Japan!

November 22, 2009 § Leave a comment

After flying for 24 hours straight, from Boston to Newark to Tokyo to Okinawa, I have arrived back in Japan.

At HLS we actually only have Wednesday-Friday off for Thanksgiving, but I was at a party talking to a friend who is from Miami, and he told me that he was just going to take off the entire week to make it more worth his while. He didn’t seem phased about missing class at all. And one thing that is true about me is that I am VERY easily persuaded to skip class when I feel, as an adult capable of making rational choices and not very susceptible to fear of authority, that I have a legitimate reason for missing. I am prepared to accept responsibility for my choices and, if I have a less than clear understanding of the Erie doctrine because I missed 2 days of civpro, so be it.

On the up side, I am 1) with my fiance! (need I say more about that?) and 2) completely free to work on my final legal memo without any silly distractions like, oh I don’t know, class. And reading. And law school in general. Often, I find that law school gets in the way of my real legal education 🙂 So many scheduling obligations = not enough time to actually study.

So the plan for the next week is to:

  • Finish my memo and submit it electronically by the Wed. 5 pm deadline (Thurs. 7 am for me).
  • Finish as much as I can of my outlines so that I am ready to start taking practice tests (only 2 weeks or so until finals!!)
  • Read 2 non-school books (The Time Traveler’s Wife and Liberty’s Blueprint, which I think will be helpful for my class on “Constitution and the International Order(The)“* with notorious genius professor Noah Feldman).
  • Enjoy my time and Thanksgiving with Bryan! I have a lot to be thankful for this year 🙂

*Have I mentioned my amusement at awkward usage of the article “the” in course titles, college names, etc.? See, e.g., The George Washington University, The Ohio State University

Wedding Inspiration

November 15, 2009 § Leave a comment


I thought about not posting this, but I just had to because 1) I think it looks so beautiful and 2) it’s really more of a sneak peek into what we’re planning for the wedding. I don’t think it gives too many surprises away! I had made this on MosaicMaker…all I had to do was sign up for a free account, accumulate pictures that represent my vision for our wedding, and then it made this mosaic for me! I don’t want to give too much away, but my mom said she was having trouble sharing in my “vision,” and this really helped her (since she’s doing most of the planning for us in Arizona). Enjoy!

The Ring

November 14, 2009 § Leave a comment


It’s not the best picture, but here it is 🙂 This is us holding hands on the train right after Bryan proposed at the airport. And Bryan already has my wedding band, waiting for me in a box in Okinawa. Part of me wishes that men got to wear engagement rings too…it seems unfair that only women get to! Every time I look at my hand I am reminded of my best friend and companion for life, while men have to wait until the wedding for that.

Friday the 13th

November 13, 2009 § Leave a comment


13 has always been my lucky number. I can’t necessarily point to anything specific that makes it my lucky number, but I’ve just always felt that way. I’ve never had any negative feelings about Friday the 13th.

Today didn’t start well. Months ago, in an attempt to protect my old Macbook (circa 2006, which apparently makes it old), I covered it with a clear plastic shell. But this clear plastic shell has made my computer overly heavy, so in an effort to de-bulk I tried to pry the shell off. Piece of advice: DO NOT cover your computer in an INCASE plastic shell. Removal = unnecessarily dangerous. I felt like a meth addict compulsively picking at their skin–once I started trying to remove it, and realized I couldn’t get it off, I began to panic and try to force it off. Which led to the picture above.

So when I realized that, for absolutely no reason, I had ruined my Macbook, I started to cry. And then I couldn’t find a ponytail holder to get my hair out of my eyes, which made me feel even more irritated and out of control (I know, it sounds crazy).

And the worst part was, that even after I saw what I was doing to the computer screen, I COULDN’T STOP trying to get the case off. I literally got a butter knife, and pried and pried until it finally popped off. I’m pretty sure I ruined my computer in the process.

LITERALLY 2 minutes later (2!), I received an email with this subject line: “Computer Advance Request Check Available.” I had requested a computer loan from HLS financial aid to get a newer, lighter, faster Macbook Pro, and I was going to give my Macbook to Bryan, who currently only has a little netbook, which is totally insufficient for his photography needs. So minutes after I ruined my computer I found out that my check will be available today at 3:00 pm.

Then, I received a phone call from someone that I had been putting off calling, regarding a case that I am working on with the Tenant Advocacy Project. Short story, I’m representing someone in a housing matter and needed a 30-day extension on a request I had made to the housing authority, and found out that I got it today. Big weight off my shoulders.

Then, I found out that my rent check had bounced by like $5. I emailed my landlord, and he said it was totally fine and that I could just mail him a money order to cover it, no problem. He also said he was going to fix our dryer, which takes 2 cycles to dry anything.

So a lot of things have gone wrong today in about the span of an hour. And, almost immediately, each of them has resolved and will probably turn out better than it would have if it hadn’t gone wrong at all.

The day is early, but I’m thinking about buying a lottery ticket.

Faux News

November 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

This is not a political blog by any means, and truth be told I’ve pretty much ignored politics for the last 3 months, so I am not one to be starting any political discussions/debates, because I’m sure I will get schooled. That said, I couldn’t resist a quick story to accompany a video I came across yesterday:

This past summer that I spent in Okinawa with Bryan was the best summer of my life. I had no job, no obligations, no car…nothing really to do, except relax, prep for law school, and enjoy my time with Bryan.

One of the things we did was try to keep up our early a.m. gym routine. Bryan and I would get up around 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. (a far cry from our 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls when we were in AZ), and I would go with him to the base for PT. While he ran with the rest of the public affairs people, I would go to the gym and run on the treadmill. The treadmills at Kadena were all located upstairs in a hot, humid, stuffy room. There were TVs lining the far wall opposite the treadmills, all pre-tuned to the various Air Force-approved stations. Invariably, one of these TVs was tuned to some overseas version of Fox News, and just based on the time that I was always there, I often had the “privilege” of watching Glenn Beck while I ran. Let me just say, one positive side effect of the anger that filled me after a few minutes of reading the subtitles of Glenn Beck sure did make me run…vigorously. My favorite was the day he used a chalkboard and chalk (he sure seems to be a fan of drawing on a chalkboard…can someone who actually watches this show explain that to me?) to draw a picture of Allah. Now, I don’t know a lot about the religion of Islam, but I’m pretty sure I remember learning in Art History 101 that it’s considered blasphemy to draw/paint/create a picture of Allah. Just sayin’. Anyhoo, I don’t know anything else about him than what I gleaned from my treadmill experiences, and to be honest I’d like to keep it that way. This Daily Show clip sure did make me laugh though! Also, I miss DC.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Sean Hannity Uses Glenn Beck’s Protest Footage
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

My Hero

November 11, 2009 § 1 Comment

ALSO I HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD, SAYING, WHOM SHALL I SEND, AND WHO WILL GO FOR US? THEN I SAID, HERE AM I; SEND ME.
– ISAIAH 6:8

In honor of Veteran’s Day, this post is dedicated to my own Hero. Bryan enlisted in the Air Force when he was 18 years old. He has served selflessly, humbly, and courageously for 14 years. He has been deployed to the Middle East 6 times, 3 of which were to Iraq. He has sacrificed more than any man should have to. On September 11, as he watched the second plane fly into the tower, he immediately began packing his bags. Within weeks, he was on his way to the Middle East. He has been separated from his loved ones more times than anyone should have to endure, yet if you asked him if he wanted to go back, he would not hesitate before saying yes. He is a true hero, one among many thousands who have given so much to serve their country. I love and honor this man, and all the other men and women like him who would pack their bags today if someone told them they were needed elsewhere tomorrow. Bryan is an incredible father, fiance, son, brother, and human. I am proud just to know him, and I am proud to call him my partner.

Bryan received the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq in 2008-2009. Read about it here.

Bryan in Iraq 2008.


Bryan, joking around at the Pentagon.


Bryan, Iraq 2008.

Bryan and I before the Prom (we were chaperones).

Bryan preparing to fly in an F15 onto the USS George Washington.

Bryan 4+ years ago with baby Hayley. Look at those cheeks!
One of the things I love the most about him is what a loving father he is.

Bryan proposed to me in uniform.

Golf, Squash, and Marathons

November 10, 2009 § Leave a comment


When Bryan deployed to Iraq in March 2008, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I’d never experienced anything like it, and six months seemed like such a long time to be separated from the one you love. The morning I dropped him off at Luke Air Force Base and said goodbye, I remember sobbing hysterically the entire drive home, so much so that I had to pull the car over at one point. My roommate Karin took the day off to be with me, though, and she comforted me withe a day of pedicures, lunch, and girl talk. With the support of Karin, my other friends, and my family, I quickly became determined to be strong and really focus on myself during that time. The long, lonely summer was approaching and, since I was a teacher and had the entire summer free, I decided to make the most of it by devoting myself to getting healthy and exercising. I had visions in my head of greeting Bryan and the airport, and those fantasies are what got me through some of the worst days during that time.

I had always wanted to be “a runner,” but I couldn’t even jog around the block without getting so out of breath I had to stop. I didn’t even know how to start trying to build up my lung endurance. Then I read about the Couch to 5K program on PastaQueen, one of my favorite blogs about a girl who lost half her body weight and blogged through it all. Apparently, through the incremental weekly running program, anyone could go from being able to run just 1 minute at a time, to running an entire 5K. The plan looked pretty doable, and I downloaded these amazing podcasts by Robert Ullrey that motivated me along the way. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I ran on the treadmill at LA Fitness, and the podcasts told me when to walk and when to jog and provided energizing music to keep me going.

It was really difficult at first. I truly could barely run for 1 minute when I first started. But the slow progression of the program really worked. My endurance improved slowly but surely (and my fantasy of meeting Bryan at the airport and impressing him with my new fitness helped a lot, not going to lie), but I think my favorite part was just the feeling of accomplishment that I could finally run. I could call myself a runner and people didn’t die laughing. Yes, I stuck to the treadmill, which I know is easier than the actual open road–but if you were running in Phoenix in July, so would you.

That was over a year ago. I can now run for about 30 minutes without stopping, albeit at a slow, 12 minute mile pace. Running on the treadmill is still much easier, but ever since I moved to Boston I’ve been trying to run outside whenever possible. I like the feeling of actually going somewhere. It feels more natural to run outside, and I feel like my breathing and form also feel more comfortable. Some downsides are the horrible Boston roads and sidewalks, the dangerous Boston drivers (I seriously feel like I’m in a life-or-death game of Frogger every time I run outside), and the lack of nature.

My friend Mischa recently suggested that I try running around Fresh Pond or along the Charles River–both of which, from my apartment, would be around 4 miles round trip. That means that if I’m going to break free from my urban shackles, I’m going to have to up my mileage and my endurance. I’ve come a long way from my days of 1-minute jogging intervals, but running anything over 3 miles is still not happening. So I have two new motivation tools that I think will help me reach my big goal: run a half-marathon by May! Bryan, who is training for the Okinawa Marathon in March, has even agreed to come to Boston and run the Boston “Run to Remember” Half-Marathon with me on May 30. There is a slight chance that I will have started a new job in another city by then, so if May 30 comes and it turns out that I’m not living in Boston, I will have to find a different half marathon, but for now that race is my goal.

How am I going to go from 5K to a Half-Marathon?

1. Podrunner Intervals– this podcasts are like the Robert Ullrey Couch to 5K podcasts, but even better, because they go all the way to 10K, and instead of interrupting you with voice cues, they use music cues. And the techno music they use is awesome! I download these to my iPhone, which I wear on a bulky band on my arm…but it’s the heavy iPhone band is worth it because of my next tool…

2. Runkeeper! This is absolutely amazing: it’s a free iPhone app that allows you to use your iPhone’s GPS to track your runs, mapping them and recording your speed, average pace, distance, and # of feet climbed. It stores your information on your iPhone and online. One of my favorite parts of Runkeeper is that you can compile a “Street Team“, which is basically an online community of your friends that use Runkeeper too. Your Street Team can see all of your runs, so you can motivate each other and compare mileage, speed, etc. Who is in my Street Team right now? That’s probably an easy guess–Bryan! So far, it’s just us, but anyone else who has an iPhone and likes to run or wants to start running should seriously download Runkeeper and start using it! It’s so motivating to run, and then come home and see all your stats recorded online for you!

So stay tuned for more running updates and, if you are my friend on Facebook or Twitter, keep an eye out for my Runkeeper updates there (one of the other great things about Runkeeper is that it lets you share your runs instantly on FB and Twitter…another great accountability tool).

Oh, and about the title of this post: A friend of mine here at HLS recently remarked that, to make it in the corporate world, she heard that you have to play golf, squash, or run marathons. I definitely don’t plan on taking up golf or squash. So I guess marathons it is! I’m a looooong way from being able to run 26 miles, but I think that eventually I would love to go for the whole thing! For now, though, I’ll stick with improving on my current 2-3 milers.

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