Rhubarb Berry Pie

I honestly think there may be nothing more perfect in the universe than rhubarb pie. It’s all the greatest flavors and textures and memories rolled into one sweet morsel. I was lucky enough to have my first slice in over 6 years yesterday, and it was an amazing, decadent experience. It might have been the flower garden, the porch swing or the bee hive in the garden, but yesterday evening, visiting some friends of my parents with them, was the peace and sanctuary from anything everyday. It was all of what I imagine relaxing in summer with some interesting people and good food should be. And I am happier because of it.

Rhubarb Berry Pie

Ingredients

* 1 cup fresh blackberries
* 1 cup raspberries
* 2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces & microwave for 2 mins
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2/3 cup shortening
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 4 tablespoons ice water
* 1 tablespoon butter, melted
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 1/2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
* 2 tablespoons white sugar

Directions

1. To Make Filling: In a medium bowl, combine blackberries, raspberries, and rhubarb. In a separate bowl, mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Sprinkle over fruit mixture and stir gently. Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
2. To Make Crust: In a large bowl, mix 2 cups flour with salt. Cut in shortening and 2 tablespoons butter until texture is like coarse cornmeal. Place 1/3 of mixture in a separate bowl. To the smaller portion, add water and mix to form a paste. Add this mixture back to the rest of flour mixture and stir just until dough forms a ball. Allow to rest at least 20 minutes before rolling out. Divide dough in half. Roll out bottom crust and place in 9 inch pie pan.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
4. Mix 1 tablespoon melted butter and lemon juice into fruit filling, then spoon into pastry-lined pie pan. Roll out top crust and place over filling. Crimp edges and cut steam vents in top. Brush lightly with half and half and sprinkle lightly with sugar.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake an additional 40 to 50 minutes, until crust is golden brown.

Waiting

So I had a job interview yesterday morning that I thought went really well. They sounded very excited to have me and seemed to like me a lot. After the interview, which I was early for, they shook my hand and said they would call that afternoon.

Now I know that they are all busy with building a completely new building and getting it ready to start selling by monday. And given that extremely busy situation, I can understand them not remembering to call. They seem like very nice, busy people.

I’m just not certain on a job’s policy when it comes to giving an interviewer a call back. Is an employer allowed to not contact a person and just contact those they want to hire, or is it more like a play, wherein there is a cast list posted and everyone finds out if they made the cut or not? I’m not sure if I should be waiting around for the phone to ring, assume I have the job already, or give up and try for somewhere else. What are the rules with this?

The Great Job Hunt

Well, the main goal right now is to get a job that will pay me a regular paycheck. My parents have made a deal with me that they will keep giving me enough money to live on until I get a job, as long as I fill out 10 applications a week. The issue is, since this is the deal, I feel like some of the applications I would normally have done and turned in right now, despite that the locations are not hiring right now, I’m putting off. Since I’ve already reached my 10 application quota, I’m afraid I’ll run out of places to hire me/the will to keep on filling out the same useless information for places that won’t be hiring for months.

Currently, over ten potential employers know my social security number, by next week it will be 20. Of the potential 50 or so applications I may fill out before I get a job (or more), how many of them will call me for an interview? How many will even consider hiring me since I am a fairly messy, disorganized and opinionated person.

I’ve filled out 8 employment aptitude tests in the past 4 days, and I keep on changing my answers, because I’m not sure what the right answer is. Do I say I’m messy when I’m trying really hard to be more neat? Do I say I have no regrets? How can anyone say they’ve NEVER said anything that has hurt another individual in some way? I feel like all of my weaknesses come to light through the painful repetition of questions.

I wish I could just say: I am not a neat person. I am very talkative, opinionated and lack a certain level of tact. I do not always love everything in my life, and things can get me down. I am loud, I am sometimes unhappy, I don’t always try my very hardest and I don’t work at super light speed. I am not the “perfect employee”, but I will love whatever job I’m given and will keep working hard, because it will give me money for food, and interaction with people on a daily basis, and afford me greater freedom from my financial burdens, and my parents.

If only employers would ask us questions about what we expect of ourselves, how hard we try and overcome our inadequacies, instead of asking us all our weaknesses, no matter how humiliating or embarrassing. I am only 21 years old, and I have too many faults that I have not learned to overcome yet, but damned if I don’t try every day to do something better. Put away a plate, fill out an application, listen for once instead of talking, appreciate people for who they are and the hardships they are going through, instead of expecting them to exist and work purely for your own comfort and gain.

I try and improve myself every day, and the reason I won’t get hired is that I’m not there yet. I’m not yet perfect. Why would you want me to be?

The Day from Hell

Now this day was in no way the worst day of my life. I’ve had days where I was sicker, busier and had more shit happen to me. This one just happened to be on the first day of finals week, in a thunderstorm, at midnight, in the rain.

The day started innocuously enough. I languorously waked from happy dreams with a slight tickle in my throat and sat up to greet the morning in song. Much to my surprise, however, I found my voice was incapable of producing anything more than a strained growl. I instantly turned from sleepy stupor to panic. My juries were tomorrow! How was I to sing in them if I had no voice?

With white-board and marker in hand, I ran over to the music building to tell my voice teacher, who sent me to the nurse’s office, which was closed for the lunch hour. I spent the waiting time stitching a pair of torn hikama pants. The nurse gave me no more information than I already had. My throat was sore… I was given ibuprofen and numbing lozenges and told it was not infected.

I ran back to the music building to check out a pair of cameras for a video shoot that evening, to turn in my peer evaluation for an Ethnomusicology and to work for an hour before my 6pm final. Even getting to my final involved driving my car back and forth between the same two parking lots over the course of ten minutes. By this time it had begun to rain lightly, causing my sandaled feet to shiver in agony.

After the final, I drove my friend to grab the cameras I had left at my apartment, changed my shoes and grabbed the 21 pizzas he had ordered from Domino’s for our aikido dinner. I had barely enough time to go over the filming schedule for the night, grab a slice of pizza and publish a website before we were all running over to the Fine Arts center with the gear, cast and props.

The filming went surprisingly well, considering my laryngitic status, the complete unfamiliarity with the ancient cameras we were using and the constant miscommunication between people. We actually managed to get most of the filming done in the time we were allotted with only a couple separately located scenes left to film. Star trek meets aikido has never been more epic. By the end of the session, I was beyond parched, exhausted and a little cranky, so I loaded the cameras into my car and headed home. The moment I exited the building, the thunder-clapped clouds began pelting down golf ball sized raindrops.

I was just getting my gear out of my car and had retrieved the cameras from the trunk when I realized I had locked my keys in the car, and myself out of my own apartment.
The next hour involved calling AAA and Security during a thunderstorm, at midnight, in the rain (in a locked and gated community) and having them let me into my apartment and my car. The walk back home left my pants soaked to the knees, my brain dead and my body too tired to care.

I hope you had a better day than I.

I’m beginning to hate romantic comedies.

The more I watch romantic comedies, the more I’m convinced that it’s a conspiratorial attempt at deceiving women into believing complete fantasy. All the romances are unlikely, short and spur of the moment, people falling in love over a few days, ladies men changing their ways for the perfect girl who is in fact riddled with flaws that are meant to endear her to both the man and the audience. It all just seems like the men of Hollywood write these things with a huge romantic comedy machine, doling out exactly what every woman wished would happen with that dashing French exchange student next door, but inevitably is always nothing more than a pipe dream.
The recipe is simple: take one pretty, quirky, interesting girl and a fairly gorgeous but somehow annoying, chauvinistic, or flawed guy and put them together in an unusual situation. Let them flirt for about 80 minutes of screen time, or anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks in “real time”. Let there be some reason 20 minutes before the end why they might not be able to get together, and then resolve it with a happy proposal, holding hands or kissing moment.
Yes, it creates tension and conflict but the idea of a complete stranger, who doesn’t really like you at first, falling in love with you over a few days to the complete exclusion of all rational thought and reason, including giving up everything they know to be with you is preposterous. The short romances happen, yes, and it’s exciting and marvelously romantic, but that kind of love don’t happen in real life. Real relationships are more than just messy; they’re annoying and boring and sometimes fun but usually just sitting on the couch, occasionally going out and growing a stronger connection to someone because you feel you must develop that strong bond (although it’s all genetic) in order to not live a life alone.
Women get the short end of the stick in this case. We are set up from a young age watching these fictions which convince us to go for attractive, mysterious men who act like assholes because they’re “really sweet and kind”, we just have to find it in them. We try and hold onto men who know their situation, and exploit it to get the most out of it, which usually involves as many women as they can get. We think that someday soon he’ll fall in love with us and we’ll live happily ever after. He knows that you’re just one of ten girls who are dying to sleep with him, and takes advantage of that. Not only this, but society sets girls up to be convinced that unless we are gorgeous and thin and charming and sexy, we will never find the perfect guy, and so because we see our own imperfections, we settle for less and hope for better. Men are set up to think that even, especially, if they are completely disrespectful, rude, arrogant and callous, that they can get any girl they want, and that might as well be true.
Perhaps my favorite films are the one’s where the ending isn’t textbook happiness, but instead a positive spin on losing the love: 500 days of summer, My Best Friend’s Wedding, or better films that show the realistic nature of the growth of relationships, like Harry met Sally (although this does follow most of the romantic comedy rules).

I’m afraid I make the same awful decisions that all these other stupid fantasy women do, only the men I fall for aren’t played by Hugh Grant, or Matthew McConaughey, and they don’t fall in love, they just move on. And for that, I can only blame myself, since I don’t really fall in love either. Except when I do.