In Which Nothing Else Matters Because HAMILTON

My mom and I visited New York this past weekend to attend the Pratt Institute’s Accepted Students Day — and while that visit was only okay, the important part of the trip, the only part of the trip that truly mattered, was that we finally got to see Hamilton. Live. In Person. For Real.

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Continue reading “In Which Nothing Else Matters Because HAMILTON”

Christmas 2015 — the Haul, the Party, the Post!

My favorite present this year was, technically, a gift to myself: a complete set of the Penguin Little Black Classics collection!

I hardly know where to begin — first of all, a belated Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you all had a happy holiday season, ate lots of sugary deliciousness, and got something you really, really wanted. (And more importantly, spent lots of time with people who mean something to you, and that you gave someone something that made them very happy.)

The Christmas Party

We had a fairly low-key Christmas, all things considered. My mom and I threw a party on Christmas Day, with my sister, grandparents, and aunt all in attendance. (Technically, I guess, my dad was a host, too, but he basically just sat outside with my sister’s puppy the whole day.)

I want to share some of the amazing food we had, because it all turned out EXACTLY the way I’d imagined it. (And I had been planning this party and this spread alllllll month. Gotta do something while you’re in bed, recovering from wisdom teeth yankage.)

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Continue reading “Christmas 2015 — the Haul, the Party, the Post!”

My Wisdom Teeth Are OUT — beep boop, hello world, I have returned.

*climbs blinking into the light* It’s been a long time, blogging world! Even though I’ve been mostly laid up in bed the last couple weeks, I haven’t been in a state fit for coherent blogging.

A summary of what my last few weeks (or last month, really) has been like:

1. Starting at the end of October, a wisdom tooth appeared in my mouth and brought with it a whole host of complications. Bloody rips in my cheek, a bacterial infection that swelled up my gums, and some awful sinus infection thing that presented itself with a two-week-long headache. I seriously thought my skull was going to implode.

2. The day before Thanksgiving, I had my wisdom teeth taken out. What I remember of the surgery experience:

  • arriving early for my 8:15 appointment only for everyone else to be running late. Didn’t actually go back into the room until after 9.
  • Laying in the chair in this freezing operating room, waiting for the doctor. I was shaking so hard my teeth were chattering. I’d had to take an antibiotic before the surgery, so I was certain I’d drank too much water with the pills and was going to have some cataclysmic anesthesia complications.
  • Doctor comes in, my mom’s ushered out, an IV is injected, a rushing air nose-thing is fitted over my face, and everything got extremely loud. Like, I’m standing in a windstorm with Conch shells attached to my ears and a train rushing at me loud.
  • Next thing I know, I’m somehow in a completely different room, my mouth the driest it has ever been. Sahara desert experiencing a drought dry. Gauze wedged in between my teeth, my tongue unaccounted for, and I’ve got my cellphone in my hands. My mom just handed it to me. I was texting people, I was tweeting …I said a lot of stuff.I texted an explosion of affection to my cousin:
    textcousinThen I found my way onto Twitter:Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 10.58.13 AM Screen shot 2015-12-08 at 10.58.34 AM

    Horrifying.

3. By the time I got home, I was a full blown train-wreck. I was supposed to take a pain pill as soon as possible, for when the anesthetic wore off — swallowing a pill is a little tricky to do when you can’t feel your tongue, or your lips, or the back of your mouth, and you can only open your mouth by half a millimeter. And once the pain pills went down, each one gave me an awful stomachache and room-spinning dizzy spill. By Day 2, my mom and I had abandoned the pain medicine and I was just taking CVS brand knock-off liquid Tylenol. Worked just fine.

4. I don’t even know what the last couple weeks has consisted of. I have a strong memory of waking up on the morning of Day 2, opening my mouth, and just sloshing a mouth-bucket of blood all down my blanket. I’ve had Netflix on this entire time, first The Office and then (when it became clear I couldn’t smile or laugh because of my stitches) Friday Night Lights. (Which is such a tear-jerker. I would be eating, watching the show, and then just suddenly quietly sobbing into my mashed potatoes. A more pathetic picture has never been taken.)

5. Somewhere in there I took the final exam to a Western Civilization class and managed a 95% — which isn’t bad at all, considering I now have no memory of that experience whatsoever.

6. Tried my best but totally bombed NaNoWriMo, my first ever year of not reaching the goal. I don’t really care, though. Most of November I had all these infections swirling around my skull, and the last weeks of NaNo I was pretty much an incoherent and drooling, stitched-up mess. I’ll make up for my recent writing drought here in December.

7. Also somewhere in there, I wrapped and shipped my #TBTBSanta present for The Broke and the Bookish’s Secret Santa event! Again, I have very little memory of wrapping those presents, but it apparently happened.

My #TBTBSanta gift is ready to ship!!!

A post shared by Christina (@yellowhairedrobot) on

Every morning, though, I would feel loads better than the night before. The restorative power of sleep, ladies and gentlemen! I never did bruise, either, and the swelling never got too extreme and was gone by Day 4 or 5. And the stitches seem to be dissolving really well, the wounds closing up. It was an uncomfortable first few days fraught with drama as we scrambled with every meal to find something I could eat without pain, but overall — I’ve been doing great. Happy, good moods, improving drastically every day. I’m almost completely back to solid foods and real meals. (I would get so hungry, the last couple weeks, I would just scroll through pictures of food on Pinterest and pin recipes in a wistful someday I will eat this way.) And I never have to deal with wisdom teeth drama every again!!!

I read 3 books over the last two weeks — Everything, Everything, Magonia, and Rainn Wilson’s memoir The Bassoon King. I want to post some mini-reviews or something about these soon. But, for now, I’m still climbing out of my post-surgery nest and reintroducing myself to daily, not drool-y life, so it might be a little while before I post again. At any rate, that’s my update, that’s what I’ve been doing, and let me leave you with a life mantra of the last several weeks, which I posted to Twitter a few days ago:

 

Have a good Tuesday, everybody. 🙂

and now for something completely different — kale (or spinach!) and artichoke dip

Okay, I have a recipe I cannot stop eating, so I’ve got to share it with you guys.

look at this! so good that chip is trying to sneak over and dip itself

Yeah, this is primarily a book blog, but you know what you can do while reading? Even while writing? You can eat. Oh, boy, can you eat. Sure, you might get crumbs on your book, or in your keyboard, or just kind of all over yourself and your immediate area — but still. Worth it.

I found this recipe for spinach and artichoke dip in a display at the end of a Target aisle, of all places, and I’ve been making it a lot ever since. At first I used spinach, but for Halloween I tried kale — mostly because I forgot to buy spinach — and I think I like it even more??? So, for the sake of sharing this deliciousness with all of you (and to keep the recipe in one place so I can find it in a pinch) here we go!

(okay, I know the feeling. You find a photo of something that looks yummy … and have to scroll past a blogger’s long personal story to get to the actual recipe. We’re here already, don’t worry.)

Kale (Or Spinach!) Artichoke Dip

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INGREDIENTS:

1 package, 10 oz., of frozen chopped kale (or spinach), thawed, well drained. definitely get a bag of CHOPPED, not whole, because it’s arduous and frustrating to cut up wet vegetables.

1 can, 14 oz. of artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped. this is a really difficult step, you guys, because you will be sorely tempted to eat all your artichokes right then as you’re cutting them, leaving none for your dip. resist!

1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 cup mayonnaise 

3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

THE VERY OFFICIAL, COMPLICATED COOKING PROCESS:

HEAT oven to 350 degrees.

COMBINE ingredients. I would suggest thawing your kale or spinach first, as this could take a little while. A really do try to drain as much of the water out as possible.

SPOON mixture into a 9-inch quiche dish or pie plate.

BAKE. Now, the recipe calls for 20 minutes of bake time, but I’ve actually always had to go much longer than that — 35 to 40 minutes. It depends on your oven and how hot you want your dip. I like to have the cheese fully melted, and for me that requires around 40 minutes of baking. So, I would start at 20 minutes and go in 5 minute increments — take little spoonfuls from the center to gauge if the cheese is melting enough to your liking.

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ALL RIGHT. YOU’RE SET. ADD SOME CHIPS, GORGE YOURSELF, AND GO OFF ONTO YOUR GREAT ADVENTURES WELL FED AND HAPPY!!

#TackleTBR Update – Day … I’ve already lost count of what day it is. 3??

Time for another update of the Wishful Endings #TackleTBR readathon!

Today was a drizzly, wet, sloppy, gloomy sort of day, so I was able to find lots of time to sit down and curl up, reading-wise. While I initially read 40 pages of Between the World and Me, it seems like a book I need to digest slowly instead of powering through, so I’m going to be reading a little bit of it everyday. For my tackling to the ground, skidding through the mud and grass book, I chose I.W. Gregorio’s None of the Above. And … I pretty much read it in one sitting. Consider the book well-tackled.

22896551From GoodReads:

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

I loved it. Very emotional, very true, very fair — I loved that the author is a practicing surgeon, it gave that much more authority and sincerity to the writing. The main character, Kristin, finds out she’s intersex and has to deal with her perception of her own identity suddenly tipping upside down — and you realize that it wasn’t so much her identity that changed, but it was how everyone else suddenly treated her that totally upended her world. While cruel and disappointing, the way she was bullied rang true: people can be so quick to turn on friends and loved ones as soon as a “weakness” or “difference” crops up. If someone is labeled as “Other”, their feelings and bodies and rights get dismissed. “They’re Other, they’re Strange, they’re Abnormal so we don’t have to treat them as a human anymore.” None of the Above really exposed that side of people. I hope people pay attention to this book. And consider the human element when they balk at and bully someone for having a life, body, or identity different than their own.

Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 16TH (DAY 3)

Read: Read 328 pages of None of the Above, and 40 pages of Between the World and Me
Pages Read: 368
Total Books Read: 2

Total Pages Read: 638
Finished Books: Will Grayson, Will Grayson; None of the Above
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Tackle Your TBR 2015

The Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon is hosted byTessa at Wishful Endings.

It runs for two weeks, in which we all hope to have a blast with challenges, giveaways, and, most importantly, a ton of reading! See all the details, sign up, see the full schedule, and enter the giveaway here and share your goals (if you didn’t on your sign-up) here