Sunday, December 18, 2011

And keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change.

Finals are over! I'm so happy. :) Now I'm just hoping I'll still feel as happy when I get my grades...

Friday was the last day of finals, so I'm fairly certain that any ALS student that had not already gone home for the break was on Lark street celebrating. I went out with a few friends, and we ran into several other students while we were out. It was a great time, a much needed un-winding. This semester has been insanely busy; I really haven't had time to hang out with my friends very much, and I've missed them. I tried to make up for all the lost fun time on Friday; I think I came pretty close. :) In any event, hopefully next semester won't be so insane. I even dropped a class in the hopes it would free up my life a bit; we'll see if it actually did or not.

Anyway, yesterday I did nothing. I watched Lord of the Rings until 1 AM and then I slept today until noon. It was glorious. I didn't even have to feel guilty for being so damn lazy. Of course, today I need to get started on all the shit I neglected during finals week, but it's not school work, so I feel super happy about doing it. My brain is definitely ready for a break from school.

I have to work this week, so I'm not flying home until Thursday. I'm a little bit excited for Thursday to hurry up and be here. Barring the possibility that Albany will whip up a winter storm to delay my flight on Thursday, I will see all of you in less than a week!! Not that I'm counting down or anything. :D

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Sixty miles? And you didn't get me a doughnut?"

2 down, 1 to go! Finals are slowly drawing to a close, and I think I may survive. Of course, the issue of survival is never certain until grades are issued, so ask me again in January... Anyway, I had my evidence exam on Monday and handed in my trial notebook on Thursday. Now I just have my business organizations final to wrestle with...

I'm finding it difficult to study. After an entire semester of having too much shit to do, only having one thing to study for seems to give my brain an excuse to relax. You know, like I've got plenty of time to study, so chill and watch a movie or go out with the friends you haven't seen all damn semester (I did both, in case you wondered). Alas, I must study. Otherwise, I will not survive...

Anyway, in other news, I bought myself a little space heater. My apartment is always ridiculously cold, so I finally bought a damn heater. It was way more adventure than it should have been. The first one I bought turned out to be a propane heater, and I felt like that was probably not the best heater for my apartment. So I took that one back and bought the cheapest electric heater walmart had. When I got home and opened the box, turned out the damn thing was broken. In half. So I went back a third time and got the same heater but one that was not broken. When I finally got home for good, I plugged it in and waited for it to be hot. It didn't ever got hot, but it did trip my breaker (I still don't know how to spell that), so I guess there's that. Anyway, that was Monday. Today I went back to walmart and shelled out the money to get a decent space heater. Thus far, it has not tripped the breaker and it is warming up my living warm, so life is good. I don't even have to wrap myself in a quilt to ward off hypothermia. Definite improvement.

Well folks, I'm going to hit the hay, and in the morning I will once again attempt to convince my brain that I really should stop procrastinating and study for my last damn exam. December 22nd, you cannot come soon enough!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Stop talking about production value; the Air Force is gonna kill us!

Friends, I am currently in the throes of finals, and I hate everything about life. Except for my cheerful little Christmas tree. It makes me feel better about my impending scholastic doom.Isn't it festive?

Anyway, my evidence final is on Monday, and I am approximately 47% ready. So, not ready at all. I can't wait for all of this hoopla to be finished, so I can come home for two whole weeks! It's going to be glorious.

Other than finals, nothing else is happening. Literally. I mean, I'm sure other things in other people's lives are happening, but not in mine. Just school (though admittedly, I do still have to go to work). Law school can be kind of a downer sometimes.

I officially finished my internship with the court yesterday. I'm kind of sad it's over; I really enjoyed working there. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot. I was really lucky to be able to intern there; hopefully there will be more internships like it in the future!

I feel like I had some cool story to share, but now I can't remember it. Hm. I blame all the evidence floating around my head right now (mostly it's evidence that I have officially lost my mind. Hopefully there's some evidence up there that I know my shit too. A girl can dream.)

Anyway, I hope you are all enjoying the season thus far! I love this time of year (or I will on the 16th at about 1 PM, anyway). Hopefully I'll have more exciting things to talk about next week, assuming, of course, that I am still alive and/or not in the asylum. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I see Blue. He looks glorious!

Thanksgiving is upon us. That fills me with much joy which is shortly followed by heart stopping dread: Thanksgiving means finals are here. Kill me now.

As I have frequently whined, both here and to my dear Mother, this semester has been two inches over the line of "biting off more than you can chew." To be fair, it's my own fault. Also, it's been a good semester. I've learned a lot, or I think I have. Memory of the last four months comes and goes... In any event, it's almost over, and thank heavens for that. I'm still alive!!!! Success. :)

I only have two finals this year, which isn't too bad. I do have to do a trial notebook and write a reflection paper, but the paper shouldn't be too bad. The trial notebook . . . I'm sure it won't be too bad once I figure out what the hell I'm supposed to do. You know, all in a days work. Speaking of which, I'm really enjoying my job which is always a plus. My internship is almost over, and I'm kind of sad about that. It's been a lot of fun interning at the court, and I learned a lot. All things considered, it's been a good semester.

But the next four weeks are going to be a little bit insanity-inducing. I don't envy the 1Ls though. At least I know what's coming. I feel like it's easier to face impending doom if you know how it will show it's ugly face, so in that regard, this year is infinitely better than last year. Seriously though, I'm just worried about finals because I'm always worried about finals. I did fairly well on my midterms and I didn't study at all for either one of those. So hopefully that means if I study for my finals, I'll do just as well. Midterms scores are supposed to be indicative of final scores, right?....

Anyway, I'm coming home for Thanksgiving this year. I really shouldn't because I'll just be studying the whole time, but I'm excited to see my family! It will be very difficult to concentrate on my work when all I want to do is hang with the fam, so I've come up with a plan. I fully intend on putting my nieces and nephews to work researching statutes and finishing my memos. By the time I leave, they'll all be lawyers, and all of my work will be done. Genius? I think so. They're parents can thank me later.

Anyway, in other news, the trial team got the problem for the competition. It's a negligence case, so that will be fun. I'm really excited about being on the team. I think it'll be a good experience, plus I'm a total law nerd and get very excited about participating in pretend litigation. Other than that, I haven't really had any adventures of late. It's been all work and school which has made Abby a very dull girl. So, while my nieces and nephews are slaving away on all of my work, I am going to get all of my playing in. It's gonna be a good week. See you on Tuesday!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Well, I'd like to help, but not as much as I'd like not to

I never thought I'd be grateful it was Monday, but today I am grateful it is Monday. It has been a ridiculously long weekend, but that's what I get for being on the moot court board.

This weekend was the ABA Negotiations Competition. It was held at Albany Law School this year, and Erin and I were the ones in charge of organizing and running the damn thing. Well, Erin was in charge. I just helped.

Anyway, hosting a competition involves all kinds of headaches. There's the obvious stuff: scheduling rooms, sending the information to the teams, finding a hotel for them to stay at (they make their own reservations, but we had to call the hotel and tell them we needed like 50 rooms or something. I don't remember the exact number, but it was a lot, so they gave us a discount. Or, they gave the teams a discount, rather. Anyway). We also had to find judges for the competition, which is one of the bigger pains in the ass. Not only did we have to find 35 attorneys/judges/arbitrators to come judge for us, but you inevitably have someone drop out at the last minute. We actually did pretty well. No one dropped out at the last minute, but two of our judges did fail to show up. We had enough to cover, though so all was well. And really, only two judge issues? Not too bad.

Anyway, so there was much involved in preparation. We've been getting ready all semester, but last week was particularly busy. We were at the school stuffing envelopes and getting team packets ready on Wednesday, and then we spent all night Friday getting all the last minute stuff done. Erin, and I (and a few of the Moot Court board members) got to the school at 7:15 Saturday morning to get everything set up. And then we were there until 8:30 that night. It was a long damn day. And I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to wear high heels. NEVER AGAIN! My back still hurts.

Sunday was our final round. We got there at 7:30 to get it all set up, and then we were done by 12:30. We got to watch the final round (I was actually the time keeper) which was kind of fun. Afterwards, Erin and I did the clean up and organized the massive amount of paperwork we had. I honestly feel like we should plant a small forest to make up for all the trees we killed for our competition... I actually got home at 4 PM yesterday, which wasn't bad at all. There was another competition going on which Erin and I were planning on staying and helping with, but Dana and Chris (Chair of the competition and Executive director of MC) were nice enough to let us go home. So we did.

Anyway, the competition went smoothly. We had a few issues, but they were solved quickly and mostly without incident. It was kind of fun to get to meet students from other schools. AND one of our teams actually won the competition!! Woot! Go Albany Law! That means they get to go to New Orleans in the Spring for the national competition. We were very proud. :)

Anyway, so it was a long weekend. I now know what it feels like to run a moot court competition and do not feel the desire to do it again. I still have to help with the other competitions, but that's not so bad. I'm glad our competition is over and done, and I'm very glad it's Monday.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My mama always told me someday I'd be good at something. Who'd a guessed that something'd be zombie-killing?

Happy belated Halloween!!

Last weekend I went to Miami. That's right: Miami.I think I'm gonna move there.

Anyway, I have friends that live down there and they invited me down for the weekend. It was so much fun! I way bad needed a vacation, and that was a perfect place to go. I had so much fun hanging out with my friends, and it was 80 degrees all weekend long.

Friday night was the big Halloween party. I dressed up as Cleopatra this year.What do you think? I thought I made a pretty good lil Queen of the Nile. Anyway, we went to Rita's house for a pregame (Rita's the one in the middle) and then headed to some place called Villa 221 for the party. There was dancing, laughing, and fun had by all. I got to see some of my other friends from Spain, and made a few new friends in the process. A successful evening, I would say. :)

I didn't get back to Kimmie's place until about 4 in the morning, so I slept until noon the next day, but when I did finally drag myself out of bed, Kimmie, Vinnie, and Alejandro showed me around town. We went to South Beach, which was awesome. I know it's ironic because I really hate (read 'am terrified of') the ocean, but I way love the beach. So long as sharks don't grow legs and learn to walk, I could totally be a beach bum. Anyway, it started raining, so we headed indoors. They showed me their school, which was fun to see. There was even a little montage of pictures from Spain. Then we headed back to Kimmie's. The rain was coming down pretty hard, and we soon lost power. We were all starving so we decided to drive around town until we found some place that still had power and ended up at Applebees where I had a Blondie, and life was good. :)

Anyway, it was a great weekend. I had so much fun hanging out with my friends; it was a much needed break. I'm glad I was able to go down! I told them all they needed to come visit me, but there was unanimous consent to wait until winter was over. Who wouldn't want to come visit NY in the winter?... :P

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I saw a UFO once, man... It sent me a message, in big bright yellow letters. It told me I was gonna have a good year.

Oh what a week. Why do I always feel like I need 48 hours in every day but it feels like there are only 12? Does this mean I'm finally grown up? Because if it does, I don't think I like it.

I got the flu this week, so point to Mother Nature for worst timing ever. This Thursday I had my evidence midterm and a preparation for deposition in my fact investigation class. So I took the day off (from both of my jobs, I felt like such a slacker) on Wednesday and rested in the hopes I would feel better for the next day. It worked, mostly. I did feel much better the next day, but apparently not well enough...

On Thursday morning I got up early to go over my notes for fact investigation and evidence. I kept an eye on the clock to make sure I got in the shower at 930 so I would be able to make it to class by 11. Great plan except for one small problem. My class starts at 10. I have no idea why half way through the semester I suddenly felt like class started an hour later than usual. At about 948 it clicked and I started freaking out. I sent an email to my professor that I figured she wouldn't get but better safe than sorry, threw some clothes on, and ran out the door. I managed to make it to class only 15 minutes late. Not too shabby, I'd say. I'm sure my teacher thought I had both of my screws loose when I told her why I was late, but whatevs. I did manage to make it and prep my client for deposition. Sort of.

I really like that we get to do interviews and depositions and the like in that class. I think it's really helpful. It's also a serious dose of humility when you finish and Prof. Shanks rips you to shreds. In a good way, but it still leaves you thinking "Wow. I have no idea what I'm doing." I think that all the time though, so it's not too bad. Anyway, I've learned I have to stop being so polite and start being much more direct. Grow a pair, in other words. Being a law student is always an adventure.

In any event, now it's the weekend, and I'm feeling much better. Taking Wednesday off has caused me to be ridiculously behind, but really when am I ever not behind? So all is well and I will try to not forget what time my classes start.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Now where did it say that on the eighth day He dusteth?

This week has been insane. I started my job on Monday, after much confusion (mostly my own). I think it'll be good. I'm still trying to figure out all the office protocol; hopefully they don't fire me before I figure it out!

This year I'm on the moot court board. Because I'm on the board, I can't do any of the competitions at the school. I was pretty bummed out about that because I am a complete nerd and was most excited about 2L year because it means we get to do moot court. However, we do have travel teams. So a couple of weeks ago I tried out for the trial team. We had to do a 5-8 minute closing argument on a one page fact pattern. It kind of felt like auditioning for a play, only I had to write my own monologue. Anyway, it was totally terrifying, but I'm glad I tried out. All the judges were really nice, which makes things better. I found out this week that I made the team!! Yay!!! I am so excited. The competition is in March, and it's Boston. That's basically all I know about it. We're supposed to be meeting up in a couple of weeks to talk things over, so I'll know more soon. In any event, I am really very exceedingly excited. And I don't care how nerdy that is.

In other news, last Sunday I went to a pentecostal church. It was quite an experience; I rather enjoyed myself. I don't think I'll be joining anytime soon, but I'm glad I got to go. They sang this fun kind of pop gospel number for like twenty minutes (seriously). I thought that was super cool. I got to sing as loud as I wanted and sway to the music. It was great.

It was a really interesting experience though. My only churchy experiences are Mormons and Catholics, so it was interesting to experience the more, uh, exuberant style of preaching. Some of it I really loved. And it was cool to see how different people expressed their feeling the spirit in different ways. Some people got down and prayed, some people swayed, some people called out; it was really a very eclectic crowd. I also road an Albany City bus for the first time. It was pretty much like every other cities bus system.

So, in sum, I am enjoying work but have no idea what I'm doing, I'm very excited about being on the moot court team but have no idea what I'm doing, and I went to a church where no one knew what they were doing. Are you seeing a trend here? Sigh. I wonder if I'll ever know what I'm doing?

On a more hopeful note, it's been a crazy, sometimes frustrating, semester thus far, but I've been given some pretty amazing opportunities too. I have a job, I have an internship, I made the moot court team, and they haven't kicked me out of my classes yet (which is always a relief). Also, I've just realized I'm obsessed with semi-colons, but that's neither here nor there.

Anyway, all things considered it's been an adventurous week and a pretty damn good one too. I hope all of you have also had a pretty damn good week and that you are enjoying the fall weather! My apartment is a total disaster, so I must now go and clean.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Second shelf is mine. That's where I keep my rootbeers and my double-thick Oreo cookies. Nobody touches the second shelf but me.

Woo! This week has been one giant shitshow. And it's not over yet. :( Any warm fuzzies sent my way would be much appreciated!

The week was going fairly well until Tuesday night when my computer decided to snap in half. Literally. The screen un-attached itself from the keyboard. So... that seemed like it wasn't supposed to happen. The computer itself works fine, so I figured I could just take it to Best Buy and they could screw it back together or something. Apparently they don't carry Dell parts. So the geek squad fellow recommended some computer store in Latham, so I went there. The guy told me it probably was fixable but it was going to cost, best case scenario, like $300. Oh, and he also informed me I probably wouldn't get my computer back, if they could fix it, for a week and a half. I'm a damn law student. I basically don't exist without my computer. Sigh. Plus, I needed a new battery for my computer (you're supposed to replace them every 2 years. It's been 3...) and one of the USB ports is broken, so you know, kill me now.

Anyway, my dear parental units offered to help me purchase a new computer as it seemed to be the more sensible route (someday when I'm 82 and finally have my student loans paid off, I'll send them on like a dream vacation or something). So I bought the new computer (and an external hard drive. Now if my computer has to be parted from me for more than a few hours, I can plug in my hard drive in a different computer and all will be well) and took it home to try and figure out how to transfer all my shit over. I have a lot of shit, but, with the help of a friend, I think I managed to get it all transferred over. Phew!

Thus far my new lil computer seems to be working pretty well. At any rate, the screen is still attached...

In other news, I got a job! Yay!! I'm very excited about it. I should be able to start on Monday, which is even better. It's quite the story how I managed to get the job (Dean Salkin is going to get twinkled, I'm pretty sure), but the important thing is that I got it. I even have my first project, and I'm pretty excited about it. It should be an interesting job which is always good. I got to meet a few of the people in the office on Friday, and everyone was really nice and friendly, so I think it'll be a good place to work.

So this week started off a little like wishing I was dead, but it's turning out much better. I got a job, and life is good. However, I did fall ridiculously behind on my work (by ridiculously I mean like insanely ridiculously. I had to start a 3rd to do list yesterday because my other 2 were getting to long. 3 to do lists!! Sigh) due to the death of my computer, so I must now go slave away (on my 3 to do lists) in an attempt to get caught up. I hope all of you are well with happy healthy computers and only 1 to do list!

One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.

Happy October! I can't believe how fast this semester is going. Before I know it, finals will be here, and then I will get to go home!! Yay. :)

I've had a couple of very lawyer-y experiences the last few days. A couple of weeks ago I got an email saying there was a group putting together an effort to offer pro bono legal services to the victims of Hurricane Irene. I decided that would be a good way to be useful to society, so I've been trying to help out. This last Wednesday I was able to go out and help do intake and that sort of thing. It was interesting. For one thing, it was raining. I don't think it will ever stop raining here! The people that were there while I was there were, for the most part, quiet. Filled out the forms and then waited silently for an attorney to be available. I had an opportunity to read through some of the information packets that are given to Hurricane victims. Ridiculous. The hoops these people have to jump through just to get a real human being on the phone is unconscionable. Seriously, I struggle to understand how, as a society, we think it's ok to let these people languish. FEMA is woefully underfunded. I think currently the max these people can get from FEMA, assuming they can even get that far, is like $30,000. That is definitely better than nothing, but if your house has floated down the river, $30,000 won't build you a new one. One woman, who was lucky enough to have her house not float down the river, needed to have the floors in her house replaced. Her house had flooded and the floors were beyond repair. FEMA gave her $272. And because FEMA helped her, the insurance company won't.

And the insurance companies are even worse. That woman probably got more money from FEMA than her insurance company would have given her, if she had insurance. The older I get, the more I think insurance is just a giant ponzi scheme. You pay in your whole life and then when you need it they don't want to give you the money. Ass holes.

So, anyway, I'm glad I'm getting the opportunity to help a bit. I'm basically useless at this point because I don't know very much, but every little bit of help counts I guess. And I think it's really cool that there are attorneys willing to take a day or two off to come and help these people. We're not all bad, you know.

I did notice something I thought was interesting though. There were two attorneys working that day. Both times they came in and were introduced to me, they went straight to me (the woman in the suit) before even acknowledging the client (who wasn't wearing a suit). It made me very uncomfortable. I was grateful to meet these two attorneys, but it seemed strange to me that their first priority was to meet the law student rather than to meet the person there for much needed legal advice. I may have just perceived the entire thing wrong, but I still thought it was interesting, and it still made me a little uncomfortable.

In any event, they're doing a lot of good for these people, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to help!

Monday, September 19, 2011

He wore that finger trap for two years. Mother had to teach him to eat with his feet.

Larkfest has come and gone, once again and, as always, it was one big, messy adventure. I think there were more people there this year than last year. It felt like there were seventeen million people there! I guess that was good though, more entertainment.

I didn't get there until like 3:30, but luckily the party was still raging on. Considering there were seventeen million people there, I did not feel the desire to attempt to find a parking spot, so I walked. I managed to run into a friend on my way there, so we strolled through the crowds for a bit. I got to look at some of the booths, which was fun. Honestly, the booths aren't that cool. I didn't go all the way down the street, but I only saw one booth of photographs/paintings. Kind of disappointing. Mostly it's just jewelry and sunglasses. That's ok though because the crowd makes up for the lack of crafts.

Larkfest only has two rules: No glass bottles and no coolers. Doesn't seem to be asking to much. I saw a guy who managed to get around those rules, though. He had a cooler, but he had turned it into a stereo. Seriously, he was pulling the thing down the street playing music. It was ridiculous and also very creative. I never would've thought of that. There was also somebody walking around with an old school boombox playing 80's rap. There was a big dance party going on at the intersection of Chestnut and Lark.

One of my friends described it as a giant frat party. That pretty much sums it up. There were people dropping jello shots out of windows and all kinds of crazy things. I didn't get as many pictures as I did last year, but I did get one with a er... very friendly clown dude. He had this fake rat with him. He wouldn't talk to you, but he kept making squeaking noises while he flung the rat around (presumably that was supposed to be the rat running around). He was very strange, so, naturally, I took a picture with him.

Yay for Larkfest. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remember, forget it!

I got an email from my professor today. For Fact Investigation, we get to do a lot of "pretend-play". Yay... Anyway, this week I get to "pretend-play" giving a client interview. I have no bloody idea how to do a client interview, so... this will be an adventure.

Anyway, the email told us we weren't allowed to use any of the material in our book. Because the case is completely made up, all of the depositions, pleadings, witness statements, etc. are already in our book, giving us complete access to all of that information. However, my professor informed us that she wants these to be as real as possible (except for the whole "the entire class will be watching you" part), so we have to pretend like we don't already know the facts of the case. Right. I dunno, maybe this'll be an advantage. You know, they tell trial lawyers to never ask a question they don't already know the answer too, so there you have it. I'll already know the answer to all of my questions. Unless there's some curve ball in there I don't know about, which is likely. Law school would be way less interesting if they weren't always trying to trick you. Keeps you on your toes, you know...

Anyway, we'll see how my client interview goes. I'm nervous as hell but a little excited too. It'll be a new adventure, and I'm gonna have to learn how to do it eventually. Better sooner than later, I guess. Now if you'll excuse me, I must now go forget.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I gotta go Julia; we got cows.


As promised, my shitty pictures of Hurricane Irene. Enjoy. Or whatever.

Debris!
My lil supply of food. I had more in the fridge, but this was just in case my house blew up or something. I don't know.
Giant tree that fell down on Woodlawn (that's the street I live on) forthwith knocking out the power to everyone in the neighborhood . . .
. . . and uprooting the sidewalk.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My cat has been petrified! I want to see some punishment!

I'm alive!!!! I'm so happy! I survived Hurricane Irene (or Tropical Storm Irene, I guess; whatever you call her, I did not like her). It was an adventure, to be sure. Honestly, not as much of an adventure as I originally planned, but I feel ok about that.

The storm kind of got started on Saturday night; that's when it started to rain, anyway. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but I tried to make sure I had everything in order, just in case the worst should happen (whatever the hell that means). Anyway, I was ready.

I had a hard time sleeping and woke up several times. Honestly, I was freaking out a little bit. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I've always felt like I could handle pretty much everything. You know, I'm a Brinkerhoff, we're pretty tough, and I can be fairly resourceful. Plus, I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm certainly not the dullest. At any rate, the one thing I never felt like I could handle was a natural disaster. So, of course, here I am in the middle of a natural disaster. I bet mother nature had a good chuckle.

Anyway, when I finally managed to peek out from my covers it was about 9 in the morning. It was raining, but the wind wasn't too bad. My power was out which kind of sucked, but I still had running water. I had everything ready. I had my tub full of water just in case I ran out of running water (I read up on how to prepare oneself for a hurricane. I was ready dammit! He who is prepared shall not fear, right? What a bunch of bullshit. I was terrified.) Anyway, I opened up my blinds so I could see this awful natural disaster that I was certain was going to wipe me off the face of the planet. At least there weren't any sharks. It was kind of cool to see, actually. I got a few pictures, but I was kind of afraid to go outside, so they aren't very good pictures. Sorry. Next time there's a hurricane and/or tropical storm out here, feel free to come visit me and take a picture yourself.

Anyway, I kept checking the weather forecast on my phone and reading the news updates. Some power lady said we should all be prepared to be without power for days. Days, with an s. I hoped she was just being pessimistic. As it turns out, she was. My power came back on at around 1:30 or 2, and I promptly celebrated by taking a nap. It was a glorious little nap, and I slept with all of my lights on. Anyway, the power went out again at about 6, and that's when the wind really picked up, in my neck of the woods anyway. I didn't like it. I closed all of my windows so I couldn't hear it. Of course, I could still hear it, but it made me feel better.

Anyway, I busted out my little flashlights and tried to get some homework done. Called Nationalgrid, again, to tell them my power was out. They had an automated phone message thing. I kind of felt bad; I expect they were pretty busy. Apparently like 90,000 people were without power by 6 o'clock. Apparently some of them still are. Counting my blessings...

Anyway, in a fit of wishful thinking I decided to go downstairs and check my braker (I don't know how to spell that). I knew that the power was out because a tree came down on my street (yes, the whole tree. And it was a very big tree. It actually uprooted the sidewalk. It's still there, so no one is driving on woodlawn. It's been kind of quiet), but I hoped I could just switch the braker and my lights would come on again. So through the torrent of wind and rain I went down into my basement. It stunk. It kind of smelled like a mixture of insecticide and gasoline. So now I was all worried that I had a gas leak and my house was going to blow up. Wouldn't that just be my luck?

I called my dear Father who, I'm certain, wondered what I wanted him to do about it. He told me to call Nationalgrid. So I did. They showed up fairly quickly. Apparently what I was smelling was something horrid that had come up the drain when our basement flooded, but we did actually have a gas leak. So two guys from Nationalgrid stayed here until about midnight fixing our gas leak, and my landlords came today to fix the smell.

When I woke up this morning, my power was still out. Cursing Irene, I walked my ass up to the school library. I needed my computer to do my homework, and my laptop is old - the battery doesn't last very long. Anyway, whilst at the library I got a call saying the power had been restored. Yay!! All was right again in my world.

So, all things considered Irene wasn't too terrible to us. There has been widespread flooding throughout the region, and there are still several flood warnings being issued. There are still people without power, and there are still giant trees blocking the roads, but for the most part Albany is recovering quite nicely. I'm really grateful for the power people who, I'm sure, are getting lots of overtime. I for one am appreciative that they are working so hard. I love electricity!

I was going to post my shitty pictures of Irene, but it's taking to long to load, and I am exceedingly tired. I'll post them tomorrow. Until then may you all be in sunshine only (maybe some shade).

Friday, August 26, 2011

That's no moon, that's a space station!

Well, I survived the first week of my second year! Though, I may not survive the weekend. The weather channel isn't being very clear on my survival prospects. Anyway, school is good. I like my classes, though I wish my books weren't so damn heavy. Honestly, my arms are sore from carrying my books around. That tells you two very important things: 1) I really need to do some weight training, and 2) my textbooks probably weigh more than I do. Bollocks.

So, my classes. I'm taking fact investigation which is a practical course, so that should be fun. As the name implies, it's a class about investigating facts, an important aspect of any lawyer's job. It'll be fun to pretend to be a lawyer and sift through depositions, and witness statements, and expert testimony, all made up of course, but that's not the point. The point is, I think it's going to be fun.

My next class is business organizations. I have no idea why I'm in that class. I just had this insane thought last semester that I really needed to take it, so I did. I've only been twice, but I rather enjoy it. We'll see if my enjoyment lasts all semester. At any rate, right now we're learning about partnerships. We talked about the difference between a principal and agent relationship and a partnership, and then the difference between a partnership and a creditor relationship. You know, so far pretty basic stuff. Hopefully it stays basic. If not, I will be hitting up my sister Anna. She is very smart at all this business-y stuff. I may just send her my notes, and ask her to translate.

My last class is evidence. Holy shit. So much information! Honestly, I leave that class with an eye twitch every day. Again, it's a very important class, no matter what you do, and I do rather enjoy it. I dunno why; it really is a dense course (mind you I've only been once...) I think it'll be a good class though.

I'm enjoying my internship at the court house. Everyone is super nice, and when I get lost (which I do frequently. Every hallway looks the same!!) there is always someone who is willing to guide me to my destination. Right now I'm just working on briefing an opinion that recently came out of the Supreme Court, but I've gotten to see some hearings and that sort of thing, so that's been fun. And, as I say, everyone is really nice. My supervising attorney is always willing to answer any questions as is the judge I'm interning for. He's also one of my professor's, so that's good. I think.

In any event, school schmool. The REAL news is Hurricane Irene. Aack! I've never been in a hurricane before. I fear this fall may be a bit more adventure than I bargained for. But I have lots of water (hopefully enough) and a shit load of batteries and junk food. yay? I went to wal-mart today after work (it's not really work. I don't get paid). Anyway, I needed to go grocery shopping, and I thought I'd pick up a few things just in case all hell breaks loose this fine Sunday. Holy mother. It was a damn shitshow. There were so many people there, and they were running out of everything, and there was merchandise strewn all over the floor. Bloody hell. I am absolutely certain that I bought things I don't need and forgot to buy things I do need in my haste to get out of there. If I die, I fully intend on suing wal-mart. God will let me do that from Heaven, right? I am going to Heaven, aren't I? Bugger. I better check my karma before this hurricane hits.

The weather people are calling it a tropical storm when it hits Albany. All I know, is there is supposed to be a lot of rain and a lot of wind, and there are a lot of trees in Albany. I am really hoping and praying that we don't have any power outages, and if we do, that they happen while I'm asleep and are over by the morning. At any rate, if I don't blog again in the next five days . . . . the power's still out in Albany.

Hurricane Irene, bring it! I'm ready for a weather adventure! I think. Possibly. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Back to school, back to school, to prove to Dad that I'm no fool."

Back to school. Sigh. I wasn't ready for summer to be over, but alas, over it is. This week began with a very long drive. It actually went by fairly quickly, which is good. I made it to Hays Kansas at about 9:30 Utah time. Not too shabby. I got stuck in the traffic jam from hell in the Rockies, or I would've made it earlier. Oh well. The room was huge. I would've really enjoyed it if I didn't have to get up the next day and head out again. It was kind of nice sleeping in a king size bed. I woke up lying horizontally across the bed; I guess I was really reveling in the extra space to stretch out seeing as the king bed was significantly larger than my lil bed at home.

Anyway, Monday wasn't as long a drive as Sunday, and I made it to Kentucky in one piece. Good thing too. I was a little worried there through Kansas and Illinois. I saw a funnel cloud and drove through the ocean in St. Louis. It was less than pleasant, but I survived, so all was well.

It was SO good to see my parents! They were very nice and waited to have dinner until I got there, even though it was pretty late. We went to Applebees, and I had some yummy veggie pizza. Dad was able to get some time off, so on Wednesday we all headed off for New York. We cut the trip in half, so we didn't make it too Albany until Thursday, but we got here pretty early. Like two, I think.

Anyway, it was so very wonderful to have my parents here for 2 and a half days. Dad gave Ol' Bessie some serious reconstructive surgery. She runs like a charm now. Apparently I drove all the way across the country on a torn timing belt (I hear that's a bad thing...), so I'm very grateful my Dad was willing to do a ton of work so I don't have to worry about my car exploding or anything. He even put on new brakes. I think Ol' Bessie was pretty pleased about her new parts, and so am I.

My Dad bought a TV whilst in Kentucky. I guess he decided he didn't need it anymore, so he gave it to me. I rather enjoy having a tv. Of course I don't have cable; I'm way to cheap to pay for that. But it's fun to watch movies on it. The picture is bigger and the sound is louder than on my computer, so I'm a happy camper. :) We watched a couple of movies on my lil TV while my parents were here; it was fun.

We didn't get to do a lot of tourist-y stuff; I guess I wasn't being a very good host. We got a ton of stuff done though and just relaxed. Honestly, I didn't really care what we were doing. I was just so happy to be able to spend some time with my parents. I was sad they had to leave this morning, but that's life I guess. OPEN INVITATION: feel free to come visit me! I always love to have people over. And parental units: come back soon! :)

Anyway, so school. I'm doing a field placement with a judge this semester, so I went to my orientation for that on Thursday. It was interesting. My supervising attorney is really nice, and I think they're going to be keeping me very busy, so it'll be good. I suspect I'll learn a lot as well, which is always a bonus. Classes technically start tomorrow, but I only have classes Tuesday and Thursday (Well, I have one class on Wednesday, but it doesn't really count). I'm trying to get my homework done; I'm mostly failing. It's difficult to get back into the swing of things, but get back into the swing I must. Oh summer, why must you be so short!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another summer day has come and gone away, in either Paris or Rome (or Seville)

On Saturday, I went to Granada with Alejandro. It was absolutely incredible. Alhambra was beautiful, stunning. I highly recommend it. I'm really glad I got to go. Word to the wise though, if you ever go to Granada, plan at least a full day just for Alhambra. That place is really very humongous. Anyway, I'm too lazy to post pics to my blog today, so if you'd like to look at the pictures of Alhambra (and you really should. It's definitely worth a look) click here.

Anyway, it's currently finals week. Finals week is particularly horrible when studying abroad. Trying to study European legal history while in Spain is . . . difficult. It's hard to concentrate. I had my first final today; it was for the comparative womens study class. Bleh. I'm glad it's over, and that's all I have to say about that.

Now I just have to study for my legal history class, and then I'm done. Done with finals. Yay! Done with study abroad. Not so much yay. I've loved Spain. I could live here happily, though I should probably brush up on my Spanish skills before I send for the furniture. I'm really not ready to leave Spain, but I'm ready to come home. I can't even explain to you how much I miss my family. It's a lot.

I'm so glad I got to have this experience, and I would do it again. Who knows? Maybe I will. But today, and yesterday, and I imagine tomorrow, I want to come home. I've been so blessed to be able to have the experiences that I've had. Living in Spain has been incredible. I've learned things about the world and about myself. I even got to join in a protest. Life has been good. I love Spain; I hope to come back someday, but as my day of departure grows nearer, "all I want, is to come home." So you all better be really freaking excited to see me when I get there!! (And I've pretty much lived on tostada and gelato, so if I've gained thirty pounds, please don't say anything.)

Anyway, I love that I'm in Spain; I love that I got to live here; I'd love it if I get to live here again someday. But in the mean time: "Another aeroplane, another sunny place. I'm lucky I know; but I wanna go home. I got to go home."



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"Look, stairs"

Oh air conditioning, how I've missed you! I went to Morocco this weekend, and I was very excited to come back to my little dorm room and sit underneath the AC. Morocco is very warm. Amen.

Despite the Death Valley-esque heat, it was a good weekend. We arrived in Marrakesh on Friday afternoon, and someone from the hostal was waiting to pick us up and take us to the hostal. I quickly realized wearing jeans was a very bad idea, as I was sweating to death. Kimmie and I had brought conservative clothes (and by conservative I mean pants and t-shirts) because Morocco is a conservative country, but the jeans were like a very sweaty death. One of our friends let us borrow some linen pants and a long skirt she had, so I swapped my jeans for the skirt as soon as we got to the hostal. That made it a little bit better.

Vinnie had a friend who happened to be in Morocco at the same time as us, so we met up with him and his friend and headed to the Souks (the markets in Marrakesh). It was quite the adventure. We didn't really stop and shop at all, just looked around. The market is like a maze with shops everywhere. Spices are a big deal there, so there were a lot of spice shops. They also have a lot of leather products and fabrics. Lanterns are also kind of a big deal in Morocco, and they were everywhere. Their lanterns are really cool though, very colorful.That's the lantern in the lounge area at our hostal. They're really cool. Anyway, I bought a dress there because I was really not wanting to wear pants and we only brought one skirt. My first ever haggling experience! I thought I did pretty well. I probably could've gotten it for a cheaper price, but I did all right.

Anyway, the shops were kind of the big thing in Marrakesh. There is the Djamma El Fna square (I think that's how it is spelled). That's kind of where the souks begin. At night, everyone comes out because it isn't quite so hot. The square is really cool then. People come out and play music, and there are a million and two people trying to sell you shit. The key is to not make eye contact. If you make eye contact, they will chase you down the street trying to get you to come into their shop.

The food in Marrakesh was amazing! It was mostly halal food, kebabs and the like. They did have this one dish called a pastilla. It was so ridiculously tasty. It was like a meat pie with a sweet crust and powdered sugar on top. Oh my gosh. It was amazing. I must learn how to cook that when I get home. They also have the best orange juice I've ever had in my life. They literally squeeze the oranges in front of you and then hand you a glass of the juice. It's delicious.

The streets of Marrakesh are dangerous! Seriously, scooters of death everywhere. They don't really have roads, per se. But Moroccans think they have roads. The "roads" are really narrow, and they have shops and people packed into them. Still, people on bikes, bikes with motors attached to them, scooters, motorcycles, cars, even donkey-pulled carts think they can make their way through. We all got very adept at listening for motors or hooves so we would know to get the hell out of the way. We had a few close calls.

On Sunday, Kimmie, Vinnie, and I took a bus out to Essaouira. It's a beach town about three hours from Marrakesh. The bus ride was interesting.Yes, those are goats in a tree. No, it's not photoshopped. When the bus pulled off the road, and I looked out the window I did a total double take. "What the hell" was literally the first thing out of my mouth. The goats eat the fruit of the Argan trees, and then the locals pick up the seeds which are apparently found in the droppings of said goats. The seeds are ground into oils which are used for a variety of purposes one of which is Moroccan peanut butter. Which is amazing, by the way.

I had to google it when I got home: the goats actually climb up into the trees. Apparently food is scarce in the region (who knew?) so the goats, I don't know, evolved into tree-climbers or something. So they climb the Argan trees and chill up there. Weirdest thing I've ever seen, and that's saying something.

Anyway, Essaouira was cool. It wasn't quite so hot because of the breeze from the ocean. We had some Moroccan pizza, which was delicious. Honestly, I'm not sure I've had anything on this trip I didn't think was delicious.... Hm. Yeah, nothing's coming to mind. Anyway, we sort of just wondered around the town for a couple of hours. We went up to some cool fort they had and paid 10 dirhams to get in (that's like 2 dollars). It was cool; it had a great view of the city and a cool little place set up for pictures.While we were up there, I needed to use the bathroom. This is what I found.I decided to wait.

Anyway, there was actually a music festival going on there that weekend, but the concert didn't start until six and we left at five. Bad timing I guess. Oh well.

We didn't ever get to ride camels, which made me kind of sad. We just ran out of time. I WILL ride a camel some day though. I may have to go back to Morocco someday, which I would totally do, by the way. I loved it. It was an adventure for sure. Only, next time I go, I think I might shell out a few extra bucks for a hotel with AC.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Nothing to worry about. Obviously when they build a bridge like this they take into account that elephants will be crossing here.

Ah Monday, why must you always ruin a perfectly good weekend? Time marches on, I guess. At any rate, I did have an excellent weekend. Most of my friends went to Portugal this weekend. I thought about meeting up with them in Lagos for Saturday and Sunday but ultimately decided to stay and chill in Seville. After seeing their photos, I kind of wish I had gone with them to Portugal... but alas, I did not. And honestly, it was a great weekend. I got to discover Seville a bit and see the major tourist destinations here, so it was good.

Thursday night I went to the Archeological museum with Dean Mirrow and some of the other kids in class. It was pretty cool. They have the second largest collection of Roman law in the world, like actual bronze tablets from the Roman era. I'm such a nerd, but I thought that was pretty damn cool. Stephanie, Jeff, and I wondered around town for a bit after that. We had some amazing pizza, and then almost got run over by some bulls. This Thursday is the Corpus Christi holiday in Spain. The Spaniards take their religious holidays very seriously, and they've already begun processions, apparently. I don't know, maybe it was like a practice run. But they're building some big thing in the middle of town for Corpus Christi.I'm not really sure what it's going to be. I guess I'll find out on Thursday. Anyway, last Thursday, Stephanie, Jeff, and I saw a procession going down the street. Well, it wasn't so much a procession as a really fancy cart. At any rate, here's a picture.Yes, those are bulls pulling the cart. Bulls are kind of a big deal in Spain. There's a bull fighting ring in Seville, but I'm not sure I could watch that, so I haven't gone. I saw the outside of the ring; I think that may be close enough for me. And I got to see these bulls pull a fancy cart across the street, so I'm good I think.

Anyway, Friday I slept through breakfast, so I went to a Cafe by the Cathedral that a friend had suggested had the best chocolate croissants. She may have been right. That was the best damn chocolate croissant I've ever had.Doesn't that look amazing? It was!

My goal for this weekend was to hit El Catedral, El Real Alcazar, and El Torre del Oro. So Friday, after I ate my delicious chocolate croissant, I headed out to the Cathedral. As expected, I got distracted. There's this guy that plays the blues across the street from the Cathedral. He's there almost every day, so when we walk home from school we always pass him. I've wanted to go sit and listen for a while; when I saw that he was out there on Friday, I headed over to enjoy the music. I chilled there for a while. It was wonderful. He's actually quite good, so it was extraordinarily enjoyable. I took a video, but for some reason my blog won't post videos. I'll put it on facebook if you care to look it up.

Anyway, I did a bit of shopping on Friday too. I finally went to the souvenir shops in town. Of course they had all kinds of collectibles, so I finally got me a Spain spoon. Anyway, eventually I meandered my way over to the Cathedral. They actually give student discounts, but I forgot to bring my ID, so I had to pay the full price which made my little heart (and my little pocketbook) sad, but all was made well again when I walked into the building. The outside of the Cathedral is amazing, but the inside is . . . I don't even know. Incredible. Apparently it's the 3rd largest church in the world. It was definitely humongous. And the artwork, the architecture, everything. It was just extraordinary. I took a bunch of pictures (and by "a bunch" I mean like 160. Seriously.). They're all on facebook if you care to view them, but here are a few so you can get a general feel for what it looked like.This is the entrance, or the tourist entrance, anyway. The entrance I went in on Sunday was a different door (I went to mass. More on that lil adventure later.)Apparently that is Christopher Columbus' tomb.That's the main alter. Anyway, isn't it incredible? That's just a few shots of the Cathedral. It was huge. I needed 160 pictures just to get everything. Well, almost everything.

After the Cathedral I went home and took a siesta. Wonderful Spanish tradition that I think Americans should adopt. A lot of the shops in Seville close from about 2:30 - 4:00 for siesta. Everything's closed, might as well take a nap, right? Anyway, after my glorious little siesta, I wondered around Seville for a bit, checked out some of the local boutiques. It was good. I really enjoy wondering around big cities. It's so much fun to see all the different people. Apparently tourist season has started in Seville; there were so many people here this weekend. It was insane, and it was weird to suddenly here English everywhere I went.

Anyway, on Saturday I went to the Alcazar which is the palace here in Seville. It was pretty cool. The best part about it was the gardens where, of course, my camera batteries died. Aarg! I'm going to steal copies of my friends pictures though. The garden was incredible. For one thing, it was huge. We spent at least an hour and a half wondering around the garden and we didn't see the whole thing. For another thing, it was absolutely beautiful. There were so many different kinds of flowers and so many different colors. There were little fountains everywhere (and a few big ones). There were some random peacocks hanging out. We also saw a parakeet and two turtle doves. The garden made the entire thing worth it. I think there is going to be an outside concert there at the end of this month. I want to go; I bet it's beautiful at night with the garden all lit up and everything.

Saturday night I had great ambitions of actually getting some homework done, so I stayed in. Of course, I didn't get any homework done. Oh well. I discovered these ridiculously delicious cookies... I'm pretty sure when I get back to the States I'm going to be 30 pounds heavier. So no one say anything, ok! Anyway, it'll be totally worth it. The gelato is amazing; I eat this delicious toast with marmalade for breakfast everyday. I have a ridiculous amount of carbs everyday (in my defense, that's just how the Spanish eat. Lots of bread, pasta, potatoes, that sort of thing.) And now I have discovered these cookies. I'm definitely bringing this shit home with me. So good! If no one tells me how fat I got in Spain, I might share them with you.

Anyway, Sunday I again slept through breakfast. Big surprise. There's this little donut shop down the street. It looks like a Dunkin Donuts, but it's called Duffin Dagels. I have no idea what a dagel is or what it means for a dagel to be duffin, but anyway. They have these donuts that are like kit kat or cookie hybrid. That's what I decided to have for breakfast. I had a kit kat donut and a cookie donut.So good! It was an awful idea, but they tasted pretty damn good. Anyway, after my sugary-death-guaranteed breakfast, I went on the hunt for camera batteries. I swear I checked every freaking store in this town. When I finally found some, I was so happy I could've kissed the clerk. I didn't though. Anyway, as luck would have it, the shop with the batteries was right across the street from my favorite Spanish blues player. So I went and chilled there for a while again.

I decided to head back to the apt, but when I passed the Cathedral, I noticed the doors were open. In all of my genius I thought "Maybe it's free on Sundays." Anyway, I was all for going in again, so I went through the doors and wandered. I realized quickly though, that the doors were open because it's Sunday, and they still use the Cathedral for worship and they were having mass. I've never been to Mass before, so I thought, why not? They had it roped off and there was a lady there making sure tourists didn't interrupt the service. I asked her if I could go in for Mass and she said of course. So she let me in, and I went to Mass. It was all in Spanish, so I really have no idea what was going on, but it was cool. I missed the beginning of the services, but I was there for the Sacrament. The sacramental prayer was really long, but after the Priest or Father or whatever prays, the priest or father or whatever and some deacons or whatever come down from the main alter to where the pews are. If you want to partake of the sacrament, you go up there. It was interesting. I rather enjoyed it. Not like I feel the need to go again, but I'm glad I went. There was something wonderfully peculiar about worshipping God in a Cathedral that large and that old. I felt a certain solidarity with the other worshippers. You know, even though we don't believe the same things, we were all there to worship the same God. I don't know. I enjoyed it, and I'm glad I went.

It was a good thing, though, that mass isn't very long. Shortly thereafter my body let me know, in no uncertain terms, that I am too old to have donuts for breakfast. Bleh. It was unpleasant and definitely unpretty, but I survived. I was supposed to be meeting Alejandros friend from Paris and showing her around until they all got back from Portugal, so I was getting a little nervous, but I survived the sugary-death-guarantee and was able to meet up with Clara as arranged.

It was fun to get to meet someone new. Clara is very nice, and we had a good time wandering around the city. We initially were following some googlemaps directions to the Golden Tower, but I quickly realized googlemaps is retarded. So we threw out the directions and headed out on our own. To my great surprise, I actually managed to steer us in the right direction and we found the tower. Then we headed to Plaza de Espana. When we first got there, I was a little confused as to why there were so many bloody people there. I quickly realized though, upon remembering that Sunday was the 19th of June, that this was the starting place of the Toma la Calle protest (Take the street). They've been advertising it for weeks now, and it was finally happening, and I was there! Clara is also into the power to the people and peaceful protests, so we had a good time hanging out with the protesters. We even marched with them for a bit, but we had to get back to meet Alejandro.

Anyway, so we returned and met up with our friends and the weekend came to a close. My friends showed me there pictures from Portugal, and I was a little jealous. I'm glad I stayed here though. I had a blast in Seville and had a few adventures of my own. All things considered, it was a damn fine weekend.

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's a blazer out there. You're lucky you got air conditioning like Mother Nature intended.

Whew! It's been a crazy week. Last weekend we went to Madrid. It was pretty cool; it was fun to be in a new place. We took the train there, and I was really excited about that because I'd never been on a train before. Alejandro hadn't either, so we made sure we got a picture of our first train ride ever!
Honestly, it was kind of anti-climatic, but it was still cool to finally take a train somewhere.

Once we got to Madrid, we all piled onto the subway and were immediately warned by a security guard to watch our stuff very carefully because the pickpocketing was particularly bad that day. Off to a good start... Nevertheless, we all made it to our hostel without incident. I was kind of excited about this too because I've never stayed in a hostel. It was basically like a hotel except it had three beds instead of two. The shower was huge though; I didn't even know what to do with myself. Anyway, our room was pretty nice.

That day we went out and about, sort of just wondered around the city. Our hostel was only a few blocks from Puerta Del Sol which is where the tent city was, so I got a few pictures of that.There were quite a few people there. On Sunday night though, they took a vote and packed up and left the next day. They're coming back on the 19th.

Anyway, that day we went to the Palace in Madrid. It was huge. No big surprises there, but still. I failed to take my camera to that little excursion, so I don't have any pictures of that. I'll steal my friends pictures and post them up later. It was really quite extraordinary. Apparently the royal family still uses that particular palace on occasion for State dinners and that sort of thing.

We went to a club that night. Puerta Del Sol and the surrounding areas are filled with tourists and, therefore, much tourist-y stuff and buildings. The club was pretty cool, but there was a 16 euro cover charge, which is like $24. No thank you. We turned around and were about to leave when a bunch of people from class showed up. One of the kids had some connection, and we all got in free, so that was kind of cool. Anyway, clubs in Madrid are pretty much the same as the clubs in America. Amen.

The next day we wondered around Madrid a bit more and went to the Prado. It's one of the major art museums in Madrid. It was pretty cool. They didn't have any modern art, nothing past the 19th century, I don't think. It was still pretty cool to see.

Monday we did our school field trip stuff. We went to the Constitutional Court in the morning. One of the Laretos (I think that's what he was called; basically the same as a law clerk in America) told us about the Court, so that was kind of cool. The building wasn't what we expected.Later that day we went to the Senate.The Senate building was really cool. I wish they would've let us take pictures inside, but they wouldn't. It was comprised of two buildings: one modern and the other from like 1763 or something like that. We also got to see the Senate library, which was literally breathtaking. It wasn't very big, but it seriously looked like Harry Potter in its design plus the books they had were priceless. They had a first edition Dante. First Edition. They had the first Spanish Grammar book ever written. They even had some book written in a dialect of Chinese that is now extinct. I felt like I was in a temple of books, and they were all very sacred. All that history and knowledge, it was just incredible.

Anyway, then we headed back to Seville. I enjoyed Madrid, but I was happy to be back in Seville. It's crazy how little time it takes for a place to start to feel like home, and Seville has definitely become home to me here in Spain. I wish you all could come visit me, only you'd have to get a hotel because I have no futon for you to sleep on here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Everything isn't like home. If everything were like home, there would be no reason for leaving home.

Well I'm still alive, and that's saying something! I've had quite a few adventures here in Spain thus far. I even had an adventure where I got to go to the hospital! I enjoyed that one a little less. I had a blister on my foot that popped and then got infected... It was mildly unpleasant to look at and hurt like hell, so a friend came with me (she was my translator) and we headed to the emergency room. Spain has universal health care, so it was kind of interesting to experience that. I'm sure everyone could tell we were American b/c we were speaking English and they all tried to help and give directions to the right rooms and stuff, even the other patients in the waiting room. The doctor actually spoke English, which was nice, but none of the other staff that we saw did. Anyway, the doctor told me I wasn't dying and proscribed an antibiotic and a painkiller. When we were leaving, Meredith and I stopped and asked a security guard if we had to pay. He laughed and told us that we had to pay him. He was kidding, of course. I'm sure he thought it was strange that we even asked, but it was strange to us to leave a hospital without paying any money! I felt like I was breaking a rule; I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the cops were coming to arrest me for theft of services....It looks less disgusting w/ a bandage on, but you can see where the infection was starting to spread up my foot.... Glad I got that taken care of. It would've really ruined my weekend if I lost a toe or some shit. Anyway, I'm still alive and all is well. And I have all of my toes.

The pharmacy was also an interesting experience. We went to the one at the hospital first. They have like consultation rooms, so you walk into a waiting area and there are three rooms. You wait for someone to come out, and then you go into the room and give your prescription to the pharmacist. It was kind of strange, but anyway, they informed me they didn't have my drugs. So we went to one close to our apts. This one was pretty much exactly like the ones back home, so it was way less exciting.

Anyway, so that was my adventure with the doctor. Then I had a serious and dangerous battle. I usually have a few ants in my room, no big deal. I came home a few nights ago though to find a giant swarm of them all over my door. I was afraid to open my door, but I did it anyway, and they were swarming in my room too. I can't even explain the anger. I was cursing every living ant and all of their ancestors. However, I knew that in order to win this battle, I was going to need a weapon of mass destruction, so I went to the store and bought some insecticide. Oh, I should also mention that there were now lizards running all over the place b/c their entire supply of food was living on my door. It was like a damn zoo only way less exciting and more violent. Anyway, so I won the battle (and the war I assume, no new ants have moved in). I'm fairly certain I killed like three colonies of ants, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Friday night I went out with some friends and Brigett's roommates. It was mucho divertido! We went to this place called Alfalfa and meet some Spanish guys and a random Italian guy. Then we went to a club called Buddha and danced the night away! It was good times for sure.

Saturday we went to the art museum by my house. It was pretty cool. It was interesting to see the Spanish art. I didn't get any pictures b/c I forgot my camera, and at any rate you could only take pictures of like one room. Anyway, it was pretty cool. And free for students!

On Sunday we went to Cadiz. It's a coastal town. It was so much fun! We got there pretty early, like nine ish. There weren't a lot of people on the beach which was nice. We went to this amazing cathedral and went up to the top of one of the towers. It was an incredible view.Anyway, that was pretty cool. We also went to this place called Plaza de Constitucion.Then we headed back to the beach for the day. It was nice. I even got in the water! A couple of times actually, and once I went by myself! And I succeeded in not getting eaten by sharks, so it was actually kind of pleasant. :D

Cadiz was a blast, though I did get a wee bit sunburned... I bought some Aloe Vera today, so hopefully I'll feel better soon.

Anyway, those are the adventures I've been having in Spain thus far. I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and seeing all kinds of fun things and trying all kinds of new things. I even tasted squid. It wasn't too bad. :D

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"What's going on?" "I never know what's going on!"

I am starving to death. And sweating to death. It's been a very perilous two days here in Spain. Anyway, I'm starving to death because I slept through dinner last night and breakfast this morning, so... I've been living on snack packs since yesterday morning. I'm hungry. Needless to say, I was rather excited when one of the girls in the program said she was going to the store and would I like to meet her at her apt and go with her. Um, yes, I would. Plus, there are a couple other things I need to pick up, so I was thinking this was perfection.

Alas, it was not meant to be, I guess. Either google maps is upside down, or my brain is upside down, both being equally likely. At any rate, I got seriously lost. When I realized I was never going to find her apt, I came back to mine to get directions to the store in hopes that I could find her there. So I got directions and headed out. It should not have been hard; it's like a four minute walk from my apt. This is when I realized something was wrong w/ the map and/or my brain. I started noticing the street names I was supposed to find to get to her apt, but they were not in the place they were on the map. I was very confused. Anyway, I didn't find the store either. And I don't have a phone, so I couldn't call her to tell her that I was lost. I feel really bad! I definitely need to get a phone.

Anyway, I was being very annoyed that I was lost in Seville and not able to find my friend. Then I decided, you know, I knew before hand I was going to get lost several times (I'm severely directionally challenged. I get lost frequently). So I thought, while I'm lost I might as well take some pictures. Enjoy.

I think this was a church.I was more lost than I thought...

Anyway, so that's a small sampling of Seville for you. It was a rather enjoyable little jaunt through town even if I did completely fail to find what I was actually looking for. I did find the hotel where rich people stay, but I didn't take a picture; some people were loading luggage into a corvette and talking about golf. It was a nice hotel though, at least on the outside. I also used an ATM without major incident. It took me a minute to figure out where the hell my card went, but once I figured that out the rest was, well, exactly how it is in the US. I almost went to a burger king for lunch but decided not to. It was big, like three stories. I found a little ice cream shop that I'm definitely going to have to go to someday. It's really bloody hot here. Humidity, it's killin' me. yay for AC! I also stumbled upon a Roman hardware store. Not sure what that was all about...

Anyway, so that was my first lost venture in Seville. I suspect there will be a few more in the next five weeks. Maybe next time I'll actually find the supermarket. A girl can dream.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

You went half way across the country in the wrong direction!

Well I made it to Spain. It was mostly smooth sailing. There was a bit of a bump in the plans in Newark. Side note, I really hate that airport. Anyway, I somehow managed to lose my boarding pass but didn't realize it until an hour before my plane was supposed to leave. So I went to customer service and talked to some guy at Continental who printed out a bunch of receipts for me and told me I was going to miss my flight if I didn't run. But then I couldn't find the damn air train that takes you to terminal B. Then I found it, and I guess I tried to get in the wrong line b/c the lady wouldn't let me through. So then I went all the way down to check in where they told me I had to go to terminal B to get a new boarding pass. So I finally found terminal B and then you have to go through security again. At this point, I knew I was going to miss my flight. So I went up to a security guard and explained my situation and asked him where the hell do I go to get a new boarding pass. He very kindly took me to the right place and, basically, informed me I wouldn't miss my flight if he could help it. And he could. We got me a new boarding pass, he rushed me to the front of the line of security, and I then ran through the terminal to my gate holding my computer, carry on, belt, and one shoe. I did make it on my flight. And I was very glad.

Anyway, I did make it to Spain in one piece. And now I am very tired. I think I'll take a nap.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

According to the map, we've only gone four inches.

Well, I'm home. I survived finals, I think. Results aren't in yet, so the survival issue is still iffy. My bro flew out to NY and drove home with me. He came out with me to celebrate the end of the first year for the class of 2013. We had a good time, and he got to meet some of my friends. It was a lot of fun, so I'm glad he was cool with going out. Anyway, while we did have fun, we ended up getting a full three and a half hours of sleep as we wanted to head out at 6 so we could get to Kentucky to see my Dad. I have to say, we are machines. How we managed to drive 700 miles on only 3 1/2 hours of sleep, I'll never know. But we did, and we learned some very important things. Like Wooster is like Rooster but with a W, for instance and that I don't park straight.

Anyway, we made it to Kentucky at about 7:30, so we got to hang out with my Dad for a while. It was really good to see him! But alas, we had to head out the next day. So we got up at five again, and ate breakfast with Dad. Then we hit the open road. Again.

Thursday was kind of a long day... We drove through five states, a total of 900 miles. Again I say, we are machines. But we made it to Colorado and rejoiced to finally be in the West again.

Friday was the last day of traveling. We finished off the last 800 miles in about 12 hours. Go us. It's nice to be home again. And not in a car.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Including those four? That gives us... four

Anyone who has ever been to the east coast knows that parking here is atrocious. An absolute, unequivocal nightmare. Most places don't have parking lots, so everyone parks on the street. Now, I have a confession to make.... I don't know how to parallel park. I did it once when I took my driving test and was so bad at it I never did it again. That's why I hate to drive here. I only like to drive if my destination includes a parking lot. Which isn't often.

Well, last night my friends and I decided we needed a break from studying. So we went to Andrews house to chill, and I offered to drive. So I picked up Michelle, and we headed down S. Lake. Lo! A parking spot! Almost directly across the street from Andrew's apt. But I would have to parallel park; my nerves were all a flutter.

I decided to give it a go, with Michelle encouraging me and giving me directions. It must have been the good karma because I managed to successfully parallel park on the first try. And my car wasn't even sticking out in the street or anything. I thought about taking a picture to document that life changing moment but decided that was weird. Anyway, I have now successfully parallel parked. You should all be very proud because I sure as hell am.

PS Happy Easter everyone! Someone roll an egg down the hill for me!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Did you just call me a 'loof'?

Today I did my first ever oral arguments. For my lawyering class, we've been working on this case all year, and the culmination is oral arguments in front of the "Court of Appeals" at the end of the second semester. My group went today. My Court of Appeals consisted of my professor, one of our TA's, and one of Pro. Queenans former TA's. But they all wore robes and we were in a court room; it all felt very official.

Now that it's over, I find I quite enjoyed myself. It's kind of like when I was a kid and we used to go cliff jumping. I always got really nervous before I jumped, but after I did it I couldn't wait to get back up and do it again. I think it's the adrenaline rush. It was the same thing today. I was very close to terrified before our arguments began. Oral arguments are basically an opportunity for the judges to clarify your argument. Each attorney gets up and presents their argument for the alloted time (we had 8 minutes). You have to have a presentation ready, but you never get through it all because the judges ask you questions almost immediately. That's what I was scared of. What if they asked me a question, and I didn't know the answer? Plus, I have a tendency to ramble when I get nervous... Anyway, all things considered, I thought me and my group did pretty damn well. And we all looked super snazzy in our suits.

Anyway, so now I've done an oral argument and found that I rather enjoyed the experience. Maybe I'll do moot court next year. My professor is the advisor for the appellate advocacy competition, and she's been harping on all of us all year to join next year. Maybe I'll take her up on it. It really was quite fun. And with that statement, I believe my transformation to law school nerd is complete.

Friday, April 15, 2011

"I can get you out of here." "How's that? The key's run off."

It's that time of year. Yes, registration (and finals, of course, but I'm pretending like those don't exist. It's better for my heart.) At Albany Law they randomly assign each student a registration time (No one wants the 4 o'clock time slot...) I got 10 o'clock, so not too shabby. I had this perfect schedule worked out, but alas, the third years get to register before us, and they took all the cool classes. Bastards.

Anyway, so I worked out a second schedule that has less cool classes but still covers some of my requirements, and I'm sure I'll learn a thing or two. In theory, anyway.

So next semester I'm taking evidence, fact investigation, business organizations, and legal profession. Woo!?... It'll be good. All 2Ls have to take evidence, and I've heard good things about my professor, so hopefully that'll be good. Fact investigation will be an interesting class, plus there's no exam. It's a "practice" class which means that instead of a written exam at the end of the semester you have some sort of simulation to see if you actually paid attention all semester. Meh. Better than the four exams I'm currently staring down. Help!

Business organizations. I don't know why, but I had this insane feeling that I should take that class, so I did. We'll see how it goes. The professor I wanted only teaches it in the spring, so hopefully the one I got will be just as good! Legal Profession is a class on ethics. Hopefully I can take that class and then do the MPRE (the ethics portion of the bar) and have done with it. One less thing to worry about it! I keep thinking my legal profession class shouldn't be too bad because, I mean, ethics are mostly common sense, yeah? I dunno though. Lawyers are really good at making up rules....

Anyway, I also waitlisted a class on the international law of war and crime. The waitlist was already 20 people long when I joined the group, so my hopes are not high. Still, it would be an interesting class. We'll see what happens. As it stands, next semester is going to be very... informative. In theory.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's boogie time

Last night was Albany Law School's annual barrister's ball (that's fancy lawyer talk for law school prom.) Originally, I wasn't planning on going. I didn't buy a ticket, but then one of my friends wanted to go, and I thought, meh, Why not?

Slight problem, though. They stopped selling tickets like a week ago. So if we wanted to go, we were going to have to find someone who didn't want their ticket. My friend Steven helpfully searched the entire student body, I'm pretty sure, and found us two tickets. Thursday night. Ten points to Steven!

So last night was the prom. I couldn't decide what to wear. I know it's a prom for law students, but I didn't think I wanted to wear a prom dress. Besides, I don't have one. Being a great lover of all clothes comfortable, I have very few fancy schmancy get ups. My coworker was nice enough to bring some of her daughters things to work and told me I could wear one of them, if I wanted. She has some pretty dresses, so I started to get kind of excited about getting all dressed up. :)

Anyway, I ended up not wearing any of those dresses and stuck with one of mine. Michelle told me it looked like I was wearing a sarong, but whatever. I wore my pretty pearl earrings Lukey gave me for Christmas a few years ago. I felt very fancy, even if I was wearing a sarong.This is me and a few friends at a pre-barristers ball party at another friends house. Andrew and Anthony did not go to the prom, but they did come hang out for a while before hand, so that was fun.

The prom itself was . . . not what I expected. I don't really know what I expected, actually. It cost $25 to get in, and then there was supposed to be food and drink galore. Well, there was drinking galore. For some reason, I thought they were going to have like dinner food, but not so. They just had fancy snacks. The bread was pretty good though. There was much dancing, which I always enjoy. It was fun to hang out with friends and remember why I would rather be short than walk around in four inch heels all day. It's always fun to go out with friends and cut loose, as it were. At any rate, I enjoyed the barrister's ball. I may even go again next year.