Saturday, October 23, 2010

well, hello again

I know it's been a while.
Sorry for that!
This just will be a little catch up.
Last week I shipped a box of my homemade cookies to my Mom and she really liked them. That made me really happy because lately I had the impression that she does not trust my cooking skills (or she does not like what I make). But she DID like the cookies. She ate them all the day she got them. :)
And shipping was really easy. Nobody tried to sell me anything this time.

Oh and do you remember how I wrote that I passed the exam but didn't know the grade yet?
Well I found out that I barely passed with the worst grade possible, like 1 point keeping me from failing and I was really disappointed.
After all, I studied really hard for this exam.
So when the prof offered the chance to look at the exams I went to find out what I did wrong.
And guess what??
He missed some points. In fact so many points that it really improved my grade.
Lesson from this: Always go and take a look at the exam, when possible.
Profs are only people too. :)
So that made me really happy!!

But of course I also had to run into stupid people again.
This time it was *surprise* a fellow student. Her shoe was untied and I called her to tell her because I didn't want her to trip and fall.
Apparently she already knew that her shoe was untied.
But instead of saying something like "Thanks, but I already knew that" she decided to lecture me about how she ALWAYS knows when her shoes are untied and how it was totally unnecessary of me to tell her.
And she couldn't let go. At some point I just walked away.
When I met her at the train station again she started to lecture me again.
Seriously???
I really wanted to push her in front of the train. Next time I will keep my mouth shut and watch her fall with great pleasure...
post signature

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

big soft ginger cookies

Back in 2006 in New York, my first host mother (remember, I was an Au Pair for two years) took me and the kids to NYC.
We strolled around and she showed me the city.
Not the tourist stuff, more the "insider places".
Somewhere near I think Washington Square Park (somehow I couldn't remember the name and just looking at Manhattan on google maps made me homesick) is/was a bakery and there she got us cappuccino and big soft ginger cookies.
This was thebest most delicious cookie I ever ate in my life.
For some reasons I never went back to that bakery even though I lived close to NYC for 14 more months.
I tried other cookies, ginger snaps, Mrs Fields cookies etc and they were good but not like THAT cookie I ate there.
I did eat other great cookies in the US though but this ginger cookie always was in the back of my head.
So fast forward 4 ½ years and here I sat, browsing recipes.
All of the sudden it popped in my mind to "look up ginger cookies".
And I did, and to no surprise I found a recipe.
Big soft ginger cookies by allrecipes.com.
Looking at the pictures the cookies looked like what I remembered and the ingredients did the rest to convince me.
So on Monday when I was off I went to work.
I thought I would mix the dough, do some batches (after all I only have a small oven) and be done.
Well, it turned out that I miscalculated. Big time!
The recipe says it makes 24 cookies.
So I did the first batch which was a story for itself.
If you read the recipe you know that you are supposed to "Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar."
Well, easier said than done because the molasses made for one sticky mess mass.
And it was a pain to shape anything out of it because it stuck to the fingers like crazy.
In the comment section somebody recommended spraying your fingers with cooking spray.
Since I am in Germany I have no such thing, so I "washed" my hands in oil and it worked for a while.

For the second sheet I used spoons to form and it worked a bit better.
After the first load came out of the oven I decided to decrease the walnuts to hazelnuts.

I figured having bite size cookies would just be easier.
Plus I would have more to share.
After I fiddled with spoons for a while I had THE idea.
Or so I thought.
I would just use an icing bag.
This worked pretty good except for the fact that I have only disposable ones and they are not so strong and so of course the first one burst open at some point.

But I didn't give up and produced sheet after sheet of those:


And in the end I ended up with this:

The big ones in the top corner are the size they should have according to the recipe.
But I think the outcome would still have been more than 24.
They taste ok but they are not soft and needless to say they don't taste like I wanted them to taste.
I am not sure but I might have added too much butter.
I used cups for all measurements except the butter.
For the butter I used the tool on the page that converts the measurements into metric and then used my kitchen scale.
IF I ever do them again I will use cups for the butter as well I think.

Those cookies are just another reason why I have to go back to the States one day. :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday

Today I woke up from the sound noise the landlord made when renovating upstairs.
On a Sunday.  In a very catholic city.
You HAVE to be kidding me!
Well obviously not and so it felt like the hammering took place right in my head when I went to the bathroom which is apparently right under the construction site.
I got more annoyed by the minute.
I called my Mom to vent a bit and she was able to hear it through the phone.
Luckily it stopped a while later.
I just hung around at home, had breakfast, coffee, read some blogs, had more coffee, did this and that and had more.. you know.
Well at one point I got mad at my neighbor for reasons I wouldn't share here because I don't want to gross out anybody and my anger toward my landlord rose due to something else.
You can look forward to a post about the whole housing/ neighbor/ landlord thing once the issue is solved.
Well, then a spammer infested one of my favorite forums and that was it.
I had to get out for a while.
So I grabbed my iPod and purse and left.
I walked all the way to the Rhine and then walked by the river for a while.
At some point I got me some McDonald's and sat by the water, watching boats go by and ate.
This was such a beautiful and calming walk and I certainly should do it more often.
Next time I will take the bus though and just start walking by the river and not wasting time with walking to the river.
I was out for two hours and when I got back I felt great.
The weather was gorgeous, sun shining, sky blue etc....


 Later I finished the book I was reading, had dinner, and now I am watching TV before I go to bed.
Hope everybody has a great week!
post signature

Saturday, October 9, 2010

harassment at the post office

(I added a button to my blog, grab it from the right sidebar if you like)

This will be a post about the Post, our postal service.
I like to send and receive parcels, letters and postcards.
I am even a user of postcrossing.com .
But I can't stand our Deutsche Post. I don't know how it was back in the day but I believe the reason for how it is now is that the Post does not belong to the government anymore but is privatized.
Every time I walk in there the service is really nice, nothing to complain about.
BUT: After you finish your transaction, they ALWAYS try to talk you into opening an account with the Postbank.
This pisses me off everytime.
And when I was there on Thursday the guy tried to talk me into getting internet with them after I declined the bank account.
Since I already have an internet account with them I was hoping to shut him up by telling him so.
Boy, I was wrong.
He then tried to talk me into upgrading my bandwidth for only 50 cents more per month.
I told him I would move soon and might take care of that afterward.
He asked me "Why wait?" because apparently it would take up to 10 days to change it anyways.
When I told him that I didn't have a new place yet, and might come back later he thought it would be smart to offer me their moving service.
They would change everything, inform the gas provider, electricity company, make sure my phone account is switched in time etc. and I should not wait til the last moment.
I swallowed my not so nice answer and left.
Maybe next time I should tell him to Eff off as soon as I got my stamps. (just kidding of course but it is SO annoying)
I don't know what is wrong with those people. Do they have somebody with a gun in the backroom who makes sure that they try everything to sell additional services?




post signature

Friday, October 8, 2010

Today is a pretty good day

because today I learned that I passed the General Chemistry exam.
I don't know the grade yet because the list is not out but I passed and that's all that counts right now.
I have to admit that I had some nightmares recently because I started thinking. "What if you failed again? And what if you failed physics as well and microscopy." Pretty stupid but I was really worried.
As you can see, I have a new design which the awesome Leelou published today.
I LOVE her designs, go and check out her page! She has some really cute free designs and backgrounds but you can also buy something personalized.

Oh, as you might have noticed, I changed the title of my blog. I think now I found the perfect description of my life. :)

Oh and something funny: Today during class somebody sneezed really loud, it was kind of an eruption. The teacher stopped mid-sentence and without missing a beat said "Wipe it up".
Awesome!
post signature

Thursday, October 7, 2010

this week so far

Beside the fact that I don't know yet who I will work with in the lab school is ok so far.
I liked all of the lessons I heard so far.
I especially like Law.
We have a real judge introducing us to the world of law.
Some lessons will be held by a lawyer and some by a prosecutor/ district attorney.
So it is really first hand and real life.
At least that's how it was when we had "crime scene investigation" in the first semester which was held by real investigators.
I am really looking forward to it (and I hope my prior experience with the study of law will give me an advantage).
The only downside is that it is taught on Tuesdays from 4pm to 6:30 pm.
Either I have lab in the morning and then have to sit there and kill 4 hours until it starts or come to school only for this class, like this week.
Either way, it is way too late in my opinion and I think I might have to break with my habit of not drinking coffee after 5 pm anymore...
We have a class on Wednesday at the same time and I almost fell asleep several times during that class yesterday.
It is just too late in the day, if you ask me.
But obviously nobody asked me. :)
They didn't ask me about the lab classes either.
There are certain times per week but not every week which are blocked for my class (or some groups of students from our class) in the different labs.
Thursday afternoon is one of those time slots.
And guess who will have a lab class on Thursday, December 23rd??
Yes, that would be me.
Means, that I will spend December 24th on a train traveling home for Christmas.
Just a reminder: 12/24 is Christmas Eve and here in Germany most "action" takes place on Christmas Eve.
Obviously my family will wait with dinner and presents for me but that really pisses me off, because I love the preparation (decorating the tree etc) almost as much as the actual thing.
I have to check some other airlines but my usual airline has a flight leaving Cologne-Bonn airport at 8:25 am and I would never make it there at this early hour on public transportation.
Plus, I would have to take the train from Hamburg to the town near where my Mom lives or somebody would have to pick me up at the airport.
So it looks like I will take the train home from here.
At least the train goes through and I don't have to switch somewhere so at least there will be no worry about missed connections.
But back to school.
On Monday I didn't have to go at all.
On Tuesday it did not start before 2 pm, on Wednesday not before 4 pm.
But today I had to be there at 10 am and tomorrow it is 8 am.
I already had problems this morning and when I got home I fell asleep in  front of the TV and feel like crap now. :)
Wonder how it will be tomorrow.
I have to go to bed really early today, that's for sure.



post signature

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

another one bit the dust...

actually it is two of them.
I am talking about my former lab partners and they are not really dead, they just don't exist anymore as far as I am concerned.
See, I totally understand if somebody does not want to work with me anymore.
I was not that happy with one of them either.
But if I had decided to find another lab partner I would have been so decent to tell my former lab partners before I do so.
It was really great to find out that I don't have lab partners anymore from seeing their names with somebody else on the sign up sheet for the different lab dates. NOT!
And til now they didn't dare to talk to me about that.
I doubt that they ever will but if they approach me about that, I will make sure they know my point of view.
I know it is hard to tell somebody that you don't want to work with him anymore. How do I know that?
Well, my first lab partner who is still my friend told me how tough it is. Because she told me that she does not want to work with me anymore before she found herself a new partner.
That was not a nice experience but it showed me that she cares about me and my feelings. That's why we are still friends.

I am not mad at them for not wanting to work with me anymore, I am just mad because  they didn't have the balls to tell me so.
I mean, we're all grown-ups, at least on our IDs....

To say it with Papa Roach:
I will forgive but I won't forget / And I hope you know you've lost my respect ...
post signature

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Happy 20th Birthday, United Germany!

October 3rd is a federal holiday here in Germany
It's the day Germany made history again, yet this time on a very positive note.
October 3rd marks the day on which the divided Germany became one nation again.
For a short recap of the events check this video. :)



In our family it became a tradition to go out for dinner or lunch on that day to celebrate.
Today my Mom, my two brothers and one girlfriend went out.
I obviously didn't because I am not there but I will go and treat myself to subway later.
Pretty lame compared to the Greece restaurant they went to, but well...
Next year we will do something different and meet halfway between here and there.

I could have gone to my Moms house but school starts tomorrow and when I found out that classes don't start  before Tuesday for me, I already had made other plans and bought train tickets.
 On Wednesday was the last exam for this semester.
On Thursday I went to Cologne to finally get a pair of shoes and pants.
Well, I didn't find any shoes but at least I have a new pair of jeans now. :)
Just took me 20 tries to find one because I went to TK Maxx and they only had single pieces there and not the same kind of pants in different sizes.
On Friday I went to my best friends house to finally give her little boy his birthday present. :)
He loved it! :)
And I had a good time too. I got to play with kids and to hold and feed a baby.
I really missed that.
In the evening it was adult beverages and some card games for the grown-ups and on Saturday I went home again.

Today is our national holiday as I said and I will go out in a while but before that I spent the whole day cleaning because I forced myself not to start while I was still studying for the exams.
And I found out something really annoying which might provide some blog fodder for the future and some changes in general...

I hope everybody has a great week!


post signature