Saturday, March 26, 2016

Defunct, Redirect

Hello! Thank you to anyone who has read this blog over the years, but this page is now a bit defunct. But please consider checking out the other work that has kept busy and away from updating here.

My friend Dan Mac Rae and I collaborated on a journal dedicated to the novella, Zizobotchi Papers, which you can learn more about here -

I've also been a regular contributor at the site Drinkers With Writing Problems, where every other Wednesday I release either a short story or a short personal essay. There's also a swell community of other writers publishing there, I recommend you explore their work as well -

I used to use this blog as kind of my main hub, but for a full list of my publications and events, please visit -

Again, thanks for checking in here over the years. I hope you'll humor me by continuing to check in at the sites mentioned above!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Boy's Club: Scary Scouting

This time of year makes me think of the woods, and of scary things as to fit the spooky vibe of Halloween. These thoughts intersect with old memories of my time in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts of America.

Names have been changed to protect the identities of the players.

I’ll start with my first vivid understanding that I could potentially be murdered. I was 8 years old, living in a suburb of Pittsburgh at the time. I was maybe a Wolf and our troop went on a weekend camping trip up in northern Pennsylvania. The dads got their kicks from perpetuating a rumor that an escaped convict from a nearby penitentiary was hiding out in the woods near our campground. They were elaborate with this prank. They even recorded fake radio broadcasts and played them back to us, and we kids weren’t smart enough to realize it was a tape player. On the final night of the trip, as we gathered around a big bonfire, one of the dads had snuck off and put on a Jason hockey mask. He also grabbed himself a hatchet. Better to commit to it with a deadly prop. During a quiet moment he came running up from a thick pocket of woods with the weapon held up high. Everyone scattered and screamed. I remember thinking this is when we all die. This is it.  The hatchet looked a very capable instrument. My pounding heart let me know I had blood to spill, lots of it. I remember the panic being a quick flash that flowed into a sort of resignation into inevitability. We’re getting murdered, oh shit. The sense of community, of being taken down with your peers, was almost tinged with a weird giddiness? I put a question mark there because I still don’t understand what I was feeling there. The dad soon took off his mask and let out a big belly laugh. It was Mr. C. Oh geeze, Mr. C, you had us going. You had us going real good.

The rest of my time in Cub Scouts was pretty tame. I sometimes feared that I’d wet the bed on one of our trips. I did get a fishing hook stuck inside my finger tip but I don’t think that ended up too bad. I think it was a quick fix. A dad who didn’t speak much English helped pull that out. No First Aid kits were involved.

There was a father/son camping trip when I was a Webelo (final year of Cub Scouts, we were living in Maine at this point) and my dad was meeting me at the campground after he got out of work. He hit some bad traffic and wound up getting there pretty late. I was convinced at the time that he had gotten into a bad accident. I said this worry aloud and my friend V told me I was an idiot, only stupid people got into accidents and that my dad wasn’t stupid, so he wasn’t in an accident. That didn’t make me feel better because it seemed my friend really didn’t understand how accidents worked. How they could happen to anyone. My dad finally made it, but there was some drama the next afternoon when someone’s mom tripped over a rope that ran from our tent to the stake securing it into the ground. The mom didn’t see it because she was busy blowing on her bowl of hot chili and so she spilled this hot chili all over her chest. Her husband, a big shaggy, bearded man, was outraged and started screaming at my dad that he was going to sue the shit out of us. So I felt the fear that we were going to be ruined financially. Later that night my dad read to me from a book about haunted Civil War battlegrounds and I didn’t sleep much because the stories were good and got enough into my head to keep me from wanting to step outside into the woods to pee, and I was also really worried about us getting sued, it sounded like something that could be pretty intense to have to go through.

Nothing came of the lawsuit. The chili burn probably wasn’t too damaging after all.

When I got into Boy Scouts I started to witness behaviors that were a little more deranged. On one camping trip we stayed in a big cabin with many different rooms and bunks. The troop leader’s son, R, pulled aside a smaller scout, O, while the rest of us were eating dinner in the mess hall, and tied him to a bed post in one of the rooms and whipped the kid with his belt. R was suspended from scouts for one week. O, understandably so, decided to leave the scouts for good. R didn’t seem to understand the terror he caused. When he was back after his week off he was yucking it up as usual. Many years later R was arrested because the person he sold his prescription pain killers to died from an overdose.

The character that gave me the biggest creeps we’ll call H. He was red headed and gangly and in his twenties. He had made it through as an Eagle Scout several years before, and really truly loved scouts, because he volunteered a lot of his time to helping out with our troop at meetings and camping trips. He loved cheesy jokes, and irritating Mr. L. One year my family took a trip back through Pennsylvania and we ran into H at Hershey Park. He was wearing his Boy Scout shirt, which was soaked. My brother said hello to him and H suppressed a giggle and said “now you can tell everyone I went on a wet ride.” More giggles followed from H.

I didn’t last too long with Boy Scouts. I quit about a year into it. The troop leaders chose weird moments to be sticklers. Like one time we were standing at attention and a moose ran by, so the troop leaders got giddy and pointed and ran toward it, saying moose, moose! Then they chewed us out because we all got excited when they did and ran to see the moose. We were told to never, ever break rank! I got chewed out another time because one kid was filling up a cast iron frying pan with dirty dish water and dumping it on people. I caught him in the act and tipped it back on him. I was apparently the bad guy. I had to go sit on a stump by myself away from everyone for awhile. That was the last scolding I wanted to take from those fools.

When I was well into college my mom sent me a News clipping from our local paper. H had been arrested for downloading kiddie porn on his computer. His interest in spending time with the Boy Scouts now seemed to come from a much darker place.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shame Train

There was a young woman who tried  to cut me in line to get on the Blue Line. Actually she tried to cut a lot of people in line and was successful to a point. This was at an auxiliary entrance/exit at the Western Stop that only had one turnstile, one of those tall gate-like things, and there were a lot of people lined up to get on the train. This girl would walk up to the left of people and try and wiggle in front of them. She was in a hurry but that doesn't make her unique. And the line was moving as fast as it could. When one person moved up a step, so did the person behind them. She tried to do this to me as I got closer to the turnstile. She arched around to my left and I could feel her fast twitch muscles vibrate into the air and it was clear she was going to gun it. I didn't feel like seeing her win here though, her getting to work on time was no more important than anyone else getting to work on time. Maybe if she asked politely, "please, I'm running really really late, would you be so kind?" Instead she assumed importance and budged, budged ahead.

But I stepped up quick after the blind guy in front of me made it through the turnstile, so she had to settle for going after me. I scanned my fare card and. Oh, wait, I had to step back because the blind guy was coming back through the turnstile. "Did your card your card not work, do you need me to scan my card to get you through?" I was about to ask this but he said "I decided not to go." This seemed to mess up the turnstile, him coming back through, so it stopped half way as I tried to pass. But lucky for me, the girl in a hurry had tapped her card, anxious to do that before it even prompted the next rider to scan their fare card, before it was even ready. Since there's a little time delay anyway with this new Ventra system, her card registered and it seemed to allow me to pass the rest of the way through, because apparently when the blind guy came back through it negated my scan. So her scan counted for me. Then the girl tried to go through and it wouldn't let her, so she scanned again. But it seemed she may have used the last of her fares on me accidentally. I hovered near the turnstile still, debating that maybe I should be nice and pass back my card. She was scanning and scanning and grunting away. Then she turned and when back down the stairs.

I felt bad because I carry a sensitivity to being perceived as a dick on the train. Once I was taking the Blue Line into work and the person ahead of me was zoned out listening to some possibly great tunes through big head phones. The cluster up ahead of him by the door thinned so I said excuse me several times, there was room beyond him, but he didn't hear me and continued to take up room. So I proceeded to squeeze behind him so I could exit before the doors closed and he got quite upset and screamed "hey! Hey! Don't push! We gotta let people ahead get out first buddy!" There was definitely room ahead, but everyone looked at me like I was an impatient dick. This stayed with me all day, and obviously still, as I felt I was unjustly cast in the role of subway asshole. So this came to mind when I somehow ended up reaping the benefit of the last of this girl's subway fares. And I felt pangs of guilt.

Then I got the train and let those slip away as the doors closed. She probably needed this as a lesson. This is what happens when you cut everyone in line and start swiping your card before the person ahead has started through the gates.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Coffee Speckles

While on the train I realized after the fact that I must have been bumped, causing splashes of my coffee to speckle the fabric covering the upper arm of a woman.

I searched my pockets for a napkin, that I may offer to help mop it up. I couldn't find one.

I was the only one around her that was clutching a cup. It was me. I knew.

I didn't say anything.

At the next stop, the crowded train caused the departing to brush past her. When I looked next her coat was scrubbed dry. I felt like I was now off the hook.

This may or may not be a revelation of my character.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Militant Vegan

While recounting an old story to a new lady in my life, I stumbled upon a new realization.

The story was; when I was 20 and living near the intersection of Buena Ave and Broadway in Chicago, I was on my way home from class one evening and almost suffered an attack to my head.

It was 6ish or 7ish and it was dark out because it was winter. A well dressed black man was walking up the sidewalk from the opposite direction. He slowed up, looking at me, like he recognized me. I slowed too thinking I might try and recognize him in return. He kept looking at me, then said "I should fucking kill you right now!" He next swung what looked like a metal faucet piece. I ducked just in time, the whoosh was a loud one. Relief was a loud one too; it didn't connect with my skull. I ran away from him shouting every single curse word I could think of until I got into the foyer of my building and rushed up to my apartment. 

When my breathing calmed, I called the police because I remember thinking, if I wind up dead I want them to have a suspect. Two police officers came, we filled out a police report. They told me to not take it personally, that there was a mental health facility nearby that was pretty come-and-go, some of their folks wandered around the neighborhood. I didn't so much take it personally, I didn't think that was the point.

Many months later I think I did see that guy again. I was waiting for a southbound Redline train, and I could see him across the tracks waiting for a northbound. I looked at him but he didn't look at me. I doubted that he remembered doing it, but I kept on looking, curious if there would be any sign of remembrance. Or guilt.

The new realization was this: at the time of the attempted assault, I was carrying home some food from the KFC around the corner. Something I had never considered before was that he could very well be a militant vegan sticking up for animal rights. Maybe it was personal. Maybe he was trying to permanently end my semi regular diet of meat. If this was it, then he would cease to be a bad guy in my book. I really like animals but don't have the courage to resist the barking of my taste buds. Perhaps I should listen the echoes of the past and their what-ifs. But I'm still just about to head off to the grocery store to pick up some meat to pan fry later this evening.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I've been a bit absent from here, but I also had a bit of a derecho in my life at the end of 2013. I'm glad to see the year has turned to a new one. I'm making a toast that bad karma has been drained, and good stuff will rush in as nice surprises. 

The Thursday before Christmas I came down with a flu that turned into a bad cough, one I thought was bronchitis as my live-in girlfriend at the time had bronchitis, and from what I understood of it, bronchitis is caused by a virus, rendering antibiotics useless. In fact I read many bulletins online urging doctors not to prescribe antibiotics for bronchitis as to not unnecessarily fan on antibiotic resistance. So assumed I needed rest. I avoided going to the doctor because dragging myself there and back just seemed like it'd be painful. I did drag myself to Michigan to visit my family for the holiday. Hitching a ride with my brother passing through town, we hit snow and some slow roads. We arrived at my mom's at 5:30 am. I was unable to sleep in the back of the car. This didn't help the immune system's fight. Despite a lot of rest over the course of a week I wasn't getting better. I wasn't really sleeping even with NyQuil. I'd lay in bed and just couldn't get comfortable. I'd have these half dreams where I'd hallucinate things happening in the room. 

Finally when I arrived back in Chicago, way out of breath walking up the steps of Union Station, coughing my brains out, I decided to see a doctor. 

I actually went to the Target Clinic down the street from my apartment because it was closer than my usual doctor. They clipped things on my fingertips to measure my oxygen levels and listened to my lungs with a stethoscope. They were pretty sure I had pneumonia but sent me to an Immediate Care facility for a chest x-ray so we could get a full diagnosis. I went, waited two hours, they didn't even do a chest x-ray, just did the same tests as Target, and wrote me a prescription for antibiotics and cough syrup with codeine. At first they didn't send the cough syrup prescription to the pharmacy next door, and so I pretended like maybe I misheard, because my ex-girlfriend had some left over cough syrup with codeine from her bout with bronchitis, so I was thinking, hey maybe I can save 10 bucks. But then the prescription arrived, a little late and separate from the antibiotic order. And then I thought it would be shady if I said, "I don't really need it, I have some already!"

The antibiotics were a huge help. Made a difference in just a few days at least terms of getting my mind back. I'll still be getting stuff up and out of the lungs for a little while longer and am slowly getting my strength back. I am on the mend. My voice is shot. I might start a Tom Waits cover band. Pneumonia is a beast. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'm glad I'm fairly young and in decent health, because I can see how it can turn deadly for some. I'd describe it as it's like your lungs are hungover, borderline alcohol poisoning hungover, but instead of vomiting, you're hacking up lung butter. And you have that poison feeling, as your lungs are fucking infected.

The other bad thing that happened was: You'll notice I referred to an ex-girlfriend and "live-in girlfriend at the time." Yes, that happened. I got my heart broken by someone I spent 5 years building a life with. I'm not bitter, it was amicable.  Though it's a tough pill to swallow. But that's all I'm going to say about that. I suppose I have some personal shit to deal with that maybe shouldn't be on public display. 

I will not be putting a Christmas 2013 ball ornament on a tree.

Moving on to exciting things. I've had a couple of short stories published! 

"Never Chewed Gum Before" over at Metazen

"The Blood Pressure of a Scuba Diver" over at Literary Orphans

Please read them! I may be biased but I'm really really proud of them.

On my way home from work the other day the Blue Line train arrived, and more people exited the train than were in line to board, yet suddenly there wasn't enough room for all of us to get on. This didn't make sense to me, other than people are pretty selfish about their personal space on public transit. I was angry in my head, and as the train pulled away I found myself wishing that someone in that car shits their pants and makes it repulsive and stinky for the people that decided not to make room for others. I allowed myself some measure of vindictiveness that day.

I also allowed myself the treat of stopping off at PopEye's for dinner. I lost 20 pounds it seems while being sick and feel I should put on a little fat to keep me warm this winter. While eating, there was a woman a few tables down having a conversation with herself. But she also looked so happy, the happiest, friendliest schizophrenic I've ever seen. It was like she had a great companionship going with the unseen persona. This reminded me that happiness is possible in fucked up circumstances. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New micro fiction called Puppet Barf

New micro short of mine published over at the Other Otter, a piece called:

Puppet Barf

I read it the other night at our Pungent Parlour reading series and felt good that people thought it was funny, I thought they'd be like "what the fuck was that shit." Glad it's got a home now. Some slight bathroom humor going in it, so it's not safe for reading during a meal, or as everyone is saying now, NSFRDM.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Two Dollar Radio & Film Moves

One of my favorite small presses, Two Dollar Radio, is preparing to make some films. Two years ago I read The Orange Eats Creeps by Grace Krilanovich and it helped change the way I think about literature. Not right away. My first read of it, though charged with some enjoyment, felt like work, and at the time I wasn't in the frame of mind where I necessarily appreciated hard work in my reading life. That changed after I finished the book, a few months passed where it somehow was still digesting and decompressing in my subconscious. The desire turned up to revisit it. And looking at myself as a writer at the time I felt like a fraud. For a long time I was focused on telling clever stories. Whereas there isn't anything wrong with a fun yarn and a clever twist, I wasn't exploring and challenging myself with the fresh palette of the page. I was bound by old expectations of what I thought good novels should be. I wasn't handling language as a fine craft. Reading the book again moved me to reinvent myself as a writer, to explore personal landscapes and handle language with a finer point of respect and reverence and reshaping. So I credit this book as an important one in my development as a reader and a writer.

Then this past summer I read Crapalachia by Scott McClanahan and I had to do a double take because I didn't know sentences could be so lean and efficient yet saturated with personality. 

I have some other Two Dollar Radio books on my shelf queued up and am already counting potential Christmas money I haven't received yet to load up on some of their newer titles that have intrigued me, like Jeff Jackson's debut novel Mira Corpora. 

As the books of theirs I've read have been like the introduction of strange delicacies I never knew existed, I'm excited to see what they do with the medium of film. They already have an enviable handle on narrative and voice. In the age where Syd Field formulas have rusted many movies, and people's expectations of how a movie should be paced, I welcome and anticipate what they may be projecting in the realm of digital cinema, and how it may change us as movie viewers.

For anyone that stumbles on my little blog here in the next couple of days, consider tipping them in advance at their indiegogo campaign so they can make the first round. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Rips, Bangs, and Burns?

Sometimes I feel like money dwindling in my bank account is like some sort of a cancer, some abnormality draining cell counts, sucking, withering. Life force is bolstered by the cash stuff. 

Money feels like this burning acid that eats through my wallet and I’d like to think of it more like a soothing balm, something sticky, minty fresh that accumulates as a pungent whiff. I wonder if there's a simple approach to how one views money, eh? If it does feel like an acid, yes, it will eat away, but if one looks upon it as some sort of nice ointment, well there you go, it releases a sort of green endorphin that triggers the brain to make actions that result in sudden pulses of cash stuff. There are so many programs out there that teach you how to get rich, but the thought of sitting down and turning off thought in a sort of sickly gleeful worship of cash flow makes money all the more feel like a heap of dried, chunky vomit in one's pocket. There seems to be something skewed in these programs, because the practitioners are getting rich teaching people to be rich. What is the real cultural value? Maybe that's what turns me off, culture and substance have been flattened with cliches and over charged motivation. What goes up must come down, there's a cliche for you I know, but that's gravity. And that's what I've experienced from any Zig Ziglar dabble I've had in the past. You're pumped in the morning, by the end of the afternoon, a bitterness starts to rain down on your head.

I've begun reading this book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman and it examines the self help industry, and the often times reverse effects. For instance, statistically people who buy a self help book buy another one within 7 months. Did that first one even work? But the thing that resonates with me is the idea of embracing uncertainty, bathing in insecurity as a way to uncover actual growth as a human being. Stare your flaws and shortcomings in the face as a way to find a way around those obstacles. Learn from them. Sap power from anxiety by letting it rip through as obscene jitters. There's a tyranny in the self help world of THINK POSITIVE THINK POSITIVE THINK POSITIVE and if you don't do that constantly then you're a grump destining yourself for failure. But the world has harsh fluctuations, and I wonder how we can solve problems if we don't study them, dive into the darkest shit and to come back with scars and a thicker skin.

I'm excited by articles like this - Why Iceland Should be in the News but Is Not - where despite declaring bankruptcy are finding solid progress by shunning international banking and reforming their constitution through an all inclusive participatory democracy, making use of that there internet to engage input. Fascinating! That 1) the internet can be used for constructive discussion in politics instead of just pumping pundit badgering and goading. 2) Since money is made up to begin with, money doesn't stem as an actual resource from the Earth, we have a lot of freedom in terms of reconstructing economies. So perhaps this can save me time in considering whether I should think of cash as an acid or a soothing balm and focus on creating systems of thought. The exchange. That's what it boils down to. A fair and active system of exchange. Like positive thinking putting up a blinder to actual solutions to problems, thinking about money tapes gauze to your eyes and slices paper cuts and takes your time away from actually doing interesting things that might result in a fee for your service.

My blood work came back recently from my first doctors visit in years. I have high cholesterol and high triglycerides. I've started to eat oatmeal for breakfast and dessert almost every day until it’s all good. I remember my triglycerides riding “sky high” back when I was 16 and was on Accutane for bad acne. They had to take me off the medicine pretty soon into treatment due to how it was affecting my triglycerides. I didn't really care what triglycerides were back then, but now I surf articles and animations about their function. I've seen a variety of infomercials for class action lawsuits for other afflictions in Accutane users, things like inflammatory bowel disease. Not yet. 

But, I am well, for I am not the gentleman I saw right after his bike t-boned a car. The remainder of my ride was cautious. Like a granny spinning wheels enough to stay upright. Eyes open. Don’t touch me. I’ll break. Survival of the fittest machine.

There were two girls who stopped with me at the site of the crash. One had an accent. Her boyfriend, she says, doesn't wear a helmet. As we looked on the puddle of blood left by the fallen biker. A helmet-less force. Two other gentlemen stopped. We all talked while the fallen was loaded onto an ambulance, which to his luck, happened to be cruising by. The hitter looked distraught but stoic. He paced. Waiting for the police. The other bikers and I continued to chat. It was the most social I've felt in a long time. At the scene of accidental vehicular brutality.

A second bike accident occurred three days later. Well, Vespa accident. I rounded the corner from George St., about to pull onto Elston but I saw this Vespa guy coming so I stopped. Then as he was passing through the intersection a white beater of a car made a left turn and the Vespa guy t-boned the front, and he flipped up and over the hood somersault style and smacked his forehead on the pavement. There must have a delay of pain, nerve needles of the sharper kind, because he stood, then his legs buckled and he bowed to the ground, pressing his head down into his hands. He asked “am I bleeding?” I said no. He wasn't. A bunch of people were already to his aide. A woman who was walking her daughter to school helped him down the ground. A guy got out of his car to help call 9-1-1 but the operator of a storefront drape shop I think it was, was already on it. On it before I could even pull my leg off my bike and approach the fallen. Another biker in a fluorescent yellow spandex shirt caught up to the scene and mentioned to me that the Vespa guy was driving like an asshole, weaving in and out of cars. Vespa guy also didn’t wear a helmet. I later did some testing of physics with my own helmet, simulating impact points and noticed both riders, had they been wearing a helmet, would have protected their heads from immediate concrete smackery.

I stuck around for a few minutes but the guy was well tended to, one was asking him questions to test his alertness. “What’s your name?” Simon. “How old are you?” 33. “Where do you work?” Verizon. (I changed some details as not to call out clues to his identity). He was conversing, but out of it. A concussion most likely. The lady with the daughter kept snapping her fingers to keep him from nodding off because he wanted to close his eyes.

Helmets. I will sing their praises. I will champion their cause. Protect the damn noggin my fellow bikers.

So cycling back (pun intended) to how I started this post, in talking money worries, and working my way up to bike accidents, I'm thinking heavy on what really, actually rips, bangs and burns us people. And money just seems to be a pathetic weapon yet we fear it more than any object. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chef Worship

The early religions may have been an unguided confused experiment with personality. Did the earliest upright humans have personalities? How did these evolve? 

The natural world; geological, botanical, and animal perform unpredictable behaviors.  The observing man casts these things, based on his emotional reaction, onto people in his life. A dangerous man is like a wolf. The ill-tempered man is a volcano. The animal may trot with a certain tempo, may have a mouth curvature like a smile. Our minds fill in patterns, things are compared to things. 

We of course ate these animals.

Flavor can be used interchangeably with personality.

Plants may have distinct smells, infusing a set atmosphere on the senses.

Things geological, botanical, and animal could either support life, or take it away.

Flavors tasted and fears provoked churn a spectrum of feeling. Feeling works its way into expression. Into story. Into tapestries and mythology, fueling the feeling and regurgitating power into worship. 

Taste gives a distinct character to something life sustaining. This has a most powerful effect on endorphins compared to any character one may read in a story. 

Things that sustain life, they are divine, right?

Flash forward to our "rational"-esque culture. We like to think we're objective, we're not savages worshiping sun and thunder gods. We have refined tastes. We eat at nice restaurants. And we celebrate personality. 

The chef tends to have a large personality. As we see on TV shows. The chef, like a fine renaissance artist, cultivates flavor through concoctions of foodstuff, life sustaining foods, and when flickered as an image in fire, or the TV set, invoked is a tendency towards reverence. The burning bush. Moses may have snacked on the mountain. We poke our plates in front of these intense cooking competitions.

We don't fear the character of lightning anymore. Unless we're out swimming. We're too busy practicing chef worship to concern ourselves with the elements. We're inside, eating, mmm, fucking good.

The ancient Gods were full of personality. Yahweh, what a loose cannon. Chef Gordan Ramsey, boy can he rip into you.

God is more-so a little tepid and faceless now, to balance monotheism with a touch of scientific reasoning. But we're back to our roots. Like a religious ceremony, food brings people together. And that bad-ass chef is on a higher plane, a colorful human being that is more holy than average office man munching.

Celebrities that make damn good food; our new pantheon.

The old testament God may have been a little too pissy for many to swallow (If only he made food though, we could all still swallow his presence). But a raging restaurateur on Iron Chef or the like is one that we fear. The parade of Instagramed pics of complex cuisine is a sign of devoutness: A commemorative kaleidoscope of foodie photos is a digital crucifix dangling necklace or Jesus fish young adults can get behind. An icon they'd proudly hang in their living room and adopt into their newly reinvented heritage. 

The styles, airs, ambiances and renderings of ethnic cultures may be a bleed over, an aftertaste influenced by native spices and seasonings. The early cooks that collectively contributed to the Chinese cuisine, Indian cuisine, Mexican, and other food styles we love, were they revered in their communities as so?

We are what we eat; goes deep into our blood.

A mad respect, yes, is deserved though by the chefs. They bust their asses and appease our taste buds. 

Recently I learned how to make a sushi roll. It was a sloppy attempt, tasty however, and I felt like a creator. I was high on my own power and feeling full (of it).