Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Year Resolutions check-in

Holy shit. Seriously how is it already almost the end of the first month of 2015?!? Where the fuck did my month go?

They say that accountability is the key to success so I've decided to share this journey with you blah blah blah.

To best honest I'm just indulging my neurotic tendencies to over think things. Blogging makes me seem less crazy than talking to myself about it out loud in public.

New Year Resolution #1: Read 30 books

Update: I am almost done with book #1 (Memory of Light by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson) It's a little over 900 pages so I'm pretty pleased with myself for getting through it so quickly. almost 1/30

New Year Resolution #2: Go to the gym 30 times

Update: So technically I've been to the gym 4 times this month. But before you get all excited and proud of me I have to confess that I did not work out at the gym 4 times. In fact I only "worked out" at the gym once for like 20 minutes. But I did go to the gym to shower before an event, and to sit in the hot tub/steam room/sauna 4 times.

I needed the hot tub soaks because I'd gone to several Yelp Kick Butt events and was sore ALL OVER from doing squats, core workouts, martial arts, paddling, and all kinds of other crazy shit. So I didn't work out at MY gym but I've been working out. Not sure if that counts. 2?/30

New Year Resolution #3: Learn 30 new words

Update: I've been learning new words like (evitable, furfuraceous, sapiosexual & spornosexual) but haven't really worked them into my everyday vocabulary yet. But it's pretty hard to do so with these types of words, maybe I will have to choose better words that are less...esoteric. (BTW that's not one of my new words... I already knew that one.) 4/30

New Year Resolution #4: Cook 30 new recipes 

Update: I made a chicken and spinach lasagna in my slow cooker that turned out pretty good! I over cooked it a little but still yummy. And I made the recipes up all by myself! 1/30

New Year Resolution #5: 30 new blog posts.

Update: One down 29 to go. 1/30

New Year Resoultion #6: Do 30 fun activites

Update: Went to a new-ish friend's house for the first time and played board games till 4 am. Went to a martial arts class. Went on a maybe-date. 3/30 yay!

I also have a few non-turning-30 related of which is to have no more than 18 drinks a week. Now I've gotten A LOT of shit for this one. People want to know why/how I settled on 18, or what constitutes a drink, or what the rules are.... and you know what? I don't know. I just picked 18 because I thought it sounded do-able but a little hard.
(especially during Superbowl/Birthday/Vacation/Special Occasions)

A drink is counted simply by the glass. Big or small size is (in this case) irrelevant. One small glass of soju or large 22 o beer is one drink. Sips of other people's drinks don't count but they really have to be sips. 

There's no particular reason I decided to do this other than I kinda wanted to see if I could do it. 18 drinks a week is kinda a lot but I definitely am used to drinking more than that one a regular basis. The additional benefits are just that...additional. Yes it will be good for my health to drink less, I'll hopefully save money and lose weight. I'll go out drinking less which means maybe I'll be more productive and get more reading/writing/working out done.

I also wanted to do the 52 week savings challenge but so far I haven't started it yet. Honestly I'm not sure if I'm going to do this one because if I move money from my checking account into my "new" savings account for this resolution and then more money from my old savings account into my checking account to pay for bills does that count as saving? No, right? So It should be like actually saving that money from each paycheck without having to move money around. Which means I just have to fucking spend less money....damn it why is this so hard? I'm Chinese! Being cheap should be my natural state!

Thanks for reading if you did... if you didn't thanks anyway.

TL;DR? New Year Resolutions are crap but I'm working on them.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Restaurant Week Reflections

Restaurant week is not for amateurs. In what I like to call "a Thanksgiving training" binge I visited 10 different restaurants in 6 days, gained 5 lbs, and basically cleaned out my bank account all in the name of research! Here are the top 5 dishes that I wish I could eat again and again and again!

 1. Beef and Foie @ MW
This amazing dish captured my heart so much that it prompted two return visits in as many nights. The beef is seriously stupidly tender and the foie gras just melts onto your tongue. The freshly shaved Burgundy truffles perfectly compliment the truffle oil mashed potatoes and the hint of sauteed greens help relive any worries about calories. 

 2. Pumpkin Crunch Ice Cream Cake @ Stage
I wasn't expecting much from this little dessert but sometimes low expectations are a good thing because I was really wowed by the flavors in this! My dining companions were all stuffed so I sacrificed my waistline and heroically volunteered to help them polish off their desserts.

3. Mud Pie "For Wade" @ MW
Poor Wade. We were lucky enough to get the last order of the mud pie and he didn't actually get to taste it even though it's allegedly for him! The famous MW cookies were a nice touch and eating them dunked into the mud pie made me want to propose marriage to Michelle (even though I know she's already married.)

4. Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare @ Arancino at the Kahala
Confession: I don't like Uni. But the Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare aka Uni pasta at Arancino at the Kahala has become an exception! The house made pasta coated in their uni and white wine sauce is so delicate and light but creamy and velvety at the same time.

5. Salade Frisee @ Grondin French Latin Kitchen
Do you know what it takes for a salad to make it onto this top 5 list? I mean it's going up against foie gras, truffles, and chocolate! But this little salad definitely holds its own with the competition. The poached egg and smoked lemon juice make a wonderful dressing and the generous portion of pork belly might make you have to run a few extra minute at the gym but it's worth every bead of sweat and every huffed breath!

Runners up

These dishes also continue to haunt my taste buds and I definitely recommend that you try them out too if you're so presented with the opportunity! However I don't recommend sharing them because you'll instantly regret not being able to gobble it all up by yourself. Trust me on this was an ugly scene with me and my dining partners all fighting to get our spoons and forks into these!

Roasted Kabocha Parfait* @ The Pig & The Lady
*Non Restaurant Week Menu Item

Bread Pudding @ Prince Court

Insalata alla Caprese @ Arancino at the Kahala

Chocolate Banana Cream Pie @ MW

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day My Loves!

A few years ago I wrote a special Valentine's day post to tell my friends how much I love them. This year I'd like to repeat that act because I feel an abundance of love in my life!

(as always ladies first)

  • Melissa: You are ALWAYS there for me. If not for you I would have been totally lost all these years! (literally (which way is North shore?!) and figuratively! LOL) Thanks for always seeing the best in me. I love you like you're my family...except more than that lol.
  • Marleen: You are the best! I can always depend on you to keep me grounded. I love love love LOVE you and your family!
  • Cherie: It was so amazing to get to see you this year! I love it when we get together because shenanigans are much more fun when done together! You are my wife for life and I can't imagine a better one!
  • Mahina: You are the best kind of out of town mistress a girl like me could ask for. LOL. Seriously though our friendship is so great because it's as simple as breathing! You show up, we hang out, have fun. End of story! Hope to see you soon either in AZ or HI!
  • Maka: This crazy Yelp Life would NOT be as much fun without you! I'm so happy we've become friends & definitely foresee a long future of friendship for us! Your secret nerdiness is just one of the things I love about you!
  • Melinda: I hope it's doesn't come as a surprise to you that I count you amongst my closest friends! We don't get to spend a ton of time together but I love that you are so friendly & patient & kind! 
  • Corie: Sometimes short (like you! haha) and sweet is the best way to say something. Thanks for being a good friend. It's always fun hanging out with you! Can't wait for you to teach me more about political stuff!
  • Michelle: Even though you're always busy you still seem to make time for me. I love you lots!
  • Malia: I'm so glad we've become closer friends! I hope to get to know you even better and hear more stories over wine!
  • Whitney & Kim: You two are both so far away and so grown up now! I miss you both TONS & TONS but am so happy you're doing so well! Although we don't talk often you guys are always in my thoughts & in my heart. Love you!
  • Emi: You are such an amazing person. Thank you for teaching me so much about love, joy, and happiness! (and marketing/event planning too lol) Every minute I spend with you makes me into a braver & better person. I appreciate the opportunities (and gentle pushes) you give me to grow and learn. I love you!
(And now the boys)
  • Doug: You are my platonic husband and best friend. You are also one of the very best and most gentlemanly guys I know. I know I can always count on you to be my moral compass and I trust you completely (which I think you know is a pretty big deal for me). I love you and am so thankful for your friendship!
  • Reymar: You are also one of the best and most gentlemanly guys I know! I'm so glad that you're my friend/brother-in-law (hahaha). I can't wait to go to Japan and have adventures with you and Doug! I love you lots!
  • Brandon: You & Marleen's love has always inspired me. It has shown me what I should be looking for in a relationship. This past year you've also inspired me by how you've really changed your life and gotten in such amazing shape! (seriously stop being so sexy okay?) Hopefully I'll be in good enough shape to workout with Coach Puka sometime soon!
  • Jacob: You are one of the nicest guys I know. You are a really wonderful friend and I sincerely think the reason I love Yelp so much is because it introduced me to you! Thank you for being such a great friend! I love you!
  • Nick: Thanks for always being so cool to me! I'm glad that we're friends :-)
  • Keli'i: I'm pretty sure you're not going to read this but I just wanted to tell you that you're awesome! I know you work hard but you always try to make time for all of us! Thanks!
  • Justin: You just want me to be happy and that really means a lot. I'm so glad we've been able to stay friends all these years!
  • Stephen & Ray: We might not hang out as much as we all used to but you two are definitely still people I love!
And to my many, many, MANY amazing & awesome Yelp friends (Grant, Richard, Mahina, Paul, Brian, Alycia, Laurie, Jordan, Russ, John, Amara, Talor, Michael, Anthony, & much too many more to name) thank you all so much for being such nice & friendly & wonderful people! 

All of you guys make me feel so very loved and appreciated! I am really so lucky & honored to be your friend! I love each and every one of you and hope you have a great Valentine's day!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I looked up and noticed the light today as the sun was about to set. Dusk. It was beautiful. The sky was lavender and navy and golden. It's my favorite time of day especially during the "winter" months. It's softer than daylight but not nightfall. As the sun's light yields to the moon's we, on Earth, are trapped between their two powers and can feel the pull of both celestial bodies upon us. It's a time to be more yielding, more sexy, more in love.

But unfortunately many of us spend that time trapped in daily commutes. Thinking of dinner plans, exercising, TV schedules or whatever little hurts (or even happinesses) we experienced that day, week, or lifetime. Rather than looking up at the sky and seeing how the dual light creates a soft glow on everything we stare unblinking into the brake lights of all the cars before us, change songs on our ipods, or text that we're stuck in traffic.

With 2014 being only 21 days old I want to try and remember to make every moment count. I know that it's easy to get caught up in the details of everyday life. Traffic, bills, errands, and horrible co-workers/neighbors/family members all take their toll on us. But someday, and possibly someday soon it will all be over. Just like that no more dusks, dinners, or daily commutes. So take a second, even if it's something as simple as looking out over the horizon at dusk, even if it's over a sea of red brake lights on the H1as you're dashing home or to the gym. Just look up, see how beautiful being alive is.

I'm not a "new-age" or "eco" type. I don't eat vegan or organic food or have a sustainable anything. (especially not a bank account hahaha) I don't even particularly think of myself as a "feelings" type of person. But I don't think we need to be that "type" of person to remember to be kinder to ourselves. I mean being angry & stressed out isn't going to make your day get any better. But having a drink (even if it's coffee) with a friend or listening to your favorite podcast or just going through the drive through and having a milk shake can dramatically improve your mood. If you take the time to give yourself that love, you're going to be a happier person when you finally do get to your destination.

I recently reconnected briefly with a beloved old high school teacher. It wasn't elaborate. A simple message on Facebook. But I took 5 minutes to thank this person because I realized that I wouldn't be who I am without his guidance in those tumultuous years. I can't speak for the receiver of my message but as the sender it felt amazing to simply send thanks and love into the world. I highly recommend doing anything that give you that feeling.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November is my month of change

I know that most people usually wait until the new year to make BIG changes in their lives. And normally I love the New Year and setting resolutions. But I decided this year, that I'm ready to start making changes now. In November.

And why not? I mean who's going to stop me? (other than myself) like seriously though who's going to be the jerk who's all "You can't work towards being a healthier you until Jan 1 and you definitely can't take steps towards your dreams until after Christmas." (which really I don't even celebrate.)

Anyway here it is my first blog post for this "new & improved" (even though I get that's it's an oxymoron) version of myself.

So what do I have to report so far? Well, I've been working out more regularly. First it was yoga once a week and now I'm up to 3-4 workouts a week including running! Ok it's more like jogging with walking in between but whatever it's still positive movement in the right direction!

And I've been doing some writing for NaNoWriMo. Not as much as I suppose I should./could but again positive steps and all that. 

Oh and yes of course I'm back to blogging. Woohoo!

So stay tuned because I'm sure there will be lots of fun and exciting things for me to write about soon. Like how I'm going to clean off my desk because I can't be a writer with all this crap keeping me from my computer. Or how I ate a bunch of unhealthy things and omg so what I'll just deal with it by trying better next time and not giving up on everything.

yup. Oh! and in the long-term there's going to dating. Yeah. Saddle up partner. Things are going to get interesting!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Are Japanese Women Better At Being Feminine?

What is it about Japanese women that makes them seem so feminine? I'm not talking about local girls who are part Japanese, part something else. I'm talking about those FOB Japanese tourist girls. The ones with the cute hairstyle and the super cute outfits. Sometimes when I see them I wonder about my own femininity and how I come across to them. I wonder about the hows and why of their "looks". How to they manage to look so girly but not girlish? Is it simply that they're thin and petite? Maybe it's their clothes? They do tend to wear soft colors, gauzy floating layers, and skirts or dresses. Maybe it's their hair + makeup? They're always made-up but in a way that doesn't call attention to the fact that they're wearing makeup. You won't see these girls wearing a bold red lipstick or blending their 4 different colored MAC eye-shadows. They also tend to have that brassy, orange-y colored hair and wear it either piled up in a messy bun on top of their head or down and pin straight.

But I don't think it's any of these things at least not separately. Even put together on an American Asian woman I think there would be some key element missing. What is that element? There's a part of me that wants to be snide and say "oh well obviously it's the stereotypical submissive trait" and it might be. It could also be as simple as the fact that their culture has very set behavioral standards for femininity. Their idea of femininity varies from ours.

American women tend to be more aggressive and outspoken. We can be bold, brash, and ballsy and still be feminine. Our femininity seem to be tied more closely with sexuality than with girlish innocence. Bikinis, skin tight "body-con" dresses, and mile high stilettos are the symbols of  mainstream American femininity. I think that Japanese femininity tends to be quieter and softer. It might sound judgmental of me to say this but their femininity seems like it's more about being delicate, fragile, and dainty. Honestly I think I could learn a lot from them.

Obviously I haven't really figured out a point to this musing yet. I had hoped that by trying to verbalize(?) my thoughts, some grand epiphany or at least some organization would occur but alas I must struggle on and continue to ponder.