Friday, February 27, 2009

Sandra Day O'Connor


Image source
Former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor came to visit my law school yesterday and today. For law students and faculty, she is a very big celebrity.

Yesterday I waited an hour in line in order to see her teach a class, which was really a question and answer session. She was very interesting--if I could use three words to describe her I would use feisty, charming, and intelligent. She was extremely knowledgeable and could easily think on her feet, despite being at least 77 years old. She had a wonderful sense of humor and said things like, "They sure don't have any cowgirls like me" on the Supreme Court (referring to the fact that all of the U.S. Supreme Court justices have served as U.S. Court of Appeals judges in the past. This is a criticism of the current court: some believe that it is beneficial to have at least one judge who has not served in the federal system yet). She spoke of how to balance home life and a career, what it was like to be the first woman on the Supreme Court ("hard"), and what it was like to have the press following her after she was sworn in.

Today she lectured 500 or so people on the Missouri Plan, which is a system of appointing judges around a state. Many states still elect all of their judges in a partisan election, but in Missouri we do not elect any appeals or Supreme Court judges. Instead, people are chosen by a bi-partisan committee and then finally chosen by the governor. This fall a family friend went through this process and was selected to be an Appeals Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Justice O'Connor is a proponent of the Missouri Plan. She argues that holding elections for judges promotes wasteful spending on campaigns, promotes unfairness in the court system, and diminishes the public's opinion of the judges.

Personally I can see her point. She gave an example of a judge who was given $3 million by a donor for his campaign and won. This judge went on to cast the deciding vote in a case against the donor's company--needless to say, the donor won that case. I think that it would be too hard to separate the desire to be elected in the future from actual law in some cases.

Overall I feel so lucky to have seen Justice O'Connor. She was a wonderful speaker! What do you think of the Missouri Plan?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent

Well, now we are in the season of lent again. I really like lent and like to make it a time of reflection and observance. Part of the reflection comes in the form of a sacrifice. Every year, people of my religion give up items for lent. I know several who are giving up Facebook, some who give up sweets, and some who give up things like cussing.

So now I get into the age-old question. Should one give up these items on Sundays, which technically are not counted in the 40 days of lent, or should we observe Sundays just as we observe other days because, like one of my friends once said, "Didn't Jesus spend forty straight days in the desert?" To me, saying that you can partake in your sacrifice on Sundays seems sort of like cheating. But does that matter as much as the actual sacrifice?

I suppose that is a question that we all must ask ourselves. So...do you feel comfortable having certain days where you can indulge in your Lenten sacrifice?

My Macro function


Lately I have been obsessed with the macro function on my camera. I love taking pictures with it and then noticing the details that it so aptly captures. I know the picture of David above is kind of weird, but you can even see the small hairs on the side of his face. Crazy! Here is Thorina and Arwen:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chocolate Sorbet

Last weekend I made Ina Garten's Chocolate Sorbet recipe, and it was fantastic. I love it because it is so rich and tasty and icy. I ate it with blueberries and strawberries all week long. If you have time, I definitely recommend that you make it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

First buds

We planted many bulbs last fall and a few are starting to sprout! I am worried that they will freeze, though. Does anybody know if they will? How cute is this little bud?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Excitement

Last fall I was accepted onto a law journal at my law school. This was exciting for me because being on a law journal is a honor, you can learn a lot, and you get the chance to be published! (Here is more information about being in a law review.) While my big article from last fall did not get published, my small update did. So, I present to you, my readers, my update--in print!!!!
Sorry for my goofy hands and for my goofy husband in the background, but I didn't want to include any names/last names in the post.

My update was about the double-breasted cormorant, a bird. This bird has been in trouble lately for uprooting habitats, bothering boaters, and feeding off fisheries. Some environmental advocacy groups sued agencies of the United States because the agencies determined that people could kill the birds under certain circumstances. My update basically summarized the latest court case in this bird battle.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to everybody! Today my Valentine and I are going to the basketball game for a while, going to church, and then going out to eat together for a nice evening. I hope you have a great day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Photo shoot

My friend Rachel started a pet photography business. She came over on Sunday to shoot some pictures for her portfolio. I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you over the next few days!! Above is Arwen and the piano. What is that over on the left-hand side of the picture on the keyboard? That green thing? Get your mind out of the gutter folks, it is just a cat treat.

Great pictures of Paco sporting his coat and a picture of a boy and his dog:
Seriously, how cute is that?!

Here is a picture of Paco licking Arwen's ear (he's been doing this a LOT lately):
And one of Thorina that just makes me laugh:
So fun!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mizzou/Kansas Game

This game was awesome...way to beat KU, Mizzou!!!!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Forgetful!

I have a huge problem. For the past THREE WEEKS, I have made salmon for my lunches throughout the week. And each week, I put it in the oven on Sunday evening, cook it about half-way, turn off the oven so that it finishes cooking, and then proceed to forget it until Monday morning in Tax class.

I have a feeling that I should just forget about the salmon in my lunches.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Book Review: Skinny Bitch

Image found here.

I would like to start a series on this blog regarding fitness and eating well. I love the blog That Wife and she has been writing a series about her journey through weight gain and weight loss that I really enjoy reading.

Everybody tells me that I do not need to lose weight. "You are skinny already!" everybody says. That is true, I do not need to lose a lot of weight. I gained about 10-15 pounds my first year of law school and have been slowly trying to work that off since the beginning of this school year. But it isn't just about losing weight. If someone eats trash all day long and is super skinny they are not healthy.

So, at the beginning of this semester I decided to try to eat better. My problem is that I work out pretty well--I run or do some kind of cardio for at least thirty minutes 5-6 days a week, along with an abs class, yoga, and pilates each one day a week. My problem is eating. I love to eat and I love tasty food. No, we do not go out to eat very much. I just love to cook.

This means that the entire first year of law school, I would make a tasty meal (that wasn't full of bad stuff, but not loaded with veggies or fruits), eat a ton of it for supper and then take it in my lunch the next day. Oh yeah, and I would also eat it for breakfast. This equated to having melas like beef stroganoff three times a day and not my daily need of fruits and vegetables. Another problem I have is overeating. I will eat until I am stuffed on a daily basis, because I just love eating! I can never say "no" to a second helping at home.

This all started when I got married and began cooking my own food. In college, we ate in the cafeteria, where I would eat a fruit and a salad for most meals, along with perhaps a small helping of hot food. Then I would carry out some fruits and veggies for a snack. It was harder to GET to food. Therefore, when I had it, I chose mainly fruits and vegetables.

To inspire me to eat healthier, I decided to read Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. This book is basically a no-nonsense guide to being a vegan. A lot of women call it a great diet book, but I want to emphasize that it is a vegan diet book.

It is really great in some respects. For instance, it really encourages eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Since last fall, I have been bringing salads for my lunch at school. This book inspired me to eat more fruits during the day. Usually I eat a half a grapefruit and an orange for breakfast. I bring fruit for my snacks at school. David and I sometimes eat fruit for dessert.

It also convinced me to stop drinking so much caffeine. I loved a line in the book that said something like, "Quit treating coffee like heroin! You do not need it!" I really feel that my coffee intake was increasing my stress levels. It made my stomach hurt. Now I only drink it three days a week (which is a huge improvement from the old seven day a week routine.)

Finally, it encouraged me to start drinking more green tea. I luuurrvee that stuff. I knew it was good for me. Now I flatly refuse coffee most days and drink the tea instead and my stomach and body is thanking me!

Some things I didn't like: they tried to convince me that I should not eat meat because our bodies are not made like carnivore bodies. Um....but aren't humans omnivores? Of course our bodies would not be made like carnivores. We are made to eat both meat and veggies. The only thing I got out of that chapter was that I should not be eating red meat for every meal. I knew that already. Basically all of their chapters about not eating animal products did not convince me. But that is just me. I am not trying to put down any vegetarians or vegans...everybody just has their preferences!

So....here is my cat rating!

That is 2.75 cats. I liked the book because it motivated me to kick a few bad habits to which I was clinging. I did not like the book because I could easily think of counter-arguments to some points that were not addressed.

I have to say that after eating more fruits and vegetables each day, my body feels great. I have great energy, I am sleeping better, and I do not feel like I am gaining much weight. To me, the key is to have lots of produce in your diet no matter what. That is what has worked for me in the past and what makes me feel the best.

What are some eating habits that you think help you feel better?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Running

Sometimes I feel kind of silly after I run and I get home and learn the temperature outside.

Case in point: Today.

Temperature: -10 degrees.

Issue: Ran in that for 15 minutes while freezing my face off.