Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Today I showered, exfoliated, shaved, deep conditioned, moisturized, painted my nails, and everything else I needed to do to feel like I'm greeting the new year with my best foot forward.

I'm ready for you.


+ Put myself first
+ Volunteer!
+ Move on
+ Make more constant contact with true friends

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So lost. I wish I had a way to predict the outcomes of my actions.

Once again I feel so lonely in this world.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Let's Get Wii-tarded

I am completely obsessed with my family's new Wii Fit. We have been trying to find it & Mario Kart since we got our Wii in the summer. My dad finally found it at Toys R Us on Sunday morning at 9 am, when they get their shipment of 5 in each week.

I was on it for 2 hours yesterday - how else can you get a person to work out for 2 hours??? There's hula hooping (my personal favorite), yoga, strength training exercises like push-ups and planks, aerobics like step aerobics and rhythm boxing, and balance games like penguin sliding and tight rope walking and snowboarding. I couldn't stop playing because I wanted to keep getting better at each exercise & keep unlocking new exercises and games. I set a fitness goal and I have a personal trainer I named Jeff. Half the reason I'm spending four more days at home is to keep playing on it! It's a pretty good addiction, right?

I also love Mario Kart for Wii. We got a steering wheel with it & we'll be getting another soon. I'm not too bad at it (at least the Mushroom Cup!) and you can play with people from all around the world. I like being Baby Peach in the Standard Kart. Gosh... what am I turning into?

I'm having Wiithdrawal... must make it home early tomorrow to feed my addiction.

Christmas Loot

In addition to $45 and a $30 Target gift card, I received:

Michael Graves Design 6-Speed Hand Mixer

Smartwool Fair Isle Socks x 2:

Jelly Belly!

Lindt Chocolate Squares


+ a similar one in ivory
In red, too:

Rice Flour x 2:

Vanilla Extract x 2

Wii Fit:

Mariokart for Wii:

I got my brother a Roy Lichtenstein book from the Art Institute in Chicago, Best American Travel Writing edited by Anthony Bourdain for my mom, and Malcolm Gladwell's new bestseller, Outliers, for my dad. I have already started reading the book I got my dad and I love it. I love learning about strange stuff like that; he's the guy who wrote The Tipping Point if you're familiar with that.

In all honesty, I don't really care about the gifts I got. I was just happy to spend some time with my family and see extended family on both sides. I would have been fine if I hadn't received anything. I'll actually be going home for four more days tomorrow until New Year's Eve.

A Christmas Miracle

I dropped my SK3 in the sink today while I was washing my hands. I panicked, flung it across the counter, took out the battery, & started wiping it off with a towel. Water got stuck under the glass covering the screen. My tech-savvy uncle that just happened to be over for Christmas dinner helped me tear it apart, dry out the screen, and dry out the insides. It wouldn't work the first time I put the battery back in when it seemed all dry & it started doing weird things when it finally turned on, then the x,v, and m buttons wouldn't work on the keyboard. 30 minutes later, it was in full working order again. I'll have to cancel the insurance because one of the water damage stickers turned red & they won't replace a phone with a red sticker. But still, how lucky am I? I am on my phone all day, every day looking up stuff on Google & Wikipedia, checking Facebook & Myspace, catching up on my Google Reader, texting, IMing, and talking. I've got a calendar, tasks to complete, and notes to remember. If I had lost use of it... it would have been the end of my world.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chi Town

What a great trip! I'm so glad I tagged along with Kate for her visa-getting stuff. The Megabus there was late (They had to use 2 coach buses.) and so we got there pretty late.I got extremely sick, probably from the half container of black bean salsa I ate with tortilla chips. Nothing would help, so I rode out the storm for 7 hours and finally got relief when I went to sleep. We got unlimited weekend Metra tickets and took the train out to Brookfield, where we stayed with my friend Lynette.

Thank goodness she picked us up at the station so we knew where to go for future walks to & from her place. Thankfully she had a bed for us. Good thing Kate doesn't have cooties so I could sleep next to her ;)

We woke up and went with Lynette & her boyfriend to take the Green Line into the city. We got off at the Roosevelt stop so we could chow down at the Bongo Room for brunch. I went there in May with Aaron & Kathrine when we went to see Kanye play in his hometown. I got Apple Pear French Toast, with brown-sugar crusted brioche in a apple-pear dried cherry compote with apple spice creme anglaise and toasted pecans. So, so, so good. Kate got carrot pumpkin pancakes with a vanilla bean creme anglaise. Hers was much richer than mine, so I got a nice amount of hers, too! We split delicious hash browns, red potatoes flavored with rosemary and olive oil. A photo from Kate:

We got 3-day CTA visitor passes and batteries for my camera at the Jewel-Osco underneath the L station and then hopped on an Orange Line for a trip around the loop so we could get off to go to the Art Institute. The wind was so fierce and it was so cold that I felt like it was the worst weather I had ever experienced. We got to the Art Institute and started at the top level and decided to work our way around the whole place. We DID get to every exhibit and area that was open. I was bummed that the contemporary wing was closed for renovations. It was crazy to realize that I was looking at paintings that people had created as much as 800 years ago. Some favorites:

Alberto Pasini - Circassian Calvary Awaiting Their Commanding Officer at the Door of a Byzantine Monument; Memory of the Orient

A Jackson Pollock

Grand Wood - American Gothic (This had been on loan when I went with my parents a couple of years ago)

We found our way back to Union Station & took the Metra back to Brookfield, only to have a horribly cold 20-minute walk back to Lynette's. They were watching Burn After Reading so we decided to join them. What a funny flick! Brad Pitt did an amazing job. I was honestly still stuffed from brunch so we didn't catch anything for dinner.

The next day was Kate's appointment at the French consulate. We had a long walk to the Metra station early in the morning, just to make sure we weren't delayed too long by the snow. The sun made it a lot more enjoyable of a walk. We had to wait 30 minutes because the train was delayed by snow (of course). We got into Union Station and took a bus to the consulate just in time to make it! We had to go back at 12:30 so we decided to eat a little and shop a little. I realized I hadn't eaten in 24 hours so we went to this weird buffet that charged by the pound. I got a nice variety of greens and fruits to get me through the day. We stopped at Macy's on State since it was close and we only had so much time. I got this delicious eggnog cupcake from Sarah's Pastries:

It was a nice spice cake with very rich eggnog buttercream frosting. There was as much frosting as cake, making it a little tough to eat and sickeningly sweet at the end. Overall though, delicious.

We headed back to the consulate (where I actually ate the cupcake) and got Kate's visa with no hassle. We then proceeded to shop our little hearts out. It was so nice to spend as much time as we wanted doing whatever we wanted. I think we spent over an hour at Nordstrom Rack, where I ended up buying a pair of white Pumas for working out and stuff. I didn't realize until just now how foolish it was of me to buy all white shoes when I can't even keep black shoes clean. We stopped at H&M, where I got a cute little green cardigan, and at Ulta, where I got my favorite body scrub of all time. My favorite stop was Macy's Merz Apothecary. We smelled ourselves silly with Burt's Bees and Demeter Fragrances and candles. Kate got some BB Peppermint Soap and I got a nice "Madagascar" candle for Lynette for letting us stay with her. I wrote a letter to Santa, too!

We came across the buildings featured on the cover of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

We decided to catch a bite to eat at this place we had been seeing everywhere, The Corner Bakery. I got a bowl of Zesty Chicken Tortilla Soup and a roll, while Kate got a panini and tomato soup. I finagled us a couple of extra rolls for free since they were so good.

Next we sought out "Cloud Gate", aka the Bean in Millennium Park. No one was there since it was so cold and windy and dark outside, so we had our run of the place.

We also saw where Barack Obama gave his big acceptance speech, which was really cool since it was so empty and desolate, having once been overflowing with people. We returned to Union Station, where growing crowds of stranded people were strewn about. Another cold walk back to Lynette's and we decided to hit the hay early.

Tuesday was our last day, with our bus leaving at 3:00. We wanted to take a pretty early train in so we had plenty of time to get sushi. We wanted to find a thrift shop and used book store, plus try Sweet Mandy B's cupcakes, but there just wasn't enough time to get everywhere by bus. Next time! The train was an hour late because of a medical emergency earlier in the morning. It was fun to watch it come in!

We had our sushi about noon at Thai Urban Kitchen, and it was honestly the best meal I think I have ever had. We ordered a "Sushi For Two" platter, with 6 california rolls, 6 shrimp tempura rolls, 6 spicy tuna rolls, 2 tuna, 2 super white tuna, 2 salmon, and 2 shrimp nigiri. SO MUCH SUSHI. I wish I had taken a picture of the platter, but I couldn't resist digging in immediately. We also got miso soup and delicious steamed dumplings of chicken and shrimp with my favorite sweet chili sauce. Definitely my favorite restaurant in Chicago, even over Bongo Room.

We stopped in at a CVS to grab snacks for the bus ride home, which were all pretty unhealthy. Two types of trail mix, fudge striped cookies, peanut butter cracker sandwiches, and a 1.5 liter bottle of water. CVS's in Chicago all sell all kinds of liquor. So weird for me. Another weird thing about Chicago: EVERYONE wears fur. We saw so many full-length fur coats. It was so gross. I hate fur coats. Ew.

The bus ride back was long and exhausting. Honestly, I was just glad that the big snowstorm aligned with our travel to make it the easiest possible. No blizzards while we were driving! I got in at 2 am, only to have to go to my apartment to get clothes for the next 3 days to stay at home for the holidays. Jackie was having tons of people over, all of whom I wanted to chat with and hang out with, but I was exhausted and my mom was waiting. Josh Moore informed me he had played a show in Chicago with You, Me, and Everyone We Know while I was there. I can't believe I missed him. It would have been a real treat.

I love Chicago. I can't wait to go back again. The bus ride is only $45 round trip and I always have Lynette to stay with for free. The trip was a nice 4-day escape from the world, just what I needed.

Best of 2008

Best Albums

10. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

I waited a long time to listen to this; I was afraid all the hype would be over nothing. I listened to this all summer and as I started classes again in the fall. I don't listen to it that much anymore, but I don't mind hearing a song here and there. Best Song: "Oxford Comma" because I love grammar so much.

9. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

I didn't know if I should count this because he self-released it in 2007, when I first started listening to it. Since everyone else is putting it on their lists, I'm following the crowd. Best Song: "Flume"

8. Anthony Green - Avalon

Another album I didn't think I'd like, but love now. Best song: "Springtime Out The Van Window"

7. Tokyo Police Club - Elephant Shell

I listened to this every time I drove the van at Gopher Grocery this summer. It was perfect to bop along to while driving a huge Dodge Sprinter. Best Song: "Centennial"

6. The Stills - Oceans Will Rise

I remember first hearing this band when I was a freshman in high school. This album is so much more sinister than their other two, and therefore more fun to listen/seduce people to. Best Song: "Snakecharming The Masses"

5. Portugal. The Man - Censored Colors

I had such high hopes for this album and they were met. It's not as good as Church Mouth to me, but still really great. The $90 pre-order package was the best money I spent all year. Best Song: "Lay Me Back Down"

4. Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs

"Talking Bird" might be the worst Death Cab song of all time, but the rest of the album makes up for it. Best Song: tie between "Bixby Canyon Bridge" and "Cath"

3. Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts (Tea-Partying Through Tornadoes)

Something I randomly came across. I always choose this when I don't know what to listen to. Best Song: "Everybody Here is a Cloud"

2. Kings of Leon - Only By The Night

This is soooooo much better than that snooze of an album they released last year. Danceable, darker, this album helped them break out of their "Molly's Chambers"-type rut. Best Song: "Closer"

1. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

I barely have the right words to describe how I feel when listening to this album. It is so perfect in every way. I've ditched the pop-rock scene (as you can tell by this list) and this album is the cornerstone of this new phase of mine. Best Song: "He Doesn't Know Why"

Honorable Mentions:
- Radiohead - In Rainbows (I felt guilty including this because it was released online in 07, but came out on CD January 1st.)
- Sigur Rós - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
- The Kooks - Konk
- Copeland - You Are My Sunshine
- The Maine - Can't Stop, Won't Stop (Just a pleasure, not even guilty.)

Best EPs

3. Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant

2. Ben Kweller - How Ya Lookin' Southbound? Come In...

Every year needs a little Ben Kweller, and last year was sorely lacking. I can't believe I missed him playing here at the U for free.

1. Minus The Bear - Acoustics

Uhhhhh... shit. This would be #2 on my albums of the year if I combined this list. Amazing, amazing stuff. I can't get enough. I might be starting to like Minus The Bear more than Portugal. The Man... but shhh, don't tell anyone.

Best Concerts

5. Minus The Bear, Varsity Theater, October 15
4. Portugal. The Man, Varsity Theater, November 9
3. Death Cab For Cutie, Orpheum Theater, June 2
2. Kanye West, Union Center (Chicago), May 23
1. Fleet Foxes, Cedar Cultural Center, October 11

Honorable Mentions:
- Chris Conley & Matt Pryor, Triple Rock Social Club, August 6
- Have Heart & Ceremony, Triple Rock Social Club, November 7

Notable Local Shows:
- City of Sound, Farewell Continental, The Person & The People, Triple Rock, October 12
- Regret & Solidarity, The Fallout, October 4

Best Recipes
(What else would you expect from me?)

5. Copycat Levain Cookies
4. Special K Bars
3. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
2. Ginger Cookies
1. Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Honorable Mentions:
- Key Lime Cupcakes
- Cake Balls
- Self-filled cupcakes

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Winter Boots

because I had a 50% off code to (YEEZY)

Tretorn Skerry Vinter Glossy boots in Burgundy

Grades Grades Grades

I didn't think I would get the grades I was hoping for this semester, but I ended up getting all A's with one A-!!! My term GPA is 3.9, which boosted my cumulative GPA to 3.83. I was so excited when I found out 5 minutes ago that I abandoned my gift wrapping and ran around my house telling my family. I couldn't be happier that everything came together in the end. What a great Christmas present from school, especially since I've been thinking about the importance of grades in college and if it's really worth it to keep mine up. Judging by today's satisfaction, I'll definitely keep aiming high.

Friday, December 19, 2008

To Do In Chicago:

Art Institute

Brunch at the Bongo Room

Cupcakes from Sweet Mandy B's

Finish Christmas Shopping?

Which would you rather have?



It's not much better, but I'm taking the latter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Here I Come!

I just talked to my grandparents and booked a round-trip flight to Orlando from January 4th to the 13th for $215. I am working on this concept called spontaneity. I'm pretty proud of myself for taking this step.

It will be so nice to hang out in 60 to 70 degree weather and read books and walk around Kissimmee. Maybe I will try to cook and bake for my grandparents and other people living in their condo association. It's the perfect fresh start to a new year. I just won't want to come back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Guys Are Dumb

I have gone out to eat and hung out with some guy friends multiple times lately. I get along best with guys, so it's been fun. However, guys these days don't seem to understand that if you don't ask a girl out specifically on a date, it's not a date. If you say, "Hey, let's go to this great restaurant!" that's not a date. If you say, "We need to hang out soon," that's not a date. Anything that is not along the lines of, "I'd love to take you out to this great place," or "Would you like to go on a date with me to _____," is not grounds to make a hangout a date.

Communication is such an issue in the world these days. It seems like many guys are just too pussy to risk confrontation and rejection by fully putting themselves out there. Instead, they're vague and don't actually express their true intentions, leaving them high and dry when they realize they forget to let the girl know how they feel from the start. I have so much more respect for guys who come up to me and ask me out straight up than those who act like a friend until they don't let you pay for your own meal. Even if I shoot a guy down, I'm going to let him know that I thought it took real courage to come out and ask like that so he's not afraid to try again.

I am taking a break from all guys, even if they're just friends, to be by myself and get away from any possible bullshit semi-dramatic situation. The lack of drama is why I like hanging out with guys more than girls and get along with them better, but that really isn't working out for me right now.

Maybe I Just Found A Solution To My Winter Blues...

My grandparents always drive down to their condo in Orlando after Christmas is over. I really want to go with them and then fly back when school starts. I thought a one-way flight in January would be really, really expensive and therefore not an option.

I just found a flight for $95.

Study Abroad

I've been talking about it all semester but still haven't figured out for certain where I'm going next year. I have to apply in February, but I won't be back to school until January 20. This gives me 11 days to bring it all together with the help of counselors and advisers. I started thinking about it early so this wouldn't happen!

I wish I was going next semester instead.

So Annoyed!

Anyone else hate how Megavideo now limits you to 72 minutes of video a day? I share internet with my roomies and so I haven't even watched 72 minutes today, but I have to wait 53 more minutes to watch the rest of the Dexter season finale. I had to do this yesterday, too.

I'm supposed to be going home for the night but my family's not answering. I'll probably accidentally fall asleep here for the rest of the night and be fucked when I wake up and realize I missed physical therapy.

Life life life. I just want to fast forward through this useless month. There won't be enough distractions around to keep reality from rearing its head.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Kind of Nightmare

Last night I dreamed that I was taking a Third World Literature final and didn't know anything because it was all about maps and distances! I was freaking out and telling my TA that I was really having a hard time, but she just said, "But you're one of the best students in the class!" It made me feel terrible and I woke up in a panic.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream that I made a table full of baked goods that I was oh-so-proud of and displayed it for people to taste. My roommates came through and commented on every kind of treat, saying things like, "This isn't as good as my mom's," or "Blech, this is only so-so." I was mortified. I woke up in a terror, with tears in my eyes.

These are the kinds of dreams that wake me in the middle of the night.


I'm glad the two hardest ones are over, but they were absolute murder. My accounting final was about 84 times harder than I was planning on. It was terrible. I'm hoping the rest of my class struggled just as much, so it will be curved to my advantage. I struggled for 4 hours to write a 6-page paper that I could normally pound out in 2 and a half. I just need to focus on how there's nothing I can do now & I did the best I could.

I'm ready for a month of a brain full of mush.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Maybe it's all the running around, maybe it's the weather, but I can't remember the last time I went out! I have just been so content to stay at home watching Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel or researching tasty recipes on I don't feel the urge to go out and blow off some steam. I just like napping, sleeping in late, and baking - a true hibernator.

I don't mind if people come visit me, but I'm definitely content enough on my own that I forget to reach out to the rest of the world. No one's good at that these days, though.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Running Around

- Chiropractor
- French listening final
- Find birthday card for Dad/deposit paychecks
- Physical Therapy in Eden Prairie (skipped 3rd world lit)
- Mentorship meeting
- Bus to Edina for Dad's birthday celebration at Fuddruckers
- Home for cake & presents
- Target for necessities

I wasn't home between 9 am and 9 pm.

- Stats final 8-10 am
- Accounting final 10:30-12:30
- Leave final asap to catch 12:18 bus to Eden Prairie
- Physical Therapy
- Bus home
- Massage

Won't be home between 7:30 am and 7 pm. Ugh.

Can't wait to take a break for a couple of days. It's off to Chicago at the end of next week for 3 1/2 days. Then I'm going to try to go back to Gopher Grocery to work over break! Hopefully my back doesn't mess up my plans; I can't stand laying around for 30 days until spring semester starts.


I woke up 20 minutes ago. Got 12 hours of sleep. I guess it will enable me to be up until all hours tonight studying. I have to write a 6-page paper for Third World Literature today, as well as study for my Statistics and Accounting exams tomorrow morning. I don't know how I'm going to do it but I am. I'm just focusing on how as soon as I'm done with these things tomorrow, I'm basically done with the semester. I have a French final Monday but I'm not stressed about that at all because it's my most favorite and easiest class.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Currently Eating:

Mixed spring greens with chicken, pear slices, walnuts, goat's milk brie, and raspberry vinaigrette. Yum!! Wish I had taken a pic.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm Not Ready

Despite the snow on my deck & on the ground and the finger, toe & nose-chilling temps, I really don't feel like it's the Christmas season. I even went shopping on Black Friday. I'm not ready for this! Finals start next week and then it's no class for a month. Where did this whole fall go? It disappeared into doctor's appointments and money troubles and coping with newly found stomach issues. I hope I don't lose this whole school year to the same.

On the positive side, maybe the bitter months of December, January, and February will fly by and turn into spring before I know it.

University Of Manchester?

Looking at testimonials from people in study abroad programs through Carlson tonight, I really started to freak out. Put that on top of the fact I can't get many credits from studying in Belgium or Bordeaux, France, and I became terrified. Leaving everyone behind for a program and culture that's so completely different from my own would really stretch my limits. I was contemplating not going.

Despite my desire to study abroad in the French language, I think I am going to check out the Manchester Business School. The students who left testimonials online for me to read really,really liked it. I might like it, too! They have so many classes that look like they could transfer to my major courses. My good friend from Kentucky is currently studying in England, so I know I can lean on her for tips & support. I was really looking forward to immersing myself completely in a different world with a different language, but my reluctance to deal well with changes around me will probably make me a better fit for a university in England. I did look at Scottish and Welsh universities, but none have the business strength I need. I am getting more and more excited about this opportunity as I write about it. I also feel like a bit of a traitor, too. I have been so excited to talk to people about studying in Belgium, and before that Bordeaux, and now I will be talking about England. I'm not fickle, but adapting to the changes I am presented. I thought Bordeaux would work out, and then I thought Belgium would work out.

Yes, I do get swept up in grand ideas without sometimes following through - a doggie day fundraiser for the Eau Claire Humane Society, buying only organic clothes (which I would do if I had money from working at Gopher Grocery instead of having to go on hiatus for the semester), etc. But studying abroad has really been a main goal for me since before I can remember. Traveling burns a fire in my heart, and the curriculum of many European universities will allow me to do that, if I save like mad over winter break and the summer.

I am terrified of coming back a completely different person that no one will love like they did before. I don't want to alienate the people who are the most important to me. And I don't want those people to change and move on while I'm gone! That is my biggest fear. What will I do without the rocks I have come to depend on every day? What will I do when I can't go home to snuggle with my mom after a difficult week? I will have to change and grow and hope it's in a way that will bring me closer to everyone.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Speaking Of Magic...

I just had to read The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie for my Third World Literature Class. I didn't think I would like it because I haven't liked anything we've read so far. This novel completely whisked me away, however. I couldn't stop reading! I think I'll be doing my final paper on the book, actually. It was a bit confusing to read because of the constant name changes, but enjoyable nonetheless. It's about the emperor of the Ottoman empire (I think...he was Indian), Akbar, around the time of Elizabeth I. There are too many subplots and stories within stories to really give a synopsis, so I apologize.

Currently Watching:

....and falling in love. I know it just got cancelled; what a shame. I love how magical and colorful and fantastic it is. Looks like I'll have something to watch over Winter Break!

Plus, the main character is a pie maker!

Let The Right One In

Saw this last night; it was pretty good! Some of the people I went with had already seen in & Aaron had already given me a highlight reel, so a lot of the suspense was ruined/made worse for me. It was much too scary and bloody for me. I wanted it to be a 4-star movie from all the reviews I've read and people I've heard from, but I went away disappointed. Maybe I'll like it more sitting on my own couch and snuggling with a trusted friend.

Still, go see it and tell me what you think!


None of the classes I need to take while in Belgium have been petitioned successfully for credits/as a substitute for classes here. I don't know what to do! I really really really really really need to go, despite my fear of leaving MN for so long. I'll find a way.

Friday, November 21, 2008


It was funny-bad. There were a lot of times where everyone in the theater was just like, "....really? Did that really just happen?" It was definitely more tolerable at midnight when I was so tired and loopy that I didn't mind it being silly.

But I still recommend going and seeing it if you've read the books. You'll get a kick out of it.

& I'm a definite Bella... getting in a car accident & getting mugged earlier this year, thinking my wallet was stolen for three hours last night, etc. I'm a magnet for trouble! Where are you, Edward?

Oh, Heck Yeah

The French 1004 class I needed to take had one seat left as of yesterday morning. Guess who got that seat today at 7:45 pm, after spending all day trying to get a hold on her account lifted?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Midnight showing tonight? Wish me luck among the spoiled tweenies at Southdale. And functioning in class tomorrow.

Pro of Carlson:

Everyone has the same laptop, so if mine dies because I haven't been home for 3 days for more than 10 minutes at a time, someone has a charger I can borrow.


My mom just applied to reopen her credits at the U of M. She wants to get her Bachelor's in Finance... meaning we'll be taking a lot of the same classes. I guess that's cool of her. Maybe she can help me with my finance and accounting classes. I'm proud of her, but how can our family afford this?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting Down To Business!

For Aaron's birthday/Fiesta Night last night, I made cupcakes completely from scratch! They were chocolate raspberry, with raspberry jam in the center. I topped 'em with cream cheese filling et voila! Delectable. I wish I had pictures, but my camera is dead and the cupcakes went like hotcakes. They had to be the ugliest cupcakes of all time, though. I made WAY too much batter and didn't think to make just a few more cupcakes. I filled those suckers 5/6 full. Big mistake. The top of the cupcake pan was like a giant cake with 12 sunken centers. I had to cut them all out of the pan. The cake was very sticky and hard to cut, so there were ragged edges all around. Then when I tried to frost them to cover up the ragged edges, the frosting just got caught and everything turned into a real mess. The only reason they were filled to begin with was because the centers all sank. I will have to research how to prevent that from happening next time. People still thought they were wonderful, thank goodness. Jackie said that if people didn't like them, they "don't have a soul! They're vampires!" (She was reading the second Twilight book when I came to give her a sample.) Aaron said he would do terrible things to get his hands on another.

Tonight I went on a real frenzy. Matthew ordered another sampler, which will just be cookies and cupcakes this time. I had already made my giant Levain copycat chocolate chip cookies. (See Throwdown With Bobby Flay.) I made half with walnuts and half without. Both are delicious. At Fiesta Night I gave out mini samples as incentives for future customers. :) Tonight for his order, I made vanilla cupcakes with raspberry jam filling and lemon cream cheese frosting. I finally got to try the cone method of filling (You cut open the cake, put in the filling, cut off part of the cut off part, and close it up! Complicated to explain but soooo easy to do.) & it went very successfully! Unfortunately I grated my thumb while adding lemon zest to the frosting. Hopefully I will be able to snap a shot of these babies when I deliver them; I only made just enough for his order.

I also made ginger cookies for my friend Josh tonight. It was very lucky - last night I wanted to make them but had no one to make them for, so I got kind of bummed. He texted me tonight while I was on my way back from physical therapy saying he wanted some and I could only be too happy to oblige. Yum yum yum. Order some to bring to your holiday parties?

Aaron's roommate/my namemate Waggs (I'm Wags) said he would buy me sushi if I made him Special K bars, so I did just that. I could do them in my sleep at this point.

For Aaron's birthday also (I like to treat him, if you can't tell.), I made some puppy chow. I ran out of powdered sugar, though, so I'll have to get some tomorrow to give it that finishing touch. Double yum.

I also got super stoked today when my chiropractor asked me to make something chocolaty for his wife! I have no idea what it will be yet. I am thinking my self-filled chocolate cupcakes that I haven't made in AGES. I think of them as my signature, I guess. Someday I'll perfect that chocolate cake batter recipe so I can make them completely from scratch. Until then, devil's food mix will suit the recipe as fine as it always does. Shh, don't tell!

Now I just want to make some pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Interested in bringing dessert to Thanksgiving with your family? These would be perfect, just saying... :)

Aren't you at least a little glad there aren't pictures making you drool? I wish I had some so my phone line would be jammed as soon as this was posted.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Material Love

Just got my 2009 Moleskine Pocket Daily Planner on Friday. It's better than I ever could have dreamed! It has moon cycles, international holidays, a pull-out address book, international time zones, international sizes, Celsius-Fahrenheit and mi-km converters, and a mini ruler. I wish it was January 1st so I could start using it!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nothing Has Happened Allll Weeeek

Besides me being half paralyzed or deathly ill to my stomach, aka the usual.

I went to Cooqi today and got a pumpkin bar & roasted garlic baguette. Ate them so fast (Well... I saved half the baguette because it's so expensive.) that I didn't get a chance to take pictures! It was all girls my age working there when I went in, so it makes me want to apply there and make it work with my schedule! Also, I wanted to eat everything there. Next time I am getting a cupcake.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Just got back from the Portugal. The Man/Earl Greyhound/Wintersleep show at the Varsity. I'm not sure if I know where to start. Wintersleep was kind of good, with some great songs and some that were pretty blah. I loved Earl Greyhound. Super jammy & 70's... they reminded me of Across The Universe for some reason.

Then Portugal blew me away as always. They always tweak each song and play it a little different or add in a couple of jam interludes. They're just so powerful live; it's really hard for me to express it fully. They played "My Mind" and "AKA M80 The Wolf" of course, so I'm lucky to have such popular favorite songs. They always play songs off each record equally, except the It's Complicated Being a Wizard EP, but probably because that's a strictly electronic EP.

There were all kinds of people there. A kid with a glittery 6-inch mohawk, skater bros who were headbanging, and some normal people like me. I was glad to see a larger crowd for them this tour. Last time they headlined here, there weren't a lot of people.

They somehow all still remember me, so we chatted a little about the release and about random schtuff. I remembered that I'm going to be in Belgium next fall and they're alllllways over there, so hopefully I'll get to see them a couple times in a couple different countries. That would be great if it worked out!!

I am giving you a final chance to check them out, because from now on I'm just going to assume you know their stuff so I can blab about it to you. You're missing out if you haven't heard anything by them yet!

Just Ate The World's Most Perfect Baked Potato

I ate it too fast to take a picture... but oh my goodness. I just put a little olive oil on the skin, shook a little salt on there, poked a few holes, and stuck it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour. I cut it right open, dabbed a little margarine on it, and it was done. I have never eaten lunch so fast.

My First Gluten-Free Foray

I got Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour and some Xanthan gum from Whole Foods, so I was excited to start making stuff I can eat. I was baker's block (like writer's block) and couldn't think of anything I wanted a dozen of. (Which is probably why I give away everything I make anyway.) I finally found a simple recipe for biscuits and decided to try it out. I wish my rice milk wasn't vanilla flavored so I could have used that instead of regular milk, which gives me a big ol' tummyache usually. I put them in the oven and they turned out... flat and unimpressive.

First off, I would not recommend eating these plain. They taste metallic and just not that good. They smell a little funny, too. However, a nice dollop of apple butter or raspberry jam with margarine really spices things up. They tasted almost like real biscuits that way! The only problem is that they were too thin and crumbly to break open to spread the stuff inside, so I just had to plop it on top.

Nothing can compare to real, big, fluffy biscuits though, so I don't know what I was expecting. I'm a Southern girl at heart and it's worth the stomachache to eat the real thing. Maybe using this flour in a cookie or cake recipe will yield more satisfactory results.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I know I am posting this a full 8 days after the festivities. No excuses, really. But I decided to be a shadow/cat burglar. I spent the entire Halloween day looking for a cute mask for my costume but just ended up making one out of construction paper and elastic string in exactly the shape I wanted it to be.

I went to Aaron's for an intimate gathering and it was the perfect size, going from about 6 to 12 people throughout the night. We tried to play life, watched Hocus Pocus and Donnie Darko, and ate delicious sushi provided by some peeps, some candy corn, and these delicious popcorn balls I made:

I was supposed to go to the First Ave party, but I stayed at Aaron & Waggs's longer and then we found out it was at capacity anyway. And I wouldn't have had it any other way!