Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do Over

Starting off on the right foot means, starting off in a pair of shoes that are all your own.  I chalk my horrible first week of law school up to the fact that I wore one of my shoes, and one of Christy's shoes on the first day (for those that don't know, my good friend, Oxford-bound Christy, is couch surfing at the Casa de la Ball until October)  And yes, I really did put on two different shoes that first day... though in my defense they were both black Chuck Taylors, only 1 size different.

Transition is hard.  I always forget that.  I get so impatient with waiting for the transition to come, that the difficulty of it always blindsides me.  When I moved to Seattle, I was hung up in my past life and I forgot to settle into my new life.  I wasted months being unhappy in a place that now I am so sad to be leaving behind.  So, I will learn my lesson.  I will not mope and mourn.  The classes may be hard, and the work never-ending, but schedules will be created, and assignments will get done.  My classmates may be last year's  Fraternity alums, but there is a Women's Caucus to join, and a Boy's Club to upstage.

Week two seems off to a somewhat less rocky start, or at least more well-weathered as I make sure I am wearing the right shoes everyday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Greatest. Text. Ever.

 "Your cats hate Tennyson.  
They run away when I read him out loud"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thoughts on Transition

My first official day of law school is over.  I only had 2 classes, which were filled with lots of first day stuff.  I was the first to get called on in my Legal Writing class.  Luckily the answer I made up seemed close enough to being right that the professor let me off the hook relatively quickly.  After class I came home, tried to do some reading, which boggled my mind...and I took a nap, with my cats, among the various books strewn about the bed.  Books, and cats, and naps.  Happens to be the subtitle of this blog.  Which I initially started as a way to keep friends and family back home informed on the goings on in my life.  But it seems to have evolved, as I think most blogs and lives do, and probably should.

So the cats are the same.  Still Brody and Opal.  Still troublesome.  Still my favorite animals on the planet, and one big reason why I haven't gone insane yet.

Clearly the napping is still happening.  I love naps. I can't help it.  So decadent and fantastic.  Plus some one had some first day of school jitters and didn't get much sleep last night.

And that leaves the books.  Sure, I'll be reading...a lot and even if I have officially deemed bus time, pleasure-reading time, I still feel like I am losing my right arm.

Christy asked me last night if I was nervous, and I said I was, but upon reflection, not because of the first day, but more because today starts a completely new life for me.  No more work.  How strange to not be working.  I've only been working a little over 10 years now, still it feels like forever.  I worked through school, I worked in the summers, I've worked 2 jobs at a time more than I ever want to do again.  But more than getting over not working, I have to get over that I won't be working with books.  I have been employed or volunteering in libraries or bookstores since I was 16...almost half my life.  My AmeriCorps service, and the big reason I'm going back to school, was with a literacy foundation.  I love books, I love readers, I love bookstores.  And I think this is what is weighing me down as I completely change direction.  How do you remain yourself, when something you identify with so completely, is suddenly stripped away?  Even with the cats and the naps...without the books, am I still the same me?

Go West Young Woman

Just finished re-watching West Wing Season 6. I check the DVDs out from the library whenever my spare time and their availability happen to coincide. It's been about a year now, one more season to go, and I can't believe how good this show is. In fact I would say that I love West Wing as much as I love Sports Night, or even The American President. Huh. Funny how they all happen to be created and written by the same genius. Aaron Sorkin; funny, smart, and compassionate, writing funny, smart, compassionate entertainment. I could watch these shows over and over again; in fact I do watch them over and over again. I love Aaron Sorkin. I LOVE HIM! I love that he constantly uses the same actors. Same snappy dialogue style. And I can even forgive him for using the same jokes and occasional episode formats in the 2 totally different television series. It's all just as good the second time around with different actors!

The writing never fails to move me in some way. Crying, or laughing, or simply by provoking thought. There's a character in the earlier episodes of West Wing, Ainsley Hayes, a Republican who comes to work in the very Democratic White House. In this one episode which brings up the Equal Rights Amendment, that doomed bit of legislation pushed by the Feminist movement in the 70s, another character is shocked that Ainsley doesn't support it, because even if she is a Republican, how can she, as a woman, disagree with it? And her response resembles something to the tune of, "I don't need a law telling me that I am equal to a man. I am equal simply by being a citizen of this country. Nothing could be more patronizing." Of course it's much more eloquent, and I'm not sure I entirely agree, but still, food for thought.

I love the idealists Aaron Sorkin champions, the decent politicians he creates. I adore the men he writes. They are all decent, and sensitive in some way. All flawed, but striving to be better. Funny, kind, vulnerable, and genuine. It's hard not to look for these men in all men.

But as much as I love the men he writes, I love the women more. It's not easy writing a smart, strong, funny woman in a leadership role, who maintains her femininity without cliched damsel in distress moments. These women have it together and even when they don't have it together, it's not the men who save them. And the actresses who play them could not have been cast better...Annette Benning as Sydney Wade, Felicity Huffman as Dana Whitaker, and my favorite, Alsion Janney as CJ Cregg. No they aren't real, but it doesn't mean they aren't admirable, and it certainly doesn't mean I can't strive to be like them.

So I'm having a West Wing love affair. Excited to finish up the last season, and start stalking Aaron Sorkin on IMDB to see...in the words of Jed Bartlett..."what's next."

Here's a great clip from season 6 which also features my new theme song...enjoy!

I have only one tip for Aaron Sorkin improvement...let's see a little more racial diversity in the main characters.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I Found Under the Fridge This Weekend

15 assorted cat toys. This time I know it was Opal, as those leopard-print,
feather balls happen to be her favorite toy.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What I Found in the Toilet This Morning

I love my cats. I'm guessing this was Opal as she's the klutzy one, but you can bet Brody didn't do anything to stop her.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Directorial Finale

For those who haven't seen it, my last video at Third Place Books. And you wondered why I
was sad to leave!

The Great Purge of 2010

On a bit of a cleaning blitz. Yesterday was under the bed and the closet. I've take so many things to Value Village, the apartment feels lighter. Among the cast-offs were several old books I was going to make into shelves, an old VCR (why I carted it here from AZ, I have no idea), clothes, never-played games, cat toys that failed to interest the cats, and my hockey gear. I had held onto my gear because up to this point I couldn't dream of giving it away. I was surprised how easy it was to do this time around. Perhaps I'm just at the point where after dealing with so much junk it doesn't matter how meaningful it is, if it takes up space, and has been unused for over 3 years, it's out. Of course the big benefit has been moving a lot of things from the closet in an orderly manner to under the bed. Meaning the closet is no longer a dangerous mountain of precarious piles, and while the space beneath the bed is packed, it's an organized packed.

Before & After of the bed:

The closet:

Today I worked on my plants including the indoor ones and my container garden. Pruning, planting, sweeping. I didn't take before pictures, but here's the finished product...

Next up is the kitchen.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

! Siesta de los Gatos !

Los mittens son muy contentos en el bano de mi casa. !
Que adorable!

Bountiful Harvest

With my wee container garden, it seems to be a rather wee harvest. Though, I think the weather wasn't exactly on my side. Cilantro is happily growing away, and my tomato is crazy huge, just waiting on the fruit. Now for round 2 of lettuce and green onions. Maybe someday, I will have enough room and enough sun for more than 3 green beans at a time...until then, looks to be a a bit of an eensy, spaced-out feast.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Long

It seems at last, after years of work (and it has been years), and years of waiting, I am off and running toward that ever-present goal, while not always solidified at least tugging somewhere in the back of my brain, "Erin, this is what you want... this way." I find myself exhilarated by the new changes coming; buzzing with electric, terrified anticipation. But with new beginnings, come endings, and saying goodbye to Third Place Books was very hard for me. At times, I found myself joyful & energized, loved & embraced, and thrilled about new possibilities. But at other moments, there lurked the toxic pull of darker emotions; I felt bereft, broken, mortified, and unsure. Certain never to recover. But new horizons will always emerge, and tonight's outlook appears slightly more cheerful.

-Strengthening friendships both old and new can't help but lift the spirits.
-Physical challenges, while immense and frightening, invigorate me and spur me on.
-An interminable transition period finally comes to a close, and I feel a freedom; an exhalation of a long-held of breath

So, while I may be sad to be moving on and saying goodbye to dear friends and coworkers; and I may be frightened of what next comes 'round the bend; it is these other empowering forces that drive me on, and leave me with a light heart and clear head.

Ice Cold Beverage Economics

Driving down 65th today, we chanced upon a handwritten, poster for lemonade. You know, one of those little driveway operations little kids get up to. Carrie awwwed for a split second before gasping, "ONE DOLLAR!?!... Effing inflation." High-larious.