Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Archive for December 8th, 2010

Candy Time!

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I was talking to my friend Amrita about hoping that crushed candy canes are in stock in the grocery stores this year, and she was kind of appalled that I’d buy pre-crushed candy canes. A few weeks later, my friend Joe comes back from Atlanta and what does he have with him? A pretty mason jar of candy canes that she crushed for me!

And appropriate timing. I don’t really have anyone in particular I wanted to make candy for this year, but I still wanted to make a batch before I really buckled down to study for my upcoming exams. I think I might try to make candy more often (ie, more than once a year), because watching it transition from stage to stage is cool and makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something really sciencey and fancy. This year, I made some toffee and some peppermint brittle. I might make a tiny batch of peppermint bark later.

Either I read my thermometer wrong, my thermometer’s inaccurate, or the given temperature was too low. I think the it needed 30s to1min longer, to get to the proper candy stage. Instead it’s in a weird stage where it’s crunchy and yet still chewy. Thankfully, it still tastes wonderful. :) ( I need to figure out if there’s a setting to leave smilies as punctuation, instead of turning them into images).

The peppermint brittle is interesting, and tastes like hard butterscotch candy with candy cane pieces. In other words, it’s really good! In the future, I might decrease the salt a tiny bit, and try to spread it even thinner. And maybe add more mint extract.

But all in all, the recipes turned out well! Now to figure out what to do with all of it…

Written by Aba

December 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Beautifully Different – Reverb10 Day 8

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What is Reverb10?

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)


This is a really hard one for me. Don’t get me wrong here. I love myself. I was a bit of an angsty teenager (quietly and privately angsty, alone in my dorm room listening to my emo music and writing in my livejournal) and wished fervently that I was a different person. But then sometime right before and during my freshman year of college, I just… stopped. To say I stopped entirely would be a lie (more on that soon), but I started to really accept that I was who I was and I was going to have to live with me for the rest of my life, so I might as well love myself.

Chopping off all my hair that December probably helped, because when you’re a girl with inch long hair, you can’t really hide. You stand out more. It forces you to be okay with that.

Like I said, I didn’t stop the angst entirely. Sometimes I do still wish I was more bubbly. That I was a warmer and openly affectionate person. That I was easier to get to know and love. And I’m still rather sensitive about criticism that implies that I should be that way.

But when you get down to it, I love me. I love that in groups I’m mostly quiet, except for the occasional well-timed remark. I also love that I can be surprisingly talkative one on one, if you get me on the right topic. I love the way I sing and dance when I’m in my room by myself and it’s a good day, or it’s a bad day, or just a normal day. I love that I try to keep track of random things about other people, just for the hell of it, and to make gift giving easier. I love that I love to listen to people talk about themselves and their lives. I don’t know if being listened to really makes people light up, but I think that’s the best thing I do for people. I listen.

I’m amused by the fact that I’m often thought of as the reasonable, rational one. The responsible one. Because historically, I’m actually rather absentminded, and a bit of a slacker (work smart, not hard!). But I’m down to earth, I hate to exaggerate or misrepresent, and I don’t (visibly) panic or freak out.

I’ve never been the lead role or the rock star and I’m glad, because I have terrible stage fright. Behind the scenes is where I want to be, where I belong. Stage Manager is as front and center as I go. This confuses some people.

In terms of my appearance, I actively try not to talk or think negatively about my body. That’s (sadly) pretty different. I used to be really self-conscious about my (non-cystic) acne, and the resulting freckle-scars I would get on my face and back, even when I didn’t pick at them. I also had random pigmentation on my legs from scratching too much when I let my skin get dry. I still have these things, though they’re much better now, but I learned that no one cares. So I happily wear strapless or strappy dresses and skirts and shorts, scars be damned! And I’ve learned to love my natural hair. It doesn’t look “too ethnic” and it’s not un-professional. It’s just my hair.

As a medical student, I’m definitely unusual in that I’m very Type B, where most of my classmates are Type A. I also wasn’t a science major, and I worked for a year between undergrad and medical school.

I’m a US citizen but my parents were immigrants. And I lived in Ghana, where they’re from, from the ages of four to thirteen. I fit the definition of a Third Culture Kid fairly well.

I love to read fantasy novels, and some sci-fi. I play videogames. I used to watch a lot of anime.

I have a pet parrot. I spin fire. I brew my own mead and I can my own jams.

I don’t actually like most commercial candy very much.

I like a  ridiculously broad spectrum of music.

And I’m a chronic dabbler.

I’m me. Yay! =D

Written by Aba

December 8, 2010 at 2:54 pm

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