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Hakuna Matata

I was born by cesarean section. My mother was in labor with me for over 36 hours before they decided to do the procedure. From the time I was born till the time I moved out of my parents’ house I was sick all the time. Right from the get go I had trouble breathing and was sick with pneumonia every 3-4 weeks. At first, they thought I might have cystic fibrosis and after ruling out other possible diseases and environmental factors they diagnosed me with severe chronic asthma. I missed a lot of school and spent those every 3-4 weeks in hospitals around the country hooked up to IVs and monitoring equipment, I grew up on steroid inhalers, breathing treatments, and antibiotics. On top of that because of my father’s culture, he believed that crying babies just want attention so from the very get go if I was to cry at night because I was hungry he would not let my mother feed me (or so the story goes) so I was starved during preweaning period of my life (whether it was my father’s or mother’s doing). Despite those things, I was always intensely curious about how things worked, by the time I was 2 I had already taken apart my first radio and put it back together, socially I was maladapted, and had to repeat kindergarten because I was too quiet, really I just was in the habit of keeping my mouth shut and very much liked to observe things intensely i.e. watch and learn.

Socialpsychologically the environment I grew up in was very stressful, my Dad was never easy on us, he never hit us, but he didn’t make life easy, if we had a question which I always did he’d be like go look it up in a book or some other informational resource, answers never came easy without due effort, and so from a very young age I was incredibly resourceful and knowledgeable, Dad would say don’t waste my time with your curiosity if it really means something to you figure it out because I’m busy providing a roof over your head and putting food on the table (to his credit he did initially show us and tell us where we could find answers). The health problems and the stressful environment went on till I graduated high school. Shortly after which I moved out of my parents out and went out on my own. After I did that most things in life became quite easy as long as I had interest in them and my health problems miraculously disappeared till I started fiddling with my diet. I guess you kind of learn what’s important after you almost suffocate a couple times and your O2 saturation goes to subhuman levels, and you learn to look on the bright side, to be happy with just being able to wake up in the morning and breathe, and I learned those things at a very young age, which allowed me to see through the bullshit parts of life and culture.

One of the things I learned in the military when I was considering cross training into psychology was working with PTSD patients in group therapy settings. PTSD patients all somehow see their tragedy or make their tragedy worse than the other person telling their story to one up the next person and try to invoke sympathy and attention, it usually isn’t as sinister as that (sometimes it is), but the interesting thing is that while there maybe be stories that are objectively worse than another person’s story, they all perceive their tragedy individually as worse than the next person’s, but the perspective pain/and physiological manifestations are real and it is just as worse as the next guy’s story in the pain the person feels. That is a real. The feelings are genuine. So you learn in treating people with PTSD that all pain is perspectively equivalent to other’s even though objectively seeing your friends shot is something a bit different than being shell shocked or having a substance abuse problem. What is different though is the objective tolerance a person has when exposed to future traumatic events. And you pay attention to that, because those are the ones who can cave for the most ridiculous reasons, though they are not ridiculous in that person’s mind, and turn around a shoot you just for being a little insensitive or cutting you off in traffic, etc.

There is a perspective problem in the nutritional world on various 1st world forums, it’s like, you know maybe you can’t tolerate certain foods, I looked at Polish Hunter’s Stew and am like man that looks fucking delicious, but that cabbage looks like it is going to rip a crater through my intestines and produce enough atomic gas to reach escape velocity and send me to the moon, but I’m not going to lose sleep over it because objectively there are people starving to death every day. I’m going to be happy with what I can eat, push the boundaries when I can and if the boundaries recede and make me fart, give me acne, or make me bloated, I’m going to be glad that that is all I have to concern myself with, is that I have a choice.

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The Dirty Russian Meatball

I call that ^ The Dirty Russian Meatball but really it’s just a modified Salisbury steak recipe. To make that beauty you will need a pound of mince preferably an 80/20 blend or do a beef/pork mix. You are also going to need parsley, salt, pepper, an egg, garlic powder and onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth concentrate, butter, lard, a large onion and sour cream.

Mix the beef with parsley, salt, pepper, the egg, garlic and onion powder, and a splash (maybe a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and a smidgen of beef broth concentrate (use your judgment as to the amounts of dry spices). Mix well. Divide into the portion sizes you want and bake in the oven at 190C for 15-20 minutes, check with a meat thermometer. I try to aim for 52-54C which after a short rest will yield a medium to medium-well finish.

While you’re baking your Russian Meatball, melt 2 knobs of butter in a pan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of lard, add to that a diced large onion. You want to caramelize those onions well (I used a sweet onion, but yellow works). Around the time your Russian Meatball is finished should be about the time your onions are nicely browned, turn the heat to low/off, add some splashes of Worcestershire sauce, a smidge of beef broth concentrate and warm water, and a few spoonfuls of sour cream. Mix well. Don’t break the sauce.

Plate your Russian Meatball then spoon the sauce over, there, your Russian Meatball is Dirty.

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December 4, 2017 updates

Wrapping things up around here at home, we’ll be picking up the our Airstream travel trailer sometime at the beginning of January. We are looking forward to the new adventure. I also am looking forward to doing more with the blog and writing more. In the interim I’ve added Discord support, you should be able to join the server using the widget on the right sidebar.

If for some reason you can not connect to Discord, leave a comment, or send me an email and I’ll send you an invite.

As always, best wishes, Ed.

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