Thursday, December 31, 2009

Northern Israel: Days 1-5

Leaving, we watched the sunrise over Mt. Rainier. It was really something amazing...we were so close---truly stunning.

We are back in the land of internet. For a few hairy moments up Mt. Hermon, I wasn't sure we were going to make it. We were up in the parking lot and in the middle of a cloud and couldn't see three parking spaces away, let alone how to get out of tke parking lot or where the heck we were going. Getting down the twisty turny road was done by watching 5 feet ahead. I had an anxiety attack and Adam nearly died laughing. Lissa (my mama) managed to not "hiss" at my father, as is her usual pattern when he drives in a manner she doesn't like...which was a miracle.

Here are just a few pictures-click to see the larger ones.

Buying Bakhlava in the Haifa Wadi.
It was kinda surreal...we went down in the day after the festival of festivals. for the first time ever i saw the wadi totally shut one was moving...and the only thing open was this store. Usually, this quarter--the arab area, is crawling with people, teeming with life, cars and yummy tasting eats. This sunday....silence.

The old City of Akko--a world heritage site. Adam climbed up the city walls to get this photo near the land gate. Akko, also known as Acre and Akka, was a penal colony for the Ottoman Empire and was entirely walled in-with only an entrance by sea and one by land. For many years there was no running water into the city.

The bunker at Mt. Ben Tal . High atop a windy mountain in the Golan, lies this bunker. To get this shot A had to wait out about 200 18 year olds on birthright israel. WHEW.

Orthodox Capernum, Sea of Galilee. Capernum is where Jesus and Peter were said to have lived.

Nimrod's Fortress, Golan Heights, right before the clouds blew in obscurring everything more than 5 feet away.

And finally, coming home was STUNNING. This photo is taken atop the Mt. Carmel ridge looking north. The ridge line in the distance in the photo is the Lebanese border.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My love for Amelia and missing mommies

We are in the big countdown...less that 45 hrs till i leave to go see these folks:
I am soooooo ready to go. My desk at work is all clear, my stuff is packed, i just keep going around in circles mind racing.  The last days are always the hardest for me...i can't stand waiting.  It's highly possible i am the most impatient person on the planet right now, a creature of instant gratification if you will. Leaving them is worse. i don't let them come into the airport because i cry. it's a mess. I worry it will be the last time i see them.

This morning was rough. I am exceptionally blessed to still have five of the most amazing women in my life who i have known since i was 13/14 years old. We all went to an international boarding school together and in many ways i think of them each as my sisters and not as girlfriends. This morning, we got an email from one of them that she was rushing to the airport to fly half way around the world because her mother was passing away. My heart wrenched out of my chest and I made my own mama call me from Israel. I wanted her prayers for Amelia and her mother and also the sound of her voice.

This is how it is for all 6 of us. If anything happened we each be the one at the airport scrambling to fly over oceans and continents to where our families are. We have all chosen lives apart from many of those we wish to be closest to--including each other. We would each be relying on the strength of the others to get us through what will no doubt be the longest flight of our lives.

So, today i bide my time with my thoughts firmly wrapped around Shmeels, for her protection and that she makes it in time. My mama is praying for hers at the Holy Shrines of our Faith. And in just a few short hours, I, too, can lend my prayers in those sacred places. Where there is love...there is always time.

P.S. today we added losing parents to the list of life experiences we have shared....May Mama Samuel's soul rest in peace.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holy law funniness...

Shamelessly jacked from:
After Pablo sent me a link to this blog, i read it alot...most of it is about the dumb shit lawyers do...they have been having a caption contest for this picture however.

ATL Caption Contest: Study Stall

The picture came from a law student at Fordham, in New York, who said:  I attend a law school here in the city, and this is what I walked into after my Property Class. Funny, I don’t find classes this hard — but obviously I am doing something wrong. He probably gains an extra 4.5 hours of studying a week this way! P.S. I am willing to bet that book makes it to the same table as his lunch. I’m just saying.

The caption that was a landslide:  "Pictured in stalls from left to right: 3L, 1L, 2L."

If you don't get it, let me know and explain further, but the summary is that the number in front of an L is how many years you have been torturing yourself in law school.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the inevitable post finals " i AM a slug" day

I feel like i'm dragging my feet a slug. I'm sure if someone dumped a bunch of salt on me i would melt down totally.

I dropped Adam off at the airport last night with his friend Jerome and J's folks. They are off to lie on the beach in Cancun for 5 days and enjoy ruins. I'm green with envy (see yet another thing i have in common with slugs). He will be back ENSHALLAH (God Willing) a whomping 30 hrs before we are to leave for Israel. My control freak nature was doing ok with this until he told me they were flying through O'Hare on the 23rd---at which point it was like said slug salting started and i almost melted down. I threatened him with death a few times and then drove away from the curb.

In the 30 hrs when he's back, we are doing Christmas eve with his family. I haven't done Christmas in a really long time. I don't remember anything about the couple times i think we went to church with friends as kids. All i remember is the Winegarden's Christmas lights. His family isn't particularly religious, which is good for me considering i AM. Although being Baha'i is frequently much more like a lifestyle and foundation for spirituality than a religion in my head.  Anyways, back to Christmas eve. Haven't ever done it as a grown-up, but I do appreciate that this is when humanity celebrates the birth of Christ. So, for the gift exchange i got these handmade wine glasses. I don't drink---but i wanted to get something pretty, perhaps useful (sparking cider is good in them too!) and support a local artist. I got the glasses from my friend Brooke's man: Justin Bagley. They are hand blown---black stems with irridescent gold cup parts. Really lovely.

In the meantime, I get to do all the things I have wanted to do for quite a while---like make it to a devotional called Unity Night at the Simmons home, take a whole bunch of stuff to Goodwill, buy Mona a bridal shower present, get the brakes checked, wash and clean out the truck and deep clean the apartment before the trip!!  If anyone's got free time, I would love to do coffee/dinner/Skype/see Avatar with you :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Zealand Hip Hop

Alright, here's my shameless plug of my best friend's hubby's new album:
<a href="">Usual Suspects - Dream Big by Breakin Wreckwordz</a>

One more final. Big Ups to Saia and the Usual Suspects.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

quirky is why i love you.

i should have gotten a picture...but this one, which i have used before will suffice, but it kinda portrays the behavior...just keep this guy in your head while you read the story...

he was manically cradling my admin law e&e (a study guide) and running his fingers over the pages to make the prrrrft sound that pages make when you flip them really fast. OVER and OVER and OVER again. When i attempted to take the book away (that sound is ALL KINDS of annoying) he looked like i had tried to kill his kitten and steal his favorite blanket all in one.

"Nooo, its sooo sofffffft" he kinda hissed at me. If you aren't picturing Gollum from Lord of the Rings please look at the picture again--because A and Gollum got all mixed up into one person with a mountain of studying to do being impeded by the complusive page petting. "Give me the book, NOW!" i demand. At which point he uses his whole body as a sheild to protect the stupid book while never stopping the page petting. i finally wrestled it away only to find him having grabbed the study guide i was working with to start petting it instead. It must have gone on like this for like half an hour. 

Every once in a while, A asks why i love him....well, babe, this is the answer, because you are quirky as all bloody get out...and i spend so much of my time with you laughing and happy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

recurring theme: I'm cold.

TENGO FRIO. en serio. Hace 21 F.

Yeah. so this morning as we headed into work in our carpool (yes i carpool three days a week--two reasons, cheaper parking and less gas) at 7:30am it was 21 degrees F. 21. that's nonsense. There's no snow and there's nothing to show for this deep freeze except me, shivering, rueing the winds coming from the Fraiser River Valley. Yes, i am blaming Canada.

So i get to work, only to find that there are crazy people still riding their bikes to work. Seriously?? Which leads me to two important thoughts:
1. i must eat more. if all 103 lbs of me cannot survive this cold, there's no way we (royal we, meaning me myself and i) are surviving Alaska next winter.
2. i must buy ear muffs immeadietly. The metal in my ears is freezing and it gives me headaches.

To distract myself from the inevitable turning into a snowperson, i've been reading this website: it makes me laugh.

Friday, December 4, 2009

t minus 3 weeks

the other morning i woke up to find my car covered in a slick cold substance i call evil and most people call frost. digging through the jeep of wonders, i located a pair of gloves and a scraper and proceeded to blow my morning timetable scraping the car free of the evil icyness.  later, the local news said this was the first time it had dropped below freezing at the airport since March seems winter has actually come. This poses two problems to my morning schedule:
1. it means i am going to have to account for time scraping the car.
2. it means i am going to have to account for time drying my hair, so it doesn't freeze when i walk outside.

i'm not a morning person. i have never been, so far as i am aware, a morning person. in fact, i have spent the vast majority of the last 20 years being nocturnal. at one point i completely reversed my sleeping pattern--getting up at 6pm and going to bed at 6am. It was nice. i liked it. the world is quiet and there is less traffic.

classes are over and the ramp up to finals is on. I have one on the 12th and one on the 16th. gratefully, i am much more on top of things this semester and will actually have time to prepare. Colelctive deep breath---its the home stretch of the marathon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

less than a month or home is where the heart is

I always get excited when i'm under a month in the tally of going home. (that's home looking north towards lebanon and syria)

Home. See, that's where the problem starts--i have a blurry concept. Generally, i define home as where my parents are or where i plan on sleeping. Occasionally, i associate it with where i am from (north carolina), but i try to keep that seperate in my head as i haven't functionally lived there in over 16 years. mostly i try to keep it locational, rather than emotional or sensory. when you have a place where all your childhood memories are still kept, or your adventures mostly occurred--its easier to stay attached, to know that place still loves you with all the fondness it did when you played little league or dug for worms or learned to drive. I only have two memories of learning to drive and only one happened "at home" when (my mom does this hissing noise when she doesn't like how you drive and she puts her feet on the dash) i decided that enough is enough of the hissing and i would give her something really good to hiss about and gunned the mini-van up the driveway stopping 3.45 inches from the garage door. Congrats Dodge, the '89 Caravan's brakes worked! Anyways, sometimes there are the emotional tugs though...Sometimes, its noises--crickets, cicadas. or feelings, like eating mint chocolate chip ice cream under a blanket next to the heater. Certain smells are home:
1. fresh sheets/towels
2. honeysuckle in the summer
3. my dad's chili

I used to tell quddus that you either have to go hard or go home, and that since i had no "home" to go to there was really only one option. this masterful self-trickery has helped me get through the marathon last couple years. With one left to go before graduation, i'm finally feeling like there's a little room to breathe.

maybe i'm just like most nomads, home is wherever the people you love are--mercifully making me a worldwide homeowner!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

things i am grateful incomplete list

Today is the eve of Thanksgiving. In an attempt to honor the spirit of giving thanks i also want to acknowledge that tomorrow is about the decimation of many nations of people who first belonged to this land. I am humbled by the Native peoples of the Americas, their fortitude and their amazing spirits and intend to spend my career trying to do honor to the sacrifices they were forced to make.

things i am thankful for--an incomplete list (please comment with things you are thankful for):
1. having parents who have made infinite sacrifices and heart breaking choices to try to do what's best for me
2. my younger sister, although i don't think she realizes the depth of my commitment to her
3. mint chocolate chip ice cream
4. fresh powder
5. adam's ability to remain unfazed no matter what i do
6. the five girlfriends i have had since i was 14 and who i know i will have until we are old and grayhaired
7. that i still have people in my life who knew me when we were 5.
8. salsa beats
9. film for my camera
10. that you made me my own beach, with astroturf and a pool, on my apartment's deck during a war because we couldn't go to the mediterranean shore
11. my best friend and her unfailing love and ability to open her heart
12. dus's piano playing
13. tropical beaches at sunset
14. virgin pina coladas
15. sushi
16. that i only have one more year of law school
17. Russell's laughter and mischeviousness
18. the loyalty of my near and dear
19. that i have assembled the best family anyone in the world could ever ask for

Monday, November 23, 2009

the evils of black henna

Four and a half years ago, i was blessed with the chance to go to india for a friend's wedding. It was an amazing experience. I've kept the joy and love of the country in my heart. The other long lasting thing i kept was an allergic reaction. In the traditional way, we had henna done for the wedding. The bride's older sister had this really awesome looking black henna put on her hands, which i decided to emulate.

My hands looked awesome---but i awoke the next morning in blistering 37 degrees Celcius to my hands on fire. The black had red along the edges and itched like it was no one's business. The pain only subsided when they were flush up against the straining airconditioner. The immediate solution (as we were out in Lucknow with a long train ride back to Delhi ahead of us) was to start on naturopathic treatment--blood thinners and some other nasty tasting drops. This did nothing for me. By the time we climbed on the train, i was drowning my hands in a sea of cortizone cream to no avail and threatening to flay them off with any sharp object i could find. The pain was really uncomfortable. i frantically texted my folks who discovered that i had been poisoned by something called PPD (phenylenediamine) which has a whole host of side effects such as blistering, intense itching, permanent scarring and permanent chemical sensitivities. Only between 3 and 15% of the population react to it. Lucky me.  Actually, very lucky me because in our group was a doctor who went to the pharmacy in Delhi the minute we were back and got me steroids to stop the reaction. I was on steroids for the better part of a couple weeks and my hands would light up red in the outline of the black henna for months afterwards.

Which brings us to today and why i am posting. Back to that chemical sensitivity thing. I have noticed two interesting things since the PPD incident. 1. Tattoos take longer to heal. The ones on my arms puffed up red much more intensely than the ones on my back from before the PPD incident. 2. The issue of today. I dyed my hair back to its natural color--a light brown over the weekend. I forgot until midway through the dying process that i was going to pay for it later and sure enough about an hour after i was out of the salon i started itching. My ears got dye on them and they are all red and swollen right now. A lot of websites talk about the potentially life threatening nature of using synthetic dyes after you are sensitive to PPD. I suppose i should have taken that more seriously. I really consider my "mild" reaction to it a result of the steroids. But, i do think that given i am still itching today (2 days later) i should consider a different way to play Rainbow Brite with my hair.

Beware PPD.

Oh, and love and prayers to my very preggo/in labor girlfriends Tali and Mara.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Anna!

November 22, 1982.

I remember walking down a hall. I remember being nervous. I don't remember the rest of the story--but i've heard it so many times i might as well. We went to the nursery of the hospital where a small baby was crying. Someone ( i think my dad) held me up so i could peer in. i looked at the small baby, she looked at me and stopped crying. Hello Anna, i'm the one who will torment you for the rest of our lives ;) that's probably what i should have said--you think, Anna? At any rate, my parents had decided a year prior that they wanted another child and that i would need someone i could count on and who could count on me when we got older. I often think that they way the decision really went is that God decided Anna would be the gift they got for surviving Laura and I. (no offense, Mouse ;) )

When we were little, people thought we were weirdly sized twins:

At any rate, Nov 22 was the day God gave me a younger sister--who despite my many shortfallings as an older sibling--i tried and still try desperately to protect from everything from yapping dogs while we rode our bikes home from school to people who were hurtful to her. I apologize for being unable to protect her from me. We were two years and ten months apart, not three years, two years and ten months and we made sure to tell people that.

My sister is tremendous. She has a fortitude i don't understand. Anna decided as a kid that she would be a Marine Biologist and that she would go to Duke. Her decision was made and that was it. She's like that---once she puts her mind to something the door doesn't come open for possibilities again--where as i never make a final decision about anything. She fights for things she wants or believes in--despite the odds.

We haven't lived together since she was 10 except for a few summers. Sometimes i think we missed some of that formulative bonding that comes as teenagers. Most times, i think we are acheving that (or trying to) now. At any rate, i think my sister is incredible, fiesty and brilliantly smart. I can't wait until we get to see each other more often.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

anyone wanna give me anxiety meds?

Tonight is the final part of the culminating assignment for my pre-trial advocacy class. I have to go argue a motion at the King County Courthouse. Up until about an hour ago, i was all good with big deal--8 minutes in and out. Rumor is that i am a pretty good arguer--so this should be no biggie.

Then--out of no where--my stomach started churning when i was looking up directions. Dear God, this is supposed to be a mind over matter thing---so why are we playin it the other way around? A close friend used to take anxiety meds before her presentations at work. I always thought she was a little crazy---i get it now. this really has nothing to do with me, its just some bizzaro reaction to stress/nerves, which if i could control it, would make it so i would be the smoothest thing to ever attempt to convince you of anything.

Today though, it's a problem because usually in highly stressful situations (read: bombs and rockets blowing up) i get VERY calm...almost sleepy. So, this nervous, tummy-jumping, heart irregular thing makes me unhappy. T minus 2 hrs. i just want this over so the feeling will go away. YUCK.

How do YOU calm yourself back down---suggestions appreciated.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ready, set,....

this week has the makings of a long one. I'm in the middle of family birthday week (where my dad, my mom and my sister all have their birthdays in an 7 day stretch).
My final for pretrial advocacy is on Thursday (both the argument and all the papers for the class i finished over the weekend) so i have to go argue at the king county courthouse. We have this big work thing on Wed and then an early morning meeting on Friday. Effecively killing my carpool this week. blah blah.

anyways, its just a hectic run. I had a good chat wtih a close friend this afternoon about the pressures of trying to work, go to school and maintain a relationship all at the same time. Compound that with really wanting to suceed at all of it at once and it basically makes you a big headcase. Anyways, we talked about the fact that everyone is on their own path and that the rate or speed at which you have to accomplish degree, job and family or some combo of those differs for everyone. I was trying to convince him that other people putting standards and pressures on any of us is really bullshit. All you can do is your best--and if you get close to the breaking point, you don't get to throw in the towel. You get to put down one class or one day a week of work and keep pushing. I guess that's why they call it the "grind" right---because essentially you are grinding your way through painfully and slowly. long and short of it is that i am hella proud of him and that its not failure if he takes three classes instead of four or finds a different calculus professor because this one  isn't clicking--and its not failure if he changes his mind about being a doctor, lawyer, or space cadet.

I trick myself with this line of logic constantly. Just keep moving, ****/self, don't stop...because if you do its a lot harder to get going again than if you have momentum behind you. Lord knows, me going to the gym is case in point.

zoom. zoom. zoom.

Friday, November 13, 2009

the mountain passes

As some of you know, Seattle is picturesquely beautiful with mountains both to the west and east. I've always thought it was most beautiful on sunny days with the snow covered Olympics and Cascades hugging either side of the swath of land Seattle lies on. Yesterday, when I was driving into work, i noticed that the mountains were snowcovered---super lovely.

Late last night, we had a big storm roll through, dumping a ton of snow through the passes. They are requiring chains on vehicles going across and our usual ski area is COVERED!
Here's a few pictures of Steven's Pass from this morning:

We've been plotting a mini-road trip, and I'm still hoping we are going to be able to go, through the North Cascades Highway this coming weekend. They usually close it once it starts snowing and right now current conditions are "packed snow". I will have just finished my final for one class and it seemed like a good pre-Thanksgiving weekend adventue. Obviously, if you look at the pics, the snow means we are taking the Jeep and not the Tiburon---if they don't close it in the next few days. FINGERS CROSSED. Barring that, maybe its a good time for a trip to Leavenworth for sleighriding.

Ideas, suggestions, smartass remarks from the southern peanut gallery?

Monday, November 9, 2009

upcoming basketball season

My sister Anna has changed her gchat status to GTHCGTH. I'll tell you what it stands for in a minute, but the point being that it signals the arrival of what is always a turbulent time of year for our family....the onslaught of basketball season. We are from Carolina you of the greatest rivalry in the country. A rivalry which managed to root itself firmly in our house since the mid-1980s when Anna decided she was going to Duke. Her status means go to hell carolina go to hell. BOOOO HISSSSS.
In retaliation, this photo is the last known one in existance of my sister in UNC gear.

Tragically, i have remained the sole UNC supporter in our family, bearing the brunt of constant torment. I suffer people--seriously those Blue Devil fans are MEAN. Mind you, i did work for Duke for a few years, which i realize was a bit of a conflict of interest...but i have held true to my Tarheel roots--they are the superior team anyways.

And, as if this wasn't enough in the land of basketball---the oldest of us graduated from NC State. So, really its a three way battle for about 6 months a year.  Point is my sister has signaled the start of our yearly war. Does anyone out there feel my pain??

Friday, November 6, 2009

and i shall name me Eoyere

5pm Update: it got sunny again, and then when i least expected it a flash of a camera...but WHAM THUNDER!!! One of those deep cracks that sends the windows trembling. It happened twice last night but i was sure it was fluke. And now the hail is back, too, pinging off my bedroom window in the way only little evil balls of ice can! do you sense my excitement?? the anticipation?? the thought of how the hell am i going to get from this inside the theater to see "men who stare at goats?"

LOVE this storm!!!!

It's blustery....last night it hailed three times...and i am pretty sure its not going to let up any time soon. I was deceived briefly this morning by some sunbreaks, but the wall 'o' rain was lurking just across the sound. As it stands right now there is a strange sliver of blue sky over downtown--weirdness.

Luckily, i'm a shut in working from home today because the processional for the police officer's funeral effectively severed my routes to work. YAY lap top, pjs, red leaved trees and coffee.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rough week in the 'Hood

This week has been a little rough in Seattle. Over the weekend a cop was shot about 15 blocks from my house--it appears to be cold blooded as they just rolled up on the police car (where the driver was talking to a trainee about an earlier stop) and opened fire. The trainee barely escaped with her life---her mentor not so lucky. A few days before, we had an extended debate in my criminal procedure investigation class about the balance between police safety and protection and your privacy and constitutional rights. It's a hard compromise, but no doubt the all too real scenario that played out in one here over the weekend reinforced the inherent danger faced by law enforcement.

Then last night my roommate's car got assaulted by a crowbar in the middle of the night. they seem to have wacked it 7 times before giving up. Either they are the weakest or dumbest criminals ever---but either way--no good. :(

While roomie's car was battling for its intactness, i had a dream about my car and he-who-shall-not-be-named. This time Adam was in it too--which is interesting since i haven't had a dream of Adam before. In the dream, "HWSNBN" had bought me my car. Since we were no longer together, he was effectively repossessing the car. We had agreed to meet in a parking lot (the one i park in for work every day). He arrived a little hostile with his girlfriend and new born child. Adam, throughout the whole dream sat very still--watching and almost meditating--as if somehow his stillness was (like jasper in twilight) calming the situation. i held the child for a moment, smiled on its perfect little face, and gave it back. the girlfriend left and the demeanor of the dream changed. There was calm and no anger--the trade was made, old accounts (seriously, receipts and stuff) settled and HWSNBN gave me a chaste kiss goodbye.

Ah, closure. How i love thee!

In another note--they've been getting some torrential rain in Haifa Israel where my folks live....this video was taken on Nov. 2nd. AMAZING !!! its three minutes and totally worth it.

Monday, November 2, 2009

sometimes pictures are better than words

Goodwill is an amazing place. A place where you can buy a hat for Halloween that says "Wives are like angels, they are always up in the air, harping about something".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

unexpected mini-heartbreak

facebook just did something bad.
you know how it sometimes tells you who you should reconnect with? well the lovely fb just popped up someone who had the most radiant smile. it reminded me, in its totally not knowing better kinda way, that that i should connect with paige. paige--who left us last year, taking her laughter with her and for a split second my heart curled up and sighed slowly.

so for anyone who knew paige cameron, or anyone who can imagine what its like to lose someone way too young take a second, close your eyes, say a little prayer for an amazing woman, or leave a post.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


This is my neice and i. must be around 1991 or 1992. and yes, i seem to be wearing a bike reflector as a witch necklace. when i was a kid i liked to make witch potions in the wheelbarrow in the backyard. it got color from piracantha berries and whatever else i could conjure out of the snails or worms...that seemed cruel.

Hope you all have a safe and happy halloween...:)

Monday, October 26, 2009

weekend mis-adventures

Hello from the land of rain. Here's how i feel about today: 

Yes, you are right, those are my AMAZING rain boots. They were one of the first things i bought when i came to Seattle and had illusions about how much fun puddle jumping would be.

I no longer harbor such silly thoughts.

So, this weekend (after A's birthday and bowling adventures) we went to a charity auction for an organization called Homestep that combats homelessness here in Seattle. Our organization hosted a table and i conned my co-workers into coming. The theme was FIESTA!

Brooke and Justin. Brooke works with me in Admin and Justin is a glass blower. His website is:  In fact, he made the earrings Brooke is wearing in this photo.
(see brooke.....i can plug shamelessly, too)     
Tizzy and the Sombrero...she was good enough to buy into me saying that she should move her head just a little to the left without understanding quite why she was doing it!!
Doug and his 50/50 raffle tickets. Doug is a curler (yes the big rock and the ice and the broom thing) who i tried in vain to convince to wear a Utilikilt to the auction. In the end he didn't wear it but some other guy did!
Judye and her kiddos: Danijela and Patrick. They were the winners of the pinata below and it was really great to have them there!
Raptina, the female dinosaur (so assumed for the fringies on her tummy). Adam had to play auctioneer. Some people's pinatas went for hundreds of dollars...ours $35. I guess being a lawyer is a better game plan for him than auctioneer. Sorry, Christies.

Then, there was Sunday and its nine hours in the library working on a Summary Judgment Motion that is due tomorrow. UF. Hope your weekends were fun and dry....and warm.
Oh, almost part of the whoooooole night on Sat: The LEMON CAKE

Friday, October 23, 2009

Adam's birfday


Today is Adam (my angelic boyfriend)'s birthday. So i thought i should do a birthday post where i say a lot of nice stuff. The most important is that A has put up with a lot of my &$*(...which most of you know there is a lot of to contend with. For example, he has accepted that dessert will always be eaten first, that i will never make a decision about a restaurant unless i want steak, and that i will stomp my feet and pout if i don't get my way.

Truthfully, he's my rock and i am very grateful for him, his constant spiritual influence, and his ability to rise above and take the high road. Here are a few pics that sum it up:

Adam and Matt (one of his best friends) on a hiking expedition in Hood River, OR

 With Quddus when we were stuck for two hours on 1-90 coming back from the John Legend concert and an RV burned to the ground on the side of the road and started a brush fire.

Us at Heidi's wedding recently

Adam backpacking in Alaska Summer 2008

I love this pic.

And finally...this creepy little guy, who bears a mysterious resemblence to Adam!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fabulous quotes from my class

Talking about the 4th Amendment (search/seizure):
"consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds"

Refering to our ability to go around in circles about thermal imaging violations for an entire hour:
"It's a 4th amendment hamster ball"

Following some hypothetical question
"ok....wait, did you just say a ninja?"

Sunday, October 18, 2009


First, i have an obsession with bags and luggage. i love them. Second, REI's having its massive sale---it ended today so sorry if you missed it. So, to conbine my two loves, Adam had a 20% off coupon which we had decided it was okay to use on buying me a proper hiking backpack. The one i had from back in the day (an Eagle Creek) was really a rolly bag/carryon that happened to have pack straps on it. It is heavy and awkward to carry.

Every time we've gone into REI over the last couple months i've tried on different packs. Mostly, the point has been to convince myself that the cheap packs (the REI ones) felt comfortable. For anyone reading this who hasn't met me in person, before i start reviewing backpacks, let me tell you that i am tiny. I'm barely 5'3, my torso is pretty short, and usually weigh between 100 and 105lbs. I'm also obsessed with not having ugly stuff.

when we started looking at bags, the first thing i tried was a Gregory pack. It has all this lumbar support which i thought would be good---but it ended up not sitting right and pushed the bag off my back making the weight feel like i would fall over backwards. boo. boo gregory and your pretty backpacks that don't fit. I tried on a couple of the REI bags too...but they also had interesting problems. it took a lot of work to get the frame down to the right size for me, then the padding in the back was like i could feel the outline of everything that was supposed to be soft pushing into me, and again, the weight felt like it was pulling backwards. More annoying than anything else though, to be honest is that fact that if i put the waist strap actually around my waist, because it was so fat the top of it was nearly at the bottom of my sternum. Not comfy and really awkward.

I had tried on an Osprey 50 bag on one of our previous visits---but Adam was pretty sure what i should get was a 65 so we could do longer trips. The Ospreys have this neat design where the back isn't padding but mesh (check out the pics of my bag below). that meant that it contoured to fit my shape...the weight felt more like it conformed and wrapped around me. The waist thing was flexible, so it could wrap over the top of my hip bones. I kept switching between the Osprey Aura and the other bags as we went. Nothing felt nearly as good. The only thing that came close was actually an external frame pack. i would have gotten it considering it was way cheaper had it not bonked the back of my head evertime i moved. Alas.
So for all you short girls out there....try Osprey bags!!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Its pouring down the powers-that-be are attempting to wash away this past week. It's the dark kind of rain that makes you want to wrap yourself in an old blanket, grab your steaming cup of tea and your novel that the pages are falling out of because you have read it so many times and go sit in the bay window and read and sip and watch the cars drive by. i'm planning to combat this rain thing by making sweet potato soup and beef stew in the crockpot (not together) and wear big fuzzy slippers. I will mull over reading Harry Potter 7 or Twilight 4 again for the millionth time, then, in the end i will just grab the huge Che biography i am grinding through 10 pages a night and stare longingly at the shelf with the trash books. the books are consuming my room...just in case anyone wondered---there are two full cases and i have covered the whole top of my mother's red desk.

But back to today, today it is pouring...and it's national bosses' day. Its been a day of trying to bring cheer. I got little plants and made sugar cookies for my bosses with add your own, brilliant, pumpkin-orange frosting and sprinkles (which i am now doling out to the whole floor so that Adam doesn't consume like 20 of them later. Mind you, he did glare at me and ask where i was going with HIS cookies when i headed off with them.) And i spent half my morning making a poster to cheer up our marketing team because they have a couple super high stress projects going on. and between the stress and the rain, no one can be happy. I suspect all this niceness and domesticity may be a result of PMS....but for now it seems to be making others happy and that is the goal of rainy poury fridays.

so here's to posters, sprinkles and the prospect of my blanket in a couple hours.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lake Chelan, WA

This weekend, I fled the city and went with some friends out to my friend Paul's family lake house on Lake Chelan. This is Lake Chelan and for the record, i didn't mess with the colors. I'm sure you all know this, but you get the big pics if you click on the medium size ones here.

We spent a lot of the weekend lounging around the house, but--as Chelan is wine country--we visited a couple of vineyards. Everyone else sampled wines while i took detail photos. There's one from each winery below:

The first vineyard we went to (i forgot the name) was having grape smashing---but i was more intrigued by these boxes. They just felt like a painting to me. Plus, the light was great and i liked the movement.

The second was called Benson Wineries. It felt Tuscan---very Italian style decorations

Last was the "Hard Row to Hoe" where there was ladder golf that the boys played while they drank wine on the lawn:
Its fall on the way home we saw everything starting to change colors as we went through Stevens Pass. But, there was also the start of a wildfire...when we first saw it, it was just a trickle of smoke, but by the time we got beyond, it was a full on fire and we could see trees burning. In case you've never seen a wildfire, it burns an amazing orange color---almost the color of Thai iced tea.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Crock this.

I'm the proud owner of two crockpots. Yup, seriously. One hella oldschool one that was my parents and i think is from before i was born and another acquired from an old flatmate, Heidi. So along the lines of yesterday's giving things up to be healthier---i have a couple of goals (albeit a little ethereal at this point):

1. Learn to eat better. Given my lack of time--this is where the crockpot comes into play. I figure i can manage to throw something in there and just let it do its thing all day. this is a pretty cool website: I'm an especially big fan because she's honest about how things turn out.

2. Learn to make time for the gym---at least once a week--and develop a quick easy home routine.

I already take some pretty heavy duty multi-vitamins, Pro DHA oil, and the aforementioned on the old blog 3000-whatevers of Vitamin D a day to ward off pale, pasty, brittleness. I also have recently acquired a sleeping bag and sleeping pad so that camping and hiking are actually viable options. YIPEE.

If you have crockpot recipies you like, email me or post um up on here. I prefer non-fishy things. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

5/6th and reviewing

This last year has been about letting go of addictions. I think i subconciously figured that since i am about to leave the 20s behind i should let a few other things go along their own way too. so here they are:

1. cigarettes.
I had a love affair with my little cancer sticks. they were my go to, stand by, make everything alright buddy for the better part of 14 years. at the height of it, i was a two pack a day smoker---lighting up everytime someone around me took a drink or did some illegal drug. they were my excuse, my safeguard. i tried to quit in 2001ish by going on Zyban. Unfortunately, it had a whole series of side effects--heart palapatations, halluginations, and general lab-rat on speed issues. after that, my efforts became less intense. 3 weeks here, 3 weeks there. no such luck really. anyways, i finally quit through a program at work--had a quit coach who enthusiastically called and was so positive that i hated him---so i quit smoking (in the middle of finals) just because i didn't want to talk to him anymore.

2. he-who-shall-not-be-named
five years of off and on--growing intensity everytime. wow. how did i not realize that addiction when i was in the middle of it. the highs were really high. the lows i spent miserable and in tears. in the end all it comes down to is: that i am absolutely sorry for having hurt him so much and absolutely not sorry i love(d) him and absolutely not sorry that i finally walked away. i'm sure it was right for both of us. it was an abusive cycle---and i appreciate experiencing it not only because i truly believe he is a great man (just not great with me), but also for teaching me why so many other women stay. i didn't understand before. i get it now.

3. biting my fingernails (somewhere, my mom and quddus jump up and down cheering)
yeah...not sure how this one---the most recent--occurred. i ripped off a set of acrylics--yeah, ouch--and then painted nail stregthener on the pathetic flimpsy, wax paper like things below. somehow they survived.

i could go into a long metaphorical thing about how i feel like the nails are really just a metaphor for me in all this---the first two things on this list left me super flimsy, perpetually on the edge of breaking. luckily, i've had some people bolstering me the whole way along and it looks like i might just make it to 30 most addiction free.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A new home.

I've been mulling over the move for a bit...but here we our new home. It felt like it was just time to move on from Part of me feels like I sold out a little on a nearly 5 year project, but maybe this one will last for the next five :)

I tried in vain to get a picture, but there's this stairwell in my building at work that has the propensity to collect rolly-pollies. No, seriously. I can't figure out how they get in there, but this one little sterile area is always full of the poor little guys in various stages of death and insanity from being stuck in a small 3 by 8 corridor they can't get out of. 

If anyone knows how to save the rolly-pollies, or just wants to welcome me over--feel free :) i moved over here because its easier to comment.