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?

Time to Move All Our Bad Habits Outside

I feel like I’ve really been neglecting my blog lately. I have a lot of updates, but I never remember to blog about stuff anymore. I know hardly anyone reads this anyway, and so it serves as more of a diary with pictures for my own purposes. But even diaries need updating now and then.

1. I got my hair cut! For normal people, this is not a big deal, but when you are like me, and you don’t pay attention to things like hair, this is huge. I got five inches chopped off and a new style. The new style is nothing major — just sort of an update with a side part and long layers — but I feel like a new person. My standard routine for the past many years has been getting three inches cut off the bottom when it got long enough to get stuck in my armpits. Which is annoying. But I now look like I am actually sort of trying to look hip and decent, which is cool. LOL! To be honest, I look more like I did in high school than I have since 1996. But getting carded regularly for cigarettes at my current unmentionable age has convinced me this is, in fact, awesome. Here is a pic:

2. Camping awesomeness. We went camping a few weeks ago right when it started to be warm and springy, with a group of friends in Tuskegee, which I always try to refer to as “Tuckasegee” until someonei reminds me that’s in North Carolina. Weird random fact: Lionel Richie was born in Tuskegee. I’m not sure what other claims to fame it has except that there is a pretty cool national forest there, and it’s only about 20 minutes from here. Every schoolkid growing up in North Carolina learns that the state has three distinct regions: mountains, piedmont, and coastal. Here in Alabama, there are four or five, and all I know so far is that we live in the river region, although learning more about Alabama geography has definitely been on my to-do list for some time now. Apparently it’s called that because there are a lot of rivers here. If you can imagine that logic. The place we went camping in Tuskegee National Forest was by a river, although I have no idea which one. We went with a group of friends to a secluded spot they love and refer to as “Rock Beach” although it doesn’t officially have a name, and the road you take off the main highway to get close to it has no name either, and you just have to know to look for it in the dip in the four-lane, off to the side. This is my kind of camping. The beach is by one of the lower parts of the river with a wide pebble shore, backed by pine forest for about a mile in between the river and the nearest road. But it’s an easy hike in, with just a few hills and valleys and nothing too strenuous. A good thing, since we were carrying gallons of mojitos in Sprite bottles along with us. It will definitely be a place I go back to repeatedly, especially when it gets so hot this summer. Which reminds me, I need to get the rattlesnake vaccine. And no, I didn’t know there was such a thing either until I moved here and started hanging out with outdoorsy people. Evidently, it is only minimally effective — maybe like 4 out of 10 people bitten still die — but better safe than sorry, right?

“Rock Beach.”

All our tents.

Friends by the camp fire.

3. Birdy discovered she can swim!  There is a pretty awesome city park just down the street from us where I take Birdy to hike around. This park has a small lake, which is home to two very pretty mallard ducks. I have named them Ethel and Frances, because they are always together, and they always appear to be chatting as they skim around the lake side by side. Birdy has always been a big fan of creeks, where she enjoys plopping her belly down and just sitting in the cool water while her tail floats. And she has been to the beach once, where she discovered the joys of running on the sand but was a little frightened and perplexed by the water trying to chase her. But I had never seen her try to swim before, until she spied Ethel and Frances one day in the lake at the park, and plunged in to chase them halfway across it. Alas, even slowpoke ducks are still too fast for Birdy to catch them while swimming. So she ends up trailing about two feet behind them and following them around in figure-eights. They don’t seem to pay much attention to her. On days when we don’t see Ethel and Frances, I throw big sticks in the lake from a little sandy beach. While Bird won’t dive in after the sticks, she will wade in carefully and then swim out to retrieve them for me, sometimes returning with bigger ones than what I tossed in. Evidently this is yet another way she has adopted some of my personality traits.

Birdy with Ethel and Frances.

4. My first Deep South music festival!  Last weekend, we drove about 20 minutes away, out to Waverly (population 184) for the 280 Boogie music festival, an annual event held to commemorate the celebration that occurred when the state decided NOT to send the big highway straight through the middle of a tiny little town. This year was the 11th annual Boogie, and it was well worth the ten bucks we paid to spend the day there. (This was also the first year they’ve ever charged admission, so I heard a lot of hemming and hawing about that from people who had been before.) For ten bucks, we spent a glorious spring day, warm and breezy, sitting on a blanket under enormous black walnut trees, drinking mojitos, eating crawfish and barbecue, and listening to several really good bands while chatting with our friends. I wouldn’t really call it a hippie festival, although there were some people wearing slightly hippie-ish clothing there. It was a pretty good cross-section of the population, I think. All ages, all walks of life. At one point, my friend wandered off in search of lunch, and came back with a new pottery coffee mug for me (I collect them) and Nag Champa soap, which I had been looking for recently without his knowledge. Afterward we headed over to Sean and Kalli’s house for more socializing and a cook-out.

The music stage at the Old 280 Boogie.

“Don’t let the spiked hair fool you — like I’m not a bitch.”

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I have finally jumped on the Jersey Shore bandwagon. When the show first came out, I was (like most people, I think) mortified that someone would actually watch that and concerned about what it meant about our collective intelligence level. I am also not a fan of reality shows in general, for many reasons. The people are just fake fame-whores. There is not much reality in them at all. I read enough to keep up with popular culture, even if I am not immersed in it myself, so I knew all about GTL and Guidos and Snooki and all that crap. And I still had no desire to see it. Then, a couple weeks ago, my friend and I had the following conversation:

Friend: “We have to watch the season premiere of Jersey Shore Season Two tonight!”
Me: “Whaaaaaat? Nooooo.”
Friend: “Yeah! It’s so funny! You have to experience it!”
Me: “I don’t care about watching a bunch of stupid idiots get drunk.”
Friend: “That’s because you haven’t watched it with me. There is so much more to it than that. Just watch one episode, and then if you don’t want to see any more, you don’t have to.”
Me, thinking this sounds like a good compromise: “Okay. I guess one hour won’t kill me.”

We started with the first episode of Season Two. Two days later, I’d seen every episode that ever aired.

I typically abhor drama, particularly in my own life. Although some friends of mine may disagree with that, because I often have drama going on in my life (but not usually of my own making). I also can’t stand catty girls. But it is SO much more fun to laugh at other people’s dumb drama and cattiness. It makes you appreciate the sheer lack of it in your own life by comparison.

On Jersey Shore, someone is always getting punched in the face — and ALWAYS with good reason. They will punch people being punks at the club (“She called Snookers fat and that like triggered me, umm, so I threw my drink in her face. I was gonna try to uppercut her, but at that point I had too many bouncers wrapped around me.“), haters on the boardwalk (“Damn, the kid’s sleeping right now. That’s what you get for talking shit.”), people who are bullying others (“GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE, BRO! THAT’S ONE SHOT! THAT’S ONE SHOT, KID!“) and even each other for being assholes (“Mike, he’s a creep, I mean at this point you’re lucky I don’t crack you in your face right now.”) I mean, I won’t lie and say I’ve never wanted to punch any of my friends in the face, and they’re all great people. But sometimes people are shits, you know?

I love how these random people got thrown together and became friends, and then became like family. All these kids are decent people at heart. They have their flaws, but who doesn’t? Most of their Italian culture reminds me of ours here in the South — the whole “don’t mess with my people or I will fuck you up” attitude. We hang together. We stand up for our own. (“How do you watch a girl get punched in her face and do nothing?“) Family is everything, and we treat our true friends like family members. (“I think what happened to Snookers brought us a lot closer to her, definitely. I mean, we get on her and stuff like that, but we still care for her.”) In fact, there are a lot of similarities between Italian and Southern culture:

The family is the center of the social structure and provides a stabilizing influence for its members. In the north, generally only the nuclear family lives together; while in the south, the extended family often resides together in one house. The family provides both emotional and financial support to its members. Prefer to do business with people they know and trust. In the north, people are direct, see time as money, and get down to business after only a brief period of social talk. In the south, people take a more leisurely approach to life and want to get to know the people with whom they do business. Generally highly satisfied with social relations and family, health care, daily life and friendship relations; however, find economic status and job opportunities generally less satisfying, especially with the fact that Southern states still suffer from relatively high unemployment. Those from the Southern region generally perceived to be less intelligent by the rest of the country. Place great importance on religion and family. Originally an agricultural society. Reverential about food. Proud of contributions to history. Serious about preserving honor. Not afraid to call people on their bullshit. Accustomed to living with false stereotyping. Love car racing. Jersey Shore = Myrtle Beach (or Panama City Beach).

My advice to those haters out there who think they’re above this type of entertainment: stop being such a snobby asshole. This is the first reality show I’ve ever seen in which the people act like real people who have real ups and downs and real shining moments, as well as real low points. (“Down here at the Shore, one minute you got three girls in the jacuzzi. Next minute, somebody’s in jail and you have to bail them out.”) And the girls will only put up with the cock-blocking and drama-starting for so long before they have to take action. (“I’m putting Vaseline on my face, I’m taking my earrings out, I’m putting my hair up, and I’m beating the crap out of her.”)

Also? Get over the fact that none of them are from New Jersey. It’s called Jersey Shore because it’s located on the Jersey shore. What is so hard to grasp about that? As Pauly D would say, “Don’t spill the haterade.”

Good Lyrics: Not Afraid

Not Afraid
by Eminem

I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road

Yeah, It’s been a ride…
I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you might still be in that place
If you’re trying to get out, just follow me
I’ll get you there

You can try and read my lyrics off of this paper before I lay ’em
But you won’t take the sting out these words before I say ’em
Cause ain’t no way I’mma let you stop me from causing mayhem
When I say I’mma do something I do it
I don’t give a damn what you think, I’m doing this for me
So fuck the world, feed it beans, it’s gassed up, if a thing’s stopping me
I’mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly
And all those who look down on me, I’m tearing down your balcony
No if ands or buts don’t try to ask him why or how can he
From Infinite down to the last Relapse album he’s still shit’n
Whether he’s on salary, paid hourly
Until he bows out or he shits his bowels out of him
Whichever comes first, for better or worse
He’s married to the game, like a fuck you for christmas
His gift is a curse, forget the earth he’s got the urge
To pull his dick from the dirt and fuck the universe

Chorus

Ok quit playin’ with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap
I shouldn’t have to rhyme these words in the rhythm for you to know it’s a rap
You said you was king, you lied through your teeth
For that, fuck your feelings, instead of getting crowned you’re getting capped
And to the fans, I’ll never let you down again, I’m back
I promise to never go back on that promise, in fact
Let’s be honest, that last Relapse CD was “ehhhh”
Perhaps I ran them accents into the ground
Relax, I ain’t going back to that now
All I’m tryna say is get back, click-clack BLAOW
Cause I ain’t playin’ around
There’s a game called circle and I don’t know how
I’m way too up to back down
But I think I’m still tryna figure this crap out
Thought I had it mapped out but I guess I didn’t
This fucking black cloud still follows me around
But it’s time to exorcise these demons
These motherfuckers are doing jumping jacks now!

Chorus

And I just can’t keep living this way
So starting today, I’m breaking out of this cage
I’m standing up, I’mma face my demons
I’m manning up, I’mma hold my ground
I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up
Time to put my life back together right now

It was my decision to get clean, I did it for me
Admittedly I probably did it subliminally for you
So I could come back a brand new me, you helped see me through
And don’t even realize what you did, believe me you
I been through the ringer, but they can do little to the middle finger
I think I got a tear in my eye, I feel like the king of my world
haters can make like bees with no stingers and drop dead
No more beef flingers, no more drama from now on, I promise
To focus soley on handling my responsibilities as a father
So I solemnly swear to always treat this roof like my daughter’s and raise it
You couldn’t lift a single shingle on it
Cause the way I feel, I’m strong enough to go to the club
Or the corner pub and lift the whole liquor counter up
Cause I’m raising the bar, I shoot for the moon
But I’m too busy gazing at stars, I feel amazing and

I’m not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We’ll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just letting you know that you’re not alone
Holla if you feel like you’ve been down the same road

What Would Don Draper Do?

The thing I am most excited about at the moment is that one of my all-time favorite shows, Mad Men, just premiered its fourth season. As we all know, I have been lamenting the lack of any TV worth watching during the summer, so this comes as a welcome relief. Actually, I did discover one other show this summer in desperation — BBC’s Robin Hood. The first two seasons were excellent, and then one of the key characters died. So I’m done with it now, but there is a third season. All three are available on Netflix’s Watch Instantly. I recommend checking it out if you’re bored and in need of new TV like me.

Mad Men is ridiculously awesome. For those of you who may not have seen it, it’s a drama on AMC about an advertising agency in Manhattan during the early 1960s. That’s a very basic description that tells you almost nothing about why the show is so great. As a literature aficionado and aspiring writer of some kind, I’m attracted to film and television that is so well-written it would read like a great novel even if there were no pictures to accompany it. Like great literature, Mad Men’s characters are fascinating and well-developed, and the plot contains a lot of cultural subtext. The writer, Matthew Weiner, is notorious for his attention to detail and spares no expense at furnishing the set with authentic vintage furniture, decor, clothing, you name it. You can be sure that if you are watching Mad Men and you see a secretary using a typewriter, it is the same EXACT vintage model of typewriter that a secretary in 1963 would have been using.

Another thing I think draws people to Mad Men is a fascination of how different the time period was socially from today, even though it was not that long ago in the grand scheme of things. It’s pretty fascinating to see a depiction of how real life problems may have been handled (or swept under the rug), instead of the usual idyllic, rosy portrait of the era we are normally fed. Not a single character on that show is perfect, and their flaws are reflective of their environments, circumstances, upbringings, and so on — just like real people.

This is a good recent interview with Matthew Weiner on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Or you can download the podcast for free on iTunes.

Musical Monday: Josh Roberts & The Hinges

This is an awesome band from Columbia, South Carolina that we saw at Smilefest. My show buddy group was not as impressed with them as I was, but they were my favorite of the weekend. Someone said they sound like Drive By Truckers, who are not really my favorite, but there was something about these guys that really struck me. I hope they make it big. I especially appreciated lyrics like, “We’re doing it slowly — sixteen months of foreplay. If we ain’t wound up by now I don’t know that we’ll wind.” And they did an awesome Blind Willie McTell cover that rocked my face off.

You can listen to my buddy Joel’s recording of the show here for free — look over on the left column where it says “stream.” Definitely would see these guys again!

Phish 2010!

Just got back from two amazing nights of Phish in Raleigh and Charlotte with Swampman. Our summer tradition continues! I have to say I think set list-wise these shows were way better than the ones we saw last summer. The weather was awesome — lately it’s been in the 90s here, but we ended up with breezy high 70s both nights, which was so pleasant and made my happy place that much happier. And the crowds both nights were wonderful — a great representation of the Phamily. Smiles everywhere, kindness everywhere. I love being surrounded by good people who think like me, live like me, dress like me, dance like me, and are made happy by what makes me happy!

This tour made me really appreciate living in Winston, because it really is a good central location. Two hours to Raleigh, and an hour-and-a-half to Charlotte. Actually, it took us longer to get to Charlotte than Raleigh because of Fourth of July beach traffic, which sucked. But Swamp let me sleep in the car a lot instead of doing my normal stereo duty, and he even bought some new CDs for the drive that he knew I would like so I didn’t have to focus on changing them out after my recent weeks of working overtime. Very considerate. We listened to a lot of the new Robert Randolph album, some Sound Tribe Sector 9, and of course, Phish.

The lot scene in Raleigh was cooler than Charlotte in some ways. We got there early enough to cruise Shakedown before heading in and check out all the cool glass work and jewelry. These days it’s all about feather earrings and druzy crystal pendants made from the inside of geodes (awesome), in addition to the standard blown glass. I could have spent a lot of money there if I had had it. Got complimented on my necklace by someone from Asheville — she thought is was amber but I corrected her. Actually carnelian. And got to tell my story about the history of carnelian from ancient Roman times. Tons and tons of good kind veggie vendors that made me SO HUNGRY and good beers for cheap. Got a couple of dollar waters on the way in and breezed through the bag check thanks to my skirt’s secret pocket, which has a broken zipper, but that was fixed easily by Swamp’s random safety pin on the tag of his shirt. Eagle Scouts rule!

The lawn at Walnut Creek is Raleigh is very steep, and I could actually see well, which is abnormal because I’m short and usually have a view of the backs of tall guys’ heads. We had a perfect spot right in the middle.

Raleigh Set List:

Set 1: Llama, Roses Are Free, Kill Devil Falls, Time Loves a Hero, Alaska, Water in the Sky, Runaway Jim > The Moma Dance > The Divided Sky, Cavern

Set 2: Backwards Down the Number Line > Halley’s Comet -> Light > Fluffhead > Have Mercy, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone -> Free > Wading in the Velvet Sea, The Squirming Coil > Suzy Greenberg

Encore: Boogie On Reggae Woman

I thought that was pretty much the best show I’ve ever seen. Already have it downloaded if you want a copy. (Just leave me a comment.)  I think (although y’all know my memory is not the best) it was my first live Roses Are Free. Runaway Jim is my second to least favorite Phish song (besides Maze…I just can’t get into the coked out songs because I am a mellow person, yo), so I took that opportunity to go get a beer, which Swamp anticipated on the first chord, naturally, and was already fishing out my money that he was holding by the time I said, “I think I’m gonna go….” LOVED getting to hear all my favorites from the newest album — Alaska, Kill Devil Falls, and Backwards Down the Number Line. Backwards is a me-and-Swamp song because of the whole calling your best friend on their birthday thing. I think the only times I stopped dancing were Runaway Jim and Velvet Sea, which is also not one of my favorites to see live, although it is a great song for chilling at home. I just prefer dancing music live. Upon hearing this statement, one of my friends said, “I thought you didn’t dance!” Because the last time we went to a club together I said that. But I am a hippie dancer, not a dance club dancer. Unless I’m really drunk, which doesn’t happen that often.

Halley’s Comet was the best I’ve ever heard with great sing-along power. Also, Fluffhead. WOW! And then Free! YES! The Have Mercy cover was better than the original Mighty Diamonds version…I love it when they reggae it out, man. Swamp was really proud to have called Squirming Coil, and I actually was really happy to hear Suzy Greenberg, which is not usually my favorite. And the Boogie On encore ROCKED MY FACE!

Lot scene in Charlotte was a bit more mellow, which is not a bad thing necessarily. Had to bum some cups off some neighbors. Met a guy from Maine who had been to all the festivals up there, so we shared IT stories, and I talked jewelry with one of the girls they were with who was wearing an awesome handmade silver pendant with inset stones made by one of her friends.

One of my personal highlights was seeing a family pass by the car — two parents with a middle-school aged daughter. The daughter was walking with her head down and arms crossed, and the mom was saying to her, “Honey, this is so exciting! Your first Phish show!” I felt really old in that moment. That could so be me. Would be me if I had a kid that age. Awesome that they are introducing her to coolness. Reminded me of my first concert experience that my parents took me to in Charlotte to see U2 and Pixies. Hell yeah! Looking back I guess that was not the coolest I’ve ever felt, but I sure do appreciate that now. I hope that girl had a good time and that she’ll be blogging about that experience (or telling her college friends or something) in the future so people know how cool her parents are. Some of Swamp’s students have started getting into Phish because he plays it for them during homeroom, and we were paranoid we might see some of them there. But I guess their parents don’t condone it because it’s evil hippie drug music. Much in the same way they don’t like the fact that their kids are all about their cool, young teacher.

Charlotte was way more packed, which made for excellent socializing and dancing on the lawn. You make a whole lot more new friends that way. 🙂 We also remembered the patchwork quilt that night, which is a huge conversation piece and friend-maker. Everyone wants a piece of that action at set break after grinding toes into grass and dirt.

Charlotte’s set list:

Set 1: Buried Alive > AC/DC Bag, Vultures, Wolfman’s Brother, Back on the Train, The Wedge, Mexican Cousin, Stash, Sparkle, Chalk Dust Torture

Set 2: Drowned, 46 Days, Twenty Years Later, The Lizards, Carini, Fuck Your Face, Also Sprach Zarathustra, You Enjoy Myself -> Proud Mary[1]

Encore: A Day in the Life

Wolfman’s Brother is Swamp’s all-time favorite, so it was cool to get that. For the first time ever, I called a song before he did (Wedge), and I was very disappointed Spar wasn’t there to high-five me and commemorate the 0ccasion. Since Swamp has been a fan for much longer than I have, it’s pretty much impossible to trump him, and I FINALLY DID IT! I was ecstatic. AC/DC Bag was a good sing-along. Mexican Cousin is one of mine and Swamp’s songs because of this lyric: “I’m awful sorry you got pissed! Just have to cross you off the list of my true friends. And tequila’s where it starts and where it ends!” Because we’re always getting in stupid fights and then making up and realizing our friendship is more important.

Highlights for me were Chalk Dust, YEM, and the a capella Proud Mary jam, which everyone was singing along to and jamming out and dancing hard. Made lots of friends on the lawn, from a cool kid with a YEM shirt I wanted and who gave lots of hugs and shared nugs (and stole my lighter, but that’s okay), to a guy behind us with a new Phish motif tattoo that honored his group of friends…a Penny Lane lookalike from Almost Famous and a  happy guy who COULD NOT STOP smiling. I felt the same way!

At one point, I went to get a beer, and there was all this cash on the ground in front of the beer stand. I picked it up and gave it to someone behind the counter, saying, “Can you hold this back here in case someone comes back for it?” Her response? “You guys are awesome. Out of all the concerts I’ve worked here, this is by far the coolest crowd. You’re just really good people!” I said, “I hope you’re also enjoying the music, because this is an awesome show so far!” And she said, “Yeah, I like this better than most of what I hear. Great night! Great crowd!”

And that pretty much sums up the Phish show experience for me. Random people being turned on by goodness and positivity and awesome music.

All I felt all night was love and happiness and joy and positivity and bliss. Who doesn’t want to be a part of that? I love my Phamily!

It Made My Day!

I really love this website, but they never seem to publish my submissions. Maybe this is because it really doesn’t take that much to make my day. Ha! So I figured I would just start posting them on my own blog instead. I was inspired because I stumbled across this picture of Calvin and Hobbes today, which was my all-time favorite cartoon as a kid. It made me laugh. Then, I was driving around town at lunch time and saw one of those human street-advertiser people — think Liberty Tax service’s Statues of Liberty at every intersection during tax season. This guy was standing out in front of some place that BUYS GOLD! He was dressed like a vato loco (think Homies miniatures from quarter machines), had in iPod earbuds, and was BREAKING IT DOWN on the side of the road, pointing to the “WE BUY GOLD” sign. I laughed out loud in the car. IMMD!

Here’s one that happened a while back. I have one coworker who is…not my favorite person in the world. My friend Jeff has nicknamed her “The Sad Lady,” due to his belief that her sad life circumstances must be what make her such a wretched person. Anyways, she was talking to our boss one day about the economic crisis and said, “I just can’t believe what is going on with Goldman Socks!”

Did I mention we work for a financial services company?

Yeah.

My boss waited until she left the room and then yelled down the hall after her, “It’s SACHS!” Delayed reaction! IMMD!

Random Pet Peeve: Summer TV

Seriously, can’t they stagger seasons so there’s at least ONE good show to watch during the summer when I’m trapped inside because it’s 100 degrees out?

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.

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