Sunday, October 31, 2010

Michael Ruhlman Has Something to Say

Michael Ruhlman talks a little about the ideas he learnt from this book: Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham. He talks about how learning to cook our food gave humans access to more calories, but most importantly, it forces us to cooperate to prepare cooked food. It made it harder for us to be jerks -- because jerks will find it harder to get cooked food.


Had Something to Say - Cooking from michael ruhlman on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

MUSIC | "My Immortal" by Evanescence



I'm so tired of being here, suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave
Your presence still lingers here and it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

You used to captivate me by your resonating light
Now, I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away all the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me, I've been alone all along

When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me, me, me

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

POETRY | "The Decision" by Jane Hirshfield

There is a moment before a shape
hardens, a color sets.
Before the fixative or heat of   kiln.
The letter might still be taken
from the mailbox.
The hand held back by the elbow,
the word kept between the larynx pulse
and the amplifying drum-skin of the room’s air.
The thorax of an ant is not as narrow.
The green coat on old copper weighs more.
Yet something slips through it —
looks around,
sets out in the new direction, for other lands.
Not into exile, not into hope. Simply changed.
As a sandy track-rut changes when called a Silk Road:
it cannot be after turned back from.

Monday, October 25, 2010

POETRY | "A Brief for the Defense" by Jack Gilbert


Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.


~ from Refusing Heaven (Knopf, 2005)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

POETRY | Throw Yourself Like Seed by Miguel de Unamuno

Shake off this sadness, and recover your spirit
sluggish you will never see the wheel of fate
that brushes your heel as it turns going by,
the man who wants to live is the man in whom life is abundant.

Now you are only giving food to that final pain
which is slowly winding you in the nets of death,
but to live is to work, and the only thing which lasts
is the work; start then, turn to the work.

Throw yourself like seed as you walk, and into your own field,
don't turn your face for that would be to turn it to death,
and do not let the past weigh down your motion.

Leave what's alive in the furrow, what's dead in yourself,
for life does not move in the same way as a group of clouds;
from your work you will be able one day to gather yourself.


~ Miguel de Unamuno
(from Roots and Wings, edited and translated by Robert Bly)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

I miss you.




We'll do it all
Everything
On our own

We don't need
Anything
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Need Some Lightness in my Reading

I have wanted to read something by Louise Erdrich for a very long time. I finally picked up Shadow Tag from the library recently and I'm several chapters into the book -- but you know what? I'm in no mood to finish the book.

I am feeling a little sore about yet another book started but unfinished -- but I refuse to dwell on it. The premise of the story is the disintegrating marriage between an artist and his research scholar wife. One day, the wife discovers that the husband has been reading her diary. Sick to the core of her being, she begins to write deliberately things that are meant for his eyes, while keeping another diary in secret.

The subject of this book is too taxing on my psyche right now. There are just moments in your life when you need some lightness and hope in the things you take in. I find the characters in Shadow Tag self-centred, cruel and deceitful -- and I have no patience for that right now. I need some hope in my reading. Some joy and kindness, please -- before I lose hope in humanity?

Acoustic version of "Help I'm Alive", by Metric

The year I was in Dubai, I read little. Any reading I did was for work and there was little pleasure in that.

Metric's "Help I'm Alive" was one of those songs I played on a loop on my iPod nano. Something about that little plaintive voice that sang about being afraid, overwhelmed by life and the heart beating like a hammer - that resonates with me.



I tremble
They're going to eat me alive
If I stumble
They're going to eat me alive

Can you hear my heart beating like a hammer?
Beating like a hammer?
Help, I'm alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer
Hard to be soft
Tough to be tender

Come take my pulse, the pace is on a runaway train
Help, I'm alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

If you're still alive
My regrets are few
If my life is mine
What shouldn't I do?
I get wherever I'm going
I get whatever I need
While my blood's still flowing
And my heart still beats . . .
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help, I'm alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer
Hard to be soft
Tough to be tender

Come take my pulse, the pace is on a runaway train
Help, I'm alive, my heart keeps
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

If you're still alive
My regrets are few
If my life is mine
What shouldn't I do?
I get wherever I'm going
I get whatever I need
While my blood's still flowing
And my heart still beats . . .
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer
Beating like a hammer

Help, I'm alive, my heart keeps beating like a hammer

Monday, October 11, 2010

Song by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Do not grieve.
Do not grieve
This pain will cease.
Friends will return
Wounds will heal

Do not grieve.
Do not grieve.
Day will dawn.
Night will end.
Clouds will burst.

Do not Grieve.
Do not grieve.
Times will change.
Birds will sing.
Spring will come.

Do not grieve.
Do not grieve.

~ Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Translated by Daud Kamal

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Stability of Ease

From Tricycle

"When we are well with ourselves, then whatever happens, it really doesn’t matter, because we have equilibrium and stability. We don’t feel any lack of confidence. If not, we’re always on edge, waiting to see how someone reacts to us, what people say to us or think about us. Our confidence hangs on what people tell us about how we are, how we look, how we behave. When we are really in touch with ourselves, we know ourselves beyond what others may tell us. So these three qualities—a good heart, stability, and spaciousness—these are really what you could call basic human virtues."

~ Sogyal Rinpoche