Word of the Week #159:

Zest

You know, when I was young, like, really young, my parents signed me up for a skating class.

Now, I fail to see how this skill would prove useful over the course of my lifetime, but okay…

Anyway, these classes… I absolutely hated them!

I was uncomfortable and clumsy, and I always struggled with the equipment.

I was not too bad at it, I thought. I could complete all the drills adequately and I never had any particularly painful or embarrassing falls.

I just didn’t like doing it. It was just not fun.

But every evening, my mom would give me one piece of chewy andy each time I left for the class, and promised another when I got back.

To my young heart, that piece of candy was one of the biggest accomplishments I could comprehend. It was worth the effort, the pain, the overall annoyance.

And for that piece of candy, I kept going back to the class every successive day.

One evening, I was laughing so hard that the candy actually flew out of my mouth and out of the window down onto the road. I swear, in that one moment, I felt a piece of myself die.

Now, considering all of this, I think it may sound odd, but I actually hated that candy too! It tasted like an orange peel flavoured eraser.

Personally, I have always prefer clean, unflavoured erasers, but that is beside the point…

I don’t think I ever mentioned this to my mom. I was never the most vocal of kids. I was always more of a ‘how-do-you-not-know-EXACTLY-how-I-feel-right-now’ kind of kid.

In fact, I don’t think I even mentioned that I didn’t like the skating class either.

Eventually, I did get good at skating. We had switched my old, clunky skated for a new, cool, more cooperative ones. We had begun focusing less on drills and more on free skating.

Eventually, I started to enjoy skating for what it is.

And almost immediately afterwards, the class ended. And I have no idea why.

But at least the candy ended too. And for some reason, I kind of miss it now…

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Word of the Week #158:

Epicurean

Can food change the world?

Well, food can change a life. And if you change enough lives, you change the world, right?

Actually, if you think about it, it has already happened.

Back in the 15th century, the Ottomans captured Constantinople and raised the taxes on spices. This was the reason why the Portuguese rulers, and eventually others, began searching for alternate routes to India, and ended up discovering North and South America, Australia and several other islands.

So it can be said that the entire identity of the modern world is based on Europe’s pursuit of better food.

And ingredients like tomatoes, which now form the backbone of Italian and Spanish cuisines, did not originate in Europe. They were brought to Europe by the early South American settlers.

And today, can we even imagine pizza without tomato?

The food recreates the world, and the world recreates the food… It is a beautiful circle…

You know what else is a beautiful circle?

Word of the Week #150:

Contingency

Gah… I’m so tired.

I have been feeling so unusually weary all day.

Like, have you ever felt so tired, so weary, so completely and entirely drained, that suddenly Coldplay songs start making sense?

When you try your best but you don’t succeed,
When you get what you want but not what you need,
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep,
Stuck in reverse…

Yeah, that bad…

Not that it is any surprise; I did miss my lunch two consecutive days, after which I played basketball till I could barely walk, following which—ironically enough—I went for a walk.

Unusual circumstances yield unusual consequences. That should be no surprise. And these circumstances did teach me, or at least refresh into my memory, an interesting lesson. 

You see, for situations like these, always keep something sweet at hand.

It could be some juice, or a bottle of soft drink. Perhaps a few slices of pineapple, or some cookies. Anything sweet and light, that may offer a jolt of energy that will help you survive till your next meal.

Sure, it is not the healthiest of ways to live. Sure, it will have repercussions in the long run.

But you know what, it is always better to live unhealthy than to die healthy.

And sometimes, there is nothing better to do than live to fight another day.

And if your limbs just do not have the strength to even manage that, well, to once again quote the second coming of the bard himself, I will try to fix you.

Word of the Week #133:

Porcine

Say… What do you think about bacon?

I had some a couple of hours ago, and I just could not stop thinking about it. So, as one does, I decided to write about it.

You know, there are some things over which Western pop culture tends to obsess, right?

We all know the OG, the hotdogs and the hamburgers, the pizzas and the apple pies. Now, I still love a warm slice of apple pie, especially with some sugar and cinnamon dusted on top and a scoop of smooth vanilla ice cream, and firmly believe that people who cannot appreciate a good pizza simply should not be allowed to mate.

However, the Holy Grail has always been this thin strip of fatty cured meat which, quite honestly, always seemed far too overrated. I mean, it cannot be so good that grown men would swoon over it.

Little did I know that its majesty cannot be described. It needs to be experienced first-hand to be truly appreciated.

Of course, all of this love cannot good for my heart, right? Or all of this cholesterol…

But I can’t help falling in love with you.

Word of the Week #131:

Besotted

You know, books and burgers are more similar than you would expect.

Both are best enjoyed alone, which is partly why I love them.

Both get judged by their outermost layers which are meant to cover and protect the juicy stuff between.

Both have the same test of quality: If it is great, you will finish it without setting it down even once.

I had the pleasure of enjoying a burger earlier tonight which passed this test this test with flying colours.

I mean, it would have had to be pretty good for me to write about it in the first place, right?

In fact, I loved it so much that I am strongly considering going back there tomorrow afternoon and having the same burger once again.

After all, if lightning has struck a place once, it is most likely to strike there again, right?

Wait, that is not how that proverb goes… But it should, you know.

Lightning always strikes for a reason.

Word of the Week #127:

Gastronomy

I like cheesecakes and I cannot lie
You other brothers can’t deny
That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty plate
And a cheesecake in your face
You get sprung!

I love good food.

Maybe you’ve had a long, dreary week. Maybe your spouse is being especially annoying. Maybe you didn’t get any sleep because your cat peed in your bed.

Whatever may go wrong in the world, the moment you put that first spoonful of cheesecake in your mouth, all your pain and sorrow just melts along with its soft, creamy love…

Unless you are lactose intolerant, perhaps. Or diabetic.

Still, you know what I mean, right? Food does have the power to change the world, your world, from the inside.

It is not surprising that I love good food. Who doesn’t, right?

Well, at least that is what I used to think, till I really went out in the world and met more people.

“Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

— Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I often notice that people who have no appreciation for good food are rather bland individuals.

I mean, look at this:

Or this:

Or this:

How can I ever trust someone who does not love these, right? Sounds reasonable to me.

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

— George Bernard Shaw

So give me some cheesecake, and you will see how much I can love you.

Word of the Week #28:

Juxtaposition

Okay, let me just take a moment and say that the choice of word has nothing to do with the date. I do not intend to follow the overplayed Good vs Evil theme.

Instead, let us talk about the very concept of comparisons…

Continue reading Word of the Week #28: