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.
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.

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