Monthly Archives: July 2011

To Agnes

Little Agnes

You were the best little chicken ever, and you’ll always be our favorite.

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On Food

Last night, I was telling Porkchop about how I’ve been reading some blogs of other folks who have gone sugar-, wheat-, caffeine-, alcohol-, etc-free, and how I often get annoyed with some stuff.

I’ve noticed that people often write, you know, after eating this way for a while, I don’t want sugar, wheat, caffeine, [insert whatever here].

And in my head, I think, well bully for you, you who have obviously reached the enlightened state of eating.

As I told Porkchop, if such things didn’t make me feel like utter shit, I would be eating chocolate chip cookies with a bowl of ice cream and brownies with a piece of pizza. And then I’d go have a glass of wine followed by a hazelnut latte. And then a giant loaf of wheat bread.

Because you know what? I miss those things.

Yeah, I feel tons better, but I miss bringing out the flour and sugar canisters and baking up something. And then eating it.

Yes, I do still make things. I’m currently snacking on a batch of chocolate almond macaroons made with almond meal, unsweetened baking chocolate, and agave nectar (which is okay for me as long as I don’t go overboard with it). Last week I made a batch of pretty darned good peanut butter fudge, made with peanut butter, unsweetened baking chocolate, and agave nectar (sense a theme here? Chocolate: I miss it).

But it isn’t the same.

I’m tempted to give up on trying to substitute things (almond meal and flour is not wheat flour; unsweetened baking chocolate mixed with agave nectar is not high quality dark chocolate), but my circle of snacks and treats is already quite circumscribed.

I eat a shit ton of almonds everyday, but I don’t necessarily enjoy them. I eat almond butter on celery, but not because I enjoy celery. I actually hate celery! I eat quinoa, but what I really want is some good pasta or a bowl of rice.

I wish there was a Grain & Sugar Anonymous group or something, but without the religious-based 12 step program. I don’t have sugar or wheat cravings anymore, but I still have memories of baking chocolate chip cookies with my mom, of enjoying freshly baked bread with Porkchop, of sitting down with a cup of black tea and a square of dark chocolate and being utterly satisfied.

(And then feeling like crap, but let’s not mar my memories.)

Countdown to August 8

On August 8, summer school will be over and done, my center’s conference will be underway in Beijing, and I will be on my way with Porkchop to Potawatomie State Park in Wisconsin. There, we will canoe, fish, hike, swim, poke around Door County, pick cherries if it’s still cherry-picking season, dump all microbiology knowledge from my mind, and not think about work.

I can’t wait.

This summer has become rather tiresome, despite my efforts to sprinkle it with some fun. It’s difficult, though, because most weekends are spent cramming for microbiology tests. Last night in lecture, our professor was reviewing the coming lectures, and he said, “…and you have a test next Monday. Oh wait, you had a test last Monday too. Wow, your professor is a real bastard. Hahahahahahah.”

Not a single student was laughing. Because in our heads we were all agreeing, you ARE a bastard.

Class is hard because it’s biochemistry-intensive, which was quite surprising, but makes sense because the professor is a biochemist. Unfortunately.

Meanwhile, the lab instructor is a complete doof who sings in class and says gems like, women change their clothes and hair every 70 minutes. I spoke up to this last night and said, I don’t, I wear the same thing for years. I don’t know if he heard my exact words, but I think he got the message that he’s an asshat and should perhaps shut his effing mouth before I pour E. coli down his throat. Anyway, he’s a doof and then hits us with incredibly difficult tests, even though we never talk about any of the material in class.

Welcome to my pity party, folks! Please pick up after yourselves and don’t mind the chicken living in our dining area.

Poor Agnes injured her wing and is molting. It’s a rough time for her, but Porkchop is an excellent chicken caretaker. Agnes is living inside for now so that her wing doesn’t become infected with flies or other nasties. The poor thing is super lethargic and doesn’t eat much, but her wing is healing. Being injured and molting takes its toll on little chickens.

As much as this summer is taking its toll on me, I feel pretty good about the year in general and its double threes.

Yeah, I had a birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I’m now on the cusp of my mid-30s. Egads. Thank goodness for awesome presents from Porkchop.

Awesome new shoes!

Pretty new bag! This replaces my other bag of nine years.

A screenprint by one of Amanda's students. Lettuce Turnip the Beet. Get it?

There were other, unpictured items as well: a cute t-shirt and Tomatoland.

So, here’s the summary of things: I’m older, summer school sucks, and work is not fun. What’s new, right? 20 days until vacation – I do hope I can make it!