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Date three went well, I think. But I’m more confused than ever.  This must be why I always just stay single: it’s easier.  The question I have for myself is if that is really such a bad thing.

Society, especially Christian society, tells us that to be happy in life, one must find a life partner and get married.  And I can see some of the benefits to getting married, especially in the realm of companionship.  But there are also a lot of downsides: lack of independence and lack of freedom being two big ones.

I’m not missing out by being single, no more than married people are missing out by being married.

I like making plans for myself and doing what I want, when I want.  I like not worrying about what the next step is, except for my own personal self.  I like not having to take anyone else into consideration.  I like the lack of vulnerability and the ability to be in control.  (I am not saying those last few are the best things ever, but they are true.)

I suppose I don’t have to make any decisions yet other than if I want to go on date four, if he asks.  It’s like Kevin said to Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail: “I always take a relationship to the next level, and if it works okay I take it to the next level after that, until I can finally get to the level where it becomes absolutely necessary for me to leave.”

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Instead of panicking about my future (or lack thereof), I’d like to spend some time thinking about things I love.

Today’s love story is about two books I own:

The Visual Food Lover’s Guide

Putting Food By

The first book has been fantastic. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve looked up a food in it to see how to choose it, how to prepare it, what it’s like, what kind of recipes it can be used in, what kinds of other foods it can substitute for.  Especially this year as I’ve been trying a new food each month, I don’t always know what to do with these new foods.  And this book, at a glance, will tell you everything you need to know.  It’s wonderful.

The second book I’ve only used once so far, and that was last night to figure out how to freeze spinach properly.  But it tells you how to store just about any type of food with all the available methods.  It tells how long things will last, what the procedures are; it’s the definitive book on food storage.  Spinach, incidentally, was easy.  You simply blanch it for two minutes, drain it and freeze it.

For you food lovers out there, these two books will be indispensable in your kitchen.  I highly recommend both.

Note to Self: Usually making a proposed budget and figuring out projected cost of living makes you feel better.  But when you realize you have no ability to get a job that will pay enough for the bare minimum of living on your own ($12.50/hour), these budgets will only make you feel panicked.  Stop. Stop now.  You can do nothing about this for months still.

Questions for everyone who reads my blog: How on earth does one find a job that pays a decent wage (see above) thus enabling one to live on one’s own?  (It’s that or find a rich husband, which doesn’t look likely, although I will always hold hope, haha.)  Why don’t I have any marketable skills?  And if I do, what are they?  And if not, who is going to be my roommate to help alleviate the cost of living?  Not that that would solve the problem by any means.  And why am I almost 30 and still unsure of how to survive on my own?

I’m a daydreamer.

My favourite way of dreaming lately is by looking online at jobs, apartments and pets that I can’t have, but that I’d like to think I could have in the future.  It’s too soon.  I have much to do before I can think about moving and settling in a job.  If I can actually get a job.

It’s nearing crunch time for my 30 Before 30 list.  But don’t you worry; it’s looking encouraging.  As soon as school is out, I can devote more time to the remaining items.  Part of me wishes I’d been taking pictures of the things that could get pictures, but I never got around to it, and it’d be silly to start now.  Only one thing will require pictures, and that is my trip to Forks to pretend to be a Twilight Fan.  I think my family is going to meet me there, actually, which will be nice, since that’s where we went almost every year on family camping trips.  Before it turned into Twilight.  I haven’t been there since.

It’s also almost time to move apartments, which they will make me do so that they can clean the carpets in this apartment this summer.  I dread moving.  As in, I dread packing.  I’m trying not to think about it, but every time I do, I consider the practicality of just chucking all of my possessions.  Books?  Clothes?  Craft supplies?  Who needs them?  Here is the plan, though: I am not going to unpack everything this summer.  Only what I need, and the rest can stay in boxes.  That way if I do get to move at the end of the summer, to my own apartment, it won’t feel so daunting.  (Okay, that’s a lie. It will still feel just as daunting.)  I might have to have my mom come and help.  I’m that pathetic.

Well. I suppose that procrastinating any further will just set me up for some sort of failure.  Time to start my day and hit the books.

One of these days, I am going to live where it is good weather most of the time.  These beautiful days make me happy and make me wish they were more often.  Having lived in rainy weather my whole life, I’m used to it.  But I don’t love it like I used to think I did.  Now I realize the truth: I have been oppressed by the rain and am now seeking my liberation.  More or less.

I have a plan.  The semester will end.  I will move apartments (because the school will make me move to a different one).  I will take a short break from thinking.  Then I will start full time on my thesis.  When it’s all the way written (hopefully no later than the end of July), I will find a full time job.  I will work and find a place to move out of school apartments before Fall semester begins.  I will take my thesis course, working on any necessary revisions, during Fall semester, while working full time.  I will graduate and be free.

I sincerely hope this plan works.  It is a good plan.  It does require finding a job that pays more than Target or Starbucks.  That part makes me very nervous.  And it would likely require living where I am for at least a year after I’ve moved out.  Which doesn’t seem like such a bad idea at the moment.  I’m just so used to the idea of keeping all my options open that it feels slightly weird to limit myself.

Sunny days give me hope.

In case you were unaware, I am not a laid back person. I never have been, and it’s doubtful that I ever will be.

That said, something that frustrates me more than almost anything is when I’m in a group or a committee and things aren’t getting done, and my co-members (almost always men) just say: “Don’t worry about it; I’m sure it will all work out.”  Not that they mean they are about to do anything.  And the problem is that people like me just pick up the slack and fill the gaps.

But no longer, my friends.  No longer.

I’m done. D-O-N-E. Done.

I suppose that my frustration level is also increased by everything going on in my life, of which I will not subject you to a list.  But know that today was one of those days in which it was hard to even get out of bed.  And somehow, in the next 45 minutes, I need to get rid of this frustration so that I can be pleasant on this date I’m going on.

Why is life so messy?

You might not care, but you will be subjected to the following list anyway… It is a list of everything I still have to do this semester:

Hebrew: 3 translations, 3 quizzes, 1 final exam (in 2 parts)
Greek: 2 translations, 1 project, 1 commentary (including 1 word study & 1 sentence diagram), 1 final exam
Colloquium: 1 rough draft & 1 final draft of a Historical Theology paper (Christine de Pizan’s theology of women)
[UPDATE: My Greek prof. dropped the in class final. Praise Jesus.]

Yes, friends, the time is drawing nigh.  I am almost done with this semester.

Incidentally, I was summoned for jury duty starting finals week.  I’ve asked for a deferment and hope they think final exams for a grad program is a sufficient reason.  If not, I’d have to take my finals early, just in case I had to serve.

I’ve been watching the LOTR trilogy again.  And I realized I’d like to cut out most parts with golem or fighting in them.  I’m not sure what that leaves me with, but it’s not much.  I think I would like a whole movie just about the Shire, with the Hobbits.  I don’t need a lot of excitement; I’m fine with just a happy story.

There are only four weeks left to the semester.  I wonder what it will feel like to call my time my own again.  Of course, I’ll be working on my thesis, and then when that’s done, finding a job, so it’s not as if I will be entirely free.  But even with my thesis, I plan on having set work hours, so that I can be free (guilt-free) in the evenings and on weekends.

And I’ve been thinking: my allergies to cats aren’t very severe.  I like cats much better than dogs in the end–I prefer independent animals.  I think when I move out, I will get a kitten.  That way it can be on its own, and I don’t have to feel bad.

Thursday is date two.  Should I really be telling the internet about this?

The Dessert & Appetizer party went really well.  More people came than I expected, including all my church friends.  It was fun to intersect my two groups.  And there were so many delicious and delightful things to eat.  I found my new favourite appetizer recipe, which is the one I made last night.  It was easy, so I’ll share it with you.  I am also growing my own kitchen herbs, so I used my basil for the first time last night. Fancy!

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (The cookbook has more detailed instructions & is for one large tart, whereas I wanted to make mini tarts.)

Ingredients: Puff Pastry, 1 egg, Parmesan cheese, Roma tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove garlic.

Cut tomatoes into 1/4″ slices; lay on paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and let drain for 25-30 minutes. Before using, press with paper towel to get rid of remaining moisture.

Roll out defrosted pastry a bit; cut into 12 pieces (each sheet).  Put on parchment paper on a baking sheet.  Brush with beaten egg.  Prick with fork.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 425 until lightly golden, 8-10 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Cover with mozzarella cheese.  Place a slice of tomato on each.  Crush garlic and whisk with olive oil.  Drip over tomato.  Bake at 400,  7-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges of pastry are golden.  Cut basil leaves into small pieces, sprinkle on top.  Serve warm.

I am mistrustful of extroverts, and I am suspicious of a lack of red flags so far, despite looking for them.

And yet, I am going to meet a guy today over coffee who has both those qualities.  Don’t get excited; I’m sure it won’t work out.  (Like one of my friends says, “High standards; low expectations.”)

And yet, I am a little excited and a little nervous.  There’s something nice about knowing that someone wants to meet you, wants to get to know you.  Because there’s something about being a woman at a conservative seminary that assures you that no man wants to get to know you.

And because I am not ashamed, I will tell you I met this guy on okcupid.com.  It’s a free site, which usually means super sketch, but I have been impressed.  After hearing from so many people how good it was, I decided to give it a try.

I doubt I’ll mention this guy again on here, so don’t expect details or anything.

Next Day Update: It was actually a really good date. We had coffee, dinner and watched a movie.  And he was interesting, kind, a gentleman, fun, and so on.