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Monday Madness: I Should Be Hibernating


I should take a walk. I should go outside. It’s so sunny, the sky is so blue, and I really need a few minor grocery items. But now that it’s actually turned into winter and there’s snow on the ground, I am reluctant to go out…

 

…because of shoes.

I don’t have any good shoes to wear in the snow. I have some that are, at most, acceptable for a short walk, assuming I can get back inside and take them off when they inevitably become soaked with gross, salty snow (I live in the city so the snow gets gross very quickly). In fact, in every sense, preparing my legs to go out in winter weather is always the worst part, especially if I want to wear a dress. Socks won’t do because I’ll still be cold, but tights are not warm enough. And I’ve worn multiple layers of socks before and I have to say, I don’t enjoy it.

Also, as I’m still waiting on some income that has been delayed, it’s better to stay in. If I do go to the store to buy my bread and half and half, I’ll be tempted to get something else as well, and it won’t be something I really need, but it would be tasty and hard to turn down. So to avoid the inevitable extra expense of something I shouldn’t buy, I should stay at home.

But if I don’t buy bread, what am I going to do with all this jam?

 

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Monday Madness: He’s stepping through the door…


This morning I started hearing a pounding. I couldn’t tell where it actually came from and it just kept going. At one point I thought someone was knocking on the back door very loudly. Then I thought someone was hammering something downstairs. Finally, when I got up and went to take a shower, I saw feet outside the window and realized that someone is working on the roof.

While this makes much more sense, I wish I had known people were going to be pounding on the roof today. It’s very distracting and I need to work.

(On a side note, I used to get ready in the morning in about 15 minutes. It takes me forever now. I miss being able to just roll out the door. Of course, I didn’t often have nice outfits on, never really wore makeup. I’d prefer to take a little more time to look put together, but I’d prefer even more to be able to look put together in just a few minutes.)

Then, after my shower, I found out that David Bowie passed away. Sometimes celebrity death rumors are false, so I didn’t believe it right away, but google confirmed it.

The world has lost an amazing talent. He has been one of my very favorite musicians for years now (although not as many as I’d like to claim, since for much of my earlier life I only knew him as the Goblin King), and although he was getting older, I’m sure he could have given us more wonderful music in his remaining years. I was unaware that he had been struggling with cancer, which makes me feel more in awe of his recent release of Blackstar. Only a true artist would be able to create a work to share with the world in such a situation.

David Bowie was truly unique, creative, and prolific (I am not sure if there’s a set number of albums he would have to reach to be prolific, but a career spanning numerous decades and more albums than most artists release, I think he deserves the term). Inspiring, impossible to ignore, and with a lot to say. The world will miss this Starman.

Monday Madness: The Return


Either nothing, or everything, is madness right now.

Going back to this type of post, every Monday, there is this feeling that I really wanted to start off with a bang, and have something interesting to say, so that people might be enticed to come back.

However, today was not at all interesting. It’s cold, so I stayed in. I didn’t really talk much to anyone. I managed to put off pretty much everything I had intended to do today. And sure, there are a lot of things I could say. So many thoughts bubbling in my head, if I’m lucky kind of like a cauldron, so when they’re done bubbling I’ll have a magic potion or at least some good soup. But nothing right now that would make a good Monday musing post. (Maybe I should change it to Monday Musings. The “Madness” made a lot more sense when it was the beginning of a week of an awful commute…)

Sometimes you can’t start off with a bang. You don’t have anything all that exciting to offer. Sometimes, you just have to start. So that’s what I’m doing now. Not waiting until I get things figured out, but jumping in and believing that words, ideas, a little bit of luck, will come to me as long as I keep trying to do something.

If you read that whole thing–thanks for taking the time to wade through my mind a little. If you keep coming back, I will at some point have more interesting things to say!

Monday Madness


Weekends are the eternal paradox. Or rather, the two-day paradox. They are an eternal two-day paradox.

Because it can be very difficult to get chores or errands or goals done during the week if you have a full time job (or are a full time student).

So you think, I will have so much time on the weekend.

But what happens when you really need a day to do absolutely nothing? To just lay around and browse the internet or read books or watch videos all day, and only eat food that takes very little time to prepare? Well. There’s nothing wrong with having those days sometimes.

But what if you also had plans during the weekend that leave only one day for the getting stuff done AND the relaxing and lying around? What do you do? I guess it depends on how important the chores etc. are. So you might have one of those weekends with sadly little time to relax and do nothing.

In conclusion, do not let your bedroom get that messy. Cleaning it turns into a week-long project and you know you’ll only have a few hours to work on it.

Monday Madness


Look to the right. Did your eyes leave the computer screen? You looked too far. I meant just to the right of the post, where there’s a countdown to my vacation. Yes, I have one week of work left before I’m off! I leave on Sunday and return Thursday. I will be at work on Friday, but I’ll be out for almost a whole week.

Which really means that I’m crazily trying to get as much done at work and home as possible before I go, so that I’m not hit with huge piles of stuff to do when I get back from vacation. No one wants that.

They’re supposed to have a sort of cruise-ship version of an internet cafe, so I might be able to do my usual Monday Madness post and maybe update with some pictures along the way, but I won’t guarantee that. So, if you don’t get any madness next Monday, you’ll know why!

I’m going to have to choose my vacation reading soon. …so many books, so little time.

. . .

Now an update from my last Monday Madness–I put my first video on youtube, under the account norecipewriter. It is available for viewing and you can watch it here, if you want to see me introduce myself and my channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko0zG3z01pw

Filming was difficult in the sense that I don’t have a real camera, or a good place to set up my phone, and my phone’s camcorder mode automatically stops at 10 minutes. Which I guess is a good thing, as I’ve clearly gone on too long if I’m still going when it shuts off. Then, of course, the picture quality kind of sucks because my phone camera is not very good.

I was pretty nervous when I sat down to do it. I had written down a list of things I wanted to talk about, but I kept stumbling over my words and I completely lost my momentum when I talked over the 10 minutes my phone gives me and had to start a new video. I did end up with some fabulous outtakes, though, which you might see at some point when I have gotten a little  better at editing. My do-over went much better, as I’d gotten most of the nerves out, and I managed to talk for only about 7 minutes. I just snipped the ends a bit, figuring I would edit more next time, if necessary.

Editing was another problem (of course it was). Ok, just to be clear, I was already aware that editing is difficult. I played around with making a video or two when I was in college, with clips from tv shows of course (because I’m a geek). What I really did not count on was that my computer was unable to open the files I recorded with the usual windows programs I use. I decided to go online to find an editing program I could download. The first one waited until I was at the saving point to tell me that with the free version of the program, they would put a watermark on the video. I tried it anyway, and it turned out to be situated right across my eyes. I tried a second one, which seems to be a little better, and at least didn’t leave a watermark. That is the one that ended up being the final version.

I like that youtube has some editing options right on the site, so you can tweak the video after uploading. That’s a cool feature that I do not remember from my days of making geeky mvs.

I will be playing around with my current equipment and software to try to make cooler videos. I would love to find a reliable editing software that I can get for free or at least that is inexpensive, and I would LOVE some recommendations, as this stuff is all new to me and I don’t know how to tell which programs will be really good. Ideally, I would like to get a real camera (not a super-nice one, just a regular digital camera that actually works is all I’d be expecting) and a nicer computer, but both of those are out of my reach for now.

My aims for now are: keeping my videos under 10 minutes, posting at least 1 video a week, and learning how to edit to make them a little more polished. And maybe coming up with an intro,  but I don’t think I’ll worry too much about that. If I could animate I would have a really cool one, but I can’t animate.

So that’s my experience as I started vlogging. It was very stressful when I thought I wouldn’t be able to edit the videos I had made, and would have to re-record it, but it turned out ok. As I’ve seen some other vloggers mention, you shouldn’t expect your first videos to be great. I’m just going to try my best and hope some people out there find me interesting, or endearing, or fun to make fun of, or something.

Monday Madness: A Mistake, Possibly? (I really hope not…)


So, the news today might be evidence of actual madness, because, oh my god. I just created a new Youtube account with the intent of starting a vlog. I have been contemplating vlogging for a while, going back and forth between “that looks like fun/ it can’t be that hard, tons of people do it” to “who the hell wants to watch me talking at a camera? I don’t have a particularly interesting personality.” I know plenty of people will say they disagree with that last bit, yet I’m still on my own most of the time, so I don’t really know what to think about that. I don’t have a “thing” that would make my channel particularly interesting, I just have me.

I don’t want to vlog if no one’s going to watch the videos, because that’s going to be a lot of effort put into filming and editing that will feel wasted if no one sees them. The best thing to do, I guess, will be to approach it like I do with blogging–just make the videos I want to make, and hope that other people will like them, because if you aren’t doing it for yourself, then no one else is going to be interested.

The idea is a no-recipe vlog–that is, it will combine all of the content from this blog and Between Worlds. I will talk about writing, food, books, shopping (although I’ll try to refrain from hauls for the most part), clothing, and general life experiences. And whatever I want because that’s how we do down in the land of no recipes…

The reason it really seems like madness is twofold, both of those folds related to putting myself out there in that way. For one, I don’t like broadcasting my private life on the internet, which is why there are so many things I don’t post on facebook or on my blogs. So I’ll have to be careful about what gets revealed on the vlog. The second thing is all about my many insecurities and the potential to be rejected by literally EVERYONE in the world (who has access to Youtube). I would say more about that, but… it seems pretty self-explanatory.

I also have no idea how the hell I’ll ever be able to film a cooking video. I don’t have anyone I could coerce into helping me film, and my kitchen isn’t really set up so that I would be able to position my camera… anywhere, and actually catch the relevant action. And I can’t just cook with one hand. So until I can get some actual filming equipment (which might be never), that probably won’t happen.

I’m going to try to do video #1 in the next week or so, and it will probably be a general introducing myself video. And I guess we’ll see?

 

 

 

 

 

 

(…Oh, god. Why am I doing this?)

Monday Madness: It’s Memorial Day, F*%^ Off


I think I’ve worked almost every memorial day since graduating from college. While I was working in human services, they needed staff 24/7 and of course Monday was a regular shift for me, and I could never afford to take a day off because I never got paid days off. You’d think it would be different now that I work an office job, but my office doesn’t close for Memorial Day. At least, that’s what I was told, although no one else is here, so… Oh, well. I’m here, so if no one comes along and tells me to leave, I’m working at least most of the day. I need to get stuff done.

Come to think of it, did Bennington even give us Memorial Day off? I’m thinking they probably did, but I’m having a lot of trouble remembering. If I recall correctly, that was always our last week of classes, which for me usually meant finishing that last literature or psychology paper, pulling together that presentation, and goofing off just a little bit in my last voice class because I’d already done the performances for that term. Enjoying the sunny End of the World and trying to get in a last hangout with friends before we all went away. Like in so many other cases, no one lived close to me, so seeing people over the summer was usually not possible.

And so I ask you, Memorial Day, if I don’t get the day off then what are you good for? Not only that, but the MBTA runs on a Sunday schedule, which is the worst one. The bus I usually take doesn’t even run, and the other option runs far less frequently. As luck would have it I didn’t end up being late, but I did have to wait about 20 minutes at Kenmore. Which is just awful.

Well, I’m at work, so I guess I’ll get going on actually doing work. Have some burgers fresh from the grill for me OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN. Not really. Yes, really.  

Monday Madness


I’ve been feeling frowny today, not being completely unfocused but not as productive as I would like to be. Mustn’t get ahead of myself, though; maybe it won’t be so bad after all. To make a long story short, I’m very busy, and I probably will be until mid-June. More on that maybe next week…

You know what’s weird? Some places offer three sizes of cups, and others offer only two. Weird, right? You never know whether it’s small and regular, small and large, regular and large, or maybe they call regular “medium,” which doesn’t make much sense if there aren’t sizes on either side of it. They generally tell you on the menu what terms they use in that store, but I’m starting to be annoyed that I have to hunt for it at all. I think I advocate one-size beverage shops. No confusion. Just order the drink and they already know what size to make it.

And the places that have 4 sizes… they’re just asking for confused orders. Especially if they go by weight or volume. Someone wants the 12oz cup, and they order a small, but to you that means the 8oz, so then they get a smaller drink than they wanted. In some cases, hell breaks loose because there are people who really cannot handle not getting what they want.

(I so rarely get what I want that I can barely handle it when I do.)

These are not thoughts you should take seriously. I was thinking about stopping at Cafenation after work to see if I could snag any day-old bread. And maybe order a small iced tea. Or would it be a regular? …and things just kind of spiraled from there, as sometimes happens in the madness of Monday.

 

 

Monday Madness: Sunday Madness


Coffee is winning the war of spilling vs. not spilling. By this I mean that I’ve been spilling a lot lately. My coffee this morning kept leaping out of the little hole in the lid, as it so often does. With all the advancements in science and materials and engineering, they still can’t make a coffee cup that actually keeps the coffee inside of it. I find this confusing.

Yesterday was SoWa Open Market Opening Weekend, and I brought my mom. We were slightly pressed for time and I was hungry and tired, so we ended up resolving that we would come back later in the summer. I still say it was too cold to be that crowded, because the wind made it feel much colder than it was. The point being that it was crowded: hence, Sunday Madness.

First, I had it in my head to try to grab some lunch from the food trucks, but the whole food truck area was so crowded and confusing, it was almost impossible to tell where the lines actually started, and I gave up without getting any food from them. It was very upsetting. We ended up buying a scone each at one of the food booths, and they were very tasty. Mine was lemon basil. I have never had basil in a scone.

It was a little better once we got to what I consider the main area, which is all the art/merchandise vendors. We strolled and browsed. I contemplated buying some awesome vintage/steampunk inspired jewelry from Emry’s Finery, where over a year ago I got the locket I wear almost every day, and I found one artist who made many pieces I desperately wanted for my walls. His name is Nathan William Murrell. He said he would be back at SoWa later in the summer, so hopefully I’ll have some bucks to spare by then and I can satisfy my need for paintings of anatomically correct hearts.

As we wound our way through the tents and the people walking very very slowly, I saw a booth with a sign that said “black magic coffee co.,” and I really felt the need for some coffee. The line wasn’t too long, so we stood and waited for the coffee artist to deliver caffeine to our mouths. We both got cappuccinos, and I was satisfied. Unfortunately they do not have a brick and mortar store, but I was informed that they will be at the Market on Sundays at least most weekends. I recommend checking them out, as long as you have the patience to wait in line a while.

There was much to see and much to buy, and I didn’t actually buy anything this time, but I intend to go again as soon as it’s feasible, and if I’m lucky I’ll have some money to spend.

Now it’s back to work of course, but before I go back to toiling over manuscripts I have to acknowledge my awesome Saturday night. I went to see my favorite band play at Ralph’s Diner in Worcester. They are The Blackboard Nails and I just love them more every time I hear them. If you’re in Boston, New York, or certain parts of Canada, there’s a good chance they’ll be playing in your area at some point, so check them out.

Monday Madness: . . .


I really should do this first thing in the morning, so I don’t forget/almost forget. But that would probably mean waking up earlier, and waking up on Monday sucks enough as it is.

I survived without any coffee today. It was odd. I didn’t have any half and half, and I still don’t like black coffee unless it’s iced (and also really good), so I had tea instead. Tea is always recommended as a “substitute” for coffee, but it tastes so different that it is not a proper replacement. Tea should not be considered a coffee stand-in, but a tasty beverage in its own right. The range of flavors for tea is much more dramatic than coffee, which always tastes kind of the same on certain basic levels. Tea tastes drastically different depending on with what it is infused.

Chai is my favorite. Chai is like the god of beverages. Well, I guess that would have to be water, actually. This paragraph makes no sense, please ignore it.

I don’t really have anything interesting to say right now. Monday Madness fail. Oh well. I’m tired and I had no coffee today.

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