The Month of Discovery

And as September comes to a close, so does the summer. September has been a month of discovery. I got to do a lot of the things I’ve been meaning to do and I got too see all the people I wanted to see because August was my month of monetary and social asceticism.

I used my new credit card for the first time and I realized how easy it is to just spend without looking at the price or worrying about the money. How dangerous. Reminder to self: make your first payment soon! Something irksome that I’ve run into is the very fact that I can’t actually keep track of my actual money. I like to check my bank account every now and then to see that everything’s okay. But with my credit card, it’s like money that hasn’t been taken away from my account, that I’ll have to pay in bulk at a later time. Luckily, I do use a budgeting app, so I can still keep track of how much I’ve spent monthly. I’ve realized that I have a conflict: I try not to put so much weight on money, now. I don’t want to live my life in pursuit of more money and more things. Yet, realistically, I know that it’s necessary to do and have the things I want, to live comfortably. It’s frustrating.

Lately, it’s been harder and harder to refuse alcohol. I’m still going strong in my sobriety, but recently, I’ve been getting urges to drink. Uh oh! I think I’m still gonna try to hold out until my birthday, though. Wish me luck.

Last week, I got personally victimized by a praying mantis. I forgot it’s praying mantis season at my house and I left my door open as per usual. If you were not blessed enough to watch this rare Snapchat story, I feel sorry for you.

I’ve been playing this game called Pokemon Shuffle on my phone and it’s simultaneously fun and evil. It’s a simple Pokemon game that I can do on small breaks, yet it’s so frustrating that sometimes I want to throw my phone. For some reason, I can’t stop playing. The whole Tetris effect has already happened- I see it when I close my eyes, in my dreams, etc. Sigh.

Yesterday, I got to play Munchkin for the first time (because for some reason, I never played and I’ve been wanting to play for a couple years now) and it was brilliant. I miss the days back when my friends and I were underage so we didn’t go out and drink on weekends, but we stayed in and played games. Sometimes, it’s nice just to stay in and have a rousing game of Munchkin, right?

The US Open was this month, and as you probably don’t recall, I posted last year that I really wanted to watch it this year because I missed it last year. There were some upsets, but there were some really incredible moves. I was in awe. Tennis is my favorite sport, I like to watch and play. I hadn’t played in years, but I picked it up again this month and I’m trying to play more regularly, mainly just for fitness reasons. And not to mention, it’s really fun. I think I want to go to New York next year to watch a game live; I think it’d be so awesome to experience that.

I went bouldering for the first time this month. It was quite exhilarating. I couldn’t get past level 0, which was for some reason, still pretty hard. I can’t imagine doing a free climb on an actual cliff side. It’s a hobby I’d like to explore, but it’s also pretty expensive, so we’ll see.

I also tried archery for the first time this month. It was really fun, but at times frustrating. Everyone makes it seem so easy, but there’s so much that goes into it. The strangest feeling washes over you when you know you’ve landed a hit, almost like a premonition. It’s awesome. I’d definitely like to do this again, as well, but again, it’s a pretty expensive hobby.

Another fun thing I did this month was an escape room. I’ve been wanting to do one for the longest time, but I never got around to signing up for it until one opened up near me, and of course, it was Harry Potter themed, so that sealed the deal. It was really fun and we ended up setting a record there, too. I’d definitely want to go back and try their other rooms, too. It’s a bit pricey, but I think every now and then, it’d be fun to do. It’s a good friendship-building (and potentially -ruining) exercise and there is a sense of thrill in it because of the time limit.

I also went hiking this month. We went to Sturtevant Falls and thankfully, it wasn’t too hot until we were about to leave. The falls were dried up (days before, I saw posts of it still having water). It was disappointing only because this drought makes me so sad. I probably wouldn’t go back even if there was water because I feel like there are better hikes out there, but I’m glad I experienced it once. There’s one more mini-hike I want to do this year before I go hard in the paint next year and do bigger hikes. Of course, I’ll actually probably need to buy gear and stuff too. But it’s something that I want to do no matter how much my mind and body complain.

As I stated, September was a month of discovery. I liked all the new things I tried, and I’m glad I got the opportunities to do all the things I did. I don’t think I’ll ever be the type of person to focus on one hobby, nor will I ever be an expert in this stuff. But that’s okay by me; I like to be a dabbler, a jack-of-all-trades; I like to have fun and try doing new things. One of my favorite new phrases is do you, boo (the other being sucks to suck), and it’s really important for to try and live by this mantra. Really, 2015 has been a huge year of new things and really discovering my own bravery to find the life I really want to live. I know it’s a naive notion, but at the same time, I feel I’ve matured.

I guess it’s that time to choose my song of the summer. But since I listened to a ton of new music this summer and I can’t just pick one, here’s a mini-playlist to describe this summer:

  1. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap
  2. Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne
  3. Good for You – Selena Gomez
  4. Something Better – Audien (ft. Lady Antebellum)
  5. High by the Beach – Lana Del Rey
  6. Stressed Out – Twenty One Pilots
  7. The Hills – The Weeknd
  8. Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift

Food Lab:

  • I got back into cooking in a big way this month. I’ve gotten more comfortable and confident cooking with and for other people. Last year, I started my kitchen endeavors mainly cooking for myself because I didn’t want the pressure of messing up other people’s foods. Now, I feel like I’ve gotten better at it, so I have the ability to work with others. And I’m not so scared to modify recipes now! I went through my whole list and did one of each category: main dish, appetizer, dessert, drink, and breakfast.
  • Bacon-wrapped spinach-stuffed chicken breast: okay, so I realized this was the first time I handled raw chicken. And this turned out really really good, like better than I expected and it wasn’t too difficult to prepare. Find the recipe on allrecipes.com, and I modified it by marinating the chicken in buttermilk for a couple hours before. I found that the bacon really added to this dish, because the chicken could be rather bland. Bacon fat is the best.
  • Bacon chips and jalapeno guacamole: I saw this on Buzzfeed, so naturally, mine didn’t turn out nearly as pretty. I modified it by adding chopped up jalapenos to some store-bought guacamole, which was rather gross at the start. It’s basically glorified, bite-sized bacon. But still, it’s bacon, so…
  • Strawberry cheesecake x shortcake sundae: Another Buzzfeed recipe, I was really excited about this because it looked really simple and delicious. Turns out, it was simple and delicious. I modified it by using Thrifty’s strawberry cheesecake ice cream (the best ever) and using crumbled up Madeleines as the shortcake.
  • Peach and kiwi bellinis: Found this on alexandracooks.com, and since my favorite Fat Tuesday is the peach bellini, I really wanted to try it. My conundrum was that I’m currently sober, so I had to substitute sparkling white wine with sparkling apple cider. The cool thing is you could pretty much puree any fruit you want, add sugar until it’s desired sweetness and you’re done. I modified this by using simple syrup I had and also, for a cheap alcoholic version, use hard cider!
  • Brian’s bacon [b]ancakes with bourbon butter and blueberry syrup: I saw this on howsweeteats.com, but it was waffles and I didn’t have a waffle iron, so I used a pancake recipe from allrecipes.com, and pretty much combined the recipes into one. I didn’t use as much bacon and my blueberry syrup didn’t seem as mashed, but it turned out really rich and delicious. I added my name in front because it seemed like such a specialty item and it’s a combined recipe and I don’t know, wouldn’t it be cool to have a signature dish?!
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~ by Btab on 25 September 2015.

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