IT’S OVER! MY DUMB CONFERENCE IS OVER FOR A WHOLE OTHER YEAR.
(I’m so frigging tired.)
As a reward I’m having special mid-week take-out and my favorite champagne and a tiny key lime pie and a bigger cake-thing because they were out of big key lime pies.
Anyway, there were none of the disasters of last year and everything went as well as could be expected and the panel I moderated went well and everyone said I asked the panelists good questions BUT MOSTLY I AM HOME IN MY HOUSE WITH FOOD AND DRINK AND WATCHING UNSOLVED MYSTERIES AND I’M DONE FOR A WHOLE YEAR.
(If I owe you an email/message/etc, I’ll probably get back into the swing of things tomorrow. That includes the kind souls who offered to beta for me. Now that my life is my own again, hopefully I’ll be able to write some words.)
Not just because the team is doing well, but because they have these boys in class and are honestly impressed with them on a *daily* basis.
Justin’s biochemistry professor doesn’t mind giving him a few extra points on his final project because the boy is frankly a genius (and he stopped a shot in the last 30 seconds of last week’s game when Chow was out of the net, helping the team get their first shut-out of the season).
The professor that Larissa TA’s for is always willing to listen whenever she needs to complain about another restaurant banning them from ever coming back just because they ate literally all of the pizza… (“It’s a hockey team, of course they are going to take advantage of an “all you can eat” deal. If you didn’t mean it, don’t put it in your advertisements. We tipped like 25% why are you even complaining.”)
Will’s computer science professor lets him have an extra day on certain assignments because he knows when the team goes on a roadie he doesn’t always have enough time in the lab to work out all of the bugs in his code. Derek’s professor is always amused when he uses ice imagery in his poems. Christopher’s professor sends him articles, links to YouTube videos, and movie and book recommendations whenever he finds something he thinks Chris will like. Sometimes it’s related to class. Sometimes it’s Sharks highlights. Sometimes it’s a video of the new baby polar bear at the San Diego Zoo.
The faculty are also really invested in watching the relationships between the team members, especially since it seems to be so very different than any team dynamics they have ever seen before. The sociology and psychology professors have been doing a low-key study of them because they are so intrigued. It began Jack Zimmermann’s freshman year, with his friendship with one B. Shitty Knight, but after a few months most professors just accepted that it wasn’t a friendship they could ever really understand.
The following year, when Justin Oluransi and Adam Birkholtz joined the team, the professors started arguing whether their relationship was platonic or something more, a debate which continues to this day. It’s kind of a running joke in the biology and economics departments, and Justin and Adam’s respective faculty advisors actually started dating at the end of the boys’ sophomore year after months of discourse between their two departments about the nature of the defensemen’s relationship.
By the time Eric Bittle joins the hockey team, the faculty Hockey Fan Club has grown to over 75 members. Almost one quarter of the professors on the Samwell campus and even a few upper administration have joined in. It’s been a great bonding experience for the faculty, and it doesn’t take long for the faculty to start to love Eric Bittle. He always brings cookies, pies, cupcakes, and other confectionary masterpieces to office hours or advising appointments. His baking becomes famous across campus, with some professors emailing his advisor begging him to ask Bittle for his recipes. He passes all of his classes with at least B’s. No one really questions it.
It’s the history professor for Jack and Eric’s “Women, Food, and American Culture” course that first starts to sense something going on between the Captain and the Baker. She’s had Jack in class before, and she knows he doesn’t always pay attention to the lectures, but she doesn’t mind because his papers are always incredibly thoughtful and well written. However, this semester, she notices that he pays a little more attention than usual, especially whenever one Mr. Eric Bittle asks a question about how recepies change when immigrants come to the US, or how women chilled their key lime pies and whipped creams before home refrigeration? And she definitely doesn’t miss the notes that flutter onto Eric’s desk when Jack gets up to fill his water bottle or into Jack’s backpack when Eric “drops” his pen because these boys are about as subtle as a blizzard in July.
So, she’s the first one in the Samwell faculty’s Hockey Team Fan Club Group Chat to offer a bet that Jack Zimmermann and Eric Bittle will get together by the end of the school year.
At first no one takes her bet. After all, they haven’t seen them together all that often outside of practice and team events. Even then, they just treat each other like they treat anyone else on the team.
Derek’s English professor is the next one to join her in the bet after slipping on a patch of ice as he watched Zimmermann literally leap over a snowbank and walk across the quad to intercept Bittle and ask him if he wanted coffee. Jack’s advisor meets with him later that week and immediately places her own bet. She doesn’t say why (confidentiality), but she had asked him (less subtly than she would have liked) how things are going with the team and at the Haus, and then watched as a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth when he talked about their new tradition of post-practice pie and how he’s so glad that he’s no longer the only SANE one in the Haus.
It’s the next semester, when Jack turns in his first photography assignment, that things really get crazy. His photography professor wasn’t even a part of the group chat before, but her very first message is a $500 bet that Jack and Eric will be getting engaged in the next 3 years, along with one of the images that Jack submitted for the assignment. It’s of Eric, with his cheeks flushed from the January cold, hair tousled from the wind, and eyes partially closed as he’s laughing. The colors, lines, and composition are so soft and beautiful that a few of the professors stare for several minutes in awe at this portrait of a boy, clearly taken by someone who is deeply in love with him.
From that point on, some very specific bets are being made. An entirely new group chat is started just to separate the volume of Bittle/Zimmermann bets, discussion, and *evidence* from the general hockey team gossip feed. Some think the two are already together and that Jack signed with the Falconers just to be closer to Eric. Some think they are going to wait to announce their relationship for several years because of the press and Jack’s career. Others predict that they are going to out themselves on accident, because both of them are such bad liars and bad actors, and there is legitimate concern about the potential negative repercussions. Still others think they aren’t going to get together at all simply because they are both so oblivious to the fact that the other is completely smitten with them. This last group is a very small minority, with many of the professors believing more strongly in their love than they believe the earth goes around the sun. (The physics and astronomy professors were a little put out by this, but they couldn’t really argue when Bittle’s French professor makes this statement, especially after she “complained” for 3 long messages about all of the Quebecois in Eric’s French).
The Dean of the University promises to throw a party for all of the faculty in the Zimmermann/Bittle fan club once they actually (finally) announce their relationship/engagement to give everyone an opportunity to pony up the cash and celebrate the greatest love story that Samwell University has ever seen.
Four years later, when Stanley Cup Champion Jack Zimmermann pulls Eric Bittle to center ice and gets down on one knee before the puck drops for his first game as Captain of the Falconers, a huge cheer erupts from various houses across the Samwell/Boston area. The group chat is flooded with messages. After several weeks of press releases and interviews reveal the abbreviated story of their relationship, the faculty all receive invitations to their engagement party, and the history professor is heralded as the first one that Knew. Her various predictions turned out to be about 75% correct, with the general consensus allowing the day of graduation to count as “before the end of the year.”
When they ask her how she could have possibly known before the rest of them, she just smiles and says, “It showed on their faces.”
grow on orange trees.
Bleed orange juice.
Have orange skin when ripe.
Have pet alligators.
Live in swamps and marshes.
eat and drink nothing but citrus fruits.
Can somehow survive the worst heat waves ever, but die when it’s a lil’ bit chilly.
Can summon hurricanes.
Make really good key lime pies.
Huuuge disappointment, and I don’t know if it was me or the recipe (well, it was definitely the recipe- their amounts were way off). Crust was good though! Dates + pepitas I might have to start making balls out of on a regular basis :)
Brief Synopsis: University drop out, Harry Styles, opens up a bakery with long time childhood friend, Niall Horan. After a year of business, Niall’s cousin, Alicia, takes a liking for their creative treats up for sale. After Harry fails drastically at creating a special goodie for his crush (aka Alicia), his late night in the kitchen might not seem so bad after all.
Word Count: 3,538
Warnings: none :)
The recipe called for 1.5 teaspoons of powdered (unflavoured) gelatin, two teaspoons of heavy cream, three large (room temperature, reserve the whites for the cake) egg yolks, one pound of frozen (preferably fresh) strawberries, 1.5 teaspoons of corn starch, three quarters of a cup of sugar, three tablespoons of unsalted butter, three quarters of a cup of seedless strawberry jam, two additional cups of heavy cream, three quarters of a cup of all-purpose flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, one-eighth teaspoon of salt, a quarter cup of canola oil, 1/3 cup of sugar, an additional one large egg, two teaspoons of milk, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a quarter teaspoon cream of tartar.
It is Pi Day. Enjolras bakes pies for everyone. He makes sure they match his friends’ personalities and taste buds because he is a loving fuck, of the sort who will walk around town ruminating on the goodness of his friends and therefore of the sort who will match pies to his friends’ personalities and taste buds before giving them the pie. Apple pie, custard pie, pecan pie, key lime pie, all the pies, as long as they match. Pie is truth, pie is life.
The Seven Mistake
Road Trip (or, “How To End A Friendship In A Stolen Minivan”)
The first mistake was letting Elizabeth plan the snacks. She
was excellent at picnics and dinner parties, and we figured those skills would
be pretty transferable, but it turned out that she was terrible at road trips.
Instead of plastic-wrapped finger food that basically meant nothing but empty
calories and vague nostalgia, Lizzie had prepared actual food. The sandwiches she
made were so artfully stacked it felt nearly criminal to squash them, but the
alternative was littering the upholstery with lettuce, so we had to squash them
anyway. She looked at us accusingly as we blatantly failed to appreciate her
efforts in plating, but she was still Elizabeth, so after the sandwiches were
goddamn miniature key lime pies, and I don’t even know why we invite her on
these things. She’s hopeless.
The second mistake was leaving the music up to Tabs.
Historically, her taste had been pretty good, but half-way through our senior
year she started dating this weird hipster from the local college, and, I swear
to God, it was like she couldn’t remember what actual driving music was. I
don’t mind the occasional venture into experimentalism, but she had no right to
saddle the rest of us with the various travesties she promised us were cool
before they were cool. It took all of my self-control not to leave her (and her
iPod) at the state welcome centre. Well, all of my self-control and a direct
threat before she got out of the car.
The third mistake was trusting Charlotte when she said she
knew a good campground. Spoilers: there is no such thing as a good campground.
There are campgrounds that don’t completely suck, but “good” is a far stretch
for all them. Charlotte insisted that this one had water and power and even
WiFi, and, to be fair to her, it did have all of those things. But it was still
an effing campground, and I hate sleeping on the ground more than I hate
hipster music and miniature key lime pie.
The fourth mistake was bringing Kendra at all. Which is too
bad, honestly, because she is generally the most tolerable of all of us. She
might be great at talking us out of detention or happily completely group-work
projects while the rest of us do the absolute minimum, but she has a bladder
the size of a freaking pinhead, and every time we stopped for her, Tabs would
get out to stretch her legs or do yoga or some shit, and I’d be all tempted to
leave her behind again. It really started to eat on my patience, which made me
want cheesies, which we didn’t have, because Lizzie brought, like, artisanal
quinoa snaps instead.
The fifth mistake was believing Ally when she said she
hadn’t been texting her boy-friend. They had this whole awkwardly adorable
quasi co-dependent thing going on that summer, so really, this was 100%
predictable and therefore entirely on us. At the same time, if she’d been able
to sext like a normal person, we would have been fine. But no, she had to tell
him where we were and, more
critically, where we were going, and
that really put the kibosh on keeping this a secret from our parents, because when
they realized we were missing, he was first person Ally’s dad asked. When Tabs
threw Ally’s cellphone out the window, I turned up the awful hipster rock for
almost 10 seconds before I got so mad I had to physically sit on my keys the
next time we stopped for Kendra to pee.
The sixth mistake was leaving Abigail in charge of navigation.
I picked her because she is level-headed in most scenarios (including a general
lack of what I think is totally justifiable rage re: the music situation), and
because of everyone I knew well enough to bring on this trip, she was the one
best suited to sitting next to me in the passenger seat for hours at a time.
She sounded so confident reading exits and road signs that I never really
thought to question it until we’d been in the desert for two hours and were
running out of gas and I remembered that we shouldn’t
be in a fucking desert in the first place. She apologized, of course, but
by then it was pretty much too late.
The seventh mistake was all me.
I’d been so mad. I couldn’t remember who or what or even
really why, except it was everywhere inside of me: bones and blood and breath.
I wanted out, before I broke everything, and so I called the first six people
in my contacts list and told them we were going on an adventure. I gave them
their assignments and told them when I’d pick them up. And then I set my alarm
for earlier than my family ever saw morning, and stole the car.
Not my best move, probably, if the flashing lights behind us
were any indication.