Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009: The Recap Edition

When you're pregnant (preggos, back me up on this one), everyone you meet (be it in a restaurant, grocery store, doctor's office, etc.) will try to give you advice. They will try to explain to you what being a parent will be like. They tell you to cherish every moment ("they grow up so fast"), to sleep when the baby sleeps, and the select few will every scare the piss out of you with their own labor and delivery horror stories (To these people: I, as evidenced by this large bump, have not had the baby yet and can't really get out of doing that. Shut up.). But, these "wise" people forget to warn you about all the tedious things that go along with motherhood.

Thing They Don't Warn You About #52571: In order for Santa to come, other stuff has to go

On the Wednesday before Christmas, I undertook the task of cleaning out some of Beckett's toys to make way for what Santa was going to bring him. Oh how I wish I'd been forewarned. This process took 3 1/2 hours. WHAT? When did that child accumulate that much stuff?

Thing They Don't Warn You About #2679: Santa can be a real jackass

He brought drums this year. What the hell was he thinking?
Other than that minor transgression, Santa was actually very good to Beckett this year. He got cowboy boots, Yahtzee!, a soccer goal and ball, SuperWhy bingo, DRUMS, and a flurry of other things.

Beckett puts on the cowboy boots and marches around singing "Cowboy, cowboy, cowboy. Rasso, rasso, rasso." "Rasso" being "lasso."

More to come later.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas break, why can't you last all year?

Seriously. Aside from some memo writing, the last couple of days have been FANTASTIC. Well, that and the fact that I am phoneless. Well, after writing it out, maybe Christmas break isn't that great after all. Well, at least Christmas Eve and Day will be fun. There is nothing more pleasant to watch than Beckett seeing for the first time what Santa has brought him or ripping recklessly into a pile of presents.

So, no grades until January. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Yeah, we'll go with that.

Update: Beckett LOVES "The Wizard of Oz." We watched it last night while rocking before he went to bed. My life really couldn't rock harder right now. Well, it could. I am having serious issues with the Flip Video Camera, my computer, and the stack of blank DVDs. But I suppose I can figure all of this out.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Christmastime, Pretty Baby. And the Snow is (not) Falling on the Ground

It's finally Christmastime (at least for law students)! And it could not have started better. Beckett had his choir showcase at church last night. It was precious. I'll post part of the video later. Tomorrow, he has his Christmas program at school. That video will get posted as well.

Beckett has made his Christmas list. Here it is:
(1) Drums (and, because Santa has lost his damn mind, he's getting them. But shhh, don't tell Beckett).
(2) "Noisy" guitar (I have no idea what this is about).
(3) Microphone, microphone, speaker, speaker (yeah, this is a karaoke machine he saw at Costco. Shockingly, it has 2 microphones and 2 speakers.)

I thought for this blog, I would include the things I love the MOST about Christmas (or rather, things it's just not Christmas without):
(1) "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" -- Gayla Peevey
(2) The Nutcracker (the music, the ballet, the everything. I heart it a lot more than I should).
(3) On a related note, it's just not Christmas until our Nutcrackers are placed on the stairs.
(4) "Last Christmas" -- Wham! (THE BEST. Don't argue with me, you know you love it, too)
(5) Lenox Christmas China
(6) "Dominick, The Italian Christmas Donkey" -- Lou Monte (Although this year, it just makes me think of "Jersey Shore." Which , I guess I'm okay with)
(7) It's a Wonderful Life (Best. Christmas. Movie. EVER.)
(8) Elvis Christmas music

I'm sure there's a ton more stuff, but I have cleaning to get to. Hope everyone has a great Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Livin' on a Prayer

Beckett has told me no less than 20 times today that he loves me and is proud of me. So sweet. But how will he feel when I fail my exams? :0) He's precious and a constant reminder to keep trying harder. A very cute, sweet constant reminder. Also, he wants to grow up and work in the "corkhouse" and be a "lawler," just like his mom.

AND......I AM HALFWAY TO MY LAW DEGREE. Feels fantastic!

Monday, December 7, 2009

T-Minus 12 Hours

You'll have to excuse the myriad of Richard III references that are sure to pop up in the next few days. It's one of my favorites and I decided to try to fit a reread of it in somewhere in between my studying. It's nerdy, I know, but there's something about Shakespeare that helps me de-stress and calms my nerves. Wow. I just reread that sentence and realized that I really am a dork. Well, I'll own it for now.

Last week, B had a birthday party to attend. Isabelle's birthday party to be specific. Now, at school, Beckett, Isabelle, and Nate are basically your run-of-the-mill 3 Musketeers. Inseparable and ALWAYS playing with each other when I go to pick B up. In fact, B tries to take one or both of them home with him almost everyday. But they love him back, so I feel pretty okay about it. I mean, at least he isn't that weird kid that just follows them around, hoping to get in on the action.

They played in her playroom, decorated sugar cookies, and had pizza and cake. A 3 year old's dream come true. Well, after most children had finished decorating their cookie and and left to table to return upstairs to play, Isabelle was still trying to finish hers. And Nate and B were sitting there at the table, finished, and doing nothing. Nate's mother said, "Nate, why don't you and Beckett wipe your hands off and go upstairs to play." To which Nate responded, "We have to watch Isabelle finish." Nate's mother, Gina, and I both about died laughing. I said, "Note to self: Teach boys not to stalk girls. It makes them uncomfortable." Truer words were never spoken.

Finals update: Four down, one to go. Crim Pro is tomorrow morning.

Thou cam'st on earth to make the earth my hell.
Richard III, 4. 4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

In Two Weeks, it will be the Winter of our Discontent.

It's been a good while since my last blog, and for good reason. It's that most anticipated and dreaded time of year once again....FINALS. This year they have descended upon me in a way that can only be described as "with the quickness." My next 2 weeks will be filled with outlines, Kaplan questions, Q&A on every subject possible, and just enough desperation to let me truly know that finals are indeed upon us. I made the mistake of picking up Richard III last night. I am supposed to be reading the ICWA or ALI principles or something about the ICJ, WTO, or GATT. But how, or more importantly why would I want, to put down Shakespeare to drudge through what may or may not be the existence of international law?

Onward to stories about Beckett:

He's a mess, as I have reported on many, many an occasion. And no more so than recently. He tells me daily that he doesn't love me. One day, I made the mistake of asking why. His response? "Because you put me in time out. If you'd stop doing that, I'd love you." My response? "Well, if you'd do what I say, you wouldn't have to be put in time out." Rebuttal? "Well, I do what I want." I do what I want? Are you Eric Cartman or Beckett Nelson? REALLY? I do what I want? I had to get up and leave the room for a variety of reasons: (1) I was about to LOSE it. If a 3 year old tells you that they "do what they want," you know your first reaction would be to laugh. And not giggle, or chuckle, or snicker. I mean full-out, laugh until it hurts and tears are running down your face. That's the exact laugh I couldn't let him see; (2) I couldn't fathom where he had heard that phrase and needed to put myself in time out for a moment to think about whether or not I had, in fact, taught him that; and (3) I also needed a moment to think of a more creative way to punish him. Besides the fact that he says he doesn't love, time-out has completely lost it's edge with him.

Well, I should really get back to work. But we got some great news today: Jones School of Law received full approval from the ABA! Something to celebrate!

Will be back with more later.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Power of Prayer According to Beckett

I know there are many of you who I have heard this story, but for those who haven't......enjoy!

Beckett got in trouble at school this week for hitting and kicking another child. Not good, but he's a boy with a grandfather that he can both hit and kick, so it was only a matter of time before this bleed over into school. Anyway, he goes to Memorial Presbyterian, so when he got sent to the Director's office, she prayed with him. Afterward, she sent him on his merry way. No less than 20 minutes later, he was hitting and kicking again. It was at this point that he looked at his teacher and said, "Well, I guess that prayer didn't work, did it?" Then he walked off.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Evidence Tales

It's Saturday morning, which, as of late, has meant that I am going to camp out on the downstairs sofa, surrounded by case books, supplements, Spark Charts, and whatever else I need to get my outlines completed. Well, this morning, Beckett came a stood right next to my computer, intently watching as I typed up my Evidence notes. His sweet little face conveyed but one notion, I have GOT to push one of those buttons. So, I became instantly nervous, certain that I could try all day and NEVER figure out how to delete an entire outline, and yet my 3 year old could probably accomplish this in the blink of an eye.

20 minutes later, Beckett returns. "Mama," he says, sweetly. "Could you get this and this and this and take them and do your work in my room while I play?" Well, how do I say no to that? So I grab my evidence book, my notes, and a legal pad and go sit on his bed while he plays. He wants to listen to Veggie Tales, so this is what about 20 minutes of my morning consisted of:

If you like to talk to tomatoes,
If a squash can make you smile

Rule 406: Habit Evidence
"Regular response to a repeated specific stimulus."
-Very narrow and specific

If you like to waltz with potatoes
Up and down the produce aisle.
Have we got a show for you!

Personal habits: Special kind of semi-reflexive or automatic behavior that occurs only in response to a specific stimulus.

It is at about this moment that I get kicked (quite hard) in the kidneys. Then Beckett jumps on my back screaming "Hut hut, Mama! I tackled you!" Evidence has officially been turned into a contact sport.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Note to Self: Must Remember Maya More Often

After I took Beckett to school this morning, I returned home, grabbed myself a cup of coffee (but not in my Las Vegas mug, RIP), and walked outside. I have been busy, busy, busy lately getting things together for finals, trudging through the daily readings, going to class, taking care of B's fever, and whatnot. It was a pleasant break from everything to sit, facing the woods (which have changed from green to various shades of yellow, red, and brown), listening to the wind chimes, and enjoying the cool breeze that reminds me autumn has finally arrived. My mind turned instantly to the blog (it seems the beast has conquered the master). I sat, trying to think of the events of the past week -- conversations with friends, Beckett's adventures (or misadventures, depending on your outlook), classroom incidents, etc. These things came to mind:

My father took Beckett to Waffle House for dinner on Sunday. While he was brushing his teeth later and getting ready for bed, Beckett told me, "Mama, I need to throw up. That waffle didn't cooperate with me." Huh? Where did that come from? Incidentally, he did not throw up.

I thought also about apartment searching, thrift store shopping, and discussions about fireplace colors.

And then there's last nights discussion about naming future children after Supreme Court justices (Harlan, yes. Scalia, NO). Law school, what have you done to us?

Then there's the triumphant moment when I answered a Constitutional law question without even having to think about it. As it turns out, studying helps. It's the craziest thing.

We (Brandi, Paige, and I) sat in the library for HOURS yesterday, quietly chipping away at the massive amount of work that is to be done prior to finals.

All in all, the past week has been relatively boring and low-key (but on a happy note, I got all of my Law Review timesheets turned in). Well, boring, but overall leaving me feeling overwhelmed and relatively inadequate. This too shall pass, I suppose.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. - Galatians 5:22-23 & 26 (Hmm, something to think about in the coming weeks)

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

-Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman from And Still I Rise

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween, Makeup, & Law School.....Oh My!

So, I know it has been FOREVER since I blogged. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

So, Halloween 2009 came and went. This year, Beckett was a Frog Prince. Pictures to follow when I get them from my mother's camera. He LOVED trick-or-treating and even told my neighbor that she needed to fix her doorbell when she didn't answer the door fast enough. On a related note, we had the world's brattiest children come to our house begging for candy. I can excuse Beckett's insistence that the doorbell was broken, our's is, so he doesn't really know any better. But when Beckett is 9 or 10, he will -- under NO circumstances -- ring a stranger's doorbell and DEMAND candy. UNDER. NO. CIRCUMSTANCES. If I teach that child nothing besides good manners and a basic level of respect, I will consider his childhood to be a success.

Speaking of respect (or a lack thereof), Beckett and I were hanging out before school one morning this week. Suddenly, he turned to me and , very seriously, told me, "Go put on your makeup." I asked why. Mistake, very large mistake. His response? "Because that's how you look pretty." Thank you. Note to self: Teach Beckett to never, ever, under any circumstances, say that to another girl again. This observation came on the heels of my 26th birthday, so it was particularly unnerving.

Law School Update: Finals are getting very close. Don't expect to hear from me. I will be in a study cave with only Red Bull and despair to comfort me. But, come December, I will be half way finished!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

If You Are a Dreamer, Come In...

P has been posting Top 10 Lists as of late, so I figured I would throw one in here, too. But what to write about?

Top Ten Reasons Why Beckett Rocks Harder Than Your Kid:
(It's okay, I'm sure your kid is cool, too)

(1) Blonde hair? Check. Blue eyes? Check. Infectious laugh? Check. Let's
face it, he's just plain cute.

(2) He LOVES to read. Current favorites include Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silvers
tein, Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller, and Oliver and Company.

(3) He is a boy. ALL BOY. Plays with tools, footballs, soccer balls, swords, golf clubs, etc. You get the picture -- he digs boy stuff. But, much to my father's chagrin, his favorite color is PINK.
(4) He is officially potty trained. Completely. He has been potty traine
d during the day and through naps for about 5 months. In the last 2 weeks, he only wet the bed at night once. I am so proud and can't believe he no longer wears diapers EVER!

(5) As infuriating as it is sometimes, he is smart. Only problem is that now it's harder to lie to him. It's a sad day when you get called out by a 3-year-old.

(6) He rocks because he does things like this: We both wore red to church this morning. We were on the elevator on the way to his Sunday School class and a man said to Beckett, "Look at you. You match your mama!" No lie, Beckett looked at me, looked back at the man and said,
"I've never met her before." With a straight face! I almost died I was laughing so hard.

(7) As previously stated, he is all boy. Wild as a buck, loud, rough and tumble.....BOY. But, he is also very sweet. For example, he will share anything. Cookies, sand toys, sidewalk chalk, goldfish, juice, anything. And 99% of the time he'll share without having to be asked. I have NO idea where this comes from because I'm not particularly great at sharing my toys. He also gives lots of random hugs, kisses, and "I love yous" and he says "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" about 95% of the time.

(8) He is endlessly entertaining. We have a brick fireplace. Above it is a light that is intended to spotlight whatever is hanging above the mantle. But Beckett is convinced that this is his own personal stage and spotlight. He will jump on the hearth and say "My spotlight, please! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and dirls (girls)!" What follows is never boring. Sometimes, it's Watermelon Man. Or Peanut, Peanut Butter. Usually, it's Rick and Bubba (you know, the radio guys. And literally, he just sings their names over and over and over). Then he takes a bow, jumps down, and goes about his business.

(9)There are about 5 phrases of French that he has picked up. Also, he blurts out Spanish (from school and Handy Manny) on the regular.

(10) Last, but not least, he thinks he is Spiderman. He legitimately thinks he is Spiderman. I'll have to upload pictures soon.

In other Beckett news, he made up a song this weekend. And it goes a little something like this:

Lookin' for adventure,
Chicken nugget, chicken nugget, chicken nugget,
Shake your bootie, shake your bootie.
Whatever comes my way,
Chicken nugget, shake you bootie.

And so on and so forth.

Well, not so much "made up" as he mixed "Born to Be Wild" in with 2 random phrases. He's good times. Fitting though.

This weekend has been an extremely productive one for me! Also, Brandi and I went and did our Couch to 5K thing on Monday and Wednesday (I was sick Tuesday, but she went anyway!). Dusty and I played basketball on Thursday (yes, one on one. Quite humorous) and on Friday, Brandi, Josh, Dusty and I went for a walk at Shakespeare. I hope I'll be as motivated next week.

T-minus 34 hours until Dusty and I are quitting smoking. Eric has said he is going to "try" to quit with us, and I hope he does. We are joining the gym on Monday, too! Now, if I could only start eating better.....

Also, allow me to submit that if you have never perused awkwardfamilyphotos.com, you have a huge hole were awesome is considerably lacking. Exhibit A and B are to the right:

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Metamorphosis: Not Just for Butterflies Anymore

It's Saturday at Noon. I have 1000 law school related papers and books spread out around me, a load of laundry in the washer and one in the dryer, a stack of clothes to iron, dishes that need to be unloaded from the dishwasher, a 3-year-old laid out on the sofa, and the Auburn/Arkansas game on the television. I just checked textsfromlastnight.com and fmylife.com and I can't help but think about how my life has changed so dramatically in the last 5 years.

DISCLAIMER: This blog may not be that funny. If you don't care to hear about my life, then I suggest you stop reading. I apologize. Give Beckett about 20 minutes. He'll do something funny. I will relay it here.

I don't know where I was on October 10, 2004, but if I had to guess, I was working the lunch shift at Brick Oven Pizza Co. I was probably hungover and swapping "guess what I did last night" stories with the rest of the staff. I wasn't in school at the time (I had decided to take a year off) and so my only responsibility was to show up to work on time and try to get through my shift without screwing too much up. Simple.

Four years later, I am Beckett's mother and a law student. I am simultaneously the same as I was then and yet so very different. When I think that it's simply the circumstances that have changed, I find myself reminded this is not the case. This, of course, was no overnight process, and yet the realization of the fact happened in a split second. Funny how you don't see the big picture when you're in the thick of the transformation. No, you come out on the other side, bruised, bent, perhaps even broken in some places. And only then can you see what has happened in the last day, 6 weeks, 9 months, or 5 years.

This is what being in the world means, at times we suffer. - Don DeLillo, Love--Lies--Bleeding

I can no longer decide I need a drink and walk from one room directly to the other, grab said drink, and go about my business. I will straighten toys, fold clothes, and pick up crumbs en route to the kitchen. When did this happen?

This weekend has been an exercise in frustration. There is not an aspect of my life that has not been mulled over in my brain half a million times. I have broken down in tears no less than 10 times in the last day and a half. But this is a good thing. The questioning, the anger, the sadness only help me to know that, no, things might not have gone the way I had wanted, but they are going. And that is the important part. Five years ago, if something didn't go my way, I would spend days being depressed. Today, I know that, one day, the ends will justify the means. One day in the future, I will have another day like today, when I realize that the bumps and the hiccups and the major roadblocks were all worth it. And simply knowing that helps me to navigate them. It's not flawless and it's certainly painful at times, but it's also quite beautiful.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. - Nelson Mandela, "A Long Walk to Freedom"

Monday, October 5, 2009

Supressing Laughter Cannot Be Good for My Health

My biggest problem with parenting to date is that I have to actually discipline Beckett. I would MUCH prefer just to laugh at how amusing he is and send him on his way. But seeing as how being rude is not something I'd like him to get used to, I must suppress laughter, find a way to not fall out of my chair in doing so, and tell him why the hilarious thing he just said is wrong.

Exhibit A:
We were watching the end of the NASCAR race on Sunday. Stage set. I told my Dad that NASCAR was like baseball to me -- Horrifically boring on TV, mildly amusing (thanks in part to rednecks) in person. I turned to Beckett and said, "Oh, B, we should go to a Braves game next season!" And I kid you not, this is the response I got. Exasperated sigh, head up, eyes rolled. Then, "BOOOOORING. Try again." Head back down, looking straight at me, unhappy grimace on face.

So, as his mother, I was obligated to explain to him that we shouldn't presume bordem in situations we know nothing about (a Braves game being something he knows NOTHING about). Now, the "nothing is boring" argument is akin to the "math is important" argument in my eyes. Children, adults are going to tell you that math is important. They lie. God created the calculator because being able to rattle off 45345 divided by 67 is something only Rainman can do. And even then, it's not important. Similarly, children, adults will tell you that we shouldn't say things are boring, because we can make anything fun! Again, lies. Things are boring. Baby showers, bridal teas, Con law.....this list goes on. And, incidentally, math is boring.

I'm not going to lie. It took everything I had in me not to give up half-way through the "Come on, B. Life's fun!" speech and just say, "Screw it, you're right. It would probably be boring. And totally not worth my time and money. See if I try to do anything with you again." At this point I would have burst into laughter because, let's face it, he's funny. And, he's also right. Can I fault him for these things?

Exhibit B:
Later that same night (I must have spilled some snarky in his Corn Flakes that morning), we were sitting down at dinner. Now, this evening was filled with much bargaining (as any good meal with a 3 year old does) and begging and near hair-pulling-out. He was having chicken fingers and cantaloupe. This is where the details get a little fuzzy. I know I was getting on to him about something, but Lord knows what it was. I'm not even sure he was listening because the first breath I took, he interjected, "Mom, let it go." "Let it go?!?" You're 3. You do not get to tell me to "let it go." And this lovely phrase got repeated no less than 4 times. Cut to me grabbing a 3 year old, wiping doughnut off of his shirt, and taking (well, dragging) him to his room to sit in time out. I will admit, my first response to this situation was infuriation. However, after explaining to him (over crying and screaming, after all, I had taken half of a doughnut away from him -- what is wrong with me?) that "let it go" was extremely disrespectful and we need to respect our mother (insert the laughter of everyone I know), I walked out of the room. I had barely hit the door frame before I realized that my 3 year old had just used the phrase "let it go." And if he meant laughter, then mission accomplished. I almost hit the floor I was laughing so hard. Meanwhile, he is screaming for help. Because what's more like prison than a little red rocking chair? And what more akin to torture than being made to sit in it for 3 minutes?

Welcome to my life. The things I would tolerate in my friends, I have to watch out for. This "teaching children how to be respectful and useful adults" is not for the faint of heart.

But, the weekend was not all about discipline and respect, We managed to have fun, too. Dusty has been asking if I blog about him, and until today, the answer was, "no." But, alas, Dusty, there is something to say today. This weekend, Dusty asked me to help him fix Eric's stairs. And by "fix," he meant rebuild. And I had to explain that by "help," I could offer only conversation. Because, let's face it: I am NOT handy. At all. So, Saturday afternoon we went to Lowe's (big day) and bought the necessary supplies. But I had to go get B at 5. Dusty asked if I was going to come back and help. I said I could, but B would have to come, too. And if anyone was going to be less help than me, it's B. Because I am aware that I can't help and therefore stay out of the way. B, however, thinks he IS helping and will stand under your feet and ask 237647 questions. Having been fully warned, Dusty suggested that I bring B. So, I went and got Beckett and his tools (you know, because nothing builds stairs like plastic tools) and headed to Eric's. About 30 minutes after we arrived, we realized that 2 of the boards needed to be cut about 1/2". Dusty looked at Beckett, who at this point has all of his tools out and is "fixing" anything that will stand still long enough for him to hit, and asked, "Do you want to go to Lowe's?" Response: "No." Shocking. He was in heaven, no he didn't want to leave. So, Dusty offered to watch him while I ran to the Lowe's up the street (we were in Wetumpka). After explaining to Beckett that he had to listen to Dusty and do what he said, I left. While I was gone, Dusty and Beckett broke down the old stairs. I can imagine Beckett had a ball. Actually, I know he did. He keeps asking me when we are going back to Dusty's.

The thing with other people watching Beckett is that I don't particularly like other people's children. And so I always assume that no one wants to be around my child. I think this is a fair presumption. So, after Dusty assured me they would be fine, I left. And, to Dusty's credit, they were both alive when I returned. Happy, unscathed, and laughing. Mission accomplished.

Well, that's about enough for right now. I am sure, however, more will follow this week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Spiderpig Does Whatever a Spiderpig Does.

So, yesterday, I let B wear his Spiderman costume to school. I mean, how cool am I? And when I mean costume, I mean costume. Jumpsuit, spandex, SPIDERMAN. It was pretty cute. But the fam thought I was insane for letting him do this. My reasoning? He's 3. It's only going to be socially acceptable for him to dress like his favorite superhero for about 2 more years (on a related note, it will also only be socially acceptable for him to have a favorite superhero for about 2 more years). Face it, at 35, a Spiderman costume is the equivalent of a van with "Free Candy" written on the side. I'm giving myself one Mom Point on the day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Frustration" is a thing with feathers....

"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world." -Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

...I am going to go out the proverbial limb and submit that there is almost NO way my child could be more like me. Seriously. I'll illustrate this point with a story:

Monday morning, B was watching TV while I was getting ready for school (seriously, the "Mom of the Year" nomination committee is really lagging on notifying me that I'm up this year). He was watching Special Agent Oso, which comes on the Disney Channel (at least it's not f$%#^g SpongeBob). I won't give too many details (you know I hate to bore), but basically it's about a bear who is, wait for it, a special agent. He helps kids complete random tasks, such as brushing their teeth or putting puzzles together. So, today's "issue" was that this little girl wanted to pick strawberries. But she doesn't know how! Whatever will we do? Oh wait, ask the bear with the palm pilot. Well, Beckett was watching, and before Oso could come to the aid of this damsel in distress, Beckett, rather loudly, says, "Just pick and twist! I don't know how else to say it!" Then, to top of the frustration, he looked at me, looked back at the TV, and walked out of the room. Who knew he would already begin to show signs of disdain for idiots?!? Ah, world, art thou ready for Betsi Round 2: Electric Boogaloo?

That is what I get the pleasure of dealing with on a daily basis. And I couldn't be happier or more amused.

In other news, well, I suppose no news is good news. Yeah, we'll go with that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Poetry Nerd

And because love battles
not only in its burning agricultures

but also in the mouth of men and women,
I will finish off by taking the path away
to those who between my chest
and your fragrance
want to interpose their obscure plant

About me, nothing worse
they will tell you, my love,
than what I told you.

I lived in the prairies
before I got to know you
and I did not wait love but I was
laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.

What more can they tell you?
I am neither good nor bad but a man,
and they will then associate the danger
of my life, which you know
and which with your passion you shared.

And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride.

But to my ears they will come before
to wear down the tour

of the sweet and hard love which binds us,
and they will say: “The one
you love,
is not a woman for you,
Why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more deep,
more other, you understand me, look how she’s light,
and what a head she has,
and look at how she dresses,
and etcetera and etcetera”.

And I in these lines say:
Like this I want you, love,
love, Like this I love you,
as you dress
and how your hair lifts up
and how your mouth smiles,
light as the water
of the spring upon the pure stones,
Like this I love you, beloved.

To bread I do not ask to teach me
but only not to lack during every day of life.
I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.

You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
and to those who want to hear tomorrow
that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them back off today because it is early
for these arguments.

Tomorrow we will only give them
a leaf of the tree
of our love, a leaf
which will fall on the earth
like if it had been made by our lips
like a kiss which falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.

Pablo Neruda, And Because Love Battles

Logorrhea: excessive talkativeness

I don't really have a whole lot to update, but because I like to talk,specifically about me, my life, and my child, I figured it was about time to do some updating.

It turns out, I have NO common sense. At least not as far as my automobile is concerned. I'm surprised they don't find a way to kill themselves out of pure hatred for me and the life that I give them. I drive too fast, brake too much, and forget too often to do the little things to take care of them. This must in some way indicate why I don't have a boyfriend, but that's another blog for another day. In the last month, I have run out of gas TWICE and let my engine almost overheat to the point of blowing up. Alas, things have been taken care of and my car and I are again on good terms. For the time being.

I started reading another book ( insert insane eye-rolling from everyone I know). Still haven't finished anything from the summer and have added 5 casebooks to the load. And another book.
When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris. I read the first 30 pages before Crim Pro on Tuesday. Go. Get. It. NOW.

Since Season Five of Grey's Anatomy came out on Tuesday, Brandi, Paige, and I have been watching in eager, almost tortured, anticipation of Season Six (which starts next Thursday). Not that I didn't already know this to be true about ALL television shows, but I have developed an almost irreversibly dillusional concept of the way life and love should play out because of this show in particular. It's bad for me.

Well, I guess that's all I have for now!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Increasingly Annoyed

So, I started following the blog of a friend and it seems like everything that gets posted annoys me in some way. I think I need a vacation.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Insert Ironic Phrase About Blind Rage Here

I have been sick all weekend. Virus, bacterial something-or-other, glued to the sofa, pounding headache, burning up then freezing, body ache, sleeping all day sick. ALL. WEEKEND. This just means I have had a lot of time to watch television. Too much time (as if there is such a thing). Today, I turned on TLC and Toddlers and Tiaras was on. And seeing as how this show drove me into a rageful, disgusted frenzy, this blog is sure to be disjointed, choppy, and hard to understand.

In what world is it okay for a 4 year old, A FOUR YEAR OLD, to go to the spa for 5 hours?!?! FIVE HOURS! Emily, who is described by her father as a "princess" (and by me as"spoiled brat"), was taken to the spa for a facial, manicure, pedicure, haircut, and a massage. You know, to destress the FOUR YEAR OLD. Maybe her life wouldn't be so stressful if her parents didn't dress her up like a prostitute and force her to parade around on stage for other people to judge. These people caked on make-up and sprayed enough Aqua Net on this poor child to double the size of the hole in the O-Zone layer. Then, her father made the statement, "We're not superficial. It's really not about the looks to us." UGH. And then, when the mother and Emily were running late, the mother reassured Emily that, "they will wait for us." That's right, go ahead and teach your child the valueable life lesson that the whole world is here to wait for you. And she wins. SHE FREAKING WINS.

Moving on. Rylen (I guess that's how she spells it. She'll probably make it easier for herself one day and just spell it C-A-N-D-Y at the club in 15 years). Rylen's mother allowed her to throw a temper tauntrum and roll herself up in the floor rug. And she just let her get away with being a brat. She, too, claims that it's not about "beauty." She didn't want to get too glitzy, so she just teased the hell out of her hair and only put on a little make-up. On a FOUR YEAR OLD. This child got 3rd runner-up. She was, in all honesty, a very pretty little girl. But, come on. Leave the poor child alone.

Ok, I'm going to stop because I could go on forever. I think we all know how I feel about it now anyway.

Update: Just heard the word "centerfold" used to describe an award given to a 7 year old. Just became physically ill.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's Been One Week

Fall semester started this week. I am taking 17 hours this fall -- Evidence, Con Law, International Law, Family Law, Criminial Procedure, and Law Review. We'll see how this goes. Beckett also started school this week. Miss Lacy (who he had last year) and Miss Shea are his teachers and Nate and Isabelle from last year are in his class again. He seems to really be enjoying himself and seems to be doing really well.

As far as the diet goes, I've done better this week! I have been stressed, but I managed to keep things in line. Exercise has been non-existent this week, but once I figure my schedule out, I'm sure that will all fall in line.

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle:

A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold:

A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.

Christopher Marlowe,
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Monday, August 17, 2009

T-Minus 2 Years....

Law school Round 2L starts this morning with Evidence at 10:00 am. Let's do this, Jones. I have a cute new bag and a cute new dress and a cute (?) new diet for the new year.


6 slices of Turkey -- 45 cal.
Half a pickle -- 10 cal.
String Cheese -- 80 cal.

More updates to follow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shorty Got Lo, Lo, Lo, Lo, Lo, Lo, Lo (Mein)

And by "shorty," I mean Beckett. We went to King Buffet today (best Chinese EVER) and, generally, B doesn't care for Chinese. I mean, he'll eat Sweet & Sour Chicken and the french fries, but that's about it. Until today, that is. He finally likes something Chinese -- Lo Mein. Awesome.

Also, CONGRATS Melissa and Justin! They are having a BOY! Welcome to the boy club. Here's what you have to look forward to:

(1) Beckett and I were outside coloring with his sidewalk chalk. I drew a picture of him and then asked him if he could draw a picture of me. And he did a great job with the face. He even gave me about 4 feet of hair. However, when I asked him if he could draw me a neck or a body, he looked at me, paused for a second, and then said, "You have a penis, right?" And then he drew a penis. In sidewalk chalk.

(2) He looked at My Buddy one day and said, "My penis is bigger than yours." My Buddy responded, "I don't think so." And Beckett said, "No, it definitely is."

So, congrats again :0)

Law School: Year Two starts on Monday. Come December, I will be half way through! Whoo hoo!

Reading Update: This summer I WAY overestimated how much time I was going to have to read. So I started 976 books. And none of them are finished. Some are closer than others. Here's the list so far:

(1) Tender is the Night -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
(2) Will in the World -- Stephen Greenblatt
(3) Sons and Lovers -- D.H. Lawrence
(4) Everything That Rises Must Converge -- Flannery O'Connor
(5) A Good Man is Hard to Find -- Flannery O'Connor

On top of that, I just bought a few more books:

(1) Invisible Monsters -- Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club) I started reading this years ago, but, alas, my copy was lost in the Great Moving Disaster of 2005, in which I lost my entire book collection. So, I bought it again and I am reading it again. LOVE IT. I highly recommend it.
(2) American Lion -- Jon Meacham -- This is about Andrew Jackson. I haven't started it yet, but I have heard that it's great!
(3) A Confederacy of Dunces -- John Kennedy Toole -- Michael and Dan both begged me to read this, so I'm going to start it as soon as I finish one of the others! Promise!

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Marcus Tullius Cicero

Thursday, August 6, 2009

If at First You Don't Succeed....

Once upon a time, I had such grand plans to blog about diet and exercise (among other things). Well, did not so much happen. So, we will start again. Forget I ever mentioned it the first time :0)

Today, as ambitious as I was, was NOT a good day. I'm pretty sure "Corndog" is not a diet food. Somewhere, Jenny Craig is hanging her head in shame. If I'm being honest, it was 2 corndogs. And they were damn good, too. So, we will pick up again tomorrow. Maybe I'll actually eat the fruit and vegetables I bought.

"Success is rare and slow, everybody knows how quick and easy ruin is." -William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dentists, Finals, and Shakespeare....Oh my!

Today was a big day. Beckett has his first dentist appointment today! I know it sounds cliche, but I really can't believe that he is old enough to go to the dentist! They wouldn't let me go back with him (They say the children do better without their parents, and I tend to agree). He looked like such a big boy as he took the hygenist's hand and walked back to get his teeth cleaned. Allison came out to talk to me before she took him back. She was explaining to Beckett what she was going to be doing and he looked very apprehensive. Then he asked, "Am I going to be laying down?" She said, "Well, I'll lean you back a little bit." All of the sudden, his face lit up and he said, "Okay." He then grabbed her hand and practically dragged her back to the office. He is so funny about things that bother him.

Because they wouldn't let me go back with him, I don't have any of my own pictures to share. But they took a picture for me, which I will scan and post later!

Hope everyone is having a great day! Last final for the summer is in an hour and a half! Then 12 glorious days of vacation until Law School Round 2 starts. At least I will be half way finished by the end of this year!

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell.
Nay if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse,
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
-William Shakespeare, Sonnet 71

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday's the Day to Roll the Dice.

It's been a while since I've written anything and, frankly, there's not much to share right now. Beckett and I are enjoying the last few days of summer before we both start school (on August 17th for me and the 18th for him).

15 Meaningful Books
*I was tagged in this note on Facebook, so I thought I'd add it here, too.

Don't take too long to think about it.

Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose (as well as pick up suggestions for my reading list).

To do this, go to your Notes tab on your profile page, paste rules in a new note, cast your 15 picks, and tag people in the note - upper right hand side). I will not be offended if you don't play.


(1) The Fountainhead -- Ayn Rand
(2) Dry -- Augusten Burroughs
(3) A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius -- Dave Eggers
(4) Night -- Elie Wiesel
(5) Letters From Rifka -- Karen Hess
(6) Loose Woman -- Sandra Cisneros
(7) The House on Mango Street -- Sandra Cisneros
(8) Lady Chatterley's Lover -- D.H. Lawrence
(9) Twelfth Night -- William Shakespeare
(10)A Doll's House -- Henrik Ibsen
(11) Breakfast of Champions -- Kurt Vonnegut
(12) The Handmaid's Tale -- Margaret Atwood
(13) Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger
(14) Everything That Rises Must Converge -- Flannery O'Connor
(15) Gone With the Wind -- Margaret Mitchell

Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE to read. I tend to find something to love in most books that I read, but these are 15 that are particularly special to me.

In law school news, I had one final last night and the other is on Wednesday. Eh. That's really all I have to say about that. But in happy law school news, I made LAW REVIEW! The paper I turned in was not my favorite that I've written, but I guess it was enough :0)

Okay, back to to studying. Is it bad that when I have to study, B watches TV and eats popcorn for lunch? I didn't think so.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Wish I was as Cool as Beckett Thinks I Am...

....because that would be great! I'd be super talented.

He's been such a sweetheart today. I have a paper due at 5 o'clock tomorrow and, quel suprise, it is NOT EVEN CLOSE to being finished. So, I asked him what movie he wanted to watch (the committee's been behind...when can I expect my "Mom of the Year" trophy to finally get here?) while I worked on my paper. And, of course, he said Beauty and the Beast (he could not be more like me). And every time Belle sings a song he asks me, no, demands, that I "sing with it. Sing like she does!". When I try to explain to him that one day he is going to need to be
able to hear, so maybe I shouldn't sing, he replies, "But you sound like her and I like it. Now sing!". And yes, delusion does run in the family.

While I'm procrastinating, I may as well say a few more things about Beckett...

Favorite Foods: CORNDOGS. Hotdogs, too, for that matter. He still, however, LOVES fruit (strawberries especially) and most vegetables. Pizza, of course, he is 3. Chicken nuggets and peanut butter and jelly are usual sure to please. And fried chicken. But ONLY if he can eat it "off the bone."

Favorite TV Shows/Movies: He loves to watch Curious George, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, and Imagination Movers. He will watch anything that is animated, so I have to really keep tabs on him or he'll turn on the TV and find something
himself. He LOVES Beauty and the Beast, An American Tail (which according to him is about "Bivel"), Pinocchio, and Finding Nemo. And he is NOT a fan of Aladdin or The Lion King, much to my dismay. We are actually watching Beauty and the Beast right now, and B just got mad because the Beast was no longer a beast.

Favorite Books: Much like me, Beckett loves to read. He loves ALL Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer. He also loves the Franklin books (by Paulette Bourgeois) and any book about Arthur (by Marc Brown). Of the Dr. Seuss
books, The Lorax is his favorite (and mine!). He probably has over 200 books
and will let you read any of them to him, but some more than others. He has memorized Good Night, Moon and David Gets in Trouble and parts of countless other books.

About Beckett: He is super curious about everything and his favorite thing to say is still, "Why?" or "What is that?" He is very sweet and loving, but is ALL boy. He loves to play outside on the new "trubhouse" (clubhouse) that My Buddy just built him. He is his grandfather's little shadow. Whatever My Buddy does, wherever My Buddy goes, B is right behind him. He is strong-willed and very much a 3-year-old these days, but he knows when to stop trying to push my buttons. He has a memory like a steel trap. He literally remembers EVERYTHING.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Back to law school.....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What CaseNote?

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmorland? No, my fair cousin.
If we are marked to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
God's will, I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who feed doth upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honor
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace, I would not lose so great an honor
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. Oh, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmorland, through my host
That he which hath no stomach in this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse.
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the Feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day and comes safe home
Will stand a-tiptoe when this day is named
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live old age
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors
And say, "Tomorrow is Saint Crispian."
Then he will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say, "These wounds I had on Crispian's Day."
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words --
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester --
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered --
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispian's Day.

-William Shakespeare, The Life of King Henry the Fifth

Monday, July 6, 2009

Picture & Poetry Monday

...Some more pictures that make me happy and one poem.

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
-Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Long Day's Journey Into Night...

Roy Lichtenstein
The Melody Haunts My Reverie

Stuart Davis
Swing Landscape
...TOday has been SUCH a long day, SUCH a depressing day. In a vain attempt to cheer myself up (or get over myself), here are some things that make me smile.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first imaginary friend. So far, all I know about her is that her name is Miss Pam Pam, she lives far away, and she likes to swim. And, in my mind, she's British.

Update: While we were swimming, Beckett called sunscreen "studscreen." Precious.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

If It's Not One Thing It's the Other.

Well, exercise has turned out to be much easier than I thought. Well, at least wanting to exercise has been. However, it is SO hard for me to want to change my diet. Every couple of months I tell myself I am going to try and be healthier, and I will. For about 3 days. Which is exactly what is going on now. I have been doing cardio and weights and all that jazz for at least an hour everyday for the last 2 weeks. But I cannot seem to want to put down the Mexican Pizza (damn you, Taco Bell...).

B is going back to Memorial today. He will go twice a week (Tuesday & Thursday) this summer. He is so excited. I was always worried that he would be that weird kid that had no friends, but the opposite is true. He has made a lot of friends and he talks about them constantly! He is so ready to see Nate and Tate and Isabelle and Bella this summer!

And it turns out he is much more symapthetic and nicer than me (something's going right, lol). We were at Shakespeare yesterday and we were feeding the ducks and turtles and fish. I threw a piece to a teeny tiny baby turtle. Beckett asked me why I did that. I told him it was because he was smaller than the other turtles and ducks and they were hogging all the bread and I wanted the baby to get food, too. Well, no sooner had they words come out of my mouth than a fish came up and took the baby turtle's piece of bread. I pointed that out to Beckett and he said, "Well, that's not right. I'll give him another piece." It was really sweet.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I Can Say These Things Because I'm the Mama

I have to brag about my sweet B for a second. He is 3 and some change (his birthday was March 14th) and he continues to AMAZE us. He knows normal things like ABC's, colors, can count to about 25, and loves music and reading. Also, he knows tons of opposites. My Mom, who teaches K5, says some of her students don't even understand opposites. So far, he knows these:

Night/"Nornin" (Morning)

We are trying to teach him fast, faster, fastest and the like. Here is our conversation the other day:
Me: Beckett, what comes next: big, bigger...
Beckett: My Buddy
Me: No, biggest. How about this: tall, taller....
Beckett: Uncle T
Me: Ok, let's try one more. Fast, faster...
Beckett: ME!

Also, he's got an incredile memory. He is really good at the game Memory and you can tell him something once and he will NOT forget. And, he can do simple addition and subtraction. He knows that 2 + 1=3; 2+3=5; 2-1=1, etc. So, his capacity to do math has surpassed his mother's. I don't mean to be one of "those" Moms, but I never knew how amazing it was going to be to be able to watch as someone learns those things we take for granted that we know. It is astounding and humbling that I get to be a part of it!

The Second Verse, Same as the First...

For the 45,378,274th time, I am starting a whole diet/exercise kick. I figure if I write about it on the blog, then maybe I'll actually stick with it :). Well, that's the plan at least. I'm not going to say how much I weigh right now, or what my measurements are, but I will post updates. So, now you have to help keep me in line.

On the reading front, I have started three books. I always do this and it ends up taking much longer than it should to finish one because I'm trying to read 3 or more at once. Here's what they are:
(1) Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I hated, I mean hated, The Great Gatsby, but I loved The Beautiful and the Damned, I thought I'd give Fitz another go. So far, this is my favorite Fitzgerald so far.

(2) Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by Bart D. Ehrman. This book is very interesting and really makes you think. I would recommend it to EVERYONE.

(3) Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt. Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Shakespeare and how my idea of a party trick is reciting Richard's opening monologue from Richard III (one of my favorites). Since not much is actually known about Shakespeare's life, this book relies on a lot of speculation (educated speculation, but speculation nonetheless). But what Greenblatt presents is wonderful.
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