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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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Blaugust 29: I’m A Spam


I keep getting emails sent from myself that are kind of like this:

 

screenshot_2016-08-29-09-50-50.png

Note: I don’t get migraines, so I’d definitely never send this to myself 😛

 

Only today did I think to check that they were in my “sent” folder and thus suggested that I was actually hacked, as opposed to someone cloning my email address or whatever it is people do.

So I guess I was hacked, which could turn out to be not good.

I would really like to feel like I am real. It’s a struggle for me that has surfaced many times since I left college. Living in the “real world” sometimes makes me feel like I’m disappearing… and being someone who felt invisible during most of grade school, despite taking up a fair amount of physical space, that seems like an accomplishment–of course, not a good one.

So, I guess it’s time to be changing my password…

Blaugust 24: The Unknown


August is disappearing fast, and I do not know how I feel about this. There’s good and bad aspects I guess.

I have a tendency to start thinking too far ahead sometimes, and right now what’s on my mind but the fact that there is only one week left of Blaugust. Now, I don’t have a strong emotional attachment or anything, but I can’t help wondering what is going to happen when it’s over.

Will I keep blogging regularly? Will I write something every day? Will I make “Blogtember”? (Don’t worry, if I blog ever day in September I’ll do it without a silly name.)

Will I fall off the wagon, as it were, and stop writing again? Will I feel too discouraged knowing that most of the posts I’ve done this month are actually pretty bad?

Will I wait until I have something to say AND a better notion of how to say it?

What am I going to do? Should I just remove myself from blogging life entirely, stop doing it because it’s clear that I’ll NEVER make money this way? (Not that I think it’s only worth it if I end up making money, I just don’t understand why I haven’t qualified for adsense yet. So I have a smaller following than most blogs that make money–that just means it will take longer to reach a payout. Doesn’t that make it BETTER for them? Because they’re paying me less? …Yeah so clearly I don’t get how that works.)

I’m also wondering how the remaining week will go. I thought that by now I would have cleared out some of my overcrowded thoughts and reached at least one gem that other people could relate to, but I’ve been so stressed that more of the pointless thoughts, the ones that if I were actually editing I would just cut out, keep piling on. My brain is STILL so overwhelmed that it goes blank in the middle of writing. I have momentum, but I stop to think for a second, and whatever path the post might have taken took a sharp turn and then just starts looping on itself.

That is what has happened just now, so I guess I’ll end things here without a proper conclusion. Tell me what you think I’m going to do at the end of this month-long experiment.

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.

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.

100 Happy Days: Day 101


I’ve just completed the 100 happy days challenge, which I posted on my Instagram account (https://instagram.com/norecipelife). In case you haven’t heard of it, the basic idea is that you post at least one picture a day capturing something that made you happy. It was kind of fun, and definitely interesting, but more often than not I found it kind of annoying. Just another frustrating thing I have to do that I don’t want to.

In theory, participating in the 100 happy days makes  you think about good things in your life, with the intention that it will take focus off the negative things and make you grateful for what you do have. I love that idea. It’s great. But the reality didn’t really work out so well.

A large part of this not working out as planned was the time in my life I chose to do it. Because I work from home there are a lot of days I see absolutely nothing interesting whatsoever. Due to a lack of means to go out and do exciting things, bad time management, and a pretty uneventful social life, there really didn’t seem to be anything worth sharing on a lot of days. I’d search around for something and usually it would just be a picture of food, or I’d google image search for something cool and be happy about that instead of anything in my real life. A lot of my pictures wound up being of food, or coffee, and while I don’t have a problem with that really, it is kind of boring and seemingly pointless if you look at them all together. It got to a point where I was like, is food really the main thing that makes me feel happy at this point in my life? Because that’s kind of sad. On my penultimate day, the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality in all 50 states, and it was awesome to be able to include that in my set of pictures. I was very glad that happened on the 99th day. However, the next day I posted several pictures and ALL of them were food-related.

Lesson number 1: If you’re going to start this challenge, you should try to pick a time when something interesting or exciting is already built into your plans, so that you have other things to share than just food. Vacation, graduation, party, I don’t know. Something like that. Or you could actually have a social life, unlike me.

Read the rest of this entry

Sometimes I don’t believe the date.


I too often write blog posts about my lack of blog posts.

Life has been busy, crazy, and a blur lately. Between work, holidays, a death in the family, and general life stuff, I’ve barely thought about blogging lately. I think that for just about everyone, there are bound to be times when you can’t keep up with regular blogging. The indication of whether you’re “meant to” blog (whatever that means) is that you keep coming back to it, no matter how many times you slip behind.

I would certainly rather be a regular poster. Maybe I’ll bring back Monday Madness, or come up with a new weekly post like Thursday Thoughts, or Wacky Wednesday, or Sunday Silliness. I don’t know. However, we can’t always do the things we want. I think the fact that I persist even after long hiatuses (hiati? No, that just looks like I spelled Haiti wrong) is something to be proud of. It’s a small thing, sure, but the truth is, my chicken tikka masala post continues to account for most of the views on the site, so new posts don’t make that much of a difference.

Even thought I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I used the turn of the year as a starting point to make real changes in my life. (Some of them haven’t quite taken yet, like being more active and eating healthier,  but they will.) More writing, learning music, getting my finances figured out, cleaning out all the stuff I don’t want anymore, and yet other unmentioned goals. It’s the year of starting to turn my life into the life I actually want.

I won’t call anything a New Year’s resolution because:

1. I think most people give up on it completely if they don’t start it in the first two or three weeks of January.

2. My goals are not meant to be contained to a particular time, but to transform my habits for a longer period.

This is going to be very hard work and sometimes very stressful, so I can’t say for sure I’ll be blogging much more often, but I certainly would like to. I’ve had so many good ideas over the past few months, but not enough time or inclination to write them. In the near future, I will probably be posting on my writing blog devajashewaywriting.com more frequently than here, so check that out if you’ve missed me. Unless everything falls apart again, I should be able to do some real posts here too, instead of just more updates… I know, so many update posts. BORING.

Right now I’m very full of cheese fries and calzone, after going out to eat with a friend. I’m trying to digest, but it’s proving somewhat difficult right now.

The Update Continues


Well then, two weeks later, I still have not done any of that blog-fixin’ I was talking about! The perfectionist in me is shying away from the task. She doesn’t want to put in all this work and then have the world respond with “So what?” So I guess I’ve been biding my time until I have a good chunk of time to deal with rearranging the blog. I can tell it’s going to take quite a lot of work to get things the way I want, and I’m so behind on other life things that I can’t give it the attention it deserves right now.

My chicken tikka masala post continues to get views constantly. I honestly don’t know how this has happened. I liked the post just fine, but it’s hardly a masterpiece. Is adding a can of coconut milk to a jar of tikka masala sauce really so interesting to people that it’s almost the only post that is ever viewed? It’s kind of disheartening to me otherwise… While I’m glad people have enjoyed this post, it sort of makes me think that any seeming success I’ll ever have in my life will be a fluke.

I have a jar of the same sauce and a plan to try the “recipe” with shrimp. Will that one get anywhere near the same amount of views? My guess is no.

My hope is that I’ll be able to have the new format of the blog figured out by the end of October. I want to say September, but I worry that it will take me much longer than that to get my other stuff in order. Or something resembling it. Until then I am sure I’ll just fret about the many imperfections in this and other aspects of my life.

An update post.


First of all, I want to direct your attention to the new temporary home page of my blog, which is the “About” page. I have added a note to readers that I hope will explain the many changes that may occur on this blog in the next few months as I try to make it a real “thing.”

I know I haven’t done much here lately. I have just written a little bit about why that is. See the last few posts for more on this… and it’s not because i don’t like this blog anymore or because I don’t have an interest. Sometimes life just happens that way it does and there’s not much you can do but ride along until you can take the wheel again. Right?

Unplanned hiatus aside, as this blog gained momentum, I really started to feel like I wanted to turn No-Recipe Life into a sort of brand. I made a facebook page, a youtube account, and then a tumblr with the same name. I don’t use the facebook page much (because there are only a handful of followers, all people I know personally, and no one ever responds to posts), I haven’t made a new video for the youtube account in months (mostly because I don’t have the resources to make the kinds of videos I would really like to have on there). I still use the tumblr fairly frequently. I like tumblr a lot. There’s a link off to the side of the page here if you want to check it out.

It’s been sort of a slow process, figuring out the whole no-recipe life thing and how I want to use and share it. I tried to apply to much structure to it and I felt too limited to do much of anything. Lesson learned. Now, I think I have a better idea of what I want to do with this blog. First of all, I need a different theme that really helps me achieve this. There will probably be a lot of experimenting and changing things around for a little while as I get this all figured out. I wish I could put up an “under construction” page in the meantime, but the note on my About page is the best I can do in that regard.

As I work on this, it’s possible that a lot of my posts will be along the lines of this one. A little rambly, a bit personal, not actually about food or lifestyle topics. Those will come around again, I promise. For now, this is where we are. We’re on a path and at the end is a meadow full of flowers, deer, and bunnies. Probably butterflies too. And bumble bees. (…Too much?)

And to finish up, what do people think about me starting up Monday Madness posts again? I’ve been thinking about it, and it was nice to have a regular time to make a post. Let me know how you feel about that. Thanks.

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