Thursday, February 23, 2017

Life Without Facebook

Just over one month ago, I deactivated my Facebook account.  The decision was several months in the making, so life without Facebook is working out just fine.

Yes, election season played a large part in my decision.  For the past six months or so, Facebook has been full of opinionated people who refuse to see another person's perspective.  I can't remember the last time I heard someone say "I understand what you are saying, but what if we thought about it this way...."  Instead, I just heard and read "You're wrong!  I'm right!"

I'm not sure when everyone became an expert on every.single.subject.  I even grew tired of reading the opinions with which I agreed.

I tried the approach of unfollowing and defriending people who seemed to only post about politics.  Unfortunately, that decision led me to seeing less from people who I really used to enjoy. 

Moreover, I noticed people were looking to fight about any topic.  Back in September, I posted about a police involved shooting that happened two miles from my house.  It was a situation that upset me because the story was suspicious and it happened so close to my home.  People who have never liked or commented on my posts, or even wished me a Happy Birthday, had something to say to me for the first time in ten years.  I had defended the black man and not the police which did not sit well with some of my Republican and Conservative "friends."

By January, people were picking fights with me about the Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton.  No disrespect to my home team, but they weren't even relevant at this point on the season.  Why was someone trying to bring his name up?

Every day became a new topic that someone wanted to fight about.  I tried not to engage, but there are some things I cannot overlook.  I realized it was going to be best for me to walk away.

Not looking at Facebook every day has been a breath of fresh air.  I feel happier.  I roll my eyes less.  I'm less aware of what is going on in the world, but isn't that what the news is for?

If you were to ask, "Do you miss anything about Facebook?" I would have a handful of items:
1. The birthday reminder.  I don't need to wish a Happy Birthday to that girl from high school that I haven't seen in nearly twenty years, but I did use it as a calendar for my friends birthdays.
2. Stalking people.  Yep, I said it.  You can type someone's name into Facebook and there is probably a 95% chance you can find out what they look like, if they are single, where they work, etc.
3. My photos.  I'm realizing that I used Facebook as my photo album and a lot of my photos are not backed up anywhere else.

While this blog isn't meant to inspire anyone else to delete Facebook, you should know that you can survive without.  Until we can MAKE FACEBOOK GREAT AGAIN, you can keep up with me here or on Instagram.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Caprese Flatbread (NEW RECIPE)

Apparently, converting salads to pizzas is my go-to lately.  If you enjoy a Caprese Salad, then you will also like the version I made on a flatbread.

Before we get started with the recipe, I want to provide a quick pronunciation guideline for this style of salad.  It is ca-pray-zeh.  I've heard people say it like it has two ee's (Capreese).  If you have ever ordered it that way in a restaurant, no worries.  Now you know.

The salad version consists of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, salt, and olive oil.  The first three ingredients are traditionally sliced and layered while finishing with the last two ingredients.

My flatbread version is not much different. I modified it slightly by adding drizzled Balsamic Vinegar on my layers before baking.

Here is a step by step instruction on the recipe:

1. Prepare the flatbread.  Depending upon what you purchase, you may need to thaw it or let it rise.
2. Slice two Roma tomatoes.  Add the slices on the doughy flatbread.
3. Slice Mozzarella and layer on the flatbread.  I did mine in between each tomato, but the style is up to you.
4. Thinly slice Basil.  I used about seven leaves and placed them on top of the mozzarella slices.
5. Add a touch of salt and pepper.  Chef's call on how much.
6. Drizzle Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar across the toppings and flatbread.
7. Bake according to flatbread package instructions. (Mine was 10-12 minutes at 450 degrees)

I hope you enjoy it!  Let me know if you do.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Shame on You, Body Shamers

Last night, the New England Patriots won another Super Bowl.  Yawn.  While their victory was marked by an epic second half comeback, the most impressive performance of the night was from Lady GaGa.  
She started the performance from the roof of the dome.  I'm reading today that portion was taped, but still.  Once she landed on stage, she delivered a 13 minute medley of some of her biggest hits.  No need to bring out anyone else - she owned that stage.
Every note was sung live.  She danced her ass off.  Pyro was everywhere.  She played the piano.  GaGa ended the performance in the only way that made sense - by dropping the mic.

So guess what people are talking about today?  Her stomach.  During the live broadcast, she changed from a metallic bodysuit to sparkly bikini bottoms with a midriff baring top resembling football pads.  
GaGa has an incredible body.  Yes, she has curves.  She also has a rock hard physique that is necessary when singing and dancing the way she does all the time.
Apparently, the "internet experts" saw the small amount of skin that protruded from her stomach and appeared over the briefs from the not so flattering angles.  
I won't highlight any of the haters by name on this blog, but the tweets are out there.  Some saying she needs to lose weight and that it was a poor wardrobe choice.
The body shaming has to stop.  People are ignoring all of the great elements of her performance and focusing on an small amount of loose skin.  
Can we just let women be the superstars they want to be without objectifying them?  The average woman already has enough trouble feeling confident in her own skin without all the body shamers out there ripping apart someone that looks like this...Lady GaGa pics - photos courtesy of @womenshealthmag