What Are You Working On?

I know we all talk about the various projects we’re working on in the How Was Your Day and other chat posts, but lets have one specifically devoted to them! Do you have any creative projects in the works? Fitness regimens? Attempts to eat at every pizza place in a 20-mile radius? Nap marathons? (For our purposes, pretty much anything you want counts as a project.)

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66 Responses to What Are You Working On?

  1. artdorkgirl says:

    So, the exhibition I’ve been working on here at school finally opens tomorrow. If you’re in Boston and you like photography, please stop by! It’s free!!

    Also, the book I helped research (and write mini-biographies for) is finally available at the MFA, so once again, if you’re interested in African American art, go get it!

  2. Casey says:

    I have been rehearsing and writing some songs with a band called Bitchin’ Summer for the past couple months. Our first show is coming up in March and we’ve almost got a set together. We only sing about the beach, puppy love and various teenage rites of passage.

  3. Sota says:

    I was going to write a post about our favorite lady Gwyneth and her latest Goop recommendation that ladies get their uterus and lady bits steamed. But I honestly can’t bring myself to string together enough sarcastic words to create a full post. Just know that that its something she is wants you to do…


  4. old man fatima says:

    I am going to be making crafts and learning how to write a smutty novel (on my own, thanks for nothing canceled course!) all weekend. I’ve sent the gentleman caller my pinterest recipe page and told him to pick something and we’ll have a cooking adventures once a week, partly because restaurants are expensive, partly because I like trying new recipes and cooking is fun, partly because we always end up eating really unhealthy foods together. I’m going to probably be back to just lifting the bar with no weights on it by the time I’m back in town after 2 weeks couch-potatoing, so I will be kicking my routine into high gear to get back on track. I also need to get on writing that ET review while it’s still fresh in the old noggin.

    When I get home I’m going to paint the hallway and then I can start redoing the kitchen and I am SO EXCITED about that!!!! I’m going to take down the gross forest green faux-marble backsplash and put in stamped tin tiles instead. I’m going to paint the walls a sunny yellow and paint the cupboards robin’s egg blue. I’m going to paint the ugly old rust-coloured stove hood blue too until I replace it and the stove (stainless steel to match the fridge and with a flat range because fuck cleaning out those burner-pots), maybe in the summer. It’s gonna look-a so niiice (Borat voice).

  5. facetaco says:

    I’m working on that pizza thing you mentioned, basically. Lansing is the worst place I have EVER been in terms of food choices. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Domino’s is the best I’ve found. DOMINO’S!

    • mordonez says:

      You could do worse than http://jetspizza.com (which indeed is in Lansing, MI). For garbage fast food, it is definitely not Domino’s or Papa Johns.

      • facetaco says:

        See, people keep saying Jet’s is the best in town (which is already sad, because it doesn’t even TRY to be good pizza), but I’ve had a few experiences with Jet’s, and they haven’t been great. Both times I tried it, they put some voodoo spell on the cheese that rendered it entirely frictionless or something, because I would take a piece and the cheese would just stay right the fuck in the middle of the box. Maybe that was just Grand Rapids Jet’s, though.

        • mordonez says:

          Weird. I have never had that problem. Whenever we succumb, we always get the square ones (deep dish, or even something they call 8 corners). I have never had a round pizza from them. Perhaps this is your issue?

          In reality though, you’re going to have to order from Chicago or Milwaukee.

    • flanny says:

      Have you done Cottage Inn? At least it’s not a big conglomerate, although once they did give me the wrong pizza and I took it home and when I told them they had me bring it back and then gave it to someone else. Literally, I saw them hand over the pizza. Good thing I didn’t wipe my crotch all over it like I usually do!!!

  6. catweazle says:

    I have been considering trying to do the RPM Challenge this year (it’s like National Novel Writing Month but for writing and recording an album). I did it once in college and even though I had nothing but time on my hands back then it was insane and difficult but very rewarding. I probably wouldn’t be able to finish but I kind of want to try because I haven’t written a song in like six months and that doesn’t feel good. We’ll see, I guess! I did get one of those Snowball USB microphones in a crazy Black Friday deal and I’ve been meaning to test it out…

    • mordonez says:

      Send me tracks and I’ll put bass and mediocre guitar on them. No but really, I’m tired of just playing in class and trying to learn “Don’t Look Back” in Rocksmith.

      • catweazle says:

        I might completely take you up on this if I ever manage to actually record anything! What’s your email address?

        • mordonez says:

          mkerste AT a mail service run by up and coming tech startup, Google.

        • catweazle says:

          Cool, I may or may not be dropboxing you some truly mediocre music in the next few weeks.

        • welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

          You guys are in Chicago right? If you ever play shows, let us Chicago monsters know so we can come wave lighters in the crowd!

        • catweazle says:

          Sadly the only time I play shows is every couple of months when my music class does our end-of-session concert. It’s sort of like the music version of community theater: lots of amateurs trying their best but mostly looking and sounding like a bunch of dorks. I can put something up in “How Was Your Day” next time I have one but I wouldn’t super recommend coming if you’re hoping to see music performed well!

        • welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

          That sounds fun! I should find you on Facebook or something to find out more about this music class. I’d love to participate in something like that.

        • catweazle says:

          Here is a treasure map to me on Facebook: I’m the only Claire in the Chicago Monster group (if you’re not in that let me know and I’ll give less cryptic clues; sorry, I’m a bit paranoid about putting my full name here).

        • mordonez says:

          And for now, my class, which is not an “ensemble” class like catweazle’s just picks a song we’ve been working on and plays it on the last night of the session, but you have to wait through some super beginner guitar classes and a dulcimer ensemble to get to it. My guess is that we’ll play an Elliott Smith tune this time.

        • welcometocostcoiloveyou says:

          I think I found you! You should have a request from Anna. 🙂

  7. flanny says:

    I still have not won a PEN/Faulkner award. I have about 700 writing projects in the works, but not enough energy to finish any of them. What’s happening to me? I used to have such focus!
    I did my first batch of samosas (I’m going to make perfect samosas this year, making one batch a month until December.) a couple of weeks ago, and I think I got the flavors of the filling right, but I made it all with pre-made ingredients instead of fresh, so that’ll be something to work at. Also, I baked them, and they were not as tasty and all fell apart. By December, I’ll get them.
    My 5K is in 2 1/2 weeks and I feel pretty good about that, though.

    • hotspur says:

      I meant to send you my samosa recipe in November! I unearthed it though, and reading it over I remembered the big problem was that I insisted on baking them and that never worked. I did use fresh filling ingredients, with good results — but pre-made shell dough, with sad results. I decided to try them one more time, maybe with from-scratch dough, fried, and then mail you the recipe if it finally scored a 100. Or at least a 92. It didn’t seem right to email you a recipe that only got an 80 on the test.

      But then I went to work on my 700 writing projects, and finish none, so here we are. 😦

      • flanny says:

        I really think that the fried part of it is the biggest obstacle. I need to get one of those mini deep-fryers, but I know if I do, I’ll be frying, like, orange segments on the daily. So I’m trying not to make that purchase. Let me know how both your samosas and 700 writing projects progress!! Misery loves company.

        • Sota says:

          I will never read this as samosas, it will always look like samoas to me. And a deep friend samoa sounds fantastic!

  8. All of my projects are food related because of course they are. I finally made my own vanilla extract, it’s currently inoculating (steeping? Incubating??) and should be ready to test out in a few weeks. I’m so excited about never having to buy expensive vanilla ever again. Now I want to try making my own lemoncello and maybe creamy lemoncello. In somewhat related news, my goal to finish my existing bottle of lemoncello is going quite well.

    I also started going through my old cookbooks and flagging recipes that sound interesting. I got most of these cookbooks in my mid-twenties and my tastes have changed a surprising amount since then so I’m sure I’m missing out on lots of good food. So far I’ve found a great pasta recipe that I tried out earlier this week (it has prosciutto and tons of cream and my calorie counter died when I tried to imput it but it was delicious) and a lamb tangine that I’ll try out maybe next week.

    • facetaco says:

      I made my own limoncello last year. TOTALLY worth it! I made some regular and some with honey and ginger in them, which I would really recommend, because if you’re sick, it basically knocks you and and then when you wake up 12 hours later you’re cured. I’ve been planning to try different varieties whenever I get the time. I’m really excited to try strawberry limecello, but it’s going to be difficult because I don’t know how to not make it a gross brown in the end.

      I wouldn’t recommend trying to rush through your current limoncello, though. One time I had the genius idea to mix limoncello and coke, and it was delicious and I couldn’t understand why nobody ever tried it before since people put lemon in their Coke all the time. Then after I had 3 of them, I understood why. Oof.

      • I’m currently on week 3 of being alone with a toddler who has decided she doesn’t want to ever wear diapers, take baths, brush her teeth, etc. trust me, nightly limoncello is basically medicinal at this point.
        I would really like to try strawberry limoncello, let me know how it goes!

    • catweazle says:

      How do you make vanilla extract? I would also like to never have to buy it again!

      • It’s super easy. You just split 8 vanilla beans (I scraped the seeds and put them in separately but you apparently don’t need to do this) and put it in 500ml of vodka. Let it sit in the dark for a couple weeks and you have vanilla. Apparently you can just keep topping up the bottle with vodka and the beans will work their magic. Smitten Kitchen posted a big how-to in her tips about it the day after I made mine.

    • mordonez says:

      I should totally make it a project to make some recipe, any recipe, from one of my 8 bazillion cookbooks. I mean, when I do decide to make something, why is ingrained in my head that it has to come from smitten kitchen or something.

      However with that in mind, you guys should all make this bourbon banana bread.


      • I’m really bad about that too, I have like 5 or 6 bloggers that are typically my go to for recipes and when they don’t have what I’m trying to make I’m at a total loss. Thus the cookbook project.

        Oh and that’s my go to banana bread recipe. I would send it with my husband to work in Scotland and his coworkers loved me. I switched to her chocolate banana bread for a few months and the office broke up into pro and anti chocolate factions.

        • facetaco says:

          I’ve been trying to use cookbooks, but it mostly just frustrates me. We always pick up 1-2 cookbooks when we’re in Italy, and translate the recipes. They’re great, but you can’t always get the right ingredients, which is a major bummer.

          In case you guys haven’t realized this, I’m something of a snob when it comes to cooking. I was at the grocery store last week, and a man was looking through the various packages of processed sliced cheese, clearly confused. He asked a nearby worker if they had any buffalo mozzarella. I just wanted to hug him.

      • flanny says:

        Oh man, I just used up all my frozen bananas for muffins last week. Next time.

  9. We’re doing a bunch of home repair stuff and it’s all scheduled next week. We’re having some window panels replaced because they got foggy and we’re having the siding all over the house fixed/updated and the whole exterior painted. It’s a ton of stuff, but I’m not actually doing any of it. Mr. Truck arranged all of it and he met with all the dudes and all the work is being done by pros, but once it’s done, it will be a project finished that I am somewhere near to!

  10. nastyemu says:

    I am working on figuring out wtf I want to do! Today is my first day living in our new (small) city. I found a great cafe, bar, market, and Vietnamese restaurant (different places). I love my car but I may never drive again. Also, it seems word of my unemployment has made its way back to the company I left in April. They contacted me today about taking on some work on a contract basis, which I guess is nice but also fuck that place. I didn’t respond yet.

    • mordonez says:

      If you don’t mind actually getting a yes from them, maybe name some comically exorbitant rate for contract work. If they say no, then fuck that place. If they say yes, you are contributing in the act of fucking that place, which seems like it would be to your advantage.

  11. FRQ says:

    I’m not working on anything at the moment, but yesterday I got a copy of Glamour in the mail, addressed to me. I don’t know it was sent my way, but I’m guessing it’s partly due to my first name, which is not only unisex, but becomes 100% female when you tack on my middle initial (A). I’m not entirely sure what I should do with it. I’d feel bad tossing it out, no one at work will want it, and the 465 easy ways to turn up my style probably won’t do me any good.

  12. Everyone, let it be known that this morning, I held a baby, and SHE LIKED ME (I have a poor track record with babies)!!

    • old man fatima says:

      I usually think babies are weird and gross and too leaky, but I met my friend’s 5 month old last weekend and holy moly, that baby! We fell in love. I didn’t even take one single photo of her or of us together because I spent 100% of the time just dancing her around and saying dumb things at her while she laughed at me like I was a fucking comedy genius. Where has this baby been all my life??

  13. gnidrah says:

    I am learning Portuguese! The reason for this is that I hope to be selected as a volunteer for the Rio Olympics next year, and I want to have at least a basic level of language before going. I won’t hear before middle of the year if I have an interview, and then end of the year if I get a place.

    Before that I hope to be chosen to volunteer at the Rugby World Cup which is a little closer to home, ie. about 10 minutes from my house. I should hear in the next two months about that one.

    So putting it simply, my projects are to learn new things and meet new people and hopefully not collapse of exhaustion in between.

  14. hotspur says:

    Oh gosh! You guys should all do this with me — I think you would like it:

    Basically it is a library in Brooklyn (there is also a bookmobile that tours the country) full of sketchbooks. Which are submitted by people from around the world. I visited last year and it was so much cooler than I expected. You say “I want one on kittens” and they bring you one on kittens — plus whatever one was next to it on the shelf, which could be about anything! Robots, maybe! It is a den of delights. Some were so creative, with the pages cut in different ways. Some people drew, some people glued things in — my gosh, there was so much creativity in each book. (There were also some duds.)

    The deadline to submit a book is March 31. It costs… $35 I think? To make a book that goes in the library. Or $60 to make one that they will also scan and make available on their website. So I’m starting work on mine. It might be about sharks or astronauts, I am not sure yet. OR BOTH.

    (There is a set size of book they like you to use. I think you pay the money and they mail you the blank book? Or buy one there.)

  15. I’m so proud of myself, I actually achieved a fitness goal. It was just to simply work out more than 60% of the days in January and I succeeded! I am also no longer so sore I can’t move after kettlebells. Progress!

    And I did my first two-color print in my class on Tuesday and my fancy designer friend wants a copy. That means it must’ve turned out well!

  16. Wallflower says:

    I’ve been teaching since January 8th and it is definitely the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. Taking over a class after another teacher left and they’ve had several different substitutes makes for a class that believes they can do whatever they want and push back on every single thing I ask them to do, but I am making slow progress.

    My other goal is to learn how to post a gif.

  17. mrsberesford says:

    I am a little late to the party, but I’ve been working on some short stories, and if you are in the Bay Area, you can hear me read from one of them on Saturday night!! NBD, but you know, if you happen to be free: http://www.literarydeathmatch.com/upcoming-events/january-31-at-elbo-room.html

  18. Simon Spidermonk says:

    I’m working on overcoming an all-consuming Dragon Age Inquisition addiction. Fortunately, I’ve reached the point (at last!) where I can no longer physically play videogames. My wrist has been slightly messed up for the last couple of months due to my job, and last week I got a new exercise machine which – unfortunately – turned a minor annoyance into searing agony. Even wearing a wrist brace, I can’t hold the controller and press the little stick forward for more than a couple of minutes before my wrist starts to ache and apparently awakens a slow-to-trigger self-preservation instinct in me because now (finally!) I’m able to resist the urge to boot up the game whenever I have a spare minute. But it was rough for a while there. I’ve logged ninety hours in three weeks, which is craziness, and I’m still nowhere near finishing the game. I’ve invented a tortured personality and complicated backstory for my character that no-one other than myself will ever know. I feel almost guilty for leaving my elf mage Rwddion (pronounced Roothian, with th sounding like in the or that, but humans never say it right, the bastards) to his own devices, with Thedas unsaved, but I left him in the desert staring wistfully across a sand-veiled chasm at an unreachable castle that’s even less real than everything else in the game – nothing more than flat scenery given the illusion of depth – which seems pretty appropriate. Even in an escapist fantasy land, the grass is always greener on the other side of the chasm.

    So today I didn’t play at all. I read a book instead. One day at a time.

    • Simon Spidermonk says:

      I also wrote this short story – https://simonspidermonk.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/how-to-deliver-water/ – for a local competition. One of the conditions was the story had to be previously unpublished but the rules were unclear as to whether that includes self-publishing on the internet. At any rate, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to win so here you go. It’s mildly autobiographical, but distorted into untruth by the demands of the competition. In the unlikely event that it does win, I’ll just delete it and ask you all to be my co-cover-uppers (?) by pretending you never saw me here and this never happened. Given that it’s very late at night and I’m probably talking to myself, that shouldn’t be too hard to pull off, nonexistent as you are.

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