Tag Archives: art

My Ramen Art

One night in Gerlach, drinking at Joe’s, I was ranting (what’s new?) about shit that pisses me off and one of the (many) things I listed? People who post photos of their food. My feeling is, unless you’re an actual chef, nobody cares what your plate of pasta looks like! Is it a work of art? No! It’s just mashed fucking potatoes! Seriously. So I came up with an “art project”: make ramen and post photos. A lot. For, like a MONTH! I thought that was so hilarious that I had to write myself a note. On my hand. In Sharpie. My friend The Hun found it equally entertaining and agreed to remind me, scrawling the same note on HER hand. In Sharpie. Good thing, too, because I’m sure neither of us would’ve remembered otherwise.

Fast forward a few months. I’m still irked every time I see someone’s unidentifiable slop Instagrammed onto Facebook. But I waited patiently to start my gustatory pieta. Mid-January, it began. I didn’t tell anyone about my little plan. I just started posting. The reactions were amusing. And heart-warming, as so many were concerned about my well-being. And my sodium intake!
[Please forgive this lame format; WordPress was not cooperating.]

Behold the beauty of
THIRTY DAYS OF RAMEN.

Day 1: Look what I cooked! Chicken ramen!
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Day 2: Look what I cooked! Chicken ramen with corn niblets!
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Day 3: Look what I cooked!
Chicken ramen with corn niblets and melted cheese!

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I was with you until the melted cheese ….
throw some beer in there. beer cheese ramen with maize.
Oh my god I MUST get this recipe
Throw in a few eggs and it will set like a pie!
Day 4: Look what I cooked! Chili flavored ramen!
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You are fucking hilarious with that. Ramen: getting me through since ’72!
I smell cookbook!
Day 5: Look what I cooked! Chili flavored ramen with egg!
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Day 6: Look what I cooked!
Chili flavored ramen with egg and melted cheese!
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Looks cheesy
Wait… I… such genius.
Day 7: Look what I cooked! Chicken ramen with egg!
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That sure is a lot of ramen these days.
You’ll know you’ve come full circle when you get to, “Ramen with Ramen!” .
[Me] It is ART!
Yes! Yes! YES! . . . Of COURSE it is!
How could I be so remiss so as to miss it! It’s all so clear now! As through a glass, darkly, Alice . . . when she’s ten feet tall . . .
The squeaky clean shine of eternity . . . shimmering like the silver underbelly of an orgasmic eel . . . reflecting from the inverted spoon’s humpback infinity . . .
The light of lights within the us of all our individual alls, all balled up real nice and tight, huh, laddy . . . Yeah . . . thought that was the case . . .
Hope, Father Ramen, rising off of the back of deprivation . . . opportunity, hot and viscous, pouring down into Mother Noodle like flying poodles soaring through the back pages of our mines . . . again . . . Silver . . . and Gold . . . and Onyx . . . Oh, my! . . .
Your oeuvre . . . the unnatural child of your natural ovary’s output . . . Eggbeaters falling on my head . . .
The virgin white, enclosed in the iron bars of sometimes a grate notion . . .
I am the egg man! (Wooooooooo!) . . .
They are the egg man! (Wooooooooo!) . . .
You are the Ramen! (Koo-Koo Ka-Chew!) . . .
P.S. . . . You might want to try Chicken Ramen and Methocarbamol . . . jist sayin’ .
Ramen with hotdogs? Ramen with spinach? Ramen with……..
I put egg in my Ramen a lot
whoa it’s like a whole mother-child thing there. Jungian. Deep.
I had ramen with egg last night after seeing this. So Abby try ramen with dried sea weed strips in it like Japanese college students eat. I do ramen w spaghetti sauce, ramen soup w egg and tuna, or dried ramen w canned mixed veggies sprinkled w the soup powder, it goes on and on
Shoplift some saffron for a super fancy ramen!
i like it with egg, peanut butter and sirachi.
Day 8: Look what I cooked!
Chicken ramen with egg and corn niblets!
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I’m sending u a vat of broccoli !
Day 9: Look what I cooked!
Chicken ramen with egg, corn niblets and cheese!
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That’s it I’ve had it we’re going to get you some food.
Day 10: Look what I cooked! Chicken ramen with frozen spinach!
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Yeah! Green stuff!
Okay, I’m starting to get into this blog.
You need to get some fiber
Day 11: Look what I cooked!
Chicken ramen with coconut milk and bean sprouts!
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Coconut milk.. that IS ART!!
ooooh…girl. You are a gourMET!
Getting fancy with your cooking now!
Maybe mix it up with a little curry paste… looking forward to more inspirations!
Day 12: Look what I cooked!
Chicken ramen with frozen spinach and egg!
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Can I bring you groceries ?
Lol
You are so creative! I bet some tomatoes would be nice too. Next time! 
Day 13: Look what I cooked!
Chicken ramen with frozen spinach, egg and cheese!
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Day 14: Look what I cooked!
Look what I cooked! Chicken flavored ramen!

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[#1 Ramen fan]
Did you consider adding little chocolate eggs that look like footballs left over from Christmas in honor of St. Vincent Lombardi day? It would have been very appropriate, I think . . .  . . .
 The city that I live in, and I work at gate 5 doing metal detecting at the team that just lost the Stuper bowl. And yet, were it not for the party at the bar and AMAZING burner potluck, I would have gone hungry. Yay for sports with food!
Day 15: Look what I cooked! Oriental flavored ramen!
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[Me] Ramen: the only place you’ll still find the word “oriental.” And it’s pretty nasty. (The flavor, not the word.)
ame the meal u want cooked and I shall make it soooooo include desired dessert, all made from scratch
[Me] Haha, thank you! These posts are all in fun.
I bet it doesn’t taste like Orientals. Just like Italian seasoning doesn’t taste like Italians!
[Me] It tasted like…nothing. Needed hot sauce.
Favorite food blog.
have you discovered my peanut version….???? damn good!
Day 16: Look what I cooked!
Oriental flavored ramen with bean sprouts!
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I think I’m detecting a theme here
be careful of your sodium intake 
Bean sprouts is cheating
February brings grits?
Day 17: Look what I cooked!
Chicken flavored ramen with frozen broccoli!
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Day 18: Look what I cooked!
Chicken flavored ramen with frozen broccoli and egg!
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Day 19: Look what I cooked!
Chicken flavored ramen with frozen broccoli,
egg and cheddar cheese!
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Day 20: Look what I cooked! Beef flavored ramen!
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Day 21: Look what I cooked! Beef flavored ramen with egg!
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Day 22: Look what I cooked!
Beef flavored ramen with egg and frozen spinach!
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Great recipe! I think I’ll make this for lunch!

Day 23: Look what I cooked!
Beef flavored ramen with egg, frozen spinach and mozzarella!
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Now we are talking! Bet you ate this one…lol!
You’re learning! Just put eggs, cheese and spinach in everything!
Where’s the one with broccoli and green beans?
hehe
Inspiring….. http://www.budget101.com/frugal/ramen-noodle-recipes-1548/

Day 24: Look what I cooked!
Chicken flavored ramen with fresh broccolini!
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Day 25: Look what I cooked!
Chicken flavored ramen with fresh broccolini and egg!
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WHOA GETTING TRICKY THERE ABBY
[Me] That is some FRESH vegetable matter in that pot, folks!
What’s with the recent ramen obsession?
Ramen is a metaphor.
RAMEN IS LIFE

Day 26: Look what I cooked!
Chicken flavored ramen with fresh broccolini,
egg and melted mozzarella!

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Day 27: Look what I cooked!
Chili flavored ramen with frozen broccoli!

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Day 28: Look what I cooked!
Chili flavored ramen with frozen broccoli and egg!
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Day 29: Look what I cooked!
Chili flavored ramen with coconut milk and egg!

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Day 30: Look what I cooked!
Chili flavored ramen with frozen broccoli, egg and mozzarella!
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Because I know how much you like to make your own ramen, Abby:
How to Make Ramen Like the Kind Served at Fancy Noodle Bars
This is not a column about cooking instant ramen. (But remind me to revisit the topic for my April 1 column.)

No, I did not eat ramen every day for a month. I would plunk the block of noodles into the water, take a photo, add an ingredient, take a photo, add another ingredient, take a photo, add some cheese, take a photo and then eat it.

I appreciated peoples’ concern about my diet, about my financial situation, and, yes, my sodium intake. I did often have a salad or salad-like substance alongside my noodles. And in between bowls of ramen I managed to ingest numerous other cuisines and nutrients.

But yeah, it was definitely a lot of ramen and it will probably be a while till I enjoy it again. But it is my favorite thing to cook. Well, more accurately it is the only thing I cook. And I love it! I hope you’ve enjoyed it at least half as much as I did!

Feathers


I got a new tattoo today. Finally. It’s one I’ve wanted since last fall. See, for the past few years I would get a new tattoo after every Burning Man. Thus far they have been: the word “cunt,” to symbolize my “owning” my cuntdom; the word “breathe,” after a season of hearing, saying and experiencing that word in many meaningful contexts; a partial Burning Man DPW (Department of Public Works) logo, to commemorate my first year helping build Black Rock City; a fork, because I felt like I was at a “fork in the road” of my life and because I kept finding forks , literally, in the road, during Playa Restoration.

Today’s tattoo is about 15 months later than I wanted it, due to life getting in the way and my bank account never really synching up with my desires. Not that my bank account is cooperating any more today than it was a year ago but after so many months of wanting, researching the symbolism of feathers, and being caught up in the whole 11:11 phenomenon, I decided that I had to get this particular tattoo on this date — January 11, 2011: 1/11/11 — to ensure the best possible juju. Plus I had a somewhat remarkable feather-related experience.

The back story on my passion for feather imagery is that during my first year working Playa Restoration I found a stunning sterling silver feather. I’ve been wearing it around my neck almost ever since I picked it up off the desert floor. I recalled having a pair of silver feather earrings that I’d probably had since high school. I don’t remember where or when I got them, possibly at a gift shop in Schroon Lake, and it’s been a long time since I’ve bought jewelry at a touristy gift shop! Anyway, I started wearing the earrings to match my necklace. Working post-event in 2008, I was taking down signs in Center Camp when I lost one of the earrings. I remember exactly where and when — I took off my sweater at one point — but never found it. And this year, during Playa Restoration, while playing a game of Scrabble with some friends, I told the story of finding my feather and losing my earring. One of my opponents looked at the remaining earring and said, “I found an earring in Center Camp that looks kinda like that. I’ll see if I can find it.” The next morning at breakfast, she showed up with the earring I’d lost two years earlier! That earring had been lying there in the desert dust for two years! And found its way back to me! So you can see how I’ve come to feel the way I do about feathers and why this year I became even more attuned to their symbolism.

But back to the tattoo. The design is an eagle feather that I sketched, then cut out of an 8’x4′ piece of plywood and mounted on the Trash Fence that serves as the boundary of Burning Man. It was one of a series of five feathers. They were briefly mounted in First Camp as decor for a wedding, then moved to the Trash Fence at Point 3, which is the apex of the city. If one were to follow the line from the Man to the Temple off into the distance, Point 3 would be the last point within Black Rock City, the furthest point a person can walk, making the feathers a distant destination. I registered them at The Artery as “Trash Fence Feathers,” made and mounted to look as if they’d been blown into this “corner” of trash fence.

I checked on them periodically and was initially disappointed when people began tagging them. Then, as they became covered in graffiti, I embraced the exuberant messages: “I made it!” “My first burn!” And from my friend Jamye, “I love you, Abby!” It was exciting that, having made art that wasn’t exactly interactive, people had chosen a way to interact with it. The feathers were pretty visible from a distance, even at night, when they were lit by small solar-powered lights. I loved the idea of people seeing something “out there” and making the journey to see what it was.

At the end of the event, rather than burning the feathers, I packed them into my van and took them home. Perhaps someday I’ll have a yard or some other suitable place to re-mount them. Until then, I’m wearing all three of my silver jewelry feathers and one of my “Trash Fence Feathers” on my right arm, permanently.

Thanks to Ronn, my tattoo artist! You can find him at Addiction Tattoo on St. Marks Place.

Shaving vs. Insecurities: Posing Nude

Besides trolling Craigslist for interesting gigs, I’m always on the lookout for other avant projects. I recently responded to two posts on list-serves seeking nude models. Here is the correspondence between me and the first photographer:

A friend posted to the list that you were looking for nude models. Totally interested. Have posed for many including Beth B (up close vaginas for a gallery show and book). I’m 51, so hopefully I’m alone in the “older” category! You can see pix of me on Facebook under EditrixAbby or on my web site editrixabby.com.
Let me know!
Abby

“Hi Abby…I took a look at your site and I think you would be a great model for me…I am looking to do full body/face nudes, the whole being body and soul….the thing is…I need you to grow out your pubic hair long…and then shave the inside while leaving an outer rim…for the shoot, I am looking to bring out emotion, so it would be important that you can convey your emotions, get in touch with them, for the camera, without shyness or hesitation…does this interest you? I am looking to capture something different than the typical, yet I am still looking to capture sexuality, just from a new perspective…if you are interested, will do the hair cut, and feel happy to have the pictures go out into the world…I think meeting in person to discuss the project would be the next step…I am going away for the weekend, but next week would be great if you have the time. I live in Astoria but easily can meet in Manhattan or Brooklyn…I want to see if we vibe, I think that it the main thing for me, is synergy, because it is this synergy which makes good photographs for me, I want to steer clear of using a model/body as object, I am looking for subjects….just let me know if you want to meet up….thanks!
M”

Um, I’m not quite clear exactly what sort of pubic haircut you’re looking for. I’ve never shaved and can’t imagine shaving “the inside” for anything. Soooo, if that’s a requisite, I’ll have to bow out. Not sure how the pubic coif relates to my being, body or soul. But you’re the artist!
Abby

“I understand, it’s a difficult request. It’s just an all shaved look, but with an outer rim of hair, hard to explain in words…it’s a vision I had, and I am looking to make happen for this project, not much logic to it. No worries though, and thanks for responding in the first place, much appreciated.
M”

I would be interested in seeing her work. Perhaps she should have requested “shaved vulvas” rather than nude models! I completely respect an artist’s vision but can’t quite grasp why she wanted whole bodies, with such an emphasis on emotions, yet she was so intent on, well, shaved vulvas. And I’m not a shy one. As I told her in my original email to her, I have posed nude, including for Beth B, who shot my twat from, like, inches away. Beth’s project was focused, literally, on nothing but snatch. The resulting prints were created using dodge-and-burn (old school!) to really isolate the genitals — not even including any thigh — and they were displayed in a gallery show with an accompanying book. It was kinda fun for my friends and I to try and guess whose pussy was whose. (Looks like Beth is still adding to this “body” of work. Watch this YouTube video of a similar show in January 2010.)

The second photographer I responded to had a much clearer vision of what she was looking for, having already begun her project. She gave a concise “pitch” and provided links to her work. Here was her original post:

“What is your Insecurity? Be Raw… imagine your biggest insecurity written to contour your naked body…

Calling all people interested in posing for photographer NINA MENDEZ MARTI (www.ninamendezmarti.com) and her personal project RAW.

For the lovers of artistic photography, The RAW Exhibition is in February 2011. Presenting the complete collection of 50 photographs in Galeria Yemaya San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The project is in its last months of production and we are asking you help complete the work.
We are looking for specific people such as: people older than 60 years of age, adolesecentes with permission from their parents, people with tattoos or scars, different races and even families, brothers/sisters, couples, and friends that are willing to pose together.”

Our correspondence was also much clearer, mostly a yes, a yay, and then scheduling. Though our days got hectic and things were pushed back a bit, she arrived, quickly ascertained where to pose me, shot the pictures and was outta there!

Mind you, the concept was very appealing to me. I’ve been feeling insecure about aging, hence the perhaps desperate desire to be photographed…nude. Why not capture my fading glory? Or at least my fading tan… Heh. Anyway, the shoot was not only quick but comfortable. I felt totally confident that this woman, as an artist, was interested in truly capturing peoples’ souls, as well as their insecurities. I wanted “getting old” on one arm and “alone” on the other because those are really three fears: that of getting old, that of being alone and lastly of getting old alone. So not only was she a self-assured artist, hers was the perfect project for me.

I can’t say I love the resulting photo; I think I look, well, kinda old and tired. I always prefer myself smiling in photos. But the shot does capture my sense of insecurity.

Photo by Nina Mendez Marti