Posts Tagged ‘college flashbacks’

The last time I tried to make latkes I followed the recipe perfectly and yet, my pancakes fell apart. They were tasty, just not pretty.

My mother told me (in the absolute nicest way possible), that I was probably just too WASPy to be able to make good ones, but JUS assured me that that wasn’t the case. Regardless, I put my latke attempts on the back burner, so to speak, and only now, four years later, did I give it another go. But this time, I was thrilled with the results.

It’s already going better than last time, because these latkes are actually keeping their shape!

And look at that golden brown! It’s exactly how Cooking Light told me it should be!

Keeping them nice and warm, as well as letting those paper towels soak up all the excess oil. And, even seeing how much extra there was, I still think I should have used more. The latkes browned much better the more olive oil was in the pan.

When I tried to buy challah for Rosh Hashanah (to go with the matzo ball soup), it was all sold out. So of course I snatched it up this time. My next shiksa kitchen trial, though, will be to make it myself. Fingers crossed!

Final result: a delicious Hanukkah dinner of latkes, applesauce, brussels sprouts, and challah.

Score one for the WASP.

Happy Hanukkah!

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I had an unwelcome realization this morning that caused me to mutter my first, “Oh, fuck,” of the day before even getting out of bed.

While I was mentally reviewing the day’s schedule – work, history reading, econ class, French oral (go ahead), more history reading – I realized that midterms are coming up. More specifically, my econ midterm is coming up in two weeks.

I know that sounds like a lot of time, but considering I still feel like I’ve just started classes and we’re already four weeks in, I have a feeling that the next 14 days will go by faster than I’d like.

And even though those refresher courses were helpful for the basics, I can’t help but think of the last time I was tested in economics – and just barely eked by with a passing grade (or rather, what seemed acceptable to me). As a perfectionist, my pride was wounded.

I had studied like crazy, spending hours in the library with those who had a better grasp on the subject than I did. I’d been poring over the text, my notes, and other readings, in addition to attending review sessions. (I recognize only now all the extra time I had during undergrad.) By the time the exam came, I was ready. I knew my International Monetary Economics inside and out.

Except that I didn’t.

And now I’m having flashbacks. Because we’ve been told that in order to stay in this particular grad school program, a certain GPA must be maintained. And econ is my academic Everest.

So studying begins tonight. (Freaking out began this morning.) I can guarantee that it won’t be pretty, and that there may be tears. It won’t be the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I’m asking you all, since you’ve been so good with the advice, what are/were your tried and true studying techniques? I clearly don’t have a method, yet, that works for this subject, so I’m open to just about anything.

I just refuse to let econ win again.

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Via Lilu: ***Alright, folks, you know the rules. Join us all in humiliating the crap out of yourself every Thursday by sharing some completely tasteless, wholly unclassy, “how many readers can I estrange THIS week??” TMI story about your life. Or hell, about someone else’s!***

Today’s TMI is brought to you in the form of gchat – because I just couldn’t relay the conversation any better. (Emphasis added by yours truly – as if it were needed.)

me: haha – i love it
are you back from vacay?
Peter: yea
me: how was it?
no injuries, i hope
Peter: wishful thinking, sam might have lost a testicle
me: you’re joking….right?
Peter: umm….no
i wish i were
me: omg! what happened?
Peter: he got what is known as testicular torsion, its when your ball wraps around the vein giving it blood and slowly kills it
he didn’t get into surgery quick enough to fix it properly
me: how does that even happen? is he okay? (if you’re playing with me, i’m gonna be so mad)
Peter: im not playing with you i swear

he’ll be fine
he still has one working ball
me: holy crap….
Peter: no one has believed us when we told them
it wasn’t even a skiing accident
me: so how did it happen?
Peter: well, it happened while he was skiing but its just something that can happen when you are doing physical activities
me: how many people have you told? does he really want it spread around? would it make you feel like any less of a man to have one ball?
Peter: well sam wasn’t exactly “manly” to begin with (side note: Sam=Crush, from this story)
he’ll live though
he is telling people, im sure its not something he wants screamed for the rooftops but he isn’t hiding it
me: wow
Peter: it was pretty crazy to have all that happen
me: did you guys have to go to the hospital out there?
Peter: yea
he was rushed into surgery when we went to the hospital to try and save his ball
me: but you just didn’t get there in time for it to be saved?
Peter: we weren’t even close
he waited a day to go in
he thought he just pinched his nuts and they were sore from that
so he didn’t go in until the next day at which point there was nothing the doctor could do
me: well, i suppose that’s quite the eventful ski trip…
could he ski after the surgery? or was it the last day?
Peter: it was the 2nd day
he’s actually bed ridden for 4-6 weeks to heal from the surgery
me: oh god…that really sucks
Peter: yea it does
other than that the trip was fantastic
Cheers, kids.

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First: Thank you all for your comments yesterday on my bug problem. You both encouraged *and* freaked me out in one swell foop. It was wonderful!

And now. I’ve discussed my little neuroses on this blog before, but I’d like to address another. It’s a challenge I face every day, multiple times. Practically unavoidable.

It’s…*deep breath*…the revolving glass door.


I know it looks innocent and unassuming. But so do a lot of things before you get to know them. I think of it as less of a *door*, and more of a *trap*. But you see, I have good reason.

Freshman year in college, my friend’s family came down with his younger brother, and they took a bunch of us out to dinner. We got to the restaurant, and proceeded to take our turns in the revolving door, to enter. I was toward the end of the group and Keith’s younger brother was behind me. I went in, and just before I was to set foot inside the restaurant, the door stopped moving with a jerk.

I was trapped.


Everyone else was in the restaurant, and I was being held hostage In The Door, by a 15-year-old, no less, who was laughing hysterically. NOT one of my finer moments.

It was harmless enough, sure, but to this day, whenever I have to use a revolving door (at least every day to enter and exit my office building!), I have make sure that a) it’s not spinning too fast, and b) there’s no one ready to pull shut behind me. And even then I dash in, spin fast, and dash out.

Quirks are cute, right? Right?

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I don’t usually get too political over here. Sure, I have my opinions, but I don’t claim to be a political guru, by any means. Last night, however, I watched Obama’s news conference focusing on the economy, and felt the urge to comment.

I can’t lie – for a little while, I was having bad flashbacks to my college econ classes, hearing him throw around terms like “gross domestic product” and “structural deficits” and “fiscal responsibility.” (Responsibility? That’s just crazy talk.) And I was really only partially tuned in at first, as I was finally sitting down to do my taxes (woo.freaking.hoo.). But then, during the questions on AIG and why it took so long to react, Obama said one of the best things I’ve heard from him since he’s taken office:

It took us a couple of days [to react] because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.

Why am I so struck by this comment? I mean, you should expect politicians to know what they’re talking about, right? Right…? Or maybe:


You know why someecards are funny? Because they’re usually true.

It’s been said before, but the bar was set so low that anything even moderately acceptable that Obama does, is a happy surprise. Even speaking coherently. (Granted, that sentiment has faded a bit in these past couple months.)

Ideally, we should be able to look to our leaders as role models. So, maybe this whole “knowing what you’re talking about before you speak” idea will eventually sweep the nation.

Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

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