Monday, October 01, 2007

Ramen obsession

Here's a fun article about the fanaticism of ramen aficianados in Japan - it's about a New Yorker who moved to Tokyo to open his own noodle shop. As usual, the movie Tampopo (often mentioned in this blog) was an early influence for this chef. However, I have to correct the synopsis in the story in that it was a woman, not a man, who was obsessed with creating the perfect bowl of ramen. The man was simply helping make her dream come true.

"Trying to Out-Noodle the Japanese" - Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29-30, 2007

It was a relatively uneventful weekend, other than some personal drama on Saturday. Mostly, I spent the weekend shopping for clothes, as this was my final chance to use my birthday discount at Loehmann's, on top of the other discounts and coupons they were offering. Friday night after work I went to the Manhattan store located on 16th Street and bought a couple of shirts, and Saturday night I visited the store nearest to me in New Jersey and bought a purse, a black pantsuit for my upcoming business trip to Utah, and several skirts, a couple of which were of the evening wear variety. I don't really expect to have any occasion to actually wear these, but they were so beautiful I just had to have them "just in case". I'm sure any shopaholic knows what I'm talking about.

Sunday I went to Target to pick up a few necessities, and noticed there was a lot of stuff on the sale racks since summer clothes are being phased out. I found a couple nice shirts that fit me well, plus a few more skirts. All in all, it was quite the shopping adventure this weekend.

So today I was poking around the Net looking for something to do this Friday, the night that the rest of my family is occupied with their own individual pursuits. I was checking out the New York LGBT Center calendar and saw a listing for a "Super Massive Cuddle Party" this Friday night. If you don't know what a cuddle party is, here's a list of frequently asked questions.

Despite what it sounds like, there's nothing sexual about it - it's all about learning to express yourself through touching, which has been one of my areas of interest for a long time. The first time I'd heard of cuddle parties was a couple years ago on a Lifetime channel show about non-traditional social practices that included a woman who taught other women how to striptease for their husbands and similar such topics. In the vein of having new and different experiences, I'm happy that there's a opportunity to participate here. It should be interesting if nothing else.

Funnily enough, this morning I was taking some required sensitivity training at work, and the message was repeatedly brought up that there should never be a reason for employees to touch each other in the workplace (other than handshakes, etc.). While of course I understand the reasoning behind this rule, part of me feels it's really a shame that touching has become such a taboo in business environments. At least that hasn't stopped some infrequent-visitor clients and employees from sharing a hug now and then, for which I'm grateful.