Wednesday, February 29, 2012

RA Kerin's Essential Summer Playlist

The weather has been playing tricks on all of us lately, which has put me in the mood for summer even though we're just approaching the end of February. I have my short shorts all ready to go when the day we break 65 degrees finally arrives. But most of all I've been jamming to catchy, happy summer music like it's my job. Sad music, I love you, but for now we're all about the jamz.

So here are my Top 5 Songs for Anticipating Summer, both old and new:

1. "First Date" - Blink 182. This is the absolute essential summer song that will never die. Blink 182 is made for summer and during any other season I think they're repetitive and annoying. But if it's hot out, I'm jamming to this song on repeat.

2. "Point/Counterpoint" - Streetlight Manifesto. Shout out to my brother, who put this song on a perfect summer mix he made for me called Ska Ska Ooh La La (as a homage to my favorite Queen Gaga). Gang vocals and trumpets are all I need, baby. This song goes on as soon as I get in my car, every time, without fail.

3. Every Song Ever - Katy Perry. Seriously. We all know Katy is the queen of summer anthems ("Hot N Cold"? "California Girls"? Perf.) which is why I'm already dancing around to "Part of Me", her new single she debuted at the Grammys. Maybe her breaking up with Russell Brand is a sign of good things to come?

4. "Homeless" - Dia Frampton. No, I will not stop pushing her on this blog. The song title sounds incredibly depressing, but it's a catchy little love song that is perfect for those end-of-spring, almost-summer days.

5. "Here's To Us" - Halestorm. If you watch Glee, you probably watched New Directions do a way-too-cheesy version of this song this week at Regionals or whatever. Halestorm is a metal band that I have loved forever. Their singer is a bad ass bitch with tattoos and an amazing guitar. Trust me, their original version is much better, and I will be playing this song as soon as my thesis ends in celebration of coming out alive.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oscar Fashion!

If you were in the lounge during RA Sari's Oscar party, you know there were a few dresses we LOVED and others...not so much.  Here is who we were obsessed with!

So beautiful!

So simple...anyone else notice she isn't wearing accessories?!  Awesome.

And the one we were most obsessed with... ANGELINA... look at that leg!

And here are the ones were weren't so sure about.... 

The bow seems a little much but she still looks pretty.

This dress was just kind of weird looking.  Still LOVE Sandy though!

She looks a little washed out...

Alright... who was YOUR best dressed of the night?  And who was the absolute worst?!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cinematic Trailers (Games!)


Sometimes cinematic trailers can have better CG than some epic movies!

And this is not a cinematic trailer, but I recently saw it and it's incredible!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pinterest...your new addiction...

So how many of you have heard about Pinterest?!  Basically, it's a virtual pinboard for all of the amazing things you find on the internet!
People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes!  The Gramercy Residence has a bunch of boards dedicated to cute animals, yummy foods, places to visit, and homes (almost) as cute as Gramercy.

Some of our boards!
But one of the best things you can do is browse pinboards created by other people.  It is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your own interests....PINTEREST! LOVE IT!  So here's the deal.  Right now, the site is invite only.  But since Gramercy has a Pinterest, we can invite you!  So leave a comment on this page, or on our facebook page and we will send you an invite... happy pinning!!!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day From Gramercy!

Are you free tonight at 9:30?  Why not come down to the lounge and spend some time with your favorite RA's Molly and Sari!  Tonight we have a super fun event making Valentine's for your friends around Gramercy!

Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, come on down to the lounge and write a secret note!  You can provide words of encouragement, a nice saying, or even a little love note.  We will decorate them up and RA's Molly and Sari will secretly deliver them for you!  So make someone in Gramercy feel special this Valentine's day!!!

Oh yeah... and of course there will be chocolate....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Album Reviews with Kerin: Dia Frampton's 'Red'

Does Dia Frampton sound familiar? She might, considering she was half of pop-rock duo Meg & Dia that peaked around 2007 and was recently runner up on singing competition The Voice. Up until last month she had been completely off my radar since I first downloaded her band's single, "Monster" (a la 'monSTERRRR, how should IiiIIi fEEEeeel), back when I was a sixteen year old scene kid (don't want to talk about it), but she's back and better than ever with her self-titled release 'Red'.

At first I didn't know how I felt about her voice. She sometimes gets borderline cutesy with it and has a fairly interesting way of pronouncing things (sometimes her 'A' sounds make her sound like a sheep?) so my immediate response was to move on. Yet, I still had that song stuck in my head an hour later. Needless to say I went back and listened to it again, and again... and again and then I caved, downloaded the album and listened endlessly for maybe a week and a half. Everyone who got in my car at some point over winter break was subject to this album. I listened to it so much that even though it was released in the last week of December, it quickly marched its way up my Top Albums of 2011 list (where it sits among some of the other albums I've reviewed so far, check out my review on Benjamin Francis Leftwich, I'm proclaiming his album my #1).

'Red' is an interesting mix. It's clearly pop-driven, but her unique voice has been given an equally unique splitting of the tracks into half-indie-electronic-ish and half-acoustic. You've got your heavy hitting hooks with an Ellie Goulding/MGMT influence like "Don't Kick The Chair", featuring Kid Cudi (who I have no interest in but damn, that track is infectious) and "Billy The Kid", which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. On the opposite end of the spectrum there are the soft, break-your-heart acoustic tracks like "The Broken Ones" (her single and one of my favorite pop records this year) and "Trapeze". It's a good mix that keeps me from getting bored during 'Red's duration. At any given point I am feeling 'the fuzzies', dancing around, or probably crying. Not to mention, I think the lyrics for these tracks are phenomenally written. They're vulnerable, relatable and clever. It's an all-around home run for me.

If you like Ellie Goulding, A Fine Frenzy or even Colbie Callait, give this album a spin. Like what you hear? Check out Meg & Dia's album "Here, Here and Here". As you can imagine it's Dia's sound amplified; fuller, but with the same clever lyrics and great hooks. But even without her sister, you can tell this little lady's going places. Check out "The Broken Ones" here:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Simple Standards

Being an Italian lady, it's pretty much required that I know how to make the standard Italian dishes. But until recently, I hadn't really tried my hand at something simple that I see all over New York: PIZZA. Who doesn't love pizza?! Exactly. And after trying these two recipes, you won't be able to find anyone that doesn't agree. The dough takes thirty minutes to rise, and the sauce should sit for about twenty minutes to really blend all the flavors. Thus, I start with the dough, and by the time I'm done with the sauce, it's just enough time to wash the dishes and preheat the oven.

Made this one on a real pizza stone. Looks legit, right?  
So Simple It's Scary Pizza Dough:

1 package (.25 ounce) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 cups bread flour (I use self-rising enriched flour, and it works just fine.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the cup of warm water. Let it stand until it's creamy, or for about ten minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Then add the olive oil and yeast/water mixture. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. I find that using my hands is just fine to do this, also it allows me to add more flour if I think it needs it. Shape the dough into a giant ball in the center of the bowl, then cover it and let it rise until it has doubled in volume, about thirty minutes. Now, move on to the sauce!

*Don't forget to preheat the oven to a toasty 350 degrees F.

Savory and Completely Customizable Pizza Sauce:
*All my spice choices are optional, really. Consider them a starting p
oint to grow from, dependent on your own personal tastes.

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
6 fluid ounces warm water (use the can to measure!)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste
*1 teaspoon anchovy paste (completely optional! I'm not a fan of anchovies, and didn't use any and my pizza tasted great…)

You'll also need some shredded cheese to top the sauce with later, I stick with the standard shredded mozzarella.
You can add anything else you like; mushrooms, onions, peppe
rs, pepperoni, etc.

In a bowl, combine it all together, making sure to whisk it a little to break up any cheese chunks. Let it sit for about twenty minutes, then spread it on the pizza dough and prepare your pizza to your hearts desire! This recipe makes enough to make one cookie sheet sized pizza. I don't own a pizza stone, so I just spread my pizza out on a cookie sheet, spread out the sauce, add my desired cheese and toppings and pop it in the oven at 350 F for about twenty minutes.