Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Random thoughts collected about frivolity

I posted this on my Facebook page last December, but I've been thinking a lot about the same topic, and decided I wanted to re-post it here

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I've been thinking a lot lately about the frivolity of life. Today I went into town with $52 dollars. I put gas in my car. $10. I got coffee. $3. I bought two books. $22. I got a bowl of soup at Panera. $5. These are rounded up of course because who uses change? (How much would I save if I saved my change?) When I got home, I counted my cash and asked myself, "Why do I only have $12 left in my purse?" It's all accounted for in numbers, but for some reason it doesn't make sense in my head.

I could have gone without the gas. I had half a tank. But the fact is that the gas will get used no matter what. And the prices will eventually go up, most likely. And it had gone down from yesterday. So I guess it's accounted for.

I didn't need coffee. I got it because I needed an excuse to walk into my old workplace and talk to the manager who blew me off for a month when I wanted holiday employment. For some reason I couldn't just go in and talk to her. "I was in the area... thought I'd get a cup of coffee." She did give me the old employee discount, though. So I guess it's accounted for.

I really didn't need the books. I'm right in the middle of reading Good Omens, and still have Stranger in a Strange Land and The Clocks yet to read. But it is my goal to read a total of five books while I'm home. And then I would have all five. So I would spend the money anyway. Besides, the gentleman who recommended Three Cups of Tea gave me free chocolate. So that's accounted for also.

I didn't really need the bowl of soup, either. But at 4:30, I was out of things to do. I know someone who works at Panera (or at least used to) so I figured I might bump into them. I didn't. But I was very hungry. and had to stay in town till at least 5 so I could pick up a prescription at Walgreen's. And I hadn't eaten anything all day, besides two cups of coffee for breakfast, a cookie, and another cup of coffee previously mentioned. And I might be hypoglycemic. So it could have been bad if I hadn't eaten. And it was broccoli cheese! So that is accounted for, too.

Funny what reason can do.

We spend our lives working for, scraping together, and spending money. We put ourselves in debt for education so that we can make more later. We do our best to live well on a low budget, and if we fail, society looks down us for either being cheap or in debt.

Funny what society can do.

At the end of our lives the size of our gravestone is decided by our wealth (or family's wealth). This seems twisted to me. Why are gravestones even necessary? A small ground stone should suffice. When I die, please make sure that my organs are harvested for transplants. Any part of my body that can help someone else should be taken. Tissues, blood, take it all! Not like I'll need it. Have whatever's left cremated. If I die from some strange and terrible disease, see if researchers want it. At least then if I'm being frivolous, It won't be my fault. If you really can't stand to have no remnant of me left to cling to, buy yourself a cuddly stuffed animal that plays "I'm Too Sexy" at inopportune moments. It should suffice.

Frugality is nearly impossible in the life I've created for myself. I mean, If I could get myself to eat rice and celery soup every day for the next year and a half, college would be easy! But I'm so unsatisfiable. I crave things like bagels, chocolate, shwarama and deli meat and I indulge. Toast, carrots, and chicken would be better for my health AND my wallet. Did you know that deli meat is packed with salt? I mean, I guess I knew that, but it didn't occur to me. Did it occur to you? Gr. Frivolity battles frugality at every turn and at the end of every day I find that somehow it has won. And when i get a little extra in my paycheck, I automatically think, "Oh, I can afford to buy this now instead of the cheaper option!"

I blame society because I'm an American and nothing is my fault.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Food, Theatre, and Nesting Instincts

Yesterday, my world tossed me something new to juggle. I've been the House Manager at my college for several years now. My plan for this semester was to take my leave of absence from the spring production and rest up a bit. This was a difficult decision, mostly because I'm a control freak and really love doing what I do. At the very last minute, the girl who was going to replace me became a cast member (kudos for her!). So here I am, the HM again. Luckily most everything is already in place for me. I'm going to be so tired at the end of this run, but I'm excited to be involved again!

This would be a good place to tell you all that if you are in the Chicago area, you need to check out Legitimate Geniuses, written by Stephanie Weber and directed by Chad Eric Bergman. Show dates are April 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30, and April 11th at 2pm. The performance is at the Neo Futurarium on the Southeast corner of Foster and Ashland. Make a reservation at! Ask me at the Box Office if I'm pregnant and get a dollar off your ticket (limit one per person).

As a side note to that, there's an awesome crepe place a block away called the Icosium Cafe. It's on the Northwest corner of Foster and Clark, and if I took the time to describe it to you... okay fine I will. Imagine a savory crepe stuffed with fresh spinach, caramelized onions, goat cheese, pine nuts, need I go on? And it's only a dollar to add chicken, beef or lamb to that. Or you can get sweet crepes... strawberries, kiwis and Nutella with a scoop of ice cream on the side! Why are you even still reading? Go now!

Okay, that's out of my system. But speaking of foods, what can there not be enough of?

1. Mac N Cheese. Seriously, if it's in the apartment, it is gone before the day is over. For some reason it just sings to my soul.
2. Watermelon. If you're very familiar with the movie "Lady and the Tramp," you'll remember the scene where Jim Dear puts on his overcoat at an ungodly time of night. He calls up the stairs, "Darling, are you sure you want watermelon?" Poor Mengyao.
3. Chocolate. The only reason it's this far down on the list is that it's not as filling as the first two. Remember how last weekend was Easter? Yesterday I ate an entire chocolate bunny in two sittings. Earlier today I tried to write the "10 reasons to keep chocolate in the house," but somewhere around #4 I realized that each reason could be simplified down to "it makes me happy."
4. Milk. I don't know why but I've really been guzzling it down lately. I'm trying not to drink too much every day, but when I went home for spring break, I downed a whole gallon by myself (over the course of a week, but still).
5. Pickles. It must be the salt content, or the satisfying crunch. My roommates and I are currently taking turns buying jars of Vlasic dills. No, I've not eaten any with ice cream.
6. Eggs. This mild and unoffensive protein source can be cooked so many different ways. All you need is a little incentive. I made egg salad yesterday using some of the eggs I colored for Easter... the blue egg turned my salad green.
7. Crackers. Again, mild and unoffensive. I've been eating a few before I go to bed every night so that I don't wake up at 3 a.m. ravenous and cranky. I usually wake up anyway, and crackers are a good snack then, too.
8. Peanut butter. Enough said.
9. Pasta. When I just need some carbs I'll cook some pasta (angel hair is my favorite, and it's the fastest) and eat it with a little butter and salt.
10. Vernors. If you don't know what it is, go to Michigan and buy it. It's the perfect ginger ale for settling an upset stomach, or just making yourself happy.

Moving on to developments in my life... Nesting Instincts!

Last night I became possessed by a cleaning demon. It started out with the simple desire to take a bath. I try to clean out the tub weekly, so I grabbed the comet and a rag and headed to the bathroom. When I got there... it was as if I had never seen dirt before. Now really, our bathroom isn't that bad, it just gets dusty and covered with hairspray, but...but... I attacked it! Before I knew it, I was scrubbing the sink with a vengeance not even the super-nanny could equal. Things were getting cleaned so fast, I wasn't even letting the clouds of comet settle. It wasn't until I had actually crawled inside the empty tub to get a better view of the offending soap scum that I realized exactly what was happening. And THEN, oh yes, I cleared off the floor, poured water all over the place, covered it with cleaner and scrubbed on my hands and knees. IN-credible. Fifteen minutes later I was doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher and sending out emails I'd neglected for weeks. I was just about to take out the garbage when I began to run out of steam...

I'm just so confused. I'm going to go do the dishes.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy (late) Easter!!!

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to update. I spent the entire weekend doing Easter festivities. I colored eggs, as you can see below. Mr Duckie with his bunny slippers is proudly displaying my two favorites. I call them “boy” and “girl.”

In addition to coloring Easter eggs, I took a day trip to Michigan to have Easter dinner with my grandparents and parents. My (ever wonderful and understanding) boyfriend drove me all the way and back, despite the fact that I was crabby and not that pleasant to deal with at 7 a.m. I don’t know why, but I woke up yesterday morning feeling very uncomfortable in the abdominal area. Feelings ranged from gurgles to sharp pains. These feelings magically disappeared soon after having a bowl of my mom’s amazing pasta salad… funny how that works. It’s a great recipe, and I would totally recommend it to anyone and everyone. Without any attention to measurements, which you can just decide for yourself, throw together:

1. Some sort of pasta, cooked al dente. Mom used bowties yesterday but Grandma usually uses rotini. Just don’t use any tubular pastas like macaroni or penne because it will get watery and gross once it’s in with everything else.
2. Cucumber, peeled, sliced and diced
3. Peppers. Red, green and/or yellow. It’s up to you
4. Carrots sliced thin
5. Radishes, also sliced thin
6. Cherry tomatoes. You can also use Roma’s but the picky eaters in the family find cherry tomatoes easier to pick out
7. Black olives, drained
8. Sharp cheddar cheese. Grandma usually uses shredded cheese, but Mom and I prefer to use small chunks.
9. Italian salad dressing. This is another one you can decide for yourself. Grandma uses creamy Italian while Mom prefers plain ol’ Italian. Personally, I think it’s great both ways. Be sure not to use too much. It should be enough to coat everything, but not enough to pool at the bottom of the bowl.
10. You can add just about any other vegetable you like to it. Grandma likes to use broccoli, but discovered many people (including Grandpa) picking it out. I’ve also seen it with celery (meh).

So yeah, that’s the magic recipe. As with all things, use responsibly. Moving on…

Mengyao made a wonderful impression on the extended family, which is amazing because ever since the news of our little development, we’ve had to defend him extensively when around my dad's parents. (It’s funny how they keep on coming to the conclusion that I had nothing to do with it…) It would be good to note that my parents have always liked him and don’t lay any blame on him to speak of. It obviously takes two.

In other developments, my middle section, which seems to be ballooning quite nicely. I am beginning to wear stretchy clothing only, which is fine because it gives me an excuse to wear a skirt every day. Also, I should let you all know that I’m having trouble with the scanner at the school’s computer lab and have not yet been able to upload the pictures onto my computer. Will do ASAP.

Well, I’ve got to take off because, unfortunately, homework doesn’t stop for pregnancy. I’ll try to write more tomorrow for the sake of those before promised updates.