Things that I think about

Why do other people’s hair stay off their faces?  Why does it bother me when my hair falls on my cheek?  How come the skin there is alarmed by it, but scalp is perfectly fine being covered by hair?

My heart fills with hope

I will just C/P what I emailed to my volunteer group:

1) 感恩大家!

2) I currently have 56 forms+kits in my car, and there are a couple more people who will turn them in tomorrow.  We also had 20-something from the RPAC, 40-something from the Oval, and 100 before that.  AWESOME!
3) Please let everyone know how grateful I am for their hard work in logistics, publicity, question-answering, and swabbing.  While I’m very worried about Janet, it fills me with hope to see your compassion and 大愛.  These past couple of weeks have been a reminder of how beautiful our world can be <3
 
(For all two of you who might read this, you can find out more about Janet’s story and register to donate bone marrow on Team Janet’s website.)

Chive-y Potato Soup

Cube three dollar-lengthed potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces.  Immerse in half vegetable stock, half water, and turn stove onto high.

In another pot, sweat diced onions until translucent (salt and pepper to taste), but remove before caramelization.  Remove onions and add to stock, but keep the oil in the pot to start a roux.  Turn stove to low.  Combine about 2 tablespoons of oil with 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk.  When the roux starts to brown, add about 1 1/2 cups of room temperature whipping cream and whisk.

Mince chives, add to stock, turn stove to low, and start mashing potatoes.  When the bechamel starts to bubble, add 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese and whisk.  Then pour into the stock and continue to mash potatoes periodically.  Allow to come to a boil, and then simmer on low heat while mashing periodically.

Maybe pictures to come.  Maybe.

Fleeting thought

You’re not the one I’m dreaming of, but you offer a tempting reality.

Middling

Glory days.

Bruce.  Adele.  Something to wax nostalgic over.  If you buy into inexpensive, shoddy, sweatshop clothing, we should all cling jealously to 21 (although I understand it’s now been re-branded as Forever XXI).  Years ago, I thought about this notion that youth = beauty (but not before adulthood, because Lolitas are creepy, I guess), and decided that if I’ll always look back on previous pictures and think about how beautiful I was, then surely I should embrace daily how beautiful I am.

Ironic, then, that the same age range to make me love myself also brings on a new wave of self-doubt.  I hear this is common from older friends.  Confusion abounds in your 20s, I’ve been told.  I’ve started on some life paths but haven’t traversed enough of them yet.  I’ve had some thrills, but haven’t peaked yet.  I’ve learned my lessons but haven’t wizened yet.

Yes, I realize that wizen is more accurately wrinkled, but I like this idea of linking age to sagacity.  Allow me my foolish wordplay.  Although, I did just look it up, and it also means, “lacking vitality,” and that idea is still tragic to me.  Perhaps I ought not trifle so carelessly with words, for they have power and will ravage me along with time.  (Would that we were all ravished, rather than ravaged.)

Now that I am firmly in my mid-20s, anchored in a fortunate childhood and ready to cast off into adulthood, I find myself middling.  Content enough, and yet yearning.  (And ugh, way to sound like an angsty teenager’s secret journal entry.)  I am dissatisfied with my approach to life and rail (but don’t kick) myself about pushing onward.  I need to work harder.  I need to think more deeply.  I need to seek new human interactions.  The problem with my funk is that I don’t know how to make myself happy right now.  Rather than anchored, my ship is mired.  I worry that I am not valued by others as I deserve to be valued and lack foresight into when that will change.  Wise DoHos tell me that the 30s are much better, which certainly brings me hope, but I suspect that I’m keeping myself from fully enjoying my 20s.

Alright, cutting the bullshit.  It’s about a boy.  It’s always about a boy.  My previous interactions with this boy left me feeling like I was used as a bookmark…and I worry that that has recommenced.  The solution seems straightforward at first–I must be less available, not just because I am pretending, but because I ought to find more valuable uses for my time and energy.  Instead of taking action, though, I’m hindering myself.  I’m not tearing myself away.  I know I’m fooling myself that it’ll get easier, and I know I need to make the decision everyday to make myself happy in other ways, spend my time cultivating myself and my community, and uh…you know…try to uncover new aspects of breast cancer, but I’m also miserable when I tamp down those emotions completely.  It’s like I ripped the bandage off over a year ago, was a festering cesspool for awhile, almost completely healed, and then the last scab was brutally scratched open again.  Whoo…dramatic much?

She who cares less, wins.  I don’t think I’m able to care less (note that this is neither implying apathy nor using that annoying, “I could care less”), but I know I should turn my care to other avenues.  To leave behind this “middling,” my objects need to merit my care.  And really, the gratification in helping others is immense.  It’s time to lose myself in the service of others, in the process losing this funk!

My goal for 2011

Alright, this has been a long time coming, but the goal I set for myself was to learn how to play the ukulele in 2011.  First, I had to obtain a ukulele.  Everyone and their mother (or brother) offered to get me one, but no one did.  Finally, my brother (yay, Jon!) re-offered because, “I don’t think I’ve given you a present…ever.”

Yesterday, we had a lab dinner, so I missed a call from Jon.  Listening to the voicemail, I realized Lee Mama had used his phone.  She said, “Your brother got you a little guitar!  It’s pretty cute!  Call back!”  Lee Mama talks in exclamation points.  I called Jon back to thank him, and the conversation was pretty usual.

Me: Hey!  I got mom’s voicemail.  Thanks!  [Yeah…I also talk in exclamation points.]

Jon: Cool.

Me: So, what are you up to!?

Jon: Just waiting to go back to Davis.

Me: Oh, ok.

Jon: See ya later.

Five seconds after we hung up, my phone buzzed, its screen showing a call from Lee Papa.

Me: Hello?

Lee Mama: Hi!

Me: Hi mom.

Lee Mama: I thought you were going to talk to me, but then your brother hung up.

Me: Well, I wanted to thank him.

Lee Mama: After he hung up, your dad got his phone out, but then he didn’t dial, either!  I had to call!

Love my fam.

I may be young but…

…it doesn’t mean I don’t want it.

…it doesn’t mean I don’t deserve it.

Ice Robe

Columbus is slick today.

First, let’s get the prosaic out of the way.  Save the best for last, right?  At least, that’s my strategy for food, and I mean, you can’t go wrong when you apply food methods to field methods.  It’s raining ice here in the heart of it all, and I’m waddling around in an effort to avoid falling.  Some classes are canceled, people are soaked, and the sky is dreary.  But…

Let’s get to the beauty.

The ground shimmers at night, each pool of light shooting out infinite rays.  All the tiny droplets glistening made me wish I had the proper facility of photography, brush, or words to convey the magic I saw on those tree branches on my way home.  Snowbeds look like they have been shellacked–not a pleasant look for a lawyer’s hair, but quite surreal for my trek.  Finally, the sense of camaraderie that sparks in the air as you look around and accidentally make eye contact with others hovered precariously in the slick–magnetic (hopefully not with the ground).

Once a year

I’m sitting in SFO, waiting for my flight to start boarding.  Local time is 10:30PM, the flight will start boarding at 11:45PM, and we will take off at 12:15AM.  Happy New Year!

I’ve been home for about a week, and although I didn’t bring much clothing back, I have come to realize that I could have brought NO clothing back.

  1. I would have more room to take food back to Columbus.
  2. My jeans from 7th grade still fit.
  3. If all else fails, I can wear Lee Mama’s clothes.

As I was packing today, I tried to tidy up my room a bit, and folding some sweaters to put in my bureau, I realized that I wouldn’t wear them again for a year, if at all.  I will next be home in June for Erin and Will’s wedding, but June in the Bay does not usually call for sweater vests and *ahem* first kiss sweaters.  How lucky am I to travel, to see my family, and to have…once a year sweaters.

It seems to me that I shouldn’t have all these belongings that I only need once a year.  Lee Mama always tells me to clear out my closets and donate what I don’t need.  As I said, my jeans from 7th grade still fit, so I insist to her (and myself) that these things still have room in my life.  I might even argue that no one else would want my clothes anyway.

Normally, I consider myself pretty solidly middle class.  My coffers are not abounding in riches; my gadgets are not particularly fancy.  But, with the distribution of resources the way they are in this world, I’m sure that compared to many, my life represents incredible wealth.  In the coming year, I should keep this thought in mind when I am tempted by material sirens.  In 2011, I hope to fill my coffers with love and diligence; the gadgets should serve only to enhance my relationship with loved ones.

Yum!

Varsha’s parents now live in Louisville, Kentucky.  Louisville recently got this: http://www.kfcyumcenter.com/ It’s an awesome name, yes?  It also quite aptly describes my Thanksgiving break.

Before Thanksgiving, I’d only been to Kentucky once, and it was on accident (we crossed the bridge from Cincinnati).  This time, I learned that Kentucky is beautiful!  It snowed the first night I was there, which was beautiful, although that meant that the next morning saw my first snow-scraper experience.  Many more to come, I’m sure.

Varsha’s family had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner–major carb overload, so we didn’t even need turkey to put us to sleep.  I fell asleep around 5PM and woke up the next morning.  It was so nice.  Varsha and I got to meet up with a friend I know from an online forum, who took us to Wild Eggs.  They have an everything muffin–interesting concept; delicious execution.

I also got to unexpectedly meet up with Elyse and Alyssa, which I like to mention because a) the internet is magical and b) their names are similar-sounding.  Alyssa and I toured Buffalo Trace, where I learned a lot about bourbon, and which I must admit I only picked because their website has a buffalo running across the bottom.  It’s pretty cute.

Other observations and pictures to come…

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