Saturday, March 26, 2011

distinguishing needs from wants

I used to go to this exercise class called something like, core strength, but could have easily been called something like, unexplainable pain. The instructor was adorable and surprisingly funny - which is probably why I kept going back.  She'd have us doing all sorts of bizarre things with exercise balls and broom sticks that hurt like the dickens.  And just when you thought you might pass out from pain, she'd say: today we are going to learn about distinguishing needs from wants.  She'd explain us that there was no shame in stopping if you really needed to, but that if we only wanted to stop, keep going.  

I think that I really did learned something about needs and wants in that class - in a different way than I'd ever thought about them before.  

Everyday, I make decisions, as I assume many other do, based on habit and impulse and necessity.  Just yesterday, I bought a new pair of shoes because I had decided a few weeks ago that I needed a new pair of black heels.  So when I found a cute pair at a reasonable price, and they fit comfortably, I pulled out my credit card and carried them home.  I'm still not sure if I really needed them but I'm sure that I'll use them.  

Today, I pulled out my credit card again for a much bigger and less exciting purchase: tires.  I was on my to the grocery store yesterday when I realized that I had a flat.  Luckily, I was close to home and able to pull into my driveway and assess the situation from home.  I tried to change it myself but gave up when I couldn't get the hubcap off.  So, I called (technically, I instant messaged) a friend who kindly came to my aide.  This morning I took my car to the neighborhood tire store, where an adorable salesman with dreamy eyelashes talked me into buying 2 new tires.  Did I need the new tires?  Maybe, I don't know.  Maybe it could have been patched, but in the hopes that my decision is less likely to leave me stranded in a bad neighborhood, I decided to pull out my plastic and invest in some new tires.

So back to needs and wants, there are so many things that I want right now and a few things that I actually sort of need.  And I am generally pretty good at depriving myself of my wants, unless, we're talking about chocolate - which I probably miscategorize as a need a little too often.  But sometimes, I wonder if I am too frugal and deprive myself of truly good things because, I'm unwilling to take a risk.  And maybe if I stretched myself a little further and didn't give up so easily, I might find that there is more to life than scrutinizing shoe purchases.          

On that note, I think that maybe I'll go finish my DC bar application... 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

cranky baby

So, I went back to work this week after a bout of unemployment and I have come to a conclusion.  Work is the pits, well this work is anyway.  I have been such a cranky baby the past two days, that I make myself laugh at my own ridiculousness.

Today, I got my new Virginia drivers license in the mail and the horrible picture nearly drove me into a tizzy.  I look like an oily, sleep deprived psychopath.  But then again, maybe it's the crankiness talking.  My roommate tried to make me feel better by telling me that it looks film noir - essentially an artsy spin on a creepy black and white photo, but thanks for trying.  

Sadly, I look more like the driver in my photo than his lovely passenger.
It's a stupid thing to care so much about, but I really liked my old picture and like I said, I've been a bit of a cranky baby lately.  Thankfully, though my cupboards are bare, I found a chocolate stash in the freezer that I'd almost forgot about and soothed my nerves with a little molten lava cake.  Once again, chocolate came to my rescue. Nom, nom, nom, I feel much better equipped to cope with the petty trials of life again.    

Monday, March 21, 2011

love and celibacy

I've been thinking about love - inescapable and elusive.  One of my favorite movies lines goes something like: there are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.  (10 points to the first person to name the movie.)  And isn't that the case?  I don't claim to know anything about romantic love, I'm not even sure that I know what it is.  Notwithstanding all the Jane Austin movies I know by heart, I don't know that I even believe in that sort of love, the sort that turns your world upside down, the sort that lasts forever.  

But, despite my general confusion about coupling, I think I know something about love.  I have loved, I love, I have felt loved and I have witnessed love.

On the other hand, I do know celibacy.  Yep, I said it.  I am celibate.  And from my own experience, I can say that it is highly underrated.  Celibacy is elegantly simple.  And while there are many things that I may want, I don't need someone to share my bed and I have managed quite well at taking care of myself.  I am no island - I have been incredibly blessed by the love and support of friends and family, and that is all I need.  At the end of the day, I don't come home to a husband, or boyfriend, or even a cat.  But before I go to sleep, I kneel beside my bed and check in with my Father in Heaven.  And it is in those moments that I know that I am home. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss me, I'm Swedish!

I recently told one of my co-workers that as a kid I'd always wished that I was Irish, because, you know, of St. Patrick's Day.  He looked at me kinda funny and asked, how exactly do they celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Utah.  And I suddenly realized that while I saw St. Patrick's day as a day to wear green, eat green bagels and go to a parade that celebrated wolfhounds and bag pipes; St. Patrick's Day is a drinking holiday.  My co-worker said that even as a kid he pretty much knew that it was a drinking holiday.  

So, through my naivet'e I associated St. Patrick's Day with a celebration of a culture that I longed to be a part maybe mostly because, it seemed that it was the only celebration of it's kind in my community.  There simply wasn't a parade for those of Scottish or Scandinavian heritage.  Turns out, I do have a smidge of Irish blood in me but these days I'm pretty satisfied with the heritage I have and have found plenty of ways to celebrate it.  I'll still be wearing green today and there's a corned beef brisket in my fridge, because you know, it's less messy than adopting a wolfhound. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I read a book!

I've never been much of a reader.  And while my education and profession often require it of me, I just don't read much recreationally.  I could bore you with sad tales of ocular tendinitis (that's tendinitis of the eye) and the associated headaches that lead me to fantasize about eye patches.  But, I'm just not a reader.   

So, as a non-reader, I feel like it's a pretty big deal when I read a book.  And when I finish a book, well that's something worth blogging about.    

On my trip home to Utah last month I picked up this book at the airport bookstore.

My co-worker had mentioned it a few weeks before and said that it was good and short - and I thought, "ah-ha! maybe I could get through this."  Because as much as I am a non-reader, I am notorious for starting books and putting them down.  Sometimes I'll come back to them and sometimes I don't.  Case in point, it took me nearly 10 years to finish Sophie's World, which is not a long book and fairly interesting.  

The Road is incredibly dark, it's about the end of the world or what happens after the end of the world, and at the same time is strangely hopeful.  It's not for those with a weak stomach, but it's good.  It's the story of a father and son, and their journey through the ruins of a future America - a collapsed anarchical wasteland.  It's all quite haunting...   

Maybe if I stay unemployed long enough, I'll finish another.  But let's hope that it doesn't come to that. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


When I first started looking for work in DC, I was told that the first thing I should do is get my application for the DC bar in as soon as possible.  And so I started working on it.  And then I got a job and put the application on the back burner.  A few months later I found myself unemployed for a few weeks and thought about the application but never got around to it.  Again I find myself unemployed and after a few weeks, I finally open up the folder that I so neatly filed away in September.  

I start reading through the directions.  Page 1, I find neatly prepared in the folder.  Page 2, a form that I had to request from my law school, is still in the envelope but in the folder like it should be.  Page 3, also neatly prepared.  I'm thinking, hey, I'm on a roll, I'll have this sucker done in no time.  Page 4, MPRE scores (ethics test) - I panic, I have no idea where those test scores are, maybe in Utah, I check my files, nope.  I go to my computer and start googling, prepared to request a new copy - light bulb: check your emails.  I search MPRE (name of the test) and the first thing that comes up is an email from myself, subject: MPRE.  I open up the email and it says "just in case you need it" and the very form that I need is attached.  It was a surreal moment, probably the closest to time travel that I may ever experience.  I thank my past self profusely as I print out the form.  

I'm thinking, this is in the bag, well done, past self.  Until, Page 5, Certificate of Good Standing.  Uh-oh.  This I don't have and I'm pretty sure I never got this far the first time around.  I go to the Utah State Bar Association website and find a link - oh good, there's a form.  Oh good, I have to mail it in and it's going to take 5-7 business days (which means it could take up to 2 weeks with shipping time on each end) - fail!  Thanks a lot, past selfI rush off to the post office, hoping they're open til 6 - they're not.  On my walk home - light bulb: fax it in the morning.