chukichi

this thing is still about things

Tag Archives: puzzles

Training

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Of all the bullshit things going on in my mind right now, I need to discuss a serious medical condition:  Puzzle Eye.

In a different time in history, I may have been accused of witchcraft or vampirism because I. cannot.  stop. with this fucking puzzle shit.  If I am chasing you, just throw some puzzle pieces at me and it will drive me mad until I can put it all together.  If I can’t work on actual jigsaw puzzles, then I play virtual jigsaw puzzle games or some sort of matching puzzle game.  It’s getting to be annoyingly problematic.  As an aside, I’ve passed this condition on to my son, but not my daughter.  She tries, but she can’t.  In fact, she bought a puzzle for herself that she worked on for all of 10 seconds before giving up and passing it on to me.  She never should have brought it into this house!  It’s become the bane of my existence.  300 pieces shouldn’t be a difficult puzzle.   It should not.  A 300 piece puzzle is an easy Sunday afternoon for me.  But fuck this puzzle.

It’s cheap and doesn’t fit together well and it’s a complete nightmare to put together.  I don’t know whether I’ll paint it not.  UGH, this puzzle.  I absolutely hate it but I will absolutely finish it.

Aside from that bullshit Color-Me puzzle I’ve been out of practice for a while because once I start I can’t stop and my life is too busy to lose a couple of days at a time to obsession.  Having said that, I have still been collecting puzzles even if I haven’t been putting them together.  Ravensburger is still and always will be king and their Challenge Series is a favorite of mine.  They are generally 1000 pieces and of decent difficulty so it’s hard enough to be interesting but not so difficult as to be stressful.

Ravensburger’s Krypt Series is amazing.  Once I’ve figured out the ‘trick’ of it, there is a great sense of accomplishment and I feel like a goddamn genius.  This feeling occurs when working on regular puzzles, but it’s really tenfold on these krypt puzzles.  I think that’s when puzzle eye kicks in.  I see a piece and just know where it goes.  I’m not a doctor so I don’t know how it works but I’m pretty sure it’s magic.  I have a plethora of amazing yet useless skills. The spiral one I have hanging in the classroom but I found no reason to put a silver square on the wall.

Previously, my largest puzzle was Ravensburger’s Tarot which was so incredibly satisfying.  It took 2 days of intense focus–and very little sleep or interaction with anyone.  This is what I mean about how ridiculous I am with puzzles.  This isn’t good behavior for normal people let alone for a spouse or parent, so while I still completed puzzles, I didn’t do any as larger or as involved.

Until now.  [ominous music!]

A few years ago I acquired my most intense challenge yet:  Ravensburger’s 5000 piece Sistine Chapel

Amazon has it listed for $68 but I picked it up on clearance somewhere for $20.  $68 is actually much less than what it was listed for previously–around $80-$90.  I want to do this so badly but I need to work up to it.  I have a few more untouched Challenge puzzles and a whole box of cheap grocery store puzzles of varying difficulty that I recently rediscovered tucked away in a box in the classroom.  I’ve been retraining my puzzle eye, just doing easy 300 and 500 piece sets, maybe a 750 piece one.  I may even complete another Challenge Series puzzle before I attempt begin the Sistine Chapel.  This training regimen has been fraught with frustration.

I actually threw away this cute doggie puzzle.  It was only 300 pieces and fun of course, but I knew it would be incomplete.  I had to find out how incomplete though, and a few hours later I was left with four missing pieces.  The cheap grocery store puzzles are kept in Ziploc style bags (as opposed to the individual jigsaw puzzle boxes that we’re used to seeing) and have been moved throughout the house countless times.  Some of these puzzles have pieces are missing.  I can’t express just how much this irritates me.  How much an unexpected missing puzzle piece makes my skin crawl.  Now, like the dog puzzle there are some sets that I know will have missing pieces; some sets that have been attempted by small hands and abandoned.  That’s okay.  I’m prepared.  My fried chicken* is ready.  But the ones that should be complete?  The ones that have not been touched and yet still come out with one piece gone? Oh fuck them.  FUCK THEM WITH THE BRILLIANT RAGE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.

I’m not giving up.  I’ll keep looking and maybe a miracle will happen and I fill find it.  In the mean time, I’ll continue to re-focus my puzzle eye and work up to that doozy of a challenge.

 

Photo Dump: Random and Belated

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1. Jasper
2. This rock in my aquarium

resembles the planet Jupiter.


3. Dandelions


4. Long shots always look like an album cover to me.


5. This makes me laugh disproportionately hard

6.  Magnus is now 7.4 lbs at 5.5 months. He was 2.4 lbs when we got him 3 months ago.


7. Josh’s birthday was in March and I didn’t say anything about it.


8. We went to Medieval Times for his birthday (but we waited until after tax season).


9. Summer reading challenge dinner. They read while we waited for a table but I made them put it away before food.  

10. Playing so many puzzles on Facebook.  Because I’m cool.

Birthday!

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Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
It doesn’t suck being thirty-three,
Happy Birthday to me.

My birthday was pretty fucking awesome, actually.  Peaceful for the most part.  I have to say that Joshua is and has always been horrible on other people’s birthdays.  I think he just can’t stand that people other are allowed to have special days.  Birthdays, anniversaries and Mother’s/Father’s day are SPECIAL DAYS.  So, with the full mind that my otherwise neato kid was probably going to be kind of a turd, I had an exceptionally fantastic day.

1.) I got my McDonald’s breakfast in bed.  This is standard for my birthday and Mother’s Day because while the Mr. can cook, he sure as hell can’t clean and I hate chores.

2.) I got amazing gifts that really surprised me:

Now you know all of my secrets.

I have, since I was a child, been a huge fan of Gone with the Wind.  I saw the movie when I was a kid and of course I thought it was fantastic and romantic.  Then I read the book and was blown away.  I’ve seen documentaries about it and most recently this amazing PBS documentary on Margaret Mitchell.  I’ve never owned the book.  The sequel I’ve had forever; in fact, I received it for Christmas the year it came out.  This was A BIG DEAL because a brand new hardback book was like $30!  I was 12 years old!  It was literally the only thing I wanted.  I’m a nerd.  No it’s not as good as the original and it’s not fair to compare it.  What it does though is wraps everything up nicely in a pretty bow, and sometimes that’s all you want.  The original copy I had was ruined by some asshole who spilled soda on it so having a new pretty one makes me very, very happy.  (I wasn’t the asshole.  This time.)

I am, and have been since birth, Asian.  I might forget it from time to time but The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook is the fucking shit.  BUY THIS BOOK.  I borrowed it from the library under the recommendation of Jade Luck Club and holy crap.  It’s amazing.  It literally made me cry, because nothing takes you back home faster than food.  For some people, the saying “you can’t go home again” is true in a literal sense and even thinking about childhood favorites breaks my heart.  Now that my grandmother has passed as well this book really just broke me.  I sent it back to the library after only reading a few pages and flipping through it.  It’s the most authentic Asian cookbook I’ve ever seen.  I’m glad I have it now despite some of the sadness it brings.  I want my kids to be able to have these food memories.  This food should be in their blood like it’s in my blood.  This is probably my most favorite gift ever because now I have an opportunity to pass something on that I thought was lost.

Lastly, check out that awesome puzzle.  I am PUZZLE CRAZY.  I don’t know what it is, but when it’s puzzle time just get the fuck out of my way.  Don’t help me because you really suck.  Only Josh can help because he has my puzzle gene.  The Mr. does NOT have the skillz that our 5 year old has.  But this, this is all mine.  I think I’m going to time this one, because I have got to know how well I can do.  When the kids go to Grandma’s house, I’m going to puzzle. it. up. bitches.

3.) I got even *more* amazing gifts:

happy

Here are the gifts that Josh and Robin made for me while I waited for breakfast.  They’re all awesome and I went ahead and labeled them so you’d know exactly what they were.  The bracelet I thought was pretty clever so I wore it all day and even out to lunch.  Somewhat unrelated, I was able to buy white chalk at Office Depot on my birthday.  Walmart no longer carries chalk WHAT THE FUCK.  I’m so old.

4.)  I had yummies:

We went out to eat at Sake Gura, a local hibachi and sushi place.  I had not had sushi in about 6 years.  DID YOU READ THAT I HADN’T HAD SUSHI IN 6 YEARS UNTIL LAST WEEK.  Maybe that’s why my life has been so weird.  Sushi/sashimi is such a no-no when you’re pregnant and after pregnancy who has the money to go out for sushi and then suddenly you’re pregnant again holy crap you’ll never eat sushi again!  Well I did and I tried to get the kids to promise to eat just one bite for my birthday.  Josh gagged, Robin loved it.  She likes eel and octopus so I’m so happy!  I have a sushi buddy again so you had better believe we’ll be going as often as possible.  Love love love!  I wanted to sit at the hibachi table and it was a fantastic show except for the fact that Josh freaked the fuck out and Robin wrapped herself around me so tight I thought I was going to choke.  It was hilarious.  Fire and kids are hilarious, for real.  Cute moment:  when the guy was done and cleaning up she said “My favorite part was when he cleaned up!”.  You had to be there, I’m sure.  So much food left over:

The important thing was that I didn’t have to make dinner!

5.)  CAKE:

Okay, no picture of the cake.  I made lemon cupcakes with no icing because that’s what I wanted.  I ate the hell out of them, too, hence no pictures.  This was funny though, and I had to snap this quick photo:

Paw? Hand? Foot?

Milk and oil for the cake.  I guess it wanted to give me a birthday high five?

This birthday will be hard to top.  I can honestly say that I got everything I wanted.  Everything I need is right here.