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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I don't have time to write the post I want to write until later this afternoon, but I just wanted to write a quick sentence sharing my happiness with the rest of my bloggy friends.

More to come...just give me a few hours.
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