A Night Away--At Home

Last week was one of those kinds of weeks: grueling ten-hour days when it's too hectic to pee, trying to stuff down a sandwich while hovering over the keyboard. Weeks like this make me wish for a get-up-and-go trip to Miami, a weekend spent lounging on the beach or sipping wine in Napa, far away from all the work I have to do.

If only. But on an assistant's salary in one of the most expensive cities in the country, it ain't gonna happen. That's why I decided to have a vacation night right at home. My plan: to make the evening feel like I was in a totally different place. Instead of my usual dinner, ordering in with friends or stopping by a cheapie-good chain (hello, Chipotle), I decided to try a new restaurant.

My friend and I went to a tiny empanada place, where we ate combinations I'd never considered before, like the peanut butter and banana "Elvis." We poured spoonfuls of various red and green sauces on our cheese empanadas, some delicious and some way too spicy.

After dinner, we'd normally go out to one of our half-dozen favorite bars, where we always know what's on tap, or see a movie at our go-to theater. Instead, we got last-minute tickets to see Sarah Silverman's stand-up comedy show. It was part of a charity event to raise money for Project ALS that helps fight Lou Gehrig's disease. Not only was the show as crass and hysterical as we'd hoped Silverman would be—a welcome departure from another bland rom-com—but we also felt awesome spending our $100 on a good cause rather than on pitchers of Miller Light.

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