Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All Grown Up and Cartilaginous

When I was a child, adults would frequently ask me this annoying question.

"Hello little girl, what do YOU want to be when you grow UP?" (the caps lettering insinuates higher pitches). And then after that question the usual "A wuzza wuzza a boo! a boo!" generally followed along with the nose pinching and hair tousling.

Well, I had hopes of becoming a renowned jockey. ("Oh DO you? Oh you SO funny!") Yeah, I do want to be a horse jockey, what's so funny about that? My brother wanted to be a woodpecker so I felt my dream of being a jockey was something attainable. But, I always knew that was unrealistic since I was so large, but nonetheless I wanted to be a jockey. So I became a closet coffee consumer to stunt my growth. It didn't work; I'm still above average height.

Well, now I've grown up and today I became something I never thought I'd be when I grew up. A cartilage. To be more specific - an arytenoid cartilage.

Today in my anatomy class, my professor said "Allright folks, I need nine volunteers." My youngest child syndrome emerged and I thought "attention" so I shot my hand up enthusiastically, he pointed to me and I sashayed up to the front of the class confidently. A few others volunteered but the professor then had to campaign to get nine people to come up on stage. Weird.

My innovative professor had this idea to make a human larynx. My role was to be one of the arytenoid cartilages. I have to say, I was a bit jealous of the thyroid because, it's bigger. However, my right arm got to be a muscular process where my classmates attached to (my muscular classmates).

I will now give you a recapitulation of the learning process.

Me and the other arytenoid cartilage held on to the end of a scarf and the thyroid held onto both scarves to form the vocal chords. My muscle classmates played the role of the muscles that moves the cartilage (me) and then pushed and tugged me in various directions. The professor demonstrated to us what causes vocal folds to open and close. My acting skills were challenged but I managed to shine and only had a minor amount of stage fright.

Allright, you're thinking "cool story," but I'm going to move on with my life now.

Hold your horses. Here's the thing, we never know what we're going to be when we grow up. We only speculate.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd grow up to be an arytenoid cartilage.

Who knows, maybe you'll grow up to be potassium ion, a one-man band, or a dictator or well, you get the idea.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tip Your Hat to Your Burger

A few years ago I went to this coffee shop. I did the usual and I ordered a coffee with room for cream. I then spent several hours doctoring up my coffee (adding cream, swirling it with a wooden stir stick, smelling it, adding more cream, looking at it affectionately—you know the usual routine). Anyways, then I walked down the street and about a half a block from the coffee shop, I took my first sip and I stopped in a moment of nirvana. I mean, it was REALLY good coffee, better than other coffee. It was super nutty, aromatic, with hints of chocolate and of course lots of half and half. It was one of those odd moments where I actually stopped and literally savored the moment. But, please note, it was involuntary (much like when food goes down the wrong pipe, you involuntarily cough), I involuntarily enjoyed this moment of utter bliss.

Well, one of my secret desires is to be one of those people who has a travel show and goes around eating foods and after they’ve taken a bite they generally say some extreme sentence and go off about HOW GOOD IT IS!

So, sometimes in my head, I pretend I’m a travel show person eating food and saying witty things about it. But generally, I think the statements both I and them say are exaggerated and voluntary. The coffee incident was a genuine one of shock. But overall, things are good but not great. We voluntarily drum up things to say about how great the food it. And I’m not saying the food is repulsive, but it’s not necessarily life-changing. There are a few exceptions to this phenomenon in which I find myself involuntarily exclaiming about how earth-shattering something is. I can’t help it, it’s a need, I have to rave about it. Sorry dudes.

My list of Foods that Really Truly and Most Certainly Are Genuinely Earth Shattering (Universe Shattering?)

Chevre cheese: No matter how much I try to pretend that I’m pretending when I rant on and on about how life-changing it is. I really mean it. It’s so creamy and amenable—probably the least-offensive cheese out there. It’s great with beets and balsamic vinegar. Or you can just take the log of cheese and start chomping it down, like you would a carrot, but you might get sick and people would think you’re weird. Oh my, I sure and writing a lot about this cheese, I can’t help it, hmmm, maybe you should go buy some. I’m just saying. I will esteem your character if you do. (but then again, I’d esteem your character no matter what, after all, you’re reading this blog).

Mussamun Curry: All curries in Thai restaurants are pretty tasty, but this is my latest gig. It’s so rich and peanuty yet spicy. Next time you catch some Thai food, ditch the yellow or green curry and check this one out. You won’t be disappointed. And it has anise spice in it (I’ve found it, it’s this star shaped spice that looks like a starfish). It’s usually with beef so it’s quite savory and hearty and filling and sticks to your ribs and mind-boggling. Brah!

Naan bread with almond filling: I’ve only had this once, many years ago when I was in London (with crazy cousin Ethel [not her real name]). It’s pretty much impossible to find, but if you happen upon it, I recommend buying it in bulk and stocking up. Naan bread is so light and comforting and when you add almond paste to it, it’s almost dessert-like. Although it’s been about five years since I’ve eaten it and I’ve had many other meals since then, I will always remember this for some reason. Hmm, maybe it was exceptional.

$1 McDonalds Cheeseburger: Just seeing if you were paying attention. Totally overrated, and not that great, but it will sustain life (for awhile at least), and it's cheap.

All right, so now you’re wondering why I put in McDonalds? I mean, that’s not good food at all! Well, here’s the thing, you’re not going to come across universe-shattering food all the time. But this is no reason to spiral down into a deep and dark depression. Food is meant to sustain life. You need it in order to live. (Guuh?)

So, I encourage you to remember this: Don’t go around being all depressed because the food wasn’t as good and you wanted it to be. You’re still alive because of it and you should be deeply grateful to food because it’s what keeps you alive.

Ah, Food, love it or hate it, you still need it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Ninny Admits

I don’t go around proclaiming to be some sort of scatterbrained person. Although I am a slob at heart, I am not scatterbrained. I have this ability to remember that under a giant pile of clothes in my room, there lies a purple hair elastic that I plan on using. I also know that in a suitcase in my closet there is a bag of vitamins that my mom gave me a few years ago, and I know they’re still there. In a certain book on my bookshelf there is an a worksheet on the rules of the Spanish subjunctive verb conjugation - that’s where it is, in case I ever need it. Thus, I’m not generally a list-maker or very organized. It’s all a jumble that none but I can understand.

But this week, I had an occasion where my ability to remember things failed me. And I’m starting to question my highly advanced and efficient system of organization. Or maybe I have dementia.

I park Bike all around town. Sometimes tied to a lamppost, sometimes parked in the bike parking lot of the building I reside in, and sometimes harnessed to a fence near a friend’s house. I generally remember what random place I put it. But this week, I mis-parked my bike and then I assumed some nitwit must have come along and managed to steal it. Instead of facing up to the fact that I have a minor case of dementia, I foamed at the mouth in a rage shaking my fist whilst simultaneously saying less than complimentary things about the lowlife who took my bike. But er, after that, I remembered that I tied Bike up to a lamppost and not diligently in the bike parking lot in the basement of the building. So, I took back all the less than complimentary things I said to the imaginary villain who did not take my bike. And I went and retrieved Bike who had so patiently waited for me whilst cruelly shackled to the lamppost. .

So, I learned two super highly important life lessons from these situations.

1. Don’t just assume someone stole your bike.
2. You’re the nitwit, not them.

Number one is pretty important, but I think number two is the more important. Often times, we blame others or something else when really we ought to blame ourselves. Luckily for me, I blamed an imaginary person instead of going around accusing people of stealing my bike and calling them blockheads or something. At least I didn’t have to go back with abject apology.

But, I am reminded of some occasions where we don’t remember that we are the nitwits.

I remember my six year old cousin attempting to operate a ipod (not a good idea) and she was flipping through it and frustratingly exclaiming “it won’t do that!!!” We’re not actaully sure what she wanted the ipod to do, as she could not yet read. Nonetheless, she just didn’t know how to operate an ipod. She was the nitwit, not the ipod.

I had horses when I was a large child and I remember several occasions when the horse did not listen to what I told him to do. Well, it wasn’t the poor horse. I just didn’t know how to tell the horse what to do. I was the nitwit, not the horse.

So, before you go around blaming others, or blaming technology for your lack of knowledge or for the malfunction of your memory, remember this: You’re the nitwit