Sunday, February 23 2020

dog movies, salmon patties, and parasite theories

Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone! Thanks for stopping by this morning. Today, Rodney joined me for the early shift. Together we got up at 8:30, let the dogs out, cleaned the kitchen, put a Dutch baby in the oven, and got Marissa up. "You should have seen how Rodney woke me up this morning," said Marissa coming down the stairs in her pajamas. "He leaned his face really close to me and said MAMA. DUTCH BABYYYY."

DUTCH BABYYYY, we all hissed in unison around the breakfast table. That's as good a battle cry as anything for our mornings on the weekend.

At the moment, Rodney is on the couch watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Ninja Schildpadden as we've been calling it in an homage to our Dutch learning. Marissa is emptying out our main floor coat closet, and I'm upstairs in the bedroom writing. We've already polished off a whole pot of coffee, and we've got a second prepped and ready to brew for when I'm done. We have a busy day ahead of us, but before we get there, let's recap Saturday, shall we?

Yesterday after breakfast, I spent the rest of the morning hanging out with Rodney on the couch. We watched a movie while I worked on my laptop. A coworker introduced me to Semantic UI, which is a CSS framework that helps style websites. After fiddling around with it on-and-off for a week, I finally decided to bite the bullet and redo my website. What you're looking at now is the new and improved version. If you have time, click around and let me know what you think!

I think the process of redoing the UI has gotten me fired up about growing my circle of daily readers. I'm already kicking around ideas to implement a daily photo, a word cloud, and maybe even getting some other social networks involved in the morning publish. We'll see how that goes.

For lunch, we whipped up some paw patrol mac and cheese and reheated some leftover roasted Brussels sprouts. As we sat at the table, still thinking about the movie Parasite, Marissa and I exchanged new thoughts about the film we had seen the night before.

After lunch, Rodney went upstairs for quiet time, and after spending some time cleaning up the house, Marissa and I crashed on the couch. I enjoyed a cup of ginseng tea while watching Food Wishes youtube videos.

"Uh… can you make that?" said Marissa sleepily in napping position on the couch, referring to a video for seared fresh salmon patties. I nodded, and restarted the video, opening my grocery list on my phone.

Around five, I went upstairs to get Rodney up from his nap, leaving Marissa to sleep. The two of us crept by her through the living room, changed into coats and shoes, then left for Hy-Vee. Even though it was only a hight of 37 yesterday, it felt like Spring was in the air. It's funny how that works, isn't it? After a long winter, five measly degrees above freezing temperature is enough to make me want to tear off my winter coat and play football in the park.

Back at home, I got busy prepping the salmon while Rodney filled the dining room with toys. I sauteed some onions, bell peppers, and celery. I minced some raw garlic. I chopped up a pound and a half of raw salmon meat on my cutting board with a cleaver. The dogs recoiled in fear as my heavy knife clattered in the kitchen.

I combined everything in a big bowl, adding spices, mayo, fresh parsley, and mustard, then left the bowl in the back of the fridge to cool while I prepped the salad.

Taking the salmon meat out of the fridge, I formed them into four large patties and rolled them in panko bread crumbs. When it came time to fry them, they stayed together pretty well. We had two giant patties in tact, and two of them broke apart. I finished cooking them together at the end, and it ended up working out. The smaller pieces were easier for Rodney to eat. "A+", said Marissa with a mouthful of food. What a strange, wild, and amusing recipe.

Rodney went to bed, and Marissa and I spent a few hours catching up on chores and moving things into the basement. Carefully navigating our creaky, wooden stairs, I cradled our bed frame which Marissa disassembled down to the black metal poles. "This is so treacherous," I said, rolling my neck and tip-toeing around the corner of the stairs.

After wrapping up work for the evening, Marissa and I headed to the couch for an evening movie. Her pick was Togo, the live action movie wherein Willem Dafoe goes on a dangerous life saving excursion with sled dogs. Since the dogs don't fair well with animals in movies, we packed them in our bedroom so we could enjoy the movie in peace. I fixed a small snack, spreading peanut butter on a stalk of celery and sprinkling it with raisins. "What better time to eat something that could kill them then when they're safe upstairs," I joked, referring to the raisins.

We have a busy day today. This is our final day before moving out of our house for a week. We have a few more things to mover into the basement and into the shed, but all in all, we did a great job staying on top of things and making the transition as easy as possible. Now that most of the preparation is finished, I'm looking forward to our week long, working stay-cation. And you better believe the blog will continue on.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday. See you tomorrow morning for our final entry before hitting the road.

Addendum: so I got to writing down some thoughts about Parasite, and it got a little wordy, so I decided to tack it on at the end as to not disrupt the usual recap. Also, spoilers ahead if you haven't seen it.

Who is the Parasite?

Our first observation about the movie Parasite is the cynical take on capitalism. The movie presents a world in which economic status has nothing to do with ambition or ability. The wealthy Parks family is a host to economic parasites. The Kim family cons them into hiring them to provide services they aren't qualified to do, and their maid is stealing food to feed her husband who is secretly living in the basement.

Despite their wealth, the we learn that the Parks family gives nothing back to society. The mother sleeps all day and doesn't do housework. The son cannot sit still, and doesn't know how to focus. The father works, but admits that without a housekeeper to cook and clean, their house would fall apart. The Park family is a social parasite.

Comparing the Kim and Park family, the Kim family are much more skillful. They are resourceful, hard working, and indomitably clever. The Parks family is gullible and out of touch. The message of the film is that economic status has nothing to do with ability. All the Kim family can hope for is to become more effective parasites of the wealthy, while the Park family barely has to try in life.

The Rock

We found this from a fan theory on reddit. The rock symbolizes the lie of capitalism - "the American dream" that allows people to achieve wealth if they work hard enough and causes people to compromise morality to get ahead. Like Min says, the rock grips him, and he carries it around like a heavy burden. In the end, it's the think that bashes him in the head, and when he wakes up, he has a plan to earn wealth and free his father.

Ideal & True Self

Another great fan theory we found. The characters living in the house are Mr. Kim's perceptions of himself and his family. Mr. Park is his idealized self. He's cool, rich, and well respected. You get the sense that he has a bit of a man crush as he's driving him around. Remember how he kept asking, "But you love your wife very much, don't you?" Did you get the sense that he was projecting? Like he was trying to make sure that in his ultimate fantasy, that he would still love his wife. The rest of the Parks family is a little flat, character wise. The kids are spoiled, a bit naughty, and the wife is lazy, but they are supported by the fathers wealth.

The remaining characters represent the true Kim family. The father lives in the basement, ambtionless, and without a plan. He has checked out, and even experiences the best moments of his life through the basement. He feels everything has happened down there. Meanwhile, his wife is the busy housemaid steeling food, and nourishing his complacency by secretly feeding him. The imagery of the guy in the basement sucking on a bottle of milk was powerful.

When the son sees the man in the basement, he his gripped with fear, meant to illustrate how seeing his fathers true form would affect Min. Min wants to think his dad has plans and ambitions, but in the end, his father reveals to him that he's learned its best to have no plan. This causes Min to literally wrestle and fight his father's true form, as symbolized by Min fighting the guy in the basement. This ends with his head being bashed in with the rock - the lie that he can still earn wealth and change free his father from the basement. "You can just walk up the stairs," sounds like a fantasy about a mended relationship does it?

The violent garden party also has significance. What causes Mr. Kim to finally lose it is seeing Mr. Parks recoil in disgust at the smell of his true self. He realized that his true self and idealized self are incompatible, and he kills his idealized self and becomes his true self in the basement. He gives up on a life of wealth.