Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Tea: Spring Registration

I can't believe how fast this semester has flown by and how behind I feel in my classes. I've been drinking more tea than ever recently in an attempt to keep my head screwed on straight, and today, I am drinking Tazo Earl Grey from Starbucks. Sooo yummy.

So if you were here right now having Tuesday tea with me, I would talk about the following things:

- It got cold here fast! With the hurricane wrecking havoc on the northern east coast, Atlanta got a huge cold front. Combined with some pretty intense wind, I don't leave my apartment without a jacket and scarf.
- My laptop is on the fritz. And that's probably an understatement. Fingers crossed that things get fixed ASAP so I can do my CS homework.
- I registered for Spring classes today. Currently I'm signed up for PSYC 3040 - Sensation & Perception, MATH 4317 - Analysis I, MATH 4032 - Combinatorial Analysis, MATH 4803 - Special Topics Course "Combinatorial Game Theory." I also wanted to sign up for a creative writing course, but that requires a permit to register for. I'm still trying to make that happen, but we'll see.
- Today, I printed off more than 100 pages of practice questions for my actuarial exam. Time to enter full-fledged study mode.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Knitted Hat

My most recent knitting endeavor has been a hat. I saw a video on how to knit hats, and it didn't seem too difficult so I gave it a whirl.

The video said to cast-on the stitches in multiples of eight. Not actually knowing how many inches around David's head is, I initially cast-on 104 stitches. After about two days of knitting though, I decided the circumference looked way too big. After a lot of deliberation, I ended up ripping out my work and starting over. This time I cast on 88 stitches. I used 16" size 8 circular needles, and my yarn was KnitPicks' comfy worsted yarn in Jalapeno. The whole hat knitted up in less than one ball of yarn.

After I had cast-on my stitches, I joined the stitches in the round and started knitting and didn't stop. Once the piece was long enough to fit on my head, I added stitch markers (or paper clips if you're too stingy to buy actual ones like me) every eight stitches on the next pass around the needle. Then I started to form the top of the hat. The method: just decrease every time a stitch marker is encountered until only four stitches are left on the needles. After weaving in my ends, I had a finished hat!

The spiral top :)

Awesome paper clip stitch markers

Ta-da!

P.S. This was actually my second attempt at this particular hat.  The first one ended up being a bit too short. When in doubt make it too long and just roll the brim some more.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Words

"We separate and my Mother steps toward me. Her eyes are tearing again I used to hate her crying I don't now. She feels and she cries. It is to be admired. She puts her arms around me I put mine around her. We hug each other she holds me like I am her Baby. I am not anymore, but I still am."

- James Frey, A Million Little Pieces

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today, I Became A True Crafter

A little surprise showed up in my mailbox today.


The picture really doesn't do its size justice.  You guys, this thing is seriously industrial size.  But now I can officially call myself a true crafter, and it's a good thing too because I've had a zillion projects that I've wanted to do if only I had a glue gun.  Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Tea: Revamping My Mornings

Today marked the first day of a new experiment I'm trying. In an effort to start making the most of my days, I'm trying a new thing where I wake up at 8, whether I have a class I need to get to or not. I know there's some people who are probably rolling their eyes at me thinking that they would love to sleep in to 8 o'clock, but I am ignoring all judgement about the fact that I am usually a late sleeper. But I do recognize the fact that change isn't always a bad thing, and I am hoping in this instance that it is actually a really good thing. Besides having the intention of normalizing my sleep schedule, I hope that by starting my day earlier I will get more work done throughout the day and that I will also have more energy. That last bit probably sounds counterintuitive (I know it originally did to me), but from my personal experience, although it is harder to get up earlier, once I am awake, I feel like I got more out of my sleep than if I had woken up at 11.

So how has my day been going so far? Well, my alarm went off promptly at 8 this morning, and the temptation to reset it to another time was overwhelming. I will confess that I slept for another hour, but hey, this is a work in progress. After getting dressed while listening to The Best of Cat Stevens (isn't The Wind the greatest song ever?), I packed up my bag and wandered my way over to Starbucks. After ordering a bagel and a cup of tea, I settled into my math book in anticipation of the test I have on Thursday. Before I knew it, it was already time to go to class, so I followed along in my book with what my professor was teaching, and I discovered that everything he writes on the board is copied directly from the book. The only other professor that I've had do that was my calc. 3 professor and we all know how well that class turned out (read: it ended up badly).

But, on a better note, I'm drinking tea out of this guy:



Prepping for Halloween with style :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Endless Numbered Days

45 minutes spent online today looking up potential Christmas presents because I realized today that my sisters and I will be pulling Secret Santa names next weekend.

23 days until I take the actuarial exam.  Someone kill me for deciding to take it in November and not January.

20 points that Tech won by this afternoon against Boston College.

11 times listening to this song today.  Can anyone say metaphor for my life?

6 times that I snoozed my alarm this morning before I just outright turned it off and proceeded to roll over and fall back asleep.

5 days until David will be back in Atlanta. Who's excited?

4 cups of tea brewed today.

3 classes that I did work in today.  Yay for feeling mildly productive!

0 trips taken to Walmart after realizing that Kelsi's car battery is dead.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Weekend I Ran Away to Chicago and Didn't Want to Leave

This was a Fall Break for the books, y'all (uhhh, you guys... what?).  Not only did I get to spend the past four days with David, but I did so in his new home in Chicago.  I knew I would enjoy myself if only because I was with David, but I didn't really know what to expect of Chicago because this was going to be my first trip to the Windy City (with the exception of once when I was a baby, but let's admit, that doesn't count).

I've always been a bit of a nervous flier, but once I successfully navigated the Atlanta airport solo, my nerves went down considerably and all that remained was my excitement. I was hours away from exploring a new city with the man I love, and I was on the brink of bursting.  I knitted while sitting at the gate, waiting to board the plane, and I even struck up a surprisingly pleasant conversation with the guy sitting next to me.  He seemed surprised, and even pleased, that I am such an avid knitter, especially for someone my age, and I told him that I love the satisfaction that comes with finishing a project.  Before too much longer, it was time to get on the plane, so he wished me a pleasant first trip in Chicago, and we each found our respective seats.

Before I knew it, I had landed and was scrambling to find the Chicago train, the L, where David was waiting for me.  Luckily, the Midway airport is blessedly easy to navigate, and before I knew it, David and I were finally reunited again.  My Chicago adventure had officially started!

First thing on the agenda was dropping off my things at David's apartment, and once we were there, I couldn't help but stop and admire the view for a solid five minutes before we did anything else.  The pictures I had seen of it really didn't do it justice.

Daytime view.

Nighttime view.

Afterwards, I had my first taste of some Chicago cuisine.  David and I chose a restaurant basically purely on the fact that they were BYOB, and we made the right choice!  It was a Lebanese restaurant called Kan Zaman, and we knew we had made the right choice as soon as we had walked in--some of the seating consisted of booths that were basically giant pillow pits with a table in the middle.  So after taking off our shoes, we climbed into the our pillow seating and opened up the bottle of wine we had brought.  We ordered an appetizer and an entree to share, and each were about 50% hummus, a fact that I am largely okay with since I'm pretty sure I would be okay with living off of hummus and pita bread alone.  We ended the evening with going to a bar where one of David's work buddies was hanging out with some friends.  Overall, a great first night in Chicago!

The next morning dawned the start of a rainy day, so after going to the grocery store and making breakfast/lunch, we planned out the rest of our day, trying to find some things to do that would not require a lot of time outside.  We settled on going to see an early evening show of All in the Timing, a comedy show consisting of six one-act plays, at the Apollo Theater.  Beforehand, we ate dinner at a German restaurant called Prost! which catered to all the German soul-food cravings I have ever had.  David and I again split an appetizer and an entree which consisted of potato dumplings and veal schnitzel respectively.  Then after the show, we wandered a couple blocks over to a cool tea place.  The idea was to pick out some tea leaves from their large selection on the wall, and they would brew it for us.  Unfortunately, our first choice of tea was not really up to our likings, but we also nibbled on some earl grey shortbread cookies, and we purchased some tea leaves to go.  We brewed them the next day, and we found the tea to be much more delicious!

On Sunday, we woke up and walked all the way across the street to go to church.  Afterwards, because it was raining again, we ordered in some Chicago-style deep dish pizza.  I came to the windy city with one food goal in mind, and it was to try the city's famous pizza.  And it definitely lived up to its name.  Layered high with lots of cheese and sausage, I could barely eat more than one slice.  Later in the afternoon, we went to see a production of Avenue Q.  I've known about this musical since my high school days, and when David and I decided to attend, I was so excited.  I went in not really knowing what to expect, but more than three days later, I'm still humming some of the tunes.  

Umm, yum!

After the show, we wandered over to Michigan Avenue, also known as the Magnificent Mile, to show me some of the architecture of the city.  After stopping for tea though, we were met with another downpour.  It wasn't long before the wind whipped our umbrella inside out, and David quickly hailed a cab to prevent us from becoming completely soaked.  When we got back to his apartment though, we started making dinner, and that made everything better.  On the menu: basil and garlic oven-roasted tomatoes and lamb curry with sweet potatoes.  Sometimes I truly under-appreciate how good of a cook David is.  I love to cook with him :)


Monday morning, David left for work, and I busied myself while he was away.  Besides doing super exciting things like emptying the dishwasher, I met up with some Atlanta friends, who were also in Chicago, for lunch at a brunch place called Yolk.  After stuffing myself with the Blue Bayou Frittata, I felt like a true Chicagoan as I successfully navigated my way to the grocery store to pick up some things for dinner.  It was my turn to cook.  I made chicken enchiladas from my oldest sister's secret recipe.

The highlight of my final evening was going over to Navy Pier with David.  We walked along the water, enjoyed the beautiful sunset, and rode the ferris wheel.  It was truly the perfect ending to a perfect trip.


:)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Find My Way Back Home

Covering this song seemed appropriate since I got back from Chicago today.  But even more so than that, I've learned that "home" is more than just a physical location; it's wherever your heart is.  Needless to say, I can't wait to come home to David's arms again soon.


"'Cause you and me, so happily, make all our dreams of make believe reality."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday Tea: Midterm Week

It's a blustery day today, so I was especially eager to get cozy and sit down with a nice cup of tea.  Today, I am drinking some afternoon blend that my darling roommate Kelsi bought me.  Look at how awesome the box is:


Such a good message for a crazy midterms week.  There's so many things that I have to get done this week, but the light at the end of the tunnel is that Fall Break starts this weekend!  I'll be spending it in the Windy City, and my nervousness about flying by myself for the first time is far out-weighed by my excitement!  It's hard to focus on school when I know that I'm going to be seeing David in his new hometown Friday evening, but I can't get lax in my work.

So, if you were joining me for Tuesday Tea right now, I would tell you about everything that I have to get done before I leave:

- Study for my probability and statistics test.
- Study for my psychology test.
- Study for my CS test.
- Pack for Chicago!
- Have dinner with my parents.
- Do laundry. (Already done!)
- Clean my room.

There's about a hundred other smaller things that are included in this list, but that's the general gist.

Anddddddd go!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Moccasins


Today, I initiated my moccasins back into my wardrobe.

When I was younger, I used to loathe the autumn because it meant that summer was officially over and another school year had started.  Since I got to college though, that outlook has mostly changed.  That's not to say that I look forward to school, but when you also take classes during the summer, your idea of "time off" becomes disillusioned and the summer only becomes known as the time where you pour sweat after only walking outside for five minutes on the way to class.

Needless to say, the cooler weather is a welcome change.  I'm excited to pull out some beloved cardigans and boots, and I'm currently knitting up a scarf (in gameday colors!) to wear when it really gets cold.  What can I say?  I like to be prepared.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Opa!

One of my favorite things about Fall is the annual Greek Festival. Located at the Greek Orthodox Church on Clairmont Road, my family, being good friends with one of the families that runs the festival, has attended every year for as long as I can remember. Filled with good music, delicious food, and enough baklava to satisfy anyone's sweet tooth, I always leave having gained at least a couple pounds.

Some food highlights:

Lamb Sandwich!

My gyro :)

Lamb on a spit!

Famous Greek potatoes.

Baklava!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chronicles of My Latest Obsession

Okay, so I sort of have two new obsessions, one of which is my new Kindle, but that's a whole other post.

The latest obsession to which I am referring is Downton Abbey.  I'm hooked.  My sisters have been talking about this show ever since it premiered two years ago, but I didn't really give it a second thought for the longest time because I'm not really a big TV watcher.  That's not to say that I couldn't easily lose a whole afternoon to watching mindless television, but I don't really follow a lot of shows religiously (except perhaps Games of Thrones which will always be the exception).

But regardless, I had to have something to pass the time this past week while I was bedridden with what I have been calling the cold of the century.  The end result: I perused Netflix for a time-passer and stumbled upon the first season of Downton Abbey.  Which I proceeded to finish all of in almost one sitting.  Everything from the music to the fashions has me addicted, and tonight, I started season two.  I'm sure it will take me no time at all to also finish it as well, but I'm trying to bide my time as much as possible seeing as how they are currently in the middle of season three.  Before I know it, I'll have caught up, and then I'll actually have to wait!  Quelle horreur!

Oh, and one of the housemaids, Gwen, is Ygritte from Game of Thrones.  I almost peed myself when I figured that out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Triathlon of Illness

School is hard enough as it is, but when you add sickness into the equation, the end result is a double doozie.  My current cold is already my third cold this semester, and it is hands down the worst yet.  What started on Saturday as a sore throat massively went downhill on Sunday.  Barring a lot of TMI details, the end result is that I not only have the worst cold of my life, but I also have pink eye.  After visiting the doctor today, my diet will henceforth consist mostly of Tylenol and Mucinex DM.  Tasty.

I also need to buy actual tissues because I'm pretty sure my sister is not happy about the toilet paper disappearances.