Project Runway and Inclusion.

I’ve been a fan of Project Runway for 13 years. I have completely fangirled over Tim Gunn, and if I could have high tea with anyone in the world, it would be him and Mary Berry. Like for real. I want them to adopt me as their long lost niece.

Today PR sent me an article about the new Project Runway which starts on Thursday. Every year I look forward to it and can’t wait to watch it.

So the article is about how Tim Gunn has finally gotten his way to include plus size models. The models are 0-22 now. I checked over the pictures of the models, and they’re all beautiful. I can see the 22 size model and how she fits perfectly in her jeans, no muffin over the top. She looks regal, and I feel a warmth in my chest because now that I have started the journey to lose weight myself I needed it. I wanted to think that one day I will look like that.

Then I read this.

“I think the designers wanted to flee,” Gunn says. “We didn’t tell them in advance.”

And I cried. A silent kind of weep, that came from a dark tiny corner of my heart.

I know he is referencing that it takes more take to design and create for a plus size model and that they only have a certain time frame. I understand it.

But it fucking sucks.

And this.

And, the dreaded “real women” episode, a perennial challenge that tasks designers with creating pieces for non-models, took on a different tone.

The average woman is a size 16. What is what the “real quotation marks?”

The article goes on to reference how Leslie Jones was unable to find a designer because of her size. It was during the Ghostbusters red carpet thing. Like she was someone whose name was out there in the spot light, and she couldn’t find someone to dress her.

I know what it’s like to feel singled out in a room full of people because of how you look. How I got used to not finding clothes, so I just stopped searching. Right now off the top of my head, I can think of Lane Bryant (Super expensive clothes for working types.) Torrid, also expensive but more for the 20 something type. Their pants and stuff run small, but I love their shirts. I won’t even fucking go into detail how much I hate Dress Barn WOMEN. As if, I want to buy my jeans in a barn.

Then there is Catherine’s. Tons of clothes hanging barely on coat hangers. Ugly patterns. The sizes are insane. 1x to infinite (I think. I can’t think of the range off the top of my head.) It has been my personal experience that it’s depressing going into Catherine’s looking for jeans because nowhere else has your size. That you’re exhausted wearing the ones you have because they are so tight, you can’t breathe when you sit down.

After my kid was hatched, my body changed. The rolls I had moved. Nothing fit like it used to. It has greatly depressed me.

But to think that Project Runway is going to attempt plus size for this year is beautiful and bittersweet. I doubt that anything will be picked that will be mass produced for someone my size. I can sit and watch and think to myself, well Unicorn, maybe one day you can lose enough to wear that. Maybe one day. One day. Maybe.

I still carry in my head the outfit I wanted so much to wear my first day of Senior year. The fantasy outfit I wanted to wear when I got engaged. The wedding dress I had envisioned for myself my whole life.

I loved what I wore to my wedding, and it was lovely. I will always miss that fantasy.

I’ll get up tomorrow and do my yoga and the other exercises I started. I’ll watch Project Runway just like I have the last 13 years. I’ll try not to feel a pang when the designer acts put out when he gets selected to get the plus size model. I’ll try to send her strength through the tv. But she is brave and strong and probably doesn’t need it.

I hope I am wrong and by the end of Project Runway that I won’t be even more jaded and bitter, because of the treatment, the models will get for their body size. That none of the designers say something that is hurtful with that blank look on their face as if they don’t know they’re a dick.

Hope springs eternal right?

Here is the article I am referencing. Project Runway Plus Size Models

T.C. Orton’s Iudicium: A Review.

****This review contains spoilers. Cuss words. Scenes of absolute chaos. Dogs and Cats living together.****

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Seriously this cover is badass. 

I can’t say what leads me to review books. Usually I just know. The cover for this book was so badass that I had to read it. Plus. CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE.

 

Picture this. Me. Your favorite blogger. No, Me. Picture me.

It was 1991. A rainy Thursday. I know it was Thursday because I had to spend time in the Reading Center. What is the Reading Center? It was this wonderful building in my Junior High that had lots of windows and tons of books. I discovered something there.

I wasn’t into books. I didn’t spend years and years reading like most of my friends did. MES **Smut Wife** had probably read over 1400 books by the time she was in 7th grade.

But I hadn’t learned to read until the summer before 5th grade. Now it’s a few years later and I’m pinning away in the Reading Center and the Magical Enchantress who ran the place, that I can’t remember her name but I will always remember her kind face and soft hands. She patted me on the shoulder and stuck a Choose Your Own Adventure into my hand. It was thin. It was old looking. The cover looked weird.

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I can close my eyes and still smell the old dry peppery paper smell.

It was my gateway book. From these books I went to Christopher Pike. I can look back and see a clear line of my life from those old books to the now.

I have always been a little wistful for an adult version of this kind of book.. OK I totally wanted a version that had dick. Lots of it. Why be coy? Dick, dick, dick, dick… dick.

Oh, but I’m a book snob, a smut connoisseur if you will. It would have to have good writing and be fun to read. I wanted the epic adventure feeling I had as a horny 13 year old.

Holy fucking shit. I almost got arrested in the making of this review. I decided right away that I would read one adventure from start to finish. That I would consider that adventure only. **Unless it sucked. Then I would do what everyone does, and back track until I got to an ending that was cool.**

No need! I got a good ending.

I am a geek gamer mom. I read on my phone; I do it in line at the store. I do it everywhere.

So I knew I had this review and I was constantly trying to get myself to a fried chicken location because the author T.C. Orton has a thing for the crispy chick. I also enjoy it, since I’ve lived in the south for over ten years. It’s a freaking art form down here.

But, I had to read it.

The Unicorn decided to pull it out while at Target in line for school supplies for her itty bitty baby unicorn. (He’s five years old and 46 inches tall. He’s not small in any sense of the word)

Child and PR are running around the store. I am face first into my iPhone 7. I am drinking a shaken ice tea. Pinky is extended.

Suddenly it’s dirty as fuck, and I am choking on the liquid that has decided to clean my lungs out.

I hope that my death is fast. That the light comes quickly and I see my dead parents, and I am suddenly thankful that I don’t have a dick. Why? Because just the tiny bit I read, I knew I’d die with a hard on and I can’t imagine how embarrassing that would be.

My poor widowed PR would have to tell the Corpse Makeup team, to jack hammer the look off my face because it’s unbecoming. Closed casket it is.

I didn’t die. Obviously. But, the lady who decided to smack me on the back looked at my phone. The white screen covered in words called out to her.

My child thankfully has the timing of a nark, came running over and grabbed my phone to save it. But the look between the old lady and me it was evident. She knew I was reading smuttttttttt at Target. My child was now touching the smut. **He just wanted to get to my Marvel Contest of Champions to spend my credits on potions, I didn’t need. I digress**

Suddenly I felt as if I was a certain age, at a certain place, getting busted for doing a certain thing. *Omitted for security reasons*  So glad I am not that age, in fact I am double it now. **sobs**

She left quickly; I am sure to call the police. We also left quickly because I would like to one day run for PTA President and not have a record of reading smut at Target.

Attempt Number Two:

I start all over from the beginning because I suffer from mommy brain. I’m reading it on my computer this time, and everyone is asleep. Open is Facebook Messenger, and I am kinda ignoring it because the story just sucked me into it.

This is basically a live play by play:

Me: Wow.
The adventure I choose is like out of a few hard core BDSM fantasies I’ve had.

MES: lol oh?

Me: Like have you read smut from someone, and you’re like- I fucking knew you were a pervert, but you’re a dirty fucking pervert, and I want to be best friends with you now.

MES: *Laugh Emoji* Yes. (She was probably thinking of me. Cause we’re best friends and we both write smut. So yeah. ❤ )

Me: When I post the review I am going to leave the path I took. All I can say. Sword hilt. 9 fucking inches.

MES: *Shocked Face Emoji* (In the like ten years I’ve known her. That is the first time she has ever posted the shocked face emoji. I think she got a new phone, or perhaps I need to try harder. But there it was. Shock face.)

Me: OMG I CAN’T HANDLE THIS PRESSURE!! I KIND OF LIKE THE WARDEN BUT NOOOOO. ZEEEEEKKKKKEEEEEE!!!! FAYYYYTTTTT!! OMG!! THE STRESS!!!

Me: What if Fayt get’s caught? Jesus. I trust Zeke. United with Zeke!

Okay so here is my path. I give this book 5 stars for description and filthy goodness. However, the format is a bit of a pain in the ass on the kindle app. It was worth it.

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If you want cute and sweet, Choose Your Own Adventure, read the shit you got in 7th grade. It’s lovely.

I realize this is not a traditional book review. I don’t want to honestly give it away. Its unique and fun. We live in a world where remakes are the standard, this is one that is completely updated and great. I don’t really see much comparison between the two except for the enjoyment factor. The adventure and underlying darkness that is classic in the old books are here just modern and very adult themed.

As of right now I do not know if an adventure keeps Fayt untouched, and I doubt it. **As well as hope not.**  So if some dub-con fantasy isn’t your thing, here is your warning. I left it down here so I hope you read the whole review. I can’t stress that this is fantasy in every way.

Personally, I am going to try and see what other endings T.C. wrote for Fayt.

#TeamCheerio #TeamZeke #TeamDon’tJudgeMeTheWardenIsKindaHot

 

Monday. The First.

YOU MUST READ THIS BLOG!  <—- See this link? Because before you read this blog, go read that blog. Because if you or someone you love is struggling with depression, it will help. It is amazing and uplifting.  ~The Unicorn.

When I woke up this morning, I was already regretting everything.

Publicly, I admitted that I am morbidly obese.

I have a new record for cringing each time I think of something I did that I regret.

Last night I considered deleting it and just ignoring that it happened, hoping it would be like an episode of Lost and I could just write it to suit me.

But I didn’t. I informed my closest friends in case *Which is impossible* they didn’t read my blog. *Losers* **If you’re reading this, it’s not you…**

So to push the random negative thoughts from my head, I decided to knit myself some yoga socks.

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I think they may be too small… Oh well. 

This morning I felt better but fragile. You know that feeling when you get a cast-off, and your arm is new, or when you remove a band-aid, and the cut is healed.

I had a fantastic breakfast of Greek yogurt and ancient grains. I was despondent that there was no Druid chanting as I opened the container. However, I received a lovely history lesson of diary from KRN *Viking Wife*

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Missing: Hot sexy Druids chanting for my entertainment. Or chanting encouragement. 

Lunch was also excellent, chopped salad with chicken tossed on top.

Then I forced myself to do a workout. It was not something I wanted to do. It’s not that I don’t like moving, but I didn’t want to do it. I told MES *The Smut Wife* that I wanted her to randomly ask me about it, so with that in mind, I made sure to do it and get it over with.

The Unicorn Work Out: 

DDP Yoga. I went back to the easy one. 

10 Squats x 2

10 Leg curls x 2

10 Arm curls with 5lb weights x 2

10 Push ups 

5 wheezing almost died and blacked out sit ups. **I got a lot of weight in my bra.. ok?**

 

So I shall see you next week with much more to share. I am confident I will be able to double these reps. I hope you have a magical week and see you next Monday. (I totally wanted to say, See you next Tuesday. Tee hee)

Or See You Next Wednesday if you’re a John Landis fan. 🙂

Here is the pattern I am using Yoga Socks

Here is the yarn Tropical Storm

There is beauty in the breakdown.

My 40th birthday is just around the corner. It’s looming there off on the horizon, and the rational part of my brain is like… Unicorn- It’s just another date. You’ve completed 40 trips around the sun. Grats on you Unicorn. 

The hind part of my brain, where all of my knowledge of makeup and troll that rattles his chains when I try on new clothes is like. Bish, you’re feeling this age, and it’s going to wear combat boots and stomp on you. 

I don’t mind growing old. It’s not something everyone gets to do. I want to age gracefully and well. I have a five-year-old child who I’d like to see graduate from college and beyond.

I lost both my parents very early. One to a car accident and the other to medical reasons that were completely and absolutely preventable. Life choices. My mom died because of life choices.

Life Choices. 

I’ve been toying with a book about weight loss. Writing it from the POV of someone who is morbidly obese. *Fuck that sucked to type*

Diet books clutter the shelves of bookstores all over the place. All these perfect people are telling other people how to do it. But, what has always helped me is seeing someone who is my size, losing weight and no longer being that size. It needs to be real for me.

Have you ever said you want to lose weight, only to have the person give you that fake look of sympathy and tell you: “Most people will just gain it back.” Said douche bag unhelpful asshole person. 

The biggest loser was probably the worst thing to happen to individuals who are morbidly obese. You tune in each week and watch them dangle cupcakes in front of them, and they have these massive weight losses. 10-20 lbs a week. I suffer from PCOS and losing 2-3lbs a week is like hitting the lottery. Those guys always gained it back. Because in the real world you can’t work out for 15 hours a day.

So the gist of this blog is that I am going to be updating it on Mondays. I will have shitty Mondays or great ones. In the beginning, it’s not going to be so much about the loss of weight but more about the changes to get there.

You don’t have to be my size to join in the fun. I don’t feel like this is a diet or anything like that. I just want to eat better. I want to enjoy my life everyday and not feel miserable and exhausted. So if you’re skinny and want to change how you eat, lets do this. No matter your size, lets be friends.

There won’t be pictures of my ass right away. I admire people who throw themselves out there and do that. I will probably post pictures at significant spots. I will be taking pictures every day. Just to keep track, I think.

I hope you stay tuned. Please comment and if I inspire you, you badass. Let’s do this shit together. I’m learning as I go, so I am sure I’ll stumble. But the fact is the desire to do it is here, and it’s honest.

My first long term goal isn’t even weight related, well it is in a way.

I want to go snorkeling at Dry Tortugas near Key West for my 41st birthday.

Short term goal. I will blog tomorrow about whatever I did.

 

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 Long term goals: Me swimming somewhere over there… 

What delicious things creep inside a London Fog?

 

Recently I may or may not have ranted quite a bit about the weakness of the Twinings Prince of Wales Tea.

Okay, so that was me. I did that.

What was utterly missed by said rant was the vocal one I sent to KRN. *The Viking Wife*

I said something like… “I like my black tea so dark, that I don’t know if there are fantasies or nightmares at the bottom of my cup.”

I am a writer. SO naturally I am dramatic. Still. I do like my tea, especially my black teas brewed to the point that they fight back. I should probably just start adopting the Cuban coffee methods (DARK. MYSTERIOUS. SMALL CUP TO CONTAIN THE EVIL.) (Okay, not so evil.)  to my tea brewing and make Earl Grey goo.

About eight weeks ago did a photo and taste review for a London Fog.

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No. Not this one.

London Fog Tea: Earl Grey tea, with lavender, and a dash of vanilla. Steamed milk to finish.

I sent an email to the Blogger of the blog where I found the recipe that I used. I have yet to hear back from them. *I have decided not to include it.* **I just made up my own.**

The origins of the recipe are shrouded in secrets and mysteries. Not really, it’s believed to be from 1996 era Vancouver British Columbia.  In fact, another name for it is the Vancouver Fog.

Starbucks makes a good one. Although it is hit or miss if a Barista knows how to make it. I’ve ordered it about four times and only been successful getting it two of those times. 

I wanted to imagine that Jack the Ripper enjoyed one of these suckers after he visited Whitechapel. But that is my head canon. I am here to present you, my wonderful readers with the facts. Mostly. I say that because I am not a knower of all things. I do try my best.

 

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Elements of a London Fog. I love this picture, even if it gets me called a hipster. 

So brew your Earl Grey as you see fit. I like mine very strongly brewed. Tea bag, loose leaf, whatever you have on hand will do. I use loose leaf so I can include the lavender into the strainer.

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I like to add a pinch of loose leaf into the brew afterwards for reading. Note: Its realllllly impossible to read leaves after they’ve been latte’d. Life Lesson# 853985

Okay. This is the part of this blog where it gets preference laced, and I admit to being a lazy human.

An authentic latte has steamed milk with milk foam added to the top. Heating the milk adds to the full body flavor of the milk, almost giving it a nutty taste in my opinion. I enjoy it when I order it.

At home, however, I do not own a frother, an espresso machine or the desire to heat up milk in any way. So this recipe is without all that. I use real cream, or half and half. Which is usually what I have on hand for my tea. I like my tea how I like my men. Blonde and British.

**Amazon has frother wands for 6.99. I should invest in one, but alas. Lazy.** ***Also, frother wand sounds like a BDSM sex toy.***

Once my tea is steeped to my liking, I add a drop or two of vanilla extract. **You can use the flavor vanilla stuff like they use at coffee shops.** Very little goes a long way when you use extract.

I add the cream until its nice and white. I find that drinking this extremely hot is most enjoyable.

The lavender really works with the bergamot in such a lovely and soothing way. The vanilla and cream give it a smoothness that really completes the whole taste.

This latte is perfect and comforting on cold, wet and foggy days.

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Please note, I dashed that lavender for the picture. I don’t actually enjoy eating it soggy on top. 

The Unicorn Recipe for a London Fog. 

1 cuppa brewed Earl Grey tea.

One teaspoon of loose dried lavender. *Either in the strainer or use a bit of cheesecloth to make your own teabag*

1-2 drops of vanilla extract. 

Enough cream to make it light in the cup. 

Sugar it to taste. I don’t like mine sweetened, but Starbucks sweetens theirs and its good. So I included sugar for this recipe. 

 

Let me know in the comments if you tried it and like it. If you take it and make it your own, as in changing it. Let me know that too! Blah blah do whatever you want with it since I basically winged it. #honest 😉

Lapsang Souchong. Or drinking a cup of pine tree forest fire.

Whoa. This tea was a blind buy. This place near me was going out of business, and everything was 80% off. The tea section was very picked over, and this tea was what was left. There was a lot of it left.

I should’ve known.
When I carried my purchase to the registered, the tired woman looked up, and her eyes sought mine out. She had lovely blue eyes. They were slightly bloodshot, and I could tell she hadn’t slept much recently.

“You know about this tea don’t you?” Her voice sounded haunted.

“Yeah. Totally.” I lied.

“Oh, okay. If you’re sure then.” Her eyes broke from mine and went back to stuffing the tea into the plastic bag. My five-year-old kid was dancing behind me and abruptly stopped when I handed over my money for this bag of loose leaf tea.

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The cursed bag itself. It says organic. I mean sure its organic evil. 

I realize now that she was closing her store due to the curse. The curse she passed on to me.

I never try new tea out as soon as I get home. *I rarely remember I have purchased new tea, and it ends up thrown into the tea cupboard.*

So weeks go by, and I decide that I am going to give this tea my usual Unicorn 3 Sip Taste Test. 

Sip 1: Just me and the tea. Nothing else.

Sip 2: Milk and tea. How I usually take most tea’s that I enjoy. Unless it’s green. Green doesn’t work with milk in my opinion.

Sip 3: This sip is for realllllly assertive tea or reallllly weak tea. Here I add sugar to the milky tea and give it one last try.

Lapsang Souchong. When I opened it, my eyes began to burn. They started to water, and I began to weep silently at my electric kettle. The burnt smokey pine tree forest ablaze scent made me homesick for Southern California during the dry burn season we call February to December.

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I swear I see a demon lurking in there. Or maybe I see the words.. Don’t add water. 

I threw some into my flower steeper and tossed it into hot water. The aroma slowly became something like that mystery burning smell you know is in your house, and you search it out. Only to find nothing and you think ‘Oh it’s just a stroke.’

The water went dark like sadness and despair. I started to wonder if perhaps I should give up on writing. If maybe I was a horrible mum and my kid would be better off pursuing his dream job of joining Odd Squad.

I stopped staring into the abyss that was currently taking up residence in my Edgar Allan Poe mug and shook it off.

Oh, this tea was going to try and break me. Well, not to today SatanTea. Not today.

I thought the smell was bad when I smelled it in the bag.

Well, I was wrong.

So. Fucking. Wrong.

When I removed my tea steeper from the water, it was as if I was standing at the wet smoldering ruins of a plastic factory.

Sip 1: *WHY AM I DOING THIS. THE GODS HAS GIVEN ME A NOSE SO I DON’T PUT UGLY SMELLING THINGS INTO MY CAKE HOLE.*  The still hot water touched my tongue, and I immediately knew I had fucked up. I now have knowledge of what it would be like to lick a pine tree used matchstick.

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I think Poe is asking that butterfly to save him. Also that steeper is way too cheerful for that mug. 

Sip 2: So I dumped out tea so I could add extra milk. I used the toasted coconut almond milk. *FUCK!! I ADDED THREEEEEEE TIMES WHAT I USUALLY USE, AND IT’S NOT Even light blonde.* I can now safely say I know what coconuts would taste like after Madame Pele roasted a metric ton of them in Hawaii.

At this point, the constant smell of burnt things is making my head hurt and my stomach turn. This smell will never leave my nose. Ever. I will walk around the rest of my life wondering if I am on fire.

Sip 3: *What kind of self-loathing must I have?* I added so much sugar, there was a gooey layer on the bottom of the cup. I wanted to start crying, either from the smell or as a defense mechanism. It was both. I was crying because I knew that I would take sip 3.

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I caught the devil in this tea moments after I took my last sip. I think the mug was trying to tell me something. 

So we’re in Hawaii, and the Goddess Pele is using lava to burn down a coconut and almond forest. I am sitting on the edge of it all eating cotton candy and waiting for the world burn.

Sweet Pele please make this stop.

I threw it all away. Usually when I don’t like tea, I try to re-home it. I mean if it’s not my cup of tea, if might be someone else’s.

But not this. No. This must stop. I can’t think of a single person whom I hate so much that I would give this to them. I mean not even my arch nemesis R.A. Besides if I tried to this this tea to her, she’d look at me like I was insane and tell me to fuck off. You don’t accept food from people you want to hit with a brick.

Besides my new arch nemesis is this tea. So I can’t gift it back to itself. I’m sorry that it’s going to a landfill. I would burn it, but I fear that would only make it stronger.

Usually I throw out some educational blah blah blah’s about the tea I am review. Nope. There is nothing you need to know about this tea. It baffles me that people use this in recipes that involve food they want to ingest.

I can only hope that one day my hand will stop smelling like burnt sugar sadness. **Spilled it on my hand when I washed it down the drain**

I give this tea no fucks. No stars, and no Unicorn Love.

If you disagree with me. Leave a comment. I would like to meet you. I suspect you’re just Lapsang Souchong in a human suit.

Twinings Prince of Wales Tea. An Earl Grey Odyssey.

 

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*Note how hard I am holding this. I wanted to chuck this tin into the nearest river.* **Wait, hasn’t that been done before?**

Dear Readers let this be a lesson to you. *This is a rage blog btw. Not completely planned as usual.* **Caffeine was also involved.** ***About twenty times more than I am usually used to even.***

Read the fucking package on your tea. If you don’t have knowledge of it before hand or if you haven’t researched it completely.

It’s okay of course to buy blind with tea. There are so many options and brands that honestly I would spend days if not weeks just lost in a rabbit hole of tea sites before deciding on one.

Buy it for the packaging, or the name, or because it called out to you in a sing song voice, begging you to dump hot water on it. *I can never resist the siren call of tea.*

I purchased Twinings Prince of Wales tea while visiting my favorite British Shoppe in downtown Melbourne. I love that place and buy a lot of tea from there. It has a tea bar, and I believe that the people who run it are magical.

The black tin called to me. Also, it made me think of Prince William. *I am American. I think Prince, I think William. I realize now that the actual Prince of Wales is Charles. I was not daydreaming of having tea with Charles when I purchased this.*

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You beautiful human. I would have tea with you right now. *Photo credit is Hello Mag I believe*

I came home, and this tin kinda got thrown into the back of the cupboard, and I went on with my life.

However. I tried it today. I tried it three times. Three different ways. I don’t like this tea. In a way, I supposed I was basing how I thought it should taste on Twinings Earl Grey and their Lady Grey tea.

Lady Grey is genuinely lovely, and I’ve only tried the Twinings brand, so I will be branching out on that one.

Twinings EG is not my fav. I prefer The English Tea Shop brand. It’s organic; it’s pure Ceylon black tea and bergamot. *blah blah fair trade, blah blah try it.*

I like my Earl Grey assertive. – CLH to KRN

Three cups of it and I begin to research the tea itself. Ah, it’s considered a light afternoon tea, with a mild flavor.

 

I’m starting to feel a bit sheepish for ranting to KRN *The Viking Wife* about how I need black tea to be the VOID in which darkness reigns and hopes and dreams go to die.

I think my description of black tea may be the most metal I’ve ever been.

Prince of Wales tea is nothing at all how I like my Earl Grey, nor my usual black teas.

It annoys me that Earl Grey has such a rep for being a flowering tea. I believe this is the case because there are no set formulas for it.

For example, the different between Earl Grey and Lady Grey is a floral note. Cornflowers are included to the usual black tea and bergamot.

Russian variant of it has lemongrass and citrus peels.

French Earl Grey has rose petals, or jasmine included. Because of love. Love makes Earl Grey whisper sweet nothings into your ear as your taste buds float away on a bed of rose petals and jasmine perfumed the air. *But then it doesn’t return your call, and you always have a distinct hatred of baguettes and berets.*

South African Earl Grey uses Rooibos instead of the traditional black tea. I have tried it and I enjoy it. But it has no caffeine and I use EG as a wake me up and go kind of tea.

There is an Earl Green or Earl White which is made with green or white tea respectively. But I won’t try them so they can fuck off. *I love green and white tea. I just don’t like change. It scares me. I’m frightened. Bad tea touch. I need an adult.*

Earl Grey is the tea used in London fogs, but that is a whole other blog post that will be posted soon. *I have pictures of it, so I need to write it up.*

 

Back to the Prince of Wales. 

This tea is a solid three. If you like your tea weak. Like a particular book character *I’m looking at your Anastasia Steele* **I fucking call bullshit on anyone who dunks the tea into the hot water and then pulls it right out. Just drink hot water. That’s not tea. That’s hating yourself in a cup.**

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I missed this at the checkout. Bummmmer man. Game over.

I found there to be little to no aroma. The flavor was light, and I tasted way more bergamot than I did tea. Usually, there is a balance between the flavors, because the orange oil that is bergamot has a way of totally taking over the flavor profile of tea.

I drink so much tea; I am almost sure that if I stopped using body wash and perfume my natural body odor would be theaflavins and bergamot.

The tin states that this tea is weak so it’s my fault. However, I still feel that this tea is overall weaker than usual and lacking everything that I look for in most of my teas. *Aroma, flavor, namely the two biggest ones.*

I may in the future try this again by a different brand but will keep in mind that brewing it with three times the leaf and twice the time I usually do will do nothing but piss me off.

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I’ve had 6 cups of tea this morning. I can taste color. All the color. Burnt sienna is lovely. Its the bergamot in my dreams.

No tea was harmed much in the making of today’s blog. Much.

Dr. Who and Why I’m angry.

I was once a little girl. Between the ages of 4-18, there was a void of role models that were anything remotely like me.

 

I was overweight. I loved to read books. Science, chemistry, anatomy, and math were my subjects. I read comic books. I played video games. I put together plastic models of my favorite muscle cars. I liked movies like Dawn of the Dead and French Connection.

I wanted to be Indiana Jones. I wanted to be a writer like Richard Matheson who created stories of sci-fi and horror that just baffled me in their perfection.

I went into the library at my school, the reading center, AND the public library and I asked specially for any sci-fi writers who were women. I was told where to find the section, and basically, that was that.

What I found was cover after cover of half naked slave girls with Conan type guys dragging them around the rocky desert like areas.

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Yeah I totally read this too. I mean C’mon with a name like Burroughs, how could I pass that up. 

I also found Dune. So now I wanted to be Indiana Jones, Richard Matheson, AND a Bene Gesserit. Also wanted to be Ellen Ripley until she took off her clothes and did battle in her tiny hipster panties.

I lucked into Anne Rice one summer day and found this paperback book called the Vampire Lestat at my local 7-11. I remember walking home in my flip flops and shorts, running my fingers over her name and marveling that I spent my whole allowance on a book. I read that book in one sitting and didn’t miss the Cherry Slurpee which was the reason I had gone there in the first place. Anne Rice was a gateway drug to a lot of other books, a lot of them horror and many of them I still have and look back fondly.

There was a hole in my heart for a character who was like me. Smart, funny and who loved science and chemistry sets. I don’t think I ever fit in anywhere. At school, I was a weird mix up of things that always garnered strange looks.

“You like that?” “But that’s a boy thing.” “Why would you want to do that?” “That book is too big. I would never read that.” “Why don’t you wear makeup?” “Why don’t you focus on your hair and clothes.” “Girls aren’t good at science.” “You’ll never be a writer.” “You should forget about majoring in chemistry and pick something you’ll be good at. Like a teacher.” “Women sci-fi writers don’t get published unless they use a male pen name.” “Why do you like to use tools?” “Comic books aren’t for girls.”

I remember ordering Dr. Strange vs. Dracula. I remember it sitting on the counter at my local Comic Book Shop. (It has since closed.) The guy behind the counter we’ll call Al, knew me, knew it was for me, got it out when I came into the store. I had to make a detour for any other books I needed. Waiting for a twenty something dude, and he spots my comic book.

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The white whale that haunts my dreams.. Uncanny!! 

“Hey! That looks awesome; I want that too!” Says the dude.
“Sure, I’ll just put it in with your other stuff.” Says Al.
So the guy starts walking, and I’m standing there like. Um. You have more under the counter there Al. He says in all seriousness.

“Comic books are for guys.”

I started to cry. Which probably proved Al’s point in some sick way. He went back to doing his thing. The five other guys in the shop ignored me. I tried to walk to the door with as much dignity I could. I was 14 years old. I didn’t have a lot of that on hand, but I did my best.

I stopped collecting comic books after that. I would read them, but now it was a dirty secret. Something I did but didn’t share with many people. My guy friends who collected, I’d just check them out while we waited to leave to go somewhere else. I was always talked to like I didn’t know what I was doing, or anything about the story line. I accepted it.

With the internet, it became easier to find books and subjects and not be judged openly. If I was a kid now, I think Hermoine Granger would be a role model. Emma Watson certainly would be.

I would be in my twenties before I found Madeleine L’Engle, Octavia E. Butler, Margaret Atwood.

I’m almost 40 years old now and Dr. Who is going to regen into a woman for the first time.

So Peter Davidson who was one of the Doctors has this to say.

“If I feel any doubts, it’s the loss of a role model for boys, who I think Doctor Who is vitally important for. So I feel a bit sad about that, but I understand the argument that you need to open it up.” ~ Peter Davidson.

I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to take my skinny impossible to look like Barbie doll from 1985 and beat her into a wall. I want to rage with everything inside of me that chokes on this.

Off the top of my head, I can think of role models for my son. Not a freaking problem in fact.

  1. His Dad.
  2. Bill Nye
  3. Neil DeGrasse Tyson
  4. RuPaul
  5. Shaun White

 

So did you see what I did up there? Did you catch that? Each role model for my son is a real living person. They’re his father, scientists, and entertainers. Human’s that he can look at and reach for the stars and have a chance of doing it.

Looking back I remember the joy I had in playing Street Fighter and picking Cammy or Chung Li. I remember not being cool because I played the girl characters.

For me being a girl was awkward and I spent a lot of time in a kind of limbo. I looked up to the women in my family. I am blessed with some badass chicks in my family.

My mom was witty and beautiful, and I never felt that I could hold a candle to her. She was a force of nature, and I was a sneeze.

I feel like the idea that boys NEED the male role model that is Dr. Who just broke my brain. It reminds me of Boys Will Be Boys. There is proof or explanation of why this is a fact, it just is. Could Mr. Davidson not think of another role model for boys in this day and age?

I think girls today more than any other time NEED a female Dr. Who. They need someone like Agent Carter. They need Hermoine Granger, Katniss Everdean and Meg Murry. They need to see young ladies like Emma Watson who are leaving around books for people to find. Or Gal Gardot who stops a line at Comic Con to comfort a little girl who is overcome with emotion.

Most of all, while Dr. Who has always been constant with having the sidekick be a woman, or having characters that are women… Why must women be in those roles? I want my son to see that women can be in charge. One day when he is grown and out there working, I want him to respect his boss if they are a woman. I want him not to find it odd or be a threat to his male ego. I can only do so much without it becoming preachy. I need to have visual representations.

SO yeah. WE need a female Dr. Who. We need a lot more female role models not just for girls, but for boys too.

The Fluid Nature of Writers Block.

Or I suspect I am an oyster.

 

Whooooo. I have missed this blog. I have enjoyed daydreams of sitting at my computer and composing a brilliant book review (I have three reviews to share,) or tell the world about the delish tea I just had. (Lady Grey Tea by Twinings)

 

I even have photographs and recipes to share.

But.

Writer’s block. It wasn’t so much writer’s block in the traditional sense. In fact, in the last seven weeks, I have written a novella. I just started a second. I have been writing. It’s just not been easy.

I think all writers have methods and steps that they need to use to create. For some, it’s as easy as sitting down at their computers and putting words down until its a story.

For me, it starts with an idea. A hope of something, a courting of characters and finally I sit down and write it all down. Ideas are easy. It’s the sitting down that’s hard. I have a 5-year-old child. He is home all day, helping mommy work. I have a little sleep in my sleep and I have to sometimes decide if sleep walking through the next day is worth it and or smart. Usually, it’s neither, but sometimes you just gotta do it.

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My kid helping me hands on? Er. Feet on? I didn’t even stage this. 

My process is simple, its organic and fragile. A tiny bit of dust can disrupt the whole thing. Sometimes it’s a plot that doesn’t work. My brain will call me out for being a Dirty Bird so much faster than Anne Wilkes. I have a half finished novel that is in limbo because my brain can’t fix a little plot hole.

Other times, that irritation will turn into a pearl. One of my favorite short stories I’ve written came from a bit of dust (Idea) that stuck, and it transformed into a beautiful dark and scary pearl.

So. That novella that I just spoke about, it’s finished and with it came nothing. Usually, when the last word is committed to the Google Doc, there is a thrill. I spend three days giddy, and I want to tell everyone about it.

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I am exactly like this, only I’m not an otter and instead of a cute furry thing it’s a USB drive with a story on it. 

Not this time. This time I felt like I was breaking up with a boyfriend. I ended a friendship. I crossed a desert and lived on nothing, but crickets and water sucked off cactus spines.

I could list the reasons why. I have two that are glaring, but I don’t have the energy. Plus I don’t want to give them power or ammo. It’s a delicious idea to spend a whole blog post retelling my last seven weeks.

In those last seven weeks, I determined that I need to stop feeling guilty for things out of my control. That standing up for myself is easier than I thought. Confrontation is necessary and the last lesson. Lies will always be found out. I knew this one. It’s part of why all of this has been such a trial. I hate liars.

The drama came when I started the story and literally left the day I finished it. Will I ever enjoy that story as I did when I conceived the idea of it? Probably not. Maybe if it gets published. Maybe if someone reads and enjoys it. But that thrill and giddy feeling that usually comes. It’s gone.

I guess I want to say that it’s okay. Not every story will be a pearl. The point that I am trying to find in this life lesson is that not every pearl is the same. But every one of them is worth it. I feel like the anxiety has left and I can write again with my usual amount of angst. Like wrestling my mouse away from my kid.

 

Book Review FU. Best Title Ever.

 

FU: Fixer Uppers is the first book by Devon McCormack that I’ve read. So I wasn’t exactly positive what I was expecting. I enjoyed the suspense of not knowing what I was going to read. I find that as a super reader and writer I end up going for the same thing over and over. *I regret reading all 39423957293 Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Books.* **I’m a completest.**

Recently I had found myself in a literary rut of sorts. After I had finished Morgan Elektra’s A Single Heartbeat, I was in a book limbo.

Book Limbo: (Noun) That hellish place you roam between your last favorite book and your newest favorite book. Often filled with books you’ve read a million times before, shampoo bottles, and public notices at bus stops.

I needed fun and new. I wanted a story that I could take home for the night, pull its hair and call it a few light-hearted nasty names. I would, of course, cook it breakfast in the morning and then we’d never see each other again. A hot and steamy affair without the walk of shame.

This book utterly failed.

It failed because I enjoyed it and wanted it to stay longer than breakfast. In fact, I took the damn thing to lunch.

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Both the book and the burger were as delish as they appear. 

In fact, while I was enjoying my meal the waitress took a peek at what I was reading. I think she was equally hooked as I was. It was pretty impressive to gush with a complete stranger over how great the book was, how she had to get it immediately and read it that night.

I read FU twice so I could write this review. *No really, I did it because I wanted to.* The two main characters were fully formed and had their own voices. Mikey and Scott’s first meeting starts off very rocky, but soon it blossoms into so much more.

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This picture would’ve come out better, had I not been worried my Iphone 7 was gonna pull a Luca Brasi and sleep with the goddamn fishes. 

The dialogue in this book is what captures and makes it enjoyable to read more than once. The banter between the characters feels real, and it adds to Mr. McCormack’s hot as fuck sex scenes. (Trust me, read the book, and you’ll understand why I had to use fuck. It’s so necessary.)

There is family conflict that I think comes across as real. I didn’t feel any of the standard formula read with this. There was angst, but not really where I expected it to be. That was refreshing. It was as close as one could get to being a fairy-tale without actually being cliche. *Think the distance from Spanky’s Adult Emporium to DLand in Anaheim California. Oh yeah this California Girl went there…* **Actually she’s been there a few times.**

Mikey and Scott’s relationship while having tons of delightful sex also built up into something more. It was lust at first sight for sure, but it evolves at a perfect pace. The book’s blurb gave away the bit that there would be a happy ending. That didn’t mean much though. They were so fun to read that I rooted for them anyway. *I totally spoke to my iphone a few times. A lot of C’mon guys, don’t be assholes.* The epilogue made me wish for another 200 pages.

FU is the perfect book if you love hot erotica, that doesn’t bog you down with a bunch of useless drama for the sake of filling in a word count. I am going to have to read all of Devon McCormack’s books now. I’m pretty excited so expect to see more reviews of them here.

I didn’t want to give away spoilers because you should read it. Now. Go. Why ARE YOU STILL READING THIS? Shoo.

 

OK fine. Here are links.

FU: Fixer Uppers by Devon McCormack

Google Spanky’s if you want their info. Only 15 minutes from the happiest place on Earth.. Just sayin.

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Read the book so you know why this made me giggle. I think Mikey would totes enjoy the nudge nudge of this. Mr. Fucks-Like-A- Champ.