Friday, March 02, 2007

Six Strange Things and Other Matters

And she resurfaces, like a whale...

Yes, oops, a month went by and I haven't posted anything, mostly due to life happening and just a general malaise that's been hard to shake. Chinese New Year just went by, and it was good and vacation filled, and...I think I've calmed sufficiently to be able to write with impunity once more.

So! I was tagged, about a month ago, by the lovely Constance as follows (Constance, SO many apologies. I kept trying to think of what to put down, and it just draaaaaaaaagged and the above happened...) This ought to make somewhat odd reading, I imagine!

RULES: People who get tagged need to write a blog post of 6 weird things about them as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1) Whenever I am stressed, I do extensive, in-depth research. I've no idea why, other than perhaps channelling all that extra 'grrr' and energy into something useful is productive. This has included: lion dancing, Kwan Tak Hing (the first actor to portray Chinese legend Wong Fei Hung), the Russian language, Chinese opera, Kabbala and its permutations, quantum theory, historical recipes from the 1700s, and the proper layout of medieval herb gardens. I know. I'm messed up. But it's relaxing for me.

2) I am a film graduate who doesn't like films. That requires a bit of explanation. I prefer working -behind- the scenes of a film, developing the look and putting it together, but viewing the finished cuts was never really a priority. I've always been picky about what movies I watch, and I'm even worse now. When I was still in film school, it was a chore getting me to -watch- certain films because I didn't like them and didn't want to. It's -still- a miracle when I tell my friends I'm going to go see a movie. But tell me you want me to work ON the movie...well that's another story!

3) On a related note to the above, I don't like comedies. If given a chance, I'd rather watch CSI than Friends. Same goes for films and most books, though I do give much more leeway when it comes to books. I'll read Gerald Durrell, whose writing has a lot of comedic gold moments in it, and Roald Dahl, for example. I -won't- read 'The Devil Wears Prada', though I could be persuaded into it with great, great difficulty.

4) I love nattou - that being Japanese fermented soy beans which have the texture of snail slime and a distinctly strong taste. I'll even eat it plain. I have it on good authority that even some Japanese are going to look at me in horror for that. But it tastes great on rice...

5) I am a walking food dictionary. I have an inexhaustible backlog of cooking information, historical and contemporary, residing in some database in my brain. I've no idea how this database got there, because I never really started cooking until I had my own apartment in graduate school overseas. Nevertheless, it only takes a trivial comment to set off a whole chain of connection - for example, a friend of mine mentioned in conversation that he wasn't sure if my combining rice with green peas would taste good. Upon which I promptly cited the example of mame gohan (Japanese rice boiled together with green peas, a little salt, some mirin or sweet wine, and wakame seaweed for taste), Venetian risi e bisi which has, I think, turmeric to be fully historically accurate, Italian green pea risotto, and wound up with rice and peas Southern style (which is really rice and red beans, mostly), as well as a variation called Red Rice that is distinctly Caribbean/Jamaican and can be found in Edna Lewis' classic Southern cookbook, In Pursuit of Flavour -- or was it The Taste of Country Cooking? It's been a while...but you get my point.

6) I cannot integrate, in calculus. Not to save my LIFE. I can differentiate excellently but I can't reverse the process (which is what integration is.) My teachers in secondary school attempted for an entire year to get me to be able to do this, afterwhich they just gave up and asked if I'd like to not take calculus as a national exam. I agreed and thus, I still can't integrate.


On the art front, well - I was horrifically lazy over Chinese New Year, and didn't sketch nearly as much as I would have liked to make myself!

So in the spirit of it still being (relatively) Chinese New Year since the 15th day of it hasn't come around, have a really bad photograph of a Lion Dance head suspended on the ceiling of a cafe I was at for dinner one day (I didn't have a scanner so had to use the digital cam):

Oh, and the three teenagers I was with at the time goaded me into drawing a guy with funny pants, so I capitulated for them, in good humour. The guy's friends kept looking at me weird so I had to pretend I was looking anywhere else but at them:


Man it's good to be back!


Marcos Mateu said...

It's good to see you are back.
Interesting post with the six points!

Heather said...

Beautiful blog, you capture people with such elegance. Very inspiring work.

Mauricio said...


Really you are missing!

cool the things about you.

Have a nice weekend

constance said...

So glad to see you back shuku :) I thought maybe I need to call the police or something ;) To find a missing blogger! :D So, any big 'sweep' this cny?

Love your list! They made me laughed...especially the first one! Those are indeed very 'unique' stuff to research on! I can understand the others but Kwan Tak Hing? ha! ha! :D

Have a great weekend shuku and if you're not too happy about something...just remember this: Yu Guo Tian Ching (mandarin) - A clear day after the rain :)