Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Bar 2015

It's done. The Bar.

There are a couple of posts floating in my head related to the bar. First, let's talk about snow.

I am in an area that gets snow, but only one or two hits per winter of the type that interferes with life.

The bar exam was Tuesday and Wednesday--one hour drive each way. I don't mind driving. I like driving--but I don't like loss of time. Also, for something so important, I was acutely aware of increasing my exposure-to-unforeseeable-hazards time. Add to that, I had my bar interview on Monday in the same city as the bar exam. That would be three consecutive days during the bar exam of that kind of a drive.

I got a hotel room for Monday and Tuesday. And that was my reasoning.

As the time got closer, sometimes the forecast would call for a little snow, but then it would waffle right back the other way. I didn't worry too much because I knew I had the hotel reservation already anyway.

Monday night, the forecast said we "might get a little dusting from a system to the south in the morning."

Tuesday morning, when I woke up, it was snowing steadily. When I came out for lunch in my car (isolation, review, rest), it was snowing steadily (and cold!), when I came out to my car to go back to the hotel for the night, it was snowing heavily and the roads were not good. I was so glad to get back to my room and just stay there and rest.

Wednesday morning, as I was checking out of my hotel and going to day two of the exam, my car was completely iced over and the parking lot was a glistening sheet of ice. My car slid twice during the 10-minute drive to the exam location. That parking lot was straight ice, too. I was impressed we all made it back.

By lunch, the snow/ice was melted off the roads. But, this time we were forecasting a heavy storm coming in, starting at 7:00 pm. The bar examiner proctor told us if we were all back in our seats early, we could start early. We were literally trying to beat the storm with our exam. One person did not get back from lunch early, so we started on time.

Sure enough, when we got out of the final session, the sky was a solid mass of low, heavy, gray clouds and there was a definite bite in the air. I just wanted to go home.

And, I got home, and the snow came, and the snow that dumped was heavy and wet and took out power to 100,000s--including in the general area where I had taken the exam. We did not lose power, for which I am so grateful.

This morning, but no bar, so no worries. 

Olive The Lab loved the snow.

Did I mention the bar exam is over?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Taxing Study Break

Rosebud was accepted to her four-year college of choice this week! I love seeing her so happy.

I wish I had more time, right now, to just rejoice and imagine the future with her.

Study break for me today: Taxes. Because, you know, FAFSA.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup No. 372

Many thanks to Magic Cookie!

She posted a Roundup for all of the crazily busy Mothers in the Legal Profession.

The weekly Mothers In the Legal Profession Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis at the ButterflyfishGraceBJJ, Law, and Living, Mommy and the Sin CityMagic CookieThe Reluctant Grownup, and Perspectives From a Hard Boiled Egg blogs.

Would you like your blog to be considered in the weekly Mothers in the Legal Profession Roundup? Leave a comment or send an e-mail to any of the hostesses listed above.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Pulled Over by a Building

I can't explain exactly how, but the following incident captures the essence of this week.

My co-worker parks at my apartment complex on days that I drive. So, whether she drives or I do, we always have a portion of the journey beginning and ending from my home. I was driving this week. Friday, we heard sirens as I drove back to my apartment. I glanced in my rear-view mirror. No lights, though a car was closing the gap.

The sirens were getting louder . . . and there was definitely nothing coming towards me. No cross streets either.

They had recently dropped the speed limit from 45 to 35 on that road. Although I was sure I was not significantly speeding, there was a chance I was going between 35 and 40.

I glanced in my rear-view mirror again. The car was getting closer, but no lights. Maybe sun glare or malfunction or forgot to turn on the lights in an unmarked car?

I figured better safe than sorry and pulled into a parking lot--either the siren car would follow me over or continue on to its intended call destination.

It whizzed by--and the sirens got louder?

Suddenly, we realized that the sirens were coming from the commercial building served by the parking lot I had just pulled into.

Other happenings this week:
  • I set up a desk in my crowded bedroom for my work-from-home days (Mondays).
  • I decided the only way to pass the bar and keep my sanity was to either quit my job or ask for some additional (unpaid) vacation days or, at a minimum, work from home an additional day a week--and that I would discuss some combination of the last two ideas with my supervisor (since I need the job in order for us to survive).
  • Tuesday, all work-from-home days for everyone in our department were cancelled and a new work process initiated.
  • Wednesday, a large number of regular employees were laid off in multiple departments (other than ours).
  • Thursday and Friday, overtime for our department was authorized. I turned it down. Multiple reasons.
  • Friday, equipment necessary to our job and definitely to the increasing demands on us, failed.
  • I decided not to discuss additional days off or increasing my (now-non-existent) work-from-home days with my supervisor.
I was pulled over by a building on the way home.

No Super Bowl for me today, not even in the background. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A Police Academy Graduation

Friday, Rosebud went to her brother's graduation from police academy.

I find it all kind of surreal.

First of all, Rosebud made it to the graduation. She had planned to go--earlier in the week she had even worked out not babysitting that night--only to find out late Thursday night that there had been miscommunication in the official e-mail chains about a change in time. It was going to be earlier in the day, while she was nannying for a different family. She knew that the parents had official appointments on Friday involved in buying their new house, so she did not even ask off. It was at the last minute, after all.

But, then, out of the blue, when she got to her nanny job, on her own accord, the kids' mother said Rosebud could leave early if she wanted. She happened to be wearing ceremony-attending appropriate clothing. She was able to find the unknown-to-her location without a working GPS. She got there on time.

And, there was the bigger picture: She was here, in this state, in this locality. Not on the opposite coast. I keep finding that I am grateful for that.

Also, her brother graduated from the same police academy and is  now working as an officer in the same police department as Rosebud's father (full career) and I (shorter time period) both did.

All of the rest of the family members were there, including her sister who drove up from two states away, the cute little niece and nephew, her other brother and his wife, everyone.

I am so amazed, thankful, and happy that she got to be there, too.

As for me, so many memories, so many people. I would have liked to have been there. But, this was the way it should have been. Her brother's mother was so gracious during Rosebud's graduation. This was her moment to be proud of her son. He worked hard.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Still At It

  • I worked from home Monday because that was my first official regular weekly work-from-home day.
  • I worked form home Wednesday because of icy roads.
  • I like having the option of staying off icy roads and still working.
  • Today, it is beautiful out.
  • Senior case managers had to work yesterday (Saturday).
  • Someone was fired at work--as in, the person came in for a regular work day, things took a serious turn, and that person was gone.
  • Rosebud submitted her application to the university she wants to attend next year.
  • The department next to ours at work is being audited for the next month or two, which means we are being quasi-audited: Auditors purposefully wandering into adjoining departments.
  • I did better with the whole bar-life-work balance this week and was happier for it.
I am behind. Still. More. More and still.

But, I am still at it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Last week, I studied almost non-stop Thursday through Sunday. I had Thursday and Friday off for New Year's. I was trying to catch up the little I had fallen behind and desperate to get at least a little ahead. I did get a little ahead--through most of Monday's assignments.

But, it backfired terribly.

I stayed up way too late Sunday night trying to get through the end of one assignment and then to re-process/make my own notes on one particular concept. Then, my brain would not turn off because of that mental push to the end.

The rest of the week progressively dissolved into an overly tired, frustrated, irritable, tired, on-edge mess.

My apologies.

And, I kept getting further behind. And, a whole week got crossed off my calendar. I am well into January, now.

By Friday, at work, all I could think about was that if I couldn't get some sleep, at least I should be able to go to a BJJ class. That would make things better. But, of course, that can't happen right now, either. More frustration.

Saturday morning, I woke up having dreamt an entire BJJ class, ending up with a rear naked choke. My form was sloppy. Been gone too long. I also noticed the other day that my First Hill calf muscles are now completely gone.

Also: I paid $125 to take the essay portion of the bar on my laptop. By check or money order (no online payment option). I also took the time to download the software and do the required practice test and upload. Because, that's what we do.

The good news: We got our work-from-home day authorized to start next week (after I had given up on it happening at all)!

I am aiming to finish out today with a little more balance and better planning. There is no way I will be caught up, but I will keep plugging away.