lifetoast

Month: November, 2013

tender apple curves

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Hello, pie, baked from my irrepressible desires to nibble on something sweet.

_20131124.Apple Pie.4You are a darling, that daintily thin nutty crust, those tender apple curves.

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It’s been a while since I’ve sought the companionship of the kitchen but you have reignited that friendship, pie. The kitchen is barely large enough for me to lie down in yet that desire to make a meal and write about it once catapulted me into a black hole of worries about inane details like lighting and props and composition and… Why did that concern me again? I’ve forgotten. That’s the fabulous thing about time, isn’t it?

No reasons here, ladies and gentlemen. Just a pie.

a quiet satisfaction

I am antsy. Finals are in a fortnight and then I will be jetting off to Chicago to press my ear against my sister’s burgeoning belly and murmur hello to my future niece. At some point I do want to write to you about the past year and a half of dentistry- and that hint I made at an overturned leaf for healthier habits- but really right now all I can think about is how in love I am with the Pennsylvanian suburbs.

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Mat and I trekked to Chestnut Hill last weekend  where we brunched in an airy conservatory before poking around town. I picked up a few paperwhite bulbs and popped into a photography store where vintage cameras crowned the ceiling before we began our leisurely stroll to Morris Arboretum.

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We ended up short on time- cows are quite distracting- so Morris Arboretum was pocketed for later. Instead, our interest was piqued by a crowded parking lot and people milling towards the same direction. And so we came upon Wissahickon Valley Trail.

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Peals of laughter and squeals tinkled in the air as we spotted children racing into piles of canary yellow leaves. Nearby, on the back porch of a café, an elderly man tapped his foot as his companion began to play a merry tune on his fiddle.

As Mat and I walked down the trail, hearts bursting from the serenity of it all, I could only think, this, remember it, this moment is pure bliss.

Here, my mind fell silent and a quiet satisfaction unearthed from inside of me. If only for a sliver in time, I felt as if my priorities were righted and all the worries of the week made insignificant.

Let’s commune with nature more, yes? Let’s drag ourselves away from obsessively, mindlessly, fruitlessly browsing the Internet. Stop looking for perfection through comparisons. Humble yourself and feel your vulnerability as a person and embrace it, be grateful for it and make the most of it.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

– Henry David Thoreau

and my heart swelled

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I woke this morning to the sound of running water and the clinking of ceramic dishes. The alarm had already rang twice and both times I had fumbled at my phone until it was silenced, drifting back to sleep easily. But now I stirred as the sounds continued from my kitchen. You walked silently back into the room, unaware I was awake now.

I asked what you were doing. Dishes, you replied. Because you know how I let dishes pile. Because I wouldn’t be able to cook and eat if I ran out of dishes and pots.

When did you wake up, I asked. Twenty minutes ago, you replied.

And my heart swelled.

Oh, my sweetheart, you are a man who rarely ever wakes earlier than me. And to stumble from bed bleary-eyed and do my dishes unasked? These are moments I treasure.

You fret when I walk too close to the edge of unguarded roads as cars rumble by.

You remember to save me the crispy end of the ice cream cone because you know it’s my favorite part.

These are minutiae, no? Perhaps you don’t even realize what you’re doing. But perhaps that’s what makes it sweeter. Let’s always be thankful for these wispy, tender-hearted moments.

a surly urban dweller

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The grass at Rittenhouse Square is surreal right now, a vivid green peeking out from a heavy dusting of yellow and orange-hued leaves. Today was an excellent day for a stroll, potential murderers lingering about and all.

Is it just me that feels hesitant when strangers start up a conversation? A man with salt-and-pepper hair walking a spry Boxer mix struck up a conversation today and, though I love meeting new people, there’s always a thought lingering that it has arrived. That moment when you’re about to be lured into a trap which will end up with you robbed or brutally murdered.

Perhaps this is just reminiscent of yesterday when my friend and I were walking home around midnight and a man from behind started hollering at us. He seemed like a typical drunkard on a Saturday night but his speed was quickening and my friend is adorably timid so I turned around just as he was leering towards us and asked him what his problem was. He paused. Then crossed the street.

MY GOD, I FELT TRIUMPHANT. (Because I have a scrappy side that will one day get me in trouble, no doubt.)

How coincidental that we had just been talking in the car about how I had cussed out the most racist man for insinuating I couldn’t understand him because I’m Asian.

Alas, I do believe I’m evolving into a surly urban dweller. And I’m not even in New York!