2018-07-19 MFA Day 4 and 5 – Blurred Lines

I only just now having a minute to reflect on day 4 and 5 because things have been extremely busy and time is flying by so quickly. I only know it’s IS day 4 and 5 I’m thinking about because I looked at the schedule and counted the days ), 1, 2, 3 and that is where I left off last. There has been a lot. The lines between one story and the next, one day and the next are starting to blur and now I’m running short on time for the past.

I always try to pick a title to my posts which best describes what I am talking about. Like RH, sometimes it starts there and wanders somewhere else and sometimes it stays right were it is. The title to this blog could have been any of the following:

– Bad Decisions
– The Nature Walk and Hashimoto
– On Empty Tanks
– Why I Write Poetry
– Defending My Boringness
– The Proposition
– The Second Proposition
– Being on the Cusp
– MFA Sometimes Stands for Mother Fucking Artists (or Assholes)
– Good Decisions
– On Being First (and Last)
– The Good and Bad About Being Invisible
– I Still Don’t Like Scotch

I should write a little blurb about each one, so that I can maybe remember what it was I was thinking about, capture the essence of it, so I can write more about it later. But sadly, as usual “Aint nobody got time for that”. (I’m really not trying to compare my list to a fire or having bronchitis here.. I’m really not).

How about this – I’ll write a little bit now about.. something, and then if I get any comments about one of the titles above, I will write about that? This is presuming someone reads this and feels inclined to comment. Hell, my 16 year old posted a similar thing to her, now six week old you-tube channel and had like a hundred comments. So I’m going with it.

Last night instead of eating dinner at the lodge, there was a quaint group of us that went for Mexican food because one of the gals had finished her both her graduation lecture and reading (her non-fiction story was pretty amazing). There were just four of us. I had one margarita (on special for 1.99), and two ala-cart items from the menu. It was very average, but I was in great company. I’m not sure if the trips to the bathroom this morning are from the food, or what I drank afterwords out on the back deck, which also wasn’t much – a glass or three of wine, but I’ve been back and forth to the bathroom a few times this morning with some unpleasantness. I’m hoping that all ends before mandatory workshop this morning.

Today I have a lunch meeting with my mentor. The title I left out above was “The Big Reveal”, so consider that an option too. We also have student readings and I’m feeling great about that because I did mine two days ago. Quite pleased with how it went actually.

I had a late night last night and didn’t really get any sleep. This is not an exaggeration, it’s my truth. My FitBit tells me I had 4 hours and 14 minutes and I feel like that’s a lie. It says I went to bed at 1:12 and woke up at 6:38. The 6:38 part is true but I saw the clock at 1:15, 1:30, 2, 2:30, 3, 3:30, and 4 (approximations) – so I know I wasn’t sleeping. Between my stomach and the sleep deprivation, today is going to be rough. I’m not ready for it.

Ready or not, it’s happening,
~Miss SugarCookie

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2018-06-29 The Railcar Cheeseburger and Other Random Unrelated Drama.. 4 🍔👍🏻

Yesterday I met one of my former coworkers for a happy hour drink at a place called the Railcar. I probably meet up with Her about once every six weeks or so. We first met at my last job and as fate would have it, we started on the exact same day in 2012. We were on different teams but got it off pretty much right away.

She was very much my confidant, for both work related rants and personal issues. Toward the end of my relationship with Matt she was the one who said something that I took to heart. One afternoon I had had a lunch Meetup with him where my already broken heart was crushed into a thousand small shards because I said “I love you” and he walked away leaving me unrequited. It was such a stabbing pain and I cried my eyes out all the way back to the office. Arriving back to work, Sam and I crossed paths at the front doors. She recognized my state (trying to pull that shit in and get it back together) and she said to me “..you deserve better. You deserve someone who can’t wait to talk to you everyday, someone who is excited to see you..” There was more to it, but in my delicate state, that’s all I remembered and it finally sank in.

That was a turning point for me. A huge step forward acknowledging the truth in her words. Of course now I know how it feels, to have a person who wants me like that in my life. It’s glorious.

Anyway, Sam outlasted me at that job but in the end it was very much the same end to the same story. They use you until they loose you. Endless human capital out there in the world apparently, but a terrible way to operate. Her story is not mine to tell but I can say this much… she’s worlds happier where she is now. And what’s more, the weight of the world and the fate of the company is no longer hanging in the balance and depending on the success of pushing past limits week in and week out. We do our jobs well and then we clock out. Get in and get out and leave the drama in the cube.

Well Hell – is this a post about my life struggles or a cheeseburger review or what?😜 Getting to the point now…

So we met at Railcar to do our regular catch up session and tell the stories of the day. It was good. I’ve had their Happy hour cheeseburger before and have been remiss in actually writing about it. What I can say is that it’s one worth repeating.

It’s a little smaller than a normal restaurant burger. It’s bigger than a slider but not nearly the size of that half pound beast I had at Garbos. It’s because it’s their happy hour special and just a slightly smaller version of their dinner entree offering..

THE RAILCAR WAGYU BURGER
red top farms ground short rib, bacon apple jam, red onion, romaine lettuce, brie cheese, garlic aioli

One thing I would comment on right away is that it is really tough to grill a smaller party and get it right. So easy to overcook, but this one is spot on. The only change I requested from the standard was swapping cheeses. I had cheddar instead of Gouda. Typically I would say hold the lettuce too but since this is not my first Rodeo at the Railcar, I know they don’t overdo it like they do at some places. Some places pile on the lettuce like they think you wanted a salad instead of beef. Either that or there’s not a lot of substance and they are making the burger look bigger using a giant stack of green. Totally unnecessary. Railcar gets that. There’s just enough lettuce to add some fresh texture and crunch and it serves as an excellent topping to hold onto the sauce, which is quite tasty in its own right. A little sweet and a little savory… nothing at all akin to ketchup and mustard which is a good thing.

The cheese was melty and the bun was slightly toasted. My only complaint would be that it could use a slightly larger portion of cheese. Being a happy hour treat it’s served solo so at some point I’ll have to try the full entree. In any case, it’s a solid 4 and I’ll definitely be back for more.

(I’d go back again anyway since this spot is a regular meet-up location for Sam and I). 😊

Until Next Bite,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-27 Back to Reality

I’m Finally catching up to real time after my glorious vacation and getting back to reality. In truth as things were coming to an end, reality began creeping in on me and it was sort of a struggle to really enjoy the final day of my trip. The stress of what was just around the corner weighed heavy on me which had everything to do with what was supposed to be another work trip to California quite literally starting the morning after I arrived home from Florida.

The facts were as follows… plane arrived home from Miami at 11pm and flight out to San Jose departs at 6:30am. When I booked my flight out, I was totally in the zone, feeling great about everything and had no doubt I could make it work. That, folks, was a serious delusion. A trick if the mind.

Sitting in the condo on Saturday I started to have serious anxiety. What was I fucking thinking. I was going to be beat down from travel, not sleep because I was flying out and have only a few hours to unpack and pack and take care of anything needed at the house or with my kids. At that point I felt like a very neglectful parent.

Circumstances beyond my control were also in play, which is their dad taking a new job which requires travel every week. So they’ve been mostly solo for the better part of a week and a half. They are teenagers and very self sufficient but that doesn’t change the fact that I was missing them. I probably needed to see them more than they needed me, but it is what it is.

Anyway sitting on the couch with Jim I began to unravel and we talked through it. The only answer was to cancel the California trip. I felt very much like that this was me being caught between a Rock and a hard place, but cancelling was the right answer.

The rock was the reality that if I tried to make it, I would be a useless lump to the team, tired and worried about what I’d left undone at home. I would be meeting the people paying us for our contract Work for the first time and I was afraid my first impression would be dismal. And.. if I pushed the trip out a few days, like my boss first suggested, I would miss the rest of the team sort of defeating one of the main purposes for going out there. It was also going to cost a lot more to change flights, get a room, and Uber to make it work. It would have been a waste of money and I was worried about that too.

The hard place was that this whole thing, if I cancelled, would reflect poorly on me in the eyes of the people I’m working for. Either I look like I’m poor at planning or that I just can’t hang under pressure. Neither one of these things is true of course. I’ve come through with flying colors in really high pressure Work situations before. Many times. And I’m an excellent planner, most of the time.

This one, not so much. Like I said, a trick of the mind. I’m a hard worker, and very dedicated and dependable and will sometimes (too often) take on too much or rather allow too much to be piled on. That’s what led to my crisis at the last job. I was a star and keeping that status meant taking more and more on all the time. So much so that I nearly drowned.

During my time off after quitting that job, I did a lot of reflecting on the situation. I had to come to terms with the fact that the company I was working for, specifically the president, was never to be satisfied. They would always push for more as long as I would allow it. Zeroing in on that is key. I was allowing it. I was willing and didn’t push back. I was the one with my hand on the faucet and refusing to turn right. I didn’t want to loose my status or reputation, and that, my friends, is the real hard place.

I feel very much like this current situation was made to test me. Did I learn my lesson? I’m still in the drivers seat of my life. Could I make the right choice for my health and happiness? The answer is a resounding “yes”.

I cancelled my flight and was straight with my boss about it and let him handle the comms. to the team and to the People funding our contract who will have to wait for some future date to meet me. I spoke to our HR person to get advice about the flight cancellation and she was helpful. They were both very understanding and helpful. Will it tarnish my reputation? Perhaps. But I need to be ok with that.

It’s taken me a few days to come back to reality, to get my house in order and re-establish a cadence with my day, and re-connect with my kids. It’s super clear, in hindsight, that any other choice would have been a disaster. My challenge now is sticking to my guns and not allowing this kind of situation to creep up again. I need to recognize it off in the distance and manage appropriately. Seems easy enough from where I am now, and my mantra of “balance” is the key.

Hey, that reminds me of a poem I wrote once that was a parody of a Meghan Trainor song. The poem was called “All About that Balance”…

https://shyspark.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/song-parody-all-about-that-balance/

I wrote that in 2014. You think I would have learned long before now to follow my own advice. Such is life. 😜

Now Returning to My Regularly Scheduled Programming,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-25 The Key West Garbos Cheeseburger.. 4.5! 🧡🍔

My Key West vacation might be over, but I’m not closing the book until I capitalize on the opportunity to do a review the two Cheeseburger experiences I had on my journey. All I have to say about this first one is “move over burger boys, you never stood a chance”. In all fairness, my score of 4.5 is somewhat biased due to the overall experience. This was truly a Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Mid-way through our trip I mentioned to JS that I’d like to find a delicious burger and like everything else in my life right now, it was “ask and you shall receive”. No sooner did the words slip from my lips, and he was hot in the case finding the perfect place. That place turned out to be the Blackfinn Bistro.

That afternoon we drove the familiar route from our condo to where all the hustle and bustle of the Island starts. The island is small, 2 miles by 4 miles. Lots of people get around on bikes and scooters and parking a car is a serious bitch, so once we found a spot and paid for it, we were committed. The bistro was a short two or three blocks away and when we arrived we were met at the door by a printed page that indicated the establishment was closed for an indeterminate amount of time for renovations. What??!! It would have been nice for them to put that on their web sight. Epic fail.

Not to worry, Jim was Johnny on the spot with a backup plan. Soon we were off on foot to find Garbos, which was number 2 on his list. We walked almost 2 miles, which if you are paying attention, is most of the distance across the island. When we arrived we found a dive bar and nestled in back of that lot was a tiny food truck. That’s Garbos.

The reviews of this place are great and they are known for their spectacular fish tacos, but that’s not my game. Nope.. for Miss SugarCookie it’s all about the Cheeseburgers. There’s only 1 on the menu.. the Umamiburger:

UMAMIBURGER

1/2 pound angus, topped with a heirloom tomato, applewood bacon, chipotle gouda then served on a brioche bun. If you are feeling a little adventures ask for the Landon Calrissian.

Since I don’t care for chipotle flavor, I had them substitute their smoked Gouda instead. It was a Gouda choice! 😜 After we ordered, we had a seat inside the bar and had them pour us a couple of cold ones while we waited. There was no AC and it was damn hot out. I was sweaty, hot, and hungry from our little walk across the island and so when they placed it in front of me, I dove right in (after getting a quick pic for posterity of course).

Can you say “amazing”? Say it with me… “Amazing”. Like the Universe was rewarding me for all my good deeds, this burger was perfect for me. The burger was cooked to my liking, medium rare and had just the right amount of juicyness. The Gouda cheese was melted on the patty and topped with bacon and tomato, also at just the right proportions. The brioche bun was delish. This burger was proof that if done right, no sauce is required. I would not have wanted it any other way. It’s also proof that a food truck can turn out food just as good or better than any fancy Bistro. Sorry Blackfinn, you loose.

My 4.5 rating out of 5 is a comprehensive score that takes the experience into account too. That’s why I’m saying there’s a little bit of bias in it. I mean, having something that you love with someone that you love in a wonderful place is tough to top.

Well done Garbos.. if I ever get back to the Keys, I’ll be paying you another visit. Maybe next time I’ll get the fish tacos instead. (Hahaha, fat chance).

Enjoying Every Bite,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-21 Key West Day 2

We’ve already done so much here I can hardly believe we’re only in the middle of day 2. Yesterday we went on a glass bottom boat tour around the see and it was about 45 minutes out, 30 tooling around out on the aqua water and 45 back. What can I say about Florida so far?… it’s hot and the sun is brutal.

When we arrived back at port we walked around that very touristy part of town and stopped in a few places to have a drink. One of those places was Captain Tony’s which had live music and hundreds of dollar bills stapled to the walls and ceiling (it also had a bunch of bras hanging from the ceiling too). We sat for a bit and talked and then moved on down the street. I’m not much for shopping so just walking around and talking was nice. We It’s a very interesting area with lots of rich history. In the evening we had dinner reservations for a really nice place.

We had crab cakes and oysters for apps and I had rated my crab cake at lunch the day before at a six out of 10. This one was a solid 8. It’s about the crab and the way it is prepared, but also about the sauce. A good sauce can elevate any dish a few points and is absolutely necessary to hit the top. Cheeseburgers might be my main jam, but crab cakes are on my top three list. If I go somewhere they have these things, I’m commanded internally to order them. The third thing on that list is a Reuben sandwich. If I ever go somewhere and they have all three, then I know I am in trouble.

The name of this place was Prime – and I knew JS would be getting the surf and turf and I didn’t really feel the need to have a steak also so I elected to have order the pork chop with mashed potatoes instead. Again it was the sauce that made it what it was. At dinner we had more great conversation and I ended getting a little teary confessing my feelings. Not that the alcohol had anything to do with that but I had had a few more drinks with dinner and they were not made for a lightweight like me. I know he feels the same as me because I can see it in his eyes. He reciprocated my affections and we finished our meal and walked hand in hand around the docks. It was wonderful. Everything with him has been wonderful. He has gone above and beyond to make this trip really special and has done a great job planning everything.

When we got back to our condo, I was still really tipsy and insisted that we get in our swim suits and head out to the pool. We grabbed another cold drink from the fridge and did just that. By this time, the sun was long set and it was dark save for the lights around the pool area. We were the only ones around and swam back and forth for a little bit. I suppose I was just trying to get the most out of the day as I could, because that’s just who I am. I didn’t want the day to end. I know I will never have an opportunity to re-live the day, so I didn’t want to waste a minute.

I don’t even know what time it was when we decided to head back inside, but it eventually seemed like the right thing to do. Of course we had a little bit of sexy time and then both fell fast asleep for the night after that. A very full day indeed.

Today has already topped yesterday which is tough to imagine. I definitely intend to write all about it because I never want to forget all the things, but we are soon to be headed out to explore a different area of town soon.

Loving Every Minute,
~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-11 Late Starts

My typical routine is to get up and get my gym time in early and write all about what’s in my brain from my beloved elliptical machine. It seems like when that doesn’t happen, I’m never able to fit it in later in the day. Life gets busy and there’s just no other good time for me to sit down at my laptop and write. If I sit down at my laptop, chances are I’ll be working.

It’s kinda funny because in the past when I blogged everyday (before I started again in 2017), I used to only be able to write just before bed. I’d be completely done with my day and grab my laptop and get in bed and that’s when I’d start. The end result of that was that most of what I wrote was an account of what happened during that day. And I think it was often shorter because sleep was always knocking on my door. Matt always.. ALWAYS saw me doing that and suggested I write in the mornings instead. He also suggested I start a blog critiquing cheeseburgers around town. I guess I’ve taken him up on both those suggestions. Not that I would ever bring that up when I see him again (tomorrow) because it’s not just cheeseburgers here, you know, it’s everything in my head including my thoughts on him and us and how he wrecked everything.

I’ve never been so direct before, but if you’ve read some of the early 2017 posts tagged with “relationship”, it’s likely been implied. What’s probably also been implicit and explicit along the way is that I still have feelings for him. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that it is unavoidable or inevitable or something like that. Even in the glow of new love, it has not disappeared. Five+ years of loving someone doesn’t dissolve into nothing. Damn.

Several weeks ago when he reached out to me to see if I wanted to have a Meetup I agreed. Call it curiosity or an experiment on the workings of the human heart or whatever, but I was compelled to accept. Being busy and somewhat disinterested when that day arrived made me cancel. Guilt made me reschedule. And now we have lunch set for tomorrow. 🙄 whatever.

Today I’m getting a late start to my gym time and consequently also my blog. This morning I had to pack up all the shit I took to JS’s house last week and move it all back to my house. After that, as it happens, I had to get some work done so it was delayed more. Now I’ve finally arrived and I am trying to get into my groove.

Something has been off with me for a few days now.. low energy, very sleepy, lack of focus and, being quite frank, I’m also late for my period by by about 3 days. It’s like my whole system is on pause. I don’t need to be concerned about potential babies (according to JS), so it’s something else. What IT is, I’m not sure, but it’s terrible timing. There’s never a good time but if things went according to schedule I’d be over and done with all that mess by the time I fly to Nashville this week.

Now, instead, I will probably start the day before and then have to deal with that traveling. As if the anxiety of flying and meeting my bosses and co-workers for the first time isn’t enough. Gawd!

It’s now about 3 in the afternoon all this late start business has me feeling off and I’m going to give up and go back home. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back on track.

Over It and Out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2018-06-07 The JS Cheeseburger 🍔- A Solid 3.75

3.75 Out of 5. I’m going to try not to focus too much on the fact that my rating scale is flawed and needs some refinement and just roll with it.

I had another JS burger experience last night and it’s the 4th or 5th time so it’s about time I broke down the facts and shared about it.

First, the beef.. Nebraska grass fed obtained from the local Whole Foods, cuz that’s how we roll. No spices, just smashed into patties and cooked on a medium/high gas flame grilll. Five minutes each side and I get to hang out and talk with the cook while he works his magic.

Once the burgers are done, it’s back to the kitchen so the assembly can take place. For mine, it’s two slices of cheese, one aged white cheddar of unknown origin and one Kraft medium orange cheddar (white on the bottom and orange on top). Dill pickle slices and Dijon mustard on top of that. All between a gluten free ciabatta bun. There were als more dill slices on the side with lays potato chips. Delicious!

On the down side.. The burger was cooked a little more than I like it and the post grill prep of the rest of the food took too long and by the time we sat down to eat, it wasn’t very hot anymore.

On the plus side, I really was in control of my own toppings and got to snuggle up next to my sweetie when we were done eating and continue watching our new show. We finished “Lost In Space”, which was great, and started “The Colony”. Last nights got we got through episode 3 and so far so good. But this isn’t a review of TV shows, it’s a review of a Cheeseburger. 🍔 😜

This particular time, I’m giving it a 3.75 because it’s still better than most but there’s definite room for improvement. I’ve had 4s and even 4.25 here before but that was under different circumstances. Nameley a different bun. The quality of the bun is on me. I’m gluten free right now and that’s mostly so I stop eating so much bread and pasta. I wouldn’t even be having gluten free bread if it weren’t for the fact that eating a burger without a bun is against my religion. So for this I have to make an exception.

The great news on this one is that I’m gonna have lots of opportunities to improve the score. I’m seeing a long happy future with JS perfecting ‘our’ cheeseburger.

After dinner and the show, we jumped in the car and did a loop around the city to watch/follow a pretty bad-ass thunderstorm. It came from the north and bypassed the west part of town so we headed east. We ended up seeing a couple intense cloud to ground lightning strikes and were pretty close to the action. By the time we finished the loop it had dissipated and I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch. It was a great night. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another Burger in the Books,

~Miss SugarCookie