On Blog Content

On Blog Content

My friend Ela was musing about what her blog’s focus should be in the new year and that got me thinking, too. Mostly this blog is about whatever crosses my brain pan, though there seems to be some emphasis on reading. And running. And writing. And YA literature. And how great my daughter and husband are. And my ridiculous fantasy life. And things I watch on TV.

So – God. I don’t know. I used to be a niche blogger but since I grew out of that phase (thrift store scores and green living, not that I don’t go to thrift stores anymore, or recycle, but I just don’t care to talk about it at length anymore), I realized that my main activities are ‘reading’ and ‘writing.’ That I don’t really have any hobbies. Last year I decided that I only wanted to do what really blew my hair back and so I quit doing anything that I was only fair-to-middling at in terms of skill.

Like gardening. I like the idea of a garden. I used to be highly into herb gardening, because fresh herbs in your food really forgive a multitude of sins in terms of cooking ability. Plus I like eating fresh tomatoes in a sandwich. But I don’t really want to think about gardening very much. And I hate weeding. And squatting. And watering.

(Okay, most yard work bores me. Except for hanging laundry. I like that because my hands stay nice and clean and soft. Also, free solar power! Also, the whites get so white! Also, Pablo lays underneath the laundry line and watches me approvingly! What’s not to love?)

Being a person who enjoys eating, you’d think I’d love to cook. But actually, as I’ve said a million times, precision’s not my thing. I get impatient with the steps and the recipes and the measuring and all that. I get sick of going to the grocery store for all the right ingredients. And technically, I would have to practice day and night to catch up to Adrian, who learned to cook from his mother, a Dutch lady who makes actual good food with real sauces and stuff from all over the world, things you’d pair wine with and whatever. My one culinary skill is canning peaches, pears and tomatoes (not all together) and my signature dishes are refried bean dip and pork chops smothered in cream of mushroom soup. No contest.

Crafting. I can crochet. But I don’t know all the stitches. And I don’t like to make anything beyond hats and scarves. I’m making a quilt for our bed out of squares, because that’s repetitive and lets me watch TV while I’m doing it. All other crafts, I’m terrible at. I can’t knit or sew. I don’t make soap or candles or psyanky or papercrafts. I can paint…walls. But that’s only because Adrian has Home Decor Blindness and doesn’t seem to notice what our surroundings look like and I’m bothered by ugliness in that department (not bothered enough to keep things clean, of course).

So, what does that leave? Fitness? I’m sorta picky about my exercise, honestly, though I’ve played lots of sports, used to do aerobics, used to ski and swim. But I don’t own skis anymore. I love swimming but am hesitant to get into the pool (all the undressing and redressing, getting wet and getting dry). I like riding my bike, but not in traffic. I hate bike commuters with a fierce passion, and see no reason why a painted line on the pavement would protect me from someone who shared that feeling. And if I’m with someone else, I don’t bike fast, because I see it as a kind of rolling conversation. I don’t like exercising with other people that much, as a rule.

You know, maybe I should come up with a new hobby for 2012. Because on paper I sound super boring. But another part of me knows that ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ are deceptively simple-sounding pursuits. So. Yeah.


  • Carrie on Jan 07, 2012 Reply

    Funny you should mention that piece, Ela! Because it’s languishing on my harddrive and I haven’t done a thing with it since then…

    *cue up guilt*

    I think I haven’t done anything with it because it resembles my life too much and is so adult and truthful and depressing that I can’t bear it.

    Adrian is very good at teaching people things that involve steps. Like using tools and cooking – he teaches Matilda all the time.

    Back when I cooked, I fancied myself this kind of organic-free-flowy cook who could just eyeball things and improvise and innovate, because it sounded so glamourous. Except mostly it resulted in yucky food. Turns out that kind of innovation must be backed up by a lot of know-how and practice…

  • Ela on Jan 05, 2012 Reply

    No, you don’t sound super-boring on this not-paper at all!
    What is most amusing to me in the deepest, most museful sense, is how much this post reminds me of your story from the mixed genre workshop at the last residency.

    I am so with you on the offputtingness of getting wet/getting dry (but I suck at swimming anyway).
    And I think it’s an unusual treasure when a guy learns to cook from his mother–I had a classmate like that in grad school and he was so grateful for it. It’s fine to hate cooking–and it’s also true that many who love cooking very seldom measure a thing. Fun to watch my grandmother making batter by eye and hand, commanding in Arabic “bit more, bit more–enough!”

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