Leap Year Leaps

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Since it’s Leap Day, I asked my friends about chances they’ve taken or personal growth they’ve experienced this year. Thanks for sharing. You’re brave and you inspire me.

I’m using an app to get dates, taking the lead organizing social events, and not getting so balled up about broken people and broken systems at work. I started writing this blog. Me

I started doing Muay Thai. I get punched a lot but I love it. Edgar

I ended a 6 year relationship that had gotten toxic, learned I could actually date, gained confidence in myself from a dating perspective, and met someone who is a much better match. Professionally, I invented a job that I wanted and now love. Also, I managed to get hired to write cookbooks, gained a bunch of Twitter followers, which sounds lame but is very validating. Kate

I held a leap year superhero party for individuals with developmental disabilities, this is when I love my job. Tina

I started grad school. Kristina

After nearly 3 years on the lam the authorities caught up with me and made me go back to work. PJ

I leaped into dating age appropriate men. Erin

I broke up with my boyfriend of 5 years and resigned a lease for the first time ever. I’ve never stayed past the first year before. Lindsay

I rented an office so I could work from home or work from office. I hiked 15 miles up a hill in 100-degree heat with a 50+ pound pack to hiking for a weekend. That hurt. I’m now raising 3 teenagers full time and my eldest daughter graduated from USF with less than $10K in debt. Jason

I started a new job in a different industry. Natasha

Sexological Bodywork Training! Adam

Relationally speaking, I decided to own up to moments of bad attitude and sniping comments by saying, “I’m sorry; will endeavor to do better in the future,” perhaps a little more easy than I’ve done in the past. Clem

Going freelance, moving to Oakland, and investing in female friendships. Melissa

Committing a good amount of time and energy to studying data visualization and I also learned to lead a multi-pitch climb. Diana

It’s not really a leap in the sense that I had a choice about it, but losing my mom has been a really significant thing. It’s sort of like I was pushed rather than leapt. As you know, when you lose a parent, it’s kind of like you’re all alone in the world. Jeff

I leapt into a new life and a new city. I had job offers in San Diego, Indiana, and the Bay Area and went for an adventure. Totally unexpected! Andria

Despite being an independent woman and feminist, I moved states for a guy I love despite always envisioning my next big move to be associated with my own career. Now I’m here in the position to further develop my career and find a new job. Liz

I committed myself to attending one Meetup event a month, so far so good. Ana

I asked for a raise. Heather

For seniors the biggest leap is retiring. How do you know if you are going to be financially safe? I retired January 1st officially. Sharon

Well, I sort of decided at the beginning of the semester (that would be mid January) that I wanted to focus on things outside of school more. That’s a pretty big leap for me because ya know I’m a total geek and I’m usually doing homework alllll the time haha. Olivia

I leapt from the North to the South. I also leapt into a new job and took a leap of faith on a student I wasn’t sure about. Levi

I didn’t sleep with or get back together with a guy who was cruel to me despite him asking repeatedly. Some days I still want to. I have a dishonest heart that betrays me. Kitty

I’ve realized that I can let go of feeling guilty about taking time to relax and stop thinking about my responsibilities when I’m off-duty. Pat

I moved from Seattle to San Francisco. That’s a pretty big leap for me. Raj

Probably buying a foreclosed home at auction in my hometown (in MA) and taking on a big long distance renovation project to make the house livable again. Kate

Leap Year Leaps

Sorry Oscar, It’s Not You It’s Me

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I used to go to the movies all the time. My first real boyfriend and I were in a theater every weekend. For years I happily went to movies by myself. I saw everything. I can’t remember exactly when my relationship with movies got rocky. I walked out of Black Swan because I hated it. I do however, remember my breaking point. I thought Gravity sucked. There was so much hype and so many Oscars. WTF?

I rarely go to a theater to see a movie these days. It has a lot to do with the fact that I’d rather be out interacting with people or home reading in my pajamas. It’s expensive. If I’m not going to see things blow up spectacularly (have I mentioned my love of the Fast and Furious?) or learn something (did you know the spacesuits in the Martian were 3D printed?), I’m not interested. Not even the surge of drinking theaters is enough to draw me in. I actually saw both Furious 7 and the Martian on iTunes so they don’t count as far as movies I’d see in the theater.

I was invited to an Oscar gathering last night, which I attended to see my friends dressed up and for the mini hot dogs and Chris Rock’s monologue. I left early. I was reminded that I saw Mad Max Fury Road in a theater twice. The first time I exclaimed, “This is so fucking cool!” after the opening scene and embarrassed my now ex boyfriend. We were in the Kabuki in San Francisco. That place is really nice. I don’t have to listen to 4 year olds snivel, “Why is that bear doing that to Leo daddy?” because some creepy parents brought their kids to see the Revenant (not something that actually happened to me, I wouldn’t touch that movie with a ten foot pole). I was happy that Mad Max won a lot of technical awards. I liked that the people winning those awards were cheeky Brits/women wearing pants.

I think the only other movies I watched in the theater this year were with my mom and my friend and my friend’s mom in Coos Bay, Oregon. We saw Inside Out (if only Mindy Kaling had played Lust), Joy (I love you JLaw but, bleck!”), and Sisters (T, you’re lucky you and I are still friends). I also saw Magic Mike XXL (I’d see that over Room any day, I read the book and exactly who the fuck thought it would be a good movie?) and Goodnight Mommy (I walked out) on friend outings. That’s it. If you like torture, go see a double feature of Inside Out and Goodnight Mommy.

Does anyone want to watch Spotlight or the Big Short on iTunes with me?

Sorry Oscar, It’s Not You It’s Me

I’m Not Ready to Talk About Her Yet

2835193235_faa5abc7d7_zI used to think that it was poor form to talk about past relationships on the first few dates. When I did inquire, I asked, “When was your last relationship?” I thought that if given enough time for recovery and a rebound a man whom I met on a dating site and who said they were looking for a relationship, was over his ex. On my date with Dan for example, the fact that he’d just separated from his wife two weeks prior (when she found out he was cheating on her) was an obvious red flag.

We all have exes, but some are in our heads more than others and I’ve come to the conclusion (agreed, my sample size is small) that for guys it doesn’t matter how long ago the relationship was or how many women he’s dated between her and you. I believe that men more than women suffer from a delayed reaction to big breakups.

After a recent experience with bringing up my date’s ex and having him almost cry, I’ve learned that, “Tell me about your last long term relationship” is a better question. One date told me that it was too soon and too raw to talk about his last love. Another keeps running into his ex at yoga and it makes him feel sad. The man who almost cried told me he’d gotten back together with his ex several times only to have her dump him again and again. They’re still in touch.

I think the most obvious counter argument here is that delayed breakup reaction is just an excuse women like me tell myself to feel better when guys who just happen to get teary on dates with us don’t want to see us ever again. I think there’s at least some truth to my theory because take for example, what many men and many women do after break ups. While I was crying, not eating, and torturing my friends and family with endless “What happened?” whining, my ex was on Coffee Meets Bagel. After that happened for a while he tried to get back together with me. I was moving on.

I ran this idea of delayed breakup pain past an actual guy and he said something really smart. While not giving anything away about his last relationship or any indication that he’s experienced this himself, he suggested that women have a way to process breakups in a way that me don’t. He said that women talk it through with friends and men pass another beer offering, “sucks man” and not much else. Processing trauma is key if you don’t want those feelings to pop out on you wearing convincing zombie makeup when you least expect them.

Everyone’s different I realize, but why not ask early? When he’s looking at you like he’s 4 years old and you just threw his teddy bear in the trash for not practicing piano, expect to be ghosted.

I’m Not Ready to Talk About Her Yet

Running Pub Crawl Birthday

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This is what happens when you have healthy ish friends who plan a running pub crawl birthday party. You’ll use a gift card from Christmas to buy cuter athletic wear (you actually own no real athletic wear) from Nordstrom Rack, tie a big bow in your ponytail, and wear eye makeup. You will feel nervous about running the whole BART ride from downtown Berkeley to downtown Oakland and accidentally go to Telegraph instead of Lost & Found.

Only six people will actually run including yourself even though you usually only do yoga and use the elliptical as an excuse to watch Friday Night Lights, because you’re a good sport. You’ll feel slightly annoyed at those who don’t run but show up to drink along the way. You will find yourself running past The Avenue in Temescal being cheered on by bearded tattooed revelers. You will feel sorry about whining after the first 2 mile leg necessitating  you’re friend D tell you to, “suck it up!”

At Kingfish, you will miss the end of the Warriors’ game and run into the guy you went on one date with who confessed to having cheating on his wife two weeks prior your meeting. You’ll be all sweaty and for some reason he’ll give you dagger eyes, so you will loudly repeat to all your friends the text messages he read (why did he keep these messages?) to you on the date through which his wife found out about his cheating.

Mistress: I think I need Plan B.
Cheater Guy: Why, I didn’t cum inside you!?

You’ll be so slow that your friend N will have to walk next to you the whole time you’re running. You will eat delicious Sriracha popcorn at the Graduate in Rockridge. People will be waiting for the birthday girl at the last stop so you’ll skip one leg of the route (sorry Starry Plough) and end up running 3 miles at once. You will only drink 2.5 light beers but scarf down an entire Andromeda (fontina, aged asiago, sharp cheddar and mozzarella) pizza at Jupiter.

You will sing Happy Birthday and the entire courtyard will join in. You’ll eat chai flavored vegan cake and like it. You will be complimented profusely on the chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes with Oban buttercream that you baked for the occasion and really like it. Your thighs will scream, “fuck you!” You will have a good time and be happy you came to celebrate. You’ll feel pretty darn good about your athletic capability and consider running again. You will believe it when you see it.

Happy Birthday Melissa!

Chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes with Oban buttercream

Running Pub Crawl Birthday

Why the GOP is Desperate to Dump Their Copper Top

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copper top turned ass boil

Donald Trump has been the Republican Party’s copper top and now it might be too late to dump his ass. Earlier, I wrote a post about being someone’s copper top. In dating, the term copper top refers to a person likely with low self-esteem used by someone else as a tool, solely for the latter’s personal gratification or aggrandizement—as an energy source. Donald Trump has brought viewers and attention to the GOP, energizing the party.

The 10th Republican debate on Thursday was Trump’s worst. Marco Rubio finally stood up to Trump and handed him a doozy of a defeat. The Florida senator hit him hard on healthcare and his questionable labor practices. With Super Tuesday just days away, his attack may be too late. Trump’s celebrity was at first a boon but is now an ass boil. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Trump is winning votes while rejecting or giving little attention to many elements of the GOP economic and social-policy agenda.” The Republican Party is now on a mission to dump Trump.

Just like in dating, if your copper top starts to make your life harder by not acting like they’re supposed to, you look for another. The GOP needs a candidate that falls in line. Who that candidate may be or whether they can actually present a unified front remains to be seen. Would as many people have paid attention to the Republican primary if it hadn’t been for Donald Trump? Probably not. Is Donald Trump fit to be president? Definitely not.

What is a copper top?

How Trump happened

Why the GOP is Desperate to Dump Their Copper Top

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her II

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Chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes with Oban buttercream

Tonight is my friend M’s running pub-crawl 29th birthday in Oakland and Berkeley. Five pubs, 5 miles, is it a recipe for projectile vomiting? She loves a cocktail at Make Westing with whiskey, ginger, and other stuff. I decided to make chocolate Whiskey Mac cupcakes. I bake at my ex boyfriend’s (the good one) house because my mixer lives there and my own kitchen has no counter space. I asked him for 4 tablespoons of whiskey and he left some Oban out for me. Holy shit, Oban! M is worth it.

For the cake I added a package of Jello pudding mix, almost a cup of buttermilk, whiskey, half a cup of oil, 4 eggs, and a teaspoon of ground ginger to a box of devil’s food cake mix. I used a cookie dough scooper to try and make the cupcakes even but I always fail miserably at this.

The frosting is the standard cup of butter and 3 cups of powdered sugar with vanilla, whiskey, and a splash of whole milk. I use a little butter flavored Crisco to make the frosting hardier (buttercream melts and doesn’t look so pretty). I like baking with butter flavored Crisco. In fact, my chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from the package. I used to tell my chef friend who loves those cookies that there was a secret ingredient and he would try to guess. Hahaha, he never guessed it was lard.

I decorated the cupcakes with real French chocolate sprinkles instead of that chocolate flavored wax stuff. I got those along with the back foil liners and the plastic carriers at Spun Sugar in Berkeley. The secret to making the frosting look professional is to buy a set of decorating tips from Williams and Sonoma. Use the biggest one and just squeeze the frosting from a pastry bag on top of the cupcake without moving it around.

Check back tomorrow for a post about M’s birthday. I hope nobody pukes up my Oban cupcakes.

For professional looking frosting

Berkeley’s store for bakers

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her I

Liquor Cupcake? I Don’t Even Know Her II

Books, Beer, Belong

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Last night we went to Woods Bar & Brewery and then Make Westing in Oakland for sandwiches (mine was oxtail)

I’ve joined seven book clubs in my life. I didn’t stick with six of them for various reasons such as the fact that I don’t actually want to read classic books or talk to people that do, I don’t want to truck to San Francisco, I don’t like mean girls, and I don’t like old women. That last one isn’t true but it is true that older ladies love book clubs. I was intrigued when I heard about Books and Beer because of well, the books and the beer.

I can’t remember where the first meeting was held (maybe Lost and Found in Oakland?) but I do remember that the book choice was shitty (sorry leader Stephanie). I watched Angelina Jolie’s even shittier movie based on the book (Unbroken) instead of reading it. I came for the beer and stayed for the amazing women, who are now my amazing friends.

We meet once a month at a beer place and sometimes also go on social outings together. I was pleased that I was able to talk the club into going to Albany Bowl and Big Band Night at Rooster’s Roadhouse (may it rest in peace). We vote on a book selection each month and I like to win, so I always make a suggestion. Last month the amazing “A Little Life” lost to a Mindy Kaling book. I didn’t read it, even though I love Mindy Kaling, to protest against not winning (sorry leader Stephanie).

I must admit that the club has become less about reading for my liking. Everyone’s excuse is that the book is already checked out at the library. I guess they want to spend their money on beer more than books. Finally, I want to change the name of the club to Books and Whiskey. Who’s with me?

Join us

Read “A Little Life”

Books, Beer, Belong