Humans Vs. Zombies

Housing just finished their 3rd annual Humans vs. Zombies month long event.  This was the first year I was interested and was able to participate.  After listening to all of the rules and such my roommate and I decided it would be fun.  Everyone starts out as a humans and there is one original zombie.

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Everyone participating in the game is marked with a band, orange for human and green for zombie, except the original zombie who is not supposed to be known and wears an orange band and has a special ID card.  Each zombie must “eat”/tag one human a day and report it, otherwise they are out.  Each zombie and human had to check into the housing office once a day or they are out of the game.  The goal of the game was to be the last human standing, or kill off all of the humans.  There were safe zones, like no one was allowed to be tagged while in class or in a building on campus, being under a balcony/overhang in the dorms was also a safe zone marked by yellow tape.  Humans were allowed to use clean socks to stun zombies for 15 minutes, enough to get away (and recollect your socks).

The night before the game started I decided to do a little math in my head, see how many zombies there could be within the week, that is if a zombie only ate one human a day, and all of them survived, by the 7th day there would be 64 zombies running around, this gave me some frights.  Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do before going to sleep, but wait were there even 64 participants or would the game be over by that time.

The first day was probably the most horrifying because you didn’t know who the original zombie was.  For all I knew it could have been my roommate and she was just acting scared.  You think you would feel safe, but I felt the most paranoid, anyone could tag me, I had to be cautious around every turn.  I was strategic in how I played, how I moved, tried to avoid open spaces, tried to walk when it wasn’t crowded meaning waiting in a building until classes started.  By the end of day 1 there were at least 3 people who had turned into zombies.  Lucky for me I wasn’t one of them.

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Day two and three may or may not have been worse.  Day two was worse.  I was stressing out, I was on my way to my second class and saw a zombie, he almost got me, my heart was pounding.  I was sitting in class and almost wanted to tare off my band and give up, after two days I was paranoid and all I wanted to do was stay inside and avoid people but with classes and such it wasn’t possible.  My roommate had been turned on day two, and said that she wouldn’t tag me if we were together.  I was even more cautious by day 3, it was the end of the week, I only had one class but there was more zombies out there to get me.  But I made it, and I was happy.

They had mentioned doing antivirus drops and such during the course of the month.  The first one came the first Friday of the month, 3 sets of vaccinations were dropped in 3 different locations around housing, and the vaccinations were only allowed to be used that day.  The next day they gave out 5 free days of life.  As in the first five people to go into housing and ask were either allowed a day of not having to sign in (humans) or a day where they didn’t have to feed (zombies).

After a week of play housing was feeling what I might consider generous.  They allowed new people to come and join in the game (I think because so many people died out the first week), they also allowed 5 zombies to come and turn back into humans.  They wanted to keep the zombie outbreak under control, its a good thing or the humans wouldn’t have survived another couple days.  I mean the best strategy for zombies I think would be to stalk out the housing office waiting for an unsuspecting human to come and get them.

The game was hard to say the least.  I know plenty of people were paranoid and afraid.  I know a few zombies dropped out after they got turned, they just couldn’t get themselves to change another person, and I don’t blame them.  I’m not sure I would have been able to do it, I would have felt guilty.

I lasted 3 days as a human, and lasted 0 days as a zombie.  I ended up having to drop out of the game because I decided to go home for the weekend to celebrate my birthday with my family, and while I could make that drive to go check in and come back, it wasn’t worth it to me.  They said next year they might make a birthday clause for that case, but I wouldn’t hold it to them.  It was fun while it lasted, and I would definitely do it again next year just hope I survive a little longer.

The game ended on October 22 with one human standing.  Congratulations to the one human!

Monday Pick Me Up’s

Does the beginning of the week always tend to drag for you? Hate waking up after a long weekend knowing you’ve got a full week of classes ahead? Are Mondays just a day you hate?  Well, then maybe I can help…

Every Monday the University Student Union has some sort of Monday pick-me-up, to help make your Monday just a little better.

The time frame usually ranges from 12-2 (although I’ve learned from experience if you get there at 1:50 they might be out of some things).  To give you an idea here are some of the things they’ve given out.

This past Monday they gave out a free stylus pen, and the week before they gave out free USB wristbands!  Free USB for college students, sounds good to me!

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USB Wristbands

 

About a month ago they were giving away free donuts and hot chocolate.  This was the day I was running late, so they were out of donuts, and even though it was a hot day, I wasn’t passing up free hot chocolate.  I’m somewhat glad I didn’t either, because later I noticed a little note written on the cup, cheering me on.

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Back in September, about a week before the color run they were giving out cookies that they made to support and promote the run a little more.  They even designed the cookies to look like a running man. So cute!

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You should definitely check out the USU Hallways on Mondays, the people working there are always friendly, and you never know what you’re going to get.

All pictures from the Warrior Activities Center Facebook page. 

What I’ve learned…

This may not be a list of a million things, but instead one big thing, that I think everyone should know.

Being in a new town I would think most people would want to try something different, go to a place you’ve never been that you can’t find in the town you are originally from.  Did that make sense at all?  Let me clear that up.  I’m a person who if I have the chance would rather try something new then go to a big chain restaurant that you could find almost anywhere in the world, or at least in the United States.

Turlock is no exception, yes there is In and Out, Chipotle, and even an Olive garden, but these are all places I could go to anytime and I’m also the kind of person who would rather help out the little companies or small businesses then those big corporations.  I try and use yelp for convenient suggestions of places to try and go.

A few weeks ago I was looking for some new food to try and a different place to go with my boyfriend.  I was looking for either a good Mexican restaurant or a Chinese place, because I realized we tend to eat a lot of burgers or pizza, yes time for a little change.  The one slight problem was that we were meeting up around 9 o’clock, and most places closed at 9pm.

You now see my dilemma.  The only choice for Chinese food was Panda Express, no thank you.  There were a couple more choices for Mexican food, Hallelujah! We went and tried out Memo’s Cocina on W. Main Street, which only opened a few months ago.  It was pretty quiet, and I’m pretty sure we were the last customers to come it, but it was worth it to try something new.

Now comes this past week where we were going out to celebrate my birthday.  I’m going to blame my Tuesday night class for this one,  even though I got out relatively early, but usually it runs until 8:40pm.  This time I wasn’t so picky about where we ate because I knew that many places were going to be closed by the time we got there.  We had been to 10 East and Dustbowl before and both of their yelp pages said they were open till 10 so we believed we had some luck.  Of course we weren’t as lucky as we believed, they were both on the same street, so we stopped by one checked in, and their kitchen closed at nine and we had the same problem at the second one, their kitchen also closed at 9 (sorry to those of you who are under 21…get there early).  I mean it was nice these places were open so that you could watch the Giants game (they won by the way!) but since I hadn’t eaten since around 1pm, I was a little hungry.  Even Memo’s was closed! Ugh

Based on minimal knowledge and the time frame, we were very limited on what we could do and where we could go for food.  At the time the only places I knew of were Olive Garden and Red Robin that were at least sit down places to eat.  Obviously not my first choices (or second or third) but at least we were able to sit down, enjoy a nice dinner, and watch the Giants celebrate their victory.

Moral of my little story, check online or make sure if you want to eat somewhere after 9pm in Turlock that they are open.  You really don’t want to be standing outside somewhere looking for a place to eat on a week night.

Pottery Magic

How about we talk about some fun?  At least I thought it was fun.  Housing hosted an event a couple weeks ago where Pottery Magic of Modesto came and let us paint mugs or plates.  I had never heard of them before, and the flyer that was sent out was a little vague, so we weren’t sure if we were painting, decorating or creating these objects.  My roommate thought it might have been something like color me mine, but that was something I had never done, so all of this was a mystery to me.  

We showed up Friday afternoon waiting to see what we were going to be doing.  A representative from Pottery Magic and one of our community leads in housing drove up with all sorts of boxes that were filled with paint and painting accessories as well as plates and cups.

This kind of painting was a little more difficult then something you could do on your own because after the painting they go and glaze and fire the piece after we finish.  With that being said, you couldn’t just do one layer of paint, or it would probably come out pretty faint or not at all, it had to be three layers at least.  Three layers, as in you have to wait for the first layer to dry before you started the second layer, or it wouldn’t count, this is what made this so time consuming.

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It didn’t mean it wasn’t fun though.  Although I think the hardest part for me was deciding how I wanted to paint it.  What kind of decoration.  Google happened to be my best friend for this reason.  Yes creativity is inside me, but sometimes I need just a little bit of help.

About half way through it ended up getting pretty dark, and trying to paint and not make any mistakes was just about impossible.  Most people ended up using their phones for some extra light, or move under the few lights that surrounded the area, but there weren’t tables there.

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My roommate said I look so focused

Please tell me someone gets this?

Please tell me you get this?

Everyone seemed to be so creative, and have different ideas.  Some people had quotes, others painted different things, the last second I saw someone paint a penguin on a plate.  Oh my god, it was amazing, and yes I was jealous!! Its been almost two weeks and I can’t wait to see what the final product looks like.

Roasted Strawberry Banana Bread

One of my goals for the year was to try out some new recipes, and experiment a little more with baking. I have been reading skimming recipes from skinnytaste.com for over a year now, and bookmarking the ones that I thought looked good or were something I was willing to try.  About a month ago I finally went back and printed about 7-8 recipes ranging from smoothies, bread/muffins, and frittatas.  My first try at a new recipe was the roasted strawberry banana bread, since I had made banana bread so many times before I thought it was nice to be able to make something I hadn’t made a million times before.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cups strawberries, diced
  • 3 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • baking spray

 

Sorry I just wanted to show off my resourcefulness of using these extra jars we had for baking stuff at school
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350, lightly spray a loaf pan with baking spray.  Place strawberries on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, roast and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk.  Set aside.
In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer.  Add egg whites, bananas, apple sauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick .
Add flour mixture and blend at low speed until combined, do not over mix.  Fold in strawberries and pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake in the center rack for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Skinny taste had some slight changes based on ingredients such as only using the egg whites, less butter/margarine, brown sugar instead of white, and whole wheat flour instead of regular flour, although it is called skinny taste so I would think it isn’t as much caloric intake and is a little healthier then other recipes you might find.
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*First recipe: mainly a success.  It did sink a little and looked a little deflated after sitting out of the oven for a while, but then again the banana bread I make usually does too.  Definite strong taste of the strawberries.  My only change might be the roast process, the recipe says to dice the strawberries (which I think of small pieces) maybe just slicing them would do the trick.  The dicing made the strawberries stick to the pan some, other wise I might suggest rotating the strawberries after 10 minutes or so.
Recipe from:  Skinny Taste

For when you’re missing home

Whether you live in the dorms or off campus with some friends there’s a high chance that you will get home sick (at least eventually).  And I’m sure not everyone has the opportunity to drive home on a whims notice to see family.  I’m sort of trying this new thing out myself where I don’t go home and see family every other weekend, but instead once a month, which is a little harder, but it does save a lot on gas (did I mention I drive about 100 miles each way).  That being said I tend to miss my family, and being home a whole lot more then usual.

I’ve got a few suggestions, one mainly being go out and have fun with your friends or roommates, or get to know roommates a little more.  What do I mean by that?

  • Have/make dinner together
  • Go workout together, whether you are spotting each other or doing a class together
  • Go study together
  • Support each other (if on a sports team or in some type of art/music program)
  • Play games or go bowling
  • Go to a concert
  • Have a movie night
  • Go shopping together (maybe that’s just a girl thing)

What I’m trying to say is go have some fun, enjoy yourself and don’t be alone.  I’ve found that it’s better to go out and have some fun then to sit around lonely because it tends to make you miss home even more.  Being able to feel welcome in your own dorm/apartment makes it feel more like the home you left and makes the transition a little easier.  Having that comfort also makes you more open to those you live with, more willing to share your problems or feelings, and you don’t feel as secluded.    And if that still doesn’t work I would suggest getting a Skype account or some other type of video chat so that you can see faces and feel like you are back at home.

Do you have any suggestions to avoid being home sick?

 

 

 

……..And in case you were wondering, the Color Run was pretty awesome.  Here’s a before picture where with my roommate and RA where we are all nice and clean.  

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The after picture where I was covered in color in places I didn’t even realize.  It was totally worth it, and fun being out there.

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Color Run

There is a lot happening this up coming weekend including StanFest, the StanFest Carnival, and our first annual COLOR RUN!  I’ve always wanted to participate in one of these runs, and they look so fun, I just usually end up working or missing out completely because I hear about it after it happens.  This time it will be at our school this Saturday, the race starts at 9:30, and you can register now in the Warrior Activities Center, it is only $20 for Stanislaus State students and $30 for non students.  Also if you register early enough there is a chance you could get a free T-shirt.  I’m pretty excited about the shirt to be honest.

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I’ll admit, I probably won’t run most of it, I’m not the best runner, and while running 5K might be easy for some people, on a Saturday morning I’m usually pretty lazy.  It should be a lot of fun, so if you’re up Saturday morning and want something to do, either sign up and participate or come and cheer on your friends.  I’ll see you there!

Lets make a stand

For many returning students you most likely noticed the changes in main dining, the warrior grill, and Pop’s store, and let’s be honest here they aren’t all good changes.

Last year I loved the burrito bar in main dining, I would go about once a week and get a delicious tasting burrito every single time.  Since the semester has started I’ve only gone there twice, besides the fact that the burrito bar is somewhat pushed into the corner (not that us having a Vietnamese food place is a bad thing) but the burrito bar used to take up more space, and had a wider selection of food to put inside such as lettuce or jalapenos.   The other thing is the last few times I’ve gone to the burrito bar, my burrito hasn’t tasted the same, the meat has been flavorless, more like they just cooked in with no seasonings, and my tortilla has been dry, which makes the entire burrito taste well, bad.

The other changes I have noticed are the menus are a little smaller, as in they are missing items they had last year.  Both the menu in main dining and some of those in the warrior grill as well.  For example the burrito bar had nachos, tacos, and carne asada fries, there is a chance that they still have these items, but unless you ask for them specifically your choices are limited to burrito bowls, burritos, and salads.  The salad bar in main dining has become less, you pay more for the food, but get a smaller salad then you did last year, how is that fair?  The grill menu has also changed; they now offer coffee only during the hours of 9 and 11am, I’m pretty sure there are people that want coffee after 11.  Their menu has also been cut short, changed and some items replaced.  They no longer list the California grilled cheese on their menu (its avocado, basil/spinach, cheese and tomatoes), the different salads, nachos, quesadillas, and fried pickles (which were a new item last year).  The new menu mainly consists of burgers, a few different sandwiches, chicken tenders and fries.  Yes, there is a chance you can ask for all of these things if you know about them, but any new student wouldn’t know about these items and just be plain out of luck.

Their change in menu whether it cuts down on cost or not, if the quality of food isn’t as good, and if there isn’t as much of a variety then why tease us with these items and then take them away?  It is somewhat discouraging their changes making me less likely to go buy the food there.  I mean there isn’t even a soda machine in Pop’s anymore, and their selection of food items and such is very small now!! (Sorry I didn’t really go into Pop’s a lot, but I know they’ve downsized a lot).

I say lets make a stand!  I’ve talked to friends who have eaten there, and they aren’t happy with the changes to the food and the quality of the food.  To make a difference you have to be that difference!  There are comment cards in each of the dining areas to leave notice about your food experience, if you aren’t happy fill one out!  If enough of us complain they are bound to have to change things for the better, after all we as students are their main customers and if we aren’t happy with the food, then they should know about it.

There’s a chance that I eat strange things

Actually it’s not more of a chance, it is just true. My roommates have looked at me more than once in the past couple years wondering what I am eating/making.  I can’t help it sometimes.  Being in the dorms means no home cooked meals every night (well there is the Cafe), but I don’t eat there every night, so that means I have to make due with food I have.  And sometimes I experiment with food, or make things people think are strange.

There was one night my roommate saw me making macaroni and cheese (every college students favorite meal), and then watched me put Tabasco sauce inside.  Yes I said Tabasco sauce.  She gave me a strange look, like I was crazy, I’m sure most people only use Tabasco for eggs, but it was what I had at the time and I wanted to experiment some.  I like to think of it as making the Mac and cheese a little more flavorful, and spicy, which in the end is why I decided to call it Spicy Mac and Cheese.  Of course my roommate did end up testing out the theory (or whatever you may call it) the next time she made Mac and Cheese, although I think she tried it with Tapatio sauce instead, she liked it just the same.

Next up is what I call a homemade hash browns, I’m sure that I’m not the only one that calls them that, but when my roommate asked me why I was shredding a potato I told her I was making a hash brown, she may have still been confused, but seemed happy with my response. This is something kind of simple in the fact that all I did was fry a shredded potato.  Of course I added some salt and pepper to add some flavoring, and sometimes I drop an egg on top, which I like to think helps keep it together.  It all tastes the good to me, and since it is nice and easy to make, I don’t mind making it for dinner, breakfast, or even lunch (if I have time).  For me in particular I also tend to dip it in salsa brava to give it slightly more flavor, I’m sure Ketchup would work just as well to add flavor but not spice.  I enjoy it, but that may also be because I love potatoes and like looking for new ways to cook them.

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At home I’m considered the fruit monster, because usually when I come looking for something to snack on its fruit, and if its something simple like cuties or bananas I’ll just eat a million of them (mainly the cuties).  I’m just the same way at school, one of my big buys is always fruit mainly apples and bananas. Bananas are good by themselves, nice and easy to grab and go in between classes, but if there’s time I do enjoy putting peanut butter or even nutella on them, trust me its delicious!

Technically you could put peanut butter on apples too, I’m sure it’s been done.  My latest crave with apples tends to be apples and cheese.  I’m sure someone introduced me to the idea of it a while ago, but it has recently come back as one of my favorite snacks.  Cut up the apple, get some slices of cheese (I’d suggest using cheddar) put them together and you’ve got a decently healthy snack.

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I’m hoping these don’t sound completely strange, and I don’t scare anyone away.  I’d like to know if anyone else tends to experiment with food or make things that others might give you strange looks for eating?

I think I’ve got this down

This is now my third year at Stanislaus State, and my third year living in the dorms, and now I think I’ve finally got the whole moving in thing down.

Lets start off with I’m not running left and right to try and get items to make the room feel more like home.  My first year here I had nothing, well I had bedding, and my bulletin board, and maybe a desk decoration, but the room at first looked a little boring, at least compared to my other roommates it did.  I went and got a rug, a nightstand, a couple throw pillows, and a picture frame; it gave the room a little more color and made it pop.  Of course during the course of my first year here I found things at my house and slowly brought them and hung them or used them to decorate.  Give me a break guys, it was my first year living in the dorms, and my first year not living with my parents I wasn’t sure how to decorate or how boring the room looked with what I had.

Year after year (or the two, now three years) I’ve learned what I want, and what I don’t want in my room, how to arrange things and where to put them.  This year hopefully I won’t be running to the store for something else to hang up or decorate with, everything has its place, my dorm isn’t to full of stuff, but there is some color to make it pop.

I actually ended up getting up getting new bedding over the summer because my other comforter was falling apart, although that was partially my fault because I tend to do homework on my bed instead of at a desk.  The wall decal above the bed isn’t to bold, so I might end up putting some pictures underneath, I’m not sure yet.

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While I might not be completely happy with the arrangement between the closet and bedroom door, that’s what I get for not remembering everything.  The picture frame might come down and I’ll move the pictures somewhere else.  And hey as a chemistry student, it’s always nice to have a periodic table to look up at.

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My work space/TV space/get ready in the morning space.  My mom bought me that little wall decal last year, but I never found a place to put it, so I’m glad I figured something out this year.  I really like it.

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Like I said, I might actually have this whole living in the dorms things down.