After midnight thoughts

It’s after midnight here in Colorful Colorado.  I ventured out with the 20-somethings to George’s again for another round of trivia.  My beloved team came in last, although I believe if there was a “Team Congeniality,” we would have won that without contest.  Perhaps that should be our team name next week….  I always feel like I need to study for trivia.  I leave feeling like I know absolutely nothing.  Similar to the feeling I get when playing Trivial Pursuit… “You mean you actually paid ATTENTION in the 90’s?  I didn’t know there would be a test!”

My first “day” of work is Friday at Best Buy here in town. It is only training.  Well, training before I do more training.

I should be happy I have a job.  I did move up here with less in-pocket cash than I should have.  I should have stuck with the job that was slowly draining the life out of me for just a little while longer until I had more saved up.  Then again, if not now… then when?  If I waited for more money, then it would have been waiting until the weather improves, or waiting for that mythical perfect job, or waiting for my lotto numbers to come up.  While I’m waiting on all of that, I might as well wait for the absolute perfect time when all the stars align and someone practically grabs all of my belongings and flings them from Texas to Colorado.  So… yeah.  I work at Best Buy part-time right now until my teaching license is approved by the Colorado Department of Education.  Then it will be on like Donkey Kong.  I still fear that perhaps this move was a little more expensive than I could bounce back from.  I feel like I’ve lost/am losing some pretty important attachments.  At the same time, I can’t help but feel that I’m finally where I’m supposed to be.  I just can’t shake the feeling that this is right.

In all honesty, the only thing that really sucks right now is that I don’t have a desk.  I finally have a bed.  An AMAZING bed.  A bed that my dog is completely taking advantage of right now.  My computer, however, is still perched on the floor.  WoW will not be on my list of things to do for a while.  I guess that is a good thing.  Although I did finally find some people to play Team Fortress 2.

I’m struggling with privacy right now.  I googled my name and my most-used nicknames.  Sadly, almost the entire first page is all completely my memberships on various sites.  Etsy, Last.fm, NaNoWriMo…. Do I really want to be that open?  Do I want to be that easy to track?

Wait… listen… do you hear that?

Its crickets.  Outside my window.  Cool breeze blowing through…. and I can almost smell the mountains.

So beautiful.  I can’t believe I spent thousands of dollars on “outdoors” themed candles for years when I could have just saved my pennies and moved somewhere that I could actually open the windows without either (1) dying of heat exhaustion or (2) dying of smog/chicken farm/pig farm/golf course pesticide inhalation.

And it doesn’t matter anymore.  Yes, last year I tried to write a chick-lit novel and it was actually pretty good.  I was almost 20k words into it when life hit me and I gave it up.  I love Etsy… it is my crack.  I will open my shop soon.  I’m knitting like crazy getting ready.  And it just doesn’t matter.  I’m easy to find.

And now I’m off to bed.  Mostly because my back is killing me from sitting here.  *lol*

I’m going to update/upgrade my blog schedule and get back on a SCHEDULE soon.  WOO!

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OMG! Where have you BEEN?

Okay, so… I’m moved.  I’m living in a girl’s house outside of Longmont with my clothing, desktop, and camping equipment.  Literally, nothing else.  During a Wal-Mart run I gained food and a few plates and some pots.  So I can eat, sleep somewhat soundly, and have access to the internet.  My basic needs have been met.

Don’t get me wrong, I miss my bed.  My miss ANY bed.  But after a while, it just doesn’t seem to matter.  I just make sure I’m tired when I lay down and sitting on the floor staring down at my monitor seriously cut back my WoW/Internet time.  I have cable again (through her) and my Netflix streams somewhat well on her (extremely slow) internet.  Maybe this is a strange way to get back to basics and get refocused.

The job hunt has been going well.  I have had a few interviews.  I was offered at PT job at the local Best Buy doing computer work.  (I always knew I was meant for Geek Squad, in one way or another.)  The job is a welcomed advancement.  Where the PT work might not pay even half of my bills, it does mean that money is on its way in.  Plus, the discounts are nothing to sneeze at.  If you have seen the gaming release schedule for the next few months, you’ll understand why I’m excited (Halo Reach, Dead Rising 2, Cataclysm….)

So the search continues for that elusive “perfect job.”  Right now I need to go shower and down a bottle of water for my drug test.  Oh yeah, and find some dorky black pants and a white shirt to rock out my first day of work in.

Yeah, that’s right.  My uniform comes with a cardigan. *lol*

Walt Whitman: Oh Captain, My Captain

 

O Captain! My Captain!  
by Walt Whitman
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, The ship has weather'd every rack,
      the prize we sought is won, The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
      While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; But O heart! heart! heart!
      O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.
      O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; Rise up- for you the flag is flung- for
      you the bugle trills, 

         For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths- for you the shores
             a-crowding,
          For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
             Here Captain! dear father!
               This arm beneath your head!
                 It is some dream that on the deck,
                   You've fallen cold and dead.

          My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
          My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
          The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
          From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
               Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                 But I with mournful tread,
                   Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                     Fallen cold and dead.

 

Nothing says “Back to School” quite like a class of inspired students. 🙂

Punk Goes Classic Rock

I’ve loved the Punk Goes… series for a long time.  It started with a Punk Goes Acoustic CD and spiraled into Metal, Pop, Crunk, and finally Classic Rock. 

And holy crap it is amazing.  I don’t even have to listen to the CD to tell you about it.  I waited up until midnight the day it was released to grab it as soon as it came out.  It is my “Go To” CD for exciting road adventures.

This is the point where i really should tell you that I am a huge fan of covers.  So much that I believe I have over 30 different CDs that are dedicated to covers.  (Steve Earle covering Townes Van Zant, New Found Glory covering movie songs….twice, at least 18 different CDs entitled “Awesome Covers V##”… you get the idea.)

That being said, the creators of Punk Goes went out and actually found a pretty good mix of bands.  They’re not punk bands but I recognized a bunch of them, which means that they were really aiming for popular stuff this time.  (They never really have been punk bands.)

My top five for this CD:

  1. “More Than a Feeling” as done by Hit the Lights  (For some reason, this song gets stuck in my head every time I play WoW.)
  2.  Dream On as done by blessthefall
  3.  Your Love as done by I See Stars (I love Outfield… I’ll admit it.)
  4. Free Fallin as done by The Almost.    (Tom Petty.  🙂  Done very well.)
  5. Pour Some Sugar On Me as done by The Maine.

I’m off to drive around and sing at the top of my lungs.

John Updike: “A&P”

I still find it odd that “A&P” is among my favorite short stories, seeming that it his heavily influenced by JD Salinger’s early work. 

Nonetheless, today’s little pice of literature comes to you from John Updike’s pen.  “Modern day chivalry” at its best.  That is in quotations because… well… it was either chivalry or an excuse to quit his job.  I’m leaning toward excuse but who is counting?

What draws me to this story over and over is the imagery.  There really isn’t much dialogue considering how much is going on.  Updike brings us in to discover his world with our other senses first… sights and sounds.  Then we get the dialogue that gives us the overall conflicts. 

He describes the girls with such detail that if i had the ability to draw something other than stick figures… I would try. 🙂

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I have a hard time finding banana bread ANYTHING since I’m not a fan of nuts.  Even saying “banana bread,” I have to catch myself to make sure that sneaking word “nut” doesn’t get in there.  It has a nice ring to it… “banana nut bread.”  It feels complete.  I just hate having something hard lurking in every bite of my soft, moist bread.

During college, my final and most precious roommate and I would often bake.  She was always willing to try any type of food I could imagine.  Our kitchen was the central part of our lives.  It was where we entertained, where we would sit and talk, it was only natural that we dine together and cook together once a week.  One of my favorite places to grab recipes was from the backs of boxes.  And I had found the PERFECT whole wheat banana bread recipe on the back of a whole wheat flour bag.

Then college ended.  I graduated, she moved back to New York, and our recipes were sent off to the four winds including my favorite whole wheat banana bread recipe. 

Searching the internet, I found several recipes.  This recipe is as simple as the elusive perfect recipe, but is missing that special “something.”  (It could just be how great food tastes when you’re a starving college student….) 

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

  1. Prepare (3) small loaf pans or (1) large loaf pan with the cooking spray.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine sugar and next three ingredients in another bowl; add to flour mixture until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove and cool completely on wire rack.
  7. ENJOY.

 

Notes from my adventure baking this bread:

*  This is the first time I actually baked it as a loaf.  I went out and BOUGHT a loaf pan so I could start baking bread since bread costs are soaring.  Before I was cooking it to be more like… well… brownies.  Or like a slightly risen cake.  Since the pan is smaller, the bread becomes more dense in the middle.  I ended up having to increase my cook time from 20-something minutes (spread out, thin, more surface area) to the full 50 minutes.  It might have been a little less than 50 since I set the timer for 30 minutes, then ten, and then just checked it sporadically from there on out.

*  “Slightly beaten” eggs?  I was sure what they were looking for so I swirled it around with my spoon a bit then mixed it in.  Didn’t seem to compromise the taste.

*  Banana amounts.  I have used as many as five bananas (isn’t it funny how fast bananas can get brown?) to as few as 3.  It depends on your banana-y-ness needs.  Five is obviously pretty thick with bananas.  Three makes it a little sparse.  The great thing is, it tastes amazing either way.  I don’t PLAN on having bad bananas, I just use whatever is brown.

*  I have heard people mention putting in cinnamon or nutmeg.  I didn’t try it this time, but they are suggestions.  I don’t even really “serve” the bread with anything. I cut off pieces, wrap them in wax paper and saran wrap, and grab as I go in the morning.  Tastes just as good cold as warm to me.

And now, maybe next week, I’ll actually cook a MEAL for this!