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Cecelia Lee

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chocolatey sweetness [08 Apr 2013|03:13pm]
[ mood | jubilant ]

Did you know cocoa beans can be ground and brewed like coffee? How did I not know this was a thing? I just got home from school and drank my first cup of it: black, with a spoonful of honey. Now I feel alert and energized, but in a healthy way, without the lurking undercurrent of mania that coffee usually gives. It made me really happy! Highly recommended, at least to try.

Full disclosure: I may also be experiencing an inflow of happiness from another direction, that of "recovery", I guess you could say. I have a job! Actually, I have two jobs! Sea Salt is open again, and I decided to work just two half-days per week to see how I can handle it. The second one will be a very part-time position at my school's Learning Center. I'll be tutoring students in financial accounting, the class I am currently taking. Holy crap! My classmates have joked that I should get paid for helping them, and I always thought "If only!", but our teacher echoed and amplified that, giving me a push to the correct office door to knock on, and it came to pass. Within the past four hours, in fact, so I'm still reeling a bit.

I left my last job in the first half of August, after a thorough emotional breakdown that caused an awful, ugly scene. (The one before that: ditto, though not quite so ugly.) Since then I've been financially supported by my parents, a thing they are able and happy to do, but that kind of dependence tends to feed one's depressive thoughts. I did make at least a little effort: after seemingly successful interviews, two tea-shops and a grocery store turned me down. Perhaps my previous employer is being a more candid reference than I would like? In any case, I'm crawling out from beneath the rubble. Yay for that!

That chocolate did a very good job of making me forget about lunch, but I've remembered that I'm hungry. :o)

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Auntie [13 Mar 2013|10:52am]

Where my niece Zoey is concerned, I am known as Auntie Can-Can. This nickname has an interesting story, as the baby in question still cannot speak yet.
While my sister was still pregnant, I had a dream in which Zoey had just been born. I was holding her, and she was talking to me; I don't recall what she said, but she spoke perfectly, except she couldn't seem to pronounce my name.
I shared this dream with my family, to their great amusement, and have been Auntie Can-Can ever since. :o)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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yay food! [11 Mar 2013|10:19pm]
[ mood | jubilant ]

I did a lot of stuff in the kitchen this afternoon, and now have: a jar of homemade coconut milk in the fridge (bonus: the leftover "stuff" after straining is in the freezer until I have a brainwave); three pouches of cooked white beans in the freezer (bonus: some bean broth); mung beans sprouting on the counter-top; a couple hundred recipes in PDF on my computer; and a quick little bean and pasta soup in my belly! I'm just really excited about food, and all the new ways I want to try using it. Seriously thinking lately about going in an Ann Cooper direction and taking on institutional foodservice instead of restaurants. I could totally be a renegade lunch lady!

Also, I have a voicemail asking for a job interview at Teavana!

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Q&A [10 Jan 2013|02:12pm]
[ mood | content ]

Wow, it's been a long time. Why not let the readers, few though they may be, tell me which updates deserve further explanation? The contestants:

*My six-month-old niece, Zoey, and the amusing nickname I have already received from her.
*My scholastic endeavors, and how well I've been following/altering my plans.
*The two volunteer programs I began this past semester, and the way they have affected my worldview as well as my career aspirations.
*My adventures in finding mental health care without the money to pay for it. (Spoiler: I have an appointment tomorrow and will probably give further news then.)
*Any other tidbits you think worth knowing!

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in brief [11 Aug 2012|01:40pm]
[ mood | drained ]

I quit my job today, which was a different one from the one I held when I last posted. Left there in April. This makes three in the past year, for the same reasons.
I have been to the hospital (Acute Psychiatric Services - a.k.a. ER for crazies) twice in the past two weeks.
Medication has commenced.
I want this hard part to be over, please.

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possibly maybe, or, "bank error in your favor"? [11 Mar 2012|08:09pm]
[ mood | sore ]

I spent most of Sunday at Beth's house, taking a long, impromptu nap and working on the mural in the baby's room. I also played with their huge dog, Emmet. At one point he came barreling down the hallway back to me, and sent my arm flying into a doorframe. It raised what I hoped was merely a wicked bruise. The following morning, though, I went to a clinic instead of class. After examination and three people looking at my x-rays, my arm may or may not be broken. "It's complicated" is never a satisfying answer, especially from the medical community. They gave me a splint/brace (next best thing to a cast, hopefully) and a followup appointment to see a doctor of sports medicine. At that point, a fracture will definitely be apparent, I'm told, and it can be set and cast properly. Until then, I'm left hobbling along at school and work with an embarassing, half-assed sort of injury.

I did my taxes a few weeks ago, and was delighted to find that all the tuition I paid out of pocket last semester went straight into my refund. Heck yes, I will be doing the same thing again with that money! But there's something amiss: I made a thousand-dollar tuition payment online this week. It was credited immediately, and I got confirmation emails that it was received and everything. All fine, except the money never came out of my checking account! There is no such transaction posted, and nothing pending. Interesting. Also tempting, but I'll wait a few more days, then I suppose I'm obliged to say something.

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so basically two jobs, but one I pay to do [15 Feb 2012|08:46pm]
[ mood | drained ]

Nineteen credits again this semester. School is really kicking my ass. Not that the material is challenging - it's the hours, 27 per week, excluding one online course. What makes it worse is that I don't feel like I am learning anything but my chef's quirks and the shortcomings of my classmates. In my four-person team for "playing restaurant", two have been dropped due to poor attendance, and the other hangs by a thread. He's also quite difficult to work with.

I got a job about a month ago. It's a small kitchen, a very respected local restaurant, everything-from-scratch food, and training in classic techniques directly from an experienced chef. All I could have wanted, and it scares the shit out of me. After the chef and sous-chef, I am the only other cook. It's a lot of pressure to do all the cold apps and desserts, especially with the extensive prep and fancy plating*, and learning is slow because I only work three nights a week. I'm still trying to decide whether I'm truly out of my depth or just extra-stressed from school. There have been some private mini-meltdowns.

Some of this stress reminds me too much of this summer, and leaves me wondering if working on a line is something I'm physically and mentally suited for. I need to make myself eat and drink, because my stomach is upset much of the time. I'm not sleeping well, either. (Small measure of credit is due to the neighbor who likes to yell at his girlfriend. Often.) Anyway, if a restaurant kitchen is something I literally cannot endure, I'd be forced to wonder what all this schooling is for and what the hell else I can do with my life. Remind me, you three regular readers who have known me for years: being all cheffy and opening a restaurant hasn't always been my goal, has it? What did I want, three or more years ago?


*The Valentine's Day special dessert (I normally work Thurs-Sat, but you know, holiday) was chocolate mousse in a tuille cup, with crushed nougatine and chocolate shards on top, and cherry compote to garnish. Lovely, except for the chef-decreed assembly technique: the mousse was piped. Yep. I defy anyone to squeeze chocolate mousse from a pastry bag and make it look like anything but poo.
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list [05 Jan 2012|12:00am]
[ mood | working ]

listCollapse )

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ninja icon is mostly for cranky posts [28 Dec 2011|03:49pm]
[ mood | pissed off ]

I spent the past two winters sitting on my ass and getting free money. There, I said it. This shames and saddens me, of course, but I'm angry too. Now that I'm in school, really wanting and seeking a relevant job, the only money to be had comes with crippling debt. I had planned not to take on any loans at all, and indeed I paid up front for the whole previous semester. What I did not plan on was being unemployed for two months. I've only had a couple of interviews, because all potential employers want is experience. One can't get hired at a good restaurant without having had experience at a good restaurant. This is the catch-22 I'm beating my head against these days. Enthusiasm, good work ethic, motivation, and current relevant coursework don't seem to count for much. Nor six years at Sea Salt. Things are so... unique(?) there that nothing seems tranferable.

There was one interview I was really sure of and excited about. I won't name the place, because I like it and the chef; he's obviously a fellow food-nerd and we got into a long side conversation about tea. Things were going well, I was all humble and eager to learn, and then he let me down gently by saying he wished the operation were in a place to take on trainee line cooks. Fair enough, but I thought I was interviewing as a dishwasher. Also, ouch.

I'm trying to console myself out of this snit by remembering that I am double majoring, taking the maximum course load, and got straight A's last semester. I shall try to think of it as fighting back.

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ohai [07 Oct 2011|10:46pm]

Hello, Internet! I have been busy doing various things: moving, which was quite an ordeal, involving some unethical things done to me and having to store my possessions and crash (with Mina, too) at Eric's studio. We now live together(!) in a great new apartment, a big, hardwood two bedroom in a better spot in uptown. The extra bedroom is the library/music room. It's not fully set up just yet, as I am quite busy with school. I started at MCTC in August and am double majoring in culinary arts and restaurant management. Of course I'm taking the maximum credits, and at present have about 28 hours a week of class. The load doesn't feel so terrible, as all my classes are within my two programs. There's a ton of crossover, so it really doesn't feel like six different classes. (Different subjects, now, I would have gone batty weeks ago.) Two courses will be done already this month, and another begins in the second quarter.

I've had to reduce my work hours to weekends only, which still gives me nearly thirty hours. That should keep me afloat for the rest of the month; after that, I have no plans other than not returning to Sea Salt in the spring. I'm pretty sure only one of my bosses knows this, besides Eric. I've just gone as far as I can go there, and there's a lot of dysfunction I don't want to deal with anymore. Time to get some of that full-service, fine dining kitchen experience. I've got a tenuous lead on a job via a classmate, but even for that one I keep doubting that my six years experience will really count for anything. We'll see.

Work plus school means I have no days off, and get up between six and seven every day. I don't really have anything to follow that to form a paragraph, but I thought it worth mentioning.

Tomorrow I work, which means I should get to bed soon, but in the evening we are going to a metal show! I have taken the following day off for the occasion. It will feel incredible.

The show was good tonight. Yeah, I forgot about this entry and left it unposted. Tired now. Hitting button.

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bleck [17 May 2011|07:36pm]
[ mood | gross ]

Malady update: Went to an urgent care clinic on Saturday, and they began treating me for acute gastritis. Otherwise known as my stomach trying to eat itself with its own acids. Fun! I have antacids to take every day and a severely restricted diet for a few weeks: nothing oily, acidic, or remotely spiced; no coffee, tea, or chocolate; and no mint, just to throw one more in there. I may become dependent on vanilla protein shakes.

I worked all day Sunday, and a half day yesterday. At the very end of last night's shift I got a headache so bad I had to be helped out of the kitchen in tears, and Eric all but carried me home. Went straight to bed until early morning, when I woke to be violently sick. I will censor my description of this event. Much violence. Back to my regular clinic instead of work this morning, and after another test (for something else totally treatable) came back negative, it's looking like gastritis plus migraine, and flip a coin to guess which caused the bargling. If I miss much more work, I'll be in financial trouble here.

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gut feeling [14 May 2011|01:15am]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

After I'm done getting a culinary degree or two, I'd like to run off and find work at some exotic vacation destination, really live and be there. I've never liked feeling like a tourist, an outsider; I want to take in more than the "sights" and "culture" that can be neatly giftwrapped and marketed. Hawaii's looking good right now. I can bring a little skill with Japanese and seafood, and lots of enthusiasm for tropical fruits and spices. I barely spent a few days in Hawaii once, but I get a feeling about places better than about people, and I could tell we could be good friends.

I'm dreaming while I wait for the nausea to finally go away; it's hung around for over two weeks. I went to the doctor and then to the hospital, just for a CT scan, which turned up nothing unusual. I was supposed to go back to the clinic today, but now I don't know how much of the blearggh has to do with being sick or being female. Bloody hell. Hoping I can work again on Sunday, in any case.

With this sickness, it seems I either want all the food or none of it. Food might play a role, especially if this is IBS. God help me if there's a food intolerance or celiac disease. At least it's not diverticulitis, which places both rice and tea high on the "do not eat" column. I would die a little on the inside.

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activities! plans! fantasizing! [28 Apr 2011|12:26am]
[ mood | cheerful ]

I'm playing with the idea of just swearing off alcohol altogether. It wouldn't be much of a jump; I got a little silly at work once this month and a coworker accused me of having had a sip of wine. I think not drinking at all will leave me more comfort and dignity than having two and feeling bargly for an entire day.

God, it feels good to be making money and not sitting on my ass. It's been a month and I can't fathom being that much of a slug.

I got myself a new phone: an iphone, to be precise. Paying the bill myself isn't so much fun (though I can check that off my 101 list), but it's been wonderfully worth it. I'm just all kinds of better informed. Instant access to maps and bus schedules means I am far less timid about going to new places. I operate the Twitter account for the restaurant. On my commute to and from work, I read NPR articles and play chess puzzles on the only app I've paid money for.

I'd like to be better at chess. I've never studied, just learned how the pieces move and played from instinct. Instinct serves me fairly well, especially in the endgame, but openings intimidate the crap out of me. There's too much going on, everything's locked up, and I just flounder around until the board opens up a little. More of a strategy would make me a much better player.

I really want to throw a masquerade ball one day. Invitations will clearly state that this is NOT a costume party, but fanciful formal wear with masks or face paint is required. Venetian carnival style. There will be canapes, punch, and waltzes!

I'm planning to move out of my efficiency this summer and into a one-bedroom. It's time for a proper kitchen and grown-up bed. (My "real" bed is a twin, but I mostly sleep on the full-size futon these days.) Also it would be nice to have more room, especially for later cohabiting.

Bachelorette party is this Saturday, and the wedding a week after that. Still need to get the wedding gift, and holy public speaking, Batman, I need to give a toast at the reception!

I really want a toaster oven. (Yes, my brain did that.) Even if my actual oven becomes operational in my last few months here, a little one would produce far less heat and anxiety. I really must to learn to bake, and it would be so nice to roast and broil things. But I have nowhere to put such an appliance.

Besides the waking-up-in-the-morning one, another shift I've had to make is in grocery shopping. Having all free food during a fifty-hour work week is very nice, but I still need some good, quick things on hand, especially in the mornings. Damn, I meant to hard-boil some eggs today, but forgot. Maybe in the morning, if I get up early enough. Should also keep juices and iced tea stocked, especially when the weather gets hot.

I'm working twelve-hour shifts most days, though the rain has been sending many of us home early. Anyhow, I need to show up in the morning, so good night!

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a betrayal [28 Mar 2011|09:26pm]
[ mood | pissed off ]

My sister is getting married in six weeks. I am her maid of honor, and our childhood friend was to be a bridesmaid. Our families were close and we grew up together, but she announced today that her conscience will not allow her to participate. Her family are very conservative Catholics, and it seems that my sister, a lapsed-but-still-technically Catholic, marrying a non-Catholic in a non-Catholic ceremony constitutes an invalid marriage, a sin, one that true believers should not condone.

I want to say something to this friend, though I recognize that I should wait a little until I'm less spitting mad. Even now I have too many things to say and can't pick any.

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the usual [28 Feb 2011|09:52pm]
[ mood | hungry ]

I was poking around my online banking the other day, scheduling payments, categorizing purchases, all the responsible budgety stuff. It was discovered that I've spent quite a lot on groceries this month; some of that can be excused by a stocking-up kind of trip to the Ginormous Asian Market, but I've noticed that my fridge runneth over and yesterday I had to do a triage and throw out some things that got away from me.

The ensuing guilt has prompted me to be more conscious and creative with the foodstuffs I have, including the pantry. Yesterday I made an odds-n-ends sandwich, bit more odd than end, but still good. Today I've had two out-of-the-park successes. First, I had a craving for tuna salad but no mayo. Ranch dressing has mayo in it! Also other tasty things. Mixed in some chopped red pepper that survived the culling, and it was great. Just this evening I was putting something away in the pantry cupboard and my eyes fell on a bunch of dried fruit I've been ignoring because the dryness got out of hand. I grabbed it, dumped it in a pot with a little sugar and the last dregs of my ginger tea, and boiled until it looked pretty. Had no clue what to eat it with, then: graham crackers! It's like pie, in chip-and-dip form! Still snacking on it now, blowing my mind.

I've been especially food-focused since last night when I stayed up late planning the snacks for Beth's bridal shower. Drew up not only a menu but a grocery list with some ballpark quantities, a list of serving dishes/warmers needed, and a shopping/prep/cooking schedule. I was squirmy about having to throw this party, but Tina has graciously volunteered to do pretty much everything but food, so I am free to go all caterer on its ass. The menu is entirely Asian food, because I've been intrigued by dim sum, though it won't be strictly Chinese.

I don't know whether I've mentioned this before, but sometimes when I can't sleep, I lie awake and plan my restaurant empire. It's hard to say how I got from not having a clue what kind of place I'd like to open to having an umbrella concept that includes nine distinct potential eateries (so far). Visions for some of them are clearer than for others, but I'm trying to pick some signature dishes for each and get to work developing them.

All the geeking out also distracts me from missing my Eric, whose work schedule recently became all kinds of crazy.

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same same but different [04 Jan 2011|11:39pm]
[ mood | cheerful ]

Happy New Year! I had a very good holiday season, spending a lot of time with family. This included Eric, and New Year's Eve was especially significant: that was our first date last year. Holy anniversary! A year! It's been wonderful and exciting.

I didn't make any resolutions, because the idea of "breaking" them seems so harsh: 100% or FAIL. However, I do have in mind things I want in 2011: I'd like to do more writing, which at this point means any at all. To that end, I'm returning to my Saturday morning writing group. This means I can't continue with my modern dance class, but dance is another thing I want to do, so after writing I'll go to ballet fundamentals this term.

This recent holiday inevitably causes some kind of reflection on one's past. This time around, when I look back, much of what I see (2009 and before) are instances of me being in over my head in some way. I try not to dwell: I was who I was then, I couldn't have been different, but I'm different now. Still, it's hard to not feel dismay at how figuratively short I was at those times. That's to say nothing of the what-ifs.

On the whole, I'm very happy: with my relationship, my creative endeavors, my hair - which no longer has any purple. The dyed highlights faded to a faint pink or just bleached-out beige, and I eventually got tired of that. I bought two boxes of hair dye on the way to a girls' night in (seems I watch a good bit of British TV, because I kept thinking of it as a "hen party") at my sister's house, and she applied it for me. It was a special kind, promising "intense red color for naturally dark hair", and came out rather fabulous. My hair is now a dark auburn/mohagany/wine/chocolate-cherry, and the formerly bleached spots are cherry red. I quite enjoy being ginger. According to all sources, my hair is also getting very long; tends to do that when I'm not paying attention, I suppose.

I must finish this soon, because I've instituted a new rule for myself: no internet after midnight. This after staying up stupidly late a few times, doing lots of nothing online. If I want to be a night owl, I must be a literate one. Ha!

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correlations, computers, and concerts [02 Dec 2010|12:13am]
[ mood | jubilant ]

It's hard to say which way the causation happens in each case, but I find that a number of things tend to coincide with me being happy. Drinking tea, listening to music, buying books, housecleaning, eating fresh food (yay clementines!), and dancing (even if in undignified fashion around my apartment) are counted among them. Seeing and hearing from people I love is another, but not a mysterious one: from love comes happiness.

This laptop got a nasty virus two days ago, and my personal geek squad was not available to leap to my rescue. So I stepped up and became the slayer. I guess my instincts are good, because the programs I wanted to use are what my brother recommended. Unfortunately, I couldn't download them from my desktop computer, which is a dinosaur of a data server and not much good for anything else. Eventually I couldn't even get online there either. This malware, a fake antivirus, kept terminating my web browser and task manager, basically anything I could use to threaten it. Today I had the good fortune to be within reach of my boyfriend's computer and USB drive. Grabbed my weapons, and with only a brief phone consultation with my brother, a victory! (Love you, Eric and Andy!) Now I can continue my massive file transfers, backups, organizing my music library, and moving it onto this computer where it belongs.

Last night was my second metal concert! Eric and I both thought Blind Guardian was awesome, even if the lead singer wore short hair and a polo shirt. Really, dude? Anyhow, I enjoyed their performance immensely, and this time wore a skirt with tulle petticoat. The ladies' room at the Cabooze is much better than that of Station 4, and I think the floofiness actually helped with my personal space in the crowd. I'm excepting, of course, the time we nearly got caught up in a mosh pit, because madness seems to have little concern for pretty outfits. The first supporting act was a female-fronted power metal band, which was a nice surprise. The lead singer was unfortunately overdoing the charisma thing; at least I thought she was trying too hard to work the crowd. Also, she lost points for fashion: metallic leggings were a bold move that could have worked, but they were paired with a skirt so short it was pretty much a belt by the end of their set. I did like their music, however.

On Saturday we're going to "Celebrating the Season", the CSB/SJU Christmas concert. I might have to get a bit nostalgic for the college I once twice called mine, but it'll be my first time seeing the inside of the Basilica. Pretty! Big! Church! Looking forward to it.

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foodings [18 Nov 2010|07:36pm]
[ mood | satisfied ]

I should probably not buy groceries every other day, but finally getting to cook at home is just too exciting! Last night's dinner was so-so. I was doing braised chicken with preserved lemons; the latter are hella salty so I didn't add any other salt, but the sauce still had a bit much when I tasted after the chicken was cooked through. I panicked a little bit and added too many potatoes. They and the additional stock brought the flavor from exotic and Moroccan down to bland and Minnesotan. Even lemon juice and a wee bit more salt didn't bring it back. I still ate it, obviously; not bad, just not what I'd hoped. Also, during its simmering I started assembling dessert, which took some of the enthusiasm away from the main course. Dessert was awesome: dried figs stuffed with honeyed goat cheese and pistachios! I'd seen a similar recipe in a foodie magazine some time ago, and stole the concept. Mwahaha.

Ate leftovers for lunch today and froze the rest, to relive some disappointment at a later date. Some chicken stock still remained, so I got ready to make egg drop soup, a staple of mine. After flavoring and thickening the broth, I recalled the remaining quail eggs in my fridge: rather than a regular beaten egg, would not several poached quail eggs be an amusing variation? Answer: yes! They're a bit tricky though, being hard to break. The shells are quite brittle and crumbly, but the membrane inside is tough to pierce. Accidently squirted some of the white all over the stove, but no shards in the soup, thankfully. I begin to see why they're most often hard-boiled.

Oh, yeah: I'm still sick. If I keep to a strict regimen of inhaler and cough syrup, I am able to forget that fact, but a sore throat and dry cough are always ready to creep back in. A coworker at the benefit/party this weekend commented "So I heard you've got that five-week bug that's going around?" Really? Anyone know whether there's truth to this? Because I'm only halfway through that duration. At least I can function now, as opposed to the first week when I thought I had strep, then pneumonia.

I'll just have to keep myself feeling good enough to function, because I'm not missing my dance classes for a third consecutive week. Also, I'll begin staging at Barbette sometime soon! Had lunch there and an informal interview ("This is the kitchen; these are a few of the guys who work in the kitchen. What do you think?") afterwards. Should be awesome; I'll be getting training instead of pay, so I can keep my unemployment and get a lot of good experience. Unfortunately, this happened on Tuesday, during the open house I totally forgot about. Looks like I'll have to make some phone calls after all.

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that good old FML feeling [12 Nov 2010|02:21pm]
[ mood | angry ]

A visit to the doctor yesterday (with insurance, for the first time in oh, five years!) concluded that my malady is probably viral, meaning there are no fun drugs to make it go away. I just wait it out, and it should be well on its way out. Should be. I really enjoyed not writing a huge check for that. Plus side: I got prescription-strength cough syrup, which my doctor said might help me sleep. Says "non-drowsy" on the bottle.

On the real plus side, we also discussed my asthma, and they prescribed an inhaler, as well as a big-ass attachment for it. Apparently your run-of-the-mill inhaler dispenses medication at a speed that is impossible to inhale, so this apparatus is a plastic tube and mask, with a valve between so one can breathe it in slowly. The whole process makes me feel a bit like an opium smoker and a bit like an alien abduction victim. However, I look forward to seeing whether my lungs might allow me to jog or ride a bike now.

This illness has followed a very predictable daily cycle for over a week. It's very bad at night, so I don't sleep well and feel awful when I wake up, whether morning or noonish. If I get up and move around, or at least sit in my armchair to get my torso upright, I begin to feel better. By late afternoon I feel almost normal, and sometimes in the evening I fancy that I am cured. But night falls and brings back the cough and congestion. I woke at 12:30 today and wanted to cry in frustration, but couldn't stand the thought of making my raw throat any worse.

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nothing else doing, I blog [08 Nov 2010|11:37pm]
[ mood | sleepy ]

Butternut squash soup last night was a bit garlicky but otherwise a raving success. Yay purees! More veggies will be meeting my blender this season.

Had the brilliant though nearly belated idea of using a hot compress to ease the chest congestion. Microwaved a hot/cold pack and had a lie-down: it made everything go all melty, which felt a touch better. I still slept poorly.

Stepped out briefly today, just to Walgreens for cough syrup, juice, and a box of cheesy goodness.

I picked up a book last night and found it so delightful that I finished it early this afternoon. It's a humorous novel about an Englishman's romantic misadventures in France, whose title was my automatic selling point: In the Merde for Love. Being a student of both cooking and ballet, it seems inevitable that I pick up some French, and maybe I could be serious and truly learn it. The French seem to have so delightfully many bathroom idioms.

MCTC has sent me email notices about an open house coming up. I plan to go, actually. The admissions staff will be there, wanting to talk to people, and I have several choice things to say. If they get their merde together and accept me to my program, I shall forgive the institution and enroll for the spring semester.

In the meantime, I think I am financially comfortable enough to take a break until January. Certainly I'll need a job while in school, but I've got a cushion here.

Watched the Burton Alice in Wonderland tonight, and I am still underwhelmed. Such a beloved story and venerated director! And I find it quite pretty and sparkly, yet unsatisfying. Even if one forgives the end credits song being sung by Avril Lavigne!

I also just watched an episode of an old Nickelodeon cartoon called Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. It's crude in several ways but it fills me with an unseemly amount of glee. I may have to hunt down their end credit song, which is a cute, happy-spooky instrumental.

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