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Author Archives: Jen

New Sights on a New(er) Site.

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I’m packing up and almost ready to start my new semester in Prague. That’s right. Czech Republic. Formerly communist, and formerly Czechoslovakia. So this should be really fun.

Anyways, I’ve decided to switch to another blog, or tumblr (or both) that focuses on all the stuff I do, places I see and things I think about while I’m in Prague. If this disappoints anyone, sorry. Maybe you’ll devote your time towards something else. I kind of want a fresh start, and feel like this is the best way to do it.

If it doesn’t disappoint, then great. Glad to know you’ll be along for the trip.

I’m gonna go experiment and see what’s best. God speed, and see you on the Czech side.


Everybody’s Free…to Freeload.

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I’m a freeloader. If it’s free, or available to me at my convenience, I’ll take it.

Like now, for instance: I’m sitting in a Starbucks to use their free WiFi because I no longer have internet access in my apartment. For some reason, my building decided to call it quits on the free wireless network that was available to anyone who wanted it last night, because – I guess – that’s just not okay. Or they enjoy torturing us penny-saving tenants by forcing us to subscribe to Time Warner Cable. I don’t know, and I don’t really care. It’s just inconvenient. I kind of wish this could have happened at a different time, say like, after I leave for Prague, when I don’t really need to worry about it.

But so be it. I’ll take my free internet elsewhere. I could survive without it until it’s installed, but this way, I actually leave my tiny, hot apartment and venture out into the real world. With real people. And sunlight. Have you heard of it? It’s quite nice.

Other free things I enjoy: taking an obscene amounts of fruit from NYU dining halls, desserts from the bakery, free music downloads (not stealing, but actually free), and concerts.

During the summer, NYC puts on free shows at Pier 54. River Rocks on the Hudson River. Last night was Metronomy and Class Actress.

This is Metronomy:

I got this cool t-shirt from the concert.

Pretty cool night. You should definitely check out both artists if you’ve never heard of them. One of the reasons I like going to concerts to see bands or artists I’ve never really heard before is to see if they perform great live. If they’re awesome, I’ll invest.

Anyways. I’m getting kicked out of Starbucks. Gotta find somewhere else.

Guess Who’s Back?

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Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, thank you for holding. Let’s resume, shall we?

Obviously, I’ve taken a rather extended hiatus from blogging. What with the last weeks of school having been a super buzz kill to my confidence, happiness, and social life, I didn’t have anything worthy of posting. It would probably have read something along the lines of  “Oh my God, I’m so tired…so fed up with all this apartment searching…these allergies are killing me…where are my friends…” and blah blah blah. What a bore.

So here I am, drawn back to my not-so-private online journal, to….start over. Yeah, that seems to be it. I feel like this summer has been something of a reinvention for me. A good one.

I owe a lot of my newfound confidence to my job. I am still the ‘newbie’ at Magnolia, but I feel so welcome there that it hardly seems like I’ve worked for less than 2 months now. I’ve had shitty jobs before (not going to endorse) so working in an environment where I can joke around with my co-workers feels fucking great. Excuse my french.

If you think I’m a quiet person, come visit me at work. Half the time, I’m yelling out Mean Girls quotes, half the time I’m singing at the top of my lungs to the music. I know almost every song – and I’m not sure how that’s possible. Plus, I love my co-workers. I joke around with the guys: they have this guy system/code that seems to only make sense to them. But I’ve figured it out! I was informed that I’ve been inducted into the ‘Gentlemen’s Club.’ I suppose I should feel privileged. I don’t know if it means I’ve started to think like a guy, but gee whiz, I’ve certainly learned a LOT about how they think on days when I’m the only girl working counter. ‘Manly Mondays’ at Magnolia. Stop by for a treat.

And on days when work kinda sucks, I still get to eat cupcakes and banana pudding. I’d say win.

I suppose that’s it for now. If anyone was worried I was dead, well…I got better.

What’s the Prognosis, Doctor?

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April is drawing to a close and May is just around the riverbend. Which means today was a No Man’s Land kind of day. You know – when you’ve got work that you could or really should work on now, but isn’t due for a week or two, class that ended early, and almost an entire a day ahead of you to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather. Well, it at least applies to me.

I was let out early from both of my classes today, so I had more time on my hands than I’m used to. I went to a Thai restaurant called Isle on Bleecker St with my friend Nicole, and by the time I got back to my room, was so worn out that I took a nap. The downside to all of this good weather (and there is one), is that I have suddenly acquired the buds of an illness. Put simply: I feel sick. Sore throat, hot-headed, and tired. I think it’s allergies. Okay, I’m praying it’s all because of allergies. I don’t need strep throat, or to be one of the rare cases of people who gets mono twice. It’s almost finals time! [On a side note: Yahoo answers is probably not the best source for information regarding medical treatment. ] Which also reminds me, why isn’t Doogie Howser, M.D. on Netflix? I could use some inspirational end of day journaling by a young NPH.

I couldn’t find any good clips of the actual show, but here’s NPH spoofing his role as Doogie on “How I Met Your Mother.”

Anyways, here’s another poem I wrote. It’s a lighter, cuter poem. I think it’s my favorite, but I say that only because I haven’t written another I love as much yet.


Let’s draw up a line of
Demarcation. Divided, we own
You own the bookshelves,
the TV, the closet space.
I take the desks, the chairs,
the posters. 
You can have the shoes, but the soles are mine.
The pens and pencils – they are yours,
as I will pocket the computer keys.
I call the pillows, and you the sheets.
The books are mine, but the words
are for your eyes only. 
I want the lamps, but you won’t let me
have them.
You see,
you are light enough to keep me
from crying out in fright at night,
when I remember that monsters
hide underneath our bed.

It’s Okay, Because It’s A Pie-in-a-Cake.

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So Sunday was Easter. And this is what I did to celebrate:

Okay, you can stop drooling now. Because I’m going to explain.

This lovely mess of a dessert is my own rendition of a Cherpumple. Like I’ve mentioned before, I promised it to myself as an end of Lent treat. And without realizing until much later, a three-tiered cake did seem ironically relevant to the day.

The original recipe calls for three cake mixes : yellow, white, and chocolate; and three pies: apple, cherry, and pumpkin. Hence, CherPumPle.

I decided to branch out and use lemon, chocolate and  strawberry for the cakes and coconut custard, pecan, and apple for the pies.

Bottom Layer:

Middle Layer:

Top Layer:

If you’re not like me and plan on doing this in a logistical, clean manner, you would have mixed the lemon batter, placed the pie upside down in the pan and baked the bottom layer first. The cake you would have ended up with would probably have been done in about 35-40 minutes. Then you would have done the same with the other cakes.

But because this was my first go, and I had only one large cake pan (okay, cheesecake pan) big enough to encompass the two parts together, and two medium sized pans, I severely underestimated the cooking time and the way the cakes would bake. So because I’m more of a trial-and-error kind of girl (emphasis on the error), I prepared all three layers to be baked in the oven at the same time. It should have worked. But…

That’s right. The cake batter started overflowing in my oven. When I checked to see why my kitchen started smelling oddly of smoke, I opened the door only to find that the strawberry layer was leaking on to the bottom of the oven and that the chocolate layer was dangerously close to doing the same. I switched off the oven, waited long enough to make sure I wouldn’t burn off my skin and tried to clean up the remnants. This is why it took about an hour and a half longer than necessary to cook all three cakes.

Spoiler Alert: They came out just fine. But back to the pictures:

Fill pan 1/3 of the way, place pie of choice upside down, and pour remaining batter over the top.

This is when you should probably invest in bigger pans, or at least find an easier way to bake a pie in a cake:

And this is how the bottom layer came out, before removing the top and adding a layer of frosting.

I cut off the top of the chocolate cake so that they would all be even, making it easier to place one top of the other. Then added more frosting as an adhesive.

I never kid about frosting.

Three cans worth. Three.

Two were to coat, one was for final touches. Then decorate accordingly.

And enjoy!

I still call it a Cherpumple, only because I can’t find a worthy replacement name. Chuslemple? Maybe.

Anyways, it was OH SO GOOD. I had some floormates and roommates test it out. And I found I couldn’t have a huge slice, because well, even a sliver was more than enough. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have some for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper…

April Showers.

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Owing to the fact that April is unleashing a fury of tears outside right now, I thought I’d post some poetry about water. Because I can. And because it’s still poetry month.

Hopefully, you’ll take today’s crappy conditions as an excuse to watch a bunch of silly comedies, cheesy romances, or awesome action flicks. Rainy days are meant for movie marathons.
So here you go.

Water, in four parts:

Broken notes on red rubber soles

1 “Notes”

Drip drip drips drop

in pitter patter patterns

on the head of my

umbrella and jar

with chords that

sing from the church

on 10th street.

I can hear the

beat beat beat of


spitting disjointedly

on its flimsy black sin,

attached to little metal arms

that unite in my firm fist.

I twirl it like a parasol despite

fast, fuming winds;

slanted mist makes

a mess of my carefully applied


By the time

that I reach campus,

I am saturated,

a creature from the sea.

2 “Red”

I could’ve invested in rain boots

that would slosh slosh boisterously

as I tread across lacquer black puddles

that lie like veiled oceans

on the streets I walk to class.

And if webbed feet would

suffice for fire-engine brick bright

rubber, size 10 wide,

I’d rub my toes with glue.

3 “Rubber Souls”

I don’t see fish,

but trash, silky oil,

and myself – a face distorted-

but I am saved before I

sink any deeper because

my soles have been baptized.

4 “Broken”

It’s a wave that builds and builds and builds on itself,

growing and climbing heights no man can touch

with his fingertips, even when stretching on tippy-toes.

Every man feels it, has felt it at one point in his

life. And when it breaks, there’s nothing worse

than knowing

you’ve lost control of the sea.

American Pie.

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It’s probably the worst sort of torture for me that tomorrow’s Techniques of Regional Cuisine class is all about pie. I’ll elaborate: It’s less than a week before Lent ends, so that means I can not indulge in desserts until Easter Sunday bright and early – probably all day. My consolation prize was going to be to make a Cherpumple.

Correct. A Cherpumple. What’s that, you ask?

It’s three different pies baked in three different cakes, stacked on top of each other and slathered in frosting and whatever else. Maybe I’ll drizzle some chocolate and dust it with sprinkles too – oh who am I kidding? I’m probably just going to dip pieces in melted chocolate like fondue. Gluttony suits me.

Anyways, back to the problem at hand. Tomorrow’s region is North America and we’re making pies. Originally I thought we’d stick to staples like hamburgers, french fries, meatloaf, any kind of pasta dish. I realize this is a gross generalization – I don’t know anyone who eats meatloaf these days. But considering how we made desserts from South America last week, I would have guessed we’d steer clear of those from North America. Nope. Fruit pies, dessert pies, even a pot pie.  At least I can have some of that.

But I’ll quit my complaining. I’m pretty excited, despite my qualms. I will use this as an opportunity to improve my pie making skills. I’ve made pie crusts only a few times before, and let’s just say more practice makes pies more perfect. I made a Quiche for my Intro to Foods final exam last year and still blame the points I got off for lack of time spent in the oven.

Don’t worry guys, I’m not going to feed anyone anything undercooked.

And just because…

“Sing a song of sixpence,
pocket full of rye,
four and twenty blackbirds
baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened,
the birds began to sing:
isn’t that a dainty dish
to set before the King?

The King is in his counting-house
counting out his money;
the Queen is in the parlor
eating bread and honey;
the Maid is in the garden
hanging up the clothes,
when down swoops a Blackbird
and snaps off her nose!”