Southern Initiation


The featured image today is a shot of huge leaves on a tree I saw while walking home from campus a new way today. They’re like the one I saw that my cousins found several days ago that looked as if it was two feet across.

Believe it or not, I’ve had this blog entry open for hours trying to finish it. Today has been hectic, but I’ve done enough exploring to be able to add some interesting things to this entry instead of just complaining about midterms and stats. (Sorry about that, by the way.)

First of all, I did start today off with plenty of stats studying. I was a good graduate student for several hours. Then I needed a break, so I went home and got sucked (rather happily) into Ashley’s errands. We went all over Norfolk.

First we got some lunch at Cookout, one of my favorite Southern fast food restaurants. It’s got literally any food you can think of that a family cookout might have. I love their hot dogs (I even eat them with mustard, which is weird). Their shakes are so thick that trying to drink them with a straw, while possible, makes the muscles in your jaw hurt after a while. They provide a spoon for this fact only, since there’s nothing else on their menu for which a spoon would be appropriate. Ashley also introduced me to something called a Hush Puppy:

IMG_4336They’re apparently fried dough but not as deathly sweet as the fried dough I’m used to that’s covered in cinnamon sugar most of the time. They were delicious but also definitely not nutritious and certainly not something I’d want to eat all the time. I had a much better meal tonight when Nicole, Chris, and I went out for her birthday dinner to this cool restaurant that featured healthy food. I had this weird dish I’ve never heard of before with root vegetables, chickpeas, curry (as a base), and parsley. It was good, but I wasn’t expecting the root vegetables to be there. I’m not usually a fan of parsnips and/or turnips, but I will tolerate beets.

I forgot to say earlier that my day actually started off with a rather intense Yoga session. Here’s the pose we attempted today:

B0068P 0395I can’t figure out what it’s called, unfortunately. This isn’t even the right pose: the one we did today had the knee that’s up in the air resting on the tricep and the other leg (her right) extending the other way. It was incredibly difficult and I definitely spent a lot of time today falling on my face and generally looking weak. The guy on my right got it, though. I kicked my legs higher than he did while we were attempting handstands, though, so ha.

We also went to PetSmart today to buy Dezie more flea medication. I’ve never really spent much time at PetSmart, but it’s fascinating. First of all, they have signs over all the cages for the animals saying what they are and how big they will eventually be, i.e., “Chinchilla: I can grow to be up to twelve inches. Loud noises scare me.” (Insert obligatory Jenna Marbles reference here.) Usually the signs at the tops of the cages didn’t actually correspond to the animals inside them, so I hope some little 4th grader didn’t come in looking to observe a guinea pig and watch a rat instead. I was also struck by these:

IMG_4343Go ahead. Enlarge the picture and read the ingredients. Nothing too bad on there, right? Worst ones are probably the preservative and the dye. Guess what they are:

IMG_4345They’re dog treats. But I’m pretty convinced that they could be human treats too. They look pretty delectable (what dog needs sprinkles?!) and I’d actually be intrigued to see how a cookie made with sweet potato tastes.

We also went to WalMart so Ashley could pick up her contacts with her new prescription. I didn’t need anything but I wandered back to the cosmetics area to see if I could find fake eyelashes for Halloween (I’m thinking of being the Evil Queen this year- she’s easy to do on a budget because one half of her costume is makeup and the other is black clothing). I found fake eyelashes and fake nails, so obviously I bought both.

IMG_4338I got bored waiting for Ashely so I went back to the car, turned on my audiobook, and pressed them on. It was quite the process. Putting on the first nail was difficult and I was disappointed until I realized how to pick the right nail for my finger size. It also gets more and more difficult to put them on as you move through the application process because fewer fingers are available to peel back protective plastic, select the nails from the container, etc. It’s quite a test of dexterity, especially when you’re sitting in a car with the windows down to let in the (moderate) breeze.

They’re a pain in the neck. I couldn’t open the new GPS Mom got me for my road trip to Ithaca:

IMG_4349So Ashley had to do it for me. She also helped me open my tupperware so I could eat dinner. I was able to both take off and put on my own pants, though, which I thought was quite the achievement. I did enjoy the nice tapping noise they made on the counter as I was waiting for an incompetent pharmacy employee to figure out my insurance information. I decided that since I’m taking a midterm tomorrow and therefore will have to be able to both hold a pencil and write with it that I had better cut them:

IMG_4351I haven’t filed them into the perfect shape yet but now at least they’re manageable. Never doing that again- they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

So that was my day. We also went out for dinner, but the general good mood was a bit ruined when we got back to the car and realized that Nicole had gotten a ticket. Let me ask: despite this terrible-quality iPhone picture, do YOU see the parking sign in this picture?

IMG_4361

Yeah, we didn’t either. It’s behind the sparkly tree. It actually says that the zone we parked in is for taxis only between the hours of 6pm-6am. Grr.

Anway, I’m finally home and excited to go to bed relatively early so I’m rested for tomorrow. I’m glad I got so much done today, it will make tomorrow easier!

Happy learning!

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