Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Overdue overshare

Is this the longest I've ever gone between posts? It must be close, at least. Fortunately, I have a very legitimate excuse for my absence this time- couple of 'em, actually. So I'll delve right in, hoping that you won't hate me too much by the end.

To start off, I have good and bad news. (I'm sensing a trend here, readers - don't I always seem to write with good and bad news?) Well, the bad news is that I didn't make the Harvard Law Review. Last week, like hundreds of my near-genius (but apparently not full-on genius) classmates, I received this e-mail:

Thank you so much for applying to the Harvard Law Review. It was a
very competitive year, with more than three hundred students
participating in the writing competition. We were impressed by the
many talented applicants and by the depth of thought revealed by the

We very much regret that we will not be able to offer you a position
on the Review. We hope that you will continue to explore editorial
opportunities with the many other wonderful journals available at
Harvard and elsewhere.

Thank you again,
Joanna Huey and Colleen Roh
President and Vice President, Volume 123

Now, in the universe of bad news, this is pretty minor league. Not only was I expecting it, but I immediately heard from a classmate infinitely more brilliant than I am that he didn't make it either. If that doesn't make it impossible to feel bad about oneself, I don't know what does. Better yet, this bad news soon became a direct cause of some very good news I'll discuss shortly.

In the meantime, I want to get to those excuses for my delinquent blogging. Last Friday was the final day of my internship, you see, and things got pretty intense toward the end. I had two memos to finish before rounding out my summer, one long and one short, and my boss had been out of the country for two weeks while I started them, so her feedback came somewhat late and all in one rush and I had to accommodate it very quickly before leaving.

I wound up breaking my cardinal rule of nine-to-five summer employment a couple of times, e-mailing things to myself at home and working on them there in the evenings. I'm sure my friends at law firms for the summer would be disgusted that I avoided this for so long, but to me it felt like a real change.

Meanwhile, unfortunately, I was dealing with the worst sunburn of my whole life ever ever ever. Russell and I had visited Revere Beach on Boston's North Shore again the previous Saturday, and we had an awesome time, staying a little longer and spending a little more time together in the water than usual.

Yes, I was wearing sunscreen and even reapplied it twice, but only on the areas where I usually burn: nose, ears, and shoulders. Big mistake, I know, because I must have bent over looking at shells in the surf just long enough to turn my whole back, and the backs of both arms, a delicate shade of LOBSTER. I don't think it's the reddest I've ever been from the sun, but it was over the largest area of my body by far.

Now, I haven't been sunburned a lot in my life. I am not my redheaded relatives, but growing up I was always doused in sunblock as if I was. Obviously a good thing, except that it means I had no tolerance AT ALL for the discomfort I felt this time! What must be a fact of life for some people reduced me to tears more than once. I was so uncomfortable that I actually worked from home most of the following Monday and Tuesday so I could remain mostly undressed and apply aloe vera every few hours. Thank god for my flexible supervisors.

Fortunately, all this pampering must have worked, because the healing time was a fraction of what I expected. I was back at work, and fairly comfortable again, by Wednesday. Which was a very good thing, because it was around then that Omar came into our lives.

Omar is a kitty the superintendents of our apartment building found panicked and half-starved in the courtyard, where some moron tenant abandoned him after being evicted. It was proving hard to look after this very indoor cat who was wigging out so badly over being left outdoors that he wouldn't let anyone within a foot of him. So, perhaps in a moment of insanity, Russell and I agreed to take him in.

Not knowing his name, we called "him" (that's right, we still can't get close enough to discern a gender, but just saying "the cat" was really beginning to sap our willingness to clean his poop out of the bathtub) after a really iconic character on The Wire who carries a sawed-off shotgun and robs drug dealers, but whom everyone can't help liking, partly because he's openly gay. I can't tell you how strange it is to care for a cat so hostile you basically have to ignore him or get clawed ten times a day, but I can say that the name definitely fits.

At first, we were strongly considering finding a no-kill shelter to spare us the burden of socializing him. But we toughed it out, and now we're thrilled to see him slowly coming around: first sleeping in our presence; then gaining weight, cleaning himself, and beginning to play with the toys we left lying around; then actually climbing into bed with Russell and me last night. We still get swatted once in a while, but almost halfheartedly. It's pretty cool.

Which is just about the newest news I have to share, except this: the good part of not making the Law Review. Being accepted means coming back to school almost three weeks early, so being rejected means you suddenly regain all that time. Means Russell and I could FINALLY PLAN A TRIP TO NEW YORK CITY, from which we just got back!

We're pretty far behind on this - New York is only 4 hours away by buses that cost roughly $20 each way. People constantly seem to be slipping down there for long weekends- probably half my classmates did at some point during the school year. And as Austinites accustomed to driving that long just to reach Dallas or southern Houston, Russell and I really should have been among them - but we didn't find time until now.

Well, the trip was an absolute dream. A friend from school watched Omar while we took a Friday afternoon bus together and stayed with our dear friend Bella who just moved there. We saw Times Square at night, the Museum of Natural History, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the incredible new High Line, and (after Russell went home Sunday night - I stayed until Wednesday) the Museum of Modern Art. Best of all, we did it all with a beloved friend.

Which officially makes this the Summer of Excellent Visits with Family and Friends. I'll quickly recap our schedule for the past few weeks and near future:

May 24-25: College friend Lauren in Cambridge
May 25-30: Lea in Austin
June 13-15: Lea and Russell in El Paso
July 7-16: Mom in Cambridge
July 26: High school friend Eamon in Cambridge
July 27-28: Cousin Marcella and uncle Bob in Cambridge
August 7-9/12: Lea and Russell in New York
August 15: Anush MOVES to Cambridge!

If that's not enough to justify my long delay in posting, I don't know what is!


mimi said...

You have had quite a summer dear one, as have I.

ivy lea said...

Haha, I can tell you are home sick when you comment right away on my posts (: