littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Makin’ Tofu

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Today, we made Tofu in Food & Culture class. On the board was a simplistic version of the recipe, but unless you were there, you couldn’t really understand from that alone. So let me talk you through it.

When we first arrived in the class, each table had two big silver bowls of soybeans soaking in water. The first thing we did was drain those boils and add about 420ml of water. These went in the blender for about 3 minutes, and after that, the mixture went in pans. The heat came on, and the mixture stirred around.

Two bowls and strainers came out then, and a cloth placed over the strainers. When the mixture had thickened, and become heavier, two people held the cloth over the strainer to catch everything, and moisture dripped in a stream from the bottom into the strainer and bowl. Wooden spatulas were used to squeeze as much moisture as possible from the solid material, called okara, in the cloth. The okara was then put aside to be used in other recipes.

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After that, water was put into a pot and a bowl placed on top. The mixture was poured inside, tested with a thermometer for a bit, and left to cook for 10 minutes, which thickened the mixture.

Then it was squeezed into a block and left to set.

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After this, it was drained and flipped onto a plate. The tofu was done.

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According to the teacher, there are two kinds of tofu, hard and soft. Although this wasn’t exactly hard, it was the harder form of tofu that exists. I had it with soy sauce and shavings. It was odd at first, but you adjust to the taste. Toppings help, though. They were needed, in my case.

Obviously, this isn’t an exact recipe. But just to give you a feeling for what it was like to make it, I wrote this.

If you want to make it yourself, you should probably look up the recipe.

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The Words I Can’t Say

#1493 – Asexual Awareness Week. Today I’ve been reading up on my old favourites on wordpress, ithinkincomics and onlyfragments, when I found this.

My first impressions, the first thing I wanted to say is this:

Oh honey, you’re not ugly and unacceptable. You’re beautiful. There’s no reason to feel ashamed of yourself. And I know no words I can say, or write, will make up for that feeling if you really feel it in your chest…

I’m not asexual, or anything like that. But I feel you. Or I think I do. There was perhaps a point when I felt like that, when everyone seemed interested in that and I didn’t. I was only a teenager then, but now I know that wasn’t true. I was just repressing my interests, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I did it for years, and when I finally woke up to myself… I felt a bit like that too.

But I don’t anymore. Even if I never say it aloud, how I feel, what I want, I am far more at ease than I was when it started. I’m at ease with myself, even if I’m not with other people to the extent that I tell no one these things. But I do feel them. I’m far more the adult now, who knows herself. At 25, you’d think I would be.

So I hope anyone who reads this who is unsure knows it can get better, whatever your personal struggles are.


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Uni: Week 2

Okay, so I didn’t exactly post for the first week. Brief overview: I went to lectures, and Japanese tutes (tutorials). I spent the week obsessively reading Uncle Tom’s Cabin, so I could have it done by this week (btw mission accomplished). The lecture theatre for Victorians to Moderns is weird; the seats are attached to the table, and swing out, and we get actual desks instead of a little slab.

Now that’s out of the way…

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but my other classes are Wonder Worlds (an English Lit class) and Novel Ideas. I didn’t have the book for that, so I basically had to look up the short stories from it online. I found 2/3, at least. My favourite of the two was A Stone Woman. I really like the way AS Byatt constructs the stone woman; I feel I could use the same kind of techniques in fleshing out my vampires’ legends.

So basically, my Novel Idea lecture was talking about each story — two of which I hadn’t yet read — and then I went home and found A Stone Woman, and finished it just in time to make it to the Novel Ideas tute. My tutor is called Melanie, and we had to go around the room stating our name, program, and preferred genre to write.

That wasn’t nearly as bad as my Wonder Worlds or Victorians to Moderns tutes though, which are incidentally taught by the same tutor; an American called Ginna. She asked for name, program and weird fact about yourself. In Wonder Worlds, I skipped over that last one. In Victorians to Moderns, I was a bit more nervous, stumbling and pausing over my introduction and answers. I forgot if I was supposed to say my name. Luckily, I was wearing my Deathly Hallows necklace at the time, so that gave me more freedom to talk about my weird fact:

“It’s from Harry Potter. It’s the symbol of the Deathly Hallows.”

“Have you read all the books?” asked Ginna.

“Yes.”

“Have you read them again?”

“I… come back to them sometimes.” By which I meant, I only use them as references for writing fan fiction. Or going back to passages I particularly like.

“You come back to them sometimes… How about the movies? Have you seen them?”

“Yes, I’ve seen all the books and all the movies. I like wizard rock. Yeah, and… all that.”

Nobody asked me what wizard rock was. Probably, none of them noticed the out-of-the-ordinary reference. But to be fair, while the class was going on, I spotted out of the window a girl in a TARDIS hoodie climbing a flight of stairs, so maybe nerd is commonplace at Uni.

The only time since then I stumbled on my words was when we were calling out modern social issues. I made a string of vaguely-connected sounds, before blowing a raspberry and collapsing on the desk to compose myself before trying again. “Genital mutilation,” I said. According to an opinionated atheist in the class, there are areas where the women perpetuate it, believing they wouldn’t be who they are without it.

Before the lecture for this very class, I also had a little adventure. I was sitting by myself, practising my kanji in my Japanese journal, when this girl comes along asking if she can sit. Even now, I’m not sure her name. “Sure,” I said. But I wasn’t sure whereabouts she wanted to sit, so suddenly I was afraid she meant to sit by me, and I needed to move over.

“It’s okay, I’m not one of those bitches who makes you leave. You were there first,” she assured me, and settled on the table-shaped bench, taking her shoes off and making herself at home.

We talked for a bit, when she asked about my Japanese. After I finished, I started reading Slaughterhouse Five for Novel Ideas. For a while, I settled in, laying down myself. “We’re paying too much not to,” the girl agreed.

But then, my classmate from last week came around, and I came to sit up again to read. He’s a big burly guy, with wavy long hair for a guy. Last week, he’d just started Uncle Tom’s Cabin when I was already on Chapter 8. This week, he confessed he wasn’t finished. I bragged that I was.

Slowly, mystery girl figured out the connection. “You’re in Creative Writing,” she deduced. “Oh, yeah, cause you just said it.”

From the conversations between the three of us, I learned that she was studying Social Work (which she insisted was boring, but that all three of us were creative students and thus “the cool kids”. I concurred), she was 22, her father was something of a writer, and her favourite comedians were Key and Peele. She showed us, the ignorant two, a skit they did. It was actually pretty funny; I was laughing. She was also horrified to find out neither of us does snap chat. I thought of mentioning my sister did it, but decided not to.

Mystery girl is actually the reason I wore my Deathly Hallows necklace to tute next day; she had a Deathly Hallows tattoo on her neck, and I never mentioned my matching necklace, so I wanted to at least show someone. Paul, (that was the other student’s name), did notice. Apparently we’re in the same tute class, and he’s every bit as sociable as mystery girl. Although he surely doesn’t have tatts and piercings like she does.

Eventually, she left with her own classmates, off to Building C where her lecture (at the same time as ours) was. It was only then that Paul realised neither of us caught her name. I’d been thinking of asking her before. Just another thing I held back.


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This site is not dead

#1434. To be honest, I forgot about this blog for a while. I’ve just spent this past half-year at Uni, daily writing my series, and writing fan fiction at my other site (no, you can’t read it).

To be honest, I’ve been thinking of coming back here for ages, but I didn’t know what to write. Even if I don’t write fiction here, I can always try to write about my life. For example, I could catch you up on what I’ve done at Uni.

I just recently got my results back – two passes and two distinctions for my intro classes. In about a couple of weeks, I’ll be back at Uni, but not before Open Day hosts Quidditch, music, a chai tea tent, and free food. I’ll be going to that, by the way.

So okay, just so you know, I’m going to commit myself now to write at least one post about Uni a week in the new semester, and one flash fiction.

In case you were interested, last semester I studied: Communication and Thought (a very basic course that all students have to take), Communication Theory and Practise, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Japanese A.

My two distinctions were in Intro to CW and Japanese. Next year, I need to try harder, though. There’s a GO program that I need better grades than a pass to get into (I’d be going to Japan).


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Nerds, Costumes and Epic Diem

Just recently, back on the 21st of September, I went to a nerdfest called Epic Diem. I got a bag of stuff, bought some things, saw some cosplayers and got to experience things like seeing Queenie-chan, watching a cosplay competition, and seeing people fake swordfighting in the medieval style.

It was the first convention I’d been to since I was a little kid, going to a Pokemon convention, just around the time Game Boy Advance was coming out.

It was cool. And I was there all day, 10-6pm. A lot of that time, I was on my own. But look, I bought some gloves, and I got some Slytherin garb.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my camera, so by the time my parents arrived, my camera was out of juice. But I’ll show you what I can.

First things first. I saw Queenie-chan at the very start of the day. Wanna see?

Okay, now that you’ve seen Queenie, here’s what’s left of my photos.


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A Sombre Drama… My First Funeral

Recently, my nanna died. I’ve been tossing up whether to write about this or not, but I feel like I just had to.

A little backstory: Because of something my dad did years ago, we’ve been cut out of his family’s lives. It was a stupid decision, one felt not to be in nanna’s proper interests, and one that made him — and the rest of us, by association — hated by them. They didn’t even tell him four years ago when one of them died.

So recently, we travelled down from the Sunshine Coast where we live (except for my sister, who lives in Brisbane) to go to nanna’s funeral. Gladly, we weren’t hit by outright abuse; two of the women closest to nanna (known hereafter as V and A) simply treated us civilly. One of them, though, an old friend of nanna’s, slipped dad a hate note just before the service. So now, at least we’re clear on their feelings against us…

For clarity, I’ll be keeping certain members anonymous, by referring to them by the first letter of their names.

This is my story.

We were the first behind the hearse. After everyone had arrived, it was now time to drive to the grave site. Aunt A and K were there, and they’d seemed civil enough, but all I could help thinking was how Anne must feel about us being first. Dad had arranged the funeral too; no doubt she probably thought that was her area.

“Are we going the right way?” asked mum out loud.

“I don’t know,” said dad. “I think the driver must be a little confused… I don’t think we came through this way before…”

Actually, we had. I recognised the rows of Jewish graves that we had passed, now out the left window.

I was just wording my response in my head, sorting out the markers in my head when mum exclaimed, “Oh, yes we did! We passed that Russian building before…”

It was more like a huge gazebo, with pointed dome shapes for window frames. It was blue and white, with a bench inside the middle.

And she was right, of course, we had passed it. But I could’ve told her that we had passed this whole section if I’d told them earlier. Speaking of which, why didn’t I? What was it exactly that I saw before…

We arrived soon, and parked away close by. I took the bouquet we’d bought earlier, half carnations and half yellow roses, and carried it over.

The reverend, who was now there and dressed in his long white garb, looked at me as I arrived. “Will you be placing that with the coffin?”

I looked around at my family and mum filled in the question. She then took the flowers away, and opened up the wrapping. She wanted each of us to take a flower. Dad and I took a carnation; mum and Kristi took a yellow rose.

Mum hastily or messily wrapped the bouquet up again and placed it on a field of green tarp where a number of other bouquets had been placed. It looked haggard compared to the others.

As we stood around, waiting for everyone to arrive and the service to start, nanna’s old friend V slipped a note into dad’s suit pants pocket. “To be read after ther funeral,” she said. It sounded important.

Casting the odd sight aside, I took my position facing the modern line of graves, where the reverend would be addressing an intimate audience of those seven of us and nanna’s nurses at the home where she’d spent the last years of her life.

“Mina lived for 91 years. Now, looking around at all the faces here, I can see all kinds of people who knew her. She was a wonderful sister, mother, wife, grandmother and friend. Everyone here will have different memories of her, but I doubt that everyone here will have known her for all of those 91 years.”

“Hm,” I agreed, nodding.

“I give my deepest condolences to those she left behind, Ken, Tami, Kristi, Ashley and –”

My attention perked up at the mention of my name, and as I finished listening to the names he gave, I noticed he didn’t say A’s. She wouldn’t like that, either I thought.

I looked over at her. She was leaning into K, an open frown on her face, her eyes rimmed with tears. That made sense, at least. She loved nanna, it was the whole reason she hated dad, and what was a funeral without tears and mourning?

The reverend had now started on a list of meaningless events that had happened on the year she was born, 1921. I didn’t think that would help anyone, certainly not A, with her memory. I tried to listen anyway, but these things meant nothing to me. I don’t know so much about the 20s.

Then he handed it over to dad, who took charge as he always does. The first thing he said was bring up one of those events, the only one I really heard, “because Mina really liked that. In reality, she was just like The Little Rascals too…”

And proceeded to tell a story I never knew, that nanna had apparently told all the time, about how she or someone else had lopped off the toe end of someone’s shoes…

As the service went on, and the reverend started to speak again, I remained silent, even through the prayers, playing with the leaves of my flower, looking over at A a few more times, who didn’t change much.

Then finally, “I see that some of you have flowers. Would you like to place them on top of the coffin?”

I had seen it happen, that the tarp with everyone’s bouquets had been laid aside and that the coffin had been placed on two flat bars over the open grave and looped through with rope.

Dad went first then, nervously, me. Everyone else with flowers lined up after and had their turn, and my family grouped up on the other side.

When all the flowers had been placed against the coffins bouquet, the coffin was held with the ropes, the bars removed, the coffin lowered.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Finally, the tarp, placed over a metal grate, covered the grave. The service was over.

People gathered in groups now, talking. I saw A take her and K’s bouquet off the tarp and offer it to the nurses at nanna’s old home. In turn, others also took their bouquets away. Only ours remained. Mum thought, and I agreed, that nanna should have at least one bouquet for herself. Messy as it was, it was hers now…

A soon cheered up after the service at least when I saw her talking with the others, and eventually she made her way to us. She learned that Kristi had gotten married last year, to great excitement and congratulations on her part. Then she asked me what I was I was up to. Great.

“She’s currently looking for work right now…” mum filled in for me. “And she’s also writing a book.”

“Oh, what’s it about?”

I looked down. In the first place, I was too embarrassed to mention the book. In the second, I always had trouble with that question, even if I knew.

“Vampires,” said mum.

“Oh…” said A, distaste in her voice.

I shrugged. Whatever. It didn’t change the fact that Dawn’s a lot like Anne.

A hugged Dad and Kristi when we left. I was afraid to go in for a hug in case she didn’t want to. “Do you mind if I hug you?” mum asked.

“I do mind, actually,” said A, seeming to hug herself in discomfort.

I nodded. Fair enough.

In the car, though, we found out what V’s letter had been. “I can’t believe that she lumped me in with you,” mum fretted. Soon I learned what she meant. “The letter. She told us both to rot in hell.”


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Legit Personality Test: The Enneagram

Enneagram Test Results

Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||| 50%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||| 34%
Type 3 Image Focus |||||||||||| 46%
Type 4 Individualism |||||||||||||| 54%
Type 5 Intellectualism |||||||||||| 50%
Type 6 Security Focus |||||||||||||| 58%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||| 38%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||||| 26%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 62%

Your main type is 9
Your variant is self pres

Take Free Enneagram Personality Test
Personality Test by SimilarMinds.com

So, I did this personality test; I adore doing these, and I couldn’t resist this one. It’s been a while since I’ve done a legit test.

Besides what it says above, my results had this to say:

 

 

type score type behavior motivation
9 15  I must maintain peace/calm to survive.
6 14  I must be secure and safe to survive.
4 13  I must be unique/different to survive.
1 12  I must be perfect and good to survive.
5 12  I must be knowledgeable to survive.
3 11  I must be impressive and attractive to survive.
7 9  I must be fun and entertained to survive.
2 8  I must be helpful and caring to survive.
8 6  I must be strong and in control to survive.

 

 

Your main type is Type 9
Your variant stacking is spsosx
Your level of health is average

 

 

Based on your health score you would benefit from working on your…
physical health/fitness
psychological health

Your main type is which ever behavior you utilize most and/or prefer. Yourvariant reflects your scoring profile on all nine types: so = social variant (compliant, friendly), sx = sexual variant (assertive, intense), sp = self preservation variant (withdrawn, security seeking). For info on the flaws of the Enneagram system click here.

I think it’s interesting, because it gives you an insight to your personality. Even if I have a fair idea what the answer will be, I just can’t help taking certain tests anyway, just because I know.

Maybe it’s a form of egotism. But I love it.