Serendipitous

I am in the age of matrimony and babies. My facebizzle thread is constantly clogged with excited announcements of upcoming nuptials and bundles o’ joy. I’m happy and excited for my friends as they celebrate these milestones, but I often find myself succumbing to the dreaded sequence of life comparison. I feel no closer to marriage than I did at 20. My knee jerk reaction to a screaming baby is still “absolutely not“. My immediate future (read: grad school) simply does not allot for either of these momentous events, yet I find myself feeling… behind the curve? But this isn’t the SAT, it’s life. How can you keep yourself from seeing that grass as greener?

What really distresses me is the process of finding a lifepartner. I know I want to marry my best friend that also happens to be amazing in bed;that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it. Even still, you will inevitably fight with your bestie. They still drive you crazy sometimes… and sometimes you’re so glad you do not (no longer; love you E!) live with them. But no one’s perfect, especially not me. So, how do you reconcile those differences, how do you decide what’s doable and what’s a deal breaker? Dammit, how do you know they’re the one???

*Sigh* I’d like to say I believe in fate, but it seems like a cop-out to me. Like, ‘I can’t handle making my own decisions’, or, ‘I don’t want to be held accountable just in case I fuck it up’. But isn’t that the very nature of being a grown up? Being  able to steer your own course?

Anywhos, I was listening to This American Life whilest paying bills on a normal, boring Monday morning. The overarching theme of the episode was coincidence: defining the nature and degree of it. There was one story that really resonated with me. On the surface, it was about allowing fate to bring you your mate. The woman in the story described her similar conundrum: how do you know when you meet the one? Is there even a one to be had? At the time she was a young 20-something, working as a clerk in a copy store. One day, she decided to take several dollar bills out of the register and write her name on them. She then ushered them out into the world, and decided that the first man to give her one of those dollars would be the man she married. She effectively washed her hands of the difficult task ahead and let fate take care of it for her.

I didn’t perceive her decision entirely in a light of intended irresponsibility. She didn’t solely rely on these various George W’s to fetch her husband. Rather, I got the impression that she just let go. That simple act allowed her to stop the internal nagging implanted by generations of beseeching grandmothers, and just let it happen au natural. Maybe I’m way off base here, but I feel like many busy ladies comme moi fall victim to that same societal demand: You need someone like you, with your ideals, your goals, your values, the list goes on and on. All those warnings achieve is a heightened sense of inevitable defeat. I’m so afraid of putting my whole heart into something or someone, because I worry that in the end it’ll have been a mistake; a waste; a pipe dream. It won’t work out because whatever bullshit thing with me, with him. The lovely, exciting beginning of a relationship is quickly doused with a sense of dread, just waiting for things to fall apart because I didn’t feel some exaggerated/possibly made-up emotion of universal bliss.

In the end, she completely forgot what she had done until several years later. She was about to embark on her fourth date with a wonderful guy when he surprised her with a gift: a framed dollar bill with her name written on it.  That day when he bought lunch he found the dollar in his change, and he thought it a funny coinkidink. She swallowed hard and said, “Remind me to tell you something later”. After all, she didn’t want to freak him out! Needless to say, they did end up getting married. Cute sidenote: she eventually told him about her experiment with fate, and the framed dollar now sits perched atop their shared dresser.

I thought it was adorable, and serendipitous, and so out of a tacky rom-com that I normally scoff and deem utterly unrealistic. And yet… it really happened. It provided me with a weird sense of comfort…

Check it out here: This American Life: No Coincidence, No Story!

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Who knows where it will end up? In whose hands? Maybe I’ll make another Laura deliriously happy. If nothing else, it eases my anxiety. Je lave mes mains.

Current Jam: “On again Off again” Riverboat Gamblers

¡Ay, caramba!

I’ve done it… I fuckin’ did it… the most powerful tool in tasty technology since goat cheese dude… oh my god fast/easy/NOM chili. It’s an invention, and it makes nonstop deliciousness possible. THINK ABOUT IT MAN!!

Ok, sorry. I’m done. Anyways, yes. I have mastered my mom’s easy-peasy chili recipe. After several tweaks and twizzles, I have finally received an A grade from my Dominican boo (that makes it legit, right??!)

I inhaled this stuff when I was a kid. However, the first time I made it as an adult I realized just how much my mom does not like spicy food. In reality it was a bland base, but a base nonetheless! Plenty of room for… erm…enhancement! Like a dummy though, every time I made it the past few years I forgot (read: I like to drink wine while I cook…) to write down the changes I made; thus, no batch was guaranteed to be consistently amaze-balls. Until now!

Because I love you and I want you to have a happy mouth all the time, I have decided to share:

You will need!

1) a big pot
2) 1 – 1.25 lb ground turkey (that’s right, TURK! Keep reading, just trust me)
3) 1 yellow onion
4) approx 1/2 of a green bell pepper
5) 2 ears of corn, fresh not frozen dammit!
6) 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
7) 2 cans condensed tomato soup
8) some chicken stock for cushion (eeeh… like 1 cup max)

For the seasonin’ part, you will need:
1) 2.5 tbsp chili powder
2) 1 tbs cumin
3) approx 2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
4) 1 – 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper (I like mah chili on the spicy side, so it’s up to you; you can drastically reduce the cayenne or cut it out entirely, although I will judge you… but only slightly, only slightly)
5) a dash, a DASH! of cinnamon
6) 1.5 tbs flour
7) 4 tbs water

Mk, here we go:

First things first: Dice the veggies. In this case, size doesn't really matter.
First things first: Dice the veggies. In this case, size doesn’t really matter.
Next things next: Get yer big pot and put it over medium high heat. You need just a little bit of fat to get the party going (oil, butter, etc...I like to use bacon fat because I'm a porker trapped a more svelte version of a porker.)
Next things next: Get yer big pot and put it over medium high heat. You need just a little bit of fat to get the party going (oil, butter, etc…I like to use bacon fat because I’m a porker trapped in a more svelte version of a porker.)
Give the pot/fat a couple minutes to heat up, then add your turk and diced onion and start brownin away. (be careful of backsplash! I don't want you to burn your dainty mitts!)
Give the pot/fat a couple minutes to heat up, then add your turk and diced onion and start brownin away. (be careful of backsplash! I don’t want you to burn your dainty mitts!)
When the turkey's almost browned, about 2 minutes out, add your green pep and corn.
When the turkey’s almost browned, about 2 minutes out, add your green pep and corn.
Everybody in the pool!
Everybody in the pool!
Once the turk's browned through, add your kidney beans (remember to drain and rinse!) and the 2 cans tom soup. Give it a stir, drop the heat down to medium, and let it hang out for about 5 minutes.
Once the turk’s browned through, add your kidney beans (remember to drain and rinse!) and the 2 cans tom soup. Give it a stir, drop the heat down to medium, and let it hang out for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and flour in a small bowl.
Meanwhile, mix together the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon salt and flour in a small bowl.
Add the water and stir together to make a paste of tasty.
Add the water and stir together to make a paste of tasty.
add that paste to your chili and hit it with some chicken stock. The paste is what thickens the chili, so I add a little stock just to give it a place to go, knowwhaddamean? Stir till combined and drop the heat to low. Let that bad boy simmer away for about 45 mins.
add that paste to your chili and hit it with some chicken stock. The paste is what thickens the chili, so I add a little stock just to give it a place to go, knowwhaddamean? Stir till combined and drop the heat to low. Let that bad boy simmer away for about 45 mins.
AAAAAAND BOOM! You're welcome. :) Fun fact: too spicy but too late? As you may know dairy is great at cutting spice (chi/sour cream) but you can also add a little sweetness to help cut it, i.e. brown sugar or honey.
AAAAAAND BOOM! You’re welcome. 🙂 (I know, it’s a little blurry, but my hands were shaking from the anticipation of epicurean bliss.)
Fun fact: too spicy but too late? As you may know dairy is great at cutting spice (cheese/sour cream) but you can also add a little sweetness, i.e. brown sugar or honey.

Current Jam: “The Man I Killed” NOFX

Friday Fun Fact

Making the beast with two backs EVEN BETTER!:

Health Benefits of Sex – Sex Therapy – Refinery29

I always suspected this. I mean, it’s kind of obvious. But I’m one of those unfortunates who constantly battles anxiety and general snippy-ness that occasionally leads to a low libido. It’s a nice reminder that even hate sex will alleviate many mental back flips.

…And yes, yes I did have some awesome late night sexual relations that I am still reeling from. Woot!

Happily Every After

Current Jam: “I just had sex” Lonely Island

Pet Peeve #4

To refresh: I handle auto injury claims. Basically that means that if you are injured in an auto accident, I am the adjuster who soothes your anxieties and pays your medical bills until you either A) finish treating, or B) Your coverage exhausts.

I don’t mind doing this. People are fragile beings, and I get a sense of satisfaction out of helping them through a difficult and confusing situation. What I can’t stand is the occasional high-maintenance, petulant claimant who insists on wasting my time on their miniscule and/or eventually exaggerated injury, thus pulling me away from those who really need my help. That person whose accident was over 2 years ago. The vehicle was NOT totaled, but they were genuinely injured. And our company dutifully paid their medical bills. But at a certain point, it becomes possible that any and all necessary and reasonable payments have been made.

At this point, I bust my ass to work around said person’s suddenly busy schedule to set them up with what we in the biz call an Independent Medical Evaluation. The gist: Our insured undergoes an exam to determine if further treatment of a certain specialty (chiropractic, orthopaedic, acupuncture, ‘tevs) is medically necessary. It is done by a doctor of our choosing, and set up through an exterior agent.

Now, you’d think that if this person could easily make a plethora of dr’s appointments fit into their schedule, that one little IME wouldn’t be a big deal… but oh, it is.

You’d think that this person, who more often than not is actually quite familiar with the process, would understand that an IME is part of their policy conditions. ‘Member what I said before? that insurance is a CONTRACT? Yeah, remember what that means? That means that you AGREED TO THIS CONDITION WHEN YOU SIGNED ON THE DOTTED LINE. And yet always, inevitably, I have to explain this quite rational process. I also explain the hoops I’ve jumped through in order to accommodate the insured’s date and time requests. And what do I get in return? A rational response? A thoughtful silence? No.

You can imagine what I get. I need’nt go into it. All I can say is, THANK GOD I’M GOING ON VACATION NEXT WEEK.

Current Jam: “Steady On” Shawn Colvin