Archive for January, 2010

Silence

(January 28th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

I can not believe the silence around me. It’s the first day of tutoring for me for second semester and I am so not used to it being so… empty! I was told by the head in charge of this period that the last period of the day is always unpredictable: some days a lot of people need help while for other days barely anyone drops in. I’m sitting at the table… in complete solitude… waiting for someone out of the blue to drop it. The teachers are whispering at their tables, afraid to break the awkward silence. Such a deadening silence. I hope that tomorrow offers a more optimistic chance to get to help someone with schoolwork.

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What’s The Point?

(January 25th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

This weekend was a tough one for the books. Luckily I didn’t have too much stress since the finals were over. I felt trapped inside the house all weekend because I couldn’t get out and do anything. Usually I pass the time by playing Dance Dance Revolution. Unfortunately, that wasn’t an option this time since I had gotten a splinter from a small piece of glass… or something… that I stepped on. It was the tiniest thing, but I couldn’t walk afterwards since the bottom of my foot would start stinging with every step. On Sunday I did manage to get out with my family though. I stopped at Borders and picked out a new book. Gosh, I can just never get enough of books anymore. This whole weekend I just felt like browsing a bookstore and seeing what interesting stories I can find. I’ve started to look at the adult reading section… I know! How mature of me! I felt so warm inside when I was scanning through the shelf at that Borders in the literature section, thank you very much! I’m just not used to the reaction that my parents give me… ever since I started *reading*. Anyway, the book I picked out today, Breakfast With Buddha, is about a normal man out in the world who encounters a religious monk. His wife tells him that he should go on a trip with this spiritual being to the place of his childhood. I haven’t really gotten that far into it, but that is what I know of from the summary on the back. I don’t know why it appealed to me, I guess I’ve just been into religious readings recently ever since I took religions last year. I had a bad experience when I was trying to read it last night. I was in my bed with my night-light on when I heard my parents start arguing in the room on the other side of my bedroom wall. It felt like the arguing went on for hours… I just couldn’t concentrate on the book. My mom and dad have fought so often now and me and my sisters are upset to our stomachs having to listen to it. They just don’t love each other, and I can’t really do anything to change that. I wished I could just get up and out of the house, but I couldn’t walk on account of my splinter. I couldn’t drain out their noise with my iPod because my ear was bleeding like crazy last night. What could I have done?

With music still as a topic of thought, my life has grown a lot more musical ever since my sister handed me an iPod one day… for free! Recently I’ve written songs that I am familiar with to put on it. I still have to use my sister’s iTunes account since apparently it doesn’t work on my laptop (according to her). So I have to resort to bugging her every second of every day to put more music on. Any free moment I have is one spent listening. In fact, I’m listening to it now as I am typing this during my free period. I never knew what I was missing out on until now! Whenever the idea of music came to me, I would always just shoo it away, thinking that I didn’t need such a thing in my life. Especially with my music-adoring friend, Trevor. In the past I’ve been irritated with any reminder of music because of him. I am sick of his wild guitar and any other instrument he plays.

It has gotten warmer out lately??? I know! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the snow outside was gone! I stepped outside on Sunday and the air actually tickled my face with its pleasantness instead of beating it up. Apparently, it started snowing again today. Gosh, these little heat waves are so short!

I’m just so glad that all of my stress from school is at a minimum level again.  Finals were… well… easy I guess. So far I am satisfied with my grade in Pre-Calculus and Physics. I realize now that I have the highest grade in my Physics class now, which makes me want to do a happy dance! I feel so honored. For my Pre-Calc final I only had one question wrong, which kind of bothers me because I was so close to a perfect score. Consumer Economics was a real painstaking class. I am just glad to have that over since it was a huge contributor to my stress. The day before the final I had some idea that I had to complete a final project for the next day. I spent at least two hours working on a goal statement as a consumer, thinking that it would have to be turned in the next day. Apparently, I hadn’t received the memo concerning the cancellation of the assignment. The minute I turned it in to the teacher she started laughing at me! I was so embarrassed, yet proud since I had gone above and beyond. I am praying to god that she gives me some sort of credit for my pointless work.

Second semester started today. I just walked into school with a smile on my face. I don’t know what it is, I just adore change to my normal routine. It might not even be as great as last semester, I just love that it is different. In Physics we started learning about impulse and momentum. I received my grade back from the roller coaster project. I got like 101% on it… somehow. I don’t even think that there was extra-credit on it. Spanish was a pain. I’m just not doing so well in that class as I used to. We started off class by talking about what we did over the weekend… and it basically grew worse from there. She announced that we had to start with Diarios again with the topic that we have to talk about someone else in our class. How exciting! Especially because I am somewhat anti-social. She then announced that we were starting a new short story, and lastly that we would be studying South America next. Gee, I really have to get back into the stream of things with that class. I was so excited when Computer Science came up in my day. I walked in, happy to get back into the swing of JavaScript and HTML when I realized that the entire format of the course was redesigned. Apparently, everything I had learned last year was pointless since we started off with a completely different markup language. I was baffled to find out that there were other people who were in the same class as me last year that were in the AP level now. I feel so behind now, gosh! Anyway, I hope I grow to get used to this whole new format.

Apparently my domain will be ending on February 19th, 2010. I hope to pay it again, I just wonder whether I should buy a new domain for my site rather that renew this one. Any ideas for website addresses?

Those Little Things

(January 15th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

January has to be the most depressing month of the year: there is no doubt about it. Aside from New Years being on the first, there are plenty of other downsides associated with this month. Stemming off of New Years is the idea that we all have resolutions to prove in 2010 such as trying harder at work/school or losing a certain number of pounds. It’s frustrating having to carry out such demanding resolutions. Of course, I may just be making a big deal about it but I think it is the very minor things about life that tick us off the most. I know I have to deal with them right now while I am writing this. In the corner of the room I can hear the faintest ringing noise while I am typing this, yet it seems to be so loud when I put my attention on it. Little things like that make us irritated. Thus, resolutions are pain-bearers.

Aside from our goals: the weather outside is just so frightful. Even though we can avoid it by staying indoors as much as possible, it is the absence of natural light that makes everything seem so depressing. I’ve been affected by it greatly, since I have to live in a house with very few light fixtures to make the room bright and cheery. Like I mentioned before, just a little alteration in the atmosphere can make the grandest difference in our attitude and emotions.

Probably one of the largest factors adding to our pain and misery is the cold and weather outdoors. Of course, people do travel, so this is very difficult to avoid. I know I dread having to get in the car in the morning after just waking up because the garage is so disturbingly chilly that my skin cries out in pain when I try to make any movement. Luckily I can deal with the pain a lot better when I am fully awake, but the feeling of cold still has a terrible effect on the way I feel. In the winter my hands start to get dry from the lack of moisture in the air. At any point in my day the skin on my knuckles just cracks and bleeds. It is heartbreaking it have it continuously happen each and every day. I have to spend extra time just to make sure I put on enough creme in the morning or at night to deal with the pain.

January is a month full of other causes of stress and depression. It is currently the week before finals at my school, and so I’ve had to work extra hours every night just to finish projects and papers, and study for tests. So far I’ve had some form of testing every single day this week and I am sick of all of this misery, especially right after returning from Winter Break: completely relaxed. Maybe this extra-long break is the reason why I am doing so much poorly. It has lowered my toleration for schoolwork so that I was unprepared coming back from break. Adults are most likely going through similar struggles with their work as well. I know in January all of the bills from the holiday celebrations come in and have to be paid. I guess it is just misery for everyone!

2009’ed My Heart Out!

(January 11th, 2009)

Dear Planet Earth,

This morning before school was quite a disaster. I was worried all morning about the outcome of the Spanish Oral Exam during second period today. Okay, I’ll just give a little background information since I had failed to bring it up earlier. Every year in Spanish we are given a topic that we need to talk about for a certain number of minutes. Ever year as I excel further, the level of difficulty of the exam increases, which brings a lot of stress into my life. Well, this year the teacher decided that she wanted to make everyone in the class memorize a variety of events that occurred in the year of 2009 in the news. I was so worried the entire weekend about completing such broad of a task. I went though memorizing several topics including: the crash of an airplane into the hudson river, the H1N1 virus, the whole Tiger Woods scandal (and whatnot), the inauguration of Obama and the giving of the Nobel Peace Prize, the crash of Air France in the Atlantic, the conflict in Iran with the new elected president, the death of Michael Jackson, the Nigerian terrorist on an airplane, the tragic event at Fort Hood, Sonia Sotomayor and the Supreme Court, the death of the third Kennedy, the hoax of the balloon boy, and a couple of others. I had spent all day on Sunday looking into each and every topic, only to be blown out of my mind by the end of the night wondering which one would be picked as what we had to talk about in class the next day. It was a complete waste of my life to have to memorize such meaningless events, but it was worth it in the end. I was so antsy right before the exam that morning, still wondering whether I had studied hard enough and had realized that I had left a couple of stories out. Luckily it didn’t matter. By the time the oral exam came, all I had to do was report on as many events as I could in Spanish. I was happy, yet also upset since all of my hard studying was a waste of time and effort. When it came time to record my voice, I 2009’ed my heart out. I gave the most dead-on response possible covering three airplane disasters during the previous year, with proper accent, the least bit of stuttering and pausing, and complete focus. I walked straight out that door when the bell rang, satisfied with my effort.

Connor and I were looking at this pretty cool WordPress blog with some interesting pictures on it. Click here to see them. You’ll definitely find something you’ll like.

Macaroni and Cheese!

(January 8th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

I was so delighted to finally come home from this long, dreadful week at school. I have been anticipating it all day and I’d worked up a massive headache from schoolwork by the last period. The walk home wasn’t so smooth, since I had to tread through deep snow on the sidewalks, unable to pass on the busy streets, but I was glad that I even made it to my doorstep. I’m glad to finally get a nice relaxing break from all the stress. It seemed as though as each day went by, the load of work increased. I was pleading for a snow day to come on Thursday, but the weather never responded back. Luckily I had a little break on Wednesday, which was the day of cooking club!  I had been called out of class the day before to answer a couple of questions for the yearbook, since I am one of the people in charge. I was so proud to be recognized; I deeply answered each question they threw at me in order to give them enough to write about.  By the time Wednesday came around I felt like I was in the groove of things, ready to cook up a new dish with some of my friends/ table mates. To my surprise we were cooking an all-time favorite: Macaroni and Cheese!

Yes, Mac & Cheese, an all-time favorite. How rather intriguing that my website and this delicious meal correspond. It sparked an idea inside me: how about including a delicious recipe of my own? No no no… I’m not talking about the cheap, microwaveable macaroni dinners that have a foul taste. I’m talking about a smooth, creamy, scrumptious meal that will cause a group of hungry barbarians to attack and devour it. Or, at least in my own case of trying this recipe. I was unable to grasp a photo of the bowl because people were already starting to take portions from it by the time I got my camera out. Anyway, here is what results when you cook this recipe:


Everyone starts to go after it!

Any delicious Macaroni and Cheese meal is based on how creamy the cheese sauce is. If it tastes bitter, dry, or chunky in the dish, it would be best find a better recipe, such as the one provided:

You will need just five ingredients to make the most gooey cheese sauce you’ve ever tasted in your life!
2 T. Butter
2 T. Flour
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 cup cheese
1 cup milk

Instructions:
1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over low heat, continuously stirring. Once melted remove from heat. (It’s best to do this so that the mixture doesn’t get burnt on the bottom)

2. Stir in flour and salt to make a paste; add milk a little at a time

3. Return the pan to the stove-top and cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened. Once thickened, remove it from the heat again. (It is best to remove it from the heat because when working with dairy products, they tend to overcook very easily, which causes the cheese sauce to come out not as smooth).

4. Add the type of cheese preferred. It is better to add in a variety of different kinds in order to have an interesting, unique flavor. Stir it until it is completely melted

Follow the instructions on the back of a box of macaroni. Usually one cup of noodles is enough to feed one person, so multiply that by the total number of people intended to feed. Once the noodles are done, you can just pour it in a bowl, top it with the cheese sauce and mix.

You can also add some spice to it afterword to give your mac and cheese a kick. I recommend sprinkling some onion powder on top; I just love the flavor it adds to the dish. If you can take the heat, try hot sauce as well! Try experimenting with other toppings, you never know what you are going to find!

The cheese recipe could also be used for fondue, and it can also be used to top other foods such as different types of vegetables. Have fun working with the recipe.

Bon Appétit!

Back At School

(January 4th, 2010)

Dear Planet Earth,

School is finally back in session, which unfortunately many are not delighted to here. I know I am one of those grunpy people who would rather stay at home all day sleeping late and enjoying myself  with Dance Dance Revolution and other mind-degrading video games, blogging on WordPress, talking on Skype and Oovoo Connor, and plenty more. Of course, it is important to adjust oneself depending at what life brings someone, and it my case, it is the stress associated with schoolwork. I felt my stomach sink inside me when I heard in Physics that I would have to do a project examining the changes in force and total mechanical energy at different points on a roller coaster. I had completely forgotten most of the material over this long break! In English I could barely pay attention to the reading we started in class because I was so lost. I really need to get my game on, or I am in for a mighty spin down a drain. I’m sitting in Tutoring in the learning center at school typing this, honored to have potential time to relax after this hectic morning of classes. Today was also the first day getting ready this morning in my new house. I feel like I smoothly adjusted back into my routine of eating cereal, preparing my choice of sanwich for the day, checking updates on my computer, and talking to Connor. Sadly, I was unable to stop to check the weather, but during the dead of winter it seems to be a common instinct to know how to dress for the day. I felt rather cranky this morning though, I just wanted to hop back into bed and sleep for another… five hours?

A couple of days ago I was browsing through Barnes & Nobles when I came across a book that I am dieing to get my hands on: The Wild Things by David Eggers. I had told Connor about it, and apparently he had already known about this certain book. I just have to read it! I wasn’t able to purchase it, since I had just used my money to see The Blind Side with my friend Nick and a couple of other people. Anyway, I’m just so interested to find out how it relates to the movie, its a rather long read (in my opinion). Of course, I am not much of a devoted reader to start out with, but I was pretty excited about this one. I’ve heard some pretty good reviews online about it. I just hope I can find the time in my day to read given that it is junior year, my hardest year in high school. I will get to it eventually!

Crêpes!

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I felt like sharing a recipe that I had prepared a couple of days ago for some delicious crêpes. I’ve been dieing to make them ever since I got something to top it with! My creation is shown above in the form of a dessert crêpe: decked out with chocolate syrup, a french vanilla ice cream filling, nutella, and powdered sugar! Of course, crêpes can be prepared in several ways, including a breakfast crêpe (with fruit  whipped cream, or pancake syrup), or a savory crêpe (with cheese, turkey, chicken and/or vegetables). Depending on what kind of mood one is in, a crêpe can be prepared to fit that style! Below is a basic recipe that I used to make the one above. It serves about four people, so make sure there are some hungry guests who would be delighted to try some as well!

Ingredients:
2 Large Eggs
2/3 a cup of milk
1/2 a cup of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/4 a teaspoon of salt

1. To start off, melt the butter in a microwave. It ought to take only 30 seconds depending on the type of microwave.
2. Mix together all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl:  the eggs, milks, flour, butter,  sugar and salt. It could take a little while! The lumps should disappear after about a minute or so. Even if there are still some small lumps afterwards, it really shouldn’t affect the taste or texture in the end
3. Place a skillet of medium size on a stove top at medium heat. Apply some form of grease to the surface. It is best to use vegetable oil or a small amount of butter. Sprinkle a small amount of water on the pan to see if it is warm enough. If the water starts to dance (aka sizzle), then you are set!
4. Measure 1/4 a cup of the batter and pour onto the hot skillet. Tilt the pan so that the batter flows to clear the empty areas on the pan. Once the edges of the crêpe start to turn a little brown, it is ready to flip! For the first crêpe, this may take a while, but the time required on the skillet will decrease as the cook makes more. I’ve found that it is best to use a spatula to scrape the edges off the sides of the pan before flipping it so that it does not collapse into pieces. Let the crêpe cook on the opposite side (it shouldn’t take as long to cook).
5. Dress with toppings and eat immediately. These crêpes cool off very quickly!

Have some fun spicing up your crêpe! I had one other thing to say: the Mikeroni page is now going to be merged in with the homepage. All of my past entries will still be located on the page, but the ones for 2010 and later will come out in the form of posts. I’ve found this to be more efficient and visible to viewers, which is why I’ve decided to bring this into effect. Anyway, I hope everyone had a great New Years. I decided to spend mine at my friends house this year, which is a complete change of plan for me. Anyway, I came around six and we had snacks, played video games, and watched a movie. Most importantly, we tuned in to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I barely recognized it since my trip there during last spring break; there were so many people cheering and partying! Anyway, some wise guy decided to light some fireworks at midnight, so we all went outside in the below-freezing weather and started yelling and screaming. A while later, my friend showed me how to use my iPod, since I had just gotten one a couple of days ago (I know, I don’t really keep with the times *heh*). iTunes still bothers me greatly! I still am confused how to navigate its many tabs, pages, and clickables. I do hope I will eventually get used to it. In the mean time, I’ve been relying on my family to set it up for me. So far it hasn’t been great, since one wrong move in syncing it with my computer completely clears away all of the songs I had put on it. I slept over at my friends house that night, it was just so late to get a ride. Luckily there was a guest bedroom: it was sweltering hot during the night, but I managed. My friend told me that I finally fell asleep around 2:25am -exhausted. I don’t know how, but he managed to fall to sleep in a rocking chair! How uncomfortable! We woke up around eight o’clock. I’m not sure why, but waking up during a sleepover is always an awkward moment, since the early bird has to check over on their friend to see if he/she is up yet. Plus, it is nearly impossible to tell whether someone is fake sleeping, resting, actually sleeping, fake resting, or just lying in bed. The signals are so screwed up, that early bird just has to wait for that other guy to make a move. My panic about “what to ask/what to say” finally ended around ten: we decided to actually get up. I enjoyed a nice bowl of cereal and freshened up for the day.

Can you believe the school week is coming back in two days? It is rather frightening to think about, since I’ve been away from academic thoughts for so long. I hope I didn’t knock out any brain cells! It’s going to take a little while to readjust, but I believe in myself.