Wednesday, June 27, 2007

special post for my friend tony, the groom-to-be...

yay tony!!!

when my brother and my cousin and i were night kayaking, i told the story about how we went kayaking the one time at peaks island and schoss totally wussed out in her kayak and so you and allison had to tie her to your kayak and pull her around! and i don't know if you and allison were aware, but schoss kept motioning for me to tie my kayak to hers so you guys would be pulling both of us, but i'm no wuss!

also, got your e-mail about attire for the wedding reception and i LOVE how theme-oriented you are!!! i've got this crazy idea that i'm gonna try and MAKE a dress for the occasion! but i'm not gonna start until two conditions have been met: (a) i find a decent pattern (i've never sewn anything from a pattern -- i usually just wing it. but then again, i've never made anything as comprehensive as a dress before!) and (b) NO NEW PROJECTS UNTIL AFTER THE BAR EXAM!

i miss you! XO times a billion!

Monday, June 18, 2007

kayaking at night...

...might just be the best thing ever in all the world!

also, earlier today my cousin and my brother and i went tubing. who woulda thunk that holding to a giant donut while you get pulled behind a boat could be so freaking exhausting! (and so freaking fantastic!)

good times in north carolina. good freaking times. why the hell did i EVER move away from the water?!?!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

father's day...

this weekend i'm in wrightsville beach, north carolina, with my brother and sister. my aunt (my father's sister) and uncle live out here. we're here to visit them and to have some quality sibling time.

last night the three of us sat up and talked with my aunt and uncle and cousin until around one in the morning. we laughed, we shared stories, we caught up. and as a special father's day gift to us, my dad had sent via his sister a letter to his children and asked my aunt to read it to us. the letter was amazing -- very true to form for my father, who has such a beautiful way of expressing how much he loves us and how proud of us he is.

i'm a lucky girl. i'm incredibly fortunate. no matter where i go, what i do, how i end up, i've got this network of family that is so strong and so loving and supportive. my aunt and uncle loved my mother so much, and it's so good remembering her with them.

also, it's beautiful here on the north carolina coast! daniel and i went for a jog earlier this morning (i'm a lot slower than he is, but he was a good running companion). after lunch we're going out on my uncle's boat, and will probably hit the beach after that. i'll lug my barbri practice questions book with me and sit in the sunshine (and yes, i WILL be wearing sunscreen -- i fear the cancer.) and make the best of this whole study stuff.

happy father's day to all (especially you new fathers out there)! to my own father, who never reads this blog, and to whom i already said this when i spoke to him earlier, you are the greatest man i've ever known, and it's an honor to be your daughter. i'm trying my best, too. and although we don't always get it right, there's no doubt in my mind that even the mistakes come out of love.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

someone with whom i'm hopelessly in love, probably always will be, and have no chance whatsoever of ever meeting, let alone making out with...

david foster wallace. say what you will about him (and people do, since it's fairly easy to think of his writing as pompous or arrogant or deliberately obtuse), but come on, the guy won a freaking genius grant back before winning a genius grant was even cool. except that getting a genius grant has always been pretty cool, and lawyers do get them from time to time, so i've still got a chance...

anyway, yeah. i've been reading DFW lately, because of the eight DFW books i own, only two of them are novels, and devoting my fleeting bouts of attention to short stories and essays is about the best i can do lately... i think he's so effing brilliant and hilarious and i would so happily bear his children, even though i don't even want children and the thought of birthing them scares the hell out of me, but there's a whole greater-good justification for bringing as many DFW spawn into the world as possible, you know, for the sake of the future...

this morning i came across this. it's a commencement address that DFW delivered at kenyon in 2005. i wish with all the wishingability in my being that we, the fine pitt law grads of 2007, had gotten a commencement speech like that. here's the best part:

This, I submit, is the freedom of a real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship -- be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles -- is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It's been codified as myths, proverbs, clich├ęs, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful, it's that they're unconscious. They are default settings.

They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing.

And the so-called real world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the so-called real world of men and money and power hums merrily along in a pool of fear and anger and frustration and craving and worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom all to be lords of our tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the center of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talk about much in the great outside world of wanting and achieving and [unintelligible -- sounds like "displayal"]. The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.
david foster wallace, if only we could hang out for, like, half an hour, you would have such a crush on me, too. sigh...

the sleepless whatifs...

i dunno what it is*, but lately i've got the insomnia something fierce. no matter how tired i am, as soon as i climb into bed and turn out the lights, i'm wide awake. without fail. or, i'll fall asleep, but right around 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, my eyes spring open and refuse to find sleep, even though my body is still very tired.

the worst part? while this awful sleeplessness is going on, my mind wanders from terrible topic to terrible topic. this parade of horribles goes like this:
what if i can't find a job?
what if i fail the bar exam?
what if i never fall in love again?
what if i run out of money?
what if i have ovarian cysts?
what if i never feel like i have my shit together?
what if something happens to my dad/brother/sister?
where the hell do i want to be in august?
pittsburgh or philadelphia?
pittsburgh or philadelphia?
pittsburgh or philadelphia?
pittsburgh or philadelphia?
pittsburgh or philadelphia?


*this isn't entirely true -- i might just be a little bit stressed out these days. i bet that's to blame.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

the sopranos: RIP...

i have this to say about the series finale of the sopranos:

fucking. PERFECT!

that, and david chase is way way smarter than the rest of us.


too close to home...

yesterday krista and i went to a two hour vinyasa intensive class at our favorite neighborhood yoga studio. both of us were a little apprehensive beforehand -- could we do it? are we hardcore enough for a two hour class? were we hydrated enough? you see, amazing yoga does hot yoga, the kind where the heat is about 100 degrees and the humidity is above 90% -- it's kinda like doing yoga in a sauna. i typically drink two full 32 oz nalgene bottles in a 75 minute class, and by the end of the class my towel is drenched with sweat. sound gross? yep! and completely awesome.

yesterday's class was indeed intense. it was hot as hell in the studio, and hot as hell outside. the class was tough. and fantastic. i'm really glad that we went. even with those ten minutes in frog position, which is easily the least comfortable position ever of all times.

but all of that is context. here's what i want to blog about:

about an hour into the class, a girl toward the front of the room fell over and started to seize. i'm sure the heat was largely to blame, and honestly, given how hot it gets in the room and how challenging some of the postures are, i'm surprised that i haven't seen people pass out before. the scary thing was that i've never in my life seen someone have a seizure before. and immediately, in my mind, it was me on the floor. it was awful. she was curled up on the ground, convulsing... and of course everybody in the class was shocked and nobody knew what to do.

the instructor and his wife (also an instructor, and both of them are the owners) handled it well -- the girl was only out for a second, and when she came to, they helped her outside and made sure she was okay. but everyone in the class was a little on edge.

as for me and my silly self-absorbed, damaged-goods, neurologically-sensitive self? well, i was a little terrified. and embarrassed. and afraid. so that's what i looked like when i've had seizures? that's how it feels to watch someone go through that? it's almost better to be the one who passes out -- at least then you're not aware of how horrible the ordeal looks. it frankly scared the hell out of me. it flooded my head with all the thoughts and emotions and memories of the days when i thought i had a brain tumor, the days when every little blip in my body felt like the prelude to a grand mal.

my god. how haunting is the past? it's like a shadow -- it's always there, it just takes a certain cast of light to see it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

down with phil leotardo!!!

so after bar school today i went to my friend katie's house to watch last weekend's episode of the sopranos. now, maybe my absolute fervor right now is due in part to way too much morning caffeine in my system, but OMGWTFAYFKM?!?!?! my little brain is all a-flutter right now trying to put together what is going to happen in this sunday's episode! and this sunday's episode, for those of you who aren't paying attention, is the LAST episode EVER!

so, if it matters to you, beware, because in the coming sentences there are gonna be (i can't believe i'm saying this on my blog -- i should be ashamed!) spoilers...

first of all, melfi dumped tony as a patient, bobby's dead, silvio is "unlikely to regain consciousness", and tony is in hiding. why? because of that sonuvabitch phil leotardo! ...who is a complete asshole. not that tony's not also a complete asshole, of course, but phil is a goddamn crazy bastard, too.

drawing on the training i got for my BA in english, here are my predictions of things that HAVE to be dealt with:
1. paulie. he's the only one of the soprano family who has been around since the very beginning. and paulie may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he's stubborn and self-preserving. i haven't trusted paulie for a while. i think he's gonna do something big.
2. little carmine. he went with tony to talk to phil (in that fantastic scene with phil yelling out the attic window to tony and carmine on the street) and he's never been a fan of phil's leadership. is he poised for the throne? i dunno, nor do i think he's the right guy for the job, but we'll see...
3. phil. needs to die. just like how tony needs to die. they should both die. because i say so.
4. the fibbies. what's with this whole tony and the FBI guy back-and-forth at satriale's? at this point, the only way i can see that tony can get out of this alive is if he flips on phil and the new york family and gets himself into the witness protection program. tony's got nothing left.

stuff that, in my opinion, i hope has already been finished:
1. a.j. the show has already turned him into an extreme version of all the things that are wrong with tony (the depression, the self-destruction, the cowardice), and i don't think he's got any more of a role to play than that.
2. uncle junior. crazy old uncle jun is gonna go rot in a state mental hospital because all of his money is gone. bye bye uncle jun! you've been awesome!
3. silvio. i love silvio. LOVE him. but if he's been shot up so badly he's in a perma-coma in the hospital, it's highly unlikely he's going to have any function in the plot. besides, having tony's right-hand paralyzed rather than cut off has a nice little bit of poetry to it.

there you go. and we shall see!

oh, and if any of you are sopranos fans, you should definitely check out the running commentary on about the series. joshua turned me on to it. it's written by jeffrey goldberg (from the new yorker -- i totally have a crush on jeffrey goldberg), timothy noah (from slate), brian williams (yes, brian williams -- the fantastic NBC nightly news anchor), and, towards the end of season 6, terry winter (one of the writers on the sopranos). brilliant!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

just in case you need a distraction...

so, sandy told me about this. it's mindy kaling's blog. mindy kaling is one of the writers on _the office_ (she also plays kelly in the show, the chatty one who dates ryan the temp).

the blog is called "things i've bought that i love" and it's basically about stuff she's purchased with her disposable income, since she's young and unmarried and has an awesome job. she's a total girly girl, and a lot of the posts are about cosmetics or clothes or accessories. now, i know what you're thinking -- you're wondering what i could possibly find redeeming in a blog written by a girl who spends all of her time in NYC or LA and spends a lot of cash on girly stuff. but let me just say, kaling is hilarious! and i want to be friends with her!

also, she's got some other writers along for the ride, and while kaling posts most, the other posts by contributors about things they've bought that they love are good, too.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

not bad for a saturday...

you know what's nice?

when you spend all day feeling like you can't bear to study for the bar exam, so you decide that doing some sewing while listening to evidence CDs will suffice. and you end up making a not-too-shabby skirt on your sewing machine that was a pretty good salvage from your earlier mistake of cutting the fabric you intended to use for a wrap-around skirt too short. and you wear your new skirt, which is kinda cheerleader-esque, in the sense that it's navy blue panels with yellow pleated sections, to go have a drink with one of your friends and no sooner do you walk into the bar but a woman says to you, "hey, i really like your skirt!" and when you remark that you made it yourself, she tells you that you should sell them.

and then you proceed to have a really nice time with one of your fellow single girlfriends, including several giggles because at a table next to you is a guy you went out with once and only once like a year and a half ago (and to whom you said you'd call but you never did) and you know he recognizes you because you AND your friend note that he's talking really loudly, the way people talk when they want others to hear what they're saying.

so, yeah. lately i've needed an ego boost. tonight did just fine.