Saturday, November 13, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Ohhhh.... What happened?! I am so confused! I am really bad with math, so that has to be the problem. The calculator has to be wrong! I just counted...well "calcu-counted" that there are 43 days until Christmas... FORTY THREE DAYS! Where did the whole year go? I am completely dumbfounded. Just a second ago, I revised my Christmas list. In the back of my mind, I was thinking that I should maybe cut a few items out of the list. Either I changed my mind about who should get what gift or I reconsidered who should get a gift from me at all instead of just a card and/or a friendly hug. Well, let me say this... not counting about 10 people who I spontaneously put on the *hhhmmmm... Lemme get back to you on that* list, I have 38 Christmas presents to make! That is almost one per day!!! I think I might have just soiled myself... Let me check!
Ok... just kidding about that last statement. I didn't shit myself, but I feel like I could spontaneously rupture at any moment! On the one hand, I am excited. I love a challenge. Nothing motivates me more than knowing that the odds are against me. On the other hand, this is going to be one of the biggest failures I have set myself up for in a while. Which brings me back to the positive side of things. When I get stressed and bummed, I totally engage in self-destructive things like: spending more time with friends & family, writing letters, completing art projects that have nothing to do with anything other than personal gratification and/or education, reading, cooking & eating amazing food, and shopping. Under normal conditions, I try to limit all of those things because they are all huge time-wasters in reality (with the exception of spending time with family, of course!). But in the rare situation that I get to indulge in any of these activities, I am always grateful. Even though it is supposed to be a "bad thing".
As someone with a gargantuan appetite for life, I have completely, and almost unknowingly bitten off more than I could ever chew, swallow, or digest.
Last month, I became super excited about this writing project for National Novel Writing Month. But then, I decided to challenge myself to finish all Christmas presents for pen pals by November 19th. But then I also decided that I wanted to make this really cute, colorful blanket... I was inspired by some multi-colored, slightly tacky yarn while in Hobby Lobby. But then I got back into making jewelry because I found these cute beads also while in Hobby Lobby! So then I went back to writing... but I couldn't think of anything to write. Marital problems began to boil over, and I became side tracked with ways to de-stress that didn't involve a shot gun or doing shots. When that died down, I was off from work, but spent most of those days hanging around with my daughter, completely unmotivated to do anything of importance. Believe it or not, I didn't even cook! After that, I decided more art and less cooking elaborate recipes, but then I went on a baking frenzy... I baked 3 cakes and 2 batches of cupcakes for the girls I work with. I also decided no more working too much so I would have more time for all these projects... and time to study and learn French. But then, I was offered so many extra shifts, that I couldn't say no. It's easy, yet stressful, work and it's over time pay. Then I went to the dentist. Terrible idea! Just bad news there... And so I became obsessed with my teeth and I was literally spending hours per day looking in my mouth and flossing very carefully. All the floss in the world won't make my wisdom teeth grow in. They will have to be cut out because they are happily residing under bones in my jaw. Since I will have to pay for that extraction, I chose to accept even more over time.
As you can see, the extra stress has me rambling like a mad woman! Where am I now with everything? I have portions of 2 gifts made for 2 pen pals. I have 1700 words written of my novel...which is about 18,304 words less than what I should have by now if I were on any sort of a writing schedule. I only learned one new word in French *bois*. I actually can't remember what it means, but I know it is pronounced *Boowah*, not *Boys*. It has something to do with water, mouth, or drinking...maybe cup. Who knows!
As of right now, I am going to be investing in some de-stressing techniques... like over eating, binge drinking, sleeping too much, avoiding my problems, and watching Julie Julia every single day because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Somehow, in addition to those counter productive activities, I also plan to blog -- even if just a short note underneath a picture taken on my cell phone-- every single day as I countdown to my doom! I am pretty excited about it to be honest. These Cheeto's Puffs and Coke are a treat! I haven't had either in at least two months, back when I swore to cook more often and delete all trash foods from my diet, especially while at work.
The plan for tonight.... Finish the one scarf I have started for my pen pal. It is 2:40am. I have until 6:30 to finish it. That is approximately 3.5 hours of hard work... I can finish Julie & Julia and start it back over again in that time. I will also make my self a huge bowl-sized mug of coffee, plan out this week's recipes (Dude, I know! I have no time to plan and cook tons of recipes! But I love to cook!).
I also need to re-think some things for my novel. The main character was supposed to be female, but as I got lost in writing, she became a He. How did that happen? I don't have the slightest clue, but I know that I just completely leave this world when I write. I let the story go where it goes and I just hang on for the ride...so maybe the main character is supposed to be a male. But dammit! I want to see more Power Women on the scene! I will think about this over coffee, crocheting, meal planning and my movie. We will see what I decide.
The goal for tomorrow night, while at work is to finish another present and to write 3500 words. This is just a few hours of typing for me, so I should be able to do both. My goal is also NOT to watch Julie & Julia. Aside from my concerns about this odd obsession with the movie, I am genuinely becoming worried that I might damage the DVD and then what would I do with myself when I get stressed or bummed out? I would have to resort to all my other films, which are sinister, violent, and dark... more my style and preference, but they don't make me happy in the end the way that watching actors pretend to cook amazing French dishes does!
Until then... oh-reh-vwah! I have no idea how to spell anything in French except *BOIS*. But can spell all the sounds.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Tonight was a relatively good night at work. Perhaps I should have thought twice before returning to work and accepting to work 2 double shifts back to back. I have to make it through one more hellacious night tomorrow. Only tomorrow, I have no intention on eating nearly as much in order to stay awake! I will try to use conversation, which failed me miserably tonight because I kept slurring my words from exhaustion. I will try to write some pen pals back. I am behind in letters. I couldn't make this happen tonight either. I kept having to use my correction tape because my sentences made no sense. Most importantly, I will work out. Before bringing in any craft items to work on (because I will be too tired to lift a finger) I will bring in my work out items. I will also pack a huge edible survival kit of high protein items (whatever that means) and vegetables with dip. Oh my! I just stared at my now empty paper towel, where my Lean Pocket once was, and thought of eating the napkin!! I am going crazy!
Well, well. Projects! Let's be honest, do you really think I finished all of those things? Apparently, when I am home, I am not interested in doing art. I would obviously rather spend time with my three year old and cook good, wholesome meals. I did start to work on a purse/tote. I tried to make it significantly more complex than I have the skills to execute. It took me two and a half days to realize that what I was trying to do was beyond my skill level and I ended up changing it completely, meaning I started over. So now, I have about half of a bag out of everything on the list.
The good thing about my little Christmas list for pen pals is that I will be back at work for the rest of the month. While at work, I am inspired and completely compelled to finish work that I plan on. If all else fails, I know I can start and finish a project at work.
I just had a very vivid vision of me frantically brushing my teeth with my head all the way back as I simultaneously squeezed globs and globs of toothpaste from a never ending tube.
Well, I best start my tasks for the night. One should be finished in the next 20 minutes... I am not sure whether this is to happen or not, but it can't hurt to try. I think I will learn French online as I work to start and finish all my work in the next hour or two.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
By Sunday night, technically your Monday, at 8am, when I am finished with work, I will have the following completed:
- 3 hat & scarf sets
- 3 decorated canvas totes
- 3 stationery sets
- 5 books/journals/photo albums (not each, but they are all just books really!)
- 2 make up bags
- 1 charcoal drawing
Yesss.... It can be DONE! And this will be the funnest challenge I have completed in a Long time... Imagine: **Extreme giddy excitement**
Go ahead and doubt me if you like, but I've already won both the race and all the bets!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
As you may remember I have been going on and on and on about this whole Boeuf Bourguignon recipe since forever. Well, it hasn't happened. I am totally intimidated by the recipe! I did, however, manage to get a book from Border's on sale full of some of Julia Child's most famous recipes. The funny thing is I am too sheepish to even attempt most of them. The even funnier thing is that I spend hours per day studying the same recipes of interest over and over as though I will be tested on them. In fact, at this point I can probably recite at least 6 recipes from complete memory, but I haven't mustered up the guts to take all that knowledge to the kitchen where it belongs!
Shortly there after, my husband comes up with the glorious idea that he is craving home made chicken noodle soup! A little secret I kept from him was that I have been dreaming of trying to make that soup for at least 6 months. You would think that it is some sort of insanely complicated feat. It's really not! But of course in true "Bri Fashion" I had to research about 60 recipes all over the internet and in random library cook books until I came up with something I thought I could manage with the ingredients I had on hand. Again, in true "Bri Fashion", while researching the chicken soup, I got distracted and decided I wanted to make some dumpling soup too. I have no clue what exactly a dumpling is to this day! Nor do I have a clue as to how people make their own noodles! But I can say this with perfect intelligence: Go to the damn grocery store and get the shit in a box/bag/jar. And that is what I did!
I was worried about both of these store bought products. As you can see, the noodles called themselves "dumplings", but they didn't resemble the gnocchi at all...which, did appear to be what I know as dumplings. I was afraid the boxed, dried gnocchi was going to be rock hard in the soup, especially because the box said to boil them for just 5-8 minutes. And I was sure the egg "dumplings" were going to dissolve completely into muck!
Just my luck... neither of those things happened!
My second dilemma was that I had no intention on buying and boiling an entire chicken to get stock. I planned on making two totally different soups! I wasn't about to fool with boiling, chopping, and all that! So I used some boneless, skinless breasts that I baked in spices and well... yup, you guessed it... BUTTER! I love me some butter. It makes everything tastes better, different, richer. Well, everything but asparagus, that is!
Again, with the photo uploader. Sometimes, I really do think that everyone and everything is out to get me...including the Blogger people! Ha!
In the end, the egg "dumplings" didn't dissolve. Thank goodness. I would have hated to explain that I ruined my husband's dream lunch by turning it into baby food. It was almost like it came from a can... meaning it wasn't some strange and unfamiliar flavor, but it was Better. And just so you know, these are not my words. My Husband said so!
The creamy chicken & dumpling soup was all right. It actually needed to sit before being eaten. I was shocked about that because I had anticipated something more exciting to come of that soup. I am not sure what the package creators had in mind, but letting the gnocchi simmer for 15-20 minutes was a Much better idea because then they take up the flavor of the soup rather than just tasting like flavorless, industrial potato balls, which is what they resembled after 5 minutes of being boiled.
Well, I don't want to knock the recipe that I found. I also won't post a link to it. All I can say, briefly, is that there is a reason I hate baked mac & cheese. It tastes powdery and not creamy. But the recipe did have an interesting point to it. There was this method of mixing and stirring butter, flour, and cheese until it turned into a complete cream sauce. That was delicious until I went and baked everything. So, I will return to that microwave method again...very soon! Who doesn't love mac & cheese. It's like an all-American staple! Or at least that's what I tell myself.
The sad thing about all this is that, despite my joy of cooking, no pun intended, and my complete delight in satiety, I have decided that I better get on a diet. If I eat another FOUR sticks of butter in one day, I might have a heart attack... or wake up with an additional 47 pounds that found its way to my body over night.
Tomorrow, I am going to focus more on art than eating. In fact, I have come up with another idea to distract myself from the fact that I am unable to focus long enough to complete my goals of opening an online shop to sell my crafts. I have absolutely nothing on my walls. I think that I will find some art online and create a pastiche from some famous artist. Since I really enjoy black and white charcoal drawings, that is the medium I have chosen in order to complete my project.
I found some amazing pictures from one of my favorite artists, Robert Longo:
Untitled (Ulysses) from the Yingxiong (Heroes) 2009 Exhibition
This amazing pilot mask is a charcoal on mounted paper drawing, not a photo! I think it's sheer genius. Just like this next one:
Russian Bomb (Them)/Semipalatinsk from the Sickness of Reason 2003 exhibition
Well, let me reassure you that I have no real talent of this expertise. Having viewed all of his collections- charcoal drawings, 3-D exhibitions, and photos- I just want to admit that am not a photographer to this capacity, first of all, and I am not sure that my attention span would allow me the opportunity to create detailed drawings of this magnitude. This, however, is an example of the sort of awe that I want to evoke.... in the very few and typically random house guests I happen to have.
Instead, I have chosen to do large charcoal drawings of dancers. I found these amazing photos by Lois Greenfield. As mentioned before, I love dynamic photos, and what could be more dynamic than someone dancing. Although, not all of her work is in black & white, I will print the photos in b&w and then draw from the copies. She has literally hundreds of photos to choose from, so you can imagine my head spinning as I try to choose which ones would be the best for my living room.
Here are a few of my favorites:
New York City Ballet Co.
Most of these seem to be of the ballet influence. I am not sure which genre of dance I will stick with. I know it is not my style to have one cohesive collection of items, rather than some melting pot of seemingly nonsensical insanity. I would really hate for the meaning only to lie within my own heart and mind. I want, when someone comes through my front door, for the first thing they see are these ginormous amazing works of art. I want breaths to be taken away. I want people to feel a sense of awe, excitement, and joy. And if it is a woman who walks through and sees ballerinas (if that is what I go with...), then I want for her to go back to a time when she was a little girl and the most important thing to her was her holiday dress and she would spend hours and hours pretending to be a world renowned ballerina. That is what I genuinely believe all little girls think of at some point- the beauty, discipline, grace, flow, and respect that a ballerina exudes. Unfortunately, I am not all that feminine anymore, so it would be uncharacteristic of me to have huge drawings of ballerinas all over, but I am not really designing and creating for myself... I am doing it for what I believe all artists work for- to inspire onlookers, to set a point of view, to chnage opinions, to push boundaries... to evoke emotions that have been unknown, forgotten or repressed.
So as soon as I collect the funds to get the paper to draw on, preferably a 38X50 inch piece of Stonehenge, I will whip out my never before used easel and get straight to work.... Oh, yes, I am forgetting something. I have to do one of my absolute least favorite tasks: Make a Decision! I better get that part together, otherwise, I will never buy the paper. And with no paper... well, we all know where that will have me ending up- Right where I am now... Nowhere! And we can't have that.
Tomorrow, I will show off some of my little hooking journeys that I have made in the last two weeks. It's winter time, and I am all about creating cute little ways to keep warm! If I am diligent, which is almost never, but a girl can dream right... I will give a little sneaky peak into some Christmas presents. If I am patient and diligent, I will also do a GIVEAWAY this week-- woo hoo! I am excited to do my first give away *Big Goofy Smiles* So all you praying folk out there who enjoy hand made crafts... get them prayer shawls on and say a little prayer for me to have Focus, Determination, and good Craft-womanship this week!
Monday, November 1, 2010
Rather than trying to kill my laptop or searching for those responsible for ruining my blogging experience, I am going to get some sleep!
STUPID BLOGSPOT!!! I gots my eyes on you!