New York Halloween

Pumpkins
Pumpkin carving is the most bizarre tradition. I mean I love doing it...but the whole idea of it is a bit strange. Think about it--it's a tradition to carve a face into a vegetable in order to make a lantern. And we rarely even carve pretty faces--they're typically oddly shaped faces with jagged and geometric features...like triangle eyes and nose, then a grin with many teeth missing. Why? I simply do not get it.

I even tried googling it, but all I discovered is no one knows for sure! Some believe it comes from the Celtic Summer's End holiday--the most magical night of the year. Others claim it to be Irish. Some Greek. Some even say it's Native American. Aka: many of my sources appear to be far from credible. So you tell me!

Anyway, as I'm sure you guessed we did a lil pumpkin carving Monday night. And haunted house making (aka gingerbread houses with candy corn instead of candy canes). I'd say this kid Tom and I carved this amazing depiction of one of the creatures from Where the Wild Things are together--but that'd be a lie. He did most of it; I helped on and off. I just don't have the patience to really carve a whole cool something rather on a vegetable that will rot and go moldy in but a week. He had a legit pumpkin carving kit and everything whereas I'm all for the grab a kitchen knife, stab out two eyes, a nose, and a big toothy grin, add a candle and kaBAM...you have yourself a jack-o-lantern! This pumpkin I helped with though did turn out to be A-mazing! I'd show you a picture; however, I didn't take one. Sorry.

Oh--while on the topic of pumpkin carving I'd like to make a lil shout out to my amazing friend Jarom Chung who WON BYU's Daily Universe pumpkin carving competition! CONGRATS JAR! Pretty much he's amazing and SO talented and it's far from surprising that he won cause he's just THAT cool! But seriously congrats Congrats CONGRATS! I feel cool that I know you!

Cursed Stats
Dear Statistics,

I'm writing to tell you you're hurting my head
If you don't soon stop I'll surely be dead
So many simple things you complicate
It's making my life something that I hate (don't worry folks...I don't really hate life)
In math 2+2 always just equalled 4
But in stats I have learned it might equal 1/2 less or half more
So you see I'd be fine if you'd just sorta end
Then alas my poor brain I could finally mend.

Sincerely,

Rachel...a suffering statistics student

Note: for all those wondering, I began the 7 week stats course Wednesday night: 4-8pm.

Ethiopian Cuisine
The CUSSW board decided to do a dinner to welcome the first year reps, so Wednesday night we all ventured to an adorable Ethiopian restaurant. Now--I don't know what it is about people and Ethiopian food here. There are restaurants everywhere. And what's more is people actually seem to love it! My memory of Ethiopian food, however, is entirely negative. I remember while in the remote villages of Ethiopia eating costco cookies, bread, and filling up with lots of Coke in order to avoid eating the legit traditional cuisine. My dad of course loved it--but what foreign food does he not enjoy? Word of advice: if you want to know if a food from a foreign country is good do not ask my father. He's great and wonderful and I just love him; however, he loves ALL food from other countries!

I completely support being adventurous and trying all foods at least once. Key word: try. Try it and love it...or try it and hate it. I support both.

So although I had this most dreadful memory of Ethiopian food, I of course attended and happily gave it another chance. After all it's been a good 5 years since I was in Ethiopia--and as we all know I've become so mature since then (haha)--perhaps my taste changed too. The reality of my experience: well--the dinner was fun...but to be completely honest I don't know that I could ever survive in Ethiopia again now that I cannot eat bread or cookies (thanks Celiac)! I would starve! I still far from enjoy Ethiopian cuisine. Really though. Oh it's just not my style! The only part I like is the part that I am unable to eat--the bread. Ha. I faked it...sort of...and had a marvelous time meeting people and bonding. So it was really fun! But Ethiopian food is still ranked quite low on my favorite foods list--cause it's not even on that list.

Weekend Adventures
Friday night I went with a friend to get hot cocoa and walk around Union Square. It was marvelous! But brrrrrrrrrrrr it's gettin chilly! Remember how winter doesn't technically start til mid December?! Ha.

Saturday...HALLOWEEN! During the day I did homework...obviously.

But at night...dun dun dun...

Let's just talk for a second: Halloween in New York...AMAZING!
EVERYONE and their dog (literally) gets dressed up! It's SO cool! In other words: Halloween in NYC is the ONLY way to celebrate Halloween! No offense to other parts of the country...but NYC does Halloween better! End of discussion! You see, in other places everyone might get dressed up and drive to a party or two, and there may be some dressed up kiddies trick-o-treatin around the streets. But in NYC they have public transporation aka you see EVERYONE in their AMAZING costumes! And pretty much EVERYONE (who's cool...which is a lot of people) dresses up! Don't get me wrong, there were those lame skanky chicks and the too cool to function inappropriate males...but due to the rain I think most people covered up quite well making for a fabulous experience! Some of my favorites were: Chewbacca, Storm Troopers, batman, babies, an adorable 4-year-old dressed as Michael Jackson (hat, white glove, and all...), bumblebess, priates (which is what I was)


That's Bob on my shoulder!

Kell dressed as a Salem witch! That's Laura with her as a Roman princess:



Carolyn and Vanessa dressed up as knitting grandmothers...always in character even on the subway!


And some other friends dressed up as some fun things too:








There were also millions of Dorothys, Lady Gagas, Teletubbies, Greeks in togas...it was AWESOME! One of the funniest costumes I saw was this group who all wore black but then carried around clearish white umbrellas that they attached clearish white ribbons from to make...a group of JELLY FISH! Haha! Brilliant!

Some friends and I first went to the parade (yes yes...they have a Halloween parade). While the rain was ridiculously heavy we ate some din din overlooking the parade, then went back out when it stopped. After the parade (which by the way...even if you couldn't see the parade it was a costume parade seriously EVERYWHERE you looked!) we went to a Halloween dance and a couple of Halloween parties. It was so fun! Again--Halloween in NYC is SUPERB!

Halloween Love:

Another happening of Halloween Eve worth noting includes...my roommate got engaged! YAY! Her boy and her have been dating for 5 years and she stopped asking when they were getting married cause she was convinced they'd simply eternally date. He was determined to surprise her so he chose the most unromantic night of the year and made it romantic by proposing! They were dressed up as a Roman prince and princess and he proposed to his beautiful princess over some chocolate fondue! Sweet huh?! They haven't yet set a date--but she's SO excited!


We found out about this Sunday about 2 minutes before we were supposed to leave for church. As girls, naturally we had to freak out and hear EVERY detail, so we were horrible and went to church late. Which was kinda funny cause my neighbors from home--the Garfields--knew that was my ward so while in town they visited to say hi. Lucky for me they now consider me a slacker! Haha! No it was actually wonderful seeing them! I peered through the window and was SO confused--I suddenly thought: am I home? It's always good seeing familiar faces!



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