September 4, 2014
Week #52: Pineapple

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'He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool.'  - Albert Camus

Soupgoers,

Bear with me. It’s a long way down, and this has been forever in coming. The final week and let me say…

I had a dream about us, you and I. We talked truthfully and intimately because we both knew it was the last time, and the loss was there to be felt. We were blessed enough to see the big picture and thank each other for the give and take. The good words were there, an acknowledgement of a magic between us, but … my feelings were unsure. I’ll miss you, I know. Between cowardice and foolishness, doubts are mountains, and my spirit is a climber of an ancient age. Keep walking, but the peak is no given. Trudge on!

Faced with this final page, I realize there is no unified theory of soup, that it is too late to tie anything together that isn’t already knotted solid. Like most endings, this one causes anxiety and its flip-side: excitement. Every new sunrise is rebirth to the animal in us, and I am a snake in mid-molt, shedding a life for the sake of the underneath. I say this with no pride, since I am a 41-year-old man only coming to understand and accept myself in so many rich ways. This blog, which certainly should and could have been more interesting and coherent and more about fucking soup – although there is much to love here if you give it a chance! – has been a part of that process. In some ways it took this gaudy, public reckoning with some of my sentimentalities and self-help impulses to hopefully shunt them aside.
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September 3, 2014
Secretary of Labor: The Department of Labor wishes to note that the workers of Freedonia are demanding shorter hours.Rufus T. Firefly: Very well, we’ll give them shorter hours. We’ll start by cutting their lunch hour to 20 minutes. Duck soup means ‘something easy to overcome.’

Secretary of Labor: The Department of Labor wishes to note that the workers of Freedonia are demanding shorter hours.

Rufus T. Firefly: Very well, we’ll give them shorter hours. We’ll start by cutting their lunch hour to 20 minutes.

Duck soup means ‘something easy to overcome.’

September 1, 2014
I’m pretty sure this was written by an illiterate (or Swiss) German, but it is supposed to mean ‘It is time to take some soup with you.’ It’s almost prime soup time, y’all, so check out all the awesome recipes…

I’m pretty sure this was written by an illiterate (or Swiss) German, but it is supposed to mean ‘It is time to take some soup with you.’ It’s almost prime soup time, y’all, so check out all the awesome recipes

August 11, 2014
Week #51: Chard soup

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'I couldn't see straight or think straight. I was a fat-headed guy, full of pain.'
- Devlin in Notorious

Lo, how the universe’s void echoes in the chasm from soul to soul. How language breaks down in all directions, particularly on the straight line to someone’s heart. Yet we thrust and parry with such confidence and self-importance. Don’t we gleefully open new wounds like new pathways in which to fall through? Motivations seem simple, but there are always under-formulated and hence deniable truths waiting to be sucked up by the roots. Most times we know these hidden drivers, for we are not half as dumb as we play for ourselves or others, but neither are we half as tough. And when you start picking the scabs of pride and judgement and self-loathing that keep us apart, what you see is fear. What you have is need. It is the fear of hurt that keeps us from our need for love. Some people believe there to be only two real emotions - love and fear - and that the two wrestle unable to exist in the same space. Thus is the playing ground of Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious - the answer I give when people ask for my favorite movie.

Fans of both Hitch and cinema of that glorious post-WWII era typically disagree most, while most others think I am talking about a bio-pic of rapper Biggie Smalls. I don’t know about B.I.G.’s movie, but this Notorious has about a dozen cinematic and storytelling highlights that could be used in a film narrative class. And its emotional roots run deep through a precisely told, morally ambiguous suspense story, effortlessly creating the subtexts above. But when people inevitably ask ‘why?’, I usually answer ‘because there’s lots of sex’. Not exactly, of course. The movie was made to 1946 purity standards, so there are no kisses longer than three seconds, but the meaning and power of sex - the home of such fear and love between us - occupies a good part of the movie’s heart. One of the smartest things Roger Ebert ever said was that Ingrid Bergman combines the noble and the carnal like nobody else, and it is her lusty, vulnerable flame that gives the movie heat. Ingrid (Alicia) is the notorious one of the title, which means she has like a national reputation for getting down. Ripe for the picking then, she is recruited by all-business secret agent Cary Grant (Devlin) to love up on an expat Nazi in Brazil and find out his evil plans. In a brilliant bit of smarmy yet sentimental casting, Claude Rains plays the horny Nazi, who turns out to embody the flip side of all of this fear – for he is left the fool, killed because he was not scared enough of the vagaries of love.

In the guise of this intrigue, we are treated to a frank back and forth about trust and politics within a relationship. As Devlin falls for lovely, charming Alicia, he keeps his distance, for how could he believe in someone willing to seduce and eventually marry a man for information – even if it was at his request and for the good of the world?! She is ‘notorious’ after all, and he is only doing his job. Alicia just wants someone good to show some faith in her, but how good could Devlin really be if he’s willing to pimp her out? Or perhaps she really is worthy of her notoriety and not anything but pimping anyway. In a movie of slings and arrows, there are a few beautiful, shining moments of coming together – the most famous of which is the so-called ‘longest kiss’ in movies. It is a delicately erotic, gentle way around the rules of what could be shown at the time. No denying Hitch was a genius, but unlike in some of his other movies, here his artistic solution displays a sweet sexuality instead of an obsessive one.

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July 21, 2014
Week #50: Missing soup

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'Love is a divine weapon. If you love your dog, your cat, your wife, your husband, that attachment feeling is nothing but that love. It is powerful, immortal. You need to develop that and carry that immortalism forever and ever.'
- Sri Kaleshwar

'When you love somebody and bite your tongue all you get is a mouthful of blood.'
- Fruit Bats

Four letters at a time, rattling through my mind: Soup. Loss. Love. Life. Throw Fuck, Shit and Damn in there too if you like. I choose to, obviously. It has now been over two years since A Year of Soup began, and I’ve been sitting on this one for a couple of months. Stewing so to speak. Time passing. It is one thing we all share. Feel the click of the clock with me please. I like the slowing down.

My new excuse for the temporal incongruity other than the fact that I am very busy with many things to do is that the soup blog and the soup life have secretly been about another four-letter word. Love, I’m sure you know, is a good enough excuse for just about anything, and since there are no rules, it’s fitting that we have one tumble in this tumblr. This is the third-to-last recipe in the ongoing march against/toward futility that is the YoS. And it is no recipe at all.

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July 15, 2014
"Skimming fat, it’s just one of those things you have to do."

— I said this to a friend over chicken stock recently, and it’s true. You don’t even need to be careful about it, but sometimes you just have to do it. And in those moments when it seems hopeless, just try to make a difference. How skimming fat is like life.

2:39pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w1LZmsiW
  
Filed under: skimming fat soup fat fat 
June 9, 2014
"Everybody jumps into the gigantic cauldron. It does not matter how or when you jump into it, but sooner or later you must. The water is boiling, the fire is kept going. You become part of a huge stew. The starting point of devotion is to dismantle your credentials. You need discoloring, depersonalizing of your individuality … The teaching demands that everyone be thrown into a big cauldron of soup. You can not stick your neck out and say ‘I am an onion, therefore I should be more smelly.’ Get down, you’re just another vegetable. ‘I’m a carrot isn’t my orange color noticeable?’ No, you’re still orange only because we haven’t boiled you long enough."- Meditation masta and poet Chögyam Trungpa, rockin it as usual

"Everybody jumps into the gigantic cauldron. It does not matter how or when you jump into it, but sooner or later you must. The water is boiling, the fire is kept going. You become part of a huge stew. The starting point of devotion is to dismantle your credentials. You need discoloring, depersonalizing of your individuality … The teaching demands that everyone be thrown into a big cauldron of soup. You can not stick your neck out and say ‘I am an onion, therefore I should be more smelly.’ Get down, you’re just another vegetable. ‘I’m a carrot isn’t my orange color noticeable?’ No, you’re still orange only because we haven’t boiled you long enough."
- Meditation masta and poet Chögyam Trungpa, rockin it as usual

June 5, 2014
"And then the loneliness — it’s something that burns. Like hot thick soup you can’t bear inside your mouth unless you blow on it again and again. And there it is, always in front of me. In its heavy white bowl of thick china, dirty and dull as an old pillow. Who is it that keeps forcing it on me?"

— Your therapist would probably say it’s you, Yukio Mishima. But I feel you. I really do.

June 4, 2014
Week #49: Mulligatawny

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“All things are fluid. Every image forms,
Wandering through change. Time is itself a river
In constant movement, and the hours flow by
like water, wave on wave, pursued and pursuing,
Forever fugitive, forever new.”
- Pythagoras

“My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it’s bound to be a waste of time in the end, so you might as well go mad.”
- Jack Kerouac

From one depressive to another, Jack, it’s surely all a waste of time in the end. But all things being equal, we’re trying to avoid the madness here - at least until older age thrusts it down our poor trachiated throats - so let’s leave aside the idea of ‘might as well go mad’ (and whether that is exactly what we must do in a very metaphorical sense) and focus a bit on fugitive, wasted time.

Time is the hellhound on all of our tails, and we vacillate between denial and fixation when confronted by the power of its passage. It is hard to see time’s ocean as a massive but finite opportunity, rather it becomes an implacable, crushing pressure to swim through. This inability to make peace with time is related to the fear of impermanence, the denial of death. It’s a normal thing, especially for those trying to take a clear look at the nature of life. In a physical sense, time is an arrow towards decay, only obvious in the destruction it causes. There are no broken cups that reform from the floor in mid-air and set themselves on the counter full of tea.

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May 30, 2014

My friend, the awesome Sweet T, eating some soup I made. I told her I was leaving town and the second photo was her reaction

I could post some other, funnier pics of Sweet T, but I wouldn’t do that…

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Filed under: sweet t soup 
May 10, 2014
Asteroid apocalypse tomato soup

One of the things I have learned from a Year of Soup (and Life) is that coming up with interesting angles on the same old shit is not easy. So I appreciated all of this recipe from the Vancouver Observer. Not only does it have a dumb hook for the masses, but there is a funny pun, and a deadpan absurdity that borders on dead. It’s clearly the most half-ass recipe ever put down, but it’s the end of the world, so I guess that’s just fine.

May 5, 2014
Week #48: Soupasana

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Oddball:
Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves, Moriarty?
Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?
Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?

Moriarty:
Oh, crap!

Ref.

Soup and yoga. Yoga and soup. Together again, in this moment. Nose full of fresh cooking smells. Feet rooted to the ground. You are a mountain. You are a tree. A warrior. A corpse. A human being making food. Just a human being being.

And in this moment, ask yourself the question: ‘How are things going here, inside myself? Not just ok or any other word but - close your eyes, take a deep breath and wait until you have enough awareness to answer the question ‘How do I feel right now?’

And whatever the answer – remember it. And then – forget it and smile and appreciate the fact that you are alive to spend your time doing such things. Now, take a deep, slow breath, all the way from the bottom of your stomach to your clavicle. Do nothing during that breath but listen to the air enter into you. And, back again

So … welcome to yourself and the soup blog. That respiration, that nuclear process going on inside of you is your life and death. Now, how are things going there? Leave aside the egotastic response. How you are inside yourself? Repeat until done.

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March 28, 2014
Week #47: Guilty chili

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'You know how it is with me, baby,
You know I just can’t stand myself.
It takes a whole lotta medicine for me
To pretend that I’m somebody else.’
- 'Guilty' by Randy Newman

Dear diary,

I got back to the beach this week after some time away, and it was like everyone had got together and had a conversation about how they should be pissed at me for leaving soon. The weather is changing. Just like I could feel the angled bones of winter underneath the flesh of Autumn on certain November days, Spring swells under the surface of life like a stretched bladder.

There is no clearer evidence that humans are roiling internal creatures than guilt and shame. Why play when we should work? Why cheat when we should keep it straight? Why give in to the selfish, the cynical, the glutinous, the dishonest? You know the list. Why allow the comfortable but well-worn paths of habit to expose the wooded clearing where our weaknesses lie? Do we think so little of ourselves and this dumb, tremendous world that we have lucked into?

Why even ask these questions after the fact? As a PhD in the subject, let me tell you that there are all kinds of guilt, and there are all manner of feelings that we indentify as guilty. However, guilt’s defining emotion, I would say, is fear. What have I done? What if I fall apart? What have I lost? What kind of asshole am I to do that to someone else? What kind of an asshole am I to do that to myself?

How did I get here? This is not my beautiful anything. It’s five in the morning, and I am half-way up a high-rise in the old Confederate capital, drinking in coffeed streets milky with dawn. I’m frustrated by her dumb, snoring sleep, but that’s more to do with me than anything. I’ve been thinking about this page for what seems like months, and it has been starting to keep me awake. I even talked to my therapist about it. Why am I’m bored with this? Why do I find my words so interminably boring right now? How do I cross this ‘must-do’ off the list? What is the point?

He asked: ‘What emotions are you trying to avoid?’

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March 28, 2014
eatdrinkdie:

I cooked nothing for two days. I tore through cold, old pizza with my teeth or warmed up aging soup. I spent 26 hours – ten each Monday and Tuesday and six on Wednesday – scouring my computer. I went through badly labeled old files and folders, searching for half-edited versions of blog posts from the last two years. I accidentally deleted my tumblr account on Sunday night. I was doing too many things at once. I wasn’t paying attention and I clicked one too many times before the hot panic in my toes told me I’d gone too far. I typed eatdrinkdie.tumblr.com into the white of the URL hole and a huge colorful screen passed me a clear message. The work I’d done no longer exists. The stories I told were gone. Tears welled up in my eyes when I understood the damage I’d done was permanent. What I’d lost wasn’t coming back. The world I created had died and I killed it. I wasn’t deleted, but rather I deleted myself. I spent the next three days searching, capturing bits of this and scraps of that, photos and text, to revive my blog, to breathe old air into it and make new life. Like cleaning out the fridge and throwing together anything, old wilting lettuce and wobbly rubber celery to make a meal, to stretch things beyond their own limits, ignoring the mold and slime. Sometimes it works and sometimes you go too far and end up with something terrible, beyond endurance. Sometimes you make yourself sick. I lost nearly 70 pieces of original writing. What my blog was it is no longer. I have no followers and I follow no one. What was lush now feels thin and squalid. Images of my family and myself I’d created through anguish and sorrow were gone. Dreams and hopes turned like ash to the wind. I remember what they felt like, some of those pieces drifting up in the air over the oceans and jungles and mountains, in outer space. I remember sentences and sensations, some that drove me to tears and made me wonder where they’d come from. They no longer exist. I poured myself a whiskey and rattled with anger. I looked for someone to blame. I reached out to friends who might understand. I held hands with Nina and moved through the rises and falls that feel very much like grief.  [Painting: Death and the Maiden by Austrian painter Egon Schiele, 1915]

How could you not follow Eat Drink Die after that?So, do it, and then release all claims on permanence!

eatdrinkdie:

I cooked nothing for two days. I tore through cold, old pizza with my teeth or warmed up aging soup. I spent 26 hours – ten each Monday and Tuesday and six on Wednesday – scouring my computer. I went through badly labeled old files and folders, searching for half-edited versions of blog posts from the last two years. I accidentally deleted my tumblr account on Sunday night. I was doing too many things at once. I wasn’t paying attention and I clicked one too many times before the hot panic in my toes told me I’d gone too far. I typed eatdrinkdie.tumblr.com into the white of the URL hole and a huge colorful screen passed me a clear message. The work I’d done no longer exists. The stories I told were gone. Tears welled up in my eyes when I understood the damage I’d done was permanent. What I’d lost wasn’t coming back. The world I created had died and I killed it. I wasn’t deleted, but rather I deleted myself. I spent the next three days searching, capturing bits of this and scraps of that, photos and text, to revive my blog, to breathe old air into it and make new life. Like cleaning out the fridge and throwing together anything, old wilting lettuce and wobbly rubber celery to make a meal, to stretch things beyond their own limits, ignoring the mold and slime. Sometimes it works and sometimes you go too far and end up with something terrible, beyond endurance. Sometimes you make yourself sick. I lost nearly 70 pieces of original writing. What my blog was it is no longer. I have no followers and I follow no one. What was lush now feels thin and squalid. Images of my family and myself I’d created through anguish and sorrow were gone. Dreams and hopes turned like ash to the wind. I remember what they felt like, some of those pieces drifting up in the air over the oceans and jungles and mountains, in outer space. I remember sentences and sensations, some that drove me to tears and made me wonder where they’d come from. They no longer exist. I poured myself a whiskey and rattled with anger. I looked for someone to blame. I reached out to friends who might understand. I held hands with Nina and moved through the rises and falls that feel very much like grief.

[Painting: Death and the Maiden by Austrian painter Egon Schiele, 1915]


How could you not follow Eat Drink Die after that?

So, do it, and then release all claims on permanence!

4:33pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZlWB2w1BS8ODj
  
Filed under: thisisMYbody 
February 26, 2014
Stockin up.

Stockin up.

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Filed under: stock soup