Friday, February 20, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday Part VIII

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1. Competency. Isn't it great? I had one of those moments of pride today that comes with realizing you're competent at something, the feeling of pride you get when something goes wrong at work, and you fix it, and suddenly realize that you're no longer one of the new kids. Even though my first instinct was to call my boss to fix it, he wasn't around, so I did it myself, knew exactly what to do, and fixed the mix-up without, I think, anyone even knowing about it.

2. Competency proceeded to backfire a couple hours later, when knowing that I was as competent as anyone else to solve a particular problem meant, of course, that I had to solve that problem, too - this one taking an hour rather than 10 minutes.

3. Last night, I made a recipe I got from my paternal grandfather. If you'd ever met this grandfather, you'd either be laughing or scratching your head right now. He grilled in the summer, but basically only ever made grilled cheese and cereal otherwise. He ate out - either at a restaurant or at one of his children's houses - essentially every night between my grandmother's death in 1990 and his death in 2008. But a few years ago, after dinner at our house one night, we had ice cream - my mom and I always liked to try to fatten him up - he mentioned a strawberry sauce that his mother used to make to put on vanilla ice cream, something about cooking strawberries on the stove or something. At the time, my thought was, "It's a shame Grandma never had any girls so her recipes died with her." Recently, though, I had a thought, about what Grandma could have possibly been making with strawberries on the stove to put on ice cream. Sounds kind of like a strawberry syrup. So, since I had some strawberries that I'd let get old but not moldy, I googled "homemade strawberry syrup" and recipes like this one reinforced my theory that making strawberry syrup entailed exactly what I thought it would and sounded kind of like what Pop thought he remembered his mom doing. So I put together a more or less one-to-one-to-one recipe of sugar to water to cut up strawberries, boiled up a simple syrup with strawberries, and made what I assume is Grandma's strawberry sauce. Deductive reasoning + the internet = return to my roots?

4. I'm going home to NY this weekend for my cousin's engagement party. I can't wait. I've really been missing home lately, plus I love seeing my relatives. I've said in the past - and meant it - that I like my family more than some people like their friends.

5. On that note, oh my goodness, weddings everywhere! I have three cousins getting married this year, in March, July, and September. Yay weddings! We even have one wedding and another engagement party in the same weekend. Should I be this excited? Should I be admitting that I might be angling to catch one of these bouquets?

6. The other most exciting thing about going home this weekend - other than a fun party with the family (and the prospect of finally having a hot shower of course, since our plumbing still isn't fixed) is going to the eye doctor. My eyes changed drastically a little over a year ago, right after I last got a new prescription, and I've been squinting through class and pushing my glasses right up against my eyes and trying not to drive anywhere unfamiliar (I'm fine if I know where I'm going and don't have to make out words on signs) for about a year now. I think it's been contributing to my frequent headaches (I didn't think they were bad, but does not everyone get one-two disruptive headaches a week?), and I hate squinting and sitting in the front row like some 4th grader who hasn't had her eyes checked yet, and I really hate not being able to make out which player is which at basketball games (we sit in the nosebleeds). I am very excited for appropriate corrective lenses!

7. I've gone back to Judo, which I did through most of college but kind of let lag the past year or so. (For the curious, I've added a link to the Judo Info site in the sidebar, and oh look!. . . there it is in this post, too!) Judo can be a pretty intense sport, and even though I've been moving slowly and easing myself back in, I've reached the point where every ounce of flesh on my body hurts every moment of every day. It's a good feeling.

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