Moneh Moneh Moneh Moneh! MONEH! – Brian Griffin

It’s been almost a month since my last post, and I wish that I had more to report to you guys!

Unfortunately because of lack of funds I haven’t been able to do some of the things on my list. This made me start to realize that maybe I should be switching some of my goals around to accommodate that change in my life.

 

Aside from going back home to Balfour to visit my family, I don’t think that I would be able to do anymore traveling until next year. That was part of my three goals:

#6: Travel somewhere new
#16: Go hiking on a new trail with Aileen O’Marra
#17: Go to Florida to reconnect with old family members

 

Instead of that, I will be volunteering!

#6: Molson Canadian Red Lead Project (http://www.molsoncanadian.ca/en/red-leaf-project/home.aspx)
#16: Volunteer for TIFF
#17: Donate some money to great causes

 

Luckily enough in the beginning of the year when I had more disposable income, I had donated some money to “Walk so kids can talk” and “Weekend to end women’s cancer”, so I guess I can cross that off of my list!

 

11 out of 25 goals completed!

8 out of my 25 goals have been ongoing, so technically I guess you can say 19 out of 25 are completed.

 

Aside from the two that I have changed, the other 4 are:

#2: Skydive or Edgewalk. The reason why I didn’t take this one out of my goals is because I’ve wanted to do this for 6 years now. I will somehow find the money to do this. Or if you all want to chip in on an awesome present wink wink

#8: Teach someone Yiddish. That someone is actually Brian, I just need to find the time and some old books to sit down and do this.

#18: Learn sign language. My best friend Ilana said that she would teach me some of the basics, so again it’s more of a “find the time” situation. I have no doubt it’ll be done by the time my birthday rolls around!

# 19: Start saving for a new place. Now, aside from my money troubles at the moment, I will have 2 loans paid off fully come September. SO. Technically because it is BEFORE my birthday, this goal will get started!

Hopefully in a months time I will be able to fill you in on more! Until then, Stay Classy

Quick missive

Hey!

Just wanted you all to know I’m still doing my part!

I spent most of last week and most of the weekend volunteering. It was a great experience that I hope to speak about more.

I’m also getting ready to go away for the weekend, which is exciting. Nowhere new, but with great people and to a pretty lovely place.

The weather is gorgeous and it makes me sad to know that I’ve been spending all my time in a/c. I dislike air con, a lot! And in spite of my bad hair days, I love hot, humid, muggy summer days. I love that scorched feeling on my skin, as long as I can drink cold water or sweet tea. As for the hair, I will just wear a hat for the next while.

Hopefully some of you get to catch some rays! Trust me, I’m jealous of your tan!

A list of getting things done

Heya!

Here’s what I’ve been up to over the last few days:

  1. Played chess: against a friend and lost, miserably. I did pretty well, and I have no middle game, so it all fell apart pretty quickly.
  2. Went to yoga: and accidentally went to a really hard class. It was awesome.
  3. Threw some knives with a friend. For the record, the box is the target:
  4. Practiced some Spanish
  5. Practiced typing. I still suck.
  6. Tried to cook a turkey.

OK, I cannot touch meat. I also have a really hard time looking at an entire animal or piece of an animal. I helped m mom get the bird out of the bag, and once the animal was laid out and I could see where its legs and neck and everything were, it was super-real to me. It was either leave at that moment or ruin dinner by puking all over the place.

It’s strange, but I can eat meat no problem, as long as I can’t really tell that it came from an animal. Once I can tell it’s an animal and identify what bones they are, which limb, or encounter a particularly gruesome tendon, it’s game over. Nausea time.

So if I ever invite you to dinner, it will probably be vegetarian, unless you’re bringing the meat!

Painting issues

I may have indicated this in the past, but for me this whole experiment is about determination and accomplishment. I find that I am an exceptional procrastinator and am not as determined as I could be. Whether I doubt myself too often or am simply not willing to put in the hard work to get somewhere, I find that there’s not a whole lot I can affix to my name that I would like to show off.

Growing up, I always thought I would become some crazy painter, I was pretty committed for a while and produced some decent stuff. But not being allowed to go to university for a BFA really dashed those dreams for me. So I learned to rely on other skills that I had and honed them instead. I haven’t painted since the spring of 2009, which means it’s long overdue. I have been experimenting with ideas for the style and have almost decided on the size. I may only be at my work until February, or they may decide to keep me, but I have decided I need a painting for my office. It will take some time and be a pretty busy piece but my main concern is having a place to paint. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m thinking I would need to store the piece at the location in between sessions, due to its intended size.

I don’t paint with oils anymore, so ventilation isn’t as much of a concern. But I do need a workspace. If you have a spare room that you wouldn’t mind lending for a few weeks as a workshop, that would be cool. I could pay a fee for the space too. Alternatively, if anyone knows of any studios that are in the downtown core and easy to get to, I’d like to know if I would be able to use this space!

Cooking questions

I’ve cooked over the past few months, but nothing really new or extensive. In the last month or so I’ve made curry, but the sauce was from a packet. I also made French toast and a badass fajita dish on Sunday. Double-win!

During the time I lived on my own, I figured out how to do lots. My mom showed me how to make rice (NOT instant!), and how to make shawarma. I love cooking with veggies and I really dislike touching raw meat, so for the most part I will make the protein come from elsewhere. But I can cook a decent steak too. Or I make my brother process the meat and do most everything else.

Frankly, I am a genius with tofu, and should be crowned the official stir-fry Queen. Plus I can always add an egg or make some peanut butter sauce (which will rival $2 noodles any day or night — while sober!) if the protein aspect is severely lacking.

I can do eggs, no problem: scrambled, fried, poached: these things are no problem. I make a mean mac-and-cheese from scratch. I can even make vegetarian chili (and the veggies accompaniment for fajitas). I also make an excellent salad. Like it’s amazing and you don’t even want to put salad dressing on it, that’s how damned good it is. Unlike those bullshit million-calorie salads you get in restaurants.

I am also pretty damned good at making sandwiches. But that’s cause I make one pretty much every weekday for lunch. This is also the only meat I can accept to touch that isn’t specifically cooked. Deli meat FTW!

But that is pretty much my cooking repertoire. Please note that the vast majority of this is vegetarian cooking. Which I’m fine with — I’m seriously quite squeamish about touching raw meat — chicken especially. Also I don’t really enjoy eating shellfish and have no desire to cook with fish. Is this too limiting? Perhaps. But this is my general diet. I’m not sure what I should learn how to make though, and how it would fit in my constraints. I’m not sure I should even hang onto those constraints. I was thinking to learn how to make jam from my grandma here in Montreal, but I am not much of a jam-eater and appreciator. I’d like to learn a hearty vegetarian dish, a fancy complicated meal (I am not so great at cooking multiple things at once — I find it tough enough to coordinate the toaster and an egg at once!) and a wheat/gluten-free dish. Your suggestions are more than welcome!

So what do you think I should learn how to cook? Will you teach me?

Busy bee or am I just lazy?

I don’t think that when I initially signed up to do this, that I considered how busy I would become. I’m glad I’m watching less TV, but sometimes I find it a little overwhelming. I had definitely gotten into the “come home from work, eat and veg out-occasionally go to the gym” routine for the last year and a half. Even when I was freelancing, once I had completed as many billable hours in a day that I could, it was chill-out time. In fact, I found it a bit stressful to catch up on a certain show so that I could watch the finale with a friend on television (with commercials!), it was a weird experience since I haven’t had cable TV at home since I was eleven.

Here’s what I do instead of watching TV and movies, or reading endless streams of comics now:

Blogging:
I actually blog almost every day. Between this and my personal blog, I am pretty much always writing something. I find it’s an exercise on keeping things interesting and turning situations over in my head to make it fascinating (or at least vaguely entertaining) for the reader. I know that I have a limited time to capture one’s attention and that it’s gotta be good. This is definitely one of my less-amazing posts, but I’ve been happy to have been so busy.

Chess:
Last night I got together with a friend from uni. We used to work together and he had challenged me to a game back in January. What with our intermittent communications (my fault) and a variety of schedule-juggling, we finally got together last night and played a couple of rounds. It was worth it. In general though, I’m not really playing much anymore. I don’t find it to be interesting to play against a computer, but I have improved a bit!

Yoga:
I haven’t gone this week, but I need to buy a pass of new classes. What with taxes cleaning me out, and my social life picking up with the warm weather, this has been tough to sort out. In the fall my workplace is considering offering yoga classes once per week. Have I mentioned how awesome this workplace is? I would happily lug some sweats over once a week to do that! AND Shivasana would mean a brief workplace-sanctioned nap! OMG YAY!

Typing:
I usually practice typing for most of my posts and I’ve improved dramatically. Also, if I find I have five or ten spare minutes at home, I’ll do a lesson or a couple of tests. Right now my average speed is like 20 words per minute (pathetic!) but my accuracy has improved by leaps and bounds. Pretty proud of myself for finally bucking up and learning this crucial skill.

Spanish:
I bought Spanish lessons through a Groupon or something similar a while back and did four lessons in one day and then promptly forgot about it. I re-found it and have recommitted to learning again. Aside from that, most weeks I head on over to the Spanish conversation class where I will listen intently and manage to stutter out a poorly-formed sentence or two. Coming from the top of the class back in 2001 (I think my year average was around 95%, a rare occurrence for a high 70’s/low-80’s-average girl like myself), I have definitely lost that awesomeness at Spanish from back in the day.

Knife-throwing:
I did this a total of once and scared myself (and the guy who was teaching me). I’m heading over again tonight and we are praying to all the gods everywhere that I don’t hurt him or myself (or his apartment). Hopefully one of us will have the presence of mind to film something!

Running:
Oh wow. This is the hardest goal and I am having a damned hard time trying to want to keep up with it. I went running twice last week and again last night, and kind of sucked. But I have also been going on hour-long walks with my brother. We shoot the shit, try to solve each others’ problems and head up the hill at as rapid a clip that I can manage. We even go in the rain, which is nice cause we’ll get some fresh air and take a path with as much greenery as possible. This allows us to trick ourselves that we’ve gone hiking in the woods. Not bad for a couple of city kids living in an urban area.

Things I would like to do more of:

  • Ironing: I really like wearing crisp white button-down shirts to work. But I don’t like wearing wrinkled ones. I find that ruins the idea of wearing a button-down in general. It helps that I got a really nice tan so far this summer.
  • Cooking: I cook sometimes, but I haven’t done anything complicated in a while. Next week I should be learning how to do a turkey dinner. My mom says it’s easy, but I’m scared of touching the organs (!)
  • Speaking with more finance people about personal finance things: makes sense.
  • Save more money to give my donation: yeah, I thought I had saved all kinds of money, but then the tax man was all like “gimme” and then “gimme more.” So now I feel like I’m starting at zero. Le sigh.
  • Figure out whether moving out is actually feasible: I am a high-maintenance lady who likes to eat out. I also try to save something like 25% of my income because I am super paranoid about not having money in the future/job security. Do you see my problems thus far? Yeah.
  • Painting: More on this later, but there are multiple things pulling me back, and it’s not just about lacking ideas. I need space and supplies too.
  • Building: Same as above. They may both be difficult endeavours just because of the space they take and mess they make. Also, while I have a well-stocked toolbox, I’m definitely not the most proficient user of the tools.
  • Fix my shoes: I heart my shoes. I have to heart my shoes to buy them. So the cost of replacing them is often more than monetary for me. So I really should take better care of them all. But they are so yucky when I get home that I don’t ant to touch them, and then the problem compounds itself.

I feel like people who are more high-energy than me do all this anyway…

May Recap

Here’s what I did during May:

    1. OMG I ran! On a treadmill. And on the road. I really like it but g-damn I am one out of shape and whiny little bitch! I have a lot of work to do! This is what my route looks like:
    20120601-231515.jpg

    2. I went to yoga three whole times. And I visited a friend who just stuck me on the floor into some restorative poses cause I am super stressed about what is probably nothing. The stress hurts my neck, shoulders and ears, but I am really grateful for her and her expertise.

    3. I am typing up a storm. I’m nowhere ready to take those crazy typing tests, but I have improved immensely.

    4. Thanks for following me on Twitter! I don’t always have the most amusing things to say, but I’m working on upgrading so that I can keep you all in stitches every hour on the hour. From a professional standpoint this whole broken phone situation is far from ideal.

    5. I called up driving schools and have decided which one is appropriate for me. I go to my first lesson on Tuesday.

    6. I have been editing away at my short stories. On the subway, at home, wherever I can steal a moment to work on this, and I think that 8 out of 12 are ready. They’re called Stories of Escape and I hope you’ll read them and let me know what you think once I post them.

    7. I got my bike out of storage and got it sorted for the summer. I have an acquaintance who has offered to teach me simple repairs, so that will be part of my goals for June.

    8. I went for my tattoo consultation and am reconsidering getting that tattoo. I am not in love with any other designs or locations, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around any other idea. Perhaps it’s not for this year. If I choose not to get the tattoo, I will have to change the goal. What do you think I should do instead?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!