Friday the 13th is Coming; Let’s Hope We Don’t Fail Our Exams Because of It

Be proud of me, I actually came up with this topic a week in advance. I figure since Friday the 13th was today (not while I’m writing this but theoretically you’re seeing it on Friday the 13th), let’s do some fun facts about the day, shall we? History and fun facts of Friday the 13th!

A few sources I’ve looked at seem to think that a possibility of us viewing the day as unlucky started in biblical times. The crucifixion of Jesus m i g h t  have been on  a Friday, and there were 13 people at the table for the Last Supper. And it seems that 13 has always been bad joojoo, because I guess 13 people at the dinner table was a bad omen. Jesus should’ve been one person more selective in his invite list I guess.

After that, there’s not really any historical reason for Friday the 13th to be bad luck. And considering the only historical reasoning is religious reasoning, I’m not sure it can be really credible (no offense to those who are religious of course, I just wouldn’t take an extra dinner guest to mean a whole day is ruined in modern day culture). So it seems that Friday the 13th is more of a pop culture phenomenon. In 1907, a book Friday, the Thirteenth, written by Thomas William Lawson was published, which is the first I can find after biblical days that actually mentions the day. And I couldn’t find much on the book, but it seems that it wasn’t even a scary story, because what I saw about it was just that a dude bet on superstitions regarding Friday the 13th when investing in stock, and made a bunch of money. So I would’ve thought it’d be a g o o d day in our books.

Then, the next scary mention of the day comes a few decades later, with the film Friday the 13th,  released in 1980, directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. That classic horror film with Jason and his mask just slashing people (that I’ve actually always been too scared to watch because ya boi can’t sit through horror movies to save her life). So again, everything makes it seem as though the day is unlucky just because we decided it should be. I feel like I remember sitting in elementary school classes on Friday the 13th and thinking I would fail tests or whatever I was afraid of back then. But now that I’m old and have like, things to do, I don’t even notice when the day is until like a week later when I look at a calendar and go “h u h.” So that’s kind of cool to me, that I guess the more recent generations were just like “wow this seems like a spooky day. It must, this movie and book mentioned that it was. No I didn’t actually r e a d the book, but I bet you it was a horror story. It’s called Friday, the Thirteenth for Christ’s sake!”

So, that’s about all I have. Everything you know about this day being scary is malarky. Though, in my opinion, I think the day is scary, because I’m pretty sure my mechanics professor had an exam on Friday the 13th once, and honestly that class was so horrifying. So yeah, it can be a spooky day I guess. Or is that just a concept I made in my head because of some delusion imprinted on me at a young age? WHO KNOWS???

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Book Review: “One More Thing” by B.J. Novak

Okay, so in another attempt to procrastinate and avoid all my responsibilities, I was dusting. A new low. Anyway, I found this book that I bought literally a year ago because I read two paragraphs that were hysterical. The lines were:

“‘And that’s the puzzling thing about dark matter,’ said the scientist at the end of our planetarium tour. ‘It makes up over ninety percent of our universe, and yet nobody knows what it is!’

People on the tour chuckled politely, like Wow, isn’t that a fun fact?

But I looked closer at the scientist, and I could tell something from the smirky little smile on his fat smug face:

[He] knew exactly what dark matter was.

And this is what drew me completely and utterly into the book. To me, this is such a gorgeous writing style. The book is titled, as the name of my article so helpfully suggests: One More Thing by B.J. Novak. People might recognize this name by his work in “The Office” where he was a producer, writer, and actor. I don’t watch a whole lot of TV so I didn’t know this about him, but reading only a little of this book, this guy is obviously hilarious. The book is a collection of short stories that I am slowly working through because, despite being unwilling to admit it, I am actually insanely busy and don’t have time to read like I did in high school. Even when I had time to read, I usually read fantasy fiction stuff, because I always found it more interesting. But the well written insights about humanity that Novak manages to convey in 1-7 pages per short story, delivered through sarcasm or ridiculous scenarios, are honestly fantastic.

The first short story, I thought, was the best rendition of The Tortoise and the Hare story that I have ever read. Titled The Rematch, it is essentially a follow-up about where the tortoise and the hare are in life. The Hare is described in the very first page of the book, with the paragraph:

“The hare gained weight, then lost weight; turned to religion, then another less specific religion. The hare got into yoga; shut himself indoors on a self-imposed program to read all the world’s greatest novels; then traveled the world; then did some volunteer work. Everything helped a little bit, at first; but nothing really helped. After a while, the hare realized what the simplest part of him had known from the beginning: he was going to have to rematch the tortoise.”

If you don’t find comedy in that, you have no soul. This was so funny because you hear stories like this all the time. Someone does bad on an exam, and they decide to “get their lives back together” by meditation, or turning to Buddhism, or going on some self-fulfilling quest to make all of Julia Child’s dishes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And even just the way it was written, with all of the semicolons and bouncy sort of diction you get when you say it out loud (which I did because I thought it was so funny that I had to tell my mom and sister) added to the humor of it. And the stories end kinda interestingly too, where you get weird little insights on life and stuff. That first excerpt I had, from the story Dark Matter actually ended kind of sweet, and it made me appreciate people a little bit, because it showed the complete thought process of someone and how that person viewed other people. So, if you wanna read like a very funny book, One More Thing is definitely a good option.

School? I’d Rather Talk About Cookies.

Hello friends, it seems another semester has started and I am already tired. I am horrifically busy this semester so I had to make a schedule and it’s gross. So to forget my woes I am going to discuss the history of cookies, because cookies are cute and who doesn’t want to know how the cookie came into this world.

Apparently the first “cookies” were little portions of cake batter, which were baked to test the temperature of ovens. These were called “koekje” in Dutch, which translates to “little cake.” Back in the olden days, when sugar was a rare delicacy (7th century), it was traded from it’s originating area in Southeast Asia to 7th century Persia (now Iran). Then it spread to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. By the 14th century you could buy little wafers (so cookies!) in Paris. Of course it was Paris , I expect nothing less from them in aiding to the creation of cookies. Then by 1596 some basic cookie recipes were making their way into cookbooks, one being the Goode Huswife’s Jewel that contained a recipe for “fine cakes.” These fine cakes were essentially a spiced cookie (cloves and mace, which is like nutmeg), that were made richer with egg yolks.

Jump to 1796, and the first cookbook that actually had a recipe for something by the name of “cookie” came into existence. The book was  American Cookery: or, The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Puff-pastes, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and all kinds of Cakes, from the Imperial Plumb to plain Cake. Catchy name. Really rolls off the tongue. (Literally this kinda offended me, like I assumed the name was gonna just be “Huswife” or something again, why would you include literally everything your book talks about in the title l i k e I’m busy I don’t need to read your novel of a title to figure out it’s a cook book, and t h e n read the actual book to find a recipe. I bet the recipe’s are just as wordy. ‘Take the shelled pre-life of a chicken and smash it against the side of a bowl as if it insulted your mother’ ~ crack an egg. It’s just silly man, but I digress). So, this book has too recipes for cookies, one called “Cookie”, and one called “Christmas Cookey” which I assume if you make on any other occasion that is not Christmas, the author of the book will come to your door and punch you in the face. I’m actually going to include one of the recipes, because this cookbook is supposedly the first one written and published by the United States, and the language is really funny to see written down:

Christmas Cookery – To three pound of flour, fprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander feef, rub in one pound of butter, and one and half pound fugar, diffolve one tea fpoonful of pearlath in a tea cup of milk, kneed all together well, roll three quarter of an inch thick, and cut or ftamp into fhape and fize you pleafe, bake flowly fifteen or twenty minutes; tho’ hard and dry at firft, if put in an earthern pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, fofter and better when fix months old.”

I really like how it seemed they just replaced half of the letters with “f”, most prominently the letter “s.” Gave me a chuckle reading it.

So I guess that’s where I’m ending the history of cookies. Late 1700’s was when the first patented named “cookie” came to be, so that seems like a good place to settle. The main source I used was this website, if you would like to read about the full details. Hope your semester is going well, and if you want to tell me about other fun cookie facts, feel free to comment. I always like cookie facts.peanut-butter-chocolate-chunk-cookies-580x380

Finals got us all sad man

Sup. I’m tired, finals make me tired. I’ve actually done well this semester and the realization that you can get a D when you’ve been getting A’s on exams is like, horrifying ain’t it? But anyway, I’ll talk about more cooking YouTubers today, cause I’ve been watching a lot of them.

The Happy Pear is a pair of twins who cook on YouTube, but after googling them they also seem to have a shop where you can buy things like pesto, and I guess a cafe in a farm. Honestly, wish I had the motivation to do any of that. Here’s their website if you’re interested:

https://thehappypear.ie/about/

I suppose they’re interested in making the world a healthier place, which is pretty cool. I like watching them because again, they’re in the category of people who make vegan food that actually looks tasty, instead of being a giant bowl of quinoa with like a l i t t l e bit of mustard for flavor, and claiming it’s a “hearty fall dish” like no, it’s not it’s gonna be bland. Right now The Happy Pear is doing this “12 days of Christmas” series, and they’re making all this gorgeous looking food, like a roast “beef” made of vital wheat gluten and mushrooms that was stuffed with a “sausage” stuffing (also made of mushroom and couscous), or something I preferred which was a roasted butter nut squash with a nice lentil stuffing. Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan of a nice homemade seitan (that’s what the vital wheat gluten mix is, I think I wrote about a time my sister made it at some point, if ya’ll wanna check), but I kind of just like vegetable/vegetarian dishes to be about the vegetables. I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I just enjoy food in general, and seeing a nice looking roasted squash with a tomato based lentil stew seemed like a gorgeous main dish option if you were so inclined (I was never really a big fan of a roasted turkey or ham anyway, I feel like they can get too dry if you’re not careful, and u g h being careful is tiring. Hard to mess up a roasted squash). So, I recommend watching these two if you’re interested, I like em.

For someone less serious, but very very entertaining: You Suck at Cooking is a great option. He makes good looking food. Sometimes. But really he’s just entertaining in sometimes a witty with words or editing way, and sometimes just plain old stupid humor, like just randomly doing an entire episode in a British accent because he’s making a dish that happens to be the national dish of England. (Here’s that episode if you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_iMlwkzwow). Honestly, everything he posts is golden I always look forward to seeing updates from him. He had this whole egg series, where he animated a few eggs into an elaborate murder mystery, which was funny and I also recommend. I don’t watch him to learn new cooking techniques, or to get inspiration for a recipe, but he’s one of my favorite cooking channels to watch.

That’s all for now I guess; I gotta study for exams. Bye! Good luck with your endeavors.

I’m Never Going to Not be Excited for Thanksgiving Break

I feel like Rutgers should give more Fall Recesses, just saying. I love learning, don’t get me wrong, but I just want a nap.

Anyways, I’m excited for Thanksgiving. I think last year I wrote about a seitan turkey replacement my sister made, and how cool that was, because she essentially made a meat substitute out of a sponge. So, I’ll talk about the food I want to make this year, because I’m always super excited to cook for the holiday.

Now, I watch a lot of people cook on YouTube, which I mentioned a bit before (Maangchi is still the love of my life I promise). Recently I’ve started watching this channel called Hot for Food (here’s their blog link, because even though I’m not endorsing them, they do have a delightful bank of recipes that you guys can look at if you’re so inclined: https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/welcome” . This is a vegan cooking blog/channel, and honestly it’s the best one I’ve seen. I watch a bunch of others occasionally, and all the food they make looks so d u l l. It’s upsetting man. Like I saw someone make a fall “grain bowl” and it was literally a giant bowl of quinoa with some sad looking pan fried Brussels sprouts and a small amount of a mustard sauce they made, and no way can that actually be a tasty meal, Imma be real with you. That seems to be what a lot of people think vegan cooking is, but it can be really nice. Hot for Food does it really nice. My sister told me like months ago she trusts these people with her life (we make their macaroni and “cheese” recipe a lot and it’s amazing, it uses softened cashews and nutritional yeast as the sauce and it’s really good), and after watching them a bit, I have to say, same. These people seem to understand cooking and balancing flavors to maximize taste of a vegan dish, and it’s so fun to watch.

I say this b e c a u s e I’m going to make two dishes from them for Thanksgiving, and I’m super excited. Idk about you but honestly, the turkey was never my favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal, the sides always had much more flavor. So, we’re just doing away with that this year, and I’m going to make what Lauren (the women in their YouTube videos), calls a Thanksgiving Vegan Roast (here’s the video for this recipe if you’d like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SNEly05Nmg). This seems so cool because it’s like a leftover sandwich, as your meal. But instead of bread, they use puff pastry, so it’s fancy. I’m actually interested on what vegan puff pastry is, because traditionally it puffs due to a bunch of layers of butter in between a flour based dough, so when the butter melts and steams, it lifts and separates the layers, giving you a “puff”. But I know vegan versions exist because we’ve used them before, I just don’t know how they work. If someone does tell me, I’d think it’d be really cool. Anyway, yeah, fancy sandwich, filled with mashed, spiced sweet potato, a lentil and mushroom mix, and a cranberry apple sauce. I’m probably going to do the cranberry sauce differently, because we have a recipe we love that we’ve been using for years  (super easy, a bag of fresh cranberries, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, water, if you like a jalapeno, and a metric ton of sugar it’s crazy, and you just boil that forever until the cranberries open and it’s thick and delicious. I’ll just add chunks of apple to that). So I’m excited to try that.

We’re also making (from the same blog, because like I said I trust these people with my life), a “Hazelnut Torte” (link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujNE1J_D9Kw), which is a cake made with more crushed hazelnuts than flour, and it has mocha flavors in it (mocha is coffee and chocolate, in case you’re not a coffee addict or something), with a coconut whipped cream as it’s icing. I think it’s fun cause it uses something called “aquafaba” as it’s rising agent, as opposed to eggs. What is aquafaba? It’s bean water. How crazy is that. Either cook chickpeas, and it’s the water you cooked the beans in, or drain a can of chickpeas and it’s that water you usually rinse down the sink cause of sodium. And it foams, how cool is that?! Like, I’ve used it for things and it looked exactly like meringue, it was the coolest thing of my life. I checked a few sources, and I’m notoriously bad at googling information so maybe I’m wrong and they do know, but from what I can t e l l they don’t exactly know why the aquafaba foams just like egg whites would. The water has plenty of protein after cooking the beans, much like an egg white, so that’s a fair bet, but what exactly in the substance makes it behave the way it does is unknown. Whatever it is, it’s cool though. So this cake is made with aquafaba and more nut than flour, and has coffee and chocolate and it looks delicious, so I’m making it.

Then the less interesting stuff, I’ll do a fresh spinach salad because it’ll be a meal of roasted vegetation, and freshness is nice. Probably mashed potato because my sister demands it (she’ll be the one making it anyway she does it better than me, the jerk), and what I’m actually a bit excited for is trying out a vegan brown gravy. I figure soy sauce will be the most prominent ingredient? Who knows though.

So yeah, guess that’s all I was excited about lately. I did well on my midterms so far, so that’s nice. Hope you guys did well too, have a fun break when it finally comes. If you make anything fun and want to tell me, please tell me, I like comments, they’re fun. Bye!

Procrastination Nation

If you can figure out how to sing the title to the tune of “Conjunction Junction” do it, it’ll be funnier; I tried to sit here for like 10 seconds working that out, but kind of gave up on it. I’m sure the creative-minded can do it.

HEY GUYS ANOTHER YEAR OF SCHOOL ANOTHER YEAR OF FAILURES AM I RIGHT? Nah you’re probably doing fine, just like, don’t procrastinate like me. That blog post by Akhila, when they said “I overextended myself and my GPA suffered and I’m still trying to recover,” take that advice to heart man. I feel. Ditto.

That being said, guess who overextended themselves again. I’m doing a job like 8 hours a week, research like 8-10 hours a week, 17.5 credits, it’s maddening. I mean I like doing all of it, I just hope I can actually do it. That, plus I have a major procrastination problem. I’m usually better about work and research, I procrastinate significantly less because for those things other people depend on me and such. But my homework??? Work I don’t want to do, and put off to watch people online cook instead. And I happened to make a vegan shepherd’s pie yesterday, while I was procrastinating on doing my quantum physics homework. So, I’m just gonna tell you how I made it, and honestly I would love it if you guy’s left comments on what you would do differently. Seeing and hearing different culinary techniques I live for (I used to want to be a chef, for probably 10 years of my life, before I made a h a r d left into the world of astrophysics, which then turned into experimental high energy particle physics after being a research assistant for a professor in that field).

SO, my sister is vegan. Honestly, I like vegan food more than she does, we were all shocked when she became vegan. Her favorite food used to be chicken nuggets. But she watched a sad cow video, and she won’t eat meat anymore. She’ll eat like, wild caught tuna because it’s not so bad to the fish I guess, so maybe more pescetarian on a technicality.  But, this digression was here for the sole purpose of saying; this is a vegan shepherd’s pie.  For those of y’all “in the know”, a shepherd’s pie is a meat stew (using either ground beef or ground lamb, and honestly I would’ve gone for lamb. Veeerrryy not vegan friendly, but I’m not vegan, and it would give a great richness, and a much more complex flavor than beef due to the gameier flavor that lamb has. I think it’s a bit more traditional as well, multiple sources online seem to believe that this was a dish made from roast dinner leftovers) and topped with mashed potato, then baked in the oven. A nice and hearty winter dish, that I made on a hot day in September (but it’s fine. I had the AC on and didn’t go outside, so I can pretend. Idk what y’all who live in dorms without air conditioning do honestly, bless ur souls).  Anyway, this is how I made a vegan version of a very meaty dish:

Of course the first step is cutting up potatoes and boiling them. Honestly, just make mashed potatoes however you want, I’ve seen people bake potatoes, then peel them and mash them up with cream and butter because they’re drier and absorb the fat and cream better, which makes a lot of sense. But boiling is traditional and quicker, so. I peeled and boiled potatoes, then went on to making the “meat” stew. You start any stew by sweating aromatic vegetables. These are veggies that fragrance the dish, and are pretty classic to use in essentially any food that cooks a while, be it stew, soup, porridge, what have you. You could use a whole mirepoix (a fancy french term for diced onion, carrot, and celery). That’s your traditional French base for a whole load of food. Or you could go with The Holy Trinity, which is Creole cooking, where you replace the celery with green bell pepper (my preferred one, because I dieted once in high school by eating only celery for lunch and now hate celery with a burning passion). Though, I just went with onion and carrot, but I used a lot of onion because I love the sweetness it gives. So, sauteed a relatively fine diced onion and carrot mixture in olive oil until soft (you could also go to brown, that will enhance the sweetness because you’ll start caramelizing the natural sugars in the vegetables), then threw in a bunch of minced garlic. I love garlic so I do a boat load. Up to you on the level of garlic, I wouldn’t do less than like, mmmmm, three fat cloves?

You don’t cook garlic too long ever. Just until you can smell it. If you burn the garlic, the whole thing’s ruined forever, it gets too bitter. Don’t even let it brown. That’s why it goes in after the rest of the veggies are soft. Then I put in some tomato past and let that brown up for probably a minute. Next, chuck in your vegan soy crumbles. Mmmmmmm, soy crumbles. It’s honestly not so bad. If you heat them and spice them up, they taste perfectly fine, I think. Don’t expect them to taste like real meat, though. Never go into a vegan recipe with the expectation of tasting like it’s non vegan counter part, you’re always going to be disappointed then. Just enjoy food for what it is. (What I really would’ve loved to do, would be take a bunch of mushrooms. I’m talking like 3-4 pounds. Cutting those up to a medium dice, and use those instead of the soy crumbles. It’ll cook down to like half it’s size I think mushroom is a great alternative to meat, but my sister hates them so only me and my mom would eat the whole pie. But, if you’re actually vegetarian or something, and want to try this recipe, be my guest, tell me how it goes, that would be my preferred method to veganize this dish). Saute the soy crumbles for a little bit, then add a spoonful of flour. This will combine with the oil in your saute, and make kind of a roux, which will thicken your stew when you add liquid to it. Though it’s important to cook the flour a bit after you’ve added it, otherwise your stew will just taste like raw flour, and if you’ve ever eaten plain flour it’s disgusting.

Flour’s cooked, now add your liquid. I added water instead of a vegetable stock, which is what I would ordinarily use. However, I wanted to add water because I knew I was going to flavor the stew with miso and soy sauce. Mmmm, I do this to a lot of vegetarian dishes, not just Japanese cooking. I do this because it adds a way more complex flavor than just salt, and for something vegetarian you need the added flavor from something. Ordinarily it’s the browning of meat, and meat already has a kind of complex flavor, especially lamb or a stewing beef like you’d use in this dish. But, veggies. So, I like the combination of miso and soy sauce (if I had used the mushrooms I d e f i n i t l e y would’ve used soy sauce, it adds an “umami” flavor, which is a word I hate by the way because I don’t think that fifth umami taste actually exists. Taste is a combination of four-five flavors and scents in case you didn’t know, there are flavor receptors on your tongue that react to sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. Spice is actually produced by capsaicin, which binds to taste receptors and sends the signal of spice, or pain or whatever, to your brain. It’s not a flavor. Some people say umami is the fifth flavor. Hogwash I say. But I’m not a neuro scientist so it’s just my opinion. But whatever, soy sauce and mushroom provides an amazing depth of flavor when combined, almost meaty like). So, added in the water, soy sauce, miso, then other spices (mine were chipotle powder for smokiness, black pepper, salt, garlic and onion powder, turmeric cause it’s healthy apparently, and probably others idk, add what you like. I used a tiiiny bit of cinnamon actually, it adds a subtle sweetness and a complex thing again). Then I added apple cider vinegar, to brighten up the stew with some acid, and let that thicken along with some frozen corn I added to warm up. Had I used meat I would’ve let it actually stew but it was soy so frick the rules. Then I finished it up with chopped herb: dill, parsley, and thyme.

The potato, my sister actually seasoned. She makes great mashed potatoes, idk what’s up. She used vegan butter, vegan milk (our’s was almond and coconut), and a bunch of salt and hot sauce and other nonsense. Flavor as desired of course.  Then you kind of just put all of the stew in a skillet that is oven safe, and all of the potatoes on top of that stew. Make a design on the potato, which is important not for presentation (I give literally no cares about how my food looks if I’m not cooking for anyone). You do design on top because it will have some peaks and what not, and the peaks will brown up and be a bit crispy, and that will add more to the flavor because it’s all technically caramalization. I baked it for 20 minutes at 350.

Results: decent. What I would’ve changed is I would’ve added frozen peas as well as the corn. I would’ve used a few mushrooms if I could. I probably would’ve baked it longer, honestly I’d go like twice the time I think. I might’ve used some cilantro and lemon zest as well, add a bit more freshness. What I’m most regretful of is not adding a splash of red wine along with the water; there are alcohol soluble flavors in tomato that I’m sure would’ve added to the complexity of the flavor of this.

Now idk, this was a pretty long post, it may have bore you. I just love thinking about the flavors of food and how they work together. You could make a simpler version of this fit for a dorm I bet, since a lot of you probably do dorm. Like, just ground beef, an onion, water, mashed potatoes, salt, pepper, peas for nutrition because I hear stories about no one eating vegetables when they dorm and it terrifies me. Pretty simple. If any of you like to cook, please tell me, I would probably really enjoy just talking about food I make on this blog actually. I talk about complex flavors a lot, and they’re all subtle things no one really detects, but contributes to the whole dish to make it go from bland to flavorful. So, thanks for listening, if you made it past 1500 words good job I applaud you.

Also, just a quick shout out; I love seeing comments and likes because I rarely get any, and thanks to Zazzy, who’s the only person I’ve seen to leave a comment, and francoise47 who likes literally everything I write. Y’all make me smile. If you have requests for me to write about something specific tell me and I’ll do it, I like you guys. That is all, peace out, enjoy the start of your semester.

Let’s do Another Music Ramble I Guess

I’ve been like, way busier this summer than one should ever be in a summer pls send help save my soul SOS. Well, that’s not to say I don’t like it. I’ve been doing research over the summer for the physics department, and I’m doing the same job I did last summer, which is another job within the physics department, and I gotta say, it’s all really fun and I’m quite enjoying myself. But I’m tiiiiiirrrrreeeeddd. With these two jobs, and socializing, and my old sad computer died like a week ago so I had to rush out and drop one thousand dollars on a new computer that night so I could continue to do my job, I’ve been busy, and I get stressed easily. So I’ve been listening to music. Which I did anyway but hey, it’s like the only thing I do in my free time (socializing isn’t free time, it takes too much energy, it’s basically a job). So y’all are getting another music list from me. But this time: PLAY ADDITION. For some reason I got stupidly into two musicals, which I’ve never even watched but I listened to the songs and now I keep listening to them, so I’m forcing my opinions onto you.

Be More Chill:

is is like, a cute musical. Kind of sad stuff happens sometimes, some character’s get sad, but that’s most stories ever so, eh. Be More Chill was actually a book by Ned Vizzini, and it’s a Sci-Fi where super computers go bad. Shocking. A worn out trope, but kind of a fun spin on it because it’s basically a high school drama meet’s sci-fi thing which is kind of funny. Anyway, the musical. The music was written by Joe Iconis and I love all of the songs. “More than Survive” is a really catchy eight minute piece, with dialogue and fun, upbeat, techno sounding instrumental portions. “The Squip Song” is just all around funny; the story is a once loser, turned cool kid, is trying to convince a current loser to buy a squip, which will make him cool. The song is very much not cool, it’s just a kid screaming about ridiculous technology, which is amazing. “Two Player Game” is an adorable song about the main character and his best friend, both losers, who are sticking it through high school together and it’s all good because “IT’S A TWO PLAYER GAAAAAMMMMEEE!” Then my favorite song, “Micheal in the Bathroom.” This song, man. It’s so pretty, and it’s really sweet in a sad way. It’s the main character’s best friend, singing about how he lost his best friend to the technology that’s trying to make him cool. I just kind of love the actor, George Salazar; he’s precious, and has the voice of an angel (if you want to laugh, listen to him sing the song “Calculus,” not from the play but just out there on YouTube). This whole play, in my opinion, is adorable and I really like the music so I highly recommend 10/10.

Dear Evan Hansen:

This is actually a current Broadway Play, and while I again have not seen the actual play, the story sounds interesting and the music is really really good. The play was written by Steven Levenson, and the music composed by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It’s essentially a story of suicide, and people dealing with that type of thing. Like I said, I didn’t really watch it, I just thought it sounded cool and read the Wikipedia article about it. So, I don’t know what to say without actually spoiling the story other than that. But the music in this play. It’s all beautiful man. I really, sincerely suggest listening to the songs. “Sincerely Me” is funny, light-hearted, and really fun to listen to. The whole song is two boys writing emails, and the stories they make up. Another song, which is actually the song that made me start listening to this play, is “You Will Be Found.” This is a gorgeous piece about not giving up hope in tough times, with a full chorus bit, and it sounds really lovely. However, my favorite song from this play is “Waving Through a Window.” I mostly like this song because the singer, Ben Platt, has a beautiful voice. It’s so full and rich, and really shines in this song. It’s a song about people feeling loneliness, but it’s not overly sad, with a very melodic and light tone to it. If you listen to any of the song’s I’ve mentioned today, listen to “Waving Through a Window.”

Well, I guess that’s it. I had fun rambling about music again. I hope y’all enjoyed my nonsense mutterings as well. Do you have any songs you’d recommend? (Side Note, if any of you guys are into play music as well, I haven’t properly listened to Hamilton, I just heard some song’s in passing, but I did quite enjoy them. Maybe songs you like from that play?) HAVE A GOOD DAY GUYS!

Rise In Collegiate Knowledge

I know I said I’d never write one of these, but midterms are happening for me (I have one that is literally tomorrow and I’ve barely studied for it beyond doing the homework for the class, but here I am writing an essay for the lovely, probably three total, people who read this. Yay procrastination) and I have literally nothing else to write. So, in the hopes that you won’t be a horrific procrastinator like me, let’s do….. A LIST OF STUDY TIPS!!!! Are ya quaking in your fricken boots from excitement? I know I sure am….. (hahah I’m dead inside let’s just get on with me attempting to tell you how to study).

  1. Never let yourself be caught by surprise by your exams. I’ve heard stories about people just, not knowing they had an exam until the day before. Don’t be like these people. That’s how stress happens. Also, make sure all of your equipment is with you for the actual exam. Pencils, calculators, formula sheets if you’re allowed them (again, I heard a story of a kid who forgot his formula sheet, went all the way back to his dorm to get it, then took the test in the remaining half period he had. #yolftch. (You only live for the cheat sheet, m8).
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  2. Gonna give yourself rewards for jobs well done. If I manage to focus on something for a full hour, I’ll  watch a youtube video. It makes life seem less depressing. You could reward yourself with food too; I’ll eat candy or something. The only reason I don’t usually reward myself with food is because I already eat like garbage anyway, so it’s really not much incentive to just eat more candy. Though a youtube video may be counter-productive, because then you get caught in the hell-hole that is youtube, never to be seen again until 10 minutes before your exam, but OH WELL.
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  3. Give yourself ample time to actually study. Maybe this is similar to bullet one, but I think it’s different in the sense that you know your exams are happening, yet you willingly let yourself procrastinate cause “Oh, I can make it.” My calculus grades may be questionable, but I’ve gotten so good at that crunch time study arithmetic, involving logarithms designed to take the time I have to get homework and studying done, plus time I have to ignore responsibilities — which increases exponentially as the day wears on — then again as the days (plural) pass. And I’ve calculated to the second the amount of sleep I can get if I study solidly through a few hours (plus goofing off on the internet time), at 3am the night before an exam. It’s honestly an art that only a college student (and possibly the particularly stressed out AP high school student) can perfect.
    math.jpgMy point: DON’T DO THIS. This is no way to live I hate myself when I’m taking an exam on exactly 1.5 hours of sleep, fueled only by my self-loathing (as caffeine doesn’t work for me. I’ve tried plenty.)  Just… just actually plan out your studying, please.
  4. You gotta be prepared for oddballs. My last intro level physics exam was weirdly hard. It wasn’t actually all that difficult (as I begrudgingly learned after I took the exam and realized a lot of stupid errors I made), but much harder than all the practice exams we were provided with prepared me for. So, I gritted my teeth during the exam, then whined like a child to my friends after the exam. What I SHOULD’VE DONE was plan for harder stuff. That way easy material would just come naturally. Don’t let yourself get shot in the foot, like my home boi harambe was shot down. He didn’t deserve it, he wasn’t ready. But you should be ready. After my pro tip article prepares you.
  5. Up-hold yourself to a high standard. I always tell my friends: aim super high. That way when you fall short, you haven’t plummeted into a ditch. Merely… face planted at ground level. Or the nicer saying: reach for the moon; if you miss you’ll still land among the stars (or something like that, though that honestly doesn’t sound that great as stars don’t seem all that comfortable to be on, no matter how glamorous they sound). If you can aim high and reach that high standard, power to you, you are a better person than I. However, I’m perfectly happy wallowing in the mud, so long as I haven’t dug myself into too deep a hole. I can always pick myself back up so long as I haven’t fallen too far.

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Or not.

So, there ya go. Study tips, a la Becky. Helpful? Possibly. Hopefully. If anything, I hope you hearing my failures and stories to try to study were at least amusing, and you can get a good “ahaha at least I’m not as bad as her” out of it. By the way….. notice anything about this post? Wanna….. read the first word of each of my pro-tips back for me?

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APRIL FOOLS, SUCKERS! While I do hope the post has been helpful, or comical at least, I have honestly been planning this elaborate Rick Roll for my April blog since, legit, I joined the blog. So…. since the summer I guess. I wanted to insert more memes in here but I honestly do have an exam I should study for, and therefore ran out of time to find the highest of quality memes to spam you with, but I hope this will do. Notice the title of this article, each first letter spells out RICK. That was my sister’s idea. Ah, foreshadowing. While you’re not reading this on April fools, let it be known I wrote this on April fools day, so I’m counting it. (If you’re interested, the best April Fools I received today was a friend telling me he loved me. What made it entertaining was my response, which I thought was solidly funny with a “#yikes.” Honestly, I’m a riot). Well, enjoy your day guys; safe studying.

I should really plan what I’m gonna write about before the day I decide to write these.

Idk man. I can’t plan. I have no schedule, I haven’t slept in my bed for a solid week because I ruined my schedule so much and I’m running on a 4 hours a night average. BUT Imma write a blog post anyway, all of mine are random regardless, so it’s chill. A friend mentioned that I could write about Greek Mythology so I’m totally gonna write about that. I used to be really into Greek Mythology when I was younger for some reason (it wasn’t just the Percy Jackson series I swear), so this’ll be a fun blast to the past.

I’m sure all of y’all know Zeus: God of the Sky, the king of the Gods, the Head Honcho, world’s thirstiest Commander in Chief, Big Zaddy Zeus, the Ancient Abs of the Greek (the last two names helpfully provided by my younger sister). He basically became God of the God’s by being lucky and winning at “draw sticks,” which is honestly super admirable and I applaud him. As a college student, lucking your way into being God of literally everything is, like, everything I aspire to do. Now I mentioned Zaddy Zeus was thirsty. This is very true, as he’s famous for the affairs he had, seemingly All. The. Time. This guy had no chill. One of my favorite affair stories he had was withIo. She was just a pretty girl who Zeus thought was hot, so he disguised himself as a cloud to….um……copulate….with…… her… I guess. I can’t write profanities here but imagine your own words. So, it’s a beautiful thing when cloud meets girl, they have a fun night,  Zeus’ wife is understandably jealous, and came down to see what was going on. There’s a couple ways the story goes, but my personal favorite is that jealous Hera (Zeus’ actual wife, not just one of his many flings) turns poor confused Io into a cow. That’s just, the ultimate petty. The Greek Gods are living for the #drama.

Then there’s Poseidon. God of the Sea, who shakes fear into the heart’s of those who defy them if they plan on traveling by sea; a force to be reckoned with indeed. And on top of that he’s lowkey the creator of the horse. Idk man, cause why not. I guess again this randomness came from the God’s desire to get with a hot chick (this time it was Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest) and she wanted a beautiful animal, so Poseidon, God of the Sea, just poofed up one of the fastest land animals. Sure. Why not. My favorite thing about Poseidon actually isn’t necessarily a random myth, I just love how petty he was in The Odyssey. Granted, I get it, Odysseus was super annoying. I have a friend who swears he’s a hero and she loves him to death, but I can’t stand the arrogant guy. I mean yeah, Poseidon can be kind of annoying by needing everyone to praise him for safe travel by sea before he wrecks their whole lives, but like… Odysseus stabbed Poseidon’s son in the eye, his ONLY eye, then bragged about it and shouted his name like he was king of the world. Um, no. Excuse you Odysseus. Take a seat. But anyway, I love that Poseidon’s reaction was essentially “Well you’re just gonna be lost at sea for ten years. Oh you stabbed my son in the eye? Let’s make it twenty, yeah that’s good.”

Last (well not really last, as there’s something like a million and twenty two point six Greek Gods, give or take) we have Hades. My poor bro. I relate most to Hades. In that game of draw sticks between Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, Hades drew worst and got stuck as God of the Underworld and Ruler of the Dead. Though honestly that sounds like an awesome power. What would you take? “Zeus: Oh I can blow some air around. Poseidon: Well I can slosh this glass of water over. Hades: Oh really? I’ll just summon the dead to fight for me.” Like, Hades really won. I guess it could get lonely though. Which is why my boi Hades essentially tricked Persephone (Demeter’s daughter — a good family blood line I guess, their fresh harvest milkshakes brought all the God’s to the yard) — into staying in the underworld and being his wife. Honestly, same Hades. It’s the only way I’m gonna get a date, man — kidnap the choice specimen and trick them into staying with me by feeding them food. (I’m joking, just so you know. I won’t kidnap people, FBI I promise, I’m just a small Jewish girl who has actual aspirations that I don’t want ruined cause I tried to be funny on an honors program blog. Pls).

So, those are the big three I guess. I think it’s interesting, and I barely even talked about a fraction of them. So if you want to look into them further, be my guest. It’s all really cool.

More Music Rambling

I never have anything exciting to write about on here. I don’t do anything, man. Like, I could get into the topic of that March for Life thing that’s happening this weekend, that I didn’t even know was a thing until two days ago, but frankly that sounds like a can of worms I don’t want to open because I’m not great at dealing with sensitive topics. (I mean if someone waaaants me to talk about a topic like that, tell me, because I do enjoy lively debates. It’s just I’d need to be cautious, and I doubt you care about my opinions on abortion anyway, cause why would you. But let me know, we got freedom of speech, yay ‘murica). SO I’m just gonna talk about music again, except less like a set list of recommendations, but more free form because I haven’t heard anything specific and new that I love (and I’m a lazy child).

This stems from me realizing you have to like, actually study for classes??? Shocking, I know. In high school I literally didn’t do anything outside of school and got A’s. College is harder apparently. I heard a statistic somewhere that even though the average IQ is 100, you need at least an IQ of 110 to do well in college. Don’t quote me because I very much could be wrong, I don’t even remember where I heard that fact, but if it’s true, how dare they set us up to fail like this; I’m personally offended. Anyway, my initial point in bringing up studying was: listening to music helps people study. Or it helps me at least. Took me two years to figure that out but we got here eventually, which is better than not getting there at all.

What do I listen to when I study you ask? For some reason it depends on the subject. Which I find ridiculous, because literally all my subjects are physics, but even between physics subjects I need to listen to different things, which is like, strange. But so be it, here’s how I break it down:

Mechanics (study of like, motion and stuff in physics. A lot of torque, a lot of things rolling down ramps)- death metal. I don’t listen to specific bands in particular, I usually google death metal compilations. Though if you want a band name, Dawn of Demise is usually decent for studying purposes. I don’t know why, it just works. Perhaps it’s a way to relieve the aggression I have for not understanding the physics of a wheel rolling down a ramp.

Thermal (study of temperature relating to heat/energy exchange and stuff)- dubstep. I can’t listen to metal for thermal. I have no clue why. But dubstep works weirdly well, and I focus on my textbook a lot more listening to it. I’ve been listening to compilations by the YouTuber Alex MTCH if you’re interested. I’m praying that now that I have the right music to help me focus on studying, I’ll end the semester with an A (hahaha… ha…. pls. I need the grade).

Literature classes- classical music. I feel like this is a common one. The way I got through my colloquium book (which wasn’t even a bad book, I just have a horrifically short attention span and with every sentence I read in 30 seconds, another 5 minutes was spent doing nothing but staring at a wall) was listening to stuff like Bach and Mozart.  All the reading core classes I took were spent listening to classical music, too. It’s always nice to listen to these types of pieces anyway.

Really, what’s most important is I can’t study with music that I can understand the words to. Cause then I’ll start singing along, and I lose all motivation of actually doing work. That’s why instrumental pieces or really fast screaming metal works the best. But that’s just me. Do y’all listen to anything while studying? Any suggestions? I don’t even know if you guys CAN comment, but if you can, suggestions are always nice.

Quick side note, my post became a list. Gosh darn. Here’s a physics pick up line to apologize for going against my word of this post not being a list (I thought I made the pick up line myself, but someone told me they heard it before me, and I don’t even know if it makes the most sense in regards to actual physics, but use it anyway. If you have non science friends they won’t know the difference): “Hey baby, are you the event horizon? ‘Cause it’s tearing me up that I can’t get close to you.” Have a good day, now.