Food and Art, eh? Two nourishing things…

Today was a little stressful, though the stress didn’t have to do with me.

I was successful in getting out of the house, to the art store, and to the produce market (though I still [–!] haven’t been able to drive, yet).  Because I have a tendency to let produce rot in the refrigerator, I paid for what I bought, this time — so the loss will be entirely mine, if these go bad.  I got one very full bag of groceries for $23.  Nice; I was expecting $30.

I’ve found that I like soba that isn’t Hakubaku brand.  I ate maybe one-and-one-third bundles of this tonight, with dinner…but I think there is too much wheat flour in it, and not enough buckwheat.  I generally like soba that is kind of rough in the mouth, with some bite to it.  What I don’t like is all the salt that’s added to a bunch of the Japanese brands (I think Hakubaku is actually Australian).

The (U.S.) Nutrition Facts label makes most of them appear really unhealthy, with extremely high sodium levels — but is this cooked, or uncooked?  I don’t remember, and my Japanese reading level isn’t high enough to read the Japanese parts of the packages.  I mean, I have barely any kanji (Chinese character) reading ability, and my last Japanese class was probably a decade and a half ago, so it’s tough.

I’m also not really dieting, so I don’t need yam added to the noodles.  (Yam is added — I’m thinking it’s yamaimo or mountain yam — as filler, to take up space in the stomach without adding calories.  Yamaimo is somewhat indigestible and passes right through the intestinal tract…it’s also made into konnyaku and shirataki, which are both diet foods, IIRC.  In English, konnyaku is called “Devil’s Tongue Jelly”.  It can be seasoned to be really tasty, but has very little nutritional value [or intrinsic flavor], to the best of my knowledge.)

So, tonight I ate well.  Maybe too well…

I prepped most of my own dinner, though D helped with boiling the spinach, and boiling some eggs for me.  It’s probably a good thing he did the eggs, because otherwise this would have been a nearly protein-free meal (I forgot the tofu at the market, because I lost my shopping list, somehow, and was primarily after fresh plant-based food).

This was, in effect, inspired by my counselor telling me to take good care of myself — which, for me, means taking some responsibility for what I eat…and that means, cooking for myself and eating fresh plant-based food.

Tonight I ended up eating most of a hothouse cucumber, in the form of quick pickles (I’ve posted about making these, before — I put too much sugar in them, again; and they do shrink down), an entire bunch of (very clean!) boiled spinach (it boils way down), 1.5 eggs, 1.33 organic soba noodle bunches with tsuyu (dipping sauce — which will go bad in three days)…and two very small Satsuma sweet potatoes.

I don’t know what was up with those sweet potatoes.  It was like they had been cooked in honey, but all I did was roast them.  They were nearly too sweet to eat, which is strange because normally these things come into season in Winter.  They also looked like little balls, which is unusual.  Normally, Satsumas are a little long, but these were all like …pearls, or something.

And then, earlier in the day I had eaten a nectarine, and one of my peaches from the market (immediately after getting it home and finding a bruise in it — I don’t like deflated stone fruit, which is where this one was going if I let it sit in the refrigerator).

We’ll see how my digestive system fares, tomorrow.  I feel mostly OK now, though I think the soba expanded a bit in my stomach.  I kind of want dessert, but I am not entirely sure where that urge is coming from.  I normally don’t eat dessert.

And no, I have no idea of the calorie count of what I just ate…though I don’t expect it to be high.

M says that the stone fruits only last about four days in the refrigerator before they go bad…which was a good thing to ask, before getting any.  I think I have two white nectarines and two flat yellow peaches left.  (I will try not to laugh about the flat peaches; we sometimes jokingly call them “donut peaches”.)  Then there are eight apples (everyone eats these), four bananas, two pears, three mangoes.  I think one of the last is a Tommy Atkins, and the other two are Manila…the last two Tommy Atkins I ate, though, were really fibrous (to the point that it was scary to cut them in my palm), which is why I got the Manilas as insurance.

And…I now have as full a collection of black Microns, black Copic Multiliners, and warm grey Copic Multiliners as I need (or more).  I went back to the store today to fill out my Copic collection…and got a pad of Smooth Bristol Board on which to play with them.  (I noticed that both the Microns and Copics were having trouble with textured paper.)  I’m not sure how the Bristol is going to fare with ink wash, though, let alone watercolor.  The alternative was going to a different store to look for hot-press Watercolor paper…which was chancy.

I may upgrade to the latter, though, if I continue to work with these things.  I do have paper good for pen-and-ink; it’s just that I have to use dry media to color it, as it warps with water.  Smooth Bristol, though:  that’s even good for my steel nibs (should I want to try and use them again), and it’s in a large enough size to retain a decent amount of detail once reduced.  I just don’t know how it’s going to fare with washes, like all the other smooth papers I have.

This does presuppose that I am going to work on a comic layout, though, which kind of requires at least a rudimentary script.  I can try and keep it simple, though there is the possibility of just going Mad Libs-like and drawing out a story visually, adding dialogue to it afterward.

Hmm.  That kind of sounds interesting…

If things go successfully…I’ll probably want to set up a light booth somewhere to photograph my plates, because I don’t have a large enough scanner to deal with the full size of the page (somewhere in the ballpark of 11″x14″, if not larger).  I can, however, take a relatively high-res image by just using my camera and then shrinking down the photo.  I can also draw out individual frames and then crop and place them in a Photoshop file, though I’m certain that InDesign skills would be useful, here.

I don’t think I’m in any shape to rush through an InDesign class right now, though…

In any case, I’ve gotten some consistent issues with lighting (particularly using natural directional light) that I’ll need to resolve before I settle on my camera as a go-to option.


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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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