After a World Series

>> Monday, November 15, 2010

Yes, I know you’re wondering why the posts suddenly disappeared during the pinnacle of Giants baseball. To be quite honest we were scared to write, and of course got a little caught up in the watching the game too. Life consisted of going to class, eating, and watching baseball. Of course restroom time was jammed in between commercial breaks. We witnessed every moment of the Fall Classic. We watched the stunning last pitch, the parade to follow, the appearance of the Beard himself on Leno, and even heard the recent news of a certain rookie of the year.

I guess we (or rather I) got so excited that a short rambled post would not do the Giants justice. They had gone beyond what anyone (and possibly everyone) had expected. I would agree with the countless tweets and facebook messages that this past season was more than anything a fan could ask for.

Network to the Top

>> Friday, October 29, 2010

College.  No matter what you say, you’re gonna miss it.  No one shares peanut butter and jelly sandwiches after college.  Thursday night drinking becomes taboo. That girl you had your eye on all quarter, your time is up.  Compared to the real world, college is friendly; definitely life-changing.  But if there is a key lesson my undergraduate years taught me: it’s to network.

Network like crazy.  There may or may not come a time when the feeling of pursuing graduate studies washes over you.  After reviewing the entrance requirements via the web, fingers will tap and you will wish you kissed some professor derriere for that academic recommendation.  That social or academic club you hesitated to join, let’s hope there are other extracurricular activities on your belt.  Employers weed out candidates that don’t fit the well-rounded portion of the background check.  Volunteer work and internships only equate positive auras.  Not only do you encounter a huge pool of untapped opportunity, prospective employment is right at your feet.

Nurture these relationships.  Build strong foundations with those who may help pave a brighter future.  Like Schoolhouse Rock, knowledge (and social knowledge) is power.

--This article was written by guest writer Gretchen Sumera. Read more about her here.

Anything But Torture

>> Monday, October 25, 2010

I find it funny how the simple things in life can make people really happy. Out of all the things in this dismal state of an economy, it’s a baseball team that brings a smile on the most unexpected faces. Yes, a baseball team. The San Francisco Giants, my hometown heroes of sorts. A group of what is being called some of the most unexpected group of misfits. They’re composed of no star subjects, but they do have a prospect and a former reject.

I’ll be up front in saying that I did miss game 6 of the 2010 NLCS against the Phillies. It was a hard decision to make, but I was scheduled for work and it’s not like I could just cancel on the spot. I knew baseball would always be there, and I knew life would go on even if we didn’t win. As heartbreaking as it was I knew in reality that I couldn’t be everywhere at once. Little did I know what was in stored when I punched out for the day.

Getting off the train on the way back to my apartment was probably one of the best moments ever. Random strangers were in the streets celebrating, yelling, and simply running around like mad men. Apparently the Giants had won. This proceeded in high fives all around to people in the same Giants attire as me. There was plenty of cheering and chanting that was close to deafening at times. Man, was it a sight to remember.

Earlier that evening, on the way to work, I was chatting with a man on the train. The fellow had decided to call it a day and was rushing home to catch the game. “Just imagine if they win tonight, it could really help the local shops struggling. It’d give everyone something to be happy about. It’s been quite a long time since they last went to the series.” I’d like to think seeing Wilson close that night really made his day. For me it was noticing an orange and black “IT’S TORTURE SIGN (but we love it)” sign while walking to class this morning.

Let’s do this thing. Game 1, here we come.

Gotta Represent the G-men

>> Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Retro seems to be the new fad at the moment. There's no reason why you can't sport the vintage athletic gear. Stop by and visit the guys down at Invisible Stripes to pick up one of these original snap backs. According to their website, prices range from $20-$50 depending on the rarity and type. Only available at the store, sorry can't find it on the website. Definitely a great item to get for post season. There's only one October!

Orange and Black Postseason

>> Monday, October 4, 2010

My those set of words haven’t been used in the longest time around the bay area. It’s true how the saying goes that you never really know when you’ve made it till you’ve struggled first. Without a doubt the Giants have struggled in the past. There have been countless ups and downs along the stretch of the season. Plenty of frustrated and upset fans expressing themselves in online forums and over the radio broadcasts. But look and behold, here we are today as division champions in what is now the penant race. The last time this organization performed so well was close to 6-7 years ago. It was a different time and a different team for sure. Even I was a different person, a little kid still in middle school. At the time our team was mainly centered around a particular superstar. Not to mention they were pretty old and many of them had been on the team for ages. Today, our team is composed of the most unlikely group of rising stars. The young rag tag group are still very much in the process of learning. They’ve turned out to be quite the amazing crop of next generation Giants.

Despite the troubles the troubles of the real world, one tends to forget about them when the home team is winning. I am sure it brings a joy to many of the other fans as well. Here’s a to an amazing post season. One can only imagine what will happen.

The Essence of a Meal

>> Saturday, October 2, 2010


A good friend of mine really hates to be rushed, especially during a meal. I would have to agree that meals, not pre-made stuff under a heat lamp, are meant to be consumed slowly and carefully. Good food is meant to be savored and enjoyed at a slow pace. It’s a time to converse and share with one another about troubles, promotions, engagements, etc. Yes, everyone at the table has probably been waiting impatiently. And yes, they probably skipped breakfast to make it out the door on time or worked through their lunch hour. Regardless, that doesn’t mean you woof down your food like a rabid canine. You bother to actually taste the ingredients instead of inhaling the dish in one fell swoop. Take the time to admire the amount of time and effort placed in the dish.

In his book, Around the World on a Empty Stomach, Anthony Bourdain describes it as, “When someone feeds you, they’re saying something, they are telling you something about themselves. If you can’t hear a voice, or if the voice is confused, chances are, you’re eating at a “big box” faux-fusion restaurant -or chain, or a hotel- where the menu and recipes were arrived at long ago, by consensus or committee.” Cheers to the next meal friends.

Add Code to Salvation

>> Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sometimes feel as if getting added to a class is a lot like going to heaven. Yes, I know it’s probably a weird comparison, but it’s quite an interesting scenario. During the first week of classes I (like many other fellow students) was scrambling to get a few extra units. I'll suck it up with a heavier load to get my money worth and to make my best use of time. Well with just my luck the cap for initial enrollment didn’t help, and I was starting to stress out from all the running around. In the same way, no one knows if they’ll get into heaven with one hundred percent absolute certainty. No one knows what the afterlife is like because no one has ever been there and back. All the variables are unknown and faith is generally the only assurance. Anything can happen and that’s what caused me to worry in this case.

Now the interesting part comes into play. Not everyone has the same beliefs, hence the different classes on different subjects according to major. Nor are those belief systems without separate fractions, thus different sections with different days and times are offered for a specific class. Everyone thinks their class is right for them and that it’s their area study. It’s what they’re interested in and it’s what they plan on investing time towards. Ergo most belief systems consider themselves to be the one correct path and people study whatever they choose.

Then the tricky situation pushes its way into the game. Lucky me, while searching for classes, I was the exact last one to be added into the class everyone needed. (By everyone I mean people studying in my field.) I showed up over twenty minutes early to an already completely packed room. The person that came in one minute behind me gets denied. That gentleman along with at least twenty other hopefuls is asked to hit the road. I am sitting there watching each person sigh from disappointment and thinking what if heaven was the same way? What if I showed up just a minute later or late? Technically I had done everything right, but in the end it just wasn’t good enough. All the planning and searching just wasn’t didn’t meet the cut. Even more interesting, were the people that decided to leave in the middle of signing up or drop the class after the first day. They already had their guaranteed ticket, but decided not to take it. Or maybe they were intimidated by the workload and wanted to put it off till later. Or perhaps they were scared and made the bold move of changing their major.

Things would really be quite upside down and inside out if those were the rules. If anything it’d be heartbreaking. But as for now, I am off to make sure my five digit code really does work. Don’t worry; you’re going to make it through this year.

Enamored Lives

>> Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sunday was my grandmother's birthday celebration. We had, as I somewhat reproachfully called it, an old women's convention in my living room.  My jobs included pouring champagne, creating a non-lumpy and just thin-enough-without-being-papery crepe batter, generally being pleasant, and staying out of the way. Most of this was fine by me. I personally am not one for fretting endlessly over such details as what type of bread to buy. (Other details, sure, I'll fret endlessly about...) But my mother and grandmother were practically beside themselves, constantly changing the menu, trying to locate a "bar cart", which, in the entire history of our entertaining schemes having taken place in this house has never been required. I didn't think the luncheon was such a big deal, but all of a sudden they'd whipped out the fancy silverware, ironed the napkins (ironing napkins! it exists!) and are all acting as if our future depended on the success of the luncheon. I honestly feel as if I'm the only sane one left in this household.

Once all the women arrived, all wrapped in autumn-colored shalls, dangly earrings and, in some cases, heels that should have been left to the under 30 crowed, cooing over each other's respective clothing, hair color, weight loss and denial of the aging process, while I stood there aimlessly, smiling and nodding and agreeing wholeheartedly. I'd never met any of them before, and between the six women, I was told I resembled my grandmother (hispanic), my "Italian side" and my father (german).  I didn't want to deny these women their most favorite pastime of commenting endlessly on grandchildren's appearances, so I remained silent, even though, for the record, I don't think I look like any of my family.

Once they'd all calmed down to the point where they could at least drink champagne and talk at the same time we brought out lunch and they, again, began to interrogate me. Upon hearing that I was 19, all the women (after "Ahhhhh" -ing), thought aloud to themselves, "Dónde estaba yo?", translated: "Where was I?" 

Thus came the most interesting part of the day, hearing all their long lost love stories. To be sure, I am not one for a sappy story. I generally despise movies that are too cutesy or make me cry. But these stories, because they were so much more real (though most likely embellished over the 40 or so years since they occurred) that I was riveted- to use the term loosely.

It was a bit frightening to hear them all recounting their first marriages at 16, 17, 18, etc., whether done in spite of their parents, old boyfriends (these ladies got around, I hear) or because they were enamored (their words). As you may have guessed, these first marriages never lasted, and often second ones didn't either, but all the same, it was comforting to hear them recounting their younger years with (what I assumed was) some level of satisfaction and, if not pride, then at least contentment, good memories. Despite what my mother may insist regarding all my "terrible choices" and "irresponsibility", I'm not half as bad as these women, and their parents probably said the same. Granted, I don't plan on having such a dramatic, tangled, soap-opera-quality life, but isn't it good to know they don't regret it? Then again, who wants to admit such a substantial failure? But I think there is sometimes a place for a yearly or so serving of drama and scandal.

Moral of the story: Old women offer good stories, perspective, despite their otherwise seemingly unhinged tactics at the lunch table (i.e. upstaging each other with toasts, drinking copious amounts of champagne, and neglecting their vegetables).

--This post was written by guest writer Christie Hirtzel. Christie is an incoming sophomore and Anthropology major at Vassar College in NY. You can read more of her work on her personal blog at: misssincerely.blogspot.com

A Season of LT&C

>> Wednesday, September 1, 2010

“Seasons change, they rearrange, all in perfect harmony.” The season is changing now, maybe not so much the perfect harmony part though. Nonetheless it is a very uncertain time for many. The past couple of days have been hectic for students everywhere. Whether it’s leaving home for the first time or realizing your last semester in school, the times are turning.

It would seem as if the new direction this blog is heading would be appropriate for such a time. In the coming weeks we’ll debut new writers and announcing new partnerships. The new setup and design of the site is just about complete with only a few minor adjustments. Stay tuned for more in the coming season!

Updates:
10/2--Reset the entire template. Adjusted header and footer. Organized archive of older posts.
10/4--Set up menu bar and started info pages. Prepped schedule. Placed Technorati claim code UV828G4MY7M5, don't worry, just ignore the code. The followers list was reset and we only manually restored a few so you might have to add it again.
10/5--Insert side menu gadgets. Finished off majority for info pages. More prepping and planning.

Everything is a positive learning experience, once your rationale kicks in

>> Saturday, July 24, 2010

What happens when your long-awaited internship does not elaborate on their rationale once they inform you of their decision to drop you from their roster? You might groan with agony that eventually forces you to suffocate on the loggie that gradually accumulates on your esophagus.  As a result of these eventually traumatic experiences, you could lose sight of your aspirations by focusing too much on the moment, the moment that you supposedly must focus on, so that you could move on with your life.

This moment undoubtedly lingered with me, after being informed that I was no longer an intern for the San Francisco Police Department. I patiently waited for this opportunity to blossom, following every given procedure that they could possibly ask from me. In the end, it seemed every ounce of energy invested into this internship proved worthless, worthless because my future now swam in the river of uncertainty that forever drowned my aspiration. 

However, I soon realized my layoff does not suggest I am incapable of following law environment conducts. It rather reflects my insatiable desire to better understand their decision, prompting me to seek the truth behind their comments. From this recognition, I began examining the relationship between past and present events, logically weaving every delicate detail together, while conspicuously holding my ego within a distance.  As a result, I ultimately realized that I should not dwell on my shortcomings, because my failures and successes serve as a smaller picture reflecting a bigger learning lesson.

I may never know the actual events and the actual thought processes leading to their decision, but it no longer matters, because I am developing my critical thinking skills by analyzing the police’s rationale, demonstrating my competency, my willingness and my desire to deal with complex situations requiring me to step beyond my comfort realm, while revealing these skills as applicable skills to all professions.

So, this rejection by the police department turned out as a positive learning experience because it prepared me for the unintended consequences that could occur within the work force, as well as illuminating my response to these unexpected moments. And to those experiencing similar anguishes, I encourage you to abandon your initial responses by critically evaluating every past, every present and every future success and failure that is associated with your goals, because raw emotions without supervision could consume your objectivity overtime, without ever surfacing on your subconscious. So, I hope my story shows you all that every experience you encounter in life inevitably evolves into a learning experience, in spite of your emotions suggesting otherwise.

Middle Class

>> Sunday, July 11, 2010

It brings a smile to my face knowing that I come from such a humble background. In San Francisco the neighborhood you grow up in pretty much defines you. Your stomping grounds sums up what kind of family you come from. It can easily separate you from being a well off upper class citizen to someone barely making ends meet. If you live in Twin Peaks, St. Francis Wood, or down by the Marina, you’re pretty well off. Richmond or Sunset, you’re a in between average Joe. It’s as simple as that with the other neighborhoods filling in the gaps and extremes.

The funny part is that people in most neighborhoods don’t cover where they’re from. If they live in big houses then they drive big cars, buy big toys, and go on big vacations. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that in the least bit. People work hard to earn a living and should be proud of the product they put forth. It’s ok to splurge once in a while as long as it’s in controlled manner.

In the grander scheme of things growing up in a household where my parents made just enough is a blessing. I grew up in a simple home and quickly learned that we lived within our means. Our vacations didn’t consist of extravagant exotic beaches on the other side of the globe. We didn’t do the yearly trip to Disneyland or other amusement parks. My brother and I didn’t own a game system like many friends or relatives. Instead we hopped in the car and drove for long as we could (or until I got sick and puked out yesterday’s lunch). My version of a five star hotel was a bare camp ground with a modest fire pit. There was no room service, no first class amenities, no fine dining, or latest game console. There were just marshmallows, crackling fires, and noisy crickets.

In retrospect I can only recall sitting in an airplane on small number of occasions. Movies were rented more from the library than anywhere else. Heck, going out to get fast food as a meal seemed like a big deal in itself. It was no secret that my friends had the luxuries of a comfortable lifestyle, many of which I could only dream of. They lived in mansion-like homes with separate entertainment rooms, fully decked out kitchens, and random art pieces that served no purpose. The reality I failed to recognize until only recently is that it really didn’t matter. None of it was important. I already had everything I needed.

Real Talk

>> Friday, July 2, 2010

As defined by urban dictionary, real talk is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Call me crazy, but I am almost certain that English language is being dragged through the dirt with terms like this. (Ironically when I started writing this I totally forgot that it’s also the name of a friend’s blog, silly me. Go check out his stuff if you get a chance, might find something you like.)

Personally I had no prior knowledge of this slang term or phrase before a study partner used it. I figured out the meaning of the word on my own based on the context it was being used. Then it got me thinking about how everyone looks for this kind of aspect in their relationships. Putting up a false image or leading someone on only leads to heartache and pain in the end, or at least that’s what life has taught me so far. This is not to say that this behavior is not tempting. It’s without a doubt that life is far easier when you push aside the genuine truth.  It brings meaning to the whole ignorance is bliss idea. There are fewer worries to handle and lower chances of feelings being hurt. Promises are avoided at all costs so that nothing is put at risk, thus there is no chance for loss.

Arguably, I only have a handful of good friends where I’ve been able to convey such sentiment. I am lucky to even be able to count them with my fingers and recall our memories together. It’s rare for anyone in general find someone that just clicks perfectly. Not everyone is able to relate to one another on multiple levels. Moreover, relationships and friendships take time to develop. Late night conversations on an outdoor park bench or evening strolls around the neighborhood don’t happen overnight. Deep talks all start out as awkward hellos or clever side comments. But when the occasion does come along and the interlocking pieces fit just right; nothing takes the weight off your shoulders like a good chat with a close friend.

To my faithful and beloved readers, I dare you to find such a person for yourself as I’ve described. Don’t hold anything back when the moment does come. True transparency leads to a genuine love towards the strangers you’ll call brothers and sisters. I guarantee that it’ll be unconditional and truly intimate. If all these things are done, then the more “real” the relationship will be.

Grades reflects everything but you

>> Friday, June 25, 2010

College Grades. They say that it reflects your overall potential in the real world—that is, grades in college sets your habits towards success in the corporate world; this reflection portraying a hypercompetitive society is otherwise defined as your career. As a result, it supposedly showcases your competency when exposed to the challenges that surround your professional and personal life.

But grades do not reflect the letter reinforcing the status quo. Rather, grades reflect the learning experiences behind each individual–-the struggle(s), the success, and the new insights gained from these many lessons. As a freshmen climbing up the ladder that would soon reward me with a college degree, my goal when taking a teaching writing course was to become a writing tutor. But my professor said you could only become one with an A in the course.

An A? How do you define an A with poor instructions on writing elaborations and introducing theoretical approaches that does teach students how to pragmatically assess other’s writing assignment? You cannot, even if you exhaled vapor that spews rage at your teacher’s face, when he claimed you did not “properly follow the instructions.” However, I soon realized grades does not reflect not your progress on your goal, because it reflect all the problems that you are set out to vanquish with degrees. But you could only combat these issues, once you look beyond the grade by examining your learning experiences.

So, grades means nothing when defining your performance, because your personal traits and interest defines your career, and therefore defining your overall potential in your chosen profession. And to those inexperienced individuals hungering to dent the fabrics of society with their idiosyncratic ideas, do not confine your potential to a standard that supposedly outlines success: just do it—in my case, I courted writing tutors and asked them about their experiences with teaching writing--because, in the end, the only grade that could define your performance is the one you give yourself. But you could only figure out which one is appropriate by reflecting back on your experiences.

*This is the first post from our newest writer David Pan. Read more about him in our "about us" section.

Dating and Relationships: 005

>> Friday, June 18, 2010

Wait Time.

Waiting; it’s one of the hardest things to do when it comes to relationships. I can think of two important instances where this happens. The first can be that you’re waiting for your special man or lady to come along. It’s supposed to happen out of the blue and catch you completely off guard, or at least that’s how the movies depict it. It’s usually around this time that you figure out, “Why does everyone else have someone to care for? Why is it that everyone so much happier than me? When’s my prince or queen going to come along and sweep me off my feet?” (If you’re looking for an answer then stop reading because I don’t have it. And to be completely honest, no one does for that matter.) The result is commonly hitting a slump in life and repeated attempts to get over that hump. But frankly, if not carefully dealt with, the individual will distant themselves to avoid being that third wheel. Sometimes it’s just easier to be on your own then to be surrounded by couples. Unintentional and instinctive isolation of sorts is what I call it.

Or, in the other scenario, you’re waiting for the person you’re already with to be ready for the next step in the relationship. Whether it’s commitment, marriage, or having children, it all takes some time. This is arguably one of if not the hardest part of any real relationship. Not quite defined as a slump, but more of a rut in dire need of repair. It’s confusing because the facts are clear that both parties care very deeply for one another. It’s like having all the correct codes in for a software program, but it still refuses to operate properly. The indifference towards moving forward or the inability to accept change is what causes tension to begin with. Simply, this rut in a relationship is a draining process waiting to boil over from frustration.

Of course let’s not fail to mention what’s behind door number three. It’s that you’ve already found the one, but he or she is already taken or not interested. It’s a bitter truth to swallow combined with the ramifications stated above. I guess this post would beg the question, “When is it going to be my time?” Someone once told me, all that time you spend waiting doesn’t even compare to the moment where it finally happens. Don’t worry friend, it’ll be worth it, soon enough it’ll happen.

Once

>> Friday, June 11, 2010

Mom was right in saying that everything is worth trying at least once. The motherly motto has survived to this day, and is never more present than when it comes to food. Yes sir, that’s right, food. One of my biggest pet peeves has to be the picky eaters I somehow surround myself with. I swear there are just times that I have the urge to shake them silly while forcing them to swallow some exotic dish. It irritates me that people like that are so stuck in their ways that they miss out on life.

Not only is it annoying to me but it’s also rather a slap in the face if you think about it. By cooking for someone you have made an impact on them whether you like it or not. Preparing a meal is an act of love towards another individual, especially when you’re not the one eating. It’s a delicate combination of love, time, and energy all wrapped up into a tightly broiled bundle. Pushing aside the dish before evening tasting the work is like a rejection to partake in the essence of the meal. If sharing a meal with another person was once considered to be a covenant, then imagine what the chef and diner relationship should represent.

Everything from fried flies, ox genitals, or brown things with funny names you can’t really pronounce so your friends tease you about it relentlessly. (You know who I am talking about and it’s not my fault I can’t pronounce vowels!) Each and every creation in a kitchen is worth at least a single try. You never know when you might find something you love. As for now I am off to enjoy some chicken feet soup the old man prepared. Yummy!

Birth of a Foodie

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

The best by far; without doubt I am from a city of foodies that specializes in each and every cuisine. Go into any San Francisco restaurant and you’re bound to find something unique and different. This is a city that caters a menu unlike any other in the world. I very much do believe that by growing up in this town I was truly able to appreciate food. Not just the fact of being blessed by having a meal on the table every night. But also the ability to have such a wide variety ready at my finger tips. Food was and continues to be such a cultural cross in understanding different backgrounds. It was through the city that I formed the following principles:

-Rice is not just a staple for the world. It’s a staple source of food for me too. Call it anal or even blame it on my Asian upbringing. But not having rice on a regular basis is like not having Christmas once every year.

-Life is not just comprised of supermarket bread. We’ve got everything from buns to rolls to loaves to baguettes. They’re cooked in ovens, steaming racks, and other contraptions I can’t pronounce. And if you’re an old timer in the city: French bread = Sourdough. Clam chowder + bread bowl = Genius

-Everyone does it differently. Thinking outside the box of normal and breaking barriers will set new menus and trends. People who dared to be bold and test the rules invented things like California rolls, barbecue chicken pizza, deep fried twinkies, and of course garlic fries.

-Soup is not just soup. Soup is not just that bowl filled with liquid by the side of your entrée plate. Soup can be a meal. Soup is a carefully crafted explosive combination of sheer perfection. It is made with a love and fills the soul with fuel.

-Simple, fresh, clean- the basics. Sometimes the best food doesn’t need to be extravagant. Simple ingredients tend to make the best tag teams of dishes. Sometimes quality trumps quantity.

-There is no “best”. There are really good cooks and very good restaurants. But there can never be a king of the hill. Food is a never ending marathon. It is a constant search for who can make it better.

-Anytime is the best time. How about hot cup of tea in the middle of summer? Sure. Frozen yogurt on a chilly rainy afternoon? Why not? There are no rules on when to eat that certain something you’re craving.

**Well I must say it feels good to be hitting the key board again after a week or so off. Well here it comes, the start of summer. Now revitalized and re-inspired, we have a lot in the works so stay tuned this summer.

The Food Post

>> Saturday, May 22, 2010

People ask me once in a while why we don’t write about food often if ever. Two reasons generally come straight to mind. My co-writer has a narrow range for the food he is willing to eat let alone try. I would call him my work in progress with the combined efforts of his girlfriend. The second reason would be that it’s almost too normal. I love eating good food, but everyone already writes about it. The competition in food blogging is on an entirely different level when compared to the rest of the blogosphere.

A sub-reason would be that I don’t have the necessary tools for a food blog. I don’t have the funny sounding accent or clean white coat. I don’t have the hundred dollar knives made specifically for lefties. I don’t have the private air plane to take me across the world to try new dishes. I am not even financially able to own a quality digital camera on my college budget. (Not to mention my physical handicap of being color blind thus leading to the inability to color correct on Photoshop. Not fun at all.)

Nevertheless I’ve decided to put aside these facts and take a stab at writing about food. I’ll admit right off the bat that I don’t know everything. However, compared to the average Joe I can cook up a decent meal, and have the sense of what good food really is. It’s definitely going to be a little different from here on out. Perhaps with a winsome attitude and a few fresh ingredients I might hit a stroke of luck. Readers prepare, we are now entering the foodie posts. In the words of a good friend, brace yourself for sheer awesomeness.

Side note: It didn’t occur to me until just now, but one would assume this is a food blog considering the title.

Communication

>> Saturday, May 15, 2010

I tell you, don’t ever grow up or else you’ll have to handle your own bills. Cell phone bills are such a pain to deal with. I was transferring the numbers from my old phone to my new phone one afternoon. It was until the actual process that I realized, “Man…how many of these people do I still talk to?” Some were easy candidates for removal: my old boss, pizza joint that closed down, partner from a class two semesters ago, etc.

Then there were the people I rarely see, but I still happen to keep their numbers. It got me thinking of these people in general and the time I had spent invested into them. There was a time when I once needed their number because they appeared so regularly in my life. It leads to the question: “what happened from that time to now?” Don’t get me wrong, I still care about these folks who have impacted my life. Though I don’t see many of them anymore I bother to keep their numbers as a reminder of that relationship. It’s also probably the reason why I’ll randomly call or text people every so often. I enjoy letting them know that I still care about them even if they’re not around. That I’ll take a few seconds out of my day to update them about whatever random thoughts come to mind. Instead of rather throwing up a random tweet of status update, I made the effort to specifically pick them out of all my contacts. The best part being they can respond to or read the message whenever they want. I don’t feel guilty bothering them during the mess of their busy schedules.

In fact it staggers me to think about the remarkable changes in communication. Sending messages have gone from taking months and weeks to a matter of seconds. Yet at times we don’t even talk to the people we share a living space with. In this mobile age of generation “I” and self promotion, one has to question if we’re really growing apart. I am sure there’s someone out there that begs to differ with the amount of globalization in the world. Not to mention the ever rising power of technology should really be bringing us together. Well that’s something to chew on for you all.

One Sided

>> Saturday, May 8, 2010

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: every action has a reaction equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. Years after his death this genius of a man could not be any more correct. Life in itself desires to balanced out and find stability. But life doesn’t always would out that way contrary to our plans. Coming towards the end of my second year in college I’ve come to notice an imbalance on several fronts:

(1)    No one ever really knows what they want to do in life. Most people choose what feels right and end up sticking with it. This is generally because it’s something they’re good at despite not completely enjoying it.
(2)    Relationships with old friends sometimes develop one way communication lines. It’s not that the other person doesn’t care, it’s because they’re separated now. One of the two parties puts more effort into keeping in contact. In turn, that same person is the one who ends up getting hurt.
(3)    People date each other for the most random reasons in the world. Sometimes its entertaining how one person will rule the relationship or in how opposites attract. Other times its just plain depressing and unhealthy.
(4)    For the new incoming freshman: the people who go to college and the ones who finish college become defined very quickly. You can only be one or the other.
(5)    Some people study all the time and fail. Some people don’t study at all and pass. Why? I have no clue. That’s just life.

The Power of Intention is Expansive

>> Saturday, April 24, 2010

It is without doubt that I have come across some talented and gifted individuals in my lifetime. Not only do I witness them in my academic career, but outside of the classroom as well. They seem to be so beyond the social normal of separating the possible from impossible. Something I’ve noticed in each one is an indistinct quality to the naked eye. If I had to describe it, each one I’ve noticed has an unexplainable determination.

It’s as if someone told them they couldn’t do something, and now they push themselves with unparallel will and desire. Most of the time I find myself either filled with a deep jealousy or indescribable awe. Perhaps it’s our own self doubt that leads us to disbelieve in the abilities and powers of others. Whether it’s the physical endurance from running on the sands of Kona, or the prestige of graduating summa cum laude; we don’t want to believe it because we can’t believe it.

What we fail to recognize is the lesson learned from this infectious state of mind. Those words of being called arrogant, weak, old, stupid, or broken are fuel to the inspired. Though the weight is often heavy and usually daunting, it is never impossible. Adidas described it best with their slogan of “impossible is nothing”. Impossible is but a state of mind that can turn something from intangible to material.

My hope is that I’ll have the pleasure to come across more of these individuals in my lifetime. They are the ones who invigorate me during times of feeling in atrophied. Moreover, their drive and spirit are a force that uncontrollably exudes into others. They strive so hard to radiate their best that people around them desire to be better.

Notes for Facebook Craziness

>> Saturday, April 17, 2010

It seems like the current trend (right next to fixed gear bikes and SLR digital cameras) would be the Facebook bandwagon. Everyone from parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, employers, and even pastors are joining the craze. It’s become the new standard of social networking, but it’s yet to make any real profit.

What started out as a college project has truly evolved into an addiction for some individuals. Yes, it’s nice to check in on how friends are doing and continue keeping in touch. But do we really need to put ourselves out on the internet in order to stay in contact? What happened to letters and phone calls? It feels as if a large chunk of personal touch is lost in the process.

Our generation of aspiring young individuals have become an “I” generation. Not just in our ipods or ipads, but in self promotion. The whole concept behind Facebook and other social networks is the profile page. We unknowingly try to center the world around ourselves by posting our pictures, statuses, and thoughts. (I supposed this blog would be guilty as well. =).) One can go as far to say that we need the affirmation of others in the form of comments and wall posts.

Furthermore, it’s rather scary to imagine the amount of power one website exhibits. Facebook sits right under its other super friend- Google. Combined the two would basically control every major medium on the internet. Not to mention Facebook turned down Google’s proposal for a purchase. One can only hope that Google’s intentions continue to be in the interest of their users. What’s more is, with any luck, the internet will cater products with the next generation in mind. For now, we’ll be logging in and flipping through pictures, videos, and updates.

If you think young, you will remain young

>> Saturday, April 10, 2010

There’s that moment where it hits. When you realize exactly how many years of age you truly are. Sometimes it happens when you slow your pen while filling out a form. Or perhaps the moment is in the new found ability to drive, smoke, or drink. Never the less, it is a sign of time passing at an uncontrollable rate.

At a young age it was hard to ever imagine growing up and being in college. It seems unbelievable that I live away from home. I prepare my own meals, wash my own clothes, and do everyday tasks I used to be so reliant on others. Memories of being a child are slowly fading and even now it’s hard to picture the next ten to twenty years.

Regardless, age is still but a number and some things never change. Even now most college kids enjoy playing games connected to their youth. They might be modified here or there, but the rules and concept remain the same. Both children and adults continue to cry or complain, especially over the little things. We laugh over the most ridiculous things from purple dancing dragons to dogs on skateboards.

Maybe time doesn’t change people so much after all. In fact, time might all just be an illusion of one’s self. Well, that’s something for you to ponder about since I clearly don’t have the answer. Let me know if you ever figure it out cause it’ll probably make a great book.

Lynn-Kai in THEKNOT.com Magazine

>> Saturday, April 3, 2010

Our amazing photographer buddy Lynn-Kai is in the running to be published in THEKNOT.com magazine. Lynn is a very talented individual that we came across through a friend of a friend. We've been following his work for a few years now and watching him develop his style. If you haven't checked out his stuff yet pop on by his website.

If you love his work like we do, you can VOTE for him here, under Justin and Vicky's wedding. Don't forget to rate the set too! http://www.theknot.com/my-real-wedding/Photo/150317/justin-and-vicky039s-wedding

Thanks Ladies and Gents!

The No Show

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010

Man I hate this guy...or gal. You know him or her too. They might even seem to be the greatest person in the whole world at times. But in this moment of disappointment you realize they're only human. (And you are too.) You drag your lazy butt all the way back home, or in my case the computer lab. Turn on that rusted work of metal you call a computer. Sign into the email account. "Class canceled. I had a huge emergency this morning. Sorry. See you next week." Thus he becomes the fly in your food in letdowns for the day.

Initially it feels like a waste of time. In the long run a waste of money. Overall, a sense of injustice and the emotion of getting scammed for hard earned green backs. The only upside would be the extra hour and forty-five minutes you'll have in the day. But that sense of euphoria only lasts for a matter of minutes.

The only one more disappointing than this is probably the classic stand up. This one can be worse depending on the situation. I have a feeling it's probably harder on the girls. They go through the trouble of getting all pretty for this mystery man. Generally, they contemplate more on what they'll wear with what and in what combination. It grows to be a high anticipation for the busy work day. Then, unexpectedly, the climax of the story turns out to be a sour one. If they're lucky the other person will call. The unfortunate inverse is quietly waiting at a table for two, then eventually leaving for home.

Yes my friends it is quite disappointing in both situations. What's the lesson here you ask? Well, it's been a bit of a reoccurring theme in the collection of writings you read here. Two things. (1) Bad stuff happens, its life, roll with it, and learn from it. (2) Be careful with your promises and obligations. The worse part about making a promise is not being able to keep it. As for now, hopefully the next one isn't canceled. Otherwise, nap time!

Dating and Relationships: 004

>> Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Signs. This topic spurs from a little game I used to play with friends in large crowds. It’s basically the “call out the couple” game. We spot two individuals anywhere in proximity of our stakeout. Usually it’ll be over a takeout lunch on a park bench, and with some luck it’ll be a sunny day. Now bear in mind I am a bit of a seasoned veteran and this game does require an amount of skills. Here are a few of my eagle eye secretes:

Hand Holding: A classic tell for lovers, but also a misleading throw off for good friends. Probably most famous through the Beatles’ song, “I want to hold your hand”. This one is like a combo factor. Combine it with any of the others and it’s almost a sure thing that the two are a couple.

Arm over the shoulder: If they’re that close and comfortable it’s in the bag. Unless they’re friends in denial or posing for a picture, then they’re a couple. This can be accompanied by a gentle rest of the head on the shoulder. Or some may notice the subtlety of the shoulders moving together to achieve maximum closeness.

Hand in the back butt pocket: Confirmed. Don’t even have to question this one unless they’re friends with benefits. But that’s for another discussion.

Hand rest (aka love tap): This one is a little hard to tell when people are walking by quickly. It might seem like a nudge or playful punch. But don’t let its misguiding nature deceive you. Usually it’s preceded or followed by a laugh or giggling from one or both parties.

Stupidity Factor: This is more like an underlying feature. People in love will usually do stupid things making them easier to spot out. They run into each other or other people because they’re locking eyes. They trip and stumble because just the sheer beauty of the other makes their knees weak. But it doesn’t matter when you look hard enough because they’re with each other. Fools in love.

Same in Success, Same in Failure

>> Monday, March 15, 2010

Perhaps it is by chance that I attend one of the most culturally diverse campuses in the country. (Or at least I like to think so.) We literally have people from every corner of the globe attending this tiny little university. Out of any other possible location they chose this one. Our ability to absorb information and to learn is unique from one to another. We are separate in every way possible right down to the color of our eyes or the way we eat.

More importantly, we all know what it feels like to do well in the classroom. There’s a sense of accomplish and success in every student. If you work your butt off and do your work, it should show. Everyone knows that feeling of pushing their brain to the extreme. We work into the late hours of the night ready to throw the towel in at any minute. But for some reason that escapes me, we press on. We fight the good fight, dance the night away, and party like it’s our birthday when we see that grade. We earned it.

Consequently, failure is just as common. Everyone knows failure no matter how full of it they might be. Failure, more than anything, teaches honesty and perseverance. Honesty in that maybe you belong in a different field of study. Telling yourself what you should really be doing in life. Perseverance in that the first piece of work you do is not the last. The starting gate is rough for some, but the final turn might is where they let the throttle loose and drop the hammer.

Never the less, these are only a few parts that bond students together. We are students that all strive to find meaning and perhaps a higher purpose. More importantly, we’re all investing into the hopes of a better future. That person sitting next to you is not so different after all.

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes. –Oscar Wilde

Single-lens Reflex Camera

>> Friday, March 5, 2010

It’s without doubt that there’s been a recent rise in the sales and hype over SLR cameras. Yes, they are highly expensive and you generally get what you pay for. Yes, they provide a better and more accurate image of what you’re capturing. Yes, everyone does seem to have one nowadays making it the latest trend. No, just because you have a SLR camera (and toss lots of money into buying one) does not mean you know how to take good pictures.

Photography is not about the equipment. Sure you might, and I highly emphasis the word might, be able to take a sharper image. But unless you actually know what you’re doing with the camera itself, you just wasted a large portion of your savings. Amazing pictures can still be accomplished even on the most basic point and shoot cameras.

A camera teaches you how to see without a camera. Good photographers have an eye for seeing something extraordinary out of the ordinary. Relying on post editors and changing the colors around to make them look all artsy fartsy seems lazy. By the way, this is coming from someone that’s color blind and physically can’t color correct on Photoshop. (And apparently I can’t fly planes either, but I can live with that.)

The Steve McCurrys and Ansel Adams of photography became titans because they knew how to use their gear. For the most part they, along with many others, are normal people. However, they have the ability to memorialize even the most every day type of events. Good art takes practice and concentration. They were curious, determined, and evolved internally and externally. That’s what makes a good photographer. Go suck on that SLR fan boys.

Dating and Relationships: 003

>> Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just Friends

Don't deny it, everyone has one, and you still think about them. You can't quite put your finger on it no matter how hard you might try. It's that certain guy or gal you keep in the back of your mind. You know that one person you can never remember any bad memories about? (Or just choose not to and instead see nothing but the best in them.) Yeah you know the one who always seemed to be there when you needed them the most. Always around just to chat or joke around. When you had to tell someone something important so it wouldn't consume you, he or she listened. They never expressed any judgment other than a few thoughtful words and insight.

She's the one you talk to about not being able to get a single good date. He's the one you rant to about your relationship problems with Mr. Prefect. They understand you on a certain level "most people" don't. It was unspoken and agreed upon that you two are just friends. Nothing more and certainly nothing less. The fact is she's already taken; he's another girl's man. She doesn't think of you that way; he doesn't want to complicate your relationship. The risk isn't worth it. And so, like many things people let it slip away. You do your thing and they live their own life.

As a result the inevitable happens. Some course of life (graduation, relocation, etc) happens and contact with that person breaks down. This is not by choice, but it is by fate. Perhaps that's why we find ourselves daydreaming about these pivotal people in our lives. It's because they shape us the most even though it's goes unnoticed. Thus we reflect on a different time separating ourselves from current troubles. Memories of lessons on phone conversations. Explaining the concept of actual flirting. Debating why you two aren't together.

Creative Arts: 001

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

“Best of times, worst of times”

It was a day for extraordinary, it was the routine of ordinary. He stood at the corner of Market and Powell; she wandered to the end of 20th and Shotwell. He reached of the Sports Illustrated, she grabbed the Cosmo. She asked him for coffee, he asked her for dinner. It was fate, destiny, and all that other fortune junk. It was an honest mistake, honestly. It was forever and always; it felt like a one night stand. He stood on the hills of reality; she wallowed in the valleys of duality. It was forgotten, forsaken, mistaken. It was taken, forgiven, and a bit of heaven. Her name was April…wait it was Courtney…or was it Mary? His name was Jerry, just Jerry…

Singles Awareness Day

>> Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yes its that time of year, everywhere you look all the couples are all riding on cloud nine. The day when folks are generally happier or a little more moody than usual. It's that random day in February that makes no sense if you think about it. I mean seriously, who decided to put valentines day in the shortest month of the year? But hey, it's a good excuse to do something special for that someone special you care about. Or in many cases, forgetting to do something special and pulling some favors at the last minute.

So for all the husbands and gentlemen out there that must endure this day, I salute you. You brave lads must endure and work through the most ridiculous situations. The desperation contemplation and stress of finding the perfect present. Dishing out what precious savings acquired for a night on the town. But by the end of the day it won't matter, you have your lady, and that alone is worth enough. Sorry to all the ladies out there, we can't relate since...well...lets face it we're not women and we don't know how they think. Though we do like to try here and there.

For the singles. The young stags. The lone rangers. The independent folks. This day is what you make of it. It can be a reminder of past heart break or a celebration of not being tied down. Enjoy the single life for as long as it lasts. But of course, it's also the lunar new year so it pays to be single and Asian. =)

The Calm Before the Storm

>> Friday, February 12, 2010

It’s probably the best part about being in college. You get to spend hours still doing the things you enjoy. You get time to hit the gym in the hopes of staying healthy or in the attempt of getting ripped. There’s enough of downtime to cook meals that don’t consist or involve the words, “instant” or “artificial”. You have the ability to talk to people and meet up for an afternoon- then probably not see them again for the rest of the semester. It’s the period of time where going through college seems survivable. That the course load, part time job, papers, and projects don’t matter. (Well till you cram them into next week that is.) But for now, we’re just trying to enjoy this phase known as the best years of your life. Enjoy it while it lasts.

A Look at the Giants Off Season

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

The San Francisco Giants began their offseason with a lot of hope for helping the 2009 team that won 88 games. The team and, more importantly, the fans hoped to make the few necessary moves this winter to make the Giants into the playoff contender we all want. Some fans clamored for a huge signing of a bat to instantly make the offense better. Others went to the message boards screaming for the team not to trade away the future and to just sign 2 or 3 complementary pieces to make the whole team better. The rest of us stayed home and either whispered amongst themselves for the organization to not make any moves and just keep giving young guys their chance to play, or quietly gave up when, months into the offseason, the team had yet to make a personnel move.

However, the team has, over the last couple weeks, begun to finally take shape with some new acquisitions that bolster their 2010 dreams of a postseason berth. Signing Mark DeRosa and Aubrey Huff, and resigning Juan Uribe and Freddy Sanchez will help an offense that was one of the worst in baseball last year. Though, of all the roster and personnel moves the Giants have gone through this offseason, it was the promotion of hitting coach Hensley Meulens to the major league staff that will bring the biggest change. In Triple-A last year, Meulens helped a number of younger players learn hit to contact and bat to all fields. This was evidenced by the rapid improvement of John Bowker (.347 BA), Jesus Guzman (.321 BA), and Buster Posey (.321). He is also credited with the rapid ascension of Eugenio Velez from occasional role player to a key figure on the Giants down the stretch, after Velez was sent down to Triple-A for lack of a consistent approach in the Majors. The Giant’s problem is not talent; it is in fact just a lack of consistent approach. A new hitting coach, coupled with a new personnel influx should bring new success to the Giants season.

Time Off in Retrospect

>> Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter Break. Typically a time for relaxation, sleeping in, movies, and… catching up. Most folks engage in the activity because it’s what they know, it’s what they’re used to. It’s probably the only time of the year someone is guaranteed to meet up with old buddies. Thanksgiving is a matter of days, right next to a short week of spring break. The summer only brings more classes, internships, vacations, you do the math.These once a year ritual meetings should not be taken for granted or on a light note. It’s through these gatherings that the value of a friendship really. Its evidence that although the world has separated two parties, each still cares about the other. More importantly, we discover how the world has been affecting our friends.

Sometimes people change for the better. They decide to become independent and find a means of spirituality while at school. They have grown, developed, and thrived in the situation fate has dealt. On the contrary some friends decide to pick up interesting habits. They engage in such actions that seem so distant in comparison with their name. Never the less, it is who they have decided to grow into.

Half the time we sit across from each other at a local Starbucks or Jamba Juice to reminisce old times. It’s in this moment that life hits rewind and the scene selection resets. Things are exactly how they were one, four, or eight years ago. We laugh, we eat, we walk, we talk, and soon enough we say our goodbyes. Our paths part once again, say take care, and the best of luck. Strangers once again. Winter Break.

Under Construction

>> Monday, January 18, 2010

Setting up a new design. Working out the rough edges. Bear with us.

--Staff


Updates:
1/10- Found a hot new template, reading on the specs and install instructions.
1/15- Setting up and install.
1/17- Adjusting colors, header, footer, and sidebar.
1/19- Install blogger version of Blogumus tag cloud and Google Adsense.
1/26- Set up top menu bar. Good enough for now.

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