When I was young and had no sense

“When I was young and had no sense
In far-off Mandalay
I lost my heart to a Burmese girl
As lovely as the day.
Her skin was gold, her hair was jet,
Her teeth were ivory;
I said, “For twenty silver pieces,
Maiden, sleep with me.”
She looked at me, so pure, so sad,
The loveliest thing alive,
And in her lisping, virgin voice,
Stood out for twenty-five.”

– George Orwell, 1925

Found it in The River of Lost Footsteps. I was up all last night finishing up the book, and it was totally worth it.

Eat picky

I was supposed to have found my post-graduation plan by Easter.

But typically, my timing is ‘a little off’.  The fact that I am being picky does not help.  I do not want to volunteer, work for a direct social service.  I refuse to apply for teaching positions.  A few things came unbelievably close, but did not work out in the end. I probably jinxed them by getting too excited prematurely. Woops.

First time I got rejected, my political science professor, who wrote me the recommendation for the application, consoled me: “You get to be disappointed, but you don’t get to blame yourself.” Who would have thought that the tough-grading professor that assigns you 300 pages a week actually has a humane side? (Just kidding!)

So, I turned to cooking.

Instead of writing another cover letter, I took all the time in the world to make pork chops and potato cubes, that matched the organic strawberries with vanilla ice-cream for dessert.  My housemate, Will and I are home-alone for the Easter break at the Eco-House, and Cook with Jamie Oliver book was our inspiration.

As a general pattern in life, following recipes or directions never comes easy for either of us. Jamie Oliver calls for seasoned beef rib and garlic roast potatoes, but we used our frozen pork chops instead. Instead of seasoning with rosemary, we added some thyme. And I poured some Bombay Sapphire into the marinade, just because I could. I needed to get rid of that bottle before the commencement.

The best part was the salad!  The lettuce came directly from our backyard spring garden.  Will’s hand-picked lettuce went into the salad bowl with some spinach off of shelf from a healthy food market nearby.

This menu suited my picky-eater guest.  He is the second American I know that does not like cheese.  (The first person is of course Brianna).  With picky-eaters like him, you can never go wrong with some hearty red meat and potatoes.  Even the ice-cream is plain vanilla.

My dear reader, eat well till we meet again!

James and Carter

Signature facial expressions

Vanilla bean ice-cream

Beth on my bedroom wall

Who is Beth? You ask. Someone did. And why this picture?

Beth is one of Alex Prager‘s women. Like most of Prager’s women and Prager herself, Beth dresses in retro attire, caught in the middle of an act or in the midst of a situation. At a cursory glance, you delight in the glamor and style of Prager’s women. But when you want to go deeper, you also find traces of discomfort, despair, distance, desire, … and sometimes mass consumption and materialism. I discovered Alex Prager just a few weeks ago, when some of her works were displayed as part of “People, Power and Places” exhibition at Davidson College.

Babes in the woods

Exquisite Corpse, but Interfaith

Exquisite Corpse is a game that writers and poets sometimes play to gain inspiration. On my weekend Interfaith backpacking trip to South Mountains State Park, my nine lady friends and I sketched around some words by the bonfire before bed. The photo credit goes to Miss Jessie B. Enjoy.

It is the dearth of inspiration that causes loneliness.
Yet inspiration is all around me – if only I could access it.
I search into the sky; down into my heart
Both hold great treasures
One the treasure of becoming an amoeba
The other the treasure of friends.
I cried when you left like smoke in a closed room.
Haven’t been this alone, or this FREE, in a long while
And a bag of apples; the giant, fresh,
Organic and locally grown kind.
Apples make the world go around;
Newton proved it.