Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters+ open your eyes. On Saturday, Alan took me to renew my driver’s license.  Apparently, they expire the day you turn 21.  There’s nothing quite like realizing you’ve been driving on an expired license for a week to keep your speed in check.  Not that that happened to me, or anything.  The man who asked me to verify my information and took my photo gave me these instructions: “Sit down in that chair.  Do you see that smiley face sticker?  Look at the smiley face sticker.  Put your chin down a little.  Move your hair out of your face.  Open your eyes.”  I’m sorry.  I forgot that we Asians tend to walk around with our eyes closed.  My mistake.  He also said, three times, that I would have a question about my license (I hate it when people say things like that, because I usually don’t have a question and that usually leads to awkward moments) when he clicked to the next page on the screen.  My license is vertical, as opposed to the horizontal orientation.  He said it was because I received my camera card/temporary license before my birthday.  But, if the license expires on my birthday, shouldn’t I have received the camera card before my birthday?  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be covered.  I have no idea what he was talking about.  But the point is, I received my new license and my hair looks crazy.

+ vanilla extract. First of all, I purchased alcohol for the first time on Saturday (though not to drink, because I promised my parents that I wouldn’t drink alcohol from my 21st birthday until my 22nd birthday).  And I wasn’t carded.  Apparently, I need to start using some TimeWise Replenishing Serum+C.  Anyway.  Alan and I decided to make some homemade vanilla extract, about which I am very excited.  We purchased some vanilla beans, two small bottles each of Malibu Rum Coconut and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, and then one small bottle of Captain Morgan Private Stock (which, according to the labels, is basically the same as the spiced rum, but more expensive and in a glass bottle).  At home, I cut the vanilla beans into thirds so they would be submerged in the alcohol, and then slit them down the center to open the beans.  Then, I just dropped them into the tiny bottles and closed them.  They’ll darken over the course of the next five months or so, the vanilla eventually replacing the strong smell of the alcohol.  The total cost (I’m not sure what size the bottles are, but they’re the tiny cute ones that cost $8 if you’re at a hotel in Bermuda) was around $13-$15.  And I haven’t priced vanilla lately, so I’m not sure if we’ll actually save money, but it was fun and I’m excited for coconut vanilla extract and spiced vanilla extract.  If you try this, don’t forget to store your bottles in a cool, dark place and completely submerge the beans, or else they’ll mold!

+ my father’s daughter. I recently walked into the kitchen and found a rather old tooth lying on the counter.  Instead of asking why or who or what or any of the countless questions normal people would ask, I realized that being the daughter of my father, that sort of thing no longer fazes me, because it’s nothing for me to come home to find rocks soaking the sink or drying on the deck.  And then to be corrected, because that’s not just a rock, it’s a special rock that was used for a special purpose/that’s from a certain area.  I would also like to add that my father, hater of most technology, wants a laptop.  When I asked Mom why, she said it was probably so he could check Google Earth and the USGS earthquake map.  Every time Dad wants to use the laptop, he asks one of us to look up the earthquake map.  I checked it out the other day to find the rating of the March 11 earthquake in Japan.

And I have to admit, it was a pretty interesting website.