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I am not going to go into lengthy detail about how my job is going. It has its nights of merit, but it just seems like there is a lot of drama going on. Overall, it’s still a decent job. I like the tasks I have to do, and I have the chance to move around a lot rather than sit in a chair for eight hours. I don’t mind the commute most days. I like listening to one of the radio shows that’s on while I drive to work between 9:00 to 11:00 at night. It’s just lonely sometimes, and every once in a while I wish I could have Fridays and Saturdays off or Saturdays and Sundays off so I could have the chance to visit with my friends or family.

I get to see Alex once a week. Sundays are usually our days. But it still isn’t ideal because he works Monday morning. I can’t wait until we are able to move. I’m crossing my fingers for March.

While I went down to visit him the last two weekends, Alex came to visit today. We were both a little tired, but we talked, watched part of a terrible movie (The Happening – what the hell is up with that movie?), decorated some Halloween cookies, and ate chili. We also cuddled under blankets because even though my house’s furnace was replaced in the past month or so, we haven’t turned the heat on yet. After stepping outside after my shift this morning and finding my car covered in frost (I happened to be wearing only my uniform and a jean jacket), I feel we should reconsider.

I was sad to see Alex go tonight, but I was glad I at least had the chance to see him for a few hours. We have had several obstacles to overcome together so far, and even though our schedules are our main one for the time being, I feel that we will one day eventually get around it and be happier.

After he left, I went back to carving a pumpkin. Mom and I went to a local farm a few weeks ago and picked out a humongous gourd. Mom tore it right off the vine and tried to carry it out of the pumpkin patch, but it wore her out and I had to run and fetch a wagon to take it to the cashier.

Anyway, it sat there for a bit, and eventually I got the inspiration for my carving. I used to never be a fan of horror films, though during the month of October, it is somewhat difficult to avoid. Freddy Krueger is, in my opinion, one of the most frightening of slasher-film villains and he has even haunted my nightmares (though of course, I’ve woken up from those…). I prefer my zombies to shamble though I don’t mind if they run, and my vampires most definitely don’t sparkle. Mom and I have been watching a lot of recent thriller and horror movies lately, and that’s been fun. I think my favorite was the original Let the Right One In. The ending was so abrupt and disturbing, yet in a way, endearing in reference to Oscar and Eli’s relationship.

Oh wait, anyway, I got off track. I swear I have a point to this rambling. So in my junior year of high school, I got my wisdom teeth removed around Halloween. I didn’t put together a costume, or at least I don’t remember having one. I went to a Halloween party the day after I had the surgery, and my friends said I just sat around, staring off into space and occasionally giggling. Also, I kept saying, “You’ve got red on you,” to a guy dressed up like Shaun from Shaun of the Dead. I seriously only remember saying it once.

While I was recovering from having my wisdom teeth out, I sat around on the couch a lot. It was before I took up knitting, so I didn’t do any of that, but we rented some movies. I had heard about Evil Dead and was curious, and that was on top of the video stack as well as Evil Dead II and the adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s The Rules of Attraction. I may or may not have watched American Psycho around that time, too. Anyway, I just remember watching the Evil Dead movies and I was so confused with the second one because I was doped up and couldn’t tell the difference between Evil Dead and Evil Dead II except the second one was funnier. But I liked it. I thought it was weird and Bruce Campbell was cool.  Eventually I got my hands on Army of Darkness, and I loved it. It was hilarious. I did an econ project my senior year of high school where I examined the film industry and what considerations have to go into making a movie, specifically a low-budget horror movie. I have watched Army of Darkness many times, and on my graduation from college, I wore a “Hail to the King, Baby” button on my gown.

So, anyway, my inspiration was my love for Army of Darkness, and after spending at least six hours over the course of four nights scraping images of Ash and Evil Ash out of this pumpkin, here are the results. I am so glad I was able to finish it in time for Halloween.

By the way, I actually didn’t realize I would have Halloween night off until last Sunday. With my old schedule, I would have been working. I wish I had noticed sooner, though. I’m not going to go through with making a costume this year. Reduce, reuse, recycle, they say. It should be fun, though. I’m going to go up north and hang out with some friends for Rocky Horror. I haven’t really seen anyone besides Alex for about a month. Oh, mature adult world, why do you have to suck sometimes?

Well, after spending a week at home doing basically nothing, I have changed my surroundings… but have found myself doing pretty much the same thing.

I’m not exactly sad – definitely not like how I was before graduation, but I am in a slump. It’s hard to get motivated. I haven’t read or wrote anything in the past week, and I haven’t done much of anything. Well, that’s not entirely true, but if you were around me at all this past week, you would also say that I’m being a lazy bum. I haven’t even really unpacked, since I’ve been bouncing between Pendleton, Muncie, and on one occasion, Lexington. My clothes are in the dressers, but my toiletries are still in a travel bag, and I just haven’t had the motivation to unpack or sort through all my belongings. I’m hoping next week I will be able to pull myself together and get to work.

No word on my job. Well, I mean, I got it, it’s just that the training hasn’t started yet, and it’s been over a month since I had the interview and was told that the people want me. I’m not feeling totally optimistic. I really want to start working. I need the money, and I need some sort of structure or schedule to my day.

I got to see my boy on Wednesday. We watched FLCL (one of the gifts he got me for graduation), listened to LCD Soundsystem’s This is Happening (the other gift he got me for graduation), and went to Sno Castle and had our first snocones of the season. Yum.

Thursday was my mom’s birthday, and I made her a nice dinner and for dessert, margarita cupcakes. They’re pretty good cupcakes, though I messed up on the frosting and it was really drippy. I liked the lime flavor of the cupcakes, even though I feel like they ended up being too sweet for me. We also watched Red, which is full of awesome.

Friday was a good day. I got out of the house and met my mom during her break for lunch. We ate at Monical’s, a pizza place I had never been before. It was nice. Afterward, I spent some money. I ended up at Always in Stitches, a yarn store nearby that I had never been before, and fought my urge to buy really pretty, great, but expensive yarn. Maybe another day. Probably another day.

I stopped by Barnes and Noble, where I picked up The Call of Cthulhu, and Best Buy, where I bought Deadmau5’s 4×4=12. After that, I drove to Anderson and bought some yarn at Hobby Lobby. I know, I bought yarn anyway, but in my defense, it was for a current project (and a few future prospective projects…). I came back home and wrote fifteen thank-you notes in one sitting, which I’m pretty sure is a new record for me.

Saturday, Mom and I hung out the whole day. We both ran our own errands in the morning, and then watched movies on television for the the majority of the day. I finally convinced her that we should go to the library and get movies, so we did that and watched The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine. I got most of the way through knitting a hat, realized I messed it up, and had to restart it. By 8:30, we had finished both our movies and were incredibly bored. And that was the story of the night.

Yesterday, it took me forever to get motivated. I finished the hat I was knitting the night before, packed up my things (reluctantly, since I’m so sick and tired of moving around), and drove down to Lexington. Cindy is on a business trip this week, and Dad asked if I could help him out with the boys. Because I haven’t started working yet, I took up his offer. I didn’t have any problems on the drive, except it rained the whole time and I was bored because it was a three-hour trip and there was no one to talk to, unless you count talking to yourself.

I stayed up late last night, even though I shouldn’t have, and Dad woke me up at 5:30 before he left. He had done most of the preparation from last night, but I was very efficient at getting my brothers up, dressed, fed, hair fixed (you should see the bedheads on those kids) and at the bus stop, all while playing Pokemon Yellow on my Gameboy Color. Yes, I’m twenty-two. Don’t judge me.

I stayed up a little after the boys left, mostly because I had a cup of coffee, but I went back to bed around 8:00. I woke up two hours later, and lately, I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. I think I have three hours before the kids get home from school, so I should probably workout and take my shower. Tomorrow, the kids are off school, so I’ll be hanging out with them all day.

It’s been a refreshing change of environment, even if it is moving from one living room to another.

Happy New Year! It’s unbelievable that yes, another year has gone by. Part of me is saying, “Hey, slow down, world, let me enjoy my time!” and the other part is saying, “Slow down after my graduation! I want graduation to be here as soon as possible!” No, but really – I’m 22 now. It’s weird. I mean, not like it matters much, anymore. I think the only memorable birthday after 21 is probably 25 – because isn’t that the age when you can rent a car? Anyway, it’s still weird whenever you turn another year older. Sometimes, I slip up and say I’m the wrong age – not because I want to lie about it, but because I forget how fast time has passed.

Whatever. Not griping. I just didn’t want to have a big celebration. I didn’t even want to do it last year, but Alex thought that since I was turning 21, it would be important for me to have a birthday party.

What happened was that Alex came up to visit, we had fancy chicken-cranberry-Brie pizza and taught my mom how to play Settlers of Catan. Much to my chagrin, Mom beat us. I was sincerely hoping I’d have a chance of winning a game.

Scott came up after his shift, and then we proceeded to get drunk. We had those silly cracker things that have toys in them, and we wore the crepe paper crowns from them all night. We watched the ball drop, toasted with Champagne, and we had birthday cake – homemade triple-layer funfetti cake with buttercream frosting.

Oooh, doesn’t that look lovely? Yes, it was definitely as good as it looked.

Of course, something went a little awry. We popped our second round of crackers, and I began to feel sick. Not nausea – it wasn’t related to my drinking, surprisingly. No, I’ve had this feeling before – when having an allergy attack. I’ve had two notable allergy attacks (to some sort of spice, we’re thinking, but we really can’t be for sure). In the past during this attacks, my eyelids and lips have swelled up and I can’t breathe, among other things that happen to my body. In this case, I definitely couldn’t breathe. I kept coughing and wheezing, but there was really nothing I could do except drink water and struggle through it.

That is how my 2011 began. Despite the fact I couldn’t breathe, it was good. I got to celebrate with the love of my life, my mother, and one of my good friends I hadn’t seen in a while. Like I said, we had cake, and I opened up the majority of my gifts. I only opened one of Alex’s, and saved the other one for the next day. The one I did open that night was a book – a graphic novel, pop-up version of Dracula. It is seriously cool, and as weird as it seems, very fitting for me. I had never seen it before, and it made me laugh so much I was gasping for breath, thanks to the allergy/asthma attack. Additionally, Scott got me this terrible, not even considered B-movie called The Corpse Grinders II. Oh, dear. My friends do know me well for my fondness for bad movies.

We went to bed shortly after. I was still sick, and nearly frightened that I might die in my sleep – but too inebriated to stay awake.

I woke up feeling better. We had a nice breakfast and then bummed around for a while. Scott left around noon, I think. I opened up my other gift from Alex – The Third Season of The Venture Bros. We watched two episodes and then he left.

My birthday remained quiet. I read more of The World According to Garp; I had been reading it all break and not getting much accomplished. I began a new goal for the year – to add to my 101 Goals, or well, to help some of it – and that is to write each day. I’ve picked up my habit of writing at 750 Words again. Let’s hope it lasts.

Mom and I watched When Harry Met Sally and Love Actually after dinner – which was spaghetti. I felt a little kid again. It was just nice to relax, though.

Yesterday, Mom and I went to see Black Swan. It was much more compelling than I originally thought. It was equal parts beautiful, insane, and terrifying. After dinner, around 9:00, I went over to Jennifer’s and hung out with her, Austin, Nick, Krista, Robin, and Chris. It was nice to see everyone again. I enjoy the fact that now I can actually go visit my friends and have a lot more freedom thanks to my driver’s license and car. Just think about all that I had missed before! Anyway, we played Telephone Pictionary, and it was hilarious! I was reduced to tears laughing so hard.

I came home around 2:00 am and had a slice of funfetti cake. Because I could.

Today was another quiet day. I finished reading The World According to Garp, finally. I have many more books to finish reading before I go back to school. Only six days left until my return. I will enjoy it as much as I can.

I have been caught in a holiday whirlwind for the past few days, though I’m sure many people have been, too. I’ve enjoyed it all, though. No major accidents, no tears, all good.

I drove to my (paternal) grandparents’ house in Richmond on Thursday. I made it there without a problem, blasting Devo all the way. I was the first family member to arrive, and I got to spend about an hour with my grandparents before my dad, Cindy, and my brothers showed up. I went out shopping with my grandma, dad, and Cindy, and when we returned, my aunt Cathy, uncle Rob, and cousins Kaity and Jack had arrived, and my aunt Jeanne, uncle Steve, and cousins Christopher, Matthew, and Brian had come over for dinner (they live close by). We had spaghetti, and it was a scramble for chairs.

As usual, I slept in the living room with my cousin Kaity. I don’t usually pull rank, but I sort of did this year. I hate sleeping on air mattresses, and I didn’t want to sleep on the floor, so I called the couch – which isn’t nearly as comfortable as one would hope, but it’s still a place to sleep. I said, “Merry Couch-mas” to Kaity when we were going to bed, due to our past Christmases; once, we shared one giant wraparound couch with my cousin Brian on Christmas Eve and that was interesting.

On Christmas Eve, we did a lot of hanging around the house, watching television and talking. I worked on a scarf for my mom. We went to Christmas Eve mass, and everything went well, though I started feeling sick because I went nine hours without having anything to eat. We came home and had beef and noodles for dinner.

In previous years on Christmas Eve, Kaity and I have been kicked out of the living room so last-minute wrapping of presents can take place and the adults can hang out without being bothered by the kids. We usually sit around, watching movies or something. Well, this year I had a bright idea – why don’t we go out and see a movie instead? I had been itching to see TRON: Legacy, since I bought the soundtrack a week ago – it’s effin’ amazing! Kaity hadn’t seen it, so we pitched the idea to our parents. They agreed. So after dinner, I got directions to the movie theater, and the two of us got to escape the craziness for a while. I even got to play a little Electric Six for her.

The theater was nearly empty and we got our choice of seats.  It was great. And then the movie – oh, the movie! I LOVED IT. I know it has its flaws, I really do (Penny Arcade pointed many out), but I can appreciate the film for what it is, and how it relates to the first film. Even if the plot isn’t the best, I think people can at least agree that it is visually-striking and the soundtrack is totally boss. I feel like the geekiest person in my family for how excited I still am about this film, but whatever. We spent a major part of Christmas Day watching and discussing the original Star Wars movies – we are a family of geeks.

After the movie, we left the theater to find it was snowing. The big, fluffy flakes were gorgeous. We got back home around 10:00, but I stayed in my car to talk to Alex. When I got back inside, I found everyone had gone to bed except Kaity, who had just changed into her pajamas. In addition to this, I was left without a blanket and pillow. I had to wake the little boys up (my brothers and my cousin Jack) in order to find at least one blanket to cover up with, but I was still left without a pillow. It was hard to sleep. When I was trying to get David to go back to bed, he told me, “Don’t you think that tonight is just the longest night of your life?” I know we were thinking of different reasons, but I couldn’t have agreed more. I didn’t sleep much at all.

I was up early, too. By 7:00, everyone was up and I was seated at the dining room table with a cup of coffee. We were unwrapping gifts by 8:00. I think this Christmas was perfect. My family was happy with the gifts I gave them, and I was happy with mine. Dad and Cindy got me a GPS so I’ll stop getting lost when I go places I’ve never been or aren’t familiar with. That was a nice surprise. I also got The Fantastic Mr. Fox (the movie), and a bunch of books on my Amazon Wish List I haven’t read before. I have a lot of reading to do. I also got gift cards and money to help support the growth of my “professional wardrobe” since I have very little to choose from when I go into the schools. If all I could wear were t-shirts and awesome graphic/band tees, I’d be set, but sadly, that’s not the case.

We had our traditional Christmas breakfast after opening gifts – pigs-in-blankets and scrambled eggs. Dinner was two hams, a turkey, green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, applesauce, and rolls. No one will ever go hungry in my family – if they do, it’s their own damn fault. Like I said before, we watched Star Wars, episodes 4 through 6, but we also watched Scrooged and Despicable Me. Also, I learned how to make buckeyes! Grandma said we might run out, and since they are popular at Christmas, I told her that if she had the ingredients, I would make another batch of them. I was so honored to learn how to make them, and my grandpa even took pictures to commemorate the event.

It was a nice Christmas, and I was glad to see everyone. On Sunday, my dad, Cindy, and my brothers went back to Kentucky. I left around 2:00 and met my mom and (maternal) grandparents at the nearby Applebee’s. They had me open my presents in the restaurant. I got a nice blouse, gas cards, a holiday ornament shaped like car keys (ha!), and – drum roll please – a crock pot! I can’t wait to try it out!

We had a good meal, and then we parted ways. I drove my mom home. She’s been having back pain, and was on medication, so she shouldn’t have been driving anyway. She hadn’t been in my car before, either, so that was interesting. The only thing that sucks about having her in the passenger’s seat is that she critiques my driving, or she’ll be giving directions and say, “Go left!” and I’ll go left, and she’ll say, “No, I said go right!” and I’ll say, “You just said left!” and we’ll get into an argument about that…

I had to finish making my mom’s gifts before we could exchange them. I had to eventually finish the scarf in front of her, but she was so happy about it, she didn’t mind. She got me a doughnut pan, among other things. This is also another kitchen gadget I can’t wait to try out.

Yesterday, Mom and I went shopping. We spent some of the gift cards we received for Christmas. I usually don’t like spending mine all at once, but since I’m teaching in a few weeks and I need to expand my wardrobe, I can’t exactly wait around. I found some good deals, though. I found a turtleneck, a v-neck, two t-shirts, a cardigan, a brown skirt, and a purse (I’ve never carried a purse before! So weird!). That was only at two stores, too! Mom and I also stopped by Paradise Bakery for muffins and browsed Borders. Then, we went to see TRON: Legacy in 3-D. Yeah, I had to see it again. I’ve never seen a 3-D movie before, but I was curious, since it seems like that film would be amazing in 3-D. I won’t say it was bad, but I definitely won’t be seeing another 3-D film again. The glasses are too awkward over my real glasses, and then my eyes hurt mere minutes into the film. I had to close my eyes at times just to have them rest. I was still happy to see TRON: Legacy again – still amazing!

We came home, ate dinner, and watched Hellboy II: The Golden Army, since Mom got it through Netflix. While we watched that, I worked on a knitted Kindle cover for Alex, since he got a Kindle this year for Christmas. He is super excited about it, though I still prefer my physical, paper books. There’s just no feeling like the turning of pages in your hand.

I saw Alex today. I drove down to his house and we went bowling. We exchanged gifts, and we were both very happy. He says his gift was lame, but I truly appreciate it. I just wish that I lived in a place of my own where I could have nice things and make it look like a home. We don’t have a dining room table. I would die to have a nice dining room table, rather than just eating on the floor…

Anyway, we played with the Wii for a bit, and I stayed for dinner and dessert. I left about a quarter to 8:00, and went home. I had been invited to hang out with people at my friend Chris’s house, and I went over there about 9:00. It was Chris’s birthday and he’s 20 now, so strange! We played this game called Quelf, ate chips and brownies, watched Eddie Izzard’s “Dressed to Kill,” chatted, and played with kittens. Oh, if only I could have had one of those kittens! They were so cute!

So I’m home now, for a while. I think tomorrow is just going to be a lazy day. I think I need it.

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Bat

How I wonder where you’re at…”

It is 3:00 a.m.

I am still awake, and so is my mom. She has to be at work in five hours.

What are we doing?

We’re baking cookies for our Christmas goodie bags. In short, we are effing nuts.

I fell asleep standing up, leaning on the overhang on our stove, mumbling things about how I’m the Yoda Master of poking holes (in our cookies) and stuff like that.

I am so tired and I want to go to bed. I’m on my second cup of coffee, but I don’t think even that will help.

Things are relatively good, though. I went to hang out at a friend’s house tonight. I brought fudge, gave people rides (now that I have a car!), we ordered pizza, watched Christmas specials, and chatted. I gave my friend a gift that she really liked, but I won’t talk about it just yet.

Something I will say was not good today was dropping my phone (which I got less than a month ago) in the toilet. I did that as I was getting dressed this evening – right before I had to pick up my friends. The good news is, it’s somewhat functional, except two of the function keys aren’t working right so I can’t access my phone’s menu and there’s a water blotch on the screen. But at least it can still make calls and receive texts. I’m kicking myself, though.

That’s all that’s going on right now. Tomorrow, I get to see my lover boy. I’m really excited – I’ve missed him! And Tuesday, Mom and I get to have some more mother-daughter bonding time that doesn’t involve baking over twenty dozen cookies in forty-eight hours.

Yeah, that’s how we do Christmas.

I swear I’m not dead. It’s just that I thought I would be done after last week. Turns out, I’m not. I’ve got a unit plan due Tuesday, a paper due Friday, another small project I haven’t even started on due Friday, not to mention the readings I have to do, two small extra credit papers (because I really, really need the extra credit), my last week of teaching at the middle school, and work.

So, I’m not dead. But my brain is sorta dead. (And yeah, I’m an English major, and I just wrote “sorta.” If you have a problem, go stuff it.)

Oh, and it’s snowing! It’s been snowing quite a bit since the first of December. It’s pretty, but man, I’m not a fan of driving (and biking – yes, it’s happened) in it. I would much rather be curled up in my bed and staying warm, drinking hot cocoa, knitting, watching movies and all that crap…

Among all this, I haven’t had much time to work on my projects for Christmas. Bleh. I have the best of intentions – Mom even sent the sewing machine back up to school with me, even though I don’t have a table big enough for it in this entire apartment. I’m hoping that with all my free time during finals week, I’ll be able to do some craftiness.

Also, I can’t wait to lift the Buffy ban. I haven’t watched any since before Thanksgiving break. I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t watch any more until I had my unit plan done. Although I might extend the ban until Thursday. I need to focus.

Despite things being busy as hell here, life is good. Well, except the fact I didn’t get my scholarship, so the library isn’t getting rid of me just yet – I’ll be working there on the weekends to earn some dough and help keep my finances in order. I don’t mind the work itself, I just know that student teaching demands a lot, and I don’t want to fail – I can’t fail – and throwing work into that mix is not going to be easy, and I’m tired of being so stressed out all the time. I’ve been tired of it for a very long, long time.

But anyway! Life is good! Alex came up this weekend. It was my fifth weekend in a row to see him. I won’t be seeing him for at least two weeks, now, but that’s all right. We made peanut butter blossoms. They were so tasty, though our first batch got really brown on the bottom and tasted a little burnt. We ate them all – not all on Friday night, but they were gone by the time Sunday afternoon came along.

We also watched Magnolia on Friday night. Alex had never seen it before. It’s my favorite movie, has been since the summer before my junior year of high school. I was going through a lot of identity and relationship issues, and was feeling really ostracized. I watched it at my dad’s house in New Orleans. I was crying 2/3 of the way through it. I identified a lot with Stanley and Donnie Smith – the “Quiz Kids.” I still do, to some extent. Magnolia is so beautiful. I hadn’t watched it since probably my junior year of high school, when I watched it with an ex. Every time Alex had suggested watching it before, I declined because usually I wasn’t up to a beautifully crafted, emotionally draining film that spans three hours. I finally agreed to watch it with him, though, and I sacrificed an extra hour of sleep for it. I was worried about what he would think of it. I think I’m always afraid of what people will think of my choices in movies. He enjoyed it, though, and I’m glad. I feel like, now that we have watched it together, he knows me on a deeper level – even though that probably sounds dorky.

I worked on Saturday morning, did some work on my unit plan, and we went over to our friend Leigh’s apartment that evening. It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to hang out with her and everyone else. It’s been a long semester, and we’ve all been busy. I miss socializing.

Anyway, it’s time for me to go to bed. Just a few more days, and I’m free!

I love having a car, you know that? I don’t know why I was so afraid of driving the past five years, but I’m loving every chance I get to drive in my car. It especially comes in handy when you need to go home from college. Yesterday after I left the middle school, I went home, packed the rest of my stuff (consisting mostly of laundry), ate lunch standing up while doing dishes, ran back out to my car, and put everything in my car before I drove to work. I didn’t even take off my coat, and when I was at work, I realized that I still had my badge on for when I’m in the schools. I traded that for my work name tag, and was busy for the next three hours.

I made it home shortly after 3:00. I put in a load of laundry, had a snack, and drove to meet my mom at work. I then followed her from there to the auto repair center at the dealership that would be taking care of my car. I had separation anxiety from her, my Hannelore (Yeah, that’s my car’s name. You can guess what one of my favorite webcomics is…). We have good times. I blast Electric Six, Depeche Mode, and Devo in her, which comes in handy when I’m stuck in traffic. I’m really sad that I’ve only had her two months, and already, we’re having major issues.

Mom stopped at Starbucks and we got coffee. We got stuck in the traffic on the way home, but we got to talk a lot. At home, we ate dinner, I did more laundry, and watched Glee while Mom did homework.

I slept in until 10:00 today, and that was great. I bummed around for a bit, worked a little on some crafty projects I’m doing, and I have now made one dessert for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. It’s a Dutch Apple Pie for Uncle Dave. He doesn’t like pumpkin, and my other dessert for tomorrow is a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cheesecake – Thank you, Sprinklebakes! I’ve also been listening to the Electric Six albums I don’t own on Grooveshark. It’s so much fun. I hope I’m able to go to their show in April, even though it’s on a Tuesday and I’ll be student teaching…

I got a call about my car today. They sent it to another affiliated shop to specify the problem, but yeah, it has something to do with the transmission – exactly what I feared. I still don’t have the car’s title or registration yet, and it’s the damn transmission. Sigh.

I should be working on homework. I have an eight-page paper for Victorian British Lit due next week (I think), and I have a huge unit plan due in about two weeks. I just can’t get motivated. Part of me is saying, “Stop being lazy!” but another part of me says, “You really deserve this break. Enjoy what you can.” I like the latter’s point of view on all this. Besides, I know I’ll get everything done, one way or another.

Despite the fact that it was not in my original intentions, I had a lovely weekend at home. After I ranted about being the dumbest person ever, I pushed my driver’s seat back, put a foot up on my dashboard, and grabbed the box of freshman journals I had to grade. I enjoyed reading the students’ entries, and wished that I had more than four days left with them.

My mom pulled up when I had two journals left to grade. We hauled my stuff into the house and started doing laundry. Lots of laundry. I don’t even know how much laundry, it was that immense. We ate dinner, and then Mom sent me on a quick grocery-shopping trip. She’s been waiting to do that for years, and since I now have a license and a car, I can.

She did some homework, and I finished grading journals, and she helped me clean my fish tank because Bones really needed a clean home again. Then Mom did more homework, and I made homemade salsa. My hands smelled like cilantro for the rest of the night, but man, was that salsa tasty. We ate some of that with chips while we watched Kick-Ass.

I slept in on Saturday, and then we went to Bob Evans for brunch – Mom had a coupon. It was good, and Mom and I talked a lot. I miss her.

When we got back, I made sugar cookie dough and did homework. Then I made cookies and iced them. I think you’ll agree that they’re pretty awesome, especially the skulls. I had to cut out the eyes for them and the ghosts myself.

Mom and I ate more chips and salsa while watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Good Hair – the latter of which was rather enlightening!

I stayed up until 2:00 updating my music and burning CDs for my car. I got up around 8:45 this morning and Mom had made cinnamon rolls. They were so good. She sent me back to Muncie with some of those, some salsa, some bean casserole thing we had for dinner on Friday, and an unopened box of hot chocolate mix. She spoils me.

I got back to my apartment (where my house keys were sitting on my nightstand, mocking me), and unpacked. I had just enough time to get everything in place, and then I had to bike to work. I already got my lesson plan done, and I have about two and a half hours left of my shift. I suppose I should have brought a book. Oh well. After I get off, my grandparents are coming to visit me and take me out to dinner. They also spoil me, but it will be good to see them. Grandpa is having surgery this week. I hope everything goes well.

I had one thing I wanted to write about since it is Halloween. I love this holiday, but look at me – I’m lame and at work, not dressing up, no parties, nothing, really. And I think I’m really sad that there’s no Rocky Horror Picture Show for me tonight. I haven’t been the past few years, and I should have gone. My friends get to wreak havoc, and I don’t. But it means a lot more to me, or at least, it has in the past.

I thought of Rocky Horror today because I was listening to the soundtrack in my car during my drive. I sang along, sometimes shouting out lines from the audience participation. It made me nostalgic for the (slightly) wild girl I used to be.

I first learned of Rocky Horror through my mother. She used to go to the midnight showings with her friends. The Halloween when I was in seventh grade, VH1 showed it edited, and we watched it together. A while later, she bought the DVD and we watched it again. Sometimes late at night, I’d watch it by myself. I memorized it.

I met my friend Leigh in eighth grade. We shared a love of Rocky Horror. She had actually been to midnight showings at Hollywood Bar and Filmworks. The summer after eighth grade, I went with her, her family, and my friend Joe to see it at Hollywood Bar and Filmworks. The theater was packed and smoky. Joe and I were “virgins,” even though I had seen the movie multiple times – just not in the theater. Leigh drew a big lipstick “V” on my forehead. Their “de-virginizing” ceremony for that night was an auction. I was auctioned off to a woman with pierced nipples. She showed them to the audience to buy me, but then she let me go back and sit with Leigh and her family.

The show was a blast! I got home at 3:00 in the morning, my voice hoarse from screaming, clothes smelling like smoke and my mascara giving me raccoon eyes. And I had to do it again.

I don’t know how many more times I went after that, but I was sure to dress up. I wore fishnets, cat ears, feather boas, lots of stuff. Leigh and I had our pictures taken and put in the Indianapolis Star. I had a forty-year-old man dressed as Frank-n-Furter sit on my lap for “I’m Going Home.” I dreamed of playing Magenta in the shadow cast one day, I loved it that much.

But then I had a falling out with Leigh sophomore year, and Hollywood Bar and Filmworks shut its doors for good. Rocky Horror no more.

Leigh and I eventually made up. We’re still friends. I graduated, came to Ball State, and found out that, around Halloween, UPB did a showing of Rocky Horror. I joined the shadow cast and was supposed to play the Criminologist, but found that the director was a twat who didn’t know what she was doing, and she didn’t respect the cast. She wanted to make it more shock-worthy and less fun, if that makes sense. I think it does – Glee recently proved the same point that Rocky Horror might be shocking, but what is more important is having fun with it. So I quit the shadow cast, but I still went to the showing. It was pretty lame, since it was a university-sponsored. The shadow cast had been an embarrassment, so I am glad I had left it. I had way more fun being with my friends. Well, except for when I stepped on my camera with my high heel. That wasn’t so good. But Rocky Horror – it was always good.

So I’m sad I can’t be at a showing tonight, but in my heart, I’m there, screaming obscenities, dancing the Time Warp, and being an Unconventional Conventionalist.

Don’t dream it, be it…

This is my first 7:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursday. I think it will be okay, but I still wish that I could have a little time at home during the day in which to relax, and not just two hours before I have to go to bed. It also doesn’t help that I’m never really alone. I mean, I’m in class, there’s people. At the library, there’s people. At the apartment, there’s people, and cats.

Oh, those cats. Flareon will meow at me in the morning as I’m making breakfast in the kitchen. Ninja meows all the time. We have the terrifying suspicion that she might be going into heat, and Flareon isn’t neutered yet, so Jessi has been keeping Ninja in her room. But it doesn’t change the fact that she meows all night and the walls are thin, so we can all hear her anyway. I woke up this morning at 3:30 and she was still going. I like animals, so I normally don’t want to kill them, but because of these past few days, I’ve really wanted to murder Ninja. But I won’t, because I actually do like cats and I couldn’t be cruel to any animal, and also because I don’t want people thinking I’m insane and I don’t want to go to jail or anything like that. Also, if you’ve read “The Cats of Ulthar,” you really, really don’t want to kill a cat.

Overall, though, things are going well. This has been my most productive week yet. I have been: going to class, working, reading, talking with my supervising teacher and setting up a visit to the school, signing up for CPR training, researching the Praxis II, picking up forms for scholarships, getting my criminal background checks, working out, busting out my calligraphy set, knitting a penguin, and – perhaps my favorite – baking a pie.

I got home at 6:00 last night after working out. I did my homework, ate dinner, took a quick shower, and around 7:30 (I think) I started baking Alex’s birthday peach-blueberry pie. It was really simple to put together, but I was still nervous. I’ve only baked one other pie before, and that was last Thanksgiving. That had gone well, but I also had other women to look to for advice. This time, I was totally on my own.

And let me tell you, it went beautifully. I think after I took it out of the oven and let it cool a bit, I was running around the apartment with it, saying, “LOOK AT THIS! OH! IT’S SO PRETTY!” I took pictures. I’ll post them soon, or whenever I can. I can’t wait to try a slice, but I must. Alex is coming up tomorrow and staying all weekend. I also only have one class tomorrow, and I can sleep in. This weekend is going to be so awesome… I just have to get through today first!

I went to Richmond for the weekend. The family reunion went well. I got to help my grandma bake, try hard pear cider with my uncle, and fix my little brother Alex’s treasured blanket. It’s really pretty, and I did the best I could. You can tell it’s been worn down with a lot of love.

At the reunion, I stayed out of the rain, which my brothers and younger cousin played in and got soaked and, well, just hung around the adults, because I’m one now, I guess. I discussed teaching with a distant relative – guessing, I don’t actually know what our relationship was – who has been a math teacher for over fifteen years. It’s nice that I’m actually getting encouraged to keep doing what I’m doing, since the past year and a half or so has made me doubt my desire to do teaching.

I also fielded many questions. Questions about whose kid I was, about school and the inevitable “Oh! Senior Year!” comment, questions about my knitting, since I was working on a scarf, and of course, questions about boyfriend Alex. Most of those came from my brothers; one of David’s made me laugh: “If you and your boyfriend Alex get married, how do we tell him and Alex (brother) apart?” This isn’t the first time my brothers (mind you, they’re ten and seven) have brought up the idea of me getting married. But there’s so much more I have to accomplish before that happens!

I didn’t get to see my dad that much, because he and my stepmother went up to Chicago to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, and they did really well and enjoyed their experience.

I came home on Sunday, and I’ve been a bump on the couch for the past few days. I keep meaning to go to the bank, but the weather is either too hot or rainy to ride my bike. I have sewing projects to work on, and knitting, and I’m trying to make sure I can finish Speaker for the Dead before this weekend. Instead, I’ve been watching a lot of crappy television, with the exception of the newest Futurama episode. That was cute.

I made cookies today, though! Yay! They’re s’mores cookies. Oh my god. Amazing. I’m going to give a dozen of them to Alex when he comes to visit tomorrow. And I might eat a dozen before then…

Just look at them. LOOK AT THEM. DELICIOUS.

Unfortunately, now I have to do dishes. Just add that to my list.

Packing’s on that list too, but I’ve been the least productive at that. I move up to the new apartment next Tuesday, and I should be more excited, but I’m not. I know, just one year left, but man, summer, I’ve missed you. I want some more time with you.