Frozen French Onion Soup at ALDI:
Okay, so I’m the queen of ALDI, which is something you already know. I seem to talk about my favorite grocery store once a week on this blog — if not tremendously more. I can’t help it, everything about the place is flawless. There are occasional misses — the faux Cheerios come horrifyingly to mind — but otherwise so much is too good to be reasonable. I chuckle to myself each time that I am surprised, I shouldn’t be anymore. So let me tell you about frozen soup. It’s lit. It’s good. It’s cheap. It doesn’t make any sense. French onion soup has never been one of my favorites because it is traditionally made with beef broth. For some reason, I never managed to eat it back when I wasn’t a vegetarian like a decade ago. I wrote off ever experiencing the delicacy, but then I realized I could make it myself with vegetable stock, but I rarely do. It takes a million years to make a good pot of the stuff. You have to break down like a dozen onions into thin slivers and then cook them for ages whilst they soften up and caramelize. Of course this smells absolutely delicious, but caramelizing onions is an art. You have to know what’s going on inside the pan at all times or you’ll turn around for two seconds and the entire bottom will be scalded and then there’s this weird flavor that the soup takes on and it’s not worth it and your eyes are dripping because of the onions and it’s just awful, really. And so I never make it, but I do enjoy eating it. Anyway, I saw frozen French onion soup in ALDI’s freezer section and I grabbed it because it cost like three dollars and would be something quick to have for lunch. Reader, like all my other ALDI purchases, this one was stupidly good. I put it in a ceramic French onion soup bowl, tossed it in the oven, and then forty minutes later it was bubbling and browned. I took a sip, and you can probably guess what I did. Yes. I screamed. It was divinity. These soups have become one of my regular purchases every week. Give it a try, if you like onions, you’ll not regret it.
You know how I’m addicted to Korean beauty products, right? I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it at any length on here, but after writing on this blog for nearly a thousand years, I no longer have an encyclopedic memory of what’s here. So, lucky you, you get to read about it all over again. A few years ago I realized that I was old. Not ancient, mind you, but old enough to start growing concerned about my skin. I’ve been using sunscreen every day for about ten years, but I decided that I needed to do more so that I would look young and beautiful forever. I want to die looking younger than my potential future children. That’d be a hoot. Oh, they’ll hate me. I started using serums and peels and this thing that vibrates really fast and shakes the gunk out of your face. Whenever I get paid, I get on Amazon and look for something new to try out. I was obsessed with twenty-four carrot gold masks for awhile. I’m not entirely sure what they did because I never looked any different, but they were so relaxing. The gel was cold and relaxing and my skin felt super soft afterwards, so that was a win. When I went to buy them again, they were out of stock, so I bought a package of ten collagen sheet masks. I liked the idea of them containing collagen because I am obsessed with plastic surgery of all kinds and I could pretend that I was having some kind of filler injected. Can’t wait for that, by the way. When I turn thirty, I’m going to get Botox somewhere just for the hell of it. Anyway, these collagen masks are wonderful. They’re soaked full of moisturizing collagen something or other and the instructions are the worst translation from Korean into English. They don’t make the slightest sense, but that didn’t matter. I put on some meditative music, set a thirty minute timer, and went zen. I peeled the mask off at the end of the timer and felt my skin. “Oh my god, I’m a fetus!” I cried out to myself. I mean, I didn’t look all that different. Like at all. But my skin quality was fantastic. I’ve done three masks now, every other night, and the hydration level of my skin has increased dramatically. I’m so pleased. And for twelve bucks, the price is just right!
Look, I know I just talked about this last week, but I’m going crazy. The past couple days have been insanely nice. Yesterday it was over sixty degrees. I think I about lost my mind. I was going crazy being cooped inside at work and I found every reason to take shortcuts to my classes that required going outside. I took students out to get fresh air as a reward for good behavior. I discussed the beautiful weather ad nauseam with anybody who’d let me. I was living my very best life. When I got home, I sat on my front steps, basking in the sunlight, sipping on red wine, and reading that nightmarish book Fire & Fury. (We will surely cover that at some point, by the way.) Finished with that, I opened up all the windows in my house and let the clean air flood through the screens. I smashed boxelder bugs who had tried to enter my house. The breeze swept away the funk of months, whipped dust off surfaces, terrorized my cats, and a particularly strong breeze knocked over a wine glass — thankfully empty — and left a chip in the edge. But I didn’t give two hoots. It was glorious. I know that there will be many days still of chill. It’s only March, after all, but spring is finally coming, and I couldn’t be so happy. And I have nothing else to say, really. I’m just so glad.
End of Classes:
Like I told you in my blog last year about the best parts of 2017, I am more than happy that I decided to start taking classes to become a teacher. It’s nice to actually feel like I have a future with value. It has taken ages and ages to get to this point, and there are still ages and and ages to go, but now there’s an actual end in sight, and I could not be more enthusiastic about that. It’s wonderful to be taking courses that are actually relevant to my interests, and it makes such a massive difference in my mental health. I hated getting my liberal arts degree at DMACC. I had no interest in astronomy or algebra or some of the duller literature classes. But I chugged through them. Now, at Upper Iowa University, I actually enjoy all of the classes and don’t mind having to take them. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love being done with them. This week is the last week of this session, and now I have two weeks without having to drive to Des Moines twice a week! This is a dream come true. I’m so tired, reader. I work all day and then I take classes for five hours a night twice a week and then I have tons of homework when I’m not actually in class and then if I try to sleep for eight hours like I should or cook a healthy meal, I immediately fall behind, gain twenty pounds, and my house threatens to collapse. Does everybody suffer the way that I do? I imagine many do. But now that the classes are coming to an end, I am overcome with emotion. I so miss having time to myself and having the freedom to watch a few episodes of a telenovela in a row. Life is going to be glorious for a few days. And then the classes start up again, but when those finish, I’ll be getting ready to leave for Mexico City. How grand it’s going to be when I’m there. I can’t wait. The year is flying by.
I meant to talk about this ages ago when I bought my iPhone X. That’s one of the greatest purchases of my life, reader. The phone is absolutely perfect. It never does me any wrong and it’s super fast and makes me feel rich. I need to get a new case because my gorgeous millennial pink one has some stupid tear in it, but other than that I am still overwhelmingly enamored of it. The battery lasts all day and it never crashes and I could cry. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. The best feature of the phone is the way it charges. Instead of plugging it into the wall, you just set it against a charging pad and using some kind of witchcraft, electricity flows through it and then it’s charged again. I don’t claim to understand how it works, but it has changed my life. I mean, that’s dramatic and hyperbolic, but wireless charging is one of the most convenient things that have ever happened to me. I have this gorgeous charger beside my bed that props up my phone and speedily charges it. Then in my kitchen, I have this pad that you just toss your phone onto next your car keys and it charges. I can’t express how fabulous it is never needing to plug it in or unplug it. With the iPhone X or the 8, you could use it without ever plugging it into to anything. It charges wirelessly and you can sync it wirelessly and sometimes it’s bizarre to realize I’m living in a future I never dreamed would arrive. But here it is, and it is a wonder. Just think of where we’ll be in ten years, reader, we probably won’t even need to have the wireless charging pads anymore! Oh, and have you gone to IKEA lately? If not, you need to go stock up on gorgeous wine glasses, excellent coffee, and furniture with wireless charging capacity built in. They have desks and pads and lamps and side tables and little consoles that all have built-in charging spots. It’s too cool. And you can even get these little ones that you can insert into furniture you already own. The future is now! I love it. And I’m so glad that I can charge my phone this way. Plugging in my iPad Pro every night has become an unnecessarily horrifying burden. That’s tragic, but it’s true.