Monday, December 14, 2009

Wasabi-Lemon Spinach and Room for Growth

The need for vegetables and a late snack tonight led to yet another strange creation of mine via the sauteepan, but one that I think is worth writing and repeating and—yes—even sharing.

It may seem a little crazy, but trust me on this.

Baby Spinach
Green Pears
Yellow Onion
Yellow Squash
Pesto Seasoning (or equivalent, something like oregano or thyme)
Wasabi sauce (this is the trick—I found a pure wasabi sauce you can squirt out of a bottle like ketchup. Good luck finding the equivalent, but if you can find this or something that will give the same effect, it's awesome).

Dice onions and pears. Put a 1/3 of the yellow squash in the pan in thin slices. Put onions and pears into sautee pan with olive oil and with a good helping of spinach. Sautee it all until the spinach cooks where it's got that sautee-d spinach feel. Take 1/4 of a lemon and squeeze it into the pan in the last minute or two, with one slice (or two, depending on the serving size, mine was pretty small, snackish size) in the pan itself. Finally, squirt a good stream of the wasabi sauce over it all, depending on taste, and mix it in. Normal wasabi would probably work fine too.

If all goes well, the pears should have begun to caramelize a little, the onions and squash should be lightly cooked, and the wasabi is all mixed in. The taste is fruity, yet also spicy with a wasabi kick. I added some black pepper at the last minute.

Recommended drink: I had a Guinness with this, and it was great. It almost brings out a fruity side to the Guinness—who knew there was one—and the deep taste of the stout contrasts well.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be expanded. For a full meal, get either brown or Jasmine rice (I use brown for the health reasons, but Jasmine would be excellent for taste), maybe add some garlic, and it's still vegetarian. For meat, I think a light fish would be good. Chicken is a little too hearty and it starts to loose that wasabi-and-pear-dancing-on-your-face feeling.

So yeah. Try it out and mix it up. You might be surprised what comes out.

Nudging Space and Soleri's China Exhibit

Arcosanti's Today@Arcosanti Blog is really work checking out this month of December. They've just uploaded a whole bunch of fresh renderings of Paolo Soleri's Nudging Space arcology. Here are some re-posted.

Nudging Space was always one of my favorite arcologies that Soleri designed. More than the Hyper Building, which is too familiar as a skyscraper—Nudging Space has that more classic apse feeling. I always thought the design was especially dynamic. Yet it was never transferred into anything but a paper model that lay in Arcosanti's cafe—which I would nonetheless stare at and try to imagine at 5000x the scale. Obviously Young-Soo Kim (whom I used to work next to in the office) has been hard at work—and it shows! He does an amazing job of transferring Paolo's designs into virtual models that reflect the scale of the actual theoretical complexes.

These renderings were for an important exhibition in China that happened on December 4th. The slew of blog posts on the Arcosanti site for that week are worth looking at. I had heard rumblings of this exhibition when I was working there, and if I was still there now, I probably would have been helping out on it. While Fate had other things planned for me, it's great to see that the exhibition appears to have been a success.

Now I only hope that they can upload some higher-res renderings of this model, as they deserve much more glory than 400x200 pixels.

Congrats on the show, Maestro Soleri and fellow Arconauts! Hopefully the Chinese people will take notice, and we may see Lean Linear City and Nudging Space as yet more than just 3D models.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

First Performances

Yesterday was kind of a whirlwind, and unexpected, but awesome nonetheless. Two of my first performances (not officially in a Flam Chen faculty, they're more like "appearances") in a row, first on silks, then on stilts at the Ensphere warehouse show.

And there's a video to prove it!

The silks bit was for the Rhythm Industry performance review—a sort of open house when all the cooperative groups and artists of the Rhythm Industry center show the latest that they've been working on. Because Flam Chen was at Angel Ball doing their showtime thing, only some of the beginner/intermediate students were available to show the latest. Kelsey and I volunteered to do a silks piece as representing Flam Chen.

It's a work in progress, and it's obvious that I've got a lot to work on (point your toes, keep your legs straight, etc.). I'd like to video myself now on silks to actually see where the strengths and weaknesses are. It'd be great for training. But I'd like to think that this, for all its imperfections, is not too bad for two or so months of training.

Video of me and Kelsey, thanks much to Clencovision, who was kind enough to put it on Youtube so quickly:

Kelsey did really great.

Forgive the cheesy swinging of the silk on my part. When properly executed, that will send the flyer into a tight spin while in the hipkey. It seemed to be an easy thing to do while I was hanging there, and kind of came out lackluster. Oh well—another thing to work on.

The other appearance on stilts was late last night (or really early this morning) at the Ensphere warehouse show. My first time being a shadow walker—I didn't have the arm stilts to go with it (you can only tie so much aluminum to your backpack while biking through town), so more like a psuedo-shadowwalker. But the effect wasn't lost on people. It was interesting seeing people's reactions—from shock, to flirtatious (no comment there, aside that the costume is skin-tight, white, and more or less androgynous), to fear. I actually chased one girl around a car while she tried to take a picture of me. Of course I hugged her and told her my name later on.

The costume is half the battle, but the other half is being the shadow walker. The costumes are really powerful, even though they're simple in their construction (it's like walking around with an elastic bedsheet on you), but actually performing as an otherworldly creature is actually what makes it all happen. People's reactions suddenly go to this pure, more neutral area where typical human body language identity is lost and anything can happen. Some find it elating and amazing, some find it ominous or frightening, and yet others don't know how to interpret it, and just get angry, as if this walking bedsheet is some sort of social threat.

I'll be scanning the intarwebs for picture-proof of this. There were multiple times I posed for cameras. They have to show up on Facebook sometime.