Spirit in the Sky

232323232-fp537-7-nu=9694-657-234-WSNRCG=3-5498-94-325nu0mrj

I never know how to feel on days like today.

It’s almost too many emotions to pick apart and quantify.  I’ve always been good at quantitative analysis, so the fact that I don’t know how to explain my emotions on these days makes me almost as upset as the day itself.

  • I’m sad……but I’m not sure how sad I am, or how sad I’m supposed to be.
  • I’m nervous…….because I sometimes don’t want to talk about it when people ask, but how much of my feeling is nerves?
  • I’m jealous……of people who have their parents around, but don’t appreciate them.  Am I even supposed to be feeling that way?
  • I’m empathetic……..to the kids, many much younger than me, who’ve lost their parents.  This, more than the other emotions, has I think slowly taken up the bulk of my feelings on this day as time as passed.
  • I’m anxious……..about things in the future that I will need my Dad for, and he won’t be here when I need him.

 

This this what being an adult has come to?  If you open the door to death does it suddenly just swoop into your life and consume it?  I hope not, and most of the time I don’t think that at all!  However, in the past few weeks, it feels like death has circled around several of the people who’ve I’ve held very close during various phases of my life.  Two of my blood bank sisters now have to raise their children without loving fathers…..both taken far too young.  A high school acquaintance is left to raise a large family after her husband was taken.  A sudden death rocked not only Cornhusker nation, but the Main Squeeze’s family last week.  Sometimes, it just all feels like I don’t know what the world is coming to.

I live my life the way Dad wanted us to live in the “pre-death/post-cancer” life we as a family were handed, WE MOVE FORWARD!  We do everything we are supposed to do, and life as we had known it remained remarkably the same until it suddenly was not.

I guess in that way I watched my Dad fight cancer in much the same way he always wanted me to swim my competitive races.

Leave it all in the water, and if you can’t get out of the pool at the end, I’ll pull you out.”

I guess Dad just needed someone much bigger to pull him out when he was done with the race.

 

image

So, I suppose I shall celebrate the day by working on some woodwork for my bedroom.  I might also get around to putting my “Fuck Cancer” sticker on the car.  I was once told I had earned the right to the sticker.  I’m not sure it’s a right I wanted to have earned, but I suppose there’s nothing to do now but embrace it.  Plus, “Fuck Cancer” is a true life statement!

232323232-fp53798-nu=9694-657-234-WSNRCG=3-54983294325nu0mrj

So Much Time for Activities

Well, I finally finished graduate school!

Graduation was yesterday, however I didn’t go attend the ceremony.  It felt weird go to sit with a bunch of people I’ve never met, never even actually seen, and don’t know at all. Since I did my degree entirely online, it just seemed like it would have been weird to show up only for graduation.  Plus, I’ve already had a SDSM&T graduation, and commencements in general are boring. Besides, gradation robes are not that attractive, and I don’t look great in orange. The hood color for engineering is orange, and I’m not a warm color sorta girl generally!

I graduated from high school pre-facebook, thank goodness, so I don’t have any pictures to share from that day.  I did wrangle up some photos from my previous SDSM&T graduation day. Just picture me in black robes with much better hair, and you’ll have the general idea!!

I still really don’t know why I thought that short hair was a good look for me.  Mostly at that time in my life it gave me chipmunk face.  The second round of braces, which were removed shortly before graduation, didn’t really help the chipmunk face either.

Anyway, here’s to another chapter of life done.  Also, if I ever happen to mention that going back to school sounds like a good idea again, someone please just smack me upside the head.  I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do with my fancy new Master’s of Science in Engineering Management, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out as I go along.

 

In totally unrelated news, I’d like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms out there.  Whether your babies are humans or furry four legged friends, you all do an amazing job and deserve to be recognized!!

Thanks Momma, for all the love and support!

Things You Can Do Instead of Homework

Sunday, I planned on doing homework.  I really….with every fiber of my little being intend on committing myself to the two hours of mild boredom and slight torture that is taking lecture notes as a distance student.  This all came crashing down when I got home, during a rain storm…..this becomes important…..to discover that my professor had neglected to upload the Mac compatible version of the week’s lecture.  So here I sat, with a newly repaired MacBook, and nothing to do with it.

Granted, I could have been responsible, gone back to the office, picked up my laptop, came home, and done my lecture.  However…..it was raining, and much like my resistance to snack food, I only have so much.  If the lecture had been right there, I would have done it.  Much like, I’ll only eat snacks if they manage to cross into my house.  If it’s easy I’m all about doing it, doesn’t really matter how much I’d rather not.  I wasn’t however, committed enough to lecture notes to brave the cold, bleak, rainy night for a Windows Media Player compatible computer.  I could go into a whole rant about how this professor should probably spend less time complaining about technology struggles and just figure out how to make things work for the distance students…..but I won’t.  Maybe later…..who knows how I’ll feel about these things later.

I will instead tell you what I did instead of lecture notes……I cooked!!  I basically cooked all the things…..spicy sweet potato hash, blueberry and apple crisp, and bourbon caramel.  I don’t really have recipes for these things, they are just somethings I throw together now and then.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash

  • 3-4 medium to large sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs cumin, chili powder, and paprika
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet and then combine all the ingredients at once (except the black beans).  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the potatoes soften.  The size of your cubes will dictate how long this takes.  Mine took about twenty minutes the other night.  Once everything has softened, add the rinsed and drained black beans and heat through.  Serve with anything you want…..plain, with eggs, avocado…..anything that sounds yummy.  This recipe lead to a new adventure in adulating…..I’ll explain later.

Blueberry and Apple Crisp

  • 3 apples, diced
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 1/3 cup white and brown sugar
  • 2 tbs butter
  • cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Add the apples and blueberries to a baking dish and mix slightly.  In a microwave safe bowl or container combine the remaining ingredients and microwave about 30 seconds.  You’ll just need to melt the butter, and then stir to combine the mixture into a grainy, crumb consistency.  Sprinkle the topping onto the fruit, and back at 350 for about half an hour, until you can see the filling bubbling and the topping becomes browned.  I like mine hot, with vanilla ice cream….and possibly caramel sauce!

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Usually, I make this on the stove…..in a pan…..like an adult.  This time, I was lazy and just made it in the microwave.  It worked fine, it just takes a bit more babysitting.  You can’t just set it and forget it!

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs butter
  • a couple splashes of heavy cream or half and half
  • splash of bourbon

Combine the sugar and butter in a microwave safe dish.  I set the microwave for 2 minutes, but stopped and stirred every 20-30 seconds.  Once all the sugar crystals have dissolved, drizzle in a bit of cream while stirring.  If your cream is cold and you don’t stir it will solidify the sugar again.  If it does get a bit chunky again, just pop it back in the microwave.  Once it’s reached a good consistency, splash in your bourbon, stir to mix and enjoy!

I ended up getting a whole weeks worth of food for a couple hours in the kitchen and some microwave skills!  It was all pretty easy, and a relaxing night.  I had never made the hash before, although I’ve made other hash varieties.  I discovered that my favorite way to enjoy it was with some avocado, some cherry tomatoes, and eggs.  Makes for a super filling and satisfying breakfast or lunch option.  The eggs are what caused me a new adventure in adulting.

I’ve never in my life been one for runny eggs…..or really any kind of egg that isn’t scrambled, hard boiled, or maybe on occasion….fried.  Although, scrolling through recipes online has lead to really like the idea of a poached egg…….so I decided to try something new, and I poached my first egg!  It went surprisingly well all things considered!  Granted, I over cooked it, but I thought that I would start with a more solid yolk, and then back down the doneness scale until I reach a point where I don’t like them.  I will say that I’m a big fan of the texture of the egg whites…..they are fluffier than eggs cooked other ways.

So, this week I’ve made several very cute and successful little poached eggs.  I also discovered that with enough focus I can crack an egg with one hand.  This became necessary because I thought that manicures and egg poaching were two activities that could be done together.  I mean…..they can…..but I don’t recommend it.  I’m sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the adventure, I was a little bit panicky about it.  Horror stories of poached eggs gone wrong were flashing in my brain.  However, I had no disasters, and everything was easier than expected honestly!!

It’s never too late to learn a new skill, and it’s always good to broaden your horizons!

 

 

 

 

Someone’s Getting Married!

….It’s not me, no one freak out!

One of my favorite girls is getting married today!  It’s been a pretty busy week of cake baking with Bitch Faced Bestie, wine drinking, and general work stresses.  Also my computer crashed last night.  It spent the night trying to reset itself, but still hasn’t become a computer again so I don’t think the odds are going in my favor….

To celebrate the upcoming  nuptials, the bride’s sister requested that we all write her notes to be given to her at the bachelorette party.  The notes could be advice, a story…..really whatever we wanted.  Since I obviously have no marital advice to offer, I wrote the best letter I could.  It’s a bit naughty….ok kinda sorta a lot naughty, but remember that is was written to be funny and read at a fellow twenty something’s bachelorette party!  Posting it here seems like a great way to kick off her perfect day!

CONGRATS GIRL!!!!

To my dearest “All I ever do is win, win, win”,

By this point, we are all pretty aware that I’m not the queen bee of relationships.  I’ve tended to adopt the Dane Cook model of “relationshits” as my general life feeling on the issue of love.  However….the one thing I am good at is “losing my leaves”!!!

So, on this glorious occasion where you have filtered through all the “relationshits” to find your Prince Charming, I will offer up my best “leaf losing” advice!

  1. Always fight naked…..but do not make him bacon in this state, no matter how much he begs.  Maybe just don’t cook him anything naked…..
  2. Should you find yourself in front of a lingerie display wondering, “Do I need this!?”, the answer is always yes!
  3. Don’t be afraid of the fights.  Always fight fair, but remember that angry sex can sometimes be the best sex.

Since I don’t want the Fiancee to feel like all the advice is too girly, I consulted some dudes about the issue.  Please fine their…..questionable….advice below.

  1. Make sure he licks you, and twice on Sundays….because he apparently won’t be doing anything else anyway.
  2. Starts with an S….ends with a wallow……

……Actually, ignore the dude advice, they are idiots!

In all seriousness, I wish only the best for you and your new family as you embark on this lifelong adventure together.

Love,

The  always , mostly leafless despite

my best intentions tree

I’m doing the bride’s makeup, and bestie baked all the cake and cupcakes.  The Terrain-y is loaded down will all the makeup I own and enough cake to feed an army.  Time to stop for coffee and hit the road…..someone’s getting hitched today!

Chapter 11: Math has Never Been My Friend

I realize it’s been quite some time since I have written about any of my dating escapades.  There hasn’t really been a particular reason for this, other than the fact that I guess I haven’t been going on as many dates!?!?  I’ve long since given up on all of my online dating apparati.  (Apparently the “correct” plural of apparatus is either ‘apparatuses’ or ‘two pieces of apparatus’……I personally think apparati sounds better so that’s what I’m gonna go with!)  I believe this is the first blog about a guy I actually had a long relationship with.  Of course, long is a relative term, but since all the relationships you’ve read about how been flings or short lived, I’ll consider this to be long.


 

Ahhh college, it’s a great time.  However, it’s also a time where you might make some questionable life choices.  I will be the first to admit that college me made some truly questionable choices.  Probably one of the most questionable……was ADD 3.  I refuse to look back on experiences with regret, because they have brought me to the life I live now.  Despite all my “middle class white girl struggles”, I really am loving my life right meow!!  Honestly though, if I knew that I would end up in exactly the same place I am now if I could just delete those two years from my life….I would.  I’m struggling with how to write this, because it could be quite long, but also because the majority of it was not good or healthy in any way.  I’m going to try and provide just enough background that you can grasp the situation I put myself in, and then I’ll try and just focus on the positive things I learned.

move-on-quote-relationship-text-true-Favim.com-274768Graduating college on the heels of an economic recession isn’t great.  You’ve put in tons of time, money, and energy, and done all the things you’d always been told you were supposed to do to be successful.  The ending result of all this time and money was that I was unable to find a job, despite all my best effort and hours of filling out seemingly identical applications.  I was firmly committed to the belief that moving home would be an admittance of defeat, so I did the next best thing I could think of….I moved in with ADD 3.  I knew the sort of jobs that were awaiting me back home…..essentially nothing.  I wasn’t willing to admit that sort of defeat, so against the wishes of my family….and probably my friends….I soldiered on with my plan.

After about a week, I didn’t want to be there!!  I had already known that ADD 3 had a rather substantial collection of tubs in his basement.  One of the perks of dating a guy with a house in college was that I got to do laundry for free….in the basement…..with the tubs.  Being the nice, unemployed, “housewife” that I was, I thought I would organize the basement!!  Most where garbage……random things….some of his old Army stuff…..and then I found them, TUBS FULL OF VERY NSFW THINGS!!!!!!!!

…………………………………AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH……………….!!!!!!  

Somehow, I let him convince me that it would be ok to stay, that we would work it out, and everything would be fine.  I think part of me gave in to him because I felt like I had worked so hard and upset so many people by moving in with him in the first place that once again….I was unwilling to accept the defeat that would have been moving out.  Something about college me was apparently really into winning at this point….

I eventually got a job where I traveled frequently, so I was around less to put up with his crazy.  Yes….he was crazy.  Granted, I only know ADD 3 as a PTSD suffering Army veteran. I have no idea who he was or what he was like before he served our country and saw the things he saw.  In that sense, I have only the greatest amount of respect for him, his family, and the sacrifices they made.  He discovered that he could win any argument by playing the “Army Card”.  Honestly, there was never anything I could say or do other than sit there and take whatever random insult he had to throw my way because I could never bring myself to say anything back when he’d play the Army card.  You have to remember…..I was younger and stupider then……I’ve grown up a lot….he’s partly to thank.

3bf4581cf5b57b296e8104474e22665b

This basically continued for a year, until he decided to move to Florida….and I was so relieved.  I packed up all my stuff, and we drove it to my Dad’s house in Sturgis and honestly….I was happy!  I was happy he was moving away, and I was happy that I felt like I had finally found an out.  I really thought everything was going to change for me.  It did…..but at the same time, it didn’t.  I saw him twice more after that moving day in August…..once when he flew to Minneapolis for my birthday that December, and once in the Spring.  I….the girl who was so ready to let go of the relationship, just let him continue to have one with me.  I didn’t really encourage it, but I didn’t stop it either.  I suppose that’s partly to do with being young, and partly because those who are in bad relationships always seem to have a really hard time getting out of them.

548831ba25fd04080b0ec6bd7213b12e

Ok….enough of this seeming like a pity party for me….that’s not at all what I want.  Again, I don’t regret it.  I survived, I’m stronger, and I’m the person I am today because he taught me I didn’t want to be the person he thought I was….AKA a spoiled rotten, Tinker Bell obsessed princess who would never survive on her own because I knew nothing about life.  He had a few positive impacts on my life, and that’s were we will end this….the good things.

  • My relationship with ADD 3 taught me that if you set aside your pride, your family and friends will always be there to support you…..no matter why you think you don’t deserve it
  • He bought me my glorious pupperoni Scout, who has been with me through everything for the past 5 years
  • He introduced me to my fabulous hair stylist who I still drive 6 hours to see
  • He taught me how to play poker…..kinda
  • When I’m told I can’t do something or I’m not worthy of something, it just pushes me to prove them wrong.  So……I guess I should thank him for my new car, paying my own bills, and everything else he ever told me I couldn’t do
  • He introduced me to Korean food…..which is delicious
  • Spicy hot ramen is now a favorite lunch food for one of my UBS girls because of him
100_4239

The night we brought my little Scout-a-rooni home from the shelter.  #Adoptdontshop

Chapter 9: The Musical Chairs of a Breakup

Post breakup music is an important part of any girls emotional process.  Maybe dudes think it’s important too….idk I’m not a boy. Sometimes though, finding the right song or artist can be a huge battle.  Besides having the inner turmoil of the split, you may also be faced with hard existential questions like, “I’m old, why do I feel like TSwift!?!?  I just want to be Adele!” and “Am I sure that these lyrics really get me…..like emotionally right meow!?!?”  The struggle very, very real.

Anyone who knows me….or has even been around me with a radio on….knows that I loathe TSwift.  Loathe is maybe a bit strong, I mean I won’t always change the station when she comes on, and I will occasionally sing along.  Her songs are just so damn catchy…..but sorta stupid……!

56354040

I don’t really want to hate, I just keep hoping that her songs will mature.  Case in point, I really had some good feels about this one——

He’s so tall, and handsome as hell.  He’s so bad, but he does it so well.  And when we’ve had our very last kiss, my last request is this…..”  – Wildest Dreams

…..heard that and it made me think…..“Gee self, that’s kinda how I feel about the ATC….and then the song goes on……

……Say you’ll remember me, standing in a nice dress staring at the sunset.  Red lips and rosy cheeks, say you’ll see me again…..” – Wildest Dreams

NO!!  I’m cutting you off right there TSwift!  Don’t remember me, in fact maybe just forget me, and I for sure, don’t ever….ever wanna see you again…….

I suppose I should give credit where credit is due, the girl pumps out a ton of decent, angsty, teenage girl break up songs.  This is the problem though….she’s not an angsty teenager anymore, and I’m not either!  28 is looming literally right around the corner, it really causes one to want to grow up.  The things that seemed normal when I was younger now just seem exhausting and painful.

I said “I heard, that you’ve been out and about with some other girl?”  He said, “What you heard is true but, I can’t stop thinking about you.” – Style

If a guy is ever ballsy enough to tell you they are also dating someone else….DON’T let that boy take you home TSwift!!  I remember being a stupid, young girl who thought that every jerkface boyfriend was perfect, and if I just put up with it everything would work out.  There’s no reason that we should keep putting ourselves through the pain and drama!  Even if you think you’re somehow coming out stronger….you’re not and the suckage factor of the whole situation will eventually sink in.  Wildest Dream…you’re out!

I get it, the catchy club jamz and what not.  Makes for a good girls night out where all you want to do is drink and dance and forget whoever the asshat was who hurt you.  I’ve been there, on one hand wanting to scream that “We, are never ever, ever, ever getting back together,” however it causes me a great deal of post quarter life crisis stress.  Sooner or later I’m gonna have to start handling this nonsense better than this!

When you wanna be all cool and angsty.....

When you wanna be all cool and angsty…..

.....but this is what you think in your head, cuz you're not cool and angsty, you've got bills to pay!

…..but this is where your mind goes, cuz you’re not cool and angsty anymore, you’ve got bills to pay!

This moves us to Adele.  She, like TSwift, writes about break ups sometimes, but her songs are like powerful, and make you want to be a stronger person.  While they aren’t club jams that make you want to dance till your feet fall off, Adele’s songs are deep….it’s like being in AP Poetry at YHS all over again.  Adele is maybe the music you listen to once you’ve danced with your girlfriends and the parties over.  Adele is for when you’re alone, in your bathtub, drinking wine, and finally letting the feels hit you.  Or maybe once you’re a few months removed from the relationship and you’re looking back on all the crap the jerkface put you through.

Adele lyrics like "Use your head, use your head!"

Adele lyrics like “Use your head, use your head!”

But there’s a side to you that I never knew, never knew.  All the things you’d say, they were never, true never true.  And the games you play, you would always win, always win.” – Set Fire to the Rain

….this….this is how I should feel about the ATC!  I just appreciate that Adele has managed to say, in an adult way, that the ATC is a no good fuck boy.  She’s not afraid to admit that someone hurt her, but she’s never going to let them get away with that nonsense.  There will be no taking her home just because they are tall and sexy as hell!  Adele would never write a song called “Trouble” about how you knew they were trouble from the beginning.  Adele would tell that ass hat to go fuck himself…..but politely and in a sneaky sorta way.

I’m educated and well read…..I should have way more respect for Adele’s lyrical prowess!  Maybe the problem is that sometimes when you’re feeling emotional, using your brain isn’t what you want.  Sometimes you maybe just want a stupid pop song about how stupid boys are.  I just want to be an Adele!!!  Classy, put together, articulate about my feelings.  Why can’t I just embrace my inner diva!?  I’ve hosted family holidays!  For Pete’s sake, let’s at least try and keep it together shall we?!?!  Ugh….self….you disappoint me sometimes!  I suppose I should just settle for having the occasional Adele phase where I get all self empowered and enjoy it while it lasts before it gives way to the overarching snarkiness of my life.

1339610291597_3812096

Maybe the solution to this inner dilemma is just to ignore the popular break up music all together?  Maybe the “This song just really gets me” song isn’t one you hear on the radio all the time?  While I do think there is a time and a place for Taylor Swift, Adele, Queen B, Queen Nicki, and all the other female artists that inspire us to embrace the diva within, sometimes the situation calls for something a little bit more bad ass……

On that note, I leave you with my break up song of choice for right now.  It makes you want to dance, and you can yell the lyrics at all the fuck boys in your life and still sound fairly articulate, which is a double win! It goes well with boots and shots of whiskey, and frankly if you’re having to deal with some boys shit….boots are helpful for that!  They don’t call them shit kickers for no reason!

You Know You’re Getting Old When….

Every once in a while, not often mind you, but sometimes….I feel old.  It’s been a busy, stressful week so I’m taking the easy way out to a funny post.  I thought it would be fun to compile a list of what makes my friends and I feel old.

  • Getting dressed up to go out drinking sometimes seems like too much work.
  • Spending Friday nights at home, making dinner, and watching movies always sounds like a good Friday night anymore.
  • If I do muster the energy to go out, upper twenty something me can no longer dance and take shots all night long like college aged me.
  • In the event I decide to ignore Fact 3, I now need to allow myself at least 2 days to fully recover from the event.
Trust me when I say that the morning after this party was a rough for all involved.

Trust me when I say that the morning after this party was rough for all involved.

  • Getting a handful of underage drinkers kicked out of an all age concert the other weekend made me feel all warm and happy inside!
  • When younger kids, specifically younger siblings of my friends, start getting married.
  • Buying a house! If you need to up your “feeling like an adult” quota….this will do it.
  • When what’s his face left One Direction and you couldn’t muster a single fuck to give.
I'm not sure which one left.  Are they still even a thing if one of them left?!?

I’m not sure which one left.  Can they still even be a thing if one of them left?!?

  • When people you know have been married long enough that they are starting to get divorced.
  • When you’re feeling like throwing back a few but can’t find any partners in crime because your posse is all married with kids.
  • Looking old enough that you no longer get carded at bars…..so bittersweet.
  • When you have to debate going to what will be a great concert because it’s all age, and the youths will be out full force.

Youths….youths as far as the eye can see!

  • Going to the mall….shouldn’t all the kids be in school?!….again with the youths!
  • Reminiscing on the days when you could eat all the food, not workout, and still not get fat.
  • Working out and being sore immediately….in weird places.
  • Waking up the day after a workout, and discovering you’ve reached a new level of sore you didn’t know was achievable by the human body.
  • When you get hit on by 21 year old guys at bars….we don’t want to be cradle robbers!