Saturday, October 27, 2012

Life is Too Short for Paper Plates

I was talking to Five Eleven today again about dishes and my quirk about drinking certain things out of certain glasses and eating things or not off certain types of dishes. And, growing up with a china cabinet full of fancy dishes that were hardly ever used.

I just couldn't imagine eating this off a paper would have to be very sturdy for one...and, well, why?
She isn’t particular about things like that. Except for a favorite coffee mug. A lot of people I know at least have a favorite cup for coffee or tea. Gives you a nice start to your day.

I have two different favorite ones. One was a gift from a friend. It’s covered with funny little robot/alien kinda people. Makes me smile. The other is a winter Japanese tea bowl style. It is a beautiful sage green color that I bought from Starbucks. One cools my drink down quicker…even though I joke about liking my coffee like my women…hot and black…I really prefer it barely hotter than warm. (Though I do like it black, or sometimes sweet or sometimes sweet and creamy…depends on my mood). The other holds the heat in…wonderful for warming my hands and holding close to my body while snuggled up on the couch with Five Eleven on a cold, cold day.

That cozy, warmth-holding tea bowl that I just love the feel of...from Starbucks.
This one makes me smile too.
Now, with drinks other than coffee, I insist on glass. Clear glass is best. To me, there are certain glasses that you can drink milk in and others you just can’t. Same with orange juice, iced tea, water…any kind of beverage. The glass has to have a certain feel in your hands and on your lips. The idea of drinking isn’t just to get the beverage into me…but to enjoy it. To make it an experience...of several senses.

Why do you think there are so many types of barware? Could you imagine drinking a margarita out of a pilsner glass? A cosmopolitan out of a shot glass? Or wine out of a tall cordial glass? Despite the popular thought that drinking is to do it in abundance, I think it’s all about the overall experience. Kind of why I don’t like to drink beer out of a can. It has to be a decent brew in a bottle or on tap in an appropriate beer glass. It’s about the feel and flavor of that one drink…not the saving calories or carbs and having it in mass quantities.

Onto dishes. Yes, we have paper plates here at the Chick Shack. I don’t think we’ve used them at all this past year (except as paint trays). But, I have kids, you say? Uh huh. And, paper is convenient. Real dishes are no less convenient. You pull them out of the cupboard just like the paper ones. But, the cleanup, you say? Most people have dishwashers that they could put them in. I don’t. To me, I’d rather take the time to wash real dishes by hand from a meal that we all sat down to enjoy than to use thin, cheap paper plates.

Presentation of pancakes on weekends is a lot of fun at our house.
Even kids can add their own whipped cream "hair."

There is something about the feel of real dishes…the way food looks on real dishes…and mostly, the way food tastes on real dishes. Presentation is everything. Make it look nice and you’re apt to enjoy your food…linger over it…and eat less. It really doesn’t take much to do this…take cues from your favorite restaurants or cookbooks, or from that food porn your friends are always posting on Facebook. Why does their food look (and taste) so delicious? Much of it is presentation. You may not be the best cook, but if your food looks good, people will think otherwise.

This just wouldn't look the same on white plates...eww...too white. These are from IKEA.
They were very inexpensive and they have a nice feel to them too.

So, maybe time is part of the problem? So many people are in such a hurry all the time. Doing too much or too many things? There is no reason why you can’t make time to sit down and have a real family meal together here or there. Turn off the tv, dim the lights, put on quiet music, light candles, sit at the table and make meal time a ritual (do this even if you only have weekends together…then find ways to do it more).

Quick and easy meal of mussels cooked in garlic, butter, lemon juice
and Reisling served on rigatoni.
Add a salad and some bread (okay, yours doesn't have to be homemade) and sparkly water. Voila!

Put out real dishes. Use the good ones from the china cabinet that you just look at. What are you waiting for? I grew up with those only being used on holidays, and then, as kids, we weren’t allowed to use them. Because we might break one? What? Sitting there eating? Give your kids some credit or teach them not to be animals at the table if they are. And what if one breaks? It’s just stuff. Take pleasure in the memories you are creating. Relish in the history of your family if using heirloom dishes. Your kids will only be kids for so long. Slow down this techno/ADHD lifestyle you are living. Breathe. Enjoy each other.

How many of us have had someone in our life one day and then they were gone the next? Life is too short to not enjoy family meal time. Or, relaxed dinners with friends. Life is too short to eat off paper plates.

So, do you have a quirk about drinking out of certain glasses? What's your take on paper plates? Please share below!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Butch Leaning

There’s something to be said about the image of a strong figure. A woman in particular. I love this picture of 5-11 SexyBoi-SexyTwang that her cousin took. (She was thinking of me at the time which makes it even more special.) This is one strong woman.

Dang! 5-11 sure can rock the toolbelt.

In our patriarchal society, usually men are the ones that are portrayed as strong beings. I’m glad that there is finally some deviation from that norm though even now the man who doesn’t fit that traditional norm may be bullied and hurt (or worse) because of that. Same for women. Women who don’t fit into typical feminine stereotypes are often perceived differently in peoples’ minds. Or, gasp, mistaken for men.

As a tool-belt-wearing-tomboy-sort-of-girl myself, I’d grown up with people questioning me and my not-so-girlish ways.

When I came out as a lesbian, I never looked twice at women who fell into the more masculine Boi or Butch sort of categories. I found myself leaning towards women who were more like me…ones who showed off their figures, wore a little makeup but who were still sporty or athletic.

Maybe it was because I had been married to a man for so long that I wanted to be as far away from that perceived masculinity as possible? Maybe it was because I came out just before the L-Word and most every lesbian portrayed on that show was quite feminine? What was I thinking? My problem was that I had been judging others on their outward appearance and not getting to know them for who they really were.

And how is one supposed to think that not every lesbian is super feminine?

When I first started talking to 5-11 SexyBoi-SexyTwang as a friend, I even told her that she wasn’t my type. Again, what was I thinking? Seeing her and falling in love with her from the inside out totally changed “my type.”

I’ve kind of become obsessed lately with knowing more about Boi and Butch culture. 5-11 shares things with me constantly. Though she labels herself as ‘soft butch’ for the purpose of labeling in our society, she is who she is.

Yes, she’s stronger than most men I know. Way stronger. Yes, she shops in the men’s department but she is also the most caring, loving and supportive woman I have ever known. She’s protective of me and our family. She’ll go all ninja on anyone who tries to hurt us. With her military background; trust me on that. She’s a caretaker in the traditional masculine sense. Someone to lean on. Through anything. She’s been like a rock to me through this whole head injury of mine.

When I look at her…with her masculine clothes and zero makeup…and rocking the toolbelt like no one else can, I see the most beautiful woman there is. And, that is always my type.

What “type” do you go for? What is your perception of more masculine women? Please share your thoughts and comments below.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Half the Fun

Okay, so I know I’ve been a fruit loop lately and I don’t always remember things, but I do remember chocolate. Chocolate in the form of candy bars in particular. You know, those fun-sized Halloween candy bars that have been out in the stores since like the end of August? Yea. Those.

I had the sudden realization a few days ago that it’s now October and Halloween is just weeks away (yea, that’s how my life has been lately). Time to stock up. Especially when you see the bags of candy two for $5.00. (I’ve had about 60 some trick-or-treaters the last few years in my neighborhood and several bags are needed so that’s a good deal).

So, when you have Halloween candy, you have to eat Halloween candy. I’ve never followed the rule to buy what you don’t like because you won’t eat it. First off, there isn’t much in the chocolate world that I don’t like. So, that’s hard. Then, if you buy non-chocolate, most of the kids grumble at that. And, what am I going to do with 80 Dum Dum lollipops left over? I don’t even think the squirrels would eat them. So, I buy what I like. Mallo Cups, Twix, Junior Mints, Kit Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers.

Have you had a fun-sized candy bar recently? I was horrified when I opened a Snickers one for the first time this year. Horrified, I say. Where was it? Where was the fun? Was that Twix-skinny bar really a Snickers? They used to be at least twice as big when I was a kid. I think they were twice as big even a few years ago.

Hungry? You'll have to eat about twelve of these.
Research on the web showed other people noticing the same diminishing confections. But, I couldn’t find any substantial weights or measures to prove it. At the rate that I swear they are getting smaller, by 2013, they’ll be the size of Chiclets. And, by 2015, they’ll be the size of a Tic Tac.

Eight is a total score in the Junior Mints fun-sized world.

So, isn’t this interesting? In this world of food portions getting bigger and super-sized meals available everywhere, our delicious treats are micro-sizing. Why? Because they aren’t good for you? And, your fatty fast food-almost daily meal is? Maybe we should fun-size that? If more people practiced healthier eating habits throughout the year, a few weeks of consuming fun-sized sweets wouldn’t kill anyone. But, our blood boiling over their tiny down-sizing just might!

What do you think of the size of fun-sized candy bars? Do you buy them? Do you eat them? Have you noticed any changes?


Saturday, October 6, 2012

One Thousand Orchids

This was inspired by 5-11 SexyBoi-SexyTwang...yea, I know, the pink is just killing her right now ;)