Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My dinner: spaghetti with cheese and black pepper, aka spaghetti cacio e pepe. I thought it was good, but somewhere in the world an Italian grandmother is laughing. Never having made this dish I have no idea what it is supposed to taste like.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Top 5 worst things I've ever had at Starbucks (and top 5 best)

Top 5 worst things I've ever had at Starbucks:
1. "Venti"-sized Caffé Mocha - It seemed like a good idea at the time, but a drink containing that many espresso shots should be illegal.
2. Regular coffee with a shot of vanilla - Ew. This is the only Starbucks drink I've ever taken a sip of and wanted to throw out right away. Mouthful of chemicals instead of the subtle vanilla taste I expected.
3. Cookies and Cream Frappuccino - Cookies and cream topping looks too close to coffee grounds for comfort.
4. Crème Brulee Latte - A lot of sugar, even for a frou-frou Starbucks drink.
5. Pastries in general - In general heavy, expensive and can't compete with the fresh pastries at your favorite bakery.

And now the top 5 best...

1. Pumpkin Spice Latte - The perfect fall drink.
2. Caramel Frappuccino - I swear by this in the summer. Love the mingling of textures of Frappuccino, caramel sauce and whipped cream.
3. Iced Passion Tea Lemonade - Top summer drink of years past. All their refreshers are pretty good.
4. Starbucks "Perfect" Oatmeal paired with coffee - Is, well, perfect. Dried fruit, nuts, oatmeal, packaged spoon. Why does this taste so much better than oatmeal I make at home? Must be a mind trick.
5. Pike Place Roast - Starbucks does regular coffee extremely well. The lackadaisical pastries are made 1000x better with this coffee.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Via Brain Pickings, Michael Lewis' first piece of advice to aspiring writers: "It’s always good to have a motive to get you in the chair. If your motive is money, find another one."

Friday, August 30, 2013

"What matters is that you do good work. What matters is that you produce things that are true and will stand. What matters is that the Flaming Lips’s new album is ravishing and I’ve listened to it a thousand times already, sometimes for days on end, and it enriches me and makes me want to save people."

From an essay on "selling out" by Dave Eggers, reposted on caterina.net

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I've been having the urge to blog lately, in the sense that I have things I want to get off my chest, and writing may be the only way I can truly do so. I've stopped writing for the most part. What is the point? No one reads this anyway. There is no utility to personal writing, at this point in my life. My time is better spent doing just about anything else -- learning computer skills, doing research for work, calling up a friend, watching a TV show or movie, reading a book, cleaning the house, learning another language.

I ask myself, how did I have so much time to blog when I was in college, and so little time to write now? Well, to put it bluntly, I didn't have a life. I didn't have a real job. I didn't have a boyfriend. I didn't have many friends to hang out with since I was so shy. I had summers off.

Writing was always a hobby, it was never about utility, never about wanting people to read what I wrote and say something nice about it. It was never about getting page views. It was never about getting paid. It was really one of the purest things I've ever done. I did it because I loved it, because it was an outgrowth of the person I was. Pure self-expression.

School is never pure like that. Work is NEVER like that. Even friendships and romantic relationships are often about tit for tat and social survival. But writing I poured myself into, and out of it I got ... a feeling, I guess, a feeling of well-being, of understanding, of putting something out there in the ether. Perhaps a feeling of satisfaction when I wrote something I felt was truly meaningful. Out of my blog I also got a few email pals and that was worthwhile.

I've investigated thoroughly the possibility of writing for a living and it just seems, from what I've read, that the outside world seems to agree with my current conclusion, that writing isn't worth much. A lot of people want to write, and many of them want to write so badly that they will do it for little or no money. A lot of people do write books, and there are a lot of books out there that don't get read. There are a lot of blogs out there. Most of them are a lot better than this one. Do I need to add to those numbers? Really? Does anyone care? No. Would anyone miss me if I never wrote another word? No.

Do I have something to say? I've read books that have so much to say about life and are so good that I feel like I demean language itself every time I start a blog post. I never say anything useful just going around in circles with these musings about life. But does everything have to have a price assigned to it?

I'll publish this and then decide tomorrow if it was worth taking the time to write or was a complete waste of time.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg is a must-read for every working woman. Yeah, I've heard the criticisms of the book, some of which are mentioned in the interview below -- you're telling women the problem is with themselves, that women are not ambitious enough, etc., etc. But I believe Sandberg's message is an important one. I think she deals honestly with the internal and external obstacles that can hold women back from leadership positions, and she reiterates why it is important that women strive for these positions.