Day 2.71

Smelling: very dark coffee
Hearing: a very upbeat and kind of cheesy pop playlist, wind and rain outside
Feeling: tired, sore hand, flakniess of an almond croissant
Seeing: setting sun making cool shapes on the wall
Tasting: very sweet ice cream

It was a long day. After breakfast, I went to Hassett’s to work on an internship application because I’d just gotten turned down by my top choice the previous day. I’m happy that I got that out of the way, though. I had an almond croissant which was probably way more food than I desired at the moment but I hadn’t had an almond croissant since coming to Ireland, and if you lived abroad in Europe and didn’t even eat an almond croissant than what are you doing? It was snowing and cold and miserable when I woke up, too, so it felt like I had the café and the streets to myself.

I’m pretty proud of how things went that day, to be honest. Even though I didn’t want to go to any lectures, I did, and even though I didn’t want to study or draw afterwards, I did. I even treated myself to an obscene amount of ice cream (because apparently I’m really going for thrombosis today) and finished Dirk Gently’s and felt fine and went to bed at a reasonable hour. I really do need to form some sort of plan for my London trip and at least buy one theatre ticket.

Day 2.70

Day 2.69 has been skipped because nothing much happened, definitely not because I’m trying to avoid all the 69 jokes.

Seeing: cloudy grey drizzling sky
Smelling: eggs frying
Hearing: AM
Tasting: dark chocolate
Feeling: a surprisingly high amount of energy

I made sure to have a big breakfast since I would have a long and busy day ahead of me, and frankly I’m tired of of getting hungry by mid-morning. Indeed it carried me through my two Celtic Languages lectures and I started getting a little nervous about being ready for the in-class exam, but a little time in the library made me feel better.

I cleaned my room and to my amazement, I wasn’t too exhausted to go to History. As soon as I got back from it though, I was planning on chilling out and maybe doing some studying for the rest of the night. Instead, I saw that there was a speaker event about food entrepreneurship and there would be free donuts, so I asked Evan to come along and it was actually a very interesting and good time.

Then, I thought I could chill out, right? But instead Lillie was stuck on campus with nothing to do before she began work at 11, so I went over to the library and we made reservations for an apartment in Edinburgh. And then she wanted me to come with her to the Fish Wife for her pre-work dinner, and even though I wasn’t really hungry I couldn’t refuse.

It’s been a long day, but it’s been alright. I’m ready for it to end, though.

Sweet Review #22: Ben & Jerry’s Topped Salted Caramel Brownie

After the revelation of an ice cream that was Strawberry Swirled, my next two B&J flavors were far less fruity, equally as pastry-y (just pastry?), and much more caramel-y. Man, that opening sentence was a shame for someone who is usually decent at finding the adjectival forms of words. Moving on! My choices were between caramel cookie dough and salted caramel brownie. Thinking that brownies would be the better choice this time of the month, I opted for the latter.

that’s the spoonable topping. i think what they mean by “spoonable” is that you’re going to fall in love with it and wish you could spoon it in bed, until you realize that it melts all over your sheets and you’re left with another one getting away.

If you read my previous B&J review, you know that the Strawberry Swirled was rather slow to defrost and the topping never fully achieved the “spoonability” advertised on the carton. This one has neither of those problems. The topping is practically melting upon removal from the fridge, and while giving it some time to temper certainly helps scooping, it’s not very necessary. I hypothesize that this is due to two factors:

  1. Water content, because the Salted Caramel Brownie has less water than the Strawberry, which makes it icier. A problem I always have at home when I try to make fruit ice cream is that the berries just have so much water.
  2. Sugar content. The Salted Caramel is probably more sugary; it certainly tastes like it. Once ice cream (or any solution) becomes supersaturated with sugar, it won’t freeze completely.

The fact that this is a pale vanilla ice cream means that you can easily see the #chunks and #swirls in the ice cream. There’s plenty of the signature brownie chunks and caramel oozing throughout the carton, as well as a few of the chocolatey chunks that are on top.


An odd things about the topping is that it tastes distinctly like Nutella, yet it isn’t advertised with any mention of hazelnut except for in the ingredients list. That’s hardly a complaint, though.

My only two real complaints with this are about two very simple flavors: sweet and salty. I didn’t get much of the salted flavor, and the whole thing is just too sweet. Eating this ice cream isn’t like eating an actual salted caramel brownie with cream, and if the vanilla ice cream were just a little less sweet it might be closer to that. Otherwise, I don’t end up tasting that much brownie or chocolate.

Still, the fact that it’s quicker to defrost optimizes its “eat right out of the carton-ability” which is the whole point of buying a topped ice cream. I promise I’m usually better at adjectives. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t promise that.

Day 2.68

Seeing: the sun reflect off the turquoise water
Tasting: poached egg and vegetables
Smelling: really good Badger & Dodo coffee, the ocean
Feeling: sea spray, sea glass in my hand
Hearing: the train creaking

Today was a day of good timing. As soon as I woke up (almost 8 a.m.), Lillie texted me because she had only just gotten off work. So I got up, showered, and as soon as I was out Lillie was at the gate. So I let her nap in my bed while I wrote and drew, and I guess it was a good way to get me out of bed. We were supposed to go to Cobh with a friend that day, so it made the journey more efficient too.

We met our friend in city centre and caught the noon train, then went straight into the Yellow Door Café for brunch. Even if my sense of smell was somewhat dulled, I could appreciate the coffee like always. We visited the cathedral briefly, then had a walk up and down the water. Gill actually wore her swimsuit under her clothes and went for a swim while Lillie and I watched over her and her stuff. Lillie even found several large pieces of sea glass for me! She said Ireland is the best for sea glass because “they all go gattin’ on the beach.”

After arriving back at mine, I did some grocery shopping so I could make myself a halfway proper dinner. And now I’m lying in bed hoping I can get some studying and drawing done before I sleep.

Day 2.67

Tasting: brownie dipped in decaf coffee
Feeling: very tired, stretching muscles, sore knees
Seeing: my notes, green lights on campus, new Pokémon
Smelling: Nutella (on a canvas)
Hearing: The Age of the Understatement

Much of my morning was spent writing for my friend’s new website, A Lifetime of Chicken Rolls, a new student restaurant and food review site for Cork. I did most of this while lying on my front on a yoga mat in my kitchen, which is a welcome change from sitting at a desk.

Very few people were at training later that day, but I knew I wanted to go despite how tired and sore I was. Since there was only one other épéeist there I decided to do some foil that day, which was actually pretty fun. I got a bit on an abrasion on my leg from foil, ironically.

On my way back I made the mistake of trying to walk through campus in hope of shortening my route, but instead got stuck in there for a bit because most of the gates were locked. At least I caught some new Pokémon on Go.

After dinner, I thought I would do some more drawing that day but ended up watching more Dirk Gently’s and passing out. I really need to stop using screens so much before bed, but I really wanted to finish an entire episode in one sitting for once.

Day 2.66

Tasting: chips with curry and peas
Seeing: green lights
Hearing: live music of several genres, a grand piano in an empty church
Smelling: you know how the streets of Cork smell?
Feeling: sore legs, heavy bag

I sort of forgot that St Patrick’s day is often celebrated with like, a parade and public festivities in city centre so I got to the gym and the practice room a little late, causing me to miss it. But it turned out alright because after I’d finished pumping iron and tickling ivories, I got in touch with my USAC pals and met them in an American-style diner.

We wandered around for a while in search of live music. First was jazz across the street from the bistro; the bar it was in was too crowded to comfortably hang around in but they opened the windows and one could listen on the street. Even better was that the keyboardist was right next to the window!

Next we squeezed our way into a bar/club where my friend Lillie works, and stayed there for a while watching a sort of trad-rock band called Kesh. They played a few popular tunes, and I was thrilled when they played “South Australia” (which I knew from the Pogues) and the popular American song “Wagon Wheel.” They even played “Mr Brightside,” a song that holds a few bad memories for me, but I decided right then that I could now make some good memories with it so I danced and sang along.

Erin was craving dessert so we stopped by an ice cream place, then to one of my favorite places where we watched a band I could describe as funk-reggae-folk. They had both a banjo and a bongo player along with the typical guitars and drums, if that gives you an idea of what they’re like.

My group was ready to go back to the trad-rock bar from earlier, but I knew that my sick self needed an early bedtime, some chips, and to watch The Young Offenders which came out on Netflix recently. Okay, the latter two probably weren’t as necessary. But I was determined to get my curry, peas, and chips, as months ago I had ordered just that and got cheese instead of peas. It was still delicious, but redemption was waiting. And The Young Offenders is a Cork movie, so if I was going to do another Irish thing that day it’d better be that, I suppose. I did a bit of drawing and passed out.

Day 2.65

Seeing: a box full of hamantaschen, emptier classrooms
Hearing: “All the Things You Are” on piano and trombone
Tasting: chocolate oatmeal
Feeling: tired, too much caffeine, warm weather, light drizzle
Smelling: wet cement

What got me out the door in the morning was having a partner rehearsal scheduled in the music building at 10 a.m. It was probably good that I had a commitment to get me to start my day, but I was way too tired to deal. The rehearsal went decent anyway, and maybe now we have finals to look forward to I’ll actually practice.

I made it through my Food Policy and my History lectures, to which plenty of my classmates didn’t show up. It was surely due to the holiday weekend starting early for some, as it tends to do.

Shamefully, I skipped fencing that night, but so were many people. Instead I used my time to watch Dirk Gently’s HDA, write my restaurant review, and talk to friends.

Day 2.64

Tasting: veggie pad thai
Smelling: slightly burned toast
Hearing: one of my bandmates in jazz ensemble sing (really well!)
Seeing: sunlight stream into the café in the Glucksman, the latest UCC Express
Feeling: exhausted, difficulty sleeping, brisk breeze, new multicolored pens in my notebook

I woke up and went back to sleep for just 40 minutes, which turned out to be actually sufficient for feeling more awake. A morning nap, a yoga flow, and some extra food got me out the door eventually to meet Lillie to buy our tickets to Edinburgh. Funnily enough, even after she left I ran into three other fencing friends on campus.

Lecture was interesting enough, we learned more about milk enzymes. In the break between lecture and rehearsal I sat myself down in the library to work on Celtic languages, and having no more functioning colored pens, Lillie so kindly brought me a new pack.

Rehearsal was alright. I tried singing “Misty” but it was no less difficult than last time I tried it, so I decided to just play piano for now. Almost as soon as I got back to my place, I went to meet Evan for dinner in town to try a new southeast Asian street food place. It’s always lovely seeing him, and no spoilers for the review, but the meal turned into a pleasant surprise.

Day 2.63

Feeling: slightly sore throat
Tasting: Gubeen on rye toast with mustard
Smelling: a little bit of sweat, perfume
Hearing: Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark
Seeing: a sunset stream into the kitchen

I know I start off a lot of my posts with how I wake up, but today’s wakeup was particularly difficult. I’d gone to bed a little past midnight and woke up at about half-seven, but the extra conditioning I’d done right before bed probably exhausted me more than I’d like to admit. To add to my distress, the cold-brew coffee I made wasn’t strong enough this time. I started my lectures very slowly.

But I got a second wind eventually, and since the weather was lovely I decided to go into town to get some shopping done. I even arrived back at my apartment with enough time to lie in bed and catch up on Steven Universe. I always know how bad of an idea it is to lie down before I have another lecture, but I still made it to that last lecture in time.

Since it is Pi day and I didn’t feel like making a dessert, I made a quiche! Or something like a quiche; it was probably more veg than egg. I wish I could say I did more things that evening but I was exhausted. That’s often just how Tuesdays go for me, unfortunately.

Day 2.62

Feeling: the sweatiest I’ve been in a while
Tasting: Gubbeen and Arsdallagh goat cheeses on rye
Smelling: ginger tea
Seeing: sunshine reflecting off the wet pavement, fish being cut under water
Hearing: Hugh lead fencing drills, new Steven Universe music

At the advice of my friend Evan, I set my alarm a little earlier than usual after staying up late so I wouldn’t sleep in too much. As in, I set my alarm at all because I wasn’t planning on making it anywhere early.

But it was a good thing I did wake up early enough, since I got to go shopping in the English Market for bread, cheese, and fish for once. I got hazelnut rye bread– one I’d wanted to try for a while. I was overwhelmed by the selection of fresh fish that sat on ice with no barrier to prevent me from dropping money into an open mouth, but decided that a trout fillet would be good for the evening. And as for cheese, there were many to choose from. So I opted for the goat cheese in the wettest, messiest wrapper I could find since I figured it would be the freshest. It actually turned out to be quite pungent. And I wanted to try Gubbeen, but not the smoked kind.

I spent a little time lying on the floor catching up on Steven Universe, and (proud of myself) got to the practice room and got a decent hour in. Following this streak of productivity, I went to the library and went over my Celtic languages stuff, even if only for about half an hour.

I had to get to fencing that night, and had to wear glasses but thankfully no masks were involved tonight. I worked on the parry prime, which was pretty unfamiliar to most of us. I also learned that we have squad training after Monday night practice, and decided to attend that for the first time. Most of it was lower-body and core exercises.

It’s sort of odd, there was no particular point in either training session when I started to feel especially tired, but by the time I got back to my apartment I was wiped out. Still, I wanted to make that fish tonight, so I baked in en papillote with lemon, red bell peppers, and green onions.