Sunday, January 17, 2010

Weekends, IKEA and Blobby Kitchen Messes...

Somehow, it's managed to become Sunday again without my being fully aware of it. That's the thing about weekends, they're tricky. I'm still convinced that there's some weird time-space continuam thing where time slows down while we're at work but speeds up as soon as we have some free time.

Since it's Sunday evening, my free time is rapidly moving by and Monday morning looms closer. Since I plan on spending part of the evening with Jack Bauer on "24", I anticipate wildly-ridiculous plot points, a miraculous recovery for Jack who was formerly dying and lots of "Damn it!" spoken with Jack's trademark inflection. Naturally, I'm still looking forward to it.

I can't complain though. I've had a very productive weekend. I managed to clean and organize and my house is feeling much better. I also got to go to IKEA which is always dangerous. You go there for one thing and come out with ten. For example, I was looking for some shelves for my pantry. I managed to find something better- a unit with interchangeable drawers from baskets to tubs to fabric ones. Because it was IKEA, it was inexpensive. I also managed to buy some towels, some candles, two toy mice/rat things- one for me, one for my niece- heat pads for hot pans, tupperware-like containers and a rug. All I wanted were the shelves. Curse you IKEA for your inexpensive products that are very useful and have odd names.

Of course, I realized when I got home that my shelf/drawer unit thingy really did need that worktop that I thought I could live without. Having it would give me much more storage space on top. Also, it would make my pantry look tidier. Since my kitchen currently looked like a bomb had hit it because I'd taken everything out of my pantry, I ended up going back to IKEA for the worktop. I emerged with the worktop...and a set of washcloths to match my new towels and a 79 cent vase that I thought would look nice in my bathroom. Curse you, IKEA!

I'm willing to concede that it probably isn't really IKEA's fault. I really need to NOT put things in that handy blue bag you pick up when you walk in the door.

Aside from my IKEA trips, I also managed to finally watch "Julie and Julia." I'd been loaned the movie by a coworker but hadn't watched it. Then my good friend, Saz, gave me it as a Christmas gift so I figured it was time to watch it. You'd think I'd have done so much sooner since I'm a blogger and a foodie.

I found the movie entertaining. I like the idea and I admit, I could relate to Julie rather a lot. As a yet unpublished writer, having a blog is one way to feel better about writing. I like her idea too- cooking your way through that many recipes in a year would be fun and a challenge. Since I've recently become obsessed with cooking, i think it's a cool idea. Yet, like so many of those, someone else had it first. Now everyone else would be a copycat.

Yet the thing I like most is that Julie took on the project so she could finish something. It's good to have a goal like that. For me, that's what the National Novel Writing Month challenge was for. I actually spent the evening editing that novel and as horrible arrogant as it sounds, I made myself laugh out load a few times. In my defense, I haven't read the book since I wrote it and though I can't speak for other writers, for me, at least, when I'm writing, it's like being in a different world. I often just write and let the words flow out and not know what I wrote until I reread it a few days later. It seems alien, foreign...not something I created. It's like stepping out of your body and observing yourself from a distant point of view. You think, "I wrote that? The demon says that?" Sometime, it's the characters writing the story. For this last novel, I can't say that was the case. It just...happened.

Yet, like it was for Julie when she finished her 365 of cooking Julia Child's recipes, finishing a novel in a month was a feeling of accomplishment. Granted, unlike Julie, I don't have publishers, editors and the Food Network leaving me messages but that's ok. I can live with that.

Though it'd be super fantastic if the Food Network called me. Don't you think "Cooking with Captain Monkeypants" has an interesting ring to it?

I'm kidding. My food tastes pretty good but it never quite looks....pretty. For example, I made radacchio pancakes for lunch (Mario Batali's recipe, naturally) and while they were delicious, it really showed me that I haven't got the hang of presentation. The pancakes looked a bit like uneven, discoloured blobs of egg that were not round but more like, uh, clouds...misshapen, slightly awkward, blobby clouds. I really must work on my plating. Still, when it's just me, it doesn't matter. I'm just afraid that if I ever cook for someone else, they'll balk at the sight of my blobby, odd-looking food that makes the plate look messy even when I try to wipe it the way I see the chef'\s on TV do it.

Anyway, all in all, it's been a very nice, productive sort of weekend. The nice thing is that there's another one coming up in under six days.

If only that pesky work-week wasn't in between.

Happy Monday!

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