Friday, April 30, 2010

Not what was advertised

"19 Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person" turns out to be more like nineteen things you should never say to someone who has just been dumped. Out of the handful that did seem to be aimed at true singles, only a few of them seemed to fit the 'never say that to me' level of obnoxiousness the article seemed to be going for:

-So, why are you single? Well, there are a multitude of reasons, most of which are too long and detailed to get into in a making-small-talk conversation. Not that it matters, you don't actually care about why I'm single, you're just being nosy.

-Wow, I wish I was single and in your shoes! Why? Aren't you happy in your relationship?

-Some guy is going to come along and ruin your career/life plans. This one just confuses me. If you give up something you've been planning to do for a relationship, presumably you would only do it for an awesome guy. Just because you want to do something now doesn't mean you'll always want to do it.

-But you're so pretty! Why don't you have a boyfriend? Because looks aren't everything?

I've noticed a distinct lack of sites and articles out there for people who want to be happy single. Everything I've found so far is about how to kick things up a notch in the dating world or how to move your casual relationship to a more serious one (but not marriage, because marriage is rushing things for some reason). I do have a book I'm planning on reviewing here, called 'Flying Solo.' It's a travel book recommending places for single women to visit, so we'll see how that goes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hey look, fans! Hi, fans.

I just arrived home from visiting friends in Mississippi, the Land With No Internet I mentioned in a previous post. Since Kate was hanging out with us most of the time, it meant two out of your three authors were unable to keep up with the blog. Still, a good time was had by all, and I was pleased to look at our fan-box and see some new faces.

Have you ever had that vague feeling in the back of your head, that you're forgetting to do something? I've been walking around with that feeling for days, except in my case I have so many things to do (visas, plane tickets, packing, CASA, etc) that trying to pin-point any one thing is slightly nerve wracking. This is why I find comfort in making lists and spreadsheets, and they shall see me through this trying time.

In other news, brought to us by the Headmistress, it seems American women spend an average of 12 thousand dollars on beauty care/maintenance. Put down the make-up ladies, step away from the Botox, and learn to do your own nails. Yeegads.

Anyhow, enough about me. If you recently found/fanned Blissfully Single, leave a comment please, and introduce yourself!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our thoughts and prayers...

...go out to the Gulf Coast families of the workers who did not make it off the oil rig after the explosion. Now that it has sunk into the Gulf, authorities have given up any hope that they could have survived.

Noms for groups and singles alike.

The Common Room blog is participating in a recipe share with three other blogs, and they're all very interested in what recipes their readers use to feed large numbers of people. Generally speaking, I am the least of the cooks in my family (I didn't really start cooking real meals until I was at least 18), but I do cook well, and have a few favorites I go to when we're feeding a lot of people, the main one being jambalaya:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
olive oil for browning the chicken
1 package sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 fifteen oz can diced tomatoes
1 chicken boullion cube
1 cup water
1/2 cup rice

My jambalaya usually doesn't include celery or parsley, the first because I don't really care for it, the latter because I don't think it makes a difference.

First: chop all your veggies, put them in a bowl and set aside.

Second: Cut up all the chicken in to bite size pieces. My recipe says to season with creole seasoning at this point, however I have always thought the bell peppers add enough natural spice, so I just lightly salt/pepper the chicken. Put it in your pot to brown in the olive oil.

Third: While the chicken is browning, cut up the sausage into quarter or half inch slices, and add it to the chicken.

Fourth: Once the chicken is brown, add the veggies, mix well and saute for about 10 minutes.

Fifth: Add the tomatoes, parsley, boullion cube, and water. Let cook over medium heat for about ten minutes.

Sixth: Add the rice, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low/low-med, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring at least once during this time.

You may need to add a little water when you start the rice, if there isn't enough water for the rice to be submerged in. By the time the rice is done, the liquids should be mostly gone. As is, this recipe will feed about 6 or 7 people without leaving leftovers. You can easily expand it to fit your family's size by adding to the main ingredients (chicken, sausage, rice).

Why is this a good recipes for singles? Because a single woman living alone can live off it for about a week, without having to do too much other cooking, as I discovered in the wake of Hurricane Rita.

Check out the other recipes being shared at the Common Room!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Exciting news!

I am please to announce that I have been accepted to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's graduate school, Rothberg International! I will be moving to Jerusalem at the end of July, after a friend's wedding. Words can't describe how excited I am, to be moving somewhere new, and to study a new language in its home country (I'll be memorizing the Hebrew alphabet this summer, in preparation for the language training I start in August.) This is all doubly exciting for me because this is my second attempt at visiting Israel: I was supposed to study abroad there for a week January of 2009, but the plans fell through (and the organizer wasn't able to fully explain why). Now I'll be living there, with Egypt and Petra at my fingertips! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Guidebook...

...on how not to live your life. I've been watching Friends reruns, and while I certainly enjoy the show, I don't think the producers could have tried harder to create a cast of characters who make one wrong decision after another in an attempt to make themselves as unhappy as possible, even if they planned it that way.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Back in the 21st Century (a weekend in pictures)




Later on:


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Well, so much for that

In the midst of my 'one post a day' commitment (which I have already failed to live up to), I'm taking a trip to Podunk, MS, otherwise known as the Land Without Internet. I hope y'all have a great weekend. I know I certainly will, since Kate and I will be getting together to shoot guns, eat brisket over a fire, and study Dante's Inferno.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Kate and I are happy to introduce our new writer, Ginny. Ginny is Kate's older sister, attending graduate school in North Carolina. We look forward to having her write with us, and are sure she has a lot to offer.

With three of us writing, hopefully we'll have content on a regular basis. I'm trying to commit myself to at least one post a day (and this introduction doesn't count for today).

Monday, April 5, 2010

'For never was a story of more woe...

...than this of Juliet and her Romeo.'

I was led to this article by another blog; it was published a couple months ago, but I just noticed it within the last couple of weeks. I have to wonder if the author, Andrew Trees, and I read the same play.

I think the article is a good example of someone missing the point-but still being spot on. His basic argument is that we have been misled by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; that by holding up their romance as the ideal, we've encouraged people to engage in hormone-driven romantic whirlwinds that can't and don't last. I guess no one pointed out to him that Romeo and Juliet is not a romance: it's one of Shakespeare's tragedies. Shakespeare never intended for those idiot children (and they truly are children, only between 13 and 17 years old) to be held up as the pinnacle of romance. It's a story about people making one wrong decision after another, after another, drawn out to it's logical conclusion: death and devastation for everyone concerned.

That being said, I do think people have let this version of love gain too much ground in our culture. Look at Romeo: he's head over heels in love with some girl who he can't be with, he'll never love again, how can he possibly go on, what will he do with himse-wait! Who's that girl over there? Why, it's his real true love! She's opened his eyes to how wrong he was about whats-her-name, this is who he's supposed to be with. And despite the fact that they have no way to support themselves, and absolutely none of their families' authority figures will bless this union, they elope and expect everything to be perfect. I wonder what they were planning to do when Juliet got pregnant?

I can understand why people today have a hard time coming to grips with the story's end. Today, if your family doesn't support your choice in a spouse, you can elope, wait tables or work nights to put yourselves through college, and you generally don't have to worry about being killed by the in-laws. In short, you have options. Not so in Shakespeare's world*.

It still doesn't mean the relationship will last. I once knew a man (somewhere in his 30s) who eloped with his girlfriend of one month in Vegas. Never met the wife, but sure heard a lot about how much they fought, how she didn't respect him, etc, etc.

I also knew a girl who reminded me of Romeo in a certain way. It was like she had a checklist in her head for men: same religion? check; same politics? check; has a plan for the future? check; and there were a few other less important things on the list, but once the major three had been met, it was basically a race to plan the wedding, plan the family, where they would live, careers, and on and on and on, until...something happened. Without fail, it would turn out that the guy was not as serious about the relationship as she was, or not ready to commit, or was a jerk, and she would be back at square one, except now she would be hurt, but that was ok, because there was always another guy around the corner. As far as I can tell she's grown out of this. I think the change mostly came about when she realized she needed to learn how to live independently before she started planning a life with another person.

Hmmmm. I'm not sure I really had a plan for this post, I just started rambling. I guess my point is I basically agree with Mr. Trees, except I think he needs to take some literature classes. Most people do, though (and history). Just about anything you could ever need or want to know about human nature is in the Shakespeare canon.

*But people don't really know much about Shakespeare's world, so they don't understand why it could never work (see: Taylor Swift's 'Love Story').

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I have not yet begun to procrastinate!

Saw that on a button once; I want it for a shirt. Anyway, a story about Ireland.

The thing to remember about Ireland is it's a really small country. If you're doing a tour, you'll likely run into the same tourists in multiple cities. This happened to us a lot, and this story is about a girl we met at a hostel we stayed at in Cork, who we had passed in the previous city.

She's about our age, either a recent graduate or about to graduate. Somehow it came up in conversation that her ex-boyfriend had proposed to her right before she left for Ireland. They had dated for three years, and as I understood it, she broke up with him because she wanted to see the world before she settled down. So she set out to see the world...on his dime. See, before she left (but after not accepting his proposal) she let him pay for her trip to Ireland. Also, the boyfriend is a professor at her college (but not one of her professors).

So many things in that conversation bothered me. Why invest three years of your life in a relationship you didn't see go anywhere? Why assume you had to be unattached to see the world? And, of course, I feel terribly sorry for the boyfriend. I don't know how many people are aware of this (least of all the girl), but many people pursuing doctorates wait to get married until after they've finished the whole process and are gainfully employed. At least three professors in my department at college were between my parents' and grandparents' age, but had children that were either not yet old enough for school, or in elementary school. Down here in the deep south, waiting until your late-20s to start a family puts you in 'withering on the vine' territory; waiting until your 40s or 50s...I don't think we even have a metaphor for that.

So from my point of view, this guy spent three years thinking he was finally going to settle down, only to be shot down (by a girl who described him as her 'best friend'). It seems cruel, and something that could have been avoided if popular culture had a more goal-oriented dating scene, or at least some sort of accepted guideline.

Note: I originally started working on this October of last year. How's that for procrastination?