Procrastination

Babies.

Never ever have babies.

I don’t mean getting pregnant and giving birth. Don’t have them around. Don’t be in the same house. Don’t acquaint yourself with babies, don’t even look at them.

Babies take time. They take it with their dimpled hands. They demand attention with screams and with giggles. From a distance their gentle sighs waft through walls and turn your face from your work to that playful longing.

Peek-a-boo! You’ve got stuff to do.

 

 

This comes courtesy of a writing prompt based on our biggest sources of procrastination. Mine is my 9-month-old twin niece and nephew that I live with. They’re a blackhole of time and intentions. I could be dying and forget to finish doing so because I want to make the twins laugh one more time or because one of them always screams and cries when I leave. Then like that the day is gone. I don’t think it could be better spent. 

1 Year Later

I remembered I have a blog, because someone asked for a link of writing samples.

That’s when I gathered the websites links for all the news articles I’ve written since the dawn of time. Or close to it. Those don’t have typos like I know this blog has. If anyone is willing to edit my blog for me, let me know. I can pay you in credit, praise, and a warm fuzzy feeling. There’s an added interest rate of bragging rights.

I had to “audition” with a spur of the moment 150-word introduction for a top ten list. I thought I would post up here and discovered that is has been exactly 1 year since my last post. I don’t even remember writing it. Someday I’ll be compelled to use this thing.

I was undiagnosed, but treatments for spinal subluxation did help tremendously. I’m now on the hunt for a neurologist. I tried pressing my primary doctor for a recommendation, but he just assured me they’re all wacky so I’m on my own. I returned full time to school! I have two more semesters under my belt. I was not only able to return to campus, but I also got 4.0s and a near 4.0 (which I thought I was for sure going to fail completely)! It’s been exhausting. I’m doing better in school sick than I ever did at full health. Go figure. One of those semesters was a whole month in Italy. Crowning moment of the year. Did you know Michelangelo wrote sonnets?

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Pure. Joy.

 

I’m now an English: Creative Writing major with an Art History minor. I love it enough to be content with an uncertain future.

Most of my writings are in pen and paper. The rest are word documents.

Because the “audition” is still being processed, I’ll give you the rough draft:

Ten little music heads went out to dine; One stood on his seat to shazam the song, and then there were Nine.

Nine little music heads sat up very late; One had homework and then there were Eight.

Eight little music heads traveling to an underground band; One changed the station and then there were Seven.

Seven little music heads chopping up sticks; One caught the drummer’s and then there were Six.

Six little music heads playing with a Jive; A earphone was broken and then there were Five.

Five golden rings.

Zdravo!

Funny story. I came onto here to delete my blog, but then I noticed I had a lot of traffic and a lot of new followers. What? Why? Who are you and why are you reading this? No, really. Do tell.

So here’s the update/excuse why I haven’t been updating this blog:

I have cervical subluxtion. What that means is that my spin is so out of place, it’s twisting up the rest of my body. Oh, and it’s also crushing my brain stem. The treatment is painless but takes a lot of time. It took a year and a half to diagnose, so I’m not complaining. At least we have something.

So, with this time I have written a novel. Yeeeeaaaaah. It still feels strange to say. I’m in the editing process now, so cross your fingers and wish me luck! I’m taking on little bits of responsibility at a time. I’m taking a couple classes and I’ve been the HOBY Alumni Advisor (more like monarch) for the past couple of years. One of my brother’s got married, which leaves me the last single sibling. I’m perfectly okay with that. I taught a class for about 6 months. I lived in Serbia. I went to Croatia and Bosnia, and fell in love with that entire region. Last but not least, I somehow find myself signed up to write and record an album all in the month of February.

I’ve been reading, watching, and listening as much as I can. I know I won’t have this Haidas forever. I’ve kept up a separate blog, raced a turtle and a newborn to see which was faster, created a picture of Jean-Luc Pickard out of condiments, learned two new languages (Zdravo! Bok! Kako ste?), went to a leadership conference in Houston which involved actually leaving the house, and I’ve been learning how to breathe and walk again.

If that doesn’t satisfy you, then I’m sorry. I’m sorry I abandoned my silent blog and had the must exciting, yet uneventful, two years of my life. Can we hug it out?

New Layout. New Designs.

No. I don’t design.

 

When I say “design” I mean a new focus, or a new direction. Like a new plan. Actually, that’s exactly what it is. A new plan.

To while away the countless hours of being sick in bed (it’s been over a year now with no progress, except we know what I DON’T have), I am going to dust off the old creative chops.

Come to think of it, that’s exactly where you start to make life interesting. Think of it as controlled daydreaming. It’ll make your life interesting to say the least! Let’s do it together. If there’s a piece you are particularly proud of, I would love to show it off for you!

 

Here’s to the new reign!

Palačinke: Yugoslavian Pancake

If you’re like my mom, or countless others whom I have associated with recently, you are thinking “Pachink-what?” Palačinke directly translates to “pancakes”.

They’re not pancakes.

You can say they’re like a pancake and a crepe, only because it’s thicker than a crepe and thinner than a pancake.

I made some last week for the first time since coming home. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited! I almost cried when I took my first bite.

I have been dreaming of this deliciousness for months. Months! I had enough when I dreamed I made a palachinke doll.

This is the recipe I looked at while making my own.

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Palachinke  (Serbian Pancakes)

Batter

  • ·1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ·1 large beaten egg
  • ·1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ·1 teaspoon sugar
  • ·1.5 cup whole milk

Sweet Cheese Filling:

  • ·1 pound cottage cheese
  • ·3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ·2 tablespoons tapioca (small pearl)
  • ·1/4 cup sugar
  • ·2 large slightly beaten eggs

·Topping:

  • ·8 ounces sour cream
  • ·1 large beaten egg yolk
  • ·2 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the sweet cheese filling ingredients. Let it rest, covered and refrigerated, for 1 1/2 hours while you make the Palachinke.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the batter ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes so the liquid can be absorbed by the flour.
  3. Use ½ cup measuring cup, portion out batter into a nonstick skillet (10”) that has been coated with oil. Rotate pan and swirl batter until it covers the entire bottom of pan. Cook until lightly brown or spotted brown on the underside. Turn and cook second side until light brown.
  4. Remove from pan to kitchen towel, roll and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.  Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to fill/bake or serve Croatian style. Repeat with remaining batter. At this point, Palachinke can be used immediately or layer between wax paper, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month.
  5. Place 2 heaping tablespoons filling on one edge of each Palachinke and roll away from yourself.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place filled Palachinke on a buttered or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet (you can also use a 9×13 Pyrex dish).  Combine all topping ingredients, mixing well, and spread on top of filled Palachinke. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with Strawberry Jam and whipped cream.
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It’s okay if you use whole wheat and one side is white and one is brown. And look! The bottom one is smiling! The feeling was mutual.

What actually happened I think describes a lot about my mental state while making this. It also proves how dynamic Serbian recipes are. What actually happened:

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat flour (Because that’s what I found first)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Xylitol (sugar from fruit, because that’s what I have)

Put it in a blender and blend that sucker. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.

Glance at original sweet cheese recipe. Add random measurements of cottage and cream cheese together (making sure to have more cottage cheese than cream cheese), an egg, and sprinkle some Xylitol on it. Mix it in cereal bowl. Cover and place in the fridge.

I used an ice cream scoop to measure out how much batter to put in the pan. It worked out perfectly!

Let me explain that I have never made crepes and I am no good at cooking pancakes. Keep that in mind. Almost every palačinka thing came out perfect. Perfect!

Realizing my filling has eggs in it, there for requiring baking time, I filled my palachinke and stuck them in the microwave. I wish I was kidding. I know this is a major cooking no-no, but if you tested this goodness you would understand. It took every ounce of self control not to eat it all right then and there.

It was divno! Jako jako divno!

I had a lot of filling left over, despite my efforts to make less than was required.

Happy eating!

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Ham and Cheese Pizza
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Folded or Quartered. This is popular style is you’re going to carry it around.

As explained in the original recipe, courtesy my Serbian sister-in-law’s family, Palačinke is normally very simple and can be filled with anything. I always got it with honey. Just honey. It was filled with honey and had honey drizzled on top. My companion always got hers with ice cream. You can roll it or you can fold it. The possibilities are endless.

Shakespeare vs Schweitzer

How is your reading of the Christmas Carol going? That’s what I thought. SInce I know some of you have a busy life and are not reading machines like myself, I’m saving my Charles Dickens post for next week.

This post’s inspiration came curtsey of my brother. Well, one of them. He was telling about his English class, and like everything else that happens to us, we discussed it.

How many of you are familiar with Ophelia? She is Hamlet’s crazy girlfriend who drowned herself.

Do you know why?

Besides the fact that she is crazy.

Peter’s class discussed the Ophelia Complex. Her father talked her down, told her she knew nothing. Whenever she did start to understand something he would make it difficult again so he could regain power over her. Not a very nice dad. Ophelia would take in anything he said and accept it. She took in anything and everything.

Students (in university and life) often take in curriculum, take the test, and move on. We call this “read and regurgitate.” Like Ophelia, we often take in whatever or teachers through at us. We do the assignments, attend the classes, write the papers, and move on. We don’t consider what it is that we are accepting. We don’t process it or evaluate.

Peter and I joke about “being broken” because of our high school Japanese teacher. He taught us from the beginning “mirror theory” (the process of applying what the movie is saying to the perception of society. Aka ‘What is the message?’ or ‘hat is the artist trying to say?’). We had to write a paper on each film we watched in class using mirror theory. And we watched A LOT of movies. Now it’s only natural for Peter and I to analyze movies. We don’t even think about it, it just happens.

So what is the point of all these stories? I’ll tell you one more. Perhaps it will help.

Once upon a time there was a charming debonaire cowboy actor. His name is Hugh O’Brian, but most know him as his character Wyatt Earp. He went to Africa to help an Irish philosopher, Albert Schweitzer. Hugh had a blast! He loved helping the little African kids! All was merry and gay in the land. One night, before heading back to the states, he stayed up talking with the wise old sage, Albert. They had become friends and Hugh was learning so much! He asked wise Albert what he could do to help the world. What is the most important gift he could give? Do you know what Albert said?

“Teach kids not WHAT to think, but HOW to think.”

That’s what all this rambling is leading up to. It is SO important to know how to think. Ophelia did not think, she just learned. I have been taught this principle since I was very very young, and I have been teaching others since I was at least 16.

Schweitzer and Shakespeare sure are smart thinkers. It may take some practice, I am still practicing myself, but thinking is wonderful and it will get you far.

If you have any questions or wish to know more,just leave a comment below and I will get to you.

Until next time!

P.S. How do I know the story of Hugh and Albert? Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership is an organization dedicated to Schweitzer’s philosophy of teaching young minds how to think, not what to think. It’s very service orientated. If you are interested, you can visit the website, HOBY.org or if you have a freshman or sophomore in high school, talk to a counselor. It’s literally life changing. They are always in need of donations, of any kind. (It’s non-profit, so you can get a tax-write off for you or your company.) I’m currently associated with HOBY Utah, if that makes a difference.

Here’s a picture of me (17), Hugh, and my dad. How this picture came to be is a whole other story.

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Writings: Black To Gold

Sometimes I can’t sleep at night because there is something in my mind trying to get out. I’m not an avid poet, but for some reason these things plague my mind and pester me until I get them down and out on paper. Sometimes they bug even after that, asking to be shared. I’ve thought about quieting them, but I’d have to figure out how they’re talking first. It’s not natural for ideas to talk.

This one has been dancing around for weeks. Finally, one night, everything just clicked together. I wrote it down, looked at it the next morning and added what needed to be added.

BLACK AND GOLD

When our black turns to gold,

As fire sparkles the sky,

The night becomes light.

When our black changes into gold,

Will you remember me?

How you would hold me,

and I would fly?

How you could scare off the demons,

And hide the ones inside?

When our black changes into gold,

Your my hero,

And through all this time,

You’re always mine hero.

When our black changes into gold,

If Midas smiles down on our misfortune,

Or Hades sweeps us away,

You can bet I couldn’t do it without you.

I love you anyways,

I love you just the same.

The pain can wait,

Cause I need you to make it better.

And that’s it. For now.

If you’re not familiar with American military traditions, let me explain. When someone is deployed or goes “over seas” to serve their military branch, their family gets a flag to hang in their window. One star means one serviceman, two stars mean two service men, etc. These stars are black. However, when a solider dies while in service, the family gets a new flag. This time flag replaces a black star with a gold star.

I remember being a little girl and having one of these hanging in our window. My grandmas’ neighbor had a fag with two stars. One day, while driving by I noticed one of the stars was now gold. I’m happy to say my star is still black. I am very thankful for our service men and women.
ServiceFlag1ServiceFlag2

Read it: The Christmas Carol

I’m a nerd. Specifically, a book and music nerd. And art. And photography. And history. And even a science. Mostly books and music. And art. And… never mind.
Anyways, this is just an open invitation to join me in reading The Christmas Carol. I’ll be reading it and taking notes. Please join me in this holiday delight. I’ll also be taking notes and highlighting quotes. I would love to hear what you have to say! I really really do!
So pour yourself a warm steamy cup of tea or hot chocolate. Snuggle in with your comfy blanket. Grab your kindle or you book and read in the glow of the holiday lights.
See you in a couple weeks,
Aubrey
P.S. I got my kindle copy for free from amazon.
P.P.S. If you just want to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol and share your thoughts on based on that, I will accept it. Any thoughts are welcome here!