Thursday, July 23, 2009

Water Park

Now that I'm mostly fully recovered from last weekend's adventure, I think I may be prepared to tell you about it.

Friday night Jason suggested that he, Erin and I go to a local water park early the next morning. Erin and I quickly agreed, bouncing up and down like we were ten years old again (this violent shove back in time often happens when we get together). The next morning Jason decided against going as he already had what appeared to be severe third-degree sunburns on every part of his body, so bad that for a 24 hour period I never saw him not covered in a three inch layer of aloe lotion, saying silent prayers under his breath for the torture to end. Still excited at the prospect of spending the day on water slides (which we were absolutely convinced we would be able to do for hours without getting bored) Erin and I set off for the park alone.

For reasons I still don't understand, Erin had a season pass to this place (one which had not yet been used although summer is more than half over). We quickly ran in, dropped our stuff and looked around with our mouths gaping wide open like kids at Disneyland as we pointed out all the fun water-filled adventures beckoning us from each end of the park. Eight minutes later reality hit as we made our first descent down one of the water-torture chambers, screaming bloody-murder the entire way down because although it was about 135 degrees outside (give or take 40) the water was little more than liquid ice. I think I actually cried a little as I came crashing into the pool at the bottom. At that point we both became determined to try to go the rest of the day without getting wet (oddly difficult to do at a water park).

We decided to give one safe-looking slide a whirl but accidentally got in the wrong line and didn't realize until it was too late that we had to go down this horrible death-trap which aged both of us significantly. If the next time you see me I look 23 (as opposed to 17) you'll know why. We both agreed that we were getting a little too old for water parks, and confirmed this again five minutes later as we were somehow roped into wading all the way around the 40 mile long ultra crowded ice cold "Lazy River" without tubes, trying desperately to keep strangers' nasty feet from touching our faces. During this adventure I heard Erin say no less than thirty times, "Lazy River? This is the most exercise I've had all week!" That little event brought us to laying out for about 45 minutes, after which we decided we had had enough. I had mysterious scratches all down my back by this point anyway and I was quite concerned that 30,000 people walking around barefoot on solid surfaces all day was not going to be conducive to keeping my foot disease away. Besides, Erin and I were both thoroughly convinced that we smelled like urine and were a bit anxious to wash that off in water that didn't have toddlers with swollen diapers floating around in it.

Never again.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Job Hunt

Although it doesn't seem to be anywhere near time to start thinking about it, to the trained mind it's quite obvious that the applicaiton and job search process for next summer's job has arrived. The old Eli would be having violent panic attacks, usually ending in running across a rocky ice glacier barefoot with streamers singing every song from "The Sound of Music" on the backside of some seemingly incaccessible mountain. But the new long-hair-post-Moscow Eli is calm as a summer breeze. Now I know exactly what you're all thinking: "What?! Why would even the old Eli be nervous about something like this? He's so talented and intelligent. On top of that he's really good-looking and everyone is attracted to him. And he's always so successful at everything he ever puts even minimal effort into. And he's so tan and fit. And he looks like a GQ model because he's so stylish. And his ONLY flaw is his foot disease which, I might add, he has successfully contained to the bottom of one foot and maybe even beaten this summer but it's still too early to tell. And he always has dozens of super-models constantly surrounding him" etc. But the truth is, despite all of that stuff you all just thought (and I'm so blushing that you would all think that about me---how embarrassing!) this process can be quite stressful.

Part of the problem lies in my being largely unsure about what it is I want to end up doing in the legal profession. Often people ask me what kind of job I would like after law school. Usually my answer goes something like this: "Oh you know. I just want to live all over the world and travel all the time and lay out on the beach." That sounds great and all but the problem is I've yet to find any legal jobs that match that description word for word. As I'm quit sure that most people around me are aware of this fact, I usually try to throw in some kind of legal mumbo-jumbo at the end of my explanation of my professional aspirations to make it seem as though I've really thought it all through: "Of course, that beach time will have to be between my international corporate tax finance contract litigation practice." Of course I never know what any of that really means but I find that if I say that with the same look on my face as I have when I recite a Robert Frost poem, nobody really knows the difference.

So wanting to live everywhere but do nothing and everything at the same time makes the job search a bit broad and daunting. Fortunately I've lived most of my life in a tragically clueless state, leaving me to never really focus on and become fantastic at one thing but rather become slightly below mediocre at a multitude of tasks. This is reflected on my resume which is always duly noted in interviews when the interviewer becomes quite intrigued at the mere lack of any kind of theme. I usually respond by tilting my head to the side while nodding, giving a serious yet thoughtful look, and saying some inappropriately long sentence somehow using words like "well-rounded" and "variety" which are positive alternatives to "unfocussed" and "schizophrenic."

I imagine most of us feel this way to some degree. Selling yourself is a refining process. The silver-lining, I believe, is that this whole thing is forcing me to get comfortable with tactufully pointing out my strengths while identifying and eliminating the things that really seem to be holding me back. And all in all I am really excited about where my life is going to go although I don't know exactly where that is yet. Ultimately I know that it's going to go somewhere if I have anything to say about it. So it's great that I do.

~It Just Gets Stranger