Sunday, December 30, 2007

the joys of free laundry and no alarm clocks

I feel like a lot of my wasted time during the semester can be attributed to internet surfing, but now that I have a week of totally free time, there is nothing good to browse because all the bloggers are taking a week off too! Ah well. I should be doing more productive things anyway. For example, yesterday I made a wrist-rest for when I'm typing at my laptop, so my wrists can hopefully stop aching all the time. It looks like a fat snake, and I filled it with green lentils. It took me literally 5 minutes, and I don't know why I didn't make one a long time ago!

I made green chile chicken enchiladas for my family for dinner the other night. I made the chile sauce from scratch, from six Anaheim chiles which I roasted and peeled and chopped and cooked and blended, which certainly took a long time but it was so delicious! If I do say so myself. It was accompanied by a persimmon salsa made with persimmons and mint from my parents' backyard orchard, along with a bit of jalapenos and cilantro, and it was so tasty and sweet. Mmm. Fresh and homemade food is so excellent.

Mom got the cat Sushi a Christmas present, which was a round cat bed to hopefully encourage her to sleep in the same place every day, instead of leaving cat hair all over the room. She appears to love it and sleeps as a little kitty-cinnamon-roll atop the bed. :) [photo coming soon]

Thursday, December 27, 2007

take it to the limit

The holiday quality family time culminated today in a shouting match over dinner, and now each family member has retreated to a different room in the house. Good thing Kimmy had already gone up to LA for the rest of her vacation, or it would have been a much louder affair. I assume that all families have their moments like these, where not having to be guarded means you eventually let everyone know when you're annoyed with them and you make no attempt to shield anyone from your grumpy moods. In my family, it means shouting about feeling unappreciated or feeling like someone is not listening to you. I think that amongst non-related friends, people make more of an effort to appreciate and listen in order to show they value the friendship, but within families, sometimes you forgo the formality because it won't change the fact that you're related. I'm not saying this is a good thing. I don't even know if this is true in anyone else's family because people usually don't talk about this sort of private emotional discourse. But my gut feeling is that every family, no matter how perfect or happy they look on the outside or at most times, has its quirks and disagreements and tense moments, because there are no perfect people and no perfect relationships. My point is that we should never feel like we're the only one with an imperfect family life, and these moments of irritation and anger don't preclude a supportive and caring family relationship. Perhaps it helps that I have a short memory and I won't be mad anymore by tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Woot. I mean w00t. I am done with my last final. And done with classes for the semester! They were so unenjoyable I just want to erase them from my head. Faced with my first free evening in recent memory, I browsed iTunes for a while and then settled down with an online episode of Desperate Housewives and a pile of craft supplies. I know I should make and mail my xmas cards asap, but I'm currently feeling really uninspired by the pile of embossing powder and cardstock and chopped-up gingerbread-people buttons littering my carpet. I don't even feel like cleaning it up. There was a holiday craft fair in lobby 10 today, and I drooled over almost every booth of delectable handmade goods - hand-dyed scarves, beaded jewelry, knitted mittens, and my favorite: letterpress cards. Oh they were gorgeous! So simple yet so perfect! How can I make those myself?! I think about making this type of thing all the livelong day, but in the lab, I feel like this useless waste of space with her hands in her pockets because there's nowhere else to put them. Surrounded by a slew of very able people, I hesitate to do anything on my own for fear that they will secretly ridicule my poor apparatus design and construction. And wonder what I'm even doing there. Oh, it's that good old MIT syndrome again, but this time I think it's really true. Frowny face.

Monday, December 17, 2007

the unwinding

I should have had my nose to the books all weekend long, but I had to breathe a few sighs of relief for a successful GAME Winter Party on Friday. After such a productive semester, my weekend consisted of very low-key activities such as snow-shoveling and pajama-lounging in the warmth of my apartment, making bear-shaped egg sandwiches with James, my favorite partner in crime. Oh yeah, I still have a final on Wednesday, but my brain has already gone on vacation...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

scraping ice off windshield: 500 calories

Well I hope I burned off that chocolatey dessert I ate today, because it was certainly more work than expected to get my car de-iced enough to drive down the street to a different parking spot. Yes, the streets are covered with ice and salt, but I didn't want to risk getting my car towed for street cleaning again. So at 10:45pm, I hacked away at the layer of rough ice on my windshield in my green jacket, black mittens, and pink rainboots. The snow blew off nearby rooftops and swirled around under the streetlights. I don't know if it was so calm and quiet because the snow dampens outdoor sounds or because everyone sane was inside avoiding the arctic weather. Except me, tending to my stupid car.

Anyway, there was nothing better to follow that than a hot shower to get the circulation back into my toes, and to rinse away all the stress of this Monday. I think I have definitely taken on too much this semester, and a lot of it has been really rewarding, but in my mind I want to be spending more time on research. It could be all in my head, but I feel like my advisor is probably wondering why he hired me, and why I haven't produced anything yet. Or maybe I'm wondering that.

The highlight of my weekend was probably hockey, which never fails to distract me from everything but hockey. There are an infinite number of things to learn in hockey, new twists on skating drills, puck handling, fakes, turns, shooting, playing the body, passing, and it never gets old. It's an incredible rush for me, and a good practice is one where I'm exhausted at the end. Ice hockey is such an enjoyable way to stay in shape! Yay for healthy hearts!