Six days to takeoff

Oh god it’s coming so fast! SIX DAYS!

This last week has been a blur of essay-writing and trying to remember all these little random things to do. For someone who’s only in the third week of school, I am getting more and more sleep deprived. I thought this wasn’t supposed to happen yet.

My weekend was relatively unexciting – I spent most of Saturday writing a paper. Sunday I went to Jethro’s, where I ate obscene amounts of French toast and pancakes, and then I went to a girlfriend’s birthday party. It was a “crafternoon” (adorable, I know), so we decorated our own mugs. I used mine the next morning when I made my smoothie.

This particular girlfriend is extremely inspiring: she’s such a go-getter in every area of her life and does it all with a giant smile on her face. She also has her own knitting business, where she knits mug cosies (https://www.facebook.com/OnanaKnittedAccessories), so having a birthday that involved making something was totally up her alley.

I also got my brand new iPhone 5! The top button on my old iPhone was getting really sticky, so I’ve been so glad to actually have a functional phone. I do really like it (and I love the new screen size!) though I’ve been noticing that the battery life is pretty pathetic as compared to my old phone. I’m hoping that it’s something temporary with iOS 6 and that they fix it soon, because having to charge my phone as soon as I get home is pretty annoying. It’s also a huge pain having to switch all of my charging cables, as I must have at least four of them lying around and now none of them work! Grr. This is what I get for being a techno-geek that must have all the new shiny things. Also, this phone was bloody expensive, so it better last me a while. (Ha. Ha. I’m so funny.) Other than those complaints, though, I’m completely in love. It’s a little sad, really.

I’ve been trying to distract myself, because Google is supposed to call me very soon and let me know about whether they are insane enough to give me money to work for them. It’s nerve-wracking waiting, but it would definitely be a big life milestone if it came through. It would also mean a lot of changes, which can be pretty scary to think about. Though I travel around a lot, I’ve never permanently left my beloved Vancity, and so it would be pretty huge for me to move. The start of real life and all that jazz. Yeesh. I don’t even want to think about it too much, it gives me the shivers.

Six days, and so much to do. It’s almost like I should be doing them, and not writing this blog instead…

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A Googler once more

Well, it’s the end of my first week! I’ve officially been in California – and at Google – for a week now.

It’s been a really busy week, but I’m remembering just how much I liked the Googleplex. I’m kind of settling into my new apartment now and starting to get a better sense of the area. I’m actually a lot closer than I thought to my old apartment from last summer – so I’m not as far out as I thought I might be. The apartment I’m living in isn’t bad. It’s a bit cramped for four people, especially in the bedrooms, but otherwise it’s a pretty good location relative to work and pretty well stocked with pots and pans and things. I did have to buy a blender though to support my smoothie addiction. The thing is wicked loud and wakes up my roommates if I’m not careful.

I also figured out the bike route from my apartment to work after a few tries between my roommate and I. It’s a half an hour ride but relatively flat, so I think I’ll be biking most of the time. It’s a very good thing, because I am also remembering how freaking good the food is here. I had duck confit and gnocchi yesterday for lunch and it was AMAZING. The whole biking thing will definitely be helping balance out food consumption.

My project and host are really good too, so I’m settling in nicely. I’m tired though – I haven’t quite gotten myself used to waking up earlier than 9:30 – 10, so my body is getting a little upset with me. I’m not very good at this waking-up-at-a-normal-time-like-a-normal-person thing. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though, and I have the weekend to recharge! So far not too many plans, but I’m really excited to see some of my friends from last summer who will be arriving in the next few days. Reunions galore! Can’t wait!

I feel like this summer is going to be another blur, just like last time. A fantastic sunny food-filled mess of friends and Google and whatnot. Even though I’m still missing people at home, it should be a good ride :)

Breakfast (ice cream) of champions

I really can’t believe how fast time is going by. I was booking a hotel tonight for San Francisco and I realized that I’m leaving in less than two weeks. I feel like I’m in one of those shows where they speed up the time and the characters begin to talk in extremely fast high-pitched mouse voices. All around me things are starting to rev up and I’m like “Wait! Hold up! My little legs can’t go that fast!” On the bright side, my outreach event on Saturday went smoothly without a hitch – 71 girls and all was well! I was exhausted by the end of the day but all that hard work planning paid off. Now it’s just a few more meetings and some wrap-up and I am done my school commitments until September!

I can’t deny though that I did a happy dance with the hotel that I just booked. It’s very swanky. (I’ve always wanted to use that word). Before I start at Google, I’m spending a few days in SF with a friend I haven’t seen in two years. We met at a Google thing a few years back and have kept in touch ever since, but he lives in Atlanta and I live in Van so our postal codes don’t exactly match up. I was really beginning to doubt that I’d ever see him again, so I’m really happy that we’ll be able to hang out before I immerse myself in Googley-ness. I think with booking the hotel, though, it started to hit me that I’m actually leaving again for the summer, and I got super conflicted about it. Don’t get me wrong – I know it’ll be amazing, just as it was last time, and I’m going to have a great time. But being out there does mean that I miss out on people who are here, people that I’d rather not miss out on. I suppose you can’t have it all. This would all be solved with a person-sized suitcase, I swear.

To stave off any melancholy, my friend came over yesterday and we had an adventure in ice-cream making. Specifically, we made french-toast-chocolate-bacon ice cream. Yes, you heard me right. We were trying to think of a snappy name for it, but the best we could come up was breakfast of champions ice cream, which really doesn’t capture it well. It was very interesting to see how different people reacted to it though; my friend and I loved it, my dad and sister were indifferent, my mom and boyfriend were very undecided. It’s definitely interesting.

French Toast Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream (adapted from various sources, including David Lebovitz)

Chocolate Bacon

  • Bar of your favourite chocolate – we used dark and added some chocolate chips in
  • 6 pieces bacon

Ice Cream

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 3/4 cup half and half
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

1. To make the bacon: Cook the bacon in a frying pan and cool on a sheet with a paper towel. Melt the chocolate in a bowl.

2. Dip the cooled bacon into the chocolate until it’s coated. Try not to make the chocolate too thick, or the bacon taste won’t be that strong. Butter wax paper on a cookie sheet and place the chocolate bacon onto it. Stick in the fridge until hard, and then chop into little pieces.

3. To make the ice cream: melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and half of the half and half. Pour the remaining half and half into a bowl in an ice bath and put a mesh strainer on top (you’ll need it later).

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks. Pour in brown sugar mixture, whisking as you pour, and then pour it all back into the saucepan.

5. Cook over low to medium heat until it’s thick enough to coat your spatula. It’s okay if it’s still runny. Strain into the half and half in the ice bath, stirring constantly, until the whole thing is cool. (This part was a little strange if your custard gets a little too thick. We just took a spoon and pressed it through the strainer). Add vanilla, rum and cinnamon. It looks a little strange. That’s okay.

6. Freeze in your ice cream maker; when it’s done stir in chocolate bacon and drool.