Archive | September, 2011

getting old.

30 Sep

When your Friday night starts with a nap and a pot of coffee…that’s not great. I might as well be 85.

wordless wednesday.

28 Sep


alma de cuba, dark horse, and fall.

23 Sep

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the evening with my friend, K, who I am getting to know better.  We had plans to eat at Alma de Cuba on Walnut Street with her boyfriend, my fiancé, and a few of our mutual friends.  Our reservation of six soon became a reservation for two because of the crazy work/life schedules of everyone.  Although the atmosphere at Alma de Cuba is very romantic (we saw a plate scrolled with “I love you” in dark sauce on the way to our own candle-lit table), I was glad to have a girls’ night.  Living in DC for the last two years, I didn’t have access to any girlfriends and worked too much to make any.

      I’d been wanting to dine here since I passed it’s facade a few weeks ago on my way to a different group dinner.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Especially situated beside typical brick buildings.  The inside was not a disappointment!  The lower level is a lounge with low, plush white couches, red candles, and a glowing bar that serves mojitos with real sugarcanes as stirs.  The upper level is the dining room, also with white furniture, candlelight, and those fantastic windows you can see in the photo.

The food was obviously delicious, too, or else I wouldn’t even bother posting about the restaurant!  We had the fixed three-course menu for Restaurant Week.  I started with the goat cheese salad. which consisted of arugula and fried goat cheese balls.  I like goat cheese, but fried goat cheese? LOVE.  I wish I could remember the kind of steak that I had, which was amazing with black beans, rice and tomato sides.  All I can remember is it was thin and came apart easily and when I requested ‘medium rare’ I was told it only came ‘very well-done’.  So I assume that is a trademark of the steak and anyone familiar with Cuban food probably can tell what I ate.  Last was carrot-cake with almond-sunflower-seed-brittle on top.  Loved the brittle.

The evening was also remarkable because with it came the first signs of Fall.  Crisp air, romance, golden sun, mystery, fresh apples and grapes, Halloween and the beginning of the holiday season.  What’s not to love about Fall?!  I embarrassingly found myself in dress shorts as the temperature dropped to the 50’s.  But I’ll take it, I am so relieved for the weather to cool down, especially since I’ve been walking to class every week, and I hate to arrive sweaty!

Several days later K and I were able to pin down our men long enough to go out to dinner and drinks Saturday night.  This time we changed gears and went to the Irish Pub, Dark Horse, on 2nd Street near Society Hill.  After we wound our way through the interior maze of rooms and finally found a dining room (there are several bars both up- and down-stairs) we had a great time, despite the bachelorette party in the general vicinity.  The menu was diverse, but luckily they had the Irish staples: bangers and mash, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie…It was hard for me to narrow it down (I hate making decisions), so with A’s help I decided on shepherd’s pie.

These restaurant outings are so noteworthy for me because I consider it one of the primary reasons to live so close to the city.  Finally we have access to a little culture and variety!  Not to mention a social life again.  What I hope to add to the list of activities is wine or beer school.  I would prefer wine, but let’s be honest, I would do either if I can ensure A and friends will come with me.

First I need some recommendations for wine schools in Philly.  Any ideas?

the hunger games.

14 Sep

I started The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins on Friday.  I finished the entire trilogy by Tuesday.  I’m mourning the loss of the characters from my daily routine.

And lucky us (!) it's becoming a movie in March 2012.

Normally I really hate books like 1984, Anthem, and Alas,Babylon. The kind that are set in the future when the United States (or other countries, or the world) has more-or-less destroyed itself.  Maybe I hate them so much because a) after studying anthropology, they don’t seem so far-fetched and b) because the rebel in me wants to offset how unnaturally much high school teachers LOVE those three books.  Really, really love them.  In any case, THG trilogy is the only exception.

I’m recommending everyone read it.  More rationally, I think most twenty-something females would just eat it up.  I can see guys, too, probably not as many.  But this isn’t really a book review at all.  More like a character gush.  I need to gush about my favorite male character in any book, ever.

Peeta.  Oh, man.  He’s the quintessential love interest in the least quintessential romantic situation.  That’s what makes him so great — he spends basically 2.5 books unconditionally loving the main character, who is only moderately fond of him.  He loves her so much that he stays in her life while she maybe loves someone else (I could write a whole blog about how annoying Katniss Everdeen is).  Then fights his way through insanity to come back to her even though she still hasn’t EVER told him she loves him.

The best part, really, is that Peeta has been loving her steadfastly since he was eleven.  He loved her from a distance, and he remembered every detail about her.  Even when he’s pitted against Katniss in The Hunger Games (2x over) where ‘tributes’ fight to the death, he offers his life willingly, so that she not only lives, but also doesn’t become a murderer.

When she asks him to stay with her during her nightmarish sleeps, he replies, “Always.”


She falls in love, too.  On the last page of the trilogy.

I’ve never loved a character.  There is nothing I don’t love about Peeta.  No moment of anger, no foolish decision, no action at all that bothered me as a reader.  I keep wondering if it’s because maybe his character was static.  Or maybe he’s so great BECAUSE he’s static.  He loved her.  He loved her. He was insane.  Then he loved her again.  Unconditional love really is static.  It’s static because unconditional means nothing can destroy it, it’s constant.

Beautiful book.

why I need a project.

13 Sep

It might not seem immediately obvious why I need a project.  After all, I’m interning 24 hours per week in a non-profit PR department and going to school full-time to earn my MBA.  Not to mention taking care of my fiancé (his “dry cleaning” is in the dryel bag as I write) and my German Spitz, Rocky (he’s a little neurotic).

But it starts to make more sense.

The soul-sucking company that A works for steals him away for months at a time for busy season after busy season.  Sure, he comes home to sleep, but that still leaves me with hoooooooouuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrssssss most nights, during which I do highly important things: nap, drown myself on the internet, and watch tv on DVR.

Basically I need to get a life.

I also realized I might need a way to define myself.  Over the course of the last two years, I rushed a move to DC (to be with A), took the first job I could get, and started my enslavement as a sales rep for a national cellphone provider.  I completely and utterly lost every spark of interest I had in the world.  When I wasn’t at work, I slept, and couldn’t bear getting out of bed because I was that disgusted with the trajectory of my life.  If anyone would have asked me (and even now, though it’s improving) “What do you like to do?” I would have lied.  Or said nothing, but that would have been rude.

But I had A, and knew that it was only a matter of time until I figured out what I was going to do with myself.  I had a near-flawless undergraduate record and after MUCH deliberation, decided I would abandon Museum studies, in lieu of an MBA.  A tad more versatile.  So now that I’ve let the shackles in DC and embarked on The Plan, I want the whole package.  I want to get myself back.  Be happy, be interesting, be diverse, well-read, enthusiastic, and inspired.

The first mission: buy a digital camera.

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