Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

I've Been Binge Watching

I've been binge watching The King's Avatar on Netflix. It's based on Chinese graphic novels which, in turn, I believe, were based on serial novels, and it's been fascinating seeing so much of what it was like to be on a competitive team. And old friend of mine recommended it and I've been really grateful for the distraction.

It's been a balm after the happenings in DC. 

John and I were delivering Jet back to Mines when all of that happened, and I didn't let it affect me much, as we had plans. We went to Vihn Xuong Bakery to get bahn mi. They had amazing sandwiches, with their own fresh baked rolls, delicious pickles and veg, and Jet and I got the combination, which included their BBQ pork, their ham, and, of all things, headcheese as well as their house made pate and the usual Magi sauce and other condiments. 

Momofuku published a cookbook, a while back, that I've been using to make ramen with. The noodle recipe isn't that useful for a home cook, but the soup base was amazing, and the roast pork method that they use for pork belly I actually use for a pork shoulder and that's been amazing as well. In that same book is a recipe for head cheese, taking half a pig's head, rendering it all down, and then forming a loaf of headcheese that has all the fascinating texture and flavors that are possible from that usage of something that's normally just thrown away. Tasting Vihn Xuong's head cheese, I was really really happy that THEY made it and I hadn't had to go through all the trouble for the slices in my sandwich.

It was really good, but not worth a wrecked kitchen and a day's work. *laughs* It was well worth the dollars we paid them, AND I managed to get fresh, warm sesame balls to boot!

Dropping Jet back at school was pretty uneventful. He brought over one of the moving bins, and John expertly filled it, and we all got hugs and Jet trundled off with all his stuff and the laundry I didn't do for him. *laughs* He was pretty clear about being able to take care of that himself, and he had a few days before his residents were going to return, so I swallowed any Mom-type objections about taking care of that for him and let him take care of himself. I'm learning the lesson that that's what a parent's real job is supposed to be, that we're raising kids so that they can take care of themselves, so let them do it.

On the ride home, John and I went to a Costco and stocked up on some of the things we had actually given Jet, including laundry pods. I also wanted to get a bag of the same cheddar/caramel popcorn I had when we were in Puerto Rico, but they didn't have it. They had plenty of toilet paper, though, which was amusing. We did get everything else on our list and added to our supplies.

We were cooking like crazy when Jet was home, and it was nice to not cook that night and just order out from Taco Palace.

That night, with all the input from the news and having Jet leave, I had dreams of profound grief at about 4 am. I woke up and decided to meditate and let myself actually feel all that grief and let it pour through me. I ended up crying a lot the next day, at all kinds of things, but it was a relief compared to just holding it all back to just have things feel normal for the day.

One of the things I was crying at included the UCC Vigil that I posted that day. The other was this TED talk by Valarie Kaur on Three Lessons of Revolutionary Love In A Time of Rage, she's a Sikh woman whose family has been in the United Stated of America for over a century, so she was born and raised here as was I. And I love her warrior spirit, and how deep her beliefs truly are. 

One of the things I wrestle with a lot is how to write about my religion. That I even have a religion kind of bothers me. *laughs* I'm the kind of person that likes tearing down institutions, but... community, real community that upholds and protects without harming others is a real thing and needs to be upheld as something that can happen with real flawed people. That a church is able to be a healthy help to the community is possible. We do so much work to feed the poor, house the homeless, keep the children safe, and provide moral guidance that is rooted in what the carpenter Jesus taught. It might seem like splitting hairs to many, but I follow the radical guy who wanted to tear down empires and wanted everyone to care for "the least of these" who got killed for what he said. I don't follow Christ. I sometimes deeply understand that I may well not be a Christian. I don't believe he gave me a free pass to do whatever the hell I want through his death. I don't think that is a Redemption I'd even want, much less accept.

But I do accept that he wanted me to love myself as I love others and That Which Is. Some call that last bit "God/Ghod/Goddess/the Tao/Other Names", others have said that it's the Universe, others knows that they need a Higher Power who has better plans for their lives, others have said that it is the holy that lives within all of us, and all of those could be true at the same time and that doesn't bother me. 

I will call evil those who hate, those who treat people as objects or commodities or simply as stepping stones to power. I call Trump evil. Period. All that he does, says, and is is an anathema to everything I hold dear, and that especially includes the truth. His lies are the root of all his evil, and the evil that those who support him perpetuate. 

I know, that was a huge leap from sesame balls to the nature of Evil. *laughs*

But I've finally figured out that it's okay to call someone's actions a Evil. Truly so. That I don't have to feel like a bad person for doing so, just as holding boundaries becomes necessary when someone can't regulate themselves so that they don't harm those around them.

And walking away is sometimes a really good way to hold a boundary, but it also doesn't have to be forever. Sometimes they learn. Sometimes we all learn. 

I've recently picked up Playne on Steam, it's a meditation game. *laughs*  I am a gamer, and I'll admit that I have thought of ways to game the meditation so that I get the credit for it even when I don't want to do it. But the funny thing is that although I've thought of all the ways I could just get the credit without doing what it "wants" me to do, I have actually been doing the meditations. I remember doing meditation with HeadSpace for a year, when they had a discount on their app for a year, but so much of it felt so repetitive that I walked away from it after a year. Plus, I haven't had enough alone time to really go into the guided meditations without my husband hearing, especially at night when I feel like I need it the most to get to sleep; but Playne highly recommends using a headset, and I hadn't actually thought of that before and feel mildly foolish. It's a great way to have my time without others in the house hearing. Many of the HeadSpace meditations were good; and now I might have a means to go back to it. 

But in the meantime I talk with the fox in Playne and listen to the fire crackle, and remember how meditation clears my head. I remember the first time I was aware of how it felt to have my head entirely clear of everything but the sensations that were upon me and how central that has always been to my writing. Writing so many of the fighting characters started there, and now I have a new fandom I could walk into if I started writing The King's Avatar fic. lol.  Especially since I've played on a competitive team, it would be interesting to see how well my experience intersects with those characters.

Tags: food, gaming, processing

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