Shin Bowl

About a year ago I had an “interview” with Michy Devon. It wasn’t so much of an interview as it was her mailing me a list of standard questions and me replying with answers I stole from her previous interviewees. Just kidding. She got my usual snarky answers, which you can see if you visit the link.

Anyway, one of her questions asked, “What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most?” I’m sure of all the interviews she ever conducted, I was the first to answer, “Ramen noodles.” Oddly enough, though, that wasn’t one of my snarky answers. It was (and is) true.

My love of the noodle began back in college (which is ironically the point at which most normal people develop the hate of the noodle). But, c’mon! What’s not to love? A bowl of food for eight cents? How can you beat that?

Many writers (and yes, I’m calling myself one of those for the sake of argument) have a certain routine and/or environment to get those creative juices flowing. For me, I plop myself down in my cheap Office Max clearance chair. I turn on my bulky, aging CRT monitors. And I fire up the word processor. And if I’m feeling particularly sassy, I fix a bowl of Ramen noodles.

But all this was ruined sometime in the last two years by the Shin Bowl. Technically, it too is just “ramen noodles”: dried, compressed, pasta, complete with seasoning packets containing 500% of the USDA for sodium. But it’s soooo much more than that. It’s a hot bowl of dried, compressed, love. And sodium.

It wasn’t until last fall that I realized I ruined the eight cent bowl of noodles forever. Completely out of Shin Bowls one evening, I found a package of the normal Top Ramen we’re all know and love. That’s when I was stunned to find out my noodly inspiration all these years was actually rather atrocious.

But I should look on the bright side. With inspiration now costing me seventy-nine cents a bowl, my writing should be that much better, right?

15 Responses to “Shin Bowl”

JohnGL said
April 28, 2009 at 7:22 am

Behold, the wonders of Ramen. Has anyone noticed that ramen noodle joints are all the rage these days?

New York has three in the East Village alone. There are no less than 10 in San Francisco.

Who’d a thunk that anyone would go out to eat ramen?

Kelly said
April 28, 2009 at 7:57 am

That’s funny. Ramen was what sustained me when I first got married. We had zero money. On payday we’d have Ramen AND grilled cheese. We were living the high life.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve heard of your book. I’ll have to read it.
My hubby pointed out to me that it was Yoda’s planet too. Filled with lavender goodness, it is.

Kelly said
April 28, 2009 at 8:04 am

Oh, and my son’s name is Charlie. A rather random thought but……..thought I would share that.
And I really like your blog so I added you to myblog roll. That’s all. Carry on.

    Charlie said
    April 28, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Thanks for stopping by, and welcome! (Mmmm… ramen and grilled cheese…)

Joanie said
April 28, 2009 at 8:17 am

I never went to college. Maybe that’s why I never cared for Ramen noodles.

Deb said
April 28, 2009 at 9:04 am

The problem with most ramen noodle packages (considering we’re agreeing to ignore providing a week’s worth of sodium as problematic) is that most of them sneakily state one package is two servings in teensy print on the back.

Wait – wha…? Yes. TWO servings, meaning all those times (as in “every single time”) I ate a bowl of ramen noodles I was eating two dinners, not one. Ah well – it explains why they are so satisfyingly filling I guess.

Helen said
April 28, 2009 at 9:34 am

Charlie, have you had the dish that attempts to make Ramen healthy? It’s a broccoli salad with a dressing that uses the seasoning packet and the noodles are left uncooked and crushed into the salad. It is so yummy. I’ll get you the recipe if you want it.

Tom Rooney said
April 28, 2009 at 10:00 am

Top Ramen is about as good as the fix you get from the corner junky. A little harsh the first go round, but then you Jones for it every day. It doesn’t have the side effect of selling your father’s stamp collection for your next cup, but I’m sure you could end up face down in a bowl of this watery concoction. As for your writing, it shouldn’t suffer until the sodium paralysis sets in and you then type as well as Steven Hawking.

Biz said
April 28, 2009 at 11:27 am

I’ve made a big pot of homemade chicken noodle soup using Ramen noodles as the base.

I had chicken from a roasted chicken, added more chicken broth, and diced carrots and celery – lastly added the noodles and within 15 minutes I was eating delicious soup.

I also craved them when I was pregnant – maybe that’s why my daughter loves them so!

GF said
April 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Thanks for visiting my blog – funny stuff going on here! I will return 🙂

Tuscanystone said
April 28, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Mmmmmm, chicken Ramen soup is super!

In fact, we have something here called ‘super noodles’ which are yummy!

noodles are a real comfort food….I can see the inspirational link….

Tusc 🙂

Peaches said
April 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm

i love the word ‘noodle.’

i eat ramen uncooked… have since i was a kid. it satisfies my carb cravings w/o mushiness. i hate mushy noodles.

Suko said
April 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Ramen and a little red “hot pot” to heat up the water. That’s what got me through college. We’d buy Ramen in bulk at the packing house, then enjoy it as a late night snack. Yum!

MaryBe said
April 29, 2009 at 7:39 am

We live in a town with a prison (politically correct term-correctional facility) and because the inmates are allowed to receive food from the ‘outside’, they get a LOT of this soup. Everyone here refers to it as “Crack Head Soup”

johngl said
February 26, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I wanted to be the last commenter on this post, especially since I had some Top Ramen again today.