I’ve hit blogger’s block.

Do you ever have one of those days where you feel so boring that you’d be genuinely shocked if people told you otherwise? I’ve been having quite a few of those lately. Hence, no blogging. It’s not that I don’t want to blog, it’s more of there’s a whole lot of lack of creativity going on. I wish my creativity was one long, continuous, rippling stream of interesting stories and funny pictures that flowed on forever and glistened in the sun. Instead, my creativity is like a flash flood that lets water leak into your basement and makes the dumpsters behind your house float down the alley. All of that almost made sense to me. I am the Queen of giving examples that are almost intelligent, and honey, you should see me in a crown.

You know that moment right as you’re falling asleep that you either think of all the horrible things you’ve ever done, brilliant ideas, or monsters? That’s when I usually get my bursts of inspiration to cook or blog or basically do anything. For example, the other night I was about to pass out when I thought of the perfect way to break into someone’s house who has a dog: bring a vacuum cleaner and a broom. It doesn’t matter how brave and protective my dog Gemma would feel right as someone was coming in, because the second they turn on that vacuum, she’d probably pee on the floor and run into her crate. And then the bad guys would steal all the bacon we have in the freezer and that’s just not cool. Anyway, the inspirations come and go and by the time I wake up in the morning I’m not thinking, “Wow, I want to go teach myself how to yodel!” I’m thinking, “I. Hate. Mornings.” Not as impressive.

Lately, I’ve been stuck in this rut of blah-ness. I’ve written short stories and all that helped with was figuring out I can’t write short stories. I got 4 or 5 pages into writing one about a grandma who mysteriously doesn’t show up for her weekly bingo game and then reveals that she’s running from the government because she’s a treasonist just to realize that I really can’t write short stories. I went to see a movie, and that didn’t help either. Which movie? Why Lincoln, of course. Only because Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in it. Let me break things down for you: I love that guy. Of course I was going to see a new movie he’s in. So yes, I went into Lincoln not caring at all about the actual movie. I went for Joseph Gordon-Levitt. If that isn’t depressing then I don’t know what is. Turns out I loved Lincoln. LOVED. There were no battles (expect for about 20 seconds at the beginning of the movie) and really not much excitement, but it was funny and very King’s Speech-esque. Daniel Day Lewis did an amazing job at being Lincoln and Sally Field did an amazing job at playing psycho Mary Todd Lincoln. And Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Yeah, he had seriously 3 lines. Maybe 4. And an incredibly cheesy mustache. And he cried. I was borderline unimpressed, but don’t tell him that. It’ll ruin my chances of ever being with a celebrity 14 years older than I am. Shhhh.

I even went running, hoping that I’ll become an athlete who runs every day and feels great because of it. About 20 seconds into the run, my brain went, “You know what you haven’t done for a while? Hurt. Here, let me make your hip kill you to the point of you having to limp home and not being able to move your leg for the next day or 2.” Dear brain, I hate you. Love, Picco.

The short stories didn’t work, the movie didn’t work, the exercise didn’t work. I feel like this is Web MD and I’m trying to find a cure for my lack of creativity. I’m exhausting all the possible treatments for my sickness and still ending up with death. This post is incredibly descriptive, if I may say so. But my attempted dramatic Web MD bit sort of fell flat.

So basically, I’ve been unmotivated to do anything other than watch Fringe. And now that I’ve finished 4 seasons in 3 months, I’ve got nothing to do. I need to join a bookclub or something… or learn how to knit. Or rewatch Fringe. These are all very good options.

Looking back, I realize that this post really has no point other than, outside of doing school, I’m bored and stuck.  Is this what a mid-life crisis feels like? Wait, I’m only 17. I’m going to die when I’m 34? Well. This is just lovely. Luckily, I know some pretty cool people who are willing to do stuff with me like go to the movies or let me help paint their room, and then back me into a freshly-painted wall and make me get paint in my hair, and then decide that we should go to Steak n Shake while I’m covered in paint. Yeah, great friends. So seriously, guys, we should start a bookclub. Or a Fringeclub? Same thing. I’m just trying to make an excuse for my lack of blogging, since I’ve had a few people come up to me lately saying “Uhhh, blog post, please? Reading your posts is like the coolest thing I do each day.” Maybe they don’t say that last part.

Also, molasses smells disgusting.

Gingerbread Men

Adapted from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts

1/4 cup vegetable shortening (we were out, so I had my dad get some from the store and he came back with the entire Crisco factory. We have 3 pounds of it, if anyone wants to share.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup gluten-free flour (today, I used King Arthur’s multi-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt (also known as just a pinch. who the heck has an 1/8 teaspoon?)

1. Beat shortening and sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer until and creamy. Beat in egg yolk and molasses and mix until smooth. Don’t sniff the molasses. It’s awful. I know first-hand.

2. Add flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Mix until a soft dough forms. Roll dough between two sheets of wax paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate until well chilled (I chilled it for about 2 hours).

3. Preheat oven to 350F. Position rack in center of oven. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or Crisco. We have plenty, if you need some.

4. Use cookie cutters that may or may not have to do with Christmas to cut out cookies. Hey, we have cool shamrock ones that I wanted to use… Place on cookie sheet 1/2 inch apart. The cookbook said to chill the cutout cookies on the cookie sheet until very cold before baking them, but I skipped that part. Because I live on the edge.

5. Bake 6-8 minutes. Check at 6 because they burn quickly. Not that I know this. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Decorate to your heart’s content.

6. Try not to eat all of them at once.

Just an introvert girl living in a loud world.

You know what’s wrong with the world? People don’t think before they speak.

The other day Sister Celiac was talking to a girl about my new brother. The girl asked, “So, how’s your baby brother?” When my sister said that he’s great, the girl said, “Oh cool. Is there anything wrong with him?”

I’m sorry, what? What if he was born with three arms and we were going to have one surgically removed but didn’t want anyone to know about it? My sister isn’t even KIND OF friends with this girl, so why should she tell her, “Well, we’re not really telling anyone, but he’s actually a monkey.” Oh great, now you guys know our secret. This is awkward.

I know quite a few people that I simply can’t have a normal conversation with. Now granted, most of them are teenagers, but I’m not sure how good of an excuse that is. A good conversation consists of asking questions and telling stories, right? If I’m ever talking to one of those people, the conversation is just them talking over me and bragging or making stupid comments. They always feel the need to one-up me in everything. I once had a guy ask me how long I’ve played violin. When I told him 14 years, he immediately told me how he’s played for 6 years and had already learned Mozart’s hardest concerto. Dear Child Prodigy, as my dad always says, “If you have to tell me how great you are, you’re not.” Also, I heard you play and I’m not going to comment on it because I have nothing nice to say.

Better yet is when people don’t just say rude things, but actually do rude things. I can ignore the girl who told me my legs were so big she had no idea how I could fit them into my skinny jeans (When I’m around that girl I have to use every nice molecule in my body to restrain myself from kicking her in the shins. I’ve been successful so far…), but when you forcefully take a drink out of my hand telling me how bad it is for me, then we have a problem.

I’ll admit that I’m very quiet. I’m not as shy as I used to be, but I’m definitely an introvert, and apparently there’s something wrong with that. There’s nothing I hate more than being told I’m quiet. Ok, maybe I hate it second to running my hip into the corner of a table. You do not know pain until you do that. When people tell me I’m quiet I just want to be like, “NO. WAY. I seriously had no idea. Thank you so much for enlightening me,” but I don’t because, hello, introvert. Don’t really talk much. I actually used to get really upset over it. Sometimes to the point of tears. I’m not sure exactly what made (and still sort of makes) me so upset. What I’ve sort of figured out is that since our world is so loud and no one can sit still, I’m the outcast because I’m not dominating a conversation or wanting to party every Friday night or constantly flirting with guys. Because, you know, as if I don’t have a hard enough time fitting in as is. One of the many pros of being introverted is that I think before I speak. Actually, I over-think and run through what I’m going to say 5 times in my head and by the time I’m comfortable to say it, the topic has already changed. Oh well. Better to be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt, right?

Not to go all psychology on you guys, but what do you think causes people to feel like they can say whatever they want? Is it a lack of manners? Class? Or just insecurity? Or maybe the world just needs more introverts. I’d be totally chill with that.

Also, I used to collect those white pieces of paper at the bottom of Reece’s peanut butter cups. I was a weird kid.

Halloween Candy Cookies

(This recipe is from the back of the box. More or less. I added the candy bit because we have so much Halloween candy left over.)

1 package King Arthur gluten free cookie mix

1/2 cup soft butter

1 large egg

2 tablespoons water

8 frozen Reece’s peanut butter cups, chopped

1/2 cup M&Ms

1.Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Put about half the cookie mix in a bowl, and beat in the butter. It’s especially fun to beat the butter with the arm you got a flu shot in. Yeah.

3. Beat in the remaining cookie mix, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the Reece’s peanut butter cups and M&Ms.

4. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between cookies. Gently squish cookies 1/2″ thick. Ok, it said flatten on the box, but I definitely squished the cookies.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

6. Devour. Om nom nom.

This post is in no way sponsored by King Arthur, but I wish it was. Please. I’m not asking for much. Maybe just a few boxes of your cookie mixes or some money. I’d definitely enjoy money.

Mid-week Crisis: A post about amazing college visits and the fact that I apparently don’t know my opposites.

1. At first I was afraid, I was petrified. Didn’t think that I could…uhhh…pass midterms. I’m pretty sure that’s how the song goes. Right? I had midterms last week and was absolutely drained studying/cramming for them. Now that I’m not stressed out anymore, I’ll be back to cooking for sure. For the history midterm I memorized 127 note cards worth of information on the War of 1812 and the French and Indian War. Test me on anything. Battle of Long Island? Got it. Burr vs. Hamilton? In the bag. How to spell broccoli? *silence* I have such a hard time with that word.

2. I visited a college this past weekend and I loved it. LOVED. It’s my top choice and after visiting there’s no reason to look at any other ones since it’s exactly what I want. I’m a bit of a free spirit and really have a hard time fitting in anywhere, but everyone there is exactly like I am. Of course there were were a few jocks and icky girls, but a majority of them were, well, geeks. My tour guide said that he rides his unicycle across campus. Ok maybe I’m not that weird, but he’s definitely someone I’d be friends with. You have no idea how happy I was to finally be in a place where I just felt normal. If I don’t get accepted I’m going to curl up into a ball and die. Also known as I’m going to go eat all the Halloween candy we got this year. It’s so nice having my family be one of the 3 families with kids in the neighborhood. I’m sending in my college application by Friday and hopefully the application to the nursing school by next week. Wish me luck, guys.

3. I think I need to buy this shirt. And by think I mean need. I need I need to buy this shirt? Well, that’s almost correct grammar.

4. My best friend is having surgery on Friday. She and I have hands-down the weirdest friendship ever (there’s a lot of talking and then not talking for a year and then doing that all over again until we’re finally friends again), but I love her to pieces. From what she’s told me, the surgery she’s having is pretty dangerous and she’ll be in the hospital for a while. Most of the support she’s getting involves people telling her how dangerous it is or how their cousin’s friend died while having a similar surgery. Because of that, I invited her over for a You’re Not Going to Die party. We made cookie dough and wrote letters to the baseball players David Freese and Joe Kelly. I threatened Joe that I’d slap him upside the head with a dead fish if he said he was a Cubs fan. And we wonder why I don’t have a boyfriend… Ignore that bowl with the crumbs. We inhaled the toasted raviolis that were in it and I was too lazy to take it out of the picture. Anyway, If you could all pray for her or send her good thoughts, that would be fantastic. How exactly does one go about sending good thoughts? Do you go “leprechaunssunshinedaisiesheathledger75%offcouponswarmchocolatechipcookies ok, I’m done. Those were some good thoughts.”? Just wondering.

5. Last week I invited a friend that I never see *coughMARIEcough* over so we could make Halloween food. I took pictures with my mom’s camera, but I’m too lazy to upload them right now. It’s the middle of the week, people. I’ll do it tomorrow. But here’s a picture from my phone of the cakeball eyeballs I made. I made these last year too, but these turned out much better this time, aside from the fact that they’re a bit wonky looking in this picture. That red icing was a huge mess and your fingers were absolutely covered with it by the time you had your 4th one. Not that I know anything about that…

6. Fringe season 3 finale. Can we just talk about this for a moment? All of you need to start watching it so we can have like a Fringe club meaning. Kind of like a book club, but more Fringe-y and less booky. So Peter never existed. And Olivia dies, but not yet, because Peter just saw her die when he got electrocuted by that machine and went 20 years into the future. Then he came back proclaimed “I have seen doomsday!” and then just disappears and everyone’s totally cool with it. Or maybe they just ignored him like you ignore a 9 year old telling a pointless story that won’t end. Hey, I have 6 siblings. I’m allowed to make fun of kids.

7. If you’re anything like me, you still struggle with learning your opposites. Luckily Sesame Street has a helpful video to watch. You’re welcome.