a left-eyed girl

living in a 2 dimensional world

Archive for October 2010

11,718 Natto and salmonella

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I’ve been eating the occasional package of natto for breakfast. Most times, it’s just plain and mixed well with the two included sauce packets. Recently, I thought to actually prepare myself and buy some scallions. We even happen to have eggs in the fridge, so I can mix in a chopped scallion and a raw egg with my natto. It is a super-healthy protein-heavy breakfast and it does manage to keep me full for longer than you’d think, just based on the volume alone.

Oh wait, let’s rewind that a bit. A raw egg?

Yeah you heard me: a raw egg.

Before you start telling me about how scary salmonella is, I will first say that as a relatively healthy adult individual, I am not really afraid of contracting salmonella. I don’t really understand why people freak out over salmonella so much. For the regular, average, healthy individual, you will simply get food poisoning, which of course can vary from just slight stomach upset to full on diarrhea and vomiting. While food poisoning may be horribly inconvenient, it is not necessarily life-threatening (for the average healthy individual).

I’ve only had food poisoning maybe twice in my life, so perhaps this is why I’m not afraid of getting it. I suppose that if I was getting it all the time, I’d be much more careful, but as it is, statistically speaking, I’m pretty safe from the adverse effects and my digestive tract is pretty good at killing bad organisms that are trying their best to muck things up.

But anyway, back to the raw egg. I recently learned that there is such a thing as "pasteurized eggs" sold at the store for those who like to make mayonnaise or eat raw eggs and are afraid of getting salmonella. Crazy huh? Wow…

Being that we try not to eat overly processed foods, I have never been interested in trying these pasteurized eggs, so I don’t know if there’s a difference in the taste or not. Hmm… interesting idea though.

Written by Reese

October 11, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: The Good Life

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Yes, I good life indeed. I really don’t have much going terribly wrong (but if I did, I’d probably find some way to see it in a positive light). Being an optimist is pretty damned great, even if it means that people think I’m blinding myself to the ugliness in life. It’s not that I deny that life can be ugly, it’s more that I choose to emphasize the beautiful side instead. If you know me, you know I’m definitely not one of those sappy, always smiling, seemingly empty-headed girls. I’d call myself an optimist with healthy dose of realism and science.

1. What are the chances

I don’t often check my email or Twitter during my train ride, but yesterday I decided to pull up Twitter on my phone. Lo and behold, a friend mentioned that he was bikeless on the bikecar, so I immediately texted him and we figured out we were both on the same train, but different bike cars. He came down to my bike car and we hung out for a little bit.

Man, I love it when events coincide and something pleasant happen!

2. Setbacks are not necessarily a bad thing

I am slowly learning that just because something negative happens in my life, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I usually learn something from each experience, and it really does help me appreciate the good times more when I’ve worked hard for them.

3. Sometimes it’s good to just let it go

I’ve been trying to take a more relaxed attitude towards certain situations, and it’s been working out a bit better than my usual method of freaking out, taking things personally, and getting upset. Maybe I’m becoming more Californian, or maybe I’m mellowing a little bit as I get older, or maybe I’m finally learning patience. Or whatever. I don’t really care, as long as I’m not taking things so effing personally anymore. Life moves quickly; I can’t spend my time being upset over stuff that doesn’t really matter in the long run.

And the last two are just plain goofy:

4. Bananadog


5. Chickencat


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Written by Reese

October 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

Posted in just life

11,714 Shedding the Unnecessary

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I am not the type to do the nesting thing. I hate to buy furniture or decorative trinkets or throw pillows to make life cozy. Our place is rather spare, and most of our stuff is still packed away in boxes from the last move (really, I need to work on fixing that).

If I could throw away the majority of our unnecessary belongings (mostly consisting of seldom used technical textbooks, sentimental crap, and empty notebooks), I would. However, I suppose that I can be a bit of a hoarder when it comes to the useless stuff, so that explains a lot of why we don’t throw everything away. Besides that, Mister is not so keen on throwing everything away.

And so, we move our crap from place to place. Sometimes the place will have built-in shelves and the books will get to breathe a bit. Usually, they stay in piles on the floor wherever there is space. It’s not clean and makes our place look cluttered, but then we are not really the minimalistic types.

We don’t really have an interior design style at all, to tell the truth. I wish we could pull it together, but I simply don’t care enough to work at it.

One of these weekends, I’m going to go through these boxes of stuff and just throw a lot of it away or toss it in the car to donate to the Salvation Army. I don’t really need all these fiction books (except for the few that I read and re-read), and I don’t really need all this camera gear that I never use.

My life is feeling cluttered by material goods, so maybe it’s about time that I cleared some of it out, at least to the point where I feel better about it.

Written by Reese

October 7, 2010 at 9:14 am

Posted in just life

11,713 The incoherent ramblings of a fool

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There are a lot of things I want to say, but all of them are half-formed thoughts that lead nowhere and have almost no point. I write and I write and I write, but where does it all go? Do I write just to get it out of my head? Perhaps. Writing has always helped to organise my thoughts, but these days they are bouncing around all over the place and no matter how hard I try, they will not take a rest and sit down.

Maybe I’m simply drinking too much coffee these days.

I want to write about so many different things swirling around me: marriage and relationships, sentimental drivel, the point of it all. And yet, I start and stop and start and stop. The words flow, but they don’t seem to make any sense, even to me. I’m spewing and spewing and none of it adds up. I can’t build anything. If I can’t line up the blocks, then who can?

Lately, I find myself longing for a simpler mind (not too simple, but at least having coherent ideas and basic reasoning skills). I am getting wrapped up in ideas and rants that are completely nonconstructive; the spiral is tiring sometimes, and it’s an effort to wrench myself away from it, but I guess that is why writing is so good for me. Getting it at least out of my system helps a lot.

My paper diary probably reads like it belongs to someone holed up in a mental institution.

No matter, whether this is coherent or not, I guess in the long run it doesn’t quite matter. Write and write and maybe you’ll learn something about the world, about yourself. Or maybe not. Who cares.

Just write.

Written by Reese

October 6, 2010 at 10:55 am

Posted in just life

11,712: Oh definitely the Second Circle

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I was going to write some inane blog about how I can be an inconsiderate jerk to some of my friends (within reason of course), but ended up researching the circles of hell as determined by Dante Alighieri (no really, don’t ask).

Even though my mostly public school education in New Jersey was decently thorough, we never did read Dante’s Divine Comedy in English class. I’d heard about it, but never had the ambition to read it on my own. Perhaps at some point, I’ll find it for $1-2 at a thrift store and finally get around to reading it.

[By the way, I get almost all of my non-library literature at the thrift store and usually refuse to pay more than $2 per book. I'm cheap like that, since I end up giving books away to others when I finish or donating them to the library. Besides that, I think owning new books is a luxury I won't allow for myself right now since we need to move these books fairly often as we change flats. The current ramshackle set of books we haul from place to place were either purchased new back before I knew better, were brought home from the thrift store, or were a gift.]

Anyway, back to the Divine Comedy. According to Wiki, there are 9 circles of Hell (This word is capitalized! I had no idea.) and they are as follows:

  • First Circle (Limbo)
  • Second Circle (Lust)
  • Third Circle (Gluttony)
  • Fourth Circle (Avarice and Prodigality)
  • Fifth Circle (Wrath and Sullenness)
  • Sixth Circle (Heresy)
  • Seventh Circle (Violence)
  • Eighth Circle (Fraud)
  • Ninth Circle (Treachery)

I’m not really sure why, but I was wondering to myself, if I was to head to Dante’s Hell, which Circle might I end up in? I have partaken in most of these sins at some point or another and probably will partake in all of them before my death, so how do they decide which Circle the sinners go in? I suppose that it’s your most blatent type of sin that determines which Circle you end up in.

I suppose that even though I don’t act on it, I might end up in the Second Circle (Lust). Hmm… is it still a trespass, even if it only happens in your mind? Is it? I guess it depends. Maybe wanting something is almost the same as having it, even if you don’t actually partake. At the same time, it’s not like I am really wanting a whole different life with someone else. I definitely want to be with the Mister in the long run; he is most definitely the one I don’t mind being stuck with for life.

But can you really blame a girl for looking? Damn the cute boys with their lopsided mischievous grins and tight pants. They get me every damned time.

Written by Reese

October 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

Posted in just life

11,711: The Daily Write

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You know this self-improvement bit I’ve been on? It’s been a bit weird trying to be more reserved and give myself a moment to think about my reactions before showing the world what I’m thinking. It’s downright difficult for me, to be honest. It’s only day four and I’m already failing miserably at this. I think I am just the kind of person who gets excited about life and gushes about it. I can’t help it.

Maybe my goal should just be to write everyday. I love writing, but I have yet to figure out any kind of long-term writing goal. A couple years ago, I was doing a "Daily Write" project with a friend. We both posted to a blog or emailed each other our writings, just to get us into the habit of writing everyday. It was interesting for sure, but the energy for the project eventually waned and we both dropped it after a while. Maybe it’s time to start it back up again, at least on my own. I think it may be easier to do it if I’m doing it for myself, and not for anyone else.

But anyway… I’ve already made the decision to start so now I just need to go about collecting some cue phrases. Here’s the first one:

Hot sauce

She was angry that day. Everything had seemed to go terribly wrong, and she was disappointed and angry with the entire world. Her thoughts swirled around and around in her head.

You know what you want yet?

The waitress was back. She’d spent 10 minutes sitting at the table staring at the menu, her water glass filled, the napkin neatly folded under a pair of chopsticks. A few minutes ago, she had shooed the waitress away when she came to take her order, but now she had to make a decision.

Yeah, the number 6.

Hurriedly scribbling on her pad, the waitress snatched the menu and bustled away, calling out the order to the kitchen. And just like that, she was alone again with her thoughts. She stared at the bright red hot sauce bottle, a splash of colour on the otherwise grey and beige background of the table. She needed something to help her settle her thoughts, something to focus on, and the bottle was at least something to settle her gaze upon.

The restaurant was so busy and loud around her, but she didn’t hear anything as she sat motionless, the bright red bottle somehow calming her, letting her sort out her thoughts slowly. She sifted the thoughts into the ‘Now’ and ‘Later’ bins in her mind, shifting most of them into the ‘Later’ bin. She could only concentrate on one thing at a time, so it didn’t make sense for her to try to figure everything out right now. Sighing softly, she decided on a single problem to work on immediately and pushed the rest of them to the back of her mind.

It was a while before she realised that a steaming bowl of food had been placed on the table just to her right. Picking up that bottle of hot sauce, she drew a bright red smiley face on her food, smiling to herself.

Written by Reese

October 4, 2010 at 10:32 am

Posted in just life

Five on Friday: On being reserved

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It’s October 1st today and I am welcoming the passing of my birthday month and the start of a whole new month of life, and what a wonderful life it is. I’m not going to gush and gush about how great life is, because that’s going to make me sound like a completely moronic imbecile. Instead, I’ll write about my self-improvement goal of the month: be more reserved.

Lately, I’ve been giving myself self-improvement goals on a monthly basis. I tried being more introverted, spending more time alone and learning to enjoy my own company without turning to distraction immediately. I’ve also made it a goal to see as many of my close friends as possible in a single month. And now, with the start of a brand new month, my goal is to become more reserved, to try to think and give myself a moment before I react.

If you’ve met me, then you probably know that I am not the reserved type of person. I show a lot of my emotions immediately on my face and I do not have difficulty expressing myself when I am excited or upset. I am a very animated type of person, with rather instant reactions (not to be confused with physical reaction time, which is actually quite slow, hence not being very agile).

Oh right. I’m supposed to do some kind of list of five things today, so here are five reasons why I’m doing this self-improvement bit:

1. To push my own personal limits

I am well aware that I have a limited comfort zone. I like to be in the sweet spot and not stray too far outside. By gently pushing my limits each month, I can widen this comfort zone. As a random example, I never used to be able to eat alone in public, but lately I’ve been doing this more often without feeling so awkward.

2. To meet people outside the regular circle

The more I push outside of my usual limits, the more likely it is that I’ll make more friends outside the usual circle. I strive for diversity in all aspects of life, so it only makes sense to get to know as many people as I can.

3. To keep things fresh

Setting personal goals each month gives me something to work towards with my life. It’s not like my life lacks focus, but it’s still nice to have something to strive for. I suppose it has a lot to do with being a goal-oriented type of girl. I’ve never been one to get something done unless I’m given a deadline.

4. To stay young

I’ve noticed that as I get older, the more I am set in my ways. I like things a certain way and I think about things a certain way too. In a sense, I’m finally growing up and cementing my personality and likes/dislikes, but I also feel like I never want to be so set in my ways that I can’t figure out how to see life from someone else’s perspective, or to see a situation from another angle. Having these monthly self-improvement goals is definitely keeping me young and broadening my horizons.

5. To have fun

Yes, I will admit that the biggest reason for having these monthly goals is to have fun! The interesting thing is that sometimes I will set the goal and have a certain expectation of what will happen, but will happily discover some other side effect as well. When I was trying to be more introverted, I had no idea how much I would enjoy being by myself when I allowed it to happen. I thought it would be a gruelling, rather miserable month, but it turned out to be quite educational. I got a lot of reading done, went out to cafes by myself, and really examined the state of my current friendships. I learned how to stand being alone, and discovered that not only is it "not so bad" but it’s actually quite fun to boot.

I hope that this month, I will find that learning to control my immediate reactions to everything will not only make me appear more even-tempered and calm, but also possibly make me feel more even-tempered and serene on the inside.

Written by Reese

October 1, 2010 at 10:06 am

Posted in just life