Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekly Summary # 26

Unfortunately I did not get the details of my new job yet, so this week was mostly spent writing and perusing the massive stack of library books I have. It was satisfactorily productive, but I've got to push harder than this to reach my ideal level of functioning. At the very least it's good to be having my mind fed again, though I strongly wish to supplement the process with active note taking. Here's this week's checklist:

1.) Take notes on everything I taste: I did for the most part, but I forgot a meal and then eventually gave up when I realized it wasn't making me think any more intensely about the food. Some additional thinking made me realize that my problem is not that I'm not tasting my food seriously enough -- I do -- it's that I have a deficient tasting vocabulary. It's one of those things where you want to express something of the sorts but either cannot recall the proper concept or do not know the concept at all, which in my case makes it so I cannot identify the sensations I'm experiencing. Here I think I merely need to expand my vocabulary, and perhaps I'll be able to better make identifications on my own from there.

2.) Take a cold plunge (i.e. cold shower) every shower session: Done. A session or two I hesitated, but I remained disciplined and took them, even managing to persevere for five minutes during all sessions. Overall it has indeed relaxed me, even pushing me to the brink of sleep multiple times. The shower in this household doesn't even get that frigid, so about a minute in it becomes nice and endlessly refreshing. I'll continue it, though I'm wondering if there's such a thing as doing it too much. I'll aim for doing it about twice a week from now on, not including the sessions I'll take after a workout in the gym.

3.) Get a gym membership: Nope. Still waiting.

4.) Go to Master Grill steakhouse: Same as above.

5.) Read a chapter a day of two books: Pretty much; I need to modify my view on what constitutes reading. I read a chapter a day of What Einstein Told His Cook and even finished it (exemplary book), but I read only in small sections Will Write for Food. The latter book turned out not to be as totally valuable as I thought it was, so instead of wasting my time trying to read it cover to cover I just skimmed through and concentrated on what I viewed to be beneficial. I view this as a rational process in going about one's reading given finite time, but it makes me feel conflicted about what constitutes having "read" a book. Since I didn't read all the pages it cannot contribute towards my New Year's goal of reading twenty books, but then again isn't that splitting hairs?

From here I'll fret less. Only books that have been read cover to cover will contribute to my twenty books goal, but if I don't view certain sections of a book as beneficial to my being then I'll duly skip them as I only have a finite amount of time and energy, which would make trying to read all of such a book an unfruitful endeavor. It confuses me as to how I'll be able to rightly word my reading goals from now on given that I'm allowing myself to peruse books like this, but I guess I'll rest content with my readers knowing my practices and that I'll make it explicit each time I skim.

* * * * *

An intellectually fruitful week, but I am getting incredibly lonely now, being away from work and like-minded people for so long. In addition to daydreaming vigorously about being back in the restaurant kitchen, I've also been daydreaming about friendships too. It's a painful desire, but at least I can partially satisfy it with these thoughts. Soon enough; I must continue being patient.

Again this shall be another flexible week. Mostly I'd like to up my reading load to keep myself more mentally rigorous than I have been, if possible, though at the same time things will be healthfully supplemented by the routine ideas I come up with for day-to-day goals, which makes for filled days even as my weekly goals seem empty.

Here are the aims for this week, which may be added to by the time you see this checklist next week:

1.) Look up online cooking schools: While I have a bad view of colleges overall, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that culinary school may be a benefit given my aims.

2.) Read one Robert L. Wolke article from the Washington Post per day: What Einstein Told His Cook was a positively absorbing book. I've quickly become a very big fan of Mr. Wolke and recommend him full-heartedly.

3.) Read a chapter/section a day of The Guide to the New American Kitchen, What Einstein Told His Barber, and Mind Over Mood: It's great to be reading studiously like this again. I predict I'll be able to finish the Charlie Palmer book this week and will try to finish WETHB too. Mind Over Mood is for my general self-improvement and lovability goals.

4.) Look up and learn more tasting concepts: Simple vocabulary exercises.

That's all for now. Additionally, I'll also be working on improving my writing habits and perhaps increasing my output. Writing, for some reason, has been more enjoyable lately. If work calls, of course, these goals might be disrupted. But then again I should push harder, no?

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