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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 16: The Random Thoughts


Half the month of August just cannot be over. I mean, it’s not fair! I have SO much to get done! (I know, that’s my fault. If I were better at being an adult and actually getting things done, I would not end up with such immense to-do lists. I continually have too much faith in my ability to actually do the thing the second time it comes up–as opposed to the tenth time. Once in a while I make a conscious decision to work on this habit, but then I put it off until the next day… what I’m saying is, I am the champion of procrastination.)

Today turned out to be terribly inconvenient. I started work early, but unfortunately had more left to do than I thought. So, after a few hours when there was an issue with the power and internet, I had to trek out somewhere to finish up the work and send it to the appropriate recipient. I’ve been sitting in a coffee shop for over two hours now. That’s a long time for me these days… in the end it worked out ok, but it would have been so much easier if everything just worked in the place where I started. The interruption just makes things more difficult.

I wish I had news to share. The only thing I can think of is that yesterday, when I posted all about what I ate that day, I had many more likes on the post than the previous few days, where I had NO post likes on my random musings. Sometimes, when I want to write a post but have no good topic ideas, I write about some random thought I have. And no one, it seems, gives a shit about those…

Of course, to me a blog is for just that. It’s for posting whatever random crap you want. If you start posting only on certain topics or spending hours crafting a post, it’s not a blog anymore. It’s an internet publication. It’s a fancy, official thing that then needs to be monitored and edited frequently.

Call me crazy, but I have always liked blogging the random thoughts in my head. And I’m probably going to keep doing it. But if I never get any likes on those posts, I don’t want to post them. Blogging has become a strange thing–even if you aren’t doing it professionally, you find yourself feeling somewhat competitive about them. “I write better than what they post on THAT blog, why do they get to make money from it?” And other thoughts like that.

This has gotten very rambly and I’m not sure where it’s going, but I need to pack up and get back home now.

Blaugust 15: How I Ate For Cheap


Today I paid a sad amount of money for a yogurt parfait (possibly the most overpriced prepared item at any store…) and a kind bar for breakfast. I had put off getting groceries so I didn’t really have much around to eat. I wanted something simple, but the best quality egg sandwich around here is also a little bit too expensive for my preferences. It’s a bit of a regret but it tasted fine, and it’s done now.

I made up for it afterward by getting lunch and dinner for free. I had a “buy ten sandwiches get one free” punch card that I’d filled up. Ok, actually I think it’s twelve, and since I kept forgetting to get it punched, I probably bought around twice as many to get the free one. However, it was no money paid today. I left a small tip and that’s it.

For dinner, since there is a Panera near the grocery store, I decided to use some of a gift card I have and I got a salad and, probably negating the health of the salad, a chai latte. At least the crazy air conditioning habits of every single business out there allow me to drink a hot beverage in the summer without dying.

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Both lunch and dinner were good, but not great. I didn’t order my very favorite sandwich because I was in the mood for a different kind today. The sandwich I chose was quite satisfying, but not as delicious as either of the two I tend to buy for myself. As for dinner, I liked the chai more than the salad, and to be honest I wasn’t too hungry so I probably could have just stuck with the chai… trying to get some more nutrients for dinner and all that.

Groceries were a whole different story this week. I am currently dog-sitting (for a very cute beagle with some weird habits, as I am certain all pets have), and the house is in the middle of a huge kitchen renovation. This means that there IS no kitchen. Instead, there are pieces of a kitchen here, there, out on the porch. Literally, the toaster oven is out there. I haven’t used it yet… going outside to cook seems strange to me.

So, my grocery goals today were: cheap, healthy, and no cooking necessary. What does a grocery haul look like when you know you won’t be able to cook? Pretty simple. Prepared chicken (the grilled chicken strips from Trader Joe’s. Probably every grocery store you go to, unless it’s a tiny, specialty store of some kind, will have a variety of prepared chicken), baby spinach, avocado to use with some of the things that are already around for salads and wraps, and a few bananas and greek yogurts for breakfast. I can eat the same few things on repeat for the next several days… but then I’m going to need something different. Still trying to keep it healthy, but my taste buds could use a thrill.

I really need to figure out some healthier foods for that need to treat yo self.

Blaugust 8: One Week In


I successfully completed one week straight of blaugust posts. That bodes well because most of them were done even though I didn’t feel like I had anything I particularly WANTED to blog about. Of course, I’m not saying one should force oneself to blog, but since I haven’t been writing at all for so long, it will take a little time and effort to get back into the habit.

The trouble I have is when I don’t have a topic in mind, I can’t really pull from my everyday life because my life in general is either really boring, or involves things I don’t want to write about for a number of reasons. (Or something that is better suited to a planned post as opposed to one that I write in the moment.) Yesterday, trying to figure out what to say, I went and looked at a bunch of writing prompts until an idea sparked. It sounds lame, probably, but sometimes it takes a little something extra to connect to your creative bone. Did you know creativity comes from a specific bone?

No it doesn’t. I’m lying.

The point is, there seems to be a good chance that the rest of my blaugust posts will mostly be quite boring. Half of them may end up being about blogging and the process of trying to return to regular writing (even extremely mediocre writing), which basically turns this into a meta-blog and who would even care to read that?

There’s a reason I actually began to write about food in the first place. It’s twofold: 1. I love food, 2. everybody eats. Food (along with other basic human needs) is probably the only thing that connects everyone on the planet. And I find that interesting.

 

Blaugust 4: I almost forgot about this today


I want something interesting to write about. Nothing really happens in my life. I’m sure that’s mostly my fault. Interesting people live more interesting lives. If my life is boring, then I must be boring. Right?

Basically today went like this: I overslept, then poked at the computer for a little while until I had to go to work. After I got home, it was all about food because I didn’t eat much during the day. So I overate for dinner. And then I poked at the internet again.

I wish my days were filled with creativity and ideas and laughter. That’s what motivates and inspires me. That is what would make me excited to go write a blog post.

No luck today, I guess. Try again tomorrow.

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 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

Blogging Back to Life


Every single thing I tried to do in 2015 failed. It just fell waysideways. I didn’t write, I didn’t blog, I mostly stopped cooking, I barely read anything.

I DID watch lots and lots of Netflix, but that does not count as an accomplishment.

I did think a lot about what I wanted to be doing, and how far away I am from anything I really want. I did have many small mental breakdowns and almost-anxiety attacks (like just the beginning of it, where it has the potential to turn into an anxiety attack, but it doesn’t get that far).

Going into the new year I have a lot of goals and aims. In short, I just can’t keep sitting around and wasting time. I have wasted so much time, I could have lived a whole extra life by now. Starting to blog again is a small step toward improving my life, and at least it will be an outlet for some of my ideas. (Side note: a part of this goal is to stop making any posts talking about how I’m going to start blogging more. They’re pretty much pointless and the last few times I’ve written them, that claim has proven false.)

Beginning next week, I am bringing back Monday Madness and Five Things Friday posts! I think, actually, I did the latter on my OTHER blog in the past, but this time I’m going to do both here. I don’t think I’ll have any food posts for a while, and I may actually leave that alone for a while. No one wants to read your food posts if you can’t take good pictures, right? But look out for some random ramblings. Hopefully, they’ll entertain a few people.

If you have a moment and feel like it, go ahead and read the post on my writing blog by the same name.

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