22 June 2008

Food, fool.

I have three things in my cupboard in the kitchen: cold cereal, hot cereal, and peanut butter. In the refrigerator, there is a gallon of milk (which I can't drink by myself before it goes bad), some soy milk, and some blackberry fruit spread (jam?). In the freezer, there is a loaf of bread and six bagels. I hardly ever use these because they're frozen.

When it comes to kitchen utensils, there is nothing. I just use everyone else's stuff. It was like this when I moved in. In fact, it was worse, and my roommates had to clear some space for me to put my stuff in the bedroom, bathroom, as well as kitchen cupboards. I didn't bring all my communal kitchen possessions: toaster oven, electronic tea kettle, dish drainer. Totally and completely unnecessary. Although I do miss the electric kettle somethin' horrible.

At first, I did bring my food, too. But it was sadly done away with. Maybe I had it coming, because all the dry goods were in a black garbage bag outside my apartment door for a couple of days. I just left it there, unwilling to try and fit it into the inches of shelving that had been cleared for me and hesitant to deal with the spilled rice grains and spaghetti noodles. I'm not sure if someone saw it and thought that all that food was unwanted, and took it for themselves. Maybe. Maybe they actually threw it away, thinking it was worthless, even though it clearly wasn't. It was a very heavy bag.

Obviously, I haven't yet recovered from that terrible catastrophe, because I have yet to go on a real grocery shopping trip this summer. For one thing, there's hardly enough room as it is. For another, I'm just not motivated to start from scratch. There's something disproportionately depressing about having to buy a bunch of spices, flour, sugar, and things you don't use too often, especially when you know that (a) there's nowhere to store it, and (b) you once owned that stuff and it's not completely your fault that you don't own it anymore [because you didn't eat it].

I depend on my brother (who conveniently lives in the same apartment complex) to eat meals, otherwise I buy food. Which is (a) expensive, and (b) unhealthy. (I had been wondering why I wasn't eating well. There was a week or two where it seemed I ate nothing but cookies. It's clear now that I was doing that because cookies are the only tasty thing you can purchase in the Cougar Eat. Mystery solved.)

As a side note, a simplistic and non-material lifestyle is ideal. Although, the food thing could be healthier. Looking back on much of my college career, I have "owned" very little--shoes, clothes, bathroom accessories, my laptop, a notebook or two, a few books . . . and . . . well, that's about it. It's rather unencumbered to live this way.

Back to the meat of the matter (haha! Pun intended!): Today was glorious. I cooked. At my brother's. And since he wasn't feeling well, he didn't help me. Having full reign in the kitchen really was healing for my cooking skills. When my brother supervises, I have a nasty tendency to turn the stove-top burners on high and burn everything.

Here's what I did (I didn't take pictures, but I did find some images on Google that give a good idea of what you missed out on.):

Shrimp sauteed in butter, garlic, lemon juice, and seasoned with salt and fresh-ground pepper.
Fettuccine noodles with pesto (I didn't make the pesto, sadly) added to the remains of what the shrimp cooked in, and some Parmesan cheese for good measure.
Sliced tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, fresh-ground pepper, and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

For the first time in a long time, I feel full. In a good, non-nasty kind of way.

20 June 2008

one of these things [eyeballs] is not like the other...

Is there some kind of medical term from this? Oh, yes, yes there is. It's called anisocoria. And it sounds scary.

Read on, but only if you're man enough.

The use of eyedrops are a common cause of a harmless change in pupil size. Other medicines that get in the eyes, including medicine from asthma inhalers, can change pupil size.

Other causes of unequal pupil sizes may include:

You learn something new every day. Really.

"Miniscule" is actually spelled "minuscule"? What? I had no idea. UNTIL NOW!

18 June 2008

Can I be funny? Please?

It's so rare that my wit is quick . . . and witty . . . that I have to rub it in and boast about it and blog about it.

I was with two fellow classmates [and friends ;)] before one of my finals today, sitting outside. One of them happens to be called Amanda, also. The other one, Kendra, said something to the effect of, "Have a seat. Talk to yourselves, to each other, etc."

I said, conversationally, "So, Amanda . . ." and then turned to the other Amanda and said, "Oh, no, not you. I meant myself."


16 June 2008

2 of the more random things.

1. My roommate from Indiana (2 years ago) had a seminary teacher (in Indiana) by the name of Sister Rockwood. My good friend Kirsten's step-sister Ann's mission companion (in New York) was also called Sister Rockwood. The missionary Sister Rockwood was in fact the daughter of the seminary teacher Sister Rockwood. This discovery was made on the basis of a photo I saw of missionary Ann and her companion, Sister Rockwood, which was hanging on the refrigerator at Kirsten's home in Glendora, California.

2. When I was in Moscow, there was a couple there who also attended the International Branch--the Gordon-Smiths. When I went to their house (they were our home teachers), I saw some photos of a person that I recognized. Their son, George. The reason I knew him? I worked in the English Composition Office at BYU, and there I had association with all of the graduate instructors who taught the freshman composition courses. George was one of them.

14 June 2008

Who cares about the “Oxford Comma”?

Yes, I'm too ashamed to make a more direct allusion to the Vampire Weekend song in my title. Disregarding the embarrassingly catchy vulgarities in their song, I commend this band for actually writing about the very important punctuation mark often called the "Oxford comma" (Even though the song does seem to be making fun of grammar-conscious people like me . . . but that all depends on your interpretation).

There aren’t a great many things that I feel very passionately about. But this oft-neglected comma is one of them.

The following passage from my textbook about the serial comma is an emotionally-charged rebuttal of stupid people. It kind of loses its punch at the end, but, regardless, it gives some very good reasons why we should KEEP THE SERIAL COMMA! I would even picket with a sign to keep this comma, if I thought it would do any good:

“Perhaps [some writers leave out the serial comma] on the assumption that the conjunction substitutes for the comma. But it really does not. In fact, this punctuation misleads the reader in two ways: It implies a closer connection than actually exists between the last two elements of the series, and it ignores the pitch change, however slight, represented by the comma. The main purpose of punctuation, after all, is to represent graphically the meaningful speech signals—pitch, stress (loudness), and juncture (pauses)—that the written language otherwise lacks. That small pitch change represented by the comma can make a difference in emphasis and meaning.” (Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, Understanding English Grammar, 7th ed., emphasis added)

LOTS OF GOOD THINGS COME FROM OXFORD, by the way. Just thought I'd point that out.

05 June 2008

The Bike Saga Continues

Oddly enough, I have been receiving a lot of feedback concerning my bike posts, so I thought I would update this blog to reflect the completion of that particular phase of my life.

Because apparently, it was doomed from the beginning. Because the bike got stolen.

Yes, that's right. I said stolen.

One day, I left my apartment--anticipating my transportation to campus that day on the shiny, royal blue beauty. The bike wasn't there. I turned around and walked back into my apartment. "(Name Censored)," I said to my roommate. "Did I leave my bike on campus?" She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named told me about how she saw some people who didn't look like they were from "around here" (apparently they were wearing wifebeaters) the day before riding off on a blue bike. It was pretty clear to me that it was my bike. I mean, my apartment complex is not large. There is only one bike rack, after all.

Now, the first question you may ask yourself is probably, "Was the bike was locked up?" I submit that it was not. I had not locked it up, thinking that I would use it very soon again and that it would be more time-efficient to not lock it up. I think I was just feeling lazy. I also didn't think there was any danger. After all, my complex is small, as I said, and the bike rack is in the parking lot area for the complex.

I called the police belatedly (under the duress of my mother) to file a report. The conversation with the dispatcher was a little something like this:

Me: I want to report a stolen bike.
Dispatcher: Ok, where do you live and what's your phone number?
Me: (content censored)
Dispatcher: We're busy, but we'll see what we can do.

Later that evening, I received a voice mail that went something like this:
Dispatcher: The police are at your apartment, but they don't know which one you live in. Please call back at (content censored).

Called back. Supplied requested information. Then went running. Then went to bed. (It was a bit around 11 PM.)

I was in that Dream Land that you get to that's not quite sleep, when your thoughts are weird, but you're semi-conscious, when my roommate (a different one, whose name is also censored) knocked on my door and told me the police were waiting for me outside the door.

They seemed a bit amused when they realized how little information I had about the bike. The conversation went a little something like this:

Policeman: I don't really want to fill out a report of a theft at an "unknown" time, by "unknown" suspects, of an "unknown" bike.

He has a point there.

1. Laziness does not pay.
2. The Provo Police probably do little else besides looking for lost bikes.
3. Although wifebeaters is a horrifically stereotypic term to describe A-shirt tank tops, it is somewhat fitting, in this circumstance.

02 June 2008

Naked Indian says 'Kiss my feet,' so I do.

Oh, the things we do...for what?

Oh, yeah. For no reason.

01 June 2008

Where's my head? And domestic rhinos.

Although I have no pictures to prove that this actually happened, I went to Marie Callendar's (it's a restaurant that sells pie and also other food, if you didn't know...for a long time, I myself thought it was just a restaurant devoted to pie) last night with Andrea (Wright, soon to be Perkins), Rachel (Hanson), and Shaela (Grange, formerly Wall). This blog post isn't to point out that our little high school cohort (minus Britney [Landrum] whom we missed, and who is currently in the Phillipines) has been infiltrated by males and marriage. (By the way, we love everyone. So it's all good.)

That's beside the point.

Tyler (Grange), Shaela's husband, was waiting with Shaela in the restaurant until we got there. They were sitting at a table intended for four people. I am going to insert my hand-drawn picture, so you get the idea.

The first drawing is how it looked when we first got there. The round things on the table are water glasses, because Shaela and Tyler had been there for some time before anyone else arrived.

See? Four chairs.

I arrived shortly after Rachel and Andrea. I brought a chair over to the table, so the new arrangement looked sort of like this (Except this time I include head shots of the others "sitting" on the "chairs."):

I wasn't thinking about it, but apparently I was thirsty. Naturally, I started drinking water from the nearest water glass. As you can see from the diagram, that glass just happened to belong to Tyler.

I had drunk probably four ounces, maybe more, when I noticed that there were only two glasses on the table. One of them was in front of Shaela. The other one...

Understanding dawned on me. Suddenly.

I expressed my deepest apologies (har) for my mishap to Tyler, who admitted that he had in fact noticed but had not said anything about it, perhaps thinking, "She needs it more than I do."

How altruistic.

All in all, it was a good night, though. Andrea told us about her grandfather's obsession with practical jokes involving exotic animals, and his short-stinted attempt at having a "domesticated" rhino on the ranch. (Where'd he get the rhino, you ask? I heard the zoo.)

And then she (Andrea) got a slightly embarrassing honeymoon kit, which contained items that I did not previously know existed. Happy honeymooning, friend.

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