Monday, February 27, 2012

Jekyll & Hyde

"You are a mental case."

That would be me.

I have become that woman. The woman who, due to lack of sleep, tosses all sense out the window and become emotionally insane with a touch of aggression. My darling husband is the fortunate/unfortunate recipient of my multiple personalities. I would like to get rid of most of them and get back to one, but I think I need a straight eight hours sleep to make that happen. Perhaps one day, when the boy is twenty five and on his own...

I can say that my lack of working out at the gym also contributes to my hideous self. Sure the little one and I go walking pretty much every day thanks to this mild winter, but I am looking forward to getting back into strength training. It can only make me feel better and sleep better, even if that sleep is as a short as a Disney dwarf. The scary part is, though I am well aware of when the meltdown begins, it is like a hormonal freight train racing through. I cant stop it. Then I have to hang my head in shame and feel like crap and rightly so. I have no business getting snippy with the one person who does not deserve it. Maybe it is time for me to learn how to bake his favorites, black and white cookies, as token of my stupid mouth.

As for writing, I pretty much do it in my head when I lay down to go to sleep at night. Publishing is like my white whale at this point. I will get there, I swear. Or maybe I should not swear. Ahhh hell, let us all swear.

I need to embrace some of these mini mantras posted on Che' and Fidel. Not that I don't already. I got to shower this morning and let me tell you it was glorious. Helps that the little man has taken to napping pretty solid in his bassinet in the morning.

Sleep, glorious sleep :)


Friday, February 24, 2012

Is It Friday?

Oh my how the week has flown. I blame most of it on lack of sleep since I have been getting up for the night feedings so my head is all foggy. Yes, I could wake my husband up for the 5am feed, but if the baby talking loudly and giving a small cry does not rouse him, why poke him awake? Though it did cross my mind this morning because I was and still feel like, a zombie. Because of that, this post will have absolutely no coherence. Just rambling. Good times.

Writing: as limited as you would think. I am getting frustrated at myself, but I also try to cut myself some slack. While I have been editing my bounty hunter story, ideas on how to hone up the plot for my other book have been popping up. Changes. Changes. Yeah, nothing but changes. I have been thinking of ways to improve the personal story of the Angel of Death. I think I got it. I hope I got it. I would love e a week where I sit in a writing cabin and bang these stories out.

This next admittance is pretty amusing. I have begun watching The Vampire Diaries. Cheesy? Absolutely, but it is a fun ride at times. The acting is decent and while the story line is as far fetched as fantasy can be, there are so many holes in the story you can rinse lettuce in this colander, it still holds my interest. Of course I am so tired of hearing about vampires, thank you crap that is called Twilight, that I was hesitant to watch it for many months. But now, thanks to Netflix, I have been sucked in to the darn show.

I think I need to make this cheesy pull apart bread. Look how scrumptious!

As a reader, writer and lover of all things books, this literary food-themed dinner party is an awesome idea.

That's all folks!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Home Sweet Home

For most folks, when watching a film, it is only about the acting and the story.

I am not most people.

While I appreciate an interesting story like The Usual Suspects or Rebecca or Wings of the Dove, I am also captivated by the art direction and set design. A movie can out and out suck, but if there is an awesome house or fabulous costumes, I can sit through it with pleasure. "A Perfect Murder" with Gwenyth Paltrow is one of those movies. The townhouse, exteriors were used only at 91st and 5th, that she shares with her devious husband, Michael Douglas, is downright stunning. It encompasses everything one thinks a NYC residence should have. I would have loved to watch the set designers create the space from scratch on a sound stage. Think of all the detail you have to be mindful of: enormous wealth must be subtle and ever present. Top of the line appliances, materials that are marble or mimic it makes your head spin.

Let me take you through some of my favorites.

Like anyone with a pair of eyes, I would love, love, love to visit Highclere Castle which on TV is called "Downton Abbey". Can you believe someone actually lives there???

Pomander Walk first came to my attention when I saw Hannah and Her Sisters. I would really love to see the inside of one of those co-ops.

Auntie Mame's digs are fabulous.

The Sheats Goldstein Residence is quite a beautifully designed modern home.

Hooked on Houses has a great section on TV/Movie houses. You really could spend a serious amount of time combing through these homes and sets designs on sound stages. Enjoy.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No One Said It Would Be Easy

Motherhood is not a walk in the park nor did I ever think it was. Learning how to squeeze writing in between feedings, laundry, taking dog out, going for stroll with baby and household chores has been nerve racking. I swear I have been editing the same page for five days. Right now I am typing as the little guy hangs on my shoulder. He does hang in his bouncy or bassinet, but if not, he is in a baby carrier on me or just in my arms. I am the Queen of one handed typing now. Okay, back on track here. The evening brings a race against time as I cook dinner, finish up tasks around the house and shower. With help from the hubby and luck, I can maybe write for about half an hour to an hour. Of course, the more the little guy naps, the more I get done, but I also really enjoy spending time with him when he is alert and doing tummy time. Even when he naps on me I find it so incredibly soothing. This is where I get conflicted. Sure I can just put him down so I can write, but it is easier to fight to find the time to bring a story to life instead of missing a moment with the little man. I guess the struggle for balance is not so hard. The real difficulty is allowing myself to be more flexible with my publishing goal and recognizing that I will get it done. Just a little later then I had hoped.

And just because, here is a nice French kitchen.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where Would You Go?

Have you ever wanted to just pick up and relocate? Maybe even travel the world a few times over? How about just moving to three random countries or states? Granted it would take serious planning to make it happen, but wouldn't it be just wonderful? This post on Apartment Therapy talks about doing such a thing.
My husband and I have discussed one day buying an RV and just driving across America. Even before we had a child we would say, if we had a child, we want to pull him/her out of school either during 7th or 8th grade and travel. Give the child experiences that they would not ever have in school. Now with our little one actually here this road trip may become a real possibility.

When my husband was looking for a job over five years ago, he had applied to positions in NYC, Seattle, even Bordeaux, France. We are in NJ so NYC had no relocation issues tied to it. Seattle would not be too bad since we have friends and relatives on the West Coast. The possibility of France was very exciting and it came with all sorts of baggage; dog being quarantined, my French is wretched. But we would have been living in wine country :) Alas, none if it came to fruition. NYC did but then the job moved to NJ so big moves. Well, just buying the house, but no cross country or intercontinental living.

I have always joked that I would love to move to Perth, Australia. This is simply because it is the most isolated Metropolis in the world. Silly? Maybe, but if one was to move randomly, why not some place different then your own? Naturally you would make sure it is not a dangerous or overly destitute place. One still has to make a living and it is all about the experience.

Here is a list of places, regardless of the current worldwide economic nightmare, that I would consider moving to for a little while. Some of them I have visited, some I have not.

Perth, Australia - Isolated Metropolis, Coastal, what is not to love?

Sausalito, California - Been there and it is stunning. Looks like Greece with all these houses on the hillside. It is also costs as much as a small country to live there.

Auckland, New Zealand - Just looks divine.

Barcelona, Spain - Husband loved it and I know darn well I would with all that fabu art and food.

London, England - One of my favorite cities in the world. The Anglophile in me would be giddy to get a chance to live there.

Edinburgh, Scotland - Watched a PBS Mystery series called "Case Histories" and Edinburgh was the backdrop and it was magnificent looking.

Asheville, North Carolina - Been here twice and we absolutely love it.

Portland, Oregon - A little too hipster, but I like the food and organic living aspect of the city.

La Jolla, California - You need big bucks to live here, but it is gorgeous and for once I would like to try living where there is no snow.

Santa Fe, New Mexico - Artsy, good food and desert living would be so different to what I am used to that I would like to try it out.

Buenos Aires, Argentina - Tango and food galore. Enough said.

Florence, Italy - Favorite city in Italy. Would go back in a heartbeat.

Montreal, Canada - French living with a Canadian twist. Spent part of our honeymoon here and have been dying to get back.

No doubt I will add places over time and that alone is very exciting. I think everyone should dream like this. You may not get to go everywhere you want or even relocate, but the possibilities are endless and I believe if you want it bad enough you can make it happen.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Balance, Flexibility and Sweets

One thing I have noticed is that once you have a child the days pretty much fly by. I mean, their eating schedules, if they are on one, are pretty much to chow down every 2-3 hours. As one bottle gets finished, you are eyeing the clock seeing how much time you have until the next bottle gets prepared. This includes trying to get a breast feeding and/or pumping session in. I am learning to find that fine balance of when I can write, last night at 10:30pm I was doing some choice work, and when I can do laundry, shower, etc. Do not misunderstand me, I am enjoying my new excursion into this foreign zone known as "Motherhood",  but it is no small feat. Imagine being a homesteader back in the day. I assume you strapped the baby on your back or front or put them in a basket near by as you worked in the fields or took care of the livestock. We received three different baby carriers as gifts and we have just started using one of them. The baby seems to dig it which is wonderful. I want to be able to work in my vegetable garden and bring the little guy along. I have no illusions that there will be days where that will not work, but flexibility is key. Luckily I am not someone who abhors change. This is the BIGGEST change I have ever gone through and the learning curve is a steep one. Ha ha!
Being flexible means I have learned to write at the oddest of moments. You have no choice but to take the opportunity when it presents itself. Gone is the leisure of my writing routine. Now it is more of a "do it when you can" type of situation. As tired as I was last night, I had to make myself edit. I swear to God, if I ever get to self publish this I will not care if it ever sells, I lie, but really, the fact that I get it up to be sold will be a stellar achievement. This will also mean I can get back to my Angel of Death story. No wonder writers have assistants and housekeepers when they have the beaucoup bucks. Okay, not all of them do, but every day life does interfere with writing plot lines.
One good thing is my husband is very supportive and encourages me to keep moving forward when I get those pockets of time where I can actually feel like an author. Amen to that.
The other thing I am on the path to mastering is cooking with an infant. I bring the baby in the bouncy seat into the kitchen and voila! I can cook or bake without a fuss and the greatest of ease. 

You believed me for a second didn't you? Foolish reader.

Babies get overstimulated very easily. Too many bells, whistles and hoopla and they sort of freak out. even though our little one has no issue with fireworks going off when he sleeps, it can still get to be too much after awhile. The other fun thing is that babies will almost always prefer you as opposed to any man made contraption that has been devised to soothe them. As far as a baby is concerned you can shove that bouncy seat, stroller, swing or whatever up your tush because it is not you. I bring this up because today I chose to make a peanut butter chocolate chip coffee cake from a recipe I found on Annie's Eats blog. Oh does my house smell divine right now! Anyway, my husband went to shower so the baby came to hang out in the kitchen. After a few minutes of tolerating me chatting with him as he sat in the bouncy seat, the realization that he was not  in my arms displeased him immensely. Needless to say, I can use a hand mixer and hold a baby with his head on my shoulder pretty well. That's right, I am cultivating some serious skills here.

In keeping with the suggestion I made of reading books that I normally wouldn't, I checked out my library catalog online and ordered Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President. I gotta say, it sounds darn intriguing and I am excited to start reading. This of course means I will need to be flexible with when I can actually sit down and read and I believe that I will able to manage it just fine.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

No Bull

Craftsmen are that one sect of artists that I highly admire. Folks who can build and create furniture, pottery,  houses, basically anything. What I really love is when someone comes up with a concept piece and then are able to bring it to life. Now, I would not pay $540 for this unusual cutting board/cookbook holder, but I dare you to look at it and not be impressed.