Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Bucket List

I got tagged by my friend Amy so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then tag your friends.

Things you have done during your lifetime:

(X)Gone on a blind date
(X) Donated Blood
(X) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die (unless you count my dog)
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
( ) Been to Hawaii
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been on a helicopter
(X) Been lost
(X)Gone to Washington, DC
( ) Hugged a homeless person
(X) Swam in the ocean
( ) Swam with Stingrays (No way! I am terrified of ocean animals!)
(X) Been sailing in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(X) Ran a marathon
(X) Sang Karaoke
( ) Volunteered at a soup kitchen
(X) Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
( ) Seen the Northern Lights
(X) Been on TV
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(X) Made prank phone calls
( ) Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
( ) Fed an elephant
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Fired a gun
(X) Danced in the rain
( ) Been to the Opera
( ) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Serenaded someone
( ) Seen a U.S. President in person (but Steven saw Bill Clinton at UCLA)
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X ) Watched the sunrise with someone
( ) Driven a race car
(X) Been to a National Museum
( ) Been to a Wax Museum
( ) Eaten caviar
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
(X) Driven across the United States (we put 11,000 miles on the truck in 8 weeks!)
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
(X) Gone snowmobiling
(X) Lived in more than one country---England
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets (or frogs)
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
(X) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
(X) Seen the Grand Canyon
(X) Seen the Statue of Liberty
( ) Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
(X) Been on a cruise
(X) Traveled by train
( ) Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
(X) Ridden on a San Francisco cable car
(X) Been to Disneyland OR Disney World
(X) Truly believe in the power of prayer
( ) Been in a rain forest
(X) Seen whales in the ocean
(X) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins
( ) Been to the Olympics
( ) Walked on the Great Wall of China
( ) Saw and heard a glacier calf
( ) Been spinnaker flying
(X) Been water-skiing
(X) Been snow-skiing
(X) Been to Westminster Abbey
( ) Been to the Louvre
( ) Swam in the Mediterranean
(X) Been to a Major League Baseball game
( ) Been to a National Football League game
( ) Swam with sharks
(X) Been White Water Rafting
(X) Written a book or screen play --- does it count if I never got it published?
(X) Been to Europe
(X) Been to Vegas
(X) Climbed a lighthouse
(X) Seen the cherry blossoms in Washington, D. C.
( ) Flown a plane
( ) Owned a boat
( ) Gone skinny dipping
( ) Watched grandchildren grow
( ) Been to the Kentucky Derby (maybe someday?)
( ) Been to Key West
(X) Been to a rodeo

I'm excited to try to see if I can do more of the things on this list. I'd especially love to see the Mediterranian, the Great Wall of China, and dolphins/elephants are both neat. Knowing Steve, we will also one day own a boat and see the Northern Lights too.

I tag Dagny, Valerie, and Mike/Catherine; unless they don't want to do it, in which case, they are exempt without any hurt feelings.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Visits from Angie and Mike and Catherine

We were lucky enough to have three visitors come stay with us over the last couple of weekends. First April’s friend Angie came. We went down to Long Beach to see the aquarium.
On the way back we ate at Jalisco’s. This is a whole in the wall that has best al pastor I have had outside of Mexico.
Mike and Catherine came down to visit us and get the So Cal tour this last weekend. Unfortunately the weather was the worst I have ever experienced since I have lived here. But we did get a break from the rain to visit the San Diego Zoo.
(Camels are April's favorite)
We also:

toured UCLA including both the botanical and Japanese gardens,
walked through Bel-Air,

ate at Pink’s,
(Catherine and I both got the Lord of the Rings Dog, always a good choice) (I haven’t even started eating it yet and my fingers are already covered in barbecue sauce)
Mikes and April's dogs were pretty good too. ate at Diddy Riese twice,
drove through Hollywood,

went to the Grove and Farmers Market,

saw the La Brea Tar Pits,
toured the LA Temple grounds,
visited Uncle Dave and Aunt Mary Lou,

picked fruit at the orchard,
toured the fashion district,
inadvertently toured the warehouse district (or as Catherine called it the crime district),
toured the flower district,

drove through Downtown and China town,

listened to lot’s of podcasts while we were driving

walked through the Venice Canals and saw Venice Beach,
ate at C & O’s where April ordered the “chicken sink”

drove through Malibu,

drove almost the entire length of Sunset Blvd in to legs,

turned over 100,000 miles on the Ford’s odometer (Gloria-what he have named our GPS-was an excellent guide),

ate at Natalie Thai,

and had a wonderful time.

We hope that our guests will all come back sometime when the weather is good.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I’m a Lawyer (sort of)

Today I had my first real case. It was unemployment insurance hearing for a former Metro Transit Authority driver downtown. I represented the driver through the clinical program here at UCLA. I served as the representative (giving the direct and cross examinations), my partner gave the closing argument, and our professor sat in to make sure we didn’t screw it up. Fortunately we didn’t. I think the hearing went very well. We'll hear in a couple of weeks whether or not we won. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Now that it’s over I may even have time to post on the blog again.

Update: MSNBC has a very good article on UI appeal hearings like the one I was doing yesterday (ironically the article came out yesterday as well). Here’s the link:

The article captures the mood of these hearings. The MTA was there fighting tooth-and-nail against us to deny benefits. In fact funny story, when we got there we asked our client to look around to see if there was anyone he recognized so we could know if the employer was there to fight the appeal. He told us he recognized his former line instructor sitting in the corner. Just as I was about to approach her to introduce myself and see what evidence she might have brought the judge called her into a hearing. She had been fired as well and was there for her own appeal! It looks like everyone is getting fired and accused of misconduct. Then our client’s supervisor and another person that the MTA sent to fight our appeal showed up.

The article cites Boyton, a case about a taxi driver that we relied on heavily in our oral argument before the judge. This was a driver who got in several accidents that were way more severe than anything that ever happened to our client (essentially our case was about a flat tire) where no misconduct was found. The author of the MSNBC article speculates that the Boyton case would not come out the same way if it were decided today. I guess we'll find out...