Let me tell you a little story that will illustrate quite a bit about me as a person and will clearly tie together the following:
1. I am a procrastinator
2. I don’t like to cook
3. I am absentminded (which I am very grateful Best Boyfriend Ever finds endearing)
4. While I am a procrastinator, once I begin a project I become focused to the point that all else ceases to exist
5. When inspiration strikes I must sketch/write/create immediately or it is gone from my mind almost as quickly as it comes (See number 3)
6. I always have good intentions and love my family. But I am REALLY lucky they love me so much.
Ok so a little back up for the story. I have a teeny tiny itty bitty kitchen in my small three bedroom apartment, that while I claim is the reason I hate to cook, I know given a luxury gourmet kitchen to cook in, I would likely say I don’t like to cook in such an expanse of a kitchen. However you turn it, this chick does not dig cooking. I would rather throw some granola in my yogurt and consider it a “fancy dinner.” So dinners mean easy, peasy in this here abode. I used to have a large one but now use a small George Forman Grill frequently (that I LOVE and once fell from the top of my fridge and has a huge crack in it but that bad boy keeps on ticking!), I make macaroni and cheese several times a week, and to the HORROR of my best friend in Texas, I make instant mashed potatoes OFTEN. Yep that is me in the kitchen. The Cooking Network won’t be calling any time soon.
Ok a bit more background… So I have a lot of work to do in the next two weeks for a reason that will come in a later post. But I have 5 commissions, a website design to design, produce and upload, and my regular pt work. And I have my kids this week. Are you paying attention? All of this comes into play later in this enthralling story.
So lots to do plus kids this week. It’s Monday. I just got off work and just picked up my kids. My kids, either luckily for me or out of sympathy for me like simple meals. Their favorite meal is grilled chicken on the George Forman, either steamed rice or mashed potatoes, and carrots. (don’t even bother asking me if they are from a can, I bet you can guess.) So the day before Best Boyfriend Ever and I went to the grocery store to buy food for the week. Mostly because boyfriend and I eat out a lot when we don’t have the kids or eat a lot of frozen pizza or “fancy yogurt” for dinner. Um, he doesn’t like to cook either? Anyhoo, every other Monday is chicken night. With me?
Ok, so this particular Monday I am a bit stressed because of all of said work to do. Normally I catch up on work the weekends I don’t have the kids. But this past weekend we spent ‘Fall Cleaning.’ We got rid of tons and tons of stuff and cleaned like the Queen was coming. Or maybe someone that I don’t want overwhelmed by dog hair, art supplies and stacks of laundry – mostly clean. So my apartment looks sparkly clean when the kids come home, but mom has done no work and is behind. But I procrastinate anyway, so it is more a nagging little voice more that stress that I am experiencing. And my brain knows I have a bit more time before I REALLY need to get down to business and pull an all nighter. Which I know if I just did a bit of work each night all nighters would not be necessary, but try telling that to MY brain. So into my head pops a little girl. She is super cute, loves to go on adventures and simply MUST be brought to life in a sketch. So before dinner I begin to sketch her. And lordy lordy is she ever cute!! I get all excited that I got her on paper. But now it is time to help the kids do homework. So the little girl must wait. And she patiently does just that on the page of my sektchbook. But I see her looking at me…
So homework gets done, a few work emails get answered and dinner needs to be started. Boyfriend calls and says he is on his way which is my signal to get going in the kitchen. I glance at the little girl on my sketch pad and get an idea for another drawing of her. But I must wait. Chicken calls. I crank on my itunes and turn on the George Forman. I imagine the little girl impatiently tapping her foot at me. She has quite the personality and I am already getting to know her. She’s a pistol that one!
So chicken is grilling. After a few pieces are cooked and warming in the oven boyfriend calls to say he is about 10 minutes away. Cue the mashed potatoes. So they are instant right? This involves 2.5 cups of water, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and half a stick of butter to boil – yeah I have not done this TOO many times – then remove and add 2.5 cups of flakes and a half a cup of milk. And boy howdy are they yummy! Shut up! They are when you hate to cook! Ok, so I get the liquidy parts heating. But then! Inspiration! I. MUST. SKETCH. GIRL. So music is playing, water is heating, chicken is cooking and life is good. I have time to sketch a quick one. I am standing in the kitchen (this is important, I am IN the kitchen) leaning on the microwave top sketching the little girl in a beret with the cutest little dog on a leash. And ya know what she needs? To be done in ink! RIGHT now! I have the perfect pen somewhere. Let me go find it. I search a bit and can’t find it. Big surprise there. I come back and decide she needs to be reading under a tree. Yes! Perfect! How cute. So there I am in the kitchen just happy as a clam when I glance up. And smell. And hear. BOILING BUTTERY WATER pouring over the top of the pan. And smoke is BILLOWING into the living room. The kids are all ‘MOM! Something’s burning!” (But they don’t say this panicked at all, it is a more matter of fact, MOM, we know you are IN the kitchen and all, but you are currently burning something. AGAIN. kind of tone) So I go into panic mode and drop the sketch book on the counter (little girl is perturbed at the disturbance) and get the pot off the heat, turn the overhead fan on and open the door to begin fanning it out. AS I open the door a huge wall of smokes bursts outside. As I am fanning out the smoke, telling the dogs to SIT! STAY! and tell the kids it’s all fine, up the stairs walks boyfriend. “Um….Well, I burned some water. But buttery water, not JUST water. But look! Look at this cute girl I drew! What do you think her name is?” And I kid you not, this is why I know this man is perfect for me, because he ignores the chaos, does not care about the smoke surrounding us, looks at me and says ever so sweetly, ‘You are a nut.” Then names her Calliope. “She looks like a Calliope to me.” And I am stunned into silence because that IS her name. It is perfect. And then I finish making dinner and the mashed potatoes were not half bad.
Thought I was done? Not even close. So here it is Wednesday. I now am in actual crunch mode and HAVE to get this website done. So I get the kids from school and in every spare moment am making graphics and slicing and dicing graphics for html. Boyfriend calls and I inform him it is EASY dinner night. HAHAHAHA. (cause my other dinners are hard, right?) Kids are having mac and cheese and hotdogs and we are having leftovers. I tell him tonite I GOTTA work. He agrees to pick up the dog ood and coffee I forgot to get earlier and I go back to my coding. At about 6pm I decide to get the kids fed before boyfriend gets home. I put the computer down and go put some water on to boil. I go sit back down and get REALLY into the details of the site. It is really, really important to get those first template pages just right so it is easy later on. So I am REALLY concentrating. Do you see where this is going people? All of sudden smoke is everywhere. And is stinks. Remember that burned butter water? Well, I did not clean it all up apparently and it was on the burner. And well, once it heated up, it was smokesville all over. So I run into the kitchen and move the pot to a new burner, turn that burner on and the dirty one off. And run back to my computer to do something to a graphic that needs to be a specific size in the masthead. So I won’t forget of course. BUT. THEN. More smoke. WORSE fumes. What now??? I run into the kitchen to see my George Forman grill smoking and plastic burning. Now I told you people my kitchen was small. So I keep my grill on a back burner. And me, the woman that actually studied math and physics for two years before she gave a gift to the world and dropped out to go to art school turned the wrong burner on. Yeah. So I go to grab it, and hey! Did you know things that are burning are hot?? THEN I grab it with pot holders and go to put it outside. My neighbor is out there and looks at me funny as I put my smoldering George Forman on the ground. “Uh, hi! Great weather, huh?” And I turn on my heel and go inside – but have to leave the door open so we don’t all die from the now noxious smoke. “Sit, stay dogs!”
So boyfriend is not home yet, and I will have to explain the half melted appliance he will see as he walks in, but hey! The kids are fed and I can work now! But not after I documented all this for you lovely people to read!
Oh, and just so you know, I used to have this other bigger, even better George Forman! It cooked four pieces of chicken. AT ONCE! But you don’t want to ask what happened to that one…
And oh, meet Calliope! Isn’t she the cutest???