Lifestyle

Tattoos, Tax March, and Easter Outfits - PICTURES!

I wanted to share some pics I took from my recent visit to the city. I spent Easter weekend down in NYC and it was busy, busy busy!

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Friday I went to the New York Historical Society to check out the Tattooed New York exhibit.  It was very well done. They had a lot of ground to cover.  Tattooing as we know it has been around for over 300 years and it pretty much started in New York down in the Bowery.  There was even a live tattooing demonstration, it was kind of weird to watch - like I was invading on the person's privacy or something.

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Saturday was the Tax March in protest of Trump not releasing his tax returns after he said he would before he was elected.  One of the many promises he has yet to keep or flip-flop on.  The Trump Chicken was there too! It was a very big turnout, probably the biggest turnout of all the Tax Marches that took place that day. 

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If people don't understand what the big deal is, it is a VERY big deal. It is about transparency, and not doing what you said you were going to do.  The President is clearly hiding something and is doing a very bad job convincing us otherwise.  He owes it to all Americans to disclose this information and prove once and for all that he is not in Russia's pocket (or vice versa).  His hands are in way too many cookie jars and he needs to come clean. 

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Sunday was Easter and one of the most fun things to do in New York is to check out the Easter Parade on 5th Avenue.  It's not exactly a parade, it just people hanging out on a closed off street showing off their crazy outfits and having their picture taken.  It's not just the hats anymore, it's the whole outfit! People get more and more creative every year and will also use this opportunity to make a political statement.

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Always a good time!  It was over 80 degrees that day and Central Park was PACKED!  It was probably the most packed I've ever seen it.  

And what's a weekend trip without FOOD!  Shout out to Hold My Knots at the Gansevoort Market on 14th Street and The Meatball Shop which opened a location in Hell's Kitchen.  I had carb-overload!  I was not expecting to get this much food but it was so delicious. Next time I'll skip the pasta side and choose a veggie instead. Mike had the chicken meatballs with spicy meat sauce and it was really good, I'm getting that next time! 

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Maybe Ignorance Is Bliss Sometimes

Bliss

I remember South Park once parodied one of the kid's mom being glued to the television for days after September 11th. She was laying on the couch watching 24 hour news for days - you just couldn't stop watching the coverage.  Hurricane Katrina had a similar impact, I know I watched A LOT of cable news. I didn't want to miss any updates of what was turning into Mad Max coming to life in Louisiana.  For the last few months, I found myself, once again, glued to current events but this time it was mostly on the internet.

As I have gotten more involved in politics and activism, the amount of information out there can be so overwhelming.  The number of local Facebook groups that I have joined is ridiculous.  But like all things, too much of something can wear you down. Keeping up with politics is no different, especially if so much of it is upsetting.  45 is signing Executive Orders faster than I can find out what they actually are about.  There was one day where my crazy busy brain just messed me up and I became really upset.  "Defeated" is a better word, my stomach remained in knots. It sucked. I can't keep feeling this way, do I throw in the towel? As luck would have it, I read Depressed by Politics? Just let it go, it was perfect timing. Yes, it was starting to depress me and I don't need that in my life.  

I'm learning how to manage the amount of time I spend keeping up-to-date with the news. My Pro-Wrestling podcast listening has been neglected because of this stupid President lol!  It's okay to check in on Facebook and other groups once a day.  I don't have to read the NY Times and Politico every single day (sometimes checking more than once). I spend time on Netflix and Amazon looking for something new to watch, it usually involves Bigfoot. I think this is another reason I started up yoga again - besides the physical benefits, it's an hour and 15 minutes twice a week where I am not thinking about any of those things and it's just me treating myself to something awesome. 

Have you been feeling overwhelmed with politics?  How do you shift your gears mentally?

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Things To Do On A Snow Day

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I am in the middle of a blizzard, I think it's called "Stella" (??), which is impacting most of the entire North East. Where I live is looking to get AT LEAST a foot of snow!!! This is how my bench looked this morning.

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I still love the start of a snowfall.  I don't get to enjoy "Snow Day" since I work from home but it's nice to not have that pressure of wondering how I would get to work or if I should even bother.

Last year I talked about my love of breakfast, reading ebooks, and binge watching my Roku.  Not much has changed but I'll add a few more things to the list of things I enjoy doing on a snow day: 

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I'm still going through my subscription of New Yorker Magazine.  I'm currently 2 weeks behind with their issues.  Once this subscription runs out I'm looking to start another, I'm thinking National Geographic.  Any suggestions?

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Preparing my coffee in the morning has become a different kind of ritual.  It takes longer now, but I can afford the extra time to make my coffee.  I've gotten into grinding my beans which I purchased from Irving Farms Coffee Roasters in Millerton, NY.  It is the only coffee I drink black because it's that good.

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Listen to more records!!  Last Friday there was a Vinyl Record Pop-Up in Beacon, NY so I had to check it out. I found some good stuff.  This is my half of the loot, Mike brought home some good stuff too.  This is a good day to spin some records all day, as long as the power doesn't go out.

My latest vinyl record scores

Are you snowed in today? What are you favorite things to do on a snow day?

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Isn't Everyday International Women's Day?

IWD

Yesterday was International Women's Day, did you do anything?  I must admit I didn't do much, except work - yes I worked.  Honestly, it was not a date I had engraved in my mind as a plan of action, it never was.  I shared some tweets, that's about it.  It's not that I don't care, of course I do!  There are just SO many calls to action now, my head is spinning.  It's kind of like "Earth Day", I don't need a day to remind me that the planet is changing and we all need to do our part to take care of it, it's a part of who I am.  

I do want to acknowledge those of you who did take a stand, marched, wore red, and made a statement. It's great to see the momentum of the Women's March still going strong.  It's important to keep pushing for equality for women and non-binary people in the workforce, education, and right to life.   I guess my problem is wishing we didn't need annual dates as a reminder to be better people, you know?   But I get it, some people are hard to educate or they'll say something stupid like "When is International Men's Day?"  Ignorant people can try to blow it off as fluff, but they can't ignore the issue forever.

So the answer to my question in this blog post is - no, not every day is International Women's Day. We need dates like International Women's Day as a reminder, a history lesson in progress and a measuring stick of how far we still need to go.

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My Vinyl Record Soundtrack Collection

It took me a while to jump aboard the vinyl record collecting train.  I honestly didn't think I would be into buying records again. When would I listen to them? I can't burn them to a CD (although there is equipment that can do that) and I can't upload them into an MP3 player (is there something for that?).  But it happened and it started with movie soundtracks, strange.  We have one of those stereos that look like an old radio but it plays records, tapes, and CDs.  It is being put to use!

My Vinyl Record Soundtrack Collection

When I was little, my earliest vinyl record was the Grease soundtrack.  I need to track that down again *mental note*.  My brother also had soundtracks for a lot of movies - Star Wars, Halloween 1, 2, 3, Escape From New York, Jaws.  Fast forward to last year and I've been paying more attention to scores and soundtracks to movies, especially older movies - 80s being my favorite.   Now you have companies like Waxwork Records, Mondo, One Way Static - just to name a few, and they are going ALL OUT on the soundtracks!  Not just the music/score quality, but the whole presentation!  

Here are some of my favorites: 

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It doesn't hurt when the vinyl is nice is pretty too. I'm a sucker for design.  I still have a long wishlist of soundtracks I'd like to own. Some I already have on CD but would like to have on vinyl (ie: Purple Rain) so the collector bug has definitely bit me.

Do you listen to vinyl records? 

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Don't Worry, Your 40s Will Be Awesome!

Don't worry, your 40s will be awesome

I remember when turning 40 seemed way off.  When my mom turned 40, it was the first time I thought "Oh no, my mom is getting old!" Mind you, she's still alive and kicking 34 years later. 

I have friends in their 30s and are like "Aaaaaah!!! I'll be 40 soon!" I even had a friend who did not want to tell me their age at first, only to find out I'm older than them!  What is it about 40 that freaks people out so much anyway? I will be 42 later this year so I've had some time to let this settle and I'm here to tell you, it's okay, it's actually pretty cool!  

I didn't freak out too much when I turned 40 and I'm totally cool sharing my age. Maybe it helps that I started to go gray in High School?  The only thing I really reflected on was how I let my 30s pass me by. I wrote about that in my old blog.  I just worked too damn much and didn't enjoy myself as much as I should have, it was all just work, work, work. When I turned 40, it was a good time to change my thinking and do things I want and enjoy the little things that make me happy. I don't want to think about how much time I have left. I'm pretty sure I suffer from Thanatophobia so to quote Return of the Living Dead, "I try not to think about dying too much."

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When you're younger, you swear that you'll never become lame like older folks. You are gonna party, stay out late, and always be super cool.  I was never gonna be uncool.  What did The Who sing? Hope I die before I get old.   How did that work out for them?

I stopped being cool before I even got to 40. =/

Things started to turn when the Warped Tour would come around and I had no idea who these bands were. Then all these newer bands started to suck.  There is so much bad music out there now! It was so much better when I was younger, I'll just stick to listening to MY bands.  Holy crap, it happened! I got "old." 

  • I traded hanging out at a bar to being at a coffee shop.  
  • I've turned into a morning person - I never thought that would happen!  
  • I don't need to go out Friday or Saturday night - I'm content staying in and watching a movie and have a nice meal.
  • I'm listening to "older" music (depending on what's old to you). I don't know much "new" music.
  • There are a shit ton of apps and internet acronyms I know nothing about.
  • I listen to my music now at a respectable volume because I can't handle loud volume, I like loud music, just not played loud lol!
  • I can't eat what I want, when I want and not expect to feel like garbage the next day.  You can slow down your body aging but you can't deny that the older you get, the less reckless you should be with your body.

Despite what I said earlier, I'm not old.  Some days I feel old physically, especially when I first wake up, ugh. Here's what's cool though...  

Being in your 40s now is not the same as it was forty years ago.  You can still be silly, go to concerts, play video games, read comic books, wear ironic t-shirts, get tattoos and piercings, color your hair crazy colors, and have quirky interests.  Most of my friends are quirky and unique and I love them for that.  We're all smarter now to make better decisions on how to have fun, enjoy that fun, and remember how much fun we had the following morning.  You may even finding yourself appreciating the smaller things more than you have before - like treating yourself to flowers, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper Sunday morning, or listening to some records over dinner <---this has becoming a thing in my home. :)

Since you're in your 40s, you can also say FUCK ALL to anyone who tries to make fun of you because by now, you should feel comfortable enough with yourself to not have to worry about peer pressure. Let's face it, peer pressure continues way after high school.  It becomes easier to cut people out of your life who just suck energy out of you.  You don't need to impress anyone anymore.  Sure, 40 is a big number and you can view it as a turning point, but it doesn't have to be the start of the second-half of your life. 

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Life Lately...

Lifelately

When I'm not obsessing and freaking out over politics, what else is going on?  

Currently

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Watching: Man In The High Castle.  How timely!  This was on my Amazon Prime watchlist for a very long time and haven't gotten around to watching it until now.  Based on the novel, it takes place during 1962 and it's been 15 years since the Axis won World War II.  The Nazis and Japanese have divided the U.S. into three parts - Nazis control the East, Japanese the West, and a lawless neutral zone in between. A "Resistance" is growing after a film emerges showing a different history of the U.S. winning the war which could lead to the Americans really gaining their freedom.

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Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Marquez.  I'm a very slow reader and my focus sometimes is short.  Márquez is not easy for me to read.  This is my 3rd time trying to read his book.  I have this thing about him, I have a bunch of his books but I have a hard time reading them but I am determined to get through his novels and actually understand what is going on.  It is a personal quest for me.  The story is straight forward, it follows the family who founded a mythical town through generations.  Some of it is a bit whacked and a little child-rapey. On the other hand, I am enjoying my New York Times - Daily Edition for Kindle, I set up just after New Years.  I used to avoid the NY Times because their articles used to be really long-winded but I think they got hip to that after their subscriptions dropped significantly.  Now it's back up and I'd like to do my small part in supporting a business that Trump does not like.

Loving: Pour over coffee!  After my coffee maker died, I decided it was time to approach my coffee making a little different.  Instead of getting my coffee "instantly", I wanted my coffee to to taste GOOD!  Seriously, how often do you clean out your coffee makers? I did not do it enough and I'm always going through filters. No more machines & filters!! Do I get a French Press? There's too many steps involved. I don't mind taking a little extra time making coffee but I don't like too many "steps." Instead I saw the Osaka Pour Over Coffee Brewer and ordered it. I loved it, but it broke in less than two weeks.  So I ordered a Carafe by Coffee Gator

Fighting: Insomnia. Almost every night, I fall asleep without any problem but I will wake up just a couple of hours later. Sometimes I fall back asleep just to wake up again, or I just stay awake.  This has been going on for years.   Some nights are better than others.   I've tried yoga, wine, less coffee, shutting off my electronic devices an hour before bedtime, reading in bed, I just can't get my mind to shut down and REST. 

Doing: Getting acquainted with my new MacBook.  As timing would have it, just as I was planning on buying an new laptop since my home computer is almost dead, the laptop I have for work also died!  So after a week of scrambling, I got a new baby and work sent me a new laptop and I'm getting back on track and also back to blogging.  I had to break my "2 blog posts per week" goal last week (and this week) but I'll get back to it next week.

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An Open Apology

This is in response to reading The Washington Post article Trump backers like his early moves: 'Its what executives are suppose to be' 

Sorry

I'm sorry I was born into a Puerto Rican family in the South Bronx of New York City and there weren't any white people in my neighborhood growing up.

I'm sorry that I went to school with mostly blacks & hispanics and the first white friend I made was in High School. 

I'm sorry you grew up in a small town of only white people and never got to meet a person like me.

I'm sorry if you think my boyfriend should be with someone else because I'm not white.

I'm sorry I live in a Blue State and seeing people from different countries, different colors, different cultures is normal and not something I give a second thought to. 

I'm sorry I don't know what it's like to live in a town like Accident, MD where life is nice and everyone looks and feels the same about almost everything.

I'm sorry if you think I don't care about bringing jobs to the U.S. and keeping terrorist out.  I do care about these things, but they're not the ONLY things I care about.  What else do you care about besides America becoming less white??

I'm sorry that people like you, in your safe, small, quiet bubble town are sooooooooo threatened by Muslims yet you find it offensive that black people think police officers want to kill them. You've probably never seen a Muslim person in your life and never will.

I'm sorry you want to #BoycottStarbucks, you might as well boycott gas stations and convenience stores too, oh wait, that might just be a city thing.

I'm sorry you think the Homeless are being overlooked by Refugees.  Why can't we take care of both? When was the last time YOU gave a Homeless person money? Sit your ass down.

I'm sorry if you think that I THINK you're dumb. I don't think you're dumb, I think living in your little throwback town, as nice as it may be, has shielded you and made you ignorant.  I would LOVE to be blinded by ignorance but it's too late for me. 

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Shut up Facebook, everything is fine!

Fucking Facebook!! I hate to start a blog post with the "F" word but you know how maddening Facebook can get, especially when politics are involved. I've had to block and mute people because they don't know how to debate and discuss issues like an adult.  You don't have to agree with me, just be respectful, and maybe grow up while you're at it.  I'm not a complete Facebook hater. I'll be writing another post painting Facebook in a positive light soon. I just need to get this off my chest.

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A friend posted an update about something they saw on TV regarding the incoming administration that upset her. A comment was left to just not watch tv, change the channel.  This set me off.  Does saying something like this really fix anything? Comments like this are not helpful or useful, it's just more internet junk.  Ignorance comes in many shapes and forms. I know people who have narrow minded views when it comes to social issues, religion, and politics.  People who would just change channel, cover their ears and go "Lalalalalalalalalala!"

I am trying really, really hard to not avoid these people, because avoidance and burying your head in the sand solves nothing.  I'm not going to change the channel, live in a religious bubble, and avoid politicians I don't like no matter how hard they are to look at, seriously, looking at Donald Trump makes my skin hurt.  I also want to understand why people, especially why women voted for Trump. It would be easy to just call them all racist, misogynist, and ignorant but there's more to it. 

It's almost a knee-jerk reaction to just cut someone off when they tell you to just change the channel, or (my favorite) say your views are wrong because "the church says..." or "the bible says...." GTFO with that, that is not a valid argument for me. I've been getting this argument on Facebook more when it comes to issues with LGBT.   I'll talk about where I stand with religion in another post because it's just too much. 

I can't just say that Trump is going to be a horrible president because I think he literally looks like a bleached out ass hole.  I can say he's inexperienced in politics, point out his flip-flopping, his bullshit and pandering about how things are going to be "really, really great" and it's all "very, very complicated stuff", he's a walking contradiction - you don't know which Trump you're gonna get,  his hot-headedness, he's made many global leaders uncomfortable (especially our allies), he never apologizes for what he says no matter how inappropriate, his unbelievable ability to deflect serious issues......I can go on.  

Don't shy away from those with opposing views but you also do not have to deal with abuse from trolls.  Facebook is FULL of trolls. I was watching live coverage of the march on Facebook and there were trolls leaving comments about women going back to the kitchen, the snowflakes need to shut up, and a bunch of other nonsense which, again, is just more internet junk contributing to nothing.  What I'm saying is, don't change the channel, stay informed and let others know.  If there is an issue you feel strongly about, it is just as important to understand the opposing view which will validate your argument even more.   

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Review: Bright Cellar Cheese Experience

Today I wanna share something different than my recent posts, I'm talking about CHEESE! FYI, this is not a sponsored post. I paid for this because I love cheese and I wanted to share that love with you!

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I love cheese, how can you not love cheese? It comes from Milk which is good for you! How can cheese do you wrong?  You can't have pizza without cheese, melt some cheese on French Fries and I'm DONE.  I can snack on cheese for days.   I don't sign up for subscription boxes.  The only subscription I have is with Dollar Shave Club.  Thanks to Twitter, I learned about Bright Cellar's Cheese Experience!

Bright Cellar is a monthly wine subscription service, looking to pair you with wines that suit your taste and introduce you to some new labels.  Bright Cellar's Cheese Experience is the same except it's CHEESE! I took their quiz to find out my cheese match. Their quiz paired me with Brick Original Bon Bree, Sublime Lime Cheddar Armada, Gouda Truffle Marieke, and Quark Clock Shadow Creamery. All produced in Wisconsin.  There's almost no "wrong" cheese but I'd like to learn more about pairing wine with cheeses.  The point is to enhance the flavor of the other.  

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A couple of days later I received a personal note from Bright Cellar thanking me for signing up. How sweet!  My package arrived super quick. The cheeses sizes were quite generous and they were all packed in a climate controlled envelop to keep it all fresh.  And they included a free gift - a jar of Quince & Apple "Peach Chamomile" which goes well with the Gouda.  

Let's talk TASTE!

Guys, I can't pick a favorite from this batch. They are all so good! I grabbed a bunch of butter crackers, poured a glass of Purple Malbec and went to town. I think the wine washed down Quark the best. It's very creamy and a little tart. I would love to top my scramble eggs with Armada with its mild onion and garlic flavor (don't worry, it's not overpowering). The Bree was the most smooth and creamiest that's all natural with no food coloring or artificial flavors, just straight up!  The most potent (stinky) would be the Gouda, it had black truffles and truffle oil which gave it a very earthy taste - maybe my least favorite but I still like it.

If you're curious to see what your cheese match is, take their quick quiz and find out! 

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