Simulation At Aurora

Aurora just explained their simulation approach in detail, on their blog. In particular, they “apply procedural generation to simulation, we can create scenarios at the massive scale needed to…

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Why I Cook

That picture is of some Mexican-style fish filets I made last September. They were really good. I’m a good cook, or so I’ve been told.

This post is going to be about cooking: What it means to Me and why I do it. Some people eat to live; some people live to eat. I live to cook.

A new friend wrote something recently that really resonated with Me. She said that I deserve something delicious. And while I may vary on the level at which I believe that I “deserve” really anything good, there’s one thing that I believe in with an almost religious intensity and that is food.

For the past fifteen years or so, I expressed that love in ways that were broken, in ways that were bad for Me. Lots of pizza. Lots of ice cream. Lots of fast food. Lots of sodium. Lots of sugar. Lots of calories.

Those choices showed most obviously on My waistline. My weight was pretty constant, around 300# or more (usually more). It would dip now and then and people would notice, but it never lasted more than a couple of months.

Then I discovered (or remembered) how much fun it was to cook for Myself. I looked at the stuff that I was eating and realized that I could do better. It wasn’t all at once, of course, but over the course of a few months or so I started to “put it all together” and choose eating delicious and (somewhat) healthy foods.

Those choices showed most obviously on My waistline. My weight dropped like politicians’ ethics in the face of Big Pharma. I lost over 100# in under a year. It was so drastic that I asked My doctor about it on a few occasions to see if there was anything wrong health-wise. (She said not to worry.)

As I quoted earlier, I deserve something delicious. I get up early, do the dishes, clean the kitchen and cook breakfast. My housemates seem happy with a bowl of cereal and a pot (or two) of coffee. Me, I can’t remember the last time I ate cereal. Or had coffee for that matter. Granola, a few times for a snack, but never cereal for a meal. And I’m more a tea kind of guy.

I have a goddamn terminal disease. I could die at any goddamn time.

My last meal is NOT going to be some goddamn Fruit Loops. That would just be embarrassing.

I’m also one of those people who likes learning new things. I’ll try new foods, new spices, new ways of preparing foods. Just the other day My sister told Me how much she admired the fact that I was willing to go out and find new spices and try them out. She loves spices but generally sticks to regular spices like salt, pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper, things like that. (We both grew up in houses where the food was usually rather bland.)

I made a dish with some berbere (it’s Ethiopian, look it up) and she thought it was good. She was making fried chicken and I recommended herbs de provence (it’s French, look it up) which added some nice flavour. I can’t count the number of times (and I was a math major, remember) that I’ve stayed up late on the WWW looking up recipes and watching cooking videos on Youtube and just figuring out what I wanted to eat next!

It’s the outlet for My creative side. Along with writing, it satisfies that need at some deep level. To create, to bring something wonderful into being, on an almost daily basis, is what gives Me a reason to get up in the morning. (Most days, in any case; there are always the bad days or weeks from My mental illnesses.)

It’s actually turning out to be a decent gauge for My mental illnesses. If I don’t feel like cooking, you know something is wrong. If I’m unable to cook (because of physical problems or location) for a few days, then you know that something will soon BE wrong. Right there is one major reason I had for not wanting to go into a group home or anything like that. Cooking helps keep Me relatively stable, and you can’t cook for yourself in a group home.

There is a famed book called “Joy of Cooking,” one of the most-published and most-read cookbooks in the U.S. Published commercially in 1936, it was written a few years earlier in 1931 after the author’s husband committed suicide … and published privately using half of the author’s life savings. I’m thinking that she may well have experienced cooking as I do: as a source of joy and a means of coping with shit.

I suspect that We all have to figure out for Ourselves what exactly works for Us, and then do it before going (too much more) crazy. Agreed?

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