February 28, 2008

well executed Wednesday

I achieved a tremendous amount in terms of working on projects today. This of course, translated into little consumption for most of the day. I took a break from my work at about 10:30am for a brunch of homemade pancakes, and watched about 20 minutes of Easy Entertaining with Michael Cirallo on the Food Network. He was having a polenta party and decided to just plop it all on some cutting boards in front of his guests and not use any plates. Although I found this idea completely inapplicable to my dinner party aspirations, I still wanted to see how his party would play out.

I headed back to working on projects after the show ended, and followed that with evening class. After class I headed over the Erik's and watched most of the Gopher Men's Basketball game against Purdue. It was a rough game to watch, as we were picked apart by Purdue's guard play and made no attempt to capitalize on size advantage on the offensive end. I still haven't decided how I feel about the games being shown on the Big Ten Network. It's nice that more games are available to watch, but it's crappy if you don't have the channel at your place (which is my situation - hence the need to watch at Erik's). I remember the good old days, which are not so old, when all of the U of M games were shown of FSN.

February 27, 2008

All the necessities, and then a little fun

Tuesday started out with another disappointing trip to printing services. I needed to reprint a portfolio piece, so that I could have a copy with better craftsmanship. I was disappointed to find that somehow in the mix one of my images became pixelated, and I spent time and money printing garbage. This is a frustrating experience, especially as portfolio pressure is building. $3.20

I quickly ran into the Gopher Spot after printing to stock up on food supplies for the rest of afternoon. It was about 9:30, and I knew I wouldn't have another opportunity to purchase food until 8:30pm or later. I bought a chicken with dried cherries Original Tomato foccaccia sandwich and a peanut butter chocolate chip Clif bar. This would be enough for lunch and evening snack, and none of it was awful for me healthwise. $5.67

I spent the rest of the morning earnestly working in the computer lab, with my eyes glued to Illustrator files. The same was true that afternoon for an hour between classes.

After classes I went to the Old Chicago in the Har Mar Hall with some friends from class. It has been a long but productive day, and I wanted to relax and let myself unwind from the day. I started out with a pint of Fat Tire on draft, which quickly calmed me. Fat Tire is one of my favorite beers, and I am especially pleased that they have started to serve it on draft and not just in the bottle. Their bottles are way too big for me, especially to drink before it starts getting warm - and who can stand the taste of warm beer! For dinner I ordered the pepperoni pizza rolls, which are one of my favorites at Old Chicago. I was in the mood for pizza, but we were ordering individually. This was the most cost effective way to satisfy my pizza craving. $16.30

February 25, 2008

Another Monday of Isolation

Monday, Feb. 25

I spent about on hour online this morning/afternoon researching information on ziggurats built in the Fertile Crescent for a Travels in Typography assignment. I met my partner for the project at school, and we quickly designed an information map on the subject. The assignment is due Friday, but neither of us have the time or will to make it a priority. We were both looking to get the project done and over with, so we could think about other design projects. After it was finished we took the files over to printing services ($5.31) and bought some supplies for putting it together at the bookstore ($10.74).

Upon arriving back at my apartment, I indulged myself in 30 minutes of the Food Network while I ate lunch. Then I was back to work with design projects, and have been ever since.

Cake, Whities, Oscars

Sunday, Feb. 24
Finally, I got to eat my cake, and it was amazing! Erik’s mom came over and we had cake and coffee (no coffee for me – too strong). Afterwards I watched the second half of the Gopher Men’s basketball game on the Big Ten Network. We beat Penn State, but almost lost in the last 2 minutes. It would have been an embarrassing loss for a number of reasons, and I did my fair share of shouting at the T.V. After the game I went over to my parents’ house to bring them some of our cake. I stayed for a while and played Wii with Erik, my sister, and my mom. I am finally a professional bowler! Wow, what an accomplishment – still, I was excited!

The evening I had one of the most delicious yet disgusting dinners ever – White Castle. It would be deadly to eat from there more than once every 6 months, but sometimes you just get the craving. Their food is SO bad for you, it makes McDonald’s seem healthy. Yet, I cannot resist from time to time. $7.92 for two people.

After my attempt to clog all of my arteries, I enjoyed a few hours of watching the Oscar’s. I realized that I have not seen many of the films that were nominated, which is somewhat unusual for me. I have concluded that I need to see No Country for Old Men, which I have been wanting to get to but just haven’t done it. I was very excited to see Once win for best song!

Chocolate Wedlock In Action

Saturday Feb. 23

Consumption was at a minimum for most of the day, since I was baking from 8am until 4:30pm. The cake turned out amazing, but I was starving! I met a couple of friends and my family at the Buca Di Beppo in St. Paul for dinner and pigged out. I had not eaten since before starting the cake and was in need of some serious calories! My parents kindly picked up the tab, so I am not sure what the cost was, but I’m sure it was high. We had a lot of food and gelato to boot (chocolate of course). We were in the establishment for about 1.5 hours enjoying good company and good food!

After diner my friends and I headed back to my apartment, where we played a Saved By The Bell board game from the 1980s (I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this, but I did consume – willingly) and Wheel of Fortune while drinking a bottle of Zeitgeist wine, given to me as a gift. It was an odd combination of entertainment to say the least, but it’s what we girls do from time to time when we get together. It was just really nice to spend a nice with my girl friends, and actually have a social life. Fun is not always a priority these days, with graduation fast approaching.

February 23, 2008

Chocolate Wedlock Preparation

Friday, Feb. 22
After my morning class I headed to Anchor Paper Express and Office Depot for design supplies. I am redesigning the stationery for one of my projects, so that I can be proud of its presence in my portfolio. I wandered around the store for probably 30 minutes, and finally decided on some recycled paper and envelopes. I took so little that I was only charged for my one envelope! $0.85

My stop to the Office Depot off of University of St. Paul was relatively short. I needed some Prong Fasteners to bind my portfolio book, and I knew exactly what I needed. I have only been to the store about twice in my life but was surprised by all of the interesting looking office supplies and organizers the store supplied. I wasn’t exactly sure which aisle would house my fasteners, so I wandered around quite a bit and was almost sucked in my some playfully designed note pads and filing folders – but I resisted. I came for fasteners, and I was leaving with ONLY fasteners. $3.74

That evening I racked up a tab at Cooks on Crocus Hill and Lunds. I was at the Cooks on 50th and France looking for a 9? round cake pan and a sifter, and I found them for $32.07. Ouch, that was an expensive sifter! But, I really needed them, as Erik and I have decided to make our own wedding cake, and make enough to feed everyone. We are doing many test runs in different stages to make sure we can pull it off, and we needed those things for the upcoming baking extravaganza planned for the weekend. After Cooks we stopped in at Lunds, since it was within walking distance. The following ingredients were purchased for chocolate wedlock part deux: Giradelli unsweetened, semi sweet, and white chocolate chips (high quality needed – this is an important cake), ½ pint of raspberries, 1 pound unsalted butter, 1 pint heavy whipping cream, 1 dozen eggs, and 1 half gallon of whole milk. $31.87

We spent the night baking together, and headed for bed with a cake waiting to be cut, layered, and decorated the next morning.

February 21, 2008

Best Gyro in Town!

Thursday, Feb. 21

I am realizing that I can get a lot of work done if I wake up early on the morning and get to school long before my 11:45 class starts. I was able to print the “final? version of my portfolio book, or at least good enough pages to consider showing people. One early trip to printing services: $10.32

After class, I was picked up from school and had dinner with Erik at the Black Sea. This is one of the greatest restaurants in the Twin Cities, and I promise you will not find a better gyro, especially for $3.95. It is had been an abnormally long time I had last eaten there, as I have been known to support this local gem on a weekly basis. $6 with tax and tip! So good!

After dinner I watched most of the Democratic debate between Obama and Clinton on CNN. I am getting so tired of Clinton and her recent desperation. All she tries to do is get Obama riled up, but he was too smart to get sucked into it tonight. Clinton’s closing statement was note worthy, but overall Obama dominated her in my opinion. I probably watched 2 hours of CNN coverage.

Flash :(

Wednesday, Feb. 20

Wednesday I spent almost all morning and afternoon building part of my portfolio website, which I will use to hopefully get a job at some point. It is amazing how long it takes me to program, and I am wondering if I will ever finish the site – even though this was the first day I have worked on it! I did not use the internet or watch TV all day, but I did spend a lot of hours listening to music through iTunes while working. That evening, around 4pm I visited my parents and read a few articles in the Star Tribune. There was a horrible bus accident that killed 4 students, and I became angry at how depressing the news has become. I was off to class at 5:30 and went straight to bed afterwards with tired eyes from staring at my computer screen almost all day.

February 20, 2008

Splurchase

Tuesday, Feb. 19
I woke up early this morning to get a jump on a few projects. I first ran to the Target on Lake Street to make my splurchase for Senior Seminar, and also pick up a couple of toiletries that I have been needing for a few weeks now. A more detail description can be found in my memoir paper that I will be handing in shortly. One Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate bar, 4-pack of Venus disposable razors, and monthly planner = $14.22

After Target I drove over to school, both because it was -20 wind chills and since I was already in the car and driving around Minneapolis. The cheap lot at school was still open: $3.75

My first stop at school was to printing services to print a draft and then a final copy of the “discover? portion of my GD 4 class. Rushing to beat the clock, these prints were cut and assembled fast. $13.74

After class I headed over to Erik’s, but made quick stop at the Wedge Co-op off of Lyndale Ave. for some hummus and whole wheat pita bread. I prefer the flavor of the non-wheat pita bread, but I know that the wheat has more nutrients. If I eat enough hummus, I can forget about my preference. Either way, I am starving and pleased that decided on this healthy solution to dinner rather than going for fast food. $4.58

At Erik’s I watched CNN’s coverage of the caucuses in Wisconsin and Obama’s speech. I really like Obama’s changes of getting the nomination, although I felt like his speech went on for a few minutes too long. 1.5 hours

February 19, 2008

Deadlines

This Monday was hectic and lacked much consumption, because I had two projects due - one that night and one the next afernoon. I procrastinated to no end with the first project, which completely surprised me because I rarely take that route. However, I was pleased to realize that the project did not require much time at all, and I was not as pressed for time as I had anticipated. I think my background knowledge on the subject bailed me out of the one. There was even time for a quick bite to eat at the Lotus Vietnamese restaurant. It was early enough to still capitalize on the lunch special. $9.00

In a rush to print and assemble my project, and I parked in the lot on campus for my evening class. $3.75

Not thinking ahead, the print center at school was closed by the time I reached it, for I had to settle for the computer lab printers. Another $4.00 later and the project was printed. Luckily most of it was text, so the lack of quality printing was not overly apparent.

Fun, then reality

After another half day at the cabin we hit the road back to Minneapolis. Having paid out my share of the $20 weekend, I was tired from a satisfying weekend of enjoyment! We stopped at a Dairy Queen in Albany on the way home for dinner, and I had a double cheeseburger. I was feeling exceptionally good about my choice of a greasy burger, but the options are so limited at fast food places. Luckily, my disgust with the amount of fat and cholesterol I was about the consume was mitigated by the fact that my meal only cost about $3 because I split a "deal" with Erik.

Back in the city we stopped at Erik's house and enjoyed some of our left over cheese from Thursday and watched a movie called This Film is Not Yet Rated. It is a documentary about the Hollywood rating system for movies, and how corrupt it is. It discusses the inconsistencies in R and NC 17 ratings from sexual content, particularly the discrepancies between male and female exposure. It also looked at how 6 huge companies control about 90% of the media we are exposed to, and how independent films can be more severely judged. Ironically enough, the film was given an NC 17 rating by the board for its sexual content. The film was incredibly insightful, and really relevant to our class topic of consumerism.

Fun: consumption not required

Saturday was a great day at the cabin. We met the Erik's brother and sister and 5 of their other friends from a long time back for the weekend, and spent most of the day making a giant sledding hill and playing games. The TV was on for only about 1.5 hours, in which we watched some of the NBS All-Star Weekend events, including the slam dunk competition. For basketball fans, it's a somewhat important thing to watch, because history could be made (i.e. Vince Carter's between the legs dunk of 1999). Groceries were purchased ahead of time, with each person contributing $10 for the entire weekend's worth of food. Additionally we carpooled up to the cabin with 5 people in the car, so gas was also split into $10 a person. It was a really fun weekend, and most of our amusement was created by our own energy, natures, and a few games! In my opinion, these are some of the best weekends someone can have during a Minnesota winter!

Headed up north

Friday I packed my bag and headed up towards Alexandria for a winter weekend at Erik's cabin. We stopped at the Arby's in Rogers for a quick dinner, and I had two roast beef sandwiches. $2.50

When we reached the cabin we played a board game, Settles of Katan, for a few hours. We also made drinks and snacked on chips and cookies.

February 15, 2008

Morning Bust

I arrived on the West Bank of school this morning for my Travel in Typography class, early because I needed to finish up some research before class started. I quickly stopped into the convenience market (still can't remember the name of it) for a chocolate croissant $2.13

Unfortunately I did not check my email until I arrived, and an email canceling class was waiting in my inbox. So, I ended up bussing over to school for a croissant, and bussing back home. That will teach me.

Since returning home and having extra time for other homework I have read all of the articles for the next Senior Seminar project. I found all of the articles to be pretty interesting, although I feel like my grocery shopping experience is contrary to the research presented. The way I shop has changed dramatically since I started really learning how to cook and really valuing food.

amazing cheese

I started out today by donating another $3.75 to the university, who so kindly let me park in their lot. I had an important meeting with a family friend, who is also a graphic designer. I was meeting him after class in the afternoon, and wanted to make sure that I made it to our meeting destination on time.

I arrived at school early, and spent time in the computer lab on the Internet blogging, emailing, and Googling Mesopotamian architecture. It was all a bit stressful and frantic, and I am starting to find myself falling behind on certain projects. There is a lot to keep up with, and I have been forced to prioritize. As a result some homework gets pushed back as far as it will go.

In Senior Seminar I given a valentine! How exciting, especially after finding a dollar inside! I picked the one I did because it had polka dots on the heart sticker. I love polka dots, and Erik does not - so I try to choose things with them when I can!

After class I quickly ran over to printing services to have some transparencies printed for Travel in Typography. There was not a lot to note, other than the fact that I was in a rush and thinking about my meeting rather than the printing. $3.10

At Common Roots cafe on Lyndale and 26th, where I was meeting my designer friend, I bought a bagel with cream cheese for $2.35. We met for about an hour, but I was too focused on our concentration to really take in any of the "experience" of the cafe.

The evening I picked Erik up from work and we headed to Surdyk's to purchase some greatly anticipated cheeses. A few ounces of Vermont Shepard (it lives up to its legacy!), a double gloucester, and another flowery cheese (do not remember the name or type) came to $15.07. I always love the cheese buying experience.

With our cheese in hand we made one last stop at the Wedge co-op on Lyndale. We bought a small foccaccia bread, two pears, and two chocolate bars (good dark chocolate, two because they were on sale). $7.95

When we finally landed at Erik's we enjoyed our spread while listening to Cities 97 via the internet. After our meal we watched Sense and Sensibility with Netflix online.