NOW

Honestly, I don’t know if I like Charles Bukowski but I love his work. I first discovered his poetry a year ago and I was just smitten with his spot-on/blunt observations of life. It’s funny though because he has this ‘don’t try too hard kind of attitude that I really don’t empathize with and he’s also kind of gross and offensive, yet I’m totally enamored with his humor and wit.

I can’t tell you what my ‘favorite’ poem by him is, because that changes all the time. They’re consistently clever and I could read his work all day. I thought of his poem “NOW” though, while I was thinking of what to even write today.

NOW

I sit here on the 2nd floor

hunched over in yellow

pajamas

still pretending to be

a writer.

some damned gall,

at 71,

my brain cells eaten

away by

life.

rows of books

behind me,

I scratch my thinning

hair

and search for the

word.

Obviously, this is about writer’s block, and yeah that just resonated with me while I was thinking of what to even write this afternoon.

If you want to laugh, I recommend his poem “Flophouse”, if you want to be inspired, I recommend “Roll the Dice” or “How is your Heart”, and if you want to think, I would read “The Genius of the Crowd” or “Dinosauria, We.” Also, all the poems he wrote about his cats are fantastic.

PC: https://www.thegreatcat.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Bukowski-and-Black-Cat.jpg

Customer Anecdotes

I have worked part-time at a restaurant every week for over a year now, and I’ve met some pretty funny people that I’m about to expose.

Literally last night a lady came in holding a chicken. She told me she carried this chicken everywhere because her other chickens bullied this one. Also, she ordered a chicken dish.

That same night a really tall, old guy came in and ordered yelling across the room, he was so loud. He had some kind of thick accent, so it was hard to tell what he was saying. After I asked him to repeat himself just once, he got just got fed up and stormed out. To be honest, I was relieved he left.

There are way more stories, eccentric people aren’t uncommon encounters when you work at a restaurant. Realizing that so many kinds of people just exist that are so different from what you’re used to is strange. It made me realize how sheltered I am.

PC: https://cdn7.dissolve.com/p/D145_42_319/D145_42_319_1200.jpg

comfort

Today it was 86 degrees. This weather is so gorgeous it makes me sick. When I wake up and the sun is shining through my window, I want nothing more than to let my bed swallow me whole until nine pm the same day. I think that it’s so ironic how such a beautiful day could make me want to hide in my room for so long. When I sit in class and look out the window as the heat ripples across the ground, I want to cry and bang my head against the desk. I. Hate. It. I like to put in my left airpod and listen to the same playlist over and over again all day. It mainly consists of Dream, Ivory, Oscar Lang, Deftones, The Walters, and Cocteau Twins. If you were to look it up, it sounds like the feeling of taking a bath at three in the morning in the dark, because that is my comfort. I love to be alone. But not in a sad, I’m so depressed because my life is just the hardest thing in the world kind of way. I like it because it reminds me that every day is the same, and I hate that feeling but in a weird way I love to feel the things that I hate. I love routines. I love when it’s cold outside but I’m wearing two shirts and a hoodie. When you wake up and the sky is grey, you can’t see 50 feet in front of you because of the haze. I love to walk alone at school and wait for the day to end. It’s the same feeling every day that I crave. I love to hate being sad.

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pc: me

My Safe Place is the Gym. You?

Recently, all I can say for this week is stress. Although I got into the college I want, there is still a lot of stuff bothers me. In this case, I started to ghosting my friends and just wanted to be alone. Every day, I can hear people laughing and smiling. I started to wonder, are they faking it? or are they really happy? I began to hate a feelings of me staying in my room getting sad, at the same time, I hear people outside screaming and busy having fun.

I’ve been alone for a while, staying away from my friends. I have found my favorite time of each day is when I go to the gym. Of course, I felt more lonely at first, then I began to get used to it. Gym is the only place I feel like home right now. It’s the only place I’m really by myself, be myself, and just put all of my stress on the weights. When I’m in my dorms, my roomate always being loud and his friends come to our room all the time. When I’m at the gym, there is only me, and I can put on my airpods listen to music , and really focus on myself. At the same time, the break time between every set, gives me more thoughts of things that bothers me; which I started to feel a lot better beacuse I can deep into those problems. I don’t know why, but there is some magic in those dumbells.

Photo Credit: Pull-up

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Recently, I just finished the Tokyo Ghoul manga for the first time. 30 volumes later and a lot of money spent, I finally finished it and I can say with the utmost confidence that it is the single best thing I have ever read and will ever read. If you haven’t already read Tokyo Ghoul, I urge you to do so and also to not read this blog as there will be a lot of spoilers as it is very hard to gush about it without completely spoiling the series. If I got into every aspect of what makes Tokyo Ghoul absolutely amazing this one blog post would be an entire novel so I’ll try to separate them all into different posts.

Before I start fully gushing and explaining the story, there are a few things I need to explain. There are ghouls and humans. Ghouls are similar to humans in every way except for the fact that they have especially enhanced physical abilities as well as enhanced resistance and healing. They have the same faces, the same brain chemistry, and even feel the same. Ghouls can have far more complicated lives and trauma than most humans could even comprehend. Ghouls are strong but fragile creatures that need the same care and attention that humans do. Their physical abilities make it extremely difficult to kill without a special weapon. Fortunately, Ghouls are given a special weapon. Ghouls are born with an extra organ known as a kahuo which produces kagunes that have the ability to take a ghoul’s life or inflict mortal injuries. Generally, ghouls are an eradication target for humans, and said eradications are executed by an organization known as the CCG who wield quinques which are basically dead ghouls kagune that a human can use.

Photo credit: i.pinimg

What makes Ghouls especially interesting is that there are four types of Kahuo, Ukakau, Kokaku, Rinkaku, and Bikaku. Ukaku’s reside on the top of the ghouls back. Ukaku users are agile and operate at the range, they hit hard but their endurance is not great. Kokakus are near the upper-middle back and tend to be more sword-like, heavy, and hard-hitting weapons. Rinkakus reside near the lower-middle back and tend to be frailer in nature but also abundant. Typically a more tentacle-like weapon with fast-moving and acrobatic movements as well as immense healing abilities. The main character is a Rinkaku. Bikaku kahous are at the very lower back and tend to be more tail-like weapons that can be immensely capable if the user uses them well. The General rule is that the kahuo below is stronger than the kahuo above. What makes them even more interesting is that ghouls can cannibalize and consume other kahuos to use their abilities and enhance their own. This becomes very important throughout the manga.

Unlike any other monsters vs. humans anime/manga, the monsters are just as much of a protagonist as the humans, which constantly leaves the reader confused over who to side with and who really deserves to live. This moral struggle leads the reader to realize that it’s not ghouls or humans who are wrong, the world is wrong.

photo credit: w7.pngwing

Next, there’s the main character, Ken Kaneki, a quiet and frail boy with little confidence and only one real friend. Kaneki meets an especially strong ghoul named Rize. Unknowing that she is a ghoul, the two go on a date. Rize is about to eat Kaneki when a stack of steel beams falls on the two of them, putting them in the hospital. Rize’s life is forfeit and the only way to save Kaneki is by giving her ghoul abilities to Kaneki. Ken has now been struck with the burden of being a ghoul and needing to feed on the human matter despite living as a human for his whole life. Kaneki is taken in by a mysterious ghoul named Mr. Yoshimura who owns a coffee shop where Kaneki would live and work as he found his footing in the ghoul world.

As the story progresses, Kaneki has now had feet in both worlds. In the ghoul world he is loved, needed, and accepted. Kaneki cannot embrace his own ghoul powers and for the majority of the first part, he continually puts his ghoul friends in danger to save his skin. Kaneki won’t eat, won’t sleep, and most importantly is unwilling to unleash his immense latent power to do what needs to be done. By the mid-season, both our ghoul friends and the CCG have a clear common enemy. Aogiri tree, a group of ghouls set to create a new world for ghouls to exist in peace. However, their noble cause is executed through eradication and suffering much like the CCG. Both Aogiri tree and the CCG have horribly psychopathic members obsessed with eradication and death, but still have many members who truly want change in the world but have no better options. Two opposite goals clash with each other endlessly with no forward progress.

The first part of Tokyo Ghoul is an absolutely genius introduction into this world. The readers are given a tragic hero, stuck in the in-between, trying to navigate the Ghoul world as a former human. He sees the immense horrors of both worlds, although he has not scratched the surface of his own power, he himself has some idea of his own abilities. He knows that he must take or be taken and for the entirety of the first season, he allows himself to be taken, hiding behind his selfish morals and his own idea that he is not strong enough.

Finally, at the end of the first part, Kaneki is captured by an especially psychopathic ghoul who is also obsessed with Rize, the owner of Kaneki’s Kahuo. This ghoul, Jason A.K.A. Yamori is part of Aogiri Tree and suffered horrible torture earlier in his life, causing him to completely break and become one of the most feared ghouls in Aogiri Tree. Jason tortures Kaneki for hours and hours on end. Jasons horrible torture methods push Kaneki over the edge, and in a vision with Rize, he finally realizes the extent of his power. In one of the best scenes with one of the best art, Kaneki kills Jason, finally gaining control of his Kagune and leaving his morals behind. Kaneki is a killer now and he has a plan to find the doctor that turned him into a ghoul and understand who he is.

Even though Tokyo Ghoul part one is the least of what Sui Ishida can accomplish, it is the perfect introduction to one of the best Mangas ever written.

Photo Credit: Fiction Horizon

Eggplant

Many people dislike or even hate eggplant, but I think eggplant is good when cooked right. And the dish that I think is cooked correctly is the eggplant casserole that my grama makes.

Gretchen Schuette, my grandma, wrote down her mom’s eggplant casserole and it is delicious. It is the perfect balance of eggplant and tomato. The grated cheese on top is the perfect way to finish the dish.

Ingredients:

1 medium-size eggplant

3 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. flour

1 can tomatoes or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes

1 chopped small green pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. brown sugar

Grated cheese

photo credit: Medical News today

Recipe:

Dice eggplant and cook for 10 minutes in boiling water.

In another pan, melt butter and blend with flour.

(Cook on low heat for 3 minutes if you use whole wheat flour.)

Add the rest of the ingredients (except eggplant).

Cook sauce for 5 minutes.

Mix together the sauce and the eggplant and put in a casserole.

Cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

May be frozen after it is baked for later use.

ENJOY!

Gimme a Slice!

I would say I am more of a pie person over cake.

Cake is just too much. Too much frosting (I’m allergic), too much sugar, too much cake.

My mom makes the best apple pie, I might be biased. The Schuette family is definitely more of an apple pie family over pumpkin pie. I don’t mind pumpkin pie, but I will get up during dinner to get more than three helpings of apple pie.

We as a family are such big apple pie lovers that my younger sister wrote about the pie.

photo credit: Kristine’s Kitchen

`Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 recipe pastry for a 9″ double crust pie

1/2 cup unsalted or salted butter

3 tablespoons all- purpose flour

1/4 cup of water

1/2 cup white sugar (or slightly less)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or slightly less)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon- to taste (optional)

8 apples; peeled, cored, sliced (4 granny smith, 4 envy or fuji)

1 lemon; squeeze juice (add sugar to taste, the lemon will go on top of the apples to stop from browning)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  3. Drizzle some of the lemon juice and sugar liquid over apples; just enough to make sure the apples do not brown.
  4. Place the bottom crust in a pan or use the one that came in the package. Put apples in a mixing bowl and drizzle less than half of the sugar/ butter liquid on apples. Put the apples in the crust, mound it slightly.
  5. Cover the pie with a lattice and then pour sugar/ butter liquid over the crust. Brush to make the mixture cover the whole pie.
  6. Line a tray with tin foil and place pie on top. During baking the pie might bubble over, this is a preventative.
  7. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; and continue to bake for 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft. Take of foil and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy! It tastes really good with ice cream.