UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
Five Reasons I’m Glad I’m Not A Bobblehead Jun 30, 2010
1. I have a small tendency toward vertigo with my thick neck as it is.
2. Driving would be a bitch. (Did you see that car? ALL FIFTY OF THEM? No, wait, that’s just one car, wait, where did it go? OH THERE THEY ARE.)
3. People would want to put me on their dashboards with their other fugly hello-kitty bobbleheads and I HATE HELLO KITTY.
4. “Does this neck make my head look fat?”
5. Sarah Palin is a BobbleHead. That’s just fucked-up yo. THE END.
Having a mid-life-crisis at thirty-three thousand feet Jun 28, 2010
I tell people I’m going through a small mid-life crisis. They look at me, judging. “HmmMMmm,” they start, “I bet you’re not nearly mid-life. What are you? Thirty? You really expect to only live until sixty?”
To these people I put a pox on their eyebrows and ear hair.
Funny thing: Mid-Life can mean any time in which you wake up and look in the mirror and immediately proclaim “HOLYSHIT! WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED WHILE I WAS SLEEPING.”
This is exactly how I feel right now.
Last Thursday I travelled to Utah on SouthWest Airlines. This means I was part of the cattle call to find my own seat on a plane with a bunch of other livestock. I sat in row seven on the isle next to two people who, by the end of a two hour flight, would be my partners in crisis.
We shared stories of being mid-thirty. Each of us, thirty-four (me), thirty-five, thirty-six. We book-end the mid-line of thirty perfect. And we all understood each other in ways no twenty-something could possibly understand. It’s surreal, a bit. It’s cliche. It’s.. utterly pathetic.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong “flight” extinct. I’ve been the wistful, ridiculously naive girl who wants nothing more than to travel. I’ve suppressed her, I’ve told her how ridiculously impractical that is. I’ve chastised her for being so selfish.
That suppressed inner girl is getting really pissed off about it.
I’m able to travel more now for work. I’ve had amazing opportunities and I’ve experienced places I could never justify before. With each trip I realize I’m as truly “me” when traveling as I’ll ever be. There’s something raw about going to a new place and giving yourself permission to explore both your inner self and the new landscape around you. I dare say it’s even addicting.
As I mature, reality sets in. A new reality, or an age-old one, I am not sure. Somehow it is my job at mid-thirty to bring my wistful naive twenty-two year old traveling hippie self in to the woman who understand the world with a more cynical eye, has experienced some of life’s failures and is responsible for whole, entire human beings now. I have no idea how to achieve this.
So I hunker down with my peers, my tribe, and we bond over wine and children’s screams. There’s comfort in knowing I am not alone in this middle space. I’m not alone when I look back and suddenly remember I was going to do that Thing, that which is listed on a piece of paper I wrote 13 years ago after college. I was going to continue rowing, I was going to see the Northern Lights, I was going to spend a summer in England in a tiny rented flat alone. I remember my list of “fifty things to do before I die” and know I’ve crossed off about half. Lately, it seems, the other half of that list is coming to mind more and more and I’m unsure of the root cause or if I’ll ever finish what I started before I was who I am today.
** update: On my fabulous weekend in Utah, which is a whole other post to come, I exclaimed, at my BFF who is only just now THIRTY:
Pig Jun 25, 2010
I know we just got started here but I think it’s time we maybe took it a bit slower, we’re moving way too fast. What? I’m talking about cooking weirdo. Do you like pig? I don’t but I cook it for my loved ones. I can only tell you when I make this it is greedily devoured over a couple of days…oh and complimented profusely. This requires a crock pot….do you have one? Does your neighbor? Grandma? Local goodwill? Don’t hate the crock, it is one of my very best friends and deserves a place in everyones kitchen. In fact I have two. So grab yourself a crock pot of decent size (not one of those little dip thing-a-majigs) and give this a shot.
2 pounds of boneless pork, you can use shoulder or loin, my boys prefer loin.
In a small bowl stir together:
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp coriander powder (if you are digging this from the bowels of your spice rack, skip it)
Place 2 bay leaves in the bottom of your crock pot then pour in 1 cup of chicken broth.
Place the pork in the crock then sprinkle the spice mixture all over, then flip the pork a couple times.
You can cook this on low or high. Low you are looking at about 6-7 hours, High about 4. I usually choose low because I can prep it around lunchtime and it’s ready by dinner. If you are using a frozen loin or shoulder add a couple hours.
While it’s cooking feel free to baste it, flip it, talk to it….whatever. About an hour or so before you are expecting to pull it out and eat stick a fork in there and start pulling it apart. When it’s fully cooked it should just sort of fall apart. Continue shredding throughout that last hour.
I usually make this for taco night around here, but you could use it in enchiladas, salad topping, over pasta, rice, or just by itself. I like to use the left over carnitas in a baked pasta dish, just take some leftover penne (or cook it up) toss with the remaining carnitas and a little cheese and bake it until it’s warm.
If you are in the market for a crock-pot I can firmly stand behind this one
I might love mushrooms Jun 24, 2010
If you don’t like mushrooms look away now, I’m not going to be fucking around ONE BIT straight out of the gate here, there is NO sub for this recipe, don’t even ask, I’ll get pissed. I figure if you don’t like mushrooms then you are doing something wrong. Or maybe someone ruined them for you while using a can opener to crack open their idea of mushrooms….MUSHROOMS DO NOT BELONG IN CANS DO NOT USE THEM OUT OF SUCH.
Mushrooms should be firm, they should not be saggy and wrinkly, they should smell of clean earth not moldy earth. The tops should be gently washed, if you feel you must wash the underside do it quickly so they don’t absorb tap water. See? easy. Oh, and don’t pick them out of your yard unless you are some sort of experienced mushroom picker, I don’t want you to die.
Any sort of mushroom would work with this recipe but I actually prefer the simple cremini mushroom, it’s earthier than its white cousin if you ask me.
2 tbls Olive oil divided
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pound any fresh mushrooms, thickly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp dried
1 tbls tomato paste
1 1/4 cups water or broth
2 tbls cold butter cut into pieces (margarine works too)
1 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Heat 1 tbls of your oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat.
Add your onion and cook until golden then transfer to a bowl. Add the
other tbls of oil to the same pan and add your mushrooms. Cook until
they begin to release their liquid then add the onions, garlic, rosemary,
and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms begin to brown
then stir in the tomato paste. Increase the heat to high and cook a
couple more minutes then add the water, or broth. Reduce the heat to
medium low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Gradually stir in the
butter, then the balsamic vinegar.
I absolutely LOVE this over pasta, it’s so filling. I like to just spoon it over the noodles (that way I ensure more mushrooms for me) but you could just mix it all together and serve it up too. I use Tinkyada gluten free brown rice pasta, just be sure to rinse it after you cook it or it’s a gooey mess. My gluten eating husband prefers it over regular pasta go figure. Bio-Nature also makes a GF pasta, but I can’t vouch for it because I haven’t tried it, I can tell you it’s more expensive though. I promise not to bombard you all with mushroom recipes, in fact next post will be a meat dish, THAT I DON’T EVEN EAT! Stay tuned.
Beginners Guide To Gluten Free Jun 23, 2010
My good friend Laura wrote up a little “Beginner’s Guide To Going Gluten Free” with perfect timing. I’m officially going Gluten Free per my doctor’s request. She was almost giddy that I didn’t scream running out of the room. “Yea,” I said expecting this, “I have some Gluten Free friends. It’s not too scary.” I hesitated. “I think.”
She was ecstatic that I had some support. And I do.
So with that in mind, I’m jotting down all the resources from Laura’s Guide to get started. I have Ashley here to help as well. And of course, I have you, my amazing community of people who Know Shit. I swear every time I mention something twitter is all, “OH, YEA, DUH, WE TOTALLY DO THAT” and I’m all, “WTF WHERE HAVE I BEEN?!”
All caps aside, I’m happy to have this support on this new venture henceforth known as, “what the hell can I eat and wheat is in what?!”
Dealing with food sensitivities and dietary restrictions can really threaten your enjoyment of life. Food and our culture surrounding the meal table is a powerful part of most of our lives. Give yourself time to grieve the loss of life as you knew it. But after the initial depression lifts and you don’t feel so overwhelmed anymore, remember that you are depriving yourself only of that which has hurt your body and made you sick! You will find new ways to celebrate with new foods; soon you will be able to navigate the grocery store, the restaurant menu, the kitchen cupboards with ease. Look forward to having fun and eating well! -Laura.
Taking on Kelly Rippa Jun 23, 2010
I have a bone to pick, Kelly. I happen to get those amazing “be more” Electrolux Washer/Dryers you speak so highly of. No, I wasn’t actually trying to be just like you, GOD no, why would I want to do that? I know small dogs less annoying than you are. BUT, I did find an amazing deal on a pretty amazing washer/dryer set and after drooling and researching, decided to plunge in to debt for the sake of Laundry.
And oh, how it was worth it.
Except one thing:
My clothes don’t fly in to the closet or hang themselves like yours do.
WHAT IS UP WITH THAT KELLY RIPPA?
Next you’re going to tell me that advertising isn’t real. Whatever. I believe everything I see and *I* want my clothes to fly in to their places, Kelly. I deserve nothing less.
Although… I do have to say, I felt a bit justified after I took my flying trapeze class and saw your video show up next to mine on youtube. I watched your whole little show, Mrs. Rippa and I do have to say, Wow. I’m less than impressed.
I mean, even tall, slightly-heavier-than-should-be old ME can do better than that, Kelly.
Validation comes in strange forms, eh?
*This post brought to you buy sarcasm. If you don’t know sarcasm, or are Canadian, you might think I’m going to actually take on Kelly Rippa.
**Which would be stupid because I could SO TOTALLY kick her tiny little ass.
Respect the sticker! Jun 21, 2010
My children, they do not respect the sticker. Remember getting the coveted sticker and agonizing over where to place it? You didn’t just put it on a piece of paper that might get accidentally tossed in the garbage. NO! You sat and pondered for HOURS where you were going to place this single, solitary sticker.
My kids can go through a sticker book in ten minutes flat.
Nowadays stickers are like Band-Aids: Cheap, easy to mail, and sticky; the latter being the most obvious. Band-Aids used to be special and only handed out when death was imminent. Now? Band-Aids for scrapes come in Sponge Bob Square Pants and decorate my kids’ knees like a trendy purse.
God I hate Sponge Bob and his annoying side-kick and his ability to make my children scream with enthusiasm until they get one of his teeny, tiny, fucking Band-Aids.
Stickers (and Band-Aids while I’m ranting) are like Manna from Oma. The children come home on various days to find a package in the mail with one of those “THREE HUNDRED MILLION BILLION STICKERS FOR YOU!” books. You know the ones that occupy the kids ALMOST long enough to get the dishes done but not long enough to make dinner? Those. And they tear through them like animals with raw meat. “BALERINA! I WILL PUT HER ON THE TABLE! I WILL PUT ONE ON THE SOFA! I WILL PUT ONE ON MOM’S COMPUTER SCREEN!” and on and on and on until we find stickers coming out of our asses, or theirs, three days later.
I can tell I’m getting older as I look at my children and have a back-log of stories. “I remember when….” They don’t appreciate, or even comprehend, the value of The Sticker. They can’t. The Sticker appears en mass and will continue to do so as long as there are sales at Borders when Oma goes shopping. And I suppose I’m ok with that. For now. Because sometimes you have to pick your battles and right now I’m winning, “Eat what I make for you or starve to death.”
Which reminds me, thank you, Oma, for the sticker book. I was able to poop in private for the first time since 2004, so the gift is really mine.
Stealing Time: One Locked Bathroom Door At A Time Jun 21, 2010
I’ve been working on the revision of this site for a very, very, very long time. I grabbed an amazing illustrator and graphic artist from Design Tramp to illustrate me. With the patience of a fucking saint, he drew and re-drew and added pieces to my design elements.
Which I then took and hacked all to hell because I changed my mind.
So, without taking any credit for the elements on the page (seriously, HE IS AMAZING), I can say I hacked the psd to bits, added some elements, threw in some font-squirrel font-kits and TEXT SHADOWS OMNOMNOM.
Poke around but judge not. At six months past due, I finally said screw-it, threw up my hands, and unveiled this WITHOUT CHECKING FOR STANDARDS.
I live on the edge, people. I live on the edge.
I can cook…that’s what I tell myself anyway Jun 15, 2010
Hi everyone, meet my good friend whom I’ve talked about before, Ashley. She’ll be posting her amazing recipes here to help me transition in to Gluten Free living. Everyone say “HI ASHLEY” together now. Don’t be shy.
Oh Hi there! Mrs. flinger invited me here to spew/smear/throw my kitchen all over you, you can call me Ashley. I don’t pretend to be some sort of gourmet, I do however enjoy all things food related and you know what, I feel like sharing. I used to have my own gig, some of you might remember me? Splendid Sustenance I got tired of it over there, it was a lot of work. So I’m here for now, less pressure and a great boss! There are a few things you might care to know about me, I’m the soul vegetarian in an omnivore house so I will add meat options from time to time. My youngest son has dietary issues including being gluten intolerant, you will not see gluten here because I went off it when he did. I believe you don’t know eggs until you eat one from a chicken that eats a natural diet, i.e bugs. I am the worlds messiest cook, I mean it, ask my husband. I can easily go through all the utensils for one meal. My weakness is corn chips and wine, not necessarily together.
If you don’t have a sink full of dirty dishes all the time you aren’t cooking enough.
EECI Wrap up with Slides Jun 11, 2010
It was a quest of mine to have the new version (vs 9.11) of this website done before I posted my slides. My plan was to integrate HTML5, CSS3 and some Major (echo: MAJOR MAJOR) Cool (echo: COOL COOL) Scripts! (echo: SCRIPTS SCRIPTS).
Instead you just get my slides. Bah.
The intent of my talk was to focus on those people who administer the websites we build. So much of our time/energy is focused on the front-end development and user strategy but how often do we go through the same process on the back-end? Our administrators often want a site that’s easy to manage, easy to update and even easier to train other people on. We use ExpressionEngine for that very reason: It gives us a flexible tool to build a site around and an easy management area for our clients to take over. And while EE is great at what it does, it can be overly robust, and thus intimidating, for some of our more inexperienced users.
I presented four real-world experiences in which I’ve utilized add-ons to make the back-end more user-friendly while solving some difficult requests. The end result is a happy client and a fantastic frame of knowledge to continue building upon for those strange requests of “Can We Just….”
I hope you enjoy the presentation in PDF format. If you’d like to see the entire workshop as well as the conference, you can purchase the DVD for sale here.
Aside from the wonderful feedback I got from my audience, the relationships I got to solidify in person, and the community I get to be part of, one of my all time favorite parts of EECI was the amazing, fantastic, overwhelming welcome as part of the staff of EllisLab. People cheered and tweeted and hugged me so much I couldn’t help but feel like my family just grew to 200 people or more. And bygod not ONE of them needed a diaper change.
*me ‘n my new co-worker Greg Aker who is awesome.
The people responsible for the vision of EECI can never be replaced. I, personally, know Robert Eearhart to be a fantastic, talented, and amazing man ready to work to the death for the cause of community. As the new community architect for EllisLab, I have a large task to live up to.
There are so many more words, so many more stories, so many more experiences but you’ll just have to join us to fully understand. There’s something about this place that feels like home. I hope you’ll join us one day. Next up? Leiden.