Friday, December 28, 2007

To compare...

I miss Boston. I think I was born to live in the Northeast. I miss the snow, and I'm tired of the rain. I used to love the rain and hate the snow. I miss the people who actually MOVE through the mall or the grocery store or whatever instead of strolling down the aisles and randomly stopping in the middle to stare at the shelves with complete disregard for the fact that someone is behind them - then when you say "excuse me" they stare at you like you're the rudest person on the planet before begrudgingly moving out of the way. I miss the fact that people generally just leave you alone instead of asking random stupid questions like "have you ever wondered what Wassail is?" I like being left alone and remaining in the shadows, I hated when people did things like that even before I moved to Boston. And now it bugs me even more because I know there's a place where people DON'T do it.

The two things specifically Portland I really wanted to see while I was home were the "Made In Oregon" sign with the red nose on the Stag for Christmas, and Mt. Hood. I saw the sign. No Mt. Hood yet because the damn clouds are in the way. I don't think I remembered it being this dreary day in, day out. No wonder I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So the only good thing about this visit has turned out to be seeing friends and family and talking endlessly about the wonders of Boston and Law School. I visited my old office yesterday, it was so nice to see the excitement on my old co-worker's faces when I showed up. Not that my friends and family weren't excited to see me, but they expected to see me so it wasn't that look of genuine surprise and real excitement like I got at the old office. Of course, we also went downstairs to the Horse Brass Pub after everyone was off work to have a couple drinks like old times, so that was nice too.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Finals and flying home.

Well, exams are over, and I'm back home in Portland now.

I think the exams went pretty well. Civil Procedure I'm sure I did well, my only question is whether I did well enough to be the TA next year. I'd really like to do that, so here's hoping! =) Property was next... and I had such a bad professor that I basically had to try to teach myself the entire subject in a few days. But, I think I had the basic concepts and was able to base some arguments on them, and she's supposed to be an easy grader so that should be fine too. Torts was hard, but I got through it. The hardest thing there was just the sheer volume of possibilities that I had to analyze in only three and a half hours. But I wrote as much as I could, and I think I spotted all the major things I needed to spot, so that should be fine too.

We don't get our evaluations back until February because Northeastern does full written evaluations in lieu of letter grades, so I have quite a while to wait. And I still have to start my next semester of classes, which seems weird to me. It seems like you should know if you passed the prior classes before you can start the next ones. Especially in law school, since I don't think people stick around if they fail their entire first semester. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to start the next semester, I just would like to know how I did sooner. Oh well.

Anyway, so my last final was on Wednesday, then my friends and I had a party to celebrate the end, which was a lot of fun. Then on Thursday I recovered from my hangover and packed for my trip home, to the dismay of my poor kitty, Severus. He kept jumping in the suitcase or laying on top of it, hoping he could prevent me from leaving. But leave I did, on Friday, dragging my giant suitcase on the T until I arrived at the airport and could release it into the capable hands of the Alaska Airlines crew.

My airplane was in the airport on time, but it certainly didn't leave on time. We boarded and everything seemed to be fine, then the captain made an announcement informing us that since the airport was very busy we had to wait for a bit, and that we also had to do some deicing of the wings, which I think he said was on the other side of the airport from where we needed to go. So, we finally pulled away from the gate about 1/2 an hour late, and then had to go to the deicing place, then they sprayed this stuff on the wings, then we finally took off about an hour late. This almost made me late for my connecting flight to Portland, since this flight was to Seattle. But I made it to that flight, although I had to run to the gate. Such is the way of flying out of New England in the winter.

The flight was nice though. Alaska still does meals on the long flights, unlike many airlines, so I got some dinner. They also have these cool video things that you can rent and there's a selection of about 7 movies to choose from, with your own private headphones, so you don't have to watch some crappy movie that you never cared about seeing. So I got to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I did see it when it came out, but, it's Harry Potter! I would have had time to watch a second movie, but instead I fiddled around on my laptop, and watched out the window as we flew over the country, trying to guess what cities I was seeing.

Interesting moment of irony on the flight. We had a pretty rough patch of turbulence over the Rockies (which look really cool in the winter, by the way), and right as it started, Jason Mraz's song, "Plane," started playing on my Zen player. Now, in this song is the oft repeated line, "If the plane goes down, damn..." which was fun to hear as we were bumping along over the mountains. I continued to listen to it because I like the song, but it was a bit nerve-wracking. Especially since the turbulence stopped when the song was over. A bit eerie, if you ask me.

Other than that, the flight was generally uneventful. Just long. Almost six hours is a long time to be on a plane. But, it's worth it just to get home.

Well, that's about it. I haven't done much since being home, except FINALLY get a hair cut. It's great, I love it. I found some pictures of Jennifer Aniston a la season 3 of Friends and had my hairdresser copy it, it works very well on me. I was inspired because I had the DVDs of the entire series running in the background while I was outlining and studying for finals, and I decided that haircut was the one I wanted. It's great too, my hair had gotten ridiculously long and was really driving me crazy. I thought I wanted to grow it long... until it got long and I realized it's really annoying. Now it's shoulder length and very manageable. And I can still put it in a ponytail if I want.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The snow in Boston.

Coming from Portland, where it doesn't snow very often, to Boston, where it snows every winter, and has already started in early December...I have some observations about the behavior of the people in the two cities when it snows. See, right now, in Boston, it has been snowing or sleeting intermittently for about three days. The entire city of Portland would be almost completely dysfunctional with the amount of snow on the ground and how frozen the ground is even where the snow has been cleared. In fact, the snow probably wouldn't have been cleared at all, but I'll get to that in a bit. In Portland, the only thing that generally still runs is Tri-Met, but even that's iffy - buses are late, Max might have some trouble if the tracks are general, it's really best for everyone if it just doesn't snow.

But here. The ground is frozen and kind of icy. Snow is piled on the grass and not going anywhere. goes on as normal. Why are the two cities so different? Part of it may be that the drivers prepare themselves as we head into the winter months. They buy snow tires, they make sure those tires are installed in early November - I remember seeing many advertisements for sales on "winter weather" tires in late October and early November. Those who walk and take public transportation are also prepared. Huge down coats that go all the way down to your feet. Warm boots with good traction.

I think, however, that a big part of it is that the CITY is prepared. Most of the trains are subways, so it's easy to quickly de-ice the tracks in the few places that the train is above ground. I'm thinking the buses probably have snow tires, because they're not driving around with chains like the Tri-Met buses do on the rare occasions that Portland gets snow. So they don't have to drive a lot slower just because the ground is frozen and a bit icy in some spots.

Aside from the public transportation, there are other things the city, and people who live here, do to deal with the snow. The other day I saw some snow plows driving around. Portland doesn't keep snow plows on standby so that they can come out and clear the road the one time it snows. Basic cost-benefit analysis says, that doesn't make sense. Also, the sidewalks appear to get shoveled on a regular basis by whoever owns the property next to that stretch of sidewalk. Everywhere. There aren't patches where someone felt like "being nice" and shoveling the sidewalk, and patches where clearly no one even thought of it, or if they did, they don't want to leave the house now just to get a snow shovel. So all the paths people need to travel on are clear. And then there's salt on the ground. Everywhere. Again, Portland doesn't keep salt lying around to salt the roads with. I think they dig it up from somewhere if it gets really bad, but it's really sparsely distributed, mostly on the bridges. And no one puts it on the sidewalk. Here, there's salt on the sidewalks, on the stairs up to my building, on the stairs of the buildings at school.

So, it's not that Portlanders just don't know how to drive in snow. I don't think any Bostonian would be able to drive in this if they didn't have snow tires, and if the city didn't have snow plows regularly clearing the roads, and if there wasn't salt on the roads to keep the ice from getting too slippery. It's just that the city knows what's coming, and prepares for it. Just like how so many people in Portland know the many benefits of having Aquatread tires, and know how to come out of a hydroplane without skidding.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Procrastination station

[1.] Where was the first time you ever kissed the last person you kissed?
This is a poorly phrased question. Anyways...the answer is my living room. Well, now Christen's living room, but at the time of the kiss I lived there, so it was my living room too.

[2.] What's the greatest thing that happened to you today?'s a tie between deciding I can go to Andi's wedding in February, or Oregon State winning the Civil War game.

[3.] How many TRUE best friends do you have?

[4.] Would you rather get up early or sleep in?

[5.] Tell me where you got each article of clothing youre wearing?
Long sleeve shirt: Old Navy.
T-shirt: Hot Topic...I think.
Sweatshirt: Oregon State Bookstore.
Jeans: Old Navy.
Undergarments (well, it said "each"): Victoria's Secret.

[6.] What's the closest thing to you that is brown?
My coffee table.

[7.] What would you change about your life right now?
Exams to be over!

[8.] Would you rather smile over a lie or cry over the truth?
Cry over the truth

[9.] What's on your bedroom floor right now?!
Law books, backpack, other books, shoes, boots, some papers.

[10.] Who was the last person you got into an argument with?
Um. Hm. Has it been that long since I got in an argument? Me, with the quick temper? Wow. The closest I've come was when I was upset with Matt about something over the summer, but I calmly expressed my feelings and he calmly responded. I'm truly amazed at this realization.

[11.] Do you trust people?
Not very easily.

[12.] If you could move away, no questions asked, where would you move?
I just moved to Boston...I don't want to leave yet! I guess really, if I could move ANYWHERE, I'd move to France. Not Paris, maybe Marseilles or something.

[13.] Have you ever been out of the country?
Only to Canada and Mexico, but yes.

[14.] Could you go a day without eating?
God no, I'd faint!

[15.] How much do looks matter to you?
Umm...well, I have to be attracted to the person, but I don't really have any specifics as to what I'm attracted to. I've dated all different heights, body types, hair colors, eye colors.

[17.] When was the last time you had your hair cut?
July. And it's driving me crazy!

[18.] Would you rather be mad or sad?

[19.] Does it take a lot to make you cry?

[20.] Whats the best feeling in the world?
The "light bulb" moment in your first year of Law School.

[21.] Are you close with your mom?

[22.] Are your parents strict?
No, they let me experience life as it happened, only strictly forbidding me from really dangerous things or habits. I knew they were always there if I got myself in a sticky situation and I didn't know how to get out.

[23.] Do you tell your parents everything?
My mom

[25.] Name one fear you have.

[26.] If you need to go to the store a block away, do you walk or drive?
What am I getting at the store? If the grocery store is one block away, I'm still driving if I'm doing all my grocery shopping...I'm not carrying that stuff home! But if I'm just getting a few things, then yes, I'll walk.

27.] Does the thought of marriage scare you?
No, not really.

[28.] How many kids do you want?
1. Maybe.

[29.] What's your favorite color to wear?
I've been really into red lately. But I like blue and purple too.

[30.] Who was the last person in your bedroom besides you?
Since my living room and bedroom are one and the same, probably Ira when he was taking care of my cat while I was in NYC.

[31.] What are you doing today?
Studying. Well, obviously not right now. =P

[32.] Would you rather be rich & sad or poor & happy?
Neither. Comfortable and happy.

[33.] Do you work out?
I did before school started. Now...I walk a lot...but then again, I don't have a car here.

[34.] What would you do if you found a dinosaur egg?
Like, a fossil? Cool! One about to hatch? Even cooler! I'd want to keep it, but I'd probably go to a museum or something. Sigh.

[35.] Do you get bored easily?

[36.] What's something that people do that really bothers you?
Flake out on you.

[37.] Did you ever want to change your name when you were younger?

[38.] Do you wish you were famous?
I want to be a judge, does that count? Otherwise, no.

[39.] Do you make a wish at 11:11?

[40.] When you're at the beach, do you swim or lay out more?
Lay out.

[41.] Who did you receive your last text message from and what did it say?
Ira: "Of course!"

[42.] What are you freakishly obsessed with?

[43.] What's your favorite song at the moment?
I always have multitudes of favorite songs at any given moment. I can never answer this question.

[44.] Do you like going to the mall to shop or just shopping online?
Depends on what I'm shopping for. I have to try on clothes and shoes, but I prefer online for anything else.

[45.] Can music affect your mood?

[46.] When did you last see your best friend?
Four months ago.

47.] What tattoos do you want
I have it already! A Tigger on my back! =)

[48.] Have you ever been in a cave?

[49.] Ever eaten a bug?
Um, probably while riding my bike as a kid, but never intentionally.

[50.] What are you excited for?
Christmas break!