Monday, April 28, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Can you have one without the other?I was in a car recently, on a long drive, with a professor and some fellow students. During the course of the ride, I referred to Zack, Zeph's brother, as my brother-in-law. The immediate response, understandably, was, "Oh, so you guys are married?"
"No, we're not. In fact, we're going to try and avoid it for as long as possible."
Later I felt the need to explain, especially to the married individual in the car, that this is not because I am anti-marriage in general. Sure, I think there is a lot to be said for standing in solidarity with those who cannot be married, and that has definitely influenced my decision, and marriage does work for some people. Just not me.
My reason behind not marrying has always been that the institution is meaningless to me, and I refuse to go through the pageantry for the sake of other people. I was willing to do it when it still meant something to Zeph, but it doesn't anymore. Marriage brings us no more security in the permanence of our relationship than we feel now.
Did my parents' divorce somehow influence that decision? Probably. Just because I marry you doesn't mean I am not going to leave you. It just means that I have to complete some paperwork after I walk out the door. Is that a harsh way to view it? Yes. Is it cynical? Yes. Is it unromantic? Yes.
But that doesn't mean that my life is unromantic. Romance is what happens in your day-to-day routine as you interact with your partner. Romance is being awoken daily by a freshly-showered body crawling back into bed for one more dose of warmth before starting the day. Romance is brushing somebody's shoulder, or leg, or face, as you walk past him when entering a room. Romance is falling asleep late because the conversation after the lights go out is just that interesting.
And I don't need a ring or vows or a slip of paper in order to experience any of those things. I just need his word. That's enough for me.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Dear (Old) ShoesDear Shoes,
I am sorry to tell you this, but I now have to refer to you as Old Shoes. Yes, you read that correctly. Much like a man going through a mid-life crisis, I have replaced you with a newer and sportier model.
I know that our relationship has been rough. There was the time that I left you for New Pointy Shoes. But the red dye inside stained my feet a color appropriate for my adulterous ways, and I knew that only your pure white insides could surround my toes.
Then there was the recent fling with oh-so-cute Polka Dot Vans. But after time Vans began to smell, and I felt myself washing repeatedly to remove the scent of disloyalty before I came crawling back to you.
But this time it is over for good.
It's not entirely your fault. I am the one who scuffed you repeatedly when I failed to tread carefully, and I take full responsibility for using you so often that I wore out your back end beyond repair. We did try to make it work, but the new sole I paid for did not restore you to your pristine former self.
This is why I must move on. New Shoes can run with me when I need to catch a bus. New Shoes can go with me everywhere - to the office, on a hike, or shopping around town. New Shoes fit like a glove from the very first day, and our relationship hasn't yet caused me an ounce of pain. And, most importantly, New Shoes do not cause me to develop blisters that need medical attention like some of the cheap Young Shoes I have heard of.
Thus, Old Shoes, I leave you. We can continue as friends, but only if you understand that New Shoes are now my primary shoes, my everyday shoes, my I-love-these-shoes! shoes.
Thanks for all the good times,
P.S. Here's a picture of New Shoes. Do you blame me for leaving you?
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Quote of the WeekAs I was walking home last night, I overheard a snippet of conversation from another group of students:
"You guys, I finally figured out what I am going to do with my life. I am going to be a mortgage broker."I chuckled to myself because I have made many such statements over the course of my college career, and indeed throughout my life.
Age 8: I wanted to be a teacher
Age 12: I wanted to be a lawyer
Age 16: I wanted to be a mediator for family and divorce cases
Age 18: I wanted to be a counselor
Age 19: I wanted to be a therapist who specialized in sex and sexuality issues
Age 20: I wanted being a diabetes educator
Age 21: I wanted to be a college professor (specifically one who lectures while sitting on a table in the front of the room like all the cool profs in the movies)
And now that I am graduating? I want a job that I don't hate that will give me health benefits.
And eventually I want to go to graduate school, but definitely not now, and maybe not even a year from now. I want to find a grad school where I can study what I want to, but also one that is in the Bay Area.
And I want to infiltrate a video game company and start a covert operation in order to improve representations of women in games. And I want to teach, either full time or part time. And I want to find somebody to fund the crazy web project ideas I have floating around in my head. And I want to work with Zeph on the crazy web project ideas floating around in his head. And maybe I want to do a combination of some or all of these things.
For once, I am fine with not knowing where the hell things are headed. Life will work itself out. That having been said, the next person who asks me what I am going to do when I graduate is getting a punch in the nose.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Battle for the MicrowaveIn an attempt to save some cash, I have started bringing my lunch with me a few days a week. Cassidy and I eat lunch together after class every Tuesday and Thursday in Club Ed, a grab-and-go lunch station run by USF's cafeteria company. Luckily, this cafeteria spot has a microwave, as well as plenty of free silverware, condiments, etc. should I ever need them.
Today I brought a frozen spinach lasagna from Trader Joe's (which was awesome by the way), and thus I needed the microwave. So I tore the plastic film off the top of the lasagna, read the instructions (15 minutes? no way!), popped the lasagna in the microwave, and set the timer for 10 minutes.
Given that most food usually takes much less time to heat, I was feeling kind of bad for monopolizing the microwave. But nobody else seemed to need it, and damnit, I need to eat too, so I tried to subdue my inner guilt. 7 minutes left to warm lasagna!
A girl sitting toward the back of the room got up and made her way toward the microwave. It looked like she had some sort of lean cuisine, which takes very little time to microwave, so I considered letting her pop in her food. After all, I was only hoping that my lasagna would be done in 10 minutes, it might take as long as 15. What is proper public microwave etiquette if your food isn't done and somebody is waiting? 5 minutes left on the microwave.
As my brain was churning the girl from the back of the room reached the microwave, and must have clearly seen that there was food already being cooked within. But, for whatever reason, she opened the door of the microwave. I thought she would put her food in with mine, which would have been cool. I'm down with sharing my microwave. 4 minutes left.
She took my lasagna out of the microwave. She set it on top of the microwave. She put in her own food in, and started it cooking. At that point I was not so accepting of this communal microwave business. Still, I figured that if she took my food out then she must have had a good reason. She must have been in a hurry to eat. She must have had a class that starts soon. There must have been some reason she took my food out and replaced it with her own! The microwave dinged. Her food was done.
Only it wasn't done! She hurried over and stirred her food, then put it back in for another 3 minutes. I was no longer thinking she had any excuse, I was just wondering how the hell to politely bring to this girl's attention that THERE WAS ALREADY FOOD IN THAT MICROWAVE! The microwave dinged again. There was no movement from the microwave thief. I stood up, marched over, pulled her food out, threw it on top of the microwave, and stuffed my own back in again. I set the timer and withdrew my invitingly warm lasagna a mere 4 minutes later.
I swear it was another 10 minutes before microwave thief emerged from the back of the room to claim her lean cuisine, which by then was lukewarm and seasoned with despicableness.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Organic Christmas in February!I had two New Year's resolutions this year: eat more vegetables, and go to the gym on a more regular basis. I am slowly starting to find more fun classes to take at the gym, so the only war left to wage was on the vegetable front. Unfortunately, my grocery store of choice (Trader Joe's) is not so great in the produce department. The produce goes bad in less than a week, some of it has been trucked in from Mexico, and they don't always have all the organic options I want. Thus, last week I did some research and signed up for an organic vegetable delivery service called Westside Organics.
I was excited even before my first box arrived. I squealed with joy this past Friday when the contents of my bi-weekly box were posted to the website. I clicked in amazement as I changed some items in my box and added a few fruit items to my all-vegetable smorgasbord. And this afternoon, on the day of my first delivery, my jaw dropped in disbelief as, after practically running home from class, my box was nowhere to be found on my porch.
Luckily, it hadn't been stolen by my envious neighbors. Upon opening the door, I found that Faye, my wonderful roommate, had moved it inside for me earlier that day. Whew! I dragged my prize into the kitchen, and immediately tore open the lid. There were so many vegetables! I was so excited! I wondered how the hell Zeph and I would consume all of this food in 2 weeks!
Of course, I then pulled everything out of the box to snap pictures of it all (for you blog-readers), and then I stuffed it all into my fridge. Well, all of it except the potatoes and the onions. Did you know you shouldn't keep potatoes and onions in the fridge? Something about the humidity makes them spoil faster. So those babies got placed in the cupboard.
My review so far? This place rocks! The produce all looks really good, especially for being grown without pesticides. They also delivered some grocery items for me, including a carton of eggs from a farm in Santa Cruz, and everything perishable was packed with ice packs to keep it fresh on the porch (unnecessary in SF, but it was still a nice gesture). Right now my only problem is that I don't seem to have enough room to store everything! However, that is easily fixed by getting a smaller delivery every week rather than the huge one I am currently getting every-other-week.
Alright, alright, you want to talk price, and I understand that. We paid $80 for all the items that came in our box (the base price for the all-veggie box is $50, and I added some extra items). But! Before you fall over, here's what that money got us:
- 1 small avocado, 1 bunch of green chard, 1 meyer lemon, 2lbs roma tomatoes, 0.5lb of loose leaf spinach, 1 hunk of celery, 1 bunch of basil, 1lb tangelos, 2 apples, 2lb yukon potatoes, 4 onions, 1 head of red cabbage, 1lb baby bok choy, 1 head of lettuce, 4lb red potatoes, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of broccoli, 1lb of leeks, 1 bunch of green onions, 1 bunch of radishes, and one bunch of kale.
See? That's a lot of food! Actually, it's more than I wanted since I thought I had removed 2lbs of the red potatoes when I added the 2lbs of yukon potatoes, but I digress...
Of course, I had to make something delicious with this fresh produce for dinner. What's a girl to do with 1 avocado, a bunch of basil, and 2lbs of tomatoes? Make a tomato salad!
It was delicious, considering that tomatoes aren't in season. Just cut up some tomatoes and avocado, add finely chopped basil, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Yum!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Recipe: Breakfast BurritoAlthough I try and plan a week's worth of meals ahead of time, things don't always work out that way. Last week was one of those times, and I had nothing to make for dinner on Thursday. Rather than order out, I scrounged around and found the ingredients to throw together a pretty good breakfast burrito. Here's what ya do:
It's always a good idea to get all the ingredients out first. For my burrito, I decided to use eggs, hash browns, cheese, sour cream, and salsa, all wrapped in a flour tortilla. If you want to add meat, it's a good idea to cook it before you add it to the egg mixture.
The first step is to brown the hash browns. You could do this in a pan, but I found it really easy to brown them in the toaster oven. These are frozen hash brown patties that Zeph picked out at TJ's one day, so they were just hanging around in the freezer.
While the hash browns are crisping, you can prepare your eggs. I used 6 eggs to make 3 burritos, which comes out to 2 eggs per burrito. This was a good amount, and made burritos that were easily wrapped. To make the eggs fluffier, add a little water or milk. I just found out last night that Jacques Pepin recommends adding sour cream, so I might try that in the future.
Cook the eggs until slightly runny. You want to turn off the pan before the eggs are completely cooked, and then let them finish cooking using the residual heat in the pan. If you wait until the eggs looked perfectly cooked to turn them off, then they will end up overcooked. This is bad. Once the eggs are cooked, add the hash browns (I mashed mine with a spoon as I mixed them in) and some grated cheese. There should be enough heat left in the eggs and hash browns to thoroughly melt the cheese.
To assemble the burrito, spoon some of the egg mixture onto a tortilla and add whatever toppings you desire. I used sour cream and salsa, and I would have added some avocado if I had had any.
Fold, and eat! I love cooking on nights like this because half of the fun is poking around in the cupboard and finding out what the hell will go good together. Don't be afraid to try new combinations!