Fat Tuesday

I’ve never been quite sure how I feel about lent.  I didn’t grow up celebrating it, and even when I did participate I never really got much from it.  I find that there’s something terrifying about finding something you would be willing to give up for a month.  To be honest, I still only loosely grasp the idea behind it, but I’m going to take a whack at it nonetheless.  Besides, this will also fulfill my 21 Before 21 goal of going a month without mirrors.  And then I’ll do my learning makeup to do on, or immediately following, Easter.  I do like that I have a plan for it.
In any case, this is the last self-portrait in a mirror for a while, and then a picture of the mirror all covered up.  I want to make that vast expanse of white prettier, but we’ll see if I get around to it.
In other news, my sister is on her way to my apartment from the airport.  Yay!

Of Stir-fry and Making Things

Guten Tag Freund!  I’m happy to report that I’m finally getting into the routine of the semester… 5 weeks in.  Also, this weekend I’m spending some time at and InterVarsity retreat called Winterfest.  I’m pretty excited for this.  There’s a pool there.  Anyway, links of the week.

How to deal with burn out.

Now I want to make stir-fry.

Two Yes and Yes things this week: On making things with your hands and magnetic Polaroid frames.

Speaking of working with your hands, this Guardian article is long, but awesome.

On not letting the adult world take over.

The Freedom Experiment talks about freedom in truth and I couldn’t agree more.

This week I like: thinking about summer plans in the theoretical (when I start having to deal with them in the actual they give me headaches), the series finalie of Chuck, Trader Joe’s (though the final verdict is still out), and busy days.

Right Now…

excited for the retreat I’m going on.  I get to use my new backpack to pack.  There’s a pool at the place we’re staying.

glad to be back in a routine.

really liking my paper topics.  Plural.  Because I somehow wound up with three writing intensive classes this semester.

looking forward to my sister coming to town next week.  We’re going to have a blast.

going to sleep earlier.

needing to stop worrying about German.  I feel like I’m not learning it, but all the work I’m getting back and such seem to be decent.  Not fluent, but why should I be, I’ve only just begun.

started the 100 Push-up Challenge.  Not too hard so far, but looking ahead scares me.

Could It Be Love?

Dear TJ’s,

I’ve always been skeptical of you.  You seemed the flight of a school girl’s snack time fancy, not a place for true (albeit ameutur) cooks.  But time and time again you were brought up in conversations.  Friends told me to take you out for a spin.  They told me that if I didn’t like you then I never had to see you again.  Oh TJ’s what a stubborn girl I was!

“When the ‘Wish Big Win Big’ game is up,” I told myself, “I’ll give TJ’s a try.”  The jig is up and today was your day to shine.  I was distracted the whole way to you, TJ’s.  I had just blown a fuse and didn’t quite know it yet and was feeling quite childish for asking about it.  It was a common walk, but a somewhat nervous one too.

Arriving at your doorstep, I was unsure how to proceed.  Why was I being immediately thrown into the fruits and veggies?  I longed for the familiarity I’d had with my Jewel before.  I wandered, a bit disoriented through the produce aisle.  Grapefruit, yes.  And something to replace mushrooms in a meat pie.  Cauliflower, okay.  And English Muffins.  Or British Muffins, if you say so.  Why must we rush into these things though?  I turn the corner to finally meet my dairy section with a sigh of relief.  Cheese and milk, but where is my Oberweis?  This made me a sad chicken, but I pressed on through the frustration.

Now, meats always give me pause, so I can’t entirely blame you TJ’s, but I was again dismayed at the choices. Where was the plain chuck steak I needed?  Or a smaller package for those of us not feeding an entire village? For that matter, where was the deli counter?  Choosing a too-large package of beef cubes, I turned away towards the baking section, another moment of confusion.  Where was my powered sugar?  “Not today,” One of your crew told me.

After all this frustration and madness (if $3 vanilla beans aren’t madness I don’t know what is), I made my way to the checkout.  Another crew member cheerfully helped me check out my groceries.  He even packed the bag for me while I swiped my card for a total of $36.20.  I’m sorry, what was that amount?  And then with my cashback added?

The whole walk home I kept staring at my cart.  $36.20!?!?!?!?!?!?  How is this possible.  I must not have bought as much food.  There’s no way this is the price tag for the same amount of groceries I normally buy for a week.  I usually pay twice that.  It’s because I didn’t buy that much meat this week, isn’t it?  That must be it.  Because I can’t think of another explanation.  I nearly missed my walk signal because I was wracking my brain for another report.

Now, having come home safe, and checked the recipt again, I can think of none.  I can only determine that I must try again.  Double check to make sure.  Parts of me still don’t believe it, but something in my soul is wanting to ask…

Trader Joe’s will you be my Valentine?

Skeptically Yours,
Rachel

Uncreative Title

This week has been non-stop movement and work.  On the bright side I’m getting a lot done.  On the other hand I’m weeks behind on nearly every TV show I watch.

I’ve been thinking about finances lately, and looking forward to having a real job, thinking of budgeting as a dam or a water tower is such a great metaphor.

Such a pretty bracelet.

A friend of mine made a list of everyday thing to enjoy.

Ideas of what to get the person who has everything.  There is more than chocolate and for that I’m impressed.

My roommate and I had a hankering for cake this week.  That is all.

It is only with this article that I realized that my “Learn how to apply make-up” to do and my “Spend a month not looking in the mirror” to do are quite contradictory.

Homemade deodorant anyone?  I can’t decide how I feel about that.

Right Now…

finally catching up on all my television shows.  Well, most.  I’m up to date on Fringe, and nearly caught up with Downton Abbey.  !!!!

working, working, working.

knitting a second blue hat for a friend.  I’m going to send it to her and we’ll have matching hats in separate cities.  I’m oddly excited about this.

needing to go to sleep earlier than I have been.  Somehow I don’t see it happening.

Of Routines and Adjustments

As the semester continues and I become more overwhelmed, I am trying ever so desperately to get back into a routine.  A system of doing, finishing, and consistently working.  For some reason in my head that was going to be easier with a more steady job, but that’s pretty much a flat out lie.  Even now I’m realizing that I forgot to change the laundry.

Honestly, how do people do it.  A job, school, and a life.  Can the three actually co-exist?  I’m beginning to believe in the “choose two” charts that I’m always seeing.

I think what I need more that a weekly routine though, is a daily routine.  I need to know that I will be able to write in the morning and have my quite time when I get home for the day.  I want to establish these as actual and true habits so that even when my schedule is out of whack I can still hold these things true.  I’m still trying to figure out how blogging fits into that, but it seems to be going alright so far.

*Rachel looks at the clock only to realize that it is just past midnight.  It is much later than she thought it was.*

Well, that failed.

Of Traveling and Knitting

Lots going on for me this week.  I feel like I’ve been going non-stop and yet still have a huge pile of things to do.  Not that I mind, I like being busy, it’s just that my roommate has far surpassed where I am in Buffy and it’s a little annoying.

I keep hearing about traveling with children despite the fact that I don’t have any, nor am I going to have any for quite some time, but this article is a new perspective.
More travel in the form of travel resolutions.
On learning to love yourself.

I love school and my part time job, but I still found these 6 Ways to Survive Your Day Job amusing.

Anyone willing to try a screen-free challenge with me?

This week I love: knitting, long (somewhat) intellectual conversations, Skype, having no free time, future tripping, and learning make-up.

The world of _ vs. _

I seem to have accidentally gotten into a camera showdown with my roommate the other day.  She’s  a Canon Girl and my fingers have never known anything but Nikon.  I was checking out her camera and she was explaining all the things she loved about it.  I was curious, and wound up bringing mine in for a side-by-side comparison.  I hope she didn’t take it the wrong way, because I know she loves her camera, and I love my camera.  They’re just really different beasts.  Everything from the way the body’s settings adjust to the way the lenses move.

Here’s the thing though, and this is true for a lot of things, neither one is better.  People get into arguments good over evil, and they’re discussing things like Mac verses Windows.  Cat verses dogs.  Pirates verses Ninjas.  And if we really look at it we can see that none of that is really constructive.  It just pits people against each other and makes enemies out of people who otherwise might be really good friends.

People are different.  Unique.  That’s the way the world works.  And if it wasn’t then we would all be the same and the world would be boring.  But you know that.  You’ve heard it a thousand times.  Our freedom of choice is what makes us human and what, in turn, binds us together as humans.

Hmm, that got a little preachy-er than I intended it to, but the point remains.  I am going to go and do some chores and homework and get on with this day I have because I’m actually fantastically excited to be getting so much done so early in the day.