Julia Child Tuna Recipe blog image

Julia Child’s Thon A La Provencale

Another Friday, another opportunity to cook something new this weekend. I got Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking for Christmas and this weekend’s recipe to try is Thon A La Provencale which is tuna or swordfish with wine, tomatoes, and herbs.

But let’s recap in case you’re new.

I’m not a food blogger. I share recipes I’ve tried and if I’d make them again. I hate the word foodie and hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe, and photographs that have dusted flour and cutting boards.

You can expect the recipe I used, helpful tricks or what not to do and a couple (probably one) real shots of what it looked like when my bake came out of the oven.

The Recipe:

3Lbs. fresh tuna or swordfish cut into 3/4 inch steaks
9×14 pyrex baking dish about 2.5 inches deep
1 tsp salt
2 Tb lemon juice
6Tb olive oil, more if needed
A skillet
1 cup minced yellow onions
3Lbs. fresh, ripe and red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced and chopped.
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2tsp oregano
1/4tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup dry white wine or 2/3 cup dry white vermouth
1 to 2 Tb tomato paste for added flavor and color
1Tb meat glaze (optional)
1Tb softened butter
2 to 3 Tb chopped parsley

  1. Remove skin of the dish and cut steak into serving pieces. Blend salt and lemon juice in baking dish, then beat in the oil and pepper. Arrange the fish in the dish and baste with marinade. Cover with wax paper and marinate for 1.5 – 2 hours, turning and basting the fish with marinade several times. Drain the fish and dry it thoroughly on paper towels. Discard marinade.
  2. Saute the fish rapidly in very hot olive oil for a minute or two on each side to brown lightly. Rearrange the fish in the baking dish.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Cook the onions slowly in the skillet for 5 minutes or until tender but not browned. Stir in the tomato pulp, garlic, seasonings, and spread the tomato mixture over the fish.
  5. Place a cover or aluminum foil over the baking dish and bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Then set in lower third of preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Pour in the wine and bake for 30 minutes more, turning oven down to 325 as soon as fish is simmering.
  6. Remove fish to serving platter, scraping the sauce off the fish and back into the baking dish. Keep fish warm for about 5 minutes while finishing the sauce.
  7. Boil down the sauce over high heat until it has reduced to about 2 cups. Stir in tomato paste and optional meat glaze. Simmer for a moment, and correct seasoning.
  8. Off heat, beat in the flour and butter paste, bring again to the summer for 1 minute. Stir in the chopped parsley, spoon the sauce over the fish, and serve.

My Findings:

  1. I should’ve used my cast iron skillet instead of a pyrex pan because you can’t cook glass on the stovetop. I Googled it.
  2. You must be VERY careful to not overcook the fish, tuna is SO easy to overcook.
  3. Pop your serving plater in the oven with the fish to keep warm and warm up while making the sauce.
  4. Julia suggests a chilled Rose wine or a dry white, or Riesling. We tried it with rose and I just can’t do pink wine. I’d suggest a dry white instead.

Ps: I used tuna from WholeFoods and did not opt to add in meat glaze (mostly because I hadn’t any prepared and I underestimated how much time it was going to take to cook the tuna and it was 8PM by the time we ate, both the Hubs and I were HANGRY).

If you don’t know wtf seeding, peeling, juicing and chopping a tomato means check out this really simple tutorial, here. Discard the seed/pulp mixture and chop up the remaining tomato to complete step 4.

Pss: The tomato mixture is the tomatoes and the next 5 ingredients.

Would I Make It Again?

Hell yes. It was the best damn sauce I ever made and who doesn’t love good Tuna?!

Julia child’s tuna steak recipe

Julia Child taste test blog image

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Jiggle Japanese Cheesecake recipe blog image

Jiggly Japanese Cheesecake by McCormick

Another Friday, another opportunity to bake something new this weekend. Last weekend I made an attempt to make the jiggle cheesecake GIFs were made for…but let’s recap last weeks post about cannolis just in case you weren’t here.

I’m not a food blogger. I share recipes I’ve tried and if I’d make them again. I hate the word foodie and hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe, and photographs that have dusted flour and cutting boards.

You can expect the recipe I used, helpful tricks or what not to do and a couple (probably one) real shots of what it looked like when my bake came out of the oven.

Here’s the recipe I tried by McCormick:

The Recipe:

Servings
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 12 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 320°F. Line bottom of 9×3-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Line sides of pan with a 4-inch wide strip of parchment. (You should have about 1 inch of paper extending above the top of the pan.) Set aside.

  2. Test Kitchen Tip: To prepare using a 9-inch springform pan, line with parchment as directed in Step 1. Place pan in center of large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Wrap, making sure bottom and sides are completely covered, to keep water from soaking into cake batter.

  3. Beat egg yolks in large bowl with wire whisk; set aside. Mix cream cheese, butter and milk in small saucepan on medium heat until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Gradually add cream cheese mixture to egg yolks, stirring constantly with wire whisk. Stir in extract until completely smooth.

  4. Sift flour and cornstarch into batter mixture, stirring constantly with wire whisk until well blended.

  5. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in separate large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. (If using a freestanding mixer, use wire whisk attachment.) Increase speed to medium-high. Gradually add sugar, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.

  6. Gently stir in 1/4 of the egg white mixture into the batter mixture; repeat until fully incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and gently tap pan on the counter to remove any large air bubbles.

  7. Place pan in large roasting pan or dish. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to cover about 1 inch from bottom of cake pan. Bake 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 280°F. Bake 55 minutes longer or until cake has risen and the top is golden brown.

  8. Remove from oven. Let stand in water bath until cool enough to handle. Remove from water bath. Invert cake onto large plate or cutting board to remove parchment paper. Carefully flip cake onto serving platter. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar and serve warm with fresh berries and whipped cream, if desired.

  9.  

My Findings:

  1. I think a Slow Cooker Liner by Reynolds wrap would work better than aluminum foil. I didn’t have any on hand so I used foil but remember hearing this trick from a friend.
  2. My cake rose quite a bit, and I think it’s because I overwhipped the egg whites…maybe. So be careful you don’t overwhip, it’s easy to do in a freestanding mixer.
  3. I did use the McCormick pure vanilla extract and I think it really did make a difference in taste (especially since I didn’t have any whipped cream or berries during my taste test.

Would I Make It Again?

Only if someone requested the jiggle. The cheesecake was good, but my taste prefers the good old dense New York style cheesecake. I missed having crust, but spending 10-minutes jiggle testing it was fun.

McCormick Jiggly Japanese Cheesecake

PS: I didn’t have a roasting pan or pyrex dish big enough to dunk my springform pan in so I used my cast iron skillet and kept my oven temp a little hotter than suggested.

Cheesecake Recipe quote
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Introvert, Extrovert, Or Both?

I like to guarantee myself space. There is nothing wrong about you needing quiet and alone time to recharge your batteries. For a long time, I felt shame when I had the urge to separate myself, mostly because those around me made it feel like a bad thing.

Plus, being called an introvert feels like a dirty word. Who would want to be labeled as introverted when they’re the stereotypical quiet, shy, meek and feeble person in books, movies, and what your friends say about ‘those people?’

But let me tell you something, the definition of introverts and extroverts are not based on personality types i.e. introverts are shy and extroverts are fun and outgoing. It’s about where you get your energy from.

Introverts recharge by spending time alone. Extroverts recharge by being social. There is nothing wrong with you if you feel re-energized by spending time alone, and if you feel no shame about where you get your energy from then, way to go you! You’re ahead of the game!

Oh, and curveball, most of us fall somewhere in the middle and are categorized as an ambivert. There are very few true introverts and extroverts.

For example, I recharge by spending time alone, enjoy one-on-one conversations, and have close relationships with few people which are more introverted qualities. On the flip side, I accept change, can work a room filled with people I don’t know, speak up in meetings when I’m not prompted and get distracted easily because multi-tasking is. my. jam! These qualities are more extroverted.

Feel free to check out this quiz to see where you land. I got ambivert BTW. Also, this chart from HuffPost is a fun either/or graphic…

huffpost introvert extrovert graphic

I would let (again and have now realized) others make me feel bad when I needed space because of their comments, “Shannnnnnon, c’mon! Stop being such a recluse, you gotta quit being so…”

There is nothing wrong with saying no to social functions on behalf of your own need to recharge. What they think of you for needing the space is none of your business, remember?

And as Ron once said to Harry…

harry potter quote about not letting the muggles get you down

Cheers to becoming more grounded in who I am as a person. Holy shit it’s taken long enough.

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Chevron Cannoli recipe blog image

Chevron Cannolis For Cousin Kayla’s Thirtieth​

Have you ever tried to make a cannoli? The dough is held together by wine…those damn Italians are flipping geniuses.

But first, let’s manage some expectations. I’m not a food blogger, I didn’t go to school to become a chef or baker (even though ironically my maiden name IS Baker). My father went to school to be a chef, so I learned from him. My mother liked to bake, so I learned from her.

You’ll never hear me call myself a foodie (because I find that word annoying, everyone’s a foodie these days). I just enjoy cooking (and eating) new recipes and finding ones worth making more than once.

I promise to not share hefty paragraphs filled with adjectives about the recipe and only share helpful tricks I learned during the first make. Oh, and don’t expect to see artistic food shots, if I have to see sprinklings of flour and eggs on a cutting board ONE MORE TIME…I’m going to make a meme with Samuel L. Jackson.

You can expect a couple (probably one) real shots of the food because your girl does not have the patience to make everything look perfect for one photo and let’s be honest, how many times does that burger ACTUALLY look like the burger you get?

The cannoli recipe came from Chevron’s Adventures in Italian Cooking which was printed in 1980.

Chevron cookbook

Here’s the recipe:

Dough:
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons butter
2 egg yolks
Approx. 1/2 cup white wine
Shortening or vegetable oil for frying.

  1. 1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter, then add egg yolks. With a fork, stir in wine, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until dough clings together. Form a ball, cover, and let stand about 30 minutes.
  2. 2. Roll dough paper thin on floured board and cut 4-inch circles. Wrap circles around metal cannoli tubes, turning each end back to flare slightly. Fry a few at a time in deep fat until golden, about 1 minute. Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels. Carefully slip out tubes after about 5 seconds. Cool shells.
  3. Before serving. force filling into cannoli shell through a large pastry tube. Sift powdered sugar over pastry shell and garnish filled ends with chopped candied fruits, grated chocolate or chopped nuts.

*makes about 24 pastries.

Note. Shells may be stored in airtight containers for several days prior to filling.

Traditional Ricotta Filling:
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped to form stiff peaks (optional)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped chocolate
1/3 cup finely chopped mixed candied fruits

  1. Press ricotta cheese through a wire sieve or blend until smooth in food processor or blender. Mix with powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add finely chopped candied fruits and shaved chocolate. Chill before using. For a lighter filling, fold in whipped heavy cream.

My Findings:

  1. After wrapping dough around the cylinder for frying, seal the edges with egg wash. Otherwise, it’s a cannoli roulette as to if the cannoli will stay wrapped while frying, and will be a maddening game of chicken.
  2. If the cannoli is stuck to the cylinder after frying, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. Metal shrinks in cold and will help knock the shell off if it’s stuck.
  3. Golden brown is pretty but dark brown is better. It’s important to get the crisp crunch when you bite into them so don’t be afraid to ‘overcook’ them.
  4. I used more wine than 1/2 cup, just add a little bit at a time and work the dough.

Would I Make Them Again?

Hell. Yes. Cannolis are my favorite.

Cannoli recipe

Oh, also, I didn’t do candied fruits that sounded disgusting. I did chocolate chip chunks. I used a large freezer Ziploc bag as my ‘pastry bag’ and added the optional heavy whipped cream to make it lighter which was good and airer. If you want a dense and strong filling, skip the heavy whipping cream.

Godfather quote about Cannolis

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I’m Drowning In Other People’s Opinions

I am drowning, drowning, drowning in other people’s opinions on how I should be living my life and never realized how much I was holding on to other’s opinions or how it was affecting me until recently, like two days ago.

It all started with a podcast episode “How To Find Your Calling” by Rachel Hollis. The first ripple in my pond happened when she mentions her struggle with having a lot of anxiety and how it stemmed from trying to please everyone around her.

Everytime I hear someone struggling with anxiety issues I ask, who are you trying to please? – Rachel Hollis

Trying to live for others while being yourself IS like trying to live a double life. There are so many opinions flying around about how women should act, feel, or do in life, that it’s hard to differentiate between your own thoughts and those that’ve been learned.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I need to let my Hubs feel like he’s the man in the house and that me being a strong woman will squash his manhood. So I tried for a  to not be so “strong-willed” and it did nothing but make me resent him, even though he wasn’t the one who even said it, the first, second or third time!

He married me, he knows who I am. If he didn’t like an independent woman then he wouldn’t have married one. But I beat myself up for a bit for not being that dainty submissive lady books are written about, who gets saved and everyone protects.

If I could go back I would simply nod and smile, make no comment and not let that idea (because that’s all it is) be stuck to me. Deep down I’m proud of who I am and only I know my relationship with my husband, why would I let someone outside of it influence it? Plus, he’s only ever complimented me for my strength and independent traits.

These opinions aren’t just reserved for marriage. I feel it professionally. I recently was told, “I think you like to try new things but then get bored.”

I’ve been struggling about what I want to be doing in life and have been trying out new ways to make a difference both on and off social media, so this felt like a jab to my abilities to perform and accomplish tasks.

What I took home that night was, you’re a professional floozy, and then yes you guessed it, beat myself up about it for a while because look, look at all these women who are writing books and killing it on social who are making a difference in their follower’s lives. All I’ve done is make a 7 episode podcast I’m not sure I can continue because finding people who were homeless and want to share their story is tough, and I don’t think I want to change my topic.

Letting it consume me and beat me up is again, on me. I have control over my actions and reactions. One of my favorite lines my friend repeats to me is, “you can’t control how people act or how they react to you, you’re not responsible for their emotions or behaviors. You can only control how you act and react.” 

My small ripple quadrupled after Rachel then mentioned how hard it was for her to step down as CEO and hire her husband for the position because she felt a certain pull to be THAT woman who ran her own company and be that example for other young women, until…

Her friend asked her if she actually liked doing any of the roles required under the CEO like budgeting, scheduling, etc. Her answer was no, she’d rather write and create content because that what makes her happy. So now she’s the Creative Cheif instead.

DING DING DING.

Why am I fighting my want to write and be creative? Why don’t I just do it and stop distracting myself with all the other things? Every year I tell myself I’m going to start my word count. Every month I tell myself I want to build my own business, freelance, build my following and grow an email list but have no real plan on how to do it, so I end up getting frazzled and reminding myself that old saying I heard so many years ago about “nobody makes a living by writing” or my favorite “you’re not THAT kind of creative.”

So I drown my wants to write the stuff I want to write and create the content I want to create because of comments from others, how ridiculous, I mean really!

I’ve completely forgotten about the fun part and ps: I already DO make a living out of creating content. I do all the writing for Marconi Automotive Museum, hello!

Basically, if you’re struggling with anxiety…who are you trying to please? Are you living for yourself, or trying to make everyone else around you happy?

Me trying to please everyone and live up to their expectations based off conversations they probably didn’t mean to have such a deep effect on me is true madness. Yeah? Man, I hope someone resonated with this, otherwise, I am crazypants.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear. (2)

Ps: there’s a part two to this story. The real big mic drop came after Rachel begun to speak about this one moment from attending a Tony Robbins growth conference where he asks which parent did you crave love from the most, and who did you have to be in order to get that person’s attention? I’ll catch you guys next week…

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What is Happiness?

Kinda feels like I asked you about String Theory, right? It’s a vague question with no real answer because the truth to this question is different for each person reading this sentence. So how do you even begin to answer it?

Typically I’d blow past this question without giving it much thought because this feels like heavy emotion and homie don’t waste time thinking about emotional crap. Except now my bookshelf is filled with true stories of triumph and self-help, growth and empowerment books, so…here we go. What is happiness to you?

“Happiness is many things to many people. It can be lots of small pleasures, a general feeling of contentment or that moment when your heart soars.” The Little Book of Happiness pg.5

Happiness for me feels complicated because even when I go to answer the question, I don’t trust my answer. So I asked my husband, to stall, of course. What is happiness to you? You feel happy when… “I feel happy when…I’m watching a sunset at the beach,” he said.

My natural response to this question is, “I’m happy to have money in the bank to pay the bills and be in a place where I’m not as poor as I once was three, five, ten, and fifteen years ago.” But does making money make me happy? Not really, I could live with way less because I have. Money doesn’t make me happy, it makes me feel secure, which is comforting, but happy? I don’t know.

When I go to fill in my own, “I feel happy when…” the images that pop up in my head do hold emotion and that shit is uncomfortable. For example, I feel happy when…:

  • Reading a good book in a quiet room, snuggled between a puffy white comforter or blanket
  • Playing Rummy with my Hubs on our couch’s ottoman
  • Getting caught in the rain while running with my pups
  • Cooking a good meal for those who appreciate it
  • Any one-on-one time with my Hubs, actually
  • I love new: traveling to a new place, hiking a new trail, or learning something new always makes me happy

Hmm, maybe I’m the ‘lots of small pleasures’ person listed above. And actually, that makes sense, I’m a moment to moment person which is cool to know and acknowledge. This wasn’t too painful of an exercise except for the trying to feel what my happiness is…LOL.

***For the record, please insert 10-15 minutes of quiet time in between each of these paragraphs if you’d like to get the FULL experience of what it was like to write this thing.

Now, take the time to answer the question for yourself. What is happiness to you? You feel happy when____ .

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.

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Come be my friend on Instagram. I  just launched a podcast centered around getting to know our homeless youth in hopes to better understand how to stop it by getting to know the young people who survived it. Listen to the very first episode, here

The One With Ms. Lon – Someone Like You

It’s Friday, which means another episode of Someone Like You is ready for download. This week is The One With Ms. Lon and we meet Covenant House California’s Alumni Coordinator and RA, Lon Usher.

She’s originally from Kentucky, ran away from home when she was 16 years old and has been working with Covenant House California for thirty years. We discuss what she’s learned throughout her years working with homeless youth, the stories that have affected her the most and what she believes will help end youth homelessness.

If you’re new here, this podcast is about putting a face (or voice) to youth homelessness in the hopes it’ll be harder to ignore and together we can be the solution.

Every other Friday a new episode will air with a new voice sharing their story of surviving life on the streets AND how they got back on their feet. This show is all about answering these three questions: who are the homeless, how did they become homeless, and how do we begin to end homelessness? (except this one because we’re speaking to the fabulous Ms. Lon!)

There is nearly 6,000 homeless youth searching for a safe place to sleep each night in Los Angeles, and nearly 4.2 million young people will experience a form of homelessness within the next year and I’m willing to bet these kids are a lot like you and me. The solution starts with us and I truly believe we’re better together.

PS: If you haven’t subscribed, rated or reviewed the podcast please do so now! Thanks, friends! I’ll see you back on the radio in two weeks for another voice to meet.

Cutting Loose Ends

I don’t want you to know me. This makes the relationship burden on my end simple and I’ll do whatever possible to keep this narrative simple. Mess bothers me, I like to cut my ends in one easy snip.

The second people think they know you, is the second they try to invade your personal space. For example, the second I got married was the second it became appropriate to ask me about when we’d be having children.

It’s an intrusive question about an intimate act done in private and basically asks my husband when is he planning to ejaculate his sperm with no restrictive materials so they can meet my eggs and have a party.

Believe it or not, there is a large group of people who appreciate privacy and boundaries and I’ll dare great to say I’m happily leading the pack. Yes, there is a part of me that yerns to be known and I’m having trouble finding the balance  because I value both privacy and connection.

I don’t enjoy letting anyone ‘get to know’ me because then unsolicited advice and ridiculousness gets thrown my way which I should be able to take with a grain of salt but don’t because I take it personal.

Words matter, and if yours sound condesending or judgmental, I’m going to take it personal that you decided you had little respect for my life smarts and felt obligated to tell me how it should be. I’ve lived alotta life you don’t know about, what’s that phrase about assuming?

Here’s a visual if you don’t get my description, does anyone remember that commercial about bullying and the kid has all the nasty things being said to him written on his body with marker? This is how I feel about people and their damn opinions. It is so much easier to keep everyone else out so they’re words won’t mark me.

Lately it feels like a whole-lotta people are trying to force me to be this person I’m not and it’s pushing me way in the opposite direction. I feel like I’m being squeezed and being set up for failure. So my walls go up and instinctually put up a fight.

This is a personal problem, I’m aware, and it boils down to control. I can’t control how others act, but I can control how I act when I feel emotionally violated, intruded upon and/or stomped over no matter how hard I try to communicate.

For example, one of my coworkers hates it when the toliet roll isn’t put in the canister with the paper facing up. She claims its harder to use so she fixes it each time it randomly happens to be facing the wrong way.

If it didn’t bother her this anaolgy wouldn’t work, but it does bother her when the paper gets turned around and she has to fix it. Instead of realizing this is a personal preferance and she chooses to turn it a certain way, she decides someone is doing this on purpose because, “how does one not know which way to correctly load a toliet canister,” and is purposfully incoveincing her by making her switch the roll and complains about it from time to time.

In this case, I need to swap the toliet paper roll with opinions (possible literally speaking, too) and figure out a way to understand I don’t have to react in anger each time I feel like I’m being sqeezed into a box or purposefully being forced into swapping out the roll.

I don’t want people to know me because when people know you that’s when you’re vulnerable to pain, because when they do and say things to hurt you the natural defensive response will always be “they didn’t mean it” or “they mean well,” which completley dimishes the pain felt upon the inflicted.

The solution? Believing I am enough. Wholeheartidly knowing who I am despite what others categorize me as, that those small descriptions don’t define me. It doesn’t matter what people say or do because I’m comfortable in my own skin. The trick is to figure out how to believe it. 

Now, If I could just practice it quicker so I could master this idea of being enough. I’m saying this with a smirk because nothing worth it ever comes easy 😉 

The problem with constantly trimming your ends is never letting the ends grow to their full potential. I get it a little better than I did a year ago, but I’m nowhere near better at practicing the belief that I am enough.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for my patient husband. What are you feeling gratitude towards? Let me know in the comment section, below. 

Cultivate it.

play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging. 

 

 

 

 

My Skin Feels Too Heavy To Carry

Have you ever felt so depleted of energy that even your skin feels too heavy to carry? Thank Zeus it’s Friday. I need the next two days to get my shit together even though I feel like even if I had two weeks time, it still wouldn’t be enough because I’m so damn far behind.

Most of my anxiety has come from two silent weeks of no prospects in interviews for my (wannabe) podcast with a looming September deadline. I’m starting to feel failure set in even though there is ample time to problem solve and the anticipation of failure is enough to drown me and wash the entire dream dry.

 

What about these books I keep claiming to have in the chamber? I thought of another good idea for a book this morning while driving to work, listening to another audiobook (Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay), so if you’ve lost count that’s a potential three books I’m probably not going to write.

Each time I start to imagine writing said books my brain freaks out. How do I even submit a book? I don’t want to get an agent, but hardly any publishing companies accept unsolicited work. What’s best practice, how do you start, what’s MY writing process? I spin and spin until the only way to end it is to ignore.

The next phase is usually obsessing over everything I’m not doing, could be doing better, and/or simmering over shit I can’t change, which turns into wondering what the fuck I’ll be doing in twenty years and if I’ve accomplished anything I set out to do when I first began to dream.

I’m spirling.

It goes on for a couple days and then I snap my ass back into reality and get shit done. Usually, I chalk up this series of berating and self-loathing to my nasty shame gremlins being hard at work but I think I’ve figured out the trigger.

Whenever I have a good hard week or two, etc. of productivity where I exert all of my creative energy both physically and mentally to finish a project on time and successfully knock it out of the park, it leads to me feeling empty. Idle hands as they say…

This emptiness makes me nervous. Will this project (or whatever it is) be the last best thing I do? Was that it, my last spark? How am I going to best myself once more? Tick, tick, tick, tick. Worry, worry, worry.

Not to mention, people drain me. The everyday interaction required to be social is one more activity to add to my anxiety. We all play a role at home, at work, and with friends. It always feels fine when the interaction is in play, but when I come home I’ll think back on my day and stress out over what I should’ve said or done.

Add that to a long yet productive week and it leaves me feeling like my skin is too heavy to carry; spirling.

A blue fish in a Disney Pixar movie once mentioned the idea, just keep swimming. Some days I think living by this phrase is easier when your memory is has a reset button every 60-seconds, and other days I remind myself success isn’t about the destination, it’s about enjoying the wild ride to the top.

In order to get to the next crazy hump, one must keep swimming. 

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for every breath I take. What are you feeling gratitude towards? Let me know in the comment section, below. Night friends. 

Cultivate it.I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging. 

Speak Truth To Bullshit

I find myself shrinking away from political debates because there is too much misinformation being slung around that it’s nearly impossible to have a decent conversation.

The amount of “drive-by” online journalists is appalling. These individuals haven’t been trained, or understand the basic rules regarding what’s considered news and how important it is to share only credible sources.

If you’re confused, these are the people who spend way too much time on the internet fighting with strangers in the comment section and share every article from every online ‘source’ that is geared with like-minded people and then spout off information after only reading the header and by-line.

But, I digress. This is only a small portion of the problem and admittedly, I’m biased against these random peeps because I did go to school for journalism. This isn’t the main topic of today’s post, so I’ll get on with it.

If you haven’t heard what’s going on at our borders then you might have been under a rock the past week/month, and if it’s a nice beautiful rock on Cabo, do you mind sharing some space with me?

Just kidding, kinda.

Here is what I constantly hear being thrown around half-hazard. “Separating families at the border is the law, everyone must follow the rules! All you Dems just hate Trump and are looking for an excuse to pile on the hate, this has been going on for years! If Republicans wanted to change it they could, they’ve got the majority! Trump to the press – if this was such a terrible law, why didn’t the Dems outlaw it decades ago, it’s their faults!

All of this is bullshit and here’s why.

  1. Separating families at the border isn’t a federal law, never has been. There is a policy that was put in place back when Clinton was president and has been used by border patrol at their discretion for the last two decades, and they didn’t participate in the family separation until last month when Jeff Sessions and Trump stated this ‘zero tolerance’ policy.
  2. There is a distinct difference between policy and law, stop using them interchangeably. The difference between a policy and a law. A policy outlines what a government ministry hopes to achieve and the methods and principles it will use to achieve them. It states the goals of the ministry. Laws set out standards, procedures, and principles that must be followed.
  3. Yes, the Republicans hold the majority but you still need 3/5ths vote to pass anything and not all Republicans and Democrats will vote according to their party. I think John McCain is a perfect example within the last year. So while shouting they hold the majority is true, it doesn’t mean anything will easily pass, even if every Republican voted similarly there’s still a need for the Dems to vote similarly, too.
  4. Trump blaming the Democrats is also utter bullshit. He signed so many damn executive orders the first six months of his presidency, why the hell the sudden urge to wait for the legislature? Because this is a stunt (in my personal opinion). We have a president who is a reality star and hasn’t worked for a damn thing in his life, living out his ‘biggest role casted’ on a world stage, and it’s fucking embarrassing.

Fact Checker: Separating families at the border isn’t family law, here. The distinct difference between policy and law, here. Understanding the ‘Republican majority,’ here. Trump blaming the Dems for what’s happening while plugging his mission to build a wall and why I think it’s all a big fat stunt, here

Trump has embellished since his inauguration when he stated it was the most attended precision in history! So how come there are still those refusing to wade through the bullshit to find the truth? Is it because it’s easier to follow than lead?

Bottom line: what’s happening at the border is traumatic for both the officers and families. If we’re the world police and responsible for setting an example for the rest of the country, lets’s act like it. We all know this isn’t the best solution, those children don’t deserve to experience any more trauma.

Shout all day about, “it’s the parent’s fault and they are the ones that put their kids in this position.” Nobody got anywhere pointing the finger at everyone else and displacing blame. Take responsibility,  rise above the bullshit and let’s set the example for how to treat those desperate enough to risk everything to live in a country that isn’t a living nightmare.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for the luck I was given to be born in this country.

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my quest for true belonging.