Sep 28, 2010

What I Have Learned

Some things that I have learned I have been taught.  Like how to ride a bike, and how to make my bed.  When I started learning how to do these things, I was not very confident.  In the case of riding my bike, well, I fell down a lot.  Turning was a big problem for me. I would turn the handlebars, but I was always afraid to turn them too much in case the bike toppled over and I would fall.  My huge turning radius would cause a scene anywhere other than an empty parking lot, but I did not care. I did not like falling, and this fear helped me to ascertain the best way for me to remain on my bike.  I learned that a little fear is a great motivator, and not to care what people may think so long as you keep your head upright.
            When it came to making my bed, I did not really understand the point.  I nagged at my mother a lot; after all, I would be sleeping in the bed again very soon.  I would sometimes cheat and not smooth out the sheets underneath.  Sometimes I would leave them intentionally crooked just to be spiteful.  I would have to work harder to hide the imperfections’ with the comforter and the pillows. This was time consuming, and pretty soon the novelty of sticking it to my mother wore off.  I learned that doing things the right way the first time saved more time.  In addition I learned to appreciate a freshly made bed.
            Some things I had to learn on my own through trial and error.  Asking a woman when she is due, even though she looks extraordinarily pregnant, is never a good idea. Never ever. I learned that sometimes your first impressions of a person, even though you are absolutely sure, can be misleading.  My assumptions lead to hurt feelings, embarrassment on both sides, and a very awkward silence.  I apologized, and it did not fix it the situation.  I learned that sometimes sorry is not good enough, and that some situations just need time.
            When I was younger I had made a friend in the condo complex that I grew up in.  He lived below me, and every day after elementary school we would rush home, throw down our school baggage, and be off.  I really liked him, and he really like me.  He made me laugh, and he was mindful to play games that I liked best even if they weren’t his favorite.  We were going to be friends forever. We would ride our rollerblades around the neighborhood and look at houses that we would one day move into. He was one year behind me, and eventually I moved onto high school leaving him in eighth grade. 
            We were still friends, but I was busy doing high school things and making new high school friends.  I am not sure what all he was doing that year, since we had started to drift apart.  I would think about him now and again, and get a little sad, but I never did anything to fix it. There were a lot of different things I could have done to fix it. Then, one day, he died. Death is stupid. You cannot change the end result; there is no coming back from being dead.  I learned that it is better to say what you mean to those you care about when they are here then to go on living knowing that you squandered away the opportunity.            
          And the last life lesson that I have learned is quite simple. When engaging in extracurricular activities with your significant other take the time to make sure the window in the bedroom is closed. I learned that though the applause from the direct tv guys outside is one hell of a confidence booster, it can be a tad embarrassing.

Sep 9, 2010

Thou shall not be an Asshole.

Seriously people. It's time to talk. America, you should be ashamed of yourself.  Your tolerance for hate has got to stop.  Last time I checked it was 2010 not the 1800's. News Flash! People are different. That doesn't make them monsters.

You're going to have to learn to deal one way or another.

What is the point in hating another group of people? No really, what your end game? Do you want to put them in their place?  Make them into slaves? Rid the world of their beliefs?  Kill them all off? Change them to be Deposit them on a remote island and never think of them again?

I just don't get the point, and I'm not even trying to be funny. It seems like a whole lot of wasted effort put into something for no good reason. What do you want from your hate? What do you expect to gain?  Could someone please take the time and explain it to me because I'm not getting it...

I can hear you now... but but it's my RIGHT to hate. Free speech! Go America!

You CAN go out and burn Qur'ans. You're absolutely right.
No one is going to stop you.
I COULD go out and burn Bibles.


I wouldn't. Even though I don't agree with most Christian teachings.
You shouldn't either. Even though you do not believe in the teachings of Islam, or Christianity, or whatever.
It is just an asshole thing to do. So why do it?

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. Having freedom of speech does give you free reign to run around spewing whatever vile pops into your head.

There are all kind of "thou shall not's" running around the world religions these days. Thou shall not kill, or screw around on your significant other, or steal. How about thou shall not be an asshole? Why is it so hard for people to not be assholes to one another? I'm not talking about having our society be closed lipped and PC, I'm just talking about putting a nanosecond of thought into how your actions have an impact on someone other than yourself. This goes for religion, sexuality, and race.

It's not that hard. In fact, I bet it's a way easier mentality to maintain than hate. I mean, you have to put a lot of effort into hate with no finale... at least by not being an asshole there is a future.

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetable & Chicken Chili

This is cooking in my crock pot right now, and it smells fantastic. I added an extra can of chickpeas, didn't drain the tomatoes, quadrupled the garlic, and used all chicken broth instead of adding water. Just had to share.

2 lbs bone-in chicken breast
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons greek seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 zucchinis, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon of salt
crumbled feta cheese (optional)

1 - combine chicken, beans, tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the greek seasoning and 1 teaspoon of the paprika in slow cooker. Add Broth and 1 cup water. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, and LOW for 6 hours.

2. In large roasting pan, toss together 2 teaspoons of the Greek seasoning, 1 teaspoon paprika, zucchinis, onion, fennel, garlic and olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 35 mins stirring twice. Stir in lemon juice, oregano and zest.

3. Remove chicken and shred into bite size pieces discarding bones. Stir chicken back into the slow cooker, adding in vegetables and remaining 1 teaspoon greek seasoning and salt. Cook an additional 15 mins and sprinkle with feta cheese.