Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesday Updates - 4/29/08

Law School:
I finally got my rejection from Stanford. The nice thing was Curtis was actually at my house that day and was the one to open the letter and read it to me while I was at work. I'm not too upset because I expected it and they had spent so much time reviewing it. I think I would have been more unhappy if I had received the rejection in early March instead of late April. I am still hoping for Georgetown, and they sent an email saying that they could be contacting us before May 15, so I'm a little nervous. I sent them an email reiterating that I will definitely attend if I get in, so I'm hoping they will look past my mediocre GPA and LSAT score and say yes. I'm still torn between GW and USC. I'm hoping that I get into GTown and I won't have to make that other decision.

Adelyn and I are going to try on Bridesmaid dresses this week. Here's the current layout of all the dresses I'm considering:
I'm hoping to get this finalized soon, just to take something of the to-do list. We're also about to book the photographer, Jim Kennedy (as long as he's still available). I posted his website before, but here's his blog: http://www.jimkennedyphotographers.com/jkpblog/

Another related wedding issue is law school. We set the date so that it'd be as close to the end of my first year as possible so that I could still do a summer program. I had to wager whether the write on competition for journals would be a factor. Now, unfortunately, it is with USC. Their write on is the 2 weeks after finals are over, which translates to the week before and the week after the wedding. So we'd have to postpone our honeymoon, probably until Christmas, and I'd spend my last week as a single and my first week as a wife sitting in front of my computer working on the competition. For GW, the write on is 3 days at the beginning of spring break (yay!) and Georgetown it's also the 2 weeks after finals end, but on the website it says you're supposed to do it in 5-7 days. Getting on a journal is very important to me because I want to apply for clerkships for when I finish school and being on a journal is the most important factor other than grades. So we'll see what happens.

Curtis was here this weekend which is always nice. We went to one of my friend from work's poker tournament and fundraiser for Relay for Life. The weather was great and we had a good time playing. I was very proud that I did so well.

That's all for now, probably more to come in the next couple of days.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

8/8/08 = Birthday = Olympics

Barring any national (or international) boycott of watching the Olympic Games, they will be the theme of my 8/8/08 birthday party since the opening ceremony is that night!

Again, if you are in Southern California in early August, I expect you to show up. It will be a great way to see reunite with a bunch of people at once. I could also be my going-away party if I end up moving to D.C.!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I don't know what to do

When I applied for college when I was 17, this was so much easier. They gave you the date that you would find out, and when I got my Stanford acceptance, I knew I was going there. It was helped by the fact that I didn't get into Yale, which was really Stanford's only competition. Had I not gotten into Stanford, I was deciding between UCLA and Berkeley, and I probably would've ended up at Berkeley because it was a better school and farther away. Financial aid wasn't an issue because schools at list level don't award much money to upper middle-class families.

The law school process is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. First of all, because of this rolling admissions process the school has the right to hold your application for months, and then wait list you and keep you guessing until the week of registration. Second, law schools give out a lot of merit scholarships, so as much as you'd like to think that your law school decision isn't about the money, it really is. The idea that USC would cover 60K is really enticing.

Lastly, it's hard to know which school is right for you. Because we're older and more focused, location is important, as is quality of education, rankings, size of student body, etc. And it's hard to distinguish these schools by curriculum, because at the end of the day, you're majoring in law.

That's the general rant. This is such an emotional process and I'm looking forward to being done with it and settled. As it stands I'm still waiting for Stanford, Georgetown, and Cornell, I have a deposit down at GW, and will probably put down a deposit at USC. I still don't have a financial aid package from GW so I'm trying to get that resolved so I can properly evaluate USC and GW. I started looking at apartment complexes in downtown LA which made me feel better about living there.

If I know for sure where I'm going by June 1st, I will call this process a success :-)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hillary's New Ad


I'm not going to take on the common "she's just trying to scare people into voting for her" argument. Instead I thought I'd write a short editorial on how this ad works with the undecided voters in the upcoming primary states.

On the one hand, you could argue that her "it's 3AM in the White House" ad was successful (even though it's been mocked ever since), so why not create a similar ad for this primary?

The problem is, if her target demographic is undecideds who plan to vote, chances are they are paying attention and might think that she is changing her tune from "I can do anything" to "you will be safer with me than with Barack" because she is desperate. Somehow, I don't think the common undecided voter this late in the game is going to vote for someone who is willing to do just about anything to stay in the race. Maybe if she had touted her experience in dealing with international problems earlier in the game, made Obama look young, naive and inexperienced earlier, he wouldn't have gotten the momentum that helped him to win in so many states.

Then again, maybe their internal polling suggests that focusing on security will help her reach undecideds, because when in doubt, they go with the person who will most likely protect you and your children from foreign terrorists. They forget about issues of the economy, religion, education, healthcare, and the environment. It sounds silly, but it is a post 9/11 world. I think it's fair to say that the next president will have to deal with more specific foreign threats that anyone pre-President G.W. Bush (yes I realize we fought 2 World Wars, but those were declared, not initiated by a single person with a suitcase bomb in a busy street). Regardless of whether it's true that Hillary will be better at security than Barack, ads like the one released today certainly plant some doubt in the minds of her target audience.

It certainly is an interesting study in political advertising. The people who discuss this ad the most have already made up their mind. I'd love to talk to people on the margin, the types of people that Hillary's campaign was targeting, to see how this advertisment affect their voting decision.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Weekend at Home

I thought I'd take a quick minute to post. I'm still in Mission Viejo but I fly back tonight at 5:30. It was great to get away for a weekend. On Friday I attended USC Law Preview Day, and I have to say, it created more questions than it did answers. The school was great, but I realized that I'm not a big fan of Los Angeles. I'm not sure why, it just doesn't float my boat. I would be happy going there, but I think I'd rather move to DC and attend GW, especially if they can offer a competitive scholarship.

I think everyone is getting frustrated that I haven't decided yet, but I just don't feel like I've gotten any compelling reasons to go anywhere.

Saturday was more fun, Curtis and I went to see a potential photographer in Huntington Beach (http://www.jimkennedyphotographers.com/). It was exactly the quality that I'm looking for in a wedding photographer. So I think we'll probably go with him. I'm especially excited to take our engagement pictures this summer (if you go on his blog you'll know why).

Last night was pretty exciting because I had the best bowling game of my life! 4 Strikes in one game! I wish we had a camera so we could document the score. It was a fun evening, Curtis and I hadn't gone out to do something like that in awhile.

Today the plan is to make a quick trip to the mall and go for a walk with my family before I head out. This next week at work will be busy. I have a class certification brief due on May 1st and another brief due on the 28th. I can't believe that I'm a little more than 2 weeks away from being done there. Those 2 years went fast!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Updates - 3/14/08

It's been awhile since I've done Monday updates, but here goes:

Law School:
This has been on the mind the most the last few weeks. I still have not heard from Stanford yet, which is frustrating. Every day I come home and make a wish in front of the mailbox that my Stanford letter will be in there. **it's funny because as I wrote this I got an email from the Stanford Alumni Association inviting me to an event called "Navigating the Law School Admissions Process"**

I went to see GW and Georgetown last week and I liked both campuses and I will visit USC this Friday. I'm also frustrated that I haven't heard anything from GW's office of financial aid yet. I'd love to go to GW but they'd need to at least give me some form of aid to make it worth it, since I got a half tuition scholarship from USC. Especially since I need to give GW $500 by Thursday to hold my seat. I'm probably going to put up the money, but I'm not happy with the way they've handled the financial side of things.

I haven't been doing a whole lot on the wedding lately, mostly because I'm stressed out by this whole law school thing. But I did work a little on the guest list last week and looked at more photographers' web pages. I think I'm going to plan a trip south in May to attend a bridal show and try and lock down a photographer. I'm concerned that I'll lose options because photographers will get booked quickly for my weekend.

I had a really nice weekend. I did a lot of chores like laundry, buying a new filter for our water pitcher, getting the oil changed in my car, but I was also able to get a lot of exercise in, between going to the gym on Saturday and walking/running the dish on Sunday morning (I'm still sore from that today!). On Saturday evening I had a drink at Old Pro with Juls and KiYonna, and then Juls and I met up with Melissa at the Stanford Football Spring Game! The weather was great and we had a lot of fun.

That's all for now. Have a good week!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Adventures in Washington D.C. Part III

And now for the conclusion! On Sunday morning Curtis and I got going at around 10:00 and took the Metro to Arlington Cemetery. We had to bring our umbrellas because there was light rain. We walked around the grounds and then made it to the Tomb of the Unknowns just in time to see the Changing of the Guard.
At first our plan was to take the Metro from Arlington to a stop near the Mall. Then we realized that the Lincoln monument was over the bridge from Arlington so we decided to go ahead and walk. We ended up with this great view.
We got to the Lincoln and luckily it had stopped raining for the most part. We walked around the Lincoln and read everything up on the walls.
Then of course we had to take pictures of the view from the Lincoln, both of the Washington and back at the Lincoln.

We asked a veteran to take a picture of us since we didn't have many of those :-)

After looking at the Vietnam and Korea war memorials, we headed down to the edge of the tidal basin to take some pictures with the Cherry Blossoms.

After that we made our way to the WWII memorial, which wasn't completed when I was last in town. I was surprise by how big it was, compared to the other war memorials.
One last look at the Lincoln

At the WWII memorial there were towers that represented each of the 50 states and territories that participated in the war, along with narratives of major battles and events.

"...even against the greatest of odds, there is something in the human spirit, a magic blend of skill, faith and valor - that can lift men from certain defeat to incredible victory..."

After seeing this memorial, we took a little break near the Washington Monument, and then made the trek to the National Archives. In front of the building there is a sculpture garden and this picture below is of one of the more unusual pieces of art.
At the National Archives we saw the Magna Carta, the US Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I was impressed by how well preserved the Constitution was, I was able to read most of the text, which wasn't the case for the other documents.
After the National Archives, we went back to Five Guys, made a stop at Dunkin Donuts (Curtis had never been there before) and then made our way back to the hotel. We watched the LSU - Tennessee Women's Final Four game and then crashed. We flew back the following day!
I hope you enjoyed viewing our pictures, stay tuned for Monday Updates tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Adventures in Washington D.C. Part II

On Saturday morning Curtis and I went to the National Mall at around 11:30 and met up with my good friend Samantha. We've been friends since we went through our church's confirmation program together in 1998 but we hadn't seen each other in about 5 years!
We met up at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and went in, mostly to see Stephen Colbert's portrait at the National Treasures Exhibit (which is currently taking the place of the Smithsonian American History Museum which is being redone). We actually had to wait in line but eventually we got in, and saw Kermit, Stephen Colbert, and the moved on to the planets exhibit, where we were sad to see Pluto's new designation.
As luck would have it, the sun came out and we had a beautiful afternoon in the National Mall. We sat under a tree and chatted, until it became time to head to a sports bar to watch the UCLA-Memphis game.

We met up with some of Sam's friends from school to watch the game at the Green Turtle, which was a really fun experience since we were next to the Verizon Center and the Washington Capitals (hockey) were playing that night, so the place was bombarded by those fans. No one there really cared about the UCLA-Memphis game, which was probably good since UCLA lost anyway.

After the game we tried to make it to the Tidal Basin to see the fireworks (for the Cherry Blossom Festival). We didn't make it but ended up hanging out in the Mall to get pretty glimpses of the Capital, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the White House.

Then we said goodbye to my old friend and our new DC friends, and made our way to the closest Metro Station (Federal Triangle) and headed back to the hotel. We watched UNC get beat by Kansas, and then passed out to we could get up early the next day. Part III should be out tonight or tomorrow, and will feature our trek which started at Arlington Cemetery and ended at the National Archives (all via walking, I might add)!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Adventures in Washington D.C. Part I

Curtis and I arrived in D.C. on Thursday night at 7:30PM. It was a long day travelling so we hung out at the hotel. The next morning I had to be out the door at 8AM to catch the metro to the Foggy Bottom/GWU station. Luckily I had a map because I got really turned around once I got out of the metro station. I got a tour of the law school, attended a lunch panel with 4 professors and the dean of students, and then met up with another girl who accompanied me to Georgetown Law Center. Unfortunately I didn't think to bring the camera with me on my trips to GW and Georgetown, but I have pictures from when Curtis and I ventured out later that afternoon.
Curtis and I rode the metro to the capital building, where we started our tour of the 3 branches of government! I was very happy that we avoided the rain, and it wasn't too cold for us to go exploring.
We got our first glimpse of the D.C. cherry blossoms. Unfortunately they are doing some construction on the grounds of the capital so we couldn't get a good view of the front of the building.
Curtis took this pretty picture of the flower. I think he's really enjoying his new camera :-)
We walked around the capitol building and then stopped to take pictures of the Supreme Court Building:
It's pretty neat to think that I could be hearing oral arguments there next year! I heard a funny story from one of the profs at GW that he had students to camped out in front of the building the day before the hearing on the DC handgun law.
Our last stop on the branches of government tour was a trip to the front of the White House to get pictures. I've been to D.C. at least 3 times and I had never had that good of a view of the house, so it was fun to get pictures, look at the local protests, and quickly gain the sense that we were being watched intently by the Capitol Police who hang out outside.

Next up on my narrative on our adventures in D.C. is our meet up with my good friend Samantha, a visit to the Air and Space Museum where I got to see Stephen Colbert's portrait, and a nighttime visit to the Washington Monument!

There and back again

Curtis and I are back from D.C., and while I'm too busy right now to give a full report, here are a few pictures :-)

We're very glad we made the trip, and both think that it would be really cool to live and work in our nation's capital.