Thursday, July 28, 2011

Smash365: Dreams

Jul 28, 2011 by cara moulds

If you are going to create anyway, if you cannot avoid dreaming, then why not create a beautiful dream?  Why not dream well and really enjoy your dream?  If you can believe in your limitations, then why not believe in the beauty and power of life that’s flowing through you? – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Fifth Agreement

What is a limitation you believe you have?  What would happen if you believed the opposite?

I believe that I’m a bad person. I believe that for all my ability and accomplishment, deep inside, I have rotted and I have nothing of value to offer. That anyone involved with me would be better off without me… and this terrifies me. I believe that my presence is a detriment. I believe that what I want is utterly selfish. That wanting anything is selfish.  I fear that I only want for me and not for other people though I know I give in return.  I believe that wanting anything for myself makes me selfish and therefore bad.

Oddly, I’ve accepted this even as I fight it.

I accept that I want certain things. I question whether I deserve them. Whether I have a right to ask for them, even as I ask for them or reach for them. I don’t just take though. I do give in return, probably much, much more than I take. Still I wonder if it’s enough. I don’t know if I’ll ever internalize a feeling of acceptance. It’s cause for a lot of my internal conflict. Cause for a lot of my inner guilt.

Somewhere in my reading of Eastern philosophy I read that to receive is as virtuous as to give. It allows another to feel the gift of giving when you allow yourself to be open to what they would share.

If I could embrace this, I would be less burdened. Happy.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Quit - #Studio30Plus

I Quit

This is something I fail at. I’m not good at stopping anything, while I am very good at beginning new things. What this translates to, is to make for a very busy girl.  

Oh I suppose it’s not strictly true. I no longer play any of the sports I did growing up or in high school. But even then it wasn’t throwing down my mit and storming off the field. It was, “Well the season is over…. Oh look I’m too busy to start up again in the fall”.
So let me tell you the story of how I quit sprinkles.
It’s pretty much stuck. I only had to do it once. For Lent. No, I’m not Catholic. Or Christian for that matter. But I quit sprinkles for Lent and never picked them back up again.
You see, my manager was heavily involved in his faith. Each year he would make a big production of renewing his dedication to abstinence from alcohol. He would pull out one frosty brew from the walk in freezer, set it out…. And look at it. Moreso, he left it out for the rest of us to look at as well. It was a testament of his faith that he could see it every day, and not be swayed by temptation. Of course, he also wanted us to do this as well.  I wouldn’t say I’m a militant atheist, but I’m militantly not Christian. However I do have a sense of humor. So after yet another lecture on the virtues of self-deprivation I took a deep breath, threw back my shoulders, and marched right back into the back of the shop. I hauled over the footstool to reach the bin of multi-colored sugar accessories and set it gently down on the counter. I pulled back the lid, smelling the sickly sweet scent that accompanied the release of air and gingerly pulled out five sprinkles. One in each color. After replacing the storage bin to it’s dry dock I palmed my acquisition and shuffled back out to the front of the house where my manager was tending the register. I then informed him that I would be partaking in his yearly ritual and that I too, had something to relinquish for Lent. And I threw those 5 sprinkles right in the garbage. Never to be touched again.

Did you know 5 sprinkles cost ten cents? I do now.

Smash365: Fear

Since it appears that the #Trust30 writing challenge is up ::sigh:: I have decided to try the Smash365 writing prompt instead. Today’s is:

Smash365: Fear
Jul 26, 2011 by cara moulds

“Fearlessness comes from a habit of doing lots of little things that constantly put you out of your comfort zone.” – Marty Wilson

What are you doing today to take you out of your comfort zone?

I feel like I’ve been in a rut for a while. Or like things don’t take me out of my comfort zone. Or that I’m always out of my comfort zone. All at the same time.
Work is my lease comfortable person. She exists in an environment that is not comfortable for her. That does not suit her personality, that makes her want to crawl out of her own skin. Every day here is an attempt to push myself just one more day beyond my boundaries of tolerance. And make others believe that I do, in fact, belong here.
The pretending has an odd effect. I feel split to my core. That this is not some place I belong or should be. On the other, the playing a part for 9 hours a day I occasionally slip fully into the roll, even for just a moment or two I feel like I belong in a meeting, talking to a vendor, performing my analysis. The disconnect comes in the fact that I am very capable of doing all of these things, though they do not feel like my true calling. They are something I am good at, not something I am passionate about…. Which is where this place is both comfortable, because it is not challenging, and not because it takes me away from my identity.
This however, is not what the prompt cues.
Going back to school. Again, both in and out of my comfort zone. I will be embarking on a challenge into a field that is  utterly new. It doesn’t completely feel like it’s pushing me out of my comfort zone because I thrive in an academic environment and clearly I have gone to school before. Also, the psych field I have dabbled in amatuerly. However to do it with the mindset of becoming a professional in the field, now that, is pushing the bounds of what I am accustomed to. It’s a field where I do not know how to go about finding my footing. I have no idea of the field work, interactive processes that accompany preparing you for the working world in this field. Engineering is cut and dry. Do the work, get an internship, do what you’re told, graduate, get a job. It’s all very objective. Psychology is a little less rigid. It seems more subjective. I’m intrigued. It will be a way to use my brain in a field that is utterly foreign in a way that I do not get to normally.
It’s a little scary to take the step outside of my established environment. Scary, but exhilarating.

Side note: I cleared up the hold on my transcripts and hopefully I’ll be able to arrange a meeting with an academic advisor by Friday =)

I also wonder if I even have a comfort zone. I don’t seem to be comfortable anywhere, at any time, save for brief moments of it where my mind is taken to places of fleeting peace. When I feel like I’m floating outside of my Self it’s difficult to settle into my own skin long enough to obtain that sense of comfortable calm. The best I can usually hope for is to occupy my mind so much so that I forget my malaise. This is why I constantly push myself, try new things, explore new avenues of adventure and information. Perhaps this is why I do not often feel outside of my ‘comfort zone’ because every chance I get I push my limits into a new venue. Nothing seems foreign to me, because often everything is. Who I am, what I’m doing, where I’m going, how I go about doing it… every time I try something new, it makes going outside of my comfort zone, a comfort.

x-posted: Borderline

Gorgonzola-Potato Soup

As I had a request for the recipe…. Here it is. Enjoy!

Gorgonzola-Potato Soup

1 onion – I use Vidalia or Sweet Onion
1 Tbsp butter
3 medium potatoes (e.g. Vivaldi or baking potatoes)
3 clove garlic
½ c. sherry – I use Taylor Dry or Golden Sherry (Good for Cooking)
2 ¼ c. vegetable stock
3 oz. gorgonzola or any blue cheese – I measure out about 3 level shotglasses
1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice OR 1-2 Tbsp Sour Cream (whichever is more convenient)
salt, pepper to taste
Peel and chop the onions, peel and crush the garlic.
In a heavy-based pot, melt the butter, then fry the onion until translucent – about 12 min.
Peel and finely dice the potatoes. Add the garlic and potatoes to the onions and cook for another few minutes.
Deglaze with the sherry (Pour sherry onto potato/onion and continue to sautee making sure to coat thoroughly with sherry), leave to bubble for about 3 minutes, then add the stock.
Cook on medium to low heat until the potatoes are soft. This takes about 15 minutes but if the potatoes are easily crushed with a spoon then they are ready. Turn off heat.
Add the diced gorgonzola and leave to melt. Add lemon juice/sour cream. Puree in a blender or use an immersion blender.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is absolutely delicious. It seems like a lot of steps but it’s really pretty easy to make and soo worth it. Don’t go too heavy on the gorgonzola/blue cheese unless you are a HUGE fan of it. A little goes a long way.

**As an alternative to the lemon juice you can also use 1-2 Tbsp of sour cream. The last time I didn’t have sour cream, so I used lemon juice and it was devoured in a blink. I’ve done so many iterations of this recipe and they are both very tasty.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend in Review: Trip Upstate

So this weekend the Lady Friend and I went upstate. She’s met the good majority of my NY friends but since she recently just moved back to my area of the state all of her friends are still back where she had gone to college. She really wanted me to meet her friends. As a consequence we had to go to them in order for me to do so.
I’ll admit I was not thrilled about the prospect. Not because I don’t want to meet her friends, but because the timing is really inopportune. I’m going on vacation shortly. I take the same vacation every year. It’s a large costuming event and  I need to finish sewing for it. The weather here has been absolutely unbearable though and since I have no AC it’s been extraordinarily difficult for me to get any sewing down (read: work up the motivation without dissolving into an angry puddle of sweat). I really needed the weekend to get stuff done but it was also the only weekend she’d have free for a long while as well. I should have said no, but I’m incapable of that apparently. Instead we compromised to go for Saturday and return Sunday. Oh, did I mention that I got to drive as well? She recently moved back in with her parents and her father didn’t like the idea of her taking her car upstate in the hot weather, and also refused to loan her one of his multiple other vehicles. Someone has control issues. Fortunately (?) my car works just fine. However, I also drive manual, which means I am the only one I know that can actually drive my car. Is driving stick a lost art? Is automatic just that much more common? Regardless, that’s how the day worked out.
We hit the road early and got into town for a late lunch at a delightful little organic deli. The food was fantastic and really hit the spot. Then we went across the street to do a little window shopping. I spotted an etched copper bracelet that I really loved but didn’t buy right away. I’m the kind of shopper that sees something (expensive) and goes about the rest of my day without purchasing it. If it’s still on my mind a few hours later, than I probably really want it and will go back.

So from there we decided spontaneously to go out to a couple wineries. The second winery wasn’t very good but it had a spectacular view being nestled back in the mountains. The first winery was amusing. We got there, and they were having some kind of event and were clearly understaffed. Eventually we started our tastings while listening to an open mic performer mangle some popular tunes. I will say though, the wine was really wonderful. Now, how this usually works is you take a look at the tasting menu, decide on the flight you want to try and pay accordingly. However, we also decided to purchase a bottle when we were done. When we went to have our flights and purchase rung up there was a problem with the register. The lady that runs the place was very nice and apologetic about the problem saying it would just be a minute. We had no worries at all as we had no place to be and were in very mellow moods (thanks in part to having just finished a flight of wine tastings). Her daughter comes over and is LOUD, abrasive, and condescending to her mother about what needs to be done for the register, the event, the this, the that…. It was like watching a reality tv show about a really obnoxious staten island princess. The mother was mortified and as a result we got our flights and our bottle of wine for free. Lovely! We made sure to tip her well. Lady Friend felt really bad for her. I was just amused at the whole thing.

We eventually get back to town and I am still thinking about the bracelet, which I purchase… along with a relatively expensive necklace that is just so perfect for Lady Friend that I decide on impulse that she has to have it. Lady Friend isn’t used to having people do this sort of thing for her, and probably I shouldn’t be so impulsive but what’s done is done and she loved the necklace. I’m not sure where this falls in terms of the relationship spectrum. What does buying jewelry for your not technically official girlfriend mean?

Then we went out for coffee (read: tea) to meet a friend, then off to dinner at a lovely gourmet teahouse to meet another. Again, fantastic food. Really, really delicious. Aaaaand her friend is Sith. We geeked out over Star Wars through most of dinner which was hysterical as Lady Friend refuses the obsession. From there we went a walk around town to a really old cemetery. I love cemeteries. The older the better. They’re so peaceful and beautiful. Then to a wine bar for more wine and chatting… then to more rowdy bar to play pool, I needed food, and get them more drunk (I was driving and needed to sober <~~~ Check it out being responsible).

It was weird. I felt very out of place the entire time. Maybe that’s just how people feel when they meet people they have no real knowledge of. This is not my element. Probably it was more due to the fact that I really didn’t want to be there. All the individual elements added up to a pleasant time, but the time seemed to drag on forever. I had something of an anxiety in the pit of my stomach just trying to fill up the empty spaces of time with things to do, words to say. It felt very forced. Maybe the timing was just bad, maybe this is just a transitionary relationship… I feel more detached than ever.

We woke up Sunday. I had bad dreams. Very bad dreams. I talk about my Evil-Ex occasionally. These dreams were about The One that affected me worse. It was so long ago I just wasn’t prepared for random dreams, emotions, and thoughts that I had since buried and moved on from. This put me in something of a funk all morning. I just wanted to lose myself in my head and think, ruminating on dreams, situations and scenarios. Iterations of things that have happened, might happen in the future, or may never ever occur but I played them out anyways. The Lady Friend wanted to go for a walk over the Hudson though, so this encroached on my destructive introspection.   She knew why I was so quiet but I felt bad for not being more entertaining while at the same time having absolutely no desire to be entertaining. I think I’m just not a very good girlfriend. I’m so preoccupied sometimes that I can’t always be concerned with what other people need.

Finally we made our trip back home. We did do a lot of talking during the drives. I haven’t yet told her explicitly that I’m BPD, but I’ve touched on almost all of the major aspects of my disorders. She seems to be very receptive. Idk. I’m not ready. So we hung out at my place, watched movies, she wrote/drew, I sewed/crafted and made my favorite Gorgonzola-Potato Soup. Seriously. This soup is phenomenal. I love it.

It was also my dad’s birthday so I gave him a call. I love my father. He says things like, “If it wasn’t for your mother, I’d be a political assassin b/c it’s the only way to get people to listen,” and “Republican “Christians” are destroying America. If Christ were alive today and living in America, he wouldn’t be Christian”. How can you claim to follow the teachings of Christ, and then support government programs that direct money into the pockets of the rich instead of investing in your fellow man? My dad’s an atheist. Talking to him is always fun.  

Oh what a weekend. I need a weekend off from my weekend off. This week I’m starting a cleanse, starting Middle Eastern Dance again, sewing, painting, crafting, more sewing…. Let’s see how much I can cram into a couple days, shall we?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red Sky Dawns

This was my first submission to the Expressive Arts Carnival. I really love this painting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Expressive Arts Carnival

Last month I started doing the activities for the Expressive Arts Carnival. The Expressive Arts Carnival was founded to bring survivors of abuse together through expressive arts activities. I love the concept of this entire endeavor. This months activity I don’t really have heroes but   This month I pulled inspiration from a poem I wrote back at University about my father.

Here’s the poem:

My Brown Eyes
Daddy’d rush in after skin scalding days,
Sweat and sunscreen scents clung to sun faded jeans.
Grass stained denim and dirt traded for charcoal, oil paints,
And fine plaster spread on the red living room carpet.
He’d pose me, just so, leaving big charcoal fingerprints
That cover half my shoulders; I’d leave them there all day.
Through throw back ‘70’s specs he’d gauge--
Scritch scratch scratch – gray charcoal smears white
Well past the time my tiny toes start to tingle.
My little neck craned to glimpse the drawn picture,
But with a sharp look I’d stand straight and still,
My jaw clenched so serious not to mess up. Daddy’s
Lips would curl and twitch, charcoal dropped and quick
Tickled to see me smile, laugh and squirm with no

Defense practice sparring; right jab, reverse, hook,
Light contact force fast feet for a challenge
His worn tennis shoe taps my rear foot, pivot.
A slight crooked smile then quick jerk grabs
My lead hand against dropping my guard,
Then steps on my toes to send me down tumbling.
My butt bruised, his grin widens as next time I shift back.
Throwing jabs I can block, my playful yelps cut the

Silence as he waits in the old oak rocking chair.
I ascend the stairs slowly to not make a sound;
Caught -- his half missing finger tap-tapping the arm.
My mom’s eyes are hazel; dad’s eyes are brown,
Unblinking, our eyes reflect, glares bulge,
To burst like the little blue vein above his right eye.
Rising, no one overshadows his 5 foot 10 frame.
A quiet rumble at first, then the ocean roars in his voice.
I shirk for a second then stand squared to face him
From opposite living room corners I scream my defense.
No tears tolerated or shed with tension spread

Thick Jif toast and orange juice made for our breakfast.
His rough, calloused hand raises my chin,
Big bear arms encircle my shoulders
Squeezing me tight, his prickly beard
Rests on my head --
Before he lets go.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fire Up: #Trust30 - Day 8

Fire Up by Ben von Burg
“Books are the best of things, well used. What is the right use? What is the one end, which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
As a writer, your only duty is to be original, to inspire, to put something new on paper. Don’t be reasonable – your job is to to fire up people’s imaginations, to give them permission to dream, and to lift their heads up to the incredible sight of the stars. They may forget what you wrote about – but they won’t forget how you made them feel.
It’s your turn now. Dream, be unreasonable and write what comes to you for 15 minutes.
(Author: Ben von Burg)

Energy soaring. My heart swollen, filling my chest, pounding up into my throat. Internal monologue set to pulsing, pounding upbeat music sets me to smiling as my feet follow the rhythm banging in my brain. Happiness. Is it an unreasonable thought? It shouldn’t be. For someone like me that’s only caught glimpses and hints of what this ought to be but in a way that’s almost manic. A feeling of euphoria that sets my mind writhing. What I’d really like is to know something simpler. To be content. Happy. In a deeper sense. Not just a momentary high. At the end of the day, I’d love to return to some place that is not transient, that is mine, that is home. To walk through that door, greeted by someone I feel safe with. Safe in their arms and in their love. Unreasonable. Reasonable for me is to feel the pain and abuse that comes with love driven to obsession. I don’t know real romantic love without pain. Without the wild ride that comes from a rollercoaster of emotion reeling wildly off of its own tracks. I want to feel pleasure – no, not pleasure – simply pleased to know what it is to find a lasting contentment. To languish in a love that does not harrow the heels of hate and hurt.

Oh, who am I kidding. I revel in the ups and the downs. I think I crave the highs so much because I’ve been so low. I worry that without the requisite pain the soothing balm of ecstasy won’t seem to sweet. I would like to find it though. To live a life high on love, a drug I can’t withdraw from. Wild and free.

“The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
~Moulin Rouge

Change Your Thinking: #Trust30 - Day 7 (a day late)

Change Your Thinking by Maryellen Smith
“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
At any given point in time, you’re only one thought away from changing your thinking. What thought can you change today?
(Author: Maryellen Smith)

This is essentially how I’ve decided to approach most of the trauma in my life; approach my life in general. What’s that saying? No one can make you a victim unless you allow it. This is a concept I adapted so long ago that I believe I’ve actually internalized it. I attribute this also to why I adapt and adjust so quickly when bad things happen.  What is, is. What’s done, is done.  I could bury myself in the past or move on into the future. I choose to continue moving forward. I choose to take the things I’ve been throguh, regardless of their nature, their reality, and turn them to my advantage, towards my personal growth. Even the abuse I’ve sustained I refuse to allow permanence in my actions. That’s not to say some days I don’t slip back, I do, but I don’t stay stuck there. I take what I’ve been through, what I’ve learned, and try to apply it to my future becoming a stronger version of me.
I refuse to be a victim.

(I'll be doing today's Trust30 as well once I get back from my entire morning of meetings and presentations.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Original Thought: #Trust30 - Day 6

Original Thought by Michael Brajkovich
“The arts and inventions of each period are only its costume, and do not invigorate men.”
Think of the last time that you thought, said, or did something that was original. What inspired or invigorated this?
(Author: Michael Brajkovich)

I want to take a look at this quote…. because I completely disagree. The art and invention of the times absolutely invigorate men. Does anyone recall a little period of time called the Rennaisance? I may not have lived in that time, but I live my life invigorated by the art that I pursue. Art makes me feel alive. Being able to express what I have roiling an writhing inside of me helps clear my mind and allows me to live each day more freely. It’s something that I’ve come to realize is crucial for my continued existence. The days I am incapable of pursuing my artistic passions are the days I feel the most lethargy. The build up of stress and pressure weighs down my body and limbs to the point where I want nothing more than to curl up in my own big bed and hide from the world. Art, the things I create, allow me to decompress, de-stress, haul my ass out of bed and embrace the life that I have. 

I costume/sew, cook and bake, draw, dabble in sculpture and most important to me currently,  I paint. For most of these things I’m not half bad and they are absolutely the things that I come home for. They’re what makes my life worth living.

If it weren’t for the inventions of man we’d still be stuck in an Age of Darkness. Art may not have a functional purpose but I’d argue that it’s purpose is to drive man to function. To see something of beauty, or at least of interest, opens the mind to creative ideas and from those ideas bud the fruits of the artistic and technological revolution that we’re currently living in. To say that art and invention do not invigorate man, is a lie.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ordinary Things: #Trust30 - Day 5

Ordinary Things by Ana Guardia
“Every artist was first an amateur.”
To be an artist one has to find beauty in ordinary things. Find 10 things of great beauty in the landscape that surrounds you. For example, crumple sheets on your bed in the morning, the smell of coffee making its way around a busy office.
(Author: Ana Guardia)

Since I began painting I’ve begun to see the world differently. I see each things as they are, but also in the colors and shapes that compose it.

My cat, purring softly, greeting me first thing in the morning
Satin silk, smooth and supple, of my deep violet curtains brushing my cheek as a morning breeze flows through my bedroom window
Soft slippery bubbles sliding over olive tanned skin while I shower at the gym
The undiluted taste of tea, burnt sienna, slightly bitter and clean
The stark contrast of a vivid blue sky against the budding flora
Yellow-white sun reflecting off the sharply shaped buckeye leaves
A translucent green spider, speckled with black and white crawling across my windshield
My book coarse and heavy in my hands with its scent unique to pressed paper that suffuses a bookstore or  library
Beige suede car seats warmed in the afternoon sun with the sound of locusts chittering on the horizon
Even the air feels firm and has it’s own hazy hue, thick and comforting like a gentle hand playing softly over my skin

I like this exercise. This day is very typical of my work week and yet, look at all the little beautiful things I have to appreciate in it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Poem: Engulfment

Ok, I haven't written poetry since college but sometimes the way I write speaks to me poetically. After rereading the post I did on Engulfment I wanted to take some of the pieces and put them to verse and this is what I came up with. Good or bad, I think it captures what it is.


In the ebb and flow we try to hold on. Desperate,
devoted, evasive and subversive: Counter-dependent.
Rocky nights a death grip, quick
clutches my heart; drowns it in a bath of ice.
Lungs constricting, only thinking, how to make right
which wrong was done. Self-worth rides
on one small smile to bring us back into balance. Except;
there is none there to begin with. Only him
leading me to madness, the insanity wraps
around my mind like a shroud: Obsession.
A thick fog occludes my world.
One figure focused
two feet in front of you. Nothing
more, nothing less; nothing else matters.

Hectic and Craze

My blogging, reading, and commenting this week is going to be very slow if I can manage it at all. I have a major design presentation on Monday and the amount of analysis I'm being bombarded with is intense. I'm trying not to drown under the stress and pressure. I'm seriously almost too stressed out to do the work I need to do. The thought of it is making me anxious.

I want Monday to be over. Seriously, if I get through this I'm taking half a day off work and getting a little tattoo behind my ear. Rocket. 50's clip art style. I've wanted it forever.

Not the actual tattoo but close

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Legacy - #Trust30: Day 4

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
One definition of legacy is what someone feels, thinks and says when they hear your name. What are you doing today to build the legacy you want?
(Author: Tim Belber)
Part One:  
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
I’m not sure what it means to be me. Who I am. I do, and I don’t. I am so mutable depending on who I’m with, where I am, that it’s sometimes hard for me to really settle into my own skin. I put on so many plays, changing masks almost effortlessly, avoiding mirrors so as not to see who is really staring back at me. I’m never sure who I’ll see. When I’m alone though, this I believe is when I am at my most and least comfortable. I have no one to pretend for, no one to play to. And the worst part is, I don’t know why I do this. Anyone that is worth being close to should like me for who I am, yes? Truth. My shifts from my base are subtle, really. A tempering. I do hold to this principle. You can like me and stay with me, or we are not compatible and I don’t need you in my life. When I am amongst strangers I am at my strongest. I don’t care what they think and I can act as I see fit, be how I want to be, me. It’s when I get close to people, truly value them, want them to value me, that I begin to change. I begin to fear losing them. Begin to fear that who I am will no longer be enough. Despite the break in logic that if I were not good enough they would not have stuck around in the first place. Messy, messy this whole, trying to be myself in a world that doesn’t often accept the kind of person I am. I am at once, defiant and accommodating; open but masked.
Part Two:
I’ve never considered that I would have a legacy. I don’t believe my presence on this Earth is exceptional or meaningful. I mean, it is to those that know and care about me, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m just one more creature roaming this world, waiting for my timeline to end.
Maybe I don’t have the kind of ambition it takes to desire something of this magnitude. Or maybe my belief that there must be a quantitative significance to something to call it a legacy is incorrect. 
I suppose, for as silly as it sounds, my other blog Beyond the Borderline Personality, is something of a legacy. For what I’ve chosen to do with it, it’s been a major investment in time and energy. I truly hope and believe that I’ve had an impact on people in a positive way because of the information and insight that I provide.  I hope when my followers think about me and my blog they think I’ve done some good.
Out in the real world, I suppose I would hope that people value my intelligence and creativity. I want to be thought of as a loving friend that does things I love for the benefit of those around me. These aren’t necessarily huge things. Just things like my creative costuming, the kinds of food I make…. Oh! I know what I want my legacy to be. Dark Lady of Geekdom. I want my Sith persona to blow peoples minds. I want my costume to be so out of this world that I put all other geeks and gamers to shame and they bow down before the magnificence of my geekery ::grins:: Ok, maybe being the geekiest geek in all of geekdom is a rather lofty goal. I do think it would be total win if people were to think of me and appreciate the outcome of all of my time, effort, and skill that I put into making my costume, sabers, and persona. It’s such a fun thing for me, it makes me happy, which is what really matters. Maybe what I really want my legacy to be is for when people to think about me they say: She was happy.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Wow, what a fun party. I was absolutely outside of myself the entire time but it was a good affair for sure.  Friends wife made a comment yesterday that she realized I was drinking to cope with the crowd. This was true. Also just to cope with myself and my moods. I played it off well though. I slipped into a party persona and maintained a happy dancing demeanor. There were points I even truly enjoyed myself. So what made Bacon palooza, bacony? Well, the bacon of course. The point was for people to bring various experimental dishes in bacon to be judged on taste, creativity, and presentation.
I made: Sizzling Bacon Wrapped Apricots with a Cranberry Glaze Reduction and Bacon Bourbon Brownies.
I think I used too much bourbon in the brownies and they could have done with more sugar. However, the Sizzling Bacon Wrapped Apricots actually won me first prize in the bacon contest!! The irony of a strict vegetarian winning the Baron of Bacon trophy was not lost on anyone. The recipe was pretty simple too.
Sizzling Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Cranberry Glaze
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 12 slices maple-cured bacon, halved crosswise
  • 24 dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry Juice Blend
1.      Boil cranberry juice blend in medium saucepan over high heat until reduced to 1 cup. Whisk in cornstarch, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until thickened. Cool to room temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup of the glaze.
2.      Meanwhile, line rimmed baking sheet with foil; set wire rack over foil and spray with cooking spray. Wrap bacon halves around apricots and secure with wooden pick. Brush with glaze and place on wire rack.
3.      Broil 3 to 7 minutes, or until bacon in browned, turning once. Serve warm with reserved glaze.
I couldn’t turn mine because of the damned toothpicks so I ended up turning the oven on high and baking them for 10 minutes instead. I also just drizzled the glaze over the bacon/apricots when I was ready to serve them so they weren’t overpowered.
Nice. Easy. Award winning? Apparently!

I also made my Honey and Nuts Snow White yesterday. It’s a very Traditional Turkish dish that I’m working on for our Mediterranean dinner party. And man did I get it right this time! It’s basically a blancmange with oatmeal bottom crush and sautéed apples/walnuts and honey on top. It’s not the simplest of recipes but I’m stoked about it.

Honey and Nuts Snow White
For the Filling:
3 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp starch
3/4 tsp vanilla
For the crust:
1 cup oatmeal
3 Tbsp butter
Honey (to taste)
For the top:
2 tbsp honey
½ cup walnuts, coarsely crushed
1 apple
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp cinnamon

Crust: Mix oatmeal, melted butter and honey together and press onto the bottom of your baking vessel. I used a 9” pie plate. Bake at 350 degF until golden brown: approx 10-15 minutes.
To prepare the filling, take milk, sugar, starch and flour into a pot. Cook over medium heat while whisking. Once it is thickened turn off heat. Stir in vanilla. Set aside.

Meanwhile, peel the apple and chop into small cubes. Cook them in a saucepan with sugar until their color changes to pinkish.

Pour the filling over the crust and let it cool for a while. Place the cooked apples all over and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with walnuts and cinnamon. Serve cold.
Not too sweet, perfectly creamy, delicious. I’m so excited about this.

I also got to work on my light sabers a little bit yesterday! Friend and I cut down the hilts to the size I intend to wield and drilled out the attachment holes. Once that was done we busted out the liquid epoxy and attached the labradorite spheres I’m using as pommels and made the initial attachment. I’ve decided to depart from my previous use of amethyst inlaid crystal in favor of a dichroic glass accented display. The stones I have are beautiful. I hope it all turns out =) I have to say though, I have not been a fan of working with the sculpting epoxy I have. Granted I’ve been working with the lamest tools ever; namely a dull pencil, which I imagine is also contributing to my frustration. I’m definitely going to try to get these things to achieve the twisted organic look that I want. If not, I do have a backup plan, but I want to push my ideas forward to the next level. Not just settle for what I know I can do.  

Mirror, Mirror - #Trust30: Day 3

Mirror, Mirror by Esther Poyer

“Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mirror, mirror on the wall… find the nearest mirror. Look. Keep looking for 3 minutes. Write about what you see.

I find this exercise repulsive.

The thought of looking into my own eyes only to see a stranger staring back at me is, disconcerting. I recognize the girl on the other side of the mirror.

She has my father’s eyes, my mother’s nose. Cherry black hair and more metal than half the machines out in my shop, but she isn’t me. Is she? Maybe she is and I just can’t see, beyond the surface layer of skin and sinew that binds me up inside.

I’d find her attractive if she wasn’t so comfortably unfamiliar.

Floating two feet to the left of me I sense my motions walking through a world detached from the rest of me. Too often it feels like watching some other force pilot a body I recognize as my own, watching the reactions to my movements to guess the next step that someone else will be taking. It’s worse when I think about it. The detachment more pronounced. Staring at myself is all the more disconcerting for the knowledge that I should know who this woman is. Cognitively I know that I should see her and internalize that she is me, and cognitively I do know what she is, but I have no attachment to my reflection. She’s who I want my physical Self to appear to be. But is she really me?  Hm, in part I believe she is. Certain things draw my eye. I am attracted to certain things, so naturally I want to incorporate those things into my Self. Isn’t that how we develop our personalities and self image growing up? We see things we appreciate, mimic them, until we make them our own. I’m well past the mimicry. What draws us is integral to that which we are so what I see is who I want to be. On the outside.  Fortunately for me, I can’t see my insides reflected on this glass. A sight I’ve seen before. That is a part of me, that should stay where it belongs. Blood and tissue, fat and tears; things I work to keep from my mirror. I don’t want to see what I know is actually there. Don’t want to see who I’m afraid I might be. I don’t want to look. Nothing you can do, can make me.

Eyes lie. Telling me this is someone I am, who I should be, who I can be. Maybe this time she's telling the truth, but her words have proven false so many times I no longer know the sound of words ringing true. Pretty words from soft lips look like promises wrapped in a straight jacket of gold. The madness she feels is real. Truth.

Writing this was very triggering and I had to stop.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nothing to Lose: #Trust30 - Day 2

Nothing to Lose
“Self-censorship is not just self-betrayal and self-abandonment (which would be bad enough), but soul-betrayal and betrayal of our Muse, out inner voice, our highest self.”
Too often we censor ourselves, our actions, and our work in hope or fear of what might happen if we otherwise don’t. What words would you write today, and what actions would you take, if you had nothing to fear, nothing to lose?
(Author: Tanner Christensen)

I sensor myself for practical reasons, though I can feel it stifling the life from my very being as I do it.
Self-abandonment. No wonder I always feel so removed from my sense of self. I’m denying a part of it, effectively abandoning me to the roadside of my personality. Fail.
I would love to let my inner child out to play. Unfortunately my inner child has something of a temper and it’s best to keep her reigned in when necessary. Is this censorship? Perhaps. Is it necessary? Only, if I want to keep my friends and family from finding another playground. So often I want to rage, scream, laugh, cry… and I hold it in. If I release my self-control in one area, it’s harder for me to control myself in other areas where I absolutely need to maintain my calm exterior. My mask is collected and cool and provides a very competent face to show to the audience I surround myself with. Without this persona I would have a more difficult time functioning in the real world, with real people, who lead relatively normal lives and don’t have my mental mountains to climb.
Why have I chosen this audience? I honestly don’t know some days. I’m dissatisfied with my job and it’s lack of creativity, but I understand the dynamic and I can suit myself to the environment easily enough. Maybe I don’t know who I really am enough. It’s easy for me to observe a situation and analyze the best way to fit in. It’s easier for me to put on a costume. If my acting isn’t sufficient than it’s not necessarily me that’s failed, but my ability to maintain a persona that isn’t actually me. I’m not judged, my created character is. Censoring myself is a means to protect. 

Nothing to fear, nothing to lose. I would burn the world in effigy and watch in turn to ash and cinder as I painted the most beautiful portraits of death in destruction. Death of my social life. If I had no censor I would drive away all those around me with the shear acidity of caustically raining words that move me into tactlessness. I like my friends. I'd like to keep my friends. It may be more a betrayal of self to not censor myself in some ways.

I think the world would be a very unfriendly place, well, even less friendly, if we didn’t censor ourselves on some level. Either that or we would be a race of the most hyper-efficient robot humans ever. Hmmmm…..

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Worthwhile Day: #Trust30 - Day 1

Taking this prompt from Interruption I’ve decided to also look into the Ralph Waldo Emerson #Trust30 Challenge. It started back in May but as I’m just discovering it now I shall start, well, now. This will be something I do back and forth between this Beyond and Asylum. I’ll flip back and forth between my blogs depending on which I believe it is most relevant towards, or cross post on both.
#Trust30 is an online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on your now, and to create direction for your future. 30 prompts from inspiring thought-leaders will guide you on your writing journey.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.”
What is one thing you can do that would make today worthwhile? What’s stopping you from getting started right now?

Today I am tired. So very, very tired. What could make this day worthwhile are three things.
1.      Schedule an appointment with my therapist
2.      Work on my light saber
3.      Paint
Mondays are usually my days for therapy but as this was a holiday my appointment needed to be cancelled and rescheduled. Therapist left me a voicemail to reschedule for Tuesday which I promptly ignored. I know I shouldn’t have, just out of politeness, but I hate scheduling things like that. It was my day off and I didn’t want to interrupt my day of potential freedom. I regret it now. I just, have an aversion to rescheduling on days I am not prepared for. It makes me anxious. I fight it. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. Even when I know it’s something I need. It didin’t fall into a slip of time I saw as open and therefore I pushed it aside and forgot about it, even as the seeds of sadness and depression have been clawing their way deeper into my mind.
I scheduled an emergency appointment with my therapist today. This is the first time I’ve ever done that. She seemed flustered, but accommodating. Maybe she wasn’t expecting to hear from me. Maybe her schedule was busy. But she took me anyway. All I can hope is that I feel better, sooner. I recognize that I need to do this for me. No one else can make me seek the help I need. I’ve known this. I need to not forget this.

Now for the fun. The fun is tempered by the weariness in my arms. I slept well for a change (thank you Trazadone). I recently received the no-bake epoxy I’ll be using to fashion the aesthetics of my light sabers. Last night I sat down with this new medium for the first time and set out to sculpt an idea for my hilts. I must say, it came out only barely resembling what I’m hoping to do. I was frustrated but not completely disheartened. By the end of the hour I spent I had:
- Gained an understanding of how to mold the epoxy.
- Formed a new idea of how to approach the design details that I want.
- Tried a medium that I’ve never used before, by myself, without any guidance.
So I wouldn’t call the night a failure. Especially as I’ll have time to sit down tonight and take a go at Round 2. If this doesn’t work, than I can always do what I did for my last light saber hilts. I like how those turned out and I know I can do that style (only better). Oh, creative process, how you frustrate and compel me.

Paint. I dearly love to paint. With my mind so weighed down in a thick grey fog it’s been difficult for me to be inspired. I  started a piece on Tuesday. Barely. I primed the paper and painted it all black. I’m trying something new. Water. A waterfall at night to be precise. We’ll see how it comes out. I was inspired by the meditation of a tarot card I did. One I’m designing on my own and in order to create the image I want, I will need to know how to do water. So of course, my next step is to figure out how to paint water that flows and spills. One goal to another to another goal. Except the real goal is the process itself. Yes, there will be something to point to at the end, but it is the journey of how I’ve gotten there that is what really means the most to me.

crossposted Beyond