Saturday, March 27, 2010

the bastardization of Holi

For those of you not living in Utardia (or Asia I suppose), Holi is a Hindu holiday that is celebrated by thousands of Utah college students at the Hare Krishna temple in Spanish Fork.

(I foolishly have not taken a picture of the whole temple myself so I stole this lovely image from this person's flickr )

It's more commonly referred to as the festival of colors around here because you throw powdered, colored chalk at everyone while a band plays ethnic-ish music, and then a witch* is burned at the stake.
La foule, as the French say.

The real festival is a two week long ordeal in India and some other Asian countries that celebrates, among other things, brotherly love and the end of winter. Wikipedia "Holi" if you want to know more.
Anyway, I attended Holi three years ago and then again yesterday, and the difference between the two experiences astounded me.

1. I like lists. They allow me to put less effort into construction and transitions when I write, while also making the text more accessible.

2. The biggest difference: 3 years ago, holi was about losing yourself in the music, spirit, dancing, and the simultaneous sense of community and anonymity in the midst of a community of generally straight-laced mormons. This year, holi was about taking lots of pictures of yourself comically covered in brightly colored powder so that you can have a new facebook profile picture.
For the record, this is not (nor has it ever been) my profile picture. And leave it to me to frame the picture so that the headrest in front of me takes up half the shot.

3. The change in atmosphere. As people just arriving at the festival walked by our chalked-out group and saw me holding a half-full bag of chalk, at least 4 or 5 of them stopped, screeching "get me!" and holding out their arms. Um, excuse me? The point is to ambush people, not to oblige willing participants in their planned-out vanity. I did my best to keep things out of control though, by smearing chalk in their hair instead of on their outstretched arms, or by simply dumping the chalk in their faces, leaving them shrieking and coughing in alarm.

4. There was a jamba juice shack set up next to the temple. WTF is all I can say about that. There is nothing less rock and roll than jamba juice. Now holi has been bastardized AND commercialized.

*chosen from among the girls wearing sleeveless tops, shorts cut above the knee, or with multiple ear piercings

Sunday, March 14, 2010

For the past 7 and a half years, I've been a vegetarian, or as I like to call it, "I don't eat meat." The reason I like to avoid the term "vegetarian" is that it has negative, subconscious associations for many omnivores. They think I'm going to be a hippie, or activist, or at the very least give them a hard time about eating meat (I am none of those things, at least not unless provoked). They also, upon hearing the word "vegetarian," think I eat a lot of vegetables. Also not the case. I eat some vegetables, to be clear, but people are always quite surprised when I mention my hatred of certain vegetables.
1. Asparagus

Asparagus tastes horrible, I'm reminded of wet, dirty laundry whenever I try to eat it. Even when smothered with butter, salt, or any other seasoning, the dirty laundry taste still dominates. Furthermore, so many people seem to love this disgusting little piece of greenery. Why? I'm convinced this plant was never meant for human consumption.

2. Mushrooms (not a vegetable, but ask me if I care)

Some varieties are worse than others (namely black), but even the firmer varieties are still mushy, poor in taste, and generally unappetizing. Just thinking about having a mushroom in my mouth makes me want to throw up.

3. Olives

They look like frog eyes and the taste is just awful. I can't even think of anything to compare it to because no other food is dumb enough to bear any resemblance to olives.

4. Celery

Completely bland and has possibly the worst texture of anything I've ever eaten. One of my earliest memories is of my family having a picnic. My mom handed me a celery stick with peanut butter and raisins in the groove. I took a bite, gagged, then licked out the peanut butter and rasins and handed the celery stick back to my mom. I stand by that decision I made as a small child to this day.

5. Water chestnuts

Once again, we have a vegetable that has fallen prey to the trap of gag reflex-inducing texture. The taste is slightly bitter and not at all pleasant, so let's just discard it from our recipe boxes and grocery stores, ok?

I hope after this list, I will never again be questioned over being a vegetarian who hates a few vegetables. People who eat these foods are weird and probably ate paste and/or their own boogers as a child. They should be the ones under scrutiny, not me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


We're switching all our well liquors at work right now and still haven't gotten in our new light rum, and I guess they threw away the old one?? I have a hard time believing we ran out because I'd bet three-fitty that we had a backup bottle. Either way, we have no light (non-flavored) rum right now. So it's not a huge problem since we sell a lot more beer and wine than anything involving hard liquor but tonight someone ordered a zombie. Zombies have light rum as the main pour and two different kinds of dark rum in the recipe (and are extremely delicious). After asking my manager what to substitute and receiving no helpful answer because he secretly would rather be a bartender than a manager and is always looking for excuses to try to sneak in the bar and make drinks when I'm not looking (I could go on but that's a whole nother blog post), I improvised and just used a shot of vodka and a packet of sugar. HAHA. Light rum really isn't much more complicated than that anyway right??
Speaking of alcohol, I threw away a completely intact pineapple the other day because it was extremely ripe, to the point of mushiness. Thinking back, I wish I'd saved it, cut it up, and tested if I could get buzzed off eating pineapple slices. LIGHTBULB! I'm going to make pineapple wine, if you steal my idea I will kill you, or at least pay a gang of feral dogs to do it for me.
....wait what do you mean wine doesn't work like that?