Hey everyone! I’ve been off in a little reflective mode lately, as I mentioned in my sort-of New Year’s Resolutions post that I was going to be taking stock of my life and making a conscious effort to do the things that make me happiest. The thinking part gummed up my blogging mojo for a bit, but I decided that it was time to report on my progress in some different areas.
It’s actually been almost a year since I actively decided to become more of a hobby cook, and I’ve improved substantially. I’ve used the new Cuisinart that I got for Christmas and have some more future plans for that (bean dip, homemade salsa, hummus, another attempt at gazpacho, and homemade peanut butter among them). My most recent cooking adventures included:
- baked apples,
- banana crumble,
- toasted subs with roasted eggplant and topped with goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh basil,
- BBQ tofu and carmelized onion stir fry with brown rice, and
- twice-baked sweet potatoes stuffed with goat cheese and stir-fried zucchini
There are some other things I’ve done recently, but those are the biggies. On deck the rest of this week is four “cheese” vegan macaroni and quinoa with pan-fried corn. Yum.
While it hasn’t been bloggy, I’ve been getting more into writing poetry again. I used to write poetry all the time in high school and college (I was a creative writing major and wanted to be a poet). My first attempt to get into grad school was applying for MFAs in poetry and when it didn’t work out, I did find another career path that I’ve found extremely rewarding. Unfortunately, I somehow concluded that since I wasn’t going to make a living as a poet that I wasn’t any good and shouldn’t do it any more.
I realized recently that, well, I still might not be any good, but what does that have to do with not doing it? I enjoy it immensely and the career-pressure aspect of it is off, so why not? I decided to kick it off by writing a sonnet a day for a month (I really really like form/structured poetry because it takes some skill, and sonnets are usually love poems so they’ve always been my favorite). So far I’ve written two about Jake and an ode to one of our cats. I’m going to do an ode for each of the animals and then see what I want to write about next.
I am doing this mostly for me, for the emotional release and the focused mental energy that it requires and provides, so probably not much sharing on this site, but we’ll see what happens!
I also joined Meetup, which (for those of you who might not know) lets you join groups of people who live in your area and participate in a variety of planned activities. First, I went to a beer-lover’s group, which I probably won’t go back to as it turns out that mostly 45 year old men like beer. They were nice but I’m doing this to find people I have stuff in common with. Then I met some women my age for a nighttime run on a lit trail near my work. I went 4.62 miles, which might be the farthest I’ve ever run at once and which I’m totally proud of (even if it took an hour and eight minutes). The ladies I met were fantastic and I’ll definitely do something with this group again. This weekend’s pretty booked because of Valentine’s Day, but I think Jake and I are going to go hiking with another group next weekend.
So, yeah, Jake’s decided that he’s totally miserable working for his current company and wants to transition. Also, he grew up in the area where we live now and wants to see other places. So, since he’s the one who pulls in the big bucks at the moment, he’s polished up his resume and contacted some recruiters, and we’ll see where things go (I still have my iron in the fire for the tenure-track thing but the search seems to be stalled at the department level so we didn’t want to wait any longer). I think the mere fact that he’s doing something about his unhappiness will go a long way toward making him feel better even though it’s likely that nothing will happen for awhile yet.
We’re looking at Santa Monica, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Boston, and NYC as the main prospects. Secondary prospects include another company here in Phoenix, Seattle, Austin, and Orlando. I’ve told Jake that while I support his desire to move, if I quit my job to follow him (again), that we have to be able to live off his salary alone until I get a job. My emergency fund is about $4K, which isn’t much so I don’t want to deplete it, plus I also don’t think that moving to another city when we’ve both got great jobs here qualifies as an emergency :-) I have some freelance ideas that I can implement as soon as we’re in a new place, and as long as we move to a university-dense area I should be able to find something full-time without too much of a problem (which makes Vegas probably the least desirable of our selected locations, since there isn’t much there besides UNLV and their financial situation kind of blows at the moment).
I bought Jake a porn video the other day called “naughty bookworms 3″ or something like that, which was kind of a joke because my Match handle back in the day was “hot bookworm” and it was part of the throwaway email I used to go back and forth with Jake before he knew my real name. I also bought this screwdriver-flavored warming lotion that I am now totally addicted to. OMG, peeps, I was so wet and tingly, it was amazing, and Jake said it tasted exactly like a screwdriver (i.e., much better than the fake strawberry flavors that most companies have). It also wasn’t sticky at all, which I hate. We’ve been having a ton of sex lately and it is awesome.
We are going to Fire + Spice: An Arizona Grill for Valentine’s Day and are totally stoked because it looks both delicious and vegetarian-friendly, and also because we have a $25 Restaurant.com coupon to eat there that I only paid $2 for. Hooray!
A few other brief updates:
- I have been easily maintaining my weight since stopping Weight Watchers (and if you’re listening, WW, it’s hard to interpret your “We miss you! Rejoin today!” emails as having a subtext of anything other then “We really hope you gained that 15 pounds back”). I’ve even lost about two and a half more pounds recently and found myself in the 120s for the first time in probably 5 years yesterday. Awesome!
- I have decided to break down and buy a bike instead of waiting for a windfall. I had an extra paycheck in January that I was going to throw towards my credit card but I will take about $200 of that and look for a used bike. Jake already owns a bike but hasn’t used it in a long time and we’re excited to exercise together.
- It’s not set in stone yet, but there is a strong possibility that my work is going to send me to Fiji for 8 days this summer. That’s right, peeps, I said Fiji, the tropical paradise. I’d be supervising undergrads while there, but it would be all-expenses paid and wouldn’t count against my vacation time. Rock on!
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