Category Archives: writing

That’s It. No More No-Recipe Life Guy!


I’m not sure what exactly the deciding factor was–the numerous false “return-to-blogging” starts, the fact that I’m simply not spending much time in the kitchen these days, or just the difficulty in returning to a neglected hobby–but the decision has been made. I’ll be ending the No-Recipe Life blog.

It’s been several years since I last did any sort of regular blogging, so perhaps I’ll catch up a bit on what’s been happening. I don’t want to go on and on about why I’ve decided not to continue this particular blog or the things that have happened in my life, so I’ve tried to keep it more general, but include enough detail to relate to. You can let me know if I achieved that or not…

As I said, I haven’t really been cooking that much, which was the main reason I started this blog: to share my personal method of cooking enjoyable meals without having to follow strict rules, through a combination of simple cooking techniques and a dose of experimentation with spice and ingredient combinations. Over the past few years my food habits have grown pretty bad. Way too much takeout (but very little eating out at restaurants, which I miss quite a bit), definitely more frozen food, chips,  and purchased pastries than are good for me, and almost no actual cooking to speak of. I still tend to drink a lot of coffee, and not as much water as I should. A lot of the fruits and vegetables I buy go bad. I’ve gained back way too much of the weight I once lost, and now that I’m 31 as opposed to 24, it’s going to be way harder to drop pounds, especially if I can’t find a good enough motivation. Vanity doesn’t seem to be quite the push I need, but I really want to fit back into a few of the dresses it’s hard to part with.

I have become a little overwhelmed with the stuff I have and stopped shopping too much, but have developed a greater desire to go out and do things, especially to travel (to foreign countries if possible, although at the moment I don’t have a valid passport). I’ve watched about a million videos on minimalism and decluttering. I think they’re fairly satisfying to watch, but I have not made any progress lately in my own decluttering process. I can’t seem to work out which things I should let go and which I need to keep … before you ask, I did read Marie Kondo’s book and I am planning to reread it soon to try to get some momentum on this project, which feels rather like a life makeover.

I stopped copyediting, and it was partially due to the particular arrangement I had ending, but in large part it was my (subconscious) desire to stop doing it. I’m happy to edit to a certain extent, in particular to avoid embarrassing mistakes and the odd glaring typo in works I want to put out into the world, but spending most of my time nitpicking over small grammar details that don’t actually matter became less and less valuable to me at the same time as it slowly killed my creative impulses. I just felt drained most of the time and never had enough left to work on my own projects. My waning interest in that type of work caused me to start procrastinating more and more, and the quality of my editing slipped. I didn’t WANT to keep up with it anymore, and yet when it ended so abruptly I was quite unhappy about it. Since I was not (and still am not, sadly) writing my own work, this seemed to me to be the only thing of value I had to offer, and then I found out that the value I offered was not good enough. *Cue personal struggles and unfortunate events that made everything worse …*

Since then I’ve mainly been working retail, and while it’s not my ultimate career goal at least it has been more steady than editing. It also lucked me into semi-regular dog-sitting for a sweet little beagle who is super into cuddling on the couch. I’ve thought about trying to start editing again, but I know that I don’t really want to, and my history in the last year or so of doing that kind of work might make it hard to find gigs anyway…

Besides, my interest in writing, if not my practice, has really rekindled lately, and I believe that would be a much better use of my time. It’s possible that it will be harder to find work as a writer, but I think it will be more worthwhile for me. Grammar rules, which vary based on dialect, level of formality, and the evolution of language, are not something I can actually get excited about (although I’ll never be able to get past the incorrect use of “its” and “it’s”–it’s not that hard, people! And commas are almost always a mess). As far as I’m concerned, if you can form a complete sentence, that’s the main thing. Using clauses properly is a good skill, effective language is even better, and an ear for great phrasing is a wonderful bonus, but people who insist that you never split infinitives are clinging to a “rule” that I just don’t think was EVER necessary.

Yes, this essentially sums up the last few years for me. It’s not too exciting, and I left out the most significant specific events because I could write entire posts about those things, if I decide to share them here at all. In the end, if you didn’t get this sense from what is above, things have just changed for me. Some of my interests have shifted, things in my life are different, and the blogging world has changed–these days, you can’t get anywhere writing about food if you can’t take great food pictures, and although my new phone’s camera is pretty good, the lighting in this apartment is as crappy as ever.

Unfortunately the domain had that whole auto-renew thing and I’ve already paid for another year, so in the meantime, as I plan a new blog that better fits with my life and writing interests now as opposed to seven or more (or slightly less, I don’t really remember) years ago, I might post here from time to time. Get my money’s worth. Clear out some lingering thoughts. Get back into the habit of writing. Basically, let it have its rattling, dying breaths before it transmutates into something new, shiny, and useful.

If you read this whole thing, thanks for that! It’s nice to think that there are a few people out there who care to read my raw and possibly too honest rantings about life. If you didn’t, then you are just here for the food so I should just end here by telling you that the cupboards here are empty. I’m going to be eating leftover rice for dinner. Thank you, and good night.

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The Day the Blog Came Back


It’s Wednesday, August 9. (Hey, it’s my half-birthday! Hap irthd to me!) I’ve been awake for a bit less than an hour. I’m sitting here poking at my computer, drinking a canned cold brew coffee I got on sale yesterday. The flavor “Mexican vanilla” sounds exotic, but it just tastes like most sweetened coffees. I’m not complaining.

Blogging is something that fell to the wayside for me some time ago, and although I’ve thought about picking it up again many times, I couldn’t find the motivation. At some point perhaps I’ll get into why, but it doesn’t seem like a topic that would be of much interest… Really, writing of any kind has not just taken a backseat, it’s been stowed in a corner of the trunk for much too long. I had a bunch of other things in the backseat that took up too much space, so I put writing away to make room for it, and then… out of sight out of mind, I guess. Life kept moving on and I forgot writing in that spot in the trunk. I’m not convinced I’m actually good at it anymore, as I’m so very out of practice.

Despite all that, I’ve decided to do it anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to write about here. Maybe I’ll just write semi-regular journal-style posts and let you read the random rumblings of my brain. Maybe I’ll do cooking posts, but since I do not cook that often these days, it’s not too likely. I might have to revamp this entire blog so that it is better suited to the strange and disjointed web that my mind is at this point.

In a few minutes I’m going to take a big bag of random crap to Goodwill, then see if I can pick up a $2 loaf of bread from When Pigs Fly. I’ll get home before noon, and then the real “fun” begins… I have a lot that I need to get done, and rather nebulous social plans. I have no idea which things I have to/can get done today, or how much time I have to do them.

Thus my triumphant* return to blogging was established. Hello.

 

 

*…um…sure.

Blaugust 3: Wordpress is being mean


Confession: I follow my own blog on WordPress. I do it to test that my posts show up in the feed. If they don’t I don’t do anything but pout about how WordPress does so many things that don’t make sense.

For instance, people can subscribe by email, but if the subscriber reads your post in an email is doesn’t “count” as a view. Nor does it count if the post is read on Facebook or Tumblr, which are two ways that I usually share my posts. Therefore I’m caught in a Catch-22: if I don’t share on alternative social media, I won’t get as many views. But those views don’t count toward my page views.

I signed up to the wordpress ad program a while ago, and the response is essentially, when your blog gets enough views to qualify, we’ll contact you. No further information, e.g.: do I have to reapply at some point? Can you do something to track views that occur on other sites where the post was shared? (because that would only be fair, but it seems like those views are never counted).

Why am I writing about this now? Because yesterday’s post, Dali Meets Disney, didn’t come up in my feed. So I have no idea if anyone saw it at all…

In addition, my posts don’t usually generate much interaction. I get a rare comment and up to about ten likes for a single post. In the world of Blogging, with a capital B, that doesn’t mean much.

The whole wordpress feed issue led me to take a quick look at my stats and see that the first post of Blaugust ALSO didn’t have any views. And this sent me into a mini-spiral. “No one likes me. This whole thing is pointless. Why even bother?”

Thankfully (possibly due to the mood-stabilizing vitamin regimen I’ve started?), I was able to stop myself from going into a full-on breakdown and remind myself that the point of Blaugust isn’t the views (although at least a few would be REALLY F*@#&ING NICE), it’s to remind myself what it feels like to write on a regular basis. With any luck, I’ll pick it up fairly quickly and I’ll be able to stop blogging about blogging.

Blaugust 2: Dali Meets Disney


I was wondering what to write about today when I saw for the second (or third) time today a link in my facebook feed for “Destino,” a short film by Disney based on a collaboration in the 1940s with SALVADOR DALI.

Watch it HERE.

Dali and Disney. Now, Disney has some weird shit going on here and there, but in general you wouldn’t think to connect them. People forget that in some ways, Walt Disney really was a visionary in the world of animation. However, he was also a capitalist and apparently, the project was abandoned because he decided it wouldn’t make enough money. An understandable but disappointing conclusion.

Luckily, some people decided to bring back the project and work off the original storyboards to make something interesting, strange, and beautiful.

It’s a surreal (obviously) and somewhat haunting animation. It reminds me that I need to bring more of the interesting, strange, and beautiful into my life. It is what appeals to me most, and what inspires me. I find that my best writing is WEIRD. And my favorite art is kind of weird. At the same time, there is a sense of beauty and elegance in the type of weirdness that I like.

It feels strange to be reminded of something that should be so obvious. I start to wonder: do we forget and come back to ourselves too many times in life? I never used to forget these things. Until I had to live in the adult, “real” world, and function to some degree like an adult. I find it exhausting, most of the time.

 

Image: By BBC, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6967852

Blaugust 1: Confessions


I’m only writing this right now to avoid the utter failure of missing the first day of a self-imposed blogging challenge.

The last writing challenge I did was the 365k365day challenge (which I detailed to some degree on my writing blog). I think it was in 2014. I was very excited about it to begin with, but lost steam all too quickly and beyond April of that year, barely wrote 1,000 words. My failure in that challenge coincided with my overall writing hiatus. Perhaps it even caused it. I don’t know–I don’t think I’ll ever know.

I was going to do editing work when I got home from the retail work, but after my short dinner break and a bit of poking things on the internet, I took a little time to watch an episode or two on Netflix. Now it’s 10:30 and I still intend to do the work… Read the rest of this entry

Are you ready… for Blaugust?


Am I ready for Blaugust?

What the hell is Blaugust?

 

Blaugust is a word I made up, that someone else probably made up before I did (I’m not doing research on this today), that indicates an intention to blog every day in the month of August! The idea is pulled mainly from youtube vlog challenges I’ve seen (Vlogtober and Vlogmas). And the idea is to get myself back into old writing habits that just dropped away.

If you follow me you may have already realized that I haven’t blogged much in a long time. I don’t want this post to get too long, so I’m not going to to into the reasons at the moment. Maybe that will be the topic of one of next month’s posts… Read the rest of this entry

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