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!

Have Heart/Ceremony/Let Down

I saw these bands at the Triple Rock last night and really enjoyed myself. Hardcore isn't something I listen to on my own time usually, but I really appreciate the scene. No one is there to be seen or try and get with the merch guy/lead singer. People go absolutely batshit in the pit because it's what they love most and they want to show it. Have Heart definitely has a positive outlook and I respect the edge if it's true and real and not some high school kid's latest project. But yes, I loved the show. I would have gone again if given the opportunity. I did fear for injuries the whole time, though. Some people just have too much rage! I've deemed myself the Florence Nightingale of Hardcore because I'm always watching the pit for a man down or blood spurting or loose teeth.

Funniest & Most Embarrassing Moment of My Life

On Tuesday I started physical therapy in Eden Prairie and it was also my first day with my new, SUPER HIP rolling briefcase. Now, the building PNBC is in is right by the SW Transit Station. I got out of my appointment at 12:51 and the bus back to the U was going to come at 12:50. I made a restroom break to change from sweatpants back to jeans and knew I didn't have a lot of time, so I didn't tie my Converse. I walked briskly from the building to the SW Station and was arriving around 12:59 by some miracle. I saw a 698 (the bus I needed) start pulling away so I gathered my briefcase in my arms with the cute little handles it comes with. I ran to catch its attention and it stopped for me. As I half-run in front of it to board, since I was coming from the driver's side, I lost my balance and fell flat on my face, sprawled on the asphalt. I fell so hard that my shoes came off. I fell so hard that my briefcase went flying. My knees got a whoopin':

I calmly collected my stuff, completely humiliated that everyone on the bus has witnessed such a spectacle of clumsiness, and walked up to the bus doors. The bus driver asked, "Where are you headed?", to which I replied, "The U." He shook his head in a pitying way and said, "That's the bus right behind me." I looked behind me and saw a 698 whose driver was staring right at me. He had been about to leave but must have stopped when I came on the scene. I couldn't believe it. I thanked the driver I was talking to and walked to the curb to put my shoes on. I took my time getting my stuff together before realizing that the bus was still waiting just for me so he could take off. I boarded, still huffing and puffing from my run to the other bus, only to have everyone gawk at me as I found my seat at the front.

To console myself, I texted Aaron the situation. He told me that the same thing to a lesser degree had just happened to him at the top of a staircase. I couldn't stop laughing the rest of the bus ride.

I hope telling you this made you laugh out loud because I can't stop! I'm such a klutz and I never get this kind of embarrassed so I just had to share.

On Repeat For The Past 2 Hours, Literally:

"Motley Cruisin'" - The Person & The People.

I have some good friends in this band and this is my absolutely favorite song by them. I geek out every time I hear it at shows & they know it, hahaha. Just wanted to share it with everyone!

Portugal. The Man - Censored Colors

I finally got my Limited Edition Colored Vinyl LP so I thought I'd share with you everything I got in this $80 package and why it makes Portugal. The Man my favorite band. Every single little thing in this release was put together with such thought and care. Everything is unique, from the CD booklet to the posters and instructions for wheatpasting. I love the gorilla mask motif.
Cut-out mask:


How to Wheatpaste them (mega lolz):

Limited Edition Lithograph by John Gourley:


T-shirt, very similar to poster I also received. Extremely bummed the color came out of parts.

Outside of the CD cover. It has "PORTUGAL. THE MAN CENSORED COLORS" printed in clear on the front.

Inside of the the CD. It's a gatefold.

CD sleeve & CD:

CD booklet. Each color is a different page so they're all different widths.

Inside of the booklet:

LP. The webcam doesn't do the gold gorilla justice.

Inside of the gatefold:

Record 1, sides A&B:

Record 2, sides C&D:

Back of the gatefold:

Do you see all this? Insane stuff. So happy I went all out for the release. I'm going to be geeking out to them when I see them tomorrow night. Y'all should come. They've got this incredible live presence & the Varsity suits them well.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I've been way too busy to blog lately, and I apologize! Maybe I'll catch up tomorrow? Look for a full page of posts if I can get around to it!