“bodyguard, can you make me a paxelemonade? it’s my favesies”

I tried to write this via my iPhone, but my wordpress app kept crashing. Ugh, technology. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I’m sharing with you guys the ONLY picture I remembered to take this weekend (and it is via my iPhone camera so apologies for the quality).

Presenting, S-Dizzle as MK

“I’m sooooooo tired you guys. And it’s like freezing in here under all these layers.”

You can’t see my sweet ass legwarmers and sixteen layers of sweaters, but trust me, it was BANANAS. I tried to contort my mouth a la MaryKate, but it mostly just looked like I was puckering my lips. I’ll have to work on that.

Hope all you little ghoulies and ghosties have a fantastic (and safe!) Halloween!

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(mis)adventures in reading

I did say that I would routinely write about what I’m reading (or what I’ve read or want to read). Today, as I watch my beloved Browns play in what I can only describe as an unmitigated disaster, I figured I’d start a new bit I’d like to call:

(mis)ADVENTURES IN READING! (cue singing and unicorns and glitterbombs)

Today’s book (or books, rather) is this:

Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy.

I LOVED these books. Like, a lot. A lot, a lot. Even though they were written for a young adult (read, not a woman in her late(ish) twenties), I fell in love with the story, the characters and the country of Panem. I don’t normally read science fiction or fantasy (with the exception of C.S. Lewis’s The Space Trilogy, which will definitely be written about later) and I definitely don’t enjoy many novels of the “Young Adult” persuasion (my hatred of Twilight and Bella and Edward Cullen knows no bounds), but at the urging of my dear friend, Jessica (who I mentioned before) the Librarian, I felt I had to give them a try.

The story centers around Katniss (who will be played by the lovely & talented Jennifer Lawrence in the upcoming film), a 16 year old girl from what I can only imagine is “the wrong side of the tracks”, a la Andie Walsh from “Pretty in Pink”. But instead of a coked out James Spader, Dad Harry Dean Stanton and a sweet boss at a record store (not to mention a bitchin’ wardrobe), Katniss has a useless mother, a little sister to care for and definitely no sweet prom dress to make. She does, however, have a super hot BFF (boy best friend) named Gale that could give Ducky a run for his money. But, instead of prom, she’ll be attending the 24th annual HUNGER GAMES!

Without giving away too much of the story (because, really, y’all should read it), the Hunger Games is a sadistic competition the government of Panem forces its citizens to put on every year. The games requires two “tributes” (aka, game pieces) to be chosen from each of the 12 districts in the country. When all 24 are chosen, they are taken to an “undisclosed location” (no, Dick Cheney was not there with them), trained, fed and then set loose in the wild to kill each other. Last man (or woman) standing wins. It’s sort of like “Lord of the Flies” meets “The Most Dangerous Game” meets “Gossip Girl” (except waaaaaaaaay better). The Capitol claims that the Games are to be a reminder to the entire country that they are the ones in charge and no one can mess with the Capitol (sort of like the Jesus in “The Big Lebowski”).

Katniss becomes a tribute along with her classmate/sort-of-friend, Peeta (who will be played by the uber adorable Josh Hutcherson in the movie). They’re to be trained by Haymitch Abernathy, the last (and only) tribute from District 12 to win the Games. Haymitch is a rude, hilarious drunk and totally my favorite character. And not just because Woody Harrelson will be playing him. Haymitch is forced to train Katniss and Peeta in hopes of keeping them alive as long as possible.

Suzanne Collins is a terrific writer, plain and simple. She was able to move the plot along quickly and still give the reader enough background and history to give us a clear picture of Panem (and Katniss and Co.) AND to make us care about what happens to them. She managed to create a teenage female character that I didn’t want to throttle (I’m looking at you, Bella Swan), but rather, wanted to be my best friend.

  seriously, Katniss. Let’s be BFFs. We can do eachother’s nails and talk about how freaking cute Peta and Gale both are and how it’s totally unfair to have to choose!

 Again, seriously? Boys definitely did not look like that when I was 16.

But back to the book(s).

The entire concept is an interesting way of looking at statism and government rule from the perspective of a teenage girl. The Capitol (well, the people making up the Capitol) are an angry bunch of SOBs that are so afraid of uprising that they kill any hint of independent thought or voice. Scary stuff. I think it was (is) an excellent way to drive home the point that government control and power can corrupt when given (or rather, TAKEN) absolutely and that personal independence and freedom is the greatest gift a society can receive.

Well, that or two super cute boys fighting over you.

twice in less than twenty-four hours???

I know. I didn’t expect to write anything again so soon. However, I wanted to get it down before I forgot (again, I’m trying this whole ‘blog while I’m thinking about it’ thing. Even if it means I’m writing at 3 am.)

My costume was a hit. Well, would have been a hit. I ended up staying at the first party I went to all evening. It was a total accident and I am so sorry that I didn’t get a chance to get to the other parties and see everyone else. I ended up at my friends Bill and Leslie’s, catching up with people, most of which I’ve known since I was 18. I hadn’t seen some of them in years (And, to be fair, I missed B&L’s labor day extravanganza. I was horribly hungover from my college roomie, Sara’s, bridal shower/bachelorette weekend and it would have been torture for anyone to be around me in my miserable state. So, I wanted to make up for it.)

B&L were college sweethearts and some of my favorite people. I cannot imagine two more opposite people (he’s a lawyer, she’s a teacher), but they just work. I was much closer to Bill in college, but I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know Leslie better since graduating. I’m so glad they are back in my life and that they only live a few minutes away.

As I was sitting around their kitchen table, their dog, Mosby, lying on my feet, I looked around and had to smile. I was surrounded by Katy Perry, Daphne and Fred from Scooby Doo, Hugh Hefner and Athena (or maybe it was Persephone. Whatever, I can’t remember & it wasn’t that important) and a few other random costumes that were in various stages of removal (seriously, who wants to wear a hot itchy wig all evening—not this girl). Even though I hadn’t seen some of these people in years, it was like no time had passed. No awkward silences or “soooo, what are you up to these days?” Just a lot of laughing and teasing and skittle vodka (yes, they took skittles and combined it with vodka. Yes, I drank it. No, I’m not throwing up.). It got me thinking that sometimes those are the truest friendships—the ones that even though embarrassing amounts have time have passed, you go on like nothing has changed.

And it’s not just B&L and the rest of the party-goers that I’m glad to have back in my life. I got a text from my OTHER college roommate (and another all time Stacey favorite), Mollie, telling me that she and her little girl, Kate, were thinking of coming to the CLE in a few weeks. I immediately texted back and said “yes, and you have to stay with me!” I haven’t seen them since Kate was born (FYI, I am a terrible friend) even though they only live an hour and a half away. I’m already planning fun things for the 3 of us to do while they’re here.

I guess the point I’m trying to make (and not very succinctly) is that I was so blessed to have friends from college that aren’t thousands of miles away and I should make a point to see them more (this especially means you, Julia!) and reconnect. Ashland, Ohio was very good to me friendship-wise and sometimes I need reminding of that.

Halloween update

Again, I clearly am not-s0-good at this updating thing. Every time something funny happens, I think to myself “This would make an excellent blog post”, make a quick note of it on my iPhone (thank you notes app!)…and then promptly forget about it. There are countless little notes I’ve written to remind myself to blog about something, but then life (or The Vampire Diaries on netflix streaming) gets in the way.

Law school is better the second time around. And, only being a part-time student (for now, anyway), the pressure is nowhere near as awful as it was two years ago as a 1L.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my first year of law school lately. It was easily the worst year of my life academically. I went from being an ‘A’ student to a ‘not-so-much-A’ student. I had never seen so many ugly curved-shaped letters attached to my name EVER. All the books and blogs and advice from lawyers who have been there tell you from the get-go that it is very likely that you will not be a straight-A student anymore. Law schools use a horrible grading system called “the curve” which turns normally slightly neurotic type A personalities into barely functioning psychotic residents of Planet Crazytown. Basically, they tell you that in your class of 60, only 6 of you will be getting A’s. No matter how brilliant everyone’s exams are, only 10% will be getting top grades. No one thinks that they’ll be in the bottom 90%, having likely come from the top of their undergraduate classes. I certainly never thought so. But, like lots of other first year law students, I was completely crushed with my first year grades.

You can imagine that “the curve” creates an unhealthy atmosphere of competition. But, at least in my experience, I found my classmates to be lovely and helpful. Though we were all competing for the same grades (and the same jobs), I ended up with an incredible group of friends that helped me get through my first year. We laughed about our professors, became obsessed with ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘Jersey Shore’ (I tried to get everyone into ‘Frank the Entertainer’s Basement Affair’), spent hours on facebook chat, lamented about the rule against perpetuities (it still gives me a headache) and made up our own mnemonic devices to remember what constitutes a tort (duty, breach, proximate cause, cause-in-fact, damages!). We studied together, ate lunch together, went out together. So, even though academically 2009-2010 was a drag, I ended up with some pretty amazing people in my life.

Halloween is always a big deal in law school, mostly because it’s the last weekend of the year before finals-induced panic sets in. 1L year my friends and I dressed up as a boy band (Barely Legal) and its teenybopper groupies. We placed 2nd in the group costume contest (I’m still bitter about losing to the ‘Hot Cops’, but whatever). It was a pretty bitchin’ idea.

As you can see, we had the bad boy, the heartthrob, the shy one, the baby and the reassuring older brother. Plus their manager (you can’t see, but he’s wearing track pants and yes, he’s yelling into a cell phone). And, yes, we put their pictures on our tee shirts. It was hilariously awesome.

Last year, I didn’t get a chance to dress up. I live in Ohio where we were having a hotly contested Governor’s race (and a pretty intense Senatorial race too). Being as political as I am (and as involved as I am!), I spent last year on the campaign trail for (now Governor!) John Kasich and (now Senator!) Rob Portman. Halloween fell on the weekend before the election, so instead of getting my drink and dance on, I spent the weekend orchestrated the second of our Ohio deployments. This is how I spent Halloween ’10.

I’m happy to say that, with the exception of two, all of my races won! Even though there is a hot button issue (issue 2!) on the ballot this year, I’ve stayed pretty quiet. Although I know next year is going to be INSANE with the Presidential going on, I’m going to enjoy this year. I have a few parties to go to tonight and I’ll be dressed up as this:

if you’ve never seen an episode of “Very Mary Kate”, you are missing out (check out http://www.verymarykate.com). It’s a parody of Mary Kate Olsen and it probably the funniest webshow I’ve ever seen. Eileen Carroll KILLS as a drugged out, batshit crazy Mary Kate (or MK) and Luke Sholl is perfect as MK’s long suffering bodyguard (aptly named ‘Bodyguard’). I’ll make sure I take pictures and post them this week.

Since November is National Writing Month, I’m going to do two things:

  1. Post every day (or every other day) . Once I figure out the wordpress iPhone app, I think this will be very doable.
  2. Write an opinion (political, that is) every week. This week’s will take the super hot “Issue 2” in Ohio. I’ll post a link when I get it up and written.
I’m going to get serious about my writing. I had a looooooong talk with my mom yesterday and I realized that what I want to do with my life is write. So, I’m doing it. I’m going to add a certificate in journalism to my law degree (which will allow me to intern for credit!), and will give me some real background in journalism. My undergraduate education was in Economics, Political Science and History. I can draw you supply and demand charts, quote you Aristotle and explain the causes of the French Revolution, but I never took a class on media writing. So, I figure I’ll give it a go.
That’s it for now. I have some reading to do before tonight and Bravo! is showing a marathon of Top Chef: All Stars, so my afternoon is spoken for. I leave you with my all time favorite episode of VERY MARY KATE