It's My Day Off, and I'll Bake if I Want To

My apartment smells like gingerbread right now. It is glorious. It’s the second baking project of the day, the first being Irish soda bread.

I don’t know why I have no issues with baking, but I’m baffled by cooking. Perhaps it’s to do with the very ordered nature of baking- measure the ingredients, mix them in this particular order, pop it into the oven at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time, and you’re done. Cooking, on the other hand, tends to involve lengths of time where something is simmering or boiling or soaking or somesuch thing that gives me the chance to get distracted. I wander off, and then the food burns or boils over or gets messed up some other way.

I haven’t poisoned myself yet, though, so that’s encouraging.


Reading is… eh right now. I made an attempt at reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s The Autumn of the Patriarch, but after pages and pages of endless block text, no dialogue, and sentences that demand to be read two or three times before they make sense, I gave up. It makes me a bit sad, since I’ve liked his other books- particularly One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I think this one is going to have to go by the wayside.

I picked up Beth Cato’s Breath of Earth from the library the other day, as it has been well-reviewed but people whose opinions I trust. I’m on the fence about it, though. Cato’s writing style doesn’t impress me thus far, and I don’t care too much about the main character, Ingrid, at this point. Still, I’m only about twenty-five pages into it, so I’ll read on and see if things pick up.

A book I am enjoying is Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, which discusses the rise of Rome from its murky historical beginnings up to 214 CE, when Roman citizenship became universal for anyone living within the borders of the empire. Thus far, it’s informative and clear, and Beard makes sure she states when a particular historical account or interpretation of an ancient inscription is debated, or when dates are uncertain. It’s a long book- about 660 pages and I’m 20% of the way through, so I have a ways to go. Given my love of history, though, I’m fairly certain I’ll finish this one.

I’ve caught onto the bullet journal craze…

Mine isn’t as thorough as this, in part because my job and lifestyle don’t involve a lot of projects with due dates months beyond the current day, so I don’t need to plan events forward and move them back or whatever. But having the flexibility of a journal where I can set things up the way I want/need them to be has made it much easier to plan out personal projects, daily To Do lists, and monthly To Read lists. And I do love handwriting and hand lettering things, so bonus!

I purchased a Rhodia Webnotebook and a Pilot Metropolitan Fountain Pen, which a few different sites assure me will work with my left-handedness better than other fountain pens. And, presumably, better than any fountain I’ve ever used before. We’ll see.

I blame The Well Appointed Desk for my sudden interest in pens and paper. I mean, I liked pens and paper and journals before, but now I’m really interested in them. Like, I spent a week researching various journals before I picked the Rhodia brand, where before I would have just gone over to Barnes and Noble and grabbed another Moleskine. Now, though, I want something with thicker paper that doesn’t let ink bleed through so much, with a dot grid that lets me section things off quickly but isn’t distracting to the eye like I find a lot of graph paper to be, and… Well, my new pen and journal are supposed to arrive tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes!

And finally, my neighborhood coffee shop has been asking its customers which of two choices they prefer and having them vote with their tips. Whichever one ends up with the most money wins.

This time, it’s the battle of the Marilyns:


I voted for Marilyn Manson.

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