Nothing Serious Going On Here

When my brother and I were kids, our parents, for some odd reason, let us watch whatever TV shows we wanted to, with the exception of Dukes of Hazard. (Not sure what my parents had against that show, but we would anxiously wait for them to leave the room to catch glances of the Hazard boys jumping through the window of their car and shooting up the bad boys.)

But since we could pretty much watch whatever else, we would watch Night Court, Cheers, Golden Girls, and a bunch of other adult comedies. I remember watching a specific episode of Night Court as a child and hearing the following new words : condom, threesome, and lesbian. I asked my dad what they meant.


So, among all those shows we could watch, the one that did a number on me every. single. time was not in fact a show, but a movie– the damned Wizard of Oz.

Let me tell you. I had love/hate relationship with that movie. It was like looking at a horrible car accident. I was afraid, but utterly intrigued.


So, after I would stay up late watching it, I would have this aching, itching feeling that the bad, green-faced witch was watching me. Someone once told me that the witch had the same name as me in real life– the actress who played her was named Emily. Oh my word, when I found that out, I thought that surely she was coming for me. In my eight year old mind, It made sense that she would want to kidnap good little girls with her moniker. I pictured her up in her castle with her monkeys and tons of little brunette Emilys running around in fear of being tortured.

I rolled over in bed at night and swore I saw her face. My brother took great pleasure in convincing me that he saw her occasionally pop out of the clothes hamper In the bathroom. So then I was scared both to go to sleep and to use the bathroom by myself. This usually went on for a week or so, but I still would have residual occasional nightmares about that green faced witch, until I watched the movie again, and the intensity of the cycle started all over again.

Until one day…it just stopped. Maybe I was sixteen years old or so… Yeah it took me THAT long to not be afraid of a G-rated movie. But I remember watching it one day and realizing, “Oh that’s just an ugly witch. No biggie. Not real life. Nothing serious is going on here.”

That’s it. Nothing serious is going on here. And to this day, thanks to a reminder from a friend, when I am faced with some kind of hardship, fear, or heartbreak–whether it’s not winning that grant, or losing my credit card, or not getting something I wanted, but really hoped for–I sometimes am smart enough to remember to just breathe in and say, “Nothing serious is going on here.” Because honestly, most of what we freak out about is just not that serious.**

And on that note, nothing serious is going on here except for me eating this soup.


Paleomg, aka Juli Bauer, wrote this recipe, btw.

Chicken Tortilla Soup with no Tortillas

For your chicken
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5lbs worth)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
For your soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, finely diced
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
1 (14oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
32 oz fluid chicken stock (I used low sodium, no sugar added)
juice of 2 limes
chopped cilantro, to garnish
crushed plantain chips, to garnish
sliced avocado, to garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour on some olive oil and then sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Once your chicken is done baking, use two fork to shred the chicken.
While your chicken is baking, get your soup ready. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add your minced garlic.
Add onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and poblano pepper. Mix around to help coat.
Once your onions begin to become translucent, pour in your green chiles and diced fire roasted tomatoes, along with the rest of your spices. Mix together.
Then add your shredded chicken and chicken stock to the pot.
Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
When your soup has simmered, add in your lime juice and a bit more salt and pepper.
Add your soup to a bowl along with avocado, cilantro, and plantain chips.
Stay warm. Being cold is stupid.

**Exceptions to this would include events like falling out of an airplane without a parachute or being stuck in the wilderness without food or water.

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