I’m Turning 31

I am not the type of person to broadcast and remind others of my birth date. People who do that, annoy me greatly…  Instead, I prefer a nice, drunken evening with a few select people to share laughter and “coming-of-age” discussions. However, this year I am turning 31 and it feels like the 30th birthday that most people dread. I embraced my 30th with open arms and felt like I could finally be declared an adult who still makes inappropriate decisions. This year, I feel old. I feel like I should celebrate by booking a doctor’s appointment to check my vital signs and run every cancer screening test known to man. It’s depressing.

My boyfriend, DireMole, is a tad older than me and his age feels like my security blanket. He’s in good shape and even though he’ll deny it, he’s able to run a 5k faster than most people who workout regularly. It’s obnoxious and I’m happy for him. This is the first time in my life that I have a boyfriend that pushes me to keep up with him. He doesn’t literally push me, I feel like I have to push myself to stay by his side. And that’s an awesome feeling… Just one reason I adore him. If I can be like him when I grow up, then 31 won’t feel so awful.

256px-Elevator_scene_during_Gangnam_Style_flashmobSo what would be an awful celebration on my birthday? Besides going to the doctor to stress out about possible health conditions, my office has the potential to make my day fairly rotten. The office has a birthday ritual of performing “flash mobs” to sing “happy birthday” to the unfortunate soul who recently aged a year. It’s my team’s pathetic attempt to show employee value. Management gets  excited about surprising the birthday person and acts like it took them ages to plan the perfect flash mob.  However, it’s not much of a surprise because they do it to everyone. For cynics, it’s a battle of wills on how long it takes the birthday person to hide away from their desk before the team captures them and forces them to listen to off-key signing and balloon (or other random birthday props) throwing at their workstation. Typically, the birthday person concedes to the battle, because at some point they have to clock in their work activities for the day. It’s painful to watch, let alone listen to the lackluster moans of “happy birthday”. I’m never an active participant because I generally feel sorry for everyone involved. It’s like a planned train-wreck. Don’t worry, I already planned how I am going to avoid this catastrophe on my birthday.

PLAN A: I will work remotely in another office, update my Lync status to “Do Not Disturb” and periodically take exaggerated bathroom breaks to another floor’s restroom to catch up on my iPhone games.

PLAN B: If they find me, I will look at them in disgust and eloquently share that they got the date wrong by 6 months.

I am dreading this potential experience and sometimes I wonder if I work at a horrible chain restaurant…

All I want for my birthday is to avoid a potential flash mob, embark on a healthy new year with the love of my life, and go out to a restaurant on my Yelp wish list to enjoy an adult beverage or 2, dine on a meal that I wouldn’t attempt to make at home, and order a dessert served without singing. Then, maybe stumble off to a hole in the wall bar to drink into the early morning hours with my closest friends. I hope I’m not asking for much.

Homebrew Treats for Four-Legged Creatures

DireMole and I talked about homebrewing for over a year. Finally, we got around to making our first batch after it took us months to gather all the equipment and “jerry-rig” our kitchen to brew. It was an all-day affair of playing “meth-lab” while drinking tasty craft beer and spilling water all over the place. The floor never looked so clean!

We had 12 lbs of spent grain leftover and I didn’t see the need to throw all of it out…therefore, I decided to use the leftovers to share with our furry-friend, JalapenoRubes.

This is my second batch of treats and our PirateGoat loves to devour them when she is rewarded for good behavior… therefore, we give most of them away. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 Cup Flour

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I used chunky)

1 Egg

2 Cups Spent Grain

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Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Dump all ingredients in a bowl then mix that shit up until it becomes a thick, heavy blob.20140629-100541-36341544.jpg

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and place the blob on top of the flour.

Use a rolling-pin or another tool (let your imagination run wild) to flatten the blob. Sprinkle more flour on the dough if the dough is too sticky.20140629-100542-36342774.jpg

If you are extra crafty, use  festive cookie cutters to make the treats. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, use a knife and cut-out bars or whatever shape you wish.

Bake the treats at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 225 degrees and bake for an additional hour to dry them out.20140629-100545-36345292.jpg

Let the treats cool. Then, place them into a cookie jar or package them into baggies to share with your doggie friends.

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Level Up: +1 Point for Sharing,+1 Point for Culinary Masterpieces, +1 Point for Screwing Around with Cookie Cutters, +1 Point for Happy Dog, +1 Point for Re-purposing Brewing Ingredients

Dancing Rampage Friday

So it’s that kind of Friday… it’s early summer, boss is out, majority of people are leaving early to have a long vacation with their families and I’m pretty much sitting at my desk wondering why I am not overtaking the office with a graceful, yet destructive dancing-rampage. An interpretive dance, so to speak. I envision a dance that includes an elegant kick that happens to knock the pathetic-looking orchid plant off my colleague’s desk, a dancing prop with a keyboard that resembles swinging a baseball bat, and a forceful hip-move that misaligns a monitor. I’m not in a particular vengeful mood, I just want to shake things up and then march off to my car singing “Happy Friday, I’ll see you bullshitters on Monday!”

Floaters

I was in a state of turmoil by 3 signs that were daunting my activities.  The only conclusion I have made is that satire can be motivational.  So, what was the revelation for this week’s post? Special snowflakes that need these particular signs to survive.

The other day I was stopped by this inspirational posterindex. It’s kinda catchy… a big goldfish, sparkles, and a tantalizing water-filled oasis.  At first glance, I was uninspired and thought that it was a sad attempt to motivate me. Then after consideration, I realized may not have been the prime audience for this magnificent piece. I tried to determine what type of person looks at this poster, relates to the flying fish, and then marches off ready to seize the day. Truthfully, I’m more inspired by Mishka. Every time I watch Mishka’s break-through video I’m motivated to drop what I’m doing to train the PirateGoat. Why can’t there be more Mishka inspirational posters? Anyway, back to the flying fish…. the more I studied this rare specimen,  the more I realized that this poster was a satire. The flying fish is suicidal. He has leapt out of the water and is on a one-way train to a slow and miserable death. How is he a winner? To make matter’s worse, this poster was proudly posted outside the HR office. This satire became much more real. Well- played, inspirational-poster, well-played.

You would think I was skipping back to my desk after that little number. However, I had the urge to pee. Maybe it was induced from staring into the fish bowl? Doesn’t really matter… when I visited by my own fish bowl at my favorite office-bathroom stall, I got trapped in with this little beauty.20140624_085026

CRAP! When did HR  get an increase in their motivational-poster budget? Has HR identified that there is a serious poop problem? Which is going to kill me first, a co-worker who uses poop paperclips or working myself into despair and jumping off the building?  Hopefully, this bathroom decor has served its purpose to the swamp-creature colleague who isn’t fooling anyone by running water through their fingers . Use the damn soap!!! That flying goldfish poster is beginning to look better and better. We need to move the ‘winner” fish poster to a more prominent location in the office, like the front door, to distract us with a glimmer of hope from the viral poop invasion that may be organizing an attack in the next 24 hours.

While trying to avoid my worries of work-related fatalities (I was relieved that feces was not on OSHA’s Top 10 of 2012 violated standards. However, “Fall Protection” was ranked 1st so I’m going to look into that further. ) no-long-breath-holding-sign-k-9904 I decided to relax by a pool and catch up on some summer reading. I looked up from my book and felt reassured that I truly was a Champion of the Human Race. The homeowner’s association must have had funds left over from last year and felt that this sign was a necessity. “No Long Breath Holding”… do we seriously need a reminder for that? Honestly, if you are dumb enough to hold your breath underwater for an extended period of time that you begin to cause harm, then you are obviously a “winner who exceeded expectations” and we should replace that flying goldfish with your beaming smile of accomplishment.

I sincerely want to thank the 3 signs that have made my day complete. In your weird and twisted-way, you have motivated me to not work myself to death and jump from the office building, to wash my hands to avoid the poop invasion, and that I am not capable of being a fish for the long-term. I still haven’t determined the intended audience for these signs, but they must be some really special snowflakes.