Monday, January 14, 2013

What's next?

It's 2013.  Funny how just writing '13 behind the date now makes such a difference.  What's 2013?  It's the year my current job expires.  It's the year I've been aiming towards as the beginning of the "next chapter."  And now it's here, and for the first time in a long time, maybe ever, I don't know what's next.

I've always been the person who has a plan- always a step 2 to follow and lean on.  I don't have a step 2 right now.  Sure, I'm applying to jobs and I'm pretty confident I will land one before August.  That's not the issue.  I'm also pretty sure I'd like to keep working in the public sector.  I have clarity on that issue too.  What's a mystery is where?  Where do I want to live?  Where do I want to work?  Why is this decision so difficult?

I don't know what my life will look like this time next year.  It's both exciting and scary all at the same time.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm a bad blogger

It's been almost a month since my last post.  Yikes.  

Anyway- moving along.   I had a pretty fun weekend!  Saturday night my friends hosted a wacky Christmas bar crawl.  I dressed like this:

Yes, those are boxer shorts, and long underwear.  Thankfully, the weather was mild and I didn't freeze all night.  My costume even won a prize- though I'll refrain from mentioning which one as I don't think it's blog appropriate (sorry).

Then, on Sunday, another friend invited me on the Raleigh Trolley Pub.  It's basically a moving bar (think food truck without a motor) that you ride on and peddle.  Their website has more details.  It's definitely a lot of fun, and something I would recommend for a birthday or special occasion.

I hope y'all had a great weekend as well!

Monday, November 19, 2012

cooking update

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I spent mine hiking and camping at Hanging Rock, NC with some friends- more on that later.

Last week, I wrote about a few quick recipes I had planned to try.  I thought I'd post an update about how that went.  On Wednesday, a friend came over for dinner and to watch tv.  I decided to make the easy Italian chicken recipe.  Overall, it was super easy.

When I got home from work, I defrosted the chicken by letting it sit in warm water.   Then I placed it in a bowl and poured in an entire bottle of low fat Italian dressing.  I placed the contents in the refrigerator and then went to the gym.  About 1.5 hours later I removed the bowl from the fridge, placed the chicken in a glass baking dish, and baked it for 1 hour.

It was fast and delicious.  I plan to try to make a few more new things soon!

The dressing I used.

The chicken I used.

Chicken marinating, before I placed it in the fridge.

Finished product!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cooking lesson, of sorts

I'm not very good in the kitchen.  But this recent post on BuzzFeed caught my eye.  It's 34 simple, two-ingredient recipes.  How could you go wrong with that?   Most of the stuff here looks like things I could make!  Here are a few I will try:

  1. Easy Italian Chicken

According to this recipe, all I need are chicken breasts and Italian dressing.  I already have both at home.  Done.

This recipe requires cheese and a packet of crescent rolls.  I already have the crescent rolls in the freezer, all I need to buy is some cheese.  The picture here shows them being served with tomato soup, but my favorite soup is cream of celery.  I already have some at home.  I think this will make a nice meal.

This looks like a great and easy side dish.  The recipe calls for broccoli florets and some garlic hummus.  

What do you think of these recipes?  There are a few other dessert recipes listed on that site that I might also try to make.  I think they'd be great to bring to upcoming holiday dinners and parties.  Wish me luck!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Delta Upsilon Homecoming!

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a great week.  As we head into the weekend, I'd like to share how I spent my time last weekend.  Last weekend was NC State homecoming, and my fraternity (Delta Upsilon) hosted a few events to celebrate.

Friday night  After work, I met up with one of my brothers, Cameron, for a few drinks on Hillsborough St. We each had two beers and chatted about life.  Then we walked down to the chapter house, where the undergrads were hosting dinner.  I was very impressed with all of the food they prepared.  I also enjoyed walking around the house and reminiscing about all of the good times I've enjoyed there.  Some pictures from when I was in college are still displayed at the house.  Afterwards, a few of us went downtown for a few more beers.

St. Patrick's Day Party 2007!  This picture is extra special to me, because it shows my DU Family.  Starting from far left:  my "grand-big" Chris, my "big brother" Dave, and my "little brother" Mike.

Sunday  Sunday was a special day not only for our chapter, but for all of DU.  It marked the 178 year anniversary of our organization, founded November 4, 1834.  That evening, the chapter initiated four new members.  I was happy to attend to and watch our fraternity grow.

The initiation set-up

Overall, it was a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election night

Greetings everyone!  It's the day after the Presidential election, and I am very happy with the results- 4 more years!  But I am even happier about how I spent my evening.

My friend Justin hosted an election night party at his house, and I had a great time.  It was my first time at an election party.  The event felt more like a Super Bowl party.  We had food, drinks, and everyone was crowded around the television.  Overall, I had a great time.

Picture of the whole group

Watching the results, drink in hand

Champagne toast when the president was announced as the winner

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My soapbox

Warning:  this is a political post.  Turn away now if you have an aversion to such things.

Typically, I try to avoid writing/talking/discussing politics.  Though, I am not sure why, exactly.  When I was younger I wanted to be a politician, maybe even president.  Now, I have a dearth of tolerance for politics.  I believe this change occurred somewhere between college and law school, but I can't identify the exact moment.  I am inclined to believe that it was a gradual change, amassing after years of studying politics and the law as a political science major in undergrad, and as a law student.  In short, I am exhausted with the subject and the last thing I feel like doing is engaging in a conversation about the topic.

However, I feel particularly politically energized after watching last night's debate.  Truth be told, I am a registered democrat, but I don't really feel like my beliefs coincide nicely with either party.

As an aside, recently, I feel more aligned with the democratic party and I think this video precisely sums up why:

Back to the debate last night, I can't help but take issue with a number of things discussed by Romney.
  1. I think it's disgusting that Romney claims to be in favor of women's rights, despite the fact that he opposes abortions and opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  I am also still in shock that he attempted to prove his his stance on supporting women's rights by insinuating that he would be in support of letting women go home early in order to make dinner, take care of the children, etc.  You know, tasks that only a women should be expected to manage.  
  2. Romney claims to have a comprehensive tax plan that will balance the budget while simultaneously reducing taxes on the middle class, small businesses, and earners in the top of the tax bracket.  Sounds great.  But he can provide no details or specifics of his plan.  When he was pushed to provide details he basically said "trust me, I can do it.  I balanced the budget the entire time I was governor."  By that logic, trust me, I can walk to Atlanta if you ask me to, because I walk to work (downtown Raleigh) from my house in downtown Raleigh every morning.  Different scope, different problem, different demands.  
  3. Romney said last night that he doesn't believe in "trickle down" government (if anyone can find a definition of that term, I'd greatly appreciate it), but we all know he supports trickle down economics.  How is this a logical position to take?  Trickle down is trickle down.  If it doesn't work in one place it's not going to work elsewhere, and vise versa.
That's all I have for now.  If you're still awake after reading this, check out this website for some entertainment: