Sunday Night Thoughts #8

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” – Epitectus

There comes a time in every man’s life when he must decide what to make for dinner. Tonight I decided to make rice with mole. Now, I know this seems dangerous. I know this seems foolish. But when I was in the grocery store I was hit by a wave of inspiration, and that inspiration said, “Buy gross amounts of rice. Cook it. Be merry.”

And so I heeded this inspiration. I also bought the following items: A mango, a chocolate bar, and of course, the mole sauce. Pre-prepared. With a little chocolate thrown in (to the mole sauce) for good measure. I need mole in my chocolate sauce. Everyone knows this.

On the way home I thought about a few things, and thought about them in great detail: First I thought about how much longer I’m realistically going to stay in Guadalajara. This thought occupied my brain for approximately two minutes and thirty seconds, until it was interrupted by me having to avoid a speeding bus. Then I thought about the mango, and whether I should tear into right there, like a savage, letting the juice drip all over my hands and beard, but thus enjoying the pleasure that is instant mango consumption. Then I thought about Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, and Stephen Hawking, and Roberto Bolaño, and whether or not I should get something at the bakery Pan Regio, and about Emma Watson, about Emma Watson’s relationship status, about Christian Pulisic, about soccer in general, about my ability to score goals, about Karl Ove Knausgaard, about whether or not the mole would be good, about if I still “got it” (when it comes to cooking rice), about if I still “got it” (in general). I’ll be brutally honest with you (gently honest): I didn’t think about a lot of these latter things in great detail. The thought about Pan Regio, for example, more or less flitted through my mind. I thought about a chocolate croissant and how much chocolate I would get in my beard, and at that point I had already subconsciously started eating the mango. When I realized I was eating the mango I felt a bit guilty. But by then it was too late.

“If you’re going to say what you want to say, you’re going to hear what you don’t want to hear.” – Roberto Bolaño

When I got home I didn’t do what I expected to do, which was just rip the rice open, douse it in mole sauce, and eat it uncooked. Instead I sat down and watched some YouTube chess videos. If you’re like me, you usually save YouTube chess videos for evening time. I think it’s fairly obvious that this is the best time to watch YouTube chess videos. I watched a fierce battle between Alpha Zero, a computer that supposedly taught itself to play chess in four hours, and a program called Stockfish. Obviously, Alpha Zero crushed Stockfish. And just as I was finishing the video, pumping my fist in the air and cheering, I heard a crackling sound and realized the water was boiling over and I’d broken golden rule of rice cooking: Keep the heat low.

“There have been many opinions voiced over the past few weeks about our failure to reach the World Cup — and I hope people can understand why one of them hasn’t been mine.” – Christian Pulisic

The mole was disappointing. You need chicken when you eat mole, and also tortillas. I also wished it would’ve had a little more spice in it, or just any spice at all, but beggars can’t be choosers. That said, I haven’t begged in a long time, except for when I do it on this blog. And even then it’s not begging, but more crafty suggestion. And now I must go to bed, or at least get ready for bed. I must read The Lost City of the Monkey God on my phone and wonder whether or not I’ll ever be an explorer. I must mentally prepare for my day tomorrow.

I must wash the dishes.

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From Christian Pulisic to Lonches: 5 More Things I Love

I’m trying to keep the positivity of yesterday going. (I think) I learned two things from yesterday: write even more, be positive, and do away with preconceptions of what I think this blog should be, or what I think I’m capable of as a writer. I might start posting twice a day on some days, and the reason I might do this is it would make me write more, even if people wouldn’t necessarily read it more. I need to get my 10,000 hours in. 

But anyway, here are 5 more things I love:

1) Christian Pulisic

He’s my favorite soccer player. He’s the best American soccer player to have ever lived, and he’s only 19 years old. I went to Germany to watch him play, and this trip resulted in five of my favorite days in 2017, staying in a tiny town called Florsheim am Main just west of Frankfurt, talking to my housemate Zelda only in German, attending the Dortmund vs. Mainz game, and going to the Frankfurt Christmas market. I also have a blog dedicated entirely to this young phenom, which you can check out here.

Flörsheim am Main, Germany.

2) Marta’s Lonches

I’ve now mentioned these delectable sandwiches in several posts. They cost 28 pesos, which is about $1.50. Getting them and talking with Marta, the owner of the little corner store that sells things like fruit and cheese and candy and toilet paper, might be the highlight of my days. Most recently she told me about a meditation class she attends Monday nights that only costs 50 pesos and is guided. She calls me “vecino” (neighbor), even though I don’t live near her.

3) Mexican Spanish

Last night my housemates and I sat in the courtyard drinking beer and talking about, amongst other things: drug cartels in Mexico, Spanish rap (i.e. from Spain, not just in Spanish), and La Bestia, the train — or series of trains –that traverse all of Mexico from south to north bringing immigrants from Honduras and other places in Central America and Mexico to the US border. This train is incredibly dangerous, incredibly famous, and passes fairly close to our house, or at least close enough to hear its whistle, and I had no idea.

As I sat there listening to this conversation and sometimes participating, I remarked on how much I love Mexican Spanish, how beautiful it can sound to me, and the spot I will always have for it in my heart, since my Spanish was first solidified in Mexico (Mexico City), and it’s the Spanish I know best.

4) Reading


This may seem a bit general. It may seem a bit obvious. But since I got to Guadalajara I haven’t had a book; that is, I haven’t had a printed book. I’ve been reading on my phone a bit, but reading on your phone is nowhere near as satisfying as holding a book in your hands. Then yesterday there was a basket of books at the Starbucks I always go to that said, “Free. Take one.” and so I did, I took Satyricon by Petronius, and it instantly elevated my quality of life. I like reading, and since I’m in Mexico I like reading Spanish even better. Thank you, Starbucks, for unwittingly gifting me a friend.

5) My aloe plant

A friend gave me an aloe plant and, like the book I got yesterday, it’s also elevated my quality of life. It keeps me company. I have to care for it. Right now, for example, it’s sitting in the courtyard because I feel like being in my room is killing it. I cannot kill this aloe plant. It must live at all costs. Today I will look for a bigger pot for it, since, like me, it wants to grow, it wants to flourish, it wants to be the maximum expression of its aloe self. In a word, it wants to be actualized.

So there’s a little more love. And maybe, since it’s Friday, I’ll also write another post this evening. Also, since it’s nearing the end of the month, I’m going to start bugging you guys about sponsoring this blog on Patreon. You can pledge as little as a dollar a month, or more if you want. Right now I have seven patrons, contributing a combined $20 a month. My goal is $1000 a month. I won’t stop until I get it.

Have a wonderful day!

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