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 bbc.com 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.

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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.

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.

DSC_0020

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.

Meet Persephone

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

2d

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.

Persephone

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.

My best friend is on Wordpress!

You might remember her from this post, or from any other post I’ve made about this a mysterious person called Desiree who may or may not be able to make people disappear and lets me bitch about people in the gym even though she’s at work.

She also has a cute puppy. His name is Mac. Well. His full name is General MacArthur and I expected nothing less of a name from Desiree.

Go visit her!

I Carry Less Stuff in the Summer

Now that my semester is over, I find myself hauling around a lot less crap. However, I did realize that when I carried a bigger bag, I carried more stuff. But I didn’t need more stuff. And I didn’t want to carry a big bag. So after a couple hours of babysitting, I had saved enough money to buy this super precious bag. After a few hours of intense debate with Desiree over whether or not this bag would be totally ridiculous (we decided it would not be), I skipped off to Francesca’s to buy it, because they were having a sale on handbags.

Look at how perfect it is!
Look at how perfect it is! It’s called the Limon bag, and the little girl I babysit reminds me that it’s shaped like a lemon every time I see her.

The thing is, this bag is tiny. Well. Tiny in comparison to anything else I’ve carried. So I seriously have to focus on keeping it tidy and make sure I’ve only got what I need in it.

summer whats in my bagThis is basically all I can fit into my bag.

1. My wallet

This is the biggest thing in my bag. I actually had to switch to a smaller, soft wallet to get it to fit into my bag. This cute studded one I got from my cousin for my birthday.

2. Hand sanitizer

This is one of the seventy million ones I’ve got stashed away from previous Bath and Body Works excursions. I’m trying to get through my stash before I go buy more. This Fresh Picked Strawberry scent is one of my favorites. I was so excited to find it in the store that I bought maybe five, and also three or four of the strawberry scented foaming hand soaps.

3. Lip Balm

This is Love & Toast’s Gin and Lime lip balm. It’s made with extra virgin olive oil and a variety of good-for-your-skin butters, and it’s surprisingly light and not greasy. It absorbs quickly, and keeps my lips soft and nice even when I’m all dehydrated. I like it so much that I bought Desiree a matching one in Vanilla Chai, and drove five hours to give it to her. Well, I was going to see her anyway, and stopped at Ulta on the way, and ended up stuck in traffic for an extra two hours. But still.

4. Lip Balm/Gloss

This is a Yves St Laurent Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm in Succelent Pomegranate. I picked it up from Sephora a while ago. It’s a balm, but tinted. Very sheer, very not-sticky. Tastes like candy.

5. Mascara

This is my favorite mascara ever. I keep the smaller size in my purse in case I need it, which is rare. Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara. I like it because it’s not too heavy, and doesn’t make my eyelashes clumpy or thick-feeling.

6. Notepad

Even though I keep track of a lot of stuff like hours I’ve worked and blog ideas on my phone, I like having some kind of paper with me to jot things down, like grocery lists or driving directions because I don’t want to have my phone out while driving. This is one of those that you can find in the bins at Bed Bath and Beyond or TJ Maxx/Marshalls. Super cheap, like a dollar or two.

7. Pen

This is a super cute pen. I got it from the dollar bin at Target, for a dollar (duh). It came in a pack of two, the other has pink stripes. I also bought a pack for Desiree and sent it to her in her birthday box. It’s got black ink.

8. Mirror

This is the same mirror from my previous post about what’s in my bag. Just a basic mirror from Forever 21, with little flowers and crystals on it. I think it was a dollar or something. Just from the bins by the cash register. I got it months ago. It’s one of many floating around in my various bags.

That’s all I’m letting myself carry for now. As the school year starts or if I travel I’ll have to move to a bigger bag, but for summer when all I’m doing is running errands and babysitting, this is all I need.

PS: That letter tray everything is arranged in is a semi-DIY. Post on that later.

Want to submit a post of your own? Email me What’s In My Bag posts or other collab ideas to thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com. Remember, you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Tumblr.

Have a great day!

That time I got a tattoo.

Sometime in September of 2012, fall of my third and last year of undergrad, things happened that caused a tiny mental break so I decided the best way to cope would be to get a tattoo. Now, I’ve been explicitly forbidden to get a tattoo, by my mother, in a sentence laced with a lot of expletives. Since my mother was 1184 miles away (I checked) and couldn’t get to me for at least a few months (I checked again), I decided now was the time to get a tattoo. I texted Desiree and asked if she wanted to get one too, and initially she said yes, but since her parents were twenty minutes away instead of 20 hours, she didn’t end up getting a tattoo. Sometimes plans are thwarted by big giant plot twists, sometimes by mothers with a big giant paddle.

I made the appointment, and Des agreed to go with me. The studio (Think Ink in Norman, Oklahoma) was nice, painted an interesting shade of green with actual framed art on the walls. The guy doing my tattoo, Brendon, was out front smoking when we got there, and when I said I was mildly allergic to cigarette smoke he put out his cigarette and ran around the parking lot airing out his clothes before he came in he was super sweet during the whole ordeal, even checking like seven times to make sure the needles didn’t have the slightest trace of nickel in them, since that is another thing I’m allergic to.

He started slow, making a few dots that could be cleverly disguised as freckles in case I chickened out, just to let me gauge how bad it was gonna hurt. Not too awful. Not gonna lie, I made Desiree hold my hand. And then when her fingers were bent and bruised, I held her knee. And might have dug my nails in a little. True friends let you claw their skin off when you’re getting ink needled into your skin. It took maybe about an hour total, and afterwards I was a little shaky because I’m a total baby, so Brendon gave me juice and Desiree took me to Orange Leaf to get frozen yogurt.

It didn’t take long to heal, because it was pretty small, and it’s just near my elbow on the inside of my forearm, so unless I’m twisting my arm around, you can’t really see it. Which is great for when aunties are afoot. Half the time I forget I have it, and get startled when I see it out of the corner of my eye, thinking a bug has landed on my arm. I don’t know if I’m going to get another one, but if I do, I’m sure as hell not telling my mother.

Go through Kat’s stuff

I’m starting a sort of series where basically I ask people to dump out their bags and write about what’s in them. This is from my friend Kat, who I met the first day of living in the dorms in college. She’s a sweetheart. We lived together my last year at OU, and once when I burned my arm on the oven while baking cupcakes, she walked a considerable distance across a field to bring me hydrogel patches because I was carless. Kat is one of the best friends I have, and when I’m freaking out about something in my life, is one of the first to remind me that it’s not as terrible as I think it is, and even if it is exactly that terrible, it’s not going to stay that way forever.

stuff

Hello :>

My name is Kat, and I’m Vrishali’s friend from college!
The items numbered in the photo above are the things I typically have in my bag, save for my laptop.
1. The first thing I’ve numbered is my iPad Mini. I do everything on this device – things ranging from paying the phone bill or rent to playing Clash of Clans. I’ve got my calendar and to-do list synced up to my iPad, iPhone 4s, and Macbook. (My phone is in the picture, but it’s camouflaged by the notebook!) I like to document every-day occurences on Instagram.
2. This is an overpriced notebook from Walmart. It was placed on a $2 tag, but it apparently cost #7 at the counter……… anyway, in it I practice writing in Arabic. I’m not very good at it.
3. This is my wallet. I don’t have much to say about it…I can’t even remember where I got it from.
4. This is a pair of RayBans regifted to me by my father. He got them from a patient who trades these things for medicine, I guess.
5. This is my fake-Lacoste coin purse from the Philippines. I love fake brand stuff.
6. Hair clips for my short hair – in terrible need of a haircut, always.
7. A copy of my favorite prayer by Sta. Teresa de Jesús. The text goes, in Spanish:
Nada te turbe, 

nada te espante,
todo se pasa,
Dios no se muda;
la paciencia
todo lo alcanza;
quien a Dios tiene
nada le falta:
Sólo Dios basta.

Now, in English:
Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
everything passes,
but God stays.
Patience reaches it all;
he who has God
nothing lacks:
God alone suffices.
8. A pair of my favorite Sony earphones, also in black!
9. I’ve got to have something to write with, you know.
Obviously I like things in black and white and gray – I’m into the minimal aesthetic because of its clean feel! I actually only took this picture in grayscale because of the weird lighting in the room. Anyway, there you have it! 🙂
You can follow Kat on Tumblr at rivailev.tumblr.com.
If you’d like to submit your own, email them to thisisnotaquickstory@gmail.com. Include a picture, labelled, and a description of what everything is and why you have it. 

All My Best Ideas Happen in the Shower

You may have noticed I am very sporadic about posting. Sometimes I post four times a day, and then stop for weeks. There’s a simple explanation for this phenomenon:

I’m lazy. 

That’s all there really is. Some people are brilliant and talented and creative enough to churn out a post or more every single day and run wonderful blogs full of humor and ideas. I don’t.

When I do have a brilliant and creative idea, I tend to be doing something where I can’t rush to my computer or whip out my phone and start writing. And then I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and then the brilliant idea will be shoved into the dark recesses of my mind, filed away amid the fears and worries about my uncertain future. This post, for example, was thought of in the shower, weeks ago. I thought to myself, “All my best ideas happen in the shower,” and then proceeded to think what a brilliant title for a post that would be. And then shampooed my hair, promptly forgetting about my lovely post title and omitting to come up with something to put in the body of the post. 

I thought about making it a tweet instead, confining it to Twitter’s 140 characters, nice and neat, “All my best ideas happen in the shower,” sent to 41 followers, 11 of which are spambots. But something felt off, like I should have more. Something that filled more than Twitter could handle, and something which Tumblr was not quite suited for. My 458 Facebook friends don’t give a toss about what I’ve got to say beyond clever captions on pictures of my cats, so you lot have to deal with my word vomit. Lucky for you I only have bouts of creativity every few weeks. 

This post has no point, I just wanted to use the phrase “my best ideas happen in the shower.”