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Keto Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust

For the filling

  • 6 8 ounces pkg. full fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 C Confectioners Swerve, or reduced-calorie sweetener of choice
  • 5 large Eggs room temperature
  • 8 oz. Sour Cream room temperature
  • 1 TBS Vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 325F. Adjust the rack to the middle of the oven. Combine the crust dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix in the butter.  Pour the crust mixture into a 9-inch x 3.5-inch springform pan and press halfway up the sides using your fingers. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the room temperature cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. If you use a stand mixer use the paddle attachment.
  • Add in the sweetener a little at a time (about 1/3).
  • Add in the room temperature eggs one at a time and beat until well incorporated.
  • Finally, add in the vanilla and room temperature sour cream and beat until just incorporated.
  • Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crust and even out the top.  Bake in the preheated oven. Check after 50 minutes. The top should no longer be glossy and the center should still be jiggly.
  • Turn off the oven and crack the door.  Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven run a sharp paring knife between the cheesecake and the pan (this is to ensure the cake doesn’t stick.  Do not remove the springform). Let sit on the counter for 1 hour.
  • Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • Remove the springform pan sides, decorate the top, and serve.
just

“Just” … a thief of intent.

“Just” get a job.
“Just” try harder.
“Just” be positive, it will work out.
I’m “just” a streamer.

Just is a thief of value. You say “just” to pretend not to mean what you are saying, to soften the comment, to steal the intent of your words. Somewhere we developed a gray area between being humble and getting stepped on. We started adding “just” in front of our sentences. It’s almost like we feel the need to apologize so we throw in the word “just”.

Part of our human nature is that we’re sensitive to being devalued or undervalued. We don’t like feeling underappreciated. You don’t want to be the comeback kid. But we don’t seem to have any problem telling ourselves we’re unworthy of something. We shouldn’t do it to other people either.

If you’re a teacher, you’re not JUST a teacher.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent, you’re not JUST a stay-at-home parent.

No matter what your words are, leave out “just”. You don’t need it. If you are going to tell someone to “Just” try harder. You aren’t doing yourself any favors by softening the blow in encouraging them to “Just” get a job. You are being a jackass. If you are telling yourself you are “just” anything but awesome, you are stealing your value, and you JUST need to stop it.

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Having perspective

When you experience something you deem “hard” or perhaps something others may deem a shock, tragedy, rough, difficult, a tough go of it, maybe you’ve seen a rough patch… you know what I mean. It could be personal, professional, something self-imposed, something you didn’t anticipate, something you saw coming, any way you look at it – there’s a beginning, middle and end to it.

It’s not always hard, and the beginning feels different than the middle and as you are coming out of it, it’s bound to feel different than the beginning. I think the hardest part is that you’re not ever really sure where you are “in” it. There’s no road map for the struggle you might be going through.

But something you can start to have after the beginning is perspective. Regardless of your struggles, once you’ve begun the “getting through it” part you start to have a little perspective. You understand that living through tragedy and pain and struggle is a part of life. Even a long period of struggle may have small periods of beauty and happiness.

I think what I try to remember during a particularly rough time in my life is that I try to use every opportunity to examine where I am in the process and though it sucks to see if maybe there’s something more I can learn, and even more so than in life’s day to day learnings – really dig in and ask hard questions. It already fucking sucks. Why not really open the gaping wound and pour on some peroxide on that festering wound and see what bubbles up? Hah. Perhaps I’m a bit of a masochist? Maybe. What about my own behavior can I learn from.

Am I a toxic friend? Do I judge too quickly when someone asks for help? Am I a bully? Do I post too much about political bullshit? Do I say fuck too much in front of my kids? Should I wear a bra more often? Do I need to floss more often? Can I give more to charity? Should I run that app cleaner on my phone more often? Am I being a bad mom when I go to bed before my kids and let them stay up way past their bedtime because I just can’t deal anymore? Is that cheese still good in the fridge?

These are the things babbling questions that run through my mind as I try to keep all of life’s little battles in check.

What are your struggling queries right now babes?

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Masakatsu Agatsu

My second tattoo. It is the one I agonized over the longest, spent the most time researching because I wanted to get it right. The one I look at every day – not on my body but on my wall, and one I’ve maybe forgotten I have on my body, and maybe why I forgot I got placed ON my body.

I commissioned a Japanese calligrapher to do a custom artistic (less traditional) version for me that I could then also have transferred to tattoo paper and then inked on my body. I found an artist that I liked and set up the appointment. I was 28, maybe 29 at the time? I remember the night, the smell of the tattoo shop, and that I passed out. I remember being proud of myself and I remember loving it so much that I looked at the tattoo every night for almost a year after that. Perhaps I should get back into that practice. Loving to look at it.

We’ll break down the phrase. Together, it simply means, A true is a victory over one’s self

Masakatsu is a victory of a true origination; that is, the law of universal creative evolution which transcends the boundaries of prejudice and discrimination and abandons the consciousness of the ego. Meaning you’ve been able to forgo the idea which is to win in a physical sense, it’s not an earthly victory, but a spiritual one. You don’t best in a battle of the body. Arm wrestling, boxing, etc.

Agatsu means to have victory over one’s self.  An understanding of Masakatsu as a preface and foundation is necessary for explaining Agatsu. The bandit in the mountain is easy to defeat, but the bandit within your own heart is difficult to conquer, it is said.  For the person who looks at their true self within themselves, their most fearful opponent is no one other than themselves.

Stay with me, I know that was a lot of overly ethereal and pretentious sounding froofroo garbage… BUT as a practice, the phrase comes from the idea of defeating your own inner demons you have to get a little froofroo.

When I stop to think how long I’ve been fighting the demons I’m currently fighting, it’s been a while. Which makes me a little proud that I’ve continued to fight, but a little pissed that I still feel as fucked up as I do. However, as I think about growth, I realize that it’s not so much about not feeling fucked up as it is about just continuing to fight.

I’m never going to not feel fucked up. There’s no amount of therapy that’s going to reverse the things that have happened to me in life. There’s no Mister Clean Eraser for life’s really awful experiences. All we have is our determination to not let it consume us.

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Loving yourself first.

If there’s something that’s become increasingly more obvious to me as I’ve become older and more mature is that to deal with life’s challenges and be a better more whole person is that we have to heal ourselves and learn to love ourselves first, before we can be loved and be of true use to the world.

Not to say we can’t be loved and be useful to others without it – but I’ve come to a certain understanding slowly over the last few years.

I really don’t like myself.
I don’t think I deserve love. I don’t think I deserve happiness.

I do an awful lot to purposefully sabotage great things that are placed in front of me. Yes, purposefully. Why? That’s what therapy is for.

I am pretty sure it has something to do with deep-seated low self-esteem brought on by years of tormenting by bullies in grade school, sexual assault in my college years, and a challenging upbringing where I was not ever really held accountable for my actions.

When I begin to find myself comfortable or challenged I pick at the wound, like a scab. I do things unconsciously, railroading relationships and engaging in behaviors that cause my life to sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly careen off the tracks.

You would think by this point in my life I would have it in me to figure out how to stop it. Acknowledging and trying to do something about it is where I am right now, hoping that I can find a way to make the crazy train stop before it hits the next station, and heal enough that someday I’ll be able to really feel worthy.

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On Being Sexy.

It took less than a day.

I had been streaming on Twitch for less than 24 hours.

One comment in my public channel while playing Sims4, and then a direct message. One said, “What would you do for $1?” the other told me, “God, you are so sexy.”

Being told you are sexy will most likely bring about specific emotions in a person. Which emotions may depend on a few things; the person delivering the message, the context, the platform, and familiarity with the person delivering the message. 

Flattered? Disgusted? Desirable? Confident? Repulsed? 

Without a base in familiarity, an unsolicited comment on your sexual desirability is inappropriate and meant to degrade and disrespect you. Whether they are calling you sexy, lovely, gorgeous, hot, yummy, tasty, it doesn’t fucking matter. This doesn’t just happen to women, either. 

Shouted at you from across the street is harassment as it’s designed to debase you. A similar reaction was likely the goal by the anonymous troll in the message sent to me on Twitch, of which I reported, and blocked. 

What, if anything did this person expect to have happen next?  That I would fall down with my legs in the air and say, “OH MY GOD, THANK YOU!!!” and begin masturbating for their viewing pleasure because clearly I’d never been shown such lush affection? Did they assume that I would strike up a conversation and pursue an intimate conversation where I would eagerly invite the digital transmission of close up images of their genitals?

I really am honestly interested in knowing the true nature of the reason behind such behavior. Is it that we’ve lived so long without consequences for bad internet behavior and are at times provided with the occasional humorous reward for being such a garbage person?

The kicker in the cases I’ve experienced in most scenarios is that there isn’t a right reaction, either. If you say nothing you are called a bitch, a cold-hearted cunt, and you’ll die an old spinster with a spider web infested cunt because no one will ever want to fuck you. 

If you acknowledge the comments, with (and I speak from first-hand knowledge) “I know.” because you possess even a slight amount of confidence when told you are attractive you are again met with indignant rage and told you are a bitch and you deserve to die in a fire. 

If you acknowledge the comments with “thank you”, you are clearly just a fucking tease and should die in a fire. Of course, if you don’t immediately turn your 100% attention to the commenter and relish the compliment as the most beautiful one you’ve ever received, you’re a stuck up conceited bitch.

This word “Bitch” is used often if you haven’t noticed.  

If you’d like some other examples of this, follow the Instagram account @sheratesdogs. It’s a collection of posts from, mostly women, where exes or guys have gone off the deep end. It’s illuminating. Take this one for example.  

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Read this in an anime villain’s voice (-9/10)

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Buh? 

The culture of “being” sexy is that if you show your sexy to the world (and by that I mean you leave the house, have your photo taken, post a picture on social media or really dare to breathe) it instantly belongs to the world, and can be judged, dissected, dismissed, shat upon, and held to whatever standard the world decides it has for you – at that moment without your consent. 

But here, my darling, I am going to tell you a secret. Though it’s difficult to not react to those who shout at you from across the street, and it’s hard to smile and pretend you are not affected as the words change and cut from a smile to a snarl – that’s what you have to do. Be deaf. 

Whether it’s an anonymous online troll, an ex, an a-hole. a weirdo from work, a Tinder match that should have been a left, not a right, or the cute guy in the bar that was cute until he wasn’t. 

You don’t need anyone’s permission or gratitude to be sexy. Be cute, attractive, pretty, yummy, tasty, nice, whatever you want to be without the validation of anyone else on the planet. You do not have to say “Thank you”. You don’t have to be made to feel bad for taking up space. You don’t owe anyone anything for being there.

You deserve attention and love and appreciation for spectacular reasons like your joy for string cheese, or the way you stretch before you get out of bed. You are not defined by the ability to make someone’s genitals tingle.