Sticky

When a website has good content and consequently people want to spend more time on it, the site is referred to as “sticky.” I wouldn’t go so far as to call this blog sticky, but I am going to write about sticky things tonight.

I’ll start out on a light note.  I made this kettle corn recipe tonight and discovered that I really need to improve my popcorn making skills. When I was a kid, if we wanted popcorn we used a pan, oil, and some loose popcorn. Jiffy Pop was available, but my family was too cheap to buy it. Then the hot air popper came on the market, and shortly after that came microwave popcorn. Despite being cheap, my family did get an air popper and a microwave, and the old style of making popcorn stopped.

The main skill I’m lacking is the ability to judge when the oil is hot enough to add the popcorn. I think I put the popcorn kernels and sugar in the pan too soon, resulting in nearly burnt sugar by the time the popcorn was popped. I still ate the popcorn, though. Not wasting food was one of those frugal things I learned from my family. Besides, it wasn’t that bad. The sugar had just carmelized to the point of being nearly (but not quite) bitter, that’s all.

My writing was interrupted so I now have to deal with the sticky problem of re-writing much of my post. For whatever reason, WordPress didn’t autosave my draft so I’ve lost most of it. 😦

The stickiest situation is B. We spend weekends together and then it’s hard to adjust back to being alone during the week. I teeter-totter between being just fine by myself for several days to being lonely. The fun and pleasure of being with him falls in between. So I guess being with B is sticky: the more time I spend with him, the more I want.

On course

It’s Sunday night and time to write again! It’s late and I need to get to bed soon, so this will have to be a short post, though.

Weekends go so fast. Where did the time go?

  • Friday night dinner with Rachael at Xoco. I think I started things off on the wrong foot or it would have been a better evening. I was hungry and hadn’t expected that we would have to wait for over 40 minutes to eat, so I was a bit cranky at first. But good friends understand that you can’t always be at your best. Despite the celebrity chef food, I enjoyed the home-cooked dinner at Rachael’s apartment the last time we got together much better.
  • Cleaning the house on Saturday morning. I actually dusted. I hate dusting. I had put it off for so long, some of my shelves were pretty bad, so it was a necessary evil. To make the time go as pleasantly as possible, I chatted with Adrienne as I performed the dreaded chore.
  • Working out with the trainer at the gym. I like the new trainer I have. She’s very personable and motivating and she’s adding boxing and yoga stretching to my routine. Fun!
  • Going out to lunch with B. We hit another Mexican sandwich shop (the second in two days!). This time it was Cemita’s Puebla in Humboldt Park. The restaurant had been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and they have lots of signage noting this honor. It was sweet how we were greeted by the owner as soon as we walked in and given an overview of what makes their food different. B and I shared a plate of chalupas, then he finished his carne asada cemita while I struggled through my Milanesa cemita. I think I liked his better, but they were both very good. Washed down with some Mexican Coke (glass bottles and sugar-sweetened), I managed to finish most of my cemita, but I was absolutely stuffed afterwards.
  • Movie night! After spending a few hours of downtime digesting our enormous lunch, B and I headed out to see Social Network. Actually we had decided to see Nowhere Boy, but the movie times were wrong on Fandango, and we didn’t want to wait another hour at the theater. Social Network was on our list, too, so it wasn’t hard to change our plans. I was a bit confused by all the jumping back and forth between different depositions at the beginning of the film, but it eventually became clear what was going on.
  • Sleeping in. Oh boy did we sleep in today! I did have to get up to take care of the dogs at around 7:30 AM, but I went back to bed and quickly went back to sleep. I finally woke up at 10:30. Unheard of! There was a bit more lounging in bed after that. So much lounging that breakfast was really lunch today. I put together a pot of chili and started it simmering, then it was time to head out to the garden. All of the warm weather plants needed to be pulled: the tomatoes, the peppers, the cucumbers, and the pole beans. Such a lot of work it was, too, but B was helping me so it went much more quickly than I thought it would. There’s more garden clean up to do in a few more weeks, but I’m well set for the first frost. And I think I have enough cucumbers and peppers to last me a very long time, if only they’ll keep. The peppers can be cut up, bagged and added to the freezer, but the cucumbers need to be eaten within the next week or two. I see lots of cucumbers in my upcoming menus.

So, how did you spend your weekend?

Discipline

I made a promise to myself this week that I would make time to write on my blog on Sunday night. In fact, I’m trying to make time to write every Sunday night.

The fact is that I’ve been in a rut lately. I’m creatively stagnant. My work isn’t engaging me the way it has in the past, and I’m not quite sure what to do to re-engage myself. I’m wanting a change, but I’m not sure what that is, and I don’t feel like I have the ability to spend any time thinking about what that could be, either.

So I’m trying some “hacks” such as setting aside time every week to write. Writing is something I’ve always been driven to do, so why not use that as a kernel on which I can build and stimulate some ideas for what I can do next to get myself going again.

Really, I started writing a long time ago. I can’t even remember exactly when I started. I have some short stories and partial stories that I wrote back in grade school, and I recall giving one of my teachers in 5th grade (or was that 6th grade?) a story that I had written about a lion so she could edit it and make suggestions.

I also attempted to do something a bit more forceful to kick-start some creative thinking: I applied for a one-month work-study at Esalen that runs from mid-December to mid-January. My plan was to take a sabbatical from work and use the time to think as I performed the “work” portion of the work-study.

Note that I refer to my plan in the past tense since it has already gone awry. Esalen’s work-study program is apparently full at that time, so I can sit on the wait list until 2 weeks in advance, or I can just give up. I’m not sure which I should do, quite frankly, but at least I’ve made some sort of progress so far. Even if it isn’t in the direction I had planned.