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out here grinding.

20 Sep

Today was long. 5 mile run in the morning – the overcast weather though made me mildly excited for the seasons to “turn” (somewhat of a joke in LA) and to run in cooler weather all the time. I kick-started my morning with my new favorite breakfast – Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal! In the bowl – oats, 2 teaspoons heaping pumpkin, sprinkle of brown sugar, cinnamon, and a handful of dried cranberries. It tastes like Thanksgiving in a bowl, and is sufficient to keep me full at least until I get to the library.

new breakfast obsession.

I jammed at the library for a bit, then learned all about the International and Comparative law options at my school – and also ate some bomb Lebanese food. Owning. Then I spent 2 hours internalizing adverse possession and another two on pre-acceptance reliance, before jamming at the library again for a bit. Like how I’m bookending class with trips to the library? I am a walking literacy campaign.

Other things that are helping to keep me sane: yoga once a week (last night’s class was the perfect start to my week), phone calls with far-away friends (can’t SF be a little closer?), Sumatra X-Bold drip coffee from Starbucks, and one or two guilty pleasure TV shows. Oh, and having fun on weekends. There’s that.

Speaking of weekends…this last one was a doozey. Saturday night involved a trip to both Winston’s and Bar Lubitsch …and the night ended with slices at D’Amore’s. My friend Whitney’s best friend from college, Riley, was in LA for the weekend, so we had to show her a good time – even if I got embarrassed playing “Thumper” in public or trying to cut the line at Lubitsch. Here are the highlights…

riley: "i'm the child of two bartenders!"

the boys.

me, riley, and whitney.

ending the night at d'amore's. boom.

And the other weekend classic I’m becoming fanatical about? My friends’ and my tradition of “sunday dinner.” Yes, perhaps inspired by Jersey Shore, we take turns hosting a homemade dinner at our respective houses/apartments. Last Sunday was Whitney’s turn, and she and Riley concocted a menu of Turkey Sliders, french fries (steak cut + sweet potato) and I put together a salad. We had record attendance: Whitney and Riley, Matty and Ryan, and my roommate Jenn and me! A ver…

i'd say i don't normally look this haggard, but that would be a lie.

I did not include the photo of Ryan pure judging my (terrible) knife skills. One day I’ll get a domestic gene in my body. That day is not today.

whitney salvaging my not-quite-ripe peaches for my salad.

my salad: mixed greens, grilled peaches, heirloom tomato, orange bell pepper, cucumber, and paul newman light italian dressing.

the sliders!

I asked Whitney for the trick on the sliders – ground turkey, egg, teriyaki, and breadcrumbs – cooked and served with a slice of pineapple, teriyaki sauce, and white cheddar cheese on hawaiian bread. So. good. I didn’t wake up hungry on Monday, that’s for sure.

After dinner we walked to nearby Toppings for some frozen yogurt. Not that I needed it, if for no reason than I was already bordering on delirium and the extra sugar probably didn’t help.

i swirled cookies n cream with something else. any guesses?

What do you build into your routine to help you “stay sane” when your schedule gets busy? 

welcome to the jungle.

18 Sep

Since all I listen to is Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album, Watch the Throne, I wanted to name the title of this post after it. Then, I realized that the song lyrics are either inappropriate or self-congratulatory, and I’m trying to give off the “here’s a glimpse at my crazy life” vibe. So with that, I had to avoid this song and settled for this one.

Okay, so keeping with the randomness, here’s some things I’ve been up to this week…

-Tackling (baby) goals. I just finished my fourth week of school and made a goal at the beginning of last week to try and go to at least one professor’s office hours, just to get in the habit of going and to get over the initial fear of it. I didn’t go all that often in undergrad, and when I did it was usually to a graduate student instructor’s office hours. Anyway, I managed to go twice – once for Property and once for Civ Pro. Small goal, but glad I did it.

I also made it to an evening yoga class once this week! I’ve been doing well with keeping up with my running, but my “stretch and strengthen” category could use some work. The class I took was perfect and I’m going to try and make yoga an element of my training plan once a week.

nissan decided to shoot a commercial at school. only in LA.

-My roommate and I broke down and ordered pizza from my guy friends’ favorite local joint – D’Amore’s. It was a little bit pricey, but the crust was delicious and the toppings were different from your standard Papa John’s or Pizza Hut concoction.

D'Amore's "specialty."

– Surprise, surprise, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time in the library. Curious about my daily schedule? DJ Pauly D alarm clock at 7 am. Workout. Shower, eat, catch up on blogs. School by 10. Library til 12 or 1 depending of if I attend a lunch meeting or not. Class 1-5. Library til 7 or 8. Home. Dinner (working that Spain-time din…yessss) and then probably a TV show and perusing the Google Reader yet again. Here’s me being a total creep and making my friend Amber pose in the library at school.

tolerating my embarrassing blog antics in inappropriate places.

-Thursday night I went to my first “bar review.” No, I’m not preparing for the CA bar exam 3 years early. Bar review is the term law schools give to an event held at a local bar or club for the purposes of “relieving stress.” This week’s fiesta was held at Vanguard in Hollywood. Pros: Hanging out with my school friends outside of the library or the cafeteria, cool outdoor terrace, one Kanye song. Cons: $8 (tiny) beers, hellllla janky bathrooms, and a pretty inadequate DJ.

– By Friday, I had pretty much lost any resemblance I once bore to a functioning member of society, but local BFF Whitney allowed me to look haggard and be a terrible driver and she still hung out with me! Her best friend from college, Riley, is in town and the three of us saw I Don’t Know How She Does It  which I give a B- (which may be generous). Not terrible, some funny moments, but not that great. I did like the fact that it tried to broach the topic of the female work/life balance, but since that whole concept stresses me out I’d rather just pretend that’s not really ever going to be an issue.

Before the movie they indulged me on another obsession: fro-yo.

PB + chocolate shavings.

Fun fact: I used to work at Pinkberry…all the way back in the day when they had two flavors: Original and Green Tea! I haven’t had P-berry since before I went to Spain, so it was nuts seeing all the stuff they have there now! The peanut butter flavor was perfect – creamy and peanut buttery. It was weird to have a Pinkberry flavor that wasn’t tart at all, but I definitely didn’t hate it.

Before the movie we saw this commercial. Hamsters dancing to “Party Rock.” We may actually have entered the Twilight Zone.

stop. hatin' is bad.

-Saturday morning included a nice 6-miler in Santa Monica through Venice and back. I got to my group’s meeting place just a minute or two after my group took off (rough) so I spent the first 0.75 miles sprinting to catch them. Solid start to the morning.

The rest of the weekend will be a combination of nerding out, going out, and lounging around with my friends. Happy Sunday, everyone!

a book and a bbq.

12 Aug

For a lazy summer day, yesterday was surprisingly productive.

I started off the morning with a trip to my new gym. My half-marathon training plan deemed yesterday “3 mi. run + strength” so I decided to make the “strength” element the focus and tried a Body Pump class. Two of my favorite blogs, Carrots ‘n’ Cake and Peanut Butter Fingers, always rave about the Body Pump routine and now I know what all the fuss is about! It was an hour long, total body workout with dumbbells and hand weights and I enjoyed the upbeat music. My goal is to try and make this a weekly routine. After the class, I popped over to the elliptical for 3 miles of easy cross training. Success!

I also finished a book yesterday called The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

I really enjoyed this book! I was a little bit skeptical at first because it’s narrated by a dog…and I’m no animal lover. As it turns out, the dog (named Enzo) is incredibly perceptive, and he narrates his entire life spent with his master, semi-professional race car driver, Denny, and his wife Eve and daughter Zoë. This book isn’t a tear-jerker (or at least not intentionally). It is more of a reflection on humanity and human interaction.

Enzo develops an affinity for race car driving through Denny, and explains that “the car goes where the eyes go.” The race car elements are a nice metaphor for how Enzo views life. The book took a surprising turn with two unexpected and dramatic law suits – and the reader is never sure how it is all going to play out. I also really enjoyed the ending – it’s somewhat other-worldly and got me thinking about things like the after-life and reincarnation and if either of those exist at all.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend this book to most – Enzo as a narrator is thoughtful and funny, and it didn’t seem like I was reading a book about a dog. There were, however, some comedic moments when Enzo behaves in animalistic ways (tearing up one of Zoë’s stuffed animals, urinating on an important legal document because Enzo disagreed with it, etc.)

My day ended with a BBQ at my friend Lily’s house in Brentwood! After crossing the city and sitting in some unbelievably gnarly traffic, I met up with Krisse, Tara, and Lily for some delicious home-cooked grub.

i didn't get the maxi-dress memo.

everyone's favorite dessert: fro-yo!

Once I got home, I caught up on Jersey Shore (naturally) – so I’ll end this blog post with my favorite quote from last night.

“If her keds still light up…SHE’S TOO YOUNG FOR YOU BRO!”

Has anyone read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Thoughts? 

nothin’ comes close to the golden coast.

7 Jul

The last few days have been relaxing and fun – taking full advantage of lazy days before law school. Yesterday’s highlight was driving down to Malibu for a 5 mile run along PCH and whipping up some bomb salad with quinoa and Mmm sauce thanks to Healthy Tipping Point. My parents were surprised that I finally made something that was actually edible. I’m not sure my brother would agree with them, but that’s a different story.

I spent today in the Palos Verdes/San Pedro area visiting a college friend, Krisse, who is recovering from ACL surgery she had just over a week ago. I met my friend Lily in Brentwood and we made the trek down – and Krisse gave us the tour of all the Pedro hotspots. (I’m still having trouble pronouncing San Pedro the “American” way of San Pee-dro. The last nine months have made it hard for me to not pronounce it the Spanish way of Ped-row…but that’s beside the point).

Here’s some pictures from my day in San Pedro:

krisse + lily at the port.

alpha chi takes san pedro.

awkward angle.

Then we ventured up the coast to Redondo Beach…for some frozen yogurt at Krisse’s favorite place: Penguin’s!

a childhood classic in Redondo Beach!

red velvet cake + pecans.

It’s been a great day catching up with my friends for the first time since I saw both of them in Spain as well as getting acquainted with a part of LA I didn’t really know before!

What’s everyone’s favorite yogurt place? What do you love about it?