The Breakfast Table

I got up early on Sunday, and went to the breakfast table.

We sing songs at the breakfast table: how your day has been, how my day has been, how everybody’s day has been… yes, even on a Sunday morning. 

It was one thing that I did, one tiny thing that I mentioned. But then it became all that defined me. I was no longer myself, but the ugly thing at the breakfast table. Imagine the horror of that—losing yourself at a breakfast table.

Jake, way to impress the breakfast table, I thought. Now I walk with a label. It’s going to expand with delicious rumors while my bones crumble and unravel.

In a way, it was a relief. The breakfast table only found out about this nasty side of me. Even when aristocrats at the table are disgusted by the sight of me, it’s ok. It’s alright because if my character is defined by a tiny mishap, they won’t discover the real fault of me. 

I left the breakfast table a long time ago, and aristocracy means nothing to me. But days like today I find my bright side wondering, did the breakfast kill me? My respect for the breakfast table has crumbled, but just like before, I’m still idle. Have you ever been to the breakfast table?

Picture Credit: GodUpdates.com

Your Vegan Thanksgiving is still a Celebration of Violence!

Photo via Pinterest.com

A vegan Thanksgiving is more sustainable and animal cruelty free. Supporting semen being sucked out with a straw from 46 million male turkeys’ anuses each year is cruel.  But having Thanksgiving at all is not necessarily cruelty free. The only ethical way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to spend it educating yourself on indigenous rights. 

“Happy Thanksgiving” I am so thankful for the Native Americans who continue to fight for their rights, their lands, refuse to abide by the societal expectations of pretending nothing terrible happened to their ancestors on this holiday. 

As we are having a beautiful Thanksgiving feast with our families and friends, remember that today is a national day of mourning for native Americans across the country. So while you’re thinking, “wow, this holiday is so incredible and based upon gratefulness and love between humans,” please don’t forget that thousands upon thousands of Native Americans have been brutally murdered in cold blood (partly) for their lands by white colonizers. 

And this question shocks me… but how many people across the country will celebrate Thanksgiving today having never even engaged with or met a native person, can’t name five tribes, can’t name the tribe whose lands they occupy or even can’t name a living native person? 

So… why not celebrate gratitude daily? It is one of the most important self-care practices a person can do. Daily practices rather than on just one day covered by blood which is just another white supremacist holiday. I’m not saying we should completely cut Thanksgiving from our yearly tradition but being less arrogant and realizing what this holiday truly represents. Being “woke” can be very emotionally taxing and difficult to talk about; but it’s worth doing the right thing rather than taking the easy way out and staying silent. 

Ignorance is not bliss. Even though it would be much easier not to post about these topics and just pretend today is a wonderful day of giving thanks…like everyone else does… so I don’t hurt any proud Americans’ feelings. If you’re not speaking the truth, you’re part of the problem. 

So bon appétit, but don’t forget!  As we celebrate thanks, for Native Americans Thanksgiving is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the assault on their culture and history of colonial violence.

Noodles

Recently I had a dream no different from most, I was at a grocery store with an old friend of mine. It used lightbulbs that just made the store appear sickly (obviously not LED), the flickery hospital lighting that evokes the smell of latex gloves from nowhere. Anyways, apart from the lights that bothered me a lot, the shelves were only partially stocked, but they were all stocked wrong and without any tags. This made it especially difficult to find the ramen that my friend and I had gone in there looking for. After wandering through rows of of tall, black, and poorly built shelves with pretty much anything thrown on them, we finally came upon the milk section. Now this was a bit of a problem because we had gone in there looking for ramen, and I was now browsing cartons of milk that looked as though they smelled like goat urine. After my brain had somehow remembered that the dream had begun with the task of looking for ramen, we began to move away from the milk and towards the rest of the store.

Now, personally I do not know why I so vividly remember this dream. I can only attribute it to me having had a boring day, and the dream being the only interesting thing that had happened to me since the morning.

When we finally came across the ramen, it was behind some boxes of Chinese snacks that I can only describe as milky bread sticks. The ramen was also sub-par because it was the off-brand Korean kind that was made to burn your eyebrows off that once made me sneeze chili powder. I was upset but still willing to take it, because after an extended period of time in a poorly managed grocery store that I have dreamt about many times before, I was getting fairly irritable. However, this is when my hulking, pigmy of a friend decided to grab it and run off.

I was furious, I had just wasted so much time staring at milk, wandering through aisles of nothing, and putting up with stress-inducing incandescent lighting, all to have my crappy ramen stolen away from me. Normally, this is where I would wake up, barge downstairs, and make myself food, but my dream-self was feeling particularly determined tonight. I continued searching for ramen, I spent hours searching the shelves of the store, running into half-asleep janitors, and many soulless patrons, destined with the same fate as I was.

After my search of the store came up empty, I somehow stormed myself to the loading dock in the back of the store that for some reason was also the location of the dumpster. It was beside this dumpster that I had found almost exactly what I was looking for, garbage bags full of contaminated ramen noodles. I do not know why I thought to look in the trash bags, I do not know how I knew they were contaminated, and I also do not know why I eventually took two bags home, but I do know that the story did not end well for me.

I don’t remember exactly how the dream ended, I eventually woke up, and I remember being fairly put off by the end, but as is common with dreams, I quickly forgot it. I didn’t find much meaning behind this dream. This is by no means the first dream I have had about grocery shopping, those have always been quite common for me. I didn’t think about the dream again until I came home that day from school, and saw that among some of the things my mother had bought from the grocery store was a few packets of ramen. Needless to say, I did not eat the ramen. That was the night I discovered that perhaps store bought ramen wasn’t for me, that was also the night that I discovered I was clairvoyant. So if there’s anything you should take away from this experience, and I seriously doubt there is, I’d say it’s probably to use LED bulbs, because they won’t cause irrational and dangerous decision making like incandescent bulbs do.

Photo Credit: Imgur.com

Over-rated

I do not know why I am so obsessed with burgers, but I just love eating and trying out burgers that I’ve never tried around the world. It is really interesting to taste different burgers around the world. From Shake Shack to IN N OUT it was truly fascinating to have an opportunity to taste delicious burgers in the US. After moving out to California, I had the opportunity to try out a place called Habit Burger after the flag football game, and I heard Habit Burger was basically a renowned place in California, so I decided to give a shot. Since me and my friends were starving to death, we were expecting something really good. However, the result was truly disappointing. The burger was mediocre, and I did not find anything special. Maybe my selection was poor, but I am not willing to try it again.

Credit: patch.com

Food in boarding school

Derived from my experiences from boarding schools, food delivery is inevitable. Boarding school’s rigorous schedule is demanding for students. I was wondering if my thought applies to other boarding school kids, and from their testimonies I could say for sure that boarding school’s food is insufficient for students. I believe that to boost boarding school kid’s morale , the school is responsible for better quality of food.

I acknowledged that the food can’t be perfect, but if school at least tries to satisfy students by communicating with them, I’m pretty sure that in result students will achieve greater performances, for instance, in academics, sports, and involvement. Also by better quality of school food, the trash caused by delivery will reduce significantly, which diminishes one of the big concerns in our school. In conclusion, I believe that if school communicates with student for better quality of food, the benefits will outweigh the negative effects.

Growing Up and Avocados

I’ve always walked a fine line of being perfectly healthy and utterly unhealthy.

I never drink soda, energy drinks, or coffee. I don’t like donuts because they’re too sweet for me.

However, I do have impulses to eat any and all food in front of me without any self control to stop, especially when it comes to binge-worthy snacks like chips or cookies, though I rarely buy them on my own. I always got excited for random road trips where we stop at McDonalds for McFlurries or fries. I never liked vegetables as a kid. I liked the basic ones like corn and carrots, sometimes peas or green beans, but I would be repulsed at the sight of an avocado back in the day.

But, lately, something has changed.

My family always said it’d happen eventually, that I’d eventually start liking the vegetables. I’d always say no to them when we’re out at restaurants and laughed at them for thinking I’d change. Vegetables were disgusting, weren’t they?

But the last several times I’ve had fast food, I’ve felt sick to my stomach and just thinking about having it makes me sick. I bought snacks today, but just a couple bites made me put them back in the drawer and I’ve had no desire to bring them out like I usually do. I’ve said no thank you to ordering desserts at restaurants and haven’t had anything else to drink this week except water and half a strawberry lemonade.

Photo Credit: delish.com

Then, there’s the vegetables. Brussel sprouts have become one of my top favorite vegetables and I get excited for them when they’re at restaurants. Whenever I go home and my uncle asks me what I want for dinner, I get more excited about asparagus than anything else and lately I’ve had a strong craving for guacamole, something I used to cringe at the thought of.

I guess it’s weird. I didn’t imagine the day I’d like avocados – or any other vegetable for that matter – would ever come, but it did. It might just be my taste buds changing, but I guess it’s just a part of growing up.

The story of kale, tangerines, and the realizations I made.

I ate a piece of kale the other day.

It was growing in a garden box at school, so I pulled a leaf off of the plant and ate it.

It was a nice, sturdy piece of kale. It tasted pretty good. I continued munching on it as I walked over to the baseball field.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Kale can be a nice snack, if you’re into dark leafy greens. But, as many experienced plant-eaters know, raw kale is quite tough to chew.

My jaws were getting a little bit tired, so I switched over to eating a different leaf that I had also picked from the garden box. I’m not sure what plant this was, but it was softer and sweeter than the kale.

As I was chewing, I twirled the piece between my thumb and my pointer finger.

I started to study the leaves. The kale was dark and rough. It was much more aggressively textured than the other leaf.

It was at that moment when I stopped chewing, for I noticed dozens of very tiny, white bugs all along the sides of the leaves.

I swallowed my bite, then tossed the remnants of my half-eaten leaves aside. I decided not to dwell on it too much, because I didn’t want the thought of the bugs to take away from the otherwise positive experience I had eating them.

(I would like to apologize to the innocent lives I took that day. I didn’t thoroughly inspect the leaves before eating them, and that was selfish of me. To the bugs that once inhabited the kale: I am sorry.)

On a completely unrelated note, this morning my parents and I went out to our tangerine trees. It was time to prune them. After about an hour of picking fruit and chopping branches, my dad said to me: “This is a chore that very few other people your age have to do, but you have to remember that it just makes you more cosmopolitan.”

Though I didn’t really enjoy being outside when it was 40 degrees, I did find comfort in the fact that our work would provide more fruit for us next season.

I never realized it before, but I am so thankful that I know how to take care of citrus trees.

I live in a place where I am fortunate enough to grow my own food. I take that for granted.

I hope that I will always have this luxury, bugs and all.