The Bank

Why is this blog called The Bank? There's no money here. I hardly have any money as it is. It's going to be the new place where I write down (deposit) all my ideas, and maybe get some feedback (interest) that will help me to edit and polish the things that I write. Cheesy, I know. Deal with it.

On What’s “Attractive”

I’m prepetually single, and for the most part, I like it that way.  No one to answer to but myself.  No one to worry about but myself.  But every once in a while, I think that it would be nice to have a boyfriend again.  And then I snap out of it and remember that I have a lot — A LOT — of things going on, and I need to focus myself and my energy on my goals, and when the time is right, and if it’s right, I’ll find somebody.

That being said, I was thinking the other night about what an old friend had said to me quite some time ago.  We were having a late night discussion (beer may have been involved), and he told me something along the lines of “Girls who are hot are the ones we want to go home with tonight.  Girls who are beautiful are the ones we want to spend the rest of our lives with.”  And that got me thinking — then, several times after that, and now.

What he said makes sense.  The quality of being “hot” is so transient.  At best it will last a few years — being hot is generally based on the physical, and so many people lose their good looks as they age.  Those who take good care of themselves, by fueling their bodies with the proper ingredients, can maintain their youthful appearance and good looks for far longer.  Oranges will help you look good and feel good, people.  Doritos won’t.  Same goes for water.  Vodka may look like water, but it’s not going to do for your body what water will do.  Even if it is a hell of a lot more fun than plain ol’ H2O.  (Side note: are screwdrivers neutral?  Orange juice = good, vodka = bad.  Combine and…?!)

So back to the transient quality of being hot.  Hot doesn’t last very long.  Just like a one night stand.  It’s that instant gratification, and wanting something new and novel RIGHT NOW, but not wanting it forever.

I would much rather be considered beautiful.  I think that beauty is only part physical.  Sure there are beautiful people who have amazing faces and bodies.  But it seems to me that the beautiful people also have an internal quality that, though invisible, somehow manifests itself physically.  We can sense that beautiful people feel beautiful.  They stand up straight, look you in the eye, and carry themselves more confidently.  And I find confidence damn sexy.  Beauty is as much something we can feel as it is something we can see.  And the nice thing about beautiful people, is that they oftentimes make the people around them feel beautiful too.

So, while my goal in the long run is to feel beautiful, and be beautiful inside and out, it doesn’t stop me from sometimes wanting to be H-O-T!  I’d like every once in a while, to be the girl that walks into a room and everybody turns their head and thinks DAMN!  And I want to be told from time to time that I’m hot.  How would that be for a major confidence boost?  I think that everybody probably wants both from time to time.

But, since that will probably never happen (I have a big, crooked nose; little eyes; thin lips; and really broad shoulders), I’ll settle for feeling beautiful.  Because I am comfortable with who I am and what I am.  I’m strong physically and mentally, and I use my strengths to my advantage, to better myself and those around me.  I’d rather be remembered in thirty years, than forgotten thirty minutes after I leave the bed of some guy whose name I don’t know.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!  The weekend is just around the corner!

Recipe Wednesday

I like to eat.  Luckily, I also like to cook.  This recipe is one that I make often — it’s great hot or cold, and incorporates many of my favorite ingredients.  The measurements are just guesses, as I do most of my cooking by taste — if it tastes good, I stop adding ingredients!  It was inspired by a pasta dish my friend Val made.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1 Cup dry quinoa
2 handfuls fresh greens (I prefer spinach and/or arugula)
1/3 Cup feta cheese (more to taste)
1/3 Cup sun dried tomatoes (more to taste)
3-4 splashes red wine vinegar (more to taste)

Cook quinoa according to packages directions —> typically: rinse quinoa with fresh water, add to 2 Cups water (1 part quinoa to 2 parts water), bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer until water is absorbed - approx 15 min

Meanwhile, rinse and drain greens, place into large mixing bowl

Add feta and tomatoes

Once quinoa is finished cooking, dump it into the bowl on top of the feta, tomatoes, and green.  Add desired amount of red wine vinegar.

Stir/mix until greens are wilted and feta is soft (it won’t melt completely).

Eat and savor!

Amen, Sister

onegirlnodiet:

“The day I realized that the cultural ideal of femininity was, quite literally, unattainable? The day I realized that women are supposed to be sexy and chaste, undemanding and seeking commitment, meek delicate flowers and strong backbones of the family? The day I realized that if you’re tall you’re supposed to look shorter, and if you’re short you’re supposed to look taller, and if you’re fat you’re supposed to look thinner, and if you’re thin you’re supposed to look more voluptuous, and that whatever body type you had you were supposed to make it look different? The day I realized that every woman is insecure about her looks… including the ones we’re supposed to idolize? The day I realized that, no matter what I did, no matter how hard I worked, I would always, always, always be a failure as a woman? That was the day I quit worrying about it. If the world is telling you that if you work just a little bit harder, you can be strong enough, pretty enough, rich enough, whatever enough… you’ll be a lot more tempted to keep running that treadmill, keep chasing the carrot that’s dangling in front of you. But if the world is telling you that if you work just a little bit harder, you can turn yourself into a unicorn and start shitting diamonds? The whole thing just becomes laughable. And it becomes a whole lot easier to step off the treadmill. Obviously the cultural expectations still affect you — I’m not claiming to be free of them, I don’t think anyone is — but it’s a lot easier to see them for what they are, and shrug them off, and get on with your life.”

 (via y00h00)

File under: “Do you.”

(Source: alternet.org, via notherwise)

My Own 30x30

Inspired 1/4 by Jessica Brookman over at One Girl No Diet, 1/4 by several other people who have tried this, and 1/2 by my own tight pants, I’m starting my own 30x30 quest.  I’m attempting to exercise for 30 minutes a day, 30 minutes straight.  More to come later, but for now, I’m off to the gym for weights and then meeting my sister for a little tennis!

Well hello there, sunny, beautiful Friday!

Wow!  So it’s been a really, really freakin’ long time since I’ve posted!  I’ve been thinking about doing it for so long, but I’ve just been so busy, and I’ve had so many things/thoughts/ideas/flotsam&jetsam careening around my head that absolutely NOTHING of any creative value has made it past my rather thick skull.

But as I lie here on the couch, relaxing after work, eating Nutella by the spoonful (Dear Running Shoes, where are you?!) and half-assedly beating the crap out of people on Words With Friends (play me! - SLK0201), I finally have the desire/ambition/time/ideal working environment to actually put some thoughts down in what will hopefully be a semi-coherent yet entertaining manner.

The first thing that I want to write down is the musing I do nearly every day on my way to the job that sustains me but I greatly dislike (I’ll save that rant for another day!).

Nearly every day on my way to work, I see a man begging for money at the corner of the freeway exit I take.  I don’t know his name, because I’ve not stopped to ask, but I’ll call him Fred here.  He looks like a Fred.  So, I see Fred standing on the corner almost every morning.  And every morning, as soon as I come over the little hill of the exit, I either get an instant sense of what can only be described as something akin to anger and annoyance, or a sense of great relief.  Before you go off on me for having no sympathy for those less fortunate than me, let me attempt to explain.

Fred looks MEAN.  I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but I do.  Just look at the stacks of books I have that are half finished because the cover is cool but the contents suck.  Anyway, Fred looks mean, angry, and just downright unpleasant.  He’s an older man, probably mid 50s to mid 60s.  He has very tan skin and silver hair that is always slicked back into a ponytail, and a perfectly trimmed silver goatee.  He leans over onto a crutch that has a handle for the forearm, but when people have offered him money, he walks upright with no noticeable limp.  His face seems to be stuck in a permanent scowl, and when I drive past him, he looks right at me and says something that I can’t hear.

One of the things that strikes me the most about Fred is that he always appears to be very clean, and he has several different items of clothing.  On warmer days, he wears sandals, shorts, and a T-shirt.  On cooler days, he wears black athletic shoes, jeans, and a jacket.  He has an umbrella and a hooded rain coat for when it rains.

I think the main reason why I feel so conflicted about Fred is because of his appearance.  He looks like an angry old man, what with his scowl and muttering.  But, he also looks pretty well taken care of and well groomed.  Things don’t seem to add up with Fred.

Normally, when I see him I curse to myself and hope that I make the green light.  More often than not, the light’s red and I end up sitting at the corner staring intently ahead of me, stealing glances at him from the corner of my left eye.  When I don’t see him, I feel relieved that I don’t have to feel guilty about not offering money.  I also wonder, though, what happened to him.  Did he find a more profitable corner to work?  Did his kids (does he have kids?) come and find him and start supporting him?  Did he die?

But when Fred is there, I always hope that he sees the piece of crap truck I drive, hears the disturbing sounds it makes, and realizes that I really don’t have a ton of extra money to give.  But then again, Fred is standing on the corner, humbling himself to the utmost, begging for money, and I’m going to a JOB.  While I don’t have a lot, I have quite a bit more than many other people.  I’m conflicted over and over again.

Today I finally decided to do something different.  Fred hadn’t been on the corner for about two weeks, and while I wondered if he was still alive, I was also glad I didn’t have to ignore him.  But he turned up this morning, looking like he’d never been gone.  The light turned red as I was coming down the exit, and I was four cars up from the corner.  I could have ignored Fred when the light turned green and just driven past him like usual, but instead, I rolled down my window, and told him that I didn’t have any money, but asked if he would like some breakfast, and handed over the fresh blueberry muffins I had made from scratch yesterday.  He said “Sure,” and as I handed him the muffins, someone behind me honked.  I flipped them off. 

Fred didn’t say thank you, I didn’t have a snack at work today, and I still feel conflicted about the whole matter. 

DO NOT Touch People at the Gym!

So yesterday I was at the gym lifting weights after my 6AM spin class.  Not only is the gym not crowded at this time, but I’m normally one of the only girls in there.  This is fine by me — no waiting for weights, no dumb girls who don’t know what they’re doing getting in my way.  Pretty much the only time I talk to people at the gym is if I’m asking if somebody was using a specific machine, etc.

Well, yesterday I was lifting and minding my own business and a guy near me asked if I went there everyday.  I replied that no, I don’t, only on M/W/F.  He said he sees me there all the time.  I’ve never noticed him before.  Oops, my bad — I’m there to work out, not hook up.  But I digress…

So we got to talking and it turns out he’s from my hometown, so we had a nice little conversation in between sets about the differences in the cities, and then I moved on and continued my routine.  Which brings me to what inspired me to write this post…

He came and found me before I left to give me his name/get mine.  And then he held out his hand to shake.  I said “You probably don’t want to, I’m kinda sweaty,” and he said “Ah I don’t care!” and then took my hand and shook it!  Gahhh!  Sweaty icky yucky blech!  As soon as he walked away I had to run to the locker room and wash my hands.

I do NOT like being touched by sweaty people.  I don’t really even like being touched, especially by people I don’t know.  There’s very few times when it’s okay for sweaty people to be touching.  Sweaty sex is good.  And, well, that’s the only time I can think of.  Touching sweaty people at clubs or concerts is not good.  And touching sweaty people at the gym is definitely a no-no.

So, gentlemen, when we girls be up in the gym just workin’ on our fitness, go ahead and get your game on.  Just know that you’ll probably be a hot topic of comical conversation later on with our gal pals, because really?  the gym?  We’re there working out so we can eat more (or at least that’s why I’m there!), not so we can find our next boyfriends.  And please, PLEASE remember: DO NOT TOUCH!  HANDS OFF!

Smile, people!

            Nearly every time I go running or walk my dogs through the neighborhoods by my house, I pass people on the sidewalks.  And, nearly every time I pass one of these people, I make eye contact and smile or say “Hi” or some other small greeting.  Doing this – acknowledging one’s presence – takes so little energy that it doesn’t seem worth writing about.  But, being that it’s so rarely done, that is precisely why I feel it is worth writing about. 

            There has never been a time when we have been so connected – cell phones, Twitter, facebook, etc.  Yet, despite these technological advances that allow us to instantly and easily communicate with people on the other side of the globe (or in the next room), we’ve never been more disconnected, and I feel that these same advances – cell phones, Twitter, facebook – are to blame.  How many text messages do you send and receive in comparison to real conversations you have?  How many of your Twitter followers do you actually know?  And how many of your facebook friends do you actually spend any time with?  I think this is why so few people say “Hi” to each other when they pass one another on the street. 

            A smile is so effortless.  It takes less than a second to make one, and can remain on the face for less than a second.  But, the impact of a smile can last so much longer, perhaps even years.  So why do so few people do it?

            I know the impact that the expression on one’s face can have on another person.  A single glance has the ability to elicit an incredible range of emotions, from feeling absolute unworthiness, to utter confusion, to sheer joy, and so many more feelings in between.  Why else would there be expressions such as “looks can kill” or “a smile that could light up the room?”

            Just the other day, I took my dogs for a walk, and near the end of our street an elderly gentleman was in his driveway sitting on the seat of his walker.  His head was down, shoulders slumped over.  It was a beautiful day, sunny with birds singing and a slight breeze, but he looked depressed and diaheartened.  As we approached, I cheerfully said “Good morning, Sir!”  And, in an instant, everything about him changed.  He sat up straight, looked up at me, and a big smile spread across his face.  We had an approximately seven second conversation as the dogs and I walked past, ending with us wishing each other a wonderful day.  It took so little effort on my part, but I could just as easily have ignored him and walked past without acknowledging his presence while sitting in front of his own home.  I don’t know that man.  I didn’t need to talk to him.  But I chose to anyway, and my day – and hopefully his, too – was better for it.

            It is tiny, seemingly inconsequential interactions like this one that are disappearing from everyday life.  They need to be resurrected.  We are losing the ability to relate to our fellow human beings.  So few people know how to make small talk.  How often have you been somewhere such as the grocery store and made eye contact with a stranger only to awkwardly look away?  Instead of doing that, just give a big smile.  Perhaps that man just moved to this city and doesn’t know anyone.  You just showed him that there are friendly people here.  Or maybe that young woman’s husband has recently been deployed overseas, and your smile is the first bright spot in her day.  Or it’s possible that the old man you see sitting there is depressed because his arthritis is troubling him and he can’t go out and enjoy the weather like he once used to.

            The truth is, you will probably never know what that other person is feeling.  But there is another truth, and that truth is that you have the ability to do something small and effortless that could potentially change another person’s day for the better.  So, even if you are having a bad day, or you’re tired and all you want to do is get home and put on your comfy pants, or you’ve been running for an hour and all you’re focused on is making this last mile strong, don’t ignore the person who is two feet away from you.  Smile.  Say “Hello.”  What have you got to lose?

tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?

"Puppy," my toy stuffed dog I’ve had since I was three!