Sunday, Jan. 16, 2005
Year Of The Chicken
You know, wenchie said something that struck me. On my last entry she said that it's my year.
And you know what? She could be right.
While I'm not really a strong believer in any of the pseudo-sciences like astrology and numerology, I do read up on them for the entertainment factor. Since I was born in 1957, in Chinese astrology I am a cock. (I'm ignoring the sexual connotations to that.) And this year is... (drum roll please) the year of the cock. I assume that when it's the year of your sign, it's supposed to be a good thing.
In numerology my name is a 7. That's supposed to be a very spiritual number, from what a friend told me. I don't pretend to understand all of the nuances of numbers but I have tracked the dates somewhat and while not all "7" days are wonderful, I am probably at my strongest on those days in terms of my productivity. Come to think of it, today is a "7" day, and this is a "7" year. I was extremely productive today, that's for sure! I went in to the studios for a few hours to handle some forms and other things for an upcoming station contest, but I also managed to finish cleaning the kitchen, I sorted through my tools and finally got an organizer for all the screws and nails so they're not all poured into a big bowl with a lid any more, and I made VAST headway in my bedroom, which was the biggest job in the house. It's not so much that it was dirty; it's that there was so much in here that I had to sort through. I went through and cleared out tons of papers from work, and just about finished cleaning out my closet. I am not talking about clothes this time, or at least not my clothes; but 00 and Pipeboy had left a bunch of stuff here and there were still odds and ends here that belong to my former in-laws. My closet was the worst place in the house, the place I was afraid to open for fear of an avalanche.
I got through most of that, took out a couple of big bags of garbage, and fixed a nice dilled chicken-zucchini soup for dinner. I had made something comparable before but used potatoes rather than zucchini, wasn't sure how it would taste, but it turned out very yummy. It was ridiculously simple. I had just a couple boneless chicken strips left in my freezer (the un-breaded kind.) I thawed those out and cubed them and set them aside; then I put a can of chicken broth, several chunks of onion, about a half a stalk of celery, and some fresh baby dill greens into my food processor and let it run until the veggies were chopped but not liquified. I poured that into a pan with the chicken, added a little more water and some salt and pepper, two zuchinis sliced into thick pieces, and let it simmer until the chicken was cooked and the zucchini tender. Took maybe five whole minutes to actually prepare, plus cooking time, and it's low carb, low fat, and extremely yummy.
I realized tonight that I miss cooking. When the kitchen is clean, it's a joy, and I don't mind cleaning up after myself when I'm done. I have plenty left over for another meal. My refrigerator is spotless so I know precisely what I have, I know that there are no science experiments lurking in the back of the thing, and I know that since I'm the only one here there won't be food left out to spoil. It'll all be eaten, no waste.
Also when it's only me here I go heavy on the veggies, moderate on the meat, and no junk food whatsoever. I cleared out the last of that today, too.
Like I said, it's been a productive day!
I'm really looking forward to getting moved, though, and into a job where cooking doesn't have to be a once- or twice-a-week operation. There are too many nights where I don't get home until 8 or 9 (or later) and then still have to write and produce the next morning's newscast, updating the web page, and then skimming the web for maybe half an hour so I can wind down before going to bed. Because if I don't do something to break between work and bed, I won't rest even when I do go to sleep. I just dream about work and wake up tired.
Back to the numbers thing. While this is a "7" year in general, for me it's a "9" year, according to a friend. I think it's simply a nine-year cycle beginning in the year of your birth, so from age 0 to 1 is year one, from 1-2 is year two, etc. At any rate, supposedly the "9" year is when all things are supposed to come together for you.
That's the theory, anyway.
Since I never heard from the magazine, and I did finally unearth another copy of the short story I submitted during my organization day, I'm thinking I'll cobble together another four or five writing samples in various genres so that I can submit them to a literary agent, in hopes that he/she will take me on. I know now that I don't want to even mess with any more places that ask for unsolicited stories. They don't follow their published rules and while they were quick to send out rejection letters to my friend, they've made no response whatsoever to anything I have written to them.
From what both Michael and Wenchie told me, publishing companies are notorious for taking their sweet time with payment and a little flaky on how they do business. (Gee, working in radio, I know nothing about flaky business practices, hahaha!) I still want and intend to pursue writing in the long run, but am guessing that unless and until I'm pretty well established I shouldn't put much faith in making a living that way.
Oh well, live and learn. Fortunately it was only one submission, one short story, one publication. Had I gotten an instantaeous rejection letter I'd have probably gone submission-happy, kept trying. Now I'll be a little more judicious with how I approach things, and I suspect that as a result it'll work out better in the long run.
If I am ultimately able to take most of my things with me, I'm going to have to spring for an actual toolbox. They're not all that expensive but I am bumping against the limits of my budget for the moment. I have my tools (or what's left of them) in a small basket in a kitchen cabinet. It's better than nothing but definitely not the best, most organized route. I don't have any power tools any more except my electric sander, darn it. I used to have a cordless drill, a circular saw, and a couple of other nifty little toys along those lines. Not any more, sadly.
I love making things out of wood. I am one of those people who loves creating things in whatever medium I can get my hands on. That means painting, music, writing, sewing, various crafts, and yes - woodworking. No, I'm not going to give Bob Villa a run for his money. I am nowhere near that level of expertise. I just make simple stuff when I can - a bookcase or small table, something that doesn't take a whole lot more than cutting a few simple lines, assembling with nails/screws/glue, and sanding and finishing. Of course it's been a while since I've had the time to make anything. I did once make a set of replacement beaded-board doors for a bathroom vanity. They weren't great but they were better than not having any door there, and I believe if I'd had a little more time I could've eventually redone them to look good!
Meh, it's a thought, anyway. Just don't let me loose around plumbing. I can handle simple electrical stuff, too, by the way. I've put in light fixtures and electrical outlets and ceiling fans, even replaced the 220 outlet here when I got the stove because it wasn't the right configuration for my antiquated electric avocado-green stove. I've got enough respect for electricity to turn off the main breaker rather than risk turning off the wrong circuit and frying myself.
Putting in a faucet is something altogether different. Believe me, I've tried, several times. I learned that no matter how well you caulk, no matter how much plumbing tape you use, no matter how much you tighten the connections, the second you turn the water on, you will be drenched. We're talking Niagara Falls in the bathroom, baby.
Ah, the joys of owning a home. And just think, I'm talking of doing it all over again, HAHAHA!
For now it's a dream, naturally. And since it's approaching midnight and I've done enough damage for one day, I'm going to say good night, Gracie.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )