Monday, September 25, 2006

All's well that ends well.

The clerkship saga is over. It has actually been over for about four days now, but I'm still recovering from the ordeal and am only now getting around to blogging about it.

I don't want to go into detail on the Internet, but suffice it to say that I will be clerking for the very same judge that I interned for last summer! And I am very happy about it, for a whole slew of reasons.

First, I actually received an offer from this judge fairly early on in the whole clerkship interview frenzy, so I was saved the trouble of having to travel all over God's green earth to meet with judges. I did end up traveling to Chicago and had a very amicable interview with the judge there on Thursday morning. But by that point, I was off the clerkship market, so to speak, so I spent the rest of the day visiting the Shedd Aquarium, which is the largest indoor aquarium in the world, and the Field Museum, Chicago's natural history museum.

I had a great time. The Shedd was really something else. Although I breezed through it relatively quickly, I saw a seahorse, sea dragons, a sea turtle, a giant anaconda (that is MUCH bigger and longer than the picture in the link would have you believe), ghostly moon jellyfish, penguins, really playful Alaskan sea otters, Pacific whitesided dolphins, and Beluga whales with a two-month-old calf! And lots of other things, too. I would really like to go back again when I'm not gussied up in a suit and heels.

The Field was also quite impressive, although I was getting tired by the time I made it over there and my feet hurt a LOT from standing and walking in heels all day. There was a really well done traveling exhibition on King Tut, which I liked a lot. And in general I was very impressed with all the exhibitions I saw, which were not very dumbed down as they often are in other museums. I wish that I had not been so tired and footsore, because you could spend a lot of time in both the Field and the Shedd.

Anyway, going back to the clerkship thing, I'm also very happy about my new clerkship because it means that I will be in Houston with GPG next year. We had been prepared to do the long-distance thing for another year in the event that I got a clerkship somewhere else, but in all honesty, I am glad we don't have to do that now. By the time the clerkship would be over and we would move to L.A. together, we would have been together for SEVEN years without really living in the same city for more than a few months at a time. As things stand now, we will be able to be in the same city, finally, after only SIX years. That is much better, in my opinion. Sometimes it doesn't seem like much, but a year can be a really long time.

And, of course, lastly I am very happy about the clerkship because the Judge is a fabulous judge and I will have a great experience working for her. I know I will learn a lot, and I feel pretty blessed to have another chance to work in her chambers. The Judge doesn't usually hire previous interns to be clerks, so I feel very fortunate that she didn't follow her normal practice with me.

So now I am trying to catch up on a lot of lost sleep (I had a short night the night before my Chicago interview, and then the next day I had to wake up at 3 a.m. to catch my flight back to Houston) and a lot of school work. Although the actual interviewing process itself was not so bad, the traveling really took a toll on me, and I'm still short on sleep. Moreover, 3L ennui has properly set in, now that my life is more or less settling down, and I find it difficult to get any real work done. All I really want to do is sit at home, bake cookies, and knit!

At least I was able to pick up GPG's little Olympus camera while I was in Houston for a bit after my Chicago trip. (GPG got his SLR a couple weeks ago and is turning into a veritable shutterbug!) I hope to start posting pictures about all the knitting going on sometime this week!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Surfacing for a moment

I am sorry for not writing more recently. Life has been utterly crazy with school and all this clerkship stuff that I've barely had time to catch my breath. And, unfortunately, it will continue to be crazy for at least a little while longer, because tomorrow I'm heading out of town to start the clerkship interviewing madness.

I'll be driving down to Houston tomorrow to fly out of Intercontinental Airport to Chicago, where I'll interview with a judge on Thursday morning. I may or may not interview with another judge on Thursday afternoon. Then I fly back to Houston early on Friday morning and interview with a judge (actually, the judge I interned for last summer) at 11 a.m.

After the Friday morning interview, I have to hoof it back to Austin to interview with another judge at 3 that afternoon. I'll get a break for the evening, and then I'll have to drive back to Houston to interview with another judge on Saturday afternoon. Are you dizzy yet?

Then I'm scheduled to fly to San Francisco on Sunday evening (hopefully, at least--I haven't yet bought the tickets) to interview with a judge there on Monday afternoon. I hope to fly back Monday or Tuesday. And last but not least, I'm currently scheduled to interview with a judge in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

And, of course, after all this interviewing is done, I'll have to dig myself out of a hole of school work. I will also have an edit to do for my journal at school.

I'm not trying to complain or gloat about all my fabulous interviews, which I know can be a tetchy subject amongst law students. I'm just writing this all out to straighten it out in my own head and to excuse my (very likely) radio silence over the next week or so.

But, I do have a genuine complaint: All this traveling I'm doing, and not a single stitch to knit! I don't know if I can stand it. I know that knitting needles are allowed on planes, but I had such a bad experience trying to get my circular Addis into Disneyland this summer that I'm paranoid enough that I won't bring my knitting. At least, not in my carry-on luggage--I just don't want to risk having a project taken away from me, never to be recovered. I'll have to satisfy myself with reading, I guess.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


There is a scene from Grey's Anatomy, Season 1, where Izzie is supposed to be covering the floor with Alex while the rest of the doctors are all wrapped up in a big surgery. All sorts of frantic and stressful things happen to her, including having to open up a recent heart surgery patient's chest to remove a blood clot, and in the meantime all the pages she tries to send to Alex never get through to him because the battery in his pager is dead. When she tells the surgeons in the OR about what she had to do with the recent heart surgery patient, Alex comes down from the observation deck to talk to her and is all, Keeping all the action to yourself, huh? Couldn't even page me, huh? That's when Izzie completely loses it and tells him that she paged him a million times and he never answered a single page. When Alex looks at his pager and realizes aloud that the battery on the pager is dead, Izzie grabs the pager and throws it on the ground in frustration, stomping on it and calling Alex a "hateful, HATEFUL man." "HATEFUL!" she screams, enraged, and storms out of the scrub room.

That is the way I felt today.

Today is the day that judges are supposed to call about clerkship interviews. Although some judges jump the gun and call early, most played by the rules of the Plan and didn't call until 12 EST, which is the official time when judges can start calling. I was in class at that time, but the general idea is that judges call, you screen your phone calls and get messages, and then you call
the judges back to schedule interviews in the order of your preference. You screen your calls so you won't get pigeonholed into scheduling an early interview with a judge who may not be your first choice.

Well, a bunch of my friends' cell phones started ringing incessantly at 11 CST. They got tons of messages. But I got none, except for one from my landlord, who was calling about my refrigerator, which doesn't work. I figured that I just wasn't very popular with the judges. I had gotten a few early calls, so I couldn't really complain.

But then around noon I got an e-mail from a judge who said that he'd been trying to call me all morning and kept getting a recorded message saying that his call could not be connected.
I got another e-mail later, around 2 p.m., saying the same thing. I called my cell phone provider, Cingular, to find out what was going on.

Turns out that a tower was down somewhere in Texas, and phone calls were not getting through to me. Now, I'm not going to presume that I would have gotten a million phone calls like some of my friends. But I can't help but entertain the possibility that there were some judges who tried to make a call, couldn't get through, and said, "Well, she gave us a bogus number. Her loss. Moving on." Some judges cared enough to e-mail, but there may have been some who didn't.

And that is why I feel like Izzie. If I hadn't been sure that at least some phone calls could get through (which some were), I would have thrown my cell phone off the roof. It has been a stressful day for a variety of reasons that I won't go into here, but when I was going over the vagaries of the day with GPG on the phone later today, he reminded me that maybe one reason why I didn't get very many phone calls was because my phone was out for hours during the critical time period. And really, that is just the icing on the cake of a very difficult and fraught day for me.

Cingular, you hateful, HATEFUL service! I have had lots of problems with Cingular and reception before, but nothing like this. And really, NOTHING is exactly what I had--absolutely no reception on what is arguably one of the most important days, or at least the beginning of one of the most important time periods (i.e., the whole clerkship interviewing period), in my career. I almost cried this afternoon just thinking about it.

HATEFUL! Before I hung up with the guy who was helping me out on the phone, he asked me, "If you were to take a survey, would you say that our conversation has resolved your problem to your satisfaction?" I was speechless. I had just spent ten minutes telling him that I was not getting phone calls on a day that was really important to me, and all he could tell me in the end was, "Sorry. There's nothing I can do." Finally, I said, "Well, no, because this is a very important day for me, and I would like to receive some very important phone calls, and I'm not getting them."


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Work, 1; Knitting, 0

Yesterday was the first day since I started this year of school that I did not knit a single stitch. GPG's sock accompanied to school and back, but languished in my bag the whole day. It's hard to believe that it's only the second full week of class, and already I'm so inundated with work that I don't have any free time to knit. GPG's sock is going to take forever to finish. It knits up at 12 sts/inch on size 1 needles. And that's when Koigu and Wollmeise yarn usually knits up for me at 9 sts/inch, or thereabouts. Throw in the fact that GPG has unusually large feet (not long, just wide and very thick around the ankles), and I'll be lucky to finish these suckers by the end of the year.

(Now, admittedly, I could have knit instead of making pesto for lunches this week. I could have scrounged up something for dinner, left the pesto for another day, and knit. But the basil wasn't getting any fresher, and the more times I bring lunch to school instead of buying something on the go, the more money I save to buy . . . more yarn! Right?)

Of course, though, it's at the time that I'm busiest that I want to knit the most. Conveniently, now that school is really busy, a long-awaited package arrived today from Amazon. Inside? A new scale to measure out yarn, so I can evenly divide up all those beautiful hanks of Socks that Rock and Wollmeise yarn that I got this summer. Plus, THREE beautiful new books: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears, and Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road and Knitting Vintage Socks. I figured I needed some good sock patterns for all that sock yarn I have!

Although I have tons of reading and work to do, I want nothing more than to sit down on my bed with my knitting and look through these beautiful books. Fortunately for my work load, I have a habit of generally staying at school until pretty late in the evening to get work done. If I went home, I wouldn't get anything done besides vegging out and knitting.

All right. Enough with the blogging. Back to work.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Out of my hands

Well, the clerkship application thing is now out of my hands. Yesterday, all my hard copy applications got FedExed via overnight delivery to those judges accepting applications through the mail. Today at 12 noon, Eastern time, the on-line applications were made available to those judges accepting electronic applications. There is nothing I can do about it now. Besides cringe at the thought of all the bazillion typos I invariably had in my applications, of course.

Now that the clerkship application madness is over . . . for a while . . . I have to catch up on school work and journal duties. Bleah. I was pretty dumb and signed up for a fairly heavy course load this semester, so I'm sure I'll regret it later on. There probably won't be much posting about anything non-school related for a bit.

But, for some good news, GPG just bought a new SLR camera, and it is winging its way to him as I type. This is good because 1) I'll get to try it out and maybe learn something about photography, and 2) I'll inherit his little Olympus digital camera, which will mean many more photos on this blog! Finally! I feel like this blog has been pretty boring without pictures to show, so I'm excited about finally getting a digital camera of my own. That new SLR camera can't get to GPG soon enough, in my opinion!

More knitting-related content in a couple days. I'm working on a sock with a 12 sts/in gauge, which means that it's knitting up really slowly. More details to follow.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Surfacing for just a moment

Sorry no posts recently. I'm going crazy trying to get clerkship applications in order.

I'm kicking myself for not preparing things earlier and not abiding by the Plan. I started out with around 83 or 84 judges on my list, but now I'm down to under 70 because so many judges are not abiding by the Plan and have already finished hiring. I understand that there is nothing really compelling judges to abide by the Plan, and that it's a judge's prerogative to decide when to accept applications, but . . . I can't help feeling a little bitter. I really should have thrown the Plan out the window and sent applications out earlier to the people who would have looked at them.

Now I'm trying to go over everything with a fine-tooth comb, searching for typos, obsessing over details. I've already given my mail-out applications to the school, which is doing a mass mail-out of everyone's applications in big batches to all the judges. I turned all those applications in with the feeling that they were riddled with typos and inconsistencies. Now I'm just trying to make sure that the on-line ones aren't totally pathetic before they get sent to judges on Tuesday. In accordance with the Plan.

And, for the record? I hate OSCAR. Which, I guess, is really a proxy sort of hate for Symplicity. Go jump off a bridge, Symplicity! And take your user-unfriendliness with you!