Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baking Challenge Uno

Since the idea behind this blog originally was to chronicle some of my baking adventures, I figured it was time to actually chronicle a said adventure. For Christmas my boyfriend gave me an awesome bread making book. It is not only recipes but really breaks down bread making and explains in detail how to really work with dough. This was the perfect gift for me, because, let's face it, my bread from regular bread recipes were coming out less than yummy. My mom gave me a stand mixer for my birthday, so I had no problem with making the dough, but when it came to baking, the inside was constantly coming out doughy no matter how many different things I tried. I decided that I was over making regular sandwich bread. I read my new book cover to cover and instead of starting with the basics, I decided to tackle the not so basic.

For my first attempt with this book, I decided on Challah. Challah is a sweet Jewish bread that is braided before it is baked. Reading through the recipe it looked incredibly intimidating, but hell, regular bread wasn't coming out any better so I didn't have anything to lose. So I made my dough, let it rise, kneaded it some more, and then stuck it in the fridge. That is one thing that I really like about the bread recipes in this book . You let the dough rise overnight in the fridge (I think this might be secret to not having doughy baked bread or maybe it's the eggs used in this particular bread, just a guess). Anyhow, the next day was baking day, the time when everything goes to shit. I followed the directions precisely and even managed to braid a pretty impressive looking loaf. This time I followed the baking instructions exactly, even leaving the bread in when it appeared that it was over baking. All this hard work resulted in:

Not too shabby. But more importantly, the inside wasn't doughy! Bread baking challenge uno was a success.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Okay, so those of us who are Forensic Psychologists are a weird bunch. We don't deny this. We find the morbid to be fascinating and we want to work with offenders because their brains, let's face it, are a lot more interesting than the general population of "normal" people. We take classes like Criminal Profiling and Correctional Psychology and do presentations on Wound Pattern Analysis and Eyewitness Testimony and generally enjoy a good conversation about the characteristics of organized and disorganized serial murderers. However, with that being said, I still wasn't prepared for what I stumbled across today while teaching.

I teach Criminal Psychology at a community college and today we were discussing sexual assault. I decided that a good learning tool, as well as an eye opener to the statistics of sex offenders would be to pay a visit to the Virginia Sex Offender Registry. Now, I've searched my zip code and I know what kind of people live near me, so I had the class calling out zip codes and addresses and so forth so they could see who their neighbors are. I randomly clicked on one guy and pulled up the file and HOLY SHIT I know this person, like actually really know this person. I even said shit out loud, which I think earned me bonus points with the class. Turns out, I am in my Master's program with this guy, and not just that, but I sit next to him in my Addictions class and talk to him weekly. Once I get past my shock of staring at his face, I realize that he is not only a sex offender, but also a violent sex offender. That does not mean that he murdered someone or even inflicted bodily injury to anyone but I also know that it means his crime was most likely rape. Sure enough, as I scroll down, his charge was attempted rape and he was convicted. WHOA.

Now, I am not a judgmental person by any means, you can't be to want to work with offenders and in corrections, but I would have never have pinned this guy as a sex offender. I realized that this is exactly what I have been trying to convey to my students. Profiling is less than accurate and anyone can be an offender, even a classmate who is smart enough to be accepted to a Master's program, despite what all of the criminal theories tell us. Needless to say, my students definitely learned something today, as well as myself. Addictions class should be interesting tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Complaining Already

My friend Sharon informed me that I am doing a slack job on blogging and that I am not providing her with entertaining stories to pass the time while she is bored at work. My boner. Unfortunately, I don't have any entertaining stories. My life is rather dull and uninteresting. Even though I don't sit behind a desk for eight hours a day, or any hours for that matter, doesn't mean that I have a plethora of fun stuff going on (though I got my SAT word in for the day). Actually, my week is pretty routine. I have to prepare to teach class which means actually reading the textbook so I know, or at least appear to know what I am talking about. By the way, this is the first time I have EVER read a textbook cover to cover. Plus it is that time of the semester where all of my projects and papers are due for grad work. Hence, I have no stories for you.

Sadly, I used to. Those were the days of Crazy Bitch Monster (CBM). I'm sure that everyone at one time or another has had "that roomate", but this chick was an adventure everyday and a quick prescription for high blood pressure medicine. My stories then were ridiculous and unbelievable, but so crazy that even I couldn't make them up. From stealing soft drinks, sabotaging ice packs, being involved in the mob, never being able to do my laundry, finding fully cooked meals forgotten about in the kitchen, calling the police, and the list goes on and on and on and on. No joke, as a professional, I seriously considered having her involuntarily committed. I'm pretty sure I could have pulled it off. Our parting was not bitter sweet, it was just bitter and CBM continued to stalk my cell phone for weeks after I moved out. So Sharon, or anyone for that matter, in light of my lack of entertaining stories, pick your favorite CBM story and I'll be sure to remind you of why that was the first thing you asked me about every morning for almost two years.