Archive for September, 2012|Monthly archive page

Substitute Curse Words…

In Encouragement, First World Problems, Law School Problems, Lawyer Problems, Somewhat disjointed rant... on September 28, 2012 at 5:01 am

Yes. I have a problem with my mouth. I shall not offer you any excuses. I need to come up with catchy substitutes, though. I don’t LIKE cursing. I KNOW better. It’s not lady-like!

Someone might be tempted to point out the fact that a substitute is not necessarily better than the word itself. My response: imagine I’m behind you and your youngest child/nephew/niece/sibling/mentee/babysitting charge in line at Target. Would you prefer me to yell out “OH, SMURF” if I fall or would you prefer “OH, %!@*#”??? Hmmm??? Yeah, I thought so.

Try out some of these for yourself by filling in the blank: “Who in the _____ let you wear that blouse with those shoes?”

1. Smurf
2. Toola-Roola
3. Ken doll
4. Wide, wide world of sports
5. Blazing Saddles
6. Mel Brooks
7. Huxtable
8. Zuckerberg
9. Cameron Diaz
10. Dita Von Teese
11. Wocka Flocka
12. Flaming glass of whiskey sour
13. Bananas in pajamas
14. Snuffleupagus
15. Lynrd Skynrd
16. One if by land, two if by sea
17. Road Less Traveled
18. Bean Porridge
19. Technicolor
20. Python Print Leggings
21. Inego Montoya

I’m personally partial to #1, #15, and #19. Feel free to steal one of my technicoloring awesome substitutes for your own use.


Open Letter Re: Law School

In First World Problems, Law School Problems, Somewhat disjointed rant... on September 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Dear Professor,

You know how you assigned 150 pages of reading? Yeah, that snatched my motivation to even BEGIN reading. Thus, I read 5 pages and gave up. You know that time you assigned 35 pages of reading? That was do-able. Thus, I read all 35 pages AND took notes.


Dear Person Who Has Lots of Questions:

I respect your love of learning. But, your questions are confusing. Please set up an appointment with Professor ____ during office hours.


Dear Person Who Whispers During the Whole Class:

I can hear you. A lot.


Dear Person Who Always Name Drops During Class:

I have no idea who you are talking about. Please stop.


Dear Person Who is Secretly Racist/Sexist/Homophobic/Religious Bigot/Ageist/Etc.:

We all know. Every time you open your mouth. We know you are not playing Devil’s Advocate.


Dear Person Who Like Me Zones Out Every Now and Then:

Hit me up on Google chat so that we can set up a schedule. I can pay attention while you are zoned out and vice versa. Then, we can trade notes after class.


Dear Person Who Works at a Law Firm:

Every hypo in class does not relate to your firm. I promise.


Dear Professor:

I will not object or feel shorted if you end class early. I will, however, be annoyed if you finish your material an hour early and then have a “discussion.”


Dear Professor:

Not all of us will work at big firms. I’m just saying.


Dear Person in Class Who is Sick:

Go home. Please. Attending today’s class WILL NOT make the difference between an A and a C.


Dear Person in Class Who Did Not Bathe:

Please re-evaluate your priorities. Thank you.


Dear Person Whose Phone Rang But You Are Trying to Ignore It:

We all know it’s your phone. Just ignore the call. It’s all good. It can happen to the best of us.


Dear Person in Class Who Is A Gunner:

I respect your hustle…kind of.

Mac vs. PC

In Somewhat disjointed rant... on September 26, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I’m a PC (that is IBM compatible, Windows OS) user. My boyfriend is a Mac user. I wanted to be a Mac user. Really, I did. But, when I needed a new computer, I didn’t have the 15 big it took to commandeer one from the Apple Store. Ergo, I took the $700 I had to Best Buy and procured for myself a Gateway.

The point of this is not to argue which of the two is better. If you google “Mac vs. PC” all kinds of stuff will come up. I read much of this information (while I was supposed to be paying attention in class…), and I have come to a conclusion. In the words of the illustrious Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: IT DOESN’T MATTER. Make your choice…but, are you really making a choice? What matters is the fact that those two choices left me blind to all other choices. I didn’t think about Linux…or Chromebook…or…or…what are the other choices? That’s right, I don’t even KNOW the other choices. While I’ve been watching Mac and Windows duke it out, I’ve missed other developments in the market.

How many other times have I done that? I was thoroughly creeped out by my willing participation in my own ignorance. How about when I chose between Democrat and Republican? How about when I decided to choose between teaching and law school? How about when I choose to see people as beautiful or ugly? How about when I decide whether someone is acceptable or unacceptable? How about when I decide if something is good or bad? Yes. Yes, all of those.

How much have I missed? How many developments have I missed? What other options are out there? Life seems so much easier when I only have to choose between two options that are diametrically opposed: black, white; left, right. In the end, I lose no matter what because I am whittling down my ability to process and understand the betweeness that exists in life.

30 Things for 31

In Encouragement, First World Problems, Somewhat disjointed rant..., Thoughts on Christianity on September 23, 2012 at 8:02 am

Thirty was a bittersweet year. I mean that literally. Have you ever had bittersweet chocolate or a glass of good champagne? Bittersweetness has a tangy bite that quickly spreads to the back of your throat and a smooth sweetness up front. Being 30 was like that, and 31 is shaping up to be the same. Did someone say champagne? Here are 30 thoughts flying around in my head at the beginning of my 31st year.

30. Use your money. Don’t just spend it. Give 10% to a good cause, save 10%, pay your bills and then USE the rest. To use your money, only shop at quality establishments and only buy quality products….but when you find quality use your money to support it. Urban Outfitters? Meh. Second Generation Importers of designer African apparel? Yes, please!

29. This is gonna sound way frilly, but you need a signature scent. Whether it’s deodorant, body spray, soap, toothpaste, or lotion…you should have a scent that you love. Emotions are closely tied to our sense of smell (ergo, aromatherapy). Your scent should remind you of YOU! Me, I’m deep into the spice game: myrrh, frankincense, lavender, patchouli and sandalwood.

28. There is one thing that you don’t need more of. For me, it’s handbags and lip gloss. Sometimes, I’m trolling the cosmetic aisle, and I think, “Really, heffa? You need lip gloss like another hole in your head.” Identify your item and make a conscious effort to cut back.

27. Comfortable shoes! I’m about that life. I mean…..they HAVE TO be cute, too. I intend to make it to the grave with these same clodhoppers in good working order. Chicken George said if a tree ain’t got no roots, you ain’t got no tree. Well, what happens if you ain’t got good feet? Huh?

26. Buy clothes in the correct size. Not too big. Not too small. You deserve a tailored look. Plus, whatever you THINK you’re hiding with the wrong size is not being hidden. Everyone knows.

25. Politics is the opiate of the American masses. Marx said religion was the opiate of the masses. Dude, an ambassador was KILLED and we’re still talking Todd Akin? Seriously? Politics: opiate. Boom: done. Opiates numb the pain of what’s REALLY wrong. Opiates stimulate your mind and starve your body. Politics: opiate.

24. Rudeness is never the answer. People remember getting snubbed the way they remember Christmas. No lie. Be sharp, be to the point, but be courteous.

23. Woodsboro Baptist Church needs to SHUT UP. The KKK is AGAINST them. I am against them. Woodsboro made ME AGREE WITH THE KKK. Moreover, the KKK has protested against Woodsboro, but 700 Club et al haven’t said much. Something is really wrong with that. Woodsboro doesn’t speak for Christians….and certainly not for Jesus. I’m really pretty hacked off that I was forced to agree with the KKK.

22. You know what kills jealousy? Honesty. I’ve had a few people of whom I’ve been jealous. I had the good sense to tell a couple of them how I felt. Amazingly, exposing jealousy and envy will kill them.

21. Heartbreak heals. I promise. But, you have to treat it like you would a sprain: a little rest and then you have to start going back to your regular schedule of life. You may temporarily be unable to achieve a certain range of emotion, but it will come back.

20. Horoscopes? Really? C’mon, son. I will narrowly agree with you that, because our bodies are mostly water and the moon affects water, the moon ergo can affect our bodies and moods. Narrowly agree.

19. You voted for Obama just because he’s Black and you’re Black? Really? C’mon, son. Dr. King said that America needs to get to a place where people are not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. You should vote for a candidate because you agree with his/her politics. It is super cool that my candidate is also Black, but I happen to agree with most of his politics.

18. “Bettah come back down from Mars. Gul, quit chasin cars. What happens when the dough gets low, ’cause you ain’t that fine no way! No way!” I’m from Atlanta, and therefore I am required to quote Outkast from memory at a moment’s notice. More important is the truth of the quote. I know you’re cute, sis. It doesn’t last, though. Invest into your talents and education the way you invest in your looks.

17. Your family is who your family is. Period. Every family has a portion of dysfunction.

16. Love doesn’t hurt and it isn’t selfish. Period. A person who loves you shouldn’t feel an impetus to “try to make you better.” What is this? Pygmallion? Ugh. A person who loves may well inspire you to be better and support you in your efforts at self-improvement. Moreover and for the record, co-equals in a relationship do not discipline each other like children. A loving eros relationship does not involve physical discipline, timeout, or the silent treatment as a frequent characteristic.

15. Share an encouraging word at any time. At all times. From the most genuine part of yourself. If you can’t be encouraging, you need to stop and go find time and space to be encouraged.

14. Gut impressions are usually correct. Not necessarily first impressions. But, those deep, down, intuitive vibrations that you have about someone….trust that.

13. Keep your eye on someone who talks too much. No offense to those of you who talk a lot, but…..I always wonder if super-talkative people are trying to cover up something, trying to distract me from something, or trying to keep me from saying something.

12. Keep your eye on someone who is NOT in the military or law enforcement, but carries a gun all the time. Again, no offense to those of you who stay packing, but when I was kid a person in my neighborhood only carried a gun if s/he needed a gun. Never have I ever in 31 years been trolling my local Home Depot and thought, “Damn. If only I’d had a gun….”
11. For real, if you have to walk your dog with a chain instead of a leash….you may want to rethink your fitness to own THAT dog.

10. I have very few regrets about things I’ve said or done. I have more regrets about things I left unsaid or undone.

9. I’m a Southerner; I have a Southern accent; I’m a Black Southerner with a Southern accent. I’m from the land of hospitality, fried chicken, and lost causes. I know what it’s like to be in the minority AND in the majority. I’ll go toe to toe with anyone of any color from any part of the world. Go ahead, judge me by my accent. Go ahead, judge me by my skin color. When life leaves you inthe dust, you’ll know how much your judgment was worth.

8. You’re looking for money? Good luck with that, and let me know when you find it. Last time I talked to Bill Gates, he told me money wasn’t missing. What you need to find are dreams, hopes, talents, gifts, and education.

7. One woman’s ex is another woman’s future.

6. Laugh hard, loud, and uncontrollably AT LEAST once a day.

5. Sticks, stones, and words can inflict similar amounts of pain….just in different ways.

4. A friendship lost is a lesson learned. Just make sure you actually learn the lesson.

3. Speaking in tongues is not about what comes out of your mouth, it’s about what’s going on between you and God.

2. C’mon, son. Which one is it? Single and satisfied? Single and sexy….!? Ugh. I have to la boom vent suite 🙂 on this one. If I hear one more TIRED cliche about single women, I’m gonna….well….I’m gonna BLOG about it. For real, what does this mean: “A woman should be so wrapped up in God that a man has to search for God to find her.” What? I have so many questions re: that quote (or whatever variation you prefer). I’m really not sure what that means. It sounds REALLY cool and awesome, but in application does it mean that if I am not in a relationship that I’m not wrapped up in God enough…? Jesus said “Love the Lord….love thy neighbor.” THOSE are the big two commandments. Wrapped up….? I just…I can’t. More blog coming later re: this.

1. You are the clay; God is the potter. Life is the potter’s hands, expertly shaping you. God is everywhere, all at once. His fingerprints are in the skies, on the trees, within the calls of the birds. Life is about embracing God. I don’t say “finding God”….because He isn’t lost. Life is about coming to terms with the fact that He is everywhere and that He is near at all times. He’s near, but you have to embrace Him.

Networking and Nincompoopery

In First World Problems, Law School Problems, Lawyer Problems, Somewhat disjointed rant... on September 18, 2012 at 2:56 am

I read a recent post on a blog that shall remain nameless. The post claimed to give advice to 1Ls on how to have a successful first year. Unfortunately, the post did nothing of the sort. It was the sort of post written by someone who stressed out over law school and believes/wants every law student to do the same.

I’m a person who stressed out over law school, spun my wheels, and got stuck in the mud. I’ve had wonderfully triumphant moments and terribly discouraging moments. I do not, however, believe that every law student has to be stressed to the bone in order to do law school successfully. Without further ado, here are some thoughts about a successful law school year.

1. It’s a weed out system. I know that’s messed up, but it’s true. Law school prides itself on being a sifter that separates the potential lawyers from everyone else. It’s a weed out system. Know that, embrace it, but refuse to be ruled by it. If it wasn’t a weed out system, explain why you are assigned 50 to 100 pages of reading a night. Bad advice will tell you that you have to be the highest in your class that you can possibly be. I do think grades are important, but there are other equally important parts of a lawyer’s skill box: writing, speaking, practical experience.

2. You know that random lawyer you met who is a partner at Big Firm, LLP? Let’s be honest. She may not remember you. Even though you gave her your card. Even though you took her card and sent her an e-mail. Networking is not a magical skill that will unlock the doors to jobs and riches. Bad advice will tell you that you should be at some random meet-n-greet every week. Good luck with that. I’m going to go on a bit about this one, because networking is the one that sticks in my craw.

Networking is not the most important thing you can do to secure yourself a job. If you are just going out to meet people in the hopes of landing a job, I honestly believe that you have missed the point. Human beings crave connection and relationships. Believe it or not, lawyers are human, too 🙂 Personally, I don’t look for opportunities. I look for relationships, camaraderie and collegiality. I look for ways that I can truly connect to a person.

3. Professionalism does not mean you have to be stiff. Professionalism is more about your character than your clothing. Your law school colleagues may not remember that Oscar de la Renta suit you own, but they will remember if you cheated, if you were rude, if you tore pages out of library books, if you gossiped too much, or if you didn’t do good work.

4. You need to find a balance between preparation and sanity. Good luck with trying to read every case every night. You’ll be tired, crazy, annoyed, and annoying. Sometimes you need to close the book, cut your losses, and go to bed. If you get embarassed in class for not being prepared….well, I’ve been embarrassed in class on occasions when I WAS prepared AND when I WASN’T. Get yourself some case summary supplements and black letter law outlines.

5. You should not be constantly worried about finding a job. What will worry get you? Nothing. Yes, the economy is bad. Yes, Big Firm, LLP has cut back (severely) on the number of new attorney hires every year. You get the once in a lifetime opportunity of cutting your own path. The sky is literally the limit right now. JDs are branching out into human resources, mediation, politics, insurance, and numerous other positions. The box is no longer there, so you might as well think outside of it.

What other kinds of bad law school advice have you been given?

My Christian Closet….

In Somewhat disjointed rant..., Thoughts on Christianity on September 17, 2012 at 1:38 am

Christianity has always been, and remains, very important to me. I profoundly believe that Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal love and relationship with God. Posting this makes me nervous, and every inclination is telling me that it would be much easier not to post this, and not to say anything.

Here’s where the unexpected honesty comes: I don’t understand all of the ins and outs of Christianity. If you want to pose hypotheticals, there are some that will stump me. For instance, I am sometimes asked whether a baby who dies in infancy is able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven under my belief system. I don’t know. I’m not sure. On one hand, I believe that we are born into sin. On the other hand, I believe that God, through Jesus Christ, has an abundant and infinite amount of grace and mercy. For the record, I also believe that anyone who looks me in the eye and says that, as a Christian, s/he knows the definitive answer to that hypothetical is either lying or a far more faithful Christian than I can ever hope to be.

There are mysteries of my faith that are beautiful to me. I am not a Christian because I seek to understand all things. I am a Christian because I seek to love and to show compassion. And, I want to (and hope I do) show love and compassion to all people, regardless of religion, race, or sexual orientation. Here, I’m talking particularly about sexual orientation. I can’t, I just can’t for the life of me believe that Jesus would want Christians to turn homosexuals out of the church. I can’t, I just can’t believe that He would want us to preach venom against a group of people from the pulpit. I can’t, I just can’t believe that Westboro Baptist is in the right here. Moreover, I can’t, I just can’t believe that Jesus would not want us to deal with this issue head on. I refuse to believe that He would want us to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that homosexuality doesn’t exist.

This is the issue I am dealing with: what is the Christian church focused on? Are we focused on the sexuality of others or are we concerned with ourselves? Jesus told the accusers of the adulteress, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  (John 8:7) Jesus wants us to focus on ourselves.  Are we eager to condemn as a means to entrap, as were the Scribes and Pharisees? No where did Jesus shun, ostracize, condemn, curse, harass, or discriminate against anyone as a means of redeeming that person.

Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40). Homophobia is not loving your neighbor. Whispering rumors about someone’s sexuality is not loving your neighbor. Refusing to associate with someone is not loving your neighbor. My job as a Christian is to keep to the commandments of Christ. I must do a better job of doing what Jesus has commanded. Isn’t that the point?

Bad days and birthdays…..

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm

And the cure for it all…..

….is love.

Very cliche. My 31st birthday is in 6 days. Turning 30 was novel (exciting even). Thirty-one is not novel. Thirty-one is one step further into my thirties. My mood took a nose-dive from even-keel to stormy seas. Scenes flashed in my mind of things I HAVE NOT done before the age 30. There is no chance those things will happen. None.

Then, love showed up. Love that was just for me. Love that was willing to be focused on me and to try to make me laugh all because I was sad. Love reminded me that it does not dimish as it ages. Love reminded me that, by the age of 31, I will have come to know it better than I did even one year ago. Love reminded me that I had seen it in numerous forms over my 31 years….but there are numerous other forms that I can still meet.

True, I will lose my super high metabolism. I will gain some gray hair. I will gain some wrinkles. I will lose some muscle tone. But, love doesn’t care about bad days or birthdays. Love is greater than all these.


Bad days, Birthdays, Good days, being sick, and funerals

In Uncategorized on September 15, 2012 at 3:34 am

So, yes, that description pretty much encompasses every single day in every single person’s life. For me, these five categories of days define the moments when I really find out who is on my side and who is not. This post could honestly take a huge nose down into blistering bitterness. I just wanted you to know that I realize that, and that I’m purposefully not going to do that. I will grant you that was a passive-aggressive way of doing just that.

At any rate, the point is that coming into a better understanding of the relationships you are a part of is ALWAYS a good thing–and, for me, that was a hard-fought-for realization. I came to realize that these five categories of days are God’s way of sending you wisdom.

That is all.

Woman, thou art taken down a notch!

In Love and Romance, Somewhat disjointed rant... on September 13, 2012 at 3:29 am

I’m a catch! Heck, yeah. I got it all going on, you know what I’m saying!? I set a high standard and deserve a man who meets that standard.

In the words of Outkast: BETTAH COME BACK DOWN FROM MARS! The sad fact is that I have walked around with that attitude, I do walk around with that attitude, and I will probably have this attitude again in the future.

My awesome, wonderful boyfriend gets the dangerous end of that attitude every time I have it. I criticize. I nit-pick. I nag. I pout. I examine every single thing he does and measure it against an egotistical standard that I don’t meet myself.

Today, life slapped me up-side the head. I realized that the only standard that means anything is love/compassion/honesty. Life doesn’t owe me anything, so everything I have is valuable. My relationship/partnership with my boyfriend is an addition to my life, and he is giving just as much as I am. He is just as much of a catch as I am.

The bottom line is that there is a difference between self-esteem and self-delusion. My MARS attitude is not self-esteem, and it comes awfully close to deluding myself out of a healthy relationship.

Maybe this post has no point, other than reminding me that I am wonderfully human….nothing more and nothing less.

I want to be real…

In Encouragement, Thoughts on Christianity, Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 3:26 am

Earlier today, I posted something called “Become who you were born to be” and I ended with these allegedly important words: “But, at the end of your life, when people speak your name it will have meaning.” It is important that at the end of your life that you leave a legacy. Perhaps there might be a motivation that’s a little less…..macabre.

I love this song by Chris August. 

The chorus is what makes something inside me resonate: I just wanna be real. And, I do. I just want to be able to understand myself. I want to be able to voice my opinions and thoughts. I want to be able to help others. I want to be able to make people laugh. I want to write. I want to do every single thing that it is within my power to do.

That’s the catch, though. I will not know my own power, until I know my own strengths and weaknesses. I won’t know my own strengths and weaknesses until I get real–until I face the reality of who I am. For a long time, I was afraid of my own reality because it meant conflict and that some people won’t like me and that some days I might be tired of me. Those moments when I am pushing the limits of my own power, however, places all that not so great stuff into context.