Outlook

Thought of Day

Am I the only one who wishes Outlook.com would stop changing their layout so frequently? It feels like they change it weekly. There was nothing wrong with the old system. Why do they have to keep changing it? All of these new features are supposed to increase work productivity, but it actually decreases mine. I spend so much time now turning off new features and working around the ones I can’t turn off that actually add extra steps that I now lose several minutes per day that I used to use for work.

Jigging Time

I’ve got another roommate story for you all today. I spent the greater part of yesterday at the library working on a paper that’s due on Friday. After putting a day’s worth of work and make a substantial dent in it I decide to call it quits and leave around 1:00 AM. I return home around 1:30 AM. I open the door to be greeted with squid jigging music! Full blast – coming from my roommate’s room. I eventually determine that she’s watching some sort of TV Show or movie that has jigging music as its main background music. She has gone from being a person who readily apologized when her bootycall woke me up at midnight on a weekday to being a person who does whatever she wants, whenever she wants without a care in the world as to how her actions affect anyone else around (except her boyfriend of course).

All this because I dared to question her and took issue with the fact that she had essentially invited her boyfriend to move in with us without asking. Sigh. I just don’t know anymore. The noise continued on until about 3:00 AM when it finally stopped and I was able to get some sleep. The odd thing is that this change where she stays up super late and is super noisy from 11:30 AM to 3:00 AM is a new development. It only started happening a couple of weeks ago.

This is the last week of the semester. With only a few weeks to go, when we’ve never had more to do, she’s decided that staying up to all hours of the morning and being extremely loud is now an okay thing to do. I don’t understand it. She has to be busy with course work, final assignments, and marking like the rest of us (in fact I know that she is because a friend of mine is in the same program) yet she somehow finds time to stay up, be loud, and annoy the crap out of me at all hours. How does she function like this? Why does she function like this? Why would you willingly work all day and then stay up all night? I’m doing it because I’ve got too much due, a tight schedule, and a roommate from hell. In other words I don’t have a choice. But she does. So why do it?

Cheers,
The Mischief Mistress

Roommate Thoughts

kleenx

My roommate, whom we will call Jamie, has started randomly stealing the kleenex boxes from the bathroom. That I bought for communal use. I have no idea why she is doing this, but she appears to be escalating. The first one that disappeared a few weeks ago I was pretty sure was close to being done. So I replaced it with a new box from under the sink. And then today I get out of the shower and notice that this second box, which I replaced recently and as a result it is almost brand new and nowhere close to being finished, is gone. She’s stealing communal kleenex. Seriously? Who does that? Who’s that childish? Her apparently. I get that you need kleenex or maybe she’s doing it to be passive aggressive on purpose, but come on really?

And what’s more this situation starting escalating in the first place because SHE got started being really passive aggressive and accused me of stealing food items we’d agreed to share such as milk, bread, cheese, eggos etc. along with her granola bars which I’ve never eaten seeing as we a) did not agree to share them and b) I specialty order mine so I don’t want her granola bars anyway. Also her boyfriend drives me nuts. The sound of voice carries like you wouldn’t believe through this box we call an apartment (well suite technically). And that TV. She plays that thing so bloody loud I can barely hear myself think. And she plays it late into the evening too. I’m glad you have nothing else better to do that bother everyone around you Jamie but the rest of us (me specifically) would like to study, write, eat, and sleep in reasonable calm and quiet. Is that really too much to ask? For long time followers of this blog you know the answer to that one: the answer is yes. I have the worst luck with roommates I swear.

That’s all for now.
xoxo ~ The Mischief Mistress

Red & White

Hello everyone!
In honour of Canada Day I spent the weekend baking things red and white. I started on Saturday baking a custom baseball cake for a customer and followed up on Monday by making a Stripes & Hearts Cake in tribute to the nation that has been my home since the day I was born. I’m not an overly patriotic individual. I care far too much about the injustices our Government is perpetrating to ever be quite frankly, but I do love where I live.

This Canada Day I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in a country that affords me rights that so many are denied. My hearts go out especially to all the women, in the United States and elsewhere, who are fighting tooth and nail for the reproductive, social, and political rights that I and so many others sometimes take for granted. I am also reminded that the rights and privileges that I so cherish are in many cases not extended to all Canadians even though they should be. Days like today make me remember why I want to get into politics and why all the struggle is going to be worth it. And on that note please enjoy the action shots above. Happy Canada Day everyone!
Love,
The Mischief Mistress

A Post About A Lot of Things

Hello everyone!
My apologies for being away for so long. As I mentioned in my last post the move has been incredibly stressful. I’ve also been attempting to find a well paying job or any job at all really with limit resources. The good news is that both of these stressful situations are on their way to being resolved. We are slowly unpacking our house, day by day, and *fingers crossed* I might soon have a job as a sales representative for a company that represents a Canadian nail polish company, a line of spa products, and a line of shampoos, conditioners, and hair colours. I have also been working hard to get my cookie business up and running in my newly adopted town.

I was linked to a hilarious blog post on how NOT to make rainbow cupcakes recently which reminded me of the rainbow cake I made for my cousin’s birthday a few years back. Pictures of which can be seen at the top of this post along with the Sparkling Strawberry Cupcakes that I made last week.
How NOT to make Rainbow Cupcakes Link: www.bloglovin.com

I also did some reading this week on Depression as a mental condition, the different classifications of Depression, and treatment methods. I learned through my brief research that more of my family members than I realized suffer some kind of mental ailment. What I found most curious, however, was how one pamphlet I read described the various treatment methods.

The pamphlet outlined the different kinds of medications that are typically prescribed for various forms of depression and their side effects, but gave no mention to how these medications actually effect you. Now I myself have never taken medication for a mental condition because I was able to deal, and continue to deal, with my depression and anxiety issues through therapy and psychological counselling, but I know people who have.

Many of the people I know who have describe a similar experience. They say that while they no longer experience the extreme highs and lows they felt before, after taking the medication they no longer feel anything at all. They say that most medications flatten you completely which is why many people go off them. I’m not saying that people who are suffering shouldn’t try medication as an option or that all medications are ineffective. I have family members for whom medication is the worst possible choice and family members for whom medication is the best possible choice. What I’m saying is that there needs to be better awareness about what these medications actually do and how they make those with mental conditions feel.

Some of the literature also discussed Electroconvulsive Therapy as treatment option which scared the beegeesus out of me. The fact that shocking people who are sick with electric currents is considered an acceptable treatment for quote, “those who do not respond to medications” is terrifying. That being said, it is possible there is a benefit that I am not seeing and if any of you have a more informed opinion on this and other matters concerning mental health I would love to hear it. The more we talk about this stuff the better.

Love,
The Mischief Mistress

Links:
The bakery that I am a part of: www.cookiecrumbsent.com
The nail polish I will hopefully be selling shortly: http://www.cheekymonkeycosmetics.com/

Orange You Glad?

Hey Everyone,
Today in order to take my mind off the stress of my family and I’s recent move I decide to bake some cupcakes. I baked dark chocolate cupcakes in our brand new oven and made icing sugar free frosting with the brand new Magic Chef hand mixer I bought recently. I am ridiculously proud of how well the frosting turned out. In order to make it I had to whisk milk and flour in a frying pan on the stove until it achieved, “a pudding like consistency” to quote my recipe.

The cupcake recipe is from  Hello Cupcake! by the amazing Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. I highly recommend it. The recipe turned out perfectly and the decorating instructions this book offers are amazing! I also highly recommend their other two books: What’s New Cupcake? and Cupcakes, Cookies & Pies, Oh my! I got the frosting recipe from Our Best Bites and allrecipes.ca. One for the recipe and the other for the pictures. I spent most of the day measuring, testing, colouring, and taste testing. It provided the break I desperately needed and also allowed me to update my bakery website with new product photos.

Links:
Hello Cupcake! and other books: http://www.hellocupcakebook.com/
Our Best Bites Recipe: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/09/perfect-cupcake-frosting-and-filling/
Allrecipes.ca Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Creamy-Frosting/Detail.aspx

Better Than This

I had an experience recently that reminded me both of how lucky I am and why I’m on the path I’m on. I got a job recently working at an understaffed pizzeria. It’s a summer job and it pays minimum wage. Not exactly a long term investment. I was supposed to work until eight, but we got swamped with orders and neither of the other two employees could come in. I clocked out at 8:30 and preceded to bike home in the pouring rain.

As I biked the downpour became heavier and I was reminded of why I am spending most of mine and my parents’ money on University. My thought process as I became considerably more drenched went something like this: I am better than this. I deserve better than this. This is why you’re going to University. Because you are smarter than this, more intelligent than this. You’re going to University so don’t end up working in pizza joints for the rest of your life. So you don’t spend the rest of your life biking in the rain while boys hurl mumbled nonsensical insults at you. You’re not small town. You’re better than that. Better than this. You deserve better than to be stuck making pizzas with people who know nothing about politics. This is why you are going to University. To better yourself. To get a career. To ensure that you never wind up like this. You deserve better and you are going to get it.

In short, I am lucky and this week I was reminded that luck, the kind I have been blessed with, is not to be taken lightly. The phrase, “with great power, comes great responsibility” is a common one especially in the super hero movie genre. But, I believe it can be taken a step further. I believe that with great luck comes great responsibility. If you are fortunate enough to be born into a decent family, a good upbringing, wealth, a country a peace, and you have the intellect and ability to better your self it is your responsibility to do so.

Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t think University is the only way to do this or that college is either. I simply believe that if you are fortunate enough to be given the chances and opportunities that so many people in this world crave for you have a responsibility to do something with them. You have an obligation to better yourself, to make something of your life, and not settle because it is easier. There are so many people who would kill to be in your shoes, to have your life. It’s not easy and it’s not always fun, but it is worth it. At lease I hope it is. Fingers crossed everyone.

The Absence of Friends

I lost a friend today. They haven’t died. They’ve just left. They’re transferring to a new university for a second time contrariety to what they said last time we spoke of it. They’re all excited. They think its grand. I’m dying inside.

Friends

I never mean as much to them

As they mean to me

I try to hide it

I’m sure it shows

I’m tired of being lonely

Just for being me

You’d think I was strange

The number of friends I’ve lost

But not really as different as you might think

I’m smart and I’m funny

Or at least I try to be

I like to dance and party

Traits most people rarely see

I’m sick of investing in bankrupt accounts

Of putting everything in

And getting nothing out

I want this to end

I’m so sick of this life

The cycle is never ending

I want a life

Baking As Stress Relief

I bake for a lot of reasons. I love the smell of warm cookies in the oven. I love trying new techniques and recipes. Sometimes I bake to give myself a break from the hell that is sometimes my life. Today was one of those days. Things have been very stressful lately. Between exams and final papers I have barely had time to breath let alone think.

I baked chocolate mint cupcakes today and piping frosting onto them reminded me of something. I was a perfectionist for most of my life and it wasn’t till last year that I finally let it go. I got to a point in my life where I literally did not have time to make every assignment, every presentation, every essay, every concoction perfect. I let go of the concept of perfection and the idea of being a perfectionist because I had to, because I was forced to. As painful as it was, sometimes we need that push. And while parts of last year were utter hell and there are certainly a few things I would change, there are certain things I wouldn’t. As a result of my housing, academic, and mental struggles I have become a stronger, wiser, more confident person. You can’t put a price on that sense of self being and self worth.

I’ve learned a lot in the past year and a half. Sometimes you need to stand up for what you believe in and sometimes you need to go along with what the crazy, angry person wants and tell people what they want to hear because it just isn’t worth and you’re not going to win this one. Sometimes you need to push yourself to do your best and sometimes whatever you could muster up at three A.M. is enough. It’s all a balancing act and a rubik cube at the same time. So take a deep breath, everything will be fine, things will turn out just fine. If they don’t you’ll deal with it when the time comes. Be as prepared as you can and every once in a while bake some cupcakes. You’ll feel better. I guarantee it. 🙂