Got rotten bananas? Don’t be sad- Make some muffins! What better idea is there? http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/banana-muffins-ii/Detail.aspx

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Emily: I used all whole wheat flour. Worked fine :D)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large bananas, mashed (EMILY’S HINT: if you’re freezing bananas, peel them BEFORE you freeze them. It makes life easier, trust me. Otherwise only half the peel comes off. And that’s not pleasant)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (We substituted 1/4 cup of brown sugar, so 1/2 c white and 1/4 c brown, cause brown is healthier or something I dunno, worked well)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  •  OPTIONAL (Emily’s additions): 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped
Emily’s notes: Very easy muffins, worked really well, the tops came out kinda flat and we’re not sure what exactly happened, but they were quite tasty. I personally only like chocolate chips, but we put some nuts in Heathers’, so just do what you want, improvise a little. That’s what makes baking fun!

My favorite roomie ever who shares my love of baking brought this easy peanut brittle recipe. Quick and sugary- Just what I like!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup peanuts

1 tablespoon corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

Procedure:

Cut the butter into chunks so it melts evenly. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a large saucepan (larger than you think is necessary- it bubbles up.)

Heat over high heat, stirring constantly. It will bubble a lot and stuff, Keeeeeep stirring!

Add the peanuts when it gets to be a light brown color. Eventually it will turn the color of coffee with 2 creams. Not one cream, not 3 creams, 2 creams. Exactly. You have to be quick about it, and this apparently takes practice which I will experiment with eventually.

Then pour into a pan lined with parchment paper. Let cool and break into pieces! Yum!


So delicious! A friend of mine blogged the recipe, and I couldn’t help but try it. So sweet and yummy. Link: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2011/03/cinnamon-sugar-pull-apart-bread/

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

Makes: one 9x5x3-inch loaf

Recipe adapted from HungryGirlPorVida

Print this Recipe!

For the Dough:

2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (Emily: I used all whole wheat flour and it worked out fine. And healthier)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 ounces unsalted butter

1/3 cup whole milk (Emily: I used 2%. It was fine)

1/4 cup water

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (Emily: We didn’t have nutmeg. Probably would have enhanced, but again was more than edible)

2 ounces unsalted butter, melted until browned

In a large mixing bowl (I used just the bowl of my stand mixer) whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.  Set aside.

Whisk together eggs and set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter until butter has just melted.  Remove from the heat and add water and vanilla extract.  Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until the mixture registers 115 to 125 degrees F.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.  Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough and the eggs are never going to come together.  Keep stirring.  Add the remaining 3/4 cup of flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky.  That’s just right. (Emily: Apparently with whole wheat flour, you need more liquid, so our dough wasn’t as sticky as it should have been, so if you’re using whole wheat flour you might wanna reduce the amount of flour a tad).

Place the dough is a large,  greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  *The dough can be risen until doubled in size, then refrigerated overnight for use in the morning.  If you’re using this method, just let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes before following the roll-out directions below.

While the dough rises, whisk together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for the filling.  Set aside.  Melt 2 ounces of butter until browned.  Set aside.  Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch  loaf pan.  Set that aside too.

Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tablespoons of flour into the dough.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes.  On a lightly floured work surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out.  The dough should be 12-inches tall and about 20-inches long.  If you can’t get the dough to 20-inches long… that’s okay.  Just roll it as large as the dough will go.  (Emily: For some reason our dough was really elasticy, like pizza dough, so we had to be a little… violent. But it still worked ok. We beat it into shape). Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter across all of the dough.  Sprinkle with all of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  It might seem like a lot of sugar.  Seriously?  Just go for it.

Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Place loaf in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is very golden brown.  The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw.  A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center is cooked as well.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.   Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert onto  a clean board.  Place a cake stand or cake plate on top of the  upside down loaf, and carefully invert so it’s right side up.  Serve warm with coffee or tea.

I think this bread is best served the day it’s made, but it can also we wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Emily’s notes: Overall, ours was very successful. Whole wheat flour may have made the dough a little more dry than ideal, and kinda elasticy for rolling, but it still tasted absolutely delicious when we took it out of the oven. A must try. Basically like sticky buns but in bread form. Yum!


I love pop tarts. Especially whole wheat pop tarts. But that’s another day. Anyway, so of course I jumped at this chance to make homemade pop tarts! Yumm! Again, recipe thanks to Mennonite Girls Can Cook- I love this girls. They’re awesome. Makes me proud to be Mennonite. http://mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com/search?q=pop+tarts Basically these poptarts are just flaky pastry with some jam inside and some icing on top. Pretty delicious.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup chilled butter, cut in cubes
  • 4-5 tablespoons very cold water
  • Strawberry jam
  • Pear jam
  1. In a bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. I used a food processor to make this dough, but both methods work fine.
  2. With a pastry blender cut in the chilled butter till it’s the size of peas. (I like to use frozen butter and then grate it with a cheese grater. The colder the ingredients, the flakier the pastry. Plus it’s pretty handy if you don’t have a pastry blender.)
  3. Add the cold water a tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together. (I had to use 6 T because it wasn’t sticking together, just experiment)
  4. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap, pressing down into a disk. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Roll out into a rectangle and cut approx 3″ by 5 ” pieces. Place jam on the center of a cut piece of dough, top with another piece and seal the edges with the tines of a fork dipped in flour.
  6. Bake on a parchment lined pan at 375º for 25 to 30 minutes. I baked mine for 27 minutes.
  7. Let cool.
  8. You can leave them plain or ice them with your favorite frosting and top with sprinkles. (The frosting I used consisted of 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1/4 cup shortening, 1 T water, 1 t vanilla extract. You can add sugar and stuff to make it the way you want it if you want it sweeter or anything- it’s pretty simple)
  9. Yields: 5 pop tarts
Emily’s notes: These were pretty easy to make, the hardest part was making similar sized rectangles out of an oblongy bit of dough- it’s kinda hard to roll in perfect rectangles. But other than that, they were fairly simply and pretty tasty! 

I have found true love! In the form of Mennonitegirlscancook .blogspot.com. I mean, seriously, these recipes look deliciously awesome. My mother told me I should use up some of our strawberries… so I searched strawberry. And found this beauty-

http://mennonitegirlscancook.blogspot.com/2011/02/strawberry-mousse-cheesecake.html

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine melted butter and crumbs.  Press on bottom of 9-inch spring form pan. (I just used a regular pie pan, I’m not that fancy)

Filling 

  • 3 oz. / 85 gr. package strawberry flavoured gelatin
  • 1 envelope Knox unflavoured gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 15 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) frozen sliced strawberries
  • 8 oz. / 250 grams cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup icing (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  •  Chocolate hearts & strawberries for garnish
  1. Mix gelatin powders together in a bowl.  Add boiling water and stir to dissolve.  Mix in partially thawed strawberries.  Chill until syrupy.
  2. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth.
  3. Whip cream until stiff.  Fold into cream cheese mixture.
  4. Fold in thickened strawberry jello mixture.
  5. Pour over prepared crust.
  6. Chill for several hours before serving.
  7. Garnish with chocolate curls or hearts and fresh strawberries, if desired. (You can make chocolate shavings by taking a chocolate bar and peeling it with a vegetable peeler- it makes lovely garnish. I used dark chocolate 😀 )

Serves 10-12.

*Em’s notes- I had some issues at first but they all worked themselves out. I had trouble folding the cream cheese into the whipping cream- there were still chunks of cream cheese in the end result, but you couldn’t taste it or anything so it wasn’t a huge disaster- you wouldn’t be able to tell except for the fact that the chunks of cream cheese remained white while the rest is pink. I’m not quite sure how to avoid that- it’s really hard to get rid of chunks when you’re folding… Also I left the gelatin mixture in the fridge too long, and it turned to jello… obviously… so I microwaved it and rechilled it. There was almost too much filling for the pie pan, but it just barely fit without spilling! Everything worked out in the end, though, and it’s quite a light, deliciously fluffy desert!


Me. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about who I am, and who I am not. And if I’m ok with who I am. And who I want to be. And who I’m terrified of becoming.

A good friend of mine makes documents to state what he believes in and how it changes over the years. So I figured it was fitting to make a similar post at the end of my frosh year, of just who I’ve become over the last year. My “self” and my understanding of myself have changed a lot recently, and I thought it’d be a good idea to make a solid statement of who I am.

I’m smart. Not crazy super genius, not extraordinarily so, but I am smart. And I enjoy using my brain, whether in school or in discussing the intricacies of life philosophies. Although I can appear as a bit of a ditz, I am smart, and I value my intelligence.

I’m good looking. Not outstandingly so and I have flaws, but I clean up nicely when I want to. I’m not ashamed of how I look and I like the skin I’m in, and probably a bit more vain than I should be. I may say I don’t think I look good, but sometimes when I look in the mirror, I think I look really good and am confused as to why others don’t see it. But I don’t admit that to anyone.

I’m artsy. Not an artist, but there’s a part of me that heaves a sigh of ecstacy when my hands are dirty from smudging the graphite shadows when recreating a favorite photo of a treasured memory, crafting hand selected words into a stream of poetic expression, or watching someone’s long slender fingers dance deftly across the ivory and black keys of an old grand piano.

I’m logical. Not as much as I’d like to be sometimes, when emotions get the best of me, but when it comes down to it logical decisions are the only ones I trust and feel good about when all is said and done. I love logic and the web of reason it weaves around a crafty argument, how it gives us tools to comprehend the incomprehensible.

I’m scared of emotions. I’m scared of the intensity, the irrationality, and the fact that they have more influence over my actions then I’d like to admit. The way I sometimes twist logic to prove that what I’m feeling is justified terrifies me. Sometimes I abuse them- I try to make myself feel by poking my “bruises” because on some level I believe that “sad is happy for deep people.” But I know emotions are good and necessary and I need to figure out how comprehend and be at peace with them.

I’m passionate. It takes me a bit, but when I fall in love, I fall hard and hold nothing back, causing me to do some things that I regret. And it takes me a while, too long, to get back up and dust myself off. But I do.

I’m people oriented. I always put friendships before anything else in my life, no matter what deadline is looming or what work I’m ignoring. I need people to a fault; I’ve lost the ability to be alone because I need people too much. It’s hard for me to spend time by myself and feel ok about it, not getting depressed. No matter how bad I’m feeling, people will make me better.

I’m obsessive. I find something I like and then love it to death. Over the years, I’ve obsessed over Phantom of the Opera, muffins, Wicked, House, purple, the number 23, Relient K, online graphic t-shirts, and Doctor Who. To an obnoxious degree. Once I find something I like, I latch on and bleed it dry.

I’m scared of change. I used to think I thrived on change and prided myself on this, but now I realize that that was only because I didn’t like where I was. This realization disappoints me. When I like the people I have and the place I’m at, I hate change, I’m scared of losing what I have. I’m rubbish at goodbyes- if I know I’m likely to never see someone again I bawl like a baby.

I’m terrified of being forgotten. My biggest fear is that I don’t make an impact on people and that their lives would be no different without me and that they would never miss me. I’m scared that people don’t know me, that no one wants to really “know” me, that when I’m out of sight, I’m out of mind. That people don’t really want me. That one day I’ll wake up and realize that I don’t have any lasting friends. That I need everyone else more than they need me.

I’m intense. In my close friendships, to trust someone I need one on one time with them. In a relationship, I need almost constant communication, to feel “connected” to my significant other, which can manifest itself as neediness sometimes. If I don’t get one on one time, I don’t feel like they’re really my friend. I expect too much of people. I expect too much of their time.

I’m impulsive. When I see something I like, I go for it. Hence why I’m in Canada. I’m always up for an impromptu adventure. I sometimes do things I shouldn’t. I sometimes buy too many things I don’t need.

I’m travel hungry. I love new places, new people, new experiences, new cultures, new food. I soak it up like sunlight. I like to dream of places I’ll go and things that I’ll do, and I’ll never be content staying in one place without traveling a decent amount to explore this gorgeous world of ours. But I couldn’t travel alone, I’d need a friend to share it with, which is unfortunately limiting. There’s almost nothing I love more than a good road trip with some amazing friends.

I’m spiritually confused. I believe in God, and I’ve always been Christian. I’m a preacher’s kid at heart. The thought of losing my faith in God always terrified me. But now, I can see it. I can see it happen and being ok. I can see the beauty in not claiming I have a unique truth and putting up walls between myself and those who are don’t have it, in putting my efforts into just loving everyone, in seeing this rock and each other as all we have, which makes it even more important to help those less fortunate because there is no God, in the crazy chance of this planet existing, in not getting caught up in rules and morality and trying to figure out life using an ancient book that everyone interprets differently. I’m not saying I don’t believe in God anymore, but I can see how not believing in God could actually lead to a good place. I’m disenchanted with Christianity and find myself rolling my eyes at religious sentiments at times. And that terrifies me. Because I want God, I need God, I love God. But at the same time… do I? I hate being on the fence, not really knowing, I’m not atheist but I’m not wholly Christian at the same time. I’m nothing. And it’s awful.

I’m not sure about faith. About the fact that faith requires belief in spite and in the absence of reason. That it prides people who can maintain beliefs even when they’re challenged. I want to be logical, I want to make sense, I want to believe something because it’s reasonable and true, not because I want it to be true and so I obstinately refuse to consider alternatives. I want to believe something responsibly- if something I believe makes claims about other people and their ways of life, I better have good proof of it being true. So if faith in God requires faith in absence of fact, I’m not sure if I can do it.

I’m a fan of winter. I love the cold, the ice, the snow. Today it snowed in mid April and I couldn’t stop smiling. Walking outside was like living in a snow globe, and it’s wonderful. Cold wakes me up and makes me feel alive. It’s invigorating and painful and wonderful and I can never get enough winter. My love of snow is so great that I honestly consider this winter the first time I was ever “satisfied” by winter in a really deep way. It’s hard to explain, but it makes me deeply and thoroughly happy.

I’m addicted to lying. I pride myself in it. I consider myself a good liar, even though I’m not as good as I’d like to think. My good friends can see right through me. But I mask emotions and tell convenient lies without a second thought, like a reflex. Lies that make everything go smoother, that could be true but aren’t. And sometimes I’m so good at lying that I’m not sure if I’m lying to myself or not. Sometimes it gets so bad that I doubt everything I believe about myself. But I can’t afford to doubt that.

I’m cheerful. Generally. I do get down from time to time, but I’m generally a happy person. I almost always have a smile on my face, and when I get really excited my voice goes up a few octaves. I have a zest for life that I can barely contain, and that I think shows through. Sometimes, I’m just so happy about life that I can’t contain my smile, no matter how hard I try.

I’m a words person. My love language is a combination of quality time and words of affirmation. If someone’s doing badly, I try to compose some sort of encouraging message, reminding them of who they are and what I see in them that I love. My first tool in my arsenal is words. And words mean so much to me. Words that mean a lot to me that I have in print somewhere, I pour over time and time again long after the person who said them has ceased to mean them. I hold onto words to remind me of a time that passed, when I was loved.

I’m captivated by songs. Songs that have special meaning to me, that hold pockets of time in their lyrics. Certain songs will always mean certain events, people, or times to me, and when I listen to them I’m transported back in time. Music helps me when I don’t know how to help myself.

I’m an ideas person. I love to dream and brainstorm and think and imagine possibilities. I love to dream bigger than I know how to achieve, to think of possibilities and extract a sense of hope and joy from the expectation. But I’m not a planner, and I can’t make them happen. I’m working on it, but right now, I’m still woefully inadequate when it comes to making my dreams a reality. It saddens me.

I’m not a dominant person. I’ve noticed a pattern in my friendships- I tend to attach to people who are more popular and dominant than I am. That way I can just hang on for the ride and go along with what they want to do. It’s not being a doormat or passive, I’m just comfortable with sitting back and letting what happens happen, and I’m ok with that. I’m ok with being less dominant and pretty much being the sidekick.

I’m curious. I love hearing about different people, about what they think, about how the world works. I want to know about all different religions, cultures, schools of thought, languages, everything. I wish I could learn it all.

I’m responsible. And I get off on being responsible, I thrive on being dependable. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that people need and depend on me and that I deliver. When I’ve been asked in interviews “why do you want this job,” the real answer is because I want to be responsible, I want the opportunity to make people need and trust me, not the answer I actually give.

I’m open. I used to think that I didn’t share my secrets with anyone unless I knew I could trust them, unless I knew them for a long time and trusted them completely, and I was proud of this trait. Recently, I’ve realized that’s just not true. I’ll tell my life story to anyone that listens. Anyone. I don’t need to trust someone completely to tell them my weaknesses, how I work, and the things I regret, all I need is for them to want to listen. And I’ll tell them. And, I’m ok with that.

I’m foolish. Sometimes I do things that I know I shouldn’t, that I have every reason not to do, and do them anyway against all better judgement. And regret it later. I don’t learn from my mistakes very well.

I’m assertive. I’m not one to wait patiently until the guy asks me out, or mess around with ambiguity. I’ll cut right to the chase, ask the hard questions, and deal with the consequences, because I can’t deal with what ifs. I can’t deal with doubts. If there’s the slightest chance, I have to try it. And I make a fool out of myself sometimes. But I don’t regret it.

I’m a hopeless romantic. I sit around and think about the day when I’ll have a guy of my own, finally, that I have no reserves about dating. That day when I an love someone without a little part of me going “Em, you know better.” What I wouldn’t give to fully let myself go and feel and love, with no reservations. I watch romantic comedies and wish a nice guy would try to woo me. I evaluate most males I meet as potential dating candidates way more than I should. I want to get married so I never have to worry about being alone again because I’ll have someone who wants to spend the rest of their life with me. And I won’t be scared of losing them.

I’m a here and now person. I don’t usually miss people. I love my family, but I don’t get home sick, nor do I feel like I need to see them. When I don’t see people, we don’t talk. I have never kept in long distance communication with anyone except my parents because I committed to talking to them about once a week. So when I don’t see people, I lose them, whether by my fault or theirs.

I’m judgmental. I usually make snap first impression judgments about people. And I stick by them. Until I find out that they’re utterly and completely wrong. But I still make judgments nonetheless. I judge people especially by their voice- if I don’t like someone’s voice, I judge their whole character by it.

I’m good at judging time. I’m good at balancing school time and relationships, and knowing how long I can procrastinate while still having the perfect amount of time to do the work I need to. I can usually estimate with accuracy how long something will take or how long it will take to get somewhere.

I’m trusting. Even when I shouldn’t be. I believe promises that are sincere yet I know can’t be kept, because I want them to be true. I want to believe in always. But I don’t. I don’t think that anyone can ever make an always promise because people change and things change and ideas and emotions change. You can commit to a lifestyle, a decision, a process that may end up in always, but you can’t say with 100% certainty “I will always ____.” I don’t believe in always. But I’ll still trust people’s always promises, even when I know they’re not true. I trust that maybe this time, it’s different. And I’m waiting to be proved wrong.

So there it is. That’s a snapshot of me. I’m smart, good looking, logical, scared of emotions, passionate, people oriented, obsessive, scared of change, terrified of being forgotten, intense, impulsive, travel hungry, spiritually confused, not sure about faith, a fan of winter, addicted to lying, cheerful, a words person, captivated by songs, an ideas person, not dominant, curious, responsible, open, foolish, assertive, a hopeless romantic, a here and now person, judgmental, good at judging time, and trusting. I’m sure I’ll add to this post as I think of different things I should have added, but that’s me.


Alright, it’s kinda lonely over here on wordpress. All my friends are on tumblr. So, unfortunately, I’m moving blog locations so that I can be more social. Not that anyone reads this anyway, but in case I do actually have a follower or two, go to tropicalpengawin.tumblr.com to continue reading my musings. It’s been a good run, ladies and gents. But now I’m moving on!


Snow.

I was so happy when it came.

The first snow invoked a sense of disbelief-

Could this be happening?

Was this really mine?

Was the snow here to stay, just for me?

The first flurries sent chills of curiosity, intrigue, and hope down my spine.

I spent all my time playing with it.

I snuggled into its cold embrace,

Lying there for hours, glad that I had finally found a home.

The snow made me feel clean, worthwhile, fresh.

It invigorated me, made me want to go, do, see, feel-

to love.

The fingers of cold air slithered into my lungs, invaded my body,

became a part of me in ways I hadn’t imagined.

Sometimes the cold frost prickled my skin, causing the pain of frozen flesh-

But the euphoria was worth the pain.

I was happy-

Until spring came.

I tried to hold on to the snow, I tried to keep it by my side-

Don’t leave me so soon! I miss you.

But the snow had already melted.

I naively thought that it would stay forever, that the promises of its white blanket would cover me always.

But I knew spring had to come.

I had known it all along.

Having chosen to ignore it, the inevitable shock was amplified tenfold and rattled my bones.

I was knocked to the ground, the air left my lungs, and I wept.

I wept for the companionship that I had lost.

Slowly, a warmth started to penetrate my body.

The sun had come out to comfort me,

sending beams of light to dance across my back,

Reminding me.

I looked up, gathered my forlorn limbs into a semblence of a skeleton,

and drug my weary body onto my feet.

I felt a warm breeze tease my hair and caress my face,

Whispering words of hope.

A smile crept across my face, slowly but surely erupting into a grin of elation.

Yes, winter was over. Yes, the snow had left me.

But it would return. One day in the fall I would feel the cold breeze again,

and remember.

Today, it is spring. Today, I will hope.

Today I am free.

Free to embrace the hope of summer and create my own reality.

Free to stop relying on the cold, steely determination of winter,

Relying on the sweeping course of mother nature that takes no detour for no man

To show me the way that I should go.

So, now, the snow is gone. And part of me mourns its passing.

It was a good winter.

But it will snow again. And, for now, I get to enjoy running free through the fields of tall grasses,

feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my face,

and live.

just.

live.

 


What is wrong with our society? I, being a willingly sheltered little Mennonite girl, never really was exposed to the party scene or to people who were into sex and drugs and rock’n’roll. I willfully hung out with people whose definition of party was playing apples to apples or watching a Disney movie. We had good times.

So when I went to a club for the first time in my life last night, I was appalled. I mean, I knew our society was still sexist, and that women were sex symbols in music and in magazines, but  I didn’t realize quite how bad it was or what that meant. But last night, everything just hit home.

One of the first things we noticed as we walked in was the tv screens with dancing people on them. But these weren’t just random dancing people having a good time, they were naked or about to be naked silhouettes of girls dancing seductively with themselves or with other girls. This played on the screens the whole night. There were also various tables and surfaces that girls could get up and dance on to show off their stuff. The songs were all about having sex and scoring and men’s “bitches.” Girls and guys were grinding all over the floor, the guy hoping he could make a score tonight.

This shocked me. This is a horribly blatant use of women for sex symbols. Getting men drunk and then sticking them in a room full of provocative imaging is just asking for men to see the women as objects of sex and to go a little to far, to harass women, to rape them. After all, the women are just there for their viewing and grinding pleasure. What are we telling the guys in our society? This whole mentality, that partying is fun with half naked girls and some alcohol, where does that leave our young women in society? No wonder women can’t get past the glass ceiling. No wonder they’re not taken seriously. How can you take someone seriously when you’re using their body as a means of getting pleasure for yourself?

I thought we were better off than this. I thought sexism existed, but fairly subconsciously and that we were possibly close to eradicating it in North America. But I was so far from right. With this image of fun, when talking about girls in this way is ok, when it’s socially acceptable to plaster half naked girls everywhere to sell things to guys and to give guys pleasure, we’re never going to get anywhere. We need to start now, standing up, saying “this kind of partying is not ok. These kinds of messages are not ok. These kinds of images are not ok.” Because until we do, we’re never going to be able to defeat this.


Sleep. It’s my favorite past time. Honestly, if I’m sitting in my room, thinking “I’m bored, what should I do?” A nap is usually my answer. It’s just the best feeling, waking up, especially after a really long nap and you don’t know what time it is and you don’t care because you are half asleep and feel amazing. Groggy and still sleepy, you snuggle back under your covers and slowly drift deeply into unconsciousness.

But the best part about sleep is when you’re not quite asleep. You’re not unconscious, but you’re not awake either. You’re lying there in a semi-conscious haze of contentment.

This. This is when sleep-think happens.

Sleep think is an interesting phenomenon. You see, when you’re lying there, half asleep, you still think. And your mind wanders. It ponders the tough questions of life, the things that weigh heavy on your mind, those problems that you can’t solve when you’re normally awake.

Your mind not only ponders these deep thoughts, but it has brilliant revelations. It makes connections you never thought possible. It solves problems like world hunger, what you’re going to do in life, what makes the world spin, all those deep theological questions seem crystal clear as you lie in bed, hovering an inch away from pure black unconsciousness. The world seems right and everything seems as though it’s going to work out.

And then, you fall back to reality. You slowly become aware of your surroundings and the real world surfaces around you, but that feeling still lingers, that feeling like you just had a genius moment, an important revelation, that you have to share with the world.

But as soon as you try to think of it, it’s gone. You can’t even remember what it was that you were thinking about, let alone your moment of brilliant epiphany. You desperately rack through your thoughts, going through every possible scenario, because you know your thoughts were direly important, you know your life would be improved by their content, but yet those elusive thoughts sit smugly outside your grasp, only to be found when you drift back into that strange land of enhanced cognitive function.

And that, my friends, is the madness of sleep-think.

What day is it again?

June 2017
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The Dusty Archives of my Mind

‎"If I went through life by myself, I'd waste a lot of my time wandering around in the wrong direction"