Archive for the ‘Lists’ Category

things to be thankful for…

  • the last day of law school classes: today!
  • days until my 27th birthday: 6
  • days until i get married: 166
  • a job lined up: beginning next fall



meals in a snap

often, i find myself cooking completely random meals made up of whatever i happen to have in the kitchen at that time … grilled cheese with pickles & carrot/spinach salad? pasta with zuccini &  mushrooms? pitas with feta & boxed couscous? nachos with black beans & veggies?

but when i take the time to plan out meals, they often turn out a lot healthier & much more satisfying.  here are a few quick & easy recipes robby &/or i have tried over the last few weeks that i think you’ll love too!

[most of these recipes also make for great leftovers!]

& for dessert, the best homemade sugar cookies i’ve ever had: martha stewart’s ideal sugar cookie recipe

happy cooking [&  baking]!!


what i never knew i couldn’t live without, until law school

this grind & brew coffee maker (my neighbors must hate the loud rocket-ship-launching grinding sound it makes every morning, and often in the afternoons)

peach black tea (i have gone through SO many boxes of this tea!)

my macbook (which hasn’t failed me yet & saves me from hand cramps in class/on exams!)

orange juice (because all those glasses of oj are the only explanation for why i haven’t gotten sick much in law school – after riding the muni every day with what always seems like a busload of sick people)

these bose noise-canceling headphones (because my upstairs neighbors like to stomp around in boots at 2 am. a lot.)

this bill evans trio cd (it is the perfect mix of upbeat and low-key jazz music that makes for perfect study tunes … i think i must have listened to this about 5,000 times over the last couple years) thanks robert!

wikipedia (when you need a brief recap of that SCOTUS case that isn’t quite fitting together in your notes)

lexis nexis (when you need a good case brief or some major help with that research paper)

my bathtub (when you need a nice, long bubble bath after a long, hard day) …

christmas ideas?

if anyone needs some great, original christmas ideas for the artsy- or urban-minded in your life, check these lists out from design*sponge…

and if you’re looking for any ideas for me, i’d be happy with about anything on either of these lists. way to go d*s!

[i’m a squirrel nutcracker!]  [i’m a horseshoe necklace charm!]


ok, now back to studying…



and a happy thanksgiving to you

in the spirit of the season, here are just a few of the many things i am thankful for:

  • a loving & supportive boyfriend (who cherishes me better than anyone ever could)
  • a sweet & caring family (that i cannot wait to see this friday!)
  • the ability to go to law school (and, hopefully, finish next year)
  • a great community group in san francisco (it’s like a bible study, but focused on service too)
  • a healthy body
  • the fact that finals will be over by this time next month (and this is a killer semester because i have 5, yes 5 finals coming up!)
  • the even more exciting fact that next semester will be my last time to take law school finals.  you have absolutely no idea how thankful i am for that.

i am so, so very lucky.

happy thanksgiving!!


in the spirit of fall

after reading posts about fall on the blogs of a dear friend and my sister, i thought i’d capture what i love most about this season.

FALL - Pumpkins

autumn is great because …

  • the films: i can watch you’ve got mail with a cup of coffee on a saturday morning and chalk it up as a personal, fall tradition (not that i don’t watch the movie other times of the year) … the only problem with this little tradition is that it makes me want to book a plane ticket to new york the very minute the opening credits roll. other favorite fall films include: love actually, funny face, father of the bride, & any of the friends episodes that revolve around thanksgiving (i cheated, that’s not a movie, but close enough!)
  • the food: they sell pumpkin pie at the grocery store … one of my favorite desserts! and, oh how i love trying new fall recipes from here & here. last but not least, let’s not forget about thanksgiving dinner – hello, fall feast!
  • the colors: changing leaves and warm-colored flowers are right up my alley.
  • the decorations: i can buy mini pumpkins to decorate my apartment. they are just so darned cute!
  • the smells: williams-sonoma sells their spiced chestnut candle that i buy, as a treat for myself, every fall … it smells like a homemade pumpkin pie is in the oven. nothing better! and while we’re on the “smell” theme, i will admit, i’m a fan of pumpkin spice lattes (so yummy & sweet), and oh how i love the smell of coffee shops as they’re making these fall-themed drinks!
  • the clothes: now, i realize that in san francisco, the weather tracks fall almost all year round, but i am a girl with a heart for fall and winter clothes. i do love dresses, but my favorite seasonal clothing has got to be layered sweaters, jackets, jeans, boots, and clothes with hints of dark browns and greens. truth be told, i don’t spend much money on clothes these days, but i do love to check out the fall trends on, even if merely to window-shop!
  • the music: maybe it’s just me, but i also love listening to fall-themed songs this time of year. a few of my favorites? –  “i love the rain the most” by joe purdy; “fire” by rachel loshak; “the city” by matt kearney; “nobody knows me at all” by the weepies; “both sides now” by joni mitchell; “if you were coming in the fall” by carla bruni; “sea green, see blue” and “corduroy” by jaymay; & pretty much anything by frank sinatra.
  • the upcoming break: it’s not long until christmas and a month-long break (although, this will most likely be my last such break). also, this break doesn’t come without a price = final exams!

enjoy your fall, wherever you are!



i’ve been meaning to update this for awhile…

the list (10 things i would like to do before i’m 30): 

  • 1.  pass the california bar
  • 2.  go skydiving
  • 3.  run another (half) marathon
  • 4.  cook an entire meal (from appetizers to dessert) for at least 15 people, all by myself 
  • 5.  visit italy (lucca, in particular) for the first time + visit london again
  • 6.  climb an extremely tall mountain (mt. whitney?)
  • 7.  take another french class (+ read a french novel?)
  • 8.  watch more oscar-winning films
  • 9.  volunteer more to help the poor & homeless in san francisco (and any other city i find myself living)
  • 10.  get a dog

u11428486 images images-1  

do any of you have any ideas of things i should add to the list? 

what’s on your list?

gist, part two

thought i would make another grace in the small things post …

today, i am thankful for…

  • an awesome summer boss (he’s a judge) & yummy chocolate cake this morning for his birthday!
  • coffee, specifically blue bottle’s bittersweet blend
  • sunshine that provided a glowy tan (well, a tan by my skin’s standards. i still look white against most!)
  • iphones (yes, i know. this makes me evil. but i am really thankful for it & all the games/internet/phone calls it provides on the long bus rides to & from work.)
  • fresh blueberries.
  • the dream of a dog in my future. preferably a springer spaniel. one that looks like this! i plan to name her millie. 
  • college friends and trips with our moms! 


grace in the small things… it’s never a bad idea to look for things to be thankful for in our daily lives.

as oxford english dictionary defines “grace” — elegance of movement; courteous good will; attractice qualities or behavior; the free and unearned favour of God; a short prayer of thanks. [all great things!]

today, i am thankful for…


  • a healthy body that allows me to walk, run, ride my bike, go to yoga, & enjoy lots of outdoor activities
  • trips with friends, moms, & dads (camping!  oregon!  caribbean cruise!)
  • my african violet that always stretches over to the window to reach for the sun & continues to bloom cheery little purple blossoms every few weeks
  • unusually warm weather in san francisco
  • margaritas! chips & salsa!
  • good books & a great local bookstore (browser books, on fillmore)
  • fresh-squeezed, homemade lemonade
  • real simple magazine
  • iced coffee with 1/2 & 1/2
  • sweet boyfriends


also, another reason to love my name: “anna” means graceful one.

my break: part II


day 4, tuesday: 

  • cooked chicken hash w/an egg for breakfast. YUM!
  • baked peach cobbler, just for fun.
  • made homemade granola. very impressed with the results. much better than store-bought AND healthier!!
  • grilled cheese + brussel sprouts for dinner.

day 5, wednesday: 

  • went for a good, long run. 
  • worked on cover letters for externship applications.
  • researched which classes to take in the fall.  the list, as of now: corporations, tax, contract writing & analysis, negotiations, criminal procedure, comparative corporate governance.  [this list will need to be shortened; i always want to take more classes than i have time for!]

day 6, thursday: 

  • ate homemade granola for breakfast with hazelnut coffee (my new favorite!)
  • got a little freaked out about not being prepared for my summer job …
  • subsequently, did a bunch of cali exercises to brush up on legal writing & research.
  • had gumbo at brenda’s french soul food for lunch. SO worth the 45-minute wait!
  • exchanged a dress i bought here a few days ago — for a cuter black one. much happier with it!
  • went to a “pilates mat” class (& decided i like yoga much better).
  • upset the office was a repeat.  😦

day 7, friday: 

  • ate homemade granola for breakfast. definitely making this again.
  • did four long-overdue loads of laundry (!!!) – it took ALL morning…
  • had coffee with a lovely local hastings grad i had met at a hastings clerkship reception. discussed my career path & got lots of excellent advice for the future. thankful to be getting better at networking.  
  • took a nap. usually, i have trouble falling asleep, but not today!
  • dinner at 1550 hyde cafe & wine bar to celebrate robby’s graduation. SO proud!!
  • coffee at nook. a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!





[if you look closely at the last picture, you can see robby’s head is turning to look at the trolley passing outside the window.]


    my break: part I

    before work starts, i have 10 days to spend doing whatever i please. this is how it began…

    day 1, saturday: 

    • cleaned the entire apartment – bathroom, kitchen, wood floors, & windows. [to some this may not seem relaxing, but i had been waiting to do this for over a month!] 
    • helped robby finish up his thesis [yay!] + took it to get printed at kinko’s.
    • had dinner at long bar  – salad & calamari.
    • went to a friend’s new condo to part-ay!

    day 2, sunday: 

    • robert made chocolate chip pancakes for us for breakfast [you can get the great mix here].
    • picked up robby’s thesis & drove it to palo alto [where his professor lives to ensure on-time delivery].  
    • had lunch and shopped a bit in palo. love that cute town so much!! [some day i will see a classic christmas film here.]
    • dinner at the blue barn in the marina, san fran. the weather was just so absolutely perfect that we sat outside & absorbed the sunshine.

    day 3, monday: 

    • made homemade biscuits for breakfast. ate with apricot jam [my all-time favorite!] + orange juice. 
    • wrote some overdue thank you cards that had been patiently waiting for me to finish finals.
    • brought robby lunch at work. [he now officially has a master’s degree – he deserves it!!]
    • did a little shopping with some birthday gift cards. [spent entirely too much time looking at cute knickknacks in anthropologie!]
    • went for a run.
    • dinner with stasie & robby!

    what i wish i had time to read…

    the financial times [every single column written by monacle’s editor, tyler brule]. — hilariously elitist.

    the associate, john grisham. —  typical law-related book from this lawyer turned famous author. a law school graduate is forced to take a job at a large, brutalizing law firm.

    the death of innocents: a reasonable doubt, adam liptak. — discusses the author’s view that america is executing innocent people. i tend to agree.

    the nine, inside the secret world of the supreme court, jeffrey toobin. — explores the “hidden” world of powerful change in the supreme court. many of the justices’ positions will open up in the near future. four of the justices are in their 70s, and john paul stevens is 88! [obama expects to leave a major footprint on the court] the author of the nine was a former US attorney and is now a staff writer at the new yorker and senior legal analyst at CNN [proof it will be well-written]. 

    outliers, malcolm gladwell. — i pick up this book and read a little more each time i step in a bookstore. interesting chapter on lessons to be learned from a rags-to-riches lawyer story. 

    . . . most are law-related. i guess that means i chose the right profession – something i’m deeply interested in!

    in 2008 i …

    Voted for Barack Obama.  Prayed he would win.

    Got my law school grades from first year.  Beat myself up about it, then went on with life.

    Worked at an immigration firm in SF.  

    Felt clients’ pain when Visas and Green Cards were rejected.  Celebrated with clients when applications were approved.

    Made a great decision to be a teacher’s assistant for Legal Writing & Research.  Became protective of my “little” 1Ls.

    Kept 3 plants alive.  Killed 2 in the process.

    Celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday.

    Found myself filled with joy as a good friend got married.  Wore dark teal as a bridesmaid.

    Cried after I got home from class more than once.  

    Learned the healing power of happy hour.

    Left my iPhone in a cab.  Felt gratitude for the cabbie that tracked me down.

    Joined a community group through my church.  Best decision all year.

    Read hundreds of cases – funny, inspiring, sad, boring.  Finally started getting the hang of this law school thing.

    Was asked to be on a Journal.

    Went white-water rafting.  

    Visited San Antonio, a vineyard in Oregon, Palo Alto, Marin, Sausalito, Los Angeles, and others.

    Learned that baking is my therapy.  Licked fingers after stirring batter for shortbread, muffins, biscuits, cupcakes, and cookies. 

    Tried to cut back on coffee intake.  Fell in love with Vanilla Bean & Orange Dulce teas by Mighty Leaf. 

    Bought a fish.  Named her Eleanor after the former First Lady [who happens to share my first name]. 


    Scrubbed and bleached the bathtub too many times to count. Affirmed all indications that I am a clean freak.

    Decided San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the world.  And too expensive to call home forever.


    Fell more in love with my darling boyfriend.  So, so thankful for the ways he loves me and keeps me sane.

    Fell in love again with my life.

    need christmas ideas?

    here are a few ideas around the internet that i thought were a bit quirky, to say the least . . .



    mittens made for two. two singles & one tandem.


    spoon & fork it over

    extendable silverware to help your relatives steal food from your plate?


    vintage mobile phone attachment

    to make your cellphone inconvenient?


    the digital frame

    and it’s not cheap, either!

    i ♥ pac heights

    just wanted to share some pac heights news with you  . . .
    so, today, as i was riding the bus to work, i noticed a mass of people on fillmore… a bunch of camera crews, a man in a black beret, huge lighting apparatuses, tripods & neat yellow cones to direct traffic away from the mess.

    i asked someone on the bus what was going on, and they said they were shooting a movie. like, “it’s no big deal, honey, just a movie.” but i’m thinking, HOW COOL IS THAT? they’re shooting a movie on fillmore. like 3 blocks from my little studio apartment. i’m sure the movie will be fab, i mean, can you think of a cuter location? i wonder if they need any extras??

    & if you were wondering, here’s a list of movies that – at least in part – were shot in pacific heights:

    down to you, the wedding planner, mrs. doubtfire, pacific heights (called a “horror film for yuppies,” of course!), dr. doolittle, the princess diaries, basic instinct, nine months, and the list goes on… 

    (carrie & i outside of bittersweet on fillmore)

    pac heights: the neighborhoodthe shopping. the architecture.

    how ruUUUude!

    (1) bus driver on the 47/9 (?) bus yesterday afternoon, yelling at me: “YOUNG LADY, YOU CANNOT GET ON THE BUS YET. ARE YOU BLIND??!! THE BUS IS FULL!”

    me, thinking: “ok, but perhaps you’re the blind one. I’m carrying 3 heavy law school books, it’s a long time until the next bus comes, the bus is obviously not completely full, and why did you stop here if no one is getting off.”

    (2) working woman in obnoxiously-avocado-green pumps on the bus this afternoon: steps smack dab in the middle of my foot with her heel

    me: ooh

    heel-stomping woman: oh, i’m sorry.

    me, smiling: that’s ok. no big deal.

    heel-stomper: “I SAID I WAS SORRY! WHY ARE YOU STILL MAD??!”

    me, thinking: “i said it was ok. i’m not mad! what are the people on these buses taking? – the crabby-pill?”

    (3) my upstairs neighbors last night (positive they were thinking this): “let’s make it so our neighbor downstairs – the girl we never smile at in the halls – will lose out on MORE sleep! let’s stomp around and move furniture at 3 IN THE MORNING ON A MONDAY NIGHT just because it sounds fun!”


    … seriously people.

    public transit: the bus stories

    if this were the title of a book, i’d be the first to buy it.

    busses create wonderful story material.


    in fact, i already have countless funny, crazy and downright weird bus stories from the past 7 months of riding muni.

    some recent memories:

    — chatting with the driver on the 3-jackson about the weather & finding out that he used to live in alaska. apparently i’m a wimp because i took the bus for 1/2 a mile and because i think san francisco nights are cold. “you need to beef up and stick it out” – those were his exact words.

    — falling on the 1-california because i tried to carry 3 law school books, a coffee, a schoolbag and a lunch sack while trying to hold the handrail on the steep, steep hills. a nice old man in a checkered vest helped me pick everything up. [i’m not sure why, but i thought this was so crazy funny at the time – probably because of my silliness to forget that i only have 2 arms]

    — watching a homeless boy scratch lottery card after lottery card (probably around 30 cards total) in an attempt to make it big on the 47-van ness. [extremely sad]

    — talking to an ex-lawyer who tried to convince me to quit law school and work for him at his PR firm. “law school is for losers,” he said. [funny]

    — realizing that almost every one of the 15 or so yuppy business people on the 1-california were on their blackberries. [somewhat disturbing]

    — seeing an old man on the 22-fillmore finish the crossword. he was in such a state of pleasure with himself, he shouted, “yahoooooo!” [adorable]

    — hearing the bus driver on the 1-california humming “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go…” [cute]

    — laughing, while the bus driver for the 1-california chugged, “i think i can. i think i can. i think i can.” while the bus climbed a steep hill. [also cute]

    — seeing a really, really sick drugged-out homeless man throw up. [gross + sad]

    — watching countless kind people give up their seats for older riders, the handicapped and for pregnant women. [beautiful]

    as annoying as riding the bus can be, it is quite a little microcosm of the universe. there are so many different types of people, of all ages, races, education levels, demeanors and languages.

    no matter what bus i take or time of day i’m taking it, a ride on the busses of san francisco have been a million small, healthy steps outside of my comfort zone.

    i’m convinced that these are the types of experiences that make us who we are. they can shape us into more mindful people, if we let them.


    over the last few days, i have been exploring los angeles with the boyfriend, his brother, his brother’s girlfriend & my sister.

    i am always amazed at how much there is to see & do in LA. even though i was born & grew up a mere two hours from the glamour & excitement of LA, i felt a world apart from it.

    LA might as well have been on the other side of the world, because bakersfield (my hometown) is, proudly, that different.

    we only went down south for the shopping, for school field trips, or to drive through – heading somewhere else.

    all of that being true, i still love all that LA has to offer.

    some of the fun, quirky or breathtakingly beautiful places we visited:

    (i recommend all of them)

    lilly’s french cafe & bar – french food in a super cool part of a super cool neighborhood, venice

    a stroll along the canals of venice – beautiful homes backing up to canals styled after those in venice, italy. the christmas lights were spectacular!


    the hollyhock house – a home by famous architect frank lloyd wright for an extremely eccentric heiress in the 1920s. many design elements inside & outside of the house were modeled after the hollyhock flower – the original owner’s favorite. (the walking tour was worth the wait!) … my interest in FLW & his architecture was thereafter heightened

    the griffith park & observatory – an immense & beautifully natural park with a 1920s-built observatory at the top (winter is best for the beautiful views – we could easily see the hollywood sign & all the way to long beach)


    the ambrose hotel – a comfortable, environmentally-friendly hotel in santa monica

    the laguna art museum – an excellent art house with the current exhibitions being wayne thiebaud & “shag” (aka: josh agle) — loved it.


    yoga works – what better place than gorgeous huntington beach to get some yoga in?

    i love autumn.

    brisk air, changing leaves, thanksgiving get-togethers, cozy sweaters, warm drinks, a slower pace, trick-or-treating little kids, candy corn, halloween parties …

    & pumpkins (you can’t forget the pumpkins)!


    i love this time of year.

    * the picture is of me & one of my new, baby pumpkins i adopted from mollie stones, my central market/whole foods/dean&deluca/trader joe’s substitute. (wow, i sound like a grocery-store snob, right now!)

    g-daddy rocks the house (i am so white)

    in light of magic cookie’s post, i thought i’d write one in similar fashion…

    actual google searches i did today:

    “utilitarianism and retributivism – definitions”
    (for my criminal law class – still had NO IDEA the difference between the two from my criminal law casebook)

    “how to remove grape juice from suede”
    (at least a few times a week, either my tide-to-go pen or google saves me from ruining furniture and/or clothes after clumsy spills)

    “are q tips unhealthy”
    (this search in light of this article i read.)

    “are hornbooks cheating in law school?”

    happy googling to all of you.

    my first boyfriend. yes, i AM 24.

    for 24 years i waited to meet him. you could say i’m picky.

    as irony would have it, he was right under my nose. FOR A DECADE.

    ♥ ♥ ♥     robert-1.jpg     ♥ ♥ ♥

    for almost a year now, i have been dating this amazing guy. he is irresistable in so many ways and on so many levels. the boy defies all definitions of “best boyfriend ever.” he’s his own category.

    you could say he’s perfect. but perhaps he is simply perfect for me.

    i love him.




    i mention all of this simply because these past few months have been and will continue to be an incredible period of “firsts” – first boyfriend (and, proudly, first kiss), first time to get in & attend law school, first experience living in washington, d.c. AND san francisco, first bianchi bike (did i tell you how great the boyfriend is?), first time to denmark AND germany, first time having my VERY OWN apartment (to decorate on my own, clean when i feel like it, walk around in my underwear any time of day and to scream-sing the words out loud to my favorite songs) …

    i can feel a million new “firsts” coming in the next few weeks as law school starts (first time spending an entire day and night in a law library?? first time being verbally humiliated in class by a law professor??) and as i get settled in my adorable studio in pacific heights.

    with this beautiful – and somewhat scary – year of firsts, i can’t imagine a better time to thank sweet robert austin for supporting me through ALL of it. through the painful LSAT studying, through the four months we spent on separate shores of the country, through sifting through craigslist posts for the “perfect” apartment … through the happy, silly & the sad.

    you are my hero. i can’t wait to experience a gazillion more “firsts” with you.


    ♥ ♥ ♥

    things that make me laugh …

    doggy daycare centers that smell more like the ritz than a motel 6

    … why so funny? because one night for an average-sized puppy in a luxury room at the Wag Hotel is $72!! (includes plasma tvs, sofas, rugs, paintings, classical music, personalized playtime with humans, organic food fed twice a day, playgroups with other pets, etc. – you know, the usual)

       the 25 most exquisitely sad songs in the world 

    … why am i laughing? because a lot of my favorite songs are on the list. (most fav: #12, in the wee small hours of the morning by frank sinatra)

    “the five-second rule explored or how dirty is that bologna?”

     … why so hilarious? because clemson scientists performed a thorough microbiological study of the five-second rule: the idea that if you pick up a dropped piece of food before you can count to five, it’s ok to eat it. clemson scientists have too much time on their hands if you ask me.

    isabella blow’s crazy costume-like clothes

    sadly, ms. blow has died this past week, but i have a feeling that her inventive apparel will keep people chuckling the world over well past her lifetime… a great legacy, if you ask me.

    role play

    … why? because posts like this one from keep me coming back for more. and because kids are a whole heck-of-a-lot smarter & sneakier than we give them credit for. it’s sorta like my daily dose of laughter.

      pitching tents in new york city…? 

    … why? because respectable, well-paid young professionals are cramming into tiny apartments, living in office spaces and in tents on the top of buildings because nyc has major housing issues. i know it’s not politically correct to laugh at people’s plight, but i can’t help it.

     because adults can have FUN too!

    … why? because i hope i never become “too old” to have a girl’s weekend with friends and take silly photos of us pretending we’re superheros. rock on, dooce + friends!  

    signs of spring…


    … the freesia blooms i bought over the weekend which are opening up in little vases all over my room

    … open windows at work, with wind gusts blowing my papers around

    … girls in dresses (i finally got to wear one on sunday!)

    … birdies chirping out my window every morning and afternoon

    … kids playing in the park across the street after school instead of bundling up to rush home

    … the huge winter coat that’s FINALLY collecting dust in my closet

    … sunshine so bright i got to use my sunglasses today

    … a craving for ice cream

    my manifesto

    today i was inspired by the manifesto of a yoga clothing company, lululemon, to write down a list of my long-term goals.

    make no mistake, this is not a “new year’s resolution” sort of task. i hate new year’s resolutions – no one ever sticks with them and they usually focus on unobtainable weight-related goals. mine will be different.

    i have never actually written anything like this down. i’ve made countless grocery lists, shopping lists, packing lists and to-do lists. long-term goals sometimes scare me because it’s often hard to make promises to yourself so far in advance of when you might actually be able to reach them. however, they are a great way to focus yourself and get back some things in your life that you’ve lost sight of while you’ve been busy worrying about short-term deadlines and projects.

    so, i took a deep breath and jotted them down.

    after writing my goals on paper, i realized that I’ve always had many of these in the back of my mind, but somewhere within the past few years between finishing college and finding a job to filling out law school applications and studying for the lsat, they got forgotten. this has become a vicious cycle – between letting the stresses of everyday life get in the way of these goals and then fighting for them back. writing these goals down may help break this cycle (the same sort of cycle i wrote about here) …


    the all-inclusive list

    a few of you have been asking me which law schools i ended up applying to … and with eighteen to list, almost every time, i forget to include a couple. (and, no, i don’t mind at all explaining where and why i’ve applied. i love when people ask!) but, for the record here they are – organized alphabetically by state:

    1. california western univ. (san diego)
    2. golden gate univ. (san fran)
    3. loyola univ. (los angeles)
    4. pepperdine univ. (malibu)
    5. santa clara univ. (santa clara)
    6. univ. of california, davis  (davis)
    7. univ. of california, hastings  (san fran)
    8. univ. of the pacific  (sacramento)
    9. univ. of san diego (san diego)
    10. univ. of san francisco  (san fran)
    11. univ. of southern california (los angeles)
    12. boston univ.  (boston)
    13. northwestern univ.  (chicago)
    14. univ. of pennsylvania  (philadephia)
    ::washington, dc::
    15. american university (d.c.)
    16. georgetown university (d.c.)
    17. george mason university  (technically: fairfax, virginia)
    18. george washington university  (d.c.)

    whew! boy, am i glad all these apps are in. the application process was nothing short of long and arduous. it was quite a feat just to get these all in on time (& in fact, they were all in early!) … preparation for law school, i suppose.

    marriage is not built on surprises


    divorce is sad.

     i think most of us would agree with this statement. it creates a culture where families are no longer secure, where children are hurt the most, where the bonds that should help us all shelter the storms that life brings our way are often violently torn apart. i can’t think of anything else that is so prevalent and yet so destructive in our society today.

    just yesterday i learned of two more families i know being broken apart by divorce. it’s everywhere.

    i am definitely a proactive complainer, or at least i’d like to be better at this. i hate complaining just to complain. so i thought, “what needs to be changed to lower the divorce rates?” and while this is an extremely complicated question and in NO WAY am i arguing that i’m an expert on the topic nor am i the best to answer it, i found something that i think might be a big part of the answer.

    drumroll, please … … … … … … … … … …

    if you were hoping for a magic answer to this question, look elsewhere. i don’t believe in magic answers. and luck really has nothing to do with it either. i don’t believe in pure luck. i think that we make our own luck, in small dedicated ways every day… this is ESPECIALLY true in marriage. take thomas jefferson’s quote on the subject: “i’m a great believer in luck, and i find the harder i work, the more i have of it.”

    so, it’s not left to luck or chance or one magic answer, so what is it? an article i came across in the new york times may be a start in the right direction. it could help a couple that’s marriage-bound create the kind of luck that we think is thrown at us in life. the article lists a few straightforward (although sometimes blunt) questions that couples should ask eachother BEFORE getting married. key word: BEFORE.

    these questions are not always easy to bring up, but wouldn’t you rather talk about them before you have kids, before you own a car and a home together, before you make long-term goals and settle into a life with the other person? i know i would. i can name 5 married couples i know that did not answer some of these questions before walking down the aisle. are their marriages in jeopardy? not necessarily, but even they would admit that it would have made their relationships stronger.

    talking about these issues – finances, kids, careers, friends, parents, needs, desires, spirituality – in a straightforward way before committing to stay with a person for the rest of your life should be an essential part of the pre-wedding prep. between all of the dress-buying, decoration-choosing, cake-tasting, vow-writing, honeymoon-planning there should be considerable time given to discussing these important issues. i’m not usually one for relationship rules, but i know i’ll make it part of my to-do list, whether it feels uncomfortable or not. it’s only fair to each other.


    see what you think about the questions …

    things that make you go hmm…

    i just couldn’t help sharing a few poignant political quotes i’ve run across lately:

    i love doing sequals.”
    arnold schwarzeneggar, republican governor of california, after winning a second term by landslide.

    “maybe it takes a woman to clean House.”
    nancy pelosi, first female speaker of the House.

    “i call on all iraqis – arabs and kurds – to forgive, reconcile and make up.”
    saddam hussein, former iraqi dictator, two days after being sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes against kurds in the 1980s.

    “if jane austen were writing a novel about bush’s public aspect, the title would be pride and petulance.”
    joe klein, time magazine author of article entitled, “reaching for the center,” from the nov. 20th issue.

    i rant, i rave, i’m rattled

    ah, politics. it’ll do it to me.

    so today I decided that kinky friedman running for governor of texas reveals the state’s deep-down (and rarely admitted) inferiority complex, especially in relation to california. texans are jealous of the crazy, wonderful california governator & they want a celebrity leader too. texas did not do well as it’s own country & it would not flourish alone now. get over it. i mean if arnold & kinky were to fight, the schwarzenegger would totally win.

    & about obama, the possible presidential candidate from ohio … where did he come from? all you hear (on npr, in magazines & in the papers) is that he may have the presence & likability of the best politicians but does he have the brains? & where exactly does he stand on the important issues? still, many are convinced he’d make a stellar pres! when did we base our important political decisions on personality instead of principles? crazy stuff.

    the whole foley issue is saddening. how many times are we going to hear about priests -men dedicating a life to faith & God – sexually mistreating little altar boys?? what are they thinking? rev. mercieca said he thought nothing was wrong with the “inappropriate” behavior he engaged in with foley at the time, but now realizes his mistake. does he simply realize his mistake now that the word’s out about his behavior? not that foley’s off the hook – we each are responsible for our actions – but this is ridiculous … & FROM A CATHOLIC PRIEST?! it’s sick is what it is.

    why i want to be a lawyer

    1.  The profession is in constant need of honest people.

    There are two qualities that make for the highest success in the law – honesty and dishonesty.  To get ahead you must either be so irreproachable in your conduct and elevated in your ideals that your reputation for viture becomes your chief asset, or, on the other hand, so crooked that your very dishonesty makes you invaluable to your clients … the crooked lawyer has got to be so crooked that everybody is afraid of him, even the judge.

    The Confessions of Artemis Quibble, 1924

    2.  Lawyers must not only be persistent defenders of their clients but also steadfast pursuers of justice for society as a whole.

    “The lawyer is the fellow who evens things up, the champion of all those who … must bear the Whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong…the law’s delay…. He fights fire with fire, meets guile with guile, and rights the legal wrong.

    Mr. Tutt’s Case Book, 1936

    (both quotations by Arthur Train)

    sunny side up

    Today I feel a lot of doubt and anxiety about the LSAT, so I’ve decided to fight that fear with positivity. Here I am, realizing that the fate of the next 3.5 years of my life – and future as well, if you want to be technical – rests on the dreaded exam i’ve come to dearly term “the lamest test in the world.” Despite this, I’ve decided to instead dwell on things i’m happy about and the good (& great) things going on in my life right now.

     The list ensues (you knew it, didn’t you?):

    1. sisters, especially mine

    2. my large, crazy family that is awesome and full of enough material for 20,000 novels + seeing them all over town when i least expect it

    3. bubble baths

    4. intellectual talks with interesting boys

    5. tropical iced tea

    6. law firms full of friendly people that are willing to hire on fresh-out-of-college-grads like me and give me meaningful work that gets me oh so excited about law school

    7. yoga after work

    8. my cute new volvo (& my amazing parents that are entirely too good to me!)

    9.’s weddings & celebrations section (because it’s impossible to read these stories and not be full of joy)

    10. laughing at ridiculous witnesses who, while testifying on the witness stand wearing a loose-fitting suit and dark sunglasses, say things like “you act like i be doing bad things!” when questioned about a history full of a long list of felony indictments

    11. Mr. McDreamy

    12. hot tea, a good book and a cute little doggy sitting at your feet

    13. Audrey Hepburn movies

    14. Apple computers

    15. cute kids you don’t know – with absolutely zero inhibitions – at outdoor orchestra concerts that come sit on your blanket and want you to play with them all night