26 September 2010

Quiz Bowl - 18th!

I'm getting sick of posting about stuff that happened daysss ago.
This is the last one. I am finally up to date. Sort of.
On the 18th, I went to my first Quiz Bowl tournament at Newark, DE. It was amazing, even though I only buzzed in on two toss-ups. Out of 200. Yeah, 2/200. I guess I'll keep you all updated on how much I suck at Quiz Bowl, so you can all laugh at me :). I did get some bonuses though, which was nice. The best two bonuses that I got were the lac operon, and iodine [the clue had to do with thyroids... and I consider myself quite knowledgeable about thyroids now. I think.]
We had lunch at California Tortilla, which according to C doesn't exist where she lives... which is in California. I find this pretty amusing. The burrito had more vegetables than Chipotle's burritos. California Tortilla tends to be really cheesy. I mean this figuratively... not literally. I suppose it all evens out, since the burritos aren't cheesy enough. There were all these cheesy remarks posted everywhere on the walls.
There was a Wall of Flame [see image] with a zillion bottles of spicy sauce. I have never seen such detail in my life for spicy sauce. For wine, yeah, and for oil, yeah, but not spicy sauce. I tried some [not-too-spicy] chipotle sauce, which was actually sweet and spicy, and a tad sour. Quite delicious.
Do you see vegetables [that aren't pieces of shredded lettuce?! I DO!!]?!
After the tournament, four of us went to Tlicious [Newark, Delaware is extremely cheesy. One store was called "Lettuce Feed You", and they sold wraps. I'm telling you. This is cutesy cheesy campus. Which is pretty cool.]
I hate choosing a bubble tea flavour because they're all so delicious!
We four ended up cramming in the back of a [small] car, sans seatbelts, for the drive home. The other four had to cram into the back of the other car, since they had missed the train. At least we had bubble tea :) and the game Contact [and trust me to use the word "rutabaga"].

25 September 2010

Today! - Fall Fest

I'm finally updating about something that happened today. I still have heaps to write about concerning the past two weeks, but for today, I will blabber on about the blubber today. And yes, that is the line for Coup de Taco about an hour and a half into Fall fest.
Fall fest is overrated. I'm not kidding. Sure, you get free stuff, but the cool stuff actually costs money. The first 750-1000 people get a taco and cupcake for free, but that's if you stand in line.
For at least half an hour.
With a wristband, that you had to stand in line to obtain, as well.
Luckily, I had gone to the library from 12-2, so I was basically right inside the door [outside the door? I wasn't "outside" the door, though, since Fall fest was OUTSIDE the library. Anyway. I was right next to Fall fest], so I went, stood in line for a few minutes, realised I needed a wrist band, then went allllllll the way to the LOVE statue to get a wrist band, and jumped back in line. By this time, the line for Coup de Taco had doubled, although it wasn't as bad as it was 10 minutes later, where it had quadrupled. Oh exponential equations...
[Indoor photography pales - I mean, yellows - in comparison to sunlight photography]
I'm not actually sure why I bothered to stand in line for half an hour [ish?]. I do have a meal plan that guarantees that I get food and don't starve. I also have many kilos of adipose tissue that can sustain me for a while. However, I suppose it was just the fact that I didn't want to outline more for Comparative Med. Anyway, halfway through, two guys who were behind me in line were contemplating getting out of line, and then I told them that they didn't have wristbands... and I asked if they wanted mine. They said no, and went to get wristbands, and came back. Later, two girls [their friends?] dropped by, and they decided to beat the system by just cutting to the front. This meant they cut off ... at least thirty of us. Okay, maybe twenty. Which is still plenty [that wasn't meant to rhyme]. Pretty douche-bag thing to do, in my opinion, especially as there were another zillion people standing behind us [quadrupled, remember?] waiting patiently. The guys behind me, however, said "oh, we got honour... we're not going to cut", which is nice to know.
Anyway. I finally got a vegetarian taco.
Then I went to get a cupcake from Call Me Cupcakes, which was extremely fast since all the dude had to do was hand out a cupcake. No toasting or cooking needed.
I'll review the cupcake first because it sucked.
It's just a generic, bland, un-moist, unflavourful, NONchocolately, dry, small-air-holes, cupcake-shaped cupcake. It did not taste chocolatey, which is always an issue for me, especially when something is labelled CHOCOLATE. I tried to be unbiased about the icing. It was too fatty and oily for my liking. It was also quite tasteless [no chocolatey flavour, at all. It was just chocolate coloured]. Oh, it's pretty alright, but most cupcakes these days ARE pretty.
The taco, however, was quite amazing. It was crunchy, due to sliced tortilla chips INSIDE the taco!! The outer shell was a soft flour tortilla. I'm actually confused as to the difference between a burrito and a taco. Apart from the fact that the taco is open, I can't really see a difference. I guess it's like asking what's the difference between a sandwich and an open-top sandwich. Anyway, about the tortilla strips - I was amazed at this piece of ingenuity. It actually reminds me of the time I had a tortilla chip sandwich. It was amazing, too, although this surely beats it. The Cuban rice and beans were full of chunky flavour; the salsa companion was spicy, but not overwhelming. The cheesy-sour-creamy-cilantro thingy was actually pretty good, because I couldn't really taste the cilantro [I don't particularly like cilantro, so it's a plus for me, but maybe a minus for other people].
I also got an apple from the Penn Environmental Group, although it was just a generic fat GMO apple. The International Students Association [I think that was the group name?] gave out some candy and stuff too, so that was cool. Apart from that, I ended up falling asleep at the library again.
[Note the boxes of cupcakes at the back of the truck. I could've totally taken a box of them.]
I did, however, have a delicious Greek salad with a lot of creamy feta cheese this evening, which reminded me of AK. I miss her.

24 September 2010

This Is Unfair.

College life is taking over so I don't actually have time to blog or enjoy food anymore. I don't actually spend more than half an hour eating food. In other words, I don't actually eat slow anymore. Now... it's just PRESSED FOR TIME. I don't even think I finished blogging about NSO. I guess I'll do that now...

So, there was a toga party at the History Museum on the 6th. I didn't like it. The food was nice though, especially the crispbread thingy with bean dip. After the toga party, at which I walked around gloomily, I met some people from my dorm house and we went to two frat houses... it was such a experience. I'm not sure whether I like it, so the only way I'd describe it is as an "experience". This blog post is so dry. Like the cookie I ate today. I idiotically fell for the cookie trap [again! 4th time, I think!!] and tried the chocolate fudge cookie, that I have posted about, many times before, as being too dry and hard.

Mind lapse, I guess.

Plating. I see through plating. Those are just grapes. I don't actually think that I like plating.
A mound of whipped cream and a few strawberry slices with cakey crumbs.
Really oily vegetables. Eh.

I actually have a dilemma. Do I want to write for PennAppetit? Is that overkill, since I already have a blog? Maybe they should include my blog on their website. However, joining them means I get told what to do. Which isn't that cool since puns are probably not going to be accepted. I'm also in other clubs too...
It's on the table, like the orange and pear and apple in my room. :)
Maybe I'll take photos for them.

15 September 2010

Mind Trix...

No, not the cereal. I don't think I'm very fond of the Trix cereal.
I just got into the habit of writing "x" instead of "cks" or "ct". For example: connexion, blox. This way, I save a second when I write notes. Yay! Plus, I'm moshing together Ye Olde English and txting eng. I'll try stay away from that on this "grammatically correct" [but politically incorrect and socially awkward, and thus, potentially grammatically incorrect] blog.

Anyway, I think this image is a mind trick, because you THINK it's a typical generic burger on a tasteless bun with plastic tomatoes and leathery lettuce, and you THINK that those are prefrozen waffle fries, and you THINK that I'm sitting in a shady diner somewhere.
And, yeah, it's a burger, MADE OUT OF SPICY BEANS AND OTHER YUMMY STUFF SANS ANIMAL PIECES! And, yes, it's a lame tasteless bun that is saturated with mustard and ketchup [I really need to ask whether the chocolate milk, ketchup, jam, and peanut butter here has HFCS. I really need to know. I'm dying to know. Literally. I'm going to get mercury poisoning if I don't! Actually, I don't believe in the previous statement; it's just something that extremists have been screaming about for the past month or so. I'm lamely trying to make fun of them]. The tomatoes are fresh, and I saw a cook sticking fresh lettuce into the containers yesterday, which shows that this lettuce isn't seven days old. Which is quite reassuring. And, yeah, those are waffle fries [I love waffle fries. They just make fries so much more aesthetically pleasing], but they're most likely made from cut-up pieces of potato the same day they are drenched in oil, as the advertising in the cafeteria so audaciously announces... And yeah, I'm in 1920 Commons, which could be considered a shady diner. Especially when I'm sitting on the barstool chair staring out of the window, or lounging in a diner booth, alone, eating breakfast food at dinnertime [or vice versa. It works either way]. It gets really empty and shady at around 10 minutes before closing... it's when people look at you strangely when you decide to go in, because why would anyone want food 10 minutes before closing?
It's even worse when I'm alone, which tends to be the case since I haven't made friends yet. Or, at least, friends who eat at the same time as me. My schedule is quite horrific.

14 September 2010

Party... at the Philadelphia Art Museum. 4th Sept.

I'm not even kidding. After having a party at the library, we had a party at the Art Museum.
Not just any art museum. I mean, the Philadelphia Art Museum. The PHILADELPHIA ART MUSEUM. Penn rented out the place.
THIS is where all my superfluous tuition money goes to...[and leaves me nothing with which to buy textbooks]

It was a ridiculously sumptuous feast for both the eye and the uh.. mouth? I like art, so it was a great field trip to the art museum :) I especially like modern art because it just shocks in the sense that one wonders: "How MUCH can they get away with? And yet they get paid and lauded 24/7?!"
So, this was a peanut cookie. It was rock hard. Out of all the cookies on the giant table... I picked the peanut cookie [I like peanuts. I like cookies. Peanut cookies aren't my favourite, though]. And, out of the mountain of peanut cookies, I picked the undercooked one. Or, the overcooked one. Or, the one in the batch that received NO BAKING SODA/LEAVENING AGENT whatsoever. It was dry and so rock hard that it didn't even taste crunchy. However, the peanut chips were nice.
I later got a chocolate chip cookie which was divine. It made up for the lousy peanut cookie [hey, personal preference... someone else might've enjoyed the peanut cookie.]
Amazing mac and cheese and breadcrumbs.
The best part of the day was that I had a corn tortilla that wasn't fried. This is my first soft corn tortilla in my life. With beans. In a burrito-esque thing. I'm not sure what it was. The salsa was tangy, and the guacamole was INSANELY LIMEY! This is the first time I've had such limey guacamole... it was a beautiful piece of art, which, of course, fit the Art Museum theme.
I also ran up the stairs, which is an allusion to Rocky although I've never seen Rocky. When we [ML and I] got to the top, fireworks went off. I'm not kidding. It of course was for Labour Day... but still. What a coincidence!

11 September 2010

Toasted Sandwich on Spruce Street. - 4th Sept

I finally met my peer advisor, and some of the other kids he advises. One actually lives on the dorm directly below mine, which is pretty cool considering that the dorms are randomly allocated [or are they?]. So, we went for lunch at this sandwich/salad store on Spruce Street, probably around 37th... Unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of the store at which talked about being freshmen in college. I do remember that I got a vegetarian sandwich [surprise surprise!] and the bread was toasted really well; it was extremely crispy, yet not burned. That's saying something! It was also this multigrain bread... I'm not sure whether its wheat flour is 100% whole grain, but I assume it is. There was tomato, eggplant, goat cheese, and spinach in the sandwich. Actually, I'm not positive it's goat cheese, but my intuition tells me it is. The sandwich was pretty light, which was nice since it made me feel all sophisticated [even though consuming the sandwich was really messy].

10 September 2010

Vegan Whoopie Pie!

So at one of those late night events there was a Vegetarian society meeting thingy and there were these cakes and stuff and a "make-your-own" whoopie pie table. I have never had a legitimate whoopie pie before. Honestly... is the stuff inside supposed to be marshmallow fluff? Cream? Whipped cream? PHOs? Meringue?...
These cupcakes were amazing though... especially as they were vegan.
This is a vat of peanut butter whoopie pie filling. It was actually tasty. Notice the marker nearby... just for size comparison. It was a HUGE vat of... sugary fat.
The pillow-sized vats of plain whoopie pie filling and cookies and cream [and I didn't think that more cream was possible] whoopie pie filling. Huge vat of gooey creamy white stuff... ring a bell? Get this in a bank? [Okay, that was a terrible joke. Or, reference. So, I'm not going to underline it.]
Since I am a neophyte at making whoopie pies, I put way too much creamy stuff on the chocolate cookie-cake thingy [which was really dry and bland. And baking-soda-y. I didn't like it.] It was way too oily. The cupcake below, on the other hand, was ridiculously moist and delicious. I didn't consume any of the other stuff [pumpkin, and vanilla, I believe.] since I, for once, didn't feel hungry.

09 September 2010

PennFest! 3 Sept

Pennfest is this event in which retailers try to sell their products to unsuspecting frosh. Since I'm not really advertising the companies that I don't love, I'm just going to refer to them as "this company". This company gave out free cups with a ping pong ball nestled inside. I honestly spent a whole week pondering why they would give us a ping pong ball... and yesterday evening, as TL, JX and I walked back from dinner, it finally hit me. The ping pong ball and the cup was for beer pong. DUH!
Way to advertise alcohol to us...
Cupcakes from Insomnia Cookies... didn't take them.
Anyway, Pennfest had a lot of companies selling dorm stuff, selling "online-food-ordering" services, and plenty of "ohh get a discount if you come to our store!" I ended up consuming a taco from Chipotle, an amazing coconut pecan cookie from Insomnia Cookies [very famous on college campuses, apparently] and some mango water ice. There was also popcorn and candy floss but I wasn't actually that hungry. In all honesty, I think my hypothyroidism is kicking in [Yeah, apparently my hyperthyroidism has been lowered way too much, so I have to cut the meds again]
All my pictures are blurry because it was 11pm and I was walking around while taking pictures. This is actually a huge problem; I can't take a picture without getting ominous stares from strangers.

08 September 2010

Penn Picnic and Reception - 2nd Sept

Penn NSO started on the 2nd of September, and we all got up at 5:30am to drive to PA by 9am. As usual, it took 90 minutes to get into Philly, but half an hour to actually end up at the specific street on which we stopped. I'm not disclosing where I live, although one could probably figure it out... since I don't have a cafeteria at my dorm house, unfortunately.
Anyway, after unpacking and all, there was a Penn Family Picnic for all we families and kids. It was actually very similar to the food at the Penn Frosh Picnic in my area on the 19th of August. There were wraps and cookies, but there was also some punch and iced tea and lemonade, which helped, since it was really hot that day.
Firstly, I'd like to say that I fell for the cookie trip again. Last time, I ate a chocolate cookie that was way too hard for my liking. This time, I made the same mistake. I need to learn!! I'm not particularily fond of hard/crunchy cookies. I like the moist cakey ones more, such as the raisin one. It's good to know that Penn has consistency though, concerning its cookie production. The wraps were really good though, with the mozzarella cheese and vegetables, although it was a tad oily.
After the President made a speech, there was a reception, and it was quite a sight watching 3000+ people swarming around taking food... There was this amazing mashed white bean thing, some caramelised onions [the first I've ever had] and a smokey-chipotleish spiced [I'm guessing?] eggplant thing.
There were also tons of cookies. They were the hard kind.
The vegetable station was ridiculous. I wonder what they did to the half heads of cauliflower, the whole peppers and the corn. Surely it's not solely for display? If it was, that'd be a waste of vegetables...
Whole heads of broccolis! Whole rutabagas! Utterly ridiculous!
Excess. Superfluous. Extravagant. Luxurious. I don't know; so much for this being the "year of water". Think about all the water used to produce these crops...they better use them.

07 September 2010


There's going to be a lot of jumping around for the next few days, because I have to post about New Student Orientation [NSO] for UPenn, and that's going to take a while to talk about because it included a lot of food. However, before I backtrack about all that stuff, I'm just going to mention the convocation dessert, which happened an hour ago.
Apparently, this "sumptuous dessert" thing is a huge deal; the upperclasspeople talk about it a lot and claim that people actually bring containers to put the dessert in, for later. I thought they were kidding.
They were not. I saw at least seven people sticking chucks of cake and mousse into plastic containers. Seriously. But, who am I to judge? I would do the same thing if I didn't have a meal plan... and I would totally take all the desserts just because they taste good.
Chocolate mousse with hazelnut wafer crumbs on the bottom, with sponge cake. I'll get to that.
This tricked me into thinking that it was key lime pie. Don't like wavy lines make the otherwise homely cheesecake look just like key lime pie!? The unfortunate thing was that this cheesecake wasn't even sour. It was way too sweet [and a tad too warm - I like frozen cheesecake] to be flavourful cheesecake.
Charlottes. I didn't take one.
Mousse; get to it later.
Chocolate cake, and carrot cake. These disappeared immediately...
For some reason, there were orange custard cakes. Penn's colours are dark red and blue. Princeton's colours, so blatantly shown during the dessert reception, still confuzzles me. After all, Princeton is apparently our rival school, what with the Puck Frinceton thing.
Cookie pile, along with plates and smooshed cakes that inconsiderate people just left lying around.
Mounds of cookies.
I consumed two pieces of dessert, the cheesecake and this mousse. The mousse actually had a bunch of layers; starting from the top:
1. Hazelnut
2. Whipped cream
3. Chocolate icing layer
4. Weak chocolate mousse layer - shallow airy flavour, very sweet, not really what I consider dense chocolate mousse...
5. Hazelnut wafer layer - crunchy
6. Sponge cake. Eh. Plain.
7. Thin chocolate coating.
I think that I'm starting to [I know that no one can believe this] get sick of eating dessert. Seriously, I don't even feel like eating...I think it's because I'm nervous for class tomorrow.