29 August 2007

Grip, tap, sip, gush...

So has anyone seen the latest Heineken commertial with the green dancing robot lady? Apparently this thing is making all sorts or ruckus online becasue it's sexist boardering on mysogonistic or whatever, but feminism isn't really my bag of tea, so I don't give a shit. I love it. Seriously.



I do have a special little soft spot in my heart for techno/electronic music along those lines though. The song in the commertial reminds me of that band from way back when, Eiffel 65. Their CD, Europop was the very first CD that I bought using my own money. Funny how memories stick with you like that. I remember so vividly sneaking away from my mom in F.Y.E. (which back then was still The Wall with their little lifetime guarentee stickers on each CD) to go and find the shiny plastic wrapped new CD. I paid with one dollar bills. The clerk was this sweet girl who asked me if I had earned the money myself, and I answered her so proudly!

"Yes!" I exclaimed. She probably thought I was like 6... I was a runt of a child.

I thought I was such big shit after buying that. I remember thinking I was so grown up! Because that's what makes teenagers real teenagers apparently. They buy CDs and listen to Hit music. And I was like 10 at the time... So close to teenageness!

If only things really were like my little idealist mind pictured things. Being a Teenager sucked. And little ten or eleven year old me stood there in The Wall, clutching that CD, willing time to move faster...

And now, I wish time wouldn't move at all.

-l.c.

28 August 2007

Headphones Help...


So today was like the perfect day weather-wise here in the Pitts. My classes were not good, with the exception of my poetry workshop. I have a critical issues class that I'm certianly going to learn a lot in, but the amount of work is going to be ludacris (yup, like the rapper, because I can't spell). Not to mention 9:25 am is not exactly a fantastic time for me to be critically anyalizing anything. Or at least in a way that doesn't involve massive amounts of profanity and unneccessary cruelty. And fun as that may be, I don't think it'll do wonders for my grade. My travel writing class is going to be fine, it was just that by today I was so sick of going over syllabi that I twitched through the whole thing.



Look at that blue sky! Today wasn't bad, surprisingly. I decided today that this whole University thing is WAY better with my headphones in. You know, one of the guys who was on the trip to China with us always had at least one of his earbuds in, almost at all times except for meals. Me and my best friend asked him one night on the way back to the hotel on the bus why he did that, and he replied, "I like having a soundtrack to my life" (Or at least something very similar. It was a while ago). I didn't scoff or anything, but I didn't quite get it. But now I do, albeit for different reasons. I figured out today that if my headphones are in, with the music blaring, I can pretend that the gaggle of bleached blonde girls with their Louis Vuitton purses walking in front of me are actually having an intense debate over Sarte or Shakespeare instead of discusssing where where to get the liquor for this weekend. It sort of makes it seem like University life is what I used to think it was. Intellegent conversations, scholarly activities everywhere...

I've also decided that that place I used to picture when I thought about university, with scholars everywhere sipping coffee and discussing liturature and politics with ferver and intellegence at all hours doesn't actually exist in real life. Just in my idealized world.

I don't have apartment pictures yet, since it's really not going to be done until after our trips home Labor Day weekend to get supplies such as photos, adheasives, and other such little things we forgot that we need to finish it. However, I did make something crafty for it. I just can't hang them yet.

So I took these items...



And turned them into.... THIS:



I think they're cute, and they'll bring out the accent colors in my quilt (they will be on the wall above my bed).

-l.c.

27 August 2007

Booooo, classes. YAY COFFEE!

I don't have long, but I thought I'd quickly check in. I have so much to talk about, and so much swimming in my head, that I just need to take 10 minutes and write about apartments, and coffee, and sandwiches... Things that have nothing whatsoever to do with schedules, classes, or responsibility.

Our apartment is almost totally set up, and looking fab. BUT, no pictures, because again, it's ALMOST done. AKA boxes and other junk are still strewn across the floor. Hopefully we'll have that done before we go home for Labor Day on Friday.

I just made myself the best poached egg sandwich EVER. Apparently the trick is to a) under-poach the egg just a little, so that the yolk is the consistancy of an overcooked fried egg (somewhere halfway between liquid and solid), and b) sprinkle some teryaki sauce on the bread before putting on the egg. We haven't had a chance to buy any sandwich cheese yet, so I was at a loss for what else to put on it besides the egg and the bread. So I closed my eyes, reached into the fridge, and came out with the teryaki sauce. It was surprisingly delicious.

And lastly, though I do so love the early morning, I forgot how hard it actually is for me to live through without coffee. I still have to clean my coffee maker, so I had to wait until I got a chance to run to the campus Starbucks to get my coffee today. So I was coffeeless from 7 this morning until maybe 9:45... Bad news. I really must clean my coffee maker tonight.

Anyway, must book it out to class.

-l.c.

24 August 2007

My Childhood...

Was apparently much more brutal than I remember. Or at least the songs from it were. I was playing with this nifty new playlist thing I've got going on under the soundtrack area on the right side (check it out!) and I, on a whim, searched for "The Cat Came Back" by Fred Penner, having just finished being nastolgic about childhood with my little brother.

DAMN the lyrics are far more violent than I certianly remember.

Shotguns, and deaths by mutilation... dammmmnnnn.

Check out the lyrics HERE

Or just listen in my nifty little thing, thanks to my discovery of it in a DevArt friend's blog.

In other news, I'm busy here enjoying my last night at home, chillin on the couch watchin Futurama with my Dad and bro while my bro screws around with the acoustic guitar and Rusalka alternates between chasing my beloved Tabby cat or chewing on the Bone we gave her so she'll stop biting our toes.



I'm not looking forward to being in Pittsburgh again, nor am I looking forward to classes and work and miserable weather... or the whole 300 or so miles away from family, home, and the town I so appreciate now. But I am looking forward to seeing my roomie again, and setting up our apartment tommorrow afternoon and night. It should be fun. And for when classes actually start, and it's not so much fun anymore, I bought myself a myriad of things to keep my mind occupied, including only my all time favorite movie and Shakespere play all rolled into one amazing thing featuring a beautiful Kate Winslet, and a confusingly appealing, if a bit old for the role, Kenneth Branaugh.



I also bought some trashy super quick reads of the CSI: Maimi varitey, my own personal guilty pleasure books.

I also picked up some fabric, some solid colors for a very large, super secret project for the holiday season (It's going to be so totally awesome!), and I made two spectacularly lucky finds in the remnant bin at Joann's.



So, as much as I wish the summer wasn't over, I've got enough to keep my mind occupied in my spare time between my friends, my trashy novels, and my DVD, at least until my boyfriend picks me up so we can go home for Labor Day.

I probably will dissappear from this thing for a few days as I travel and get our apartment set up, so for all those going back to school, or leaving for the first time, best of luck.

-lc

20 August 2007

Apartments and Chicken Soup

Well, we moved all my junk into our apartment in the Pitts this weekend, and though I really am not looking forward to going back to school, I must admit, our apartment is going to be really rather homey and cute. The apartment came furnished, so the couch, the armchair, the coffee table, the end table, and the desks were provided, but anything that's not wood with a black metal finish was an addition of mine after basically emptying my room at home, and one marathon trip to the Ikea in Robinson.

We're still missing my roomie's stuff, because she won't move in until this coming weekend, but the apartment is quite spacey, so I don't think we'll have any trouble making everything work together. We'll probably even have to make another trip to Ikea in order to fill the empty space in.




I am especially fond of what's going to be the most darling little workspace I've ever had in my life. I finally have enough space to have my sewing machine with me at school, and the desks are built perfectly to act as a combination sewing/craft/schoolwork/computer space. I have a laptop, so that can be neatly stored away on the slide-out shelf that's ment for a desktop keyboard, and my sewing machine will sit nicely in the corner there when it's not in use. My sewing kit fits flawlessly in the medium sized black stacking square from Bed Bath and Beyond, and the bookshelf will provide perfect storage space for projects and, well... books.

I'm really rather psyched about that. The apartment is so spacious and bright! And once we get our rug in there and add some more lighting, even on the dreariest Pittsburgh days it will be cheery. It was already gross out there this weekend, and it did not affect me nearly as much as it usually does because the wall to wall windows let in what little light there is, and the airyness of the room makes it far less claustrophobic than every dorm room we've lived in so far when the bad weather hits.

All the same, as awesome as this next year is going to be, I really am looking to moving back there this coming weekend very hesitantly. I'm not really sure I'm ready for this year. I KNOW I'm not ready to be a fully functioning adult, and graduating certianly comes with that expectation. So I have very mixed feelings about going back, and that fact has been dragging me down since I returned home for the last week after moving all my stuff in. I really love this little ranch house my parents have spent the last 25 years setting up... and I really love the room I spent the last 15 years changing and customizing until I finally got it the way I like it. I don't think I'm ready to leave it permanently yet... But at the same time, I'm pumped to see my friends and my roomie again, and live in this great apartment. Very confusing.


The rain and general disgustingness of the weather outside today is not really helping with this glum, introspective mood of mine either. Although watching the rain fall into the pool while I make chicken soup does help. My mom showed me how to make her Semi-cheaters chicken soup today, because the real Chicken Soup recipe she taught me so long ago isn't very conducive to University life with a mini-stove in the tiny kitchenette.

So here's the recipe.

Lunaticraft's Mum's Semi-Cheater Chicken Soup

1 pkg frozen chicken
Garlic (to taste - we use 3 cloves)
Three boxes/large cans Swanson Chicken Broth
Water
Parsley
Carrots
Scallions
Celery

Firstly, wash the soup pot.
Add package of frozen chicken, defrosting recommended but is not necessary, just make sure all the packaging is removed.
Pour three boxes/cans of broth into pot and add water (about 3/4 Chicken broth, 1/4 water, but it's certainly not an exact science).
Slice garlic and add to pot.
Sprinkle some parsley (again, to taste).
Put stove on a medium setting and let cook for about an hour. Check and stir ever so often, and if you see the soup coming to a true boil, turn the head down.
After about an hour, slice up the carrots, scallions, and celery (after cleaning them of course) and add to pot. Add Salt and pepper if desired. We add some pepper and let everyone salt their own.
Let Simmer for another hour, hour and a half, make some noodles of your choice, and Enjoy!


Not an exact science or recipe, but it's hard to really screw up.



-lc

15 August 2007

Ballin'!



I just want to notify everyone of something: I completely LOATHE balling yarn. It's my least liked part of the whole crocheting and knitting hobby, with weaving in ends coming in at a close second.


Those yarns, as acrylic and cheap as they may be, are very pretty colours though, I must admit.


:sigh:


-lc

Sweet Bread and Messes


So I tried out a recipe I've had bookmarked for quite a long time now. I've never made any kind of loaf or bread before, and I just got a burst of boredom-induced courage yesterday. Being stuck dog-sitting all morning does tend to do that to you, I find.

Oh man, Rusalka was terrible yesterday. So badly behaved for hours. Much like she's behaving this instant, actually. She woke me up at least 8 times last night, landing with all 36.2 pounds directly on my chest in an attempt to dive bomb my poor tabby cat. I don't know what shot the "must attack cat instead of sleep like normal" bug up her ass last night, but lets just say I'm not too pleased with her at 9 in the morning on little sleep. Especially when the reason I got little sleep is hers. Not to mention the huge gash in my arm by accidentally getting caught by Genghis' claw as I tried to break up the fight taking place on my chest.

Anyway, on to more plesant things, such as baking.

I found this recipe a long time ago through a series of links from one of the various blogs I happened to click on that night. Through an incredible stroke of luck, I found Everybody Likes Sandwiches and a great recipe for what she calls Maple Breakfast Cake.

It only took about 15 minutes to mix up, and that's including the time I spent trying to pry the box and the cap off of the Vanilla extract (it had apparently not been closed properly last time it was used, and it had spilled a little in the box, affixing the box and cap on there securely via a resin-like seal of vanilla extract).



I just had this inexplicable need to bake. However, we only had one stick of butter, our eggs had been thrown out the day previously thanks to the "use by" date, I couldn't find the electric mixer, and the dog I was supposed to be supervising was running wild through the house like she just ingested a couple kilos of crack.. Ripe conditions for baking, eh?

Lucky for me, once I started pulling things out of the cabnet and quietly cursing to myself as things fell on me, Rusalka seemed to become enthralled by what I was doing, and sat quietly in the middle of the kitchen watching me until I was finished. Figure that one out. She's totally out of control, and you pull out some flour and some baking powder, and she's immediatly quiet and attentive.

Anyway, so the recipe.


Maple Breakfast Cake

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 T butter, melted
3/4 c maple syrup
1 c milk
1/4 t vanilla
1/2 c walnuts

Mix together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except for the nuts. In a seperate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry, folding in the nuts after everything is mixed. Spread batter into a large loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool, and enjoy.

I didn't have any walnuts on hand, and I don't much like nuts in my baked goods anyway, so I skipped that step, and it still came out beautifully. Let me tell you, it was fantastic for breakfast this morning with some butter spread on it.

In other news, I do so love early in the morning... Sitting with my Maple Cake with butter underneath a light blanket, watching the History Channel on Demand. I suppose this would be quite nice come Christmas time. Except instead of History Channel on Demand, I'd be watching the snow fall out the window and crocheting, relishing the fact that I wasn't in the Pitts for a few weeks.

It's sad really, that school hasn't even started yet, and I'm already looking forward to break.

So anyway, my challenge for today is to pack and organize the things we bought for our apartment, that until now I've just sort of been throwing in my room haphazardly to get out of the way. However, I sort of want a room to chill in these last few days of vacation, so I need to clean that out and get some sort of order going. Also, I need to ball up some yarns I found stashed in order to add some color to my currently very bland yarn collection that will come with me to school.


-lc

10 August 2007

Back from China and a Basically Wasted Summer

Well, I seem to have neglected this thing for a while. And by while, I of course mean the entire summer.

To be fair about it, my life has been one big ball of chaos since the week of Le Nozze de Figaro. After playing a "brilliant" Barbarina (according to my Grandmother, but I assume she's biased), finals week kicked in with full force and made my life hell until May 5th. On the bright side, I escaped the semester with my life, some of my dignity, and a 3.8 GPA. Then came the highlight of my summer.... CHINA!!! WOOOOO!!!

Let me tell you, that was the most inspiring two weeks of my life. The things we saw!! Although the trip sort of turned into a "Make fun of me" marathon for being over excited about every historical thing we saw, but I didn't mind, because I got to see the Terracotta Soilders. And the Great Wall. And the Forbidden City. And the Summer Palace. And, and, and...

So that was amazing in every possible way, but then I got back to the United States...

The day before I had left for China, we had to put our 14 year old Blonde Lab, Pulcinella, to sleep. It was heartbreaking to face the fact that we actually had to do it, but it was time. She had lived a wonderful life that was upwards of three years longer than she had been expected to, and after 14 years of loyalty, we had to do what was best for her.

So while I was in China, it was killing my mother to not have a dog in the house, because Pulcie was her baby, and with me gone she had nothing to distract her. However, the rest of my family conveened and agreed that no new dog should be purchaced until I returned to the states. So, the second I touched down in our local airport, I was whisked off, without even so much the chance to drop my luggage off at home, to a local dog breeder. Two hours and $400 later, we returned home with this little trouble maker.
Her name is Rusalka, and she's certianly one of the sub-balls of chaos that have all been working together to form the huge ball of chaos that is my life. She was only 6 weeks old when we got her, and we were surprised the breeder was letting the puppies go that young, but we had to take her or else she's be gone when we went back. She had us fooled at the breeder though. I had held several of her siblings, and all were rambunctious and hyper, as labrador pups should be, and while my mom was holding and examining the black lab she wanted, I picked up this little sweetie, who was as playful as the rest. The second I did, she settled right in, burying her little puppy face in my neck, and proceeded to cuddle and fall asleep. Adorable. I demanded that my mom put down the other puppy and look, saying, "If you want that one, you'll have to get two of them, because I'm not letting go of this one." My mum agreed, on the condition that she got to name her.

However, the second we got that sweet little pup home, after cuddling into me and wagging her tail the whole ride home, she showed us her true colors. We walked in the door, and this little puppy, who's eyes are still blue and who is only about the length of my size 6 foot, proceeds to walk up to my hulkingly large orange tabby cat, tail wagging, all plesant and curious... and bites poor Genghis promptly in the nose.

We didn't see Genghis for four days. My boyfriend eventually located him while we were watching TV in the basement one night, when flecks from the drop ceiling panels appeared on his navy tee. Genghis was living in the drop ceiling.

So Rusalka, though she still can be sweet (when she's sleeping) is basically one huge ball of energy, tearing through the house at top speed, chasing the cats (Genghis has lost quite a bit of the weight he gained when I went to college), and chewing on our feet whenever presented with the chance. She is now just over 13 weeks, and twice the size she should be. We ran into two people in Petsmart the other day who also had their 13 week old lab puppies with them (one was actually Rusalka's littermate) and our girl was towering over them.

Okay, so we got the puppy. I go to turn on my computer so I can catch up with everything and load all my wonderful China pictures... and it's dead. The death of my computer lead to a three week long fiasco with Best Buy, in which I was told to buy a new computer because I did not have a service plan on mine, so it would cost too much to fix. So I did, and it didn't work. So after 4 more visits to Best Buy, and much harassment of the Geek Squad to get the new thing to work, we get a letter in the mail saying it was time to renew the service plan on my now old and busted machine. Again, to Best Buy, and harassing the Geek Squad because I was assured by the guy that I did not have a service plan. We raise hell until shifts change and we actually get a guy who knows what he's doing. So after two more weeks of frequent visits, refusing to talk to anyone but the guy who knows what he's doing, we get everything straightened out. My old computer is fixed for free, the new one is working. But it was a mess.

So then I started summer classes at the University by my house, and that complicated my puppy laiden life times a million. My last two classes just finally ended, and left me so burnt out and spent that I have done basically nothing but sit on the couch and watch CSI: Miami since I got home from my Spanish final Tuesday night. Even the dog got bored with me and left me alone.
Life has also been filled with preparations for the apartment, buying appliances and other such apartmenty things. Between my roomie and I, we have: a juicer, a Magic Bullet (tm), a George Foreman Grill, a rice cooker, a sandwich maker, a coffee machine, a jellybean machine (because every self-respecting apartment needs one of those!), a toaster, a small crockpot, and an egg poacher and omlette maker. We are going to be the most appliance laiden first time apartment renters EVER. Hell, we probably wont ever need the stove the way we're going.

Well, we'll be well fed.

Sadly, just as I finally have time to breathe and actually enjoy our adorable little back yard with my mom's flowers and our hammock, It's been raining non-stop since Tuesday, so I haven't been able to really enjoy it. I don't have much time left to, either, as I move into our apartment next weekend, and school starts the weekend after that, so it's back to rainy Pittsburgh after that, with its lack of cute little gardens and deck chairs.
-lc