Thursday, March 31, 2022

Happy Birthday, Dad

 Today would have been my dad's 88th birthday. Both he and my mom passed away in 2015, within a few months of each other. I still miss them both very much, but as time moves on, I find it easier to talk about them without the accompanying melancholy I experienced those first few years.

Dad and I had a complicated relationship. I never lived up to what he expected of me, and I'm fine with that. Expectations are just that - expectations. The majority of the time, they are unattainable, and I feel we expend far too much energy and time into stressing over them. Once I finally figured out that the only person on this Earth I owe any explanations to is MYSELF, I finally felt at peace. My mental health has flourished, and I actually have found that my relationships with my family members have improved dramatically.

Here's to you, Dad ... save me a seat at the dinner table, will ya?

Monday, March 28, 2022

The Smack Heard Around The World

 The 2022 Academy Awards will go down in history for many reasons. The first openly queer person of color to win a major acting award. Despite being nominated for 12 Oscars, one film walked away with only one statue - for Best Director. A film with a mostly deaf cast winning the Best Picture award.

But perhaps the one thing that most people will remember is "the smack heard around the world." In case you've been living under a rock, Will Smith (eventual winner of the Best Actor award) became highly agitated at an extremely out of place and rude comment concerning his with, the gorgeous Jada Pinkett Smith, made by presenter Chris Rock. It's widely known that there is a history of animosity between Mr. Smith and Mr. Rock (a quick Google search will get you all the info you need on THAT topic). Mr. Smith walked up on stage and smacked the ever loving crap out of Mr. Rock.

Needless to say, people have been talking about this incident ad nauseum ever since.

After reflecting on it for a while, I've come to some conclusions I'd like to share.

  • Chris Rock is not funny. Never has been, never will be. He's a bully who thinks insulting people will get him laughs. 
  • Will Smith has a temper. Like ... DUH.
  • Violence against another human being is NEVER the answer.
  • Toxic masculinity is alive and well in Hollywood.
It's unfortunate that an otherwise lovely ceremony will be forever marred by this incident. Let's all learn a lesson from this - if you don't have anything nice to say (especially about the way a person looks), keep your mouth shut. We have no clue what's going on in someone's life. And quite frankly, it's none of our damn business. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Where Was Your Most Memorable Vacation?

 Mine was a cruise to Alaska, to see the Hubbard Glacier. Hands down the most beautiful site I've ever seen, and definitely something I want to do again.


Friday, March 25, 2022

Do You Own An Air Fryer?

 I have to admit I'm very late to the party. I discovered air fryer cooking a couple of months ago, and let me tell you, it is a game changer. Constantly looking for ways to eat healthier, my internet browsing and searching lately has been mostly about less fattening ways to cook. I've used my air fryer to make fried chicken, crispy potatoes, and even chicken wings! 

My latest discovery is air fried chickpeas. Yes, you read that correctly - chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans), those little beige-toned nuggets mostly widely known as the base for a good hummus (BTW, if you have any good hummus recipes, let me know). Air fried chickpeas make a great snack, and are super easy to make. You can flavor them however you like; I recently used plain old seasoned salt with a sprinkle of hot smoked Hungarian paprika - chef's kiss delish! Let me know if you try different flavors - I think I'm going to try lemon pepper next time.

Air Fryer Chickpeas

  • Preheat air fryer to 380° F (193°C for those in Europe) for 5 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly one 15 oz can of chickpeas; no need to dry them off
  • In a medium bowl, add chickpeas, 1 tablespoon of good extra virgin olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of your seasoning of choice (more if you like a bolder flavor); toss with a spoon until every chickpea is coated
  • Remove basket from air fryer and lightly spray with a non-stick cooking spray
  • Put the coated chickpeas in the basket, and replace it into the air fryer
  • Air fry for 18 to 20 minutes, tossing the peas around ever 6 minutes or so

See, I told you it was super simple! Enjoy! 

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Lunch With Friends

 Today, I had lunch with two lovely people from my church, Royal Lane Baptist Church. Linda and Wayne are a little older than I am, and I found myself listening with fascination as they talked about something that used to be commonplace at RLBC. It was intriguing to hear their point of view and dismay that things have changed so much over the past several years (somewhat due to COVID-19, but there are certainly other factors involved). I can't say that I commiserated with them, but I certainly do understand their longing for a sense of normalcy to return.

As I was driving home (well, to the grocery store, actually), I thought about everything we'd discussed as we enjoyed the good food and each other's company. I felt sad that so many of us (myself included) have shut ourselves off from others. There is really no one person or thing to point at and say, "It's all your fault!" It just IS. 

I shall endeavor to make the changes necessary in my own life to ensure that I don't become a hermit (or worse yet, that crazy guy who lives at the end of the street and yells at everyone for walking on his lawn). I encourage you all to do the same. 

Dallas Stars

 Not really a random photo, but I just loved how happy we look. With my friend and housemate Kristina.