Thursday, June 22, 2006


I like to eat with chopsticks. Since learning how to use them at a fairly young age, I have always preferred them to forks and knives as a means of getting food into my piehole. Chopsticks are kind of sexy, too. Sexier than a fork, at least. And chopsticks slow you down; you can't eat too fast when you're only able to pick up smaller morsels of food. And I'll be honest: I'm kind of a fast eater, so any cutlery that helps slow me down is appreciated. But, and there is a but, chopsticks can be frustrating, especially if you don't know how to use them or are really very hungry and want to put food in your mouth at a rapid rate.

Which is why I think chopsticks are the "text messaging" of cutlery.

This week marks a year that I have been texting on my cell phone. And I'm not sure if I love it or hate it. I appreciate texting because I really don't like talking on the phone. If I can't see someone's facial expressions, and someone can't see mine, I have a hard time communicating. I feel vulnerable or detached or distracted or bored or nervous. I just don't give good phone. Which is why, in some ways, texting is perfect. It, like chopsticks, slows me down. I can't just spew out words; I have to think about what I'm going to text. Which is good for me, because I very often talk faster than I think, and that gets me into embarrassing trouble and/or makes me wish I'd said less. I talk like a binge eater eats. After it's over, I'm ashamed and wished that I'd exercised some self-control. But not so with texting! And as I am a very slow, horrible texter, I REALLY have to slow down and think. Also, like chopsticks, texting is kind of sexy. There's a surge that happens, literally and metaphorically, when my phone buzzes with a new text message. It's exciting!

But it's also frustrating. Last night I had a conversation, in texts, for over an hour, with someone who I converse with in text form all the time. In fact, we avoid outright calling each other to have conversations: it's ALL TEXT. And as I was texting this conversation, I wondered why was I not just talking it? Is it because talk feels like it's really happening, and texting feels like you're not really there? Is it because, with texting, there's no voice to betray a feeling? Or is it because I'm scared of over-talking, of biting off more than I, or the person on the other end, can chew? Maybe. Ultimately, I ended the conversation with an actual phone call; I got so frustrated with my slow texting and finally felt like, "why don't I just SAY it?!"

And you know what? I regretted the phone call immediately! It felt so different from the texting! I heard my voice, and I heard it saying words, and the words came out faster than my brain could manage them, and...yeah, it was kind of like eating with a shovel: sloppy.

But I am a little sloppy. It's good that there are tools to slow me down. Chopsticks, so I don't get food in my hair or all over my face. And texting, so I don't get foot in my mouth.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


You want to have your cake and eat it, too, don't you? Sure. It's okay. We all do. But isn't the cliche that you CAN'T have your cake and eat it?

Eating it, having it...where did this cliche about cake come from? A quick search on gave me the answer:

"Though presumably rather older, it is first written down in John Heywood’s A Dialogue Conteynyng Prouerbes and Epigrammes of 1562: “Wolde ye bothe eate your cake, and haue your cake?”. John Keats quoted it as eat your cake and have it at the beginning of his poem On Fame in 1816; Franklin D Roosevelt borrowed it in that form for his State of the Union Address in 1940; a search of nineteenth-century literature shows it to be about twice as common as the other."

You can't have it both ways, is what it means. And though everyone understands that, we all still want cake. To have and to eat.

But nobody ever wants to BE cake!

Or do they?

I am a piece of cake.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


An Empirical Truth:

There is nothing more joyful than licking an ice-cream cone on a warm night, when both the calendar and the weather are on the cusp of summer. I love the texture of the cool, sweet cream, and I love the feeling of balmy, breezy air against my skin; the two together are perfection.

Something in the mechanism of eating ice-cream, the way we take it in, is rapturously innocent and animal. I love that, too. And I give the process of eating ice-cream high marks for its "pure-pleasure" factor. There is no need for it; it exists only to make one feel good. And it succeeds more consistently than any other purely pleasurable experience. When have I been let down by ice-cream? Pretty much never. It's my go-to good time, and I'm so grateful for its invention. And as long as I'm expressing gratitude, I'll add a thank-goodness that I'm not lactose intolerant.