Adventures in Baking: The first of many to come!

Recently I discovered Pinterest, thanks to my sister (who has to retain her sanity somehow, alone at the house with two little boys) and it’s got me acting all nest-y and stuff. Even though I have no reason to “nest” or anything like that.

Pinterest, as I see it, is a site that lets you bookmark stuff without actually bookmarking it on your browser. Pinterest has “boards” that you “pin” stuff to while adhering to certain categories and such. Most of my pins are food and clothes. It seems a popular place for brides to pin favorite wedding ideas and things. Young moms and teachers are also popular there. Really it’s a veritable wealth of DIY and pretty things. Some are a bit thinspo and fitness-y, which I ignore…but whatever.

That being said, I have a huge food board. Lots of recipes from people who take mouthwatering pictures of their food and blog about the recipe step by step. There isn’t a healthy dish on that board and if it so happens to be healthy I will find a way to change it, believe me.

What I find though is that with many of these recipes the quantity is set to feed an army (I picture their stereotypical husband and three kids with vacuums for mouths) or are for parties that they throw with their equally stereotyped friends. That’s fine and all guys. I can halve and quarter to my hearts content. The downside of doing so is that it doesn’t always turn out they way the pretty picture looks. (Yeesh, with their fancy cameras, how could it?)

It’s funny actually how much I end up screwing everything. For instance, take the iced coffee recipe. Seems simple and all when you read through and feast your eyes on the photo-ops, but for someone in a small town with not all the necessary items or containers (ugh) it’s not all coffee-colored-rainbows and caffeine-butterflies.

The recipe calls for 8 (fucking eight) quarts of water and a whole bag of coffee. Jesus, this woman is an addict was my first thought. No problem though…just half it. Easy-peasy.

It has to steep overnight or 8 hours? Alllrighty then. So much for instant gratification. Too bad I forgot about it the next day, sitting on the counter in a huge jug…liquid gold! After a while I began to wonder if there was such a thing as cold-brewing for too long. Shit, I don’t know these things. I don’t even order iced coffee at Starbucks! (I’m a passion tea lemonade gal, myself)

Welp. I have to strain it. Calls for a fine strainer and some cheesecloth. Wtf, cheesecloth? Long ago I thought this stuff was actually made from cheese. Would make the coffee taste a leeetle different, yes? Of course, none in sight at my local walmart or any other grocery/kitchen/whatever store. That’s all good…because coffee filters! Yes!

No. Because the container I was straining into didn’t hold the little strainer I had well, and the coffee filters made for sloooow going. Too late, I realized I could have transferred the unstrained liquid to the other container which did fit the strainer, but I was already a third of the way through. (I sabotage myself frequently) So I had to stand over the two containers slowly feeding the coffee through bits at a time. Needless to say I pulled up and chair and the mom and I discussed romance novels.

Wasn’t a bad experience after all. The next morning I was so excited and raring to go try my coffee. Since I hate having the little sugar granules or other such sugar substitute floating at the bottom of the coffee not quite mixed it (which inevitably leads to a SUPER SWEET last few sips) I decided to use sweetened condensed milk. I see those words and I say it in Mary from the movie Mary and Max’s voice. If you haven’t seen that movie you really should.

Oh by the way SCM doesn’t like to mix with coffee either. I got little pearls of it with each sip of cold coffee. The mom had a great idea and just frothed it up with a hand mixer and we added some chocolate and BAM MUH’FUCKAS a vanilla mocha coffee thingy! Success! I can’t really enjoy it on my early hour drive to school though…because. erm. it’s coffee ya know? (Sets things in motion, if you get my drift)

Stay tuned for more of me being stupid with recipes. And some truly successful ones, I promise.

Here’s the recipe I tried.

Pretty, isn't it?


Small step for me…not that much of a giant leap for anyone else.

But it’s a step! For me! Tis good!

Remember that annoying freshman girl I ranted about a couple of weeks ago?

Weeeel. Let’s just say I got a bit tired of her. To the point that I’ve wanted to just haul off and slap her. I wouldn’t really do it, but oh goodness it would surprise her.

Today we were watching a movie to go along with the book it’s written from. I happen to enjoy this movie and the book, so I wanted to actually watch it. She came in today and immediately popped some gum in her mouth, started chewing away, and turned to her new BFF to run her mouth. Class hadn’t even started so no big, right?

I didn’t want to wait. I made a decision that for me was monumental. I don’t like confrontation, so me getting up and moving away from her to another seat in the class was, to me, the equivalent to really hauling off and slapping her. We had started out okay, right? But there comes a point when I don’t want to “share” notes, listen to incessant meaningless chatter, or hear something roll around in your mouth noisily, for an hour. (Speaking of “sharing” notes, she didn’t ask if she could. She would blah blah blah very disrespectfully to the class and professor and then lean over and copy what I had on my computer if she had noticed I’d written something. Fucking made me MAD, ya’ll.)

It was a big step guys, because instead of wallowing in my indecision or listening to the mean voice in my head that tells me to DEAL WITH IT, I made a conscious decision and followed through. Yay! I gathered up my computer and bag and moved on down the row.

I know she was looking at me going, um wtf? And I’m sure I was a part of their whispering for a while, but honestly, I didn’t feel bad. At all. I didn’t feel like I had done something wrong. I felt AWESOME. I fixed my problem.

And to hell with her if she had a problem with it.

You know when people say they don’t give a fuck? And you think, psh yeah I’m sure you at least give a little bit of a fuck. Well this was my moment in which I literally had no fucks to give. There were none there, and so none were given.

It felt great! Now I don’t have to dread this class anymore.


Firsts and Lasts in life

For a writing assignment in my creative nonfiction class, we have to come up with 5 or so “firsts” and the same amount of “lasts”. The obvious firsts that I think of (first/last sexual experience, kiss, car, college class, boyfriend, break-up) are pretty standard, and I’m having a hard time coming up with anything more thoughtful.

I immediately jotted down my first real “college” party. It was notable mainly because it was a party I attended in which everyone was around the same age as I, yet I was the only one in college. That was definitely an event I can write about…mainly focusing on the hostility of others towards my status.

First and last car accident (I’ve had 4, I think…ranging from no damage to totaled)…those should be interesting.

I’m definitely not writing about first or last sexual experiences…there was nothing special about those, honestly!

The assignment is to recreate the scene/event for each (chosen) first and last, and then to give it the “so what?” factor, which is where the insight or purpose of writing will come through.

I have a week to do this, but I’d prefer to get it over with. Plus I’m finding that maybe I need to be more introspective about the events in my own life. I’m journaling this semester, “for real for real”, which is the term for serious business, guise. Our professor said that if we filled up a journal a month (about 3 journals) that we’d get extra credit. Can’t complain with that, can I? The notebook size is our choice and I’m not chickening out, so I got some standard composition notebooks (100 pages). Seems honest, yes?

Does anyone have any suggestions for broad topic firsts and lasts?

Reader’s Anxiety

I'm even getting some anxiety from this book pile. I know it's for an artistic look, but YEESH someone straighten them.

I just got immensely discouraged because I had been writing this post in class (I was also paying attention…it’s possible) and hit save draft when class was over…yet I don’t see my post. Anywhere.

So here we go again. I’ll try not to let my frustration color the post.

Reader’s anxiety! Sounds like something we can all relate to in some form or fashion, right? There can be many definitions:

  • That feeling you get when you’re reading a book and AHH anxiety! pops up because of suspense, pain or knowledge of pain for characters (if you’ve ever read the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, you know this feeling) or good writing leading you to a point which you don’t quite know how you got to. Any numerous feelings that can feed the anxiety monster.
  • Anxiety at not being able to finish a book fast enough or having to put it down for, you know, LIFE and stuff because it’s so good!
  • On the other hand…anxiety of having to read a book for school or to finish it just to get it over with because it’s SO NOT GOOD.

These all qualify, certainly, but I feel like another one that most people might not admit to, is the anxiety you feel from not being able to just ABSORB all the books you want to explore. I know it’s because of my impatience and ADD, but for some it’s the knowing that you can’t read all the books and that’s sad. My ex boyfriend said he didn’t like to read because what was the point? He couldn’t read ALL the books so why try one? His logic dumbfounded me, and needless to say, we are ex’s (exes?). Thank God. But back on track…I hope you guys know what I mean when I say that I get a feverish/anxiety-ish feeling knowing there are books out there for me to read and think about and ponder over and OH GOODNESS it’s so awesome, isn’t it? This is a contributing factor to the state of my bookshelf. It’s filled with half-read or just-started books with the exception of one or two not started or a couple finished that I can’t bear to part from.

There’s also the anxiety of the English major, which is having to read copious amounts of literature for school and having copious amounts of literature sitting at home to read for pleasure. Every once in a while the two mix, but sadly not often enough.

I should mention that there’s also the wonderful feeling of just absorbing the aesthetics of reading a book. Slowly. Among those are:

  • smell. THE SMELL. Book sniffers know what I mean. Old or new (both distinct and awesome) they have the best smell.
  • Pages! Ink on paper is special, guys. It just is. Sometimes I get frustrated with books that have especially glossy or thin pages, or the pages where the edges are cut to different lengths (so your finger has to waggle for a while to turn the page). But even if they aren’t the best features, they contribute to the experience all the same.
  • Relaxation and Even Breathing – I feel energized by books (they were never a good way for me to fall asleep) and I always notice my breathing becomes more even. Books DO put me to sleep on occasion, but I blame that mostly on just being freakin’ tired all the time. No matter what my state, the act of reading (or just being ABOUT to read) relaxes me.

I’d like to think that everyone else experiences this, but I know there are people that just can’t stand to be sat down with a book. I see kids all the time on campus that are in a frenzy over a book and you can see the negativity EMANATING off of them. Like the book is the only thing that’s holding them down and if they could throw it as far away as they could I think they would.

If there were a drug that could give you these feelings (yes, even the anxiety! but wait, most drugs come with that at some point, don’t they?) I’d be an addict.

Book sniffers unite!

That’s not me, by the way. I would never wear that much eyeliner. She is rocking’ the flames pretty well, though.

Freshmen: To Condemn or not to condemn….

At the start of this semester I overheard some friends of mine talking about these guys in a truck trying to (playfully?) run down a freshmen crossing the street. When I heard it, I got a bit pissed for a couple of reasons.

First is…that’s fucking rude! Kid could have had a shit day in his first week of college and some jerks go and do this!

Second was the fact that our school, though growing (we just got a football team! Go Runners!), is still largely a commuter school. Myself being one of those commuters (it’s an hour drive ya’ll. Eugh.) So justifying who is and who isn’t a Freshman can get a little sticky. Best just to not even try. I mean, there are those tell-tale signs: glazed eyes, asking for directions or constantly consulting a campus map, and the clothes (yes, you can tell. Senior hs shirts and uggs.). I remember coming over from another school as a sophomore transfer and having to blunder around campus for a while before I got the hang of things. There is also a large population of the older generations going back to school (my creative nonfiction writing professor is a 40 year old grad student who had children early and has worked up to this point. Cool points!). I just don’t think it is wise to torment someone on a loosely based judgement.

Third is…what the fuck is up with terrorizing them in the first place? I get it, you are at the top of the totem pole again (speaking of my Senior friends) and you get to reenact your high school hierarchy. But shouldn’t that just stay in high school? Unless you’re one of those kids that thought high school was the best four years of your life (EUGH again). Now, some freshman are obnoxious and might trigger that need-to-haze line of thinking, but I think it best to just ignore those types. They’ll have to bend over for college at some point and college doesn’t give reach-arounds.

Case in point: A freshman girl in my Texas and Southwest literature class. She initially started chatting me up in the first or second day of class and we are class-buddies now (useful if you don’t already have someone you know in the class). That was great and all…but I’m getting a bit worn down on her obnoxiousness.

I honestly don’t know how this girl ended up in there. I’m genuinely interested in taking this lit class (hello, English major) and like the topic and style of teaching…but she’s a Nursing student set to transfer to a bigger university next semester. She constantly talks and whispers to me and the guy next to her, smacking her gum all the while (don’t EVEN get me started on the irrational violence that triggers in me) and she hardly reads or cares about the material. Every time she comes in and sits next to me she sighs and complains about how tired she is and how she didn’t do the reading. First of all, like I care. And bitch, you’re tired now? Just wait sweetheart. And I don’t know if she’s gotten the memo yet, but stupidity isn’t attractive. Neither is pretending that you’re behind in class and don’t care. You’ll care at some point, because you’ll have to.

For example: Last week (Friday! Remember this for later) she walked up to me in the hallway as we were waiting for the other class to get out. She noticed a slightly heavy black girl standing across from us wearing a white tank top and some blue shorts (think soffe shorts). The first thing she did when she noticed her was to turn to me and mention how horrible she looked! I thought she looked fine, for a hot Friday afternoon in drought weather. I’m guessing this girl was used to condemning larger girls offhand when they don’t cloak themselves in tents to “preserve her gentle eyes”. Being a plus-size girl myself, I got laser-eyes and had to take a few deep breaths before I just let her have it. My views on people who don’t want to see fat on other people (my eyes are burning! is the common excuse) is to just say Let ’em burn, motherfucker! Why should this girl care what she has to wear to a college class on the last day of the school week in 100 degree weather? Girl looked good! This just….PISSED me off. And it tipped the scale on my thoughts of this girl from eh-she’s a freshmen, be nice…to no holds barred-this girl needs a slap in the face. 

I’m justifying my annoyance with her now not because she’s a freshman (though that certainly contributes) but because she’s a little priss narrow-minded bitch. The other day she pointed out a girl’s neon pink hair (literally, she pointed…as the girl was walking toward us) and mildly freaked out about it.

Maybe her “crazy college days” will come soon…but for now I am not looking forward to a semester of smack-and-talk freshman girl trying to ride my effort and notes through the class.

And now I leave you with some of my favorite college freshman memes.

it's always the profs fault. didn't you know?

fucking north face. ugh.

don't get me started on college alcohol stereotypes

I didn’t mean to make them look like a pyramid, I swear.


Letters to Offenders?

I’m thinking of starting a new thing. Many times, when I’m upset about something, I tend to form this letter of sorts to whoever/whatever has done the upsetting. In my head. I’d like to think it’s at least a little amusing. I’m sure it would be therapeutic.

Good idea, jes?

First Week Back and The Going gets started

Yay school! At least, yay for me. I’m excited. I’m also a nerd, so that wouldn’t be too off the mark for someone like me.

This week started my first forays into a ton of reading (which I am agreeable to) and meeting other English and reading nerds.

Bullshitters and Analyzers beware! The English majors are back on campus.