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Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

After the Thanksgiving turkey and a Christmas goose, what's left? A Chinese New Year duck! At Christmas a friend gave us a gift certificate for a peepa duck (or pipa or peipa) at the venerable Nam Fong restaurant in Honolulu. So I braved Chinatown on Friday, in the midst of much preparations for the big shindig over the weekend to welcome the Year of the Ox. After standing patiently in a line, which wasn't as long as the one at the bakery next door, I presented my beautiful red and gold gift certificate. "No peepa...roast duck okay?" Well, yeah. The peepa was $17; the roast duck was $16. They threw in a buck's worth of char siu to make up the difference. As fair and kind as the duck was tasty. I never have been given a duck as a gift before; I hope it happens again. And I have to go back to try the peepa, which I think are the gruesome looking ones that hang in the shop windows. The Wizard calls them "Marquis de Sade Ducks."
The duck us got us through the weekend as I practiced my new hobby, Chinese brush painting. It's hard, but fun, and for results requires practice in much the same way taijichuan or qigong does. You have to perfect the strokes and channel the qi, preferably under the tutelage of a master. I started with orchids and pine needles, and tried a bit of bamboo. I have a long way to go, still have to get a handle on the brushes, so to speak. The new hobby also gives me a way to use some of my poisonous Chinese dinnerware, lead-laden teapots and bowls that I don't eat from, but a little lead-based paint isn't so bad in an ink rendering of an orchid. No one is going to eat my designs, though they might want to throw them away. The sugar bowl is especially great for rinsing brushes.

I'm thinking Nam Fong's cooked animal designs might be good for brush painting practice?


sybil law said...

I think your bamboo painting looks great!!

baroness radon said...

Mahalo, I am humbled! Still need much practice.

holly said...

nice qi channelling, baby. :)