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I am currently living on a law school budget, and, as such, my furniture and technology choices are often restricted to what I can find at WalMart, Target, the local Goodwill, or generous donations from the Parentals. That doesn’t mean that I can’t appreciate a lovely piece or appliance when I happen to see one. Like this television set, for example.

Just look at it!

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Too frakkin’ cute!

Via Gizmodo

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Photo 11You may (or may not) have noticed my absence from this blawg in the past couple weeks since I took my last final. That’s because the minute I uploaded my final test of the semester I checked out of neurotic law student in finals mode and checked into Blawgirl on vacay mode.

And while other 1Ls from other law schools constantly checked their grades over the course of the winter break, the folks over at Chapman Law have decided to wait until after the spring semester starts to release our grades.

So, for the week remaining on my vacation, I will be blissfully unaware of my inadequacies as a law student and simply assume that I got by because people, including the teller at my local gas station, family members, and some online tarot card reading thing, have reassured me that I probably did OK.

Their guesses are as good as mine.

Early on during the winter break I questioned my school’s decision to wait to release our grades, but over the course of the break, especially during Christmas week, I was glad to not have the weight of failure hanging around my neck. As such, I was able to – wait for it – actually have fun.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Winter Break Week One

  • Bought a fake Christmas tree at Target and decorated it with The Boyfriend the Friday of my Property final. We also ate a celebratory dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants, a Lebanese place called Papa Hassan’s.
  • Hiked the Hermit Falls and Sturtevant Falls trails with The Boyfriend.
  • Bought Christmas presents, wrapped them and decorated them with flowers from Dollar Tree. Scroll to the end of the post to see the finished presents and my tree!
  • Celebrated Christmas Eve with my family. This Christmas, I thought it would be fun to do a hot cocoa bar. For the bar, I brought a Crock-Pot full of hot cocoa and a bunch of things that people could stir into their cups. They could choose from either a candycane or cinnamon stick as a stirrer, then add red and green marshmallows, butterscotch chips, mini chocolate chips, red sugar, green sugar, caramel syrup and whipped cream on top. Sadly, no actual alcohol in the cocoa bar in consideration of my younger cousins and nephews and nieces. Played Christmas songs on the piano. With the decorative present wrapping and the cocoa bar, I was feeling very Martha Stewart-y.
  • Celebrated Christmas day with The Boyfriend’s family. Day two of the hot cocoa bar! Loved watching The Boyfriend’s nephews and nieces open their presents. Taught The Boyfriend how to sword fight for the stage using a pair of squishy swords his nephew received (Little known Blawgirl fact: I played Abraham in a high school production of Romeo and Juliet; dude dropped out three weeks before the start of the play, and I volunteered because I wanted to play with swords). Watched for 15 minutes as The Boyfriend and his cousin re-enacted scenes from 300.
  • Had a dinner date and a movie with several of my cousins. We watched Avatar in 3-D and ate dinner at Felix Continental Cafe, a lovely Cuban place by my house.
  • Finished The Gargoyle, a novel by Andrew Davidson. Interesting story, with a bunch of lovely love stories woven in.

Winter Break Week Two

  • Visited the Huntington Library with The Boyfriend. Leave it to us to go on the only frakkin’ day it decides to rain in Southern California. Day before the trip: bright and shiny. Day after the trip: even brighter and shinier. Day of the trip: rain, rain and more rain. Eff you, rain gods. Still, had a lovely time walking around the main house.
  • Finished and loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was a bit skeptical about the book when it was recommended to me by a friend. First off, the book was in the young adults section next to Twilight. Second, I was looking for something light and fluffy, and not a book about a dystopian North America where the government has gone so evil that it forces people to watch a reality show that’s a mix between Survivor, American Idol and America’s Next Top Model, where only one person out of 24 could walk out alive. Oh yeah, and the people fighting to death? Children who are anywhere from 12 to 18 years old. It turns out, however, that this was the book I was looking for. I’ve moved on to the next book in the series, Catching Fire.
  • Celebrated New Year’s Eve with The Boyfriend’s family.

Week Three of Winter Break

  • Updated my blog.
  • Getting over a stupid cold. Tried to flying crescent kick the cold in the balls by nomming on some Tom Yum Kai, a spicy Thai soup, but no luck yet.
  • Possible 5-mile trail run that I haven’t done in ages.
  • Paintballing on Thursday!
  • Actually looking forward to the start of the new semester.

Don’t let me down, 2010!

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1. Christmas 2009 Presents 4, 2. Christmas 2009 Presents 9, 3. Christmas 2009 Presents 3, 4. Christmas 2009 Presents 1

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Hi, all! Trying out a new website I stumbled across called ToonDoo, which lets you create your own comic strips and customize your own characters! Yeah, I should be studying. Back to it then.

Finals mode

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funny-pictures-kittens-may-or-may-not-be-listening

Ha! This could be any of my first year classes! Looking at this photo, I wonder if this is what my professors see.

Photo: I Can Has Cheezburger

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appletort

One day searching the web on a whim
I found the presence of law limericks quite slim
So here’s one I penned
Read it in depth, or instead
Read it like your case books and skim

A NEGLIGENCE FORMULA

Some would say negligence is bland
For others it’s hard to understand
But it’s not so opa-ic
And almost algebraic
When guided by one learned hand

Photo: Brisbane Falling / Flickr (It’s an apple tort)

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whiteacre1Since my last blog post here (which got a shout-out from blawg A Reasonably Prudent Law Student (thanks!), which you should go visit. Like, now), I wrote a bit for The Shark, turned 26 years old, and have settled comfortably into the life of an over-caffeinated law student.

Oh, yeah.

And I gave in to the Facebook phenomenon that is Farmville, which passed the milestone of 1 million fans last week.

In between reading and briefing cases, I’ve been raising horses, goats, chickens and other livestock.

I’ve also had the opportunity to cultivate eggplants, strawberries, apples, oranges, lemons, and other fruits and vegetables.

Of course, I’ve been laughed at by The Boyfriend for my faux farming, but I equate the game with one of those desktop Zen rock and sand gardens.

As those desktop gardens are aimed at making sense out of chaos by placing rocks and drawing lines in the sand in ways that are aesthetically pleasing, Farmville helps me clear my mind by allowing me to create a property, hereafter referred to as Whiteacre, which is not only nice to look at but also soothes my desire to organize and put things into order

Plus, the ducks are cute, and you get to pet them.

whiteacre2

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teenieme_tobyTeenie me is like me only smaller. Much, much smaller.

In all other regards, we are strikingly similar.

We both wear glasses on occasion. We both have an affinity for messenger-type, cross-shoulder bags. We both love ginormous dogs. We both love chocolate, cheese and the TV show “Chuck”. We both think penguins – or “pengins” as Teenie calls them – have an evil, secret plan to take over the world.

Oh, and we both despise men who pop their collars, except European men because they can’t help it: They’re European. They come out of the womb equipped with Speedos and weird-ass shirts.

I first met Teenie Me several years ago at Anime Expo, where she was just chilling at a booth making snide remarks at all the girls dressed in Sailor Moon outfits who probably shouldn’t be wearing mini skirts and the gross amount of man boobs on display. I appreciated her candor and decided to adopt her then and there.

We’ve been inseparable ever since.

You can see where Teenie’s been so far on my Flickr photostream, and you can continue to follow her adventures here as she follows me into law school.

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yearbookjulie1Somewhere in the back of all our closets is a yearbook containing a photo that we hope will never see the light of day. Let’s call it the Bill Compton (or any other hunky vampire hearthrob, and, sorry, Edward Cullen doesn’t count) of yearbook pics.

But unlike Sexy Bill, these photos are decidely unsexy: your hair doesn’t fit in the frame, you blink at a bad time, you sneeze at a bad time, you wonder whether you left the crimping iron on in the bathroom, etc.

So why in the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s green earth would you want to see what you would look like in a yearbook photo from previous decades? Because it’s hella fun!

Yearbook Yourself allows you to try on different looks from many different decades. Want to see what you’d look like with a ‘fro? Check the 1970s. Want to rock a bouffant? Try a look on from the 1960s.

Try it out, and post links to your photo albums below! It’s groovy. Also, you can check out some more of my Yearbook Yourself photos here.

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The closest I’ve ever come to going to a circus was on the frequent childhood “family trips” to Las Vegas, when my parents would hand me and my brothers $20 to go play in the arcade. Between two boys and one girl – and despite the keen money management of said little girl – the cash lasted all of 10 minutes. After that, one of our parents or other responsible adult would take us out to the Midway Stage where we would be dazzled by any number of free circus acts while sitting on sticky benches next to the warm bodies of other tourists who may or may not have showered that morning.

This probably explains why the circus I remember from my childhood smells of stale popcorn, the mysterious sticky stuff on those Midway Stage benches, cigarette smoke, McDonald’s french fries and just a touch of body odor.

This also probably explains why today I found the eau de barnyard and exhaust that greeted me as I approached the Ringling Bros. Circus train cars so refreshing.

Unlike the stale, musty odors of the circus I remember, this smelled like life, like the wonderment of youth, like the promise of childhood joy under the big top … and, yeah, like poo.

Visit my Flickr photostream to see/download the elephant photos!

UPDATE: See more video of the elephants walking here!

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