Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My glass is always half-empty

I have recently been confronted with how pessimistic I really am. Darby and I were having a discussion about statistics, and I said that statistics don't comfort me at all. If someone says, "There's only a one in a million chance of dying in a plane crash," I think, "Yeah, but that doesn't matter if you're the one." In fact, statistics often make me worry more because I think how sad it would be to be the one in a million. If your family member dies of a heart attack, for example, you are sad, but you realize that heart attacks happen to a lot of people. If your family member dies of some rare, flesh-eating bacteria, you have to think, "Why them? It was so improbable!" I realize that logically this makes no sense, but it's the way I think.

I discussed this further with Brittany, and I think I came up with the reason why I think this way. I read too much. Books, newspapers, and magazines don't focus on the 999,999 people who don't contract the flesh-eating bacteria; they focus on the one who does. The smaller number is much more important in literature than the bigger number. Plus, I become very emotionally invested in books. So, although I personally have not been the victim of improbability, I feel like it happens all the time. The English major is very depressing. Science is much more uplifting. In science, the big number matters. So, Darby, it's not my fault that I'm pessimistic; it's my major.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Poor Woman's Starbucks

I have discovered a great way to make coffee drinkable without paying $3.50 per cup. Just mix one package hot chocolate mix into a cup of coffee. That way, you get all the caffeine of coffee but the taste of hot chocolate. Yum! The best part is, my office provides the coffee and the hot chocolate, so it's totally free! Aahhh...the simple pleasures of life.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Culinary Disaster

I volunteered to help make food for my friend Kalyn's art gallery opening (which is tonight at 7 p.m. in Shore Art Gallery, by the way). I was supposed to make a triple recipe of sausage balls. So I went to Wal-Mart and bought 3 pounds of sausage, 3 pounds of cheese, and Bisquick. I've never made sausage balls before, so I found a recipe in one of my many cookbooks. I started browning two pounds of the sausage. Brittany said, "You don't have to brown the sausage, do you?" I told her that's what the recipe said, and she said her mom never did it that way. This should have been my first clue, but foolishly putting all my faith in the recipe, I kept going. So I add the Bisquick to the sausage and start mixing. I realize it's going to be really dry and not stick together at all. Clue #2. The recipe says to melt the cheese, so I figure the melted cheese will help it stick. So I melt close to two pounds of grated cheese in the microwave. When I pull it out, it is one big, gooey glob. This should have been clue number three, but I kept going, pouring it into the sausage. That was dumb. The spoon would hardly even move through the cheese. After ten minutes of valiant effort in my extremely hot kitchen. (By now, the oven's been preheating for close to an hour), I give up. So, at 10 p.m., I'm off to United for two more pounds of sausage and cheese.

This story does have a happy ending. The second and third batches of sausage balls turned out well. (I let Brittany direct me). I will be rushing home at 5 today to make one last batch before the show. I just couldn't finish last night. (Kalyn, if you are reading this, you don't have to pay for all the sausage and cheese I wasted). Everyone has to have at least one cooking disaster, I guess. And mine naturally had to happen at 10 p.m. when I was trying to cook for 100+ people.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

There has been snow or ice on the ground since Saturday! That is five days! This is unheard of in Texas. Every other time it has snowed, the temperature has gotten up to forty or fifty the next day, so it all melts. The high has been below freezing every day since Saturday, though. I think tomorrow it's supposed to get up to the 40s, but then another cold front is coming in on Friday, and there's a 50% chance of more snow!

Unfortunately, I have not had any days off work :( Monday was already a holiday; on Tuesday school was cancelled, but staff still had to come, and today they made us come because they can't delay the start of the semester any more. Oh, well! I'm nice and cozy in my office watching all the students walk by bundled up to their eyeballs :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Snow Day #2!

Church is canceled tomorrow. That's right: CHURCH is canceled. It was icy today, and it's not supposed to warm up tomorrow, so they went ahead and decided to cancel church. Darby and I got the call at about 8:00. I can't say we were too disappointed. I feel a little guilty being excited about it, but I figure I deserve it. I've never skipped Sunday morning church. I mean, I've missed because I was sick or on vacation, but I've never just skipped. Now, I have permission to not go. It's awesome! Darby called his friend Ben to tell him, and Ben asked if Darby wanted to go to another church with him. Darby said, ", I don't think so." I said, "Is Ben crazy? That's like going to another school district on a snow day. It's just not right." Don't get me wrong. I love going to church, and I really love Westgate, but for the first time in 21 years, I get to sleep in on a Sunday morning. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Plus, I have Monday off of work, so it's like I have three Saturdays in a row!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Just another breezy day

Oh, the Abilene weatherpeople...I could write a whole book about them. They provide me with much entertainment in the morning. According to the ever-optimistic Kristen Connolly, today is going to be "breezy, with winds from the south 20-30 miles per hour and gusts up to 35 mph" 20-30 mph! How hard does the wind have to blow to be characterized as windy, not breezy? Breezy makes me think of a gentle wind that tousles my hair as I walk along...not a gale force that blows open my car door and rattles my house. Actually, though, the wind hasn't gotten that bad yet. So maybe it will be "breezy" today.

Monday, January 08, 2007

My Favorite Pastime

According to this list, Kayla was the 46th most popular girl baby name of 2006. I feel like that's a pretty good place to be. I wouldn't want to have the most popular name because then there would be a million Kaylas (That looks weird; maybe it should be Kayla's, but I don't think so). But I also wouldn't want to have a name that didn't even make the list because then people would always be mispronouncing and/or misspelling it. I was disappointed to see that many of the names I really like were in the top 10 (Ava, Emma, Olivia, Ella; I'm into names that begin and end with vowels). I wouldn't want my daughter to be one of 5 Avas('s?) in her kindergarten class. Of course, I don't plan on having a kid for 8 more years, so maybe some of the names I like now will have moved down the list some. Anyway, baby names are just fun, so if you like them as much as I do, go look at the list.