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.