27 1/2 by 27 1/2

Maybe it’s just the looming feeling that the bar is imparting to my life these days, but I feel a little compelled to pump up the “human” part of my life. It doesn’t need to be swallowed by the law. Well, it kind of does for the next month, but after that, I want to reach for more balance.

I’ve never made a list like this before, but I don’t believe in waiting until January 1st to start a new life practice anyway. So, here is a list of things I’d like to accomplish before the earth gets a chance to rotate again…

1. Pass the California Bar Exam the first time around. (I guess this one is obvious, but it’s earned the number one slot for this rotation).

2. Go to ballet class at least once a week.

3. Actually make it past barre consistently.

4. Become more re-attuned to my body, eating, and fitness plans so that I feel like I have my dancer body back instead of this more athletic situation.

5. Do one pull-up. (What? I like contradictions.)

6. Post at least twice a week on this blog.

7. Move the blog to a hosted site and actually configure the design in a way that looks somewhat professional.

8. Go to Spain.

9. Attend the first ever annual FriendFest! (I am embarrassingly excited about this one).

10. Buy a bar cart for our new apartment and stock it with everything so that I can make any guest any cocktail upon request.

11. Have a living space that feels like it reflects us and the things (and people) we love.

12. Use the Rosetta Stone and become somewhat conversational in Spanish.

13. Speak to all my closest friends once a week. (In person or on the phone, ideally.)

14. Institute a girl-only night so that I see my (local) female friends on a weekly basis. (I’m thinking a standing brunch date sounds like a really good idea…)

15. Paint something good enough to hang in our apartment. (I used to love to paint before high school, and just totally let it go.)

16. Go to New Orleans.

17. Read at least two books a month.

18. Buy fresh flowers for our apartment every week (or so), and arrange them in all the rooms. (Such an inexpensive and fast way to make sure you wake up every morning and are greeted with beauty).

19. See my family at least every other week.

20. Talk to Dan at least once a week.

21. Go on a real, get dressed up, wear perfume and meet at the restaurant date once a week. (With M). (Obviously).

22. Have a perfume wardrobe. (Scent has always been my most immediate and important sensory impression, and I’ve always felt like my mood can be changed immediately by a spritz of a different perfume. I love it, and yet it’s something I never buy for myself.)

23. Have an edited, adult wardrobe that’s stocked enough that getting dressed for work every morning, for brunch with friends and for dates with M are not sources of stress (and hopefully even fun).

24. Have an operational budget.

25. Pick a cause in which I feel invested, and start offering my time and money.

26. Learn to make at least ten totally new paleo dishes.

27. Take a weekend trip somewhere with just my female friends.

27 1/2. Be a delightful human being as often as possible.

What do you guys think? Any suggestions/substitutions?

Little more of this, little less Rule Against Perpetuities.

Little more of this, little less Rule Against Perpetuities.

Escapes

This last week has been a respite. Our parents arrive tomorrow morning, and the graduation festivities commence, but this was our week to just hang out and do whatever we wanted. Which turned out to be a lot of nothing, followed by a lot of reading. I guess we’re still the same people, despite this three year adventure wrapping up in a few days.

Sometimes I forget I’m an adult. I’ll be sitting around, extremely bored, looking to M for entertainment (while he does the same) and then we both simultaneously realize we can do whatever we want; we live in a major US city and have legs and T passes. It’s kind of hilarious how easy your own agency is to forget.

It’s also amazing when this realization is made on a random Tuesday night, and you can therefore get into Hungry Mother at the last minute.

The cocktail I’m holding in this picture was insane (fiery perfection) but the best thing about it was its summertime picnic serving glass. It reminded me of the glassware my mom used when I was little, and that somehow propelled me into a thought-train about how we should strive to be elegant and retain our joie de vivre as future parents. And also that we should have three kids instead of two. (Did I mention it was mostly tequila?) Inspired by the celebratory mood, M snuck off to the bathroom and told our waitress that I was graduating from law school. Which is technically true, but…shouldn’t this cake have two candles? Still, totally sweet.

And then obviously he had to work off all that sugar in the only way he knows how. (I was totally going to join him, but  I was wearing a dress. The only reason I couldn’t get on top of a lamp post).

The next morning was insanely bright/sunny/warm (Spring in Boston, you may stay) and in our quest to “have adventures,” we walked literally TEN feet from where we normally get off the T and saw stairs leading up. Neither of us had ever walked up there before, so we trekked up to take a look. Oh, no big deal. It was just basically Narnia.

That last picture is from a public dock where you can recline and picnic and read. I’m going to cover my embarrassment at not knowing this was steps from my apartment by saying that it wouldn’t have been useful until this weather anyway. Which is true, but let’s just all forget about how awful I am at exploring cool cities, and concentrate on how well a BarBri study guide is going to fit into this picture next week. That is happening.

Weekend Update

M gets home late tonight from yet another jet-setting adventure…this time a conference in Miami. I asked him to (a) say hi to Dexter, and (b) bring me home a Cuban and a mojito. We’ll see in a few hours whether he remembered to fulfill either of those impossible/slightly unsanitary requests.

I decided not to tag along on his South Beach adventure because I still have an epic amount of work to do, but this weekend was actually full of fantastic friend-sightings.

Friday was the opening night for the ballet show, so I went to get my dancers some treats. I am seriously the meanest choreographer ever; it’s never intentional, but I always somehow create these pieces that are one long sequence of getting up and down off the floor. You’re welcome for the free Zumba class? Well anyway, they obviously needed life-threatening amounts of sugar to handle that biz.

I am such a sucker for adorable packaging and interiors, it is not even amusing. I genuinely frequent this establishment solely because it is cute. Their cupcakes are fine (and actually, so was the the guy working there. What a genius addition to a girly cupcake shop, and why don’t more places follow suit?) but I get an aesthetic rush just from being around adorableness. Whatever, there are worse vices.

So then I hid backstage and watched this happen:

Becky’s face in this one just kills me… “Well, hello lover!” And the perfectly pointed toes…yeah, she’s pretty easy to have in a cast. I just loved how sexy and fun and funny the whole piece turned out to be. Love it when things actually go as planned!

Law school “prom” was on Saturday, and after some really interesting cab adventures,(which included hailing one on the street in 4-inch heels after the original guy…I don’t know, forgot where Beacon Hill is?) I got to hang out with this amazing lady:

Alas, a somewhat grainy iPhone capturing of one of the people who has made law school bearable for me. I always feel like we’re “vibing” on the same wavelength… a push to achieve, modulated by a deep-seated desire to just drink wine and watch the Bachelor. Despite being tremendously successful, she just overwhelmingly gets how to live life like a human…I pretty much dig her.

And Sunday was spent at Marliave (oysterssss) celebrating Becky’s birthday…and meeting her ridiculously cute niece. Very seriously, she was the most well-behaved eighteen month old I’ve ever seen. She just chilled in her chair and nodded along vigorously to Alycia’s description of the DSM IV…an extremely normal interest for a toddler, certainly. She was also all about “yellow,” though, so she’s still actin’ her age.

Anyway, maybe didn’t get as much work done as was planned (perhaps the actual story of my life? No need to keep this blog any longer?) but having Blind Pigs and unlabeled awkward white wine with my favorite people is always totally worth it.

 

 

Glad You Like It, I Guess

I’mma be real here for a moment, if I may. Spring in Boston can go on being all cute with its 40 degrees and rain, but when it starts up with the wind, that is where we need to Draw The Line. Wind, other than a light breeze past a summery porch step where you’re drinking a mint julep, is a menace. And it must be stopped.

One time I drew M into a conversation about what kind of personalities different weather conditions probably have.* The consensus? Sunshine is happy (duh), rain is moody (playful one minute and raging the next), and wind is just kind of a biznatch. All up in your grill, needlessly being a life-ruiner with its passive-aggressive stabs: “Oh, you didn’t wear a jacket today?” “I’m not sure I totally love your hair like that.” I’ve looked up the word in the dictionary (b!tch, not wind), and am now informed that it means “one who is shrill and overbearing.” That’s a wind description if I’ve ever heard one.

But I guess it’s not all bad, because crazy wind outside is an excuse to snuggle up inside, make Mudslide cookies (which are vastly improved with the addition of crushed walnuts, by the way) and listen to calm, cuddly music.

(Smash, you’re really going to like this.)

*This is pretty standard fare. Other topics include:”What’s cuter, the cutest puppy or the cutest baby?”

The Cheapest Possible Form of Therapy

Sometimes (and not often, because I try pretty intensely to be tuned in to how great the current situation is) a particular day might tilt the wrong way, and a mood of general crab-osity might descend in this general area.

It might be in relation to something normal, like bad grades, or something that makes no sense to anyone but yours truly (like someone referring to their sandwich as a “sammy.” What? No. It’s not even short for sandwich. That would be a sandy, which actually sounds a lot like an experience I had this one time when we decided lunch on the beach in windy mid-winter was a great idea. It wasn’t.)

In such circumstances, a person might turn to the internets for solace…to try to self-medicate with humor. Sometimes Pinterest comes to the rescue…

…but the relief can be shallow and short-lived. Should you find yourself so adrift, I would strongly advise that you stop scrolling and instead turn to that utmost of physiologically healing stimuli…

[Babies Laughing at Ripping Paper]

It might seem overly simplistic, but I bet you ten thousand dollars* that any bad mood plaguing you can be banished by watching little guys lose it over the sound of shredding documents.

Maybe I should do my future doc review at Hope’s house…

*This bet funded and approved by Mitt Romney.

It’s Getting Pretty Chilly Around Here…

I snapped this on Instagram with my new iPhone (!!) right before we took off for California for Christmas break. (And I do mean right before…we walked over to the mall to do some last minute shopping, and then realized our plane was scheduled to take off in two hours. Adequate planning = not the strong suit of this little family).

California was so, so gorgeous (New Year’s Day was 80 degrees), which is making our re-entry into East Coast “winter” kind of intense. Today it was 20 outside…I had forgotten how that number makes my ears and cheeks ache. I’m trying not to mind it, though, and concentrating on the facts that (a) it’s the last real “winter” we’ll have to get through, and (b) freezing temps mean concentrating on all things inside-oriented. So far that list includes checking out the MFA, cuddling with Ghirardelli brownies, being the guinea pig for M’s quest to create perfect Manhattan (I am such a good wife), and watching a million zillion movies. Next on that list is the new Sherlock Holmes tonight, if M finishes his reading in time.  I have an intense vested interest in this…not for the movie, which will probably be pretty silly, but for the aforementioned brownie that will be snuck into the theater in my purse. Godspeed, husband. As Marcel the Shell would put it, Read ON!

Austin

Chillin at the rooftop pool. God, I love you Lala!

I have to wait for the professional wedding pictures to come back, and for M’s parents to bring their camera so we can sort through the memory cards from Maui, but I can document (in the most skeletal way, since apparently we took next to no pictures) the second leg of our honeymoon: Austin–> Chicago–> back to Boston.

Austin was super fun and offensively hot. Lala’s parents have a condo there so they can be close to her sister and the kids, but since they’re out of the country all the time, it was just open, waiting for us to use it as a base of operations in exploring. Well, maybe it wasn’t waiting for us, specifically, but they were nice enough to let us use it.

Brunch at Perla's

We tried to explore a lot of the city, but the issue of not-having-a-car collided with the other issue of it being-over-105-every-day, and so we ended up seeking sanctuary in a lot of air-conditioned restaurants and coffee shops. Which was not at all the worst thing that ever happened, and suspiciously like the best. (See above: mimosas. After which came oysters. After which I got really really excited about coming back to Boston and going to Marliave’s happy hour).

We saw some live music at the Continental Club the first night, an amazing bluesy-country woman named Toni Something. The venue is pretty famous, and apparently Willie Nelson strolls through sometimes and casually takes the stage.The clientele was hilarious, though…we were easily the only people under 40, and among the few under 60. This made a lot more sense once we realized that our cab driver from the airport (no spring chicken himself) had been the one to recommend it as the place to be on a Tuesday night. Whatever, old people can still party (and in Austin, they most certainly do).

My personal faves in Austin (as in, if we lived there, I would be making the employees extremely uncomfortable with my perpetual presence) were G’Raj Mahal and Joe’s Coffee. La demanded (extremely sweetly) that we check out G’Raj Mahal since it’s right outside the condo and she hadn’t made it there yet. Verdict: Resounding, amazing yes, please. Tables are outside, it’s BYOB, and you can inhale curries while debating what on earth the dinosaur skeleton bike contraption on display is used for. Or, you can use that time to convince your new husband of all the reasons he should be a law professor and then open a paleo restaurant in his free time. Results pending on that one.

We also sought sanctuary from the heat at Alamo Drafthouse more than once. Ok, three times. But tell me you’ve come up with a better idea than dinner and a movie (wait for it) together. If that’s not legendary, I don’t know what is. I mean, granted, the food is pretty terrible, so the real benefit here is drinking during a movie. BUT, when that movie is Starship Troopers and you can combine Guinness, a young NPH and people pretending they would ever, ever fly on a spaceship Denise Richards is piloting, well…yes. It was as good as it sounds. (Although I did have to exit reality briefly during the brain-sucking sequences. Apparently I’m even more queasy while schwasted.)

So Austin was great, and is even greater when you can go outside, according to the 50’s-ish guy M randomly befriended in the condo library and talked to for an hour (of course). I definitely tried to approach the heat as if it were a Cross-fit challenge (“I am hot, but I will just work through that!”), but I guess that is a fail. Turns out you just get heat-stroke-y if the temperature is high enough, regardless of your mental state. Good thing there was so much fun to be had inside! (Especially the book La’s mom left in the condo, not knowing that I would try to devour it whole: Emperor of all Maladies. Even I was not woman enough to read all 400-odd pages in 5 days, though. I need to get myself to a library so I can finish it!)