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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!

mosaicfb360eb9f8e108a25f8c15ae5538877d9d655495

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

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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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eternalmoonwalk2It’s kinda hard to fathom just how popular Michael Jackson was – and is – around the world, but the website Eternal Moonwalk gives you a smidgen of an idea.

Fans the world over submitted short video clips of themselves, their babies, friends, family and even their pets doing Jackson’s signature move.

The videos play in a neverending stream over the first few measures of “Billie Jean”, with MJ starting off the moonwalk wave as fan after fan moonwalks into the screen.

If you’ve had enough tears or almost-teary moments from MJ’s memorial, the site shows just how many lives the late performer touched by celebrating his legacy in a fun way.

But the site isn’t without its sad moments. In one video, a guy does the moonwalk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right across MJ’s star. Tear.

It was hard to stop watching. Here’s the site if you want to check it out for yourself!

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dontstopbelievingSince it was released in 1981, Journey’s power ballad “Don’t Stop Believing” hasn’t stopped making its way into the hearts and minds of believers the world around, karaoke bars and pop culture.

The song, with its opening piano riff that’s sure to draw gasps of recognition whenever its played (“Hey, that’s Journey!” see Family Guy video below), has appeared on shows like The Sopranos and in movies like The Wedding Singer.

The most recent television incarnation is in the new Fox show Glee, a show about a ragtag group of high schoolers in show choir. (Deep dark secret No. 2: The Blawgirl did show choir all four years of high school.)

After watching the pilot for the show and reminiscing about my own high school show choir in all its sequined glory, I decided to compile a list of my favorite videos that feature the memorable song.

Four chords, millions of songs!

If you learn the chord progression for “Don’t Stop Believing” you too can be a songwriter and make a bajillion songwriter dollars. Just kidding. It takes a lot more than four chords to write an enduring song. Or does it?

Because I’m Asian …

I had to include a karaoke version. So, here ya go.

Don’t stop your screaming

A parody from the College Humor.

Family Guy does Journey

Sing it Cleveland! Giggity!

PS22 Chorus living just to find emotion

I just love how these kids sing with such feeling.

Obama voters believe!

This is a video taken from the streets after Pres. Obama’s election in November. The optimism and the joy in this vid makes me smile.

Rock of Ages rocks the Tonys

The cast of the musical Rock of Ages performs during the 2009 Tony Awards.

Sing it with glee!

And here’s the scene from Glee that gave me gooselumps and had me missing sequins, pancake makeup, hairspray and painful character shoes.

Photo: photographer10 / Flickr

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You’ve heard that music has the ability to tame even the wildest beast. But can it have the opposite effect? If the music in question is death metal, then, yupperooni.

It can turn the sweetest cockatoo into a headbanging mofo, and a cute little doggie into a vicious, i’ll-eat-your-face hell hound.

Check out the videos! Embedding has been disabled in the second video, so the link takes you to YouTube. (via BoingBoing)

deathmetaldog

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studyball2Sometimes all it takes to stay close to your desk and in front of your computer to get your work done is the promise of future academic success. Other times – like when MerDer are getting ready to walk down the aisle – you wish that someone would physically chain you down to one spot just so you can hammer out that last bit of work.

Wish no more! With the Study Ball, you don’t need another party to subject you to the torture of forced labor because you can do it yourself for the low, low price of $115!

The 21-lb. Study Ball is basically a “prison-style” ball, chain and manacle made of steel that is rigged to a timer, according to Curiosite.com. The timer unlocks the device after the specified amount of time, which is indicated on a digital display. For safety, a tiny safety key is included so that the manacle can be unlocked at any time.

According to the site, which sells “unusual gifts for unusual people”, the product is:

“especially recommended for desperate parents whose children won’t study, people preparing for civil service exams who have trouble concentrating, and for all sorts of students in general. It’s also recommended for freelance workers: web designers, computer programmers, bloggers, architects, translators, and anyone else who spends long hours sitting in front of the computer.”

The amusing gadget is the product of Spanish designer Emilio Alarcon, who thought up the idea after speaking with a friend. “The project was born of a conversation I had with a friend who was studying for a civil service exam … He said: I haven’t left the house in a week, this is like being in jail,” said Alarcon.

Sounds like The Boyfriend’s description of studying for law school.

(Gizmodo via Curiosite via FayerWayer via Newlaunches)

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