Friday, December 19, 2008

on vacation

I'm heading out of town tomorrow morning, so probably won't be updating til early January.

See you next year, everyone (all four or so of you who probably read this)!

books i'm bringing on vacation

1. All the President's Pastries--a memoir of a White House chef

2. Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish

3. The Color of Law--this is a mystery novel, nothing seriously law-related.

4. The Orchid Thief

5. Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man's Tour of Duty Inside the IRS

also, a book about modern American nuns (I am really really interested in nuns. I think if I had been born Catholic I would've become a nun) and one about different dialects of English.

clearly I'm going through a non-fiction phase at the moment, but would be happy for fiction (or non-fiction) suggestions.

drinks I've consumed in the past 24 hours

1. bellini at eve...very swank and grown-up (the bar. the 9 law student ladies and one gallant husband-of-a-law-student were not particularly swank or grown up, but that made it even more fun)

2. malternative (leftover from my half birthday party) with my roommate upon returning home from eve.

3. orange juice (could've been a mimosa, but i have my limits) at this morning's Buffy Brunch. I'm not a huge buffy fan, but vegan pancakes, holiday cookies, 3 wonderful cats, and 3 wonderful friends were definitely worth tromping through a blizzard.

4. pear cider at ashley's with a law student/high school teacher/scientist contingent.

5. a lot of water. water is key.

can you tell finals are over?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fun Facts I've Learned This Week

1. Baha'i is the first monotheistic religion to have promoted monogamy from its inception.

2. The Icelandic word for computer derives from its words for "number prophetess."

3. is a great procrastination tool.

4. You need 1 recommender for a citibank grad school loan but two for federal gradplus loans.

5. There is a breed of dog called the Polish Lowland Sheepdog and it is SO CUTE. It's like a 40-lb old english sheepdog and it doesn't shed! I know that "they're so cute" is not the way to choose a pet and that for me, it's most important to get a dog who can be left alone while I'm at work, regardless of breed....but I'm thinking of putting myself on a breed rescue waiting list next year. Not a lot of them come up for adoption (I'm not really interested in buying a purebred dog and couldn't afford it anyway) so who knows when/if I'd get one.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What I've Eaten Today

1. Oatmeal with apples, soymilk, and maple syrup: 7am (before my exam)

2. Mushrooms and a couple squares of dark chocolate (snacks during the exam--hey, four hours of thinking burns a lot of glucose!)

3. Jalapeno cheetos (ok, there was no excuse for this but I was done with my exam and had some other stuff to do before I went home)

4. Spaghetti with swiss chard, garlic, and raisins (mmmm leftovers)

5. Rye toast with mustard and a glass of grape juice (what a weird dinner, yet so oddly satisfying).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pros and Cons

In elementary school, one of our writing assignments was an "And Then" story, where something good alternated with something bad (ie, "and then I got an ice cream cone! But then it fell on the ground. And then a cute puppy came over and licked it up! But then it turns out puppies can't eat chocolate and it was a chocolate ice cream cone so it died." I was not exactly a charming child).

So here is my list version of an "and then" story:

1. I don't know anything about corporations! BUT my exam will be over tomorrow at this time.

2. I don't know when my health insurance is stopping and it's annoying to play phone tag with the people who should know but don't and getting new insurance is going to cost about $200 a month through August, and it won't include dental care (see yesterday's entry: what if my toothache is not stress-related and I need another root canal like last year?). BUT I have resources to earn/borrow enough money for everything and I'll have health care through my job until September 2011.

3. It is 18 degrees outside and we are going to get 3-5 inches of snow tonight...perfect weather for walking to my exam at 7:15 tomorrow morning. BUT I don't have to go outside for anything today and I have plenty of warm clothing and blankets and snow is pretty.

4. I have 2 more papers to grade today and 19 more tomorrow. BUT they are going quickly, I gave the first perfect score of the semester, and this job had a lot of financial and educational benefits.

5. I don't know what I'm doing for New Year's yet. BUT I will spend it in DC, with friends, and that will be awesome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Things that are starting to break down:

1. Every printer in the law school. Apparently, there's one still working. Folks are getting cranky.

2. The entire right side of my face. Jaw, teeth, chapped lips, runny nose, sinuses, red eyes, sore throat--everything just aches. I know it's all connected. I know it's all caused by stress (convenient, since I don't have time to go to the doctor). But right now I just want to do what my sister had to do to her cadaver in first year med school and just saw my face in half vertically. The left brain is the logical one and that seems more useful for exams anyway.

3. My sneakers. I always get a hole in the same part of the right sole before anything else wears out and it's happening again. Right now, I can still wear them whenever--but they're fast becoming warm/dry weather only shoes.

4. Peace in Bosnia

5. My will to study any more tonight--luckily, I just have a little bit more on partnerships and then I can do corporations tomorrow. UGH. This next exam is going to be no fun at all.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Recent Conversation Topics Occuring Between 12:30 and 8:30am at My House

1. Cute baby pictures

2. Cheese microbiology

3. Pros and cons of leather pants

4. Whether the electrician can wait a few more minutes before shutting off all power for the day

5. Why finals are no fun, reasons 1 through 352594549

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Moments From Religious School Today

1. My wonderful male teacher aide from first session gamely attempting Israeli dance.

2. How calm the kids were when we played dreidel. And how much more coordinated they are at spinning it now than they were when I had them in kindergarten.

3. Making sure everyone had the correct hats, sweaters, boots, hoodies, mittens, etc. and was all bundled up. I imagine it must get annoying for parents to do this a million times, but when it's only once a week it is so darn cute.

4. A bunch of kids were absent from second session, so I was left with just four girls. I mentioned that it reminded me of college, and my teacher aide (I know! A teacher aide for just four kids! I was blessed) who's a junior in high school told me she was going to apply to Smith and loved it when she visited. Super exciting!

5. Getting chocolate from one of my students. It is simultaneously the absolute last thing I need (my dietary habits are not all they could be during finals, that's for sure) and utterly perfect and necessary.

A bonus #6, to tie in to yesterday: at services, the rabbi was telling the story of Hannukkah and told the kids "you are lucky to live in a comfortable time, when no one tells you that you can't be Jewish." And one kid raised his hand and said "yes, but right now it is also uncomfortable because of the economy." So we talked a little about how governments provide different kinds of security for us (protecting our money, our rights, the environment, against invasions, etc.) and how some governments might be better at some of those things than others.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Signs of the Recession, Michigan Style

1. Layaway at stores--I hadn't seen this since I was very little.

2. Sign twirlers outside stores that are going out of business.

3. Clusters of students around the TV in the art and architecture building, watching the auto bailout hearings.

4. The religious school I work at always has a toy drive for kids living in a local domestic violence shelter. This year, the parents living there said toys would be nice, but what they really need are toiletries, diapers, over-the-counter medicine, baby food and formula, etc.

5. Trying to steal the library's donation box. As I've noted before, I love public libraries and really like AADL's director. She has some sort of disability that already required her to walk with a cane, so I'm doubly pissed that she had to be injured foiling a theft.

a bonus 6: Law students prostituting themselves for tuition payments (this probably doesn't have to do with the recession but how crazy is that?)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Words that Appear in My 14th Amendment Exam

1. Alien

2. Icelandic

3. Sex

4. Shoes

5. Artifacts

And about 3590 others. If you don't have anything useful to say, say it in an interesting way, right?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feelings About My 48-Hour Take-Home Exam

1. I have nothing to say.

2. But somehow my outline is 2800 words and the whole thing can only be 3600.

3. And I haven't really gone into detail about any cases yet.

4. It's a good thing that grading in law school makes no sense because sometimes that means people with nothing to say do really well.

5. Right? Please say #4 is right. Otherwise, please hope that I actually secretly (as in, I'm keeping it a secret FROM MYSELF) am a legal genius.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

DVDs I've Watched This Semester

1. 27 Dresses: because sometimes it is cold outside and everybody's got a cold and you just need something to watch where you can kind of zone out for a while and not miss anything. And Katherine Heigl not being as crazy as on Grey's Anatomy (seriously? ghost visitations?)

2. Ratatouille: oh my gosh so good. I mean, I've walked around DC enough at night to have seen real rats. And I am not a fan. But I was a fan of Remy.

3. L Word Season 5: I won this in an online raffle. It has provided much solace (and probably reduced GPAs, but oh well) during finals period, and my school's GLBT group will use it for a sleepover/Lword marathon before season 6 (the last one! sad!) starts in January.

4. Street Fight: I had rented this about 3 times before and never watched it, but a friend of a friend was involved in making it and I'm really into Cory Booker (he won the law fellowship I got rejected for! clearly that makes him an awesome-r person than me, at least) and it was pretty good. I wish it had more balance, but when Cory's opponent's supporters kept trying to assault the camera guy and break his equipment, I guess there's only so much you can do.

5. The Cheese Nun: Seriously. I am not making this up. It's only an hour long (perfect for study breaks) and it's about cheese (which I love, see my affection for the Cheesetique store in Del Ray) and nuns (I am really fascinated with nuns. If I were born Catholic, I think I might have liked to be one)! I think after the bar exam I should go to France and apprentice myself to the Cheese Nun for a month. Also, just the title makes me happy (and my roommate thought it was HILARIOUS). Try saying it to yourself; you will smile, I promise. Cheese Nun. Cheese Nun! I am the cheese nun. I am the walrus. koo koo ca choo.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Places to Get Cupcakes

1. Cake Nouveau, Ann Arbor. Not my favorite cupcakes (cake a little dry, frosting a little buttery) but the store is SO DARN CUTE and the owner won a Food Network challenge.

2. Cupcake Station, Ann Arbor. Better cupcakes with a better variety of flavors than #1, and a block closer to my house. Mini cupcakes, too, for when I'm feeling indecisive. But it's weird that their reading selection only includes back issues of Car & Driver and other auto magazines.

3. Sticky Fingers, Washington DC. Don't think about the fact that they're vegan (unless you're a vegan, in which case rejoice). The chocolate with raspberry filling makes me so happy. Seriously, if I got married in DC I'd want a tiered pile of these as my wedding cake.

4. Buzz Bakery, Alexandria VA. Sort of out of the way, but adorable and dog-friendly and just lovely. To be fair, I've never tried their cupcakes, but I had an awesome blondie from there at an Oktoberfest last fall and it completely made up for the fact that all the other stands were out of food and I don't like beer.

5. Home-made. Always wonderful.

I'm heading out soon for a cupcake study break with the Outlaws, which inspired the topic. Sadly, there hasn't been all that much studying to take a break FROM, but it's hard surmounting the 3L apathy. Maybe if I baked my professors cupcakes....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Words Used in's 10-day forecast for my ZIP code

1. "Mostly cloudy" (2 of the 10 days)

2. "Snow" or "snow shower" (the other 8 days)

3. "Winds WNW at 10-20 miles per hour"

4. "Feels like 7 degrees Fahrenheit" (currently)

5. "UV index: Low" (you think?)

Too bad all that's standing between me and a flight to Ft. Lauderdale (current temp: 73 degrees) are 2 take-home exams, a 4-hour in-class exam, the remaining 80% of my 20-page paper, and 57 memos to grade. UGH.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fun Things We've Done in Religious School This Semester

1. Made our own model Torahs and arks

2. Baked and decorated cookies to donate to a nursing home's Hannukkah party

3. Read lots of picture books...I'm amazed with what good listeners they are and how much they like being read to.

4. Gone on a scavenger hunt (to find things like "two water fountains," "three Jewish stars," etc.) around the temple

5. Looked at pictures of synagogues around the world and built our own "dream synagogue" out of blocks

I can't believe that next week marks the halfway point for this second grade class! I've got some fun things up my sleeve for next semester, too....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Awesome Names for Pets

1. Aspiradora: For the puppy that eats EVERYTHING. It's Spanish for vacuum cleaner. I'd use Dora, for short.

2. Carrie Chapman Cat[t]: A famous suffragist, and what I'd name a cat if I got one (C.C. for short). Too bad my dad is allergic.

3. Schrodinger: not my first choice (see #2) but I dated a physicist who was totally obsessed with the idea of naming a cat this, because of the famous thought experiment.

4. Pork Chop: what I named the hamster I got in 7th grade. Get it? PORK CHOP? Because it's a HAMster? I thought I was pretty damn clever.

5. Grandma/Grandpa. Because how hilarious would it be to yell across the dog park "Hey Grandma! You stop sniffing that!"

DC Neighborhoods I Might Live In Next Fall

1. Shaw (I'll be working here, so it makes good sense)

2. Logan/Dupont Circle-ish (there's a bus that runs all along P Street, which would be convenient for getting to work)

3. Columbia Heights/U Street-ish (easy Metro commute, plenty to do, and I have my fingers not-so-secretly crossed that if I decide to live with roommates, a certain owl-roofed house might have a spare room)

4. Eastern Market (because I love it, not because it is particularly practical or affordable).

5. Kalorama/Adams Morgan-ish (see 4)

Meanwhile, it is way too early to look for housing for next August or September. Especially since seriously 2/3 of the listings on craigslist are for housing for the inauguration.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Things I've Cooked Recently That Turned Out Surprisingly Well

1. Moroccan vegetable stew over quinoa

2. Apple upside-down cake

3. Tomato-eggplant curry

4. Butternut squash and sage lasagna (this also froze really well in single-serving was like making my own fancy-pants organic TV dinners, but cheap).

5. Moo shu vegetables

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nicknames My Friends or Relatives Have Used for People They've Dated

1. Stretching Strap

2. Hamlet

3. The Abortionist

4. Mr. Red Line

5. 1984

How I Celebrated Getting a Job Yesterday

1. A cupcake

2. Calling family, friends, recommenders, etc.

3. Not working on my land disputes paper

4. Volunteering at the Community Kitchen (I made delicious carrots) and chopped a bunch of peppers and tomatoes

5. Sushi for dinner.