Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Ever since I tried to make dinner rolls four years ago and ended up with dough all over my hands and my grandma had to emotionally resuscitate me and show me how to work with roll dough, I have been afraid of making anything I had to knead. I started simple a few months ago with pizza dough. My first try flopped (whole wheat pizza dough requires a whole wheat recipe), but I tried again and met success. Then I made cinnamon rolls last week, which were surprisingly easy to make (it just took a lot of time and dishes). So this week I felt ready to try baking bread. I used the Joy of Cooking recipe for two loaves (I couldn't find my mom's recipe) and kneading was really hard. I kneaded for ten or 15 minutes and I just gave up when I was exhausted. Luckily the product was edible. Today I have returned to my traumatic introduction to breads (dinner rolls), but this time when the dough stuck to my hands I was ready with a spoon and lots of flour. The kneading was pleasant and much easier than with the wheat bread. The didn't come out looking like Mom's but they are tasty. Hey, if I'm going to sit at home and play video games all day I might as well bake bread!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My strengths and weaknesses, glossed

This person who I am friends with has a blog and it updates the perfect amount. Not too much that I get sick of it, but enough that I'm like "oh, yeah, this is interesting." She posted about how weird it is that people don't perceive you the way that you perceive yourself. Rather than comment with some essay I thought I would post here about it.

One way to look at the difference, roughly, is to have friends fill out johari squares for you (maybe you remember when I did this about five years ago. These were my results; I also did the nohari. If you never did it before and want to fill out the johari for me, go ahead! Maybe I've changed). You can look at the results yourself. I think the way others perceive me depends partly on who they are and when they interact with me. For example, most people in my ward tend to label me as intelligent since they know I'm in grad school. But in my graduate cohort, we're all smart so my defining feature gets to be something like "cynical" or "cheeky." With my family [incl. in-laws] everyone is cheeky so I think I'm more defined by being easily embarrassed. I don't know, I'm making it up.

I used to think that one of my better traits was sticking with things and enduring, but I now see this as more of a neutral trait. And I've come to realize that I'm not better at finishing things than other people are. Other people say that I am introverted, but compared to how I used to be, I am a veritable social butterfly! And I think that now that I'm not taking social psychology classes I have toned down on my "actually, research shows..." (maybe it just feels like that because my husband does it too?).

One positive trait I have that I was vaguely aware of is that I don't mind admitting that I don't know something. Maybe I got this from my mom? But if I don't know something, I'm pretty sure that I could learn it if I wanted to (with the exception of physics, possibly).

Oh great, another introspective blog post all about me. Maybe I never matured from being a teenager. Wait, I think I did. I don't write emo poetry anymore. :-)

Friday, April 15, 2011

More free time!

Classes are over and I have time to do things like play video games woo! I have been enjoying Dragon Age: Origins which my sister lent me (along with several other games I'm excited about) and Kirby's Epic Yarn, which I was going to buy for myself as a reward for graduating... but oh well. I really like them both. Dragon Age is everything I missed in FFXIII: a storyline where I understood what was going on, a role I could actually play, conversations with options, that kind of thing. I'm still not very good at combat (I usually try to stay off to the side and just use spells as quickly as possible. Why don't I know more ranged spells?).

Kirby is very very fun. Based on the opening video, it feels like it was made for a kindergartener, and it is kind of easy... but I like easy games sometimes! I love the art style (fabric/organic textures) and the 2-player mode isn't bad either. There are some creative creatures and things that Kirby can turn into. Mario is a little hard for me so I think Kirby is the perfect thing ^__^.

I've also been playing DDR. I'm hoping to play every morning for an hour or so to get exercise and also have fun playing video games.

In other news, I did awesome closet-tetris-fu with the guest room and now I don't feel terrible every time I walk into the room. I have my Japanese finals tomorrow and then the last scholastic thing for me to do will be my thesis rewrite, which I have been basically ignoring due to stress/being annoyed that I'm not done yet. Today I looked at jobs on craigslist and noticed that I qualify for maybe one of them. Great job Whistler. Oh yeah and we leave for Japan soon!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Conference weekend

I have yet to come to a happy medium with my conference weekend activities (conference being the weekend when LDS prophets give sermons to all their members and anyone else willing to listen for 8 hours, with breaks). One year I happily cleaned my room. I've had years where I diligently take notes and feel gross from watching TV that long. This year I may have gone to the other extreme: I washed the kitchen floor, did my calligraphy homework, finished the mending, made breakfast and lunch, and also stared at talking heads (I've been contemplating individual differences in appearance, i.e., characterization, in hopes that some day I can draw people who look different from each other). And I think maybe I tried to do too much during conference, because I don't really feel like I had a favorite talk (although that one about keep on loving your spouse does stick out a bit). Although, to be honest, conference talks seem incredibly abstract to me even if I can take notes. It's just much easier to visualize the organization when the talk has an organizational element (for me, seeing them broken up into paragraphs helps here). I guess I could just wait until the talks go online and read them, rather than listen to them, but for some reason that feels... not as good? 

One thing that I decided to start on is to start buying some of the music I have... acquired over the years. I think it will be a good summer project.