Sentence challenge: 2

I hate waking up and realizing that I have too much homework that is past due or due really soon. It makes me angry and unhappy – as well as creates ugly mornings when I don’t wanna do anything and feel hopeless about my life.

Sentence challenge

I’ve been noticing that because of facebook I have issues expressing my thoughts in more than 2-3 sentences. So I decided to do a sentence challenge – post every day with an increasing count of sentences until…. until I decide my blog posts are long enough.

Humans and music.

What is it about humans and musical instruments? Most everyone, when they see a musical instrument, will come up and try to play it even if they don’t know how. Everyone seems drawn to the mesmerizing sensation of touching ivory keys or plucking strings and hearing them make a sound. I woke up right before work today, unwillingly got out of bed, and had about five minutes to get ready. Yet, I went out of my way to bring my guitar with me. I can’t even play it really except for a couple chords – and yet I felt like I could not survive my shift without it. Even if I did not have time to play, I still would be sad to work without my guitar by my side. It is an interesting realization. Having a guitar available to play any time almost creates a warm happy sensation. What is it about humans and musical instruments?

On relationships in my life

Today in my interpersonal communication class I saw a video about troubled marriages. It was one of those “when life comes crashing down” moments for me. All of my romantic relationships up to date (whether “official” or not) – except for one – have been worse than the troubled marriages that were shown in the video. Way worse. The people from bad marriages in the video were at least trying to do something, and were at least a little bit loving towards each other despite the tremendous problems they had. I end up with men who don’t love me, or with those I don’t love.

Though the revelation is frightening, it’s not too surprising. My parents had a crappy relationship with each other. This relationship was all I saw. Theirs is the only model I have. I did know that my model was pretty bad, but I never realized that my model was literally fucked up – with mutually abusive communication, self- and mutually-diminishing conversations, silent treatment, lots of requirements and negativity – and absolutely no love and kindness.

I doubt all of you people really needed or cared to know that about me, but I wanted to share.

Also, props to the guy who was the reason I had that “except for one” written in the post. I will be always thankful.

And, people, don’t stay in bad relationships – though I do admit, it’s hard to get out.

Girl, what did they do to you?

This is a letter from me now, to myself a few years ago, inspired by a random conversation with a freshman girl.

***

Emmm… hi… So, I’ve never done this before, and never really talked to you, but, you know, I should start at some point, and it might as well be now. And I wanna start with saying, I respect what you’ve been through, I respect your pain and your suffering even if you are not realizing at that point that you have suffered too much.

You run in circles. You cry out in pain, but no one hears. And then you are gonna smile wide like the happiest person on the planet, and talk my ear off and try to convince me that you are the only one best and unique person on the planet, and also the happiest and the most hurt one. None of the things you say are the things you really feel or believe in. But you can believe what you need to because that’s what gets you through the day. I cannot really make you believe anything else…

I’m just gonna say, I love you, I love you with all my heart, I love you the way you are and the way you have been every moment since you were born. You are beautiful inside and out. Yes, you have been hurt way more than you or anyone deserves, but you are a strong enough human being to deal with all of it. You will learn, you will grow stronger, and you will become a beautiful flower. You just gotta hang on.

And you will say you hate me, and you will kick me, and you will run, and you will cry, but that does not matter. I will go after you, and I will catch you, whatever it takes, and I am gonna hold you, and tell you that I love you, and you will cry, cry so much you will feel like you will die, and you will be kicking me, yelling at me that you hate me. And I am gonna let you, and I am gonna still hold you, and quietly cry with you over all they did to you and all you’ve been through, and I am gonna keep telling you I love you until you believe me, or until you fall asleep, the second being more likely. Only time will make you believe the first one.

But you can have all the time you need. And you can hurt if it hurts. That’s fine. You deserve the right to take your time, to feel your hurt, and to cry as much as you want. It is human, and it is beautiful. You are beautiful. And you are crazy strong. I know you will get through it, because I am the living proof of it. Also, I love you. I love you, because you are me, because you are my past, because you are what I am made of, because you are my life. And I will fight for you every day.

I will walk my graduation

I have two months and one day until I graduate. When I actually publish this post, it will be just two months. Just two months until I am an adult person with a degree. I have no idea what the hell I’m gonna do with my degree yet. But I will have it. And I will walk my graduation. It took me a while to decide that. I didn’t wanna walk it because I thought how I’d see all those happy families and happy parents and happy students sharing their joy with their families and friends – and I was afraid that it all would remind me of how I will never be able to share this with my family because even if they were here, they would not be able to be happy for me. My family is a bunch of messed up people that hurt me a lot, and that is the only way I can perceive them – so it really hurts seeing happy families.

But screw that. Screw all that . Screw the others. It does not matter how they live their lives. I got through college. I did it myself. I did not screw up, I did not drop out. I made a bunch of mistakes, but I never gave up. Yes, I don’t agree with my mother, and I don’t wanna walk my graduation so that my fictitious future kids could see the pictures – and I should not be walking it for that reason, because it would be the wrong reason. But I do need to walk it for myself. Because I got through college. I managed to not break down. This is MY victory. This is MY celebration of MY success. I do need to walk my graduation – not for my parents, not for my friends, not for some random people, not for a bunch of fictitious kids that I am not planning to ever have. I need to walk the graduation for ME. I need to stand in that gown, facing everyone, being my own statement for myself, being the proof that I can do anything I set my mind to do, shouting just by my presence there that I did it, that I got my degree.

Dwelling in my house

Recently I found a new activity – called dwelling in my house. It’s when I come to my house, put on some PJ’s, and just… dwell – using the resources of my house to not be bored. And there are more and more of those. There’s food to be made, guitar songs to be learned, books to be read, plants to be pruned, videogames, stargate, other random shows that I need to catch up with, then there’s facebook, and homework, and there’s also my blog, and just my computer – and an infinite availability of hot drinks like tea and apple cider. And there’s heat and blankets. And curtains. Those are important – they help me hide from the sun. And yes, there’s no people around. Except for my fridge that makes too much noise and does not get beat up just because it is not a person – but then again, no self-respecting person would stand in a corner and not be bored with making a constant rattling noise – or whatever the noise that fridges make is called.

The value of dwelling increases exponentially with really bad weather (which can be snow, or wind, or rain, or bright sunlight, or a combination of those) and with the decrease of my brain’s ability to enjoy being surrounded by people.

Maybe I should stop writing philosophical speeches about dwelling, and go take a nap instead…

Bailey’s, Eastern redcedar, steak, and guitar.

Mmm… Hi there people. Been awhile. BUT! I finally have an inspiration – or at least I think I do… (even though I should not wait for inspiration in order to start writing, but whatever).

I had an interesting day. I’m not really sure when my day started: when my alarm went off, or after I ate a warm delicious breakfast of farm fresh eggs sunny-side-up and bacon – or maybe it was later in the afternoon when I was done talking to all the people I needed to go see and finally had the rest of the day all to myself. I’ll take a leap and assume it was the third one, because all the important stuff I had to do was also stressful stuff, and, therefore, boring.

After the boring part was over, the fun part began. I got to go to Old Main (a local bar), and do homework while slowly consuming some delicious alcohol. Doing homework did not seem like a fun idea until after two drinks (now that does not really make sense), so instead I started out my evening by reading a few… dozen… pages of the Mortal Instruments off my new kindle, while sipping on my red beer (which was a little too cold for the weather) – and thinking how I have to have addictions in my life that distract me from homework – be it tv shows or books or videogames or … even cleaning house. Then it started raining outside, and I ordered a delicious Bailey’s coffee, and by the middle of that I decided that it was time to look at my homework. I started up with slowly writing up citations for my past due papers (citations are the scariest part of writing papers) – and gradually moved on to researching possible topics for my big paper (that is, too, scarier than the paper itself). I dug around some peer-reviewed journals (wishing that those peers had something more fun to do than reviewing the stupid journals), and then remembered seeing Eastern Redcedar turning pastures into forests just that past weekend – and came up with a happy topic. That all made me feel accomplished for the day.

The end of the day was equally beautiful. I made steak for supper. That was the second steak I’ve ever cooked in my life, and it was much better than the first one – now I’m just hoping I’m not gonna die. I’m pretty sure I won’t – but I never made a medium steak before, so it was just a little scary. Then I picked up my guitar (which I really should be doing more often) and tried to learn Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something – hopefully without waking up my neighbors. I also realized I had no idea where my capo was – which I did not really need, but I don’t like losing it – which means I really gotta clean my house.

Now I’m sitting in my recliner (stupid, stupid, uncomfortable recliner) and thinking how much I hate that recliner – and that I probably should not have been drinking coffee in the -pm- hours. And that I’m gonna have to be walking around all shaggy for at least 3 more weeks because my hair stylist is booked till November. grrr…

Skyrim as an inspiration for food

So I was playing skyrim and decided to look up “cooking with leeks” because everyone eats leeks there. And that’s what I found:

Retrieved from: http://www.yumandmore.com/2012/05/in-may-lemony-green-asparagus-quiche-with-leeks-and-sheep-cheese-and-an-asparagus-puff-pastry-appetizer/

Lemony Green Asparagus Quiche with Leeks and Sheep Cheese

Ingredients:lemony-green-asparagus-quiche-w-sheeps-cheese Crust:

  • 125 grams / 1 stick of cold butter
  • 250 grams / 2 cups of flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 TSP cold water
  • 1 tsp herbes de Provence (optional)

Filling:

  • 500 grams green asparagus ends cut off and lightly peeled if necessary, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces, leaves heads in one piece
  • 1-2 small leeks, many whites, well washed and cut into thin rings
  • 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk
  • 200 grams / 1 cup of vegetable-based or other whipping cream
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 organic lemon
  • juice of 1 organic lemon
  • 1 pinch of chili flakes
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 100 grams / 3.5 ounces of sheep cheese, crumbled
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh estragon, finely chopped
  • 2 TBSP of fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino

Putting it all together: Crust:

Cut the butter into small pieces.

Mix and kneed the butter, flour and salt adding the water as needed and then the herbes if using to make a smooth, elastic dough that doesn’t stick to your finger.

Roll it out with a little flour to fit your quiche form. Cut off excess dough on top with a knife and use your fingers to form the dough into the scalloped wdges of the form. Cover with a  clean kitchen towel and place in the fridge or any other cool place until ready to fill.

Preheat the oven to 200° C / 350° F Filling:

Drain the asparagus and leeks, by removing them from their washing water and not pouring them out or the sand that has gathered at the bottom of the bowl will “return” to the chopped vegetables.

In a large non-stick frying pan melt half the butter on medium heat. Add the leeks and stir-fry 3 minutes being careful not to brown or burn them, if need be lower the heat. Add the remaining butter and then the asparagus pieces. Continue to stir-fry for a further 4 minutes. Add the lemon juice, chopped dill and estragon, salt and fresh ground pepper as well as the pinch of chili flakes. Turn up the heat and bring the liquid to a boil stirring constantly about 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit as is.

In a large bowl combine the eggs and the cream beating well with a wire whisk. Add the lemon zest and another pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Mix well again.

Retrieve your pie crust, carefully and quickly distribute the vegetable filling and all the liquid onto the crust taking care not to tear any holes.

Cover the filling evenly with the crumbled sheep cheese. Now pour in the egg mixtures evenly over the filling so that it is more or less covered.

Sprinkle the grated Parmesan or Pecorino over the quiche and bake in a 180° oven for 40 minutes. Check if the center is set if not bake 5-10 minutes more. Cover with tin foil for the last baking if the surface is too dark to protect from burning. Remove from oven and cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Yum!

Welcoming the fall weather: sleep and kindle.

I woke up before the alarm. I WOKE UP BEFORE THE ALARM!!! That means, I got enough sleep – for the first time in a very long time. That makes for a happy morning. While I am still lazy to make breakfast, I made some delicious black tea with honey and half-and-half. It feels like a start of one of those beautiful fall days, and even the sunlight does not bother me.

Yesterday was a day that I barely remember – I know I was worried about homework, and making it to classes. There was too much rain and no power – which was cold, and fun. However, I think i spent most of the last 36 hours sleeping. Or at least it feels like it. Somehow, in that time, I made it to the grocery store and got food, so I don’t have to worry about my survival due to lack of food any more – now it’s just me being scared to clean and cook presents a potential threat. And I also don’t remember if and when I took or did not take my allergy medicine, which means I’m gonna have to opt out for benadryl – an effective thing that hopefully will not make me sleepy because I got more sleep than I needed.

Also, I preordered my Kindle – the new Kindle paperwhite that comes out on September 30th. It was one of the spontaneous decisions I’ve made lately – and the one I’m sure I won’t regret. I’ve been following e-ink technology since high school. I saw e-readers with buttons, and with the first touchscreen that made the text almost unreadable. The background was gray, and the light – if it was built-in – presented difficulties in reading the text and made it huge and heavy. I never thought an e-reader should have buttons, let alone a keyboard, so I always hung around and looked at their development and never saw something worthy of buying. And now I did. And asked myself why I still don’t have one. So I decided to order one. It is also my first time preordering anything – so I’m pretty excited about that. Now I can officially welcome fall, because in a little bit under a couple weeks, on those cool fall days, I’ll be able to curl up with my kindle, some apple cider, blankets – and an exciting adventure to follow. I do like to read. I barely ever do though – because my phone dies too fast, my computer is too big, and… I hate paper books. I am a technology person, who is really excited to embrace the fall and read an interesting stories on a cool piece of technology. My dream from 8 years ago is finally coming true.

Dress code: big city vs small town experience

I used to live in a big city. Yes, the big city with lots of people, traffic, and general noise. I never really knew that city, and never felt like I belonged. When I came to a small town, I tried to fit in. Everyone needs to belong somewhere, so for me it could as well be the first small town I stepped my foot into. I walked around trying to get to know people, and be like them, because I was a no one and did not belong. I became good at imitating locals and could as well pass for a small town person. Or at least that’s what I thought was happening.

My today’s trip to a nearby city shattered my ideas about where I belong. As I was walking through the mall, I was feeling surprisingly comfortable with crowds of people around, which is, of course, normally not the case for people from small towns. A second later, I caught myself trying to smile at the people passing by – my smile being met by blank faces. A thought occurred to me, what if I, indeed, am a small town person. Everyone was wearing what a few years ago I would have called daily casual – and what I would call dress-up clothes now. I was wearing my casual – which meant a black tee a size and a half bigger than I am, and a random pair of black rolled up pants – with guys’ flip flops on my feet, because they are comfy. I felt out of place, lost, and could hardly believe what has happened. A few salespeople asked me whether I was not from there – meaning, not from a big city. To them I was a country person – some weird freak who should have been hiding in her village instead of coming to the gathering of people called the mall. And I was not pretending. That’s who I was. That’s who I am. And I have to admit, I am sad I lost my big city culture. I used to be able to pick out a stunning outfit in a few minutes and enjoyed wearing nice clothes. Now jeans and a sweatshirt is the limit to my creativity. I don’t see the point of wearing nice clothes, neither do I want to spend time trying to buy nice clothes. I am indeed a small town person. Not just pretending. How the hell did that happen? How did I lose the skill I never realized I had?

The funny thing is, I don’t belong to the small town either.

Facing my life

In the last 24 hours I somehow faced my past, my present, and my future. And somehow I handled looking at it all without getting frustrated, depressed, sad, guilty, or whatever other feelings thinking about those might bring. Today, every second that I had to deal with something, like a memory, an idea, or the way my life is, or my options after graduation – whatever it was, I looked at it and I allowed myself to openly think about it and feel it. Some of the stuff I was looking at was scary, and some of it was painful. Some of it made me feel good about myself. Some of it was hopeful, and some – inevitable. A lot were facts that were just there – they did not deserve my stress, or my time – and they used to get a lot of both. I was surprised how I managed to face that all like that. It felt weird, but it was interesting and made me see new things in myself and in people around, as well as in my past, present, and future. I am starting to feel hopeful that I will get out of the hole called my past, and maybe, just maybe, will learn to enjoy my life for what it is.

Slow down and enjoy

As I was wandering this morning around the little town that became my home, thinking about life and enjoying the fresh air, I had an idea: maybe I should challenge myself to write at least something every day. I normally don’t follow through with ideas like that, but when I came home, I decided to type something up since I haven’t written for a while and in the last 24 hours I learned something important, so I figured I can share it with you people.

Yesterday I was getting off work, and I tried to hurry up and pack and get home fast, while thinking how I would need to make food fast, and then go to bed and fall asleep so that I would have enough time to do homework so that etc etc etc…. And then I suddenly stopped and thought: “Why? Why am I rushing somewhere all the time? Why am I trying to hurry? Where?” And then I slowed down. I packed my stuff, took a sip of water from my water bottle noticing how refreshing the water was, and walked home enjoying every step I took. I did not have anywhere to hurry. Most of the times that I am trying to hurry somewhere, I don’t need to. It was a world changing thought for me. The feeling was almost cathartic. I can just relax and enjoy. I don’t have to hurry to do everyday things, or to live my life – after all, I have just one life, I might as well take my time and enjoy every moment.

Summertime

It’s 1:20 in the morning, probably Monday (I can never really know because my night shift worker’s consciousness works more so on a on- or off-work basis rather than days of the week). I was gonna say it’s the middle of summer, but the computer told me otherwise and reminded me that there is less than one month till school starts – not that it ever was over for me in the first place. Yet, I will have two miserable and boring weeks of summer where I’m not gonna have classes, which somewhat looks like a short vacation, though it’s not, because I will still have work, and too much free time. I find that being reasonably busy (not overwhelmingly so) yields more of enjoyably spent chunks of free time than having all the time in the world without the anchor events on my schedule to organize my day around.

So yes, I’ve done lots of fun things this summer, like… walking, and making food, and doing homework, and walking some more, and… Yeah, that looks boring. But that’s just the canvas of my everyday routine (kinda sad that walking is just an everyday routine).

Out of more interesting things, I finally got around to learning guitar (an amazing experience except for and despite fingertips hurting). Really sad I did not do it earlier in my life, but I am happy that I did pick up the instrument and started playing (or trying to play) this summer.

I tried a few kinds of new food. I had pluot fruit for the first time in my life, tried kale, attempted to make sushi. The latter ones did not look good, but tasted amazing. I tried a few other random recipes, and those turned out good.

I rediscovered the beauty of playing video games – which is a very enjoyable pastime when I just wanna have a slow evening. I finally got Skyrim that I’ve been wanting to play for a long time – and I must say, it is a fascinating game.

But summer is not over yet – so I have a few more new things planned. I wanna learn how to ride a long board, I wanna make vegetable soup, and find a hair stylist who knows how to do short haircuts (or maybe I should just give up and go to a barber). I also really wanna have a bonfire – but I don’t think that’s likely to happen – so I’m just gonna have to look forward a cookout with a friend of mine in the near future. Not a bonfire, but still a good time.