"Then let's look on the bright side: we're having an adventure. . . and most people live and die without being as lucky as we are"
-- The Princess Bride

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Orphan Thanksgiving

I have had a lot of firsts this year: first real apartment, first pet, first attempt to pay all my bills by myself, etc.  But this is a big one because it is the first time I will not be spending thanksgiving with any family.  Luckily, I am not alone in this crazy city and have been invited to an "Orphan's Thanksgiving Feast" at a friend of Bobby's.

I am waiting patiently for my oven timer to ding and in that time I will say a little more about today.  Not wanting to show up to my awesome hosts (who I have never met) house, I chose to make a berry crumble.  This is proving more difficult than originally anticipated.  Apparently, blenders can not double as food processors, who knew? Not me, obviously.  So I have hand smashed, crumbled, blended, whisked and smooshed all my ingredients into something that somewhat resembles the photo in my cook book.

But It should all turn out well! Because it's fruit and sugar and crumble top, so how could it be bad?  I am excited about this new way of approaching a holiday and can't wait for my inevitable food coma!


blackberries, white raspberries, red raspberries, and strawberries.  I want to eat it all.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Farewell to Elena

For the past two weeks my friend Elena has been staying at the apartment.  She and her boyfriend broke up and so she needed a place to stay until she moved back to Southern California for Law School and other adventures in warmer climes.  I admit though, I will miss having her around.  It was nice having a third person to hang out with at night; I will miss talking about our shared love of J.Crew and Ikea.

But as a going away party she decided to go to the Saddle Rack in Fremont.  A location I was sure would be hellish and filled with horses (they are all out to get me after all.)  She assured me that no horses would be inside the bar and I would be safe for another night so I agreed.  Plus she promised me Mac n' Cheese which there is no way to turn down.

We had a nice dinner at Homeroom in Oakland, a place that specializes in fancy Mac and minus a few friends getting incredibly lost on the way there it was smooth sailing.  Elena and I shared delicious Vermont white cheddar Mac and then we all headed to the country bar.

IT WAS SUPER FUN!!! Surprise of all surprises, I had a great time! There was bull riding, and a chair they tip back and pour liquor down your throat (I didn't try either of those), dancing, a live band, and best of all NO horses in sight!  We all laughed at the two old guys on the floor dancing with all the pretty young girls, but then stopped when we realized they were surprisingly good.  Bobby, Mirielle and James showed off some swing dancing skills and the rest of us attempted line dancing and failed miserably.

I even got Kris to dance, I take this as the years win.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

On the Art of Rhythmic Flailing

Jaymi came down again last weekend and for once spent the entire time in Berkeley! For those who know her, this is a big thing.  Of course she wanted to go out and for once, I did too!  So on Friday we made a little adventure to Shattuck Down Low.  A somewhat creepy looking club I have never been too.

Creepy? NO! Awesome? Yes indeed.

We danced for 5 hours and barely a creeper was to be seen.  The bartenders were awesome and didn't mind giving us water all night even though all we bought was a $2 soda.  The fellow dancers were great and gave us actual personal space instead of trying to rub up next to us in a never-so-seductive manner! Even though I can't dance (Jaymi lovingly coined the term "rhythmic flailing" for me,) I had a great time!

So here's the "dance" lesson:
1) play some loud music with really heavy bass
2) hire girls in underwear to dance on a stage
3) fill body with desired liquids (gin and sprite)
4) put arms over head
5) jump around like an 85 pound woman after 10 cups of coffee
6) put arms down, because they start to hurt a little
7) kick legs out like crazed hobo attacking invisible enemies
8) repeat steps 3-7 until the club closes

After our clubbing was through we tried to call Kris to give us a ride home (since it was 2:30am and we were in dark scary South Berkeley) but his phone was on silent so we had to walk.  On the route home we heard a sad little mewing and found a kitty!  We talked to him for a little while and he chose to follow us a mile home.  Now some nights he sits outside the apartment and meows for attention so we take him a little food. But our neighbor is going to take him to an animal shelter soon to see if he is microchipped, since he seems too smart and sweet not to have a family.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Occupy Oakland

This is one of those topics I try to avoid, mostly because I just don't know enough about the actual issue to form a solid opinion.  So in that vein I will not be writing about the Occupy movements but one specific part that caught my attention.

Occupy Oakland has caused a huge outcry against the police force for their use of extreme brutality in breaking up the protesters.  I agree that the methods used were terrible and that there was most definitely a better way to go about it.  But what I don't care for most is the flip flopping of the Mayor of Oakland.  She has tried to stay on both sides of the fence and that is pretty lame.

The Oakland PD posted this letter on their website and I thought that it was a well written and honest document that pretty much summed up how I feel about the Mayor (click "Read More" for the full letter).  Politics aside, things here in the Berkeley are pretty nice.  I am now going to enjoy my heathy breakfast of coffee and almond joys.