Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ricks v. Heroes of 2010

Inspired by CNN's Heroes, I decided that for my usual year-end fanaticism with lists of "best of" or "top ten"s I'm going to make a list of the many heroes in my life. I've had a wonderful Christmas break this year, and it's given me some precious extra free time to think and reflect. I recognize now more than ever that I am not much of anything without the help I get through prayer to Heavenly Father. I owe so much more than I even know, and I come to know more and more of that debt each day. I also see clearly that God has placed people in my life for a reason, and I hope that I fulfill whatever reason that He has put me in theirs. Rather than just list off names or delve into too much of specifics, this list will take on more of a thank you card-style tone. *Warning: For readers who have a low tolerance for cheesiness, stop reading now.* Without further ado (except the present ado) and in no particular order (and some of these definitely apply to more than one person and more than one of these apply to individual people):

  • You are my hero because you helped me to know a lot more about who I am, and helped me to open up in a way that I haven't in a long time.
  • Your patience with me and ability to lift my spirits when I've felt pretty crushed astound me.
  • Your ongoing campaign to get me to try new things, while often fought against, is not unappreciated. In fact the opposite.
  • Your helpfulness in getting me through the end of my undergraduate degree was... helpful.
  • Your prayers are so appreciated, and I wish that I made more time for you because you always make time for me.
  • You are the fashion-guru that came to my rescue when I probably needed it most.
  • You are always there to give me encouragement when I'm beating myself up.
  • You are an example of who I hope to be.
  • You helped me to learn stuff, and that's a feat.
  • You really saved my bacon when I probably didn't deserve your help.
  • Your ability to forgive my suckiness as a friend (and rude comments that I don't even notice) and to help me feel a bit more comfortable in the midst of a hard transition is most appreciated.
  • Somehow, someway you're still my friend after all these years, and I can't thank you enough for all the cherished memories and for putting up with this old soul.
  • You always can put a smile on my face.
  • You've given me so much, set such a great example, and shown incredible endurance and I'll appreciate you forever for it.
  • Your advice and inspiration mean more to me than you know.
  • I can count on you.
  • You always help remind me that I have people who care about me and that actually want to be with me.
  • You helped me to get out of my house and live some life.
  • There aren't adequate words to describe why you're my hero, but I know you're in my life for a reason, and you are my hero.
  • You tell it to me straight. Such a rarity.
  • You read this crap that I write for some unknown reason, but it makes a difference to me.
  • When anyone says the word "patience" or the word "hero," I think of you first. You give so much to me, and ask so little in return. You inspire me everyday, and I don't have enough "thank you"s to satisfy all that you do for me, and have done for me.

Wow, I think I didn't even realize there were that many people that help me in my efforts to make something of this life when I had the idea for this list. And of course, there are many more that help in many other ways, but these are the first and foremost that I think of. Thank you. Even if you wouldn't dream of reading this entry and have no idea it exists, thank you.

Reading back through this makes me realize just how much I owe to you people. Looks like law school debt isn't the debt I should be most worried about after all. Ok, bye.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ricks v. 49 Thoughts

Let's see if I can come up with 50 thoughts. Some random, some relevant, some... none of the above?

1. I'm now happy that my semester is over.
2. It's Christmas!
3. It takes having free time for me to remember how much I love living here, but I love living here.
4. I'm excited to see my fam, and not via Skype that my sisters think is super awkward.
5. It's funny to me when kids shows sneak political jokes into them for adults.
6. While flying makes me a bit nervous, I love doing it. It's always exciting because I only do it when I'm going somewhere I really want to go.
7. Dr. Seuss is awesome.
8. I hate hot chocolate, I love warm chocolate. I don't understand why people bother with a liquid that burns your mouth!?
9. My favorite new word that came out of this semester is "torted." (It's not grammatically correct, or a real word, at least not in the sense that I use it.)
10. According to my torts teacher, it's only a matter of time before your car will get "torted" in DC.
11. It's funny how we think we're keeping someone's secret when we tell someone else, but tell them not to tell anyone else.
12. Dozen.
13. This one's for Spencer, "Thirteen."
14. Rhythmic gymnastics is weird.
15. Whoever came up with the term "smart phones" and got it to stick was a genius. They got the rest of us to call our own phones dumb! Genius advertising!
16. I HATE cologne/perfume commercials.
17. Wonder what the weather is like in Djibouti today?
18. I'm excited to exercise again. I've missed it.
19. My house has a door to nowhere.
20. Rowan Atkinson would play me in the movie of my life.
21. Red Rocks in Alexandria is the best pizza place... ever.
22. I could really go for a FH'zookie right now.
23. Michael Jordan.
24. Paul Millsap is the bomb.
25. I'm a little surprised no one has come to visit DC while I've been here. I had a bunch of people ask if they could crash at my place when they came out here.
26. My eyelid has been twitching for weeks. I assumed it would stop when finals were over, but alas, it continues.
27. I saw the huge National Christmas Tree a couple weeks ago with my roommate and some other folks:We also saw Santa Claus.
28. Stuff exists.
29. It's weird to not have something so pressing on my Monday that I need to stay up all night on Sunday!
30. I expect the Aggies to win the rest of their basketball games this season. It could very easily happen.
31. I just randomly got the Charlie Brown's Christmas song stuck in my head.
32. Ocean Lion.
33. Narwhals are cool!

34. C.J. Miles has been playing well lately.
35. Truman G. Madsen was quite the insightful fellow. I'm a fan.
36. I HATE not knowing my grades.
37. I'm clearly a very patient person.
38. I always buy bread, but I rarely use more than half of it before it goes bad. Sad.
39. Milk, on the other hand, has rarely, if ever, expired under my watch.
40. Can you believe that you've read 40 of these? Because I can't.
41. I'm excited for some recreational reading over the break.
42. This one's for Shavonne: 42.
43. I'm happy that I have friends who help me to get out of the house when I have time!
44. Mmm... the over-priced shake I had at the Silver Diner after my property exam the other day was really good.
45. While I love NoVA, I still prove from time to time that I do not know it's roads very well.
46. My mom is the best. Hi Mom!
47. Ugh, I need to buy a new suit. Badly.
48. Am I lame for inserting the accents in résumé?
49. This one's for James Wilson Marshall, and for California history buffs.

That's all. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ricks v. Cautious Pessimism (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Law School)

Woah. How did I get here? I really can't believe this semester is over. I can't say I haven't enjoyed it, because I have. (Parts of it at least.) I also can't say it was easy, it wasn't. It has not been what I expected. Well, that's not true. "It" has been what I expected, my interaction with "It" has not at all been what I expected. I haven't been how (who?) I expected me to be. I know I sound crazy, but this is the inane babbel you get to deal with because you read my blog.

I'm being cautiously pessimistic about how my first semester grades will turn out. Frankly, I think I did a lot worse than I could have, and even then I might not have done superbly. I say cautious because there's still an off chance that I'm making myself look worse than I really am by suggesting that I did poorly--when perhaps I did well. But mostly, I'm feeling pessimistic about my grades. However, I think I've successfully conquered the worrier (Worry Warrior--that should be an indie band name, along with Cautiously Pessimistic) inside me that would have me to think that just because my grades may turn out horribly that my life will be a complete ruin. While, yes, life would diminish to a rather rotten state, it would certainly go on. Should my grades cause an implosion of my plans, I'll find a way to go on. As I've said, I'll mow lawns to pay off my law school debt if I must. Honestly, I doubt that I'll manage to screw up that badly, but there's a sizable chance my grades won't reflect even my lowest hoped-for potential outcome. In that case, I'll just take what I've learned in this 1/2L semester, and move on. I'll keep trucking through law school, and I'll love it, too. Even when it just hurts.

And, it does hurt. I wrote the above two paragraphs at 4 am last night when I needed a breather from my studies. I just now got home from my property law, and last, final exam. I have a bad headache from not getting enough sleep last night, and possibly from only having eaten a shake at the "Silver Diner" with a bunch of my classmates who either don't drink or were just going to go drink later than that. (I can't imagine if I were to add an alcohol hangover on top of the way I feel right now!) Anyway, so, I'm done for the semester. Shouting for joy, jubilation, happiness... yeah... not really feeling like that at all. It might help if in a couple days I get a chance to take in the big picture of what I've been through, but for now I think I feel emotionless because the joy of being done for a few weeks and the anxiety over feeling like I didn't do very well are canceling each other out. I'm an emotional void right now. Emotion neutral? (Another indie band name! Wow, either I'm on a roll or I'm just particularly emo in this blog post.) Well, so... that's that. See you in a couple days when maybe I'll be more interesting or exciting.

Update on the previous blog post's subject: I saw my arrested-neighbor's father this morning. He kind of just stared at me while I scraped the snow off my car. It was awkward. Well, ... bye.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ricks v. Terrorism Threats & News Stories

Ugh. Today has been very very distracting. So, my neighbor was all over the local news today for having supposedly made a terrorism threat on Facebook.

I looked so nasty. I really wish I had at least looked in the mirror. My story is wrong, too. I didn't know that I saw the dad instead of the son who's the one that was arrested. I've pieced together that I saw the dad being escorted around by the feds and I assume he was showing them that there were no bomb-making materials and that's why they picked up the blanket in our yard.

The news crews have been outside all day and they've been trying to interview us. I'm pretty mad at myself for opening the door. Now I know. Word to the wise, just don't talk to the news! The main reason I'm upset about it right now is that I see the dad a lot because we leave the house at similar times of day. Anyway, I hope this goes away fast. It sounds like the guy was making hollow threats.

Anyway, enough about my neighbor, I need to get all of that craziness out of my head so I can focus on my last final. This has made studying for property hard because I've been so distracted.

My econ test was yesterday. It went alright. I know it didn't go as well as the midterm did, but hopefully that will turn out ok. It felt very much like an undergrad test. It was mostly all stuff we'd covered, but the questions were asked in ways that tried to make them harder than they needed to be.

Well, speaking of studying. I'm off to do some more before I fall asleep. Remember, don't talk to the news. (But if you do, at least look in the mirror first.)


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ricks v. Contracts

Jello, slush, water, liquid in general, lava-lamp contents, raspberry preserves (with the seeds), ketchup, Silly Putty, dust, pasta, couscous, empty vacuous space, a void.

These are all analogies for how my brain feels after my second law school exam which was for my Contracts class. I felt a lot better prepared for this one than for Torts, but my professor's ambiguous question approach left me feeling like I really wish it was the other way around.
(The above picture is really the deer-in-the-headlights look I had on my face right after the exam, one of my classmates was making fun of me. I honestly felt like my brain had leaked out.)
This test may have been ok, except that there was one question that I hardly got to and it was worth a lot. Again. I just have to pretend that I'm not freaked out, and now I have to focus on economics.
K, see ya. Hope your brain is less analogous to weird liquid/quasi-liquids than mine.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ricks v. Torts/Terrorism?

Ok, I'm ready to vent about my exam, now. (Don't worry about me, I'm just getting it all out because I haven't really talked to anyone about it.)

The jury's out. If I even made it to a jury trial. Torts might be getting a summary judgment.
So, It's 8 am the next day at the moment. I finally fell asleep late yesterday evening after having stayed up pretty much all night the night before(despite my efforts to sleep for a decent amount of time.)

Before I rant, first a story:
When I got home from the test yesterday afternoon, my street was blocked off by random cars. I was really confused and frustrated because I just wanted to come home and sleep. There were a bunch of random people strolling around, too. It was bizarre. I drove around the block to try to get to my house and had to squeeze past a big truck. I parked in my driveway and looked at the blockade in the street trying to see what it was about. Then I realized that people were looking my direction. I turned the other way to see some dudes dressed in military-like gear cuffing my next-door neighbor who had apparently been hiding under a blanket in my yard. (Mind you, I'm super tired at this point, and probably look stoned and confused.) Woah, I was about to speculate about what my neighbor might have done, but I could be liable for libel. Let's just say, it appears that he did something to warrant the application of cuffs. The weird thing is that I can't figure out what kind of unit the guys would work for. I've seen enough military uniforms that I could identify one of the branches, but these guys were dressed differently. They definitely didn't look like regular cops either. I really don't know, but it freaked me out. I've been tweeting about my neighbor's struggles to start his car each morning, but I didn't hear any attempt to start it today. So weird. It's official. I don't live in Utah anymore.

About the exam. I will say that I'm happy that I was able to get to the exam early, my computer didn't have a meltdown, and I answered all the questions. My lone assurance of any points though is that I wrote my test number on each exam page, thereby avoiding an automatic 1% score reduction. Look at me! I'm 1% on my way to an A+!

I always think I do poorly on exams. It's a reaction I just expect from myself. This time feels different. (And I always say this, too.) (See examples: 1, 2) But for real, I often think I did alright, but that I could have done better. This time I really feel like could have done a LOT better. I was shocked that when I got home from the exam and laid in bed I couldn't fall asleep. Instead I was running over the test repeatedly in my mind. I thought of just about every question and ways I had screwed up, or things I could have done much better. I keep having flashbacks to my calculus class in college that I seriously screwed up in. I'm not comfortable with how it went, but I have to be. I won't get my score until February or something horrible like that. I don't do well with waiting for scores and grades, but I have to learn to be when it comes to law school. I'll find out how my LRWA paper went in January-ish, and then I won't get my grades until February or March. Yeargh.

Well, I think this probably wasn't a very interesting read to anyone except myself, and perhaps the government driving instructor who needs to teach his guys how to REALLY block a street. (Even from tiny Nissan Sentras.) Sorry about that. I promise to try to be more entertaining come December 18th.