This Isn’t Funny

Pretty much.

‘I saw your post on FB about those people who got busted with $70K and heroin. You should be careful. People like that are dangerous. You never know.’

My Dad said this to me yesterday about a post I made about a couple, that I don’t know, who got busted in my town. The horrifying comment I made was this, ‘My town. Classy. Also, check out the dude’s shirt’. He got busted while wearing a Breaking Bad fleece. I find that hilarious. Anyhow, the point of this is; my Dad thinks that these people are going to track me down and do something horrible to me. In other words; watch what you say, there could be consequences.

I’m tired. I’m very very tired of being afraid to write. You may think, from my previous posts, and certainly if you know me in real life, that I don’t give a shit.  I do. I give many shits.  I am nearly paralyzed with fear writing every post. This one makes me feel like throwing up.

My family has always been very supportive of my writing, as long as I don’t say anything personal, or anything that could get me into trouble, or anything that could be controversial. I am an excellent reporter, I am an excellent essayist. If anything gets into sharing feelings or non-funny anecdotes, or anything that might be controversial, forget it.

There have been numerous times in my life, my earlier life, when I got in so much trouble for my writing it actually changed the course of my life. Time and time again, I learned that writing = punishment. You’d think that I would have just stopped. I can’t. Maybe I’m a masochist. Writing is what I have wanted to do since I was in the 2nd grade.

Lately I have come up against a creative block unlike anything I’ve been through before. I’m scared of it. I simultaneously feel like I’m backed up against a wall and at the edge of a bottomless pit. It’s the fear. I have the fear. It’s not a fear of success, it’s not a fear of failure, it’s fear of being punished for what I have to say. Let’s face it, with the way the internet is, it’s a very real possibility. But, here’s the other thing, if I don’t let go, if I don’t start writing some real shit, I’m all done as a writer. I will never be able to write a good memoir, or a really gruesome horror story, or a super steamy sex scene.

The boat is going down, but I still have a couple seconds to put on the survival suit, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Let It Go

How many blog posts have that title right now, eh? Thanks, Disney! Anyhow, let’s discuss letting things go, shall we? I think we could all use a little letting go. I’ll start. I’m letting go of pretending that I am a DIYer. I’m not. It’s not going to happen. ‘But Kate, you have like 9 Pinterest boards filled with gardening and house stuff and crafts‘. I KNOW. I know this. But that is because I WANT to be a DIYer, that is not the same as being a DIYer. I’m going to tell you right now, I’m never going to paint a room, sew a dress, or plant an amazing flower garden. This is not for lack of trying. I am good at a lot of things, doing things myself is not one of them.

Not really sure what this is about, but I found it on wikimedia. I’m very interested in learning about this anti climb paint….

I cannot paint at all. ‘Oh, but it’s so easy! You just move all the things and then tape it up and then prime it and then paint it and then take the tape down and then put all the things back and you’re done!’. Wow, you make it sound so enticing! Look, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. Even knowing this about myself, I attempted to paint our upstairs bathroom a few years ago. I read all the tutorials, I went to the store and discussed painting with the dude, and bought all the supplies he told me to get. I taped, I primed, I painted. In addition to the paint that I managed to get on the ceiling and the unevenness in spots – which I was totally ready to tolerate – the paint is now crackling and peeling in such a way I’m going to have to pay someone at least a grand to come fix. Instead of owning my inability to paint I spent about $150 to DIY, that is now going to be $1000 to fix. Awesome!

Sewing. I pretend that I can sew things. As you can imagine, with my inability to draw a straight line, I am also unable to cut things in a straight line or sew things in a straight line. A very, very simple project such as my recent attempt to turn a maxi dress into a skirt – a 5 minute task for most – took me over 2 hours, and it’s still not done. Now I have one ruined dress, a lost afternoon, and a sewing machine with a bunch of mangled thread stuck in the bobbin hole.

Alluring, no? Outcome desired, will achieve via visit to farmers’ market.

Gardening. I live on 3 acres of land. I’d say about 1/2 acre is lawn. Maybe a bit more. I have a VERY TINY little spot that I have dumped, oh I’d say probably $1200 into over the past decade, trying to turn it into a Beautiful! Fun! So Easy! Flower garden. I’ve bought dirt, I’ve dug, I’ve mulched, I’ve planted. I’ve replanted. I’ve remulched. Every year the weeds creep in and every year I say, ‘Fuck it, this is stupid.’ Then every Spring I go ahead and do it again. ‘How about one of those neat strawberry towers that you grow in pots? Little maintenance! So pretty! So delicious.’ Made it. Looked like shit. Didn’t yield anything. Froze and blew apart.

I get it. I’m supposed to feel bad that I am terrible at DIY. I’m supposed to enjoy doing this stuff, and I am not under any circumstances supposed to pay someone else to do it, or buy things premade. I’m tired of it. There are a lot of things I do really well. As you can see – I’m an excellent writer. I can cook like a bad-ass. I can knit actual, wearable things. I’m done. I’m ready to let go feeling bad about and aspiring to do things that just aren’t worth it to me. Not only am I ready to let it go, I’m ready to say, ‘I don’t care.’

Ringers Are Key

Chugging right along on my list of Unreasonable Goals. Doing really well this year. I have to say, I’m really enjoying the Reddit food challenge. No, I haven’t posted any of my progress on Reddit because I’m scared to death of those kids. I’ve taken some pretty crappy photos of some of my meals so far:

 

Challenge Eggs. I didn’t do anything wild, just scrambies.

Challenge Polish. I made my first pierogies! They looked horrible but tasted pretty good. Didn’t make wrappers, used wonton instead. Not bad.

Challenge One Pot. Beef Stew. So good

I’m trying to stretch my cooking legs a bit, but I admit to making some stuff I’ve made before. I’ve kept up with each week so far, well, except last week – poaching. I plan on poaching something AND doing a TV inspired meal this week. I’m thinking about making an enormous amount of pudding, inspired by Walking Dead:

Oh, Carl. Such a little shit. Via Mashable

I’m taking a class at USM this semester, and it requires a fair amount of reading. In order to stay on my game, I’m counting my books for class towards my goal. ONLY if I read the whole book though. OCD, OCD. I just read Gilgamesh for class. I think I read it when I was a freshmen in high school also. I highly recommend it. Excellent read. I just finished the Man Booker Prize winning Luminaries. I give it a hearty shoulder shrug. Good mystery. Relied way to heavily on structural tricks. I don’t have time for that sort of thing. Interesting concept though.

I registered for the Dynamic Dirt Challenge, so I’m on my way to completing that goal. If it ever stops snowing I can start running again. Meanwhile I’m working on upper body strength, since according to YouTube videos of the event, I will need to do some army crawling through pipes and whatnot.

I’ve been updating my spreadsheet regularly and am really happy with my progress so far this year. I never expect to reach all my goals each year. Honestly, I figure if I end up with a year-end avg of over 30% I’ve done a hell of a job.

Unreasonable Goals Are Back!

If you’ve been following my sporadic blogging since the beginning, you may remember the 30 List.  Basically, turning 30 totally flipped me out. I felt like I had a ton of stuff I wanted to do and hadn’t done. When I was 29 I created a list of 30 things to do before I turned 30. I completed a bunch of them. After my birthday I decided to make it an annual event. Each year I add a line. I have yet to complete everything on the list. I repeat some things year to year, and some things just keep rolling over because I haven’t done them. Basically it’s a todo/bucket list combo.

Why do I do it?

  •  I like to make lists
  • I think it’s important to record achievements throughout the year
  • Doing a yearly list helps me think of new things I want to do
  • I think it’s essential to challenge oneself physically and mentally no matter your age

This year, like all years, I hope to update you frequently. I’ll use my crappy drawings and photos. I’m going to shoot for once a week, because as you can see, I’ve got quite a few weekly goals. Will I do it? Who friggin’ knows. I’m ambitious, but also lazy.

Unreasonable Goals 2014. It’s also a separate page up in the header.

Anyhow, I’ve made a spreadsheet! If you’re lucky I’ll also make a graph! Holy shit. Can you handle it?

*Dear friends that have been following along. Yes, I skipped 2013. I was dying of the flu on my birthday last year and also had a new baby.*

New and Improved!

This is the obligatory “Where Have I Been?” post! I’ll keep it short. You may also have noticed this blog is totally different. I’m taking it in a new direction. I hope you like it!

Last February, I got knocked up, and felt like crap for about 3 months.

On the couch

 

After I got off the couch, I had a lot of getting ready to do.

pregnant shopping

Now there are four of us and we are super happy and super friggin’ busy.

Family

So, that’s where I’ve been. I’m sure you have a lot of questions like, “What’s up with the crappy drawings?” and “No, really. What’s up with the crappy drawings?” I’m working on more posts and will answer all your questions soon.

Dear Professor Internet,

So, as you may recall from my previous post, I have embarked on a mission of self-improvement and study via free online classes at MIT. Having investigated this a bit over the past week, I can say this, the word class is used VERY loosely here. You have no teacher, no other students, no forum for sharing work or ideas or getting feedback. Do I think these classes are in any way a threat to higher education? Um, no.

For me, it’s more of a guided reading and writing exercise experience focusing on food writing, and that’s cool. And, I did shell out and buy a couple of books that are “required reading” so, that’s cool too. Anyhow the first assignment is:

WRITE a letter to me introducing yourself to me as a writer: What’s your relationship
to writing? What are your hopes (and fears?) for this class? What happened with you
and writing in high school, or elsewhere? Anything else about you & writing you
want to tell me? –e.g., is English your second language, writing you’ve done on your
own, what you like to read . . .

Meh. I’ll do it. Here you go.

Dear Professor Internet,

If you are reading this, you already know some stuff about me. Well, at least you know how to get to my blog, and from there, you can learn pretty much all you need to know about me. As much as I care to share with the internet anyway.

Maybe something you don’t know is that I do a fair amount of writing about food. I do the PR for two local farmers’ markets which requires me to write fairly lengthy articles about both each week all season. Each market runs about 20 weeks, so that’s around 40 articles per season. My writing for the markets is good, but nothing like the food writing that I would like to be doing. This is not to say I don’t like the writing I’m doing, just that it could be much better. It could be funnier, it could be more descriptive, it could have more soul. Though, that’s a pretty tall task considering our local paper insists, nay, DEMANDS that the submissions be in strict PR format. I tried to mix it up a bit last year, and they had a fit. But I digress.

What I am looking to do, as all writers do, as all writers must, is improve. Stretch my legs a bit. Read some pieces and write some essays (which honestly in this setting are nothing more than writing prompts) as suggested by someone in the know, someone who has pushed little food writers out of the nest for years.

So that, Professor Internet, is what I’m up to.

Regards,

Me

 

 

Good Morning, Professor.

It’s time to put no money where my mouth is! I never finished college. I talk about going back and yet, never get around to it. There are a lot of reasons. Anyhow, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about me doing one of the freeee classes from MIT’s open course ware (they call it OCW, and so will I). Basically, MIT and a bunch of other colleges have put entire classes online and people can take them for free, at their leisure. Obviously there is no credit. Obviously there is no professor. Obviously it’s all up to me.

Why do you guys care about this? Because I’m going to post all my coursework here. As you may have guessed I am interested in writing intensive courses. And, as I mentioned before I have no one to pass them to. So, I’m going to put them here and y’all can grade me if you want. I might even put a little poll thing on the side for easy grading.

Jesus Christ, isn’t that kind of grade crazy? Aren’t you a little wacko? Thanks for asking! Yes, on both accounts. I like feedback, and if you have been reading this blog for long at all, you also know I’m a bit crackers. Maybe a lot crackers. Maybe more like a box of oyster crackers (because they are small and you can fit a lot in the box).

The first class I’m going to embark on is this: Writing on Contemporary Issues: Food for Thought: Writing and Reading about the Cultures of Food. You can check out the details, assignments etc. at the link. I have a number of essays I will be writing AND an oral presentation, sooo I guess I will podcast it up. Scary. Necessary.

Anyhow, that’s what I’m up to. You will either find it super interesting or boring as hell. I care not.

In closing, please enjoy this video of Hot For Teacher by Van Halen circa 1984. It is both degrading to woman and not pertinent at all to this post.