Will You Be My Valentine?

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Happy Valentine’s Day!  I’ve noticed that when it comes to this particular holiday, there are lovers and there are haters.  I am a lover.  I love the chocolate, I love the cards, I love the flowers, I love the red and pink.  I love the air of excitement: you never know who you’re going to get a Valentine from.  It’s the day of the year, in my opinion, when those who are too cowardly at all other times to profess their love can do so without shame.  (And anonymous notes count).

Believe me, I’ve done the anonymous notes.  That was fun.  But this year, as I have a gentleman caller, I got to be a little more up front about my feelings.  I also got to suggest that instead of attempting to choose between the sub-par Morris restaurant options (think a fancy but gross Italian place, a Subway, and a Pizza Hut), we make our own gourmet meal.

Steak, twice-baked potatoes, salad, and chocolate mousse for desert.  (By far the fanciest meal I’ve ever had whilst at school)

Let me tell you that having just finished making the mousse, I think the g.c. will have to take the reins on the rest of it.  I’m actually tired.  I really am a pretty good cook (thanks Mom and Dad for forcing me to start dinner all throughout high school), but mousse was over my head.  It’s putzy: you need about four different bowls, you have to constantly mix things just until they reach a specific consistency, and if you do something wrong, your mousse will lack volume.  The horror!

Plus, there were a few setbacks that stressed me out considerably.  Firstly, someone ate one of my eggs.  I had precisely four left in the carton, the exact number needed for the recipe, and this afternoon, one was gone.  Okay, well, I’ll just do a half recipe.  But wait, will that work?  Aren’t people always going on and on about how halving recipes isn’t reliable?  All right, calm down Hol, we’re just going to have to try it.  (five minutes later) I need a bowl filled with ice water?  We don’t have ice!  There is no ice in our freezer, because we are college students and don’t own things like ice cube trays or whisks or measuring cups.

I finally realized that I could use snow in lieu of ice water.  It worked rather well, and provided a much-needed Little House on the Prairie moment.

All drama aside, the mousse is currently setting in the fridge.  No housemates are home yet, but I intend to guard that darn mousse with my life.

If you want the recipe (may you have more patience than I with it), it’s right here: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/05/perfect-chocola/

The batter (which I unabashadly tasted), was delicious.

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Fin 2012

I have just come to the startling realization that I do not own Wuthering Heights.  My favorite of the Bronte novels, the quintessential Byronic, I-just-want-to-hole-myself-up-with-lightning-in-the-background-and-rage-at-Cathy’s-moronic-actions-and-then-cross-my-arms-in-smugness-because-now-Heathcliff’s-available novel.  Or at least, that’s how it is for me.

Anyway, I dug for about fifteen minutes, came up with six other books I should read in the near future (Les Miserables unabridged; Life of Pi; The Last Lecture; This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen; The Wit of Oscar Wilde; This New and Poisonous Air, in case you wanted to know), but no Wuthering Heights.

Presently, I’m not sure what to do about this problem except to pout about it.  Easy enough, as I’m already missing Dick Clark and dreading my New Year’s 5K tomorrow.

All that aside, the true purpose of this post should probably be to lay out the future of Eight Days a Week.  After all, this blog was created for a 2012 New Year’s resolution, and the resolved duration was only a year.

However, although I’ve shirked, and although this is only the 293rd post (is it possible that I dropped that many days??) and not the 365th, I love the darn blog too much to drop it permanently.  I hereby resolve, then, to keep things going indefinitely, to blog even more in 2013 than I did in 2012, and to generally whine less about paper writing and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Happy New Year, friends.  Thanks for reading.

Christmas Eve

For almost as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve written a Christmas Eve post every year.

2009

2010

2011

This Christmas Eve, I’m once again sitting on the couch gazing at the tree, feeling steeped in family and ham with cheesy potatoes.

We’ve had the traditional Christmas activities:

Cookie Baking

Extended Family Christmas Eve Party

Last Minute Shopping/Wrapping

Mexican Train

Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle (which Amy takes over.  I have not the patience for such things.)

Christmas Movies (The Santa Clause is my favorite)

Christmas Eve Mass (and the resulting pew dozing, which is simultaneously irreverent and inevitable)

It’s funny to be twenty-two, and to remember past Christmases when I could hardly sleep for excitement, and to look forward to future Christmases which may not be spent in Minnesota or with family.  It’s funny to feel that I just want to soak up more togetherness, and that I don’t really need a thing under the tree.  It’s funny to be mature and blase and (slightly) boring.  It’s funny to be too old to run around with the kids at Christmas parties, and to instead sit up straight with the adults (and be offered alcoholic drinks).

This is getting to be a nostalgic post, and while I do think that Christmas is the perfect time for nostalgia, and for rewatching those Christmas home videos in which you are quite blatantly opening your little sister’s presents “for her” and coveting them shamelessly, I also believe in merry Christmases and bright futures.  May you have both.

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MIA

I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA.  But truthfully, there hasn’t been much to say.  I’ve been working at Target.  Most guests are in the holiday spirit.  Some aren’t.  I pulled a calf muscle pushing flats piled with paper towels around the store.  So it goes.

What I really want to tell you, though, is that last night, my gentleman caller and I went to see A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie in Minneapolis.  It was a great time: The acting and music were wonderful, and I was appropriately terrified when the last ghost came out amidst blasts of fog and crashes of thunder.

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Afterward, of course, all we wanted was Italian food.  It was 10 pm, and surprisingly for the city on a Saturday night, not much was open.  Pizza Luce was, though, so we camped out there for an hour or so, eating slices and giggling like children at the waitress who wouldn’t stop refilling our sodas.  (Good service, I guess, but it became slightly disturbing after a while; she was watching us too closely).

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Now, however, I’m off to work an overnight.  10 pm to 6:00 am.  Luckily, I’m armed with ugly sweater, holiday spirit, and Coke.

Three Things

Three Things:

1.  A 24-pack of Coke, when dropped from the height of an average person’s clutching arms to the waxy white linoleum, can spray sticky pop astounding distances. (For once, I wasn’t the one who dropped it)

2.  Grades are in.  Grades should not be shared in public places.  Thus, I will not do so.  (But hallelujah I did better in Grammar and Language than I could have ever imagined)

3.  It doesn’t feel like Christmas to me yet.  I don’t know what the problem is: the tree is up at home, I have most of my shopping done, and I work at Target, where an entire corner of the store is roped off that guests may toss rolls of wrapping paper at each other and elbow each other out for the last box of discount Christmas cards.  I think the stress of finals stunts holiday enjoyment, but hopefully things will pick up soon.

 

Confessions

1. Today, for the first — and hopefully, last — time in my life, I used the phrase “butt out” in an essay.  It was my Latin American History final exam essay question, to be exact, and the more I wrote, the angrier I became at the way the U.S. has treated Latin America throughout the years.  I wanted my conclusion to be some sort of heated statement about how the U.S. needs to clean up its foreign policy, and for some reason, the only way I could think to express that was to essentially say that the U.S. should “butt out” of Latin America.  I debated writing this, sitting in a classroom at 9:30 a.m., flipping through the scribbled-on pages of my blue book.  And then I decided that the rest of my essay was solid enough that two words of the conclusion wouldn’t affect my grade, and that my professor was young enough and lighthearted enough to appreciate a little coarse humor, and that it was 9:30 a.m. and I was past caring about niceties anyway.  So I laughed to myself, turned the darn thing in, and went home.

2. Although I use both frequently, I honestly don’t think I have a firm grasp on the difference between a colon and a semicolon.

3.  Sometimes I buy people gifts that I actually want myself.  Sure, I only buy them when I know the recipients will actually enjoy said gifts, but beneath all of that holiday spirit is a selfish desire to give a gift simply so that I can be in close proximity to said item without the guilt of having bought it for myself.

4.  My room is a disaster, tra la tra la.  It’s actually become hazardous: I slipped on a scarf a few minutes ago and was sure that my left wrist would not survive.  Luckily, I grabbed on to my drying rack at the last second and regained my balance.  It should also be noted that said drying rack has been “drying” the same five red shirts for about a week now.

5.  I’ve been on a serious grapefruit kick lately.  I don’t know if the stress of finals is making me crave immunity-boosting citrus or what, but I swear I could actually feel myself going through withdrawal yesterday when I ran out.  Is drool a sign of grapefruit withdrawal?  Okay.  Don’t answer that one.

6.  As soon as I go home for break (I’m aiming for Sunday afternoon or Monday morning), I plan on diving into the most sentimental, comforting books I own.  Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, etc. I saw a quote the other day that said, roughly, “Life’s too short to read the same book twice.”  I couldn’t disagree more wholeheartedly.  I say, “Life’s too short to force oneself to read a new book when one really wants to read Little Women for the twentieth time.”

7.  Finals update:  Only one 10-page paper left.  Yes, that’s a lot of pages.  No, I haven’t started the actual writing yet.  Yes, I will be locked in the library tomorrow.