Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bad Mood

I woke up today in the worst mood I've been in in a very long time. I am so pissed off and I don't want to see anybody. Happy Christmas Eve my ass!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jayperce

Instead of providing a length, detailed description of the weather up here, I'll just tell you my story and allow your common sense to fill in the blanks.

The snow is so deep up here that people's gazebos and porches are collapsing. Katherine and I had to climb up on the back porch this morning and spent an hour working together to clear off the snow from our roof. It's at least 800 square feet of roof. It's that bad up here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Adventures

My brother was supposed to fly into Portland at just past 7 yesterday evening. Since Portland is being buried in snow and ice, his flight from Minnesoter was canceled. By random chance he heard flights to Spokane being called over the PA system in the airport, and managed to book himself a first class flight. My sisters, Mastah Chahlz, and I left our house at about 7:30 last night and drove up to Spokane to intercept my brother at 11:30 (my dad had planned to just put him up in a hotel and send him home on a bus, which would get him home at 4:15 this afternoon). It was solid packed snow and ice and blowing snow the entire trip. We were lent our aunt and uncle's Explorer, which has four-wheel drive, which made the trip possible, and drove about 45 miles an hour for all 360 miles round-trip. My brother got in on time, but his baggage is lost in Minnesoter, so he's now without clothes (or even a coat), or his toiletries, or....anything else. We finally left Spokane (after a misdirected detour thanks to some "sound" advice from Mum) a little after 1 a.m., and were making pretty decent time until we got stuck behind two snow plows plowing both sides of the road crawling at 30 miles an hour and completely (completely) blinding everyone on the road. A man in a Bronco decided it was a good idea to try to pass (at 55 miles an hour) by weaving around them. He disappeared around the plow in the left lane and for a moment we thought he'd made it, until we saw and explosion of snow off to the right. The stupid moron had gone completely off the road while somehow managing NOT to get run over by the snow plows. I cannot emphasize enough my complete disbelief that we didn't all end up in a huge crash scraping bodies off the road. I have absolutely no idea how he managed not to get run over. Of course the ASSHOLE snow plow drivers just kept going, as did everyone else, so we had to pull over and check on them. They were completely unhurt, but they had driven straight into the ditch. The snow was up to their window. Mastah Chahlz ran out to check on them (they were fine) while I called 911 (first time I've ever done it - it was efficient). Things seemed better for a few minutes after that, as the plows were so far ahead that there was no obstruction on the road, but then the snow started. Because the snow on the road was packed so thick that you couldn't see the road itself, you had to rely completely on the little road markers on either side to even tell where you were going. It was snowing so hard we couldn't see them without crawling at about 30 miles an hour (again). We were literally bobbing back and forth from side to side trying to navigate, and spent a good half an hour (we went maybe 5 miles) in that state. As we got further west the snow let up a little bit and the road curved so that we weren't heading directly into the snow, so we got to speed up a bit. But then it was windy and the snow was being blown all over in front of us. Every time a car passed (on the other side of the freeway) we'd have to slow down because we couldn't see anything.

We finally made it back to Walla Walla at 5:18 this morning. For some reason everyone had made a big deal about the snow in Spokane - I'm assuming it was because Spokane itself is really hilly, so it was causing problems, but it didn't seem any worse there than here. They hadn't plowed anything but the freeways, which made it difficult to drive, but Walla Walla plows (no - the citizens of Walla Walla plow - for some EFFING reason the mayor of the town decided to do absolutely no road maintenance) only the main streets - so that you're completely snow banked into your side streets. My sister had to completely launch us onto our street (not kidding - we were in a HUGE SUV with 4-wheel drive - there was a 2-foot wall of snow blocking our entrance) and then we skidded about trying to get into our driveway. I love my brother and the trip was mostly fun, so it was worth it, but I absolutely will not make another trip like that without an emergency. Not fun, and too disturbing to see people almost smashed to death for me to do it again.

The point: don't drive in the snow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sass Part TWO

1. Crystal Method: This band is effing awesome. I mean it. I've been listening to them since I was 15 and no matter how often I hear their songs I get a rush and think "holy crap, this band is effing awesome!"

2. Text Messaging: Calling someone requires both of you to stop whatever else you're doing and focus entirely on the conversation. If you're in class or a meeting you can't even make the call. If you text, however, you can do it without even looking. You can text while doing other things. Could there be anything more awesome than digital note-passing? No, there couldn't.

3. Google Chrome: This browser was released a few months ago and I cannot believe how awesome it is. It is sooooooo much faster than Firefox (which has my undying respect for being an excellent replacement of Internet Explorer) and much more efficient. It has a few little quirks that I'd love to be changed, but those quirks aren't enough to keep me from using it!

NEGATIVE 4. MSN Hotmail: My first real usage of the internet was with Hotmail email. It served me faithfully for many years, but it has now become obsolete. Constant "updates" and incessant contact from MSN headquarters has long since made Hotmail email virtually useless. The most recent update has rendered it entirely unusable as it is not compatible with Chrome. MSN Hotmail - YOU SUCK!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tagged

Despite my awesome post this morning that no one will read because it's now invisible by other posts, I'm posting this. Also, Alora calls Band-Aids "Band-Age". Awesome.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? BAGS!!!! I had to double-wrap all of my gifts because the paper kept tearing.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real. If it's fake you don't have a chance of dieing in a house fire. X-treme Holidays!
3. When do you put up the tree? The week after Thanksgiving, usually around my birthday.
4. When do you take the tree down? Post New-Years.
5. Do you like eggnog? Nope!!! Yuck.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? None. I hate presents.
7. Hardest person to buy for? This is the first year I've actually bought presents. Picking gifts is pretty difficult for me, so ....yeah.
8. Easiest person to buy for? Casey - she loves everything!
9. Do you have a nativity scene? I'm not really into Christmas, actually. I like "the holidays" in general, but Christmas in particular isn't something I enjoy that much.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? uh....internet blogging. Who the hell buys cards?
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? .....
12. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I got all my shopping done last weekend.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? YES!
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Gyozas. We make Japanese food on Christmas Eve and ....ooooh it's so good.
16. Lights on the tree? Yes. White.
17. Favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night is pretty much the only one I even like.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel home.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dipshit, Asshole, Boogerface, Dumbass, Moron, Bitch, Bastard, Shithead, and...Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A star, a star.
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? One on Christmas Eve, the rest Christmas morning. But everyone knows the best gifts are in the stockings.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The overly-cheery people who suck the rest of the year.
23. Favorite ornament, theme or color? Hindu: Shiva.
24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Funeral Casserole and honey-glazed pull-apart ham. YUUUUUUUUUUUM!
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Some new clothes. Couple pair of jeans, few new shirts. Warm winter boots that I can walk in.

Okay, strike that.....

I just went outside. The snow is up to my knees and I have 3-inch heals on my snow boots. And of course when you step on snow several inches get packed down beneath your feet, so......there's a lot of snow here.

Yikes

I realized how boring I am. Every post I've made has been about the weather - the weather isn't interesting. I should probably talk about some things that are, or that are at least more "Valry." Let's get sassy:

1. Sade is awesome. Look her up on YouTube. "I Never Thought I'd See the Day" is my favorite. It's a bit more ambient than her other songs. The entire thing reminds me of one big, long sigh. Gorgeous.

2. If you haven't done so already, you need to check out Scary-Go-Round. It's an absolutely fabulous web comic by an adorable Brit named John Allison. As with most decent comics, the dialog is funny, but John really gives it a unique rhythm. All of the characters have a different, strange way of saying things. The artwork is also amazing. John puts a lot of detail into each strip and conveys a lot of humor in each frame. I've raved about it for years. Reading this comic increased my quality of life by 300%. Not. Kidding.

3a. Cars: Currently I drive a 1994 Lexus ES. It is the best car I've ever driven - and I've driven quite a few. It's got a very spacious interior, but is a very small, lightweight vehicle. It has a massive engine for its weight, which means it has an incredible amount of power. Driving has always made me a bit anxious, but I absolutely love to drive my car. I was raised on Japanese vehicles, and while I generally scoff at the absurdity of "brand loyalty", I've not been disappointed in Lexus. They're still manufactured in Japan (virtually all American models of Toyotas are actually manufactured in America or Canada now, which means they're garbage), and they are absolutely incredible vehicles. I regularly argue with my friend Jed about the pros/cons of BMW and Lexus. BMW puts INSANE amount of power into their vehicles, but they are also very heavy. Driving a BMW is like driving a tank. Which is awesome. I would feel 100% comfortable about my chances of survival in driving a BMW off a cliff. My chances of never ending up over a cliff are greatly increased by driving a Lexus, which just handles better. There's a time and a place for handling an object with a rough hand - at night, in a bedroom, for example. The road is not a place I want to have to "control" my vehicle. Driving Lexus vehicles reminds me of riding horses - use a gentle, steady hand and know your vehicle's limits and you're in for one hell of a ride.

3b. Cars: My car's getting old. Hopefully I'll be able to get into the Ph. D program at USC for fall '10. In so doing I'd be able to - hopefully - pay off my student loans and my credit card bills so that by the time I'm Dr. Hensel I'll be able to buy myself a new car. Obviously I've looked into Lexus (almost exclusively) and have essentially decided on an RX. Technically I decided I'd buy myself an RX 4 years ago when I first saw one (I have NO idea why I like them so much...they're quite weird-looking), but we don't need to get into that. I'm thinking about getting a certified-used Hybrid, as I think that would be a stellar vehicle to drive around LA (where I assume I'll stay through law school) but the LS Hybrid is really awesome. I love the RX because it's small but sits me up high (so I can effing see) and it looks like it handles the same way the original Sequoia did (basically like a giant sports car: amazing, amazing handling!). Of course the LS hybrid starts at over $100k, so I wouldn't be buying it any time soon, but I'm not sure if maybe I'd want to hold onto the car I have now and keep fixing it until I graduate from law school, etc. I love cars.

4. Nine Inch Nails. I know that the two people who read my blog don't listen to NIN, but they should. "In This Twilight" has to be one of the prettiest songs ever recorded. There are several instrumental tracks on the latest album (The Slip) that are awesome as well. "The Four of Us Are Dying" is one of my favorite songs ever. I've been a fan of NIN for about a decade now (got into the game a bit late, I admit), and I've really enjoyed the evolution of NIN sound.

5. Trent Reznor. Trent is NIN. He used to be a junkie and look like this: Now he is clean and in his 40's and he looks like this: To say I'm a "fan" of Trent Reznor is a bit unfair to those who really are fans. I've never purchased any NIN music or media. I don't have any posters of Trent on my walls, nor any NIN logos on my car. Trent is just one of my heroes in a kind of old-fashioned way. When he was on drugs and sickly I listened to NIN religiously but always thought he was a bit of an asshole - the kind of person who would have made me cry myself to sleep every night if we'd gone to school together. He's been clean for quite a few years now, though, and he's grown into himself. He uses an innovative approach in every situation he tackles, is markedly more friendly (though still shy), and I've been following his business models for a number of years now. Anyone interested in business or law should read some of his more recent interviews.

That's all for now. I think my next post will be dedicated solely to Crystal Method and text messaging. Genius. Oh, and also how much MSN/Hotmail SUCKS. Jayperce!

Actually, I don't like the snow.

We've had 10 inches of snow on the ground since about Sunday morning. I woke up this morning to another 3 inches...and it's still snowing. The winds were so strong in Athena last night that they closed the highway because the snow drifts were too big to get through. Here in Walla Walla we're supposed to get another 4 inches today, and another 2 inches tomorrow. Actually, the forecast for Walla Walla is nothing but snow for the next 10 days. It snows good here about once a year. It doesn't EVER snow for two solid weeks, and it certainly doesn't snow WHILE it's so cold. We had a week of sub-zero weather earlier this year - in April. What the hell am I supposed to do with myself? Normally our holidays consist of going to Coffee Perk, cruising around town listening to music, and going to the Taco Wagon before movies. I don't have my keys, and Chuck's the only other person with a car, but since he's snowed in to Athena, it looks like we're going to be doing a whole lot of not leaving the house this year.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

still holding!

It's 1 degree outside. "Feels like" -11. It feels like when I walk outside I start coughing and can't breathe because the moisture in my throat and lungs begins to freeze.

Also, I cannot find the keys to my car and need to get into my trunk (which will be an endeavor all to itself considering how much snow and ice is on top of it) to get my laundry, since I have no clothes. And also I want my book because I only brought one home for Christmas and I'm very bored. What's great, though, is that even if I HAD gone to USC I would still be here right now and would be even colder because of the drastic change in climates. I guess it's a GOOD idea that I've gone to Ellensburg instead and can wait to move to Los Angeles until such a time as I can afford NOT to come home at Christmas. Yesssssssssssssssss.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vowel Movement

So it's blinking cold here. It's been about 11 degrees all day, but will be getting colder. We have about 10 inches of snow right now, and it's been "dusting" all day. Wednesday we're supposed to get another storm which, by Thursday morning, is supposed to add another 8 inches of snow. That's a lot of snow. And it's cold. Like single-digits for highs. I don't like cold weather. It's cold.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Winter Storm

We're having crazazy snow here! We have five inches already (we were actually gone all day while Rea took out her endowments, etc), but we're supposed to get quite a bit more. It's so pretty! The weird thing is that it wasn't snowing (at least not sticking) anywhere else! Just in Walla Walla. Bizarro!

While mum and Rea went to the temple, Katherine and I hung out at the mall and got some GREAT Christmas shopping done (first time for me), and wasted time. Afterwords we all went to Applebees (my fam plus my grandparents and aunts and a cousin) and had a smokin' hot waiter who apparently found me attractive, and who I didn't mind looking at me. It was fun. I haven't gotten the "shine on" smile in a while..........

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ALMOST A COLLEGE GRADUATE!

- Econ final at 8 a.m. and then I am done for the quarter!
- Found out that my foreign language classes from HS exempt me from the requirement here at Central. This saves me three quarters.
- I should be able to graduate by AUGUST!

I don't know if I will get my masters here or if I will stay here and work on a masters or if I will work for a year and apply to USC for their PhD program starting Fall 2010 or if I will apply to USC law school to start Fall of 2009. I probably won't do the latter because I haven't even started studying for the LSAT and the last date they recommend taking the test is ....well, last week actually. Plus I'm not confident enough with my ability to graduate by August, since the school has insane restrictions on course overloads for some reason. This means that the decision will probably be between apply for the masters program to start in Fall or else getting a government job to start at the end of August. It might be a good idea to look for jobs in LA so that I'm adjusted to the city before starting school. Hmmmmmmm.......

I do, officially, want to get both a Ph. D and a J.D. I will do what I can to get both. The only thing that would prevent me from going to law school is money...but I imagine if I've got a Ph. D I'll have made good contacts and will have good references, grades, etc, and should be able to get some decent scholarships. Perhaps not, though. We'll just have to wait and see. I'm really, really excited about doing research for the Ph. D.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's that time of the year again...

Four times a year (Oooo, rainbow and fog against the mountains!!) the academic quarter comes to an end. Four times a year I prepare myself for the truest test of any academic: the final examination.

And so, prepared with studying, pen, and bluebook, I make my way.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stew!!!!

Okay, I finally got my stew meat to work. Six hours later.

Oh well, it was delicious and added a bit of depth to a flavorful but otherwise boring vegetable soup.

Now, for the chicken-fried steak recipe. Keep in mind I measure nothing. I'm a bit like Jack Sparrow in the kitchen. I'm calculated but flexible......

Steak: cube or round steaks. Smoosh with the palm or your hand (or a mallet or whatever) and then tenderize them with a fork for literally half an hour. You want to basically puncture every fiber. Make sure you flip over and get the other side. Rub salt and pepper into it and tenderize some more. Smoosh a bit, tenderize, etc.

Egg and some water - whip it good. Yes, like the song. Devo's awesome.

Batter: flour, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash's seasoning, garlic salt, aaaaaand.......






























....................


















Baking Soda. Baking soda will make fried stuff extra crispy.

Now, once the steaks are completely beat all to HECK, dip them in the egg/water mixture (usually recipes call for milk, but.....yeah, egg and water works fine), then in the batter mixture. Try to get as much of the batter to stick as you can. Lay the steak flat in a pan with just enough (medium-heated) oil to brim the edges of the top. Sprinkle some of the batter on top of the steak if you want, to give it extra...batter. Let it fry for a few minutes, then turn it over. You can keep flipping it until it's completely dark brown. I advise cutting into the meat to make sure it's cooked through, unless you're a professional meat fryer.

And that's pretty much it. Usually this dish is served with gravy (I think a sort of milk/sausage gravy type....) but I don't have any milk so I just had mine with ketchup.....which is just as good I think. It's fab with biscuits as well. The best biscuits on the planet are Bisquick. Awesome.


Another word of advise - make sure you Lysol the crap out of every surface in your house after working with meat. I cannot tell you how paranoid I am about that sort of thing. I don't have any Lysol on me, and though I wiped down every surface and washed my hands about 80 times while cooking, I'm still awaiting sudden death by e.coli or salmonizzle or whatever.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fried Steak REDEMPTION!

So after my fiasco with stew meat yesterday (so gross I had to pick out every piece and throw it away. Seriously...gross) I decided to try my hand at meat again. I don't eat a lot of meat (I'm not against it, it's just kind of expensive and I prefer potatoes and pasta) so I obviously don't cook it very often. I am an absolutely MASTER of pot roast (I hate to toot my own horn, but I am the greatest pot roast maker that ever lived) but that's about it. Well, I had a pack of cube steak in the freezer and didn't know what it was for, so I looked it up and that's what you use to make chicken-fried steak. I don't like chicken-fried steak. I think it's gross. But if there are two things I love it's breading and deep-fried foods. SO.....with a bit of experimentation (okay, so I created my own breading entirely and included a secret ingredient to make the breading EXTRA EXTRA crispy, because I'm also a master of frying things) and half an hour (I'm not kidding - thirty solid minutes) of tenderizing the cube steaks with a fork I ended up with the best chicken-fried steak I've ever eaten. I cannot wait to cook some for my dad. He used to make it when we were kids and I never liked it because I thought the texture was disgusting (cub/round steak is so tough and nasty) and just an all around boring food. Not that it had anything to do with dad's cooking skills - he's amazing. Anyway, I made three steaks and some biscuits and I'm absolutely thrilled with my dinner. I MAY possibly share my recipe with those who are interested, but you have to prove to me that you're a hardcore chicken-fried steak eater, or else I won't share my secret ingredient (which will transform every breaded, fried product you make into the most crispy and delicious breaded, fried product you have ever made).

Conclusion: I am just awesome.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holy Crap I'm awesome!

K, I didn't have a recipe for stew.......so I just kind of .....improvised.

I'm AMAZING. This tastes EXACTLY like my mom's stew (which is the most delicious food on the planet) except for the bay leaf (which I don't have). I only had carrots, onions, potatoes, and corn (normally my mom puts in a million vegetables and some barley, which is awesome) but I threw them in there with a bunch of seasoning (chicken boullion, garlic salt, onion flakes, Mrs. Dash). I didn't measure anything, just threw it all in. I didn't even know how much water to use, so I just...kept adding it. The base of the stew was some brown gravy mix (which I recommend, because then your stew is awesome)and I also randomly had some stew meat (not randomly - mum had a cow butchered and gave me a pack of stew meat) so I cooked that. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am right now. I'm eating a bowl with a biscuit from the batch I made for breakfast this morning.

I'm currently cooking cupcakes, which failed. The recipe sounded delicious and tasted good....and had the consistency of sugar cookies. I added some water and got a good texture, but they aren't rising properly. They should be fine when they're done, though, and the chocolate buttercream frosting I made is simply superb.


I'm so awesome sometimes!

Yeah, cupcakes were total fail. SCREW YOU MR. CUPCAKE RECIPE GUY!

- yeah, my smoke alarm drives me nuts. It's super sensitive to heat and goes off every time I try to use the oven. HATE IT!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pictures


Isn't it sad that the highlight of my birthday was dressing up to go to class?


It wasn't really a good idea to walk a mile in heals. Not a good idea at all.


But I looked fly.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

I've actually been 23 years old since 1:56 a.m. this morning (that is, the third of December Pacific Standard Time - I was born on Okinawa), but my actual birthday is December Fourth. Last year, in celebration of my 22nd birthday, Katherine photoshopped this gem:



Present are: dad, mum, Rea, G, Kafrin, Joseph, Sasquatch, Garrett, Chuck and stegosaurus, Cody, the Cheat, Flux Capacitor, Hover Board, Indiana Jones from the Temple of Doom, Professor VanSlyke popping out of the cake with Pintsize, and Bear Grylls. Also me, of course.

This year she's pressed for time, but did an extraordinary job sizing me up with T-Rez. Our heights are accurate, even given the apparent distance between us:



Awesome.

Peggle Extreme Fever

This is what happens when you h4x0rs the coolest game on the planet:



It's like 40 seconds of Fever Score tabulation.

Guilty as Charged

ooooooh bollocks! I have a serious crush on a certain hot faculty member. He's married! I NEED A LOVER! A non-married, non-faculty lover!

Garbage Day!



That guy has no expression in his face: It's entirely in his eyes.

It's totally garbage day for me. My hot professor totally hates the way I organize my papers: Sorry, I don't have an ego or anything, but after a lifetime of acing papers and essay portions on multiple STANDARDIZED TESTS, I'm pretty sure I know how to organize a paper. I don't know what he wants from me, but I have a feeling I'm going to get to use an SVU quote when I figure out how he wants it done and I ask him "is this how you like it?" Oh man, I'm awesome. Just not today.

Monday, December 1, 2008

OH MY LORD IT'S COMPULSIVE!

I've decided to come out of the closet as a compulsive applier. I spent approximately 10 months between October of 2007 and July of 2008 applying to Universities. After several devastating setbacks I was finally admitted to the University of Southern California. Unfortunately, I was admitted so late that I couldn't sort out a few would-be-minor problems and ended up coming here to Central Washington instead. I'm completely fine with that decision. School is school. However, as you all know, my history professor decided to feed my addiction to applications by mentioning graduate school. I'm now allowing myself to be sucked once more into the vortex of researching, outlining deadlines, and preparing applications. I'm getting my transfer credits sorted out so that (hopefully) I will complete my bachelors degree by August and can begin the masters program here at Central by September. I will spend the Christmas break studying for my GRE, applying for financial aid and scholarships, and prepping my application and letter of intent. The priority deadline is March 1st.

Of course I will get to do this again next year when I apply to USC once more in an attempt to join their history PhD program. I found out this morning that one does not need a masters degree in order to begin working on the doctorate degree. Unfortunately today is also the deadline to apply. BOLLOCKS! No matter, though, I have a lot of other things I need to do before I start working on my Ph.D.Mainly, there is a language requirement. I have to be fluent in two (2) foreign languages!! CWU waives the foreign language requirement if you took two successive years of foreign language in high school, so I hadn't even planned to bother with it. Now, of course, I'm forced to start studying language. It's weird that I'll have to apply to my PhD program only a few months after applying to my Masters program. I'll begin working on my app for USC right after I enter grad school. Ooooooh the rush! The delightful, horrid rush!