Work is still stressing me out. I was about to start talking about it, but I donít really want to spend the time on it.

Iíd rather talk about vegan cupcakes and exercise.

Two weekends ago, we went to a grad student party (booooooooooooooring). There is one nice thing that Iíve noticed about the grad students. Yes, they are nerdy, they are reserved; yes, they will drone on and on about university politics, their graduate programs, and their fields of study, but they are their authentic selves. Iím not sure if itís just these grad students (religion students) or all grad students. I think the difference is that thereís no money worship. Thereís no competitiveness. Thereís no need to be anything other than their true selves because they arenít trying to get ahead, get a job or sell anything. Theyíre relaxed.

Itís kind of an interesting fish bowl. Theyíre in college, but theyíre in college in the way that it was originally intended to be attended. They work hard, they take it seriously, and theyĎre doing it for the love of what theyĎre learning. They have one very-low-key party a semester (towards the end of finals week).

If/when they become professors, then they will end up living like the rest of us. Theyíll get mortgages, kids, need better health insurance and will compete for salary and tenure. When I was in college, I saw so many disillusioned, unhappy professors, who seemed profoundly disappointed in everything.

Anyway, the grad students also seem to have a utopian-like tolerance for others; well, maybe unless you were a republican. You wouldnĎt necessarily want to show up and brag about having voted for Bush twice or something. Iím trying to imagine that, and I canít really picture the reactions, so Iím tempted to try that next time, just to see what happens.

I am going somewhere with this, really.

Itís a potluck, and the majority of people will show up with vegetarian or vegan dishes, regardless of whether or not they, themselves, are vegetarian or vegan. Someone will neatly set out them out, and carefully label or organize the dishes by dietary restriction. Plastic cups will be provided, along with a marker, to give you the opportunity to label your own cup and keep it with you for the duration of the night. And, of course, everyone does.

There is a adorable young woman who consistently shows up with a cupcake caddy, full of lovingly prepared and decorated vegan cupcakes. They are also mind-blowingly good.

On our way out of the party, she asked us if weíd drop her off at her apartment, a couple of miles away. This gave me an opportunity to ask her about the cupcakes. She told me where sheís been getting her cupcake recipeís (a cookbook, duh).

I bought the cookbook. Iíve been reading it, and adoring it. Today, I bought some key ingredients. I can now make some basic vegan cupcakes, from scratch. Iíve made vegan cake (from vegan cake mix) and Iíve made vegan brownies and vegan cookies (those were from scratch).

I generally donít like to cook, but sometimes I feel like baking. I think the possibility of decorating pastries appeals to me. Iíve never taken a cake decorating class, but I am considering it. I like the idea of doing something creative with frosting.

Alright, I should clarify, yes, I can technically make some cupcakes, because I have the raw materials. I havenít acquired the tools, yet. Since I generally donít like to cook, I havenít outfitted my kitchen with every gadget on the planet. I tend to wait until I need it, then go buy it. Over the years, Iíve built up a lot of tools, especially since Adam has come along. Prior to him being around, my cooking would stay very basic, because Iím a minimalist kind of girl, and Iím not too fussy in my eating.

I have a weird assortment, though. I own a really nice food processor, but I donít have a hand mixer or a whisk.

Actually, upon reading the list of tools provided in my new cookbook, Iíve discovered that I own almost none of their recommended cupcake tools. I do have a muffin pan, but it turns out, itís the wrong kind. My mixing bowl is also the wrong kind. And, thus concludes the list of things that I already own, and could potentially cross of the list.

I havenít decided when Iím going to get to the store and pick up my tools. Nor have I figured out where I will store my new tools, but one step at a time.

Ok, itís late. Iíll have to cut off the exercise portion of this entry. Isnít that always the way? Thereís always room for dessert, but no time for exercise.

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Monday, May. 16, 2011 at 11:24 PM