Friday, October 28, 2011

Up To Speed

Grad school is exhausting.

Hello, blog! Sorry for the disappearance, but it seems I've fallen into the black hole of graduate school and am only now emerging from that deep, dark place. On the bright side, I've established a rhythm of sorts: Sunday is crazy prep time for the week ahead, mostly taken up by reading the massive amount of pages I have due each week while lying on the couch with my feet tucked under a dog. (I said my life was busy now, not hard: big difference!) Monday and Tuesday are when I have the bulk of my classes and I'm on campus, darting from room to room for most of the day. Wednesdays I have off and spend most of the day writing, grading and preparing my lesson plan for Thursday's teaching stint. And then it's Friday and I can breathe again. It's busy and a little stressful, but I'm happy to report that I'm still loving every minute of it.

A recipe for beer.

Even with the breakneck speed of graduate school, I am finding time to relax and have fun. Last weekend, when we got back from our mini-camping trip, we drove to a local beer and wine brewer and bought some supplies to make a batch of beer. We haven't brewed since we moved to North Carolina and I'm looking forward to filling the house with the smell of hops.


I also had the pleasure of attending a potluck and a board game night, which are my two favorite ways to socialize. Better than the bar, for sure, but probably not better than a nice restaurant (though much cheaper!). For the potluck I made vegan pigs in a blanket, or, as I like to call them, tofu pups in a snuggie, which were the usual hit. They look exactly like their non-vegan counterparts and are just as unhealthy, but are fun party food nonetheless. Just take a package of vegan hot dogs, slice them into thirds, and wrap a bit of Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough around them. (Vegan by default, but mostly because they are 75% chemicals.) Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes and arrange artfully on your Missoni plate from Target for some extra fanciness.

Vegan pigs in a blanket.

Last but not least, I have made good on my promise to keep my socializing to the weekends - with the exception of a trip to the bar Tuesday night for a friend's birthday. I was going to have two beers and then head home, as I had a lot of things to do on Wednesday, but while we were there about half the MFA program showed up and I ended up having four beers and staying up way too late. Needless to say, my Wednesday productivity was shot. On the bright side, I did manage to clean my whole house in lieu of actually writing. Still: lesson learned. Again. And probably not for the last time.

Java stout at Satellite.

I think that brings y'all up to speed. Tonight I am headed to a halloween party and literary reading (we read first and then we party - should be fun!) and tomorrow is another friend's birthday. Somewhere in there I will read a novel for class, brew five gallons of beer, run a bunch of miles (knee willing), and bake something Halloween themed. How about you?