Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh my poor neglected blog

A week since my last post!? I'm really dropping the ball here. Sigh. Remembering the *old days* when Clementine was a newborn and I could blog with her asleep in my lap. Not anymore!

Time is at such a premium these days. I've set a schedule for myself for the book in progress, and it's fairly grueling, but I'm really excited about it too. The trick this summer will be to make plenty of time for doing fun stuff too. Jim and I have always had a difficult balance with life and work, and it's always been at its worst in summer, which is unfair. We would have grand plans for camping and such, and then one of us would always seem to get a deadline that meant workworkwork. And so we've done woefully little camping and exploring in our adopted state of Oregon, where we have now been for more than 9 years. We haven't even been to Crater Lake, for goodness sake!

And then there are the little summer things, like berry-picking on Sauvie Island, the zoo concert series, Saturday Market, trips to the beach, the river, farmer's market, and just sitting at some cafe patio somewhere drinking something, and you know, all that good stuff. I want to make a list of things to not neglect to do this summer. It's Clementine's first summer, and though she won't remember it, I want it to be full of loveliness.

I read a great retweet the other day, which originated from one of my very favorite artists, Dave McKean, who has a visual imagination like no one else on this planet. The tweet was his New Year's resolution, and it was:

"More unequivocal days, that is: WORK days and PLAY days, not guilty play days and distracted work days."

Yes. Yiss yiss yiss. That. Only, in my case it will be unequivocal hours, not whole days. My writing times are: the morning from about 8:30 to about 12:30, and then after Clementine goes to bed in the evening, which tonight was a disastrously late 10 pm! I don't know what happened there. She just didn't want to sleep. Not the usual. But anyway, just this past week I started trying out the cafe nearest my house for writing in the mornings, and it's going well.

I've never been a big cafe writer, because people are noisy! How DARE they go to cafes and TALK? Don't they know writers are at work? Ha ha. I bottle that outrage and keep it to myself :-) But the good thing about this particular cafe, aside from it being only a few blocks away, is that it is plain and small and quiet -- not hip or exciting or especially delicious. There's not much to get distracted by. Well, the other day three women were gossiping about their fellow Girl Scout leaders, and that was a pain, but I drowned them out with my ipod (I was listening to Vas, which is great moody ambient stuff, perfect for the atmosphere of my book).

I do have a writing room at home, and it seems a shame to go spend money on coffee every day, but if I stay home I end up getting sucked into the cuteness of Jim and Clementine. It's inevitable. The tractor beam of cuteness. So: the cafe. Onward, book!

So, those were some unequivocal WORK hours last week. Here are some PLAY hours. Jim and Clementine and I went to this newish restaurant called Slappycakes where the tables have pancakes griddles in the middle and you make your own. It was totally fun! My favorite was the peanut butter-butterscotch chip concoction :-)

A funky mural on Belmont:

Also, we went to a pizza-grilling party at our friends' house yesterday -- Matt Holm, illustrator of the fabulous Baby Mouse, and his wife Cyndi, who makes wine and all manner of cool crafty things, including a pink wig for Clementine when she was a newborn! -- and Matt had made, get this, homemade mozzarella. And it was totally good! Who makes their own cheese??? Show-offs, that's who! Ha ha, just kidding. He also made the pizza dough, which was great. I made something too: a tres leches cake, thank you Martha Stewart. I'd never made that cake before. Have you? It's a super simple cake, and then right after you take it out of the oven, you pierce it all over with a skewer and then slowly pour this milk mixture over it: whole milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk, so the cake gets all spongy and saturated. I was skeptical that it would absorb so much milk, but it did. And then top with fresh whip cream + fruit. It was really good, but you know, we had a little bit and left it at the party, and I kind of wanted more, so today I made another one. Oink oink.

Shoot. It's 11 pm already. I'd better get my bones back to work!


Myrna Foster said...

I love the idea of unequivocal hours, and that pancake restaurant is totally cool.

storyqueen said...

You are doing a better job of balancing baby and fun and work than anyone I know (or virtually know....)

Those are precious times! But as babies grow, well, they are still amazingly precious, so it is good that you are learning how to work when she is still so young. The balancing of life will become habit...and a good life it will be!


ozsansama said...

Clementine is so adorble ! dren it I hope one day I have my own baby and husbend... but now I still 15 and half so I not going to think on it now XDDD
anywho Clementine is so cool name like a super tiny hero <33

Ginaagain said...

Unequivocal - Oh to have more unequivocal minutes in my life! What is it about parenting that makes us question almost everything?

Lee Wind said...

Ohh, yes. The tractor beam of cuteness indeed!
here's to summer of WORK! and PLAY! and JOY! in both.
Namaste (and hugs all round)

Amber said...

"Slappycakes"?? That is way cute. I would eat there just for that.


Lisa Schroeder said...

Oh my - must take the family to Slappycakes!! Hadn't heard of it, my kids would LOVE it!

And let's hope with so little sun there are actually berries to be picked this year!! Sigh.

Amber Lough said...

You are doing GREAT, Laini! Keep up the great work and the great play! (This written at a cafe, taking a break from my own writing. I, too, cannot write well at home due to distractions.)