Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Because, in the end, we really are all alone

I've gone through some major, unvoluntarily changes in my life this past month and a half. Things that could probably kill most, and severly break down all the others.

Am I okay? No. Not at all.

Will I get through it? Probably. But I am tired as fuck hearing from everyone that I will be. I wasn't aware that everyone was a fortune teller.

I'm not dealing with my situation well, can't you tell? So what am I going to do? I've decided to write. I'll write out my feelings, because at least someone will listen to me here.

I've had everything ripped from me in such a short period of time. I'm so lost. I was used to having a plan and knowing where I would be in a year, even two years. Now? That isn't so much the case. I don't even know where I will be in a month, and it scares the shit out of me.
I keep trying to tell myself that I still have my education, but I don't even know if that is the case. School is so damn expensive, and to do it completely alone makes it that much worse. It makes me sad and envious to see so many students with a huge support system for simple, ridiculous programs such as administrative assistants; whereas, in my case, I have little to no support and I am doing the macdaddy of all: becoming a dentist. Believe me, I have considered giving up, and I am still considering it. People have told me that it is foolish to persue such a demanding program with no support.

I'm just lost.

I've been torn from all my friends and my college. I've been torn from my home and all the security I had. I'm now living in my dead end hometown. How anyone would voluntarily live here is beyond me. This town has nothing to offer. It solely relies on the forestry industry. Any place that relies on such a resource is doomed to fail. I mean, trees can only grow back so fast.
It doesn't help either, that everyone my age here has already had at least one kid; married or not (although nine times out of ten it is not). I feel so advanced from everyone else here. I am so much more than these people here.

Am I cocky and inconsiderate? I don't care. I really don't. Anyone that would settle for a life in this town isn't worthy of a status, as far as I am concerned. And this hostility does not just stem from my recent circumstances. I've always felt this way. When I was 16, I used to dream of leaving this town. So, now to be back, is almost like suicide. Probably worse.

My situation has been particularly hard because I have no one to talk to. No one seems to understand or get what I am going through. It's like everyone is so oblivious to their own happy lives that they forget that there is hurt and sadness going on in other lives. I try to talk to people. I really do. But I am often ignored or told that I need to occupy myself. Well, no shit, Sherlock.
My answer is always the same when I am greeted by this ignorant statement: what do they propose I do? I live in a town that if you blink while driving through, you miss it. Where the official meeting place is Tim Horton's. Where westernized Chinese food is considered "exotic." Pathetic, I know.
It's like people forget that I lived in a city for three years. A city that offered everything. I had my choice of doctors and grocery stores. A city where there was everything in the world to do, see and eat. To go from that lavish lifestyle to this, is like a slap in the face.

Am I feeling sorry for myself like my sister thinks? No, because given my situation, I think I am doing pretty damn good. And if you think I am, I have something to say to you. Fuck you. Yes, you heard me. Fuck you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Double Iced Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

**Warning** Prepare yourselves for a full blown sugar coma!

I've started on my Christmas baking for the second time this month. I made cookies and brownies at the beginning of the month, but they only lasted a matter of days. Being with a chocoholic/cookie monster does not allow for goodies to stay in my cupboards for very long. So baking a second time was very much in order!

This recipe was modified by myself from several different recipes all over the internet. I've struggled with it in the past, and have now made it to pure perfection! I hope your household enjoys them as much as mine does :)


1 Cup butter
2 1/4 Cups sugar
4 Large eggs
1 1/4 Cups baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups flour
2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)

What to do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350F (I have to put mine to 300 because I have a ghetto oven that does not know it's own temperature) and lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan (I put parchment paper on after I have greased the pan, and then grease the top of the parchment paper. This allows for an easy-peasy clean up)
  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine sugar and butter and heat until butter is melted (approx. 2 minutes). Mix, and then continue to heat for another 90 seconds - 2 minutes until you have a nice frothy/bubbly coating. Make sure that it does not come to a boil, so keep an eye on it! Why this step you ask? This makes for a nice shiny top on the brownies in case you are not into icing them.
  • In a separate, large bowl, mix eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla until smooth. I use a hand mixer for this.. a Kitchenaid would be fabulous (it's on my Christmas wish list ;))
  • Add the hot butter/sugar mixture and stir until smooth
  • Add flour, and again, beat until smooth. Now add the nuts and chocolate chips. (If you want your chips to be evident in the brownies versus completely melted in, allow your batter to cool for 20 minutes before you add them in)
  • Spoon your batter into the greased pan. Shake the pan like a Polaroid so your batter gets distributed evenly into every nook and cranny.
  • Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean. Keep an eye on them, as you do not want the edges to burn.
  • Allow the brownies to fully cool

Now comes the fun (and tedious) task of making the icing!

Ingredients for mint icing:

5 Tablespoons softened butter
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
2 1/3 Cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring
3 Tablespoons milk

What to do:

  • Combine softened butter, salt, corn syrup and icing sugar in a bowl. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Do not panic if it doesn't get smooth and fluffy. Sometimes my ingredients at this step resembles dough pieces the size of rice.
  • Add mint extract and food coloring. 1-2 drops is good. I like mine a little more green, so I tend to add about 6.
  • Gradually stir in milk one tablespoon at a time, then beat until fluffy and beautiful. This may or may not resemble toothpaste.

Now to ice those brownies! Take a rubber spatula and evenly distribute all the icing to every inch of brownie goodness. Once iced, place the brownies in the freezer to allow icing to harden before you put on the second layer of icing. This step is very necessary, otherwise your icings will mix together, and you will be swearing and throwing a fit, wishing that you would have.

While your brownies are in the freezer, start making your next batch of icing.

Ingredients for chocolate icing:

4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 Cups icing sugar
2 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

What to do:

  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then add the milk. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat.
  • Sift together cocoa and icing sugar. Blend into sugar mixture, and add vanilla.

This icing sets up f.a.s.t!

Remove your brownies from the freezer and start icing them from a corner and quickly making your way around the pan. If your icing starts to harden in your saucepan, simply place it back on the stove, and voila! it's smooth and spreadable again.

Once your brownies are all iced, cut them into squares and remove from pan. Remember, since you used parchment paper, your brownies will just slide on out! Store in an air tight container and enjoy :)

    They are best served heated in the microwave and enjoyed with a glass of milk. Delicious!

    Until next time..

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Stop peeing on my couch!

    Cats have always been a part of my life. I adore their cuddles, their friendly meows and their soothing purrs. Nothing is better than coming home from a hard day and having my kitties walk figure eights through my legs and look at me with loving stares.

    When things go bad with cats, however, it always seems like the end of the world, and you are left with the questions, why me? why my cat?

    My cat had been peeing literally everywhere for (what seemed almost every day, but was more weekly) the past four months. I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I automatically started to panic and dollar signs danced in my head as I Bing'ed every potential cause of this highly annoying problem.

    First thing first, we brought her in to the vet to run a series of tests - urinalysis, blood work, ultra sounds, you name it! We had to start with what would be the most obvious cause, kidney stones or bladder infection.

    All the results came back negative. This was great news, but also left us with the unanswered question.. Why is she doing this?

    I then began to be much more visual around the house and paying attention to her behaviour and where the pee was. I noticed that she would pee around any open area to the outdoors (windows, doors, and furniture around these areas).

    I also realized that there had been a new cat in the neighborhood that decided that this area was his turf, and had been jumping over on to our balcony and terrorizing my ladies through the sliding glass door.

    I automatically put two and two together. My little lady was being territorial and spraying, trying to tell this cat to F-off and that this was ours and only our territory. I know what you are thinking, a female cat that sprays? Yes. I know, I was surprised too. I had never before heard of a female cat spraying.

    We literally tried everything to deter this horrible nuisance, from blocking off all the windows with cardboard, to buying anti-feline spray to deter her from her usual marking spots (one being peeing on our $2000 couch.. yeaaaa).

    Absolutely nothing was successful.

    I had a lot of "encouraging suggestions" that maybe I should get rid of my cat. No. That was in no way an option. When you take on the responsibility of owning a pet, you are also agreeing to all the headaches they come with, let that be large vet bills, ruined furniture, pooh, pee or vomit. EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. If you are not willing to deal with all the headaches that comes with owning a pet, then don't get one.It's as simple as that. Pets are for life.

    After many sleepless nights and crying episodes from finding yet another pee spot on the couch, we have finally solved the problem. Perhaps it is just luck, but I like to think that I played a role in stopping this horrendous behaviour.

    So, how did we do it? First thing, get rid of the problem ie. the "other" cat. I got so pissed off one day when he jumped over to our balcony, that I chased the damn thing away and down the alley way throwing rocks to scare him away for good (calm down animal activists, I wasn't throwing rocks AT him). Next, my little lady now sleeps in the bathroom at night with a little beddie, food, water and a litter box. And honestly? She loves it. Every single night, she runs to the bathroom, jumps in her beddie and starts kneading the feather blanket as if she is getting ready for bed. She loves her "room." Also, whenever I leave the house, I now put a blanket on the couch. So now when I come home, I come home to my kitty sleeping on the couch, opposed to peeing on it.

    Hopefully no one else is suffering from this same problem. And if you are, hopefully my story has been able to aid you in solving your dilemma. I know it is hard, and sometimes the idea of kicking our pets to the curb seems like a good idea at them time, but there is always a solution. If a cat is capable of starting something, they are more than capable of stopping. Patience is a virtue people! Patience, patience, patience.

    Until next time..

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Cream of Broccoli Soup

    With the cold weather pressing against us, it's not surprising that I have been very busy in the kitchen lately with both baking and cooking.

    Soup is one of those things that is both wholesome and necessary for this time of the year. It's amazing how a bowl of hot, hearty soup can warm you from head to toe after a day out in the chilly air.

    This week, I decided to veer from my usual turkey and rice soup, and instead went with one of my favorites, cream of broccoli; any cream soup, really, is just simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

    So, here you have it!

    What you need

    2 Tbsp Butter
    1 Chopped Onion
    1 Clove Garlic (or more if you'd like)
    1 Stalk Celery, Chopped
    3 Cups Chicken Broth
    8 Cups Broccoli florets (basically fill a produce bag. Don't panic if you do not exactly have 8 cups)

    3 Tbsp Butter
    3 Tbsp Flour
    2 Cups Milk
    Ground black pepper
    Grated Cheddar Cheese

    What you do

    Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a soup pot, and add onion and celery. Sautee until veggies are soft. Add chicken broth and broccoli, cover, and let simmer until broccoli is tender, approximately 10 minutes.

    Pour into blender. This step will take a little bit of patience. Only fill the blender half way, making sure that you have both broccoli and broth. Hold down lid with a folded tea towel so you don't burn your fingies! Pulse a few times before fully blending the green monster. Blend into desired consistency. Since you are blending in portions, have a large mixing bowl to put the blended soup in to.

    Wash or rinse out soup pot you used to cook up this deliciousness and put back on stove over medium heat and essentially make a roux. Melt 3 Tbsp of butter, and then add 3 Tbsp flour. Mix until smooth and bubbly. Add milk 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until thickened. Add broccoli concoction to this creamy goodness.

    Et Voila!

    Serve with ground pepper, salt and a generous amount of grated cheddar cheese.

    NOTE: The color of the soup is a lot more green than most cream of broccoli soups. Don't freak out, you didn't do anything wrong. I think Campbell's Soup has permanently ruined our view of what real soup should look like.
    Recipe easily doubles, and freezes nicely :)

    Original recipe taken from here

    Until next time..

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    The death of me

    There are days when I am absolutely unproductive, and by unproductive I mean that I genuinely. do. nothing.

    Today was one of those days. I woke up with good intentions: I had a plan to clean around the apartment and possibly bake cookies. Then I turned on the TV. Ultimate fail. I pretty much parked my butt on the couch and watched show after show all freaking day.

    There are times when I wish that we didn't have television during the week. I could get so much done. Take today for example, I could have cleaned, baked, and caught up with school work before the weekend. Could have, would have, should have.

    Of course I never would get rid of the ever so loved television because I just so happen to be obsessed with some of the new programming on. Five shows that I simply adore are Ringer, 9O21O, Grey's Anatomy, The Amazing Race and CSI. These shows keep my sane and allow me to have something to look forward to during the passing weeks.

    I have been having a hard time connecting with my school schedule this term. I am taking a second half English course, and I am certain it will be the death of me. The upside? This is the last humanities course that I will ever have to take for the rest of my life. This course, however, cannot be over soon enough. I am sick of writing essays, sick of doing research on topics such as Gender Theory, and just sick of hearing what others thought of a gay-fantasia play. I am definitely a science and math student. Humanities can suck it.

    It's amazing how many people share my same feelings about English. We had a discussion at the beginning of the semester on why we thought English was a requirement for every single program and what we thought about this requirement. Lets just say that everyone was in agreement that we thought it was a waste of time and money. This is a sad statement, but it's the truth. Why exactly is it a requirement? I know that we all have to know how to use proper grammar and how to write essays. I get that. But what I don't get, is why we must spend countless hours reading and talking about how we felt about our readings. Sounds more like a shrink session if you ask me.

    But whatever. C'est la vie. I guess it's just something that I will have to get over in this long journey in becoming a doctor. It better be worth it.

    Until next time..

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    Shut the hell up

    Sometimes people need to shut their faces and mind their own business.

    I am so sick and tired of people telling me that dental school is "hard to get into." Do you honestly think that I don't already know this little tid bit of information?! Look, I know it's "hard to get into," and it really doesn't help my situation, or my confidence, to remind me of it.

    I have pretty much narrowed people's ignorance down to the fact that they are just simply jealous. I am sorry that you are not happy in your own pathetic life, or job for that matter, that you have to bring me down. I cannot help the fact that you didn't go to school to better yourself, and if you did go to school, that you didn't choose the right field, or were too lazy to spend extra time in school to be in a better program.

    Why all this frustration all of a sudden, you ask? Well let me tell you. Yesterday was "info night" at my college. I had just gotten out of my English class and decided to see what it was all about.. and to enter into their draw to win $500 towards tuition. I am drawn to anything teeth, so I am automatically drawn towards to the Dental Hygiene booth and Denturist booth. They ask me if I am planning on applying for their programs, and I say no and explain what I am actually going for, a dentist. The next thing that comes out of their mouths astonishes me: They tell me that I need to be in the 90 percential to even be considered into top instituions, and they inform me of the price (DO THEY HONESTLY THINK I DO NOT KNOW THIS CRAP!?!?). They then go on to tell me that their program is cheaper and it takes less time.. duh, because in the end I won't have a "Dr." infront of my name!
    I just honestly could not believe their response to me. No "good luck, you'll do great," just a bunch of discouragement to get me to enter their program. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the people that build our futures. They are our educators, and they are discouraging us.

    I've encountered this problem before with other people, people that aren't important. Usually people that I have worked with in the past (again, jealousy) and random customers that I have delt with in the past while working in the sales industry. But to have this response from an educator just baffles me. I wish I would have said something, but I am always so taken back from their responses that I just stand there starting at them, wondering if I really just heard what they truely said.

    So, word of advice. Do NOT tell students, or anyone for that matter, that they cannot make it. You have no idea what that individual is capable of. Also, you have no idea whether or not that ignorant comment you just made was enough to destroy that persons dream because they were already having doubts. Simply keep your mouth shut of your oh-so lame ass comments, and instead give a welcoming smile and tell them that they can do anything they set their mind to.

    Until next time..

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Technology nightmares

    For the past month or so, I had been having insane computer problems; the internet was slow, pages wouldn't scroll down, my firewall kept disabling, the list goes on. During the past week, it got beyond bad. I couldn't even go on Facebook (Gasp!) without having to refresh the browsing page because it was running so damn slow.

    So, today, I decided to get down to business and figure out what in God's green earth was going on. I did everything. I started off by running a full scan. Two hours later, I had to clean out the disk drive and perform a disk defragmenter thing, you know, and all that jazz. After all that was finished, about an hour later, I had to update my computer. That nasty ass update took three hours (?!). So now I am thinking that I must have had some sort of luck in fixing my computer. No dice. My antivirus is now yielding a huge red "X" and saying that my computer is at risk. Whattttttttt.

    Praise the Lord that I have a smart phone, and thus have access to the almighty internet, so I go researching as to what to do next. To my astonishment, I find out that my antivirus program is the down right culprit. Ohhh the irony. Apparently, in 2000, the owner of the once fabulous antivirus program, McAfee, had decided to sell his company and from there it went all down hill. People are having problems left, right and center with this damn program, and it even makes up its own viruses. Lovely.

    So, on I go to uninstall this "antivirus" protection. All these warnings pop up that say, "WARNING! You are disabling necessary antivirus protection and exposing your computer to threats." Pffffft.. as long as I am done with your ass, I don't see this being an issue. I click the "proceed to uninstall" button and voila! my computer is working like it did when I opened it up from its packaging back on Christmas day.

    Lesson of the day, do not, and I repeat not, buy or use McAfee antivirus protection. I have never had so many problems in my technological life. Don't be a cheap ass (like I was being) and just stick with what works. ie. Norton.

    Until next time..