Archives for category: Roomies

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. =(

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!

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


This last Saturday, the sophomore class of AIV invited the freshmen to an afternoon of studying and bonding at Palmer Commons.  There were snacks, a sandwich bar, games, shenanigans, and lots of fun!

Most of the food. It was consumed quickly.

The freshmen, stick-figured. =)

In the throes of laughter and the middle of playing Mafia. Grace is laughing in the striped tank on the right.

Studying hard... or hardly studying? Jason is one of the three guys in this picture. Guess a). what these guys are playing, and b). which ones Jason!

Multi-tasking... studying AND Catan.

I wasn’t the only one taking pictures!  Here are some pictures of other friends taking pictures:

Maggie, to the right, and Rocky, on the left, snapping pictures.

My friend Kelli, and future neighbor in #4.

Christina, another future #4 resident, with Rockys camera.

And finally… the cookies.  My friend James dropped off a lot of the groceries at #8 the night before, to facilitate easier transportation to Palmer Commons than where he lives near North Campus, and the morning of, I decided to make chocolate chip cookies for everyone.  They also did double-duty as Jason’s breakfast.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from AllRecpies

Ingredients
1 cup (preferably dark) brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon  salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda.

Fold the wet ingredients slowly into the dry, then fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheets, and then bake 9-11 minutes.

Makes… lots. ;)

Partly because our cupboards are full, partly because we’re bored, and mostly because we can, Rocky and I built our Leaning Tower of Tupperware atop the refrigerator.  That last container is about one inch away from the ceiling.  One false move and some poor soul will be besieged with plastic container after plastic container! :D

Martha (not that one, but similarly great–Martha of the awesome Thought Collector!) asked me last week what I was reading.

I am currently tackling:
  • Waylaid by Ed Lin; great, great book, a tiny little thing you can carry easily on the go.  Also adapted into a film, called The Motel, which, in a rare circumstance (preceded only before by The Devil Wears Prada and Julie & Julia), I like the move more than the book.  But you should still read the book (don’t read TDWP; it’s a waste of time. J&J was ok).
  • Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo; if not for my Asian-American Literature class, I would probably avoid this book, and probably because of my Asian-American Lit class, I will avoid post-colonial fiction for a while.  This is really well written, though, and if you like magical realism or explorations of sexuality, you’ll probably dig this.
  • Bad Heir Day by Wendy Holden; awful.  Probably because I’m not really feeling into little-cognition-needed reading right now, but I couldn’t get past the first ten pages and just sort of threw the book down the library chute.
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel; for my English class.  It’s a graphic memoir, sort of like Maus, and their are hundreds of references to other works of literature throughout the work.  It’s interesting.
  • Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh; apparently, when a book is about 800 pages long and two inches thick, it’s a big book.  When this book arrived in the mail, though, I was as giddy as a child on Christmas morning–I adore, worship, revere Rudolf Nureyev like no other pop culture figure (yes, even more than Martha), and Kavanagh’s biography of his life is regarded as one of the best biographies ever written.  I concur; it is definitely great, even if you’re not into iconic ballerinos of the 20th century. READ THIS!
  • The New York Times Tame Crosswords by Will Shortz; not really reading… struggling through.  With some help from my roommates.

Today was the last day of classes… and there’s really a perceptible frustration in the air!  All my roommates and I are scrambling to finish projects, study for final exams, and write last papers, but oh, in just a week and a half, it’ll be all over.  We’re restless but there’s also an insatiable urge to procrastinate from finishing the last dregs of this semester.  !!!!

Usually at this time, I also get the urge to just go out and buy things.  So… I did, if you consider clicking on Amazon and then opening the packages two days later “going out” to buy things.  I bought a book of crossword puzzles, the Monday ones, but despite the entire book being “tame,” it takes a collective mind to solve just one.  Lily, Jason and I will sit down with the book opened flat to the puzzle of the moment, squinting and passing a pencil every now and then to scribble in some letters.  When we get stuck… I’ll admit it. I look in the back, where the answers are, after which, I’ll write in the answer to one line and then Jason will endlessly shout “CHEATING, CHEATING, CHEATING!”

You can't tell, but Jason would say that I'm a pumpkin eater. Yes, I do eat pumpkin.

I meant for the crosswords to be for myself, and they became a group activity; ironically, the blender I bought for all of us has only so far been utilized by myself.  That, however, doesn’t stop the roomies from asking me to make them smoothies instead of doing it themselves!

The great thing about this blender is that it’s kind of tiny; it can bust out at most 17 ounces (my smoothies average out to be about 14 ounces), and it’s super easy to clean.  I really like icy, light, fruity smoothies–any yogurt in liquid-y form makes me gag–so beware of brain freeze!

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Ingredients
1 kiwi, peeled
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1 cup ice
1/2 cup orange juice

Directions

Put all the ingredients into the blender, then pulse until smooth!

Grace dressed hers up by adding whipped cream and strawberries!

I’ve been pretty lax in introducing my roommates, but finally, here they are! These fabulous folks are the ones who have daily put up with my quibbles for the last seven and a half months, and so they must be lauded! ;)

Rocky

I met Rocky last year; we were in the same weekly Bible study small group, and he was, funnily enough, my dormitory roommate Joy’s boyfriend for the better part of our first year of college.  Rocky was the one who asked me if I would take the fifth spot at #8; obviously, I said yes.

Rocky’s a dual business and psych major, and the mastermind behind the epic entertainment system of #8.  He is bright, cheery, a (recklessly) talented driver, and can sit through a whole season of Community in ONE night.  E-P-I-C.  Rocky also subscribes to the Wall Street Journal for his business classes, but that often involves picking up issues in the morning, stuffing them into a cabinet, and then recycling the sheaves every month or so.  He especially likes muffins and cookies and his girlfriend, Maggie.

Grace

I also met Grace last year at Bible study/small group; we hung out a bit, but weren’t too close until we moved into #8.  She’s a bit of a fashionista–her closet is massive–and she’s magical in her expertise with makeup.

Grace is studying neuroscience, having officially declared just yesterday, and is working towards either pharmacy or dental school; she hasn’t decided yet.  She is also a lifeguard at the CCRB, and works with me at [undisclosed location; don’t wanna get dooced!].  Grace is also the most violent of us all (she’s always egging me to beat up Jason!), and owns all the stuffed animals currently in residence in #8 (though Rocky was the one who insisted she bring them).  In August, she’ll be moving downstairs to #4.

Lily

I met Lily through Grace a few, fleeting times freshman year, but not until moving into #8 together did I get to really know Lily.  I found out that she is studying neuroscience, aiming for medical school, works with rats in a research laboratory, has perfect pitch, is an epic photographer, is kind of a sadist, likes really spicy food, can stare at a book and literally absorb information, drinks Monster, and loves to shout at the television, just like I do!

Lily and I usually bond over pictures and animated gifs of adorable baby animals.  We also like to watch medical procedurals together and critique shoddy laboratory practices, and we occasionally swap Russian literature (though neither of us have finished the first set of books we’ve traded, her copy of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov for my copy of Bulgakov’s The Master and the Margarita).  She has a cat at home that’s really fat, but adorably so.

Jason

Jason and I actually met on the very first day that we all moved into #8 together.  I didn’t really know what to expect, but we’ve become friends and he’s a wonderful roommate.  He’s kind of a sissypants shy and he didn’t want his face to show on the blog, so in this picture, flanked by Grace and I, he’s holding an Ugly Doll to mask himself.  He’s not ugly, though; just silly!

Jason’s studying computer science, and is a pretty epic Tetris player on Facebook (he’s even ranked).  He also does a lot of coding, for class and for his own entrepreneurial ventures, and is perpetually suffering from one physical injury or another, stemming from his many sports activities (tennis, volleyball, soccer).  We’re both night owls, but occasionally, Grace and Lily will also stay up, and we’ll have what we like to call “girl talk–with Jason!”  He’ll often just listen in, snigger at us, and then occasionally offer up his Y-chromosome expertise. =P  He can be quite infantile and petulant, sometimes, though, but it’s always amusing–his face, though you can’t see it, resembles a little boy, and one can’t help but be amused!

I’m naturally inclined to be a bit down and moody–having General Anxiety Disorder and Seasonal Affective Depression will do that to a person–but the state of happiness is something I enjoy and the philosophy of joy is something I embrace; hence, I’m very rarely truly in a ‘dark’ place.

Little things make me smile: bird song, sunshine through the clouds, my favorite word (currently: wonderful).  Unfortunately, it can often be little things that make me moody and angry and hateful, and it all whirlpools together as I further my discontent by being moody and angry and discontent about being so.  What I am angry about today is that over the weekend, I have been gone from lovely #8, to visit my parents, and I have come back to dirty dishes in the sink and dirty dishes lined up in the dishwasher.

‘A clean plate’ is a common term, with many meanings that can be imbued by context; in this one, I really want my dear roommates to take responsibility for themselves post-gustatory activities.  It’s only a little extra something effort to clean while you cook, or to rinse off your plate when you’re done with some cake, but to just leave the dishes there, in piles, as if they’ll sing and dance and then do a synchronized routine in sudsy water is a bit too much.  The kitchen is cluttered, messy, and in the cupboards, nary a clean dish–crisis! crisis! crisis! just repeats over and over in my head. >.<

So, dear reader (if you’ve made it this far!), I have only one question to ask: WWMD?

*Please don’t be offended by this; I love Martha Stewart.  I worship at the Altar of Martha.  I’m a subscriber!  WWMD is my life motto. Really. ;D

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