it's at least a quarter of the book

My "Not-on-Normal-Packing-List" List-- Things I plan to bring to College and WHY

*See My Full Packing List on My Blog*

-Christmas/Fairy Lights: dorm lighting can be SUPER harsh, especially at night. If you and your roommate are on different sleeping schedules or if one of you wants to stay up later and study, Christmas lights will be perfect. Make sure you have a strand and your roommate has a strand. Obviously, your strand will be on your side and her strand will be on her side. If you want to go to sleep and she wants to stay up, just unplug yours and hers will be bright enough to see her books but not too harsh that you can’t fall asleep. (OR VISE VERSA) I used to keep Fairy Lights in my room at home and they were on all night and I slept just fine. They offer the perfect amount of glow. This will also help on weekends if you and your roommate are doing separate activities, if one of you is out late, then when you come back to your room you can plug in your strand to see and get ready for bed without waking your roommate. *remember to hang them with Command (or a similar style) Hooks, so you don’t leave any damage on the walls when you leave*

-Duvet and Cover: I plan on buying a duvet and separate cover. Comforters can be expensive and I like to switch things up. I am going to buy one Duvet for all four years (and maybe beyond) but maybe switch the cover up every year or two. This can also help if you and your roommate sophomore year have a different “vision” for you and your roommate freshman year. 

-TWO Sets of Twin Sheets: Two Words Man, Laundry. Day. 

-Bedside Caddy: Not everybody has heard of this, but its like a little pouch that has a flap that tucks under your mattress and hangs beside your bed. You can keep your phone in here while you sleep, maybe a book or study material, tissues, a flashlight. Whatever you want, its just like a nightstand for people that don’t have nightstands. 

-Curtain Rod/Curtains: I’m not sure if I will buy these yet, but my sister suggested it just incase you hate your roommate so much you can’t even bare to look at her/his face (which is unlikely, but whatever). You can attach a curtain rod to the ceiling using command strips or something similar and hang a curtain as a room divider. Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures. 

-Safe: Your roommate may have some sketchy friends. You never know who he or she will invite into your room. Keep your jewelry, wallet, extra money and other valuables safe in a safe. 

-Small, Folding Step-Ladder: In college you need to take advantage of every storage space possible, even if its at the top of your closet or on top of a tall dresser or wardrobe. A small, collapsable/folding step ladder will allow you to access your stuff in storage without taking up much room on its own. Most are small enough to tuck between your bed and the wall.

-AirFreshener: Whether its a spray or a wall plug-in, everyone needs to avoid being “the one” with the stinky room. 

-Steamer: Irons and Ironing Boards are great but they take up SO much room. A little hand held steamer is perfect for getting wrinkles out of clothes and you can store it anywhere you want. 

-Bath Sheet: I suggest everyone get a good, large-but-not-too-hot bathrobe if living with a community bathroom, but I also like a real towel too. A Bath Sheet is just a towel with a few extra inches in all directions so theres no need to worry about any of your bits and pieces showing. 

-Washcloths: A lot of people skip washcloths and go straight for hand towels, but I really like using washcloths to wash/dry my face and they are smaller, saving on space. 

-Lip Balm: Bring Extra. You know you lose these all the time. Keep them in your desk in their package so you know where they are until you need them. 

-Mirrors: One full length for the back of your door (check with your roommate so you guys only have one) and one small one to keep on your desk. This will be helpful for makeup and stuff. I don’t want to have to go to the bathroom every time I want to do my makeup. 

-Batteries: For various electronic devices (headphones, remote controls, video game controllers, etc)

-Camera: Really not necessary because of Smart Phones, but always fun to have. I would NOT bring an extremely valuable camera, even if you do have a safe.

-“Flex Your Power” Surge Protector: Google it. You’ll know you want it and you know it’ll be helpful. 

-External Hard Drive: For when you have a 1000000000 page paper due and you’re paranoid your computer will crash. 

-Printer: At my school, printing is included in tuition so I don’t have to pay per print, but I also don’t want to have to go across campus to grab something off the printer before class. ALSO, a nice way to print new pictures with new friends. ALSO not all schools include printing so you DO have to pay per print and that sucks and you should save money and buy a printer. **ALSO BUY EXTRA INK AND PAPER**

-Video Game Console: *with multiple remotes* I totally want to be able to stay in some times and chill with my roommate or by myself or invite some friends over to my dorm to play. 

-Cards/Notes to Send Home: Your mom/dad/grandmother/grandfather/aunt/uncle/sister/brother/friends/whatever will LOVE this. I think handwritten letters are so much more heartfelt than texting or e-mailing. 

-Planner: Its always important to stay organized (or at least try to) especially freshman year. With all your new found freedom it may be hard, but having an actual book may help keep you on track. *Personally, I think the Lily Pulitzer one is REALLY cute and SO helpful.*

-Bandaids, Neosporin, Cold/Flu Medicine, Pain Relievers, Upset Stomach/Heart Burn Relievers: Basically everything that your parents keep in the medicine cabinet. You will get bumps and bruises and cuts and scrapes; keep them clean and covered. You are going to be living in VERY close quarters with a lot of people. You will get sick; be prepared ahead of time to soften the blow. You will get hurt, you will get hungover, and if you’re like me, you will get cramps. Keep tons of your favorite Pain Reliever near by. (my favorite is Aleve). And finally, another two words: CAFETERIA FOOD keep Pepto Bismol and Tums in a place where you can grab them if you need them. 

-Earplugs: Your roommate might have house guests the night before your big test. You roommate might snore. You might live below partiers. Earplugs can help with all of the above. *a sleep mask might also be helpful if your roommate refuses to cooperate on the fairy light suggestion*

-Pepper Spray: I got some as a graduation present because my school is not in the safest city in America… Always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. 

-Small Tool Kit: As long as someone in your hallway has one, you’ll be fine but it is always good to have. 

-Playing Cards: For nights where you don’t want the technology. Hang out in the common room and play poker or go fish or war or learn a new game and make friends.

-Vacuum/Dust-Buster 2-in-1: These are going to be so helpful especially if your room is carpet. Spills and crumbs happen, but Ants can and should be avoided. 

-Umbrella: A storm is coming. Its name is college. Prepare accordingly. I’m just kidding. But just because its sunny on move in day, doesn’t mean it will never rain. 

-Winter Coat: Same as the umbrella, It’s going to be hot on move in day, but for the past couple of years near my university, there have been snow storms in October and I don’t want to be caught in the cold. 

HOPE THIS WAS HELPFUL. If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know.

Have you ever read a book so short but with A LOT of plot that you get confused in the first quarter? No? Read “Die Marquise von O…” by Heinrich von Kleist and you’ll know what I mean. This guy has issues with new paragraphs too, let me tell you.

New Orleans: Cajun vs. Creole
External image

Cajun vs. Creole Louisiana Food - An infographic by the team at Marriott Louisiana Hotels

Cajun or Creole: Big Easy Cooking

New Orleans cooking is as famous is its rich musical heritage. There are few places in the world where you can taste better food than in New Orleans. Hotels throughout the city are usually just a stone’s throw from at least one great restaurant serving up mouth-watering Cajun or Creole food. With the help of great cooking schools in the city, you can learn from local chefs how to whip up Louisiana classics at home. 

New Orleans School of Cooking

Book a hotel in the New Orleans French Quarter and walk to the New Orleans School of Cooking. The school offers classes by experienced Louisiana chefs. They guide you in creating some of the city’s most famous dishes, including Jambalaya, Gumbo and Corn Crab Bisque. Pop into the general store next door and pick up Cajun and Creole products, traditional spices, cookbooks and more to take home. 

Langlois Culinary Crossroads

Another great cooking school not far from the New Orleans hotels in the French Quarter is Langlois Culinary Crossroads, located in a 19th-century former Italian Market in Marigny. Langlois has a school, restaurant and store where you can find artisan products, cookware and foods. Students at Langlois can jump right in with one of the hands-on classes or sit back and watch the chef demonstrate classic techniques. After the two- to three-hour class, students can tell the difference between Cajun and Creole cooking.  

The New Orleans Cooking Experience

Opt for a downtown hotel in New Orleans and you can walk to the New Orleans Cooking Experience. Located just off St. Charles Avenue in a restored 19th-century Victorian mansion, this school’s classes guide you through the intricacies of a Cajun or Creole roux with the help of acclaimed local chefs. Chefs teach from a residential-style kitchen, where they share classic Cajun and Creole dishes from old family recipes.  

By the end of your class or NOLA vacation, you’ll know whether you prefund the smokier Cajun jambalaya or the Creole version with tomatoes. Maque choux will be a part of your vocabulary, and you’ll find yourself yearning for another taste of the Big Easy.


Infographic URLs

Southern Food Creole and Cajun Cookery

Southern Food Oysters Rockefeller

Huffington Post Cajun vs. Creole: What’s the Difference?

Louisiana CVB Cajun vs. Creole - What is the Difference?

Archives Cajun and Creole Genealogy

WiseGEEK What is the Difference Between Creole and Cajun

New Orleans French Quarter Cajun, Creole or Somewhere in Between 

NOLA Cuisine Maque Choux Recipe

igorth-thitch-you-up  asked:

Seriously ban Valhalla. It was supposed to last at least a week but it's so irritatingly good I could only get a day out of it and my parents were dangerously close to finding out that I'd finished it at a quarter past five.

Books that must be devoured in one reading are anathema to the internet! BAN VALHALLA!

A requiem for all the half-broken shoes I probably shouldn’t have thrown out.

Because of the consumer culture I live in and grew up in, I have always viewed damaged or heavily worn clothing items as essentially useless and throwaway. as a result of this, taking a pair of expensive but hole-ridden or torn leather boots to a cobbler or shoe repair shop has literally never occurred to me as something I could do, and something that would save me vast amounts of money, until a salesperson at Alamo Shoes in Andersonville suggested it to me while I was hemming and hawing over a pair of leather waterproof boots. 

I was standing over a pair of boots that were both a little pricey and immensely practical. I couldn’t determine for myself whether they would be worth the expense. I hate to spend money, and sometimes my desperation to be thrifty results in me buying cheap crap that breaks more easily that pricier, sturdier alternatives. Sometimes I cheap out so badly that I choose  to go without something essential, like a meal or health insurance. This invariably results in me incurring an even greater expense down the road. 

This is a real problem, and a real phenomenon among the working class; it’s called over-saving, and it’s probably just as common (or moreso) than being an impoverished spendthrift. When you’re super-super poor, it makes sense to spend every penny come by, because life expenses and debts and bad luck will eat it all up, anyway. When you’re slightly better-off than that, but you know scarcity, it makes sense to over-work and over-save money, often at the long-term expense of one’s health or financial well-being. 

It’s hard to feel comfortable investing in something of great value if you feel as though your financial situation is always on the precipice of becoming dire.  And if your financial situation actually *is* dire, well, then it’s impossible to spend wisely. Over-spending and over-saving are two sides of the same coin, both born out of financial instability, and fomented by a lack of education in these matters. 

Turns out, if you have a decent pair of (leather, suede, or vegan leather) boots or shoes, you can save literal hundreds of dollars by going to a cobbler or shoe repair shop and having them re-heeled, re-soled, re-zippered, or patched. some significant structural repairs cost as little as $10. Once you buy a good pair of boots or shoes, I learned, you can spend 5 or 10 years simply tweaking them and fixing them, never throwing them out. Like Wittgenstein’s broom, you replace the whole structure of the shoe piecemeal, one element at a time, until the amalgamation of sole, shaft, zipper, lace, and heel before you is not the shoe it originally was at the time of purchase, but retains its same function and appearance. 

Of course it’s cheaper and wiser and better to replace the leaky sole than it is to pitch the whole thing and buy it all over again. Of course. I should have known, but I never did. When something broke I threw it out, or suffered with it until I could afford to replace it. And only now at 27 years old am I realizing you don’t have to do that. 

And now i’m thinking back to the pair of sturdy waterproof black leather Merrill boots that I threw out due to a burst zipper something like three years ago

And the $60 snow boots i threw out due to a water leak a year later.

And the fact that for the past two winters i’ve  bought pair after pair of $20 rain boots, wearing each pair until they were destroyed by the approximately 150 miles i walk each month. I probably went through 4 or 5 sets since last December. 

And I realize that I’ve wasted tons of precious materials in this process of pitching and replacing, including significant reams of leather and suede taken from murdered animals, as well as hundreds of dollars, and thereby contributed to a teeming mound of waste created by consumers just like me. 

All because the fact that objects can and should be repaired by trained artisans literally never crossed my mind.

Because we don’t live in a culture where that happens very often. 

But I (and most people in my age and income bracket) have learned to throw out everything from holey socks to leaky boots to unstable furniture, not mindful of the fact that all of those things would have been painstakingly fixed by hand just a few decades ago. 

And it’s only due to economic contrivances that it makes more sense, at this point in time, to throw out many square inches of undamaged fabric and replace it  than it does to sit down and darn a small hole in a sock. 

Darning a sock takes time. It’s tedious work. We all have better things to do. In terms of human work hours, replacing the sock is almost certainly more logical. This is a sin for which no individual can be blamed. 

So we throw things out. I especially. I don’t buy a lot, but I love keeping my living quarters spare and Spartan. For years, as an impulsive over-saver and self-denier, I would force myself to throw out an item of clothing for each new piece that I bought. So, too, with damaged books, computers, phones, and furniture. If it was nonfunctional, its whole was deemed useless, disposable, wasteful to keep. If I could not avoid the evils of mass consumption, I could at least appear to be low maintenance by keeping my living space clean. 

And now I can picture the vast island of trash I have created over the course of my lifetime, even as a person who does not buy a lot. 

And I wonder how much of that sodden, floating detritus could have still been used at the time that I dispatched with it. 

I know that as long as I’ve been living in the city, my discarded boots and socks and dresses have often been claimed by members of our massive homeless population. I remember pitching a bag of damaged cardigans and hole-ridden leggings and finding them strewn around the alley behind my apartment the next morning, the choices items removed and probably put to use. Similarly, I’ve seen the many rusted-out pickup trucks that circle the neighborhoods, emptying dumpsters of metal scrap and spare bed frames. I can’t resent any of that; in fact I’m thankful for it. 

But the waste goes so much deeper. There are things I threw out that were not only useful to someone, but which could have remained useful to me, if not for small flaws that I ought to have repaired. And if I had repaired those things, I could have avoided pouring useless money into replacing those items wholesale. The money that I saved could have gone to better use, and some of it would have literally ended up in those same homeless people’s hands. To spend $40 replacing entirely a pair of boots that could have been patched for $10 is a failure of the market, a useless extravagance, a bleeding of funds that helps no one deserving of help. 

And it’s easy to feel guilty, thinking about it now, but only in an utterly vague and disembodied way. I can think of the accumulated waste floating out in the ocean, but I can’t see it. I can guess at the money that’s been pissed into the wind, but I can’t know how it would have been put to use if I still had it. And since throwing all those things away was, for the most part, a logical consequence of the particular type of consumer culture I currently live in, I can’t actually feel all that bad. And I certainly can’t judge anybody else who did the same things. 

Which is to say, all of this also makes me think in more aggregate terms, about all the crap that everyone in this country has wasted, without thinking about it, and without even realizing that something being mildly broken isn’t synonymous with it being trash. And how, for every boot or coat or chair I could have had repaired, there are tons of bags and boxes and charging cords and crusts of bread that also were mildly used, and also struck me as “broken”, but which weren’t useless either, not completely, not that I would have realized it.