A Love Letter to Calories

Musings/Rants

I randomly found this passage in my notepad. I don’t remember how it came about–it must have been for some dumbass application. Anyway, I’m posting it because it’s been too long again and I still can’t come up with anything new.

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I was born in China but moved to the mystical land of New Zealand when I turned nine. It’s a place where sheep roam freely, people are sweet but phony, and the most average coffee shits on the best espresso you can find in NYC. It’s the kind of town you dream of escaping while you live there but miss terribly once you leave.

My whole life there–living in resentment, departing in glee, reflecting with fondness – is how I developed my voice as a writer–curious and humorous, yet somehow always tinged with nostalgia. Even though I’m finally living in the city of my dreams, exploring sites and restaurants in every corner of the five boroughs (nah, just Manhattan, to be completely honest), I still think about that mince and cheese pie from Browns Bay and that slice of pavlova I had at a bakery that probably no longer exists.

I think food evokes our most visceral memories. If our existence is indeed highlighted by specific impressions, then food is the chain that connects all the dots in life and puts everything into perspective. How did the apple tarts that doused you with euphoria in childhood become an unbearable source of grief in adulthood? How did you ever come to crave coffee when you hated it with a passion as a kid? How are you going to look at strawberry shortcakes (lol) after you rejected the dude who stuffed an engagement ring in one?

Eating doesn’t inspire such introspection. When you’re ravenous, you’ll inhale anything you see, and when you’re chewing, you see only two categories of food–the disgusting and the phenomenal. Everything that’s not disgusting is phenomenal. You’re not really that hungry if you’re lucid enough to critique and analyze your food. Truth is, you don’t grasp the philosophical significance of what you shove into your mouth until you’re done digesting it. Introspection happens in retrospect.

How was a 13-year-old supposed to know that the moment he got tired of hot chocolate would mark the end of the beginning of his life? How was he supposed to know that it would all go downhill as he transitioned from mochas to lattes to espressos? Would I still enjoy that $20 burger when I can scarcely afford to pay rent after I graduate and move out? Food is the reckless, instantaneous decisions we make that would come to make sense in hindsight.

Food is life, quite literally.

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What Dealing With Swollen Gums Taught Me About Life

My Awesome Life

Is that there is nothing more cathartic and life-affirming than pushing through the most excruciating pain to perform the act you love most (not sex okay). Eating a small, ordinary piece of barbecued meat that never previously garnered a second glance from you suddenly took on a spiritual resonance to rival that of a classic sermon. Never before have you been able to look at your soul with such openness and such clarity.

Yeah, that’s bullshit.

All that my ugly bloated gums taught me is that I miss ripping beef tongues and chicken hearts off of skewers instead of nibbling them like a fucking squirrel, and that life is a sadistic bitch for denying me the simple human pleasure of doing so. And that I’m pretty ravenous right now but the only thing within reaching distance of my bed is a box of apples, which conveniently happen to be too painful for my broken mouth to embrace so yeah if I die of starvation tomorrow you all know who the culprit is.

I’m actually considering poking my gums with a pin to deflate it or at least reduce it to a nice little pool of blood because apparently the internet, the INTERNET, is telling me that there is no medication to reduce gum swelling. No, no, no, because apparently, APPARENTLY, brushing your teeth and eating more vegetables are going to solve the problem, even though you’ve been brushing your fucking teeth twice a day (maybe except for the couple of times you’ve passed out because using a toothbrush requires you to be semi-conscious) for the last nineteen years and can actually count on two hands the number of times you’ve voluntarily shoved anything green down your throat since the late 2000s. So yeah, picking up a toothbrush and binging on greens now is definitely going to solve a problem that I’ve only had about four or five times in almost two decades. What the actual FUCK, INTERNET.

Maybe I should just go see a dentist.

Bite-sized Brains

Musings/Rants

Do you ever wondered how often the “9” button on the microwave is pressed?

I was thinking about that because my mom left me some noodles for lunch, but I was too lazy to heat it up so I just ate some cereal instead. The microwave is at once the most-used and most-underused device in the household. We use it almost everyday for almost any type of food – drinks, packaged food, left-overs, popcorn – but at the same, we only ever use half of it. When was the last time you hit any button on the top row? You only hear about one-minute Quiche, two-minute noodlesfive-minute brownies. Let’s be real, if you have to wait seven-minutes for the damn microwave, you might as well just get the pan out and cook something.

For whatever reason, we just don’t seem to have enough time. Everything in our lives somehow revolves around speed. How can I get the most done in the least amount of time? This attitude applies to communication more than anything else. The reason why news and social media have become intertwined is that we young people just can’t be bothered to open up a new tab on The NY Times or The Washington Post and search for serious shit ourselves. But being the narcissistic gossipers we are, of course we’d be on Facebook all the time, so the only way the government or whatever can get us updated on worldly affairs is by posting bite-sized headlines on the FB Home page for us to skim through while we’re stalking other people. It’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

I’m not sure if our short-attention span is a cultural thing or a hereditary thing. All I know is that actively seeking detailed and complicated information is a long and winding process that doesn’t appeal to me. And patience isn’t my strong suit. But despite all that, I believe we still need to put in that effort to learn new things, even if they don’t interest us as much. That nine-minute microwave chocolate cake probably tastes a thousand times better than anything you can get in two-minutes. You just have to be patient enough to see it through.