Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Yesterday I ran some errands. I went to the farmer's market, which was a little small, but I got the tomatoes and peaches I was after so it was a success. I also got watermelon limeade! It was strange but delicious. The next thing on my list was to go to the library and get a card. I haven't had a library card since elementary school, if you can believe that. But the library always served me well so I was kind of excited to start using this library system.

It was depressing.

It is impossible--impossible--to go from Cornell's library system to a public library system and be at all satisfied. It was a shock, to say the least. My main goal was to get books with knitting patterns because knitting books are kind of expensive and I can't be buying them right now. The entire New Orleans Public Library system gave me 48 books when I typed in keyword "knit." The Cornell library system gives me 11,635. At school I could find any book I need or wanted and Cornell probably had it and if they didn't, they could get it for me. Any book. I very rarely had less than 35 books checked out--it was a compulsion--and now I can only take out a maximum of 30, for 28 days.

One of the reasons I picked Cornell was because of its library system. I looked up which libraries had the most volumes. Cornell is very high on the list of biggest collections.

And now I'm without it. Now I have this measly little public library with hardly anything to offer me.

I looked up guest borrowing at Tulane but it's $250 a year for a card. I'm going to look up Loyola next but I'm sure it'll be the same.

Also, the New Orleans library website is Nutrias is not an acronym. A nutria is an invasive rodent species that lives in the area. They were introduced and farmed for their fur, but then their fur lost value and so the breeders released them and they took over. People eat them, because people in the swamp will eat anything, and tales have been told that the armed forces stationed in the area go into the swamps at night and use them for target practice. I think it's unique/strange/unexplainable that they used that as their library web address.

Another thing that has me missing Ithaca like no other, in addition to this extreme library deprivation, is Wegman's. I know this may seem a little ridiculous, but I can't help it. I've been to every grocery store in the area now. Winn-Dixie, Rouse's, Breaux Mart, all of them. None of them are great. Wegman's is great. Wegman's looks like a gourmet grocery store, it has everything you can think of plus some other things, they make pizzas, pasta dishes, subs, salads in their "ready-made" section. Their butchers are nice and helpful. I never unable to find something. Wegman's also always had the best prices. I love Wegman's. And I want a great grocery store. That's not Whole Foods because I can't afford Whole Foods.

Weird Whole Foods story, sort of: I use Tom's of Maine Silly Strawberry toothpaste because it's one of the very, very few toothpastes that has no hint of mint in it (no berry-mint, or vanilla-mint, or cinnamint, or citrus mint for me). I have a mint allergy and mint gives me headaches and makes me nauseous. Realizing this and changing my toothpaste has actually completely changed my mornings. I used to get up and brush my teeth and feel miserable, but I just thought it was how I felt when I woke up. Not so! Anyway, it's kind of on the expensive side of toothpastes at $4 a tube at Target. At Whole Foods it's twice that! Isn't that obscene? Good thing I'm a great comparison shopper. I'm onto you, Whole Foods.

Oh oh! I know I mentioned this before, so here's a follow up story. I started my mayonnaise taste test yesterday! I wanted to make potato salad so I needed more mayo anyway and I decided to get a small jar of Duke's and of Blue Plate so I could try both while I still had some Best Foods. My Blue Plate ended up being open when I got it home so I didn't risk trying that one and I'll exchange it today, but Best Foods is tangier than Duke's. I can't decide which I like better. Time will tell. But I used it in my potato salad because I had more of it.

Speaking of potato salad. I love potato salad. It's one of my favorite foods. And as everyone knows, every potato salad is a little bit different. So now I'm on a mission to duplicate two different potato salads that I love very much: my mom's and my dad's. My creation matches neither. And here's another funny thing. I love potatoes. Love love love potatoes. And for some unknown reason that makes no sense in the cooking world I cannot cook potatoes. My mashed potatoes never come out quite right, I can't fry potatoes that way my mom used to even though I watched her do it a thousand times, I can't roast potatoes well, and now my potato salad is off. It's like some weird curse that I'll never be able to duplicate my most favorite comfort foods.

Actually, my two most favorite comfort foods I won't be able to duplicate because I don't know what went into them. My mom used to make this stew thing, that was sort of like a chili but thinner and not spicy and with fewer beans. I have no idea what was in it. She also used to make a gravy with hamburger in it and would go over a huge pile of mashed potatoes with a large serving of corn next it and I would be so happy. But I don't like gravy. I have no idea what kind of gravy that was that I liked. One day I'm going to go through experiment after experiment until I get it.

I still can't poach an egg. Which is my favorite way to have eggs. I can fry eggs and flip them in the pan without using a spatula. But I cannot poach an egg.

Some things aren't meant to make sense.

There's a used bookstore on the way to Winn-Dixie, where I have to go to exchange my mayonnaise, and I think I might stop in and see if they have any real cheap knitting books. Fingers crossed!

Last thing! My official internship start day is August 17th. So soon!

1 comment:

  1. I felt the same way when I moved back home after college (Wellesley). I worked in the library there all four years and, when I moved home, I took some courses at a local university, partially to have access to the library. Unfortunately, the library there wasn't even on the same planet as Wellesley's despite the fact that this was a university and Wellesley was an exclusively undergraduate institution.
    I so miss good research libraries.