Archive for the ‘school’ Category

the return to real life

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I graduate in two months and two and a half weeks.

It’s all very exciting.

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Doesn’t he look excited about my upcoming graduation party? (Yes, I’m planning the party months in advance. It’s nice to have things to look forward to – dontcha think?)

The thing about graduating is that when you graduate, you sort of have to find a job. Tomorrow I have my first interview. Today, I did a lot of prep.

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I spent some time with my computer, reviewing the company’s website and my resume.

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I painted my nails. (I realize they’re not as beautiful as they could be, but this was before I cleaned up the edges. And also I don’t intend to let anyone get this close to my hands tomorrow – instead I shall keep them at a distance where they are like ‘ooo pale pink how nice’).

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I picked out my outfit.

(That’s it, folded neatly (ha) onto my dresser under my mini bedroom art gallery.)

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I had to do all of this while Crockett packed for his Tahoe snowboard vacation. He’ll be gone for five days, which is fine, except he won’t be here to debrief me from my interview.

He tried to make up for that by pre-debriefing at The Empire. He tried something new:

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pan roasted chicken with potatoes.

I went with the usual:

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calamari salad.

I know, I’m predictable. I plan to list that as one of my strengths during my interview.

habits

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Do you guys find that when the weather changes, you start to eat nothing but your favorite things from that season? Like – spring shows up, and you eat nothing but asparagus. Then summer rolls around, and you eat watermelon until you explode. Like that?

 

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Or? When it gets cold? You eat nothing but oatmeal?

Please say it isn’t just me.

Thursday: Bob’s 5 grain rolled cereal with frozen strawberries and cottage cheese.

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Friday: Bob’s 5 grain rolled cereal with frozen cherries, cocoa powder, and cottage cheese.

I’m halfway through that bag of Bob’s I bought, what, last week?

Also on the list of my favorite things:

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Trains.

Especially the ones that are only one car.

I don’t know why, but this cracked me up. I understand that the guards have to come down and the lights have to flash and everything, because it is a train, but it’s just an engine and it was going maybe four miles an hour and we all just sat there and watched. I just sat in my car, eating my oatmeal, and laughing my ass off.

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I can’t even tell you what I’ve been eating. Until today – today has held some tasty food. This last week, though? I have no idea. Frozen vegetarian corn dogs, definitely.

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Halloween candy, for damn sure.

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Tuna salad (with dried fruit, because that’s how we used to make it at the bakery I worked at it and was the most delicious thing ever) and crackers and grapefruit – that was in there somewhere.

Also?

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I made sure I was aware of alcohol.

Because my school told me so.

Heck, I even made sure to have a glass of wine here and there. (Yes, this sign is technically expired. However, it was left up all last week, so I assumed they still wanted awareness).

What are your food habits?

happy hallowgiving!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I seriously don’t know why I said happy Thanksgiving earlier. I’m a little concerned about my grey matter.

Anyway. Halloween.

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For breakfast I busted out my new Bob’s 5 Grain cereal.

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I cooked it in my favorite little two cup cereal pot that my dad got me two years ago for Christmas. I seriously use this thing so often it never makes it to the dishwasher.

To my cereal I added flaked sweetened coconut and chopped frozen peaches.

I froze the peaches myself and I think I used a knife that I’d used to cut garlic when I sliced them before freezing. It adds an interesting and not particularly welcome taste to things – let that be a lesson to all of us. I have to use the garlic peaches, but hopefully no one else will face the same fate.

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My schedule this semester has been such that I don’t eat lunch on campus very often.  Today, though, I had a meeting that was necessary to verify that I’m going to graduate in May (whoooooohooooo), so I ate while grading Minitab assignments. (Minitab is a statistical version of Excel, basically, that the students in my class use to do projects).

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Leftover tofu, leftover creepy cauliflower, and toes desperately in need of nail polish remover.

I stopped on the way home to get pumpkins for the stoop, so trick-or-treaters would know they were welcome, but pumpkins are apparently passe in the grocery store. Christmas stockings are the new pumpkins. I got a big orange leaf sack with a pumpkin face on it instead, and we stuffed it with leaves from the yard.

Trick-or-treaters have been drizzling, not pouring. The Evil Flash Drive, who was here to steal our gigabytes, has been my fav so far.

Between homework and stopping Maida from trying to eat the little kids, I made falafel tacos.

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Falafel Tacos
Adapted from How to Cook Everything

Falafel:
1 can chickpeas
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 handful greens (arugula is what I used, but parsley/baby spinach/cilantro/whatev would all add something nice)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Tzatziki:
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup chopped, seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped, seeded tomato
1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon salt

hummus
tortillas

Whiz everything in the ‘falafel’ section up in a food processor. It should be chopped finely enough that you look at it and go ‘damn, that would be a pain in the ass if I had to chop that by hand’, with a little bit of paste, but no finer. It’s better that it fall apart a little while cooking than it be tough and icky.

Mix the tzatziki ingredients together and set aside. Start with the smaller amount of salt and adjust to taste. (If it tastes more like yogurt than vegetables, you can probably use more salt).

Heat a nonstick pan up over medium-medium-low heat. If you feel like a little fat in your day, add a few little puddles of vegetable oil once the pan is hot – it will lead to crispier falafels but isn’t necessary. Either way, grab golf ball sized amounts of the falafel mix and flatten them out, then drop them in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on the first side and two on the second (or until brown and tasty looking on both sides). It will take two batches unless you have a griddle sized pan, so if you want to eat them hot, keep the falafels warm in a low oven while you cook the second batch.

Spread each tortilla with hummus and tzatziki, and top with falafel. Eat.

Serves 2 – 3. (We ate it all).

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Happy HALLOWEEN!! I think our candy-wanting-kids are done – it’s dark and cold and 8:30. We have lots of mini Snickers and M&Ms and Baby Ruth. Hopefully you all have leftover candy too!

days go by

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Yesterday’s breakfast:

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Today’s breakfast:

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Both were pumpkin oats, but yesterday’s used the last of the steel cut oats, so today’s used rolled oats. The rolled oats were definitely gluier, which helped while eating in the car, but the steel cut oats are better in all other ways.

I’m so picky.

Yesterday’s lunch:

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A mixed up plate of raw mushrooms, frozen grapes, cheese, and crackers, with lots and lots of tea. I felt like crap when I got home from school yesterday – I think I didn’t get enough sleep Monday night. I’ve been having really irritating dreams. Sometime in the middle of the night, I woke up and jerked all the blankets off Crockett, looked around all panicked, and then went back to sleep. Apparently.

Today’s lunch:

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I went to school, came home, ate an apple, went to the gym, did a quick upper body workout and ran 2 miles with speedwork (quarter mile warm up, repeats of a tenth of a mile each of 6 mph, 6.5 mph, and 7 mph, quarter mile cool down), and went to the grocery store for the very important half and half… and then realized it was 3:50 and all I’d had for lunch was an apple.

Enter the Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon, Cheese, and Egg biscuit. 45 second in the microwave, a lifetime in mah belly. (I don’t think that’s how that goes.) I microwaved it for too long because I forgot the instructions, but it was delicious anyway. Whoever does the taste testing for Morningstar Farms must have my same tastebuds, I swear – there is nothing they make that I don’t like. (As I’ve said before, they have no idea who I am and in no way requested that I eat their stuff.)

Yesterday’s dinner:

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Part of my recent grocery pledge was to eat through some of the protein we had in the freezer. Cue the organic ground beef that had a sell by date of 18 months ago. (It’s been frozen the whole time, so it was fine.)

Beef isn’t really something I’m comfortable cooking. Fortunately, Crockett is – enter the panfried burger! (I made onions and mushrooms to go on top, and shaved brussels sprouts salad for the side.) We ate them open faced and they were delicious. Good beef, well cooked, is a glorious thing.

Tonight’s dinner:

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Eggs softly scrambled with chopped onions and garlic and chopped basil, topped with goat cheese, and sweet potato chips (thinly sliced sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil and salt and baked for ~25 minutes in a 400 degree oven).

Yesterday’s view:

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On my way to my car, in Golden.

Today’s view:

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In Crockett’s car (it’s the one with four wheel drive) on the way to Golden.

Yesterday’s favorite thing:

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This fence makes me think of the secret garden every time I walk past it.

Today’s favorite thing:

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The fake vampire in the gym, whose sign changes a few times a week.

SNOW. (Apparently it will be 70 again by Monday. This is one of those things about the Front Range.)

it’s not very interesting being me this week

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I went into this week with a series of very important tasks. I have a midterm tomorrow, a take home midterm due Friday, and three homework assignments due either tomorrow or Friday.

I have finished two of the assignments and most of the third, and begun to study for tomorrow’s exam.

The most interesting thing that has happened so far is the fact that yesterday my tenant emailed me to let me know he was distinctly lacking in the hot water department. I took a few minutes off of studying yesterday afternoon to pop over and see if I could relight the pilot – but there was a gigantic puddle of water under the heater. Turns out, that’s not a good sign.

I then took more time off of studying to go to Home Depot and pick out a new water heater. It’s being installed today by a man named Michael Myers.

I think that’s awesome.

That his name is Mike Myers, not that I had to buy a new water heater that I can’t really afford.

cherry oatmeal

Before the water heater debacle, I went to class – an endeavor fueled by stone ground oats mixed with cottage cheese and cherries. (The cherries were frozen, so I stuck a bunch in saucepan and cooked them down into an unsweeted jam over the weekend – that’s the big blob in the middle of the oats).

white bean and mushroom soup

Back home again, I finally finished the white bean and mushroom soup I made last week. I take my new not throwing food away rule very seriously – this soup is like a week old. It was still pretty good.

pluot

Afterwards, I wanted chocolate but settled for an enormous pluot.

brie and olives

Crockett got home at about 4 and hadn’t eaten lunch yet, so he made himself a monster sandwich – to keep my appetite in sync, I had a couple of pieces of bread with brie and a few olives.

SO DELICIOUS.

I don’t know why I don’t eat just cheese and bread all the time.

fish cakes

Oh, right, this is why I don’t.

White Fish Cakes
Based on Salmon Croquettes, from How To Cook Everything On-The-Go

2 small white fish fillets (I used flounder)
2 small russet potatoes
2 shallots
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg
1/2 cup finely torn or chopped pieces of bread (crusts ok)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon melted butter

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and microwave them for 7 minutes, stopping once to flip them over. Set aside to cool a little bit.

Pan fry the fish with a little salt in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. If you have thin fillets, it will take less than two minutes per side. Set aside.

Peel the potatoes and add them to a bowl in chunks. Finely chop or grate the shallots and garlic into the bowl, and then add the mustard, olive oil, and egg. Mash it all up.

Add the bread crumbs and the fish, and stir until the fish has broken up and is pretty evenly distributed. Form the mixture into six or seven palm size patties, and refrigerate until you’re ready for dinner.

When you’re ready to cook, heat your same non-stick pan over medium to medium low. Brush the patties on one side with melted butter (thinly) and add to the pan. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the bottom is nicely brown. Brush the exposed side with butter and flip, cooking until they’re warm through and the bottom browns again.

Serve with lemon wedges.

We ate ours with roasted asparagus and leftover brussels sprouts salad.

Mmmm.

Brain food.

frugality

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I’m not bad with money. I mean, I’m no investing genius, but I’m not rolling in debt. (Aside from a mortgage and school loans – but everyone knows that’s good debt, right? Right, guys?)

However, there’s an area in which my ability to budget goes out the window.

Ok, two areas.

The first one is the area occupied by Banana Republic in the local mall.

The second, and more relevant, is the area of food.

The two big areas are eating out and buying fresh groceries frequently and when I want them rather than when it makes sense. (Wait for sales? Sure! As long as I don’t have a vague hankering for whatever it is right now, that is.) A third is stockpiling things and then saving them, because I’m worried that I won’t be able to replace them. See: frozen Bing cherries from Costco. I’ve hoarded my last bag for months, and just started eating cherries again when I was able to buy a replacement bag.

cherries and yogurt

Now that I have six pounds of cherries instead of just three, I feel like I can eat them again.

Quirks. We all have ‘em.

Yesterday – cherries heated in the microwave with a little cinnamon, topped with Costco’s Greek Yogurt (not to shabby, for 2/3 the price of Fage) and some granola.

It was like breakfast pie.

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Today – same basic concept, different delivery. That’s actually cocoa powder that the still frozen cherries are tossed in, not cinnamon, and plain oats instead of granola. I stirred this up and and let it warm up during the drive to school.

The cherries are so sweet that neither breakfast needed added sugar.

Dear Costco, Please keep selling enormous bags of frozen cherries. Love, Emma.

pork bowl

I also end up throwing out food. Well, first I transfer food that I think we won’t eat in time to the freezer, for some future date. Then, when that future date is clearly never going to happen, I throw it out.

It’s sad.

I’m working on it.

more pork bowl

I’m working on it by eating the things in my fridge, even when I don’t feel like it anymore. Witness: pork and coleslaw, Monday afternoon.

Sooooooooo much pork.

sandwich

More pork, yesterday during office hours.

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I proctored my first test last night! This is only half the classroom – there were students in the other half and somehow I suspect they wouldn’t appreciate their last minute nerves ended up online.

I was in Golden from lunchtime until almost 9, and I packed lunch but drew a blank on dinner. I ended up stopping by the grocery store and grabbing some of that guilty pleasure sushi (you know, the kind with the shredded fake crab?) to eat during the exam.

The exam was more stressful for me than I’d expected.

sushi and grading

So I ended up eating the sushi after I got home, while grading tests and watching Breaking Bad.

Anyway, I’m aiming for pantry meals this week. Tonight I made mushroom and white bean soup – I’ll show you tomorrow.

What food do you hoard?

I have a new boyfriend. His name is MarsEdit.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Please consider this both a post and an experiment, k? I finally finally finally joined the ranks of people who like the internet who also know that a web interface isn’t the always best thing ever. (What. WordPress, I love you, but come on. You know you’re a pain in the ass sometimes.)

watermelon

Sugar continued to be my friend through Saturday night. I took advantage of that fact to eat an entire half watermelon. By myself. In mah bellah. Immediately preceding a run. Sloshsloshslosh.

What. I never claimed I was a genius.

vegetarian corn dogs

What does a hungry and sugar loving girl eat when ketchup and fake meat is back on the ok list?

FAKE CORN DOGS, of course.

I’m disappointed that you guys even had to ask.

potato soup

To finish the meal trifecta, I made loaded baked potato soup. (Except with light sour cream and bacon as a garnish only. Just because I was indulging doesn’t mean I had to be awesome about it.)

Crockett beer book

Oh yeah – Crockett is going to start making beer in … our garage? Our basement? Who can say. Perhaps he’s just going to read the book.

__________________

I have no idea what happened to yesterday.

Oh, wait – yes I do.

Linear Vector Spaces happened to yesterday. There are no pictures. You’re welcome.

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Today I made the unfortunate choice of having tuna salad for breakfast. Unfortunate why? Because my breath smelled like tuna all day?

Oh, if only it were that simple.

I sneezed while eating it while driving, and now my car smells like tuna.

Yeah.

cobb salad

And then? I ate a terrible cobb salad for lunch. The egg didn’t taste like egg. The bacon didn’t taste like bacon. There was roughly a gallon of ranch dressing. Obviously this will teach me not to forget my breakfast and then eat my breakfast as lunch. It leads to a fishy smelling car and a crappy lunch.

fish bowl

We made up for all the unfortunateness with  dinner, though. Crockett grilled some flounder that I got on screaming sale (he marinated it too – in pure deliciousness) and I gently spiced (thyme, cayenne, cumin, onion) and heated up some canned black beans.

So simple. So frugal. So tasty.

I don’t know why we eat out so often.

Oh wait, yeah I do.

 

roasting peppers and taking names

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

I taught my first full lecture alone today.

It was not as good as I’d hoped but perhaps as good as I had any right to expect.

I hope that the hour I last night spent making a dinner that could best be described as slightly-better-than-mediocre wasn’t the dealbreaker, awesome lecture wise.

I was planning on giving you the recipe, because I was really proud of my invention. We had chicken chili rellenos, that were not fried and did not contain any simple carbohydrates.

Yeah.

I don’t know how I didn’t see ‘slightly-better-than-mediocre’ coming.

 

I roasted some local Anaheim chiles in the oven.

I mixed cooked chicken with some low fat cream cheese and also some low fat Mexican cheese blend. And also some cilantro.

I made guacamole. (I also burned myself with the oven while roasting the peppers.) I stuffed peppers. I made and whisked batter (eggs and milk and almond meal – actually quite promising. Oven pancakes, maybe?)

They looked good.

They tasted fine.

They were not worth the work.

Another possibility for why my lecture wasn’t perfect?

Today’s breakfast smoothie, that you see on the right, was disgusting.

I’m not lying.

Don’t believe me? Ok – the ingredients were cottage cheese, V8, hot sauce, and a cucumber.

Yeah.

When I got home from lecture, I got sucked into the school vortex and only came up to scrounge leftovers.

Buffalo tofu lettuce wraps, anyone?

I entertained myself while I ate by perusing J Crew and W magazines most recent attempts to make me wish I were rich.

And that Crockett was Justin Timberlake.

(What. JT is hot. It’s an undeniable fact. Anyway, Crockett isn’t worried. He knows I wouldn’t leave him for anyone less than Ryan Gosling.)

Tonight I put Crockett in charge of dinner. Holy hell did he come through. Helllllllo steak.

I roasted some local (I include the word ‘local’ so that you know it came in our produce delivery and I was forced to use it - usually I think cauliflower is too expensive for the return) cauliflower and made a cilantro almond pesto to dip it in, as an accompaniment.

Have to go. Must eat steak. Lecture? What lecture?

 

 

 

 

office hours

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

For the first time, students came to my office hours today.

Probably because we’re getting close to the test.

Everyone is freaking out.

For example, last night, I was freaking out because I’m getting close to a test in my Statistical Methods class, and I couldn’t do my homework.

So I broke down and ate a kiwi.

Just one.

I swear to god my IQ increased 10 points immediately.

With my increased IQ, I decided to have a couple of ounces of wine. I mean, I already had a foot hanging off the side of the wagon.

With that small fortification, I was able to finish the pain in the ass assignment that I was doing (that ended up being 12 typed pages along with 4 pages of handwritten equations. SERIOUSLY?).

I have, perhaps, discovered that giving up sugar means that a tiny bit of sugar turns you into a superhero.

In order to maintain that superhero-like ability, I got back on the wagon for dinner.

Lasagnchiladas in the slow cooker
Inspired by… the internet, named by Crockett

  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (about 4 cups) cooked and drained black beans
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 – 8 ounces cheese
  • a big jar of simple salsa
  • 12 taco size tortillas (flour or corn)

About the ingredients. The cheese – anything you like. We happened to have a bag of pre-shredded low fat Mexican cheese blend, so I used that. It was the classy stuff (purchased on sale -Sargento I think) without a lot of stabilizers, so it melted nicely. If you use the other pre-shredded stuff it won’t be so drippy but eh. It’s still delicious. The salsa – just don’t go nuts. If you use chipotle pineapple salsa, it will totally change the dish. It might still be good, but who knows? This is a good place to play it safe. If you do go wacky with the salsa, rethink the chili powder and cumin. Or? Make your own salsa, you homemakin’ fool you. Finally, the tortillas – if you’ve given up sugar, you can substitute thin slices of summer squash, as I did.

Stir the beans, onions, chili powder, cumin, and salt together.

Pour about 1/4 of your salsa onto the bottom of your slow cooker.

Put in two tortillas (or however many cover the dish appropriately – if you have an enormous slow cooker, you might get less layers than I did) on top of the salsa. Put about 1/3 of the beans on the tortillas, then two more tortillas, then 1/4 of the salsa, then about 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat twice more – tortillas, beans, tortillas, salsa, cheese, tortillas, beans, tortillas, salsa… but WAIT. Hold the rest of the cheese.

Turn the slow cooker on high and let it go for 2 – 4 hours. (Or 6 – 8 on low). When you’re about 5 minutes from eating, dump the rest of the cheese on top and recover the slow cooker to let it melt.

Let your boyfriend come up with a wacky name for the dish, and eat it.

 

Also, try not to drip salsa on your schoolwork. I shoulda put that in the recipe.

I maintained my healthy eating today, too. I had more of the muffin fritatta things for breakfast (not pictured because come on, they’re little yellow muffins that you’ve seen before), and for lunch a delicious salad.

A buffalo salad.

Except without my chick’n patty, because vegetarian meat substitutes are not in any way low carb.

I would like to say that between the buffalo tofu, chickpeas, and mushrooms (all heated together in a nonstick pan prior to serving) I didn’t even miss the chick’n patty.

If I said that, though, I’d be lying.

Oh well.

 

 

 

parking

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Parking on campus sucks.

 

I mean, it is reassuring to park next to a Jeep whose driver is apparently going to stop the zombie apocalypse. Other than that, though, parking sucks.

Here’s how it works. I have a ‘commuter’ pass, which means that for a mere $55 a semester I can park in two of the many lots on campus. One of the lots is right next to the computer center and a mere four blocks from my office – all campus blocks.

That lot has been cut in half, with one part given over to construction parking.

The half that remains is maybe 50 spaces.

It fills up eaaarrrrly.

The other lot is only a few blocks further out (maybe 7 total?) but it involves crossing two busy streets without stoplights.

I hate that lot.

The alternative is to park by the creek. Six blocks, up a serious hill on the way to campus but a skippy breeze after classes, no parking restrictions.

When I park by the creek, I get peeks of the brewery. I like a brewery early in the morning. It reminds me that it will eventually be happy hour.

After classes I went to the gym (ya me!) and then made a delicious veggie-full lunch.

All of a sudden I’ve been craving V8. I can only drink it if I water it down by about 50%, though – does it seem more like sauce than juice in its normal form to anyone else? Also, I add hot sauce. Because, come on.

Along with my watery spicy vegetable juice (god, it sounds so delicious when I put it that way, huh), I had a buffalo chik’n salad.

Mmm.

Speaking of happy hour…

I met my friend Yvonne at The Village Tavern at the Flatiron Crossing Mall. Because it was Wine Wednesday. (Yes, I just realized that I’m posting about Weds on Fri – yesterday there was a whole big incident and I accomplished nothing.) At the Tavern, wine wednesday means 50% off all wine by the glass.

ALL.

I had two glasses – Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay and Clos du Bois Pinot Noir. I wasn’t in the mood to try something new, and I know I love them both – and they were there for me, like always.

We also had spinach dip, but it wasn’t good.

So there’s that.

P.S. Did you see the coaster for my veggie juice?

Sephora sent it to me to remind me that I am, technically, still a Beauty Insider – and that they miss me (and my money). A VIB is a person who spends more money than is reasonable at Sephora in any given year, in case you were wondering.

Of course I used this coupon to order some makeup.

Sigh.