Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fiction and Parody: The Legend of the Foba Noodle

*not my photo

I was skimming through the net on food groups that are good for my blood type because age I feel is knocking on my doorstep somewhat and I chanced upon this list of carbohydrates which I could consume without adverse effects for people like me

1. potato
2. rice
3. white pasta
and (wait for it)
4. “Foba” Noodles.

“Foba” Noodles. I pondered for a moment and wondered what the origin of the Foba Noodle might have been. Wondered a bit more, and I conjured in my mind on how it may have come to be...

Cue in whirling sound effects of a flashback...

During the mid 1930's, Soba Noodle Sr., a well established noodle in the Far East had a brief dalliance with an Italian restaurant staple named Farfalle. Nine months thereafter, Soba Sr. sired an offspring but this was unexpected. By all accounts though, this youngling was a noodle through and through. However, this placed the entire realm of cuisine from Europe to Asia in an unwieldy state because up to this point, clear demarcations between noodle and pasta were in place in the 2 continents. Not to mention, Soba Sr. was a very married man who had a robust young son, Soba Jr., who was the heir apparent of the Soba Dynasty and who is in fact, what we know today as THE Soba Noodle.

Foba's mother Farfalle, named him thus, and was never the sort to dwell on the uncomfortable tidings that life brings. She did her best to raise the young one not to be bitter or angry on the account of his circumstance. Foba, for his part, learned and accepted this very well. Veritably, to help balance this most awkward position, he even considered taking up another vocation like farming or soap-making so as to permit his half brother  Soba Jr. to be make the imprint as the one and the only, preeminent Soba Noodle. On the other hand though, Foba could not deny that buckwheat and semolina ran through his veins and it would be against his very nature and existence if he didn't serve or be served as a noodle.

For this, Foba, made a promise to maintain honor between him and his family, making a pact that as a noodle, he would only materialize in the country or island side, the highways, byways and the hedges, not draw attention to himself and to travel further on to even more recessed towns if he was beginning to obtain some sort of following.

Foba then grew and lived to do as he said, with his hood and his effects upon his skinny frame, sojourning in places, being of good use, being true to his word to his family but not at the expense of his nature, part noodle, part pasta, Japanese, Italian, sometimes rigid, other times malleable, he prevailed good and edible.

And so the legend of the Foba Noodle lived on albeit only mostly in mysterious villages and hamlets. We do hear about him from time to time, and with the arrival of internet, whispers about him became more audible. But is the Foba noodle real? or is it just a myth? A mispronunciation? a misspelling? You decide for yourself. As for me, apparently, The Foba noodle is one of the carbs people with my blood type can glutton-ize without deleterious consequences.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Clark Kent and the Blue Police Box

In Reddit, there is a writing prompt for any one who is willing to take a gander at making up stories. I responded to one where the scenario begins with the Earth being attacked by aliens and Clark Kent who needs to change to Superman finds a blue box in the middle of the street. Most Sci-Fi dabblers know what the blue box is and who it's inhabitant is and certainly, everybody knows who Superman is, the rest however goes like this:

Clark Kent entered the Blue Police Box and met a man dressed as a magician with very particular eyebrows. He noticed a round panel with a column at the center and though it was bigger on the inside, he was not confounded by it as he figured, what ever he entered into was not terrestrial. The old man was friendly and didn’t seem surprised when he saw Clark. His eyes fixed on the “S” at the center of Clark’s chest and said.

“Peace.” The old man said with a notable Scottish accent. “You come in peace! so do I, I’m the Doctor.”

Clark looked at him quizzically and while he wondered how the “Doctor” was able to figure out the meaning of the S in his own planet Krypton, he also sensed that the old man was not hostile.

“Quickly, I need to change.” Clark said.

“Upstairs to the right and 2 lefts.” The Doctor said.

As Clark ascended with acceleration, he noticed he was somewhat slower than his usual speed of light, but given the urgency, he brushed it aside and changed to his super hero outfit with only one thing in mind. When he got out of the box he would battle the aliens fast before it was all too late. He did notice however a slight hesitation within himself and felt as though someone was watching, as he turned around, he saw a stone statue of an angel looking serene. He blinked once and noticed this thing came closer though he wasn’t sure. As he blinked one more time it was indeed right at this face and showed it’s fangs ready to attack but with quick reflexes he obliterates the creature with the lasers in his eyes. As the smoke settled around the rubble of a Weeping Angel ,The Doctor entered the room yelling, “Don’t bli!! Oh," he said, "so much for that heap of stone."

“What is this place, what was that and who are you?” Asked Clark.

“I’m The Doctor and you are in my home/space craft/ hobby room/concert stage/time machine, that was a Weeping Angel, etc. etc. Why are you in a funny outfit?” The Doctor asked.

“I’m Superman. Did you bring the aliens here? Is this why Earth is under attack?”

“Firstly, the TARDIS may be a space ship with infinite dimensions inside and yes, the artifacts chamber or museum may harbor monsters and such but I assure you, they are dead and stuffed, a taxidermist from Newcastle had a hand in that. Secondly, no, I did not bring the aliens here. Thirdly, Earth is always under attack anyway, if not by aliens from other planets, just amongst themselves, and fourthly, how super?”

Superman found himself sitting on the stairs of the TARDIS and felt a slight drain of energy and began to have doubts about The Doctor.

“Then why did the statue try to attack me?” He asked.

“That is a mystery to me too,” the Doctor approached the center and pushed some buttons on the console. “According to my calculations, a disturbance is arising from the 3rd level chamber below with a type of an unidentified radiation. Wait a minute, it’s the Artifact Chamber,” it’s seems..”

Both The Doctor and Superman look to the left and four silver metallic robots walking in military cadence mechanically vocalizing “Delete! Delete!” repeatedly, came charging towards them.

“Cybermen!” shouted The Doctor. As the Cybermen take aim at both of them, Superman lets out a massive breath and forms a dense layer of ice which buffers the laser fire. While the lasers missed them narrowly, fireworks and explosions erupt inside the TARDIS, beams topple over and crashing all around. At the sight of the second wave of lasers from the organic robots, Superman turned to a solar flare of energy and zoomed into the Cybermen like a meteor. A loud sound and boom fills the TARDIS and the Cybermen fall on the floor mangled in a heap of metal mess.

Under the pile of metal, Superman emerges looking weak and discomfited. Though the Cybermen were destroyed, it appears Superman felt depleted.

“Somehow, the creatures from the Artifact Chamber are coming to life in your presence.” The Doctor spoke as he read the calculations on the console. “Where are you from? because clearly, you aren’t human. Are you alright? it’s as if..”

The Doctor catches Superman as he falls from his attempt to stand. Superman was very weak, out of breath and even his garment was torn. He has spent a great amount of energy with the solar flare and though he has healed because of this many times before, it would take a long amount of time and he continued to feel drained

“Yes, but I also feel as though I am losing my powers.” Superman mutters with a feeble voice. “What is in this ship? where are you from?” As he remembered his beloved humans being attacked by formidable alien beings, a pang of sadness comes over because for the first time he felt he might not be able to do anything to help them.

“Well, let me see, I had a distress signal around the southern constellation of Corvus, about 26.7 light years from Earth to a planet that orbits around a red dwarf star, ah..ah.. the LHS 2520, yes, that’s right. It was a band of Daleks which assimilated to the element of the planet, the planet Krypton, I believe it was.” The Doctor’s eyes grew larger and fearful as he looked at Superman. "Of course, you, you are a Kryptonian; that’s why everything that’s lifeless in this ship is reacting to you, somehow the TARDIS and elements on board must have accumulated a minute form of energy from Krypton and with your presence, they are regenerating, in a sense! but you, the energy is being taken away from you because you are a.. so, you are dying...”

Just as the Doctor finished speaking, a sinister presence emerged from the corner south end of the TARDIS and entered the upper dome with a familiar mortiferous electronic voice, “Exterminate!, Exterminate!” it was a Dalek, with the exoskeleton made of Krypton, glowing in bright green! The Dalek fires lasers indiscriminately destroying what’s left of the TARDIS. Superman feels the radiation coming from the Kryptonite Dalek and lays down with increased shallow respiration, his arms reaching across as if to make a stand but to no use, as the lasers continue to fire, more damage is incurred in the ship, a beam descends toward the Doctor and hits him mightily. As he falls down he reaches for the time rotor on the control bridge, and pulls the lever down, hoping that the TARDIS will understand what he is trying to do just as it did a few times before. And then blackness…

Moments later or ago, the sound of the TARDIS appearing is heard. Inside the blue box The Doctor stands straight facing the door unscathed and whole with the TARDIS intact. As it swings open, he sees a bespectacled tall man with the letter “S” on his chest about to enter.

“Stop!” he yells in that thick Scottish accent. "What ever you do, don’t come in here. Go somewhere else to change and deal with the the aliens yourself, you can handle it obviously, with your laser eyes and your solar body, it’s just the Sontarons, knock them at the back of their head or, appeal to them on their “military" side and they’ll love you. But just please, don’t come in here, go and find another box in which to change.”

Monday, November 16, 2015

Julia Child's La Pitchoune - For Sale

As a cuisine enthusiast when I first heard that Julia Child's home in the South of France (nicknamed La Pitchoune or 'the little one') was for sale, I did not want to pay attention because I wouldn't be the one to buy it. 

I read her "My Life in France," I got the book's account on how La Pitchoune got to be. This one was really owned by a friend whose house is nearby as well and was acquired after her Le Cordon Bleu schooling and she was already very well established. The kitchen was designed by her and mostly constructed by her husband who always showed his love to her in ways like this. Paul Child also designed and made the kitchen which was used in her TV show from 1963 - 1973, the French chef.

For $800,000.00, you'll have a wonderful piece of cuisine history and a really cute home in a place where everyone would love to be. 

I envy her organizational skills. *photo - not mine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises

In case you haven’t read this yet, Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises is set in Paris in the twenties, told in the first person by the protagonist (Jake) who is an American expat-writer for a newspaper based there. Really what I got from it was mainly about how the Americans lived in Paris, spent their American money, hung about the world's liveliest city, drank Pernod among others and mingled with their fellow expats. In other words, it's a travelogue of sorts with an undefined love story in the mix. There was this woman - Lady Ashley who is so confused as ever with whom to love, she is the object of everyone’s affection that’s mentioned in the book and hooks up with all of them! Just about. Was there really a woman that existed with this much abandon in the 20’s? I mean, my mother wasn’t even born at this time yet.

The book begins to capture me only at Chapter 10 when Jake and his friend Bill treks to their fishing destination in Bayonne, France and when it did, I never placed the book down until it was done. After France, then comes Spain and things really liven up when everyone rendezvous in Pamplona for the fiesta. There are love triangles, (love pentagons really), more drinking and this specimen of a bullfighter named “Romero”. How Hemingway describes the Torero's moves made me feel as if I was the wind that passed in between the bull and the fighter's body as he executed his forms in pristine ways during the bullfights. One will feel that they know everything there is to know about Bullfighting after reading this novel.  I believe there’s more of this in another Hemingway book named, “Death in the Afternoons” which I’m going to have to check out now because of this chapter. Fishing too is written with dedication even more than the love story angle, and drinking - from subtle wines to the wicked, wicked Absinthe is a staple, I was surprised there was no extra chapter just on liver cirrhosis. 

Seriously though, on a recommendation note, go ahead and read this if you like, it’s a classic in American Lit and even if you’re not into this sort of thing, it’s a travelogue at best and that kind is one of my favorites.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

TIL: I Am A Canaanite?

from Google images

The Table of Nations that trace our ancestry all the way back to Noah has indicated that I descended from Canaan.

Per said table, the remaining 4 men that survived the deluge (Noah and sons Shem, Ham and Japheth) were commanded by God to reproduce and spread out. Ham's sons were: Mizraim, the one that settled in Egypt; Cush, the one who went to Ethiopia and north Sudan; Phut, who headed for Northwest Africa whom the Berbers of Morocco and Tunisia came from; and then Canaan, whose descendants ventured to Sidon, Gaza in Israel and even further away. Two of Canaan's sons, Khittae (Anglicized to Cathay) settled in North China via the Kyrgyzstan area and Sinite (the etymology of “Sino”) laid stake in mainland China.

Anthropologically speaking, my particular race (Southeast Asian) belongs to the Austronesian race of people which comprises the Formosan (Aboriginal Taiwan), the Malayan and Polynesian groups. Propagation of the Austronesian folks indicate that homo-sapiens migrated from mainland China, spread by sea through Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, the Polynesian Islands through Hawaii, down New Zealand town, and all around and back again like the hokey pokey. So technically, Russell Crowe is sort of my brother from another mother? Haha.

from Google images

But I digress, back to subject of the “Table of Nations,” the Bible writes that Ham “saw the nakedness of his father” when Noah became drunk with wine. What ever Ham did, it incurred the wrath of his father and caused Noah to curse Canaan, his grandson; it is implied however, that Ham and all his lineage is the subject of this obloquy, to my chagrin. All throughout the Book, Canaan fights with Israel again and again and upon establishing my Canaanite origin, a dichotomy occurs in me with this knowledge. Thankfully, I was born and am living at the time when redemption is not only nigh but in fact, has come! It also makes me thankful that I believe how I believe because with who I refer as my Redeemer, everyone, whether coming from Shem, Ham or Japheth through all this time, we can all be one in Jesus, no enemies, just friends! Peace yo.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The TED Talks

TED talks have been prevalent in streaming video outlets for a few years now, but I've only delve into it recently. I like it because it features real people who share their experiences and expertise with the objective to inform and/or make life better to all who would hear. 

Technology, Entertainment, Design, is what TED stands for; their motto is “Ideas Worth Sharing,” and it's concept is to feature anyone who has something worthwhile to share and allow them to do just that for 18 minutes. The speakers impart their field of expertise to an audience held in a closed venue. 

While past speakers have included glossy personalities like Bono, the Clintons and so on, it's really the real and salt of the earth people I pay attention to. My top 3 fave talks so far are:
Dr. Amit Sood, a medical doctor doing his darn-est to steer people away from stress; Nick Vujicic, a man born without limbs but has more sense of hope than most people I know and Jon Jandai, a farmer from Thailand who quit university to prove that we don't need a degree to achieve the nuclear dream of owning property, having good health and ease in life. 

A bloke named Richard Wurman began TED, and he was succeeded by Chris Anderson who took it global. They award choice speakers with prizes but that to me is already adding more ingredients to something basic like freshly-squeezed orange juice. Many if not all are found on You Tube and subjects vary from technology, lifestyle, science, cuisine, mathematics, you name it. Check this out why don't you? if you haven't already, there is a “talk” with your name on it I'm sure. “TED Talks” is your oyster. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Having a Happy Brain

First, something noteworthy about your brain:

"The pursuit of gratitude and compassion will make you happier than the pursuit of happiness." ~ Dr. Amit Sood, M.D. 

This post is from someone who - just earlier in the day banged her fist on a table in front of delivery boys who failed to deliver an order of important items for her business, therefore, this is for me more than anyone else. Admitting that I have anger and frustration issues is not a problem, failing to deal with it is. Sometimes I am at the end of my tethers and I come up with excuses for anger such as: cyclical hormones, lack of sleep or wonky chemical receptors. People give me a pass sometimes, but really to be candid, these are hapless excuses. 

All this prologue, led me to the work of a stress-free guru type medical doctor named Amit Sood. Dr. Sood postulates that negative events cannot be avoided in life, it would rather be better if one will have the emotional resilience to deal with the bad things we will encounter. Emotional resilience he says, means having positive emotions and recovering quickly from negative emotions. The 5 principles in developing emotional resilience are: 

~ Gratitude: recognizing and being thankful for blessings.
~ Compassion: taking note and being empathetic to the suffering of others and doing something to alleviate it.
~ Acceptance: this essentially translates to making lemonade out of lemons, when there are no strawberries for strawberry shortcake. Just kidding. But you get the gist.
~ Meaning: meaning focusing on who you are, why you are here, what this world means to you.
and lastly,
~ Forgiveness: even if, even if, you don't love me anymore. Sorry, couldn't help it. Forgiveness to Dr. S. means accepting another person's humanness (is this a word?) and recognizing we are all fallible and vulnerable to ignorant thoughts and actions. 

I like it that these solutions from Dr. S. has spiritual connotations even if he, for all intents and purposes works at the very secular Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Minn. He is not reinventing the wheel by any means, merely reinstating that the brain (a physical thing) is very closely wired to our mind, (that intangible aspect in the brain) and paying attention to the spiritual is just as important and addressing the physical.  In many cultures, anger is after all is a grave sin. Yes it is grave, take my case for example, I still feel bad about what I did in front of the delivery boys many hours after. 

We all wish we had more control of our emotions, minds, lives and world around us and so on, but how? I may give Dr. Sood's study a tumble and use it like the ones of the many I have tried before. This and massage, lots of sleep and more prayers from people who I will ask to do just that - for me.

Monday, October 5, 2015


photo from Google images and LOL!

What is it about Monday? why is it relentless in this way? Well, I believe it's because this is the only day out of the 7 days created (per my Bible) that wasn't blessed, in fact Monday was robbed of it's blessing by Tuesday, Tuesday has a double blessing! Is there an Orthodox Jewish wedding that happens on a Monday? Just asking.

The pagan origin for the names of the days even gives us a hint. 
  • Sunday is obviously a day for the "sun" a sunny disposition - woo!
  • Tuesday, Mar's day, yes it's for the war god but we've already conditioned ourselves for action by this day haven't we? hence Tuesday doesn't clip us in the jaw as Monday does.
  • Wednesday, hump day - it's Mecredi, so says the French, Mercury's day, the god of commerce and travel, my interpretation of it is that it's supposed to be a swift day because it will catapult us to Friday, and in my view it does! 
  • Thursday - Thor's day, if said fictitious god  really looks like Chris Helmsworth, then Ok, he can have it, also, it is a segue to Friday so who can hate that?
  • Friday,  it's the last day of the the work week (typically), it's Freya's day, Aphrodite to the Greeks, mortals rendezvous on this day after work, they unwind, couples have date night, it signifies that there is reprieve from all the madness!
  • Saturday - it's for Saturn, the mythical dude who believed he ruled the Earth during an age of happiness and value, sure, whatever. As for us mere mortals, the only time a Saturday gets ruined is if it's your "Monday," otherwise, we are bulletproof on Saturdays, aren't we?
Back to the quandary that is Monday, it's the day of the moon, meaning people get looney on this day? Co-workers are catty because their weekend was obtunded, employees don't show up and they come up with the most ludicrous of excuses from, "I have no clothes to wear" to "my grandpa died again."  How about the violent reactions of all sorts of people about Monday - Bob Geldof wants to "shoot the whole day down," it always got K. Carpenter down, a guy named Paul Merton said when he doesn't have to get up to work on this day, he feels that he has won; why aren't movies released on a Monday? Are they? and don't even get me started on what Maxine, the cartoon character will do about Monday. 

The song says, "Never On a Sunday," do you know why? because "things" will hit the fan on Monday!

Saturday, October 3, 2015


As I live and breath my second most favorite food in the world has got to be Salmon. It is praised for it's health benefits, great taste and flavor.  As far as fish goes, the salmon is one friendly anadromous creature, meaning a fish born in fresh water that migrates to the sea then returns back to spawn and then die; (I looked it up).  I did not know until recently that there are only six species of Salmon and they are found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, what about the salmons found in countries not bordered by either oceans you ask? Well they are farmed or are imported to those specific countries, obviously. Hence, salmon fishing in Yemen was initially conducted in a dam.

Of all the 6 species only one is found in the Atlantic - bearing the sea for it's namesake, and the other 5 come from the Pacific Ocean - the Chinook, Coho, Pink, Sockeye and the Chum. Also, salmon is very well recommended for it's great amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA - easily the fish of choice for the healthy ones and certainly the ones with cardiac maladies. 

For me, I just like it's distinct seafood taste, moderate and rich at the same time, yet healthy. I like it grilled or baked simply, with lemon or as a Niçoise and the photo below shows of one I grilled for myself with light cream sauce pasta:

Jane Cumberbatch, Queen of Pure Style

Don't know if you know but Jane Cumberbatch is a deserving design heroine. Making old things new, new things classy, consolidating all design elements and finishing them exquisitely is her métier. Her published "Pure" books:  Style, Design, Home and Garden, Colour, Outside and Living are bibles into making a home functional, stylish and very easy on the eyes. 

Her color palette, her use of calming earth tones and whites as if to renew and her home garden are enviable, followers of her blog are treated to the uplifting colors of the fruits and flowers her garden grows, new design features and recipes too. 


As a follower of her Instagram, I got a response from her for "liking" and commenting on one of her posts. (Ingratiating aside). So, what's not to like about her?


I "swear" up and down that London is my pied á terre; perhaps, I think, might be.  I had once begun my Exodus to the place, applied for a license reciprocity to work there, made plans on where to live and even the interior design of where I was going to stay. But alas, (el-oh-el), I met, fell in love and married my husband. Not a bad thing, no, but it only means I will miss the following on a regular basis: the British Museum, walking the Mall and Hyde Park, hunting out for the world's best fish and chips, window shopping at Harrods, fawning for the castles in the nearby 'shires, going to second-hand bookshops and the theatres in all of West End. 

All that said, the visit I had in '11 I did will do for now.

Trafalgar Square, by Mia

*the word "swear" used euphemistically. 

Inspiration, among others...

Seth Godin has organized thoughts, he is focused and bright. He blogs everyday and writes with a purpose. He is an author, a successful blogger and has positive advice for his readers. Most of his topics are geared towards marketing but that is not to say that even people like me who are not so inclined cannot get a nugget or two from him. 

Here is his photo from his blog. He looks hip, intelligent and humorous. Endearing.

photo taken from Google images

I don't know him from Adam and Eve, he could be a jerk for all I realize, but as far as I can see, I think not. I wonder if we really just have 6 degrees of separation?

Even in days when you don't feel like it, write...

a 1908 Sears Catalog, photo by Mia

Why not just blog, write, feature, extend, express, be honest, leap, and so on and so forth? Why not indeed? 
My name is Mia, I worked in the medical field for a long time in the US but have always wanted to write. My aim here is to do just that. Topics will vary from people, places, things, and matters. I will do my best to post my own photographs and to keep the articles pithy, or not.