Sunday, March 29, 2009

Holi - Festival of Colors

Last year my sister Jessica went to the Festival of Colors at the Hare Krishna temple in Spanish Fork, Utah.

She raved about it and so this year I knew I had to go. It was amazing. There had to have been between 3,000-5,000 people (mostly BYU students) throwing 25,000 bags of colored powdered scented with Jasmine, Lavendar, and Mocha, while jumping and chanting.

I bought my five bucks worth of blue, green, and pink powders and went down into the mix before the ruckus began.

Paul took the high ground on the balcony of the temple where he could stay clear of the worst of the multi-hued dust that was being thrown everywhere and instead take photos of the melee.

Before the throwing started, Paul somehow spotted his brother John making his way through the crowd with his friend (I'm not quite sure what level that relationship is at so I'm just sticking with "friend" for now) Nikki.

They hadn't remembered to bring cash to purchase the bags of powder so I shared mine. We maneuvered through the jostling crowd while Indian music played and dancers performed and were in the center of it all when the effigy of Hollika was lit on fire signaling the beginning of the throwing.

The fragrant pink, purple, yellow, orange, green, magenta, and blue haze was choking it was so thick.

Most people were either grim-faced,

or suppressing laughter with their lips pressed tightly together to keep out the choking rainbow cloud.

But others just inhaled the dust and grinned purplish grins while tossing fistfuls of dust joyously into the air.

By wearing my sunglasses, I was able too keep the worst of the dust from my eyes, but really there wasn't much protection once I was in the thick of things.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Barrister's Ball

I love these photos that my friend and teammate from Moot Court, Liz, took at the Barrister's Ball (a.k.a. Law School Prom) on Wednesday. She took them in full color, but I adore how they look in sepia tones, circa 1928 - it just matches the historic setting in the old Brigham Young Academy building. I can easily imagine Tommy Dorsey or Glen Miller leading their bands off to the side while we danced.

After the banquet and awards ceremony, the floor was cleared for dancing. Cha-cha lessons were provided by members of the world-renowned BYU ballroom dance team (of which I was once a member, albeit of the lowliest rank, for two semesters prior to serving a mission for my church). Paul and I had fun trying to help our friends Adam (the other member of my Moot Court team) and his wife Diana figure out the footwork and rhythm of the cha-cha.

Two, three, cha-cha-cha .... Two, three, cha-cha-cha.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

That nail was freaking me out

I got sick of looking at that nasty nail every time I pulled this blog up, so I had to post something...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

White-trash and a little controversy

I have been crazy busy this week with school, so my nails now look like this:

Gross, I know. I really meant to take the polish off last night, but by the time I made it home after being at the law building for 16 hours straight I was so completely exhausted that I just took out my contacts, brushed my teeth and went to bed. Chipped nail polish makes me feel like white trash or an eleven-year old girl.

In other news, I have been very controversial this week. A rebel-rouser or hellion. To the point that when I made a comment in a class of 60 people, at least 30 hands shot in the air to rebut my position and there were audible gasps of shock and disapproval. Normally this would make me think that I had misunderstood the law or made a mistake, and I would backpeddle immediately. Only I knew I was right and my classmates just didn't like it. (I won't bore you with the details, but we were discussing custody rights where a woman is married but has an adulterous relationship which results in a child. I took the side of the natural father.) Classes can get pretty dry, and I'm pretty laid-back about the law, but I have to say, it feels good to do a little instigating now and then. Gotta raise a little, ya' know?

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Not so much. But today I am the "Featured Traveler" on Check it out! My blog meter tells me that I am getting a number of hits from fellow travelers coming through from the MTP site - so far I've seen Canada, England, and Hong Kong. At first I wondered who does that - you know, click through and read some randomn person's blog. Then I remembered. I do. Often.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things I would rather do ...

than work on my substantial writing option paper:

1. Sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
2. Watch basketball.
3. Catch up on ironing.
4. Wash dishes by hand.
5. Outline all of my classes.
6. Start an early bar-study program.
7. Whiten my teeth.
8. Balance my checkbook.
9. Listen to 1Ls make the same oral arguments I have heard hundreds of times in the last three years.
10. Go to bed before 9:00 pm. Without dessert.

Its only a 30 page paper, but I really, really, REALLY don't want to write it. When I was little (and lets face it - this happens even now that I am 28), my mother often told me that if I would stop whining about chores and just do them already, that they would already have been finished. I am telling myself that now, but like when I was little, its just making me frustrated. Sometimes I am not very good at admitting that other people are right.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome to Miami

Remember how I complained about spending my entire Christmas break working on a legal brief for the BYU Moot Court Team? Well, this past week I traveled with my teammates to Miami, Florida to do the oral part of the competition. It was exciting, exhausting, nerve-wracking work going up against some really impressive teams. In the end though, BYU team 148 took home the 4th best brief award, Adam earned one of the best oralist awards, and team 177 went all the way to finals. It was frustrating to get eliminated at the very end so that we can't go on to the national finals in Chicago in two weeks, but in a way, it is really nice to have that extra time to focus on the classwork that we have been neglecting over the past semester while preparing for this competition.

Here we are, Teams 148 (Kathleen, Josh, and Wes) and 177 (Adam, Liz, and Amy).

Wes, Josh, and Kathleen, anxiously awaiting results of another round of oral argument.

Practicing oral argument in the hotel room.

Liz and Adam - my incredible teammates who rocked the competition. They worked so hard and did so well in every round.

But it wasn't all work. The first night we got to Miami, we checked into the Doubletree Hotel downtown where all competitors stayed. Downtown is just beautiful - tall, incredible palm trees, art deco buildings, and soaring white skyscrapers abounded.

I even attended my first NBA basketball game - the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics.

Photo-op outside the arena:

Me at the game before tip-off. I nodded off during the second quarter a little - but only because we had such an early flight from Salt Lake City that day.

We went down to Miami Beach for dinner after the first night of the competition. That place was packed with people. And I honestly have never seen so many micro-mini-skirts in my life. It was kind of insane, but interesting to say the least.

And since we had Friday morning off with no scheduled oral arguments until 6:00 that night, we drove to Key Largo and went SNORKELING. After renting snorkels and flippers, we took a 30 minute boat ride out to a coral reef.

Here is a photo of Josh in front of the boat.

This is Josh giving me the thumbs-up. I heart my underwater camera housing!

Here is Adam doing underwater acrobatics.

I won't caption all of these snapshots, but I took a bunch of photos of conch shells, barracudas, other fish with names I don't remember, and interesting coral living in the reef.

And, of course, a self-portrait of my feet. I actually really love how this photo turned out. It just feels tropical. The water was deliciously warm. The only problem was that after being out in the ocean snorkeling through swells for over an hour, I started feeling slightly queasy. Once I made my way back to our boat, I asked the captain if it was possible to get seasick while swimming. He confirmed my suspicions and sure enough, I threw up and felt pretty lousy for the 30 minute boat ride back to shore. When I told Paul about this over the phone, he couldn't stop laughing about how funny it was that I got seasick while swimming. The experience of snorkeling in the Florida Keys was completely worth it though.

Every morning and evening, we had amazing views from our hotel room looking out over Miami Beach.

And while we slept - there was the Moon Over Miami gazing down.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


A few weeks ago, Paul came home with a small butcher-paper wrapped chunk of elk. My stomach lurched just typing that sentence. Anyway, a friend from church had a bunch of elk meat that he was apparently trying to get rid of, or maybe just being nice, and we ended up with a small piece of it. Wild game is not my thing folks. Seriously. I have a hard time handling raw meat period. I actually have considered being a vegetarian, but I know that it just won't work for me and Paul definitely is not cool with it. I just don't like the idea of guns or hunting wild animals. To me, it is different (maybe even more inhumane, but different) when we are talking chicken or cattle raised to be served up for dinner. But elk? Shudder.

When Paul and I were first dating (well, second dating I guess - once we got back together after I came home from my mission), we went for a drive to Mona, Utah to hang out with some of his cousins. On the way down there, Paul explained that they were really cool, but I might expect to be teased a little by his cousins' dad who is a cowboy in a rural part of Utah (Tessa, I don't mean this in a bad way). So when I walked into their living room and saw a taxidermy-ed cat displayed, I tried to impress them with my knowledge of the wild by saying, "Oh, is that a cougar?" and then second-guessing myself, "Or is it a mountain lion?" There was an awkward pause and then Paul's cousins' dad said, "Er, they're the same thing." I felt like such an idiot.

Well anyway (and I promise I am getting back to the elk thing soon), we decided at one point to drive the Nebo Loop which winds up Mount Nebo with his cousin Tessa. I don't think I had explained to Paul yet that I tend to get car-sick on winding mountain drives in the dark of night on an empty stomach in the back seat of a car. It was miserable. But I couldn't say anything because I was with this super-cute guy who I really, really liked and he was showing me off to his cousins and I had already embarassed myself with the whole cougar/mountain lion debaucle, so I kept my mouth shut. Until I couldn't keep my mouth shut anymore because I had to puke.

Fortunately the car stopped in time for me to stumble out into the weeds and lose my stomach in the dark anonymity of night. But while I was hunched over heaving, there were suddenly these incredibly loud, startlingly close noises that sounded like thick sheets of metal being torn apart. So instead of just being sick and embarassed, I was also in near panic as to what sort of animal made that noise and whether it might hurt me. Paul, who to his everlasting credit had come out of the car to hold my hair back while I hurled, excitedly explained that there must be elk nearby and it was their calls that we were hearing in the dark of night.

So, back to the chunk of meat in our freezer. I have no idea how to cook elk. But Paul said it is just like a roast basically. So when he told me that I should use it to make - heaven help me, I can barely type this - chimichangas - I figured, "Well, might as well use it for something." So I tore off the thick white butcher-paper and dropped the frozen hunk of purple (yes, purple - think grape juice or dark red wine) elk into my crockpot to cook all day. And then I seriously shredded the meat, added onions, chilis, spices, and green salsa, and made it into chimichangas, served up with fresh tomatoes, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Oh gosh, I am mortified just typing that.

When I tried to eat it, my stomach did flip-flops and I felt slightly queasy. And I swear I heard the rending metal sound of elk calls somewhere in the history of my mind.