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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Experimenting with Lentils

I made this lentil patty out of orange lentils, which are naturally mushy, shallot and garlic.
I fried it lightly, and to my surprise it sort of kept together.
I didn't want to add anything else really to make it stay cohesive.
I... I... I....

So then, I put baked this catfish that was at the market today and put it on top of the kale and the lentils, and poured this sauce I made with loads of coriander, Geeta's tamarind chutney, and a tiny bit of plain yogurt and then almond milk to dilute it.

It was yamiii!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cellulite Soup

steamed cauliflower
steamed and sautéed fennel
red onion
sautéed garlic
raw and sautéed shallot

topped with olive oil, pepper, salt, creme fraiche, more dill
lemon slice at the bottom of the bowl

Friar Lawrence Just Became A Shakespeare Fave

"almighty is the powerful grace that lies
in plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities,
for naught so vile that on the earth doth live
but to the earth some special good doth give."

(romeo + juliet, 1997)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

On Voluntary Servitude

Highlights from Part I of Etienne De La Boetie's "On Voluntary Servitude":

"A longing common to both the wise and the foolish, to brave men and to cowards, is this longing for all those things which, when acquired, would make them happy and contented. Yet one element appears to be lacking. I do not know how it happens that nature fails to place within the hearts of men a burning desire for liberty, a blessing so great and so desirable that when it is lost all evils follow thereafter, and even the blessings that remain lose taste and savor because of their corruption by servitude. Liberty is the only joy upon which men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would receive it. Apparently they refuse this wonderful privilege because it is so easily acquired..."

... From Part II:

"Similarly men will grow accustomed to the idea that they have always been in subjection, that their fathers lived in the same way; they will think they are obliged to suffer this evil, and will persuade themselves by example and imitation of others, finally investing those who order them around with proprietary rights, based on the idea that it has always been that way."

This shows how those born into a life of privilege suffer from the same condition as "the common man":

"There are always a few, better endowed than others, who feel the weight of the yoke and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off: these are the men who never become tamed under subjection and who always.. cannot prevent themselves from peering about for their natural privileges and from remembering their ancestors and their former ways."

I like to call the end of this part 'Obama, Netanyahu and Bush':

"He who has received the state from the people, however, ought to be, it seems to me, more bearable and would be so, I think, were it not for the fact that as soon as he sees himself higher than the others, flattered by that quality which we call grandeur, he plans never to relinquish his position............... For although the means of coming into power differ, still the method of ruling is practically the same; those wh

o are elected act as if they were breaking in bullocks; those who are conquerors make the people their prey; those who are heirs plan to treat them as if they were their natural slaves."

Part III highlight:

"Even men of character — if it sometimes happens that a tyrant likes such a man well enough to hold him in his good graces, because in him shine forth the virtue and integrity that inspire a certain reverence even in the most depraved — even men of character, I say, could not long avoid succumbing to the common malady and would early experience the effects of tyranny at their own expense. A Seneca, a Burrus, a Thrasea, this triumvirate [46] of splendid men, will provide a sufficient reminder of such misfortune. Two of them were close to the tyrant by the fatal responsibility of holding in their hands the management of his affairs, and both were esteemed and beloved by him. One of them, moreover, had a peculiar claim upon his friendship, having instructed his master as a child. Yet these three by their cruel death give sufficient evidence of how little faith one can place in the friendship of an evil ruler. Indeed what friendship may be expected from one whose heart is bitter enough to hate even his own people, who do naught else but obey him? It is because he does not know how to love that he ultimately impoverishes his own spirit and destroys his own empire."

And this brilliance.  Take it as you will:

"Quite generally known is the striking phrase of that other tyrant who, gazing at the throat of his wife, a woman he dearly loved and without whom it seemed he could not live, caressed her with this charming comment: "This lovely throat would be cut at once if I but gave the order." [50] That is why the majority of the dictators of former days were commonly slain by their closest favorites who, observing the nature of tyranny, could not be so confident of the whim of the tyrant as they were distrustful of his power. Thus was Domitian [51] killed by Stephen, Commodus by one of his mistresses,[52] Antoninus by Macrinus,[53] and practically all the others in similar violent fashion. The fact is that the tyrant is never truly loved, nor does he love. Friendship is a sacred word, a holy thing; it is never developed except between persons of character, and never takes root except through mutual respect; it flourishes not so much by kindnesses as by sincerity. What makes one friend sure of another is the knowledge of his integrity: as guarantees he has his friend's fine nature, his honor, and his constancy. There can be no friendship where there is cruelty, where there is disloyalty, where there is injustice. And in places where the wicked gather there is conspiracy only, not companionship: these have no affection for one another; fear alone holds them together; they are not friends, they are merely accomplices."

And finally, the strange religious twist at the end... Perhaps to mitigate the incendiary nature of his essay:

"Let us therefore learn while there is yet time, let us learn to do good. Let us raise our eyes to Heaven for the sake of our honor, for the very love of virtue, or, to speak wisely, for the love and praise of God Almighty, who is the infallible witness of our deeds and the just judge of our faults. As for me, I truly believe I am right, since there is nothing so contrary to a generous and loving God as dictatorship — I believe He has reserved, in a separate spot in Hell, some very special punishment for tyrants and their accomplices."

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Mercedes 300SL

It's the weirdest thing.  Never been into cars, but I absolutely fell for this car while watching Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows.  
In the film, the cars serve as important, supporting characters themselves, and this one stole the show.
I think it's a sign that my inner-materialism, and by extension my acceptance of it, is starting to surface more with age.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I says to her, I says...

My friend keeps slicing her thumb in the kitchen. 
I says to her, I says, this is getting out of hand. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Daily Shake

This was my reason to get out of bed early this morning.

My sweet Bun advised a brilliant solution to ice cream which is basically blended frozen banana slices, which create a creamy banana ice cream that doesn't need any extras.  I took her advice and sliced up three bananas upon arriving home from Whole Foods on Friday.  To my benefit, I've realized previously frozen bananas are a brilliant thing to have for handy shake ingredients as well, and also- they last longer! No more rotten banana bunches.

To this shake, I've added said banana slices, peanut butter, chia seeds, cacao, loads of cinnamon, yogurt, walnuts, 1 tiny scoop of Talenti double dark chocolate ice cream, almonds and I topped with fresh ground cinnamon, espresso, cacao nib and chia seed. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Tennessee Williams on Writing

"I believe the way to write a good play is to convince yourself it is easy to do--then go ahead and do it with ease. Don't maul, don't suffer, don't groan till the first draft is finished. A play is a pheonix and it dies a thousand deaths. Usually at night. In the morning it springs up again from its ashes and crows like a happy rooster. It is never as bad as you think, it is never as good. It is somewhere in between, and success or failure depends on which end of your emotional gamut concerning its value it approaches more closely. But it is much more likely to be good if you think it is wonderful while you are writing the first draft. An artist must believe in himself. Your belief is contagious. Others may say he is vain, but they are affected." 

- Tennessee Williams

Ego, The Group, Jouissance & Horror

Notes to remember from all over the place...

... From Sigmund Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego:

'We see, then, that the disappearance of the conscious personality, the predominance of the unconscious personality, the turning by means of suggestion and contagion of feelings and ideas in an identical direction, the tendency to immediately transform the suggested ideas into acts; these, we see, are the principal characteristics of the individual forming part of a group. He is no longer himself, but has become an automaton who has ceased to be guided by his will.  (Ibid, 35)'

I have quoted this passage so fully in order to make it quite clear that Le Bon explains the condition of an individual in a group as being actually hypnotic, and does not merely make a comparison between the two states.

From Juliet Flower MacCannell's essay Inject the Hellenic in Berfrois.

The globalized imperative to “enjoy” what is already accumulated, already at hand, is precisely what blocks desire: we want want, we lack lack, we can no longer desire. As such, we cannot therefore have any possible relation — desiring, analytic, knowledgeable, and yes, even unconscious — to our own jouissance.

Samantha Pentony on Julia Kristeva on jouissance and horror:

We are both drawn to and repelled by the abject; nausea is a biological recognition of it, and fear and adrenalin also acknowledge its presence. These are the feelings that we recall from prior to separation from the mother. Kristeva describes one aspect of the abject as 'jouissance' which is a sensation akin to joyousness. She says that it is because of this sensation that "One thus understands why so many victims of the abject are its fascinated victims - if not its submissive and willing ones." Thus we can deduce from Kristeva's essay that the main point of her theory of abjection is that "The abject is perverse because it neither gives up nor assumes a prohibition, a rule, or law; but turns them aside, misleads, corrupts; uses them, takes advantage of them, the better to deny them." Consequently it is a manipulator, and as such subverts boundaries, laws, and conventions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shake It Up

Best buns in town mean 7 am wake ups so you can show up at their hotel and surprise them with homemade shakes!
Oatmeal- yogurt- date- apple- pistachio- cashew- almond milk- cacao nibs- cinnamon shakes.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Word of the Day: Numen

Numen, pl. numina, ("an influence perceptible by mind but not by senses,"[citation needed]) is aLatin term for a potential,[clarification needed] guiding the course of events in a particular place or in the whole world, used in Roman philosophical and religious thought. The many names forItalic gods may obscure this sense of a numinous presence in all the seemingly mundane actions of the natural world.[1]
The word was also used in the imperial cult of ancient Rome, to refer to the guardian-spirit,[citation needed] 'godhead' or divine power of a living emperor—in other words, a means of worshiping a living emperor without literally calling him a god.
The word numen is also used by sociologists to refer to the idea of magical power residing in an object, particularly when writing about ideas in the western tradition. When used in this sense, numen is nearly synonymous with mana. However, some authors reserve use of manafor ideas about magic from Polynesia and southeast Asia.

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Keyboard O'Clock!!!!!!!!!

I went into this diner in the Bronx a couple of weeks ago.  An older Polish man noticed my hands and said they're nice.  "Thanks," I said, and he continued: "You can probably hand model... Do you play piano?"  Dodging the compliment, but secretly happy he said that, I focused on the latter half of his comment:  "No, but I really wanted to learn when I was younger...  I've been thinking of learning.  I really want to."  "You're too old now!" he said.  "They usually start them off around 4 or 5!"

OK, #1 - I'm not aiming to be the next Chopin here.
And #2 - Even if I wanted to be, what the hell kinda thing to say is that?
Just because you didn't get to accomplish whatever dreams you had in your 20s- which are clearly surfacing now from your subconscious so as to to derail my inspiration train- doesn't mean you need to mar your local humanity with this doom and gloom!
(Also, I thought you just said I had nice hands?  They're a parity marker and now you're saying I'm too old?  I'm a little lost here)

Just for that, I've taken the liberty of buying a keyboard, and straight away upon getting home I learned the major and minor chords. This way, when I am that man's age, I can spend my retirement playing more advanced pieces, or maybe being able to aid my potential kid's piano lessons moreso than if I never learned.

About Me

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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