Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Chinese food eating, Movie watching eve

And to all a goodnight...

On the eve of our exciting winter break excursion via Dallas I wanted to spread some holiday cheer...

and to all my fellow tribespeople...

Monday, December 10, 2012

6 months! It's amazing how time flies

Today marks Brad and my six month anniversary of marriage. It's truly amazing how time flies. I am so lucky to have you in my life Brad and I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries to come. Thank you for loving me for me, helping me be a better person, being an incredible support system and the best husband a girl could ask for.
I love you with all my heart

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Put on your yarmulke it's time for Hanukkah!

While the much of the world, and most of the BCS, is getting ready for Christmas, a few of us are celebrating a lesser known minor holiday known as Hanukkah. For those less familiar with the holiday, here's a little background...

Why is it perceived that Hanukkah is a major holiday when it's really not? Because of timing of course! Hanukkah, because of its proximity to Christmas, has been grandfathered into the trifecta of Holiday celebrations, i.e: Christmas, New Years, and Hanukkah (and sometimes Kwanza). In my opinion, fesitvus should also be included, because what's better than a holiday that is "for the rest of us?" 

So, here's to all of my fellow Jews and honorary hebrews. Happy Hanukkah and many more from the Krugel clan. May the warmth and glow of each candle you light make your heart and home happy and your Hanukkah bright It's the Festival of Lights! Shalom - Peace to you at Hanukkah and always. 

And of course, the "unofficial" theme song(s) of Hanukkah...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

15 Things (Quince cositas)...

Have I mentioned how much I love fall? Four or five posts later, ok maybe just a little bit. To me fall is a time of rebirth, renewal, and change. Why? Because as a Jew I'm able to reflect on my life in the days leading up to Rosh Ha'Shana and am then given the opportunity to ask forgiveness from those I've hurt on Yom Kippur and thank the ones near to me for their love and support as we move together to celebrate the new year. Even though we should all thank and love those around us everyday, Thanksgiving is a great time to kick it up a notch or ten.

Side note: The Diversity Diva in me knows full well that this is not what happened historically and it's very difficult to celebrate this holiday without reflecting on the lives and culture that were later lost. For an incredible read about Native American Thanksgiving click here (Climbs down from soap box)

Ok soap box lecture over, as I mentioned before, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to reflect on our lives and how truly fortunate we are. So in the spirit of the season, I would like to share with you my 15 things/cositas I'm thankful for...
  1. I'm thankful for my amazingly loving, generous, kind, and supportive family. My parents are truly amazing. They gave Brad and I a wedding that we will never forget and I'm so thankful for their love and generosity as these memories will stay with me forever. I have learned so much from them and I owe so much of my success to them.
2. I'm so thankful for the best Abuelos (grandparents) a girl could have. Although I no longer live in Dallas, we do try our best to make it there as often as we can. In fact, once 5pm hits we will be hitting the road to spend the holiday with them, as well as the rest of my family. I'm also thankful for all of the sacrifices they made to come to this country and provide the life for us that we have been able to have. They are my heroes.

3. I'm also thankful for my baby brother David. We have such great memories together and I'm so glad that we've become closer over the past couple of years. I'm so glad that he has found an amazing girl, who has stolen his heart. He deserves nothing but the best in the world.

4. I can't begin to express my gratitude to G-d and the fates of destiny for bringing my husband into my life. My friends can attest that I always had a fun and interesting life but I never knew how full my life could be until I met Brad. I'm so thankful that he's here and I get to spend the rest of my life with him. Brad you are You are the high to my Noon. The flap in my jack, The jelly in my bean, the Fortune in my cookie, the Grand in mycanyon, the Bees in myknees, the zig In myzag, the rock in my Roll, the fox in my trot, the You to I love.

5. I'm thankful for the little furball that has stolen my heart and brings happiness to me everyday. Manolo I'm so glad that we found you and you have made me a better person. I know that because of you we were also be fabulous parents.

6. I'm also thankful for the wonderful people that brought my amazing husband into the world and have helped to make him the person he is today. I'm so blessed to have such fun, loving, and kind inlaws. As well as a wonderful brother and sister-in-law and their precious kiddos.

7. I'm thankful for having the opportunity to have a job that I love, supportive and inspiring coworkers, and students that never cease to amaze me. They are the reason that I love what I do and have fun doing it!

8. I'm thankful for the health and happiness of my loved ones and hope that they continue to have all they wish for and more!

9. I'm thankful for the incredible friendships that I've been able to foster over the years. It doesn't matter if I've known you for a day or for my entire life, you are a huge part of who I am and who I'm becoming.

10. I'm thankful for my health and the blessings and guidance I've received that have guided me to the place that I am today.

12. I'm thankful to be a Jayhawk, a Gamma, and an honorary Aggie!

13. I'm thankful for the little things that connect me to my culture like cafe con leche, randomly hearing Spanish spoken around me, Salsa and Latin Music, Vanidades (courtesy of my Alle), and a colorful childhood

14. I'm thankful for the experiences that I've had and the rich history and culture that I am a part of. Being different is a blessing not a curse if you embrace it and make it a part of who you are.

15. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to be thankful for all these things and more!

And what's Thanksgiving without a little Adam Sandler?

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and prosperous holiday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bringing Culture to College Station

Lately my weekends have been filled with events and work stuff so this weekend was the first weekend in a while that was completely "mine." I also got to spend some time with the hubs now that he's back from his trip to DC. So, what to do with a whole free weekend? How about World Fest???

We had a great time perusing the different booths, sampled some delish ethnic foods, and discovered the most amazing Root Beer!! Also, while stopped at the Turkish booth we found out that there's a Turkish Cultural Center in town that offers language and culinary classes. We're definitely going to visit them soon. 

We even got up close and personal with a Camel
And got "tatted" up

All in all it was a great time and we're super excited to see what next year's event will bring. Manny may even get to experience the fun. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

What happened to keeping it Old School?

Our world is continuously evolving...regardless of the fact that we may or may not agree with the trends and norms that wax and wane along the way. Long gone are the days that encouraged face to face conversations, hand written letters, and when phones were only used at home and didn't follow you wherever you went.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my phone and sadly it has become my lifeline and I often feel lost without it. At time, I'm also guilty of falling into the text first, then call mode, but hey, no one is perfect. I have noticed though more and more with some of my students and their friends that our new generation is so much less connected than we were.Which is now speading throughout society... Here are a few gems that I think explain this perfectly...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reflecting on a Legacy of Sisterhood

I just received this e-mail from our national headquarters for my sorority and had to share this. While I know this may be lost on many of my friends who are probably thinking that it's all "greek" to them, I think what my sister has shared is very telling as to how the Greek World has changed and the issues that we're facing now as Alumni. I love my sorority and always will, no matter what. Hermanas Por Vida, Sisters for Life.

A Call to Distinction
Sister Jeuel A. Davis
Dear Melanie,

Ever since the introduction of Catalyst for Change, it seems that we have been most reluctant to embracing our new education process. This reluctance I feel is rooted in many things; however, I fear that this reasoning will be what robs us of our cherished sorority. From the many conversations I have had with sisters about this process, it seems that we are addressing some of our reluctance, but not the real crux of it all. And as a sister who is ready for our organization to reach new and excellent heights, I feel that it is time that we address our apprehensions head on, and I ask that you all engage in this conversation with me and every sister.

On all of our minds is the danger that our associate members will not take this process seriously and will not cherish this experience as we did during ours. While I will agree that that is a valid concern, I, along with many other sisters, do not feel that this is a problem that does not have a solution. No matter what the process, nor the information, our passion should shine through, and our associate members should be able to sense that and desire to have the same kind of relationship with our organization. Of course if we treat this process as one that will not “make” Gammas, our associate members will be able to recognize our apathy and will feed off of it. Our processes did not work because of what we actually did, they worked because they were executed by women we respect and admire and women whose loyalty to SLG was apparent and unwavering. Most of us would have performed and did perform whatever was asked of us because of the respect we had for this sorority and our desire to be a part of it. So if we, as the keepers of SLG’s legacy, share the same passion as our prophytes and our educators, how could such a process not be successful?

There are probably sisters who are also worried about how they will be perceived on their campuses as members of the Greek community. I know that we have all been raised in Greek cultures in which respect is earned based on how you were educated, but where is the validity in that belief? We as members of a Greek community, should be worried not about proving ourselves through how “hard” we go when we bring members in, but how hard we go for SLG as an organization. As Women of Distinction, we should be earning a respect from our fellow Greeks that stems from their appreciation for our programming, our sisterhood, and our demonstration of SLG’s principles on a daily basis. If that isn’t enough for their respect, then why desire it in the first place? If our Founding Mothers were concerned with how others felt about their decision to start our organization, where would we be today? The very essence of who we are is composed of our trailblazing tradition. Our existence as an organization lies in doing what none have done before us. This process is a chance for us to show that a Gamma is a strong, independent woman because of her character, integrity, and daily action, and not because of how she was pledged. We Women of Distinction should be most concerned with what makes us shine and not who sees the light.

Many of us also allow our education processes to dictate how we treat each other as sisters. Sisters have expressed a concern for how alumnae and prophytes will respond to the neos educated by The Journey, and that is disappointing. It is one thing for people outside of SLG to judge us based on how we educate, and it is something completely different for us to be judging each other. Do we not consider ourselves accepting of women from every background? Just because a sister has a different educational background, does that negate how they feel about this organization and what they do for it? The premise on which our sisterhood operates is the understanding that we all stand for and support each other because of our consensus of thought and spirit. The commonalities of our education processes matter not when compared to the commonalities in the way in which we carry out our lives as Gammas.

Furthermore, The Journey is an excellent education process. The Journey prepares our associate members to be contributors to this organization. New members educated by The Journey know how to do things that it took others of us months to figure out. New members have the opportunity to gain so much more self-confidence and self-awareness. New members are healthy, organized, and have developed good habits while going through The Journey. The Journey also encourages the bonding of initiated and associate members. This education process will be most successful when all members are participating and growing together. And those are just a few of the many great things about The Journey.

In all honesty, The Journey is an education process we should be embracing because it does not encourage hazing. Unfortunately, hazing is a live part of our organization that we can no longer afford to ignore, and many of us have a skewed view of it. Hazing isn’t just wrong because it comes with allegations and sanctions. Hazing is wrong because of its immorality. It is not morally sound to physically, mentally, or emotionally degrade any human being for any reason. We often declare that Morals and Ethics is one of our principles and yet we compromise that declaration when we haze our associate members. Hazing allegations could be the very reason that SLG no longer exists, yet some of us have such a casual attitude towards it. I can say with 100 percent confidence that each and every Gamma from coast to coast would be devastated to find out one day that they could no longer wear their letters, and I believe that hazing is not meant to be the end for our dynamic organization.

With all of that being said, I urge you sisters, to really reflect on why you joined Sigma Lambda Gamma and what it means for you to be a part of this irreplaceable organization. I tell people every day that SLG isn’t just a sorority or a Greek organization. SLG is a movement. SLG is the future. And I would love nothing more than to be able to wake up thirty years from now, reaping the benefits of the great accomplishments that our sisterhood has achieved. I would love nothing more than for my daughters, and my daughters’ daughters, and my great-granddaughters to be able to carry the same legacy that I carry, and that you carry today. Let us not list the many reasons why The Journey won’t be successful. Let us appreciate the many reasons that it will. Let us be the strong, independent women we profess to be who know exactly what we want and will let nothing stop us from achieving it. Let us be Gammas in everything we do. Let us be distinct in all we are.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Haunting we will go...

So October 31, 2012 marked a special day for the Krugel family. While this was not our first Halloween together, this was our first time celebrating together in our new home. To mark this special occassion we had a few tricks and treats up our sleeves...

Manny got a new costume to show off to the neighborhood...
Manny as a spooky skeleton

Daddy flexed his pumpkin carving skills

Looks a little Manny-ish
Since we're still working on the garage and we wanted a chance to meet more of our neighbors. We set up shop in the driveway. Armed with a Spooktacular soundtrack courtesy of Pandora and a bowl full of candy. 

And snapped a few shots as we waited for the kiddos to come by...

All while the little one waited

and waited...

By the end of the evening Manny was hugged and chased after by several little costumed kiddos and needless to say was completely wiped out.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In need of a costume idea? How about being one of Disney's 10 most underrated characters?

In need of a costume idea? How about being one of Disney's 10 most underrated characters?

10. Rex, Toy Story

I know that this flawless trifecta of computer-animated films is centered around the machismo astronaut with the heart of gold and his cowboy friend, Tom Hanks, but Rex is just such a crucial part of what makes this so good. He’s not vocal like Mr. Potato Head, or sweet like Jessie, but Rex’s adorable voice and terrified reaction to everything is more than deserving of its own movie. Could we just have an hour and a half of Rex needing a Xanax?

9. Kevin, Up

You are an unrepentant liar if you say that a huge part of the appeal of Up wasn’t watching Kevin’s bug-eyes look awkwardly at things and hit people with her head. Her getting the walker with the little tennis balls on it stuck in her throat and proceeding to cough it up all over everyone was clearly the Citizen Kane scene of that movie. Don’t deny it.

8. The Featherduster, Beauty and the Beast

Apparently this chick had a name (Fifi, for those it may concern), but she was clearly just the hot French feather duster maid. Her job was to run around the castle getting boned by Lumière in the kitchen pantry and having an adorable French accent. Why wasn’t there more of her? Why couldn’t their little romance get some decent attention? And how creepy was it that her punishment was getting her feathers ripped out? What does that imply for her human-equivalent body? Poor feather duster girl.

7. Vanessa, The Little Mermaid

Let’s be honest, Ursula’s brief stint as a molten-hot human chick was clearly one of the high points of this movie. Her singing voice, her fabulous hair, her constant state of bitch face — you could make a pretty solid argument that she was hotter, and a better catch (Catch?!?! Like fish?!?! Oh my god I’m hilarious, you’re welcome for these jokes) than Ariel. I would have probably stayed with Vanessa, and frankly would enjoy an entire movie of her just running around looking at things bitchily and throwing hair combs into walls.

6. The Muses, Hercules

I’m just going to say this, and I know that it will definitely alienate some disciples of other Disney classics, but sometimes the truth must be spoken. Hercules had the best music of any Disney movie. There, I said it. I know, I know, enraged comments ensue. But seriously, gospel music combined with ancient Greece and a hilarious James Woods as the devil — this movie is solid gold. Every thing that comes out of these muses’ mouths is simply perfect, and I would give several appendages to have them narrate my life. Why can’t they do more movies? Casablanca was missing one thing, and it was these muses.

5. Frollo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

How is Frollo not more appreciated as a Disney villain? He’s arguably the most terrifying, given that he’s the closest to actually being someone that could have existed, oppressing minorities and killing non-believers at will and just generally being terrifying. I mean, for God’s sake, his entire song was this insanely creepy ode to the Virgin Mary (?) basically giving her an ultimatum to either force Esmeralda to love him or send her to hell. This is all during his periodic, sexual predator whiffs of the scarf he stole from her. I mean, seriously, could this guy be any worse?

4. Nani, Lilo and Stitch

Can we all just collectively take a moment to appreciate how awesome Nani is? She never gets any love but, aside from being smart and funny and brave enough to become the parent for her little sister when her parents passed away, she also showed a kind of beauty that we rarely get to see in kid’s movies. She isn’t perfectly thin, her nose isn’t a tiny button, but she’s still so gorgeous and easy to look up to. We need more Nanis in movies for little girls everywhere, and there’s no reason why we can’t have them.

3. Esmeralda, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m just gonna go ahead and point out at this juncture how criminally underrated The Hunchback of Notre Dame is as a movie. It is seriously so complex, so fascinating, so well-written and animated, and it never gets the proper amount of love with the rest of the Disney canon. Perhaps it is due to its own complexity — its tendency to err towards the more adult themes — that makes it as hard to take in as a film for kids. But seriously, Esmeralda is so amazing. She takes shit from absolutely no one, she could teach your Monday night pole dancing class, and she has a heart of pure gold. Why isn’t she put in the upper echelons of Disney ladies? She deserves to be there as much as anyone else (even if the movie was technically about Quasimodo). I guess people are just threatened by her perfection.

2. Milo, Atlantis: The Lost Empire

I know that no one loves this movie, but seriously. Not only is he a hot teacher, not only does he have that vaguely Goldblum-esque nebbishy hottie thing down to a science, not only is he an adventurer — he has that 90s-era center part with ear-length hair thing down PAT. I’m sorry, but Milo would clearly make the best IRL boyfriend of all the princes. Clearly.

1. Pocahontas, Pocahontas

Pocahontas gets the least love of any major Disney Princess, and it is nothing short of a crime. The fact that we don’t love her more, when she is not only badass and beautiful, but actually teaches something close to resembling a real lesson about history and environmentalism and humanity itself — well, it really reflects poorly on us as a society. Pocahontas should be more than a vaguely racist Halloween costume, she should be respected for being the most subdued, intelligent, and mature of the Disney Princesses. Even her voice was different, it was so much more rich and adult than the rest of the girls. And that’s good — not every princess needs to be wide-eyed and naive. Some might actually have something to teach her prince, and we could all use more characters like that.

Charlie Brown and the Great Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

As October comes to a close and Halloween is soon approaching, my love for all things pumpkin grows! Just like Charlie Brown welcomes the Great Pumpkin, so do I. Why pumpkin you may ask?

Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A and potassium. They are also high in fiber. The conclusion you should now be reaching is that they are therefore good for you. 

From a medicinal standpoint, pumpkins have been used for a variety of ailments:
  • They were once recommended as a cure for freckles.
  • They were used as a remedy for snake bites.
  • The seeds help avoid prostate cancer in men.
They also make for an incredible addition to an already classic cookie...

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need:
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
4 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 20 minutes. Then enjoy with a tall, cold glass of milk while still warm. Sweet pumpkin perfection. You better believe my students will be getting a sweet surprise tomorrow!!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The many marvelous things about Manny

So, I admit it, I'm slightly obsessed with my dog. My friends and family always make fun of me for spoiling him, making him homemade treats, and referring to him as the "baby." But you have to understand how truly precious this pup is and how he has changed my life, as well as his dad, and made me a better person. Manny is our sun, moon, stars, and everything else in between. We've definitely had our growing pains but it has all been worth it. We love you Manolo!!

About Mariam

Life is sweet

Life is sweet

And they lived happily ever after

And they lived happily ever after

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

About Me

For those of you who know me, writing has always been one of my passions, with the exception of my Masters or any ridiculously long testament within the wide world of Academia. I've only had the pleasure of blogging a couple of times, mostly for a few classes in graduate school, but figured it was time to organize my numerous thoughts and musings with all of you out there in cyber land. I created this page because my mind is always running and often times my thoughts get lost in the hubub. Plus, my friends have always said that I'm a great storyteller, so I'd love to share them now with you. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this... Throughout the past 33 years of my life I've seen, heard, and experienced so many different things as well as had many adventures and dream of so many possibilities. But in short, what it comes down to is this..I'm just a little Jubana trying to make a difference in the world. Everyday I live my life to the fullest and have fun doing it. Life can't always be about work or how much money you make. There's so much more to life than that.