The Tail End of Winter

Let the old snow be covered with the new:
The trampled snow, so soiled, and stained, and sodden.
Let it be hidden wholly from our view
By pure white flakes, all trackless and untrodden.
When Winter dies, low at the sweet Spring’s feet
Let him be mantled in a clean, white sheet.

Let the old life be covered by the new:
The old past life so full of sad mistakes,
Let it be wholly hidden from the view
By deeds as white and silent as snow-flakes.

Ere this earth life melts in the eternal Spring
Let the white mantle of repentance fling
Soft drapery about it, fold on fold,
Even as the new snow covers up the old.

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Recipe: Slow-cooked Steaks and Gravy

This is a dead-simple meal I arrived at after some experimenting with other recipes.  It doesn’t have to be very precise and you can substitute (other cuts of meat, beefy mushroom soup, skip the aus jus, etc.).  Throw it in the slow-cooker in the morning, go to work, and come back to dinner and a great smelling house.  If 3 lbs is too much, you can cut the recipe in half.

  • 3 lbs Sirloin Steaks cut to preferred size
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cans Condensed Golden Mushroom soup
  • 2 packets Brown Gravy Mix (0.87 oz. size)
  • 1 packet Aus Jus Gravy Mix (1 oz. size)

Cut steaks to preferred size and place in slow-cooker.  Separately, mix the packets of brown gravy mix and 2 cups of water with a whisk until smooth and pour over steaks.  Mix the packet of aus jus mix with 1 cup of water with a whisk and pour over steaks.  Empty cans of soup into the slow-cooker.  Mix everything together well with a spoon.

Cover and place on low heat.  Cook for about 8 hours.  Serve as is, over rice, or with mashed potatoes.

The Greatest Internet Trolls

If you’re not aware, KenM is one of the most brilliant internet trolls alive.  He posts comments to articles on news sites with the intent of trolling for responses with hilarious results.  He has an entire subreddit devoted to his work. Here are a few examples:

Who are your favorite internet trolls?  I’ll give another shoutout to E-mails from an asshole:

Angry Fish Tank Guy

Spacious Studio Apartment

 

On Turning 40

Today is my last day as a 30-something.  As some of you know, the reality of this has been surprisingly difficult for me to face.  This is in part due to the shocking rate at which time passes.  While the minutes and hours may drag by, I have blinked a few times and four decades and half my life (if I’m fortunate) have passed.

The other half of this curious comorbidity is the jarring contrast between the 40 I imagined as a youth and the 40 I now inhabit.  In my young mind’s eye I am married, of course. I probably have a couple kids and am a homeowner.   If I haven’t already sold it, I’m an owner of a tech business I started with a good friend of mine.  I still read and write voraciously and have self-published at least one book.  I have a tight-knit group of friends I’ve had for years and we spend evenings at each other’s homes weekly, conversing, cooking, laughing, and planning our next adventure.

“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.”
― Robert Frost

Things change.  My life went…differently.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I’m in a good place, but it just isn’t what I thought it would be.  I’m single, never married, with no love interest on the horizon.  I have no kids that I know of (I celebrate Father’s Day every year just in case).  I live in an apartment that I love, not a house.  I never started that business and somehow ended up in Healthcare Information Technology.  I’ve worked for software companies, a start-up, big hospital systems, and a small independent hospital where I have worked closely with physicians, nurses, and operational leaders to improve patient safety and outcomes through the EHR.  It’s been immensely rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  And now I find myself back in another large healthcare system with seemingly endless opportunities for where my career could take me–it’s dizzying.

As for that tight-knit group of friends?  I have friends who have gotten me through some painfully tough times.  Friends who are incredibly funny and make me laugh until I cry.  Friends who are passionate about…something: cooking, their kids, building things, writing, travel, their career.  Friends who have loved me when I was unlovable. Friends who are just plain fun to do shit with.  I love you.  But life as an adult in 2018 is madness.  People are simultaneously busier than ever with events, get-togethers, vacations, conferences, entertainment and fed life intravenously without having to leave the house.  I’m a subject matter expert on this.  Who needs to shop or go out to eat when you have Amazon, instacart, UberEats, Grubhub?  Your entertainment, books, news are streamed in all their 4K 100 Mb/s glory directly to your TV, laptop, tablet, Kindle, phone.  The social interactions we crave are at least partially fed online.  Why do you need to see someone’s face when you have a Facebook?  So I struggle, many of us struggle to put the work in to keep seeing each other and staying truly relevant in each other’s lives.

Where does all this lead?  Change, and an Invitation.

The Change is me stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on something I might normally pass by.  I’ve started backpacking, cooking and baking, and recently started playing chess again. With the county library book club on hiatus due to renovations, I’m on the lookout for a replacement.  I hope to plan another backpack trip this Spring, and once I feel more comfortable with my cooking, look for dinner invites.  I’m also looking for volunteer opportunities in the community.  This blog itself is my attempt to get back into writing, even if it’s just talking about something I love.  I archived years worth of old posts and am starting from scratch.

The Invitation is open-ended.  Reach out.  If you’re going through something tough, hit me up.  I’m a good listener.  Wake up to a randomly beautiful Saturday or Sunday?  Let’s go for a day hike somewhere…or out for a boozy brunch. Come over and let’s cook something delicious and make everyone on Instagram jealous.  Wanna do something completely random and need a partner? Run it by me.  I’ll skydive, swing dance, start a religion…whatever.

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

So 40, bring it on.  I’m ready.