Random

RANDOM MUSINGS

Too long for Twitter. Too short and incomplete for a blog entry. So, these random thoughts live here. Uncited, uncensored, or otherwise vetted - and just a little bit "ranty". These are my random, pondering musings about the world and this life. Spontaneously updated as life throws challenges my way. (Numbers are nothing more than a way to organize what thought occurred first.)


WHAT I LEARNED (SO FAR) IN 2018

  1. All relationships can be boiled down to the pronouns used and the money. (Ex:Watch what they say and how they spend their resources. It tells you a lot.)
  2. Stay curious
  3. Instead of RBF, try Resting Pleasant Face
  4. When you can't help, step back so someone else can.

If you'd like to see what I learned at other points: lessons in 2017lessons in 2016 or lessons in 2015 (click the links) Or check out the rules

BEAUTY
  • My main life tip - whatever you put on your face (sunscreen, moisturizer, etc), put on your neck.
  • SMILE - it lights you up.
  • Light your living space gently and your bathroom mercilessly.
  • Tweezers and good light are your friends.
  • Put sunsceen on your neck and chest. Always.

BOOKS
Every year is a reading year - articles, blogs, books. At some points I also create books - we are up to 3 so far. (Of which, none of my family has read a single one - despite getting digital access) If you would like to check out what I created - please have a look at the "SHOP" page.

Interested in reading more about the books that cross my shelf? (Spoiler alert - A LOT of books cross my shelf.) Check out "On the Shelf" to see what's on my reading shelf.


FOOD
I write about food a lot! I cook a good bit and sometimes eat more than I should. Oh well. Check out "In the Kitchen" for recipes, cookbook reviews and more!

Other food notes:

1) Portabella mushrooms are delicious. Except when washed and made soggy. It's a pet peeve in restaurants. Then they are just gross on the tongue and smell weird. Also why I distrust "portabella burgers". And this is why people think vegetarian food is icky.



2) People who think vegetarian *meat* will taste like actual flesh of an animal set themselves up to not like it. After all, when you eat Thai food expecting it to taste as Chinese food does, you will be disappointed. The same applies.



3) Men and cooking! Honestly! Men always claim to be good cooks - of course, they have to go to the store and get every ingredient on the list. Women are the true culinary geniuses - we can take what is currently in the fridge and make edible, nutritious food. It's skill, it's talent + it's frugal. This is why women are better cooks and budgeters.



4) I fully understand I may be the first vegetarian you've ever eaten with. Please know you are NOT my first omnivore or self-proclaimed carnivore! (Shocking, I know.) Refrain from asking me why I don't eat meat. I don't ask why in this age of plentiful options, with the clear environmental and health positives of being meatless, and in the face of America's poor nutritious choices, you choose to eat carrion - usually chocked full of preservatives. Courtesy should be reciprocated - as it will be appreciated.

- The worst was a company I worked for where all the holiday lunch food was meat. (All. Every tiny bit. Even the noodles were done in chicken broth - which, yes, that's meat! The green beans were done with bacon.) I didn't go to the luncheon - after a rude co-worker said I could just sit there and eat the rolls. Unacceptable by HR's choice and by the co-worker. Ostracizing the non-conformist is hardly a good way to promote workplace diversity and is extremely small-town/high school.


- A close second would be a recent department lunch with Panera sandwiches (all meat) and 2 salads with meat topping. I was pointed to a bowl of Romaine lettuce and told I could just leave off the dressing (Caesar dressing has anchovies). Basically I was offered lettuce like a bunny rather than a human meal. Panera offers delicious vegetarian options. There are 3-5 of vegetarians in the company (which is 10% of the workforce). It wouldn't have been hard to include us.


5) Radio advertisement for a restaurant a few years ago which highlighted the use of fresh summer ingredients. Gorgeous description of meat spaghetti. "For the vegetarian, we offer pasta with garlic sauteed in olive oil." 

- Really? They just described fresh tomatoes, basil etc. for the meat spaghetti. The same things could EASILY go into the vegetarian dish.
- "Pasta with sauteed tomatoes+ garlic and fresh basil, dusted with parmesan." Doesn't that sound yummier?


GERMS

1) Sponges are just nasty germ catchers. Gross.


2) Everyone should close the toilet seat before flushing. Everytime. Just gross not to. 


3) Use the damned hand towels. Seriously. And then hang them back up, you classless freaks. Stop using my decorative towels. 



THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

Family is not a blanket pass on bad behavior. This is why people have families of choice rather than blood. The thin tie of blood is easily surpassed in quality by the kindness of strangers who become family (courteous, kind-hearted, interested family).

I'm always amazed by people who treat strangers with genuine courtesy and interest while boxing in their own family with a pre-ordained set of assigned roles. I think we've lost what family means. It does not mean taking people for granted or being discourteous (and outright rude often) because "we're family". (The ideal is "Welcome to the Family" by Little Big Town; unfortunately, portions of my maternal family are a lot more like Pistol Annies' "Family Feud")


And if the maternal side of my family read this, click here. Numbers 6, 11 and 15, especially so few of you ever tried to understand as you smashed my self-esteem as a teen and now criticize me for not doing enough for "family". You don't know. Your choice to be ignorant and it's far sadder that you don't know what you don't know.


LIFE PHILOSOPHIES

1) What's the worst that could happen?


2) It could've been worse.


3) Try kindness. It usually works. (And honesty is sometimes the kindest thing you can do.)


4) Make your bed every day and keep the inside of your car clean. Trust me. This will make you feel invincible.

5) You should be a good stewart of the resources you are given. (This means you should recycle)



MONEY - WHAT I SHOULD DO WITH MINE

People who have no idea of my financial situation who tell me I should get something new amaze me.
- In the case of my house, I know it's not fancy. I know I spend time/money/energy fixing it up. I also know exactly what I've done. Any house I could afford post-divorce would also need work, and I would not have the luxury of knowing what has been done and  - more importantly - the way it has been done.
- New doesn't always mean better. My boiler is more efficient than a new forced air furnace which would actually require extensive construction to install. New furniture is often more poorly made than older furniture which just may need a bit of spit-and-polish to make it look wonderful. In the case of my washing machine, the technician actually told me it was better made than newer models.
My choices are not made out of ignorance. A little respect would be appreciated.



NARNIA

Do you remember when you first read the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Every time a door opened there was the possibility of new worlds. I refer to this as "Narnia". Small children and kittens retain this ability to believe every new door opens to Narnia and, thus, have the desire explore it with fervent curiosity.


OVER IT

1) My ex-husband was paranoid about the points in dress shirt collars. The loss of one would send him into pouting anger about care not being taken of his things. Every time I go to the drycleaners, they are giving away extra shirt points. Free. And I feel a little pity for the smallness of my ex's world.


2) I never showed my ex-husband where the emergency roll of toilet paper is hidden. I realize now it was because I did not trust him to distinguish between an emergency and laziness.



Except this one. 
(Age 28 - I like it)
Picture
Every picture ever taken of me should have this next to it.
- "I don't take good pictures 'cause I have the kind of beauty that moves." - Ani DiFranco


Pretty
Occasionally I write about pretties - fragrance, lipstick, balms and potions.
- Cleansers! Coming Clean
- Lipstick! Is it Kismet?


Quotes to Live By

1) "It's never to late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot (aka May Ann Evans)

2) "Be pretty if you can, witty if you must, but be gracious even if it kills you." - Elsie de Wolfe

3) "There are two ways of spreading light: be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton


4) "The world doesn't owe you a damn thing." - Lauren Bacall

5) "The question isn't who is going to let me. It's who is going to stop me." Ayn Rand


6) "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather the wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." - Antoine de Ste. Exupery

7) "You don’t have to be mean to be powerful, and you can do anything with charm." - Shelly Lazarus (full article)

8) "Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go according to any rules. They're not like aches or wounds, they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material." F. Scott Fitzgerald

9) "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to leave the world a better place, to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded." - Emerson




THINGS I QUESTION
1) Why is Kim Kardashian famous? She actually has no talent, of any apparent kind. It's the "cult of personality" striking again. Except she doesn't seem to have any. Is it some kind of government experiment designed to make us not pay attention to actual news?


2) Why do we have so many TV channels? I watched (train-wreck style) The Shahs of Sunset for 2 hours. I have no idea why it is on TV. It has 0 cultural or intellectual value. It's also not entertaining, in my opinion, as I'm not a fan of spoiled brats. I think if we lowered the number of channels, people could actually pay attention to important stuff. Distraction keeps us from dealing with issues.


VANITY

1) Forehead wrinkles are my new enemy. I'm considering botox. Seriously. And have invested in more Frownies!

2) Recently, I read about a new fat removal technique. It involved the external use of extreme cold to "melt" the fat. The finding was based off a researcher noticing that children who ate a lot of popsicles had thinner cheeks.  So, last night at a hockey game, as I sat on a cold metal bench - I wondered if hockey moms have less cellulite than other women due to the time spent on ice-cold benches.
- In "unrelated" news, I'm also mainlining blueberries due to the similar findings on ingesting those.


3) The AARP should be banned from sending any e-mails or mail to anyone under the age of 50. It's just too depressing.



WILD

To be wild is to listen to yourself. To remember who you were before the world burdened you with cares and troubles and unsolvable things. To live in the now, where joy is - not the distant "someday".
-  I wear a bracelet with the Isadora Duncan quote many days. Other days I sketch tiny birds. 
  • You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you - Isadora Duncan
  • I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A bird will fall frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself - DH Lawrence

WORK
1) Sometimes people baffle me. You are paid to work 8 (more or less) hours a day. When did work become "how can I cheat my employer by doing as little as possible actual work and then be resentful that my genius is unrecognized"? Yes, because that is how America was built... (Unpatriotic. That's what I think that attitude is.)
- And before you bitch at me about work/life balance - turn off the TV/Internet. You will be amazed by how much quality life/family time you can take back. And then, maybe, you can focus on the work part of work/life balance during your 8 hours.


2) There are 5 people in the periphery of my life who are always looking for the easy way out. One has managed to find it, but I'm wondering for how long. Another settled for less than she originally wanted but "enough". The others are all always looking for the magic pill, the Secret (yes, like the book), the short-cut. They actually spend more effort looking for the easy way than just doing the work in the first place. This also baffles me. They are all talented, smart people. If they just did the work, they could have anything.


3) No one should EVER clip their nails at their desk. Ever.