The Versatile Blogger Award goes Greek when a ‘good-girl-bad-girl’ reveals all!

good girl bad girlBefore Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, there were Anaximander’s opposites (hot/cold, good/evil, wet/dry), which where brought into unity by Heraclitus: “The road up and the road down are the same thing.” Being awarded The Versatile Blogger Award (many thanks to ToKillAHammingBird for the nomination!!) requires me to tell you 7 things about myself. versatileblogger111But there are so many versions of ‘self’ that 7 things can be strategically used to describe. Who do I want to be to you? But no, that’s too easy. I’ve always been a woman of extremes, no nebulous middle ground, and I’m going to allow you to know me at my most honest – and therefore by my opposites: Good Girl …versus… Bad Girl. The Greeks were fearless of ideas. This freedom has been their greatest gift to history. And when you are fearless in who you are, your own history begins to make a lot more sense.

1) Requisite ‘good girl’ volunteering, plus earned full scholarships and A++ ave in high school & university …versus… Dropped out to play (briefly) in the _ _ _  industry and to work (permanently) as a Thinker/Writer/Designer

2) Won fashion (and industrial) design awards, commissions, and designed and hand-stitched my wedding dress …versus… Last ten years could be defined as a tragic series of ugly hand-me-down pants

3) Have accessorized said pants with running shoes, baseball cap, and ponytail 23/7 …versus… Harley Davidson boots other 1/7, with all manner of debauchery above my thigh-high fishnets

4) Match all my man’s socks as soon as they come out of the drier …versus… Have resorted to buying paper plates and plastic cutlery after ignoring the dishes for weeks (ok… so once it was a whole month)

5) Work diligently 9 to 5 rolling paper (don’t ask) and doing academic research on ‘the evolution of ideas’ …versus… My infamous 3 am ‘field testing’

6) Have a deeply Christian faith (with new philosophical proof that would leave Aquinas shaking in his sandals) …versus… Once wrote an essay on cheese being the highest expression of human spirituality

7) If you break my heart you won’t shake my faith in love …versus… But I will have to kill you.

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The Versatile Blogger Award also asks that I nominate 15 other bloggers for the next round:
Shoeism ~ HitchhikingColorado ~ TheMusicType ~ LivingDilbert ~ AFireworkInProgress ~ BlueHouseRecords ~ MagicAndMarvels ~ AdventuresAspirations”Aha”Moments ~ Sewbon ~ TheBlondeAlarmist ~ Bun81Bridge ~ BareKnuckleWriter ~ TheStoryShack ~ BalconyViews ~AdventuresInWiferyAndOther…

The ‘I want sex tonight’ steak sandwich

steak sandwichThis sensory loaded sandwich is more than food porn come to life, every bite subliminally suggests what’s on the menu for dessert. And this meaty, two-hander recipe is no one night stand! Mushrooms (vitamin D), olive oil (monounsaturated fat), cauliflower (indole-3-carbinol), and beef (zinc) are all foods known to increase testosterone levels in men. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a sandwich is so much more.

To make two sexy steak sandwiches…
1 baguette
1 large hefty steak
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 red bell peppers
2 large jalapeno peppers
olive oil
salt/pepper
Note:  no garlic or onions for obvious reasons

Cheese and cauliflower white sauce…
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cauliflower (steamed and puréed)
1 cup of your favourite white cheese (grated)

Prepare classic white sauce – stir in cauliflower and cheese. Roast and peel peppers to add colour, heat, and a fleshy, oh-so-slippery, subliminally suggestive mouth feel. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil for rich earthy taste/texture. Grill (leaving a hint of pink in the middle) and slice steak. Divide baguette and spread wide open to receive layering of deliciousness. Slather indulgently with cheese and cauliflower white sauce. Devour, and be devoured. Then read the inspiration story below…

sexy steak sandwich

“Got a man?” My question catches the fuming redhead off guard.

“If you can call him that – and do you know what shit he pulled just…”

Pandora’s box is opening right in front of me – I jam the lid down with what I say next: “Wait, just wait, hear me out. We can sit here and you can unload all over me and maybe you’ll feel better, but I sure won’t. Or, you can shut up and we can get at the truth. When we stripped down just now, I couldn’t help noticing your bra and panties, pink lace – hot stuff. And there’s only one reason why a woman with such sexy underwear would be so absurdly angry and frustrated – you were gnawing on a chair leg when I walked in for goodness sakes! Obviously, you’re not getting laid.”

She grunts, nods slowly, and grunts again. My mind is racing; the idea is taking on a distinct shape… and flavour. Talking won’t fix anything here. Telling her that ‘when you do nice things for people they tend to do nice things for you’ would probably earn me a punch in the face. I’m just thankful her arms are still tied behind her back! I can let her in on a basic human logic, that ‘if you act like a psycho black hole of negativity people most likely won’t be jumping up and down to have sex with you’, but her level of bitchiness is most likely genetically encoded.

I’ve got it! A way to get that woman some lovin’ without destroying my soul in the process. It’s subversive, sure, but show me a psychological intervention that isn’t. She’ll be doing something caring and personal for her man (under the guise of subliminal science) and strengthening him to deal with her insanity at the same time. Perfect.

“Ok.” I say, with renewed authority. “We’re going to change back into our own clothes, and then I’m going to do some field testing. There will be an envelope with the results waiting for you in the Blank Canvas lobby tomorrow morning. Follow the ‘recipe’ for success inside – exactly – and you will get action tomorrow night. I guarantee it.”

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Multi-tasking mushroom soup + casserole recipe = A threeway even monogamists can enjoy!


Why let one man, one woman, or one flavour profile hold you back in your quest for sensory bliss. We monogamists have the secret… adding a dash of this, a dash of that, changing it up to make every night a new recipe for…

Night One – Comforting Soup
3 cans condensed mushroom soup
3-4 cups sliced mushrooms (or one large package)
1 bunch celery (chopped)
1 bunch parsley (chopped)
8 green onions (chopped with whites separated)
2 tbsp butter/oil
1 tps dried thyme (or to taste)
salt/pepper to taste
grated cheddar (to garnish)

In your largest soup pot, sauté mushrooms, onion whites, and celery in butter until just softened. Add canned soup and water (+ extra 1/2 can water). Add thyme/salt/pepper to taste. Add 1/3 parsley and 1/3 onion greens. Simmer 5 min+ to combine flavours… serve with garnishes.

Night Two – Surprising Stir-Up
leftover mushroom soup
1 large can corn niblets
3 cups fusilli pasta
retained garnishes

Prepare pasta according to package (al dente). Add drained + rinsed corn to reheated soup. Stir in pasta… serve with garnishes. Note: you may have to alter the pasta proportion depending on how much soup is left over.

Night Three – Personal Casserole
leftover mushroom stir-up
lots-o-cheese
retained garnishes

Heat leftover stir-up on stovetop (pasta will have expanded to absorb soup liquid). Divide into oven safe bowls and top with hefty amount of cheese. Broil until cheese is bubbling. Garnish and serve.

When doing the dishes becomes an archeological dig

I hate washing dishes. No really – HATE. Coded with a somewhat masculine quirk, my brain is not designed to compartmentalize anything other than Sex/Love. All else falls under the blanket of Life – no enviable Work/Play distinctions that bring comfort to so many when faced with life’s daily bargaining of attentions. All is the exaltation of existence, blemished only by the hell tedium of repetition – where sex, perhaps not so ironically, is the only action worth repeating.

Forced to resort to somewhat extreme – stepping away from our theme here – decidedly unsexy actions to cope with the practicalities of life, I find myself wondering if I can apply Blank Canvas thinking to this latest spread of dirty dishes…

A story opens, and I dive in hands first…

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With a PhD in early 21st century residences, and more than a decade of field experience, our archeologist can’t believe she still gets stuck on dish duty. “Yah yah, women have come so far – bullshit,” she grumbles while brushing off the fine layer of sediment that covers the Northside counter of the perfectly preserved kitchen. Like much of ancient Rome and New York, this home has been buried under centuries of rebuilds and is nearly intact.

What she notices first is the organization of the artifacts: pots on the left, cutlery collected in a large Tupperware (perhaps left to soak), plates stacked by size. A theory springs to mind… Maybe the inhabitants tetrised (‘verbed’ in mid-2100s) the spread to make it less intimidating. There are no other dishes on the shelves, and notably, no dishwasher. “Maybe they hated doing the dishes as much as I do,” she wonders out loud in the still, linoleum floored cave. “Maybe they left them as long as they could – and then time ran out.”

But who lived here? She catalogues each plate, cup, pot, before taking scrapings of preserved food residue, then scrubs them clean for museum storage and possible future display. There are two distinct condiment patterns: some plates have sauce smeared all over, while others show evidence of little dried pools. The latter eater taking more than he/she needed, keeping tastes separate, and taking little dabs; the former mixing the flavourings with the food, or perhaps simply finishing with flourish.

There are more archeological clues. Some of the casserole dishes (and even Tupperware lids) show the same saucing patterns as the plates. Our archeologist considers this proof of her procrastination theory – that once the plates ran out, other surfaces were sacrificed. Most interesting are the dish gloves, the rubber made brittle by time, but still clearly the largest size available. A couple perhaps? A large woman and a smaller man (the dabs)? Two men?

Or a small woman and a Viking man (finishing with flourish), the gloves bought with the hope of compromise. The dabber would be the tetrisiser, but the gloves would better fit the man. Our archeologist steps back, arms dripping with suds. “And like so many compromises,” she muses, “the truth of any theory is proven only when time runs out.”

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I step back, pink gloves dripping. What she can’t see – the archeological evidence long since re-sauced – are the interm loads my Viking washed while waiting for me to man up and take my turn at the sink. And so with one (albeit epic) load of dishes, my faith in an entire branch of science is shaken to the core.

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‘Artistic Bondage’ – DIY hood and handcuffs turn any sketchbook into a stylish mini-tote

Secret freedoms… deepest passions… strappy high heels… The wording of my first official Blank Canvas Living assignment comes loaded with clues to its criteria.

In order to integrate sketching into her hectic lifestyle, the client would need a way to carry a sketchbook discreetly, protect its pages, and be inspired to let go of her inhibitions and excuses every time she sits down to draw.

The nature of this project, with its almost total creative freedom, is intoxicating. My mind races with ideas. This is the same thrill I felt designing my seismic skirt after burning those horrible ugly pants up on the roof. I’ve craved this level of creative engagement for so long, and I need to prove with this assignment that I can be part of Blank Canvas Living as more than just a tourist.

One idea dominates all the others – a two part sadomasochistic hood and handcuffs protective tote. Is a bondage sex theme too much? Too extreme? I don’t know the client’s history, but those strappy high heeled shoes keep leading me straight back to BDSM. What better way to tempt the client into artistic expression than ‘artistic bondage’? I submit to the process, and get down to work…
Hood
1-Cut calf of sacrificial black leggings to length of sketchbook + 1” (depending on thickness of book)
2-Sew cut end closed to make a pouch

Handcuffs
1-Stretch 3/4” wide elastic around sketchbook to desired tension – cut two of these lengths and stitch ends together to form ‘cuffs’
2-Cut third length (the ‘chain’) with ¾” extra on both ends to fold around ‘cuff’ loops.
3-Sew ‘cuffs’ onto their ‘chain’

Slip the hood over the sketchbook, then slide on the cuffs, leaving enough slack in the ‘chain’ to create a handle. The handcuffs can be used alone (as shown), and will hold pens/pencils securely under the ‘chain’.

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