Create A Word.

There needs to be a word invented for something that I can’t quite explain.

It’s that thing that you have when you meet someone and you feel an instant connection to them. And the more you talk to them, the more you seem to grow a need them. It’s deeper than a friendship…Kinda like a crush, except it’s more meaningful than that, yet it’s not a relationship where you would call the other person your boyfriend or girlfriend. You tell them things you can’t tell anyone else, you can talk to them about anything without feeling like you’ll be rejected or judged…

It’s the type of connection where there’s no word and there’s no labels, yet that’s perfectly fine with the both of you…

There needs to be a word for that.

Because when I say, “My friend, ______.” it feels like I’m selling them short.

They’re more than that.

And they deserve a word that’s just for them.

Online Dating Is Not For Me.

It only took me about a month to figure out, thankfully. Online dating is just something not for me. While it’s great for many people, I just can’t get into it.

For the first month, I was active. I emailed guys who seemed interesting, I wrote back to people who wrote to me, I browsed the site to see who caught my interest.

After a month, I think the newness and excitement wore off for me. It just seemed weird to sit there and look through a bunch of profiles, like browsing a catalog where you find that most of what you see isn’t to your liking.

I still have my account, but I don’t bother browsing or looking. If someone messages me, I reply…And most of the time, I’ve found that I’m not interested.

I’m not in a rush to find someone and I’m perfectly fine with being single. I just sort of wanted to see what it was like, to experience and to say that I’ve done it.

Adventures In Online Dating.

I’ve decided to give online dating a whirl.  Seeing as my last two attempts at dating someone I met face to face resulted in failures, on no fault of my own aside from shitty luck, what’s the worst that could happen?

Looking back at my dating life, it’s been pretty dismal…And a majority of my friends agree that I seem to have I seem to have the worst luck when it comes down to dating. My luck is so bad that they’re already starting to come up with “fun ways” on how the guy from my first date will be flawed (one bet married and secretly dating)…There’s one friend who’s holding out that everything will be nice and fine and normal with no catch. In either case, if this whole online dating thing doesn’t work out, then I’ll be right back where I am right now in my life – not dating.

One of my friends and I agreed…If it all goes to shit and my horrible luck in dating strikes again on this adventure, I’ll have even MORE stories that we all can laugh about later.

I decided to dip my toes into online dating several months back by joining a free site. Several waffling choices of deactivating and reactivating my account, I finally decided to delete my profile for good.

Why?

1) I got at least two messages a day from no-picture-profile creeps asking about my feet/toes. Or even worse – asking for pictures of my feet/toes.

2) The constant “yooooooooooooooo guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurl!!! hit me uuuuuuuup!!!!!” …I can only assume they have a sticky keyboard and I do NOT want to know how, why, or from what….

3) The lack of basic grammar. I know I’m not perfect and people make mistakes…But for fuck’s sake, know the difference between “your” and “you’re” or stop typing on the internet. And spell check is helpful, I promise!

4) On my final days on the site, I saw a profile of a guy who was into classic music. So I asked him if he had any recommendations for upcoming symphonies – not even asking him to go with me. I get a message back a couple hours later with him FREAKING out, saying he just got out of a long term relationship and he thought he was ready to date, but he isn’t and he’s sorry to do this, but he’s deleting his account, but here’s a link to the show he’d recommend me seeing.  …What…

Those are the reason why I upgraded to a paid site. I’m committed to it for at least six months. I figured that if I paid for it, I should at least attempt to stick it out. I’m four days in and not one person asked about my feet, much to my delight. Nothing against my feet, but I think that I have a much better personality and hold better conversations than they do.

I’ve also noticed a great increase in the ability to use English in the written form. I seriously shouldn’t be thrilled by this fact, but I am. I spend more time reading about a person on their profile…instead of clenching my jaw and mentally correcting every error before I rage quit and flip my laptop.

A trend I’ve noticed so far…does everyone who joins online dating sites have to be into hiking? I mean, seriously…Did I miss the memo for this requirement? Every profile I’ve looked at so far has had at least ONE hiking picture and it’s listed as an interest. If I don’t get any dates, can I blame it on not liking hiking due to my sun sensitivity and fear of heights?

I know to be careful with online dating…

I know not to financially help out people (scammers)…

I know not to let myself get murdered…

Yet, here I am…I’m going to try. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous about this whole thing…And putting myself out there.

Recipe: Honey Spiced Pear Cake.

Pears1

What do you do when a coworker gives you bosc pears? And I’m not talking about just a few pears…I’m talking about a BOX full of them. So many pears that a whole crisper drawer in my fridge is full of them. Well, you make treats, of course!

Sadly, this recipe only used six pears, meaning I still have a mountain of them to plow through. What I came up with is sweet and it’s got some warmth from spices. The cake is buttery, crumbly, moist, and tender. It’s a double layer, but the recipe is easily cut in half to make a single layer.

Unfortunately, there’s no pictures of every single step…I’m the cook AND photographer, so I didn’t feel like washing my hands after every single step before I man-handled my camera.

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The first step is preparing the pears. After peeling, coring, and slicing them, you’re going to cook them just for a little bit in a non-stick pan (or pot) to coat them with this honey butter spice mixture that has cinnamon, a pinch of kosher salt, lemon juice…and black pepper. Before you wrinkle your nose, trust me – it’s good. I wanted to add a different warmth to the cinnamon that wasn’t the common nutmeg or clove that you find. White pepper is too much of a kick, though I wanted to go that route because I thought the color blend well with the pears and cake, but black pepper is just right for the taste profile. It didn’t look too bad either!

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Once the pears are cooked and coated with the delicious syrup, you want to divide the pears and liquid between two 9-inch round cake pans that have been greased or coated with non-stick spray. It’s VERY important to prep your pans because when the cake bakes, the honey glaze caramelizes and it can be a mess to get your cakes out of an ill-prepared pan. Now, it might seem like there’s a lot of liquid and that it’s too runny, but that’s okay! It thickens up when it bakes and it also gets soaked up into the cake batter.

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After you arrange the pears, it’s time to make the batter! It’s a quick and easy recipe and it seems to go against logic for mixing batter ingredients…But I’ve tried mixing the ingredients in a different order and the cake turned out all wrong. So I stick to the method that I’ll list in the recipe below. Since we used lemon juice for the glaze, we’re going to use zest in the cake. Might as well make use of it, right? Once the batter is mixed together, pour it over the pears and spread it out over them gently. Some of the juice will come up the sides and that’s fine. It won’t ruin the cake – I promise.

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After baking in the oven for a little over half an hour, you get this! A nice golden cake with caramelized honey deliciousness. Let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes in a wire rack, then carefully run a knife along the edge so that it loosens up the cakes. Put a plate over the top, send good thoughts of a nice turned out cake, turn it over. And ta-da! Cake. Little bits of the cake will stick to the pan, and that’s okay! I like to sneak those as my tasty bites since I usually bake whole cakes for the office. Carefully put one layer a top the other and you’re done! Well…Except for eating the cake…And washing the dishes…

I brought the cake into work yesterday for my coworkers and everyone loved it. People kept asking me what the spice in it was and were shocked when I told them it was black pepper.

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PIXIE’S HONEY SPICED PEAR CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 6 bosc pears – peeled, halved, cored, and sliced.
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches of kosher salt
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted.

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, or by greasing with butter and flour.
  2. Melt the three tablespoons of butter in a non-stick pan or pot. Add in lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Stir and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes minutes. Add in  the pears and stir well so the sauce coats all the slices. Cook for an additional 8 minutes. Divide the pears and juices between the two cake pans and set aside to cook.
  3. Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl, whisking together. Add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking thoroughly after adding each egg. Add in flour half a cup at a time and mix until just combined. Add melted butter in three part, mixing until well combined after each addition.
  4. Divide the batter between the two cake pans, pouring it over the pears, spreading it into an even and flat layer.
  5. Put the pans into the center of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The top of cake should be slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Invert cakes onto a plate before carefully stacking on a service dish.

The cake can be served with whipped cream, ice cream, or with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Recipe: Mango Salsa

Growing up in Hawaii, my family had a huge mango tree in the backyard. That meant summers of endless mangos and mango bread until the next summer made with fruit that had been over-ripe and frozen. When it comes to mangos, I’m spoiled. No mango will ever be as sweet and as delicious as the ones I grew up eating. Despite that, I still purchase and enjoy the fruit.

If you’ve never had mango salsa, you need to try it at least once. I never tried it until I was an adult and that was at a restaurant. It’s delicious and a wonderful mixture of sweet, spicy, and savory. It’s really easy to make at home too.

When picking the mango for your salsa, it’s really up to what you like. If you prefer a softer, sweeter, more ripe mango, then that’s what you should purchase. For me, I prefer mangos that are firmer, a bit more under-ripe, and with very little give when squeezed. The texture pairs well with the other vegetables in the salsa and there’s a slight tartness to the fruit that you can’t duplicate with other ingredients.

As for fresh jalapeno, I’ve found that cutting off a piece of the pepper and tasting it will help you determine if you should remove the seeds and veins (since that’s where the spice is) or to keep them in. Sometimes these peppers are really hot, sometimes they’re not. Plus, some people like a little kick, some people like a lot.

Cucumbers add a nice refreshing crunch to this salsa. I always buy hot house cucumbers, English cucumbers, or Japanese cucumbers. They’re a bit more pricey, but you can keep the beautiful green skins on them. If they’re not affordable for you, then you can use a regular cucumber instead – just peel the waxy and often bitter skin off first.

MangoSalsa

 

Pixie’s Mango Salsa

2 mangos, diced.
1/4 of a small red onion, diced fine.
1/4 of a red sweet bell pepper, diced fine.
1/3 of a cucumber, diced.
1 jalapeno, diced fine.
Salt to taste (I used three pinches of kosher salt).
Black pepper to taste.

You just put all the ingredients into a bowl, stir it well, and let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for all the flavors to meld together. The recipe made a little over three cups of salsa.

Some recipes have cilantro, I omitted it because I’m not fond of it. Some also call for some lemon or lime juice. I didn’t use any since the mangos I pick tend to have a bit of tartness to them from being under ripe. If you don’t like any of the veggies above, or want to add more than the recipe calls for – go for it! This recipe is really flexible and is easy to change to fit your tastes and likes.

This mango salsa pairs exceptionally well with grilled seafood or chicken. It’s also delicious with corn chips. Just keep in mind what you’re eating it with when adding salt.

It’s quick and easy…The most time consuming thing is dicing up the mango – and waiting for all the flavors to meld.

With summer quickly approaching, I hope you take this recipe for a spin.

Random Plant – Part Two.

My apologies for not updating this as much as I should. April has been a pretty hectic month with work, so when I come home I just stare blankly at the walls while listening to music instead of doing anything more productive. Couple that with family visiting and the blog went on the back burner.

I’ve set reminders on my phone to remind me to blog, so this doesn’t get forgotten in daily life.

In either case…I’ve come to blog about another random plant that was growing in my yard.

voodoo2

I’m not sure how these plants sprout into existence. I don’t water the side or back of my house since there’s no grass or actual plants that I’ve put there  on purpose. But several months ago, the came to be and I left them alone since I was curious as to what kind of plants they might end up. The last time I had a random plant growing, it ended up blooming with one of my most favorite flower in the world. So what would be the harm in letting this one bloom?

They bloomed at some point last week….And the flowers were interesting!!!

voodoo1

As I was admiring the odd looking flowers, I noticed that there were a lot of flies…And then I noticed the smell…

It smelled like creatures had died all over in my back yard.

And so, this random plant was promptly ripped out of the ground and tossed into the green waste bin.

How does one get voodoo lilies randomly growing in their yard? Pure luck.

Lessons in Bug Spray.

Most of my life lessons tend to happen right before bed…And it’s a wonder I even remember them. I think I only remembered this specific lesson due to my intense fear/hatred of spiders.

I don’t know why I’m so terrified of spiders. Nothing traumatic involving the creatures happened when I was younger – at least not that I can remember. It’s just something deeply embedded in my brain that I can’t seem to extract.

Now mind you, it’s not just a fear of – ahh, a spider!

I have aborted a shower, dashed out of the bathroom soaking wet in pajama pants, a towel wrapped around my torso with conditioner still in my hair, screaming for my roommate to “save me” from the spider that was crawling on the INSIDE of my shower door.

I’m pretty sure this would be my reaction on a fear level….
— Wild lion attacking people in the streets: Awwwh, the kitty is hungry and playful!!! **
— Spider within two feet of me: HOLY HELL, it’s the fucking end of the world!!! This is worse than a zombie apocalypse !! We’re all going to die and I must shriek like a little bitch because I am soooo fucking scaaaaaaaaared!!!!

And it doesn’t matter what size they all. They all terrify me. Naturally, the bigger the spider it is, the more I’m going to be scared. But also the thicker the spider it, the more they scare me too.

Back to my lesson….

So, it’s been warm where I live. Warm enough for spiderlings to hatch, I suppose. There’s been a dramatic increase of spiders in my home over the past few days. And they all like the congregate in my bedroom. It’s as if they KNOW that’s where I rest and so they do it on purpose so I won’t be able to sleep until I handle things.

If a spider is small/thin enough, I squish it. If it’s a bit thicker, I’ll suck it up into a vacuum and hope it dies among the debris, lint, dust particles, hair, and corpses of other spiders I’ve sucked up before.

Anyway…I was ready for bed, literally minutes away from crawling into the sheets when I notice in my bathroom a spider up in the corner by the ceiling. And it’s pretty thick…And it’s moving along the wall and I didn’t have time to do my screaming-dance pre-vacuum ritual. So I ran and got the only can of bug spray that I have.

BugSpray

Now…I didn’t realize that bug sprays were specialized. I thought that any bug spray can kill any bug. I thought the roach and ant hoopla was just a way to market the same kind bug killer. I mean, okay, deep down, I know bug sprays are specialized and this was better at killing ants and roaches….BUUUUT it would still kill spiders.

So, I rushed back to the bathroom, armed with the spray. And I sprayed the spider.

Did it die? No.

Did it look unwell? No.

What happened?

It SPED off. Like, it didn’t just crawl away like it was no big deal. The bug spray gave it a TURBO BOOST of speed. And it SPED THE FUCK AWAY without even wobbling!!! And I couldn’t find it after that.

Life Lesson: Roach & Ant spray gives spiders a turbo engine so they can get the fuck out of there before you can even THINK about squishing it.

** Please note, if you or anyone you love have been attacked by a lion, I apologize if this offends you or brings back traumatic memories.

I Know Not Your Sorrows.

“Breathe deep and easy, swallow this pride.
Stare at my shaking hands through bone-dry, blood-shot eyes.”

The morning after my birthday, I woke up and was going through my emails. There was one from an exboyfriend.

This particular boyfriend and I were together for 3 years. It wasn’t all smooth sailing – there were a lot of rough spots, he had dumped me and we had gotten back together again more than a couple of times. But there was a lot of fun times. He ended it in January of 2011 with the words of, “I can’t see myself marrying you.” and “My feelings for you changed to one more like a friendship than a relationship.” So we parted ways in a non-dramatic fashion and figured we could be adults about this and still be friends. Yet as time went on, we ended up back together in an unlabeled thing. And it continued, but I wasn’t his girlfriend. It was sort of maddening.

I took a month vacation, to San Francisco…To get away, to get my head together, to think things through without influences. And during that trip, I interviewed, I prepped, and I made the choice. To benefit my career path, for my SANITY, to break the sickening cycle…I decided to move. I decided to uproot my life from the only place I had ever known as home….I had figured if me and this guy were meant to be together, it would somehow work out despite my choice to put half an ocean of distance between us.

So, I moved. He came out for a visit several months later for a few days. It was nice, but as time drug on…Despite the talks, despite everything…I came to the realization that he wasn’t going to move to be with me, that when he ended things…That his feelings really HAD changed, that he really didn’t want a relationship with me anymore, and that we both were just falling back on what was familiar to us.

Months had passed, us barely talking…And then it came to the point where he was asking for me back. At this point, I had moved on. I had accept that we weren’t meant to be in a relationship together. MY feelings had changed. And I realized I no longer wanted to be in a relationship with him. I came to that decision through some of what he said to me when we did get a chance to talk, my own thinking, and the fact that he had never done anything to show that he really wanted to be with me.

This past February, he called me to have another talk – a last ditch effort to ask for me back, to get back together. And again, I had told him no – that I didn’t want to be in a relationship with him. Of course he didn’t take it very well…Rejection always hurts. So when that phone call with him ended, he said that he wouldn’t contact me for a while because he just needed time to get over the pain and hurt.

“I have traveled in darkness, for what seems like days.
I crawled from the sink-holes, collapsed under this weight.”

Back to the email from him.

It was paragraphs and paragraphs and paragraphs long.

There was no pleasantries, no asking how I was, no birthday wish.

From the beginning to end, it was just a dialogue about how his life wasn’t going to great, how he’s not doing well, how he’s been hurt by me, how he’s resorted to alcohol to cope with things, him being over-dramatic by talking in absolutes and ultimatums.

It just screamed: Fuck you and what you’re going through. Here’s my burdens and issues and here’s how my life sucks. Oh, and your birthday? Despite knowing you for five years, I’m not going to mention it – at all. And the way it ended just heaped an enormous amount of guilt on my shoulders, nevermind putting me in a tough situation.

If I replied to him, I know it would be unproductive and nothing would be resolved. We’d just go through the cycle of talking about everything, getting hurt and having tears, with nothing changing in the end result.

If I ignored it, then he would say that I wanted nothing to do with him…and whatever happened after that would be all my fault, somehow…Because I made the choice not to talk to him.

I know I shouldn’t let it get to me…I know I should let it roll off my back. But it still hurts.

I’m not entirely sure what he’s going through. And he doesn’t know what I’m going through.

But I think it’s time to cut the ties, what little we have remaining.

“I know not your sorrow, but I know mine…”
But Tonight We Dance – Rise Against

Annoying.

You know what’s annoying?

When someone you haven’t talked for a long period of time – someone you don’t really consider a friend, but you talk to them once in a while – contacts you and says that they need to talk to you about something…And then they never talk to you. Or when they DO talk to you, it’s superficial things. And they never seem to have the time to talk to you about whatever it was they really wanted to talk about. So you’re left wondering what the hell they wanted to say.

Or when you don’t feel like talking about something with someone, but they keep pressing the issue…As if harassing you non-stop will make you want to open up about things. And they can’t figure out that if they back up for just a bit, maybe you’ll open up to them once you’re not trying to defend yourself from the constant pressure of them demanding to talk.

Or the fact that someone is getting a sort of sick satisfaction knowing that your life has gone to shit for the moment and that things are a chaotic swirl of drama that seems never ending. And you know they’re not around to help you, support you, or wish you well. They certainly aren’t hoping things turn out for the better. They’re just waiting for more drama so they can get out their popcorn and laugh at you.

I just hope these people in my life figure out how to communicate a touch better. Because it would make all of our lives a wee bit easier.

The Big 3-0.

I don’t understand why some people dread turning 30, or moving from one decade of age to another. Sometimes people make comments as if getting another tally mark in the age column is the absolute worst thing in the world.

I am HAPPY that I turned 30 years old today.

Through a slew of medical issues and personal demons, I never knew how long I was going to be alive, here on this earth in this body.

But here I am…I’ve made it to 30 years old. And I think it’s a HUGE accomplishment.

That means despite everything that I’ve been through – physically and mentally, I’ve SURVIVED for THIRTY years.

There were some others out there who didn’t make it this far in life.

Every day that I wake up, every week that I’ve gone through, every month that’s in the past….It’s amazing and awesome. There have been so many times where I just wanted to quit life. Yet, here I am.

So when I turn 40, or 50, or 60, or 70…If I’m meant to live that long, I will celebrate every birthday that adds another year to my life with a large smile on my face.

 

30YearsOld

This is the face of someone who just turned 30. And she’s damned happy about it.