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kitchen observations

Since it is Sunday and I should be working on a translation I have to deliver to a client, the obvious course of action is to reflect instead on the nuances of the Brazilian kitchen.  Food is food is food, but also it’s just not the same down here when you’re cooking.  Here are some observations:

  • Somehow Brazilians generally think that you only need one real meal a day.  Meal consisting of a meat (delicious), starch (rice and beans!), and maybe a vegetable or salad (anemic).  Also, sandwiches are not considered meals here.  It’s not uncommon to hear something along the lines of: “Oh, I had lunch, so tonight I won’t have a meal–I’ll just have a sandwich.  Maybe some fruit.”  I’m still not sure I’ve wrapped my mind around it.
  • The pressure cooker is used a lot here.  Originally popular because it saved gas costs when cooking beans and tougher cuts of meat, it has pretty much remained ubiquitous in the Brazilian kitchen.  I’m not sure why it’s not more popular in the states, to be honest; I am becoming a fan.  It makes cooking oxtail, for example, a much less daunting, time-consuming task.
  • Kitchen hygiene is a lot more meticulous.  The kitchen trash is generally a tiny receptacle on the counter, which means you have to keep emptying it forever and ever and that is all you ever do in the kitchen.  It feels like, anyway.  The sink gets squeegeed out and the food bits get put in the aforementioned tiny wastebasket.  Dishes get pre-soaped and scrubbed, sit on the counter a little, and then get rinsed.  When you think about conservation of resources, this makes a lot more sense.  There is a weird tension between wasting certain resources (food, for example, gets thrown out alarmingly quickly here; my roommate wanted to throw out my half a roast chicken that had been in the fridge for, I swear, three days) and conserving others (water, gas–and rightfully so).
  • If you want to dice an onion, you hack into it multiple times with a knife, and then you cut it.  Voila.  I do not do this for fear of cutting off a finger.  If you, however, are more adventurous, this could be an interesting method for you to try.
  • Mushrooms here are small, bland, and yellow, and they come in a brine in little glass jars.  They’re also kind of rubbery.  Two of my three roommates LOVE them, and I don’t get it.
  • I was never a huge fan of tropical fruit (pineapples, mango, papaya) until I came down here.  Tropical fruit is so much better in a climate where it grows a bit more naturally.  I am obsessed with pineapple–this is new–to the point where I am actually very good at cutting them up.  Fun fact: in Portuguese, “to un-peel a pineapple” means to solve a difficult problem.  I also put mango in my morning oatmeal.
  • In the spirit of not wasting any food, I am in the middle of making chicken stock from that same roast chicken that my roommate wanted to throw away.  This is generally being regarded as a curiosity, but I have a few recipes I want to try that call for broth, and I cannot resign myself to using the mix-with-water kind that also doubles as soup.  Dude, the horrors.  I still can’t get over the contradiction of terms: so many old ways still being employed in the kitchen, but when you want to make tomato sauce for your pasta, you open a plastic package of sauce, throw in some fresh onion and tomato, heat it up, and you’re good to go.  This is not to criticize; this is just how it is in the apartment.  But it’s interesting–wait for it–food for thought.  Yeah, I did that.  When I move in the new year, I will be setting up an herb [and hopefully vegetable] garden, so I guess a lot of this stuff is on my mind right now.
  • My roommates seem to think it’s unbearably weird to use celery in things.  “Seriously, you’re putting celery in your juice?”  “What is that weird smell?  Oh, celery?  What do you even use celery for?”  “You’re putting celery in your chicken stock?  Why do you want to do that?”  No love for poor celery over here.  Needless to say, the Cajun Holy Trinity (celery, carrots, and onions) is not a major force in Brazilian gastronomy.

Essentially, I think that’s all I have for now.  I always think of these things when I am cooking and forget them afterwards.  Gonna go check on my stock, which is in the pressure cooker.

Pastiche

1. My current apartment has a wall of windows and quite the view.

I happen to be living across the river from the Jockey Club these days, and it’s my fondest ambition to watch some horse races for free.  I just learned from my roommate that you can post bets online, and somehow that makes the whole situation just seem that much more chique.  As it is, I have seen no horse races, but I have witnessed many tiny little cars driving around the track–Lord knows why–and a village of tents being constructed.  The tents are for a music festival that will be happening next week: so the good news is that I will be taking in a concert by Garbage without paying anything.  Wins all around.  I’d still prefer a race though.

I also get quite a view of the local taxi, mall, and commuter train action.  My local grocery store is actually in the ground floor of a mall, which hasn’t yet ceased to blow my mind.  The mall also has multiple banks, a few salons, a movie theater, and a theater theater, as well as an Outback steakhouse and some other, actually reputable restaurants.  It’s like Little Worlds in there.

2. 

3. The other day as I was walking and looking around–something that I definitely don’t do enough, as I am usually concentrated on getting around the infuriating bunch of bejeaned (yep just made that one up) slow ladies in my way on the sidewalk, forchrissake–I realized that none of the buildings here have fire escapes.  Nowhere to sit at night in the winter with a glass of wine, nowhere to get into your apartment from if you forget your keys, and, now we’re getting to the point, no way to escape in an emergency.

São Paulo is the worst place to have an emergency of any type.  Somehow you can’t get anywhere in less than 40 minutes, even if it’s right next door.  When you are at the end of the last bit of rope, taxi drivers choose not to understand you that day, even though you know you’re saying everything correctly.  I walk down most of Rua Consolação to get to class twice a week, and rush hour traffic is just a given from 17h on.  I almost always see an ambulance stuck in traffic, siren plaintive, sort of an afterthought; cars don’t even try to move out of the way because there is nowhere to go.  I always wonder if there is a point in calling in a medical emergency between 5 and 8 pm if you’re in Centro or near the Marginal or far away or really anywhere at all.

I almost cut off a good chunk of my finger, and out of a profound lack of desire–call it an antidesire–to find a cab or get on the Metrô with blood gushing out of my finger, hand clutching a frozen beer can, and navigate a shitton of bureaucracy just to get a few stitches, I opted out and stayed on the couch.  I know I would have been waiting around for four hours or more before anything happened at the hospital.  Now I have what is shaping up to be an interesting parabolic scar.

If someone dies in an accident, the perícia will take six hours to get there, and they only come that fast because you know someone who knows someone.  I didn’t even see an ambulance, although logic tells me there was one at some point.

4. Here are some poems I’m enjoying these days.

5. And a song: 

6. And to top it all off, I have lost most or all desire to continue working at the place I’m working and doing the things I’m doing, but I haven’t lined up anything else yet.  Aaargh.  But that’s life yeah?

I have a few ideas and maybe a tentative option in another place and all I can think about is Getting Out of Dodge.  Keep your fingers crossed for me and send productive thoughts my way, please, because I really need a swift kick in the ass as far as Applying Myself goes.  In caps because these things feel super theoretical to me right now.

I’m blaming it on the weather, which seems to also be having an identity crisis; summer is approaching, but it’s getting colder.  I, habitually associating October with chill and pumpkin and Bob Dylan, am incredibly confused by all this because theoretically I know that it’s supposed to be hot and humid but I am not-so-secretly longing for more sweater weather.  My more Brazilian side wonders if everyone isn’t in some sort of universal mild Astral Hell (everyone asks what your sign is here when you meet them), because it sure seems like it.

7. ‘Jesus mother of god i hate cats’ tag added to this post because it is and always will be true, and because I saw it just now and it made me smile.

You know you’re assimilating when…

  • You have made a long list of things that you want your mother to bring in her suitcase when she visits in May.
  • You are no longer shocked or scandalized when your friends start requesting that your mom bring things for them when she visits in May.
  • You send beijos to and receive beijos from people you haven’t even met yet.
  • You congratulate people on everything.
  • Dinner is at 10 pm at the bar next to your apartment.
  • You don’t worry about large things, like obtaining a work visa, because (1) you’ve put out the word to your Network and (2) anyway, it’s out of your hands, you’ll stay here se Deus quiser, and there’s always a jeitinho for these things.
  • Speaking of the Network: Your friend talks about needing to go to Porto Alegre for business but having no place to stay, and you realize that you have 3 or 4 people down there that you could put him in touch with.  You have never been to Porto Alegre.
  • It’s 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’re in your apartment wearing a sweater and clutching a mug of tea because you have the chills.
  • Portuguese is the language you speak in your free time and with your friends, and you consider English to be a job.
However, in a bid to introduce one of the more delightful American customs to Brazil, I made brunch on Sunday.  It’s funny how some things that I never really even like in the US are the things I crave here.  French toast, for example–which is what I made for brunch.  It’s simple to make and somehow much more delicious than I remember it being.  The only tricky thing is that cream as we know it apparently doesn’t exist here in Brazil.  Instead, there is nata, which is like a solidified SuperCream, somewhere in between butter and milk, and then there is creme de leite (cream of milk?), which is a liquid.  I had no idea which to get, so I threw caution to the wind and used both.*  At any rate, Rino and Gera liked it.  I am secretly harboring the ambition to make Sunday Brunch a standing-appointment-type, come-as-you-are event.  Anyway, here are some pictures of the brunch.
 
___
*But wait, this gets even better: I just checked the label of the nata in the fridge, and it says that’s it’s pasteurized creme de leite.  I give up trying to understand.  (Another  sign of assimilation, I think….)

bullet points: free time edition

Kids, the title says it all, or most of it.

But friends, I had a really rotten day the other day.  I wanted to murder someone, or myself, because of a number of reasons (including the ever-present condition of not being able to find the damn colon on my keyboard, so pretend there’s a colon here) heat wave, lack of aircon, close living quarters, cats, having no control over my lunches (ie, rice and beans during a heat wave), the fact that Brasilian salad isn’t salad but rather old undressed lettuce and anemic tomatoes, the other fact that I was getting inquisitioned and side-eyed for taking second helpings of ‘salad’ instead of rice and beans at lunch.  Etc. etc. etc.  It was all too much for a girl to bear.

However, I don’t stay unhappy for long, and the heat wave brove, so I am back my usual jovial self.  Here’s some things that have been on my mind now that I am feeling less aggravated(COLON)

  • Found a Brasilian to listen to Television and watch L’Age d’Or with!  Didn’t expect that I would succeed in finding someone here with the same random tastes I have.  So–hooray.
  • The country’s obsession with panettone.  Granted, this is getting less pronounced the further away we get from Christmas, but it’s still baffling to me.  It’s a Christmas bread, but it’s really just everywhere around here.  Panettone, in all the grocery stores!  Panettone, in a themed subway shop of its very own!  Panettone, on all the tables and in all the kitchen of random people I visit!  Just when I thought that maybe I was making too much of a big deal about this, I sat back and started watching novela the other week.  One scene was in a kitchen.  PANETTONE ON THE KITCHEN TABLE!  Yes, Big Panettone has a firm stranglehold on Brasil–to the point where they are winning big product placement in Globo Novelas.  Or so I imagine.  I asked Ma why everyone liked panettone around here, and she seemed super nonplussed.  ‘Maybe because it’s really easy to make?’ she ventured.  But panettone is actually sort of a pain in the ass to make.  ‘Oh, then I don’t know.’  So…yeah.
  • I think some dude in a car called me rapaz the other day when I crossed the street, which sort of translates to ‘boy’ or ‘bro’ or something–but definitely masculine.  Then again, it could have been a figment of my imagination.  In other news, this other dude sat down next to me on a bench while I was waiting for the bus today coming home from work–I almost never get to just flop down because I’m always running to catch the bus so I was really looking forward to enjoying my time just staring around–and started, I don’t even know, hitting on me. His main objective was impaired by the vital fact that I could barely understand him, though.  He kept insisting I was Italian or something, and he was super inquisitive, so I just asked questions back.  ‘What?’  ‘What do you think?’  ‘Why Italian?’  But mainly I just gave him really confused and annoyed looks because I was tired and he was sitting really close and I had no interest in telling him anything.  He kept telling me to go somewhere across the street with him.  Nothing doing, dude.  I may look Italian (?) but I’m not stupid.
  • I have found heaven, and heaven is in Centro, past baixo Augusta coming from Paulista way, in Bar Estadao.  It’s called pernil, and it’s sort of a pig leg thing.  Do yourself a favor and look at the pictures of this food marvel.  The best news for me–and for everyone in the world, really–is that this place has been open for ages and also never closes.  So (hint hint) if you come and visit me, I will take you there, possibly multiple times.  Many thanks to my aforementioned Television-listening, surrealist-film-watching, Brasilian-author-recommending friend Gera for taking me there for the first time.  I wanted to take a picture of this pork (!)-farofa (!)-rice-potatoey goodness, but I was too busy eating.
  • On that note, I very well may (fingers crossed) be moving out this week to somewhere that’s not an hour away from work in good traffic.  Don’t get me wrong–an hour’s commute is actually a short commute here, and it’s not the worst.  I work in the evenings though, and so I have to leave before rush hour even starts, which results in a lot of wasted time in a lot of random cafes, waiting around for classes to start.  My hopefully future roommate is training to be a helicopter pilot and has an insanely smooth voice.  He’s a friend of my friend’s best friend, which is how these things work.
  • I’ve been trying to speak a lot more Portuguese with a lot more people.  This means…talking with random security guys at banks (key phrase Eu nao sou recepcionista! = I am not a receptionist!), getting to know the people who work in the reception of my building (key phrase Se Deus quiser = if God wills it), and basically bumbling around asking people to repeat things and smiling sheepishly.  People like Gera and my future roomie, who don’t really speak much English with me, are forcing me to get more agile with the language, and to pick up more slang.  My favorites are(COLON) sei la (which I’m not sure actually literally makes sense in Portuguese, but it means ‘I don’t know’), tipo (which means ‘type’–used like we use ‘like’), and negocio (which means ‘business,’ and people use it if they are searching for a word they don’t know or can’t remember).
  • This week in funny building names I bring you…Edificio Royal Place.
  • Lastly, I have a theory.  Allison, you’ll be thrilled.  Here goes.  The older Brasilian men get, the more they look like Jorge Ben Jor.  If anyone wanted to assassinate the great legend himself, I posit, it would be extremely difficult because, well, I have personally seen about a billion old men on the sidewalk who could work as his body double.  No joke.  Jorge Ben Jor at my bus stop, Jorge Ben Jor in a wheelchair chilling on Paulista, whatever.  It’s definitely JBJ, too–he has that just generic enough look.  You would never see a billion older men running around looking like Gilberto Gil, for example.  (See reference pictures.)  So anyway, that’s something I keep noticing around these parts.  The closer to God, the closer to Jorge Ben Jor.

Ma just said the words ‘cheeseburger with cheddar’ and now I have saudades.

Some more impressions

More bullet points!

  • Buildings here all have names, which I think is really strange.  Even though nobody refers to buildings by their names and only uses street addresses for taxis and directions, as there are way too many buildings in the continent’s biggest city, each one has some ridiculous name.  My favorite so far is Edificio John Lennon (the John Lennon Building), which is a residence I pass by on the bus on the way home from school.
  • About the bus.  I am almost a pro at riding these things by this point, since where I live isn’t really close to the Metro.  You get to see a lot of interesting things if you go by bus, and sometimes there are interesting conversations on which to eavesdrop.  The frustrating thing, however, is that there is no real bus schedule, so the bus comes whenever it comes.  I stood outside in misty rain the other day fo 50 minutes waiting for the bus to take me to my friend’s house in Jabaquara, when I could have taken another bus to a Metro station and taken the subway from there.  It’s always a gamble.
  • Every afternoon it rains, and I never have an umbrella.  This is most unfortunate, since the only time I ever think about buying an umbrella is when it starts raining and the umbrella hawkers appear out of nowhere to price-gauge the people who don’t like getting wet.  Well, I don’t like getting wet, but I have also become sort of thrifty, so I prefer to either get wet or wait out the rain.
  • It’s impossible to go anywhere in a hurry.  Sampa is known for being the city where everyone is always too rushed to sit back and enjoy life.  I want to know where all these fast people are, man.  Everywhere I go, people are cutting me off just to walk slow and stop in front of me.  After a while, there’s no point in trying to go anywhere quickly.  Whereas in New York, people rush down the stairs in the subway when they hear a train coming, Paulistanos sort of just maintain their glacial pace and are content to wait for the next train.  ALSO, people will wait in absurdly long lines to use the escalator instead of the stairs, and to go through the turnstile closest to the staircase when exiting the subway instead of walking the extra 5 feet to go through an empty one.
  • I have made a rule for myself that I won’t listen to my iPod unless it is Brasilian music, since I need to keep improving my language skills.  This means either (a) I hear a lot more conversations going on around me or (b) I really just space out on a whole new level and think about nothing.  Either way, it works.
  • I might be moving out of Ma’s mom’s apartment.  Which is exciting.  While they have been nothing but hospitable, I feel like a guest who is overstaying her welcome, and I would like to be able to cook again and just sort of hang out and not have to be on my best behavior.  This possible place would also be 10 minutes away from 2 Metro stops, which is also thrilling, since (a) that would force me to be both active AND proactive about being on time and (b) I do not like letting the bus rule my life.
  • In the midst of all this lightness, some serious things have been happening here in the city and state of Sao Paulo.  Sampa itself has a relatively new problem with the emergence of a booming crack market, centered in the old center of the city, informally dubbed Cracolandia, and instead of treating the problem, certain Powers That Be have been treating the symptoms instead, resulting in several arrests, destruction of people’s homes, and a general lack of understanding of addiction as a whole.  Also recently, the favela of Pinheirinhos has been occupied and burned, again resulting in the destruction of homes, lives, and dignity.  There are multiple pictures floating around of the inhabitants preparing themselves basically for war against the police coming to take their homes away.  The sad thing is that the majority of the people who live in favelas are not, as the stereotype goes, drug traffickers and dangerous criminals.  I will refrain from adding my political opinion–it’s not my place, since I am lucky enough to be here at all and am more or less an outside observer–but it is disappointing to see how the vast wealth divide leads to such awful situations, when the Brasilians that I have met, of all classes, are some of the most warm, welcoming, come-as-you-are people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  To this end, I went to a protest yesterday, which started near Teatro Municipal and ended up in Cracolandia.  Was it a smart idea for a foreigner to go to a political protest(question mark)  I’m not sure, but it was a very peaceful protest, the police weren’t involved, and I was interested to see how these things work here.  If you want to know my general impressions, ask me via email or something.  I have a few thoughts.
  • Phones.  I have a prepaid SIM card here, and sometimes I run out of money obsecenly quickly, while other times 10 reais stretches for 2 weeks.  I do not understand the phone plans here, but on the bright side, it seems that nobody does.  If you add certain magic numbers to the front of people’s numbers with certain plans, you are able to reduce the charges or get free texts, but alas, I am not proficient in this sort of special cryptography.  Like I said, nobody understand cell phone billing here, which is why it is common to have phones that accept 2 or 3 SIM cards at one time, so that people can have multiple pay-as-you-go plans and call their friends with different plans from their different numbers–from the same phone.  Whew.
  • Banks.  To get into some banks, you have to press a button.  Does this button connect to a security person, who then lets you in(question mark)  No.  You press the button, and the door unlocks, and you enter.  I’m not sure if this is a safety measure proven to be particularly effective against–I dunno, people who just sail into banks without a point for being there–but if seems like if one is hell-bent on robbing a bank, one little button will not be much of a hindrance.
  • Although I have been speaking a lot of English because of my course, I am also getting used to speaking in Portuguese without thinking about it too much.  The other day I was Skyping with my parents and started explaining something in Portuguese to them without realising that I was using the wrong language.  I also had a conversation with Ma’s neighbor in which I was chatting away (to be fair it’s very easy to chat with Valkyrie, since she loves talking) about bad traffic and the virtues of bus versus Metro (this was right before the 50-minute wait for the bus, actually), and it was only afterwards that I stepped back and realied that I had done that without really thinking.
  • On a related note, different people I’ve polled have all given me different reasons why I don’t seem Brasilian to them.  I am too pale (this is changng), I walk differently, I do not have enough of a butt (yep, someone said that)…  But somehow this seems to be diminishing, since people more and more will ask me for knowledge on the bus.  Yeah, that’s right.  I am the master of getting from Ana Rosa to Avenida Berrini, and I share my knowledge if asked nicely.  It used to freak me out but now I’m like, “Yep, it passes by Berrini, mmm hmm.”
  • I was on Brasilian news the other day!  Ma met some people who work at Rede Globo at some Christmas party, and they remembered that she was going to be hosting an Estrangeira in the new year.  I guess they were doing some piece on foreigners coming to live in Brasil, and anyway, they ended up interviewing me at school and filming me in class and stuff.  The interview mostly went well until we got to one question, very oddly-phrased, about how much money I was earning, and I had to ask the nice lady to repeat it around 3 times until I finally got it.  Apparently the piece aired Tuesday night, but I didn’t see it because I was waiting for that damn bus.  But my face has become capable of turning whole new shades of red in record time here in Brasil, I might have you know.  Which is weird because I never used to blush before.  The other day I went to Padaria Leirense with Ma, and the guy behind the counter was like, “Hey I know you.  You always come in here with her.”  Blush blush, yep, it’s the gringa again.  Actually, yesterday in Cracolandia I saw a little lanchonete (snackish sort of casual restaurant) that was called Lanchonete dos Gringos, which made me smile.  But I did not eat there.  We ended up eating at a place that had gross sandy coxinhas.  Ah well, you live and you learn.

Oh, Brasil.  Oh, this keyboard.  I am getting sick of not having a question mark or the last letter of the alphabet.  I am getting scarily good at planning lessons in minimal time.  I am getting used to people talking about me and thinking I can’t understand, and people talking quickly at me and thinking I can understand.  And now, here are some pictures.
eu

vista do vão do masp

IMG_0007

churrasqueiro

These phone booths are all over, and I love them because they are cute and bright and weird-looking–and also very good if you get caught in a sudden downpour.

telefonica

masp

ma  masp

vão do masp

window

I’m alive, I promise!

Hey there, I’m still alive–alive and well, acually, in Brooklin here in Sampa. I’ve only been here less than a week but it feels like so much longer already.  Since I’ve been here, I’ve (insert a colon here, since the keyboard is using has various inconveniently-broken keys)

  • learned to navigate the bus system successfully
  • scared a small child on the bus just by being a gringa who speaks Portuguese
  • likewise, learned to navigate various accents, like those from Porto Alegre (friends), Minas (the maid Francisca), and Ceara (Ma’s relatives).
  • taught myself the word for ‘bicycle lane,’ among others.  Ciclofaixa.
  • stayed out until 5 a.m. in Vila Madalena
  • been talked to at length by my neighbor, a woman named Valkyrie.  Apparently I remind her of her mother, who was Russian, because I am so pale.  I have also overheard multiple times that I am soooo branquinha e loira (pale and blonde).
  • been to not one, not two, butfour shoppings for various reasons.  Funnily enough (to me, anyway), shopping is the word for ‘mall’ in Portuguese.Shoppings seem a lot more serious here, somehow, maybe because everyone is really well-behaved and generally quieter.  Although I don’t really know why I get that feeling.
  • answered the question did I have a Brasilian boyfriend about a billion times.  Yes, I’ve had two, and no, not at the moment.  Yes, that’s how my Portuguese is so good.  Ha.
  • gone to the countryside for an all-day churrasco (barbecue).  This is the best way to spend a weekend day, if you were wondering.  I lierally did nothing all day except eat delicious meat, chat with people, and sit by the pool and read.  Also, the farofa was delicious.
  • sang Janis Joplin with some random Argentinians.
  • watched my novela, A Vida da Gente.

In the meantime, I haven’t had too much time to do touristy things, but I’ll get around to that when things calm down. I’m still working on finding an apartment and a steady job, as well as taking a course here, so that’s keeping me pretty busy.  Also, my laptop is somehow incompatible with the internet here in the apartment, so my time for internet use is limited–which is for the best, anyway.  So anyway, it’s off to the padaria, then meeting a friend for coffee and to do homework on Paulista.  Whee.

State of the MC, December 18 edition

Feathers in my cap:

  • Bar crawls in East Atlanta Village.
  • 3 am trips to the Majestic; omelets and grits.
  • Inheriting a multitude of Neil Young and James Taylor records.
  • My pachinko machine!
  • Reconnecting with old friends (also, high school reunion coming up!).
  • Videodrome
  • Having coffee with excellent people.
  • The excuse to speak Portuguese on the regular.
  • House parties at my house.
  • My alter ego, Chameleon (pronounced Cha-mah-lee-on), inspired by the crackhead who hit on me at Green’s Liquor at 11 am on a Saturday morning.  Hey baby, you be lookin’ real fine tonight if you know what ah’m sayin.
  • The guy at Hoa Binh who always tries to get me to buy 5 pounds of pork, plus duck and chicken, when I’m stopping in for my weekly char siu fix.

Black Eyes:

  • I hate cats.  I hate cats who open my door when I leave the house and chew up my digital camera.  I hate cats that eat my delicious char siu when I set down the takeout box to get up and get water.  I hate cats that come over and sit on my nice, clean blanket with the express purpose of scratching themselves and getting their nasty cat hair all over my possessions because they know I’m allergic.  I hate cats that chew on makeup brushes that I bought because the cat had ruined my makeup brush.
  • Yeah.
  • Not having enough time to see everyone I want to see.
  • Professors who don’t respond to your multiple requests for letters of recommendation even though they’d previously offered to write some.