January the 2nd, or Just Another Day at the Ranch

Yesterday was spent mostly sleeping. After James and I packed up everything at the rose parade camp site, got everything in the car, including our friends Melissa and Elise, we drove home, and I slept for about 4 hours on and off. When I nap, I nap. To be fair, I didn’t not sleep one bit new years eve. After that, I actually don’t remember what we did. I think I was still too short on sleep. Around 8 o’clock, James and I settled in with left over Thai food, and a movie. We finally crashed at 9, and I didn’t wake up until 9am this morning. I think I’ve made up for lost sleep.

I spent most of today catching up on my Netflix, first on my phone while still in bed with a Scout-kitty snuggled up against me, and then on my computer in the other room. I got the mail which included a christmas card from Jan and Gordon complete with letter about their year, and a check from the DMV refunding payment overages. I read the letter outside on the steps, while the kitties sunned themselves. Gus, who is not usually very affectionate was determined to lay against me in the sun, so he ended up squeezed between the bricks around the garden and my side… before he got up and decided it was time to harass Scout.

When James got home we went out to dinner (at 4) at our new favorite sushi place. It’s all you can eat! And less than ten minutes away! This place is very dangerous…

We got home, and I began to write my post for yesterday since I was too tire to write it yesterday… And that brings us to the present time. James and I will probably get snuggly-wuggly, watch a movie in our heated bed, and then go to sleep. Life isn’t all that exciting most of the time at Los Ranchos. 

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2012 in review

The moment I decide to do something productive, Gus comes over and interrupts. Why can’t he do that when I’m on Facebook, or watching Netflix?

Well, that’s another year under my belt. This year seemed incredibly short, and yet so much changed this year. I think more happened this year than in any year previous except perhaps my move to California, which was 5 years ago. I wonder if I should be looking forward to an equally packed year in 2017.

This year started off with a bang; for the second year in a row James and I attempted to have a nice Christmas at home. Neither Christmas turned out very well. The first one in 2010 began with a car crash on our block knocking out the power, and just got crazier from there. That set off a six month period of construction and craziness in 2011. Last Christmas, 2011, my grinch of a roommate was out of town, and so James and I decided to have a proper Christmas with a tree and everything. We had just recently gotten a new roommate who had the promise of being a fantastic roommate… until things went wrong. Things went so wrong that the cops finally had to be called in on January 1st, 2012, and that was how this year began, with cops being called to take away my crazy roommate.

After that my OTHER crazy roommate got home and freaked out about there being a tree in the house, so he threw it all out while I was still away. That was a great first week to a new year. The next month and a half were full of packing and moving. This was the single biggest change of the year.

I moved in with James.

It was a little weird at first, partly because the place is really too small for all of our stuff, and second because it wasn’t that different; we just weren’t spending time at my house anymore. I think I didn’t fully settle in until most of the way through the year, but I also think this is the first time I have felt truly at home and truly comfortable since moving to California.  We built an outside wardrobe to keep our least used belongings, and a desk for me for the living room(though it should really be called the computer room). All of my books are on the wall, and I even have a corner for my sewing machine.

During all of that I was also working for Farm Fresh to You as a door-to-door sales person. It was not so bad, except that it was entirely commission, so if no sales were made, I did not get paid whether I did the work or not. I worked there from the end of December to the second week in February.

In February I started another semester and Pasadena City College. I only had too classes, Calculus and Logic. Really, I only had one class, calculus, because I didn’t have time to give any thought or energy to Logic. That was the single hardest and most stressful class I have ever taken. I did more homework for it than any class before, and studied more than I have ever studied and only scraped by with a B. The teacher was horrible and, through her own disorganization, had us all completely stressed out. I was so happy when the semester was finally over.

I had so many plans for the summer, and I didn’t accomplish any of them. James had troubles at work, so he was home for large portions of the summer. His employers are getting a divorces and there was a bit of a feud about how James was going to get paid. It’s not over yet, but things seem to have settled a bit, at least enough not to cut too much into James’s livelihood. I mostly sat at the computer and had my days eaten up by Facebook and watching various shows on Netflix, until the next semester started at the end of August.

I did find time to join a choir. I found an ad on craigslist for a volunteer choir that meets in Glendale, and so I auditioned. We are a choir of about 20 people, still growing some (we need tenors and sopranos), and we are quite good. I am very happy to be singing regularly, and I think this is a choir that will definitely help me grow as a singer.

I was finally a full time physics student this last semester at school. After three years at PCC I am finally in freshman level science courses. Yippy…

All of my teachers were good, and I have discovered that I REALLY love chemistry. I may end up minoring in chemistry… or who knows, maybe I will major in chemistry and minor in Physics. I didn’t have much time for anything else during the semester. I went to school four days a week, and went to choir on Sunday afternoons. Friday and Saturday were nothing but homework the entire time.

Near the end of the semester James and I purchased a car. I have been without a car for 4 years, and James has been without a car for 10, so this was kind of a big deal for us. We split the cost of the car and registration, so it came out being cheaper than riding the metro. Our lives have completely changed because of it. It is amazing just how much time is saved by being able to get in the car and just go. It’s freeing too. We are no longer subject to the timetables and locations of the metro.

It’s hard to get everything in here that I want to. This year went by so fast, and there was so much that happened, but I can’t remember the little things in between, which is why I have decided that for this year, 2013, I will write one post for every day, even if it is just one word. Memory is such a fleeting thing, and as we get older the only things we remember are either really big, or the things we took pictures of or wrote about; so here I am, writing it.

It’s odd looking back on old journals, and realizing there were times in my history in which I was a much better writer than I am now; I think because I simply wrote more when I was in high school. These days the most writing I seem to be doing is small snippets on Facebook.

For James’s birthday we had a Halloween party complete with decorations, all of which can be seen here.

This holiday season was the best I have had in the last three years, mostly because it wasn’t a disaster. We kicked off the holidays with the holiday concert for my choir, which was brilliant. A week after that I had my first caroling gig with the choir, for which I was actually paid! We also carolled at a club for a Christmas fundraiser indie rock concert. We opened the night by caroling on stage at the Echoplex in echo park. That was an interesting experience, to say the least.

We spent Christmas eve with James’s brother, greg, and his girlfriend Lesley. We watched It’s a Wonderful Life while snuggled on the couch with a fire in the fireplace and milk and cookies on the table.

Christmas morning was spent with stockings and presents, as well as french toast bake and cinnamon rolls. Lesley’s family came over a little while later, and we had drinks, good times, and great vegetarian tacos. I spent some time on the phone with family discussing various smart phone brands and covers.

James and I drove from there to his cousin’s house halfway through the day, where we encountered a Christmas day nerf war zone. We then had yet MORE food, and great conversation and got to know James’s relatives just a little bit better.

After that we drove to the Glendale Galleria where we saw the 10:20 pm showing of Les Miserables, which I have honestly been waiting since I was 15 to see. That was a wonderful way to finish a wonderful Christmas.

Between Christmas and new years James and I finished as many of our Christmas cards as we could and got them sent out. I spent my time learning french, and beginning to read Les Miserables. I have thusfar gotten through the first page.

On Sunday James and I went to see The Hobbit in 3D. I think it was better than the lord of the rings movies, but I was also quite fond of the book, particularly the characters of the dwarves. I’m looking forward to the next two movies. Hopefully since there will be THREE movies, Mr. Jackson will not feel the need to cut anything out!

We spent new years eve “camping” on the parade route for the rose parade. We had tried this once before, but that time all we had was a single blanket and we froze all night. This time we had many blankets, food, fire, drinks, and friends. It was a much more pleasant experience all in all. To come full circle, we had one last taste of 2012 with a very very drunk friend of a friend causing trouble in our campsite and with our neighbors on the parade route to the point that he had the cops called on him. I find it somewhat fitting that the year ended about as it began.

The world did not end on December 21, 2012, as so many thought it might. I wasn’t worried, science and common sense refuted pretty much all of the claims. I’m curious when the next apocalypse is scheduled for.

When the world really falls apart. we wont see it coming. Or we will have seen it coming for years and nobody will believe it despite all of the scientific evidence, and it will happen slowly, and we will re-acclimate again and again until we just can’t do any more to cope, and the world infrastructures will fall apart.

Happy 2013!

Oh, hey, I forgot my new years resolutions! Yes, plural.

1)Learn at least a conversational level of French, if not more.

1.5) Read Les Miserables in French… this is also part of the French learning process

2)Take steps to learn stock trading( i.e. actually doing simulations, not just reading)

3) Write one post here for every day in 2013, even if it’s just a word.

4) Do more to help around the house (cat box, catbox mat?, dishes, DESK ORGANIZATION, vacuum, general clean up)

5) Spend less time on mundane internet (netflix, facebook)

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Know what is in your food: How to identify real protein

The vast majority of what we know about the food we eat comes from ideas we have been raised with both in our homes and in our culture. One of the most pervasive dietary beliefs is that we need large amounts of protein to survive. While our bodies are made of of thousands of different proteins, and many of them need to be built by nutrients in our food, Continue reading

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Vegetarian Gravy

Ingredients:

1 cup Water

1/4 cup butter (or margarine for vegan)

2 tbsp Soy Sauce

2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (use annies naturals or wizard organic for vegetarian sauce)

2 tsp Paprika 

1 tbsp Garlic salt (or fresh garlic and salt)

1 tbsp Corn Starch (or as much as needed for desired thickness)

 

Directions:

Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Add garlic salt (or garlic and salt) to butter and saute until golden. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika. Cook a little longer to cook the flavors together into the butter. Add water and let it heat. When water just begins to simmer add corn starch while stirring continuously. Cook until corn starch is completely mixed in and sauce has reached desired thickness. 

Use over potatoes or tofurky (or anything you want really, it’s pretty tasty stuff.) 

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