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The brambles and the thorns grew thick and thicker in a ticking thicket of bickering crickets. Farther along and stronger, bonged the gongs of a throng of frogs, green and vivid on their lily pads. From the sky came the crying of flies, and the pilgrims leaped over a bleating sheep creeping knee-deep in a sleepy stream, in which swift and slippery snakes slid and slithered silkily, whispering sinful secrets.

From The 13 Clocks by James Thurber

Ok, stop reading out loud. STOP, I said.

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oatmeal

I took this from flickr. There aren't that many interesting pictures of oatmeal out there.

This morning I was feeling adventurous and had some extra time on my hands, so I thought I would give steel-cut oats a try. When I looked up recipes online, it said the cooking time is about 45 minutes. “No way!” I thought to myself. “I’m too hungry to possibly wait that long.” So I tried the microwave technique. 1/2 cup of oats in 2 cups of water, microwave 4-6 minutes, stir, microwave 4-6 minutes again. What could possibly go wrong? But when the timer went off the first time, I opened the microwave door to an exploding deluge of oats and boiling water! I screamed at the heavens. (It was ok. The microwave needed to be cleaned anyway.)
Since I was still hungry for a horsey breakfast, and more curious about these oats than ever before, I decided to try cooking them the conventional way. I used the same ratio and boiled it for five minutes, then turned the heat down and gave it some time alone. It kept trying to boil over, but I learned my lesson from the microwave episode and caught it in time. I think they simmered for about 20 minutes, if anyone is keeping track.
THEN I ate it! It was delicious. I haven’t had normal oatmeal in a while so I’m not sure it was noticeably better and worth all the heartache it caused, but it was pretty tasty. If you have a lot of time to kill and don’t mind trial-and-error as a cooking strategy, I heartily recommend giving it a try.

Strawberry peanut butter M&Ms? I saw them at the checkout counter at Walmart and was dazzled by the lovely stripes on the wrapper, so I bought them. The cashier lady told me they were pretty good, and I thought maybe they would taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with M&Ms. I’ve never tasted such a glorious thing, but it’s easy to imagine, right? My verdict: they weren’t great. There were too many flavors going on and they didn’t combine well and my tastebuds were overstimulated. It all ended in tears. Don’t be taken in by the enticing stripes! It’s not worth it.

On the upside: they are kind of soft, so it’s easy to squash them between two fingers and pretend you’re a powerful robot.

This is not a post about a train.
This weekend was exhausting! I already told you about the book sale I went to (remember that?), so now you get to hear about some of the other things I did.
Friday night: lawbrary cookout! We employees got together to eat hamburgers and watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. Have you seen it? What an ODD movie. It was hypnotizing, confusing, bizarre, trippy, and spacey, not necessarily in that order. I thought it was AWESOME. After it was over we argued over what it was about and did not reach any conclusions. If you happen to know what in the world it was about, we should talk.
Saturday night: Cody took me to see Where the Wild Things Are. I haven’t gone to a movie in foreverrr. So fun! We sneaked all kinds of little food things into the theater in my purse, including a full bag of popcorn. No one suspected a thing. As for the movie, it was WONDERFUL. I think it was maybe the best movie adaptation of a book I’ve seen, which is impressive since the book is ten sentences long. It was absolutely magical and brought back warm fuzzy memories of how I imagine my childhood to have been. (I am pretty sure it is just pretending to be a kids movie. I probably would have hated it when I was little.) I liked the part with the dog in the desert. Go see it! Or wait till it is released on dvd and get on the waiting list at the library, either one is good.
Sunday afternoon: Three different OU choirs combined to present Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and requiem mass. The first thing was just the orchestra playing, and I dozed a little bit. But the requiem was magnificent! My favorite part was the Dies Irae part (hey, that was in the second X-Men movie) and the part where they all went “confutatis maledictis” or something. Woohoo! Cody’s favorite part was when the conductor was flailing about during a dramatic section.
Wow, that’s a lot of culture for one weekend. Oh, also I watched Hot Rod last night, but whether or not that counts as culture is up for debate (and in the spirit of cultural relativism, I say yes! It does). Tomorrow is going to be a doozie: I will be on campus from 9 am to 9:30 pm. I have a 15 minute presentation, a study group that I think I may be in charge of, and an exam.
Mom–I watched the Pioneer Woman on the Bonnie Hunt show! It was funny but she seemed nervous. I liked the random audience guy who came down and took some foo

Really, it’s not. I will not mention lobsters at all.

This weekend was exhausting! I already told you about the book sale I went to (remember that?), so now you get to hear about some of the other things I did.

Friday night: lawbrary cookout! We employees got together to eat hamburgers and watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. Have you seen it? What an ODD movie. It was hypnotizing, confusing, bizarre, trippy, and spacey, not necessarily in that order. I thought it was AWESOME. After it was over we argued over what it was about and did not reach any conclusions. If you happen to know what in the world it was about, we should talk.

Saturday night: Cody took me to see Where the Wild Things Are. I haven’t gone to a movie in foreverrr. So fun! We sneaked all kinds of little food things into the theater in my purse, including a full bag of popcorn. No one suspected a thing. As for the movie, it was WONDERFUL. I think it was maybe the best movie adaptation of a book I’ve seen, which is impressive since the book is ten sentences long. It was absolutely magical and brought back warm fuzzy memories of how I imagine my childhood to have been. (I am pretty sure it is just pretending to be a kids movie. I probably would have hated it when I was little.) I liked the part with the dog in the desert. Go see it! Or wait till it is released on dvd and get on the waiting list at the library, either one is good.

Sunday afternoon: Three different OU choirs combined to present Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante and requiem mass. The first thing was just the orchestra playing, and I dozed a little bit. But the requiem was magnificent! My favorite part was the Dies Irae part (hey, that was in the second X-Men movie) and the part where they went “confutatis maledictis” or something. Woohoo! Cody’s favorite part was when the conductor was flailing about during a dramatic section.

Wow, that’s a lot of culture for one weekend. Oh, also I watched Hot Rod last night, but whether or not that counts as culture is up for debate (and in the spirit of cultural relativism, I say yes! It does). Tomorrow is going to be a doozie: I will be on campus from 9 am to 9:30 pm. I have 4 classes, a 15 minute presentation, a study group that I think I may be in charge of, and an exam.

Mom–I watched the Pioneer Woman on the Bonnie Hunt show! It was funny but she seemed nervous. I liked the random audience guy who came down and took some food.

Today the Norman Public Library had a book sale, so Cody and I went and cleaned it out. I LOVE BOOKS. Let me gloat about all the glorious books I bought!

  • The Thurber Carnival (!!!)
  • A Tale of Two Cities
  • German Stories and Tales
  • The Little Treasury of Modern Poetry
  • The Outline of Knowledge (some plays)
  • The Norton Anthology of Poetry (some poems)
  • The Decameron (some stories)
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Loved One
  • The Brothers Karamazov
  • The Comedies of Terence

How about that?? That’s a lot of books. And guess how much I spent? “You can’t put a price on good literature,” you say. Wrong! You can. I spent $10.50. I got more books than I spent dollars.

Thanks for putting up with my gloating.

Watch this!

I LOVE kicking acorns. It is so satisfying. They are the perfect size and weight and they roll so far. Try it! Do what I do and limit yourself to the ones on the ground though.
Some creep broke into Rachel Roommie’s car! She said that the only thing they took was her CD’s and that she felt bad that they went to the trouble of breaking in and didn’t get anything valuable. Oh Rachel. She has a heart of gold. It doesn’t look like they did any damage to the car, but it is troubling.
My friend Lisa got into dental school! Woohoo! Congratulations Lisaaaa!
Last night I was feeling nostalgic so I fixed up cheesy hotdogs like my mom used to make and I watched Beauty and the Beast. It was as magical as I remembered, although I’m confused by the timeline of the movie–the beast is about to turn 21, and the candelabra says they’ve been under the spell for ten years. Was the prince ten years old when he was enchanted? That seems harsh.
Ben & Jerry’s American Apple Pie ice cream tastes exactly like apple pie! American, even. How do they do it?
“That’s Not My Name,” by the Ting Tings, has been stuck in my head for days. It’s obnoxious but catchy, listen at your own risk. Anne, you definitely have to listen to it; the world will make sense.
I bought salt & vinegar chips for Kraettli the Greatly tonight. I hope people don’t hate me.
  • I LOVE kicking acorns. It is so satisfying. They are the perfect size and weight and they roll so far. Try it! Do what I do and limit yourself to the ones on the ground though.
  • Some creep broke into Rachel Roommie’s car! She said that the only thing they took was her CD’s and that she felt bad that they went to the trouble of breaking in and didn’t get anything valuable. Oh Rachel. She has a heart of gold. It doesn’t look like they did any damage to the car, but it is troubling.
  • My friend Lisa got into dental school! Woohoo! Congratulations Lisaaaa!
  • Last night I was feeling nostalgic so I fixed up cheesy hotdogs like my mom used to make and I watched Beauty and the Beast. It was as magical as I remembered, although I’m confused by the timeline of the movie–the beast is about to turn 21, and the candelabra says they’ve been under the spell for ten years. Was the prince ten years old when he was enchanted? That seems harsh.
  • Ben & Jerry’s American Apple Pie ice cream tastes exactly like apple pie! American, even. How do they do it?
  • “That’s Not My Name,” by the Ting Tings, has been stuck in my head for days. It’s obnoxious but catchy, listen at your own risk. Anne, you definitely have to listen to it; the world will make sense.
  • I bought salt & vinegar chips for Kraettli the Greatly tonight. I hope people don’t hate me.

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven;
To His feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me His praise should sing:
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise the everlasting King!

Praise Him for His grace and favor
To our fathers in distress.
Praise Him still the same forever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Glorious in His faithfulness!

Fatherlike, He tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame He knows.
In His hands He gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Widely as His mercy goes!

Frail as summer’s flower we flourish,
Blows the wind and it is gone,
But while mortals rise and perish
God endures unchanging on,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise the High Eternal One!

Angels, help us to adore Him;
Ye behold Him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before Him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise Him, praise Him,
Praise with us the God of grace!

Have you seen THIS MAN? I don’t want to put
the picture up because it creeps me out a tiny
bit, so you will have to click the link
yourself. I don’t know how legitimate all this
is, but here is the story I have gathered: A
psychiatric patient drew this picture of a man
she saw in recurring dreams, who would give
her life advice. A few days later, a different
patient saw the picture lying out on a desk
and recognized at as someone he/she had also
seen in dreams! Strange? Yes! It gets
stranger–the psychiatrist sent the picture to
his/her buddies and had them ask people if
they recognized this man. Currently at least
2000 people have said they recognize him from
their dreams.
Read the theories page, I thought it was
intriguing. Specifically the idea that he
might be God. If this is so, you should
probably take the advice he gives you in
dreams. Another possibility that they didn’t
mention is that it’s the devil, in which case
don’t listen to him!! I also liked the idea
that he is an actual person who has the
ability of being able to appear in dreams. If
that is the case, he’s a busy guy.
I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed about him, but
if I do, I will be sure to ask him what his
deal is.
How about you–have you seen him?

Have you seen THIS MAN? I don’t want to put the picture up because it creeps me out a tiny bit, so you will have to click the link yourself. I don’t know how legitimate all this is, but here is the story I have gathered: A psychiatric patient drew this picture of a man she saw in recurring dreams, who would give her life advice. A few days later, a different patient saw the picture lying out on a desk and recognized at as someone he/she had also seen in dreams! Strange? Yes! It gets stranger–the psychiatrist sent the picture to their buddies and had them ask people if they recognized this man. Currently at least 2000 people have said they recognize him from their dreams.

Read the theories page, I thought it was intriguing. Specifically the idea that he might be God. If this is so, you should probably take the advice he gives you in dreams. Another possibility that they don’t mention is that it’s the devil, in which case you shouldn’t trust him further than your dream self can throw him. I also liked the idea that he is an actual person who has the ability of being able to appear in dreams. If that is the case, he’s a busy guy.

I don’t think I’ve ever dreamed about him, but if I do, I will be sure to ask him what his deal is.

How about you–have you seen him?

I stole this picture from Claire. See the insanity!

I stole this picture from Claire. See the insanity!

Gordon and Stephan came to see me this weekend! Mostly they came to see U2, but I was an exciting bonus. We had a grand old time–we had dinner at The Mont, bought an ungodly amount of gummy worms, watched League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, ate fried chicken and pizza, played frisbee, etc. We also spent a fair amount of time staring at vehicles and trying to figure out which one Bono was in. I didn’t go to the concert, but I could definitely hear it anyway. It was INTENSE, and you could see the flashing spotlights all over town (you could even call it the city of blinding lights, har har har). I enjoyed the madness, and wandered around campus for a while. Everyone and their dog was at that concert.

This just in, via text: Gordon claims that the concert was awesome and they had a great time, and that it was worth the three and a half hours of sleep he got. Over.

It was so good to see you, dear brother! Come again! I had more fun than anyone should be allowed to have.

This morning, the power was out on campus south of Lindsey (which is where I live and also where I work). I blame Bono. It was surprisingly hard to find, pour, and eat cereal in the dark. At work we sat in the dark for an hour and a half. Occasionally the electricity elves would turn all the lights on, then immediately shut them off! Just to toy with our emotions. You’ll be happy to know that not only are the lights back on, but also my boss has an emergency plan in case of the zombie apocalypse.

No class today! I have a take-home final to finish up though. Also: merry CAKE DAY! Plan your festivities!

Last night my friend Claire and I decided to have a culinary adventure. We picked out this recipe from her Thirty-Minute Pasta book–it’s spaghetti with a cantaloupe sauce. (Oddly enough, we decided this recipe was a good idea before we opened the merlot.) Apparently cantaloupe is not in season anymore, so we went to three different grocery stores before our quest was successful. But our hard work paid off in the end! We fixed a unique dish that pretty much tasted how you would expect Melon Spaghetti to taste. The pieces of cantaloupe cook down to tiny orange chunks, and make the sauce reeeally sweet. Also it was pink and weird-looking, too bad I didn’t take pictures. I didn’t think it was great, but Claire liked it a lot so I sent her home with the leftovers.

Here’s the recipe for you, in case someday you have a cantaloupe on hand and are feeling adventurous.

P.S. Did you answer the question from yesterday? If you did, you’re awesome. If you didn’t, go do it now! You know who you are.

Spaghetti al Melone

  • 1 3-lb. cantaloupe
  • 3 t. butter
  • Salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 t. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil.

Cut melon into 1/2 inch pieces. Put the butter in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted completely, add the melon and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the melon begins to break down and most of the liquid if releases has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

Add about 2 T. salt to the boiling pasta water, add the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.

Add the tomato paste and lemon juice to the melon and stir well. Add the cream and cook until the sauce thickens and reduces by about a third, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once.