Ay, there's the rub.

2012 Round-Up! incl. Gifts for the Passive Aggressive!

This blog is approaching its first birthday--when I first started it, I had big plans for weekly updates, guest posts, and maybe a snazzy layout. A year later, I have given up on most of these goals for the present, believing that they will happen someday, even if today (or I suppose this year) was not the time.

I met up with some old pals recently and caught up on months of life-updates, which was great! However, when the conversation turned to me, I actually had very little to tell them. No one wants to hear about my wild aspirations of taking up knitting or all the YouTube clips of Friends episodes I watch when I tell my roommates I am "working".

So what have I been up to in Real Life? I took up "churning" butter last weekend, as per the method posted by the Underwear Drawer (Dr. UW, pals and I call her between ourselves). It's pretty easy--you just buy heavy cream, bring it to room temperature, and shake it in a jar! After about 5 minutes or so (depending on the vigor of your shake), you'll have butter. I made a rosemary and salt version as well as a garlic version, although something went awry with the garlic one and the guests at my apartment were forced to shake for over an hour. Oops. At least they got to build up their biceps!

I have been doing lots of general cooking as well. This weekend I was flying solo as most acquaintances have already skipped town for the upcoming holidays, so I seized the opportunity to take several naps and also to clean out the fridge by cooking! I made a potato, tomato and onion hash-type thing this morning (just chop all ingredients, add garlic and mushroom-flavored MSG, and simmer. The MSG is very important for the flavor) in addition to Parmesan Roasted Broccoli, as recommended by my occasional friend FaretheewellGharial. You should check out her blog!

I also baked cowboy cookies for a recent office party, which were a crowd pleaser. Cowboy cookies are actually my favorite type of homemade cookie--they are pretty much just enhanced chocolate chip cookies from the Nestle Tollhouse recipe (like in that episode of Friends where Monica's perfect cookie recipe is from the Nestle bag...see? I've watched too many YouTube clips!). I usually like walnuts and oatmeal added in, but the real key ingredient is the nutmeg, which will bring the other flavors out to their maximum potential.

To continue with the theme of Things That I Bought That I Feel Ambivalent About (i.e. materialism), I've been doing lots of gift buying this past weekend. I'm not a great gift giver, I think. I have all these ideas, but then I don't plan ahead, leaving a big ol' mess in the execution. This is the issue with me and writing heartfelt notes as well--if I wrote a couple of drafts, I'm sure they would be lovely, but I sully whatever stationery I have purchased with an over-eager pen and then am forced to continue with the crazy spewing forth.

Anyway, while gift buying, I was thinking a lot about the message I wanted to convey with each gift, but I also began thinking of misconstrued messages that might come across instead of my intended sentiments. Here are 2 examples.*
1) Anti-aging cream. By giving this gift, I would want to impart that I want the receiver to enjoy ever-lasting youth and vitality, kind of as if I were giving away access to that stream from Tuck Everlasting. But instead I think anti-aging cream conveys a message along the lines of, "You look haggard, bitch."
2) An ornate mirror. I would gift this mirror intending for it to be used as a fun home-decorating piece. Instead, I imagine it could be construed as something negative, forever ruined from the evil stepmother in Snow White. A mirror might send a message like,  "I wish for you to look deep into your soul and think really hard about the blackness you see within, you horrible person."

With gifts there's that old adage "It's the thought that counts," but I guess no one really knows what those thoughts are. Someone could be cursing you with a spell or the gift could actually be well-meaning!

In an upcoming post, I will discuss my recent trip to the Spotted Pig. But not tonight, friends--it would cut into the aforementioned napping time. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, y'all!

*I bought neither of these gifts, but I did consider it.
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