Friday, 21 January 2011

I'm getting a dog! EEEEE!!!

After a year of yearning for a canine companion, I finally have the money AND ability to have a dog. Both my boss and my landlord have given me the green light to bring a pooch on board (whooeeyayyyyy). I'm going this Saturday to Beagles and Buddies, a local rescue shelter, where I will be looking at a few pups. One of which is an adorable puggle (I hate that this is a "designer" dog, but the name "puggle" is the kind of cute that makes your eyes go all googley and your lips smootch, even if you don't want them to). Anyway, I'm fully aware that a lot of the time, the dog that you set out to get may not ultimately be the dog you bring home, so I'm TRYING to keep an open mind. Either way, this is going to be an amazing adventure, and I am sososoSOOO excited!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Places You'll Go (and what you'll leave behind)

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."--Dr. Seuss

I started out with this quote in my head this morning, out of nowhere, and I used it as my Facebook status. People added the usual "likes" and two cents worth of comments, and, well that's always lovely and welcome. But, as much as we want to believe that stuff is true, as much as we try to, in a sense, put people out of our minds and put ourselves and our personal desires, feelings and individuality above all else in some sort of whipped up recipe for self esteem, it all seems a bit...idealistic, doesn't it? As much as Truffala Trees and Sneetches, and Yertle the Turtles, it is. I don't mean to knock the great Seuss, but I do mean to question this very quote in particular.

The past year has been a big journey for me, but recently I've noticed friends sort of drifting away, and those who claimed once to know me and enjoy my company, seem to treat me as though I'm some sort of foreigner, a stranger, if you will. Suddenly it feels as though I'm the one whose thoughts, actions, ideas and intentions are uninteresting, invalid, and I end up feeling much like a rose whose scent is whipped away by a sudden gust of wind in the wrong direction of the smeller's nose.

Maybe it's my fault. I mean, mostly, maybe it is. I've turned into one of those types who is absorbed in her career, or her outside activities, one who is often outside of the fun her friends are getting into and only catching up every third or fourth weekend, where I used to make an appearance at least once weekly. I can't deny that I've been busy. I'm thirty--that happens, at some point, right?

And then there's my quiet-ness. I mean, not that I'm shy and quiet, but volume-wise, I just don't compete with others in that way. Most of them are boisterous, riotous, laugh-o-matics whose quick-witted and volume-heavy quips carry conversations. In these situations, my words tend to suck back into the blackness of my own skull, to bounce around in there and make merry with my other thoughts, mostly because I cannot get a word in edgewise anyway, and, if I do, the moment for my words to shine has already passed.

But...wait! Reading this over just now, I think that I sound rather pathetic. Darn it, Seuss! Maybe you WERE right, after all. I mean, why should I blame MYSELF for not being the loudest of the bunch or not outshining everyone. Real friendship isn't so hard as all of this blather. REAL friendships aren't glittering showgirls singing and can-canning on a stage. Real friendships stem from those hearts you can confide in, those people who, when you need them, will drop everything on a dime to come to your aide. Real friendships aren't your "good time gal"--but they always guarantee you a good time, no matter what you do, even if it's sitting in the middle of nowhere, wrapped in complete silence together. Real friendships may not burn the brightest, but they burn the longest over time.

Real friends appreciate you for who you are. Those who mind who you are don't matter. Those who matter don't mind.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The 80s and Killer Cereals

Sometimes I miss the 80s so much it hurts. Commercialism and consumerism were ridiculous back then. Anything and everything that could be made was made, and people were buying, like whoah.

Everything about the 80s gleamed of fantasy, hopes, dreams, the belief that you could be whatever you wanted to be, no matter what the odds, and that all you had to do was reach for the stars, stand out from the crowd, and be yourself. I can't think of a better time to be a child. I take comfort today in knowing that, no matter how different we are, no matter how scattered our backgrounds and upbringing, everyone in my age group has this sort of collective memory and universal understanding of the culture of the 80s-born child. We all share a memory bank filled with a wealth of iconic figures, sayings, and overall spirit that embodied the era that put the "art" in "artificial flavoring."
Admit it, even now, as you're sitting there, reading this from your iPad, in your eco-friendly, fair trade cotton shirt and jeans, there's a little twinge of sentimentality for those Reaganomical years, where ethics and nutrition took a back seat to the almighty dollar, and the main question on every retailer's mind was, "How can we make this glow in the dark?"
Speaking of glow in the dark, how can we forget the explosive franchises that developed from some of our favorite 80s movies and video games. I still remember watching the "Ghostbusters" cartoon series on Saturday morning, whilst crunching gleefully on Ghostbusters cereal, with its fruity oat bits and marshmallow "Slimer" ghosts--and, remember the jingle for that one? In cast you don't:

(sung to the original "Ghostbusters" theme tune)

There's a new cereal in the neighborhood
with O's and ghosts
(Tastes real good... Ghostbusters!)
Marshmallow ghosts... fruit flavored O's
Ghostbusters taste great with milk and juice and toast
(a nutritious breakfast with the ghost... Ghostbusters!)
What you gonna crunch? (Ghostbusters!)

Wow--just thinking about what was transformed into cereal in an era of such extreme glut makes me feel an odd mixture of delight and disgust that is non-transferable to any other era. I mean, think about the other ones that we saw broadcast during our Saturday morning toon time (a ritual that is now, I think, forever lost among modern day kids, who are more likely to be surfing the web before their parents wake up on Sat mornings than sitting in front of the flat screen with a bowl of breakfast cereal): Smurfberry Crunch (and don't forget Smurf MAGIC Berries), Nintendo Cereal, Pac Man Cereal (Christian Bale debuted his career on the commercial), Superman Cereal (he teamed up with the Cap'n), Bozo The Clown Cereal, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal, C-3PO Cereal (amazing commercial btw), Urkel-O's (the most annoying cereal ever created?), E.T. Cereal (chocolate & peanut butter, but hey, it's all part of a balanced breakfast, moms), Nerds Cereal (a sugary candy turned cereal--sounds REAL nutritious, moms & dads), Donkey Kong Cereal, Batman Cereal, Dino Pebbles Cereal, Spiderman Cereal, Cabbage Patch Kids Cereal, Rainbow Brite Cereal, Bill & Ted's Excellent Cereal, Strawberry Shortcake Cereal, Hot Wheels Cereal, G.I. Joe Cereal, Gremlins Cereal (but they didn't multiply in milk--bummer), Morning Funnies Cereal, Barbie Cereal, Swedish Chef Cereal (Croonchy Stars --yes, even HE had a cereal in the 80s) and, oh yes, Mr. T Cereal:

Sure, in the end it's all a bunch of corn syrup and dreams that get soggy in milk. Name one cereal out of that bunch that's still alive and kickin. Now, we have everything at our fingertips that we could possibly want, except those. I mean, sure maybe you can buy a box of old, stale cereal on Ebay, but you can't put a price on the memories that we all entertain, enjoy and share.

It's 2011 and I'm feeling a little nostalgic today. So sue me. Lucky Charms anyone?

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A Recipe for a Great Year?

Happy New Year! I give you...eggs!

Eggs are probably one of the best hangover killing foods, but sometimes you want something a little different, not so conventional. 2011 is going to be an unconventional year, so here's something I like to do with my eggy wheggies:


2 eggs

1/2 shallot diced or 1/4 cup onion (I like red & green)

1 cup spinach

1/2 cup cooked lentils (you can cook these ahead of time or snag them precooked--I like Trader Joe's precooked beans)

1 TBSP nut butter (any will do, whatever you like)

2 TBSP white wine vinegar (you can also use rice wine or apple cider vin if you have those)

Olive oil to cook with (usually 2-3 TBSP)

Heat up the oil over medium heat and toss in the shallots & spinach until the shallots are tender and the spinach is wilted. Throw in the lentils and mix well. Spoon in the nut butter and the vinegar, and stir well until the nut butter melts. Beat eggs together in a separate bowl and then throw them into the mix. Stir until everything is well-mixed and the eggs are fully cooked (obviously, because raw eggs are gross and potentially dangerous).

Throw the mixture in a bowl, salt & pepper to taste. Eat it. Feel like a superhero. You're welcome.