Happy Birthday Little Dictator

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole” ~ Roger Caras

Caesar, the little dictator, turns 4 today.  Or 28 in dog years, which is disconcerting because this now makes him the wisest oldest one in the house.  I’m assuming he’s known this for a long time and has just been waiting for this day when us humans would be forced to resign to the fact that Caesar knows best.

As he grows older, I often wonder if C$ is a little too smart for his own good.  I swear that every time I ask him to sit, stay, or lay down, the wheels in his little canine head start turning as he ponders, “if I do, what will I get out of this.”  However, if cheese, onion, peanut butter or salami is involved, his little butt is glued to the ground just waiting for a piece to come over his way. I’m not sure whether I’m more concerned about what this says about my eating habits or about his listening skills.  So if Caes was asked to impart some of his wisdom, now that he’s the eldest of the pack, I’m convinced he’d have this to say:

1.  Help out with homework, specifically, when your human is highlighting for law school.  The best thing to do is try to take the highlighter out of their hands and run with them.

2.  Fetch is much more fun if you have the humans throw it and then you just look at them so they go get the ball.  So much less work when they bring it back for you.

3.  The Dog Whisperer is the best show ever.  When its on, drop everything else to watch and listen.  It’s like dog yoga…calm submissive state.

4.  When running your human, keep them on their toes. And above all, if you see a squirrel, chase it.

5.  Take over the couch, humans like that.

6.  Take over the bed, they like that even more.

7.  Eat the same thing everyday.  No surprises.

8.  Don’t wear clothes, and don’t ever wear halloween costumes. A simple yet stylish collar will do just fine.

9.  Only listen enough to let the humans believe they call the shots.

10.  Eat more peanut butter, it’s good for your health.

Happy Birthday Monkey.



“If you gettin off track and you wanna get back
It may take a lot of work won’t break your back
If you wanna revolution the only solution
Evolve, gotta evolve”

~Evolve, Kevin Quinn

It is now February 20.

This is significant because now, I can tell you that I am running again without fearing   the pressure of a New Year’s resolution and its ultimate demise.

Since law school, running and I have had an on and off again love hate relationship.  This was most likely my fault because more often than not, I simply neglected it.   Then on those warm spring mornings or cool fall nights when I would feel a pang of guilt and try to reunite, it would lash out like a scorned lover, leaving me scarred for days.

But no matter how much it hurt, I missed it.  I just didn’t know how to win it back, quite frankly I didn’t think I had the time to win it back.  So, instead of committing, I played the field.

Then over Christmas break, a friend texted me and asked how I felt about being part of a Flying Pig marathon relay team.  There are 4 legs and each person runs anywhere from 5-7 miles each, totaling 26.2.  At first I was hesitant since last time I trained to run 26.2 at the Flying Pig my plans were disastrously derailed, but then I thought, “this might be exactly what my relationship with running needs.”  “Yes,” I texted back. “Count me in.”

Over break, I knew that when I got back to school I wanted to make running a priority.  Not only would it be a good time to start with a wedding coming up in the new year, but I missed being in shape.  But like before, I was hesitant, not sure if I could keep my promise.  This was just the push I needed.

The relationship is still young, but I think this time it’s going to stick.  The difference…people to run with.  Anyone who runs knows the hardest part of doing it is getting your shoes on and heading out the door.  Or heading to the gym after a long day of class.  The good news is that my teammates are law students as well, same busy schedule, same list of excuses, but this time, I’m not letting it get in the way.  They’re not, so why should I. I love that after a busy day, instead of going home to bury myself in books, I run.  And I can’t tell you what a difference it makes.  I didn’t run because I didn’t think I had the time, but running has made me so much more productive.  Who would’ve thought 😉

The other fun thing about this race is that 1) it will be my first run in Cincinnati, and 2) I’m going to actually try to race it.  Since getting back into running, I’ve always trained to simply finish and run farther than I had before.  But this time, instead of my goal being to just make it to the finish line, I want to really see what these legs of mine can do.  I want to break my time goal, not a distance goal this time.  And even that change of pace and change of focus is invigorating.

I’m starting slowly, building my base, and trying to follow my own advice when it comes to adding in cross training and yoga.  And in the meantime, I am falling in love with running again.  I love the point in your run when you suddenly fall into your stride, I love the refuge running brings, the time to think and even relax as your legs carry you.  And this time, I love the camaraderie, pulling each other along for just a few more minutes than we thought we could go, and I love the change of pace.

I missed running and being in shape, but somehow forgot that the only way to change that is to just get out there.  Instead of complaining that I didn’t have the time, I just had to make it.  We make time for the things we really care about right? I’m so glad I made time for this, I’m so thankful for the friends to do it with, and the goal to beat.

Oh and for the new running playlist.  It’s hard to beat a good running playlist.  And Jay-Z.  Can’t beat Jay-Z.

Engagement Pictures YEAH!

“Life is an endless struggle full of frustrations and challenges, but eventually you find a hair stylist you like.”  ~Author Unknown

I’ve made a huge mistake.

I’ve never been one to cry in my room after a bad haircut, or a bad color. Hair is hair.  It will grow back.  Don’t like the color, eh, you can live with it for 8 weeks.  And truth be told, I’ve never really had a BAD experience.  Well…except when I was in the 4th grade and Dad took me to get my haircut.  It was basically a bowl cut, and it wasn’t pretty.  But even then I didn’t cry, although I’m pretty sure my mom did.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, 4 days before our engagement pictures in Nashville with the beautiful and talented Kristine Neeley, I got my first bad color.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me.  Like I said, hair is hair.  But, I’m a little nervous that people will look at the engagement pictures and say, “Well that’s odd, who is that girl The Boy is dating?”

It all started out so innocently, and with a conversation I’m sure many other women (and possibly men) have around this time of year.  There you are, sitting in the chair, wearing that ridiculous smock that reminds you of the bibs you had when you were a toddler, and the stylist asks, “So what are we doing today?”  And that’s where it gets tricky.  “Well,” you say.  “I think I’d like to go a little darker.”  It’s fall right, time to trade in the beachy blonde for a warm chocolate brown.

Maybe it is the moving around a lot, because you can’t really get used to having one person doing your hair, but I’ve learned to just trust the stylist.  I’ll normally say a little bit about what I’d like and then just let them work their magic.  However, this time, being that it was a couple days before the engagement session, I wanted to be extra careful.  I brought a picture.  And not a celebrity picture, you know the kind, when someone brings in a picture of Jennifer Aniston or Rhianna if you’re bold, and wants their hair to look just like theirs.  It was a picture of me, from when I really loved how my hair was done.

One thing you learn in law school is to be to the point, short, concise and say no more than you need too.  That just confuses people.  But even with my short and sweet request, complete with Exhibit A, there must have been a miscommunication.

I gave her:

Exhibit A

And after being cut, colored, and washed…I came out looking like this:

Without the tan of course...

We’re talking jet black hair people.  And as much as I like Jersey Shore…didn’t really plan on fist pumping in our engagement photos.  Maybe God is punishing me for watching the Jersey Shore.  That makes more sense, I deserve it 😉

While I didn’t cry when I left, I may or may not have had a minor freakout in the car after I kept catching glimpses of myself in the rearview. Suddenly I found myself wondering what outfit would go best with an Ed Hardy hat. The color must have been slowly seeping into my head.

So friends, the bad news is…I have jet black hair that will not be toned down no matter how many time I scrub and shampoo it.

Good news is…My hair has never been cleaner, and I’m considering talking with The Boy to see if we can do a Jersey Shore theme for our photos.  Plus, now you all can expect to see the Jersey Turnpike at the reception.

Happy Friday and fist pumps all around.

Love, your blast in a glass.

An Unexpected Visitor, Mace, and an Engagement Ring

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”  ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally

Why, Hello Fiance

Just a typical Thursday night in July, I had come home from my summer clerkship, gone on a run with the pup, and made some dinner.  I was at court with one of the attorneys that day so I couldn’t wait to kick off my heels, and just relax.

I was planning to go to Nashville the next day after work, so I took the suitcase out of the closet and began the familiar routine of getting everything together.  After all the weekend trips, and the miles traveled, I could practically pack in my sleep.  But, as I was packing, I couldn’t help but get excited that  this would be one of the last times I’d make this trip before The Boy moved up to Cincy.

I just finished packing when one of my dearest friends from law school called saying she wanted to get together.  She had been in Africa all summer for her internship, and I could not wait to see her!  I hung up the phone and decided that I should probably pull myself together and get out of my old high school basketball shorts and my favorite t-shirt.  I knew she’d thank me 🙂

While I was getting ready, The Boy texted me and said he was finishing up dinner with his Dad (who was in Nashville for the week) and would call me in a bit.  I set the phone down and noticed that Caesar the Wonder Dog wasn’t sitting outside of the bathroom like he normally does when I get ready.  I looked around the apartment to make sure he wasn’t getting into trouble, and found him sitting right in front of the door with his head cocked to one side.  What a strange little dog.

I went back and continued getting ready, and was trying to figure out what to wear when I heard Caesar start barking.  At this point it was about 9pm, I wasn’t expecting anyone,  so I just assumed he was barking at the neighbors that had just moved in across the hall. I didn’t think much of it and went to find something to wear.  But then I heard a knock at my door…

OK, so again, it’s around 9pm.  I wasn’t expecting anyone and now I was a little unsure of what was going on.  I went to my room, and grabbed my phone and my keys (with my pepper spray compliments of The Boy’s Dad, since I go to school in downtown Cincy).  Looking back, I’m not real sure why it didn’t cross my mind to just not open the door if I didn’t know the person.  Instead I guess I was planning on opening it and macing them?!

Yes, I'm marrying him even though he's a Bengals fan. We all have flaws 😉

I went to the door and looked to see who it was.  Through the peep hole, I saw The Boy.  Wait…what?!?  I could not figure out why he was here.  I was going to Nashville the next day. He just texted me saying he was in Nashville with his dad…

Needless to say, I was at this point thoroughly confused, and I’m pretty sure I blacked out for a bit, ha. I slowly opened the door, paying no attention to the fact that I had just released the wild beast who was now jumping all over The Boy because he was so excited to see him.

“What are you doing here?!” I asked, still in my basketball shorts and ratty T-shirt.

He then got down on one knee, as he was trying to palm Caesar to keep him out of the way, and asked me to marry him.  Cue second blackout of the night.

I started smiling, and laughing excitedly and The Boy said that I asked, “Are you serious?!” about 4 or 5 times.  HA. I’m a little slow on the pick up some times apparently 🙂

And I of course said yes!

I gave him a huge hug, and could not stop smiling.  I couldn’t believe it.  I was completely surprised!  He’s way too good at surprises.  If I had to propose, I wouldn’t have been able to keep my  big mouth shut.

I finally put my keys and phone down (he had no idea I was about to mace him, ha), and looked at him and said, “But I’m all packed for Nashville.”

“Jack, we can go to Nashville this weekend if you want,” he said.  Which made us both start laughing.

I started asking questions about when he knew, how he planned it, etc. and then it dawned on me I hadn’t even looked at the ring?!

When I asked if I could see the ring, he laughed and said, “Of course you can, it’s yours you know.”

Come to find out, he had known for awhile that he wanted to ask me to marry him but waited to ask until he could go to Atlanta to ask my parents, and had gotten the ring, all without me knowing a single thing.  It meant so much to me that he took the time to talk with my parents and the ring was absolutely gorgeous.  I mean, I would’ve married him if he gave me a paperclip people, but The Boy does good work.  And it is so special since he picked it out.  Boy’s got taste.  He’s a keeper.

I texted my friend, who was at this point probably wondering what had happened to me, and we headed to meet her.  I ran into the place she was at where he boyfriend (now fiance) told me she had just gone to the bathroom.  I ran in, and The Boy still makes fun of me for the girlish shrieks he heard from the bathroom when we both saw each other.  He said everyone in the place turned to look in our direction.  Ha.

I lived out of my suitcase that weekend, but I didn’t mind one bit.

In the months since, The Boy has moved up to Cincy, we’ve both started school, and tried to work on wedding planning in between.  We’re still figuring out catering, the honeymoon destination and colors, but I do know that one year from today, I get to marry my best friend. October 13, 2012 can’t come soon enough.

Don’t be a Stranger

Photo from We Heart It

As anyone in law school knows, and anyone who is thinking about law school will find out, fall of your 2L year feels like a tornado. A cyclone of class, interviews, applications, and job hunting. We are merely two days away from fall break and I already feel like I have a full semester behind me.

In the midst of this storm, you are preparing for interviews, updating your resume and combing your writing samples for mistakes. You get to know your resume like the back of your hand, and are ready to answer any question that might come your way. Let’s just put it this way…you definitely want to be candid, but you don’t want to be surprised in an interview.

This is why it was odd that while I was going through the interview process this fall, I suddenly found myself going off script.

I was sitting in an interview one Friday afternoon when I was asked about my previous summer experience. Softball right. OK. I told them about my writing, about going to court with the attorneys, and the special projects I was a part of. But then, I was asked, “What was the most important thing you learned from that experience.”

Before I could think about it, I said, “How to see people.” Immediately, in my head, I panicked. What was I saying?! How to see people, come on. That’s not a concrete answer. They are probably wondering what’s wrong with me. Not surprisingly, I was asked to explain.

Click here to read the rest.

Old Haunts and New Favorites

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” ~ Lin Yutang

To be honest, I’m not really sure where my old, familiar pillow is at this point in time.  Recently, I feel like my bags are constantly packed and ready by the door.   However, I have realized the beauty in not only traveling and finding new places, but also seeing old places, with new eyes.

The Boy and I have been having a blast together exploring his hometown here in Cinci and seeking out new favorites when I’m in Nashville amidst visiting our go-to’s.  This past weekend in Nashville was no different.

After a morning run and taking Caesar to his yearly vet appointment (always an adventure) we decided to head to The Flying Saucer, one of our favorite spots, to try a new Dogfish Head they had in.

Then it was off to East Nashville.  I was really excited to head across the river to try some new spots and hopefully visit one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Nashville.

One of the places on our list to try was Cooper’s on Porter, a place we heard about at the East Nashville Beer Festival this Spring.  We ended up getting there a little earlier than the 4pm open time which was fine by me because that meant there was time for a late lunch at Rosepepper.  Perfect planning in my book!

After a steamed vegetable quesadilla and one of the best margs in town, we ended up walking around my old stomping ground for a bit and then headed back to Porter to check out Cooper’s.

We heard about Cooper’s as it relates to beer but it turns out as we learned from the bartender, owner and chef Cooper Brunk, places much of the emphasis on food.  However, since we had already taken care of the food side of things, we just decided to check out the beer.  They have 25 rotating taps and plenty more in bottles and cans.  Although you won’t find anything crazy on tap at Cooper’s, what they do offer is a killer line up of solid craft brews including Schlafly, Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and of course, local favorites like Blackstone and Yazoo.  The best part, at least in this law student’s book, is that every Tuesday-Saturday from 4-7pm, all drafts are only $3.

After that we decided to check out another new kid on the block, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.  This just might be one of my new favorite places. This should not surprise you since I’m pretty sure ice cream was my first solid food as a child.

But this is like no other ice cream you’ve ever tasted before.  I mean, come on.  Check out this flavor list.  Cherry Lambic Sorbet, Queen City Cayenne, Brown Butter Almond Brittle and what I ended up going with: Salty Caramel.  Salty and Sweet.  Again, this should not surprise you seeing as I probably single handedly bought out all of Starbucks Salted Hot Chocolate drinks while they were available this past winter.  The Starbucks that I consumed during finals was just downright frightening.

Anyway, the Boy tried the Cherry Lambic Sorbet and although I tend to be very skeptical when it comes to sorbet…that too was delicious!  We decided to get two pints to-go and I’m sure they will not be our last this summer.

The great thing is that although they only have shops in Northern Ohio and now Nashville, you don’t have to go there to get Jeni’s truly splendid ice cream.  Luckily, you can find them in Whole Foods, Jungle Jims and other markets across the US.  You have to try this stuff.  I promise, you’ll thank me later.

Even though, like all other weekend trips, my time in Nashville seemed too short…it was a blast.  It was the first trip where I felt like I had shaken off law school for the summer and didn’t have to worry about deadlines, briefs, or homework to be done when I got back.  I enjoyed and loved every minute of it.  After a jam packed 1L year, the summer is a welcome break and the relaxation it brings is intoxicating.

To me, there’s just something about summer that whispers adventure.  It’s time to go see things you’ve been wanting to all winter long, it’s reading those books that your friends can’t stop talking about while lounging on the porch enjoying a warm summer night.  It’s catching up with old friends over delicious food and relaxing with family.  It’s indulging in your old favorites while finding the time to seek out new ones.

So here’s to ice cream, a cheap pint of beer, good company, lazy summer nights, and adventures, both new and old.

What will you be doing this summer?  What’s your adventure? Where are some places you want to go and are they old favorites or new?