December 21, 2005
Ladies and gentlemen out there,
After a much longer hiatus than ever intended, Ms. Chloe is back to continue this quest.
With the end of the term upon me, there will be some fits and starts, but I am inspired by a couple of blogger-happenings that I intend to get myself involved in.
1. Weekend Cookbook Challenge - I’ve got some ideas to whip something fancy up to join in on this fun monthly event.
2. From my Rasoi - an Indian food challenge which I am VERY excited about. I’m not sure yet what creation I will make and submit, but since this is coming up on December 30th, I’m quite excited.
3. Tales of travel to the deep south.
4. Perhaps some photo display of recent frolicks in the snow.
And so, get ready for the return of the renaissance!
June 4, 2005
Michael Gelb asks: What are the most influential experiences of your life?
He suggests a more structured way of examining them, including making a list and then summarizing them in one sentence. Then, think about how you apply these lessons on an everyday basis.
I think that Mr. Gelb gives experience a short shift. Naturally, I can come up with the quintessential seven or so (as he requests) that read rather like a fifth grade biography project: when my brother was born, when my parents divorced, when took my first acting class, when I went on Outward Bound, when I worked my first job, etc.
Of course, I am coupling experience with events and they are not quite the same thing. But I think there are a number of influential experiences in my life that defy simple compartment. Either they are happy accidents (discovering my interest for the law through a last minute summer job) or experiences that have always been there and always drive me - my love of the ocean and wind, relationships with those I take care of - and those I’ve learned to let take care of me.
I re-discover myself daily with the batch of lessons that I have acquired and collected throughout my short life and certainly have many more to learn and to develop and to cherish. So, I would like to, as I usually do, address this in my own way.
What lessons have I learned today? Over time, my experiences have led me to a certain indulgence when I feel low or tired and this past year, I’ve let myself indulge more frequently than usual. Today, however, when I had a planned shop for necessary items (suddenly, I’m wearing a suit every day and am woefully unprepared), though not dire ones, and was falling into my regular justification, I paused. I took a deep breath and thought about what I was doing and how I was feeling and realized that today was not a day for sympathy shopping. And so here I am, indulging in something I love just as well - creating new dishes from found items in my home - and satisfying the feeling that I am having today.
Living in the moment. It is an incomparable feeling and a lesson or an experience to constantly strive for. I believe that the sum of my most influential experiences fall here under this category. I have learned to make lemonade from my life’s lemons, to celebrate the windfalls, and I’m always striving to listen to myself and take care of what needs nurturing today.
And in the scheme of learning to think like Leonardo, this might be an exceptionally valuable quest. He was curious about everything; he asked questions about everything as it was happening with a fresh eye. Questioning and experiencing and examining are all essential portions of living in the moment. And he, if I may say so, was a master.
tags: Leo, dimostrazione
June 1, 2005
1. To disguise or conceal behind a false appearance. See Synonyms at disguise.
2. To make a false show of; feign.
To disguise or conceal one’s real nature, motives, or feelings behind a false appearance.
According to Wonkette, this was not only a recent word of the day (perhaps W gets credit for trying), but it was also botched seriously by the Commander in Chief. Please note, readers all, that one of the definitions of the above word (something I believe was on the list in middle school or early high school at the latest) does not include “take things apart” as one might attribute to the word - “dissassemble.”
Leo cared greatly about a lexicon of one’s own. And I value mine greatly. But frankly, neither Leo nor myself made up words or ventured to use them without properly looking them up or at least attempting to properly pronounce them.
tags: bushisms, politics, english, words
So, having run astray from my original motivation on this here blog, I am back with the next step of Michael Gelb’s foray into Leo’s expertise.
Dimostrazione. In essence, this is the art of challenging views - both those of others and one’s own. I have a lot to get through here, and it’s definitely the most vulnerable. Also, the least interesting, since the next section “Sensazione” deals with the pleasures of the senses and may be the section upon which I hang this blog’s hat.
But, to get me going and to ensure that I plow through this project that I signed myself up for - here is the Dimostrazione self-assemessment with my comments.
1. I am willing to acknowledge my mistakes. - C: To a fault.
2. My closest friends would agree that I am willing to acknowledge my mistakes. - C: Some would. I know my loving SO gets infuriated when I acknowledge my faults clearly and succinctly. It takes the edge off.
3. I learn from my mistakes and rarely make the same mistakes twice. - C: This is a difficult one. I’ve learned some difficult people mistakes, but I find it harder to learn from my mistakes where only I am concerned (my work habits, lifestyle habits, etc.).
4. I question “conventional wisdom” and authority. - C: again, to a fault.
5. When a celebrity I admire endorses a product, I am more likely to buy it. - C: I’d like to say no. But my love of acupuncuture was affirmed by Kristin Davis and I immediately revisited (though again rejected) the Fat Flush Plan when Jennifer Garner (repeatedly) endorsed it in Self Magazine.
6. I can articulate my most fundamental beliefs and the reasons I hold them. - C: My beliefs are solid. Why do I hold them? I do struggle because I find a lot of my arguments based in emotion. Desperately difficult for a law student. But this I am working on. So I’m halfway there, Leo.
7. I have changed a deeply held belief because of practical experience. - C: I can’t think of one, but this is very “me”. I am much more “qualitative” than “quantitative” and take personal experience seriously.
8. I perserve in the face of obstacles - C: again - one I work on.
9. I view adversity as an opportunity for growth. - C: absolutely.
10. I am sometimes susceptible to superstition. - C: yes. I have to discover how this fits in, but I am supersitious, or at least willing to go along with old fashion superstitions.
11. In considering gnew idea, my friends would say I am…(out of three choices) - this is hard to decide. I would say that they think that I am “gullible and “New-Agey” because I am interested in seeking out old world knowledge and fringe “technologies” particularly in regards to health and wellness. On the other hand, I think my friends would say that I am an “open-minded skeptic” without my input. (The final choice is “closed-minded cynic”).
How about you?
tags: Leonardo da Vinci, dimostrazione, beliefs
May 22, 2005
The Independent is carrying a story about British scientists demanding that the UK lift its ban on sex selection in test tube babies.
Now, I wasn’t a test tube baby, but in the interest of a slippery slope argument, if I had been one, I wouldn’t be born. For the first two years of my life, I was dressed in blue. My mother laments the gorgeous pink dresses that were bought for me and remained in boxes with tags on. Until, as I said, I turned two. It wasn’t the terrible twos that made my father realize that having a little girl wasn’t so bad, however. My brother was born.
So, having made my full disclosure about fear of never having been born, I can’t say that I know how this development makes me feel. I have a vague idea of the order in which I’d like to have my children (I always wanted an older brother and often treat my younger ones like older ones). I am also not entirely unconvinced that I would try old-fashion rhythm method style gender selection techniques.
But IVF is so final. You have embryos and they will become boys or girls and you pick this one or that one. On its face, this doesn’t seem all that detrimental. But that, I believe, is the privileged view of a citizen of the Western world. This could be the spark needed to end Chinese females for all time (or until China realizes that sons will be no longer without mothers to bear them). Genetic testing on these embryos could lead to the sort of genetic engineering that has crippled critics with fear since WWII.
Maybe my suspicions are vague hysteria, but I do believe that with every step towards new technology, the ethics of both the proposed technology and the “next steps” if you will must be critically examined. Ultimately, we must ask: What social benefit does choosing the sex of your IVF embryo serve? I can’t see that it serves a necessary function other than giving couples their dream baby. The risks and floodgates opened may not be worth allowing Jane and Dick to choose their Bobby or Susie.
May 21, 2005
When the internal debate between the hippie in me and the diva in me started raging (coincidentally (?) at the same time I began to enter the pre-teen/teen-age world of knowing everything despite raging hormones indicating otherwise), I gladly justified shaving my legs because *I* liked the result and not because anyone on television or in society told me otherwise.
And I maintain this to this day. If I may quote India. Arie, “…sometimes I shave my legs, and sometimes I don’t.”
On the other hand, this other voice in me likes the result of a lot of things. I’ve recently decided that paying for a pedicure is much better (and perhaps even more frugal considering how long the job lasts and the pleasure I get from peeking at my well painted toes) and may even make a habit of it. As summer approaches, there are all sorts of waxing and tweezing concerns that warrant money.
And stress. How great is it to pay someone else to knead away the stress in my muscles that I didn’t get rid of any other way? Great.
So I find it easy to allow myself these indulgences, since I can justify them as being true to myself. But it all adds up. It is this truth that perhaps might be the most dangerous to balancing my other interests.
If it were as simple as reconciling a diva and a hippie, I could try to move towards an Alicia Silverstone or other celebrity vegan type. But I have goals that require saving my money and putting it towards future events and the elimination of student debt. So it isn’t just a hippie, but a frugalista. A frugalista with expensive tastes that I aspire to be.
So I scheduled the pedicure because I am in the midst of a 48 hour writing competition and darn it - I *deserve* to have my feet rubbed and painted. And there ain’t no waxing like a salon style waxing…so that will get scheduled too. I may have to skimp on the massage, beg the boyfriend for one and bank the cash.
Is that a fair compromise? My toes think so.
May 20, 2005
I don’t think I could look myself in the mirror if I pretended to be able to critique the memoir of Jacques Pepin. I also probably couldn’t wait until I got all the way through to come up with one piece on the many experiences of this fascinating man. And so, I’ve decided to cook my way through the book at Jacque’s direction.
Eggs Jeannette: An original by Jeanne Pepin, Jacque’s formidable mother.
Apart from the tedium of boiling eggs to prepare, this dish is remarkably simple and tastes exactly that way. Though I’m used to more flavor with my eggs (I’m always adding this sauce or that ingredient), the combination of the garlic, herbs, and the crisp brown filling is refreshing and comforting. It is easy to see how this is the Pepin household’s version of sunday gravy or fried green tomatoes. Eggs Jeannette is also an opportunity for adventure - just as there are so many different versions of “deviled” eggs, there could be as many variations on this theme. Adding heat or spice - nutmeg or chilis or different herbs - could yield an equally satisfying treat that is dinner party worthy and not just a perfect family brunch treat.
Recipe as used from the book:
6 Jumbo Eggs (preferably organic)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2-3 tablespoons whole milk (I did cheat and use skim)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2-3 tablespoons leftover stuffing
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
Dash of salt and finely ground black pepper
Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 9 to 10 minutes. Remove eggs to a bowl of ice water and chill for 15 minutes.
Peel the eggs under cold running water.
Split the eggs lengthwise and scoop out the yolks gently. Mix the yolks with the milk, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture back into the hollows of the whites, reserving 2-3 tablespoons for the dressing.
Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Place the stuffed eggs face down and cook for 2-3 minutes, until crispy brown on the open face side.
For the dressing, mix all ingredients together and drizzle on top of the egg halves. Serve lukewarm.
tags: recipes, jacques pepin, books, cooking
May 16, 2005
I found this at the Kinky Librarian…
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next three sentences on your blog, along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it. Just grab what is closest.
Here’s mine: I’m reading The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin.
“He was polite, remembering names and acting attentive and concerned. At the same time, he was stately and imposing in stature and voice, which made it difficult to feel completely at ease in his presence.
Although I took orders from Aunt Yvonne for all private meals, for formal government dinners, I dealt with a State Department protocol officer through an attache to the president.”
I haven’t gotten to page 123 yet - in fact I’m in the first chapter. But Monsieur Pepin is talking about DeGaulle. I plan on working my way through this book on the blog, so we will hear from him again.
tags: books, blogs, blogging, food, jacques pepin
May 12, 2005
So, when I first read in the BBC that we’ve invented robots with the capability of reproducing themselves, I had an immediate freak out flash forward to 2019 where the country is overrun by these near-human robots who just multiply to the point of squashing us all into oblivion. Call it Payback of the Dodo or the Dinosaur. The eternal extinction karma wheel will have finally brought our own human rapid reproduction to roost.
Then, there is a discussion of the implications of creating chimeras or animal-human hybrids.
When did life become a sci-fi novel? When did I start feeling like my childhood already fits into a historical novel?
Tags: science fiction, robots, chimera
May 9, 2005
Well, I’ve got 50 Gmail invites to use up…
Send request to chloe dot critic at gmail dot com.
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