Hand Blown Glass

I’d love to learn how do something like this.

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Cleveland Coffee Love

There is a Starbucks on the same block as my building.

Like maybe 100 yards if I had any idea what 100 yards looked like. I’m not so good with the distance thing. Either way its there. Right there! I realize this is not a big deal to some people but to someone born and raised in the suburbs this is like a whole new exciting world of caffeine addiction has been made suddenly and gloriously available to them. There’s also a Starbucks freakishly close by that I walk past every time I go to class. Then there’s a university coffee house in a cool old house on campus, larger servings, but their iced coffee just doesn’t have the same Starbucks zing.

I’ve tried a Peets Coffee Shop on campus, super strong dining hall coffee that keeps you awake for hours (I’m currently buzzing on that), and a really cool place off of Coventry Road called Phoenix Coffee. That’s probably my fav so far but it requires driving so I may not be there as often as I like. I’m kind of liking this whole walk everywhere thing. Let’s not forget the delicious Vietnamese coffee that I had at Superior Pho off of Superior Road, original name I know but it makes it handy to find. Yum. A little more condensed milk than I prefer but an afternoon of steaming hot pho and crisp Vietnamese iced coffee was like being at home. Mmmm. I may need to hit that up again next week.

Awesomely enough I have made friends with a fellow coffee enthusiast so I have a buddy for caffeine fueled adventures. The point of the matter is we’re taking Cleveland by coffee storm and so far its been amazing. :)

My delicious Vietnamese coffee.

Now hang on just one second

You mean I’m really, honestly and truly in grad school? This wasn’t all a big joke? I’m actually here?

I have to *gasp* get out of bed and *shudder* study?!!!

The world just tilted on its axis. Off to do grad school-y things like not wandering the Internet for hours at a time. Come to think of it though that does seems pretty grad school-y to me.

Off to study statistics! Prayers and interventions are welcome.

 

I’m alive

Let me just say that I am alive. I am making friends. I am learning my way around campus. I am *gasp* enjoying myself and once I stopped crying hysterically and threatening to drive back to Houston I decided that I might actually like this place. (Thank you by the way to all of my friends who listened to my hysterical teary eyed phone calls. I was homesick and y’all are amazing. You make me feel loved. Thank you :) ) I’m not completely sold on Cleveland yet but I have at least begun to realize that two years here might not be so bad.

I have more to say about Cleveland, my graduate program sponsored a tour of the city on Lolly the Trolley which was quiet enjoyable. I’ve found some new delicious restaurants, managed to break the permanent retainer that is glued to my bottom teeth –the same permanent retainer that my dentist supposedly fixed a week prior to me leaving Houston and my employer’s dental insurance behind– and met some incredible new people that I’m looking forward to being friends with.

For now though I’m hot, I’m tired and I would seriously like to recommend that my school look into a little something I like to call air conditioning.

Side note: I bought Hot Fuzz at Target today. I <love3 this movie. Love love love it. Like I want to watch it right now but I don’t know if I can keep my eyes open any longer love it.

Anyways over and out from Cleveland, sweet dreams and see you in the morning.

So here I am

So here I am. In Cleveland. Cleveland. The place to which I am moving. For two years. Two long snowy years. Am I freaking out? Only a little. Am I overreacting? Probably a lot. Grad school is big and scary and something that I am not so secretly anymore wondering if I’m unprepared for but the thing that hurts the worst and scares me the most is that I am going to be here and my family is going to be 1200 miles away in Texas.

My family is leaving me here. Leaving me alone. For my undergraduate degree I lived at home. Not my preferred way to make it through college but I saved a lot of money and hassle by doing so. So here I am at 23 about to move out for the first time. Is it lame that I miss my mom and dad already? that I miss hanging out with my sisters already? that I am waiting until my family leaves tomorrow to find a quiet place to cry by myself? Is that weird or immature of me? Do we ever out grow this feeling of abandonment when we watch our families drive away? I managed to survive a whole semester in another country but the prospect of two years in Northern Ohio scares the heck out of me.

At what point do we become “adults,” and why does that word suggest that we should be emotionless? Does it make me less of an adult to want to stay with my family, to hate the idea of being without them? I’m not just leaving my sisters I am leaving my best friends, my closest advisers, my roommates for the last 20 odd years of our lives. Will I ever feel “old” enough to handle this or is the key to being an adult hiding what we feel long enough to find a bathroom to cry in?

I may delete this post tomorrow but for tonight let me just say that I’m scared. I’m afraid of being alone without them and I don’t like it.

In which I attempt my first Julia Child’s recipe

I do most of my cooking on weekends when I have the time to actually experiment and try new things. Recently (like last year kind of recent) I came into a very old copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Like any good little newbie foodie/possible food blogger wannabe/scourer of the Internet for yummy recipes I have seen and loved the movie Julie and Julia. (I would like to do a little parenthetical hero-worship for a second. Meryl Streep is amazing in the movie as Julia Child. I highly recommend this film.) This book wasn’t actually in my possession until this past July, nearly a year after I first got it so I was a little overdue for my first attempt at a Julia Child’s recipe. So there I was with this cookbook that I’ve technically owned for a year but never actually read, the memory of Julie and Julia swimming around my head and a newly founded blog of my very own.

I think we can all see where this is headed.

Compound this with the fact that I had a leftover frozen pie crust after making a Strawberry Rhubarb pie that I recently found on Tasty Kitchen ( http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/strawberry-rhubarb-pie-with-streusel-topping/)and no desire to bake another pie.  I have a bit of an aversion to baking sweets because I know that I will then eat them. As much fun as they are to bake I am not a gym rat, I am an office worker. Eating pie all weekend and then sitting on my butt for a week? Not the ideal health philosophy. So here I was with a second Kroger’s (it’s a grocery store for any non-Texans out there) frozen pie crust and Julia Child’s masterpiece within my grasp. The logical response, in my mind anyways, was to attempt an easy, delicious, crowd-pleasing favorite and make a Quiche. Not just any Quiche, Julia Child’s quiche. Yes, cinephiles, that is a mash-up of a movie quote. Guess from where? ;)

I like bacon, eggs and cream, so I decided on a Quiche Lorraine. I do not like the idea of boiling bacon so I skipped that step and went straight to frying it. Sorry Julia. And I cut back significantly on the half and half. Julie, baby, I love you but seriously? I already drown my coffee in half and half; I have to draw the line somewhere. Then again I guess I shouldn’t complain considering all the bacon and butter that went into this recipe. I did add some at the end though because the skim milk wasn’t quite cutting it.

Anyways all of that rambling was to bring you to this point where I show you my photos and tell you about the wonder, the delight, the glory of making Julia Child’s Quiche Lorraine.

The recipe.

I love these things.

Until I read JC I had no idea that pre-baked or semi baked pie crusts even existed. This explains a lot of gooey crusts in my earlier pre-JC Quiche making forays. Basically you stick the pie crust in the oven for a few minutes and let it semi bake so that it firms up. This is a picture of the pie crust pre sticking it in the oven, not after.

JC suggests using beans as pie weights to keep the pie crust from rising up and getting all poofy. My words not hers. I’d never heard of this before but I also don’t make very many pies.

Ready to go in the oven.

Tada! Quiche Lorraine a la Julia Child.

It was kind of amazing.

This was a great recipe. I’ve been a fan of Quiche for a while thanks to my high school French teacher’s love of French food parties and this one was definitely awesome. My parents and sisters loved it, the only complaint I had was that they wanted another one. We had ours for a late Saturday morning breakfast but I’m sure a Quiche would taste good for lunch or dinner too. Thanks to having such a great recipe in front of me I learned about the beauty of pre-baked pie crusts and pie weights, two things that I’d never heard of before. It didn’t take that long to make and the ingredients were all things that I had on hand. My Quiche was probably a little more peppery-er than it needed to be but that’s because I used peppered bacon. Also, Julia suggests using a spring form pan as a Quiche is supposed to be able to stand on its own without a pan. I don’t have a spring form pan or a pie pan for that matter so we just ate it out of a regular cake pan. Pretty sure that didn’t hurt the flavor. All in all, I highly recommend trying Julia Child’s Quiche Lorraine. It will make you and your family very, very happy just be sure to make two if you’ve got a hungry family.

Remember

For the first time in a long time I feel like writing. Not writing a paper for class or work but actually writing. Recently I reflected on all of the artistic people that I’m friends with. My friends are graphic designers, musicians, photographers and artists. People who make art. People who create, design and see the world in beautiful ways. I am intensely proud of all of them for that but I wondered where I fit into this whole spectrum. Where my little anthropological quasi accounting clerk self could possibly fit among all of these special people. Then I remembered, or more specifically I thought of this little half-hearted attempt at a blog and I remembered. I’m a writer. I write. If there is one thing that I can do in this world it is put pen on paper and find words to string together into sentences,  line them into rows and make paragraphs appear on the page. I may be rusty. My metaphors may be shaky, my vocabulary and my grammar anorexic, but I am a writer. I am going to write. You don’t have to read this but I need to write this. I need to understand who I am. I’m not there yet but at least I’ve remembered that dream-like moment in my past when I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could write.