Monday, December 21, 2009


Many things are happening at once. Christmas, New Year's, trips to Maryland and New Jersey, and trial advocacy starting on Sunday, January 3. Fantastic!

Seriously though, I am pretty happy to see 2009 draw to a close. A lot of good things have happened, certainly, and I am definitely grateful for them; but other, not-so-good things have happened as well and I think the fresh start that comes with a new year and a new decade will do everyone a bit of good.

In other news, Honeycomb and Lucky are still adorable, still a lot of work. I might be getting a little bit of a cold (thanks to T., whose cold relapsed with the hideous weather that descended on the East Coast this past weekend--but I don't mind your germs, love you!). And I can't wait for Christmas (but what else is new).

Happy end of the year, everyone! Here's to a healthy, safe, happy holidays and a brilliant start to a brilliant year. It's our time!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The internal debate

On Wednesday, I went to the gym for a thirty-minute run (Day 2, Week 9 of C25K if anyone is interested). It was fine and I actually did complete the run. But for some reason--maybe I'd had a big lunch, or was wearing pants that were too tight, or something--I started to get a stitch about four minutes in. usually I can make them go away if I regulate my breathing. But this time, it just stayed, not a bad stitch or unbearable, but definitely uncomfortable.

About eight minutes in, once I realized that it wasn't going away, I told myself that I would stop after ten minutes, because I didn't want to run uncomfortably. I'll just include a (practically verbatim) transcript of the conversation I had with myself for the rest of the run:

8 mins: OK, just stop at 10. Then you've run ten minutes, almost a mile, you can go home and drink water and lie down.

9 mins: Almost there. Almost to 10.'ve only run three quarters of a mile. At least run a mile. It'll be just to 12 or 13 or so.

13 mins: OK, yay, mile run. Let's stop now. But the guy next to me has been running like a maniac for who knows how long. And that girl on the other side is still going. I can't just stop after one mile, they're going to think I'm lame. And I mean, I'm still running, even with the stitch. Maybe just go to 15 minutes.

15 mins: Well, now the run is half over. It's stupid to stop unless I really feel like I need to. Maybe run to 20 minutes. 20 minutes sounds more respectable than 15 minutes.

20 mins: Yes! The girl! She left! I ran longer than her! I can stop now! But maniac guy is still going strong and...wait, he just stepped the speed up! OK, I have to go at least a little more.

25 mins: There are only 5 mins left. You might as well finish the thirty minutes.

28 mins: I don't think I can do this. I think I need to stop. But only 2 minutes left! Come on. It's just 2 minutes.

29 mins: How has it only been one minute since I looked down at my feet and then back up at the timer? I think that time is slowing.

29 mins, 30 secs: HOW do I still have 30 seconds left?

29 mins, 52 secs: come ON, come ON, come ON, COME ON!


Sometimes people tell me that they are bored when they run. I, on the other hand, am fully equipped to have a very detailed, argumentative internal dialogue. So yeah, boredom isn't so much the problem.

Last thirty minute run is today. Let's see if I can figure out any more persuasive things to tell myself when I have only fifteen seconds left.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


...of Specifis Studiara Undergraduatum, or the studying undergraduate.

Studying in the undergraduate library has its benefits (close parking on nights and weekends, large tables with multiple outlets, good lighting, easily accessible bathrooms and water fountains) and its drawbacks (tons of undergrads, strange smells floating around, the inevitable butt-ache that afflicts anyone choosing to sit on a library chair for longer than an hour). Usually the benefits are enough to make me feel like it's worth it to study there. I am also unusually productive when surrounded by people reading novels and practicing in foreign language grammar workbooks (no hate, trust me, I was once one of you and I wish I could be again--sorta).

However, I feel like these Undergraduatum are both careless and inconsiderate, perhaps as unavoidable side-effects to being carefree and in college. When I was searching for a table I saw no less then five that were being "held" by a handful of papers and a lonely water-bottle. I saw one girl who was napping in her (four seater) booth. And I saw a bazillion of them giggling and sharing video clips on computers and making jokes.

Don't get me wrong. I understand that you sometimes have to get up and go to the bathroom, requiring you to leave all your crap splayed out on a table that someone else could use. That's fine. But don't leave your things for over an hour--that's just mean and selfish. Obviously you don't care very much about studying in the library if you are not even in the library. So please, allow others who need your space to use it.

Secondly, I also sympathize with people who might feel so sleepy that they need to put their heads down for a catnap. That's fine, and I am guilty of it myself. But twenty minutes of dozing is one thing; an hour and a half of hard sleeping in a space meant for four people is another. You go to school here. You (most likely) have a bed. Use it and let me sit in your booth.

Finally, I commend those who can socialize and study effectively. I also understand how that Funny or Die clip could be the most hilarious thing you've seen all afternoon; that these boots about to sell out on Zappos require trusted girlfriend input; and that this dirty knock knock joke simply must (must!) be shared. So please, share it elsewhere.

Phew. Now that I've purged myself of all my bitterness, I will take a few seconds to note that I eventually did get a table and am wearing headphones. So please, undergrads. Carry on. As long as I can get into my groove, I have no quibble with you or that Modern Cinema paper you need to write. However, if you do have any spontaneous tax knowledge, specifically pertaining to capital expenditures, please don't hesitate to share it with me. Thanks.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's what everyone does

So now I'm going to do it. My Christmas wish list for this year, in no particular order:

For us to stay healthy: my family, friends and I have managed to stay (for the most part) relatively healthy, and I have seen how illness and injury can cause a host of other problems. I would like to say thanks for keeping us strong and hope that we'll be able to stay that way.

For Patty Griffin to sell more albums: I have only recently discovered Patty Griffin, but upon doing more research I learned that, while incredibly talented, has never been a real chart-climber, I would like for her to experience a measure of the success she really deserves. I know she's probably too much of a real artist to gauge herself by how others receive her; but at the same time, if she makes more money, she can make more music. So really, this is a selfish wish.

For stability: I would like to avoid the old Chinese curse ("May you live in interesting times") and ask that my family, friends and I be able to rock along in our little boats, until such time as we are prepared to take what the world wants to throw at us.

To find a place to settle: I have not yet figured out my post-graduate situation, and the sooner I do, the better I will feel. So please, Santa, if you could somehow work out some administrative/bureaucratic changes in the state I'm shooting for, that would be great. Thanks.

These are my real wishes. However, since I feel like many of these have to do more with luck and self-help than anything else, let's just toss in the material things I would like as well.

--Flaming Red by Patty Griffin.
--A lip balm that will keep me from getting chapped.
--A running watch/heart-meter/calorie counter that I can use when I go to the gym.
--A swishy winter skirt.
--A DVD copy of Star Trek.
--Under the Dome, by Stephen King.

T., take note! ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The end and the beginning

As evidenced by the cheery little banner at the right side of my screen, I have finished my NaNoWriMo Novel. It isn't complete, exactly--there are huge chunks missing in the middle that I need to go back and fill in, a lot of character development and plot reveals, but it has a beginning, a middle, and an end--and that's the important part. This was probably the first time I have ever written something or tried to write something without having a strong idea of where it was going to go, and it was an awesome experience. I always hear about writers who say that their characters "just do this" or "somehow ended up doing that" but never really believed it; now I know it's true, and it's really fun.

I'm going to use my downtime over Christmas break to edit and fill out the story, and then a select few of my acquaintance will be permitted to read it. Since there's no point in writing this unless I'm honest, I'll admit that I am harboring a few hopes for publication someday. However, being realistic, I understand that (a) it is a first novel and (b) first novels rarely get published. Also, it's more than a little narcissistic to think that it is publication worthy. But I think I'll wait until I get some feedback from readers before i make any final decisions about whether I'm going to try for publication. This is a great first step, though, for someone who has always wanted to write and whose answer, when asked what her dream job is, always starts with "novelist."

With the end of NaNoWriMo comes the beginning, hard and fast, of finals. I am buckling down like whoa to try and study for Fed Tax, probably one of the hardest exams I'll take in law school, and my other classes. Luckily this semester I have only 2 in class finals; the rest consists of a take home and a paper, which already exists in first draft form. Go me!

Fingers crossed that I'll survive this second-to-last finals gauntlet. No doubt I will continue to post as I procrastinate; until then, this fledgling novelist (!) is signing out.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So everyone knows by now but...I am almost done with my novel for National Novel Writing Month!

The project is to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of the month of November. So far I have kept pretty well on course (you need to average about 1700 words a day) and at this point I am a little ahead. I am SUPER excited that I've managed to come this far--I have always wanted to a write a novel, and now that the pressure's off for writing THE Great American Novel, it's been a wonderful and exciting journey to just get something down on paper, no matter how awful. A bad novel is still a novel, and it's better to have written a bad one than none at all.

If (when!) I finish, I am going to leave it alone while I take finals and then spend Christmas Break editing it, in the hopes that it might turn into something readable. At this point I'm not even going to hope for publication, since I haven't read it over yet (and won't until I'm done). But it really gives me a lot of faith for the future. Who knows...I might get my name on a bookshelf someday after all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The last time

I just finished registering for my last semester of classes in law school. I'm oddly complacent. I think, even when I was in college, I was a little more emotional about it. Maybe it's the fact that I'm just ready to be done, in general--law school has been great to me, really great, but at the same time I'm prepared to move on to the next phase of my life.

Next semester, I'm heavy on the practical courses, like Criminal and Personal Injury stuff. I think in the long run, this will be more useful to me than some of the more theoretical classes I've favored in the past, like Federal Courts (which is really only useful if you practice in...well, in federal courts...and since I am almost sure that I will be state-based, it's probably a better idea to take advocacy and adjudication courses.

This semester is quickly drawing to a close, and, per usual, I'm not prepared for the craziness that is finals. However, I'm ahead on my directed reading, three of my credits don't require a final, two aren't graded, and one is a take home project. So I plan to devote all my time to the two classes that are exam-based starting next week.

Last but not least, I am proud to announce that after today, I will be done with Week Six of the nine week Couch to 5k I've embarked on. It has been a surprisingly smooth journey--maybe the most surprising because I didn't think I would be able to stick to the schedule for this long. At this point, it's routine--one of my friends told me that it takes 21 days to form a routine--and I'm actually really proud of myself that I can manage a light run for a mile at a time. Today's run is one 25-minute block with no breaks, so fingers crossed I can do it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Butting in

Something happened to me today at Borders that I thought was kinda weird. So I decided to share.

I've been stalking a Patty Griffin cd there for some time--it was already priced really well, but I wanted to wait until I had a coupon. Today, they sent out at 40% off any one item coupon, so I printed it off and went to use it.

In line in front of me was a woman and her son. He was maybe ten or eleven, and he was absolutely the rudest kid I've ever seen. He was pouting because she had refused to buy him a book, and kept making snide comments every time she spoke to him. Finally, when they reached the register he turned and walked out of the store while she paid for the things she had in her basket.

She started talking to the cashier and I learned that her son had wanted a Star Wars book that cost $40, and that he was upset that she wouldn't buy it for him. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She had five things in her basket, but they were all final clearance gift sets that I could tell she was buying for presents--maybe Christmas. There was also a buy 4, get the 5th free deal that she was taking advantage of.

She seemed really upset, so I made a split second decision and told her that if she signed up for a membership card, she could get a 40% off coupon (the same one I was using). She was really happy to hear that, and when she left I could tell she was talking to her son.

My dilemma was that I didn't want to tell her, because I didn't want her son to be able to get the book after all. Kids like that really just tick me off, because they seem so ungrateful--he was spoiled and rude and didn't care who knew about it. In the end, I was pretty sure that she would end up buying the book for him no matter what because she wanted him to be happy. So I figured I'd rather give her the opportunity to spend $24 instead of $40 if she was going to give in anyway.

I still feel bad about it. I completely wanted to just grab her kid and give him a good shake. Ugh. I hate it when things happen in real life that keep lingering in my mind. I'm still not sure I did the right thing by enabling that boy to get the book he wanted. Sigh.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Gorgeous, talented women [that I don't personally know]

Recently I have been using Pandora for its real purpose (instead of just listening to bad pop music on regurgitation) and have discovered that I *love* the female, alt-folk-country-bluegrass crooner. I've always had a thing for Mary Chapin Carpenter, obviously (as of this past week I have accumulated her entire studio collection), Joni Mitchell, Alison Krauss, etc. However, I have acquired a number of other musical soulmates:
-Emmylou Harris
-Dolly Parton
-Lucinda Williams
-Neko Case

Um, HOLY TOLEDO. I can't get enough of this stuff. Dolly Parton is on repeat in my car and dear LORD, Lucinda and Neko with their trembly, husky, smooth voices and their songs in minor keys and their poetry-as-lyrics have gotten me all swoony. I'm using up some of my hard-earned Lexis points to try and get some of their CDs, since all the stores I've looked in have them selling at over $15 a pop. I may love music, but I don't love music enough yet to be using the money I'd normally spend on food to buy some CDs. But dang, are they good CDs.

Check it out
though. Could Neko be any more beautiful and talented? I don't think so.

Turning to the parts of my life that don't revolve around endlessly thumb-upping songs on Pandora, I have some job applications that are taking up a lot of my time. Hopefully something will come down the pipeline soon and the work I'm putting into this will pay off. Also, the wedding wheels turn slowly, but surely. The next step is getting together a decent guest list, so that we can continue with the other five hundred and thirty seven things left to do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The ramp up

Wedding planning is starting to become a real thing to me, I think. While we have the big stuff nailed down (church, reception, dress, bridal party), we haven't even begun to tackle the million other little things that make up a wedding: photographer, guest lists, invitations, flowers, limo, etc.

Another thing that's beginning to build: school. A lot of my curriculum this semester is based on independent study--which means that I have to self-motivate for a huge part of these next few months. A 10,000 word directed reading is only the beginning.

I say this every year, and I totally mean it every year, but THIS IS IT! This is the time when I buckle down and start getting my life together. Yes, it's true, I do float through the world as a kind of self-contained chaos bubble, but this year is the year I organize some of that chaos. It's all about motivation, actualization, and desire! (No clue what that means but it sounds good). To that end, L. and I have embarked on the Couch to 5K running program--it promises to whip us into running shape in 9 weeks. Today was the second day of the first week, and I have to say that it was a lot tougher than the first day. Hopefully it will get easier. The program itself consists of interval training, jogging/running for different periods, in order to build our endurance without burning us out. I'll post updates as we improve.

Finally: I have started a project that hopefully will pan out within the next year or so. I don't want to go into details because there's a good chance it will all come to nothing, but declaring myself (at least partially) to the world is a good first step to holding myself accountable.

Dispatches to follow as events occur...

(As a side note: in the fifth grade city-wide spelling bee, I was eliminated on the word "occurred." I spelled it with only one "r." I'm still a little bitter, as you can tell.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Absolute loathing

I hate crickets. HATE. THEM.

Once I have removed all the crickets from my house (or what I think are all the crickets) it seems like one or two just start hopping in! I feel like they are stealth, choosing the minute before the door closes to sneak in.

Crickets, take this as a warning. Do not enter this apartment. I will spray you, I will corner you, and I will squash you until you stop kicking.

That is all.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A (somewhat) clean slate

I have a zillion billion articles of clothing. Like, whoa. It is ridiculous to the point that I am semi-disgusted with myself that I refuse to throw away those baby tees I wore when it was a) fashionable and b) attractive for me to show my midriff.

My thought process is sort of fascinating. The breakdown:
1) Pick up tiny pink tee shirt that hypothetically might (MIGHT) fit over my head.
2) Evaluate whether or not I will ever wear it again.
3) Put it in the Goodwill bag.
4) Move on to other articles of clothing.
5) Take tiny pink tee shirt OUT of Goodwill bag because my brain has convinced itself that I might someday need to wear it as part of a Britney Spears costume should I ever lose 20 pounds and become seriously ripped.
6) Put tee shirt back into the closet.

Repeat 6 months later.

I am trying to be ruthless. Really, I am. It is completely irresponsible to hang on to jeans that I can't even squeeze a leg into, not to mention a waste of space and a contribution to needless clutter. I've done a good job keeping my downstairs relatively junk-free (or so I fool myself) but the upstairs is an entirely different matter. If I can get my closet organized by the end of next week, I'll be proud of myself, not to mention utterly amazed. Fingers crossed.

Monday, August 17, 2009

All good things

Tomorrow morning I drive back to Indiana and school. This summer has been amazing and a great preview of what "married life" will be like once T. and I get hitched next summer.

Surprisingly, I managed to pack nearly everything this afternoon so there will be no scrambling around, last minute, to ensure that each power cord and half-empty lotion bottle somehow makes it into my vehicle. I've been spending the time snuggling and hanging out instead and I can't bring myself to believe that tomorrow morning, I'll wake up, drive away, and T. will come home from work and I won't be there.

This is going to be a massive adjustment. This is the last year that we'll have to do this sort of thing though, so I'm hoping that it goes by quickly. At least school and friends will provide a welcome distraction.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Well, wouldn't you know

Just as I blog about not having anything to blog about, I realize that I do have something to blog (the bloggiest sentence ever blogged, I think). It's time for the Summer Round-up List!

Books I have read:
-Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill*
-Year of Wonders by Gwendolyn Brooks*
-People of the Book by Gwendolyn Brooks*
-A Simple Plan by Scott Smith*
-Gunslinger (The Dark Tower Vol. I) by Stephen King*
-Desperation by Stephen King*
-Candles Burning by Tabitha King and Michael McDowell
-Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn*
-Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
-Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer

Books I have re-read:
-The Lost World by Michael Crichton
-IT by Stephen King

Books I have started to read but have not finished (and the forecast isn't good):
-The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
-A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott
-The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman

Movies I have watched:
-Star Trek (x2)
-Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (x2)
-Downfall (or Der Untergang)
-Rachel Getting Married
-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Movies I have re-watched:
-P&P (both versions)
-Quantum of Solace
-Enemy at the Gates
-lots of other piddly little ones I don't feel like listing

This summer's signature food: homemade pizza

This summer's signature beverage: water from the fridge (bottled b/c the municipal water tastes like crap)

This summer's shoe: the Steve Madden Astro in black (seriously so comfortable)

This summer's anthem: Good Girls Go Bad, Cobra Starship feat. Leighton Meester

This summer's album: Fearless, Taylor Swift

Phew! The last three months in one post...not an easy task, my friends. I probably forgot about 27.64 things.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Terrible, the blogger

I suck at blogging; unfortunately I have nothing interesting enough to write about, so my small audience will just have to wait for my next semi-attention-holding post.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Joining the clubs

As of this moment, I am the proud owner of the following shop club cards:
-CVS Extracare
-Martin's Shopper's Card
-ShurFine Gold Card
-Giant Card
-Food Lion MVP

Why? I ask you. Each of these cards saves me probably at least $10-12 every time I shop, but I don't understand the logic. It takes me 22 seconds to fill out one of those forms and then the membership is free. They make no money off of me by forcing me to get a card. I shop where the sales are good. The little plastic tab on my keychain does nothing to buy my loyalty (although they do look awfully cute swinging back and forth from the ignition). Stores are weird.

Other news: car was a little broken, and now is fixed (after a whole lot of inconvenience). The giant bag of popsicle tubes in the freezer is slowly decreasing. I think I killed my second basil plant (actually, I had forgotten about it until just this second). The new hair stuff I got from Victoria's Secret makes my locks lustrous and shiny smooth. I loathe wearing pantyhose in the summertime. I found the perfect Americana dress for Fourth of July (black and white plaid) that I can easily put jeans under and a sweater over for fireworks at night. We found a place to host the wedding and I LOVE IT.

Um...dispatches to continue upon occurrence of interesting events.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Slightly abashed, with a change of plans

Yeah, so...anyone who was excited to see Basel (on the edge of your seats, I'm sure) will just have to wait until I make it out to the farm stand for Basel 2.0, because the original Basel is now shriveled up and kinda, well, dead. I have no idea what happened! Except that I forgot to water him and then it stormed so he sort of got tossed around on the balcony and then it was super bright and he dried up. Yeah. Anyone who wants to trust me with a plant or a fish can take a number.

In other news, T. and I have hit up Annapolis twice in the last week and holy goodness, I want to live there. As I told T., it is the perfect mix of yup, prep, and hip. The downtown area has lots of historic rowhouses and cobblestone streets with original brickwork and I can already picture my idyllic life, sitting on my stoop with a glass of wine and walking down to the harbor to get ice cream and wander around at dusk with my adorable and well behaved dog Zeke, who is affectionate and well-liked by all my neighbors. Somehow in this fantasy I have also won the lottery and can afford a historic townhouse with all its traditional details preserved, bright and filled with vintage posters, stainless steel kitchen appliances, and solid wood bookshelves.

Sigh...keep dreaming....

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A brief introduction

Having tried my (unfortunate) hand with two fish, and not being in a position to acquire a doggie of my very own, I've decided to take a different tack with small, living things dependent on my care. T. and I have adopted a little basil plant, who now cheerfully resides on our balcony. His name is Basel (pronounced Bah-zul), and please, no comments from the peanut gallery about the imaginative name.

Yes, it's true, I've changed class (phylum? genus? something like that. Bio was a long time ago). He seems to be doing well but when we first got him he started looking a little peaky. Some internet research informed me that a shady, air conditioned apartment was not the best environment for him, and he now basks in the full eastern sunshine every morning and is dutifully watered by yours truly at dusk.

It's late so I don't feel like staging a photo op, but rely on a picture of our household's newest member sometime soon.

In completely unrelated news, last night the fire alarm in my building went off at 1:43 a.m. As I shuffled down the stairs in pajama pants a little too big for me, squinting at all my neighbors, I experienced an uncomfortable flashback to all of sophomore year. Jeez. I graduated from college so I wouldn't have to deal with this. Fire trucks showed up, alarms blaring, dudes in uniforms tromping up and down stairs carrying sledgehammers--the whole works. T says that the system has been having some operating problems lately. I'll say.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The start of something summerful

I've been working for three days now, and I can definitely say that it is an adventure! I've gotten some great projects right off the bat and also got to watch a docket call in court and tag along for some witness prep sessions. Due to the nature of the job the attorneys in my office are colorful and quick thinking and I can already tell that I will be learning a lot from them.

Otherwise, I leave work a bit earlier than T. does so I get to do most of the dinner cooking. It's been SO much more fun cooking for two, because I can do bigger and fancier meals without worrying that I'll be eating the same stuff for five days in a row. Probably one of the best parts about cooking for two is that the other person does the cleaning for two...hehe. It also helps that T. can come home for lunch most days, so he helps clean out the leftovers (I can't, because my office is too far away, so I've been packing PB&Js and fruit to get me through the day). My hours are great so I don't mind nibbling on my sandwiches while researching. In fact, I think it's pretty cool...makes me feel like a grown up (although I'm sure I'd feel differently if I worked normal hours!).

To be perfectly honest, I think this summer (work-wise) will be amazing. I already feel my mind absorbing stuff. T. and I also have a lot of adventures planned for the summer — trips to the beach, flea markets, etc. Should be a fun time! After so much time spent apart (we've done long distance for 2.5 yrs now) it's a treat to have so much time together.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A whirlwind of a while

By next Monday, I will have:
-packed my apartment
-driven from Indiana to Maryland
-driven from Maryland to New Jersey
-attended a wedding
-flown from New Jersey to Kansas
-celebrated an engagement weekend
-flown from Kansas to Maryland
-started work

...all in three weeks' time.

Everything has been wonderful, despite the frenzied pace. My cousin's wedding was lovely — very romantic and an excellent starting point for my own wedding (T. and I took quite a few notes on things we liked, didn't like, etc.). Interesting and trivial things that have occurred in this same time:
-Dad suggests both a traditional Vietnamese band AND a Polish band for the wedding.
-I shot them down.
-I ate my weight in strawberries.
-I met my cousin A.'s dog, who is cute BUT NOT EVEN CLOSE to being as cute as Honeycomb and Lucky.
-I played with Honeycomb and Lucky a lot.
-My uncle sent me two kangaroos from Australia (stuffed, not alive)
-I learned that kangaroos cannot jump backwards
-I am a little aghast at my list-making tendencies

The engagement weekend was really fun, although it was a whole lot of shtuff crammed into a whole not lot of time. I wore a traditional Vietnamese gown and T. wore a suit. We took a lot of pictures. There were a lot of things wrapped in red cellophane. And as always, there was a whole lot of food involved.

Apologies for my delay in updating but I will try to be better about in future. Hopefully, this summer I will do many interesting things to provide me with plenty of blog-fodder (blodder?).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The real world, aka boredom, layovers, cooking dinner

Life has finally settled down a bit--I've arrived at T's and am pretty much at home...except for the spare room that has essentially turned into an explosion of all my clothes. A few days here resulted in some delicious experimental pasta dinners, some massive shopping for summer suits, and a lot of sitting around being bored. All necessary activities for post-finals recovery.

Today we leave for NJ: my cousin is getting married on Saturday. Then I leave to go to KS for a week and a half (during which time engagement events will commence and doggies will be snuggled), and then I come back. And then I start work (hopefully, considering my funding hasn't come through yet). And then the summer will go by quicker than you know it.

Phew! Two paragraphs of recap and I'm off to pack. Happy summer!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Studying, or: How I'm done for

I have a lot of stuff to be doing now. All the time. Which may mean I blog less or may mean that I blog more. We'll see how this goes. Apologies in advance if it turns out to be the former.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The saddest sight

Behold. The banana chocolate chip mini muffin I forgot about and left in the oven for half an hour. It is both hard and gummy. I could play marbles with these guys.

Dress up in you

Or, rather, dress up in the dress!

Ever seen that episode of Friends where the girls all sit around in their apartments wearing wedding dresses? It is taking so much willpower for me to not do that. You don't even know how much. So much, in fact, that it's sucked up all the discipline I had dedicated to not eating too much chocolate and not watching TV.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spelled asleep

Due to an unfortunate (and irresponsible) combination of too much caffeine, nerves/a little bit of stress, and the excellence of late night television, I've been having some interesting sleep issues over the last few days. By issues I mean: Saturday = 5 hrs of sleep, Sunday = 2.5 hours of sleep, Monday (afternoon and night) = 12 hrs of sleep.

Yesterday (Monday) I had class at 8 a.m. and a presentation later in the day that keyed me up so much I was unable to fall asleep the night before, until I finally smothered myself in pillows and blankets and forced my brain to think about the number of squares on a chess board, combined with mentally putting together the outfit I would wear if I were a spy who was going undercover as a fashion editor in Paris. I fully recognize that my brain is weird.

I got home from school, scarfed down some delicious Chinese food and decided to "just close my eyes for a little bit," with the best of intentions to wake up in about half an hour. This was at about 6:32 or so. I woke up from a dream in which I was late for class to squint at the clock and realize that it was 9:45 and I had slept the sleep of the martyred dead, mouth open and hand still clutching the TV remote control, for approximately 3 hours. Called L. back (she'd called while I was unconscious) and, taking her excellent advice, dragged myself up to drink a couple glasses of water, watch a couple episodes of SATC, and then collapse back to sleep.

This is a clearly unhealthy and highly unproductive way to live. I clearly need to figure out a way to get my sleep schedule back on track. Before finals come around, because once those arrive all bets are off.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I hurt all over

In the interest of getting back into shape I did the Jillian Michaels 30-day shred workout on OnDemand cable. Please, let me just say, that if my muscles were trembling anymore today I would be a quivery puddle on the floor. I cannot even type without a slight shake in my arms. Ahhhhhhhh....

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Playing dress up

Because I (a) no longer have a fish, (b) am sick of looking at the same old layout, and (c) am sort of at a cross-roads in my life, please welcome Magical Realist's new look. A round of applause for my rudimentary photo-editing skills!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

School Time

Apologies to the five or six people who read this blog, but due to a little thing called law school posts may be sparse on the ground over the next few weeks. Updates on my life thus far:

-Barrister's ball was awesome! I had a great time, especially since T. trekked long, long miles just to be here for the big event.
-It's almost April. Crap!
-...I got nothing

When more interesting things happen I'll be sure to post. Until then, rest assured that I've settled into a boring, but necessary, routine of study, study, study, interrupted by forays into healthy snacking (yeah right) and the occasional nap.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I want a dog

It may seem ironic that I am posting this immediately after a notice that my fish has died, but I don't care. I want a dog. The desire is now full-blown, completely and totally out of control, to the point where I'm trolling the internet on Petfinder looking for dogs to adopt even when I know that I can't adopt one right now.

I can't wait until I'm "grown up" and know where I'm going to be, and am finally in the position to have a dog of my own. I know I'm not ready to have one now--at least, with all the craziness going on in my life, it wouldn't be the ideal time. Also, I want my dog to know both me and T., and for that to really happen we'll have to get the dog together.

At the same time I just want something warm to cuddle with when I watch TV and play with and take care of. Not sure what it says about me, but my apartment was actually neater and more organized when Honeycomb and Lucky were living with me — I couldn't leave stuff around because I knew they would get into it. It's nice to have something to take care of that will love you unconditionally.

I can't wait until I can have a dog of my own!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I give up

Percy is dead. Am I really that bad of a fish mom?! WHAT HAPPENED? He was TOTALLY FINE yesterday. WHAT WENT WRONG? AND WHY CAN I NOT STOP TYPING IN ALL CAPS?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Various attempts

Because due dates are fast approaching, not to mention exam dates, I've tried to put in a concerted effort to be more productive in my off time, instead of doing things like endlessly reorganizing my stationary drawer and shredding junk mail (suprisingly, one of the most emotionally satisfying things you can do!). With that in mind, I'm currently at the undergrad library on campus in the basement. A brief recap of my evening thus far:

—7:30 p.m.: depart apartment. Forget to bring travel mug, so return to apartment and then depart once more.
—7:35: stop at 7-Eleven for coffee, gummy worms, and Twizzlers. The clerk compliments me on my travel mug, engages in a brief discussion about how he has a similar cup that isn't insulated, asks me if I am a student at Notre Dame, and then rings me up.
—7:40ish: arrive at school parking lot. Park. Enter library and descend the steps to the basement, where I successfully find an open table with an outlet. SCORE.
—7:43: commence studying. Some people, such as L., find it hilarious that it takes me 3 minutes to unload all my stuff and longer to pack it all back up. Hey, I just have a lot of stuff.
—8:21: shoulder cramp! Shoulder cramp! I perform various contortions to try and stretch it out. I think the guy across from me is worried that I'm spasming or something. Over the next half hour I will study in many different positions in an attempt to ease the cramping—not very successfully.
—9:15: J swings by for a visit, takes a couple of Twizzlers, and departs for the land of fed tax unknown.

It's now quarter to ten and I have been surprisingly productive. Although I might have just destroyed all that work by taking four minutes to write this post. Defeated!

Monday, March 16, 2009


For some reason I'm just suddenly overwhelmed by STUFF. STUFF to do, stuff to read, stuff to clean up, stuff stuff stuff. This includes:

-financial aid
-regular school assignments
-2 term papers, one with a rough draft due on on Friday
-thank you notes
-planning and preparing for the summer
-trying to get back into shape so I can enjoy said summer in less than a full-body caftan

Sheesh. Accomplish literally nothing for a whole week, and all of a sudden there's stuff that needs doing. Whoda thunk?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The First Wedding

This weekend we went to the first wedding of one of our own Disney Divas (high school friends, to the uninformed). It was different and happy and sad and hello and good-bye all at the same time. The first night, we clapped and sang songs to drum beats as Tater sat and was admired. I got my first henna tattoo which was really cool. The second night we ate dinner, and took pictures as the bride and groom sat on the cushions at the front of the room.

Probably the strongest thing I'll take from this weekend is the vague, unfamiliar taste of things changing. Tater's the first one to go. Eventually, other people will get married, and have babies, and buy houses and grow up. I will too. And it's so strange to think about, because everytime we're back in K-zoo it's just like we're in high school again. Except this time it wasn't.

I guess I'm growing up? This is all very peculiar.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

An ode to my willpower: how I'm awesome

I am proud to announce that as of last night, the floor of my bedroom is actually visible. I forced myself to organize all the piles and do a massive laundry attack. Go ahead and marvel at my greatness. Also, feel free to marvel at T.'s wisdom and understanding in threatening to actually disapprove if I didn't do something — ANYTHING — other than lie on the couch all day.

And the streak of success continues! This morning, I actually GOT UP in time for my 8 o'clock class. I am AMAZING. FANTASTIC. SUPERB.

I am also half asleep, but who's counting? I'm physically present and that's good enough for the JV team.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Uhhhh...what? or Am I normal?

It's Lent, and as a result I've started looking my habits, both good and bad, in order to try and figure out what will be the most healthy thing for me to do. While I don't really believe in "giving something up" for Lent, I don't think it's ever a bad thing to try and improve yourself with a purpose in mind. Lent often makes it easier because it has a definite end date, so you sort of trick yourself into thinking that the good habits won't stick (but they usually do).

Some of my (bad) habits:
--hitting the snooze button a minimum of 3 times
--taking clothes out of the closet, trying them on, and throwing them on the bed instead of hanging them back up
--leaving DVDs and CDs out of their cases, such that I can never find what I'm looking for

This morning, especially, my snooze habit amazed me a little. I know I do it just because it feels so wicked and delicious to snuggle back into the warm covers after launching myself across the room at the alarm clock. But today was particularly bad. A brief description of my morning from 6:46 to 7:14—

6:46—my first alarm goes off. I don't remember getting out of bed to hit the snooze but I must have.
6:53—my second alarm goes off. I get out of bed and hit the snooze. My alarm clock has 2 alarms which you can stagger to your liking. I do this KNOWING that in 5 minutes the other alarm will go off again.
6:58—first alarm goes off again. I get out of bed, hit the snooze, and return.
7:01—T. calls me to wake me up. I mutter something about two more minutes with my face squished into the pillow.
7:02—I rouse myself enough to SET MY PHONE ALARM for 7:04. I lay back down and close my eyes. Why I thought 2 minutes was a good idea is beyond me. It gets better, though.
7:04—phone alarm goes off. I set it again for 7:07.
7:05—the second alarm goes off (my snooze is only 12 minutes). I get out of bed, hit the snooze, and then go back to bed.
7:07—phone alarm goes off. I turn it off.
7:10—the first alarm goes off again. I stagger out of bed, turn it off, return to the bed where I lie for a few minutes before mentally flagellating at the realization that I have spent more time in the last 15 minutes getting up and turning stuff off than having my eyes closed, uncomfortable with the idea that I've actually gone to absurd lengths for what amounts to approximately 4.5 minutes of extra sleep.
7:14—I get up and hop in the shower. I have class at 8.

Is this normal? For reals. I have no idea whether or not my insanely convoluted and difficult morning routine is just a typical thing, or whether I am exhibiting symptoms of some profound and rare sleep disorder.

As a final note, I had considered giving up the snooze button for Lent. As you can tell, I rejected that idea pretty darn quick.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Overheard in Lafun:

Girl #1: What's the capital of Washington?
Girl #2: Uhhh...uhhhh...Helena!
Girl #1: Helena?
Girl #2: Wait, no. Helena is...
Girl #1: Tacoma!
Girl #2: Helena?
Guy: Olympia
Girl #2: Olympia?
Girl #1: Olympia? Olympia! How did you know that?
Girl #2: So what's Helena? Ah! Montana!

Round of applause, folks!

Clarification: I wouldn't really care about this at all had it been a simple conversation between friends. However, it happened to be a simple conversation between friends from across a crowded room. As in, shouting. The rule is: if you're going to be loud, we're going to make fun of you.

Percy: It's complicated

Percy has an unusual habit that Maurice did not: he likes to go into the castle (and I mean, really go into the castle) and squeeze himself up into the hollow body. Maurice, too, enjoyed the castle, but he used to just lie in it with his head and tail sticking out. Percy folds himself up to such a degree that I'll often look into the tank and panic because I can't see him anywhere.

I'm not really sure what to do with this. On one hand, I'm glad he likes his tank and castle. On the other, I'm a little worried that something is wrong with him; Maurice was very lethargic in the latter days of his life and I'm concerned that Percy might follow in those footsteps (finsteps? tail sweeps? whatever).

Getting used to the habits of a new fish is an interesting endeavor. I won't really be comfortable with this little routine of Percy's until a month or so goes by and I'm reassured that he is, in fact, just chilling (rather than, you know, slowly wasting away to a sad and lonely death).

Friday, February 20, 2009

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

Big news (like getting engaged) is a rarity in my life. Instead, I usually blog about the mundane trivialities — how I'm planning for the 30th time to organize my apartment (it's going to happen, I swear!), what delicious but calorie-laden baked good I've recently produced, the weather, etc. Clearly, I know what the public wants. And I deliver. Case in point, this M&M:

It's attached! A mutant M&M!

I have a weird thing for funny shaped foods. Once, in college, I discovered a heart-shaped potato chip which I saved in a little plastic container. My roommate Ruth, on a cleaning frenzy, thought that it was an empty container and washed it. She realized a little late that my special chip was inside — despite her valiant attempts to dry it out in the oven, it was never the same and we had to throw it away. This story, to me, demonstrates 2 things: one, that I'm really odd and two, that Ruth loves me. A lot. Enough to indulge my whims and do things like try to salvage a heart-shaped potato chip.

Not sure yet if I'm going to save this. I've already photographed it so it's been preserved for posterity. We'll see how this goes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

At last, a bullet point

--I'm engaged.

I'm really excited and happy. It couldn't have been any more romantic — T. took me to the top of the Hancock building in Chicago and proposed overlooking the city at night. It was wonderful. Even a number of minor snafus (forgot to pack my outfit for Saturday, couldn't find my camera charger so had to use a low-quality disposable, etc.) couldn't dampen the trip.

Did I mention it was Valentine's day? Because it was. And Chicago on Valentine's day will always be special because of it.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


life is not that busy, but really busy right now. I guess I'm spending a lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing, which is good for my stress level but bad for my productivity. A few things of note:

--Monday night tennis lessons have turned out to be really fun and one of the few things I look forward to each week. If I can keep it up I might be able to hit more than 3 shots in a row.



Wow. My life is really boring. I can't even muster up enough news for more than one bullet point. If you have only one bullet point, what's the point of even bullet pointing?

I'm thinking in circles here. Maybe I should stop procrastinating and just do my reading.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The crumbs of life

So between the baking, the baking, and the still more baking, life has rolled on. T. comes to visit in less than 2 weeks and I am so! excited! Percy is doing well, just chilling in his tank, and my apartment is gradually sliding out of the canyon of despair (a.k.a. piles of clothes and books).

In a conscious effort to declutter my life I've started trying to maintain a neater and more organized apartment in the hope that it will lead to a neater and more organized mind. Can't tell you much about the latter, but at least the former has had a positive effect on my life. It feels pretty good to come home, look around, and be serene because my surroundings are serene.

I've also tried to get a jumpstart on the two papers I have to write this semester. i figure that if I can manage to get them done earlier I'll have more time to study for exams. Come on, productivity! You know you can do it!

Having said that, it might be time for a nap.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Confirmation of my absolute insanity

Stayed up until 3:30 baking and frosting these bad boys:

I'm a little shocked at how ambitious this project was, but really proud of how they turned out. Even though some of the cardinals do look a little...blobby. And the blue on the Steeler stars isn't as dark as it should be.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Please welcome

Percival Pasquale Daubert.

A.k.a., Percy.

I got him yesterday. He seems to be adapting to his new home fairly well and has even taken up Maurice's old habit of chilling in the castle. He looks very different from Maurice, which is good — as a blue/purple fish he even coordinates well with his bowl. Who knew fish could be so fashionable?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Houston, we have a problem

Let's see if I remember anything from algebra/geometry/whatever math uses proofs:

--Sleeping in + 2 hour nap = not sleepy
--Not sleepy + procrastination = baking
--Baking + new cookie cutters - not enough counter space + creative use of washer and dryer = roll-out sugar cookies
--Roll-out sugar cookies + they look naked = frosting
--Frosting + 1.5 hours - 2 cookies bravely lost in combat - 1 cookie sampled by the baker = 50 frosted sugar cookies


Sleeping in = 50 frosted sugar cookies

Something tells me that my math is a little off, but in the twisted logic that is my brain, this makes complete sense. Ah, the joys of the semester's early weeks...plenty of time later to feel guilty about all the hours of possible productivity I've wasted.

But look how pretty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday morning coffee

Not much has happened in my life since my last post—the bad day adventure chronicled actually continued, if you can believe it. Since I don't feel like reliving the moments spent sobbing on the highway in bumper-to-bumper traffic because I had missed my exit and was about to run of gas, I'll move on to bigger and better things. Like...finishing my note (relief) and the terrible, terrible weather, and lemon bars. Which I baked on Sunday and which Tom and I inhaled. They were lemony and tart.

Next: angel food cake w/ berry sauce.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pretty much the crappiest 24 hours I've had in a long time

If this comes across as whining, that's because it is. If you can complain to the internets it minimizes complaining in real life. This is actually true.

Things that happened
-woke up yesterday with sore throat, slight cough (sure signs of being sick)
-my fish died
-it was butt-freezing cold
-came home at 2 in the morning to discover that my hot water pipes had frozen in the kitchen
-My cable and internet are disabled, probably from the cold
-maintenance arrives at 4:30 to check it out — I have waited a long stinking time for them to show up
-maintenance informs me that my pipe has burst. He shuts off my hot water so I can't take a shower or wash my face without contracting frostbite.
-I get approximately 2 hours of sleep. The weather is such that every moron on the road drives approximately .007 miles per hour. I am exactly 1 minute late to my 8 o'clock class and the door is locked.
-I check Tom's flight status online. His flight into Detroit is delayed. His flight to South Bend will be leaving without him most likely, unless it is also delayed. The next flight is at noon.

Good things have happened too, but they aren't exactly counter-balancing the total suckage of the last day or so. Ugh. When it rains it pours — my bad days are always REALLY REALLY BAD days.

I write this from Lula's cafe while nursing hot chocolate, capped with a staggering froth of whipped cream. I have given up on this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Requiem for Maurice

Maurice has died. For the last day or so he had been really lethargic, lying on the bottom of his tank, with alternate bouts of spastic activity when I tried to prod him into action. I'm not sure what it was caused by — he had been relatively normal. My only conclusion is that during my prolonged absence he was so weak from hunger that he succumbed to an infection, and that is how he died. Today, I came home from school and he was dead.

I'm sorry, Maurice, that I left you for so long and didn't take good enough care of you. But you had a great life and you were a great pet while you lasted. Enjoy your time in fish heaven — I hope you have many castles to swim in and around.

I'm not sure if I'll get another fish, considering the difficult logistics of vacations and whatnot that I hadn't considered before. I did like having Maurice around though, so I guess we'll see.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Curious Case of Maurice Murphy

I return home and Maurice, who ended up staying at my apartment (alone! for three weeks!) after all due to slight technical difficulties in fish transfer, is alive. Or is he? This Maurice is smaller and less flamboyant of tail than the Maurice I remember. Not to mention the characteristic white streak in this fin is gone.

Suspicious. I have a few theories. First, and most absurd, is that the maintenance staff noticed that he was dead and replaced him with a similar looking fish. Second, Maurice "thinned out" due to his lack of diet and company and his new appearance is such a result. Third, I'm losing it. This is highly possible.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Clearly, I was a better writer

Found this while going through our interminable boxes full of old crap. Punctuation and capitalization copied verbatim.

The bag full of rocks.

Once there was a little ghost who had a bag. but what was in it? Try to guess. how about a rock? close. how about rocks. Right.

I think I was probably about five or six when I wrote that. Gotta say it's better than anything I've written lately. What happened to that prodigy? How about law school. Right.

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 recap

On second thought, let's not do this, because 2008 turned out to be a surprisingly disappointing year. Let's hear it for 2009! Actually, according to the Chinese zodiac 2009 is supposed to be a good year for me because it is the year of my sign (the Ox). On that note:

Goals for 2009 if I were an ox:
-plow an extra acre of field a day
-keep hooves clean
-be productive enough to stay skinny and therefore, less desirable as food

And now, real goals for 2009:
-stay happy
-stay healthy
-become a lean, mean, ambition driven machine. With plenty of room for squishy doggies, snuggles, and nights spent exercising my dancing queen muscles.

The last few weeks

Highlights, of course with commentary:

Christmas: incredibly low key, accompanied by one f.a.n.t.a.s.t.i.c. steak dinner. Holy toledo, that was good. We did not open Christmas presents on Christmas eve, as is usual in this family. Instead we waited for the NJ contingent to arrive on Christmas day and opened presents then. Some highlights: assorted tart pans, measuring cups (silicon collapsible AND porcelain DUCK!), lotions, clothes, and hopefully (when I get back), one very large TV.

Sister's Sweet Sixteen: Lucky ran away during the party. Tom found him. Twenty something sixteen year olds bopping along to club music in the basement and a DJ who also did digital sketches. She got a car. And she does not even have her learner's permit. I'll just leave this one at that. Oh, and she also got Rock Band and a PS3. Which is AWESOME and really fun. I like the singing because it is the easiest, clearly.

Family vacay: played untold hours of online Tetris and watched movies in the new, shiny, incredibly spacious home theatre. Did not get enough sleep.

New Year's Eve: family all left during the day. Spent a few hours cleaning up the whirlwind mess. Then collapsed and slept for a zillion hours straight.

And the last few days: some more low key stuff. Nothing to report. Which is exactly how I like it.