Exams and papers are the worst part about the end of semester, but at least there are always parties to alleviate the pain. I have 3 finals and 3 papers, so it’s bad — though I suppose it could always be a lot worse. Seems strange that this time next year I’ll be more worried about day-to-day deadlines, and paying bills, and saving up for Big Expenses like a House or Children, etc. Yes, it really could be a lot worse.
We celebrated Fred’s final semester with a very fancy dinner at Lacroix. I wish we got the tasting menu but I guess that’ll be a luxury for the next time. Still, it was very classy without being too stuffy: our waiter made me feel completely at ease, joked with us, etc. It’s always so easy to go down the obnoxiously expensive route, I think. Basically I’m just the biggest awkward turtle at fancy places so I love clowns in suits — makes me feel a lot more at home.
For camouflage, I brought out the BCBG Max Azria dress I got during my Thanksgiving shopping spree. Love it cos they have pockets! I think every dress should have one. Why should men be the only one who can stuff their wallets and phones in whatever magical tailored pouch? I think we ladies can rock the hands-in-pockets look even if we’re in a dress:
Food-wise, no regrets going to Lacroix. I had been there a few times in my freshman and sophomore year (but all for Restaurant Week deals, and never at night). The foie gras was served cold — my first time eating it that way! — and I split that and the oysters with Fred. For the second course, I got what I thought was a rather generous — and super-fresh and uber-juicy — helping of lobster. Mains Mich and I halved: I picked venison but preferred her veal cheek (and vice versa). And everybody just went crazy over their desserts, no matter what they picked. My “chocolate” selection, with its salted caramel and flexi-chocolate and nuts, was a good, if not safe, choice. Janey’s “huckleberry” combination was also really yummers!
In spite of the fact that all three girls brought out their dSLRS, we had some really crappy photographs, haha. Bad lighting, we didn’t adjust our settings accordingly, maybe it was ‘cos all the boys take photos like they have Parkinson’s or something… But whatever, memories are made in the mind I guess.
What I liked about the little room Lacroix gave us were the decorations — plates and random figurines placed on a shelf. All very cozy and homely. Will probably never have the money to invest in expensive crockery just to use as decorations so shall live vicariously through the restaurant I guess.
I think the next photo is super funny — it’s taken by Bryan, who’s taking a picture of Andy and Saahil taking a picture of us girls. Hahaha. I think Fred was somewhere sitting now just facepalming multiple times.
So all that happened on Thursday. Friday was winter social with Pan-Asian and we headed to Giorgio on Pine. The thing is, I’ve never really enjoyed my food every time we go to these BYOs in large groups (26 of us). The food’s often mediocre at best, but I guess it’s hard to do things well when you have to push out 26 dishes at a time. Also it’s just an awful place to cram 26 college kids in possession of alcohol — it’s an intimate family restaurant.
Thankfully there’s always karaoke to let off steam. We go to this Korean-run place almost at the outskirts of Philadelphia, and at the end of each song, the machine gives you a score, which can be a real ego-booster just before you go into finals. No matter how terrible Pan-Asian sounds — we’re dancers, not singers, after all lol — you’ll be assured of at least an A- heh.
Also another new dress, this time one I was saving for a special occasion from… Bangkok! Haha. Red + halter + peplum = this outfit has little rewear value. 🙁 But I guess Christmas is the best time for all the deep red / emerald green clothes you’ve been keeping at the back of your closet.
A photo of the seniors! Crazy how Jess, Lucia and I thought it was just gonna be us the first two years. Then Donna joined us last year, and my fellow Singaporean Fiona helped round up the fabulous five this year.
And one of everyone. In another life, I think I would have been a rapper. It’s my favorite part of karaoke — taking over the mic when everybody shuts up over the non-chorus bits of “Low”, or screaming like a mad woman with Christine when Super Bass comes on. I’m seriously considering performing “Niggas in Paris” Alan at our wedding if we get married. Political / social incorrectness aside. Like, we’re that good. LOL LOL LOL.
Anyway post-karaoke, Xiang and I headed for Fred’s final farewell party. I remember John entering and then lying facedown on the floor, being force-fed Moet, and Alan picking me up at 4.30am. Also note to self: stop making couples kiss (sorry Steph/Weinberg!). Amazingly, woke up feeling super sprightly and in time for Secret Santa!
Me: Fred, can you help us take a photo please?
Fred: I can barely hold my Gatorade, you want me to hold a camera?!
I love Secret Santas. I guess it’s cos I find myself not giving gifts as often in college as I did any other time in my life. But it’s nice to know that someone out there is thinking about you want or need, that he or she bothered to ask your friends, went out to town, got the present, made a card. I should make a habit out of giving gifts / making cards, especially when I start work.
Fred got Michelle a nap alarm (haha!), Michelle got Jane apple cider + chopstick pencils, Saa got Fred a book to translate his Briticisms into understandable, American ones:
Jane got me an eyebrow kit… which my Secret Santa from Pan-Asian got me too LOL LOL LOL. But crisis averted with return policies. I love the United States of Shopping. And I got Saahil a freaking awesome sweater! With those equestrian patches! I don’t think he wanted one cos “only parents buy clothes” (when I suggested he get a tie or something for Fred) but Fred said Saa “desperately” needed one… And when he showed up he was wearing some red monstrosity that looked like a peppermint cane threw Kool-Aid up or something. SO I WIN! (Am aware I’m way too defensive about my present…)
Lunchtime beckoned and Alan and I made our long-awaited return to… Reading Terminal Market. Affordable, yummy food — if you can deal with the weekend crowds. Otherwise I suppose you could stuff your faces with cheese samples, which is what I certainly saw one woman do with her two toddlers. She just grabbed them all these toothpicks and stabbed away at the maple bacon cheese like there was no tomorrow. And didn’t even buy any!! Gaoz.
Love the street-like layout of the market, which kind of degenerates into organic, organized chaos after a while. There’s always something delicious to be found no matter which way you turn.
After what seemed like forever, we finally got out and headed to Chinatown to cut our hair. Toying with the idea of coloring it but my hair grows at such a phenomenally slow rate I think I’ll have to wait a little longer. This is what Alan looked like pre-haircut…
Just gonna round off with a moody, color-tweaked photo (but the mist is 100% real) of City Hall. It’s ominous and represents the unclear, dark passage of time that is to be my immediate future. I ought to hunker down and start churning out those papers. On the bright side, there’s Peru and Bolivia to look forward to. And hopefully, more introspective + thoughtful posts. In the meantime, I need to conserve the brain space for other stuff.