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eat sleep whiskey

February 22, 2010

There are many things I cannot do.  I don’t know how to track a deer through the woods.  I cannot accurately describe which way the wind is coming from.  I cannot write a pop song or fix the exhaust pipe on my car when it muffles too loudly, nor can I run a mile in under 6 minutes, dunk a basketball, explain the difference between Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollack in any significant way, fire a gun, get a job as a bouncer at a punk bar, or obtain financing to start a psychic hot line.  Some of these feats may be more difficult than others, but one feat that certainly is not that difficult – and which I cannot perform well – is eating with chopsticks.  The directions on the packaging are of no help.  They say that after the age of 12 a person is unable to learn a new language without acquiring an accent, because the muscles in one’s mouth and jaw are developed enough by adolescence to make the new, necessary oral positions impossible to fully form.  Well, I think the same is true of chopsticks.  I can get by with them; that is to say, I can pick up a piece of meat or broccoli with enough confidence that it won’t wind up on my shirt before I place it in my mouth.  But I’m not good at them, and perhaps more importantly, I don’t feel comfortable with them.  Learning a new language is tough, tough business requiring hundreds of hours of practice.  No matter how much I’d like to believe it, eating with chopsticks isn’t that hard.

Which is why I was shocked and a bit ashamed to find the 2 year-old girl dining next to me for dim sum on Saturday morning pick up that most problematic of all chopstick victims – rice, of course – and effortlessly comb the kernels into her minuscule mouth.  The chopsticks were nearly as big as she was and her hands barely able to grasp them, but there she was, this little queen of troublesome wooden utensils, making me look like what I must admit that I am when it comes to Asian dining – an amateur.


The photos from 2/19 below were taken at Longman & Eagle in Logan Square, where a group of us dined Friday night on nearly the entire menu and consumed what some might consider a few too many Longman Manhattans.  Be kind to yourself and find your way there.

Nos. 317: 2/20/2010

I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake
up every morning… Every day I find something creative to do with my life.

– Miles Davis

Nos. 318: 2/19/2010

The tools I need for my work are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.

– William Faulkner

3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 8:02 am

    any place with a good, working vintage jukebox is alright by me. (also, i am awful when it comes to chopsticks and rice. awful.)

  2. February 23, 2010 1:28 pm

    I can definitely relate. I used to have trouble with our wooden chopsticks in america, but then I found out about Korean chopsticks, which to me are the hardest to use in the world because they are metal and slippery. I think I was the source of amusement at meal times trying to use the impossible chopsticks. The few times that I had wooden chopsticks I actually felt lucky. I too am amazed at the wee ones being able to tackle it much more eloquently than myself. Such a great post.

  3. March 2, 2010 6:13 am

    Dim Sum Yummmmm……try eating everything with chopsticks and you’ll be on your way to picking up anything! Rice on the other hand, is a challenge unless it’s sticky or you put the edge of the bowl right next to your mouth and sweep!

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