Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Finals Week

It's finals week (again--is it just me or does it always feel like finals week is here?), and I'm pretty much one step short of hooking up an IV tea drip.  I'm always drinking even more tea than usual this time of the semester because it's not so much that tea keeps me awake as much as it keeps me alert.  The internet is a trap of temptation, and I am constantly having to remind myself to focus on whatever math problem I have at hand, so tea is usually a pretty good distraction eliminator--it gives me something to do while I have to stop and think about a certain problem, such as, what the heck is the difference between a supremum and a limit supremum.  (Still trying to figure this one out.)

I'm also a really big fan of taking the occasional ten minute break every once in a while to help keep myself from going math crazy.  Writing this post is serving this very purpose, so thank you, blog world, for helping me maintain some shred of mental sanity.

Yesterday, I had the exam for my combinatorial analysis class.  The verdict's still up on how well I did on this one.  There were some questions that I'm certain I got full credit for and some questions that I stared at for fifteen minutes before eventually just writing down something that might have had some semblance of being close to correct.  I really loved this class though.  Professor Tetali is a great lecturer, and I wish I could have him again for future classes.

My analysis final is tomorrow, and I'm praying to even pass the class.  You think I'm exaggerating.  I'm not.  It's that bad.  Prayers tomorrow afternoon would be very much so appreciated.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Age Crisis

You guys, I'm about to tell you something big. Something I've never told anyone...

I'm 21 and the other day, I found my first grey hair.


I know I knit and everything, but saying I was a grandma at heart was always kind of a joke. This is taking it a little too far.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I can't say I have much progress to show for this week on the Hashtag Camisole.  Final exams are coming up on Monday, and all of my time is being sucked away by studying.  This coming days are going to be so draining--mentally, physically, and emotionally--so I'm praying that everything goes smoothly.  Fingers crossed for good grades and mental sanity, ha!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Dead Week and an Exam Care Package

Sometimes I feel like every other week at Georgia Tech is Dead Week, but this week in particular is the dreaded week before exams.  Like every other Tech student, I'm giddy with the anticipation of summer, but I still have a little more than a full week left that will be filled with lots and lots of studying.

I can always count on David to make things better though. I had the great surprise of receiving an unexpected package from him yesterday, and just the mere gesture was enough to send my spirits through the roof. I waited until he was off of work to open it so that we could Skype simultaneously because it feels so much more special that way. David got to see me grin from ear to ear while I marveled at all the effort that he put into my package, and I even cried when I read his card. It was all so perfect.

And it really is the perfect exam care package. There are tons of Snoopy fruit snacks, a box of tea bags, some loose leaf tea, two different kinds of dark chocolate, and a tin of mints. Because David knows me so well, he also included some crafty things too. Besides knitting, I love to cross-stitch, and this package indulged that hobby too. He sent me an awesome new phone case that I get to cross-stitch a design onto (to be revealed later), and he also got me a glasses case that I can stitch something onto it as well. Top it off with more embroidery floss than I've ever owned in my life, and you have pretty much the equivalence of a holiday in a box. A box of love pretty much :) Clearly, David knows me pretty darn well.

P.S. The loose leaf black tea that David got me from Whole Foods is amazing; it's what I'm drinking right now :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day! Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

Although there's not a whole lot of progress to show for it, I started a new knitting project a few days ago. I got through about two of the charted pattern repeats before I realized I was doing the wrong stitch somewhere. Would the final product have been ruined? Probably not, but I would have always known the mistake was there. So I'm starting over for a second time, and I'm hoping it turns out as amazingly as it looks in the picture. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Georgia Tech's Hell Week

Is it just me or has this semester flown by?  When I think back on some of the things I did over the past few months, they feel like an odd combination of having happened forever ago and just yesterday. But indeed, there's just over two weeks until this semester is over, and you won't hear me complaining. Except perhaps about this little thing called exams. Can't exactly say I'm excited about that. But the reward will come at the end of exams when I get to see David. I'm done with exams on Wednesday, May 1, so he will be flying in on Thursday. It will give me just enough time to celebrate the end of another semester and pack up my apartment. Unfortunately, I'll just be moving out of one apartment and into another, but hey, I'm just trying to stay optimistic here :)

Until then though, my last two weeks will be primarily comprised of last minute homeworks, a class project, and endless studying. All of which will be done while consuming copious amounts of tea :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Flowers In Your Hair

"When we were younger, we thought everyone was on our side, then we grew a little and romanticized the time I saw flowers in your hair."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Theology On Tap

If given the choice between going out and doing something versus staying home with a book and a cup of tea, then nine times out of ten, staying home will win. What can I say, I'm a homebody. I recognize the fact that sometimes I'm painfully shy, but Thursday night, I made myself take a step outside my comfort zone.

Backtracking, three months ago, I was hanging out with a friend of mine who goes to school at the University of Richmond, and he invited me along to an event that his brother was starting. It goes by a different name now, but it was essentially the equivalent of a popular notion called Theology on Tap. The idea: talk about faith and religion and its aspects in life while simultaneously enjoying a beer (or a cider if you're me).  I had such a great time when I went to the event for the first time (held on the second Thursday of every month), and even though my friend is now studying abroad in South Korea, I knew that I wanted to try to make an effort to attend the event as often as possible.

The past two months, because of Spring Break and a poetry reading, I was unable to attend, but when I got the reminder email this past week reminding me that the second Thursday of the month was coming up, I really wanted to go.  Part of me spent half an hour trying to come up with an excuse to not go (this part of me being the awkward, shy part of me), but eventually, I kicked myself for trying to make excuses.  So in my five minutes of courage, I emailed the guy running the fellowship and told him that I would definitely be coming.  There was no way out of it now.

But when it's all said and done, and I am so glad I went.  Not just because I proved to myself that I can in fact take the initiative to do something that I might not necessarily be altogether comfortable with, but because I had a great time.  I met some amazing people (some familiar, some not), and I had the opportunity to talk about my faith and Catholicism, which is something that I hardly ever get the chance to do.  I think such an important part of the Catholic faith is being able to talk about it with other people, and doing so really renewed me in a way.  Every once in a while, I think everyone needs that kind of experience.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and happy yarn along day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I'm so thrilled to finally be able to show off these leg warmers.  I suffered somewhat from the symptom of knitting things in pairs, but I was finally able to just sit down and finish warmer number two.  Whether or not I'll be gutsy enough to wear them out in public is a whole other challenge, but for now, I'm loving them.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Meeting Robert Wrigley and a Book Recommendation

This past Thursday, I attended another one of Poetry at Tech's readings.  There were three different poets  reading, and my personal favorite was Robert Wrigley.  His sense of humor was immediately obvious, and as he delved into his first poem, his performance reminded me in a way of spoken word poetry--his strong voice held the listeners captive, and the audience was laughing right along with Wrigley's use of dry humor, despite the mingling of serious poetic content.  After reading a poem or two, Wrigley explained that the title of his new book, Anatomy of Melancholy and Other Poems, was borrowed from a book of the same title by Robert Burton, and while Wrigley read his title poem, I read along in the book of his that I had picked up.  What I found while I was reading along was that even though Wrigley was reading from his book, some bits of the poem were not verbatim what he had written.  It almost seemed like he was improvising a little bit, as though what he was feeling in the moment was more important than the exact words that were on the page.

Having now read his new book in its entirety, my other favorite poems of his include Dada Doodads, For I Will Consider My Cat Lenore, and Delicious.  Especially the latter.  It took me to a magical place, which, I think, might have been the intent all along.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Things I'm Loving

Breakfast: Breakfast is such an underrated thing. With so many studies pointing to the benefits of starting the day off right with some b'fast, it's a wonder why more people don't partake. Being home for the weekend, because yesterday I went wedding dress shopping with my sister Colleen (for her, not for me), my parents woke me up this morning to say that they were leaving to go to the Flying Biscuit and that I could come if I wanted. Three cups of tea, three slices of bacon, two eggs, and two pancakes later, you could practically roll me out of the restaurant. I'm pretty sure the benefits of breakfast are not heightened by bacon, but at this point, the damage is done.

Hair combs: I've had a fascination with hair combs ever since I saw the movie adaptation of Little Women when I was little.  In one scene, Laurie gives a sets of hair combs to Amy, and thus started my obsession.  This Easter, I received my very own set, and I love them.  They're vintage and Navajo, and I think they might have started an obsession with vintage items as well.

Knitting magazines: Once upon a time, David bought me a subscription to a knitting magazine for Valentine's Day.  We got a free sample magazine first to see if I liked it, and I'm enamored with it.  I'm pretty sure I've read it three or four times already.  It's a seasonal magazine, only four issues a year, but the current issue has plenty of things in it to tide me over until the summer issue comes out.  There's a project in it that I'm hoping to undertake--it will be my most complicated project to date!

Friday, April 5, 2013


“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.”

- Allen Ginsberg

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday and Happy Yarn Along Day!  Linking up with Ginny from Small Things :)

I haven't had the change to get any knitting done this week, but I was able to make David another bottlecap coaster which I included in an Easter package that I sent to him last week.  I already had the base knitted, but the past few months, I've just been collecting bottle caps from various family and friends, so although it's a slow process to collect enough bottle caps with some variety, I always love the way that these look in the end.  One of my pet peeves is condensation rings, and these are the perfect solution!

You can read about the first time I made there here!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday Tea: Prepping for Registration

It's already that time of the semester again where I'm frantically trying to figure out what classes to take next semester.  This year, I feel like I have more questions than ever though.  The biggest one is what I'm going to do this summer.  I'm still waiting to hear about a potential internship this summer (I interviewed with them and everything), but the waiting game continues.  On top of that hinges the question of whether or not I am going to live on campus this summer (something I need to figure out ASAP because summer housing closes in a week), and if I don't get the internship, I need to figure out what I'm going to do instead.  Should I just find a retail job somewhere?  Should I take a class or two to lighten my class load next year?  Should I just take it easy with the knowledge that this is the last summer I'm going to have off?

Too many questions.

I went and talked with my advisor this morning about what classes to take, but it honestly wasn't much help.  It was just a half hour of her talking about which classes I still need to graduate, which I already know.  I know what classes I need; I want to know in what order to take them.

In the meantime, I'm just writing up a mock schedule for next fall, and hoping that everything works out for the best when I register early tomorrow morning.  An extra large cup of earl grey is helping.  But now it's back to studying for my combinatorial analysis test that I have tomorrow.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break: Chicago Edition

This post is going to be pretty long. This spring break was so awesome that I don't want to forget any of it, so I thought I'd document it here and share some of the adventures that David and I had. Consider yourself pre-warned.

My plane landed in Chicago at 2 o'clock on the first Friday of spring break, and after a trip on the orange line of the train from the airport in an effort to avoid driving in Friday afternoon traffic, I was reunited again with my boy*. He was a dear and brought me a tuna sandwich, and it felt so good to be able to hold him again after six weeks of being apart.

When we got back to his apartment, David had the lovely surprise for me that he had gotten a couch. Couches are expensive, y'all, but it was a nice surprise that David was able to get one, a nice one at that, and I happily ate my sandwich on it to fully initiate it into David's apartment :) We didn't do much else on Friday besides shop for groceries for the week, but we did go to the Brewston Beer Company for dinner, a cool bar/restaurant that had opened only two days earlier. Being a Friday in Lent, David and I abstained from meat; I ordered the fish tacos and David had seared tuna. Very yummy.

Saturday was a mostly lazy day of relaxing as we knew Sunday would be a busy day. We cooked fried eggs inside sliced green peppers with a side of sausage patties for breakfast and stayed in pajamas for a bit, just enjoying each others company. That evening, after going to 5:00 church, we had our first homemade dinner of the week.  David had picked out a recipe from one of his cookbooks, and we made Thai-style coconut chicken.  It was spicy and soupy and perfect for a cold night.

The next morning dawned bright and early, and we were up and out of bed by 7:30.  We had a LivingSocial coupon to go on a wine tour, and the bus that would be driving us to the Michigan wineries was leaving a few blocks from David's apartment at 9.  I scrambled us some eggs and made some toast while David showered, and we were out the door and to the bus by 8:50 (all dressed in green of course for St. Patrick's Day).  The two hour bus trip to Michigan went by in no time, and we visited four different wineries along the way, Lemon Creek Winery, Founder's Wine Cellar, St. Julian's, and Round Barn.  David and I found some favorite wines, purchased a few bottles, and after a long day of sampling wine, I proceeded to fall asleep on David's shoulder on the way back to Illinois which initiated some other women on the trip to dub us the cutest couple of the trip.  Secretly, this made me smile.

On Monday, we had adventures out and about combined with some down time inside too.  We had lunch at the famous Portillo's.  I had the Italian beef, and it definitely lived up to its name.  And it was incredibly filling!  Eventually, I got too full and just started picking the meat out of the dregs of the sandwich.  We worked off our full bellies though by walking to Bed, Bath, and Beyond so David could buy a new bed set, and later when we got back to his apartment, we piled all the dirty clothes including the new sheets, so we could get some laundry started; Spring Break can't be all fun and no work after all! But this was about the time I started feeling pretty crappy, and I blame the guy who was sitting next to me on the plane on the way up because he spent the majority of the plane ride coughing.  I was getting a pretty sore throat and I had the first ear ache that I had had in a few years.  But the night had to go on!  So I took a couple Tylenol, and after the laundry was done in the wash, we put it in the dryer and headed out to dinner.  Ever since David saw this place on a walk one day, it has been on my Chicago bucket list to go to a restaurant called The Kerryman.  Yes, that is its actual name.  It's fate.  And the menu was even yummier than I hoped it would be.  David and I shared a bowl of the Kerryman chili for an appetizer (so spicy!), and for entrees, David had an enormous burger called The Murger, and I had smoked gouda mac n' cheese with crumbled bacon and potato chips on top.  Seriously amazing.  I didn't even manage to eat half of it which was honestly okay by me because it meant that I had amazing leftovers to eat the next day.

The next morning was Tuesday which meant that David had to go to work.  It probably worked out best though because the days that David had to go to work were the days when I felt the crappiest.  I spent most of the day on Tuesday in bed or watching Netflix on the couch, and after I had been up for a few hours, I usually started feeling better.  That evening, I was in charge of cooking dinner, David wasn't allowed to help at all.  I had picked out the recipe I was going to use the week before, and it was such a success.  I made jalapeno popper chicken chili soup, and it was delicious, albeit a little time intensive.  It wasn't quite as spicy as I imagined it being, so next time, I might leave some of the jalapeno seeds in to give it a little more kick.

Wednesday was a lot like Tuesday in the sense that I still felt sick and spent a lot of the day on the couch knitting and relaxing.  That night, we made dinner together from our favorite recipe book.  We've probably cooked about eight or nine recipes from this book, and each one is always amazing.  We made martini chicken, and on the side, I made oven roasted brussel sprouts with a garlic aioli sauce (recipe: here).  I was surprised by how good the brussel sprouts ended up being, and the chicken ended up being a great recipe because it only needed about five ingredients, all of which were already in David's kitchen.

On Thursday, while David was at work, I finished knitting up my hat and watched some episodes of The Tudors (to which I am completely addicted).  When David got home, I was feeling well enough to brave the bitter cold outside, and we walked to Zocalo, a tequila bar and restaurant, for dinner.  My still sick body definitely was feeling well enough for any alcohol, but David got a very yummy margarita.  For an appetizer, we got some plantain wrapped something or other that was really good.  All of the food was great actually, and I could definitely see why David wanted to bring me here.

On Friday, David didn't have to go into work because he gets every other Friday off, and we started the day off right by going to get some brunch!  Being another Friday in Lent, David ordered the spicy avocado frittata, and I had the strawberry waffle.  Nothing beats breakfast food, in my opinion.  Afterwards, we walked to the train which we took south to the Field Museum.  We saw dinosaur fossils, and we toured the ancient Americas, and we even walked through Asia.  After a few hours there, we walked over to the Shedd Aquarium which was essentially right next door.  This was David's first aquarium experience, and I think it was a good one for him :) We loved looking at all the fish and underwater life, and we even had the treat of getting to see some turtles and some frogs, two of our personal favorites.  After another few hours there, our feet hurt!  We called it a day, and we took the train home.  That night, we made blackened trout with a side of cornbread jalapeno poppers (recipe: here), and it was a great Friday fish meal.

On Saturday, we slept in for my last full day in Chicago.  In typical Kerry fashion, I got a case of the blues because I had to leave the next day and I didn't want the week to end, but David was wonderful as always and continually thought up ways to make me smile.  That evening, we went to church for Palm Sunday because we knew there wouldn't be a lot of time for us to go the next morning, and we ate for dinner some of the leftovers we had accumulated over the week.  Then that night, we capped off my trip by going to see a concert at the venue Double Door.  Four different bands were playing, Audiences, Cassettes on Tape, Golden State, and Camera.  I definitely had my favorites, but overall, the music was great.

Sunday morning dawned too early for me.  David made chocolate chip pancakes and bacon while I packed up my things, and our time together was over before I knew it.  I cried my eyes out of course (would you expect anything else from me?), and David drove me to the airport, and we hugged goodbye.  But as hard as it is to let go, I couldn't have asked for a better trip.  Despite being sick, and despite little hiccups along the way, I cherish every moment.

*my man :)