Winner Winner – TWO Chicken Dinners

One of the best things about living alone is that you can eat whatever you want, and however much you want, and in whatever clothes you want, without someone else around to ruin the ambiance with their disapproving looks. As a side note, this is also a downside of living alone.

I’ve recently started on an eating plan (not to be confused with a weight loss plan) where I eat multiple dinners a night. Lots of people swear by eating 5-6 small meals or snacks a day – but this isn’t what I’ve been doing. I eat a normal-sized breakfast at 8, a normal-sized lunch at 12, and then TWO normal-sized dinners in the evening. Sometimes the dinners happen back to back, and sometimes they’re more spread out. I suppose it’s not so much an eating “plan” as it is an eating happening.

And I’m not going to lie, I’ve been enjoying it.

It started out innocently enough. One day, I ate breakfast really late in the morning, so I skipped lunch, and then found myself starving at 4:00. I decided to go ahead and eat an early dinner like the elderly person I am. Three and a half hours later, I was hungry again, and helped myself to another meal. It didn’t seem all that unreasonable.

The next day,  I ate on a more regular schedule, but when dinnertime came around, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted taco salad or nachos – so I ate both.

THAT’S RIGHT, BOTH.

Another day, I ate a chicken sandwich before I was due to babysit my friend’s daughter, because I wasn’t sure if she would’ve already eaten or not. When I got there, I learned she hadn’t eaten, and  she requested leftover pizza. So I ate some with her. It was the polite thing to do.

I realized days ago that I was headed down a problematic path, but I seem powerless to stop it.

At least twice, I’ve had a reasonably nutritious dinner cooking on my stove, and am suddenly overcome with a wave of hunger so powerful, that I’m convinced I will faint away from fatigue before my meal will finish cooking. If that happened, I’d probably knock the pan over on my way down, causing the lava-hot food to scald me and then fuse permanently to my skin. It happens. Probably. The paramedics would arrive to find me unconscious and pantsless, with bits of food stuck to my face and arms. It’d be traumatizing for them.

In order to avoid that whole scenario, I thought it best to curb my ravenous hunger by eating something else while Dinner #2 finished cooking. And that’s how I found myself eating Dinner #1 while hunched over the sink like a guilty rodent.

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Look, the US Constitution says nothing about how many dinners a person can have, or how healthy they have to be. I will exercise my American right to take advantage of that loophole! Plus, let’s face it, if this were all happening closer to the holiday season, my overeating would practically be fashionable. It’d be RESPECTED. But no, it’s early October, so gorging myself on fatty foods is suddenly “unhealthy” and “concerning.”

You know that cliché that says that the first step to making a change is to admit you have a problem? Well, they’re wrong. I admitted early on that eating two dinners is not normal or necessary, and yet, nothing changed.

As it turns out, the true first step toward change comes with the realization that your clothes suddenly fit more snugly. Step #2 is waking up one morning to discover that you feel ill and gross and walrus-like. I’m ready for change, but I’m unclear how to go about it. My plan right now is to spend a couple of weeks on a desert island, where my meals will consist mainly of coconuts and raw monkey. I clearly won’t want two dinners there.

Anyway, I shall miss you all. Send tacos. ❤

Has anyone else ever found themselves eating multiple meals like this, or perhaps indulging much more often than you normally do? What made you realize you needed to change? What did you do to help yourself get back on track?

Failure of Flapjacks

Back in August, I told you fine humans about a pancake contest I had entered. Austin’s beloved Kerbey Lane Café challenged area bloggers to create an original recipe using the restaurant’s own pancake mix.

As a fan of pancakes, and an even bigger fan of Kerbey, I was totally up for this challenge. I spent weeks brainstorming and attempting various concoctions before finally settling on three recipes to submit. Last week, the contest participants were emailed the results, and it turns out…

(Drumroll please)

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I didn’t win. Womp womp.

But you know what? NOT WOMP WOMP. Yes, I entered a pancake contest and lost. Yes, I’m apparently a failure at flapjacks. But I had a lot of fun creating different things, and I got to eat a lot of yummy creations along the way. In this particular case, failure tastes pretty flippin’ good.

Get it? Flippin’, like in flipping pancakes? No, DON’T YOU DARE close out of this post! You have to give me this terrible joke. It’ll be worth it in the end.

I thought my fellow food lovers might enjoy taking a stab at one of my recipes and experiencing the pancakey joy for yourselves. It was tough to decide which one to share, but the one I’m ultimately going with is the only one that contains cheese, and this blog is pretty devoted to dairy, if you haven’t already figured that out, but even if you’re new here, you probably noticed that this blog has cheese in the name, albeit in a different language, but it’s food-related foreign language, so I don’t think that even counts, and I’m starting to run out of things to say, but this is a spectacularly long run-on sentence and I kinda want to keep rambling just to see how long I can keep it going, but by now you’ve probably skipped over this giant paragraph in order to get to the good stuff, and I have to understand, because I also have a short attention span when it comes to food, so for your sake and mine, I’ll stop, but for the record, if you’ve made it to the end of this disaster, that is really quite impressive, and you totally deserve to make pancakes for yourself now.

Whew.

Here is the Kerbey Cristo Sandwich (named for its similarity to the Monte Cristo Sandwich). Take a look at this baby.

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Stop it! Stop licking your computer screen! You’ll frighten the children.

This recipe calls for Kerbey’s pancake mix, but you can definitely substitute any other brand of mix. I mean, probably. I haven’t actually tried it, so the measurements might be slightly off, but it’s not like the pancakes will explode or anything. Maybe. I don’t know for sure.

Liability release: if your food or kitchen appliances explode from using the wrong kind of pancake mix, you can’t sue me, or Kerbey Lane, or WordPress. You can still sue the internet though.

If you give this recipe a try, please let me know what you think!! If enough of you like it, maybe we can assemble an army of righteous pancake fans, and show up at the contest  judges’ houses with fire and pitchforks. Or we could all just sit down and eat some pancakes together. Either way’s fine.

Kerbey Cristo Pancakes

 1 cup Kerbey Lane Café Buttermilk Pancake Mix
¾ cup milk
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
2 slices of Hormel Applewood Smoked ham
2-4 slices of cheese (American, Cheddar, and Gruyere all work great)
1 tablespoon butter

Whisk the first four ingredients away to a romantic night in Cancun. Kidding. Just whisk them in a small bowl until batter is free of lumps. Lightly grease a large pan or griddle with nonstick spray and place over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, measure ¼ cup of batter for each pancake and pour it on the pan. There should be enough batter for 4 pancakes.

Cook pancakes until the tops look dry and a few of the bubbles pop. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another couple of minutes until both sides have obtained that perfect summer tan. Transfer pancakes onto a plate, but do not turn off heat.

Slather butter on the pancakes and place one cake butter-side down on the hot pan. Lay on a slice of your favorite cheese and then slap on some ham, because darn it, you’re a nice person and nice people deserve ham! If you’re feeling daring, throw on another slice of fermented dairy product and top with a second pancake, butter-side up.

Grill until bottom pancake is crisp and browned. Flip sandwich over and continue grilling until cheese is melted and attractively gooey. (Pancakes will not have the same “grilled” appearance to them that traditional grilled cheese sandwiches have, but they’ll be beautiful in their own way.) Repeat steps to make the second sandwich.

Transport sandwiches to a plate and attack them down the middle with a knife. Pause for a moment to admire the cheese as it oozes out. Chow down on your cheesy, hammy sammich. Share it with someone else, if you’re feeling particularly generous.

 

 

 

Drunken Chicken Chasing

I work in a pretty rural area. How rural, you ask? So rural that there’s a house down the street from my office that has chickens freely roaming in the yard. There’s no fence to keep these animals confined. If they became fed up with their owners, they could totally pack up their chicken suitcases, put on their chicken fedoras, and head on down the chicken road.

But these chickens are either totally happy with their circumstances, or perhaps just not smart enough to escape, because they’re still there.

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Not the actual chickens in question, but still nice in their own way.

Sometimes, when my coworker or I get a little frazzled at work, we like to take a short walk around the neighborhood to clear our heads. We’ve observed the chickens in their yard – pecking at the ground, staring blankly at each other, and occasionally perching on a windowsill of the house.

We’ve formed a fondness for the chickens. And we want to convey our fondness for them by chasing them. Preferably while drunk.

I know what you’re thinking – why would a person want to do this? And I don’t really have a clear answer for you, Judgey McJudgerson. I just know that I want to do it. I imagine that’s the same answer you’d get from a dog if you asked him why he pees on fire hydrants.

Unfortunately, my boss has requested that my coworker and I keep our adventures on the legal side of life – which is a fair boundary. I guess. Before embarking on our chicken journey, I thought it’d be wise to interview a local police officer to determine whether this activity is lawful or not. However, the small shred of decency I have left made me too embarrassed to ask any actual police officers.

So, I’ve moved on to Plan B: I’ll just put myself in the shoes of a policeman. Not literally, because their shoes don’t look comfortable. Instead, I’ll  imagine how this conversation might have gone down, if it had actually happened.

Amanda: On a scale of 1-10, how illegal is it to chase another person’s chickens?

Police: I’m going to need a little more information here.

Amanda: I work in a rural area, and the house across the street from my office has chickens that just run around freely – no fence or anything! For some reason, my friend and I are overwhelmed with the desire to chase them, preferably while drunk.

Police: Wait, who’s drunk in this situation? The people or the chickens?

Amanda: The people, of course! We would never get CHICKENS drunk. We’re not monsters. Although, if we manage to catch a couple of them, we do have other plans for them. If you know what I mean.

Police: Oh God, are you going to cook them?

Amanda: Of course not. What’s wrong with you? We’re just going to use them to reenact The Lion King, only with chickens. We’re calling it The Chicken King. Clever, huh?

Police: So, ALL the animals will be chickens? Including the giraffes?

Amanda: No, no, only the lions will be played by chickens. The rest of the animals will play themselves.

Police: looks confused

Amanda: It’s okay, it’s a complicated concept. You see, Simba, Mufasa, and Scar will all be chickens. But Rafiki will still be a baboon, and wildebeasts will still be the assholes who trample Mufasa, who will be known in the movie as “Mufasa Chicken.”

Police: So now you’re bringing wildebeasts into this scenario?

Amanda: The wildebeasts will be implied, mostly because we don’t have access to any. Also, I don’t mean to make stereotypes here, but wildebeasts are a pretty uncooperative bunch.

Police: I’m still not feeling good that you’re technically trespassing, as well as maybe stealing.

Amanda: We’re not going to keep the chickens. I live in an apartment! Where the hell would I keep them? We’ll just film the movie and then leave.

Police: looks uncertain and vaguely scared

Amanda: What if I said that the chickens’ owners could participate in the making of The Chicken King? They could play Poomba, or maybe Nala Chicken, if they really show promise.

Police: Yeah, I’m not sure that helps.

Amanda: Well, what if we offered them 50% of the proceeds from The Chicken King? You KNOW it’s going to be a hit.

Police: Wait a sec, the movie’s not even happening unless you manage to catch some chickens. What if you don’t catch any?

Amanda: Plan B is to just chase them until we get tired. Neither of us is an athlete, so that probably won’t take long.

Note: no chickens or police officers were harmed in the making of this really weird blog post. I truly do feel a strange affection toward chickens now, despite having never cared about that animal in the past. It makes me question my love of fried chicken and enchiladas.

Note #2: Just for kicks, I did an image search for “The Chicken King,” and this was the first result. Seems legit.

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September Remembered

It seems like September is a hard month for a lot of people. Green Day hates the month so much, they want to sleep through the whole thing and not wake up until it’s over.

But in my little neck of the woods, September is (mostly) splendid. Rather than simply telling you about it, I think the photos and screenshots I’ve taken on my phone over the past 30 (well, 28) days will paint a pretty good picture.

Warning: this post contains some vague and confusing nudity.    

September 3
While watching Silver Linings Playbook, I realized that young Bradley Cooper bares a strikingly creepy resemblance to a person I used to be quite close with, but now haven’t spoken to in 6 years. That guy’s probably in prison by now. Not even kidding.  Just to clarify, it’s the former friend who’s probably in prison –  not Bradley Cooper. I mean, Bradley Cooper COULD be in prison right now, I don’t really know.

How much do ANY of us know about him, really?

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September 4
Celebrated my mom’s birthday weekend with lots of mother-daughter shenanigans. Happy Birthday, Cheese Mom! Sorry for any blog-related shame I’ve brought you, and will continue to bring you, for an indefinite period of time!

Also, thank you for providing such good material.

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Yes, her shirt does say “Nope.” I like to to think she takes after me.

September 9
I completed all of my clinical hours for FULL licensure as a professional counselor (as opposed to a lowly counselor intern). First, I celebrated in my office with a mini dance party,  which was witnessed by a bewildered handyman walking by.

Later, I celebrated with potatoes and pretty drinks, just like our forefathers would have wanted.

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September 10
I began a new and weird research project about personality disorders. It was a slow start.

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September 11
I admitted that I am powerless against the mighty Cheeto.

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September 12
Happy Birthday to one of my best friends, who will always and forever be 12 days older than I am, which I will hold over her until the day I die. Or until the day she dies, since she’s so much older and wrinklier.

Rather than putting up a picture of her, I have included this drawing that I made of her when we were 10. She’s the only one with hair.

I don’t know who all the bald people are, or why everyone’s naked. I’m now a little concerned about my 10-year-old self.

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September 16
Celebrated my birthday (early) at an outdoor bar. Bacon-covered cheese and alcoholic beverages were involved. So were dogs. Lots and lots of dogs.

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September 22
These birthday presents from mah cheese wife and her kids do a pretty good job of demonstrating my personality. You’re looking at a dolphin nightshirt and a tortilla warmer with a chicken on it. In the past, I’ve used foil to keep my tortillas warm, like some kind of miserable peasant. Now, not only will my carb vehicles be kept toasty, they will look good while doing it. This festive feathery bastard is really going to liven things up in my kitchen.

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A note to my friends and family:  please refrain from buying me chicken-themed  items in the future. The fact that I like this particular chicken does not mean I wish to start hoarding them.

September 24
At last, my birthday! I went shopping, ate too many treats, and petted some more dogs. Needless to say, it was a pretty excellent day.

It’s been a whirlwind 30 (okay, 28) days of festivities, food, and fur babies! It hasn’t been perfect, but it’s been just nice enough to make me forget about that whole persistent eyelid infection thing. Which I still have, you guys. I’m going to need some more Cheetos.

Not the Brightest Bulb in the Box

One lit bulb among unlit ones

I can be a strange grown up sometimes.

There are some duties that I can carry out on a consistent basis, and with little complaint. I’ll gallivant around, adulting like a fricken champion, with “You’re Gonna Make it After All” playing triumphantly in my head.

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And then, I’ll hit a wall. Suddenly, the simplest of tasks will seem like a huge mountain to climb. A burden to shoulder. An obstacle to cross. An – never mind, you get it.

An indefinite number of weeks ago, a light bulb in one of my living room lamps went out. No problemo. I always keep “extras” of certain items around, and I quickly replaced it. Since this was the last of my extra light bulbs, I put the item on my grocery list, figuring I could pick some up the next time I went to the store.

And this, my friends, is where things got weird.

I’ve gone to the store numerous times since running out of bulbs, and each time, I leave without them. I see the word on my grocery list – and then disregard it with a hint of apathy.

“Eh, the lightbulbs are all the way on the other side of the store, and I just…I don’t know. I don’t want to.”

Then, I stare wistfully at the other side of the store, as though I really WISH I could get to the bulbs, if only they weren’t so far away. If only there weren’t so many obstacles in between us. I picture this journey to The Other Side as something akin to Oregon Trail – complete with oxen to yoke and rivers to ford.

I’d be desperate, tired,  and hungry. I’d probably catch cholera.

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Especially if I’m at Walmart.

It’s now been weeks, no, months, since I used that last bulb, and I still haven’t bought new ones.

What is this? Is this just simple laziness? If so, then why can I run 53 errands, unload the dishwasher, clean the bathroom, and still have energy left over to bake a cake, but getting light bulbs is just slightly beyond my abilities?

 

Each time I stand in the store and make the decision to forgo the bulbs yet again, I get a mischievous thrill. Like a high schooler plotting to skip class. Or, like an adult who can refuse to do simple tasks, because there are no other adults around to punish me.

Screw the patriarchy! They can’t tell me when to buy light bulbs!

But when I leave the store empty-light-bulb-handed, I feel a bit guilty and weirded out by myself. Unfortunately, the guilt’s not enough to change my mind the next time around.

I’ve come to terms with the idea that there will eventually be a consequence for my behavior. At some point, another bulb will go out in my apartment, and I’ll be plunged into an inconvenient darkness until I can get new ones.

Who knows how long this’ll go on – maybe I’ll never get new ones! Maybe my light bulb laziness will go on for years until I have no lights in my apartment and people refuse to visit me because I’ve become a stubborn, darkness-dwelling, fang-less vampire.

That’s right, I’ve now reached the point where I would rather just accept my future punishment for not doing the thing that I need to do, rather than just DOING the thing that I need to do.

NOTE: I originally wrote the above post FOUR freaking months ago, but ultimately decided not to post it. Why did I publish it today? You guessed it. The first lightbulb has gone out.

And so it begins.

Has anyone else found themselves completely unmotivated to do a simple task? What chore challenged you? Did you eventually give in and do it, or did you endure some type of consequence?

 

Consp-eye-racy Theories

 

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that my eyelid hates me and has decided to rebel against the rest of my face. I went to the eye doctor, endured a little torment, got some antibiotics, and assumed I was well on my way to living happily ever after.

Unfortunately, my eyelid is still in a bad state. No, it’s not in Arkansas. I just meant that it’s still really red and uncomfortable.

The antibiotics improved the condition somewhat, then it stayed exactly the same with no improvement for several days, and then it suddenly got much worse. It looks a little something like this, only much less fashionable:

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Eyes are creepy up close, no?

I’ve asked my eyelid why it’s committing mutiny, and it has yet to answer. I would torture it for information, but since it’s attached to me, it’d be like I’m torturing myself. And it’s already doing a pretty good job of that on its own. As they say, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So since my eyelid is my enemy, and I am the enemy of my eyelid, then I am actually my friend.  But I can’t technically be my own friend, because a) that might make my other friends feel a little insecure about where they stand with me, and b) my eyelid is not really my enemy. My eyelid might think that we’re enemies, but I personally dislike conflict, and would prefer that we all just get along.

Especially since this particular enemy is attached to my face.

After giving it some thought, I’ve come up with a couple of reasons for my eyelid’s suddenly-worsened condition. You might call them conspiracy theories. Or, consp-eye-racy theories.

No, don’t give me that look. You have to give me this terrible joke. I have nothing else.

Theory 1 – Three years ago, I woke up with shingles. My eyelid is under the impression that I enjoyed that time of my life, and is trying to help me relive it.

Theory 2 – My eyelid knows how much I like the colors pink and purple, and thinks I would like to experience these colors on my face.

Theory 3 – My eyelid is misogynistic, and is dissatisfied with my feminist views.

Theory 4 – I told a friend that my skin is looking better than it has in years, thanks to avoiding makeup for the past month. I was trying to have a “look on the bright side” attitude, but my eyelid may have misconstrued this as arrogance, and is wanting to bring me down a peg or two. According to my body, something about my appearance must always be amiss.

Whatever reason my eyelid has, I went back to the doctor on Thursday, and now I’m on a tougher, burlier medication. It’s like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of antibiotics.

In yo face, eyelid! Except you live on my face, so your face is also my face. But that’s beside the point!

Honestly, I was hoping the doctor could provide a more elaborate treatment for me. Like…eyelid transplant surgery or something. I have no sentimental feelings left toward this eyelid at all, so I have no problem using some dead person’s eye curtains. If that’s not possible, we could even take a flap of skin from somewhere on my body. Like the back of my knee. Or my butt.

Eyelids made from butts might be unconventional, but maybe they’re less likely to get infected or fall off my face. Yes, maybe butt-lids are more conforming.

I’m going to go ahead and apologize for this sufficiently weird post 🙂

 

 

 

5 Characters Who Might be Narcissistic

For reasons that I won’t bore you with now, I’ve been researching the ins and outs of Narcissistic Personality Disorder over the past week. According to the DSM (abbreviation for Damn Sassy Manual), this disorder involves a sense a self-importance and entitlement, a need for admiration, and a lack of ability to identify with the feelings of others. Narcissists expect others to cater to their needs, and they get angry when this doesn’t happen.

Truthfully, most of us are a little self-important. If you’ve ever fantasized about becoming famous, or if you still sometimes brag about crushing your opponents in the 3rd grade spelling bee, congratulations – you’re narcissistic.

Don’t worry, though. A certain amount of narcissism is normal, and even healthy, in people.  A small dose of self-centeredness keeps you confident and assertive, and reminds you to take care of your own needs now and then.

However, if you’ve ever fallen in love with your own reflection, and then died because you couldn’t tear yourself away from it, you may have a tiny problem. I’m looking at you, Narcissus.

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All of this reading and writing about selfish, exploitative, and entitled people has got me thinking about celebrities. If we think about it, there are quite a few famous people who could meet the criteria for NPD. Now, I could point everyone’s attention to a certain orange-skinned, fox-haired blowhard of a politician, but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

For lighthearted funsies, I say we keep the focus on non-real characters that appear in movies and TV. This activity will not only help increase my understanding of the personality disorder, it’ll also be good typing practice, because my fourth finger forgets to type that third ‘s’ of narcissism Every. Single. Time.

Get your shit together, finger.

5 characters who might be narcissistic…

Regina George, Mean Girls

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Evidence for narcissism – She obviously has a sense of superiority, and is controlling, deceiving, and uncaring. She demands admiration from others, and cuts down her friends’ successes with negative comments.  She strongly believes that others are envious of her.
Evidence against narcissism – None. She and Narcissus would make a great couple. You know, if either of them existed.

Also, as a side note – where the hell has Lindsay Lohan disappeared to for the past few years? I’m thinking aliens.

Miranda Priestly, The Devil Wears Prada

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Evidence for narcissism – She’s demanding and cold. She expects perfection from her employees, and harshly criticizes their mistakes. She insists on having the “top” or “best” of everything (i.e., restaurants, hairdressers, etc).
Evidence against narcissism – Miranda seems to have some level of awareness of how she’s perceived, which isn’t typically seen in the self-absorbed crowd.

Michael Scott, The Office

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Evidence for narcissism –He exaggerates his achievements, and fantasizes about being loved and admired by all who know him.  He is often shallow and callous, and is oblivious to how his remarks affect others.
Evidence against narcissism – Michael does occasionally express real concern and empathy toward his coworkers, though he usually follows it with an insensitive joke of some sort.

Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock

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Evidence for narcissism – She’s attention-seeking and self-centered, and is threatened by anyone else with talent. She’s even in a relationship with someone who dresses and acts just like her, which I feel like is proof enough.
Evidence against narcissism – She shows some care in her relationships with Liz and Paul.

G.O.B. Bluth,  Arrested Development

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Evidence for narcissism – He’s arrogant, and constantly seeking others’ approval. He’s always “on stage” – both literally and figuratively. He expects others to take care of him, and struggles to maintain friendships and romantic relationships.
Evidence against narcissism*crickets chirping*

In defense of G.O.B., Jenna, and Michael, I have yet to finish their TV series, so maybe these characters blossom into warm, grounded humans. Maybe not.

So friends, what did you think of my list of narcissists? Can you think of any other characters who might meet these criteria?

 

Torture Chambers and Other Pleasant Ideas

A couple of days ago, I waxed poetically  complained about my mutant eye disease. I’m happy to say that I simply have a mild (though mysteriously-obtained) eyelid infection, and I should be back to overusing eyeliner in no time!

 “That’s good. You looked like Quasimodo, but without the hump.” – My mom

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Damn. She’s not wrong.

The upside to this appointment (aside from the fact that my eye is not going to spontaneously fall out of my head), is that my eye doctor  paid me a lovely compliment. He took note of the fact that my toenail polish, shirt, and purse all (unintentionally) match today, and told me I “looked fancy.”

I fluttered my crusty and swollen eyelid at him in response.

The downside to this appointment was entering the exam room and feeling like I’d crossed the threshold into my own personal torture chamber. It was like someone had asked me to write down my least favorite things in the world, and then charged me an insurance copay to experience them. Granted, the room didn’t include knives and chains and fire, so it wasn’t THAT torturous. It was more of a modest torture chamber. You know, as opposed to a severe one.

First of all, directly across from the exam chair, there hangs a huge, floor-to-ceiling mirror. Therefore, as a I sat in the chair, I was forced to look in this mirror and witness what my hips and thighs look like when I’m sitting. Everything just sort of….spreads out.

Perturbed by the sight, I started adjusting my sitting positions and leg placements in order to get the most attractive angle.

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Yes, this looks totally natural.

To add insult to injury, the office radio started playing the song, “Maria” by Brooks & Dunn. I have held an unwavering hatred of that song since I was 4 years old. The song didn’t even come out until I was 8, so that should show you how much I hate it. When it plays, I want to stab someone, vomit, and cry, all at the same time.

Seriously, it’s like listening to a bag of cats being set on fire. I just can’t do it. I can’t. No.

The only way this (modest) torture chamber could have been made worse is if the office staff had somehow managed to waft the smells of gasoline and burned popcorn through the vents. Even worse,  if they’d dangled a platter of chips and queso above my head – just ever-so-slightlyyy out of my reach.

All in all, I’d say the compliment and positive eye news almost balance out the wretched song and thigh view. It’s a close call, though, so I may have to have a glass of wine just to make for certain the day ends well.

Weapons and fire aside, what would be your idea of a personal torture chamber? Would there be a certain song or noise playing? A specific smell? What other factors would be present?

 

 

When Body Parts Rebel

I thought my eyes and I had a good relationship going. I use them to drive and watch TV, and they even help me find lost items, such as bits of popcorn that have fallen in my bra. Even my eyelids are useful! They’re like little curtains for my eyes when I need to sneeze or sleep. Granted, I poke and prod them with eye makeup a lot, but that’s only because I like them so much and want others to notice them.

APPARENTLY my left eye is feeling unappreciated. APPARENTLY it’s sick of this bullshit, and is calling for mutiny.

A couple weeks ago, I woke up to discover a stye on my eye. That’s right, everyone! STYE and EYE rhyme! Hahahahahaha. Haha. Ha. If you didn’t have a hearty chuckle over that, you clearly don’t have a sophisticated sense of humor, because it’s brought endless hours of entertainment to my so-called loved ones.

If you’ve never had a stye, it’s this tender, red bump that forms on your eyelid, up close to the lashes. It’s not fun, and it makes the makeup process a bit more challenging, but it usually goes away on its own in a few days.

Turns out, this critter ain’t no stye. Or maybe it was a stye at one time, but it got pissed about my nonchalance towards it, so it decided to up its game. It’s pulled out the heavy artillery.

Here’s a dramatic reenactment:

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Now my whole eyelid is red, painful, and puffy, and even droops so that it looks as though I’m half-winking all the time. No, I’m not flirting with you, sir. You can stop winking back.

I’m unwilling to post a picture of myself in order to preserve my anonymity (and vanity), but I will provide some example comments from loving friends and family who have witnessed The Eye:

 “Eeeek! Lord have mercy!” – my mother

 “You look like the bride of Frankenstein.” – also my mother

 “It hurts me to look at that.” – a friend

I sort of felt like crying when I looked in the mirror this morning, but I was afraid that the salt in my tears would make the swelling even worse, so I’ve decided instead to deliriously smile and insist that I’m totally okay and comfortable with all of this.

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Don’t worry friends, I plan to march my eye to the doctor first thing tomorrow, where perhaps we can figure out a battle strategy together. I think we’re going to need to take major action to show this bastard who’s boss.

How’s your Sunday going? Any of your body parts revolting?

 

 

 

Things I’d Rather Meditate About

If you’ve ever done a guided meditation, you’ve probably noticed that the meditation leaders (is that what they’re called? Do those people have an official title?) encourage the listeners to focus their minds on positive, calming things. Typically, you’re supposed to repeat affirmations in your head, or think about the places where you feel safe and happy.  Oftentimes, they ask you to reflect on what you’re grateful for in your life.

That’s all well and good. It’s good to be grateful. It’s good to focus on the things that are going well in my life. It’s good to have a positive attitude.

It’s good.

It’s also a bit of a snooze fest.

During a typical day, we use up 92.7% of our brain power* thinking about plenty of stuff that we don’t really want to think about – bills, paperwork, rogue political candidates, etc. So, if we’re going to use the remaining 7.3% of our mental energy* on meditating, on just sitting still and focusing our minds on something, then that something should be really good, right? Things that make us glad to be alive. Stuff that brings us genuine comfort, or puts a smile on our faces.

*made up statistics

These are the kinds of things I’d rather meditate about:

  1. The smell, sight, and taste of chocolate. Candy bars. Cookies. Ice cream. Brownies. I feel calm already.
  1. The sensation of having my back scratched, or my hair washed.
  1. My own private island: Weather that’s warm enough for swimming, but isn’t too hot. Crystal-clear water. A chimpanzee with bartending skills. A hammock to lie in, but not the kind where your elbow or knee falls through the hole and you get stuck.
  1. What it’d feel like to sink into a bathtub filled with warm mashed potatoes. You heard me.
  1. Sam and Dean Winchester.
  1. The inner peace that washes over me when I walk into a used book store and find that they have a large clearance section.
  1. The delightful, if foolish, idea of Tina Fey discovering my blog, becoming a huge fan of my weird posts, and offering me a job.
  1. The feeling of slipping under a thick, warm comforter on a cold winter night.
  1. The utter joy of being locked in a room with 19 baby corgis.

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I asked the people I know to try meditating about the things that bring them joy in their lives, be they attractive celebrities, the sound of children’s laughter, or the smell of sharpies. No judgment here. Then, I asked the “meditators” to share with me their personal results from this challenge.

These are actual testimonies from the meditation participants:

“Five minutes of meditating about kittens cured my adult acne forever!” – best friend

“I no longer have kidney disease!” – relative

“My spouse stopped cheating on me, and we’re no longer getting a divorce!” – boss

Do you meditate when you need to de-stress or improve your mood? If you were to liven up your meditations, what sorts of things would you think about? Even if you don’t meditate, what kinds of things would you reflect on if you did?