Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Well, I got home two nights ago, and due to the lack of excitement that goes on at the residence, this is my last summer entry (otherwise the sole focus would be my baking). Let us recount the final days in DC...
Where did I leave off? Ah, yes...It was a week ago Monday when I last posted. I had dinner one last time at Java Green on the Tuesday. On Wednesday my coworkers decided we'd have a going away happy hour. I ordered a glass of riesling, but was only able to finish half - I am such a lightweight! Thursday evening was uneventful, I think...can't remember. I went out to lunch at Teaism on Friday, which was fantabulous. They even had marked down what was vegetarian and vegan! I concluded the week by going to Nicole's BBQ, always a good time.
Saturday morning I had breakfast with Amanda and her roommate at Open City Cafe - and I loved their coffee so much that I bought a half-pound of beans. Why do I find out about all the good places too late? Then, I packed :( This week, the highlight was not food-related! Saturday night, Ada and I went to see Les Miserables at Wolf Trap! It was AMAZING...half the lead cast had been on Broadway and it was just so nice. The weather held, and we didn't get rained on either. I was a euphoric state until...
On the way back, some really drunk people got on the metro. One guy decided it would be a grand idea to smoke his cigar on the train! Uggh. Ilegal, suffocating, disgusting. Granted, that killed the mood. Boo. Sunday, the big journey home. I went swimming in the morning and then got some falafel for the road. After that, my 55 pound rolling duffle, (probably) 45 pound backpack (I had to pack my weights and the six pounds of nuts I bought...), my fatty laptop, and I trundled down to the metro, took it to Rosslyn, barely caught the bus to the airport that only comes every 60 minutes, and made it to the airport by 3:45 for my 5pm flight. Whew. It was only an hour flight to Cleveland, during which I slept. Then, I had 2.5 hours to wait in the airport, where I tried to get some work done but inevitably failed. Be Kind, Rewind was the movie of choice on the flight. Funny, glad I didn't pay to go see it! I was next to this guy who's kid was on his lap and his dog escaped its carry case. Good times on airplanes. And now I'm home.
Baking Highlights: On Tuesday I brought in cranberry chocolate chip scones - made with coconut milk! Mmm...Thursday was anything-left-in-Rachel's-cabinet cookies, a delightful mix of Fiber One cereal, coconut, sugar (of course), flour, and craisins. Friday was Magic Oatmeal Bars, using the rest of my coconut and sweetened condensed coconut milk, and dregs of the Ghirrardeli slab. For the BBQ that night I made a half Shoo-Fly Pie and half Peach Crumble Pie. No one had heard of the good ol' Amish SFP! (meaning you probably haven't either) All this time I was still trying to finish the dark chocolate peanut butter cups that I had made at the beginning of the week. It was a good time!
Glad we could chat. I'll keep you in the loop about my new adventures when they come along!
I'm Reading: The Earth Systems 10 Course Reader
Monday, August 25, 2008
...at an alarming rate! Where are my weeks going? This is going to be short and sweet, because my life is boring.
Baking Highlights: Monday I made my mini croissants, which were more like crescent rolls than flaky buttery pastry. C’est la vie vegan. Wednesday was hazelnut biscotti in three varieties: plain, chocolate, and chocolate-covered. I actually baked them twice, so they were legitimate. Friday was peanut butter balls (dangerously delicious and deadly) and some chocolate-covered oat bar for the Shabbat potluck that night. Oh, and that slab of chocolate, it's gone - well almost. It's currently the size of my fist. Gold is in site...
Olympics Highlights: I stayed up too late again for most of the week. Mad about the stupid tie-breaker on bars giving gold to an underage Chinese gymnast! Paid half-attention to the closing ceremony last night.
Weekend (Non) Excitement: Went to the Friday night Shabbat services and potluck, but since I knew no one, was sort of lonely. Saturday I had dinner, tea, and chocolate with Amanda – who’s apartment is fabulous and CLEAN! Jealous. Lebanese food was good, after they traded the ground-beef-topped hummus with the plain one we ordered! Yesterday, I started the movie 1900, which I put in French but can’t actually hear on my computer. I still have two more hours to go…
That’s my life. I have a week left and then my life will get even more boring, so I will discontinue blog posting.
I’m Reading: Oryx and Crake
Sunday, August 17, 2008
So, this is what I do instead of do work (which I will be doing right after this and finishing my croissants): Bake 'n' Blog! The week and a half that I have to share is really only the former half, though ...REALLY.
I believe we ended our story on Wednesday, August 6th. Thursday, I ate out twice in one day! I went to lunch a pretty high-up lady in the paper lobby - who is probably crazier about recycling than I am. This was at Organic To Go! Kind of ironic how my first experience at this Issaquah, WA based eatery was in DC...Dinner was a lovely catch-up with a friend at Amsterdam Falafel. Not a huge fan of falafel, but the toppings made my day (and it was all vegetarian). Friday night I went to my first Shabbat service all summer, which was followed by a vegetarian potluck.
Saturday was nothing too exciting, just farmer's market, and a 5-mile run ending at TJ's. Bought chocolate, sugar, peanut butter, and some useful things. I think I tried to work at Starbucks for a while (that may have been Sunday, tho).
Sunday began as a typical one might. Swimming, a quick stop at Whole Foods to see if they finally got my yeast in (they hadn't). Then, that evening, as I'm watching the Olympics, I get called over to the cabinets being cleaned for our newest house member...lo and behold - there is unclaimed peanut butter, sugar, honey, oatmeal...oh, lovely. Then, the slab surfaces. This huge chunk of Ghirarrdeli dark is just screaming for some love and attention. My housemates present me with the ultimate challenge: use the entire block by the time I leave in three weeks! Will all the training pay off? Can she win the gold? Tune in during primetime to find out LIVE.
Turns out, having large slabs of chocolate around me is very dangerous. Sunday night I made some delectable peanut butter fudge, which involved two bowls to make (and therefore lick when done). During the week, I also made brownies twice (first time, too fudgey - although yummy, but the second time fantabulous), and pudding a few nights. Half of my croissants will be Pain au Chocolat, and this week's line-up includes hazelnut biscotti (some chocolate, some plain, and some chocolate-dunked) and buckeye balls. I did not eat ALL of these products - I brought them to work to feed hungry government employees. However, I have consumed a good deal more chocolate in the past week than usual (supplemented by my purchases at TJ's) and have had considerable my trouble falling asleep at night (that silly theobromine - look it up).
Can you tell that was the highlight of my week (and next two weeks)? Well, I did a few other things this week...like watch a lot of Olympics, not get enough sleep, go on a tour of three Traditional Neighborhood Developments (you can ask me if you actually care), go out to Java Green twice, and see a bizarre Italian movie, La Notte, at the National Gallery. There was a reunion of sort at my house last night, which unfortunately used my deck, but they were nice folks.
Is today already Sunday? And almost 5pm? Ok, stop distracting me...I have important work to do! Make sure to stay tuned to see what chocolate delicacies I cook up next (and if I can live up to the challenge)!
I'm Reading: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (and you should, too!)
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I’m sorry it’s already Wednesday – the days just fly by right now. I will try to recount with amazing detail (hehe) what has occurred since the last post…as I eat my delectable cake and pretend to do important things at work (which I really should be doing, but I can’t concentrate on one thing for extended periods of time). Alright, ready, begin:
Saturday July 26th, I spent a lovely evening at Wolf Trap’s Broadway Rocks! I love musical theater…Sunday, I ran the 3 miles down to the Holocaust museum, where one of the founders gave a group of Stanford, Yale, and Harvard students a little spiel on the history of the museum.
I probably could have spent a couple more hours there, but I hate crowds and the number of people inside kept growing. So, I set off on my run back to Adam’s Morgan…with dark, menacing clouds in front of me. Well, that was motivation – although, not motivating enough apparently. Just as a I start heading up 18th street (about 8 minutes from my doorstep), the sky opens up; thunder and lightning right over my head. Actually, quite unnerving. Needless to say, I did not feel quite the need for a shower that I had earlier in my run!
Ok, moving on. Monday and Tuesday are not worth discussing. Wednesday, besides engaging in the weekly viewing of Project Runway, my mother came. I lost my bed, but gained someone to do stuff with! Thursday, I met my mom’s college friend (I know you’re reading this…), which is fun – makes me realize that parents had/have a life outside their children.
I had a dinner party on my deck that night, with a few friends. It was a vegan smorgasbord of pasta, quiche (again), sundried tomato basil bread, and more. Mmm…
Friday, I took the day off of work! We went to the zoo early-ish, then headed downtown for a vegetarian Indian Buffet (dcnirvana.com) – at which I ate WAY too much! Was interesting, because I had never had Rajasthani cuisine before. Went to the National Building Museum, which I believe my mother enjoyed ;). That evening we went back to Wolf Trap for a Rogers and Hammerstein medley on-screen! It was fantastic.
Saturday was a late start – meaning I went to the farmer’s market and then ate half a jar of peanut butter (all-natural, don’t worry) before we got moving. We spent the day in Georgetown, wandering around with one of my favorite people – Laura McDonald ! Got stuck in a thunderstorm and sought shelter in the nearest Trader Joe’s, of course. For dinner, we met up with my mom’s cousin (once removed for me?) and we ate at a lovely Lebanese place!
Sunday, sigh. I had my usual bout swimming and grocery shopping in the morning. We went to Sticky Fingers Bakery for “brunch”, but I will have to go back when I am not in a bad mood (don’t ask). National Archives was next on our list – very cool exhibit on Campaign Political Cartoons. Walked a bunch – like all the way back to Adam’s Morgan. Chipotle for dinner and Persepolis as a close to the weekend.
I realize this has gotten very long. Nothing much happened Monday and Tuesday, except that I baked an excellent cake with an impromptu frosting with a hint of raspberry. Rave reviews at work – forgot to take a picture…And now have realized that my lunch consisted solely of cake, frosting, and a peach. So much for my health. Until next time –
Finish Time: 4:24 pm (granted, I was working too!)
I'm Reading: The China Study
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Tuesday, July 15th 2008 - After work, Cheryl and I go to a Stanford Alum happy hour, which was mostly a failure. Afterwards, we went back to my place, made some food, watched 50 First Dates (well, I watched, Cheryl fell asleep!), and made chocolate chip cookie bars!
Thursday - Went out to Indian food. Trop cher! Walked the 1.5 miles back from downtown to my house to make a vegan quiche.
Friday - After work I hung out at Jazz in the Sculpture Garden for a bit. Then I walked to Nicole's BBQ with my vegan quiche. I helped set up lights, ate foods, and was complimented on my baking feat (ask me for my "recipe").
Hmmm...it's Saturday, but what did I forget? Oh, yeah. I turned 22 on Wednesday! However, I didn't do anything special except watch Project Runway (which is not unusual).
I'm not going to even both with the weekend, since I didn't really do much. Although, I did go to Cold Stone with my own mug. The girl looked at me funny, and confirmed that this was the first time she ever experienced this. Made pretty good flax bread on Sunday.
This week was equally unexciting. I made slightly underbaked, but really yummy coconut bread on Tuesday. Wednesday, another hold-your-breath episode of project runway.
Thursday, I had the opportunity to go with a group of Stanford students to listen to Josh Bolten (Stanford Law School Alum), Bush's Chief of Staff. What a sad man. His life basically revolves around Bush and he really seems to believe that Bush has done a good job and has made admirable decisions. I just wanted to roll my eyes or burst out laughing the whole time. Then we got a tour, which was cool.
Yesterday, I met up with Ada at Jazz and then headed back to make a delightful meal - Eggplant and Zucchini dish, quinoa, lentils, and the rest of my bread. We watched the Jane Austen Book Club. I am in love with Grigg! He is a sci-fi/fantasy reader, who got interested in JA, and bikes places...Whoah. Currently, I am writing my blog entry, about to make a picnic dinner for my evening entertainment of Wolftrap's Broadway ROCKS!
I am watching the 11th Hour. OMG, so scary! Everyone should watch this...I think it's much scarier than An Inconvenient Truth. Oh Leo, you still look like a kid! Woah, Stephen Schneider (Stanford Prof.) just popped up on the documentary...so cool! Some lady is now talking about tropical deforestation and how those forests don't grow back well. It's so true, because on the nutrient-poor soils of tropical areas, all of the nutrients is caught up in vegetation. I'm going to start crying now...How can people just sit there and not DO anything? Are we blind????
Well, here's to hoping year 22 is better healthwise than year 21... And that oil prices continue going up (ask me for a graph), that a change of administration will start paying attention to the environment, and that the Olympics this year (2 weeks!) are not marred by China's notoriety (both in human rights violations and environmental degradation). Have you guys had enough?
-Until next time
I'm Reading: The Book Thief
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday the 7th: Last weekend was really the fourth of July weekend?? Nothing exciting. I really like my yoga class. I feel so relaxed after it and sort of just meander back to my house afterwards.
Tuesday the 8th: First day of EPA SG office retreat at the National Building Museum. Actually, really nothing exciting. Discussed the future of Smart Growth. I baked Carrot Zucchini Bread that night in preparation for the next day.
Wednesday the 9th: Second day of retreat. We had a tour of Penn Quarter downtown. I notice so much more about street planning than I ever could have imagined. Really pretty downtown. Worked out. Managed not to do any thesis work...again.
Thursday: Work. Swim. Salsa dancing at a club in Adam's Morgan! Hopefully, have time and energy for it this week, too! Some girl stepped on my foot with stilettos.
Friday: Work. Ran around the mall and memorials after work. Got all pink and didn't turn back to a normal shade until a couple hours later. Free Jazz at the sculpture garden. Long walk back to Adam's Morgan from downtown. Paid too much for a bottle of wine ($13!!!) that Nicole and I brought to the Moishe House Friday night dinner. Had food...good food. Talked to nice people...Went back and watched Clueless.
Saturday: COuldn't get out of bed. Farmer's Market. Walked to outdoor pool in Georgetown. Trader Joe's (I love grocery shopping too much). Made bread...well, killed my yeast and then had to go hunting for more. Turned out ok. Dead set on figuring out how to make my own yogurt. I'm going to be such a from-scratch person! Fell asleep at like 10pm!
Sunday: Swam. Got kicked out of pool for family swim not on schedule! Grrr. Walked back and witnessed three arrests on 18th street for a shooting that took place outside the Radio Shack on Columbia...a block and a half from my house! Yikes. Pretended to do work at zoo. Came back and pretended to do work in my room. Finished my for-fun book...hehe.
Monday: Today! Dragged myself out of bed. Worked. Yoga. Pretend to read stuff on EU while really updating blog and looking at events at the Kennedy Center. Ate too much peanut butter (out of jar...bad girl). Successful popcorn popping on stove for lunch tomorrow. Will make brownies on my birthday to make myself feel better about turning 22 and having a crappy 21st year...here's hoping for better in the months to come!
-Why did I keep eating the peanut butter? UGH!
I'm Reading: The Highest Tide
Sunday, July 6, 2008
I have now moved into my permanent summer housing (pictured above), which is not quite that lovely studio, but is big, well-located, and has a balcony - SCORE! I have no chairs and get no wireless, so I've taken to camping out on the floor in front of my laptop, who has only a two-foot ethernet leash.
Monday, I acquired a library card (wow, that feels like ages ago) and am waiting to run out of distractions so that I can distract myself further with Princess Mononoke. Let's skip Tuesday, because nothing exciting happened...and Wednesday. Thursday, I went to the zoo with Nicole to hear the music that is there every Thursday evening. I actually felt older for the first time since starting my job, because the vast majority of the audience was composed of young families (children under 3). The zoo is only a ten-minute walk from my house!
The Fourth!!! I went running and got lost...nothing new. Stanford in Washington House had a BBQ, from which I pilfered the extra mixed nuts - I need to start being thriftier with my food budget. Then, I met people in the house and we hung out all day, watched Independence Day, drank Mojitos, went to the fireworks at the Lincoln Memorial. Good Times.
That was fun, but Saturday was even better. I found a closer, cheaper farmer's market - spent the same amount of money as last time for quadruple the amount of food! I proceeded to make bread, which turned out ok, but nothing to get excited over. Next week is cinnamon oatmeal (raisin?). Nicole and I met up - pretended to do an hour of work - and then headed to the Smithsonian Cultural Festival, at which we learned all about Bhutanese culture (I have this awesome picture on my phone, but don't know how to get it on my computer) and how to can fruit Texas style. Then we GORGED ourselves (not exaggerating) at a restaurant in ChinaTown prior to viewing Wall-E. Before I get into how wonderful this movie is, I just have to share our experience: We get in 5 minutes late and there are literally no seats but the nosebleed first row. Being smart Stanford students, we reason that the ground of the handicap space is a perfectly good alternative. After getting settled and watching the previews...the fire alarm goes off! No biggie, we get back in ten minutes later and find out that the guy behind us had cotermed in Earth Systems some years back! Small World. Ok, so the movie was wonderful, cute AND should have made everyone think twice when they threw out their popcorn bags and drink cups! That is going to be our world PEOPLE; that's really scary! Saturday is almost over, I promise. We walk back to my apartment from the movie theater, scouting out bars with good music and salsa dancing, both of which we identified.
Today - Ack! it's already Sunday??? I woke up sick - although, I forgot to mention I've been sick the past three days with a cold. Decided I would still go swimming but skip the Flow Hatha Yoga. Bought more groceries - I am cutting myself off, now. No more dry goods until I finish what I have! I do have to say, that the organic foodmart near my house has a wonderful dry goods section, so I bought popcorn. I have no popper, so I did it the old-fashioned way in a skillet! SOOO YUMMY! Life is good.
Although I failed at working on my thesis or a number of other droll tasks, I managed to have a very productive week in the most important areas of life.
-Catch ya later!
I'm Reading: Animal Dreams