Friday, May 18, 2012

NEW BLOG!

I'm transitioning to a new blog:


http://jaydiva.blogspot.com/

Look, I'm gonna be working with a lot of people in prison and I don't want them and their friends and family and the state's attorneys and their friends and family and the prison employees and their friends and family and judges and their friends and family to be able to just type my name and be able to see all my vacation photos.  You understand, right?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

25, Philadelphia, and the National Trial Competition


YAY!  I nearly have a life again!  First of all, thanks to all my loved ones supporting me these last couple months.  So far, 2012 has been a tough one and I have appreciated all of the prayers and cheerleading on my behalf.


I’m officially FINISHED competing in the National Trial Competition and, if I do say so myself, I had a very good run!

In Philadelphia last weekend, it worked out that I did 2 trials (it's just the luck of the draw if your team does Plaintiff of Defendant and since I only to defense, I only had to do two [grueling] trials.) and they went swimmingly!

Honestly, I felt VERY confident down there in the courtrooms at the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center and I hope to one day haunt that building on the regular as a big shot lawyer :)

Here is my team at our hotel, after a string of successful trials.  Our team ended up advancing to the Regional Championship, so we are very proud.


I got to know waaaaaay more about my teammates than I ever wanted to know, but we really had a blast in Philly.

PLUS, it was my birthday!  And every restaurant we went to, we milked it for all of the free desserts we could handle!

In addition to local restaurants, we also made trips multiple times a day to the Reading Terminal Market.  I’m telling you folks, this place is INCREDIBLE!  It’s about 20 times the size of the Grand Central Station Market in NYC (no joke!) and we ate our way through the entire place!




For my birthday I enjoyed some red velvet and pumpkin chai whoopee pies (a Pennsylvania favorite) from this awesome little bakery booth called the Flying Money.  Plus a raspberry crumble bar, plus a peanut butter cake truffle (AMAAAAZING), plus a chewy coconut macaroon cookie, plus cupcakes…  Yeah, that good.  Or bad.

Mmmmm...whoopie...

Among our good eats at the Market, we visited Tommy Dinic's for their famous roast pork sandwiches—as seen on Man vs. Food!  Here’s the little store:


And the meat


And the seriously delicious sandwich, including slow roasted pork, broccoli rabe, extra sharp provolone, and hot peppers.

I finished mine in about 190 seconds; everyone was thoroughly impressed.

I also ate crepes at the French booth (twice) and got Indian food once, including a lovely pomegranate lasse to drink, I bought a whole container of butterscotch peanut butter (yum!), lots of fresh bread and produce, and all that’s just from the market alone!  We also had legit Philly soft pretzels with spicy mustard that a suspicious little old Italian Philly lawyer man brought us all at the courthouse, 2 trips to McCormick & Schmicks (thank you, per diam), went to a legit Chinese place in Chinatown (including an order of the “House Special Duck”), and need I go on?


We also got a chance to do some shopping and touring nearby, including JFK Park with the LOVE sign:


Yes, smaller than you may have imagined.  But still nice.  Plus there’s lots of food trucks in this park!

I fell in love with the store Lush—seriously though, where has this store been all my life?

I got asked on a date by a suspicious character who may or may not have been homeless.  In his defense, I was sitting on the corner eating my macaroon at the time, looking rather homeless myself.  I said thanks but no thanks, if you’re wondering.  But he was rather persistent. 

We also were right by City Hall, which I believe housed the first U.S. Capitol.  Here we are walking under it.  Sebastian is making his, “I’m sad we lost” face while I am shamelessly making my “I’m GLAD we lost” face with Josh.

Load of fun & loads of food.  It was nice to be in competitive mode again and I had a great experience and a great birthday.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Noteworthy Anniversary of My Arrival to Earth


Here it comes folks, one-fourth of a century, my quarter life crisis, the big TWO-FIVE.  Not too excited about that, but hey, what’s a girl to do? 

 And what’s the plan for the celebration, you ask?  Well, as it turns out, I will be staying in a hotel for free in Philadelphia and getting to eat and drink for free thanks to a lovely little thing called a per diem!  50 bucks a day just to eat all the Philly cheese steaks and soft pretzels I want!!  And how, you may ask?  Well, you are looking at the defense opener on The Penn State University Dickinson School of Law’s National Trial Team and we will be competing in the regional competition over my birthday weekend, beginning on Thursday, the day before the blessed memoriam.   So thanks for the weekend birthday trip, Penn State!  So does that mean I will intentionally under-perform to knock us out of the competition early and allow for some free birthday sightseeing?  No comment.



And since I will be gone for my birthday, dearest Kendrick was kind enough to come for a visit this weekend for a more traditional birthday celebration including a festive homemade carrot birthday cake (a personal favorite of both of us)!  Festive really is the best word…and Fabulous:




…aaaaaand I opened my presents early :O  since I won’t be at home on the big day.  They included a gorgeous fuschia trench coat [I’m wearing it below in the photo with my snowshoes and I'm actually wearing it right NOW!], an amazing book called Design Sponge at Home (Love it!  Totally inspiring!),

 lovely earrings from my grandma, and a bosu ball from K which I have been wanting SO BAD for SO LONG!  He even helped me pump it up :) what a nice guy.


 And I got myself a gift compliments of b-day money from my grandparents: a new cover for my laptop to replace my cracked up non-fitting (although pretty) old one.  My laptop, the love of my life, will certainly be grateful.

Wish me luck in Philly, and happy birthday to me!

Campaigning for Winter- beating the blues



Being someone who was born and raised in Southern California and participated in year-round outdoor sports, I love being outside and I LOVE THE SUN.  I basically worship it.  Seriously.  In my closet...that has a window.

This obsession was all well and good until the one dark day when I moved to Utah and learned about a strange thing the natives called “winter.”  Then followed another, even darker day, when I moved to Central Pennsylvania and learned about a strange event known as a “blizzard.”  My first Pennsylvanian winter just happened to be the winter of the ever-memorable Great Double Snow Storm of 2009 when within a few days two MAJOR snow storms hit the entire East Coast one after the other, leaving my little car looking like a snow-covered hill.  Literally FEET of snow covered EVERYTHING. 


How the heck am I supposed to play water polo and do my sun worshiping dances in 4 feet of snow?!? 

And who ever knew that scarves served a purpose other than fashion?!  Not me.

Needless to say, I found myself walking to school on sub-freezing days in sub-standard winter gear, repeating in my mind over and over again things like,

“I am freezing.

 I might die of frostbite. 

I hate snow. 

I hate winter. 

I am freezing…”


Not exactly the healthiest internal monologue.

And then I decided that I want to work in Philadelphia…permanently.  And I began filling out the Pennsylvania and New Jersey State Bar Applications (yes, this is kind of a major announcement! :D ) and I realized, “Hmm…maybe I should try to figure out this winter thing…”  And the frank statement of a close friend from Long Island, New York of, “You have the worst Seasonal Affect in the world,” (ouch) led me to develop a cold weather plan of attack!

First, I thought about the main reasons I dislike winter and some of the why’s:
1.     I don’t like being cold
a.     I don’t have the right kind of clothes to stay warm
b.     I am worse than Ebenezer Scrooge when it comes to not turning the heater on
c.      Having cold/wet feet is like the worst thing ever 
2.     I love the sunshine
a.     It’s hard to wake up when its dark out
b.     I like being outside on nice days
3.     I like swimming and exercising outside

Given this list, I went to work to remedy these bad boys!

The key, honestly, was to stop being so Scroogey and to be realistic of my needs.  Yep, that’s right, I had to actually BUY some things (sooooo painful!) and I have actually even been keeping my heater on for longer than my usual 30 minutes a day... (NOT an exaggeration, unfortunately)

My sanity-saving purchases included:

1.     Sunlight simulating alarm clock
a.     You have NO IDEA how amazing this is!  I wake up to the sound of cows mooing and the sun shining, even if sunrise is technically 2+ hours away!!
b.     I’m a nerd about neuroscience and I know that full-spectrum light on the retina promotes production of wake-inducing neurochemicals, so I’m totally a believer in this item- even if its as seen on TV!
2.     Better coats, etc.
a.     I realized I only wore my cute, impractical coats.  The only legit jacket I had was much too large and I just wasn’t gonna look that frumpy for every day of the next 3 months.  Therefore, I shopped around for a cute AND practical coat that I DO like to wear!
b.     Honestly, this took a couple tries.  I don’t really know what makes a good winter coat, never really having had one, so I admittedly fell back on my ~only fashion matters~ state of mind in coat shopping, but eventually, I nailed it!  My coat is silvery and puffy and warm and has an amazing hood and it even fits 
c.      Rabbit fur-lined gloves= amazing
d.     Super cute AND super practical Merrell knee-high boots


And, thankfully, not everything needed to be purchased!  Here are the few things that I utilized that I had on hand and some simple strategies that I employed on my campaign for winter:

1.     Looove the windows
a.     On the occasional sunny day, I shamelessly place myself near the window, including
                                               i.     In church.  I get into the room a little early and open the curtains!
                                              ii.     At school.  I pull chairs for yards and yards and place them right by the window to read, despite being kind of in the way of everyone.  Who cares, they can walk around; I have a disorder!
                                            iii.     In the pool!  Yes that’s right, I still swim in the indoor pool and I swim in the far lane next to the window and even get the occasional ray as I swim along
2.     A better space heater
a.     I was gifted a space heater that has the technology that is lightyears ahead of my old one and I love it!
3.     A better mantra
a.     Instead of “I hate winter…” I borrowed a cheesy phrase from a magazine that my mom kindly gets for me, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”  And now that I’ve gotten better winter clothing, I’m actually starting to believe it!
4.     My super warm Kermit hat from Santa

Lastly, I thought of my peers in Utah who were always jumping up and down with joy whenever snow was in the forecast.  They all had the same reason to adore the very thought of snow: skiing.  Now, snow skiing and snowboarding and I have not really gotten along in the past.  So how could I harvest all of those positive feelings for snow if slopes are out of the question?  In a word, SNOWSHOEING!!  I got a GREAT deal on eBay and I can honestly say for the first time ever that I am anxious for a big snowstorm so I can try them out!

Who knows, maybe I’ll start worshiping the snow too :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

That's a Wrap!

2011- the year in review.

You don't have the read this.  There aren't even any photos.  It's more me giving myself a pat on my back...sorry.  The post before this has several photos, enjoy that post instead.  I just think its important to remember where you've been and to appreciate the experiences that you have; because, if you forget, then you haven't learned and you haven't improved yourself.  I try to do both every day- learn and improve myself, and I find this easy & fun to do when I am out there doing!

Looking over past blogs, photos stashed on my Desktop, and entries in my calendar, I can say that I had some amazing experiences this year.  The theme seems to be cultural experiences- whether an international festival, or a national museum, I did a lot!  I even can cross a few things off the old bucket list after this year, including:

  • Eat at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland (CHECK!)
  • Ride on the paddle boats in the DC Tidal Basin (CHECK!)
  • Live in or near Washington D.C. (CHECK!)
  • Explore the Guggenheim Museum in New York City (CHECK!)

That's right- FOUR life goals accomplished! :D  And all while maintaining insane full-time law student status.  I am very proud.

Some other noteworthy experiences include:

  • I saw the infamous Spiderman Broadway show
  • The Greek Festival at the Greek Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA
  • Indoor rock climbing twice
  • Buying last-minute scalped tickets to see the New York Ballet
  • I participated in Yoga for Congo Women
  • For the entire year I worked as a Certified Legal Intern at the Children's Advocacy Clinic, appearing in court on behalf of minors- and I LOVED IT!
  • Internship in Maryland in the Juvenile Division of the Public Defender's Office- AMAZING! New life dream!
  • I went to jail!  Lots of times!  I had never been before!  Fortunately, they let me out every time :)  [advised incarcerated clients]
  • I ran in Race Judicata- my school's 5K- and I got my best 5K time ever (7:47 pace!)- which got me 3rd place
  • I ran in my first half marathon!  It was crazy!  I ran at Hershey, PA, and finished in 1:55 :D
  • I had my first experience at Sacrament Meeting with kids...I was watching Ali & Patrick's boys and it was DEFINITELY a learning experience! Haha!  I will never judge the moms of noisy kids in church again!
  • Cool things while living near DC:
    • West Indies Festival
    • Learned to salsa dance
    • Watched the 4th of July fireworks show from the lawn of the US Capitol
    • Attended 2 Nationals baseball games
    • Went on the Gargoyle Tour at the Washington National Cathedral- so cool!
    • Became a Smithsonian expert, including seeing:
      • The National Portrait Gallery
      • The Arts & Crafts Museum
      • National Gallery of Art
      • National Sculpture Garden
    • Went to the Women's Art Museum
    • Went to the Newseum- very interesting
  • I participated as a "lawyer" in the Penn State Medical Negligence Colloquium mock trial, and my side won!
  • I made it onto the Penn State Law's National Trial Team :D
Yeah, I'd say it was a good year :)

A Disney-Star Wars Christmas

For Christmas, my parents treated us to a day at Disneyland! :D  Going to Disneyland used to be no big deal for me growing up-- it was right down the street-- but now that I'm states and states away, it was certainly a major source of excitement!

And if you know anything about my family, We Know Disneyland.  We know the ins, the outs, the employees, the artists, the shortcuts, the best order of rides, the time/place/order to get Fast Passes, the times of all the shows, the locations of which food carts, the hidden Mickeys, the locations of the characters...BAM.  If there's any Disneyland question, we know it.  I even managed to do a biographical report in elementary school on Walt Disney, and where did I do my research?  That's right, within the Disneyland park itself.

In fact, we are so smooth at working it at Disneyland, that even though the day we went the park was CRAMMED with people to literally its maximum capacity (they closed the gates before NOON!) we all still got on EVERY major ride, saw Fantasmic!, and ate at the Blue Bayou [which is so awesome because its INSIDE the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!] without having to wait in line!!!  Boo ya.

And if you know anything else about my family, you know that We Love Star Wars.  From Yoda cookie cutters, to R2D2 cookie jars, original T-shirts, billions of pins, virtually every version of the films ever sold, and on and on.  And let's not forget that my brother Mike's first phrase as a baby was a line from Star Wars, "What a piece of junk!"

And therefore the happiest place on earth gets a little happier for the Price family each time they add more Star Wars elements.  For example, the Jedi Training Academy- basically the cutest thing in the galaxy.  And they also just re-vamped the ride Star Tours, so now on each flight is a secret rebel spy- and who was that spy when the Price family rode?  You guessed it- ME!  I'M THE REBEL SPY!  The ride operators surely saw me coming from a mile away and said, "There she is!  Our biggest fan!"

In short, it was AN AWESOME trip home, with not just a great Disney day, but swimming at Belmont Plaza where the LA Olympics were held, eating at the world famous Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, seeing the fossils at the La Brea Tar Pits, shopping at The Grove in LA, going to the Griffith Observatory, running around the Hollywood Walk of Fame (and of course seeing the Star Wars feet prints outside Grauman's Chinese Theater), eating Crumbs cupcakes(!), going kayaking, Corona Del Mar tide pools, jogging with the dog, performing some salsa dancing for the family, family blow dart war, the Newport Beach Temple + lunch & shopping at Fashion Island with Mom and Chelsie, etc., etc.



And the weather was beautiful.

Yep, basically the best vacation ever.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thankfulness


Well that was an interesting exercise!  One month ago, on a whim, I decided to post a “I’m grateful for…” thought on my facebook page as a little pre-Thanksgiving exercise in gratitude.  I was hoping it would help me catch the spirit of Thanksgiving, which has kind of been lost on me since I haven’t actually had Thanksgiving at home for…oh…SIX YEARS!  
 
 The one year during that span of time that I was actually at home on Thanksgiving, I realized to my unpleasant surprised that the family had observed the traditional dinner meal before I arrived. :(   I know, unbelievable.  I’m still a little bitter about that.  And the year before that I was in Australia (where they obviously don’t celebrate this holiday) and I had been camping for days and at our hap-hazard Thanksgiving-ish meal I had a serious case of the runs…TMI…sorry.  Then I went through a phase where I tried to pretend like I didn’t care I was missing out on Thanksgiving because it is just a demonstration of American gluttony!  Pretend is the key word in that sentence.  And in my graduate school years, it has just become a nice time to prepare for my final exams without having any classes scheduled to throw off my study mojo—not exactly the true spirit of Thanksgiving.
 
So what happened as I was posting all of these grateful posts (some serious, some not) I actually found myself waking up to thoughts of “what am I grateful for today/right now/all the time” instead of “what snarky think can I tell the cyber world today?”  And honestly, it made a HUGE difference in how I approached my day.  And corny as it sounds, I’m actually really grateful I chose to incorporate more gratitude in my life.  I have so much to give thanks for and it was really great to be reminded of that, especially at this time of year where my school work really gets crazy, it’s nice to be able to draw my focus a little broader and remember the multitude of blessings in my life.
 
Here is what I came up with:
 
1.    November is a month for thankfulness! My thankful thought as I was getting into bed yesterday was: I'm thankful for memory foam :)
2.    Today, I'm thankful to have parents who pray for me
3.    Today I am grateful to FINALLY know what I wanna be when I grow up :)
4.     SO thankful for Ikea
5.    So thankful for a beautiful, sunny day :)
6.    Thankful for my church family who stands in for my real family that is so far away
7.    I'm grateful for courthouse victories! :D (and I'm not talking about Michael Jackson...) As a side note, I'm also EXTREMELY grateful that women aren't expected to wear ties in court
8.    I'm thankful to live in a time and place where my inter-racial relationship doesn't put me in jail or worse. We've come a long way as a society.
9.    I don't want to offend, but I am very grateful that I never found smoking to be appealing in ANY way
10.So grateful for the hospitality of the Willis family over the last few years- I have been looking forward to homemade spaghetti and meatballs ALL week!!
11.I’m thankful for friends in high places :) ie, the head coach of the local college who gave me a pass to use their athletic facilities- FOR FREE!
12.Yesterday I was grateful that Sarah Stoner only dropped me from about 3 feet above the ground- hahaha! Yay for a great rock climbing buddy!
13.I'm also grateful for the first non-insane weekend in a LONG time! I got to enjoy not only rock climbing, but got in a great work out, made homemade granola bars, roasted squash from the farmer's market, Wegmans(!), and more!
14.I saw a commercial with green bean casserole and it made me feel VERY grateful that my mom doesn't believe in canned vegetables
15.I'm thankful I'm smart enough to not need a smart phone!
16.Although I was not necessarily thinking this at the time, I am grateful I attended (and graduated from!) seminary
17.I cannot emphasize enough just how thankful I am to live in an era abundant in space heaters, electric blankets, and hot running water. SO glad not to be born as an ancient Eskimo, I would have never made it. Those people have a talent that I certainly lack!
18.Oh so thankful for a farmer's market that is STILL going every week! :D
19.Thankful that Kendrick came up to PA early :)
20.Thankful for Mildred at the farmer's market! Seriously guys, making friends with older people has done nothing but GREAT things for me! They are awesome!
21.I'm thankful for Skype :) I got to see my grandparents today in Washington state!! (and my parents + Colin + Fritz the junior wonder dog. Evan was conspicuously M.I.A...)
22.Thank goodness for umbrellas! (and that its Thanksgiving and its still RAINING instead of snowing! YAY!)
23.Thankful for forgiveness
24.Thankful for a day to truly RELAX and enjoy the company of great friends + the virtual company of a super cool family.
25. Grateful to have the chance to obtain higher education and very happy to be nearly finished!
26.Grateful for Globalization. How else would I have enjoyed Egyptian Belly Dancing, yoga, meringue pies, hummus, and my bamboo plant this week??
27.Grateful that even though there may not be peace throughout the world, everyone in the world can make peace in their own hearts.
28.So thankful for all 4 of my awesome grandparents and for all that they have provided for me- emotionally, financially, and spiritually- I owe a lot to them
29.BAM! Thankful for going from 14 credits to 6, just like that! Holla! Hooray for a wrapping-up semester!
30.Thankful to be healthy and happy. It's so fortunate that I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge, even though I haven't had any real income since...like...ever
And by the way, I had a great Thanksgiving and I affirmatively chose to not to ANY homework.  With my fresh perspective, this may actually be my new favorite holiday :)