Sunday, November 25, 2012

324. Sundae Nite Jamzzz

Updates/Catch-all post stuff.
Thanksgiving as I laid it out previously, did not happen. The Wizard's mum became upset that we weren't into the idea of going to feast at a stranger's house, so she cancelled that plan entirely and decided to host Thanksgiving as usual at the estate.

I was especially disappointed, but later realized that's silly. I mean, yeah. I wanted to roast a turkey and make all my own holiday happenings, but so what. The truth is, it would've just been the Wizard and I, and while I love and adore cheffing it up, no one would've been around to eat my creations. I just imagined friends without other plans dropping in and hanging out, which wasn't realistic. So instead, the man and I made a cute little veggie gratin to take to his parents', and had a love-uh-ly time with his family. We even played horseshoes in the yard after dinner.
On Friday we made a pecan and a pumpkin pie, and went and had a love-uh-ly time at my family's house, and I can't regret any of it. The food was delightful, and the company pleasant.

We still hope to host a Christmas party, and possibly to roast a something for ourselves. Because we make damn fine food, we two.

I finished registering for classes this week, and next semester is shaping up to be Fiction Writing, Figure Drawing I, and Intro to Cultural Anthropology. I'm the most nervous about fiction. I've written forever, but I've never actually written a story.
I'm embarrassed to admit that. 

I'm most excited about figure drawing. I live with my very own muse, and I cannot wait to sketch him in a million poses because I know he'll happily oblige me. Nevermind that he's startlingly photogenic, or that I adore every aspect of his form...

So yeah. Sorry about, y'know. Not being around much. Go follow me on Instagram too, if you miss me. @BadPonee. I'm always kicking around over there.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

323. T-Minus 1 Week to Turkey!

By some strange twist of events, the Wizard and I do not have a place to go on Thanksgiving Day. We would be going to his parents' house, but his parents have plans to spend the day at a friend's, and my family's Thanksgiving is not until Friday. This never happens, and I have decided to seize the opportunity.

I am going to cook a turkey for the first time in my life.

I'm a little nervous about it, but I think I can do it. I've helped people cook turkeys plenty of times, I've just never actually made one on my own. I do make a rather decent roast chicken though, and turkey is really just the same concept, only bigger. 

There are a million different ways you can prepare a turkey, and I'm having a little trouble deciding on my approach. I think I'm leaning toward stuffing it full of herbs and then massaging it over and under the skin with butter. Supposedly, the butter makes for a moist and tasty turkey, which is the most important thing. Further research is required, however. My mom slow cooks hers. The Wizard's mom has this crazy plug-in turkey roaster contraption. Someone at work told me I should roast it in a bag to keep it moist. Roasting it upside down supposedly keeps the breast meat tender.
I have some more reading to do before I can make an informed decision.

The bird aside, I think I might be more excited about side-dishes. I love tradition, and I don't mind having the same things every single year, because it's the only time I get to eat those things. But this year I have the luxury of getting the traditional dishes on Friday, so I think I'm going to get experimental with my feast. I think I will make cranberry sauce from scratch, and I might try some sort of potato/turnip gratin. I haven't decided if there will be dessert because there will most definitely be pie on Friday. I wish there would be some guests who might drop in and help us eat whatever it is we make, but I really don't expect anyone.

All I know for certain is that I am very, very excited. My favorite holiday is almost here!

Friday, November 2, 2012

322. Never Enough [Time]

I want to be running. Instead, I am sitting in a cubicle. I ran this morning, but I guess it wasn't enough because I already want to go again. It was cold and dark, and it took me nearly an hour to drag myself out of bed. Now, it's sunny and 55 degrees. By the time I get home it will already be dark, and I will settle into my chair for the night with a pile of homework.

Yesterday I managed to get through the day's assignments at work, which allowed for another evening curled up on the couch with the Wizard watching various films while eating pasta and drinking wine.

For some reason, most of my neighborhood was without power when I got home, and I'm still in the dark as to why (ha). Fortunately for us, we were on the border of the outage. Our street had power, the next street over didn't. I decided to go on a wine run to the corner market, and found that every block between my house and the store was dark. People were wandering the streets with flashlights, and I had to wonder what New York and New Jersey must feel like this week. I've mostly been tracking the developments through Instagram and NPR, which makes for an interesting combination of journalism and first-hand account. My friend Tim lives in Hoboken, and has been uploading some particularly fascinating images of school buses wading down the street, and a woman and her two dogs being rescued via bulldozer.

Anyway, my corner store was open, and I spent a few minutes taking in the little bit of information Michael the clerk had gleaned from other customers stopping in. The cause of the outage remained a mystery, but I headed home with a fantastic red from Argentina. There are lots of reasons I love my neighborhood more than any other neighborhood I have ever lived in, but that store is probably in my top 5.

The Wizard was in the mood for more silent movies, but apparently there is no "silent film" genre on Netflix. After some discussion, we realized that he had never seen the Salvador Dali film Un Chien Andalou, which you might recognize from the lyrics of The Pixies' song Debaser. It's only 16 minutes long, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it for your viewing pleasure.

Dali hit the spot, and it was onto another guilty pleasure, samurai flicks. I caught sight of an Akira Kurosawa movie we had never heard of before, Ran (1985), and upon reading the description, we had to watch it. It's Kurosawa's take on Shakespeare's King Lear.

I'm guessing the version on Netflix has to have been remastered, because the film quality looks outstanding. The Wizard commented repeatedly that he thought it was pre-80's due to the foley work, but he might be more aurally perceptive than me. I thought it sounded on par with any other epic from the time, like Conan the Barbarian, or Red Sonia (which came out the same year).

The cast is full of entertaining characters, but Mieko Harada as Lady Kaede makes it. She's violent, calculating, revenge-hungry...I loved her. If you like samurai movies or just enjoy Shakespeare, it's worth a watch.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

321. November the First

Present fourth-dimensional coordinates:
364 days until the next Halloween
5 days until the election
3 weeks until Thanksgiving
6 weeks left in the semester
7 1/2 weeks until Christmas
8 1/2 weeks until New Years Eve adventures in Chicago

I didn't dress up for Halloween again this year.
I hope to put forth more of a costume effort next year, but we'll see. Before then, I need to learn how to stop over-thinking them so much. I have a habit of going all out or not going at all. Then again, I really didn't have anywhere to go this year either.

I bought all the necessary parts with the intention of going as a picnic, but I had so much math homework that I didn't have the time or energy left to put the costume together. Instead we stayed in, lit our pumpkins, and watched Nosferatu (1922) and Dracula (1931) over mandarin vodka-sodas, fun size candy bars, and toasted curry pumpkin seeds. It was very low-key, very 30-something, and just what I needed.

Lately I watch a lot of Battlestar Galactica, listen to a lot of surf rock, and cook a lot of food, but not as much as I would like. I run sometimes, but again, not even close to as much as I would like. Most of the time, I tear my hair out over math homework that I am just barely making sense of, but would probably understand fully and deeply if I had more time to devote to studying. I study a LOT. I spend so much time studying that I find myself mentally exhausted more often than not, which I think is part of why I am not absorbing information as easily as usual. Even Macroeconomics is straining my brain, and it's an easy class.

That being said, I cannot wait for this semester to be over so I can get back to studying subjects I actually want to pursue. I had been going through a flip-floppy indecisive phase forever, in which I felt incapable of choosing a major for fear that I was making the wrong decision. Mostly, I think I was afraid that if I made a decision, I would somehow pigeon-hole myself into one possible outcome for the rest of my life. Deep down, I knew that wasn't true, but I couldn't even start to address the issue without inducing a small panic attack. For a while I was starting to think something was wrong with my heart, because it would begin racing out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. Usually, it would happen when I was lying in bed at night trying to sleep.

At some point last week, I was bored at work, and MyMathLab wouldn't load so I could do my homework on the clock. I started downloading college lectures on various topics through iTunes U, and settled into the first 2 hours of an intro to computer programming course from Stanford. 2 hours later, I came away fully understanding the material I had been lectured on, but with the realization that I just wasn't that interested in pursuing it. The professor was hysterical, and his lectures were interesting. It just isn't what I want to devote my time and energy to. Paired with the fact that I cannot wait for this math class to be over, I think I've finally come to terms with what I want.

Choosing to major in art is terrifying. Everyone shakes their head and tells you you're making a mistake, and that you'll never make any money, or the field is flooded with a million other talented people who'll constantly be competing with you. That you'll struggle to pay back your student loans, and that you're condemning yourself to a life of stress and misery and ramen noodles.

It's entirely possible that all of those things are true. It's also possible that the people who tell you those things don't have any faith in your abilities, or they're bitter about their own decisions and failures. In either case, those aren't the people you should be taking advice from.