Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is today Yesterday or is it Tomorrow?

Well, did I manage to stave off all distractions and meet my goal? Hell to the NO...but are we really surprised by this? I hope you said "No" to that question because that would be the correct answer. Much to my defense, I did have a lot of work to do, and I didn't even get around to starting one scarf until it was 3-4 in the morning. By then, I had to share art time with coffee time. I tried this new creamer, Italian Cream. I can't remember the brand, but I know I am not sure whether I like it or not. I think it just tastes like sugar with no identifiable flavor to it. But the lack of flavor has me adding sugar to my coffee in addition to the creamer, which I decided some time back was a bad thing. No worries, I have some vanilla creamer I will return to when I get to work tonight.

Yesterday was a spin! My new thing is to get some sort of a sleep pattern. When I first started working night shifts, I just didn't sleep at all. I was working from midnight until 8am, going home to change and then either going to my practicum or to classes from 9-4 and then going to my second job out of town from 5-8 and then coming home for a power nap and hopefully a shower. But then I got laid off and I dropped out of grad school, which also took care of the 20 hours per week at a practicum site. So my sleep habit became crazy because this is literally the first time in my life where I am not doing 100 things at the same time (2-3 jobs, school, relationship, travel, etc). So I would come home, eat, and sleep from 10am-noon. Then I would get up, still exhausted, and hang out with my kid/husband, clean, shop, cook, and Facebook until 8pm. I have sleep issues, so it turned out I was getting 2 naps a day totalling 3-4 hours per day. After a long argum--- erm... discussion with my husband about my sleep issues, lately I have tried something new. Just f-ing sleep!!!! I come home and sleep until I can't, which is usually about 3-4pm. Then I shop, cook, clean, etc with energy and gusto, hence all the new recipes and the new-found joy in grocery shopping.

I also have more energy to work on art projects at home ... like these books I have prepared.

I just need to bind them. These are the covers...

I would have had them bound by now if I were still planning to make that October 15th deadline, but now, I'm just taking it easy. Don't fret. These suckers will be bound and ready to roll before Halloween!
Yesterday, I came home and did some drawing. I really want to design stationery, but when I look at what others have done online, it leaves me scratching my head. How in the hell did they do it? How are they making these amazing graphic designs on the papers & envelopes? In fact, I have been pondering these same thoughts for about.... what month is this? October? That makes 2 years and going on 11 months! I guess that gives a whole new meaning to "over thinking things", huh? I have this terrible tendency to over think and over process until I have overwhelmed and over confused myself. Then, defeated by my own insanity, I throw up my hands and surrender. Well, that's usually what happens when I think of designing stationery, but then something magical happened Tuesday morning...

Background info: I have been writing snail mail letters (another thing inspired by the movie Julie & Julia) since March, shortly before my 27th birthday. I get bored looking at undecorated paper. I have no motivation to write on it. It started out with stealing some stickers from work that had been sitting around for ages. Totally ugly, but it worked. Then, I got more elaborate, decorating papers myself or using a combo of hand-decor, stencils, stickers, and gems.
Now, I just do whatever, but no one should complain about a boring, undecorated letter! Once, I drew pages and pages of amazing animals, fruits, plants, flowers, birds... it was tremendous and so much fun, I smile just thinking of those drawings... if I can say so myself without seeming conceited. But I was impressed that I took the time, had the focus, and finished so many drawings. I haven't drawn like that for the hell of it since I was in 5th grade! In fact, the last thing I remember drawing for shits and giggles was my 5th grade teacher as a witch because she made me angry! Ha!

Tuesday morning, I drew some cute designs for letters going out to two pen pals and then the magic hit.... Why the hell don't I just draw designs, nature, things that interest me and scan them into my computer?! Then I can alter the drawings, cut, and paste them onto paper, gridded paper, lined paper, and even paper that I plan to use to cover books. What a Revelation!

Have I already done this? Seriously? What do you think? Of course not!!! After making my genius discovery, I went to sleep for 6 hours, and woke up completely having forgotten what I planned to do for the day. In fact, I just discovered that my printer no longer functions because my desktop computer is slow, decrepit and has a tech-life threatening virus.

Instead of being artistically productive, I sat on Facebook and Interpals for about an hour. Then, I stared out my balcony window for another hour before deciding I wanted to attempt cooking Boeuf Bourguignon. Unfortunately, I looked at the recipe and was completely intimidated by the amount of work I would have to do. I was very lazy, needless to say. I almost did something terrible and went to ... be afraid.... get ready to scream... McDONALDS!!!! NO!!!! I haven't eaten McDonalds in over a year. I had to stop the violence against my digestive system.

I didn't cave in an commit that food-crime against my family. I decided to use this marinade and bake some chicken. Much to my dismay, the marinade smelled ferocious! It was so offensive! The stench was a mix between rotten garlic, vinegar, something odd and bitter, and baby food. Just terrible! Sadly, I didn't know this until I put it all over the meat. I only went to smell the bottle of marinade after the fact to see what sides would taste good with the sauce. In a panic, I chopped some fresh onion, garlic, and red peppers and sauteed them in some olive oil. Then I threw in some sage, fresh ground pepper corns, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and red crushed peppers. My thoughts: if it's spicy as hell, no one will taste or smell the god-awful marinade! Then, I spooned out the meat, tossed the evidence of the bad food choice in the garbage underneath other trash and fried the meat. Let me tell you... Best Mistake Ever! That meat was on FIRE! It was so good. I cooked it with some cheesy orzo and some raw vegetables & dip. My husband and daughter would never eat veggies if it weren't for me, but I was so concerned about covering the original taste of the meat, I only had time to chop some veggies up. But it was a hit! For the first time, I didn't have to use my powers of persuasion and threats to get them both to finish their vegetables. Raw veggies will definitely be making a reappearance in meals to come!

After dinner, I cleaned and got my daughter ready for bed. I worked a little on the scarf I started... but then exhaustion set in. Without knowing it, I sleep-walked my way to bed and passed out for the night.

Today, I have been obsessing over this meal I dreamed about. Unfortunately, I couldn't find everything I needed to make the dish, so it will have to wait for some other day. I wanted to make Lentil soup, vegetable samosas with tamarind sauce (which is the missing link) and a cranberry walnut vinaigrette salad. Since I have never made them before, I think I will still make the samosas. There is an amazing Indian restaurant near by that opens for dinner around 5. I will have my darling husband go hassle the owners for a semi-free container of sauce.

Tonight, at work, I will finish the one scarf I least! I hope to finish all 3 scarves and hats I planned. I am not betting on it. I have a busy shift on Wednesdays.

But stay tuned to hear about the slave work in the kitchen I pull off in order to tackle the Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon recipe and the samosas... recipe in my mind!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

C is for Challenge! Change! Correction!

It is rather early in my shift now at work. I came into some paperwork chaos. Apparently around bedtime there was an incident. A kid was punished for stealing the therapist's cell phone. The punishment: no home visits until next year and on restrictions until the phone comes up. Still no sign of phone.

I have been doing some thinking about what it is I want out of life. I want to CHANGE. I want to be more positive, take more chances, and be more fulfilled on a daily basis, regardless of my circumstances. I am not about to go out and get religion. Screw that! But I do need to begin making more of a spiritual connection. For that reason, I am watching Avatar tonight, rather than my usual ensemble of midless action flicks. I also think I need to step up to the plate and challenge myself more.

I need to start to set small, achievable goals on a regular basis. It feels so good to know that I have what it takes to get something DONE! Unfortunately, I wasn't born with whatever female gene that makes women obsess about things like their weight, body, men, and all that. If I cared more about my body (and more on that some other night!) I would be making more efforts to shape it up. And men?! Ha! I have never been obsessed over men. Either they like me or they aren't into me. Either way, I am sadly more often than not actually not all that into the men before they can decide whether they like me! My self esteem, unlike my fellow females out there, is completely and solely linked to my ability to accomplish goals! I feel stronger, smarter, faster, and better than my counterparts and colleagues based on my sheer ability to go up against the odds and achieve outlandish goals.

Now, I am a different woman. I weigh more. I am older. I am more married and more of a mother than ever, meaning that any time I try to do anything other than be a married mom, I am shit out of luck. So taking that into consideration, I am starting with some very small goals. My other obstacle is I always put off when the goals should be completed. I am always starting a new diet on Monday. I am always going to start a new project when I get back to work rather than starting it at home. I will always mail that package when I get paid. Every goal is always set for tomorrow, a Monday, a Payday ... ANY OTHER DAY besides the one I am living... Well, not tonight.

My goals tonight...the challenge that I accept:
- Finish 2 scarf and hat sets
- Bind 1 book
- Don't eat anything other than the bag of chips I have already opened!
- Plan Boeuf Bourguignon!!!! I've totally been dying to cook it since the 15th time I saw Julie & Julia... I am making that magic happen tomorrow night for din-din!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

D is for Dreams... Dreams Realized? Dreams Crushed? Dreams Revised!

Some time ago, I realized something interesting. I am not a religious person. I believe in God because this world is too overwhelming, dangerous, and depressing to even think that we are all in it on our own. But the idea of religion and worshiping things/ideas, segregation based on belief systems, and discrimination under the premise of "loving someone/thing" is too far from anything I value. I did realize that the best thing God ever gave us, as humans, is the ability to Dream. I am not talking about flashbacks and nightmares. Although those happen during sleep as well, it's not the same as a Dream. A Dream is full of hope, promise, imagination. Dreams lead you to visualize your potential future, whether real or completely far-fetched. Dreams are personal, individualized... it's like when you Dream you create an entire world, a whole universe, that is all about and all for you. Stop and really think about this. Isn't that the most wonderful gift in the world?!

Well, I am sure you are thinking... what's with all the talk about Dreams? Well, I decided about 15 minutes ago that my Dream was crushed. A big part of my heart and imagination went right out the door with my Dream as I realized that, while we have the amazing gift to fabricate these intense and emotionally gratifying personal wonderlands, identities, and futures... we do not possess the ability to create avenues to achieve these imaginary goals.

Almost a year ago, I set a personal goal. I have been dreaming, rather steadily for about 4 years that I start my own small business selling things that I crafted. I also dream that I write a best-selling novel and travel the world, wearing self-designed, expensive couture clothing. But the second part of the fantasy is not nearly as close to heart as the Dream of being known and loved as an artist/creator. My goal was to work on learning the skills I needed in order to make the things I wanted to sell. Afterwards, my new year's resolution (one of literally 100 resolutions for 2010, I might add) was to purchase the website and start actively working towards getting that Dream to be a Reality. I bought my website last November, but due to working two jobs, going to grad school, and having whatever left over time for my family and sleep, I didn't get started on making things until a few months ago. Six weeks ago, I sat thinking to myself that almost a year has lapsed, where I have been sitting with an empty website that I paid for last November in full, Dreaming and talking about and planning for this online business to kick off. Isn't that a shame? So much time, money and effort on projects started only to be lost, forgotten or damaged as I lackadaisically wandered towards my goal. So, I decided that by Halloween, I would have 60% or more of my inventory stocked on my online store so that I could begin advertisements for Christmas sales.

Here we are... 2 weeks before Halloween. I have less than 10%. Ha! I actually think I have about 2% of the 60% that I planned to be finished right now.

Then, 3 weeks ago, I get this email that says applications for the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair are coming up due this Friday. I thought to myself that I could totally crank out enough items to at least be considered a candidate to participate in the show. I made a plan (which we all know is not my strength) and I got to work. Between picking up extra shifts, migraines, and unexpected fall throughs with childcare, I have been rather ride tracked, but I managed to force myself to keep moving forward.

It wasn't until today, after an argument with my husband that I noticed the truth. It sort of hit me in the face. I absolutely hate being hit in the face, whether physically or otherwise, which is probably why I was so bitter and upset when the truth set in. The truth is I have been trying to make my Dream come true when it's not more than a Dream. Fantasy. False. Fake. Imagined.

My Reality is that I have a husband and daughter who have grown to be very needy because for the past 4 years, I have bitterly played the role of the robot mom/wife predominantly doing things for the family with little or no regard to myself or the things that make me happy. I think, in an alternate Dream, I imagined that's what good wives do. They have kids, take care of everyone, and in return, they are held on a pedestal so that when the wife wants something that's important to her, everyone stops what they are doing/needing/wanting and they help support the wife to that one goal. What in the Hell was I thinking?! That's not true at all! In fact, that's not even in alignment with Human Nature! The Reality is that the more you give to those who are used to taking, the more those individuals take and the more they want/expect.

So I have a new plan... a revised Dream that I hope is more in tune with Reality. The Reality is I have always had to give up every single important goal for my family. I wanted to join the Peace Corps, but my husband said he had no plans of coming with me, which means I would have wasted time and efforts in the relationship to begin with and I chose to stay. I wanted to get my PhD, but to get into any great programs, my GPA would have needed to exceed whatever I squeaked by with after spending more time and effort on being married/pregnant than studying. I planned to breeze by graduate school for social services, which isn't even a difficult program. Unfortunately, when you have to put home life and all it's issues which last indefinitely before anything else, it becomes a little hard to gather the energy to continue giving excuse after excuse as to why you had no time for homework assignments or assignments that require time outside of class.... and it becomes even more difficult to bite back the sheer embarrassment from shedding tears in every meeting that involves important people who point at you and drone on about your failures. I wanted to sell Mary Kay, and I did, until it became evident that I was not going to be able to invest the time I hoped in order to really make something of myself in that line of work. I really liked being a Mary Kay rep too... And now, here we are again. I wanted to be in an art show. Any art show. Anywhere. It's not going to happen. I either have no time, money, space, or energy to get everything accomplished. So I am setting that, with all the deadlines and fees, to the side.

My New Dream is to just create things in order to be happy and to alleviate stress. Next month, I will have paid $80 for a year of a blank website! I am not sad about it. But I really have to bring that to my personal attention as a reminder that things need to change! I also have another revision to my Dream: Find out a way to make things work! What do I really want to do? Be Wife & Mother 24/7? If so, I better shut it up, cook, clean, and cater to my family with a smile on the inside as well as on the outside. Do I really want to be some sort of artistic/creative success? Well, then I have to grow a pair and tell my husband this isn't going to work. Either he better step up and put forth the same unrelenting efforts I do on a consistent basis or I have to be alone! Do I just want to stay the way I am? Well, I have an answer to that! NOOOOO!!!!!

I want to know what it is that means the most to me. I want to know what I want more than anything in the world. I want to know how to get those things and make my Dreams come true. Most importantly, I do NOT want to sit around in a daze for hours per day Dreaming of all that could, should, and would be if I had just made up my mind instead of making longer and longer lists of excuses! When and where did I lose myself along the way? I was never this indecisive about my life, and now I can't even think of what I want for lunch without taking a poll and journaling about it! I need to start a search for who I am Now (not for who I was because she is so very gone) and I need to find out what the New Bri wants for herself. I'll stop there because that is a serious feat in it of itself.

TODAY, rather than tomorrow..... 1-finish cleaning, 2- work on binding books, but not in a way that is disrespectful to my husband and not by ignoring family, 3- cook that delicious chicken meal I planned on.... and 4- write a letter to my mom, my Number One Fan. I need a pick me up!

Monday, October 11, 2010

E is for Exhausted... Excited, but Exhausted!

Finally, I am back to blog! I have what I think is my second night off from work this whole year tonight. It's just because my husband is unavailable tonight and I have to stay home to watch our tot. Otherwise, I will have had ONE day off for the whole year! Before I started in social services, I looked well-rested, sexy. I had bedroom eyes. Long, luxurious legs. Smooth feet. Gorgeous, thick hair..... Now, I am *haggard*! I am definitely going to start researching careers that result in your looking Better the more you work as opposed to the opposite. Maybe I should look into starting a career in athleticism, pornography, or culinary arts. I love the way Rachel Ray looks! Just so happy and cooking and eating and laughing. I could do that everyday for a living!

Anyway, this week has been nothing but work work work. I have had the most terrible migraines, which I am sure are all related to what I call "Vagina Overload". I work with all women in a program that serves girls. If the girls aren't trying to kill each other over random things like stolen tampons, crushes on basketball players, and who the biggest whore of the crew is...then I have my co-workers who have it out for each other. Let me just say that women are SO vindictive and evil! I don't know how men manage not to be this crazy and over emotional about things that don't matter, but I must have a little bit of that going through my veins-- Thank Goodness! I really just don't have the energy to care about what people think or say about me. I guess that's because I am, from what I have observed, the only indie/activist/artistic carefree spirit in the company. Although I walk a lonely path, it keeps me clear of the drama usually.

Sigh! Big, loud, irritable Sigh! It's MONDAY!!!! That means I have either four or five days left before the art show application is due. I am so nervous. I am trying to stay in the game, mentally, but I am terrified! I read over everything last night, while ignoring the kids asking me what color my bra was, whether I was mixed because my hair isn't nappy enough for me to be fully Black, and whether I "wanted" this male co-worker who is the same age (and has the exact aggravating same personality) as my Father! Thank goodness for internet phones! They are the perfect distraction in any situation.

I realized that the application is $300. Luckily, they give $275 of it back if you aren't accepted. Part of me is thinking, "Awesome! Then I'll have some extra money that I didn't plan on having" ... Then I slapped myself (mentally). I mean, what the hell am I thinking?! I don't want that money back! Ok, I do want to spend it on lingerie, shoes, and sexy sweater dresses... But what I want more than anything right now is a Booth In that Art Show!!!

So what do I have completed? Three baby blankets with sweaters and hats. I have an afghan for an adult. I have about 200-300 envelopes. I have 25 basic journals/sketchbooks prepared for stitching, but I ran out of paste so I am not 100% ready to bind the books yet. I am off tonight, but I will not be sleeping in. Oh no. I will be sitting in front of my TV watching action films like Spiderman trilogy, Matrix Trilogy, X Men trilogy, 300, Wanted, Shoot 'Em Up, and The Punisher. I will be hooked up to an I.V. with coffee going directly into my veins. I am also thinking of stealing some concerta/adderal from the local pharmacy to stave off the attention deficit disorder for the evening. OK. Cancel the last two. I can't be in the art show if I am behind bars for stealing narcotics. I also hate needles, so I will have to get the caffeine into my system by more traditional methods, like drinking it with lots of cream!

My point is that I have just two days to really put a hurt on some art. Wednesday, I am working extra hours again, and Thursday is my personal deadline. Wednesday, I plan to have my pictures up - GAH! So nervous! I am so not a photog!!! Yes, my imaginary readers, if you hear a, I am not wrestling a stegosaurus... no, I am not being attacked by multiple Chuckie Dolls... and no, I did not find out that I am pregnant with septuplets. It will be me expressing my frustration and exhaustion in regards to getting things posted on my website, flickr account, and wherever else I need to put them.

For now, I am struggling to not think of anything other than Family time. My daughter has this wild poof on her head that resembles a full afro, but it is actually in a pony tail. Hair must be tamed! My gorgeous, hard working, ever so patient husband has cleaned and is now cooking dinner, which takes me off the hook from those tiring domestic responsibilities for the evening. For the moment, I am renting movies, eating and spending time with the Fam. With the occasional voice note on art ideas.

Until tomorrow .... where I will 1- Sleep. 2- cook yet another chicken recipe and I will make broccoli salad for the first time. I love broccoli salad! 3- complete the finishing touches on my books and move on to JEWELRY! 4- shop for beads and jewelry notions! I am super excited about jewelry. Like crochet, I am surprisingly rather good at it. However, I must go now. My husband is staring jealously at my laptop as though he has a magical mallet. I believe in positive energy, so send some my way for the next 2 days!

Friday, October 8, 2010

F is for Failure? Fantastic Failure!?

Well... it is almost 4am. Tonight, I must say that I am proud of myself. I just completed a small lunch break. I sort of lied about not eating tons of Brie anymore. After finishing the first container, I went and bought two more, and I just ate 3/4 of one tonight. Not good! But my stomach and taste buds would argue otherwise...

The pride I am experiencing today has little to do with food for a change. I love to eat and I love to cook, but only because I like eating so much. Tonight, at work, I was able to stave off my cravings for buttery French bread and Brie for craft work! Yesterday was such a Fail during the day. I went home, ate way too much. I love Cinnamon Crunch Bagels from Panera Bread. My real problem, besides the 480 calorie bagel addiction, is that I can't just eat plain cream cheese because it overwhelms the cinnamon flavor. I prefer the honey walnut cream cheese, but it's too sweet for me. So I have to buy two bagels and both cream cheeses. I usually only eat 1.5 bagels. Yesterday, I ate both bagels and all the cream cheese. I immediately fell into a food coma.

Afterwards, disgusted that I (a)- pigged out on a whim and (b)- slept unexpectedly when the real plan was to get ahead on some art work, I decided to leave the apartment. For some reason I completely tricked myself into thinking that leaving would justify my not making any progress. I went to Michael's, which, again, in my mind, made everything "better". Instead of looking at paper items, because this week is all about paper, I went to the beading section.... and then I overspent.

Frustrated with my lack of will power, I decided to have a Pineapple Surf + ice cream from Smoothie King and a large grab bag of Cheetos. Yum! Disgusting, yet delicious at the same time. I imagine this is what drug addicts think "Why am I doing this terrible crap to my body... but it feels so damn good". Well, same concept...Just replace "feels" with "tastes". I spent so much over my budget that my card was declined. Rather than just admitting defeat and taking my over-eating, over-spending, excuse-making ass home, I dug around my car until I scrounged up the $7.70 it cost for my smoothie. After the card decline, I sort of had no choice but to go home. Thanks to my Lunch of Champions, I passed out as soon as I walked in the door.

When I got up, I looked around... thought about some awesome ideas for jewelry, and then decided to finally cook and clean. My apartment has been upside down since my husband and I have been working so many extra shifts, which brings me to my next point. This paycheck was almost entirely spent on art supplies! $80 at Hobby Lobby the other day, $33 at Hobby Lobby a few days before that. $40 at Michaels yesterday. $55 at Preston's Art store. Let's not forget the $40 at Border's for random books and magazines. So much for the Library Revelation from last week, right? I didn't come to the realization of how much I had spent until I was on my way to work a few hours ago. This won't do! I haven't created enough items to be spending so much on supplies...

Thanks to that horrifying financial reality check, I vowed to crank out some serious work tonight. So far, so good. If I keep cutting, sanding and pasting, I will have prepared 16 books tonight! I will stitch as many as possible tomorrow night after the paste has dried. I also need to get on top of drying out my flowers... otherwise, I fear they will rot in the paper bag they've been sitting in since the other day. I actually love dead flowers, but I can't imagine what a big bag of rotting flowers could possibly smell like.

I have also figured out why my "funk" has set in so badly. It is *that* time of the month. I never want to do anything other than eat...which totally explains the empty containers of Brie cheese, 4 sticks of butter, and missing whole loaves of French bread! I want to stuff my face and then pass out everyday of the week, but that sort of mentality and activity will totally not help me make my next Friday Deadline for the art show application! So, although I am exhausted, and still starving, I am going to suck it up, make a fresh pot of some Folger's Gourmet Hazelnut Cream flavored coffee with some stolen creamer (thank you co-workers!) and get to work!

The other reason for my lack of motivation is the St. James Art Show!!! Goodness, I completely confused what I thought was "inspiration" for FEAR! I am scared shitless! The work that those artists created was so... well, amazing! It was creative; it was indie; it was perfect in my eyes. I just don't know that I can replicate that sort of perfection. I know that I need to at least attempt applying to an art show. I also know I Love Chi-town, so having a reason to go up would be awesome. From now on, no more going to craft/art shows until I have either completed enough inventory of my own to sell, trade, or show artists there or until I have been accepted to participate in an art show myself. I get way too intimidated, way too easily.

Well, back to the sweat shop it is for me. Thank goodness we have some pop tarts because I so cannot make books while serving breakfast. My hands are covered in paste with remnants of paper fibers stuck to all my fingers. I am sure it's not lethal. I eat while arting all the time. In fact, the only thing I haven't consumed are oil paints/pastels and paint thinner. Just about everything else has passed through this iron cast system of mine.

Tomorrow-- SLEEP! ... buy more book board and paper to make text blocks out of ... cook something delicious! .... and think of a logo.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Currently Accepting Motivational Deposits!

Well, here we are again... At work. My nose is currently running a marathon all over the precious landscape of my face. I haven't blown my nose like this in ages. Tonight, I am making books. I just got over one hell of a paper craft craze and stored all my paper items away in an effort to focus on other crafts. I am highly allergic to dust, so I assume that all the particles I have released into this small office are responsible for the sneezing fits and runny nose. No worries. I have a Huge roll of super soft toilet tissue at my side and a rather remarkable growing pile of snotty rags right beside of it. Luckily, I work alone. Otherwise, someone might see the true side of a "crazy artist" who is too absorbed with work to even bother throwing out dirty tissues until the task is completed.

Ha! If only that were true! I am not that serious. The truth is I am freezing in this office, and I don't want to leave my cozy seat in front of the space heater to walk over to the garbage. This week has been a whirl wind. I planned on blogging nearly everyday, but that didn't happen. It's weeks like this that remind me of the importance and value of never having plans. And that would be my life motto: Go with the Flow. This weekend, I was busy. My husband picked up some extra shifts at work, which translates into less time/sleep for me because I am up all day and part of the night chasing my monster 3 year old.

Saturday, a good friend stopped by. The original plan was to get all dolled up and wreak havoc on the local clubs and bars. First, I have too much else on my mind to want to pay that sort of attention to partying at the moment. Second, my husband went to work, which left me with no sleep for the entire night and day. I realized that am pretty sure that I make my friend cry every time we meet up. I am a very honest person, which is why I simply don't bother even speaking with most people. If I do, then I tend not to be my usual, cynical, bitchy self until people have built up a sort of "immunity" to me. I wish I could just inject some sort of vaccine to my occasional abrasive personality. That way, when I met someone new, I could just politely inquire, "Would you like your vaccine in the arm or the buttocks?" My innate ability to bring the overly sensitive to tears with mere words wasn't my only realization. I also realized that I am way too old to be in the clubs! Granted, I am just 27, but there is some sort of an imaginary age limit to the night clubs for women. Now, men, on the other hand, can hit the club scene until their are 50 as they prey on young victims, happy to please these old pervos with a one night stand. But I am married. I work full time. I am definitely closer to the indie/artsy/eccentric type than the diva/sex kitten/high-heeled drunkard dancing queen. My friend falls into my category, whether she is willing to face the facts of getting older and more responsible or not! Needless to say, she found someone who is as clueless and careless as she is with far more energy than I with whom to party the night away. I, on the other hand, made some Ah-mazing bruschetta and french bread with brie.

This was my first experience with brie. Let me tell you, it is soooooo good! I am in love. So in love, as a matter of fact, that I completely ate the Entire container almost alone. I think I allowed my husband a spoon taste of it, and the rest went into my belly! I do realize that I am in the process of losing a lot of weight... and that brie is made of some "double cream" concoction or whatever. But, dammit! I lost my composure. Yum! And as for the bruschetta. Another guilty pleasure, although significantly healthier than the brie. I created the recipe after spending an hour looking through about 70 different recipes on the internet. I had a dream about what I wanted mine to taste and look like. I totally hit the mark!

Sunday, I went to the St. James Art fair. Earlier this year, I got it in my head that I would apply to this fair. I don't know what I was thinking!!! First, it is hundreds of dollars for the application fee alone. As of yet, I am still not an established craft business owner, which means I don't have some magical storage unit loaded with items for sale. I planned to craft enough items to sell in mere weeks... They don't give you any tools for display. I would have had to find my own tent, tables, and chairs. Crazy! Lastly, I found out that St. James Art Show is 90% returning artists. I spoke to someone some time ago. He mentioned that he & his partners missed a deadline for a fee, didn't get to participate, and were never chosen as part of the show again!

So that didn't happen for me at all. But I did find out something important. I really need to crank up the fearlessness! There were so many creative items at the fair. It really reminded me what art/crafts is really all about-- Being/Expressing yourself and LOVING IT! Art = Love! Even the things I would never allow into my apartment if someone paid me to bring it home, I still had this sense of love, care, and excitement in regards to the creations in the show. I was so happy! I also realized something for the first time-- clearly, people must save up to attend the show so they can afford the items. Ha! It never occurred to me. I just figured art/craft shows were for the privileged.

Sunday, I went to work early. Monday, I recovered from my sleep deprivation and made Chicken thighs Braised in White wine & Garlic. Yum! The dish had hot cherry peppers in it. I found out what "brine" was for the first time. I liked the dish overall. It had some great subtle flavors in it, but what I was hoping for was something that would make my mouth water. An oral surprise. I will make the dish again one day and make it spicier with more of an emphasis on those delicious peppers. The recipe is an old one I got from Real Simple magazine a few years ago. They did a special on ways to cook chicken. And I love me some chicken!

Speaking of chicken.... I had it again on Tuesday night. I went hiking with my little brother & sister. We have this site, Bernheim Forest, that is full of trails, animals, lakes, ponds, and art. I Love this place! We hiked two new trails. My husband and I decided officially that we will hike the Millennium trail! It is a 13.75 mile 6-7 hour hike. I bet we could do it in less than 6 hours. I know I can! Ha! I am very competitive!!! The plan for when that will happen is still in the works, but I know it will be before the weather becomes intolerable. Although an amazing challenge (after we have completed it in simple weather) would be to try the hike during the freezing cold.

Tuesday night, we bought chicken on the way home. It did a serious number on my stomach. Lesson. Learned! I should stick to cooking my own food because I barely made it off the toilet long enough to get to a training at work! Lucky for me, there weren't any attractive co-workers available. I would have hated to experience some stomach issues in front of them! Hell No to that chicken place from now on!

This brings us to Wednesday... For all of you who don't do shift work, I think most people consider it the day they went into work until they get home the next day. For example, I come to work at midnight daily... Right now, for you is Thursday, but Thursday doesn't come around for me until about noon! So right now, I am still in Wednesday. And I am on track with my plan of doing book binding. I have to admit that I am completely losing focus and thrill over crafts right now. I really am bummed about this loss of motivation. I need all the inspiration and energy I can get!

So here's the secret of secrets.... I am planning to apply (for serious, for once in my life!) to the Renegade Arts & Crafts show in Chicago... The application is due October 15th. Less than 10 days from now!!! I have NO photos on my Flickr/website. I have only completed 4 crocheted items in the past 2 weeks. Let's face it, that's not worthy of a slot in the show! So I am hoping to kick it into high gear and make... 25 books by the end of this week. Then I will spend all next week sewing and making jewelry. WISH.ME.LUCK! I will need every prayer, positive thought, and if you have any 4 leaf clovers, please request my address because I will need those as well. It can totally be done. But I have to get on task! Tonight, I should have had 15 books cut and pasted... I have 5 almost cut, but not sanded and not covered with papers yet. The paste takes 24 hours to completely dry. What is wrong with me!!!

As proof of my distractions... I bought this amazing new mascara. I like the way it feels, but my lashes were Not 60% longer by any means.

I also got some flowers! I had a dream that I was making book covers out of flower petals and leaves. Of course, I don't want to pay... or be arrested for picking flowers off the road. So I went to a local florist and asked for their trash. Now, I will dry the flowers and leaves... Martha Steward, my biggest lesbian crush & craft/hobby soul mate, has an easy, cheap method.

OK, enough time wasted unfortunately. I have just an hour to cover books, finish laundry and get breakfast cooked. I also feel like I am forgetting some important work to finish as well. Oh well.

Tomorrow-- 1: post pictures for this entry. 2: Complete the 25 book boards. 3: Dry the flowers. 4: Cook a new recipe. 5: Pledge NOT to eat an entire container of brie and 6:SLEEEEEEEP!