Sunday, March 13, 2011


today was a stay at home and studying kind of day.

i do try to dedicate time to just immerse myself in something that is not related to current work projects....whether it be food related (food science, making something new, research, or reading random things like gabrielle hamilton's memoir....which was very interesting btw), photography/design-related, or something that is just "brain food". today it was more in the "brain food" category. i fully realized when i was a wee youngun that it is my responsibility to ensure that the foodie hunter's synapses are kept afire and that i learned a long time ago that for me... traditional schools are not the place for me to do that. yet, i also knew ....even as a youngun....getting through traditional schools was a necessity for my overall plan towards financial independence. good grades for an undergraduate degree from traditional schools are benchmarks that strangers use to evaluate your potential ability to complete certain tasks and are necessary if you plan to pursue white-collar jobs that are not purely technology driven.

i have a feeling that i'm going to have to have this kind frank talk with one of my godkids in a few years....maybe even both of them actually.

anyway, i woke up pretty early and made myself a rather random soup that began with kale and cabbage from dirty girl and carrots from star route farms. as i was looking at the pot, i just kind of let whatever i was feeling take it from there.

over the next 15 minutes or so, i ended up adding nuoc mam, soy, green curry paste, a vietnamese shrimp paste, some garlic chili paste....tasting along the way....each amount of each ingredient depending on the taste of that moment and finished it up with an egg from marin sun farms.

while that was simmering, i also cooked some mung bean noodles....

again, random. no preset plan. just taking it a moment at a time. thinking quite a bit of how random but precious life is. how simple being in my kitchen...making a good thing.

i haven't been writing about it but it doesn't mean that i haven't been following the heart breaking stories and pictures from japan. perhaps it is because having been born in the city and grown up in the bay area, there is this mindset of having become accustomed to earthquakes....but there is always this fear that when it is happening...whether it will be the "big one". so when i see the pictures and read the stories of that extraordinarly huge earthquake and the makes me tear up just thinking about it. i stopped looking at videos with "news" commentary....especially when there was video in particular that was speaking quite nonchalant about the live pictures of the tsuanmi....and i could see cars trying to out drive the waves. all i could think about was how terrified those people must be in those vehicles. how those people are someone's loves, friends, or family. how given the speed of the was very unlikely that those people were able to drive to safety.

i was extremely irritated at the "news" people who were obviously thrilled at getting the opportunity to cover the story.....and perhaps, lost sight of the content of the story itself. it made me remember that there is an art and craft to observing and storytelling....and the people's voices i heard that were an overlay of those initial videos were the worst sort representation of their profession....a joke. there are so many ways to convey information and these people were acting like they were talking about a theme park attraction. then again, it has been a long time since i "watched' the news from typical "news" affiliates, so i don't know if this is the norm.

if it is, that is quite unfortunate.

after that, i listed to the radio broadcasts on the AM channel, read through whatever popped up on the nytimes, AP news wire, and reviewed collection of still photographs from various sources.

it took me a while to solidify
(a couple of days actually...considering all of this started going down on thursday PST) and be able to verbalize this. once i finished reading garry willis' "outside looking in" over some toasty chunks of acme baguette generously buttered (strauss) and sugared, things finally crystallized.

sometimes one does not need to read something that is directly related to inspire thought and conclusions. it was one of the only things my honors thesis adviser taught me. anyway, the me...seem like vignettes....with observations that convey a balance of emotional and intellectual depth. i may not have agreed or "bought into" all of his observations but i was definitely open to "listening" to him rather than tuning him out.....unlike some of the "news anchors" i came across with the tragedies that are still happening in japan. i suppose it comes down to how "i don't suffer fools". yet, i shouldn't lose sight of the bigger and much more important picture....and that is there are heartbreaking things happening in japan right now. absolutely and completely heartbreaking.

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