Blogging 202: The Unexpected

Blogging, I’ve decided, is a funny thing.

I expected – and I still think it was reasonable to do so – to do a lot more of it after graduation. Now, of course, some of that was the very natural “oh I’m done with college so the rest of life should be easy” thing, but I think most of it was more of the “oh. I don’t have a job. I’m an unpaid intern. I will want something meaningful to do at the end of the day.”

You see, I do my best writing at around 2 in the morning. I’m not joking. If I am awake, I will literally start to write posts, either on the computer (rare), with a pen (less rare), or in my head (usually).

What I did not expect was to find myself working 6 – 7 hours every day of the week for no pay ahem, experience, and come home with the sole intention of sitting, eating, and zoning out. Ah, such is life.

It’s not so much that I feel “guilty” for not blogging as often as I’d like; it’s more frustration. Frustration that I don’t make myself do it when I know I really want to, that it takes more energy than I’m willing to admit, that it’s something I feel like I’ve promised myself to do and failed.

All that said, I do have a plan or 2 up my sleeve that will help. I often feel a little overwhelmed with ideas, because there’s just so much to talk about when it comes to food! – but I have a system in place. And hopefully, it won’t involve me posting 10 minutes before I have to sprint to my car to get to “work” semi-on-time.

For now, how about a few adorable dog pictures to start off your week?

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Help! I’m stuck in the couch and…eh, never mind. I’m pretty comfortable.

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You have another cookie for me? Maybe?!?!?!?!?

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…maybe?

Have a lovely Monday!

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Blogging 101: Why Bother

I have no idea if this is going to be a new segment of my blog. And that, it turns out, is the perfect way to start this post.

There are a LOT of food blogs out there. Like, a lot. Click here and prepare to be overwhelmed. You will probably become distracted by one of the many beautiful pictures of brownies or bread and click on it. I will wait.

……

Did you bookmark that page? Good, me too.

On with the class. Food blogs – that is about as broad a category is as the cookbook section in Barnes & Noble. Healthy lifestyle blogs, raw food, vegans – both veteran and newbies, vegetarian, bakers, eaters, writers, moms, dads, college kids…the list goes on. And within those slight more specific genres are thousands of writers, telling their own individual story.

So to those of us relatively new foodies who are struggling to find our own personal way of standing out from the ranks of our fellow bloggers, it’s a rather intimidating task. I had it good for the beginning of mine – a student studying abroad in Florence, Italy??? Um, yeah, I would call that blog-worthy. A student studying in South Carolina who lives on protein bars and yogurt…maybe not so much.

I went from this...

to lots and lots and lots of these. I'm sorry, change is not always good.

But, as I struggle to find that perfect niche, I will continue blogging about all things edible. Because it’s fun, because I live it, and because I will change. Interning at a restaurant this summer is sure to bring up some fun topics, and going to culinary school for baking & pastry is sure to hold plenty of bloggable material.

Let’s return to the question of the day: why bother blogging if the chances that someone else in a strikingly similar situation to you already is, and is doing so as a full-time career, getting millions of hits on their page everyday and has hundreds of loyal followers?

Maybe because everyone is unique and has their own voice. Maybe because food is just that important to us, and writing is an outlet for expressing that value. Or maybe it’s just that you have that perfect combination of brand new saute pan and serious cajones that drives you on. More power to you.

 

@ ReVision Urban Farm in Boston, MA.

All this to say, hi. I’m Gillian, and I really like food. Especially the types that involve carbs. I live in a dorm at the moment, but in a couple weeks me and 3 of my friends are moving into the brand-spankin’ new apartments for the last spring semester of our college career. I will finally be able to cease subsisting on over-processed foods and the slightly edible substances served by the cafeteria and cook for myself. In between now and that blissful day, my roommate and I are flying out to California, her to audition for an internship and me to check out the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena – camera and netbook in tow, of course!

 

CIA Greystone...future?

Clearly, I have convinced you to stay tuned. By Jedi mind trick if nothing else.

Now click back to Tastespotting. I know that picture of homemade cinnamon marshmallows is calling you.

Challenges

Y’ALL. This is killing me. Posting barely once a week….pathetic. And frustrating. I MISS writing whatever insanity pops into my head. Instead, I’m chained to either a two-ton anthology or writing about the underlying racism in James Fenimore Cooper (you think I’m making this up…nope.).
I am resigned to the fact that my dear beloved blog may very well turn into a weekend activity, much as it pains me to say. My job with my study abroad program is going to start getting a bit heavier AND I’m going to start blogging once a week for my school. All of which I love and am very excited about…but MAN, does it leave precious little time for, um, life. I’ll admit, it’s all my fault.
But I do have something important to say other ohmygodfourenglishclassesatoncewhatwasIthinking. 
I know I’ve said it before, but I can’t help it: I am constantly amazed at the effect Italy had on me. At this point in the semester, I would be in total freak-out mode. I would stay up til 3 because god forbid I don’t read every single page assigned and put 100% into each and every paper, be it 2 pages or 12. 
But I’m not. I have my priorities, I take it week by week – sometimes day by day – and I breathe, and laugh, and sleep, and the world (or at least, my world) doesn’t implode when I go to class a bit less than ideally prepared.
So…ready for what’s been going on down here in Sparkle City (a.k.a, Spartanburg, South Carolina…if you really want to know, google it.)?
I think you are.
Daphne (my car) is legal to park (in the yellow or green lines only, of course).
Graduation GOWN. *insert mini-spaz moment of anxiety about graduating here*

Before I continue, let me explain. At Converse, if you enter on an odd year (like 2007, when I was a fresh[wo]man), you are a red devil.
Meet Richard the Red Devil mascot:
He’s basically a hottie.
If you enter on an even year, you are a pink panther. You get picked by a junior (who is also a devil or panther) who is your Big Sister. It’s NOT a sorority thing – we are a small women’s college of about 1200. We are basically one big sorority anyway. So, for a week in September your Big Sis delivers you presents – in my case, all revolving around RED. There is SO MUCH red in my life now. And it’s awesome.
During Formal Opening Convocation – big ceremony where our lovely President officially declares this school year open – seniors wear our gowns, our horns and tails (which our Big Sisters made for us), and of course…
Red Converse sneakers. (No, our school name has nothing to do with the shoe company. But come on…how could we not?)
Ok, got all that? …yeah, it took my parents a while too. Don’t worry about it.
The night before Opening Convocation, we paint the campus red (or pink…ick). It’s pretty fabulous.
2011 – Little piece of heaven! (C’mon, say it with me: “aaaawwwwwww!”)
Before we jazz up campus, we go to “Hats On”, basically a party for the seniors where we wear crazy hats and eat cake. I’m sure there’s some symbolism in there about “hats on” and getting ready to graduate….whatever. It’s all about the cake.
Had to represent my homeland, right? [GOSOX.]
And as for eats, there’s been plenty o’ salads…
Most not as delicious as this one, which was from a deli across the street. It’s called “the hippie.” It has hummus and goat cheese. ‘Nuf said.
And some banana oat bran. Of course. 
Some things never change.
And I can’t forget about the best.frozen.yogurt.EVER.
Compliments of Blueberry Frog!
Pomegranate + plain tart with mangos + raspberries. Or, as I prefer to call it, heaven in a cardboard cup.
Good ole SC has been treating us to some gorgeous sunsets:
Find the symbolism yourself. This English major is off the clock.
Until tomorrow, of course. Chaucer, here I come.
~Namaste~