Sunday Confessions 12-13-15 (Starting a Day Early)



The United States of Becky




I confess: As many of you know from reading, the past several months have been difficult in many various ways and I have fallen into one of the low valleys of depression that come as part of having lifelong MDD. Christmas is usually my favorite time of year, but this year, not so much. It's been more like this

depressed peanuts charlie brown


I confess:  We were supposed to be able to sign the lease on our new apartment on the 4th. On the 3rd, when we got the phone call that it wouldn't be until the 14th at the earliest and more likely closer to the 20th, I kinda reacted like this:

(I was polite to the lady on the phone, but afterward, this.)
Disney Pixar disney angry pixar mad
This was not my finest hour.


I confess: This gif is the perfect description of how I've been feeling since...uh, April? May?
fml movies harry potter dobby



I confess: I'm starting to finally come out of the funk, thank God!

cute happy smile black white

Because fighting depression is hard work and deserves congratulations. 

I confess: It meant a lot to me to see how many people did a Sunday Confessions post, regardless of the fact that I was AWOL that week - like, teary-eyed my-internet-friends-are-the-best-weepy-a lot. (Also weep at the uber cheesy made-for-TV holiday movies playing on netflix, but hey.) *Shrug.
You guys are awesome. 

What are you guys confessing to this week?




How to Clean Action Figures

We have a fair amount of geeky collection paraphernalia. And I love it.
What I don't love is cleaning it.
Dusting is a pain in the ass just on its own, but when you have eight million action figures, it becomes more of a chore than scrubbing the bathtub. 
I have done everything in the past:
I have used standard dusters - you know the kind that just swish dust around and send it flying into the air so you can cough like you've been working in a coal mine? (How did we actually ever live without swiffers? I ask you).
I have used basic swiffer cloths, but getting into those nooks and crannies is difficult for all but the slenderest of fingers.
I have used the swiffer 360 doo-dad, which, while an awesome tool for normal dusting, attempting to use it for anything more intricate is going to rip that thing to shreds and may damage the item you are attempting to clean. 
I know this because I have broken Snape's wand and also failed to get the folds in his cape. I have knocked over Luke Skywalker's lightsaber more times than I care to count. Daryl Dixon has never really been clean. (Heh...it works on two levels, see?)


But then I had a brain wave.
Q-tips!
A good way to get into the tight spots and also be sure you're applying enough pressure to actually get the dust off.
All our action figures are boxed up right now, but I was working on the kitchen last night and pulled down magnets.



 

 Another angle:



Here's what I did. (It's so simple I'm not sure if I'm a genius or a moron for not figuring this out sooner.)

  • Grab some Q-tips.
  • Over the sink or a paper towel or whatever, spray a tiny bit of cleaner of your choice (I like Seventh Generation or JR Watkins) onto one end of the stick. (I found it worked best when I held the Q-tip almost directly next to the nozzle.) 
  • Go to town with the dusting.
  • Keep going, using a new tip as needed. 
  • Can also use water, or even do a light water rinse/dust after using cleaner.
  • I don't recommend using the Q-tip dry; the cotton tends to come apart and shred quite easily if dry.

The Q-tips after I finished. Seriously, eew.

I used 4 Q-tips for two magnets - 2 for Watto and 2 for Sebulba. Not too bad, I think. I am actually looking forward to unpacking my collector items and giving them all a thorough cleaning.

How I'm Handling the Upcoming Move:



I made this the day after Thanksgiving, when it suddenly sank
in: holy crap, we're going to be moving in a week.

***
I actually already had some stuff packed, but once 
Thanksgiving was over, the enormity of how much still had to be 
packed hit me. And also how much cleaning there still is to do.


I am good at labeling boxes.

 How my apartment looks:



We still don't actually have an official day to be doing the actual move. As far as I know, the date the lease on the new place begins is still December 4, but I'm not sure which day we will actually be moving everything, because schedules and stuff. But right now, it's sort of a hazardous area with random shit strewn about everywhere.


Sunday Confessions 11-29-15



The United States of Becky




I confess: I had - count 'em - 2 pieces of pumpkin pie last night before bed. No regrets.

I confess: Except now I'm completely done with pumpkin pie for the season. Because 2 slices at once is too much. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I confess: I am currently listening to "The Eminem Show" - how about that for a blast from the past? 

I confess: My apartment is completely thrashed. I cannot even express it. (More on this to come.) 

I confess: This confessions post is sort of abbreviated because I'm itching to get to other posts.





Sunday Confessions 11-22-15



The United States of Becky



I confess: I have not read, checked, or done anything with blogging since my last post because I just haven't had anything to say.

I confess: I'm not particularly enjoying Jen Lancaster's latest book, I Regret Nothing. Normally I love her work, but this one just isn't doing it for me.

I confess: Shawn and I are taking the pies to Thanksgiving dinner at his parents' house and those pies are going to be store bought.

I confess: Obviously the first pie will be pumpkin - because - duh. But I have put an inordinate amount of time into considering what I want the second pie to be - cherry or chocolate silk something.



Recipe: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Brownies



Are you guys familiar with Trish over at Rhubarbarians? Before Rhubarbarians, there was her first blog, Jellybones, where you can still read all the old posts and there are some pretty awesome recipes.

When Jellybones was still Jellybones, Trish was doing a "request something and I'll try to find it and create it" thing. I requested "a healthy-ish brownie."

Yeah, there is no such thing as a healthy-ish brownie that doesn't taste like dirt and wheat germ, etc.

But Trish did create an amazing recipe, and I was excited to try it out. You should, too.

Here is the recipe I did (slightly altered from hers). You'll want to check the link to the recipe above for the full instructions.

1 stick real butter
1 C. frozen raspberries, thawed (measure is for thawed amount)
1/3 C. Nestle 53% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Morsels 

2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Cup granulated Splenda 

1 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 C. Unsweetened Baking Cocoa
1/2 tsp. salt


The major differences are thus: 
Trish used 1 & 1/2 C. fresh blueberries, compared to my using 1 C. frozen raspberries
Trish notes "raw cocoa powder" and I don't actually know if that's different from basic baking cocoa or not.
I replaced the sugar with splenda.
I used 1/3 C. chocolate chips instead of the 1/8 the original recipe calls for.

So, I totally forgot to take pictures of the preparation process.
I like to use Reynolds Release - one of the world's best inventions!



Fresh out of the oven.

Let me just say that I haven't mastered the art of taking food pics yet. 
Trish's are A LOT better!




I have made these once before with blueberries and semi-sweet chocolate chips, and this time with raspberries and dark chocolate chips - both combinations worked well. There are still a few tweaks I would make. I think next time I'd like to add the full cup and a half of berries that Trish's recipe calls for. I also think it might be a good idea to just melt the butter and chocolate chips and add the berries separately at the very end of the recipe to prevent so much breakdown and allow bigger berry chunks. Finally, I am curious to experiment with almond flour instead of all-purpose, but I have no experience with almond flour, so I'm not sure.

Obviously they taste a little different than your traditional brownie, so that first bite is like "what is happening in my mouth?" but then you take another bite and it's all good and you can really notice the flavors.

Try it out - and if anyone knows anything about almond flour, let me know.


Sunday Confessions 11-15-15



The United States of Becky





I confess: I spent the last entire week feeling super lethargic and listless. I was freaking miserable and I hated it. So I decided to stop taking a certain medication I am was on and I already feel a ton better.

I confess: Google Chrome is making me insane. First it was my youtube acting up, so I fixed that problem with the browser settings. But that fix made my netflix act up. So I followed the recommended process and uninstalled and reinstalled both google chrome and silverlight plug-in and netflix was still being a pain, so then I had to do ANOTHER thing and goddammit, google chrome - just be useful and normal and quit being such a fucktard!
(PS - Yes, I did eventually fix all the problems, and yes, I am using Firefox A LOT more now.)


I confess: I am not feeling the Christmas spirit yet. This isn't such a big deal for a lot of people, but generally for me, I am just itching to get to Thanksgiving so it's officially the holiday/Christmas season. As yet, I haven't felt anything remotely Christmasy.

I confess: Last night, one of my IRL friends texted me about my most recent post and it made my night. I love my readers, I love comments, I love all the interaction that goes with blogging.

I confess: My aunt and uncle got Shawn & I started playing Wizard 101 - and I am completely hooked and loving it. It takes me outside of myself and distracts me like nothing else so far. I'm not normally into the RPGs, and I've never been into anything like World of Warcraft or anything like that, but this one I really dig. Possibly because it's cartoony and also aimed for kids & family friendliness. 



What are your confessions this week?




That Time I Got Pushed Too Far



Story time!

Once there was a young couple named Dick and Jane. 
Even though they had struggles in life just like everyone else, they were happy most of the time. They even went through a very difficult patch where everything was going wrong, but it finally got fixed and things were good, and Dick and Jane were excited with the new positive direction their life was going in, having relieved themselves of the big burden they'd been carrying for so long.

But then something happened. Jane's brother, Timmy, needed a place to live. So Dick and Jane said "Of course! Family is family. It will be hard at times, but we love you and you are welcome to live with us."

Sometimes it was hard and annoying for all concerned, but other times it was wonderful and joyous.
After a couple of years, Dick and Jane were getting burned out, and they were arguing more than they had in the entire time they'd been together before that. Dick and Jane hit a breaking point. They decided they could not do another year living with Timmy, so when the lease ended in several months, they would go their separate ways.

A few months passed and Jane's sister, Sally, moved back home from a far-away land. She stayed with family for a few weeks, but needed someplace to go after that. Well, everyone knew that when the lease ended in just two months or so, Timmy and Sally would be roommates, because in addition to be siblings, they were best buds.
Dick thought long and hard and said to Jane, "Well, Sally needs a place to stay, and she is your sister. We should offer to let her stay with us."
Jane was concerned, but also touched that Dick cared so much. She warned him it might be difficult, but Dick said "Family is family and I want to help where I can, and also, it's only for two months, tops."

Dick was wrong.

For a while, things were okay.
But where Timmy was mostly calm, Sally had much more aggressive personality.
Everyone tried hard to get along, but soon Sally and Dick were at odds all the time. Jane tried hard to keep the peace, to be a mediator, and spent long hours trying to help Dick understand how Sally must be feeling, and how hard things were for Sally and Timmy. 
She kept trying to remind everyone it was "just a little longer."
Jane could see bits of Sally's dark side coming out, but still she continued to tell Dick to be nicer, to try to be more understanding, and this was extremely frustrating for Dick, because he needed Jane to support him at this very difficult time.

Jane felt like she was being torn into ribbons.
She loved Dick and wanted him to be happy and agreed with the things he said.
But she also loved her sister Sally and her brother Timmy, and agreed with things they said.
They all had valid points.
And still Jane sought compromise, peace, defending both sides, trying to help each understand and empathize with the other. Even as her own sanity seemed to shred more with each day, still, she kept trying.

It reached the point where things were tense all the time, without any lapses between. 
The date for the move - when everyone could go their separate ways - had just been pushed back again, and Jane, who had all along been the cheerleader with the mantra "only X more weeks to go!" started to crumble and felt like the next month was going to last for a year.

One day shortly after that, Timmy snapped and started screaming at Dick, who screamed back. Timmy was so angry, he had to leave. So Timmy and Sally left the apartment.

When they left, Dick and Jane once again had words, and once again, Jane, who was beyond over it tried to get Dick to see their point of view and be the bigger man. 

A couple of hours later, Jane got a text from her Dad, who wanted to know why Dick and Jane were being such assholes.

Jane was not happy, by a longshot. She understood the need to get away, the need to vent, the need for some space and time apart. But she could not accept Sally and Timmy running home and tattling to Daddy, as Sally addressed him.

BunnyBear angry words shit just got real

So Jane called and talked to their step-mom, Marge, to find out what was going on. Marge was very good at being Switzerland. She politely inquired about things Sally had "reported on", and the last thin ribbons of Jane's patience snapped. Because many of the things Sally had "reported on" were actually blatant flat-out lies. Jane wasn't surprised, because she had grown up with Sally, and knew that Sally lied as easily as she breathed, and she knew Sally could be very toxic. But still, she loved Sally, and had defended her and sought to help whenever possible for the past several months.

Jane felt hurt and betrayed.
Jane had been pushed too far.
Jane lost her cool.




Eventually, Jane calmed down and was prepared to live in civility, if not exactly friendliness. She had calmed down, but her hurt and anger were still very raw. The following morning was quiet as Jane read news online and enjoyed a bowl of cereal. But Sally and Timmy had planned for their dad and Marge to show up to intervene. Dad and Marge were under the impression that Jane was expecting them, but it was just another in Sally's litany of assholey behaviors. Jane lost all respect for Sally, because in Jane's opinion, Sally was behaving like a petulant 12 year old.

Image result for you crossed the line meme
Up until that point, even after everything that happened, Jane just wanted peace, and to get along. But once their dad had arrived and became involved, she was DONE. Game over. All of Jane's good will had been used up.


Image result for you done fucked up


After that, Jane started recording her conversations with Sally, much to Sally's chagrin when she was called out on the differences between actual conversations and her "reports."
Sally decided Jane was too much of a bitch to live with, so she and Timmy packed up and moved out without notice.
Dick and Jane decided that was fine.

Yeah, kinda.:
So now it's back to being just Dick and Jane.





Sunday Confessions: 11-1-15




The United States of Becky



I confess: I sprained my knee doing poorly executed acrobatic outdoor sex while on a hike.

I confess: I am kinda glad Halloween is over and I can just bask in autumn. I actually love Halloween normally, but this is one of those random off years where I'm just not feeling it.

I confess: When we got the news that the move that was supposed to take place in

Mid-September
Early October
Mid-to-Late October
The end of October, for sure this time
The beginning of November
Mid November, absolutely, for really reals, totally not kidding this time

Got pushed back AGAIN, and the new date is

November 30, Probably, and
First week of December, we absolutely mean it this time - 

we (Shawn & I) basically lost our shit. He kind of reacted like this:

angry animated GIF


Meanwhile, I reacted like this: 

sad animated GIF











Sunday Confessions: 10-25-15





The United States of Becky




I confess: I've been binge-watching iZombie on netflix and I really like it. This wouldn't be a confession, except a lot of your more hard-core zombie fans tend to not love this show. But I am enjoying it so far, so whatever.

can you spare a brain?


I confess: I got out of the shower and put on pajama pants. And something felt funny. So I spent ten minutes jiggle walking until I finally took them off and discovered a dryer sheet stuck to my tush. Maybe that should've been step 1.

black and white animated GIF



I confess: Shawn recently got a new job he is very happy with. He works the broiler at a bar & grill place, so basically my husband's job is to spend all day cooking steak. He comes home talking about his day and how crazy busy it was and I'm just sitting there like:










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