Author Archives: mommyk8

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.

 

Yoga pants, invented by the devil.

Yoga Pants Ruined My Life

I am not a sweatpants kind of girl. In high school gym class, when I wasn’t skipping to smoke behind the tennis courts, I wore jeans until the teacher yelled at me and threatened to flunk me, and then I wore shorts.  Sweatpants in days of yore were so lame, with their drawstrings and tight, elastic ankles. Gross. Who wants to wear fuzzy jodhoppers? Not me. Also, the word “sweat” is in their name. And we all know that sweating is disgusting. Who wants to sweat in their pants? Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Then I grew up, and discovered that through the magic of yoga I could get some exercise and not get all gross. However, yoga in jeans is not that awesome and I live in Maine so yoga in shorts isn’t preferable either. I was going to have to get some yoga specific work

Yoga pants, invented by the devil.

out gear. So, in the early 2000s, yoga pants and I met for the first time.

I should have known the dangers when a pregnant friend told me she saved money on maternity clothes by wearing her yoga pants all the time. She was well into her 3rd trimester.

It was love at first wear. Stretchy, but not so stretchy I felt like I was one of those leggings wearing ladies. Thick enough to not show my underwear lines or my cellulite, and with a flattering flared leg, yoga pants were a level of comfort previously only known to the sweat pants people.  I started wearing yoga pants all the time. Not just when I was doing yoga. I would wear them to bed, and then just wear them all day. So, yes, I was wearing my pajamas all day. Sometimes I would do yoga in them. Usually not though.  Usually I sat around and dicked around on Myspace and googled things and wrote articles about how hard it is to be a writer. Yeah, pretty much what I do all day now, except now I dick around on Facebook and Twitter.

In 2005, I had Kid, and crossed a self-imposed line with my yoga pants. I wore them out into the world, grocery shopping and stuff. I also usually wore (and still wear,  that’s another post all together) a very long winter coat that hides what’s underneath. The out into the world line was one of those self-imposed restrictions that addicts often make up. You know like, “I don’t have a problem if I don’t drink before noon”. I had crossed that line. But I had an excuse! I had a small child! I didn’t have time for things like changing pants!

I started noticing things about myself, namely, that my regular pants didn’t really fit anymore. But, my yoga pants are the same size! Oh, the miracle of lycra. Since I first bought my yoga pants, you know, to work out in – I have gained about 30 lbs. And no, it’s not from the Kid. I lost all my baby weight pretty fast. This is new, fat ass lazy weight. See, when you wear yoga pants all the time, you lose all perception of how fat your ass is.

I finally realized I had a problem the other day when I was putting away my laundry. I am down to 3 ill-fitting pair of jeans, and about 7 pair of yoga pants.  It’s like a disease. They keep multiplying, and so do my belly rolls. I have since resolved to put my pants on every day. My real pants. Pants with no lycra and proper buttons and zippers and what not.

Yoga pants turned me into a much jigglier version of my former self. Do I blame my sedentary lifestyle, love of beer, and butter? Hell no. I blame the pants.

 

Or anywhere, because it's nasty.

Goals 2012, The Shocking Truth

Yay! I figure out how to post a spreadsheet. You can find all of my goals for this year under the tab up there labeled…you guessed it…2012 Unreasonable Goals. Or you can just click that link if you’re super lazy.

I’m way too bored with this goal setting thing already to go through each one and explain it. Hence the spreadsheet. Also? Spreadsheets are cool. Also? It updates automagically when I enter in new data on my end for easier stalking on your part.  Did you check it out yet? Go check it out.

Back? Pretty boring right? Oh wait. Did you see #23? Were you shocked? Did you not check out my goals? Fine. I’ll just tell you what it is. It’s this: Quit Smoking. I KNOW. I KNOW. It’s fucking gross. Wait, haven’t you heard me nag my husband incessantly to quit smoking? What a hypocrite I am! Didn’t I do a blog post about this very thing a few years ago? I did! So, what’s my problem? I don’t know.

Or anywhere, because it's nasty.

For years my line has been: Well, I don’t really smoke. I can go for days and days and even months without smoking, but then I end up picking it up again here and there. Maybe one or two a week. A pack lasts me around a month. That’s not so bad, right? Ugh, yes it is. It’s totally gross and irresponsible. Plus, it does not help me in my sanctimonious nagging. For the record, Kid doesn’t see me smoke. I always hide under the cover of darkness. I guess that’s something.

Though these are unreasonable goals, I am not under the illusion that I am not going to smoke any cigarettes this year. Don’t roll your eyes at me. I’m a damn addict. Cut me some slack. What I will do is keep track of how many smokes I have all year. Even partial cigs. What I want to do is keep it under 12. For the year. I will consider that a success. If I don’t make it you can all rain judgement and insults down upon me next year. Sound fun? Nothing is more motivating than public humiliation.

You’ll see on the graph that I entered the amount for Quit Smoking at -12. Ideally, I’d like to smoke less than that. And you all should know, I haven’t had a cigarette since December 30th. So, that’s pretty awesome. Though, like I said, I can go for months. I’m a strange, strange bird.

We’ll talk about more of my goals tomorrow. I need to go spend the day hanging my head in shame.