Swallowed by the Grey

Everything has felt so miserable.  I haven’t done anything fun because of school, which I’m not doing too well in anyway…my bestie didn’t come to visit me for Halloweekend this year and I’ve been spending most of my weekends wallowing in my room.  I can’t wait for this semester to end and to graduate, but when that happens, I’ll be going back home and I won’t be seeing my girlfriend nearly as frequently.  Our relationship will change because we’ll be in two different places, both physically and emotionally.  We only live about an hour away from each other but if I’m working full-time (at this rate, I won’t be because I stopped applying for jobs) and she’ll be at school full-time…we’ll have different, busy schedules.  I don’t think it’ll negatively impact our relationship but I’ll just miss seeing her every day and I’ll miss spending as much time together.  I also won’t be seeing my sister as much…I’ll miss being at school with her.

My birthday is tomorrow and my sister and I may not have a voice due to laryngitis caused by allergies.  Dinner with our parents will be incredibly silent.  This happened to me last February for the first time since elementary school, and I was hoping it wouldn’t happen again but alas, it appears it will.

I’m quite sad that tomorrow is my birthday…I am not where I want to be.  Then again, I’m never satisfied with where I’m at.  Why is that?  What will it take for me to be happy, even if I’m not “the best?”  Why make myself miserable?  How can I change the way I value my life so that I’m positive and kinder to myself?  Perhaps value societal expectations of me less?  Perhaps value academic excellence less?  Perhaps value the way I feel about myself more? How do I go about valuing myself more?

Anyway…I went to the city on Saturday to combat all this negativity.  I went with my girlfriend because we had been talking about wanting to go for forever but for one reason or another, we haven’t been together yet.  It was pretty spontaneous because we kept going back and forth with it but then we both got train tickets and hopped on the train and we were off!

Continue reading “Swallowed by the Grey”

The Autumn Harvest

 

I just had my first midterm this semester and I think I bombed it, which is depressing.  I had a nice lunch with my girlfriend afterward though and now I’m in my room relaxing before I pick her up to go to Trader Joe’s.  A Trader Joe’s just opened in the area and we went once already a couple of weeks ago but we’re going to go again today.  After that, I’m going to do some work around the apartment like do laundry, sanitize my room, finalize my resume and apply for some jobs, and study for my last midterm on Friday.  I’m less stressed about it but I have a ton of preparation to do still.

Anyway…I’m considering seeing my therapist again because I’ve been feeling a little depressed.  I’ve unfortunately been taking it out on my girlfriend a lot as well as my family…but she suffers more because I’m around her more frequently than I am with my family.  It’s not fair to her and I don’t like constantly picking fights with her because I’m in a bad mood.  I’ve been doing several things to take care of myself such as yoga, cooking, and writing…perhaps I don’t need more outlets though…perhaps I need to do more professional and future plan-related development.  I’ve done a ton of that but I feel like it’s been futile so…I feel stuck.

Anyway…let’s talk about food!

The first dish I made with my girlfriend, and it’s pizza!  We made this over the summer, in late August.  We made several errors here…one is that we used way too much dough for the small pizza tray we had, and ended up with deep-dish style pizza.  I don’t quite remember what we put on the pizza…she did most of the work.  I was doing a puzzle but she added mushrooms, jalapenos, three or four different cheeses, pepperoni…spinach probably…onions…yeah it was intense.  The toppings were great but because she added so many of them and because there was too much dough, the toppings all fell into the center.  I think the pizza would’ve been better if we executed the dough part better.

The next two pictures are two different adaptations of tomato sandwiches.  My family friend’s mom grows tomatoes so he brought some over and my mom decided to make tomato sandwiches to really savor the freshness of them.  Tomato sandwiches consist of toasted bread, a thin layer of mayo on both sides, fresh torn basil, and then the tomatoes! it’s super easy and it really highlights the deliciousness of the tomatoes.  The first version is with Italian bread, which is great but cuz it was so crusty, the tomatoes slipped out.  The sliced bread was better because the tomatoes stayed inside.  When I went back to my apartment, I made another variation (not pictured here) with sliced and toasted wheat bread, butter, dried basil, and then the tomatoes.  It was good but it’s definitely better with at least fresh basil.

The other pizza photo is a grilled pizza my mom makes on the grill.  Making pizza this way has become popular but my family swears she came up with it first.  But yeah…it’s super delicious.

The first pasta dish is penne with butternut squash from the In the Kitchen Food Network app.  I never cooked with butternut squash before so I was excited to try it, especially because I know I enjoy butternut squash.

I had to peel and cut the butternut squash, which was kinda difficult because it’s hard like cutting a raw potato.  I won’t be making butternut squash a regular part of my diet just because the preparation takes too long.  Anyway…this dish includes the butternut squash, cremini mushrooms, black pepper, fresh garlic, red onion, red pepper flakes, parmesan, and oregano.

My mistake here was using shitake mushrooms instead of cremini.  Shitake mushrooms, which I’ve never cooked with before, are super smelly and cooking them was incredibly unpleasant.  I feel like if I used a less stinky mushroom, such as the one they suggested, I would’ve enjoyed this dish more.  Otherwise, I loved this dish because it’s seasonal and overall, pretty simple.  I served this dish with a side of fresh tomatoes and sauteed spinach.

I didn’t make the next plate that I pictured.  It’s actually from an organic made-to-order cafeteria on campus.  They use a ton of vegetables, lean meats, and different sauces.  One of my favorite sauces is raspberry jalapeno.  The one pictured here is papaya lime.

The next two pictures are of an omelet I made.  I really enjoyed the flavors so I took a photo.  Plus, I’ve been making perfectly round omelets!  The omelet ingredients I chose were pepperoni (leftover from the pizza), red onions (leftover from the penne dish), and the stinky shitake mushrooms, also leftover from the penne dish.  The odor was unpleasant but it tasted delicious, especially when topped with feta which melted a bit, so good!

Some of the next dishes were brought to you by the local farmer’s market that comes to campus!  Unfortunately, last week was the last week of the farmer’s market.  I love the farmer’s market because it entices me to try new vegetables and I like supporting local farmers.

The first meal I made with ingredients from the market was simple and also from the app.  I got okra and sauteed it with fresh tomatoes I still had from my mom’s friend, garlic, salt and pepper, and a splash of cider vinegar.  I put it over pasta to make it a meal and damn, it was tasty.  I love okra because it’s slimy, but I don’t eat it as frequently anymore.  I will definitely have to change that because it’s easy to prepare and cook, and it’s healthy too!

The waffle ice cream is a dessert I made with my girlfriend in the dining hall.  I just thought it looked nice.

The next dish in the pan is white eggplant I got from the farmer’s market sauteed with fresh tomatoes.  (I had a ton of tomatoes for awhile).  I splashed some balsamic vinegar in there and it was good…white eggplant didn’t seem incredibly different to me than purple eggplant except the skin is tougher.

There is another waffle ice cream….lol they’re soooo good!

The dish after that is pho I prepared in the dining hall at school.  I love pho and there’s an authentic place down the street that makes it but I never go…but the dining hall does a pretty decent job.  I get chicken and chicken broth and either sweet potato noodles or some other type of noodle…and then I season it with lime wedges, fresh jalapeno, lots of bean sprouts, and whatever else they have.  I enjoy the crunch of bean sprouts and the contrasting flavors of jalapeno and lime…it’s so damn tasty.

The next meal I made included banana peppers from the farmer’s market which I stuffed with sausage, bread crumbs, egg, parmesan, and seasonings.  I then cooked it until golden and served with homemade tomato sauce I made probably a couple of months ago.

My mom made homemade mac and cheese and then baked it at the end…so delicious.  I shall make it myself one day but experiment with cheeses and flavors.

The next meal is a sweet potato I seasoned with honey, olive oil, salt and pepper, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg.  I baked it until it was soft.

The last photos pertain to an old family classic dessert my mom makes for me, but this time I made it myself!  As you can see, my girlfriend and I have hoarded many apples from the dining hall.  The dessert I made with the apples is called apple crisp.  I made it by peeling the apples, slicing them thinly, and then seasoning them in a bowl with cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.  Then I put the mixture in a glass baking pan.  Next, I made the topping which consists of brown sugar, raw oats, flour, and tons of butter.  After I mixed it up, I spread it over the apples and then put the entire thing into the oven to bake.  Then you eat it when it’s warm and serve it with ice cream!

The next couple of things I’m going to make are from the farmer’s market too!  I am going to make a dish with celeriac and poblano peppers.  I’m also going to try making ginger tea with fresh ginger.  I’ve learned that I greatly enjoy ginger but I’ve never really had it fresh, so I’m excited to try it!

Happy cooking!

xx Vic

Date on the Dock

It got quieter as we walked further down the uneven, dirt path and away from the party. The kids’ shrill screaming of “Happy Birthday” into a microphone diminished until it was entirely replaced with the squaw of birds and the rustling of leaves on the trees as the wind gently blew.  

We came upon the small, wooden dock hidden by the shroud of shrubs at the edge of the lake. She placed a thick, woolen blanked on it, which covered nearly the entire dock since the dock was small and the blanket was large. Then we lied down and basked in the warmth from the sun. She rested her torso on my legs, her weight pressing my legs into the solid dock beneath me. Her body heat kept me warm during cool breezes.

It felt romantic out here, being surrounded by nature and away from the disturbances of traffic and everyday life. The calm sloshing of water against the base of the dock relaxed us. The air was fresh and dry for once, unlike many of the stifling hot and humid summer days.

We overlooked the lake, admiring how the trees framed the dark blue body of water on one side. The leaves were a vibrant green from chlorophyll, and they crowded each other on the trees. The lake reflected some of the trees’ vibrancy in the dark waters.

The other side of the lake was lined with large houses. Backyards informed us that the houses may hold small children with an affinity for outdoor play, such as swing sets and forts.

My ears perked when I heard voices approach us. A family consisting of what appeared to include three generations of people, ranging from grandparents to children, rowed by us on the lake. The adults rowed unhurriedly and everyone laughed and talked animatedly. One of the adults caught my eyes for a brief moment as we watched them from the dock.  

© 2017 Vic Romero

“Can I borrow someone’s laptop?”

My girlfriend is sleeping on my lap as I write this.  I thought that was a cute detail, she’s like a cat.

Anyway, I’m writing because my stress spiked as it typically does when the night is getting later and later and I feel like I have a ton of work to do still.  The reality is, I’m okay.  I’m not super behind in my classes, except for maybe one or two but…I’m okay.  I’m just very high-strung.

Three weeks in and I’ve already been crying and having meltdowns.  Senior year has been so, so stressful, especially since I’ve been preparing for what’s next after college.  It’s such a daunting reality I have to face.  I mean yeah, it’s exciting to experience life without school, because I’ve never experienced that before.  However, I don’t think working full-time is better than being in school.  Then again, in some ways it is.  It’d be cool to be able to support myself and to live my life as an independent woman.

So yeah..I’m stressed.  I feel like I’m behind.  I feel like some professors have been wasting my time by being late to class, for wasting the class period on bullshit. and for being overall rude and unprofessional.  One of my professors has had to borrow a student’s laptop two classes in a row and he is so hypocritical, he holds us to a higher standard than to what he holds himself to.  He wears shorts to class!  Plus he’s always late too like…it’s so unimpressive.

One of my biggest stressors is regarding my thesis class.  It’s week four now and I still don’t have an advisor but I’m doing the best I can.  My professor was adamant about writing to get out any subconscious thoughts so that we can focus on our writing…so that’s what I’m trying to do now.

I just need to plan more realistically…to break things into smaller, more feasible tasks and to procrastinate less.  I haven’t been procrastinating as much as I used to, which is great.  I think there’s been an improvement since my depression and grief have lightened.  However, I get very tired and because I’m unrealistic with my expectations for the day, I stress myself out when I don’t do everything I want to.  I need to consider taking breaks so I don’t burn out by 5pm.

There’s so much creative stuff I want to post on here!  I have a list of stuff to post so I’ll be posting it soon.

Hope y’all are well!

xx Vic

the salty, the smelly, the sweet

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow feature must be relatively new, I’m pretty excited to use it for my food blog!

Anyway…this will be the last food blog of the summer.  I hope to continue cooking when the semester starts, but it may be even less frequent than how often I’m cooking now (I haven’t cooked in about three weeks.  Part of that is due to the fact that I traveled for two weeks but…I’ve been home for awhile and I haven’t made anything yet).

Slide #1

I actually didn’t make this; my mom made it for the Fourth of July and I thought it was too aesthetically pleasing (and delicious!) not to share!  I believe my mom found the recipe on Facebook and all it is is watermelon cut into the shape of stars with mozzarella cheese, and arugula sandwiched in between two watermelon slices.  Then balsamic glaze is drizzled on top to add some acidity.  She used a cookie cutter for this, although I’m sure you can do it by hand too.  This dish seemed pretty weird at first, but it’s refreshing and tasty.  Plus it’s super easy and a cool twist on the mozzarella, basil, tomato, and balsamic vinegar with olive oil appetizer.

Continue reading “the salty, the smelly, the sweet”

Save Rock and Roll (Save Myself)

I’m bored with all of the books I’ve been trying to read and with all of the shows I want to watch so I decided it was about time to come on here and write again.  So…yeah..I’m ending my Fall-Out-Boy-esque-hiatus now.  My hiatus was not five years nor did I release an underrated, killer record before going on break and then proceed to get married, launch a solo career, or have children during my hiatus…but this has been the longest break I’ve taken from writing on here, and in general, since…my sophomore or junior year in high school.  It’s a little unfortunate I didn’t write because I like to document my life, thoughts, and feelings…but everything seemed so…heavy at the time and the idea of writing anything…I didn’t perceive it as therapeutic.

During the last month or so, however, I have been documenting random thoughts/feelings into a journal by hand to at least get them out there and then I would organize them into the different Bullet Journal prompts I had going.

Anyway!  I am going to resume writing again.  I’ve been having an urge to write creatively over the last week or so…hopefully I can do some of that because I miss that.  In the meantime, I’ll blog a bit about what’s going on and I’ll start with an update since a bunch has been going on!

Continue reading “Save Rock and Roll (Save Myself)”

Raw Write

I’m hurting a lot.

The family that I feel I had last year…my support group…well it doesn’t exist anymore. At least it doesn’t feel like it.

My ex doesn’t even wanna be friends, my best friend rarely acknowledges my texts…all my other close friends are in different states far away and I feel alone because I haven’t established another solid support group.

I have friends, but I feel weird talking about things that are actually bothering me with them. I can talk to my RA about things that are bothering me, but I can’t really be friends with her because she’s my RA.

I feel alone…scared…and rejected.

Continue reading “Raw Write”