Monday, March 06, 2006

I Hate Having No Money. No Money, Mo' Problems.

Things I have asked my richer orthodontist/dentist siblings for, since I have no money:

  1. A new Laptop to replace my 4 year old Dell Inspiron that has survived two crashes(although I have to wait till January 2007, after Microsoft comes out with the new Vista operating system)
  2. A bed, bedding, and a toaster/convection oven (no oven in the grad student studios) when I move to Liberal College Town in July (I am growing daily more pessimistic about my chances of getting into WASPy Privilege Law School and Elite Secret Society Law School, and besides that would mess up my plans to frolic and be merry with my own kind in Liberal College Town). I'll be buying my own dining table, armchair, and wall decorations, so you know, not asking too much.
  3. This laptop backpack that will hold two 2-3" thick, 2 lb. book in addition to a 7 lb. laptop
  4. And this rolling backpack, for days when I have to carry even more than that.
  5. And the book Awakening From the Dream: Civil Rights Under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice, which I am presently enjoying. It's all about the impact of the federalism revolution on civil rights, making me realize that I really need to find a tighter focus (say, on employment benefits or distributive welfare programs) for my master's thesis, because the current idea is kind of useless now. Damn this book! You're making my general thesis non-novel and uninteresting, and now I have to find a better argument!

Things I bought for myself after the bar as a reward, despite my extreme poverty:

  1. MAC make-up. It was the second day of the Bar exam. You would be desperate to feel pretty too. And with two new eyeshadows, you'd feel darn pretty.
  2. New pajama pants on clearance for $5
  3. A CZ and silver necklace with matching earrings for $2.50 (again, on clearance), and since I'm a lawyer, everyone will presume that it's real. It's very convincing actually.
  4. The book Redefining Federalism: Listening to the States in Reshaping "Our Federalism": totally looking forward to reading it. I'm no administrative/environmental law person, but the area of law intersts me. Plus, I hate libertarians, and so it'll be interesting to read a principled essay about the illogicism and fallacy of libertarian arguments concerning 10th Amendment powers reserved to the states, 11th Amendment sovereign immunity, etc.

As you can see, I tend to spend the most money on books, but I don't deny myself the girly accoutrement. Books are hardly shopping to me--I just build them in as a necessary expense nowadays. You can buy generic cereal instead of General Mills, but you can't swap Maureen Dowd for a real feminist author like Adrien K. Wing, Chandra Mohanty, or Susan Sontag. I wish all academic texts came out in Dover Thift Editions, but you can't always have your 'druthers. Plus, in case I ever write a book, I'll reserve the right to champion the under-priced value of education. $35? A bargain! Buy my book in 10 years!

It is sad that I have to ask my brother to buy me a backpack--I feel like I'm in grade school again. But he is an orthodontist, and I am the perpetually poor student (blah blah, lawyer too). I'm spacing out all the requests though, in time and among siblings. Book now, backpack in a few months, move-in furniture in July, rolling backpack for birthday.

Which begs the question: who/when/how do I beg for the ultra-coveted Levenger Editor's Desk to assist with reading and annotating texts while preserving neck and spine alignment for more comfortable researching? Even with 5 older siblings, (only three of whom I would ask for financial help, since they are the only ones who can spare it), I've run out of people to beg from. My birthday is on Halloween. Feel free to start a "Books for Belle" fund.

Do I feel pathetic for being so broke-ass when my classmates are rollin' in big firm money? Yes and no. I know I'm working for something I truly care about, which is worth more than the salary (which isn't bad at all, by the way). So if it takes a few more years of poverty and schooling and work to get there--well, I'll do it, and happily. I used to feel like I needed to be accomplished by the age of 25 (my sister was a dentist by 24), but having gone through law school, I don't need to as much anymore. There I met many who were older than I and were just beginning their careers, and they seemed more centered and happy than the rest of us 22 year olds going straight from college to law school. Notwithstanding my 27 year old friend who just got an assistant professorship at a well-respected second tier law school, I'm thinking it'll be good for me to add a few years onto my slim 25 year old frame. I have a young face and even younger voice, and so it'll be better for me to enter the market when I'm 28 or 29. Maybe then I won't be mistaken for a college freshman, and can lecture without having to wear a full on suit just to age myself. (The 27 year old has male pattern baldness, the lucky bastard). Maybe I should streak my hair gray or something. Do something to add more gravitas.

Two shameless, self-absorbed, silly posts in two days--I know, I know. I'll blog about the Supreme Court's decision about allowing military recruiting and the dumbass South Dakota abortion restriction soon enough.