October 29, 2006
Have slowly begun feeling a bit “overwhelmed” lately. Usual manifestations – resurgence of my lifelong bout with insomnia, an increased appetite for epicurean indulgences, and decreased productivity. Making a bit of time for “co-occupational” activities this week: a workshop and a colloquium. An apt theme emerged – one of balance.
Most of my recent career has been set in fundamentally toxic environments; my work life in Australia has been a nice change of pace (this is due to a pervasive emphasis and belief in the importance of quality of life here). Unfortunately, this has caused me to lower my guard and severely underestimate how small pressures can slowly snowball into manifest stress. Given previous tolerances, i have foolishly not done very much to consciously manage this reality. Not unless you count a “commitment” to a weekly pick-up game of b-ball.
Stopping to think about it – this pervading sentiment is probably attributable to a confluence of factors – mostly work related but including contributors such as having a new house built. So i kind of know what’s wrong and to some degree the possible actions to take. Things such as these are quite painstakingly obvious but the real rub is getting from the” inertial” comfort of knowing the answer to getting off my ar*e and doing something meaningful about it.
For now, i am deliberately trying to be conscious of my actions and thoughts. Whether this is a sufficient start is debatable (and i would argue variable from person to person) does not concern me as much as if this can be effective and ultimately sustainable. Clearly theres is a need to take matters in hand. Worst case, i will just have to resort to thinking happy thoughts – something i’ve never been quite accustomed to: only 14 more months until a proper holiday!
October 23, 2006
October 23, 2006
Is it better to be “poor” in a poor or a rich country?
October 23, 2006
You never realise how much stronger someone really is. Perhaps they are forged through their trials and tribulations, borne out of necessity perhaps. But i have since learned from my sister that the greatest perpetual font of strength comes from an unwavering faith and an unbounded expression of unconditional love (in her case for my beautiful nieces).
Her courage bolsters mine. See it for yourself.
October 22, 2006
Stumbled upon some South Australian hiramasa kingfish at my regular fish monger at the Central Market yesterday. Picked up a fair-sized, clear-eyed, whole piece without really knowing what i planned to do with it. Stuck it into the fridge once I got back home – hoping to indulge in the sweet, succulent meat that very evening.
Browsed the web for possible recipes later that afternoon. An abbreviated search brought me to the conclusion that actually cooking it was bordering on sacrilegious. It dawned on me that i would have to fillet the fish myself – something I had never done. Worse yet, i did not own a suitable implement to properly carve it up. Stalling for time, I took a short walk to the corner Asian grocer to pick-up a lemon and some wasabi.
Given i had already purchased the key, missing ingredients, there was no other alternative but to give filleting a go. It was a bit more labrorious than I had thought – perhaps because i was a virgin to this and that i utilised a paring knife not specifically deisned for the task at hand. The quality of the cuts left me a bit anxious but in the end provided more options for me to “articulate the theme ingredient.”
The resulting menu was:
- Sashimi – from one fillet cut in bite-sized chunks,
- Seared – from the other half, ligthly pan-fried with a bit of tumeric (instead of grilled as intended),
- Carpaccio – made from meat shaved off the bones with some Australian made virgin olive oil, and
- Crispy skins – bit of flesh seasoned in some flour and cooked til crispy.
Grudgingly i disposed of the head and the rest of the fish bones. Had considered using these to flavour some kind of stock – but did not have any great confidence in producing anything other than a pot of some fishy, boiled water. Next time…
After much effort and suspense, i have to say that the end-products were not half-bad given i had not prepared these dishes before. And since my wife and her sister-in-law did not regurgitate their meals, i was pretty pleased with the outcome. As much as i would like to take credit for how great everything tasted, it was more a testament to the superb quality of the fish and the supporting ingredients.
After this experience, i will keep my eyes peeled for the heavenly kingfish. Have read up a bit on the correct way to fillet a fish and now all that remains is for me to invest in a surgical grade blade – you know, like you see late at night on all those infomercials.
October 14, 2006