Indian Day

So, apparently we do theme days now, and Saturday was Indian day. We started off the day with a visit to the Asian Art Museum to catch the Maharaja exhibit, featuring both these traditional images:

and these re-imagined ones:

by Sanjay Patel

I loved Patel’s renderings of traditional Indian paintings, and I stood in the museum shop debating with myself whether I would buy his book, Ramahanja – Divine Loophole (a retelling of an old epic featuring demons and gods and a blue-skinned hero). I decided against it on grounds of cost, but must have picked it up and put it back at least twice before moving on.

Then, we went to Dosa for some South Indian food.

Every time we go eat Indian food, I resolve to learn how to make something besides the couple curries that are in my weekly rotations. This time was no exception. The food was good, the staff perhaps a little disappointed that we were sticking with water, but we’ll put that down to friendliness. All was good.

And then my dad took me to see Jesus in India, put on by the Magic Theater at Fort Mason, San Francisco. (My dad likes to encourage my religiosity by taking me to semi-irreligious things.) The premise is that Jesus spent at least part of his ‘lost years’ (you know, the time in the bible that isn’t documented, between his childhood and the beginnings of his ministry)  in India. Sounds interesting, no? In hindsight, I think I expected something like a cross between The Book of Mormon musical and Lamb by Christopher Moore. It wasn’t that. It was more intellectual than funny, mirroring the nativity story in a complicated interplay with contemporary elements, although there were some good laughs in there. And a lot of weed. It didn’t hit me till the drive home that, of course, weed is illegal in the States. Sorry, my liberal European heritage didn’t quite get the subversive message there.

All in all, a pretty good day. We should do theme days more often.

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on cooking from scratch

Last week, B. and I went on a shopping spree. As usual, we merely browsed clothing stores and spent our money on food – most of it at an ethnic shop selling all kinds of Asian products and produce. Unfortunately neither of us had thought to bring a backpack so we had to lug a heavy plastic bag everywhere after that. (And by ‘we’, I mean B., since he does the lugging when we go shopping. Because I’m so delicate and he’s so manly, you know.)

Homemade garam masala. Photo taken in Kent, Oh...

Image via Wikipedia

I was excited about a lot of things I bought – udon noodles and baking soda and corn starch and curry pastes – but I was most excited about the little plastic tubs of spices I’d grabbed. I eat a lot of Thai and Indian food, and this meant I would finally be able to make my curries from scratch. I firmly believe in cooking from scratch – it tastes better, it’s more fun, and I like knowing what goes into my food. So with the garam masala I’d bought, I was finally ready to make this. (It’s been staring at me from my feed reader for so long, just begging to be made. Recipes so often are – there just aren’t enough meals in the day or time to prepare them in to satisfy all my recipe cravings!)

And I wasn’t disappointed. It reminded me of my bagel baking, in the sense that I mixed everything together per instructions and then tasted it, and holy hockey sticks, it tasted just like it was supposed to! (It still amazes me how you can throw a lot of stuff together – even stuff you’ve never cooked with before – and get something really delicious out of it.) It was obviously my first time cooking this recipe, and I need to tweak it a bit to fit my personal preferences, but I was really happy with the results.

I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of (chai) tea, that there are enough people that would think, if it tastes just like store-bought, why not just buy it in the store and save yourself some time. But cooking is my way of entering into the creative process, of letting go of everyday things and focusing on something bigger than me. I like the way cooking is based on rules but employs a lot of freedom as well. It fits me. Plus, unlike other art forms, if you don’t like the results, you eat it and it’s gone. Presto, instant extermination!

And talking about rules and freedom, I’m making these on Friday as a special surprise for B. (So B., if you’re reading this before Saturday, only click on that link if you want to ruin your surprise!) They’re pretty much the ultimate exercise in strait-laced freedom. I’ll let you know how they turn out..

a new poem of the month

This month’s poem is, again, in Dutch. I guess my semi-native language is starting to grow on me!

Dit is een gedicht dat ik jaren geleden eens ben tegengekomen en dat me nooit heeft losgelaten. Wat het zo speciaal maakt zijn niet alleen de woorden, maar het feit dat het een Plint gedicht is, dus dat woorden en afbeelding hier samen een nieuw product vormen. Zo word je op twee manieren geprikkeld. Bijzonder.

Het is een gedicht dat blijft terugkomen in mijn leven. Elke keer als ik aan iets nieuws ga beginnen lees ik het even. En ook al blijven die nieuwe dingen eng om te doen, ik weet dat die uitdagingen bij me passen. Want

ik hou van regen.
ik hou van storm.
ik ben niet bang.

Ook nu dat ik officieel geen student meer ben, maar me nog niet helemaal raad weet met mijn nieuwe status als volwassen werkend persoon, spoken deze woorden door mijn hoofd. Maar ook dat komt vast goed. Want

ik hou van regen.
ik hou van storm.
ik ben niet bang.

Zo is het maar net.

artistic, but probably still nsfw

Zoals jullie weten lees ik de LINDA. Gedeeltelijk uit een soort van fascinatie (“how the other half lives”), gedeeltelijk omdat ik vind dat de LINDA. meestal wel leuke onderwerpen heeft en interessante blikken biedt op allerlei maatschappelijke thema’s. (Dat klinkt eigenlijk best verantwoord zo, nu ik erover nadenk.)

Nou had ik de LINDA. van deze maand snel even gekocht gisteren. Het staat natuurlijk een beetje in de teken van het WK, en ik dacht dat het wel leuk zou zijn maar niet bijzonder. En zo bladerde ik er heel nonchalant doorheen, tot ik bij een aantal verhalen toch maar iets aandachtiger ging lezen.

Eerst was er een verhaal over/fotoshoot met kale vrouwen, die kracht halen uit het feit dat ze bewust geen of zeer gemillimeterd haar hebben. En hoewel dat al interessant genoeg was (ik houd van verhalen over sterke vrouwen, zeker als ze tegen maatschappelijke normen in durven gaan en daarbij heel erg zichzelf blijven), kwam daarna een verhaal (met heel veel foto’s) over een nieuw fotoboek van Tony Duran: Dieux du Stade. En als er ooit een fotoboek was die ik graag in mijn kast zou hebben en ongelimiteerd door heen zou bladeren is het dit. Denk 45 stoere, sexy rugbymannen, in sportieve én sexy poses, zonder dat het plat wordt. Erotiek op z’n best.

dit was de eerste afbeelding bij het verhaal (over twee pagina's, no less). Je begrijpt denk ik wel waarom mijn aandacht getrokken werd. (via oh la la magazine)

En nog artistiek verantwoord ook, wat wil je nog meer? Helaas kost het boek wel vijftig euro, dus ik denk dat ik het maar bij de zeven foto’s in de LINDA. moet houden..

three cool things you can do with lego

Build the Guggenheim. Photo taken in the awesome Lego store in Hamburg, Germany.

Tell Bible stories. Image taken from The Brick Testament website.

God creating Adam.

As an aside, my systematic theology professor would have a fit if he saw me posting this image, since he spent an entire semester trying to teach us not to imagine God as an old man. Or the Holy Ghost as an actual ghost, for that matter. But a glow in the dark Holy Ghost is too good to pass up…

The Trinity

Recreate iconic photographs. Image taken from Flickr. (via kottke.org)

lunch atop a skyscraper

70 million by hold your horses

This is just a fun video to tide you over till I finish up some posts I’ve been working on. I got it off of Feministing.com, and they mention the Guerrilla Girls‘ raison d’etre: women in famous art are often naked. (their tagline is: Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern art section are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.) Think of that what you will – I like the Guerrilla Girls and what they do, but I also just liked the video because of the imagery and the simple fact that I enjoy art museums.

So, did you recognize any of the paintings?