One of my new year’s quote resolutions unquote is to order less takeout food, ergo I must cook my own meals. I was successful for the most part during Q1, especially when the year was so fresh I was still reveling in the whole new-year-new-me bullshit. Then one boring Friday night, I decided that I have been such a diligent cook, I have been oh-so-disciplined that I do deserve a little sum’n sum’n from UberEats just this one time. But one time became two times, then three times, then four times — yea, man. It’s a slippery slope, I’m telling ya.
I genuinely enjoy taking photos of food, and I also like arranging (plating?) the food for presentation purposes. Eme lang.
My friends told me about a Korean mart close to where I live. I’ve only gone a few times, but every time I visit, and I mean every time, the cashiers would always start a conversation with me in Korean until they realize that I have absolutely no idea what they’re saying. The first time I went, the cashier even gave me a free can of I-have-no-idea-what. I just nodded and smiled while the lady slid the can into my shopping bag.
I sent a photo of the can to my friend, who then sent the photo to his Korean friend, who got back to us with a translation: moon snail salad. I got a free can of moon snail salad. I was expecting a ready-to-eat salad when I opened the can, but no. It’s all snail meat. I turned it into a salad by mixing together the Korean (Asian?) ingredients I could find in my pantry like gochujang and rice noodles, etc. The end product was yum, ngl.
I also ate out with friends a few times last quarter. I went to the same Korean BBQ place twice and to one of the most popular brunch restos in the city. I did not take pictures from those spots though. The snaps below are from the new Japanese resto we went to for K’s birthday lunch; the coffee slash pastry place I went to before going to a bridal boutique; and another brunch place that I visited with friends because apparently it was notorious for serving shitty food. The eggs bennies were surprisingly alright. Nothing special, just not as fucked-up as I thought it would be.
Also, special shout-outs to the vintage (read: very old) diner that E brought me to. The place is so freakin’ old the faucets in the bathroom are not laser-operated, and the walls are lined with white tiles that have gone yellowy over time. It’s very…um, third world? Char.
The menu is just basic Canadian (North American?) food — bacon, pancake, hash brown, that sorta deal — and the servers call you “dear” or “sweetie” in their raspy, (possibly) nicotine-scratched voices. Also, E and I seemed to be the only POC in the diner that day.
Oh, ya, the diner reminded me of that restaurant in When Harry Met Sally! The one where Sally faked an orgasm and an old white lady was like, “I’ll have what she’s having”? Yes! It’s very that!
(I didn’t take pictures of the food I ordered, but below is a photo of a mini train track hanging from the ceiling with an actual train running on it. Some will say ratchet. I say cool.)
Two of my friends are getting married this year, possibly three. C just got engaged, while both Y and M are in the thick of the whole wedding planning chaos. Y even invited me to join her dress-shopping.
The moment I entered the wedding boutique, I knew right away that Pinterest threw up all over it. Fake flowers, crystal chandeliers, line art in thin gold frames — my hipster self couldn’t even.
It was a fun trip though. Y eventually decided on a strapless satin dress with an asymmetrical silhouette, but every other dress she put on made her look like a bridal gown model. She’s a slender 5’10” doll, and I am certain she’s going to look absolutely gorgeous on her wedding day.
I went to a potluck with friends early this year and brought stuffed bell peppers as appys. Another friend brought tarts from a popular pastry place. Fun fact: I matched with someone who works as a pastry chef in that tart place. We started chatting on the dating app but never met up in real life. I just stopped replying because, I dunno. That’s just what I do. I need to correct this habit, don’t I? I should be more upfront with people. I need to tell them why I won’t be replying anymore instead of just leaving them on read. Yikes, me.
My friends and I also joined a hackathon of sorts last month. We didn’t win, but we got invited to a fancy dinner at a fancy exclusive club, and the only photo I got was of the chocolate mousse dessert that I didn’t even finish. It was a little too much chocolate for me.
Ohh, and I have a new go-to ale! B recommended it to me during our potluck — or was it during the Korean BBQ? — and she said it’s the perfect amount of light and dark. I also tried a new type of beer when I went to a bar with E and Y. I no longer remember the name of that beer or what kind it was, but it tasted meh for me. It was more coffee-esque, and I like my beer to taste like beer, so there.
More places I visited last quarter: a spice store (I got gochugaru and szechuan pepper among other thingz); a Japanese trinket shop (I bought a matcha-flavored lip balm that did not taste like matcha at all); a church with fake candles all over the floor (I watched a string quartet mini concert); and a plant shop (I am still on track for turning my apartment into a plant jungle).
I also went to one of the largest libraries in the city, and I was shooketh by how huge and fancy it was. There is a massive chess set on the floor, man. There’s plenty of breakout rooms, too, for anyone to use, and there are even recording booths where people can record songs or podcasts or whatever. There is also a coffee shop if you need something to drink or eat. There are books too, of course, and computers and cubbies. I haven’t gone back since, but I really want to go back just cuz.
Those were the fun stuff, haha. I still spent most of the first quarter of the year at work or at home, or at home doing some work. I started a new job this year and I am still getting the hang of things, but I feel a lot more “secure” now compared to January. I think I am bringing value to the company, and I am learning lots at the same time. Good stuff.
On the reading front, I haven’t read much last quarter. Only Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band stood out, and I had a brief Sonic Youth throwback phase. “Dirty Boots” and “Sugar Kane” are bomb.
I also started having this weird compulsion where I listen to one song and one song only throughout the day. As in I listen to one song on my way to work, while working, and on my way back home from work. Just one song, man, and I just play it over and over and over. It doesn’t happen every day, and it’s never the same song every day. It’s odd.
NIKI’s “High School in Jakarta” was one of the songs I got obsessed with. It’s mad cute, bro! Also see Kiyo’s “Eba”, Tinashe’s “Like I Used To”, Sabrina Carpenter’s “Nonsense”, and Harry Styles’ “Late Night Talking.” People can shit on pop tracks all they want, but sometimes they’re all you (I) need to cheer you (me) up. Suck it, haters.
Next quarter I’m looking forward to cooking a lot more (meal preps!); to pottery classes (I signed up to two 5-week sessions!); and to hopefully paying off my student loans (fingers crossed!).
Life isn’t perfect, man, but life isn’t too bad either. Or at least I am back on my feet trying to make the most out of it.
I hope you are too, my friends. Is there anything you’re looking forward to in the coming months? I sure hope there is. Faito! 🙂
All I can say is… nice photos!
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