I graduated from South Kitsap High School 20 years ago this Summer.

Good God, Lemon...

Our reunion was Saturday. I did not attend because the Emerald City/ReedPop annual camp out was over the weekend. I don't regret my choice, but I did not simply blow off the idea of going to the reunion. I would have gone if the camp out was on a different weekend...and the MST3K Live Seattle performance was another night...the reunion would have been my third choice. I know that this makes it sound like I have a busy social life, but I can honestly say that this was just a freak circumstance.

There is an active Facebook page for our class full of conversation topics, photos, and people expressing their apologies for not being able to attend the festivities. Topics of conversation range from "How many kids do you have?" to "Occupation?" to "Where on the high school hierarchy did you place yourself?"

What a hell of a question. I thought about it, but didn't reply. Where was I in the cliques and groups? I honestly have no idea. I spent most of time in the theater and photography labs. I was (am) an artist, builder, creator, team player, and a "good kid". I was only kicked out of class for sneezing and got detention for being late to a class (cause of lateness: I started my period and had to take care of that - got detention because I didn't have a doctors note for being late. Yeaaaaa...) I did not actively seek out to become accepted into a labeled group. I just existed. I had fun. I had friends that did a little of everything. I liked high school.

I read some of the responses to the Facebook conversation. To my surprise, a large amount of the people that would have been labeled as popular" or part of a clique typed out "I was invisible." or "I felt alone" or "I never fit in anywhere"

"Holy shit" Mary exhaled in surprise. No. Really.

High school cliques have existed for decades. We were so used to seeing these groups glorified and vilified in most of the media we consumed growing up. No one talked about anxiety or depression or abuse. We all just assumed that we would fall into the appropriate groups OR we had to "work hard" to be accepted into certain groups ... and somehow being in these cliques (that held no financial or educational benefit) would result in fame, riches, and success in the eyes of society. Pretty lofty bullshit for a city of 7,000 (at the time).

As my fellow classmates of 1997 reflect on their time in high school, we find out that the majority of the group felt invisible...unimportant..alone...

If I knew then what I know now, I would have had the know-how to reach out to my classmates and befriend folks who needed it. There is no competition...we were all in this together.

I encourage you all to understand that these groups - jocks and geeks and theater nerd and band nerds and eggheads and so on - don't matter. How we treat each other matters. How we help each other matters. We can turn to our groups for specific interests, but being a theater geek should never have meant "anit-jock" and vice versa. These cliches were/are treated as binary polar opposites...like political parties. Let's break that cycle of bullshit. Having different skills doesn't make you any better than another group. Now that my "generation" are ...ugh...ADULTS, we have the power to squash the notion of "This clique is more valuable because of athletics - intelligence - popularity - social value and therefore important to force yourself into".

We're all in this together...we have been in this together since the beginning.

Wanna hear a First World Problem? Blue Apron is yummy, but the complete opposite of "convenient"

We subscribed to Blue Apron a few months ago. Lots of folks spoke of the deliciousness and convenience of the service, so we decided to give it a shot. Now, I don't care about "convenience" other than not having to go to the store. I hate impulse buying and magazine covers and pushy sales teams and people on a Sunday who block every aisle with their long-ass decision-making deficiencies manifesting under the banner of "DO I GET THE BRANDED SUGAR-COATED SHIT OR THE BAGGED/GENERIC SUGAR-COATED SHIT?" I know that BA defines "convenience" as far as cooking time and delivery is concerned, but I have found that the service falls short of actually being convenient for our household.

My gripes:

The meat portions are pretty nice. We don't need giant pieces of meat for dinner, but we do like our veggies...and Blue Apron's idea of a serving of veggies is about half the size of a small side salad. That is the saddest thing in the world. 1 veggie and you don't give me enough to feed a rabbit (let alone 2 grown-ass people)? We get 2 meals that are supposed to feed a family of 4 each time, but the veggie portions are pretty much "4 people? Ok...here's 2 potatoes. Have at it". Last week, the recipe called for a salad that was...wait for it...a cucumber and red leaf lettuce with olive oil...salt and pepper to taste...WHAT THE HELL KIND OF SALAD IS THAT?

Blue Apron also boasts convenience in the form of prep & cooing times and the fact that they send you EVERYTHING pre-portioned and ready to go. I love the pre-portioned part, but those prep & cook times are a load of shit. On the average, it takes me 90 minutes to make a Blue Apron meal. Much of the cooking is to be done at the same time - While cooking the meat, the veggies should be boiling and the oven should be preheating for the meager handful of cauliflower you are about to bake to a crisp and you should be chopping garlic like it owes you money. I can't multitask like that...I've lost too many pans to oil burns and our smoke alarms are not patient at all for that kind of malarkey. So, I prep everything first and decide what needs the most attention for cooking. I have a system, but it means that it takes me twice as long.

Speaking of oil burns, every meat dish sent to you is supposed to be pan cooked in olive oil. For those of you playing the home version of this game, that means FRIED. Ok, not fried to a crisp and not every meal is batter-fried, but I've already gone through a Costco-sized bottle of this stuff. This is an ingredient that BA does not include. I guess it's because the recipes will often suggest olive oil as extra seasoning like salt and pepper (which is also NOT included in the meal boxes)

But olive oil is messy when you cook with it. You have to watch it carefully or else you will pretty much burn your house down. Olive oil (any cooking oil in general) gets EVERYWHERE - on the counter tops, on your clothes, leaves a light film on the microwave above the stove, splatters on the floor - It's the glitter of the cooking world...it splatters all over the place making clean-up THE MOST INCONVENIENT THING IN THE FUCKING WORLD.

Everything is wrapped in plastic (with a few exceptions). The meat can be in plastic. Fine. Cross contamination and all that. However, we don't need the potatoes put in a sealed plastic bag or the pinch of allspice in a plastic bag or the leeks in a plastic bag. The amount of plastic waste generated by a BA meal is concerning. Now, BA encourages you to clean and send back all of the packaging for them to recycle. That's pretty awesome, but there is still no need to wrap everything in plastic. Before you recycle, you should be conserving and rethinking how to wrap the ingredients. Between the food wrapped in plastic, the insulated shipping bag, and the bags of biodegradable gel ice (we kept some of these for camping)...the amount of garbage is stupid.

So, I have a love/hate relationship with Blue Apron. We are thinking of giving the service a rest for a while. I want to go back to my 30 minutes meals that only require a few dishes and not every pan and portion bowl in the god damn house.

PROS of Blue Apron:

The mixing ingredients are nicely portioned and aids in making new recipes fun! You don't have to go out an buy a bottle of vinegar because it will be included if the recipe calls for it.

Proper meat portions (according to my nutritionist and we really dig the sizes...not too big to make you feel stuffed and plenty of leftovers)

The recipes are awesome, easy to cook for the first time, and really easy to replicate on your own.

The service has me cooking things I never thought I would cook and I'm keeping most of these recipes to make again!

Bonus recipes for things like cast iron corn bread and hollandaise sauce

CONS of Blue Apron:

Can a bitch get some veggies, please?

Everything is wrapped in plastic.

You may ship the packaging back to BA for recycling, but you cannot recycle most of the packaging locally

BA's satanic pact with olive oil

Prep & cooking times are a god damn lie.

My kitchen looks as though I made Thanksgiving for 12...when I only really made glazed salmon for 2. Clean-up after the meal takes longer than washing my 3 bathrooms and vacuuming.

Between meal prep, cooking, and clean-up - the average BA meal for our household takes 2.5 hours.

MIDDLE of Blue Apron:

You can add veggies if you have them on hand

I TRUST the recipe and follow it to the letter...except with garlic. 2 cloves of garlic totally equals 5

Meals will be hit-or-miss. We've been lucky to enough to enjoy 95% of what has been sent to us.

Both cats love the shipping boxes

Dear Preston,

I know that you're upset. I mean, how could you not be? I did so much for you and one mistake erased the entire board. There I was - awakened from cryogenic sleep after my partner was shot in the face and my baby kidnapped - to find the world that I loved absolutely shit-canned by nuclear war. 260 years into the future, Preston. And I stumble upon you and your tiny, grumpy group. I somehow manage to pick up a gun and defend you and your kin.

I picked up a gun and KILLED for you.

I lead you out of Concord and back to what was left of my home - Sanctuary Hills. The houses have no doors or windows, the water is undrinkable, but my robot butler is doing his damnedest to keep the property up to HOA standards.

I gave you my house, Preston. I planted crops. I crafted beds and buildings and lamp posts out of tin cans. I built power generators and water filtration systems. I used whatever scrap I could find to make you and your friends comfortable...safe...at home. I even dropped my quest to find my husband's killer and my kidnapped son so I could help you, Preston Garvey, build an army of good intentions. You made me your reluctant Commander and passive aggressively reminded me that I was in charge after every assignment you gave me.

I picked up more powerful guns. I killed more people and animals and monsters for YOU. I've only been awake in this world for a couple of days, but here I am fighting mutant creatures of every species so I might make a scrap of land livable. I used all of the loot to craft more amenities for YOU. I settled properties and housed more people of the Commonwealth for YOU.

And then I heard about Nuka World. I went there, Preston. I went to Nuka World and it was crawling with raiders. These gangs were ones you haven't even heard of. One gang was dripping with more blood lust than all of the super mutant camps combined that I laid to waste. I won their trust, Preston. I got them on my side. They worked for me, much like I did for you. I gathered all of their resources and built more homes for YOU. They made me their Queen, Preston. They made me their Queen...and then I killed them all. I killed them all to release their slaves - yes, Preston! These raider gangs had SLAVES - and made Nuka World a gigantic settlement and safe trading haven for the people of the Commonwealth. There is a bounty on my head and the killers who were faithful to any of those gangs see my existence as a shiny, neon target. My Minutemen army sees nothing but potential farms and they turn tail the moment they hear the roar of a deathclaw.

So I stand my ground and kill more...for YOU and the Minutemen and the hope for a safer Commonwealth...a Commonwealth where my husband's killer and my kidnapped son might still be alive...

But you, Preston, are pissed at me. You're pissed that I betrayed our "friendship" because I had the raiders eating out of my hand. You stopped me in Sanctuary Hills and shouted at me, surrounded in the decaying remains of my old life, about how dare I and my actions in Nuka World were unforgivable because I was friendly with raiders...

Well, Preston...I built your army. I built your settlements. I fed your people. I killed for you. But all you can do is shout "Betrayal!! We are no longer friends!!" but still promise to take orders from me because I am your Commander? Then how about this order, Preston Garvey?

Get the fuck out of my house.

*Hancock drops a mic. Finger guns from Nick Valentine. Piper takes off her clothes for a victory lap. Deacon makes it rain caps. Dogmeat pees on Preston's shoes*

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