Easy Guacamole (No Measuring!)

Photo via chow.com

Photo via chow.com

Robbie makes tacos for dinner about twice a month, because he is the master of anything involving ground beef, and I just don’t prefer cooking with it for some reason. It’s not that it’s difficult. And I don’t mind eating it usually. I just think it’s weird. I don’t know why. We all have our quirks. For example, Robbie hates the way microfiber towels feel, and he can’t stand to touch loose change because it smells weird and is dirty. So, I am the change jar roller! And he is the ground beef cooker. And I no longer buy any type of microfiber towel. But anyway.

Robbie takes real pride in his secret seasoning combinations for steaks, burgers, taco meat, sloppy joes, and the like. And I find it totally impossible to cook refried beans properly, and he is actually very good at that, too. So, this is why he is in charge of taco night. Plus, I get to watch TV on the couch with my beer while he does all the work! Yassssss.

My ONLY job on taco night is to make the guacamole, which we use for dipping tortilla chips in while everything is cooking, and also for putting on our tacos as an extra condiment. Before he met me, Robbie had never had guacamole or avocados in any form (I KNOW!), and he claimed to not like it. He was afraid to try it the first time I made it for him. But I forced it into his mouth! Muahaha!

And he loved it. Now he asks for it any time we eat anything remotely related to Mexican cuisine. Sometimes I let him taste-test to make him feel like his opinion matters. Ha!

Funny story: Once, I tried to grow an avocado tree using the pit from an avocado I used to make guacamole. There are instructions on Pinterest for this. It started out really easy. Just skewer the pit with toothpicks and set it over a glass of water so it’s about half-submerged. It grows roots, then a stalk, then leaves, and then hopefully about seven years later you have fruit. Mine grew roots, and a stalk about three feet tall, but it never, ever grew any leaves. Everyone who came to our house asked why I had a stick in a flower pot. It did not make the move with us to the new house.

I am all about recipes that don’t require exact measurements. I’ve played around with different ways to make guacamole over the years and finally have a pretty good process that, in my opinion, is just as tasty (if not better) than the tiny $5 bowls you get at Mexican restaurants. The best part is that you don’t have to measure anything at all! Unless you are just very Type A and want to make sure it is totally perfect. I can relate to that, too.

Easy, No Measure Guacamole

2 avocados
2 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
On rare occasion, I also add a couple tablespoons of minced onion for a little crunch.
(All measurements are approximate!)

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop the meat out into a bowl. Mash with a fork until you reach the consistency you like. Some people like their guac a little chunky; some people like it smooth and creamy. If it doesn’t mash easily with a fork because the avocados are not quite ripe enough, you can use a fork and a knife to cut it up into tinier, mashable pieces.

Stir in the salsa and sour cream. I don’t use the tablespoon from my measuring spoon set. I just use a spoon from my eating utensil drawer — not the small cereal spoon, but the larger one. Like the one you would use to mix ingredients. I have no idea if that is actually the same as the measuring tablespoon or not. It seems close.

For the other ingredients, I just cup my hand as if I was trying to collect a handful of water from a faucet. I fill up the little divot it makes in the center of my palm with each ingredient and dump it in, stirring to mix well. That’s it!

Obviously, you can taste it as you go and adjust the amounts according to what you like. I don’t let Robbie taste-test it anymore, because he always asks for more salt than I normally add. But when I just present it to him already finished, he never mentions it needing more salt. SO. THERE!

The lemon juice seems to help it from turning brown so quickly in the refrigerator, and I can keep it for about 2 days after it has been made to use for leftovers. Be sure to cover it with plastic wrap, though! Enjoy on your own Mexican dinner night at home! Because who can even afford to go out to eat anymore?

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Thanksgiving Recap

My Thanksgiving was awesome. I got to spend a few days at home with my family before heading up to Asheville to visit with a friend and his family. While at home, I got to spend a lot of time cleaning out my grandmother’s house, since she has just gone into a nursing home.

The people who live next door to her house have a dog that they keep in a lot in their back yard. His name is Sandy. He never gets fed or loved or brought in out of the cold. I fed him while I was there and put blankets in his little house to shield him from some of the cold air.

Sandy is slowing dying. He is starving. You can see each one of his ribs. He has frostbite from the cold. The tips of his ears are black. He may have cancer or some other terrible health thing going on. He has a growth on his stomach and some sores on his hips. When I take him food, he practically rips it out of my hands. He is a sweet, loving dog. He presses himself against the chicken wire of his lot to be petted and loved while shivering against the cold.

I have laid awake many a night worrying about this dog, but my mother forbid my from kidnapping him, which is what I really wanted to do when I found out that calling animal control would only result in him being left there or taken and put down quickly. The legal options suck. Many people have encouraged me to just take him. But what’s holding me back is the possibility that I may end up living in that house (rent-free since I’m unemployed), and I can’t very well steal the next-door neighbor’s dog and then show back up living with it next door. Particularly in a place where you are liable to get shot for being on someone else’s property — never mind taking their property.

Animal control either hasn’t done anything or hasn’t been able to find the people at home, because Sandy is still out there starving in the cold. My mom says she might try to talk to the owners to see if they’ll agree to give him up. I can’t understand why someone would want to own a dog they don’t care about and don’t want to take care of. I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want someone else to have it who would give it love and food and a warm place to sleep.

I didn’t grow up with dogs, but since I have owned one, I have not been able to accept animal cruelty or abuse in any way. My mom says things like, “You don’t just kidnap a child you know is being abused — you have to go through the proper legal channels.” And I think things like, “But that doesn’t always work. Sometimes you do have to take matters into your own hands.” It’s not like someone who is leaving their dog outside in the winter to starve, freeze, and die is going to hunt me down and press charges if I take it and give it something better. Right?

Anyways. I saw them feed him exactly once, by throwing a plate of scraps over the fence to him. His water bowls are all full of leaves and dirt. When I’m not there, my dad goes down and feeds him. Animal control has been called by several parties, but so far nothing has happened. The rescue agencies there say the only way they can foster a dog is if the owner willingly relinquishes it. And I’m also afraid that Sandy needs more medical attention and care than I would be able to pay for. So for now, he is still stuck out there, and we are doing what we can here and there. When he hears our cars pull into the driveway, he peeps his head around the corner of his little house to see if we’re coming with food and gentle stroking and soothing words. When we do, he looks up at us with huge, sad eyes and shakes.

After spending Thanksgiving dinner with my own family on the farm in Mount Vernon, I headed up to Asheville to hang out with my friend and his family for a few days.

The night I arrived, I met some of his relatives on their way out, and ended up with a glass of wine in my hand and sitting in the den watching Punkin Chunkin with my friend and his stepdad on the Discovery Channel.

Apparently watching Punkin Chunkin is a holiday tradition for them that I had never heard of. It’s some contest in Delaware where teams drunkenly compete to see how far they can launch a pumpkin, using various apparatuses. I can totally see why people get into this based on the engineering involved. But the whole time I was thinking, “I have family in Delaware, and there is no way they know about this type of redneck shit going down in their state.” It was pretty durn fun to watch, though.

After more pie and more wine and more Punkin Chunkin, the evening found my friend and I in his childhood basement bedroom, where I used to read the homework reading assignments from his history book to him, playing Candy Land Bingo and drinking Cold Mountain Ale (local brew provided by his mom, because she is awesome like that). And watching Friday Night Lights, which is a TV show we’re addicted to about high school football in Texas.

The next day we drove around town reminiscing about when we both used to live there, and marveling at the new things that have been built since we left, and dreaming about a time when we’ll be able to afford to live there again. Had to get back home for the Auburn/Alabama football game, which his mom made like a Superbowl Party, complete with our favorite beers and buffet of chili cheese dip and all kinds of other good things to eat. We all had our Auburn game day shirts on and were completely psyched when Auburn won. War Eagle!

That evening, my friend’s mom took us out for a night on the town. We went on a tour of local microbreweries just to check them out since we hadn’t seen them. We went to the Biltmore Estate for a little while to see the new village there. It’s called Antler something and there are all these little shops and a museum, where we watched a short video on the history of the estate. After that we went to the winery.

And from there we went to a restaurant on the square called Cedric’s, where we warmed ourselves up, had some beers and decided what to do next. Cedric’s is named after the Vanderbilts’ beloved Saint Bernard, and there are pictures of him all over. There was a pretty good live blues guitarist playing that night, so that was fun. But we wanted to go downtown. So we didn’t stay too long.

Once downtown, it was a tough call as to where to go. We ended up having dinner at the Lexington Avenue Brewery, because it was a new addition to the scene since we’d both lived there. It was very cool, and crowded, so we sat outside on the patio under the heaters to eat, and that was kinda fun. The waitress asked me and my friend if we were family because we both ordered the same beer and red meat dishes, medium rare. Had to correct her that in fact no, we are not related. This helped my friend’s efforts to look down her shirt when she was leaning over the table, and I will admit, her boobs were worth staring at. So no grief was given. She was one of those Asheville girls who you know can’t possibly be FROM Asheville but whose sexy hippieness is  keeping her employed with good tips anyway. What? I’m not jealous.

The food there was good but the beer wasn’t that great, so we decided to go elsewhere before heading home. We wanted to go to Asheville Pizza on Merrimon to relive old times, but my friend’s mom said the bar they just opened downtown was cool. So we went there instead to check out the new place and scenery. It was cool. They have some new beers on tap which were good, and some new t-shirts, but they were sold out of those. It’s very industrial, but I liked it. We had some great conversation there, and some good beer. I got to have my old favorite — Shiva — which I had not tasted in years, and it was delightful.

Afterwards we stopped by the huge new Ingles on Tunnel Road (I can’t believe there’s a huge new Ingles on Tunnel Road) so my friend’s mom could pick up a potato to put in the homemade vegetable soup she was making for him to be able to take back with him. Then we went home and got ready to go back out.

My friend and I decided we had to go to Scandals to see what it was like now. We used to spend almost every Friday and Saturday night there at one or more of their bars, and we wanted to at least see a drag show for old times’ sake while we were there. It turned out that the multiple clubs we used to visit are all separate entrances now, so we just went to Scandals. We saw the drag show, and although it was not as fun as when we knew all the performers, it was still pretty fun. We still knew one of them.

It was a far cry from the days of sneaking underage shots through the mouths of friends and sneaking off to make out in various bathrooms and chain smoking in the pool room, but it was a fun night. We felt kinda old, though. We sat on the sidelines watching the dance floor, while saying things like, “Can you believe we used to come here and dance like that?”

Afterward, we went to Denny’s on Patton, which was always our old refueling station after a night at the club. We were going to get breakfast like we always used to, but there was a table full of redneck kids behind us making foul and hateful comments about some kids at the table next to us, and we had to leave so my friend didn’t beat the shit out of them. So we retreated back to Kenilworth Lake, to his parents’ house, for more Friday Night Lights and eating our take-out bacon and eggs on the water bed that I hate because it’s so hard to get in and out of. Seriously, you shouldn’t need abs of steel just for getting in and out of bed, for fuck’s sake.

Mastering the Art of the Surprise

Unlike a lot of people I know, I really love surprises. But I hardly ever get them. I’m usually too good at figuring stuff out ahead of time, and I think a lot of people don’t do surprises because they aren’t sure how you’ll feel about it. My mom, for example, hates surprises and will have a conniption over a surprise party thrown in her honor. Mainly because she wants her house to be perfect if anyone sets foot in it, and if she doesn’t have time to clean and  prepare, she feels terrible.

The best surprises are acts of kindness, I think. Gifts are okay, but it’s the little things with a lot of thought and heart behind them that make the biggest impact to me. An ex-boyfriend used to pick flowers for me randomly and surprise me with little vases of daffodils or poppies around the house. A former co-worker once left a check on my desk when I was having car troubles with “Random Act of Kindness” in the subject line. That was pretty amazing. Another former co-worker always saved me the magazines I liked from the lobby when changing out the issues. A former neighbor used to leave little bags of the extra basil from her garden on my front porch for me to make pesto. Things like that mean more to me than anything you could buy in a store.

This past weekend, my friend gave me the best surprise ever. He drove seven hours and showed up on my doorstep to spend 3 days with me, hanging out, taking care of me, being my partner in crime for vegging out and being lazy and relaxing, which was something I really needed after six weeks of unemployment and feeling run down because I have mono.

I admit, it was not a complete surprise. I had a tiny inkling because he’d asked me a couple questions last week about my plans for the weekend — questions meant to make sure I didn’t have plans and was going to be at home. He also straight up told me he had a surprise planned for me. My rich imagination immediately lept to the fantastic idea that he was planning a  visit. But my practical side dismissed it as improbable because it’s such a long drive, and his work schedule is so crazy, and things that awesome just don’t really happen to me.

On Friday I was having a great day of productive unemployment. I cleaned the whole house, did all the laundry, groomed Birdy, washed her bedding, took a long hot bath, lit all my candles, and settled in to watch a couple episodes of the new BBC Sherlock Holmes on PBS Masterpiece Mystery. I was feeling good about getting a lot done around the house and trying not to feel guilty about settling in to veg on TV.

TV almost always makes me feel guilty. I think it’s because in all the years when I chose not to have it, before you could watch everything online anyway, I read a lot and studied a lot and really came to realize how much time I had wasted over previous years watching TV when I could have been doing other things that were better for my brain and my intellect. But one thing I do like about being able to watch things now is that I feel a little better able to keep up with pop culture. Actually, my friend made the comment that socialization nowadays is mainly based on liking or disliking the same media content, and people don’t have “real” conversations too much anymore. That doesn’t stop me from trying to initiate them, though. But now I can kinda do both a little better, and I don’t seem like such an out of touch weirdo.

So while I was vegging out with Sherlock and Watson, snuggled under a blanket on the couch with Birdy keeping my feet warm, I kept getting text messages from my friend about how he was working on my surprise, and how I should check my email around 2 am to find out what it was. That information made me think I was completely off-base about a possible visit. He kept making me guess things, which of course were all wrong, because I was thinking in terms of information in an email. I kept nodding off, and he kept texting me, asking me if I was still awake, and telling me to stay up so I could check my email for the surprise.

At 2 am he texted me and said, “Okay, you can check your email now!” The email was a text from his phone that said, “Wait 4 it.” I texted him back, like, “What the hell?” I was slightly annoyed that I had been staying up and that was all I got. His next text said, “Look outside.”

I can’t see outside without going outside because of the type of glass in my front door, so I opened the door and stepped out onto my stoop just in time to see him pulling into my driveway! I said, “Oh my God, are you seriously here right now??” He said, “SURPRISE! I had a few days off, so I thought I’d come up here.”

In the back seat was Ellie, his baby. Ellie is a beautiful Australian shepherd-collie mix. She’s quite a bit bigger than Birdy, and most people think Birdy is pretty big. I met her last time I went down there to visit, and she loved me and snuggled with me pretty instantly.

Ellie and Birdy did not hit it off right away. It was very surprising, because Birdy is very submissive to other dogs, even on her own territory. She is the type of dog who just doesn’t like for there to be any problems. She’ll do anything to keep the peace. Her attitude is, “Oh, you like my bone? You can have it. Just don’t try to fight me for it.” “Oh, you want to check out my house? Sure, go ahead. You like my bed? Go ahead and lie on it. I have others. You want to eat some of my food? Okay, no problem, I will get more soon.”

 

Ellie went after Birdy a few times for getting too close to her food bowl, or even our plates of food, and she wasn’t very happy about my friend giving Birdy too much attention. She never tried to hurt Bird, but she nipped at her and barked at her, just warning her really. But Birdy is so sensitive to anything like that, she would barely come into the same room afterwards and spent a lot of time hanging out as far away as possible, in her crate and in the laundry room, where she never goes. My friend punished Ellie by making her lay down with her head on the floor until he gave the okay, which she was not happy about, but she did it. Again, like a little kid, she was missing having his direction and having the boundaries she was used to. I think it was a good thing that he brought her on a road trip with just him to get her used to that again.

After a breaking in period, they did a lot better. We left them out in the back yard together for long periods of time, and I think they bonded over tag-team barking at the neighbors. We made a point of making Ellie stay on her bed and then coaxing Birdy into the room to get on her bed, which was successful. Eventually they made friends, which was really great news. They have to obey the same process for going out — they have to sit before the door is opened, and then they have to wait for the safe word before they can actually go out the door after it has been opened. I think knowing the same commands and having to obey them together was helpful. I also gave them treats at the same time, and they both know they have to do a trick to get a treat, so that was reinforcement as well. By last night, Ellie was spooning with me in bed, and this morning, she was playfully encouraging Birdy to play with her in the house before they both went outside together to play for a while. A huge improvement over trying to attack her. Interestingly, Ellie did not attempt to attack me for getting too close to my friend like she did with Birdy, and when I commented on this fact, Nick said, “She does not fuck with humans. She’s not stupid.” Actually, she did growl at me a couple times in the beginning when I was allowing Birdy to be closer to us than her, but she responded well to my calm-assertive posture when I stood over her and backed her up. I’m telling you — Caesar Milan is a freaking genius. The shit works.

My friend and I are both big fans of “The Office,” and he had never seen “Parks and Recreation,” which is a show I love that is similar to “The Office” in its humor and they way it is produced. So I introduced him to that and we ended up vegging a lot and watching the entire first two seasons of it. I had actually only seen a few episodes of it, and now that I’ve seen them all, it’s like one of my new favorites. So many great characters and great acting. It’s about a small town in Indiana, and the staff of the Parks and Rec department of their local government. My favorite character is Ron Swanson, the director of the Parks Department. He is up there with Jack Donaghy on my list of TV show heroes.

Lately I’ve been on a Karate Kid kick, which happens every few years or so. I saw the first two in the theater as a kid, and they’ve just always stuck with me, even before they evolved into the cult classics they are now. My friend is also a huge Karate Kid fan and has been wanting to see the new version that just came out for a little while, so we rented that. Not surprisingly: VERY disappointing!

It was not all bad — Jaden Smith’s acting could have been slightly worse, and the tournament part at the end was pretty awesome. But I have to say I think the negatives outweighed the positives. First of all, it’s not a movie I feel should have been remade in the first place, because HOW THE HELL do you think you can improve upon one of the greatest movies of all time? It’s like remaking Schindler’s List. No. Just….no.

Instead of moving to California, they move to China. Instead of learning Karate, he learns Kung Fu. Instead of a Zen master like Mr. Miyagi, who has an inner strength and calm about him despite personal circumstances, Jackie Chan plays a sad and broken man who has a lot to learn himself, and who does end up improving his attitude, but only slightly. Instead of a gentlemanly, good, emotionally intelligent person like Daniel La Russo, Dre is a punk of a kid who can’t even show own his mother an ounce of respect. Instead of the characters being high school age, they’re like 12, which makes the whole inclusion of a romantic subplot really unbelievable, PARTICULARLY when the 12-year-old main character actually looks like he’s about five. I’d recommend watching the last half hour of the movie only. Everything leading up to the tournament is pointless and ridiculous. And extremely repetitive. They reiterate the fact that Dre can’t speak Chinese about a billion times. I was like, “We’ve established that! He’s a punk ass American kid! Move on!” Terrible writing.

I guess I’m just too biased to be open minded about it. I am a huge movie buff, and I have a short list of favorites, which The Karate Kid I and II are definitely on. There are some things that need to be left alone. Seriously. As a marketing person, I can understand the desire/need to market old favorites to a new audience, but in my opinion, that could have been done much more successfully than with this poor excuse for a movie. It was not even worth the dollar I gave Red Box to rent it.

Worst part of all? After the mean Chinese opponent screwed up his leg in the final round of the tournament, Jaden was obviously trying to remember which leg to limp on. AND! In the original, Daniel-san took his beatings from the mean kids with poise and determination, not to be defeated. Jaden was just a whiny little bitch who laid around crying. Ralph Macchio will not be topped. Part of the Karate Kid is about a boy becoming a man. That did not happen in this version. I saw a boy do something semi-cool and remain a boy. A boy with a trophy who maybe learned a little bit of a lesson. Not the emotional strength and wisdom that only Mr. Miyagi could impart.

Otherwise, it was the best long weekend ever. And meanwhile, thank God for unlimited cell phone minutes and unlimited texting.

Good Lyrics: We Belong

Posting this will probably date me very unfortunately. This song was on my first favorite pop music album, around age 5, because my older (and way cooler) big-girl neighbors were all listening to it. I was the youngest initiate in that first neighborhood circle of friends. Also attributed to their influence is a story my cousin likes to tell at holiday family gatherings about me running outside the house (around the same age) wearing a white lace glove and screaming, “Madonna’s on MTV! Madonna’s on MTV!” And when everyone came to see what I was being so spastic about, they saw the “Like a Virgin” video. I”m positive I had no idea what she was singing about, but I did know — because of the neighbor girls — that Madonna was cool and I should like her. LOL. Anyway, Pat Benatar was my first pop love. This song actually still speaks to me, 25+ years later, and it’s speaking to me in particular today. Heard it on the radio while driving home on a road trip and contemplating the trip’s events, and realized that it pretty much sums things up.

We Belong
by Pat Benatar

We Belong, We Belong to the light
Many times I’ve tried to tell you
Many times I’ve cried alone
Always I’m surprised how well you
Cut my feelings to the bone

Don’t want to leave you really
I’ve invested too much time
To give you up that easy
To the doubts that complicate your mind

CHORUS:
We Belong to the light
We Belong to the thunder
We Belong to the sound of the words
We’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace
For worse or for better
We Belong, We Belong
We Belong together

Maybe it’s a sign of weakness
When I don’t know what to say
Maybe I just wouldn’t know
What to do with my strength anyway
Have we become a habit
Do we distort the facts
Now there’s no looking forward
Now there’s no turning back
When you say

CHORUS

Close your eyes and try to sleep now
Close your eyes and try to dream
Clear your mind and do your best
To try and wash the palette clean
We can’t begin to know it
How much we really care
I hear your voice inside me
I see your face everywhere
Still you say

CHORUS

Crafty Love! Road Trip

This week I’m working a ton so I can take Friday off and begin my road trip to the deep South and spend the weekend with some friends. I got a hilarious voicemail last night while I was sleeping: “Booooo! You’re not answering! I guess I’ll get over it. Oh! I keep forgetting we have an hour time difference, yo! And you’re probably trying to get some sleep so that you can get up early and stay late at work tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. So that you can come hang out with me on Friday. Sorry!”

I am so ready for a real change of scenery and to get the heck out of Dodge for a couple days. As much as I love a good road trip with friends, I also really enjoy traveling alone. It’s not as entertaining, but being alone with your thoughts for seven hours is pretty good meditation time. Plus, you get to listen to whatever music you choose. I enjoy feeling like I am feeding my independent, adventurous spirit. Birdy is going to be vacationing at Auntie Jenny’s house with all the animals at the zoo. Thanks, Auntie! She is in love with most people. Except small children and people on bicycles.

I found some great road trip stuff on Etsy today, so check it out!

Road Trip Chipboard Album
$25.99 by Sara Nicole Designs
I kept a travel journal when I went to Europe, and I really regret not having done so on all my other trips.

Car Litter Bag
$19 by The Mod Mobile
My friends are really kind not to mention the disastrous state my car stays in. But they all know I need one of these more than most people.

Diane Arbus Quote Fine Art Print
$30 by 3 Lambs Graphics
I love this quote and totally relate.

Postcard Passport Cover
$5 by Sugar Cane Train 808
A friend of mine collects vintage postcards, which I think is awesome. Love this passport cover.

Good Lyrics: I Try

I love Macy Gray. She is such a crazy freak. And this song has been a favorite of mine for years. Seems to never lose its relevancy. This is what great pop songs are made of.

I Try
by Macy Gray

Games, changes and fears
When will they go from here?
When will they stop?

I believe that fate has brought us here
And we should be together
But we’re not

I play it off but I’m dreaming of you
I’ll keep my cool but I’m fiending
I try to say goodbye and I choke
I try to walk away and I stumble
Though I try to hide it it’s clear
My world crumbles when you are not near
Goodbye and I choke
I try to walk away and I stumble
Though I try to hide it, it’s clear
My world crumbles when you are not near

I may appear to be free
But I’m just a prisoner of your love
I may seem all right and smile when you leave
But my smiles are just a front

I play it off but I’m dreaming of you
I’ll keep my cool but I’m fiending
I try to say goodbye and I choke
I try to walk away and I stumble
Though I try to hide it it’s clear
My world crumbles when you are not near

Here is my confession
May I be your possession
Boy, I need your touch
Your love, kisses and such
With all my might I try
But this I can’t deny

I play it off but I’m dreaming of you
I’ll keep my cool but I’m fiending
I try to say good bye and I choke
I try to walk away and I stumble
Though I try to hide it it’s clear
My world crumbles when you are not near

Random Survey…Because I’m Too Tired to Think Too Hard

How did you get one of your scars?
I have a scar on the pad of my right middle finger. When I was 3 or 4, I was hanging out with my dad in his workshop and picked up an exacto knife. Guess how I figured out the purpose of that tool?

How did you celebrate your last birthday?
Mellow Mushroom with friends and family.

How are you feeling at this moment?
Exhausted after working a 60 hour week.

How did your night go last night?
Great! Saw Toy Story 3 in 3D in the theater with my friend Jeff.

How did you do in high school?
Awesome at everything. Except Calculus.

How did you get the shirt you’re wearing?
I found it at Goodwill. It says “I Climbed the Great Wall.”

How old will you be at your next birthday?
32. Er, 29.

What did you do last weekend?
Um…I’m not sure I can even remember. I made a whole bunch of recycled map stationery and jewelry and posted them on Etsy. I watched some TV. I accidentally locked Birdy in the car with my keys in 100 degree heat. I slept. I went to the grocery store. I garden-sat for friends. I actually finished unpacking my house, which I have lived in now for about 2 months.

What is the most important part of your life?
I’m not sure how to answer that. I guess I would say friends/family and art/music/literature.

What would you rather be doing?
Right now I’d rather be on a kick-ass road trip or having really good sex than sitting here exhausted from working.

What did you last cry over?
I cried last week because I felt like everything was going from bad to worse and I couldn’t catch a break. And I was really upset with myself for accidentally locking Birdy in the car when it was so hot. And I was struggling with a couple of friends who were making me feel negatively.

What always makes you feel better when you’re upset?
Getting love from Birdy. Driving around and blasting music in the car. Throwing things. Cursing. Sleeping. Kind, loving, supportive words from friends. Crafting. Sitting on my patchwork quilt in the sun. Music. Feeling a sense of accomplishment.

What’s the most important thing you look for in a significant other?

Sparks/Chemistry, similar personality/interests, and humor.

What did you have for breakfast?
Homemade hash browns, my specialty.

Have you ever liked someone who had a girlfriend/boyfriend?
Haven’t we all?

Have you ever had your heartbroken?
Haven’t we all?

Have you ever been out of the country?
Yes.

Have you ever done something outrageously dumb?
All the time.

Have you ever had sex on the beach?
Not that I can recall.

Have you ever dated someone younger than you?
Yes.

Have you ever read an entire book in one day?
Yes. I think the last one was Harry Potter 7.

Who was the last person you saw?
My boss.

Who was the last person you texted?
Nick.

Who was the last person you hung out with?
Jeff.

Who was the last person to call you?
Margie.

Who did you last hug?
Dawn.

Who is the last person who texted you?
Nick.

Who was the last person you said “i love you” to?
My cousin Chip

Where did you last go?

Downtown

Where did you last hang out?
At my house

Do you like someone right now?
Okay, I think this is a middle school survey. But yes.

Do you think anyone likes you?
Yes.

Do you ever wish you were someone else?

No.

Why did your parents give you the name you have?
My dad had a college professor whose daughter was named Maegan and they liked it. And also because it’s Scottish and we have Scottish ancestry.

If you could have one super power what would it be?
Tough one. Selective mind-reading.

If you could go back in time and change one thing, would you?
No, I think everything works out the way it’s supposed to.

If you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring one thing, what would you bring?
I hate this question. First of all, never gonna happen. Secondly, WHO could pick just one thing? But really, I guess a satellite phone.

Would you ever get back together with any of your exes if they asked you?
Probably not. Unless the laws of the universe somehow got reversed to allow for the possibility that people actually change.

Would you ever shave your head to save someone you love?
Absolutely. It grows back.

Are you happy with your life right now?
Yeah, I’d say I’m happier with it overall than I have been in a long time.

Anger Management: Kick Boxing

I’m having some anger issues lately. I’ve written about this in the past for humorous reasons. But I’m starting to realize that I have a lot of pent up anger and frustration about people who have disrespected me or treated me shitty. Or who continue to do so in some cases. I used to be the type of person who repressed those feelings, because I didn’t see any good reason to let it out, nor did I know how to appropriately. The people in my life who I have seen express anger in a violent, physical way, only did more harm to themselves, to me, and to the situation by doing so.

I’m still not sure I know how. More recently I’ve tried the tactic of just cutting negative people out of my life. I’ve tried the tactic of burning myself with a lighter to distract myself from the intensity of the anger. That does work, but I don’t really like scars.

I’ve reached the point where I”m going to have to try some other things out so I can release these negative feelings and be done with them. Cussing someone out only takes you so far. But sometimes you need to get in a really good zinger and THEN cut out the negativity.

In that movie “You’ve Got Mail,” Joe Fox tells Kathleen Kelly, “When you finally have the pleasure of saying the thing you mean to say at the moment you mean to say it, remorse inevitably follows.” I used to find that to be true. Now…not so much. Well, maybe a little. But I can’t cuss out everyone I have the desire to. After a conversation about this with Jen today, we finally figured out what I need.

I need something to which I can affix a picture of someone’s face and then kick box it. I will admit to doing this in the past with a dart board, a la Murphy Brown. But it seems that as I get older, I need something a little more physical. I need to feel like I am destroying something, but I don’t have anything I feel okay about breaking. I think I am having teen angst now that I’m in my thirties. I’m not quite sure why tears used to work, and now venting rage physically seems to be more appealing. I have an intense need to pummel things.

So it’s decided: I’m getting a punching bag. And I’m becoming a kick boxer. I mean…check out the abs on that girl in the photo! I think there are more positive benefits from this activity than I had even considered.

I am not a punching bag, people. I am AWESOME. There are boxing gloves in my future. Just you wait. I WILL KICK ASS! 🙂

Mixed Signals Suck

Today I decided that my eternal dating dilemma is trying to decipher mixed signals. I consider myself to be a pretty good communicator, and I have no idea how to play games. I usually find that the people you encounter who most fervently claim to hate playing games are the ones who do it best. It’s like that’s part of the game. I’m not saying I hate it — I’m saying I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

I’ll be the first to admit I have no game. I’m too honest. I have trouble hiding how I feel, especially if I really like (or dislike) someone, and I don’t see why you should have to. I think my ideal situation would be feeling able to be open about how I feel (even — maybe especially — if it’s awesome) and having the other person be thrilled about that instead of freaking out about it. Especially after they have made you feel like you are “special” to them. Maybe that’s just me being gullible.

Some would say I have a bad habit of being attracted to players. Maybe it’s the whole bad boy thing. Maybe I am just gullible enough to believe the bullshit they spew. Hmm. Maybe I am THAT girl.

But guys, let me tell you something. It’s not a good idea to spend a lot of time professing how wonderful you think someone is and how special they are and how different from other girls in your life they are unless you want them to believe it for real. I have serious trust issues, and I do everything in my power to be skeptical of everything anyone ever says to me. But eventually I can be convinced.

Once I am convinced and act like I am, things start to change. Suddenly if I act appreciative of some special act, he freaks out. “Oh no! Too clingy! Mustn’t let her think there is anything special about her!” SO DON’T DO THINGS TO MAKE ME FEEL SPECIAL. AND DEFINITELY DON’T TELL ME I AM if that is not the desired result. If I am just another girl, or just one of many, PLEASE don’t spend so much time trying to convince me otherwise. I promise it will be better for everyone in the long run if we just don’t go there.

I can be pretty open with my heart once I trust you. And if I finally get to that point and then you make me feel like maybe I’ve made a mistake and fallen for it once again…that sucks. And it makes me not like you very much. And it makes me really not want to date ever again.

So, yeah. If you’re a guy and you’re reading this, please examine your behavior for potentially mixed signals you may be sending out. I don’t have time for the games — I got a life to live, yo.