Christmas and I are just not homies (how to gain social acceptability to drink red wine for breakfast)

Generally, I’m a bit of a Scroog when it comes to the holiday season. Being that I’m pagan and surrounded by Christian celebrations was what spurred my distaste for this time of year, though as I got older, I came to accept it as a cultural holiday rather than a religious one. My main issue really was the commerciality of the season and the over saturation of poorly written holiday songs that are played on repeat with horrendous “jazzy” remakes. I don’t want to fall into the pressure of society to spend the very little money I have on gifts for everyone. Thankfully, over the years, I have trained people to know that I probably won’t participate in gift giving, but will gladly spend time with them. I think that it is of importance to show the folks you care about that you care about them all year ’round, not just during the “giving season”. What’s more–charity and good will t’ward men needs to happen year ’round as well. If you want to show you’re a good person, make it who you are, don’t participate in the annual December competition.

But I digress.

This year I wanted to do something small, let the people who do put a stock in Christmas know that I appreciate them. So I decided to make truffles for everyone. I’ve done it in the past. They were easy and delicious. 

Being the hippie I am, I wanted quality chocolate and other ingredients, and I wanted alcohol in them because I’m a grown up and I can. I spent some $45 on ingredients (though this did included spiced rum and red wine). I began this process on Thursday, planning on making a double batch of red wine truffles, and a double batch of rum truffles.  I started with te former, since it requires sitting in the fridge overnight. 

When the morning came, the truffle bowl was not firm. In fact, it wanted nothing to do but glop. The truffles were only vaguely formable, at best. 

It took me a while to figure out how to deal with this. I only had enough chocolate for the rum batch. Of course it dawned on me that the rum batch and ye wine batch should merge to make rum wine truffle babies. 

I combined the recipes, making sure to put in less liquid (though still added a full 10 oz of rum). I had to create a make shift double boiler to get the chocolate to melt the second time. After a lot of mess, I got it to melt and mix with the new chocolate, cream and rum. Again, I put it in the fridge over night. 

This morning, knowing I was going to have to get all my truffles ready for the farmers market (which I’m not participating in today due to the lies of the weather forecast (when it said it was supposed to sleet, I’m waking up to blue sky)), since the majority of my recipients are there, I woke early to get these damn chocolates ready! 

Don’t be fooled by the above picture. I assure you, the chocolate under the surface is just as gloppy as yesterday.  I attempted to make my truffles, to form them into something recognizable, though again failed.

Now what! I had a bowl of 36 ounces of melted chocolate, a carton of double cream, and a ton of booze that wouldn’t form into chocolate balls!  
I was getting the kettle to boil for my tea while I stared at the bastarding mixture when it dawned on me. I threw my truffle balls into the mug and added the hot water.


And that is how you solve a problem! If it’s a weekend and it’s in hot chocolate, no one is going to get on your case for drinking wine in the morning. 

Sudden Stop with a Sudden Drop


As per usual for the end of quarters, or even during the mid terms – There was a lot of frantic rushing to get things done. I spent 15 hours in one day working on my final essay for my British Literature class, which turned out to be 14 pages of pure rubbish (Well, I consider it rubbish – I didn’t get a lot of my ideas that I wanted into it. At the end of the day though, it was only supposed to be 3 pages so….who knows), spent a great many hours studying for my math Final (the worry of which you can read about here), as well as verbal rehearsal for my French Final. The last few days have been all go and all adrenaline, and then when it was over…It was over.

My last final was French, which finished at 10:30 in the morning, and afterwhich I was free. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I told myself I had all these goals and yet, I couldn’t focus on any one of them. For a while, I opted for writing, though only got 300 words in before I realized I really didn’t know what I was writing about. I went home for a good long nap – very much needed after the 8 hours of sleep spread out through three days.

After…I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I had adjusted to the level of stress. I had adjusted to the luxury of lounging since I knew I had to take it when I could due to the amount of to-do on my plate. I am so used to having tasks to do, ready at hand, that I can pick from any one of them, and then last night, I had nothing. Today, I have nothing.

Just over 24 hours out of the quarter and I’m already bored! How can that be???

So, to treat myself, I went to breakfast at my favorite place in Bellingham, the Old Town Cafe, where I could have vegetarian biscuits and gravy with a side of tofu (so beautiful), then meandered to visit my friend at the Stone Moon, an occult/pagan shop, and ended up staying there for a couple hours.

Then I headed back to the college.

I know how it sounds. But it’s not like that…not entirely like that. I went because I could finally sell back my math book (that’s a good sign, it means I still some how managed to get an A in that class, a rant I will rant about later). I’ve had that book for three quarters – I’m not going to lie, I’m a little attached to it. It functioned as my math 97, 98 and 99 book, which was lovely, and now It’s gone. I never used the activation code in there that allowed me to get to the videos, so that should have worked towards its return value. However, I got $23 for it. There’s not a whole lot of money in returned math books. I probably should have sold it online.

So now I sit, in the library at the college, writing, wondering just what on earth to do with myself. It’s so peaceful, so quiet. I really do enjoy this library. It’s funny, when I was a Running Start Student, the library here intimidated the hell out of me. I don’t know why, but it did. I think it’s because I thought that all books were only allowed in the library, and you couldn’t check any out for more than a couple hours. Though that only pertains to text books.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do for the next five weeks. I’m kind of nervous to be honest.

Procrastination Part II

Alright, lesson learned: stick to the routine.

My usual routine is as follows:

  • Go to bed at 9pm
  • Get up between 5 and 6 am
  • Get on the bus at 7:55
  • Arrive at school at 9:10
  • Review math
  • Math class at 9:30
  • Finish math at 10:20
  • Do math homework
  • Go to Journalism at 11/English at 11:30, depending on the day
  • Finish Journalism at 1:30/English at 1, depending on the day
  • Finish any remaining homework from any of the classes
  • Go home
  • Do home stuff
  • Go to bed.

However, this week I have found myself deviating from the routine. First it was putting off my English and journalism homework for the sun and out of sheer fed-up-arm-flap. Then in a desperate need to catch up, I neglected my math homework to study for a vocabulary test in my journalism class.

I couldn’t continue with my math after class because I still had to play catch-up and quickly read a chapter from a book in the student library that I was supposed to get done two days ago before dashing off to do an interview assignment that I should have had done two days ago.

By the time the interview was done, it was time to catch the bus and do home things, which entirely distracted me from the necessities of doing my math homework and studying for the quiz today (have you met Lily the Sunflower?).

In an effort to force myself to be responsible, I skipped making dinner for my boy imageboyfriend and myself and stare at the pages with sentences of numbers that were fairly insistent that Aliens do not in fact wear hats, and that whether or not they have heads as we would recognize them is entirely debatable. At 10 I gave up and said “Screw it! I’m going to bed!”

Of course that didn’t happen either. I needed to get some more work done on the posters for the Galaxy Far Away Fest. I spent 45 minutes making some minor changes before finally calling it a night.

The night may have been a wash, but Friday was a whole new day, and I would rise bright and shiny and be ready to review all my math over the last week and a half and finish my homework all in one foul swoop.

Did I mention that the house we’re living in has only had us as occupants since September? It’s true, which means we’ve only really experienced the freezing cold of the winter. The last couple of days here have been hot! Mid to high 70’s hot. What we failed to realize is that the heat would rise in our house, thus making our bedroom extremely hot.

Did you also know that most of our windows are painted shut? This is something we plan on remedying, but we want to make sure our landlord will allow it first.

So I laid there, sweltering in the heat of the room, tossing and turning, trying to find the cool side of the pillow which kept disappearing as soon as I thought I had it.

At long last I found myself asleep, and the only reason I knew I had been asleep was because I was waking up to my very intrusive alarm. Though I was pretty sure I was doing my homework in my sleep, and I thought it quite rude for my alarm to correct me.

I couldn’t get myself out of bed before 7. It just wasn’t happening. What is it that’s being said? Straight from the land of Nope?

So, here I am, at school, ten minutes before my math class, having scribbled some homework down on the bus ride north, having failed to touch my homework – which, by the way, I understood perfectly in class yesterday though couldn’t make heads nor tails of this morning.

What did we learn?

Stick to the routine. It works, I learn things better, nothing is a mad dash, and it works.

Fermented Friday – Gin and Juice and Spring

After a rough day that I’ll get into later, a gin is the way to top it off.


Gin and limeade with frozen strawberries and cucumbers. The only thing missing is a sprig of mint.

Error in Judgement

I hate myself some times.

I know – I know – positive thoughts and all that. This is coming from the girl that doesn’t believe in saying “FML” because it promotes too much negativity and can alter one’s reality and/or preception of reality.

But seriously. I really, sometimes truly hate myself – want to kick myself upside the head with kleets and tear off my eyelids so I can open my God Damn vision.

I have just spent the last half an hour working myself into a frustration of a headache – my head is pounding, no matter how much water I chug, and I am all out of almonds. The last half an hour has been spent on math problem number 55 – which reads:

Solve: 0.50x + 0.2(18-x) = 5.4

I have been stuck on this problem forever. My head is pounding, my eyes hurt from staring at it – I hate  this math problem.

Over and over I kept getting x=0.6

How was this happening????? The answer in the back of hte book says 6! How am I getting a tenth of that, no matter how many different ways I do it???

I finally moved on, finished the rest of the homework, and came back to it. Usually I erase all the work I’ve done and start afresh. Not this time. I wanted to compare it. Magically – I was bestowed the wisedome that allowed me to accurately calculate that x does in face = 6. What on earth was I doing wrong?

I looked back – and here’s where the Kleet part comes in.

I didn’t ad 0.5x +0.2x. I was added 5 and 2. You see the difference right? So my answer wasn’t a decimal, it was a fraction.

THESE ARE THE STUPID THINGS I KEEP DOING!!!! And I haven’t the faintest idea as to how to get over doing them! How do I train my eye not to see what I want to see opposed to what is there?

know that I make these mistakes, that I do these little careless things. I have really been hard on myself to get into the habit of double and tripple checking my work. Yet, they keep happening.

Any ideas? I am genuinely asking how I can stop putting myself in these head-splitting positions.

Day Four and About to Drop

Edit  – When I first wrote this post – it wasn’t pretty. I really didn’t have anything nice to say – it was one big wine fest. I even went so far as to hit “publish” with the entry in such a level of griping. It took me about fifteen minutes before I realized how the post sounded before I realized that I needed to re-write it.
Yes, I am stressed, yes I am exhausted, but there are things to be learned and fixed, lessons I can pass along to others who are finding themselves in a similar situation.

It’s Friday, and I have completed my last day of my first week back in school. Granted,  it was only a four-day week, but none the less, a school week.

It wasn’t overly exhausting, though I feel it. I feel it in my bones, and I feel the comfort of my bed calling from 20 miles away. Home work was moderate, quite easy from what I was expecting. My Journalism class doesn’t require too much of me, my English class is Philosophy in disguise, and my Math class so far has been going over what Absolute values are (you know, how many integers from zero a number is, such as the absolute value of -3 is 3, the absolute value of 3 is also 3 – dead easy). But some how I feel stressed and on the verge of being overworked.

I have been waiting all week to hear back from my employer – potential employer? – who was meant to get ahold of me to let me know when a good day for her to meet up would be. Apparently she was waiting for me to do the same thing, I got an email from her this morning asking if I was still alright to work this weekend, that she was worried because she hadn’t heard from me.

Everything in me wanted to just call her and scream “NO! DON’T YOU KNOW I’M IN SCHOOL?!?!?”

Of course I didn’t do this. I waited until I had had a little more time to wake up, get distracted by classes to sooth the anxiety that I hadn’t realized had been building.

The whole bus ride to school, the only thing I could recognize was the amazement at my friends that juggled a full time job with full time school, or full time school with a part time job as well as being a single parent. My friends are super heroes for being able to do it all!

I wanted to call up my goat cheese lady and tell her I wasn’t the one for them, that I wouldn’t be able to give them the devotion and passion their goat cheese deserves. Working for them means that the next ten weeks I will not be able to have one morning off, one day where I can not set my alarm and just sleep. It means for the next ten weeks that my boyfriend has to work his schedule around mine, since I’m usurping his vehicle to get to and from the park and ride, to and from work. And since it will be the norm that I’ll be working by myself, a carpooling option isn’t available.

However, of course, it’t not as simple as that.

I have Unemployment to consider, for one thing.

There are solutions though. For every obstacle there is a way over, around or through it, after all.

Problem: Transportation

  • Find someone to stay with during the week, like a parent.

Problem: Working/Not Working

  • Power through it – after all, I will more than likely have fun, I’ll just be tired while having fun.
  • Tell her I can’t work – which brings up the problem of unemployment, I’m not allowed to turn down work, and I also have to be able to pay my bills. That brings me to my next solution –
  • Try applying for on-campus jobs. These are more than likely going to be during the school week and since they employ students, will be flexible with schedules.

Problem: The exhaustion that won’t go away

Well, the solution is in the problem – it won’t go away. Exhaustion is part of college life. As it stands I am doing what I can by refraining from drinking and going to bed early – it’s been about 9pm that I’ve been turning in at night. I can of course do more –  a good, vegetable and fruit rich diet is a good place to start. As I write this in my favorite greasy spoon, mooching internet, and maowing down on fries, I clearly have to work on that part.

It’s all an adjustment period. It’s figuring out how to manage my time and my mentality. What’s more, it’s figuring out how to manage external influences – such as my boyfriend. He has to adjust to my new focus just as I do – and I don’t mean by being flexible with  his truck, either. He has to realized that school-related things come first, as does my attempt to retrain myself to be a better student.

I want to take this time to apologize to all my friends that I was the little devil on the shoulder to about coming out and partying instead of studying. I am so so sorry for trying to lead you into temptation while you were trying to focus. I have to say kudos to you every single time you turned me down and were responsible. Very very impressive!

On that note,  I”mm going to take this opportunity to be cheeky and get into Netflix and start the documentary I am supposed to watch for my English class – Quantum Activist. It’s been on my list to watch for a while now, no problem.

Fermented Friday – Washington Wine

I learned something the other day while in Spokane.

Our friend that drove us had some other friends that invited our crew to breakfast. We had an amazing breakfast with home-made cinnamon swirl bread that was turned into french toast, infused maple syrup with vanilla and star anise and cinnamon sticks, rum-soaked apple slices, organic eggs with goats cheese, shallots and herbs. It was beautiful!

After, our hostess took us downstairs to show us the wine cellar. I had never been in a proper wine cellar and I was just tickled pink! They were all labeled with tags off the neck and arranged by year and location. Most were from local wineries.

Our hostess began telling us about how California had a bad year and France was having troubles too, so Washington Wine is where it’s at for the next couple of years.

I of course had to make the crack – “Washington – Good Wine, Good Pot!”

However, the truth is, for 2013, Washington set the record as far as their harvest goes, with 210,000 TONS of grapes for wine.

I also learned that Cab Sav is our top wine as well, which is perfect, since that’s my preference.

Wine from Walla Walla was even featured at the White house in February, enjoyed by the president himself! It was a 2009 Chester-Kidder red blend, which is half cabernet sauvignon blended with syrah as well as petit verdot, all of which grown in the Columbia Valley.

Washington has over 43,000 acres for wine grapes, and produces over 350 different wine varieties with at least 750 wineries. It brings in half a million dollars annually to the state, and is the third most valuable crop in Washington, and ranks as the second premium wine producer. Find out more Washington Wine Statistics Here.

Seems I’ll have to be sampling these wines, seeing what flavorful journeys I’m taken one with our local delicacies.