Sunday, July 22, 2007

Breaking the Pattern

There are a lot of things I think of writing that I don't post here (or anywhere else). Not because they're shocking, or private, or boring, but because they don't fit the mold of my blog. They don't have that calm, pastoral quality and/or I can't think of a concluding insightful comment with which to end the post.

All this results in me not blogging very often. Have I mentioned that I'm kind of obsessive about systems? When I was applying for firms, I developed this system: start going through the list of firms interviewing on grounds in alphabetical order. For each firm, check to see if it's just IP/patent stuff they're interviewing for; if not, check the Vault "best firms in [whatever city]" guide and read the blurb if it's there; if it isn't, go to the firm's website and read its "careers" section; if I'm still interested, check the law school's GPA spreadsheet to see if I have a chance of getting an interview; if so, apply; if not, move on. Because I had this system in place, deciding what firms to apply for took me an entire weekend. Even after I realized that maybe I didn't need to be quite so rigorous about my choices, I couldn't stop until I'd gone through the whole list using my system.

Sometimes this obsessiveness is a really bad thing. I used to keep an online journal, six or seven years ago, in which I wrote very nearly every day for over a year. It was a great outlet for me. Then I quit writing every day, and was so upset with myself for breaking my streak that I never started up again.

At church today we got a great homily about how perfectionism is destructive. Our priest (whom I just love) shuffled over to the lectern, put on his reading glasses, got out the Bible and turned to Genesis. "If this doesn't cure your perfectionism," he said, "nothing ever will. We have this whole story about the six days of creation" (forgive me—I'm paraphrasing) "where God creates everything: the sky, the earth, the plants and animals, and finally, he creates mankind. And then we come to the part at the end of the sixth day, and it says, 'God looked at all that he had made, and he saw that it was very good.' Not perfect, mind you—good! And that's why our weather isn't perfect, it's why our plants and animals aren't perfect, it's why we're not perfect. In our lives, we must not strive for perfection: we must strive for goodness."

Anyway, if things seem a little more frivolous and less capital-D Deep around these parts, that's why.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I decided I needed a change of scenery today, so I headed to C'ville Coffee, which I've been meaning to check out. It's a bad sign when I order a double espresso ristretto and the barista says, "A double espresso what?" But sometimes they just call it "short," so I stuck with it. The second bad sign is the question, "For here?" The third is when the barista pulls shots into a pitcher rather than directly into a cup. And the fourth is when the store doesn't even own demitasses, and you get your espresso in a mug.

The espresso doesn't really taste like anything. I was worried it'd be sour and harsh, like bad espresso so often is, but it's actually just bland. Drinkable, but disappointing.

Anyway. The summer is going really well. This past weekend was a little stressful because the Powers that Be at the law school decided to make the deadlines for the first round of course registration and the first round of firm interview applications coincide. So I spent several days in a row glued to my computer, growing glassy-eyed as I clicked "Request Interview" over and over and pondered the relative importance of pro bono policies, dress codes, billable hour requirements, office locations and practice areas. Now, thankfully, all that is over, but I didn't really have a weekend.

On the other hand, I did have about a week and a half of vacation, including a weekend with my parents celebrating my dad's birthday and a week in Pittsburgh visiting James. It was all very nice and it's been incredibly hard getting back into the swing of things at home. With six weeks left now until school starts up again, I'm trying my best not to sleep away the rest of the summer.