The Life of Sarah PB&J

Musings on my life post grad school and peanut butter... (NB: the archives also contain musings on Russia, law school, and still more peanut butter)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Employment Law Haiku

an exam today
my brain is quite distracted
will blog tomorrow

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Quick Prayer

Dear God,

Yesterday was a beautiful day. The sun was out; there wasn't a cloud in sight. CB and I walked around the lawn and the rotunda with out any coats on. We marveled at the opportunity to do so. Then I woke up today to see almond-sized snow flakes falling from the sky. They've covered everything in a soft layer of white. The snow is perfect for snowman making - and, I might, after I finish studying for my midterm --- (which if you've got any say in it, can you make it easy? :)), go outside to build a snowman in front of the law school.

But God, I kind of wanted to remind you that seasons generally change gradually. In the past, you've grouped all the snow together, then after that was over, spring time came. I mean changing it up a bit is fine - it must get really boring doing the same thing year after year. But, I just want to make sure that the flowers have enough time to adapt and the like. Plus, we humans are a little confused by all of this.

Everything else is going well though. Thanks :)

Sarah PB&J


update - 10:08 PM: I think God reads my blog. About two hours after I posted this, the snow turned to rain. And it got a tad warmer. Fancy that.

to be continued....

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Coupon Mania

When I was a little girl, I remember spreading out across the hallway, cutting coupons out of the newspaper with mom. We both had a pair of sissors and would flip through the glossy advertisements deciding what products we might use, and cutting out the coupons. We'd put them in an envelope, pick up the appropriate item (before the expiration date of course), and proudly put the stack of coupons on the conveyer belt at the grocery store. At some point this practice ended in my family (It either had something to do the fact that the local paper was hideously sensationalist and my father decided it was no longer worth paying for or my mom realizing that her time was more valuably spent seeing patient than cutting out 25 cent coupons from the paper.) I didn't really take note of this, and by no means was the end of my coupon cutting in my family a psychological hardship on me. I'm not sure I even noticed when we stopped.

In college, I had no newspaper - and I wasn't grocery shopping with any regularity (I think the only times I went down to the co-op was to buy seminar break food or Thanksgiving Dinner supplies...) Coupon cutting wasn't really on my radar.

In DC, I was all about Giant's weekly specials, and when given the choice, always got their deals. But again, no newspaper, no coupons, didn't even cross my mind.

But oh has my life changed. Three weeks ago, I got an e-mail from United Air (now, how you ask will this connect to this coupon tale I'm recounting? just be patient...) They told me that if I didn't accumulate or spend my 16,000 miles within the next month. I had no intention of flying in the near future, but also was dangerously close to getting a free flight (20K miles) - no way was I going to loose my miles. So, I needed to spend some. The cheapest item on the list of qualified purchases was a 10 week subscription to the Washington Post, delivered to my doorstep daily. Great - sounds good. (There's nothing like drinking a cup of tea and reading the Post in the morning before school.) So my subscription starts.

Then Sunday rolls around. You guess it: coupons. I was like, "woah! Coupons! They still print these?" And proceeded to flip through and cut some out. $1 off of Tazo tea, $.40 off of 2 cans of Campbell's soup, $1 off of toilet paper. I was in heaven. I've redeemed a fair number of them. But the best game is holding on to the coupon until the grocery store has a sale on the item. That way, you get the store's discount, and the coupon. I got a bottle of Garnier Fructis shampoo (large size) with a free conditioner for $1.25. Sweet. But you gotta watch the expiration dates :)

As I was mulling over writing this post over dinner last night (at Revolutionary Soup before ice skating with friends), in walks BK and Liz. And what do they have in their hands? A coupon for buy one get one free ice skating. I was in nirvana. It is true. (The two of them had coupons for Soup too.... fancy that...)

So in sum, coupons rock. And I can't wait to get tomorrow's paper....


to be continued....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trivial Frustrations

Today a group of semi-Russian speakers gathered in the courtyard (with no coats on!) for a 45 minute damn-our-russian-is-getting-rusty conversation group. I tried to say simple things like, "What is your favorite class?" but it came out like "blobedy gook?" Cases all mixed up, the vocabulary of a five month old (do five month olds talk?). It was depressing. What happened to my "beautiful" Russian I had only six months ago? When I could communicate with relative ease?

I've also concluded that my brain only has room for two languages at a time. When I went to Russia, I entirely forgot my French. (I tried to translate between French and Russian for a Quebecois women in Moscow - I could put the French into Russian, but couldn't make a sentence in French to save my life...). Now that I'm back, my French has picked up. I could speak all day long. But my Russian. That's another story. Do I ever have the pleasure of being (semi-)trilingual?


my landlord's asking if I want to renew my lease again for next year. It's February! The lease doesn't end until July. What's up with that? I'd protest, except then she'd kick me out. Still haven't heard from back from her about permission to adopt a dog... Recently, I've been taking way to many study breaks to look at the dogs on the local SPCA website.

And my rent's going up $20. Boo.


to be continued....

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sarah PB&J's Tips for Life #245 & #246

245. Don't pour boiling water on your hand.

246. Don't get sick.

welcome to my day.


to be continued...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Oh Barristers'

So I tried to come up with a Barristers' themed "Oh Christmas Tree" in honor of last evening (Just imagine, "Oh Barristers', oh Barristers''...") But I couldn't get any further than that. So I abandoned my poetic pursuits and decided to go for prose instead.

In brief:

Who: law school peeps
What: Law School Prom (aka Barristers' Ball)
When: last night
Where: Omni Hotel (no surprise there... looked kind of like PILA)
Why: reasons varied from "open bar" to "the chance to rewear my hs prom dress/bridesmaid dress/go shopping for a new dress" to "my wife's making me" to "the need to see and be seen"


Pretty women in pretty dresses...

SPB&J and CN. Note lighted snowflakes.

AEK and SWC...

SW and John

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oratory 101

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Tim Kaine, gave the keynote address today at the Conference for Public Service and the Law. This is my first encounter with him. I was up in DC when he was elected, and honestly didn't follow the campaign too closely (although I did vote --- I guess that made me a semi-uninformed voter?). So I was kind of curious what he was going to say.

I was surprised at how uninspiring the speech was. Not only did he proceed to state the obvious ("pick a community that you want to work for," "you can have a 'serial' career" (do more than one type of work in your lifetime), and "be prepared to make less money") but the speech was saturated with mistakes. Subjects that didn't agree with verbs, odd constructions (which aren't grammatical mistakes per se - but make the speech tough to listen to), and a fair number of malapropisms to boot. How did he get people to listen to him on the campaign trail?

But, I am reminded of the promise I made in the beginning, and will end this nonsense political speak right now.

The rest of the conference was engaging. A panel on criminal defense and prosecution, race and immigration law, and retirement benefits. All in all it was a good afternoon.

to be continued...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Money Speaks

From the Dean for Student Affairs:

"[Law School Prom is this weekend. She is reminding us how to behave ourselves in public] Also remember that a taxi is the prudent choice if you have had too much to drink-- and is ultimately far less costly than a DUI, which can have professional as well as safety and financial implications."

Her reasoning for a preference towards cabs in order: prudence, it's cheaper, the Bar will let you in, it's safer, it's cheaper.

Not only did money make in on the list twice, but safety (the most widely recognized reason for not driving drunk), is fourth on the list. I guess when you're addressing future lawyers, it's all about the money.


to be continued...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lawyers do good? work

So Uncle David sent me a Mardi Gras tattoo. It's shiny and sparkely. I smiled. It also made me think of my tattoo wearing friend (Bryn - we'll have to coordinate Mardi Gras tattoos ....).

I turn the package over to read the back side. They offer three warnings, one of which is:

"It is recommended [that you] do not apply jeweled tattoo onto the eyeball."

SERIOUSLY? The eyeball? Only if there were no brain behind the eyeball would someone ever attempt that. Crazy warnings like this one have to be the work of a lawyer.

I can't wait until I'm qualified to write such insightful things...


to be continued.....

No More Snow Days

The era of snow days is ending. And I don't just mean for post-secondary school students.

In class yesterday, my professor announced, "if there's too much snow on the ground Wednesday, and I can't get to school, I will post the lecture, on-line. So be prepared to log into the course website and listen in." No day off for us. At least he won't be able to cold call. Ah technology.

But, it's only a matter of years (when every household has a computer and reliable internet access) before second-grade students are inside learning how to multiply instead of outside building snowmen. What a sad world that will be.


to be continued....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Loaves and Fishes

So. I've witnessed the Divine.

Last Saturday, I set out to make corn chowder. I had wanted to make a big pot because I knew I'd be feeding a good number of people - and I wanted a little bit left over to eat on throughout the week. By 6pm Saturday I had 3 huge pots of soup. I have no idea how that happened - but I thanked God - and everyone ate a lot of soup. A lot. For days.

This Saturday, I set out to make vegetable soup. I didn't really want to make that much - remembering what happened to me last week. I started with some onion, a parsnip, a few carrots, and a potato. I threw in some black eyed peas, and a pepper, some celery too. And a bit of pasta and a few tomatoes. But small amounts of things - or so I thought. But the first pot started getting really full, so I got out another one and transferred some soup into that one too. But soon the pots were overflowing again, and so I had to get out a third pot. And what do you know, in the end I had 3 big pots full of vegetable soup. Something fishy's going on, I tell you. (although there's no fish in the soup. Fish soup has always creeped me out..).

From these experiences, I draw the following conclusions:
1. I should go cook soup in developing countries/counties.
2. I'm beginning to think that the few loaves and fishes Jesus blessed might actually have fed 5000. I wonder how much soup I'd end up with if I blessed the ingredients, too.
3. There's no way that I can eat three pots of soup this week. I need help. ("If one falls down, his friends can help him up." Ecclesiastes 4:10 - also translated as "If one makes a lot of soup, his (or her) friends can eat it up.") I'm bringing a big container of it to school tomorrow. Please bring a bowl and a spoon (and you might want some bread to go with it too). The soup will be in a large white "sour cream" container in the fridge on the right. I'll leave a ladle with it too. Please help yourself. Lunch or dinner. (and if you get there and the soup's gone, e-mail me, I'll refill the container). Make sure to use salt and pepper.
4. I should try making soup on a day that's not Saturday. That might have something to do with it.

Meanwhile, if you have suggestions for next week's soup, please feel free to e-mail me....

to be continued....

Reviving the Blog

So ---- After a six month hiatus, I'm going to resuscitate this thing. Since the semester started back up again, I've been inspired to write several times. I have no idea what I wanted to write about, only that I thought, "If I was still keeping my blog, I'd write about this..."

And last night, I wrote an e-mail, in classic Sarah blog style - that more appropriately would have been posted here. (see infra)

so here goes.

to be continued....