Monthly Archives: November 2011

Guess What

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This is my 100th post! Where has the time gone?

I am having a very sleepy day at work today, but I’m trying to rally. The Turkey Trot was one of many reminders that I need to get to the gym more often (my yoga studio called me yesterday to say they miss me, and hope I’ll come back now that the weather is getting colder. It was actually kind of nice, but I already paid for my gym membership, so it’s hard to justify expensive yoga). I was going to give myself this week, since it’s short, and weird, and I’m still recovering from Thanksgiving, but even I have to admit that’s a cop-out, so I’m starting today. I couldn’t find my gym bag, so I stuffed some workout clothes in my purse, and after work today I’ll go to Spinning. Hence the need for rallying. I’m 87% looking forward to it, and I know that once I get on the bike I’ll feel virtuous and good. I was going to attempt to go whole hog and run to the gym, but it’s snowing, and while it’s very beautiful, I am not equipped to run in the snow today.

I’m working on menu planning for the rest of this week. I haven’t been cooking much lately, and I want to get back into it, but I’m not feeling terribly inspired. It was easy when everything was fresh and local, and calling out to be cooked into some delightful dish, but now I have to plan more in advance. Baking inspiration on the other hand, is easy. Everywhere I look there are delicious-looking holiday baked goods recipes, and they look like fun, but then you have a bunch of baked goods, and you have to get rid of them before you can (in good conscience) move onto the next recipe. But that’s what break rooms are for, right? What I really want to eat, and so I guess I need to make, are spring rolls. And cold, spicy noodles. I can clearly imagine what I want to eat, which might have been a bad idea, since I only had half a grapefruit for lunch (they used to be enough to fill me up in high school. Then again, my day ended earlier, so I could go home and have a second lunch) and there’s still a lot of my workday and a workout left before I can go home and nom. Knowing what I want is half the battle though, and with this plan in mind I can get the necessary ingredients together and make spring rolls and noodles this weekend.

I know I kind of bounce around emotionally between gloom and chipperness, but I feel optimistic today. It was raining this morning, but it turned into snow, and that makes me happy. Writing out that I haven’t had any fun ideas for meals resulted in me thinking about what I want to eat, and then boom! inspiration struck and now I’m going to try making spring rolls (did you notice how that happened? It’s because I write as I go, and I don’t plan out what I have to say before starting a new post. I should probably work on that…). Tomorrow I have Pride Alliance, which is often fun, and today I realized that my fingertips on my left hand have a distinctly different texture than the ones on my right hand because of mandolin. It’s progress. It’s snowing out because it’s getting close to winter (It’ll be December tomorrow!), which means that time is passing and I’m that much closer to my next step, even if that step involves rejection and making a new plan. I have seven pomegranates at home (thank you Costco!), just waiting to be broken down and used in salads/eaten by the handful because they are so delicious and addicting. My Seattle application is all squared away, and my eyes aren’t red anymore, and my eyebrow ring looks normal and not disgusting (I don’t think it’s fully healed, but not sleeping on it and salt water soaks have been super helpful), and things feel great. Tonight there will be Spinning, and quinoa, and I can’t help but feel good about things. Just for the sake of balance, I have kind of a headache, and I don’t have my bus pass, and I’m dying for a nap, but on the whole, I have to say things are good. Everything’s coming up Milhouse. 🙂

What are you making for dinner tonight?

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And Just Like That the Sun Came Out

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Today has been kind of lovely. I was feeling kind of gloomy and pessimistic about getting into nursing school, but then I got my curved test grade back and it boosted my grade, and I got a text from a friend who I haven’t talked to in awhile, and I got full marks on my cat cadaver test, so I’m guaranteed at least a B in lab. Things just started looking up, and once I started feeling better it seemed like I was on a roll. It was so nice to hear from my friend. Our last interaction was sort of ambiguous, and I was feeling a little crabby about him, but then things were actually totally normal and friendly. He asked about my life, I joked about joining the army if I don’t get into nursing school and he thought I was serious and started arguing with me about it, it was fun. (I don’t have any problem with the army, and I really respect people who serve in the armed forces, and am grateful for their sacrifice, but it isn’t for me. I like shooting guns, but not at people. Or animals. Or stuffed animals. Or anything that looks like shooting it might make it sad.) My parents compliment me all the time, and I love it, but it felt really nice to have a friend call me an evil genius today. It gave me a boost. 🙂

The cat test went really well. I was nervous, but we got to work with our partners, so when I messed up she made a warning noise so I could pretend I was just resting my fingertip on the wrong organ, and not really pointing at it. I’m still feeling a little insecure about whether I’ll actually get into any nursing programs, but it felt great to get a couple of good grades today. I know it won’t be the end of the world if I don’t get into this round of schools, but I really feel like midwifery is my calling, and I just hope it isn’t a wrong number. (that is a Buffy reference, I’m not just being incredibly cheesy. Well, maybe a little. It’s a legit fear though, even if I know that I’ll find a way to make it work.)

Mandolin was really great today. I’m still working on arpeggios, but they’re sounding really good, and my instructor strung them together into a song, so that’s kind of exciting. I didn’t actually play for Lillian while she was home for Thanksgiving, but I promised to play a short concert for my family over Christmas. It won’t be anything fancy, but my homework for this week is figuring out “Joy to the World”. In a perfect world I would learn some Carbon Leaf Christmas songs, but I know I’m not there yet. It’s ok though, because I’m building a foundation, I don’t mind taking baby steps if it will make me a better mandolin player in the long run. Someday though, I’ll be able to play like this:

Glum

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I don’t take allergy meds. I have chronic eye dryness, and allergy meds make it worse, so I don’t take them. I have allergies, so it isn’t a perfect system, and I sometimes feel allergish and miserable, but it usually works. Except on Wednesday, when I couldn’t breathe. My allergies were really bad, and I couldn’t breathe, and the idea of running a race that I hadn’t trained for when my breathing was already bad was too bleak so I took the meds, and now my eyes are all red. Which I hate. I hate it so much, and I especially hate that when your eyes are red everyone feels compelled to tell you that your eyes are red. It makes me feel self-conscious, on top of having hurty eyes, and it sucks. But at least I could breathe during my race. That counts for something.

My eyebrow ring is infected again (this is a whining post if you haven’t already noticed). I love my eyebrow ring, and I think it makes me look like a sexy, Lisbeth Salander badass, but it keeps getting infected, and when it does I don’t look like a badass, I look icky. If I’m going to play rugby in the spring I’ll have to be able to take it out for practices and games, and I can’t do that if it doesn’t heal. I’m going to start calling schools about going in for interviews, and I want to take it out when I meet with admissions people so they don’t immediately judge me as a facial piercing person and reject me, and in order for that to work it has to heal. I love my eyebrow ring, and I don’t want to take it out and let it close up, but it frustrating when it refuses to just be, the way my ears and belly button piercing are.

There weren’t any nice leafy green things at the market today, just eggs and cheeses, and squashes. It’s almost winter, so that’s standard procedure, but I’m going to miss getting the majority of our food from local vendors. And I’m feeling a little rejected, which is silly, but true. Because whoopie pies were one thing, but turnovers felt like putting myself out there, and now…nothing. No response. And I know it isn’t about me, and I made a point of holding back, so I’m barely even a blip, because I haven’t made a move, so this isn’t a real rejection, but it makes me feel glum. I think it’s time to let this one go. Is it terrible to say that life is more interesting when there’s a love interest? I don’t need to like someone, and I certainly don’t need to be dating someone (thank goodness, since I almost never am), but it’s fun when there’s someone who you look forward to seeing.

I can’t log into my Seattle application, and it’s due in four days. It’s done, and I just have to fill in the payment information, but it’s stressing me out. I really want to go to Seattle. They have an on-campus wildlife refuge, and they don’t use any pesticides on their landscaping. It’s far away, and exotic, and it would be such an adventure. I want to go. I want my application to be straightened out, and I want them to take me, and I want some kind of certainty about where I’ll be this time next year. I hate not knowing. Just like I hate having red eyes, infected piercings, and zero romantic leads. It’s that kind of day. I blame the post-holiday letdown.

Reflections on Thanksgiving

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I’ve learned over and over again that training makes races less painful, and yet here I am, on the other side of another race that I ran without any preparation, with sore hips. As far as I know I didn’t do much worse this year than I have in the past, but I need to be running more. Every race is a chance to set a new PR. I stuck with my friend for most of it, but she legit trains, and runs all the time, so that didn’t last. She was also just having an awesome running day though, and I didn’t want to hold her back.

13,200 people, is a ton of people. And some of those people are bound to have gone to high school with you. Smile, say hi, then make an excuse and your escape. It doesn’t have to be awkward. It’s also good to have an arranged meeting spot with your group. The fact that I found anyone that I want to was remarkable, but good, since it allowed me to eventually get home. It also indicates a super-human finding ability on my part that I think I may have to devote to finding treasure and/or truffles. If only it worked on my house keys.

Naps are important. Waking up early, running a race that you haven’t trained for, and then eating a massive dinner at 4:00 when you haven’t napped isn’t advised. I did it, but a nap would have made things better.

When you find heels that are comfortable and cute you should glom onto them. Even if they’re your mom’s.

I don’t care how inauthentic it is, stuffing should be made with stale white bread, and cooked inside the turkey. No, it won’t kill you if you wash the inside of the turkey first and cook the stuffing outside first and then put it in while it’s still hot. Disagree? More delicious stuffing for me.

I used to think that people shouldn’t start listening to Christmas music until December, but I was wrong. Thanksgiving Day is an appropriate kick-off date. Especially when there’s Zooey Deschanel Christmas music to be listened to.

Giving thanks

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So as it seems to be the blog theme today, here’s a list of things that I’m thankful for (in no particular order):

*Everyone else is ending with this, but I’m really thankful for the people who read my blog, and who write the blogs that I love. I’m really happy to have this window into your lives, and to let you into mine.

*My beautiful kitties, and the fact that Lancaster woke me up by purring and not meowing today

*Dog shows on tv

*Running with my fifth Turkey Trot with my dad

*My friends, old and new

*Flannel sheets

*Kale

*Naps

*Having fires

*Good books

*Living in a pink house

*Emu oil

*Pie

*Instant Netflix

*My education

*My health

*My amazing family

Happy Thanksgiving!

Vivat academia! Vivant professores!

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Vivant omnes virgines

Faciles, formosae.

Vivant et mulieres

Tenerae, amabiles,

Bonae, laboriosae.

How did I get “Gaudeamus Igitur” stuck in my head? I’m not complaining, as it’s the best school song ever, but it came out of nowhere. Oh Smith. We’re taking Lillian back to school after the holiday, so I’ll get to go back, if only briefly. Northampton is such a great place to be, a part of me wishes I had stayed and done the townie thing for a year while taking my prereqs at Smith. That would have been wrong though (and much more expensive than my current situation), because eventually you have to leave the warm, safe, womb-like college environment, and my time had come. I can’t wait to go back though, just to visit.

Speaking of Smith, and visiting, and reasons for going back to Northampton, my little sister is coming home today! Yes, the elusive Lillian will be making her triumphant return to Buffalo in a matter of hours, for the first time since she left for Smith. Since then she has gained wisdom, friends, and body modifications, and I am darn excited to see her. It’s just a short visit, nothing like the J-term (Smith’s month-long winter term that we are forcing Lillian to spend at home because we just miss her too much) visit yet to come, so we will simply have to concentrate more hijinks into less time. I’m the family Mixer though, and Lillian is the Rebel, so I have total confidence in our ability to cause chaos.

Thanksgiving totally crept up on me, and I’m running the Turkey Trot tomorrow despite the fact that I haven’t been running in roughly a kajillion years. This might not be a PR year. I don’t actually know what my Turkey Trot PR is though, so that’s ok. I mostly just run it because it’s a fun race, it’s tradition, and it gives me a free pass to nom all the pie at dinner (which is important because we have delicious Concord grape pie at Thanksgiving). I need to make a running playlist tonight- any suggestions?

Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable

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That was one of the basic things that I had to accept when I joined crew. It was hard, and tiring, and painful, and when I was rowing I had to wake up when my housemates were going to bed to go out and kill myself, on the water or in the gym. It was hard, and painful, but rowing, not necessarily being on crew, but rowing, was 100% worth it. And now, I’ve lost that comfort with discomfort. I don’t have to accept it anymore, so I don’t, and I don’t push myself the way I should. I want to, but I’ve kind of forgotten how. In lots of ways, not just when it comes to exercise. I went contra dancing this past weekend, but getting out the door was terrible. I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to deal with awkward situations and bad dancing (and worse, good dancing, since it highlights how bad I am), and I wouldn’t have gone if my mom hadn’t wanted to. I would’ve stayed home and planked around, and it would have been like every other evening. I went, for a bit, and it wasn’t the best dance ever, but it was better than nothing, and I need to do that more often. When I don’t stretch myself I get bored, and then I get cranky and mad at myself, and I shrink a little more. I need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable again. I need to run more, and accept that while my feet look pretty when I don’t (they look like normal person feet!), that isn’t a good reason to stop running. I’ll feel better if I push myself. It’s so hard for me to get started, and stick with it now that I have the option of not, but I know that I would feel better if I worked harder. I would feel better about things if I worked out more, and I would feel best of all if I got up early to work out. I loved that feeling of accomplishment. It’s so hard to push yourself though! People do it, I would see people like that at the gym when I went for winter training, and I know that bloggers do it, but it’s hard for me. I wish I had a buddy who would work out with me. I used to walk to practice with a friend, and it was very cheering having someone to wake up and meet me in the cold so we could go push ourselves to work extra hard because we knew the other person was giving their all and we refused to give any less. I need to get out more, and force myself to work harder. I need to sleep less, and sweat more, and spend more time out in the world.

I didn’t forget about Music Monday, but I couldn’t think of a good song until last night, and then I didn’t feel like posting, but this is what I have for this week. We were talking about Christmas mass last night, and I told my parents that I 100% don’t want to go to the Newman Center mass this year because I don’t like it at all. It’s in a basement, and it has a big ugly stained glass wall, and there aren’t any kneelers, but the worst thing of all is that they sing a different version of “Come O Come Emmanuel”, and that just grates on me. It’s honestly the worst. The songs are my favorite part of mass, and singing them however which way is irritating, which isn’t what I want to feel on Christmas. BUT it’s still too early for Christmas music, so I went with another hymn that I like a lot.

Lazy Sundays and momentary panics

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I just had a moment of sheer anxiety that I had forgotten to do my lab homework for the week. Fortunately, it’s Monday, so I have time. That was a scary second there though, because we only have two homeworks left, and every grade matters. I bet I can pull out an A, but it’s close, and I can’t slip up now.

Yesterday was a very lazy, but still productive day. I wore sweatpants all day, but I got a lot done, so it was ok. I’m sort of winging it on one of my Christmas crafts, and it’s proving challenging, but I’m probably 1/4 done, and it isn’t a disaster yet, so that’s encouraging. I’m actually striving for a little better than “not a disaster”, but for now it will do. This is probably going to be the most difficult present to make, but if it comes out it’ll be really great. I tried to pick projects that would be achievable (I’m still something of a novice crafter), but not garbage. No one wants a pipe cleaner pine tree, but I don’t have the skills to make something crazy like anything knitted, or needlepointed, or requiring of actual skill. I’m great at rolling hundreds of paper rings, but as impressive as those projects look, they’re really very easy to make, and require more time than anything else.

I try not to jump the gun on Christmas, so I’ve been holding off, but I’m starting to weaken. I want it to snow. It’s finally starting to cool off, and we’ve had some teasing little flurries, but I want the real deal. I usually wait until December to listen to Christmas music, but yesterday I came downstairs and my mom was playing all of my Carbon Leaf on shuffle, including Christmas Child, and it was so good that I couldn’t bring myself to turn it off. Their holiday show last year was probably the best concert I’ve ever been to. I bought their Christmas  album after the show (they signed it and everything), and listened to it nearly constantly until I went home for break. It’s great music for wall-sitting, and back then I was doing a lot of that. I’d like to get back into it- my dad and I are challenging each other to do wall sits this week, and I miss having awesome legs, especially because I just bought a bunch of pretty tights. So to circle back, I want to listen to Christmas music while crafting, and take occasional breaks for wall sits. First thing is first though, and I intend to fully enjoy Thanksgiving before jumping ahead to the next holiday.

Being ablest for a moment

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I’m sorry, but I am feeling incredibly stupid right now, and “foolish” and “unwise” aren’t cutting it. My aunt likes to tease me by calling me “Full-Disclosure Caroline”, and it’s true- I share everything. In some ways it’s nice- people know what’s going on in my life, and so they have more background and can better understand why I do the things I do, and when you’re willing to share really personal stuff people are happy to listen, so you get to talk about yourself a lot, which can be very fun, but it has drawbacks, and I frequently wish I had been more discrete when things inevitable blow up in my face. For example, blogging about homework seems natural, just like blogging about your friends (as it turns out, even if you don’t use their name, they will find it, and it’s really hard to write something about them that they won’t dislike. Even nice things have backfired on me), but putting actual homework questions on your blog means that people in your class can Google them and your blog will turn up, sometimes as the third thing on the page, and that’s where things get sticky. Is it an honor code violation? I didn’t post an answer key, or anything like that, only one attempt at an answer that proved incorrect, but it makes me feel uneasy. It didn’t occur to me that it might be a bad idea though, because I don’t think. So now I’m going to have to start thinking. When I think about the blogs that I most enjoy reading it isn’t because the authors just blab their every inane thought onto the internet, because that isn’t actually interesting. It isn’t good writing to say everything you think. I want to be a little more vague, a little more mysterous. It won’t kill me to hold back a little, and it might actually prolong my life if I stop posting idiot things that will result someone choking me to death over what I’ve written. I can be circumspect. I will be. It’s going to be great.

Say cheese

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I look forward to Saturdays. It isn’t exactly unusual, but I really really do. And so I was kind of bummed about having to retake my 5-hour driving course this Saturday, because it would make me miss the market and eat up a big chunk of time. So…I put it off. I’ll take it soon, but I didn’t take it today. Instead, I woke up early, and made more turnovers. I prepped them last night by cooking the bacon and defrosting the pastry, so it was a quick process, instead of taking forever like it did last time. I also made them smaller, because while the first batch was delicious, they were too big for a single serving. They were at least two, and sometimes even three servings in fact, and that’s impractical, so I made these half as big. I think they’re probably best as appetizers though, and so next time they’ll be even smaller. While the second batch was baking, I dealt with the transportation issue (because I clearly made them with someone in mind). Last time I wrapped them in parchment paper, but I knew I could do better than that, and so I made a tupperware box out of a gallon jug ( I got the idea from a website, but it’s a ninja craft site, so I can’t find it again). Sounds crazy, right? Well, depending on why you think it sounds crazy, it might not be! The box-out-of-the-jug part is actually super awesome. It may revolutionize the way we send people home with leftovers. I have tupperware issues. When I was at school I had I think five sandwich sized tupperwares, and one giant one, and they all had lids, and were kept together, and it was great. Then I came home though, and my system descended into madness. There’s some kind of spell on my parents’ house that causes tupperwares to lose their lids, and it makes me insane. I seriously hate cleaning up after meals if there are leftovers because there are never enough matching tupperwares, and it’s better if things can go into single serving containters because then you can take them for lunch, but instead we wind up with some carrot shreds and a third of a chicken breast in a two gallon container with cling wrap on top because there wasn’t a lid. SO when people come over for dinner and there are leftovers that we want to get rid of because our fridge is so full of giant containers, we give people food in…tupperwares. But because these people are guests, and we want to seem like well-organized Martha Stewarts, we give away the precious few matching sets that we have. And then they’re gone. Usually forever. This new system though, is perfect! Making (adorable) to-go boxes out of things that would otherwise be thrown away just might be the perfect solution! And they’re reusable! The instructions on the ninja-site were pretty vague, but by cutting along the folds, with one extra-long flap, I was able to make a nifty little box. (I’m going to be making a lot of these in the near future because we host Christmas dinner, so I might post a tutorial. Maybe even a video tutorial if I’m feeling fancy.) I lined the bottom with parchment paper, and stuck in two turnovers (they’re pretty much the same as last time, with the only real difference being I used one whole onion instead of a half), and went to the market. I’m not much of a closer, but I think I managed to carry it off relatively well (“I brought you more food! I’m working on this recipe for the holidays, and I thought I could use an outsider’s opinion.” Yeah, I’m smooth. 😛 ) . He seemed really pleased though, and he liked the box a lot (he also has a complicated relationship with tupperware. We have to much in common 😉 .) PLUS, and this is the exciting part- we got free cheese. He said we’ve been such good customers, and we took the class, and we’ve fed him on multiple occasions, so our cheese was on the house. *swoon* Ok, I know that’s a little thing, but he didn’t have to do that, and it was really nice. I really hope he likes the turnovers. They’re good, but I think the whoopie pies were better. This is so silly, but it’s just one of those little things about my Buffalo experience that is making me smile.