As I sit down in my usual seat at the round dinner table, I look at the different dishes of food that my father has prepared. Looking at his cooking, my father speaks with pride in Mandarin Chinese, “I spent two hours boiling the soup to let the flavor seep in. It’s not as good as the one people make in Taiwan, but it’s the best here.” The contagious smile on my dad’s face spreads to my mother. She nods in agreement, “I brought this soup to my co-worker’s house yesterday and she said her dreams came true.” My dad adds, “ I added some red peppers and green onions for aesthetics.” I look blankly at the soup as my parents banter back and forth about the flavor and presentation of the soup. I am clearly indifferent about the subject of soup and mumble to myself, “It’s only soup. Who cares?” Continue reading “Cultural Perspectives Through Soup”
I’m quite a bit of an NPR fanatic (deriving from my time of convalescence after drunkenly slamming my head onto concrete and developing a concussion). That being said, when The Weekend Edition recommended “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel, I took it to heart. And what a recommendation.
With the precaution of not giving away too many spoilers, “Station Eleven” follows the lives of three characters captured during their respective timelines before, during, and after the Georgia flu (a pandemic) obliterates 99.6% of humanity. And in very particularly beautiful ways, all three unrelated characters are intertwined in some sort of way. I was attracted to the plot-line because it had specific elements I highly enjoy in novels: a dystopian touch, surrealism, storytelling, and most recently added to my list, a circus of some sort.
When I was an itty bitty girl I had very few toys that I truly treasured. Like any child, my toys were often tossed and honestly took severe abuse. But this Happy Meal toy, made out of hard plastic and many choking hazards, was of Belle. She wore her famous mesmerizing yellow dress, with her meticulously yet effortless hairstyle, and if you pushed down her right arm she would sing. I loved her and even to this day, I can remember the contagious tune.
For many, if not millions of children, Disney movies and tales hold a very unique and special place in our memories and hearts. And unlike many companies, entertainment sectors, and or franchises, Disney films evoke a wide range of emotions that are understood and interpreted personally by all age groups, genders, and races. I mean, who doesn’t love a Disney movie?
When the most recent human adaptation of the beloved Beauty and the Beast was announced many were… skeptical. Granted, how can anyone dare meddle with a classic. Even more preposterous attempt to make it, better? With adaptations, I believe there will always be the fear of staining it, of never being able to develop the film nearly as prominent as its predecessor.
Slowly the cast was released, and with each passing actress and actor, there was more hope for the film succeeding, or even (if I dare say) surpassing the animated classic.
I watched it.
I step outside and feel the warmth,
So sublime on my dry winter skin.
I roll down the windows of my car and imagine myself driving downtown blasting music with windswept hair. And it feels so good to not worry about the layers upon layers I would have had to wear. It feels marvelous not having to protect my head, hands, neck, torso, legs, and feet of the harsh wind. I think to myself, “I am happy and I am happy because it is finally warm out.”
But it shouldn’t be.
I know it shouldn’t be and this fleeting thought smashes my joy. It is mid-February and it’s 70 degrees outside. Something is not right. I should currently be grumbling words as I struggle to trudge through the snow. Cursing the weather and hoping for a hint of sunlight.
This is not normal.
I see people walk in flip-flops wearing “summer” dresses as they enjoy their dripping ice creams. And for a lucrative moment, I wish it were cold. I wish for a sense of normalcy.