Wednesday, January 28, 2009


After a long process, all 6 of my PhD applications are in. (Remember when I went through this last time? If you are interested in that experience, check out the last round here, here, here and here.) In the order the applications were submitted:
University of Southern California
University of Texas at Austin
Northwestern University
University of California, Irvine
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
University of California, Riverside

The whole process takes many months. The first three universities which I turned in during December, will begin reviewing applications in late February. The last three schools, who knows when they will start reviewing applications. I will probably hear back from the schools on their decisions in April, late March at the earliest.

I will keep you all informed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't Waste Your Time

I did not like this movie. I was willing to give it a chance until the scriptwriters botched the story about 2o minutes from the end of the movie. Granted, the whole movie premise is unrealistic but they took such a huge leap of logic that they lost me. The disk had skipped and I though perhaps I had missed something. But no, after cleaning the disc, I found out that it was just a crappy movie.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Last Day & ...

Here is a shot of the mini Red Velvet Cupcakes I made for my very last day working at the union.
Close up shot of one, color was a little off but you can see the cute little star of frosting on top of the mini.
One additional photo: here is the last sad piece of Coal Candy I made for Christmas. I wish I would have taken a picture of the final product. I bought a stocking shaped tin and pile the candy in. very cute if I do say so myself and the gift receiver liked the job and said the candy was quite tasty. Even though the recipe called for anise flavoring, I used peppermint instead. It gave the candy a very refreshing taste.
Finished two more school applications and the FAFSA for 2009-2010. I have one more application to finish up, I want to get it out of the way before school begins rather than wait until it is due in February.

Also been preparing to teach and not doing homework. I plan to kick it into high gear in the next two days.

No more reading books that have nothing to do with school. Back to the grindstone on Tuesday. Yup, I start my day at 8 am teaching two classes back to back and then have to stay on campus until 10 pm for a seminar. Killer day but at least I have an easy Wednesday. Going to miss the inaugural but I figure I can catch the highlights in the news and online the following day.

Super tired from moving a friend into her new office today, so I will sign off now. Ciao!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yummy Part II

**Thank you for all your supporting words on my venting about PhD applications. I have taken a break from them in order to clear my head. I'll finish up the last three this Sunday.

On a better note, here are the treats I have been serving up this week at the Union.
Wednesday: On the left, Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies; right, Almond, Cherry, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Thursday: Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

On the home front, I have been getting complaints that everything smells really good but I don't bring home any leftovers (because there are none). So here are some plain Banana cupcakes that I made last night, full size.
Super yummy, think the freshest banana bread you have ever had, super light and fluffy without the nuts. Perfect, if I do say myself. I like banana bread except that is so so dense, I feel like I am choking when I try to swallow a bite. This cupcake saves me this experience. So happy. If I were a pet rat, I would do a little happy "popcorn".

I will be finishing up the week with Red Velvet mini cupcakes tomorrow. So, one last round of photos.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I am baking all this week. I didn't have time to do anything for my friends and co-workers at the Union - not even X-mas cards- so I am giving them treats all week as a thank you and Christmas gifts.

Monday was Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cupcakes with Cinnamon Icing. I thought people would be put off by the pumpkin but hey, free home made baked goods. They went like hotcakes.
Today is peppermint brownies with candycane frosting. I had a rough time making them last night so they don't look great but once again, I don't think that anyone will really care what they look like. I also discovered this morning that I did not grease the second pan as well as I did the first one and the brownies did NOT want to come out of the pan. Second time I have made this recipe and so far, everyone has liked it.
I like the frosting for this recipe but not the brownie part. I really want to look for a more cakey type of brownie recipe that pours. This one you have to smoosh into the pan and when it is greased, it makes it really hard to stay in the pan evenly.

More photos to come later. Tonight is cookie night and some banana cupcakes. Banana cupcakes will be for home because you need a brown banana and I only have one, stolen from a friend's apartment that I am house sitting for. She won't mind though. :)

Saturday, January 03, 2009


I am so tired of jumping though hoops. Because that is all that applying to PhD programs feels like. I spend day after day writing essays for the programs, variations on the first one I wrote, proofreading carefully to make sure I have caught and changed all the references to the last university I applied to.

Only to catch a typo somewhere else in the essay that I have sent in to every single fucking university to this point.

Then I catch that I accidentally submitted an unfinished application online instead of saving it to finish later like I thought.

Then I notice that the deadline for a program is later than I though and I could have requested all the transcripts and letters of rec go back to me so that I can include them in one packet like the instructions state.

Then I find out that I may or may not have missed the deadline for one of the schools I am applying to.

This two weeks after scoring worse on the GRE this time then I did four years ago.

I feel so incompetent. I don't feel like I have the time to do any of this right so I mess up right and left. But there is no time to slow down because these deadlines come one after the other... And if I wait to do this later, I won't be going to school in the fall.

This is ridiculous. I know I can do graduate level work, PhD level work, I know I can. I am even confident of my ability to pay for and complete the program. I am just not sure I can get in the door to accomplish these goals.

There are worse things going on in the world and people suffering far greater than me. But here is where I am at this exact moment, frustrated, slightly overwhelmed and ready to quit everything.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Tons of Fun

I have the bad habit of watching TV late at night on weekends and breaks when I should be sleeping so I can get up and be productive the next day. Last night was no exception. I was up until 1:30 watching pretty much nothing.

But occasionally I watch something slightly educational. That is how my evening started out. I was watching TLC and three shows in a row came on that had me glued to the set, Half-ton Mom, Half-ton Dad, and Half-ton Teen. I was both fascinated and horrified at the sight of a woman over 800 lbs (they kept saying different numbers, so I am not sure how much she actually weighed and yes, they had her on a scale), a man who weighed 1032 lbs (holds the record so far) and a teen who weighs 800 lbs. The documentaries follow their journey to a gastric bypass clinic in Houston, Texas which is the only hospital that will handle patients that big. Most places won't touch a person who has gone over 500 lbs as I understand from the shows - I was flipping around the channels a bit. All three patients are from Texas as Texas has the distinction of having 6 of the fattest cities in the U.S., Houston being one of them BTW.

(Half ton Mom)
But what I found more fascinating then the actual patients was the way they lived. More specifically the level of denial of the people around them. When you get to this weight, mobility becomes an issue. Only the teen was mobile and even then for only short bursts of time. So there is someone who is bathing and feeding these individuals. Listening to the way they talk to the camera, you can see a level of disconnect to how their actions contribute to these problems. I think the teen documentary was the saddest to me. A 19 year old whose mother treats him like an 8 year old. Their's is a sad story of a first child who died at 19 months but still. I cannot help but admit that I am a tad judgmental when I was watching this show. Hello! Your actions have a direct affect on your son's life and you are killing your child! And of course, the people around these extreme cases are no skinny minnies themselves.

I'm not one to talk about having will power when it comes to food, nor am I a shining of example of exercising on a regular basis but sheesh! These documentaries show how the U.S. has become a nation of excess. This is why we have shows like "The Biggest Loser" (which had a marathon yesterday, I watched parts of it) in which there were contestants from all 50 states. Makes me happy to go outside and take a walk, and I really don't like exercise.

On that note, time for me to log off.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I recommend


What a fantastic movie. Sean Penn does a great job and so does the rest of the cast. Go see it.