Psycho-Babble Social Thread 1053049

Shown: posts 1 to 15 of 15. This is the beginning of the thread.


stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on October 25, 2013, at 21:22:02


in honor of my new place having a stove top i've decided to get a stove top coffee maker. like this one:

i've heard there is much controversy...

do you wash it with soapy water to get rid of the randid coffee oils or do you regard them to be an important part of the seasoning process?

is that particular brand important or can i go store generic?

thoughts on grinders?

i love coffee... mmmmm...


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by Phil on October 25, 2013, at 21:58:12

In reply to stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on October 25, 2013, at 21:22:02

That's cool!


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by gadchik on October 26, 2013, at 7:57:35

In reply to stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on October 25, 2013, at 21:22:02

Very sleek! This is what we use
I must have my coffee in the morning!


Re: stove top espresso alexandra_k

Posted by Partlycloudy on October 26, 2013, at 8:06:38

In reply to stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on October 25, 2013, at 21:22:02

That's like ours! We don't use soap on the inside bits, just a really good rinse. Like a teapot. Dish soap on the exterior, but it will weather soon. We have a Braun electric mill, which you'd use to make a coarse grind. Have tried SO many ground espresso coffees, but we only like the expensive ones. Defeats the purpose (for my husband).
Using a grinder, you can put anything you like in there.
Have fun, and stay tethered to the earth.


Re: stove top espresso Phil

Posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 15:49:05

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by Phil on October 25, 2013, at 21:58:12

Yeah. It does make delicious coffee. That is what interests me the most :-)


Re: stove top espresso gadchik

Posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 15:52:45

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by gadchik on October 26, 2013, at 7:57:35

That is pretty cool!

There was this wonderful cafe in Wellington (that I miss very much) that had all kinds of coffee makers around the place. They had courses / evening workshops in coffee tasting. It was something that I really wanted to do since they made WONDERFUL coffee - but I never really had the funds to do it.

I remember that machine in particular!

I'm not keen on getting something that needs maintenance (filters). But I would really like to try it out one day.

I remember filter coffee a lot from the US. We don't really use filter or drip machines over here. Mostly people use plungers / french presses or sometimes these stove tops.

Though (perhaps oddly) I learned all about the stove top from my Mexican friend in Australia.


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by gadchik on October 26, 2013, at 16:09:29

In reply to Re: stove top espresso gadchik, posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 15:52:45

Everybody in our extended family balks at our "chemistry thingy" coffee maker! They always bring their drip makers when they stay over. They've even bought us "real" coffee makers, but we put them away and always go back to Chemex!


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 16:12:41

In reply to Re: stove top espresso alexandra_k, posted by Partlycloudy on October 26, 2013, at 8:06:38

> That's like ours! We don't use soap on the inside bits, just a really good rinse.

Yeah, that is what I thought. That is what people are telling me. I just don't quite get it because I know that if you aren't super-careful to wash out vats etc that store coffee then it tastes bitter - something about rancid coffee oils. I don't understand why brewing equipment isn't similar. I know that (once) when I ran out of dishwashing detergent and just rinsed my glass plunger with hot water the coffee I made in it tasted foul. I do wash out teapots with soapy water. I have come to learn that most people don't... I don't udnerstand how that doesn't affect the taste...

I guess it must be something to do with the metal that makes it different... Which is what makes me a little cautious about purchasing a store brand. In case they went cheap on the particular metal they are using... It sounds the same and smells the same, though. It would be odd to lick it in the store, yeah?

It is still cheaper than buying espresso, even with expensive beans. Admittedly, this still wouldn't stop me buying espresso. It wouldn't stop me using the french press either, actually. This would be more of a special occasion thing. Since it takes a while to make and it makes... Well... The way I like to make it involves 3 tablespoons of coffee for around a cup. Basically... This is for study emergency / Saturday mornings...

A huge part of it is just because I can. Because it isn't the sort of thing that I can do in a communal living situation without everyone thinking I'm some kind of selfish bitch (even though they have both more money than me and pay less rent than me). I mean here people started out making noises that my plunger coffee smelt good. People will accept it if I offer it to them. People won't buy it or otherwise reciprocate items of comparable value, though. I'm not going to provide the whole house with coffee... I continue to use my plunger - taking it off to my room as soon as I've poured the water in. Taking 20 minutes to brew the machine on the slow electric stove would send people running from several houses over lolz.

At the very least I couldn't quietly read the paper or listen to the birds or whatever taking any pleasure of anticipation from the growing smells...

Tragedy of the commons indeed.

Oh, I am going to enjoy this, f*ck yeah!

But yeah... I am going to have to see about a grinder...

(PS you can't grind basil into pesto with a grinder. Not really. But not though lack of trying)


Re: stove top espresso alexandra_k

Posted by Partlycloudy on October 26, 2013, at 18:08:21

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 16:12:41

I don't know why we don't properly clean the espresso maker, but we did the French press. The filtered coffee maker gets a full clean too, the non electric bits.
Teapots I have just been brought up that they become "seasoned" by not being washed out. I haven't seen anything online (at tea sites) to the contrary.

And pesto. My favourite feel good food. I make mine in a food processor that refuses to die. 26 freakin years and that machine continues to work. I have all these multiple sized blades for slicing, and I use 1. And 2 blades for shredding. The pesto is the chopping blade. Yum. I make another one with roasted red (sweet) pepper that is nice, too.

Now I am getting an appetite.


Re: stove top espresso Partlycloudy

Posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 22:20:38

In reply to Re: stove top espresso alexandra_k, posted by Partlycloudy on October 26, 2013, at 18:08:21

i suspect you are right on the 'seasoned' thing.

i got the coffee machine. it was only twenty bucks so if it cr*ps out on me, too bad. it won't get heavy use anyway. i suspect if there is a problem with it it will be a problem with the rubber seal. it came with an extra one. if i get a years use out of it i'll be happy.

but now you got me looking at grinders. damn it. they aren't cheap. but of course i need one of those... i think i might wait for pre or post christmas sales...

i never did get a slow cooker... don't really see the point now since i spend enough time at home to simply use a pot on the stove when i'm home...


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 17:26:18

In reply to Re: stove top espresso Partlycloudy, posted by alexandra_k on October 26, 2013, at 22:20:38

So... Things have gotten tricky, rather.

There aren't enough hours in the day to keep on top of all my classes. So it is about damage control, really. That is usually what happens... I'd been expecting it... But I'd been expecting it for week 4/5 not starting from week 3... The bugs thing f*ck*d things up considerably. Sleep deprivation and my needing to be out of my room so messing up my eating and studying habits, too...

The worst thing is that all three of my classes have major tests scheduled for week 6. Right before a two week study break / teaching recess. You would think they would schedule tests for AFTER the study break so you could use the study break to study for the tests... But I guess the idea is that first years will use the break as a party break so better test them before everything they have managed to learn thus far falls out... And so (once again) I feel like my learning (ability to demonstrate learning in testing conditions) suffers considerably because of the study choices of 'most people'.

To compound the situation... I have court that week, too. I have a lab that week. I have a physics assignment due the end of the week before. And a learning needs assessment thing that week. A meeting where I take evidence of my dx, at any rate. Learning disability office... A few people work there. They all say they specialize in 'hidden disability' like autistic spectrum so... We will see...

I've had a couple meetings. One with the biology first year convener that didn't go well... I posted about that already. One with a chemistry deputy head... That went quite differently. He is obviously... A poster child kind of PR person... He was very calm and reasonable etc etc. Managed to make me feel good about my B+ which is no mean feat, really. But he is going to ask if I can observe labs. Which will give me practice at wearing my lab coat and goggles at the very least. Get over my panic phobia of the place. But that will involve him needing to approach people from last semester who (apparently) found me to be 'confrontational'.

I've realized... Chemistry gets tons of students. Many thousands of tons of students. Tens of thousands... More... Because there is the perception of industry... Most people think that chemistry is a good thing to do to get a respectable job. And also labs are fun eeee! So...

There are 'hidden areas'. Whole buildings with swipe card access. It is like my old university used to be like (before a merger) with research schools being kept very distinct from faculties (where the later dealt to the undergraduate teaching). I found a newspaper article about how they found a guy who was pretending to be a medical student (he rocked up for classes including cadaver dissection laboratory and even saw patients a little bit) before they discovered that his place for medicine had been declined and he wasn't enrolled. So, that justifies the security... The swipe card building access...

Anyway... The grad students are imports. Not many come through from undergrad. So... The research school-y places... Don't bother so much about them. It isn't like they feel the need for a recruitment drive or anything like that... So... You do get tons of people who are employed to keep the happy kids... Uh... Happy. Herd them through, collect their money, redistribute that to the research schools as much as possible for cool equipment and so on and so forth so that people who actually give a f*ck might be able to make an honest contribution to science. Or, uh, something...


I met the course convener for Bio, too. In order for me to get clearer on his role / power as course convener. Whether I had to go through the first year co-ordinator or whether that whole situation could be bypassed. Anyway... He wasn't in the office where he said he would be holding office hours. That turned out to be the Tuakana (maaori and pacific island) help corner... I guess the thought being that lots of students would get chatting to one of those people and not bother him... And of course they told me that he had probably gone for coffee... And I'm not an idiot so I emailed him (because of course he thought nobody would actually want to see him who couldn't be diverted from a bunch of happy people wanting to have happy chats...) And then he arrived but I'd stormed off... So he needed to wait for me to come back... And he was pissy... But I could hold my own... And of course I brought a decent go of a mussel gill (which was a bit of work, actually) and a decent question... To demonstrate how I'm willing to work and am not an idiot... And then I asked him about his role as coordinator and told him that I was having some struggles with labs... And anyway... He was fairly alright, actually.

The lab didn't go so well. Lab partner hadn't done any of the pre-reading. She didn't bring an eraser (yet again) and she didn't bring any paper (they supplied it last week - but they expected people to have cottoned on to needing it and most people seemed to have). When she asked to use my ruler I lost it rather (since we need to draw at least 3 different things with about 15 structures a piece). I held it together to be polite but jeez...

She dissected my grasshopper, in reparation, i guess. They were tiny. Our demonstrator was very apologetic about that, actually. Turns out my lab partner is a virtuoso dissector. Her secret: She's got nice long fingernails... She doesn't like touching things... But she does a wicked job of dissecting them using her fingernails as precision instruments. All that could be seen was a long tube with white... fibre things that I forget the name of... None of the structures. ANd I looked and looked and looked. And started to get a serious headache... And I find out days later from other sources that the eyepieces were probably too close together for me because I was straining to look down a tunnel. Because... We don't actually get taught how to use microscopes, really... Just straggle up... Straggle things up, somehow. Sigh.

I lost my wallet. And... Lost it, really. Went to doc and got a small script for some diazepam since last lot ran out. She was good, actually. Took one last night and don't feel like it touched the sides at all. Usually I do get a nice floating feeling with is sort of... COnsoling or something. But not this time. But today I'm not thinking 'I'm having a meltdown I'm having a f*ck*ng meltdown I am NOT alright' all the time over and over so something has... Relaxed.

I needt o go food shopping which I can't face. Not after having found the courage to do it yesterday then finding I couldn't pay since I didn't have my wallet. Had a horrible day of security and police and so on and so forth . And of course I checked my bag 3x.

Then last night when I went through it for something unrelated... There it was. And I am losing it. And I felt awful. Truly horrible. And I don't know what to do... Only I do... I'll phone the police on MOnday and tell them I found it. And I'll go back to the student office and be apologetic about the ID card and offer to give them one back or ask if I can save it for future incidents or whatever... Pay for it, maybe. Because they gave me a free replacement with police incident number. And I should apologise to security too, I guess. For wasting their time (they looked at footage because I thought I left it on the photocopier in the library...)


It will be okay.

I like physics best. Because it is clear and precise. Focuses on what is relevant / important. Because of the extra help from 10-2. Because I can study there... And I find that motivating... And it helps me ask for help - and I'm not very good at that. And the people are nice.

Chemistry is... Cold. There isn't extra help. Unless you want to pay for one on one tutoring. And I think the students might be inclined to be a little bit mean and competitive and jostly... Because there are so many of them.. So fighting over attention and so forth...

Maths is... The extra help situation over there is a mad-house. It is a really really really really really noisy group working environment. I couldn't study in such a madhouse (the way I can study in the physics helproom). I couldn't get the attention of the tutors... The tutors aren't really able to help you understand so much as give you answers since there are so many people queing for help...

Biology is... I see that the labs really are trying to reward individuals. Aspects of that... The test that is supposed to be done individually at the end (though there is in fact a massive wandering eye situation they really are doing their best to prevent that). I just... Had a bit of a meltdown because we got a slide of a transverse section of a gill. That was prepared in 1995... And it looked NOTHING LIKE the one the demonstrator showed on the board. And so I started drawing what I could see from my slide... And the demonstrator was like... Uh... Telling me that what I was seeing was wrong. Something something abotu artifacts of staining. And you can't tell which is part of the inner or outer gill from the slide anyway... And you can't see sh*t at only 400x mag anyway.. So I got pissy that we were just expected to copy from teh board. ANd they tell us clearly ONLY draw what you see DON'T draw what you think you should see. But we are told to label 15 f*ck*ng things and if you don't see them (e.g., I only saw a long f*ck*ng tube on my baby cricket at 400 mag) then DON'T LABEL THEM. but you have to... So... Meltdown.

If only I were GOOD at physics. Sigh. The current biology lecturer is... A bit scattered, honestly. HIs powerpoints are all... Like the chem people last semester with tehir shell notes. All the crutical bits of actual information we are supposed to learn is left off the slides. His audio visual recordings haven't gone up. He rushes through things at a considerable pace. So what we are expected to learn is... Very up in the air. Which makes it.... A pain in the *ss. We're learnign old Cladestics, anyway... Because of the whole impossibility of getting new textbooks in this part of the world.. Because of the inconvenience of (actual researchers) teaching the course and having other things to be getting on with instead of updating their notes...


I suppose the physics help people can do math, too. Or: all the math you need for physics. I wonder if there is hope???

I'm pissy that I still feel like people are... Happily delaying delaying delaying happily wasting my time... That summer course at Harvard... Teaching intelligent people with no chemistyr background chemistry... So they can go on and get an A- in organic. We have nothing like that over here. Consensus: It can't be done. Nobody will teach you. I learn more from watching primary school kids dissecting stuff on the internet in the US than I'm getting from first year university biology classes over here. But, hey, at least I'm taking someof the pressure off the demonstrators by providing at least one student with paper and an eraser... huh.

i don't really feel there is a place for me...

anyway... physics assignment today. then some damage control for biology... biology test 33% so significant. law test...

law... i'm not in a study group. i... i'm not up to the social negotiation happy puppy game right now. i'm not up to being able to be appropriately assertive. and that's what you need to be do develop good working relationships with people who are willing and able to pull their weight. instead what will happen as i'll end up carrying some group... giving model answers to people who haven't even done the readings or whatever. of course i know they probably won't do a great deal better because of it. but it will be a time sink for me. and the risk that i snap and lose my temper with at least one of them is so very high that it simply isn't worth it. also... law is a general ed for me. and the test is plussage... it is a bit risky... but i care less since my exam can count for 100% of the course and it can be about more interesting conceptual stuff rather than history stuff in nz... though we are supposed to focus on LEGAL issues... i honestly don't have the time to cram a bunch of facts abotu the date of magna carta and so on and so forth right now... do you have any idea how many f*ck*ng phyla there are? (or were thought to be)? how many impossible to spell names? how many major transitions / adaptations or whatever for every mutant critter / new type of critter they find... sigh. enough with the animals already. i never was particularly interested in them. only did this course because first year coorinator reccommended it. yeah mmm hmm this is SO TOTALLY going to help me with cell biology next year. oh, i forgot. i can't do cell biology next year. don't you have any idea how many years of high school you need to be competent to do things at that level? i mean the fact that US primary schools are teaching (willing and able) kids to do it at primary thus I could probably learn in f*ck all time if someone competent actually took the time to show me how... well... silly me... i'm supposed to be writing people model law answers and giving them free paper. just because thinking of such things themselves would mess up their social lives. silly me.



Re: stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 17:41:37

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 17:26:18

well, there is a new zoology textbook - but it is a first edition. it really reads like one. some sections really very heavily borrowed from other books. animal physiology, in particular, seems focused on describing how animals deviate from us. still very focused on mammals.

more recent editions of "Campbell's Biology" is heaps better. But our library stocks the edition from 2009.

if there is one thing i learned from philosophy of biology it is that birds are very closely related to reptiles. fairly sure that was from a philosophy of biology text around 2007... not sure why the biology textbooks we have don't even seem to have gotten to that...

anyway... whatever... i'm just grumpy because the class i'm enjoying the least is demanding the most time right now. that test is worth 33% whereas physics is only 10% and law has plussage...

looking ahead in the biology coursebook... looks like the style of teaching isn't going to be getting any better for me... i don't entirely know what to say. possibly the thing to do is to focus on the textbook reading...

i would rather be spending time on physics. i think law will have to take a backburner right now. which will make her pissy. she... who rules with something like an iron fist. i like her plenty. she's motivating... she reminds me the guy i tutored ethics for over in the US... i can't put the time into the course that i... should. in some sense. that i *would* if getting into law school were my top priority. which seems fair... but i think she is... puzzled... about why i won't join a tutorial group... and help her budding lawyers. i think that is it. i'm fairly sure she wouldn't really understand about the stress thing on my part... i mean... her focus is solely on extracting the best work from them that she can get. i... well... my priorities are different.

they (the grapevine) weren't kidding when they said steer clear of law as general ed.


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 20:49:50

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 17:41:37

Everything just hurts too much, sometimes. Any noise is excruciating. Actually, that isn't quite true. Any people noise is excruciating. The worst is the high pitched happy excited to see you sounds that teenage girls make when they meet each other. Other people do it too, but they do it most intensely.

I feel like part of me inside has died. I've done so much cringing away from that... From their noises. I don't know how to get them to tune it down. To stop.

Going out becomes excruciating because I'm expected to interact with people. From the silent version of precisely the same thing with people who walk past... From any interaction with shop assistants...

Some people really do seem to get their energy from interacting with other people. I can't find my energy unless other people leave me alone. So I can find it from within. I can't focus on within when I have to attend to them all the time. At the gym I feel like people want to steal my energy. When they see me start to get energized they come in close and suck it away from me. Demand that I interact with them in some way. Distract me. I feel like I'm on a wobble board and I could manage without all the jostly people jostling and unbalancing me all the time.

I think probably around 90 or even 95 or even 98.5 percent of the people are fine. they can see from little things like my averting my eyes and my obviously putting myself as far away from everyone as possible (to minimise repulsions) that i just want to be left to do my thing... But there is always... persistently... just one or two or a group of 6 or 8 who have to ruin things for me.

I found the courage to go out and buy some stuff. Not back to the supermarket... That will take some time... But to a Chinese market... It wasn't pleasant, but it was okay. I think (I really do think) that they turn up their nose rather at anyone who isn't chinese. Laugh amongst themselves in chinese while they are serving... But whatever... Then to a cafe / restaurant kind of place to get something for lunch. Takeaway... Because I couldn't bear...

So I'm sitting at a table waiting... And starting to enjoy / relax into the atmosphere. Starting to think that actually I could take study stuff and study there. Music I like in the background. Perfect volume. Nice decor, actually, with lots of plants.

Then this guy comes up and is like 'mind if I sit here' and I'm like 'go ahead' without thinking. And he's flipping through a menu. And then he's like 'are you from around here'. And I'm averting my eyes from him as best I can and... Fairly sure... Fairly visibly upset by his presence, actually. 'Sort of'. Then he says he's getting a massage and 'Are you from around here'. And I'm like 'I'm really just thinking about stuff and I want to sit here quietly'. And then a guy (chef probably) came out from back for a minute... And I realise that... Not cool, actually.

And I realise that sh*t like that always happens to me. Because you can't walk around by youself as a female. Not without the dregs of society buddying up to you wanting to be your friend. Not leaving you alone. We must all live like animals. I swear.

And so of course I'm going to hole up... And who knows how many days before I'll go out...


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 21:57:12

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 20:49:50

i don't know what's wrong with me. except that i'm different from most people and they don't understand me at all and my life is very painful, mostly, i think, because of that.

canberra was different because most of the people were more like me. people do joke about how it is a boring place and the uni is good there because there is nothing to do but study in canberra... but i think the truth of it is that it is such a wonderful place to go study because the people who are there purportedly to study are really there to study. precisely because it is notoriously dull etc... the people who are there for academic purposes really are there for academic purposes. people go to sydney or melbourne or auckland or wellington or where ever in order to justify holidays... so you get a lot more... pretense... a lot more sh*t where people give talks that are years old or that are adapted versions of lectures given to undergraduates or whatever... and everyone makes pretend it is all honest and serious and legitimate work... but really it is about a holiday or about keeping a +1 happy or...

i'm sure there are lots of research-y people. working behind swipe card accessed buildings... with their own cafes and group areas. with their own individual offices. with their own laboratories. all of it hidden away behind swipe card access so people can get work done and also relax... without jumping everytime someone squeals or yips or whistles or stomps... and these people live on the hills in the surrounding suburbs... again... away from the whistling yelpers... and it is quite a nice life, really...

and that is the horror of starting over. of discovering... of rediscovering... life with no power...

i remember the conversations i had with the students who got B's or B+'s even for Ethics... the kids who were all like 'but I need an A for med. I won't get into med without an A'. and all i could say was 'well, i'm sorry, but things were made pretty clear at the start of the year that this wasn't the course to take for an easy pass... it is a competitive course for majors with an eye to (after a couple years) getting a good reference for grad school out of the departmental chair...' and then the bit that chemistry guy just did to me 'A B+ is a really wonderful grade really given the competition. you should be proud of that'. and you act like it is a terrific grade and eventually they catch that and somehow forget that their chances of med have been shattered because of it.

happened to me.

i see it for what it is...

only... for the class i taught... they had every opportunity (really very genuinely). like... like law. it is oh so very f*ck*ng clear what you are expected to know... the only issue is how many hours do you have to spend doing it? because it is a sh*t ton of work. so if it is your priority... you will probably come out with an A. because there aren't many with that as their priority. but if it isn't your priority then you are sh*t out of luck.

only... with chem... i don't feel that i was given opportunity. any attempt to ask for help was met with 'if you can't even rearrange an equation better drop out now' or whatever... whatever... whatever...

i think the diazepam is affecting me differently from usual. i didn't think i'd need to but i think i might take another one tonight. i'm actually... scared of me right now. scared for me. something. i see doc again on monday... the misson clinic really has been really very wonderful to me. seeing me on very short notice... with bugs. then again over this... i'm still getting to know the doc... but anyway... i'm scared that i'm losing my sh*t... i'm scared.


Re: stove top espresso

Posted by alexandra_k on August 16, 2014, at 2:02:58

In reply to Re: stove top espresso, posted by alexandra_k on August 15, 2014, at 21:57:12

so biology is not that bad. it is in the text book... it is just that i didn't get a physical copy of the text book... i'm grumpy that i can't get the most recent edition over here so i didn't get one...

i have it online. it just... isn't the same. but i had a look... and what we have covered in class very closely covers the content of several of the chapters so... so... hunker down with the textbook. i can do that. and the birds are with the reptiles... not sure what my f*ck*ng problem was with that...

except that there are too many animals. holy crap! enough of the animals already! enough!

i'm okay... i'm going to be okay... i am...

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