I know by now you’re hoping that I spend all my time in the kitchen, but I’m sorry to tell you I’m just not domestic enough to spend my whole life in front of the stove. Several times a week I trade the wooden spatula for an ashwood staff and travel to my kung fu school where I’m called Shen Ti’e Lung, Spirit of the Iron Dragon. It grabs me on all sorts of levels: the tradition, the theory, the students and masters, but what I enjoy most about it are the moments when I let go and let the training transform me into a blend of ballet dancer and tiger.
Another thing that I’ve become fascinated with, and taken up study of, is how men and women understand and misunderstand each other, and how to avoid the kinds of problems other people have. I read so much, in fact, that a friend appealed to me recently when he found his relationship failing. Already eyeing the door, he was on the verge of leaving his fiancé but decided to talk to me first. And talk we did. Several hours, several nights, we talked. A month later, I spoke at their wedding, and in private he credited me with helping him really hear what she was saying, which helped them get through the hard times.