Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Non-Psychological Rapidwrite, Part 2 - A Project I Would Like to Undertake

I have done a lot of different types of art and craft over the years. Some things I just dabbled in for a while, and either decided I didn't love it...or maybe I did love it, but relegated it to some future decade (God Willing) - because there are, after all, only twenty-four hours in a day. I use the internet as much as the next gal, but I still love most the things that are made with the hands, and ideas contained on real paper...I used to be really into "promoting" those things online (with blogging, an online storefront, etc), but I grew weary. Maintaining stuff like that is a lot of work and takes more time and energy than I have. But I think I am going to make a video, or a few short videos, showing the different non-virtual, tactile things I have done over the past two decades...It has taken two decades to create it all because there is so much else in life that kinda needs to be done.

But I do want to show people who might want to be more creative - but are too intimidated or feel too busy or whatever - that even with all the other things we have to do, if we do a little bit of It (whatever It is) over a long period of time, we will eventually have a lot to show for it. I seem to go through phases of art-making and writing, and then find myself backing off from it for a while...even with lotsa breaks, I have spent a little or a lot of time time doing these things: embroidery. crazy quilting. dollmaking. card and envelope making. drawing comics, bookbinding. scribing the Bible. writing letters and journals by hand. and using desktop publishing, art journaling, publishing zines under three mastheads...in addition to spending lots of time sitting on my rear watching television, reading gruesome crime novels (with some good non-fiction stuff and literature occasionally thrown in), exercising, being depressed and/or discouraged, praying less than I should, procrastinating about cleaning, cooking and other housekeeping chores, while ironically and simultaneously spending YEARS trying to make a pizza that I was totally happy with.

One thing I have never done is photography (apart from many badly composed digital camera shots, too many to ever sort through before I am in my dotage) or movie making. I got a book at the library called Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck, plus I have a daughter who likes to make and edit movies. But it is still waaaaaaay out of my comfort zone to try to create an interesting piece of film, and also to be in front of a camera, especially TALKING, for any length of time. So, I don't know when this will happen, or even if it will...but I am going to read the book and also gather together my stuff for this possible online Show and Tell.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Totally Non-Psychological Rapidwrite Part 1...American Wasteland

I am going to write a series of non-psychological stream-of-consciousness blog entries. No naval gazing, just things that don't have much to do with my Inner Landscape - thoughts about books I am reading, projects I am doing or would like to do...more tangible things and living in the Outer World. Sometimes I've just gotta take a vacation outside my own head, although it will be obvious this comes out of my head sans any editing ;-)

In the past week I have read a few books...let's see if I can remember what they are without getting up...American Wasteland and Precious Blood, and I just started Five Views on Law and Gospel. American Wasteland is my favorite kind of non-fiction book...something about an interpersonal/social issue that may or may not be political, written in an easily readable style with appropriate humor (often sarcastic or ironic). Non-Sentimental-Pathos is also welcome. Wasting food is something I feel guilty about, but I've never really TRIED to reduce it. This book really hit home the fact that throwing away food is like throwing away money. There are so many reasons I waste food - sometimes it is laziness, other times lack of ideas how to use what I have on hand, or I don't have a real plan for managing leftovers, etc. We shop at a scratch and dent, or seconds, grocery store sometimes, but I have realized that a lot of food from there gets wasted because 1) it is more likely to actually be stale since lots of the stuff there is close to the best-by date 2) it is often an off-brand that just isn't very good and 3) we can just buy more than we can reasonably eat because the prices are good...but even if something costs only 1.00 or so per item on average, if even 10% of what I buy gets tossed out, that adds up to a lot of money over the course of a year. The author, Jonathan Bloom, also states that the less varied your diet is, the less you waste...that is kinda good news for me, because I am not a very adventurous eater, and a lot of my struggle with cooking comes from feeling like I "should" cook a huge variety of different meals and lots of components within meals. I saw when we were camping that cooking was easier when there were fewer choices to make...the night before we came home, we didn't have lots of food left, but I made a meal of oatmeal, sauteed green apples with pecans, and fried leftover baked potatoes and onions...yeah, it was high carb, but it was not horrible nutritionally and it all tasted good together, and there was no hand-wringing involved, with me bemoaning my not-well-planned-and-balanced meal. The majority of this book is about food waste throughout the entire food cycle, from farm to store to restaurant or home, and the focus is not clever tips to cut food waste at home. It was a sobering look at how our prosperity has made us immune to the real value of food, and how our Martha Stewart ideas of beauty in the kitchen lead us to reject imperfect produce or crushed boxes, and how our paranoia about safety keeps supermarkets and restaurants from donating tons and tons of perfectly good food to food banks, charities, etc. We just don't know how good we have it...one of the people interviewed for the book thought that in a way, living through a real financial depression would be good for us, because it would shock us out of our mentality that just about everything is easily disposable because there will always be more where that came from.