Daily blogging: favorite childhood meal

Skipped a few, heading straight to Day 10. Finals week of my university really did a number on me. My head was pounding like crazy, and I had a bruise on my shin for some reason . . . but it is Saturday, it is Summer, and I am savoring every moment.

A favorite meal from my childhood….

RICE WITH RAW EGGS.

Seriously, it’s amazing. Worth trying in small quantities.

Don’t give me that judging look. All the pre-meds (and actual doctors), don’t start on your dissertation on the health complications of raw food.

Cracking open a raw egg into a bowl of rice, mixing it with a pinch of table salt, and swirling it into a gooey, yellow, chewy bowl of goodness. That is where childhood lies, my friends…

My mom used to make it for me sometimes. Only when there was nothing left in the fridge on Saturday afternoons, mind you (we went grocery shopping on Sundays), but I still remember it as a distinctive flavor in my early memories.

She stopped making it for me sometime when I entered Junior High. I actually forgot about it for a while, until one day I was making fried eggs for myself and an inkling came to me: this raw egg looks kind of good.

Then it hit me: it is good! I’ve had it before!

I asked my mom a few days later why the raw eggs mixture never made it onto the table anymore (the fried eggs were delicious, by the way, though slightly burnt. My cooking skills are a bit . . . I’ll stop right there). Here is the reply she gave me:

“Isn’t it a bit gross now?”

I stood amazed.

Why would it be gross? Sure, I probably couldn’t stomach it in extra large soup bowls, especially right after a bumpy car ride, but I would still appreciate it as a light snack now and then.

So I guess, tomorrow’s afternoon tea menu has been decided.

P.S. not that we actually have afternoon tea. That would be awesome! But no, we do not live in Britain and my love for tea has not developed into a regular schedule yet. But soon. Soon. 

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Daily Blogging: Freewrite on Music

(Here goes a highly self-centered, totally pointless post that is not quite coherent. I would appreciate if everyone did NOT take this as a representation of my writing style)

Headphones look cool. Whenever I pass by someone in school with headphones, either hanging from their necks or plugging up their ears, I just feel that their coolness factor goes up by 10 points. It’s a spiffy little accessory. It signifies hipness, a sense of aloofness from the rest of the world because it represents the power to cut off others from your awareness at any time, simply by putting them on and turning up the track.

My roommate has a pair of neon green and grey headphones, cushioned around the earmuff portion of it (what is that called again?), giving off a splendidly clear, insulated performance of the songs on her playlist. I always want to ask her if I can borrow it, just one day, so I can simply go around wearing it as decoration. But I don’t. Because in every sense of the word, that device is useless to me. This for the obvious reason that I don’t listen to music.

When do people listen to music? 

When they take a jog around the block, or they’re studying at home, when they’re simply relaxing or reading or cooking or cleaning. I think people often listen to music in the shower as well. 

And why do they listen to music during these times?

Because it’s fun, I guess, or it distracts them from the monotony of the task at hand, or on the opposite hand it helps them focus on what they need to get done . . .

I honestly can’t tell you, though everyone seems to have their own personla philosophy on why they listen to the music they do. I am the only college student I know who never really listens to music, whether it’s during school or at home, or anywhere really. I just don’t find any merit in it. It only distracts me from the studies I need to get done. And when I have free time…why should I listen to music? I could be doing something more productive, substantive.

Actually, music itself doesn’t interest me at all…I tried several times to get myself interested. Really, I did. I went on Pandora, downloaded Spotify, spent some time on Youtube…but all for naught. I can never find an artist or song that particularly pulls at me. I’ll thnk a song is good, yeah, but I don’t feel the need to pursue the matter further. 

I think the ones I appreciated the most were the songs that had very unique, well-crafted lyrics or an epic storyline in the original music video. So I think music isn’t my thing. It needs plot – a good plot – and an artistic, sophisticated finesse that can rarely be found in music lyrics today. Classical music is a bit better, but I don’t actively seek it out. The songs that tug on my heartstrings the most (if at all) are probably those from movies, TV shows, dramas, animes….things I have heard in relation to a story and really stuck, gaining meaning as a secondary source from the primary plot-driven element of the work.

What is a song?

A performed poem that often revolves around a theme or idea rather than a story.

Give me a book over a CD any day.

Daily Blogging: A Room Without Wi-Fi

Where I want to be, right here, right now. . . . instead of doing what I’m doing right here, right now.

It’s a room like any other. White plastered walls, soft carpet the color of ocean water in the tropical hemispheres, just bordering in green hues. A window with wooden lattices, with a view of a bare nameless tree, caught in the aftermath of a snowstorm. Coating the window panes are flecks of snow and icy sheets. The sky outside is grey, but here where I sit on my beanie cushion it is comfortable, warm, cozy.

A cup of earl grey tea sits steaming on my bedstand.

I reach over to take a sip, then put it down and turn on the lamp right next to it—it’s getting a bit dark in here. I flip a page in my book (maybe I’m reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, or re-reading the Harry Potter series just for the heck of it. I don’t really know) and read on. Maybe in half-an-hour I’ll get up and flop down on my bed instead, to continue reading in a lop-sided position with my pillow somewhere underneath my body. Or I’ll go sit at the desk, and spin myself around and around on my swivel chair. Or maybe I’ll head to the large, mahogany bookshelf at the far side of the room, standing facing all the other pieces of furniture here, and browse for another book.

Titles that are gold-embossed as well as cheaply printed from Penguins Press line up in alphabetical order. They’re waiting to be read, and I’ll read all of them before the sun goes down, because there’s nothing else to do in here.

My laptop sits dead on my desk, lifeless without a router to connect it to the rest of the world outside. My phone has been abandoned on my bed; I don’t even pick it up. Wi-fi can’t reach up here, neither can 4G, so I’ll just sit in my room and read all day, enjoying the solitude that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth . . . at least, not around LA.

Complete silence. No vibrations, ringtones, Facebook notifications. No calls, text messages, or voicemails. No websites to browse, no posts to make, no accounts to check. I sit in suspension, isolated, and enjoy every minute of the peace that hangs in the silent air.

Daily Blogging: Patron Saints

The idea of “patron saints” probably dates back to medieval times, when local superstitions, icons, and venerated “holy men” frequently got mixed up with the Catholic church’s doctrines.

There is one Patron Saint legend in particular, which I remember hearing about when I was in middle school. A lord of a castle owned a dog who was very loyal to him, and the lord cared for the dog very much. But soon, the lord had his first baby boy and the dog began to be neglected by its owner. One day, the lord went off to a neighboring town and left the dog and the baby alone, and while he was gone, a wolf got into the room where the baby’s crib was (do not ask me how a wolf got in there. Or it might have been a large rat. In any case, it was big and dangerous). The dog valiantly fought off the beast and managed to kill it, but when the owner came back, all he saw was blood all over the room (and splattered over the crib) and the dog’s muzzle bloody.

Well, as you can imagine, the lord immediately assumed the worst, accused the dog of killing his son, and promptly had the dog thrown into a nearby well. But just moments later, the baby woke up and started crying. Everyone realized the mistake they had made, but alas, it was too late…the dog had drowned to death.

But not to worry. The locals venerated the dog as a saint and the St. Bernard (or some such breed, as I recall) became the official Patron Saint of Small Children, forever remembered for its bravery…

I remember thinking, what?

First off, a dog became a patron saint. Am I the only one who feels there is something wrong about praying to a dead dog for the safety of your children?

Secondly, I feel sorry for the poor animal. He was drowned by his beloved owner after being falsely accused of killing his child, and now he is suddenly the patron saint for children – if you think about it, a child was the reason he got drowned in the first place. If a dog could reason, would he want to be the protector of the beings that caused his death?

Patron Saints have never been a Biblical concept – there is no mention of the doctrine of how to anoint patron saints, nor are there instructions on what kinds of people can be considered a saint after they die. The concept is based more in local folk tales, myths, and superstitions. The belief in the power of certain items of “holy men” who had died, or the power of their dead bodies to heal the sick…such and such things. Not to say I’m condemning those who created patron saints; not at all. Back then, I’m sure the people needed some source of hope or reassurance that miracles still existed. The tangible proof of divine powers through the existence of saints might have been enormously comforting to starving peasants with little agency over their lives.

But today, though there are still many, many people impoverished in this world, I believe it’s time we taught a more accurate portrayal of saints. They were holy men, yes, because they pursued a God who is holy. But that did not give them the exclusive power to intercede on behalf of the common people to God, nor did it imbue their belongings with the magical power to heal people, even after their deaths. Saints were certainly NOT meant to be dogs that showed an act of bravery . . . imagine Lassie becoming a Saint. Who in this day and age would think that’s a feasible idea?

No, saints were meant to be examples of men who follow God, rather than venerated by their followers. They are men who point to God, not men whose icons get pointed at. There is only one saint who was the holiest of them all: Jesus Christ. And He is no patron saint of this or that concept. He is THE one true saint, the saint, priest, and savior who indeed, has the authority to intercede in front of God for our wrongdoings. And no other mortal man deserves the same worship as He does.