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Friday, June 28, 2019

Flask Friday! Paul Bunyan, Lumberjacks, Prince, Minnesota, and The Bootleg Cocktail!

Today is Paul Bunyan Day. I know, it feels like we just celebrated last year's Paul Bunyan Day. It sure creeps up on you. I hope you finished all your Paul Bunyan Day shopping on time this year!

Here's what I knew about Paul Bunyan before I wrote this post: 
Photo by Abby Savage on Unsplash

1. He was from Minnesota
2. He was a lumberjack...maybe?
3. He had a blue ox named Babe.
4. His feet created the Great Lakes
5. He was a fictional folk hero.

Turns out, I got the blue ox part right. Here's the legend of Bunyan according to

"As the legend goes, it took five huge storks to deliver the infant (already gigantic) Paul Bunyan to his parents in Bangor, Maine. When he grew older, one drag of the mighty lumberjack’s massive ax created the Grand Canyon, while the giant footprints of his trusty companion, Babe the Blue Ox, filled with water and became Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes."

So it was Babe who created the 10,000 lakes. Cute!
Also, Bangor, Maine? I thought he was from the North Star State (Minnesota's nickname- bonus learning!). Ok, but he wasn't a real guy, right? Wrong. Sort of. The legend of Paul Bunyan is based on a real person; actually two real people.

The first guy is an actual French-Canadian lumberjack named Fabian Fournier. Fournier joined a logging crew in Michigan in the 1870s and his fellow loggers were astounded because he was- get this- 6 feet tall! Apparently, people barely reached 5 feet at the time, so 6 feet was bonafide giant criteria. Oh, also he had two rows of teeth which he would use to "bite off hunks of wooden rails." But, it was the 6 foot thing that had his coworkers astounded??? Not the two fucking rows of teeth? Not the biting hunks of wooden rail? Ok. Cool.
Photo by Vitor Ávila on Unsplash

He also liked to get drunk and brawl, nightly. 

Six feet, two rows of teeth, likes to drink and fight? He sounds like almost every guy I dated in my 20s. He probably didn't have a car or his own place either.

So, how do we get from this real gem of a dude to Paul Bunyan? Well, that's where a fellow named Bon Jean comes in. He was also a French-Canadian lumberjack who participated in the Papineau Rebellion, which was an uprising against the British regime at the time. Historians believe that the name Bon Jean evolved into the surname Bunyan.

But why did I think he was associated with Minnesota? Here's why: in 1914, the Minnesota Red River Lumber Company used Bunyan as their mascot and his link to Minnesota stuck. There's also a "life-sized" statue of him and Babe in Bemidji, MN.

There you go.

"But wait, you promised us a cocktail!" you are screaming at your computer right now. Wow, calm down; it's barely noon, you heathens. 

I found a Paul Bunyan cocktail, but it was pretty much a Manhattan and boring as hell. So I opted for the Minnesota state signature cocktail instead: The Bootleg.

Legend has it that this cocktail came about during prohibition when rich people would go hang out at Lake Minnetonka to avoid the watchful eye of the fuzz and drink this fizzy delight. Legend also has it that one of those rich people was F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The odd thing about this cocktail is that everyone seems to have their own secret version of it and are reluctant to give up the recipe. What I could gather, though is it involves Gin, Vodka or Bourbon, mint, lemonade, limeade, simple syrup and a splash of club soda.  I modified recipe to fit my tastes (it's my blog, dammit) and to fit what I had on hand.

Here's the recipe I created:

2.5 oz of Colorado Fog Gin (Jersey style pour!)
3 oz Trader Joe's Sparkling Limeade
3 oz Santa Cruz Lemonade
2 bunches of mint leaves
.5 oz key lime simple syrup (you can make it with lime juice, sugar, and water...or you can just buy it at the grocery store like I did, cuz lazy)
Lemon wedge and mint sprig to garnish.

Most recipes will have you blend the limeade, lemonade, and mint (except for the garnish) in a blender, but I find that you still get way too many mint chunks floating in your drink, so I chose to skip the blender and just muddled the mint leaves, then stirred all the liquids together instead. I did this mainly because I hate using a blender. It scares the cats.

Basically, this drink is a cross between a Gin Rickey and a Mojito...with a bit of Margarita thrown in for good measure. It is delicious, as I am indicating here:

Oh, and of course, here's the embarrassing video (and thumbnail) to go along with it:

Oh, and here's a Minnesota playlist, featuring artists from Minnesota...the good, the bad and the terrible. It's pretty heavy on Prince, because, duh.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

How to Make (Human) Adult Friends; Facts and Helpful Advice

(reluctant animal friend)

Let's make some human friends. I've gone on record as preferring animals to people. But I do need human friends know, in case I need an alibi at some point.

 I also realize that the more that I say "human friends," the more I sound like a shapeshifting alien.

(Get in loser, we're making friends)

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Making friends as an adult tends to be harder than we think. One Google search containing the keywords "making friends" brought up a ton of articles on the subject; and not just from random sites. Institutions like The Guardian, Business Insider, and Oprah (ever heard of her?) have written articles on the very subject of making adult friends.

That is to say, making friends as an adult. "Making adult friends" sounds much sexier than this blog post intends to be.

Anyway, what I'm getting to is that the issue with making friends as an adult seems to plague a LOT of people. In fact, when I asked for blog topics, this was one of the suggestions and I was surprised. I thought that I was alone in not having a plethora of adult friends.

Turns out, I'm not alone in my loneliness. And neither are you. In 1985, most adults reported to have around 3 close friends; in 2004 the average number of adults reported having 0 close friends. Let that sink in: the majority of adults after 2004 have no one they consider to be a close friend.

In fact, a recent study in the UK found that over 9 million people feel alone most or all of the time. This number seemed dire enough that Teresa May appointed a "Minister of Loneliness" to help combat the problem in the UK. Learn more about the UK study here. Also, I call dibs on Minister of Loneliness as my goth rapper name.

OK, so what do we do? It's not like there's a formula for making friends, right? Turns out, there is. Well, sorta. According to a study at the University of Kansas, you need to spend 50 hours with someone to become "casual friends," 90 hours to become good friends, and 200 hours to become close friends.

Cool. But, how do you convince someone to spend 50, 90, 200 hours with you? You can't just go up to a stranger and say, "hey will you spend 50 to 200 hours with me so that we can become casual to close friends?" I mean, you can...but you should prepare for a visit from local authorities if you do so.

Which brings me to this: How to Make Friends. When we were little, it seemed much easier; our parents would pretty much arrange friendships for us. Later, we went to school and managed to make a few friends there. If you were one of those precocious, effervescent children, you probably had tons of friends. But even us quiet weirdos had a few friends as children.

Most people continue to have a relatively easy time making friends up until their late 20's; but life changes- such as careers, marriage, and children result in a loss of friendships. In fact, a Dutch study found that we lose half of our friends every seven years.

Fuck. I have, like, 2 friends now. And one of them is my husband, so he's legally obligated to be my friend.

OK, so seriously; how do we make friends again?

One step is to reconnect with old friends; the good ones. Not the toxic ones. I can say for sure that some of the friendships that I've lost are because I didn't do the work to reach out and check in with them.
For me, it's a self-confidence issue; I assume that my old friends are too busy or not interested in reconnecting with me. I admitted this an old friend and she looked at me like I had two heads. Which means my reasons for feeling awkward were all in my head...or my two heads.

So, get over yourself. And get over your preconceived notions of who should be your friend. We often look for friends whom we consider peers. This usually means someone in our age group; but studies show that we should be striving for intergenerational friendships, like this story about an intergeneration friendship that is nearly 4 decades apart.
Look outside your age group and you'll expand your opportunities for friendship. My husband is 300 years old and I'm practically a fetus and yet, we are good friends. Also, as I mentioned before, he is legally bound to be my friend.

Look, I know that we live in the era of social media, Netflix, Postmates, etc; so we have fewer and fewer reasons to leave the house. And as someone with a devastating list of insecurities and social anxieties, the thought of leaving the house can send me into a panic attack K-hole. But, to make friends you got to do the work. And as I also mentioned before, you can't just go up to a stranger and demand friendship.

The highest recommended method of finding new friends is to join a club, group, volunteer organization or take a class; put yourself in a situation that will force you to interact with others. The benefit of a club or group is that you will meet people with similar interests, which is a much better start than "the recruiting a rando on the street" method.

I actually tried this by joining a meetup of fellow Murderinos in my area (shoutout to the 719 Murderinos!) If you don't know what a "Murderino" is then do yourself a favor and start listening to the My Favorite Murder Podcast, or buy the book. If you do know what a Murderino is, SSDGM.

Anyway, I joined the facebook group and worked up the nerve to meet several other true crime aficionados IRL for brunch at a local brewpub. I was full of anxiety, but I met some delightful people and I now try to make most of the monthly meetups. I haven't put in the 50-200 hours yet, but I did expand my social circle and that is a solid start.
(join a club to meet people with common interests)

Instead of just clicking "maybe" to your second cousin's baby shower or your coworker's art installation; just go to the damn thing. It's not guaranteed that you will make a new friend, but the chances are greater than if you stayed at home. And having a mutual friend or acquaintance at a function is a great way to meet more people.

Unless, of course, your second cousin or coworker is a racist or homophobe or Nazi. In that case, skip the shower and don't get them a gift.

Be like Lizzo. Have her confidence. If you don't know Lizzo, go listen to her music and thank me later.

Think about what you like about yourself and lead with that. I know it sounds hokey, but people respond to confidence- not conceit, but confidence.

Basically, this friendship stuff is a lot like dating. Ask a potential new friend some questions; find out who they are. This does two things- it ingratiates you to them and allows you to really find out what you might have in common.

I suggest starting out with "What do you think about Nazis?" If they respond with "Nazis suck," then you can start a great conversation about why Nazis suck. If the person says "There are very fine people on both sides," then you know you are talking to a Nazi or Nazi supporter. And that is bad.

I can't believe that I have to say this in 2019, but NAZIS ARE BAD. They make terrible friends.

And by this, I mean answer questions with more than just a "yes" or "no." Let them know who you are and be a bit vulnerable. You have to take the risk of opening up once in a while to gain a good friendship. Unless you are a Nazi. Nazis are bad.
(say "Nazis are bad" on the count of 3)

I know this sounds counter to what I've just said, but don't put all your friend eggs in one friend basket. Not everyone is going to be your super close new best friend, but some will be great casual friends. You have room for a variety of different friendships, don't be disappointed if you don't find The One right away.

From what I found online, most of us are terrible at making friends. This means we all probably need to work a bit harder at making connections, but this also means that you are not alone...even when you feel alone.

We are facing a loneliness epidemic and by first acknowledging that we can then take steps to counter it. And even though I've joked around in this article; loneliness can be very dangerous. If you or someone you know is struggling or just needs to talk, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

(reach out and check in. ask for help)

Please add some friendship tips in the comments. The more info on this, the better!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Coffee Break Convo - What's Up With Birthdays? 10 Interesting and Weird Birthday Facts

Today is my husband's birthday. He is Old Man Yelling At Clouds years old.

As I was baking him a cake (because I dared myself to), I started to think about why we have birthday cakes and wondered how all this birthday stuff started. Basically, I wanted to know who's fault it was that I was baking a cake when I could just be day drunk instead.

But first- here's the cake that I baked (I better get a Hollywood Handshake for this):

And here's proof that I actually made it, in which I give into my inner rabid squirrel desires and gobble up the remaining whipped cream topping:

Anyway, back to birthdays. Here is what I now know:

1. Birthdays started in Egypt. Well, more specifically, only for Pharaohs and they celebrated the day that they were crowned, which was considered to be their "birth" into becoming gods. I should ask my husband if he was ever invited to a pharaoh's birthday party.

2. Greeks started the tradition of cakes and candles. They decorated moon-shaped cakes with candles to honor the lunar goddess, Artemis. The candles' glow was meant to represent the radiance of the moon. The cakes were made out of wheat, olive oil, cheese, and honey. That sounds like some artisan, hipster shit to me.

3. The Romans were the first to celebrate birthdays for the common man...but for men only; because of course. Fucking patriarchy.

4. Contemporary cakes were invented by 18th-century Geman bakers for a child's birthday or "kinderfest" which is the closest to modern birthday parties.

5. Speaking of Germany, there is a tradition wherein any single man over the age of 30 must sweep the steps of the town hall on his birthday to show that he is tidy to potential suitors. Tradition mandates that he must stay there until kissed by a lady. All the while, his friends get to throw trash at him and hurl insults. Way to keep it weird, Germany

6. But it gets weirder in Switzerland- parents hire an evil clown to follow a child around all day on their birthday, ending with throwing a pie in poor kid's face. This is supposed to bring good luck to the kid. And by "luck" I'm assuming that's just a mistranslation for "trauma."

7. And of course the Irish have to enter the contest with something called "bumping" in which you grab the birthday victim by the ankles and lower them upside down so that their head touches the floor. Go home, Ireland. You're drunk.

8. Speaking of drunks, the most common birthday in the U.S. is Oct 5....because your parents got shit-faced and banged on New Year's Eve. Gross.

9. You know those fucking annoying musical birthday cards? Those cards use more computing power than what was used to send men to the moon. I don't know why, but that bothers me.

10. The highest holiday in the Church of Satan is one's own birthday. Fuck yeah.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go hire an evil clown and figure out how to drop my husband on his head on this high holiday.

You got any weird birthday facts? Drop them in the comments!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Flask Friday! Summer Solstice Cocktail Recipe - The Lovely Day Jameson Whiskey Sour

Happy Summer Solstice! Let's have a drink! A Jameson "Lovely Day" whiskey sour to be specific.
Full disclosure, I might be writing this a bit buzzed...because I had to try this drink again, and again, and again. It is THAT delightful. It's a goddamn summer day in a glass, hence the reason I'm bringing it to you today. It's also vegan, which is great for my vegan friends out there! But, you didn't click on this link to read me wax poetic about the virtues of this spirit, so let's get down to it:

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I got this recipe from the Lovely Day recipe on the Jameson whiskey website. I had to make a few minor tweaks for taste, and well, low cash; but isn't that what this whole blog is about? I get that "know" for you and make it work for everyone.

Because recipe blogs are so annoying when they wait to give up the recipe until the very end; I'm going to buck the trend. Here's the recipe:

2 oz (or "Jersey Style," which is 2.5 - 3 oz) Jameson Irish Whiskey.
1 oz Lemon Juice (or the juice from one large lemon)
1 oz Lavender Syrup ( I used this one)
1.5 oz Aquafaba (A-ha! You have to continue reading to find out what that is! Classic Know-Getter mess-around)

Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake, shake, shake Senora. Next, add a couple ice cubes and shake some more. Pour into either a tumbler or champagne glass and add a dash of seltzer.

Step back and marvel at the witchcraft.

(This drink is gorgeous!)

Seriously, this drink is wizardry because of the, wait for it, AQUAFABA.

What's aquafaba? Well, only your new best friend and the key to rocking the best cocktail party ever.

Simply put, aquafaba is bean water. Those of you who took Latin already know this. But not just any bean water; it's garbanzo bean water. And more simply put- that weird liquid in a can of garbanzo beans. I shit you not.

Yep, strain a can of garbanzo beans and put the beans in a container and the liquid in a glass container. Chill that liquid in the fridge for a bit and now you have the best hipster dufus cocktail additive that ever was.

Apparently, a chef named Joel (with an umlaut over the "e") Roessell discovered that chickpea brine (aka garbanzo juice) acted the exact same way that eggs do as an emulsifier. Later a bartender named Keith Corwin saw this "aquafaba" stuff popping up on vegan cooking blogs and thought to add it to a whiskey sour. The rest, as they say, is drunk history.

So the next time you are at the grocery, store pick up a can of garbanzo beans ( I should also mention that you can do the same with dried garbanzo beans after you cook them, but who has that kind of time?) You can use the beans to make a delightful Greek salad or hummus and use the aquafaba to have a really good time with a really good cocktail. Also, I am super concerned about food waste right now and how much we (Americans in particular) waste food. This is just a simple, but fun way to make great use something that you might have otherwise thrown out. And from what I could find, the aquafaba can last around a week in your fridge.

Also....there's a video of me making the cocktail. Watch all the way to the end to see my disturbing Silence of the Lambs reference!

Oh, yeah; and happy Solstice! And Slainte!

Need some music for your cocktail sipping? I put together a summer playlist here:

How are you celebrating the solstice? What's your favorite summer cocktail recipe? Drop a comment down below.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Festivals for the Restivals! A Festival Make Up Tutorial (from someone who's never been to a festival)

I asked for topics for my blog recently, and one of the suggestions that I really loved was tips on drag make up. Fun! I thought. And, why not? It's Pride Month!

I asked for topics for my blog recently, and one of the suggestions that I really loved was tips on drag make up. Fun! I thought. And, why not? It's Pride Month!

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And then, I thought, "wait, can I as a cis-gender woman do that?'
And then, I googled it. I saw loads of pages about bio queens, faux queens, and a bunch of articles about RuPaul's thoughts on the subject. There's a lot of hot takes on the subject.
And then, I saw what I was looking for: drag makeup can be a form of cultural appropriation. And that's where I stopped.

Here's the deal: I'm not a bio or faux queen. I'm a huge supporter and ally of the drag community, but I feel that I have absolutely no right to weigh in on a subject in a community that I am not a part of. I have the obligation to listen and read up on the subject, sure; but absolutely no place to bring my outside opinions into a debate that would in no way benefit from my outside opinions. And my respect for the community brought me to the decision that I would NEVER want to cheapen the experience of the drag community by some silly cis woman playing dress up. Nope. Not going to do it.
And yes, it is Pride Month; but the last thing the LGBTQIA community needs is one more person trying to profit off of it...even if it's just in the form of clicks on a blog.

So no; I won't be doing drag.

However, there is a community that I am not a part of and know nothing about, but I really don't care if I cheapen their identity or not: Festival Party Girls; and more specifically- their makeup.

Bitches, you had it coming. (And by bitches, I mean anyone who still has the exuberant and carefree radiance of youth that allows them to live a life of music festivals and rompers, while old crones like me stay in watch Investigation I.D. with their cats. Basically, I speak out of jealousy.)

So, obviously, I don't go to festivals; unless I get Crone Fest up and running! The closest I've been to a music festival is Lollapalooza in the '90's. I was 16 and it was just a half-day concert in Fiddler's Green. We spent the majority of the time on the lawn, smoking cigarettes and trying to look cool. I believe we chugged a single Seagram's wine cooler between the 4 of us in the car beforehand. Probably not the same as the modern day "festival" experience. But I could be wrong.

(I had this shirt)

Based on the instagram photos I've seen, here's what I think goes on at your Coachellas, your Bonneroos, and the like: you put together a cute (but it needs to look effortless) outfit and go out into the heat, where you drink too much, perhaps you do some of the drugs that they do on Riverdale, you get dehydrated, you get either dusty or muddy, you pee in a port-a-potty, and you probably miss the headlining act.

(these kids are far too unsupervised)

Again, I could be wrong; but let's say for the sake of argument, that I am not.

Ok, so assuming all the above conditions are present; you are going to need some makeup that both looks like you just woke up AND that you've been cuddled by both Lisa Frank and Stevie Nicks; like you are effortlessly basking in the afterglow of a unicorn/mermaid orgy that just happened on your face.

And that's what I'm going to show you today.

First, you want to tone, moisturize and prime your face. My normal makeup routine can vary from 3 to 142 steps. For the sake of simplicity, I'll try to keep it under 142.

If you are an oily girl like me- I highly recommend this Avene mattifying toner and follow it up with this Avene matte moisturizer.

Now before I go any farther- you are probably like "if this bitch has never been to a festival before, what gives her the authority to give festival makeup up advice?" And to that I say: Look, I've been getting drunk outside longer than most have you have been listening to Bon Iver...or whomever the relevant festival artist is. I've seen the effects of the hot sun, and sweat and dehydration on a face full of makeup. It ain't pretty. I've learned to hide that crime scene.

Ok, which leads me to my next step: SUNSCREEN!!!! This is not an optional step. It is non-negotiable. If you are not going to put sunscreen on your face, then why do you even have a face? I use Coola Matter Mineral Sunscreen. It's great. It's a bit pricy, but again, it's my face.

Next, I use a spray primer. I like Skindinavia Makeup Face Primer Matte. Let that dry.

(Oh, and obviously if you do not have oily skin, you will probably want to use hydrating or at the very least non-matte products. There's a gazillion of them...but I have oily skin and this is my blog.)

Next, I like to put an additional primer on. What? Yeah, I'm wild. My go-to is Cover FX Gripping Primer primer. It is great for all skin types and it really does "grip" your makeup.

Now, here's the tricky part. Your foundation. If you are one of those lucky bitches blessed with flawless skin, then you can go fuck yourselves...and skip this step. For the rest of us mortals, it's time for foundation or at the very least concealer. My expert outdoor day drunk advice? Go easy on whatever you use. Cover up the blemishes and/or use the foundation sparingly. Or use a tinted moisturizer or BB cream. Too much foundation will look cakey and/or will only look worse if it starts to melt off your skin.

The same goes for the powder. Use just enough to set the makeup.

OK. Now for the FUN stuff. Normally, If I am getting ready for an evening look or just a day when I'm extra fancy, I would do some contour. I don't recommend it for a day out in the elements, however. It could wear weird and look streaky or splotchy after your 4th overpriced beer in the midday sun. No, the fun thing we are going to do is put some highlighter on this "about to be White Girl Drunk" face. You need to look ethereal as shit. And highlighter is your ticket to the goddess Diana herself sitting on a goddamn magic cloud. Focus mainly on the cheekbones and just go nuts. Dry girls, you can add some to the forehead and bridge of the nose. Oily girls- you should know better than to get anywhere near your t-zone with highligher unless you want to look like bobbed for greasy glitter apples.

Are you all levitating goddesses now? Good. Next, you can use a little bit of blush on the apples of the cheek, but you can skip this if it is not your jam. Chances are, that molly-laced elderflower gummy dab is going to give you a nice little flush. (disclaimer: you should not do drugs, even the made up ones that I just mentioned).

NOW THE EYES! This is really where you can let your inner enchanted forest sprite aura shine.

Because I just got this palate and I fucking love it, I'm going to use the Morphe Live in Color artistry palette. Just look at it:

And all the proceeds from this palette go to The Trevor Project. I'd tell you where to get it, but they are currently sold out. Womp, Womp.

As for the makeup application, this is where I had to google some shit as the festival eye look is way outside my wheelhouse. I found a lot of striking options online, but so many of them just screamed "staff infection" after a rando guy drunkenly brushes the arm of his sweat-soaked Tame Impala shirt on your face.

So, even though the glitter and gem bedazzled eye looks are gorgeous; let's keep the makeup irritant-free. Also- a lot of the bindi inspired looks that I found looked hella cultural appropriate-y and there's already enough of that at these festivals.
Something like this should give you the extra oomph you want but without insulting someone's culture or resulting in conjunctivitis.

You can see me attempt this makeup application and get a more in-depth tutorial in the video at the end of this blog.

So, for mascara, I think you will want a pretty simple, nonflaking mascara. I LOVE W3ll People Expressionist mascara, it's a healthy mascara that doesn't hurt my eyes. I've never had it flake on me....unlike your ride home from the festival.

Let's talk about lipstick. Normally, I'm a huge fan of a matte nude, stay all day lip. But, stay all day liquid lipsticks tend to dry out and despite being "stay all day," there's a strong likelihood that you will eat your lipstick know, from all the "meditating." In this instance, I suggest either a lipstain followed up with a good moisturizing gloss; or a nude lip with an iridescent lip topper and gloss. Either way, pack your lip items as you will need to reapply. Also bring a good lip balm for when you eventually decide "fuck it."

Finally, spray your look with a setting spray. My go to is Skindinavia's Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray. You'll notice that I've mentioned the Skindinavia brand twice in this blog. It is because I stan it. Also, fun fact- Skindinavia makes the Urban Decay setting sprays, but the Skindinavia product is cheaper.

The result? Well, I'm proud to say that the look lasted from 3pm until 8am the following morning. Yes, this messy bitch slept in her eye makeup in the name of investigative journalism.

The pictures below show the story of my eye look:


4pm Eye Roll:

5pm Sandwich:

7pm Beer:

 11pm Bedtime:

8am the following morning after coffee:

Sure, the last pic is a little worse for wear, but not really too bad considering that I am a violently active sleeper.

OK, so here's the good stuff; I videoed a terrible makeup tutorial. I mean, it's really the worst one on the internet. It is full of swearing and lacking in actual makeup advice. Also, the angles are cringe-worthy. The lighting is that of a hostage video...and in the beginning, I sound like a hostage to my own idea. It's worth a view if only to use as blackmail against me. Sigh, the things I do for you as a blogger....

Whew! Thoughts? Leave a comment. And as always, thank you for reading.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Coffee Break Convo - Is it "This," or "Next" Saturday?

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Last week I had a spirited debate with my husband about the use of "this" and "next" when one is talking about a day of the week.

I'll explain. Let's say you want to make plans for Saturday the 22nd. Today is Monday, the 17th. Would you say, "I'll see you this Saturday" or "I'll see you next Saturday?"

The answer is obvious to me...but apparently, it is not to everyone. And by everyone, I mean my husband...and many others. He thinks that using "next Saturday" is ok in this instance.

I maintain that it is not.  In my mind, "next Saturday" means the following Saturday...the Saturday of next week. This Saturday means, well THIS SATURDAY...I'm not sure how much clearer that can be.

It turns out, my husband is not the only person who speaks in this ridiculously wrong manner. I've had several conversations in which the Saturday I am talking about and the Saturday the other person is talking about are not one and the same. Now, it's entirely possible that the person with whom I'm speaking is just trying to purposely get out of making plans with me. That, I get.

My point is, that it seems we have come to an impasse. Or have we?

You best believe I googled that shit moments after having this spirited (read: buzzed) debate with my husband. And it turns out, I'm right. Well, mostly.

Here's a response I found from a website called English Stack Exchange:

"People generally understand next Saturday as the Saturday after this, that is, if you are on a Friday, and someone tells you to meet them next Saturday, it doesn't mean the next day, but rather, Saturday of next week, the Saturday after.
Some pedantics will believe and argue that it is, as you say, the Saturday that comes next. That is valid reasoning. However, if you want to be understood by the majority, "next Saturday" will mean Saturday next week."
So, there you go. I'm sure I haven't changed many minds and those who use "next Saturday" to mean "this Saturday" will dig in their heels and continue to do so. And that's fine. Just don't be surprised when I show up a week late to your event.

Seriously, though- what are your thoughts? Leave a comment below as I would love to know what is the popular opinion. Try to change my mind. You won't...but you can try.

P.S.- If you were like, "Did that bitch buy a selfie stick just to promote her lame blog?"
The answer is, "she as shit sure did." But, I'm not special. you can get one too.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Flask Friday! It's National Bourbon Day! Hooray!

Today is Flask Friday! Time to enjoy a cocktail or three. And today is National Bourbon Day, so it's an even better excuse to knock back the giggle water.

Today's post is a mini know-getter; so I'm going to try to keep my rambling's short and sweet.

I notoriously love whiskey (Irish whiskey to be exact), but I must admit I don't take quite the same (moon)shine to bourbon. In fact, I've never fully even taken the time to learn the exact differences between whiskey and bourbon...other than I know I like one better than the other.

So, I better go get that "know," right?

To keep it elegantly simple: all bourbons are whiskeys, but not all whiskeys are bourbons.
Ok, so bourbon is a type of whiskey, originating in, and exclusive to the United States.
The actual origin story is a bit fuzzy (like me after a few bourbons), but it gets its name either from Kentucky or Lousianna. While the name "bourbon" is technically derived from the Bourbon dynasty of France; the whiskey variation was either born in Bourbon County, Kentucky or Bourbon Street, New just depends on which historian you ask.

Speaking of Kentucky; fuck Mitch McConnell.

And speaking of the GOP; just like women's bodies, bourbon is highly legislated and regulated. More specifically, there are legal qualifications for a whiskey to be called a bourbon. According to Wikipedia, bourbon must be:
  • made in the U.S.
  • made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn
  • aged in new, charred oak containers
  • distilled to no more than 160 U.S. proof
  • entered into a container for aging to no more than 125 proof
  • bottled at 80 proof or more
OK, cool. But what about the TASTE difference between whiskey and bourbon? Well, that really depends on what type of whiskey you are using in comparison. You've got all the "no E" whiskys: Scotch whisky, Rye whisky Canadian whisky, Tennessee whisky (which is pretty much bourbon as far as I'm concerned); but, I'm only going to address the best of them, the whiskey with an "e"- the superior Irish whiskey. Fight me.

What it comes down to is that Irish whiskey is triple distilled and has a cleaner taste. Bourbon is sweeter and has a smokey, woodsy, taste. It is all just a matter of preference.

But really, let's get to the important stuff; let's talk about a cocktail that you can make with bourbon that even a die-hard Irish whiskey girl can love. I went searching on the internet for a recipe with all ingredients that I already had on hand...turns out there wasn't one; so I "Frankensteined" a cocktail and I think it turned out pretty good! I call it the Fuck You, Mitch McConnell! (It's made with Colorado bourbon, btw).

Bonus! I'll show ya' how to make it in this video below. Ina Garten's got nothing on me.

* FYI- in this video, my husband yells "knock it off" to the cats who are fighting off-camera; he is not yelling at me. He is not Ralph Cramden.

**The last lines of the video before it cuts off: "I can't believe I cleaned my kitchen for this shit."

***This video was fun to shoot. The morning buzz was an added bonus.

****My stove is fine.

*****You should totes subscribe to my YouTube channel Know-Getter


Simple syrup-
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 10 sage leaves
Bring all ingredients to a boil; simmer 2 minutes. Remove sage leaves, pour into a container and let chill.

  • 2 oz premade simple syrup
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice (or to taste)
  • lemon peel and sage sprig to garnish
Pour simple syrup, bourbon, lemon juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour over crushed ice. Add garnishes.

Voila! And cheers!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Spilling Tea: What's the Good Gossip?

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Let's talk gossip! But first, I'm going to need you to watch the required viewing above.
Done? OK. Let's talk about this video- First and foremost, I need to address the dancing. Remember in the '80s when you could be a sub-par dancer and STILL have a music video? Also, did Bananarama invent dabbing? And I love the random costumes that make an appearance. It's like the costume designer had some pieces left from a previous project and decided to throw them into this video shoot. Why not? It was the 1980s! All you needed was a coke filled fever dream and access to a VHS camera.

But this blog isn't about dabbing or the smart economic practices of 1980's costume designers, so let's stay on topic, dammit. Last week, I asked for topics for my blog, and you all sure delivered. There were so many ideas that I had a hard time choosing one. But, I did, obviously; otherwise, there wouldn't be a blog post. Gah, keep up. The topic I chose came from my friend Boopsie. She suggested gossip. Not the amazing band fronted by Beth Ditto (although that would be an amazing post), but the actual practice of gossiping. And in true me not knowing anything form, I had to do some research on the topic. I went out and got that "know."  And because I like to pretend that I'm an actual big girl journalist sometimes, I broke it down into "Who, What, Where, When, Why."


Who gossips? Um, just a group of people called "everyone," ever heard of them? A study done at the University of California, Riverside shows that people spend on average 52 minutes a day gossiping, and it is split evenly along (heteronormative) gender lines. Although the study doesn't break down nongender conforming or nonbinary identifying, it does indicate that ALL people gossip and one identifying group does not do it more than the others. But more importantly- 52 minutes???? That seems to be a lot of time. In fact, that's the more time than an episode of Gossip Girl (without the commercial breaks, obvi). XOXO everyone. You ALL gossip.

WHAT?: Well, we gossip about everything, but here's what might surprise you- according to an NPR article,  the majority of what we talk about is not bad; instead it's mundane, idle chit chat about your neighbor's new car or your facebook friend's blog post about gossip. In fact, 3/4 of all gossip is not trash talk; it's just small talk niceties. I have a theory, though, that it seems like the majority of gossip is trash talk because you remember the juicy gossip, not the boring nice stuff.

So, what about the 1/4 of gossip that is bad? Well, yes- there's that. But, according to the same NPR article, even shit talk has an upside: it can make the subject of the gossip change bad habits. Let's say that you have a blog and all you do is push your blog on people. When you meet up with your friends, instead of asking them about themselves, you tell them about a blog post you wrote about gossip. You then leave the room to check your phone to see how many page views you have, when you hear them talking about how irritating it is that all you do is talk about your blog. It's then that you realize that you might be a bit too self-absorbed with your own goings on, that you have become that annoying blogger....which is to say- a blogger. You then resolve to shut up a bit about your blog and make sure you are listening to others when they speak. This is a hypothetical, of course....but you get the point. Gossip can point out bad habits and cause the subject to strive for better behavior.

Gossip is also theorized to be an evolutionary survival trait. If you read that Regina George "is the nastiest skank bitch I've ever met. Do not trust her. She is a fugly slut," you might think twice about hopping in her convertible. Or maybe something more rooted in the real world and less shallow- if you hear that a restaurant has made several of your friends sick, then you would probably avoid that restaurant. Survival skills!

Of course, there's also baseless rumors and harmful gossip. And that stuff IS bad. The spreading of harmful rumors can cause the victim of gossip physical and mental illness. According to Web MD (ever heard of it?), harmful gossip can lead to exhaustion, anxiety, depression, PTSD, panic attacks, guilt, and in extreme cases, suicide. 

So yeah; bad gossip is, bad. Really, really bad. It can cause irreversible damage and can follow the victim for a long time- even their whole lives. And the further the rumor spreads, the more harmful and grotesque it becomes, like a slanderous snowball...or Trump's hairline. 

WHEN?: At what age do we gossip? Um, all of them. It starts out when we are young and continues throughout our adult lives. You may think that teenagers are the worst at gossip- remember how those rumors of Richard Gere and the hamster spread? Or Lil' Kim and the stomach pump? Interestingly enough, both of those rumors change generationally. It was Richard Gere in my generation, but I've heard it attributed to Marylin Manson in later years. Same with Lil' Kim, only it changed to Lindsay Lohan. Food for thought, I guess. Oh, don't Google any of those rumors on a work computer. The point is- we don't seem to stop gossiping. Anecdotally, my grandmother was THE biggest gossip. I knew every rumor about all the little old ladies in Jamesburg, NJ.

WHERE?: Everywhere. But mostly where people congregate on a daily basis. As kids, it's in school or on the playground. Then in college dorms. Later it's at the water cooler in the office. In my grandma's case, her bridge club. Anywhere that you can interact with someone and talk about a common friend, foe or acquaintance. It's rampant in online communities too; I've personally seen drag, burlesque, crafter, even true crime aficionado communities divided by gossip.

I would argue, though, that the most dangerous place it happens is on the Internet. Thanks, Al Gore. Aside from the terrible occurrences of cyberbullying (just Be Best, right?), I think it's even more dangerous in the spread of fake news. And not the kind of "fake news" that Donald Trump tweets about every time a news outlet writes a factual story about him; I'm talking about actual fake news- the kind that Russia used to meddle in our elections. Or, whatever the lanced boil of a human being Alex Jones is spewing. The problem with that fake news, according again to Web MD, is that even once the fake rumors are debunked, it's already out there in the zeitgeist. Just like the Richard Gere and Lil' Kim stories- they are false but continue to get spread or are already planted firmly in one's beliefs. So, even though Pizza-Gate was a fake news story, the damage has already been done and it's much harder to get the truth out once a false story has been spread; but unlike the Richard Gere story, the US democracy is at stake. 

WHY?: That's the real question; why do we do it? Well, we've already established that most gossip is actually good. So, for the most part, we do it because we care about each other. Aw, cute. But what about the bad stuff? Well, there's the aforementioned survival instinct. But I believe it's also a way that we can fit into social circles. It's a way that we can show camaraderie with those that we might not normally have that much in common. Or it's a way for us to fit into our surroundings. We all want a seat at the cool kids' table, and sometimes participating in bad gossip is our ticket. It's not a good thing, but it's what we do. I think we also have that feeling of "if they are talking about someone else, then they are not talking about me."

But everyone talks about someone at some point. So, how do we continue the good gossip, while shutting down the bad? The good news is, as I've already pointed out, the majority of the gossip we spread is good. Yay! As for the bad stuff, Web MD recommends shutting down nasty rumors once you hear them. That, however, is easier said than done for most of us. Juicy gossip is juicy for a reason and we all love to hear it. From my research, the best attack on bad gossip is to really take into account all the facts; if something seems WAY to unlikely, it probably is. When it comes to the spreading of fake news on the internet, really do your due diligence. Check the source; are they a reliable outlet? Look at the wording of the article; is it articulate and unbiased or is it more like an old man yelling at the wind. 

In both personal gossip and fake news, I think you should use the ALL CAPS rule. If any article or person is speaking in all caps, it's probably bullshit. 

Look, I know I was supposed to get some "know" and I don't think that I solved the problem of gossip...but at least we know a bit more about why we do it and I did find out that we are not quite the garbage people we thought we were. But if you are prone to rampant rumor spreading, maybe you buy your very own Burn Book and write your garbage thoughts there, instead of speaking that trash out loud? Once you get it out of your system, tear those hurtful pages out and burn them; turn it into an actual burn book. Or just use it to spread the hot goss about your cats.  You can trash talk about and to your cats; they can't spread the hurtful rumors...because no one listens to cats. 

Get your own copy here:

Flask Friday! A Bloody Mary 3 Way

I can not think of a better way to close out true crime week than with a bloody Mary recipe. And not just one bloody Mary recipe; I'm go...