7 Quick Takes.

-1-

The whole “post your bra color as your facebook status” thing kind of annoys me.  I think the idea is brilliant—everyone is posting random colors as their facebook status, and then people who don’t know what it is are like “whaat?” and then someone says, “Tah dah! It’s breast cancer awareness month! (Be aware that breast cancer exists!)”  However, this would be a much more helpful venture if people actually took that revelation and thought, hmmm, maybe I should be checking myself regularly.  But unfortunately, this seems to be a case of good idea in theory not working out so much in practice.  To me it seems like most people just get caught up in the fun of getting to post their bra color on facebook and the cuteness of confusing all your friends who don’t know what the color is about.  I’m pretty sure EVERYONE knows that breast cancer exists.  So, what are we doing about? Are we just going to talk about our bra colors (which last I checked, won’t cure cancer), or are we going to REALLY do something about it?  

-2-

On a less soapbox note, yesterday the thought crossed my mind, “Am I neurotic?”   I’m not even sure what that word means, and I should just look it up.  But here’s why I thought it:  there are certain thoughts that always cross mind.  For example, every time I walk into a women’s bathroom, for a split second I panic that I’ve walked into the Men’s bathroom.  Even if I double checked the sign, even if I see there are no men or urinals in sight, even if I’ve used the exact same bathroom for months or years.  Technically, this one’s not a fair example because I actually have, on more than one occassion, including recently, waltzed into a Men’s bathroom.   Other examples?  Every time I send an email or text for a split second I panic that I’ve sent it to the wrong person.  Sent a joke with a smiley face meant for my friend Stephanie to a random partner at the firm, texted a personal, girly detail about myself meant for a girl friend to a random male coworker.  No matter how many times I check the to and from lines, I always panic that I’ve messed up and will embarrass myself.   Whenever I set my alarm, I check it like 5 times to make sure it’s actually set. I’m always really paranoid that somehow I didn’t set it or didn’t set it right and I’m not going to wake up in time.  Every time I go into a public bathroom and I go to hang my purse on the little hook on the back of the door, I remember this episode of Oprah I saw BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL that talked about people who lurk in bathrooms and steal purses while you are pulling out the toilet seat cover.  I always think of the episode, EVERY time I go into a bathroom stall.  So then I think about putting my purse on the floor, and I remember this episode of Dateline from 10 years ago where they said the bathroom floor is actually the dirtiest place in public restrooms.  Where to put the purse then?  I continue to wear it on my shoulder.  Nice, right?  Ok I’m going to stop there.   Really random tangent.  Maybe paranoid and OCD are better terms to describe me?

-3-

Remember my whole “omg Starbucks” post a few days ago?  Well, it turns out that Starbucks is not stupid like I thought, and they do realize they can’t just stop honoring their contracts.  I found a place on their website that said they were still honoring the cards until their expiration date, printed it, highlighted it, and marched it back down to the Starbucks.  The barista who told me my card was void wasn’t there, but the manager (who also thought my card was void) read the paper and tried my card, and in fact, my card actually works.  So, no class action against Starbucks just yet 😉

-4-

I am drafting some documents for a pro bono case I’m working on that are actually going to be filed with a court.  My name is in the caption!  My name, my bar number, my work address and phone number, and “Attorney for Petitioner.”  I am actually an attorney for a petitioner.  Can you believe it?  (Yes, Michelle.  You graduated law school, passed the bar, and have a job as an associate attorney of a law firm.  Not a far fetch that you are an attorney.  We already know that.)  It still hasn’t really, really sunk in.  Bear with me while I get excited over lame things like captions 😉

-5-

Yesterday, I discovered the world of vegan food blogs.  Oh my goodness!  The blogs are tempting me to just go full on vegan instead of just vegetarian weaning toward vegan.  Why not?  I’m at least going to start trying the recipes and see how it goes!  I also read yesterday that a vegan bakery has opened up in downtown L.A.  It’s in the slightly sketchy area that I prefer not to venture into (especially after my run in with a possible pimp/drug dealer), but I would really like to check it out! 

-6-

I reeeeeaally need to clean my apartment.  It’s such a mess.  I’m not even super busy at work yet and my apartment is already falling apart.   This is why I should be looking for a maid soon. 

-7-

I am really, really hoping to go hiking in L.A. this weekend.  And I am hoping it will be one of many times and I will start getting out more.  And not like that one time where Adam and Krissi hiked once in Malibu Canyon (5 minutes from our apartment) in January shortly after we moved in, and I thought I would go hiking all the time, and then we didn’t hike again until Adam and I needed a break from finals studying in May.  (and I haven’t been hiking since). 

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No animals were harmed in the making of this post.

That is because I am currently drinking vegan chai folks.  A little vegan chai concentrate + almond milk.   Some of you (the 1-3 people who actually read this these days) may be thinking “gross!”  But actually, it’s DELICIOUS.   Dare I say better than Starbucks or Coffee Bean?  I dare.  Plus, it’s cheaper.  And if you know me, you know I love a good bargain 😉

So I didn’t keep my promise about my Christmas update last night but I’m here now.  Let’s go back a few days.

Wednesday I worked, and I spent most of the day drafting and finalizing a letter in Spanish, to a woman in Mexico who needs to sign a form for me that is written in English.  Technically I don’t know if she can read, so all of my efforts may be in vain, but at least I tried!  The thing is, I didn’t learn things like “signing on this line indicates that you XYZ” in spanish class.  I learned things like “where is the bathroom?” and “I would like the cheese enchilladas.”  Unfortunately, while such terms help me out in certain areas of Los Angeles or while travelling to spanish speaking countries, they don’t help me as a lawyer.  Apparently, I need a “spanish for lawyers” book to help me out with my pro bono clients 🙂  Nevertheless, I finished the letter, and found a fluent spanish speaker in the office to make sure I wasn’t saying anything embarrassing (sometimes literal translations from english mean something totally different in Spanish).  A few minor grammar corrections and all was well.  Woohoo!

(Side note- one time a friend had a guy who didn’t speak english painting their bathroom, and they asked me to do two things: (1) ask him if he was afraid of dogs, because they had a dog locked up in a bedroom and wanted to let her out; and (2) how long it would take for the paint to dry.  Well, I didn’t learn the word for paint or the verb for drying, so I had no idea.  So I just pointed at the cieling and said “Time?” (in spanish).  And then I pointed at the door where the dog was and asked him if he was afraid of dogs.  I think that was a bad move because he could hear the dog barking, and she was behind a door, so he probably thought she was something huge and vicious.  He suddenly got really scared.  So we just left the dog in the bedroom.  Communication fail.  Hopefully my letter isn’t as big of a fail as that day!)

Thursday, my brother came to visit.  (From way out in the far land of Mentone, CA which is only about 70 miles away… but 70 miles in southern california is a lot further than 70 miles in other places.  The unpredictability of traffic means 70 miles can be a little over an hour or it can be four hours.  Not pretty).   Luckily, Will didn’t have much traffic either direction.   We hung out in my apartment for a little while, and then decided to go down to Santa Monica and get lunch and shop a little.  Sadly, the restuarant I wanted to eat at was closed for the holidays so we went to Mariasol which is a Mexican restaurant at the end of the pier in Santa Monica.  We got a table outside and unfortunately the view, and being together, were the only good things about that lunch.  The food was mediocre and the waiter was extremely lame.  I asked him if I could get salsa in my cheese quesadilla and he said “No.  Justuh the cheese.”  Will and I did get a lot of humor out of that phrase for the rest of weekend, but it was still annoying.  Just to prove him wrong, when he came back with the quesadilla I opened it up and poured salsa inside.  HA!  (not in front of his face, after he walked away..)

Very Cheesy Cheese

The view 🙂

Santa Monica, Christmas Eve 2009 🙂

Then, we never saw the guy again and had to flag him down after waiting a long time wondering where he was because we were done and ready to go.

Since lunch took so long, we barely had any time to peek our heads in a couple of stores on 3rd street before heading back to downtown to meet a couple of my coworkers to see Avatar in 3D.  We thought we’d need to get there like an hour early to ensure we got good seats.  Instead, the four of us were the only people in line at the point they told us we were now allowed to go into the EIGHT HUNDRED SEAT theater and find our seats for the show.  Luckily, more people showed up eventually.  It wasn’t packed by any means but we weren’t the only people in the theater.  Being the only people in a huge theater is not as cool as it may sound.  That happened to me once over the summer with two of my cousins.  It’s actually more distracting than you’d think.   The movie was amazing.   And when we walked out I was like “I know this may sound weird, but that main blue girl was really hot.”  And everyone agreed, both that it was kind of weird and that it was true 🙂

Wow, for some reason it took me awhile to write that much, and right now it’s about time to check in and then time to get dressed and get to work… so more to come later! 🙂

Jumping ahead a little… Oakland Airport.

I flew out of Houston, Texas on August 28th headed to L.A. to help my boyfriend pack up his apartment and move things into my storage unit (he’s letting me use his furniture.. free storage for him, great deal for me!).   On the way, I had a layover at the Oakland Airport.  I’m not really sure if I’ve had a layover there before, but I don’t think so.  Despite never hearing anything particularly good about Oakland (California..), I really liked the airport!  There are beautiful views from the airport windows of the bay and planes coming into land just over the bay and touching down on the runway just beyond the sand.  I LOVED it!

Oakland Airport Windows

Oakland Airport Windows

There are two other things I loved: first, free wifi!  It is always a pleasant surprise to me when I find an airport with free wifi.  I’ll admit it doesn’t actually affect me much anymore, because now with the iphone I can do pretty much anything I need to do without access to a wifi connection.  But for those who are iPhoneless, and even for me when I have an hour to spare and the desire to finally update my blog, free wifi connections are amazing!  (Of course, that blog I wrote ultimately got lost in technical error land… but had that not happened, I would have had a brilliant blog post up thanks to Oakland airport wifi!).

The other thing I loved: The name is suddenly escaping me, but there was a mexican restaurant in the airport, and I’m pretty sure the name started with an “A”.  I got a delicious mesquite grilled chicken salad and a margarita.  It was fantastic! Definitely the best airport food I’ve had!  (Although, that is also because I’ve tended to be a cheapo and always look for the cheapest thing possible to eat during layovers in airports).  I had a long few weeks, and I realized that it would be nice to sit down at an actual restaurant and get something yummy instead of something cheap.  The salad was only $8 or $9 so really not any different than a regular restaurant. Anyway, it was delicious! Go there if you ever have a layover in Oakland! 🙂

IMG_0333

It’s taking awhile for me to come to the realization that I can actually afford things now.  I grew up poor and I’ve worked my way through college and law school, and so a lot of the time I’m still that penny pinching girl looking for the cheapest option available.  And I have to tell myself, “Michelle… you have money now.  You can afford a yummy salad.  You don’t have to settle for a bagel at starbucks or a bag of pretzels from the newstand.”   I’m still working on finding a balance between acting like I’m still poor vs. just blowing money.

Now on to the real point of this post: the salad above was the last time I had meat.  I’ve been planning to give up meat for awhile, and have steered clear of red meat for a long time.  I’ve been contemplating giving up chicken for awhile but I LOOOOOVE chicken.  Well, I got to L.A. and Alexander had decided to go on a vegan diet for health reasons and I decided it was as good a time as ever to give up meat.  I’m not as hardcore as him yet.  I’m weening myself off dairy but it is really difficult adjusting to not eating meat or dairy when one of the two seems to be in about almost everything.  I’m working on it 🙂   It is for the health reasons for me as well.  It’s also really good for the environment to not eat meat.  And, while I don’t think it’s wrong to eat meat, I do think that animals get horribly mistreated in most farming operations and that is wrong.   So, not eating meat = health benefits, environmental benefits, and hopefully fewer animals being tortured.  Sounds like a pretty good deal.   And honestly, I’m two weeks in now and so far I don’t even crave meat at all.  (And I’m finally starting to lose my 3L/Bar Studying weight, which is another awesome benefit!)