29 July 2010

Little Surprises Make Big Deals Sometimes

At the start of this week, I looked at it and then looked at all that I had to accomplish and thought "WOW! If all gets done, I know that Somebody loves me."

This week the list of To-Do was gigantic. I realized that somehow I had 2 little weeks left in the term but about 1/2 the work of the term still to accomplish.

My list consisted of:
my 3rd Math Test
Math Study with my Blast-from-the-Past
6.3,6.4,7.1,7.5,7.6,8.1,8.2,8.3 Homework
Reading Part V and VI (approx. 200 pgs)
Study for my 3rd Music Test
my 3rd Music Test

And all of that needed to be done by Noon on Saturday. By Wednesday at 2:00, the only things checked off were the 1st and 2nd. The week was quickly reaching the hump point and I had a ton of stuff still to do. At 2 on Wednesday, I left my Math class and headed to the library where I sat and did Math homework until 4:30. I officially got peeved with the computer program that I have to work with and thus I needed my comfort food. So I went home and made my fasule. But at 6:00, I packed myself back into my car and headed to the library where I sat until 10:00 and read almost the entirety of Part V in my Music textbook.

These 4 hours sprouted an excitement for Romantic music in my soul and all I wanted to do was read Biography after Biography on the different composers of the Romantic era, and soak in all their music. I mean, Beethoven is loosing his hearing, but instead of succumbing to this definite weak link, he composes some of his greatest works (i.e. Beethoven's 5th). Then what about Wagner, who had a love/hate relationship with the people of the world, writing Opera's that last 17 hours over a 4 night period. And who in the world is Schubert, who according to my textbook, couldn't be drafted into the army because he didn't reach the minimum height of 5 ft. I thought I was short! (But then the textbook writers did say that the Star Wars saga was 7 parts rather than just the 6, so it could have been a mistake) Then there was the romantic life of Robert and Clara Schumann who "exemplified the Spirit of the Romantic Age." Berlioz and his obsession with William Shakespeare. Peter Tchaikovsky who by the end of the 19th century was the world's most popular orchestral composer but was a sum of odd personality traits: manic-depressive, neurotic, hypochondriac and homosexual. Then there was the "poet of the piano", Frederic Chopin, and "perhaps the most flamboyant artistic personality of the entire 19th century", Franz Liszt who was the "musical sex symbol of the Romantic Era". Reading all about this Era last night filled me with a desire to know them all, to have seen Liszt play the piano in person, to have seen a Tchaikovsky ballet, to watch Wagner's "Ring Cycle" -- just to know them all on a deeply personal level. But I couldn't, I had to close my book and focus on that which was at hand.

So after that exquisite journey through the Romantic era, I went home to go to bed so that I could wake up and do it all again today. I thought today would be go to class at 8, do Math until 2, when I would go home and eat some lunch, and then head back to the library to read the rest of my textbook so that I could study for my test all day tomorrow and take it on Saturday morning. That will probably be what happens (minus the block of time I've taken to release myself on my blog), but now I feel the tension leaving my soul.


Well here it is. The return to consonance in my very dissonant life. My Music teacher decided to gift us with a chance for some "extra credit" points. The chance for that extra credit was presented in the knowledge that the upcoming 3rd Test would be Open Book and Open Note and I'd have until Tuesday morning to finish it. When he said this, I felt free and alive. This surprise was definitely worth falling out of my bed at the crack of dawn this morning! So now I'll study for my test but I wont have to study at the same insane level I do usually.

All I want to do is break out into exclamatory Albanian but only I would understand that so I'll keep it to myself!

Gosh - Today has started out beautifully.
Somebody loves me.

28 July 2010

Fasule Melissa-Style

Albania lives in my heart for many a reason: my lovely friends, the crazy language, sufflaqes, and fasule. Fasule is simple and delicious. It's much more of a comfort food to me than Chicken Noodle Soup. Albanians are a very simple people so fasule meant boiled beans, an onion, some garlic and possibly some tomato sauce. Not much but it was super delicious.

Today I needed that comfort food. Even though the season wasn't calling for it at all. So after I spent hours pouring over my math book, I went home and decided to pull my albanian traditions out and make some fasule.

But what I ended up creating was 100,000 times better.
Fasule Melissa-Style

I took:

2 cans of Norther White Beans and put them in a pot with water to start boiling.

Off to the side in a frying pan, I took:

a delicious, almost excessive amount of Virgin Pressed Olive Oil,
1 jalapeno
1/4 of a White Onion
4 giant cloves of garlic
1 Roma tomato
3/4 of a zucchini
1 white Portobello mushroom
and a nice dosage of Garlic Pepper

and saute ed all of that for about 10 minutes. Softening the vegetables and getting all the juices flowing beautifully!

As I watched the concoction of vegetables saute into near perfection, I threw in some Chicken broth with the beans to give the fasule an extra touch of flavor as well as throwing in 1/3 of a can of Tomato paste; giving the fasule it's beautiful red coloring.

When the vegetables were gorgeous, I threw those into my beans, added 4 more spoons of Olive oil and a spoonful of Sour Cream (making it a tad bit creamy).

Then I covered that pan, set it to high and boiled it for 30 minutes; allowing, the steam to circulate throughout my kitchen, enveloping the apartment in a delicious aroma.

After that half hour, I opened up my lid to find the most beautiful orange-red colored, and hearty looking fasule ever. I instantly poured myself a bowl, sat down and ate.

The moment that spoon hit my mouth, I was in paradise. Life was good.

It was delicious.


**It had burned at the bottom a little bit but that just added a somewhat exotic smokey flavoring that made it that much better.

23 July 2010

Trek up to Elephant Rock

Today I decided that I wanted to go on an adventure!

So I pulled the bored-out-of-his-mind Brian along with me. He knew he wanted to be there -- deep inside his sleepy self. Our destination was Elephant Rock, which in all reality is just the biggest rock the hikers could find to make a trail to in the Wasatch Front hills east of North Salt Lake. I had made this trek once before -- more than a decade previously. My little brother and I were taken up the mountain with our grandparents. I remember two things from that adventure. (1) We were fascinated with the creek and being able to swim in it. (2) I was frightened I'd be blown off when we reached the top.

Putting that fear aside, I decided we needed to tackle the mountain.

We started at about 9:30 AM at the head of the Mueller Park Trail. It would take us approximately three hours to make the 7 mile round trip trek. With the crazy amount of bikers we had to yield to, the Garden snake that freaked Brian, the dog that freaked me, the rocks which jump out at your unaware self, and the ridiculous amount of complaining coming from in front or behind me (depending on where Brian stood), it's simply amazingly outstanding that we survived as we did!

For the first little while on the trail we had to attack switchback after switchback. And we found many trees that had fallen on the wayside. Sad day for them.

The trees hadn't made it - but we would! So we continued...

Eventually we found the source (one of many according to Brian) of the gurgling water sounds we kept hearing. Brian decided that he would drink some of the cool creek water. He filled that bottle up with no concern for the warnings of Giardia coming from my beautiful, smart self. Too bad for him on his long road trip across the Continental USA, if he drank up those harmful microscopic organisms.

For all the helpful warnings thrown his way, he wasn't even at all grateful. He preceded to throw water on the Warner. Let's just say, I was grateful that it was cool and that it was hot outside because that water needed to dry up as fast as possible.

At this point in the trek, we left the switchbacks behind us and went forward. The rest of the trail was spotted with wooden bridges to protect us from the Oh-So-Powerful Water on the hill.

We had little leaves and we had big leaves.

Then we made it to the top of the trail where we made our way down this perilous little trail to the Rock so we could conquer it. It might not look that bad, but sliding was practically the only way to make it down in one-dirty-piece.

Going back up it didn't look like too much fun either.

But we made it to the rock. The trees hadn't made it but we did! And guess what, my childhood fears were no where to be seen.

Even though it was a long drop down.

The closer I got to the edge though, the closer those fears came into my consciousness.

But I conquered the mountain.

Well, I guess WE conquered the mountain.

And we were exhilarated - can you tell?

Let's just say the idea of the trek down was budding in our minds and it looked long.

But it had to start.
We climbed down the rock,
We shimmied through the crevice where my size came into Brian-voiced question: whether or not I was going to be able to squeeze through,
We scrambled up the dirt slide,
We said Hi to all those at the top of the trail
and then we headed down.

bicycles almost ran us over,
the snake almost jumped out at us again,
more dogs came our way,
the flies never left us alone,
we ran out of water,
the weirdness of our friendship was discussed,
Brian kept telling himself that I was not fat as penance,
I kept breaking out into song,
and Albanian,
I bloodied up my knee to keep my ankle from twisting,
weeds were thrown,
and I realized my friend was one of the biggest complainers in the universe.
(Good Luck on that Road Trip of yours)

All in all, it was an adventure.

04 July 2010

Comcast: The Possible Bane of My Patience

So all day Friday, my comcast internet connection was out. We tried resetting and resetting and resetting it. But alas, nothing happened. I called my dad and asked if this was a common occurrence - for comcast internet to be pathetically lame. He said - not so much. I knew it!! It was the combination of Comcast and my Apartment Complex - which I haven't been on that great of terms with for the last couple of months. Lack of communication, lack of good "costumer service" in our complex has led to a lot of stress in my apartment. Ever since they put in this new cable box- we haven't had cable in my apartment. This happened about a month ago. This doesn't really effect me because I'm not such a fan of television--too many commercials! Lame. Anyways - what peeves me the most - IS NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE ABOUT IT! Goodness gracious me.

Anyways I spent a good hour and a half trying to figure out this exasperating problem on Friday night. My mom tried to live chat with a customer service representative but they couldn't find our account number. Finally I got through on their service line - and after much holding and listening to much calming music - the man on the other end told me that he could help me due to the fact that my account was actually a BUSINESS account and could only be dealt with during business hours. So I get off the phone kind of perturbed that it hadn't been thought of to deal with the obvious problem during business hours (while I was unaware of the problem due to the fact that I was out of town). Problems like these don't get solved by themselves. This is not the think system, Professor Harold Hill. We have to do something about it! Anyways. Moving on.

I get off the phone. I decide that I'm going to just unplug it all and give it some time. Then I went about plugging all the cords back into the modem and router. Hoping beyond all hope that somehow the system would forget that it had end not been working only a moment earlier! And my thinking indeed conquered the machine. Excellent. So all roommates were happy. Stress free we thought. Until Sunday morning, when the machine realized what had happened and it stopped working in spite! Ridiculous. I only that that human vs machine battles existed in movies like the Matrix or iRobot!!

I tried to unplug it all again and confuse the machine again-- but alas, it has evolved!!


So Heather what I am trying to say is that there is a high chance of me rethinking your offer.
Because this my friends is highly ridiculous and extremely annoying.

Love the Yamagata.

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