The Queen of Sheba's Juicy Feast

Twice the Malarkey, Half the Price

Movie Review: Cloud Atlas
massage, alienation
malkatsheva
It is late and I'm tired. But this is a beautiful movie. See it.

Movie Review: Shaolin
massage, alienation
malkatsheva
Got this on Netflix, expecting it to just be, you know, an entertaining kung fu movie featuring monks and leaping and Jackie Chan. This movie has Jackie Chan, you guys! How was I supposed to know that it is actually the saddest fucking movie of all time?! Oh my gosh. The little girl dies, the temple is destroyed, all is ruins. SO DAMN SAD.

Luckily I cheered myself up with a TED talk featuring a clip from an instructional DVD produced for Scandinavian pig farmers, showing them in great detail how to sexually stimulate the sow prior to insemination, which has been proven to increase rate of farrowing by at least 6%. It is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds!

W000t!
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malkatsheva
I am so proud of Maryland right now! But California - shame on you.

Bake Sale
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malkatsheva
Successfully baked both chocolate and pumpkin muffins from these nutty paleo cookbooks. The chocolate ones came out better. Also I am testing out a new LJ phone app. The old one just crashed eternally. . . Hence my lack of posting. We shall see. This app seems sturdier but I can not see how to post a pic? Hmmm. Well, this has been a post.

Wax On, Wax Off
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malkatsheva
20121010_183112

Here is my son at his new kung fu class. He seems to be having quite a good time with it. He's the only one in the class, so there is no shouting or noisy confusion of kids leaping about. Good for an Aspie. The teachers are very patient. Of course, as a parent, there's literally nothing you like better than hearing people tell your kid to be quiet and pay attention, and then hearing him actually do that. You think, hey, maybe I could do that too. . . hmm. . . starts pricing out tumbling mats for the living room.

But seriously. If I could give my children any gift, that strength and self-confidence which arises from doing lots of physical movement and getting good at it would be the thing I'd give. So it really makes me me happy to see my son on the mat. Wax on, little buddy. Wax on.

Policy Change!
massage, alienation
malkatsheva
Late last September, for various reasons I was induced to stop posting much about my son online. And I must admit this blog did languish a bit, didn't it? It's hard for a mom to post much about her life when she's been stopped from posting much about her kids. It was good for me mentally, overall, though, because I had to learn to focus my attention on other things in my life. I did this, in part, by establishing a different blog over on tumblr. My tumblr name is blissmanifesto and you are all welcome to enjoy me there if you like. However, I must caution you that the tumblr blog is not like this one. It's not all that thoughtful. Narcissistic is how I would describe it. It's mostly all about my diet, my food, my exercise progress, and some random bullshit. It's very quotidian-level stuff. OTOH sometimes I post pics of my own butt. So there's that. But I did learn how to talk about my life while making little reference to my kids.

But my son came to me a couple days ago and kindly requested that I start posting about him again! He likes reading back through my old posts and laughing over them, and so he is wishing for new posts to enjoy. How about that?

Now if I could just get the stupid LJ Android app to quit freezing. . . I could be flooding you with content, damn it! WHY?

Also, in other news: do NOT have your phone in your back pocket when you get ready to take off your pants near the toilet. This turns out to be a bad idea. Also I have a cold right now and I'm not pleased about that.

Movie Review: Jiro Dreams of Sushi
massage, alienation
malkatsheva
This is the sort of thing I put on my Netflix Streaming Queue. It's a gentle little documentary profiling a very old sushi chef in Tokyo, Jiro Ono. He runs a teeny tiny sushi joint; it only has 10 chairs at the counter, no tables, and you have to use the bathroom down the hall because his establishment does not even have one. He was 85 when the film was made. His sushi joint received 3 Michelin Guide stars. Apparently, fewer than 100 places worldwide have this very high honor. The 3-star rating basically means, "it's worth it to make a trip to this country just to eat at this restaurant." Jiro's sushi is quite possibly the best in the world. It's all he does, too. At Jiro's place, you can't even get any appetizer or whatever. If you want tempura or edamame, go somewhere else. He just serves sushi, and also only omakase-style, meaning that you get whatever the heck he says you get. That'll be $300, thank you very much. Make your reservations at least a month in advance.

I felt such serendipity while viewing this film, as if receiving a message from the Universe. I recently had a conversation with a friend about how obsessive I can get. I couldn't deny the accuracy of her remarks and I felt sort of ambivalent about it. But this film had a very Japanese answer for that issue. The answer was that there is no such thing as being too obsessive about something that is important to you. Whatever it is that lights your flame, go on and do it 'til you're satisfied. And when should you be satisfied? Never, that's when.

Practically the first thing Jiro says in the film is that the secret to success is to fall in love with your work and really devote yourself to it. He pursues excellence in sushi-making with single-minded focus. Even at 85, he is still slowly, methodically tweaking every little thing to make it better. The documentary also covers the people Jiro does business with, and they all have the same attributes. The guy he buys tuna from, that's all the guy does. He gets up at probably 2:00 am to go to a truly Japanese tuna auction. All he does is buy and sell tuna. He knows all there is to know about how to choose good tuna merely by looking at it and smushing a bit of it in his hands. Jiro buys from him because he has the best tuna at the best fish market in the world: literally the best tuna anywhere. The guy who Jiro buys other fish and octopus from actually says this: "We don't want to sell our fish to just anyone." His fish, his perfect fish, should only go to someone who can appreciate it and do the right thing with it. (Also, it was a highlight for me to see this guy deftly stuffing a live, squirming octopus into a plastic sack. Skills, yo. Jiro's apprentices will later massage the octopus for 50 minutes straight to tenderize it before it becomes sushi.) The rice merchant is even more clear. He has rice he only sells to Jiro. They have a whole conversation about how the rice takes some skill to cook, and they chuckle and laugh about it, two old Japanese dudes who both love good rice. The rice merchant explains that the Hyatt hotel people wanted to buy that same rice, Jiro's rice, but that he would not sell it to them. What would be the point, since they would not know how to cook it right anyway? These people were so deeply invested in the excellence of their stuff that they no longer cared about profit at all. They never said, how can I get that customer's money? They only said, is that customer good enough for my stuff? This is why, in the documentary, several of Jiro's customers said that when they sat at the bar in Jiro's place they felt extremely nervous.

I can't deny that there are some problematic aspects to Japanese culture. But I think it's pretty clear that they are acknowledged masters of the art of living a simple, elegant, beautiful life that is vigorous even into very old age. So I receive this message from Japan and from the Universe with gratitude. Devoting one's self deeply can be a beautiful thing and it can be transformative. So I think I'll stay the course.

My Daughter's Birthday
massage, alienation
malkatsheva
As is typical, my daughter turned in an annoyingly short list of requested gifts. So I was forced to actually think about what she might want, good gracious. She turns 13 today, headlong into the teen years. . . I wound up going with t-shirts. She's gotten very into Avatar and of course its sequel Korra, and the associated fandom as well. So I got her a shirt that says "I SHIP IT" and another shirt that says "Beifong Metalworking Academy" on it in a sort of vintage baseball team kind of print. I found the shirts on redbubble, a site I never heard of but it is a gold mine of fandom, guys. All her friends spontaneously cheered and applauded at the sight of these shirts, and my daughter said I was the best mom of all time and then she was so happy she was actually reduced to just waving her arms and squirming around in her chair with happiness.

Ah, it is a rare and sweet moment when you can manage to get the perfect gift for a loved one, isn't it? I feel pretty darn good about it.

Ah the Magic of "Me Time."
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malkatsheva

I just got back from visiting barbarienne Philly. Man but that is a nice town. Here she is in the awesome stump throne at the Morris Arboretum.

 


It was such a beautiful sunny day that I had to stop in the gift shop and pick up a sun hat.

 


We especially liked the amazing fern habitat at Morris. Such fun!


(no subject)
massage, alienation
malkatsheva
“You are not too old
and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out
it’s own secret.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke


Whoooaaa!! I think maybe I need to read me some Rilke!

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