Writing Fail

I’ve written more letters this year than I have in the last decade. Probably more.

I’m happier than I have been in the last decade. Probably more.

New place, new life, lots of good. Maybe it’s time to start updating this blog for real. Might be nice to have, to be able to look back at it later.

Oh! And I have a new tattoo!

new_tattoo

 

Letters and Sailors, Sailors and Letters

I make questionable romantic decisions.

In April of 2013 I met a guy at a party in my hotel room. It became an intense fling that couldn’t go anywhere for a variety of reasons… he already had a girl, he was going into the Navy, he’s eight years younger than me.

I’ve spent the last year pretty much crazy about him but trying to just be friends. Through the girl cheating on him. Through his breakup. Through him being with someone else. And now he’s at bootcamp and I’m writing him letters every day.

… And I’m still crazy about him. So I have decided to just… tell him. Put it all out there and see what happens.

I make questionable romantic decisions.

– m

Question: My Greatest Aspiration in Life

I have recently been playing a get to know you question game with someone pretty fun via text. It’s really legit way to get to know someone. I’ve known this dude for about eight months and we’ve kind of skirted the surface… but in the last six days I feel like I have gotten to know him incredibly well.

Today he asked me what my greatest aspiration in life is. I wanted to post my response because I realized while writing it that I really, really meant it… and it’s a good start for the new life I’m building for myself.

So here it is:

To be a great friend and an even better lover. To surround myself with people who love, inspire and support me, and to love, inspire and support them in return. To live my life to the fullest, be fully present, embrace passion, refuse fear, try as many new things as possible, grow up without growing old and die having made a difference in as many lives as possible with very, very few regrets.

I figure if I aim for that, everything else will fall in place.

– M

Growing Up Without Growing Old

Do you ever feel like you’re terrible at being an adult? I feel like I’m terrible at being an adult.

About two months ago I decided I was going to do this whole Portland thing. Move out here, get a place, settle in and start the next chapter of my life. It was fucking time. I’d been marking time in Idaho, waiting for the moment that it would become clear to me where it is that I belong.

So here I am in Portland. I’ve been here for a little over a month, camping out in a friend’s spare bedroom, working, going to the movies and the gym and occasionally hanging out with people. I did a little dating, which I am SO not ready/cut out for, and I’ve spent more time thinking about my ex than I really should have.

I did a fucking frenzy of apartment hunting when I first got here, but since then I’ve pretty much settled into wanting this one particular place in Vancouver. I’ve been playing the waiting game for what feels like a ridiculously long time on this place, even though it’s only actually been about a month. I haven’t even seen it yet. I’m finally seeing it on Friday. If it isn’t horrible I will almost certainly sign a lease because it’s month to month and fuck it.

Knowing that it should finally happen is freaking me out, though. I don’t know why I react the same way to permanence that I do to change… I’m terrible at settling down. I’ve spent this last year knowing I could pick up *whenever* and go *wherever*. Signing a lease – even a month to month lease – apparently ends that freedom in my head and sort of freaks me out. I can’t quite figure out how much of that is money and neighbors and having to take care of adult things like paying my bills on time… and how much of it is not having any idea what I want from my life right now.

I have never been one of those people who has a plan for my own life. Long term planning is not my thing. I can plan for events and things like that, but planning for my own life… not so much. I’ve been thinking about needing more of a plan lately, though, in conjunction with wanting to be healthier and better with money.

But… how do I start?


Song of the day:

Said The Whale – Mother

Musings on Weight “Loss”.

The weight loss industry is huge. It’s fucking ginormous. It’s a crazy, gluttonous industry that is making money largely off of making people feel bad about themselves so they’ll want to feel good by eating a certain way and buying certain things and working out in big sweaty rooms with lots of other people who also want to feel better about themselves.

I read an article awhile back on why it so easy for people who are in marketing – especially those who work at home – to gain weight and so hard to lose it. No, I have no idea where that article is or when I read it. At some point will have to be good enough.

The point of the article – at least the way that it stuck in my head – was that no matter how crappy you may feel about the *cough*50+*cough* pounds you put on in the three and a half years you’ve worked from home (and spent in a relationship that most of the time was relatively unhappy) – you still don’t want to fucking lose anything. Nobody wants to lose anything. You don’t want to lose your keys. You don’t want to lose friends, lose relationships, lose your house or your car. You spend your entire life telling yourself again and again not to lose things because LOSING IS BAD.

Except losing weight. Losing weight is good. Especially when you step on a scale in your boyfriend’s mother’s house at a New Years Eve party right after pausing your breakup with said boyfriend until a more convenient time… and the scale tells you that you have broken the 280 barrier and are inching toward the 290 mark. I hit the 290 mark before I finally left, I’m sure.

I dropped a little over 30 pounds in the first couple of months after leaving Austin. I gained some of it back and have been fluctuating between 260 and 270 since September. I didn’t do anything special to lose the weight, just a lot of staring at the ocean, walking my dog and not eating like (with) a dude who is only into fried foods and pizza.

That was a detour. Where I was going with this is… this weight is me. Every pound, in it’s own fucking, often miserable way, tells a story. And while I want to be healthier, I want to feel strong, I want to be able to run and play and escape zombie hordes and buy jeans that fit just about anywhere… I don’t want to “lose” anything to do it. I don’t want to have to tell myself that who I am right now is BAD in order to make good decisions.

I need another word. I need a word that makes me feel strong and healthy and let me set goals – like working toward weighing 180 lbs – without feeling like I’m losing anything.

new_years_eve_2013_smWhile I’m at it, I would also like to devote myself to not being a fucking asshole about going to the gym or making decent eating choices. I don’t want to tell the facebook universe that I’m working out, or be one of those people who only talks about my workouts or whether or not I’m going to work out or tries to get people to help motivate me to work out because I don’t wanna go. There are going to be days I don’t want to go. Yesterday I didn’t want to go, I was fucking hung over from spending New Years Eve drinking and taking selfies. I started with wine then combined several types of liquor and was wearing a shit ton of makeup and dressed as a sort of hipster girly version of the Cheshire Cat. It happens. I have included photographic evidence here.

Anyway. So. YESTERDAY I DID NOT GO TO THE GYM. I decided I’d done three days in a row and yesterday would be a rest day and I did a few situps and lifted some weights kind of idly while I watched Denzel and Mark Walburg shoot each other in “2 Guns” because after an entire day of laying around I sort of wanted to. Then today I went and did some damn cardio. Because that’s what I’m doing right now. Cardio. My initial goal is to do 30-45 minutes of exercise five or six days a week until I start to feel a little bit stronger and more limber. Lots of stretching and a little weight lifting if I really feel like it. Then once I’ve settled into a routine (and a gym, I’ll likely be changing gyms in about a month), I’ll start thinking about doing some other things or taking some classes. You know, as soon as regular basic exercise doesn’t cause me to sweat buckets and wheeze like an accordion.

I’m joking on the accordion part. All the walking actually has my lungs – and legs – in pretty good shape. But I’m definitely one of those people who sweats buckets and turns bright fucking red. It doesn’t matter how in shape I am, I turn red and stay red when I’m exercising or drinking. Curse the long line of redheaded, fair skinned Irishmen in my family.

Oh, also… If I ever look at someone who is eating a donut or ice cream and say – or even THINK – some variation of “well, I’m glad SOMEONE feels like they can eat those calories”… I should be murdered on the spot. Seriously. I never want to be one of those people who is crazy about counting calories or so worried about what they eat that they won’t budge even to eat a little bit of something delicious once in awhile. Or worries about how much olive oil they make their roast vegetables with. Or would never consider grabbing a burger or drinking a beer. Jesus. I want to be stronger and healthier, not dead.

And if you haven’t calculated how many calories your body needs just to function at your weight, you should. Here is a lovely calorie calculator. The American devotion to some stupid 1200 calories/starvation line is fucking retarded.

One last thing on this topic (at the moment)… I’m also going to keep getting real sugar syrup in my flavored lattes and drinking real coke on the random occasions I want a soda. Fake sugar is fucking scary.

– M

 

Getting My Shit Together

I hate New Years resolutions. They’re stupid and they don’t mean anything.

I’ve spent a year of my life… running from my life. J and I broke up last year on New Year’s Eve. I left at the end of February. And since then I haven’t had much of a home or a life. I bounced around a bit and then went to Coeur d’Alene and stayed. Now I’m in Portland, Oregon where I am starting again. I haven’t found a place yet but I know the one I want and I’m going from there.

I’m more determined to be the person I want to be than I ever have been before. This comes in both mental and physical forms. I want to be strong and I want to be happy and I am going to work my ass off to get there.

The first step was getting away for long enough that I could think straight again.

The second step is to start working on feeling physically strong. Losing weight is part of that, but that really isn’t what it is about for me. I want to feel stronger. I want everything that comes with that.

That being said, I fucking hate weight loss stories where the person is all “I did so good, here are my before and after shots!”… but have no details. So here are some details.

I am 32 years old. I weigh 269 lbs as of this morning. That’s a size XL Old Navy’s woman’s t-shirt or a size L men’s. 38DDD bra. A size 18 or 20 jeans. Also usually from Old Navy. I shop at Old Navy a lot. It’s anywhere from a 16 to a 20 dress size.

I’m pretty proportional. I’m one of those girls who gets bigger all over. Emphasis on thighs, hips and ass.

So that’s where I’m starting. My goal is 100 lbs. I know I should probably break that up into smaller chunks, but the truth is I don’t actually care if I lose that much provided I end up feeling stronger and better about myself.

Initially I am going to try to be good about what I eat for the most part and try to exercise for 30 minutes a day. I want to work on building initial strength before I try to do too much so I won’t end up feeling sore and using that and an excuse not to go to the gym.

That’s that for now. Writing in this fucking thing – mostly to make myself write – is also on the list. So we’ll see how that goes.

– M

Poem from 7/2008

who is she and what does she want?
this girl with the flat iron eyes
depth drifting in the glint of polish

i saw you before you met me
across a room, across the earth

my skies don’t blue the way they used to

he will love you and he will never
never look back at me again

i feel the same way

slide past the melancholy of my anger
a whisper told volumes to the boy
desperate to be a man, my mistake

he uses love as a plaything
joy and radiance and convenience

when you touch me i remember who i am

Independence Day

There have been a lot of changes lately – and I’m just now coming back to this thing I started a long time (and just a few entries) ago.  What has changed?

For one, that craft room I worked so hard on doesn’t exist anymore. I moved in with the boyfriend last weekend and now have a new shared office space that I will be organizing over the next few weeks in hopes of getting my craft – and office – space back.

A variety of other things have changed as well.  Work has been hectic, and gets busier every day as I get a little more stressed out.  I’m hoping to turn back to crafting as a way to get out of my own head – I need a hobby! For now, that and walking my dog will have to do.

I lost my baby puppy girl, Mara Jade, a few weeks ago.

She was the best of dogs and I miss her so much. I’m not entirely sure what happened, the vet told me it was probably a ruptured vertebrae and that it just happens sometimes in big dogs.

Max (my dachshund) and I are figuring out how to just be us while he figures out how to live in a new house with Miss Audrey (the boyfriend’s cat).  It’s not something he is very good at. Hopefully they’ll figure out how to get along.

June was a very rough month but I’m trying to put it  behind me – to start new this July in my new house with this new version of my life.  It’s a little scary, particularly this moving in with the boyfriend thing, but I think it’s going to be okay.

 

Bacon Cream Cheese Deviled Egg Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving! Ha.

NOTE:
I wrote down this recipe (approximately) the last time I made them. I’ve been making deviled eggs for as long as I can remember and I’m more of an experimenter in the kitchen than a measurer… so I do everything to taste. When making deviled eggs, I highly recommend that you use this recipe as a guideline and do it to taste yourself… because you are going to know best if your filling is delicious yet. Deviled eggs are pretty hard to mess up.

Also, I use a lot of mustard. Feel free to cut back on the mustard if you’d like. Start with 1 tablespoon and work up.

And use real cream cheese. The “whipped” stuff doesn’t work as well. You can substiute for “light” or the 1/3 calories cheese I can’t remember the name of right now, as long as it isn’t “whipped”.

As you’re going along, if you want your filling to be creamier, add more mayo and a little more cream cheese. If you want it to be a little spicier, add more mustard or pepper. And you can never have too much bacon.

THE BASIC RECIPE:
1 dozen eggs
1/2 package bacon
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tbs mustard (I use rough ground spicy brown mustard, but whatever mustard you like will do)
Salt & pepper
Paprika

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Start by opening the cream cheese and putting it on the counter. It’s easier to mix in when it has been warmed up a little.

You can cook the bacon first or wait until you are doing the eggs or after the eggs are done. Whatever works for you. You are eventually going to have to crumble the bacon up, though, so I highly recommend letting it cool before you do that.

It doesn’t really matter if you use thick cut or thin cut bacon – thick cut makes for bigger pieces in the eggs. When using thick cut I usually end up using 1/2 or more of a package because you have to pull all the fat off. When using thin cut, I usually cook it super crispy and use about 1/3 a package because you can crumble pretty much the whole thing in there. I bacon to taste – more bacon is never a bad thing.

I always cook the whole package either way. Some of it always seems to disappear while I’m making the eggs…

Hard boil the eggs. Feel free to do it however your mama (or the egg carton) taught you. The way I do this is to put the eggs into a pot full of cold water, making sure there is 2-3 inches of water covering the eggs. Heat the pot to boiling. Let boil for a minute or so, cover and remove from heat. Let the pot sit covered for 20 minutes. Strain eggs and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Once they are cold, peel the eggs and cut them in half length-wise. Put the yokes into a bowl.

Put the mayo, cream cheese and mustard into the bowl with the egg yokes. Mash it all together with a fork until creamy. It’s important to take your time here and make sure it gets blended thoroughly. You don’t want your filling to be lumpy.

Add a dash or two of salt and pepper. Taste it to see if it needs more. If it does, add more and taste again.

How does it taste right now? Can you taste too much mayo? Add cream cheese or mustard. Not creamy enough? Add mayo. A little bland? More salt. Completely delicious? Time to add bacon.

Crumble your bacon, pulling off the fat or stringy stuff as you go. You want your bacon pieces to be pretty small. I it all in the blender once and that was a terrible idea, but tasted good. They don’t need to be that small. Just small, like the bacon bits you put on your salad at the salad bar. You can crumble the bacon directly into the mixture at this point if you want.

Crumble in 1/3 to 1/2 the bacon, mix and taste. This part is really up to your tastebuds… you can’t really have too much bacon. But I find that about 1/3 a package of well cooked thin cut bacon is about ideal.

Once your filling is completely delicious, put it into the egg halves. You can do this with a spoon, a pastry bag, or you can do what I do… I scoop it all into a ziplock bag, seal the bag and cut off a bit of one corner to use as a makeshift pastry bag. This will make your filling look nice. Don’t forget to squeeze from the back by the bag closure, though – if not you will have deviled egg filling all over yourself when it busts out of the bag.

Sprinkle the filled egg halves with a little paprika to make them pretty. Garnish with crumbles of leftover bacon if you’d like. Or slices of olive. Or whatever suits your fancy.

AND YOU’RE DONE!

My First Title.

Life is like a mix tape. It crescendos and crashes, full of unexpected twists and turns. Even if you know the playlist you can still be surprised.

And there is always that one song that you really wish you’d left out.

I spent two hours tonight when I should have been working setting up this blog instead. I wouldn’t have needed to be working except I did a poor job of working today.

Being self employed can be a pain in the ass, especially when you drive to the opposite side of the city to meet a client and they never show up. The city which is currently experiencing record high temperatures and hasn’t had a mentionable amount of rain in months. The city in which I have lived for five years with no air conditioning in my car and without updating my registration.

I’ve been having a little trouble giving up my Idaho plates. When the little old lady at the DMV picked them out for me in the fall of 2005 she chirped “eighty-six, ninety-six, nine… that will be easy to remember!”

And I thought: “8-69-69? It sure will.”