Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daily Write - Feeling Change

I can feel change happening, sometimes. It’s unnoticeable at first. But, that is how change always starts, isn’t it?  It begins with a small speck. Something trivial, something overlooked. A word, perhaps.  A sentence, a feeling. Whatever it is, it does not leave. Instead, it latches onto a corner of my mind. I try to ignore it, but I know it’s there. Sitting, spreading, poking holes in the grey veiled dullness. The grey that I slowly notice is covering everything comfortable and familiar. A dullness that now surrounds everything I see. And now, I can’t unsee it. I can’t not notice it. This is how it begins.

I start to feel it when I’m awake. I feel it in my dreams. It’s a breeze, changing course, wafting beneath the surface, replacing me piece by little piece. And now I have this constant knowing of what’s happening. That I am changing. That I must change, because this grey veil of sameness blanketing the familiar will do nothing but drive me insane.

This familiar comfortableness I have made myself content with, I realize this is not my end point. This place is simply a point on a line stretching in front of me. This is not my goal, but simply an accomplishment on the way to an end that I dream about, but do not dare speak. And now, I feel that revelation, breathing under my skin, inside my bones, behind my eyes, piece by piece. I cannot stay. Not here. Not at this point.


I am changing. What is happening to me will not stop. Piece by piece, the process continues. Everything old feels wrong. Nothing fits. Not anymore. It will all slip into the grey dullness soon enough. Into familiar sameness that no longer lives. It is simply marking time.  There is nothing left I can do. Nothing but change.  And see where change takes me.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Hair Journey: Twist Out

It has been a while since I have talked about my hair journey. So why not update with a post about the hairstyle I'm currently wearing. Right now, I'm going with the Twist Out. The Twist Out is a simple style that isn't too time intensive and is easy to do. I tried this look once while I was transitioning and I didn't like it. My hair was still straight and the ending result was not to my liking. However, once my hair had a little more texture, I tried it again. Now it is my go to style.

I usually prep my hair by spritzing it with a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 aloe vera juice. I then put some coconut oil in my hair and finish with a moisturizing cream. I have been using Cantu Shea Butter, which is amazing. After all of that has been put in, I flat twist my entire head of hair. The twists don't have to be exact. Just make them the size you want your curls to be.


After twisting my hair, I roll them up in wave rods. I have rods in several sizes depending on loose or how tight I want the curls to be. Right now, I go with a medium size rod. It has a nice spiral curl effect that isn't too tight. I usually let my hair set over night and take the rods out in the morning.


When untwisting, I but some olive oil on my fingers and gently untwist. If I rush, it makes the resulting curls frizzy. I run my fingers along my roots to get rid of any lines where my hair was part and give my curls a few shakes. Then I am done!


This takes much less time than the Bantu Knot and I still get the curly style that I like wearing. And I don't have to retwist and curl every night. I can usually go for about 3 days before I have to style it again. And I can always change the look by adding a few bobby pins here and there. I am really enjoying the ease and versatility of this style.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Daily Write - Night on the Row (Part 3)

He was hunter, as was she. They talked about the difference between the woods and the city. They talked about animals, both as prey and companions. Then he asked how good she was with a bow. She took another drink.


“Used to be one of the best in my clan. Could hit a squirrel at a hundred pace in the dark.”


“And now?”
Her shoulders visibly sagged as her chin fell closer to her chest,“Couldn’t hold a bow if I wanted to.”



“Hands shake every time you pull the arrow back?”


She turned around, a little surprised at that response. She couldn’t tell what facial expression he had under that helmet, but she guessed he had a wry grin playing across his lips.



“Same happened to me after my wife and son died. The one thing you know how to do and even that is taken from you.”


“How did you get over it?”


“I killed the bastard who killed them.”


“I don’t really have that option,” she said, sighing “But the alcohol helps with the nightmares.”


“What happened to you?”


She turned back around and stared at the street in front of her. No wagons or carts came by this time of night. The lamp lighters had come and gone hours before. Still the riff raff that hung around spilled out into the streets, just as raucous and uncouth as when the evening had started.


“Nothing that’s worth talking about.”



He frowned. Well she couldn’t be sure he was frowning. But the awkward silence led her to believe that he was. She sighed and corked the bottle. He had just admitted to murdering a man. The least she could do was stop drinking for the moment and reciprocate a bit. Besides, she could already tell that her face was getting red and soon enough, she wouldn’t be able to string together a coherent sentence.


“Got dragged to some island where a group of us were captured by a crazed gnome claiming to be a scientist. We were overpowered and locked away in his dungeons for about a week or so. Don’t really know how much time passed. He toyed with us, mostly. Lab rats for his experiments. We all had our own personal torture rooms.”


Even with her alcohol soaked mind, she could feel that poison coursing through her body once again, driving her crazy. The blinding white light, the bone chilling screams. The screaming would probably be something she could never forget. However, her brain could not hold onto those thoughts for very long. It had slipped into that warm and comfortable spot where there was no holding on to much of anything. The moment a thought went by, it soon left. She now functioned on nothing more than the fringes of her intellect and base instincts.


There was a soft clink of shifting armor as he stood up. He was taller than she suspected he would be. A high pitched whistle came from underneath the helm. In response, a large shaggy wolf came bounding to his side, tongue lolling between a set of ominous looking fangs.


“It has gotten late, so I will have to take my leave for the night, Miss…?”


She never liked people calling her Miss. It made her feel old and stuffy. But it showed that he was polite. He definitely didn’t belong anywhere near The Row. Perhaps there was still some worth in the theory that she was making conversation with an inanimate object her brain had brought to life.


“It’s Cixi.”


“It has been a pleasure, Cixi. My name is Kalecsin, but most simply call me Kale.”
He started to walk away, but was stopped when she spoke up after him.



“All this time we spent here talking and you aren’t going to at least let me see your face?”
He paused, reached for his helm and slowly pulled it off. A messy tangle of crimson hued hair, tied into a single bundle, fell down his back. He looked at her. He grinned. She wished that filter between her brain and mouth was back in place.



“Like what you see?” he asked, obvious that he wasn’t expecting an answer.


“You’re easy on the eyes,” she responded, wishing she wasn’t so forward, but couldn’t do a thing to keep it from happening.


“I am glad to hear that you think so. I have been admiring you from the moment you sat down.”


Cixi snickered at the compliment, reaching for her bottle, which surprisingly she hadn’t emptied yet,“I’m drunk, what’s your excuse?”


“My excuse?” he repeated. A small grin formed at the edges of his mouth, “You’re pretty.”

Friday, May 8, 2015

Daily Write - Night on the Row (Part 2)

Taking another drink, she listened to the sounds of breaking glass and loud shouting. Bawdy songs were yelled from some broken down tavern, while female voices shrieked in response to the grubby hands that played grab ass when females passed by. She took another drink. Predators walked up and down these streets, letting their glinting weapons be seen by all. They walked up to anyone, taking whatever they wanted and dared something to be done about it. It was a group of them, a group she never saw aside from here on The Row. They ignored her. She had nothing they wanted. She had nothing but a bottle of alcohol. A bottle that she would empty before the night was over. Yes, it had come to that.

She couldn’t remember her last sober day. When she was rescued, everyone headed to the rum and ale stashed away on the boat. While some drank the first night, she drank every night on the trip home. And had been drinking every night since.  It didn’t matter. No one had noticed. Everyone was dealing with the nightmare they had just clawed their way through. No one noticed anyone else. So she could get away with stumbling around the Estate or disappearing without a word to anyone. She tilted the bottle up to her lips and let the alcohol burn its way down her throat.


“You really shouldn’t be drinking that much,”


She turned towards the voice. She hadn’t seen him sit down. He had obviously been there for a while and made himself comfortable, leaning against the wall of a dark, grey building.


“Trust me. There are no answers in the bottom of that.”


“Who said anything about trying to find answers?” she replied in a sarcastic tone, taking another pull from the bottle.



She hadn’t seen him before. But would she have remembered if she had seen him before? He sat partly in the shadow of the building he was resting against and the rest of him was splayed in the harsh flickering ray of lamp light coming from a nearby post. There wasn’t enough shadow to cover the mail armor that he was clad in as it glinted whenever he moved.

She couldn’t make out his face, seeing how he was still wearing the helm that went with the suit. For all she knew, she had one drink too many and just struck up a conversation with a statue she had paid no attention to until now. But, real or not, he continued to speak.

“Isn’t that what most people are looking for? A solution?”

She did not answer, simply placed the bottle next to her lips again. If this suit of armor was looking for a philosophical debate tonight, it wasn’t going to get it out of her. Despite her silence, he continued.

“It is just that I think there are better ways to handle whatever it is that is bothering you instead of drowning yourself in alcohol.”

“Then you obviously are in the wrong place,” she answered, gesturing with her bottle, her words starting to take on that tell tale slur of when someone had had enough to drink, “Drowning yourself in alcohol is what happens here.  You and your sobriety is what is wrong with this picture.”

“You are pretty lucid for a drunk.” Was the response given.

“My night just got started. Give it a little time.”

She had sworn he had chuckled at her reply. But she could only that blasted helm on his head. He kept talking. About what, she really didn’t know. It really didn’t matter. There was something she liked about hearing his voice. It was much better to listen to than the normal din of The Row, especially late at night. He was settling, something solid amidst the hazy wash of everything else around her. He got her to talk, about anything. Of course, that wasn’t too hard since booze always had a knack for loosening her tongue and removing the filter that existed between her mouth and her brain.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Daily Write - Night on the Row (Part 1)

Another story I wrote for my WoW character, Cixithara Daybreaker. Figured it was time to bring it over to the blog. I hope you all enjoy.


She didn’t order glasses of liquor any more. No, she had graduated from that a short while ago. Instead, she ordered her booze by the bottle. Drinking by the glass was just a hassle, for both her and the person serving it. Sure, it would have been simpler (and cheaper) to head to the House Estate and raid their liquor cabinets and wine cellars, however, she wasn’t sure if that was allowed. If so, that place would have been bone dry by now anyway.  Alcohol had become the House’s best friend as of late.

She lazily plunked her coins down as the barkeep placed the dark green bottle in front of her, the liquid sloshing around inside. He did not even make an effort to speak to her. She did not speak to him. What was the purpose of speaking at this point? This place was littered with folks just like her, crawling inside of these dark colored bottles either looking for answers or trying to forget the question. The stories were the same when they were boiled down. And the remedy to the problem was swirling beneath this corked stopper.

Her bottle in hand, she headed off towards the same place she spent every night turning her brain into a bowl of incoherent mush. The Row. Of course only those who spent time on The Row actually called it that. Dark, seedy, and dangerous, the home of all those with jaded views, jilted dreams, and fractured lives who were deemed to simply live broken. It was her new home. She even had her own personal spot, where she melded in with the rest of the “screw the world and everything in it” attitude that was the d├ęcor of this place.

Removing the cork with her teeth, she wasted no time taking the first long pull from the bottle.  Cheap and bitter, but she had stop drinking for taste. No, her only aim was to stave off the thoughts that always found her at night, while the rest of the world slept. The ones she could block all day. But with the coming of the night, they rose like black apparitions, haunting her until the coming of the sun the next day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kitchen Adventures! - Lemon Zinger

If you go back to some of my earlier blogs, you will see there was a moment in time where I was inspired by the documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." A man changed his life with one juicer and goal. I decided I would try and do the same. I wasn't as successful. I tapped out before reaching Day 3. However, that didn't mean that I packed my juicer up and called it quits. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Instead, I started researching. There is a vast number of juice recipes out there and I decided that I would try a couple. I mean, I bought the juicer already. I should get some use out of it. I found a few ebooks that went on sale for free. And I did some digging around the internet for recipes that looked interesting. That was how I came across the Lemon Zinger.




Recipe
 2 apples
1/2 lemon
2 medium carrots
1 thumb of ginger

This recipe quickly became one of my favorites. It has a very bright and citrusy flavor. It tastes somewhere between drinking freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade lemonade. I personally used red apples in this juice, because they were sweet enough to balance out the tartness of the lemon. What I like about this simple recipe (aside from how good it tastes) is that it is made from ingredients I normally have in my refrigerator anyway. So no tacking on any extra costs to my grocery bill. If you own a juicer, I definitely suggest giving this a try.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Everyone Loves Shortbread!

I am sure that you all haveheard of shortbread before. Shortbread is one of my favorite cookie types. Nothing is better than several shortbread cookies with a warm cup of hot chocolate or tea. And the basic recipe is pretty easy to make. However, I found a company that is doing interesting things with shortbread.



Most of the time when I think of shortbread, I think of a very simple cookie. Nothing interesting or different. No frills, just a plain cookie. And I'm sure that I'm not the only person who has that same thought. But the people who make Willa's Shortbread had a very different feeling about shortbread. They have set out to make it something beyond interesting.

I was at a festival with a friend when I saw their booth. There were quite a few choices: Chocolate Chip and Tennessee Whiskey, just to name two. After trying a few samples, I bought of box of Wildflower Honey and the Spicy Cheese. Because the last thing I would put with shortbread is spicy cheese.

Both of these flavors were very good. Wildflower Honey has a subtle flavor that is not overly sweet, which I liked. And the cookies are very aromatic. I liked smelling cookies almost as much as I liked eating them. Spicy Cheese plays with the idea of being a cookie. While it is shortbread. It is a cheese straw recipe that is salty and savory, similar to a cracker. They were good as well.

I am glad that I found out about these shortbread cookies. I will definitely be buying more. Since I like my cookies sweet,  I will probably try Chocolate Chip or Praline next. But who knows, I might find something else that catches my eye. I definitely recommend these cookies.