Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I already knew that I live with a bunch of hooligans. Halloween just served as confirmation.

But they're cute hooligans, which makes all the difference.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Over the Weekend

Over the weekend, campus went from this:
Photo c/o Clare Gray Lewis

to this:

This is a blizzard aggressively attacking NYC, for those who
may be confused by/too stunned to process this image

It was the most prolific October snowfall since before the Civil War (meaning that the most snow stuck). Needless to say, we're all like, "What the Whaaaaaaaaaa?"

Also, I would like to award the Best Snow-Related Facebook Status award to Ms. Audrey Perez, who so eloquently wrote, "Just woke up and am realtime upset that it's snowing. How am I supposed to dress like a ho in the snow?"


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I attended a silent retreat this past weekend with Fordham's Campus Ministry, and it was wonderful, so filled with meaning and reflections of God's love. Fordham owns a retreat house in Goshen, New York that is absolutely gorgeous (it's both creatively built and large) and it was the perfect place to a break from busy life. Of course, silence didn't hurt, either. It was good to spend a weekend without my own yammering! I spent a lot of time reflecting, praying, thinking and reading Living Simply in an Anxious World. In the words of another woman on the retreat, it was "sweet times."

Of course, I was able to snap a few fall photos, as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Grits with Mushrooms, Sausage, and Spinach

are delicious! I made this recipe tonight for my mom and it was so tasty and simple. Between reading Merton, a silent retreat, and a hectic lifestyle, I've been appreciating simplicity more than ever lately. This was a breeze to cook with almost every ingredient cooking through in under five minutes, and was also super cheap: I spent less than $20 on the meal for both of us. I adapted the recipe, adding spinach instead of herbs and using the broth from pasta fagioli soup instead of water to make the grits. (I also opted to add the sausage, of course.) A little cooking secret: I always reevaluate when/where a recipe calls for water. For things like rice, grits, cous cous, etc., using soup broth or even chicken stock always makes the result tastier. Using milk instead of water for cake batter makes the cake smoother. Water is just so bland.

Photo and recipe c/o
For dessert.... I'm ashamed to say that I bought Warm Delights. Yes, it's microwaveable cake, and it tastes only slightly better than you'd imagine microwaveable cake to taste. Next time, I'll certainly take "Betty's Tip" (a suggestion on the Crocker packaging) and substitute Irish liqueur for water. I learned long ago that Irish + liquor are the key ingredients to making anything better.

Next on my cooking to-do list are pumpkin pancakes, to which I even intend on adding craisins and pecans. I think I'll save this one for CT, though, where flour, sugar and pans are already in stock. Until then, it's simple cooking and microwaveable cakes all the way.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Where Are We Headed?

Image c/o
I love the dichotomy between the two views of society: one which posits that society is headed toward the Kingdom of God, and the other that says that Eden was the Kingdom and we've been decreasing ever since. (I generally believe the former, but sometimes it isn't so easy!) In both cases, we're fallen and in need of God. It's the ways in which we see ourselves needing God that determines so much about our faith.

Merton is very clear about his stance on this issue. Reflecting on Bill Grime's "prophecy" about the future, Merton discusses the possibility of "Nothing to look forward to but the same inanities, falsities, cliches, and pretenses...surely more frustration, therefore more madness, violence, degeneracy, addiction" (177). However, he puts these options and a standstill and chooses hope over dread. "I have higher hopes," Merton says. "I dare to hope for change not only quantitative but qualitative too; such change must come through darkness and crisis, not joyous and painless adventure. Perhaps I say that out of habit" (177).

What does this mean for us? With technology and globalization, is the world becoming the "vast asylum" that Merton feared in the 1960s? Are we straying from the good ol' days when life was simple, even moral? Merton's idea of where change comes from is even more intriguing: as a society, are we in the midst of "darkness and crisis," or have we instead embraced "joyous and painless adventure"? As I read this, it occurred to me that these two options are nearly synonymous: in seeking joyous and painless adventure, we find ourselves in the reality of darkness and crisis.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Unbelievably, I haven't been to the Bronx zoo in... well, it's been so long that I don't remember the last time I went to the Bronx zoo. My parents discredited it when I was young (the exhibits were too big to actually see the animals) and I haven't been back since. To their credit, the zoo is illogically set up and absurdly expensive, both of which I learned during my visit there today (entry to many exhibits requires a "special ticket" aka extra fee, even when admission to the general zoo is free). But it wasn't all bad. Free admission Wednesdays might feature shorter hours and limited displays, but the faces of the tigers alone made the trip worthwhile.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All Mod


I put together this board today on a whim, just choosing objects that I liked. When I looked at them together, I simultaneously thought, "Cool!" and "Whaaaa?" I guess this means that I want tea, fugly Christmas trees, and summery dresses, all from Modcloth, all at once.

Really, could it be any other way?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Being a Resident Assistant, a Residential Life live-in staff member, is both a blessing and a curse. I'm living in a freshman dorm this year, and being back on campus with freshmen has been endlessly rewarding: I am cried on, loathed, laughed with, poked, prodded, teased, relied on, and loved. Granted, I am also pulled out of my bed to let residents into their locked rooms at all hours of the night, required to meet various conditions so that Res Life has favorable statistics at the end of the year, and responsible for sending overly-drunk students to the hospital, which, at one particularly poignant moment, happened while I was dressed up as George Washington and NOT on-call. That's the thing about being an RA: you're always on-call. Even when you're just taking a stroll across campus on an average Thursday night, sipping lemonade, dressed up as George Washington, with two staff members back in your dorm officially on duty for the night. There's just no escaping it.
The RA Staff of Alumni Court South this year.
Photo c/o Erin Swide/Caitlyn Pedone
Aside from my list of bizarre RA experiences, though, there are some pretty cool things about the job. As I like to put it, the responsibilities of Resident Assistants essentially fall into three categories: 1. Creating programs/events for students to attend (this includes, but is not limited to, organizing, budgeting, marketing, and facilitating said programs); 2. Appropriately confronting and/or referring counseling/psychological concerns; and 3. Making sure that students are following University/state policy, and documenting the situation (i.e. telling your boss about it) when they aren't. You'll notice that these duties all contribute to the same goal, that is, making sure that residents are having an awesome year. Providing fun (and sometimes free!) stuff to do, encouraging -relative- sanity, and ensuring overall safety and moderate tameness can only enhance the good times, right?

Sample fliers from RA-ing last year
Of course, I encourage you to take my sanity comment with a grain of salt; this founding father's perception of "relative sanity" is very, very relative.