Friday, January 29, 2010

Pacific Saury

Canned pacific saury on a bed of spinach topped with lightly pickled radish and onions in mayo.

Some relatively crazy things come out of the kitchen when you've got limited resources. This really just tasted like tuna salad. I mean, the fish and the mayo were really the taste makers. I like saury better than tuna just because it's fattier. Tuna is too dry in my opinion.

I like the fishiness of fish. MMM.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Sauce

Sauteed spinach and onions with cheese sauce (butter, cheese, milk, cracked pepper).

I swear, cheese makes everything better. The sauce was so reminiscent of "mac n cheeze" it caught me off guard. I suddenly expected to taste the carbs, but there weren't any.

Oh, and it never fails to surprise me how much vegetables shrink when heat is applied. It's pretty amazing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vintage GE Clock

The alarm clock I bought on eBay finally arrived today!

I plugged it in and it is seriously one of the neatest things I've seen in a while. It's kind of hard to describe. The numbers are created by a light that shines through slits, and the slits are covered and uncovered mechanically it seems. I can't stop staring at it.

Now I can know what time it is when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Green Pea Salad

Green peas, onions, scallions and mint tossed in olive oil and grapefruit juice plus a little ground pepper and topped with feta.

I actually had this on top of some spinach and it was pretty filling. Mint and peas are a great combination, but I wish I had some fresh mint. Well, I suppose fresh is always best. In addition, I've been substituting grapefruits for lemons since I don't have any lemons on hand and I do have grapefruit. The bitter quality of grapefruit is an interesting addition. I think it might have done better without it, but you have to make do with what you have.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

I love the way that this man writes. Each word is weighted and placed so beautifully in the sentences that seem to have a rhythm both natural and metered like footsteps. Like feet that leave footprints in virgin snow, crunch, crunch, his words have imprinted a part of my mind, which had yet to be touched.

Aren't we all Guy Montag at times? Rudely awakened from our sense of reality and disturbed by our own faults and shortcomings? Somehow so keenly aware of how small and insignificant we are. All of a sudden knowing nothing and at the same time knowing only that singular fact. Lost and alienated. Isn't that just the human condition?

I hate the human condition.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Radish & Apple Salad

Radishes, apples and scallions tossed in plain yogurt and mayo seasoned with salt and pepper to taste and a little acid to keep the apples from browning.

I actually had this salad with some tuna, and I think the tuna overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the radishes. Plus, I think I added too much mayo. The original recipe calls for sour cream, but since I didn't have any on hand I had to make do with what I had.

Whatever the case, I enjoyed the salad just because radishes are so pretty. That fact alone makes everything okay.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Avocado & Grapefruit Salad

Avocado and grapefruit on a bed of spring greens served with honey mustard onion relish (onions, dijon mustard, honey, grapefruit juice, olive oil, cracked pepper).

I love interesting salads like this one. The textures and flavors were really incredible. With an earthy base of fresh spring greens, the smooth, creamy, rich avocado plays off of the juicy, sweet 'n bitter grapefruit, and the onion relish ties the dish together while adding it's own spicy kick.

Salads can be fun and exciting! Overall, I think this has got to be one of my most favorite work lunch salads I've ever made. It equals if not surpasses the go-to salad of my 2008 summer internship - the "Asian Salad" (baby spinach, red onions, mandarin oranges, cashews and a soy sauce & sesame oil vinaigrette).

In any case, it was fun to make and fun to eat! Plus, I just realized the honey mustard onion relish... Snyder's of Hanover Honey Mustard & Onion Flavored Pretzel Pieces! My favorite flavor!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Garbanzo Bean Salad

Garbanzo beans, black olives and tomatoes tossed with olive oil, minced garlic and cracked pepper and topped with feta cheese.

I've been trying to get creative with my lunch creations since I'm getting tired of the same old same old. And I need to get creative because I'm not particularly fond of the lunch staple that is the sandwich.

So above is my garbanzo bean salad, and it is something simple and tasty and rather filling. It's simple because I can't cook, and complexity would certainly preclude it's creation. It's tasty because olives, tomatoes and feta cheese has never failed to taste good together. It's filling because beans just tend to be that way. (I like beans.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Michael Crichton, Timeline

It was quite a compulsive read. It actually had me reading it during the weekend. I just finished it actually.

I liked it. It was nostalgic in a sense. I mean it took me back to the days when I basically lived off of fantasy novels. Knights. Lords. Ladies. Broadswords. Intrigue. War. Romance. Mysticism. Blood. Honor. Castles. Horses. Etc. Of course it had a twist which was the modern quantum science deal, but I found that that was more of a distraction than something I looked forward to while reading the swashbuckling adventure sections. I guess the science sets up the whole story, but I wouldn't say it was the star of the show. Plus, it all just seemed like smoke and mirrors to me.

This was actually my first Crichton novel. I mean, I've seen Jurassic Park and The Congo, and I guess I can see the similarities, but I had never read one of his novels until now. I can say now that do enjoy his storytelling.

In addition, this was the first novel I've read in a while. I suddenly remembered what the draw of reading is. That feeling of being sucked up into the story, becoming unaware of your surroundings. Seriously, I almost missed my bus stop on Friday... It's a good kind of losing your grip on reality. I think I've been surrounding myself with too much reality and I've needed a good escape. This was a good book to re-introduce me to the benefits of losing yourself.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

West Elm Pin-Tuck Duvet Cover

I hopped on over to Tyson's today and bought the West Elm pin-tuck duvet cover in white. It looks much too lovely for it's own good.

I love bedding in white, off-white, creme, natural, ivory, etc...

I figure bedding is just one of those things you can splurge on considering you should be spending at least 8 hrs a day in your bed. Along those lines I'm thinking of buying some killer luxurious pajamas!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Raymond A. Moody, Jr., M.D., Life After Life

Another book I was supposed to read for a class in school. It was for a sociology class on life and death which I ended up dropping. It was an interesting topic, just not worth the effort.

So, this book was a really easy read. It took me less than a week to read the entire thing. I only read during my ride home on the metro.

I'm still ambivalent about it's message regarding life after death.

I've always liked the idea of death being the end. I like the idea of no more suffering, no more worries, no more anything is not an unpleasant thought for me. I've always worried that there would me more of this crap after death...

If anything this book seems to suggest that there is more than this consciousness, and it's an improvement on our human condition. It suggests that our souls or spirits or minds or whatever is trapped inside this physical body. I really like that idea and I'm willing to entertain the idea of an afterlife if it doesn't concern worldly matters. If it's just about love and truth and knowing, I'm all for that. I want clarity.

I want to exist as a higher being that knows or not exist at all. I'm tired of the in between grayness of this existence.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

I swear I started reading this book months prior, but I only just completed reading it.

It was a book assigned for one of my philosophy classes at UVA. (Of course, I didn't actually read it when it was assigned.) I think it was mainly used to illuminate Freud's Pleasure Principle that simply states that people seek pleasure and avoid pain and that is the only true motivation in life. I tend to agree with that idea that all actions a person takes in life are a result of maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. Now, the definition of "pleasure" and "pain" is hardly concrete, but I'm not going to get into that.

In general, I like Freud's ideas on civilization as it relates to the individual. And I tend to agree with his point of view that civilization isn't really the best thing to happen to man, but what is one to do about it? Plus, the idea of a neurotic civilization is a real riot!

There are a lot of interesting ideas in this work of Freud. I think it's something that I'll be picking up again in the future. But I'll conclude with a quote that pretty much sums up my view on civilization...

"The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization, though then, it is true, it had for the most part no value, since the individual was scarcely in a position to defend it."

With this I'm likely to believe that there must not be a single novel thought in my head.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hello 2010!

Finally, I get to say "hello" to 2010. Usually I'm right on top of it. Especially from a journaling point of view the change in calendar year is pretty significant. It is a kind of mile marker. It's a time to see how far you've come and how far you intend on going. At least, that's the way I like to look at it.

2009 for me was the most trying year of my life to date. Yes, I did graduate and that in itself is important, but in retrospect it seems like such a small and relatively insignificant incident of 2009. I spent most of 2009 worrying about my future, and all that fretting was emotionally taxing. Looking at my early journal entries of 2009 I was very emo, dwelling too much on depressing topics. I'm beginning to think that maybe I was depressed for a generous portion of 2009. At the time I just thought I was feeling out of sorts...

In any case, 2010, I'm hoping, will be the best year of my life. I think it's a good optimistic view of life, which is a much improved outlook when compared to New Year's sentiments of 2009. Of course, I also look to make room for peace, love & prosperity in the new year.

In addition to these broad and general sentiments I want to give 2010 a theme. I want 2010 to be about self-improvement. Because I spent 2009 in a funk I want clarity in 2010. I think I need to put myself in context. I need more information with which I can further define myself. I want to expand my realm of experience. I would like to really become a citizen of the world, a person in society.

I hope those aren't too lofty goals. I have very high hopes for 2010. I feel good about it. I feel good, and that's good. I haven't felt like this since... well, I really can't say I've ever felt like this. I feel different already.

Hello 2010!