Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Politics of a First Grader

"Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they're going to make mistakes." 
Ross Perot

I recently stumbled upon this quote by Ross Perot. Aaahhh, Ross Perot. A man who has always had a bit of real estate in my heart. I have been one of his ardent followers since I was six. 

When I was six, my elementary school had a simulated election where we voted for the president. I hadn't quite figured out my political ideals but I was working out various political theories in my mind. In fact, I hadn't even heard of the people on my ballot and I wasn't even sure how to spell their names - much less write them in my primitive penmanship. 

So, the time came to cast out ballots in the election. "Whom should I vote for?" I anxiously asked myself. George Bush, Bill Clinton or Ross Perot? I had no idea who they even were or what they believed. But I knew something. I knew that Ross Perot was really rich. So, based on that knowledge and that knowledge alone, I voted for Ross Perot. 

Here's why:
I heard that he had money. I also knew that it took money to pay something called taxes. I knew my parents didn't like paying taxes. Hmm. So, if Ross Perot had money and you needed money to pay taxes then he would probably charitably use his own money to pay all the American tax bills therefore reducing the tax rate. You see, he would pay off so much of the taxes there would only be a minute portion that the American people had to pay. Ross would use his money. "What a magnanimous man - he's got my vote!" I enthusiastically thought to myself. 

It was a nice idea - even if only for a moment. But, my universe collapsed right onto me one day during phonics class. I learned that Bill Clinton had won. Comrade Ross Perot would not lead the movement. He would never get the chance to use his own money to pay everyone else's taxes. I wondered for years if my theory would have worked? Would a rich president say "Oh America, don't worry. I'll pay your taxes with my own money. You go back to watching reality TV and drinking boxed wine. S'all good!" 

Which brings me back to the quote at the beginning of this insipid essay I have just written. Go ahead and make mistakes. Why? Because Ross said so. 

No really though. Ross didn't win and become president. Was that a mistake? Who's to say. But go ahead and take a whack at something where you might just make a mistake. Maybe some six year-old will believe in your cause.

That's worth something. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Perks of Interactive Meals

For the past several years, every three months I have had reason to be festive. Yes, as a perpetual student attending institutions of higher education on the trimester system, I have been obligated to celebrate the end of the term every time an end of the term comes around. Therefore, I’ve been living an ill-ridden life of debauchery consistently every three months for the past five years.

To be celebratory this time around, I went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I’m not Mexican food foodie. But I have discovered the art of true happiness and a sense of authentic accomplishment in fajitas. Read on to find out more!

Fajitas are not something I generally order as it simply does not occur to me. But last night, I took the brave plunge. The dare to have an item delivered directly to me that is noisy, interactive and sizzling. A meal that caused people to follow their noses and say “what was that that just went by??”

When I received my meal, I looked down at the three items in front of me: corn tortillas enclosed in a plastic portal, a plate containing beans, cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream and guacamole, and lastly a sizzling cast iron pan with a mescla of onions, chicken and bell peppers. What was I to do with all this sitting in front of me? I looked upon my food with affection and puzzlement. I knew I was being called to a great performance. Yes, greatness was being thrust upon my shoulders yet again. It was my duty in life to form something with these three items. So, I decided, like a good American citizen, to create some species of burrito-like object. I then began mixing small sums of the ingredients together. Voila! Before I knew it, I had morphed into an artist and a miniature burrito was in my hands to be relished. And relish it, I did!

I have to say, there is genuine joy in interactive eating. One has a sense of feat, of attainment, of greatness, of finally making it. One feels like an artist as the meal not only requires consumption but assembly. So dear reader, if you want to be an artist.
And I mean a REAL artist.
And if you’re hungry.
And if you happen to be at a Mexican restaurant whilst you have this yearning.

Then I recommend ordering the fajitas next time you go out. You shall not be dissatisfied.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Stinky Bus Averted

Well well well if it isn't old February, the month where diet is still the hot topic. And I’m no exception to that trend. I too am talking about diet and everyone seems to be eager consumers of my wisdom. So today, on this beautiful January day I decided it would be quaint to take the bus downtown and go shopping at the famed Asian store, Uwijimaya. I hopped on a bus and away I went!

Well, was I in luck - I just happened to bounce right onto the bus that had quite possibly the friendliest bus driver in the great state of Washington (and beyond). I asked him if his bus went to the International District and he said “Sure does. Guilty as charged! Hop on ma'am!” He then proceeded to make small talk with me, asking me what I was up to that day, where I was going and if I was a local or from out of town. He even told me about a not-so-secret restaurant that makes their own prosciutto that is owned by Mario Bertelli’s father and that I have to go there, but don’t go there on a Friday - it’s too busy - they’re closed on Mondays - but Tuesday is a good day, not so crowded. I have to say, it’s not often that one meets a chatty and friendly city bus driver while navigating the streets of a big city.

Mr. Bus Driver happily (and he really was happy) directed me to my stop - Uwijimaya. I got there and was greeted by smells from all over Asia - Korean barbecue, Japanese Sushi, Beijing beef and Panang Curry. I encountered a sturdy wok and entertained the idea of getting it for myself. But, I resisted as I did not want to carry it home on the bus.

Then I wandered over to the seafood section where I watched live tilapia swim about in a crowded cloudy tank “Poor fish,” I thought “they don’t know they’re going to be on a dinner plate covered in coconut milk and lime juice.” If I found out I was going to be on a dinner plate covered in coconut milk and lime juice, I’d be slightly startled. I watched some crabs swimming and noted that they were on a super sale. I didn’t get any because I did not want to stink like fresh crab on the bus ride home. What I really intended to buy was seaweed. I wondered to myself where the aisle with seaweed might be, but then I saw a big sign that said “seaweed,” and I thought to myself “I know I am in an Asian store when there is a big sign announcing the existence of seaweed.” Who else does that?

I bought four packs of seaweed and other Asian odds and ends. Enough stuff to fit in a small bag and still be carried easily and comfortably on public transport. Away I went from bustling downtown Seattle where there is a Starbucks on every corner and tall skyscrapers grazing the sky. Off I went back to my humble abode to enjoy my loot on the bus.

Please take this as a friendly reminder not to overshop when you’re riding the bus. You may be tempted to buy several large live tilapias, crabs, lobsters and a big sturdy wok to fry them up in. However, you will quickly find yourself in a state of distress when carrying it on a bus whilst simultaneously stinking up the vehicle. Be vigilant dear friend.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Sure Way to Vicarious and Riotous Living

New obsessions come and go for me. Right now I’ve decided to go onto this crazy diet called “The Caveman Diet” which consists of gnawing on large hunks of meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts, eggs and uh, yeah, that’s about it. But I shall not regale you with tales of my new eating plan. (although I have been prancing around in a leopard print loin cloth whilst grunting). No, I shall regale you with my new obsession. But first, I must start from the beginning.

I have never been much of a homebody, domestic goddess or homey person. My aunt once told me she could see me traveling about and then coming home to live in a small box somewhere under some stairs whilst I save up for my next big adventure. And I would be more than content. However, all future travel plans have been suspended. Thus, I’ve become something of a domestic goddess due to circumstances. And, I can prove it ‘cuz I have a checkered apron and I have to pay an electric bill. Bonjour real world!

So, in my new life, I’ve been making attempts to be all homey, since I’m no longer living in a cardboard box, and I’ve rediscovered the true art of happiness. It comes in only one form – candles.

Yup. (that was a smug “yup” by the way).

I’ve never much thought about buying frivolous things such as candles – I try to keep it to the essentials (food, tea, warm socks). But, I found myself perusing the candle aisle at Target a few weeks ago when it struck me “I. Am. Going. To. Buy. A. Candle.” So I did, I tried one and I felt exactly like I was in Bali – I’ve never been there – but the candle was called Bali sunrise..so I’m pretty sure that’s what it must feel like to be there. Last week I bought a second one. I’m burning it all the time. All I can think about is buying more candles. When can I get to my candle dealer to get me more...and more…and more!!! I can’t seem to stop. I’m addicted. I need to go to CA—Candles Anonymous.

Bah! No need to travel. Just get a candle bozo!