Side Projects (or How I Spend My Free Time) I – The Usual Suspects

Clearly, I like to write.  I started this blog so I could write about writing.  But, I can’t just write all the time – though I do it for work and I do it for fun, so I write a lot!  I thought I should also write about other things I do.  Here is the list of things I do when I’m not writing:

Cook – I cook to feed people and because I have to eat to stay alive.  I’m not one of those ‘foodies’ who is constantly reading recipes and dreaming about what magic can be had with a handful of saffron and a kilo of kale (which, I’m sure, is nothing good).  Though I am beginning to experiment with new produce – fennel and avocado have recently reached my kitchen.  However, I enjoy cooking to feed people, especially people who appreciate the meal I’ve created.  I rarely make fancy things.  I stick to those ‘meals in 30 minutes’ things in magazines and the usual fare – spaghetti, chili, pork chops in mushroom soup gravy and a roast or chicken every now and then.

Bake – I don’t bake as often as I cook, but I do like it.  It takes a bit more concentration than cooking.  And, to me baking is pretty much the same as love.  I don’t know about your family but in my family love is usually expressed like this:  ‘I love you.  Eat some pie.’  ‘I love you. Have a cookie.’  ‘I love you.  Here’s a slice of cake.’ (yes, I am significantly overweight … I’m working on that.)  Now I find that I’m often on the other end of this equation: ‘I love you. I baked you a cake.’  And, as long as I don’t eat the whole thing, I think that’s alright.

Fart around on the computer – Every now and then I do something of value on the computer.  I might order flowers for my mother, look up new recipes, read the news, check in with friends and family, write a new blog post and stuff like that.  However, usually I’m farting around.  I am most often found  playing Farmville, Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma Blast, or looking up whatever just popped into my mind on Wikipedia (did you know that tamarinds are native to Africa?).  I suspect this takes up way more time than 1) I think it does, and 2)  it really should.

Read – I think it’s impossible to be a writer without being a reader.  I suspect that if I cut out a lot of my farting-around-on-the-computer time I would find a lot more time to read.  Because I have a giant stack of unread books on my nightstand and very long wish list at!

Watch TV – It’s almost embarrassing how much I love TV.  I blame my father.  Apparently, when I was little – not even a year old – he and I would watch reruns of ‘Star Trek’ early in the morning so my mom could sleep.  I recall many a happy time at my grandparents house watching cartoons or Charlie’s Angels or Lawrence Welk in colour!  (We didn’t have a colour television at home until 1984.)  We would actually watch TV as a family!  Well … my dad and brother and I would watch ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ and ‘The Cosby Show’ together. And, now I have a computer thing in my basement that is full of nothing but episodes of television shows!  An embarrassment of riches for sure!

This has been a good exercise.  I’ve realized that I do an awful lot of farting around and that there are other things I like to do that I ought to do more often.  Tune in next time for the next installment of ‘Side Projects (or How I Spend My Free Time)’!