Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In My Mind I'm Going to Carolina

On Monday morning, I put the last of my things in my car, gave my key to my roommate, and said a tearful good-bye to the city that's been my home for the previous three years.  

When I first moved to Charleston, I didn't think I'd be in South Carolina long.  And I didn't think I'd become so attached to the Holy City.  But I was wrong on both counts and am having a hard time imagining my life away from the idyllic streets and cityscapes.  

For me, Charleston will always be the city where I found myself (or at the very least, started on that journey).  I know a lot of my feelings about Charleston relate back to the years of my life that I spent there.  I was 23 when I first moved to Charleston, I had no responsibilities and no commitments and was enrolled in a program where I met a lot of wonderful people who were a lot like me in some important ways.  

Strangely enough, I think I had the "college experience" in law school.  Even though the past three years were some of the most difficult and trying of my entire life academically, they were also some of the best years for personal growth and for my social well-being.  I made lifelong friends, found a passion, and started on what I hope will be a great career.

I could wax poetical about Charleston, but it is late at night and I'm afraid such ramblings will bring me to tears (again) so I'll keep it short.  August 2010, I quit my job, packed up everything I own, moved 400 miles away to a city where I knew exactly four people - my aunt, my uncle, and my two cousins - and had the best, most amazing, incredible, freaking time of my life.  And even though it was hard (it was so hard) I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Have a great night y'all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Twelve Years Ago

I know I'm writing this late, but it seemed wrong to let today go by without comment.  

Twelve years ago today I was a freshman in high school.  It was the second week of school.  It was a Tuesday.  The sky was blue.  The air had the first hints of fall in it.  I had finally managed to find my way around the high school without feeling completely lost.  I was wearing a red shirt.

It was first block and I had World History with Ms. Greenough.  Not long after the school day had started, Ms. Everhart, the teacher in the room next door burst into the room and told my teacher to turn the TV on.  Horrorstruck, my class saw the first tower on fire.  We saw the second plane hit the second tower.  We saw the first tower fall.  And then the bell rang.  

For the rest of the day, New York was on my mind.  We weren't allowed to watch TV for the rest of the day in school (I'm sure Ms. Greenough might have even gotten in trouble for letting us watch what we did).  I don't remember a lot of the particulars of what happened that day at school after that first class.  

But I do remember my mom hugging me close when I got home.  I remember my dad crying when he got home later that night.  I remember being glued to the TV for hours upon hours.  I remember relieved phone calls to family and friends that still lived in New York.  I remember a sad phone call from my aunt telling my mom that one of her friend's husband had been one of the first responders that day who never came home.  I remember going to church the next night and crying my eyes out as the congregation sang "Amazing Grace."  I remember the moments of silence in the weeks that followed.  

Maybe more than anything, I remember being scared.  I was never really scared growing up.  I knew I was safe.  I knew my family was safe.  I knew that absent a horrible accident or debilitating illness, my life would keep moving in the direction it had followed for the pst 14 years.  Now I didn't know.  I didn't feel safe, for weeks and weeks, sleep was hard to come by.  When I think about my life pre and post 9/11, the biggest difference is how quickly that feeling of safety went away.  How we all lost something no one knew we really had.

Before I sign off for the night, I'd like to thank the first responders and all of the heroes that have proudly served our country not only on 9/11 but also in the months and years that have followed. 

May we never forget.  God bless America.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Adventures in Dating, Part 1

**Disclaimer: names of the dated have been changed to protect their anonymity.**

**Disclaimer 2: I don't talk about this part of my life a lot, so I'm taking a BIG leap of faith by posting this**

For those of you who know me in real life, you know I don't date much.  I've always had a lot of guy friends, but not a lot of boyfriends.  When I was still living at home and would get upset about being single, my mom would always tell me that I intimidated boys because I was loud and smart and funny.  To me this has always been a weird statement to handle.  I know that I'm loud; but the smart and funny comment are somewhat debatable.  And (for argument's sake) even if I am smart and funny, why wouldn't these things be qualities that a guy would look for in a girl?  And I'm not THAT loud.

When I was in high school I'd had a boyfriend.  We were pretty serious at graduation and went to the same college, so we kept on dating.  We were together through our first year at UVA and then the first semester of our second year.  For reasons I won't go into here, we broke up just after that second Christmas break.  To me, it happened suddenly; but I think he knew he wanted to end things for a while.  Because I was 19 and naive and had low self-esteem, I left that relationship broken.  I ate and cried and ate and cried and ate and cried.  Three months later I was 30 pounds heavier and only just starting to piece my life together.  Not only was I up about 4 pant sizes, but I also seriously doubted and despised everything about myself: I felt disgusting, ugly, stupid, undesirable, and hopeless.

Throughout the rest of college and when I was working, I'd fall head over heels for a guy only for him to fall head over heels for another girl or for the timing to not work out.  More often than not I was friend-zoned (yes this can happen to girls too).  Thankfully (or maybe ironically), law school saved me from this pattern.  True, I didn't date; but I also had a lot on my plate - there was a lot of studying, papers to write, exams to take - a ready excuse to the answer "why aren't you seeing anyone?"  It also didn't leave a lot of time to meet new people and most of the guys in my program were either married, seriously dating someone, or seriously not my type.

About a year ago I decided I was ready to take the plunge and start dating.  I went on a few first dates - some were ok, some were not.  I met some new people, gained some confidence, felt better about myself.  All positives.

Then I met Steve.  We met at a wedding.  We danced for most of the night and hung out at the after party.  I gave him my number and we texted a lot for a while.  He even took me out on New Year's.  Since we lived several states apart, we talked and texted a lot, but didn't see each other often/ever.  In the end it didn't work out.  But because of all the conversations and the interest that Steve showed me, I felt like I could be seen as interesting.

As things fizzled out with Steve, I met Nate.  Nate was in the class behind me at my law school and was a friend of a friend.  We met at a school function and wound up hanging out for the rest of the day.  He asked for my number and called a few days later to ask me out.  Nate and I got dinner and had a great first date.  He was sweet, funny, and very shy.  We hung out pretty regularly throughout the semester, but it was never serious.  Nate was always complimentary and paid me a lot of attention when I would run into him.  Even though nothing really happened between me and Nate, he made me feel attractive and desirable.  

The semi-relationship / romantically-tinged friendships I had with Steve and Nate made me feel better about myself than I had in years.  I finally could see myself in a relationship; finally believed that someone would actually want to date me.  After years and years of watching my friends fall in and out of love, I was finally ready to fall on my own.  

Then I met Henry.  

But that's a story for another day.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hello Blogosphere!

Hello?!?!  Is anyone out there?!?!  Probably not, but world, I'm BACK!  

Now it's been almost a year and a half since my last post...so I'll try to catch you up really quick.  I finished my 2L year, worked for a real estate firm in Virginia, worked for the mayor's office in Charleston, served as SBA Vice President, learned how to make some banging guacamole, got over my fear of public speaking, made a lot of new friends, hosted a bachelorette party, went back to Charlottesville, was a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's weddings, got an iPhone, served as SBA President, went to D.C., turned 26, found my mojo, rediscovered running, dated a little, studied for final exams, saw Kathie Lee and Hoda Live, enjoyed Charleston's night life, graduated from law school (!!!!), started studying for the bar exam, moved out of my downtown Charleston apartment, studied, moved in with a friend for the summer, studied, ran, studied, ran, developed a severe caffeine addiction, ran, studied, studied, ran, studied until I dreamt the law, studied until I didn't sleep, drove to Roanoke, studied, took the bar, drove back to Charleston, chopped off my hair, fell into a recovery coma, went to the Dominican Republic for a recovery vacation, caught up with old friends, and am now in the process of moving to Virginia and finding a full time, grown up job (you know the kind I'm talking about: one with benefits, a regular paycheck, and a demand for a professional wardrobe).

WHEW!  The past 18 months have been stressful, challenging, and amazing (well 15 - those 3 months of studying for the bar were hell on earth).  And now?  Well now I'm unemployed and attempting to enjoy my last few weeks in Charleston.  But if I can be completely honest, I don't really do tons of free time well.  I mean I have a great tan (product of my vacation and lots of hours by the pool/beach) and I'm doing a lot of reading (almost half-way through the last Game of Thrones book) and applying for A LOT of jobs, but other than that I have a lot of hours to fill.  And I think I should do something constructive, so I've rediscovered the blogsphere.

Now most of the events that I mentioned above probably deserve their own post.  But that's a promise I'm not quite willing to make.  But I will promise this.  I need to do something good with my free time.  So I'll write.  And just in case I don't get to these events, here are a few pictures to hold you guys over on some key events of the past 18 months:
















Friday, April 6, 2012

Hunger Games

Remember when I used to post kind of regularly and actually had some interesting stories?  No?  Me neither.  Ah but such is life.


I did realize that I have desperately failed you by not posting ANYTHING about The Hunger Games.  No book review, no movie review, no post about how much I LOVED this series.  So I'm going to do it here.


For about the past year, everyone I know and their grandmother was reading The Hunger Games.  Big blockbuster books always make me a little nervous - what if I don't like it as much as everyone else?  Then you're the weird girl who constantly has to explain why she didn't like the book that everyone else is obsessed with.  


But after I had heard from the 14736867926th person that I needed to read The Hunger Games, I decided to take the plunge.  After my exams were over in December I bought the first book.  And read it in a day.  And loved it.  And proceeded to read the second book.  In another day.  And then the third.  In a third day.  And then I had this weird Hunger Games hangover and couldn't really adjust back to reality for a few days.  


The series was mesmerizing.  The books are Young Adult (YA) and very easy to read.  The story, however, is geared to a much broader audience.  I honestly cannot remember the last time that I had a reading experience like I had while reading The Hunger Games.  It was similar to my Harry Potter experience, but different in an important way.  I waited for years in between Harry Potter books (where I read the available books again and again and again). But all of The Hunger Games books were already out!  No waiting!  It let me get absorbed in the series in a different kind of way that I liked.


So without further ado, my review of The Hunger Games.  


Many years in the future, after famine and war and floods and eventually a new peace, the U.S. is no more.  Instead there is the Panem which is made up of Twelve Districts and a Capitol.  To maintain its dominance over the districts the Capitol requires each district to send a boy and girl tribute every year to the Capitol to participate in the annual Hunger Games: a brutal, televised fight to the death that is required programming for all citizens of the Panem.  The winning tribute brings riches, fame, and glory back to their district in a hopelessly self-perpetuating style.


Enter Katniss Everdeen.  Katniss is a sixteen year old girl from District 12, located near modern Appalachia.  Her father died years before in a mining accident and has dedicated her life to taking care of her mother and younger sister, Prim.  When her sister's name is drawn to be the District 12's Tribute, Katniss volunteers to go in her place.  Peeta Mellark is chosen as District 12's male tribute.  Together Katniss and Peeta head to the Capitol with their coach, Haymitch, and District liaison, Effie, to participate in the 74th Hunger Games.


I won't say much more about the plot, I don't want to give anything away, but I really do think you should go read it.  You can purchase The Hunger Games here.


Now for the movie.  I loved it.  I thought it was a really great film adaptation of a really excellent book.  No movie is ever exactly like the book, it can't be.  But I thought that this movie was pretty true to the book.  They spent some time showing what was going on outside of the arena while the Games were going on.  I liked the context that those scene gave.  I liked how they portrayed the differences between people from the Capitol and people from the Districts.  


What didn't I like?  I felt like a few of the details of the movie were confusing.  In the book they really explain Haymitch's role in the Games.  In the movie it was just explained in passing that he was their coach and mentor.  I also found that a few of the relationships fell a little flat.  But as a whole, I think they did a great job and I'm excited for the sequel!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Samantha Brick

Over the past few days, Samantha Brick has taken the internet by storm.  If you haven't heard, Samantha is the woman who wrote an article about women hating her for being too beautiful.  If you haven't read it, you can find a it here.


This article has launched a firestorm of comments: some good, some bad.  One woman even said that Brick looks like a "pit bull chewing on a wasp."  Mean.  


I feel for Ms. Brick.  Not because I think I'm too beautiful, but because I think the main point of her article has gone over everyone's heads.  Women love to bring each other down.  Someone does something better than you?  You automatically hate her.  She's prettier, she's smarter, she has more money, she has better clothes, the list could go on and on.  It doesn't matter that you completely rock your job or that you have flawless skin if her hair is just the right shade of chestnut brown.


For one, I hope we can stop criticizing Ms. Brick's looks.  I also hope that as women, we can stop beating up on each other and taking away from each other's accomplishments.  It's time that we start celebrating each other and encouraging each other to be the best that we can rather than tearing each other down at every chance.  


And if this post starts an internet frenzy....well so be it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patty's Day!  The one day of the year that everyone actually wants to be Irish.  Unfortunately I had to take the MPRE this morning (this is the test that the ABA gives out that tests the ethical requirements of lawyers) so I was unable to take full advantage of St. Patty's Day ACTUALLY FALLING ON A SATURDAY.  It's all good though - since this test has been looming large for a while now I wasn't able to really do much of anything for my birthday (which was this past Thursday).  


So my friends and I are painting the town green tonight.  To celebrate my Irish heritage birthday we are going out for Mexican which is my favorite.  Hopefully, I'll remember to bring my camera with me (and then, you know, actually use it).  


I hope you all have exciting St. Patty's Day plans too! 


Before you go, here's some St. Patrick's Day goodness.


An Irish blessing:


May you always have...
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Springing Ahead

I know it's been a while, but I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  I know I sound like a broken record, but school has been CRAZY busy over the past month or so.  Unfortunately when things get busy, blogging's kind of the first thing to go.  I also got a Kindle for Christmas which means any extra time I do have gets spent reading (BTW, if you haven't read The Hunger Games yet, DO IT NOW!)


This past week I had spring break so I spent a few days back home in Virginia.  It was a restful week (one night I slept for 13 and a half hours.  not exaggerating) and I was glad that I got to spend some time with my family and friends.  


One of the best things about spring break is that it's an opportunity to restart.  Over the break I got caught up on some work that slipped off my radar during the semester.  I managed to lace up my sneakers and get a few good runs in and restarted my training for the Marine Corps Half Marathon (which will be here before I know it!).  I know the next week is going to be crazy (I'm taking the ethics portion of the bar next Saturday - yes on St. Patty's Day!) and have bunches of work to get done this week.  I'll pretty much need another spring break after next week.  


I also started toying with the idea of restarting this blog.  I'm thinking a make-over might be exactly what this thing needs.  I'd like to keep my web-address but I'm looking for a new title.  Unfortunately I'm pretty uncreative which is where you guys come in!  Come up with a new name for this blog!  It'll be like a contest except the only thing you'll win is my respect and gratitude.  


So I realize this post kind of went no where, but it did let you know that'm still alive, so we'll say that was the point.  Happy Daylight Saving Time!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Bowl

If you were in America last night (and paying at least the tiniest bit of attention to pop culture) you know that yesterday was the biggest unofficial American holiday of the year.  I was really happy with the Super Bowl: I'm not a huge football fan, but if I had to pick a team I would without a doubt root for the Giants.  I also hate Tom Brady with the fire of a thousand suns, so to see him lose is always fun.  


Football aside, I do always enjoy Super Bowl Sunday.  To me, Super Bowl Sunday is a good food, good friends, good beer, good commercials, good time kind of day.  I have to admit, the commercials this year were a little bit of a disappointment.  But it was the Super Bowl, so there were a few gems in there.  Here were my favorites:









There is no such thing as too many monkeys in advertising



Hope you enjoy!
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE ADS???
WHAT DID YOU DO FOR THE BIG GAME?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Weights

If you caught my New Year's post (not linking it, it's only a few entries back) then you may remember that one of my New Year's resolutions was to have more balance in my life.  This is kind of an "all-inclusive" resolution, but one thing I definitely wanted to work on was adding a little more balance to my work-outs.  I wanted to do more cross-training (truth: any kind of cross-training would be more than I was doing last year) and I wanted to incorporate weights into my routine.  I have been successful with one of these and unsuccessful with the other.  


The cross-training has not happened yet.  I had the best of intentions today, but sometimes these things don't work out.  The gym I belong to in Charleston is pretty good.  There are a lot of locations all across the Low Country, so you're never far from one.  Which I like a lot.  They have a wide variety of classes offered all day.  Which I also like a lot (actually these are the two reasons I joined this gym, but I never really take advantage of these things).  Two of them have pools.  


So today I decided to skip my run and go for a nice swim instead.  I got all ready, packed my gym bag, and drove over to one of the locations that is advertised as having a pool.  Technically the gym does have a pool.  I mean there is a large-ish, in-ground pool-like structure, but in no way, shape or form was it the type of pool that I expected to find at a gym.  I was expecting lap lanes and found a place where you can splash around with your kids.  A few gym members were bobbing around on pool noodles and I knew that there was no way that I could swim laps there.  Pretty disappointing.  I think I'll give the other pool location a shot, but I think this time I'll do some investigative work before.


Ok, so the cross-training's been a total bust.  But the weight lifting has not.  And I'm excited about it.  A few weeks ago I bought a book on weight lifting for women.  More specifically I bought this book:


which you can purchase here
This book's pretty intense.  I don't know if I'm as weight-lifty as the guy who wrote it (ok, actually I do know that I'm not nearly as weight-lifty as he is.  Exhibit A: I said "weight-lifty").  But its full of great information and misconceptions about women and weight-lifting, comes with a nutrition section, and (here's the best part) SIX MONTHS of weight lifting work outs.  


It's broken down into stages and each stage is made up of two work-outs that you do for a certain amount of times.  In stage one, you do each of the two work-outs 8 times or a total of 16 lifting sessions.  The best part is that it's not a long, drawn out sequence.  Both sequences in stage one are only five exercises long.  Even when I really took my time today, I was done in less than twenty minutes.  Which is totally great and really manageable.  And if soreness is any kind of indication of effectiveness, it's totally working - I'm crazy sore from my Monday weight lifting session and I'm simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the soreness I'll feel tomorrow.


I think I'll take some before and after pictures, but I won't post them until I see a major difference.  So there's that to look forward to :)


Hope everyone's having a great week so far!