College vs. Home

I came back home to St. Louis about a week ago and I leave tomorrow. This is the longest I’ve been home since I started college back in August. Honestly, it’s weird being back. I’ve had a set schedule these last three months that I’ve been thrown off of since getting here. So after much deliberation (sort of…), here are the biggest differences between college and home.

1. Naps. I have set times when I take my power naps that I haven’t been able to take since I got home. For example, every Wednesday I have a psychology quiz at 8:30am. That means that in order to get ready, grab breakfast with some friends at 7:45, and study a little beforehand, I need to be awake at 6:30. After psychology I have a chemistry lab at 11:30. Since I was probably up late studying for the quiz, I need my nap from 9:30-10. That’s all I let myself sleep since I’ve got places to go and people to see. Sorta. Since coming home, though, I don’t have a psychology quiz at 8:30. That means… I can sleep as much as I want. Long story short is I’m completely caught up on sleep and I’m pretty sure my mom thinks I have narcolepsy or something.

2. Food.  I absolutely love where I go to school and I’m really, really happy there. The only thing I truly hate dislike about it is the food. Some days it’s so bad that I actually want to start a hunger strike or something. Fortunately on the days that it’s unpalatable they manage to offer nachos or chicken nuggets, which is almost redeeming. And then there are days when half the dining hall is eating cereal for dinner and looking depressed. Some of the awards that the company that caters to my school has won include “Best Companies for Hourly Workers,” “Diversified Outsourcing Services,” “Caterer to an Environmentally Responsible College,” and “#1 on the Top Companies for Diversity List.” Hey, spoiler alert. None of those awards actually have anything to do with the quality of the food I’m paying thousands for each year. Diversity doesn’t prevent me from getting scurvy, which I’m pretty sure I have since I’ve hardly seen fruit since the last time I was home. The company also serves food at prisons and offers a program that brings together inmates in discussion groups to make them realize the consequences of their crimes. THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE MY FOOD MOONLIGHT AS THERAPISTS. Please focus on either making decent food or running group therapy sessions, because I don’t think you can do both well simultaneously. If you were wondering, I’d love Walmart or Amazon gift cards for Christmas. Walmart because I can get nourishment there and Amazon for everything else. But I’ve been eating non-stop since getting home. My mom’s and grandma’s cooking makes me happy and not contract food poisoning.

3. Friends. When I’m sick of studying or just plain bored, I basically only need to open my door to find someone to talk to. I’ve become really good friends with everyone on my floor and in my class in the nursing school. I spend a lot of time with my friend Ashley who lives right across the hall. In return for making me laugh and letting me take naps on her floor, I make her a hot pocket and watch movies with her until she falls asleep after she comes back a little tipsy after parties. If that isn’t true friendship then I don’t know what is. For the record, ukuleles make people want to be your friend. I bought one a few weeks ago and spent the weekend learning how to play it. I jammed for a good two or three hours with one guy on an acoustic guitar and one guy on an electric guitar, and sometimes I’ll sit out in the hallway playing it with basically the entire hall. Also, on Halloween I made the eyeball cakeballs I usually make for my Halloween party and I made rolls with marshmallows when my floor had a Thanksgiving dinner last two Sundays ago. Both times I got compliments by everyone who had one, and my friend’s boyfriend went out into our lounge and yelled at all the guys that I would make great wife material. Moral of the story is that food and ukulele bring people together. Now that I’ve come back home I don’t have friends I can just walk across the hall to hang out with. Luckily my siblings are my bestest friends and they are all I need. But really, all of my friends in St. Louis live far away so I hardly got to see any this week. Spider Baby is learning how to walk so his drunken stumble makes me think of Ashley. Close enough.

4. Noise. Ten or fifteen people on my floor all went to high school together, and somehow they ended up living next door to each other. Saying they’re all best friends is an understatement. I love that they’re all super close, but my word they can be loud sometimes. When they’re not all in the lounge down the hall, they’re in the guy’s room next to me. Thankfully they’re all super nice or I probably wouldn’t be able to tolerate what sounds like the recording of a laugh track at 2am. Here at home it’s just as loud, which makes sense since there are seven Italiana kids who all somehow end up being in the same room together. My parents love that. How my mother is able is to homeschool my siblings is beyond me.

5. Family. First off, I come back home and everyone is wearing my clothes. I have yet to see Sister Celiac wear anything that isn’t mine. The other night I was in the living room and I see her walk downstairs wearing a sweater THAT I BROUGHT TO WEAR THIS WEEK. IT WAS IN MY SUITCASE. AND SHE TOOK IT. Luckily since she stopped eating wheat and is finally healthy she’s grown a lot. She’s 14 and already a good two or three inches taller than me. You won’t fit in my clothes for long, sistah… The closest I get to experiencing my family is through FaceTime a few times a week, and that doesn’t allow me to see that my entire family has become obsessed with Duck Dynasty, Pinterest, and Salt & Vinegar chips. Seriously, I leave for three months and the whole house falls apart. We were driving the other day and Sister Celiac and Future Chef were seeing who could stick their head out the window and sing Miley Cyrus songs the longest. Also, apparently there’s a “strike” game. To cut straight to the point, the only rules are you’re not allowed to make any gross bodily noise or else you get a strike. Three strikes and you’re out, except not really because the game keeps going and nothing ever really happens. This isn’t too different from college except the guys there don’t get strikes and they generally don’t laugh after it like my three brothers do (and my sister Brute…).

Also I forgot how annoyed Sister Celiac and I get at each other when we finish every sentence for each other. Hearing her say the same dumb jokes as me at the same time makes me wonder if people actually think I’m funny or if they’re just being polite.

We’re playing those blog games together. Pushing the barriers, planting seeds/ideas in your mind like Inception. You’re actually asleep right now.

Dr. Pepper, how I love you so. Don’t tell bacon, but you might be my favorite thing on the planet…

Oh, umm, hello. I didn’t see you there. How much of that did you hear…? I guess I should blog now or something. Awkward.

My interwebs friend, Tia, tagged me a while back in a blogging game. Apparently I’m supposed to list 11 random things about myself, answer Tia’s 11 questions, tag 4 other bloggers, and ask them 11 questions, which they then answer in their own post. And then they’re supposed to do exactly what I did. I get tagged in these games all the time, and I never actually do them. But I am now, and that’s all that matters, right? Right. Lovely.

1. My life goal at the moment is to learn how to play Stairway to Heaven on the guitar. I feel like I need to set higher goals…

2. I secretly despise Christian Bale.

3. “Fact #2 is true,” said the liar.

4. I openly despise Leonardo DiCaprio, and that’s not a lie. Well, honestly, don’t despise him THAT much. He’s a relatively ok actor, but I know a few people who adore him, and it’s fun to annoy them.

5. What’s your favorite symbol on the keyboard? Mine’s the squiggle ~ Isn’t it cute? But it’s so hard to reach. Stupid squiggle…all the way in the top left corner. AND I have to push the shift key.

6. Back to Christian Bale, my favorite movie ever is Newsies. That was the movie that really sparked my Christian Bale obsession. So naturally I’ve watched it…a lot, and I have the entire thing memorized word for word.

7. I have an irrational fear of flying bugs. I think this is because a few years ago a praying mantis flew into my hair and got stuck. Talk about traumatizing.

8. I hate when people ask me what my favorite kind of music is, because when I answer 40’s jazz, house, and random indie boy bands, I get some raised eyebrows.

9. Speaking of eyebrows, I once (ONCE. NEVER AGAIN.) went to go get my eyebrows done, and the lady who did it took one look at me and said “Well…they’re your signature style.” That basically translates into I have Audrey Hepburn-esque eyebrows that you really can’t do much with. I think I frustrated her.

10. I’m obsessed with Pinterest. It’s an unhealthy obsession and a bit of a self-esteem killer. After I pin things, I realize that I’ll never own any of those clothes, make food that looks that good, and that DIY chalkboard paint? Fugetaboutit.

11.  Although my name is Piccola Italiana (which means Little Italian in Italian), I’m hardly Italian. I’m a quarter Italian, a quarter Norwegian, and half everything else (there is a little British in there…*wink*). But Little Norwegian translates into Lite Norsk, which, uhhh, sounds awful? I guess if I did go by Like Norsk, you could call me Norsky. And if that isn’t catchy, I don’t know what is.

And here are the questions Tia asked me:

What is your all-time favorite book?
The Giver. I had to loan that book to someone just so I would stop constantly rereading.
Mr. Darcy or Mr. Rochester?
Well, seeing as I just had to google Mr. Rochester (Yes, I do live under a rock.), Mr. Darcy?
Converse or Vans?
Um, Converse. I have 7 pairs and counting. I don’t even want to think about how much money I’ve spent on them.
Favorite dessert?
Oh, don’t do this to me. Uhhhh, rum cake? Or really really good raspberry cheesecake.
Favorite superhero?
Batman. Maybe just because Christian Bale plays him. Everything in my entire life goes back to him. What’s wrong with me?
If you could play any instrument, regardless of your skills or lifestyle, what would it be?
My sisters and I all play violin, and my brothers play cello. If my parents hadn’t started me on violin when I was 3 and I would have actually had a say in which instrument I was going to play, I would have definitely chosen cello. Way cooler, and you get to sit down when you play. Maybe I’m lazy.
In general, do you gravitate more towards books or movies?
Movies. Again, lazy.
If you could meet any artist (singer – past or present), who would it be?
Either Ella Fitzgerald or George Harrison.
Favorite T.V. show?
Psych or Downton Abbey or House. Psych and Downton aren’t airing new episodes for months, and House is over. I’m pretty much distraught.
If you could have the wildest phrase for your epitaph, what would it be?
I’d definitely go for Henry the second’s epitaph:

“I was Henry the King. To me Diverse realms were subject, I was duke and count of many provinces. Eight feet of ground is now enough for me, whom many kingdoms failed to satisfy. Who reads these lines, let him reflect, upon the narrowness of death. And in my case behold, the image of our mortal lot. This scanty tomb doth now suffice, For whom the Earth was not enough.”

Ha, just kidding. I’d say “I told you I was sick.”
What day do you look forward to most in a week?
Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday. Ha, now that song’s stuck in your head. You’re welcome.

So now I tag people, I guess…? You know what, I’m tired. I ate so much junk food last night at my friends house, and I’m still in a food coma.

Marie over at Adventures in a Grown-up World (Tia already tagged you, Marie. DO. IT.)
Kait over at Kaitlynology
Arnel Gonce at AllThingsBoys. I pretty much feel like she’s my second mom. Although if I was given the option, I’d want Amy Adams to be my 2nd mom. She can be my 3rd.
Avra-Sha Faohla at Red Twilight

So if I’ve tagged you, please answer these questions. Have fun.

1. What was the first CD/record you bought?

2. Christian Bale or Leonardo DiCaprio? Choose wisely…

3. If you were shrunk to the size of a pencil and put in a blender, how would you get out? I was Googling weird interview questions and that actually was one of them.

4.What was your first word?

5. Pepsi or Coke?

6. If you had a million dollars how would you spend it?

7. What’s your favorite breakfast food?

8. Do you think we’ve really been to the moon?

9. What’s the deal with “I before E?”

10. Deaf or blind?

11. So no one told you life was gonna be this way?

Mid-week Crisis: Never trust an elk leading an empire

Yes, there have been a lack of posts this week. Yes, I didn’t forget that I had a blog. Yes, I’m watching Psych while I’m writing this. Any more questions? No? Let’s move on then.

1. I’m doing a writing and logic workshop. Woah. Seriously, go look in the mirror. Your face just screams “Picco is so impressive and all-around awesome and totally deserves this for her birthday.” I’ve been going to the workshop since Monday and it lasts all week. It’s basically 6 straight hours of thinking, and I’m the youngest in the class by a lot. Everyone else is in college and graduate school, so I feel a little dumb. Just a little bit. But it’s a humbling sort of dumb. For example, I was nicely corrected yesterday because apparently I didn’t know that the plural of medium is media. Also, apparently my style of writing doesn’t really jive in the academic world (I thought people always wrote like they were having a spastic conversation with internet people they’ve never actually met? Or is that just me?). And apparently you’re never supposed to start a sentence with “because” or “and,” and sentences can never be one word. Humbling.

2. I woke up yesterday morning and all I could think about is this amazing buffalo chicken dip I had once. I was trying to remember where I had it or if I made it. I then proceeded to think about it all day, especially during logic when I was given 30 terms to define in 10 minutes. How on earth are you supposed to define “justice” or “truth” when you have buffalo chicken dip on the mind? So I just asked Socrates.

3. Oh, and I remembered I DID make it. Somehow I remembered that I found it off of How Sweet It Is. And I’m making it tonight. I need to stop starting sentences with the word and. This workshop is making me self-conscious. JEEZ.

4. People are always like “keep a notebook by your bed so you can write down those 2am inspirations,” so I did that. Last night I woke up, wrote something down, and then fell back asleep. What did I write? I looked at it this morning and it said “The phrase ‘An elk leading an empire’ means that something could never happen.” I am no longer keeping a notebook by my bed, because 2am me should stay at 2am and never show its face at any other time. But you’ve got to admit, I have pretty good half-asleep handwriting.

5. Why are all my friends becoming adults? The latest one is the wonderful, fantastic, super groovy Emily. Happy birthday, Emily! Don’t grow up, kids. It’s a trick.

6. I may or may not have left virtual flowers on Heath Ledger’s grave. And I may or may not do it every day until Batman comes out on Friday. And I may or may not totally miss that guy.

7. The other day my little (and by little, I mean toddler. Itty bitty. Barely-potty-trained tiny) brother was lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling, repeatedly saying “I’m Megan Fox.” He also has all of the song We Are Young by Fun. memorized. I think I’ve corrupted my siblings.

8. I’ve become a Monopoly fiend. This is what it looks like to be totally beaten by me. And I didn’t even get a chance to break into my secret under-the-tablecloth stash of $2000. Scared? You should be.

Wookin pa nub using all the wrong search terms

A while back I wrote up a post making poems out of the search terms people used to find my blog. It was actually really hilarious and depressing, so I today made Ode to a Search Engine, Part II – Return of the People Who Have Too Much Time on Their Hands. Again, I didn’t make any of these up, nor correct the grammar, and all these are from the last 30 days. Brace yourself.

i hate the sun
greatest performance by an inanimate object damian mcginty
lemon bars gone wrong

got stung by a wasp yesterday and my thoart is feeling wierd
“piccola italiana” columbus 28
thomas barrow photography images

you know you’re british when you have a british accent
potato starch makeup

“i love it here” sarcastic
too sarcastic?
sarcastic good luck
my sarcasm makes me have no friends

who makes lime tater tots?
why has dsmian mcginty never tried peanut butter?
why is martha stewart a hard person to understand?
why is batman surrounded by idiots?

very best british cake ball recipes
sam the wiggles replace
george harrison’s favourite food
meaning of one spoon heap

“brian regan” and “1+1= chicken”
batman bale voice too overexaggerated
skandar don’t touch my cookies

closet covering
funny muffins
thanks for the rice crispy
skinny guy on nacho libre

disney movies that have an ambulance in them
tavuk salatası
a ugly pizza
my dr. pepper case was full of hawkeye!

aristocats dinner recipes
skinnnnny taste good

Phantom of the Soap Opera

I didn’t used to be so emotional. No sir, people used to call me Deadpan Picco. It was kind of a weird nickname, so I asked people to stop using it. But yesterday marked the end of my emotionless days.

To start things off, I woke up yesterday with my stomach hurting like it had been for the past 3 days. There’s nothing worse than a stomach ache, because then you can’t eat as much as you’d like to…no really, it made me upset. Also, I was really tired. And then I went to a wake where I talked to someone who I haven’t really talked to in a good 2 years, then last night he sent me the nicest email I’ve ever gotten from anyone ever, and then I had no appetite (which was the worst part). I was a bit of a wreck. Wow, I feel like this blog has become a soap opera. I need to give myself a soap opera-ish name like Trixie or Zadie, right? Yes? Just agree with me. Let’s speak of happy things. Like raspberries.

If I ever meet someone who told me they don’t like raspberries, I’ll punch them in the face. Mostly because I wouldn’t believe the insanity that they were speaking, but also because I’ve always wanted to know what it’s like to punch someone. I’d probably break some fingers or something, but people on tv shows do it all the time so it can’t be that hard. And now this has gone from sob story to violent. There’s something seriously wrong with me.

I don’t like to think of myself as an anti-fruits and vegetables person, but if I had to choose between eating raw broccoli and cutting my hair so it looked like Kevin Bacon’s, I think you can guess which one I’d choose. And now I shall have really bad 80’s Footloose hair. Although I am anti-healthy food, I really really really love raspberries. I could eat them by the bushel. Or gallon. Or Olympic-sized swimming pool. Or a container the size of my love for Newsies. That sounded better in my head.

Dear Bon Appetit, I’d strongly recommend not hiring me to be in charge of arranging food for your magazine. As you can see, I have kind of a shaky hand/I don’t really care when it comes to presentation. Sincerely, Picco, the girl with no fine-motor skills.

Back to depressing things, back in March someone sent me a recipe for Cadbury Egg Cake. When I got the email I looked at the link and promptly forgot about it. Then this morning I looked at it again and the blog that the recipe was from has been taken down. I was almost as sad as I was when I found out Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise broke up.  Except, not? That being said, if anyone has any recipes to suggest to me, I’d be eternally grateful. As in you have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful. Random Toy Story quote alert. No but seriously, I’d love it if people submitted new recipes. My email address is on my about page. And if you send me a recipe, I might send you some of these muffins…said the liar. Ha.

Look at this muffin (I’m jumping all over the place today). Tell me it doesn’t look like phantom of the opera. There’s only sugar on one side, hence phantom. The Phantom of the Opera is here, inside my mind. DUH, DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH. Oooh, dramatic. I need help.

Berry Oatmeal Muffins

Adapted from AllRecipes (See? Told you.)

1 cup quick cooking oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (which I omitted, because walnuts belong on a walnut tree never to be picked)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 cup berries (I used frozen raspberries and the muffins turned out swimmingly)

1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used regular sugar and, again, swimmingly)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or stick those fancypants muffin liners in them, which I did because everyone my age uses them. It’s what the cool kids do. Consider me Miles Davis.

In a large bowl, mix the 1 cup of oats, flour, sugar, walnuts, salt, and baking powder. Stir in the milk, oil, and egg just until it looks like batter. Vague, I know, but you’ll know when to stop stirring. Fold in the berries. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups.

In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the batter.

Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out as clean as my kitchen floor which I mopped today. Do you know how filthy floors get when you have a dog around? I don’t even want to talk about it.