Sunday, September 25, 2011

borrowed voices

Things change. It is foolish to expect consistency; from people, jobs, family, life. I know this now but I'm still naive and perhaps holding out on one friend, person, stranger, who will tell me that there are exceptions. That there is someone you can always count on no matter what and that person will not waiver. Their motives will never be questionable, and they will always be true, to themselves and to you.

But that's like believing in Santa Clause. We all have wants and desires. I believe at the core of all this is the want and need for love. We act out, stupidly, meticulously, meditatively to gain it, sometimes in round-about ways, sometimes at the expense and pain of others, seek it in material and base things. The cruelest ones are the ones who feign obliviousness, because they act out in hurtful ways and won't tell us the real reasons why.

C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. It's quite lovely and I have always found Greek mythology enchanting. The title drew me in, and it was the author's intention. {spoiler alert} The title came from this quote at the end of the book: "How can [the gods] meet us face to face till we have faces?"

He defended his choice of title by describing the novel's importance to the human condition in a letter to Dorothea Conybeare, explaining that the idea behind the title was that a human being must become real before it can expect to receive any message from divine beings; "that is, it must be speaking with its own voice (not one of its borrowed voices), expressing its actual desires (not what it imagines that it desires), being for good or ill itself, not any mask."
- via

Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)

I have known you since birth. Held you when you could barely open your eyes. Something inside me welled up, but not with love. Jealousy, territorial hate blossomed. I saw to it to crush you.

I wish I could lie, but that is the truth. I never knew how to love when I was young. Still probably don't. And you suffered from that. I only hope that your grace and forgiveness can make you stronger and a better person than I ever was. I was never a sister to you. I don't know if I am now, but there is a deep cut that I carry within me every day from knowing what I have done.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Live through this and you won't look back

Exes. We all have them, but it's so interesting to me how we each deal with them. Those who are amicable with theirs--I can't comprehend. My relationships have always been extremely intense, jarring (with an exception of one blase one that took forever to end), that we were always left reeling from the carnage, rattled to the bone. Being friends would be impossible. To go from extremely charged to lukewarm and cordial would require an inherent lack of a heart. The friendship would undermine everything that was once shared. There is no other alternative. I learned everything I needed to learn. There is no future with the past, so it is as good as the dead, and I treat it like so.

There's one thing I want to say, so I'll be brave
You were what I wanted
I gave what I gave
I'm not sorry I met you
I'm not sorry it's over
I'm not sorry there's nothing to save

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mesmerized: The Fall

The Fall, directed by Tarsem Singh is a magical journey through the mind of a child and the heartache of a tragic... No, I don't think I shall tell you the story. You just have to experience it for yourself.

I've seen the above with my own eyes. We were in Ubud, Bali and I had forgotten my SLR camera that day, only the waterproof Olympus. No picture could do this scene justice and I have never seen anything so beautiful in nature, created by man. The cascading green rice paddies laid calmly before us, and all I wanted to do was descend upon its steps over and over again.

We stopped here, too. I never realized how high in altitude the Great Wall was until we had to climb it. To say that the steps were steep would be an understatement. I fought to catch my breath in the thin air. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Strange Happening

 Something strange is happening. And I don't know why it's happening now, but I'm happy that it is.

We all have been hurt and betrayed by former friends or those we thought were our 'friends.' For me, I was always too trusting of any one who came into my life. I would never question their motives, but just wholeheartedly helped them or emotionally trusted them as a confidante. Stupid and naive, but one has to start some where to make progress. There were some who severely betrayed my trust or let me down. Thus, bridges were burnt and friends were lost.

But for some odd reason, maybe it's the fact that I'm up to my neck working on our next charity event or that I am so removed from the social drama stratosphere, that I've lost all care for what ever transpired between these people and myself in the past. One of my favorite quotes, "What happened to you then is not happening to you now."

All the weight of holding on to these grudges have disappeared and I feel so much lighter. Maybe it's surrender to the fact that these things happen and it's part of life. People will hurt you, and you can put up as many walls to protect yourself as you want, but in the end you end up harming yourself.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Worm: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I've been hearing a lot of rave reviews about this book, but the paperback isn't out yet. It's on the wishlist! =)

An excerpt read by the author can be heard from NPR here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Remember when I got gel nails a while back before my month-long travel of Asia? Well you can't take it off with nail polish remover, so you either have to file them off or wait till they grow out. I chose the latter, and you can see how far I've waited in the above image. I've inadvertently given myself black french tips. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Domesticate: Cooking Banh Xeo

Banh Xeo - I grew up eating this crispy confection with my family. It has an outer layer of fried rice batter, and inside is filled with bean sprouts, pork belly, shrimp and onions. I don't know why, but the last few days have made me really crave this dish, but what was different from my usual food cravings is that I actually suddenly had the urge to try to make it instead of heading to the closest Viet restaurant.

This recipe was found on But if you try it, take note, their version of the batter is wayyyy too thick, which is totally wrong. Luckily my father was there to supervise. After seeing my feeble attempts of ladling the thick batter that I had meticulous measured according to the recipe, he just took a bottle of Evian water that was next to him and poured it right into my batter mix. He's OG like that. Anyways, we basically added about 2 more cups of water and used all of the coconut milk that came in the can instead of 3/4 cup like the recipe stated.

 My favorite feature of any Vietnamese dish is that it has to have lots of greens accompanying it. Otherwise, it's just not the same.

The pork belly and shrimp getting nicely cooked. Dad likes his pork belly overdone, so we put that in first. Then let the shrimp cook halfway before adding the batter.

The trick to adding batter, my dad says, is to start from the outside, then working your way in. Fill in whatever bald spots after.

The batter, baking in the fat juices that came out from the pork belly. It gives it a better flavor. Veggies are added to the right side.

The hardest part to making banh xeo is the folding of the pancake. If you don't use the right tool, or if your batter hasn't cooked to the right consistency, it will break up.

Voila! The finish product.
Verdict? My dad devoured everything in sight!