Sunday, September 27, 2009


So I had this whole weekend free. No plans. No one to see. Just me and my free will!

Yesterday I made Magnolia cupcakes from scratch. It was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. The recipe called for a mix of all-purpose and self-rising flour. I kind of improvised the self-rising part and the cupcakes turned out pretty dense and compact, but the icing more than made up for it...
And then today I came home from church and decided it was time to start knitting again. Hoping to start a hat for Frank but finding myself without proper materials, I taught myself to crochet instead. The end product of today's craft session is this super-cute, mildly-wearable headband (which I'm sure would look better with more than a half-ass attempt at styling, and maybe freshly washed hair):

And, since the weather was so gosh darn cool and perfect, I decided to usher in fall (i.e. soup season) with my famous Thai Chili (which isn't really MY recipe as it was invented by Mark a few years ago). You really need to make it. It's incredible.

I think the best thing about fall is soup. This is strange for me to say because I'm not a huge soup fan, but when soup is good, it's REALLY good! I love that you can spend a lazy Sunday in the kitchen and miraculously the wonder soup keeps for a week and feeds you meal after meal. A poor foodie's dream!

But so-long to this domesticity for a while. I'm gearing up for a really busy week culminating with a 16 hour (total) drive to see Frank for... about 16 hours...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obligatory Post!

Frank came to visit me in Bloomington this weekend. It was sooooo wonderful having him around. It made me finally feel like he's my boyfriend. So, now it's official on facebook! Which is a pretty big deal!

It pretty much sucked to drop him off at the airport. How lame. But this morning I was making toast for breakfast and was pleasantly (exstatically) surprised to find that he had closed off the bread bag with a twist-tie. Now, I'm the type of person who loses the twist-tie within five seconds of opening the bread for the first time, and I don't think I've really ever used a twist-tie to seal something a day in my life. So seeing this was like he left me a little present with a card on it that read "I have life skills--I'm a keeper." And it made me very happy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Banana Nut Muffins

Things I enjoy:
1) Creating things. I love to knit, cook, paint, sew (even though I'm not good)...anything like that. I like making something by myself that ONLY I can make. It makes me feel special.
2) Researching things. Let me emphasize this does NOT mean I enjoy writing research papers. But I really like investigating topics and learning new things.
3) Cold weather. There's nothing more fun than layering a sweater with a shirt with a coat with a scarf, and then adding a hat and knee socks and boots and jeans, and maybe even a skirt over that. I look like a crazy hobo, but I'm proud of my outfit combinations. When it's hot you can't wear anything at all, so I like to savor when it's cold.
4) Singing. Duh. It's what I do. But it constantly surprises me. I mean, sometimes I'll be singing, and I'll disappear into another place. And when I'm done, I'll come back to reality and realize that something very special just happened.
5) A clean house, and being able to keep it clean for over a week.
6) Textures. Mark can make fun of me all he wants, but I love to TOUCH things. Whenever I go to the craft store, I always make a detour through the fabric section to feel all the fabrics. I'm weird. I also like the spot on the remote between the buttons. Touch it sometime--you'll be surprised how it feels.
7) Mint tea. I love it when it's hot, but it's even better when it's verging on cool--you can feel it go down your throat and makes you more aware of your insides. I like to drink it before I sing because I feel like I am more aware of the mechanics of my voice that way...
8) This scene from Stardust Memories:

Entertaining, slightly annoying, sexy. All I love about Woody.
9) Well, while we're on that note, I've always loved Hitchcock's Notorious with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. It was one of the few films I ever watched with my grandma, and then of course there's the famous kissing scene on the balcony. Oh my god:

10) A little glass of port at the end of a long day. There are few things better.

Things DON'T enjoy:
1) Facing things I know are going to be unpleasant, like checking my email when I know I'm going to get a nasty message
2) The dentist. Because despite the nice outward appearance of my teeth, the dentist always lets me know that my teeth are absolutely terrible. It's a Lang thing.
3) Cereal with milk. Oh man that's bad.
4) Organization. Or, rather, my lack of it.
5) French Grand Opera. Maybe I'm going to hell for saying this, but I don't think there's anything worse.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I just woke up to study for my God-forsaken test. I'm so cold I might die. Like the little Match girl...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Favorite Crazies, Part 2: Sir-Ma'am

I met Sir-Ma'am at my first trip to the Bloomington Recycling Center back about a year ago. Eric and I loaded up our boxes and boxes of recyclables and made a trip south of town to drop off our stuff. The Recycling Center has several large bins with really detailed descriptions of what is allowed to go INSIDE the bin. It's a big hassle, and that's probably why no one ever recycles. Sir-Ma'am, an employee at the center, was standing against the cardboard bin, which is hooked up a compresser of some sort. His arm looked like it was inside the bin, and the machine was running, so at first glance it looked as if the machine was crushing his arm. The matter was made worse when he made eye contact with me and started uttering "Ma'am! Ma'am! Ma'am!" over and over. I immediately surveyed the situation--here is this worker whose hand is being consumed by a machine, and he's asking me for help! What do I do! And then I calmed down and realized that his hand was not being crushed, and he was not calling out for help. He was just saying "Ma'am" over and over to ask if I needed assistance. Which I didn't. The next time I saw Sir-Ma'am, I was prepared. When he repeated his catch-phrase I just smiled and shook my head (which doesn't really silence him). I reasoned with myself that he had some kind of disorder, whatever it may be, and appreciated his offers for help. In May, I hosted an Arrested Development party with Kelsey and Miyo, and they came over straight from the recycling center. They started to tell me the story of a worker there who kept yelling "Sir! Sir! Sir! Sir!" at Kelsey. I freaked out and told them about my Sir-Ma'am experiences. Kelsey told me that he overheard Sir-Ma'am talking with a co-worker, having a completely normal conversation, with absolutely no affected speech or social difficulties. I told him I didn't believe him--there was no way Sir-Ma'am had a normal conversation with someone. So we did a google search of "Bloomington Recycling Center Sir Ma'am" and found this. Look at the third paragraph of this person's blog. SHE TOO has experienced the Sir-Ma'am phenomenon!

At the end of the summer I made yet another trip to the center. Sir-Ma'am was no where in sight. I remember I had deposited all of my recyclables, except for an orange juice carton. I was wandering around, looking for where to put the carton, when I hear a voice say "Sorry, we don't recycle orange juice cartons here." I look up, and there is Sir-Ma'am, sunlight illuminating his glowing face. He continues "We only recycle those cartons using curbside service." I was at such a loss for what just happened, that I don't even think I responded. I just stood there with an empty carton in my hands. Two minutes later, as I was putting the carton back in my car, I overheard Sir-Ma'am yell "Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir" at a middle-aged man recycling cans with his young son. And I smiled.

My favorite crazies, Part 1: Bus Crazies

As inspired by a recent blog post by Ed, I have decided to create my own list of my favorite crazies. As a preface, one of my favorite pasttimes is crazy-watching. I think this is a genetic trait inherrited from my mother, which was developed by Matt and Neil (bizarro-sightings), and then ultimately Mark. Mark and I would go to WalMart and Ryan's to watch the crazies in their natural habitats, most of the time as a way of feeling better about ourselves.

At Ed's request, I will eventually compile an MU music school crazies post... but that requires a bit of stealth as some of those crazies could possibly have access to this blog. So my first crazies posting concerns the crazies on public transportation here in Bloomington:

1) Creepy Guy Who Hits on Girls at the Bus Stop. For most of you familiar with public transportation, this guy is everywhere, in every bus stop in every town. MY Creepy Guy waits at my apartment bus stop, and has recently begun hitting on someone who appears to be a photography enthusiast. He began by commenting on her camera, with non-specific remarks that indicated he doesn't know anything about cameras. I think he threw in something about aperture, but who wouldn't? The next day he talked about photo-developing, again in non-specific terms. And after a week or so he made the bold move of sitting next to her on the bus. Here, it was apparent that they had absolutely NOTHING to talk about, and she was clearly uncomfortable with this closeness. So, he begins to talk about swine flu. Swine flu. He was using swine flu as a flirting mechanism. I haven't seen him on the bus since.

2) Asian Opera Star. Most people know that if you talk on the bus, people will hear you. If you're on a cell phone on the bus, people can and will listen to your conversation. And, if you SING on the bus... well, you know. There is this crazy Asian kid who sings Italian arias on the bus. He doesn't just hum them, he full-out PERFORMS them. And this is clearly something he thinks other people can't hear.

3) Tiny Woman. Tiny woman lives in my apartment complex. She is, quite literally, a tiny woman. I think because of her size she looses heat quickly, so she's usually bundled up in a puffy coat regardless of the season. An interesting (yet unimportant) thing to know about Tiny Woman, is that she is married to Giant Man. At my bus stop at my apartment, a line starts forming about ten minutes before the bus comes. And, as lines often imply, people go to the back of the line when they get to the stop. Tiny Woman believes she is exempt from this rule. No one's going to stand up to her because, well, she's tiny, which is intimidating. So tiny woman marches up to the front of the line and waits there. EVERY TIME she's at the front of the line, Tiny Woman freaks out about something in her tiny head, yells "EEK!" and runs away like lightening. You can always tell the new-commers to the bus stop because they are noticeably perplexed about what is happening, but the veterans remain unphased. About 45 seconds after she runs off, Tiny Woman always comes back to the front of the line and waits, as if nothing ever happened.

4) Pacing Guy. I usually find Pacing Guy waiting for the 4:45 bus by the music school. Pacing Guy is always REALLY nervous about catching the bus. I mean, for the first few days of riding the bus, I was nervous as well. But Pacing Guy has been nervous for a long time. People waiting for the bus outside of the music school all line up alongside a waist-high stone wall. Some people read books, others talk on cell phones or listen to iPods. Pacing Guy paces. It doesn't matter if the bus isn't scheduled to come for five minutes, or if the bus is five minutes late. Still pacing. When the bus finally arrives, Pacing Guy rushes on the bus first and gets a seat about 1/3 back. Pacing Guy always gets off the bus at the corner of High and Hillside. It's the BIG drop-off point on High, at the light. And you can see it for miles away. But Pacing Guy is always really nervous that he's going to miss his stop, and as soon as we turn on to High, he's Eagle-eyes on the watch for his stop. Sometimes I feel like telling him that he can sit back and relax, and I'll pull the stop-cord for him. But I realized you've just got to let Pacing Guy do his own thing. He pulls the stop-cord at the first availible instance (about a block away), and then leaps to his feet to walk to the front of the bus. The bus is moving at this point, and he inevitably has a really hard time walking to the front--he's swaying all over, almost falling, grasping for the support rails along the cieling. When the bus finally stops at the corner, he RUNS off as fast as Tiny Woman. The weird thing is that once I saw him at a bus stop for another bus line, along Kinser Pike. And he wasn't pacing.