I’m writing

It’s Saturday morning. The laptop is on my lap. I am writing. I am taking time to write. I am not giving up on the idea that I can be a writer.

Yeah, so that’s what’s going on. It’s been a rough week. I found out that my hours at work are going be cut back during the summer. This is not a surprise, but it feels like yet another slap in the face. My husband wants me to find a full-time job, but there are not many opportunities for me in this town. If I weren’t married and I didn’t own a house I could do a nationwide search for a job. I could go anywhere and start an awesome life somewhere else. That’s not my situation.

AFK FOR PHONE CALL

I’m back. The call was from Ernie (aka, the husband). He informed me that he found me a job. I asked what it was. He said it was with a company that does  travel arrangements for IU athletics. I  say that sounds like an awful job.

I have, in the past, made travel arrangements for people and I didn’t like doing it. It’s stressful! You book a flight and then they decide they want to leave a day  earlier, or later in the day. One woman I worked for didn’t like to be on small planes, so I had to figure out if I was putting her on a jet or not. What if I sent the basketball team to the wrong city?  I say no thank you to arranging travel for other people.

He read off a few more job descriptions for me and I wasn’t interested because they were all clerical type jobs. I don’t want to be a secretary. I’ve done it, now it’s time to move on.

The next one he mentioned piqued my interest. It’s a marketing job mixed with some other stuff,  so I thought they would want someone with a marketing background or degree. They don’t want that.  I’m a little bit excited about the prospects of this one. I’m not going to go into detail here because I don’t want to jinx it.  I don’t know if I really believe in jinxes, but I don’t want to jinx it. It  seems too good to be true. I hope they like me.

Going back to the topic of having my hours reduced. I secretly liked this idea because it would give me more time to write. I could actually try and make money as a blogger. I revealed this secret to Ernie who didn’t like the idea. He doesn’t want to be homeless or some nonsense like that. So I resolved to either give up my dreams or carve out a time to write regularly.

So I got up early this morning (thanks to Sadie, who wouldn’t let me sleep). I got up early and I started catching up on the articles I’ve saved to read later in Instapaper. These articles are fodder for my other blog about my life in the digital realm. I  finished a post I had begun working on last week and now I’m writing here. I can do it!

It’s almost 1:00. I have to do some grocery shopping for my Dad, so I’d better get dressed and get moving. I really should do some yoga today, not sure that can happen.  I can probably squeeze in a couple of Downward Facing Dogs and a Warrior II.

My other blog: A Learning Experience
My other blog: A Learning Experience
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Tomato, Spinach, Black Bean Mash-up

This is the weekend I wanted to make the Mushroom and Bean Chile that I used to make “back in the day,” from a recipe in a vegetarian cookbook I used a lot when I was in grad school. I didn’t feel like going to the grocery store to buy the ingredients,  so I decided to see what I could whip up using food I already have.

I’ll just mention that I am too heavy. I need to lose weight, and get healthier. Cooking my own meals is the best way I know of to accomplish these goals. I also enjoy cooking, and have had the urge to blog about cooking for years. So here’s a start.

I call this dish Tomato, Spinach, Black Bean Mash-up, for lack of a better name.

I wanted a vegetable, of course, and I had frozen spinach in the freezer. I needed some kind of sauce to go with it, and found canned diced tomatoes in the pantry.

Chopped spinach and diced  tomatoes

To prepare the tomatoes, I first sautéed some minced garlic (from a jar) in a few tablespoons of olive oil.  I poured in the tomatoes, and added a little basil, crushed bay leaves, a smidgen of ground ginger, a teaspoon or so of  sugar, and a dash of salt.

Ginger, basil, salt, garlic

Then I added the chopped spinach that I had thawed in the microwave for about minute.

Tomatoes and spinach in skillet

I mixed it all up and let it simmer for a few minutes. Then I thought to myself, this needs something else to bulk it up.  I looked in the pantry and found a can of black beans.

Black beans in colander

After rinsing the beans in a colander to get rid of excess sodium, I added them to the skillet, stirred it all up, let it simmer a couple more minutes, and that was that. Because cheese makes everything better, I added shredded cheese as a topping after I put the concoction in my Pyrex lunch containers.

Finished dish

That’s lunch for two days! I might cook up the last two pieces of  fish we have in the freezer to add some meat to the meal.

That’s what I cooked using stuff I already had in the kitchen. Healthier me, here I come!

Crafting, Reading, Cooking and more

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. It’s been less of a while since I posted to my other blog, A Learning Experience. I’d certainly be a more active blogger if I didn’t have to work a 9 to 5 job. But then I would be living on the street. It would be difficult to maintain a blog while living on the street.

Crafting

I made two greeting cards this month. A birthday card for my sister-in-law, and a Valentine’s Day card for my dearest friends.

Front of  Peggy's birthday card
Birthday card for Peggy (front)
Peggy’s birthday card (inside)
Valentin for Karen and Lance (front)
Valentine for Karen and Lance (inside)

 

Reading

I finished reading Jazz, a novel by fellow blogger Christian Mihai. It was an enjoyable read that reminded me a little bit of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and made me think of the movie Casablanca. I’ve just begun to read Finn’s Golem by Gregg Taylor. If you’re an audio theatre fan, check out Gregg’s Decoder Ring Theatre podcast.

Cooking

I used to cook and bake quite a lot when I was single,  especially when I was in grad school. I was in a  cookbook club. Granted I had many more cookbooks than I could use, but I liked getting them and flipping through them. The books I used the most were The Joy of Cooking and what I think was a Better Homes and Gardens title. So my goal is to start cooking again. This is especially important because I want to lose weight and keep my heart healthy. I’m afraid to have my cholesterol checked, because my eating habits have deteriorated so much since I got married.

So I’m collecting healthy recipes on  Pinterest, and in Evernote Food.  Hopefully, I’ll be making wonderful meals and posting pictures here soon. This weekend I might make the vegetarian eggplant chili that I made a lot of years ago. We shall see.

Taking Care of Me

I’ve made some vague goals about writing and finding a better job, but the goal that takes priority is taking care of myself. I’ve been getting on the treadmill regularly, I’m collecting exercises that you can do at home on a Pinterest board called Fit ‘n Happy, and I’m doing little things like disconnecting from all Internet devices by 8pm, and irrigating my nose nightly with a Neti  pot.  And of course I floss nightly to keep my gums health and stave off heart problems (there may not be enough evidence to connect hearth and gum health after all, but I don’t ever want to need dentures).

Funny, I didn’t think I had anything to write about today.

Daily Prompt: Flangiprop

flangiprop (noun)- a person who uses profanity as a means of bolstering his reputation.

The word flangiprop emerged in the 16th century when groups of Swedish and Danish noblemen would gather near the fjords at a festival called Flangonrompistika. The centerpiece of the festival was a competitive event in which the men would shout insults at each other from sunrise until sunset, or until the men could no longer sustain the shouting. The man who issued the most offensive and loudest insult was awarded a trophy called the flangiprop. The flangiprop, carved from the hoof of a male caribou, was one of the most sought-after treasures of the time.

Flangonrompistika has fallen out of favor over the centuries, but the word flangiprop is now used to describe a man highly skilled at the art of delivering vulgar insults.  Today, Flangonrompistika reenactments are fairly common throughout modern Scandinavia, but the flangiprop trophy is now made from synthetic materials.

caribou illustration

I’ve been thinking about…

I am all over the place. I have so many interests, so many things I want to do, so many things I’m not doing. I had an interesting notion today that I thought I’d write about. Her it is:

Notion(s) of the Day
We humans tend to define ourselves by things that are separate from us. I’ve had this feeling for many years that I had to have a career in order to be somebody – to count – in this society. I was going to be a dancer, but I didn’t really want to be a dancer. I liked dancing in college and grad school, but I didn’t feel like I was really a dancer when I compared myself to other people who I believed to be bonafide dancers.

After grad school I got a job that was just a job. That wasn’t enough, so I thought that if I could become a writer, a real writer, I would be able to find my place in the world. I’m still trying that out. We’ll see what happens.

What I do for a living now is make technology training videos. It’s my thing and I’m good at it. I also manage the social media presence for my group at work. I’m good at that too. I also do some graphic design, but I don’t dare call myself a graphic designer. I think I’m good at that too, but don’t tell that to any real graphic designers.

I’m interested in fitness and nutrition. I’ve considered going to school to be a fitness trainer or a nutritionist.

I like blogging, and if I had time I’d blog about all my interests, but I don’t have time. I need a zillion dollars. With a zillion dollars I could do whatever I want.

I want to be a blues singer, but I need to improve my guitar skills. I want to be an actress. I could be an actress. I want to be an artist, but I need to improve my drawing skills.

This is what goes on in my brain. All of these notions are why I haven’t accomplished any one big thing in my life. That must be the way it’s supposed to be, because that’s the way it is. That statement calls for another blog post which would require some extensive reading of philosophical tomes. I won’t be writing that blog post.

Maybe my life IS the one big thing in my life. That is some kind of deep!

I’m happy that I wrote something today. Yay for me!

What Happened at the Office

The office building was modern. It was made of a lot of metal and glass, with a little of the native limestone thrown in, perhaps to make it look as if it belonged in the medium-sized Midwestern town. The building’s interior was modern as well. The high ceilings featured exposed beams, pipes, and ducts. The walls were white and the floor plan open- no cubicles; although people with the term “manager” behind their names sat in glass enclosed offices.

150 people or so worked on each of the four floors; each of them involved in some kind of knowledge work. What they did at this company is not important. They were ordinary office workers, doing the type of tasks that people did in the year 2012. It was an ordinary office except for one rather strange thing.

Every day at precisely 10:17 a.m., the pig emerged from the east wall on the first floor and ran the length of the building. Upon arriving at the west wall, he turned around and began racing down each of the desk-lined rows. He would squeal joyously when passing groups of workers having an ad-hoc water cooler meeting, interrupting their attempts at casual collaboration. He would grunt disgustedly at the women who appeared to be afraid of him, or those whom he suspected had thoughts of knitting him a sweater. Those who were on the phone would be forced to end their conversations and tell the other party they would call back in a few minutes. It would only be a few minutes because the pig would disappear into the east wall at exactly 10:23. Everyone in the office would then go back to what they were doing.

One day, a Tuesday, the pig didn’t come out. 10:17 arrived, and all was quiet. The people who sat closest to where the pig normally entered were the first to notice its absence.

Bob Jordan said something to Shelly Hawkins who sat to the right of him. “Something’s not right,” he said.

Shelly turned to him and said “what’s not right?”

Bob scratched his head. “I don’t know. Something just doesn’t seem right.”

Shelly shrugged and continued her work, but she was somehow distracted.

At the other end of the floor, Jim Tracy and Doug Barnett were conversing at the water cooler.

Jim said, “If we wait until September we could…” but then he just stared into the distance. Something was off, he thought.

5:00  came and the workers on the second, third, and fourth floors shut down their computers, boarded the elevators or descended the staircases, climbed into their cars and went home. For them, it had been an ordinary day. The people on the first floor sat at their desks and stared at their computer screens. Night came; all was quiet.

At 9:00, Bob Jordan looked over at Shelly Hawkins and whispered to himself, “A pig.”

Shelly looked at Bob. She had heard him say something, but hadn’t really understood. Something compelled her to stand up. She slapped the top of her desk as she stood. She gasped and shouted “The pig! The pig didn’t come out!”

Everyone in the office awoke from their collective stupor and began speaking to each other about the pig that had emerged from the wall and ran around the office every morning at 10:17 for as long as any of them could remember.

“How could we have forgotten that?” People asked incredulously. They started laughing.

One woman asked the group, “What if the pig doesn’t come back?” She began to sob. She remembered wanting to knit a sweater for the pig.

This was a sobering thought for everyone. The room fell silent. The co-workers looked at each other, and then looked at the east wall, secretly willing the pig to appear. It did not appear, so one-by-one they turned off their  computers, picked up their bags and purses, and headed out the door.

Everyone went home, not knowing what would happen the next day.

Smiling pig

Daily Prompt; Ready, Set, Go

Because I’m not in the mood to write, that’s why I’m doing this. I have 10 minutes to make this post. It doesn’t have to be good. It just has to be.

Today went on and on. I didn’t even get to work super early, but I worked hard I think. Can you really call using your mind to create content and share content on the Internet work? I don’t know. Digging ditches is work. Making steel beams is work. I don’t do those things, so why am I so tired?

I think I’m tired in general. I’m tired of the mundane, the same old, same old. I want excitement, I want warm weather, I want the beach, and the mountains. I want to get out of bed whenever I want to. Alas, this cannot be.

I did do good “work” today. I finished a script for a demo video of a new web application. I even started making the video, so I can’t complain.

I want to feel like I have the time to write. I don’t want to feel that if I don’t write tonight I will never be a writer. I will fail. I don’t want to write under my own duress. I don’t know if fI spelled that correctly, but I don’t have time to look it up. I’m on the clock.

I’m getting on the treadmill tonight . I do twenty minutes because it gets tedious quickly. You hear from people like Dr. OZ that you should do 30 minutes a day, but I’m doing what I can.

Two minutes left. Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show is on the the background, and it’s a distraction. They’re talking about Republicans and Democrats. I’m so tired of politics. It’s so fake. What’s real in life? That’s what I should have written about.

I’m running out of time and I’m hungry.