Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Little Bubby

I love my pup, or as I call him, "my little bubby" and cannot imagine how my life would be without him at this point. He waits for me by the door when I get home from work and is always excited to see me. In other words, he is exactly the kind of pet that people want to have when they get a dog. People fall in love with him as soon as they meet him. Today, while I was waiting to pick him up from getting groomed, I overheard some other people there talking about how beautiful Knightley is, with one woman comparing him to the show Cocker Spaniels that her mother raised. Yes, he is beautiful (even though the fix is in and he will never be Pet of the Month in our building because of some ridiculous politicking) but what makes him a great pet is that every day without fail, he makes me smile and laugh and he shows me that he appreciates me.
Those are all the upsides to pet ownership. But before you rush out and try to find a dog as cute as my little Knightley, let me warn you, dogs don't come cheap; particularly social, happy city dogs. And keeping them healthy is no easy task either. Here is a list of vet visits Knightley has had in his 10 short months of being alive:
1. Puppy shot visits - these are to be expected with any new pet and keeping current vaccinations is an absolutely necessity. After the multiple round of puppy vaccinations, once yearly boosters are needed.
2. Neutering - an absolute must for most city dogs. Most doggie daycares and boarding facilities require it. Not to mention the fact that if you intend on taking your dog to a dogpark, it certainly
helps for socialization.
3. Repair of neutering stitches and infection - Knightley pulled his stitches out. So, he required an emergency trip to the Pet Hospital one evening at about 11:30 pm. Not a cheap night.
4. A cold that I COMPLETELY overreacted to - Knightley did not need to go to the vet for this. I got crazy and worried. He was fine. Dogs get colds all the time, like people do, particularly when dogs spent alot of time around other dogs like Knightley does at doggie daycare.
5. A nasty "hotspot" on his forehead - A "hotspot" is a place on a dog's skin where he can't stop scratching, or biting, or licking and gets rubbed raw. Knightley needed to go to the vet for his, if, for no other reason, so that he could be prescribed a topical antibiotic. It cleared up and now looks great.
6. Cherry eye - A common ailment for many Cockers, Knightley's gland under his third eyelid on his left eye popped out. He is getting it repaired next Wednesday. Not a cheap procedure, but hopefully, it will fix the problem and he won't suffer from dry eye for much of his life which would be even more costly.
7. Tapeworm - I diagnosed this problem myself, took a stool sample to the vet, and was given the medication for him to take. It was one dose only to clear up and kill the tapeworm. Knightley again probably was exposed to this problem from hanging around other dogs or licking everything, because I know for a fact that he doesn't have fleas because I spend alot of money on flea preventatives and I haven't seen a flea on him. Strangely, when I was a kid I always thought that it might be kind of a neat thing to have a tapeworm (yes, I was a strange child), and now, my dog is the one that had to deal with it. He didn't seem to mind or be affected by it too much, but I am sure that his tummy feels alot better now that the tapeworm is gone.
Add in the additional costs of doggie daycare, grooming, food, toys, and everything else and my little Knightley has not been a cheap addition to the family. But he has absolutely been worth more than every penny spent. Right now, as I am typing this, he plays with a ball, dropping it in my lap for me to throw it. I comply, and he leaps over my lap (including my laptop sitting on my lap) to chase the ball. He drops it, then nuzzles his head in my lap. My sweet bubby.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Skincare Begins with Me

I have said it before - I am obsessed with skincare products. This summer, I have found some new favorites to keep my skin smooth and protected. Clear, smooth skin makes me giddy.

Pumpkin Enzyme Peel, from Naturopathica: This product is recommended for "dull, congested, acneic skin". While breakouts have never been a problem of mine, I loved the way my skin glowed after the anesthetist used this product on me for a facial I had at the Terreanea Resort in California. I was hooked on the tingling sensation, the pumpkin puree aroma, and the dewey, smooth results after so I took some home with me after my facial. It has been recommended by both Harpers Bazaar and the New York Times.

Dermatologist Solutions Line-Reducing, Eye-Brightening Concentrate, from Kiehl's: It is so challenging to find a moderately priced eye-cream that actually takes care of business around my eyes, where my face shows most of its signs of aging. Kiehl's has done the job here, and by including Vitamin C in their fomula, it puffs up my fine lines and gives me results that I can actually see in the mirror. And since sleep has been a problem for me lately, this eye cream has done miracles for simulating a good night around my eyes, so that although I may feel tired 95% of the time, I don't look it.

UV Day Screen Plus, High Protection, Clarins: I am a Clarins girl when it comes to most of my skin care routine. I love most of their products. But during the summer, it becomes even more apparent that daily UV protection is extremely important to prevent aging. And that is why every day, after mosturizing, I add a layer of Day Screen Plus, offering SPF 40 of protection. It is light, it never feels heavy or greasy, and it goes directly over any kind of mosturizer that you may use. And it is the most important part of what I put on my face every day. The best part is that I feel protected all day.

Those + plenty of water = my favorite skincare treats.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gazpacho: A Summer Postlude

Gazpacho has been declared to be the food of the summer by the Today Show. This I heard last night after declaring Gazpacho to be my favorite food part of this summer to David. I was a little disappointed that the Today Show declared this trend before me. There is something so rewarding about a cold vegetable soup. And it is so versatile. I made some delicious gazpacho this summer. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot just throw a variety of vegetables (and most importantly, tomatoes), in a food processor and call it good if you want really great gazpacho. It takes a little more. I like making mine a day before I plan to serve it and letting the flavors mellow together.

Even though I wasn't the first to spot this trend, I happily will take part in it. If you are in DC sometime in the waning summer weeks, try the gazpacho at one of these three locales. You will not be disappointed.

Leopold's Kafe: 3318 M Street NW; The gazpacho here featured watermelon, which wasn't as overwhelming to the rest of the soup as I thought it might be. It offered a little bit of sweetness right before the gazpacho slid down your throat, and was a great palate cleanser.

Zola: 800 F Street NW; Zola's gazpacho starter also offered a little bit of sweetness from melons. But they fancied their gazpacho up a little bit by using heirloom tomatoes and serving their delightful blend in a martini glass. The gazpacho was a lovely golden color when served.

Art and Soul: 415 New Jersey Ave. NW; This restaurant is a hop, skip and a jump from the Georgetown Law School, which also means that it is a great neighborhood restaurant for Capitol Hill. If you can forgive the fact that this place is owned by Oprah's former personal chef, and I can, then you will be rewarded with a delectable array of Southern inspired dishes. Their gazpacho starter offers a little more kick to it than the others I have described. That little bit of heat offers such a delicious contrast to the coolness of the soup. And it gets my taste buds ready for the hoe cakes which come next.

Here David and I are before dining at Art and Soul on Saturday night (The gazpacho was a nice sunny antidote to the rainy weather too.):

And on a note unrelated to gazpacho deliciousness, here is a picture of my fun hair accessory I purchased earlier in the day. To relate this to gazpacho, the color of the hair accessory was about the color of the gazpacho at Zola.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer: A Symphony in Three Time Zones

Since I failed to update my blog in a timely fashion this summer, and since summer is over as far as I am concerned (Ignore the stiffling heat in D.C., Georgetown's orientation for 1Ls starts next week), here is my frenzied attempt to showcase some highlights from my summer. Three time zones in the US: Eastern, Central, Pacific. Locations: Orlando and Pensacola, Florida; Walthall County, Mississippi; Rancho Palos Verdes California; Montgomery County, Maryland.

Farewell, summer. I will miss your swimming pools.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Please Read

Please read this article by Jeffrey Gettleman and Sharon Otterman. It makes me a little bit less cynical about politicians when I read that Secretary Clinton has actually proposed concrete assistance to Eastern Congo to deal with the horrors of war there and is not merely paying lip service. This is what should be getting headlines about her Africa trip, but sadly isn't.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Remember that old widget?

Some time ago, I posted the CDC Widget on the right about the H1N1 flu epidemic. Today, the Washington Post has this article.

I recognize that sometimes I have the whole paranoid alarmist thing down. But, I am not crying wolf on this one. On Friday, July 31st, my Aunt Sue passed away because of complications from the H1N1 flu. She was an otherwise healthy 50 year old, mother of three, and my dad's youngest sibling. It came as a shock to us all, and I haven't been sure how to process it because it still seems surreal.

What has come out of this experience is a belief that it is vitally important that the federal government develop a vaccine for this flu before flu season hits in earnest. It is important that this vaccine reaches as many people as possible. Secondly, it is vitally important that if you do develop symptoms, that you go see a doctor immediately. Delaying, even for one day, can ultimately be deadly.

I don't mean to be alarmist. I think it is important that my Aunt Sue's memory stand for something.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Awkward Poses

A visit to Southern California can be challenging to a 31 year old's self esteem. After all, plastic surgery quick stops are located on every other street corner. You are hard pressed to meet someone who doesn't have Botox injections on a regular basis. Since I have been feeling far from slender and attractive lately, it certainly isn't easy to see expectations of physical perfection every direction that I look. I am the kind of girl who can't last with perfect nail polish for five minutes after getting a manicure/pedicure. Nope. I smudged my big toe's maroon polish before I left the spa.

But the biggest challenges are not of a physical nature. Rather, it is being reminded of all that I have not accomplished with my academic talents and pursuits. I can handle the physical imperfections, because after all, that isn't into what I have invested my significant time. It is the fact that as a thirty one year old, I haven't accomplished the great things that I always assumed that I would with my life. I also am painfully aware that it is only because of my own laziness in not taking advantage of every opportunity that I was given.

Certainly, Southern California is not generally the location where one painfully rehashes her own intellectual failures. After all, there, much of the population's vocabulary merely consists of four letter words. However, my weekend in Southern California wasn't spent among the Valley Girls and Beach Bums (although I saw enough of them in passing). Carl and Lauren's wedding brought together some incredibly intelligent and talented people. Amongst the Rhodes Scholars and the Fullbrights, my conversation was borderline ridiculous. It was like me trying to talk to the 13 year old DC girls all over again; instead of talking about pie this time, I rambled on about wedding shows and other such nonsense. I felt sufficiently like I was the jester, instead of someone more suited for civilized company, that I posed like this for a picture:

Seriously, what is wrong with me?
After my thirty one years of being lazy, I am more resolved than ever to finally be serious about things so I might actually accomplish something with whatever time I have remaining. Sure, it might be too late for that Rhodes Scholarship, but it isn't too late for me to actually get my act together with writing the article that Amanda and I need to get out to Law Library Journal. It isn't too late for me to be the best Legal Research professor that I can be.
I may never hold that Ivy League degree that I always secretly craved to feel some vindication of my own intelligence. And yes, I will always possess that wonderful talent for complete awkwardness in most social situations. I will also continue to revere and admire those whose abilities have transcended the weaknesses that I possess. But, I will try to refrain from sticking my butt out and holding my hand in some awkward thumbs up position, as if I am trying to visually reassure myself that I am okay.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Returning home

Coming home is sad when I think about how my trips for the summer are over, and now I have to buckle down and get ready for school to start back.
However, coming home is a welcomed relief when your last destination was Southern California. The resort where we stayed was wonderful. Carl and Lauren's wedding was beautiful. But LAX and overhearing conversations of other Southern Californians was enough to make me want to slit my wrists.
More on all things resort oriented later.