Wow, can you believe it, two days till Christmas! Unfortunately this year I didn't make it out of the city. The lack of vacation days, my cousins visiting and law school stress resulted in zero planning for the holiday. Given my blank 250-word essay for Yale, and the many scholarship essays in need of being written, I tried to convince myself that it would actually be a smart choice to stay in the city and get some work done. Wishful thinking, of course. It isn't easy with so many visitors dropping in and out of my apartment. I had a hard time saying no to traveling college students, who reminded me of my homeless self not so long ago. As a result, three teenagers now occupied my couch, gobbling up all the food in the fridge and talking "xi` tin" 9-X dialogues I'm too old to understand. Ah, youth.

Last weekend, New York was stranded in a snow blizzard. Mugg was so extremely lucky to jump on a plane to Miami at dawn on Sat morning, as a heavy veil of snow crashed down on the trees in front of my windows that night. The said teenagers, who had never seen so much snow in their lives, got considerably excited, and we went out for a quick snow fight. The trees lining Columbus Avenue, leading all the way up west from Columbus Circle, have all been lit up. A few houses have adorned Christmas decorations; laurel wreaths with big red bows are everywhere. As the kids raced one another into snow piles, I wiggled my frozen gloved fingers, and sang to myself the favorite tune of Love Actually: "I can feel it in my fingers, I can feel it in my toes..."

By the next morning, New York has been turned in a white, slushy spinster. Now I really regretted declining the open invitation from Mugg's parents to join them in Miami. Argh! This year, we decided to get Mugg's parents Christmas gifts together - an endeavor more rigorous than I was prepared for. After endless hours of brainstorming and debates, we finally settled for two awesome gifts - Shiseido's cream for mom (my go-to product for female giftees which has earned raved reviews from my mom, grandma and aunt), and an elegant two-time-zone watch for dad. Mugg said they opened the gift today and were smiling a lot - which, seriously, is a huge expression practice for Cultural-Revolution-era Chinese lol

And surprise surprise, I finally realize today that I am so consummated by law school admission! I guess the moment came when I looked at my Wish List for Christmas, and behold, they are ALL law school books. Books that I'm actually so looking forward to reading! It was a rather funny moment when Mugg - the more academia-cultivated of the two of us - refused to buy me any book and instead get me a gift certificate to the best Pilates studio ever. Yes, I am a proud Pilates addict, ever since a few classes fix my back pain and prep my legs for distance runs. I guess Muggy knows me best :-)

Back to law school obsession: make no mistake, everybody is obsessed. It's like being admitted into a cult-like, egocentric club where people half worship, half yearn to devour one another. Somehow the mindset reminded me of schooling in Vietnam - there are simply too few shining stars for an overcrowding class. Only this time, the language is one that I don't understand, the readings are a hundred times thicker, and the debt - no comment necessary on the debt.

Good news nonetheless: I received a super nice phone call for UPenn welcoming me to the class of 2013. The paper letter came today, accompanied by a thick, colorful viewbook tooting UPenn's great-looking professors and faculty. I like how nice it is, but wish they go green like UMich with an USB. Being unsentimental, I don't keep things for keeping things' sake. Even pretty viewbooks.

More good news: I was invited today via email to apply for the Darrow, UMich's most prestigious merit scholarship which provides up to full tuition AND a stipend. Wohooo! As excited as I am, I'm seriously overwhelmed with the essay ass-kicking to do in the next two weeks:
- 500-word Darrow scholarship essay for UMich
- 500-word Dean's scholarship essay for Cornell
- 500-word International Law essay for NYU
- 250-work (evil) free style rant for Yale apps

Notwithstanding, I can't wait to go to my macaron class tomorrow at the Institute of Culinary Educaton! You see, those cute little sugar-heaven sandwiches have driven me crazy in the last month, after a miserable failed attempt that resulted in my bitter and eager for revenge zeal. We'll see how it turns out tomorrow. I have promised my mailman and Fatima some macarons goodness, so those cuties better turn out perfect!

Time to sleep. Merry Christmas everyone :-)
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