23 June, 2014

An anniversary in Annapolis {and other alliterations}

^^^ You know how when hand your camera over to someone after you ask them to take a picture. And then you get the camera back? I've taken to not looking at the photos they've taken until a few minutes later. I know I am going to be disappointed. It's not that I am so great a picture-taker, but I generally know how to frame a group, right? I didn't think that was an acquired skill.

Really, I should just be grateful that the stranger took the picture, and I am, otherwise Dan and I would have only solo photos for the day and on our anniversary that just doesn't sit well. I mean, a little basic iPhoto editing and we're all good, right? Right. Memory documented.

Dan commented in passing that I don't take as many pictures as I used to. He sounded a bit too cheerful about that, if you ask me. But, he's right. It's nice to just enjoy the time together and not think too much about snapping the perfect shot. Who is that for anyway?

It is my year again to plan our celebration so we took a little day trip down to Annapolis. We had so much fun walking around the quiet little town. Maybe it's not so small but compared to the loud hustle and bustle of the D.C. area we were so happy to just sit and listen to waves lapping against the dock and meander through the flea market and sort through the antiques.

We drank and ate our way through that little military town. Those clams. Those clams casino. And the pizza. I found that little place on Sosh App. If I'm being honest, we went to Annapolis because Sosh told me that pizza was the shit. And I was not disappointed. We shared the Spotted Pig, with wild boar meatballs and spicy sopressata. Fantastic doesn't begin to describe it. Just an all around great food day.

In order to tour the Annapolis Naval Academy museum, visitors have to go through security; pretty standard for any kind of military base. As we neared the front we heard one of the guards requesting that any current and retired military should just come right through. So, Dan takes his id out of his wallet and heads to the front. The young man looks at Dan's card, stands up a little straighter, and salutes Dan. I hadn't seen that happen to him in over a year and nostalgia swept over me.

We talked about it as we walked through the museum, how, surprisingly, we miss the military a little bit.

It's been four years and we still love to talk to each other. We love hanging out with each other. We're chalking that up as a win.

17 June, 2014


It's been a long time. I'm gonna try and update you soon, but for now, I am obsessed with this gif.

Summer is good, folks.

10 May, 2014

Oh, hey.

{after a long day of flow charts}

Sorry. You know, law school. I almost forgot about this space. Almost. But now 1L is over (1L IS OVER!), and I feel like I can post semi-regularly again. When I have something semi-interesting to say/share. We'll see how often that happens. 

But first, 1L. 

It's weird because it feels like it went by so fast. I figured it would drag on and be miserable forever (because everyone prepared me for the horrendous year that was ahead), but to be honest it was just too busy to drag on. There was never time to stop. 

I felt like I was drowning the first semester. Not that the content was so hard, but everything happened at once. It was just a rough Fall. And then finals rolled around and I was in a slump and life sucked and I felt like I didn't really have anyone at school to help me through it because it still felt like we were competing with each other and, as silly as this sounds now, I didn't want to appear weak. 

Law school produces the most stressful and frustrating environment and we create it for ourselves. Part of it is the curved grading system (only so many students can receive A's, and, goshdarnit, we all think we're the rightful recipients). Part of it is the type-A personality of every student in the program. 

It's just all encompassing, and it's all you can think about and talk about. And, it sucks. The whole thing. All of it. 

Thank God for Dan. I don't know how I would have came through without him. From the beginning he has been here and available. He seemed to sense when I was about to break and he would encourage me and talk me through it all. I got through this year in one piece and with a sane mind and that man gets a lot of credit for that. I shall bake him a pie in appreciation. 

Then second semester rolled around. Grades from first semester came out and I did fine - not fantastic. For me, that was a blow - a huge blow - to my ego. But a few conversations with Dan and with my teachers and I was determined to keep my head down and power through. 

The second semester is supposedly (statistically, maybe) a game changer. First semester everyone works their butts off. Everyone is scared shitless for first semester grades, to see where they stand, and with good reason. These grades impact where you get summer internships and how things shake loose for 2L On-Campus Interviews. The sun seems to rise and set over these grades. 

And then grades come out. Some do very well. Most do just fine. And many don't. It has to be this way (so I'm told), but it doesn't seem to mean much. In my opinion (not that you asked, but you are here after all), the tests produced by 1Ls are all variations on a theme. We all know the information and similarly regurgitate it on the exam. It's very unlikely that someone just didn't know the necessary information (unless they didn't try). They won't be bad lawyers because they didn't get an A, but they will feel defeated when the A doesn't appear. 

So, second semester the sand starts to settle. Some who got As might relax a little and think its all in the bag. Those who got Bs might decide that the hard work isn't worth the effort and reconcile themselves to the grade they can receive without the struggle. 

The first year is hard and it takes a lot to maintain that level of dedication and energy through both semesters. I was determined to do so and to improve my performance if I could. 

Something happened this semester. I was working harder but I was also working smarter. What exactly that looked like, I can't pinpoint. I tried to explain it to Dan one night after a 14-hour day of studying, I didn't know what had changed from last semester but something had. I felt more confident heading into exams than in the previous semester. Of course, some of that had to do with having gone through the experience once before - most of the jitters were gone. That was part of it.

But, this semester was better. 

1L is over and I cannot believe I'm a third of the way through law school. Things supposedly get easier from here. I'm not sure I believe it, but everybody says so. Good riddance, 1L! 

09 March, 2014

We always feel better driving west.

I bought a wine tasting deal on one of those social sites a couple months ago and, since I didn't do anything for Spring Break, we decided to take the day on Saturday and make the trek. It felt so good to get off the main roads and see some of Virginia's country. We daydreamed about living out in the middle of nowhere. We felt the peace of quiet and realized it had been too long since we had found our way out of the city. We live in Arlington but most days it just feels like an extension of D.C.

Somedays I just want to quit school and buy a ranch and farm something. The feeling is usually fleeting, though I know that someday we'll have a big tract of land with a small house and a fireplace. We'll have three dogs and a 15 farm cats. Someday.

For now we just enjoy getting out there every once in a while and when there is in the general westward direction we feel like we're going home - we joke that it would take us just three days to get to California, but I don't think we're really joking.

This vineyard was surrounded by hills and mountains. It's tucked in its own little valley which we're told gives the european varietal a good chance to grow. Thank god for that because the muscadine grapes of the south are just too sweet for our liking.

I love watching Dan in situations like this, like wine tasting. Dan is an interesting combination of introverted and extroverted. It takes him a while to warm up to a person he'll see frequently as if he's cautiously trying to determine what kind of relationship they'll have, but strangers? Oh man, strangers beware. Dan will talk your ear off and chat with you as though you are friends from grade school. He is never at a loss for questions or stories and he makes the whole place feel like the bar in Cheers.

It's one of the reasons traveling with Dan is so fun - he has the worst luck with airlines (his flights always get delayed) but he makes friends with everyone at the bar and we are never without people to talk to while we wait for our plane.

I always have fun when he's around and this weekend of wine and country was so needed. Thanks, Virginia.

21 February, 2014

Lest you think I spent my whole birthday sad and crying*

 Which I didn't. I actually had a great birthday. Actually, birthweek. Maybe even birthmonth. I do like to celebrate my birthday for a whole month.

"Dan, will you go get me ice cream?"

"Eh, no. Sorry, babe."

"But... it's my birthmonth."

"It's February 2nd."

"Yeah. My birthmonth. Duh."

Sometimes it works, folks. Sometimes. 

But really, we did have a great week. Starting over the weekend when our trip to NC got snowed out so instead we dressed up with all my law school friends who were going to Barrister's Ball (we couldn't get tickets last minute) and pre-gamed with them and then stayed at a swanky hotel in DC (oh, the bathtub. the king-size bed). And ordered room service while I pranced around in a cozy hotel robe (which are always better than my personal robe). 

The following morning we did brunch with all those same people and drank bottomless mimosas and then promptly took naps. Monday was a holiday which is always a win. 

And, then Wednesday. The 19th. My birthday. 

I got a surprise birthday dress. I got texts, messages, instagrams and other social media love. I got cookies and sourdough bread and baked goods from friends. Dan bought me Shake Shack and brought it the bar where we proceeded to have a debaucherous night complete with baby guinnesses

It was a great birthday and the month isn't even over yet. 

*My previous post was about how I cry on my birthdays.