obsessed would be an understatement when it comes to my affection for avli. to an average neighborhood dweller, avli probably does just above any solid mediterranean restaurant. experienced foodies can also vouch for me when i say that its dishes are superb and contain the perfect blend of seasonings. be it garlic, herbs, cheese, or all of the above - avli mixes them all in with flawlessness. but avli to me is more than just a good restaurant. i paid another visit with my parents this evening and decided to engage in some soul searching while devouring on my warm pita smothered in tzatziki sauce. i thought long and hard about why this place always grips me with such a tight fondness…
for me - bell blvd brings me back to a road where life was undemanding, effortless, and humane. it’s where i spent my childhood buying spice girl lollipops and wrigley’s gums for 25 cents. its the street that i walked on to get to my friend jackie’s house where we would paint our nails and get chased around by her little brother. it’s where my mom and i would drive to pick my dad up from the train station every evening. it’s where my grandma’s favorite soup spot uno’s is. i guess it’s the very fact that avli is situated at the heart of these experiences that intensifies my liking for it that much more.
but there’s another link that bonds avli and i. they go by the names of olga & tony - my childhood next-door neighbors. to me, their smiles were always warm, their arms always wide open & their homes always inviting. i only heard of greece because they sounded different. their accents revealed that they were from another country, but i knew nothing beyond the fact that it was a place far away from both america and korea. a large portion of my childhood memories have them in it. i can still recall their maroon-colored living room walls embellished with gold picture frames of their kids… the wooden kitchen table olga made me sit at while she made chocolate milk - my favorite beverage of the decade. i can still picture the grape vine tony built in their backyard & the abundant loads of green grapes they gave my parents every time summer rolled around. they were really wonderful people, both of whom i’ve unfortunately lost touch with.
but avli reminds me of them. the oil-based paintings on their walls remind me of where they once might have lived in greece. the slow, yet catchy folk songs in the bg illustrates the kind of music they might have listened to in their hometown & all the people dining around me may have a childhood that they are just as reminiscent of, as i am of mine… all so beautiful & radiant.
i’m so messy and distracted,
undisciplined and tactless,
here on the inside.
i thought age would tell the secrets,
but the secrets are still secrets.
the years are passing by …
screaming out to be found in you <3
I find it odd- the greed of mankind. People only like you for as long as they perceive they can get what they want from you. Or for as long as they perceive you are who they want you to be. But I like people for all of their changing surprises, the thoughts in their heads, the warmth that changes to cold and the cold that changes to warmth… for being human. The rawness of being human delights me.
Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It’s in our hands.
ok soooo i’m sure everyone has read/or at least pretended to read steinbeck’s “of mice and men” in english class sometime between the 6th and 11th grades…… wellll that book was one of the most boring/uninteresting books i’ve ever read…. but throughout the past few months, that story has been on my mind for some bizarre reason and i am now realizing how much of a masterpiece it is. WHY you ask? because steinbeck symbolically illustrates how unexpected curve balls in life can ruin the most carefully thought out plans.
for instance, unanticipated rain can screw up a really well-organized wedding or hiking trip. but that’s just a mini example… soooo many unforeseen factors in life can completely change one’s plans. someone may go to college wanting to become let’s say…. a world renowned lawyer… they enroll in a bunch of interesting poli sci classes….intern for a slew of distinguished law offices….study their butt off for the LSATS and the bar……finally be able to practice law and then learn at the start of their career that the job isn’t meaningful enough, that the stuff that they envisioned to be doing isn’t actually what they are working on…. or maybe something happens… God forbid an unethical lawyer serves a client who killed your best friend and wins the case, scars you, and makes you not want to continue your profession. or maybe you really do like your job and you end up working there for decades but suddenly your law office goes bankrupt… and you need to find an immediate replacement job (be it an attorney position or not) to feed your fam. i mean… these are some extreme scenarios but seriously… anything can happen in life.
so my question is…. why even plan? why not just go with the flow… graduate with a psychology or some other BROAD major and just take any opportunity that comes your way?
i’m writing about this because i am one of the meanest planners i know! i plan hardcore plans for my future. i’ve taken all these steps to achieve the future that i want…but unexpected things keep happening in my life (which aren’t necessarily good OR bad… just unexpected). and i’ve started to just go with the flow now…. and i can’t be happier…..
unexpected moments in life—-whether it be rain, or new encounters with people, or reencounters with old acquaintances… whether it be a financial boom/bust, an illness, or a miraculous healing from a disease—-are ubiquitous and are bound to happen. so while “the best laid plans of mice and men [DO] oft go astray,” life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… but learning how to dance in the rain.. kakaka so corny but true!
The saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand, and without them, any happiness is only temporary, because there’s nothing to make it last.
it’s been 235 years since the inception of this nation, and while it definitely stirred up feelings of reverence for this country… i can’t help but feel damn ashamed! the hypocrisy of this country sort of shocks me. a land that’s supposed to embody justice, equality, and freedom is well…not representative of those qualities at all… and i don’t want to get into the nitty gritty arguments of politics/capitol hill. but honestly….i feel that our government’s values are nestled so cozily in all the wrong places. i mean, perhaps i was a little too naiive in believing the unyielding patriotism that our founding father’s had for the new world. or maybe the star spangled banner and the pledge of allegiance really had me believe that our country was such a humanitarian, and had really great morals. but who are we kidding? does the government really have the best interest of its people? does congress really rally for equality? justice? freedom?
what really is the purpose in these magnificent fireworks and moving anthems. why should we have a day off on july fourth and celebrate the reputed “freedom” that our founding fathers bestowed upon us if we don’t practice any of these ideals 235 years later? are natural resources really so crucial as to start a damn war and spend trillions of tax dollars to kill thousands of innocent people?
greed is bad. bad bad bad BAD and it will be the destruction of mankind! i feel like a damn preacher and.. i’m pretty greedy too but… we should really check ourselves and examine our actions… we are not what we say we are. i am such an idealist. but a hopeless one…. cause i too am a pretender of my own ideals (if that makes any sense)
so.. i guess… another.. circular post cause there’s no remedy to this problem since mankind will always be greedy… just rambling again.
Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever…