The Slow Crawl into Spring (3-19 Mar)

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Some crocuses here are in bloom! Aren’t they gorgeous?!

Thursday, 3 Mar

It’s been a while since I’ve been out and about to socialise with people. So I figured I’d attend an event at a local financial literacy “café” called Society of Grownups. Little did I know, today was the day I would try my first cannoli from Mike’s Pastry.

What’s Mike’s Pastry? Only the most popular pastry shop everyone raves about! However, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I never really found the need to go find one and/or go in to buy something. Today, that changed — sort of. I figured I try one, since trying new things is nice every so often.

What did I think? Eh. I just tasted a lot of sugar and cream — like whipped cream, which I’m not very fond of. Though, it was quite interesting to think about how the filling was made from ricotta cheese. I would’ve thought it’d be too sweet to be cheese, but I guess ricotta is different?

Saturday, 5 Mar

OH MY GOSH. Laundry is such a big deal in Boston. It’s awesome that we have laundry right outside our back door in the “basement,” but recently the washer decided to fail on me right after I had already put in liquid detergent. (Thus, I ended up hand washing all of my clothes for that load.) Oh the memories it brought back of my time in Dublin because I didn’t want to spend almost $5 to just wash and then another $5 to dry every load of my laundry.

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Some delicious sage marbled cheese and butterfly crackers. Yum yum!

Anyhow, today was the day I discovered our new washing machine: a larger capacity, top load washer. I didn’t think much of it, as it was “just another top load washer.” Boy was I wrong…as it turns out, the washing machine lid locked the door once you started the machine! (Why, why would you need a top loader lid to lock?!)

So, when I put in my laundry today, I was “pleasantly” — not really — surprised when I discovered that I had accidentally forgotten to put ALL my socks I the wash (they have their own laundry basket). So, I stood there for 5-15 minutes fighting with the washing machine, trying to pry the lid open just enough for me to squeeze my socks in — one by one. Oh my…

On another note: I am now officially addicted to cheese and crackers — specifically butter crackers shaped like butterflies.

Wednesday, 9 Mar

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve begun job hunting. It’s been quite a struggle for me. However, I’ve been invited to visit a leading researcher’s lab once or twice now. Today — after a month and a half of going back and forth to meet the other lab members — I got to meet Dr. Ann Graybiel. After meeting her and talking with her, her lab manager told me that they would like to hire me. How exciting! Now, all we have to do — according to the lab manager — is to wait for human resources to give an okay.

 

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The card game known as Cards Against Humanity.

Friday, 11 Mar
Cards Against Humanity: a popular game among people my age. All of my friends raved about it and tell me to play it — yet, never invite me to do so. Today, I finally got to experience it first hand. Boy was I in for a surprise.

 

It was a board game night with classic and popular board games, such as Cranium and Pictionary — none of that new fandangled things board game nerds love and no one knows how to play.

Pictonary was especially interesting because it was THE family game between the two sisters whom had invited me. They had a whole system going on how to “short-hand” draw things to help move the process along. It was so intense they had to play on separate teams just so they wouldn’t conquer the game. It was great craic; it’s always funny to see what people can draw and what people are thinking when they see strange, quickly sketched scribbles.

We ended the night with Cards Against Humanity. It really shows how awkward my mind works — and how racist, sexist, biased, ruthless, and rough people are and/or can be. It’s strange, but definitely interesting. I’m not sure I would ever own a set myself, but I have to say: it’s definitely an experience — and I would definitely play again if invited to do so.

Friday, 18 Mar

Time has proven me naïve to the luxuries Southern California had to offer with its cultural diversity. In Southern California, there was a popular Louisianan crab boil-type place called Boiling Crab. It was amazing. We ate seafood boiled by the pound in a delicious blend of spices — with our bare hands!

Recently, I found a place near my house, with the same concept and I’ve been wanting to give it a shot. Today was my lucky day — or so I thought — as my “big sister” had decided it was the place to go for our dinner this month.

Rating: letdown. Not only was the seasoning not well-soaked into the seafood, but they also gave us rather flimsy plastic, food prep gloves gloves to eat with; the type people put on for making fresh deli sandwiches, when they don’t use latex. You’re kidding me right?

It was a great experience, but it was definitely not worth the money — especially after being spoiled by the delicious, diverse Southern Californian cuisine I’ve grown so accustomed to. Alas, the deliciousness of the diverse varieties of food in the multicultural region is no more. Sad times.

“Today” I Learned

  • Most maple syrup producers probably don’t make a living on maple syrup. One maple tree might produce 20 gallons of tree sap in a season, equating to a half gallon of syrup total. The average price received by farmers for maple syrup in 2014 was $36.40 per gallon. So…highly unlikely.
    • Maple tree sap is transformation  into maple syrup via (essentially) evaporation accelerated with heat.
  • Maple syrup grade standards are determined by using a spectrophotometer to measure percent of light transmission, then applying flavor descriptors based on color.
    • The differences in color come in a large part from the sugar content of the sap (sap, not syrup): As spring warms up, sugar content goes down and it takes longer to cook late-season sap into syrup, giving it a darker color.
  • The 33rd president of the United States Harry S. Truman didn’t really have a middle name. S was just S, nothing more. Apparently, it’s a common practice for Scots-Irish folk.
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