Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hardest Journey


“To get through the hardest journey we need take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping” - Chinese Proverb

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Vacation Food

I spent this past weekend at Seaside (in Oregon) on a mini-vacation and I thought I'd share some photos of the yummy (and meh) food I had.

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First the meh.

Now we have a Pig'n Pancake in Portland but this was the ORIGINAL :)
My "poached" eggs were more like soft boiled.... how hard is it to poach an egg!?
Overall it was just "meh" and not that impressive - same as the one in Portland.
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Now for the "not too shabby".

Camp 18 is out on Hwy 26 - it's a restaurant and logging memorial -
went once before and the food wasn't too bad. Mostly though you go for the fun atmosphere


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Now for the yummy.

We originally had plans to go to a Southern place - but it apparently closed (for good)
the previous weekend, so this was one of the restaurants recommended
to us by the woman at our hotel front lobby.
As soon as we saw "Fried Artichoke Hearts" on the menu I was hooked -
they were garlic covered and so yummy.
You almost didn't need the garlic lemon ailoi dipping sauce
I ordered a Huckleberry Mojito before my dinner - only part of the meal I regretted. It was a tad too sweet (too much Huckleberry syrup) and left me burping tasting Huckleberry all night.
Mom ordered the Cod fish and chips
I ordered the 1/2 order of Baby Back Ribs...and we swapped 1/2 way through the dinner
...just so we got a taste of everything, not because we weren't enjoying the food
  

At the end of our meal we thought we'd take a dessert back to our hotel room to share later that evening. We asked to see a dessert menu....a few minutes later our waitress comes out with a tray of desserts! No menu just a visual display. They all looked yummy but we went with a chocolate layered cake. Can't go wrong with chocolate can you?

The vacation was refreshing and fun and the food was yummy. What else could I ask for?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2nd Chance?

So today Mr. Hong Kong messaged me.....just talking about what we have or haven't done in the last four months, what we do or don't want to see happen, what it even means that we're talking now.....

Normally (or at least pre-Mr.HK) my philosphy on exes has always been "an ex is an ex for a reason"... no questions. no 2nd chances. no matter the circumstances.

But now I'm not so sure. 

So I posted a question on my FB and I want to ask it here too:




"Have you ever gone against your better judgement or personal philosophy when it comes to exes?"

So far the responses (from friends/family online) have been:

"No. Bad Morgan."
"Who hasn't? And it always comes back to bite you in the ass"
"Which EX are you talking about?"



So what about you?
Do you think 2nd chances can happen?
Have you ever given an ex a 2nd chance?
What happened?


Sex Ed (for Adults)

Came across this Salon article/quiz and just had to share!

A sex ed exam -- for adults
By Tracy Clark-Flory

"D.C. is introducing standardized tests about s-e-x in public schools. Can you pass our version for grown-ups?"

1) A paraphilia is:
a. A fetish for parachuting
b. An incurable sexually transmitted infection
c. A clinical category of sexual disorders
d. A word I just made up to sound smart

2) Abstinence-only education:
a. Delays first intercourse
b. Reduces rates of teen pregnancy
c. Reduces rates of STIs
d. All of the above
e. None of the above -- and yet Congress has spent over $1.5 billion on it



3) What is the average duration of heterosexual intercourse?
a. Less than a minute
b. 13 minutes
c. 8 minutes
d. 25 minutes

4) Roughly how many women can orgasm from vaginal penetration alone?
a. 10 percent
b. 20 percent
c. 60 percent
d. All of them, they just haven't met Mr. Right

5) Non-human animals have been observed doing all of the following EXCEPT:
a. Group sex
b. Same-sex sexual behavior
c. Making dildo-like objects
d. Oral sex
e. "Except" nothing -- they've done all of the above and then some. Uncivilized animals.

6) What infection is NOT included in most STI screenings?
a. Chlamydia
b. Gonorrhea
c. Herpes
d. HIV

7) How many men have faked orgasm?
a. 10 percent
b. 25 percent
c. 40 percent
d. None -- dudes can't fake it and don't have to

8) A woman may experience orgasm as a result of sensory information from which of the following nerves:
a. Pudendal nerve
b. Pelvic nerve
c. Hypogastric nerve
d. Vagus nerve
e. All of the above

9) Which is generally the most pleasure-prone part of a man's penis?
a. The underside of the glans
b. The top side of the penile shaft
c. The head
d. It's all the same

10) Which of the following is true about marital satisfaction?
a. It generally decreases after you have a baby together
b. It all goes to hell after the baby's born
c. It is usually not affected after a couple has a baby together

11) What percent of married adults are largely satisfied with their sexual partner?
a. 54 percent
b. 64 percent
c. 94 percent
d. 0 percent. Married couples don't have sex


12) Which of the following can reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives?
a. Female orgasms
b. Antibiotics
c. Antidepressants
d. All of the above

13) Stop reading, Mom. Approximately what percent of heterosexual women and men in the U.S. have had anal sex?
a. 10 percent
b. 15 percent
c. Trick question! Only gay men have anal sex
d. 25 percent

14) How long does it usually take for symptoms of HIV to appear?
a. Two weeks
b. Six months
c. Two years
d. Over a decade

15) How many women and men feel preoccupied with their sexual performance?
a. 5 percent of women, 10 percent of men
b. 15 percent of women, 15 percent of men
c. 30 percent of women, 50 percent of men
d. 0 percent of women (all they have to do is lie there), 0 percent of men (what's there to worry about?)

16) A person who has oral herpes (cold sores) can pass the herpes virus to a partner while performing oral sex on them.
a. True
b. False

17) Among young, healthy men who have difficulties getting or keeping an erection, the cause is most often related to:
a. Erectile dysfunction
b. Performance anxiety
c. Peyronie's disease
d. Phimosis

18) Approximately what percent of couples have experienced sexual problems?
a. 10 to 20 percent
b. 32 to 40 percent
c. 57 to 70 percent
d. 78 to 95 percent

19) Which of the following lubricants can be used safely with latex condoms:
a. Silicone-based lubricants
b. Water-based lubricants
c. Oil-based lubricants
d. All of the above
e. A and B only

20) How many U.S. states grant same-sex marriage licenses?
a. 6
b. 4
c. 10
d. None




21) What is a "gender identity"?
a. It dictates whom a person is sexually attracted to
b. It is a person's inner sense of maleness and/or femaleness
c. It is your biological sex
d. All of the above

22) Roughly how many men and women have never masturbated?
a. 2 percent of men and 25 percent of women
b. 10 percent of men and 20 percent of women
c. 1 percent of men and 15 percent of women
d. 5 percent of men and 11 percent of women

23) Which is the fastest-growing group of people with HIV in the U.S.?
a. Homosexuals
b. Men who have sex with men
c. African-American women
d. Gay Caucasian men

24) What is the most-visited porn site on the Internet?
a. LiveJasmin.com
b. YouPorn.com
c. XTube.com
d. Spankwire.com

25) Which acts as an abortifacient?
a. Plan B
b. RU-486
c. IUDs
d. All of the above

26) The HPV vaccine can reduce the risk of:
a. Genital warts
b. Cervical cancer
c. Anal cancer
d. All of the above

27) A woman's virginity can be proven by:
a. An intact hymen
b. Bleeding during first intercourse
c. Both A and B
d. Nothing -- it can't be proven with physical evidence










1) c; 2) e; 3) c; 4) b; 5) e; 6) c; 7) b; 8) e; 9) a; 10) a; 11) c; 12) b; 13) a; 14) d; 15) c; 16) a; 17) b; 18) d; 19) e; 20) a; 21) b; 22) d; 23) c; 24) a; 25) b; 26) d; 27) d


If you scored between:

18 and 27, you go to the head of the class. Email me and I just might send you a Certificate of Sexual Proficiency.

8 and 17, you're probably Canadian.

Zero and seven, you likely landed on this page by Googling "free porn" -- sorry to disappoint. (See: The answers to Question 24 above.)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dating the last 4 months

I came to the realization that Mr. Hong Kong and I have only been broken-up for four months.... and unfortunately I sent him an email today....just saying a happy belated birthday and hoping he was well. I'm so stupid.

I then immediately messaged my bff in Seattle telling her what I'd done. Here's how some of that conversation went:

BFF: I told you that this wasn't going to be easy....and that it was going to be hard.

Me: I know. You're right, as always. It's not like I expected to break up with "Mr. Hong Kong", turn the corner and find prince charming. But at least someone who is local, not a workaholic, not creepy/sleezy and wants to get to know more than my bra size

BFF: I know... but it doesn't make it easy that the other guys weren't even half decent

Me: Seriously. my "1st date"...well we've talked about him plenty. Then there was the teacher and the Canadian who both just disappeared. Mr. CT who looked like things were going well before *poof* The guy in SoCal who is only interested in sex. The Chicago guy who wanted me to fart on him. And now the "local" lawyer who doesn't know when he'll be leaving Tokyo.

BFF: I am trying not to laugh, because of how you put it but you should write a book! hahahah

Me: AND THAT'S ONLY IN THE LAST FOUR MONTHS!!!!!!!!!!

BFF: I know! hahaha

.....(later on in the conversation).....

Me: Oh. and I forgot about the Australian who, even though we both were emailing just as friends (because of the distance) - just stopped emailing. And then there is the guy from the UK who couldn't stop complimenting me (but in that way of weirdness) "Me: What's the weather like. Him: Rainy but it'd be sunny if you were here beautiful." WTF? Where do I find these guys?! And don't get me started on the ones who hit on me in person around town.

...(even later on)...

BFF: Ever thought of taking the sex people up on their offer? ...Maybe you need something without any ties... just have some fun.

Me: Yea but guys in Portland are (for the most part) gross and i honestly have no idea how or where to even beginning thinking let alone doing something like that. I can't get a guy to buy me a cup of coffee let alone take me home for the night.

Oy vey. I just get so frustrated with the whole dating process. I wish I could just shut the part of my brain off that desires a relationship. I wish I knew how to just pick up men in a bar and slip out the next morning before . I wish I knew how to shut down emotionally and not need or want a partner/companion. I wish this how thing was just easier.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vacation Accomplished

This weekend (despite having the category of "work") was wonderful. I definitely don't get away as often as I need or should...so this was a much needed vacation.

I love driving to the coast and seeing all the cute farm houses
Everything is just sooooo GREEN!
Stopped and had lunch at Camp 18 Restaurant and Logging Memorial
Decided I was going to take the example of the Camp Cat -
and use this weekend to relax.

So I made sure to have a good time with my student government folks (they're a wonderful group), went to the beach, Seaside Aquarium, and ate yummy food.



I just loooooove the grassy sand dunes on the way to the water.

Seaside Aquarium - privately owned since 1937
Yes, That would be me...and a huge octopus at the bottom

Fed the seals - he'd splash if you took too long

Fried garlic artichoke hearts from McKeowns
Stopped by Jim Dandy's Farm Market on the way home too -
got many yummy veggies

So glad to have a mini-get-away.....now back to work.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lemon Confit Shortbread

Next weekend I'll be making a Lemon Confit Shortbread for my mother's 57th birthday. I found the recipe last year in the NY Times.

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Recipe: Lemon Confit Shortbread Tart

Time: At least 2 hours

FOR THE CRUST:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
FOR THE CONFIT:
8 lemons, preferably thin-skinned and seedless
3/4 cup sugar.

1. For crust, combine flour, salt, butter and 1 cup of sugar in a bowl. Mix with your fingers until it forms flaky crumbs and lumps. Mix in egg, almond extract and lemon juice. Continue to mix until it clumps; at first it may seem very dry. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 day ahead of baking.

2. For confit, slice off and discard ends of lemons. Slice 5 crosswise, peel and all, as thinly as possible. Remove any seeds and place in a bowl. Peel skin, including white pith, from remaining 3 lemons, then slice thinly crosswise, and add to bowl. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Toss and let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

3. Place lemon slices and their juice in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook down until lemons are candied and small amount of liquid in pan is sticky and syrupy, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

4. To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide dough in half and form each half into a ball. Roll one ball until large enough to fit into a 9-inch round tart pan. Dough will be crumbly (more shortbread than pie crust); if it falls apart, press it back together. Spoon confit over crust, spreading evenly. Roll out second ball of dough and place on top, sealing edges but making sure no crust overlaps the rim (or tart will be difficult to remove later).

5. Bake until edges of tart are lightly golden, about 35 minutes, then sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Return to oven for about 10 more minutes; edges should be lightly golden and crust cooked through but not browned. Serve warm or cooled.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

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I'm not a huge lemon-dessert person so I think I might make a side of coconut milk whipped cream for the side. 


Ingredients

One 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla or more to taste (optional)

Equipment
Large bowl
Hand beaters or a stand mixer

Instructions
1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled; I left mine in overnight.
2. Open the can of coconut milk. There will be a firm, waxy layer on top.
3. Scoop out this firm layer coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the can.
4. Stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can; don't include anything but the solid cream. (You can use the water in smoothies, or just drink it straight.)
5. Place this cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl.
6. Turn your mixer or hand beaters to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes.
7. Whip until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks. Mix in sugar or vanilla, if using.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shower Rama

There's a Thai restaurant we go to down from our house that serves a pretty good Thai Rama* (actually they call it Shower Rama)  - my mother normally orders it with chicken) and after the first time we tried it we realized how easy it would be to make at home.

At that's exactly what we had for dinner tonight (although I also cooked up some eggplant to have with mien).

Start with cooking the rice
Chop eggplant - leave on skin
Lightly salt dices
In hot oil - saute onions and garlic
Cook eggplant until soft and translucent. Add soy sauce and more garlic
Saute fresh spinach - sweat down
Cook chicken with a teaspoon for peanut butter sauce**

Happy Eating


*Rama - I don't really use measurements... and I couldn't find an actual recipe I thought was close enough to mine to "promote"

** One cup of creamy peanut butter, tablespoon of honey, dash or two of soy sauce - heat until thin and creamy... add water to make thinner if needed

MUCH needed Vacation

It's not even 3:30PM on Thursday and I'm already in "Vacation-Mode" and so ready to get to Seaside.



Okay, so it's not a real vacation...I'm going to the coast this weekend for work. A meeting (basically) all day Saturday and then Sunday morning....

HOWEVER!!

Saturday evening I'm planning on dining at (what looks like) a great Southern/Creole restaurant called Lil' Bayou




and then Sunday afternoon going to the Seaside Aquarium.



And you better believe I'm getting as close to snuggling these faces as they'll let me:



So while there is work involved at least I'll be squeezing some beach time in there too.