Thursday, July 31, 2014

Friday Feats and Fails


Welcome to Friday Feats and Fails!  Our very first Special Guest is the BEAUTIFUL Sophia from Glitter & Bruises.  I've been following Sophia since she had 600 something fans on Facebook and I'll admit my initial attraction was the kick ass name (because I am a pro-Glitter and anything shiny) and her bright red lips.  I started following her because we were in similar places: I was processing a break-up and she was processing her own ending.  The first post I ever read was Doilies And Plastic Covered Furniture and it spoke to me, especially because there was a powerful truth that I needed to hear another woman say:

I can’t control what people think and believe based on what they know and what they think they know. 
- Sophia, Glitter & Bruises

Fast forward to the present day...the tone of the blog changed as her life changed, and watching Sophia transition to the person she affectionately calls "Sophia 2.0" has been amazing.  I am so proud of her and happy that I get the chance to get to know her.  She is engaging, funny, beautiful, and all around awesome and I'm so glad she agreed to be my FIRST Special Guest because if there is anyone who knows anything about Feats & Fails it is a woman who embraces the good stories AND the bad stories: The Glitter & Bruises.

You can find Sophia 2.0 eating meatballs, posting selfies, tattling on herself (like the day she ripped a stick person off a minivan), making the rest of us wish we were Greek, and being an all around Lady Gaga in a world full of Kelly Clarksons on her Facebook Page.  You can also see pictures of lunches and her smiling face on Instagram, and stalk her on Twitter


She is hilarious and has AMAZING energy.  I hope you'll visit her blog and check out her Friday Feats & Fails post, and check her out on Facebook and see what she is all about.


So.... onto the Feats and Fails of my week!


FAILS:
 - I came home from work Friday night to find the screen of my laptop was cracked.  I don't know if it happened Thursday night, or sometime during the day but I don't recall being rough with it or dropping it.  But unfortunately, it is cracked and as tight as things have been financially... I don't know that a fix is in sight anytime soon.  It SUPER sucks.  Do you think I could get money from GoFundMe to write my bullshit on the Internet?  I mean, that Potato Salad guy raised like $46,000 on Kickstarter and all I want is to get my screen fixed.

- I didn't get my Christmas in July cards out until the last day in July.  But let's be honest, it wasn't really about wishing anyone a Merry Christmas.  I didn't send them to everyone, I sent them to people who have made me salty in the last month.  Passive-Aggressive behavior at it's finest.

- My body is a fail this week.  I don't know what I did, but there are pins and needles and they haven't stopped.  Not awesome.

FEATS:
+ Sophia agreed to be my Special Guest this week.  I feel so blessed to put my name next to hers because she's made me laugh and her growing confidence and faith in Sophia 2.0 really bolstered me when I was feeling unsure about my journey.

+ I STILL managed to jam out with my clam out for Sunday Confessions with a broken laptop; It still happened without incident and no one knew the difference.  It didn't have to go that way.  I totally could have opted to lay on the floor and cry about it because...well, my laptop!

+ I probably shouldn't brag about this here, but I had an interview this week.  I know an interview isn't a job offer but... I always feel good about getting there.  I interviewed fairly well, and while I don't think I'm going to take the position because they can't meet my needs... it is kind of nice to feel good about it.

+ I made 162 frickin meatballs for a potluck at work.  Super proud of getting that accomplished even if they weren't my best meatballs ever.  Everyone really liked them... the only fail was the meatballs that didn't get eaten and I will be eating for DAYS.

+ I don't know how to talk about this one so I'm going to wing it.  You know when someone loves you, but there's something you're insecure about and they reassure you but you always kind of write it off as being "words" and never really believe it?  I think a more than words moment happened yesterday.  I'm not sure, but maybe.  And it's kind of awesome.

Anyway... so there's my week.  What about yours?


More Than Cheese and Beer
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Forget

This weeks prompt:
FORGET

One of the most painful experiences of my life was experiencing what it feels like to have someone I love not recognize me on sight, and forget my name.  Not just anyone, but two people who took care of me, taught me things, and helped raise me.  

At the same time, I realize that there is blessing in forgetting.  As someone who struggles hard with change, at the same time I can't help but think that change is such a beautiful thing because many times it helps us to forget the severity of the hurts of the past whether they are physical or emotional.  

Sometimes when I look back at things I wrote in the past, I can see the emotion emanating from them and while what I was writing about might seem 100 miles away, when I really stop to look at the events that transpired in my own words, see my emotions and reactions on paper in ink and compare them to my thoughts about the situation now... I can see the beauty that comes with forgetting.  

While I've experienced the pain of forgetting, I've seen the beauty too.  What would life be like if time and change didn't dull the pain, and we never forgot?


Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Feats & Fails


Happy Friday!!! 

Welcome to the FIRST EVER Friday Feats and Fails!

The "Rules"

Write a blog post with the Feats and the Fails from your week, or comment them below

Feats: something you did, accomplished, conquered or triumphed over or something that made you want to brag or celebrate.  It can be as simple or complex as you want.

Fails: something you said or did that wasn't so awesome, something that happened that wasn't so great, a low point in the week, or just something you wish had gone better...share, commiserate, and then LET IT GO because it is Friday for goodness' sake!

Follow your host(s)

Grab a button
(Copy the code below and paste into the HTML portion of your post where you want it to show up)

Check out the other people who linked up, congratulate them, commiserate with them, and giggle with them!

~8~8~8~8~8~8~8~

Fails
I had a bunch of things to do around my house this week, and I barely did anything all week.  

I've neglected DoucheArt... because I've hardly gotten any messages.  Which sucks because it means I'm not getting messages, and because I feel like I'm failing as half of the DoucheArt Duo.  

My coworker told me the sound of my constant typing bothers her.  That doesn't really bother me, but who seriously frickin' complains about the sound of typing in an office where your computer is a necessary component of your job?  Some people even have 2 computers!  What an unnecessary annoyance. 

I've been trying to utilize MyFitnessPal to track my calories.  Even though I've been trying to eat better and move more... I've been over my allotted calories more often than not, and that sucks. 

I had to apologize to Bonehead for having head-up-ass syndrome.  I hate when I have to do that. 

Mayflies hatched in my area.  It's been on the National News.  While I haven't had any encounters, they're still nasty and everything smells. 

The mayfly hatch was caught on radar at the local newstation



Feats
While I didn't manage to do much around the house, I did finally remember to buy guinea pig food and now I can stop feeding them so much of my tasty, fresh produce. 

Speaking of tasty, fresh produce... I wrote a recipe for Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry this week, and tried "Zucchini Boats".  I have a new love for zucchini. 


Click image for recipe for Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry


On the way to work one day, I passed a guy wearing all white and white sunglasses and I managed to pass him without saying anything.  

While out to dinner with my family this week, a lady came bursting in on me in the bathroom at the restaurant.  What I mean by that is...I was sitting there, mid-business, when she walked into the stall.  Apparently, the door lock wasn't so awesome.  Why am I considering this a Feat?  Because years ago a simple, embarrassing thing like this would have left me mortified.  I wasn't, and I'm not.  Yeah, it was awkward and embarrassing... but I laughed about it. I even made jokes about it and while I'm a little disappointed that she couldn't at least pay for my iced tea (har har), it happened and it's fine.  No biggie.  That's a cool feeling for someone who chronically overreacts to embarrassment. 

I got to show my mom the foxes my nephew and I found at the cemetery.

While I haven't been posting much on DoucheArt... I did write an excellent Douche of the Week post.

The FIRST Friday Feats and Fails post... which is AWESOME!


More Than Cheese and Beer
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Online Dating: Your Ex's Profile.


When it comes to online dating, it is inevitable that at some point you're going to encounter the profile of someone you know and every time it happens to me I feel awkward about it.  I won't deny that I've looked, especially if I had been interested in the person at one point or another but for the most part I tend to leave those profiles alone because it feels like looking into someone's medicine cabinet... peering into a corner of themselves they didn't actually invite you into, totally intrusive and a touch rude.  

But... what if it is your ex?

Recently during a conversation among friends, the discussion of exes on dating sites came up.  I chose to share my Claim to Shame: the link to my latest ex's online dating profile that I had stumbled across while browsing profiles in my area.  Then I made the most rookie mistake ever, and I clicked on the link to his profile while I was logged in on other screen.  Anyone who uses the site knows...once you look at a profile, the user can see that you viewed them.  It took him ten days to notice before sending me a message which I turned into DoucheArt.  

The 75 "Likes" and 16 comments told me that I clearly wasn't the first person to have ever made this mistake. So... that was comforting.

It is socially accepted and expected that when it comes to your online dating profile, you should put your best foot forward when looking to meet someone for dating and partnership.  Though, if you saw my post on Dating Profiles it would seem I'm the only person who thinks this or lots of people didn't get the memo, including my ex who decided the best profile picture would be of him looking like he'd been up all night on a bender and wearing his work uniform.  

If there is anything I've learned so far, it is that sometimes you just have to laugh.  And when I came across my ex's profile I could do nothing but, especially when I noticed that one of the few things he was actually honest about on his profile was something he LIED about during our entire relationship... and, oddly enough, it was the one thing men lie about most often on dating sites: Height.  How screwed up is that?

"I Am a single father who loves life. I Am very easy going person who enjoys sitting at home watching a movie over going out drinking. I live to fish and own my own boat. I am looking for someone who likes some of the same things as me so we can do something we both enjoy. I like plays and opera...a couple Ihave seen in person are Rent, Cinderella, and my favorite seen at the Cadillac Palace in Chicago IL. The Phantom of the Opera. If your a Fun woman who would like to hang out and maybe go to a movie hit me up. though I do work a lot and have my daughter every other weekend I will still make tone for fun"

From his declaration of being a "single father" (Yes, he helped create a child and he is single.  But he is not a "single father" in a way that means doing anything to contribute to the growth and development of his child outside of paying child support and picking her up for "visitation" which is basically picking her up from her mother's then proceeding to ignore her and leave her to other people to raise while he plays computer games) to his claim of having his own boat (true, what is being omitted is how much screaming he'll do at you while getting the boat into the water and how it stalls at least twice every time resulting in more screaming) he fudged his way through the entire thing.  He also claims to like plays and opera, though we never went to a single one in our entire relationship because we couldn't go out in public without him making a spectacle of himself in one way or another which may or may not include inappropriate volume or language, piss-poor manners, or issues like sound or smell related to bodily functions.  Bragging about having seen a performance is about as close as he gets to culture.

And that "looking for someone who likes some of the same things as me so we can do something we both enjoy" part could mean a lot of things, but just to clarify: this does not apply to your sex life as eventually he will only want to engage in sexual activities solely enjoyable to him and fall asleep shortly after without reciprocation, and will not be doing anything special or beneficial for you the next night to make up for it, or the night after that, or the night after that.  And he damn sure doesn't want to do anything mutually beneficial or do things in a way that make things mutually beneficial.  If you decide to not engage, you'll be chastised for the lack of activity after which he'll still expect you to initiate the one-way sex and smile about it. (And if you need to know the problems with sexual frustration, read this piece from Megsanity).

Of course he's entitled to present himself in any way he wants, just like I am.  I'm sure if you asked him he would have plenty to say about my profile and the things he believes I left off of it like the fact that he believes I'm a tree thief, all the bitching and nagging I did at him to pick up the garbage he left on the floor when he missed the can every single time (much like the way he couldn't ever manage to hit the bowl) and take the garbage out (his only household chore).  I'm sure he'll tell you how I'm a "cold hearted [sic] calculated waste of space" for not responding to emotionally manipulative tactics at getting back into my life.  He might even tell you that I kept his things which therefore makes me "a hooker and a prostitute", which he told me I was in his last message to me sent two and a half months after I asked for a list of items he believed were owed to him so that I may present it to my lawyer, which he never provided.

Me... Every. Time.

His message to me when he noticed I had looked at his profile was simple: Why are you looking at my profile?  And the answer is easy... because I fucking can, it is a free country, and because I'm trying to figure out why I was ever attracted to you and I wondered if maybe seeing you trying to present yourself as someone attractive might help assuage some of my feelings of self-loathing for being in a relationship with you for so long, as if maybe when you're trying I could see a glimmer of something that might have attracted me to you in the first place and I wouldn't feel like such a fucking idiot.

The moral of the story is... just don't click it.  Don't look at that profile and it wont lead you to making  rookie mistakes when making fun of your ex.  There isn't a whole lot of good that can come from reading your ex's profile.  You might get some laughter out of it, but if you're hoping to see one even remotely attractive thing about them that will make your attraction in the past seem reasonable... you'll fail and end up writing an angry, slightly bitter diatribe about what a pile of shit they are.  And, if you've taken nothing else away from this, be wary of everyone you meet because a seemingly decent, though incredibly poorly written, profile might be another woman's former nightmare.



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry


It's Farmer's Market season in Wisconsin and the Zucchini are large and very cheap this year...and I can't seem to stop buying them!  This is the first recipe I tried, modifying a Sweet Garlic Chicken Stir-Fry recipe that I had, that wasn't a bread or a casserole.  It is sweet, garlicky and delicious.  I hope you enjoy my Honey Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry.

Sauce:
1 Cup Honey (I use honey purchased from my local farmer’s market, but any kind would probably do)
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Oil
3 Cloves Garlic, sliced (or 3 tsp minced garlic)
Fresh Lime Juice (I squeezed half a key lime)
Black Pepper, to taste

Stir-fry:
1 Lb Shrimp (I used pre-cooked frozen shrimp, though fresh would be SO much better)
2 Cup Broccoli Florets, blanched
2 Cup Zucchini
1 Can Water Chestnuts (I used the sliced)
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Butter
1-2 Tbsp Cornstarch Mix  (2 spoonfuls of cornstarch with cold water and mix until cornstarch is dissolved…stir well prior to using)
Water

Instructions:
Make the sauce first.

Add the olive oil to the pan over medium low heat, add garlic and cook for a few minutes (do not brown).

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  It is best to make this in a deeper pan or wok and do NOT leave unattended as it will get bubbly/frothy and it will boil over.

Simmer for about 5 minutes, then set aside.


For the Stir Fry:
Cut the zucchini and broccoli into bite size pieces.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan, and turn on to medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add zucchini in a single layer.  Let the zucchini cook for about a minute or two before adding the broccoli.  Season with pepper.  Add ¼ cup of water and cover for a few minute until the broccoli starts getting soft.

Set aside zucchini and broccoli.

Add the butter and about 1Tbsp of oil to the pan.

Add the shrimp to the pan, season with a sprinkle of salt and lots of pepper (I really loaded it on).  Drain any excess liquid (I had a little because I used frozen shrimp that should have been thawed a little more).  Allow to sear a little on medium-high heat.

Add the can of drained water chestnuts to the pan and let cook for a minute.

Return zucchini and broccoli to the pan.  Toss together for a few minutes until everything is almost cooked through.

Add sauce and let simmer for a few minutes to incorporate all of the flavors.  Add the cornstarch and water mixture to the sauce, continually stirring until it reaches the desire consistency (I personally prefer a slightly thicker sauce).

Serve over rice.

Enjoy!

Serves: 4-6 People

Note:  My vegetable measurements are approximate.  I wish I had used more vegetables because this sauce is very sweet and goes a LONG way (I probably could have added another cup each of the vegetables). This makes 4 very generous sized portions, but could serve more.  I added enough pepper to give this a nice kick, but the addition of red pepper flakes or red chili (maybe chili oil?) would be very tasty.  I plan to try this recipe with tofu in the coming week.






Monday, July 21, 2014

Online Dating: Behind Closed Doors


If you've been following me long, you know that a few months ago I told Facebook I wasn't read to date again.  But in order to tell everyone exactly why, I needed to sign up for Plenty Of Fish.  Since then, I filled out my profile, signed up for a couple of other sites, and started getting messages... and I've learned that online dating is a messy, messy thing and quit frankly, I just don't understand any of it from the profiles, to the content of the first messages people feel it is appropriate to send (which spurred DoucheArt, a blog taking the worst of Internet Messages and turning them into art).

If there is anything I've learned about online dating, it's that there are some things that should just be left behind closed doors for awhile.  While I understand that people have kinks and quirks and some just prefer to put them out on the table before getting to meet someone and feeling all the feels only to find themselves incompatible, I can't help but think that there really should be some things that should be third date conversation.

Do people even make it to third dates anymore?

As sad as it is... I've never really dated.  Not in a way where a man asked me out and we go out to dinner, and continue to do things like that until a relationship develops and we decide to see each other exclusively.  Is that unusual?  Has dating died?  Clearly, I must be doing something wrong.

But I digress.

So I signed up for OkCupid.  I'd be lying if I said that the site didn't leave me feeling a little bit...well, exposed.  Whether or not I'm a prude is still up for debate; I am a fairly open person, and will answer just about any question you ask me once I get to know you on a more personal level.  But the questions portion... asking if you have rape fantasies, like anal sex, and what your thoughts are on people who have slept with x amount of people is pretty invasive.  I keep trying to believe that the site is really trying to find the best match possible, but where is the line between finding a good match and handing out free tickets to your bedroom activities?

But the one thing I can't get past is being asked the most private thing I'm willing to admit.  What is the importance of this section?  What kind of information am I supposed to be gleaning from this about the person who wrote it?  I'm trying to understand that people are at a point where they are just putting it out there and trying to find a mate in an open and honest way but at this rate no one is going to have any horrific "I really liked him but then he told me..." stories in the future.  Is that really any way to live?

And with that I bring you what people consider the most private things they're willing to admit (and for the record, I admitted that I like being naked under my clothes.  I also shower in the nude and like to do lots of other things in the nude.  I'm so unoriginal.  But... I like to maintain some mystery).


 Well, alrighty then. That's quite a lot to take in. 



 Maybe I should message this guy...I bet he wouldn't hold my Alli Experience against me. 



 I saw all the movies... maybe.  I just don't get it.  But... I hope he finds himself a Hermione of his very own. 



 Well, that's just kind of cute and I'm glad he is open about it from the get-go.  Because I can't imagine dating this guy and catching him in the shower by accident and not thinking maybe I had missed something very important. 


 Honestly, I've never really understood this one.  I know it is a "fetish" or whatever but for all of the people out there who rant and rave about cigarettes and how awful they are and smelly and (insert cliche and overused complaint about smoking/smokers/cigarettes here), I find it hard to believe there is anyone who is actually INTO it. 


I'm scared of squirrels so maybe I should just shut the hell up and not be a judgy mcjudgypants, but... I kind of want to cuff this guy to a bed and force him to watch "Black Swan" with me... because who doesn't love Natalie Portman playing a confused, repressed young ballerina in the midst of a psychotic episode having hot girl-on-girl sex with Mila Kunis?


.
I could go on.  These aren't the worst I've ever seen and some are just funny.  But... it doesn't leave me any less confused about this online dating world.

What is the most private thing YOU would be willing to admit on an online dating site?


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Confessions: Without

This week's topic: 
WITHOUT

I hurt someone I love very much recently.  I spoke without restraint.  I spoke with anger, suspicion and hurt, but most importantly I spoke without love.  As a result, I am without right now.

I am not so foolish to think that I am truly without them. Ours is not a relationship based or reliant upon physical presence, and being 'without' isn't necessarily a new thing as others might understand it. As such, I believe that I am loved in such a way that I am never truly without them in heart, mind and spirit.  I know that as I write this, even at this late hour, I'm being loved and thought of (even if only in anger).  Nonetheless, I am bereft of the comfort that knowledge usually brings me.

I am without words.  Unfortunately, I am entirely devoid of ideas, intuitive notions, or the knowledge as to how to soothe the hurt I caused and remedy the situation; a simple apology feels inadequate.

It appears after all this time, after everything, I struggle with living a life without fear and suspicion caused by the pain of the past.

It's time I learn to move forward without my baggage.

It appears that I am still learning and growing, I just hope that perhaps I can do so without hurting too many more people.