"I want to be my own design" Clive Barker - Imajica

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What's cooking?

As most of you already know, I love cooking and I try to cook my own food as frequently as possible. I am an intuitive cook in that I don't really measure anything and I am pretty decent at making improvisational meals which makes it really hard for me to write accurate recipes for my other blog Bitch Can Cook

It definitely wasn't something I was taught, as my mom is not the worlds greatest or most creative cook.  I grew up eating things like beans and rice or fish sticks and mac and cheese, nothing too complicated. When she tried to be experimental with her cooking, it generally didn't end well. I remember one time when she tried to make a version of Shepard's Pie that was so bad, it took me almost a decade to try eating the dish again. (One dish that she excels at is Arroz con Pollo and no matter what I do it's never as good as hers). One thing that I always have a hard time with though, is wasting food. I buy stuff that goes bad in the fridge due to laziness, I buy things like veggies and cut too much off of them and then just throw the bits and bobs out instead of finding a way to utilize them. 

Today on a  foodie group page that I belong to on the facepage, someone posted this interesting article called "Starve a Landfill" from the New York Times  about efficiency in the kitchen and reducing the amount of crap that we throw out every day. It was really interesting and it brought up an excellent point. My generation is the generation of convenience food, frozen dinners, frozen breakfasts, pre-packaged lunches, you all know the drill. 

When you are used to having all the work done for you, how do you learn to do it for yourself? Where do you get the knowledge about what parts to use and how to use them? Where do you get information on what to do with all of those bits and bobs? What about composting? What is that even? Why would I do that in an apartment or if I don't have a garden? Does anyone even teach this stuff anymore? I mean I took Home Economics in high school that taught me some basic skills but I've heard that they don't even have that class anymore. 

I know Mr. S's roommate, aka the squirrel that lives on our roof, will be disappointed, but I definitely want to learn more about being less wasteful and being more budget conscious.  I think it's time to start doing some more reading, do some fact finding, maybe check out the books mentioned in that article. 

What do you do to reduce kitchen waste? Or is this something that you even think about? Inquiring minds want to know... 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cleaning house

There is something so satisfying to me about having a clean and tidy house. It's so nice to be able to not have to worry about tripping over anything, trying to find something because it's out of place, wiping dust off of something I want to use, grossing out over the hair or cat litter on my floors, or searching for something I want to wear only to find it's in the laundry.

It drives me insane and yet, I let my house get really icky sometimes. I know why. Laziness and depression are the two biggest culprits to my untidy home. While I don't let a lot of stuff accumulate on the floor, there is stuff on almost every single surface, papers, random ephemera, bobby pins, etc. Add it together and it makes an untidy mess that is actually really easy to prevent.

Yesterday, I spent about 8 hours cleaning my house, moving furniture, dusting, vacuuming, laundry (even my comforter got washed!), and steam cleaning spots on the carpet. At the end of the night, I took a nice hot shower to help relax after a hard days work and there was such a sense of satisfaction in having a clean, tidy home.

I really need to stay on top of this because damn it feels good to have a clean home and if I just clean up a little bit every day it won't take me 8 hours to clean the damn place, the reward is greater than the cost.

Addendum - I went to my mom's house today and now all becomes clear to me. I love my mother but she is a borderline hoarder and she suffers from clinical depression. As anyone who suffers from clinical depression knows, sometimes it's just too much to expend the effort to clean yourself, let alone your house. You let shit slide, you spend too much money, you are disorganized, frustrated, apathetic. Add that to the borderline hoarding tendencies and I'm sure you can imagine what kind of mess her home is. And then it reminds me of what I grew up in.

Until I hit the age of 10 or 11, my mom was an active lady who worked, took care of the house and me. After the age of 10/11 when she was diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses and her depression got worse, she more or less gave up. Not completely, there would be the manic phases where the house would get "Spring Cleaned" but the manic phases became more and more infrequent and the house would get messier and messier. From the age of 7 I was responsible for cleaning my room and doing all of the laundry but as I got older I became largely responsible for most of the cleaning and the laundry and whatnot but I definitely did not keep up with it. When I first moved out at 19, she did a decent job of keeping the house tidy but as the years have passed, it feels like it's been sliding more and more frequently.

Today when I was there, I saw things that made me very sad. It was dirty, unkempt, and heartbreaking. To be clear though, it wasn't like there were dead cats under piles of magazines, there was no dog shit on the floor, nothing that gross. It was just... dishes with old food in them that made the kitchen smell terrible. Fruit that was so rotted and desiccated it was barely recognizable.

So I cleaned her kitchen for her while I was there, I moved everything around, cleaned the counters, threw out any bad food, cleaned the stove top, put away all of the dishes and took her trash out. And all of a sudden my childhood came back to me, then the pieces in my head clicked about why I get so cranky when my house is gross, about why I get so angry at myself for letting shit slide, for letting my house get to the point where I embarrassed to even let a delivery person see the inside. I know logically that my house isn't THAT bad, after all Mr. S would have said or done something if it had gotten that bad but it's how I perceive it, it's how I feel about it that is what triggers my annoyance and irritation.

What today did was further enforce the fact that I really need to take control over myself and my surroundings, that I need to spend that 15-20 minutes a day tidying up, that I need to keep up with it. It's for my sanity, my mood, my love and my friends. I want to be able to have friends drop by whenever they want. I want to be able to feel proud of my home. I can do this. I will do this. I will maintain it.

A clean home is a happy home.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanks for being a friend

Some of you may remember a little over 2 years ago when my car got repossessed. It SUCKED to put it mildly. It was one of the scariest moments in my life. I wasn't sure what to do, how or if I could get my car back, but thanks to a little help from my friends (and a few strangers) I was able to raise the money I needed to get it back.

So here we are, a little over 2 years later and my car is going to be completely paid off before Christmas time. I've worked so hard towards this goal, I can't quite believe how close I am. I will be so glad to be done with Wells Fargo Dealer Services and their bullshit. This I can promise you, I will never willingly do business with Wells Fargo as long as I live.

So yeah, thanks be to all of you who gave me a hand and helped me when I needed it the most. Thanks to those of you who gave me your support when you knew I was struggling.

Thanks for being a friend!

Monday, November 10, 2014

"In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

talking about racism today....

I normally will not talk about race, politics, and religion at work. Today though, I had a brief conversation with someone about racism and the actual definition of the word vs the emotions the word evokes. I realize that not everyone can separate themselves from the emotion that this word evokes. I understand that not everyone understands the discrimination that different people face. 

I think what bothered me most about the conversation was how dismissive they were about discrimination of the people they felt had no right to feel bad about being discriminated against. Being discriminated against based on race is wrong. End story. Period. Regardless of what race you are or what race you are perceived to be. 

I used the example of misandry being just as wrong as misogyny to which this same person again, and they made the same sort of dismissive comments about how it was essentially okay to hate men but it's totally wrong to hate women because women have been more downtrodden. Again, hating someone for their gender is wrong. End story. Period.

I have never, and will never understand hating an entire group of people based on one thing like race, gender, or gender. I don't get it. Just stop it. 

  1. the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
    • prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Just going to leave this here...

I'll be in my bunk



W.H. Auden - one of my favorite poets ever

As I Walked Out One Evening

W. H. Auden1907 - 1973
As I walked out one evening,
   Walking down Bristol Street,
The crowds upon the pavement
   Were fields of harvest wheat.

And down by the brimming river
   I heard a lover sing
Under an arch of the railway:
   ‘Love has no ending.

‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you
   Till China and Africa meet,
And the river jumps over the mountain
   And the salmon sing in the street,

‘I’ll love you till the ocean
   Is folded and hung up to dry
And the seven stars go squawking
   Like geese about the sky.

‘The years shall run like rabbits,
   For in my arms I hold
The Flower of the Ages,
   And the first love of the world.'

But all the clocks in the city
   Began to whirr and chime:
‘O let not Time deceive you,
   You cannot conquer Time.

‘In the burrows of the Nightmare
   Where Justice naked is,
Time watches from the shadow
   And coughs when you would kiss.

‘In headaches and in worry
   Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
   To-morrow or to-day.

‘Into many a green valley
   Drifts the appalling snow;
Time breaks the threaded dances
   And the diver’s brilliant bow.

‘O plunge your hands in water,
   Plunge them in up to the wrist;
Stare, stare in the basin
   And wonder what you’ve missed.

‘The glacier knocks in the cupboard,
   The desert sighs in the bed,
And the crack in the tea-cup opens
   A lane to the land of the dead.

‘Where the beggars raffle the banknotes
   And the Giant is enchanting to Jack,
And the Lily-white Boy is a Roarer,
   And Jill goes down on her back.

‘O look, look in the mirror,
   O look in your distress:
Life remains a blessing
   Although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window
   As the tears scald and start;
You shall love your crooked neighbour
   With your crooked heart.'

It was late, late in the evening,
   The lovers they were gone;
The clocks had ceased their chiming,
   And the deep river ran on.