Mistaken Identity

A post inspired by peppers, Marilyn Monroe, and Grayson.

Padrón peppers (“Pimientos de Padrón”) are my most favorite thing to eat in Spain. Last month was the festival to celebrate this vessel of capsicum. It is best served with crusty bread to soak up the flavor-infused olive oil — here is the simple recipe I depict for you:

Often mistaken for Shishito peppers (which are Korean in origin) Padrón peppers are not spicy. Well…..another reason why it is helpful to have bread in hand is because eating these are usually referred to as “Russian roulette”. About 1 out of 10 eaten are piquant (similar to the premise of eating takoyaki in Japan). Stuffing one’s mouth with bread to quench the fire if you should pick that fateful spicy pepper is a good strategy. When Padrón peppers are first presented everyone rushes to devour them, but as the plate dwindles in number, I find that eating companions show a bit of fake courtesy to allow others to eat the last of the dish because it is some phenomenon that the spicy Padrón peppers are the ones usually left at the end of the feeding frenzy.

Background image: telegraph.co.uk

Lately, I have been undergoing a “Biblio binge“.

My anti-social and exhausted mood is due to an accumulation of work. Granted it is because I leave for holidays in some days. First, there is holidays in Germany because I need to attend a convention in neighboring Holland, then I fly back to the Southern EU, but to spend time on some islands for several weeks. Preferring to spend my days in the museums of Berlin rather than preparing for the convention, I have been busy working for a livingto earn money; and hence, my biblio binge resulted in the following books (all gifts from friends) read since my last blog post:

  1. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
  2. Selected Poems by Rosalía de Castro (an excellent Galician poet)
  3. Grayson by Lynne Cox
  4. Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe

The above poem written by Marilyn Monroe is filled with insecurity, as other fragments of her writings featured in the book. The side of Marilyn I know is the one in the limelight and the confident originator of my favorite quote:

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

In Fragments Marilyn proclaims herself an introvert and liked to busy herself in reading during “situations which looked slightly forboding”. Insecure in her relationships, she writes of being in a withdrawn mood due to distrust of her first husband and his relation to another girl and wrote that she is a “romantic esthetic soul” who believed “that like some great lover he would know I was waiting for him – unfortunately he did not appear”.

Here is an endearing note to her ex-husband from Letters of Note

Dear Joe,

If I can only succeed in making you happy — I will have succeeded in the biggest and most difficult thing there is — that is to make one person completely happy. Your happiness means my happiness.

Typically, reading about the life of a celebrity disinterests me, but as I read through Fragments, I empathized with her love of books, and her insecurity. Now I feel I disrespected her a bit by doing this:.

Chicago, IL, USA — a city I hope that life brings me to live in one day….

Watching the sunset glow caress the skyscrapers and walking Chicago at night fills me with the same near-content feelings I get when I do so in Roma.

Many aim to replicate her demeanor and her looks, but I choose to follow the books she read from her personal library displayed in Fragments.


–By Madrid – based artist, Fernando Vicente. http://www.fernandovicente.es/

When a friend gave this book to me, I pictured myself keeping it at the bottom of the pile of books I have not read yet. Previewing the plot as merely a woman trying to save a baby whale, I did not think this book would impress me. The events described not only brought memories of growing up in Southern California’s coasts — whale watching, grunion “hunting”, and Catalina Island — but the narration of Lynne Cox were wise, and almost romantic at times. Here is a sampling:

  • “Most of all, I wanted to be able to tell him not to worry, that I would try to help. Two hearts in pursuit of the same thing were far stronger than one alone.”
  • “Sometimes things just don’t make sense, sometimes there’s no reason to explain how or why I wanted to do them; I only knew that I had to, I had to try. Without trying I would never know what could happen. It was like reading a great mystery and never knowing how it finished, always wondering who did it.”
  • “Words are sometimes too small, too confining, to convey the depth of thought and strength of emotions.”
  • “But I had to try something. You don’t have to hear the words to know someone cares about you. You don’t need to hear the words to know someone believes in you. You don’t need to hear the words to know someone loves you.”
  • “It’s the love of being together, the spacing, the tension of being apart, that brings you back together. Just wait, just be patient, he will return.”

This was a perfect summer read and out of the 4 of my biblio binge, this book has the most de-stressing qualities.

My vacation ends towards the end of October so I will be back writing here again at that time. Perhaps I will reblog something nice to read (for example, a post from ThoughtCatalog) so that you will not forget me.

I will not be writing, but books and blogs will continue to fill me with words!

Should I re-read the misunderstood psychologist BF Skinner’s book Walden Two? (a rarity for me to consider re-visiting a book)

Poetry by Pessoa?

Pressings by Petrino? (As in Carlos Petrino of the Slow Food Movement)

What should I read next?