Archive for February, 2010

Not a Writer

I’m not a writer.
I think four English teachers just fainted. (Sorry!)
Each day I open wordpress and I think to myself, Meg, you should write something today. So I stare at this blank box that stares back at me. And maybe I start writing something. And then I usually hit the “move to trash” button that is so red and glaring and I hate to click it but I do anyway because I don’t think whatever I had to say was worthy of being on the blog or on the internet in general.

Today is one of those days. About an hour ago, I signed into wordpress. And then I signed out because I felt like I had nothing to say. And now it’s an hour later and I’m writing about it. And then I realized, I don’t want this blog to necessarily be about the next big thing. I want to remember what I baked in February, how I got excited by seeing whale-shaped crackers (like goldfish but whales) and what I was thinking when I was seventeen. I don’t have to come up with some elaborate story or a grand philosophical topic. I.just.need.to.start.writing.

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Being a Leader

I’ve been writing a lot of essays lately that want to know how I was a leader or how I will be a leader in the future. Every college says that they produce the next leaders. Maybe that’s true. Leaders come from all places, all backgrounds, and all kinds of schools from the tiny liberal arts to the big state colleges.

But if there are so many leaders, who is going to follow? We’d need a leader to lead all the leaders, wouldn’t we? It’s been a long day, hasn’t it…

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Fast Cinnamon Rolls

My favorite spice is cinnamon. I put it on everything, from my morning oatmeal to whatever baked good I can fit it in. Not only is the flavor amazing, there are health benefits too. It can lower cholesterol, maintain sugar levels (and therefore weight loss?), and a whole bunch of other things that I won’t bore you with.

So I made cinnamon rolls. The process to make cinnamon rolls is kind of ridiculous. It is a yeast bread, so it requires kneading, proofing, rising, and a whole lot of waiting.

Who wants to wait for these? My other problem was that I didn’t want anything too heavy. A cinnamon roll can often leave one feeling like, well, a big, round, buttery cinnamon roll, so I was looking for a lighter version. I adapted a recipe to make it lighter, and while it does compromise some flavor, it is an acceptable substitute. The dough turned out to be more biscuit-like and doughy on the inside with a light crunch on the outside. I didn’t use the glaze, but I’m sure it would only make them better.

Fast Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from http://www.recipezaar.com/Quick-Cinnamon-Rolls-No-Yeast-293243
Makes 12 2-inch rolls
        2 cups flour
        2 tbps sugar
        4 tsp baking powder
        1 tsp salt (optional)
        2 tbps butter, softened
        ¾ cup + possibly more

        4 tbsp butter, melted
        ½ cup + 1 tbsp brown sugar
        3 tsp cinnamon

       ½ cup powdered sugar
       ¼ milk

1. Mix 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp brown sugar and spread over bottom of 9×9 pan
             (note: This made a nice light bottom coating. If you want more, just mix more butter and sugar together)
2. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
3. Cut in the 3 tbsp butter. Allow lumps
4. Stir in milk to form a soft dough
5. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a rectangle about ¼ in thick
                (note: I didn’t need to flour it because the dough was pretty dry. I actually had to add more milk because it was SO dry)
6. Mix the rest of the filling and spread it over the dough, covering all of it
                (note: I used less butter and ½ the sugar than the original recipe to make it healthier.)
7. Roll up the dough long-wise so it’s like a big log. With a sharp knife slice into even sized rolls
8. Bake for 20-25 min at 400 F (I usually err on the side of overdone, but they were perfect at 20)
9. Once finished, drizzle glaze and serve warm

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Driving with Cats

On Sunday we were driving in a suburb/farmland/rural sort of town. Think small town with lots of farms. I offered to drive because, well, I’m nowhere near where I should be in terms of driving ability and amount of time I’ve had my license. We had to turn off the main road, but this consisted of a  very narrow country road. The speed limit was 40mph, but I was afraid to go over 30. I honestly thought I was going to turn off the road and land us in a ditch. Fortunately,  we made it to our destination. My dad jumped out to open the gate, and I rolled in to park. Unfortunately, the barn cat decided to saunter in front of the car and I panicked (like I hadn’t done that enough yet driving down those roads). So I stopped the car. And then my dad starting laughing. I was so afraid of running over the cat that I didn’t know it had left.  

I’m a very cautious driver. I was so afraid of doing something that the problem itself passed over altogether.

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Last year I was talking to my teacher about whether I should buy a class ring or not.

In the back of my mind, I knew I’d never wear it. It doesn’t fit my small hands. I could have used the $400 it cost to buy a KitchenAid mixer (never mind the fact that it wouldn’t physically fit in my kitchen.) To be honest, I didn’t need/want something like that to remember my high school experience. But I AM a “keep everything” sort of person. I’ve been saving movie ticket stubs since I was twelve, and I still have the toy horses I played with as a child. I shared all of this with my teacher, who responded “just do it. It’s better that you do it and regret it than not do it and regret it.”

I think with exception to the results getting arrested or hurting someone, she’s right. For the most part.

Like last Friday. Last Friday night I attended a school dance. It was destined to be a fail from the outset. The theme was tropic with fruity soda colors (I wish I was kidding. I went as “grape”), I got at least three passive aggressive (or just blatantly aggressive?) emails in the time leading up to the dance that were longer than some novels, and when I arrived 1/2 hour late, there was no line.

In short, it was a fail. In terms of dance quality, it was awful. The DJ left halfway through and his assistance took over. The music itself was awful. I could do cartwheels through the dance floor. The only thing I could do was laugh. It may not have been the best use of my $7, but it makes for a fantastic story.

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I’m not an uber-coordinated person: I don’t swish along a basketball court or fly down a soccer field, but in general I can keep all my body parts connected and moving as one fluid object.

Except for today. Because today, I fell three times. Thank goodness someone only saw one of them.
The first happened this morning, as I took the back stairs to get to my locker. I had my backpack, canvas bag, plastic bag of shoes, and a monopod with me. I fell. Not just a stumble, a full on hands on the ground sort of fall. Then, later that day, I was holding a box of newspapers and moving them into a room with a curtain in front of the door. I tripped on the curtain and banged the door. Obviously, the fab newspaper editor I decided she would be carrying the last box. After that, I was home walking up the stairs (can I just point that out? I was at home…walking up my own familiar stairs with nothing in my arms) and I tripped again on the floor.

And even though only one person was there to witness one of my falls, all three were just as embarassing. And whether or not anyone else saw it, I always feel as if someone had seen it.

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Super What?

A couple of weeks ago, I was checking my Facebook page and nearly all of the statuses were related to football. And I’m thinking, football? What’s going on?
Silly M, it was the super bowl. How unamerican.

I’ve never really been a sports person. I can and will follow basketball and baseball, but I have never been able to get into a football game. It just doesn’t make sense to me. The passes, the lines, the random numbers…I can’t do it. Because of my lack of interest in the sport, I have no particular affiliation to any one team. I do, however, pick one of the teams that are playing and make them my favorite. Maybe I like them better because of their colors or where they came from but I’m always disappointed when they lose.

So for the Super Bowl tomorrow, I’m rooting for the Colts. Not because I like Indiana, but because I like horses. I hope that’s a good enough reason. What’s your reason?

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Ending Up

I was watching the third season of Scrubs when I hit a favorite quote.

“Somehow you always end up with the person you’re meant to be with”
              (sidenote: Scrubs is brilliant!)

And this week, I felt like that was happening. Due to a series of events, among them the school newspaper and other random meetings, the normal group of five friends was down to two, the same two that happened to be together since kindergarten. We had good talks, the kind that you have over coffee for two hours without realizing that any time had passed at all.

For some reason today, everyone was free for lunch. We sat in our usual corner of the senior table and everything was back to normal: food was thrown, cackles released, and screaming ensued. I just hope that in another thirteen years, we can come back and nothing will have changed.

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This past December I couldn’t wait for summer to come.
I even made lemon bars, remember?

But now we’re actually pretty close and that scares me a little. It scares me that I will have to find a white dress soon (what? marriage? at seventeen? haha, no. not yet.) for graduation (oohhhh) It scares me that I will leave the comfort of thirteen years at the same place, that I will have to find a new favorite hangout, that I won’t see the familiar curves of the stairs to the second floor or worry about slipping in the main hall. But perhaps, right now, what scares me the most, are my summer plans.

Really M? You’re going to FINISH HIGH SCHOOL and you’re worried about your summer plans?
Yes, yes I am. I have so many things that I want to accomplish in my two and a half months. I want to go to another country, bake enough to feed a country, and be productive. I want to be able to answer with animation and vitality, the icebreaker of orientation week, “what did you do this summer?

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Each night I have sat in front of my computer with wordpress open and a blank post.
Each night I start typing feelings, stories, and comments.
And then each night I hit the glaring red “move to trash” button and sign off.

I can’t for the life of me get out a story. I’ve been bombarded by the need to reflect, to look inside, and open my insides up to a college in hopes that they see something they like. To be honest, the whole process has tired me out. I don’t know one person who hasn’t felt this way yet. Even the most enthusiastic, school-loving girl at my school can’t help but feel simply tired. Maybe it’s just this year. Maybe it’s every senior’s disease. I feel drained, I feel tired, and my peanut butter cupcakes don’t come together like they should.

But then I look at my assignment book (ie lifeline) and realize that there are less then 20 weeks until I have completed my secondary education and move onto undergraduate school (who knows where?) And then I don’t know how to feel (still tired though). Time is a crazy thing, isn’t it?

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