Cream Cheese and I: A love affair

I never really liked cream cheese on anything but bagels.  It was good as a base for dips, but other than that, I just didn’t have anything else to eat it with.  Bagels were my staple.

In high school I was introduced to dipping hot Cheetos in cream cheese.  At first I was opposed to it in every way, but after trying it, I was obsessed.

The next unexpected cream cheese food I tried was a Philadelphia roll.  I love sushi, but I was weary about combining it with cream cheese.  Cheese in general doesn’t go with sushi…cream cheese?  A friend of mine convinced me and now it is one of my favorites.

After having a deep fried Philadelphia roll, I decided my aversion to cream cheese in hot foods was unprecedented.  I started adding it to the meals I cooked, substituting nonfat cream cheese for whatever cheese was called for.  It worked really well.  I stuffed chicken breasts with a seasoned cream cheese mixture, breaded them, and baked.  I used cream cheese instead of cream for a couple of my recipes, resulting in a thicker sauce.

I severely underestimated cream cheese, which I think a lot of us do with one food or another.  Cream cheese is for bagels.  Not anymore.  I guess the whole point of this post is you shouldn’t take something and define it.  Don’t be afraid to experiment or do something unexpected, be it with food or anything else.

Final Destination.

I was driving home from the city.  I wasn’t really paying attention.  I wasn’t doing anything else ,but my mind was elsewhere.  I realized I had been in the far right exit lane the entire time and it’d soon be turning into an “exit only” lane, so it was time to move over.  I glanced over my shoulder, checking my blind spot.  I peeked into my mirrors and looked back one more time to be sure, then, signal on, I started switching lanes.  Suddenly an asshole in some sort of red sedan flies into my lane, speeds up, and nearly hits me, causing me to swerve back into my lane to avoid him.

Of course, I’m cursing, and now I’m pissed.  The driver is a middle aged man, probably showing off for the blonde who is half his age and is perched in the passenger seat, giggling.  I still have plenty of time before I’m forced to exit, so I decide right then and there if I want my revenge, I’ll just get really close to his bumper.  He’s already ridiculously close to the car in front of him, in an effort to get it to speed up, why not give him a taste of his own medicine?

I speed up and as I’m approaching his car, I see cars much farther up ahead swerving.  Brake lights.  I slam on my breaks and stay away from his bumper.  This guy is going to slam his car into the one in front of him and if I’m not careful, I could be collateral damage.  I try to scan the emergency lane ahead to see what the swerving was about and if there was an accident.  Right as I look back, we are approaching where the first cars has begun to swerve.  I see him run it over in his car and now, although my car is a few car lengths behind, this twisted metal bumper is hurtling itself towards my windshield. It’s bouncing of the pavement of the freeway, flipping end over end, as it flies at me.

I can feel my eyes widening in fear, and I begin to panic.

Do I swerve left and avoid the bumper hitting my person, but run the risk of it going through the passenger side?  Although it’s empty, it will still cause detrimental damage and there’s no assurance I’ll be okay.  There are also other cars to my left, any of which I could collide with.

Do I swerve right?  I’d be bringing myself into the direct line of the flying shrapnel, but I might be able to make it into the emergency lane without problem.  But should I not swerve far enough over, I’ll have lined myself up perfectly with the bumper, and it is definitely over.

These thoughts ran through my head at four times the speed the bumper was approaching.  It felt like minutes, but was probably under seconds.  I swerved to the right, screaming the entire time.  The bumper hit the front of my car and cartwheeled over it.  It nicked my front bumper and roof, but missed both the windshield and rear window.

I felt like I was going to throw up.  There was so much adrenaline pulsing through my body I forgot about the idiot driver and the random piece of metal and everything that had just happened.  My mind began to go back to a series of movies I love: Final Destination.  I just had a moment straight out of their script.  Had that bumper made it into my car, killing me, it would have caused a major accident.  It would have been a freak accident, and I avoided it.  I was so proud of myself.  I wasn’t mad or afraid or upset, but proud.  Proud that I had cheated death.  Proud that I had come up with the right solution.  Proud that I was still alive.

it’s been a while…

being busy takes its toll on a blog, but since i lost my job, my personal life is taking a nose dive, and my housing situation is rocky once again, it seems like outside of endless job applications, i’ll have time to blog again.  when it rains, it pours, and this just means i’m going to have to get myself a bigger umbrella.  i’m over using capital letters, for now.  yes, i am *that* lazy.  i’m not sure if it’s the weather or the lack of sanity in my life currently, but i am suffering with a huge case of the lazies.  also a huge case of smoking…and drinking…possibly some recreational drug use thrown in there…either way, i am sort of enjoying this mini vacation from life i’ve found myself on.  i don’t have anywhere to be, ever.  no job to go to in the morning, no dates to look cute for that night (who am i kidding?  I’ve never had those), no one to impress or please but myself.  it’s different.  it’s allowed me to think.  it’s allowed me to draw some conclusions.  because i have a blog, it’s allowing me to ramble.

if i were a dog, i’d be a lab.  i’m not always super smart, but i am smarter than i look.  i’m easy going, ready and willing to make you happy before making myself happy, i’m friendly with everyone, but loyal.  the only problem with this lifestyle is people can easily take advantage of you or take you for granted, and should that happen, you’re too busy focusing on other people instead of yourself.  unhappiness ensues.  it isn’t really your fault, you were just hoping that while you were making everyone else happy, someone would make you happy in return.  that’s fair, right?  well, as my mom always told me, life isn’t fair.  in fact, it was her favorite thing to say to me right as she was being brutally unfair.  long story short, you are the main factor in your own happiness.  if someone makes you happy, keep them around, but if you lack that person or those people, it becomes your job to put yourself first.  it’s a lesson i’ve been taught time and again, but only now is it sticking.

i dont necessarily believe in karma.  i don’t deny that what you put into the universe may come back at you, but i think it’s about more than just being good or being bad.  you have to feel that way as well.  you can do everything for everyone, but if you’re unhappy at the end of it all, no reward is going to come around.  that’s why we see awesome things happen to shitty people and shitty things happen to awesome people.  it isn’t about everyone else as much as it is about you.  if you are doing everything in your power to make yourself happy and living as true to yourself as possible (even if you are a shitty person) the world is going to spit awesome things back at you.

life isn’t fair, but it doesn’t fuck you over constantly either.  do what you can with what you’ve got.  lemons into lemonade or whatever.  but look at that.  just take a look at that adage for a second.  life only gave you lemons.  you still need water and sugar to make lemonade.  life isn’t supplying those.  you’re still going to have to work.  so life not only handed you shitty lemons, but also forgot to bestow you with the rest of the ingredients for lemonade.  fuck that.  if life keeps handing you lemons, make some fucking apple juice, and leave people wondering how you pulled it off.

it’s that simple.  work with what you have.  if you have nothing, work to change that.  little steps.  a tiger can’t change its stripes, sure, but you aren’t a tiger.  you’re a human being.  sentient.  top of the food chain (or so we like to think).  you can change.  people *can* change, it’s just that most of us don’t want to.  most of us are happy with what we are because it’s what we know.  someone hurt us, and now we act the way we do.  something went wrong, and now we have a certain personality trait.  we are all broken.  we are all insecure.  we are all afraid to trust people.  we all put up walls.  we all have fears.  dreams.  memories, good and bad.  we’ve all lost.  we’ve all won.  people can change.  they just have to find that one thing that’s worth changing for, be it a person, a job, a dream.  anyone can change.  the change may not come overnight, but who says it has to?

if you’re unhappy, the root cause is probably yourself.  i never wanted to admit that.  sure, other people or things contribute to that unhappiness, but when it all boils down, it’s up to you.  it’s up to you to take what people do or say to take how things turned out and let it make or break you.  things have broken me.  i am damaged.  i am broken.  that doesn’t mean i can’t be fixed.  it doesn’t mean things won’t get better.  it doesn’t mean i can’t move on.  it’s up to me to change myself and, in turn, that will change everything.  i’m finally mature enough to realize this.  i’m not always right, everyone isn’t always against me, i have something to do with my own happiness, i have a lot to do with it.  now i’m going to make it happen.  with or without anyone else’s help.

Fear Factor

What are you afraid of?  Heights?  Spiders?  Th Dark?  I’m afraid of all of those things and a few more.  We all have reasons we are afraid of something, and no matter how strange they may seem, they’re usually valid reasons.  I knew a girl in high school who was afraid of balloons.  BALLOONS.  Why?  When she was young, she was at a birthday party and someone popped a balloon in her ear.  A small piece of latex from the balloon actually entered her ear canal due to the force of the balloon popping and became lodged there.  She actually ended up needing surgery to have the latex piece removed before it caused any sort of infection.  Even the strangest fears are founded on something.  I’m going to share mine with you.

 

The dark.  Mirrors.  Open doors.  The edge of the bed.

These fears are all related.  As a kid I had night terrors and one of the things suggested to help me get over them was to open up about my dreams.  I would talk to me mom about what happened and why I was afraid.  My mother, being the great mom she is, decided scaring me in the same way I had been scared in my dream would help.  Once I dreamt about man eating plants growing in my bathroom (I had the master bedroom in our old house because it was at the back and my mom wanted the front room for safety reasons) and in the dream I had opened my shower curtain to find a bunch of plants there, waiting to consume me (I had read this in a book the night before).  My mom decided to fill my shower with potted plants while I was at school, knowing I’d shower later that night after dance class.  As stupid as it sounds, pulling back the shower curtain to a shower full of plants was so terrifying, I didn’t sleep in my room for two weeks.  My mom also liked to force me to watch scary movies, knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep afterward.  A lot of these movies involved seeing things run past open bedroom doors, reflections in mirrors, etc.  As a kid, my bed was always against a wall, and I slept as close to that wall as possible.  Doors were shut, closets sometimes had a chair in front of them.  Mirrors were covered in pictures and things cut from magazines.  To this day, I am 23 and sleep  with a light on.  I literally panic when the power goes out.  I can’t sleep in a room alone if the doors aren’t closed and it’s pitch black.  Even sleeping with someone, the doors will still bother me and there has to be some sort of ambient light.

 

Spiders.

I don’t mind arachnids.  I mean, fleas and ticks are gross, but I wanted a pet scorpion as a kid (and I still think having one would be kind of cool).  Spiders (I call them spideys, a childhood thing that just stuck), however, are a different story.  I don’t know if its because they bite or have so many legs or all the eyes or possibly the fangs, but spiders are just not okay in my book.  I really think its the combination of the fact that they make web (no other animal that I know of does) and how they eat their prey – mummifying it and then draining it of blood.  Fleas have eight legs and they bite.  Ticks fill themselves with your blood and also have eight legs.  Scorpions have stingers.  But spiders, they are hairy and just, awful.  Even pictures of spiders will freak me out.  I think walking into a rather large web as a kid and having to swat three or four spiders off my body is what did me in for this fear.  My mom is also afraid of them, but not even close to the extent my sister and I are.  We can’t even kill them with a shoe, for fear of the spider surviving (which they do sometimes) and coming after us since we’re so close to it.

 

Heights.

I love roller coasters, but am extremely afraid of heights.  As a child my dad left a present on the roof one Christmas and told me Santa must have left it up there.  He brought out a ladder and I told him it’s going to stay up there because I am not going up after it.  I have gotten better with this fear,  I used to be unable to walk out onto balconies, but now, as long as I don’t get too close to the railing, I can handle it.  My dad fell off a roof when I was very young and his back has bothered him ever since.  I used to have recurring nightmares about falling off of our roof, and I think that’s why I have this fear.  Although it’s common, neither of my parents share it with me.

 

Elbows.

Okay, so this one is a little strange.  I am afraid of elbows.  People pointing their elbows at me or showing them to me freaks me out.  I can’t stand having my elbows touched and I don’t like touching other people’s elbows.  A skinned elbow is probably the worst thing that could happen to me.  I would probably have some sort of anxiety attack.  My mom had severe eczema when I was growing up, and she used to tell me I’d catch it from her.  Her elbows were red, raw, cracked, and sometimes there was blood or pus.  It freaked me out.  She would shove her elbows in my face and that terrified me.  I didn’t want to catch what she had and have it all over my face.  She would try to rub her elbow on mine when we sat next to each other.  This plus the actual structure of the elbow is where my fear comes from.  Unlike a knee which has a “cap” and elbow is literally a joint covered by skin.   There isn’t any muscle there or anything to protect the elbow.  I had a dream once that I was doing something (I can’t remember exactly what now), and I somehow pulled the skin off my elbow while it was bent, revealing a cone (for lack of a better term) of white bone.  To this day I feel like that is totally possible, despite the reality of the situation.

 

I’m sure I have other little fears I have forgotten to mention, but these are definitely my biggest.  They’re all justified somehow (usually by a scarring childhood event), and I feel like everyone has something that caused them to be afraid of whatever they have a fear of, despite the rationality of the fear itself.

What are you afraid of?

The Most Shocking Thing -nsfw due to language

I overheard the most shocking thing at the dog park the other day.  An older woman (let’s call her 55+) was chatting to a friend about her German shepherd.  I was eavesdropping because there isn’t much to do at the dog park other than watch Tank wear himself out.  She was talking about going on trips and how she doesn’t trust many people because her dog is like her child. I understand.  My dog is like my child.  I have so many pictures of him that people probably think I’m a total nut job.  Anyway, they continue talking and I guess a mutual friend of theirs is moving away and can’t take her dog, so she gave him to a good friend.  The woman who owned the German shepherd looked shocked.  She immediately said that was the cruelest thing anyone could do and if she couldn’t keep her dog for any reason, she’d have him put down.

wtf? WHAT…THE….FUCK?  Who the…What in the hell kind of logic is that?  Excuse my language, but that lady is one fucked up piece of shit.  Putting your dog down because it can’t live with you anymore?  Dog lover my ass.  If I couldn’t keep Tank anymore (which will never happen, I mean, I lived in a CAR with that dog for 6 months), I would find the best home I could for him.  But no, this bitch would kill her dog.  “I’d put him down.  It’d be too hard on him to be without me.”  Sure.  Might as well have said “I’m so fucking great, this dog would die without me.  To save him the agony, I’m just gonna kill him, death row status.”  What in the fuck?  If a dog is not severely ill and in a lot of incurable pain, you do not put them down.  I’ve had to put down a dog before and it was the worst thing I’ve ever done.  The only thing that helped me was knowing he wasn’t suffering anymore, but to put down a dog that isn’t suffering?

And I am a dog person.  DOG PERSON.  I treat my dogs like humans.  I believe they have feelings, they miss people, they get depressed, but if you put that dog in a good home, who’s to say they won’t be happy without you?  For all you know that dog is just waiting for your idiot ass to kick the bucket.  This was just shocking and upsetting.

To make matters worse, I googled “putting a dog down because you can’t keep them” and it happens ALL THE TIME.  People would rather kill their dog than give it to a friend or adopt it out.  Shit, even a no-kill shelter is better at that point, and she has a gorgeous purebred German shepherd.  I’m positive there are German shepherd rescue groups out there who would be more than happy to take in her dog.

THIS WHOLE THING IS INFURIATING AND RIDICULOUS.

If this bothers you as much as it did me, you probably feel like punching an old lady right now.  So we avoid any violence, here are pictures of my baby boy, Tank:

Body Art – Tattoos

Last night I net a guy who was covered in tattoos.  He was an aspiring tattoo artist and has actually tattooed a few of my friends.  I have three tattoos currently, with plans to get quite a few more.  When I tell people about the tattoos I want or that I’m hoping to have many, I always get people who try to tell me it’s a bad idea.  Why?  It’s my body and if I want to decorate it, I can.  My ears aren’t pierced, but if you feel okay putting holes in your body, go ahead.  My favorite thing to hear is “just make sure they’re hidden.  You don’t want to be unemployed because of your mistakes.”  Um, ok.  Well, I don’t have tattoos covering my face, nor do I plan to.  None of my tattoos include curse words, drugs, drinking, nudity, etc.  I have a sunflower, a peace sign, and a dragonfly.  Pretty non-controversial and in all honesty, suitable for any workplace.  Just because my doctor has a tattoo of a skull on his arm, doesn’t mean he isn’t the best cardiac surgeon out there.  If you’re stupid enough to think that having an employee with tattoos will hurt your business, I don’t want to work for you anyway, so no worries about not hiring me.  I currently have two tattoos that are visible at work.  One is on my neck behind my ear and the other on my wrist.  I’ve never gotten a single complaint.  Compliments, tons.  Complaints, zero.  So, all you judgmental people out there need to loosen up and realize you’re not any better than someone with ink.

Here’s another thing that irritates me about my tattoos.  People always ask me why I got them.  What’s your story behind that?  Oh, I don’t know.  I like sunflowers, so I got one.  You like earrings so you got your ears pierced.  No story there.  These shows like LA Ink and Miami Ink and whatever Ink always have people who come in with some elaborate story as to why they’re getting a walrus driving a speedboat tattooed on their stomach.  You don’t need a story.  As my tattoo artist, Al, told me, “People who have stories about their tattoos are bullshitting me half the time.  You don’t need to make up a story about why you’re getting what you want.  Just get it.  Stop trying to give yourself justification.  Tattoos aren’t bad.  You don’t have to justify them.  If you feel like you NEED to, you probably shouldn’t ask me to ink you, because that’s not how it should be.”  So when people ask me why I have a dragonfly made of three birds on my foot, I simply respond with “I love dragonflies and this was a cool way to draw one.”  Simple.  It doesn’t need to mean anything or symbolize anything or be anything.

Tattoos are permanent, we all know that.  It’s on you for life, it’s probably the only thing I’ve ever been okay with committing to.  It’s something you chose, designed, whatever.  You love it.  Someone asks to see it and calls it stupid.  Low blow, man, low blow.  Sure, tell me my shirt is stupid or even my haircut, but my tattoo?  That’s like someone telling you your rhinoplasty looks moronic.  Even if the tattoo is stupid, why would you straight up tell someone that?  I’ve heard it, I’ve been victim to it, and it isn’t a good feeling at all.  Even though I love my tattoos and I don’t think any of them look stupid, when someone chastises you for it, it’s going to stir up either anger, sadness, or a combination of the two, even if it’s only for a minute.  It’s about being respectful more than it is about hurting someone’s feelings.  If someone wants to get their tattoo removed or covered up because someone said it was stupid, maybe you shouldn’t have gotten that at all if you’re that easily swayed into hating it, BUT even if what was said isn’t taken to heart, even if the tattoo is awful or is something you would never get, don’t use it as an excuse to bring someone else down.  You don’t have to lie and compliment it, but don’t be outright rude.

On that note, let’s have a quick grammar lesson. Your = possessive. “Your dog is fat.”  You’re = you are. “You’re fat.”  Everyone should know this, especially if you’re old enough to get tattooed.  At 18, the proper use of “there”, “their”, and “there” should be something you know without having to think about, especially if one of these words is in your tattoo.  I know FOUR people with tattoos that have grammatical errors…FOUR DIFFERENT PEOPLE.  Did you not read the template before it was put on you?  Did you not think to make sure everything was spelled correctly and the grammar was pristine?  My next tattoo is a quotation, and I am going to proofread that thing before it goes on me so many times, my artist might want to kill me (even though I completely trust Al, he’s never steered me or anyone I’ve sent to him wrong).  Tattoos are for life, try to make sure you get the spelling right.

To conclude, here is my list of Do’s and Dont’s for tattooing:

DO think about it before you go.  Placement, what you want, how you want it.  At least have a general idea.  Most artists can work with you on design or placement, but if you go in saying “I want a flower, I don’t know which kind or where” they might just tell you to come back when you have a better idea.

DON’T get what you want the second you figure it out.  Let it marinate for a bit.  If you still want it in a week or two, go for it, but if you do it on a whim and next week hate it, you’re screwed.

DO bring your own design, whether you drew it yourself or snatched a picture from Google, and see if your artist can tweak it to make it unique.  You don’t want to pick something off the wall and run into six people who have the same *exact* tattoo.

DON’T get someone’s name tattooed on you.  Exceptions are children and anyone who is deceased.  I don’t care how much you love them, a tattoo isn’t the way to show it.  Removal is painful and not always 100% and coverup jobs can be expensive.

DO research on the care and keeping of tattoos.  If you’re on a swim team, get your tattoo done when you don’t swim every day, if you work in the sun make sure it can be covered, etc.  If your tattoo isn’t taken care of, it can get infected or not heal properly and lead to a big mess.

DON’T get wasted first.  I guarantee you and legitimate tattoo place will not tattoo a person who has been drinking for many reasons, including health related ones.

DO visit the place you are getting your tattoo done before hand.  You want to meet your artist, get pricing, and set up a tattoo appointment.  Most tattoos take some time to finish, even small ones, and many places do not do drop ins.

DON’T bargain hunt.  This is not an area where you want to try to cut a deal.  Tattoos are expensive and trying to haggle will not go off well.  Be prepared for the cost, even for a small piece, because most tattoo shops have a minimum everyone must pay.

DO tip!  If the artist did a good job, tip them.  Even if your piece was hundreds of dollars, they still put in the work and managed to not mess up.  Tattooing isn’t easy and had your artist messed up, you’d be screwed for life.  Also-tattoos can be addicting, so if you’re going back for more and you tipped well, you’re more likely to be treated well.

DON’T bring an entire posse to get your tattoo done.  Some places don’t even allow one guest to sit with you while you’re being inked.  Think of it this way: the fewer distractions for your tattoo artist, the better.

DO relax.  If you’re nervous about your tattoo, maybe you shouldn’t get one.  I was PUMPED to get mine and you should be excited too.  If not, maybe you just need to wait until you’re more comfortable.

Baby names…

Babies are cute, adorable bundles of joy, or so people would have you believe.  Babies are actually evil, screaming bundles of poop and spit-up.  Kids are great, I’d love to have kids in the future…the FUTURE.  I value my freedom, ability to come home when I wish and, outside of my pets, my lack of responsibility for anyone outside of myself.  I feel the same way about marriage.  I’m all for signing a piece of paper locking myself into a relationship with someone (actually, I’m more for the party and the dress), but I am in NO rush.  But, alas, I am a girl and I do think about things like what my dress will look like and what I’ll name my little joyful bundle of drool.  But naming a baby isn’t as easy as it may seem.  I mean, Beyonce and Jay-Z put a lot of thought into Blue Ivy or Ivy Blue or whatever.  Here are some tips on naming your baby:

  • No nouns. Examples include Apple, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jenna Elfman’s son, Story.
  • Nothing you would name a dog.  I’m looking at you, Robert Rodriguez.  Naming your sons Rogue, Rebel, Racer and Rocket…let’s try to ignore the use and abuse of the letter “R”.  Gerard Way named his daughter Bandit, popular name for dogs and ferrets alike.
  • Spell it in a way that is normal and pronounceable, we shouldn’t have to derive Serenity from Saryniti (a girl on Toddlers and Tiaras was burdened with that name).
  • This whole “everyone in my family has a name that starts with the same letter” thing has to stop.  The Kardashians did it.  The Duggars did it to all 19…20? How many fucking kids do they have? Anyway, don’t you dare do it.
  • Do not name your child after a place or car.  Mercedes.  Porsche. Paris.  London. Oh, and naming your child after a car is a real thing (one you should avoid at all costs)

 

I’ve come up with a few baby names I actually like (as picky as I am):

Evelyn, Amelia, Sophie, Genevieve, Scarlett, Teagan

Oliver, Nathaniel, Jack, Dominic, Riley, Logan

Feel free to share any you like, even if they clash with my rules. haha.