Friends that Humor You are an Invaluable Blessing.

For whatever reason, and it’s probably a stupid reason, I hate talking on the phone. It makes me anxious and panicky. Bad things happen when someone calls me. It’s always bad news or I’m always in trouble. So phone calls are for emergencies only. Like if you’re in a restaurant and you’re not sure if you’ll like green curry so you call your Indian friend to ask a question about Thai food. Ahem. Desiree.

Since I hate talking on the phone, I text all the time, which makes me grateful for the unlimited texting plan my dad bought when I was fourteen and texting was really starting to pick up. Which means most of the conversations I have are saved forever (or thirty days) on my phone, and some of them are hilarious.

For example, Desiree and I were discussing our plans for actual adulthood, as well as her upcoming wedding.

Me: Don’t worry, I’ll come save you [when you get taken hostage by terrorists]*

Desiree: Heck you better be with me to start with!

Me: Fiiiine, but who’s gonna rescue us when we inevitably run our mouths?

Desiree: Uhhh…J’s trying to get into flight school, maybe in a pinch he’ll get us?

Me: Better put that in your vows, “In case of kidnapping, I’ll come get you.”

Desiree: “As a side note, if I choose to go help the orphans you have to swear you’ll come save me from the people I piss off.”

Me: “Forsake all others and save me from terrorists.”

Boom. Vows written.You’re welcome.

I am a painfully shy and awkward person, and Desiree is the exact opposite, and somehow by sitting next to each other in Arabic class and living down the hall and studying together, she’s become one of my best friends in the world. When something inevitably goes wrong in my life and everyone else is telling me it’s not that bad, Desiree will agree with me that it is the worst thing ever, and that the person/entity behind it needs to be disappeared. She humors my crazy notions about somehow living abroad and traveling to cool places, and will sift through the myriad of dissertation-length emails I send her in which I’m basically talking to myself about planning out my life. She understands my compulsive need to plan things out, even if the thing being planned out is the hostile takeover of a small island nation. And I would totally rescue her from terrorists.**

*Not “if,” “when.”

**Just kidding. I’d be a hostage with her and our whiny chattering would make them set us free just for some goddamn peace and quiet.


10 Things I Was Able to Do Because I Got Dismissed from Law School

Not gonna lie, I’m still a little sour about being dismissed from law school. I had wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid, and let’s be real, I had been in school since I was three so I didn’t know what else to do with myself. But I made myself sit down last night, and think of things that I was able to do since I got dismissed.

1. Go to all of my brother’s events his senior year of high school. 

My brother is painfully smart and talented. To the point where he did jazz band, got his Eagle rank for Boy Scouts, made Phi Beta Kappa, the works. And everything he did had its own little ceremony, which I would have missed if I was still in Baltimore. I don’t get much time to spend with my brother, so it was nice going. I even made it to his high school graduation. Which was kinda weird, I have to admit.

2. Move to Texas and see all my friends.

I moved to Texas to start grad school, and as a result was a drivable distance from most of my friends from OU. I was able to drive up to see them, and they came down to see me, and most importantly, they’re coming down for OU/tx weekend. For the last few years in undergrad and while I was in Baltimore, I was growing apart from my high school friends, because not only was I always hundreds of miles away, but our interests were diverging, and no one was really making an effort to meet up anymore. And that’s okay. People grow up. But for a while, I felt like I had no friends. But now my friends are close, or they get on Skype/Google Hangouts often enough, even though they decided to go to grad school in Germany (*cough*Anna*cough).

3. Meet the cutest toddler ever.

In January I started a nanny job, watching the sweetest little girl. She’s such a happy little person, and I’m so glad she’s a part of my life. With her, I get to go to the playground and library and aquarium and take a break from being an adult and play for a little bit. And now she has the most adorable baby brother, and is so excited to be a big sister.

4. Spend time with my family.

While I was doing my undergrad, I was in Oklahoma, and my family was in Ohio, and I didn’t go home much, because going home for a weekend meant spending most of the time in airports, and was super expensive. But I was able to spend a lot of extra time with both my parents, and while at times it felt like I was a kid again, it was nice being around them.

5. Be happy.

This is important. I was miserable the entire time I was in Baltimore. I felt lost, behind, and unwanted. Not just in the law building, but in the city as a whole. I had zero friends, didn’t get along too great with my roommates, and cried basically all the time. Getting out of that environment was fantastic for me.

6. Started grad school.

When I started my current program, I actually felt like I belonged. I felt smart again, which was great, and the professors and other students are all so supportive of everyone. If someone gets published, the department head sends out an email and while it’s annoying at the time, it’s really sweet how the professors will hit “reply all” and send heartfelt congratulations. And they genuinely care about helping everyone, and take time to sit down and talk to students. When I was transitioning from the non-degree program into the full master’s program, one of my professors was the Associate Dean of grad students, about to move to a position in the Provost’s office, and had just accepted a vice presidency in ACJS, but she took time out to pull me into her office and tell me to quit panicking, write me a rec letter that got me accepted before I even submitted the application, and gave me a hug. If I had asked my torts professor to give me a hug, she’d have rolled her eyes and laughed while plotting to cold call me seventeen times the next class.

7. Cook more.

In Baltimore I was eating either straight up spinach or gluten free spaghetti almost every night. Not only because of the workload, but because I just didn’t want to spend time in the kitchen. Part of this was avoiding my roommates, but also because I just didn’t care. I was miserable, so I honestly could not give a shit about what I put into my body. Now I’m able to plan out healthy meals, and actually cook fun things. Yesterday for dinner I made roasted vegetables, and they turned out amazingly.

8. Create this blog.

The very first post on this blog is about how I got kicked out of law school. This was started as an outlet, as a way for me to vent because I had no one to vent too. That’s changed, and this project has evolved over the past year and a half. Which I’m proud of.

9. Research things I’m actually interested in.

In Baltimore my life revolved around law, and that was pretty boring. That should’ve been my first clue that law school wasn’t for me. I just wasn’t interested in anything. But now I get to spend time reading about narcoterrorism and drug trafficking and it counts as doing work. So the emails full of links to with titles involving terrorist is totally legit graduate research, Desiree.

10. Drive on the highway without panicking.

For whatever reason, I used to be awful at driving on the highway. I would avoid it at all costs, and white knuckle it the entire way. I once pulled over on the side of the highway passing through Indianapolis during rush hour to make my dad drive because I just could not handle it. But now I’m totally fine. I take the turnpike to school every week and basically going anywhere in Texas requires you to go on the highway for at least ten miles because nothing is within a reasonable distance around here. So I got used to it, and now I only shriek a little bit when a semi truck gets too close to my lane.

Ultimately, I think I’m a better person now than I would have been if I had been allowed to stay in law school. I’m happier, and that’s what counts.

Eavesdropping in coffee shops.

I packed up all my school stuff this morning because I just could not concentrate at home, being super stir crazy and constantly distracted by every little noise (the neighbors were running what sounded like a massive fart machine in their driveway), and set out in the direction of a coffee shop with very specific criteria as to what sort of coffee shop it was going to be. It had to have a lot of tea on the menu, because milk does bad things to my innards and I haven’t quite acquired a taste for black coffee. They had to have wifi, and it had to be free because I am cheap. And it had to be super sunshiny inside because that’s the sort of mood I’m in. I don’t want to sit in sunshine, but I want to sit near sunshine. The first coffee shop would have been promising, and it even had gluten free pastries, but no tea, and the barista looked at me funny when I asked if they had lactose free milk. Whoops.

So I’m at a Starbucks, guys. That’s basically what this post is boiling down to. I packed up all my shit and drove to a Starbucks to study but instead I’m pretty much doing a running commentary about the people around me. At the next table there’s a guy being interviewed for a job here and that’s reminding me of the three interviews I did for Starbucks (but never got hired) and he seems to be doing a lot better than I ever did so good for you, dude. I hope you get the job. Behind me there’s a small group of maybe college freshmen (they look super young but it’s noon on a Thursday so they can’t be in high school) girls and they’re discussing another girl’s Instagram and apparently she posts too many selfies and now they’re talking about what an appropriate amount of selfies is. Whatever, man. If you think you look good, and you’re feeling about yourself, take that selfie.

I think I’m avoiding my statistics homework.

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

Sometimes I get caught up in school, or life in general, and forget to do things for myself. This doesn’t mean things like eat, sleep, or shower, but things that would make me happy, like buying books or painting my nails.

This is a general reminder to take care of yourselves. Take a break from studying all the time, and take a bubble bath. If, like me, you get bored sitting in the bath for more than ten minutes, do something else, but make sure it’s for yourself. I like painting my nails. Even if it takes me a few tries to settle on a color.

Today I woke up feeling super overwhelmed with everything, and after I decided to stop sobbing in my bed, I got up,put on pants (okay, leggings) and went to a bookstore and just wandered. Even though I couldn’t find the book I was after, I felt better. Then I went to another store, and found the book, plus a lipstick. Even though I don’t wear lipstick that often, it made me happy. And now I’m painting my nails. I decided on a deep dark burgundy, because it’s the first day of fall. It’s 91 degrees in Texas, but technically fall.

So go do something fun. Play with your dog, cuddle a cat, whatever makes you happy. Don’t worry about anyone else for an hour or two.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

The last time I made peanut butter cookies was probably in the eighth grade, for a bake sale for some activity I did. The reason this stands out so much was because in the process of baking the cookies, one of the five teenage boys I was baking the cookies with forgot to add an entire cup of sugar into the cookie dough, and the cookies tasted like vegetable oil and sadness.

I found this recipe somewhere on the internet, but after looking at like three different recipes I realized that the 1:1 ratio of peanut butter to sugar just was not going to happen, so this is a combination of a few different recipes.


This is a painfully simple recipe. It took me all of ten minutes to get it all done and into the oven.

All you need is:

1 cup natural peanut butter (all the recipes I consulted were adamant about it being natural, don’t know why.)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

All you have to do is lightly beat the egg and then combine the ingredients into a dough. Form it into balls and place them on parchment papered baking sheets, and squash them into a cookie shape. I used the flat end of a spoon. Most people do that cute little crosshatch pattern with forks.

That’s basically it. They need to go into a 350 degree oven (according to google that’s 176C) for eight minutes, then rotate them in the oven for another five-ish minutes. Use your judgement. They’ll be kind of gooey when they come out, so let them sit for a bit on the baking sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.

I was surprised with how good they tasted, not gonna lie. I was super skeptical about the whole deal but figured I might as well try.

Sick Day Soup: An Accidental Recipe

Guys, I feel awful today. And not gonna lie, this soup started out as mashed potatoes because that’s all I ever want to eat when I’m ill. But then I added too much milk. So…soup. Which is also why I don’t have any pictures of the process.


As you might have guessed, it’s a potato based soup. I’m not feeling up to writing out a long and clever narrative about it, so here’s the recipe. Tweak as needed.

Potato and Scallion Soup

3 redskin potatoes

1/3 cup cold milk

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon chopped scallions/green onions

3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt to taste

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, and pop in the potatoes. Let them cook thoroughly. Once they’re done, take them out of the water and cube them, leaving the skins on.
  2. Warm the olive oil and lightly saute the garlic and half the scallions.
  3. Once those are toasted, turn off the heat and add the milk, and then the potatoes, so the potatoes don’t start to fry.
  4. Use an immersion blender, and basically liquefy everything, adding water until it’s the consistency you’d like.
  5. Add the rest of the scallions and blend them in.
  6. Add salt to taste. When I’m sick I tend to add more salt, because I can’t really taste much.

That’s basically it. It’s great for when my throat hurts too much to eat, I have no appetite, and just need to get something down so I can take my DayQuil and be done with it. Enjoy! I’m crawling back under my blankets and calling it a day.

I guess I have a pet lizard now?

A few weeks ago when my brother was home, he was walking across the foyer and a tiny little lizard darted from the dining room into the living room. He alerted me to its presence, but refused to do anything about its interloping (interlopement?) and delegated the task to Piglit, assuming that as a cat, Piglit would be able to chase it down.

Worst. Lizard Chaser. Ever.
Worst. Lizard Chaser. Ever.

Piglit did not care about the lizard, which darted under the armchair in the living room.

I thought that would be the end of it. How long can that thing possibly survive? There aren’t enough bugs in the house to sustain it, at least, there better not be. And I have two cats and a dog who thinks she’s a cat, so the predator to lizard ratio is skewed against the lizard.

But then two days ago as I was coming up the stairs, I saw a little brown shape dart across the floor in a very lizard like fashion. And no matter how much I chased it with the laser light from upstairs, in an effort to get Piglit to do his damn job and catch the lizard, the lizard remains free to roam in my house. I’ve given it the living room because I never go in there anyway.

Any ideas for free range lizard names?

Foil Tape and Twine: making pretty pictures prettier.

Pictures angle

I love photo prints. Like, actual physical pictures. Yes, I also love my instagram and I post pictures often, but I also love having physical copies of people I care about. When I was little, I loved going through my parents’ pictures, especially the ones from when they were young, in college, with all their friends. Clicking through an album on Facebook just isn’t the same. Sigh. But my problem with physical pictures is with displaying them. I don’t want to print them and just have them in a box, and photo albums that aren’t for specific occasions like weddings or first birthdays just seem grandmother-ish.

I’ve been toying with the concept of displaying pictures on twine, held up by clothespins, for a while now, but every time I did it just felt off. Either the pins were too big, or the pictures just seemed unfinished. So while I was wandering the craft store idly wondering if I could afford to drop $100+ on an instant camera, because I really like that look (I can’t.), I stumbled upon the decorative tapes, fell in love, and briefly considered covering everything I own in rose gold tape. I ended up grabbing a three-pack of gold, silver, and rose gold foil tape, along with some teeny white clothespins. I’ve been gravitating towards light colored decorations, because my furniture is black (my mom let me pick it out when I was fifteen), and I want things to be bright and cheery all of a sudden.

So I grabbed my foil tape, and the little white clothespins, and skipped off home (okay, I drove) to play with it all. I also ended up going through a picture album of photos from university, and pulled out a bunch I wanted to display.


As you can kind of tell, I split the pictures I had chosen into three piles, so I would have even amounts of the different colors of tape. From there it was super easy. I just put the tape along the top and bottom edges of the photo, making it as straight as possible and folding it right over. I initially wanted to do all four edges, but when I tried that, it felt closed in, so I kept it to the top and bottom edges.

I was such a cool kid.
I was such a cool kid.
I continued doing that for all of the pictures, until I had three-ish piles of nicely edged photos.

Pictures close

Once I had them in some semblance of an order, I pulled my desk away from the wall and stuck some clear command hooks up, and strung up some twine. I made the middle hooks for each row higher than the ends, because I didn’t want the weight of the pins and pictures to make the twine droop. Once that was up (and I convinced Piglit the cat that he should not try ripping the twine off the wall), I pinned up my pictures, and the ones that didn’t make it onto the wall (I ran out of hooks) have been stuck to my whiteboard with magnets. Maybe I should do a little post about my half of the study? It’s super organized now, and I know that won’t last long.

Pictures close up

I really like how it all turned out. The tape makes the pictures look a bit more uniform, even though some of them were taken on my old phone, some with my DSLR, and still more are 20+ year old prints that my parents took when I was a toddler (note me on my dad’s shoulders in the bottom row, second from the left).


I really like having something on my wall. The blank space in front of my desk was driving me nuts. I’m really happy with this project. Next, I want to take a light colored contact paper and stick it to the top of my desk. Is that a plausible thing? I’m getting sick of the black furniture.

Let me know in the comments if you try this or tag me on instagram, or twitter. For collaborations or craft ideas, email me at

Perks of the job

I love kids. I nanny, when I’m not studying bad guys and terrorism, and sometimes that means I get to do some really fun things, like going to the aquarium with the cutest toddler in the world. When we got there, she looked around the room, with its wall of glass with fish on the other side, and got so excited that she forgot to talk, and opted instead to shake with glee.

She’s been on a Finding Nemo kick lately, even though the movie came out a good nine years before she was born, and calls all clownfish Nemos. Which was absolutely precious when we went up the stairs and came face to face with the coral reef habitat, and a giant school of clownfish.

"So many Nemos!!"
“So many Nemos!!”

I really liked this aquarium. The way it was set up was perfect for little ones, especially since a lot of the windows into the tanks were kid height. But my little peanut (as she calls herself, “I’m your little peanut!”) didn’t let that stop her. She would turn to me and go “I need a boost, please!” even though at 5’1, I couldn’t provide that great of a boost.

My favorite part of the trip was finding this trio just hanging out near an anemone:

Gang's all here.
Gang’s all here.

The kid didn’t know why I got so excited. I can’t wait for Finding Dory to come out next summer.

Meet Persephone

As you may or may not have noticed, I have a new header on my blog. It looks like this:


I think it’s super adorable. I took the background picture myself, last Father’s Day, when I was at a restaurant on the shore of Lake Erie with my dad, in Ohio. Yes, that is Lake Erie. I was surprised too. I grew up in northeast Ohio, and the lake had a big factor in my childhood, whether it was watching school closings every morning in winter because of lake effect snow, or going to Mentor Headlands beach with my dad and brother. Every year for Father’s Day we would go to Geneva-on-the-Lake, a little touristy-trappy town right on the lake. Now that my dad’s moved to Chicago, I’m not sure when the next time I’ll be near Lake Erie is.

But Lake Erie is also kinda polluted. So I didn’t think it would be that far fetched for a sea monster to be swimming around in there. Of course, I had to draw one.


This is Persephone the sea monster. Persie for short (thanks, Kat). She looks like an octopus, has eight tentacles like an octopus, but she is not an octopus. She might be an octopus. With my limited artistic skills, I doodled her out and colored her in very late last night, which might explain why the mascot of my blog is a little blue sea monster/octopus with sharp teeth named Persephone.

Who knows, I might put her on a shirt or something.