Jeez, Louise! Joy in existing.

  1. Who am I?
  2. If I had just 4 months to live, how would I spend that time?
  3. What would I like to have contributed when life my life is complete?

Three questions posed by the Rich Roll podcast. Three pretty obvious “la la woo woo new agey self development” questions. Maybe not? To me, at least. I’m no stranger to that woo woo shit. But, are you surprised that these three questions absolutely fucking paralyze me? Especially that “who am I?”—who is anyone? FUCK.

I try consciously to notice love and joy in every moment of the day (I’m looking at you sweet ‘lil chirping birds in the trees outside the Children’s Museum this morning), but I also get easily caught up in negativity and expectation (both societal and self imposed). My emotions fluctuate a lot in day, hell, in a hour sometimes. Digressssss. During this podcast, there was mention of the things that stirred happiness in your six-year-old self. I suppose that’s a good jumping point from my gravy brain, so I am going to attempt to suss some of this out.

As a six-year-old, I was talking to trees. I was standing on stumps and singing to grass. I was outside a lot. I was riding a bike (I want a new bike—this is something recently on my mind). I drew pictures of super tall women and portraits of my family. I watched movies and kept to myself a lot. I wrote in my diary. I recorded songs from the radio onto cassette tape. I begged my mom to buy me poster boards from the grocery store and I would spend an entire afternoon making a GIANT collage from old Metropolitan Home magazines (We lived in a trailer; I resented the shit out of this magazine and I know my mom never willingly subscribed to it. There was this weird time bubble in the 80s and 90s when magazines just appeared at your fucking house—it’s a fact).

The past couple of nights Eliot and I have spent an hour or so working on collages made from old National Geographic magazines Joe picked up at a yard sale (from the 80s, no less—I’m just putting that “coincidence” together at this moment). I found myself in that sweet spot where you lose time. Even cooler to get to experience it with your eight-year-old kid. (Will he sit down and write something like this one day?) I have a lot of ideas and feel cool about making simply for the sake of it.

I’ve been caught up the past couple of years in having a “plan” financially to get out of my day job. I’m not entirely divorced from that mindset, but it has almost always included a way to make money from art—not that I’m downing that—but it really helps you to lose the whole purpose of making art in the first place. I think most creative minds can attest to that. The making, the doing, has to be the first priority or the rest of it is just an inauthentic wank off fest.

To quote David Lynch: “Enjoy the doing. So many people do stuff but they don’t enjoy the doing of it. And I always say, that’s your life going by. It’s important to enjoy the doing of something. Jeez, Louise!”

So, I suppose I do find joy in making. Joy in existing. Joy in creating. Joy in expressing myself and convening with nature. Joy in consuming the art of others. I am pretty sure that answers all my questions in one. I’m not shocked they are all interconnected…I’m sure that’s the point of the entire exercise. I need to do all or part of these things every day with that intention alone—joy.

How do these questions make you feel?

I Drew A Picture of My Food #2

I made this cauliflower a couple nights ago. It’s a variation of recipe for chicken wings I saw on the FitMenCook YouTube channel (this is a great great channel you should check out, by the way). A lot of people seemed intrigued by it, so here ya have it, folks!

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Full page on Bristol board this time. Hand drawn with pencil, fine tip Sharpie, and colored pencils.

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Detail of food

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Ingredients, a must.

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Recipe detail.

Any questions, feel free to comment! I’ll just be over here crying over the new Ryan Adams song and Lil Bub video that came out today. PEACE.

I Drew A Picture of My Food #1

Last night I made some pretty simple, pretty bangin’ crustless quiche. I had a half bunch of asparagus I really needed to use before it started the great slime. My favorite vegetable really does not age gracefully. Instead of your standard “here’s a picture of my food” I thought: I should draw a recipe. My brain is busy and glittery. I can’t help myself.

Ever heard of the Moosewood cookbook? I love that thing. My friend Betheny bought me a copy many moons ago and I’ve always thought how rad would it be to draw a cookbook.

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My copy.

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Exhibit A

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Exhibit B

AND, here is my version of a hand drawn recipe. I drew it in the antique ledger that I had been journaling in for a bit because I just thought it looked cooler.

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The recipe itself was pretty straight forward. Gluten free, obviously, to accommodate my fickle guts. Also, vegetarian, but certainly not vegan. I used a feta, cheddar, parmesan cheese blend because that’s just what I had. I’m sure you could sub any veggies you have on hand. The parmesan crisps topping was from a bag I got to put on salads the last time I was at Kroger. Also, measurements are pretty loose. I cook very intuitively.

It was fun to experiment. I may stick to a more pen and ink approach next time, but I do enjoy adding the pops of color. Maybe I’ll dedicate a new sketch pad to it in the future. What do you think? Fun idea?