Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all, especially my loved ones in NYC! I'm thrilled about my upcoming celebration with my big sister - we will show our sisterly love by going to a Madonna concert at Yankee Stadium in September. In the mean time, I'm also super excited that my other valentine (my lovely, handsome, and thoughtful boyfriend) surprised me with Harry and David chocolates and is visiting me this weekend! Looking forward to using up some Groupons to yummy restaurants to give him a taste of DC!

By the way, last weekend's Galentine's Day sip and swap party/Bridesmaids screening was a success! The below photo of our leftover clothes to donate to a local women's shelter proves it - don't be alarmed by the shadow of our living room chair!

Here are a few fun links to celebrate this highly commercialized-love fest:

Washington Post valentine declarations – romantic reader-submitted, D.C.-themed one-liners (I knew Washingtonians had to have some heart and/or emotion despite all evidence to the contrary based on how our government functions!)

New York Times Modern Love columns – my absolute favorite feature of the Sunday NYT; the perfect accoutrement to the underlying and often-underemphasized foundation for this holiday... actually celebrating our loved ones (as opposed to just buying them gifts, cards, and candy).

How to Say Those Three Little Words Onscreen - I just saw two incredibly different romantic comedies (This Means War, which was fantastic and combined action, comedy, and the buddy system to create a very satisfying film - and The Vow, which based on my expectations, lacked depth in the sense that I was not invested in the characters' love story), and this video features classic and blog-appropriate love scenes
(impressively condensed into four minutes).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grateful Weekend

I'm back! And now living in Washington, DC.

Welcome to my first Grateful Weekend post, a new section in which I'll count down the top five things I'm most grateful for about why weekends are so wonderful.

Here goes my favorite things about this weekend:

1) Yesterday afternoon I started off the weekend with a visit to the doctor - something I usually dread - and I'm happy to report that I'm healthy!

2) Following this somewhat-stressful appointment, I enjoyed a quiet night in complete with some wine, a messily-done manicure, and a Redbox (the only downside to the evening was that I watched I Don't Know How She Does It - which really should be called I Don't Know How I Sat Through It - and I'm annoyed that I will never get those two hours back).

3) This morning it was about to snow but absolutely gorgeous and sunny out, so I bundled up and went to a new gym class. I loved how it combined yoga, pilates, and ab work to upbeat music - a nice way to mark my first workout of the new year (yeah, it's mid-February).

4) My fantastic roommate and I spent the day watching chick flicks, baking, and setting up for our swanky swap party and movie night tonight. We asked our friends to help us celebrate "Galentine's Day" by emptying their closets and drawers, and joining us for a girl's night in with yummy hors d'oeuvres, desserts, and girly cocktails. To round out the night, we'll finish with a viewing of the fabulous Bridesmaids. The best part of this event is that all unclaimed items will be donated to women in need at a local women's shelter - so not only will we walk away with something recycled, but we can also feel good that other women out there are also getting something that will hopefully brighten their day too!

5) Last and sort of least, I tried out a new Shabbat service on Friday that was not my scene at all - and even though I didn't have the best time, I really appreciated that the friendly girl sitting next to me performed a mitzvah by helping to guide me through when I realized that there was no transliteration and since I don't read Hebrew, I was completely lost. So thank you, whoever you are!

Stay tuned for more - and photos from this weekend!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Few Links for a Quiet Night In.

After a lovely Thanksgiving break I'm back in Berkeley and eager to finish up the semester as soon as possible. Here's a few amusing posts from around the internet to let our holiday vacation last just a bit longer:

Hangover Helpers is a small business dedicated to supplying a clean up crew and snacks for the morning after. I really wish I thought of that as a post-college enterprise.

I just wrote a paper all about how Facebook is such a successful social networking website that it is truly transforming interpersonal relationships, and wish I could have cited this article on tangible Facebook scrapbooks.

I really want to go see Tiny Furniture, a new indie film about a confused young woman trying to figure out what to do with her life after graduating from college and moving back home with her dysfunctional family (even though I'm really hoping I'm not in the same situation in six months).

Monday, October 11, 2010

College Cooking Class: Beef Chili With Rice

The spices used to cook up this hearty meal make the kitchenette portion of my studio apartment smell amazing. I also got several of the ingredients at the 99¢ Store, making it an incredibly affordable dish that included six servings.

- 2 cups rice
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of pinto beans
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of kidney beans
- spices: salt, pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano (or anything else you like, such as cumin)
- cheddar cheese (as much or as little as you like to put on top)
- 1/2 pound of broccoli
- olive oil

1) Cook rice and set aside. If you have a rice cooker, I am jealous. If you don't, add two cups of rice and four cups of water in a large pan, bring to a boil, then turn turn and stir slowly until the water evaporates and rice is fluffy)

2) Coat a skillet with some olive oil. Brown the ground beef and add a dash each of salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

3) Combine cans of tomatoes and three types of beans into a large pot on high heat. Stir in small amounts (i.e. a teaspoon of salt, pepper, chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and oregano), and then add more of which ever spices you prefer (some people like it really spicy!). Switch to medium heat and cover, but remember to stir occasionally.

4) Meanwhile, steam broccoli in the microwave by covering it with water and plastic wrap. Then strain in a colander and cover to keep warm.

5) Strain the ground beef in a colander, then mix into the pot of chili.

6) Do a taste test and add a few more spices if necessary.

7) Grab a bowl, add some rice, spoon on some chili, and sprinkle with cheese. Don't forget to serve some broccoli on the side to balance out the meal.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Power to the People? I Don't Think So.

Here's a link to my editorial criticizing Berkeley students' approach to the October 7 protest that appeared in yesterday's issue of UC Berkeley's student newspaper, the Daily Cal. Students staged a sit in at the library that disrupted people trying to study and plan to continue their "activism" through a pillow fight outside of the Chancellor's home next week further proving my point that this circus atmosphere distracts from the cause and makes students seem ignorant and uninformed about the issues at hand. Here's to educating yourself on the reasons why California is in such a massive budget crisis, and organizing effectively to increase our opportunities for affordable, quality higher education.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Back for a Quick Recap

All 2.5 of my fans out there must have figured it out by now that the radio silence on my blog meant that I was transitioning back into the school year. Starting my senior year at Berkeley has been more hectic than I expected. It usually takes me about a month to adjust to a new schedule, but I've already begun work on three major assignments due all in one week, and this has definitely disrupted my otherwise calm start to the school year.

Anyway, I'd like to share a few great links that have amused me during my study breaks.

You've heard of food yoga, naked yoga, hot yoga, and now there's stoned yoga.

Although I can barely keep up with the Sunday New York Times throughout the week, here's a great list of what books to read this fall (hopefully I can catch up during Thanksgiving break).

I'm really looking forward to going to see Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps next weekend. I love that the trailer uses the Rolling Stones song "Sympathy for the Devil" to show Gordon Gekko's return.

That's all for now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer's Coming to a Close

With just a few weeks left until school starts, I'm trying to squeeze in a few more adventures in the Bay Area before I visit my family in Los Angeles. Between working, interning, and getting tutored for a math placement test I have to pass in order to graduate on time, this summer has turned out to be much more hectic than I expected.

Still, I'm glad to make time to go to the fabulous San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The theme this year is Tough Guys: Images of Jewish Gangsters in Film, but I choose to go to two very different screenings. On Monday night I got to see contemporary Israeli short films, and tonight I'm planning on watching a documentary. A Small Act is about a Jewish woman who donated a few dollars per month to an impoverished young boy from Kenya who later went to Harvard and became a renowned human rights lawyer. He later established a scholarship fund in her name to thank her for helping him. I'm eager to see how the cycle of mitzvahs (good deeds) unfolds.