Thursday, July 24, 2008

you might be wondering...

...what exactly I've been doing with my time, now that most of the house stuff is done, I'm not in school for the summer, and I only do ghost tours in the evenings.  The idea is that I'm supposed to be spending my days doing things like exercising, learning French for an exam I have to take in the fall, and preparing for the class I have to teach in the fall.  

Alas, progress is slow.  I've barely gotten through the first few chapters of my "French for Reading" book, and I've only read the first few pages of the First Year Writing Program Instructor's Handbook (to say nothing of the actual books for the class.)  Months ago, when the weather was just getting warm and I was spending every moment either writing papers or painting walls, I dreamt about how much I would get done in the summer, how I'd spend the mornings on the French and class prep and spend the afternoons on other projects, like reading for personal and professional edification, finding conferences to give papers at, planning for what happens when I'm done with coursework.  Now that it's turning to the dog days, I'm simply hoping that I'll have been able to do the bare minimum by the time fall rolls around.

With that said, then, what have I been doing?  For one thing, I set up my workspace (pictured above.)  That has to come first, right?  I've also done OK with the exercise in the last few weeks, finally getting comfortable using Temple's gym (which I have free access to.)  I've never been a gym person.  The idea of sweating in front of others, who I imagine to be much fitter, tanner, more beautiful people, is not my idea of a good time.  However, I've found that if I get there early enough, it's not too crowded.  And the guy who is usually on the treadmill next to me has such an overwhelming stench of B.O. dressed with cologne that I feel much less self-conscious. (Horrible but true, and by the way, I have a real soft spot for this guy because he runs at the same miserably slow pace I do.  I don't even mind the smell.)

I've also been distracting myself trying out new recipes, checking out the market, and doing nest-y things like blanching zucchini and freezing it for when it's not in season.  I am aided in these kitchen activities by my best friend, the internet.  Here are some of my favorite websites for recipes and general cooking advice: 

Yes, it's missing an E, I don't know why.  But this blog updates with new entries almost 10 times a day, making it hard to beat for browsing.  They feature recipes, ingredient spotlights, kitchen tour slideshows, and features like "learning to cook without recipes."

This natural-foods focused blog is written by a cookbook writer/photographer, and it's a beauty to look at.  She posts new recipes once or twice a week, and they always look delicious and expand my awareness of healthy ingredients.

My friend Rachel turned me on to this site, and I enjoy the author's (or maybe authors'? Not sure how many there are) sense of humor and writing style.

Since I have no baking experience aside from the cake in the last post, I haven't tried any of the recipes featured so far in this blog.  AND YET, I read it religiously because my witty and lovely friend Abbie writes it, and it is muy entertaining.

If you enjoy reading food blogs, check out kiplog's list of food blogs.  It is tremendously lengthy--back when I "worked" at TV Guide and didn't have anything to do all day, I spent weeks going through each and every entry...and the list has only grown in the intervening years. There's a food blog on here for everyone--vegans, carnivores, people who only eat at restaurants, bakers, even shakers probably.  I enjoyed all the international ones--quite a few from Singapore.

Now you too can spend your days not doing what you should be doing.


Linda said...

Not that you need more of a distraction, but have you seen this website? This woman was on Rachael Ray because her New Year's resolution is to cook a meal in her crockpot every day for a year. She is posting all the recipes on her blog, and she has some interesting ones..................

Nicole said...

Looks interesting, thanks!

Peggy said...

Nicole, I know you have many things to do, however, I get sad when you don't blog for awhile. I liked your Spiderman cake. I'm thinking I might start a blog. Not too sure how to get started but I'm doing the research. Love, A.P.

Rachel said...

Nice workspace. I wish mine was inhabited by a Mac too.

kiplog said...

Unfortunately, my list hasn't grown much in a year or so - the massive explosion of the food blog population became a bit overwhelming.

I keep trying to devote time to it, but it really needs one of the super-computers and a team of researchers to maintain it.

Thanks for the link.