the eve of the end

5 05 2010

law school has changed my life in a million different ways – some good, some bad.  i may never look at an elevator the same way because i’ve written about crashing elevators in eleventy different ways.    i’ve gained some and i’ve lost some, but the losses that are the hardest to bear are the least tangible.  i used to talk to my best friend at least once a week, and during fall semester, i didn’t even know she moved from one city to another.  i’ve missed important moments that i’ll never get back, like wedding showers and birthday celebrations that just so happened to be scheduled in the teen weeks of my semesters.  today, i mourn the lost memories.

an important thing to remember is that as i move forward in life, other people are moving forward, too.  sometimes i forget that my friends aren’t frozen in time just waiting for me to get out of law school (how self-centered, i know).  they’re busy working, planning weddings, having babies, studying, and just being.  lately, i’ve just been lingering over my favorite memories with my bestest friends – sitting in bestie x’s apartment with bestie y, just reading gossip magazines, watching bad reality television and stuffing our faces with tuna helper.  those were the days.  but, life goes on.   and we change.

thems is the breaks.

here i am, on the eve of the end of my 1L year.  today, along with mourning the lost moments, i celebrate the person i’ve become because of law school.  this place has squeezed every single tear out of me, so i don’t cry much anymore.  it made me question my core values and brought me back full circle – i’m more sure of who i am now than i ever was before (and oh, did i think i was sure before this!).  law school pushed and pulled – my brain swelled and stretched in response.  my appreciation  for my husband and for my family grew exponentially because they rallied around me. it wasn’t the funnest year ever, but it was maybe one of the most rewarding.

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places i miss: the rest of the UCLA campus

12 04 2010

i love law school.  i like the challenge, i like the school, i like my peers (so smart!).  but sometimes, i get stir-crazy.  the law building is beautiful and all, but being trapped in here all the time is not good for the soul.

today, i ventured down to the south part of the UCLA campus for a doctor’s appointment and seeing all those cute little undergrads reminded me of how much i loved going to college here.   i thought about how i used to climb janss steps to get to class or sit on the rolling grass hills with eric and monica.  maybe i’d grab a scoop of ice cream at northern lights (now they have fro-yo).  the buildings are so collegiate – no wonder a million and one movies are filmed here!  i miss that part of UCLA.

the usual pic of royce hall (i graduated there) *also notable that the towers aren't symmetrical. one has three arches and the other only has two.

today’s little walk inspired me to walk the campus more.  get some fresh air and a little perspective.  perhaps tan a little bit, too – not that i need it too badly.





places i miss: catalunya

30 03 2010
oh barthelona.

oddly enough, i wasn’t absolutely in love with barcelona when i was there.  everyone who has been usually raves on and on and ON about how wonderful barcelona is and how it is their favorite city, blah blah blah.  i was not impressed.  perhaps my lack of interest was because it was new europe and i was already madly in love with old europe.  but now, nearly two years after my visit, i find myself missing it.

in hindsight, barcelona and the rest of catalonia was downright beautiful and i wish i would have appreciated it more (i kinda complained a lot – about the metro system, the food, the everything). after all, i had just come from paris where the metro was fast, the food reigned supreme, and the city visually stunned me at every turn.  i looked at barcelona in comparison and it didn’t measure up.  my bad.  barcelona should not have been viewed from the critical perspective that paris imbued upon me.

one thing i wasn’t blind to was the architecture.  it’s kind of impossible to ignore giant spirals jutting into the sky or buildings that look like monsters.  i love-love-loved the architecture.  gaudí’s presence was everywhere.  the food could have been better, but now that i think about it, i was there in august when most of the best restaurants were closed (those euros love to go on holiday in august).  and i did enjoy the gallons of sangria i consumed.

maybe i’ll go back someday and look at it with fresh eyes.  for now, i will leave you with some pictures from the trip:

one of the towers of la sagrada familia

wonderful goodies at the world famous farmer's market in barcelona

the beautiful pastel homes in girona

i'm hatching! taken at the amazing and odd home of salvador dali in portlligat

d with a beer at mcdonald's

nick and me at parc guell

castle along costa brava

mae west's face - created by dali with living room furniture, located in his museum in cadaques

i sure did take a lot of pictures of a place i claimed not to have liked.  it is also quite possible that i just miss traveling.





places i miss: madrid

10 03 2010

oh, madrid.  you treated me with such class and dignity.  i got plump from partaking in your vast selection of out-of-this-world restaurants (how could i ever forget the museum of ham or the underground chinatown?).  you convinced me that gastronomy is a religion and i have always unknowingly been a devout follower.

the lights installed in the sills of your gorgeous buildings brought out every line and arch in the façades, which made my evening walks so pleasurable.  your seven-story nightclubs turned this couch potato into a dance machine, even if i did look like a flailing string bean most of the time.

and the art!  oh my.  guernica, las meninas, the garden of earthly delights, and so much more.





Places I Miss: Paris Edition

3 03 2010

Oh, Paris.  The thought of exquisite art, culture, and fine culinary offerings all in one place makes me giddy.  I declared it as my favorite city before I even spoke a lick of French (or stepped foot on French soil).   Ludicrous?  Maybe a little.  Unfounded?  Definitely not.  It was everything I expected and then some.  For many, Paris has a halo of expectation around it; most will find that it doesn’t deliver – either because they were looking for the wrong thing or because their expectations were erroneous to begin with.  For them, the dream was better than reality.  Not me.

It was the perfect balance of sass, class, and subtlety.  The culture was infused into the beautiful neighborhoods and parks, all connected by the veins of the Metro.  The smells of the city, even the foul smells, reminded me that it was a place unashamed of its identity.  YES, their subways smell like pee and body odor, and NO, they are not going to apologize for it.  Take it or leave it – they won’t sanitize it so you can feel comfortable.  Most people find that attitude appalling, but I find it refreshing.  The pee smell?  Not so much.

I’ll be back someday, Paris.  Just you wait and see.

my favorite meal at my favorite place in the whole wide world

Sacre Coeur ❤