186 South College

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Month: March 2014 (page 1 of 3)

An Ode to Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits

As a junior who lives off campus and is responsible for learning how to actually feed himself and buy essentials (paper towels, toilet papers, soap, etc) on a regular basis with a limited budget, I will very rarely buy name brand items. Bounty paper towels and Kleenex tissues are a thing of the distant past for me, having to resort to the sandpaper-like paper products from Walgreen’s “Nice!” brand that make every bodily function everything but. Yet, there is one thing that I will always purchase every time it’s available, even if it means that I have no money for napkins and I have to “borrow” a roll of them from Trabant (note: this is rude and quite potentially illegal, so do not do this): Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit Mix.

Red LobsterFor those of you who have never had the mind-numbing glory of indulging in the most delicious food in creation, let me explain. The intoxicating aroma of these slices of heaven will entice you the second you pop them in the oven. They are as soft as a pack of bunnies hopping on a cloud, and will engage senses and tastes that you didn’t even know existed. If that’s not enough for you, here are some other things to keep in mind:

Ease. All you need to create this delightful ambrosia is some water, some cheese, some butter, and an oven (food staples for all college kids who are living off campus). Throw the some cheese, the premade dough, and some water in a bowl, mix it around for a couple of seconds, and throw it in the oven; in a mere fifteen minutes, your taste buds will be exploding in ecstasy. There’s no fuss, no mess, and next to no effort necessary to forge this delicacy.

Versatility. Don’t get me wrong, these biscuits are fantastic on their own, and you really don’t want to mess with perfection. But, if you’re looking to fulfill more than just the grains part of your daily food pyramid, try these on for size:

-Want a sandwich? These biscuits are a perfect substitute for bread! I made breakfast sandwiches using these biscuits, an egg white omlette, and some bacon, and the result could out NDB to shame.

-Looking for something a little sweeter? Substitute the cheese for some chocolate chips and add some Nutella when they’re finished cooking, and you have the perfect chocolate-ly goodness to help fight off whatever midterms stress you’re fighting!

-Looking for a low carb option? These biscuits make for great croutons, as well! Divide them into pieces and throw them in with some lettuce and tomatoes and watch as every bite becomes entrenched with doughy goodness. And, if you want to go the extra mile, mix the Garlic Herb packet with some olive oil instead of butter, and you have the perfect salad dressing!

As I hope you can see, Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits are by far one of the greatest inventions ever thought up by man. Whether you’re just too lazy to make the trek over to Russell, or you’re on your last dime at Superfresh, I urge you all to take the plunge and treat yourself; your lives will change forever.

Man-Purses and Macademia Nuts

Have you heard the saying about being able to tell a lot about a woman from the contents of her purse? I didn’t until I watched the beginning of The Incredibles, one of my favorite movies, which will finally be getting a sequel 10+ years later. But I digress.

The contents of a victim’s purse dumped on the ground during a random mugging, from the beginning of my favorite Pixar movie.

The contents of a victim’s purse dumped on the ground during a random mugging, from the beginning of my favorite Pixar movie.

If you haven’t heard the saying, it’s pretty straightforward. By opening up a woman’s (or man’s) backpack/bag/tote, you can tell any number of things: if the person in question is a student, whether or not she (or he) is a makeup aficionado, how organized or prepared the person is, and furthermore (and probably most importantly), what that person’s favorite snacks are…the list could go on and on.

If you open up my most in-rotation bag (a patent-leather, raspberry colored laptop-purse), I have, among many other things, two EpiPens. Well, technically they’re called both an “Auvi-Q,” which is the brand-new, fancy version of the EpiPen.

So, by looking through my bag, someone would be able to determine that I have some pretty heavy-duty allergies – specifically, nuts. Almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts…and everything that contains any of these: think Nutella, Reese’s Pieces, Snickers – they’re all off-limits.

My allergy story isn’t even remotely cookie-cutter, however (food puns). I wasn’t diagnosed until I was older, so I’m not one of those kids who’s been labeled since birth/childhood.

Nope, I was diagnosed in college.

Whenever I reveal this, most people are confused. Honestly, the whole thing was inexplicable for me for a while. Basically, it goes like this: I have a special kind of allergy that worsens over time (yay for being unique, right?). So, when I was younger, peanuts were A-Okay. As I got older, my stomach would hurt a lot after eating certain foods. Only in hindsight did I make the following connection: whenever my stomach hurt the most, it was right after eating – yup, you guessed it – nuts. In high school, an average Snickers would make me throw up. So, subconsciously, I would eat less Snickers bars. Then, in college, my roommate at the time offered me raw almonds sophomore year…and lo-and-behold, I landed in Christiana Hospital.

Several trips to the allergist later – including skin testing and blood tests – and I had a bona-fide diagnosis: avoid nuts at all costs.

A lot of times I’ll say nonchalantly that this nut-allergy-thing doesn’t bother me…when secretly, all I want to do is just eat some Nutella and let the chips fall where they may. Which is sadistic to my body, I know (so I don’t). But you know how sometimes you have an urge to do something that you recognize is totally dangerous and an absolutely horrible idea – but you still kind of want to try it anyway? That’s how I feel whenever I walk past the nut aisle in Pathmark or my roommate’s stash of nutty foods.

My roommate’s line of things that could kill me: note the peanut butter, peanuts, tagalongs, and almonds.

My roommate’s line of things that could kill me: note the peanut butter, peanuts, tagalongs, and almonds.

But rest assured, in reality, I’m far too terrified to actually do anything of the sort. Generally, having an anaphylactic reaction makes an individual eager to avoid the experience in the future. Coming to terms with never being to consume these foods again has been strange, and definitely hard at times.

Going back to the prophetic abilities of a woman’s bag: they can reveal broad facts, like an allergy or a makeup obsession. One thing, though, that a woman’s bag (or man’s backpack or man purse a la Zach Galifianakis, since I don’t want to be gender exclusive) doesn’t reveal is the story behind each object.

zach g

No explanation needed.

So even though a random thief rifling through my bag might find an Auvi-Q epinephrine injector, that person would not know the story behind my Auvi-Q.

An object might expose a fact, but only a person can explain the story.

Old-School Shakespeare: Not What You’d Expect

The man, the myth, the legend: William Shakespeare. You might hate him; you might not understand a word he wrote; you might love Ten Things I Hate About You and consider that your big interaction with him; you might be a purist and cherish every word he ever wrote (cough). No matter what you think about him, there’s no denying that Shakespeare is one of the world’s most (if not the world’s most) renowned poets and playwrights. With that towering reputation in mind, most teachers, actors, and producers present Shakespeare with the grandiose loftiness and painstaking effort that most befits his acclaimed name.

Not so in the production of Thphoto2e Tempest I’m in this semester, opening in less than a week. Forget everything you think you know about Shakespeare.

Headed by Honors senior Angel VanBennekom as a critical part of her thesis, these performances of The Tempest incorporate “original staging,” or putting on the show as close to the manner in which Shakespeare would have done it. As it turns out, this involves a lot more singing, dancing, and interacting with the audience, and a lot less sitting in the dark clapping at all the right moments. One of the unbreakable rules you’re taught as an actor is not to break the fourth wall: not to talk to, or even look out at, the audience; this makes teasing, taunting, flattering, flirting with, singing to, dancing for, and generally bringing the audience right into the performance an exciting challenge.photo5

Amazingly, I do believe we’ll be able to hook these audiences (though you’ll have to come see for yourself to prove me right!). Like I said earlier, forget everything you think you know about Shakespeare. This isn’t your high school literature class, where you dragged yourself through scene after scene, reading alone in your room after school. This production of The Tempest will have you splitting your sides laughing one second, and wanting to cry the next; I’m not exaggerating.

I’ve performed Shakespeare before, but never like this, and my character, Ariel, is one of the most musical and audience-interactive players in The Tempest. I sing in almost every scene, and direct most of my lines out to the audience even when I’m talking to someone on stage. When I’m not technically in the scene, I’ll be out with our hilariously unsuspecting theatre-goers and attempting to get them to interact with us, the stage actors, in any way I can. I haven’t had a live audience with which to practice just yet, but Sunday, March 23rd (opening night!) is coming up quickly.

photo4So. One more time. Forget everything you think you know about Shakespeare.

And come find out what the Bard’s really about.

 

 

Performances:

Sunday, March 23rd at 3:30 p.m. in the Trabant Food Court.

Sunday, March 23rd at 6:30 p. m. in the Trabant Food Court.

Monday, March 24th at 8:00 p.m. in the Scrounge in the Perkins Student Center.

Tuesday, March 25th at 3:30 p.m. in Smith Hall, Room 120. *Special performance for professors, classes, thesis students, and honors students (hint hint!).

Tuesday, March 25th at 6:00 p.m. in Pencader Dining Hall.

Wednesday, March 26th at 8:00 p.m. in Gore Recital Hall, Roselle Center of Fine Arts.

Morning Music

Some mornings, I can’t get out of bed. Not because I’m depressed or because I have two broken legs or because overnight my roommate decided to glue the side of my face to my pillow. It’s because my bed is magical, a place of little cares and utter comfort, a haven of turquoise sheets and throw pillows and the compounding effects of two (yes, two) mattress pads of down feathers and memory foam, a structure of cheap residence-hall-issued wood and dreams.

 

Life forces me to rise from this mythical place of REM and happiness. Recently however, the utter grogginess and despair I feel in my soul upon hearing an alarm clock has been somewhat lessened by the most basic and obvious auditory stimulation: music.

 

I never used to do music in the morning. I liked to occasionally listen to NPR, starting my day with a quick update on the tragedies of the world. Oddly enough, the voice of Robert Seagull didn’t inspire me to wake up and initiate my day on a peppy note. Last week however, my suitemate and I happened to be getting ready at the same time. She did something radical. She blasted Pandora Show tunes at 8:00 am.

 

It was incredible. My day was absolutely fantastic. So in the midst of what is likely a horrific academic week, a week where you and your bed may be going through a rough patch in your relationship (my bed and I certainly are), I have compiled a list of the five most game changing, life altering songs to start your day with.

 

5. Sir Duke- Stevie Wonder (because there are few things better than some old school Stevie to get you jazzed about the next 16 hours)

 

4. Gold Digger- Kanye West (because some mornings you just need to feel like a boss and Kanye was fantastic before he started naming babies after cardinal directions)

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 11.25.00 AM

 

3. Defying Gravity- Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth (because all you are doing is going to class and actually attempting to defy gravity would be far more difficult)

 

2. Good Day- Nappy Roots (because the title says it all)

 

1. Come on Eileen- Dexys Midnight Runners (because although I have no idea who Eileen is, her name never fails to put in me in better spirits)

The Madness of March

March is one of my favorite times of the year. Granted, I dislike the bipolar weather, but the excitement of this month more than makes up for it.

First, there is St. Patrick’s Day. As a person of Irish heritage, there is nothing I love more than being able to rock some green clothing and eat some delicious corn beef and cabbage.  

Shortly following this lovely holiday is another holiday of sorts: the March Madness college basketball tournament. This tournament will, for the next three weeks, be at the forefront of my mind. I even downloaded multiple apps onto my phone to stay up to date with the games. And, it is all the more exciting now that our very own Blue Hens will be playing!

One of my favorite things about the tournament is choosing a bracket. I have learned over the years not to put too much thought into my decisions. For instance, a few years ago, I made selections solely on the name and mascot of the school. The school with the “cooler” name and mascot always made it into the next round. Using this highly technical strategy, I somehow won my family’s bracket pool. However, last year, I tried to study the teams and use my fledgling knowledge to make my picks. I ended up coming in last place in my floor bracket group. So, this year, I will simply be making my picks on a whim in the hopes that a strategy of randomness will be successful and I will not come in last place.

But, my favorite part of the tournament is the upsets. Every year, there are teams that win against all odds. I love these upsets because they truly demonstrate that anything is possible. Nobody expects anything of these teams; few pick them to win in their bracket; they are truly underdogs. But somehow, they manage to play their hearts out and persevere. For me, there is nothing like watching the pure joy on the faces of the players as they win a game that nobody thought they could win. For me, it is so inspiring to see these players chase after their dreams even in the face of tough competition. It restores my faith in the fact you can do anything you set your mind to.  

So, for the next few weeks, I will be eagerly following the progress of March Madness and rooting relentlessly for the underdogs. Those underdogs include our own Blue Hens who will be facing off against Michigan State in the first round. Can you guess what I will be doing on Thursday afternoon? Cheering them to victory, of course!

It's almost that time of year!

It’s almost that time of year!

~Rebecca Jaeger

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