Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great day!

Today was a great day!
It was sunny.
I hung out with a friend and sewed! (I'm helping a friend with her Halloween costume.)
I ate bacon!
I found a wonderful yarn store not just in Portland...but on my street. It's called Happy Knits and it's on Hawthorne.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Interesting

I'll write more on this later, but I just wanted to post a link to this article. Shortly after I moved to Portland, I learned that it's considered one of the whitest cities in America. I didn't notice this, probably because I moved into a neighborhood with a high concentration of Somali (and probably other East African) immigrants. I've heard a lot of people talk about this topic in the past few months.
What some people have told me is that some of the "progressives" in Portland are closet racists. This I have a problem with.
However, I think the article takes some big leaps in its logic, leaving holes. Also, I don't think it's accurate or fair to say that having a lack of African Americans makes a place not diverse. There are other ethnicities/minorities! Additionally, the writer says some things about seeing different minority groups as people with potential...something like that. I think I'm too tired to be coherent. But what I'm trying to say is that this is what I'm having a problem with. I don't think we should look at certain groups as being groups with potential. We should just look at them as people. PEOPLE. THAT'S IT. I don't think it's fair to say that things like Portland's well-planned-ness or public transportation system is a direct result of the city being white.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that discussing a racial or ethnic group like this--in a way that separates people of that group, that categorizes individuals as a group, even if you're saying positive things about this group, it's still divisive. That's my opinion, at least. Even if you're saying positive things about a group, you're still making them separate and in my opinion, it's not very different from the type of thinking that produces racism. I might have to revise this when it's earlier in the morning and I'm thinking more clearly, but that's how I feel. I will probably come back to this idea a lot. It's just how I always think. Whenever I'm filling out a survey or an application (such as a job application), I don't care how much they beg me, I will not check off any boxes for my race. I personally think it's a regressive social construct and I don't wish to contribute to that kind of thinking. (Not that I really feel that me not checking a box is going to change the world. The other reason is more personal--technically I could check off a minority box and I don't think that's right, either.)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

An idea for a short story

I ended up telling my Midwestern friend about the Salad Colors incident--meaning, that when she was talking about solid-colored Snuggies, what I heard was "salad colors." I believe I originally wrote in this story that she was talking about "blankets," because it was a secret that she kind of wants a Snuggie. But then at a party last night, she announced to a roomful of people that she wanted a Snuggie. The secret was out. No one unfriended her. Anyway, I told her about the salad colors thing, but that I figured it out and thought it was funny in a good way. I can't remember what she said exactly, but it was some comment about the story. Then she changed the subject to the beer we had brought to the party.
As we were walking into the party, my Midwestern friend told me, "I think we need battle openers."
Oh. Bottle openers.
Wouldn't life be so interesting, so much more dramatic, if it were as my Midwestern friend pronounces it? (Or rather, as East Coast people hear the words my Midwestern friend pronounces. Obviously our way isn't the right way.) Winter days would be clad in Salad Snuggies and parties would be full of Beer Battles.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weird ingredient update

I impulse bought Sadaf brand sour grape powder at a Middle Eastern (I think mainly Persian) supermarket today. Does anyone have ANY idea what to do with it? I have some ideas for throwing it in things, but I wonder what its proper use is.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Salad colors

Earlier today I had brunch with my friend from Michigan. She is a heavy Midwestern accent which I have described as "enchanting." I usually think it's a strange accent, but she is very sweet and fun and there's just something about the way she says words.
Anyway, we were talking about blankets today and she said, "They make them in leopard print now. You know, not just salad colors."
I nodded, although in my head I was asking, "What the hell is a salad color?"
"Like blue or green."
"Uh huh," I said, pretending to know why blue and green were salad colors.
She continued, "Anyway, I wouldn't want one in leopard print of course! I would just want a salad color!"
We continued talking and finally it hit me, a little later, what she was saying.
SOLID.
SOLID COLOR.
Not salad color. That accent!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Funemployed

That's what someone told me today that I should call it. Not unemployed, funemployed. Also, I think I might be eligible for some scholarships/grants to get a teaching license--and if that's the case, I am so doing that. I think that is "approved job training."
Today I went to brunch with someone who regularly takes another woman to the same restaurant. I didn't know this when we first got there, but noticed that the waiter kept staring at me, really openly, really blatantly. I thought, "Maybe he's socially awkward, or maybe he thinks I'm cute." Then I was informed that the waiter just has waited on the same guy, with a different girl, many times. I wonder if he was judging. In any case, why stare at me!? I was really tempted to mess with him somehow, like...I don't know what, flirt with him or something. (I'm not very good at coming up with ways to mess with people, apparently.)
In other news, I went to Pok Pok tonight with a Meetup group and it was fun, but I am so disappointed. I've heard so much about Pok Pok and it was kind of a letdown. The food was fine. The service was so terrible. I have no idea how their cocktails (which sound really interesting--Kaffir lime gin and tonic, for example, or Tamarind Whiskey Sour) are because I never got the drink I ordered. I asked three times. I asked for my takeout container twice. I did eventually get that. If I didn't, I was going to steal the damn dish. I guess I'll start keeping a Pyrex in my purse. I wondered if I was just being treated badly, but then another person at our table got charged for a drink she didn't get, so I felt a little better knowing I wasn't just being singled out for some bizarre reason.
Tomorrow I'm going to Cup and Saucer.
I'm doing productive things with my life, not just going to restaurants, but those aren't fun to write about.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mail Order Bulbs

Can anyone recommend a good source for bulbs--like a gift set or something--that are mail order? I want to get some as a gift for someone. I once saw a set--it was Fritillaria meleagris bulbs and it came with a pot (or jar, I can't remember) and everything else you needed to grow them indoors. I wanted to buy them for this specific person, but I did not. Now I want to, and since this person is not in Oregon, I'm looking for something mail order that I can just have shipped to her directly.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Less vintage to do list

Why I need to get up early:

Shower
Wash last dishes
(unintelligible scribble)
Make coffee - take Claritin
USA Jobs!
Check over resume - take XX's suggestions - it feels weird to write that name
Do I need gas? Hope not!

Mostly this to-do list stood out to me because the part about USA Jobs and resumes means it was from that time when I was really discontented with my job situation (and as a result, my life situation), and because it's weird how I have this habit of writing journal-type things in the middle of to do lists. This represents when I was trading resume suggestions with someone I guess I had recently re-friended, after a few months of silence. Who I just gave this blog address too. Hi!

More old to-do lists

I'm going through an old notebook, ripping out pages that are significant to my current writing project (the "novel"), and recycling whatever I don't need anymore.
This is that same notepad that has notes, on random pages, from 2004 through 2009. I found a shopping list that was at least pre-2007 because it said, "Buy Skim Plus milk." Oh how things have changed.
And then I found a really bad sketch of a woman with a detailed jacket, some notes about embroidery, and the sentence, "How will I design clothes when I can't draw?"
This morning, in my journal, I made a sketch of my Halloween costume and how I'm going to assemble it (separate top and skirt, or dress?) and wrote next to it, "Aren't fashion designers supposed to be able to draw?"
Oh how things don't change.

Friday, October 16, 2009

People in Portland are So Nice

Not one, but two people that don't know me very well sent me the same listing this week for a horticultural job they came across while looking up stuff for themselves. Isn't that nice? I like it here!

Here comes novel writing month!

As National Novel Writing Month approaches, I want to write something fictional on here. There's a story idea I have (for a novel or for short stories; I'm not really sure) but I've been reluctant to post most of my material for it on this blog, because I use my real name and my photo and my parents or someone who knows them could read this blog. And aspects of the story would be Not for Children.
BUT this blog is a good place to write and to get feedback and some of the things that really happened in my life, that I've written about here, would weave into this novel well. So I'll probably post FICTION FICTION FICTION before each post that's part of that novel/story/whatever.
So, the idea is to write about something bad and try to make it funny. Truthful, but funny. The main character's history will include an abusive relationship, and maybe I'll write about that, too. Obviously, the abusive relationship is not the funny part. But what happens in her life afterwards is where I want to include the humor--how she lives her life afterwards, deals with the aftermath of an abusive relationship, and how she tries to rebuild a normal adult romantic life.
Comments are welcome, on this idea and on any writing that I do towards that. (It will be tagged FICTION FICTION FICTION and probably NOT FOR CHILDREN.)
I'll probably start this on October 19th.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things that are stressing me out

Packing and moving
Other things I have planned in the middle of moving and packing (social commitments)
Paperwork related to my unemployment claim (everything's fine, it's just confusing. And they spelled my name wrong. At least they got my social right. They got that wrong on my tax paperwork last year. Of all things.)
Paperwork related to declaring residency here--if I want to do that
Figuring out what kind of paperwork (if any) I need to fill out with respect to my car legally being in Oregon
Do I have to get a new drivers license?

I could do all this stuff with my current address, for which I have lots of documentation that counts as "proof of residency," and then fill out change of address forms later--or I could wait until things like bank statements arrive at my door. I don't know.

On a side note, some of the jobs I'm applying for require official transcripts, but they're only open for a couple of days, which isn't enough time for me to have my university send the transcripts. I requested they send me two copies that I can keep for myself--one to refer to and an extra to mail out.
They sent me one envelope. It's either one transcript or it's both in the SAME envelope. I can't open the envelope, or they both become unofficial. I suppose it's my fault for not being more specific, but ... wouldn't it be obvious that if I'm requesting TWO of something, I want two SEPARATE things?

Just writing it out makes me less stressed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good News Wednesday Update

I have been unemployed for three weeks now. I may have only written about this cryptically, because for a little while, I felt like a failure. Like my whole Moving to Portland Experiment was a failure and I didn't want anyone to know. This is not the case, of course. A lot of good things are happening. Specifically, some happened today.

* I'm moving to a new apartment in my favorite favorite part of Portland. I got the keys today and am writing, at this moment, as I procrastinate packing.
* I made a really cool skirt. It is blue jean, with gold sparkles on it, and the bottom four inches is orange Dia de los Muertos fabric with flowers and skulls...and gold glitter. Doesn't it sound terrible? It's really flashy, but I think I love it.
* Until I find a new job (or even while I'm working) I'm going to volunteer at a botanical garden in Portland. I think I'm going to be a tour guide. This garden reminds me of the good things about the garden I worked at in New Jersey. In an earlier draft of this post, I started to ramble about the people I missed there and whom I haven't written to so they probably don't know I'm still thinking about them, and then I started to write about specific plants that I miss...some Japanese maples, many witch-hazels, some Metasequoia...
* Also, something related to money that I realized I'm not sure I want to post on my blog just yet. Basically, it equals me not going broke while I look for work.

On a different note, I'm learning about regional botanists of Oregon right now, and in my NJ life, I learned about regional botanists of NJ. I mean, botanists that aren't alive anymore, who aren't well-known (not necessarily at least) outside of their region anymore, but are still important to American botany as a whole. I'm really interested in this and I wonder if there's a research/writing opportunity here. I mean, other people probably care about this, right?

I'm going to write some entertaining stories soon. As soon as I get a box ready.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Enough is enough!

Men of Portland, STOP. Stop! Talking! About your vasectomy!

At least I'm not the only one hearing this stuff.

I am totally going to add "Vasectomies" to my list of bad date conversation topics. Because I keep hearing about those, too. (Though not actually on bad dates.)

Some notes

Writing about the recent past is much more entertaining than what I did today. Trust me. I have the flu and only left the house today to go to Fred Meyer, wearing a hat so that I wouldn't have to comb my hair, to buy soup-making supplies and Kroger imitation Thera-Flu. The highlight of my day was finding out that Fred Meyer sells free-range chicken thighs for $3.something a pound. (I could erase that sentence but not unthink the thought.)

I left New Jersey on Sunday, June 28th. That night, I slept in a state that was new to me--Indiana. On Friday, July 3rd, I arrived in Portland.
So that means that Saturday, July 4th, was my first full day living in Portland. I kept thinking it must mean something that it was Independence Day. (For reference, I'm counting this weekend as Weekend #0 in the rest of this post.)

For the first two months in Portland, my weekends were very full for those of someone who only had two friends in town. I was just trying to look up, in my old e-mails, what the heck I did my first weekend in Portland, and all I can find is a description of what I bought at the farmers market and what I made for dinner. All I remember is that I went to the Downtown Farmers Market by car. This was when I had an irrational fear of taking the bus, and also, it was going to take at least 70 minutes to get there if I took the bus. I ended up having to pay $5 to park, and since I wanted to get the most out of that $5, I stayed downtown to do some exploring by myself. I ended up going to Powell's City of Books and spending another $20.
This means it was on Weekend #2 that I went on my first date in Portland. Also, during that weekend, my apartment saw its first dinner party. My roommate made an extravagant meal for me and visiting family members and some of her friends. I made ice cream. I met new people and had a blast. The next afternoon was my date.

My date wasn't for a drink or coffee or even lunch, as my dates in NJ had been. My rule had been to limit first dates to ninety minutes. But this guy had offered to show me around my new city, and that would take longer than ninety minutes.
We met at noon at Pioneer Square, one of the few landmarks I could locate. The plan was to go to the Portland Art Museum, which was free that day, and then I'd get showed around and we'd get Voodoo Doughnuts. Voodoo Doughnuts is kind of famous; it's the only doughnut place that is also a wedding chapel, and they sell a doughnut that has bacon on it. I really wanted that bacon doughnut. The guy, however, did not. That should have been a sign.
Anyway, I got to see a lot of the city and had a perfectly nice time. The guy also drove me home so that I wouldn't have to sit on the #4 bus for an hour, so that was nice. The odd part was that this first date lasted six hours. I was having a nice enough time and he kept offering to show me more sights, and so I went along with it. I figured if he felt like he was being held hostage, he'd put me on a bus and go home.
Anyway, there's no real story here, just that this guy spent six hours with me, bought me lunch and half a Voodoo Doughnut (but NOT the bacon doughnut!) and then never wanted to see me again. I wasn't hurt, just thought it was odd. Why waste six hours of your life on someone you don't want to see? Or maybe some people just like going on first dates. Then I thought, "I like going on first dates."
It's true. I mean, they can be horribly awkward...or just horrible.
But then you have a story to tell! And being new in town, first dates are just an opportunity to see more about the city. I will get taken out at a place that's new to me. Or, if we go to a place I already know, even if the guy and I mutually dislike one another, I'll still potentially learn something new about Portland in the conversation.
At the very least, I might hear a different account of what the rainy season is like.*

If Weekend #2 included the Dinner Party and the Date, that means that Weekend #3 was the weekend of The Flasher.
This is a story I've been storing up for blogging. This post is getting long, so I might put it in a separate post. That day, I kept going back and forth between downtown and home. Southwest and Southeast. Back and forth. I went to the farmers market, home. A work party. Home. Then to PDX Pop NOW! (I'm not sure where exactly the capitalization and punctuation belongs there.) This was technically on the East side, but it was right by the river so close enough.
A friend and I saw Pierced Arrows and parted ways at my bus stop.
And that was the scene of the crime, which I'll write about in my next post.
Then the next day I went to my first Meetup in Portland, to go see Harold and Maude with some strangers. I mention this because it was that weekend that I put a Cat Stevens CD on hold at the Multnomah County Library, and I didn't get it until last weekend. THAT is how popular Cat Stevens is in Multnomah County!
Weekend #4, then, was when I went on my second date in Portland. More on that later.

* I am currently compiling a list of Conversation Topics that Signal a First Date is Doomed. So far, the list includes "Jon Stewart" and "Rain in Portland." I also scribbled "Public Urination" on there defiantly one evening, though that was technically on a third date and that was in view of my date, who felt the need to tell me a Public Urination Story over dinner.

Like Mary Tyler Moore

No, this is not a post about my bizarre affinity for 1970's sitcoms.

In general, whenever I find old To Do lists, I tend to think that the Old Me who wrote that list was neurotic. This is perhaps because when I'm writing a lot of To Do lists, there's something on my mind. At least, I'd like to think that these neuroses are out of the ordinary, not part of my everyday personality makeup.
Anyway, I have a few notepads where I've jotted things down for the past five years or so. They are completely jumbled. The pages get written in out of order. They make no sense. A To Do list from 2004 could be scribbled on the same page as a schedule I made in 2007. (See: neurotic.) Anyway, I decided that maybe I should rip out the used pages ONCE AND FOR ALL because I do not need To Do lists from five months, let alone five years, ago.
Anyway, I found a clump of surprisingly chronologically accurate pages with notes and To Do lists from this past winter. They are To Do lists that include cleaning the bathroom, knitting projects, steps to making dinner (such as "Chop greens while watching TV"), steps to pre-making things for a dinner party...and various indicators of the life path I would soon choose. Quitting my job and moving 3,000 miles away.
There's a PROS and CONS list about my old job. I've decided to type that up--not here!--but in a folder of notes for future writing projects. Because someday, I will want these notes for reference when I decide to write a fictionalized account of all this--when I decide to use as inspiration for a story the events of 2009, quitting my job and moving far away for a job and a new life.

Then I remembered something a friend told me. She was describing her life to someone and he said, "So you're reinventing yourself, like Mary Tyler Moore?"

I've made friends recently with a group of women who've also recently moved to Portland. I've realized that we have certain things in common, that I don't necessarily find I have in common with other people, and these characteristics we share are probably the things that would drive a woman to leave everything behind and move far away to a city with a 12% unemployment rate in a recession. We're ALL re-inventing ourselves.

So I shouldn't get ahead of myself and think this is a GREAT, unique story. It's old and it's very common. It's as old as Mary Richards! Of course, that doesn't mean it's not worth telling.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Good things happen when you leave your house

First: UGH. I think I caught the damn flu that's going around Portland.
It better go away by Monday because I am going to see A Hawk and A Hacksaw at the Doug Fir Lounge IF IT KILLS ME!!!!!
Anyway, because I started getting sick on Tuesday, I spent more time than I originally planned sitting at home. However, I still got everything on my To Do List done except for going to Mount Saint Helens, which will take a whole day.
I was going to write about all the good unexpected things that happened today while I was out, but I have a sudden headache and don't feel well. I'm tired. Good night! More tomorrow!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Gone Platinum

I HAVE INSURANCE!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!
My health insurance application just got approved like, two minutes ago. Yay!!!!!!!!! I now have the privilege of having money billed to my credit card once a month starting on October 15th.
It costs like, 1/3 of the costs of a similar plan in New Jersey.
Anyway, it's the PLATINUM plan and I feel like that sounds so fancy. It makes me think of...bling or something. Like when I get my insurance card in the mail, it will be encrusted with rhinestones. When I take it out to pay at the doctor's office (I guess this means I have to FIND a doctor in Portland), I'll whip the car out of my wallet real fast and there will be this flash of light and everyone will go, "AAAHHHH!!!!!"

I'm jealous...

No one's ever compared me to an apricot before!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

When you find yourself identifying with Kate Gosselin...

I think a greater percentage of my negative thoughts--anxieties, fears, run-ins with creeps which I try to make entertaining, little mishaps which I try to make entertaining--get posted on here than my calm, happy thoughts.
So, in general things are fine. But this small instance is what I'm writing about:
Last night, I kept tossing and turning and waking up, partly because I've been finding spiders in my bed again (ew!) and partly because I was worrying about money.
I woke up tired, anxious, and with a sore throat. It's that time of year; I'm sure I'm getting a cold.
Later, I was making soup and watching reruns of The View on my computer and Kate Gosselin was being interviewed, talking about waking up in the middle of the night worrying about money. I thought, "I know exactly how you feel, Kate Gosselin!" Then I thought, I just identified with Kate Gosselin! Where is my life going?

(This feeling did not last all day.)

Anyway, here are some positive things going on. I had a great weekend, starting with Thursday night where I brought the rescued fig-and-prune cake.
Some of my roommate's family was visiting, because two of her sisters were running in the Portland Marathon on Sunday. The condo was crowded, but it was nice to have so many people around. It was really festive. We had a bunch of big dinners.
I'm still going on lots of dates and one of them, this weekend, went very well. Since I don't want to write about my dates on here yet, that's pretty much all I'll say. Actually, there's kind of an unconventional situation with that, so maybe I will write about that at some point.
A CD that I've had on hold at the library since I saw Harold and Maude three months ago finally came in for me. (I'm writing about watching The View and listening to Cat Stevens--I am 25, right?) That was nice.
On Sunday, I went to a farmers market about 40 blocks from my neighborhood--sounds far, but it's the closest one. Prior to that, I'd been going to the Downtown market which is the largest. However, it's the most expensive. I think the one I went to on Sunday was in a low-income neighborhood, because a lot of people were paying with food stamps and the prices were ridiculously low. It was awesome. I started to feel guilty, then I realized that I have no income right now and do in fact live east of Lents; therefore I belong there. Also, some of the stuff was so cheap because it was packaged in small groups--like a SMALL bunch of Swiss chard was $1. Instead of more Swiss chard than I could ever use being sold for $4. It was organic, too!
One of the best things that happened at the market was meeting volunteers from another botanical garden. A small public garden, hidden away in Southeast Portland (maybe a mile or two from my apartment), that's part of Portland Parks and Recreation, had a table at the market. I spent a long time talking with the people there. I am going to go there this week to talk to their Volunteer Coordinator. Apparently, a lot of people my age volunteer there, so I'll get to make some friends and also, have some more valuable experience so that this fall isn't a big blank spot on my resume. In addition to looking for jobs, I'm going to start filling my schedule with volunteer work, because it gets me out of the house and it's a good way to meet people who might some day find me a job.
I'll write about what I bought and what I make with it later.
There was a little cart selling cookies and sandwiches. I think it was Hawaiian food. For only $4, I got a big Kalua pork sandwich. It had "Asian" cole slaw on it and the bread was very sweet--more like cake than bread. I ended up eating half of it for breakfast on Monday.
The market was a really nice discovery.
On Monday I made a skirt. I also made a potato salad, and I want to type up the recipe soon.
Today I wore my new skirt. I made some boring phone calls, made soup, took a nap while my laundry was running, woke up feeling somewhat less ill, went to Fabric Depot (they were having a sale) and got MORE skirt fabric, went to Fred Meyer to buy cough drops and day-old bread (this is my new discovery--fancy bread in the day-old section for $1.29), came home, made more soup.
The soup I made was the newest posted on 101cookbooks.com--Garlic Soup. It was very easy and fantastic. I didn't use any of the green herbs that the recipe called for, because I didn't have them, and I think it doesn't need them. I felt the need to share this because it's not expensive to make, uses stuff that I almost always have in the house, was easy and fast, and was great sick-person soup. All that garlic should help! I recommend that recipe!

Tomorrow I am going to another fabric store (I'm making respectable work clothes, okay!?), finishing the rest of my errands and phone calls, and going to dinner with some women from a Portland Meetup group at a place that has $5 dinner specials.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Better

The cake--what was left in the pan--turned out delicious.
The party was fun.
My sucky day got better.
Fun evening with good cake. And artichoke dip and cornbread and hot dogs.
The end. Goodnight!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cake-tastrophe

Or Clafoutis Carnage.
This clafoutis looks beautiful, doesn't it?

This evening, I'm going to a barbecue hosted by a girl who moved to Portland at the same time I did. I think that it's mostly going to be a gathering of new-in-town women. She would like us all to bring something to contribute to dinner.
I could have brought ice cream or potato salad with sauce gribiche (sort of standby for picnics/potlucks) but nooooooooooo. I thought I'd use this as an excuse to try one of my recently bookmarked recipes. Especially since figs are in season and I got some at the farmers market. I thought this would be a good excuse to try Fig and Goat Cheese Clafoutis. With fresh figs AND Italian prune-plums.
Why is this a bad idea?
Because I can't bake.
Everything was FINE. I made the batter last night. I cut the figs and prunes without cutting my fingers. I didn't spill anything or commit any other acts of negligence.
My only crime was trusting my stupid quiche pan.
I hate that pan.
I know it has a tendency to leak, so I put tinfoil on the rack. After some time, I smelled burnt food. I thought perhaps it was some pizza dough that fell on the bottom of the oven during a previous use, that my roommate and I had forgotten to fish out once the oven cooled. Oh well.
After twenty minutes, I opened the oven door to check on my clafoutis's progress. This is what I saw:


A HUGE percentage of cake dough leaked from the bottom of the quiche pan, overwhelmed the tinfoil barrier, and pooled in the bottom of the stove.
I turned it off, opened all the window and the back door, and waited for the smoke to subside.

The clafoutis was not fully baked.
Now what!? I cannot leave the oven a mess and have nothing to bring to this party!
I stuck a cast iron skillet on the rack under the clafoutis to catch any more dough. I let the oven cool, and then grabbed the largest, longest knife I could find. Using it like a spatula, I scraped the dough off the bottom of the oven. It came loose easily. But now it was piled in the back of the oven. The knife wasn't very good at flinging it forward.
The only other non-meltable non-catch-on-fire-able implement I could find was a potato masher. I used that to grab the runaway dough. With the oven clean (and a new dough-catcher in place) I could bake the rest of that damn clafoutis.

Here is a photograph of the carnage. Just look at that!

Something I think about a lot

One of my clearest memories of high school is from the fall. My parents and I had been invited by MIT to attend some kind of information session and we-want-you event in New Jersey. It conflicted with something I had to do for school. I asked my teacher if I could miss that thing (an orientation of some kind), and accept the invitation from MIT. He said that he would prefer I did not, and if I was actually considering MIT, things would be different. "You're not going to be a scientist, anyway." His exact words were something like that.
I have no idea why he said that. I have no idea why I came across that attitude all the time in high school. I could say it was because I was a girl. But there were girls in my school who weren't discouraged from their interest in science. Was it because I was also good at English, because I was editor-in-chief of the literary magazine, and it was just easier to keep me in the Humanities box?

This comes up every once in awhile and I wonder about it. I wonder if students--male or female--face this kind of attitude today. Whatever it is.

Mildly discouraged

My afternoon was part informative and part discouraging. This week has been my week of bumming around, calling unemployment "vacation" and I kept saying, "After this week, it's going to end!" Well, it hasn't been a complete waste. I've done plenty of productive things, which are a little discouraging when they don't yield fast results. No matter how much I KNOW that that's the way things are right now, for everyone, and it doesn't reflect negatively on me or anything.
Anyway, I think I am for real going to take a vacation from it--from "What am I doing in Portland?" and "What am I doing with my life?"
I am going to bake a cake, go to a party, and sew a skirt.

Facebook isn't fun anymore.

Now that EVERYONE can be on it. Employers. Students. Family members.
I have to devote some time to un-tagging all the pictures of me holding drinks! Ugh!

Oh Rutgers

Well, it's like I said when I got my Chem II grade--C is for cool!