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Archive for January, 2010

Leaven trials

Over a year ago, someone offered me a voucher for a class on leaven and bread-making. I finally decided to use it, and now flour, dough, and old village ovens shouldn’t have any secrets for me. Except that (perhaps predictably), things never work out in my life as written matters say they should. That’s fine with me as far as the esoteric narrative used during the class – about the search for authenticity, the boiling life present in the dough, or the convergence of the four elements within bread – is concerned, but when it comes to my own cooking, I would expect it to be, at the very least, edible. Unfortunately, the leaven I have brought to life has failed to be thankful so far, and as we are both turning out to be very stubborn, it’s hard to tell at this point who will finally take the upper hand.

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It is no easier to find shops that will allow me to stray in the men’s aisle without informing me I’m in the wrong section than to find a safe place to practice nunchaku; although to be fair, in the second case I tend to gather more admiration, and appear less threatening, as a woman. In contrast, wearing a tie in this post-Avril Lavigne era is more likely to help me secure free seats on the train than gain admirers. Then again, while the tie cannot get me in trouble with the police, I am not allowed to weave my nunchaku in public spaces, even though many of my attempts at manipulating the weapon at home have proved unfortunate. Food for thought. These are merely a few examples of the ways in which ties and nunchakus differ, both in their intrinsic qualities and their socially-constructed functionalities.

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Cheesy New Year!

I’ve gathered along the years that you’re supposed to do something special on New Year’s Eve. While I used to spend it with my family (it is also my birthday), accounts of fireworks in London or rented cabins are received with much more respect than tales of staying at home. So what did my sister and I have in mind when we decided that she would cook for me while we just spent a lazy night in? Our only fireworks were tiny exploding pixels on Animal Crossing and as we waited for midnight we prepared catalogues and magazines to do collage. It was a very cheesy and refreshing evening, and I embellished my new daily planner with one collage per month. I’m not sure there’s a better way to welcome a new year. Or a new decade for that matter.

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