Monday, December 29, 2008

In retrospect...

No tagging here, I just thought this was entertaining.  =)

Where did you begin 2008?
At Christen's house in Portland, unsure of when it was exactly midnight because her cable had gone out and we had no antenna so we had no idea when the ball dropped.  We used our cell phones.  I then slept a few hours and hopped on a plane back to Boston.

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Oh so very single.

Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Why yes, I think I was.

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yes, for some random pain in my side that they thought was gallstones but turned out to be what I've decided to call the mysterious, unexplained pain that never returned.

Did you have any encounters with the police?
Not really, unless you count the ones in Boston holding up traffic so you can cross the street.

Where did you go on vacation?
I would count Bend, OR for Andi's wedding, it's outside of my usual part.

What did you purchase that cost $500 or more?
A new bed!

Did you know anybody who got married?
Quite a few people, actually.

Did you know anybody who passed away? cousin...

Did you move anywhere?
Yes, from part of Boston to a nearby suburb.

What sporting events did you attend?
Red Sox!

What concerts/shows did you go to?
Jason Mraz.  Three times.  Haha...

Where do you live now?
Near Boston.

Describe your birthday?
Vanessa and I had a "date" (dinner and a movie).

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2008?
Look up a friend from my high school job at Circuit City on MySpace and contact him.

What has/have been your favorite moment(s)?
Finishing 1L year, starting my first internship, succeeding in said internship, being an LF.

What's something you learned about yourself?
I'm better off without him...

Any new additions to your family?
Not my immediate family

What was your best month?
They all had their ups and downs.

What music will you remember 2008 by?
Um, probably We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things, for the most part.

Who has been your best drinking buddy?
Megan and Amanda

Made new friends?
Yes =)

Favorite Night[s] out?
Any time with Megan and Amanda.

Any regrets?
I don't regret anything.  I learn from it.

What do you want to change in 2009?
Nothing really.

Overall, how would you rate this year?
Good =)

What would you change about 2008?

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?

Have any life changes in 2008?
Moved, need to sue someone, did my first internship...

Change your hairstyle?
Not really.

Get a new job?
New internships, but all related to my current employment status of "student" so not really.

How old did you turn this year?

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Nope, I don't do those.

Did anything embarrassing?
I fell while running for the T.  Then wanted to punch the girl that had to say "you fell" in a snooty voice as I ran by after getting up.  She's lucky I caught that train.

Buy anything new from eBay?
Don't think so.  Craig's List though.

What was/were your favorite purchase[s]?
Bed, iPhone, iPod =)

Get married or divorced?

Get arrested?

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
No, it hurts me.  I did watch "So You Think You Can Dance?" though.

Did you get sick this year?
Just a couple colds.  Aside from the mysterious, unexplained pain that never returned.

Start a new hobby?

Been snowboarding?

Are you happy to see 2008 go?
It wasn't that bad!  But I'm happy to be continuing through life.

Drank Starbucks in 2008?
Yes, I had some this morning.

Been naughty or nice?
Nice, generally ;)

What are you wishing for in 2009?
Get through most of the remainder of law school without losing my mind, get a post-graduation job offer so I can graduate in 2010 in peace.
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Saturday, December 27, 2008

C'est francais!

Alright, so, I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'm working on my French again in preparation for my graduation trip to Paris.  London is included in that trip package, btw, but I don't need to learn a new language for that as long as I don't try to buy waterproof pants like my friend Liz did..."pants" means "underwear" over there, if you didn't already know.  Anywho, so during this week while my mom has been here, we keep ending up near people speaking French.  I keep picking up on it, probably due to a heightened awareness since I'm working on relearning it.

Anyway, on to tonight.  My mom and I were out for drinks for her last night here.  We've just paid the bill, and my mom ran to the bathroom while they were processing the card and all that jazz.  While she's gone, I discover that the table of 7 people that had recently been seated near us are all speaking French.  I'm guessing they're from Quebec since Massachusetts is rather close.  So, I'm listening, not catching much because I've forgotten a lot PLUS I've had two martinis.  That's not a TON of alcohol to me, but I was swaying a bit on the walk back to the train station.  I'm still having an interesting time typing right now.  I have to focus very hard to catch the typos.  I'm sure you can tell I'm a little unfocused since I seem to be going off on tangents instead of staying on topic.  Anywho.  My mom comes back and I whisper to her that they're speaking French and I want to say that I think it's funny since I keep encountering people doing that now that I've started relearning.  She says I should.  Being somewhere between tipsy and drunk, I do it.  But in French.  Here's roughly what I said.  (Translations as necessary.)

"Un moment...un moment.  (One moment.)  C'est interessant, parce que j'ai oublie un peu de mon français, mais je desire... (It's interesting, because I've forgotten a little of my French but I want...) to remember..." (at which point one of the women reminded me what it is, I believe she said souvenir, which is the verb for to remember)...

And then I finished in English by saying "and I keep ending up near people speaking French ever since I started working on it again."  My mom added some things in English about how we've ended up near people 3 or 4 times in the past week.  And then I said:

"Je desire visiter à Paris en......deux mille...dix.  (I want to visit Paris in......two thousand...ten).

One of the men then responded in French to tell me the dollar will be higher at that point (referring to the exchange rate, American dollar will be a little better, basically...).  Then I said goodbye and we left.

So, anyway.  It wasn't anything brilliant.  But I certainly feel that I'll be ready for my Paris trip when summer of 2010 rolls around.  They didn't want to kill me.  They didn't cringe at my accent (actually, I've known that won't be a problem ever since my 3rd year high school French teacher said I have a perfect accent).  They were accommodating when I got stuck and had to switch to English (granted, they were visiting my country so it's a little more acceptable to speak in my own language at that point).  They'll probably talk about it for the rest of the evening, but they were pleasant and happy to speak to me and that's what counts at this point.

And now, I feel the need to present you all with the lyrics to a song I wrote when I was still a music major back in my Sophomore year of college...before I switched to Sociology.  There's a long story you may never hear...

Dans mon jardin avec mes fleurs,  (In my garden with my flowers)
J'attends, j'attends.  (I wait, I wait.)
J'attends pour toi  (I wait for you)
Mais tu ne viens jamais.  (But you never come.)

Et tu mon ange?  (Are you my angel?)
Ou un mirage?  (Or a mirage?)
Les fleurs sont mort  (The flowers died)
Mais j'attends tojours.  (But I always wait.)
Et tu ne viens jamais.  (And you never come.)

Dans mon jardin avec mes fleurs  (In my garden with my flowers)
J'attends pour mon amour,  (I wait for my love)
Et il ne viens....
Jamais... (And he never comes...)

Pardon the translation there at the end, gramattically the "ne....jamais" around a verb means never.  Ne...pas just negates the verb, like, "je ne condius pas" means I don't drive.  And means not anymore.  There, I just taught you something.  Something rather advanced if you can't even conjugate the verbs in the first place, but there you have it.  =)

Alright, well, I know my mom and I were out for drinks which provides a bit of an excuse for being up late, but I should head off to bed now.  Goodnight all, and I hope you had a wonderful holiday filled with laughter and love.  =)
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Monday, December 22, 2008

My Christmas Miracle

9:00 am, EST - My mother's plane from Portland International Airport (hereinafter "PDX") to Logan International Airport (hereinafter "BOS") was supposed to be arriving from Anchorage, AK  but got rerouted to wait in Seattle while PDX dealt with the runways so the plane could land there and then take its passengers to BOS.  We retain hope.  They're supposed to be on the plane by 8:30 am, PST, which would be 11:30 am, EST.

12:00 pm, EST - I'm about to head to lunch and haven't received the call I was waiting all morning for, telling me that they were getting on the plane.  I call my mom, she says the plane is still in Seattle and they're still working on the runways at PDX.  I get a little worried because she sounds worried and try to not cry into my chili at lunch since I'm in public and don't cry in front of people.  I get back to work at 12:30 and proceed to cry through the first hour of my afternoon alone in my office while begging whatever universal force is out there (the only way an Agnostic can pray) to just send her here.  I tell this universal force, again and again, that all I want is to be with my mom on Christmas, I could care less about the other shit.

1:30 pm, EST - I clean myself up because I have to go to a meeting with some attorneys at work.  I'm antsy through the whole meeting but still gave some rather useful input for the case we were dealing with, it was a nice break to think about something else and give my input in an important meeting and have the other attorneys say, "oh, yes, that's right, thank you."

3:10 pm, EST - I return to my office and there's a message from my mom telling me they finally started snowplowing the runways (what they were doing for the last 6 hours I'll never know) and they're supposed to be boarding by 12:30 pm PST (3:30 pm, EST, so basically 20 minutes after this call, so I'm figuring by 1 at this point).

6:15 pm, EST - I get home and find that I'd missed a call from my mom about 5 minutes before so I call her back and she tells me the plane is there and all they have to do is get the people off the plane (I'm assuming these are the people from Anchorage who waited in Seattle all day) and then they'll board and they'll be on the way to BOS.

6:45 pm, EST - My world crashes around me when I get another call from my mom telling me the flight was canceled.  I'm sobbing so hard I can't even understand what she's telling me when she's explaining why, eventually I discern that they apparently don't have a crew for the plane.  She says she's in the rebooking line, she'll tell me when she gets rebooked, and asks me to check online to see if I can find anything in the next couple days.  After I hang up, I'm sobbing so hard on my way up the stairs to my room that I sink to the floor about halfway up, hanging on the banister and screaming at the sky that all I wanted was to have my mom here for Christmas.  Eventually I get upstairs and get my computer and bring it back downstairs, sobbing the whole time, and sign on and try to check Alaska Air's website to see if I can find out any more information.  I talk with my friend Amanda and tell her they canceled the flight and Amanda assures me they will do something to get her here because the airlines try really hard around Christmas.  I try to be reassured by this and the sobbing at least reduces to just general crying.

7:05 pm, EST - My mom calls again.  I assume it's to tell me the rebooking information.  She sounds so excited when I pick up the phone I can barely tell what she's trying to say.  I finally understand that they reinstated the flight, that they talked the crew (or a crew, it's hard to tell) into flying the plane and that they're getting on the plane and she'll be here soon.  "Soon" meaning in about 5 hours because that's how long it takes to fly from PDX to BOS.  I start crying with relief and we hang up, with the assurance that she will not have to call me again until she is in Boston.  I tell Amanda it's all better.  I continue to cry, now with relief and utter joy, for the next 20 minutes or so.

I've dubbed this chain of events, mostly the moment at 7:05 pm, my own personal Christmas miracle.

I'm now going to calm down with some wine and get a bit of sleep while I wait for the call telling me she's here.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A challenge!

1. Pick 16 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. NO GOOGLING/using IMDb search functions.


1. Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped.

2. The world changes, we do not, there lies the irony that finally kills us.

3. Lawyers should never marry other lawyers. This is called in-breeding; from which comes idiot children... and more lawyers.

4. But they showed no corrections of any kind. Not one. He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it as if he were just taking dictation. And music, finished as no music is ever finished. Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall.

5. With a prompter in every cellar window whispering comebacks, shy people would have the last laugh.

6. Lose it? I didn't lose it. It's not like, "Whoops! Where'd my job go?" I QUIT. Someone pass me the asparagus.

7. Your fuckin' family's dug into the Southie projects like ticks. Three-decker men at best. You, however, grew up on the North Shore, huh? Well, la-di-fuckin'-da. You were kind of a double kid, I bet, right? Huh? One kid with your old man, one kid with your mother. You're upper-middle class during the weeks, then you're droppin' your "R"s and you're hangin' in the big, bad Southie projects with your daddy, the fuckin' donkey on the weekends. I got that right? [No answer] Yup. You have different accents? You did, didn't you? You little fuckin' snake. You were like different people.

8. You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?

9. Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

10. A - You got into Harvard Law? B - What, like it's hard?

11. I don't want something I need. I want something I want - something pretty.

12. A - One question about your business, boy, or there's no use going: This girl... how far are you willing to go to save her? B - I'd die for her. A - Oh good. No worries then.

13. She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.

14. A - What makes you think she's a witch? B - Well, she turned me into a newt! A - A newt? B - I got better...

15. Ma chère mademoiselle. It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents... your dinner.

16. You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true - anyone can cook... but only the fearless can be great.
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

It just hurts me...

You all know how I am about spelling and grammar and typos.

Really, a single typo is generally fine, unless it's something that should have been thoroughly edited before going out.

Such as this:

Vanity Plates: Creepiness in 8 Characters or Less - I believe in a thing called SPELLING

Honestly.  It's one word.  On your license plate.  Make sure it's spelled right!  Or did you forget the old "I before E except after C..." bit?

*curls in a ball and whimpers for a bit*

Okay.  I think I've recovered.

This leads me to something I've been thinking about.  Why does this bother me so much?  I suppose it's because so many people don't even realize how unintelligent they look when they have constant spelling errors, poor sentence structure, or the wrong homonym (their, they're, there).  So, like I said, one typo is generally no big deal.  I suppose I draw the line between something that is clearly an honest mistake and something that just makes you look stupid.  It's not a bright line; if I know your writing and you rarely have errors, I'll shrug off the occasional mistake.  We all do it.  I actually edit every blog post to avoid being hypocritical by having errors of my own, but I do make them.  I've even caught myself doing the things I hate the most, like its vs. it's, or where and wear.  I laugh, then fix it.

The reason I hate when people actually cross the line and make themselves look stupid is because they could very well be highly intelligent and all the mistakes are hiding that fact.  With the internet allowing anyone and everyone a venue for proudly displaying their poor spelling and misplaced apostrophes, more and more people are looking dumber and dumber when in actuality they're not dumb at all.  So why do I care if someone else makes themselves look stupid?  Well, it's because they don't seem to care.  They don't seem to realize what it looks like to other people to have glaring errors in everything they ever write out.  Then they get angry and call you a "grammar Nazi" when you really just want to help them.  It's especially hard when the underlying thought process behind what they just wrote clearly shows that they are rather intelligent, and they're getting angry because you just want them to realize that their intelligence would come across much more clearly if they took a little time to check for errors.  Or took a little time to learn what is and is not correct, such as with commonly mixed-up homonyms.

So, there you have it.  For all my dear bloggy-friends, I hope this post sufficiently demonstrated that any typos you may make fall in the category of forgivable, honest mistakes.  I probably wouldn't read your blogs otherwise, it would be too hard.

In other news, I've discovered that just about every Christmas album has a version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Silent Night" on it.  It gets a little repetitive.

Well, I've been awake for two hours and I am still in my pajamas.  I'm off to remedy that, then wait for my new bed!  =)
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quiet! I can't hear the voices in my head!

It's weird to live in a townhouse where you pay rent so you feel like all your neighbors do too...until they start doing some random remodeling next door so the sound of drills and hammers interrupt your Christmas music. Because you just pay the owner of your one unit, so of course some people might just live in the place they own rather than rent it out. So of course they're allowed to do remodeling.

I was going to run some errands tomorrow, since it's only 28 degrees out right now and tomorrow it's supposed to be closer to 40. But I might need to escape the noise. *shrug* I have more time today anyway...maybe I should. I can enjoy my Christmas music on my iPod instead.

Speaking of which, yes, I still love my new toys. =) Jenn, in response to your question, the iPhone is fantastic. You asked about the Touch, which is different since it's not a phone and therefore isn't hooked up to the 3G network. But any of the applications you can get for the iPhone that don't require an internet connection work on the Touch, and they're a lot of fun. Lots of random games and stuff. And TONS of free applications. I'm actually kind of surprised at how many are free. And many others are only 99 cents. Anyway, if you were talking about upgrading your phone, you definitely should, and if you were talking about just upgrading to the iPod Touch, well, you should do that too. You'll love it, I promise. =)

As for my iPod...I am absolutely amazed at how long the battery lasts. I haven't charged it since I bought it on Sunday, I've listened to it on my way to and from work every day, and it's still about 1/2 full. Not only have I listened to it on my way to and from work, I've also listened to it a bit at home while cooking or cleaning. I would have charged that Zen twice by now.

Oh, and the new iPods (or at least the Nano) have this "genius" playlist thing. You select a song in your music, and tell genius to start, and it creates a playlist to match the song you selected. And it really does deserve the term "genius;" it is the smartest playlist creator I've ever seen. I've only created two lists so far, but all the songs that come up match the selected song REALLY well. The last one I did, I swear it didn't only match the artists, but also the overall tone of the song itself. So, when it was kind of a low-key song, it picked a bunch of other low-key tracks, rather than just going by artists that would match if it had just picked the right song. It's amazing.

Anywho, enough about my new toys. Work was exciting this week. I had a nice breakthrough in looking through some audit files (the collection of documents and charts and whatnot the auditors used in making their determination) on this one case. I'm starting to figure out what happened. Which is great, because it's a really complicated case. We need to do discovery (which, for you non-law people, means we need to get documents and stuff from the other party) but to do that we need to know what evidence will help us prove our case, so we need to know what's going on and what evidence we already have from the auditors. We also need to dismiss part of their claim, and I get to work on the motion to dismiss. That excites me to no end. All this background stuff like dismissals and settlements is the heart of civil litigation, very few cases actually end up at trial, so having the chance to work on this stuff makes me happy. And with how happy it makes me, that just validates the fact that I really, really do want to do civil litigation when I'm out of school.

Anyway, my other case has been in settlement negotiations on all but one of the issues, and they're just about to come to an agreement, when that happens I'll be writing up the settlement memo, which is basically the memo we send up to the big cheeses at the DOR to explain why we think we should settle on those issues and how much we're settling for and stuff.

AAAAAAND, that's as far as I can go in talking about work. But as you can see I was very careful to not mention the names of the companies.

Let's see, what else...oh, since I don't have any homework for the next few months, I'm starting to brush up on my French in anticipation of my graduation trip. Yes, it is brushing up. There was a time in my life when I was JUST on the edge of fluency...but then I stopped taking it because I went to college and it wasn't my major or my minor so I just took one semester to meet the foreign language requirement...then I graduated I'm in law school...anyway, it's been a long time since I actively worked on it, so I've lost a lot of what I used to know. I'm still pretty far beyond basic, but I'd prefer to be able to get along in Paris without needing to say "puis-je parler en anglais, s'il vous plaît?" (may I speak in English, please?) too often. Anyway, I found a podcast that got some good reviews, one of the reviews said it's not very good for "beginner-beginners" so I figured that means it won't annoy me by being overly basic. I've listened to the first two, both had at least one useful tip that I either forgot or never knew, so I'm happy with that. I also found an interesting website with some free worksheets to work on verb conjucation and stuff.

Well, I guess I should get to my errands. Until next time!

**Update: 9:15 pm, EST**

Home from my errands. Christmas shopping is almost done. I am done going to any mall-type places. Although I do still need to go to Target...that might be worse than the mall. But I have this great idea for Chris and Amanda and Target is really the best place to go. Anywho, my mom is done, as is Vanessa, and Megan, Christen and my dad are all online.

Anyway, the best part of the errands: I finally bought myself a new bed! Which I was supposed to do when I moved in September but it just wasn't quite going to happen. Got it at a HUGE sale at Sleep-a-rama (I think they're a Boston business, their website only has Boston and Cambridge locations). They have great customer service, by the way. Anywho, so I go in and I tell the guy that I'm looking for a queen size and I'd like to only spend $700, for delivery and all. He told me they had some specials going on, showed me what I could get for that, then left me alone to lay on all the beds until I decided. I figured the one I almost fell asleep on right there in the store was the one for me. So I'm checking out and the guy showed what the price was normally without the sale - $1200! So basically I just got a great mattress. Finally! I've never had a great mattress like that. Anyway, it's a plush top so it has the support underneath but the squishiness on the top so when I lay on my side (which is how I usually sleep) I won't scrunch my shoulders. And it's one of those with the separate springs that you see the commercials for, with the bowling ball. Beautyrest, I think. I didn't pay as much attention to the details, I just knew that I was falling asleep in the store. =)

So, that's my update on my successful errands. Hooray!
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Just generally...

Work is going great, but I can't say much about it.  Lots of confidentiality.  Ya know, working for the Dept. of Revenue, access to people's tax stuff while it's in litigation, learning about things that big name companies have been doing...yadda yadda...

The movers I'm going to sue should have responded to the 30 day demand letter with a reasonable settlement offer by now.  They didn't, so this weekend I'm going to work on my complaint.

I passed the MPRE, so that's exciting.  Actually, I kicked its ass.  A passing score was an 85, I got a 107.  Go me!

OH!  Most exciting thing is the new toy I bought myself.  It's a phone.  Made by Apple.  With a fun touch screen and lots of cool applications to add (many are free, I'm discovering).  Yes.  That's right.  It's an iPhone.  =D  It's awfully distracting when I'm at work.  Or at home.  Or on the T.  lol.

Anywho, I also got a cute, little, purple iPod Nano.  Yes, I know the iPhone is also an iPod, but the biggest one is 16GB.  Considering I usually have about that much in music I want to take with me and then thinking about space for applications and the fact that the stuff that makes the phone work takes up space, so do contacts and text messages and ringtones...I couldn't see it working as more than just a backup iPod.  Vanessa has had an iPhone for a while now and she said the same thing.  I've also discovered since making the purchase that all the other stuff the phone does really drains the battery.  I'm sure it would start to annoy me if I had to charge it every day because I was not only doing phone stuff but listening to music too.  So anyway, I only got the 8GB phone to make up for the fact that I was getting an iPod too, and then got the 16GB cute little purple one.  Seriously, it's adorable.  And purple.  I love it.  (Did I mention that it's purple?  Have you figured out my favorite color yet?)

So, back to the actual reason I needed a new mp3 player of some sort.  My Zen (random mp3 player made by Creative) has been acting up for about a month and a half now.  Whenever I go to charge it, it only charges about halfway.  It can sit there for 6 hours, or all night, and still not get fully charged.  And the AC adaptor I'd had died over the summer so in order to leave it charging long enough to even get halfway I had to have it attached to my laptop, therefore leaving the laptop on and usually plugged in since I don't normally sit at the computer that long, therefore not only wasting electricity but also affecting the life of my laptop battery.  All signs point to not good.  So, I knew the time had come to replace it.  And after doing some price and quality comparisons I decided that iPods really are the best value.  So, there you have it.  I have converted.  And I'm quite happy with the battery life so far, much happier than I ever was with that Zen, even when it was new.

Aw...Severus just jumped in my lap and when I went to pet him I mis-timed my movement and hit him in the nose.  I must comfort the cat now.  I think that's all my news of the week anyway.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Magical Land of NUSL

So, Bree has been rather confused by the way my school works. It's probably somewhat confusing for the rest of you too, since most of you probably expect classes to go from late summer or early fall to late spring or early summer with just a few breaks in between terms. My school is very different from any other law school. It's actually very different from any other university.

Because it's so unique, I may as well just say that I go to Northeastern University School of Law ("NUSL") in Boston, since it would be pretty easy to figure it out after learning how the program works. Just don't stalk me. ;)

Anyway, so, here's a general overview of how NUSL's program works. For your first year of law school, you're just like any other 1L. You start at the end of August, and your first semester is over in mid-December. Spring semester starts in early January and is over in mid-May. The only unique thing you get as a 1L is the LSSC program, which I've talked about before since I just spent my last term as a Lawyering Fellow in the program.

But then your second year starts. And it actually starts the summer right after your first year is done. The reason we're technically in school all year is because of the co-op program. What is co-op, you ask? Well, it's short for cooperative education, meaning that Northeastern University recognized a long time ago that people don't just learn from sitting in a classroom. The undergraduate school has had a co-op program for almost 100 years, and the students actually go to school for 5 years in order to give themselves time to get up to 18 months of full-time experience as an intern in an area of their choosing.

So, when the university added a law school 40 years ago, of course they couldn't abandon the importance of co-op. But how to implement it into a law school and still be ABA-accredited? The ABA has a lot of crazy rules, it's possible a 4-year program wouldn't fly with them, and then the school wouldn't get many students, and the ones that did attend could only sit for the bar in certain states, and the whole great idea of sending the students on co-op so they could get "experiential education" along with their classroom education wouldn't really do much. So, somehow the founders of the law school figured out that they could probably condense the classes for 2Ls and 3Ls (known as Upper Levels or ULs) into 11 weeks, rather than 15, and put the school on a quarter system for those students, rather than semesters like all the other law schools. And then, if they included summer in the school year, they could arrange the year so that every law student does four 11-week full-time internships before they graduate.

So, in order to make sure that every student gets an internship, they needed to balance out some of the competition, both among the students at NUSL and among NUSL students and the rest of the law schools. Fall, winter, and spring quarters are easy because all the other law students in the country are in school so there's only in-school competition. Summer is highly competitive because that's when all the other law students are really trying to get internships. Luckily, at most other law schools, many students don't get an internship the summer right after their first year. Also, there are more available internships in the summer. Plus, NUSL specifically prepares us for working at an internship during our first year which makes us slightly more desirable than 1Ls from other schools. So those various things balance out the competition in the summer. But then you still have to balance out the competition within the school. So, early in your first year you pick a co-op rotation. You either pick fall/spring, meaning you go on co-op during the fall and spring quarters, or you pick summer/winter, and go on co-op during those quarters. Then you are in class during the quarters when you're not on co-op.

Confused? Here's a visual of the UL calendar, with the two rotations side-by-side.

Summer Quarter
Fall Quarter
Winter Quarter
Spring Quarter



As you can see, this reduces the in-school competition so that you're only competing with half of your fellow students for your next co-op. And certain co-op employers prefer 2Ls, some prefer 3Ls. Some types of co-op, regardless of the employer preference, are better for first or second co-ops, and some are better for third or fourth co-ops when you've had more experience. So it's really pretty easy to get the internship you want in all terms besides summer.

Now that you know all that, you know what it means when I say I'm on the summer/winter rotation. And you all understand why my classes ended shortly before Thanksgiving and now I'm working for about 3 months. Anyway, the whole co-op program is why I wanted to come to NUSL in the first place. Not only having the opportunity to get not one, not two, but four full-time internships, but actually having those four internships be a requirement for graduation sounded great to me. That requirement means I actually have to look for internships, but it also means that the school is really helpful and makes sure you find an internship. They remind you of application deadlines, they have big mailing days when everyone turns in a set of application packets and they mail all your stuff where it needs to go, then they tell you if you got an interview, they filter all the interview offers once you have an internship all lined up so you're not the one that has to answer the phone and say, "oh, sorry, I already accepted a job."

So, there you go. That is why my school is fantastic.

If you want to look at our website, which just got updated so it's all pretty and new, go here.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving Thanks to the City of Boston

First of all, Happy Belated Thanksgiving everyone!

So, my dad arrived on Wednesday and left this morning and boy were we busy!

Wednesday night when he first arrived we just went and had dinner at this pub I like in downtown, The Kinsale. Good food and drinks and nice quiet atmosphere. I thought it was best for him following a day of traveling.

Thursday was Thanksgiving of course. We made our way over to my friend Amanda's place, arriving at 10 am, thinking we were an hour late for watching the Macy's parade. Turns out since I warned Amanda we were running a little late they made sure to TiVo it and waited for our arrival.  We then enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving breakfast of donuts and coffee from Dunkin Donuts while we made fun of the rather unusual camera angles selected for some of the balloons (hi, I don't need to look at Ronald McDonald's ass, thank you).

Following donuts was cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, and chips and dip, served with pumpkin martinis or cosmos while we watched the dog show.  Yes, we did indeed start drinking at noon.  But with plenty of food to balance it out.  During this time various other people started arriving.  Eventually we had a representative from almost every law school in Boston - Northeastern, Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, and New England.  We were only missing Suffolk.  Great conversation was had, mostly around law stuff because, well, that's what we talk about.

At around 5-ish it was time for dinner.  All I'll say about that is...Amanda is a fantastic cook.  All the traditional stuff was there, of course, but the line between good and fantastic is all around how you flavor the food, and she knows what she's doing.

After digesting for a bit, we had dessert.  This meant 5 different pies.  We had apple, pumpkin, pecan, derby (chocolate and walnuts) and eggnog.  Then we sat and digested those for a bit, talked some more, and everyone finally went home at about 9.  All in all it was a great day.

So on Friday it was time for my dad to take the tour of Boston.  The most entertaining thing at first was introducing him to the changeable weather here.  We left and it was a light rain, barely more than a drizzle.  We got to downtown and the rain had stopped.  We went on our way, about 1/2 an hour after we started it turned to rain again, then started hailing at which point we sheltered in the entrance to Old City Hall (we were walking the Freedom Trail at the time), the hail stopped after about 10 minutes and turned back to rain, we went to Faneuil Hall for some lunch, and by the time we were finished with lunch the sky was blue with an occasional fluffy white cloud here and there.  It was highly amusing to see his reaction to all that.

Anyway, so most of what we did was traverse the Freedom Trail, which is a red line either painted or set in brick through the city, taking you on a path to all the important historical sights.  It starts at the Boston Common and ends at Bunker Hill, visiting the Old State House, Faneuil Hall and the Old North Church along the way, to name a few.  After the Freedom Trail, we went up to Harvard and MIT, just to look, I showed my dad my favorite view of the city, which is behind MIT on the river bank, and then we went back into downtown and hit the North End for some great Italian food.  We then went to the Omni Parker House to have Boston Cream Pie where it was invented, and then we went over to Cheers for a drink.  My dad later estimated we walked about 12 miles that day.  Clearly we were exhausted.

Saturday we just went to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. That was really interesting.  I didn't know much about him so I enjoyed going around and learning about the stuff he did.  I plan to take my mom back there because I know she will love it.  After the museum I took my dad down to see my school very briefly and then we went back into downtown for some food.  We ended up at a very fancy restaurant in the Theatre district, I don't remember the name but I do remember the delicious food and wine.

So, after all that, I was still exhausted today.  My dad left this morning and I spent the rest of the day being lazy and eventually made fudge, as is my tradition after Thanksgiving.  Can't make Christmas fudge until it's the Christmas season!

And now, in continuation of the laziness, I am going to bed early.  Although that's just good sense since I start my winter internship tomorrow and I don't want to be tired.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The life I've lived...and will live...

So according to Jenn the original object of this list is to just bold the things you've done, but I like the way she rearranged it into what you have done, what you haven't done yet, and what you'll never do if you can help it.  So, here's my arrangement!

Have Done

1. Started your own blog (this one, and it just received an award the other day! More on that to come...)
2. Slept under the stars (on a friend's trampoline. It's a lot of fun!)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
10. Sang a solo
16. Had food poisoning
18. Grown your own vegetables (my dad did, and I helped)
21. Had a pillow fight
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (well, technically I had a hangover...)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (sunset only, I don't get up early enough for sunrise)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (satisfaction can be living with your best friend to save on rent, it's all about perception)
39. Gone rock climbing (I think technically it was bouldering, and I was completely untrained. Lucky I didn't fall...)
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (Off a mountain, no less! Minor fall while skiing, my back hurt, Timberline took "reasonable precautions," put me on a backboard and sent me down in an ambulance.  I was fine, nothing broken.  Worst part was that I had to pee sometime during the ambulance ride and couldn't get up to go until after the x-rays.  The EMTs in the ambulance did offer me a catheter...that was a very firm no.)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (just snorkeling, but I hope to go scuba diving someday)
52. Kissed in the rain
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
57. Started a business (I significantly helped my dad start an e-business, I think that counts)
60. Served at a soup kitchen (it was actually a homeless shelter but the idea is the same)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (just blood)
67. Bounced a check (sorta, it didn't actually "bounce," it just overdrew my account by 7 cents and I got a bunch of fees.)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (Panthro Bear)
88. Had chickenpox (according to my mom. I was too young to remember.)
89. Saved someone’s life (Not in a big way, but sorta.  I was a lifeguard at a pool and a kid couldn't reach the wall.  I pulled him over and helped him out.)
91. Met someone famous
93. Lost a loved one
95. Seen the Alamo in person
97. Been involved in a lawsuit (Okay, I haven't filed the complaint yet but I did send a letter informing them that the complaint will be filed if they don't make a reasonable settlement offer within 30 days. 30 days was up on Sunday, therefore the complaint will be filed. Basically, I'm involved.)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Not Yet

3. Played in a band
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
12. Visited Paris (Post-graduation 2010!)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (Part of the plan for 2010)
20. Slept on an overnight train
24. Built a snow fort (not enough snow in Portland)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
31. Hit a home run (does it count on the Wii?)
32. Been on a cruise
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (that requires a LOT of traveling to visit them all, but I will eventually)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
68. Flown in a helicopter
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (I've never actually bought a car. Although I do have a car. Funny how things work when you're an only child...)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
86. Visited the White House
90. Sat on a jury (I'll probably be excused for knowing one of the attorneys or the judge, but you never know)
92. Joined a book club
94. Had a baby (not too sure if I ever want to, but sometimes I do...)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

No Freaking Way (If I Can Help It)

11. Bungee jumped
15. Adopted a child (considering the fact that I'm not sure I want to have children, if it turns out I can't, I'll take it as a sign)
22. Hitch-hiked (hell no. Even some cab drivers make me nervous.)
27. Run a Marathon
53. Played in the mud (I was a rather clean child)
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies (wasn't a part of that as a child)
65. Gone sky diving
75. Been fired from a job
77. Broken a bone (Not even fractures, just a couple sprains)
85. Read the entire Bible (Wasn't raised that way and now I'm agnostic)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (okay, I may be an omnivore, but ew)

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Recipe for disaster


1 Tbsp. rhinovirus
2 cups stress
4 cups wicked cold weather


1.  Find someone with the rhinovirus.  Remain near this person for two hours.
2.  Add stress 1/2 a cup at a time.  Mix well.
3.  Fold in half the wicked cold weather.
4.  Let sit for a day, fold in the rest of the wicked cold weather.
5.  Let sit for another day.
6.  Congratulations!  You now have a cold!

Grr.  This is lame.  I don't get sick.  Even being around other people who are sick and being stressed usually doesn't do it.  But throw in that cold weather...

Oh well.  At least the term is over.  I still have a bit of editing to do on my paper, but no more researching or actual writing.  I like editing anyway.

I'm going to curl up with the cat now.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Only difference is that my eyes are brown...

I'm overly critical of my own poetry, so here's some lyrics that say it better than I could.

Seems like just yesterday
You were a part of me
I used to stand so tall
I used to be so strong
Your arms around me tight
Everything, it felt so right
Unbreakable, like nothin' could go wrong
Now I can't breathe
No, I can't sleep
I'm barely hanging on

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

I told you everything
Opened up and let you in
You made me feel alright
For once in my life
Now all that's left of me
Is what I pretend to be
So together, but so broken up inside
'Cause I can't breathe
No, I can't sleep
I'm barely hangin' on

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Swallow me then spit me out
For hating you, I blame myself
Seeing you it kills me now
No, I don't cry on the outside

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Here I am, once again
I'm torn into pieces
Can't deny it, can't pretend
Just thought you were the one
Broken up, deep inside
But you won't get to see the tears I cry
Behind these hazel eyes

Kelly Clarkson - Behind these Hazel Eyes

You know who you are...

Yes, over the summer I thought I was over it.  But my heart skips a beat when I pass you in the hallway, and then it breaks all over again when the encounter is over with little more than a hello.

I am so, so, not over it.  And I'm finally admitting it.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

6 secrets

I've been tagged to reveal 6 secrets and tag 6 other bloggers to do the same. So here goes.

1.  The fact that my heart defies all logic really angers me.  Once I've fallen for someone, really fallen for them, no amount of hurt or distance or rejection can stop it.  I will feel how I feel forever, until I decide we're incompatible (usually when a relationship has already ensued and then we break up) or until someone comes along that can make me forget.
2.  Along with number 1, it's really hard to be the person that makes me forget.  I don't usually trust people, and if I don't trust you, I'm not going to fall for you.  It's unfortunate that the only people who have gained that trust (in matters of love, at least) have proven themselves to be unworthy of it.  But still I yearn...hence my irritation over the lack of logic.
3.  I believe in ghosts.  I have seen two.  I have heard one.  I have sensed countless others.  Say what you will, but some of what I've experienced is hard to dispute.
4.  I don't like sweets but love making dessert.  I do it for the compliments.
5.  I will stop dead in my tracks for really good music.  No matter who it's coming from.  You can be the dirtiest street musician I've ever seen playing in the T station, but if you're good, I will pull out my earbuds and listen.
6.  This was really hard for me because I don't like to reveal secrets.  See number 2.

So now I tag...

Anyone who wants to be tagged.  =)
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

To hope: lost, and found again.

November 7, 2000

It was a few months before my 18th birthday.  I may have not voted in this one, but I watched the results roll in.  I was in the midst of my required Government class in high school, and our teacher was very involved in making sure we understood what the election was all about, who the candidates were, and why it was important to vote.  She brought registration forms for all the Seniors who were old enough to register by the deadline.  Even if we couldn't vote, she encouraged us to get involved.  So I was involved and eager to see the results.  Eager to watch democracy work.

I was a bit disappointed when "my" candidate didn't win.  I was a bit irritated with the electoral college system when there was a disparity between the popular vote and the electoral votes.  Eventually I was furious with Florida for all the problems with the damn "chads."  Remember the chads?

But I maintained some hope that maybe, even though the man who got elected seemed rather unintelligent and inarticulate, maybe he wouldn't ruin the country.  Maybe it would only be four years and if he messed up, we'd fix it.

I watched his mistakes and misjudgments for the next four years.  I became more and more impassioned as it got closer to the end.  I fought to make sure those mistakes wouldn't continue for another four years.  I debated with friends and relatives.  I wore stickers and pins and put up signs.  I had hope that the other citizens of this country would see the light.  And then...

November 2, 2004

This time I was about halfway in to my 21st year.  A senior in college now.  Working very hard on a forty page thesis.  But that didn't stop me from voting and then watching the results come in.

All I remember of this night was a slow slip into depression as the polls closed and the numbers came in.  I remember drinking more alcohol than I should have considering my emotional state.  I remember finally turning off the TV when it was clearly all over.  I remember double-checking in the morning just to make sure it wasn't all a bad dream.  I remember going to my thesis class with my fellow 6 or 7 sociology majors, morosely fidgeting with my Kerry button, so depressed and angry that all I really wanted to do was throw it across the room.  We didn't talk about our theses that day.

Most of all, I remember my vehement pledge to leave the country.  I decided was going to finish college and then move to France.  I looked into it.  Very seriously.  I was going to be an au pair at first, and then somehow I would find a way to stay.  Because I couldn't stay here.  I couldn't be in a country where people thought it was a good idea to put a man who had made that many mistakes back in the White House for another four years to make more mistakes. I had lost all hope for this country, and I just wanted out.

Eventually I decided I couldn't leave my family and friends like that.  But I also couldn't be involved in politics anymore.  Not like I was.  I felt like it didn't matter.  I felt like there was nothing I could do.  I graduated and ended up at a job that I was highly overqualified for, but at least it paid the bills.  I got irritated with that job and started looking into ways I could actually use the brains I was blessed with.  I decided to go to law school.

I guess some small part of me thought maybe being a lawyer would be a way to make a change.  But mostly I just wanted to do something I could feel proud of.  I wanted a job that you can only get by being smart and working hard.  I learned some things about the ways that the courts can effect change when the people haven't.  But I still didn't really have hope.  Not anymore.

During my first year of law school, I watched the amazing campaign start.  I watched the fight between whether we would have a female candidate or a black candidate.  Either would have made history.  But I had concerns.  One was the divisiveness I saw still lurking in the Democratic party.  I knew that whoever became the Democratic candidate, I would back him/her whether or not he/she was the one I voted for in the primaries.  But I didn't trust that the rest of my party would do the same.

My other concern was one I didn't like to mention to many people.  Which institutionalized bias is worse in this country?  We don't talk about sexism.  We don't talk about racism.  We pretend they're not here.  But they are.  Which one was going to be easier for people to overcome when they walked into the voting booths?  I just didn't know.

I watched Barack Obama rise up as the chosen candidate.  I heard inspiring, articulate, beautiful, empowering speeches coming from his heart.  I wanted to feel the hope and joy he was trying to spread.  But I couldn't let myself hope.  Not yet.  Even at 25, already I had experienced too many disappointments in this country to dare to dream.

As it got closer to the date, I got a little more involved.  I donated about $20 to his campaign, all I could afford as a poor law student.  I joined Facebook groups to show my support.  I even set up an automatic Facebook update that said I'd donated my status to the campaign.  And I encouraged everyone I knew to get out and vote.  But I couldn't let myself get more involved than that.  I couldn't put that much energy into something when I was too afraid to be disappointed again.  I was still afraid to hope.

November 4, 2008

I wake up an hour early because it's the only time I have to go vote.  I'm a bit nostalgic for the days I lived in Oregon when I could fill out my ballot in the comfort of my living room and then toss it in the mailbox or a ballot drop box, located at any public library as well as other public locations.

I go to school.  I'm in class all day.  Tuesdays are my long day.  I have a bit of time in between classes to go get my free election day cup of Starbucks coffee.  But I'm mostly quiet and reserved.  Holding back the hope that's trying to break through.  I don't want to jinx it.  Not now.

I finally get home a little after 9.  I turn on the TV and find CNN.  And then I hear it.  Obama has taken Ohio.  I know what that means.  That means it might really be happening.  I start to smile.  But I don't celebrate.  Not quite yet.  I'm just not ready.

I switch to Comedy Central at 10.  I love Jon Stewart.  He's on my list.  ;)  I laugh at the jokes, cheer when I see all the reports he and Stephen Colbert are announcing showing what states Obama has taken.  But since they're not doing an official count, I don't really know exactly how it's going.  I know California, Oregon and Washington are safe even though the polls aren't closed.  I came from that coast.  I know what they're about.

I'm twittering and updating Facebook as I watch.  I figure it's going to be a long night.  It was the last two times.

And then I hear it.  Straight from Jon Stewart's lips.

"At 11 o'clock at night, Eastern Standard time, the President of the United States is Barack Obama."

I start to cry.  I start to laugh.  I start to feel all the hope I'd lost over the last 8 years.  I go get a glass of wine to celebrate.  Vanessa comes out of her room to share my joy and gets some celebratory ice cream.  I call my mom.  We cry together.  I watch the respectful concession speech by John McCain for a while, until I get a bit frustrated with the crowd and I decide to watch my TiVoed episode of Jeopardy.  I don't want that crowd putting a damper on my mood.  I drink my wine.  I turn off Jeopardy and find that they're waiting for Obama to come out and make his speech.  The speech brings me to tears again.  I'm moved by the millions of people chanting in unison - yes we can.  I turn off the TV and fall asleep, going to bed with hope in my heart for the first time in 8 years.

I wake up this morning and am overwhelmed by the joy I feel, by the joy I see, by the seeds of hope sprouting everywhere I go.  I'm brought to tears by almost everything I see and hear.  I go to school, looking out on my country with new eyes.  Things are going to change.  Things are going to get better.

Yes we can.

To the President-elect, Barack Obama, and to the citizens that got him there, thank you.  Thank you for giving me back my hope.  Thank you for giving me a reason to be proud of this country again.  Thank you.
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