gambitch - now available in blue Our constant efforts to reinvent ourselves reveal how much we fear our own images.
Friday, May 04, 2007
I was visiting a special friend's blog I have not visited for a very long time - so long that I wonder whether that friend still remembers me. Anyway, I chanced upon this blogquiz as a result, and I decided to go take it.
Yeah, I know, kinda odd.
But here's the result:
The Five Love Languages
My primary love language is probably Quality Time with a secondary love language being Physical Touch.
Complete set of results
Words of Affirmation:
Acts of Service:
Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don't understand our partner's requirements, or even our own. We all have a "love tank" that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.
I have stopped hearing my heart pounding at a hundred decibels maybe louder deafeningly louder
Those palpitations forceful and furious like a prisoner locked firmly inside the isolation cell with one door no window and too much to let out
Every beat a painful outcry of tearful anger and thoughtless desperation the sad inheritance of a previous life when everything was painted in shades of razor-sharp red seductive blue and white so fluorescent as to mercilessly blind
No I don't feel my heart bungeeing back and forth anymore
It has learnt that it needs to beat differently and so it tries as the guiding hands teach it
Teach it how to hum steadily and slowly without effort without agitation like the leaf resting perfectly upon the lake deep in the woods
A drop of rain sends a ripple no more no abrupt tsunami that swallows itself up but a simple comforting nod
The door is open and the walls they contain but do not trap
Your fingertips are like crayons and where they touch me they leave behind marks of milky sweet pastel airbrushed by every breath you smilingly exhale gambitch [
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The other day, I was reading this story on BBC about Italian food as served overseas. It actually made for some pretty fun reading, because even though I'm no expert in food, it's interesting for me to see how countries with great traditions in cooking feel about their cuisine gaining an international audience, from Thai tom yam to French escargots, right through Indian curry and Japanese sashimi.
But apparently the article I've read doesn't have good things to say about Italian cuisine as served outside Italy itself.
My own experience with Italian food is briefer than brief, and largely through the introductions of non-Italians like Jamie Oliver. Jamie captures it interestingly when he introduces the difference between handmade and machine-made pastas. There's no better or worse, because the two just work differently. Also, of course, the whole thing about different pastas going with different sauces. While I have hardly learnt much - and I'm not experimenting enough with pasta lately - I've to say he has plenty of nice things to say about the way Italians back in Italy are so sensitive when it comes to choosing ingredients.
These are good traditions, and it's definitely a shame to see they aren't being replicated enough once the restaurants move outside of Italy. When I floated the argument across to a few other people with whom I had been conducting a relevant discussion, a few of them reflected a certain hint of displeasure at what they thought was snobbish Italian behaviour. No, it's not about being snobbishly arrogant about having to keep to the Italian tradition. Substitute French or Indian or Chinese for Italian, and you get the same thing. It's like trying to claim chop suey as sold in America as actual Chinese food, when there's a strong chance it isn't.
Which brings me to a scene I remember from Rush Hour, when Jackie Chan got some Chinese takeaway food placed in some small squarish container. I think he got some oily rice thing with some really bizarre meat, like salamander or eel or something, and then the movie tried to pass this off as Chinese food. Now, I've not eaten the full range of different Chinese foods, but I'm pretty sure this weird thing is not regular Chinese takeaway. It's just some really baffling attempt at trying to show Chinese food as weird stuff to the Americans.
Or, for that matter, take the way most people know only one Korean food, and that's kimchi. Kimchi is not everything, lest anyone wonders. Dae Jang-Geum should have been sufficient evidence to prove that statement, but if the point really has to be made, go watch those food shows they like to make, and you'll see things like various soups, hotpot or not-so-hotpot, or like cold noodles, or a whole bunch of other stuff.
But enough digression there. The point really is that Italians know their own cooking traditions better than anyone else, just as the Chinese probably know their own cooking traditions better than anyone else. When Italians are fussy about making their food just like they would back home, that's simply sticking to those traditions. It's good if they shop for ingredients more internationally and discover other interesting things they don't find in Italy, but sticking to Italian traditions is fine.
Of course, there's also a certain school of thought that argues that some small amount of adjustment to factor in local tastes and their lack of awareness of Italian cuisine may be necessary. That's valid. But trying too hard to make Italian food more, say, American or Thai just so as to placate local taste buds is really screwing things around. I will never forget that statement about how meatballs, a common item to go with pasta in Italian restaurants in America, are not truly part of the Italian tradition. Yet lots of people in America apparently think otherwise.
Or to point to a more interesting example, how would the Japanese respond to the idea of making sushi using American or European rice, which have totally different grain properties to Japanese rice?
Granted, the discovery that 200 out of 320 British Italian restaurants are poor comes across as relatively shocking, but that's only an indication of the perfectionistic inclinations of the reviewer, and I don't think that's a bad thing. It's good to know where most of these restaurants stand, and it's good to have this exercise wake them up into wanting to strive to improve.
Trying to Anglicize or Americanize Italian restaurants is just dumb, unless the whole label of fusion cuisine was put forward in the first place. And since it probably wasn't, I say keep tradition at the very spine and respect the true spirit of Italian cuisine, done the Italian way. gambitch [
Monday, April 30, 2007
Oh. My. God.
This is not the way it's about to end, is it? I mean, seriously, Oswald and Danny eliminated in the second last leg of The Amazing Race: All Stars, where the teams were already brought onto American soil? This cannot be, can it?
And yet, it is.
I mean, seriously, bringing the teams to Guam, which is basically an entire Pacific island that's made up of an American military base, is not quite the way to have the teams decide who will make the cut for the Final Three. Have they really run out of places to visit in the Pacific? Even the British Virgin Islands would work for me, because, well, they're British! Or is this a matter of not having the budget?
And of course it doesn't get any worse than to have Danny and Oswald, who until recently were the epitome of cool, relaxed fun on the show, bow out as they fall to the curse of the dreaded fourth place. I really liked these guys, they were great to look at on television, and they put lots of things in perspective, more than certain other selfish-looking idiots. Yes, I'm looking at you, Mirna.
Anyway, Danny and Oswald. They made a fair fight of it, to be fair. They were great to watch, especially the way they raced their way onto the plane to Guam from Tokyo. Everybody thought the duo wouldn't make it, but they did. And that gave me hope, because they caught up to the other three teams for an even start in Guam.
The two teams get to go to the Detour soon enough. Mostly it's choosing between cleaning a combat plane engine, and packing a whole bunch of goods for a mock humanitarian aid exercise. Washing planes is a tough exercise, and the soldiers are certainly sticklers for detail. But the teams do pretty decently at it, for the most part.
I'm not so sure about Mirna and her attempts to pack goods for humanitarian aid. Oh, Charla was involved in it as well, but then she likes to help people. Mirna, on the other hand, just likes to get ahead super-fast, kinda forgetting the detail that these are humanitarian aid goods. The supervising officer even has to tell her to show some love by being careful with how she places her goods into the cargo box. "Don't just throw it like it's garbage." I like that!
The Roadblock was alright, I guess, especially watching Danielle panic over how to search for the damned training instructor. As well as seeing Charla just mess it all up the way she keeps jamming those buttons on her handheld GPS unit. I guess I could do a better job than this.
Dustin finds her spot first! Great for her! It's then a bit of a mess, but then eventually Danielle contrives to succeed after breaking down and coming close to finishing dead last on the back of this Roadblock alone. She's done okay, I suppose. It's just her race partner and purported boyfriend I'm not so impressed with.
Anyway, Charla just edges Oswald in the race for the helicopter ride that will see them reunite with their partners and reach the Pitstop. Not much to say about that, I guess, which is also kinda true of the entire episode. Seriously, this one lacked the kick and bite. And with teams like these, it's quite clear who I'd like to see win it.
Will they? Stay tuned. Or maybe not. gambitch [
Sunday, April 29, 2007
I haven't paid Ian McG a proper visit in the longest time, and I happened to decide to do so today. And it has been a delight to go back and have a read.
On the VTech shooting (and the less-publicized NASA shooting), he had this to say, which I reckon was pretty much commonsense enough. But it's just the fun way in which the point is put across that makes Ian such an enjoyable read.
Take this paragraph for instance:
But these calls to tone down access to these videos overlook one small thing: no one insane enough to mow down their classmates with semiautomatic weapons needs any outside motivation! Something that drastic comes from a lifetime of taunting, teasing, frustration, extreme personal depression and other factors, possibly combined with severe mental illness and substance abuse. Once those common factors run uncommonly deep, nothing else matters. That's precisely why it happens among loners--because the driving forces emanate from within, with little intervention to temper these urges. YouTube has very little to do with it!
I could share my opinions on what Ian's been writing about lately, but really, I think it's much better for me to just direct you to reading Ian's blog. gambitch [