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Detroit: Become Human - I Finished the Video Game

 

I finally finished my first run of the "Detroit: Become Human" game for the PlayStation. I'm not pleased with the outcome, lol. I got Connor deactivated for making an empathetic decision and sparing someone's life. Ug, that darn empathy I have.

Then, I got Alice, Luther, and Kara killed because I didn't want to sacrifice anyone at the Canadian border. Dang. I thought about that decision more than once, and I just couldn't bring myself to sacrifice Luther or Kara. I was trying to preserve everyone's life. Unfortunately, they all got killed because of it. I think Alice and Kara would have gotten away if I'd sacrificed Luther, but I didn't want to want to kill the big teddy-bear brutha off, lol. 

The only one of my characters who made it was Markus, and he made it because I played him like a straight rebel who was no longer effin' around. I had him release a little somethin'-somethin' on Detroit that quieted the masses on down. Thus, he lived and some of his troops survived, as well. 

I enjoyed the game very much. I think interactive games will be my favorite genre now. Now, I'm not sure if I want to play it again from scratch or choose another game like "The Last of Us" or "Heavy Rain" or some such. DBH has numerous endings and outcomes, but I might want to try a new adventure and get to know some new characters. I'm seriously considering "Beyond: Two Souls." That might be the next one I mess with.

My favorite character from DBH was Kara because of her love for the little girl. Connor grew on me. I felt he was too robotic at first, but then I liked him after when he began to pick up empathetic characteristics. Well, then he died. 

I appreciated Markus in the beginning because of his artistic abilities. I enjoyed painting and playing the piano with him. But then the story changed when Carl's drugged-out son became violent. I made a decision that caused Markus to get into trouble, and then I had to play him differently from that point. 

I really enjoyed the graphics and the entire story. It was one of those games that held my attention for a long time. 

Nope, I didn't get a PS5. I tried several months ago and got cart-cleared by Walmart twice. After that, I just gave up. I can wait a year or two if I have to. I really don't play all that much. 

Rejection Is, Indeed, Protection

Have you ever heard the saying, "Rejection is God's protection"? Well, it's not just a meaningless statement to help rejected people feel better about being rejected. It doesn't work very well for that anyway. But it's the truth if you believe in "God." He will do whatever necessary to try to bring hard-headed children back into His fold. He will allow all kinds of unpleasantries to occur if it breaks someone down enough to go to Him for help. He will let evil be done to someone who has backslidden so that the individual will see the error of his or her ways and return home. That sounds kind of jacked up, but it really isn't. 

We still have free will. So we can still choose to continue to act an ass after we get rejected and crushed. We can get mad at "God" and go deeper into the darkness if we like. Or we can recognize that we screwed up, confess our sins, dust ourselves off, and get back into that Word. Every new day of life is a new opportunity to learn lessons and become better people because of those lessons we learned. 

He wouldn't do it if He didn't love us. He wants the best possible future for us, and He knows we can only have that future if we follow the ways of our Shepherd and stop listening to the father of lies. The father of lies plays on our innermost desires, whether they be love, a family unit, or something else. He'll tell us it's okay to create a family this way, even though the Word says we should only do it that way. He'll tell us it's okay to do things out of love for another person, even though the Word says those things are only supposed to be done within the confines of a certain situation. He'll play on our pride and tell us that we deserve a consolation prize for what we lost and that we deserve to be "happy." All the while, he'll have his fingers crossed behind his back because he knows we'll end up being eternally destroyed if we keep listening to his nonsense. 

Our Father sees all this. So if He has to whoop our ass by allowing some jerk or jerkette to rip our heart out, He'll do that. If He has to pluck someone out of our life with whom we are unequally yoked, He will do that, too. Sometimes, there will be no explanation. This person will suddenly become repulsed by us and leave. Pluck! Sometimes, the individual will be so horribly abusive that we can't even deny the sh!t anymore. Pluck! Sometimes we'll become repulsed by the other person. Pluck! 

Plucking is painful, no matter what way it comes. It causes loneliness, regret, heartache, pain, guilt, shame, and all those unfun feelings we don't want to experience. It's so painful sometimes that we only have a few options for alleviating it. As mentioned before, we can succumb to our disappointment, anger, and hurt and go down a path of darkness. Or we can humble down and accept that we cannot force our will, no matter how much we want certain things. We have a purpose, and our Creator has a plan for us. That plan might not involve a lifetime partner or a family or a specific job title or worldly success. It's greater than that. It's our job to listen to our instructions and find out which way we're supposed to walk next. It's our job to surrender, trust, and have faith in Him, and deny the part of ourselves that we think knows best.

 

"Children of the Corn 2021": Malachai Versus Old Folks Home

 

I watched the "Queen Bees" movie the other day. You know you're getting old when you watch a movie with a cast full of much older people. It's even scarier when you recognize like all the cast members. I even recognized friggin' Malachai (Courtney Gains) from the 1984 "Children of the Corn" movie up in there. Malachai had a very short part in "Queen Bees." He basically got his @ss beat by some old ladies real quick, lol. 

Gains played the creepiest teen ever in 80s cinema, and "Children of the Corn" is still so chilling that I'd never watch it at home alone as a grown woman. As a matter of fact, I don't even watch horror movies. Flicks like "Children of the Corn," (1984) "Pet Sematary," (1989), and "The Exorcist" were enough to run me off from watching horror flicks for a lifetime. I watched a few things here and there over the years ("Scream," "Scary Movie," etc.), but nothing with those themes. 

"Children of the Corn" was a very twisted movie about a group of kids who got ahold of some Bibles and misinterpreted the information to mean that they should exterminate all the adults and sacrifice themselves to the devil on their 18th birthday. Um... yeah. It was a pretty demonic flick, but we don't even notice the symbolism or understand what we're seeing when we're young.  All I knew back then was that the movie made me feel all kinds of creeped out.

At any rate, Gains looks nothing like the killer teen from the 80s now. He now looks like someone's cool and jovial uncle. 

 

He played a biker dork and petty thief who got kicked in the nads by one of the "Queen Bees." Spoiler alert?

I enjoyed the "Queen Bees" movie, though. It was about a woman who had to go to an old folks home after her home nearly burned down. She didn't want to go at first, and she had a hard time adjusting because the women in the home were like "Mean Girls" with canes. It gave me quite a few laughs, and that's what I look for the most in new movies. I enjoyed the romance part of it as well. It showed that there's still hope of finding love, even if you're 80 years old and don't have many years left. You can still find your true love and spend the next couple of years or so being the happiest you've ever been, lol. James Caan's relentless romantic pursuit of the main character was cute. 

It wasn't a dull flick at all, and it left me with some good thoughts about the future. They made growing old seem like fun, haha. 


*Images are from Google and are not the property of Timiarah S.*

(How) Can a Non-Virgin Wear a Purity Ring?


*image is from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2009/jul/14/iphone-purity-pledge-apple*

Any person can wear any piece of jewelry she likes with any word across it that she feels is appropriate. It's her body, her money, and her message if she wants to wear it. No law says that one has to be a virgin to wear a purity ring. Traditionally, those rings were for virgins who were keeping themselves pure for marriage, but again, no law says a biological non-virgin can't wear one. 

The main concept of the purity ring is that the wearer has vowed not to have relations before marriage. Well, a non-virgin can make that same vow at a later time in her life, and it will still be valid for her to wear a purity ring. She can vow that she won't have relations before marriage... this time. Can she not? Says who?

Then there's the concept of forgiveness of sins and the cleansing and purification that believers receive through the blood of the Messiah. A non-virgin can be cleansed and renewed spiritually, even if she can't ever physically return to her virginal status. She can also come pretty close to returning to that status if she stays abstinent long enough. JK... but not really. It all comes down to whether the wearer truly believes that she has been cleansed. If she believes it, she will also believe that she can rock that purity ring. 

The people in the world (and the enemy) might not see her as "pure," but her Savior does, and that's all that matters, really. He doesn't remember past sins at all. They are in the sea of forgetfulness. Only a flawed human being (and the enemy) would use the past to try to shame such a person.

Furthermore, the term "purity" stands for more than just sexual purity. It stands for a whole different lifestyle that includes sexual purity but also includes speaking life instead of death, keeping the thoughts pure, keeping intentions pure, eating pure foods, staying away from all forms of toxicity, etc. A commitment to purity goes far beyond abstinence, and it's a serious commitment. 

When it comes down to it, it's the wearer's decision of whether to rock such a ring. Other people really don't get a say in the matter. The most important thing is that anyone who wears it should take it seriously or not even bother to put it on. 

A non-virgin wouldn't wear a purity ring to try to fool anyone into believing she's a virgin. She'd wear it to express her current lifestyle, beliefs, and practices. She'd definitely explain herself if the subject of her virginity ever came up, but it probably wouldn't, given her age and the fact that she has several grown children. A new suitor would already know that she isn't a biological virgin but that she's practicing purity/abstinence/celibacy at this time in her life until she's married... or dead.

Gluten-Free Subs: Firehouse Subs vs. Larry's Giant Subs vs. Subway

tuna sub

First, let me say that you must always lower your expectations before eating gluten-free restaurant foods. You have to go into it knowing that the gluten-free bread will probably taste like $%^. You must also prepare yourself to spend extra for the lack of gluten. Yes, you will pay more just to have a sandwich that tastes like #$% overall. That being said, here's what I thought about the gluten-free tuna subs at Firehouse Subs, Larry's Giant Subs, and Subway.

Firehouse Subs

I had no choice but to shop at Firehouse Subs the other day because I had to ingest something at that moment in time. It was the only place around that offered gluten-free options. The gluten-free tuna sub only came in medium size, and I wasn't too happy about that because I knew I'd throw half of it away. 

The customer service was friendly, and the dining area was open. The service person crafted my sub rather quickly, and I sat down at a table to eat it. I took my first bite and discovered that the tuna had relish in it. Done! The only reason I didn't throw it out was that I was starving, and I had paid damn near $10 for it. But the relish ruined the entire sub. I hate that crap with a passion, and I think it's rude when people put relish in tuna fish. How do they just assume that people want chunks of sweet pickle vomit mixed in with their tuna? Gross! On the other hand, the gluten-free bread tasted pretty good, but it didn't redeem the relish infiltration. I will not eat a tuna sub from there again. 

Rating: Bleh

Larry's Giant Subs

Larry's Giant Subs' tuna sub cost about the same as the sub from Firehouse. Their customer service was excellent. They were extremely friendly, and that definitely counted for something. They did not put relish in the tuna, but they did mix mayo into it. Fortunately, I'm a mayo fan. However, I still had to ensure that the mayo didn't have gluten in it before I ate it. 

The tuna tasted like white albacore, which isn't bad, but I prefer other types. Overall, it was a good sub, but it wasn't fantastic. The bread wasn't as good as Firehouse's bread, but the tuna definitely tasted better. I would eat another sandwich from there.

Rating: Meh


Subway

Subway's customer service is iffy because it depends on which franchise you visit. I've seen stellar service people, and I've seen rude sons of guns. They didn't have any gluten-free rolls today, so I'm going off a tuna sub I ate there a long time ago. 

Subway has always had the best-tasting tuna fish of all the sub joints. Their veggies are always nice and fresh, as well. Their gluten-free roll is not good, but we won't hold that against them. Overall, it's a great sub. It's the kind of sub that makes my mouth water on the way to the store. Unfortunately, some reports claim that Subway's tuna fish isn't actual tuna. That's a disturbing tidbit of information, but the "tuna" still tastes damn good. Subway denies such allegations.

Rating: Mmmm

Conclusion

Subway will always be my main choice, but Larry's comes in at a strong second. Firehouse might be great for you if you like relish, but I don't. 

Advice for Gluten-Sensitive Individuals

Make sure you ask the restaurant about all the condiments and other ingredients they put in the sub. Your sandwich is not automatically gluten-free just because you order gluten-free bread. Inquire about everything that's going in the sandwich if you want to avoid the painful experience of getting glutened. Alternatively, you can buy the fixins at the grocery store and make the sub your damnself. 

Now the Rings Fit Perfectly

 

The "I Am Enough" ring started to feel slightly loose after the first day. I thought I'd remedy the problem by going to Claire's and buying a ring snuggy to accommodate my finger's occasional post-swelling reshrink. It turns out there will be no need for that. The purity ring came today, and it's super snug. It also pushes the other ring up closer to my knuckle, which gives it a tighter fit. Right now, the rings fit very snugly and will not slip around my finger or budge. In fact, the purity ring is so tight I think I might have a problem getting it off, haha. Good!

I won't be needing to drive to Claire's today, and I'm happy with the fit. I'm concerned about what will happen the next time I swell, though. Doh! Got butter? 

Both of these are positioned in the place where a wedding band would go, and they'll be on my person for a long time. 

Not much else to write. The little musical artist in me has emerged, and I'll be nurturing her for a while. I won't stifle her. Instead, I'll let her express herself in whatever way she wants to do so. Shoot, maybe I'll get a whole album out of her in 2021.

The Cruel Dynamic of Non-Support

 

scapegoat
*an excerpt from an author's musings*

"One of the worst things in the world for an abuse target to experience is a lack of support. It not only causes the person to feel isolated and shunned by others, but it also causes her to experience shame and beat herself up. There's a huge difference between "tough love" and additional emotional abuse

Emotional Abuse Often Comes in Mobs


Unfortunately, some people who experience abuse in their adult lives also have longstanding circles of unsupportive "friends" and "family members" with whom they go through similar cycles. These people sometimes leave them out in the cold when they plead for help in dangerous situations, form alliances with their abusers, blame them, or stop talking to them because they've taken an abuser back one too many times. In some cases, other people are so cruel that they laugh at a victim's pain. I know all of those experiences first hand. 
I even had someone laugh at my pain just a few years ago, and I never saw the person the same way again. 

Anyone who says cruel things or laughs at someone when she is hurting is not a friend at all. That individual enjoys kicking her when she's down, or they are jealous and controlling and want to hurt her because she tried to move on without them. Either way, it's additional emotional abuse, and it's not something that any survivor needs in her life.  

Targets Already Feel Bad


Individuals who experience narcissistic abuse already beat themselves up enough for the whole world.
They don't need so-called "tough love" when they go through pain. They don't need sadistic bursts of laughter. They don't need to hear from an ex/'friend' the unsolicited "blunt truth" about why someone else used them and threw them away. Most of the time, they already know that, and they just need comfort. They just need support and understanding, but they err by going to people who had hidden contempt for them all along. The contempt is much more apparent now because such people no longer need them. Thus, they no longer have to feign empathy and are now free to be their true sadistic selves. 

Recovery Takes Time


It can take a lifetime for someone to truly understand why she interacts with people in this manner and then take steps to see her way out of it for good.
The experts say it takes up to seven times for a person to leave an abusive relationship before she succeeds. This is especially true in a marriage, but it can also happen in a relationship or situationship. 

Unfortunately, just leaving one abusive relationship doesn't resolve the problem. Many survivors enter subsequent relationships that have the same dynamic because they are still trying to resolve a past hurt. They are still subconsciously gravitating toward someone who matches the personality and dynamic of the person or people who shattered them originally. 

Clarity Comes Eventually


Self-awareness might not come until later in life. A survivor will then attempt to change her lifestyle and undo unhealthy patterns once the awareness hits. That person might experience a wave of additional abuse as the above-mentioned "friends" and "family members" try to hold that person in her "position" as the emotional kick-around or scapegoat girl. A harsh, emotionally crushing "punishment" may be dealt out as a parting gift from the entire group as well.

The only solution to this problem is for the survivor to change her circle and press forward through the pain. The individual must walk away from the unhealthy dynamic and not worry about whether the other people will change their behaviors. She must stop tap dancing for the same audience and go to a venue where tap dancing isn't necessary. The new audience will cheer her just for having the courage to come to the show, not throw trash at her when she tries to take healthier steps.

Supportive people are out there. Compassionate and understanding people are out there. People who have similar stories are out there. Such people understand the importance of having a good support system, and they will handle newcomers with care. They won't laugh. They won't berate. They won't shame. They will simply offer understanding."

If the Ring Fits... Wear It

 

So one of my rings came today, but I got quite a scare over it. I was so tired today (iron must be low) that I fell asleep while in the middle of doing some work. The last thing I remember doing was chatting with the music engineer who's going to be working on my song. I decided to stop trying to do everything myself and have someone else mix and master my tunes. Honestly, I don't even enjoy the process. I like saving money, however. But bad mixing and mastering can make a good song sound horrible. 

Nowadays, our quality has to match that of other artists, or we'll never gain the kind of traction we might want. I've done "okay" on some of my songs, but the work has been shoddy on most of them, as compared to what actual engineers and long-term producers have done with my stuff. So we'll see what this fella can do. I'm going to listen to his mix and compare it to my rough mix. I think there will be a huge difference, lol. 

My ring was missing when I first went outside to look for it. I had fallen asleep uncontrollably, and the delivery message had come in while I was passed out. It was just gone, but the delivery people had taken a picture of it in front of my door. Thus, I had to conclude that someone else had helped himself to it. I was upset because I wanted to try it on. I thought I'd have to call the po-po just to get a report and then contact somebody to have it replaced. It's a sentimental item, and it's important for me to have it on my person. I bought the message, not the metal or stones. 

Fortunately, the po-po "found" the item. I don't give a damn what happened or what someone tried to do. I really don't care to press any issues, either. I just wanted my ring. 

The good news is that it fits well. Since I last wore a ring, I lost a few pounds, and it was just enough to make this piece take on a perfect fit. It's kind of small up close, but it's fine since I'll be adding another ring to it. 

Spent Some Time in the Ole Music Box

 

I never know how my days are going to go. I had a bad week last week. I had to deal with some extremely old information that came up and almost caused me to shame myself and bury myself in my home. It was really silly to go in on myself over it, but I did a little bit. No one likes their old skeletons and such being brought up, but everyone has them. Some of us feel shame much, much more than others, though. 

So I had planned to do something completely different from what I actually did yesterday. I was going to read some materials about dealing with shame, but I ended up working on songs and getting lost in the music. Not sure what happened there, lol. I sat down and listened to beats to see if I could get a spark to write, and I did.

I still love to create art. I just wish I had the right equipment to make perfect-quality tracks. If I ever hit the lottery, I think I'll buy myself a personal studio. There's only one problem with that: I don't play the lottery. Haha.

Singing has been quite a task lately. When we get older, we have to work 10 times harder at everything than we did when we were younger. We must work harder to have children, stay fit, stay awake, look good, etc. We have to work harder to sing, too. I used to be able to go for months or years without practicing, and then I could warm up in 20 minutes or so and sing something pretty well. I was never a very strong singer, but I could make something sound a little pretty if I took my time with it. Now it takes me even longer to get stuff right. 

The only exception is if I'm doing a gritty rock song or something. My deep, raspy voice is perfect for those types of songs. The Nirvana cover took only one recording, for example. It got a very good response from the music community, much better than I expected. I don't ever feel "out of my element" when I'm doing that type of song. It's when I have to try to do some ballad or R&B type thing that I get nervous. I LOVE the music. I just don't think I can sing it well. I can rap, though. 

Raspy rock is not always what I want to write and sing. This time I was in the mood for something else. I got two rough drafts put together, but they need lots of work. They need to be re-sang, remixed, re-everything. One is a mature version of something I wrote in 2012 and only sang once. 

The other song goes hard. That's all I can say, lol. It's some real ish. I never plan the content of my songs. It just comes out. I put this bomb-ass beat on my ears, and then stuff started coming out. 

Both tunes need a lot of work, but at least I didn't lose my love for music. Now, back to those shame readings. 

I Ordered Two Self-Love Rings

i am enough ring

I ended up getting two rings to wear. I hope to goodness they fit because the last time I wore a ring, it was a quarter size larger than the whole number. I'm praying I don't have to have them adjusted. I picked the two sterling silver ones that stated my business and intentions the best. 

I felt that "I Am Enough" said everything I needed to say to myself. I didn't need a long speech or three or four separate phrases. "I Am Enough." That is all. I don't need to shame myself for things I did in the past. I don't need to defend myself to anyone who is just as imperfect and flawed as I am. I don't need to backflip and tapdance for love, affection, attention, etc. And I don't need to do anything I don't want to do to try to make people like me. I am enough as I am, and if anyone doesn't accept me as I am, that's okay. Next.

vancaro i am enough ring
Vancaro sells a "sunflower" version of this ring, and this is how they described it: “'I am enough' means that you don’t have to strive to become more worthy, more valid, more acceptable, or more loved. You already are all of those things. It is also aimed at those ladies who love to embrace themselves and are not afraid of being themselves."

I didn't buy the gorgeous Vancaro one because I wanted to see if the one I got would fit. But I think the one I got has its own unique beauty. It's just for me. 

purity
The other ring I got was a gigantic purity ring. I want to wear that statement because that's where I'm at, and that's what I'm about. It doesn't matter what mistakes I made in the past or what I may or may not have accepted. I am forgiven because of "God's" grace and mercy, just like anyone else who humbly asks for it. Purity is what I stand for now, and anyone who approaches me will see that and get up out my face if they have any other ideas, haha. It will also remind me not to accept anything less than that. I am worthy of pure love, pure intentions, and pure commitment. I am worthy of being with someone who wants to see me succeed and grow in my faith, not cause me to stumble. I'm worthy of having someone who wants to grow with me as well. 

There's only one way anyone will ever get that purity ring off my finger, and it's going to require a level of effort that only someone who truly loves me will offer. If I never meet anyone willing to put forth that kind of effort, that's fine too, but I can't help 'em. I can rock the purity ring for the rest of my life and be just fine.

I'm not real big on jewelry, but I do wear it from time to time. I've always preferred silver to gold. Gold is okay. It's certainly the more expensive of the two metals, but I like silver much better. 

Sources:

https://www.vancaro.com/terms/products/item/402558

https://www.amazon.com

**All images are from Amazon.com and Vancaro product pages and are not the property of Timiarah S.**

Self-Love Jewelry: Yay or Nay? T's Thoughts

 

I am enough ring

Self-love jewelry is a current trend that people view with varying levels of approval. Some people think it's weird or "feminist" for a woman to buy herself a self-love jewelry item. Other people believe it's "sad" when a lady buys jewelry for herself. Then there's the portion of the world that truly gets it! Self-love jewelry isn't a feminist statement, an act of desperation, or a weird fetish. It's a statement that simply says this: I love myself even if no one else does. I will commit to myself, and I will gift myself as well. 

 I am Enough Ring

What Is Self-Love Jewelry?


Self-love jewelry can be any item that someone buys for herself. A woman can go out and buy a $2,000 diamond necklace for her own neck and call it a self-love item. However, the term "self-love jewelry" usually refers to jewelry that makes bold statements of self-love. The items are often inexpensive, but consumers can certainly find pricey ones if it floats their boats to do so. The jewelry comes in silver, gold, tungsten, diamond, and much more. I'm a simple girl with skin allergies. So I prefer my jewelry to be crafted of hypoallergenic silver or stainless steel and not the least bit flashy.


purity ring
The most common self-love jewelry items are rings. These rings have statements on them such as "I Am Enough," "I Am Worthy," "True Love Will Wait," "I Will Wait," "Purity," and so on. 

Celibacy and purity rings are self-love rings because of what the vows represent. They represent a commitment to oneself to accept nothing but the highest and purest forms of love in the future. They also symbolize a commitment to "God." Thus, they're also God-love rings. Such commitments can be made at any time in a person's life, and they would certainly justify the purchase of a purity ring.

purity ring


Perhaps the most interesting self-love ring on the market is the one that has the entire Serenity Prayer on it. This is a great item for a recovering codependent in the world. It reminds the wearer that she must focus on God and herself and not worry about the situations or people she can't change.


serenity prayer ring

My Take on Self-Love Jewelry


I'm all for it, and I think people should love on themselves a whole lot more. I've been thinking about buying myself a ring for a while now. To be honest, I want all the self-love rings in the post. But I can only choose one right now, and it will have to be the one that carries the statement I want to express the most. I'll be wearing the one I get for a very long time. 

**All images are from the ads of Amazon.com products and are not the property of Timiarah S. Visitors can find the links to such items throughout the blog post.**

Garden of Life? The Most Horrific Drink I've Ever Tasted

 

A few days ago was the first time in my entire life I spit out a drink because of its horrible taste. This "drink" was thick, lumpy, and horrifically pungent. I hope it was spoiled and wasn't supposed to taste like that because it was absolutely horrible. The expiration date was for some time in 2022, so I don't know. I was expecting a silky chocolate dream, and I got a... woo... I don't even have a word for it!

I still get a tinge of nausea when I think about how this drink tasted in my mouth. I tried it in the car and immediately opened the door and hack-spit it on the ground. I was so disgusted that I didn't even go back into the store to get my money back. I wanted to go home and wash my mouth out right away! 

There is no rating low enough for this "drink." I do not recommend it at all. As I said, it may have been spoiled. If it was spoiled, it still gets a negative rating for being spoiled. If it wasn't spoiled, the manufacturer needs to go back to the lab ASAP. They couldn't have taste-tested this. -1,000,000 stars.

Vitacost.com users had this to say about the product:

"This drink is only comparable to the lingering taste in your mouth after you have thrown up." - Mossy

"It tasted so horrible it was undrinkable. My roommate tasted it as well and spit it out." - Miranda

" I have no idea how this can taste so bad. There is no chocolate flavor. It is salty and acidic. Vomit and rotten fish smell come to mind." - Veggie

" I never knew there was a vomit flavoring out there but Garden of Life somehow found it and added it to this drink. " - lagray86

Now I know it wasn't spoiled. It was just horrible. 

Celebrating Celibacy


*An excerpt from a random author's musings*

"Celibacy is a wonderful thing for a woman. It serves as a protector for a goofy woman who only lies down with folks she "loves" but then settles without receiving any commitment. It's a type of spiritual purification for a woman who knows that she needs to stay pure for her spiritual gifts to resharpen. It also returns the self-esteem and self-respect to a woman who loses them when she falls for a lie or chases an illusion. 

No, the woman can't erase the past. She can't do anything about what other people may or may not think about her in general or the poor decisions she made in her past. She can't get the little piece of herself back that was manipulooted. But she can feel good about herself that she is now celibate again. 

As far as feeling guilty and allowing others to shame her... NOPE. She doesn't feel guilty, and she refuses to be shamed. Only one entity can judge her for whatever she may or may not have done. Only one entity has a Heaven or Hell to put her in. That same entity grants mercy and forgiveness for the dumb things people do while they're still learning. 

We all live and learn. Apparently, she still needed to learn another lesson after her previous six-year celibacy run. Some people are a little denser than others when it comes to matters of the heart. And for her, it was a matter of the heart. It's always a matter of the heart. That's why it didn't bother her in the least to return to celibacy... forever if necessary. She never cared much about having relations other than to create life or to express love. She can do without it... forever. 

She won't ever sell herself short again or accept anything less than what she deserves. D is a dime a dozen. Even if it's good, it isn't worth a damn without the commitment and mutual love. If it's not good, well, that's even worse. 

Love, care, and commitment are what she deserves. She is worthy of such things. She is good enough. She is valuable enough. She'll have all of those next time (with a healthy person, of course), or she'll have nothing. It's fine either way because she has learned to enjoy and appreciate her alone time just fine. 

1 year, 1 month, and counting...

She's eager to beat her own six-year record, even though she'll be old as crap by then."

First Experience With Gluten-Free Kale Crackers


Somebody went shopping the other day for an arsenal of gluten-free foods after she got sick from eating a gluten-free pizza that wasn't actually free of gluten. She's not sure whether the restaurant gave her the wrong pizza this time or if it was cross-contaminated with only a trace amount. That fact didn't matter much as the symptoms were the same. She won't be playing around with iffy restaurant foods anymore. 

She purchased the above-pictured crackers to settle her stomach. Everyone eats crackers and drinks ginger ale when they're sick, right? Well, unfortunately, regular crackers were out of the question. They had to be gluten-free. 

Why she grabbed kale crackers, she'll never know. It's not like she eats kale regularly. In fact, she hardly ever eats kale unless it comes in some kind of mixed-veggie smoothie or some such. Still, something made her grab the expensive kale crackers even after finding several other gluten-free options. Who eats kale crackers? 

She ended up getting those kale crackers and some green tea mixed with ginger to flush the gluten out, deflate the belly, calm the intestines, etc. 

She bit the first cracker slowly.

"Ew! Gross!"

She tasted nothing but kale. 

"Kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk."

That should have been the end of it, but something made her try again and eat another cracker. 

"I guess I'll get used to it." 

Then another cracker...

"These aren't too bad."

Then another cracker...

"These are kinda good."

Then several other crackers...

"The whole box is gone?"

She rated the kale crackers with five out of five stars. 

"It takes a minute to get used to the strong kale taste, but after that, you start to appreciate the saltiness and the overall texture of the cracker. As for settling the stomach, they're not too bad for that. They don't cause any additional problems, even though they're jam-packed with a green veggie. My nausea went away." 

The consumer will purchase another box of those crackers ASAP. Her symptoms are much better today, though she has a long way to go before everything heals completely. 

I Like the Detroit: Become Human Game for PS4


I love gaming, but my gameplay is so sporadic that I couldn't justify getting a PS5, not that I could find one anyway. I almost picked one up at Walmart online many months ago. Unfortunately, the system cleared from my basket several times while I was trying to purchase it, and then I got the "sold out" message. Oh well. PS4 it is.

I usually play fighting games and race car games, but I decided to try some interactive story games. First, I tried "Life Is Strange," but I wasn't really feelin' it. Then came "Detroit: Become Human." I enjoy this one a lot. It has a great storyline, and the graphics are super-real. I like the concept of making different choices and seeing how the outcome unfolds. I don't always make the right choices, though. I decided to play Markus as a revolutionary/vigilante with the "protect the mission at all costs" mentality. That didn't work out too well yesterday. I think I just opened up a can of war. Oops. 

I think Kara is my favorite character of them all. I like her human-like love for the little girl. I'm neutral towards Connor. I think his abilities are cool, but he's not my favorite droid. He's a little too droidy for me, haha. So I  play him to make compassionate and empathetic decisions every chance I get. 

I may dig into it a little more today. We'll see. 

Lifehouse: Good and Grungy


Some of the songs from Lifehouse's old album "No Name Face" have been on my driving playlist lately. It's hard to believe that these songs are 20 years old. Wow. I remember seeing "Hanging by a Moment" on MTV over and over and over again back in the day. Their music didn't really catch on with me at first. I felt like Jason Wade's voice didn't match his looks (he looked super-young but had a grown man's voice), but then I started to like it. 

He has one of the s*xiest rock/alternative/post-grunge voices of all time. It's kinda deep and grungy (which I love), but then it breaks out in those whiney, painful falsetto bits from time to time (see: "Somebody Else's Song") that are also quite dreamy.

But I didn't like Lifehouse just for the voice. Their lyrics were deep, as well. I remember listening to "Sick Cycle Carousel" one day with one of my female besties as we were discussing the extremely unhealthy relationship I was in at the time.

"If shame had a face

I think it would kind of look like mine

If it had a home would it be my eyes?

Would you believe me

If I said I'm tired of this?

Well here we go now one more time"  

I really liked that song too, but I'll have to say that my favorite song on the album is "Simon." I'm not sure if it's as popular as "Hanging by a Moment," but it always gets played when I'm on a Lifehouse kick. Its vocal arrangement is gorgeous, but it also has a deep meaning. When asked about the song, Wade said the following:

"I wrote this about a friend of mine who told me about his childhood. He was telling me how he went to school and was the outcast, and everyone picked on him and called him names, and he didn't have one friend. I started feeling the same emotions he must have felt and just started writing these lyrics... The feeling of being alone, of being abandoned, connects to that. So "Simon" came really easily."

Some confusion existed over the years about whether Lifehouse was a "Christian" band. Wade concluded that the band wasn't a Christian band but that he was a Christian. There's a difference. Christian bands generally focus their content on the Creator. But bands with Christian members don't always do that. I always thought Lifehouse's songs had a lot of substance to them. I like music with good substance, deep lyrics. 

My personal taste in music has always been very diverse. I mess with all genres and have quite a variable playlist. I loved the grunge era to pieces. Some Lifehouse songs remind me of that grunge. 


Sources:

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/lifehouse/simon

https://lifehousemusic.com/

https://th.bing.com/th/id/Ra5c549abe8eae8e473e871afa1f94f70?rik=oyagrw0ECGTc6Q&pid=ImgRaw


The Peace and Power in Forgiveness

 

Forgiveness is something that you give to another person for yourself in many cases. Not everyone who wrongs you is going to ask for forgiveness. In fact, many people won't care enough about hurting you to request such a thing. Still, it's something that needs to be done for your sake, not the other person's sake. Letting go of the resentment you have in your heart is liberating. It unties you not only from the other person, but from the bondage of anger, hurt, rumination, and regret. You don't have to forgive them to their face or give them a dramatic speech about it. You can do it at any time and in any place, without saying a single word to the other person. 

It's understandable that you might want to hold onto the negative feelings, though. Sometimes, it can feel quite good to allow resentment and anger to boil in your blood over something someone took from you or the way someone betrayed you. Perhaps you feel that your anger will somehow torch your enemies from afar and cause them to burst into flames. You might feel like, "Hell, they don't deserve any forgiveness from me." 

Maybe not, but you deserve forgiveness. You deserve to be set free from the situation, whatever it is. Nine times out of 10, the other person isn't giving you or your wellness a second thought, but you're still hurting and boiling over something that happened a week, month, year, or decade(s) ago. Even worse, some people might be getting a sick pleasure from your inner turmoil. Do you want to let a sicko win? 

When you forgive somebody, you take that big plate of destruction, devastation, and defeat, and you throw it right back at whoever served it to you. You didn't order that dish, and you're not going to eat or digest it. Hurl it from your table and toss it back their way. "I forgive you." That plate is now on them. Enjoy. 

You can now leave the restaurant and let them pay for the meal. 

The Resentment of Unmet Expectations

*an excerpt from some author's musings*

"The main cause of our resentment toward other people is that such people fail to meet our expectations. Sometimes, we harbor preconceived expectations and then become crushed if someone doesn't meet them. Sometimes, we then attempt to control our environments or situations to have those expectations met. And again, we become crushed if it doesn't work out.
 

  • We expect our caretakers to nurture and protect us.
  • We expect our family members to support us in our endeavors, achievements, failures, battles, victories, losses, etc. because they're family.
  • We expect other people to love us because we love them.
  • We expect people to love us equally.
  • We expect others to be kind to us just because we're kind to them.
  • We expect people to like us because we're hella likable. 
  • We expect people not to hurt us.
  • We expect people not to take advantage of us just because it isn't nice to do so.
  • We expect people to be honest with us if we're honest with them. 
  • We expect loyalty, commitment, and dedication if we give it. 
  • We expect fair treatment.
     

The list goes on and on.

Four major flaws exist in this way of thinking and the patterns of behavior that follow it:

  • We can't control anything or anyone except ourselves.
  • We can't expect other people to be us.
  • We can't enter relationships with an ROI (Return on Investment) mindset.
  • Life ain't always fair. 

Possible Solutions:

Never Say Yes When You Mean Hell No

Doing things we don't want to do with the expectation of receiving something in return is hazardous to our health. It's best only to do things we really want to do and not expect anything in particular in return. It's best to do what we want to do in moderation, as well. For example, we should learn to regulate our "emotional generosity" and not give our entire hearts to those who haven't even shown us that they deserve them. Why commit to someone who hasn't committed? Why give loyalty when loyalty isn't given or requested? It doesn't make sense. 

Respect Other People's Free Will 

Everyone in this world has free will. Thus, they have the right to choose how they behave and interact with other people. We can't expect other people to use their free will the same way we choose to use ours, and we can't expect reflections of ourselves to come to us as relationship partners. People are who they are, and we must allow them to be themselves. 

The better choice might be to date ourselves for a while. We can love ourselves and be dedicated and committed to our own wellness. We can invest in ourselves and get the wonderful ROI of abundant happiness. We can meet our own expectations until the right person comes along. Furthermore, we have a loving Creator who will give us all the comfort, love, companionship, dedication, loyalty, care, and assistance we need. We might want to see Him for some of that TLC we're missing. We also might want to see Him about having some of our character defects removed.

Don't Be Afraid to GTFO

We can always choose to step away from those who treat us in unhealthy ways, for we also have free will. We can choose not to go along with unacceptable behaviors, mistreatment, or one-sided relationships. No one can make us stay or put up with any such things."   


6 Balloons Movie: Great Codependency Flick


There aren't too many movies out there with a codependency theme, but "6 Balloons" is one such movie. Interested persons can only view it on Netflix. 

It's themed around the relationship between a codependent sister and a heroin-addicted brother, but it can apply to any type of relationship where one person has an addiction or abusive behaviors, and the other person tries desperately to "save" that person or change that person's behavior. The codependent individual often unknowingly neglects her loved ones, job, children, and even herself because she focuses so much on "changing the other person." She may also exhibit destructive behaviors if things don't go her way. That's why codependency is its own addiction.

The first thing we see in the movie is the main character, Katie, planning a huge birthday celebration for her boyfriend. We then see a glimpse of the dynamics between Katie and her parents, but they don't give us a whole bunch. We see Katie's mother insulting her looks and telling her what she should and shouldn't wear to the party. At one point, the mother says to her, "You look good," after Katie conforms to her makeup "suggestions." Katie smiles, and then the mother immediately reneges on her compliment by saying, "Well... better." So many messages came through in that scene: "You're still ugly but a little better looking now that you've done what I told you," and "What you did still wasn't good enough" came to mind. That had to hurt. Katie tries to laugh it off and handle it passively as if it doesn't bother her, but we know better. 

The father is an unemotional person who tells everyone to "suck it up" when they're in pain. He has no other solutions and doesn't really console anyone. He doesn't do emotions. So there's that. 

So the movie starts with a little glimpse of the family dynamics and Katie running around to get everything done for the party. Throughout the movie, we hear an inspirational tape playing and telling Katie which part of her codependent cycle she's in.

Katie's father was supposed to pick up the brother, Seth, and his daughter for the party. However, he dumps the responsibility onto Katie and asks her to grab him instead. Katie complies and goes to pick him up on the way to get the cake for the party.

When Katie gets to Seth's house, she finds that Seth has started using heroin for the umpteenth time, and his daughter is a bit unkempt. She then wants to "help him" by forcing him to go to detox. He agrees to go to detox but insists that she keep everything a secret.

A few minutes later, we see Seth insult Katie by calling her "incompetent" and then teaching his two-year-old daughter to say the same thing about her. Are we seeing some more of the family dynamics here? Katie again laughs it off like it's no big deal that her brother taught his daughter to say that she's incompetent. 

SMH

Everything changes once Seth gets to the detox facility and starts having withdrawal symptoms. He calls Katie and asks her to leave the party and "rescue him" from the facility. He then asks her to involve herself in getting him "just a little bit" of drugs to ease his pain. The cycle continues from there. 

Pretty soon, Katie is absent from the party, not answering her phone, and enmeshing herself in Seth's issues and problems, all because she thinks she can save him, and things will be different this time.

I won't give away the ending, but I'll say that this was an excellent flick of a certain niche. There aren't enough of these movies around, in my opinion.