Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for July 2005

New Foods

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Over the last few years I’ve found myself, to my surprise, interested in tactile activities such as cooking, gardening and sculpture. And itís not just that I do these activities, I want to do them. This comes as a surprise to me because in college I almost exclusively looked to use my natural talents of extroversion, intuition, and thinking. I cooked to eat, not to be creative. Now I’m trying to dabble in areas I know little about, like art, and lovingly, if clumsily, tending my house plants.

Iím not sure why this change is taking place. When you read about the Myers-Briggs personality types you find out that there are primary, secondary, and tertiary functions of one’s personality which develop at different stages in your life. The tertiary function is the one that comes into play after youíve developed your first two strengths and may entail a “mid-life” crisis. I think I’m a little young for that but here I am, about to blog about cooking.

drinks.jpgPerhaps a different explanation is that Iím seeking variety in my life. My former food philosophy was to find something that I liked and then eat it every time. In high school I went to the same pizza restaurant in Asheville every time I drove there my senior year and I ate a calzone with onions, mushrooms and bacon each and every time. In contrast, when given a choice of restaurants last Saturday, Charity and I went to a Turkish restaurant in Chapel Hill with some friends where I ordered apricot juice (it tasted as fuzzy as it sounds like it would).

Why the change in eating philosophy? Is it just that Iíve eaten enough pizza in my life that Iím ready to try something new? Am I trying to find identity is something not related to school? Is it a tertiary function emerging? Who am I?

So all that said, the original idea for this post was Charity’s recent food creation displayed below. It’s a wrap with fresh spinach, sautťed mushrooms and onions, brown rice (not pictured) and teriyaki chicken. In addition to tasting pretty good I think it is pretty cool in that it is an original creation.


Iíll also take the time here to recommend jambalaya wraps which are an Andy creation. To create, cook up regular jambalaya mix and put it in a tortilla with cheddar cheese and sour cream. Itís good and on our stove at the moment.

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July 28, 2005 at 6:55 pm

Posted in Pictures, Reflections

So. Stinking. Cool.

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If you haven’t discovered it yet Google Earth is absolutely amazing. Tonight I’ve seen satellite photos of the Imperial Palaces in both Beijing and Tokyo at the touch of a button. I peered down on the blurry, most heavily guarded border in the world between North and South Korea. And then, on a whim, I took a dive into the Grand Canyon and used the 3-d tool to fly horizontally through it like a helicopter. Not quite like being there but still very impressive.

That there exists and that I have free access to a three dimensional satellite map of the earth is absolutely amazing, especially when one considers how much work went into learning about and disseminating geographical knowledge in yesteryear. What would Lewis and Clark have thought?

Previously I’ve used the 3-d feature of Google Earth to look down the digitally constructed steel canyons of New York City and at the skyline of Chicago from the viewpoint of a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan. I think the buildings feature only works for the US at this point but it has still been fun to peer down on the different cities around the world that I have traveled to and pick out the parks and streets that I remember.

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July 10, 2005 at 11:29 pm

In Process

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Recently my wife has begun a new blog titled In Process as another new aspect of her new life here in Carrboro. I’m curious to see how her blog evolves as she begins blogging on her own.

In addition to having a nice shot from our trip west the sidebar, there is a very cool collection of wedding photos on the bottom entry available to look at if you haven’t been forced to see the originals already!

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July 4, 2005 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Blogroll

Grandsons and Geraniums

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I wrote this a week or so ago and thought I would post it.

* * *

As I listen to the chirping of the birds out the back window and look at our new, pink geranium lit in the gentle sunlight of our back patio I am haunted by the man that sits across from me. At the moment my grandfather, Pop, is snoozing lightly in the chair opposite me with his yellow, 70s striped shirt lit with the afternoon sunlight which splashes in our open backdoor. His hearing-aids are turned down and I wonder if he can make out the birds in calling from the thick green trees as the light breeze sweeps over us, in the back window and out the front.

When I awoke from my nap this afternoon I descended the stairs and met him coming in the front door with his open red box of Cheez-Its, an empty gin glass and his Patrick O’Brien book. As we met in the hallway he gave me a smile and said with a characteristic wave of his right hand, palm turned upward gesturing from right to left “I’ve been listening to a cardinal and a mockingbird.” And then as he passed me he said with a raspy smile “I love mockingbirds.”

What amazes me about this moment as I sit listening to the birds outside the window is the effortless effect he has on me. The birds continue to call as they do every day (and every morning) but now as I listen I wonder which call is which. I wonder why my grandfather values these sounds. It is strange to think that in many ways I am this man.

When I look at its bright clumps of red out the back window it is like looking into a portal back to my grandparents house in Alpharetta where their white, modern couch is pulled forward to make a space for a row of red geraniums inserted as a crimson swath between the back yard with its green, bordering woods visible through a wall constructed of glass doors and the white and silver dťcor of the living room placed at right angles under a high, angled ceiling.

My taste in architecture is molded largely from the many years I spent playing in his modern house with its huge arched ceilings, light giving skylights and copious windows. My sisters and I pounded up and down the white carpeted halls under the cubist and modern paintings with their bright colors and strange lines. Each time our family came down the house startled me anew and now I find myself desiring the colors, the light, the contrasts in my own house. I listen to classical music because when the exploration of the house and the woods came to a close the classical music was ever present around his house, piped into whatever room in the house I might plop with my book. I play cribbage because he played cribbage. I read much of what I do because he did.

As I look at the geranium on the back patio I wonder what to make of Pop and Granís house, their world, that I spent so much time in growing up. I wonder if Iím drawn to the blood red colors of the geranium because they have a beauty Iíve grown up to love or because the colors, shapes and smell of the geraniums remind me that I am the grandson of, and in many ways the same as, the elderly man who is napping across the coffee table from me.

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July 4, 2005 at 11:33 am

Posted in Reflections