Hello Dear Readers,
I have been thinking about you and my long-neglected blog while I have been tending to all things retail. The day job pays the bills, so that has been my priority for the last two months. There have been no recipes and lovely food pictures because there has been no cooking going on up in here. With the holiday season in the rearview mirror and the year-end inventory now complete, I have come up for air. This means you will be hearing from me more often. Lucky you! I promise more fun foodie things in the near future. For now, a little wrap up of 2012, in case you were wondering exactly what I was doing when I wasn’t cooking and blogging.
Let’s see, where did we leave off? Oh yes, NaNoWriMo (that’s National Novel Writer’s Month for the uninitiated). I did write a post or two since that began at the crest of November, but NaNo is a good place to start. In a nutshell, I failed miserably. I came out of the gate strong, and then my job interfered. Truthfully, I don’t know what I was thinking. I could possibly undertake that effort in February or March, or even August; but November? I must have been delusional. Hello?! I work in retail. Duh. So there is no novel. There is the start of a novel and a bit of an outline and some character development. Maybe I’ll get back to it. I did, however, learn an important lesson through my efforts: I don’t have what it takes to be a novelist. I would be lonely and miserable locked up in my apartment for the length of time it takes to get a novel on paper. I love writing, and I think maybe I could crank out some short stories – one at a time – before I withered and died from lack of human interaction. But I am a social being, gregarious by nature, and I can’t hole up and write a novel. To an extrovert like me, it’s like being deprived of air. Attempting NaNo was an enlightening experience, one that I will likely not repeat. I admire those who write novels as a primary means of paying bills or a serious hobby. I will continue to read your work, and you are safe from any competition from the likes of me.
In other holiday season news, there is the dispatch of cards and gifts. I was a smart cookie this year (pun intended) and sent my gifts and cards off before the madness began at work, as opposed to the panicked 11th hour mailings of years past. Cookies, ironically, were not amongst the gifts as they have been in nearly every year past. I did make a few dozen cookies on Christmas Eve (at work!) and give them to the staff, but I otherwise simply bought gifts this year. To avail myself of the convenience of purchasing gifts rather than making them is why I have a job, isn’t it? That, and to buy myself a working vehicle – my Christmas gift to myself. Well, you weren’t going to buy me a car, were you? I didn’t think so. Some things must be done by oneself for oneself.
If you know me, you know that I have not had a car payment in a decade. Once smitten with shiny new wheels every two years, I have been converted to the firm belief that cars are merely transportation and should not cost you as much as a small house or your monthly rent. So I have enjoyed a decade of no car payments and an assortment of cash cars (emphasis on assortment). That joy ride is over; I now have a car payment. In defense of my decision to break with my long-held belief system, I submit these justifications:
- My old 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee (God rest her soul) was diagnosed with an electrical problem that was not prudent to attempt to fix; she likely would not have survived the surgery and it was cost prohibitive. Her heart was quietly stopping in the middle of traffic several times per day and the CPR to get her going again was taking a toll on me. I had to put her down.
- Being concerned about getting another cash car with, say, a transmission problem or a ratty engine in need of a rebuild got me thinking about moving into the 21st century in my vehicle selection; we are, after all, in the second decade of the new millennium now. I think maybe it was time.
- I work my ass off for my paycheck and, due to other prudent decisions regarding finances like living in a very small, very crappy apartment, I can afford it. Having reliable transportation is important to my job, so it is a necessity. Plus, it is nice enough to sleep in should I lose my job.
- It isn’t new – it’s a 2004 – so I am still supporting the environment by recycling a used car. Yes, it has a V8 and drinks gas like I drink tea, but the power is awesome. I can totally leave you in the dust, should the need arise. So environmentally, it’s a wash. No harm done.
- The payment is indeed a couple hundred less than my crappy apartment, and the change to my insurance was exactly $1 every 6 months. It was a good financial decision.
- It’s a Toyota, so there’s a very good chance it will still be on the road long after it is paid off.
- I can now safely leave town to visit friends without renting a vehicle. Plus, the radio and the cruise control actually work, making for a rather pleasant trip.
- If I meet a nice guy who has a nice boat and we start dating, I can totally tow it anywhere we want to go – the tow package is standard.
If, from this long list of justifications, you get the idea that there was a lot of guilt associated with the purchase of this vehicle, you would be correct. I am just coming into the phase of my life where it is officially OK for me to do nice things for myself just because. Heretofore it has been about kids and significant others and God & Country (the Army). Now it’s all about me, and I’m not comfortable with being nice to me. But I think I could get used to it.
Another thing that happened while I was tying bows and writing gift certificates and shipping gift baskets and frantically reordering things when they were suddenly out of stock: I realized that I really like my job. I don’t like the paperwork, and I don’t like year-end inventory, and I don’t like not having a day off in two or more weeks. But that stuff only happens for a short time each year. The rest of the year, I get to move at a much more reasonable pace. I get to conduct my beloved cooking classes (getting paid for cooking and talking is awesome when you don’t have to do it every day); I am surrounded by all things kitchen every day when I go to work; I get to merchandise the store which makes up for having absolutely no redecorating options in my 500 square foot tree house; I get to attend one or two trade shows a year where I am able to ogle all the new pretty things, test out the gadgets, and sample some amazing (and some not so amazing) food products and decide which of these things I will bring to my customers; my hours are flexible; I have gotomypc so I can do some work from the comfort of my living room in my PJs; and I have some of the best customers and staff members ever. It’s a good job. I am blessed.
Today is my day off. Like is does for most of you, that meant errands and laundry. The dog requested that I get him some more kibble so he doesn’t have to have eggs and toast for breakfast tomorrow (actually, I don’t think he minds). So the pet store was on my list too. With all of that accomplished, I am now off to the grocery store for some human viddles. Maybe I’ll actually cook something. Gotta get back in the saddle sometime.
New recipes and food porn is forthcoming as I gear up for cooking classes that begin again in about 2 weeks. I promise. Until then…Ciao, my friends!