Friday, August 5, 2011

Weekly Summary # 42

A weird week. I've had mixed results with my goals, tackling some, finding it best to drop others, and seeing better pursuits that pushed out still others. The worst thing that happened is that I strangely lost all inspiration to blog, struggling to bring you what pieces I did, though am still uber excited about the chocolate review. Altogether I'm very happy with how this week has gone, as emotionally I feel stronger and stronger in spirit and have been doing extremely well in those essential pursuits, which is what truly matters in the end. I'm still struggling with my reading, but I'm starting the cultivate the bedtime habit of reading by the lamp before sleep instead of browsing the internet or watching shows on Hulu, which has been uniquely comforting.

Most importantly, however, I got a big idea. A big, life-altering idea, the kind that would establish a project to replace the major endeavor that brought me to Texas to begin with. It came to me when thinking about how to achieve my culinary aspirations in such a difficult economic climate as this, and I think I've come across an idea that would be immensely spiritually satisfying and stupendously practical, but I don't want to tell you until I take time to detail it in a single article. If my Project (uppercase P) be a one-year plan, then I'd rate this new endeavor a five to ten year plan. It has me really charged up and excited, so I've got to be working on it soon.

The list:

1.) Study menu for work: Done. To my surprise, it was extremely fun to look at the menu in such intensive detail like this, looking up Wikipedia articles and envisioning myself explaining the dishes to other people. It was so fun that it actually taxed my brain slightly. I still have yet to understand all the terminology, but I've got the gist of it down, though didn't take to remembering it photographically.

2.) Read The Chocolate Tree: Done, but I couldn't finish another full chapter. This book is not only dry, but way out of line in my interests of what I'd like to learn about chocolate. Come to think of it, what IS it that I want to learn about chocolate? Perhaps I should think more intensively as to what I want before I go stumbling around with another book, lest I waste my time with a treatise I can hardly maintain my concentration on.

3.) Read The Science of Chocolate: Failed, but perhaps its current irrelevancy may not make it the best read right now. I don't know.

4.) Research/contemplate ways to constantly try new recipes, techniques, and meal plans: Procrastinated on, but I got an epiphany on this matter as part of that major project I'm envisioning, so I can't really speak my thoughts now.

5.) Perform five conceptual exercises everyday: Yes, but I cheated a little. I did a lot of concepts from my work menu, more than the required five per day, but then I continued my exercises by repeating the exercises with the same concepts to see if I remembered and understood them. Again, the biggest barrier in my keeping up with this habit is having smooth and uncumbersome way to document concepts.

6.) Research how to create RSS feed for chocolate reviews only: Tried and gave up. I seem totally unfit for technological matters. I can recognize how practical and desirable some function might be, but then I'll be overwhelmed with boredom within five minutes of research in trying to learn how to do it on my own. My major hangup probably has to do with the fact I see no long-term application for such knowledge: I'm only trying to learn it for one-time use. Consequently, I'm very emotionally resistant to doing what I view as a lot of work for very little output. I'll either keep contemplating solutions, lazily wait for someone to create a layman application, or give up on it.

* * * * *

As to my reading, I think I may have finally figured out how to accomplish my new year's resolution of reading twenty books on time. My major problem, as I've said before, is that only books I've read cover to cover count towards my goal, but by and large I've learned that most of nonfiction books are more practically read by skimming or only consulting sections of interest, so that's been really holding me back. However, the amazing Sherlock Holmes television series has made me yearn for the book series, so I've been rereading my Holmes novels, though not the anthologies. Since I'm reading those cover to cover, they count towards my goal. As such, I think I can content myself with reading good and pleasurable fiction to satisfy my new year's resolution, while I rely on skimming and isolated reading to make my educated reading more efficient. I'll try it that way, at least.

This week I'd like to dedicate to doing a little research on the requirements of my next big project, but since I want to keep the project a secret until I write about it at length, I also want to keep my goals about it a secret too. Don't worry: All will be told sometime next week, hopefully early on, and you'll know the goals by next weekly summary.

1.) Skim Beyond Brawn, I'm Just Here for More Food, and two special books: The two special books are related to my project, so they're a secret for now. Bodybuilding is another one of my hobbies, so I want to see what Beyond Brawn has to offer in terms of advice; currently Body by Science dictates my thinking and exercise routines. As for I'm Just Here for More Food, I was pleasantly surprised to see an Alton Brown book at my library and picked it up on whim. I miss Good Eats. 

2.) Read at least one chapter of Culinary Artistry : Becoming a Chef was awesome, so I think I should read this sequel too.

3.) Sketch and brainstorm plans for project: Secrets!

4.) Go to farmers market: I'll tell you more later, so more secrets. I'm writing this quite hastily however, so there's the distinct possibility that there may not be any farmers market this week for me to go to, though I know of a good one next Saturday.

5.) Conduct two chocolate tastings and review: An experiment, so don't expect it on a consistent basis. I want to see how you guys would react if I did more of such writing, instead of so infrequently as once a week.

That's all for now. Oh that project has me all a-tingle!

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