoying on the weekends, because Tobey becomes more and more concerned that I am sleeping in as time passes on a Saturday morning. She begins wailing promptly at 5:58. I can usually calm her down by saying good morning and rubbing her until she lays down again. We sleep peacefully until her snooze alarm goes off at 6:18. She wails. I rub. At 7:00 she bites my hair and puts her wet nose on my eyelid. I get up and go to the bathroom. I check her food bowl to be sure this isn't a cry for help (it never is). We go back to bed. At 7:30 she stands on my chest and meows stinky cat food breath in my nostrils. I surrender and get up.

I can't get her to stop. I've tried ignoring her, I've tried tossing her off the bed. I've tried locking her out of the room (this results in wailing, pushing against the door and putting her little white-toed paws under the door as if reaching for me. It breaks my heart every time). I've tried rubbing her. I've tried holding her (she doesn't like that, she wants me to get up, not her to lay down). Basically, I have tried everything except the Patrick method, which consists of holding her up in the air until she squirms enough to fall back onto the bed and run away. I think this is mean. I try to tell him so, but he invariably falls back asleep before I can get in a good chastisement. I think he plans that.

All in all, she is really turned out to be a good cat. She loves to play, has never coughed up a hairball on the carpet, uses her litterbox and is kind to visitors. Now if only I could convince her that I have an alarm clock; what I need is a napping companion.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Still kicking

This place eats your life. But I still love it.

Things at Harvard are going well so far. I've had my first semester exams, though I don't know my grades yet. The second semester feels a little less stressful already, although I probably should relax or let my guard down just yet. Things tend to jump out at you from behind the bushes here.

I will be working this summer at a firm in Boston, and I'm ready to get started already. I will be working in the corporate department, focusing on transactions. Hooray for a real, non-stop-gap job!

I'm getting married in 6 months. This is going to be a pretty eventful year.