Monthly Archives: January 2020

“Cauli Hot Cereal”

When I eat my oatmeal, I do not tend to think, “You know what would make a great substitute? Cauliflower.” 

And I certainly wouldn’t think “strawberry hazelnut” when then thinking of flavors to add to the cauliflower. 

But you know what? It is actually pretty delicious. It was fairly crunchy which might have meant I cooked it incorrectly, but I thought the crunch added good texture. The hazelnut provided a nice, nutty aftertaste and the strawberries kept things sweet. And with 8 grams of protein, this makes for a nice breakfast or lunch. I’ll definitely be getting this again. 

Trivia Confessions

People assume that because I read an enormous amount, I am good at trivia. 

Fun fact: I am not good at trivia. 

At least, not bar trivia. I know nothing of sports, pop culture, geography, or music. And guess which topics dominate? 

Some friends invite me every few weeks to join their trivia group and I go and I usually provide nothing to the team. At most I can claim a knowledge of history, but one of my teammates is a far bigger history buff than I am and usually knows the answer. (Though, actually, once, several glorious months ago, I answered a sports question: it was pole vaulting. And I suppose the one time a law question came up, I got that too) 

But last night…I did it. I knew the answer to the question and no one else at my table did. Such a moment of triumph. And the category? Literature

So if you ever need someone who can recognize an Emily Dickinson poem at your trivia night, I’m your woman. 

Can’t Wait Wednesday

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.


Guess what comes out (probably) on February 4th?! 

Okay, I kind of gave it away. Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed. It is a book aimed at YA that is about…political canvassing.

As in going door to door for a candidate. 


Early reviews are definitely positive. And a book about politically engaged teenagers? I mean, that is right up my alley. I cannot wait to get a hold of this one. 

What book can you not wait to be published? 

Personalities On The Bus

You would not think it, but 8:30 pm is a pretty sketchy time to take the bus. It smells like pot and body odor. Tonight, though, it proved pretty entertaining. A certain individual had clearly taken allllllllllll the drugs and was uttering nuggets of, er, wisdom. Here were a few of his utterances. (No transition between them in person!)  

  • “Forget Madison! Let’s go to Canada and live in my mansion!”
  • “No one says anything because no one thinks anything, but I talk anyway because it is about the experience you bring.”
  • “Math is funny. All phone numbers are composed of the same numbers.”
  • “Where we are going you need to be smarter than the dog behind the fence. You need to get around the fence. But the dog can’t. Madison is the fence. And it is just like Madison, Tennessee.”
  • “I believe that everyone believes in anything. But I also believe in everything.”
  • “Beware of fruit drinks. Believe me, man. You are talking to a global warrior.”

Discussion Groups, Take 2

Me: “So we just established Machiavelli is about looking good while doing evil. But what about this passage I just read? How does picking allies and enemies and publicly sticking to them fit in with his philosophy?” 

* crickets *

Me: “…do any of you know what I’m talking about?”

* crickets *

Me: “Did any of you get this far in the readings?”

* all 15 students shake their heads no *

Day 1 of discussion group, y’all. This is going to be a very, very long semester. 

A Disjointed Bible Reading

Last year I found a “One Year Bible” at a Goodwill and decided to give it a try. For those not familiar with the type, it breaks out the Bible over 365 readings and if you read every day, you finish the Bible at the end of the year. Every day it includes a few chapters from the Old Testament, a few from the New, and then some Psalms and Proverbs. I’ve read through the Bible a few times before (my friends and I used to read the whole Bible over Christmas break) and thought this sounded like a good way to get back in the habit.

But it is so disjointed. Partially it is probably a natural result of not physically flipping from the Old Testament to the New Testament. It will be confusing regardless. But also partially, the lack of transition between the readings makes it feel weirdly…abrupt. For example:

January 3:

Genesis 7:23: Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; men and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds of the air were wiped out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

Matthew 3:7: But when he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘we have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the tree, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Now, imagine that, but instead of two paragraphs side by side, it is chapters. You’re really feeling the flow about Noah and then BAM WE’RE SUDDENLY TALKING ABOUT JOHN THE BAPTIST. And then you start getting into the swing of Matthew when the next paragraph begins, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them…” and whatdoyouknow, we’re in Proverbs. 

I just feel like there has to be a better way to give daily readings without giving the reader whiplash. And if you’re not already familiar with the various portions of the Bible, how would anyone keep track of what was going on? Not user friendly at all.

Finding Time

Today I applied for jobs. I wrote cover letters, updated my resume, stalked employers. 

And you know what that means I didn’t do?


Vaguely I realize I need to read The Prince for class (and discussion groups!) Monday, finish giving feedback on the law review article I was assigned, track down my group-mates for the project we have Tuesday, actually do the readings for the project we have Tuesday, read for Crim Pro, and…oh yeah, I made a pact with myself at the beginnign of the semester to review my notes from each class at the end of the week so I am not re-learning everything come finals. And hey, if I had a few extra hours to put in at work this weekend, they could use it. 

And don’t I have a blog post to write…? Preferably before 11 pm? (Too late.)

But instead today I applied to jobs. And I took my sister grocery shopping. And I didn’t do laundry so at some point tomorrow I am going to need to figure that out. 

My schedule always looks so good on paper. I think to myself ‘why don’t you have more time?’ 

This is why

I forget important things like “oh yeah, I need to figure out post-grad employment.” (For the record, I’m way more calm about this than the professor I TA for, who asked me on Wednesday if I still had hope of finding a job. Eek. I hope so.) 

A Plethora Of Ebook Options

Yesterday, I had a little mini panic attack when I realized I had no more books lined up on my library ebook app (Libby). All the ones I wanted to read next were on holds. And a quick search did not show me any available ones that I wanted to read! WHAT TO DO!

What to read on the bus?!

And then it dawned on me that if I just clicked out of the Libby app and looked at my home screen, my problem would go away. Because besides Libby, I currently have plenty of immediately-available-because-I-own-them ebooks on my:

  • Kindle app
  • Nook app
  • Kobo Book app
  • Google Books app
  • BookFusion app

And if I somehow made it through all of those, my friend sent me a few books via Google docs I could also read via the app on my phone. 

Moral of the story, as long as I have a phone charger on me, I need never fear running out of reading material.

(And thankfully a hold came in early on my Libby app so I was only without reading material on there for, like, 4 hours. Whew. Crisis averted.)

A Very Brief Update

I wrote this blog post wile studying abroad at Oxford University in 2013. I was reminded of it as I started the reading for the class I’m TAing for this year. Still giddy reading Machiavelli. (What does that say about me?!)

Fernweh's Call

Imagine telling your average 12-year-old that her only school assignment for the coming week is to research and write a brief paper on Justin Bieber. Furthermore, add that in the coming weeks the process will be repeated with One Direction, Selena Gomez, and any celebrity of her choice and that she will get to study them all in Hollywood. You have just caught a glimpse of how excited I am about my tutorials.  I am getting school credit to uber research a topic that fascinates me and write an essay analyzing it. How incredibly awesome is that?

This isn’t much of an update as much as me expressing my extreme enthusiasm for what I get to study. Today was our induction into New College (established in 1379…), yesterday was our induction into the Bodlian Library. I get to read The Prince and write a paper about Machiavelli for my primary…

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Agatha Raisin

I read the first (and half of the second) Agatha Raisin book and generally enjoyed it but did not find it super remarkable. The TV series based on the books, though? Absolutely fabulous. My Mom and I watched all the episodes over Christmas break. 

The story follows a very successful career woman who decides to take early retirement and move to a quiet English village. But life does not stay quiet…people around the village have a habit of turning up murdered. 

There is a great collection of side characters and the show really isn’t afraid to murder-off important ones. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope they continue to make more episodes.