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Sweets and Philosophical Talks

October 25, 2013

My, how things have been busy as of late. All I ever seem to have time for nowadays is school. Well, school and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix.

Ha ha.

My days start early, around 6:30 a.m., and end early; by 9 p.m. on most nights, I’m ready to crawl into bed to watch two episodes of Buffy. 45 minutes each x 2 = 1 hour and 30 minutes of glorious Buffy each night. Sleep by 10:30, and wake up at 6:30 to do it all over again. It’s a good routine I have going on here. Watching Buffy reminds me of grade 12–when I used to rush home after school to catch the Ellen Show at 4 p.m. and then Buffy at 5 p.m. Oh the good ol’ days.

Despite my “busy” schedule,  I do manage to get other things done. I’ve been volunteering, of course, and I’ve been meaning to write about it–and I have started–but I’ll save that for another post. I’ve also been baking and cooking a whole lot lately. Last Friday, I bought one of those giant Jack-o’-lanterns and spent several hours on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon cooking it. I know Jack-o’-lanterns are not the best for cooking and baking, but I wanted to get my money’s worth (a can of pumpkin was going for 3.99 when I could buy a whole pumpkin for 3.50$!). Plus, when I bought the pumpkin, I knew that everything would turn out okay because I had done this whole pumpkin-cooking thing last year.

So while my roommates went out Friday evening, I stayed in and cut up a giant pumpkin and cooked it. I even e-mailed BG and said, “My roommates must think that I am very strange: not many 21-year-olds stay in on a Friday night to cook pumpkins.” Of course, I was grossly generalizing. Who knows? Maybe somewhere out there, there was another 21-year-old cooking pumpkin on a Friday night too. I didn’t finish cooking the pumpkin that Friday night because I ended up going out to dinner with ASN and then over to her house for tea (it was lovely by the way), so I continued cooking the pumpkin on Saturday. I don’t even need to tell you about the mess that I made in the kitchen. I had three pots going on at once, and the kitchen windows were fogging up because of all the steam. It was a helluva week-end. After cooking the pumpkin, I made pumpkin pie (from scratch!) for the potluck that I was holding that Saturday night.

The potluck was extraordinary fun. I love being in my twenties and being able to invite some of my close friends–AM, KL, CH, DMG, BY were in attendance–over for dinner on a regular basis. We had food; we had wine; and we had a fantastic talk! It was actually very philosophical in nature. It all started with CH asking me when I was going to get my new phone. “A new phone? This is my new phone!” at which point I flashed him my Samsung flip phone. The guys all laughed, and I explained why I liked having it as opposed to the iPhone I had before (i.e., I basically don’t like to be plugged into social media.) Then AM brought up the inevitable: “I know it works for you, and you’ve just always been like that and are not following some kind of fad or whatever, but I just don’t understand this notion of not wanting to be ‘plugged in’ and of wanting to return to a ‘simpler time.’ It doesn’t make sense because the world will move on without you, and you will the one losing out.”

Of course, everything he said made sense, and I generally agreed with what he said. But still, I’d rather not participate, especially when not participating works well with me. Personally, I think the world would be better without Facebook because there are still are other ways of communicating outside of Facebook, but let me clarify: better does not mean more efficient. Again, I don’t want to go into my personal thoughts about Facebook here because I’m planning to write a large essay on Facebook one day. It’ll be my magnum opus… or actually, my pre-magnum opus… if that makes sense.

Anyway, getting back to the potluck discussion we had. Once AM asked that inevitable question, we were propelled into an hour-long conversation about Facebook and greater philosophical topics. Actually, the whole Facebook argument only lasted for about five minutes. The rest of the time was spent discussing the nature of “genuine-ness.” I told you it was philosophical. CH and I made the argument that Facebook offers a great opportunity for people to project a certain image of themselves, an ideal image of themselves if you will. My guess is, most people (especially under 30) take this opportunity. I don’t think people do this intentionally: it’s just that we can’t help ourselves; we’re protecting ourselves and our image while at the same time, inadvertently making others feel bad about themselves for not having our “wonderful” lives.  In other words, CH and I argued, it is very easy on Facebook to disregard your genuine self, and act like someone who you are not.

Of course, everyone must take everything I say with a grain of salt. I am merely hypothesizing (and mostly speculating), and until I run some experiments, these are merely beliefs.

AM disagreed with our whole idea of “genuine-ness.” Basically, he viewed people’s projections of themselves on Facebook as extensions of themselves. Whereas I viewed those “non-genuine”/projected sides as not being related to the person at all, AM viewed those projected selves as just another side of that person. It was an interesting argument indeed. AM also didn’t believe in the notion of “genuine-ness.” CH and I argued for it at length, but KL and AM were just not going for it. What can I say? I’m an essentialist.

AM kept making the argument that we never know exactly who we are and that we are always growing. Because of this, there can never be any genuine self (I hope I am correct in restating his argument). How can you say that Sally, for example, is genuine? By saying that Sally is genuine, you are saying that you think she is acting like herself when she is around you. But how can you can know that she is acting like herself when she is always growing and doesn’t even know who she is?

That was basically the argument. It was a good one, I’ll admit.

Although I agree that we, as human beings, are constantly growing, I retorted with the argument that at least, when I say that Sally is genuine, I am saying that I think that she is acting like who she thinks she really is. Who cares who you really are if you think you know you are! It’s all in the state of mind people.

From the genuine-ness thing, we got into talking about essentialism and whether there are really any traits that you possess that define who you are. CH and I brought up the notion of values. Of course, there were arguments going back and forth about that, ones I will divulge in a lengthier essay. Then we talked about subjectivity and objectivity, and somehow, I worked the role of adjectives into the conversation. Ha ha.

We went on and on. It was a super interesting talk, and in the end, although we agreed on some things, we disagreed on many other things. We decided to agree to disagree. DM and BY came and that was when we got the music going. The rest of the night consisted of eating pies, playing Heads Up (a game on the iPhone that resembles Cranium–super fun!), and looking through my box of pictures. What a fun night; I’ll gladly do it again!

So that was my week-end. Ever since that night, I’ve pretty much been baking every night and saving the treats for my friends and roommates. I love feeding people! Ha ha. It’s how I win my win into people’s hearts…. 🙂

So far, I’ve made pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie. I’ve also made delicious, scrumptious granola. Honestly! Why go out and buy these things when you can make it 10x better at home?

I love baking. My friends were saying that that should be my plan B if I decide not to become a high school teacher. Ha ha. Or maybe, I can combine both and be a high school home-ec teacher. Fun, fun, fun.

What shall I bake tonight, I wonder?

T: Of course, my friends requested that I make my famous ‘Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almonds.”

D: Oh wow, that’s a long name… basically everything you put into it. (laughs)

T (laughing): Ha ha, yeah.

D: You forgot ‘Love.’

Tina is C.L.A.H (Cackling Like A Hen)

Granola!

Home-made vegan granola!

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