Let’s do a Julie Powell!

•October 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I’ve recently been reading the blog that Julie & Julia is based on, and although I like the movie better, I’m enjoying it. The main result is that I have the urge to go through Mastering the Art of French Cooking and mark all the recipes I want to make. Percentage wise it’s a scant few recipes, but compared to the amount of recipes I tend to make, it’s rather a lot.

I’m never ever going to make an aspic, and things that are filled with nothing but spinach or onions are not going to make the cut. I have no interest in cutting up an entire artichoke just to get at the heart, I doubt I’ll ever be inclined to bone a duck, and some of the much more involved recipes I’m sure I won’t even look at. I’m also not a fan of meringue.

But I think it’d be nice to know how to poach an egg, and canapes appeal to me because they’re pretty much bread fried in butter. And who wouldn’t want to eat a souffle or Bavarian cream they made themselves? Now, I realize that souffles are supposed to be a bit difficult to get right (note how they always seem to deflate when people on tv try to cook them) and from reading Ms. Powell’s blog I think Bavarian creams might also be a bit of work, but I’m a fairly good cook anyway and, when I bother to use a recipe, I don’t find them hard to follow. I’d be willing to attempt several souffles in order to get it right.

So far, I’ve gone from olive oil to butter when I saute things in the past few weeks. (“Things” often refers to chicken breasts.) It’s SO delicious that I’m not sure why anyone would use oil to begin with, except that’s not really true… there are times when olive oil is the better option. Aside from that … you know how in the movie/book/blog, Julie says she’s getting fat? Well, apparently, frying things in butter is not a good way to not gain a little weight. In addition to that, it’s just beginning to get colder now, the time when your body says “oh, time to store more fat so I can stay warm!” I know it’s probably just a slight all-over gain, but to me it always just feels like my belly is getting flabbier.

Let’s get one thing straight; I am never EVER going to do what Julie Powell did and go through an entire cookbook (at least, not of that nature) in such a short span of time. I will probably never go through an entire cookbook, period. I don’t care about mastering the art of cooking in any culture. I’m a good cook, and I do plan to get better over time, but I don’t have any intensive cooking goals. All I’m saying is that I would like to try out a few of those recipes. If I’m lucky, and attentive, I bet they’ll come out nicely.

This is what happens when you read blogs about food…

But I Might Have a Job Soon

•October 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Two weeks and nothing new?

That’s right. I mostly limit my blogging to writing-related things these days, which means that all of my blog posts appear on my OTHER blog (http://devajashewaywriting.wordpress.com/). I am, in fact, only writing anything because I noticed that it has been exactly two weeks since my last post on this blog.

Yes, for the most part, each day passes much the same. I try to work on the job hunt, try to do something vaguely productive unrelated to job hunting, eat food. I try not to sit around in my pajamas every day. I end up having to buy something expensive (over $50 at least – like the time I bought a memory foam mattress pad to make the old futon I was sleeping on a little bit comfortable). I check to see if the enormous spider outside of my bedroom window is still there. (Right now, it is.)

I’m not one of those people who can take the “leisure” time of unemployment to do something really useful, like learning a language or new skill or finishing their novel. I’ve been trying quite hard to be a productive writer, but, as I’ve commented in my other blog, and possibly this one as well, unemployment sucks away all my time and will because the need to make money is pressing. Unemployment is not leisure. It is stress.

If you were hoping to read something of interest, I would suggest clicking on that link. My boring life of stressing about job searching can’t possibly offer much in terms of entertainment or thought-provocation, but my writing blog is more likely to be fun to read.

Interlude with a Feline

•October 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I started reading The Julie/Julia Project (the blog Julie & Julia is based on) this afternoon, after being linked to it through mediabistro.com. I’ve wondered since seeing the movie what the blog is really like, so I’m reading at least a few months’ worth of posts at the moment. The cat, who has been in the room but not close to me for much of the day, finally moved to my bed to hang out.

I went downstairs to claim my pastry, brought home by one of my roommates from the bakery where she works (yes, nearly everyone but me is employed). Incidentally, this pastry is a glorious thing. If heaven were a lemon cake, it would taste like this. I am currently digesting paradise. Mmmmm…

When I came back upstairs, the cat is sitting on my bed, facing my open laptop, the screen of which is showing the blog I’ve been reading. This is at least the third incident that seems to indicate his ability to read.

The Times They Are A-Changing

•October 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It’s strange how things change, don’t you think? How you start off headed in one direction, but in the end you’re somewhere completely different from where you thought you would be?

I started this blog because I thought it would be interesting to have a record of my stressful but fruitful move to California – mostly to benefit my family members on the east coast who might want to know what was happening in my life. Stressful, it certainly was, but fruitful? Not at all. No jobs were out there for me – not even minimum-wage store jobs wanted to hire me. Even the bookstore that wanted a children’s book seller, a category with which I’m exceedingly familiar (Thank you Worcester Public Library) never responded to my cover letter.

So I packed up and came back, ending up in Boston in a house full of people, some of whom have jobs and some who do not. I’m still in the “not” category. I had a freelance writing job, at an impressive rate for freelance, from what I understand (nearly 50 cents per word). I have not been paid for it yet. I don’t know how long it takes to receive checks from this company, but I sent the invoice over a month ago, and at this point having that $500 would be like an early Christmas present. In June I had a few babysitting gigs, but in June I also spent a lot of extra money on things, so the money I made babysitting didn’t really end up providing me extra padding for later on (read: now). I haven’t had a babysitting job since June. Ever noticed how one-time-gig jobs are difficult to get, and are insufficient once you do get them?

Right now I’m waiting to hear back from a full-time writing job that would be absolutely perfect for the time being (they said they ask people to sign a two-year contract, and I would have expected to stay at least that long). On Thursday, they gave me a timeline of 1-2 weeks. You have no idea how long that is until you’ve been unemployed, waiting to hear back from the job you most definitely want.

And during the rest of the time I fantasize about ways I could make money if I were smarter, or just luckier. I could sell knitted items (most likely, scarves, as I love scarves so much that it’s usually the only thing I want to knit). I’m a singer with years of training, and I could have a regular singing gig – if I happened to come across one. I don’t want to pursue singing as a career, but if things worked out that way, I wouldn’t complain. (I’m not saying I wouldn’t work on my singing and music very hard, but marketing myself as a singer? Ugh. No fun.) I could read books for money – although how you actually get those jobs, the legit ones, that is, is beyond me. I would LOVE to read books for money.

And I could get published… but I don’t have the money to invest in writing contests or sending manuscripts to publishers – not to mention that such an endeavor would have more of a long-term outlook, as it usually takes at least a few months to get a response. If I had an income (more specifically an income that could cover such a thing) I would enter up to 4 contests a month, and at least one every month.

I’ve been living off what I managed to make in a part-time job I had while I was still living in Worcester, but now it’s run out. Come the end of October, if I’m still working with only what I have now, I won’t be able to cover any of my bills. Hello, debt! But with a little more effort and a little more luck than I’ve had so far, it won’t come to that. Please hope with me.

At Least Sometimes I Have Fun

•June 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Haven’t I just been so busy posting in my writing blog that I haven’t though much about this one? It’s going well so far, although I haven’t blogged quite as much as I wanted to when I began it. Need to get the momentum going. I have to have a full day of working on very short pieces, and post them all individually. That’ll get me pretty far.

Last night, went to a dance part in Central Square. It was fun, although the music was somewhat lacking for the most part and I ended up going home by myself (i.e. didn’t have anyone to ride the train with). In itself I don’t mind that, just that it takes so long… in any case I’m glad I went!

Today we ventured to the beach. We got there after 5 and stayed about an hour and a half. It’s my first beach trip for a while. It was nice to see the ocean.

This blog is quickly becoming an endeavor of the past… when I was across the country from everyone who wanted to know about my life, it served a purpose. Now, it seems less important to document everything I see – most likely because Boston and the surrounding area is so familiar to me. It might make more sense to focus on the writing blog, since my most interesting posts will end up there. Because why would I ever post something creative and contemplative anywhere else, once the writing blog is created?

Do You Need To Lose Something?

•June 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Hire me and I will lose it for you! I am available as a Loser for hourly service, or pay for a whole day! I should make this a real personal ad. I would be a great professional loser.

Today, as I was stepping off the red line at Park St., my mp3 player fell out of my pocket. On its way down, it pulled my headphones out of my ears, and then fell through the crack between the train and the platform. I moved along, immediately resigned to the fact that it was just gone. I was very upset for about 25 minutes.

I started thinking about all the things I lose that matter to me. Once in a while I’ll lose one earring of a pair, generally while wearing them. I don’t lose my most special jewelry, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to me. I own very few earrings that I wouldn’t mind losing. Yet I continue to wear earrings out in the world where they might be lost to me forever…

Once, I lost my umbrella. It turned up about a year later in a different room in the same building where I misplaced it.

That type of luck is likely never to happen again. Especially in the entire city of Boston…

Moving In

•June 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have a new writing blog. If you look off to the side where the calendar is, you’ll see a link to it. I bet you can guess which link it is… so far I haven’t built up many posts, but I plan to put something up every day if I can manage it. With any luck, I’ll slowly build up readers… feedback on the writing is eagerly welcomed.

Today I walked down Washington St. to Cafenation for lunch. It’s about a 15 minute walk, fairly pleasant and a much-needed bit of exercise… They have excellent coffee for my taste, and I had a delicious pesto chicken sandwich. They also have smoothies and a nice selection of crepes, which I intend to try next time I go there to eat. It’s a nice little space… next time I’m writing a novel, maybe I’ll do some of the work there.

Yesterday, I finally took my comforter set out of the package. I’ve had it since October or November, but hadn’t really needed it. I still don’t really, as it’s summer and likely to be warm out, but I wanted to add some comfort to my life. The cat really likes my comforter. He’s spent hours on my bed since I laid it out. I’m glad. I’ll take all the cat love I can get. (Platonic only, though!) In addition, this comforter set is gorgeous. Come over to my house, you’ll see what I mean.

I’m off to apply to an editing job and then watch the Glee finale. Life is SO HARD!!