Another week in wagstaff

McKay Village

I took this picture outside my room this morning of the first snowfall of the season in Flagstaff. Yesterday it snowed in short bursts all day, just enough for traffic to crash and pile up as soon as it got dark and the roads froze into ice. No road salt is used here because the elk will come and lick it off of the road; I guess hitting an elk is worse than skidding off into the woods. There are lots of elk here.

This week has been interesting and fairly slow paced. Sunday I enjoyed the awesome weather by strolling around downtown in the morning checking out the shops and coffeehouses.Dogs are common in town, and many stores allow dogs inside. Usually they are well-trained because almost everybody in Flagstaff has a dog, hence the name I hear from time to time—Wagstaff. I had a falafel pita for lunch, then went mountain biking most of the afternoon. It has been over a month since I’ve gone biking off-urban trail; I forgot how enjoyable it is riding rough trails and getting covered with dust. I rode up to the top of nearby Observatory Mesa and rode a spider web of unmapped trails exploring the top of the mesa.

Monday I did something completely over my head. I entered a cooking competition. A motley crew of us living in McKay Village get together occasionally to cook, so we took the challenge. The contest was hosted by our apartment complex and only 8 teams entered. Rules were fairly simple: Make an appetizer, main course, and dessert in 2 hours using secret ingredients revealed at the start of the contest. Meals were judged on nutrition, taste, plating, and creativity. The ingredients were three kinds of apples, so back to our kitchen we ran to get started. We made apple salsa, apple quesadillas, apple cider for the drinks, apple pasta with a baked tomato and meatball sauce, and apple cheesecake for dessert. Nutrition-wise it was ok because we used all whole-wheat products, no sugar or butter, and made a bran and oatmeal crust for the cheesecake. It tasted really good, thanks to the lead cook who had been in the kitchen since she was old enough to walk.

Nothing else of general interest happened this week that I can recall. Classes are going good, although Chinese class has its inherent challenges. I’m already working on the final project—narrating a 5 minute video of my creation in Chinese. This is not easy and my creativity department is writhing in pain. I’m still hanging on to good grades although I seem to have developed an attention deficit disorder when it comes to working on assignments and homework. I’ve tried all the usual fixes: coffee, going on a hard bike ride, running, calling people, dividing tasks—nothing seems to work anymore.

Economics Class

An example of boredom in economics class…

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-and in computer programming class…

Halloween weekend is almost here again, and I am without costume or alter-identity. This does not concern me much, as I am considering traveling to Phoenix for the weekend anyway. Later…

“I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.” ~a friend’s status on Facebook yesterday.