Archive for June 9th, 2011

A Guac Success!

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

It was, actually.  A success with all the enthusiasm of Borat’s catchphrase.

Borat Great Success

Living on my own has taught me an important lesson: I have to feed myself, myself.  And I’m a picky person without a lot of free cash–no frequent eating out, even if I wanted to, which I don’t, because ew.  What I really want is my mom’s cooking, and I want it like I used to have it: Magically appearing on my plate every evening.

Sadly, see aforementioned lesson.

Conclusion: I need to learn to cook.

I don’t like to cook.  Largely because I’ve been spoiled, and I do it when I’m already hungry.  Bad combination! Not to mention the dishes, the mess you have to clean up, all on your own!  Cleaning up really sucks when the food you just made wasn’t even appetizing.

Tragically, life forced my hand.  Also, my boyfriend mentioned that it would be nice if I knew the basics; he’s a good cook already, and I don’t want him to be forced into the permanent role of house chef. So I’m being a good person and an adult (and making sure I don’t starve) by pulling out the pots and pans more, microwaving less.

I noticed that planning meals in advance is useful and takes the stress out of coming home hungry.  So that’s being worked on.  The other

problem I frequently run into is creating side dishes.  I’m a vegetarian who grew up eating meat; the food that made up the side course have, over these last few years, become my main dish.  What the heck do I supplement my angel hair pasta with, now?  It used to be chicken… and pasta.  Now it’s pasta… and ???.

Yesterday’s dinner plans involved microwaving an Amys burrito, but I had nothing to go with it.  A co-worker helpfully suggested that I get some guacamole and chips to go with it.  Turns out, he meant getting the guac pre-packaged, but I thought he meant making it myself.  By  the time it was clear, I’d already psyched myself up and located a recipe.

Luckily, making guacamole isn’t that difficult!  With help from my friend and roommate, we successfully created a delicious addition to the main meal.  Maybe the burrito was microwaved, but I’m on my way, people!

You might think 400 words is a bit much to rave about how I made guacamole.  You obviously do not know me.

Making the Guacamole

Making the Guacamole

The Guac Is Done!

The Finished Product!

What’s In My Bag

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Now and then I like to visit sites like Survival Cache that talk about how to live after a hypothetical non-religious apocalypse (to put it kindly).  To put it unkindly, I’m talking about those sites that are made of people who are honest-to-god terrified that the world is ripe for disaster and anarchy, and think we ought to have plans in place for when nuclear bombs go off or governments implode.

They make good resources for creative fiction stories, and I never went camping as a kid, learned to fish, shoot a gun, etc.  They frequently explain in layman’s terms things like that, which is great if you want a contemporary action-packed story.

Well, while I floated around these websites, I noticed a very popular idea:  Bug Out Bags.  These are typically backpacks full of hiking and navigation equipment–things you’d usually take with you on a camping trip with just a little bit of crazy added for flavor (never know when you’ll need that 9 millimeter).  As an espionage enthusiast,  I’ve also read that Bug Out Bags are sometimes used by spies in case they need to get out of a suddenly hostile environment.

Anyway, I’m neither a spy nor a survivalist, but I do like to be prepared, and besides, it made me think about what I carry around in my own bag, and how it is a reflection of myself.  So today I took out all the junk I keep in my backpack and started documenting.

Here’s what I found:

Pack Contents

The Contents of My Backpack

Click on the image to go to my Flickr site, where I labeled everything directly on the photo and added notes.

As a list:

  • Stainless steel water bottle
  • 2 pairs of just-purchased goggles (not typically in my pack)
  • 3 greeting cards for various occasions
  • Napkins that also double as tissues for my bad allergies, though I’ve found them useful for other purposes (see: Knowing Where One’s Towel Is)
  • Umbrella
  • Keys & bonus cards
  • Canvas shopping bag
  • Lanyard with two flashdrives
  • Bike pump
  • USB adapter for my phone
  • My laptop
  • Emergency scantron for pop quizzes (or lapses in memory about real quizzes)
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Lip gloss
  • Power cord for laptop
  • Wireless mouse & USB adapter
  • Headphones with case
  • Folder, notebook, textbook, organizer, and pencil case

You can obviously tell what my occupations are: Techie and student.  You can gather that I have a bike (the pump), that I’m female (the lip gloss), that I like being prepared for all occasions (scantron, Swiss Army knife, greeting cards, napkins, flash drives, umbrella), and that I’m a geek (wireless mouse, really, Leigh?).  I try to be earth-friendly (canvas bag, reusable water bottle), and I’m either anal-retentive or organized (pencil case, folder, organizer).

I evidently care only a little for fashion or appearance based on the utilitarian wallet and the single cosmetic item.  I am physically active, however, if I bought goggles.

Well.  I knew all these things about myself before doing this exercise, but it was still fun to see how much you can gather about a person by the things they carry around daily–not just what they do with their time, but how they might act, even what they might look like.

So, what’s in your bag?

The Pack

We've been through a lot together: High school, Mexico, Europe, and college...