Boats Against the Current

Archive/RSS/Ask/Submit

The title of this blog comes from the closing sentence of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

About Me -- Facebook -- Steam -- Instagram -- Flickr -- Goodreads -- Academia.edu -- Last.fm -- 8-Tracks -- Svpply

Life Updates and a Recipe: The Heat of the Summer

It’s been hot. And not in the I’ll-lay-by-the-Potomac-and-get-burnt/tan kinda way. More the why-does-the-air-feel-like-a-wet-blanket kind of heat. 

In spite of all this oppressive heat, I wore my best suit to an important interview last week, threw a successful party for the new MAGIC kids (being an alum is fun), and spent a great deal of time haunting the farmer’s market near my apartment. Have I mentioned how much I love my neighborhood? No? Well, now you know.

Things that are making me happy this week: marzipan, mint, Martin Miller’s gin, Marcel Proust, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, and my Konica Auto 52. 

And this:

Masaledar Sem

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2pound (750 grams) fresh green beans
  • piece fresh ginger 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) long and 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) thick, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cup (350 milliliters) water, divided
  • 5tablespoons olive oil
  • teaspoons cumin seeds
  • dried hot chile, lightly crushed in a mortar or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • medium tomatoes, peeled (optional) and finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or more or less to taste)
  • lemon, halved
  • teaspoon ground, roasted cumin (see note above)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Procedures

  1. Trim the beans and cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch (10-millimeter) lengths. Put the ginger and garlic into the container of an electric blender or food processor. Add 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of water and blend until fairly smooth.
  2. Put the oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Five seconds later, put in the crushed chile or crushed red pepper flakes. As soon as it darkens, pour in the ginger-garlic paste. Stir and cook for about a minute. Put in the coriander. Stir a few times. Add the chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, mashing up the tomato pieces with the back of a slotted spoon as you do.
  3. Put in the beans, salt (maybe not all of it to start), and the remaining water. Bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove the cover and add the juice of half a lemon, the ground roasted cumin seeds (if using), and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Taste and adjust with more lemon, salt, or pepper as necessary.

Come Over - Clean Bandit ft. Stylo G

I would like to form a band made up of a classically trained violinist, a Scandinavian synth pop diva, and a South African rapper/”British reggae artist” (evidently that’s the genre that Stylo G favors). And then, said band would make more stuff like this. It’s bizarre and awesome and a little annoying and I can’t stop playing it. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. 

You can find more material from Clean Bandit on their webpage and on their soundcloud. The music video for Come Over is pretty strange, but probably worth watching. 

via SoundCloud / Clean Bandit

Some Nights, Some Days

You need half a bottle of shitty white wine, The Outs, and a facial scrub.

You need a thermos of coffee, Pop Culture Happy Hour, and the ability to purchase a pocket square from your phone in the bathroom.

Up in the sky swallows swooping, swerving, flinging themselves in and out, round and round, yet always with perfect control as if elastics held them; and the flies rising and falling; and the sun spotting now this leaf, now that, in mockery, dazzling it with soft gold in pure good temper; and now and again some chime (it might be a motor horn) tinkling divinely on the grass stalks—all of this, calm and reasonable as it was, made out of ordinary things as it was, was the truth now; beauty was the truth now. Beauty was everywhere.

Virginia Woolf (Mrs Dalloway) — And in one perfect, yet utterly gigantic sentence, I’m sold. 

tmeyrick asked: Any tips of increasing your chances at getting an internship? Also, it it worth it and if it is, how much does it affect schoolwork? Assuming that it will and/or might.

If I could go back and change anything about my college/graduate school experience, I would have immersed myself in an internship. Tbh, it’s hard to find a good one and it’s even harder to actually secure one, but it’s invaluable experience if you plan to enter the job market after graduation.

If you’re planning to attend graduate school an internship may be less valuable, but anything that differentiates you from the hordes of post grads can only count in your favor. 

Working will, of course, affect your school work. Doing anything aside from school work will affect your school work. However, I would suggest that professional experience (particularly in a career that interests you) matters more than graduating summa cum laude. …that is, of course, only my experience so you should take it with a grain (or a large pinch) of salt.

As far as increasing your chances of actually securing an internship…

As much as it pains me to say this, “networking” will help the most. Forming relationships with people who can speak on your behalf, contacting the internship coordinators directly, soliciting the opinions and resources of faculty members, and generally being “annoying” (e.g. double checking the status of your application, presenting yourself physically in the building to shake hands, etc.) often get results where nothing else does.