i need to stop starting things.

books i'm reading:

a free life (ha jin)
spud (john van de ruit)
haruki murakami and the music of words (jay rubin)
reading comics (douglas wolk)

these are books i'm actively reading, not books on my nightstand windowsill that i pick up once or twice a week; there are about a dozen more of those, jostling for space with the air conditioner and the alarm clock and water-warped back issues of the new yorker. the first two titles will be out of my hair by monday, as i need to review them for the november issue of the magazine, but this is still out of hand. even the cats know it: i tried to bring a copy of the clinton chronicle (our neighborhood paper) home to read the other day, and it sat on the corner of the credenza for 1.5 seconds before chuck leapt up and vomited on the front page.

craft projects in progress:

kathleen hanna needlepoint
stag beetle needlepoint
denim quilt
knitted quilt
supersecret baby gift

this too is silliness. the baby gift in particular should be out of the way by now: i find it terribly embarrassing that my friend is making a person faster than i'm able to make a present for that person. my big craft issue is that i design much more effectively than i execute. though i know just what the stag beetle's head should look like, for instance, i've spent hours and hours filling in the areas around his legs to avoid having to commit to specific stitches up top. on the quilts, i got very excited about what i wanted to do and plunged ahead without bothering to firm up my techniques. i should probably have known how to thread my sewing machine and purl, respectively, before settling in for the long haul. that's more than half the fun of casual craft, though - the occasional bliss of finding that improv along the way resulted in something far cooler than what you'd intended to make.

how predictable is it that a post about overload and unfinished things is itself turning into an unfinished thing? release it, the slacker on my left shoulder says, release it and hope for that improv effect you were talking about.

what are you juggling, internets? how do you decide which of the leisure things get attention?


jen said...

a little brain dump of my own:

i am currently juggling:

-2nd job
-smaller artistic projects with two other theatre companies
-blogging (judging from the relative silence on slithy tove, i could say this isn't going well. but there are a whole lot of started, unfinished posts hiding in the catacombs of my blogger account)
-marathon training
-not-so-super-secret baby gift knitting
-knitting a sweater for myself
-the following books:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Hal Higdon's Marathon Guide
Omnivore's Dilemma
-deciding which plays i can't afford to miss this fall and ferreting out cheap as free tickets.
-trying to figure out where i have time to start a stage combat certification class
-aikido (on hold until i finish the marathon)
-painting my bedroom (i am always in the midst of redecorating something)
-buying a new imac to replace my pc that died
-getting my flat car tired fixed
-email. i owe you all email.
-dating (we are giving up on this last item. which will hopefully free up more time for the other activities and leave my ego more intact.)

i sometimes have the attention span of a gnat. i realize that i'm getting less done because i keep jumping from one activity to the next without finishing a third one and have to discipline myself into focusing on a task until it's completed. i might never have been allowed to watch MTV as a kid, but i clearly belong to the MTV generation of multi-taskers. (for example, my response to this post took half the afternoon to write).

Hannah said...

Two drawings in white ink on blue paper.
One installation involving a bunch of houses on stilts.
Concurrent exploration of buying a bandsaw.
Nascent project (as yet formless) about the settlement patterns of central Switzerland.
Drawing series about western colonialism and Queen Victoria which has become too precious to mess with since I finished the first one.
Drawing series of "things in the air," still too nebulous for a more specific explanation, but gets a lot of brain time nonetheless.
Drawing series about the ichthyosaur fossils in the paleontology museum.
Citrus cake with lavender sugar.
Lavender sugar for above.
Reading through every single English book in the library.
Learning German.
Cover versions of every Billboard #1 song.
Tattoo design involving a lot of research into fossils.
The dishes.

The more I type, the more this list almost becomes wish fulfillment in itself - you know, I put it on the list, that means I'm working on it! Hey look I'm working on the ichthyosaur drawings already! I read your first line and said oh! oh! - out loud even - and wrote it on a piece of paper before I even read the rest of the post. It is so true. Now I will make a cross-stitch sampler that says so!