Saturday, February 25, 2012

Faygo Delicatessen

Earlier tonight I was having a conversation with one of my dear sisters and we got onto the topic of delicious things you can pretty much only find there in certain states. One such item being Faygo pop. I'm being true to my roots here guys, sorry. It's not soda, it's pop.

While these days you can find Faygo in many states (generally in BevMo's), it's really just not the same. In many places outside of Michigan it is treated like some sort of delicacy. Whereas in Michigan it's basically the drink you buy because it's cheaper than water. It should at no point in time cost you more than $2.00 per bottle. Especially if those bottles are anything smaller than a 2 liter. The fact that you pay upwards of $3.00 in many places for smaller bottles is ridiculous to me. Also ridiculous to me is how it tends to be dressed up. I mean, just look at this thing:

Not my balcony btw.
It's in a nice glass bottle with a metal cap that you need a bottle opener to remove, and the logo is wearing a crown. A freaking crown. It's Faygo. Guys, what the hell? Seriously. Do you know how it's is marketed in the homeland? In a plastic bottle (if in a bottle at all) with minimal embellishments. The extent of flare for the packaging tends to rest in the range of "matches the color of the drink inside." That's it.
Genuine Faygo! Not to be confused with...

No really, that's it. Also? Stop asking what flavour it is. I'm not sure what precisely you're expecting, but it's not a gourmet drink. Don't let the artwork fool you. This beverage in no way tastes anything like strawberries. I wager they put strawberries on the box rather than apples simply because apples also come in yellow and green and that'd be confusing. The flavor is Red. That's why it's called Faygo Red Pop and not Strawberry Faygo. It says it right there!

My sister fondly recalls the brand as the brand you buy in the summertime for a BBQ, then keep it cool in a kiddie pool filled with ice. That's right folks, you don't even designate it a place in the fridge. That's where you keep the good shit. When you buy it, you basically drink it that day. If you buy a lot of it, it's because you have a lot of people over and this'll quench their thirst cheaply. You don't stock up on it for later just in case there is a shortage and people are fighting over the last can in the super market. You buy exactly how much you think you'll need at the time.

It is tasty, though.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Sweet Treat II

Thanks to Trader Joe's our house is now slowly being filled with grinders of various sorts. Because let's face it, if you have to choose between pre-ground anything and grinding it yourself, whether it be coffee or pepper, grinding it yourself is not only more satisfying but also far more flavorful.

While out this evening to pick up a few things needed for Aaron to make his hearty homemade pasta sauce, we stumbled upon this gem:

At long last.
Anyone who knows much of anything about me knows that I enjoy adding a dash of cinnamon to basically any warm beverage I drink. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, whatever. So, I am pretty excited about trying this out. I'd say I'll let you know how it is but I can pretty much say, after having tried all of their other grinders, that it'll be fantastic. Instead I'll simply direct you to your nearest Trader Joe's to buy one for yourself. Whether you drink hot beverages are often as I do or not.

A Sweet Treat I
Things That Are Good at Trader Joe's

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stuff and Things

I've been in something of a creative funk lately. Maybe it's the never-ending pain or maybe it's the lack of time, but it is what it is. I've had a sketch waiting to be inked for about three weeks, several commissions/requests waiting to be started, and more than a dozen ideas for blog posts as well as a few stories floating around in my head... just no will to manifest them into reality. It's even affecting my gaming. I can get into the technical aspect of it, grinding and what have you, but set me down to actually story-tell and I'm more or less like, "derp." Complete lack of motivation.

I apologize for the lack of content recently on all fronts, I truly do, but there's not particularly much in the way for me to do to remedy the situation. Since I can't seem to pinpoint the precise problem. I think it may be a combination effect, really. Pain and feeling like my time is compromised. I could treat the pain to see if that helps but that involves taking Vicodin, which incidentally medicates away my motivation to do anything outside of shove food into my head. So... that's not a very good solution.

As for my seeming lack of time: between four days of classes, two days of physical therapy, and anything else that needs to get done, it always seems in short supply. I can choose between gaming, reading, art, or writing -- but not more than one and due to the social aspect of SWTOR, I tend to fall back on that more often than not lately. Even then, it's primarily the grind, nothing that relies particularly on my creative abilities.

I'll get over it, I'm sure. I just wanted to let you all know precisely where I stand at the moment and reassure you that I'm not throwing in the proverbial towel or anything dramatic like that. I may even force some creativity out of myself in the days to come just to try to get over it, but that idea is hardly inspiring. In the meanwhile, enjoy this video of a puppy who refuses to get out of the fridge.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fun With Double Standards

I recently read a blog that has been responded to with a surprising amount of controversy. I don't have much to say about the overall concept as I believe the author expresses her point just fine, and I don't have much to say about the controversy as I don't believe there should be any. However, it did remind me of something that happened to me as a child. Since you all seem to enjoy that sort of anecdote, I figured I'd go ahead and share it.

When I was little, no older than seven or eight, a boy kept hitting me on the playground. His name was Damian, as if that weren't somehow telling. While he wasn't outright beating me bloody or anything like that, it was at times enough to leave a bruise behind. When I told the principal, she smiled and said, "Oh, he just has a crush on you!" and totally dismissed it.

So the next day at recess when he hit me again, I socked him right in the face.

When I was sent to the principal's office, I honestly expected her to understand completely. After all, if it was okay to hit someone to show them that you like them, why would it be different to hit someone to show them that you didn't? Her reaction was far from jovial this time. I got three days of lunch detention -- no recess.

Looking back, the whole thing is still pretty odd to me. As an adult, a man hitting a woman is greatly frowned upon no matter the circumstance by pretty much everyone (with the exception of perhaps Chris Brown). Yet as children, it's not only acceptable for boys to hit girls, it seems expected of them. How can we accept one but not the other? Also, why is it that when roles are reversed in both age groups, the matter is handled completely differently?

If we're going to advocate against violence, gender and age bias shouldn't be factors at all.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Last semester was the first semester I could enroll in classes out here in California. Unfortunately, since I was not a returning student, I was essentially last in line to get in. Meaning everyone had a chance to register before me, with the exception of other new students. What this meant was that by the time I could register for classes, everything I wanted or needed to take was already full. To the point that even the waiting lists were full. I could, at best, unofficially get on a waiting list for the waiting list but your odds of getting in at that point are about zero.

Aaron managed to get on the waiting list for SILA 305, the first class in a long line to become fluent in American Sign Language -- a class we'd been hoping to take together. I was on the waiting list for the waiting list but decided to go with him anyway. Actually going to the classes you're waiting to get into increases your chances of getting in. Usually. At the very least, it helps those actually on the waiting list to get added. Attendance and all of that.

Not in this case, however. From what I'm told, normally professors permit students on the waiting list in their classrooms up until the final day to drop the class, when many people often do. Waiting until the last minute. Once the professor knows how large or small their class actually is, they start giving add slips to the people on the waiting list. This way the people on the waiting list, who are still fairly likely to get into the class don't start out 2 weeks behind everyone else in the class. In the case of learning an entirely new language, this is especially important. Missing even 1 day of a language class puts you at a huge disadvantage.

Therefor it was a little surprising and uncharacteristic when, on the second day of class, the professor threw all of the waiting list people out of her classroom. Particularly surprising after she herself had just given us a speech about how important it was to never miss a class because you'd hopelessly fall behind. Yeah.

So last semester despite being able to enroll, I was unable to enroll. Fast forward to the beginning of this semester, I receive an email from the college that I'd be able to start registering for classes on a certain date. I knew I'd have to be on the ball so as soon as that day came, I logged into the district website and began browsing all the classes I'd want and/or need to take. When I went to add them however I was informed that I didn't just have to wait until this specific day. I also had been placed into a n arbitrary group based ont he spelling of my last name, which wouldn't be able to register until 8:00 PM. The joys of having a last name nearer the end of the alphabet, I guess.

I sat there all day, checking back just in case, watching as one-by-one my choice classes filled up. Then as the waiting lists for those classes also began filling up. I can't really convey the helpless rage I felt in words other than saying, "I felt helpless rage," so I won't try fancying it up for you guys. It was dumb and I was displeased about it.

By the time my group was eligible to register every class I wanted was full and so were their (colorful expletive deleted) waiting lists. With the exception of Art History -- the latest class available. I snatched the class anyway, despite my narcolepsy because being enrolled in at least 1 class this semester would make me eligible for early enrollment next semester. I'd be one of the cool kids, not the hobo fighting the other hobos for class scraps in the dark.

I planned on speaking with my professor about perhaps getting into one of his earlier classes, to avoid the late night walks to campus in the dark and any troubles I'd have with staying awake at that hour in a poorly lit lecture hall being talked at for 2 and a half hours. Turns out though, I actually thoroughly enjoy the later class. The class size is small, meaning I don't need to compete for his attention should I need it, and I never have to worry about finding an appropriate place to sit. Which is important for a deaf lip-reader who always forgets her glasses. I need to be front and center. Anywhere else and it just won't do.

The next day I decided to accompany Aaron to his ASL class, the one class I really, really wanted to get into. He had gotten in outright, I however wasn't even on the waiting list (again). I was not thrilled about going, to be honest I thought after our last experience that it would be a complete waste of my time. Much to my surprise, when we arrived there were still several open seats. In the other class, taught by the other instructor, there were no extra seats at all. So this seemed like a good sign to me.

The professor seemed overall better at his job as well. There is no vocalization in an ASL class, but even so, he managed to express himself well enough to always get his point across even though none of us knew any signs yet. During the class he paused to ask if any of us were on the waiting list, when a few raised their hands he told them to see him after class. Then he asked if there were any people not actually on the waiting list. When I raised my hand I half-expected to be dismissed from the classroom. Instead he told me to see him after class as well. I'll freely admit I set myself up for disappointment by being totally psyched.

As soon as the class ended I went up to him and without a second thought he crossed someone off of the waiting list, had me write my name there instead, and then gave me their add slip. Maybe it was because he noticed my hearing aid and realized I actually needed the class, or maybe the person whose name he crossed off simply hadn't bothered showing up and he appreciated my initiative? I don't really know, but I was tremendously grateful.

So now I'm enrolled in two courses this semester: Art History, which is taught by a man who studied film with Al Pacino; and SILA 305, which is taught by an amazingly enthusiastic deaf man. It takes up a good chunk of time, between classes 4 days/nights a week and assignments, but I'm glad to be doing it. If my blogs seem shorter and my art uploads seem less frequent, you at least know it's because of my education and not Starwars. Which I suppose may or may not be a good thing, depending on who you are and just how nerdy you want me to be.