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.

I’m Sorry

She watched him get shoved down.  She watched him get tortured every day.  She saw him shoved into lockers.  She heard what they called him.  She saw how much it hurt.  She did nothing.   It had always been this way.  She was one of the popular kids, and he simply wasn’t.

His clothes were obviously hand me downs or recent purchases from Goodwill.  Her clothes were all designer, her walk in closet full to capacity.  He was small and weak.  Her boyfriend was an all star athlete who looked like he had hit puberty at age ten.  He barely talked, sat in the back of the classroom, ate lunch alone.  She was constantly deep in mindless conversation, sat surrounded by friends whether in class or not.  He was rarely seen outside of school.  She was at every social event of the school year.  He worked at the local bookstore.  She would never need to work thanks to her parents money.  They were polar opposites and somehow, they had gotten stuck together working on this English project.

She always invited him to her house, even though the expansive home obviously made him uncomfortable.  He always looked as if he didn’t want to touch anything for fear of ruining it.  Her mother, shocked at first that she would associate with such a boy, still managed to be welcoming and inviting.

She did her best to converse with him.  But it was difficult.  He never spoke about his family.  He never mentioned any friends.   She couldn’t bring up school because she knew it was hell for him, in fact she was one of the people who made it that way.  Mostly they talked about the project.  That was the one thing that connected them.  They both loved English.

Her friends told her how sorry they felt for her.  They told her how awful it must be to get stuck with him.  They told her to ask him to do all of the work.  She had parties to attend and shopping to do.  He’d obviously comply because he was obviously in love with her, who wouldn’t be?  Just blow off the project.  I can’t believe you invite him over.  He’s been in your house?  I hope you disinfected everything that came in contact with him.  What does your mom think?  Well, at least she’s being nice.

That night she was supposed to go to a party.  Instead she called him and invited him over to work on their project.  He declined.  She was shocked.  He claimed he was too busy to leave his house, so she offered to come over.  He immediately became furious and hung up.  He had told her to keep her conceited head out of other people’s business.   She took serious offense to this.  Conceited?  If she was conceited, she would have gone to that party and left him to do the work himself.  Determined to show him she really did want to work on their project, she gathered the pieces from her room and drove to his house.

Everyone knew where he lived.  It was the only house with no car in the driveway.  The only house that never gave out candy on Halloween or put up lights for Christmas.  It was, by far, the smallest house in town.  Peeling paint, weeds,  a screen door hanging on for dear life.  The curtains were never open.  You rarely saw a light on.  This is what he biked home to after being tortured all day at school and working his after school job.

She pulled into the empty driveway and knocked on the door.  No answer.  She rang the bell.  No answer.  Then she heard the crash.  She opened the door and ran inside.  There she saw him trying to help his mother off the kitchen floor.  There were liquor bottles lining the countertops and littering the floor. We all knew his mom had gotten sick after his dad was killed in action, but we didn’t realize this was her disease.  He looked up and ignored her, intent on getting his drunken mother to her room for the night.  He was struggling under his mother’s weight.  She reached out to help him, but all he had to do was look at her for her to know he didn’t need or want her help.  He did this every night.

After he disappeared into the hallway with his mother, she began to pick up the chair that had been knocked off its feet and the empty bottles on the floor.  She looked around for a trash bin as she carried the empty bottles through the kitchen.  This is why he wears hand me down clothing.  His mom can’t take him shopping.  She obviously doesn’t work, so he had to pick up that job at the bookstore.  This is why he looks so tired.  This is why he’s so quiet.  This is why I was never invited here.  He goes to school, and we make it hell for him, then he comes home to this.

She found the trash bin outside and emptied her arms of the bottles.  As she turned to come back inside, he was standing at the back door, silent.

“I’m so sorry,” she managed, before breaking into tears, “I’m so sorry for everything.”

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.

Why Valentine’s day is overrated, but I wouldn’t say I hate it

I feel like a lot of girls think they know what guys want and try to mold themselves into that image (gamer chicks, girls who know cars, girls who like sports, etc.).  Granted, many of these girls genuinely have these interests, I feel like a lot of these sentiments are faked.  Hatred of Valentine’s Day is a prime example.

Valentine’s Day is an over commercialized holiday (which ones aren’t these days?) falling on February 14th every year.  Chocolates, roses, stuffed bears holding hearts, we’ve all seen it before,  Even as kindergardeners we brought valentines to school to give to all of our classmates.  I don’t hate Valentine’s Day (as many girls like to claim), but I do think it’s vastly overrated.  Unlike my birthday or an anniversary, EVERYONE participates in Valentine’s Day (assuming you don’t fall into the “forever alone” category), and at this point it’s mandatory that you get your significant other something to commemorate a day that few people know the history behind.  In all honesty, I’d rather be taken out for an anniversary or birthday because it is special to me and personal versus being something everyone is doing.  That being said, I wouldn’t mind being treated or getting a gift on Valentine’s day, but I’d be equally happy getting nothing, which is DEFINITELY not the case for my birthday.  In a similar light, if my significant other’s birthday fell on or around Valentine’s day, I would want nothing from him because it simply isn’t as special.

Now let’s get into the gifts/marketing aspect of Valentine’s Day.  As o New Year’s Day, I was already seeing the heart shaped boxes and red and pink decorations adorning drugstores.  As someone who hates pink because I find the color obnoxious, having to put up with it for a month before the actual holiday is quite irritating.  For me, a gift on Valentine’s Day is completely optional, and if you’re going to get me something, please put a little thought into it or don’t bother.  I refuse to grab a box of chocolates off a shelf and call it a day.  If I’m buying candy or chocolate, it’s going to be picked specifically for the person in mind, assuming I know what their favorites are.  Flowers too.  Even stuffed animals (although I do like bears, haha).  Personally, I’d much rather receive one sunflower than fifty roses because I’d know he was specifically thinking of me at the time versus just grabbing whatever.  As a female, lingerie is always marketed as a popular gift…apparently you can’t surprise someone by dressing like a vixen any other day….and sadly, sex has also become a go-to gift (not that I’d ever complain about getting that as a present…).  Dinner is also a go-to option.  Restaurants are already advertising “dinner for two” specials.  Again, the lack of thought here is what gets me.  I’d be more than happy ordering a pizza and watching a movie to celebrate-at least you’re together, right?  And, let’s be honest, if you want to interrupt the movie for a little spontaneous playtime, have at it, no need to finish dinner and drive home.

The sad part about this holiday is that people are starting to dread it, even if they have someone to celebrate with.  It’s becoming mandatory to spend money and do something to prove you love someone on that specific day. You shouldn’t have to.  Just like I believe you shouldn’t have to get married to prove that you want to be with that person forever.  If you love them, they should know it because you should be showing it in all the little things you do; Valentine’s Day shouldn’t make or break the relationship.  When I used to babysit regularly, Valentine’s Day would be one of my biggest money makers because it was obligatory date night.  I don’t think it should feel like that.  It shouldn’t be a chore.  You shouldn’t have to fret and worry about what you’re doing or if you forgot.

Valentine’s Day has become some sort of monster of a holiday to those in relationships and a total buzzkill for those who aren’t.  I think way too much goes into this holiday and in all honesty, it really isn’t all that special.  To me its just another day where there is a possibility of something romantic happening.  If it doesn’t, no biggie.  I don’t hate Valentine’s Day, but I don’t look forward to it either.  I’m completely indifferent about it, and I really think most of us should be that way.  If you’re surprised with flowers or a gift, great, but don’t expect them or be disappointed when the ideal romantic comedy-esque date doesn’t happen.  It’s just another church holiday marketed into a mandatory gift giving day.  Show them they’re special every day, not just on the fourteenth.