FEBRUARY 2019 LOPEZ LAW
FROM THE DESK OF
THE LOPEZ FAMILY’S BUSIEST MONTH Love is in the air! The month of February has always been special to me. My little brother’s birthday is Feb. 2, and my mom’s is Feb.12. On top of that, my daughter and my niece were born within a few hours of each other on Feb. 10. In my family, the second month of the year is always important, and all these things happen before we even get to Valentine’s Day. In the Western world, we’ve settled on Feb. 14 to be the day when lovers are supposed to exchange romantic gestures. When you’ve known your spouse for 23 years — and been married for 12 — it can be difficult to maintain your enthusiasm for the holiday. My wife and I try our best, but the last couple of years have been tough. Not only has Valentine’s Day been falling right in the middle of the week, but we’ve also been blessed with a child who’s not especially fond of babysitters. Marriage is a process, and it isn’t always a smooth one. Still, we find a way to make it work — one day at a time. Children might think every holiday revolves around their personal expectations, but fully-integrated adults don’t have this luxury. We understand that love isn’t about desire — it’s about sacrifice.
KREWES, KINGCAKE, ANDCULTURE T he F ascinating H istory of M ardi G ras
Unlike most holidays, Mardi Gras is associated with a place as much as it is a time. When people think of Mardi Gras, they automatically think of New Orleans. The celebration, held on a Tuesday in either February or March, is a point of pride for NOLA residents but is often misunderstood by the general public. Here’s what you need to know about America’s most regional holiday.
Mardi Gras doesn’t follow the traditional holiday calendar patterns we’re familiar with. It doesn’t fall on a static date, like Christmas, or a specific day within a month, like Memorial Day. Instead, it follows the pattern of Easter, which is based on a more complicated formula. Easter takes place on the Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox (the start of spring). An ecclesiastical full moon, as opposed to a regular full moon, is determined by Catholic church tables, not by lunar patterns. While that part is pretty complex, determining the date of Mardi Gras is much easier: It’s 47 days before Easter. As such, it can fall on any Tuesday between Feb. 3 and March 9, hence the name Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”
This February, I encourage every single one of you to find some time in your life for the relationships that
make it worth living. Pleading the fifth is a solid strategy, but only when you’re talking to the police. Silence isn’t golden when you’re withholding genuine affection.
While New Orleans is undoubtedly the place everyone associates with Mardi Gras, it is not where the holiday originated in America. That honor belongs to Mobile, Alabama, which
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an iced bread; the dough closely resembles brioche. On top of the cake, you’ll find icing in green, gold, and purple, which are the colors of the Mardi Gras flag. A figurine called a feve is hidden inside the cake, usually in the shape of a baby. It is considered good luck to be the person whose slice has the figurine inside. All of these institutions are still in place today and have come to represent what Mardi Gras means to residents. Mardi Gras in the United States is now a celebration of distinctly New Orleans culture as much as it is a festive release before Lent. From the music and the food to the costumes and the parades, Mardi Gras is New Orleans. Or, as legendary NOLA pianist Professor Longhair once sang, “If you go to
after Mardi Gras. Historically, Mardi Gras was a chance to engage in revelry before 40 days of lean living. In other words, it was the binge before the purge. Today, Mardi Gras celebrations certainly bring to mind images of people bingeing. The tourist experience of Mardi Gras is one of drinking on Bourbon Street, crowding the bars, and staying up all night. While you can definitely have that Mardi Gras if you want it, most locals will tell you that the “real”Mardi Gras is something else entirely. “Mainstream media tends to showcase a very specific kind of Mardi Gras,” says Solange Knowles, “but my experience of Mardi Gras is very different; it’s very cultural.”These cultural traditions were created by social clubs called krewes. The krewes create floats, dress in ornate costumes, and parade down the streets trailed by brass bands known as second lines.
organized the first widespread Mardi Gras celebrations in 1703. As more people moved to New Orleans, which became the capital of Louisiana in 1723, the holiday took root there. At first, the people who participated in the festivities were of mostly French or Catholic heritage. Eventually, though, it morphed into a citywide party more secular than religious in nature. In addition to the Gulf Coast of the United States, Mardi Gras celebrations also occur throughout the world. In Brazil, where it is known as Carnival, it is the nation’s most celebrated and well-known holiday. It’s also a major event in Belgium, the Cayman Islands, the Netherlands, and Germany.
New Orleans / You ought to go see the Mardi Gras.”
No matter where Mardi Gras happens, it’s always something of a bacchanalian feast. That’s also a result of its Catholic origins. Lent, a time of fasting and giving up earthly pleasures, begins on Ash Wednesday, the day
The official food of Mardi Gras is king cake. Though called a cake, it’s actually more of
What You Didn’t Know About
Fun Facts to Wow Your Loved Ones This Valentine’s Day
German chocolate actually has nothing to do with the country of Germany, either. It used to be called “German’s chocolate,” named after its inventor, Sam German, an American who made sweet chocolate for baking. Adding sugar to the chocolate made it a go-to option for bakers around the world, and the base for German chocolate cake was born. For chocolate to be classified as Swiss, it has to be made in Switzerland, as chocolate-making is considered an art form in the country. Known for its “melt in your mouth” quality, Swiss chocolate uses condensed milk to add a velvety texture. Many
Chocolate is a treat savored by people all over the world. What we know as the sweet, creamy decadence that sustains Valentine’s Day actually has greater historical and cultural significance. Fermented chocolate drinks have been dated back to as early as 350 B.C. The Aztecs believed it was the beverage of wisdom, and the Mayans saw it as something to be worshipped. While the history of chocolate is as rich as its flavor, there are some common misconceptions about the treat. Dutch chocolate doesn’t necessarily refer to chocolate made in the Netherlands; the name refers to a specific chocolate-making process that uses the cocoa press. Before Dutch chemist and chocolate-maker C.J. van Houten invented the machine in 1828, chocolate was only used in beverages. Dutch chocolate is chocolate that has been modified with an alkalizing agent in order to produce a milder flavor, making it a fantastic option for use in baked goods, candy, and ice cream.
chocolate makers outside of Switzerland will refer to their interpretations of Swiss chocolate as milk chocolate instead.
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Chi Chi the Rescue Dog A Quadruple Amputee Who Inspires the World
were struggles as Chi Chi learned to trust people again, but with time, Chi Chi found peace and joy with her new family. “She exemplifies resilience and forgiveness and willingly shares her love and compassion in abundance,” Howell has said. “Her sweet-tempered and gentle spirit opens people’s hearts and her perceptive spirit senses where her love is needed.” Chi Chi’s vet has called her a “miracle dog,” referring both to the fact that she survived losing all her legs and to the joy she brings to the world. Today, Chi Chi is a registered therapy dog, offering strength, love, and support to those who need it most. She visits VA hospitals, assisted living facilities, and children with disabilities. To celebrate her journey of survival, courage, and love, Chi Chi was honored with the American Humane Hero Dog Award in 2018. You can follow the adventures of this brave, loving canine at Facebook.com/ChiChiRescueDog.
In our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe joy can be found again. But one amazing dog proves that no matter what happens, through love and patience, we can make the world a better place. Chi Chi is a golden retriever who was found in a dumpster by an animal rescue group in South Korea. Badly injured and left in a garbage bag with her legs bound together, the only way to save Chi Chi’s life was to amputate all four of her legs. As she recovered, the call went out to find a family who could care for a dog with serious medical needs. As a quadruple amputee, just getting Chi Chi’s prosthetics on so she could go outside in the morning would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Elizabeth Howell from Arizona saw a video about Chi Chi’s plight online. “She stole my heart,” Howell said, taken by how Chi Chi was still wagging her tail despite her injuries. After seeing Chi Chi’s perseverance and her will to live, Elizabeth and her family took on the challenge. There
A DISCIPLINARY HEARING Not Something to Ignore When you’re pursuing a university-level education, you’ve got a lot on your plate. You’re still young, but you’re starting to feel the weight of responsibility. You’re no longer a child, but you still might not feel like a full-fledged adult. You have a bit of life experience, but not much. In this context, it’s relatively easy to assume that university disciplinary procedures are no big deal. This is a mistake. MARC’S TIPS AND TRICKS The trend these days is for students to face significant penalties for relatively minor offenses. If you or someone you love is facing administrative charges for misconduct — academic or personal — it can have serious consequences. Don’t expect a slap on the wrist, and don’t wait until after your disciplinary hearing to contact an attorney.
2 teaspoons dark rum
6 egg yolks
24 packaged ladyfingers
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
at the bottom of a walled baking dish.
1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish,
5. Spread half of the
Even if you’re not facing criminal charges, university disciplinary procedures can result in suspension or expulsion, and these
mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.
punishments may be noted on your official transcript. The Marc Lopez Law Firm has guided clients through administrative hearings at IU Bloomington, IUPUI, Butler, DePauw, and Wabash.
combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Marc Lopez PAGE 1 The Holiday of New Orleans PAGE 1 All About Chocolate PAGE 2 3 Cheers for Chi Chi! PAGE 3 Marc’s Tips & Tricks PAGE 3 Tiramisu PAGE 3 Prepare for an Adventure in Lapland PAGE 4
If you’re eager for a new adventure in 2019, you’ll surely find it in Swedish Lapland. With trail systems that take you into the Arctic Circle, the northernmost region of Sweden is home to national parks, glaciers, reindeer, the beguiling midnight sun, and spectacular night skies. Though winters are cold, one benefit of traveling to the region in this season is to catch a glimpse of the night sky. The northern lights are visible from a few remote locations like Abisko National Park, one of the first established national parks in Sweden. Traveling to Abisko is an adventure in and of itself. From Stockholm, the fastest option is to take one of only two airlines that fly into Kiruna, then travel by train to Abisko. Despite the challenge of getting there, adventure-seeking visitors from around the world arrive each winter to experience the Arctic beauty. Winter attractions include ice skating, snowshoeing, and the Scandinavian sauna (this last one is a must any time of the year). Befriend a Scandinavian and you might be treated to some pickled herring or even a princess cake, a raspberry-filled dessert covered in marzipan. Scandinavians cherish their public lands, and the trail systems are well taken care of. Hikers and backpackers can enjoy the stunning beauty in both late spring and summer, as well as a chance to see the midnight sun. INTO THE ARCTIC CIRCLE Adventure in Swedish Lapland
Because of its far-north location, Swedish Lapland receives close to 24 hours of sunlight from June through early August. Between the boulder fields, mountains, and stunning glacial lakes, hiking here is a treat. While hiking, you may spot reindeer herds or lemmings (a small rodent similar to a hamster) racing around rocks. The Sami people have herded reindeer for thousands of years through this very land. In the summer, keep an eye out for blueberries, lingonberries, and the brightly colored cloudberries. Because of the Arctic climate, weather conditions can change quickly from sunshine to rain and heavy fog, so it’s best to dress in layers and bring wind and rain protection if you plan to venture into the backcountry.
The fantastic scenery of Swedish Lapland awaits you, no matter when you decide to take your trip. What are you waiting for?
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