Friday, January 26, 2007

the meaning of food...

This is a highly deceiving title as this post has nothing whatsoever to do with food (or at least very little). But it does have a little to do with the meaning of life. If I know, really know, what I want to 'do when I grow up' and what I want to do is actually a lot of things, how do I pick?

I sit, alone, lounging on a faraway beach listening to the seagulls, hugging a hot mug of coffee and musing about my next installment of Henry the Hoppity Bunny. Henry's been labeled the latest craze in children's literature, fusing thriller with adventure; romance with action; horror with bunny. The kids are lining up at the stores. The parents wait for their young to fall asleep before sneaking their copy of Henry the Hoppity Bunny's latest adventure/romance/mystery. Churches and schools are banning the books, citing the worship of bunnies to be immoral. The first installment has made it to the big screen, with the next three already in production. I'm credited as consultant. I've never visited the set, and the only person I have spoken to from the studio is James, a squat middle-aged man, more interested in talking numbers than chatting about the benefits of sea air. And all the while, fan fiction websites are popping up, all chronicling Henry's thrilling romantic action-packed bunny-filled adventures.

But my fame remains a paradox. Exposed yet obscured. With no husband, no children and very few friends, some begin to wonder whether the famous Clara A. Thatcher does in fact exist. The pen name does not fool anyone. They begin to wonder whether I am trying to convey a secret message, visible only to those smart enough to make out the anagram 'CAT' in my name. Will my next protagonist be a cat? they wonder to themselves as they chat online, in libraries and on spaceships. The excitement is almost too much to bear.

I hadn't noticed the anagram. Nor have I any affinity to cats. Perhaps I could write about Camilla the Curious Cat but somehow I fear for her fate; I see an unfortunate end for her, scarcely before she has had time to grow a long enough tail.

I pick up a pen and begin to doodle on a notepad. I draw a cat. I try to make her look like she's smiling but somehow her expression comes off looking like a scowl. I scribble her out. I pause then rip off the page, scrunch it into a ball and fling it towards the sea. It manages to travel a few inches before a gust of wind flings it back at me, catching it in my hair.

The real Henry is getting restless. I can see him hopping about, with neither adventures nor romances to his name. Not even a measly mystery for him to solve using his thrilling crime-fighting prowess. He hops a little more, pausing for thought. How many carrots have I had today? he wonders. Not enough, he concludes, and continues his hopping, finding and munching escapades.

It it almost sunset and the very thought of a romantic setting makes my stomach turn. I hurriedly get up, leaving the notepad behind and walk back towards the house. I pick up Henry along the way. For company. But before closing the door, I quickly glance around the foyer, making sure that pesky Camilla hasn't somehow snuck her way into my life.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

pre-lunch; post-breakfast

The office is pretty quiet today. It's almost the weekend so maybe people are taking quick naps (pre-lunch; post-snack) to recharge, making sure they have ample energy to do nothing but eat all weekend (and then "diet" all week, of course).

Food seems to be the main topic of converstation around here. What did you have for dinner? I had a small breakfast. Are you having lunch here? I feel like a burger with extra onions and large fries. Is that all? Oh, I'd like a Diet Coke, but please make sure it's Diet. I feel guilty, I shouldn't have had that. Oh it's okay to cheat, doctors say it's better than not having something you crave. Hmmm got any chocolate? I could go for a quick coffee actually. Double latte. Fudge brownie. Oh, can I have nonfat milk with the latte? You know, I only drink nonfat. That was good. I wonder what's for dinner? Well, there's a new restaurant which, apparently, has been packed to the brim. What do they serve? Why, sushi of course! Naturally with a side of hummus and french fries...

Here, I have found the meaning of life: Food. People aren't eating to live, they're living to eat. Times of day surround meals. Before breakfast. During lunch. Before dinner. After my midnight snack! At breakfast, the topic of discussion is lunch. At lunch, we reminisce about breakfast and anticipate dinner. And naturally, at dinner, we discuss tomorrow's breakfast.

I really can't be bothered to get up, walk somewhere (or drive, more likely) and go get something to eat. I'll just get it delivered. Oh, in some countries there are restaurants that don't deliver? How barbaric. I do wonder how they get by.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


So now that I've spent a day at home, shortened my 'working week'--I use the term quite loosely here--and effectively decreased my grand total of seventeen sick days a year to sixteen (which braniac decided that the average human being needs seventeen days for being sick a year?), I am hoping to get sick less often and use those sick days more often--for a good lie-in on a rainy Monday morning, when even the birds don't want to be chirping.

So what exactly makes birds so cheery in the morning? Are they chirping because they know they got the worm? Where are all the latebirds (as opposed to earlybirds)? Sleeping in, I suppose. The early bird not only loses the chance to sleep in, but also has to stomach an awful breakfast which he may very well live to regret. He is lonely from being the only bird with "early" status stamped on his beak, and on top of it all, has to spend his morning acting as a clock-radio. The latebird on the other hand, wakes up rested and content, and instead of having to hurriedly swallow an unsuspecting worm, sits down to a quiet breakfast of healthy cereal and the morning paper, quietly contemplating the day's events (the earlybird has no time for formalities, and furthermore, the worm expects to see the esophagus of said earlybird before lunch). The latebird is thankful that "Wake People Up. Be as Annoying as Possible" is not scrawled on his To-Do List. Thankful that he doesn't know what a To-Do List is.

Next time you hear someone say, "Come on, you know the early bird gets the worm!" just smile and say "I know" while secretly basking in the lifestyle of latebird life.

Monday, January 22, 2007

cake for thought...

Well hello world, and welcome to my life.

The purpose of this blog is to connect you to me and me to you and us to other worlds. And such. And to talk about cake of course. For today, at least. Chocolate. Foret Noire. Cheese. Marble. Upside-down. Sponge. Fruit. Christmas. Birthday. Banana. Ice-cream. The world of cake is big to say the least and if we look closely enough, I am sure the meaning of life is lurking somewhere under the copious layers of sugary icing. Take the time to enjoy a particularly delectable piece of flourless chocolate cake on a dreary London afternoon. Cake does not masquerade as something else, something essential or necessary but admits, not proudly nor defensively, that it is what it is. Something you can't resist, what begins as a one night stand with an unusually large piece of seven-layer chocolate fudge cake develops into an endless string of affairs, with the occasional unspoken romp with a lemon meringue pie. Don't lose your head over it, chocolate souffle will always be available the next day. Marie knew what she was talking about. What could be better than the champagne of water when it comes to thy daily bread?