Greetings to all of you out there in cyber-land, and let me say that you are quite welcome here at “With Love and Squalor.” Love because it's the reason behind my efforts and squalor because I am a lowly college student and living in squalor is what we excel at. My hope is that you will be inspired, encouraged, or at the very least entertained.
I've been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for awhile as I have become quite enamored with the world of food blogging. And while there will certainly be food here, I have since realized that I have neither the money nor the time to produce something tasty every day, or even every week. However, I'm also hoping that having readers to answer to might prompt me to get into the kitchen more often. So if you find you're a fan of the fare on this page, just bug me and I'll use the guilt to fuel me.
But let me begin by saying a bit about myself and what I hope to get out of this blog. To be honest, I probably shouldn't even be attempting an undertaking such as this. At the present, I'm smack dab in the middle of midterms, and I can barely perform basic function, let alone hope to appease my readers. And yet...I feel grounded writing this and imagining the eyes that scan the page. I imagine lips turning up at the corners in the beginnings of a smile, and I feel fulfilled. When I'm in panic mode, it's easy to let my problems compile, bearing the weight until I inevitably buckle. But life teaches us time and time again that there are always worse things. I have a home, I have a family, I'm studying to do something I love, and I have someone who loves me to share it with. In uncertain times such as these, I have been given the most precious of gifts.
And to be honest, for the first time in a long time, I am perfectly content with my life and the direction in which it is headed. These are the days I have been working towards, and I am simultaneously satiated and ravenous. Appeased and never satisfied. I feel these days are worthy of sharing, that they are substantial enough to warrant attention. It's liberating, and I think that is what I want the most from this experience. To allow my thoughts, hopes, ambitions, triumphs, and failures to flow forth so that they might touch a life. Maybe even yours.
I apologize for the immediate turn towards the philosophical. Not quite my intention. What I had meant to do was introduce myself, maybe tell you what the blog will be about. So I suppose I should throw out the things that interest me most.
Funny Cat Pictures (I thought we needed a picture break)
Yes, I am a product of the world of food bloggery. I fawn over them, aspire to their greatness, and bemoan the fact that I cannot photograph food to save my life. I always feel like food blogs with bad pictures are so amateur. How very hypocritical of me. But I digress. I love to cook, and I specifically love to bake. I can't say I come from a family of cooks, although my parents did have some pretty nifty specialties of their own. As it were, I'm not sure I can pin-piont my fascination, except to say that baking reminds me a lot of chemistry. Specific quantities added in a systematic manner which together create something wonderful. And just as basic foundation ingredients in chemistry can be combined to create something like aspirin, so too can butter, sugar, flour, and eggs be combined to create something equally capable of easing my headaches. How appropriate an analogy, as it leads me to my next great interest...
WAIT! If you're an artist or a writer or a musician or a historian or anything other than a science-oriented individual, don't stop reading. It's ok, sh sh sh sh, I promise there will be something here for you too. Maybe you've already made the connection to my blog title and a certain JD Salinger short story? If that doesn't do it for you, I'm sure I'll be telling you about how I think Water for Elephants is simply The Great Gatsby at the circus or how I can't read Harry Potter fanfics without becoming emotionally compromised.
But is is true that my heart now belongs to the world of scientific academia. I'm studying Marine Biology and to a lesser degree chemistry, and I'm doing it right on the edge of one of the largest marine sanctuaries in the country. And being the unimaginable, self-proclaimed dork that I am, I will be peppering random factoids of knowledge throughout this blog as I would season a nicely cooked piece of meat. It's necessary for a finished product. So...be prepared. I'm corny as all hell.
I maintain that I was born in the wrong generation. I collect vinyl, and a consider an afternoon perusing the record store to be an afternoon well spent. Oftentimes when I cook (or read or do homework or clean, etc.), I have a record playing on my wooden beast of a player. That being said, I'm not restricted to music old enough to warrant the medium, it's just my humble beginnings. I'm constantly looking for my new fix, and I have formed intense friendships based on the fact that we both wear over-the-ear headphones. Those are my kind of people. None of that teensy ear-bud crap. Unless they're Bose.
I imagine that those will be the three main focuses here. I'm a multi-faceted person, and there are things I hold dear to my heart that are not included on this list, but they aren't commonplace enough to expect frequent postings about them. And really, would it be any fun if I gave everything away up front? I mean, I could tell you I love sky-diving, but wouldn't it be more awesome to come to the blog and see a picture of me in mid-jump giving you a thumbs up? (Note: I've never done it, although it sounds fun) So, expect some surprises if you stick around. The fun in spontaneity is that it surprises even me.
And so...FIRST SPONTANEOUS SCIENCE FACT!!
Did you know baby blue whales gain 200 pounds a day while nursing?