Wednesday, January 6, 2010

i feel like a better person already

My friend Philip has about a million hobbies.  He canoes, knits, name-drops, reads, sews, over-analyzes,  juggles, plays the banjo, cooks, charmingly stalks girls he likes, and volunteers with his church's youth group.  In his spare time, he works in the inter-library loan department and supports the library in every way imaginable.  Every time I discover another of his talents or hobbies, I'm amazed and struck by my own lack of desire to do anything besides watch tv and feed my internet addiction.  Sometimes Philip and his hobbies make me tired, but they always make me feel inferior.

It's not that I'm without skill.  I'm decent at drawing.  I enjoy music and over the course of my life have competently played the piano, the trumpet, and the tuba.  I have a passion for the written word, which manifests in a love of reading and writing (something I'm finally indulging in this charming little blog of mine).  I'm decently crafty, with the ability to cross-stitch, crochet, and knit all locked away in some part of my brain.  I love to cook and bake, and I'm told that I'm good at it.  So I have the foundation for quite a few hobbies, but what I lack is the structure or discipline to make time for any of these things.  Don't get me wrong:  I like watching tv and being addicted to the internet, and I rarely feel like the time devoted to those things is wasted.  But I guess I'd like to feel a bit more well-rounded and to cultivate a few more conversational topics besides facebook, Pioneer Woman, and episodes of Glee.  (But if you want to talk about any of those things, I'm so your girl.)

So some of my activities of late have been about diversifying.  I started writing this blog.  I committed to an online book club where I'll be reading and discussing Dietrich Bonhoeffer's The Cost of Discipleship for the next several weeks (expect a blog on that soon).  And today when faced with the choice to go to double-punch Tuesday lunch at The Flying Burrito with Philip and our friend Bob (which is usually about as good as a Tuesday gets for me) or going to "It's Always Something," a new series of lunchtime library programs, I chose the program, where local artist Sylvia Wilkes taught us a bit about watercolors and turned us loose to make something.  I took some really terrible pictures of my finished project (well, almost finished--I still need to actually mount them on that white background).

We started by doing crayon rubbings of various textures.

I used mostly toothpicks.

And a coil of wire.

Then once we had our textures, we painted over them with watercolors . . .

 . . .  however we wanted to.

Sometimes blank paper terrifies me.

It was intimidating, but I just gritted my teeth and played through it.

Then using a cardboard viewfinder, I selected the pieces of my whole page that I wanted to cut out and highlight, which is why there are five small pieces instead of one larger one.
Did I mention that these photographs are terrible?  Because they are heinous.
While I was at the program today, I also committed to attending the next meeting of the library book club, which is next Tuesday.  We're reading Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian, which sounds intriguing.  Expect a review once I finish it.

Apparently the experience got my creativity flowing because after work, when I was doing my pre-snow Krogering, along with three quarters of the population of Little Rock, I couldn't walk down an aisle without getting a brilliant idea for some recipe I wanted to try out.  The sensible, frugal side of me didn't allow that creative genius to go completely out-of-control, but I did come home with some interesting prospective ingredients.  Tonight, I made taco soup (soups are my specialty) and, for the first time ever, homemade applesauce.  I realize those two things don't go together.  The applesauce was more for later, than the soup, but I'm pleased to report that I did a fairly impressive job of both.

And the good times don't stop there.  If I can convince my moma to give me a refresher course in casting on when  I see her week after next, I'll be able to go to the third Tuesday library program (Sit and Stitch) and gossip over knitting needles with Philip and my awesome boss Lisa. 

But I've definitely had enough of my hobbies, old and new, tonight.  Genesis chapters 12-14 are calling my name.  I'm still on track with project 4:4, if you count reading after midnight but before I've officially called it a day as being on track.  I personally do.


  1. WOW! That's an impressive list of accomplishments. I'm anxious to see what a person as cultured and sophisticated as you will bring to the BBC (Bonhoeffer Book Club) this week.

    I like the water colors a lot. Did you take the pics with your new camera? Have you ordered it yet?

    Looking forward to many future blogs on the aforementioned topics.

    I had a productive day myself. I made a couple of breakthroughs on class creation and my OT Survey class seems like it's going to come together nicely. I also had a great idea about how to introduce the quest for the historical Jesus to my Life of Christ class. That's a big deal 'cause I've been trying to figure it out for a year now. Ironically, the idea came from conversations I had this week with my father-in-law and Jenni's OBGYN. If I had a blog, I'd write about those conversations for the enquiring minds.

  2. I have been in a cooking mood lately. Mostly inspired by the cooking I do for potlucks. My main problem with cooking is that I do not plan my menu before going to Kroger,so I just end up buying the same food that I always buy. But I did make chili last week. Hopefully I will start doing more grocery planning.

  3. Wow! Reading your blog made me feel tired and inferior. S and J have been very busy this new year and had much done when I was there. I'm going to try to be inspired by you all rather than despair that I may never measure up. So I must get off this interstate and get busy. I have many leaves to turn over!!!

    Loved the artwork!!

    Shane, I have the same grocery problem. I'm hoping to do better as well. Good luck to us both.

  4. Jenni won't let me go grocery shopping very much because I'll tend to wander through the store and pick up lots of random stuff that sounds good to me or make up recipes based on what I'm looking at on the shelf. I inevitably come home with this grand menu in my head, check real recipes in cookbooks and online, realize I haven't bought everything I need, go back to the store, spend more money, cook using at least 3/4 of our pots and pans, serve up a meal at 8:00 when I'm finally finished with it, and then proudly say, "I cooked, so you can do the dishes." I don't get why this is a problem. ;)

  5. The Lerchers are at my house, and we were talking about how much we enjoy reading this blog. Keep up the good work!!

  6. LOVED the pictures! If I could draw anything besides a turtle and a fish, I'd say you got your talent from me. Since I didn't see paint blobs everywhere nor read of any mention of ruined paint spattered clothes, you definitely got it somewhere else!


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