The Pre-Date Struggle

There’s nothing more exciting than someone asking you out on a date, particularly if that someone is really cute or is a someone that you’ve been interested in for a while.

It’s exciting, that is, until you get to the day of. There’s a whole process that I personally go through when it’s definite that I’ll be going out with someone.

The night before 

  • Lie in bed staring at the ceiling. Thoughts: “What the crap am I going to wear??”

The day of the date (if you don’t have to work)

  • Wake up after (finally) going to sleep last night. Still don’t know what to wear. You try to get some things done early before you allow yourself to get ready to go out.
  • Will yourself not to get ready too early.

Three hours before the date

  • Start panicking because you still don’t know what to wear! All your friends are at work, so you can’t call anyone.
  • Take a look at all your clothes toss your clothing around the room in a frantic search to find the perfect outfit. Nothing fits right/looks right/you don’t want to wear that. In one crashing moment, every stitch of clothing in your wardrobe is inadequate.
  • Race to the nearest store that sells clothing and tear through everything to find the perfect date outfit. STILL nothing is right!
  • Pick up something to eat and angrily/nervously chomp on it. Take a short walk before taking yourself home. Debate getting a manicure.

In the hour before you (should) roll out

  • freshen up and get gussied up (take a shower if needed, brush teeth, use perfume, do make up… and don’t forget mascara or to fill in your brows, if you need it!). Debate whether to use red or neutral coloured lipstick.
  • play music very loudly while doing this. “I’m Too Sexy” and “Brick House” run top of the list. anything else can be as edgy, pop-like, or as ratched as you wish. (does anyone know how to spell “ratchet”? I’ve seen various spellings, and have spelled it a few different ways myself. Let me know…)
  • Do all of the above while your nephew is bouncing around you and singing loudly to the music you’re playing.
  • (finally) put on something you already own that is super cute.

FINALLY:

  • switch purses. don’t forget the important stuff: ID, debit card, a bit of cash, lip balm so your lips don’t dry out… even if you don’t kiss, chapped lips aren’t nice to look at.
  • look over the outfit once again.
  • throw on some quick-drying nail polish. most likely, you bought something in your earlier escapade to find an outfit, and you don’t feel like spending more money on a manicure. plus, you’re kind of out of time.
  • go back and forth in your mind about canceling…
  • …then suck it up, spray your perfume in your doorway, and walk through it and out in a blaze of beautified glory.
  • be sure to stop traffic and garner looks as you pass by.
  • remember to breathe. it’s supposed to be fun… not to mention that you look fabulous dahhling ;)

enjoy your night!

Reader’s Block

I don’t know if all writers are automatically readers, but I certainly am.

My mom is a published author, and she always liked to read. She was a reader before she was a published author, but she always loved to write. The same can be said of me.

I never actually tracked the longest amount of time I’ve gone without reading a book, but it usually goes for a few months these days. I have what I like to call “reading spells”. When I do have long amounts of time where I don’t read, I’ll suddenly have the urge to read something.

When that urge hits, I’ll go through book after book for a couple of weeks. The librarians know my name because of all the books I reserve.

After the spell goes… it gets hard for me to finish a book, even if it’s good. The last book I read called “Four Kitchens” was a very good book; however, I was on the end of a reading spell. It took nearly 9 weeks to finish! Like I said, though, it was a good book. When I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down! Once I put it down, however, I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it back up!

Terrible, I know. It has everything to do with me being “done” with reading, not the book itself.

I actually thought the book was very good; I recommend “Four Kitchens”. It’s about a young woman from New York City that was a cooking student. She interns for a year at four different kitchens in different corners of the world. I loved her story, felt the way she felt in classes and when I worked in a kitchen myself, and related to how she felt at the end of her adventure in the epilogue.

Going back to reading, no specific book jerks me out of a spell when I don’t feel like reading. Sometimes just the urge to read is enough to jerk me out of a time when I don’t want to read.

Ready, Set, Done!

I talk to myself a lot at work. In fact, even outside of work, I talk to myself often.

I could be going senile at a young age, but I think that it has everything to do with my internal dialogue always going.

Whether I express what I’m feeling to someone or not, I’m thinking it. I’m always thinking something, but I’ll never admit to it. Sometimes I don’t want to tell anyone what I’m thinking; other times, I want to tell someone, and there’s no one around that I feel I can express my thoughts to. I also don’t want to seem like I’m complaining too much.

There are times, however, when things are too funny to keep to yourself… or when you know that one of your friends will appreciate what you’re thinking or what’s on your mind.

For instance, when it comes to attractive guys, I can always turn to C. She’s one of my coworkers, and even though she is dating someone, she still appreciates “God’s art”, as my mother calls it. Look, hey… it’s all good. God made things beautiful, and that includes some men. People don’t stop looking good just because you’ve found someone to call your own. You just admire and appreciate it, and move on.

Speaking of God’s art, I really haven’t had much luck in that department. When I was younger, I used to say I was an unofficial cougar because I attracted men younger than I really was. Now that I’m nearly 30, it seems like the age gap between me and the guys that approach me is getting larger!

It’s a good thing that I like younger guys or else that would be really depressing.

The most recent guy that has tried to talk to me is 20 years old. TWENTY YEARS OLD! I must be a lioness because I am steady attracting these cubs!

Well, at least he was a handsome thing. He had an amazing military jacket, and I told him so. He also said that he liked my hair. I did something to help him out the other day, and he responded by giving me his number. My girls at work saw this, and they were just a-cheesing away! They harassed me for half the day about it, but it was all in good fun. Of course, they ask me what’s going on with him… and to be honest, I don’t know if anything will happen.

He’s nearly 10 years younger than me, and I may not have thought to ask his age had he not asked how old I was. Heck, I forget my age half of the time. I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like when you’re 29, but I rarely feel like I’m that age. Sometimes I try to forget; compared to the people I work with, I feel super old! They’re all around 10 years younger than me, and make me feel like I’ve failed at life somehow.

oh well.

Daily Prompt: Upturned Noses

The things that I’m snobbish about? *laughs* Do you have the time?

The main thing that I’m utterly snobbish about is food.

To say that I’m snobbish about food is an understatement. Don’t get it twisted: I’m not that insufferable and boorish person in a restaurant that expects champagne service when they have a beer budget. I’ll never yell at anyone if something isn’t served to my liking, and I’ll never stiff wait staff on the tip or act like I’m superior. There’s no need to behave in such a way.

However, I have gotten to a point where I don’t enjoy eating out much anymore. When I do go to eat out, there are places that I will and won’t go because I know what kind of food I’m getting there. If I do end up at a place where the food is not up to my standard, I’ll simply eat the one thing that I know I can tolerate best.

I also refuse to order French toast when I go out to eat. One day, I had the audacity to bake bread at home, and use said bread to make French toast. Well that was the end of eating French toast with any sort of bread or outside of the house. I have yet to find a restaurant around me that uses a freshly baked bread for their French toast. I’ve tried it at a couple of places, and have been utterly disappointed every time. It’s not that I think my way is so perfect; after having French toast with freshly baked bread, there’s no other acceptable way to eat it! I haven’t had French toast in over a year because I haven’t felt like baking bread, but I rest my case on that.

Though I am snobbish about most foods, French toast is one of the things I am the most particular about.

Don’t even get me STARTED on dessert.

On second thought, let’s go there.

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth; therefore, when I get a dessert, it HAS to be good! I may not eat another one for a month or two simply because  I don’t have much of a tolerance for sweets. I won’t eat cookies that are baked with margarine anymore because I think margarine is disgusting! I used to eat it, but cooking school changed that. All we used was butter in school, so when I tried to eat margarine while I was in cooking school, I gagged. I haven’t touched the vile substance since! I can now taste it in cookies, and I won’t eat them.

In fact, I only recently started eating chocolate chip cookies outside of the house.

I’m also very, very particular about brownies. I became that way when I found a scratch recipe for double chocolate brownies. You wanna talk about decadence? After tasting those brownies, you will want to integrate the name “brownie” into your name somehow. If they were a man, I’d be happily married to him.

It’s so horrible of me, but whenever my sister gets brownies and makes them from the box, I won’t eat them. Not all box mix brownies are bad, but it could be that they aren’t as chocolatey or dense as the ones from the recipe I have. Whatever it is, the smell gets me, then I break off a small piece, thinking that maybe I was being ridiculous. After tasting them, I get pissed off that I put it in my mouth, and put it back.

When it comes to dessert, I refuse to waste my calories on something that is any less than fan-fricken-tastic. Why should you? If calories were money, desserts are expensive! Don’t waste good calories just for the sake of having sweets! Make it count!

*gets off the soapbox and takes a brownie with her*

I feel bad about being so snobbish when it comes to food, but I shouldn’t. There is a quote that graces the wall on most Chick-fil-a locations that says this: “Food is essential to life. Therefore, make it good.” The founder is credited with saying those words. No truer quote has been spoken.

Whether you’re eating healthy or indulging, get the best quality of food that you can afford. Never favor quantity or quality; sometimes the integrity of the food is compromised to give you the amount that you want. One thing I love about France and the French people is that they love food as much as I do. They are unapologetically persnickety when it comes to food. Even those that grow and nurture the food take great pride in what they sell or raise to be sold. I’ve visited a couple of the farms, and each has said that they have the best of whatever it is that they make or sell.

They believe in quality, and so do I. French people go to the market every day. If I had my own car and place, I would haunt farmer’s markets. Why shouldn’t you buy fresh every day? I believe in keeping the staples around, but I think buying food daily is a good thing. Ideally, I wouldn’t freeze anything but water for ice cubes, freshly baked bread, and if I couldn’t grow my own veg or herbs, I’d buy them fresh regularly. I’m all about that life.

There are some things that require an air of high maintenance thinking or snobbery. If you’re going to be snobbish about something, food is perfectly acceptable. It’s what keeps you alive and going, after all.

I Decided To Say Hi

I got onto the 1 train in NYC after a long day of classes. I was wearing a fitted pair of yoga pants that came to the knee and a tee shirt with a flower print on the front. It was slightly see-through. I was also toting around a back pack, and my hula hoop.

Since I was only going 1 stop on the 1 train so that I could transfer to another train, I opted not to sit.

Across from me was a handsome young man. He had a smooth face, and I guessed that he was in his mid 20s at the most. It’s funny that I would guess this young man to be younger than me since most people guess me to be much younger than I am. For all I know, he was probably the same age as me.

Then again, knowing me and men, he was probably younger since I thought he was attractive. I’ve been doing this cougar thing for a long time, and apparently, I am now old enough to date 1/2 my age plus 10 years (I did the math. I was actually old enough for this 5 years ago, though I’m more comfortable with the idea now).

So the young man was sitting down and was well dressed, as if he was coming from an office. He looked at me when I got on the train. He looked up at me, and I grinned at him. He grinned back.

Normally, this is when the guy would probably look away or divert his attention to something else, or to other people on the subway train. Instead, he continued to look at me quite freely and openly. It wasn’t in that creepy way that makes a girl feel uncomfortable, but in an almost admiring and inquisitive sort of way. He looked like he wanted to talk to me.

Inwardly, I shook my head. If you’re going to do all this staring, there needs to be some talking done as well.

I said hi to the handsome stranger.

Surprisingly, he said hi back.

We talked for a couple of minutes, and he asked about the hula hoop I was carrying. It’s collapsible, and I had it on a strap. I was surprised that he knew what it was, though he had mentioned that he hadn’t seen one that comes apart.

Shortly after this conversation got started was as quickly as it ended; I was now at my stop, and it was time to say good bye to the dashing young gentleman. I bade him good bye, and slowly strode off the train.

As I stood on the platform, I was slightly conflicted. Should I have stayed on for a couple more stops and continued talking to him?

Did I leave at the right time, or did I leave the connection too soon?

Nothing came of it, and maybe nothing was meant to come of it. Perhaps the only thing that was meant to happen was for two people to connect in an old fashioned sense that was unhampered with technology. This archaic type of connection is what we were made for, after all.

Two months later, back in my hometown, I still remember that young man. I don’t know what it was about him, but it was nice to talk to a guy that was attractive and not be nervous about it. Normally, I would’ve never talked to a guy that cute without having palpitations.

Maybe being in a different city stirs up that boldness. Or… it was that rare occurrence when taking public transportation when you run into a person that’s just as open as you are to making a real world connection with another person.

As people, we yearn for that touch, whether it’s physical or just a point where you can briefly relate to another person.

We all have basic human needs: to eat, to sleep, to have shelter.

I also think that we crave the desire to be seen as a human to other humans. I think this is the greatest basic need.

In that moment, we realized it. That was enough.

And it all goes back to being fat

It’s no mistake that eating is something we must all do to survive. There are also ways that one should eat to get the highest energy levels so that we can perform optimally.

There are those who eat because they have to. My sister has said that if she didn’t have to eat, she probably wouldn’t.

Then there are people, like me, that eat because they love to do it. Hellooo… I’m a girl that blogs about food, and that went to cooking school! I think it goes without saying that I really like food. Whether you’ve been to cooking school or not, there are those of us that love food and truly enjoy the experience of eating something delicious and wonderful. If you’re really bad, you’re thinking of the next good meal while currently eating one *raises hand*

I know. I need help.

If you allow yourself the opportunity to really enjoy what you’re eating and how it makes you feel, you can really experience how eating a certain thing makes you feel something. Yes, sometimes food can evoke emotions, especially if it’s something extraordinarily delicious. People that have gone out to eat with me say they love to watch me eat. In part, I think it’s because I get involved with the experience of eating what’s in front of me. I truly love what I’m eating when I’m eating it. Everyone should have this experience.

I think this is what led me to go to two of my favourite places within the span of a week. One of the two places is a place where I would go when I was jobless, and happened upon an extra $10 doing favors. It’s a small thai restaurant in my town where the food is always good (I’ve tasted everything on the lunch menu; I made it a personal mission to do so. Of course, there are those menu items to which I gravitate more often than not, but why not taste the other offerings? That’s how you find new favourites! You’re welcome).

I found myself not working on a Saturday (shocking, I know!), and decided that I wanted to go to brunch. I found a new favourite place in University City called The Farmacy a while back, and had been there a handful of times. I probably would go more often if I didn’t work most Saturdays and am at church every Sunday when they serve brunch. When I do find that I have a Saturday when I’m not working, I make my way onto the el and go.

Maybe it’s a good thing I do work on Saturdays; they’d have a lot of my money. I blame the duck-fat cooked potatoes.

I went down (my first time going without making a reservation! Yikes! It worked out, though), was seated at a table, complimented the server’s tattooed sleeve, and proceeded to look over the menu. I was feeling pancakes, and there was a delicious offering of blueberry pancakes with lemon curd, and something called crème brûlée butter. Well, I was intrigued. I ordered it straight away, along with a side of bacon and breakfast potatoes cooked in duck fat.

Shoot, if you’re gonna be greedy, go all the way!

IMG_1224

Everything I got was darn tasty. I’m surprised I ate it all, but I did! Quick comment on the bacon, because bacon deserves its own comment: it was that thick cut bacon, and it was cooked perfectly! It was meaty, salty, and everything that bacon should be. After that, I don’t know if I want to be bothered with the thin, crispy stuff anymore.

…okay, that’s a lie. Bacon is bacon and will, therefore, be delicious no matter what form in which it comes. However, I will state that I do prefer this thicker stuff. It was very enjoyable to eat.

The pancakes were fluffy, wonderful, and full of blueberry goodness. Not only were there the blueberries on top, they were in the pancake as well. First of all, the aroma of it was enough to make me hum. You can’t see it in this picture, but there was lavender sprinkled atop. Here’s a picture where you CAN see the lavender sprinkled on top:

IMG_1221

Yep, I had to do it to you. Trust me, it tasted as good as it looks.

On the next day off, I went to my favourite place. I started not to go because I could always use the extra $10, but I think about it constantly, and hadn’t been in a while. After taking a second to really think about this, who says no to good food? Not this gal!

I remember the many times I’ve eaten at that place alone. When I had a job and when I didn’t, when I was sad and when I was in good spirits, I always found myself coming back to this small Thai restaurant, where I’ve never eaten anything bad. This time was no different. I didn’t have much money, yet there I was to eat something good. As usual, it didn’t disappoint.

I forget what I had, but it gave that usual sense of comfort, which I find odd for me to find comfort in a cuisine that isn’t something I grew up with. Food should make more than your body feel good, and that’s what going to La Na does for me.

Really, if I’m honest, eating anything good does this to me.

I know that we should take good care of our bodies. Let’s face it, you only get one body. Allow me to propose, though, that we eat to actually enjoy what we’re eating. If you like french fries or bacon, don’t completely deny yourself! Get the best food that you can afford, and savor it. Whether you cook it yourself or go out for something, get what you feel like getting once in a while! I and some of my coworkers lovingly refer to this as “being fat”.

It’s kind of sad that most of my extra money goes into getting good food or ingredients, but it’s not at the same time since that’s what I really love.

In short, it’s okay to enjoy food.

really. it is.