Category Archives: Alina

Come out come out wherever you are

Earlier today I had a wonderfully long, easy, fun conversation with Kacie, my best friend and fellow Vagenius.  A little back story for those who are unfamiliar with Kacie and I (pretty much the entire population besides Abby and Nan).

Kacie are I are the opposite sides of the same person.  I don’t feel completely myself if I’m not around her or I haven’t talked to her for a while.  When we do talk it feels as if my whole life was underwater and I am just now coming up for air.  She is my mental and spiritual oasis.  When we are together, whether literally or just through the magic of cell phones, I able to remember who am I; like she holds a mirror up to my soul so I can take a look at what’s missing or just to say hello.

Anywho, we were talking today and she was telling me about this person she has been spending time with.  He is a wonderful person, very kind, exciting, blah blah blah.  So she tells me that he Googled her name to see what came up, as one does when they need to find out about people.  I highly recommend doing this for anyone or anything.  For instance, did you know that when you Googled my name (it’s a secret) that you get a lot of sites about a French Erotica writer.  That’s right ladies and gents, I have the same name as a porn writer and SHE’S FRENCH!  So exciting.  Back to the story, Alina focus.

Well, he found this blog when he searched her name.  I couldn’t believe it, I had completely forgotten we started this thing almost 5 years ago!  And what an awesome name too, Vageniuses.  We had started this as a way to keep in touch with each other (I had just moved to Washington) and share things important to us with the most important people in our lives.  And it was so neat!  Going back through this blog and rereading our old posts was like digging up a time capsule.  Maybe people do this all the time with their social media sites like facebook and twitter or even instagram but I have none of those so this is really strange for me.  Hearing Kacie read to me things that I wrote was like hearing a different person.  Because we are all different people.  We’ve all been through more than any of us could have imagined in five years.  And how amazing is it that we can share with each other for everyone to see (or not).

So here I am Vagenuises.

Hands touching hands, reaching out, touching me. Sweet Caroline bah bah bah good times never seemed so good. So good! So good! So good!

If you are reading this and are thinking this lady is a lunatic then you’re probably right. JK YOU’RE crazy! Everyone loves that song!

But I know you have stories to tell and I want to hear them. So come on Kacie, Abby and Nan tell me something new.

 

I’m listening

 

a short treatise on disposable cameras

i know it might be very antediluvian of me but i do not have a smart phone. i don’t even have a picture phone. so the world of instagram and the like is pretty much unknown to me. i can appreciate the camera phone/smart phone revolution but i want to write a blog about something that i grew up with. the disposable camera. i was a kid in the 90s when the point and shoot cameras came out with a new model every single year and before the affordable digital camera was around. if you were a kid like me in an average lower middle class household your parents probably had a point and shoot viewfinder camera that they used for special occasions and vacation pictures. Polaroids were still around although less common and popular probably due to the cost of the film. there weren’t many toy cameras that i can remember anyone my age using. what we used were disposables. they were cheap, relatively sturdy and absolutely user-friendly. they were our cameras. we could write on them, use them for whatever and for me at least they were the first things that were really mine. i explored my world through those disposables. i would ration my shots and rarely let other people shoot. they were the most basic form of photography. you couldn’t control anything expect the framing of the picture. not the film, exposure, development or paper. i look back through my pictures and so many were taken with disposables. the washed out, out of focus, un-sharp pictures that were quintessential disposable. i know technology has moved on for the most part and camera phones are to my younger siblings what disposables were to me. but damn if there aren’t some good pictures from those wonderful disposables.

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Information Biatch

If you are left dismayed, confused, and frustrated by the nonclarifying nature of our country’s national presidential debates then do not worry, you are not alone.  While I admit that I have not literally watched either debate so far, I listened to them on the radio and consequently got a much different perspective of the tone of the first debate. I also admit that I did not listen to the debates in their entirety due to other engagements and simply because I got tired of hearing so many stupid statistics that contributed diddly squat to a coherent helpful answer. God knows they are politicians after all but damn it gets old. So if you, like I, are in need of some clarification on issues then go to your friendly neighborhood newsstand (grocery store) and pick up the lasted edition of The Economist magazine.  In the October 8th-12th edition which went to press before the second debate, there is a special 20 page report on the candidates and the issues that is very very informative and respectably concise. It covers many of the important topics such as healthcare, taxes, and jobs and other ones not yet elaborated on such as crime, foreign policy and social values.  That report alone would rectify the purchasing price of the periodical but you also get tons of other information concerning news around the world and practically everything under the sun. Also, it is a British publication and tends to give a clearer unbiased view on American politics, in my opinion that is. The Economist is one of my favorite magazines and it has so much freaking information in it that I barely have time to finish one before the next comes out 2 weeks later.  There is also an overview of the report at the Economist online but if you want the good stuff you gotta get the magazine.

For more online information just visit the special election section at their website right here http://www.economist.com/world/us-elections-2012

 

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You slapped a Fish

My little sister showed me this on youtube this morning. It reminds me why these movies are so terrible and stupid yet amazing for all of the ways they can be rehashed and made fun of. Watch it, it’s great and made my morning

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120

Last week I took 2 rolls 35mm and a roll of 120 film to processed and printed at Blue Moon Camera in Portland. The 120 roll I had found not completely finished in a Yashica camera I haven’t seen in over a year. It was still packed in a box I thought I had lost along with my Rolleiflex. So many things were still in storage, mainly my things, that I hadn’t seen since the big move from Tennessee. Anyway, I couldn’t believe that I found them safely packed away and the yashica with film still in it, so I finished the roll and brought it in to be developed. I didn’t think I would get anything good off of it, I wasn’t sure if the film would be fogged or what was even on it. So I got it back and I looked at the pictures, only nine were old ones, and it felt like I was looking at ghosts of myself. It was so surreal to see these strange prints of a place I left only a year ago but seems as if it were decades. It’s a place that I can never go back to even though it makes up the biggest parts of me.

here are a few of them. i didn’t print them so sorry for the average print quality. it’s weird having someone else print your prints. I suppose it’s like a female gynecologist getting a pap smear. if she could do it herself she would. maybe not the best analogy but do you get my drift. a dentist getting a tooth pulled. an executioner going to guillotine. a cab driver taking a taxi.

kacie, abs, nan. i miss you

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No d in refrigeration

My family and I have recently moved into a new permanent home.  It’s a good property and plenty of space for everyone.  I’m sitting in the living room writing this post surrounded by boxes full of things we still have yet to put away.  I’m from a military family so I’ve moved many times during my childhood. When you’re a kid, however, moving is much more of an adventure.  You pack some things, your parents do the most packing, and you wait until it’s the night before the move.  That night almost feels like christmas eve.  Everyone is sleeping on mattresses on the floor or in sleeping bags.  There’s no TV so we play card games while we eat our delivered dinner of pizza and drink from plastic cups.  We run through the empty house and marvel at all of the space that was cleverly hidden beneath our stuff. One last slide down the stairs in our pillowcase sleds and we go to sleep ready for the new house, the new place, our family adventure.

Oh how things change when you grow up. Moving sucks. Everything about it is stressful.  It’s so much work and even more so when children are involved.  You spend half of your energy just trying to get them to help out and stop whining. So you have twice as much crap to pack and none of the help. And we have horses and dogs and cats to boot.  Well, I’m not going to go into the nasty details.  I just wanted to illuminate what my life has been like for the past two weeks.

As we were moving into our new place we realized we were lacking in some of our regular daily necessities. We did not have the internet hooked up yet so that meant I could not get online at all unless I went to the local library during library hours.  I never had the occasion to do this, so for the past 2 weeks I could not mindless scroll through news sites, check my emails, or google every little question that popped into my head.  That wasn’t too bad, although, I terribly wanted to write emails to my friends. I also could not watch Netflix which I had an unhealthy addiction to anyway. So no TV, no internet. Not too bad.  I never had time for any of that anyway because I was either unpacking, building fences, rehabing stalls and chicken coops, walking the dogs, or doing normal daily chores from the moment I woke up till the moment I went to sleep.  All of this wasn’t the worst though.  Even with the manual hard labor, and yes it’s very hard labor, it wasn’t as bad as the fact that we have been without a refrigerator this entire time.

Just think about it for a minute.  Think of when there’s a bad thunderstorm and the powers out for like a day or two.  How much it sucks that you have no food besides that random can of soup. Well we have been living in that surreal fantasy land for 2 weeks. Finding something to eat for one person without using any perishables is challenging and a nuisance at worst.  Finding 3 meals a day for 4 people without access to refrigeration is stupid.  It brings a sobering meaning to living off the land and creative cooking. The main staple of our family diet is now bread and peanut butter. The chickens are super valuable for the eggs because besides nuts, eggs are our only good source of protein.  I have made homemade applesauce numerous times. We go out and pick up apples and pears from the ground for food. I can’t make anything in bulk that will go bad in a day, so basically nothing. If it’s cooked it has to be eaten. And we have to go grocery shopping almost every other day. The list goes like this: bananas, bread, oatmeal, peanut butter, coffee, baby bell cheese.  I did eat a zucchini for 3 days straight because it keeps fairly well on the counter. Now when I go grocery shopping I look at root vegetables and citrus fruit.  All of my frozen berries are being cared for in a neighbor’s freezer (thank god) and I count the minutes till we finally get that big beautiful chilling appliance.  The greatest household invention ever, because I wouldn’t mind shitting in a hole outside if I could come in to a well stocked fridge.

I leave you with some pictures of the move and of the kids cleaning out the stalls in the barn and ask you to think about how fantastic it is to live with refrigeration.  so fucking fantastic.

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sailor’s swig

Yes I know, I’m lame.  First post and everyone else has posted very in-depth, insightful, highly researched posts about important issues.  Well I’m not going down that road at all at the moment. My first post is going to be about something that has been on my mind for nearly a week now. That’s right folks, it’s a food post and more specifically it’s a smoothie post. Whoo Hoo! Get ready kids cause I’m gonna put the mmmm and oooo back in (wait for it….) smmmmoooothie.  haha oh i love myself.

Living as I do in Washington and/or Oregon, there is an abundance of fresh wonderful food, especially now at the end of summer. I mean it’s literally all around me.  Let me paint you a little picture.  I step out into the cool summer morning, fog is slowly creeping across the top of the evergreen trees, the birds are chirping, the horses are grazing in the pasture, and the chickens are shitting everywhere (free range is a bitch). And now I’m hungry. But soft what light through yonder window breaks. Why it is the light from our apple trees.  Okay they don’t glow but come on we have apple trees, that’s pretty cool huh. And if apples aren’t your cup of tea well we also have a yellow plum tree. I never even knew there were yellow plums!  Still not satiated? Then please direct your attention to the abundant blackberries that grow everywhere around here. I have literally been slapped in the face by these plants (on a run down the road).  They are begging to be eaten and around the northwest they grow all up and down the roads. But don’t eat those ones because they might have been sprayed. Luckily, this frugal lady has picked some (8lbs) from our yard  just for you to enjoy. And that my friends brings me to my smmmoooothie.

Ingredients:

1 Banana (fresh or frozen)

2 or 3 Kale Leaves (no ribs)

1 cup or so of Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 cup or so of Blackberries (fresh or frozen)

Splishy Splash of Milk (almond and soy are my personal favorites. If you use coconut milk then use a splish and not a splash, that shit is strong)

Directions:

Like you really need them. It’s a smoothie. But for you beginners out there, here they are:

Put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, put the lid on, and press the button.

Yay!! You’ve made a smoothie! Now just put a straw in it and enjoy.  Now some things to be said about this smoothie. It tastes great, no bones about it. However, if you are a child you might have problems with the texture as blackberries have seeds and kale doesn’t get pulverized into oblivion unless you have a juicer or a really n$ce blender. If you are an adult and have a problem with texture, grow up. If you are a child then feel free to strain the smoothie. I don’t because it’s a bitch and I’m an adult. Smoothies are not milkshakes.  Smoothies are a great way to enjoy amazing food like kale or spinach or fruit in liquid form. Give it a try, you will like it. Not because I’m a magician but because things like berries and kale are a really good combination. Nature makes it good, smoothie makes it fun.

I want to mention that this smoothie was made with no added sugar, no dairy products, and one fucking fantastic vegetable. So be proud of yourself, you made a great decision to make this smoothie and yes it tastes so good. Now I know some of you out there are like,” Alina what the fuck. Blueberries are expensive and blackberries don’t grow in my yard, you braggadocious skank.”  Yes I know, my grandparents have a blueberry farm so I’m sitting on 30lbs or so of blueberries in my freezer. But don’t let the high price of blueberries stop you from enjoying your smoothie! Smoothie is synonymous with substitute.  In other words, fuck that shit I’m using strawberries. Or fuck that shit I’m using cantaloupe.  Anybody got a mango? The possibilities are endless.  Experiment and try things out.  Now my children go forth into the great wide world of food and fuck some shit up.

Berry Kale Smoothie

Berry Kale Smoothie

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