A long day dreaming into night

Daydreaming

That moment when you realize you can’t let your dreams be dreams, or something

My mind tends to wander. I imagine the tattoos I’ll (probably) never get. I picture myself running an ultra marathon in Death Valley or becoming the next Stephen King. I could take a vacation from reality and try to live those versions of myself in the vast recesses of my head space. But then it occurs to me that the only thing separating the person I am now from the one I daydream about is my determination to close the gap. And that’s equal parts scary and exhilarating.

Aviators

Aviators

A requiem for the expensive shades I lost six years ago

Silver sunglasses,

you made me look so damn cool.

Where did you go?

Trip report: Prickly Pear Orange Pecan Shortbread Cookies

So I’m in the third week of this whole “baking cookies inspired by each of our 50 states” thing, and I’m already regretting calling it “Cookies Across America.” Real missed opportunity there. But “Getting Baked with Shadi” is too cliché, and “United Cookies of Shadmerica” is just dumb.

Oh, well.

Today, I represented my home state of Arizona with a cookie so involved that I get bored before I even finish typing the recipe name: Prickly Pear Orange Pecan Shortbread Cookies. I’m going to be honest with you: prickly pear really isn’t my thing, and the “fruit spread” I acquired from Whole Foods was bitter as all hell. This recipe should not have worked. But, friends, it easily beats out the cookies from Alaska and Alabama. Like, it’s not even a close competition. Continue reading

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde

That sure was two hours of pseudo feminism and lesbian undertones, set to the backdrop of the Cold War.

Cool fight sequences –

too bad all the stuff between

was a major snooze.

The Tao of Shadi

Tao

A philosophy in 10 commandments

  1. Always keep beer in your fridge.
  2. Do something every day that makes you sweat.
  3. Wield your creativity like a garden hose, and spray it everywhere.
  4. Family comes first – unless your family sucks. Then, at least, you have an excuse for neglecting them.
  5. Pee clear. If it’s yellow, you got problems, fellow.
  6. Your coffee should be a representation of the deepest recesses of your soul. That’s why I drink mine black.
  7. Make knowledge your cocaine. Snort a line of wisdom every day.
  8. Eat lots of red meat because the cattle will overrun the planet if we don’t keep their delicious rumps in check.
  9. Get no more than six hours of rest per night. You can sleep when you’re dead.
  10. Don’t be a dick.

Rock you

Dominoes

It’s what a hurricane does

Wind and water rage –

trees, cars and homes becoming

nature’s dominoes.

Let’s talk about watery killstorms

Hurricanes

That’s “hurricanes” for you weirdos who like to call things by their proper names

So, some Caribbean island called Barbuda, whose existence I just learned about this morning, got riggity wrecked by Hurricane Irma, and that’s a real bummer, man. Who would have thought that living in an island paradise would have its drawbacks – except, you know, the people of Haiti?

And then there’s the part of Texas that sits near the Gulf of Mexico (AKA the breeding ground for watery killstorms). Parts of the United States are underwater, and it’s just another reminder that Mother Nature doesn’t care. Like, you could not fathom the size of the fuck she does not give. What’s that? Your house is all paid off? Let’s see what it would look like if I dropped a tree on it. Oh, you like having electricity? Try watching sitcoms when your entire living room is a swimming pool.

Nature doesn’t play.

And few places are safe. Those coffee-slurping hipsters in Portland and Seattle could be turned to molten ash by an eruption from Yellowstone. Or maybe drowned by a tsunami. San Francisco? Just wait until the San Andreas fault gets antsy.

Even Phoenix poses dangers. If the heatstroke doesn’t get me, there are the flash floods – not to mention the rattlesnakes, scorpions and other dangerous creepy crawlers that nature created to remind us that we’re just squatters on her turf, and she can reclaim it whenever she pleases.

All this raises an important question: where exactly do you flee when the proverbial shit hits the fan? The Midwest? Too many Trump voters, evangelicals and tornadoes. Canada? Beer good, cold bad.

I’ll just stay where I am. The skin cancer will get me long before the apocalypse comes.

Getting baked

Baked cookies

Two weeks ago, I decided to embark on a journey through all 50 U.S. States – by way of  cookies. The baking powder I use (because it’s the only one available at Whole Foods), Clabber Girl, posted  a list of recipes they feel represents each state. And, me being me, I decided to work my way through it.

While I was underwhelmed by the so-called “Alabama Cookie” because of its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach (I mean, oats, pecans, coconut AND Rice Krispies? Why?) I’m a little more enthused by Alaska’s entry. I love me some oatmeal raisin cookies, but adding chocolate chips, coconut and chopped nuts serves The Last Frontier far better thematically than it does The Cotton State.

The coconut sticks out like a sore thumb, don’t get me wrong, but what elses sounds better when you’re holed up in lodge way up north than a hearty oatmeal cookie and some milk (or booze – I’m not the master of your destiny)? Also, Rice Krispies are a parlor trick, not a breakfast food. Let’s be real here. The last thing I want my cereal to do is onomatopoeia.

Though I could just look at the recipe for the next state on the list, I’d rather keep it one big surprise. It gives me something to look forward to – besides the fact that I get to eat fresh-baked cookies every weekend.