reality bites

November 26, 2016

i’m not exactly a die-hard fan of Nigella (it must be because I’m watching episodes of her shows lately on DVR) – guess I’ve never really held an individual or a team over the rest (maybe it’s just my nature or how I was brought up).  But like an artist who releases a seminal record; her “Bites” series I truly applaud.  I’ve seen her other series (“Nigellisima”, “Forever Summer” and parts of “Feasts” and “Express”).  I’m not really obsessed with her but can understand why some are (and why individuals with OCD or with time to spare might not).

I think it’s her love of books, cooking “philosophies” and her dry sense of humour I find alluring.  It’s not only her volumes of cook books but her hand-scribbled notes and her ability and willingness to make a recipe her own that differentiates her. Our mutual fondness for chilies and thyme does not hurt.

Maybe it’s the Asian in me (political correctness aside) that agrees with her that French cooking tends to be about the chef and Italian cooking tends to be about the food.  I tend not to discriminate based on the cuisine: tasty is tasty I, generally, will try it first before I form an opinion.  Bizarre foods (I’m Filipino after all) are not necessarily a deal-breaker but previous pets or experiences (like most) delay or inhibit my gastronomical adventurousness.

My palette is a result of my overdeveloped sense of smell and the ability of my tongue to differentiate (it did not hurt that my father exposed me to a lot of “unusual” things), it’s simply a fact and not really a result of other things like snobbishness. I can be very particular about how something tastes; it’s not be difficult or uppity but simply being a “slave” to that reality.

I can see why my “niece” says that American cooking shows (by and large) seem artificial and contrived to her. There is something authentic about Bites.  Like the shows of Anthony Bourdain (in my mind, it’s a travel show with food in it to better understand the culture – I would probably still watch it even without the food due to the writing ), maybe it’s the “naturalness” that lends itself to being genuine.  The kitchen should not be like a display home (unless one is a neat freak):  in my mind, there’s nothing wrong with it being orderly but it should feel used and not antiseptic.

I consider Heston (and Alton Brown – perhaps it’s the geek in me but as a student I wasn’t fond of Chemistry) a star but pretence is a result of creativity (and not vice-versa) but not only is Nigella a “domestic goddess”, I find her very practical (as evidenced by the “shorter” time most of her recipes take).  In a world of food snobs and food porn propagated by Instagram, I still believe that the proof of the pudding (the pun was unintentional), is in the eating. Sure, presentation is vital (as we also eat with our eyes) but taste is still paramount.

see-quel

December 23, 2013

while Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues‘ humour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s very rare that Hollywood produces a film that matches or exceeds the original.  In that category, I can only think of The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II that I’ve seen that fits the bill.

Sure, I found it funny and, at times, silly but I think that everything has become news is a telling commentary of the world we now live in.  Some people think what I laugh at is high-brow, I just prefer my comedy to have another meaning.

A computer language comes to mind.  SQL allows the user to specify information they need rather than worry about the how.  The emphasis on what empowers them and is an exemplar of good design.  There’s a sound mathematical basis for this very practical application.  As technologists, there’s a penchant to maintain a “secret society.”  I think demystification leads to greater adoption, unanticipated uses, and makes it easier for everyone in the long run. Sure, it can be a proverbial Pandora’s box but I think it’s much better to plan for letting the Genie out of the bottle – after all, information wants to be free.

jingle all the way

December 3, 2013

i’m not the biggest fan of carols.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m no Grinch.  I just find most of tem too commercial (sounds like a jingle – pardon the pun) or some of them boring (not my cup of tea).  The only album I’m able to stand is Jazz to the World – maybe because it doesn’t sound so Christmassy (if that’s a word at all).

I’m partial to One Small Child (maybe because we sang it in high school) and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer ( maybe because I find it funny).  I’m a fan of Do They Know It’s Christmas and Come All Ye Faithful – proving I don’t like most of them but there are a few Christmas songs I can endure. I  like songs not as a class but individually – why should it be different for a particular season? 

funny as

August 7, 2013

i find the comedy of Adam Hills and Craig Ferguson. Sure, laughter is the best medicine but like all that I consider to be excellent comedy, you sometimes need to dig a bit deeper – there’s an underlying message there. Sure both have a wide-array of interests but it’s the way that they integrate these subjects into their own humour I find appealing.  I feel that both acts exemplify what you should think and act; how you should live your life without being preachy – just modelling the behaviour instead.

inflatable

January 28, 2012

the ABC showed Adam Hills’ stand up act, Inflatable, last Thursday. while i agree with his premise, trouble is  making others happy is not in my nature.