Wednesday, June 29, 2011

№ 23. 34 and Hopeful ...

A facebook friend posted this blog by a young mom, 34, who's stricken with stage 3 breast cancer. I'm reposting this, just in case, someone might extend some help. Any help.

"I am a healthy, 34 year-old mother who breastfed my son for the first two years of his life. Despite receiving regular check-ups, my youthful age and presumed preventative measures, I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. I hope that this blog will open the eyes, minds and hearts of young women everywhere and change how they think about breast cancer. Please join me on my journey..." from 34 and Hopeful

Bento Box: 

I need to ask a doctor friend about this. Maybe he has a ready answer. How can regular check-ups miss a Stage 3 breast cancer? How malignant is breast cancer that malignant? I thought mammograms are standard for executive check-ups for women, especially beginning a certain age (I overhear this often in the office water cooler, among women friends, of course, and in the hospitals during my annual executive check-ups).

Just wondering about the mysteries of the known universe.

From wikipedia, "mammography is the process of using low-dose amplitude-X-rays (usually around 0.7 mSv) to examine the human breast and is used as a diagnostic and a screening tool. The goal of mammography is the early detection of breast cancer, typically through detection of characteristic masses and/or microcalcifications. Mammography is believed to reduce mortality from breast cancer. Remaining aware of breast changes and physician examination are considered essential parts of regular breast care."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

№ 22. Minding the Gaps

I won't fall because
My steps will mind the pavement,
By peeling off illusions.

Bento Box: "Minding the Gaps" is from the reminder to London commuters, "Please mind the gaps...". When I first heard it spoken in a very English accent, in the tube, in Islington station, I thought COOL. Way cooler than the 7*C spring weather, then. I shall return.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

№ 21. We want Coco! The red-orange variety, please.

"It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. It's not easy, but if you accept your misfortune and handle it right, your perceived failure can become a catalyst for profound re-invention."

Image from wikipedia

By tradition, college commencement addresses are supposed to be brief, serious, self-important and eminently forgettable because the diplomas are coming real soon. (Quick! Who spoke at your graduation?)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

№ 19. Cine Siesta 2: Midnight in Paris

Paris. Woody Allen. Paris + Woody Allen = Midnight in Paris.

I hope this comes close to the old favorites: The Purple Rose of Cairo, Mighty Aphrodite and Husbands and Wives.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

№ 18. A Weepy on a Rainy Night

And why do we root for the underdogs? Because....

Pain makes the spirit soar.

Thanks  for the Facebook post, EA

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

№ 17. Grave of Fireflies

Every creation myth needs a devil.
Every devil craves an adversary
Who will slay him by the heel of her feet.

Monday, June 6, 2011

№ 16. Wrinkles in Time

J. Paul Getty Museum, August 2006. This guy
(I forget his name, probably a Greek philosopher
or Roman senator) looks like a distinguished
Magneto, without his helmet. 

“I don’t really think about that … I’m 34 but I remember when I first went to Los Angeles. I was 24 – an agent who was going to take me on at the time thought I was 35 … I quite enjoy the lines on my forehead because they show my life. That’s my history and I like to see that in other people. Like this wrinkle is due to some girl who broke my heart. I don’t want to escape it in any way.”--- Michael Fassbender (aka Magneto)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

№ 15. Conversations

Excerpts from the conversation between the angels Damiel and Cassiel in “Wings of Desire”:

Damiel: It's great to live by the spirit, to testify day by day for eternity, only what's spiritual in people's minds. But sometimes I'm fed up with my spiritual existence. Instead of forever hovering above I'd like to feel a weight grow in me to end the infinity and to tie me to earth. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

№ 14. Three Questions. All About Bento Boxes.

Boxes in Tsukiji Market, Tokyo. Not bento. 

1st: What’s a bento box?

The trusty Wikipedia says that “Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container.”

It is a lunch box. A lunch box that inspired IBM’s Thinkpad!

I love bentos because everything is carefully prepared and neatly arranged in err, a box. A friend tells me that the Japanese have rules for preparing bento. So she spent considerable time learning from her Japanese mother-in-law. I can only imagine how it went: Iie, not like that. Hai, cut that way.

Unlike the usual turu-turo (nothing wrong with turu-turo, of course), it simplifies one’s choices. It’s a convenience for those on the go. Turu-turo is our point and shoot style of ordering. It has its own merits worth writing in the future. But for now, bento.

The protein comes paired with the right vegetables, carbs, fruits and, sometimes, even soup. One doesn’t have to bother with both the choices and the proximity of the viands, etc. anymore. No more, “Ketchup please, Louise.” A balanced meal has been prepared. One just has to dig in.

In short, for a reformed OC, the structure and convenience entice. Wiping the drool now, Dr. Pavlov. Woof!

2nd: Is there method to the marvel in the box?
To sew order from chaos, that’s our sacred duty---all magnitudes of disasters, notwithstanding.

“This is bento lunch’s great strength: the thought and attention given to creating it. Making and presenting food with care is an act of love, whether it means a judicious balance of food ingredients (for taste, color, texture), or making the contents fun for a child, using imaginative cut-out shapes.” (Denis Dutton, from the New York Times article “Beauty and the Bento”)

Here’s an attempt to tame the universe in the box. 10 rules.

Thai version. This was our snack on a clean bus from 
Bangkok to Cambodia. Strictly speaking, not bento.

3rd: What’s bento got to do with this post?
I just happen to like food and metaphors. So I’m using what’s accessible and pleasant to my senses as a tool to explain a concept.

The bento box, under my posts here, is actually a meal for information omnivores like me. It’s a listing of links, resources, trivia and other marvels of the internet. I appreciate them, like footnotes, with gusto. They are marvels, for example, like the fried baby octopus dipped in soy sauce or the pink radish pickle that comes inside my favorite bento.

But for those who don’t care much for Japanese food, or right brain-imposed structure, or just boxes in general, nothing much really.

I’ll try to reign in on any excess. That’s rule No. 2 for me (2nd Question, above). There is no Babbette’s Feast here. I won’t attempt to rival Wikipedia. Not even a thought.

Bento in a Bento:

Neat discussion on the aesthetics of my favorite bento in Beauty and Bento.