February 25, 2012

Lent

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:25 pm by changisme

Fast for the Feast.
Feeling faint?
Forty fish,
furry ‘n fat.
Feast freakin’ fast.

*burp* <- Jon Reiter style.

February 12, 2012

How I stopped talking about god…

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:16 pm by changisme

Jeremy Lin has recently come under the spotlight in the NBA. I have listened to an interview of him. He’s quite laid back in the most part, and he talks about God in every other sentence, really reminds me of the Chinese church I used to go to. It really made me realize, I don’t really talk about God with anyone anymore.

First, to be clear, I am one who love talking about God and gods. Talking under a certain religious framework is like talking about math: if we abide by such and such axioms, what would be a logical and beautiful theory. What of currently held true is actually inconsistent, and what symmetry or parallel can we see from theory A with theory B. What symbolism or pattern is most representative of what concept. It goes on and on. There is so much fun in talking about god!

I had three friends who used to engage in these kind of conversations with me. We don’t really discuss whether the axioms were true, because if they were axioms, they cannot be proven. Having said that, it’s not that we always held onto one set of axioms, we did experiment with others, but I was not very knowledgeable, then and now, so we did mostly adhere to Christianity, occasionally making observations about others.

Then when did I stop? Why did I stop? Those friends I mostly interacted when I was in undergraduate, and then I moved away, and the only two kinds of people around me who were enthusiastic about talking god, either (a) use cliches by the bucket load, like Jeremy Lin in his interview, or (b) talk about stupid Christians are.

First let’s talk about type A. These people I have always been quite familiar with. They are not usually fundamentalists or even political enthusiasts. Their discussions or answers just all seem to have come out of either a cookbook or a FAQ. Phrases lose their meaning when we use them too much, or rather, we stop contemplating their meaning. For example, what does it mean when they say, all they want is to serve God? I don’t really mean a discussion like that from a youth group or a self help book. These things just focus on finding out what I should do in my daily life in order to be a good girl. Rather, I would want to talk about, how do humans understand serving a higher being throughout history; how is it that we humans can still entertain the idea of servitude when supposedly non-ritualistic religious system. There are many words and phrases people just throw around so much, I am bored, so very bored, of hearing them from anybody by this point. So, I stopped talking about god with type A.

Type B people were those who are more socially progressive, and have seen a lot of the injustices political religious groups have done to the world. I understand and support a lot of what they believe. On the other hand, their speech get old quite quickly. Also quite ironically, they are the same people who rightfully advocate against islamaphobia based on minority fundamentalism. I don’t actively fight against these people’s behavior, because afterall Christians in this country are not so much of a minority and are not victims of racism, as are the Muslims. Yet still, sometimes what they do is contrary to their own logic. Ultimately, Repeating the same point become tiresome.

I am certainly not the only person with some religious interest around, but many, like me, are silenced because we no longer have a community. I have also lost the will and habit to read about the matter, because there is just something special about seeing someone face to face and talk about interesting things like this. It is different and complimentary to reading on my own, and so much better than arguing with faceless people on internet forums.

February 10, 2012

Fear grows in retrospect

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:04 pm by changisme

Recently a friend asked me to go skiing. What’s interesting, and sad, was that I had a surge of fear rising within me as soon as I realized I could easily go skiing again at will. I never actually had any bad accidents downhill skiing before, and never even went on really dangerous slopes, only the small close calls everyone gets once in awhile. It’s probably just that it’s been so long since I last skied downhill, three years maybe? So I guess the fear has little to do with my dull skiing history, more to do with my pitiful psychology and the long gap in time.

When I most loved it, I went on Wednesday nights for the cheap lift tickets, and had no fear of the speed. Honest to god, I probably could barely see what’s on the slope. Even though the lights were bright, I’m not one with the best eyesight, especially with ski goggles on. A year later, I would realize that it was dangerous, I came so close to crash into something and breaking my arms, legs or even neck. Two years later, I would need even more courage to go just once or twice for a small vacation trip. As time passes by, I don’t even want to go anymore. Probably once I’m on the slope, I will get over it again, but the feeling I get just sitting here and thinking is quite paralyzing.

Sometimes, what it takes is just not to think at all. Then again… what if I really break my leg, it’s gonna be sooo painful… eeek, DON’T THINK KAREN, don’t think…

February 7, 2012

Airplane food

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:28 pm by changisme

I have long complained about airplane food, and no one really disagree with me, so I’m not going to elaborate on how much it sucks. What I really want to say is that, airplane food really doesn’t have to suck if they had chosen the types of dishes.

First a disclaimer, I have little experience with foods other than nuts and cookies from Western airlines. The only one I have experienced is Air Canada. I have, however, eaten many meals on long haul Asian airlines, which are commonly acknowledged as having better food. 

First of all, an airplane kitchen is usually just a series of ovens. Since there is no chef in the air, dishes do have to be precooked and maybe later heated. Therefore, all the dishes in the air should be those that taste just as good, or even better, as leftovers. 

In both Chinese and Western cuisine, we have such food items in abundance. In contrast, some dishes are better served fresh and horrible if reheated in the oven. For example, one of the dishes I was served in my most recent flight was stirfry pork strips with bak choy. Not only was the pork no longer fresh, but also lost the texture of a fresh stirfry. The greens were too soft and felt like baby food. Instead, they could serve their pork in chunks and stewed, such as 红烧肉 or 梅菜扣肉, both still pork dish and still cheap. These dishes are known for tasting better as leftovers. Similarly, instead of grilled chicken, they could served curried chicken. I understand some people prefer foods that don’t taste too strongly on the plane, but personally, if my stomach would turn during a flight, mush-like food isn’t going to make me feel less likely to throw up.

Starchy food should also be chosen with care. Asian noodles should never be boiled and reheated later. If it’s Italian pasta in a casserole, maybe… and it’s a big maybe, because I personally don’t like spagetti reheated, but if you have to, heat them without the aluminum cover used in airplane main courses. Many thing with tomato sauce and cheese reheat quite well in an oven, such as pizza.

Desert in the air is another big mystery for me. Recently, I was served “cake” several times. They were stale and dense, and icing cracked like an old man’s face. I would much rather just have a piece of chocolate, maybe with liquor filling (pretty please)? Or, I could take a scoop of ice cream? None of them require that much skill compare to a cake!

For breakfast, the Asian airlines just serve regular food, so I won’t make more comments about them. For Air Canada, they served eggs and hash browns. I’m not one to pick on Western breakfast, as I don’t eat much of them, but wouldn’t sausages or oatmeal or yogurt be better for reheating?

Airplane food can be improved without increase the cost, I just hope someone on the job would have the motivation to do so.