Archives for category: Adventures

We had an unexpected visitor last night; I came home from work to find this little guy sitting on our kitchen table.  He was flying around the boys’ room, and was captured with the help of a tennis racket (D:).  Rocky and Albert are afraid that they might have been bitten in their sleep; because we had to call maintenance and animal control, this little bat is, unfortunately, gonna get euthanized soon. =(

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It’s been a busy weekend, out in the real world and in the little domestic bubble here in #8.  Just take a look at the view from halfway down the stairs:

The school year is about to begin–a week and a half until our first day–and move-ins are starting to punctuate the Ann Arbor landscape.  There will be some roommate transitions here, and in the meantime, many of our friends have decided to leave their things at our place while they juggle homes.  I have, thus, a twofold reaction when they arrive in Ann Arbor: “Welcome back–now get your crap out of my apartment or I’ll toss it!!”

In the mean time, Rocky, Albert and I went on an adventure of sorts this past Thursday; waking up at 7AM–in summer hours, that translates to the crack of dawn–and headed out of #8 in the wee morning hours on a quest.  The night before, they’d called nearly every Best Buy in southeastern Michigan, searching for a store that would have HP TouchPads in stock–the two wavered for a few days whether or not the discontinued and severely discounted tablets would be worth buying, and by the time they decided $150 would be a suitable purchase price for a machine that cost $330 to manufacture, it was already difficult to find a legitimate retailer online.

7.15--Rocky checking the computer before we headed out!

They tracked down 17 tablets that were on their way to Farmington Hills; hence, a mini-road trip commenced to guarantee procurement of the desired computers.  Excessive groaning about the hour, reckless driving, morning traffic, and a short discussion on Pastafarian beliefs punctuated the forty-five minute ride.

“Wait–Flying Spaghetti Monster?!”

“Yeah… it’s their god.  Pretty cool, hunh?”

“You’re shitting me!” <– Rocky’s catchphrase.

What I didn’t realize was that we would have to wait in line; unfortunately, it was quite cold and I hadn’t brought a jacket. Neither had Rocky, and while we sat, huddled and shivering, Albert just laughed at us. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait too long, and we occupied ourselves by manipulating fat, opera-singing graphic little men on Rocky’s iPod.

Ultimately, we got our TouchPads (we were numbers 10, 11, and 12 in line), and we are very thoroughly amused by all the silly games we can play.  The following exchange between Albert and Rocky, discussing the lackluster quality of that morning’s breakfast, was probably my favorite exchange of our adventure:“If they don’t have it and we waited out here for nothing, we’re going to McDonald’s on the way back!”

“So… if they do have it–“

“-we’re still going to McDonald’s on the way back!”

 

We never went to McDonald’s; they were too busy playing!

I have been back in Ann Arbor (away on an unexpected, in many ways, trip to Shanghai) for a few weeks, but haven’t felt the compulsion to update. For that, dear readers, I sincerely apologize and promise that many, many entries are on their way!!

On the way to work yesterday, however, I came across local Ann Arbor artist David Zinn working on a new mural and found it too adorable not to photograph and too lovely not to share.

Is that pig not adorable?!  One of my English teachers in high school used to pass out miniature ceramic pigs at the end of the year; she says in Germany, they’re a symbol of good luck!

The magic of chalk!  Anything arranged in a kaleidoscope of colors makes me happy.

Had lunch at Sava’s the other day, just by myself and a lovely book.  Their juices are fabulous (especially the Citrus Sunrise–orange, grapefruit and watermelon), and the above was my first meal in Ann Arbor when I first came to the city two years ago: a BLT with a fried egg, and sweet potato fries.  I’m getting back into school mode, and to recreate, on a gustatory level, the exposition of my collegiate career was a quirky, spur-of-the-moment, satisfyingly delicious idea.

What are you all doing to prepare for the upcoming return to academia?

I’m at home.  Today, coincidentally, was Take-Our-Sons-And-Daughters-To-Work Day/Earth Day Celebration at GM, so I hung out with my parents with a bunch of elementary schoolers.  It was… something. >.>

The rest of this post isn’t accurate in the chronological sense, but it is a fair reflection of how I usually get home.  I grew up in the quaint little suburban city of Troy, Michigan, and when I can’t find a carpool heading back there for the odd weekend home, I take…

From the south...

...to the north!

…the train!  Amtrak’s actually pretty annoying; the train is usually late–last time by an hour and a half–and there’s no WiFi on the train or at the station.  Food, besides two sad, dirty-looking vending machines, is quite far away, and when you walk into the station, there’s almost a feeling of intruding on a scene from the past, this preserved space.  In other words, the place is dated.  And old.  Freaking old.  Not in a good way.

Riding on the train itself is usually an enjoyable experience.  Though Internet-less, there’s an outlet for my computer, so I can still write, upload photos, watch DVDs, play Plants vs. Zombies, and on the rare trip where I don’t feel like booting up the old laptop, read a good print book.

I usually go home for two, three days each month (this time around, school has ended :D and I carpooled with Lily).  Here’s what I always take:

My riff on those 'What's in your bag?' posts. :P

  • Clothing!  Most of my closet has migrated to #8, so I usually bring a couple outfits home.
  • Messenger bag.  I don’t usually like carrying around small purses, but my mum insists upon it, so this bright orange bag sits in my closet for most of the time, until I need to go home.  When my mummy’s around, I’m not allowed to use the Derek Lam brass-detailed satchel or the feather-python bucket bag. ='(
  • Glasses cases.  I’m a sucker for luxury brand plastic eye wear, and one should always take care of anything that assists in daily functions.  MaxMara frames for daily wear, and Miu Miu sunnies. 8D
  • BOOKS!  Underneath the glasses are five paperbacks.  There’s very little to do in Troy besides going to the library or shopping; there’s this little mall we have, called Somerset (you might’ve heard of it if you live in Michigan, or are Asian visiting Michigan… >.>).  Since the city’s being ridiculous and shutting down the library, it’s now BYOB–Bring Your Own Book!
  • BAGELS. And cream cheese.  My mother and sister, one cold, winter day ten years ago, wandered into a bagel shop in Ann Arbor and ate some bagels.  And fell in love.  And forgot to note the name of the bagel store.  When I moved to Ann Arbor, I asked around and we reasoned out that the mysterious, beloved bagel shop was Breugger’s, and now, every time I go home, I must bring at least half a dozen or be locked out!

Guten morgen! And I mean that… I’ve only just gotten up about half an hour ago.  XD  A late night playing a raucous game of Apples to Apples and an unexpected, odd sleepover of sorts resulted in going to bed at 5AM and waking up past noon, leaving me to scramble and condense what I’d planned to do.

The About Me page is updated, with a very long, narcissistic rambling.  I also got rid of explications and just combined that in the general About page.

Also also also… here’s a hint of what I’m up to tonight!  No, it’s not a rave:

A lot going on this week… including my update pattern.  I think it’s very ironic that right after my blogging class concludes that I have increased motivation to write everyday.

Class at the University is wrapping up (I only have one, awful, long paper left to write), and then it will be S-U-M-M-E-R.  Not the real season, but the ridiculous, long four months of what should be planting season in our previously agriculture-based society, and like every year for the last six or so years, I am in a quandary of what my plans will be.  I have a general outline (working, reading, cooking, and blogging, of course), but there’s an anticipation for something wonderful, something exciting to happen, and I don’t know what that something is!

Obviously, one of my goals for the summer is to be coherent. =P

My usual state, which doesn't require verbal articulation, unless... something's on fire.

Anyway, this Wednesday, I practiced the favorite art of procrastination by baking; my un-studying was made better by the fact that a). it was done with friends and b). we brought joy (and cookies!) to other people.  I have a very self-focused philosophy of living to enjoy myself, and most other people’s happiness is of negligible import, but I do find it self-affirming to occasionally spread good cheer.  Happy people munching on my baking is like getting hugged, except I don’t even have to touch a person (long story short… I had a traumatizing experience with superglue as a teenager, and now have extreme aversions to physical contact).

My Bible study group got together at the apartment of our Fearless Leader (aka Rosalie), and we spent three hours baking cookies to pass out to hungry, harried students studying in the libraries on campus.  It was part outreach in that there were Bible verses printed out and wrapped with each cookie, but it was, for me, mostly another way to avoid studying and fun to do a random act of kindness.

The boys, left to right, Josh, Nathan, and Sassypants (Andy), at work.

All the eggs and butter we used... mmmm butter.

Benefit of unorthodoxly using one's hands to make cookie dough: eating the residue.

Fearless Leader/Rosalie taking over. That's Nathan in the back, still eating cookie dough.

The chocolate chip cookie dough Nathan was eating.

Sassypants Andy trying to mix the oatmeal raisin cookie dough with a spoon. When that failed...

...he decided to emulate Nathan's hands-on method (not... really sorry for the pun. =P). Josh is in the middle, and Jodi and Iris are working on sugar cookies to the right.

I was assigned white chocolate macadamia cookies. They're my mother's favorite!

Bert, the oven mitten monster that took over Josh's arm.

The overflowing box and basket of wrapped cookies. We made a lot of students happy. =3

And… finally… the last part of this post.  The Life of the Humble Sugar Cookie:

Iris creaming the butter and sugar together for the sugar cookie.

Rolled out and dusted with sugar before baking...

...and here they are, out of the oven.

There were good ones. They got wrapped up and paired with a Biblical message; don't really agree with Matthew here... but who reads inserts when there's a cookie right there? Besides with fortune cookies. =P

The many rejects. :D


Another quick post today… my friend and fabulous photographer Winnie Jeng (the visual genius behind Attention to Eating, written by the great Jason Siegfried) surprised me today with a photo from a shoot we did a long while ago.  The screenshot below is from her blog Snapshot Aesthetic, where she dumps all of her pictures taken from her growing vintage film camera collection.

This was taken between lighting changes, and the fabulous model is none other than Maeve.  To check out the full shoot and the final pictures, click HERE.

Well… technically out last night.  My best friend and future #8er Albert and I decided to gastronomically indulge for dinner yesterday evening, but our laziness towards calling in reservations meant we stopped by three restaurants before getting a table!  It was all so yummy, though, so in the end, perhaps it was for the better. :D

Apologies for the bad picture quality; Cafe Zola‘s lighting doesn’t make for the best pictures in the evening. This was half a roasted chicken, of which I could only finish a third; the rest of the plate was made up of mashed potatoes, and roasted veggies (cherry tomatoes, leeks, and asparagus).  Mmmmm…!

Albert got the Ahi Tuna, with sugar snap peas and coconut-cilantro basmati rice!  I tried a bite of the fish–my first time eating tuna ever–and it was… well, fishy.  I’m allergic to a lot of seafood (shrimp, lobster, crab), so most things out of the ocean aren’t really appetizing for me, but if I were a fish person, I think this would be very yummy.

What is your favorite meal to go out for?  I don’t usually indulge in a dinner out, but weekend brunch is almost a regular thing!

One of the most abysmal baking failures I’ve ever had was a few months ago, when I attempted to make fortune cookies. They kept on popping up on many of the food blogs that I follow, and I wanted to try making them–it seemed so easy!  Just mix, drop, bake, scrape, fold and mold… but they kept on going to pieces. =(

What was great about it, though, was that all five of us in the apartment had some fun.  Jason, Grace, and Lily all tried making them with me (Jason made the best ones!), and Rocky even joined in when we were writing fortunes to insert into the cookies.  No pictures of the fortune cookies (too ugly to photograph and keep my dignity!), but here are some messages we put up on the board for memories:

These could be called mottoes–top one is mine, bottom one is Grace’s!

Messages from Jason; you should especially take the last one seriously. ;)

Lily’s just looking out for your wellbeing.  heheheh :D