May 21, 2011

Double Feature

Firstly, let me apologize for being a horrible blogger. Last week I graduated from college and officially became an alum of GWU! Whew- huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders! It was really anti-climatic actually; I had enjoyed a whole week of celebrations and time off of school to just drink and sleep, so when graduation eventually rolled around, I was excited to just have the time off to detox and wean myself off of vodka cranberries and tequila.

After graduation, my mother and I packed my entire life into an MDX Acura and headed down to North Carolina to see my grandfather for 2 days. However, upon arrival, he dropped a bombshell on us by informing us that his doctors found cancer throughout his body and he really had a limited time left. Like months. Big bombshell. So we extended our trip here and have been kind of hanging around in limbo, waiting to hear back on test results and deciding what to do. It's been stressful, and I also have been dealing with helping my mother. It was definitely a big step downward from the high of graduation and kind of a complete 180 degrees. So, that is mainly why I have been such a horrible blogger. And the thing with blogging is, I feel like you have to keep it up otherwise you just get so intimidated by the backlog. But whatever, I love writing and will keep it going, even if one sole reader in Thailand reads it (thanks, by the way).

But having all this down time has allowed me to catch up on some good movies. And I just came back from seeing the new film Bridesmaids which I highly recommend. The Judd Apatow film has basically been advertised as "the female The Hangover" which essentially it is. And that is why it is so revolutionary. It really is one of the first feature films in which women are portrayed as raunchy and dirty  and have a completely "unfeminine" or "unladylike" sense of humor and that's what makes it funny!!

I love that women in the film are making jokes about their vagina or admitting to shitting in their pants. It's okay to make a dirty joke and still be feminine. The two are not mutually exclusive. 

The film also was great in exploring and portraying female relationships and not over-simplifying them or making them obnoxiously superficial. The film was really a breath of fresh air and (hopefully) a harbinger of a change in cinema in which female characters are given more credit- we can be the joke, not simply the butt of it.

I really encourage and recommend to everyone to dish out the $10 and go see this flick. Bring your friends and make a night out of it. I spent a good forty minutes discussing it with my mother afterwards. So yeah, take your mother. Sure there are some awkward sex scenes and jokes about blow jobs, but hey- we're all women. 

And on a completely unrelated side note, now that I have internet connection and am surrounded by family that think that sunset is directly correlated to bed time, I will be able to spew forth more awesome blogness. Thanks for still reading!

May 11, 2011

Nights Like These

Just a warning, I am graduating from university in 2 days and just said goodbye to half of my friends who all live abroad, so this entry will be very cheesy, and lame and whatnot- but I wanted to write it. Also be happy that it's the length it is, because it definitely was about three times longer before. Enjoy!

Today was one of those days that I know I will look back upon forever, and always with a huge smile. It was a sad day, but a great one as well. 

My beautiful tagine- with 15 pieces of chicken
stuffed in there!
Yesterday was spent preparing a feast for all of our friends to say good-bye and have one last hurrah. Jenn and I labored in the kitchen (seriously I rarely cook) where I managed to pull of a Moroccan tagine dish for 15 people. We also had stuffed peppers, Israeli salad and couscous. The whole end result was fantastic - and delicious. 

We also had white t-shirts that we all signed and left notes for others on. We took over 200 pictures on Jenn's camera. We drank Sangria out of a tub. We went through 5 bottles of wine, a bottle of tequila and 2 bottles of Smirnoff. We ate some more. 

It was so much fun, but also incredibly bittersweet. I know that I will see everyone again (we all plan on reuniting in Chile in December and then Brazil in 2014 for the World Cup) but it is definitely still an end of an era. An end to salsa dancing til the sun comes up. The end of watching scary movies and watching Simon hold back his fear by swearing in Spanish. The end of five hour dinners together and long walks exploring DC. But a great end, and one that I will always remember.
Everyone in their shirts

After the dinner Simon and Pablo still needed to pack for their 6am flight and move out of their dorm. Naturally, because they are men, they hadn't packed a thing. So Jenn and I (mostly Jenn, I passed out for a solid hour on the floor) had from 2am til 4:30am to pack up their entire lives and somehow get them on their flight home (it is a miracle we accomplished this). After we waved them off to the airport and somehow tried our own tears, we realized that because of the adrenaline of the night and the intensity of everything we still were wide awake. So we grabbed a bottle of champagne, two cups and decided to cross off another thing from our bucket list: watch the sun rise over the National Monument from the Lincoln Memorial with a bottle of champagne. 

My victory pose at Lincoln Memorial
And we did that. And it was beautiful. And I didn't have a camera so I will never have a picture to show anyone, but I will always remember this night. And the memories we made, and the friendships I created. And of course, I ended the night with the one person who started it all with me, my best friend Jenn. And the most beautiful, amazing, incredible, awesome thing is is that our adventure is just beginning. Even though we graduate in two days and go our separate ways for awhile, in 3 months we are going to board a flight and begin a new adventure by moving to Chile without any job prospects, without anywhere to live and with knowing just a handful of people. And yet, there is no one else I would want to share that adventure with. 

To all those who loved every day to the fullest and created the lives they wanted, I dedicate this entry to you. Thank you for reading!

May 5, 2011


So it is 8:55 am on a freezing May morning and I am holed away in my student center trying to force myself to study for my last final exam of my college career. As you can see, that did not go very well as for the last 30 minutes I have been trolling the internet and playing peek-a-boo with a baby seated five feet away. Productivity fail.

Besides spending a good 2.5 hours copying and pasting Wikipedia entries into a somewhat intelligible study guide, I have not been able to muster the energy to actually look at it. Sure I have stared at it, thumbing thoughtlessly through the pages. AND I did sleep with it under my pillow, hoping that something would sink in. But actually studying? Eh, no.

Because whenever I do peek at it, and try to remember exactly why the Ayatollah Khomeini sucked, I get little visions in my head of summer. Little peaks at the party I will be attending and subsequently blacking out through later tonight. I think of August when I will be departing the United States for one final time (I'm sure I will come back to visit friends and family in the future- Also will be back when they release Dirty Dancing 3, obviously). 

It's all enough to make a girl just say "F- it" and troll Youtube looking for Mexican-Libyan love ballads (oh yes, they do exist). So thanks for allowing me my little bit of procrastination. I do have a final in one hour and then another one tonight at 7:40pm so hopefully between that time, I do manage to figure out some of this nonsense- well, enough to let me pass for the semester. 

May 3, 2011

The Great Adderall Debate

While riding the elevator this afternoon, I heard a conversation that I have heard dozens of times in my history as a student. It went a little something like this:

Bro 1: Sorry I am so jittery, man.
Bro 2: No worries, bro. It's finals. Shit happens.
Bro 1: Seriously, I haven't slept in 2 days.
Bro 2: That's rough man.
Bro 1: Yeah, I know but I've taken like 2 Adderalls in the last hour so I'll just stay up tonight and study. 
Bro 2: Nice bro.

I couldn't help but roll my eyes at this idiotic conversation. The worst part about this, is that I have heard this conversation so many times. I hear people talking about it literally all the time. Why take the time to prepare and study for a test properly when you can just take an Adderall the night before? 

There is a lot of debate about whether or not popping an Adderall and subsequently putting your brain on overdrive constitutes as cheating. Many universities, such as Wesleyan University have included the unprescribed using of Adderall in their code of student conduct. 

I also have wondered many times about Adderall. There have definitely been some situations in which I wished I could just stay up the whole night and finish off a paper or cram for a test. But I also would never let it get to that point. I have never put off a 20 page paper so that I only had 30 hours to do it. I physically have never wanted to put that pressure on myself, and I honestly do not understand why others do that.

Now don't get me wrong. I procrastinate. I put things off. I prefer a two-hour episode of The Biggest Loser over some reading for a class. But, I know how to time-manage and I make sure that I get my work done, and I am proud when it is done because I know that I worked hard and worked honestly for it.

I am also a working student. I work two jobs, three days a week from 8:30-5:30pm. I am in class two days a week from 9:30AM to 9:4PM non-stop. I also loosely observe Friday night Shabbat and generally do not do work on Fridays or Saturdays and I still manage to (pardon my language) get my shit done. 

As a full-time student and worker, I have little patience for people who resort to paying $10 to stay up all night and finish off a paper that I had spent hours working on for the past 2 weeks. I also get really annoyed when I hear people walking into a test talking about how they had been up for 18 hours studying for this test and my curve gets thrown off.

Obviously I cannot control what people choose to do. And at the end of the day, I am not all that bothered about it. You want to mess with your body and potentially damage it in order to study for a test that you could have prepared for a week ago? Go for it. And at the end of the day, I am not the one being cheated: they are. They are cheating themselves by not taking the time to actually properly learn the material and benefit from it. I think the part that bothers me the most is that I have to hear this nonsense. I wish I could just live in my little world with the unicorns and the glitter where people don't need drugs to study and cupcakes really do have zero calories.

If you want to read a great article about Adderall and the business of it on campus, I recommend this article from the Yale Daily News. 

May 2, 2011

Party in the USA

Last day, while I was laying in bed in my pajamas and watching The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when I saw on my Twitter newsfeed that Obama was set to make an important decision at 10:30. Naturally, I flipped over to CNN and Wolf Blitzer was also sitting around checking his own Twitter to try and figure out what was going on. My roommate and I were betting that it was Libya, especially with all the news of NATO bombing and killing the son of Qadafi. As the minutes ticked on, however, Twitter started exploding about the death of Osama. 

Another friend of mine online was also closely following it. Well let's face it, I go to GW- everyone was closely watching it. And as time kept passing and Wolf kept getting those annoying little 'dings' on his Blackberry, I looked at my roommate and said "I kind of really want to go to the White House right now". We decided that we could always watch the speech later and then we booked it to the White House.

Spiderman saving the day
As we step out of the elevator of our dorm, I hear the "Team America" theme song blasting in the streets and college kids running around with flags tied to the their back. We decide that it's only a couple of blocks away so we are going to just run there. So we start sprinting down the streets and you can kind of feel this amazing energy in the city. 

When we got to the White House, there were only about 50 people there. Within minutes, there were hundreds and within the hour- thousands. People were screaming, singing everything from "God Bless America" to "We are the Champions". The air was electric. I think the last time I felt anything even similar to that was in 2009 with Obama's inauguration. And yet, this was still different. It felt like we were all letting out a huge, collective sigh of relief. 

Everyone outside of the White House last night were college students. That meant we grew up in an era before we were told that we had to be afraid. A time before when we received little airplane wings from pilots and weren't concerned about which color threat level we were in. We are a lucky generation in that we got to straddle both sides of a very different America: one that was blissfully unaware and protected and one that has become scared to a point of paranoia. We were kids when our teachers collected us in school gymnasiums and explained to us in the simplest words possible on how we had been attacked and thousands of our fellow citizens had died. We were young when it happened, but we still all remember that day. Where we were. What we felt. The day after. The first time we felt it was okay to laugh.

I don't really know who keeps a skintight costume of an
American flag handy, but I'm glad he does. He stole
the show.
That is why I think the demonstrations outside the White House were so celebratory. It was not about the death of a single man, a man who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people. It was more about us reclaiming an aspect of ourselves that was taken away from us: our belief in our country again as that infallible, indestructible protector. We ran through the streets, we honked our car horns, we sang sons and cheered "Cancel finals!" We were kids again. We weren't scared about terrorists, we weren't thinking about our tense bipartisan politics or the the complexities of foreign affairs- we were just kids hanging off of trees and playing in the streets. It was one of the most beautiful things I think I have seen in this country, and I am so incredibly proud I was able to be there to witness it.

Apr 29, 2011

There is No Purpose or Anything Interesting in this Entry

So I feel like when I usually sit down to write a blog, I usually have a purpose in writing it or a topic I wish to expand upon because A) I have no one to physically talk to or B) Everyone I know is sick of hearing me talk (most likely scenario). 

But today, I have absolutely nothing extraordinary to contribute to the world- but I guess that is generally the purpose of a blog. You just type words, hit "Publish" and your revelations regarding Doritos and cream cheese (don't knock it til you try it- preferably with a few drinks in you first).

I think it is a combination of me being alone in a law office and also procrastinating finishing my last paper ever for university that has lead me to becoming inspired to write... about nothing.

Regrettably, I also went out to McFadden's last night which is the cheesy college bar on campus. A friend was having a happy hour and naturally it lead to a group of about ten of us pounding back $2 drinks until that group of ten slowly shrunk until it was just me and my vodka cranberry. Needless to say, waking up this morning was... interesting. I popped 3 advil, downed an egg and cheese sandwich from Brueggers and prayed that I would make it through til 5:30. It's only 9:22 am and I can already see how this day is going to be a struggle.

At least I have lunch with a friend at 1 to look forward to. I am also thinking of trying to rally for another Happy Hour after work but I may need to hang my head in shame and call it a night. But, knowing me, Happy Hour trumps everything. And I was apparently so fond of yelling last night, "We're so young! We have to enjoy EVERY minute!" Oh yeah, I was that girl.

I also found out that my two Chilean BAFs (best amigos forever) are going to be leaving in about 10 days. Which makes me incredibly sad. This is the problem with international friends- eventually they (or you) return back home. And yet, I still keep making friends with people from countries I could not find in any Sporcle game (I generally fail at any sort of geography. The difference between my right and left is still somewhat challenging for me). It's always been a sort of a joke with my friends of how I am subconsciously drawn to people from different countries. It's a blessing a curse.

The one thing that really annoys me about having non-American friends (and let's face it, about 90% of my friends are non-American) is that the 'compliment' "You don't act like an American". OK, I get it: everyone in the world hates us. We're neo-colonialist capitalistic bastards- I've heard it all. But at the end of the day, I was still born in this country and I am still proud of it.

I grew up a first generation American on my father's side. I remember before he got his green card, my brother and I would threaten that we had INS on speed dial if we ever got mad at him. I remember him struggling with his English and getting so offended when people wouldn't be able to understand him. Yet, he loves being American. He chased down his American dream and accomplished so many amazing things.  He is still a Moroccan, French and Israeli- but he is also proud of his American identity. And I am too. There are definitely times that I get annoyed with this country and admittedly, I do not plan on living here in the future, I am proud that I grew up in such an amazing country.

End rant. 

Apr 27, 2011

Barcelona, Burritos and Beer

So today is a really integral match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. Whenever these two rivals play each other, the match is referred to as "El Clásico". And today is another match between them for the UEFA Semi-Finals. Sadly, Barca lost last week to Real and subsequently lost the Copa del Rey cup (which ironically was dropped by Real Player Sergio Ramos.. which in my humble opinion is basically a sign that God had really wanted Barcelona to take home the cup). So the heat between these two players is going to be especially tense. Which is why I had to send an e-mail out on Sunday to my internship explaining that I had to leave early, which my roommate so subtly and tactfully suggested was a really dumb idea. 

Okay, firstly internships are unpaid. Hence, I am not receiving wages for the labor which I am performing (I still cannot really understand exactly why I am doing this to myself) so if I need want to leave work early to watch a match, I should be able to... Right? Secondly, this is a BFD, and I am a senior and my priorities pretty much lie with Barcelona, burritos and beer (not necessarily in that order). I have the really obnoxious (not for me, but pretty much for everyone else around me) of doing the whole I'mjustgonnadowhatevermakesmehappyandscrewtherest kind of mentality, so soccer will trump work any day of the week (especially Monday through Friday).

But for all of the 2.5 Americans that actually do care about soccer, watching Barca play Real is like watching a Beyonce and Christina Aguilera diva-off. You have two amazing teams, with incredibly talented footballers playing with Spanish pasión. It is also a great chance to see two immensely talented players duel off: Barca's Lionel Messi and Real's Cristiano Ronaldo. 


These two players are insanely, ridiculously good. The only difference is is that Messi represents all that is good and pure in the world and Ronaldo is the devil. Although they are really both the stars of the team, I think that a lot of the time the focus of the game turns into a rivalry simply between these two players and each match is really just between Ronaldo and Messi. There are, however, so many other amazing footballers and I think today is going to really prove how talented Barcelona is as a team. 

I actually wrote this the night before while watching The Daily Show so I have yet to actually know who has won the match. So... hopefully it is Barca because otherwise it's going to be a pretty depressing day. Especially since after Barca lost last week, I submerged myself in shots of tequila and red wine. 

Apr 26, 2011

Weekend Round Up

So this weekend was incredible. Friday was really blegh- work dragged on and on but then Friday my roommate and I ordered in Chinese food and watched T.V. I love my bumming around on Friday night routine.

Saturday we got to sleep in and then we headed to Georgetown for this French fair that we thought was happening except it was actually for the weekend of the 28th. My bad. But we improvised by buying a baguette and some fromage and pate and stuffing ourselves with that. We then ambled around Georgetown and did what we do best: shop and kill time. 

The rest of the day was spent smoking nargila outside and then napping. Finally we managed to get ourselves dressed to head over to our friend Agustin's house for his birthday. And by Agustin's house, I mean his house/the Chilean embassy (his father is the ambassador). There is just something so crazy about slamming back tequila shots next to art that costs more than my entire college education and my parent's house's mortgage put together. 

The party was so much fun and we ended up staying there til about 5. There was considerably less salsa dancing and a much higher percentage of coupling off. I swear the heat brings out our wild sides. We then walked back with our friends, with my friend Simon slung on my arm as he sang nonstop Spanish songs. Then there was the spontaneous poptarts purchase at Walgreens followed by watching the sun rise as we meandered back to campus where I fell asleep in one of those amazing drunken stupors.

2:00pm rolled around and I got woken up with a call by Simon wanting lunch. Again managed to dress myself and was so impressed with the amazing 80 degree weather (good job DC!) We headed over to Dupont Circle where we grabbed burgers and then sat in the circle. Jenn and I then put on an impromptu Easter egg hunt for Pablo, who we knew was a little homesick for Chile. It was hilarious to watch him 'hunt' for eggs around Dupont and then subsequently watch Simon destroy them. We then got coffee at illy (seriously the best coffee in the city) and head back to campus where I proceeded to take yet another nap.

Again managed to get up around 8:00 and we head over to Pablo and Simon's where we get the brilliant idea to watch Paranormal Activity. Now, I first saw this film a year ago when I was studying in Tel Aviv, Israel. I watched it with my roommate and we then got the absolutely brilliant idea (are you beginning to see the pattern of how many brilliant ideas I have?) to convince my other roommate (an incredibly sweet, mildly naive and ridiculously gullible Texan) that she is being haunted. We keep this act up for a week- moving doors around, leaving faucets running, slamming windows... the whole shebang. So, I thought I had this movie in the bag; there would be no way I would be scared. Wrong. I could not stop screaming. 

First of all, the four of us were all piled up on one big bed. Secondly it was insanely hot in their room (we discovered yesterday it was because they have had the heat on- they never knew that they had the option to turn it off. Boys) so we were all really scared, holding on to each other, cramped in a small bed and really hot and sweaty. And thirdly- and best of all- it was storming in DC that night. I'm talking thunder, rain and lightening- it was the perfect night to watch a scary movie.

The best part, though, was watching Simon freak out and yelling out every single curse word in Spanish involving every single kind of body part. It was one of those priceless, Hallmark kind of moments. 

Last night, I had another brilliant idea to get everyone back together to watch the sequel. So naturally we all pile back into bed and start watching the second one, except the internet kept dying out so the movie would keep stopping in the scariest of moments so that the movie ended up being some bizarre form of psychological torture. The third one comes out in June and I am planning on reuniting us all in Chile to watch it.

So that was the weekend. It passed by way too fast and thanks to the 500 pictures that Simon took at the party, I will soon be able to update this post with some visual evidence of some of the antics of that night (people being thrown in pool, me fighting someone (by fight, I mean gently shove but I was convinced I was a total badass) and generally awkward run-ins with a boy who thought it was a good idea to bootytext me (seriously- don't even try it, I will mock you mercilessly in a public arena). 

I also realize how incredibly long this is... so feel free to just post a "TLDR" in the comments and instead tell me about your weekend? Sharing is caring. 

Apr 25, 2011

Why I Don't Care about the Royal Wedding

Everyone is talking about the Royal Wedding. It's trending on Twitter, there's a Lifetime movie about it, you can even buy toilet seat souvenirs of the soon-to-be-newlyweds. It is literally inescapable. With an estimated 2 billion people expected to tune into the wedding next week, it is a subject that is one everyone's minds. Unfortunately I have not passed a single day this month without hearing something about this damn couple. And that is why I have decided to compose a little list of why I personally do not give a damn about the royal wedding.

Apr 23, 2011

People at Sephora Make Me Happy

Sephora is a dangerous place for me. I am one of those people who wander in, latch onto the first salesperson they can find, talk to them for thirty minutes and somehow end up with an empty wallet and a variety of little potions and small bottles of well... stuff. BUT they had a 15% off sale (they seriously never have sales) and Jenn and I decided to run up there quickly in between classes on Thursday to check out the goods. 

Now, I am not a make-up guru. I am the kind of girl who gets giddy when I see that some of my eyeliner from the day before managed to survive the night so that I don't have to exert myself in applying eyeliner again the next day. So basically, I am really, really lazy.

Apr 22, 2011

Bipolar D.C.

One day its 80 degrees, sunny and gorgeous. The next day rain. The next day they say it will rain (damn you Al Roker) and there is nothing but clear skies and warm weather. Go figure. Now it is raining and cold and all I wanna do is curl up in my bed and watch Lifetime for the rest of the night.

But it is Friday. Which means it is somehow already the weekend. How did that happen? It seemed like yesterday was an hour away. But it was a really good week. Monday was spent at work and then Chabad Passover seder where they had dozens of bottles of wine. Like dozens. They take their commandment to drink four glasses seriously (and by drink, you literally have to drink the entire cup in one sip. You are basically shotgunning Manishevitz).

Apr 10, 2011

Weekend Round Up

God must have a wicked sense of humor. After spending the better half of Friday afternoon swearing off all burritos until I am either 50 or get a gastric band, I ended up eating yet another burrito on Saturday, but it was completely against my will. It just so happened that California Tortilla was catering the lunch at my monthly mentoring get together (I'm kind of like a big sister to a DC area student but much, much cooler) and naturally I had missed breakfast that morning so I was so starving. I devoured that burrito while inside, I was crying silently. Now do you see how many problems I have and what a struggle it is for me to live?

Anyways, after a quick nap I met up with some friends to see DC United play LA Galaxy. Surprisingly DC United did not lose. Not so surprisingly, they still sucked. My town's peewee league plays better than half the players on that team. Ben Olson needs to pick his game up.

Apr 8, 2011


I always find it ridiculously hard coming up with things to blog about. I also tend to blog solely on Fridays when I am at work, have finished/given up on all my homework and am waiting for 5:30 to roll around so I can get my Shabbat dinner on and then sleep for fourteen hours. Basically, it is when I am at my most bored and uninspired. And the constant rainfall that I only catch glimpses of on my security monitor doesn't help any to pep me up. 

Buttt anyways... While I feel like I have had a really interesting past couple of weeks, I cannot for the life of me remember anything remarkably special. I have had some pretty good parties and nights out, a few fun Saturdays, some nice Barcelona matches, a night at the Israeli Embassy eating the most amazing noodle kugel (like life changing)... All in all, I really think my senior year has been the best year in my college career. I've think I've also had enough shenanigans for some good "remember when" catch-up sessions with friends and a few dozen more "Never have I ever" games. 

This weekend is shaping up to be a pretty good one as well and is especially needed after the chaos that was Monday through Friday. It felt like I just never came up for air this entire week. While speaking to my parents last night after coming home from the Israeli Embassy event, I remember nodding off so much that my mother finally gave up on trying to maintain any sort of conversation. As soon as my head hit the pillow  I was out. And then by some miracle I clothed myself and got to work where I then spent the remainder of the day studying Spanish (literally five hours) until I decided to ditch the salad I had brought with me in favor of a burrito from California Tortilla. And I bought it fully knowing I now have $20 on my debit card. I just convinced myself it was cultural immersion and part of my quest in becoming fluent and thus being quadrilingual so therefore, one day the pay-off would ultimately pay for the cost of this lowly burrito. I could rationalize plundering convents to myself if I had to. Although I imagine there would not be very much to plunder... 

And for the sacrifice of my dip into Spanish culture via burrito, I now am the proud baby of a five pound food baby and a very upset stomach which has been crying out for a heatpad and Tums for the past two hours. 

Which also makes me excited to head home, cook a beautiful Shabbat meal and rest my satisfied and possibly new morbidly obese body on my bed and call it a week. 

Ever since New Years I have been making a conscious effort to not go out on Friday nights. And it's been pretty successful. The lines have been a little fudged- I did go to a house party one Friday night but it was on campus so I didn't have to pay anything so I'm okay just calling it an oneg and absolving myself of any guilt. I have also been hitting up the Shabbat dinners around DC and finally realized what I have been missing these past four years. Seriously, Shabbat dinners are where it's at. Free food. Free alcohol. Drunk rabbis dancing on tables. As long as you can will yourself to not roll your eyes every time someone talks about their Birthright bus and how "life changing" Taglit was for them and make sure to keep your comments to an inaudible whisper whenever a short, excessively hairy Jewish guy tells you about his work at the DOJ (you can really put any acronym here), you can survive a DC Shabbat dinner.

But Shabbat, in its essence, is truly something special. It's a time when you get to just put the entire world on pause. You've had an insanely busy week? You put on 2 different pairs of earrings (happened to me twice this week)? No worries- today you don't need to stress about anything. All you need to do is sit, relax, have a glass of wine, have some post-dinner shots, hang out with friends and sleep. Tomorrow, wake up when you do, eat another meal, and hang out. No stress. 

I think Shabbat should be something universal. Or if not universal, then at least DC. Especially with this budget nonsense. I think if everyone took 24 hours to just chill out, we would be a lot more productive. And with that wisdom, I leave you all. Shabbat Shalom

Mar 25, 2011

Bus 74

OK, first some housekeeping issues. I think we can all see that I failed majorly in the 30 Day Blog Challenge. The only thing that I have actually been able to finish this week is a 10 page paper on Bahrain and a 800 calorie piece of cheesecake. 

Said piece of cheesecake (Adam's Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple to be exact) actually was my depressive carb binge that occurred when I left work Wednesday afternoon, definitely the worst day of my year so far.

I was sitting in my computer at my internship that Wednesday morning, trolling on Twitter when I found out that Elizabeth Taylor had died. I texted my friend Jenn with the sad news, lamenting the national catastrophe when she replied "And the bombing in Jerusalem, too!"... It was then that I finally got to refreshing my Twitter feed and literally saw a flood of Tweets coming in talking about a bombing in a Jerusalem bus. 

Mar 9, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 3

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show

I got hooked on this show after my friend Gabby told me to watch it while I was slumming it up in her apartment this past summer. I caught myself up on all the series in like 3 days. It is mildly pathetic how quickly I caught myself up. But anyways, I love this show. I quote it daily. I apply their episodes to my every day life and the every day lives of everyone around me. It reminds me how, in high school (the all-girls Catholic kind), I had this one religion teacher who would convince us that every song written could be applied to God. Sure, whatever- I'll give her "Jesus Take the Wheel" but no way in hell is anything with the lyrics "I like 'em real big and juicy, so find that juicy double" about God. Otherwise, there are some way bigger issues in the Catholic Church than abortion and pre-marital sex. But I digress. I love the characters (even though Ted does get kind of annoying and whiny at times) and most importantly- I love the Barneyisms. My favorite being:

A Fail and a Win

OK So obviously I failed with the 30 Day Blog Challenge by not posting yesterday, but allow me to explain as I have a pretty good excuse.

So unfortunately this past semester I have been plagued with the terrible affliction known as "Senioritis". I can barely be bothered to do any work, let alone go to classes. So, when I saw that my soccer team FC Barcelona was going to be playing in a match against Arsenal at 2:45 I naturally decided to skip class in favor of watching the game. I bribed Jenn into coming with a beer and then the shenanagians began.

Mar 7, 2011

Weekend Round Up

So it is Monday. Which means another day at work with me staring at a phone that refuses to ring (definitely not complaining about this!), avoiding homework (I made a deal to start it at 11) and Facebook chatting with everyone I know (it is not my fault all my friends living in time zones 7 hours ahead of mine and the only time we actually can speak is some ungodly hour in the morning). So anyways, a large portion of my Monday routine is refreshing Twitter every 2 seconds and writing blog posts about my weekend so my mother can read all about how I got embarrassingly drunk after one wine spritzer (6 months of sobriety killed my tolerance) and was too hungover to attend the $40,000 classes she pays for each year. Oops.

Anyways I know everyone looks forward to this so here is the weekend roundup:

30 Day Blog Challenge Day 2

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest

So Maura and I met back in high school which literally seems like ages ago. We were both kind of outcasts at our all-girls Catholic school; me being Jewish and Maura being... Maura. 

So we found each other and became really good friends and bonded over completely random things. We also ended up both going stag to our Senior prom and having a much better time making fun of every one else and counting down the hours til we could head back to our friend's house for the after party of drinking beer out of Coke cans. 

Although I maybe see Maura a handful of times a year, it never really matters. We are the type of friends that can pick up after ten years and not really have any awkward silences. She always has fun and hilarious stories and is on the track to becoming a hard-core alcoholic but still maintains a 4.0. A true rolemodel. 

Mar 6, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

Everyone wants to be loved, right? Well so does freefalafel. And I have decided to venture out of my little spot on the blogosphere and go out and try to make some new blog friends. I also have so many incredible and fascinating things to share with the world, and I believe I have a divine mission to spread my knowledge and wisdom to the entire internet community (not really, but just go with it). I also do not really fit into a specific blog genre as I literally write about whatever I am feeling- from politics to shoes. But anyways, I decided to copy my friend Leanna from OMG I moved to NYC  and enter into Fierce, Fit and Fabulous' 30 Day Blog Challenge. Due to Spring Break happening next week, this challenge might end up like me committing myself to the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred... by making it into a 62 Day Shred. But I will work my hardest because A) I want to get all my eight readers to learn more about me and B) I like answering questions about myself and pretending that people read it and are genuinely fascinated by it. So here goes with Day 1: 

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts 

This is my favorite picture because A) I am a tan and B) it is incredibly ridiculous and features a manic-depressive cat who may or may not be bipolar. 

1. I have a plethora of fun, unrelated and generally unuseful facts that I tend to not remember whenever they are needed and instead bring up in incredibly inappropriate situations (re: funerals, elevators with strangers, lines at the DMV).

2. I obsessively drink eight glasses- at least - of water every day. I just generally love water. And I have been known to have panic attacks if water is not in close proximity. No big deal. 

3. I love to travel, if you can't tell from speaking with me after five minutes. I can talk about traveling for hours and really pride myself by how well I can usually adapt to other places. I am also more than slightly proud about my ability to make offensive jokes to any culture possible. It is a gift. 

4. I am 22 and I wholeheartedly believe in the existence of leprechauns and unicorns. 

5. I have friends that live on every continent except Antarctica, but I do donate to Greenpeace, so I think the polar bears are my friends. So let's just make it every continent. 

6. I am obsessed with my dog Couscous. Look around my room and there are about eight pictures of him strategically placed. Call it love or compulsive obsession, I will never stop calling my mother and asking her to put my dog on the phone. 

7. I am currently training for a 5 mile run in May. Considering the last time I ran in my life was when I was 8 to catch the ice cream truck, this is a big deal for me. Be proud. 

8. I refuse to watch commercials. I will literally change the channel any time a commercial comes on. They are the bane of my existence, 

9.  I watch QVC for fun. 

10. I am a closet romance novel reader. And yes, by writing this I am coming out with my greatest secret. I just can't get enough of my highlander romance novels even though it sets me up for a lifetime of disappointment and Ben & Jerry's late night binges with Lifetime movies. 

Israeli Film Review

So I am an avid fan of Israeli cinema. I was lucky to grow up seeing a lot of foreign films with my avid cinemateque-obsessed father and a good percentage of them were Israeli. I have taken two Israeli cinema themed classes now and love to discover new movies. One movie that I recently saw was Ajami. The movie was released in 2009 so I am a little late in discovering the film, but I loved it so much that I had to write about it. 

I could not help but compare the film to the American movie Crash in that Ajami consists of five separate stories that ultimately collide and are neatly woven together. The characters are all set in Yafo in the Ajami neighborhood. A couple of things make this movie incredibly remarkable, though. For one, the film is a collaboration between a Jewish and Christian Arab-Israeli director. Secondly, all of the actors in the film are actually not actors. In this sense, it is a "non-film" and it heightens the sense of realism and grittiness of the drama of the film. I really enjoyed the movie when I first watched it, but after learning about the story behind the film, I had a greater appreciation for the value and quality of the film.

Mar 4, 2011

Where Have I Been?

OK So I know that I have been majorly slacking on my blog. It's been almost a month since I last published. But in my defense, I have barely had a free minute to breath, let alone blog (seriously my laundry has been piling up for weeks now, I just need to actually make the time/have enough energy to do it). But I have done some interesting and mildly fascinating things these past three weeks. Here are some highlights:

Feb 14, 2011

Weekend Round Up

So this weekend went by especially fast. I think the fact that I was holed up in bed for most of it helped it go back so speedily. I have come to cherish my weekends and respect them for the peace that they offer from the usual Monday-Friday grind. Especially Fridays. I love my Fridays.

This is how they usually look every morning...
My Fridays start out obnoxiously early: around 6:30. I turn off my alarm and flip on MSNBC (OK, let's be real- MSNBC is already on because I stayed up til some ridiculous hour watching Lock Up). I watch the horrible things that happened in the world while I was sleeping and listen to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski argue about the appropriateness of Lindsay Lohan's outfit choices. I somehow make it to the shower, manage to properly dress myself (Friday means casual wear at the office which basically means jeans and some shirt that manages to not have some form of spilled beverage or food on it) and head out the door. Work consists of me sitting and trolling Craigslist for funny Missed Connections stories for 8 hours. Then I get to walk home and watch the sun go down. This is my favorite part of my week: the walk home. It's a good 30 minutes and it takes me past the White House where I always get that feeling of "I can't believe this is my commute home". It's really an incredible feeling. It's also usually ruined in about five minutes when a a some gaggle of Asian tourists come crashing down upon the White House in a flurry of Segways. 

Feb 7, 2011


So in my twenty-two years of existence on this earth, I have never- not once- watched the Superbowl. Until last night. And it only took me about three minutes of my entire twenty-two years of existence on earth to know why I had never watched a Superbowl (or football match, for that matter) in my life: the game is idiotic. 
I miss the days of wardrobe malfunctions

It's basically a game of pushing people around until they fall. Yeah, that sounds awesome. And there is absolutely no athleticism required to play this game. And the fact that the game is paused every five seconds drives me absolutely insane. Get on with the damn game!

Anyways, the only reason I actually did watch the game this year was to introduce the wonderful sport of football to our Chilean friends who are studying in DC for the semester. Obviously they do not watch football in Chile. It might be for the lack of obese men in their country or for the fact that Americans are the only people who seem to derive pleasure from watching grown men run literally run into each other and then later slap each other's asses (seriously... why?) Naturally, when watching football- and especially the Superbowl- it is necessary to have a spread of beer, chips, salsa and other fried delicacies. Thanks to my lovely friend Jenn and her slight OCD, we had an amazing spread. There also was a mild chicken genocide in the kitchen, but no biggie. 

I do have to say my favorite part of the night was picking up on the sexual puns with my friend, Brad and reading the Onion tweets about the game. Favorite of the night is definitely "Roethlisberger needs to get it up now!" (Um.. isn't that what got him in trouble the last time?... Too soon?) Favorite tweet of the night is courtesy of OnionSports: "#Steelers: Roethlisberger should do what he does best: take advantage of young, vulnerable defense #SuperBowl" Basically it was a shit on Roethlisberger while sipping out of our Heineken mini keg kind of night.

Obviously the best part of the Superbowl were the commercials. My personal favorite was Groupon. Sure it's all controversial- but they were really the only ones that actually delivered. The rest were... megh. Almost as megh as this blog post. Seriously, I've lost my pizazz. I have a post coming up about the protests in Egypt (I was at a rally outside the Egyptian embassy on Saturday) but until then I'll just bore you with this incredibly dry and mundane entry. 

In other news, however, I found out that the 5k I had registered for is actually a 5 mile run. So I need to really pick up my training on that. And I need to start searching around for some half-marathon races in Boston over the summer- so if anyone has any recommendations post 'em here!

Until my next super exciting entry! Stay classy! 

Feb 4, 2011

Breaking the Silence

Last night I ended up at a J-Street sponsored event that highlighted the work and celebrated the book release of an organization in Israel called Breaking the Silence. The organization has collected testimonies from Israeli soldiers since 2004. Their information is open sourced and has been used by a variety of sources- including political platforms. The organization themselves, however, have just recently published their material in a book, in which I also received a copy. The aim of their organization is to offer transparency to the IDF and raise awareness about the reality facing Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories. 

I decided to attend the event rather spontaneously and was glad that I did. I find the organization compelling, especially since I have both known and currently know people serving in the Gaza and the West Bank. 

Reading through the book also reminded me of a conversation that I recently had with a friend who is dating a post-army Israeli. We were discussing the issue of PTSD and how it is so often ignored and undiagnosed in Israeli society. I remember particularly a boy I went out with who had recently finished his service in Gaza and was telling me stories of his day-to-day life. He was re-telling his stories with the distinct purpose of showing off (and let's face it- trying to get into my pants) and I could not help but be completely mortified. Every story he told me had me seriously concerned that I would be one day called as a witness in a war crimes tribunal. The things he had done were so wrong and so strikingly inhumane. 

Jan 31, 2011

My Quarter-Life Crisis

This morning started out pretty unremarkable. I had slept a good 14 hours the night before (in my defense, I had been up til 6am the night before dancing and participating in other forms of various debauchery) and when I woke up, I could not shake off a little gloomy feeling that was creeping in on me. After I had managed to shove a poptart down my throat, I began to realize why I was so miserable: I had had another dream of Israel.

Now I never dream. Seriously- when my head hits the pillow, in T minus 5 seconds, I am out and not even WWIII could get me up (I have literally been asleep during missile firings, gunshots and a neighbor's notorious late night sex romps and not missed a minute of sleep). I cannot remember the exact details of the dream, except  I just woke up with an odd sense of nostalgia and sadness. It wasn't until later when I got to work and logged onto Facebook and saw that my ulpan roommate had moved back to complete another ulpan program at our kibbutz that I just got so sad.

I miss those days so much. I miss Israel. It breaks my heart to think about how sad I am missing it. I think about Israel every single day. I surround myself with Hebrew, listen to Israeli music, feel a bright surge of pride when I see falafel stands and boast proudly (and obnoxiously, I'm sure) whenever I spot Natalie Portman on the cover of a magazine. I dread looking at my friend's Facebook profiles and seeing the pictures of them all together and just feeling so isolated. I literally feel myself longing to return. I miss the thick air, the grime of the Tel Aviv streets and the constant noise of obnoxious and whiny Mizrahi music. Even my frustration at the bus schedule and annoyance with trying to get the simplest things accomplished are sorely missed. 

And the most tense and stressful moment in my life is happening now. I am at a crossroads and need to make a decision: the most important one that I have made in awhile. Whenever I was faced with other challenging moments, my security blanket was Israel. When I took a semester off of university to decompress after a chaotic Freshman year, I chose Israel. When I was faced with the decision to study abroad, I had dozens of options but I chose Israel. And when I was looking at working or getting an internship over the summer, I threw caution to the wind (and literally all my finances) and chose Israel. And now that I am about to graduate from university and am facing another great crossroads, I am again torn. Is it Israel for me again?

I am young, I want to experience more. I want to hitchhike in Africa, salsa in Argentina and drink a pint in Ireland. And yet, as I sift through the various options of where I want to go in the coming year, I cannot help but wonder: what about Israel? And yes, I know that Israel will always be there (actually that is not entirely definite, but for the sake of this entry let's just go with it) but I cannot help but feel a sense of... something that makes me feel like I am missing out. Like I am the neighbor who didn't get invited to the party so I have to watch it from my window. I know it sounds irrational, but I can't help but feel that way. And I have a weird panic that if I don't get there soon, I will miss out on everything. I just am not entirely sure what "everything" is. 

Jan 28, 2011

Peace Out Mubarak

I woke up this morning at 6:00 am. Took a shower, brushed my teeth, shoved a banana in my mouth as I ran out the door to catch the metro to work. I logged into my computer, checked my e-mail messages and Facebook profile and prepared to suffer through the mundane 9-5 after which I would have some dinner, watch some TV and call it a night. Little did I know that during my day I would have the rare opportunity to watch a revolution unfold 6,800 miles away in Egypt.

Thanks to Twitter, we have an unparalleled and truly historic look into the events unfolding in Egypt at this very moment. This is simply mind-blowing to me. With the click of the "Refresh" button on my browser, I can, in real time, view the collapse of a regime and the toppling of an inept and corrupt Mubarak. Each time I click that refresh button, I am quite literally viewing history as it happens- in 140 characters or less. 25 minutes ago, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on the death of one woman killed in the clashes in Egypt. Nic Roberston details the "black smoke" hovering over Alexandria and Sherine Tadros of Al-Jazeera chronicles the spray of tear gas and rubber bullets. 

Multiple news sources, including Al-Jazeera, CNN and the Huffington Post are offering live footage of the scene in Egypt: the amassing of police troops, the quiet huddles of protesters that are quickly brewing into dynamic and chaotic throngs of angry Egyptians. The whole event in itself is amazing and inspiring. 

Even with internet outages and cell phone lines cut off, Egyptians on the ground are still finding ways to stay connected to the outside world. CNN reported of protesters without internet phoning in updates of the situation and having those updates posted online. The spirit of revolution is one that seemingly will not be quelled by rubber bullets, tear gas or police intimidation. 

The spillover from Tunisia marks an incredible shift in Middle East politics and one that is sure to hold the attention of the West. As Nathan Brown, a professor at my university said "I think what the events in Tunisia did was take that sense that nothing could ever change and lead a few people to question it." Although the events in Tunisia did inspire the current demonstrations and protests in Egypt, the same outcome will not be so readily attainable for the Egyptian people. 

And this is what I think will be the most important result of the protests in Egypt: the new spirit and dialogue of Arab politics. This fear of the regime in power is something that has held back Arab nations from truly uniting and becoming a serious force in international politics. But that is jumping far ahead. For now, all I can really do is sit in my little island cubicle and keep refreshing Twitter, hoping to glimpse a small fragment of history in action.

Update: I found this great graphic on the Huffington Post website showing the internet blackout in Egypt.

Jan 15, 2011

Staying in on Saturday Nights

Reason number 38 why I love staying in on Saturday nights: Watching Law & Order: SVU while trolling the internet for cute animal videos. Enjoy.

Jan 14, 2011

Week in Review

So folks, I have (almost) officially ended my first week of my last semester of university. It was surprisingly awesome. Monday I headed off to work at the job which I love. I'm basically a glorified switchboard operator, but everyone that I work with is so amazing and kind. There's the mailroom guys who I can always joke around with and who call me "Kardashian" and mock me because I when they were talking about the Jets I had assumed they were enthusing over West Side Story and not a football team. There's Mikey who is always down for a spontaneous duet of anything by Whitney Houston and of course there's an endless slew of awkwardness and office politics that makes me determined to never have a career in which I would be confined to a cubicle and the only highlight of my day is when the pie truck comes around. (Seriously the sight of grown women grabbing their purses and running to each other in high-pitched squeals about blueberry pie makes me contemplate divorcing myself from the human race). 

Jan 10, 2011

How to Find Your Travel Soul Mate

expect an Oscar nomination for this one

I was slumped against a wall in the Boston Logan Airport last, my laptop plugged into the wall so that I could watch the underappreciated cinematic classic “Step Up 3” while hoards of panicked travelers grew steadily more agitated at our increasingly late airplane when my traveling companion looked over at me and said “Thank God you’re easy to travel with”. I couldn’t help but smile from this compliment. I had never excelled at sports, could not hold a tune to save a life and my artistic capabilities never exceeded the back of the Friendly’s menu, but dammit- I could travel! I had mastered the art of shimmying out of my jacket and shoes before the person in front of me had even finished fully removing his belt. I had dominated the oddly enjoyable trivia-like games the Israeli security asked you at the airport and was especially proud of my capability to know every single item on the Passover seder plate. Sleeping in airports have become natural to me and I have mastered the art of maneuvering around the armrest so as to enjoy my full eight hours. I live and breathe to travel. I devour travel books and regard Lonely Planet as my own personal Bible. So, when I was offered that simple compliment I could not help but be proud.

It also made me think about the various traveling partners that I have had in my life and what makes some of them “good” and others “I rather be strapped down in a Thai prison than here with you right now”. There are certain obvious factors that need to be considered when traveling with someone, especially when you will be traveling extensively with them. The first most obvious one is budget. You both need to be on some sort of understanding so that when you land in Paris and look for lodging, you will not be staying in a hostel with a rat for a roommate in the Latin Quarter while they are enjoying Egyptian cotton sheets down by the Champs-Élysées.

Jan 4, 2011

48 Hours in New York City

Due to the mildly ridiculous blizzard, my trip to New York City got delayed by a day. I was a little bummed but privately elated that I could have an extra day spent in my PJs and watching the snow pile up outside. Tuesday morning, though, like a true trooper I managed to drag myself out of bed (okay- the couch. I was on another QVC binge) at 5am and head to South Station to catch the Fung Wah to NYC. 

The Fung Wah was definitely not my first option (Take a second to Google "Fung Wah + death" and you will understand why). It wasn't completely horrible though- I did meet a nice man who was going to NYC because God had told him too. Obviously, I mean God tells me to travel across country via death machines blasting Chinese music all the time. I just choose to put down the bottle of Jack Daniels and call it a night. But to each their own.