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Dear Megan
Don't mess with me.

(no subject)
I am still alive, promise. School is really busy right now; I'm super excited for Thanksgiving break. Hope you are all doing well.

Gallivanting is over.
My summer of gallivanting is finally at an end. It was very cool being in London with a bunch of ND people. I even managed to meet some new people. Much fun, and even some studying, occurred. Jessica, Courtney and I traveled to Paris with Laura and Laurette, then just the three of us went to Munich. London ended with finals, which went pretty well. After being home in Atlanta for under 24 hours I flew to see Jake in Colorado.

The weekend was a blast. I got to meet several of his work friends Friday night. Saturday morning we stopped by a local farmers market and then drove to the Valley View hot springs. These hot springs are in the middle of nowhere, but with amazing views. The springs are run by hippy-ecoists -- the place is clothing optional (this girl kept her clothes on). I saw way too many nude middle-agers. The pools themselves are fabulous. The majority of the visitors stay in the lower pools so the upper ones are isolated and have few people. Jake and I staked a claim in the middle pool with an incredible view of the valley. Our tent site was visited by 4 fauns and a doe our first day there. We missed the bat flight, but still saw some beautiful things. Sunday night we cooked a dinner party that was amazing! Lots of courses and incredible ingredients to work with. Monday we lazed about and went to see Bourne Ultimatum, which was badass.

Tuesday I flew from Colorado to the beach to meet up with my family. The rest of the week there included lots of food, movies, time in the Gulf, and of course, lots of 'beach drinks.'

I'm back at home running errands and packing before its off to the Bend.

Return to the US!
I just got in. My two months in Europe were fabulous. The summer program went really well -- though I have to wait for grades to really say that. Oh, speaking of law, I made a journal!! Hurrays!

I'm off to see Jake tomorrow and then to the beach with the family. It's hard being me. ;)

Italy was incredible. We went to a lot of small towns and a few cities. I liked Florence the best, and not just because they have the best ice cream. Michelangelo's David is so impressive in person. Also all of the Medici history there intrigued me. Did you know that the top part of Italy used to belong to Austria until the 19teens? And that the area would still rather be Austrian? There is a very cool iceman in that region, called Utzi, who is over 5,000 years old.
Venice was cool, very crowded and very touristy. But still, it's venice. St. Mark's was impressive, especially the bronze horses that were stolen by the Venetians and then were stolen by Napoleon, only to be reclaimed. We wandered around there, getting lost in the labyrinth that is it's streets.
Rome is overwhelming. There is such history there that they take for granted. The Colosseum and the Vatican are cool, but my favorite place was this church, St. Clement's. It was built in the 1100s, on top of a church built in the 4th century, which was in turn built on top of a Roman household/street/temple from the 2nd century. We got to tour it. The mind boggles. The Romans used to tear stuff out of older things to make newer buildings. The marble in the top church is ripped out of the 4th century one. The forum is this vast collection of ruins that was underground until the late 1800s.
Outside Orvieto, the group stayed at this agro-touristico place, which is mainly a vineyard. They gave us a tour and huge wine tasting. Very nice. The scenery there was beautiful. Expect lots of pictures later.
I've officially decided my favorite gelato flavor is either caramel or coconut. :)
On to Belgium!

(no subject)
Studying for finals = teh suck
Jake = grood
Friends = greatest
Annie = happy

101 in 1001
101 goals in 1001 days.
To be finished: Feb 10, 2010
The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
1. Learn to Knit (Make a scarf)
2. Try a new sport/activity
3. Fly a kite
4. Work out consistently for three months (3+ times a week)
5. Run a mile w/o stopping
6. Run a mile in ten minutes
7. *****
8. Take a cooking class
9. Study on Lake Michigan
10. Floss every day for 2 weeks
11. No French fries for one month!
12. Buy a piece of art
13. Plant flowers
14. Learn to change a tire
15. Learn to drive in heavy snow
16. Learn to iron
17. Have a double bed as my permanent bed
18. Decorate said bedroom with my cool oriental pieces
19. Buy a nice set of knives
20. Cook something complicated from a recipe
21. Go through closet and donate clothes I don’t wear
22. Go through my bookshelves at home and donate what I won’t reread
23. Watch a sunrise
24. Go on a hike over three miles
25. Get a new license that shows I’m over 21
26. Have a fondue night
27. Learn to drive a stick shift
28. Get a new cell phone that does not turn itself off randomly
29. Ride a bike to a destination
30. Go to a drive-in movie
31. Travel to Italy
32. Travel to London
33. Got to the British Museum
34. Attend 5 plays in London
35. Eat five new authentic Italian dishes
36. Send five postcards from Italy
37. Send five postcards from London
38. Visit a country (besides Italy) that I’ve never been to before
39. Speak French in France
40. Go to Wimbledon
41. Hop a random train/plane on an adventure
42. Visit Alex in New Mexico
43. Go on a road trip with Coalson
Academic / Career
44. Graduate NDLS
45. Get through the next round of exams without freaking out
46. Earn a higher GPA this semester than I did last semester.
47. Try to write on to a journal
48. Take Trusts and Estates
49. Take a random law course that I don’t think will pertain to a career and isn’t required.
50. Begin a job I enjoy, in a place I like.
51. Establish a career network
52. Land a 2L summer job that pays well
53. Own a good suit
54. Own an expensive pair of black heels
55. Back up my computer
56. Start investing in index funds
57. Take control of my money and know where it goes
58. Go one month only buying groceries and gas
59. Save 30% of my earnings once I land a permanent position
60. Start an adventure fund
61. Keep a monthly budget
62. Become financially independent
63. Give change to someone who needs it
64. Tithe to my church
65. Write an email once a month to keep in touch with distant friends
66. Be home for Thanksgiving
67. Home for Christmas every year
68. Learn to like beer
69. Pay for the next car at a toll booth
70. Vote
71. Feed someone else’s parking meter
72. Attend a wine tasting
73. Go to an art gallery
74. Date somebody for over a year
75. Be in love
76. *****
77. *****
78. Give blood
79. Get a massage
80. *****
81. Finish my study abroad scrap book
82. Start an ND scrapbook
83. Go karaoke
84. Read Madame Bovary
85. Read Catcher in the Rye
86. Watch Dr. Zhivago
87. Watch Schindler’s List
88. Write a chaptered fanfic
89. Post said fanfic
90. Read the last Harry Potter
91. Read Dante’s Divine Comedy
92. Read Catch 22
93. Read Wurthering Heights
94. Find a home church
95. Attend church regularly
96. Read the Bible consistently for a month
97. Journal consistently for a month
98. Volunteer for 20 hours
99. Take a bubble bath
100. Print this list
101. Create a new 101 list

**** Edited for privacy's sake. :) Here we go.

something clever
Good week here in the Bend. Once again, we got pummeled with snow Monday and Tuesday. Jake and I decided to utilize the snow by going sledding Wednesday after Property. We went to the state park and searched around the backwoods before finding a few excellent hills. Neither of us got injured and we had lots of fun. Later we went to Tippecanoe for Valentine's dinner.

We have a draft of our big paper due Monday, so everybody had a low-key weekend. Well, it was low-key for the 1Ls. Thursday night bowling went really well. Out of 560 law students, 430 of us joined the Thursday night league. We dominate the alley. We pregamed at Biz's, which included two pans of brownies, cookies, a cake and assorted drinks. (Our group likes to bake.) Jake bowled a 155 and Dave managed a turkey, putting him a full 100 points ahead of me (171 to 71). Biz and I did not bowl great, but managed to hold our own. I also managed to totally delete Rochelle's score at the end of game 1. Whoops! Needless to say, I am no longer in charge of the computer. :)

Friday a bunch of us saw Second City Improv from Chicago on campus. They were pretty good, but did more scripted scenes than improv. Saturday was a whole lot of legal writing, followed by dinner with the girls and then Jake and I saw Fast Food Nation. Good movie but the kill floor was gross; I closed my eyes.

More snow is expected and it's putting me in a wonky mood. I'm tired of all my snow boots. :(

still alive!
Had a pretty interesting weekend; saw Cirque du Soleil's Delirium in Grand Rapids with Jake, Carla, JP, and Pat. It was a cool show; they did some impressive stuff for being a traveling show, and it was different from their other shows (think Cirque doing live music videos). Afterwards, we crashed at Pat's mom's house with plans to return on Saturday.

Saturday dawned with a blizzard though; heavy lake-effect snow blowing all over the place. By the time we had planned to leave, multi-car accidents blocked almost every major road south. It was nice to hole up for the day though; we played darts, Life (WON), Monopoly (lost) and watched movies and ate lots of food. It was great.

We made the drive on Sunday, and though the weather was still pretty lousy we only had one near-miss (or near-hit, more literally) and made it home in one piece. After getting some work done, it was super bowl time.

It was -5 when I left my house this morning, with a wind chill of -26. Stupid wind.

In other news, things here are really good. I'm a quite happy girl.

Birthday blast!
I have had quite the birthday fun yesterday and today. About eight people gathered at my apartment to play kings and hang out. Carla and Biz both baked cupcakes and Courtney made cookies. All the deliciousness was followed up by dancing at the 'Backer.
Then Carla told me we were going out to dinner tonight, that I was just to pick a restaurant and the people and that she would handle all the details. She picked me up and then said we had to pick up Jake (as it was raining and cold, this seemed normal). We walk up to the door. Jake opens the door wearing an apron and I notice all these streamers. Courtney and Biz yelled surprise. Sean and Pat were manning the grill outside and came in later. Jake loves to cook and had made grilled peasant (which his family had shot), grilled chicken, a white wine and mushroom sauce, blanched green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes w/ a butter sage sauce. Oh, and short ribs for an appetizer. JP added bismati rice and curried lentils (there were 2 vegetarians in the group). They had a giant balloon and a cake with pink flowers.
All in all, a wonderful birthday. 24 is looking to be a good year.