Category Archives: Crazy

Non-Diet Diet Meal.

This year, for the first time in at least a decade, I did not include ‘lose 20lbs’ on my list of yearly goals. I do plan on eating healthily and getting lots of exercise this year, but with overall health and happiness as my main objective.  So, of course this year for the first challenge of the 2015 Reddit 52 Weeks of Cooking was Diet Foods. After reading the description, you can see it’s meant to be pretty tongue in cheek, in that with all the diets out there, you could make pretty much anything and have it fit into the category.

I was a little behind on the challenge this week and made my food on the 8th (deadline, 7th) but y’all know that’s how I roll. What did I make for ‘Diet Food’? Well, I had a wisdom tooth out and had to have a ‘diet’ of mushy food for at least 24 hours. Did you think I’d eat t jello and chicken broth? Oh, hell no. I made myself some high-quality mushy food.

First I made this:

Doesn't this look delicious?

Doesn’t this look delicious?

I know, flesh-colored pudding doesn’t exactly make you say, “I want to eat that!” But listen to me, this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. It’s Butterscotch Pudding from Smitten Kitchen. No, it doesn’t taste like that horrible brown Jello Pudding Mix. It’s creamy and sweet and a little salty. I modified it a bit and used full-fat coconut milk, but I did use butter, so it’s not entirely dairy-free. Seriously, make this. It’s delicious.

For dinner I made this:

This looks a bit yummier, right?

This looks a bit yummier, right?

The Perfect Potato Soup by Pioneer Woman.  This has been on my ‘to make’ list since it came out 2 years ago. I used butter instead of bacon because I couldn’t eat bacon due to my tooth extraction, and I have to suffer, everyone has to suffer! I stirred the cheese in until it melted. I also skipped the heavy cream. As I blog more recipes that I try, you will realize that I almost NEVER follow them. I can’t help it. I mean I CAN help it, I just don’t want to. Anyhow, this soup is extremely delicious – Oh! And another thing I did was I pureed all of it, she leaves chunks. But I felt it was a very nourishing and hearty meal, and I ate two bowls of it.

Don’t these look kind of…gross? I”m sorry! I’m a horrible food photographer. Go check out the links to the recipes, the authors are much better photographers than I am. You know who else sucks at food photography? Martha Stewart. At least I’m in good company.

 

 

Good Morning, Professor.

It’s time to put no money where my mouth is! I never finished college. I talk about going back and yet, never get around to it. There are a lot of reasons. Anyhow, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about me doing one of the freeee classes from MIT’s open course ware (they call it OCW, and so will I). Basically, MIT and a bunch of other colleges have put entire classes online and people can take them for free, at their leisure. Obviously there is no credit. Obviously there is no professor. Obviously it’s all up to me.

Why do you guys care about this? Because I’m going to post all my coursework here. As you may have guessed I am interested in writing intensive courses. And, as I mentioned before I have no one to pass them to. So, I’m going to put them here and y’all can grade me if you want. I might even put a little poll thing on the side for easy grading.

Jesus Christ, isn’t that kind of grade crazy? Aren’t you a little wacko? Thanks for asking! Yes, on both accounts. I like feedback, and if you have been reading this blog for long at all, you also know I’m a bit crackers. Maybe a lot crackers. Maybe more like a box of oyster crackers (because they are small and you can fit a lot in the box).

The first class I’m going to embark on is this: Writing on Contemporary Issues: Food for Thought: Writing and Reading about the Cultures of Food. You can check out the details, assignments etc. at the link. I have a number of essays I will be writing AND an oral presentation, sooo I guess I will podcast it up. Scary. Necessary.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m up to. You will either find it super interesting or boring as hell. I care not.

In closing, please enjoy this video of Hot For Teacher by Van Halen circa 1984. It is both degrading to woman and not pertinent at all to this post.

 

Yoga Pants Ruined My Life

I am not a sweatpants kind of girl. In high school gym class, when I wasn’t skipping to smoke behind the tennis courts, I wore jeans until the teacher yelled at me and threatened to flunk me, and then I wore shorts.  Sweatpants in days of yore were so lame, with their drawstrings and tight, elastic ankles. Gross. Who wants to wear fuzzy jodhoppers? Not me. Also, the word “sweat” is in their name. And we all know that sweating is disgusting. Who wants to sweat in their pants? Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Then I grew up, and discovered that through the magic of yoga I could get some exercise and not get all gross. However, yoga in jeans is not that awesome and I live in Maine so yoga in shorts isn’t preferable either. I was going to have to get some yoga specific work

Yoga pants, invented by the devil.

out gear. So, in the early 2000s, yoga pants and I met for the first time.

I should have known the dangers when a pregnant friend told me she saved money on maternity clothes by wearing her yoga pants all the time. She was well into her 3rd trimester.

It was love at first wear. Stretchy, but not so stretchy I felt like I was one of those leggings wearing ladies. Thick enough to not show my underwear lines or my cellulite, and with a flattering flared leg, yoga pants were a level of comfort previously only known to the sweat pants people.  I started wearing yoga pants all the time. Not just when I was doing yoga. I would wear them to bed, and then just wear them all day. So, yes, I was wearing my pajamas all day. Sometimes I would do yoga in them. Usually not though.  Usually I sat around and dicked around on Myspace and googled things and wrote articles about how hard it is to be a writer. Yeah, pretty much what I do all day now, except now I dick around on Facebook and Twitter.

In 2005, I had Kid, and crossed a self-imposed line with my yoga pants. I wore them out into the world, grocery shopping and stuff. I also usually wore (and still wear,  that’s another post all together) a very long winter coat that hides what’s underneath. The out into the world line was one of those self-imposed restrictions that addicts often make up. You know like, “I don’t have a problem if I don’t drink before noon”. I had crossed that line. But I had an excuse! I had a small child! I didn’t have time for things like changing pants!

I started noticing things about myself, namely, that my regular pants didn’t really fit anymore. But, my yoga pants are the same size! Oh, the miracle of lycra. Since I first bought my yoga pants, you know, to work out in – I have gained about 30 lbs. And no, it’s not from the Kid. I lost all my baby weight pretty fast. This is new, fat ass lazy weight. See, when you wear yoga pants all the time, you lose all perception of how fat your ass is.

I finally realized I had a problem the other day when I was putting away my laundry. I am down to 3 ill-fitting pair of jeans, and about 7 pair of yoga pants.  It’s like a disease. They keep multiplying, and so do my belly rolls. I have since resolved to put my pants on every day. My real pants. Pants with no lycra and proper buttons and zippers and what not.

Yoga pants turned me into a much jigglier version of my former self. Do I blame my sedentary lifestyle, love of beer, and butter? Hell no. I blame the pants.

 

Stuff That Makes Me Bananas.

Just in time for Christmas, and partially because of Christmas, I have compiled a list of things that drive me insane.

Look, it's a banana. So annoying.

1. Mail. Why? WHY? MAIL? WHY? I hate mailing things, I hate getting mail, I hate going to the Post Office to get stuff and/or figure out why they aren’t delivering my mail. 99% of my mail is crap. Almost all of our bills are auto pay, I don’t want any credit cards, I loathe catalogs. I do subscribe to a couple of magazines that pile up in their plastic sleeves for three or four months before I read them, but that’s it. I do not like to send mail. It’s expensive. I don’t even know how much anymore because the other day I was forced to buy some stamps and they gave me something called “Forever Stamps” with no price on them. What does that mean? I e-mail everything. I e-mail my invoices, I pay my bills by e-mail, I e-mail birthday greetings. I’m sorry mail, but I know why you guys are in the hole by about a zillion dollars.

2. Checks. I do not want to have to write checks EVER. I used to hate getting checks, but after I started using a new bank where I can just take a picture of a check with my phone and it’s deposited I realized I just hate going to the bank. Writing checks is a whole other story. First, I have to find my checkbook, then I have to find a pen, then I have to write it down and do math. See how you’re bored right now? I’m sorry stores, I know you get charged fees when I use a card, but that’s a whole other blog.

Recently, I got my oil tank filled up, and the woman from the company said, “OK, can you give the driver a check?”

I said, “Don’t you have my card on file?”

“Yes, but we’ll give you $10 if you pay by check.”

“SIGGGGGGGHHHHHH. FINE”

See, they want me to use a check so they don’t get the fee. Which I totally get. But, it doesn’t make it any less annoying.

3. Places that don’t have websites. Listen to me. If you do not have a website, I’m probably not going to be able to find you/call you/figure out your hours. At the very, very least get your establishment on Facebook, though you should have at least a static page with your hours and phone number attached to that. It’s easy. It’s 2011. I don’t want to hear any excuses. How am I supposed to find out about you? Look up your number and call you? See, no. I’m already annoyed and bored. I don’t want to call you to find your numbers or location. I don’t have time for that and also:

4. The phone. OK, I like talking to my friends on the phone, wait not really. I do sometimes. Usually I talk to my friends via IM. I like that much better. Anyhow,  I do not like talking to anyone else on the phone. That includes clients, businesses, people looking for the girl who used to have my number, etc. I also do not like it when people insist on talking on the phone or meeting me in person rather than via email. It is so much less efficient.I like being able to respond in a well thought out manner and have a record of correspondence. I dislike having to call any sort of customer service the most. I’m sure you all do, this is not unique to me.

5. Companies that e-mail me about their great sales and savings EVERY DAY. If you mail me every single day saying: SALE TODAY ONLY, or BIGGEST DISCOUNT EVER (and it’s a standard 10% off every single day) I am going to stop reading your e-mails pronto. Also, I am going to have anxiety about shopping from you. Recently, I needed to buy a new washer and I watched one store’s price on the same washer fluctuate up and down as much as $200 from day to day over the course of 3 weeks. It didn’t make me super confident that I was getting the best deal, however I was super confident that if I had to go to the laundromat one more time, I would become a danger to myself and others.

Contrast that with the few places I subscribe to that only have sales a couple times a year. I call these, “True Sales” and you can believe I shop the hell out of them.

There you have it. There’s a lot more that makes me bananas, but this is the top 5 today. What makes you bananas?

 

In defense of..well..me.

I work at home. I am a writer. I write things. I write articles for news and entertainment and I also write commercial posts for various websites. I feel the need to explain this because there seems to be a misconception about what I do all day. I write. I guess if I was sitting at a desk in a building owned by someone else, instead of my house it would be easier for people to grasp. Please think about that when you ask me what I do all day, or if my house is really clean. Is your house really clean? I mean you aren’t there all day, so there isn’t anyone around to make dishes or mess it up. No?

Yes, working at home has a lot of perks, I get to make my own schedule. This also means that I end up working at night and on weekends a lot. I don’t have to drive anywhere, there are lots of snacks. I can listen to whatever I want to as loudly as I want to. I can take a break and go for a walk. These are all true. I am also really lonely. It’s just me and the dogs here. This is why I love the IM, and the FB, and the Twitters. You are my co-workers. It would be nice if you would add up all the time you spend shooting the shit with your fellow office mates before you make a shitty comment about how I’m on there all day, because it’s actually far less time than you spend at the water cooler. I just have a visual record of my time wasting.

Because I publish things online, and know how to use Mailchimp to send newsletters, and know how to post things to WP, does not mean I am a web designer. It does not mean that I know how, or that I want to make you a website. It does not mean that I know how to write code. It means that I am a writer, who has grasped some pretty basic software in order to get things published online in the hopes of making some money. To me, that’s like saying to someone, “Oh, I see you are taking pictures with your iPhone. Would you like to photograph my wedding?” See how that’s crazy? Yes, I’ll write your newsletter. No, I will not “do” your website.

Also, no. I don’t want to work for you for free. Would you ask your friend the plumber to come around and fix your toilet for free, you know to add to her client list to boost her credibility? Oh, that would be rude? Huh.

I am a total brat for complaining about my sweet deal. I am truly lucky and grateful for the opportunities I have. I have just grown weary and tired of feeling defensive all the time. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone, and it’s a small price to pay for my charmed existence. But still, it’s annoying.

Please, Just Reject Me.

It may come as a surprise to you, but I am not a famous writer. I am barely even a not-really published writer. I write shit constantly, I submit shit constantly. I answer ads for people looking for writers constantly. I mean constantly, like every day. And I’ll tell you what, what I hear back most often is…..nothing. Radio silence.

Remember this guy? The scary wolf/Nothing from the Never Ending Story? Yeah, he sucks, right? It's like that.

You’d think I’d be hardened to rejection, which I sort of am, but no response is not rejection. It’s juts nothing, and nothing is starting to make me go in-fucking-sane. Why? Why is nothing worse than actual rejection? Well, it’s very schizophrenic, let me see if I can explain it. 1. If you don’t respond, if you say NOTHING to me, it keeps alive this little coal of hope that maybe, just maybe there is a tiny flickering chance in Hell I have a chance with your company. That little coal is back there, in my brain, pulsating this message: “maybemaybemaybewhatifwhatifwhatif” all the time. 2. It kills my soul to get no response. What you are telling me is not just, “No thanks, you suck.” but, “You suck so much, you aren’t even worth my time to send you an email to tell you you suck.” So, simultaneously I have a little burning ember of hope while also believing that I am a total suckass loser. See how that makes me go insane?

Rejection allows me to let go, move on, jauntily even, “Oh, I’m not qualified? Cest la vie!” Sometimes when I get rejection letters, companies even THANK me for being interested in their company (I love you Groupon, thanks for validating my existence. Yes, I applied to write stuff for Groupon. It would have been awesome.) But rejections are few and far between, I’d say probably one in one hundred.

So, please, when you get my submission or resume or anyone else’s for that matter, take five minutes to send out an e-mail to tell us someone else is better.  Or better yet, just publish my shit.

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night, and on Overcast Days, and in the Supermarket.

If you have the luck of seeing me out and about, I am probably wearing sunglasses. Not just any sunglasses but huge, monster sunglasses like those worn by the Olsen Twins or Victoria Beckham. The other day, as I sat waiting for Kid to get out of school, I noticed some of the other parents in the lobby looking at me curiously (or not, I’m paranoid, but I BELIEVE they were looking at me  curiously, and that’s all that matters right?). Then I realized they probably thought it was really bizarre I was wearing huge dark glasses at 3:00 in the afternoon (which up here in the tundra is dusk) on an overcast day. I figured they probably think I’m high. Or maybe have a black eye. Or maybe I’m high AND I have a black eye.

Clearly Phrenology Fred doesn't get out much either. I had to hold the glasses up because his ears are flat and slippery.

Alas, I am not high, and luckily I do not have a black eye. I wear dark glasses all the time for two reasons: One, I am extremely light sensitive. Like vampires, I cannot bear the light of day. If I go out without my glasses I get massive headaches and my eyes water uncontrollably.  The eye watering thing happens all the time anyway, which is why I always have mascara smeared all over my face. I’m not trying to look like Tammy Faye Baker on purpose.  Two, I have the world’s worst dark circles under my eyes. No no, I do. Yours are nothing. Mine are worse. Trust me. I have been wearing under eye concealer since…5th grade. Why? Because if you have dark dark circles under your eyes, you constantly hear, “Wow, you look really tired.” or “Wow, are you sick” which translates to “Wow, you look like shit.” Anyhow, I wear huge dark glasses to cover them up, so I don’t have to deal with people commenting on them, and they do. Please don’t email me a million solutions. I know I could get my face bleached. I know it might be allergies, but honestly, it’s hereditary. Ask my mother, or more conveniently: Hey Ma, tell them about our eye bags in the  comments! Thanks.

I’ve encountered people at the  grocery store who have come right out and asked me, “Why are you wearing your sunglasses? Are you afraid someone will see you here?” Yes. I’m scared of the paparazzi. I simply cannot allow photos of me buying tampons to be snapped and published in People. Um, no. Grocery stores are really really bright. They give me headaches. They make my eyes water. This might also be from anxiety, which I experience a fair amount of, but mainly, it’s the brightness.

I have no excuses for the rest of my wardrobe though.