ultramundane journal

2005-05-29 22:28

Some eating reflections

I was eating an artichoke yesterday, and I noticed that each used artichoke leaf was sitting neatly on top of the previous one, creating an orderly pile. Who does that?

It reminded me of a time a few weeks ago when I’d been at sushi with Pam and Loa before a drum workshop, and I was finishing off the edamame, the process of which also results in a pile of vegetal detritus. We’d been eating them together, and the discards bowl was a pleasant disarray of soy bean pods. However, once Pam and Loa got full, the pods began to line up side by side. Who does that?

So while I was eating this artichoke, I made an effort to toss the leaves haphazardly. One here, one there, one upside down. Quite a difficult task, really. It took concentration. If my attention flagged, like my mind wandered to something like how I was going to organize my little house after I moved, the little green leaves would begin stacking themselves neatly again, completely against my will. They were very stubborn.

A few days ago I had some corn on the cob. I began eating it on the left side, going down. Then I started wondering whether I’m the type of person who eats corn going downward—spiraling from left to right—or across like a typewriter then returning to the left margin for the next row.

I tried both down and accross and, not discovering a preference, decided I was pretty non-rigid in my corn eating. It didn’t occur to me at the time that one might start at the right side instead of the left, or even loop back and forth right-to-left, left-to-right. Nor did I consider the possibility of taking bites from the center, either randomly or in a pattern, although looking back I imagine that might be fun. Lorien does it, being two and much more attuned to fun than I have apparently become. She doesn’t finish her corn, but she enjoys each of the three bites she takes from arbitrary places in the middle. It makes me wonder if there are other ways of eating corn I can’t even conceive of, being somewhat set in my ways. For example, can one eat corn in an upward direction? Does it depend on one’s dental configuration? Are some predisposed to eating from both sides inwards, or from the middle outwards? In stripes, either rows or columns? Relief sculptures of religious leaders? Football jersey numbers?

These are the questions I ask myself when I eat alone. Fortunately, nobody answers.

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Reader comments: 2005-05-31 01:01 ult By the way, check out the link on the left labeled "Old Entries" -- that's right, after a brief purgatory in the Hell of Hard Disk Crash with No Backup, all my journal entries from the past seven years have been resurrected! Yay! 2005-06-10 09:33 anonymous hrm. what is your opinion of will smith movies? would you ask for your money back if you unwittingly bought a ticket to one? 2005-06-13 10:05 anonymous Everything wrong with america is captured here. So many millions habe nothing to eat, het an american (not to knock americans.. europeans are far worse) counts and arranges his leaves. I ask you Ult, what are you really doing to solve the world's problems? Posting rants about arranging vegetitable leaves is kind of cruel... I think you may have other trix up your sleeve. 2005-06-13 21:35 -sc Me. I eat my corn by examining the cob before each bite, looking for the one place where I can see that the most butter has gathered. Mmmmm butter. 2005-06-13 21:38 -sc Wait. Where are the archived pictures? I need the pictures! Ya know, a lot of those are of my memories too. 2005-06-25 11:03 annika examining the corn is kind of like animals inspect their shit. Inspection before eating is kind of arrogant... your own shit doesn't stink, and you'll make sure before it ever goes in! 2005-07-07 00:28 branka hey ult! good to see you - have been talking to you at Camp and Sons few days ago.. when you coming by SF? 2005-07-10 05:45 anonymous hi, ult shout!!!!!!!!! i went through it and it was really nice 2005-07-10 06:12 tw it was alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 2005-07-10 06:13 tw it was alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 2005-07-28 22:02 kt ult, keep writing! It's nice to see the history restored. Now that I have all this free time, I have time to read your journal. 2005-08-02 15:18 Mars And just what are you really doing about world hunger Ult? I'm mean to be asking private questions about peoples corn orientation is so pornographic! I'd like to ask, when your eating a white rice dish, most would eat the food and rice in equal portions, unless your a freak, well more rice per portion is typical too, but in the end do you like to have some rice left over or food or do you finish up in equal parts? Hmmmm. 2005-08-07 11:17 anonymous I think ult needs to respond to these damning charges. 2005-08-07 11:18 anonymous or maybe post a picture of himself nude with 3 artichoke leaves, plus a hundred dollar bill he'll send to starving people in africa. That might save his soul. 2005-08-18 01:02 ult I try to finish in equal parts. Otherwise I'll be greatly distressed. 2005-08-24 01:18 Mike Halekakis Thinking about you these last few days, wondering where you are and what you're up to. Where are you and what are you up to? 2005-09-01 10:09 carl perkins he's picking artichoke leaves out of his plate. He's probably up to no good. There may be an update soon after he eats steak and lamb, whining about how middle easterners are starving. But mostly he's holed up in his tony house with his hot chick, enjoying sex on demand. He's picking his toes, too. 2005-09-01 10:10 anonymous face it, ult is a fortunate son. 2005-09-02 12:34 anonymous hhhhhhhhhffiuu 2005-09-09 01:15 brother baker brother mundane, what has happened to you? the crowds - they await. Interesting developments must take place - I'd love to see you in face. But since I can't, I wait for your rant. I read Dr. Seuss to my boys, wanting to be distracted by a little noise. And then I realize I've been remiss. It's not the adventure but the observations from the extraorinary to the mundane that makes for a story that trancends the ordinary. 2005-09-13 10:13 anonymous I think we should leave ol ult alone now. he doesn't really care about anything except his family now, and we cannot judge him for that. He's looking out for his wife and children. There are others who are young and ready to change the world. Ult did it at one time, but it is time to let him rest. Find a new hero. Let Ult enjoy his wife and his artichokes. 2005-09-21 22:56 ult brother baker, poem maker. I try to write, but it all sounds trite. My life has been a mire of confusion and fire; I traded my freedom to rome for a broken home. It's a time of transition, my life and my mission are to find a balance between two opposite extremes. On one side was travel, where in the wind I happily floated; but now its the other side to which I'm devoted: discovering the trials and joys of creating stillness inside me, staying still in the noise. 2005-10-07 18:23 kablooey ult has a wife and children?