No effort at all

In my default setting I am wearing pants, comfortable shoes, no makeup, my hair up in a ponytail, dressed to go to work for a long day. If needed, I can dress for war or I can dress for play, with the bold face and the accessories and toys. But I always revert back to the original setting.

In my default setting I am nice, sometimes funny, often grumpy, prone to moments of petty observations but not behavior, quiet around strangers and too honest around friends. I can make my “too loud” voice smooth out and speak about the weather and the food for hours if needed, without having said one real word, but that always takes more energy than I like to waste.

In my moments of comfort and joy, my voice and words will make you wince, wonder that I communicate for a living, look around to see who I’m offending, reminding yourself that the curses are terms of endearment. I can go quiet, with sweetness dripping from my sentences and movements, controlled propriety as I sit there being reasonable in response to your very bad behavior, and you may not understand you need to fear me in that moment.

What’s your natural state?

How to Prepare Cake Pans (video)

American’s Test Kitchen has an interesting video that shows us how to prepare a cake pan to ensure that the cake doesn’t stick to it. Honestly, it seems like a lot of work. If I ever get back to baking cakes again (which seems unlikely right now) I will keep this in mind… though I don’t think I’ve ever bought any parchment paper.

About the video:

Don’t find yourself in a sticky situation:…

What is the America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School? We’ve taken our 20+ years of experience in the Test Kitchen, our favorite recipes from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and your favorite chefs from our two public television shows and wrapped it all up to create a cooking school unlike any other. The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School provides personalized culinary instruction from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Learn more at:


After a few hours in your presence I am struggling for air
blinking furiously
trying to keep the moisture in my eyes
from becoming drops that will break me

It’s my fault, really
I became distracted
I forgot who I was with
I let too much of my real self shine through
I let me be me in enemy space

Your reaction was predictable
a blast of destructive cold
leaving an unforgettable aftermath
wondering if today’s scars will heal
when others haven’t

That I love you truly is not in doubt
I would give you my life
I would take someone else’s in your defense
I would not choose you, did not choose you
I do not like you
You do not care

Dangerous spider bites (infographic)

I am afraid of spiders. It’s a phobia. It’s a family joke. It’s something that defies logic and wisdom.

With that knowledge I share this infographic, letting me know which spiders are actually dangerous and which aren’t. (Even though, in my mind, they all are.)

Dangerous U.S. Spider Bites Guide

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


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The war of the dirty dishes

2014.03 tableware“I haven’t been able to eat at home for days,” my friend tells me over dinner.

“Too busy?” I inquire politely. It’s a common theme in our conversations, discussing how busy we’ve been.

She smiles ruefully even as she’s shaking her head, “No, it’s not that. I just can’t dirty any dishes right now.”

Feeling a little bit like she somehow spoke in code, I mentally go through what she just said. I understand the words, but somehow the meaning was just out of reach.

“Why can’t you dirty dishes?” I finally ask. Based on her answering grin, that’s exactly what she wanted.

This is her story, told through me:

My roommate and I have a dirty dish war going on.

It started when she began to leave the clean dishes piled in the sink. Not a big deal. A pile of clean dishes doesn’t bother me. And when I cooked or had dishes of my own I just cleaned them then put then on top of her pile to dry.

Then she started to leave a pile of clean dishes and a small pile of dirty dishes. So, when I cooked or dirtied my own dishes I had to put away the clean dishes, clean her dirty dishes, then clean my own dishes. This happened enough times that I finally decided that if I was putting away her clean dishes and cleaning her dirty dishes, that it was only fair that she wash mine. So I started to leave my dirty dishes piled up for her to wash. And she did wash them, for a while. Then she stopped.

I clearly remember the first time I saw the dirty dishes piled onto the counter next to the sink. So there was a pile of clean dishes on one side of the sink, a pile of dirty dishes on the other side, and a pile of dishes on the counter. My first reaction was disbelief. Surely she wasn’t so busy that she hadn’t been able to do the dishes at all! So I washed everything, put everything away, and forgot about it. Until the next time.

Suddenly it seemed like she never got around to washing her dishes. I would see the piles of dirty, and clean, dishes take up the sink and the counter next to it, and I would wait for her to clean them. And she never did. Eventually I had to clean them myself because I had to cook. So she was basically waiting me out.

One day, about two weeks ago, I got home, cleaned all the dishes, and put everything away. And I stopped dirtying dishes and I stopped cooking. If I make a cup of coffee, I clean and dry that cup immediately. I bought a bunch of frozen dinners and plasticware for lunches. I pick up to go food or drive thru meals for dinner, when I don’t actually eat out.

It’s costing me a fortune.

Her dishes stayed there for five days before she realized that this time she was just out of luck. And then her next batch stayed there for four days… which she eventually cleaned. Right now there’s a big pile of dishes again.

I think I can’t actually eat at home until I see that there aren’t any dishes piled up in the kitchen for more than one day straight. Which hasn’t happened in months.

I think I need a new place to live.

I think she just needs a good voodoo doll.