The Internet has expanded our ability to pacify average Americans better than ever by offering fantastical adventures to every corner of the imagination. Your home office is the window to your world, and the heart of your social life.
- Bad Religion, “The State of the End of the Millennium Address”
The above Bad Religion quote came from a spoken word track off the band’s 1998 LP No Substance. Can you remember what the Internet was like in 1998? Let me refresh your memory:
Yeah, that’s what Google looked like in 1998. Things have come a long way design-wise, huh?
The home office, however, is even more important to us than in 1998. The majority of information is received and transmitted through the Internet. My proof are the deaths of the famous. I’ve learned about the deaths of Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse and Osama Bin Laden through social media, as opposed to TV, radio or the newspaper. The advent of Facebook (founded in 2004) and Twitter (founded in 2006) has solidified the web’s social aspect as something very permanent.
I love the Internet. All of us do, I think. Ostensibly, life is easier, work is more productive, and it’s created many jobs in America. First in California’s Silicon Valley, and now in New York’s Silicon Alley. Life’s good, right?
Do you ever have to turn away from Twitter’s excessive bleating? Have you developed headaches from focusing on your MacBook screen for too many consecutive hours? Do things just… not feel real?
It’s a type of fatigue that happens to everyone in this Internet age. It’s normal. It’s ok to admit, swear.
There’s a quite simple cure to return to earth. Just make something with your hands.
Seriously. Draw a picture, design something out of Sculpy. If you knit, knit. If you like food, make something from scratch, like I did tonight.
After a day of working online, my eyes were killing me. I felt vaguely disconnected, out of place. On a whim, I threw on a pair of shoes and headed to my neighborhood market.
Once there, I loaded up on fresh produce, breads, eggs, salsa, hummus, cheese, veggie burgers, mostly natural foods that struck my fancy. I also picked up a 5 lb bag of Idaho potatoes.
After carting it all home, I vaguely remembered a recipe for homemade baked French fries from a magazine article I read earlier. I decided to attempt my own version.
I cut up two potatoes in half, and then in quarter-inch sections. I dipped them in egg, and rolled them in seasoned bread crumbs. I popped them into my pre-heated oven, turning them once to be golden brown on each side.
I prepared them along with a mushroom veggie burger, topped with Monterey Jack cheese, fresh sliced tomato, onion, spinach, ketchup and Grey Poupon. Below is a lovely picture for your feasting eyes:
And I can’t tell you HOW AMAZING it felt to make fries essentially from scratch. Sure, I didn’t make a veggie burger from scratch (nor the bun) but fresh, simply-prepared foods do wonders for your state of mind. (OK, maybe that was aided by the glass of red wine I drank with my meal, but still.)
The Internet wasn’t always around, but feeding yourself has. What better way to get in touch with yourself than to prepare a simple, delicious meal? Bonus points if you share your creation with others, because it means they get to take an Internet break, too.
Sometimes, you just need a break. But, uh, when you’re done, does anyone want to do my dishes?