Friday, May 31, 2013

Why I Am Awesome Today

I don't really enjoy tooting my own horn. Really, I'm not a very egotistical person, but today, I am awesome. It all started with an impromptu visit to the local grocery store in town. I needed to get some nanners (that's Tyson talk for bananas) for a treat I'm making my Sidekick because he's coming home today. And he deserves treats.

Inside the store I went, in search of this one solitary item.

So, not unlike others, when I'm hungry and in a grocery store, I always end up buying way more stuff than I intended to buy. This trip had me purchasing mushrooms, a red pepper, a weird vegan udon bowl I wanted to try, a seven grain salad, bread, bananas and ... well, let's just say I ended up with way more than anticipated.

Especially since I didn't bring a bag to carry it home in.

For the record, I hate plastic bags. Hate them. Thankfully, the local grocery store doesn't have them. They encourage people to bring bags from home. Those people who don't have the reusable bags can borrow one or take their goods to go in a box. Well, I didn't want a box and I didn't want to borrow a reusable bag. Why? Because I have a crap load of them at home. Besides, there would be the added responsibility of returning it after.

Then, I came up with an idea.

I took off my scarf, which is really like a pashmina, and said, "No worries, I'll just use my scarf."

Now, I live in a hippy kind of town. And I am totally not saying this in a mean way. In fact, I love the fact that my town is so bohemian and strange. I fit in rather well. In a run-of-the-mill store, who knows what I would have been greeted with when I took my scarf off, but this woman seemed stoked on what I was about to do. I mean, at first she tried to convince me to take one of her reusable bags, because she didn't want to see my scarf ruined, but when she saw how it was coming together, she kind of got excited about it.

I even told her I was going to blog about it. To which she said if I could figure out a way to use it as a scarf and have it hold the groceries at the same time, I'd be golden.

Anyway, because I hate bags and am a bit of an odd duck. I packed all my groceries up in my purple and black checked scarf. Then I walked on out of the shop. To be honest with you, I kind of preferred it to the reusable bag. Not only was it cute and fashionable, but it worked really well. And when I got home, I simply untied the knots and BAM everything was unpacked at once.

To show you how I did this, and because you probably need proof, I took some pictures.

And this is why I am awesome today. Because I took something fashionable and made it functional with a use it wasn't even intended for.

What can I say? I keep myself entertained.

Groceries in the scarf.

Two corners tied together to create two handles. 

 All the crap crammed inside. 

 Me wearing my scarf. 

Compliments about how pretty I am are always welcome.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Most Amazing & Fluffy Vegan Rolls

A lot of you may know that I love to bake. More than anything, I enjoy creating perfect vegan food that people can't tell the difference when they eat. I often hear how 'vegan' breads and buns are often dense and not so tasty.

This isn't true.

Today I am sharing with you a most amazing recipe for dinner rolls, which can also be used to create the most mouth-watering, and soft, hamburger and hot dog buns. They are utter perfection, won't break the bank and are super easy  to make.

Here is the recipe:

1.5 Tablespoons active dry yeast (I use quick rise)
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons hot tap water
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg replacer (mixed up, usually 1.5 teaspoons egg replacer to 2 tablespoons water)
1 teaspoon salt
3 Cups all-purpose flour (enough to make a soft dough)


Combine yeast and hot water in a bowl. Add oil and sugar. Let rest for ten minutes. 

Add the egg replacer, salt and flour to form a soft dough.

On a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, 5-8 minutes. 

Do not let rise. 

If you are making dinner rolls, divide dough into 12 balls and place in a greased muffin tin. Muffin tins are great for creating perfect dinner rolls. That's a little baking trick I have for you! Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. 

If you are making hamburgers, divide into 6 balls and pat down a bit, put on a greased cookie sheet, let rise for 30 minutes. Same with hot dog buns, just shape them into little logs. This will make six of those too.  

For all of these, bake in the oven  at 425 for 8-12 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove from oven, brush the tops with margarine/butter (of the vegan variety) and let cool. 

Seriously, you won't be disappointed. 

Here are pictures of the ones I just baked! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Can See My Feet


One of those words people toss around to make others feel poorly when they want to cocoon themselves in a blanket of self-pity and moan about how cruel life is. There are a hundred examples to give someone to drive home the fact they shouldn't be complaining, because it could be worse. How many times have we all heard that?

It could be worse.

And that's the truth. The fact is, my day-to-day life isn't bad. So, I try to stay positive.

I have both my parents. Shoulders to cry on. A job. My body isn't overgrown with hair. People love me. Some of them, at least. I have Oliver. And Dixon. There are mountains and forests all around me.

And I can see my feet when I look down.

I have it pretty good.

I may be stuck under a mountain of debt, feeling as though I'm being suffocated by my inability to pay bills. There are feelings of inadequacy, worrying about letting my friends and family down, and wondering if I've made the right decisions in life.

Still, my day-to-day life isn't bad.

Sometimes it's hard remembering this.

Then a customer comes in and comments on how her daughter is going through chemo.

"How old is your daughter?" I asked.

And her reply?



It's a son of a bitch.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You're Not Going To Like This

Some of you may or may not know, I penned a fabulous story sort of novella thing for Pankhearst’s first publication Cars & Girls. I say fabulous because I am actually incredibly proud of what I’ve put on virtual paper. It’s raw and harsh, kick you in the gut, with a tormented leading lady and a shit ton of cuss words. The interesting part, as much as I like it, I tend to think you're not going to enjoy it at all.

Yeah, you, the one reading this. Okay, fine, maybe I should give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you love edgy, in your face stories about revenge with dirty sexy stuff and bloody gorrific twists too.

Still, here are the five reasons why you won’t like my story. OR, more so, five reasons why I think you're not going to like my story. Because, let's be honest, this is all in my head ... but we all have reservations about our work. Perhaps it's kind of brave of me to be able to put mine out there for you to read. Or perhaps not.

1 - The shit ton of cuss words. Alright, fine, you say you don’t mind a bitch here and an ass there. You think, if it benefits the story, then it will work for you. Then cool, I say, this might actually be a match made in heaven. work for you. And with labels such as tart noir, fem noir and pulp being tossed around like candy at Halloween, I only hope grandmothers aren't popping their false teeth in and lining up with their walkers to snatch this up as soon as it hits shelves. Then again, there are some rather edgy grandmothers in this world and, despite the stereotype, it’s not g-mas who are the uptight ones. If you’re a stuck up twenty-something year old who thinks masturbation is dirty or, dare I say, one of the PC Brigade of Yummy Mummys who fell in love with the virginal sparkly vampire who refused to drink human blood, well, this probably isn't going to end well. But I have a feeling you will be head-over-heels for 500. It’s really a very romantic story. (Cough-cough)

2 - There isn't a happy ending. And no, I'm not giving anything away, but there really, truly isn't a happy ending. If you’re reading this and thinking, she’s just saying that. I’m not. Personally, I think of it as a realistic ending and, if I am being honest, it leaves me with a comforting sort of feeling. Here’s the deal, this is the first thing I've ever put on virtual paper that doesn't end with sunshine coated strawberries and unicorns helping kittens across busy highways. Seriously. I am a fan of happy endings. Maybe that’s why I love Road Runner so much, because it’s different. For me. There are other people, like Nicholas Sparks who wouldn't be able to write a happy ending if someone held a gun to his head. No seriously. What the hell is wrong with that guy?

3 - On principle. It’s indie, which means, to some people, it’s unworthy. But I am a firm believer there are literary works of genius swimming around in the Indie pool. Little nuggets and gems waiting for someone to scoop them up and treasure them forever. I’m not saying this reflects my own work, no, my ego certainly isn't that big. Still, there are some people who will dislike it simply because there isn't a little Penguin stamped on the side. That said, the penguin is the cutest of all the publishing house logos.

4 - You were looking for an escape from the every day horribleness. There’s dirty stuff and angry stuff, harsh reality stuff and ‘ugh, gross’ stuff in Road Runner and you might want your stories sugar coated and tied up with pretty ribbon. A delightful package for you to undo at your leisure and enjoy every step of the way, riddled with brilliant insights and dazzling turns of events so sweet and lovely you have to cock your head to the side and say awwwww. Well, you might as well move along. In defence of Road Runner, it truly is woven together with lush sentences, so juicy and ripe they burst on your tongue with amazingness. Still, it won’t give you the hot chocolate and homemade cookies feeling you may be craving.

5 - Because you don’t like me. It happens. I get it. Maybe you don’t like my face. Or voice. Or hair. It’s up to you.

With all that being said, I sincerely hope I’m wrong and everyone loves it.

Do you ever have reservations about the things you create? Or is it just me? 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dear Mom:

Today, I miss you.

It's Mother's Day and all over the world there's brunches and poorly made cards being handed out. I don't have a card for you. Or flowers. And I won't get to see you. Not in person. Though, I do hope you pop up on Skype later.

I already talked to Dad. He said you were sleeping. That's one thing I will always remember about you. How you loved to sleep in. Some moms wake up at the crack of dawn and make breakfast. I remember being quite in the mornings to let you sleep. It's a nice memory. Besides, we were old enough to fix our own damn breakfasts.

There are a lot of things I think about when I sit down with you on my mind. Like right this minute, I am remembering how you used to lie on the floor and stretch your legs above you. I used to try to do it too. But, I couldn't. I remember those moments.

I know we have fought. What daughter hasn't battled it out with their own mother? It's almost a prerequisite for growing up, I guess. And I know, even now, I get short with you and temperamental. But that doesn't mean, not even in my most bitchy moments, that I don't love you. And appreciate you.

And miss you.

It's weird being over here. Sometimes I feel so supremely detached, but I am thankful I have you and this computer. The times we have talked in the last couple of months, how interested you are in this latest novel of mine, your encouragement. It means so much. You have no idea.

I love that I can swear when I talk to you.

That I don't have to pretend to be someone I am not.

There are mother/daughter relationships that are surface relationships. Not ours, though. I honestly think of you as one of my friends. One of the longest friendships I have ever had. You are someone I can tell anything to, even if it is something that is highly inappropriate, or a piece of information you really didn't need to know. But you don't judge me. You let me be me. And it's okay that I'm weird and like pirates and zombies.

Thank you for accepting me. I mean, I don't know if this is who you wanted me to become. It's probably unlikely that you looked down at the baby version of myself and said, "I want this girl to love horror movies and be an obsessive music nerd." Still, I hope I haven't disappointed you. I want you to be happy with me. Proud, even.

Last night, I couldn't really sleep, and I started thinking about you. Remembering these random little things from way back in the day. Like your macaroni and cheese, how you put Cheese Whiz in it. How you put ketchup in your spaghetti sauce. The Spearmint gum you used to chew, that smell still reminds me of you. Watching you put your make up on. The scent of your makeup bag. And that song you used to sing, the French one, this one:

So today, I miss you. And I wish you were a little closer to me so I could hug you and tell you I'm glad you're my mom.

I love you.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Deadly Sin

Today I am experiencing one of the deadly sins.

Well, technically, I've experienced a few. I made these really amazing buns for dinner and I wanted to stuff them all in my mouth. I didn't. By some miracle I managed to have a bit of restraint. Still, gluttony was present.

And lust is pretty much a given on any day of the week.

Let's all just hope my wrath never gets released. But those aren't the sins I am talking about. Nope. I'm talking about good old fashioned pride.

I am so incredibly proud of my Sidekick today.

One week ago, he quit smoking. This is a milestone. It is a stepping stone on the way to a happier and healthier life. Really, this is a huge thing. For him. For us. For me alone because I loathe smoking, the smell, the look, the everything.

But it isn't about me. It's about him. And it's something he's been trying to do for a long, long time. Cutting back. E-ciggies. Stressing about it. Then, bam, cold turkey.

And it's been a week. And that's amazing.

I myself haven't had an addiction before. I've never even smoked a cigarette in my life. True story. Not even a puff. So, when it comes to giving things up, I'm probably not the most understanding. I have this whole 'just do it' attitude, which is probably extremely annoying. Though, in my defence, I try to be supportive and understanding.

All this said, I'm so very proud and pleased for him. I mean, this has been one of those things needling me from behind. The truth is, I've dated a smoker before, and I swore I would never do it again. So, how did I end up here?

Well, this here Sidekick is freakin' adorable. Like beyond. And he makes me laugh.

Anyway, just saying, I'm proud. I want to sing it from the mountain tops and crap like that. I'll resort to simply posting about it. Now that I think about it, is pride a deadly sin if it's for someone else? I think not. Oh well. I'm not changing the title now.

Friday, May 3, 2013

I'm Tired

Today, I am tired. I woke up tired. Not sleepy. Just tired.

Tired of feeling cautious. Uncertain of my surroundings. Not sure of what to say or do. Or why I want to say and do what I want to say and do. It's complex, I suppose. Or maybe not. Maybe we all know exactly what I mean when I say I am tired of feeling cautious.

The tiredness goes beyond the uneasy feeling. I am tired of feeling heavy. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

Exhausted over money. Not having any. Like none. Being poor. Unable to buy groceries. Or a dress. A badly needed pair of shoes for work. Travelling is out, because gas is so expensive. Ferry rides are out. So my friends, those real life unvirtual ones, seem so far away. I did this to myself. No need to remind me. The bills are piling up. I'm getting frustrated with myself. And the worry, well, I'm so tired of worrying over money. Of having it be the soul thing I'm fretting over and having the lack of it mess up the good things, and taint the happiness I was feeling.

I'm tired of wanting a hug. And not wanting to ask for one at the same time.

More so, I'm tired of feeling fat, even though I know society's idea of what women should weigh is far under what is healthy. And though I know that. I still stress about my weight. Cellulite. Stretch marks. The jiggle in this wiggle. Even things I once loved aren't looking the same. Not while I'm wearing these tired glasses of mine. They make everything look so much more unattractive than it is.

Ugly. Tired of it as well. It's a beast. And it takes over.

The lack of undisturbed slumber is making me tired. In the true sense, though, not in the metaphorical or symbolic way. In the I-am-actually-tired sort of way.

I'm tired of having these random days where nothing seems to go right. Waking up angry, burning the toast, messing up breakfast, banging my head on a cupboard, staining my clothes, tearing my nylons, not being comfortable in my own skin, seeing the flaws and wondering where the fabulous is, biting my lips and making it bleed and wanting someone to say yes to something but they just keep saying no.

It's draining to feel as though life is simply slipping through my fingers as I worry and fret and lose sleep. It's scary to think I'm getting older and the bullshit keeping me awake is the same. It's crazy that one day I simply won't exist anymore and none of this will matter. It's strange that it really doesn't even matter now.

It's funny because it's all in my head.