30 September 2009

To French Speakers! (or those who aren't impervious to humour, like Paige Neuenschwander)

From my former French teacher Mademoiselle Irene Kim's blog:

Remember in the MTC when literally translating expressions like, “I’m pickin’ up what you’re throwing down” (for those of you who speak french, we’d say, “Je ramasse ce que vous jetez par terre.” ha ha ha) was really funny? well to me, those things still are funny, and now it works the other way around, French to English. And to add to it, I’m like a child when it comes to hearing swear words in French, and it just makes me giggle. I can get into a spectator mode when I am surrounded by Second Language and it’s like i’m watching it on tv. It’s just not that real. So the extra step of literally translating those things just adds to the entertainment.

I won’t burden you with the actual French, but I will tone it down and give you the translation. So let’s say you’re late and running to the train, but it whizzes by as you reach the platform. Two seconds too late. One might say in English, “Agh! That sucks!” Here, the translation would be, “Agh! That makes me crap!” or, if you’re really mad adding a “Hooker!” in the mix always adds some spunk. So it would be, “Agh! Hooker! That makes me crap!” Think about that sentence for a second.. it’s pretty good. Anyway, the “That makes me crap” phrase is pretty versatile because you can actually use it with people as well. For example, if someone were bothering you, you might say, “I can’t handle her,” or, “She’s killing me,” or “She’s so annoying.” Here, they can simply say, “She makes me crap.” Not bad, eh?

Expressions of surprise are all pretty good too. Let’s say you just found out your friend has to pay a $500 speeding ticket. You could say any of the following to show you’re shocked: “Hooker!” (Once again this comes up… believe me, I’m not exaggerating about the omnipresence of this word. It’s everywhere.) “Mashed potatoes!”, “Thumbtack!”, or “The cow!” Don’t believe what you hear, no one actually says, “Sacré bleu!”

I could go on about how screaming “YOUR FACE” means “Shut the F up” and how there are about 8 different words for face, each with a slightly differing degree of politeness, but it’s almost 2 AM and i’m going to choose bed. Thank you for reading, and try to incorporate, “Thumbtack!” the next time you’re surprised… it’s not a natural reaction.

C'est amusant, n'est-ce pas? Tres drole.

29 September 2009

i hate irony

Today I decided to cut out sweets until Becky's wedding.

Today Gloria gave me free dessert.

27 September 2009

Much ado about something BIG!

Becky is getting married in 2 weeks. So we threw her a bridal shower. Here is our lovely house with balloons marking the way, into our brightly colored home.
Here I am putting the finishing touches on my pumpkin muffins. Recipe courtesy of the Nut Tree in Northern California. I make them a bit more special by adding (my very own creation) cream cheese whipped cream and a pecan on top. They are lovely and SO delicious. My roommate Nicole can vouch for that. I think she ate like 5.
I also made cinnamon meringues -another invention of my own. They are normal meringues on the outside but the inside is bursting with dissolves-on-your-tongue cinnamon goodness.
I also made a test wedding cake for Becky (the bride, pictured behind cake) It was a vanilla sponge with a raspberry confiture, fresh raspberries and vanilla butter cream frosting. I added sliced almonds around the base and almond/raspberry flowers on top.
Slowly people started to filter in. Becky was worried that no one would show. Our little living room was packed however. Sophie also contributed amazing mini quiches to our menu. And

Lemonade with raspberries and mint leaves (from my very own garden).

We played a Becky and Travis Jeopardy, and for one of the challenge questions we had to make a wedding gown out of toilet paper. Our team won the points and we made sure the dress was modest. :)

The most fun for everyone (especially Becky) came when she opened gifts. Paige was the lovely photographer for the whole thing.
You can see from this photo that we were packed in quite tight. Luckily very few people had to sit on the floor.
Becky got a lot of amazing gifts. Among other reasons, it made me want to get married so I could receive such great loot. I gave her a pretty blue kettle.
It was a great bridal shower, and clean up was relatively quick. The preparation is what took the most time. I got home from work the night before around 11, and I had to bake the cake and the meringues. Then we cleaned the house and I wasn't in bed before 2am. Then I woke up at 730 to do the pumpkin muffins and get everything else settled before guests arrived. I was literally buttoning up my shirt when the first guest arrived. It doesn't matter how much work went into though, it was well worth it to give Becky a nice bridal shower. I hope she appreciates how much we do for her because we love her. And we are going to come to her house and use her nice cookware all the time now.

In other news, today was Lauren's 20th birthday today. Paige made breakfast of waffles and super good eggs. I made a pumpkin pie tonight from a REAL pumpkin. It was very good, if I do say so myself. I added a cream cheese glaze and I think it turned out very nicely. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Too bad I could not get a good photo of it. This was the best I could get:Good weekend, except Saturday night. I had a DREADFUL date. The worst probably EVER. Luckily it only lasted 45 minutes and I was free from it. I told Lauren that I was done with dating for a while. She laughed and said "Until tomorrow when you get asked out again." I scoffed, who would ask me out tomorrow? But uhm, yeah, I did get asked out today. I can't complain, or at least I shouldn't... ALSO since I took up the guitar again, I have been searching for the chords for the song "Love" from Robin Hood. NO one has tabbed it out. So I sat down and figured it out myself. It took me a bit, but I really think I did it correctly. I've been so excited about it. I submitted my chords to Ultimate Guitar. I hope they accept them. That would be AWESOME. I also started to read Lord of the Rings again. I forgot how much I love this Trilogy.

24 September 2009

Mon Cou

My neck started to hurt a few months ago. It started slow and gradually grew to an almost intolerable pain -while I was visiting my sister and was picking up children all day. :)

I went to the chiropractor, for weeks and weeks and built up my strength and passed all the physical therapy machines. My last visit was on monday.

Today my neck hurts again. SUPER bad again. I don't know what to do. This stresses me out -not to mention it HURTS. I spent all that money to have this fixed! Maybe it's partially my fault because I find it impossible to sleep on my back which gave me neck problems in the first place apparently. What do I do? I can't afford more chiro visits...

I'm weak, out of shape and getting flabby. I miss ballet. I always felt good after ballet, and my body was kicking. Bleh. College, no money, sore neck.

18 September 2009

Finding Purpose Through Food

For a few weeks now I've been feeling a bit out of inspiration. Not for blogging or for cooking, but in general. I told Becky that I need a new role model, that I've been a little lacking in my motivation to be better and that I had no one to foster that. I felt that I needed a person of some sort on whom to liken my behavior -just someone good who in acting like that person I would feel better about myself.

I didn't need a person, it turns out. I just needed a really good movie. One that reminds me of why I am passionate about the things I do. I have just seen that movie. Julie & Julia. Amazing. I can't think of another word to describe it. I was so enthralled with the film. I loved every minute of it. And as I'm blogging I'm listening to the soundtrack and for all of you who have seen that movie you may laugh at the comparison.

This movie made me happy. As did "UP" which I also recently saw. I love uplifting movies, movies that you watch and you sigh with happiness thinking "I'm glad I saw that. I feel better for seeing it." Julie & Julia changed my outlook for today. It reminded me of all the things I have to be thankful for -I know this sounds dumb, but uplifting movies have that affect on me.

I also felt that most of the movie was targeted to me. I'm sure many people can connect with the characters but I felt the most attachment for these aspects:

Paris (Europe in general holds sway over my heart)
Learning French (Meryl Streep's Julia Child learning French was fabulous and funny)
Le Cordon Bleu (easy comparison)
Finding Joy and Life through cooking
Getting so upset over something not going right in the kitchen that you have a melt down. (Paige still wont come in the kitchen when I cook. Flash back to wedding cake number one...)
Finding purpose through food.

Plus Meryl Streep's Julia Child reminded me so much of my late Grandma Ronnie. She was happy and loving and sweet and very tall. :)

I loved this movie. It made me feel so good. I want to return to Le Cordon Bleu, but even if I don't get the chance in the near future, I will definitely keep up my training -and try to be less stressed by imperfections in the kitchen. Wedding Cake number two is coming up in 3 weeks...

Things I've made lately that were delicious:
Blackberry Mousse in Filo Dough cups
Fried Chicken
Butternut Lentil Soup
Baked Butternut Squash Fries

14 September 2009

Ode to an Essay

O Essay, you are so complex, your perfect form so elusive.
Completing you successfully is a task few can achieve with any level of greatness.
You come in so many forms, you come to me through so many facets.
The quintessential assessment of my knowledge,
The ideal example of my ability to BS.
You have been with me for so many years.
I am never rid of you.
I am continually asked to perfect my relation with you.
Yesterday you did not haunt my dreams.
Today you are an alarming reality.
Your six pages of analysis, your voluptuous weight,
Your fragile nature, so easily judged,
So readily dismissed as insufficient,
As sub par.
O Essay how could I have neglected you?
How could I have forgotten your need of my presence,
Of my hand in your shaping?
Your need to fill the minimum length requirement
Chases my idle fingers into action.
How could I have procrastinated your emergence?
Why did I neglect you until now?

10 September 2009

Le Cordon Bleu

I'm ready to go back.

05 September 2009

Wise Thoughts

There is wisdom in the statement "Listen more than speak," for in such a manner even a fool can learn.

In being selfless, one never loses but always gains.

Seeking to keep peace will result in greater rewards than seeking for your own desires.

Though these thoughts seem passive and submissive, I've been thinking a lot lately about my feelings of complacency in my growth and improvement. I've decided that, while I value understanding my own thoughts and values, it benefits none for me to be openly decided about my opinion. I'd rather keep peace than push people away by my blunt nature. I am working on a few things for the next month and I'll try, through Divine help, to make these weaknesses strengths for me.

Things I am working on:

not swearing (my tongue has become far too lazy and inappropriate)

patience (I completely lack this valuable characteristic)

uplifting others (If I start to think an uncharitable thought toward someone I try to sing "As I Have Loved You" and look at the good in that person)

self control (whether this be controlling the urge to state my opinion, controlling how I speak and the quality and tone of my voice, or not over eating, self control is necessary)

humility (I've grown very confident since living in London, I'd like to have humility and the ability to recognize my faults as to not put myself above anyone)

I feel like all of these are good things to work on and things that I definitely lack. I also feel like they're all pretty interrelated. It is my goal this semester to a) get out of debt and STAY out of debt as much as possible, and b) to be the person that I know I can be, and the person that I want to be.

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).
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