“I do not belie…

“I do not believe in love at first sight, because I didn’t even need to see you to know that I wanted to spend forever with you.” -Shawn Spencer, Psych series finale

Psych ended last night, and I’m extremely sad about it. it’s been my favorite show for eight years, and it’s over. I cried during many moments of last night’s episode, especially when Shawn proposed to Juliet. The end would have only been more perfect if Gus had found someone to love, and if Emilio Estevez would have guest starred. Otherwise, it was great.

Watching your favorite show get closure is hard. During the episode, I thought a lot about my life: where am I in my life, where do I want to be, how am I going to get there, etc.? When Shawn finally proposed, I bawled like a baby, partly because it finally happened, but mostly because I just kept thinking, “I’m going to be single for the rest of my life, and no one will love me like Shawn loves Jules!” Dramatic, I know, but Psych had two things I really want in life: a awesomely close friendship and a loving relationship. 

Unfortunately, I’m extremely isolated from everyone, more emotionally than physically, because I have deep deep-seated trust issues that I can’t get over only because I need to protect myself and my kids. I’ve already vowed not to date or enter a romantic relationship until my daughter is eighteen; I’m paranoid so I do not want any men around my kids, and if I have to wait until I’m forty-four to find love I don’t mind seeing as I felt what the quote articulates and it ended up in heartbreak and a fatherless child. 

As for friendship, I feel like a fish out of water around most people, and I’m simply tired of people calling to unload their problems and not even asking how I’m doing. So, I simply stop interacting with people. I know it’s unfair to the people who aren’t completely self-absorbed and actually care about others, but I haven’t found any of those in my neck of the woods so…yeah. I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, maybe I should be going to a therapist, ha ha. But I guess my point is: Psych was an awesome show, and the series finale brought up all of these emotions. I just finished re-watching last night’s finale, and the emotions are still here.

Stay tuned for your next slice of genius.

My Super Awesome Workout Playlist!

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Life is so awesome, it should always be set to music. Sadly, some things can’t, but for everything that can, I sing or blast my playlists. Here’s my workout playlist. I’ve put them in an order that rises and falls in intensity along with me. After about seven or eight songs, I cool it down since T-25 workouts are only 25 minutes, add warm up and cool down.

The Lustful Centaur of King Lear

When I started grad school, I was hit with insecurity and uncertainty. Am I good enough? Will I do well? Can I do this? I know deep down that I can do it, but these are just doubts that hit me when I’m trying something new that I really want to accomplish. The doubts lasted a short while since I quickly got comfortable in the classroom. And, look, I got an A on my paper for my Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Romances class. Check it out below. It’s on my favorite of the Bard’s plays: King Lear. I could go on forever on King Lear , but I was limited to five pages. Also, please mind the formatting, I copied and pasted from Word and I tried to fix it as much as possible.

The Lustful Centaur of King Lear

  King Lear depicts a kingdom where the natural order is disrupted by poor leadership, both on the part of its aging king and the daughters whom he depended on to guide him through old age. Lear, determined to keep only the perks that accompany being king, divides his kingdom in half, and leaves the management of it to his two daughters, Goneril and Regan, and their husbands, Albany and Cornwall, respectively, while leaving a third daughter dowryless for failing to stroke his ego. His two eldest daughters, who are not ordinary tame, submissive women as was custom during Shakespeare’s time, attempt to capitalize on Lear’s old age and increasing madness by trying to exert their power on their father and the men around them. This paper will discuss the misogynist theme Shakespeare presents in King Lear, how Shakespeare sets up the play depicting Goneril as a powerful woman who subverts gender conventions in a quest for dominance, only to readily turn on her sister and lose her position of power in pursuit of her sexual desires.
Goneril, the eldest of Lear’s three daughters, is the play’s most masculine female. She exerts her influence on her father, her sister, and her own husband. We see many instances where Goneril is shown as a singular entity who is independent from the men to whom she is supposed to be, according to social norms, dutiful and submissive. Shakespeare shows Goneril’s personality through stage directions and through her speeches and that of other characters.
Through stage directions, we see that Goneril is not bound to her husband like her sister, Regan. Throughout the play, Goneril comes and goes as she pleases. Of her seven entrances in the play—Regan has eight—her first and last entries are with her husband, Albany. Of those two, the first is with a group of people and the last is in Act 5, Scene 3, where Albany finally establishes himself as head of his wife and leader of the kingdom since Cornwall is dead. Otherwise, Goneril’s entrances are with her steward, Regan and Cornwall, and Edmund. She also has two entrances, Act 1, Scene 4 and Act 2, Scene 4, where she enters by herself.
Regan, on the other hand, is married to a man who does assert himself as head of the household—instances of which can be seen in scenes where Regan attempts to take control and Cornwall reins her in, e.g. .Act 3, Scene 7, lines 52-53. In contrast to Goneril, Regan’s stage entrances are almost always with her husband. Three of her eight entrances do not include Cornwall: Act 4, Scene 5, where she enters with Oswald; Act 5, Scene 1, where she enters with Edmund, to whom she is engaged; and Act 5, Scene 3, where she enters with Goneril and Albany. All of Regan’s entrances without her husband, however, occur after his death, thus making Goneril’s entrances without Albany more blatant.
The speeches and actions of the characters in King Lear also show Goneril’s identity as separate from her husband, whom she is supposed to be bound to. In Act 1, Scene 1, Lear addresses her as “Goneril, our eldest born” whereas he addresses Regan as “Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall” and Cordelia as “Our last and least, to whose young love the vines of France and milk of Burgundy strive to be interest” (1.1, 55, 70, 85-87) Both of the younger daughters are described in relation to their husband or potential husbands in Cordelia’s case, but Goneril is seen independently of her relationship to Albany.
Goneril’s autonomy is seen in the way she addresses those around her. Although she tells Cordelia, “Let your study be to content thy lord”— in other words, France, whom Cordelia is going to marry—Goneril’s behavior towards Albany shows that her husband’s contentment is not a priority for her. Whereas the man is supposed to be the head of the household, just like the king is the head of the kingdom and its subjects, Goneril sets out be head of them all. She runs the affairs in her estate. In Act 1, Scene 3, she enters with her steward, instructing him to mistreat the king and his nights. She does not consult her husband about the situation, and when Albany inquires about the disagreement between Lear and Goneril, she responds, “Never afflict yourself to know the cause” (1.4, 298). Exasperated with Albany’s attempts to mitigate the situation, she says, “Pray you, content,” essentially telling him to shut up and let her handle the situation, which, according to her, requires something other than his “milky gentleness” (1.4, 320, 348). The dynamic of their marriage is reveled in this act: Goneril is the active, dominant wife while Albany is the passive, submissive husband; that is, until he reverses the roles later on in the play. Even when Albany begins to reassert his masculinity in his marriage, Goneril mocks him, calling him a “milk-livered man” (4.2, 50). It is not until Act 5, Scene 3, that Albany fully assumes control of the marriage and the country. “Shut your mouth, dame or with this paper shall I stop it,” he says as he presents the letter addressed to Edmund, proof of Goneril’s plot to kill him and marry Edmund (5.3, 157-158).
Goneril is forceful with her father and sister as well. She requests that Lear reduce his train of knights by half, but states that if her request is not satisfied, “she will take the thing she begs” (1.4, 254). She starts to say, “If [Regan] sustain him and his hundred knights when I have showed th’ unfitness” but cuts off when her steward enters (1.4, 339-340). I believe she that, had she continued this thought, she would have said something that implied that she would not tolerate she sister disagreeing with her. We see later on how Goneril behaves when she and her sister are no longer of one mind.
At the heart of Goneril’s power trip, there is no hungry ambition striving to take over the country. Instead, there lies the problem of marital indolence on behalf of a husband and the abuse of power of a bored wife. Going along with one of the themes of the play, which argues that there is an “idle and fond bondage of aged tyranny, who sways, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered” (1.2, 51-54). Goneril, seeing that her husband allowed her to dominate the marriage and household, sought to dominate the rest of her world as well. When she meets Edmund, it becomes clear that she is not exactly satisfied sexually. Goneril describes herself as a prisoner to her husband, “his bed, [her jail]”, and she asks Edmund to free her from Albany’s “loathed warmth” (4.6, 270-271). That Albany cares for his wife is clear, but his love is tender, and Goneril wants someone to dominate her sexually, which draws her to Edmund, to whom, according to her, “a woman’s services are due: [Albany] usurps [her] body” (4.2, 27-28). This line states that Albany is not the true owner of her body because he cannot satisfy her sexually; but on a closer reading, the line can be interpreted as her suggesting that Albany usurps her body because he acts like a woman in their relationship.
Thus, we see Shakespeare’s message about women: women at their core are just lustful creatures who will do anything to satisfy their passions. In fact, Lear and Edgar both drive in this point. Lear says of women, “Down from the waist they are centaurs, though women all above” (4.6, 126-127). According to Lear, women are slaves to their sexual urges—the horse is a symbol for passion, and since only their bottom halve are horses, their bottom halves are responsible for the unbridled passion women experience. Edgar notes the “indistinguished space of woman’s will” after reading Goneril’s letter to Edmund (4.7, 276). Goneril’s lust definitely knows no limit.
Overpowered by lust, she plots to kill her husband and marry Edmund. Her plans to dominate everyone are forgotten once she promises herself to Edmund. From that moment, we see the intelligent Goneril, concerned with securing her power, become a murderous, jealous woman concerned only with ensuring Edmund becomes hers. In the first three acts, she is wary of her father’s train being a threat to her home: “He may enguard his dotage with their pow’rs and hold our lives in mercy” (1.4, 332-333). She is a strategist; she knows that decimating her father’s train will make him easier to subdue, so her concern is to ensure that he cannot use his train to reclaim the power he gave away. She also seeks to ensure she and her sister form a united front against Lear’s whims. Then, in the last two acts, she is focused solely on getting rid of Albany and Regan so that she could be with Edmund. Upon hearing that Cornwall has died and that Gloucester is blind and banished, Goneril says in an aside:
One way, I like this well;
But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,
May all the building in my fancy pluck
Upon my hateful life. Another way,
The news is not so tart.—I’ll read, and answer. (4.2, 83-87)
Goneril is immediately suspicious of her sister upon hearing that Cornwall is dead and Edmund is near her. She likes that Cornwall is dead because, being a man’s man unlike her husband, he was a threat to her power; also Gloucester being banished means that Edmund now has his title. She attempts to brush off the suspicion that her sister will take interest in Edmund. However, once she sees that Edmund has become Regan’s first in command, leading her army by her side, She loses all aspirations towards power noting that she “would rather lose the battle than that her sister should loosen him and [her]” (5.1, 18-19). Jealously, she forgets all ties of blood and previous allegiance and poisons her sister so that she cannot have Edmund. In the end, however, all is for naught because her plot is discovered and she cannot be rid of Albany. So, she stabs herself with a knife, the substitute for the phallus she was unable to obtain, the one which she lost everything for: Edmund’s penis.
So, power hungry Goneril was reduced to nothing but a horny centaur. The power she had could have been wielded to set right a kingdom whose king “hath ever but slenderly known himself” and is prone to drastic tantrums when his ego is not flattered (1.1, 295-296). Instead of leading her aging father, she follows her sexual desires, setting up Shakespeare’s theme that, the centaur called woman must be tamed and reined in or else she will pursue her lust to the death, come what may.

Works Cited
Shakespeare, William, and Sylvan Barnet. The Tragedy of King Lear. Four Great Tragedies: Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth. New York: Penguin, 1998. N. pag. Print.

Avocado-Crab Salad Recipe

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Avocado-Crab Salad
I love to feed people, so it’s very important that I get good feedback. Well, last night I had a unanimous success with a new recipe. My family is very receptive to my recipes, but my brother-in-law and my step dad are hardcore Dominican men who are always reluctant to try anything new.
Enter Avocado-Crab Salad! I made this last night and my brother-in-law had repeat servings (my step dad had one, but he was already eating food when I brought the food down)! So, here is the recipe. I got it from Cook This Not That:

Ingredients:

Recipe Ingredients
1 can (8oz) crabmeat, preferably jumbo lump, drained
½ cup diced seeded and peeled cucumber
¼ cup minced red onion
1 jalapeño pepper (preferably red) minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp fish sauce (in a pinch, soy sauce will do)
1 Tbsp sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Salt
4 small Hass avocados, halved and pitted
1 lime, quartered

 

What I Used
2 packages (8 oz.) Crab Delights Imitation Crabmeat
1 cup diced seeded and peeled cucumber
½ of a large red onion (I love onions)
2 green jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
¾ cup chopped cilantro (I also love cilantro)
2 Tbsp Lite soy sauce (Soy sauce will definitely do!)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lime juice
¼ Tsp sea salt in the recipe, then lightly salted the edges of the avocado
4 small Hass avocados, halved and pitted
I skipped this because I used more lime juice initially

 

Instructions:
• Combine everything except the avocados in a large mixing bowl.
• Mix.
• Lightly salt edges of avocados.
• Spoon mixture into avocados

And you’re done! Simple, delicious, and a huge success with everyone! Bon appétit!
Stay tuned for your next slice of genius!

 

 

Citation for Recipe:

Zinczenko, David. Cook This, Not That! 350-Calorie Meals: Hundreds of New Quick and Healthy Meals to Save You 10, 20, 30 Pounds – Or More. New York: Rodale, Incorporated, 2010. Print.

Still Trekking on My Weight Loss Journey

I had a baby almost five months ago! Scarlett is beautiful and amazing, but having her did a number on my body. The week I got pregnant, I weighed 207 lbs. and the day I had her, I weighed 254 lbs. I gave birth via c-section because I had an emergency c-section when I had my son 9 years ago.

After my second c-section, my core was practically non-existent, and I only breast fed for three weeks, so I couldn’t count on nursing to get rid of the fat for me—I did lose 27 lbs. in the first week, though. My sister is a Beachbody coach, and she was doing the T-25 workouts so I started doing the workouts and drinking the Shakeology shakes.

I began on December 19, 2013 and I’ve been tracking my progress. See the picture below.

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I’m already 4 lbs. away from my pre-pregnancy weight! Well, here are my measurements and weight from December 19, 2013 to today. With a combination of the T-25 workouts, the shakes, and healthy eating, I’ve lost 15 lbs since December and 43 lbs. since I had Scarlett.

Here are some easy changes I made at home:

  • ·         I’ve incorporated more tofu, it’s delicious and nutritious (yeah, that rhymes)
  • ·         I stopped buying juice. My son isn’t too happy, but he is drinking a whole lot more water.
  • ·         I use my oven for like every meal, and if I don’t, I used extra virgin olive oil or canola oil.
  • ·         Flaxseeds, ‘nuff said.
  • ·         More vegetables, less rice.
  • ·         I’ve always done this, but I just keep doing it: about half a gallon or more of water a day.

Also, when it’s warm out, I walk, I play baseball, football, tennis, and I like to swim.

I’m so excited to see results, and I can’t wait to reach my end goal of 190 lbs.

Well, that’s that. Stay tuned for your next slice of genius.

Grocery Shopping- Getting it All Over With

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I like to go all in and get things done all at once. I like to go grocery shopping once a month, just get everything I need and not step in a supermarket again for thirty or thirty-one days—unless it’s February, then it’s twenty-eight (unless it’s Leap year, then it’s twenty-nine). The problem with my system is that my vegetables and fruits tend to go bad after a while because we can’t eat them fast enough.  So, stuck between not buying fruits and veggies and going grocery shopping more than once a month, I took to the internet and stumbled upon this website: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-blanch-vegetables-home-108570 which teaches us how to blanch vegetables so that we could freeze them. Silly me, I would have just thrown them in the freezer, washed and whole, but this works.

If you’ve read my last post, I’m going pescatarian for Lent, so my freezer won’t be stuffed with meat, which I buy, season, and separate into portions on grocery shopping day. So, I blanched my veggies, and chopped up my fruit and here it is:

My Blanched Veggies and My Chopped Fruit, all Ready to Be Frozen

My Blanched Veggies and My Chopped Fruit, all Ready to Be Frozen

Veggies, Fruit, Fresh Seafood, and Frozen Seafood. Prepped for the Month

Veggies, Fruit, Fresh Seafood, and Frozen Seafood. Prepped for the Month

It’s so much easier for me to just have everything prepped and ready for me to cook when I need them, what with my kids, school, and writing. I pick the day I go grocery shopping, usually a Tuesday since I don’t have class and there are better deals on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I know that most of my afternoon or evening will be spent chopping, dicing, mincing, seasoning, etc. but it saves me so much time later because I just have to defrost and cook as desired.

Since I’m going pescatarian, I will have to make another trip to the supermarket for fresh fish sometime this month. I bought fresh wild whiting, wild carp, wild porgy, and wild squid (my son loves calamari); and I bought a large pack of frozen tilapia and flounder—they are ten bucks and they come with like eighteen fillets a bag—and two bags of scallops for this recipe I’m dying to try (I’ll post it when I do). Oh, and I got a 2 lb. bag of frozen mussels for $4.99.  I should be good for a few weeks.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I can focus on everything else I have to do all day: read, parent, read, parent, job hunt, read, parent, write, cook, clean, wash bottles and more bottles, and …

Stay tuned for your next slice of genius.