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Old Rag Mountain October 21, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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I have no sense of direction, yet my friend who doesn’t even drive is like a walking compass. I didn’t even print out or look up directions to find this place in the Shenandoah mountains, I just trusted in her and we went. Well, we got lost for over 30 minutes in Manassas of all places. But fast forward to three hours later, an hour past estimated time arrival, and there we are in the Old Rag Mountain parking lot. How exciting, our adventure is about to begin!

Big and Beautiful Cabin on the Drive Up

This website, or the “brown website” as we liked to call it warned us that this hike was challenging. We were ready for the long hike… we ended up exhausted on the “short” hike. The entire way up is at a steep incline, so the only resting period you get is when you’re sitting on a log eating the apple or other non-perishable snack you brought with you. And since we aren’t exactly your everyday Olympian athletes we took nice, long breaks. We brought along plenty of water, but be prepared to sweat it all out of your system because it’s a serious hike. Each time we made it to the clearing I was sure it was the top… but each time we were far from it. Finally we made it to the kind of top, where the trails end and the granite rock begins but I was too chicken to go on the granite. I didn’t have confidence in my shoes, or myself, to climb the rocks. And though I am ashamed to admit it, I’m able to accept it because I do want to reach the top the next time around because we were SO close. So we reach the kind of top, but not quite and eat and take in the breathtaking views (lots of green and a few homes). To our pleasant surprise there were three mountain dogs up there, too! We wondered how they managed to climb the whole way up because one of them looked really old, but I guess he still had it in him and they didn’t look half as tired as I was.

Not Even Close to the Top, but We're Pretty High Up

The views were amazing, the hike up was fun but challenging, and just taking in nature’s beauty was a great experience in itself. On the walk down we were just tired and hungry for real food. We keep walking, we keep walking, we keep walking… feeling closer to the end but it never is. But then finally we get to the bottom, then we get to the car and stretch and then drive off back home… but not before stopping at Chipotle! The best Chipotle of my life.

Proof that I was There!

The drive up and the hike up is definitely worth it and I would definitely recommend it. Next time I go, I’m going full force all the way to the top. If you go, you should go all the way up because if you don’t you will regret it. I endured the walk of shame the whole way down the mountain, sorry Dizzle!

Proof that Dizzle was There, Too!

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Pet Peeves October 15, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard.
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Why do they call it a pet peeve anyways? Pets generally make people happy. And I don’t know what a peeve is on its own… but together they create this phrase that so many people know about. So instead of doing extensive research on where this word came about I just entrusted the job to Wikipedia and brought it here for you. This will be a short blog, and I’m writing it because I am peeved that I can’t fall asleep but I’ve already studied all the finance problems my brain can handle within a 24-hour period. I’ll be sure to add to this, because I have a long list of peeves… but these are those that have happened most recently.

  1. Women who don’t flush the toilet and/or leave their pee, or even worse, all over the toilet. Seriously? If you’re old enough to use a toilet on your own without holding mommy’s hand than you are old enough to know that a public restroom is not your home and you need to respect the fact that there will be people using the bathroom after you and janitors have feelings, too.
  2. Women who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Again, “ladies” you’re not at home. If you want to be gross and disgusting in the privacy of your own home and leave a trail of disease behind you go ahead. But please wash your hands while you’re out in public. I hate the feeling of knowing a woman just left the loo and thinking about what she’s going to hold/touch next… could it be the fruit I pick out at the grocery store, or the doorknob I turn to enter a classroom, or the book I check out at the library? Actually it’s very likely it will be all those things and more… do you really need to make the world a filthier place? It takes roughly 30 seconds, tough it out! You don’t need to haul your water in a bucket from miles away or collect pigs fat and oatmeal to make your own soap… all the modern day necessities are there for you! Who knew? I guess if you’re one of those that don’t wash your hands you didn’t notice.
  3. Please note that I’m only picking on the ladies because I am a female and I use only the woman’s restroom. I don’t want to imagine but I can imagine how much filthier dudes can be but ignorance is bliss so I’m moving on.
  4. People who cut me off. People who cut me off without using their signal light. I hate you, that’s it.
  5. Superstars, or rather people who think they are superstars. I thought today’s world was all about equality and justice and not talking about yourself all day long. If you deserve it and you want to give yourself a pat on the back, great or treat yourself to some new whatever thing you’ve been wanting, woo hoo. Share it with someone, that actually cares, and move on. You’re not better than me or anyone else I know, you just have a dozen more ways to express yourself in. Note that I am talking about “superstars” that are the talkative, judgmental types. The ones that feel like their opinions are the fruit of the earth’s divine creation. So please don’t be offended if you like to congratulate yourself once in awhile, I enjoy giving credit where credit is due and I will share my happiness with you. Unless you get annoying and turn into a superstar… then I won’t.
  6. People that reek. Alright, this might be a sensitive subject for some people… maybe it’s against their religious/cultural beliefs to use artificial things like deodorant or take a shower… but seriously, do you not recognize your own stench?! Please take all the necessary precautions to not smell so badly around my nostrils! If you’re going to work up a sweat, use deodorant, be sure to shower after your workout, bring a change of clothes, bring perfume/body spray, use scented lotions, and baby powder all the sweaty spots! Anything to hold in the smell. This is not something that you can just go up and suggest to someone, so I’m putting this on my peeves list to let it be known.
  7. I know so many people agree with this next one, be quiet when you’re in the library. I know we’re not in the 1950s where we have Miss Librarian with her thick, black rimmed glasses and top notch bun in her hair shushing us to silence every time we make a peep, but jeez… is it too much to ask to keep your conversation outside of the library? Especially at Mason, there are SO many places to converse… the many coffee shops, the cafeteria, outside, etc. Why do you need to talk about what you’re going to do this weekend while I’m in the library trying to concentrate? Everyone is burning negative comments about you in their heads, so be quiet or step out, please and thank you.
  8. Speaking of people who talk… loudly. To all those people who speak into their cell phones like it’s a megaphone, I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this… but it’s annoying and obnoxious. Especially the ones that I’m helping at work, and you pick up the phone in a huff and I have to find out some weird, personal thing about you because you didn’t want to call someone back or at least excuse yourself and step out to speak in relative private. Maybe these people just like to announce their business to the world because it makes them feel somewhat important, but I beg to differ. Just lower your voice a bit, good grief.
  9. This one is a very recent pet peeve. Commercials on YouTube, and I’m not talking about VEVO! Even though VEVO is just as lame. My boyfriend suggested we boycott YouTube, but he watches YouTube like it’s his part-time job, so I doubt he will follow through. And besides, it’s still free… it’s one of those pet peeves that I’m going to have to put up with, hmph.
  10. My mother (insert evil laugh here).

I think I should stop at five pet peeves before I give off this massive, cynical vibe to the four, give or take, people that might actual be reading this. But know this, I have many more pet peeves. But also know this, for as many pet peeves that I have… I have about a dozen more things that interest me. I still have a very childlike view of the world, and I’m not sure yet if that’s working for or against me as I soon approach “reality”. Oh, and sorry for the lack of pictures… I’m not sure what I would take pictures of other than my disgruntled face with these various issues in the background. And I apologize for the boring, no originality title… maybe I’ll change it, or maybe I won’t.

Sunday Strolling in Eastern Market, DC October 13, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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There are few things I love better than beautiful weather, flea markets, and good food. I actually love a lot of things, but that’s beside the point. Because I barely get a weekend off, I decided to really make it count and I wanted to do as much as possible! I haven’t been to Eastern Market in a few years, since before the fire. You can read more about that here.

 

Humans Browsing Vintage Movie Posters

 

I just love the atmosphere there. I enjoy being able to shop and browse outdoors instead of in a stuffy, overcrowded mall. The market is lined with merchants selling random things from leather satchels to stereoviews (I really, really wanted one)! There are so many awesome, kitschy random collectibles and items available… it’s a flea market/thrift shoppers daydream! I craved practically everything there but I decided to look, take my time, and thought I’d just come back with more cash and a more detailed idea of what I wanted rather than purchasing aimlessly.

 

An Artist and his Paintings

 

They’ve also got an outdoors farmer’s market filled with everything you’d expect to find at a farmer’s market: fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. I didn’t buy anything because I was already stuffed to the rafters from eating at the place seen down below, Banana Cafe.

 

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

 

My boyfriend and I dropped into this place accidentally. After being on the metro for the past 40 minutes we really had to pee and we were starving so practically anything seemed appealing. We walked a few blocks passing Subway (trite), a grill (ooh, that sounds good… oh wait, it’s an Indian grill. I love food, but Indian food isn’t my favorite but that story is for another time), and a seafood bar (awesome! We walk in and the hostess tells us it’s passed brunch so they only serve six items that don’t look appealing, ugh). We were getting exhausted and even more desperate for food. Even Popeye’s started to look good… just kidding, never. Then I saw this bright yellow place… Latin American food, yay! As stated earlier, the place is named Banana Cafe & Piano Bar. But they don’t serve only banana foods (I loathe bananas) and now that I think about it, I didn’t see any pianos but I also wasn’t paying attention and we ate outdoors, anyway. There were many appetizing options available, but I decided on the Cuban Chicken Steak because I haven’t had Cuban food in years, literally six since going to Gloria Estefan’s Bongos Cuban Cafe in Miami, Florida (that place is delicious by the way). They brought up chips and salsa to start, which made our stomachs so happy because like I said a hundred times over, we were hungry!

 

Chips & Salsa (We Crushed These)

 

The chips were thick and had a true corn flavor in every bite, which is hard to find these days. The salsa was pretty good too, definitely not the best I’ve had because it could have used a little more heat but the consistency was good and it was very fresh. Our food came out pretty quickly, brownie points for Banana Cafe. My Cuban Chicken Steak (smothered in onions, mmm…) was huge! The presentation was really nice, but the flavor is most important and it lived up to my expectations, but didn’t exceed them. I had to take it home, so I had to carry the box the entire time we were walking around Eastern Market which made me wish I had just settled for a shrimp quesadilla.

 

Cuban Chicken Steak

 

The waiters were friendly enough, the service was good, the food came out warm and fairly quick. Overall, on a rating between great, good, okay, and bad… I’d give this place a ‘good‘. That being said, I’m still looking for a great Cuban restaurant in the area, so if anyone out there knows of a good place in the DC Metropolitan area, let me know!

Here are a few more pictures I sneaked while strolling around the vendors. I say sneak, because I didn’t want them to think I was taking pictures with the intention of stealing their cool ideas. I really just took pictures for visual notes of what I may want to buy when I come back! Or you, the reader, can just print these pictures and purchase them for me because Christmas will be here soon!

 

Cool Hats for Warm Heads: I Love Hats

 

 

Scrabble Jewelry: Why Didn't I Come Up with This?

 

 

Bright Brocade Jackets

 

 

Hello Future Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So If you’re looking for something different to do in DC, make your next stop Eastern Market! Just make sure to empty your bladder first.

Shopping for Professional Attire Experience October 3, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Things.
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To the left are my professional attire rejects: pencil skirts, straight leg pants, wide leg pants, and uncomfortable button downs. Don’t worry, I neatly hanged all of my rejects when I was finished. I’ve worked in a department store, so I know what a pain it is to pick up and put back piles, and piles, and piles, AND PILES of clothes… that is another not so fun experience.

I feel so out of place in a suit. I’ve always been a jeans and hoodie kind of girl, but we all know that’s unacceptable in the workplace. So trying to find a suit that made me feel like a million bucks without spending a million bucks (vast exaggeration, I know) was a daunting task.

I had planned on going to all the discount department stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Loehmann’s and Nordstrom Rack… but even thinking about all those places made me exhausted. If I had been looking for fun clothes and home goods, I would be excited… but I wasn’t. So, I went straight to Macy’s. Unlucky for me I only need something at Macy’s when I don’t have a coupon and with no sales going on. Anyways, I found an amazing Calvin Klein suit that really put me in the career woman spirit, but I don’t have the career woman budget. So I opted for my fifth find, a nice Style & Co. blazer and dress and I have to be honest, my favorite part about the blazer and the dress are – they have front pockets! I cannot stress enough how much fake pockets bother me. I want, actually need, a pocket to put my hands in, to hold my Chapstick, or an extra pen. I’m actually pretty happy that I found a dress because now I don’t have to waste, er spend, extra time and money trying to look for button down shirts!

To the right is my winner but I’m definitely not going to wear it with my walking flip flops. Which brings me to another uncomfortable subject, high heels. I have these really comfortable Mary Jane Soft Walks, but I can already feel the nerd factor creeping up on me just thinking about this outfit. I chose this life path, so I need to dress the part and until I’m on top of the game, pocketing a hefty business woman’s salary I’ll have to settle for mediocre professional attire. It also makes me wonder if I’m getting old, or growing up, because I did think some two-piece suits were cute and they weren’t from the bathing suit section.

This suit needs to last me awhile because I plan on wearing it to every interview I get until I find a “real job”. I just hope all of the interviewers don’t find out my secret, but if they found my blog from LinkedIn and are currently reading this… then the cat’s out of the bag! I’m a broke, college student looking for a job, what more do they expect?

Anyways, now I’ve got the suit and the nerdy but very comfortable shoes (I might wear killer heels if it looks too nerdy). All I need is a nice, black leather purse to hold my cheap binder carrying my notes and resumes. This will be easy to find but not easy to pay for.

My question of the day is: do any college students actually enjoy shopping for professional attire?