The Atomic Structure of Romance

Yesterday I read an interesting rant over at Smart Bitches. The premise of the article is that women in academia are always portrayed as super smart but lack common social skills or even intimacy skills. To name a few mentioned, the heroine usually has no time for relationships because her schooling is most important to her, she’s also a really late bloomer (virgin) in the romance department and she’s implied to be average on the beauty scale because she’s not wearing that long red dress and stiletto heels every day.

It got me thinking about this academia trope discussed in books I read and TV shows I watch. I realized that this is fairly true in a lot of ways and prompted more questions. Why is it the woman scientist or woman professor synonymous with bag lady? Why does she always have awkward social skills? And for the love of all that is holy, why does she always have to attract the bad boy?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a super sucker for this type of romance always. But it was one of those moments where you stop and really think about it. I was talking to a friend last night, bouncing these questions off him and he state that it’s like protons and neutrons. We’re both rusty in the science department so I looked it up and its like protons and electrons. Protons are the positive charge and electrons are the negative charge. The super intelligent, socially awkward protagonist attracts the bad boy/girl, has experienced everything but true love antagonist. Then they turn the bubble of their atom into this harmony of neutral by cancelling out traits that made them who they are because the other taught them things that made them “change for the better”.

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How about the protons attracting the neutrons of world? Neutrons are just your average, everyday no charge individuals. They are attracted to protons and electrons. They can be intelligent and still have social skills. They can be billionaires without the title of play boy or dominant. They can have normal, honest conversation and grow a relationship without forcing one to become more positive or negative. They can be virgins who CHOSE to be that way and not be ignorant to the world of sex and intimacy. That would make a healthy molecule don’t you think?

And speaking of molecules, there are four main types: covalent, polar covalent, ionic and metallic. Covalent molecules are two atoms that share their electrons equally. In relationship terms that can be equated to “the perfect marriage” according to society. Polar covalent molecules occur when one atom has a slightly stronger electron pull on another atom. This could be equated to relationships solely based on initial lust. Ionic molecules occur when one atom has a much stronger pull on another atom. That could be equated to your alpha/beta relationships. Finally, metallic molecules are when atoms share electrons freely with other atoms creating one big electron flow. All I can think of here is an open relationship or marriage.

I know I’m primarily talking about women here but I feel like same goes for men. For example, the man who works in construction is either portrayed as not intelligent or he’s the gazillionaire who can get any woman he wants whenever he wants and it’s a challenge to obtain what is normally unobtainable. They can totally be neutrons too! Trons don’t discriminate (well I guess protons do; they hate other protons so don’t be a proton).

So what do you think? Is this a trope you’ve come across before? Does it bother you or are you a hopeless romantic? Chemistry is cool isn’t it?? (Basic chemistry anyway. I flunked later courses in college just saying!) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Product Junkie

I was going through my morning routine this morning and realized that I have a ridiculous amount of hair and body products and I don’t even remember when I got half of them.

I’m the type of girl that is too cheap to pay for a salon to do my hair. I’ve probably walked into a salon maybe twice my whole life and both times, all the stylists wanted to do is straighten my hair.

I’m not a fan.

My natural, curly Afro locks were not made to be straight and the times I would straighten my hair, the style would last about a day. Would take an entire day to get beautiful, only for a drop of humidity to hit it and poof back to it’s natural state. I’ve experimented with a few different types of products trying to find a good, moisturizing combination. I’m also a sucker for a good deal. For example, last week when I took my husband to get his eye drop prescription after his eye surgery, I saw some Dove shampoo/conditioner on sale 2 for $8. I don’t even use Dove shampoo or conditioner but I bought it anyway cause it was a good deal and they smelled good! I rationalized that you never know when you’ll need a 2 in 1 shampoo even though I already have plenty of bottles at home.

I also buy a lot of body products like lotions, body washes and scrubs. I also get gifted these types of things if I show any interest in them. For example, a friend of mine gifted me with a grapefruit sugar scrub, a tea tree salt scrub and a tea tree body butter from Bath and Body Works because we walked in their store one day and the retail lady was all, ‘You MUST try this! This product will amaze you!” aka “spend lots of money right now please”.

Even though I have all these products and I don’t use them, I can’t bring myself to throw them away. I try not to be wasteful as much as possible so what I’ve resorted to is giving them away to people who come to visit. I end up asking them if they use this or that and maybe embellish a little about how great the products are (even if I only used them once) so they will take them out of my house. But then of course, I go to the store and buy some more if I see another deal or someone swearing by a product in a YouTube video.

Do you find yourself buying a lot of products even if you’ll never use them? What are those products? Are you like me and justify why you buy things you probably don’t need? Let me know in the comments below!

(For the record this DOES NOT apply to books. Books are the exception to the junkie law. There’s no disputing this.)

Tea Enthusiast

Today’s post is brought to you by my wonderful husband. The daily prompt word is tea and in the past few months or so, my husband has learned a great deal about different aspects of tea that I would like to share with you today.

I’m not a tea expert but an enthusiast.

 

First thing to note is tea can be made out of a lot of different things. Leaves, pine needles, etc. We are just going to focus on the tea leaf. There are many different types of tea. As I know it, they are all derived from the same plant. The four types I’m going to focus on are white, green, oolong and black tea. The difference between these four is how old the leaf is, how oxidized it is and how long it’s roasted. Other factors include geographical location and the altitude where the tea is grown.

 

So the basic rundown on my knowledge is that white tea is a very young leaf and bud; young as in it’s harvested early on in the plants life. Green tea is a bit older and as a result is green in color whereas white tea is more of a yellow color. Oolong, my favorite, sits in a spot where it’s a little bit more processed than green tea because it’s been roasted a bit. Finally, black tea is usually very oxidized and heavily roasted. There are many combinations of the age of the leaf, oxidation and roasting. There are a lot different types of each tea that have different qualities. I suggest trying a wide variety to find out what you like.

 

Now we get into the actual process of making the amazing beverage. First we talk about water. What’s tea without water? Leaves. I guess you could eat them, but I’m not too sure how good they would taste. Picking the right water is crucial to flavor. There are many schools of thought on type of water you should use. Most people go with tap water as they say it adds character to the taste. Some prefer filtered water and some prefer mineral water. Personally, I used filtered water. Just do. No rhyme or reason for me but I suggest trying different waters to see how they react with the leaves.

 

Next, I’ll talk about steeping and the amount of tea you should use in combination with the amount of water (in ounces). To be honest, I don’t remember the ratio. I’ve been doing it so long that I just eyeball the amount of tea. I want to note here that there two ways loose leaf tea comes in a package. It’s either rolled or twisted.

The primary tool I use is a porcelain gaiwan. You could also use a steeping tool like a gravity cup or a tea ball infuser. The temperature of the water is important. Unless it’s black tea, I was told to never go for a full boil (212 degrees F). But, once again, I think this is something you should play with to figure out what your tastes are. Depending on the tea, I usually go for about 170-190 degrees F. Now, it’s steep time. I would say follow the directions on the package. This is very important. If you steep for too long or the water is too hot, you could compromise flavor. This entails a stronger taste than you may like or a very bitter taste/after taste. I like my tea smooth so I tend to steep it for less than two minutes. Some directions may even tell you to steep for 15 seconds. In order to find your sweet spot,  you have to try different combinations.

 

That’s a lot of info. May sound daunting, but if done right, you could enjoy something truly amazing. Although, if all else fails, you could just get regular tea bags. Just try and remember to remove the bag after steeping.

Happy sippings.

Isn’t he wonderful? ♥ Do you drink tea? Do you prefer easy to use tea bags or loose leaf? Are you more of an herbal infusions tea drinker? Let me know in the comments below!

Taboo or Not?

Today is release day!

My current binge read has been the Hidden Legacy trilogy by Ilona Andrews. I’m finishing up second in the series, White Hot, just in time for the final book, Wildfire; out today.

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I’m thoroughly enjoying these books and then some but it got me thinking.

Does anyone remember when openly admitting that you read romance was taboo? I admit, back in my college days, when I would read a novel that had romance in it and someone would ask me what I was reading, I would say something along the lines of, “it’s historical fiction” or “it’s fantasy” and describe it without literally naming romance.

Traditionally, getting the stink eye for reading romance was a legit possibility. For whatever reason, romance novels were always associated with older women. I remember people dubbing them as “old lady porn”. Fellow readers like myself and others who enjoyed the genre would take pains to mask what we were reading. There used to be a such thing as book covers. They were all different types of designs and colors and were very popular for school books but a lot of us used them to cover up our real reads.

Now you look around and see covers like the ones above and this is normal. It’s actually great. People like to attribute this to the release of things like Fifty Shades of Grey but I think the times just changed and people began to just not care what others thought about in terms of their reading choices. I guess it also helps that 40% (!!) of paperback sales, at least in the United States, are romance these days.

I find it all quite fascinating. I think it takes a great deal of skill to write a good romance novel. For example, looking at the books above, you probably think it’s full of nothing but sex and maybe magic solely looking at the covers. You’d be completely wrong. The tale that is woven throughout the story is completely complex. The authors (it’s a husband and wife team) built this world full of intrigue that takes your imagination places. The tension levels between family members, employers and lovers make you feel like you’re right there, in their shoes, making decisions that may or may not be right. Before I even get to the intimate bits, I’m ready to scream, cry, shout with joy, question why and beg that the author doesn’t leave me hanging.

I look back and wonder why I felt embarrassed about sharing what I was reading. Now I’m proud to share any and every book I read with others. They may not like it, they may not even be interested, and that’s perfectly fine but an author’s hard work should be celebrated no matter the genre they write in.

How do you feel about the romance genre? Is there a different book genre you feel is taboo? Have you ever had to mask a book you were reading from others or downplay the content because you didn’t know how another would react? Let me know in the comments below!

Facebook Fridays 7/7/17

Hey! Happy Friday! And a cool numerical Friday at at that.

Last week I started this segment called Facebook Fridays which will feature a meme or screen capture that I thought was funny, a video that resonated in some way and a picture I shared. The hope is to get all you lovely readers to smile after reading yesterday’s Endangered post plus its a great way to end the week! As this progresses, I’ll also add links to fellow bloggers who also do cool weekly posts to spread the love and the laughs.

To kick things off, let’s look at some memes. I follow a lot of bookish pages and my friends always tag me whenever they see some fun book related meme.

Definitely applies to me! You don’t even want to know how many books i have right now and how they’re stacked in places in the house.

If you’ve been following me long, you know how much I adore turtles so when I saw this meme not only did I love it but I laughed so hard and showed it to everyone else!

Bahahaha. So amazing.

Next up we have the video. I have this problem of getting sucked in to watching these talent show videos. The caption for this was “He just sang Whitney Houston like you’ve never heard before!” Click bait I know. But I have a weakness for all things Whitney Houston so of course I gave it a listen. If you haven’t heard the goddess version, click here to listen to it first before clicking the video below:

I’ve seen a lot of renditions of Whitney on these shows but man he definitely has an essence of her in his soul. I’ve listen to this about 10+ times and I get all kinds of goosebumps. I wish I had even a smidgen of his talent in my pinky toe!

Last but not least, I shared photos of the park I visited but since today’s word prompt is quill, I’ve decided to re-share the picture of the quill pen my husband and I dabbled with at the car dealership. I think we should go back to these because they’re so cool! You don’t have to apply much pressure at all in order to write with them. The ink pot we had was blue ink and, since we’re amateurs, it got a little bit messy. However, ink comes off very easily with hand sanitizer in case you didn’t know that! If you get it on your clothes, just use hairspray.

That’s it for today! Did you see any cool, fun things in your social media this week? Let me know in the comments below!

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I’m sitting here multitasking my thoughts about what to write for the daily prompt word and the book I’ve been legitimately glued to for the last 24 hours did it for me:

Namid’s teeth and claws are terrible indeed.

You do not want to know what happens when the humans break their pacts with the earth natives.

You do not want to look an Elder in the eye.

Humans see the Elders as shimmery figures because they simply cannot wrap their minds around what their seeing because their brains are raining with fear.

We are here“, they chant over and over.

Is that enough to save you?

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Books give me life! 🙂

That’s all I have. Hope you all are having a wonderful day my friends!

(P.S. The book is Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop 😉 )

Facebook Fridays

So, this thought just happened in my mind.

I’m thinking of starting another weekly post called Facebook Fridays. The idea, essentially, is to follow Endangered Thursdays with the funniest things I saw on Facebook that week. It’s no secret that I’m very social! If you would like to be my friend on Facebook, just let me know and we can make that happen. I mostly post random things and all my friends tag me in bookish memes.

This week on Facebook I took a screenshot of someone who went to Starbucks and got the wrong order that made me laugh so hard I was in tears. He was very expressive and I read it once and laughed then tried to read it out loud to my husband and couldn’t get through it without busting a lung. Check it out:

You’re winning at life if you can make a Pokemon reference like this guy did! Hahahahaha

The next one I’ve watched quite a few times. Its a baby elephant running around trying to catch birds and ends up falling on his face. Naturally, I read it it with inner commentary that went something like:

Oooooh birdies!

I want a birdie!

Gimme birdie!

Come here birdies!

SPLAT!

MOOOMMMMY!

I felled 😦

Lastly, I shared a photo of Isabel and her cute kitty toes chilling in her kitty mountain. I like her a lot when she’s not howling like a banshee:

I have a four day weekend coming up since the 4th of July is on Tuesday. For those who don’t know that’s America’s Independence day. It means something important but it mostly means lots of food I don’t normally eat on a regular basis. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE TO EAT?? So I’ll be at the Rib, White and Blue Festival stuffing my face with all kinds of barbecued snacks and funnel cakes. I may or may not share pictures. I don’t want to scar my vegetarian friends with my carnivoreish ways.

What do you think about Facebook Fridays? Have you seen anything on your social medias this week that made you laugh so hard you cried? Let me know in the comments below! (Links to these are much appreciated! I love to laugh!)

Those Phrases

Ever hear those phrases that sound like one thing but mean something else?

For example, everyone has heard the phrase ‘take a raincheck‘ right? I can have some really slow moments sometimes and it literally clicked in my mind a few months ago what that really meant.

The proper word for these phrase are called idioms.

Recently I’ve noticed my boss says “the bee’s knees” a lot. Obviously she’s not talking about what I’m thinking which is a literal bee’s knees especially since I don’t think they have the same kind of joints as humans so I had to look that up. According to oxforddictionaries, it means ‘an outstanding person or thing’. Other phrases that mean the same thing are: ‘the flea’s eyebrows’ and ‘the cat’s whiskers’. (How does one know a flea’s has eyebrows? Also, are canaries some type of hybrid bird narwhal rhino?)

American slang is a marvel. I don’t know if these are supposed to make things sound slightly better than their true meaning or what. For example, have you heard the phrase ‘you and your sunny disposition’? Usually it’s used in a nice light because it means someone who is cheerful and full of zest! But I can attest to using the phrase on grumps in a sarcastic manner to try and get them to crack a smile and feel less grumps.

Here’s a list of ones I’ve heard of before and their meanings:

  • Break a leg – means good luck somehow even though breaking a leg is not lucky
  • Better late then never – means at least you did something vs. not at all. Not a good phrase to use though if you’re always late to work, just saying!
  • Call it a day – means you’re done. Whatever you were doing, it’s over. Leaving it for another day is the best option
  • Benefit of the doubt – as contradicting as this sounds, it means you’re going to take a leap (similar phrase) and trust what someone is telling you instead of suspecting a lie
  • On a roll – very encouraging statement that means you’re doing a good job
  • It’s not rocket science/surgery – means it’s not complicated
  • Under the weather – means you’re feeling really sick that day
  • Picture is worth a thousand words – I always thought it meant that pictures are more powerful than words at any given moment but I guess it means better to show than tell. Same thing? Maybe.
  • Raining cats and dogs – means monsoon rain is occurring at that moment; the kind of rain you shouldn’t be driving in. I guess you can substitute cats and dogs with cooler animals like whales and elephants but either way it all sounds like pretty painful rain no?
  • Devil’s advocate – means arguing for the sake of arguing but I sometimes use this phrase in an enlightening fashion to get other people to be more open minded
  • In the doghouse – means you said something to your significant other you probably should not have said and you’re sleeping on the couch for a while
  • The elephant in the room – means everyone is thinking it so Nel is going to say it 🙂 but it also means there’s an issue you’re probably avoiding and not ready to talk about. Also elephants are cute. If an elephant could somehow fit itself in my room, I would cuddle it.
  • Plenty of fish in the sea/ocean – means there are 9+ billion people on this planet so there’s someone for everyone when it comes to dating. Also means that even though you may have missed this opportunity, there will always be other ones. (You’re awesome remember?)

Do you use idioms in your daily life? Do you use them in a differently than the common interpretation? Do you question where these silly sayings come from like I do? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to add more phrases into my blogging loaf. (Trail of breadcrumbs are pointing down in case you didn’t see them :P)

How to Save A Life

My yesterday was very eventful for the span of 20 minutes. Remember those cherry trees I talked about in a previous post? I mentioned how the trees were netted so that the birds and other critters wouldn’t eat all the cherries before humans were able to harvest some of them. You see, as I was told, birds are color blind. (I have no idea if that applies to all birds or not but my 80 year old boss told me so). According to him, when the cherries turn red, the birds know they’re ripe for the picking. That doesn’t explain the yellow cherries but that’s not the point today.

My grumps buddy John and I were standing on the truck dock watching this swarm of birds go to town on the Queen Ann cherry trees. Those are the yellow ones. I mean there were a flock of blue jays, robins and sparrows. The crows must have been sleeping because usually they take over as much as possible before the smaller birds can get some.

So we’re just standing there talking and joking and mourning but not really mourning the loss of all those Queen Anns. You see the trees are in the median between two businesses. They don’t care that we, and other people in the neighborhood come and pick the cherries because they have so many trees they are happy to share the wealth.

We happened to look over at the tree by Mr. Continental because that tree looked like it was ready to be picked soon and we saw a bird flapping desperately inside the net trying to get out. Birds can be smart sometimes. This bird figured out how to get in the net but could not figure out how to get out of it.

John and I decided we couldn’t sit here and watch this bird struggle so we walked over to the tree looking to rip a hole in the net so the bird could be freed.

When we got over there we saw movement on the ground. Turns out our sparrow friend wasn’t the only one stuck in the net. There was a robin on the ground who’s situation was worse. She was all kinds of tangled up. We had to save her. Again, these nets aren’t ours but we got a speech prepared for if the owners came over to yell at us for ripping up their net.

We walked back into the plant and John got his gloves and a pair of scissors. I started to get flashbacks to my wildlife rehab days when a call would come in and me and another rehabber would go out and save one critter or another for various reasons. Maybe I’ll share a few of those stories another day.

We walk up to Ms. Robin and she’s screeching her head off. You can tell she’s afraid of us. I mean I would be too if I was her. John gets on his knees and slowly swoops in and grabs her. It should be noted here that if it has a beak, teeth or talons, it can bite. Ms. Robin definitely tried to bite. We’re both sitting here cooing at her telling her she’ll be okay. We just want to help her.

It took a little while because every time we would make a little lead way, she’d try to flap her wings and get more tangled. It also didn’t help that John was trying to hold and cut at the same time. At one time he goes, “I can’t see!”. I’m like, you’re holding scissors! What do you mean you can’t see?!”. He’s like “I’m not wearing my glasses.” I demanded he hand me the scissors right away.

As I instructed John to hold her wings in, I cut the netting around her body. Each time he would rotate her body so I could get around her wings, under her chest. I believe she realized we were trying to help her cause she calmed down and stopped flapping her wings. We got all the netting off that we could see and he let her go to fly away.

She made it about a foot before she just stopped and stood on the ground. She tried to fly away again but it wasn’t working. He left wing would spread but her right wing just stayed pinned to her body. I was like “John, we have to catch her again.” We thought maybe she had a broken wing and I was ready to take her to the closest rehab center.

He did a slow but quick sort of leap grab situation and got a hold on Ms. Robin again. Turns out we didn’t get all the netting. She had a good piece wrapped good around her right wing to the point that it banded it to her body. We cut that piece off and Ms. Robin was able to spread both her wings and fly away. We then proceeded to rip that net apart. The bird that was trying to fly out earlier found one of our holes and flew away as well. Hooray!

Have you ever encountered an animal who needed help? Did you try to help or call your local animal advocate to help? Let me know in the comments below!

Let’s Talk About Courtship

We’ve all had the birds and the bees talk right?

No?

Well I won’t be the one to introduce that to your world today (at least where humans are concerned). Instead I want to talk about fish; one particular fish in particular, the Japanese puffer fish.

As I was browsing (stalking) on Twitter the other day, I came across a really cool video! It showed how this pufferfish attracts a mate. Now I’ve seen some real creative ways of fish attracting other fish. One such video was the genius of some male cuttlefish. If you ever wondered if aliens existed, just look at the cuttlefish.

Anyway, in the video, there was a swarm of big male cuttlefish surrounding the female trying to mate with their colors and stripe patterns. There was one male though that was smaller the rest and whenever he tried to cut in close to the female, the males would literally yank him away. This little male ended up being so clever! He curled in his tentacles, like females do when they’re in mate mode, then changed his colors to look like a female! Fooled the hoard of males and got right up close to deposit his offspring into that female!

The Japanese pufferfish though??? I mean I have never seen anything so amazing. I feel like he probably attracted a whole school of pufferfish after this! Check out the video below and let me know what you think in the comments!