Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Benefits of Not Being Anonymous

or, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Internet... Hard, Fast, and Apologetic Afterward"

I love anonymous bloggers. The mystery of who they could be, and if I might have already met them at some point in my life, and the openness of their stories (names excluded, obviously). It's great. but not everyone seems to agree. In some cases, a lot of negativity is hurled at these people who want to tell their stories and still have some privacy, and that's kind of depressing.

From the day that I started blogging, I've been out in the open. Even before then, on message boards like 9thWonders and a few others, I've openly listed my name, birth date, and the area that I live in. Maybe it comes from years of low self-esteem, but I figured that nobody would choose to track me down for murder-rape and any other bad things. Even my Twitter handle is my first and last name, just like my blog URL. I gave up on internet privacy a long time ago, and haven't had to worry about crazy people since... well, except for Kelly and Ralph, but I've grown pretty fond of them and their kids.

I think that the mystery of those anonymous bloggers, alluring in more than a few cases, is the problem and not just the draw. Most people aren't really the type to let a mystery stay as it is, especially not one as "minor" as who the blogger could be. Sometimes that results in wondering about your interactions with people ("could _____ be that cool blogger?"), and sometimes people unfortunately take it to the dark side, and get a little stalker-y.

The problem is that this "minor" mystery is only minor to these people. To the blogger, the mystery is their identity, their everything. Anonymous users can be - and have been - tracked down by their "fans", making the paranoid attitude towards the internet that much more reasonable.

For two years, I've aired out my "dirty laundry", on this blog and in the earlier days of Random Ramblings, and haven't had any problems. Maybe it's because I'm an uninteresting asshat (I'm willing to keep that possibility open), but the lack of mystery might have an effect too, even if my small readership never really thought about it that way.

How did I make the decision to be publicly me? Because I figured nobody would care enough to stalk me. What are my results? Local friendships, a visit from Australia, and a fantastic trip to the east coast, with a lot of fun spending time with Matt, Nikki, Sohail and so many other cool people that I met through them. I've had nothing but good come from my openness so far, and hope that continues.

So, to all of the anonymous bloggers - I'd love to meet you some day, if you're anywhere near my part of Washington, and I love your blogs. The internet doesn't all suck, and not everyone online is out to destroy your life. Keep blogging, despite your bad experiences, and I'll keep reading.

To everyone else, thank you for your impact on my life. You all are fucking awesome.


In the interest of continued openness, I'm going to start sharing stories that I haven't told yet, or haven't told the whole story. I've got a few listed, so you can take your pick of which:

    • Life Without Religion
    • Worst Stripper Bar Ever
    • Never Again, Greyhound
    • Better Off Platonic
    • Verbal Diarrhea
    • When I Was "The Other Guy"
    • Stupid Orange Bastards
    • You Got Some Nerd On Me

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DELICIOUS: The "Muenster Mash"

You like the name? Maybe it's not as amusing to everyone else as it is to me, but it cracked me up when I thought of it, so it works for me. After all, I'm the only one that I have to amuse. :P

It may not be as seasonally-appropriate as my chicken noodle soup was, but it's another one that takes less than half an hour, and I'd say that it turned out better than the soup did. Just like the soup, there was something great about it: I had no idea what I was making when I started doing it. I pulled some eye round steaks, veggies and seasonings out of the fridge and went with what felt like a good idea.

Green onions
Steak (cut is your preference, I used some eye round steaks that I had handy)
Muenster cheese
Hot sauce (optional)
Seasonings to taste

  • Dice up the vegetables, and then use a blender to get them really fine. I used the Magic Bullet that I got in July to get them pretty well tossed-together and minced up.
  • Cut the steak(s) into bite-sized pieces and toss it into a medium-sized bowl with the vegetables.
  • Here's the part where you have to get creative on your own - seasonings/sauces to mix in with it. I've used two different hot sauces the two times I've made it, and both turned out great (the first was Laughing Bull hot sauce, and the other was Dat'l Do It "datil gold" hot sauce). I've also put a bit of soy sauce, salt/pepper, onion powder, and steak seasoning in mine.
  • Put your chosen seasonings/sauces into the bowl, cover it with some sort of plastic wrap, and shake the hell out of it to make sure that it gets thoroughly mixed. Then toss it in either a lightly-oiled pan, or a good non-stick pan and fry it up. Normally I like my steak to be medium-rare, but with pieces these small and this particular meal, there's not much room for anything other than well-done little pieces.
  • Finally, dice up some muenster cheese (or, if you insist on using another cheese, you can - horseradish cheddar would work well) and mix it in as it melts. I served my "Muenster Mash" on thick-cut slices of French bread, as seen above.

So, here's another delicious meal that satisfies at least a portion of everything in the food group, including fruit if you use the datil pepper hot sauce like I did. I definitely recommend using the hot sauce unless you absolutely can't handle hot sauces or peppers - but if that's the case, you should avoid my cooking-related posts anyway, because I put the stuff in almost everything!

I've been working a little too much to post more often, but I might have some exciting news to share soon. I'll keep you posted, and you'll also be able to see my contributions to the Grays Harbor Down blog, a community project started by a friend of mine!