popsicles! (no babysitter)

When my sister and I were kids and our parents went out leaving us with a babysitter, my mom invariably made us popsicles. Or jello. But mostly I remember the popsicles. I’m not sure whether this was a nice treat, or a bribe for us to be on our best behavior, or both, but it worked. Our babysitters generally thought of us as nice kids (I think) and my sister never bit any of them, which is a resounding success I attribute specifically to the popsicles.

As a result, I always associate making popsicles with having a babysitter. Since I am 23, this is kind of weird.

Do you have those too? The completely random things that bring up correlating memories from years ago? Black licorice makes me think of my great-grandparents house and mayonnaise recalls the mayonnaise-only sandwiches my great great aunt made for me as a kid (yeah, they were awesome). And last week I made a new bus friend (please see “how to make friends on the bus” as both a lesson in social etiquette and an example of how I can make even the most mundane moments awkward) and we bonded over popsicles. Apparently all my memories are food related. But I digress.

Yesterday Damin and I made popsicles! I have to stop here to bemoan the sad lack of popsicle mold options. Our trip both began and ended at Bed, Bath & Beyond, who had the ones you see pictured above with the weird straw thing protruding from the side. We detoured to Target, who failed us by having a popsicle machine but nothing for those of us wishing to take a more DIY route.

Pictured above is “lemonade”, our favorite from the experiment and whose recipe is the following: buy lemonade mix + make it + freeze in strange looking popsicle mold (extra points if you’re on your best behavior).

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how to make friends on the bus

I ride the bus to work and while it’s not the highlight of my day, it could definitely be worse. For the most part I am fairly anti-social towards any fellow seat-mate, usually because most of them are reading and few things in life are worse than being interrupted while reading.

This all changed for me today however when a really disgusting looking bug landed on my arm. In the mayhem that followed I almost wound up sitting in the lap of the guy next to me who was calmly reading the newspaper, unaware that a significant threat had entered our personal space. He maintained the calmness while I proceeded to hit the bug, miss it, lose it, see it on my leg, brush it off my leg, freak out that I couldn’t find it, and then finally relax when I saw it squished on the floor.

Before I could begin my profuse apology for invading his side of the seat with my hysterics he looked at the bug, then at me, before asking “dead?” in a heavily accented voice. I confirmed that the insect was in fact defeated to which he responded with an enthusiastic “good!” 

Having survived this joint experience of terror, we spent the remainder of the ride talking about popsicles. This was due to our mutual difficulty understanding each other, which prevented a move to more complex conversational topics, as well as an apparent shared love of popsicles. Best bus friend for life. 


crayons and other very exciting things

Practically every blog entry I’ve ever read on starting a blog says that one of the most important things is “regular entries.” At this I am failing miserably, mainly because my imagination is sporadic and I have started my internship for the summer. The job is great but consists of offices and meetings working on environmental legislation in a state whose political climate doesn’t really make that a productive line of work. 

Fighting this uphill but totally worthwhile battle (or rather, observing and tangentially participating, because I am just interning) is mentally exhausting and leaves me staring blankly at the computer screen in the evenings. I’m adjusting though, so hopefully soon I will be better at writing at regularly. In the mean time you can check out one of the more interesting highlights of my short interning tenure here, involving the NC House Majority Leader and American Idol. Always a good time. 

In other exciting news I saw Wilder Life author Wendy McClure speak last week (she was great) and while visiting home this weekend my mom found a pack of Crayola crayons from 1992 that had never been used. Very few things in life are as exciting as opening a box of new crayons, even if 9 years later the wrappers are crumbling and “chocolate” has developed a weird crystal covering (no big deal, I never used brown anyway). The important thing is that “cerulean” was still perfectly intact. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. 


do it for the good karma

I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out on the Department of Agriculture’s website lately (for school and work, I’m a nerd but I have my limits). Today I came across this, a brief from the USDA on food security in the US. The release says that close to 15% of American families are food insecure at least part of the year (“food insecure” covers the spectrum that ranges from not having anything to eat, to needing a small amount of food assistance). 

Food issues are important to me but that’s not why I’m writing about it today (because really, it’s Friday and who wants to read something depressing on a Friday). 

Tomorrow is the National Association Letter Carriers annual food drive. All non-perishable donations can be left wherever you pick-up your mail. It’s an easy way to clear out extra spaghettios and get some good karma points at the same time! 


ask and you shall receive

or, divine intervention regarding the butter churn. 

While wandering my favorite bookstore last weekend I came upon a flyer announcing that The Wilder Life author Wendy McClure will be visiting the store to speak about her book! Unfortunately the butter churn is at home and not at my apartment but I’m hoping that just mentioning that I have a butter churn will really help me stand out from the crowd. 


wanderlust

 
It’s finals time again, which means like clockwork, finals-induced procrastination. I thought I could avoid it this year since I really wanted to get it over with, but no, it was not to be. That is how a few nights ago saw me searching the internet trying to decide whether cupcakes would be a good wedding dessert, with the urgency of one who actually had to make the decision that night.

This period of procrastination was also subject to my sudden urge to travel. I mean I always want to travel, but two nights ago it was of the looking-into-plane-tickets persuasion. My life list is pretty heavy with travel activities like “ride the trolleys in San Francisco” and “cross the Canadian border” (side note: this list was written awhile ago and in hindsight this entry about Canada cracks me up, because it makes it sound like I just want to cross the border, not actually go to visit Canada). This bout of procrastination had me considering how quickly I could get to Canada and back (the answer: not very) and whether my sister would demand that I watch Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco (a childhood obsession of hers) before any trip to the Bay. 

I also re-encountered one of my all time favorite quotes this week, Mark Twain’s from Innocents Abroad (I think): “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

I love that quote because I love Mark Twain and because it always inspires me to get moving and experience things. And I think this world could do with more broad, wholesome, and charitable views of people, yes? 

*In honor of Cinco de Mayo, this picture is from a trip to Mexico, circa 2004, pre-digital camera