‘Oh what a tangled web we weave/When first we practice to TikTok instead of sleep’
-Sir Walter Scott (the 2023 remix)
While unable to sleep the other evening, I got lost in the tangled web of TikTok cooking/recipe videos. It’s comical (or scary as fuck) how the audience targeting of the popular social media site can read your mind, not just your online and everyday activities. I relate it to how the lyrics of every Taylor Swift song know the exact feeling of every trauma, happiness, and mood you have ever been in throughout your entire life. Now, I don’t think Taylor has reporting and analytics programmed and calibrated inside her brilliant brain as she as writing these magical Nostradamus-esque ballads…HOWEVER, I do think she has an innate algorithm tapped directly into the human spirit. It’s genius and I feed off of it.
As my eyes gazed upon my Apple 14 Pro Max screen, I decided to take a much needed break from true-crime and cute otter videos to focus these twight hours into embracing the culinary stylings of chefs from all walks of life. Let’s do this.
I came across one particular video that inspired me. It involved boxed cake mix, an egg, confectionary sugar, and Cool Whip. Being a true creature of habit, I decided to take the idea and make it my own, doctoring the recipe to my own creation (which would obviously make it better).
Are they healthy? Fuck no. But I promise they won’t make you sad. Enjoy.
katie’s red velvet* orgasms
any box of red velvet cake mix
chocolate Jell-O pudding mix (in powder form, don’t make it)
tablespoon of vanilla extract
whole tub of Cool Whip (I used triple cream)
separate bowl of confectionary sugar
*please note that this recipe can be any flavor; simply swap the cake mix with the corresponding pudding. all other ingredients will remain.
You’d grab my head, with your fingers intertwined with my hair and hold me so close- breathing me in like it was oxygen.
You ran down the street as I was coming to pick you up because you didn’t want to miss a moment waiting for me to drive to you.
You got on a plane- clear on the other side of the country, to fly all day, just to drive two hours into Maine after you landed at night to see me in a bowling alley with coworkers you didn’t know.
You’d give me a card, saying the most amazing things.
You’d make the ahi meal I love so much.
You’d try to be creative with my favorite team: rookie cards, car doors, mini helmet, wall banner, tickets to the Missouri game.
You used to stop and purr- just looking at me.
Then you stopped. Everything.
I saw, felt and remember- you didn’t see me:
You’d put your son first, even though he was wrong and abusive towards me.
You’d ignore that I went above and beyond to make every birthday special for him- making his favorite cake or sending him friends money so they could.
You’d ignore that when his clothing didn’t fit, I’d order online the sizes he needed knowing they didn’t sell them in the stores.
You’d ignore when I’d make his or his friends special meals, so he or they felt welcome.
You’d ignore my hurt at his constant entitlement, demeanor and attitude towards me – even when I helped him go to see his girlfriend at the mental hospital, paid for flights, paid for any and everything.
You ignored the fact I tried. Everything.
I saw, felt and remember- the YOU people don’t get to see, ever, aside from me:
You’d walk out of the police department, to take whatever meal, coffee, kiss, or cold drink I’d (sometimes hours coming from work or just waiting for you) out of my way to bring you- because I wanted to give you a kiss or see you- just to grab it and walk away as quickly as you could.
You’d get jealous on every vacation we ever went on.
You’d shush me. EVEN WHILE WATCHING MY GAMECOCKS.
You’d ignore the fact that the house was filled with food, new linens, cleaned, warm, with dinner cooking- and a cocktail waiting on the counter- even though I had a long day too.
You’d ignore every time I got up early to make you something to eat or pack your lunch- because you don’t eat until noon now.
You’d ignore when I was hurting the most, when I was silent for days or crying.
You’d yell at me. Knowing it was too much.
You ignored the fact you went through two academies and college- while I took care of our home, and made sure you were encouraged and supported. Did you ever notice that took place until now?
You’d judge me. Even when you knew it was hard for me to be honest and open up.
You’d ignore the fact I was lonely, even when you were here.
You’d take extra shifts, even after being gone for so many days.
You put me second and third. Every time.
You’d take from me, so many things- and then be frustrated with me for noticing it because I felt unappreciated, used, and unloved.
You’d be in a good mood on your terms, if you felt like it, when you wanted. But if I craved it, you’d refuse.
You didn’t see me, but blamed me for hiding myself- when I was right in front of you.
You ruined it. You ruined EVERYTHING.
I saw, felt and remember- when you refused to show up for me:
You always ignored if I was uncomfortable. I don’t get uncomfortable, so if I do- doesn’t that say something?
I can count on one hand the amount of times you danced with me in the living room when I would ask- for only a moment. It might be a little ironic that the last time you actually did, it was to Garth Brooks’ The Dance. (See Lyrics at bottom of post)
You took voluntary police details WHEN I WAS BEDRIDDEN and my body was so weak and lifeless for 3 months.
You told me you purposely ignored me FOR A MONTH when my animal died.
We’d make love- and all I wanted was for you to tell me how you felt, kiss my neck, and be in the moment, but YOU put YOU first. This wasn’t a result of a *disorder*, this was ignoring what turned me on. But it’s my fault I didn’t let you try? You had the answer and ignored it. EVERYTIME.
I saw, felt and remember- the conclusion:
I have felt like the maid, waiter, whore, cook, servant, assistant, child, bitch, complete asshole, gremlin, sugar momma, and provider- for years. Do you even see how much you took advantage of me? Had you ever stopped, put your ego aside, and considered it?
You’ve said, “this is not a two way street.” I very much agree.
Would YOU try after years of that? Would YOU try after years of seeing, feeling, and remembering all of that pain that hurt me enough to leave? Would you? You ignored the fact I tried, so many times, but my love wasn’t good enough for you.
I gave you me. You said you didn’t like me.
So, I left- because I LIKE ME.
…Fast Forward 1 year.
Thank you for publicly posting our private situation by changing your Facebook status for all to see throughout what has been the most awkward and unsettling year of my life. Because grown men are supposed to care about a facebook status…
(yes, that is 100% sarcasm)
I call this post my retaliation to that behavior. oh, hey.
As a 53 year old man, the lack of grace, tact, taste, and couth you’ve shown is astounding, yet fascinates me- almost to a titillating degree. Then again, it’s the first time you’ve given me any kind of stimulation in the past 12 years. So, I should be thanking you.
In closing, I took your advice most recently that I should “open up to someone for once, cause it might make me feel better.”
You know what. It does!
Guess now I can focus on my poodle* (definition, see below) you so politely told me to go get. The beauty of it is, I never needed a poodle. I only need me.
Bless your heart, Brad.
a type of man who fits all high standards of a perfect man according to katie. he is educated, preppy, pretty/handsome, tall, well dressed, funny, charming, challenges one to make them a better person, enjoys the finer things, successful, maybe has a little bit of an arrogance, enjoys college football, enjoys traveling, will drink chardonnay and eat oysters with me on the water- while completely skipping work, enjoys going out to dinner, enjoys traveling, is strong in both mind & body to an alpha degree, doesn’t mind throwing someone against a wall and kissing them deep and slow, isn’t afraid to use a little (or a lot of) dirty talk, and allows me to have orgasms.
Garth Brooks- The Dance (Lyrics)
Looking back on the memory of The dance we shared ‘neath the stars above For a moment all the world was right How could I have known that you’d ever say goodbye
And now I’m glad I didn’t know The way it all would end, the way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance
Holding you, I held everything For a moment wasn’t I the king If I’d only known how the king would fall Hey, who’s to say, you know I might have changed it all
And now I’m glad I didn’t know The way it all would end, the way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance
If our lives are better left to chance Oh, our lives are better left to chance Oh, our lives are better left to chance
I could have missed the pain But I’d have had to miss the dance
Social media is that thing no one expected, but now many can’t live without. I have friends who commonly take screen-breaks or detoxes, give it up for lent, suspend their accounts, delete the apps – all in an effort to break the habit of the constant digital voyeurisms that take over their most valuable asset- time.
I get it, but embrace it. In fact, I’d probably do the same, but in being I use it for work- I simply cannot.
I have been working in the world of marketing/advertising/pr for the majority of my adult life- and actually went to school to do exactly those things. The social media element of marketing didn’t exist when I was sitting within the walls of the Carolina Coliseum, aside from AOL Instant messenger. So, I had to learn in real-time, as they happened- over and over again.
This recon came in handy when helping the people in my network. I am commonly asked, “What are the rules of how to make XYZ platform work?” Now, I do not pretend to be the foremost thought-leader in the rules of engagement via social media, but I have done it a long time, successfully.
Story Time/Fun Fact: I ran a Sheriff campaign here in NH a few years ago.
Backstory: The incumbent Sherriff was retiring. The “powers that be” had chosen someone to fill the seat who would not ruffle feathers and also had the backing of the local dignitaries- aka, they would have a puppet. The candidate had a 2 year jump start on my guy and three-times the budget. Looking from the outside in- they had an unscathed path to victory.
Keyword there: Had. My marketing strategy and social media content were so powerful for this campaign, the opposing Sherriff candidate’s team started COPYING my efforts- sometimes verbatim. I’m flattered by the fact they actually had to TRY because they took for granted that sometimes strategy and effort WILL overshadow the connected.
It took a LOT of patience and creativity to come up with content their team couldn’t possibly mimic, but I did it. They kept trying, though. By the end of the campaign, my husband made a passing comment to the guilty gentleman on their team, something along the lines of, “Where should my wife send the bill?” Yeah, you know what you did.
Did we win? No. BUT- we did win 23 of the 27 cities in the county- and only lost by 600 votes. Not bad at all for 1/3rd of the budget AND time on the campaign trail. I call it a win on another level, but that’s also why I’m telling you this story. Also, I didn’t collect one penny; the work made it completely worth it. THE END
I digress. back to the fun stuff.
Here are some good rules of thumb for social media. I welcome your feedback or any additional advice that can aid in my constant desire to become better and learn as much as possible. As always, these opinions are my own and pardon any mistakes. I am human.
Use the formula for posting in a pattern that will encourage engagement: promotional, factual, personal.
Promotional: Sharing information that relates to your company. This is a great tool to get users to go to the website and increase the numbers, but use it on a 33% share of voice. Overusing this one item in particular will encourage people to unfollow/snooze for 30 days/hide your content.
Factual: ANYTHING fact based and not opinion. Weather, upcoming seasons or events, “Did you know” type scenarios, “Top 10”, state of affairs, general knowledge that is interesting.
Personal: Show you. Show behind the scenes, your colleagues, your favorites- encourage people to share their favorites of a certain something, be a human people can relate to.
Remember your posts are ONLY visible to users who engage with your content- unless they go directly to your page.
If users are not engaging, the social media platforms will use the algorithm to hide your content and distribute new content the user WILL engage with- this is a fact.
Try to mix UPBEAT stories with the very depressing/toxic/bipolar media atmosphere that is currently taking over. Posting on the same topic over and over is no bueno.
PEOPLE LOVE LISTS.
USE IMAGES AND VIDEOS!
Make a habit of taking too many pictures and capture :10-:30 seconds of video when you are doing anything and everything that you might share. Mix it up.
Some subjects can invite a flame war. Be careful discussing things where emotions run high (e.g. politics and religion) and show respect for others™ opinions.
DO NOT FEEL THE NEED TO FOLLOW CURRENT EVENTS FOR CLICK-BATE.
...but it is an easy way to get people to your social media pages using the appropriate hashtags.
Know what the current conversations are and what people are saying in order to see if, and how, you may be able to contribute a new perspective.
Always pause and think before posting.
Don’t pick fights, be the first to correct your own mistakes, and don’t alter previous posts without indicating that you have done so. Transparency builds trust- and I think we all agree the world could use a little genuine trust right now.
Try to add value to people’s lives. Provide worthwhile information and perspective. Your brand is best represented by its people, and what you publish may reflect both your company and you.
Speak in the first person. Use your own voice. Bring your own personality to the forefront.
Say what is on your mind. This makes it more relatable- which encourages engagement. Don’t try to use wording you think should be used. Be real.
BE INFORMED BEFORE- not after.
Utilize the “story” feature on your accounts. It’s a fun, quick and dirty way to keep people engaged with you.
Use the animated emojis, music, etc. to make it more fun and entertaining
Remember you can keep these to have as “highlights” on your respective pages
Get a CANVA account and learn how to use it. You will thank me later. This adds an element of professionalism, creativity and buttoned-up look and feel. You do not need to be or hire a graphic designer with this platform/software.
Don’t use it all the time
Learn how to manipulate the layouts to make them your own
Be sure that all content associated with you is consistent with your work and with you/your company’s values and professional standards.
Dishonorable content such as profane language, racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability slurs should not be tolerated UNLESS it is part of your brand.
Hello. I decided to take a step away from my usual themes and write about something I have been secretly passionate about for years now: skincare.
It definetly started back in 2009ish, when I had a boyfriend who was not so nice to me; I believe the term was “acne faced, wrinkled bitch.” Followed by a friend who made an off-handed comment to me of, “you could use a chemical peel.” And then the cherry was someone I didn’t know well at all, who came up to me after my return to NH, once giving me a look-over said, “Yeah, I’m getting old too.”
OH. HELL. NO.
Thus begun my journey to find the perfect skincare regimen and turn back whatever the hell everyone else was seeing on my face, that apparently I had not noticed. So it began.
Chemical peels, microdermabrasion, Botox, fillers, monthly facials- followed by THOUSANDS of dollars in any and every skincare line I had heard of, read aboout, seen on TV, etc. etc. There was no end in sight. I’m not going to name every brand because most of them test on animals, and I really do not want to give them the hyperlinks, backlinks or any other SEO help to boost sales and hurt more defenseless animals.
First step: Find a medical aesthetician. No problem.
I will say, due to one of the foremost injectors in the country, my face saw years come off it almost instantly. To this day, I rely on her talent and grace to keep me feeling my best, without overdoing it. Yes, she does say no if she feels I don’t need it. Most med spas will just take your money and not think twice. No, I don’t look like the damn cat lady, Jocelyn Wildenstein. I just look like I was supposed to, had I taken better care of my skin from the start.
Listen, I know that vainty is literally a sin- and as a good Catholic girl, well- I’m supposed to break the rules anyway. However, I still had not found the skincare products that perfectly worked with me on an every day basis.
Next step: Find a skincare line that works.
I’m digressing from the point of what I wanted to write about… so we will now fast forward to 2019, where I found the products that I had been looking for, for an entire decade: Save the Wave Skincare.
Side note: no, this is not sponsored, nor did they ask me to write this. I think it’s important to share something amazing when you find it. Maybe I will help someone else who is hurting.
The products from this skincare line are all developed by two friends of mine, who happen to be sisters. One is a Nurse Practitioner and the other is a Physician Assistant- both educated at Duke. (So, they are wicked smaht)
The thing I love the most about this company, is that every product has EVERYONE in mind, including the planet and the little creatures who live on it. From SPFs with a mineral base, making it safe to go ito the ocean and not destroy the reefs, plastic-free shampoos, conditioners and skincare soaps, to vegan and gluten-free items- it’s just all thoughtful and created with purpose. ALL of it is cruelty-free. The very best part about all of it is this: my skin has never looked or felt better. I actually LOVE telling people I am 41 for the reaction.
Aside: I know what you’re thinking- “she gets Botox, etc” but if you know anything about skincare, you’d know that needles alone don’t do it. You need a daily regimen to keep it up and smooth out the details. And this is it. (well, for me personally)
There are SO MANY MORE items that would be perfect for many different concerns, the ones I listed just happen to work for me.
My favorite items that are not “regimen” based:
EVERY shampoo is insane. I cannot pick a favorite because they all work and all smell delicious.
EVERY soap works fantastic on my skin. You’d have to read the descriptions to figure out which would be good for your skincare concern.
The cream deodorants smell so good- and actually work, without the chemicals that people are flipping out these days. Charcoal Spearmint is my current favorite, but I love the Lemongrass too.
I could go on an on because I have tried 99% of their collection. Actually, my husband has too- and he loves it just as much. In fact, this is one of the only times I was confused as to why something was running out, and got the response, “I thought what is mine is yours?” ha ha. Well, okay then. He even lets me put the masks on him.
I have to say, looking back on every bully who has ever crossed my path, I love looking at my life right now and smiling. Some day I will get into the detail of true bullying I have dealt with over the course of my life, but for now, I will stick with the ones who made me look in the mirror and love what I look like today.
It’s been a while since I have written (you know, life and all), and I promise I am not turning this into a recipe blog, but I do have one that I must share due to popular request.
If you’ve read this post, you’d know my feelings about Halloween. If not, don’t worry- you won’t miss anything. I digress.Â
This year I had a bunch of leftover Halloween candy. Big bars. I pondered what to do with the leftovers (I was shocked to have leftovers, considering I let people take 2), so instinctually I thought of my colligate step son, Gunnar. I feel bad because the moment I text him about mailing it down to him- to which he replied “YES!”- I already had another idea for what I was going to do with it. Oops. Sorry, Gunnar. Next time. Maybe.Â
Disclaimer: it doesn’t have to be “leftover” Halloween candy to make these. You can totally make them on purpose with purchased candy bars from the grocery store.Â I’ll allow it. Â
Ingredients:Â (caveat: I do NOT measure, all sizing is approximate)
Before we begin- preheat that oven to 375. If you have access to music or a Kitchen TV, please put on your favorite background noise. I believe I was watching Nurse Jackie at the time. It very well could have been Gossip Girl, but I’m pretty confident it was NJ.Â
NOW, what you’ll need:
3 cups of Oats (I mean really, start the day with Quaker)
Extra Halloween Candy chopped.Â For mine, I used Snickers, Reese’s Fast Break and Reese’s Outrageous Pieces. Don’t chop them tiny- I suggest once down the center and then in 1/4 inch cuts. I believe I used a bout 4 BIG bars in all.
I like to melt the butter, then blend the sugar until its smooth. Add vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl- combine flour, salt and baking soda. Then add oats to the powder mix.Â SLOWLY combine the powder to the sugar/butter/vanilla mix until all combined.Â NOW add our chocolate chips, then finally the candy pieces. Should be a nice thick mix of wonderfulness at this point. If I missed anything, just add it.Â
Put tsp or TBS spoon size portions on a baking sheet (cookie sheet silicone is a miracle)- about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool on cookie rack. They WILL be mushy right out of the oven, so be delicate about getting them onto cooling rack. That will change to a chewy deliciousness you can hide in a cookie jar or do something a little more adventurous.
On this very cold March day, I decided to create a meal that isn’t very diet friendly: tomato basil bisque & grilled cheese with truffle butter. I’ll start planning for bikini season tomorrow.
After a first tasting, I decided I would share my recipes for all to enjoy.Â They areÂ that good.
I used a crockpot and a Ninja for the soup. A stove with a frying pan for the sandwich.
Spices needed: pepper, sea salt, garlic powder (or save yourself some time and just buy Camp Mix)
When you hit the grocery store, this is your list for the soup:
1 bunch of fresh basil
2 cans of 14oz organic diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes diced that would equal 28oz- if you have the time)
1 CAN (yes, can-not a jar) of organic tomato sauce
either a block of parmesan cheese or a bag of fresh grated parmesan
1 container of organic chicken broth
butter (I like the sea-salted)
1 small container of heavy cream (I went with Hood).
And for the sandwich:
1 block ofÂ cheese (I went with gouda, but you pick theÂ kind you like best)
truffle butterÂ (most Whole Food-like grocery stores will carry this, if not, then find a nice truffle oil and weÂ can melt down the butter and mix this in)
bread (Listen, we NEVER have bread in the house, so you know this is a big deal. Anyway, I went with a gorgeous Tuscan Pane White)
Optional ingredients I know my husband will request: tomato and/or any kind of meat.
As far as how much of what to add for the soup- I never follow recipes to a T. IÂ always wing it for taste. Gordon Ramsey would be pleased. The only ingredients I actually “limited” before throwingÂ into the crockpot were of the dairy and spice categories. I used 4 tbsp of butter and a good pour of the cream that probably amounted to 3/4 a cup.Â The parmesan cheese I did a healthy handful…and then added some more. As for the spices, just add to taste.Â It’s all up to you, really.Â Â
To cook soup: add ingredients to the crockpot and set on high for 3 hours. I went ahead and blended all the ingredients (to make it a more smooth consistency, but you can keep it chunky if you like) in my Ninja after about an hour, and then added it back to the crockpot to continue to simmer. Add fresh basil on top to garnish.
For the sandwich, I would start by truffle-buttering one side two slices of bread. I might even use the truffle butter to oil the pan. Hey- I love truffles and butter, don’t judge. I think by this point if you don’t know how to make a grilled cheese from here then I certainly would be delighted to help you: butter-side-down bread to pan, cheese (add as much as you like), bread-butter-side-up. Heat on medium. I would do 3 minutesÂ and then flip, making sure the butter side is again downÂ (but you keep checking to make sure it gets a nice brown, not black). My husband would have me add two slices of tomato with the cheese, but I go with the basics.
I suggest making more than one sandwich. Don’t worry, it will get eaten. NowÂ serve, dip and enjoy.
I haven’t written in a while. Sure, I have sat down to write many times, but just couldn’t formulate my thoughts enough to do them justice. Until today.
If you could put a medical diagnosis on a period of time I would classify 2016 as bipolar.
1.having or relating to two poles or extremities. “a sharply bipolar division of affluent and underclass”
2. (of psychiatric illness) characterized by both manic and depressive episodes, or manic ones only.
Seriously. You. Have. No. Idea. Or perhaps you do in your own world. If so, you are not alone in thinking that 2016 was bipolar.
I’ll begin with a bit of history, 2015.
2015 Seemed like the upswing of amazingness; bought a house, went on an amazing and romantic West Coast trip, got engaged, work was successful, my father was seemingly feeling better from his treatments, and I can actually remember being in the car smiling- thinking THIS IS AWESOME.
I remember immediately thinking after that- this will all come to an end soon. Well, then we welcomed 2016. Oh hello.
Here are some of the lows and highs of the year from my imperfect point-of-view.
Low: Terrorism is at an all-time high to where I am actually afraid to go anywhere.
High: I started planning our wedding! Date, venues, vendors, priests, wedding party, favors and dress. Check.
Low: Our political system went from stupid to something Cypress Hill would sing about- and now the writers of SNL have fallen into a deep hole of the same boring shit every week. We get it. You are bummed Hillary lost and you like mocking Trump. Can you please move the fuck on and bring back Justin Timberlake or Andy Samberg? Or both? Thanks.
High: The Ice Bucket Challenge actually made a breakthrough in ALS research!
Low: We lost so many people in 2016 that TIME MAGAZINE’s Person of the Year is the Grim fucking Reaper! I mean we lost the ultimate creator of the chick-flick, Willy Wonka, the crazy heiress who slapped a cop and married nine men, Professor Snape, the guy who invented that ice tea & lemonade drink that Gunnar and my father loves, the boxer who makes the argument in Coming to America’s barbershop scene come to a close, Dr. Jason Seaver, the Russian dude from the new Star Trek movies, an astronaut, “The Artist,” Patty Duke, Scrooge McDuck, Janet Reno, Natalie Cole, Grizzly Adams, Miss Cleo, Punky Brewster’s dad (on the show), the mayor who famously says “Bring me the Ghostbusters!”, the man who wrote Hallelujah, the guy who wrote Hotel California, Mr. Hockey, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Larry Sanders, R2-D2, Mrs. Brady, Bowie, the man who made the sentence “I want your sex” actually make sense, Princess Leia AND her mother, and SO MANY MORE. We have been depleted of so much talent. I fear for the tasteless and vulgar “comedy” stylings of the Amy Schumers of the world that we are left with. I miss the time when there was a little mystery and grace.
Side note: yes, I know I swear a lot, so I’m not saying that I am graceful. At all. I digress.
High: I got accepted into the MBA program at UNH for Spring 2017 and Brad got commended for saving a man’s life!
Low: Hatred of EVERYBODY is at an all-time high. I have never before seen anything like this and it scares me every day my husband puts on his uniform. People are being killed for the sake of being killed every single day. In America! I understand that comment might come off ignorant, as people have always died every single day, and now because of social media we are more aware of it, but it feels like its gratuitous sport at this rate.IT NEEDS TO STOP.
High: We got 10 chickens! I was told not to name them, but I did. I mean, I had to have a Cocky. Don’t worry- I kept Brad in mind as I named the biggest yellow one Clay Matthews.
Low: We lost all but one of our chickens to a jerkface fox. You don’t know sad until you see 9 piles of feathers all over your yard. 🙁 RIP Chicken Cocky and Chicken Clay Matthews. That one remaining chicken now lives with our neighbors- who also have chickens. I suggested bringing him in the house to be domesticated, but I guess that isn’t a thing. I tried.
High: Brad finished our beautiful home inside and out. We bought a house, but Brad made it a home with his talent and craftsmanship. Work was good for us and our relationship has been stronger than ever.
Low: Brad lost the two women in his life who raised him. First his mother, Barb. Her failing health just overcame her very slim frame and she took her last breath in February. Then, in July, her younger sister Joanie followed. I don’t know exactly what took her from this life, but I truly believe it was a broken heart. They were best of friends. They were crazy, silly, Wisconsin-salt-of-the-earth women, with good hearts and bright red hair. They raised one of the most amazing men I have ever met in my entire life. Celebrities had nothing on these two women.
High: I got a job offer from an amazing company, Lindt & Sprungli. It was a hard decision to leave the Boston Globe, but the close proximity to home (for my father) and dream position of finally being able to create something had me hooked.
And now for the finale:
Lowest Low: My father’s seemingly dormant prostate cancer came alive and his failing health took an evil turn for the worst as it hit his liver. This was an extremely rare cancer, as apparently prostate cancer metastasizing to the liver doesn’t happen often (so I was told). The real hit was that he kept the actual state of his health from me- so I wasn’t prepared. I never really knew the whole truth. “All you get to know is that I am sick” was what he said to me. Finally, without wanting to be a burden on anyone, and with the full knowledge that he was losing his freedoms with every moment, he took his own life on June 16th. He was only 68.Â What I do know from this horrible loss is that my father loved Brad and Gunnar. He blessed our upcoming marriage. He blessed Brad as a son. He let me know how proud he was of me and that he loved me very much. He taught me to be confident within myself vs. seek approval. What I wouldn’t give to have him randomly show up, too early in the morning, for pancakes, bacon and orange juice- with pulp. We miss him every single day. I have now made steps to join the Death with Dignity movement. You should too because you never know what hand you’ll be dealt later.
Highest High: Brad and I got married in the most wonderful celebration I have ever known in Portsmouth, NH. Aside from the lows of the year, we were able to put it aside for one day and celebrate our love. We had friends and family come from all over the country to join us on this champagne and blush, with a touch of Tiffany blue day. We marched down the isle to the most beautiful music of Craig Armstrong (I walked in around the 6 min mark). Gunnar gave the most amazing best man speech on the planet. The music was fun and lively, by the talented Julie Kramer of RadioBDC. The event planner Casey at our reception space managed our small group of 100 like a pro. Holy good food! Just go there for dinner and imagine that quality of food-multiplied. Nicole Friedler couldn’t have taken better pictures. Everyone got along and laughed the whole day. This might have had something to do with the open bar, but I’m going to take it. And sure, our wedding party was of comical size, and the flower girl refused to turn around for pictures, but we got it done….in a blue 488 Ferrari (Thank you, Ezra!). Our honeymoon on Key West and Little Palm Island was warm and offered the spoils we needed to congratulate us on our nuptials. We did it!
If you can believe it, there are some more lows and highs that have happened this year, but I’m a little spent rehashing all of it. I’ll leave it with what I have recorded and save the rest for another time. You get the picture anyway.
OH! Almost forgot- did I forget to mention today Brad and I have been together five years? Yep! Five years since that first day he opened the gate in my Chicago apartment, touched my hand and changed my life. We are spending the evening at a resort in Maine, and then back home to celebrate our first Christmas as husband and wife.
Intolerance. When you look above at the definition- it’s horrible in orientation. Just the reading of it makes people immediately defensive, at least that’s what I think.Â No one wants to admit that they could be intolerant- quite the opposite. The irony is that every person I have ever met who preaches against “intolerance” of their fellow man is, in fact, the intolerant! (I felt that sentence needed an exclamation point) Unless you believe exactly what they believe, how they believe it, to the degree and manner of such belief, then they are intolerant of YOU. The Mad-Hatter has nothing on these crazies.
I hate to say this to my preachy friends, but theyÂ then become the exact synonym of theirÂ very own dictation. It’s kinda funny if you pay attention to it, or it will equally drive you mad.
I have been in conversations where someone(s) claimed to be of the utmost liberal, free-thinking, open-hearted human(s) on the planet. I warn you, these are the worst of the “intolerant” thinkers. When you speak to them, they will yell. Instead of fact or logic, they revert to name-calling and lots of adjectives. Their ability to reject, block and resist, with the force of the Heisman Trophy,Â even the sound of your voice as you try to interject even the smallest opinion is a gift worthy of that aforementioned award. “You can’t possibly have an original thought! Just agree with me, or I shall continue yelling until you concede! It’s my way or the highway, pal!” It’s these aggressive, knee-jerking, illogical reactions that should clue you into this strange being.
If you are an educated person, then this rigmarole will be clear. If still in the “vulnerable” category, then I give you this caveat: be careful not to fall victim of the persuasion into this dark hole of punitive behavior.
Not to sound like an old fart, but I feel bad for the youth of today. The voices that are carried the furthest through social media are that of theÂ intolerant. The majorityÂ of them do not have an interest to believe in God, or any sort of a faith, yet will boast of the anti belief. The voices speak more of hate, fear and insubordination. They guide the masses toÂ gather in support of criminals and push hate and intolerance on those who protect us- without bothering to pay attention to any of the evidence or facts. I don’t know about you, but this scares the shit out of me.
Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit. -Â Mahatma Gandhi
Fun Fact: A third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook,” according to Divorce Online. And more than 80 percent of U.S. divorce attorneys say social networking in divorce proceedings is on the rise, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.Â May 24, 2012
Don’t take social media so damn personally! Seriously.
I write this note with so many stories to back up my feelings on it, yet am a hypocrite, as I have been subject to falling for the craziness that sets in resulting from over sensitivity to social media interactions. I’ll admit it. (insert brave face) I’m not ashamed. Side note: totally ashamed to have acted as such. I vow moving forward not to just bitch and give advice, but to practice what I preach.
This morning I wrote up some advice for a friend and I felt I would share. I’m not saying I channeled Hesse, circa 1922Â Siddhartha, but I felt inspired.Â
Words of advice I learned along the way regarding social media:
If people are heated about a topic on a public forum (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), it’s probably best to keep your opinion to yourself- unless you are prepared for the heat to be directed at you.
If you don’t understand a conversation, stay out of it. Not your problem.
If the conversation is not directed at you, stay out of it. Â Not your problem.
If something is posted on social media that you don’t agree with- ignore it. Not your problem. Do you really want the drama?
If you insert yourself into someone else’s conversation- you are actually making the reaction your problem. It is 100% your fault if someone doesn’t agree with your engagement. You should have stayed out of it in the first place. (All together now) It wasn’t your problem.
If you docommit to putting it out there for all the world to read, own it.
If someone unfriends you on social media, or blocks you from a group or discussion- they were not your friend to begin with and you shouldn’t let it bother you. Have you had lunch with this person? Would you invite them to your Christmas party? No. Then why are yo so upset? They are not as wonderful as you anyway.Â Move on.
Don’t humble brag; It’s REALLY annoying.
I support the friends, colleagues, family and business portion of social media; Sharing life’s happenings, new developments, homes, babies, break ups, work news, pets, relationship happiness and promotions for brands (obviously). I do not support the part that causes drama anymore. Additionally, if you’re interested in learning how to read a paystub, it might be the best option for you and your business. Explore the power of paystubs and their significance in managing finances effectively.
For those of you who know me well, will smile at that last word. For those of you who don’t,Â probably are not meeting me for lunch anytime soon- and can consider themselves unfriended. Don’t take it personally, I know I won’t. Â 🙂
Keep it simple. I find that when life is boring, I smile a hell of a lot more. Try it.Â