Wednesday, March 14, 2007


This warm weather is getting to me. It smells like summer outside, especially at night. I have all the windows open, and the sheers are blowing in the breeze. I can smell rain coming, though it's still hours away. It reminds me of all the nights James and I spent in the house up on the hill in Greenfield, sitting on the floor eating dinner off the coffee table in front of the TV, with the windows and the front door open, listening through the screen door to the neighbors talking about nothing. I miss that time.

It's funny how every city has its own smell when it gets warm. I've spent four summers in Charlottesville now and they've all smelled the same, and I haven't quite figured out what it is. Boxwoods, honeysuckle, sweet hay and wet dirt — that's the closest I can get. Arlington smells more like grass and lilies. Pittsburgh doesn't have boxwoods, but does have arbor vitae, which smells similar enough to fool me sometimes, and something else that grows down in the Run that smells like honeysuckle, but incredibly pungent and sneeze-inducing. Seattle smells like spruce needles and wood mulch, in the spring, Bradford pears, which (go ahead, tell me I'm nuts) smell like corn tortillas to me.

I sleep so much better with the windows open that it's like a totally different activity than sleeping with the windows closed. I wake up more easily, too. I wonder if it's that the temperature change and the ambient noise clue my body in to the fact that it's morning before I actually wake up. In any case, I've got a brief due tomorrow that's going to need some early-morning revision, so I hope that the aforementioned rule holds true and I sleep well and awaken easily.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I locked my keys in my car today. With it running.

Okay, so I was at Pentagon City Mall and not out in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road, and I have AAA, and my mom was with me, and the weather was relatively nice, and the locksmith came in less than two hours and got me into my car without damaging anything. But still, boy do I feel stupid.

When we got home, my dad went online and bought me an extra door-opening keyfob thing. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it to make sure that I don't lock it in my car along with the original set of keys. I'm going to have to come up with something.

Anyway, this has been spring break week, which sadly ends tomorrow. I'm somewhat irritated that the daylight savings switch happens during the break, but also somewhat happy because that extra hour of daylight in the evening is going to be very nice. And it won't make much of a difference that it'll get light later in the mornings, because I now (finally!) have put curtains up in my bedroom. Or rather, one of my friends put them up for me. I shouldn't take the credit for that.

My dad and I have spent much of the past two days doing my taxes. I get money back from the federal government — yay! — but not that much — also yay! (because it means I didn't loan the government money interest-free) — but owe both Pennsylvania and Virginia taxes as well as Pittsburgh city taxes. Now, I worked for a bank that was located in Pittsburgh, and correctly printed my Pittsburgh address on my paychecks. Pittsburgh city tax is a flat 3%. Yet the bank deducted 1% instead. So I'm going to end up taking pretty much all of my federal refund and distributing it to various state and city governments. Fine, okay, I'm glad I don't owe. But it's a little irritating to have to go through all this paperwork to end up with nothing. Although it's better than last year, when I had to pay the city of Pittsburgh $348.50. The only reason I don't totally resent it is that I know how badly they need the money.

I've had a good break overall. I haven't accomplished much, which has been nice. I've cooked and baked some (pasta carbonara, some sort of Italian breaded chicken, pineapple upside down cake, blondies, tofu pitas with homemade tzatziki), watched a bunch of movies (can't remember what most of them were, but I finally saw The Shawshank Redemption), played Dance Dance Revolution twice, went hiking in Shenandoah National Park, and spent some time with my family. And yeah, I got some reading done. But altogether, it's been relaxing, probably largely because I haven't thought about con law for a good week.