The Demoralizers.

The title is in capitals… that’s how you know this is serious…

Demoralizer #1: Baking.

I love ginger cookies… like, a lot.  And Char Davis [no blahg link… she’s cooler than the internet] makes the best chewy ginger cookie I’ve ever had.  So, in a fit of self-betterment, I decided I wanted to be more like Char Davis and make a damn good chewy ginger cookie.  I got the recipe, and went to the fancy-pants organic/local market in town.  Ran into a friend at the market and told her on this exciting Friday night, I was baking cookies.  She was psyched for me and informed me about the store’s awesome bulk section and the reusable jars that people drop off to fill up.  AWESOME.

Got my stuff, went home, it was later than most bakers get heated up, but I heated up.  Got all the ingredients separated, mixing, going good.  And then it was time to put in the molasses.  I opened up reusable jar of bulk molasses, took one sniff and almost gagged.  It smelled HORRIBLE.  I then noticed what the reusable jar was from… Thai Peanut Garlic Spread.  I almost threw up… OMG, It smells like garlic molasses.

I immediately poured the jar down the sink, gagging the whole time.  I was livid.  I wanted to call this “awesome” grocer and chew. them. out.  BUT it was after 10pm… and that’s when they close.

LIVID.  I went to the less-conscientious grocer three blocks away [open ’til 11] and bought a bottle of molasses… because, well, I have a half-mixed batch of cookies… what else am I gonna do??

Came back.  Opened up the bottle, poured it in the 3/4 cups measuring cup… took a whiff… hmm… said… out loud…

– Oh… I guess that’s just how molasses smells.

Yep.  Yep.  I’m not a baker-lady.  Molasses smells sulfer-y.  Yep.  It was fine the first time.  That time when I poured the whole jar down the sink… gagged… eyes watering… livid… yep… that was just how molasses smells.

The cookies were delicious.  I made three batches for friends, co-workers, loves and myself… Yep.

Demoralizer #2: Cyclocross.

Have you ever cyclocross raced?  [this is a legit question to blahg readers because i know that Anna Davis and Dan Abraham don’t “read blahgs… sorry.”]  Anywho, IT. IS. HARD.  But it looks like so much fun!…

Okay, that’s a little different than the Missoula races.  The Missoula races are DIRTY.  Dusty.  And there’s about 70 people all going together.  Up dusty, steep hills, down crazy hills, jumping… a lot of jumping… and carrying your bike.

So, anywho, I decided to race this week.  Why?  Mehdunno… It looks like fun!… Right?  Am I right, guys?  Am I right?  Guys?…

After the race I sent this text…


…to three people.

And I’m not kidding.  Maybe the most demoralizing thing ever.  And that’s coming from the girl that dressed up in a full-on dog costume in high school to raise awareness about the Animal Shelter in her hometown at a public event.  [yeah, don’t think anyone else besides the two other kids that went on to be bio-chemists that where there knew about that one.]

Yeah, most demoralizing.

I started in the back… the very back.  Didn’t pass a single sole.

Did I get passed??  Oh, eff yeah.  Eff yeah times two.  I got lapped twice!

And AND I took a HUGE digger right in front of the most spectator-heavy area.  Not like in the video where there were a bunch of other people around me messing me all up… nope.  This was just me… crashing… all by my lonesome.  There was a collective…

– Ahhhhh…. Ohhhhh…. [silence]…. You okay?

– Me?  Oh, me?  Yeah, I mean, somebody’s gotta be out here to make everyone else look good, right?  [suppressing tears… flashbacks to my high school crush recognizing me through the dog head.]

And then there were about 35 more minutes of that.  It was the worst.  But you know what?  Almost not the worst.  Laughing… at myself.  And random encouragement that kinda made my day.

– You know you’re doing awesome, right?

[a passerby… flying by me… being so encouraging.]

I dunno.  It was a weird/demoralizing/encouraging/tear-brimming experience.

The start time is 5:30pm and a couple times I thought to myself…“You know?  I am so much better at happy-houring than this.”

But that’s what this move is about.  Starting anew.  Trying new things.

Pouring a stinky bottle of molasses down the sink, going out at 10:15pm on a Friday night to buy more molasses only to discover that all molasses is stinky.  Laughs.  Smiles.  Cookie-dough eating like it’s a competition.

Racing in a race that you are nowhere near prepared for.  Getting one encouraging word that you hold on to, capture in your hands by clapping around a firefly, hold on to it tight to place it in a jar and look at for the next couple hours thinking, “Remember that time I did something insanely hard and one person [one stranger] thought I ruled at it?… I remember…”

That’s what this is about.

And it’s fecking hilarious/beautiful.


and then there’s this for you to dance… dance…

1 thought on “The Demoralizers.”

  1. My friend the chef cannot stand molasses. It’s not just a new-to-the-culinary-world thing. Hope that makes you feel a little less like a newb.

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