Monday, November 28, 2011

Why Does Calvin and Hobbes So Aptly Describe My Life Sometimes?

I don't really hate school. I actually really love it right now. I just woke up this morning loathe to face the weeks ahead of me.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This morning I woke up and I wanted crepes.

Now I've never been to Europe, and I don't speak French. So when I say I wanted crepes, what I mean is I wanted crapes, pronounced like "grapes" only with a "c." Not "c-phlegmnoise-ehps," "crapes." It's important that I make that distinction. Doubtlessly if some friend or family member of mine who had lived in/worked in/visited crepe-eating Europe were to try the crepes that I'm familiar with, they would laugh with derision, nonchalantly wipe their nose with a silk handkerchief and say, "Sam(my), those are not crepes. Real crepes _________(insert description of real crepes here)." Now that we've made that distinction, we can carry on.

So I got out of bed and was about to go upstairs and make crepes when I saw my basketball under my desk. Seeing that, I decided that I wanted to play basketball instead. So forgetting all about crepes, I pulled on some shorts and a long sleeve shirt, grabbed a stocking cap and my ball, and I headed to the basketball court down by the tracks.

I shot around for a little while, running constantly so as to stay warm. After about 45 minutes of hearing shot after shot after shot swish cleanly through the chain net, I went back home intent on showering and getting after my homework. As I was driving home listening to "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes and wondering why the song wasn't more appropriately named "What's Going On," my stomach grumbled and I realized that I still wanted crepes. It was weird. Usually when I crave some food item, that craving lasts all of 15-20 minutes and I'm on to something else. But not this morning. The need for crepes had stuck around and had somehow achieved a previously unknown staying power. I took it as a sign that the universe really wanted me to have crepes for breakfast, so I gave in.

I got home and went down to my room to find my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. After searching for a little while I found it, and that's when it hit me: I haven't made crepes since I was a freshman here at BYU.

Flashback to '04 - '05.

Nearly every Saturday morning I would wake up and, having nothing to do, would bust out the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that my mom had bought for me when I moved to school. I'd flip through it and find something awesome to make for breakfast. It was nothing super fancy, usually crepes or German pancakes or waffles or other fairly simple recipes. Occasionally I did get a little bit more adventurous, but I tended to stick close to the simple stuff. One time I remember I was trying a recipe that called for yeast and I had to call one of my sisters to ask where the yeast is in the store. I don't remember what it was I was cooking, so I'm guessing I blocked out whatever failure happened after I'd bought the yeast. What I mean to say with all this is that I was a cooking machine.

During that year I called my mom and sisters a lot asking them what various cooking terms meant and how to do things in the kitchen that I'd never done before, like cooking spaghetti squash. It was a great year.

Back to the present day.

I pulled my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook out from under a stack of VHS tapes and headed up to the kitchen. As I walked up the stairs thumbing through the cookbook, I saw grease stains on recipes of things that I hadn't tried to make since my freshman year. I ran across coffee cake and buttermilk biscuits and blondies. If stains are any indication of past experiments I'm led to believe that I may have even tried to make fudge at one point. Thinking back to those days I couldn't help but pine for nights and weekends when I didn't have homework or other pressing concerns that took up my time. And by "didn't have homework" I of course mean "didn't do homework." Well nothing wasn't stopping me today.

I found the page with the crepe recipe and realized how easy it really is, even without a crepe maker. So I turned on my Pandora Diana Krall (Christmas) station and set to it.

I won't bore you with details of mixing the ingredients and cooking the batter in a frying pan and all that jazz, but suffice it to say, when all was said and done, the crepes were delicious.

I'd have taken a picture of the crepes as proof of my morning's activities, but my ravishing hunger didn't allow for their prolonged existence. My apologies. Instead here's a stock photo of crepes that very nearly approximates my experience this morning.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Let Me Get What I Want

There's this song by The Smiths called "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" that I've always really liked. She and Him covered this song and I like their version of it as well. (I will admit I like most anything Zooey Deschanel does simply because it's her.)

This morning, when I was in the shower, the song from this scene (featured below) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off popped into my head. I didn't know this until I looked it up, but it turns out the band Dream Academy recorded an instrumental cover of "Please, Please, etc.," and that's the song in this video:

I'm not sure why, but I'm absolutely in love with this song, and it's been in my head all day. When I was meeting with my students and talking with them about their research papers I would occasionally start humming or whistling it without realizing it. (I doubt any of them were surprised.) When I went for my run I stepped and breathed to the beat of this song. When I wasn't meeting with my students or running, I probably watched this video 15 or 20 times. I don't know what it is, but I can't get over it.

So now I'm sitting in the library and all I want to do is go to a fine art museum (preferably in Chicago) and spend hours looking at world famous art. Maybe I'd spend a few extra minutes looking at the points in the little girl's mouth in Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

Unfortunately I can't. I can't even go to the MOA to admire the MOA's newest acquisition, Brian Kershisnik's Nativity. Instead I have to sit here in the library and write a paper.

But before I get to that, I'm probably going to watch this video a couple more times first.