Saturday, February 28, 2009

Okay, new plan. I hope to write the Zaytinya post during spring break, because there is no way in hell I'll be able to write it in this next week. I guess when you're on the semester system, the week right before spring break is when the professors pile on the work. I don't know what I like better: finals hell before spring break or a bunch of random crazy assignments before spring break.

I made it through the hell of last week and slept a lot. The rest of the week was really a blur. Yesterday I traveled to the coast of NC for a class project. It was nice to get out of Durham for a while. At the Dock Street Oyster Bar I had a crab sandwich that was basically hot crab dip with bacon and lettuce on top. It was awesome, but took wayyy too long to come out, especially when compared to the 10 minutes I took to inhale it.

During the 2.5 hour ride home I developed a craving for southern food. Upon arriving home I googled "Durham southern food" and basically found out that no one considers any good southern food to reside in Durham. This was really depressing, considering Nick and I had excellent southern food during our road trip out here.

So, Nick and I ended up at Cracker Barrel in Durham. On a Friday night. It was packed, but we were the only people our age in there. I mean, obviously the only two asian people...but no representation of the 20somethings. I had country fried steak with turnip greens, corn, and mashed potatoes. Nick had the meatloaf with turnip greens, fried okra, and hash brown casserole. It was awesome. I love satisfying cravings.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Sorry for the lack of posting, especially the long-delayed Zaytinya post. I am in the middle of grad school hell right now. Five classes is completely overwhelming. I really don't know how I'm going to make it through to tomorrow, when I get a momentary (it will feel like 5 seconds) break.

My gmail away messages have detailed my progression:
  • not looking forward to chem fate
  • chem fate is death
  • is about to cry
  • is crying because chem fate is insane
  • feels horrible
  • wonders why she's in grad school
Not included in that are highlights of the weekend:
  • Watching a crazy modern dance performance inspired by the music of a composer who died in the Holocaust on Friday night with a friend while Nick had his own Wii date with the bf of said friend
  • Cheering Nick on at his ultimate frisbee tournament on Saturday where they made it to the next round
  • Eating semi-decent Vietnamese food
  • Spending 10 hours in the computer lab on Sunday doing GIS, ending with
  • Dinner with friends at a Thai restaurant, followed by
  • 4 hours agonizing over chem fate, interspersed with various nervous breakdowns
And now here I am. I've got a lab report to bang out and a crazy insane midterm to complete. Cross your fingers that I survive this storm.

P.S. Nick is doing great.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Just a quick one

I am in need of some intense relaxation therapy for all the crap grad school is putting me through right now. So, I'm procrastinating by writing a quick blog post. I just wanted to say:


I really liked you. Your dance moves got me. But now you are accused of assaulting Rihanna, your girlfriend. That's not cool, man, even if she did toss the keys to your lamborghini out the window. You officially suck.

In other matters, tonight is the Duke vs UNC men's basketball game. We haven't won since 2006. Not only did we have to stay awake for three days just to get the chance to buy the tickets, but ticket holders had to get in line yesterday to get in. I'll be watching from the comfort of my house or the neighborhood bar.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Washington DC

This past weekend Nick and I traveled north to Washington DC. It's about a 4 hour trip. My grad program had organized a joint career fair with a similar program at Yale. You know, the one I didn't get into. I'm not bitter. I mean, it is freezing up there right now, right? I'm typing on the back deck in 70 degree weather currently, so Yale can suck it. =)

We drove up Thursday night with Emily. Nick made us rice krispy treats and turkey-muenster-bacon sandwiches for dinner. We spent the night in a double room at the conference hotel at Gallaudet University (where I almost attempted to communicate in my 6th grade-learned sign language) in a cozy arrangement with four other people.

The career fair wasn't that great, so as soon as I could, I left the fair and took the metro from Union Station to meet Nick at the National Mall. Navigating the metro was simple since I had experience with the subway system in New York. I randomly put in $3.90 on my fare because there was this guy creeping me out so I punched in numbers as fast as I could. Nick and I met at the Smithsonian and he told me about his adventure that morning:

Since he couldn't take the shuttle to get to Union Station, he ended up getting onto some random bus at the stop outside Gallaudet and rode it until he had the US Capitol building in sight. The he got off and figured out he was on the opposite side of the Capitol from the mall. So he walked around the capitol to the Washington Monument.

I told him he was damn lucky that the bus he happened to take went anywhere near the Capitol. Really. Damn lucky.

We had an outrageously priced lunch at the National Air and Space Museum and looked at all the exhibits. We lamented the loss of Pluto as a planet. We played a virtual air-mail game. We pondered space necessities. Then, we went through a checklist of requirements for a 1950s air hostess:

1. between 5'2" and 5'6" - check
2. between the ages of 21-26 - check
3. under 135 pounds - check
4. single, never married or divorced, no kids - check
5. white - damn it, nope
6. beautiful, as in "just under Hollywood standards" - not even gonna go there

Guess I wouldn't have made it. Seems like a pretty stringent list, and full of political incorrectness.

Afterward I left Nick to his sightseeing (he ended up walking to the Lincoln memorial, the Vietnam War memorial, and the White House) and went to check into the hotel we had booked for the night. I got a great rate on the Grand Hyatt and its location couldn't be beat.

That night we had dinner at Zaytinya, a Mediterranean mezze restaurant, as recommended by Tali, a fellow Nicholas student. The interior is a study in modern, hip design, but it was warm and inviting too. The food was amazing. Review will follow because the experience merits a post of its own.

The next day we woke up late and had lunch at Full Kee in the tiny Chinatown area. I had wonton mein and Nick had roast duck mein. It was good, but not great. I really needed a noodle fix though, so it hit the spot.

Afterward we checked out the National Portrait Gallery. The Presidential gallery was very interesting and made me realize that I had no idea what some of these presidents looked like. My favorites included an abstract piece of JFK and the Norman Rockwell painting of Nixon. I also had to take a picture in front of the Obama street art poster that is now world famous:

Washington DC definitely merits another visit, but only when I can afford it. =)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Photo update

I needed to update but I'm super busy so I thought I'd do a photo post. I went through my camera and picked out some photos I'd like to share with you from the past few weeks. Enjoy!

This is a picture of Duke University on the day that it snowed. It was really exciting, and the Gothic campus was beautiful under the layer of snow.

Here is a pic of a team at the Beer Olympics party we attended two weekends ago. Some people went all out and dressed in themes for their teams. They were an '80s hair band. There were teams competing in beer pong, flip cup, quarters, and modified cornhole.

Finally, here is a great shot of some cookies Nick made this past weekend. On Friday he made chocolate chip cookies for me and my girlfriends. Then on Sunday we made rugelach cookies which have a cream cheese dough base. The crescents have apricot jam in them and the rolls have pecans, cinnamon sugar, and maple syrup in them.

Hope everyone has a good week! We are heading to DC this weekend.