Thursday, June 19, 2008

City of Champions

Boston likes to call itself the "City of Champions" after all of its recent sports victories (Red Sox '04 and '07, Patriots almost winning big this January, and of course the amazing comeback by the Celtics!!) I must say I take pride in being a true Bostonian now--this is THE city to be for sports these days. Ben and I stayed up too late with friends many a night watching the Celtics stomp the Lakers, and in the end it was all worth it!

I have also recently been informed by my new "Townie" neighbors that Ben and I have officially become "Bostonians." I thought that was a given after living somewhere for a few years and putting up with the rude people and the long winters, but NO--until you live IN Boston, you are not a Bostonian, or so it goes. So, Ben and I are officially Boston residents. We moved from Davis Square in Somerville to the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston a few weeks ago, and I must say it is as if we have moved to a new state. Our old neighborhood was full of students and Italians, our new digs are surrounded entirely by professionals and Irish. There is even an Irish gift shop at the end of our street and authentic pubs on every corner. We are loving being on this side of the river, and our new house is amazing--I will post photos as soon as Ben is done painting every last square inch of wallspace.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer School

Being in school in the summer is so annoying!! I don't know why I signed up for the summer school/fall work/winter school/spring work rotation. I am really wishing that I could start getting some real-world legal experience! But, the good news is that I got a job for the fall working for a federal judge at the beautiful Joseph A. Moakley courthouse on the Boston harbor waterfront:

I have never been so excited about a job in my life--I will be able to (finally!) wear my nice heels and suits every day, and will be spending the majority of my day in court or working on researching legal issues for the judge's upcoming trials and decisions. The judge I am working for likes to use the "trial by fire" approach (no pun intended ;-)) with his clerks; so, I have a feeling I will be learning a lot during my co-op. One other good thing about going to school in the summer is that 2L year is SO much more laid back than 1L year. The classes aren't any easier necessarily, but I feel like I actually know what I am doing now, and that is a wonderful feeling. I am currently taking Evidence, Trusts and Estates, Environmental Law, and Professional Responsibility (Ethics). Yay for being done with my 1L year! It's all downhill from here!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Spring Break and Photos!!

A few weeks ago was Spring Break, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me. School has been intense because my "Law Office" and I (a group of 12 students) are trying to finish up a project that we have been working on since the first week of January for a real client. Our client is Community Catalyst, an organization that advocates for fair billing practices in hospitals. We are helping research and propose legislation in five states--all which are very different. The project states range from Massachusetts (socialized health care) to Arkansas and Texas, which are are the other end of the spectrum. I have really enjoyed the project so far, but working for a real client is definitely more demanding than working on hypothetical cases in class. The project should go well--we are presenting to the client in a few weeks, and somehow I got roped in to being team leader; so, I have got to pull it off.

Ben and I went to San Francisco and Napa/Sonoma Wine Country for a week to celebrate time off from school and to get an idea of whether we might want to move there next! Ben has a few good friends who work in the Bay area at biotech/pharmaceutical companies and have been encouraging him for a while to come work with them. I have no complaints about heading West; so, we may very well make that move in a few years.

Our trip was amazing--we spent a few nights in the city, then headed to wine country for a few days, and then spent to last night at my old roommate and friend Cara's house in Mill Valley! It was so much fun! I will post photos of the trip soon.

The highlight of the trip was definitely touring the Sonoma Coast, and visiting a winemaker who lives off the grid and runs his entire winery using solar energy. It was so inspirational! I was impressed by how much the wine industry advocates for using environmentally friendly production practices. We met some true stwards of the earth on our trip, and I will forever be a consumer of their products (vote with your dollar!) Since I'm on my soap box, if you come across Wild Hog wines, try the Pinor Noir or the Zinfandel--they were the best wines we tasted on the trip. Cakebread Cellars was a close runner-up. :-)

Another highlight of the trip was dinner at Bouchon in Yountville/Napa. It was the best meal I have ever had. The food was so creative, and the wine pairings were right on--I didn't want it to end. Bouchon is the little sister bistro to French Laundry, which is consistently ranked the best restaurant in the country. Both are owned by chef Thomas Keller, and they are located right next door to each other. French laundry is in an actual old French laundry building--it is so cool! The only downside is that you have to make reservations 6 months out and it is pricey. Ben's friend Jeremy used to cook there; so, we tried to see if we could make our way onto the list based on his good word, but the raurant was already entirely booked when we asked him 3 months in advance of our trip! Oh well--there will be a next time!

I have had a few requests for recent pictures; so, I was able to dig up a few (I have not been taking as many as I should!).

My "Law Office" (the group of 11 students I work with most often)

Ben, Christine, and Me on our Ski Trip

Frozen trees!

Ben's Work Holiday Gala

Monday, February 18, 2008

It has been too long!

Hey friends!

I'm not even sure if anyone still reads this blog, but I have decided that going 6 months without a posting is not going to cut it, so I promise that I will be posting more regularly!

Law School has been an incredible experience so far, and it has definitely kept me busy over the past 6 months. I feel like I have learned more in 6 months than in 4 years of undergrad, and I am meeting a lot of wondeful new people, too! I am still leaning toward practicing environmental law at this point, but I have been considering taking the Patent Bar since I have the requisite number of science/math/engineering hours to sign up. I am also interviewing for my Fall Co-op jobs soon; so, hopefully I will know where I will be working within a month or two. My goal is to to clerk for a judge, but since positions in the Boston area are competitive, I might have to postpone the idea.

Speaking of Boston...winter has been MUCH easier this year than it was last year. I am not sure if it is the fact that we have passed the time taking advantage of cold-weather activities, or if I have just surrendered to the fact that I live somewhere cold, but either way, I have managed to survive the winter. ;-) I am actually starting to think that the snow is beautiful, and skiing has now become my favorite pastime, regardless of the lack of Colorado "pow pow" as our friends from Colorado (and Ben!) affectionately call the powder snow. Ice here is hard and crunchy, which has made me learn to be a better skiier to keep from falling on it! Ben and I went skiing with our friends Brian and Christine in Vermont this weekend, so I will post pictures soon.

I hope everyone is doing well, and again, I apologize for my 6 month hiatus! I blame it on law school...any free time that I have when I am not reading 100s of pages a night, I try to spend with friends and Ben, who has been the best husband in the world this past 6 months. He deserves a medal for putting up with me through the first semester of my 1L experience. Kudos to you, Ben! I love you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Thought I'd Give it a "Tri"

I competed in the Danskin Triathlon this past weekend in central Mass near the Connecticut border, and I am happy to report that it was my best one yet! It was also a fun mini-vacation weekend for Ben and me. We got to visit a new, albeit not too exciting, city--Worcester (pronounced "Wister"), which is the second largest city in Massachusetts. And, we got to visit the famous Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, which is where I swam for the triathlon. The name of the lake has a Native American translation of "You fish on your side, I'll fish on my side, and nobody fishes in the middle." It's a nice lake with a beautiful sandy beach, but its main claim to fame is having the longest name of any lake in the country! ;-)

Now, for the tri report...

Most of you know that I participated in several triathlons while living in Austin, but that was because I was practically guaranteed warm (usually hot!) weather, and the water for the swim would never dip below 75-80 degrees. So, when I started researching triathlons in the New England area, I was shocked to find that wet suits are required for most competitions because the water can easily be below 70 degrees! Needless to say, I was a bit reluctant about committing to that kind of a race, but I went ahead and signed up anyway, trained for a few months, crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best! The great news is that it actually happened! The weather was perfect--88 degrees and cloudy, the water was about 75 and smooth, and the bike ride was as hilly as ever. The swim was very enjoyable, and I finished in a record time (for me) of ~15 minutes! I loved the hills on the ride--we actually rode through Connecticut for half of the ride, and Massachusetts for the other half, and the run, although there was a large uphill, wasn't bad at all. I can't take all the credit for a good race, though--Ben was there as my loyal supporter every step of the way. He had his cow bell ringing at every turn, and was invaluable as a pacing coach. It if wasn't for his time updates on the run, I wouldn't have been able to keep up the pace and finish strong. Thanks, Ben!!

This race definitely gave me the "itch" to do more, and I am considering doing another one in September if my school schedule allows. Only 3 1/2 weeks until I start law school! Woohoo!!!

On a side note, we also watched the Simpson's movie this weekend (Ben is a loyal fan), and I must admit that it was one of the most hilarious movies I have seen in a while. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Anniversary Weekend

Ben and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Sunday, and it was an amazing weekend! The weather was ideal, and the best part of all was that my family came to visit! We saw the sights--the harbor, Faneuil Hall, the North End, the Public Garden, Newbury Street, the Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival, etc. We also took a Duck Tour in a big yellow duck that was once an amphibious military vehicle that can function both as a truck and a boat. It was a great way to see the city both from the city streets and from the Charles River.

Thanks, Mom & Greg, for a great weekend and a wonderful anniversary dinner in the North End! We are so happy that you could come, too, Sarah! We love hosting guests--it was a great weekend!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

The Harbor at Sunset

Riding the Subway

Our Yellow Duck

Greg and Sarah at the beach

Beach shot

The winning sand sculpture

Sarah posing with a strange wooden sculpture in the North End (the Italian section of Boston)


The "Make Way for Ducklings" statues in the Public Garden

Hanging out at home

Monday, July 2, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

I am sorry that it has been almost two months since I have posted to this blog--that is too long! We have been very busy travelling lately, but I have some great photos to post of our trips to Cape Cod, Ireland, and NYC! I will post a few as soon as I can.

This weekend was a lot of fun! We went to our first Red Sox game at Fenway Park with our friends Brian and Christine. The Red Sox have quite a following here (the fans call themselves "Red Sox Nation"), and, literally, any time the Red Sox are playing, the game will be blaring from every TV set and radio in Boston. It reminds me of how Austin felt when there was a UT football game--Go Horns!

This Friday, the Sox played the Texas Rangers, which was a conflict of interest for me, but luckily both teams played well, and the Sox ended up winning by one run (2-1). At least is wasn't a blow out...that would have been sad for the Rangers.

Fenway is the oldest baseball stadium in the country that is still in use (it was built in 1912!), and it definitely has a lot of charm and character. When you sit in the wooden seats with layer upon layer of chipping paint, it feels like a place that is full of energy where people have come for almost a century to eat hot dogs and watch some "ball." Obviously, the "ball" here is a little different than the football we are used to back home, but it was still just as fun to go to a game. Thanks to Brian and Christine for getting tickets for us and for a wonderful night--the game and the Fenway Franks were delicious!

Here are some photos of the stadium and all of us with the mascot, Wally the "Green Monster," which is also a nickname for the stadium, which is green.