Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today is My Friday!

I Thought This Was Really Neat...

Through May 4, 2009, you can send a FREE 5x7 paper card from Hallmark.com for any occasion! While this promotion was specifically created for Mother's Day, you do not have to send a Mother's Day card.
Go http://www.hallmark.com/ and create a card up to $3.49 in value (excludes cards with sound and invitation/announcement cards). Personalize your card and add photos if you'd like. Then, when you go to check out enter the code CARD4MOM. You'll get the card for free plus shipping will be free as well.
If you don't have anyone you need to send a card to in the next few weeks, you can even order a card for a future date and have it scheduled to be sent then.
Around Town
The 2009 Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival
“I <3>
The Goonies
Friday May 1st

The festival returns to beautiful Gateway Park at Lee Highway near Key Bridge with an even larger screen every Friday night at dusk. People are encouraged to bring blankets and low chairs to picnic in the park before the show. Show up early for the pre-show 80s-themed games and prizes. The movies play rain or shine.

From the Foodie In Me

Cake

I always bought the simple mixes at the store. I figured, you just add some butter, eggs, milk/ water and you're done. Can't get simpler than that. Then I figured out, they are basically selling you flour in a box. Cake isn't that complicated to make from scratch, and if you have a few simple common ingredients on hand you can make delicious cake anytime you want.
I've included a few variations:

Ingredients:
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions:

For a Yellow Cake: Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until fine crumbs are formed. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat at low speed for 1 minute, then high for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl frequently.
Pour batter into greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes.

Variation for a White Cake: Prepare as for the basic cake except use 3 egg whites for the 2 whole eggs. Whites may be beaten separately and added for a lighter cake.

Variation for a Chocolate Cake: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the basic cake mix prior to adding the milk.

Variation for a Spice Cake: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice to the basic cake mix.

Variation for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake: Melt 1/2 cup butter in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Add 2/3 cup brown sugar, stirring into the butter. Arrange pineapple slices in the pan. Top with the basic (yellow cake) mix recipe. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, cool 5 minutes, and invert to serve.

Grinds My Gears (renmaed from My Pet Peeve)

Innapropriate dress in the work place. Tank tops, and summer dresses do NOT belong in the work place. Also, I know that women get away with a lot more at work than men do. And I appreciate being able to wear skirts and dresses. However, this new "dress shorts" idea... NO. Completely innapropriate for a professional office setting.

Disappointed in the Heroes Season Finale...

TV/ Movies/ Books

Yep, you heard it here first. The season finale of Heroes was WAY sub par. It's in question whether or not the show will return next season. I hope it does, and I hope it redeems itself, otherwise I might have to replace it.


Around Town/ From the Foodie in Me...

Tomorrow is National Wings Day

To celebrate, Hard Times Café will give you a FREE half order of chicken wings with any purchase.This offer is valid only when you dine in.

Packing for NOLA

Objective: Pack the lightest bag ever.
Contents
1 Red Dress
1 Pair of Gamma Phi Beta soffee shorts
3 t-shirts
1 green skirt
1 pair of flip flops
1 Cowboy hat

That's it (aside from unmentionables and a toothbrush).
This list is inclusive of what I plan to wear on the plane (shorts, flip flops, t shirt and my hat).
I'll wear the same shorts back with a different t shirt.
The dress for going out and jazzfest, and the skirt and t shirt for Friday shopping.

I tell you ladies, it can be done. And for all you gentlemen out there with ladies... tell them to pack light, refer to me as an example.

Pet Peeve
Overpacking (keeping with the theme here)

If you have kids, I get it. But if you don't you really need to plan out your wardrobe and take as little as possible. It's unnecessary to have tons of clothing for a 3 day trip.
Anecdote: Once I was packing for a trip to Boston. I was determined to fit everything I needed in an overnight bag. I kept packing, unpacking, repacking, until finally my boyfriend was like "WE ARE DRIVING! You have an entire trunk and backseat! You can take as much as you want!". Moral of the story: Don't pack in front of your significant other. It'll just tick them off. :)

Weird Personal Fact
I love folding towels.
When I go to Annie's house I refold her towels. I love it that much. True story.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Three Day Workweek! Woo!

The only thing getting me thru this week is the fact that it's a three day workweek!
I'm headed to Jazzfest this weekend, and I'm super excited about it.
I fly in on Thursday and back home on Sunday. It's going to be a great weekend!
I'm excited to see Bon Jovi, plus Cowboy Mouth is always good in concert. should be a great time all around.


Weekend Recap

Friday

So I was sitting at home bored on Friday night. I hadn't been out of the house in a few days and I was going stir crazy. I didn't want to drink or party either. It was one of those times that I wish I had a car. Well, as luck has it, Sarah has a car, and was also feeling up for some mild shenanigans. I started looking up things online, and we landed on something. Bingo. Literally, we went to go play Bingo.
It was phenomenal. Old ladies with their specially made bingo bags, and bingo setup, chain smoking their way into old age.
The place is an actual Bingo hall in Alexandria, near Landmark Mall. It's dingy, and it smells kinda funny, everything you want from a Bingo hall.
We paid 20 bucks each for about 15 games. The games were each worth $100, except for 2, which were worth $1000. We both agreed if we won the $1000 we would do something totally irresponsible with it.
Alas, luck was not on our side. We walked away not winning anything, but having gained a valuable life experience.

Saturday

I woke up early and decided to head over to Marshall's in search for a new suit. I found a great black Calvin Klein suit AND it was discounted to $70. Not bad for that quality and that brand.
Tamsin picked me up from the mall and we headed to target and sports authority. After our shopping we decided to eat a late lunch. We were about to head to Chili's when I remembered there is an Applebee's in Alexandria. Fernando and I went there one time randomly... like 2 years ago. So we went in search of the Applebee's. Turns out it was a lot further away than I initially thought. We found it though, and had a nice little Saturday.
Saturday night, I again was in search of plans. I decided to rent a zipcar and head to the grocery store for a few items. After my shopping, and my texting a few friends, Craig invited me to El Ranchero with some Elon peeps. I took him up on his offer and hung out for a bit. After dinner I went to Fernando's to hang out.

Sunday

I woke up much later than I normally do, but as Fernando was still sleeping, I showered and sat out on his deck reading Borges (more on that later). It was great. I had about 2 hours to myself just enjoying the nice weather. It made me really want a deck. Once the summer is over I am really going to look into moving into a house. When he awoke we headed to Tysons, grabbed lunch at Fridays and meandered about the mall for a bit.
I love malls. They are awesome.

Books/ TV/ Movies

Labyrinth- Borges
Borges is a fictional writer very much inspired by Kafka. Fernando is a big fan. I read up on his biography and realized I had actually read one of his short stories, "The Library of Babel", in 8th grade. I read a few more over the weekend (while sitting out on the deck). He's an excellent writer. Sort of a surrealist. I've really become entranced with the Spanish novelists. I am not sure if it's the translation of work, but I find that their writings are much richer than that of others. I highly recommend.

The Bourne Identity
Finally watched it. I was a fan, but when it ended I turned to Fernando and said "But aren't their 2 more?"

Around Town

BINGO
ABGC Auditorium Bingo
6200-D Little River Tnpk
Alexandria, VA 22312
Phone: (703) 642-9581
Hotline: (571) 237-5832
http://abgc.org
Playtime: Fri. & Sat. 6 PM-11:30 PM


Rosslyn Indoor Pre-80's Movie Tribute
Uncle Buck
Location: The Dome
1101 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington VA
Time: 6pm
703-522-6628
FREE!!!

From the Foodie in Me

Sopapillas (the Mexican Beignet - but better)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup water
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using hands, mix in water to make a smooth dough. Knead lightly on a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 pieces, and shape into round balls. Cover, and set aside.
Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into thin circles. Cut each circle into triangles. Fry in hot oil, until golden brown, turning when dough puffs. Remove, and drain well on paper towels.
Top with either powdered sugar or honey (my fave).

My Pet Peeve
Cops/ Security cops on Segways
Seriously? RUN!!! This is why people make fun of cops eating donuts.

My Addiction To...
New Projects
I find myself bored if I'm not always in motion.
Don't get me wrong, I love a laid back day as much as the next person, but I love being on the go more. I love planning trips, and decorating, having new projects or taking up new crafts. I love being in go mode.

Friday, April 24, 2009

It's Going to be 80 Dregrees This Weekend!

Around Town

Tallulah/ Eat Bar
Sunday Cinema Series Presents: Office Space @ 8pm
Sun Apr 26
Complimentary concessions and truffle butter popcorn!

I like Tallulah, I have no idea why I don't make it there more often.

From the Foodie in Me

If you are looking for a good recipe site, I suggest allrecipes.com
It's a good website for every recipe you could every want. I highly suggest making a profile for yourself. I have lost many a recipe because I haven't had someplace to save them. This site lets you comment, score, save your favorite recipes, contribute recipes, and suggest alterations for recipes. I give two thumbs up!

Update

I'm feeling better.

TV/ Books/ Movies

Parks and Recreation- I love the head manager guy who is against the government. I don't know if this show is going to make it, but I am a huge fan of that guy... reminds me of some Ron Paul supporters I know...

My Pet Peeve

People who talk on their cell phones while using the bathroom.
It's GROSS!!! Is your conversation so important that you can't wait 10 seconds to pee? Seriously? Also, I've now heard texting coming from the stall next to mine. I know what the click click click of a blackberry sounds like, and it's unmistakable from a bathroom stall.
Seriously people, leave your work at your desk for a few minutes and take some "me" time while you use the potty.

This pet peeve is dedicated to Emily Clark Canizaro... she knows why.
My Addiction To...

Blue Bell Rocky Road Ice Cream

It's delicious. I don't know how many of you out there have had Blue Bell Ice Cream... but it's the best ice cream in the country. Hands down. No questions asked. The Texas State society flies it in every year for our congressional meet and greet. Now, they just fly in vanilla, which I am happy for BUT, I absolutely go nuts for the Rocky Road version. It has everything you could want in ice cream. Nuts, Marshmellow, Chocolate... mmmm...

Personal Weird Fact of the Day...

Rodents FREAK me the f out.
No joke. Once my dad bought a "mouse" (turns out it was fake) in the house by it's tail and waved it in front of me. I burst into tears. I was 24 at the time.
Another time I pushed Annie into oncoming traffic because a rat scurried by me while walking down the street in G-town. This was last year.
I don't like mice, gerbils, rats, squirrels, guinea pigs, nutria, and anything else rodent like.
The end.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Day in the Emergency Room

So Sorry i havent blogged much this week, but in my defense, I spent a day in the ER/ Doctor's office...

Tuesday

8pm - I haven't felt good all day, and I start to really hurt in my entire abdomen area.

9pm- I call Annie for advice, she's been to the doctor/ ER lots of times. I'm not sure if I'm in enough pain to go to the ER.

10pm- Annie calls me back and advises me to pepto. I'm still in a lot of pain but I decide to wait till the morning to go to my doctor versus going to the ER.

10:30pm- I am in so much pain that I fill my tub with Hot Water and get in. I take my blackberry with me and call both my mom and Fernando. Both advise me to go to the ER, but I convince them that I can wait it out till the morning. The hot water alieviates a lot of the pain.

11:00pm- I hop in bed and finally go to sleep.

Wednesday

8am- I call a cab to take me to my doctor's office. My doctor is in farragut in DC.

8:45am- the cab still isnt there and I'm angry. Annie calls me and tells me to cancel the cab, she'll pick me up and take me.

9:45am- Arrive at my doctor's office. He tells me that he can do blood work, but he doesn't have a lab, so I should really go to the ER. He suspects either appendicitis, or some sort of food poisioning.

11am- Arrive at Virginia Hospital Center. I check in and they call my name fairly quickly. I think there was only one person ahead of me.

11:30- They take me to a room.

11:45am- The doctor walks in and starts pushing on my stomach. She thinks it's my gallbladder. She orders a blood test, a urine test, and an untrasound. I get morphine and some medicine for nausea. I do not like that I can feel the morphine running through my body. Also, it immediately makes me sleepy.

12:30pm - I let the doctor know I'm still in some pain, so she gives me more morphine. I go back for my ultrasound. You know how on TV, you usually see ultrasounds given to women who are pregnant. And they squirt this jelly stuff on their tummies, and they all "Ooo" and "Ahh" at the baby? Well, I'm here to tell you it's not like that at all. Obviously, I am not pregnant, but it's still the same concept of looking in my tummy. Only that stuff they squirt on you is sticky and gross. It's also hot. Then they press that wand thing into you and move it all around. They jam it up under your ribcage. It hurts and it's super uncomfortable. Not like TV at all.

2:00pm- The doctor comes in and tells me that all my test came back clean. They have no idea why my side is hurting but they can rule out anything that would require surgery. She sends me on my way with a perscription for vicodin (for the pain) and something for nausea.

2:30pm- Annie drops off my perscriptions at CVS

3:30pm- We go eat soup. All I have eaten in 2 days is a few pieces of watermelon.

4:00pm- Annie picks up my perscriptions and drops me off at home. I pop a few vicodin and head to bed.

5:00pm- Fernando comes over to check on me. He stays about an hour (?) then leaves to play volleyball

7:45pm- Fernando come back and brings me cold fruit for dinner.

10pm- I'm back in bed after popping another vicodin.

So that was my day. I'm still in some pain this morning, if it continues I'll go see the doctor they refered me too. Truth be told, it's not as bad as yesterday, so I guess I'm getting better from whatever it is that was wrong with me.

I do want to say that the entire expierience has left me feeling so very blessed. I am 1500 miles away from home, so my mom can't check in on me, other than a phone call. But I have numerous offers to drive me to the ER. People offered to run errands for me, pick up perscriptions and groceries. Annie spent the entire morning with me running me about, and Fernando checking in on me. I recieved numerous emails/ IMs/ and texts from friends, all well wishes. I feel so grateful to have built a family of friends here in DC. I want to say thank you to you all.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away...

That's right, after a beautiful sunny weekend in our nation's capital it started pouring here late last night. I don't know about everyone else, but I am so tired of the back and forth crappy weather. I am ready for summer!

Weekend Recap

Saturday
I hung up the shelves in my bathroom.
I bought these shelves some time ago and Fernando kindly hung them up in my dining room. I then decided I didn't like them there, and have been hounding him for the past month to hang them up in my bathroom. He didn't, so I finally did. I think Imma have a blister

Sunday
Have you seen the ultimate cake challenge? It's on food network.
Amazing. Yesterday they made cakes that were "extreme cakes".
One of the glowed in the dark, the other had fireworks. The glow int he dark cake won, which is sad, I liked the people on the other team more.

From the Foodie in Me
Amazing Dip I Tried at a Becky's Birthday Party

Jar of Salsa
Blended Shredded Mexican Cheese Mix
Cream Cheese

Drain the salsa. Layer a casserole dish with salsa, cream cheese, and top with shredded cheese.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese bubbles.
Serve.

Around Town
The Washington Monument

I have never been to the top of the Washington Monument, not even when I came here in 8th grade. You need a ticket to go to the top, and they are handed out on a first come first serve basis... at like 7am.
I'm not getting up at 6am to go downtown to get a ticket. That's insane.
Fortunately, the park service realized this and has now made it easier to see the monument.
You can reserve your tickets ahead of time online for $1.50 a ticket.
I don't know about you but $1.50 is totally worth skipping a 6am wake up call.
http://www.recreation.gov/tourParkDetail.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=77811

My Addiction To...
Nostalgia

Seriously, I miss my childhood. I can't flip past sesame street on TV without stopping at watching for a bit.
When I babysit, I almost always have a tea party with the girls.
I own a Disney princess coloring book.
I own every Disney princess movie there is.
I go to the Smithsonian museum of American History to look at Dorothy's ruby slippers and Mr. Rodger's cardigan.
I think my generation grew up in a simpler time, where TV was safe to watch, and the Internet wasn't in every household. I'm in no way saying we should move backwards, but sometimes I do miss the simpleness of it all... plus, the only reality show was The Real World.

My Pet Peeve
Children

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE kids... except when they aren't well behaved.
Parents you know if your child is a terror in a store, don't act like you don't.
It's infuriating to try and do shopping of any kind with screaming kids all about.
For that matter, why aren't you disciplining your children? I understand that sometimes a babysitter isn't an option, sometimes you may not have the money, or you many not be able to find a sitter... I get that. But for goodness sake, don't raise your children to behave like savages.


Books/ TV/ Movies
I didn't read Mill on the Floss this weekend. I was such a bum.
I did catch up on about 4 hours of HGTV. It inspired me to rearrange my living room.
When I was done I realized that it looked better the way I had it before, so I moved it all back.


Personal Weird Fact of the Day

I'm allergic to something in stores. Target, Macy's, Giant... must be something in the packaging.
Sometimes when I'm shopping my hands will get really itchy and red. Just the palms of my hands though. It happened while shopping with Fernando this past weekend.
He made fun of me. He's such a great boyfriend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Guess Who's Back... Back Again...

I want to apologize for my 2 day hiatus. Apparently my work actually wanted me to work. Not sure what that was all about, but thankfully the boss is in a meeting so I have a bit of time to catch you all up.
Seriously though, not much to tell. I've been so busy working that I haven't had a chance to do much else these past few days.

Around Town
GO OUTSIDE!
It's going to be a beautiful 78 degrees on Saturday, the warmest day we have seen so far this year. I highly recommend getting out of your house and spending the day outside.
Try Theodore Roosevelt Island if you haven't been . It's a secret gem of the metroplex. If you don't have a car, then the Jefferson Memorial is a great place to walk around. There are fewer tourists, but it's a great scenic view.

My Pet Peeve
People who say "oh" instead of "zero" when giving you a list of numbers. "O" is a letter. "Zero" is a number. Get it right people. It's an extra syllable. Don't be lazy.

From the Foodie in Me
There is this place that I escaped to yesterday. Elevation Burger. It's in Falls Church in the same shopping complex that the Harris Teeter is in off of Lee Hwy.
It's all organic food. I was impressed with the burger and I loved the fries, but the thing that will keep me coming back is the shakes. I had a vanilla ice cream shake with oreos and banana. OMG. Delicious. I have to give credit where credit is due. The concoction wasn't my idea, but Lydia's. Way to go Lydia. I won't forget that creation any time soon.

My Addiction To
Old Brunos
I miss it. What can I say. It was my favorite place to hang out in college. I remember the day I decided on it. As an freshman I couldn't even get into Bruno's. It was a 19 and up bar. Although I often convinced Greg to bend the rules for my sorority sisters. My sophomore year I started going to Madigans for Ladies night. I loved Madigans, the drinks were free and the owner/ bartender, Bill, called me cowgirl. Then things started to go wrong Junior Year. I got to the point where I could distinguish a good drink from a bad drink. I also wasn't drinking amaretto sours and sex on the beaches anymore (i cringe to think I ever did). The one day my junior year I was at Madigans for ladies night and I had an epiphany. I would rather pay for my drinks at brunos, than get them for free here.
I think that was the last time I went to madigans. Sure, I would still go to GB's (arguably the same bar) for Tuesday night food specials. But never again madigans for ladies night.
Bruno's became my bar. I would drink there daily after that. I actually have one of the doormen's phone number in my phone and he and I hang out when I go back to town (nothing scandalous, he's married). The point is, I made a lot of friends there. Anne, Britni and I would play pool till the wee hours of the morning. I remember once there was a three day stint where we didn't go. The staff accused us of finding a new bar. We tried to explain we actually were in school, and had papers due, and classes to go to, but they made us promise that we hadn't replaced them.
Another time a sorority sister of mine dropped my name at the front door, and they let her in, even though she was under age. Once, the president of the sorority called my cell and told me she was across the street with all the pledges and they wanted to come in. I got 12 girls in that night, all under 19.
The memories I made there will not soon be forgotten. However, Old Bruno's is now closed. The newest generation only has the new Brunos. I feel bad for them. It's a nice bar, but that's the problem. It's not divvy. There aren't 60 year old men there watching jeopardy at three in the afternoon.
I miss and love Old Brunos.

Books/ TV/ Movies
Slaughterhouse V

Hated it. If your more liberal leaning you might like this book, but I personally believe in war. I wasn't a fan.
Next up, Mill on the Floss, hoping to start and finish this weekend.

Personal Weird Fact of the Day
I don't like colored foods.

Food dye is one of God's mean tricks. It turns your tongue an unnatural color and it completely freaks me out. Blue and green things freak me out the worst.
I have a theory on my irrational fear though.
When I was a little kid, I hated to be sticky. Well my dad played in a baseball league and we would go watch the games. I would play with the other players kids and they were always eating fun dip and Popsicles that were blue and green, and their mouths would be blue and green and their hands and fingers would be blue and green and STICKY. I think I somewhere along the way started associating blue and green things with sticky things.
Yeah, It's crazy, but I'm a girl. I'm allowed a little bit of crazy.

Coming in May...

Jazzfest in New Orleans - super jacked
Crawfish Boil - with the local Loyola Alumni chapter
Outer Banks - for memorial day weekend? this is still a maybe, but i did it last year and would love to make it a tradition. Anyone interested?
Dallas- for my little sister's high school graduation. My mom actually opened a new restaurant location in a gated resort community. As the owner she has access to the vacation rentals... for free. Basically it boils down to me staying in a cabin on the lake for free. I'm excited to not have to sleep on an air mattress (my sister gutted my room of everything relating to me the second I left for college. It's all boxed up, and now I don't have a room when I go "home").

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm An Insomniac...

Monday Night Recap

I got no sleep last night. I finally drifted off around 2am, only to be woken up at 4am. Normally, white noise usually helps, so I turned on the air conditioner (it makes a nice humming sound), but last night my body was having none of it.
Ended up watching a few DVD's and chatting online with others who were sharing my night owl habits. Hoping to catch up tonight.


From the Foodie in Me
Twice Baked Potatoes

I rarely make these because they take FOREVER to make.

2 Cooking Potatoes
1/4 cup of butter
1/8 cup of milk
1 tsp salt
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
chives (optional)
bacon bits (optional)
sour cream (optional)

With a Fork poke holes in the potatoes. Rub them with a bit of butter and cover them in aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for about 1hour at 400 degrees.
Remove from oven and from aluminum foil. Cut in half. Scoop out the "pulp" of the potato. Be sure to leave the skin and a small layer of potato. Place "pulp" in a medium bowl and add milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mash. If they are too lumpy you can add more milk. Place the mashed potato mixture back in the skins and top with cheese. Place back in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes (cheese should be completely melted).
You can top off with sour cream, chives, and bacon bits
Serve!

My Addiction To...
Entertaining

I LOVE to entertain. It's one of my favorite things ever. I love making food, greeting guests, and welcoming them into my home. I think it's part of the reason I completely redecorated my home (complete with paint job). I really like to feel comfortable in my atmosphere and I want other people to feel that way as well.
I also love setting out all the food for entertaining. I think my football watching get together last year were really good, frito pie, pasta salad, veggie tray, hot dogs, sweet tea, homemade lemonade, chips, queso, guacamole, dip, chicken wings, pizza rolls, and mini croissant hot dogs.
I love appetizery food because everyone gets to sample a lot of different things.
I only wish I lived in a house with a huge kitchen so that I could have dinner parties.
Maybe one day...

Around Town
Free Stuff!

Movie Screenings
Earth (by Disney)
April18th
Send an email to studiospecialevents@disney.com . Include your full name, address and if you plan to bring a guest. You will receive an email rsvp. If you do not get an email, the screening is full.

Underwear
Victoria Secret
Sign up and receive a free gift
https://www.vspink.com/pink_nation_landing.jsp

Baseball
Free Orioles Ticket on Your Birthday
http://baltimore.orioles.mlb.com/bal/fan_forum/birthday_form.jsp
(but it;s the orioles, so really they should be paying us to see them play)

Food
Free Chips and Queso from Chilis
http://www.fishbowl.com/clt/chlscrp/lp/join/join.asp

Movies/ TV/ Books
The 10 Commandments
It has always been an Easter/ Palm Sunday tradition in my family to watch the 10 Commandments together. Even after leaving home, I still continue this tradition. On Saturday night, after Catherine had gone to bed, I plopped myself down to watch Charleston Heston at his greatest. I remember I didn't actually see the movie in it's entirety till I was about 10 years old. every year before that I had an early bedtime, so I never got to see the end of the film.
For those of you who don't know, it ends like the story in the bible ends. For those of you who don't know the story...pick up a bible, Standard New American Edition.
My Pet Peeve
Socks
I don't like them. I tolerate them now that I have moved away from Texas, but really, I'm not a fan. I'm especially not a fan when people don't pull their socks all the way on, so there is a little room left in the toe area. Why do people do that?
Personal Weird Fact of the Day
I don't like to see people brush their teeth.
It completely grosses me out. It really makes me want to gag. I can't explain it, I can't tell you why. But Annie can especially attest to the fact that you need to brush your teeth in the bathroom when you live with me... and that's where the brushing should stay.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Would Rather The Monday After Easter Off as Opposed to Good Friday...

Weekend Update

Friday
Got to work at 10, left at noon, billed for 8 hours.
Win.

Saturday
I babysat for my favorite family.
They have one daughter who is finally talking, which makes playing with her a lot more fun.
She remembered exactly who I was, even though I haven't been there in months. I think I know why. Last time I was there I let her have a tea party, and we used water for the tea set. My mom used to let me use water in my tea set when I was little as a special treat. I thought Catherine would enjoy it. Really, I look at babysitting as a way to relive my childhood, mostly we do the things I want to do... tea parties... dress up... coloring...

Easter Sunday
Yay Jesus!
I had a fabulous Easter. I woke up semi early to go to mass, pick up flowers, and make strawberry shortcake for the lunch I was invited to, and iron my white linen skirt... which took forever.
Fernando and I headed over to Bill Meierling's parent's house for a late lunch. Bill's mom and dad were also nice enough to take us in over Thanksgiving this last year too. They have a beautiful house out in Lorton, complete with hot tub (which Lydia and I jumped into after the meal), so we are always sure to take our bathing suits. Bill's mom made a hearts of palm wrapped in prosciutto appetizer, salmon, spring veggies, and wild rice for the entree, and we had champagne and strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was a fabulous day and a fabulous meal!

From the Foodie in Me
Strawberry Shortcake

3 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cool whip

Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar and one tablespoon vanilla. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan ( I use the spring form ones, SO much easier).
Combine flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. Add the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk.
Mix it all together.
Spread the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool (I put mine in the freezer for 5 minutes as I was in a rush, worked great)
Slice cake in half, making two layers.
Place half of the strawberries and half the cool whip on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the cool whip.
Yum!

This is the shortcake I made for Easter lunch at Bill's House.

Around Town
Ben's Chili Bowl
http://www.benschilibowl.com/ordereze/Default.aspx

If you haven't been to this great establishment, it's a place you NEED to try.
I stumbled upon Ben's after a cowboy mouth concert at the 9:30 club about 2 years ago. I was at the concert with Annie, and we ran into our friend Jeremy. After the concert Jeremy wouldn't let us get back on the train without stopping at Ben's first.
Ben's is a hole in the wall restaurant with very little seating, but what it lacks in ambiance, it more than makes up for in chili. All the dishes are man sized portions. I personally recommend the chili cheese fries, it's an entire meal, so be prepared to share. This place is especially great for pre concert dinners and after concert late night eating. With the 9:30 club just around the corner you can't help but stop in for a bite.
My Addiction To...
Vitamin Water

Have you tried this stuff?! It's amazing. It's like Gatorade on acid. It's that addictive.
I especially am fond of the lemonade flavor. I could drink it for days.
However, I did learn that the lemonade flavor is not sold in the bigger bottles, and it isn't sold in bulk. I have a theory. I think that the vitamin water people know that lemonade is a popular flavor, so they only sell it individually and in the smaller bottles because they make more money that way. I smell conspiracy. Others have refuted my theory... I think they are part of the problem.
And speaking of the vitamin water people... did you know they are Glacéau... did you know Glacéau is actually Coca-Cola. VERY sneaky Coca-Cola people... very sneaky indeed!
TV/ Books/ Movies
Jeopardy

I don't care who knows it. I LOVE Jeopardy. Fernando calls me an old woman because I often watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy back to back. I play along with the game. Some days I'm on fire... some days not so much. I also am partial to DVR'd Jeopardy. This enables me to fast forward thru not only the commercials, but all their yammering on with their personal anecdotes. ugh... that's the worst part.

My Pet Peeve
When people use facebook/ twitter/ gmail status updates to endlessly complain.
Ugh, once in a while is okay, but an everyday basis makes me want to block you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

In Memory of Sharee...

In memory of my sorority little sister who passed away one year ago, today's blog post is dedicated to her. All topics she would find appropriate.

My Addiction To...
Greek Life
Sharee was my little in my sorority.

I joined a sorority my freshman year of college second semester (we had spring rush). I told my parents that I wasn't going to join, and I was just going back early to meet new people. However, when I received my bid, I couldn't help but say yes. I felt so comfortable with these girls. I knew I had found my niche. I joined the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. The girls of Gamma Phi felt like real people to me, and not a stereotype of what girls should be. My sophomore year I got to have a little sister. I knew I wanted her as my little as soon as I met her. She was like an extreme version of myself. She was also from Texas, she was extremely friendly, and completely extroverted. That year I got to choose her nickname, and because I couldn't choose one event to derive her nickname from I named her "Hat Trick". There were three really good, really inappropriate stories that pledge season that made me realize that this girl was the girl for me, and the right kind of girl for my sorority. Even after college I continue to be involved in my sorority. I bake cookies and donate money to the local collegiate chapter (at George Mason). I helped them paint their house, and trained them in the proper ritual procedures (I was ritual chair in college - my favorite position). A properly run collegiate chapter need the help and assistance from involved alumni to truly thrive. I also, have come to know quite a few gentlemen of a certain fraternity. The fraternity system seems to be even more well run that the panhellenic system. However, fraternities and sororities alike are great experiences for an undergrad.



Fernando with the "movers and shakers" of Zeta Psi Fraternity at the annual black tie dinner.
We had a fabulous time.
Around Town
Wine Tasting
Sharee liked drinking.

I went wine tasting a few weeks ago with some great friends. I've lived in Virginia for 3 years, and this was the first time I had made it out to the orchards. It was a Great way to spend an afternoon. We loaded up with cheese, crackers and french bread (a wine tasting isn't complete without these accoutrement's). We stumbled upon the first Vineyard, Chateau O'Brien. They have a lovely set up. We tasted about 6 wines and the tasting cost us $5 each. We each bought a bottle. The most notable wine was their apple wine. It was amazing, tasted just like biting into an apple. We hit up naked something or other vineyard next. The tasting here was cheaper ($3) and we tasted 10 wines. however, I was less impressed with the quality of wine. Finally we hit up 3 wolves. This is where we set up camp for our cheese and crackers lunch. Their tasting was $4, and we tasted 10 wines. They had good reds. The view was beautiful, and we had a great afternoon. To anyone who lives in the area and hasn't been out wine tasting, you're missing out. It's a cheap afternoon of fun just 45 minutes away.


View from Chateau O' Brien. They had a lovely outdoor setup.

From the Foodie in Me
Guinness Cake
Sharee liked beer.

16 tablespoons (1/2 pound) butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup Guinness® stout
6 eggs
8 ounces cream cheese , softened
1/2 cup butter , softened
1 1/2 pounds confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. In another bowl, mix together the baking powder, spices, salt, flour and cocoa. At the very last moment, add the Guinness to the eggs. (Don't let it sit too long, or the alcohol will begin to cook the eggs!)Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and blend, then add half of the wet ingredients. Repeat this process until all the ingredients are combined.Pre-heat the oven to 350°, and line the bottom of at least two 9-inch diameter cake pans with wax paper. (Use as many layers as you like for your own cake.) Divide the batter between pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for about 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack and peel off the wax paper. Let the layers cool completely before frosting.In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter until mixed, then beat in the sugar. Finally, add the vanilla.Place one cake layer, bottom side up, on a platter. Spread with frosting, then top with another layer, bottom side down. Repeat with each layer, then spread the remaining frosting smoothly over the top and sides of the cake.
Books/ TV/ Movies
Fahrenheit 451
Sharee, believe it or not, was quite the academic.
I had been meaning to read this book for a really long time. It is about book burning.
I have a recurring nightmare that I go home to Dallas to visit my parents and they had thrown out and burned all my books. I cry and cry, and can't believe they don't know how much my books mean to me (I've slowly been transporting my books from Texas to DC for the last 3 years). Obviously this is just a dream, but the book Fahrenheit 451 makes it a reality. The characters exist in a world where everyone is equal, and it is thought that books make people unequal so they are burned. I don't want to give away the plot because it's a very well written book and at 200 pages, worth the quick read.
Politics
The Legalization of Marijuana
Sharee ... well, you get it.
I think we've all heard the reasoning. I stand behind it. Marijuana would be a taxable product and therefore help to aleve some of the burdens of the economy.
Marijuana isn't addictive.
Marijuana isn't any more detrimental to your health than cigarettes or alcohol.
I agree with all of these.
Most importantly though, I believe that this is a states rights issue. The legalization of marijuana isn't something that should be monitored by the federal government. It's something that should be determined by the states. For those of you who don't know, determining the legal age for the consumption of alcohol is a right of the states. Sure the federal government brow beat and basically forced Louisiana to raise their age by threatening to withhold federal funding from roads. In the end though, it was still a state right.
I am sure many of you know that there are a few states that have actually legalized the distribution and consumption of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
However, the DEA still has the final say, overriding the states rights. This is the biggest issue I have with this topic. The federal government should not have the ability to trounce on the states.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It Feels Like Friday... But It Isn't...

Around Town

The True Story Of Coca-Cola in Mexico
Gala Hispanic Theater
April 26th
$32-$36
3333 14th St. NW
800-494-8497
www.galatheater.org

I thought this was interesting only because I know that Mexico still makes coca cola with sugar cane, rather than corn syrup. Somthing having to do with sugar taxes being ridiculously high in the US. All I know is sugar cane coke is AMAZING.

From the Foodie in Me
Meatloaf

Meatloaf is the very first dish I ever learned to make. I think my mom deamed it simple enough for even me.

1 lound ground chuck
1/2 onion diced
1/2 green pepper diced
1 egg
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbs salt
1 tbs pepper
4 ounces Rotel

Mix all ingredients together except for half of the tomato sauce and the rotel
Shape into a meatloaf.
In a saucepan on the stove warm the remaining tomatoe sauce and the rotel.
Bake meatloaf in oven on 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then add tomato sauce/ rotel mixture to the top od the meatloaf, bake another 10 minutes.
Serve.
Yum.

My Addiction To...
New Orleans
I think I'm addicted. I go back several times a year, always have a great time and constantly talk about how great the city is. There are so many places to go, and things to do, aside from your usual burbon street debachery.
Ghost tours, swamp tours, a wax museum, see the guys in the green jump suits perform their street routine on Decatur, go to the french market, IMAX museum, the audubon zoo, the aquarium, adubon park, the fly, the lakefront, eat at Dunbars, eat at Mom's, eat at Port of Call, try a handgranade (from tropical isle), try a hurricane (from Pat O's), visit tourist shops, check out the Loyola and Tulane campus, go to New Bruno's, visit a plantation... I think you get it. I LOVE this city.

Movies/ TV/ Books
I know I said I was going to review Farenheit 451 today, but I'm putting it off till tomorrow, cause it's 4:45, and I'm leaving in 15 minutes.
But for your reading pleasure, my top five favorite chick movies.

5. Legally Blonde
YOU got into Harvard?! What? Like it's hard?
4. She's All That
I'm a Bet? I'm a fucking bet?!
3. Drop Dead Gorgeous
W-E-S-T V-I-R-G-I-N-I-A
2. Mean Girls
Shut up! I didn't say anything.
1. 10 Things I Hate About You
I know you can be underwhelmed, and you can be overwhelmed... but can you ever just be whelmed? I think you can in Europe.

That's all I got for today, cause it's 4:55pm and I still have to send a work email... till tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hump Day! Weee!

Around Town
Cheap Tickets

There are often great theater events around town. I love the theater, but I hate paying the ridiculous prices for the shows (plus that bastard Ticketmaster's "convenience" charge).
I found a website where you can get day of tickets at half price.
Right now Chicago is playing at National Theater and Shear Madness is playing at the Kennedy Center. Feel free to check it out.
www.ticketplace.org

From the Foodie in Me
Steak Kabobs
1 red pepper
1 onion
Beef stew pieces (or like)
Kabob Skewers
Freezer Bag
Italian Dressing
Take a piece of beef (that's what she said) and cut it into cubes. You can use any piece of meat you like. I like the stew pieces because they are often pre cut. Place into freezer bag.
Cut up red pepper and onion into squares, about one inch by one inch. Doesn't have to be perfect. Place into the same freezer bag as the meat.
Pour about a cup of Italian dressing into the bag. Close and shake until everything is covered in dressing. Skewer peppers, onions and meat, alternating.
Broil kabobs on a cookie sheet in the oven on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Serve.
Yum!
My Addiction to...
Discount Shopping
I refuse to buy things full price. I really think it's a waste of money. It's not the economy, or that I cant afford nice things, I simply hold the point of view that it WILL go on sale at some point.
I'm also not afraid to look online, for staple wardrobe items. For example, I only wear one kind of jean, Levi's 518, super low, boot cut. That's it. I don't even need to try them on, I know what I'm buying. So, I can send my mom shopping in Texas, where things are often cheaper. Or I can look online and buy at a discount store. I don't know how many of you have ever been to a Levi's store, but they rarely put things on sale. It sucks. No reason to pay full price on something you can get cheaper elsewhere.
Plus I have a satisfaction when someone says "I love your blouse!" and I can reply with "It cost me three bucks". Think about it!
Books/ TV/ Movies
The Arlington Central Library
So if you read yesterday's post you notice I am committing to reading 53 books in 9 months.
That's 5.9 books a month. Books are expensive. At an average of $15 a book, I'm looking at a $795 investment. Yeeeeah, I don't have that kind of money for books. So, yesterday, I headed to the Arlington Public Library for the first time. I applied for a library card and checked out Fahrenheit 451, Slaughterhouse Five, and Mill on the Floss. Fahrenheit 451 isn't on my list, but I've been meaning to read it for some time now. I read it last night (it's short, about 200 pages).
I'll post a review tomorrow. I just need to praise the library. It was neat and clean. There was a quiet study room (presumably a nice addition for all those GMU law kids nearby), the children's section is downstairs, and the adult section is upstairs. So no kids running around while you try to check out books or read. There are plenty of computers for public use, also not taken up by screaming children. I found everything I wanted in about five minutes. It was great, plus you can put books on hold online, and also renew books online. I am a huge fan. I think I forgot how much I love libraries (I'm a dork, what can I say). Loyola had a wonderful library, and I don't think I ever fully appreciated it. It was the only thing we had that actually would draw Tulane kids to cross the street. If you haven't visited your local library lately, I can't recommend the Arlington library any more highly.
Politics
Gay Marriage
I'm all for it. Shocker, huh? I am 100% Catholic, too. DC just voted to recognize gay marriages done in other states. Vermont just become the 4th state to declare gay marriage legal.
You maybe asking how can I advocate gay marriage and also be a devout Catholic? Simple, I think government and religion should be completely separate.
I believe the government shouldn't be the institution that grants marriages.
First I ask, Why do people get married? The answer is, so that they may unite themselves in front of God, their family, and friends. I don't see how government plays a roll in that whether in a straight marriage or a gay marriage. Marriage should be left in religion. If your church decides to let gay couples marry, that is between your church and God. However, my opinion is an idealist situation, I realize that. In the mean time, since the government seems intent on forcing its way into our marriages, we have to treat everyone the same. It's what the nation was founded on. Equality. This is our generation's civil rights movement.
So you see, while I don't advocate gay marriage in my church. I am a huge supporter within the government.
Music
Eminem
His new video is out. It's pretty awesome. I am not a music person really. I wish I could say I was. I love 80's, Classical Rock, and Country. Not exactly Bach. I can appreciate a lot of things, but let me put it this way. I'm going to New Orleans for JazzFest and I am most excited about seeing Bon Jovi.
Woo!
Link to Eminem's new video:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Top Heavy... Try to Make Your Way Through..

Books/ TV/ Movies

The college board has a list of 100 books you should read before heading off to college.

I graduated 4 years ago now, and a good number of these are still outstanding for me. I've listed the ones I've read in Green (47 total). I've added a general opinion on a few of them, but it's my new goal to make it thru this list before the end of the year.

Wish me luck!

Beowulf -too long
Things Fall Apart - hated this book, and everything ever written by Achebe
A Death in the Family
Pride and Prejudice - I think every girl loves this book
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Waiting for Godot
The Adventures of Augie March
Jane Eyre - descriptive
Wuthering Heights - another Bronte novel
The Stranger
Death Comes for the Archbishop - hated it with a passion, read it cause I LOVED Bless Me Ultima
The Canterbury Tales - excellent, but long
The Cherry Orchard
The Awakening
Heart of Darkness
The Last of the Mohican's - read it in 8th grade...12 years ago, whoa.
The Red Badge of Courage
Inferno
Don Quixote
Robinson Crusoe
A Tale of Two Cities - i hate charles dickens, i hate charles dickens, i hate charles dickens...
Crime and Punishment
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass - read for school, he was a slave, yada yada yada
An American Tragedy
The Three Musketeers -eh, Count of Monte Cristo is better... more revenge-y
The Mill on the Floss
Invisible Man
Ralph Waldo Emerson Selected Essays
As I Lay Dying
The Sound and the Fury
Tom Jones
The Great Gatsby - the great American novel ask any AP Englis Teacher...
Madame Bovary
The Good Soldier - read in SEVENTH grade... holy crap...
Wolfgang von Faust
Lord of the Flies
Tess of the d'Urbervilles
The Scarlet Letter - lots of imagery and symbolism
Catch 22
A Farewell to Arms
The Iliad - classic
The Odyssey
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Their Eyes Were Watching God - Simple read, like 5th grade simple, though i read in 7th.
Brave New World
A Doll's House - i think this was on my 9th grade reading list.
The Portrait of a Lady
The Turn of the Screw - read it because it was part of a longer book of compiled short stories
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
The Metamorphosis - i just like the word "Kafkaesque"
The Woman Warrior
To Kill a Mockingbird - this was my favorite book for years, i still make sure I always have a copy on my bookshelf.
The Call of the Wild
The Magic Mountain
One Hundred Years of Solitude - read this a few months ago, loved it, wish i could have read it in Spanish.
Bartleby the Scrivener
Moby Dick
The Crucible
Beloved - not as good as The Bluest Eye, imo

A Good Man is Hard to Find
Long Day's Journey into Night
Animal Farm - talking animals, woo
Doctor Zhivago
The Bell Jar
Edgar Allan Poe Selected Tales - don't know which ones they mean exactly, but i've read The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Purloined Letter, and of course...The Tell Tale Heart... I think I'm covered.
Swann's Way
The Crying of Lot 49
All Quiet on the Western Front
Cyrano de Bergerac
Call It Sleep
The Catcher in the Rye
Hamlet - i love Shakespeare
Macbeth- i love Shakespeare... double double toil and trouble...
A Midsummer Night's Dream- i love Shakespeare... not as good as Much Ado About Nothing
Romeo and Juliet- i love Shakespeare...do you bite your thumb at me sir?
Pygmalion
Frankenstein
Marmon Ceremony
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Antigone - better than Oedipus Rex, I think I read this in 6th Grade cause my cousin in high school was reading it.
Oedipus Rex - not as good as Antigone
The Grapes of Wrath - I like Of Mice and Men better
Treasure Island
Uncle Tom's Cabin -totally a school read.
Gulliver's Travels - fun, I feel like a 3rd grader could read this though.
Vanity Fair
Walden
War and Peace
Fathers and Sons
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Amazingly I read BEFORE Tom Sawyer
Candide
Slaughterhouse-Five
The Color Purple
The House of Mirth
Eudora Welty Collected Stories
Leaves of Grass
The Picture of Dorian Gray - read up on the symbolism when you're done, man, it's good.
The Glass Menagerie
To the Lighthouse - I studied this book for the Senior Year AP Exam, I read it over and over and over again. There is no plot. It's an essay in book form. I HATED it. Ugh...
Native Son

From the Foodie in Me
Frito Pie

Apparently Frito Pie is totally a southern thing. I'm not surprised though, most good food is southern.

1 bag of fritos Corn Chips, Plain

1 can of Chili (i like mine without beans)

8 ounces Shredded cheddar cheese

Prepare chili as directed on can. In a casserole dish lay down a layer of chips, then a layer of cheese, then a layer of chili. Repeat. Top with a layer of cheese, bake in the oven on 350, until cheese is melted. Serve. Mmmm, good.

My Addiction To...
Jack in the Box

I don't think I would be as addicted if I could have it more often....
Okay, that's a blatant lie. When I lived in Austin I discovered that is was cheaper for me to eat at Jack in the Box every day, than it was to buy groceries. So I did.
Have you ever been to Jack in the Box? They put Sonic to shame. They have bacon and cheese potato wedges, seasoned curly fries, natural cut fries, jalapeno poppers, egg rolls, TACOS, hamburgers, Italian sandwiches, sourdough burgers, shakes and smoothies, deep fried macaroni bites, sirloin burgers, chicken sandwiches, breakfast served ALL day, teriyaki bowls, salads, pita sandwiches, onion rings, mozzarella sticks... seriously, they have everything! AND they are open 24 hours a day. Not to mention 2 tacos and fries sets me back $2.17. That's it! Way cheaper than groceries...

Monday, April 6, 2009

It's Just Another Manic Monday...

The Weekend Highlights

Friday
I went to watch Fast and Furious. Ahhh-mazing. I kinda wish I were a 13 year old boy so I could have appreciated the greatness even more. I think there was a plot between the high speed chases, but I was too busy laughing with Tamsin to notice. The special effects were actually pretty cool, which was good considering the money they had to spend to get the original cast. I was also impressed with the skankiness of the ladies in the film. I would have loved to see that casting ad...."Wanted: Skanky Hos". As Tamsin put it, "It was almost on par with Snakes on a Plane bad...almost". If you want to wait till this comes out on netflix, so be it, but I highly recommend this movie.

Saturday
I convinced Fernando that we had to go to the Hispanic market in Adams Morgan. He had his doubts. While driving over the Potomac he cursed at the tourists in town for the cherry blossom festival, and when we hit Adams Morgan I think he was a bit upset that I didn't know exactly where we were headed, (I left the directions/ address at work) BUT none of it mattered when we found the market. The market is set up on the corner of Columbia, Champlain and Eucild. You would pass by it if you didn't know it was there, 7 or 8 white canopy tents set up in the tiniest of parks. We parked the car and made our way over. Now most of you know my Spanish is "Eh" at best. It was much better when I lived in Texas, but I don't have any reason to speak it in DC. Unfortunately I had to break out the rusty Spanish for this. There are no signs indicating what people have in their tents, instead you wander from tent to tent asking what they are serving that day, or you can try to catch glimpses of the food as the middle aged Hispanic women uncover their chaffing dishes to serve the hoards of people waiting. We settled on the first place. We ordered a plate "taquitos", (this dish is actuality called "flautas"). Flautas are deep fried rolled up tacos. They were good, but I wasn't wowed. I can make flautas at home, and often do. We hit the next booth and watched as two women had a crowd gathering. They were serving tacos. Fernando asked what was in their tacos.... Barbacoa. Jackpot. I quickly stood in line and ordered 2 tacos for myself, complete with greasy barbacoa served on not one, but TWO corn tortillas, piled high with diced onions, jalapenos, cilantro, and a lime wedge on the side. I ordered the salsa roja (red salsa) on mine, because I'm a wimp. Fernando, being the braver of the two of us, opted for the salsa verde (green salsa). I'm not sure how he did it, my mouth was burning at the end, though the burning didn't impede the eating. We sat on a park bench with our paper plates and cups of aqua de jamica and aqua de fresa. I'm still not sure what jamica is, but Fernando loves it, Fresa is strawberry water. I was in heaven. It was by far the best meal I've had in awhile. We were full by the time we came to the end of our tacos, which took a surprisingly short amount of time. We didn't sample any of the other food, but I can say with certainty, I will be going back.




The base of a statue in "Unity Park", where the market was. Fernando made me take a pic because it's a quote from a movie. He told me which one, I forget though.

Sunday

It was a pretty day and the wind from Saturday had died down. I decided to spend it in the park. I loaded up my LL Bean navy and cranberry monogrammed boat and tote (Thanks Annie and Frank!) with my pink Gamma Phi Beta blanket, a bottle of water, apple slices, cheese and crackers, and an unread copy of Something Borrowed (Chick lit/ beach reading). I choose the park on Pershing just half a mile from my house, found a spot and set up camp. I have to say I am amazed at how few children were there, not that I'm complaining. I spent a good 3 hours at the park (what it took me to read my book cover to cover) before heading home. While it wasn't a super exciting outing, there is something to be said for the simple things in life. God, I love spring.



TV/ Movies/ Books
The Tudors

I spent Friday night with the boyfriend watching the first three episodes of The Tudors. He had ordered it though netflix. I was intrigued as it was recently a category on Jeopardy. Also I remember studying up on my English royal family history in the 8th grade.
The show is ridiculously well done. The costumes are superb, and the actors are magnificent. I recommend this show highly... if you don't care about historical facts.
I was surprised to learn that Fernando didn't learn about English history in school. He wasn't at all familiar with the life of Henry VIII or his children. While I kept marveling at the great number of historical inaccuracies, he was more interested in the story line. I was incensed. After all, this is the life of Henry VIII! Was there really a need to add unnecessary drama? The man started a new church, had six wives, beheaded two of them, beheaded a close friend, had affairs... the list goes on and on. Do we really need to add more? Is that really necessary? I think he provided enough drama. Not to mention the number of people watching this show in all likelihood were not familiar with the exact life of Henry VIII. They might know a few tidbits, but would not likely find fault with all the historical inaccuracies. People will take this show as fact, that bothers me.
While Fernando didn't share my outrage over The Tudors, he did share with me that he was upset with the show Dead Like Me. Apparently this show is the tale of a grim reaper. He was angry that the show choose Halloween as the day souls are at unrest. He claims that Halloween is a made up day on our calendar, and our calendar is ridiculously unreliable (just ask the Mayans). While I agree with him about our calendar and Halloween, I couldn't believe he was upset at that, but not The Tudors.
Here is the question. Do he and I take our TV too seriously? Or maybe we should just chill, and realize it's only a TV show?
From the Foodie in Me
Wing Sauce

1/2 cup of Frank's Red Hot

1/3 cup butter
That's it, 2 Ingredients. Presto! Best Wing Sauce ever.



My Addiction To...
My Blackberry
I recently realized that I am having a lot of eye problems. I have an optometrist appointment in a few days because I am positive my eyesight has become worse over the last year. I also realized that the problem really escalated when I bought my blackberry last summer.
My work pays for my plan, so I have no intention of giving up my blackberry in the near (or distant) future, but perhaps when I am at home, and I want to chat, I should fire up the computer instead of opting for the blackberry. The tiny screen isn't doing my eyes any good.

I will say it's hard to imagine not having a blackberry, and not having the information super highway at my fingertips... plus this past weekend I learned how to cut and paste. Sweet!



Around Town
Sort-of-Jane Austen Reading Series: The Tragedie of Antonie



Monday, April 6, 2009 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts

Directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner. Join the National Museum of Women in the Arts and Washington Shakespeare Company for this new series of six staged readings highlighting plays and poetry by historic and contemporary women. Featuring the talents of area directors and actors, the series brings to life works from the Renaissance that were never staged and more recent works that illuminate the lives of Renaissance-era women in the arts. Come see what women playwrights and dramatists wrote and thought in the age of Shakespeare and discover how their contributions pave the way for women playwrights today. The series opens with Mary Sydney's The Tragedie of Antonie, which provides an atypical portrayal of Cleopatra: she is Marc Antonie's devoted love, not a seductress intent on his betrayal.

Event Admission: $10 in advance, At-door pay what you can
Tickets: 800-494-8497
Address: 1250 New York Avenue, NW
Metro: Metro Center (Orange, Blue and Red lines) 13th Street exit
Phone: 202-783-5000

Politics
Abortion

This is an issue that has always been a struggle for me. Growing up Catholic I was taught that abortion was bad and immoral. It was a black and white issue. Good versus bad. As a teenager I was a part of Dallas' Catholic Ministries to help those who were thinking about abortion choose another option.

When I went to college. I changed my mind. I saw all the things going on around me and I knew exactly how someone could have an abortion. How girls were often scared, and how a night of partying could ruin their lives. I knew several people who had abortions, and I couldn't judge them for it, or say that I wouldn't have at least considered it, had I been in their position.

Then I graduated from college. No longer a teenager, or even in my early twenties, I began to think about what I would do in that situation. Abortion just didn't seem like the answer I would turn to. I did a lot of praying about it. I decided that I am against abortion. When it comes down to it, I believe it's a life, a person inside of you. I've seen the trauma women go through when they have miscarriages, whether or not the pregnancy was planned. You don't feel that kind of loss and anguish over a blob of cells. If you did, you would break down at ever hair cut, or every time you clipped your nails. I can't get over the fact that it's a life inside of you. It's a life which has been trusted to you for safekeeping. There are so many families in this country that are searching for a child of their own. Families that have to be on waiting list for years, families that seek children overseas, where adoption processes are lengthy and costly, but the children are more available. I implore women to seek adoption as an alternative to abortion.

I welcome all constructive feedback and questions on this topic.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mostly Political Post... You've Been Warned...

Movies/ Books/TV
Going to see Fast & Furious today. I'm super excited about this. I loved the first one. The scene where Vin Diesel picks up his girlfriend by the butt. Man, that's good. Every girl out there knows exactly what scene I'm talking about. That's all I got...

Around Town
Shenson Chamber Music Concert
Wednesday, March 11, 2009 - Friday, April 3, 2009 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Location: National Museum of Women in the Arts
Admission: Free, reservations required.
Phone: 202-783-7370
Email: reservations@nmwa.org
http://www.nmwa.org/calendar/detail.asp?eventId=844

I often try to do cheap fun things around town. Enjoy!

Politics
Left v. Right
I majored in political science in college, and it was my deepest desire to be a politician, or a judge... maybe a lawyer. But I KNEW I loved politics and the way our country was founded. I fell in love with the idea that anyone in this country could be anything he or she wanted to be. Where you came from didn't have to have an impact on where you were headed. All that was needed was the right amount of work and dedication.
While I still appreciate, and love, our countries origins I am now jaded. Living in Washington has made me realize that I want no part in politics. I worked in a conservative think tank, and I saw the way things were really done. I no longer call myself a Republican (don't get excited Liberal friends) I don't call myself a Democrat either. I'm not neutral, I have opinions. I now realize this country isn't really a democracy. It's more of an Oligarchy. Rule by a few, rule by the elite. Do you really think there is THAT much difference between the politicians in DC? If so, you're sadly mistaken. All are members of elite families, all belonged to the same secret clubs and societies, it's hardly coincidence.
We as Americans spent the last election worried about which man would be our leader, which man would rule over America, and make the best decisions. In reality we should have been more concerned that we are choosing to be ruled.
The difference between McCain and Obama was nonexistent. We choose to have government infiltrate every aspect of our lives, and are given the illusion that we control our fates. We don't. Our businesses are regulated, our purchases are taxed, our hobbies are monitored, our children are counted. What part of your life isn't effected by the government? Can you name something?
I am a strong believer that taxes should be paid at a federal level for the armed forces, and at the state level for streets and roads. That's it. Free market economy. It's SUPPOSED to be what the country is built on. It isn't anymore.
I, unlike Mrs. Obama, have always been proud of my country. People ask what I am and I respond "I'm American". I always have been, I always will be. The fear is that one day American will no longer mean free. We have slowly evolved into a ruled society. Where will it end?

Affirmative Action
People often ask me what my position on affirmative action is.
I am wholly against it.
I take a lot of jokes about my race. As a American-Mexican (you read that right, the American comes first) I have been raised in an environment when I am told I can be anything I want to be. I am told I am just as good as any other race, and any other ethnicity. I take jokes from my white friends about being white, and truth be told, I don't really have many Mexican friends. I take it all though, I try to be a good sport. I realize that I am in a unique position to embrace a my culture, and because I live in this great country, I can still achieve anything I want to achieve.
Until you introduce affirmative action. It's the most insulting thing you can do to someone. Tell them that they are just as good as the next person, then show them that you don't really mean it, but to balance it out, you'll get them into that school on the basis of their skin color. They'll get that job, because they are brown. It isn't fair. I don't want anything as a handout. I feel ashamed for those that do. I don't want anything that I haven't rightfully earned. Admissions should be color blind. Jobs should be too.
Now, I know this isn't the case. I know you can't make people color blind. I know that some people are prejudice. But do you really think by forcing those people to hire and work with people they despise that they will overcome their prejudices? Affirmative action is a flawed idea. you can't say we are all equal, but then act as if we aren't. If I have to work harder to achieve something, so be it. It just means that in the end, I'll be that much prouder of myself for my accomplishments. Don't insult me though. Don't think that I need affirmative action.

From the Foodie in Me
Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

These are the best pancakes ever. I usually increase the vanilla to 3 tablespoons, but that might be a bit much for a normal person. the batter is going to look a bit thinner than your normal pancake batter, but the pancakes will fluff right up as soon as they hit the griddle.
You don't even need syrup!

My Addiction To...
The Food Network
Technically this could go under the TV/ Movies/Books section, but I had to give special credit to The Food Network. I spend Saturday's on the sofa just watching show after show. The Barefoot Contessa, Good Eats, Chopped, and my new favorite Challenge. I love to cook, and these shows give me ideas for food that I would like to make... if I ever have a kitchen bigger than a hallway.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I'm So Uncreative When It Comes to Titles...

Books/ TV/ Movies
In case you didn't know, I'm an avid reader. I once dumped a guy because he told me that he had read one book in the past year. It's sort of a deal breaker. I try to alternate between chick-lit, classics, and contemporary writings. I'll try to update on which book's I've read recently and give you yay or nay. Enjoy!

House of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski

I'm a fairly quick reader. I can usually get thru a book in a day, maybe two. I'm the kind of person that can't put a book down once I start. House of Leaves took me a solid week to finish.
It's the second best book I have ever read. It's also the scariest book I've ever read.
I'm a sucker for scary movies, especially the classics. I saw The Shining when i was 10, Child's Play when I was 6, and Rosemary's Baby when I was 12. Part of the reason this book took me so long to read was that it was so frightening I had to stop reading certain parts and take frequent breaks from the scariness.
The novel itself is unique. It's a story within a story with several side stories as narration. Footnotes are chapters in length and have footnotes of their own. Chapters that are written backwards and upside down, mimicking the feelings that the characters in the book are experiencing, creating feelings of isolation and claustrophobia.
I don't want to give away any plot details. But if you haven't read this book, do so, soon.
Around Town
The National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival annually commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and celebrating the continued close relationship between the two cultures. It's a gorgeous sight. Pink blossoms all in bloom along the Tidal Basin. If you make a trip to the Basin, I suggest parking near the Jefferson Memorial, you might think that it's not a long walk from the Lincoln Memorial, but it is. Also be sure to try out the paddle boats. I haven't done this in a few years, but last time I checked it was $4 a person, and in DC you can't beat those prices.
From the Foodie in Me
I was chatting with my friend Sarah yesterday, who is truly a foodie (she's made a career in nutrition) and I realized that I like a number of different dishes that I only get to eat once a year (when I visit my parents). I thought I'd share with you a few of the more ethnic dishes that I haven't subjected my friends to.
Barbacoa- Literally translated it means "barbecue" in Spanish. However it's not any barbecue. It's cow's head (that's what she said). You take the cow's head and you cook it whole in a big pot. You then pull the meat from the bones when you're done. Many people often include the brains in the meat. Sound's yummy, no? Well it is. Because it's meat from the face of the animal it's ridiculously tender, and it bears a resemblance in appearance to chopped beef brisket.
Lengua- Literally translated it means tongue. No sugar coating it (pun intended) that's what it is, cow's tongue. You cook it, chop it up, and put it in tacos.
Menudo- Literally translated it means a Mexican boy band... haha, not really. I saved the best/ grossest for last. Menudo is a spicy reddish brown stew. It has lots of hominy (it's what grits are before they are all mushed up). It can be dressed up with diced onions, cilantro, shredded cheese, and lemon juice. On the side you usually have guacamole or avocado slices and plenty of fresh corn tortillas. Now for the gross part, the stew is made from the lining of a cow's stomach. Often people add pigs feet as well. Mmmm. The origin of the stew is Mexican... however not even my Mexican boyfriend will eat this dish. Yum!
My Addiction to...
Craigslist
Seriously, I can't get enough. I scan the gigs section daily. I'm always looking through the free stuff and the furniture. The best-of section cheers me up on a rainy day. The forums let you vent about anything and everything. If I'm bored I can always look in the activities section. When I need to get rid of junk in my house I post away and someone will come haul it off and usually pay me for it. Seriously, it's the best idea ever.
However, I now find myself at a loss when I need something done and craigslist can't do it for me. Recently I was looking at moving, I checked CL night and day looking for a place. I couldn't find anything that was a good fit. Where else do I look? Are there other websites out there? I'm sure there are, but my dependency on CL has grown out of control.
I guess that's why it's called an addiction.