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94 Days of Summer, Day 94: Ishtar's Globe-Trotting Adventures

Although summer vacation is over, we are still reminiscing about it via our “94 Days of Summer” guest blog posts! Today we are checking in once again with Communication Studies major Ishtar Schneider. You may have thought that Ishtar did all of her traveling over the summer (Washington DC, NYC), but nope! She is just getting started!

“So the summer has officially passed and I’m staring senior year directly in the face. Whoa, so crazy.  I feel like it was just a few months ago that I was sitting in Professor Doohan’s office double and triple checking my schedule for the semester, nervous and totally in awe of the whole idea of college! Time really does fly.

To continue where I left off last time, I spent my last 2 and a half weeks in a whirlwind of travelling between DC, NYC, Albuquerque and ultimately, now, Australia.  I took a mega-bus up to the big apple for the first time—cost me $8 and is totally enviro conscious J– and I was blown away.  I loved every second of the 72 hrs I spent there.  I stayed with my friend in Manhattan and over on the upper east side (a la Gossip Girl) and we celebrated my best friend’s 21st with a bunch of my girlfriends from highschool. Even though I was only there a short time I loved every single second of it.  I definitely need to make it back there soon!

the view from Ishtar's manhattan residence

Ishtar and friends in Times Square

Lady Liberty

Riding the Staten Island Ferry

DC= underwhelming

NYC = most amazing visit of the summer

After that I flew to New Mexico, which was nice and relaxing.  I got to see my grandpa (still kickin’ it at 97 years young), my daddy and a bunch of friends I haven’t caught up with in a while. On the 15th I flew out from ABQ to LAX.. we had a stopover in Vegas and guess who I see getting on the plane and who ends up sitting directly behind me in the plane? CSI actor Kevin Weisman. No George Clooney but hey, I rarely celeb spot so I’ll take what I can get. He was actually super nice and called goodbye to me as he exited, remembering my name correctly, so props to you Kev.

Ishtar's "brush with fame" -- actor Kevin Weisman

Around 4pm I get to LA and turns out my flight [orig. supposed to leave at 1030pm] was CANCELLED. This wasn’t too bad because the ticket agent saw me about to hyperventilate at this news and promptly switched me onto an 1145 flight and transferred my bags without any overweight charges. Score. However, I was supposed to be in a group flight with other people in my program and having no idea how to find any of them, I spent the next 8 hrs in the airport watching episodes of Criminal Minds.

Best.show.ever.

I’m as addicted to CM as Prof Doohan is to American Idol.

Also, did I mention that this flight replaced our direct flight to Sydney with a 4 hr layover in Auckland, New Zealand? Peachy. So after a just lovely 40 hours of travel time we arrive in Sydney jet lagged and exhausted.

But I’m finally here and so far the BU Sydney program has surpassed all my expectations—minus the flight drama—the apartment is the cutest little thing ever, so clean and located right next to our class building, and super close to Sydney Uni and University of Technology Sydney so we’ve met a bunch of other Australian college students just walking around. All 3 of my suitemates are totally fun and normal which is a welcome relief after the G-town disaster that was this summer. Bess is the one I’ve been spending the most time with- she’s a junior at UNC Chapel Hill and totally chic.We went on a harbor cruise the other day for a welcome activity and got to see the Sydney Opera House which is just breathtaking.  Classes start this week and I’m taking an Australian Culture and Society class, it includes a field trip to Melbourne that I’m really excited about, and a Mass Media class.

Ishtar's new home

 

The Sydney Opera House

Ishtar and her friend Bess

Can’t wait to see what this semester has in store, knowing Australia its bound to be an adventure.  I also started a travelogue-blog of more Aussie antics so feel free to check it out if you like www.IshtarInAussieland.blogspot.com. I’ll post pics and stories up there!  All in all its been a full summer and I feel blessed to have met the people and had the experiences I did over the last few months.

Ciao for now!

-I”

Thanks, Ishtar! Have a wonderful time down under!

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94 Days of Summer, Day 90: Jamey's Trip to the Academy of Sciences

Our 94 days of summer is winding down (today is day 94!), but we still have a few more “94 Days of Summer” blog posts! Let’s check in with Communication Studies major Jamey Padojino…

“As summer slowly draws to a close I wanted to take advantage of my last week of freedom. So I decided to take time off from my internship and give some time for myself. I’ve been catching up with friends whom I don’t see very often before which has made time go a fast than I thought.

Yesterday I went to the California Academy of Sciences with my boyfriend to take advantage of their free admission every third Wednesday of the month. This was my 5th visit to the Academy but I’m still fascinated by all the diversity that’s all in one place. I always enjoy especially the Rainforests  of the World exhibit where you’re walking alongside  butterflies in high humidity.

Butterflies at the California Academy of Sciences

At the entrance I couldn’t help but notice the signs pasted everywhere for the “Snakes and Lizards” Exhibit. I’ve seen the commercials advertising the exhibit for the past few months. And if there’s one thing to know about me – one of my biggest fears are snakes. By all means I tried to avoid walking towards the exhibit but there was no way my boyfriend would miss out on this one.

So we ended up seeing the exhibit. And instead of kicking and screaming (trust me I would not do that in public) I decided to face my fears. With a deep breathe I stepped through the doors.

And it wasn’t as bad as I had thought! Amidst the cobra, boa constrictor and of course Lemondrop, the male, albino python. I was able stay composed. Luckily none of them were on display to pet.

 

Jamey, braver than me, posing with a snake

I also got to see a Green Basilisk! (You know, from Harry Potter?)” 🙂

 

A basilisk (smaller than in Harry Potter!)

Thanks, Jamey! You are braver than me (I am terrified of snakes!). Good tip for all of our new students on the free admission day to the Academy of Sciences!

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94 Days of Summer, Day 85: Kelly's Lessons from her Job Search

It is time for our last summer check-in with recent graduate Kelly Sanders…

“As this is my last summer blog entry, I thought I’d come full circle and write another top ten list. Over the past couple of months I’ve applied for a lot of jobs (somewhere over a hundred – I’ve stopped counting), and gone on many interviews. In that time, I’ve noticed a lot of things about the job search process, and I’d like to share them!

Recent COMS graduate Kelly Sanders

The Top Ten Things I’ve Learned From My Job Search

  1. Tweak your resume for each job you apply for – make your background applicable to what you’re applying for, and watch the length of your resume. For instance, my ‘full’ resume is three pages long. Generally, for entry-level positions, you don’t want to submit a resume longer than one page. So, I always cut my resume down to one page and only include the experience that is most relevant to the position I’m applying for.
  1. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a call back right away – the hiring process takes a LONG time. Even if you get a call back and then have a successful interview, it might be weeks before you actually start a job. So start looking for a job AT LEAST one month before you want to start working.
  1. Have a backup plan – even if you have some great connections, they may not help! I have plenty of friends and former coworkers who have provided job leads, but that only goes so far (unless your friend happens to be the hiring manager!). Don’t rely solely on your connections, and continue working to meet new people and find new leads.
  1. Use recruiting firms – there are many firms out there that specialize in placing new grads in full time positions. For instance, Naviron is a recruiting firm that specifically looks for new graduates to place in sales and marketing positions. Seeking out companies like this can be really helpful in your job search.
  1. Broaden your search – don’t confine yourself to one industry because it really limits your options. If you’re looking for entry-level positions, you should be open to trying different industries or job functions – something may surprise you and you might find your new passion!
  1. Buy a suit – or something similarly professional. It really can’t hurt to be dressed up for an interview, so a suit (or matching separates) is a great investment when you’re looking for a job. If you’re low on cash, consignment stores often have some great finds (a Calvin Klein blazer for $10? What?). Generally, just look put together and professional, but be comfortable – there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable in your clothes when you’re already nervous for an interview.
  1. Be confident, but not cocky – I was recently on an interview, and the VP of Human Resources told me that many ‘kids my age’ didn’t have the right mentality, that they come in for an interview and ask how long until they’re running the place. Basically, don’t be that person! You can be gracious while still expressing confidence in yourself and your abilities.
  1. Do your research – and I don’t just mean that you need to read the company’s website before the interview! Look for news involving the company (or its parent company), read about their clients, their case studies, etc. Know why you’re interested in working there, and have information to back it up.
  1. Have meaningful questions prepared to ask – basically, don’t ask questions just because you feel like you need to. Find questions that mean something to you. For instance, I’m always really interested in the corporate culture and why people chose to work for that company, so I always try to work in questions based on those two things. And, if you’re informed and all of your pre-prepared questions are answered over the course of the interview, just say so! Silly questions will just end up hurting you.
  1. Always, always, always write thank you notes – and I don’t mean emails, I mean real, handwritten thank you cards. Your interviewers will appreciate it, and it gives you a leg up on the candidates that didn’t think to do it.”
What great tips, Kelly! Thanks for sharing! Keep us posted on your job search… good luck!
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94 Days of Summer, Day 75: Tess Blogs the Praises of the CSC!

We’re checking in for one last time with senior Communication Studies major Tess Parsons, who has been guest blogging for us this summer. Check out her excellent advice below:

“Here we are, less than a month away from the start of school.” Note: Tess has not gone crazy, and neither have you. Yes, school starts in less than a week. Tess sent me this post a few weeks ago. Don’t get confused. Back to Tess:  “For those of us graduating soon, the end of our time here at USF seems a little (or a lot) daunting.  Most of us at USF realized early on that a college degree meant a whole lot more to future employers than the standard high school diploma.  However, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the myth that being a college graduate means you automatically will get a great job straight after shaking hands with Father Privett at graduation.

This is not to say that students do not find jobs before or right after they graduate, but it is to say that it takes effort on the part of the student.  So where to start?

I am currently working up on the 5th floor of the University Center.  For those of you who haven’t checked out our cool, new digs, here’s an excuse to come up: Career Services Center is on the same floor!

 

Senior COMS major and Career Services Center user Tess

The folks up here at Career Services have dedicated their entire Center to helping students just like you and me, find internships, jobs, and even decide if grad school is the right move.  Here are some of their main services:

  • Drop-In Hours- everyday from 11-2, counselors and student staff can help you with a last minute resume check or give advice on future appointment needs
    • Super helpful and the quickest solution to your job search needs.
  • Career Assessment Meeting- conducted through in person appointment only, this meeting is in depth and can include career assessment tests, identification of job skills and interests, and even help planning a career path that best suits your job needs/major.
    • The best start for any student whose feeling a little lost with the whole ‘finding a job thing.’
  • Help students learn how to use DonsCareers- by learning how to utilize this job posting website, you can get started on your search.
  • Appointments for Interview Skill building- by building skills with the career counselors you can improve your chances of being a success during the interview process.

So let’s do a recap.  The Career Services Center is completely free for current USF students, and even students who have just graduated.  Career Services is your one stop shop for anything career related, including job search, career planning, and skill improvement.  Why wouldn’t you take full advantage of this service?

**Call 415.422.6216 TODAY to make an appointment with a counselor**”

Thanks, Tess, for the excellent advice! I second and third her recommendations to check out the Career Services Center. You can even follow them on twitter @USFcareer!

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94 Days of Summer, Day 74: Jamey's Summer Book Review

Out “94 Days of Summer” guest blogging continues with Communication Studies major Jamey Padojino. Here we go…

“I’m a junior at USF majoring in Communication Studies and minoring in Journalism. My summer has been pretty busy – taking three summer school classes (2 down, 1 to go!) and interning at ABC7/KGO-TV (which I’ll share more about in a later post). This coming school year will be my last year at USF. I’m graduating a year early – which is terrifying but all the more exciting. Netflix has become an addiction of mine this summer. I’ve been glued to watching The Office and I can now see why everyone loves it so much.

Jamey and the World's Largest Hamburger from the Alameda County Fair

In the meantime I’ve also been tackling my summer reading list and one of the books relates to our major! I was in Professor DeLaure’s Rhetoric and the Public Sphere class last Fall and she recommended the book Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman. In a nutshell the book talks about how television has consumed every aspect of our culture and communication. Our inability to have a discussion with the people behind a screen only increases opportunities for amusement. Information intake is a one-way street. This creates problems for talking about real issues because they’re presented to us as forms of entertainment. I figured I should read a book about television while interning at a news station.

The book provides many historical references on how communication has evolved. After every chapter I read it made me realize how much TV has consumed the way I look at the world. At times I almost felt ashamed at how much I devour the entertainment that comes before my eyes. At the end of the book Postman’s cure is through education. He says we need to change the way we watch TV – we need to think about what we watching. As I closed the book I wondered how I could think while watching TV.

At first they don’t seem to go hand-in-hand. But I realized that I do have conversations about television all the time in class. Postman talks about the phenomenon of ‘Now…This’ which is all about how information is always jam-packed into single sentences concerning politics, religion and much more. I now appreciate all the discussions in class about major issues that most people may only hear about for a minute and a half on a news segment. And through these talks we can stray away from being solely entertained by news stories. We can’t brush off our habits of amusement with the television or talk to the people behind the camera but we can continue to keep the conversation going in the classrooms.

With my new perspective on television, specifically news shows, I can now keep in mind that there’s always another side to the story. Facts are facts and some news shows can be skewed with opinion but there’s still a conversation waiting to happen.”

Thanks, Jamey, for your thoughtful post! In addition to reading and interning this summer, Jamey also made time to go to the Alameda County Fair. Check out her picture with the World’s Largest Hamburger! I can’t decide if that makes me hungry for a hamburger or never want to eat one again…

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94 Days of Summer, Day 72: Tess's Family Recipes

Don’t be confused. “Speaking of…” has not changed into a food blog! Well, maybe just for this week, because food is on the mind of our Communication Studies guest bloggers! In this entry senior Tess Parsons shares some old family recipes. Yum!

“Hello again Communication Studies students.  My last blog for y’all was a quick overview of a future career.  And after reading some of the other blogs I am realizing just how much work all of us Communication students are doing this summer.  With these busy schedules and long internship hours, one’s got to eat, right?

Of course! So as a middle of the road blog entry I wanted to share with all of you some delicious, easy, and inexpensive meals that will satisfy any working person and impress any house guests.

Now, I couldn’t just share any old, random recipes I found online.  So instead I am posting up two recipes: one from my grandmother Patricia and the other one from my grandmother Patricia.  Did I just make a typo? Nope, you read it right.  Both of my grandmothers are named Patricia and both of them are fantastic cooks.  So, the first recipe is for the simplest, most juicy Roasted Chicken and the second recipe is for a delicious, budget friendly Breakfast Egg and Cheese Soufflé.

Grandma Patty’s Oven Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole roasting chicken (Trader Joe’s has a great free range chicken for around 11 bucks)
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 sprig of rosemary (sometimes when I am in a rush and don’t have this I leave it out, no big deal)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°.

-First, take the chicken out of the package and make sure to remove anything you may find inside the chicken cavity (gross, but sometimes they do leave the gizzards inside).  Once you have rinsed out the chicken and the cavity, dry the chicken thoroughly.

-Second, slice the entire onion and lay the slices in one layer on the bottom of a roasting pan (or any sheet that has fairly tall sides).  Place the chicken on top of the onions so that the onions are covered.  Use a fork to puncture some holes into the lemon and place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken.

-Lastly, place the sliced garlic cloves and rosemary under the skin and salt the chicken thoroughly.  Melt the stick of butter in the microwave or a pan and pour ¼ of the butter over the chicken before placing it in the oven.  Bake the chicken for 1 ½ hours, pouring more butter over the chicken ever 30 minutes.

-Finally, remove the golden, juicy chicken from the oven.  Remove the chicken from the pan, but leave all browned onions and juices in the pan.  Add the can of soup to the pan and heat on the stovetop until the soup and juices make a delicious, hot gravy.  Serve with mashed potatoes, biscuits and veggies, or on its own.

Yummy roast chicken!

Grandma Yaya’s Cheese and Egg Soufflé

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • ½ lb. Jack cheese (cubed)
  • 1 small non-fat cream cheese (cubed)
  • 1 small non-fat cottage cheese
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 pound butter (cubed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

-Beat eggs and milk in the blender.  Mix flour and baking powder and add to the blender.  Pour the blended mixture into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Bake for 350° for 1 hour.

-Enjoy with salsa or breakfast hash.”

Thanks, Tess! And you can tell these recipes come from a future dentist… no triple gooey caramel marshmellow tooth decaying desserts here!

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94 Days of Summer, Day 69: Kelly's Day at the OC Fair

We’re continuing our week of “94 Days of Summer” blogs by featuring recent grad Kelly Sander’s. Here we go…

“To describe myself succinctly, I am a recent USF graduate with a degree in Communication Studies, with minors in Public Relations and Legal Studies. I am living in the Los Angeles area, searching for full time employment in some sort of PR/marketing capacity, while doing some online marketing for my brother’s business (http://www.silverleafcs.com/) and some of his friends’ small businesses.

In lieu of any real, exciting updates, I bring you a pictorial review of a day at the Orange County Fair! The OC Fair, whose tagline this year is, fittingly, ‘Let’s Eat!’ is a pretty fun place to spend a day. There are farm animals, crazy rides, good people watching, mildly amusing entertainment options (some professional, and some not so much), and, as the tagline would imply, lots and lots and lots of food. So, in the wise words of Peter Pan, ‘Come on everybody! Here we go!’

My boyfriend, Glen, gestures lovingly toward the Pork Chop on a Stick stand. The OC Fair has virtually every kind of food on a stick you might want, including pizza on a stick (how that works, I’m not really sure).

My friend, Dayna, shows off another food on a stick – a giant corndog! We were surprised by their price ($10!) until we saw someone carry one away… it’s like three regular corndogs put together.

Just for the record, I didn’t purchase anything from this stand. But, in case you were wondering where you could find deep fried butter and chocolate covered corn dogs, the OC Fair is the place to get them!

The fair also hosts an “Ice Museum,” which featured some pretty cool ice sculptures. This one is an underwater scene with a giant shark.

A pig! I don’t really know how else to further explain this picture.

One of the many thrill rides that are a little above my terror threshold – but I bet the view from up there was amazing!

This ride is basically a giant crane where the seats rotate 180 degrees while the arm spins in a circle. It looked horrifying – you could hear the screams in the parking lot!

After my friends and I watched some baton twirling (which I didn’t realize people still performed), we stumbled upon a cowboy hat stand. See the next picture for our final purchases…

Kileigh, Dayna and I getting into the cowboy spirit by hanging out with a cow – because that’s how we roll.

A Bavarian cream funnel cake. You can’t go to a county fair without having a funnel cake!

After spending seven hours at the OC Fair, Glen and I were tired and decided to call it a day.

If you’re in the Los Angeles or Orange County area, I definitely recommend taking a trip to the fair. It’s great fun, and because they have a severe lack of seating, you actually walk a ton and work off many of those calories you consume eating delicious, greasy food. Plus, they have a cool amphitheatre with some really good acts playing nightly, and some fun, kitschy exhibits and smaller shows. And if you miss the OC Fair, the Los Angeles County Fair isn’t far off, because it’s not summer without a fair!”

Thanks, Kelly! Looks like a great day!

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94 Days of Summer, Day 65: An's Mild Birthday Week

Happy belated birthday to COMS major and guest blogger An Mai!

“July 16—July 24, 2011: An’s ‘Mild’ Birthday Week

My birthday fell on a Tuesday this year. Since Tuesdays aren’t exactly convenient for celebration, I planned my festivities for the weekends before and after. Before you get too excited, let me share with you a snippet of a conversation I had with a friend back in high school, just so you can get a sense of who I am:

Fiona: An Mai! You should throw a wild party for graduation!

An: Um, I’m me.

Fiona: Then…throw a mild party!

That pretty much sums me up. I’m mild. (You can take a guess at what kind of salsa I have in the fridge.)  I don’t do parties. Crowds already make me uncomfortable; I can’t even imagine how I’d feel in an uninhibited crowd. So, my 21st birthday week didn’t include a wild trip to Vegas or drinking copious amounts of moonshine. My 21st birthday week involved Harry Potter, baked goods, and musical theater. It was perfectly suited for me and I got to have some pretty terrific moments with my family and friends seeing and doing things that I love. Here’s what happened:

Saturday, July 16, 2011: ‘It All Ends’…Childhood Included

When the trailer for the final Harry Potter movie was released a few months ago, I jokingly said that the release of Deathly Hallows Part 2 was going to mark the end of my childhood. It got a few laughs, but it actually felt true. Half my life now I’ve been immersed and fascinated by this world that JK Rowling created. Here’s a nerdy little timeline for you:

  • 1999: I read Sorcerer’s Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban; Age 9
  • 2000: I read Goblet of Fire; Age 10
  • 2001: The first movie is released; Age 11
  • 2002: The second movie is released; Age 12
  • 2003: I read Order of the Phoenix; Age 12
  • 2004: The third movie is released; Age 14
  • 2005: I read Half-Blood Prince; Age 14
  • 2005: The fourth movie is released; Age 15
  • 2007: The fifth movie is released; Age 16
  • 2007: I read Deathly Hallows; Age 17
  • 2009: The sixth movie is released; Age 18
  • 2010: The seventh movie is released; Age 20
  • 2011: The eighth movie is released 4 days before my 21st birthday

Almost every year for 12 years there was something to look forward to. I’ve had a few birthdays coincide with Harry Potter release dates before, but this last one was bittersweet. Before, I always knew that there was going to be another one in the works and it would just be a matter of time before it was time for me to get excited again. This time it was different. It wasn’t just that I was going to be legally regarded as an adult in the eyes of the government. With the end of the series, I was leaving behind this epic saga that taught me how to use my imagination and to see the value in friendship, loyalty, courage, and love.

I saw the movie the day after it premiered with one of my best friends at a really underrated theater in San Jose called Winchester 22. The floors are wooden, the screen is huge, and there was no crazy wait to get into the 7:00pm showing. I cried about 3 times, kind of fell in love with Neville Longbottom (I can’t help it; he’s got an English accent and he helps defeat evil while wearing a super cute cardigan!), laughed at the jokes, cheered for the victors, was sad to see it end, but satisfied with the way it did. I think I can say the same for my childhood: I’m sad to see it end but satisfied with the way it did. For that I feel lucky.

The object of An's affections... Neville Longbottom

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My little cousins came over to give me a birthday present.

Birthday loot!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011: Happy birthday, me!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011: Mai Mission: Bake Crawl (It’s like a pub crawl, but with bakeries)

Yes, you read that right. Bake Crawl. After doing some research on Yelp, it looked like the best bakeries in San Francisco are located in the Mission (Do you get the double pun in the title? I hope so because I was really proud of it.) I picked out 4 places, invited some friends, and checked with them about their tolerance for desserts. Here’s a link to the map I created: http://batchgeo.com/map/a1​c6bf8107b4d09ada0a8b79d957​2a2a

Since there were 5 of us, it was decided that it would be best for us to get one or two things at each place and share. That way, none of us would be breaking the bank or going home in a sugar coma. Our first destination was Mission Pie. We decided to split a small strawberry rhubarb pie and a slice of bacon cheese quiche (there ought to be at least one savory thing). The pie was delicious. They forgot our quiche, but once we reminded them, they offered us a free slice of anything to go along with the quiche. We went with mixed berry. It was a good decision.

YUM!

YUM-ME!

We finished our pie and headed out to the next stop: Anthony’s Cookies. The flavors they have vary day to day, so here’s what we got:

  • -1 toffee chip
  • -1 classic chocolate chip
  • -1 cookies and cream
  • -1 cinnamon spice
  • -2 German chocolate

6 cookies, 5 flavors, 5 very satisfied girls.

I'm hungry...

Next on the list was Tartine Bakery. We were hoping we might avoid the crowd because it was around 2pm by then, but no such luck; the line went out the door. We got in the queue (can you tell I’m still thinking about Harry Potter?), grabbed a menu, and tried to decide on what to get. We wanted to get something a little lighter after the sweetness of the cookies, so we agreed that the small lemon cream tart would be best. However, after getting to the dessert window, I impulsively added a chocolate éclair to our order. We took them over to Dolores Park and sat on the Twister mat I brought. We ate, hung out, people-watched, and waited for the food to settle before going to the last stop.

Seriously, it's 3:30 in the afternoon and I'm hungry...

...and uploading these pictures from An is torture!

Our final stop of the day was Bi-Rite Creamery. No, ice cream’s not a baked good, but so what? Sue me. The line for Bi-Rite was even longer than the one at Tartine’s! The wait was definitely worth it though as we each enjoyed our ice cream. My friend and I decided to share a cup with chocolate ice cream and cherry raspberry sorbet and split a mint chocolate cupcake. All in all, it was a fantastic day filled with good food and good friends. I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again—there are still so many desserts out there to try!

Last destination on the Bakery Crawl

This looks way better than my pretzels.

Sunday, July 24, 2011: ‘I just want to dance the ballet!’

The Tony Award-winning musical Billy Elliot is in town! My friend and I had been looking forward to seeing it for awhile and were delighted when SHNSF added the show to the 2011 season. We were even more delighted when we saw that rush tickets were available for every performance! For those of you who don’t know what rush tickets are, they’re a number of tickets that the theater will sell 2 hours before a performance at a discounted price. Usually they’re for pretty good seats too. We were aiming for the 2pm matinee, so I got to the theater around 11:45 to line up. There was already quite a few people ahead of me, but luckily I got the rush tickets! As a result, we got to sit in the orchestra for $40 each. Not bad, considering the people in front of us probably paid $99 for their seats. Rush tickets: wallet saviors to theater-loving college students everywhere.

The show was amazing! If you’ve seen the movie, then you’ll know what the musical is about. Basically, a young boy from a working-class village in Northern England discovers his passion for dance at the height of Thatcherism in the 1980s. However, his coal-mining father and brother are on strike and much too proud to let Billy pursue his “middle-class” dreams. The actors are super talented (I’m jealous of their skills!), the dance sequences are awesome, and the music is by Elton John. What more could you ask for?

So, that was my ‘mild’ birthday week. Pass the chips, please!”

What a great birthday week, An! Thanks for sharing!