On styling and sauces

8 October 2009

This post is really sort of a rehash of a conversation I had with a friend the other day.  I’ve recently become somewhat enamoured with the idea of a raw food diet.  That is, making sure as much of a  picture from http://healing.about.com/od/healernetwork/ig/Pictorial-Site-Index/Raw-Food-Diet.htmmeal as possible is uncooked fruit, veg, bran, wheat etc.  Obviously the two main issues with this diet are meat and white bread – two of my favourite cooked foods!  So I excuse them, because not eating meat is just stupid, and white bread tastes nice (and wheat bread tastes like sucking on sand).  And to any vegans I may have just insulted by claiming not eating meat is stupid, I apologise: I’m sorry that you’re stupid :)

So while I’m happily munching away on my raw carrots, lettuce etc (with a nicely grilled steak on the side), my friend heads out to a 10 course degustation dinner for two (all expenses courtesy of his work the lucky bastard).  And it makes me think: it’s all well and good to be reverting to hunter-gatherer cuisine Bear Grylls-style, but then what has been the point of the last several hundred years of evolution in our cooking abilities.  As far as I remember, Fred Flintstone never had a George Foreman grill.  And as I’m a firm believer in there not being such a thing as a step backwards, I set myself to musing to how to integrate these two ideas.

What I decided on was that flashy cooking is like styling a basic in dancing.  It’s fun, it’s showy, it adds something unique – but only if image from http://euro-quest.tripod.com/prague_swing_lindy_hop_dance_classes/ you don’t do it every time.  If a styled basic becomes your default it doesn’t look cool anymore, it looks like you’re a retard that can’t dance a basic properly.  If you keep always styling your basics, you end up being confusing and unpredictable.  But if you have a clean basic and throw a style in every now and again, it creates this ‘WOW’ factor.  Flashy cooking is like that.  Things like sauces, char-grilled vegetables, cheeseburgers, cabanossi and degustation menus – those sorts of things that couldn’t possibly count as a part of every healthy hunter-gatherer’s food sources – they’re styling.  Always eating cheeseburgers trains your body to be shit at digesting stuff (no pun intended).  Always cooking in strange and different ways (like I’ve been doing most of my life) throws your body’s energy levels into confusing and your sleep cycles all over the place.  But with a clean basic – raw food and meat – then adding all these extras every now and again is fantastic.

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The Connection…

10 July 2009

It’s strange for me to notice, but as spend more time Swing Dancing and learn more pointers and tips, my connections with other people that I dance with seem to change all the time. Sometimes, people that I used to really enjoy dancing with now seem limp and unresponsive when I try to lead them. Others that I never used to feel like I was able to lead properly, I now seem to be able to discover some special angle, or setup to turn them into some of my favourite follows.

I’m not sure if it’s because my own skills are changing, or their skills are changing, or I’m changing and they’re changing and we’re all taking away different things from the lessons. But as I notice it I find myself thinking about the very nature of the connection between a man and a woman. I don’t say lead/follow here because I think the connection boils down to the sexuality that’s at the core of each of us. This connection, like the dance itself, seems like it’s always in motion. Always changing between one girl and the next, and then when I come back to the same girl it’s changed again.

That ‘perfect connection’ can only ever be a fleeting thing I suppose. Whenever I think I’ve found it, it doesn’t happen again with that same girl. The perfect connection is always moving on, always changing. And the only way to keep looking for it is to just keep dancing with as many girls as I can, new and known to me. And when I think about it like that, I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

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Startup woes

3 July 2009

I never would have described myself as a ‘busy guy’, but since signing up to the Game Design Concepts course online I’ve been finding myself pressed for time to get any of the work done. Now while catching up over the weekend is a tried-and-true method I used many-a-time during my degree at university, we all know that we never get as much done as we planned to. It’s the weekend after-all: easy to make that excuse :)

So I started looking over my time to see where all of it was going. 7 hours a day, 35 hrs a week total on work (I take an hour lunch-break doing anything but work, so I’m not counting that as ‘work time’). 4 hrs a week Swing dancing classes, plus or minus an hour of social dancing at the end of classes. 2hrs a week of Yoga. 8-9 hrs a week on public transport! What? I spend more time on trains and buses than I do in a day at work?!

Yes folks, it seems that I’ve been letting a whole lotta time go to waste waiting for that train to arrive, that bus to appear (if it ever does), or the next stop to be mine. And the kicker iss – I’m not even doing anything interesting in that time. If I haven’t got a book, or I don’t feel like reading, I find myself just staring blankly out the window. Surely a man with 2 laptops can find a better use of this time, no?

And this leads me to the essence of this blag-post/net-whine: computers take too long to start up! Packing and unoacking my laptop from my bag every time I get on the bus/train, get off, or change between means the once I’m seated I have to wait another 30secs to a minute just to get back in to whatever I was doing again. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it can easily be the difference between trying to fit 5mins of work into that 5min train trip, or (as I have this week) lugging a heavy laptop around with me and not actually turning it on that day AT ALL!

Disabling the hibernate options and/or putting the computer to sleep in these situations seemed like a good idea – but I’m rapidly finding that a sleeping or active computer inside a safety sleeve inside a bag feels pretty warm to the touch once it comes back out again. I’m paranoid that I’ll forget I’ve left it on and pull it out at the end of the day with heat damage all over the screen.

But until scientists hurry up and get memristors out there – it looks like this is the best solution for now. Happy overheating!!

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