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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Managing Expectations: overnight oats and my living room chair saga

One valuable thing I have learned in my MBA program is how to manage expectations - this basically means slowly changing someone's mind so that they realize what they're getting is not what they originally throught, but also making sure that they do not have kittens over it. For example, if you're working with a client who says "I want you to save the world!" and you know you can't realistically do that, you slowly brainwash them with pictures of adorable puppies while trying to tell them no without ACTUALLY telling them no, and hoping they will end up thinking that what you give them in the end was actually what they really wanted in the first place.

I digress.

About a year ago I started coming across this mythical food-miracle in the blogosphere known as "overnight oats." Everyone was talking about how amazing and they were, so I figured that they were probably totally delicious, and also contained the cure for cancer or at the very least would endow the eater with magical wizarding abilities like Harry Potter. So I made some.
And I thought they were totally gross.
I actually didn't finish them and went to buy a pastry from Starbucks instead...true story.

But I am being unfair to overnight oats - because now I really like them. See, I'm just trying to set the bar low and then impress you with a realistic endorsement of something I used to think was nasty. The following are some facts about overnight oats:
1) Overnight oats do not cure cancer, nor do they give you magical powers. Fact.
2) Overnight oats are NOT OATMEAL. I think this was my first problem - I expected them to taste like oatmeal, and prepared them as I would normally prepare oatmeal... of course they turned out watery and tasteless. It was like biting into an olive thinking it was a grape. Overnight oats are really more like soggy cereal, and need to be thickened up a bit. For this I would recommend yogurt, coconut milk, or both. It sounds weird, but trust me, it makes them way more yummy.
3) Overnight oats are extremely convenient. When I have an 8am meeting and have to catch the bus at 7, I really do not want to have to make breakfast for myself because it inevetably makes me almost miss the bus. Thus it is quite nice to have something homemade-ish already sitting in the fridge and ready to be tossed in my bag.
4) Overnight oats should be kept in a container with a very secure top. The downside of just tossing them in your bag is that this sometimes has adverse consequences for your textbooks and notebooks. I highly recommend something with a screw-on lid, such as a small mason jar. Highly recommend. Highly.
5) As long as you expect them to taste like soggy cereal, they are actually quite tasty. Also fact.

Remember last week I promised (or rather, threatened) a post about moving furniture around in my apartment? This is that post. It is the totally boring story of my failed attempt to move my giant pink chair from my living room into my bedroom. See now it's not even suspenseful because you know how it ends.

Anyways, I have this pink chair in my living room. I found it outside of my building shortly after I moved in - once I deduced that a) no one wanted it, b) it was free and c) it had only been outside for a few hours, I decided to claim it. Ben and I carried it upstairs, plonked it in my living room, and there it has stayed. It's nice to have for extra seating, but it doesn't quite fit with the color schema....

... but for a while I've thought it would work perfectly in this sad, lonely and empty spot in my bedroom next to the radiator....

...and so began my endeavor to move my chair about 30 feet from one end of my apartment to the other. The chair is really damn heavy, so in order to move it anywhere I had to slide it, which is not so awesome for the wood floors. Luckily I have a couple of towels that have been relegated to "sweaty yoga towel" status:

Getting it through the first door was a little tight, but it worked out OK. The second door was another story altogether - people in the early 20th century must have had really, really tiny furniture... either that or whoever designed this biulding had some crazy sadistic streak. Either way, despite my best efforts and use of yoga-muscles, that door was not having it.

Just for contrast, here's the chair in the first door:

...and the second door:

...and so the chair is still in my living room. But I have other plans for the empty bedroom space...stay tuned.


  1. Sideways chair tilting? (I know it's usually a two person job...but I've said it before and I'll say it again...offer people cookies and you can have anything...even world domination)

  2. I tried that... still didn't fit :(


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