Tag Archives: chocolate

Allergy Warning

13 May

I just came across a bottle of chocolate milk with a label that actually says:

Allergy Warning: Contains Milk.

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Seriously?!

            Seriously?!

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You’re kidding me, right? It has milk in the title!

Give me a break.

Great. Now I want a Kit-Kat bar.

(Hums “Brake me off a piece of that Kit-Kat bar.”)

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#YourTurnChallenge – #Day4 – Worry 101

22 Jan

Today’s Your Turn Challenge prompt is ‘Teach us something that you do well’.

What do I do well?

Worry.

So here’s a how to / what not to do post.

Try not to take it too seriously. I won’t.

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The How To Class for the Beginning Worrier

Step one: The Choice

Choose what you want to worry about.

Believe me, as proud as you may be of your current ability to maintain a general state of worry, fidgeting with a single thought or what-if scenario until you have turned it into stress is an art form.

This could be anything from your health, to whether your coworkers think you stink, to why your (insert relationship) doesn’t call you more often. Just pick something you can stick with for several hours at least. Eventually you will develop the mental stamina to hold on to a topic for weeks, months, and even years. But pace yourself, this will take much practice.

With practice you can work up to worrying over several topics at the same time, but that was only for the advanced class, and my insurance doesn’t cover the liability. Not after the incident.

Now, take a deep breath.

And release.

Did you enjoy that?

Good, because it’s the last one you’re allowed for a while.

From here on out it’s tense, shallow, breaths that only serve to provide feedback to your physical form that now is not the time to relax. Deep breaths have a habit of telling your body there’s temporal space for such occurrences. Do not sabotage all the upcoming training by providing physical feedback that will merely confuse your body and lessen the chance of an ulcer, stroke, or heart attack.

Now, do you have a topic in mind? Will it go the long-haul?

Good.

Step Two: Technique

Now, everyone, after a while, can develop their own style of worry. At this point I will merely walk you through a couple of the simpler forms and you can craft your own from there.

    Technique #1: The Silent One

This form of worry is all about internalizing your concerns, feelings, and the perceived feelings and concerns of all around you. Don’t let actual words be your only food for worry, see if you can find clues as to how people really feel about you by watching how they interact with others as opposed to you. Does Jake laugh a little more when talking with Bryce than when he’s around you? Does your boss spend more time hovering over Cindy’s desk and projects than yours?

This is good. This means that there might be something wrong with you. Go with that thought. Try to pick out exactly what it is about you, your personality, your laugh, your clothing, that would make someone like or respect you less than those around you.

In fact, spend a great deal of time comparing yourself to the people who make you feel inferior. What about them makes you uncomfortable? What would make people gravitate to them as opposed to you?

Now the important thing about this technique is that you never talk to anyone about your concerns. That’s why it’s called The Silent One. You bottle this up and revel in the feelings of inadequacy, mild paranoia and pent up anger and frustration. Talking about it might make you feel better. Or worse, let people know there’s something potentially wrong with your psyche and try to help.

We don’t want help. We want worry. Remember that.

    Technique #2: The Spewer

This one is similar to your first choice, but different in one way: You talk about your worry. To everyone. All the time.

Tread lightly, here. You don’t want to let them know that you’re too serious. Try to insert tones of humorous self-deprecation, flippancy, and biting sarcasm into your speeches.

I call them speeches because you don’t really want two sided conversations when it comes to ‘spewing’ your worry all over those who would try and help or comfort you. No, you don’t want them to get a word in edgewise, because they might manage to change the subject. If they manage that they may find a way to make you laugh, and that would not do. Laughter is one of the best ways to negate all the lovely negative hormones we are working so hard to generate within your body. Laughter would get in the way of graduating simple Worry and stepping into the glory of self-induced Stress. And as you know, deep, soul-crippling stress is the ultimate goal of every beginning worrier. Keep the prize in mind at all times. Do not be dissuaded by well meaning, but ignorant friends and loved ones.

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Have you chosen a technique?

Well done.

Now on to some of the tips and tricks that can speed up your eventual trip to the emergency room or, better yet, morgue.

Do not underestimate the power of the dark side… of looking at every eventuality that could happen. Don’t let reality play too big a part in this. The What-If Game is really just a free-flowing exercise to create tension in your mind and body. Too much ‘reality’ could get in the way.

Avoid watching comedies or feel good movies of any kind, children or animals playing, or tender moments between people who genuinely care about each other. There is an advanced technique for how to turn all these mushy, gooey things to your emotional advantage, but for now it’s best to avert your eyes and go through a litany of your inadequacies.

Do not exercise more than absolutely necessary! Exercising releases positive hormones that have been proven to undo the effects of worry. If you must be physically fit for any reason, try and develop a mantra that will keep your mind distracted from the positive effects. Who knows, perhaps worrying over your chosen topic while maintaining a higher than normal heart rate will contribute to heart palpitations.

Avoid healthy food and quality dark chocolate. Fried foods, sugar, and simple carbohydrates are your only friends. Not only will they quickly elevate your blood sugar and leave you hanging after a glycemic crash, they will also undermine your immunity to the viruses that are circulating your place of employment, the mall, and church. A good month long bout with influenza can be a beautiful thing for those attempting to create worry in their lives. You will have more time to sit on the couch contemplating your mortality, how nobody loves you, and why you don’t have or deserve all the good things in life.

Be proactive in the shower. Many people use time in the shower to relax or sing. Do not fall into this sappy trap. The acoustics of the bathroom are perfect for hearing your own voice as you go over your impossible to do list for the day and find all the ways your day could royally suck. If you happen to be a before bed bather use this time to go over the wrongs of the day; really cement them in your mind.

As long as we’re on the subject of talking to yourself, here’s a tip for the Spewer. Mutter. Mutter as you walk through the house, shop for all the wrong foods, or drive the kids to school (it’s never too early to scar them for life). This will set you up as a person to be avoided. No one wants to initiate a conversation with someone who seems to be just a little more than one step toward crazy. If you get really good at this it’s a great way to spread the worry. Those around you will begin feeling concern not only for your well being, but also for theirs. You never know, perhaps some serial killers started out as mutterers.

That’s it for Worry 101. I hope you learned some ways to make your life and the lives of those who pretend to love you truly miserable.

Have a crappy day!

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Now before you get all huffy with me, please know that in the past I have worked up a class 3 cold sore within a couple of hours. I used to worry so hard I lost weight, catch every illness that came through, and (especially as a college student) silently cry myself to sleep without disturbing the sibling in the bed four feet from me.

That’s not to say I had a horrible life. I just didn’t know how to deal with the outside pressures or how to silence the inner critic that constantly told me I wasn’t trying hard enough. I know how blinding a tension headache can be, how to hold in the tears until an appropriate location could be found, and what it feels like to tamp down a panic attack while still taking notes so you don’t completely fail this class.

It sucks. A lot.

But it’s possible to turn things around. Not easy, mind you, possible.

A few tips that worked for me:

  • Eat a high protein breakfast. This will give you the level blood sugar to help keep some of the more self-sabotaging thoughts at bay.
  • Their bad day is not your bad day. Just because someone else is in a foul mood does not mean you have to absorb their negative vibes. (I am still working on this one, especially when it comes to loved ones.)
  • Dark chocolate. When you have a few moments to yourself snap off a couple bites of your favorite chocolate. The darker the better. If you have trouble portioning try the smaller, individually wrapped pieces sold by Dove or Hershey’s. If you totally can’t be trusted with it in the house, then try setting a time or two a week when you go out and treat yourself to a small bar. Just remember to savor it. Let it melt in your mouth as you relax back and take a few slow, deep breaths.
  • You time is very important. One of my earliest discovered techniques was a warm bath and a good book. Find something relaxing that takes you away from others but out of yourself: a good book, a favorite movie, a walk through a favorite park. This is not being selfish. Self care means you are making sure that you are in top condition to face life as the best version of you. Do not let anyone, not even yourself, make you feel guilty for taking a few moments during your coffee break or an hour in your evening, to bring yourself out of your day and to a more centered emotional state.

I hope some of this helped. Or at least that the Worry 101 class made you chuckle. 🙂

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Mmm, now I’m thinking about chocolate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoTqa23fV_c

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#YourTurnChallenge – #Day1 – Finding Adventure

19 Jan

by Rose D’Andrea

A few days ago I came across a blogging challenge.

(Don’t ask me how, because I honestly can not remember.)

This challenge lasts 7 days and merely asks that you post every day about something from your perspective.

They also supply writing prompts. I’m not sure if I’ll stick to the prompts or strike out on my own. I guess that’ll just be part of the adventure.

Lately I have been viewing a lot of things as a possible adventure. I don’t suppose most pregnant women look forward to childbirth as a chance to find out, deep down, what they’re made of. Probably even fewer choose to view the impending ‘hell week’ after bringing home baby as another intriguing experience. You never know what to expect. The kid could react to the fact that I’ve recently eaten chocolate and get the world’s worst gas. She could be a sleeper and have to be woken for feedings. She could come out like the kids on the British show My Hero already talking and uh, flying. (Although that last one is highly unlikely, regardless of how many times a week I refer to my husband as my hero. Besides, I’m pretty sure he’s human. Probably.)

This recent sense of adventure is perhaps what led me to join in this blogging challenge.

And that is perhaps a good enough segue into today’s writing prompt:

Why are you doing the Your Turn Challenge?

I have been thinking, for a long time now, that I need to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule. However, it has not been happening. Imagine that, blog posts don’t magically appear just because we think they should. Huh.

There has always been an excuse: my computer won’t cooperate, I wouldn’t know what to write, I’m sick, tired, too distracted, or don’t have the time.

Now for a while there I was too sick to do more than clutch my water bottle and pray that something would stay down. That was legitimate. But what about the several months now that have been relatively easy? What about the occasional thought that pops into my head that I think would make an awesome post?

That, my friends, was just plain laziness. Pure and simple. Yes, there’s a little shame in admitting it, but more in wallowing in indecisiveness and self pity.

So, what am I going to do to turn this around?

Apparently jump on the #YourTurnChallenge like it’s the last life boat off the Titanic. It’s like God said, “Yes, you’re not alone in this. Now, get off your rump and get back to actual work.” So here I am, blogging the first day of an enticing journey. Hopefully this week of work (and, fingers crossed, some feedback) will spur me toward keeping up a more regular presence on this blog baby of mine.

Hopefully my actual baby won’t mind when I blog over the top of her a few days a week.

And if she does mind, well, I guess that will just kick off another adventure.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6gZe-fUCWg

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Time To Lay Off The Pizza

30 Nov

Ladies and gentlemen, it is now after Thanksgiving.

My diet starts now.

*sigh*

Goodbye, pie.

See ya later, cake.

Adios, sugary cereal.

Hello lots of protein, plenty of veggies, and pickles.

It’s a good thing I really like green beans and broccoli. Otherwise this could really get depressing. The hard parts will be getting enough protein in each day, and keeping track of my calories to make sure I stay above 1,600.

Yes, my main problem is not eating too much, it is eating too little, and even then usually taking the easy way out. Why make eggs when the cereal is faster? Why bake a potato when the noodles will take just a few minutes?

I don’t know why I let myself lose track of my diet. I feel so much better when I am eating as I should. The energy I have while eating right is incredible. Right now, I feel so sluggish I just want to sleep all day long.

Not good when you are trying to get a business off the ground, finish a book, publish poetry, and make enough money to start the family you have wanted since you could talk in full sentences.

So, the diet begins now. The work outs will begin in earnest after the diet has had a little time to take effect. Trying to work out now only has the effect of draining what little energy I have because I’m not giving my body the fuel it needs.

Gone is the too lazy to cook pizza night.

Banished are cookies, cake and candy (except for the one dark chocolate piece a day).

Out with the midnight ice cream parties.

A chocolate chip oatmeal square from last summer.

A chocolate chip oatmeal square from last summer.

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I will miss you… for a couple weeks.

After that, I am hoping that those around me will be supportive enough to not try and convince me that ‘one won’t hurt you’. Or saying silly things like ‘You’ve had a rough week, you’ve earned it.’

What I have earned is the desire to stay with it this time. I miss feeling strong and resilient. I miss popping out of bed in the morning ready to face the day. It was much better then. I want it back.

And I will have it back,

even if I have to club every nay-sayer with my vegetable wok.

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After the first couple weeks of being really strict with myself I will allow one (1) cheat meal a week.

You still need to have a little fun in life.

The main thing I will try to accomplish with this is fueling my body properly so that my blood sugar levels are more even through the day. When that happens I will have the energy to work out on a regular basis, then look out body fat! Here come the measuring tape, two pound weights, and walking shoes!

Bwahahahaha!

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It would be really nice to be able to wear my wedding rings again.

It will be really nice to be able to wear my wedding rings again.

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Video

It’s Going Great! – A Flash Fiction

27 Nov

“Let me hear it.”

“Hear what?”

“The whining and complaining about your current project.”

“No whining… And I can’t think of any complaints.”

“Uh-huh.”

Really. Everything is working quite well. My main character is playing nicely with the rest of the cast. The central plot hasn’t bullied any of the littler sub-plots. And the plot holes are healing nicely from last week’s surgery.”

“You mean we’re going to get through lunch without the usual sob-fest?”

“Yeeesss.”

“Huh.”

“Why is that so hard for you to believe?”

“Because it’s never happened.”

“Well there’s a first time for everything. The only thing I have to add about this book is that it’s going great. Now pass me the dessert menu, I need some chocolate cake.

…And maybe some pie.

…And I hear they’ve got a wide variety of stuff to put into milkshakes.”

“Going great, huh?”

“Shut up.”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRbBegjoLU8

One of my favorite movies.  😀 

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How To Keep A Writer Entertained And Happy

26 Nov

This is just a short list of things you can do to help keep life with your Writer a little more comfortable for the both of you. Whether your Writer is your wife, room-mate, sister, daughter, or strange person who comes over in her sleep to use your computer, using these tips could make things a little easier.

(Disclaimer: Every Writer and situation is different. If you discover that your Writer does not like any one of these tips please discontinue its use and attempt to find a suitable substitute. Also, the Writer is referred to as ‘she’, this is simply because I am a female Writer and have no knowledge of what it is like being a male Writer. Sorry.)

  1. Keep her surrounded by books. Preferably from her favorite genre or author, if not, just be sure it’s not drivel.
  2. Make sure you do not interrupt her supply of coffee, soda, apple juice, gin and tonic, Twinnings decaf English Breakfast tea (or, you know, whatever she drinks).
  3. Chocolate is always welcome, especially while really buckling down to get stuff done (rather than staring at the wall thinking about what she is going to get done…).
  4. Allow her to keep her environment the way she wants it. If the room is too cold for her to work comfortably, let her bring in a space heater; if she needs things to be quiet, put the pets and kids in another area of the house; if she needs to have no interruptions…
  5. Do not be suicidal. This one is a little more tricky. It includes things such as asking how the ‘writing thing’ is going today, then walking off before she is three words into the answer. Or peeking over her shoulder to watch the words appear on the computer screen. It doesn’t matter how mild mannered she is, you have just died a horrifying death in her mind… repeatedly. Please refrain from such actions so that she does not have the urge to act on these imaginings in the real world. Prison time could really interfere with her ‘writing thing’.
  6. Hugs. Some Writers need a lot of hugs (from the right people/person). There are several universes competing for face time inside her head, and she is working really hard to remember which one is ‘reality’. Hugs help her remember.
  7. Encourage her to occasionally take a little time to watch a good movie with you. This could include: Princess Bride, Star Wars, Thor, Beauty and the Beast, Sabrina, The Avengers, Quigley Down Under, Labyrinth, Hotel Transylvania, The Blind Side, Captain America, etc.
  8. From time to time you may find that it would be in her best interest to help her leave the house. On these rare occasions (such as Christmas, family vacations, and her annual physical) you may need to ‘encourage’ her as she leaves the house. Don’t be alarmed if this results in claw marks in the door jam. A little buffing and that’ll come right out.
  9. You may occasionally need to be a sounding board. If your Writer feels the need to talk about her work in progress with you, please listen. She most likely just needs to hear something aloud so as to clarify it in her mind. Also, please do not be offended when she spaces out in the middle of a sentence and rushes back to her computer. You have helped, really.
  10. When you do interrupt her creative flow, please be sure that it is for a worthwhile cause, such as: the house is on fire; one of the kids needs to go to the emergency room; those sirens mean a tornado is coming and we all need to get into the basement; and the most important one of all “Dinner is ready”.

While this is just the tip of the ice burg, I hope it will help keep your life and relationship with your Writer on an even keel.

Lovely tea.  :)

Lovely tea. 🙂

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Most of these are meant half jokingly,

but there is at least a little truth in all of them.

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Emotions Suck

15 Nov

They really do.

No, I’m not talking about the happy kind. I am talking about the kind that attack you after hearing bad news, or seeing something terrible, or… like losing your job or something. Those kinds of emotions.

They hurt. You feel like you have taken a sucker punch to the gut, and you get dropped into this strange whirlwind state where your thoughts are going so fast you actually can’t think. Sitting in the eye of a hurricane would probably be the best analogy for that moment.

The world rocks, and the only reason you are still standing is because some strange part of your mind has gone into survival mode and plays nursemaid to the rest of your completely incapacitated brain. As you sit in the center of that storm, watching in wide eyed confusion, a piece of your consciousness takes you by the hand and reminds you to breathe, to blink.

This part of your mind is the only thing keeping you from screaming for the rest of your life. This part of your mind is how you can joke a little in the following moments. It’s how you have the ability to call someone to come get you, to remember to put on your coat, and coaches you through each step you take… for I don’t know how long.

These emotions, they are hard to take. They claw at your heart, clench your throat, obliterate your normal thinking pattern.

The next day, you wake up and for a moment everything is fine. Completely normal. Then the fog of sleep lifts, and the memories of that event, that conversation come crashing onto you like a wall of broken bricks.

It’s amazing what can get accomplished by muscle memory. They happen because your body just naturally goes through the motions. You get into the living room and looking down realize that you actually managed to dress yourself. Your shoes even match.

Piece by piece thoughts start to return. Fragments, really. Floating in ever so quietly. It might be the next day, it might take significantly longer, but you start to have opinions again. Food preferences, what you want to drink, how you want your eggs.

Don’t rush it. Let your mind come out of hiding in it’s own time. You wouldn’t want to startle it further by expecting too much too fast. If you do, you might not hear from it again for weeks.

Chocolate. Chocolate is good for the soul. I personally believe that if Lonnie had not picked me up with chocolate in his hand I would still not be functional. Sure I looked decent on the outside. Carried on a couple conversations, hugged relatives, gave goodbye kisses to little ones. But that was all being controlled by the nanny brain cells. The rest of my mind was curled up in bed willing the entire experience to be a horrible, horrible nightmare. That didn’t just happen. I didn’t just get told that. Everything is going to be fine, as soon as I figure out how to wake up.

But Lonnie had chocolate. I hadn’t told my husband anything yet, but he had brought me the perfect sanity tool. Besides himself, that is.

I still haven’t let myself get a hug from him. No. No hugs yet from Lonnie. You would need a mop and bucket to clean up after me. There is too much right now. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after that. Maybe.

I will have to process this. Just not right now. Please, not right now.

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