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my mom’s birthday + a little track love.

4 Oct

On Monday night after my Trial Advocacy class, I headed out to my hometown.  My mom’s birthday was Tuesday and I had the morning free, so my mom and I planned a fun morning.

First, we hiked to the top of China Flat.  I seriously love where I grew up and you can’t beat the views from this hike.
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See?

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After our hike and a Starbucks run, we changed and headed to brunch along Westlake Lake at Zin Americana. By some miracle, my brother was able to join us despite his phone being off.

As we were enjoying the view, my brother ran into one of his “homies” hanging out by the water. My brother yelled “I’ll talk to you later, it’s my mom’s birthday!!!”

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IMG_4724The waitress heard my brother’s yell and brought my mom out a birthday dessert of crème brûlée. Such a nice touch!

IMG_4725Unfortunately after brunch I had to head back into the city to go to mock trial program at a middle school.  The kids are working hard and last week we saw the first glimpses of their mastery of the facts and their cross-examination skills. Can’t wait for the final trial in November!

Tuesday night, I met up with my running group. We did a 5.50 mile run down Figueroa and back, with one lap around USC’s track.

IMG_4728There is something pretty magical about running around this track — maybe because the band was practicing, or the lights…I don’t know. I’m not an SC fan really, but I am starting to think maybe coming here might be good running juju.

5.50 miles//39:36//7:10 pace.  Splits: 7:24, 7:09, 7:03, 7:13, 7:02, 3:35 (0.50 miles).

I need to come back here for a real track workout. Yassos, anyone?

a weekend in santa cruz.

24 Jun

Last weekend, I headed up north to Santa Cruz for the weekend for my brother Reid’s college graduation.

Getting there was a feat in and of itself. From my office in DTLA, I took the metro one stop to Union Station.  There, I picked up the LAX Fly-away shuttle, which took me to LAX for $7! It was easy and efficient, except for the fact it was 15 minutes late.  I allowed plenty of time, though, so I would recommend it, as long as you leave plenty of time.  I had about and hour to kill at LAX before I hopped on the Virgin America flight to San Jose.  I landed around 10 pm, and a shuttle came (also about 15 minutes late) to drive me to Sant Cruz.  Normally, at 10:30 on a Friday night, this drive would take 40 minutes or so. But on this particular Friday, it took 90.  A power line had fallen on the freeway, seven hours earlier, and they still hadn’t fixed the problem.  Luckily the driver and other passanger in the shuttle were friendly.  Finally, at around 11:45, I arrived in downtown Santa Cruz where I met my brother and parents at a bar called 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall where the band my brother manages, Dewey and the Peoples, were performing. (Pictured below with a random fan).

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My parents had an IPA waiting for me, and we hung out and listened to the music til a little after 12.  I headed back with my parents to a beach-adjacent apartment they rented through VRBO.  It couldn’t have been nicer or more quaint! If you’re looking for a place to stay in Santa Cruz, try the West Cliff Hideaway.  On Saturday morning, we got up bright and early for my brother’s 9 am graduation ceremony.  Beforehand, we stopped by my brother’s house (one block from the ocean!) for an impromptu photo shoot…with his band fam and actual fam.

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IMG_3998The graduation ceremony itself was a little bit boring – the speeches were sort of ho hum.  One associate professor who spoke actually sounded EXACTLY like the “infomercial girls” on SNL.  You know, the girls who sell “Moet Chandon” champagne and are super dumb? As soon as my mom pointed that out I kept repeating it incessantly throughout the day. It was great seeing my brother walk, though, and I enjoyed seeing more of the UCSC campus.

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IMG_4005There are deer errywhere:

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IMG_4014After the ceremony, we had a delicious brunch (the scones alone were incredible) at Hoffman’s in DT Santa Cruz.  My parents had gone their the previous night (after my Dad realized the restaurant had received a make-over on one of his favorite shows, Restaurant Impossible). They enjoyed their dinner so we went back for a boozy brunch.

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IMG_4015Later that day, I shopped with my mom and relaxed. I even took a nap! “Naps are for suckers” is one of my mantras, and this one was no different.  Although I felt super refreshed after, in the hour I slept the Dodgers gave up two runs to the Pirates and Kimye had their baby. After my nap (God, who am I?) I went out for a short, untimed run.  I did a slow 3.5 miles (approx.) from the beach house down to the pier and back.  This was my first outdoor run after 26.2 and it felt great.

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We had a very nice celebratory dinner at a nice placed called Aquarius, with great views overlooking the water.  My brother had kept his lei on so people kept congratulating him which was awesome, and he was definitely happy.

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It was a quick trip but fun – and it left me wanting more beach time!

the highlight of my week.

29 Apr

…was definitely seeing Bruce Springsteen in concert on Friday night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena! My parents are HUGE fans of “The Boss.” I remember my brother and I once found an old page of my mom’s calendar from some year in the 70s, and one particular day was highlighted in multiple colors because she was going to a Bruce concert that night. My parents have EACH seen him over 20 times. (And they say I have an obsessive personality…) I have listened to Bruce over the years and definitely have some favorite songs, and after years of hearing how epic he is as a performer I was excited to see him live.

So when they compulsively tickets to Bruce’s shows (yes, plural) in Los Angeles, I had no choice but to take a ticket off their hand. They went on Thursday night with two other couples, and I joined them on Friday (with my friend Aviva). We met up with my parents after studying for most of the day, and grabbed dinner close to USC at The Lab. I enjoyed a Lab IPA or two and their Greek Garden Burger which was pretty good.

you know you're in a college town when this acceptable.

greek garden burger.

This place was SUPER crowded – mostly due to the concert, but also due to the fact that it was the last day of school for USC undergrads. This made me instantly nostalgic for college (read: college bars) – I can’t believe I almost graduated two years ago! Nuts. [Just to be clear, I went to Cal, not U$C. Go Bears].

After dinner, we walked over to the venue. (Typing this word in a non-Civ Pro context is baffling. FML). Since my parents are Bruce-fiends they knew the 7:30 show wouldn’t start until 8:15 or so so we had plenty of time. He ended up coming on around 8:30 and played for a full three hours.

I didn’t recognize all of the songs, but he played some tried-and-true classics: Badlands, Dancing in the Dark, and my very favorite: Born To Run (are you surprised?). I liked his “My City of Ruins” which I remembered from the post-9/11 benefit concert, and enjoyed his newer song “Rocky Ground.” Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine made two appearances on two different songs which was pretty awesome as well. The enthusiasm and energy at the show was infectious, and the sheer size of the E Street Band was impressive.

Bruce also interacts with the audience a lot which was cool – we were seated behind the stage and I didn’t feel like we missed out at all. He also brought an adorable 4-year-old girl on stage with him and she sang a few bars of a song with him.

baby we were born to run.

It was a great concert (much, much better than the last show I saw at the LA Sports Arena…Fall Out Boy and The All-American Rejects in 2006). Embarrassing.

Other things I’ve been up to this week?

Well, I finished my first year of law school classes! It’s hard to believe, especially since finals are still ahead of me, but it really did fly by. Now I am in finals “lock-down” mode. My first one in Civil Procedure, next Friday. I’ve been memorizing my outline, taking some practice tests, and making jokes about 12(b)(6) motions, embracing §1332, and permissive intervention whenever possible. But seriously. Right now, things like this are beyond funny:

Glad to see Berkeley Law (the law school formally known as Boalt) is representing. You stay hyphy, B-Town.

Before I head back to study-mode, here are my workouts from this last week:

  • Monday: AM: 5.2 mile run PM: First workout of NROLFW 2A. I was DEFINITELY sore on Tuesday.
  • Tuesday: OFF
  • Wednesday: Spin
  • Thursday: AM: 3.2 mile run, PM: Yoga with Lori Steele 
  • Friday: NROLFW 2B (with 14 min. treadmill interval workout)
  • Saturday: 8.5 Mile Run (felt great! went in the evening and only mild knee pain the last mile during a steep downhill).
  • Sunday: Spin
I dragged my friend Amber to yoga with me – she liked the class, and it was nice to have someone to laugh with during the harder poses.

yes, the yoga studio is inside of a fred segal.

I’m happy that I got a few runs in this week and was able to go longer than I have in awhile. I’m hoping to run 13.1 in a few weeks – just trying to ease the knee/IT band back into running.

Have a great week, everyone!

revving up…

19 Nov

…for Thanksgiving…well, and for finals too. Since my brain is one big scattered mess (one minute I’ll be thinking about data point cases for Murder 2 (Malone, Fleming, Pears, Watson, Roe) and the next minute I’ll be planning a fun LA adventure or scouring race websites so I can pay someone for the benefit of doing something that is normally free and that most find painful! Yess. Congratulations, you are reading the diary of a crazy person. Glad we got that cleared up.

Here’s some things I’ve been up to. Super interesting stuff.

*a 16 miler this morning with the LA Leggers starting at the SM Pier, through Venice (love a 7:00 am contact-high, don’t you?), along Pacific to Aubrey Austin Park, to Mother’s Beach, and along the Marina. Turned around when the Garmin clocked 8 and then repeated the route. I stopped at all of the Leggers aid stations and took a few chews at mile 8. All in all, though, it was great and I clocked in at 2:09. Just gotta add 10 more of those babies on and I’ll be marathon-ready. I came home and took an ice bath and made a Green Monster smoothie. Glorious 

(source)

I’d be lying if I said my real reason for running here wasn’t so I could recreate the Heidi Montag/Spencer Pratt engagement.

*Last night I went to The Grove for dinner at the Marmalade Cafe with my buds Andrea and AK (real name: Andrew). I forgot to take pictures of their lovely faces because I was obviously way too focused on my incredible food.

filet mignon, arugula, and gorgonzola on a la brea bakery roll.

What she order, what she order (not) fish filet?

*I’m beginning the whole “study for finals” charade. It’s not as bad as it sounds, assuming your idea of a fun Saturday is spending many hours in the library memorizing things and taking practice tests. To lighten the mood, some of my Section 3 buds and I have made course-relevant playlists that coincide with our classes (I know, crazy person). My current favorite is this classic, which goes along with Crim rather nicely, especially in a mistake-of-law case, Marrero). FML.

*As always, love going to my favorite place, Starbucks. Especially the one at LA Live after class/during a library study break/whatever. Right now there is a promo running from 2-5 for 2-for-1 Holiday drinks. Score! Amber and I each got iced peppermint (skinny) mochas. Verdit? Way better hot.

Here’s Jackie with her peppermint cake pop!

On the agenda for the rest of the weekend? Studying (duh) consuming copious amounts of the delicious baked goods my roommate Jenn made last night (salted chocolate chip cookies – INCREDIBLE and fudgey brownies – also way delicious). I’m hoping to maybe make it to Michael Voltagio’s ink.sack soon, and sleep in tomorrow. Lazy Sunday. Yess.

Also of note, my college has been in the news big time this week. First, there was a shooting on campus at Haas, resulting in the death of the 32-year-old undergraduate student who was the one originally brandishing the gun. This while the Occupy Cal stuff has been going on (don’t even get me started on the police brutality). This morning I woke up to a facebook picture of one of my favorite bars/restaurants off campus (Raleigh’s) BURNING DOWN. There was a roof fire ruining Raleigh’s, it’s neighboring restaurant Intermezzo, and 49 apartment buildings. So sad. Raleigh’s was definitely a fav – so much so that the bouncer and i were friends. And by “friends” I mean he texted me occasionally normally to ask when I was coming to the bar and if I could bring my “hot friends” with me. Ouch, thanks a lot Chuck.

me, kathleen, chuck, and amanda at raleigh's.

Love ya, Berkeley, but if you carry on like this you might end up going the way of Amy Winehouse. Too soon?

Finally, in fitness news, I’m winding down my participation in Run Eat Repeat‘s Pile on the Miles #POTM challenge. Good news, though – I’m starting the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge (#HBBC – I’m ALL about the hash-tags, clearly) over at Run to the Finish. I’m liking these challenges because it’s cool to see the mileage add up, they hold me accountable, and I get to check out other people’s blogs and workouts.

Do you have any holiday fitness tips? 

cruzing.

23 Jul

Right now, my family is in northern California – specifically Santa Cruz – for my little brother Reid’s college orientation at UC Santa Cruz. We’ve been up here for just over a full day so far – and will be exploring the area until Sunday. Here’s some snapshots of what we’ve been up to:

drinks in the hotel bar with Kerren, one of my roommates from Madrid:

starting off the trip with an IPA. standard.

appreciating all of the weirdness Santa Cruz has to offer:

keep santa cruz weird.

finding a falafel sandwich to keep my Mediterranean food obsession going:

delicious.

exploring the UC Santa Cruz campus with my family:

seeing the forest for the trees.

porter college dorms.

reid at his college.

dinner in neighboring city Los Gatos, which is adorable:

dinner at Andalé in Los Gatos.

shrimp quesadilla, ensalada mixta, and a corona.

brother.

…and dessert next door at Happy Yogurt.

happy yogurt - the peanut butter sauce is life changing.

so typical.

love los gatos.

The rest of the trip will include visting with my Aunt and Uncle who are down here from Oakland, getting a couple of runs in, and exploring the Santa Cruz boardwalk.

Have you been to Santa Cruz before? Any recommendations? 

alpha chi pride?

30 Mar

This past weekend, one of my best friends from my sorority in college, Amy, took a break from her studies at Oxford to spend a week in Madrid (after first visiting that city to the north that shall-not-be-named).

I introduced her to the obsession that is 100 Montaditos, made the rounds to Madrid´s tourist sites (including el Museo del Prado – Amy´s an art history buff), shopped in Madrid´s 5th Avenue-like area known as Salamanca, celebrated Daylight Savings Time with an extra-late night out at a discoteca, and caught up on important gossip, naturally.

While I still give Amy a hard time for saying ¨Here´s to exploring new cities with old friends¨ while we met up in Lyon, France in November, there is definitely some truth in that statement, and I´m looking forward to future adventures with all of my friends in the near future!

 

churros con chocolate at San Gines (stolen photo from Amy´s bomb camera)

strolling through Plaza Mayor

 

 

mash-up twenty-ten.

30 Dec

I love a good mash-up. remix, or even a solid playlist. I feel like the best sort of ¨year in review¨ post should include the song or album that I associate with that month (if you can’t read any further, at least listen to this). That being said, here’s the mash-up of how 2010 went for me:

January – ¨Tik Tok¨ by Ke$ha I know, an utterly terrible (but undeniably infectious) song. I picked this song to sum up January for me because it is a solid ¨Vegas¨ anthem, and I went there twice in January. The first trip was the kick-off for 2010 and took some major convincing from my guy friends from high school, but it was an epic trip with lots of funny stories from 4-am run-ins outside of the hotel, being in the same club as Jay-Z, guidos, and countless inside jokes. Three weeks later I headed back to Sin City with my sorority and probably overdid the references to The Hangover and Ke$ha – we started the party in the Oakland airport and caused a scene because our flight was delayed 5 hours, stumbled upon an Estelle concert at Aria, and formed a wolfpack. My 22nd Birthday was also in January, and although we celebrated in San Francisco it was basically Vegas Part 3.

 

The wolfpack at the (not real) Caesar's Palace

 

February – What You Know About Little Secrets by The White Panda (Passion Pit vs. TI) Basically the only things I remember from February are going to class and Berkeley’s Bear’s Lair pub on Fridays for “Beat the Clock” like it was my job. My roommate at the time, Kathleen, introduced me to The White Panda and I particularly love this song for two reasons: 1. I love mash-ups and 2. I REALLY love Passion Pit.

my favorite place on campus (not a joke)

March – Alejandro by Lady Gaga March was punctuated by midterms, term papers, and the demise of my Toshiba laptop. Helloooo Macbook Pro. I can´t remember everything I did in March which probably means I spent a good amount of it doing really nerdy things, but some highlights include a trip to the Sonoma County wine country with some of my best friends, and a memorable trip to Orange County with my mom. I also did some cost-benefit analysis when a postion as an assistant at a local law office presented itself, but I ended up holding out until May when I would hear from the program through the Spanish government. Alejandro is the song for March because A. I like Lady Gaga  and B. Alejandro is an extremely Spanish name.

April – Bedrock  by Young Money The beginning of April was one of my most fun months of college – trips to the city for nights in the Marina, a Giants game, and a weekend at the W hotel for my friend Amanda’s birthday. I was obsessed with this song (cue some inside jokes here) during April, and found the line “I’m at the W/but I won’t meet you in the lobby” to be undeniably appropriate. It was in April that I had my final sorority events, my last college lecture (during which we analyzed a Lady Gaga video, Go Bears) and got to know the Berkeley bars as well as possible. I also wrote a paper psychoanalyzing the “wolfpack” scene from The Hangover and can still get a laugh out of some of the “arguments” I made.

May – Young Forever by Jay-Z f/ Mr. Hudson The carefree levity of April came to an abrupt end when, at the end of the month, one of my best friends lost her girlfriend, who I was just starting to get to know. Alysia’s tragic death, coupled with our college graduation was undoubtedly an emotional and hard time, and Jay-Z´s ¨Young Forever¨ is what I associate with it. Also in May, I moved home to my family’s house and began working as a Marketing Assistant at Lenmar Enterprises, Inc. I will always remember this month and get the occasional chill when this song comes on.

 

Graduation

 

 

June – Cooler than Me by Mike Posner June was busy and fun – I adjusted to working full time for Lenmar, took day trips with my mom and Whitney to the Getty Museum and Malibu, respectively, and I spent a lot of time driving around the Conejo Valley singing along to this song. I spent portions of June stressing over Spain logistics (everything ended up working out, haha) and hanging out with friends from high school. I also added a second little job into the mix – doing some travel blogging and marketing for I Wish Gap Year. Finally, one of my favorite June memories was developing an obsession with Agoura Hills’ Ladyface Alehouse. I am literally anticipating tasting their IPA again next summer.

July – Brian Eno by MGMTThis song has yet to be a mainstream hit, but I’ve loved it since I first heard it in April when MGMT released their latest album, and I’ll always associate it with 2010. In July, my Dad and I spent a few days in NY and DC checking out law schools (for me) and working (for him). I also dealt with an insane bureaucratic mess that involved 3 trips to the Spanish Consulate on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles and a bunch of pointless background checks. The highlights of July included delicious Mexican food with various friends in LA and having almost all of my friends and family over for a bbq.

August – My Sick UncleThis mash-up symbolizes August for me because it blends the cool, summery, LA-vibe of the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack with the zany and creative antics of Lil Wayne. August was great: I went to a Real Madrid/LA Galaxy game with some of my best friends and spent the whole day tail-gating, spent a few days in Toronto on a business trip for Lenmar (!), went to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market as many weekends as I could, went wine tasting in Malibu with some friends, and squeezed in visits to the Hollywood Bowl and Westwood as well.

 

Toronto's CN Tower

 

September – We No Speak Americano by Yolanda Be Cool Not only was this song associated with Jersey Shore (my most guilty pleasure) but it was also all over Madrid when I arrived half-way through the month. I’d hear it in clubs, bars, and even at the gym. September was busy and fun – I ended one job, said goodbye to my friends with a party that was a little too fun, and moved to Madrid! I met my roommates, went to orientation, showed my friends AK and Andrea around the city, and started settling in.

 

back in action.

 

October – Stereo LoveThis song quickly became a Madrid mainstay and it was in October when I first heard it. In October, I started my job at Colegio Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo, spent a day in Segovia, went to a bullfight and showed my friend Brian around the city, was a ladybug for Halloween, and planned some trips. Oh, and I wrote my law school personal statement and submitted some applications. All in all, a terrific month.

November – Girl Talk ¨All Day¨It’s as if Gregg Gillis (the genius behind “Girl Talk”) knew I used his music as a metaphor in my personal statement for law school, because half-way through the month he released his third album “All Day.” I could go on and on about him (and will if you want), but this song in particular is my very favorite off the new album, and it represents November perfectly. I finished law school apps completely, visited college friends in Lyon, France and checked out Córdoba in Andalucia, and spent my first Thanksgiving a fuera de los Estados Unidos. Oh, and Madrid got it’s first snowfall!

December – Don Omar – Danza Kuduro f/ Lucenzo I chose this song because it took me until December to make a concentrated effort to speak more Spanish – I started listening to some podcasts, read “El Mago de Oz” en espanol, and arranged to meet up with a Spanish speaker aka an “intercambio” once a week. All of these decisions have proven helpful, even if I feel like a buffoon on occasion. I traveled to Porto, Portugal at the beginning of the month, experienced the madness of Christmas in Madrid (both in the city center as well at my school), hit up Salamanca for a night, and celebrated Christmas with my roommates.

 

Sol at Christmas (the tree was designed by a Spanish designer I like, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada)

 

2010 was a great year, and I’m looking forward to the exciting excursions and experiences 2011 will bring. First up is celebrating NYE with my mom in Madrid and quick trips to Bilbao, San Sebastian, and Granada. Happy New Year from Madrid!