Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Warning : ramblings of a dark chocolate-consuming person

My 1st Pacific sunset in San Clemente, CA with Shira & Allison

 Ah the passage of time..suns set, water evaporates from dishes, bike tires deflate (and get inflated by meticulous riders!), schoolwork assignments get completed and graded, friendships continue to blossom despite distances, a new Modern Family season airs (tomorrow!), and another slew of great interviews by Terry Gross has been downloaded to my Fresh Air podcast lineup..a million little things happen every day to make the next one radically and yet sometimes imperceptibly different..some days you just aren't looking for the freckles on the banana that weren't there the day before, ya know? 

     Maybe it's just the dark and deelishous chocolate soymilkshake I just made talking, but I am feeling very happy!  Very fortunate. Very rich. Very very.  I just saw several lovely sights on my ride home from the rec center:  A mob of kids on longboards (must be a longboarding club!),  a small group randomly dancing to Spice Girls outside a building, and some bats flying through the dark.  I love seeing people enjoying themselves and observing things, and bicycling makes for a perfect observation pace I think.  And I feel like my observational powers are somewhat heightened after pressing my nose to chemistry calculations during the least things seem more tremendous or funny or beautiful or fill-in-the-blank.  And as far as my difficult schoolwork goes, I'm finding that when I recognize I'm getting sort of down or bored with the tedious nature of things, I can quickly just sort of zoom out for a bit of Big Picture and grab on to something positive about the day and then begin again, optimistic and fresh.

         And my week is off to a lovely start thanks to plenty of relaxing and preparations of various sorts over the weekend and I have already taken time to stop and smell the curry..Monday at lunchtime I went out with 5 grad students for Indian, even though I had hesitated--Shouldn't I get to work on that analytical chem assignment?  I've got a test Friday!  But I cannot turn down a chance to go out with new friends!  I found out all sorts of things about my Oh, you're married?! And Indian buffet is such a treat..Yesterday I enjoyed lemon basmati rice, mutter paneer, mushroom masala, and dal curry for instance, and a cool plate with lettuce, tomatoes, mango fruit salad, mint and coconut chutnies, and yogurt raita. The restaurant here in College Station is called Taz and it's really good and casual and friendly..and, importantly, busy.  Glad to see Texans getting their culture on.  Good to see, because there isn't an Indian population here at all like there is in the Triangle back home.
My own locker in the Rec center--w/ all my athletic essentials and niceties
Salad assembly line!  Carrots are next in line to be stick-ified
 Sometimes I just prepare for just the next day and other times I get all efficient and do a few days of salad chopping in one go.  Love the cutting board my grandpa made me and the pottery fish plate Terry made me :)

Sunday morning I baked a CCK recipe I couldn't wait to make (but did b/c  I needed to pick up some applesauce!) b/c of her gorgeous pics of it..Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal.  It was my first time making a baked oatmeal (dubbed "boatmeal" ) and man, it was good!!  Upon my first bite, I just sort of melted into my chair and said Ohmyygaahhh..the mark of a great recipe which I know I will be making again and again.  I also baked Chocolate Covered Katie's brownies using my fav Artisana coconut butter and I threw in semisweet morsels and slices of my fav Endangered Species chocolate bar, the black panther 88 percenter..Mowgli would call it the Bagheera Bar, and so will I :)

Cinnamon bun baked oatmeal! SO good!
Sunday afternoon I thought to myself:  I would love to relax and read my Isotope textbook now in my bed.  Then I remembered the IKEA box next to my bed--which contained my bedside table that sleekly attaches to the bed..and once I envisioned myself placing my studying along and drinking a coffee and then placing that mug firmly on a flat surface..I couldn't get it outta my head and said YES I will Construct!! The toughest part is opening the box--not really, I have a box cutter, but you know, getting to the point where you want to open the box. Many small assembly difficulties along the way--the Ikea cartoons could use a bit of improvement, but what instruction manual is perfect?-- but I just kept at it.  Until it was born! and I adorned it with a nice scarf and was well pleased.  There's a drawer for my various chargers and a shelf for my reading material.  Oh and placing my mug on a firm foundation is just as pleasing as I thought it would be :)

Bedside tables are the best! Esp. when your bed doubles as your couch so your bedside table is your coffee table too!

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