Yeah, I know, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted. Why?

  1. Finished final exams (one A and two B+’s, not too shabby),
  2. Moved out of apartment,
  3. Flew to LA,
  4. Got sick as hell.

As much as I’d rather not be sick while on vacation, there’s something comforting about being sick while staying with my mother. I was up for hours last night before hobbling into her room, curled up in my grandmother’s afghan, and timidly poking her awake because I didn’t know where the thermometer was. And instead of giving me a thermometer, she pulled me into bed with her, cuddled me, and ran her fingers through my hair until I fell asleep in her arms. I may be 25, but at that moment I was 6 and thoroughly at peace with mommy time.

Now I’m back to being a whiny brat with a tissue perpetually stuffed up my nose. If swallowing didn’t hurt so much, I’d be eating buckets of food. Hot water with lemon and a bit of honey, however, is bliss.

Unfortunately, this illness means I will be blowing off a number of friends on this trip. I’m already flaky enough without having to throw a weak immune system into the mix. Oof, time to refresh the tissue.

At least now I have time to catch up on my favorite blogs and look at design inspiration for the new apartment. No, I don’t have one yet, but my old favorite is back on the market with no other interested customers. Jake will be driving up to Burlington on Friday to see it for me and send me photos. I trust his in-person judgment, as he’s a finicky-boots.

I may start posting pictures of creative inspiration or linking to DIY-project posts. I already have big dreams of repainting my desk dusty blue, dull turquoise, or perhaps even a sunshine yellow or orange, depending on the apartment’s lighting and flooring. I also recently found a red felt squirrel that I received from Miss Taylor; I think he belongs on a cozy throw pillow.

Don't you agree?

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Now that I’m finished with my final paper of my first year of grad school, I can tell you about the pretty little walk I took today.

After packing a few more items into storage, Jake and I decided to pull off the side of the road and peruse one of the many parks in Winooski, the town next to Burlington. We were not expecting to find such a gorgeous site when we took a small trail off into the woods. We were by a relatively small hydroelectric plant, and although there was a bit of graffiti on the side of a few rocks, the place was still an oasis.

I know, same spot as last picture. I just couldn’t get over the gorgeous copper-tones at the bottom of this one.

A little ways down the trail, and the river opened into…well, something out of a story. What I would’ve given for a raft.

Tomorrow I get to tour a one-bedroom apartment just one block from downtown AND within my price range! The building is over 150 years old and built with solid beams that the workers had to carry one at a time. They were concerned with the strength of the building, wanting to construct something that would last. However, they were less concerned with one small detail — perpendicular lines.

The building TILTS.

It took a minute for us to notice, mostly when we discovered our equilibriums were feeling slightly off. It’s Burlington’s Mystery Spot, and soon, it may be mine. Of course, I still have to tour the place. Minor detail.

Glad to finally be moving out. Had an ugly discussion with one of the roommates last night, who tried to gouge me for $500 that I did not owe her. I won’t get into details (I’m trying to learn respect, even on the internet), but suffice it to say, it was a ridiculous, highly antagonistic request, and it smelled like a shakedown. Any desire I had to keep in contact with these two has been thoroughly washed down the sink.

I will miss the kitties, though.

I love the thrill of apartment-hunting. There’s something about being able to walk inside an empty place, see something normally so private on display, letting your imagination run wild with ideas. The possibilities seem endless. The experience is invigorating and, even if you’re only moving a few blocks away, you feel like you’re really making a significant change. It’s a great way to shake things up.

I despise the practicality of apartment-hunting. I can only afford so much (er, so little). With Jake coming over so often, I have to take certain aspects into consideration that normally wouldn’t matter — off-street parking, enough room for two people, etc. He refuses to let me get stuck with a bad deal, which is the exact attitude I need, but not always the one I think I want. Burlington is notorious for being a difficult place to find housing. The best time is right when all the students are graduating, and apartments get plucked quickly. Naturally, I’m stressed. I want to know I have a place to live, and I want to know where. And available, affordable apartments in Burlington are already beginning to whittle away.

So, how am I coping with the fun and terrifying stress triggers? I’m packing furiously and thinking about cookies. Lots of cookies. Chocolate chip, lavender tea, shortbread, lemon, key lime, spicy ginger, peanut butter oatmeal, snickerdoodle…

I am losing this battle on all fronts.

Five foods and goodies I will learn to make soon:

  • beef boeuf, you jackass bourguignon
  • caramel & sea salt brownies
  • black bean & avocado eggs benedict ( + avocado hummus, cilantro hollandaise)
  • corned beef hash
  • pad thai

Five foods/goodies I got damn good at making this year:

  • poached eggs
  • baked goat cheese dip
  • shredded barbecue beef
  • salad dressings (white peach balsamic, in particular)
  • guacamole

Five foods/goodies I still need to perfect:

  • cranberry cream cheese
  • Kahlua & cinnamon brownies
  • street tacos
  • home fries
  • crab cakes

Five paired/threesome obsessions:

  • poached egg, garlic-parmesan toast, avocado
  • home fries, peach-ginger-habenero hot sauce
  • banana bread, cranberry cream cheese
  • artichoke dip, lemon slice
  • grilled chicken, white cheddar, apricot dijon (panini)

It only took me a year, but I can successfully cross off three (four?) goals from my little list:

  1. Play a zombie. Late last summer I had the opportunity to attend a zombie pub crawl in Whittier, CA with a couple of friends. I whipped up some homemade, oozing blood (the recipe involved corn syrup, flour, red and yellow food coloring — very sticky and didn’t harden well), tore up some old clothing, slathered my face in pale white and light yellow-green makeup, and sprayed my hair every way but down. Then the three of us ravenously scarfed down medium-rare steaks and chugged a few beers to get into character and stumbled down the street to the party. We managed to startle a few grown men along the way. The atmosphere was electric: a hoard of zombies lurching down the sidewalks, music pouring out of bars and shops, strangers asking to take pictures and offering free pints, and by the end of the night, a bunch of drunks growling at each other (erm, okay, that may have been mostly me). I vaguely remember winning a screamed-argument with a sexist in a bar.
  2. Move to New England. I was accepted to the MBA program at the University of Vermont with an amazing scholarship (full tuition, plus monthly stipend in exchange for grading a few papers), so I moved to Burlington in late August of 2010. It didn’t take long for autumn to hit, and winter followed shortly thereafter…and refused to leave. It’s now early May and we still get the occasional snow fall. All in all, it’s a peaceful, lovely place, but I miss having a big city nearby. Also, this town is shit at cooking Mexican food.
  3. Fall in love again. Cue “awwwwww!”s. Yeah, I met a good one. We’ve been together for eight months now and are still going strong. He came home with me at Christmas to meet my very extended family (meaning, parents and gobs of friends). He attends Dartmouth, is pursuing a PhD in engineering (robotics), has me on a mostly organic and localvore diet, and won’t let me kill spiders. He’s more nerd than hippie, loves his sci-fi shows, and invents at least three new things a day (no joke). Also, he dotes over me. I thought I would hate that, but I suppose it’s something to which one can easily become accustomed. It also helps that, when he works, he is FULLY involved, so even though we practically live together, I still get a lot of me-time. And when I need him, he very willingly puts everything aside and gives me his full attention. I don’t think I’ve abused that…yet.
  4. Make moonshine. Eh, it doesn’t really count, but I’ve started brewing beer. Okay, so I’ve only made two batches, and in both cases I was just following the direction of a friend, but it was a lot of fun. When I get more settled into a place (probably in a few years), I’ll consider investing in the equipment and start my own brewing on a more regular basis.

I hope to keep up with this blog over the summer. I’m in my last week of exams, getting ready to move to Hanover for a few months to work on an organic farm (another goal to cross off!). Friday I’ll be in LA again for three weeks, hoping to see beloved friends and gorging myself on Mexican food. Jake (the boyfriend) will be visiting the second week of my trip and will be attending a close friend’s wedding with me. Oh, and we’ll be meeting my dad’s new girlfriend. Yeah. Girlfriend. He hasn’t had one of those since…well, my mom was the last, and they divorced in ’93. So this is strange for me, but he’s so giddy every time he talks about her that it’s hard for me not to get excited for him. I just hope she doesn’t turn into the Disney evil stepmother. Childish fear, I know, but still present.

Time to get back to studying corporate finance. It’s more interesting than it sounds, but only by a tad.

  • write a book/collection of short stories.
  • work on a farm for 4 – 6 months.
  • move to New England.
  • travel to Europe before turning 30.
  • draw more.
  • play a zombie — in a film, on stage, in public, whatever.
  • make some moonshine.
  • learn to play the banjo.
  • have a “signature” dish/dessert.
  • learn how to build a fire.
  • improve German.
  • have a penpal (handwritten letters).
  • get arrested for nevermind, just get arrested.
  • live out of a suitcase for some unknown period of time.
  • set a bone.
  • confidently perform twenty ten push-ups on command.
  • fall in love again.