Thursday, 19 March 2009

You know when...

...You've had a rough day, and then everything looks like it's going to turn out just peachy, and then it doesn't, and then in the end it does?


Sorry... I know, that was a long and complicated sentence. Let me start over:

Yesterday was one of those days where I just couldn't seem to get it all together. I forgot about a telephonic interview I'd scheduled for a magazine feature I'm writing (way to go on the professionalism, Tamara), although the interviewee was very nice about it and agreed to chat a bit later when I recovered at least some part of my brain. Thankfully!

I then got in a rush job from a new freelance client that needed to take precedence over my other work, which I knew I'd have to fit in later. It was interesting though - I haven't done advertising copy since I was first out of varsity, and I'd forgotten how different the writing style is to straight journalism. I struggled quite a bit, but client seems happy, so that's ok.

Things are still weird at the office. In short, boss hasn't been around since about last Thursday. She pops in occasionally, but we haven't had our weekly status meeting with her and things are feeling a bit like we're in limbo. She also hasn't acknowledged the fact that the most experienced employee of our bunch, DK, has resigned, which is making things a bit surreal. DK needs to arrange client hand-overs, but boss is pretending that nothing has happened. She's dealing with the death of a friend, and it's almost like she's forgotten about everything else, including her business.

I feel like we're living in one of those books that don't make any sense (the ones that get turned into Oscar-winning movies). She's talking to DK again (was ignoring her last week), but like nothing's going on. DK finds this totally bizarre, as does the new girl (let's call her Shakira, seeing most people get her name wrong and call her that). I think she's (understandably) a bit freaked out by the vibe at the moment. Poor thing. She seems sweet.

I have so much work to do, but no motivation for my PR stuff. I just want to do my freelance jobs. Unfortunately, I'm not in a position where I can do that, but I need boss's input on the PR stuff, so I'm sort of stuck there anyway. Limbo. Or purgatory. Somewhere inbetween.

I was also supposed to prepare for last night's life group - we were going to talk about Buddhism and Hinduism. I had found some info and was going to take it home to summarise when I started getting messages from a few of our members to say that they wouldn't be able to make it to the meeting. Apparently, everyone else is busy, stressed and not getting everything together either. This made me feel better somehow. Less alone in my ineptitude and procrastination.

TSC and I talked to them all and we decided to cancel the meeting this week. I was actually quite relieved - it would give me time to collect myself and get some work done at home. And hopefully a chance to spend time with TSC.

So I picked an interesting recipe from one of those "quick, cheap and easy"-type recipe books (I call them my slutty cookbooks) to make for supper. It was for Thai-style fish-sticks. And there the fun began.

What a waste of time, energy, money and tuna! Honestly! You're supposed to make this mixture from the fish, the spices, beaten egg and mashed potato, form it into little fish-cake-thingeys and thread them onto kebab sticks. You then brush them lightly with egg, dust with flour and fry on all sides until golden. Serve with lemon slices and sweet chili sauce. Sounded great.

Huh! First-off, I would like to say that I SUCK at following recipes, so I usually amend them slightly. Or more than slightly. This time, however, I decided to stick to every little step and every little measurement and to be totally and completely exact in following this damn recipe.

So why, I would love to know, would my mixture not stick together? I made the little fish-sticks, shaping them around the bloody kebabs, and as soon as I tried to "brush lightly with beaten egg", the stupid things fell apart in my hands. They would NOT stick. I even tried popping them in the freezer for 20 min to see if they'd firm up a bit.

And then, how the heck are you supposed to fry the things if they have a big kebab stick through them that won't fit into any normal-sized frying pan? I ended up taking them back off the sticks and frying them on their own. *Rolls eyes*

They then actually started to look good and smell good (although, being covered from head to toe in flaked tuna and mashed potato by this point, anything else would've smelt good). Problem was, they tasted rubbish.

It's always such a let-down to smell and see something yummy, only to pop it in your mouth and discover that it tastes like crispy-on-the-outside-cold-and-squidgy-on-the-inside-tuna-and-mash-mix... Gross.

So my quick, cheap and easy meal turned into a protracted tuna and mash mixing and frying marathon nightmare that left me both smelly and still hungry. Poor TSC resorted to squashing a few of the revolting fish cakes onto two slices of bread with some sweet chili sauce, cheese and mayo, and making a snackwich of them, which made them slightly more palatable. But never have I seen him enjoy my side salad so much.

That will teach me to follow a recipe.

By the time we had finally rescued our dinner, we might as well have had life group. Grumpy and disheartened, I showered off my pungent meal remains (how does the stuff get under my fingernails?!?!) and felt much better.

And, after I managed to get around to hemming my jeans (been trying to do that for over a month), fixing the curtains and hanging them in our breakfast nook and collating my freelance info for the feature article, I could agree that the day did indeed turn out ok in the end. Especially when I could lie in bed with TSC and cuddle, and the cats actually deigned to join us and keep my feet warm (meaning that last night must've been quite chilly - they don't sleep on the bed unless it'd really cold).

Here's hoping that today is ok too. And that's there's no fish or potatoes involved. Have a good Thursday, all. And stay away from slutty cookbooks.


Miss T said...

Maybe you just need some time out :). Work does sound extremely odd. Do you think you can approach your boss?

Being Brazen said...

I totally SUCK at following recipes.

I think you need a mini break :) Roll on easter weekend!!!

momcat said...

I'm amazed at how much you managed to accomplish in the evening. After the recipe failure I would have been totally unable to accomplish anything else and in fact I have only been able to cook supper and then flop onto the couch for the very longest time. Although I am awake and up at about 5am every morning.

boldly benny said...

I'm with momcate - after recipe failure I probably would've curled up on the couch with a slab of chocolate!
Good on you - you certainly are very productive!

Hayley said...

Think i had the same type of day...truned out great, went quickly downhill (in a bad way) and then ended up perfect again....just a typical day I suppose.

Sass said...

That sounds like one of my typical days.

I hate when I try a new recipe and it seems like it's going to be SO fab, and then it's SO not.

Which is why I don't cook. ;)

phillygirl said...

Aw, I hate it when you have such high0expectations of a recipe ... or even just average ones, like that you might actually be able to eat it! And it flops :( I've had a few of those. I usually storm out the kitchen in a huff of disappointment and Varen fixes it :) tee hee, sometimes I'm such a girl.,

Louisa said...

Condolences on your fish cake kebabs Tamara.

I think there should be a golden rule that when you cook you should use the recipe as a rough guideline and just do your own thing, baking is another horse altogether. There you should always stick to the recipe no matter what, no improv whatsoever. It's like a very fragile science false move and it all goes to hell.

Sorry to hear your boss is off in her own world, mine's being a whiny cow at the moment too. I am very happy to leave her behind at the end of each day, that's for sure.

po said...

I stay away from cookbooks altogether! Much safer.

Work sounds a bit all over the place for you. I hope it improves!

angel said...

I also amend recipes a little- but only once I get them right. Sorry it wasn't nice...