Friday was my last day of class and although it didn’t start out well it ended beautifully. I had lunch with about ten of my classmates at Osha on Second and it was wonderful as always. Later that night the celebration continued with C9th at Temari in which I had the most fun ever at our favorite neighborhood haunt. We ended the night with a viewing of the Fall on the projector back at home. It tops the list of all time great films. I strongly recommend it.
I was so happy to discover that due to Thanksgiving I would be missing two classes this week. I had made the decision to stay home in Berkley for the holidays this year rather than visiting my family in L.A. so I was gonna have a week off from school and not be traveling anywhere. Awesome. Kimi and Justin made lots of food for Thanksgiving and all of Cloud 9th was home to celebrate together by playing Quiddler and watching movies. I felt so much happiness being at home with my dear friends and having lots of food that I could eat.
This week I have been watching the Lord of the Rings movies on the projector. I read the Hobbit for the first time a few months ago and then began the Fellowship of the Ring shortly after. Unfortunately due to school I didn’t not get very far into before I decided to jump into the re-screening of the movies. It has been a much more enriching experience watching them for a second time since I have read some of Tolkien’s writing. Also a few of my friends play LOTRO online and seeing the game and hearing about their adventures in Tolkien’s world has also gotten me more excited about the story.
I do have some homework that I am working on. In all of my classes I have made or am making process books. They range in quality from bound notes and sketches to mini portfolios. Also in my comping class I have been creating books, boxes and next shopping bags. It is an exciting time and I finally feel like I have leveled up in my usage of my exacto knife. All of the projects are enjoyable and I actually only have three weeks left in the semester. Time flies when you are crazy stressed huh. But for now I am on holiday and doing my best to enjoy every moment of it. *_*
For Cloud 9th’s Thanksgiving festivities I made ginger cookies. I modified a traditional ginger snap recipe and came up with the perfect cookie. This rarely happens when I am baking because I usually modify the recipes too much. I try to create baked goods that are lactose free and low in fat. If I made this recipe again I would put less earth balance and more applesauce so they would have even less fat. These cookies still have a lot of sugar but they are worth it. ^_^
1/2 cup earth balance
1/3 cup egg beaters
1/4 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a medium bowl, cream together softened earth balance, 1 cup sugar and applesauce until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses until well blended. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the molasses mixture to form a dough. Spoon dollop of dough onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven.
After 8 minutes the cookies were soft but cooked all the way through. If you like them more crisp then keep them in the over longer.
Everyday I have a list of what absolutely needs to get done to get through this semester (and hopefully pass). The great thing is that I am learning new things everyday and am enjoying myself even if it may not always seem like it. I am very fortunate that maiki is so supportive and making time to work around my hectic schedule because he is the comic relief that is so very important in my life! Ah, he is a best friend that I cannot imagine living without! _ Cloud Ninth is also continuously supportive and I know that I could not do this without them. My life is so very fun and filled with friends that really inspire me.
Luckily I have had some cool adventures squeezed into my down time. Justin and I made a trip to the Samovar Tea Lounge and it was so wonderful. I got their signature smokey black russian tea and it was strong but I enjoyed the flavor. We sat in the sun overlooking Yerba Buena gardens and spent a couple hours out of our busy school day just relaxing and sipping tea. I also have gone to the movies a few times and saw Bottle Shock, Burn After Reading, and Religulous at the California Theatre here in Berkeley. It is an old independent theatre like the ones I loved in Santa Cruz. Last Saturday maiki and I walked to a Utrecht that I had never been to in the city on Van Ness and then wandered to Japantown. I picked up an art book from Makoto Shinkai. I am always so inspired when ever I go to Kinokuniya. I always want to either move in or bring all the books home with me. It is hard to not purchase art books and I have such an amazing library now full of design and art books of all kind.
I have had kind of a tough time lately. I lost my bike and had to quit my job due to health problems but I realize that I have so much to be thankful for that there is no reason to dwell on that. The last few days have been fun and friends nearby and online have reached out to cheer me up and wish me well. I am happy because I feel loved and hopeful for the future.
Yesterday Neko and Jason and I went to the laundromat together and played Mario Party on the DS. It must have been cute because we were all squished together on one bench giggling and cheering at our hand held gaming toys. Afterwards we adventured through Berkeley by car and saw some really neat areas. We stopped for lunch at a taqueria in the Epicurious Garden and ate outside in the sun. Next I took them to the Rose Garden and Codornices park. It is located on the hill and the view from up there is great for looking out over the Bay. We took so many photos and walked around the area. Later I spent lots of quality time with maiki and he shared Beard Papa eclairs that he had brought from the city. They are so delicious!
Today has already been wonderful for me. I slept great. Woke up and went for a walk down to 4th street. I bought some compfy green pajama pants on sale from Anthropologie (so I can stop borrowing from my roommate!) and found an amazing collection of design books at the Builders Booksource. I didn’t buy any books today but sat down in a chair to study a stack of them. They were all so inspiring, especially the Japaneses produced ones about icons and signage. They are beautiful to me! I picked up some fresh vegetables from the Pasta Shop and came back to C9th to make lunch for maiki and I. We had tofutti covered everything bagels with lox, tomatoes and red onion. Now I am enjoying a nice cup of earl gray lavender tea. Lunch was better than anything I could get in a restaurant—seriously I never know why I waste my money eating out with such a restricted diet. I have some paperwork to deal with today but I know that I can relax because I have done lots of cleaning and organizing as of late and can now enjoy the fruits of my labor. Yahoo!