"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Wants and Don't Wants

I just want to be jolly. I want to make cookies and go skiing and wrap presents and decorate things. I want to make red and green juice. I want to watch Christmas movies and take walks in the snow with my puppy. I want to know where I'm going to law school next year.

I don't want to write papers or read about economic theories or dissect Dante or do Physics problems. I don't want to try and explain how I'd solve our energy crisis. I don't want to stress about my thesis. I don't want to try and figure out if my applications are complete (why can't every school have an online application checker?)

Sunday, November 28, 2004


The past three days have made up my Favorite Thanksgiving Ever. I usually hate Thanksgiving, for obvious and not-so-obvious reasons, but this year was really special. Thursday was spent at my sister's and I got to spend lots of time with my niece and nephew. My brother-in-law made a great Indian curry dinner, partially so I wouldn't be left out of the food extravaganza. My mom brought a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from a restaurant because we thought that her parents might not like the Indian food, or would be disappointed if the traditional dishes weren't served, but it turned out they ate as much of the Indian food as the other. They are just full of surprises, those grandparents! Dessert was chocolate pie and key lime pie from the store, pecan pie from my grandma and pumpkin pie from me. Mine was definitely the most popular. I love when mine is the most popular!

Another high point of the holiday was the ton of free clothes that my sister gave me that don't fit her anymore. It was especially nice because I received a lot of compliments on my recent weight loss. I don't remember if I've blogged about this, but I've lost approximately 25 pounds this semester. I'm really short (5'0") so 25 pounds makes quite an impression, both coming and going! It was a goal of mine that I thought wasn't going to happen after my injury, so I'm kind of proud of myself for making it happen.

Anyway, so Friday and Saturday were spent at J's parent's. For once there were very few political or ideological arguments (they are extremely conservative, but not in a religious way) and we just had fun. They have a new puppy, so there were lots of dogs everywhere to keep us all distracted. A high point of this visit was J's dad asking my opinion on things like energy efficiency and land management. I think they are finally figuring out what my major actually is. For awhile there I think they figured I just sat around hugging trees and singing folk songs.

Another free-stuff score during this visit - a major one: A king sized bed to take with me to law school! This has been an unvoiced concern of mine (how to furnish my living space in the new city), with the bed part being a large part. I mean, you can go without a dining room table, even a couch for the living room, but you need a bed. And a desk. The desk part I think I'm going to drop hints for around my birthday/undergrad graduation. Anyway, the bed is pretty cool - you can put these huge water tubes in it and it's sort of like a waterbed. And it will be very fun buying bedding for a huge king sized bed. Plus, this will be an excuse to have to get a house/apartment with a huge master bedroom and those normally have a smaller bedroom I can use for a study. Always thinking, this one.

I'm planning on getting a living space that's a bit above my means when I go away to law school, and here is my justification: I'm going to be moving away all by myself so I think that if I have a nice place to live then while I will still be lonely I can decorate this nice place in comforting ways so it maybe will not be absolutely miserable. Plus, I will be spending a lot of time at home since I won't want to leave the dog alone any more than I need to, so it is important I am very comfortable there - especially since this is where I will be studying. Plus, I'm not very social so I don't spend very much money doing social things, and I also don't buy tons of shoes and stuff. So, this money that I would have spent on these things can be allocated to a higher rent. And for these reasons I can get a pretty little house with a yard and hardwood floors and no one can stop me!

Anyway, I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are making fun plans for the upcoming holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


In my engineering class this week we had a guest lecturer from Engineers Without Borders, a group that goes out into remote areas and sets up solar panel systems and water systems and such.

It made me feel like I live in this little plastic box where images of the world are projected onto the sides. And I look at these pictures and I think that I am being educated about the rest of the world, but really I'm just sitting comfortably looking at images.

I've lived in Colorado all of my life, save for one semester and that was in southern Arizona at the Biosphere. I also went to Mexico that semester, which was my one and only time leaving the country. I'd love to travel. To learn about other cultures, yes, but more to live with other types of flora and fauna than I'm used to, and learn all about them. It's a tiny bit selfish, I suppose, but I think that since I've decided to dedicate my life to protecting these animals and plants and their habitats I'd like to be around them and see them with my own eyes.

The law school I would like to attend has a study abroad program. I'm not exactly sure how that would work with law school but I'm definitely going to take full advantage if I have the opportunity. It also says on its website that it places graduates as lawyers in Alaska. I would love to be a lawyer in Alaska! So, there's hope. I think that if you are creative enough you can figure out how to merge the practical and the fanciful in your life and come out happy.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Future

After some years of being a lawyer and a computer scientist J and I are going to live on an Alaskan cruise ship. By day I will be the ship's naturalist and J will make intelligent robots. By night we'll co-author science fiction novels.

It's good to have a plan.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Christmas Time Is Here - Sort Of

Yesterday I came home from school and did some serious cleaning. I did this for two reasons: One, my little dog is having some allergy issues and I thought maybe clearing out all of the dust might help. And two, so I could decorate for Christmas!

So after I cleaned I braved our walk-in closet which we have recklessly piled with boxes filled with whatever we weren't using at the time. I emerged with a pretty good pile of Christmas stuff which is now prettily decorating our little apartment. I didn't find the lights, however. I love Christmas lights and one year when J and I were both making money I spent a good deal of it on a variety of strands. Colored ones, twinkly white ones, ones that are covered in this brown branchy stuff of various shapes: stars, spheres, etc. Anyway, next I attempt to conquer our "storage space" (basically an outside version of the walk-in closet) to find the rest of our holiday paraphernalia.

Soon we will perform our Winter ritual that officially declares our acknowledgement that it is indeed Christmas Time. We watch our favorite Christmas movies - this year I bought Elf, which we will add to The Grinch and Scrooged. We drink Egg Nog (for him) and Silk Nog (for me), bake gingerbread and various cookies (well, I'll bake - he'll help eat) and wrap presents. Good, clean holiday fun.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If There Wasn't Law School

I have a confession to make. There is a little itty bitty teeny tiny part of me that doesn't want to go to law school. Maybe it is just the burnt out on school part of me.

What else would I do? I probably would go and get an MS in something to do with energy. Or possibly open a vegan restaurant. Maybe a juice bar. That sounds nice :)


This week I had a major shift in priorities. Almost 100% of the time school is my all-important #1 priority. It's been this way since I started college more than three years ago. I've chosen to miss many family events and have basically put all of my relationships (other than J, of course - and even he and I basically do nothing but homework) on a back burner. I figured there would be plenty of time to revive those old friendships and spend time with my family once undergrad was over.

Now law school in a whole other state comes after undergrad. With the holidays approaching, my last in the state with my various families, I've more or less subconciously switched around my priorities. I took a whole day off from school to just relax and try to get rid of the leftover stress from last week. Then I took a whole other day off to watch my little niece's Thanksgiving play (oh my gosh, the most unpolitically correct thing I have ever seen in my life) and then just hang out with my mom and sister and little nephew.

I guess I've just had a need to have something more in my life than school right now. Dante will still be there next week.

Monday, November 15, 2004

A Little Less Stress

For the first time in awhile I woke up this morning feeling very little stress. My big event is over, and dispite a few minor glitches it went very, very well. Most importantly, I had people tell me that they not only enjoyed the speaker but they learned some things about the relationships between animal treatment and free trade agreements. So it is all very worth it.

Still, I'm glad it's over. Putting on these events while juggling many other responsibilities is not easy. It will be nice to make some other projects a higher priority. Of course I can't let well enough alone, however: we're setting the wheels in motion for a very big name for next semester. The good news is if I can pull this off I won't have to worry about filling the seats. More about this later as the possibility of success improves.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Another Weekend

I have a busy, stressful, fun weekend ahead of me.

Today I have lots of homework to do, which is not fun but is busy and a little stressful. Tonight, however, I am going with some fun girls to see one of my favorite groups Vox Feminista. They do a different show every six months - this one is called "Pirate the Possible: The Empire Walks the Plank." One of the hooks is: "See sexy live lesbian pirates!" Heh.

Then, tomorrow, finally, my student group's big event will happen. We've promoted this one like no other so here's hoping for a a nice turnout. Of course I'm stressed out about it, but it's pretty much out of my hands now.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Report Requested

My favorite school requested my report today. I hope they like it.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Should I Worry?

None of my schools have requested my reports yet. Should I be worried? Did I miss something?

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Little Perspective

Since procreating is right up there on my list of Things-I'll-Never-Do it was quite surprising to discover that a visitor found my blog with the search phrase pregnancy etiquette announcing

Good luck, random visitor.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Bob Barker Rules

As seen on JD2B, Bob Barker has donated $1 million for an Animal Rights program at UCLA law.

"Animal exploitation happens throughout this country and elsewhere," Barker said. "Animals need all the protection we can give them."

The Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights Law will pay for teaching, research, seminars and lectures. The effort will be led by UCLA professor Taimie Bryant, who teaches a course in animal law.

Watch me as I add one more school to my list!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Patience Is A Virtue?

I am not patient. I am not the type of person who can wait to see if it all "settles itself out." If there's a problem with my phone bill, for example, I will stay on with the phone company for hours to get it straightened out if need be.

Similarly, if someone has done something that makes me upset I will confront them. Not in a mean way (well, depending) but in a let's-fix-it kind of way. I don't like to leave things hanging or festering. I like resolution, results, answers, fixes.

Some people are very quick to get defensive when confronted. I guess this is natural. Still, I prefer talking it all out rather than get a "Fine, whatever" and that's that. It will all just come up again in a day, or a week, or whenever.

I've had a frustrating day.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Who Wouldn't Want This?

I have wanted a juicer for a really long time. But I didn't want a crappy one that would just break or not work well and juicers are kind of expensive. Today I decided that gosh darn it, I deserve a nice juicer. Because I like juice. A lot. I would even go so far as to say that I love juice. Okay, okay - I am crazy for the juice.

I justify this purchase in many different ways. First of all, I buy a lot of juice so I figure I will save money over time since I assume it is cheaper to buy the fruits and vegetables versus the juice I buy now. Second, the juice I buy all comes in plastic containers so this will reduce my plastic usage. Third, juicing will make me happy and relieve stress - hey, life is short. I say if you want to juice, juice.

This is the new juicer:

I haven't decided on a name yet. I will have to wait and see what its personality is like.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Chores To Do

Today, despite feeling crappy (maybe I have the norovirus? Man, I am such a hypochondriac!), I am going out to a farm animal sanctuary to help out for 6 hours or so.

I think it will feel good to get out and do some manual labor for a day. Sometimes this type of activity helps me put things into perspective, in a Zen-like sort of way. Plus, it always feels great to volunteer - especially, for me, anything that involves helping out animals. These particular animals were all rescued from factory farms and the like.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures later. I don't have a digital camera (yet!) but I know some others in my group will be bringing theirs.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Elizabeth Edwards

My heart and thoughts go out to Elizabeth Edwards and her family. It has been reported that she was diagnosed with breast cancer just hours after the concession speech.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Hillary '08

I want Hillary to run in 2008. I think a lot of people want Hillary to run in 2008. However, some of them, and others, think like this:

The former first lady has plenty of name recognition and a wide following. But some analysts suggest she could meet the same fate as Kerry - as a liberal senator from a Northeastern state, despite the years she spent in Arkansas.

"She is a person who has a lot of people wanting her to run. She'll be a strong contender. But she also motivates the base of the opposition," said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University.

Can we please stop wringing our hands over who would "motivate their base"? Why don't we instead speculate over who will be the next best candidate? Or, better, who would be the next best President? I want a Clinton-Obama ticket in '08. Oh, and please: No Jeb Bush!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

More Bad News

Just in case you haven't had enough bad news this morning, take a look at this:
The Arctic icecap has shrunk by 15-20 percent in the past 30 years and the contraction is likely to accelerate, Prestrud [vice-chair of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report] said.

The Arctic Ocean could be almost ice-free in summer by the end of the century. Inuit hunters are falling through ice, permafrost is thawing and destabilizing foundations of buildings and vital winter roads while the habitat of creatures from polar bears to seals is literally melting away.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

It's Official

I'm a law school applicant!


I woke up at 4am and I was cranky. It's now almost 5am and I am still cranky.

I said earlier that I was caring less, and that was true at the time. However, the hyper-overachiever in me has won out yet again, and now the anxiety and stress is bordering on ridiculous. Now, I try not to be negative, and I really don't believe that stress is fundamentally a negative thing. It sure feels negative this morning, though.

Two things that will happen today have potential to help me out. First, I'm submitting my apps. I know, I know, I had a November 1 deadline, but I am only one day late so I forgive myself. Second, the election. Oh, you didn't realize that we're electing the President today? That's okay, you know now. Do I think we'll know who we elected tomorrow? I can only say that I hope so. I hope that there will be a massive, unprecedented voter turn-out and the winner will be undeniable. Hey, I can hope.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Continuing a sporadic Colorado tradition, the first snow of the season was last night - just in time for Halloween. Consequently we now have approximately 8 pounds of candy left. Happily I can't eat any of it so that duty falls on J and, eventually, his co-workers.