Monday, January 26, 2009

Kung Hei Fat Choi



It's Chinese New Year! Pass the red envelopes please...
According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or "Year" in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount.
This is the Year of the Ox.
The Ox is thought to be the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. The Ox is a power sign, like the Rat, Snake, Dragon, Tiger, and Monkey. They're quite dependable and possess an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.
Ox people, according to tradition, need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.
Traditionally, people born under the influence of the Ox are thought to be kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families. Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.
The Ox, it is thought, works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others. Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind.
The Ox, according to tradition, is not extravagant, and a modern interpretation of this is that the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights.
Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome in small gatherings because of their humble composure and reverent nature towards the host. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new. People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children.
It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

Here is a poem in honor of the passing year, and all of our absent friends...
A Prayer in Time of War
Thou, whose deep ways are in the sea,
Whose footsteps are not known,
To-night a world that turned from Thee
Is waiting at Thy Throne.
The towering Babels that we raised
Where scoffing sophists brawl,
The little Antichrists we praised
The night is on them all.
The fool hath said . . . The fool hath said.
And we, who deemed him wise,
We who believed that Thou wast dead,
How should we seek Thine eyes?
How should we seek to Thee for power
Who scorned Thee yesterday?
How should we kneel, in this dread hour?
Lord, teach us how to pray!
Grant us the single heart, once more,
That mocks no sacred thing,
The Sword of Truth our fathers wore
When Thou wast Lord and King.
Let darkness unto darkness tell
Our deep unspoken prayer,
For, while our souls in darkness dwell,
We know that Thou art there.
-Alfred Noyes

Cheers.
Chinese Mary
1 1/2 oz vodka
3 oz sweet and sour sauce
1 dash lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 drops soy sauce
3 drops Tabasco (or Crystal hot sauce)
1 pineapple slice
Make like a Bloody Mary, improvising with ingredients until you find your preferred taste and texture. Try adding extra vodka to thin out the sauce a little. When heated, this also makes a great sauce for food. Mmmmmm. Top Ramen.... garnish with pineapple.

1 comment:

L'Orignaux said...

that actually sounds drinkable, we may have to try it, minus the pineapple if Gioia is imbibing

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