Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm psychic, life sucks sometimes, eat another cookie. #LetsBlogOff

We’re taking a break from our regularly scheduled fabulosity to talk happy, happy, joy, joy today in response to the latest Let’s Blog Off question. Let’s Blog Off being the avenue for which multiple bloggers get to mouth off about the same topic. Gawd bless the internet.

The Blog Off gods are asking as this decade ends - a decade of 9/11 and tsunamis and hurricanes and recessions and Justin Bieber – did we gain something worthwhile? Is there something we can look forward to now and a reason to be optimistic for the future? Is there cheer?  I'm feeling cranky verbose today so my answer is "You're asking the wrong question." But let's break it down ModSauce style. [MS sidebar: there is no ModSauce style unless you count rambling and inappropriate jokes about jesus a style but it sounds cool if you say it like that.]

Gavin Potenza

But first let me tell you this: I'm a psychic. It's totally true. One time I had this dream about a black leather purse with ruffles - yes leather RUFFLES - and then two days later I saw it in a vintage store. I HAD to buy it because the cosmos basically dream-told me to. Also I sometimes have dreams about friends that are really vivid and usually involve details that I have no prior knowledge of.  Oddly it only works on dudes (sorry ladies!) and sometimes those details are super sexy and... wait maybe those are different kinds of dreams.  Anyway, the purse story still proves I'm psychic. Because I know what's going to happen in the future: more bad shit is gonna go down. Lots of it. I don't know when or where but it is DEFINITE and pretty tragic. It’s going to happen to you too. These things just come to me - it's a gift and a curse.

So in light of this stunning revelation I just laid on you, if you are feeling cheerful that the worst is over and that you’ll never encounter a tragedy like the ones in this past decade then you are dumb. Shit happens. It’s life. Eat another cookie. If you feel cheerful because ‘even though we’re in a recession and I lost my retirement savings at least we’ve all learned how to be more mindful and value the things that really matter in life’ you are less dumb but kinda deluded. That might be true for some people but it’s presumptuous to think that we as a country/community have shifted our entire mindset to have our priorities straight. We can all hope, but if you’ve stood in line at a Walmart recently I think you’ll agree mindfulness is a luxury.

So do we have a reason to be optimistic? I don't know... DO you have a reason? The blog off question (which is the question the media seems to be asking too) kinda supposes blanket answers like the one in the paragraph above. That times were tough and we’ve all learned our lesson and we’ll be happy now that we’ve seen the error of our ways and the bad people are far far away. I think people somehow EXPECT for there to be blanket cheerful solutions for life’s woes. Although a nice box of wine usually does wonders for all kinds of ills… The issue is not that there isn’t cause for optimism but that people assume their happiness will be handed to them and when they receive tragedy instead they look at it with stunned indignity.

Being happy is a state of mind and a choice. It is not a right. You are not entitled to happiness and you certainly are not more entitled to it because you work harder than the people around you. Happiness is not a reward for being a good person or for overcoming tough obstacles. People operate under the assumption that if you work really hard in your job and do good things and help people that somehow we'll all be rewarded with mansions in the sky and tax breaks and lake houses full of North Face jackets and ipods full of Justin Bieber. But there’s a reason we have the cliché ‘bad things happen to good people.’ Because they do. And to all people. You can’t control what life gives you, only how you react to it.

So I think the right question to ask is: have you made the decision to be happy about your life despite however shitty it might appear at the present moment? That’s easier said than done sometimes – especially if you’re one of those people that doesn’t have a job right now or is standing in line at a Walmart. It’s also a question you can only answer for yourself.

At the ModSauce Ranch, I’m pretty optimistic for the near future because I'm buying myself a really damn expensive kitchen! But it’s not all shiny tiles and buffets of beautiful paint chips – there will be crying and yelling and excess wine and washing dishes in the bathroom sink and probably undiscovered horrors in my subfloor that are just waiting to kill my bank account. Not including the budget I’ll continue to be on after it’s done and the fear of making the right decisions and the remorse of wishing for better ones and omigod why am I doing this again??!!! But in the end I’ll still get a new kitchen and I’ll just share all the horrors with you in hilarious blog posts. I like to be greedy with the rewards but share the shitty parts. I believe that’s called capitalism.

While I realize how fortunate I am to be able to (barely) afford a project like this I’ll still have to make sacrifices for it. I worked hard to save my money and spent loads of time researching and making spreadsheets and phone calls and verbal threats to make it happen. So the kitchen will be built and it will be glorious and I accept all the inevitable drama that will come with it. But expecting that I will somehow be a better cook when it’s finished and turn into Martha Stewart because of it isn’t optimism, it’s delusion. Just like spending your life working hard thinking you will avoid hardships and doing the right thing thinking it will provide you with happiness isn’t being optimistic it’s being delusional. Happiness is not having all of your expectations fulfilled, it is a choice you make with your heart after making intelligent choices with your brain.  Ok sometimes those brain choices are optional but it helps...

I’m having another psychic moment because I think I’ll be exceedingly happy pouring cocktails on that shiny new laminate-counters-that-I-wish-were-quartz and eating raw cookie dough standing next to my new cabinets because I spent all my money on a kitchen and still don’t have any furniture to sit on while I eat that cookie dough… I’m optimistic I’ll figure that part out eventually.

Go here to read everyone else's thoughts today...  I don't know if they're psychic but I bet they're pretty cool.


  1. Amen sister. I'm forever surprised when people expect to be made happy by their circumstances and are disappointed when their circumstances fail to make them happy.

  2. Your #letsblogoff post, kicked my post's wordy butt! I love it. When I wrote about the value of being optimistic, I hadn't considered Justin Bieber at all.

    If one factors in Bieber, it changes the whole equation. I think I will go pull the car into the garage and turn on the engine...or maybe just eat another cookie.

    In truth, my garage is full of lumber, and I just can't be bothered to unstack it. Still, Justin Bieber is almost a scary as an astroid destorying the planet.

    Great post.

  3. Paul - circumstances schmircumstances. You make your own happiness. But when in doubt blame someone else. ; )

    Brian - Thanks! Never underestimate the power of the Bieber!! Let's try to avoid suicide with carbs... it's always worked for me in the past.

  4. Psychic? right, how many fingers am I using to point at my crotch?

    That's right, all of them.

    Fab post as always.

  5. Apparently my abilities only involve stylish accessories or things a lot filthier than crotch-pointing... ; )

  6. If you're so psychic, when will my espresso machine arrive? FedEx said Friday last week...hmm?? Other people need to fab up their kitchens to, you know. Share the wealth of prescience...please.

    And oh yeah, good post - Great Expectations is not only the name of a classic, but also a novel idea. Novel, not realistic. I could now ramble on about how using our hearts to decide on happiness is a romantic ideal, and compare that to realist ideals in literature and how they apply to your post, but I will refrain because this comment (and, particularly, this sentence as I've even resorted to parenthetical clauses) is getting awfully long. You stopped reading five sentences ago, didn't you?

  7. I'm only psychic about hot guys so I think your espresso machine is not being handled by a hottie. sowwy.

    I read your whole comment because if you managed to stumble through my post and write a comment AND the captcha phrase then you deserved my utmost attention. Ramble all you want - this is a pro-ramble zone. Thanks for making literary references to my posts - it makes me feel super smarty farty.

  8. Lawdy Madame, am I happy happy to know a bona fidey psychic. ye gawds. I'm a believer.

    beautiful post, and no disappointment on the sass alotment. You poured it on.

    Yr ideas reminded me of.. maybe it was Lily Tomlin who said: "you dont really control much and sometimes your only choice is attitude." or something close to that. I think you and she would be grand friends. and I would join that group, gladly.

    Youre so right, we all get knocked around and sometimes.. we still get to soar. happiness is knowing that you stepped up.
    cindy @urbanverse

  9. I adore Lily Tomlin! How fun! Let's all be friends together and eat cookies and drink wine.

    I think you are both right - you can only control your own attitude and actions. Once you truly believe that, it is a quite liberating feeling. That freedom will allow you to soar in all manner of circumstances.

    Thanks for your lovely comment Cindy!

  10. I'm always giggling (or peeing myself with hysteria) while reading your posts. You're Gifted (in all the good ways of course). You da bomb diggity. (I would have said just "da bomb", but my hubby tells me that's too 80's & the proper term now is bomb diggity.) Great observations, as usual! Can't wait to see pics of the kitchen. :-)

  11. Oh, how I wish I was psychic. All I can do is sense the paranormal. Le sigh.

  12. Tammy - your compliments make me pee myself. I'll gladly accept da bomb or da bomb diggity because I live about 20 years behind coolness so I don't know the difference anyway. Getting ready to have mad push towards kitchen - updates soon!!

    Tanoshiboy - Thanks for visiting! I always welcome new readers even if they only have mediocre paranormal talents. ; )

  13. Great!

    Now not only will our retinas burn from the pure awesomeness and fabulosity, but our minds will likely explode as you turn your psychic talents to an all-out mental assault inside the minds of your readers.

    I was wondering what the climate event on the distant South East horizon was (what, with all the dusty-cloudy vortices). I thought it might be the demolition of the ModSauce ranch kitchen.

    No matter, I'm glad to see there are others out there that realize that "happiness" is more a decision than an outside circumstance.

    My apologies for the length of this response, but I'm beginning to think that the whole "mediocrity" thing is nothing more than a "facade".


  14. Cookie dough... ;-) My grandmother made really good cinnamon rolls, and I loved to sneak some of the dough, whenever she wasn't looking. I liked it so much that I watched her until I figured out how to make it myself. For years, that was the only cooking (OK, baking) I ever did, although sometimes, I ate most of the dough before baking anything. One time my dog got into the dough and ate it all, and then swelled just short of bursting when it rose!

    Not sure why I told that story...

  15. Izzy - I think you're safe because my psychic powers work best when in closer geographic proximity. Usually... but I'll let you know if I get any tingles.

    Unfortunately the dustbowl you see is just my yard from the lack of rain we have been getting. When the MS kitchen is demo'd it will be a monumental event I will announce from the rooftops. Until then, it's pure unadulterated mediocrity. Probably mediocrity to follow. And yes mediocrity is the truth - I've just chosen to be happy about it. ; )

    Steve - I think that's a fantastic story that makes me happy! (See how I brought that full circle?!) I make a special icebox cookie from my grandmother's recipe SOLELY for the purposes of eating the dough! My cat avoids cookie dough thankfully otherwise it would be a dough war... Thank you for stopping by!

  16. I was reading my 17 yr old niece's Facebook page and she had posted, "If you are kind and work really hard, amazing things will happen." As sweet as that sounds, I wanted to immediately launch into an essay bringing her back to reality. Rather than embarrass her with a weird comment from her 45 yr old aunt lurking on her Facebook page, I think I'll figure out a way for her to read your post..... I'll use cookie dough to lure her in. (when she was little we created a "cookie dough club" for the two of us because we both loved cookie dough so much.)

  17. Wow Denese, you sound like me with my teen-aged nieces and nephews. I like your idea of having them read the Madame here rather than have their 45-year-old uncle crush their delusions of youth.

  18. Ah wayward youth... I'd love to be able to crush their dreams on your behalf! If she gets too upset you can stop her tears by shoving her mouth full of cookie dough. Usually works for me.

    I can't wait until my niece and nephew are older and I can still be the cool aunt but I'll send them y'alls way for the really hard lessons. We should form some sort of aunt/uncle club teaching about life's tragedies. We'll serve cookie dough. And wine.

    Welcome to the Sauce Denese!

  19. hmm, does the Madame have a brother or sister that would like to adopt me? I think I should like to get in on the benevolence being dished out here (i.e. cookie dough, wine, and perhaps an inexplicable transfer of the psychic gene)

  20. Can't wait to see how we stay in happy place during described kitchen remodel (other than copious amounts of wine) Good luck!

  21. Chamois - well there's lots of cookie dough in the family but it's balanced by a lot of redneck-iness. Your call. ; )

    Kitchens for Living - me and you both! It's my first project of this size so it'll definitely be a lesson in practicing what I preach. You can all say I told you so in the end if I fail miserably and decide that pretty backsplash tile REALLY does make me happy. (it does kinda...)