Saturday, December 5, 2015

Stick It!


Sticky Fingers is a "reggae fusion/indie rock band".  Definitely not in my usual repertoire but not bad for something different to listen to.
Not that long ago I went to an art opening and had a great time. I got to chat with some of my friends who I haven't had a chance to chat with in a long time. One of my friends and I struck up a conversation about one of the pieces in the show. It was well done, but we both agreed it's not for us. It was one of those photorealistic type drawings. We discussed how we could appreciate the work involved but how uncreative it really is. Then we went further into how it would possibly make an artist feel trapped. If that's all you did, copy inch by inch, from a photograph, would you get any sort of fulfillment out of it after the tenth drawing you did, or would it eventually start to really feel like work?  We also agreed that this type of work is a great jumping off point to doing greater things. The thing is, the person has to want to do something different. Some people are comfortable being stuck in a rut, or they make it appear as if they do. Being stuck in a rut has a lot of negative connotations, it just doesn't sound like a place you'd want to be. The way I've always looked at it is, if you got yourself into the rut you can surely find your way out. Trust me. I was the kid who was never afraid to climb any tree, but once I got up there I could never figure out how to get back down. I was literally stuck. I was also not a cat so neither fireman nor Superman was going to rescue me so I had to find my way out. (Sometimes literally stuck too, don't ever climb a hemlock, or park your car under one they have some serious sap.)  Sometimes we find ourselves in ruts because we get comfortable. There's nothing wrong with being comfortable. Until being comfortable gets boring. Challenge yourself! If you like to cook try a new recipe. If you like to paint try a different medium. If you like music try a different instrument. Sure you may not like that new thing after you've tried it, but it should remind you of what you enjoyed about the old thing or inspire new ideas.  Just because you try something new doesn't mean you have to stick to it. Sometimes we get stuck simply because we don't know how to go forward. This is an easy fix, find someone who knows how and have them teach you how. Let's say you enjoy photography and you've found yourself stuck in your rut. You can stay there or seek out someone who's doing something different, something you like. Take lessons from them, educate yourself on how to better your photography skills. If you can't afford to pay someone to teach you then hit up your library and read some books for information. You could also search for photography clubs in your area. They probably won't give you free lessons but being around a group of people with similar interests, you're bound to pick up some new tips. Seriously, the possibilities are endless. Nobody should ever be stuck in a rut unless that's where they choose to be. 
This is a nice article to check out if you have time, The Real Reason You're Stuck in a Rut.
 One of her suggestions is to journal. I like this suggestion but it also scares me. I journal, especially when I travel. However, sometimes when I'm writing down my inner most thoughts I think, crap, what happens if I die tomorrow and someone finds all of these books, they'll think I was crazy. So if I die tomorrow, please burn all of my sketchbooks/journals before reading them.

This sketch was done a year or two ago. Just a quick sketch of some random street in Indiana. I chose it because it fit well with the topic of being stuck in a rut. I was traveling with someone who probably hasn't been out of a 50 mile radius from her home in maybe 30 years and it was miserable for me. Pointing and shouting at all of the things, but then the thought occurred to me that even though her behaviour was making me miserable she was probably enjoying all of the different sites and just being away from home. She was out of her rut for a weekend and she was living it up.
I don't have a good recipe to share this week, instead I have sticky rice. Have you ever tried to make sticky rice? It's not easy. I bought the basket and the pot and really put in a good effort to make good sticky rice, I'm just not cut out for it. Bad thing is, I REALLY like it. If you're like me, or even if you're the master at making sticky rice but need some in a hurry, I've found some microwave sticky rice. I know, I know, there's no way it could be as good as the "real" stuff, but it is. InnovAsian, clever name, can be found in the frozen food section.  Usually when I eat sticky rice I dip it in soy sauce and wasabi, but you can eat it with anything. When I first learned that sticky rice is glutinous rice, I thought yea, that's sounds about right, I could easily be a glutton for sticky rice. But glutinous refers to the sticky part, or glue like qualities of the rice.
The book I read this week, Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. What a crazy so and so! My copy has an introduction written by Juliet Mitchell. I rarely ever read the introductions or forwards of books, but on some occasions I do. Unfortunately this was one of those occasions and Juliet Mitchell basically gives a 20 page Cliff's Notes version of the entire book. Don't read the intro if you want it to be spoiled. I'm always shocked when I read books like this, imagining that this sort of thing really happened back in the day. For some reason I grew up always thinking that people didn't do scandalous things way back when. Scandals are current events. Scandals are for people named O.J. and Super Bowl half-time performances. In today's terms we'd probably call Moll Flanders a two-bit gold-digging hussy. Parts of her character reminded me of Fantine from Les Miserables. (the book version, not any of the movie versions) so I found a smidgen of her endearing and hopeful, but as the story goes on she's just a crazy tramp. I could see where some would read into it as a woman with courage and determination, but not in these times. Although it would take an incredible amount of courage to marry your cousin in these times.
Next week I'm sharing grapefruit recipes and gift ideas for people who don't really deserve a gift but you have to buy them one anyway. 

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