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Archive for January, 2009

Pro Bono Hours

In order to graduate from my Law School, we are required to log in at least 40 hours of pro bono legal work.

I have nothing against pro bono work. I am all for helping the down-trodden, the needy, and the evicted. I am not, however, down with the fact that they place these real life issues in the hands of inexperienced and clueless law students!

I have a friend who, in her first year of law school, worked with people who got evicted and interviewed them and filed their legal paperwork. She admitted that she wasn’t really sure what should have been done. She just followed “protocol” at the legal aid foundation she was working in.

Another friend filed taxes for the elderly. He said he just blew off his tax training (and got the answers from the certification test from a friend who had already previously taken the test) and just followed the charts and worksheets that the tax assistance program gave him. He wasn’t quite sure about what he was doing, either.

I also have friends who are only volunteering to pad their resumes for jobs in the summer.

Furthermore, I have friends who work as advocates for the disabled, but are really only logging in hours to get “pro bono out of the way.” My 3L friends, especially, are just eager to get it done and graduate.

I still haven’t decided what to do for my pro-bono work. I’m already half-way through law school. I’m wary enough that I don’t want to add more responsibility to what I already have on my place, but also still idealistic enough that I really still genuinely want to help people.

I came to law school an idealist — I want to help people know that they stand a chance — but am slowly becoming a bitter realist. Not everyone really stands a chance. Altruism is dead.

And it’s even worse when required pro-bono hours result in half-ass work from clueless law students who haven’t taken all the classes they really neeed to do the job right.

[ end rant. ]

PS. I might work in a family law clinic…cuz, y’know…i STILL have to log in those hours.

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Hot Pot


Since I moved to LA and started Law School, I’ve started a new tradition with the new “family” of friends I’ve made since. This is our Lunar New Year Hot Pot. This year is the Year of the Ox. I hope it also means a Bull Market coming soon, don’t you?

Hot Pot is fairly simple.

You’ll need a burner–portable stove (and don’t forget the gas, because we did and had to go to four different stores to find one!) and chicken broth.

Vegetables like baby bokchoy, mushrooms, and cabbage are great staples of Hot Pot.

Then meats that are sliced thinly enough that they cook very quickly in boiling water.

I also like to add shrimp and fishcakes/fish balls.

So basically, you put a pot on top of the burner, equal parts water and chicken broth.
Let boil.
Then add the meats, shrimp, and vegetables into the mix.

Enjoy with sesame sauce, ponzu sauce or Chinese barbecue sauce.

YUM!


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To Take or Not To Take

That is the question.

I’ve been offered a job opportunity in a small boutique law firm in Downtown Los Angeles.
In this economy, I should be jumping for joy, right?
I should be thanking my lucky stars?

I should be.

But really, when I got the job, all I felt was…blech.
I don’t really want the job. It’s not necessarily within the line of work that I am really interested in. It’s also not the kind of experience I’m looking for. I also have the funny feeling that the people I will be working with…are not necessarily people I want to work with.

BUT…it’s still a paycheck. My bank account is slowly dwindling.
In a couple of months, I would be in desperate straits.

What to do?

Should I take the job?
Should I not take the job?

Aahh…the question.

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BEFORE and AFTER

ON JULY 19, 2007, A month before I went to Law School, I posted this note on my Facebook Account:

Sunglasses–shades–y’know, those nifty little thing you put over your eyes to…uh…shade them from the glare of the sun. Yeah, those. They’re not really for me.

God, on a face like mine and my non-existent nose? Every time I smile or laugh, those things just get in the way. Afterall, they’re not REALLY resting on my ears and nose like they’re supposed to. They’re on my goddamn cheeks…because my nose…it’s not doing its job.

But then, I’m in LA for the next three years.

And it’s too damned sunny.

Future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.

Two Days ago, January 27, 2009, I filled out those random little chain questionaires my friends “tagged” me with. The Rule was to list 25 Things about Yourself that Others may Not know about you:

#5. I always wanted to be a Writer, but I went to Law School instead. Now, I can’t write anything.

#15. If I didn’t make it as a Lawyer or a writer, I would be a Wedding Planner, and form a Partnership with my roommate with profits and losses specifically allocated on the Partnership Agreement. We will get sh*t done. I swear.

#16. Being a Law Student is the first time in my life I didn’t feel smart enough.

#17. Being a Law Student is the first time in my life I was honestly broke, that I can’t even look a Bum on the street in the eyes. I don’t have money to give, and I can no longer offer empathy or kindness, either.

#24. I get Frustrated by People who are SLOW. I think I would like to set a precedent of suing people who slow down the economy, the traffic, and the everyday life of Others.

#25. I used to smile when I woke up. I used to smile a lot. Now, not so much. Got Law School?

I think it’s very telling about how Law School really does change people. My first semester as a 1L, I was bright and idealistic. I wanted the to Change the World. Now, I’m just cynical, slightly jaded by the system, and just hope I Don’t Change Myself. Too much. Because it’s happened already, and it takes a lot of self-awareness to stop the bitterness from overtaking every. single. aspect. of. my. life.

So, I started a Blog.

Perhaps, I can rant, rave, and help myself stay myself through this blog.

I’m still gonna need those shades for the future, but I think it’s because I just like seeing grays now.

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iPod Nano 1st Gen Settlement

iPod Nano 1st Gen (also comes in White)

iPod Nano 1st Gen (also comes in White)

If you, or anyone you know, owns an ipod nano first generation, there is a class action settlement that could entitle you to $10 or $25.  It’s not much, but in this economy, that’s $10 or $25 bucks you didn’t have before.

CLICK HERE to get the SETTLEMENT CLAIM FORM!

Remember, you will need the serial number in order to make a valid claim.  It can be found on the back of the nano, near the bottom.  The deadline to postmark the claim is June 10, 2009.

Enjoy the riches.

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Yummy Carrot Cake

My boyfriend’s favorite cake is carrot cake. Before I met him, I used to cringe at the thought of vegetables in my dessert. I decided to learn how to make a carrot cake just for him. My friend showed me this recipe and it was a big hit! Even with me! I’ve made this cake more than a few times now, and have even shared the recipe with my mom.

Here is the Yummy Carrot Cake that has turned a cringer into a believer.

This is for a cake the size of a 9 x 13 in. baking pan.

4 eggs
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups of refined white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups of grated carrots
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder

For the icing:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. softened cream cheese
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar (may be called Powdered Sugar)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and powder the pan.

1. Grate the carrots.

2. In a large bowl beat together the eggs, the vegetable oil, the white sugar, 2 tsp. of vanilla extract, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

3. Add the carrots.

4. Add pecans.

5. Pour into prepared pan.

6. Bake. Time may vary, but usually 45 minutes is fine, or until you do the toothpick test. That is when you insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake and it comes out clean.

7. Let it cool. Don’t flip the cake over until it’s cool, otherwise it could crumble.

To make the icing:

1. Mix together the softened butter, softened cream cheese, confectioner’s powder and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Add in the pecans.

2. Frost the cooled cake.

I usually wait a couple hours before frosting the cake. I like the icing cold, so I put it in the fridge.

Serve the delicious cake. This makes about 12 decent sized servings. More if you like smaller cubes.

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Boyfriend’s Favorite Ribeye

For his birthday, I made this steak for my boyfriend, and he loved it. Moreover, I loved it, too!

2 servings. (Duh, one for me, too.)

2 ribeye steaks about 3/4 to 1 inch thick
1 tbs. of honey dijon mustard
garlic salt
pepper
1 tsp. steak seasoning
1 tsp. melted butter

1 cup mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch of asparagus

I didn’t grill this one, but used the broiler option in the oven, instead. Turn on broiler to 525 degrees.

1. Chop mushrooms. Chop red bell pepper into thin strips.

2. Melt butter, steak seasoning, and honey dijon mustard together.

3. Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on the steaks and rub in. Then add the butter/seasoning/mustard mix to the steaks. Rub in and make sure that every surface is seasoned. I let it sit in the seasoning for about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, I made a make-shift grill by pulling out the grill from my toaster oven and then placing it on top of a baking pan. That way, the steaks can sit on a grill and the pan will catch the juices and not make my oven dirty!

5. In a skillet, using olive oil and small bit of butter, saute the mushrooms and red bell peppers until soft and juicy. Set aside.

6. Wash the asparagus and prep.

7. Place the steaks in the make-shift grill and place in broiler. The length of time the steaks will be in there depends on how you like your steaks cooked. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to get Medium (depending on how close your steaks are to the fire!)

8. When steaks are done, set aside and reuse the make-shift grill for the asparagus. Lay asparagus on the grill and stick into broiler for 10 minutes.

Serve steak topped with mushrooms and red bells, with asparagus on the side!

So good!

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Asparagus Frittata Recipe

Mmmm.

According to Fitness Magazine, this is one of Natalie Coughlin’s (yes, the swimmer) favorites. Yum!

Here goes:

Ingredients:

4-6 eggs
salt
pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
asparagus
1 cup baby spinach
leek
parmesan cheese

This recipe doesn’t really require super exact portions, I think. If you want more asparagus, then by all means have more. If you want more eggs, then sure, add in one more.

PRE-HEAT Broiler to 525 degrees.

1. In a bowl, crack the eggs and scramble them.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix in the parmesan cheese

2. Chop the asparagus into bite-sized pieces.

3. In an oven-safe pan (note, this means a pan you can use over the stove and also put inside the oven. Usually, this means that the handle won’t melt in the oven.), put olive oil and butter.

4. Then, add in the leeks and saute.

5. Saute the asparagus.
Usually takes something like 3 minutes or so. The thicker your asparagus stalks, the longer you might have to saute it, too. You don’t want to have the fibers still be tough.

6. Once the asparagus is suitably soft and delicious, add in the spinach.
Remember, we don’t want to add the spinach prematurely because it doesn’t take that long for spinach leaves to wither and die in the heat.

7. Salt and pepper to taste.
I ocassionally add garlic salt to the mix, just cuz I like the taste of garlic.

8. Spread the asparagus-leek-spinach saute across the bottom of the pan evenly.

9. Pour in the scrambled eggs over the saute.

10. Wait until the egg kind off comes off the edges of the pan.

11. Transfer the pan into the oven/broiler and wait until the top goes golden. It will only take a few minutes, so keep your eye on it!!!

12. Enjoy!

I like this recipe because it has a lot of protein for muscle-building, but also some veggies. Great for breakfast and is really easy to save and eat some other time. Also, for a healthier alternative, use just one or two eggs, and the rest egg-whites.

YUM!

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Sleepless

Ugh.

So, last night, I couldn’t sleep until around 2:30 in the morning.  Know why? Because I was just watching Supernatural.

I watched Season 4, Episode 11: Family Remains, and even just by the clip below, I can guarantee you…just the tiniest bit of paranoia.

So, obviously, last night, I was wondering about creepy people hiding in the walls, about doors that open by themselves, and crazy screaming ghosts with knives coming at me.

Eventually, my great and rational intellect told me that I live in an apartment complex, and the sounds I hear through my walls are my next door neighbors…not killer white faced monsters.

And I finally fell asleep.

Watch Supernatural on CW, Thursdays 9/8c.  Good times…

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Forward

I’m looking forward
To you and me
I’m looking toward
Everything we could be.

I ache inside
To feel this distance
Reaching for you
Is a lonely dance.

I want your laughter
I want your smile
I want your desire
Even once in a while.

I miss those words
You used to say
I miss the simple things
You used to do every day.

I miss that look
So rare in your eyes
I miss the touch
That melted all the ice.

I wish I knew
What the future would bring
I wish so hard
I could fix everything.

I hold this hope
So soft and tender
It’s a little glow
A fire from the embers.

I reach for you
I’ve fallen from grace
Will you take my hand,
And hold me in your embrace?

You’re still my world.
You’re still my heart.
I know the pieces fit
Even when apart.

I look forward
To you and me
I look toward
Everything we could be.

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