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Archive for December, 2010

One of the perks of keeping a blog is that I don’t always have to remember everything. I can often just refer to a post to jog my memory. Which is what I was trying to do this morning regarding New Year’s Resolutions. It seems very much like something I would do – post a list of resolutions so I have things to check off – but I couldn’t find one.

I did, however, find my wish for fewer miscommunications in 2009; my acceptance that 2009 had its ups and downs (and own set of misunderstandings), but mostly ups; and my prediction that 2010 would be even better yet. And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was completely right.

2010 was (and is) the year of…

…not one, but two marathons

…beginning grad school

three weddings within a two month period

turning 25 and all that I hope to accomplish within that year

moving in with the boyfriend (and weeding out my closet in the process)

…my first Thanksgiving with a significant other’s (entire) family

…a beautiful Puerto Rico vacation

…and a New Year’s Eve that also coincides with our 1 year anniversary (schmoop!)

2010 seems hard to beat, but I think 2011 is up to the challenge.

Next year will see more marathons (or, at least one); the halfway point of my grad school career; five weddings within a three month period (plus another one over Labor Day); hopefully the completion of my birthday list; and a potential trip to Buenos Aires.

I can’t wait to see what else 2011 has up its sleeve.

Happy New Year!

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‘Twas the day before Christmas, and wouldn’t you know
I still had a little more shopping to go;
To the mall we sped not a moment to spare,
Prepared for the crowds that would surely be there;
The mall it was buzzing, the crowds they were dense,
Shopping on Christmas Eve doesn’t make much sense.
My mission was twofold on this shopping spree,
Part gift for my father, part present for me,
Now I know what you’re thinking, a present for you?
But let me explain; it’s the least I can do.
For a long time now I’ve wanted an iPhone,
My BlackBerry consistently made me groan.
The ‘rents finally agreed, “We’ll get this for you,
But this means no more family plan – you’re through.”
I pondered a bit the benefits and cost,
But the decision was plain and BlackBerry lost.
So at the mall we stopped at AT&T,
And I waited my turn quite impatiently;
You wouldn’t think a switch would be such a hassle,
But really, nothing about it was facile;
I had the info, the account in my name,
But AT&T told me, “You’re not who you claim.
I did not understand, it could not be true,
I answered the questions the best that I knew.
The in-person agent did all that he could,
Assuring headquarters my license was good;
He checked all my IDs and my credit cards, too,
Not sure if anything at this point would do.
And then, like magic, the phone agent gave in,
She told the in-person one, “Fine, you win.
Give this girl an iPhone, I guess she’s all right,
I’m really just tired of putting up a fight.
At least I imagine that that’s what she said,
Because that’s what would have been going through my head.
With this transaction finally completed,
I left the store to get what else I needed;
Of course, I just wanted to play with my new toy,
Angry Birds, Words With Friends, relax and enjoy;
There was still, however, work to be done,
Laundry and cleaning and wrapping – a ton.
Finally I was finished, free time was here!
I could explore the gadget I’d wanted for a year.
I downloaded apps and Bumped information,
And marveled at the speed with much elation;
So this is what a real smartphone does, I thought,
It accesses the web, it works when it ought!
I know the danger of becoming an addict,
It’s something the boyfriend certainly did predict;
But for right now it’s new, so I really don’t care,
I could stop any old time that I want – I swear!
Aside from that danger I really am thrilled,
Except for the prospect of getting billed;
And my parents could tell just how happy I am,
As they rarely saw the phone out of my hand.
But finally they said, with love in their tone,
Merry Christmas, Liebchen, now put down your phone!

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Finals count: 3 down, 1 to go.

The good: I turned in my two econ assignments yesterday and, barring a failing grade, I will never have to take another economics class. Ever again. That’s a Christmas present in and of itself.

The bad: I have yet to study for my International Affairs final that will take place in approximately 31 hours. I am, however, equating everything to globalization and balance of power, so maybe it’s sunk in more than I realized.

The heart attack: I turned in my history paper at the absolute last possible second last night, at 11:59pm. After it sent, I saw the clock turn over to midnight. Talk about sneaking in under the wire. (I guess technically this would be a “good,” but I thought I was going to vomit from the nerves.)

The saving grace: In 48 hours I will be on a plane, heading to Puerto Rico. I will not be stressing about school work; I won’t be able to compulsively check to see if my grades are posted; and, with any luck, I’ll come back with a tan in the middle of December.

That is, if I come back at all.

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As we were driving back from New York this past Sunday night, the boyfriend got a text which caused him to gasp (in a totally manly way) and turn to me with this declaration: “This news will change your life.”

A little dramatic, right?

Maybe, but not when the news is JAYSON WERTH GOT SIGNED BY THE NATIONALS!

Hold on. Let me breathe.

And let me be clear: in my ideal world, Werth would have stayed a Phillie. I love him. I love him on my team. He is a star in Philly and was instrumental in our past few post-seasons.

BUT, if that can’t happen, what more could I ask for than that he move to my current city so I can stalk see him so much more often? I can go to any game I want an ogle right field.

I’ll still see this, in just a slightly different red:

I'll use any excuse to put this photo in a blog post.

(Though, it has to be said, he’ll always look best in a Phillies uniform.)

Now, Werth being in the city means more opportunities to meet him. (By “opportunities” I mean staking out Nats Stadium on game day.) And meeting him would lead to checking off the “life dream” part of my 25 for 25.

You might argue that my goal was to meet a Phillies player, something that Werth no longer is. But to that I very eloquently say, so what? To me he’ll always be a Phillie, and he is still my favorite.

Because I’ve been so open about my obsession crush, I had several people texting and emailing me the news Sunday night. And one of my favorite emails was this one, from SuperMom:

[Liebchen]…you lucky lady. ¬†Werth will be in your town for the next seven years! ¬†Thoughts of seeing him all summer should keep you warm on these cold winter days!

She has an excellent point.

Baseball season can’t come soon enough.

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Back in June I was struggling a bit with what to get the boyfriend for his birthday, when I had a sudden flash of inspiration.

Comedy show.

A little Googling of comedians led me to a show in New York (just a car ride away) by one of his favorites: Jim Gaffigan.

Now, maybe you’re like me, pre-boyfriend, and you don’t recognize the name. But you’d probably recognize the face and the voice. Take a little peek at one of my favorite skits:

And, if that’s not enough – another one of his more well-known ones.

In any case, the show was this past weekend (yes, I made the boyfriend wait almost 6 months for his main birthday present – though, I gave him the tickets back in June) and it did not disappoint. I could repeat the lines to you – I’d be lying if I said we hadn’t been quoting them back and forth to each other – but that wouldn’t do it justice.

It was most definitely worth the wait.

And, even though this was a birthday present for the boyfriend, the show, and the weekend, overall, was an oasis of calm for me in my stressful finals desert. Here’s hoping that it’ll be enough to get me through the week, with thoughts of Puerto Rico pushing me along as well.

While we’re at it, do you have any tried and true mechanisms for coping with stress? The laughter was great, but these breathing exercises can only do so much.

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The last time I tried to make latkes I followed the recipe perfectly and yet, my pancakes fell apart. They were tasty, just not pretty.

My mother told me (in the absolute nicest way possible), that I was probably just too WASPy to be able to make good ones, but JUS assured me that that wasn’t the case. Regardless, I put my latke attempts on the back burner, so to speak, and only now, four years later, did I give it another go. But this time, I was thrilled with the results.

It’s already going better than last time, because these latkes are actually keeping their shape!

And look at that golden brown! It’s exactly how Cooking Light told me it should be!

Keeping them nice and warm, as well as letting those paper towels soak up all the excess oil. And, even seeing how much extra there was, I still think I should have used more. The latkes browned much better the more olive oil was in the pan.

When I tried to buy challah for Rosh Hashanah (to go with the matzo ball soup), it was all sold out. So of course I snatched it up this time. My next shiksa kitchen trial, though, will be to make it myself. Fingers crossed!

Final result: a delicious Hanukkah dinner of latkes, applesauce, brussels sprouts, and challah.

Score one for the WASP.

Happy Hanukkah!

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I know Thanksgiving was a full week ago, but I have a few post holiday updates for you:

  • Thanksgiving in LA was wonderful. I met far more family than I had anticipated, had so much fun, ate amazing food, and learned how to make empanadas from the boyfriend’s mom!

(Hermanito responded by 1) not hating me (plus!), and 2) covering his car seats with Dodgers blankets that I was forced to sit on. I’ll take it.)

  • While the holiday was a blast, it wasn’t exactly relaxing. And no downtime means no time to work on the two papers and presentation that I had due earlier this week. Which all leads to a very stressed and tired Liebchen. Thankfully, those projects are now out of the way and I can start the countdown to finals – and after. In just two weeks we’ll be on our way to Puerto Rico and this semester will be behind me.
  • For now, I’ll be looking forward to a New York visit this weekend, testing out a latke recipe tonight, and buckling down to write just two more papers and study for two more finals.

Ready…go!

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