If you put me to the test, if you let me try–

And so the summer season is closed, all of the detritus of production — sets, props, costumes, electrics — struck, and I would like nothing more than to sit here and with a stare as blank as the repainted walls and floors of the theater. With an almost comical predictability, I’d been feeling a little off by the time I closed my own show on Saturday night and had that sense of foreboding during the closing party on Sunday night, where I forewent getting ritually smashed by choosing instead to binge eat on two cupcakes, probably half a bag of potato chips and an unquantifiable amount of tortilla and lavash chips that served as vehicles for guacamole, spinach dip, salsa and Trader Joe’s five-layer dip on their journey into my mouth. Because let’s face it, I have alcohol around all the time, but I don’t really keep snacks in the house, especially not carbs. So that night? Yeah, stuffing my face. And the others didn’t need my help in demolishing the rather sizable amount of alcohol, so let ’em have it.

I was also probably just not feeling the urge because my body knew it was coming down with something. I began feeling a bit under yesterday afternoon during strike, with that stinging feeling creeping into the sinuses and a general weakness, and then I just crashed when I got home at the end of the day. Shuffled around the apartment for a few hours and had my ass in bed a bit after ten… and slept for eleven hours. It was one of those sleeps where you dream about waking up only you’re so tired that you physically can’t open your eyes. I actually didn’t feel so bad when I woke up this morning and texted my technical director that I was sick, but after she told me to stay home from strike, the wooziness began to set in. Thankfully, I haven’t been feeling too miserable, but my head has been floating around with the Curiosity rover somewhere on Mars. I did go in for the post-mortem at work this afternoon, but all I’ve accomplished since getting home is watching Beyoncé and Rihanna music vidoes. Which is worthy in its own right, but not what I’d been hoping to get done. Hopefully, I’ll be able to be more productive in the next couple days, when I have a sizable amount of thesis reading to get done.

Thinking about it, the oncoming change of the seasons probably helped push along this sickness. The nights have started to take on that deliciously refreshing autumnal coolness, but changes in temperature always can wreak such havoc on the body. Admittedly, some of that might have been self-inflicted. I’d scored a Groupon for a four-person pass to a local year-round ice skating rink, so a crew of us went on an outing on Friday.

It was a huge amount of fun. I took figure skating lessons as a child, and though I’d switched to dance by the time that I reached junior high and have never been able to keep it up regularly since then, I can still keep myself upright passably well and enjoy it a great deal, not the least because it’s a highly physical activity where I can actually not overheat.

I am, however, out of practice to the point of not being able to do any “tricks” — spins, footwork, jumps. At least, not without a good hour of ice mostly to myself, where I can feel free to fall on my ass as much as necessary. For one thing, it’s about the safety of others, as a public skating session like the one we attended on Friday often felt like a game of reverse Frogger, with you as the motor vehicle and the swarms of small children as the frogs that you needed to somehow avoid turning into roadkill. It simply takes a lot of focus, skill and energy to keep track of oneself and all others when all others aren’t keeping track of either.

But also, something that those little frogs seemed to have that I’ve come to lack is a complete and utter fear of falling. It is true that my body isn’t quite so cavalier in its recovery from gravity as it used to be. That doesn’t let me off the hook for my attitude, though. As I said in only the paragraph above this, if you gave me an hour when no one was looking, I’d fall on my ass the entire time, to hell with my ability to walk the next day. What I’ve always lacked, and do so now more than ever, is the ability not to give a fuck about falling in front of others. Because those kids? Could not have given less of a fuck. And I think that’s just something that I need to remember — that sometimes, the only person of note who actually gives a fuck about your ass hitting the ice is yourself. Sometimes, staying upright out of fear is the greatest thing holding you back.

Anyhow, that’s all that my brain can summon for today. I keep spacing out and clicking on more music videos. So I might as well go the easy route and dish on some things I recently threw money at.

First up is Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Perfect Rice Cooker. I had received a small rice cooker as a gift when I graduated from high school, presumably to keep myself from starving as a college student, but as I ended up on a full board plan, it just got shoved into the back of a closet back home. When I embarked on the first internship of my stage management career, however, I wouldn’t have survived without it. After a few years of dedicated service, it finally died, not owing me anything. I then bought myself a larger rice cooker, like the type you see at the end of the rows in all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. It was awesome — until it died on me a few months later. So I bought another one. Which also died. And then another. Which also died.

At that point, I resigned myself to stove-top rice cooking, at which I was decent but not free of imperfectly cooked rice, which is kind of a terrible thing. So when I happened to spot this little item on sale at Ideeli, I figured, hey, why not.

Continue reading “If you put me to the test, if you let me try–”

Everybody find confusions in conclusion he concluded long ago–

My dreams lately have been of the dead. Earlier this week, I was accompanied by the pet dog with whom I spent most of my formative years as I settled into a dorm room (renovated to the state of something I wouldn’t mind having as a studio apartment) at my undergraduate alma mater. Last night, I went on a very strange mountain hiking trip through varying light and dark, eventually meeting my father at a stop along the way.

In an unsurprising trajectory, the funk into which I’d been slowly slipping over the past week or so culminated in a neurotic existential panic a few days ago, at which point I took a few days off from life (excepting my employment obligations), avoided whatever social interaction I could and indulged my menu-reading habit. It’s a thing that I do, reading online restaurant menus in the same way that you picture a drugged-up fifty-something housewife in bunny slippers with pink rollers in her hair compulsively watching QVC. It’s worse than porn. Porn, at least, wants to give its viewer a good end. My menu-reading habit is just torturing myself with food that I’m not actually going to eat and from which I really can’t get any vicarious enjoyment. There is zero satisfaction involved. It’s a problem.

So anyways, it was a few days of not accomplishing much of anything. Until, that is, I started cleaning out the apartment. I find that cleaning — going through everything, throwing out what I can, reorganizing what remains — helps to set my mind straight when things get stuck in a rut. And I figure that as I will inevitably be moving when I graduate in less than a year and will also inevitably be extremely busy with school and work, why not start the process now?

In other news, the Chick-fil-A cluck-up continues to be frustrating. Another sum-up essay that I found is probably the last that I’m going to use someone else’s words to say on the subject, but no guarantees:

“The narrative was framed as, Dan Cathy is asked how he feels about gay marriage and gives his honest response. When he expressed his opinion, gay rights activists got angry and decided to boycott his business. [. . .] It’s not about Dan Cathy’s opinion – which I do not give a flying fuck about – it’s about the fact that Chick-Fil-A donated over $5 million to anti-gay hate groups. Hate groups which have been listed next to the KKK, hate groups which try to cure gay people like it’s a disease, and hate groups that have disseminated information claiming that gay people are pedophiles. [. . .] But no, the national media went with the “freedom of speech vs. mean gay people trying to silence them” narrative because it was shiny and pretty.”

It’s also reached the point where people are sick of hearing about it, which is the dangerous time. “Ugh, I can’t believe that we still have a problem. Clearly, what we should do is proceed to ignore the problem because we don’t want to deal with it anymore and we also have the attention spans of fleas.” Which isn’t to say that I don’t understand issue fatigue — the picture of a woman holding a sign reading “I can’t believe I still have to protest this shit” comes to mind. It really is wearing. But there are different sides of being tired of an issue. There are those who can get tired of an issue and just let it drop. Then there are those who can get tired of an issue and still have it impact their lives whether they want it to or not. Going back to the previously linked essay:

“Which brings us to the last kind of people who decided to wade into the Chick-Fil-A debate for no other reason than the fact that they own a computer and can read. [. . .] These are the righteous people who take it upon themselves to be the peacekeepers and try to reconcile what they see as simply two sides who can’t seem to come to an agreement.

And I’d like to thank them.

Thank you, straight person who is completely unaffected by anything Exodus International, Focus on the Family, or the National Organization for Marriage will ever do. Thank you for reminding me that gay rights and LGBT acceptance is, for most of America, just a “hot-button” issue that causes controversy and is better to be avoided all together. I don’t think that’s a privilege enjoyed solely by non-LGBT people at all!

Except that it is.”

Making less of a splash than Chick-fil-A, Amway has also been making some minor headlines, with news that
“Doug DeVos the owner and CEO of Amway had given $500,000 to a known hate group, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)”
. The linked article also includes a list of Amway’s subsidiary businesses, for those interested in no longer sending any of their money that way.

Something disturbing that had caught my attention a few days ago through a Science Daily article has also been getting more mainstream press, as there has been a report released that details dangerous experimentation on pregnant women and their fetuses that has been aimed as decreasing “behavioral masculinization” in the resulting babies — i.e., reducing the propensity toward lesbianism, bisexuality, intersexuality and just females with general masculine tendencies. While there is an actual harmful condition (congenital adrenal hyperplasia) for which the off-label synthetic steroid is supposedly aiming to treat, the drug must be administered before the doctors even know if the fetus is of the target type for the condition — only one in eight of those exposed is even in the at-risk group. And that’s not even touching the horrifying, are-you-sure-this-is-right-now-in-the-United-States-and-not-some-dystopian-sci-fi-story aspect of shooting drugs into a fetus to attempt to “normalize” it into mainstream social acceptance.

Continue reading “Everybody find confusions in conclusion he concluded long ago–”

That chicken is thin and meaner than sin and uglier than Bamboo Jack–

You know what’s been missing from this blog for a while? Chicken, that’s what. This was mostly due to my having been out of town almost as often as not over the past three weeks — Williamstown, then New York, then Williamstown again — so I haven’t been cooking as much. But I picked up some beets, tomatoes, corn, scallions, sheep’s milk cheese and a jalapeno pepper at the farmer’s market last week, and I ended up turning most of them to the service of some chicken.

There’s been some chicken out there more famous than mine, though.

I’ve eaten at Chick-Fil-A twice in my life, back in the year that I was interning at a theatre in Orlando, where I learned a lot of things, including that I never wanted to lived in Orlando. Their food was pretty good for a fast food chain, but I also learned in the course of that year that the company was aligned with and financially supported some principles that I found to be morally disagreeable, so I decided that an easy right action would be not to spend my money there. Over the past weeks, Chick-Fil-A and the publicly professed principles of its president Dan Cathy have gotten a lot more press, and the issue has moved far beyond the questionable quality of life in central Florida.

If you want a coherent, comprehensive summary about what this ridiculous outcry — let’s face it, guys, the central images of this are fried chicken sandwiches and advertisements with barely literate cows — really means, I’d like to direct you to this articulate essay on this issue. If, on the other hand, you’d just like to read me being angry, please do continue on here.

One of the reactions to Chick-Fil-A’s declaration of opposition to marriage equality was, of course, the statement by Boston Mayor Thomas Merino that Chick-Fil-A had no place in Boston and that that he’ll make their license process “very difficult” unless they backpedal. He also sent an open letter to Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy. These actions have gotten a lot of kneejerk liberal rejoicing, conservative backlash and moderate hedging. I’m usually camping out in the moderate hedge club, but I have to say that I’m finding myself pitching my tent with the liberals on this one. Do I want Mayor Merino to violate the Constitution in order to keep a fast food chain out of a city? Hell, no. But do I think that he was out of line for what he did? Based on what I’ve heard reported about his words and actions: no.

Nowhere have I seen Chick-Fil-A being outlawed from Boston. I saw a company being told that they weren’t welcome in a place because they conflicted with the values held there. It was a statement of principles. And it was, in a representative government, the representing of a city’s character and ideal and of its citizens, particularly those citizens who are often marginalized — not the representation of dollar signs and business deals. Do we need those dollar signs and logistics to run a city? Of course we do! But we also need the other side of it, the reasons that we’re running those dollar signs in the first place, and that’s the side that seems to get lost so often. And maybe that representation didn’t represent the view of all citizens. In that case, by all means, get up and let it be known that you’re not being represented — that’s what the rest of us have to do, after all.

As for the conservative backlash, I’ll just link to The Least Subtle Tweets From Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day. While not something to be read on an emotionally fragile day, I believe it to be important to occasionally give myself a wake-up call about what’s really out there. The world is not a friendly place. There is a lot of work to be done.

So was Mayor Merino confrontational? Yes. Was there a backlash? Yes, apparently. You know what? I don’t care. We definitely need cool heads and tactical action, but there is also something galling and tiring about always having to play nice with those who see you as being lesser and even actively work to keep you in a lesser place. It brings to my mind the image of a dog being made to sit up and beg for a treat: “That’s it… that’s it… good boy… just a little higher… wait for it… wait for it… Ah-ah, not yet, I’ve still got it…!”

The essay I referenced earlier has it: “All your life, you’re told to stand up to bullies, but when WE do it, we’re told WE are the ones being intolerant? Well, okay. Yes. I refuse to tolerate getting my ass kicked. “Guilty as charged.””

Continue reading “That chicken is thin and meaner than sin and uglier than Bamboo Jack–”

In the dark of the night just before dawn–

So last night, I went with some friends to see the midnight showing of Inception: I Know What You Did Last Summer, more popularly known as The Dark Knight Rises. I promise that there aren’t any spoilers, as not only would that be incredibly discourteous, but it would probably lead to my being drawn and quartered by the remaining portion of the population who isn’t already primed to do so after I express what I fear might be some minority opinions about the movie, at least among the geek milieu.

And so first: Batman. After that: chicken.

Overall, I found the The Dark Knight Rises to be pretentious, slow and predictable. But I think that it speaks to the movie’s strengths that I also was very entertained and enjoyed it a lot. It sure was a long-ass movie for which to attend a midnight showing, let me tell you that. But despite the length, the movie never felt long. It did feel slow, though — but in a very tense, simmery sort of way. For better or for worse, the vast majority of the movie felt like lead-in, build-up.

When the story finally pulled the trigger, however, it was entirely worth it.

It’s actually pretty difficult to really talk about the movie without spoilers, I feel, as its strongest points are the content of its twists and reveals. I mentioned that it was predictable, right? Yeah, it was. But because the movie didn’t depend on the “a-ha!” or “gotcha!” of its twists, it actually didn’t hurt it. I can’t recall any other movie that I’ve seen — and to be fair, I haven’t seen a lot of movies — that have had such a satisfying slow-burn of a gradual character back story reveal.

The one purely negative part of my movie-going experience was that I never really got absorbed into the movie. I am seriously really, really easy when it comes to willingly suspending my disbelief and I get embarrassingly emotionally invested in whatever it is that I happen to be watching at the moment, but I always felt a little bit outside of this movie. Part of it might be that I’m not the biggest Batman fan, or at least not the biggest fan of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. The Dark Knight for me is dominated by the Joker and Harvey Dent. The Dark Knight Rises is an incredible showcase for Catwoman — well, Selina Kyle, who is actually never explicitly called “Catwoman” and — of all people! — Bane.

It’s something that differentiates the Nolan Batman movies from most of the other comic book-based movies that have been being produced lately. Usually, we get stuck with a bland, forgettable villain — hey, can you remember anything about the villain in the Star Trek reboot except that he was played by Eric Bana? — but that’s all right because it gives us more time to pay attention to the heroes. The Avengers? Who cares about the villain! The intra-team squabbling and hijinks are where it’s at. Recent exceptions that I can think of include Watchmen and possibly X-Men: First Class, depending on how we decide to place Magneto on the hero spectrum in that specific movie. The Nolan Batman movies, however, somehow manage to entrance me with the villains/antagonists and have the hero leave me cold.

It’s a large part of why I have absolutely no interest in watching Batman Begins. I know the information that is provided by the film and my head hasn’t particularly been turned by any exclamations of masterful narrative artistry, so there’s nothing much that interests me about it. An origin movie that focuses on the Batman himself? I feel like I have better ways to spend my time.

(Speaking of Batman Begins, Ra’s al Ghul is invoked in Dark Knight Rises, which also kicked my brain out of the movie experience. It just always sat a little oddly with me that Ra’s al Ghul was played by Liam Neeson. Don’t get me wrong — I love me some Liam Neeson and I’m not commenting upon his performance. But it seems like a dude named Ra’s al Ghul from the Arabic peninsula asks, just a little bit, to be played by an actor of Middle Eastern descent. And despite my love for other actors, as well, given the back story that was presented, as much as I would sincerely like to be able to just watch a movie and not be distracted by systematic societal white-washing, well, you can’t always get what you want.)

But back to the subject of seeing The Dark Knight Rises, I remember being completely engrossed by The Dark Knight, so I think it’s fair to say that my failure to be absorbed wasn’t entirely my own apparently Batman-deficient fault.

My laughing really loudly and really inappropriately when Bane executed a classic line and action, however, was entirely me just being an inherent asshole.

Continue reading “In the dark of the night just before dawn–”

I see fireworks, I see the pagaent and pomp and parade–

For the first time since unofficially starting this little Blog Everyday project of mine — it’s a project now, evidently — I’ve felt that nagging voice rising up inside of me. The one that whines “But writing everyday is haaaaaaaaaaaard.” Well, tough cookie, crumbles. Not writing is no more an option than not exercising physically. I’ve found myself rather liking Jillian Michaels’ vaguely D/s style of instruction, so I’m giving it a go and brutally yelling at myself about how I need to give it all up for me and how I have no tolerance for failure and how I should endure the pain because won’t it feel so good when I finally succeed.

Aside from that, though, I took today as mostly a vacation. By which I mean that I made no efforts to graduate from grad school but otherwise carried on mostly as normal. Which included avoiding the fuck out of anyone I know. For a while, I had assumed that I would be spending today with friends, but when the day itself arrived, I found the prospect of spending the entire day on my own, without the necessity of interacting with people whom I enjoy greatly but whom I constantly see in the context of work and school, to be much more enticing. To hell with dealing with crowds; I’ve seen fireworks before and felt no urge to go out of my way to see this little New England city’s display. Why spend Independence Day among my fellow citizens when I could instead spend it dicking around on the internet and improving my Spanish?

In other news tangentially related along the lines of things I supposedly learned in high school, The Economist has reminded us that math is actually important and that we consumers are often pretty dumb, which leaves us vulnerable to having advantage taken of us. “Consumers often struggle to realise, for example, that a 50% increase in quantity is the same as a 33% discount in price. They overwhelmingly assume the former is better value. […] This numerical blind spot remains even when the deal clearly favours the discounted product.” So while fine, make your argument that the average person doesn’t need calculus, but please! Remember your fractions! Don’t let yourself be a passive sucker in our capitalist jungle! Especially my national compatriots — how much more American can you get than refusing to let yourself get screwed over by people who are trying to take your money?

Independence Day actually isn’t so much my holiday. Catch me again in September, when Constitution Day/Citizenship Day rolls around, and then you’ll be subjected to the full force of my estadounidense-ness. True story, there are two books that have a permanent home on my bedside table, and those an old family Bible and the Federalist Papers.

Anyways, it’s not as though I let the day go by without some sort of celebration. Today deserved a special meal, something that I had been idly contemplating since the farmers’ market last weekend.

As a side note, all of this food talk is rather amusing to me. Once upon a time, I actually wasn’t quite welcomed in the kitchen, being viewed as a hazard to myself and others. While the former had changed, the latter retains some truth, as evidenced by my managing to throw mustard all over the kitchen floor today. Not spill — throw. Twice.

It was worth it, though. The result: porterhouse steak with honey-mustard and shiitake reduction, rainbow chard with shallots and goat cheese, and quinoa. And a cold beer.

Continue reading “I see fireworks, I see the pagaent and pomp and parade–”

That stranger he has found, this man could be my chance–

Day two of Project: Actually Graduate From Grad School. I think that I’ve actually found a method that works for me. Rather than trying to work as much as possible, I’m limiting how much I’m allowed to work. When I get to that time of day, I set the time on my cell phone for one hour, start it ticking and then set it down next to me and let the screen go dark. At that point, it’s a race against a clock, since I know that when that timer goes off, I have to stop working, no matter how little I’ve accomplished.

Golly, but it seems to be working so far. Rules, limitations and punishment! Oh, yeah!

I’ve been being a pretty distressingly responsible, well-rounded person in general lately. Start the day with a workout! Read the New York Times and Merriam-Webster Word of the Day while eating breakfast! Practice piano for an hour and a half! Do an online Spanish lesson because I bought six-month’s time with a Groupon and I’m going to get my money’s worth, by tarnation! Get other stuff done in the time in between! Don’t touch those online recreational activities until any earlier than 9:30pm!

And keep writing those fucking blog posts!

Speaking of fucking blog posts, I’m sure that a lot of people have Anderson Cooper fatigue by now. I don’t care. More on that later. But first…

Breakfast for lunch! A grilled sweet sausage (store-bought), homemade home fries and a leftover homemade buttermilk biscuit. After having picked up the sausage because it was discounted, I’ve been looking for a reason to use it, and having a bowl of rendered bacon grease, pairing it with home fries seemed like the natural way to go. I love a good hot breakfast, but damn, I am so not into actually cooking a breakfast that takes more than 10 minutes to prepare. Breakfast for dinner is great, too, but I prefer to have relatively light dinners, with my mid-day meal being the largest. And so: breakfast for lunch.

Continue reading “That stranger he has found, this man could be my chance–”

Bring on the soup dish, bring on the cup–

Last night marked one of the first nights in a while when I was woken up due to pain. That’s a story — originally typoed as “problem”; my fingers have a direct line to my subconscious, apparently — that I should tell at some point. It’s not for tonight, though, as my mental resources are a bit drained from said problem-story. It’s honestly nothing too terrible, and nothing that I couldn’t push through, but the fact is that I don’t have to, so I’m not going to.

What did help my back considerably, actually, was starting off my day with the Week 1 circuit of Jillian Michaels’s Ripped In 30 DVD. Now, I’m in decent shape, but I could only do that 24-minute work-out to about 80% and was about ready to drop at the end of it. In other words: I love it! And as a bonus, it heated me up enough to release the lingering seized-up muscles in my back.

Afterwards, I realized that I would have to do something about lunch.

Left to my own devices, I’m mostly an Iron Chef-style cook — that is, I get ingredients first and then figure out what I’m going to make. Sometimes I get a certain idea or dish into my mind, and I’ll go shopping specifically for that, but usually I build out of what I have, or pick up just one or two things to finish something that I already have most of.

As an example, my journey to reaching today’s lunch was something like:
1. A couple months ago, salmon is on sale at grocery store. Buy some. Freeze.
2. A couple weeks ago, pick up interest in quinoa, so buy some at next trip to the co-op.
3. A couple days ago, go to farmers’ market and buy a cucumber because it looks like a really damn good cucumber.
4. This morning, need to have something for lunch today. Digestive system a bit off due to weather, so don’t want to have soup I bought from farmers’ market, as it is cream-based. Remember salmon, so take out to thaw. Decide to cook up rest of quinoa for carb. Vegetable/fruit? Cucumber! Also, have a few small carrots that have been in fridge for a long time and are on their way out, which is really bad because carrots last fucking forever.
5. This afternoon, cook quinoa, grill salmon and put together the cucumber and shaved carrots with lively but relatively light flavors. Plate and eat.

And the result: grilled salmon with It-would-probably-be-culturally-appropriative-to-actually-call-this-Thai cucumber and shaved carrots over quinoa.

Continue reading “Bring on the soup dish, bring on the cup–”

Remember how the life we share is nothing but a song–

According to this story from The Scientist, Lonesome George, the last of a particular subspecies of giant Galapagos tortoise that inhabited Pinta Island in the Ecuadorian Galapagos, was found dead over this past weekend. His body was discovered by his keeper of 40 years. When Lonesome George was discovered back in 1972, his species was believed to be already extinct. That was not the case then, but it has become so now. By best estimates, Lonesome George was around 100 years old, which is relatively young for his subspecies, which is known to live to 200.

I just find it wonderfully humbling to try to imagine 200 tortoise years.

And the geek in me imagines a Doctor — one with big ears and a leather jacket — finding Lonesome George and having a quiet sit-down, the two of them watching the sunset glowing in the Pacific together. Then many years later, maybe putting on a bow tie and finding his reptilian companion. Just two lonesomes who were very, very young and very, very old.

In the meanwhile, I’m turning into fucking Betty Crocker. The problem with things requiring milk is that I don’t drink milk as a beverage — used to do two or three glasses per day until the lactose intolerance of my infancy came roaring back with a vengeance in my early twenties — and recipes usually require a cup or less, leaving me scrambling to use up as much of the cow juice as I can through cooking before it goes bad. This goes doubly true for buttermilk, because while I’m sure there are people who drink straight buttermilk, I think that they’re probably a much greater minority than regular cowmilk-drinkers.

Anyways, clearly, the solution to this was to make more buttermilk biscuits. I went with a more savory, less dessert-y recipe this time, and it came out pretty well, though I would use less salt next time. Also, the baking temperature/time was a bloody lie, as it called for 325 degrees for 15 minutes, and I had to pump it up to 375 degrees to even approach doneness in something like 30 minutes. It wins points for simplicity, though.

Continue reading “Remember how the life we share is nothing but a song–”

Boy, was I a fool in school for cutting gym–

Today, I cooked quinoa for the first time. I’ve known how to pronounce “quinoa” for a few years now, had eaten it a few times as part of dinners that my mother had prepared, but despite my adventurousness in consuming food, when it comes to cooking it, I’m much more of a novice. Let’s just say that was only about a year ago that I hopped onto the brown rice train, after a long time of believing it to be an unforgivable sacrilege against the honest, respectable white rice that I got with every meal I’d eaten at an Asian restaurant since childhood. I overcame my prejudices, however, and brown rice has become my go-to, save for a few dishes where I feel that the specific type of rice is integral. (Sorry, my oyakodon will always be on white rice.)

But I digress.

This isn’t about brown rice.

This is about quinoa.

I feel like this is a landmark of some sort. Because, I mean… seriously? Quinoa? This is, like, two steps away from veggie smoothies or something. Which I’ve been curious about for a while, now, actually. Even though it seems like such a… well, actor sort of thing.

Continue reading “Boy, was I a fool in school for cutting gym–”

Until I discover or build or uncover a thing that I can call my celebration–

Tonight, I made bread for the first time. It was motivated out of a sequence of frivolity and pragmatism — I wanted to make myself some decent hot chocolate at the turn of the year, so I bought myself some milk, as I don’t keep it around the apartment due to it being generally difficult on my digestive system, but then was stuck on the fact that I really had only wanted one cup of hot chocolate (as I don’t normally indulge in sweet drinks, either) and now had milk that I didn’t want to go bad, so why not make some bread, can’t you put milk in that? — but I think that I might like to continue it out of a sense of ritual and general well-being. It’s not a particularly healthy loaf that I made, what with the whole milk and completely non-whole-grain-etc. regular ol’ white flour, but there was something that just felt good about making bread.

In my continuing re-read of my old journal, I happened upon an entry from early 2004 in which I lamented but defensively resigned myself to my lack of cooking ability. That all changed for me a few years ago, when I got my first job after finishing undergrad. It was personally important to me, I had decided, that I would live what I determined to be a wholesome life for myself, and that included not living off of take-out or pre-packaged food, for reasons financial and nutritional and, for lack of a better word, spiritual. If I was to pursue this new career and, thus, new lifestyle — theatre, stage management — then I would also have to accomplish that.

Accomplish it I did. And only ended up with one wok full of unplanned flames in the process. (Please don’t tell my mother about that.)

Living my life how I damn well please — sometimes something that I have to do in spite of myself — is something that I gradually decided was important to me. I think that the notion has always lived within me, though it went dormant for a number of years. As much as I was the strange and fortunate child who actually enjoyed both junior high and high school, I still went into a sort of chrysalis mode during that time and don’t feel that I really started hatching until a few years ago. And since then, I have developed an interest in consciously shaping my life.

Over this past holidays, I was attending a Boxing Day games night gathering at a friend’s house, and it was mentioned how good it was thought that we could be at reviving a Wildean existence, encouraged by Facebook. After all, it seemed to consist largely of waiting about idly, being an asshole, saying clever things and ruining young men, all of which seem to be activities encouraged by the internet and its current social networking platforms. I’ve been rather tickled by the notion ever since — it’s true, isn’t it? Can you imagine Oscar Wilde being unleashed upon the internet?

Continue reading “Until I discover or build or uncover a thing that I can call my celebration–”