Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I am so weak

Being unemployed isn't as easy as it sounds. Sure, all the free time and relaxation is fabulous. But watching all the money pour out the door while no money is coming in can be terrifying at times.

I panicked. It was a moment of weakness. I updated my resume and sent it off to a recruiter that has been "checking in" with me for two years now. I figured he'd be psyched that I was looking for a job. That was two days ago and I haven't heard a peep out of him. That's fine though because the day after I sent him my resume, I was back to my regular calm self, no longer obsessing over imagined financial problems.

That was to be the point of today's blog, until I sat down to write it and got distracted by an email from Make your resume searchable and win a plasma TV! "Oh, I really ought to do that." So I spent the last hour updating my information on Dice. Forget the fact that I don't even want a TV. I intentionally sold my TV a year ago because it was destroying my life with it's seductive garbage programming.

It's amazing how we welcome any excuse to fall back into our miserable but comfortable old lives. I left my software career because it was destroying me from the inside out. I really don't need to get another job right now. I have plenty of money. "But what if it's not enough??? What if I need more for....for....some...thing I haven't conceived of yet??!!" Uh huh.

Yes, I am incredibly insightful and wise, aren't I? And yet my resume is still searchable on and I probably won't remove it. We'll see what happens if/when anyone calls me about a potential job. Pray for me.

Raw food dish of the week - Broccomole with Corn Chips

The broccomole was not very good and got progressively worse with each bite. The chips were awesome.

Broccomole: broccoli, avocado, bell pepper, tomato, lemon juice, chives, agave nectar, and garlic, blended in a food processor.

Corn Chips: frozen corn, ground flax seeds, fresh orange juice, Celtic sea salt, and garlic, blended in a food processor and dehydrated at 105 degrees.

Drawing Exercise - Edges and Contours

This is an exercise from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, the chapter on drawing edges and contours. This is the first exercise where I actually had to draw something real. Not too shabby.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Make me bendy

A big problem with being unemployed is finding the motivation to get up at a consistent hour or leave the house on a regular basis. I've been getting out of bed anywhere from 6:30 AM to 11:30 AM. And I've gone days without talking to anyone other than my cats and my dog. They are better for conversation than you might expect.

That all changed last weekend when I won a 1-month unlimited yoga studio membership in a silent auction. The studio is only blocks from my house and offers several classes a day to choose from.

My first yoga class was Hatha Yoga, which is focused more on stretching and relaxation. The instructor asked if any of us had any "issues" we wanted to work on. I told her that I have eight years of hunching over at a computer to work out of my body. The two women on either side of me nodded in understanding. On almost every pose the instructor corrected me by pushing my shoulders down and out of their high-tech hunchback position.

My second yoga class was Power Yoga. It was awesomely painful. I was holding myself up in positions I didn't know were possible. Some weren't. Again, the instructor kept coming over and pushing my shoulders down. I wonder how long it will take to undo my computer posture.

Power Yoga kicked my ass so hard that I had to skip yoga yesterday. Everything hurt. Even my ribs were sore. They still are actually, but I'm going back today anyway. I'm going to squeeze everything I can out of this membership.

The only downside to daily yoga is that it seems to break up my day in ways that often prevent me from getting things done. I'm hoping that I just need to readjust to the new schedule.

The major upside is that now when I think about caving in and looking for some high-tech contract work, I immediately decide against it because it will interfere with yoga. Yeah, life is pretty good.

Raw food dish of the week - Enchiladas

This dish was so good and very easy to make. A bit time consuming though because I had to keep checking on the tortillas.
You may notice that the enchilada pictured is rather short and fat, rather than long and thin. I rolled it in the wrong direction. By the time I realized my foolish error, it was too late to fix it.

Corn tortilla: frozen corn, ground flax seeds, fresh orange juice, Celtic sea salt, and garlic, blended in a food processor and dehydrated at 105 degrees.

Filling: spinach, shitake mushrooms, zucchini, red pepper, and onions marinated in olive oil, Celtic sea salt, and chili powder.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Learning to draw

I have my beloved iBook back and the wonderful people at the Seattle Mac Store even recovered most of my data, which makes me not even mind their dreadful customer service. They weren't the ones having to suffer through using the ancient computers at the neighborhood library so I guess they didn't see the urgency. What's important is that I have it back and I can now rejoin the human race.

Of other significance is that I have finally gotten used to the idea that it's OK to not be working. I spent the first couple of weeks of my unemployment looking for part-time jobs, thinking I should really bring in some money. The fact that the Seattle Mac Store had my computer for so long is probably largly responsible for this shift in thinking since I was unable to look or apply for jobs without a decent computer and my resumes. Thanks again, Seattle Mac Store, for helping me to realize that I deserve a little vacation time after eight long years of soul-sucking software work.

So what to do instead? I decided to go to the art supply store, which happens to be right next to the Seattle Mac Store, to look for inspiration. And I found some! There on the shelf was a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards. Three people in the same week recommended this book to me, all saying that if I really want to learn how to draw, I should take a class and not read any of the drawing books out there, unless it's this one. So I picked up a copy along with all the required materials I will need to complete the lessons.

So far, I have only done the preliminary pre-course self-portrait. I had no intention of ever letting anyone see it but actually it's not too bad for a girl with absolutely no artistic training and no experience drawing anything better than cartoon-like pictures. Expect more (and hopefully better) drawings to follow.

My dad called the other day to ask what I was up to now that I am a "woman of leisure". I said I was learning how to draw and he responded, in a slightly disapproving tone, "What, you're gonna be an artist now?" No, Dad, it just sounded like fun.

Raw food dish of the week - Broccoli with Cheese and Spicey Jicama Fries

This tasted ok. Not terrific.

Cheese sauce: pine nuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, lemon juice, Celtic sea salt.
Poured over cut broccoli and dehydrated at 105 degrees for 5-6 hours.

Spicey Jicama Fries: Jicama marinated in olive oil, agave nectar, Celtic sea salt, cayenne, and chili powder.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

My first (successful) fast

I tried to fast for 24 hours once, my first year in college. I made it only to hour 21 before I caved in and ate something. I felt like I was dying. I guess the cleansing reaction from fasting is pretty severe when the main staples of your diet are ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese.

So I was nervous when I started another 1 day fast yesterday, per my new year's resolution #2. But it really wasn't bad at all. I'm sure my body has way fewer toxins to rid itself of these days. I've been vegan now for 12 years, mostly off sugar and processed foods for about 2 years, and mostly raw for about a year.

In the morning, I felt great. Spacey, but in a good way. I had big ambitions for the day, but pooped out at 3pm and decided to just stay at home. By 4:30 I felt my first, and only, stomach growl. And by 6pm I was bored out of my skull.

Food is such a big part of what occupies my day, as it turns out. I love to eat. I wasn't feeling that hungry, I just wanted something to do. My iBook is still in the repair shop so I didn't even have the internet to fall back on.

I decided to pass the time by reading Eating for Beauty, by David Wolfe. Very interesting book about raw food nutrition, but perhaps a poor choice, since it talks about the most delicious, nutritious, energizing foods on the planet.

Per new year's resolution #1, I also decided to pass the time by starting on my first weekly new raw food dish. Not a great activity for one who is trying to abstain from eating.

I was determined to not eat until breakfast, which I arbitrarily decided could come no earlier than 6am. But when I was awake at 2:45 and feeling a bit queasy, I gave in. Screw it, I would eat at 3am. I just had to wait 15 minutes. I kept checking the clock, checking the clock. Finally, only one minute to go.

I must have fallen asleep because I woke up again and it was 6:30. I wasn't even hungry anymore, but I got up anyway and ate a couple of oranges. Best damn oranges I ever had. Then I finished making the crepes. Fan-freaking-tastic crepes.

Raw food dish of the week - Crepes

Wrapper: bananas, blended and dehydrated
Filling: macadamia nuts, walnuts, lemon juice, agave nectar, and salt, blended
Sauce: strawberries and agave nectar, blended

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

I hate computers
and other positive thoughts for the new year

One of the best parts of my job was having a really great laptop with tons of power, disk space, and a team of people ready to fix anything that went wrong with it Monday through Friday.

My beloved iBook has been a modest but trusted friend for over three years now. Over the last few months it has gotten slow and crabby. Programs hang and webpages take so long to load that it is sometimes completely unusable. But what did I care? I had my work laptop to fall back on. No longer.

After arguing with my iBook for a good two hours this morning, I finally decided to reboot. Now it won't even start up. It really showed me a thing or two with that one.

So here I am, at home with nothing but free time to do whatever I want. And no computer. No computer??? There was a time when that was just normal life. Now I can't imagine a single thing I would want to do that doesn't involve using a computer for something. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Hating computers while at the same time being totally addicted to them isn't the healthiest of combinations.

This post was going to be about my list of New Year's resolutions, so I will prove to myself that I can continue to live life even without my beloved iBook by posting them, as planned. Here they are:
  1. Make one new raw food recipe every week
  2. Fast for at least 24 hours once per month
  3. Travel to two new places this year
  4. If SideCar sells it, buy it there
  5. Stop eating when I'm full
Not sure how I'll buy plane tickets to travel to new places, find out how to fast without killing myself, or check the bus schedule to get to SideCar without the all-knowing, all-seeing internet, but I'll have to muddle through.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2007!