Monday, February 15, 2016

Fantasy Supreme Court

Over the weekend the shocking news of the death of Antonin Scalia came. President Obama needs to appoint a replacement justice.

Do you know that there is absolutely no qualification for becoming a justice? Age, gender, off course but you don’t have to be a lawyer or have attended law school. You don’t have to be a native-born citizen unlike the POTUS.  And there has been actually a justice who did not attend any law school.

So who is your Fantasy Supreme Court justice? I’d vote for Michelle Obama. She is a minority (woman and African American). She actually has a law degree and has been a lawyer. Need I say more.

I cook most of the meals but I don’t create recipes. I rely on recipes on the web and books. So to pay tribute to all the food bloggers and people who contribute recipes out there, I’m  posting recipes that I’ve recently tried and liked.
In the past few days I’ve made:

Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Wings with Honey Garlic Sauce: Did come out really crispy!
Homemade Potato Bread: Making it with real potato vs potato flakes does made a big difference

Friday, February 12, 2016

Undermining My Achievement

My husband would on regular basis say, ‘thank you for your hard work.’ I’ve never been comfortable with it.

  1. I’m just doing house work: my husband teaches and does research on his own time which I consider his second job. I’ve had my job as an NP for my day job, so I considered house work my job.  
  2. If I did not do the dishes once or twice and let it pile up, the ‘hard work’ is only my fault. It wouldn’t have been ‘hard’ if I had washed them after each meal.
  3. When he tells me that after I’ve done cleaning work like vacuuming or ironing, I feel ashamed because more time than not, I’ve put off doing them for some week before I finally got to it.
  4. If I was in the kitchen cocking a rather elaborate meal (instead of just a stir-fry, for instance), baking quick breads or cookies. I feel like I’m the one using time for ‘frivolous’ things instead of cooking regular meals and don’t deserve the words.

But I think I’m going to stop feeling guilty. I think from now on I’ll just take it as what it is. Maybe it’s like brushing it off when someone compliments you on how you dress. But maybe I’m wrong.

The other thing that occurred to me is that I don’t think I’ve ever said that to him for his ‘regular’ jobs. I might say ‘congratulations’ for getting through the semester or finishing an aspect of research but that’s about it. Maybe I should be saying it to him on a regular basis.

Does your partner thank you for doing housework? 

By Vitor Mazuco, via Wikimedia Commons

I cook most of the meals but I don’t create recipes. I rely on recipes on the web and books. So to pay tribute to all the food bloggers and people who contribute recipes out there, I’m  posting recipes that I’ve recently tried and liked.
In the past few days I’ve made:

Low Sugar Meyer Lemon Chia Seed Muffins: Fluffy, high-rising. I did use ground flax seed since I didn’t have chia seeds.

Chai Spiced Pear Bread: Although I did change the ratio of spices

Monday, February 8, 2016

Is it Just Morbid Curiosity?

Being a football fan I go to on a regular basis during the season. The last time I was there (Feb 6), I saw the headlines for Johnny Manziel, the Cleveland Brown’s quarterback. It was pretty obvious that he got into another trouble. I’m not a Manziel fan and since I watch a lot more pro-football more than college football, I didn’t even know about him before he entered NFL. I’m also not a Cleveland Brown’s fan.

Still, I found myself clicking on the headline to read what he did THIS time.

And I question my motive and feel irritated by myself for reading the article. From what I’ve learned in the past, he is probably an domestic violence perpetrator and an alcohol abuser. The only thing that I should care for is to hope that his girlfriend gets out of this relationship and that he finds insight to his problems and straightens out.

Am I enjoying his downfall? It’s a scary question.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Problem With Having ‘Me’ Time

A lot is said about the importance of taking time for yourself, to give yourself a break, to give yourself time to do what you really want to do. But I think this created some problems in my life.

My former job was a ten-hour day, 4 days a week job. The commute was an hour each way. And at least two to three work days a week, I cooked dinner from scratch after coming home around 6 pm. Then washed dishes by hand. Then prepared lunch for the next day. By the time I finished all that, it was 7:30 pm at the earliest, most of the time past 8 pm. By nine, my husband would stop working to relax so I would stop whatever I was doing and play card, talk, listen to music, scratch the dog, etc. and combination of those. We went to bed at 10 pm because we had to get up at 5:45 the next morning. 

By KoS, via Wikimedia Commons 

So that left about an hour to an hour 30 minutes for ‘myself’. I would be tired from work on regular basis. My anxiety probably it worse. I just wanted to relax. Which would mean I would just read ‘cozy’ mysteries or surf the web mindlessly and aimlessly.

Problem was, whenever my husband wanted to talk to me, share a news with me and interrupt ‘my’ time, I got irritated. I think if he did it more than once, I didn’t bother to hide my irritation. It was really selfish. I realized that now because I’m currently unemployed. I hope I learned from this experience and I won’t do that again when I get a different job in the future. 

How do you carve out your own time?

Battle of Depression vs. Anxiety

It is known that a person can have, and tend to have more than one mental health disorders together. The chance of having depression and anxiety disorder together can be high as 30 to 80%.

As the previously linked article writes, having both means higher chance of having more, sever, and/or longer duration of problems.

By Abraham van Beijeren , via Wikimedia Commons

But I’m wondering if there are also benefits to having both. A weird thought. But idea came to me when I wondered how I was able to function normally (relatively) in society. When people have depression, you lack the will to do things. Yet, for a total of 12 years I was able to work as a nurse and a nurse practitioner. There were several days when the side effects of medication made me too drowsy to drive to work but depression itself did not hinder me going to work. And maybe it was due to anxiety.

No matter how much experience I compiled, facing patient caused me anxiety. I remember taking big deep breaths before entering each patient’s room, to steel myself, to put on a mask of a nurse. I was daily worried about not being able to finish work on schedule so especially first thing in the morning I was tense. 

Once a nurse practitioner, each patient encounter made me nervous and afraid thinking the next patient might have a problem that I might not able to make heads or tails of (not even know how to work up). The worry that the next patient might be a drug-seeker was always there.

Those fears and anxiety made me hyper-alert while depression would have made me numb and slow. My anxiety probably wiped out depressive symptoms on work days.

I did crash on the weekends. The last few years I realized that I became depressed pretty much every other weekends, becoming despondent. It almost seemed like I needed the job to stay functional even though I dreaded it.

As much as anxiety hinder regular interaction with people, maybe it was helping me do my job.

I cook most of the meals but I don’t create recipes. I rely on recipes on the web and books. So to pay tribute to all the food bloggers and people who contribute recipes out there, I’m  posting recipes that I’ve recently tried and liked.
In the past few days I’ve made:

White Chili: Nice on a cold day when you are tired of tomato-based chili.
15-Minute Fried Noodles: Simple weekday meal.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Whose Role Is It?

#OscarSoWhite controversy reminded me of something. In the 2015 rom-com ‘Aloha’ Emma Stone played a one quarter Chinese and one quarter Hawaiian descent. The movie was criticized for ‘white-washing’.

And there are opinions that say a transgender role should be played by a transgender person.

I’m not saying that these opinions and criticisms are wrong. But there are couple of problems with this idea:

  1. There’s a reason why those people are called ‘actors’. They act. They become something that they are not. We enjoy stories of actors bulking up, putting on pounds, losing weight, training for sword-fights and horse-riding, learning different accents and how to play an instrument, researching different diseases or occupation. We enjoy great actors/actresses become what they aren’t an marvel at their talent. It is entertainment.
  1. For the director directing any movie, each movie is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring into picture their vision. Each director will have a unique story and character interpretation. It’s their ‘art’.
  1. Movie making is business for production companies and some producers. They do have to/want to make money. They will cater to the people who will buy the tickets, DVDs, probably to a lesser extent, people who will rent DVDs. So there are even going to be total miscasts for the sake of marketing. Like (a nerdy) computer hacker played by muscular, bulky Chris Hemsworth in 2015 ‘Blackhat’.

In our 2015 ‘Brand Is Crisis’, Sandra Bullock played a role originally written for a man. Should she have not? Or because she is a woman and has less opportunity for a starting role, it’s OK.

Should the role of HIV patient have been played by an actual patient instead of Tom Hanks in the movie ‘Philadelphia’ (1993). HIV patients are marginalized and have few opportunities to get regular jobs.

The movie ‘Steve Jobs’. Should we have stuck with the 2013 version because it’s played by an American, Ashton Kutcher verses the 2015 version which was played by an Irish-German actor Michael Fassbender. Or does it not matter because both are white male?

The 2011 ‘Wuthering Heights’, James Howson played Heathcliff, becoming the first black actor to play the role. Should he not have? Or is it fine because it gave roll to a non-white actor?

Should the paraplegic role played by Denzel Washington in 1999 ‘Bone Collector’ be remade with a paraplegic actor?

Would it be all right for Cate Blanchett to play a lesbian (2015 ‘Carole) only if there are enough lesbian actresses around and getting plenty of other acting jobs and they are sick and tired of ‘acting’ like a lesbian?

We do need more female or non-white actors, directors, writers, producers, production company CEOs, and critiques to level out the field. But where do we draw the line as to what’s correct and what’s wrong?


And I’m kind of sick and tired of hearing about Oscar ‘snubs’. There are ALWAYS going to exist. There are only so many who can be nominated and there’s only one person winning in each category. And it is a pretty well known fact that Oscar prefers certain types of movies and roles.

If you do comedy, you probably won’t get it. If you do villains, there’s only a slim chance. Take the late Alan Rickman. He was NEVER even nominated for Oscars and he said, “Parts win prizes, not actors. You always know a part that’s got ‘prize winner’ written all over it, and it’s almost like anybody could say those lines and somebody will hand them a piece of metal.” If we continue with the diversity theme, on the other hand, Denzel Washington has been nominated for Oscars 6 times and won twice. I wouldn’t say that people who were awarded are not worth it. What I’m saying is even if an actor/actress is great, if they don’t play movies and roles that Oscar prefers, they are out of luck.