Everyone’s a critic, they say, and that’s certainly true of the food world today. Of course, everyone has always been a critic, in the sense that customers have always made the most basic judgment of all: Do I want to come back to this joint? But there’s a contemporary development with respect to volume, in the dual sense of quantity and loudness. The volume of all this critical chatter is turned way up, and it’s harder than ever to ignore. Food is my favorite thing to talk about and to learn about, but an interest that is reasonable on a personal and an individual scale has grown out of all proportion in the wider culture. Imagine that you’re fascinated by model trains. You’re on fire with interest, you think about them all the time, they’re your consuming passion. But then, over about twenty years, the entire culture becomes obsessed with model trains. The model-train blogosphere grows exponentially. Model-train makers are plastered all over the covers of magazines, and stage train-building smackdowns on TV, and are treated as the new rock stars. Might you, in your private heart, think that maybe the whole model-train thing, still of tremendous interest to you, has somehow got a bit out of hand? That’s where I feel food is today.
From New York Times:
Intense, highly demanding exercise has many health benefits and one signal drawback. It can be physically unpleasant, which deters many people from beginning or sticking with an intense exercise program. An encouraging new study, however, suggests that listening to music makes strenuous workouts feel easier and may nudge people into pushing themselves harder than they had thought possible.
I was not planning on posting this weekend, but today’s prompt from The Daily Post gave me an idea for a Halloween Costume!
We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?
My answer? Janus, the god of war and peace, the god of change and time, the god of gates and doors.
I’m not saying that I’m two-faced/Janus-faced (deceitful, hypocritical, etc.). It relates more to how a person hides his real self from the world. For the sake of time, I will urge you to read this passage from an introduction to a journal that named itself from the god:
The image of Janus as two-headed reminds us that, as human beings, we are always radically de-centered and unknown to ourselves. It is no mistake that the doors of Janus’ temple were kept open in times of war. In war, the other can take on the menacing quality of what is unknown to ourselves. Janus’ signification of vigilance calls us to continually remain open to what has been marginalized, split off, and left out of dialogue, for it may appear in the face of that which aims to destroy us. The opening up of a dwelling-space can offer the dialogue which may thwart the mutual destruction which can result when we fail to recognize our disowned face in the face of the other. And, with such a dialogue, we cannot help but be transformed. Self and other offer each other, in this space, the opportunity for new beginnings with new dialogues. Further, the significance of Janus being two-headed reminds us that, as Nietzsche wrote, “Truth is the kind of error without which a species cannot survive.” The ‘truth’ of any community is always only partial, both revealing and concealing, and thus necessitating a never-ending dialogue by which the meaning and ground of the community can continue to be renewed.
Halloween is perfect for this, since putting on a mask reveals what’s off the mask. I would wear a costume that symbolizes Janus as it would reflect my personality. To end this post (because I have to go and I have no time later, sorry), I am leaving you with this music video:
This week began with worrying about midterms and is currently ending in a more relaxing way. I had three midterms this week, one in which I am very certain of having done well (which is great, considering that the class counts for my major). Nonetheless, even disregarding how much I’ve done on the other two, with those done, I can finally breathe again. Tomorrow, I will be participating in a community service through my church for the first time; in particular, I will be helping “winterize” a church community garden. I am pretty excited! After that, my family will pick me up for a weekend in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where some family friends from Florida are currently staying. So, overall, this week, though it was a bit hard at first, got better and is still getting better. Definitely looking forward for this weekend.
So there’s this guy in my Research Methods class who always sits in the front, in the same seat. In the first day of classes, girl sits in his right and always sits next to him from that day on. He still sits in the same seat. Except in one day, where there were two seats between the girl…and another girl. I wrote “uh-oh” in my notebook. He didn’t actually even stop for a second to decide where to sit, but guess where he sat? Away from the girl. Why? I don’t know. He was late, so he had to just sit and not even take time to decide. Is it an indication that he doesn’t like the girl? I don’t know!
I have two exams today: Russian Literature and Persuasive Communication. I finished my Russian Lit exam over an hour ago. I don’t know if I did very well. One thing I worry about is the essay part–we had to write two essays about the works (“The Overcoat,” “The Queen of Spades,” and Crime and Punishment). Dang I should have watched the Russian movie I found last night. I didn’t read the ending so I didn’t know what it was–and it turns out to be one of the essay topics (I wrote about the ending very vaguely). So yeah, probably didn’t do well. I am not expecting a great result in my communications exam by the way (it’s in 30 minutes). I didn’t really study at all. I’ll forget what contents are in them, etc. etc. etc. I am still struggling to make the best of my writing. I need to do more reading. I want to read more. With all the time limits for my assigned readings that I do somewhat like, I don’t really get to enjoy what I read. So yeah. Is it ten minutes yet? Nope five minutes more. I feel so dumb, with these small and very basic words. I feel inarticulate and just not smart. Yeah. not smart. I don’t know. I guess stress factors into that. But anyway, I think I’m up for a good weekend. I am going to West Virginia with my family. It turns out that my mother fainted somewhere last–I don’t even know what day it was. Anyway, she was rushed to the hospital, and I only knew about this yesterday, when I called her. I feel quite bad, not only for that reason, but for the reason that I made her quite angry last week. I must be a terrible son. Am I? I don’t know. I don’t know.Anyway, back to worrying about my next exam.