Days 2.33 and 2.34

Feeling: not as nervous or jittery as I thought I’d be, strong winds
Smelling: instant coffee
Tasting: Rae’s “Taco Surprise,” doughs of various pastries
Hearing: a foilist screaming, the “gals” over for Galentine’s Day
Seeing: the busiest drags of Dublin in the pitch-dark

Épée was an interesting day. I confessed to Brian that I was scared I’d lose my composure on tournament day and embarrass myself, but with such low expectations, the actual experience exceeded them by a long shot. I only won one bout in the round robins, but lost my DE by only three points. Hey, that feels pretty good to me for my first épée tourney, alright?

I went back to Rae’s to nap and when I awoke I ate the improvised and delicious Tex-Mex dinner Rae graciously made for me, then packed up and headed out to the bus stop. I found my teammate Fionnan there; we were both very early according to the bus guy who suggested that we go get some coffee while we wait. I actually was feeling the need for some warm comfort drink, so I indulged in some decaf Starbucks. It also made us slightly less early for the bus. Worth it. The bus ride home I tried to snooze and couldn’t, but I listened to my Spotify Release Radar and found some great new songs.

The next day was meant for some serious rest in hopes that I could get closer to getting rid of my cold, but I also had a baking marathon planned and had to go get groceries. The trip to SuperValu was windy and dreary, and the walk back from the co-op felt like a trek up a mountain. But I was now well-equipped for baking as well as illness recovery foods.

First off was the chocolate cinnamon almond thumbprint cookies, which I baked on December 24 last year when I was alone in the apartment and fighting cabin fever, and which my mom called in shock and earnestness, “maybe the best cookies [I] have ever made.” I had a jar of strawberry jam in the fridge that someone had left us from last semester that I was trying to get rid of, since it’s great for pastries but I don’t care for it much on toast.

So I experimented with these cookies by making a batch that was par-baked and then filled, and one that was baked the whole time with jam. Both were delicious, but I think the par-baked is better for the ice cream sandwich I made with Ben & Jerry’s. Because when you have cold ice cream (review to come!) in the freezer and warm fresh cookies out of the oven, you’ve gotta seize the moment. Verdict is that the banana flavor gets lost between the jam and chocolate but it’s still delicious.

Next up was a very jammy pastry that’s a cookie but also a tart, Linzertorte! I used smitten kitchen‘s recipe cut in half because that blog is maybe one of the best baking blogs I know. And it was baked in a heart-shaped tin, another gift left to me from classmates last semester.

I spent the next hour or so lying in bed watching Community and think that hunger and fencing practice were the only things that got me up out of it. I actually turned up to practice half an hour late because I thought it was the Thursday training time instead of the Monday time, but oh well. I still got in some drilling, games, and footwork practice as well as some Serious Talk about Intervarsities.

The Apartment Five gals came upstairs for Galentine’s Day, where we had coffee, cider, my cookies and linzertorte, and Lizzie’s scones. It was a lovely, cozy, and loud time, which I would have enjoyed longer but I wanted to take the opportunity to Skype with Brian since our Tuesdays are pretty packed.

Getting to sleep was rough. You ever become way too aware of how you breathe? But eventually I quieted down my mind and body.

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