blogs, Uncategorized

Check Out: These Blogs

I have been reading these blogs for years. I think they’re absolutely wonderful. Check out:

1.Hither and Tither: http://hitherandthither.net/

2.Hey Natalie Jean: http://www.heynataliejean.com/

3.Love Taza//Rockstar Diaries: http://lovetaza.com/

4.Meg Fee//The Wild and Wily Ways of a Brunette Bombshell: http://www.megfee.com/

5.A Cup of Jo: http://cupofjo.com/

Advertisements
mindfulness

How To Deal With The Quotidian

After reading Heidegger’s Being and Time, check out my post on Heidegger—“On Reading Heidegger”—I thought about my constant struggle with routine and how I can mitigate the “pain” of living a routine by reminding myself of one thing made clear in Heidegger’s discussion of the quotidian. We are human beings living in this space and in this time—this between—so we should forget about the beginning (what I relate to the past) and we should forget about the end (what I relate to the distant, distant future) and we should live in the now (a state that he refers to as dasein: “being there” or what we might just refer to as existing.) Essentially, dealing with the quotidian and “curing” ourselves of the mundane world that exists on routine means going with the flow without the inner turmoil of a disturbing past or a stressful future. In the end, I decided I did not love the book (for other reasons,) but what I did learn helped me in my search to find ways to deal with the quotidian and “cure” myself of the pain of dealing with a routine. Here are five things that I’ve summed up as my method for dealing with what afflicts many free spirits such as myself: the quotidian (everyday living.)

1.When people say, “live in the here and in the now” they mean every word of it. One of the most difficult things for me to practice is living in the here and in the now because, like many others, I am a worrier and there are times that I can’t enjoy life’s small moments because I am thinking about tasks at hand, due dates, family problems, etc. That’s why I make it a priority to practice mindfulness by truly engaging in the moment that I am in when I am in it.

2.Practicing mindfulness means enjoying even the smallest moments. Every morning, I make myself a cup of coffee and I make it a priority to enjoy both the process of making the coffee and drinking the coffee itself. So enjoy those small moments and life’s simple pleasures! Another one that I enjoy every day is the smell of the perfume I choose to wear on that day. I love perfume, and for me, it is a ritual to put it on every day. Proof that rituals don’t have to be boring.

3.Be aware of your surroundings. Whenever I am riding in a car, I make the effort to let go of all technology and just focus on my surroundings: the streets and their names, the trees, the sky and the clouds, the other cars, etc. I also do this when I go to the beach: I put my phone away and I just listen to the sounds of the water and smell the salt water. Focusing on my surroundings helps me engage in the moment.

4.When I eat, I am mindful of how I prepare my food and how I eat my food. For instance, breakfast-time is my preferred meal prep of the day, considering I mostly rely on myself, so preparing a sandwich isn’t just preparing a sandwich. If I am making a grilled cheese, I try to make it different each time: this morning it was a swiss and fig grilled cheese and it was absolutely delicious. And when I eat my food, I try to savor each bite without rushing through it. Mindfulness isn’t just about meditating, it’s about fully engaging in everyday moments that make up our lives.

5.It was important for me to establish a routine when I decided to take a break from school, and I established it over a period of one month. But two months in and I start to dread the routine. I desire to be in school–I love school–I think to myself. But I also remind myself that it is necessary to take this time and use it to overcome my crisis. The choice I made was to wait until the Fall semester and continue on my track to get my Bachelor’s. Having a routine means that the specific routine won’t last forever. Routines change as we change and our life changes. It is important to think about the purpose of a routine–the quotidian we must “spice up” ourselves.

To deal with the quotidian, bask in what you enjoy that you do every day and remember: let’s not rush through the necessary process of a routine. We’ve established it for a reason.

 

 

 

food, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Bistro Café // Isla Verde

Bistro Café in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico offers a variety of dishes—including salads, gyros, and sandwiches—accompanied, of course, by the staples in the menu: breakfast dishes that are served all day long. These include dishes such as pancakes, french toast, and waffles, all equally delicious.

My first time at the café, accompanied by my mother, we were served coffee immediately—two beautifully crafted flat whites. After looking at the menú for a while (everything looked so delicious, I had no idea what to choose; and the option of breakfast for lunch??!!) I chose the salmon and goat cheese croissant. It definitely did not disappoint. The smoked salmon was savory and the goat cheese was creamy and perfect with the salmon. Spinach added some texture to the croissant, which was soft and buttery. The savory was balanced with the sweetness of honey in the mix, perfect for the smoky flavor of the salmon and the calmer goat cheese flavor. The croissant was topped with powdered sugar, which is never a bad thing (in my opinion). My mother ordered a tuna wrap (a bit boring) but she absolutely enjoyed it so I recommend that as well. For my next visit, I am eager to try something for breakfast—perhaps french toast? Or something with Nutella? We’ll see.

Anybody visiting the metro área in Puerto Rico, or anyone living nearby, I recommend the Bistro Café for breakfast or lunch. Also, order the freshly squeezed orange juice—it is absolutely delicious!

IMG_0597IMG_0593IMG_0603IMG_0598IMG_0604IMG_0599

videos

Check Out: Infinite Waters (Diving Deep)

Ralph Smart’s YouTube Channel—Infinite Waters (Diving Deep)—features videos on spirituality, meditation, health, and other topics relating to the self. I stumbled upon his channel after watching the documentary The Indigo Evolution, also featured on YouTube, and typing on the search bar “signs that you’re an indigo,” I found his video: “13 Things Only Indigos Understand.” It was an informative and interesting video, discussing some things that I identified with. I don’t love the term free spirit, but it’s the only one that I’ve found rings true when I want to encompass my personality with a term. I’ve been called a free spirit a few times and I believe that I am. I also consider myself an old soul, and, not surprisingly, Ralph has a video on old souls: “9 Signs You’re An Old Soul.”

 

 

I recommend everyone to check out his videos, especially those interested in metaphysics and concepts such as soul mates, twin flames, lost souls, 11:11, etc.

 

books

On Reading Heidegger

After reading excerpts from Heidegger’s Being and Time, I didn’t know whether I loved the book or hated it. At first, I was intrigued by the ideas presented in the book, ideas such as existentialism and hermeneutics (interpreting texts,) but then I thought more seriously about what I had read and realized how some readers might interpret some of Heidegger’s ideas as being objectivist rather than subjectivist because of its description of human beings as vehicles that serve or do not serve a purpose. His writing is not flexible in the sense that it allows readers to speculate, it is more declarative in its nature.

What came into question when reading the book was the discussion of time and the quotidian. I read the book in Spanish, so this section would be Cotidianidad. Heidegger discusses a condition called dasein or “being there,” existing. Sometimes, I wonder how human beings deal with the mundane world and the quotidian—I find it tiring to do the same thing every day! But living in a routine is a must for many of us—it provides organization and structure. Now, for free spirits like me, this can get very tiring, but reading provides a way to explore topics that I find interesting. With the concept of dasein, Heidegger gives us an idea of the essence of being:

{Dasein does not fill up a track or stretch ‘of life’ — one which is somehow present-at-hand — with the phases of its momentary actualities. It stretches itself along in such a way that its own being is constituted in advance as a stretching-along. The ‘between’ which relates to birth and death already lies in the being of Dasein … It is by no means the case that Dasein ‘is’ actual in a point of time, and that, apart from this, it is ‘surrounded’ by the non-actuality of its birth and death. Understood existentially, birth is not … something past in the sense of something no longer present-at-hand; and death is just as far from having the kind of being of something … not yet present-at-hand but coming along … Factical Dasein exists as born; and, as born, it is already dying, in the sense of being-towards-death. As long as Dasein factically exists, both the ‘ends’ and their ‘between’ *are*, and they are in the only way possible on the basis of Dasein’s being as *care* … As care, Dasein is the ‘between’.”}
― Martin HeideggerBeing and Time (quote found on goodreads.com)

Reading this, I still find it quite difficult to understand but the conclusion that I came to was about being present in moments of “boredom.” My concern was the following: how to rid myself of boredom when things get absolutely boring. But Heidegger makes a couple of things clear: just exist and be who you are. If we, in essence, exist in a state of “being-towards-death” and we are in the “between” than in every moment that we exist we should remember not to feel anxious or despair. We are beings in the middle of this time and this space and we just exist—we are beings in time—going with the flow.

I would love to read interpretations of Heidegger’s quote (above.)

food, Uncategorized

Home-Cooked Kaftas

Kaftas (Lebanese beef kebabs) are a favorite dish of mine when dining at Tierra Santa—a Middle Eastern restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The restaurant’s kaftas are delicious, but my mother’s take on them is even better.

Here’s how she makes them and the ingredients used in the process:

Blend (in a food processor): 1 onion, lemon juice, clove of garlic, parsley, a little bit of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of these—salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, cumin, and paprika. Mix is done.

Then, with hands blend in with the mix 2 pounds of ground turkey meat and make small, oval-shaped kaftas.

These are barbecued and left to grill 5-6 min on each side before turning.

Keep in mind, these are a variation because we’re using ground turkey instead of ground beef.

The end result? The kaftas are well-seasoned, juicy, and cooked just right (not overcooked or undercooked.)

Thank you, mom! For anybody interested in dishes such as this and looking to dine in the metro area—visit Tierra Santa—or try these at home.

IMG_0571IMG_0572IMG_0583IMG_0584

food

An Unlikely Combination

Tayzan Bar and Grill in Condado, Puerto Rico features Chinese, Japanese, and Puerto Rican cuisine. It is one of my favorite restaurants in the metro area because of the quality of the food and the excellent service.

I’ve posted on mofongo before—check out my posts “Mini-Mofongos” and “Trying Trifongo”—so it’s no surprise that I quite enjoy it. At Tayzan, a restaurant known for its amazing sushi—notable ones include the pinky roll, and if you’re looking for something “boricua,” the churrasco roll. There’s the option of ordering mofongo with a side of chicken, meat, or fish. My choice was the sweet and sour chicken. I admit, if I were to choose again, I would pick the grilled salmon, considering both plates are heavy (mofongo is fried and mashed green plantains and the sweet and sour chicken is battered and fried.) However, it was a treat to mix mofongo bits with sweet and sour sauce, despite the accompanying mayo-ketchup (which was left untouched.) It was an unlikely combination, but a good one. Mofongo with sweet and sour sauce? I recommend it.

I also recommend Tayzan’s sushi—I highly recommend it. Favorites include the pinky roll, orgasmo roll, california roll, churrasco roll, and the shrimp tempura roll. If you’re in the metro area and are looking for Chinese and/or Japanese cuisine with a twist, try Tayzan. Or if you’re looking for awesome sushi—it is the best sushi I’ve tried in the metro area. You’re guaranteed a great sushi boat!

 

IMG_0613IMG_0614IMG_0615IMG_0616

 

 

food

Mini-Mofongos

Mofongo—mashed fried plantains—is a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine. My grandmother made these with organic plantains, mashed and fried in coconut oil. My thoughts (and only mine since I did not tell her my full opinion) are the following:

1.They are a bit too greasy, the coconut flavor from the oil is too present in the mini-mofongo.

2.The texture is too soft—they end up crumbling upon grabbing, which is a bit disappointing.

Overall, the mini-mofongos are not bad, they just need a little work (perhaps frying them in another oil?)

  

I will attempt to make these this weekend and see what comes of it. Maybe another technique will help keep the small, round shape of the mini-mofongos. A better binding is needed so they hold up rather than crumble.