Vietnamese food on a rainy night

This place was seriously authentic. Half the menu was entirely in Vietnamese...so we kind of ordered blindly. My vegetarian dish turned out to have not only shrimp in it, but odd-looking chunks that the waiter swore (in half-English) was tofu but looked more like chicken fat. My parents, uncle, and sister ended up getting a variety of, um, *interesting* dishes.

But the best part of the evening was when my sister took a bite of shrimp, chewed, got a weird look on her face, and realized she'd eaten the mushy head of a shrimp.

Oh, I had fun for the rest of the evening reminding her that not only had she eaten its head, that meant she ate its eyes, brain, tongue, teeth (do shrimp have tongues and teeth?), etc.

This is why I'm a vegetarian.


Sweet reunion :)

Yesterday I got to spend the day with the sweet kids I nannied for over the summer -- Sam, Ben and Coco! Honestly, I love these kids SO MUCH.

Coco didn't quite remember me, but warmed up to me really quickly (she was only 11 months when I left). but Sam and Ben remembered not only me but practically every single game we played together over the summer :)

Here's us playing red light/green light...

...and since that video is mostly Sam and Ben, here's Coco. Can you believe how big she is???

(for perspective, here's chubalub Cocopuff and me last May):



Does anybody know how to change blogs so that mine is wider, if that makes any sense? Like, it's 2 columns now...but I'd love it to be 3 columns wide. Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?


Christmas Eve

So since there is currently SNOW!!! in Texas, my brilliant papa decided he should make a snowman. So he did.

And since we rarely get to have snowmen 'round these here parts, we decided we should decorate it. So we did.

Or *tried* to.

We had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction. With poor snowguy's eyes. As in they would just. not. stay. on. And neither would his head.

(Also, you'll have to turn your head sideways for the video. My apologies.)

Ta-da!!! (Of course, this picture was taken approximately three minutes before I brought snowguy back outside so he wouldn't melt, and and accidentally decapitated him. Poor little snowguy.)


It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

For the past few years, Christmas hasn't felt much like Christmas. I suppose that's because, y'know, I'm getting up in years. I found a few gray hairs the other day, and I yelled at those darn kids with their fancy-pants technology last night when my roommates were playing with the N64.

But this year? This year is different. It may be the SNOW!!!, and I think that's partially it, but I think most of it is because we're stuck up here so late -- I don't leave to fly home til Dec. 23. The day before Christmas Eve. Two days before Christmas. Last year, I was home by Dec. 17.

I think the reason why it feels so much like Christmas is because since we're all stuck here so late we're all making it as Christmas-y as possible. How can you not be excited about Christmas when you live in a building with 750 other college kids who are excited about Christmas*?!?

*(or Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, next year's Olympic games, etc.)

We're romping through the SNOW!!!, singing Christmas carols loudly and off-key, watching Christmas-y things (A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, Steven Colbert's Christmas Special, Stepbrothers), and drinking large amounts of hot apple cider. All of us, all together.

(Of course, we're doing this around our CRAZY and INSANE exam schedule. Who needs sleep, anyway?)

Even though it's a bummer I'm only getting home 2 days before Christmas, it's so nice being in such a happy place. Happy holidays!!!


Room with a view

I woke up this morning and looked out my window and guess what I saw?!?!

Now I'm sitting at my little desk, drinking tea and decidedly NOT doing my take-home Law & Ethics final (worth 50% of my final grade). Happy winter wonderland! :)

Is there snow where you live?!



One of the entrances to my dorm. DreamSchool is so pretty!!!


Over my head!

My finals/final projects/etc. are in full-force about now. I'm averaging between 3-6 hours of sleep a night, trying to balance friends birthdays with work and homework and laundry (mom and dad: just going to warn you now. I'll be coming home next week in dirty clothes with suitcases full of more dirty clothes) and taking tests and getting projects in and boytoy Sean, etc., etc., etc.

So I'm exhausted, look like I have two black eyes from the under-eye circles, have had more than enough EXAM STRESS snacking, and am currently looking like I'll win No-Shave December.



I am happy. So, so happy. I truly love this place and the lack of sleep and the stress and the no-shaving and the work are all just part of this amazing college experience of mine.

I almost don't want to leave next week! (Except that I know that a certain mother of mine would never forgive me if I didn't come home.)

(And there's a certain puppy dog named Max and little birdie named Lulabelle who I'm looking forward to seeing, too.)

So I will be going home next week, the day before Christmas eve. I have my last final exam at 6 p.m. on Dec. 22, and the next day I'll be flying home, collapsing, and sleeping for a week.


A new scarf!

I won a scarf in a blogging contest a few weeks back. I'm wearing it today and I love it :)

(That's a picture of the scarf looking straight down from my face. You can see my leg (in jeans) and purple shoe sticking out too.)



Things are getting crazy 'round these here parts at Ye Olde DreameSchoole. It's the end of the semester, which means exams/final projects/wrapping everything up, plus in admissions we just sent out our early decision letters.

The latter part of that is, well, um, stressful.


(Parent phone calls are worse than kid phone calls. I'm serious. Parents get ALL up in our grillz about their kids' decisions.)

(Attn. parents: no, we can't give out your child's decision via phone call. No, we can't. We can't. No. No we can't. We really can't. Srsly. C-A-N'T. No. No we can't. For real. For serious. Fo' shizzle. Fo' drizzle. NO.)

It also means that I can see peoples' decisions in their folders and in our system -- so when I pull their names up when they call in, I can see whether they've been accepted, rejected, or wait-listed. This adds another level of difficulty to phone calls as I try not to sound a) sad, b) still hopeful, or c) ZOMG SO EXCITED CAUSE YOU GOT IN CONGRATULATIONS!!!

And next week, once people start getting their decision letters, it means phone calls next week will invariably be one of these three:



Moody child: "What does wait-listed mean? Do I even still have a chance of getting in?"


Really! Super! Excited! Parent! Or! Child! Or! Both!: "I GOT IN I GOT IN I GOT IN I GOT IN I GOT IN!!! WHAT DO I DO NOW?!?!?"

It's always interesting to go from a very happy phone call to a very sad phone call. Or vice versa. It tends to mess with your emotions. A lot.

Regardless, I love, love, LOVE working in admissions. Especially on days like today when I gave a tour to a lovely family from Jamaica who, whenever we would walk to the next stop on tour, would exclaim, "This is so NICE! What an amazing school! You are the BEST TOUR GUIDE EVER!!!"

Why thank you. It is my job, after all.



So tonight I went ice skating for pretty much the first time for my dear suitemate's birthday.

Here is a brief but accurate summary of what was running through my head the entire time:


I think you get the picture.

Oh guys, I was scared to death. First of all, I have *zero* sense of balance. Like none at all. So the idea of wobbling around on thin strips of metal was a tad bit daunting. (Ha! I wasn't even thinking about the actual skating part, I was worried about making it from the put-the-skates-on-bench to the rink itself.)

(I have a picture to go right here that illustrates the fear I had in my very eyes pre-skating but Blogger is being a poop-head and won't let me post it.)

BUT: I survived. I did! I'm alive!

I clung to the wall the entire time, but hey: I was the only one out of the group I went with who didn't fall on his or her derriere.

Which also means I win.



I should be studying for finals.

Instead, I'm taking weird pictures.

It's a trade-off?


Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

So two nights ago, we had the first snowfall of the season up here in the Frigid North! Thus far it's been a VERY mild winter. I'm talking average temps in the 50s and even 60s!!!

(The Texan in me is SERIOUSLY rolling my eyes now that mid-50s is *warm* to me.)

Regardless, I was thrilled to pieces that it's been so warm for so long. And hoping beyond hope that huh, Mother Nature would suddenly switch northern winters from "cold" to "Texas" temperatures.

Alas, winter did catch up with us (though Texas had snow before we did!). I was walking back from a deeeelish vegan Asian dinner with a few friends. Here's how the conversation went:

Friend 1: "God, it's cold and miserable!"

Friend 2: "Low 30s in temperature and raining? GAH."


Friend 1: *grumble grumble* "Why can't this restaurant be closer to our dorms?"

Friend 2: "Or there be a subway stop that conveniently drops us off at our doors???"

Me: "TEXAS." *whimper*

All of a sudden...

Friend 1: "Is...is that..."

Friend 2: "...but it was just raining!"

Me: "SNOW!!!"




So yes: we got snow! It was just a light dusting, and I definitely didn't expect it to stick.

Which it did.

Which meant that I felt REALLY smart* when I walked outside in my cheetah print flats and no socks the next morning.

*(and cold)

But who cares: IT'S SNOW!!!


An apple a day...

...should make my mother very happy.


Please vote!

Y'all remember Sam, Ben & Coco, right? The sweet, amazing kids I nannied for over the summer?

Well, their mom (my boss) is the AMAZING and talented Jennifer Weintraub of Sugar Photography. (I know!!!) Well, right now Jen's a finalist in a photography competition, with the coolest picture ever. Seriously, click the link and check it out!

If you feel so inclined, please vote for my amazing boss, Jen. I can't tell you how genuinely nice this woman is! And her photography is just amazing!

To vote, click here: Matilda Jane.

Voting is done by adding your favorite photographers to your shopping bag and then checking out. You can add as many photographers as you want to your bag, but don’t waste your time adding a photographer a million times to your bag because multiple votes for the same photographer in one bag are ignored.

When you hit Submit, a confirmation page appears asking you to double check everything. You must hit Submit one more time on this page for your votes to register.

Voting ends Dec. 6! Go vote now!!!

(If you're interested, here's the story behind the finalist picture.)


Just call me the Grinch

I love the holidays. I do. Thanksgiving, Christmas, my birthday, Groundhog day...I love 'em all!




(I just whispered that last sentence.)

I know. I KNOW. What's wrong with me?!?!?

I don't like giving them and I DON'T like getting them. And it's all because of the reaction.

Whenever I give a gift, I'm super-paranoid that he/she won't like it. So that ruins all fun.

Whenever I get a gift, I'm super-paranoid that my reaction will be all wrong. Either the gift-giver will think I hate it (especially if I do hate it!) or I'll react the wrong way or something will happen or Santa will never speak to me again or IT WILL JUST BE BAD.

I don't even really like getting gifts from my extended family. My sister, even. I know. I am cuh-razy with a capital C. Well...this isn't entirely true. I like gifts, I just hate having to see people face-to-face after opening them. I'm totally okay with opening a gift while 3,000 miles away from you and just sending you a thank-you card. (I'm really good with thank-you cards.)

I've already made sure my roommates know that I DO NOT WANT GIFTS. My birthday is coming up, too -- NO GIFTS. If they ever really want to give me anything, donate to charity in my name! Buy a goat! Donate to LLS! You get the drift!

I should end this, though, by saying that I have asked my parents for gifts this Christmas. Specifically (literally), socks and underwear. And bras. Cause I desperately need new ones. And I also asked for CVS gift cards. Because I am just that exciting.

*sigh* You know you're not a kid anymore when the things you want are the things you need...though, Mumsie and Pops, feel free to slip in a Barbie Dream House if you feel so inclined.