Breakfast for the Cluck Ups

These are four of the thirteen chickens we were gifted when we first moved to the area over three years ago. This morning I gave them some old bread for breakfast, which they promptly abandoned in favor of fresh insects and crisp grass. Again, just felt like sharing. My partner nicknamed them the “cluck ups,” though I wish I could take the credit for it. 

Have a beautiful humpday!

New God and Goddess Candles

Lately, I’ve been feeling perpetually exhausted. I think it’s just the time of my menstrual cycle, but it’s put me out of commission my last few days off. Anyway, I spent most of today in bed reading and watching Rick and Morty, but when it came time to pick up le boyfriend from work, I decided I had the energy to pop into a couple stores and pick up some paint and candles. (Luck was on my side, as there wasn’t too much traffic and a parking spot opened up right away.)


Any-anyway, these candles are the result. I haven’t put the varnish on them yet because I’m still waiting for the paint to dry, but I rather like them already. Just wanted to share. 😊 I like that you can see the brush strokes; I think the light will shine through them nicely.

I want to post more bloggy type blog posts like this, and some vloggy vlogs on YouTube as well. It’s fun. 😬 Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone! 🌞

It’s Okay to be Serious

img_7608At work I will occasionally find myself deep in thought while I work on some task, whether it’s punching in an order or cutting fruit for sangria. Sometimes I’ll be focusing on what I’m doing, and sometimes my mind will wander to anywhere and everywhere. Eventually, someone will interrupt my concentration with something like, “Are you okay? Why are you so serious?” Sometimes, I even get an “Are you mad?”

This type of question gets asked by coworkers and guests alike and can often be a lot more offensive in nature. Women have gotten this seemingly since time began. An art series by Tatyana Falalizadeh called Stop Telling Women to Smile has gone viral, adding more to the discussion of street harassment.

It’s not just people who harass women on the street who are the problem in this, though. I’m sure my coworkers and (most) guests certainly don’t think of it as harassment, and I’m not sure if I even do. After all, I’m in a customer service position. It’s part of my job to smile.

However, there is some sexism attached to this idea. I never hear anyone asking my male coworkers if they’re “okay” or “mad.” Somewhere along the line, our culture decided women were supposed to be pretty and happy all the time, while men could be as ugly and grumpy as they want. I think this stems from centuries of patriarchy, where women are mostly seen as eye candy–physical objects to be admired for their beauty and discarded for their lack thereof.

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of David Francis.

This seems to be an idea that spans many ages as well. Older grumpy women are considered “witches,” while older grumpy men are endearingly, sometimes lovingly, called, “grumpy old men.” Parents at the restaurant where I work are always prompting their young girls to perk up, while their boys are allowed to brood.

In a way, this is also connected to the patriarchy’s fear of emotion. Expressing anything other than an “okay-ness” in public–especially at work–is embarrassing and unacceptable. Men are expected to be tough and show no emotion, and if women want to run with the boys, they’re held to the same standards–as long as they look good doing it. That’s where the smiling comes in.

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of Tom Hilton.

So what are we to make of this “resting bitch face” phenomenon? What will our response be when people wonder aloud if anything is wrong with us? Will we be embarrassed? Apologetic? Will we immediately plaster a smile on our faces?

I know what my answer is and always will be. “Yeah, I’m okay. Are you?” I will not apologize. I refuse to be embarrassed. I’m not here to look pretty; I’m here to work.

I smile at my guests to make them feel welcome and heard, but if I’m in the middle of something, I will unapologetically screw up my face if it helps me think and do my job better. Being conscious of what my face is doing often distracts from the task at hand. Only spies and actors need to be aware of such things, and I’m neither.

Smile when you feel like it. It’s okay to be serious. Who gives a fuck about resting bitch face?

Bye Bye, 2016

I am so glad 2016 is over. I’m glad my schooling is over. I’m looking forward to a new year and moving on with my life. Let’s do all the things this year.

Why I Don’t Use the Term “Tribe”

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Image via Flickr Creative Commons, courtesy of retlaw snellac

 

You’ve just discovered an awesome new blog or a website for a cool YouTuber, and after a few clicks, a javascript window pops up with these words in large letters: JOIN MY TRIBE! Ugh. Every time I see this, I groan. Unless it’s someone I know and I actually want to follow them to keep updated, I usually don’t “join their tribe,” and often I’ll navigate away and never come back.

I’m going to start by saying I don’t have anything against the people who use the word “tribe” to describe their network of followers and colleagues. While it turns me off, I understand the idea that these people want their social network to be more than just a collection of likes and views. For some, a tribe is a good visual representation of what they want their network to be. Who am I to say they’re wrong?

However, I just don’t see you guys that way. To me, a tribe is much more personal. The members of my tribe are the people I would leave my kids with (if I had any). They’re the people I trust to with a spare key to my home. My tribe is my network of family and close friends that I share the personal areas of my life with. They’re the people I love. That’s not you (unless it is … Hi, Mom).

The word “community” has much more meaning to me in the online sphere. When I think of community, I think of Davis (that’s where I live). I think of my church. I think of the people at my work. I think of the people that work together to make my local area a better place to live, work, and raise families. That’s what I want my social network to be like. I want to be in community with you, working together to make the world a better place.

So join my community! Comment on my blog posts, join my mailing list (I seriously haven’t even sent anything out yet; that’s how often I send things), like my page on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I love communities, and I would love for you to be a part of mine (even if you’re crazy; I know and love a lot of crazy people).

Classics Never Die

Today is my little sister’s 23rd birthday (which makes me feel super old since I’m five and a half years older than she is and I can remember the day she was born). She and my mom are coming over tomorrow to celebrate, and I’ve put myself in charge of dinner. Of course, this includes a cake. A vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, her favorite.

I love baking birthday cakes. I often bake my own. I used to have to compromise with my family by allowing them to decorate it because I was so adamant about baking it. (The result is that I cannot decorate a cake to save my life, but I can bake them pretty well.)

Now, for this particular cake, I could have gone and bought one of those box mixes (I remember my sister enjoying the “Funfetti” cakes as a child), but I’ve turned up my nose at pretty much all box mixes since my brief time in culinary school (don’t ask). I could have googled a recipe. There are probably many food and baking blogs with excellent recipes.

I couldn’t bring myself to do that, though. To me, birthday cakes are classics, and classic dishes require classic recipes. Therefore, I turned to one of the classic cookbooks of my grandmother and mother’s generations: Joy of Cooking.

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My beautiful second hand copy of Joy of Cooking.

Again, I know there are newer cookbooks. There are even newer versions of Joy of Cooking than the one I own, but I just can’t get over this 1975 version I found at a library book sale. It’s either the same edition as my mother’s or slightly newer, so it brings back memories of flipping through it as a teenager (not to mention the “fancy” Turkey Divine I asked Mom to make for my 16th birthday, which caught on fire and filled the house with smoke, something we laugh about now). I just love it, and I can’t see myself ever getting rid of it.

So this is what I used tonight. I can’t say whether the cake has turned out any good. I won’t know until tomorrow. I do know that I am very proud of this birthday cake (even if I ruin it by tomorrow evening), and I was much more confident using Joy of Cooking‘s recipe than I would have been using something else. Sometimes it’s okay to hang on to the classics–especially if they work for you.