If I was into the whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing, this just might be mine

This is my first post of the new year, but it’s by no means one of those “new year, new me” inspirational-type posts people get crazy and write at the beginning of a new year. I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, and I plan on being the same mediocre writer this year as I was last year and years’ past.

That just came off super pessimistic, and I didn’t really intend it to. I just sometimes wonder why I can’t be a more dedicated writer. After all, after putting minimal thought into what I’m about to say next, I’ve realized that I’m not really “great” at any one particular thing, except maybe writing. I’m good at a lot of different things, and that’s cool. It’s what has made me so versatile over the years, and probably what’s also made me feel like I’ve never really fit into one specific type of “person” category (whether that’s a positive thing or not, I’m not really sure). I’m blessed with the natural ability to dance and move my body in a way that isn’t awkward or terrifying to the people around me, but I would very likely lose to someone else in a dance-off. Mainly because I repeat the same dozen dance moves over and over, and tend to incorporate a lot of head bobbing and face making into my improv routine. I’d like to think doing that makes me look like a female version of Ne-Yo, but more than likely I just end up looking like this:

kristen wiig.gif

I also have the natural inclination of being musically-talented; though never formally trained, I inherited a good set of pipes from my mother, and the ability to, like the rest of my family, play the guitar in a good-enough manner to resemble music. But I never had the range of both my mom and my sister to hit the high notes, and my guitar-strumming abilities are limited to the 10 or so main chords that make up any basic hit (but I guess that’s mainly my fault because I refuse to learn bar chords or anything that has to do with Bm). I’m good at yoga, but don’t do it frequently enough to call myself a yogi. I’m naturally athletic (enough to the point that I shocked all of Kevin’s colleagues on our co-ed softball team when I was able to proficiently catch, throw, hit, and run the bases during our intramural games; I honestly didn’t think catching a softball and throwing it to the next baseman was all that difficult, but apparently a lot of women can’t do it), but I haven’t been faithful as an athlete to any one particular sport since I played soccer in high school 10 years ago. As far as hobbies go, I’ve never really stuck with anything long enough to become skilled at it. I usually try it, get good enough to where I can perform above a beginner’s level, and consider it mastered. I’ve always been difficult to please, and it isn’t necessarily that I get bored with things easily, I just want to try so many different things I don’t feel there’s enough time to stick with one thing for a prolonged period of time. Except for writing.

For me, writing has always been the one go-to that I was just naturally born talented at (at least I think I am; people tell me I have a way with stringing groups of words together, but who can really say?). Maybe that’s why I neglect it so much more than I should. In a way, I’m probably taking it for granted, just assuming my talents will always be there no matter what. Because really, just like anything else, if I don’t hone my craft, it will probably just wither away, won’t it? Like an ill-watered houseplant, so desperate for a drink it’s willing to sacrifice its beautiful leaves in a last ditch effort to preserve its roots, its soul.

See? I can totally write things.

As I said before, I don’t make resolutions. I think it’s good to have goals, but resolutions seem too fleeting, like, the moment you achieve it, you will give yourself a nice pat on the back and revert to your old ways. I also don’t like the idea of using a new year as an excuse to stop being one way and start being another. If you want to make a change in your life, just fucking do it.

Therefore, I’m not going to make any resolutions for 2016. But I will say that I’d like to try to be more dedicated to my craft, because writing is basically all I’m really great at. And I’m okay with that. But if I don’t stop ignoring what I was pretty much put on this earth to do, I might not be able to do it well anymore. And that would be a tragedy. So hopefully for you, my faithful followers, you’ll be hearing a lot more from me this year than you did last year.

Who knows, maybe I’ll become so dedicated to my writing in 2016 that I’ll actually finish my novel and get it published, and my non-resolution this time next year will be writing a follow-up, or better yet, retiring early.

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It’s sort of incredibly depressing being a full-blown adult (at least as far as Halloween’s concerned)

Being a “real teacher” now, with all the real responsibilities that go with it, is pretty fantastic. But it’s also slightly depressing and incredibly stressful. I wouldn’t mind so much any other time of year except for now, being a 1/4 of the way through the school year, in the thick of it, and being smack dab in the middle of my favorite month of the year. And barely having the time to plan a fabulous Halloween party, or attend all the haunted houses in my general vicinity, or find the perfect ensemble for Kevin and my Beetlejuice/Lydia costume (and also being too brain-fried to know if I even just worded that correctly. Kevin and my? Kevin and mine? Kevin’s and my? I don’t even care anymore).

Even though our house is finally decked out in all its creepiness (and the neighbors probably think we are psychos, which we might just be), and even though we have already attended several haunted attractions, and even though we have done the annual corn maze & pumpkin picking, I still feel like this holiday, my holiday, the best time of the year, is slipping out of my grasp. And fast. We’re already 15 days into October? Um, excuse me, when did that even happen? I wish I could just press the pause button on this month until I have a chance to catch up on all the things I wait 11 months out of the year for. Ugh.

Since I’m basically too busy/exhausted/apathetic to write anymore, I can say with 98% certainty that I won’t be publishing any sort of horror movie marathon list this year. So for those of you who have any interest, please refer to years’ past here, here and here.

And for those of you who don’t care, don’t like scary movies or are just too lazy to click an external link, here are some pictures of our “murder house” for you to delight your senses with. Happy Haunting. photo 3

photo 2


Filed under Entertainment, Humor, Opinion

Delicious shrimp tacos

Okay, I know I said this wasn’t a food blog, and I’m definitely not a gourmet chef, but I have another (EASY) delicious recipe I want to share- shrimp tacos! I have made them for dinner twice now and Kevin and I both love them. They are quick and easy and just so damn tasty. When you’re looking for something quick and mouth-watering for you and your family, I definitely recommend giving this one a go.



2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb white shrimp (peeled and deveined)
Corn tortillas
Shredded lettuce
1 ripe avocado, cut into slices
1 jar salsa verde
1 tomato, sliced
1 package finely shredded mixed cheese (I buy the Mexican blend, because it’s delicious, and feels authentic, obviously)
  1. Combine all 4 seasonings in a large bowl, mix and add shrimp; toss to coat (or just shake it really hard and hope for the best).
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet; add shrimp and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Remove shrimp from heat.
  3. Heat tortillas (in microwave or oven- just don’t buy the flimsy, junky tortillas that fall apart immediately when you pick them up. jerks). Layer shredded lettuce, avocado, tomato and salsa verde in tortillas. Then add shrimp and top with cheese. Then stuff your face and make noises of approval to show you thoroughly enjoy what your mouth has just encountered.
I don’t have any of my own original recipes, so naturally I adapted this one just like I do all my others. Although the original didn’t have cheese, and what are tacos without cheese? Really, people.


Filed under Recipes

Shrimp & sausage crock pot jambalaya

This is by no means a cooking blog and I am by no means a chef. I just find recipes I think might be delicious (and incredibly easy) and I try to cook for Kevin and myself. And it usually turns out well. And since I love my crock pot and all the work it does for me, I decided to try making jambalaya last night. Ever since traveling to New Orleans last November and realizing I actually like the cuisine (I’m not a huge fan of spicy food so I always just wrote it off without ever trying), I’ve been wanting to try a few recipes myself. Well here’s one that required minimal prep and little to no cook time (on my part, anyway; can’t say the same for the crock pot):


Shrimp & Sausage Crock Pot Jambalaya

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours


1/2 lb andouille sausage, diced

1 lb frozen peeled & deveined shrimp, thawed

1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 1/2 cup chicken broth

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp Creole seasoning

1 tsp hot sauce

2 cups white long grain rice


  1. Prepare the ingredients for the crock pot: dice sausage, chop onion, green bell pepper and celery stalks.
  2. In the crock pot, combine sausage, tomatoes (do not drain), onion, green pepper, celery and chicken broth. Mix in oregano, Creole seasoning and hot sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7 1/2 hours.
  3. Once the contents in the crock pot have cooked for 7 1/2 hours, stir in the rice. There will be quite a bit of liquid at this point, but as the rice cooks, it will absorb the excess and will reach the consistency jambalaya should have. Occasionally stir the rice for about 15 minutes so it doesn’t stick to the sides of the crock pot too much.
  4. After the rice has cooked about 15 minutes, stir in the thawed shrimp. Cover and cook for a remaining 15-20 minutes. Remember to stir occasionally to mix the rice and keep it from sticking.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Many of the recipes I found said to cook the rice separately, but I’m lazy, and what’s the point of using a crock pot if I actually have to cook something myself? Several reviews of said recipes declared the end result was too soupy, so I cooked the rice directly in the crock pot so I wouldn’t have to cook it myself in a different pot, and to help absorb the excess liquid. Worked like a charm.

Kevin (who loves spicy foods) gobbled this meal up. I found it to be a bit too spicy for my liking, so I think next time I will reduce the Creole seasoning by half and possibly forgo the hot sauce altogether. Just fair warning for anyone like me who doesn’t handle spicy food well. Other than that, the flavors in this meal fused perfectly and were delicious for an easy-to-prepare (albeit, long-cooking) dinner.

I adapted this recipe from one on Katie’s Cucina.  Enjoy.

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“Not sure if you’ve heard, but Dan is dead.”

I was not expecting to see those words in my email this morning. I don’t think you can every really be prepared for something like that. Because honestly, I probably never would have known that my ex-boyfriend was dead unless someone reached out like that and told me somehow. Why would I know what’s going on in his life? We stopped talking several years ago, and we stopped dating even before that. I don’t follow his work anymore, we don’t talk anymore, hell, we don’t even live in the same state anymore. Or didn’t. I still can’t get used to talking about him in the past tense. He wasn’t anyone I ever wanted in my life again, or ever wanted to be able to talk to again, but now that I know I never can, ever again, I don’t know how to feel.

It’s weird to lose someone like this. Someone who had no part of your life anymore but who, at one point in time, meant everything to you. Because even though I can’t imagine my life without Kevin, my favorite person, the man I want to marry someday and be old farts with, there was a time when I didn’t even know Kevin. All I knew was Dan. We spent a year and a half of our lives together, and at that moment in my life, that blip on my timeline, I loved and cared about him. I know I had to go through Dan to get to Kevin and my happily ever after (as ridiculous and sappy as that sounds), but it doesn’t make this any easier. I still feel shocked and confused and sad.

And I feel guilty. Guilty for feeling sad. I know I shouldn’t, because it’s a normal thing to grieve someone you’ve lost, even if it’s someone you parted ways with negatively and never cared to hear from again. You know you don’t want that person in your life anymore, but you know they will continue on with their own lives and you still wish them a good life. I guess the guilt comes from feeling sad over someone you used to love, even though you shouldn’t feel guilty over what’s done because you can’t change what’s in the past. Although I wish I could change this.

I keep looking at the news articles (and there are many; he was a renowned college media journalist and professor, after all) and seeing his picture everywhere. He looks exactly like he did the last time I saw him almost 3 years ago. In fact, he looks exactly the same as he did when I walked into his Journalism I class 4 1/2 years ago. I remember thinking he was too young to have the title Ph.D. I remember thinking a few months in that it didn’t make sense that he’d be chasing such a snarky, disconnected student like me. I remember thinking a few months into our relationship that, even if it was wrong, it was just so surreal that we had even wound up together. Kind of like this is so surreal. That I keep looking at his picture and thinking there’s no way he’s just lying in a box somewhere, getting ready to be put into the ground. He should be at home, up all night furiously carrying on his work, the clacking of his computer keyboard the only sound in an otherwise quiet night. I remember falling asleep to that sound.

I wish I could talk to him one last time. If I had known the last time I heard from him would be the very last time we would speak, I might have said things differently. Of all the tears I shed over that man, these are the tears that sting the most. Because I will never see him again. I will never have the chance to ignore his calls again, or to delete his texts and let them go unanswered. When we broke up and I was at my weakest, I could still call out to him, even if it meant I was hurting myself. I could still find a way to get to him if I needed or wanted to. Now I can’t even remember what he sounded like when he said my name.

I had to dig, but somehow I managed to find old pictures of him hiding on my junk laptop. I’m not even sure how these survived, because I practically deleted every trace of him when we broke up. I’m glad now that a few managed to slip through the cracks, because these are the only memories of him that remain. We weren’t meant to stay together, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have some good memories that I look back on fondly.

At my sister's bachelorette party, roles were reversed.

At my sister’s bachelorette party, roles were reversed.

Only a few months into our relationship, yet he still escorted me to my sister's wedding and dealt with meeting my extended family.

Only a few months into our relationship, yet he still escorted me to my sister’s wedding and dealt with meeting my extended family. This used to be one of my favorite pictures of us.

He always joined me in childish antics.

He always joined me in childish antics.

He never really related to animals, but that never stopped my cat from laying on him.

He never really related to animals, but that never stopped my cat from laying on him.

I’m not sure if I should share this with anyone other than my mom, but writing has always been therapeutic for me, and my passion for it was what Dan loved about me the most, so it would almost feel wrong keeping my thoughts and feelings to myself. I only hope that wherever he is now, he still has a laptop or iPad in hand and is reading this and all the others and knows he will be missed.

R.I.P. Dan Reimold, 1981-2015


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