Oct 15, 2010

Weekend bits and pieces

I've had a really busy week. I'm working on a few freelance projects—or rather, thinking about working on a few freelance projects, and so I'm busy  thinking about how busy I am and quietly stressing not getting anything done. I've been cleaning drawers, knitting winter hats that simply must be knit RIGHT NOW, and delighting in God-sent distractions like my new nephew and a leak from an upstairs bathroom that is causing plaster/busy-work to fall all over my living room floor.
Whatever your week was like, you have my full permission to shake it off now and just lose yourself in the weekend ...

Here's what I'm up to:

I don't drive. I have lots of one liners to deflect from this awkward fact: "When I had to choose between drinking and driving, I chose to drink"; "I don't drive but I have a driver" (pointing to husband); "I prefer to walk—didn't you see Wall E?"; "When they let me through Customs it was on the condition that I would stay off the roads"; "I'm too busy knitting." I sometimes respond with a cloak'n'dagger "I'd rather not go into it," with a pained look that might imply "My mother reversed the car over me when I was a baby." 
The uncomfortable truth is that I don't drive because I can't drive.
This weekend I plan to practice driving, motivated by pure annoyance at having to constantly defend my superior walking skills ... and the cold weather. I've been drawing great strength, comfort, laughter, and motivation from Annie Rhiannon's posts about her experiences learning to drive this year:

"My first week without L-plates
Day One: I am terrified

I am terrified: tomorrow I will have to drive 20 kilometres all by myself in a small blue car that I feel I have no control over whatsoever. It doesn't feel like a small blue car, it feels like some kind of... some kind of killing machine! I realise the chances of me murdering somebody have just multiplied considerably. There was no way I could have killed a small child yesterday. This week, I probably will."

"Safety first

Driving to work feels like a 90's video game in which I have to get across the land without bumping into anyone and dropping all my magic coins. One day I look forward to being able to do this without hunching over the steering wheel with a gritted jaw. Although, I will never listen to music, or go over 60km an hour, or use fifth gear."

James Vincent McMorrow is on a quick tour of the US right now and I can't believe I missed his brief appearance in New York last week. He's hitting Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California in the next week if anyone feels like a road trip. Of course, I don't drive (now that I've confessed, I can't let it go), so I will be listening to his free mp3 of Blood Buzz Ohio, recorded last month for Phantom. It includes a little chit-chat with McMorrow and the link will be active for another 12 days here. Also, you can find his self-titled debut US album on iTunes now. Love this guy.

I might have gotten some work done this week if I hadn't baked Jam Drop cookies every two days. I keep wanting to photograph them, but they disappear as quickly as they appear, and so I bake them again. They take less than ten minutes to pull together and fifteen minutes to bake; if I didn't have a straining waistband right now, I'd think they were a figment of my imagination!

Recipe taken from Rachel Allen's Favorite Food at Home
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1 egg
Raspberry (or your favorite) jam
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine the flour, sugar, and butter in your mixer. Add egg and a drop of water if necessary to make a stiff dough. Form into walnut-size balls on a baking sheet. Flatten each ball slightly with yoru thumb and drop a half teaspoon of jam in the center. Bake until golden. Cool before you eat—trust me, hot jam BURNS!

Have a great weekend!


mise said...

Good luck with the driving! I didn't tackle it till I moved to the country, aged 34, and it's still somewhat alien to me, but at least now I don't panic anymore about cars coming in the opposite direction.

Jacinta said...

Thanks Mise. Okay, I feel a little better now knowing that I'm only a year (and many miles) behind you in my efforts to master motoring. Glad to hear that at some point I won't have to pull over when I see cars coming it opposite direction! (It's also nice that I don't have to worry about saluting anyone -- I learned this weekend that Brooklyn drivers are inclined to respond to my finger-hello with a not-so-friendly finger salute of their own!)

Jenji said...

Bravo, Jac, on getting in the driver's seat!! You'll surely be a better driver than your standard American teen, since you take everyone else on the road seriously (versus those of us who had early exposure to Disneyland's Autopia ride and thereafter are a little cavalier). And for corny inspiration, there's always the "Say Anything" driving-lesson moment...

Ciaran said...

Hi Jacinta,

I'm just after coming across your blog now, it looks really good! :-)

I was at the concert that Caoimhín and Amiina collaborated on, it was really amazing...

This is very cheeky I know, but I missed the download that JVM put up of his version of Bloodbuzz Ohio, and I was wondering if you would email it onto me? No worries if you're not willing to!


Many thanks,

Annie said...

I was SO terrified of learning to drive, for SO many years. I really never thought I would do it. It still feels weird sometimes to find myself so confident behind the wheel now. Although I still refuse to go on motorways or anything else that I have to "merge" onto.

Stick at it! And let us know how it goes. Good luck.

Jacinta said...

Thanks Annie! I can make the car move and turn and all that motion stuff—I just can't get my brain in on the act. I drove on the wrong side of the road the other day (Brooklyn drivers very polite when you do that)and I was like WTF? I've been here almost 16 years!! Wanted to pull the car over to see if someone would jumpstart my brain!

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